Rules – They Make a Difference

Here is a rule

Relearn the English Language

When you’re dealing with people in your industry or profession, there are certain buzzwords and jargon that everyone knows and understands, and there’s no problem in using them. This puts you on the same page as everyone else, and it even helps reinforce relationships between industry insiders. After a while, however, everyone gets tired of jargon and buzzwords. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an industry insider or not, there comes a point where you just get tired of it all and want to speak and be spoken to in plain, straightforward language.

In business, you’ve always got to know whom you’re talking to, and then use the right level of industry jargon. Not too much… not too little. When speaking to industry outsiders, make sure you’re not talking over their heads. If you edit your written and spoken communications, you will have a better chance of establishing and maintaining a strong relationship.

Use analogies or plain English translations. People often understand complex messages if they are wrapped in analogies; the more universal the analogy, the better. Relating a concept to a trip to the grocery store, the car dealership, or a lemonade stand may seem simplistic, but these are activities that everyone has experienced.Pay careful attention to nonverbal cues as they will give you clues on what’s difficult to grasp and requires more explanation. If your speech patterns are sprinkled with technical words without any corresponding explanation, chances are your listener’s eyes will eventually glaze over. Adjust the level of industry language that you are using, both to make it easier to understand and to prompt questions when necessary.

Another one for you

They Call It Murphy’s Law for a Reason

If something can go wrong, it will. There’s a reason this axiom is called Murphy’s Law, not Murphy’s Reminder. So plan for the unexpected. Failing to plan realistically-overestimating sales; underestimating costs and time to market; and then failing to plan for the inevitable twists, bumps, and craters along the way-is the primary reason why most business start-ups fail. But even established companies tend to be far too rosy in their plans and forecasts and don’t leave themselves a margin of error. If you’re not willing to ground your plans in reality to make things appear to be better than they are, you’re asking for trouble.

In the real world, projects take longer and cost more than expected for all sorts of reasons. People get sick or quit. Shipments of critical components arrive late due to a natural disaster. A key supplier goes out of business. A last-minute technical glitch-one you or your team never anticipated-stops development dead in its tracks.

Add some wiggle room to your budgets and project timelines. Chances are, you’re going to need it. And if not, you will have pulled off a minor managerial miracle-a project that did even better than planned!

Set up regular meetings to evaluate all aspects of major projects you’re working on, and focus on what new developments have occurred. If you can use these meetings to forecast potential problems and keep them under control, you might be able to break Murphy’s Law more than you’d expect.

What To Remember If Thinking About Reusing A Shipping Container

The notion of reusing some of the thousands of shipping containers sitting idle at harbors around the world is an attractive idea for many people. Many interesting projects have been undertaken, and shipping containers can be turned into cafés, homes and even saunas. It can sometimes be easy to get caught up in an idea without considering the practical issues; this article identifies some things for you to consider, before using a shipping container as a part of a project.

Consider Location

Unless you live close to a harbor or port, it may cost a good amount of money to ship the container to where you are. You would then need to transport the container to where you wish to use it, and this would entail the hiring of an appropriate truck and trailer. However, it may be possible to have the container picked up and delivered to you for a modest charge, it is worth checking the small businesses in the area to get a price.

Breaking Into The Container

Assuming that you can arrange for the delivery of a shipping container to your property, there are one or two things to consider. The most practical issue is that the container is likely to be secured shut; you will have to break into your own container. This can be a bit of a lengthy job, as the containers are, of course, designed to be secure. Usually, a blow torch can help you get in.

Stripping And Painting

Before the container can be used as a part of a project, you will have to remove the paint and repaint it. Shipping containers are regularly sprayed with chemicals to protect the paint, so this will have to be stripped off. You would then need to prime and repaint the container so that it fits into your intended project.

Temperature Control

People can forget that if, for example, they are sitting in a café made from a shipping container, a decent amount of work has to go into maintaining the temperature of the container. Cold weather outside means freezing conditions inside the container, while warm conditions outside means it would be uncomfortably hot inside the container. If you are planning to use the container to allow other people to walk through it or sit/stand inside it as part of your project, you will need to spend some time on insulating and ventilating the container properly.

In Praise of Personality

Communicating with clients used to be so straight forward. They used to be a little like a doctor’s visit; they only ever happened when strictly necessary. A one-to-one with the firm like the doctor disseminating his/her knowledge and/or solution and the patient (client) receiving it (usually without referring to a specialist or third party, sometimes without fully understanding what was being said).

The twenty-first century businessscape looks rather different. It’s a bit like being at a large, noisy party lively with a wide range of specialists who are not shy in boasting about their skills and successes. You, as one of the senior people here, know you shouldn’t feel at a disadvantage. You have plenty to add but don’t quite know how this party works. There seem to be a lot of witty, knowledgeable people here who pipe up just as you’re getting ready to hold the floor. Perhaps they’ll think you – the professional type -a bore. Maybe you’ll play it safe. Skulk in the kitchen with the socially challenged and the downright weird.

Here is an idea or two for becoming a little more the life and soul and they don’t have to be either ridiculous or frightening if applied skillfully:

Think like an artist or a musician. What is the adjective that most matches your company or product from art or music? Finely crafted? Multi-tonal? And do your client communications do it justice? Are your annual reports largo? Are your client newsletters a little too muted or one dimensional?

Imagine the reader of these communications as your boss. Or your potential lover. How will you wow them? Woo them. Give them a piece of the best of you, the ‘pure you’. Displaying the heart of the business is like showing the heart of a person. Don’t be shy (or too bound up by convention) and you will get a much better response.

Borrowing from yet another artform, how will you leave the stage? What will be your big finish that will live in your reader’s memory?

Be radical for the digital.

If you’re a business-to-business service provider then, yes of course SEO is going to be extremely important but this needs to be high quality, well-researched material blended seamlessly into your services to the right degree and striking the right authoritative tone, not simply relying on a home page stuffed with keywords. HTML (and its more mobile heirs on the newer marketing platforms) do not hold the magic trumpet that will rally your clients, because they, meanwhile, are being wooed by your rivals who have had the foresight to provide them with the unexpected, the informative or even amusing, Yes you might be providing A* pension cover but portraying the amazing demographic shifts that are happening in both China and Japan could provide the perfect wallpaper for capturing their interest and all-important contact details.

You might be making futuristic non-analogue, non digital televisions with the parent company rooted in Taiwan. That does not mean you are condemned to speak to your customers in a reverse, literal translation pidgin. Tune in to the zeitgeist. Yes, a video on your website and social media would be wonderful but script it carefully and for goodness sake, don’t let it be hosted by one of the tecchie guys. In other words, don’t let your business message fall at the last fence. Keep your message clear, go modern yes of course, but keep your professionalism… professional.

Think saccades. Analyse how you yourself read a page of web copy. The received wisdom is that online needs half the copy of a brochure. For professional services I would recommend much less! Use bullet points and summarising headings

Pique their Interest in the benefits then build upon this with USPs. Don’t get too bogged with features online

Remember people have low boredom thresholds and very busy lives. Be incisive.

It’s about having the edge. If two firms offer the same range of services, with only the narrowest of price margins to distinguish them, the one that does better will, of course, be the one that offers the defining difference – the USP. Understood. But if it can’t present that USP well or the opposition can present itself equally well to the customer without such a killer USP, then that advantage may be lost.

I’m not suggesting, you “load each rift with ore” (necessarily!). No, you don’t have to make your brochure into a tone poem or end each blog with an unbearable cliff hanger. Although (top professional tip alert: reading it aloud is a real help). Imagine it as a speech. The link between oratory and the written word is indissoluble. Just like printing off a draft in a different colour or font can help you proofread for errors.<2C business. Think how these sorts of company would sell say the components of a summer wardrobe. How does your favourite outfitter do it? As a friend? A fashion expert with an eye for how to wear/put looks together? Each has a definite personality. The best ones keep that personality strong, consistent and recognisable, even in their AdWords ads, the titles of marketing emails and reminder mailers.

It’s really quite a simple formula to follow. Just ensure that thought and attention to detail has gone into every word of your communications.

Colour, tone and personality to tip the balance

One or a combination of the following can work wonders in gaining your client’s attention – and retention:

An emotive word or phrase dropped very gently into an insurance document “your home, your creature comforts, even your creatures themselves are covered.” Or perhaps to illustrate no hidden extras: “that means everything: from the foundations to the roof trusses is safe.”

A metaphor. “Our call centre, powered by humans, is the touchstone in customer contact. Each call handler a product expert, waiting to guide you through the roadmap of our legal services.

A powerful, alliterative headline in a press ad. One that will live in the reader’s memory “Held back by the Human Resource Heist?”

Far from going over the top, they give colour and tone to your material. Make them worthwhile, make them go further.

The Family Operation

I have a lot of clients who come to see me because of problems arise when family members work together in businesses or farming operations. This is an area that I can relate to as I have three children, all of whom have been involved in my private practice over the years.

Here are some of the areas that might cause concern:

1. Defining leadership – Sometimes there is competition regarding who is going to be “the boss”, especially when siblings are involved. A parent who has established the business might be hoping that s/he can semi-retire or retire. Even if members of next generation have the ability to continue the work, there isn’t any guarantee that it will flourish – especially if the parties involved are not working as a team. Your job is to mentor and direct those involved until the ones who are taking over can assume all the tasks involved with efficiency and mutual respect.

2. Making changes – Because I have worked so hard to build my business, I can appear to be stubborn about trying new ways to do things. Most owners have experienced failures or inefficiencies and therefore feel that over time they have learned the best strategies to grow and maintain operations. Sometimes what we do works but could still be done better! We can be outdated or naive. I remember the day that my two sons sat me down and convinced me to set up online booking and to accept credit cards. I agreed to try these for one month only but was shocked at how both were received positively by my clients and saved both time and money for my staff. Thank heavens they were persistent. We need to be cautious but also open to new ideas.

3. Setting boundaries – When am I the mother and when am I the “boss”? This is one of the hardest things to sort out in both farming and business operations, especially if there are extended family members involved. Living on a farm, for example, is not the same as having a nine to five job where you punch a time clock. There needs to be a balance of work and fun for all generations. Clear communications are very important when it comes to both defining and managing boundaries.

4. Holding onto resentments – In any business enterprise it is always easier to hire a person from the “outside”. His/her resume outlines their achievements and not their negative traits or history. Also, when hiring an “outsider” there isn’t the emotional tie that you have with family members so it can be easier to give directions, confront and, if necessary, terminate the person’s position. When you are working with family members, you cannot bury problems but instead need to confront them and come to a resolution or at least agree to disagree. Then the individuals involved have to be able to “let go” of the issue. That isn’t always easy and hiring a professional therapist or mediator can help with this.

It is sad when grandparents and parents invest their lives into businesses for their children only to find out that the next generation isn’t interested or able to get along well enough to carry on.

How Does Advance Inheritance Work?

To see a loved one die in front of your eyes is really bad. I have personally seen my grandparents leaving us alone and crossing to the other side. It was heartbreaking to see them take their last breaths in the same bed.

But not every individual has the same bond with their loved ones. There are families that have a lot of complications and problems within them. Sometimes, some parents don’t get along well with their children and vice versa. It all depends upon how you maintain your respect and bond with your loved ones.

But there are also families, which are closely knit together. Some of the parents earn well and leave a huge amount of property for their kids. No doubt money can’t replace them, but it is nothing, but their blessings and good wishes for their children.

If you have recently suffered from the loss of a loved one, you surely know how difficult it is to cope up with his death. However, if he has left something for you in his will, you should consider yourself lucky; not everybody gets such a gift!

However, it is not easy for you to get the money or property soon. There are hundreds of formalities that are expected to be completed, before you get the money in your hands. This is the only reason why people opt for advance inheritance, so that they use the money to meet their needs, before they are blessed with the money or properties.

‘How does advance inheritance work?’ You wonder. Here is how it works:

• You need to search for a particular company, which is into such a service. You can surely take the help of internet to get the best companies, out of which selecting one isn’t a major problem.

• The website then asks for certain details from your end. It may also need some of the personal details, which you surely have to fill to get the loan. Once you fill in the basic information related to the estate as well as your relationship with the deceased individual, the details go for confirmation.

• After confirmation and finding out about your share in the inheritance, the company trusts you. It then provides you with an advance loan on your inheritance and waits for the day when you bang your luck in the court.

• The moment you receive your inheritance, you sell it for a good amount of money. As soon as you get your money, you then assign a small portion of it to the advance inheritance company.

What To Expect When You See A Qualified Financial Adviser

Everybody in the working age group right from a fresher out of college to retired professional needs a financial planner. If you handle finances in any way right from planning a household budget to running your own business you will have to meet with a qualified financial adviser.

A qualified financial adviser is essential to our lives and they can prove to be the crucial difference between our success and failure financially. Rule number one is to find a financial adviser who finds time to explain things clearly to you. Knowledge is power and when you invest with knowledge and not just blind faith, you become better at it. You will becomes steadily better at saving and investing and generally be in control of your life. Most people have no clue about where exactly their money is invested and what they could have earned by investing in something else. This approach to investing will not work. Your financial adviser should be able to fully explain all options open to you keeping in mind your ultimate financial goal. He should be willing to share information on all options available and not just peddle investment he has a good commission on.

It is always better to seek independent financial advisors who have several products in their basket. They will be able to identify apt products for you. A financial advisor attached to one particular institution will only be trying to sell his company’s products and may not have your interests at heart.

They should be willing to provide examples and proof of their financial plans with other clients. So you can have proof of how much a person in the same situation as yourself has earned by investing in the same concern. Ask to see proof of previous performance. By asking this pertinent question you can really choose a financial adviser like an expert. You can also benefit by asking the financial experts further questions by using these templates. You can find out if the advisers had really given the outcome they promised, and how sensitive they are to customer’s needs. Check the financial planner’s credentials; this is an obvious tip to give, but really check if they are the right people for you.

Find out how commissions to the financial planner are calculated. If they get commissions only on products they sell or the earnings made by the investor. It is always better to pick the latter as they will be interested in making more money for you. Go online and check with their websites read thoroughly about their expertise and work ethic.

People are afraid to ask questions but by asking the right questions you can be in control and actually’ plan’ your finances instead of just investing and hoping for the best. All these tips given are practical and require no prior knowledge of finances and will help take you one step closer to financial freedom.

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor

Managing your wealth, no matter how big or small, is a cumbersome task. Your financial advisor helps to keep your money safe while making it work for you. Before you start working with someone, ask them these important questions.

What Certifications Do You Have?

You need to know what licenses and certification your financial advisor has. Most of the top consultants are certified public accountants, fund specialists, consultants, or analysts. Some even carry a Juris doctorate and insurance licenses. While everyone has to start somewhere, you want to work with a firm that has extensive experience in the field.

What Safeguards Are in Place to Protect Assets from Fraud?

Your assets need to be protected by a reputable custodian. When you ask about safeguards, you should also ask about any infractions he or she has received in the past both with the firm and as an individual. To provide you with the best service, your financial advisor should be a fiduciary.

Consultants with a strict code of ethics have standards that they share with their clients. However, no matter their standards, they should be in compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state and regulatory agencies, and the Security’s and Exchange Commission.

What Are Your Fees?

When it comes to fees, your counselor should be 100 percent transparent. He or she needs to explain his or her exact fee structure, so you understand how you are paying. Some are fee-only, meaning they provide a flat rate for services rendered.

Some investment consultants charge a commission fee. That means they make money off each product you purchase to help your investments grow. It is important to know which one you are working with, or if you are with someone who charges a fee in addition to earning commissions.

What Access Do You Have to Earning Reports?

As your financial advisor, he or she should have direct access to the top holdings of where your investments are. He or she needs to be able to tell you immediately what the earnings report is anytime you call.

At the very least, he or she should be able to educate you on your holdings before any investment of assets. By educating you on available options and what assets are invested, you can better understand what the consultant suggests.

How Often Do You Communicate

When it comes to letting you know how your money is doing, the counselor should be open to communication. He or she should send out weekly announcements about the market. Also, you must be informed of trade notifications immediately and receive an explanation on every buy and sell option. Most firms also send out information about their monthly investment outlook as well as a quarterly outlook. Brokers also offer to keep their customers informed with educational information and fact sheets.

Ask the tough questions of a financial advisor before asking him or her to manage your funds. It helps you to weed out the inexperienced and shady consultants before losing any money.

Save Money – The Easiest Way To Save Money

We are consumers. We simply need things such as gas for our cars, insurance, phones, groceries, furniture and many other things. All of these things require money! Unfortunately, our economy is not good. Luckily, it’s slowly getting better. But even when our economy gets better, wouldn’t it be nice to save money on all the things we need? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an a few extra thousand dollars in our pockets each year? Well, you certainly can! The best part about it is it’s incredibly easy to do!

No more searching online for hours trying to find the best price for your purchase! The way to save an extraordinary amount of money is via saving money memberships! More specifically, lifetime saving money memberships! I am going to go over the 3 things you need to look for before getting any type membership like this!

1. Duration – You can get one that only last for a few months or years but if you’re looking to save thousands of dollars each year then your best bet is to find a one that offers a lifetime holding. Especially if you enjoy the benefits, it would be ideal to continue to enjoy it for the rest of your life. There are plenty of lifetime holding ones out there, however, if you can’t find one you like that offers that then at least look for one that has a long duration. A 10 year or even a 15 year saving money membership will do some great things in terms of adding more money into your wallet.

2. Do The Math – You have to look at the price! If you are looking to get a lifetime one, you may have to pay a decent chunk of money. But it’s important to remember that it’s a one-time payment. You also have to make sure you’ll be able to save more than you originally spent or else it kind of defeats the purpose. Doesn’t it? If a saving money membership with a lifetime holding requires a one-time $5,000 payment but you are able to save $2,000 each year, do the math! That’s a great saving money membership! You will be able to save more money then you originally spent after 3 years! After the 3 years you will be smooth sailing! Be sure to do the math before you freak out about the price!

3. Look At The Benefits – If you want to maximize your savings you’re going to have to look at the benefits! Look for a saving money membership that has a ton of benefits! If you get one for gasoline, you need to make sure you purchase a ton of gasoline each year! There are several out there that allow you to use it on almost anything! There’s no need to limit your savings! As I mentioned before, it would be nice to save on a wide variety of things and you certainly can!

The Future of the Capital Market

Over the years, financial trading has undergone a transition and this has only enhanced the overall user experience. This transition could be traced with the change from manual to electronic and finally automated trading. These changes were brought about with the help of various algorithms that were modified in the last couple of decades. The increased use of technology has only helped in using electronic trading solutions in the easiest possible way. However, technology also has the tendency to disrupt trends and yet bring in exponential growth in the latest business segments that are created by the new capital markets. However, all these reflect changing trends in the capital market, so, let us take a closer look at the flow of the future trends.

• Open Source Technological Platforms – The fundamental fact is that technological platforms within the capital market have very similar functions leading to significant growth in the market. They have the ability to leverage off open source technologies and also develop technology solutions for the financial markets in the open source fashion. All this leads to lower cost involved in developing platforms, deploying as well as using the much needed financial services.

• The Rise of Electronic Trading Solutions – With the help of the electronic trading solutions, investors require less helping hand from brokers and traders. They will be more dependent on self-direct trading that is now possible with the easy use of technology. The developed western markets have noticed this trend already in the last decade. The emerging trends are thankfully moving towards a similar ratio which involves technology driven trading. All these changes in trends lead to web and hand based platforms.

• Device Interactivity Enhancements – Consumer trends reflect a pattern where more and more people tend to go mobile and use technology through cloud services and other computing devices. Cloud services and computing devices like tablets, mobiles and laptops always support the continuity of platform access and the boundaries between all these devices get blurred. This helps users to seamlessly pick any device from any location and yet have easy access to trade in any financial market and get information.

• Socially Driven Trading – Social networks play an important role in the trading lifecycle since the mode of information sharing process becomes faster. With the help of the social media, understanding the sentiments of investors also become easy through the various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

• Blurring Boundaries Between Capital Market Players – Changing trends reflect that there will be more competition across several financial services. Professional brokers continue to make exchanges that would make the trading platforms smoother. Institutional investors also get into the role of brokers and exchanges in order to avoid information leakage.

How To Choose A Lift Repair Company

Lifts have become an essential item for every multi storey building. They require repair and maintenance at regular intervals. Lift repair and maintenance is a critical task and should only be handled by experts. If you own a building that has elevators, it is very important to hire competent professionals for the job. Hiring professionals ensures safety of employees, residents and visitors.

There are lifts which can only be maintained by the manufacturer, while some lift manufacturing companies maintain lifts manufactured by other companies also. Then, there are independent maintenance and repair companies. They charge less than the manufacturers and have skilled professionals. Here are some important points to consider while hiring a lift repair company:

Experience– It is very important to find out the number of years the company has been in business and the reputation it owns. An experienced company will be able to handle even complex and major repair jobs with ease.

Skilled Labor– The company should have professionals with technical expertise to carry out complicated repair work. The employees should also be given regular training to update them with latest technological upgrades. The company’s staff should be dedicated to improve the quality and durability of lift parts during repair and maintenance.

License– The company should have the license to operate and should meet the specific requirements laid by the government.

Support Team– The company should have a good support system and should be able to cater to your needs during emergency. It should ensure optimum productivity of the product and smooth mobility from one floor to another.

Contract– Before hiring, you should decide the terms and conditions of the contract in advance with the company. Under a full maintenance contract, the company takes full responsibility of the functioning and decides when and how to service the lift. This eliminates the concern of major repairs from the building owner’s mind. This contract acts like an insurance policy for the builder.

Ability to Obtain Genuine Spare parts– There will be times when some or the other part of the lift will need replacement. Choose a company which maintains appropriate inventory of spare parts of major lift manufacturers. This way the downtime will be low and mobility won’t be affected.

Taking the time to carefully consider all the aspects and doing proper research can help you find a lift repair and maintenance company that will meet all your needs.