Monthly Archives: September 2017

Calculating The True Cost Of Disaster Preparedness

Small-business owners who think preparing for a disaster is expensive should think again. Being unprepared-and losing everything-can mean paying a much higher price.

For example, in July 1996, the president and owner of Brookville Mining Equipment Corporation, Dalph McNeil, faced every business owner’s nightmare when the nearby creek crested at eight feet after a 24-hour downpour.

Expensive new machinery was covered in mud and a powerful current of water had swept away inventory and collapsed a 30-foot section of wall. The flood caused nearly $1.6 million in damages and losses.

After receiving a Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan, McNeil relocated his plant away from the floodplain and asked one of his employees to take on the additional responsibility of “safety coordinator.”

Besides doing quality assurance and control, the safety coordinator, according to McNeil, “runs monthly meetings with representatives of the company, making sure all the employees understand the early warning and evacuation plans, and the emergency procedures.”

“You can never be too prepared, as a small-business owner, for disaster,” McNeil remarked. “It’s something you don’t want to think about. How do you carry on business as usual, as quickly as possible, after a disaster? You have to be a bit of a fatalist, thinking in terms of the worst-case scenario for your business.” And while he hopes he never has to use the emergency plans he has in place, McNeil says he is now ready for anything.

Experts say preparedness starts with developing such an emergency action plan that is tailored to the company’s needs and addresses several disaster scenarios. The plan should include a timetable, budget, assignment of responsibility, prevention and mitigation steps to be completed, and a list of risks and hazards to the business. It’s also a good idea to encourage employee involvement in the process.

A communications strategy is a key post-disaster recovery strategy. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses for your insurance carrier, suppliers, creditors, employees and customers, the local media, utility companies, and the appropriate emergency response and recovery agencies should be updated regularly.

This list should be maintained by a key employee and a backup person. Appoint a spokesperson to get the word out that your business is still open to dispel rumors of business failure.

Making sure your insurance coverage is adequate is another issue. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a recently released survey conducted for the National Hurricane Survival Initiative (done by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research) reports that one in three residents in hurricane-vulnerable states said it had been three years or more since they reviewed their insurance coverage.

When shopping for insurance, think about property damage and the loss of revenue and extra expenses that occur when business is halted by a disaster. Business interruption insurance covers necessary expenses that occur while the business is shut down. Many business owners don’t realize that basic hazard insurance does not cover flood damage. Additional purchased flood insurance is essential; most of the over $10 billion in disaster loans made by the SBA after last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes were for flood damages.

The National Flood Insurance program provides coverage to property owners. For more information, visit the Web site at www.floodsmart.gov. Flood insurance must be purchased 30 days before the disaster hits to be in effect.

Civilization 4 and Why I Hate My Office Phone

If you’re familiar with the strategy PC gaming series “Civilization”, you probably know that it’s only slightly less addictive than crack. I’ve never tried crack, but the “word on the street”, so to speak, is that it’s a bit hard to let go of. I recently purchased Civilization 4, which is the latest in the Civilization series. That in itself isn’t so interesting, but what happened to me at my job as a result of it most certainly is. I work as a network administrator for a large insurance company in Illinois.

Part of my job is to repair PC’s as needed, which is quite often considering how many there are around this place. I informed my coworker, also a big civilization fan that I had the game and he suggested I bring it in for a little test run. Against my better judgment, we decided to play a hot seat game during work. “Hot seat” means that one player takes a turn, followed by the other, which is only possible with turn based games such as Civ. We both figured that there would always be one of us to answer the phone in our little repair-shop cubbyhole so we didn’t see how we could possibly get caught. Boy were we wrong! About four hours into a game things started getting interesting.

My civilization found his civilization and we started going to war against each other, as one might expect. I sat down for my turn and my coworker decided to head off to the bathroom. The phone rang, and I didn’t pick up so that whoever was on the other end wouldn’t hear the Civ theme music or the explosive sound of my Panzers running over his infantry. What I failed to remember is that our advanced phone system allows anyone to communicate with us on an open speaker phone provided we aren’t on the phone already. My boss utilized this function since no one answered while I was taking my turn…o.k., actually while I was taking my turn and bragging out loud to myself about how well I was doing in the game. I found myself in his office that afternoon, but luckily I was only reprimanded and not fired. Not only did I get into trouble, my coworker continues to make jokes about it at my expense.

I hate my office phone.

Foreclosure Listings Home Buying Tips

Home buying is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

People buy homes for many different reasons. Most buy for the sole purpose of living the American Dream, others use the home buying market as an investment tool, and some even use the margins inherent in real estate transactions as their daily income. Many homes are sold each year as foreclosure listings. These can be purchased for a significant discount over market value.

There are many factors one needs to consider when buying a house, whether to live in or as an investment opportunity through a foreclosure listings directory.

First and most important is do the research. Know what you’re buying.

One of the most important factors to research when buying a home is location. City, State, and, even neighborhood should all be considered carefully.

We’ve heard it said over and over again. “Location, Location, Location”

So why is location so important? Well, unless you plan to live in the house forever, eventually, you or your estate will want to sell it. You want the home to appreciate in value. You also want to be able to sell quickly. What you don’t want is a house for sale sign sitting in your front yard for years.

It doesn’t matter how wonderful your property is, you’ll have a very difficult time trying to sell your home for top dollar in a bad neighborhood in a reasonable amount of time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad home. It simply means that there will be less demand. That’s not what you want when you decide or have to sell your house.

One needs to apply a neighborhood litmus test when buying a home. Things to consider include schools, nearby growth and development, and convenience. Local governmental agencies often list a school district’s rankings. This information can also be found on the Internet. If all else fails, real estate agents have access to this information and can be very helpful. The value of your home will appreciate much more if it is located in a neighborhood with good schools.

New construction nearby also plays a great role in improving the value of a house and should definitely be considered when buying a house. A neighborhood which is on the outskirts of a new development will benefit from the higher prices of the newly constructed homes. If, however, the neighborhood exhibits signs of decline, one should think twice before buying that house.

One other item to consider when looking for a house for sale is it’s proximity to places of convenience like shopping centers, transportation hubs, and parks. Remember, someone else will be house buying from you in the future. It will happen. And… They will be looking at the same factors at that time.

Choosing A Vending Machine Company – What To Look For

A vending machine company will supply you with the vending machines you need if you are thinking about starting your own vending machine business. It may be difficult for you to choose a company to deal with if you cannot find a company for vending machines near where you live. There are many of them with an online presence, but you have to consider the cost of getting the machines to you. A vending machine company sells both new and used vending machines so you will have different prices to choose from.

Starting a vending business is not the same as starting any other type of business. You will be home based and just travel your route to service the machines on a regular basis. Servicing means taking the money out of the machines, restocking the products and making sure that the vending machines are working properly. To get started in a vending machine business, you first contact a vending machine company to purchase the machines that you want. You will find both new and used vending machines for sale, so you can make the decision both on the products you want to sell and the cost of the machines.

A vending machine company can take the form of one person operating a home based business or a large company with many staff prepared to take your order. If you choose a company that you find online, you really have to size up the website to help you make the decision. Ask yourself if this company has a wide range of vending machines and whether or not it also sells the bulk vending products you will need. You should be able to browse the list of used vending machines for sale as well as get valuable information about starting a vending business.

If the vending machine company that you start with treats you well, you will of course stay with that company. Changing companies in the middle of starting a vending business will not project a very good image of you to the business associates you make when placing the vending machines in locations. Therefore, it is important that you do research the company before you make a commitment to buy or rent any of its vending machines. If you buy the machines, then you can choose any supplier you wish for the products, but if you lease the machines, you may be stuck with the company until the end of the lease.

Any vending machine company that continually puts roadblocks in your way when starting a vending business is one that you should steer clear or. If you cannot get clear answers to your questions about the used vending machines for sale or about how they operate, you will not be able to develop a good relationship with this company. Since each vending machine company does have different prices for the machines, it is a good idea to check out several companies before you make your final decision.

Find One That Supplies Bulk Products Too

When you contact a vending machine distributor, you have the option to choose from many different types of vending machines. Some distributors specialize in one type of vending machine, such as soda vending machines, whereas others have all kinds for you to choose from. Most of the distributors have a website where you can browse the list of used and new vending machines. When you do choose a vending machine distributor, you should choose one that can also supply you with the bulk products that you need.

Bulk vending distributors have a wide variety of supplies that you can purchase for stocking your vending machines. When you sit down to discuss the business with a vending machine distributor, you can get a good estimate of the costs involved in operating this type of business. You do have to factor in the costs of buying the machines and the bulk vending products that you need. You also have to deduct the commission that you pay the business owners of the locations where you place your machines.

Distributors of vending machines deal directly with the manufacturers and they also have great associations with other vending business owners. If you want to find a vending route for sale, you best source of information is a vending machine distributor. In dealing with the various operators, the distributor will be able to tell you why the person is selling the route and whether or not he/she thinks it would be profitable for you to buy it. There are also bulk vending distributors that sell products only and do not deal in the vending machines themselves.

Take at look at the types and condition of the machines that a vending machine distributor has to sell. Most of the time you will see very little difference in a new and used vending machine. The main difference will be in the price of each one, so after your inspection you will realize how much money you can save by buying used vending machines. Distributors of vending machines also offer payment plans so that you can finance the cost of the machine over a period of time, saving you money on the initial investment. If you are not sure whether or not you will remain in the vending machine business, you can also lease the vending machines from bulk vending distributors.

You won’t find it hard to contact a vending machine distributor when you search online. Distributors of vending machines will deliver the machines to you and will also arrange to pick them up if you decide you no longer want to use the machines of a specific distributor or you want to get out of the business. However, bulk vending distributors do not take back any supplies that you purchase, but you may be able to sell what you have left over to another person just getting started in the vending machine business. A vending machine distributor will be able to give you expert advice on how to operate your vending route and on the products that have the most profit.

Business Cost Savings Through Safety

Business Cost Savings Through Safety

Setting a health and safety program in place will reduce costs. Having a program will reduce accidents and will lead to lower company worker’s comp premiums; further business insurance companies prefer their customers to have health and safety programs. These insurance companies might even discount the premium if a program can be proved to exist. The average cost of an accident is $68,000. Direct costs in accidents such as worker’s comp and fines levied can close a business. Indirect costs such as low morale of employees, legal fees, and retraining can be as costly if not more.

A working program will:
1) Improve employee morale – Shows care in their well being
2) Reduce revenue loses – Fewer accidents keeps all employees at work
3) Give a boost to the customer – Makes sure business is operating optimally

Small businesses that have a voluntary health and safety program in place have fifty percent less accidents and reported insurance claims than that of their counterparts according to OHSA stats. Most small businesses fall below the legal requirements for having a formal health and safety program in place due to number of employees on staff. Sixty eight percent of reported accidents are in the service industry which shows even businesses such as retail establishments are not free of accidents.

A health and safety program can be started by writing a health and safety policy; this is simply values that a company wishes to convey in its work processes. Secondly, is how communication between all employees and owners will function. And lastly, put procedures in place to ensure safe practices.

To find unseen hazards and unsafe practices, an audit needs to take place. Take a hard look at the workplace and record all factors that may lead to injury. These hazards might be dangerous chemicals or as simple as a letter opener. Identifying these hazards will lead to procedures to controlling them. Controls such as “Don’t run with scissors in your hands” are effective. Write all procedures in a manual.

Implementing these health and safety procedures will be done with behavioral change. Some programs become weak and non effective because of:
1) No definition of safety practices – No written processes
2) No teamwork – Safety is communication from the top to bottom and vice versa. A well written plan will describe what roles everyone plays in safety policies.
3) No effective goals – The “accident free days” poster will come as a result of sound safety processes.
4) Wrong incentives – Money as a reward does not work well. Health and safety should be fun and worth employees effort. The right incentive plan can be cost effective and have obtainable goals. Incentive plans can include movie passes or simply “free coffee on the boss.” The insurance industry reports for a dollar spent on health and safety yields four to six dollars in savings.

Once all of the hard work of developing and implementing the health and safety program is done, set aside some time each month to review the workplace. Record what is found; this is a good practice to see dangerous trends that might occur such as a fire exit constantly being blocked. On the quarters of the year post a meeting with employees. These meetings are a great way to get vital feed-back from employees and keep them involved. At least once a year, do an audit to make sure your health and safety program is current with present business operations.

Chemical etching – An innovative process for your all nameplate requirements

Chemical etching is a skilled practice of engraving your brand name on a nameplate. Texas Nameplate Company etches your emblem directly or indirectly on the metallic or non-metallic base and makes it more pliable to any lacerations. Chemical etching can be a substitute for embossing. The chemical etched nameplates are made by masking certain areas of metal by acid resistant material and then taking off desired amount of exposed material by acid. Widely custom name plates are etched on aluminum, stainless steel, brass, alloys etc and then baked after stuffing with varnishes for a perfect finish. The depth of industrial name plates etching varies from 0.0015 to 0.003 inches, depending on the height and stroke of letters and the type of metal or alloy. Along with chemicals gas and electric processes can also etch these wide ranges of metals.

Etching, also termed as ‘milling’ is of different types like laser etching, abrasive etching in which abrasives are used, photo chemical etching which is quite inexpensive and a high quality etching method. Photo chemically etched metals thus produced can be used as cost effective name tags, custom labels, panel boards, personalized name tags, industrial name plates for commercial uses and personalized name plate. Electro etching in which electric current is used instead of chemicals, dry etching does not use chemicals at all, Reactive ion etching which uses electric circuits and gas having chlorine or fluorine as iodized particles and vapor phase etching which also make use of reactive gases and many others to add to the list.

Chemical etching is preferred for practical applications and product identification tag. Name Tags made by chemical etching are durable items, which withstand even the harsh surroundings. Chemical etching makes your custom name tags withstand toughest
environments, high temperatures and extreme outdoor conditions. Thus solve your purpose year after year. Texas Nameplate Company compliments the etching with screen-printing to avoid splitting or other form of wear and tear. Various adhesives are also added to etched metal name tags according to your specifications for pasting or welding. You can use our chemical etching nameplates on truck, tankers and trailer, control panels, dials and gauges of aircrafts, asset and property plates; and operating and warning signs for numerous electronics, military vehicles, and machinery etc. Chemical etching is also used to create stencils for commercial art and woodworks.

You can always depend upon TNC for any queries regarding the etching of your nameplates and sort out material suiting your specific requirements.

Bookkeeping Accounting Software Essential Requirement of the Organization

Account and Finance Critical Activity in the Small Bookkeeping Business. Accounting software is essential for any business as it gives many benefits like maintains all your financial records and helps in completing bookkeeping accounting requirements.

Keywords:
bookkeeping services, bookkeeping business, small business bookkeeping, bookkeeping software, small business bookkeeping software

Article Body:
In the area of Bookkeeping Accounting there are many critical financial activity which has require to compulsory in the small Organization to manage it. So For that Bookkeeping Accounting Software is essential in this time to get fast work. These types of work are very time consuming because of double data entry type of work. A useful benefit to those organizations and their financial staff is the quantity to which financial data maintain in the data base can be queried for financial control purpose.

Bookkeeping services India has own bookkeeping accounting software professional their expertise and experience handling most of the bookkeeping business accounting and financial software solutions:

* QuickBooks
* Peachtree
* Sage Line 50
* Quicken
* MYOB
* IRIS
* LaCerte
* Pro Tax

Financial Statements:
An accountant requires not only guarantee that the financial information is exact but also get any part of the accounting reports to reply bookkeeping accounting queries on the accounts. It is also offer a legal basis for the queries and report the financial statements at daily intervals.

But Financial Power is also required from middle level organization accounting software as the bookkeeper is often the head manager who has most important person understanding of every task. Templates are also required for reading and a perfect acquire of create a set of financial theory for tax purpose is that each inserted record is by other proof.

Accounting Software for small or middle level Business Profit:
Choose your Accounting Software for bookkeeping business but it is thing to do very carefully. Because of prefer your software will meet your most important work and your work running smoothly and improve your profit? There are numbers of bookkeeping accounting software available in the market but you have to find effectiveness, accurate and reliable from it and make your business fast. So be sure when your new business account software will purchase.

Any Bookkeeping Business requires the most important thing is Accounting Services. All process of Business has recorded carefully in day by day. For that Accounting Software is useful software for any Business to keep all your financial records and help to complete your bookkeeping accounting requirements. And generate daily, monthly and yearly reports for give you accurate future planning of your business.

If you are small Bookkeeping Business or large Business, you don’t want to hire personnel for software and want to low cost account software. For that it is best that use a web based software so you don’t worry about changing computers, storing the data and lost of data. And important thing is you can access it at any time.

Designing Ads? Remember The Reader

When you are creating advertising design for the newspaper, magazine or direct mail, what do you think might be one of the most important considerations?

If you answered readability, congratulate yourself! Fancy graphics may get the ad noticed, but readers must be able physically to read the words. This elementary concept sounds simple enough, yet is often ignored. If they can’t read it, they can’t understand enough about your offer to respond.

With todays’ sophisticated and virtually unlimited graphic computer options, it is easy for the graphic design advertising person to get sidetracked into believing what is on the screen looks like a true work of art!

Here are some advertising design questions to ask:

1. Want your ad to look different? Examine a few past issues of the publication where your ad will be appearing. Often publications create ads themselves (“pub-set”) and they can tend to look similar. See if you can spot them. Then try to develop a graphic look different than the other ads. Set your ad apart by using a different type face family that is easily read.

2. Is the advertisement legible? In their desire to be different and stylish, some of todays’ magazines make reading difficult.

Here are some common problems. White type on a light pastel background. Or light pastel type on a slightly darker background of the same color. Or colors that don’t contrast well when viewed in black and white, such as dark forest green type printed on a background of fire engine red.

It is better to go for the headline in big, lighter type against a much darker background.

3. Trying to cram too much information into a small space? One of the big problems is trying to fit too many words and concepts into a small space.

Here is where small space is actually your friend. It forces you (or the writer) to break down your ideas into simple words and simple concepts. Bear in mind that the goal of many advertisements is to solicit an inquiry, not to tell the entire story.

Often readers look to the details to figure out if they want to act. The type showing those details should be large enough to see and comprehend, even for those who have trouble with their vision. Type in color really needs to be 10 point, if not 11 to be read by the entire population.

With black and white newspaper ads, it is possible to use typefaces as small as 8 point because their comprehension is made easier by black type on newsprint. In magazines, black type as small as 4 points (on a white background) has been used. The clarity is astounding, but many people need a magnifying glass!

In conclusion, ignoring these three considerations can spell disaster for the reader who is trying to understand the advertising message. Good advertising design creates graphic effects that enhance the writers’ words and contribute to the overall success of the ad.

© 2006 Jon Sinish

This article may be reprinted and distributed as long as the resource information remains intact.