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What to Know About Management

What to Know About Management

What is management?

Business management is a broad field that deals with a number of topics in business but primarily focuses on object based planning and organizing.  The purpose of managers is to increase the output of a work unit through the application of proven business strategies and techniques.  There is a high element of planning and management skills will depend heavily on the specific field the skills are applied to.

What are important skills in business management?

The most important elements of business management involve planning and organization.  As there are a host of strategies and skills applicable to business management, effective planning and organization will determine the appropriate approach to a problem.  This will involve assessing input from workers, assessing the resources available to solve the issue and using quantitative reasoning to determine the approach that will cost the least amount of resources, usually time, human capital and wealth.  Without proper planning, tasks assigned will be less effective and decisions will be made with inadequate information.  You will also have to determine if there are appropriate resources available to gain the full utility of the option you are using to work towards the goal.

The other important role of a manager is ensuring that assigned tasks are completed in the most effective manner.  This will require supervisory skills are working on the plan or toward the goals in the most effective way possible.  The goal in business management is to achieve the goals as quickly as possible, under budget and within time constraints, but also delivering quality work.  The effective functioning of the unit in that particular business entity will require informed management and a manager that is invested in all parts of production in the unit, even if the unit is processing invoices or involved in sales.

What are the key tenants in business management?

Objective based management is key in business management and the objective must be made clear to all under the supervision of the manager.  The manager is usually clear on the objectives of the organization if he or she does not set those objectives on their own initiative and will organize his unit to meet those objectives.

What are branches of business management?

There are six branches of business management, each related to a specific function of business.  Each branch will require specialized skills and expertise to function effectively.

Human resource management

Human resources deals with the employees of the business, ensuring they are paid, provided with their entitled benefits and are satisfied with their work environment.  This is important in the business setting to ensure that works feel that they are respected by the employer and will be paid fairly for their work.  They will also not have personal issues, either at home or in the workplace affect the quality and nature of their work.

Operations management or production management

This management deals with the operation of the business ensure that conditions are optimal for achieving the maximum output for the inputs of labor and capital.  Productions management in the business setting works with strategic management to ensure that resource arrive on time to reach optimal production capacity and that the product meets projections set by the marketing department to deliver the product to consumers.

Strategic management

This management uses business funds to acquire resources and assets that increase a business’s market share.  They develop and execute plans to ensure the long term growth of the business.  Strategic management will work in conjunction with financial management to develop long term plans that are feasible and will work for the benefit of the business.

Marketing management

This is the management of distributing products produced or sold by the business to the consumer, as well as maintaining a public image for the business.  Marketing is important for increasing the market share of the business.  Marketing will develop projections with the operations department to facilitate the ultimate sale of the product to the consumer.

Financial management

This is the management of funds and the capital resources of the business.  These managers will assess the risk and liabilities of existing investments or investments to be made.  Financial management is important to the business to maintain the liquidity and cash flow within the business.  With the greater liquidity afforded by financial management, businesses are better able to invest in assets such as new technology, acquire competitors and respond to financial shocks.  They may also be able to increase hiring with the liquidity afforded by financial management.

Information technology management

This newer field of management organizes experts in information technology to manage technological resources of the firm including software systems and internet presence.  Information technology is a critical component for businesses and will work in conjunction with the marketing management to create an attractive and user friendly web presence.  This will increase the potential customer base and awareness of the business.  Information technology management will require technical knowledge of the necessary equipment as well as theoretical knowledge on management skills.

Deep Fried: Burger King Twitter Hacked

Deep Fried: Burger King Twitter Hacked

 

Just two weeks after traces of horse meat were found in beef patties at a Burger King supply center in Europe, the fast-food chain’s Twitter was hacked. To augment this destructive situation, the yet-to-be-identified hacker(s) made it appear as though Burger King was bought by arch-rival McDonald’s.

“We just got sold to McDonalds,” the company tweeted mid-day on Monday. In addition to this spurious tweet, Burger King’s profile photo was changed to McDonald’s logo and the associated information read, “Just got sold to McDonald’s because the whopper flopped.” The profile also included a dead link to a press release.

For roughly one hour, the account’s hacker tweeted out several ridiculous and obscene tweets. In response to the attack, Twitter suspended the account at approximately 1 p.m. eastern time.

Burger King has yet to respond to the incident and spokesmen for Twitter announced that the company cannot comment on individual accounts for security and privacy reasons.

Clues to the identity, including a mention of @DFNCTSC in the account’s first message after it was compromised, are currently being investigated. That said it is still unclear if this twitter handle is connected to the compromise because of the associated account’s inactivity. Those close to the situation assume that the hacker is connected to or at least a fan of the hacktivist group Anonymous—a “follow” request was sent by the compromised account to the group.

The hacked account did not tweet anything of relevance to the horse meat scandal that rocked the fast-food chain a week ago. Following the release of this news, Burger King announced that it had eliminated its relationship with Silvercrest Foods after the supplier was found to be using traces of horse meat in its beef patties.

Silvercrest provided meat for Burger King restaurants in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Denmark. The fast-food giant said that while several samples of beef from restaurants in these nations revealed no evidence of contamination, a handful of samples from a supply plant in Ireland showed small traces of equine DNA.

Burger King maintains that the tainted products were never sold in Burger King restaurants.

Update:

The Lulzsec prankster hacking group claimed credit for hacking into Burger King’s account earlier this afternoon. In addition to the false reports of Burger King being sold to McDonald’s, the group released several obscene and racist tweets. This unfortunate situation comes on the heels of Twitter reporting that 250,000 account passwords have been stolen by hackers.

Advertising Techniques for your Business

Advertising Techniques for your Business

Advertising Techniques for your Business: Reaching Your Target Audience

Advertising is a key component of any successful business. It helps attract new customers, retain existing ones, and build brand recognition. However, in order to be effective, advertising must be carefully targeted and executed. In this article, we will explore some advertising techniques that can help your business reach its target audience and achieve its marketing goals.

Define Your Target Audience

Before you can effectively advertise your business, you must define your target audience. This requires understanding who your customers are, what their needs and preferences are, and what motivates them to make a purchase. By understanding your target audience, you can create messaging and advertising campaigns that are tailored to their specific interests and needs.

Use Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising has become a must-have for businesses of all sizes. It allows you to target your advertising to specific demographics and interests, ensuring that your ads are seen by the people most likely to be interested in your product or service. Additionally, social media advertising allows for real-time metrics and insights, which can help you fine-tune your advertising campaigns for maximum impact.

Use Display Advertising

Display advertising involves placing banner ads on websites and other online platforms. This type of advertising allows you to target specific websites or online publications that your target audience is likely to visit. Display ads can be designed in a variety of sizes and formats, making it easy to create eye-catching and engaging ads that are sure to grab the attention of your target audience.

Employ Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing involves placing ads on search engine results pages (SERPs). This type of advertising ensures that your business is visible to potential customers who are actively searching for products or services like yours. This can be a highly effective way to reach new customers and to drive conversions.

Use Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves partnering with influential people in your industry or niche to promote your product or service. This can be a highly effective way to reach new customers and to build brand recognition. Influencers can promote your product or service to their followers, who are often highly engaged and interested in their opinions and recommendations.

Conclusion

Advertising is an essential component of any successful business. By understanding your target audience, and employing effective advertising techniques like social media advertising, display advertising, search engine marketing, and influencer marketing, you can reach new customers, retain existing ones, and build brand recognition for your business. By carefully targeting your advertising, you can ensure that your messages are seen by the people most likely to be interested in your product or service, and drive conversions and sales for your business.


Why are Advertising Techniques important for your business?

Advertising techniques are very important for all businesses, as advertising is the main method of growing a business while obtaining name and brand recognition.  Advertising can be conducted in all different forms through numerous mediums, randing from the traditional to the extreme.

Consider your type of business and observe how other similar businesses have used advertising to their advantage.  No two businesses can benefit the same from a single advertising technique, but often repeating what works is the best method to learn what will work and what will not.

Advertising Techniques

1. Direct Mailing

Direct mail advertising is one form of advertising that many businesses both small and large have used.  Direct mail involves the sending of advertising materials to a targeted audience through the traditional mail services.  Direct mailings may be a simple advertisement with your business name, coupons for services, articles about your business or related stories, or even direct solicitations.  Direct mail has fallen out of favor recently with more technologically advanced forms of communication.

2. Internet Advertising

The internet has created a whole host of new advertising techniques that many businesses have taken advantage of in order to grow their businesses.  Emails can be sent just like direct mailings while eliminating the costs of materials and postal costs.  Building websites, utilizing search engines, and linking to popular content websites are all methods the the internet has opened for businesses to advertise.

However, all of this easy availability comes at a price.  The internet has become glutted with advertisements and solicitations, which has the effect of consumers tuning them out and ignoring them.  Internet advertising now requires creativity and technological insight in order to achieve the goals of advertising.

3. Television Advertising

Television has been used as a medium for advertisements by businesses small and large.  We all have become familiar with nationwide commercials and their regional cousins.  While television viewer-ship is at an all time high, the costs of television advertisements have become very cost prohibitive for many small businesses.  Television commercials also require production costs, as they need to be written, filmed, and edited for television.

Contact local marketing companies and television affiliates in order to determine how much television commercials will cost you.  The exposure the advertisements may get you can be very helpful, however you also must consider if it is right for your business.

4. Print Advertisements

Many different forms of print are available for advertising.  Newspapers, magazines, trade journals, and newsletters are some of the many forms available.  Traditional print requires that you come up with interesting and unique content that engage your consumers while increasing your name and brand recognition.  The costs of these advertisements vary greatly depending on the level of viewer-ship and how many other businesses want to advertise with them.

Print advertisements will require professionally written and laid out spreads that put your business in the best light possible.  You may need to hire outside work to write the print information, graphic artists to design them, and layout artists to edit them for specific print.

5. Radio Advertising

The radio has been a traditional medium for advertising, however it has fallen out of favor in recent years.  While many still listen to the radio while traveling in cars or outside of their home, the radio has been battered by competition from personal music players, satellite radio, and internet based music sources.

The radio should be considered for reaching older markets who have not adopted these new technologies and still use the radio on a consistent basis.  Contact local radio stations for advertising information.

6. Non-Traditional and Guerrilla Marketing techniques

One of the more recent trends in advertising techniques is to develop new and exciting methods of reaching consumers.  Hosting special events, posting interesting videos on the internet, or sponsoring a “flash mob” are just some of the recent ways businesses have advertised in unique and creative ways.

Guerrilla marketing takes these non-traditional advertising techniques to a whole new level, as some companies will place advertisements on city streets, pay people to paint their cars with their advertisements, or print hidden messages on strange places in the hopes to generate comments and garner the attention of consumers.

How to develop the Advertising Technique that is right for your businesses

All of the above are just some methods that businesses will use to market their product, but not all of them will work for you.  You will first need to really understand you client base, learn about their behavior and habits, and truly understand the perception of your business before you can determine which advertising techniques will suit you the best.  If you are having trouble making this determination on your own, many consulting and marketing firms are available to help you with your decision on advertising techniques.

Legal Issues for Advertising Techniques

The most highly regulated areas of advertising include fraudulent and misleading advertisements.  While free speech is a protected right in the United States, many regulations have been passed that protect consumers from harmful forms of advertisements and solicitations.  Many professional groups also regulate the advertising of their members.  Lawyers, doctors, and tax professionals all must abide by their state’s advertising guidelines.  Before conducting any advertising, ensure that you are compliant with all advertising laws and consult with a legal professional in order to ensure that your advertisements are acceptable.

Finding the Best Franchise Opportunities

Finding the Best Franchise Opportunities

How do I find Franchise Opportunities?

Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding endeavors one can take with the possibility of great financial rewards.  However, building a business from scratch is extremely difficult and may require many years before figuring out the formula that works.  Many businesses do not even make it past the first few months.  However, there is one method of starting a business with proven success, the  franchise business opportunity.  The following are some of the benefits of purchasing a franchise:

– A franchise comes ready with name recognition, a proven formula that works, and extensive advertising.

– Franchise groups often supply their members with specialized training, technical support, and established supply chains with their brand.

– At the same time, all of these benefits come at the expense of paying franchise fees, which take away from your final profits, and inflexibility, as you must abide by all of the franchise’s requirements.

If you believe you’re new business could benefit from opening as a franchise, you should seek the franchise opportunity that will best suit your needs.

What to look for in a franchising opportunity

When deciding what franchise business opportunities will best suit your needs.  Many franchises are available, however you must check to make sure that a certain franchise is available in the region where you would like the business to be run.  Not every franchise operates in every state.  Once you have found franchises that operate in your area, look at the support your franchise will provide.  Look for franchise business opportunities that provide you with training and a support network in order to get your business off the ground.  Finally, look at the available locations that can hold your chosen franchise.

Where to look for a successful franchise opportunity

For any franchise, one of the most important factors for success is to find the location that has a need for your chosen franchise opportunity and can adequately support the franchise.  For example, a retail franchise opportunity may be needed in a region that has few retail locations in the immediate vicinity and residents need to travel for their shopping needs.  If you can determine whether there are enough potential consumers and they have a need to stop traveling, you may have an area that is in need of your franchise.  If you can secure a piece of real estate that is zoned for you business type with adequate visibility, you may be ready to begin the franchise process.

The best method for finding locations that have a need and can support a franchise is by traveling to the community, observing behavior of the residents, and getting to know the area on a personal level.  Often, your best bet is to seek areas you are already familiar with, as it may take an extended period of time to learn about a region and the people.

Do I need special skills in running a franchise?

Before seeking a franchising opportunity, it is very important that the business owner have prior experience running a business and all that comes with it.  Prior experience in business planning, accounting, marketing, and even legal may all be needed in order to get a successful franchise opportunity off the ground.  While a franchise may afford some shortcuts by getting you name recognition and established brands, you will still be required to find your location, secure the real estate, conduct accounting for your business, and conduct local advertising in order to draw consumers to your new location.

Evaluating franchise opportunity types

There are many different types of franchise opportunities that are available, so selecting the right one for you is incredibly important.  First, of course, you probably have already determined what type of business you are interested in running.  Franchises are available in all sorts of areas, including retail franchise opportunities, fast food franchises, hotels and motels, and cleaning services.  Once you have a selected business type, it is important that you evaluate what each franchise can afford you.  It is very important that you research what kind of support they can provide you, their supply chain, their operating costs, their advertising ability, and the popularity of the brand.

The research you conduct will be very important, even if after you have chosen a franchise and are about to run the business.  You can use this research to shore up what you believe are the weak points of the franchise and try to have your business  adapt to the possible changes you can make.

Preparing for purchasing a Franchising Opportunity

The first stage in purchasing a franchising opportunity is to ensure that you have the proper financial backing.  Buying a franchise is an extremely expensive undertaking, often requiring initial investments of at least $500,000 and ranging to many millions of dollars.  Many franchisers cannot supply their own financial backing and instead seek the help of outside investors.  Instead, you may need to seek other sources of funding.

Banks, small business investors, or angel investors may all be possible sources of funding.  You may also want to seek a partnership or business team to help you get a franchise going, especially if you have not previously had experience with starting a business.  Check for others who have successfully run a franchise, they may be willings and ready to invest in a new franchise opportunity and can provide you with invaluable information along the way.

Final thoughts on the process of Franchise Opportunities

Purchasing a franchise is not for everyone.  It will take extensive hours of work to get off the ground and then take just as much work to keep the franchise going.  Franchise owners must be available all hours to deal with any problems that may occur.  Specific franchises may also be at the mercy of their franchiser.  If a certain company begins to have image problems or financial trouble, your individual franchise business may suffer due to no fault of your own.

Likewise, it will be up to you to meet all the requirements of your franchise, which may require large amounts of your profit sent to the corporate headquarters while not allowing you any flexibility in changing your business model.  While all of these may be problems in running a franchise, a franchise may provide a great source of income, so it is important that you do your homework and decide whether seeking franchise business opportunities is right for you.

The Facts on Business Continuity Planning

The Facts on Business Continuity Planning

What is Business Continuity Planning?
Business Continuity Planning helps a company identify potential threats to a business staying in business and offers help in planning for these events.  A common business continuity plan will identify potential damage caused by building fires, local weather events, blackouts, or loss of suppliers.  Business continuity plans are tailored specifically for each business and will over the decision makers in the company with alternatives to ensure that they can continue business in spite of events that occur outside of their control.

How To Use Business Continuity Planning for your Company


1. Identification of Important Staff
The first phase of writing a business continuity plan is to identify the weaknesses of your company.  You must create a list of staff that your business cannot function without and their key duties and responsibilities.  You will need to consider how your business can continue if you lose these people for short term or long term periods.  In case of injury or sickness, you should consider investing in resources that will allow your key employees to contribute from home or other areas.  

2. Documentation of Key Contacts and Emergency Lines
After identifying potential weaknesses from lost clients, you must document all contacts with suppliers, clients, and emergency contacts. Your suppliers and clients need to have an open line of communication in order to inform you of issues and likewise, you need to inform them of any changes or problems you are encountering.  Emergency contacts should be listed and available to all employees, in order to assure that your building, products, and infrastructure is safe and secure.  Communication is one of the easiest but most important part of business continuity planning.  

3. Identification of Important Documents
After creating a list of emergency contact, you should identify all critical documents and contingency equipment.  These items should be accounted for and secured in a safe place.  You may need to access these items during an emergency, so ensure they are readily accessible and easily transported should you face physical dangers, such as evacuation or loss of your building.  

4. Implementation of the Plan
Implementation is the last phase of business continuity planning and may require trial and error before it can be properly initiated.  Changes that are recommended by the plan need to be put into place, and this may take extensive time and resources before the entire business continuity plan is fully realized.  Additional assets may need to be sought, properties purchased, or the most common, insurance protection needs to be obtained and tailored for the specific risks that may occur.  Insurance is a very important part of emergency planning for any company, but it must always be determined if their costs outweigh the potential benefits they may provide.  

Maintaining and Updating your Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity plans often must be maintained and updated in order to stay relevant for a company.  Companies evolve and change constantly and as a result, so do the potential risks and appropriate responses to those risks.  Changes to staff, personnel, locations, clients, areas of focus, and growth can all lead to business continuity plans that may be inadequate or even improper for your current needs. 
Some plans may even provide for testing and review, in which certain emergency situations are drilled and studied in order to determine how well the company copes with them.  Therefore, to maintain your business continuity plan, you must schedule reviews every 6 months to 2 years, depending on how fluid your company may be.  During each review period, you will need to identify the changes to your company and change the business continuity planning accordingly.  

Facts on Work From Home Opportunities

Facts on Work From Home Opportunities

Work from home opportunities are employment opportunities, either through employers or through home based businesses that permit individual to work from home. Work from home opportunities have become extremely popular in the last decade. Advances in internet commerce; including greater government regulation through the FCC and FTC, as well as advancements in telecommuting have mad work from home opportunities, not only prevalent, but lucrative.
It has been projected, by the department of labor, that by 2025 two thirds of American jobs will be from home. This includes individuals who are employees of companies and businesses but, due to the internet, are able to work from home. The figure also includes those individuals who have started their own home based business. Data shows that, currently, in the United States their are over 52 million home individuals taking advantage of work from home opportunities. The federal government even employs many work from home employees. The Patent and Trademark Office, for example, has numerous positions for people around the country that allow individuals to work from home in one State even though they are employed in Washington, D.C. 
Work from home opportunities are wide ranging. You can start your own online business; have an online store; do web design; have a law firm, accountants office, or other self-employment professional employment from home; computer programming; work for an internet company; internet writing; and numerous others. 
Work from home opportunities have their advantages and disadvantages. Having employees work from home has been shown to increase employee retention, widen pools of applicants, decrease waste in commuting time and sickness, saves on office space, and the ability to have staff closer to clientele. The disadvantages can include difficulty managing employees, a sense of isolation among staff, deterioration of work product over time, difficulty training and development, and a lack of synergy among employees and employer goals.
When you take advantage of a work from home opportunity you should keep a number of things in mind before you make that decision. The most important of these is whether you are the type of person who can work from home. Many people find that the isolation from the work environment and other employees is difficult and maintaining a “work agenda” throughout the work day is difficult.
If you are working from home you need to make sure that you have your own office in the home separate from distractions and maintain an environment conducive to your job. A good method to follow is to wake up every morning as if you were traveling to work. Wake up at the same time every morning, dress as if you were going to the office, pretend like the trip from the bedroom to the office is your daily commute and the kitchen is your 7-11. One of the keys to working from home is a stable schedule. Erratic work environments and hours can lead to diminished work product and deterioration of you resolve.
You will also want to take into account the tax consequences of work from home opportunities. If you work for an employer then you will follow the same person tax regulations that you would if you went into the office every day. This becomes different when you are self-employed and/or run your own home business opportunity.
The tax code treats at home business somewhat unfairly and for many tax exemptions, associated with a business, to apply the office must be completely separate from the home and the expenses associated with the business must be solely for the use of the business. This means that if you pay heat and electricity for your business but that bill is connected to the home then you will not get to use it as a tax deduction. You will want to consult an accountant about these situations and determine what is, and will not be, tax deductible.
If your work from home opportunity is in the form of a home based business opportunity you will also need financing. Even though you are working from home it can still be expensive to start a business. you may require office furniture, printers, computers, office supplies, advertising, legal help, accountant, etc. Often times you will need to get a loan. The best place to look for a loan for a home based business opportunity is the U.S. Small Business Association. If you qualify you can receive a 6 year loan for up to $25,000 with a low interest rate of 4%.
A private loan from a bank or other type of lender will have higher interest rates, require collateral at, or above, the amount of the loan, and that’s on the chance you get approved. You also have other options when taking on a home based business opportunity. These include taking out personal loans, lines of credit, seeking investors, and maybe borrowing from family and friends. When the amount you need is low these latter options become more agreeable.

Affiliate Marketing Benefits

Affiliate Marketing Benefits

What is an Affiliate Marketing Program?
An affiliate marketing program is a marketing strategy in which one business compensates a third party for bringing clients to the business by using the third party’s own marketing efforts.  Affiliate marketing programs typically involves the use of internet rewards websites and contests, although there are non-website affiliate marketing programs available.  Some of the benefits of affiliate marketing programs are that they can easily be monitored, payment can be conducted on a “cost-per-click” method, and the business is provided online marketing they could not accomplish on their own.    


How to use an Affiliate Marketing Program for your business


1. Identify your business strengths and your client base
Before you attempt to use an affiliate marketing program for your business, you must ensure that your business is ready to handle internet traffic or exposure to clients on the internet.  You will need a prominent business website in place, which affiliates can direct traffic for.  You must also have a client base that is dependent on the internet and will be attracted to online marketing strategies.  If all of these requirements apply to your business or you plan on having them apply, then you can seek an affiliate marketing program that works for you.  


2. Consider your budget
Affiliate marketing programs can be an expensive type of marketing, however it can also provide you with great exposure to clients and dramatically increase traffic to your business website.  It is important that you have the marketing budget to afford the costs of affiliate marketing programs, especially considering that the costs may not be established until after your program has been in effect.  Many affiliate marketers charge businesses based on each unique page visit.  While these can be estimated, they can vary widely depending on the success of the program initiated.  

3. Choosing the affiliate marketing program that is right for you
After determining what clients you can reach, whether you have the proper internet presence, and can estimate your budget for the program, you need to contract with an affiliate marketer that is qualified and experienced.  You can choose between an unattached affiliate marketer, related affiliate marketer, or an involved affiliate marketer.
Unattached Affiliate Marketer – This type of affiliate has no connection to the business that is paying for their services.  The marketer has no authority or presence in the industry it is marketing, but instead uses programs such as Google Ad words and Facebook ads to attract clicks.
Related Affiliate Marketer – These marketers have some sort of related content to the industry that you are trying to sell.  These types of websites will attract viewers for a purpose that is related to your business.  These can be much more useful than other forms, as the viewer is already geared towards your business.  
Involved Affiliate Marketer – Is a personal recommendation made by a content writer that has personal experience with your product.  These websites typically review and report on new products and services and give their opinion.  This can be a great way to market your product, as you will have a legitimate unbiased party recommending your product.  Of course, you always run the risk that your product or services will not be reviewed favorably, which can lead to negative marketing.  


4. Monitoring your Affiliate Marketing Program
Finally, once the program is up and running, you must actively monitor its effects.  Check to see if your website is experiencing increased traffic due to the program.  Modify your website or the affiliate program if you believe that you will benefit.  You will also need to monitor how much traffic your affiliate marketer is generating, as it will likely affect your total costs of the program.  

Legal Issues
Affiliate marketing programs that are run with the intention of informing and helping consumers understand products and services are acceptable, however many businesses may run into an issue if these forms of advertisements are spam or have hidden charges, you will face legal issues.  Always double check any affiliate marketer before using their services, as many use illegal methods and promise results that just aren’t possible.  Consult a legal professional who specializes in internet marketing to protect your marketing plan while obtaining valuable information.  

Internet Advertising

Internet Advertising

How can Internet Advertising help your business?
Internet advertising is one of the newest ways of getting exposure and brand recognition for your business, however many small and mid-size businesses do not take full advantage of all of the marketing opportunities it has.  Internet advertising opens the door to endless sources of clients and other businesses, as almost everyone is currently connected in one way or the other.  Below are some tips for using internet advertising to your advantage. 

How to use Internet Advertising for your Business
1. Evaluate how your business can benefit from Internet Advertising
Internet advertising is a broad term for numerous types of marketing strategies using the internet.  The following are some examples of internet advertising that your business should consider:
A. Blogs – Blogs are a great method for garnering attention for your business.  A blog is a journal that your business can keep with different entries that relate to your consumer needs.  While blogs are cheap and relatively easy ways of reaching consumers, you will need to battle with many other blogs that exist.  In order to set yourself a part, you need interesting information that engages the reader and has information found nowhere else. 
B. Social Networking – In recent years, social networking has exploded across the internet, as people spend much of their time conversing with friends, family, while posting pictures and commenting.  Facebook has become the go to social networking site, and your business should have a presence by either a facebook profile or fan page.  Social networking is again a cheap and relatively easy method of internet advertising, however you will be competing with many other pages and profiles, so you will need interesting and engaging content.   
C. E-Mail Marketing – One method that is often used is the sending of mass emails, either describing your company or providing informational texts that involve your business.  E-mail marketing must be approached with caution, as you run the risk of being considered spam, which will reflect negatively on your image with consumers.  Instead, you must send e-mails only with important updates and interesting new content.  

2. Consider your budget
Budgeting is a crucial elements when coming up with a marketing plan using internet marketing.  The internet provides advertising that range from the very cheap to the very expensive.  While advertising by using emails and other basic forms of communication can be very cheap, they often are not as effective as the much more expensive methods.  Professional companies can build your website and provide services to help your business’ website generate traffic.   
Revenue can be generated from internet advertising, but it may not be noticeable at first and take some time.  Blogs, facebook pages, and e-mails all take time to build followers and readership. You must slowly develop your internet presence before having any noticeable affects on your business.  However, you will more clients will come to you seeking your service who have been exposed to your internet marketing.  

3. Put your Internet Advertising plan into effect
Internet advertising works best when you have multiple types of advertising working together in conjunction with one another.  Articles sent through email should be linked to your website, your website should be linked on other websites, and all of these should be search-able on search engines such as Google and Bing.  A facebook profile can link to blogs and written content generated by you and your business.  All of these advertising methods need to be put in place to work together in order to maximize the effectiveness of internet marketing.  

4. Evaluate how your Internet Advertising plan is working
Once you have your internet advertising plan up and running, you must constantly monitor how well they are working.  The internet can be a fickle medium to garner attention, so you must constantly check how many clients are being reached, how engaged they are in your advertising materials, and whether you should change your strategy.  Consulting outside firms is often the best method for determine how helpful your internet advertising is for your business.  

Internet Advertising compared to regular advertising
Regular advertising and internet advertising can always be used together to full expose your company to as many clients as possible, however you need to understand the benefits and limitations of each.  Internet advertising will usually be significantly cheaper and more diverse, in that you can reach many people with just simple blogging posts or facebook updates.  However, with this simplicity comes the fact that you will be up against thousands of other advertisements and content all vying for your consumers attention.
Regular advertising can be more expensive, more time consuming, and can challenge you to be creative.  However, regular advertising, when done properly, can expose your company to more consumers, especially older ones who do not use the internet as much as the younger generation.  Regular advertising can include sending mailers, taking ads out in publications, or other media outlets.  

Legal Issues with Internet Marketing
While most internet marketing is simple and is not affected by regulation, you must be aware of illegitimate forms.  Spamming and spy ware are used by some groups in order to send mass emails and reach many more consumers than they should be reaching.  Such methods are often illegal and you business can face sanctions if caught up with such internet marketing plans.  If you have any questions or concerns, contact a legal professional who has experience with advertising laws and internet regulation. 

Accounts Receivable

Accounts Receivable

What is an Accounts Receivable?

Accounts receivable is a business term that refers to the debts and funds owed a company for products or services that have been provided to them.  They are shown on an accounting form as a form of assets and can even be bought and sold depending on the type of money owed and the contract that covers the transaction that lead to the account receivable.  


How to implement Account Receivables for your business: 4 Steps.


1. Evaluate your companies need for account receivables
The first step in using accounts receivable is to determine the size of your company and how technical you need your accounts receivable to be.  For a small business that has a single source of profit generation, accounts receivable will be a very simple concept that can be covered by the business owner if he or she is able to keep a simple account book.  Companies with many sources of income may need to hire an employee who handles only accounts receivable and billing issues.  This can be very helpful, as it allows the business owner to spend time on running the business, however the costs must always be considered.  


2. The importance of a sales ledger
After your evaluation, you will need to keep track of your financial information by using a sales ledger.  A sales ledger will document the sales a business has made, the amount of money for those sales, and each monthly total.  The sales ledger is the key piece of accounting needed in order to track all sales and income generation your company is creating.  


3. Generating billing documents and proper billing for your services or products
The next step is to have the ability to generate billing documents and send them to those who owe during accounts receivable.  Billing information can be found throughout the internet or by consulting a business accountant or billing professional.  Once established, you must have the ability to send your billing statements to the places of business that owe you funds.  

4. The accounting process
Finally, accounts receivable must go through an accounting over a specific time period, with the maximum time being one year, as your business will need to file tax information for the business year with the IRS.  Some small business owners may be able to do this on their own if they have experience in accounting, however most will have to have this accounting done by an accounting service provider.  This should be a cost all businesses are prepared for, as taxation will be required for every business year.  Of course, the costs of accounting work will be highly dependent on how many different types of taxes your business are subject to and how well your accounts receivable have been documented.  


Hidden costs of Accounts Receivable
One unfortunate part of business is acknowledging the fact that not every debtor will pay for the goods and services they receive.  While this will initiate lawsuits and other legal filings, accountants must take this into account when developing an accounts receivable plan for their business.   Of course, good businesses will try to avoid unpaid balances whenever possible, by not doing business with such entities on the brink of insolvency or bankruptcy, but sometimes a company has no choice but to work with them.   
Accounts receivable may lead to certain legal issues that need to be turned over to competent transactional lawyers or lawyers with business experience.  When a debtor to an account receivable fails to meet the repayment term, legal action may be necessary in order to collect the funds.  This can become especially troublesome when the debtor is in a state of bankruptcy or insolvency, as the company that is owed the money may need to enter legal claims as a creditor of the troubled company.  Companies should factor in the legal costs and time it may take in order to recover from accounts receivable that are not repaid.  
Accounts Receivable: A Short Explanation


An accounts receivable is a claim for money against a debtor which can be an individual, government entity, or business that is against the state.  It represents the money that is owed to a company from selling services or products through credit. Commercial borrowers apply value of their receivables and inventory as collateral to secure financing to produce and market their services or products.
There are three qualities that are seen in all accounts receivable claims:
There is legal authority to bill for the amount that is owed
Certain calculation methods, a fee schedule, or other methods are used to come up with an amount due
There is enough documentation to support and enforce the accounts receivable. 
In most situations, the accounts receivable is executed through sending an invoice to a customer who then pays the value given within a certain time period. The seller records these payments from the accounts receivable with a sales ledger that describes the sales, money made, and money owed.
When accounts receivables are collected, they will be generally classified as reimbursements, revenue, abatements, or a refund to a reverted appropriation. Accounts receivable prepayments are look at as revenue received in advance unless it is a liability until after the transaction. 
Many states have their own statewide accounts receivable program that they use in order to monitor the state’s account receivables and their collection. Using these programs help coordinate systems, information, and procedures within various state agencies. 
Furthermore, they help procedures and policies for the collection and managing of different accounts receivable between these agencies. Finally they help compare the procedures and policies of different agencies to see whether they all show consistency within the statewide policies.
In some states, there are contingent accounts receivables the legal obligations are somewhat uncertain, but are more than likely to have a favorable settlement. These situations often include future determination such as a settlement or judgment. They can be reclassified based on how uncertain the accounts receivable or the validity of the accounts receivable.
Legal classifications of an accounts receivable can happen when
There is not enough sufficient documentation to substantiate the accounts receivable
There are disputes about the validity
There is no legal authority for the owed bill
At the end of the year, agencies or departments often have many responsibilities to make sure that all accounts receivable balances are correct. They do this by
Assessing the owed amounts to the department, such as estimates, and when they expect the amounts to be collected
Accrual time records for the amounts that are owed but not yet recorded to the government
Reduce accounts receivable amounts for deferred amounts by recording adjusting entries, these amounts are not expected to be collected


A Look into a Merger

A Look into a Merger

What is a Merger?
 
 
A merger is a common business transaction that occurs when two corporations or companies combine to form a single entity. A merger is similar to an acquisition or takeover; however, in the case of a merger, existing stockholders of the underlying companies involved will retain a shared interest in the new agglomeration. By comparison, when a company acquires another business, the purchase includes a bulk of the acquired company’s stock, therefore creating a skewed balance of ownership in the newly formed corporation.
 
 
A merger process is typically kept secret from the general public and the majority of employees at the involved companies. Additionally, the majority of merger attempts, for one reason or another, do not succeed; as a result, it is very difficult to estimate how many potential mergers occur in a given fiscal year. 
 
 
Mergers are typically administered and coordinated by an investment banker; these finance professionals’ aid in transferring ownership of the company through the delivery of a strategic issuance the subsequent sale of stock. 
 
 
Reasons for a Merger:
 
 
A merger will be sought for a number of reasons; some maneuvers will be beneficial to the shareholders of the involved companies and some formations will not. The classic reason for a merger is to combine a profitable business model with a company who experiences significant losses. The purpose of this maneuver is to utilize the losses of the involved company as a tax write-off to offset the profits. In addition to writing-off the profits, this merger example will also expand the corporation as a whole effectively increasing the company’s ability to reach a broader consumer base.
 
 
The primary goal of a merger, particularly amongst larger corporations, is to increase a corporation’s market share. Through a merger, say with two major competitors in the same industry, an involved company can dominate the particular market in which they compete in. This ability enables the involved companies to freely initiate pricing and buyer incentives. This reason for a merger may precipitate problems for it may trigger litigation or liability issues regarding monopoly laws. 
 
 
Another common merger is used to bring together two companies that produce different, yet complementary products. This example of a merger may also involve purchasing a company which uses or controls an asset found in the other company’s supply chain.
 
 
A common example of this merger exists when a major manufacturer buys out a warehouse chain to save on shipping and warehousing costs, along with generating a profit directly from the purchased business. The most notable example of this merger, at least recently, can be found in PayPal’s merger with eBay. This merger, through the incorporation of PayPal, allowed eBay to avoid transaction fees, while merging two complementary products together. 
 
 
Difference between a Merger and an Acquisition:
 
 
Although these terms are used synonymously, a set of distinctions, upon evaluation, is present. When a company takes over another business and subsequently establishes itself as the new owner, the purchase is referred to as an acquisition. From a legal standpoint, the target company (the company being purchased) ceases to exist; the buyer assumes the business and the buyer’s stock maintains an active status.
 
 
By contrast, a merger occurs when two companies agree to move forward as a single entity rather than remain separately owned and operated. That being said, these mergers, which are referred to as “mergers of equals” typically do not occur. In a more common merger, one company will buy the other, as part of a contract’s terms, while allowing the acquired firm to proclaim that the action is a merger of equals, even if technically an acquisition.