How to Promote Your News Web Site Online and Get Quality Traffic

Promoting your news web site online requires more due diligence than promoting a business that sells a physical product. Like the name of your site, your domain name should be unique, recognizable and something that people can easily remember. After you set up the brand and generate content, the next step is to promote the news articles and make sure they get read. One way is to promote through social media.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer opportunities for readers to directly connect with web content. Create accounts on the most popular social media platforms. To syndicate your news feed on those services, there are a few prerequisites. Make sure that your news site has an RSS / Atom feed. With the RSS / Atom feed handy, create an account using the service "TwitterFeed." Follow the instructions and link the RSS / Atom feed to your Facebook and Twitter. Every time you publish an article, it appears on Facebook and Twitter automatically.

When it's convenient, be sure to login to your accounts and interact with readers and potential readers.

On Facebook fan pages, there's limited personal interactivity between the page administrators and fans. Facebook appeals to more organic growth. You promote the articles on your site's fan page and wait for people to "like" you: that's not a formula for success. You can do more with a Facebook fan page – a lot more.

Consider running sponsored ads for your news site. This allows your site to receive exposure on user profiles of those within your targeted demographic. Facebook Ads offer businesses the opportunity to broadcast ads based on a specified age range, location and interests. You'll also see very detailed estimates on how many people your ad will "reach." Those estimates will come in handy when crafting a presentation for potential advertisers. Before you invest any money in Facebook Ads, consider the nature of your news site. If your news site appeals to a limited or niche demographic, you should focus instead on promoting your site for free by using Twitter and submitting your site to search engines.

Critics of the Facebook advertising program have said that Facebook ads are too discreet and not very engaging. To overcome these issues, you need to have ad copy that will emotionally invest people into reading the news on your website. Think like someone at a news desk. You need a captivating headline and concise teaser copy that brings people to you. Consider mentioning milestones for your publication ( "Over two million subscribers!") And announcing / reminding potential readers of resourceful sections (ie Classifieds). Your teaser copy must be clear and focused on one subject. Do not hesitate to place advertisements that announce giveaways and contests held by your publication. Advertising a news site on Facebook will always be trial and error, but the likelihood of gaining new visitors will increase when you invest in longer ad campaigns. Continuously tweak your ad content until you find the right wording and demographic.

Your Facebook page content needs constant maintenance. You need to populate your Facebook page with news articles regularly. Be sure to interact with your readers regularly and converse with them. Human interaction is a popular social media trend for businesses. Encourage readers and viewers to not only check out your content, but also comment and get involved in other ways. For example, readers respond favorably to captivating visuals – just like they do in print publications. Readers tend to respond to photos of stunning and colorful landscapes, food photos, and timeless portraits that readers can relate to. It's preferred that the visuals you upload on your Facebook page relate to articles on your website. Follow up with some text that encourages people to check out your articles and features.

Twitter takes things to the next level. The popular social media service allows news sites to interact with people directly. Take advantage of the features that Twitter has, such as the "Find People" option. If you have a Gmail, Yahoo or an AOL e-mail account that has contacts, use that e-mail account and Twitter will search for contacts that also have a Twitter account. Be sure to "follow" those who are already following you on Twitter. Like Sites "Twellow" ( Http://www.twellow.com/ ) can help you on the find followers based versions categories. Grader Tweet Watch this ( Http://tweet.grader.com ) Allows you to the find and users . Follow WHO COMPLETE live in your community. Follow members that would be interested in the news on your web site. The people you choose to follow should also have many followers and update regularly. Never think about the amount of people you follow. Always think about the type of people who you want to follow. Quality over quantity is an adage that's welcomed on Twitter. If you focus on finding the right people – and not following a lot of people – you'll be successful.

Connect with users who either benefit from reading the articles you publish or would be interested. For example, if you have an article that features a certain business, follow popular users that are likely to express interest in the business and their product, including the business' Twitter account. If you have an article that covers an event, follow popular users that have a strong likelihood of posting or re-tweeting event information. Interact with these users in moderation. Imagine you're at a bar and you overhear people talking about something that you're interested in. The best way to jump in is to study the flow of the conversation and then take part once the opportunity to do so arises. If someone asks a question about a subject featured in one of your articles, feel free to answer them with a link. People will appreciate the friendliness as long as you're focused on being resourceful and not promoting your news site directly. Remember, you're trying to promote your news site – so being resourceful should be your primary goal. Once you develop a large following or subscriber base, you will no longer need to do this.

It's important to note that message boards are good for article promotion. While message boards are now taking a backseat because of social media, they're still very useful for generating buzz and traffic. Register accounts and take part regularly on message boards that relate to your content. It's advised that you link to your material responsibly and sparingly. In other words, do not spam a message board with links. Only give self-serving links when there is relevance and a deficiency of information. Provide a link to your domain name in your forum signature. Also, do not hesitate to customize your forum profile. People will be more attentive to those who have a strong, human presence. And once you feel that your site has developed a consistent, substantial amount of traffic, you will not need to continue promoting your site on message boards.

News websites are a dime a dozen, which is why it's so important to have quality content. No matter how you promote your news site, the goal for your news site is to have articles that are clear, engaging, thought-provoking and resourceful. When people are able to see that your news site is dynamic in design, organization and content, they will use your site as a resource. News is often considered a disposable commodity in the digital marketplace, but it takes a good content provider – with the promotional know-how – to make the news something worth reading.

Source by Aaron K Ochs

Electricians: Job Description and Uniform

Being an electrician is not an easy profession. You need to have all the protection that you can get as it can save your life. In fact, the government of the United States and different organizations such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration are working hand in hand to provide safe working places for individuals working as electricians. Wearing the right clothes is important in this field as loose garments can get you entwined in moving machines. As an electrician, you should always wear a hard hat, safety shoes, ear plugs and goggles. You must remove all unnecessary accessories such as rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces because gold and silver can conduct electricity.

The sole of your shoes must be made of materials that are oil and grease resistant. As a safety precaution, electricians often wear rubber boots when going to wet locations. Short hair is much preferred in this job. However, if you have long hair then you can tie it up and make sure that you do not stand near enough any type of rotating machine. Always remember to remove the electrical power when you inspect or repair any equipment. Make sure to lock out and tag out the equipment because this can be harmful to you and to the people around you. These terms are very common for electricians. To review what these things mean: installing a lock is as good as disabling the power and to tag out is to put a danger tag on the source of electrical power. Putting a danger tag is also implying that the machine will not work until the tag is removed. You can see that the tag contains information like the employee’s name and craft.

The hazards that come with this profession require you to have the proper training and education. The program usually lasts for 4 to 5 years. The job of an electrician includes installing, connecting and monitoring electrical systems. They work for several industries such as technology, communications, health, climate and security. They also operate and maintain electric plant and machines for different companies. As an electrician, you can also work in construction sites or with the maintenance team. You have to install electric systems into houses, buildings and factories. While working with the maintenance team, you have to find ways on how you can improve the efficiency of the plant. Monitoring and repairing equipment is also a part of your job.

You will be given the tools that you need to work with machines and equipment. Some of the tools are screwdrivers, pliers, knives, drills, saws and conduit benders. And remember to always outfit yourself in the proper electrician uniform as a precaution from any mishaps. Some states in the US will require you to have a certificate and a license. But the process of licensing differs from state to state. Usually, you will be asked to work for about 40 hours a week. And sometimes, you would have to work on weekends and at night. Your shifts will vary depending on your area and work place. For example, electricians who work for factories are usually given three different shifts.

Source by Lance Will

HR Field Guide – 5 Tips to Effective Learning Management

Tip #1: Link Employee Development To Learning Delivery

Development plans help employees improve in their current role, better prepare them for a future role of interest (which is important in the context of succession planning), or both. While employee skill, competency, and behavior gaps are typically identified during the performance assessment process (or a 360 feedback process), learning delivery is the mechanism to close the gaps.

Learning for learning’s sake is an ineffective strategy. But learning to close skill, competency, and behavior gaps and therefore improve an employee’s contribution in a current role or help the employee better prepare for a future role, is something altogether different. Therefore, development and learning processes must be seamlessly linked from both a process and underlying technology perspective. Yet only 29% of organizations have actually made this connection, with another 23% planning to within one year, according to a global survey of 300 HR leaders. [Note: this survey data will be referenced throughout the report]

The impact of linking these functions is significant. In the same survey, organizations that have linked employee development and learning delivery report:

  • Improved workforce alignment to overall strategy
  • More quickly respond to changing business needs
  • Higher revenue per employee
  • Better internal talent mobility
  • Improved workforce productivity

A few key questions to consider when linking employee development to learning delivery are:

1. Are recommended courses and programs automatically presented to users within their development plans to facilitate training and coursework?

2. Is the transition between employee development planning and learning management seamless to users (e.g., same user interface, look and feel, does not give the user the impression of a disconnected process)?

3. Is systems integration effort and cost required to tie development and learning delivery together, or do all the requisite capabilities reside on a common technology platform that natively connects the functions out of the box?

Tip #2: Align Learning Activities To Business Objectives

Part of the promise of integrated talent management is improving alignment between workforce activities and overall business strategies and objectives. This alignment is typically achieved through performance management and goals. Managers and their directs establish goals as part of the performance management process and align the goals up through the organization. Alternatively, the organization cascades goals down to the workforce. In either scenario, it is often the case that employees need specific training to achieve their goals.

If employees are not provided the proper learning resources to complete goals, the impacts can be severe:

  • Poorly trained employees who cannot achieve their goals
  • The organization is unable to complete its strategic goals and objectives
  • Turnover at all levels due to frustration and inability to complete goals

Today, only 34% of organizations have linked learning and performance management to enable training as a key component of employee goal completion. An additional 31% of organizations plan to do so by 2011.

Part of the challenge in linking these functions has been technical in nature. Many organizations continue to use multiple systems (e.g., performance system, learning management system) that are not integrated. Yet as many organizations continue to gravitate toward single platform solutions that natively connect functions such as learning, performance, and goals, the technical integration challenges can be eliminated. These single platform solutions also make it much easier to report on key metrics such as the effectiveness of learning programs on performance since all of the data resides in a centralised repository. With this data in hand, HR leaders are better equipped tomonitor and continuously improve their learning processes and programs.

A few key questions to consider when aligning learning activities to business objectives are:

1. Does your current learning system enable you to dynamically link business objectives and goals with specific learning activities?

2. Does the system natively integrate learning, performance, and goals vis-à-vis a broader talent platform? If so, does it also provide a robust reporting and analytic capability that enables you to monitor and continuously improve your processes and programs?

3. Does your learning system provide capabilities to dynamically push content to users based on their goals? Can assignment rules be easily created to support this dynamic push?

Tip #3: Maintain Regulatory Compliance

Learning management systems (LMS) are an important mechanism for managing compliance and certification training within an organization. Without a central tracking repository, and no way to report globally, organizations can quickly fall out of regulatory compliance. The potential negative impacts to this are fines and work stoppages, not to mention the high overhead and costs associated with managing compliance activities and reporting in a manual fashion.

Competencies also play a key role, especially from a quality standards (e.g., ISO 9000) perspective. A rigorous competency-based training program is a key mechanism for ensuring ongoing compliance to quality standards. As such, competency management plays a critical role in learning management strategies. The system employed, whether an LMS or a broader talent management platform, must instantiate a flexible competency library as a central component that is seamlessly exposed to all other functions within the system or platform.

A few key questions to consider to maintain regulatory compliance are:

1. Can compliance-related courses be automatically assigned to new hires as a part of the on-boarding process? Can triggers and alerts be established to automatically inform employees when they need refresher training?

2. Does your current learning system provide a library of pre-defined competencies? Does it provide tools for managing competencies, including competency categories, supporting definitions, behaviors, on-the-job activities, and development opportunities? Can you easily import your existing competencies into the system?

3. Does your learning system include robust reporting and analytic capabilities to facilitate compliance reporting? Does it come with out-of-box standard reports? And is the complexity of the reporting and analytic engine abstracted so that non-technical users can run their own reports without IT intervention?

Tip #4:Track Learning Effectiveness Throughout the Organization

Within many organizations, there is no systematic way to track the impact of learning programs on organizational outcomes. These outcomes may include workforce productivity or even individual performance. In fact, only 21% of

organizations are currently measuring the impact of training on performance, with

another 34% planning on doing so by 2011. Overall learning program effectiveness fares somewhat better, with 35% of organizations currently measuring overall learning effectiveness.

  • The impacts of not tracking learning effectiveness can be significant:
  • Money spent improperly on ineffective curricula and courses
  • Employees spending time in courses that are not effective
  • Inability to distinguish between which courses are working and which are not

Part of the challenge lies in the fact that data is spread out in various silos across the organization and there is no common employee system of record. A single, fully-connected talent platform that covers the gamut of HR functions and processes, including learning, can alleviate some of the problems since the data is all in one place. And with a robust analytic and reporting function, previously unavailable insight can be gained.

By shifting to a more measurement-oriented approach to learning, organizations can realize numerous benefits:

  • Spend the right time and resources on effective courses
  • Eliminate or change ineffective courses
  • Allocate training budgets more accurately
  • Increase employee engagement (employees are not wasting time in ineffective courses)

A few key questions to consider to track learning effectiveness throughout the organization are:

1. Does your current learning system leverage a robust and industry standard analytics engine which provides interactive graphical displays of all data?

2. Does the system abstract the complexity out of the analytics engine so that non-technical users can conduct their own analyzes via an intuitive, web-based interface?

3. Are you able to conduct reporting and analysis across modules? For example, can you easily glean insight into more strategic metrics such as the impact of training on performance?

4. Does the analytics system reduce administrative overhead by leveraging the same comprehensive security access rights and rules as the learning system so that security policies only have to be established once?

Tip #5: Create Seamless On-Boarding Plans for Employees

An effective new hire orientation and on-boarding program is essential to ensuring the long-term success of new employees. Yet employees – and their managers in many cases – often find it difficult to know which training courses to take, especially if development planning is not a part of the on-boarding process. As a result, a lot of time and frustration can occur early in a new employee’s career within the organization, which can lead to an early engagement deficit or even increased turnover.

Today, only 32% of organizations have linked learning with hiring and on-boarding to facilitate automatic scheduling of courses for new hires. Fully 46% of organizations have no plans to link the processes at all. To fully understand the impact of integrated learning and hiring/on-boarding, a global survey of HR leaders reveals that organizations that have explicitly made the linkage report:

  • Improved workforce alignment to overall strategy
  • Better internal talent mobility
  • Decreased voluntary turnover
  • Faster on-boarding (time-to-productivity)
  • Improved workforce productivity

This data reinforces the importance of integrating disparate talent functions, and the role that single platform HR solutions can play in facilitating the integration. Single platform solutions also make it much easier to report on and analyze key cross-functional metrics such as on-boarding effectiveness.

A few key questions to consider to create seamless on-boarding plans for employees are:

1. Can courses and curricula be automatically assigned to new hires as a part of the on-boarding process? This is especially important for compliance.

2. Do new hires have transparent visibility into their on-boarding plans, including learning and training activities, so that expectations are aligned from the start?

3. Does your current learning system have the capability to measure the impact of learning programs on hiring and on-boarding effectiveness (e.g., time-to-productivity, voluntary turnover, new hire engagement)?

Conclusion

To get the most out of your learning management investments, linking and aligning seemingly disparate HR and talent functions is essential. Learning, development, performance and goals, and hiring and on-boarding. All must come together seamlessly to fully realize the benefits of a learning-driven culture. Single platform solutions that natively connect all of these functions facilitate the linkages, and also provide the mechanism to measure, analyze, and relate deep analytic views across functions.

To summarize the top five tips to effective learning management:

1. Link Employee Development to Learning Delivery

2. Align Learning Activities to Business Objectives

3. Maintain Regulatory Compliance

4. Track Learning Effectiveness Throughout the Organization

5. Create Seamless On-Boarding Plans for Employees

Source by Steve Bonadio

Top 5 Tips To Score Top Marks In Statistics Exams

Some subjects hold the unique distinction of being different from the usual ones. Accounting and statistics are good examples of such subjects. When a student looks at statistics for the first time, the terminology in itself is enough to confuse him/her and scare them away! However, by following a few tips and strategies, students can surely pull themselves together and master this intensely difficult subject and secure top marks! Here are a few top tips for students to achieve success in their statistics exams and score the coveted A grade.

Read through the given data and write down the essentials

When given a problem, students should read through it more than once and write down the essentials before attempting to solve it. This is a good practise not only when it comes to statistics but also for other subjects like math, accounting and physics. In fact, this is a popularly recommended practise by expert teachers in the subject. When students seek statistics homework help online, this is the very first thing that they are taught to do.

Be careful while reading from graphs and images

While reading from graphs, it is important to note down what the axes represent. This should be the first thing one must do when reading a graph and then go through the problem statement and write down what needs to be done. This is the key to working with graphs and images.

Don’t get confused with the terminology

It is often observed that students get confused between various terms such as mean, median, standard deviation and variance and so on. To tackle this problem, it is important that students understand what exactly these terms refer to and be able to identify them when working in a problem. This will solve half the troubles when it comes to performing in exams.

Understand how transformations in a data set affect the summary statistics

Apart from understanding the terminology used completely, learning how data manipulations and transformations affect the summary is quite important. For example, adding a number say x to each element in the data set affects the mean and median (they also increase by the number x). The standard deviation and variance are however unaffected by this. Understanding the reason behind this and learning such transformations can come in handy during exams. Most tutors take care to sensitize towards data manipulations and transformations while they seek statistics homework help or assignment help.

Understand the implications of the logarithmic transformations

Being able to understand log patterns and applying log transforms to numbers is quite helpful as the logarithm can be used to tone down the magnitude of the numbers and they thus become easier to work with. Similarly, understanding various patterns such as the theme explored in braces (when x and y are exponentially related, the scatter plot of the number x and log y will have a linear pattern) will help working with tough problems very easy.

Source by Sunil D. Kumar

Federal Withholding – Check What Comes Out of Your Paycheck Now Before it is Too Late

One of the many changes under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is to change the federal income tax withholding tables for 2009. Effective April 2009, the new withholding tables set forth under the ARRA may reduce the amount of federal income tax withheld from your paycheck. The tax cut, also known as the Making Work Pay, will provide an extra $13 or so in most individual paychecks each pay – which will add up to about $400 for individuals, $800 for couples filing jointly, by the end of the year. Do not worry, you should not be penalized when you file your 2009 tax return – the tables have changed so that you are allowed to take home and keep that extra money.

It is important to note, however, that the extra money in your paycheck is for one job only. If you work multiple jobs or your spouse does, be sure to review your withholding allowances. Somewhere on the stub of your paycheck should be your current federal income tax withholding allowance (for example, S/1 to denote Single, 1 allowance). If you cannot find it or if it is not on the stub, talk to your employer and request a copy of the W-4 you submitted (you should always keep a record the forms you submit, just in case your employer is lax or if there is a discrepancy between the records of your employer and your own). The Form W-4 is the form you use to fill out your federal income tax withholding allowances. You submit this form to your employer who uses it to calculate the amount of tax you owe with each paycheck. You can use the worksheet on the Form W-4 or you can go online to the IRS website and use their free calculator. Copies of the W-4 are also available on the IRS website. Talk to your accountant or your tax advisor too – after all, that is why they are there! Take the time now to review how much is being withheld from your paycheck towards your income tax. You can submit a new W-4 to change the withholding amount, so you pay a little more now, rather than owe more than you can afford next April.

Source by Kathryn Cuff

How to Configure Your Systems to Send Sage Email Directly From a Microsoft Exchange Server

How to configure an Exchange server to allow you to send emails directly out of Sage 50 Accounts.

CAUTION:

You need to know that what you are doing is going to allow your Exchange server to send emails that are not authenticated. If you work for an IT support company then you will no doubt understand this risk but if you are not a seasoned professional in IT support or server support then you should consider obtaining the support of someone who is. This is a large security risk if you don’t do this properly. If you open up your Exchange server to let anyone to do this then you are likely to become victim of spam abuse.

Part 1 – Configure the Exchange server

We are going to configure the Exchange server to allow anonymous outbound email messages but we’re going to do it for just a handful of IP addresses. This greatly reduces the risk of abuse.

The first step is to create a new custom receive connector in Microsoft Exchange Management Console. To do this, launch the Exchange Management Console and expand ‘Microsoft Exchange’> ‘Server Configuration’> ‘Hub Transport. Here, click the ‘New Receive Connector’ function which you will find a link for on the right hand side of the window. Enter a suitable label for this connector in the ‘Name’ field. You might like to call it ‘Sage Accounts’. Within the ‘Select the intended use…’ area, choose ‘Custom’.

Click ‘Next’ and then ‘Next’ again to get to the “Remote Network Settings” page.

On the Remote Network Settings page edit the IP address list to say only the addresses that you want to permit. e.g. If Sage 50 Accounts is configured on a terminal server then you should only have the terminal server’s IP address entered here. If Sage 50 Accounts is run locally on an accounts PC then you’ll need to make the IP address of this PC static and specify it in this list.

Finish the setup of this new connector and then edit to view the properties of it. Go into the ‘Permission Groups’ tab and ensure that only ‘Exchange Servers’ is ticked. Then, go into the ‘Authentication’ tab and make sure that only the top entry (Transport Layer Security) and the bottom entry (Externally Secured) are ticked. Click OK and then restart the ‘Microsoft Exchange Transport’ service from within Control Panel> Administrator Tools> Services.

Now you should find that you can configure Microsoft Outlook to use the Exchange server’s LAN IP address as the outbound mail server without having to specify any kind of authentication. You can try this using Outlook or Outlook Express on the specific workstation or Terminal Server (eg the PC or Terminal Server that has Sage 50 Accounts installed in it).

Part 2 – Configure the Sage PC/Server

We are now going to configure Sage to send emails using the new Exchange Server configuration we created in step 1.

In Sage Report Designer, click Tools> Options> Email Setup. Configure the ‘Default Provider’ to SMTP and click the SMTP line in the ‘Available Providers’ box. Select ‘Configure’ and type the LAN IP address of the Exchange server in the ‘Server Name’ box. Leave the port number set to port 25 and leave SSL deselected.

Enter the email address you wish the emails to be sent from (eg “[email protected]” ) and type the display name for the email header (eg Your Company Name – Accounts). It’s not important to put anything in particular in the login details settings so this can be set to anything. Click OK.

Next you need to make sure that each layout you want to send as an email is setup to utilize SMTP.

First, edit a document in Sage Report Designer. Click ‘View’ on the toolbar and click ‘Properties’ to show the properties toolbar on the right hand side of the screen. Below the ‘Email Options’ area, click the ‘(Email Options)’ box and a button labelled ‘…’ will be shown. Click this button to launch the Email Configuration Window.

Make sure that the top setting (‘Provider’) is set to SMTP and that the option at the bottom of the page is set to ‘Send emails automatically’. Click OK at the bottom of the page.

The configuration of your system is now complete – You should now be able to email from that layout in Sage 50 Accounts.

Source by Eddie Palmer

Tips and Traps of Starting Your Online Yarn Shop

I was recently asked if I could offer some tips about starting an online yarn shop. I was keen to help, as I have recently made the leap into my own online venture. So here are some of the tips and traps that this not so young player experienced in the wonderful journey that became my very own yarn shop!

These tips apply to all types of online business and are not intended to be a complete guide. I urge all potential business owners to use the many resources available both online and in the greater community. It is a hugely challenging and exciting step to take but being a one person business does not mean you have to do it alone! So here are my top tips for anyone thinking about starting their own online business and living their dream.

1 – Learn about business. It's not just buying and selling. While you may have strengths in some areas, there are specific things that you must learn. No-one can be an expert on every aspect of running a business. Get training (local college courses, government funded programs etc) and make sure you have at least a basic understanding of all areas of business. I started my business with the assistance of an Australian Government funded program called NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme). It is a program for people who are registered as unemployed and who want to start their own business. The program offers training (Cert 4 in Small Business Management, which is a Nationally Accredited course), a fortnightly payment which is paid for 12 months, and regular mentoring sessions. I found the learning process extremely valuable and eye-opening, as I was introduced to many business concepts that I was not aware of. Without this training, my business dream would have remained just that.

2 – Know what is involved. There are many facets of running a business and if you go into this blind you will almost certainly fail. Make a close friend of your local Small Business organisation. It is one of the smartest things you will ever do.

  • Startup funding. Do you have savings that you can put towards setting up a new business? Or will you need to apply for finance, in the form of loans or grants?
  • Regulations – Does your local Government have rules about running your type of business, eg, home business regulations, insurance?

  • Taxation – This one is probably the most challenging of all. Get some basic advice from your taxation regulator. Their websites are usually packed with good information about starting and building a business and complying with taxation laws. If this is not one of your strengths, budget for an accountant to help you with this. Even if it is, you should have an accountant on hand for annual returns.

3 – Website and supporting systems – Be prepared to spend time and money on your website design and implementation. Online businesses are booming, but that does not mean they are easier to set up than traditional stores. You can not just slap up a website and expect visits and sales from day one. You need to optimise your site so all of the major search engines can find you and customers can reach your site based on their chosen search terms. If you use a website designer ask them about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It can add a significant cost to the build, so learn as much as you can and do as much as possible yourself if you can.

Know what you need from your business systems. Do you have web design experience (which is quite different to knowledge, as I found out!). Do you know what you need in a website / shopping cart? Again, talk to people, check out web design firms and contact their clients for feedback. Do not assume that a website / shopping cart will have the features that you assume are standard, eg, stock control, email and newsletter facilities.

The same goes for accounting and office software. If you have bookkeeping experience you are ahead of many. If not, consider taking a short course or employing a bookkeeper. Yes, this will add to your operating costs, but so will being stung with a huge tax bill!

Make sure your computer skills are up to date, as you will be doing lots of word processing, budgeting and emails. You may also want to invest in a writing course, as you will be shocked at how much time you will spend banging away at the keyboard, replying to emails, social networking posts, preparing newsletters and blogs.

4 – Do your market research. If you do not do this you will not have a market to sell to. Obviously you are going into business because you have a passion for something, whether it be knitting, gardening, or any other reason. You may excel in one or more areas, but do not assume you know what customers want based on your beliefs.

I spent weeks researching yarn websites, checking what they were selling and seeing what other services they offered (blogs, freebies, tutorials etc). I looked at their design and overall feel. I also visited local yarn shops to see how I could translate the physical shop front into a virtual one. The main message I drew from this was that I had to provide a friendly, easy to use and informative website with plenty of variety and ways for the customer to interact with the store.

You need to know who your competitors are. Direct competitors are those who sell the same type of product that you want to sell. Indirect competitors can be retailers who sell mass produced knitwear or cheap non-branded yarns. Your business plan should include a general description of your competition and outline how you will fit into the current industry and how you will stand out from the crowd.

You are looking to offer a USP (unique selling proposition). This can be selling a product that no-one else carries that is in demand, or providing a service that is not available, for instance, coffee shop facilities, delivery service, classes etc. It's all about developing your business as a brand. Think of some big companies and note down what comes to mind when you hear their name. It is as much about how they do business as the products they sell.

5 – Develop a business plan. This can be done on your own or with the assistance of Business Support Centres. A business plan is essential for obtaining finance, as well as being your "bible" that you refer to frequently, both to see if your business is performing as per the plan, and also to remind you why you did this crazy thing in the first place!

A well prepared business plan gives you an edge when you are negotiating finance and getting started, as it shows that you are serious and professional in your approach. It should include results of market research, your biography as it relates to your intended business and a set of start up and projected financials.

6 – Develop an effective marketing strategy for your business. Letterbox drops may not be the most effective way to promote an online business, but well placed posters and flyers in shopping centres, libraries, community centres, retirement homes, hospitals may work well. Print advertising does not have to be restricted to just yarn magazines. Consider parenting, craft and lifestyle magazines as well.

Use social networking sites. I have a Twitter account and a Facebook page. Out of the 2 Facebook has been the most valuable, as it offers the viewer a look inside my business and its core values. This relates to building your brand. I did not realise the relevance of this at first, but after attending a couple of business seminars and doing my market research, I realised that my "brand" is the core of what I do. My aim is to assist knitters of all skill levels but particularly new and inexperienced knitters, who may be afraid to approach a high-end store for advice. This is becoming my "brand".

Identifying your brand is a key feature of your business plan, so try to get this established as early as you can. And do remember, your original business idea may well evolve and change as you respond to customer demands.

7 – Be prepared to generate no income for at least a year. Although I receive an allowance for the first 12 months, I still have to rely on my savings to survive. You may have to consider running your business alongside a "real" job for a time. I have not resorted to this yet but I do feel the time may come fairly soon. In the meantime I am doing everything I can to prevent this, but have to be realistic.

8 – Network. Talk to people! If you want an insider view on the type of business you want to run, talk to someone who runs a similar one. Obviously you could scare some operators who perceive you as a potential threat. Why not talk to someone who runs a non- competing business, for instance, if your business is knitting yarn, talk to a scrap booking or other craft shop owner. They are usually happy to answer questions and take an interest. You can also contact the same business type in a completely different location, as they are unlikely to be a direct competitor.

Participate in forums and subscribe to newsletters and magazines to keep up with trends and gather feedback from people who use the products you want to sell. When I was first looking at starting a yarn business I wanted it to be a physical shop, containing a coffee shop and play area as well as an extensive yarn selection. I posed the question "What would your dream yarn shop look like / have?" to a local forum group and they came up with exactly what I had envisioned. This was really encouraging, but after a lot of thought and soul searching, I realised that I was not ready for the challenge of such an ambitious operation. Starting online is in no way a compromise, or practice run, but it may well lead to me opening a retail outlet in the future.

9 – Last but not least, stay positive and passionate about what you are doing! Most people who have dreamed about opening their own yarn shop (or any business for that matter) focus on one aspect of that business. For us yarnies it is the dream of being surrounded by beautiful fibres every day! While this is always going to be the case, there are so many other facets of owning a business that can overtake your dreams.

The day to day pressures of small business are always going to be there, so keep reminding yourself why this was so important to you. And if you sometimes forget what it was that made you want to do this, remind yourself by picking up your needles and yarn and escaping to your dream world even just for an hour – you'll soon remember what madness lead to opening your very own yarn shop!

Source by Sarah Dunster

Self Discipline For Students – Effects On Time Management

He said that even after working in that company for four years, he attributes all the success he has so far achieved to his teachers from college.

He said that he had now he had proven their point about self-discipline taking him places true.

After that speech, he got a heartfelt standing ovation from the listeners. It was a heartwarming speech of gratitude from a former student during a commencement ceremony in his university.

By the end of the program, everybody who heard him was inspired. The parents flash their best smiles at their kids. After a long wait, their kids are about to complete college.
There are very few things which cold be equated with the jubilation that parents feel on seeing their kids complete their education. It makes them feel more complete as parents.
Self-discipline is vital for students. You need not necessarily go with the direction of the flow of water. It is vital to be able to resist all temptations which surround them. This is especially applicable to college students who are greatly influenced by peer pressure.

Self-discipline is vital to college students in 2 important aspects. The first is the self-discipline as associated with regular studying and with respect to the proper management of time. If and only if you satisfy both can you achieve great success.

To thoroughly understand and distinguish between both, read on.

For the majority of students, studying in college is boring. It even puts them under a lot of pressure. What they realize is that studying is not just about completing the given assignments but about understanding the concepts given in the book.

Studying is also not just about the amount of time you spend with your books. It is all about how well you retain what you have learnt and how well you can apply what you have learnt so far in real life.

Self-discipline is vital when you are prioritizing things. This is where you decide whether you want to spend some time with your books for the next day's exam or with your friends.
Self-discipline on the second hand is one of the most important tools for proper management of time. This will keep you from doing unwanted things which could eventually lead you to cramming.
Time management refers to the proper division of your time for all your daily activities. Finish everything you can do today and do not postpone it for the next day.

Generally, the main reason for cramming is that you skipped studying too many times. Soon, this regular skipping will add up to the pressure you are already under.

Management of time is usually your personal problem and if you instinctively know what the right thing is, you have no need to worry. Just remember that your daily life is not actually a gamble and you would do well to allocate time to every activity.

Unlike other things, time lost never comes back.

Self-discipline and time management is especially vital for college going students. This is because this is the beginning of your career. This is the time when you need to get serious about life and how you are going to live it.

The only person who knows you completely is yourself. And nobody can track your goals for you.

Try to practice and perfect self – discipline as much as you humanly can. This to ensure the fact that when the going really gets tough, you still stand on your feet and can get through it.

Source by Abhishek Agarwal

Micro & Macro Approaches to Project Management

What is Quality Project management?

Quality project management always evolves around two teams that are distinctly functional in two different ways to even out a holistic issue. The macro team and Micro teams are the two functional units in a successful project management effort.

Micro & Macro Teams

The macro approach focuses on managing a project. Key players here are the donor, the international project implementing team, the regional implementing team, project advisory group, university departments, educational management companies, consultants, NGOs, etc. The micro team is comprised of full or part time consultants from the pool of local and international resources who are responsible for reporting to the macro team.

The micro approach is encouraged by the "1-to-1" philosophy. In particular, no one is responsible for leading the macro team. Therefore, when an assessment or evaluation is planned, for assessing the quality, the criteria developed should be applicable for the micro and the micro team of implementers with relevant variations.

CRM and PM approaches

In customer relationship management (CRM) more emphasis and resources are allocated on micro aspects while not taking onto account the more profitable macro aspect. However, managing micro-sections requires exhaustive and an all-embracing understanding capitalizing on the profitability of macro section of customers.

It has been found that CRM-based approaches lead to over-targeting. This crop up when customers are subdivided into smaller groups so that quantifying and escalating customer value become impractical. This leads to handling of excessive data with little or no significance.
PM's approach in Project Management towards a consultant firm

Project Managers are skilled personnel in project management and business analysis / business process design. A Project Manager is capable of delivering a project entirely, independently. This involves continuing project management, technical responsibilities like conversion / migration of significant data, and installation and configuration of relevant and functional systems for quality operations. He / She is responsible for supervision of a team of consultants and is the main point of contact for the clients.

As a part of his implementing team, he / she is also responsible for upgrading the quality of services and operation methodology, and helping the organization emerge as consultant firms. His expertise includes:

Develop / mentor and supervise / monitor projects and planning implementation for client requirements.

Start the ball rolling by organizing meetings and participating in those.

Translate requirements into a technical design.

Conceptualizing and designing technical solutions of highly creative quality to meet the client requirements.

Supervising and validating the consultants output / input.

Designing customized integration to meet project requirement and supervise implementation.

Producing status reports for the project and controlling the project budget.

Deliver change orders and inspiring team members to work in harmony.

Contribute to the development and augmentation of the operation methodology.

Working as a system manager, configuring web products or helping in data conversion for smaller projects

Source by Priyanka Bhaduri

Anil Ambani – A Successful Entrepreneur

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani – a Bachelor in Science from the University of Bombay (Now, University of Mumbai) and Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania was born on June 4, 1959; is the second and the youngest son of Dhirubhai Ambani a famous Indian Business Tycoon. His mother is Kokilaben Ambani; he is married to Tina Ambani who is an Indian Actress and has two sons Jai Anmol and Jai Anshul.

He joined Reliance in 1983 as a co-chief executive officer and before the split in Reliance group; he was Vice-Chairman and Managing Director in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). After the split of Reliance he incorporated Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), of which he is the Chairman and includes companies like Reliance Communication, Reliance Capital, Reliance Energy, Reliance Natural Resources Ltd. He is a man of courage and conviction; he believed; "It is hope in this wider sense which enabled my father to build, from scratch, one of India's largest modern enterprises. His was an undertaking powered by hard work, initiative, self-belief but, above all else, the capacity, as he would often say, "to dream with your eyes wide open".

He is the President of the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar; and a member of Wharton Board of Overseers; The Wharton School, USA; Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad; Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur; Executive Board, Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.

He raised $ 3 billion from the highly anticipated Initial Public Offering of Reliance Power in less than 15 months, which is the biggest in Indian history. As of October 6, 2007, his total net worth is US $ 42billion and his personal stake in Reliance Communication is 66%. Forbes magazine listed his as the sixth richest man in the world after his brother Mukesh Ambani. Since his wealth tripled in only one year in percentage terms he was the world's fastest-growing multi-billion-dollar individual.

And his success mantra is, "I think you have to work with people, and when I talk about managing relationships, do not think the derogatory '' managed relationships ''. It is a question of sharing emotion and feelings. The common denominator of everything can not be money, and it should not be money ".

He was awarded several awards and recognitions like: –

o "Businessman of the Year 1997" by Business India.
o "MTV Youth Icon of the Year" in September 2003.
o "CEO of the Year 2004" in the Platts Global Energy Awards.
o "The Entrepreneur of the Decade Award" by the Bombay Management Association.
o "Businessman of the Year 2006" by The Times of India.
o "Best Role Model" in the pool conducted by India Today Magazine in August 2006.
o "First Wharton Indian Alumni Award" by the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF).
o "Leaders of the millennium in Business and Finance" by Asiaweek Magazine.

Source by Rupal Jain