Thursday, December 29, 2011

Money Management Skills for Kids

Parents wish to empower their children, so that the latter can take life head-on when the time comes. Providing them with the knowledge and the skills to deal with challenging situations responsibly is a crucial part of any upbringing process. Most schools and activity groups do not teach your child important management skills, as their interest in your child can never match up to yours. Learning the importance of money and having the ability to manage it, are skills that are acquired at a very young age. Teaching your child how to value money and to manage within the means, can help your child in a lot of ways in the years to come.

Money Management Tips for Kids

Today, the teen years begin at 10, making it the new 13. Over exposure to the fast changing world has changed demands of the kids as well. With expensive demands as such as gadgets and other fancy items, making them earn it is an excellent way of making them value money. Giving your child a fixed allowance every month and paying them incentives for doing a few household chores, will help them understand that resources are always limited. Teach them to save up this money buy what they want. If the item is very expensive, then you chip in half the amount or so, if your child is able to save half for a certain period of time.

Monthly Budgets
Buying stationary is the biggest expense that kids have all through their academic year. Sit down with your child and make a budget for the things that he / she wants for the month. Books, games and other miscellaneous items, that are usually on your child's shopping list should be managed within a budget. Making such budgets will teach your child how to prioritize demands as well. Allocation of resources and comprehension of your own financial situation is brought out through the activity of making budgets. It is also a way of learning to let go of some demands, to satisfy a few others which are more important.

Expense Checkbook
Maintaining an expense checkbook is one of the most important money management skills for kids. It is extremely important that you teach your child how to maintain an account for the money, besides how to spend it. A record of expenses will give you child a guideline as to where and how the money is being spent. Knowing how much you have and how much is spent, helps you value the limited amount of money better. Of course, there will be times when your child will overspend and ask you for a little more money. Do not be too hard on your child. Allow a credit limit that your child will be able to pay back through his or her allowance.

Saving Plan
These are not saving plans for college or the next academic year, but say for an activity in the summer vacation. Budgeting will show your child how much part of the allowance is supposed to be spent, and how of it is supposed to be saved. You can make a few additions to this amount by giving your child monetary rewards if he / she performs well at school or helps out at home.

In a nutshell, money management skills for kids are about making the right choices, in order to reconcile the demands with limited resources. Besides money management, these tips will help your child to be more independent, understand the importance of prioritizing, self control, and being practical. Starting early will give you an edge over other parents, as younger minds are easier to mold.

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to Raise Money for a Business

Anyone looking to start a company or business venture of their own, needs to know how to raise money for a business. The capital is one of the first things that need to be taken into consideration when one is setting out on a business venture, and there are many different sources to obtain this capital. It is not necessary to stick to one particular source rigidly, even a combination of various different sources can be made use of.

Anyone who is wondering how to raise money for a restaurant, a small business, an advertising agency or any other small-scale venture should keep these methods in mind. Approaching the right people for the money is vitally important for the success of the business, and if this is not catered to properly, the business will be doomed from the very beginning.

Personal Savings

This is the most obvious source of money for starting a business. If you have saved up enough money over the years, go ahead and make use of it for your business. You will not be answerable to anyone, and you will not have to worry about repaying someone. If you choose this option, ensure that you are not using all your savings though. Many people neglect this option of how to raise money for a business because if they lose the money, they will have nothing left to live on.

Venture Capitalists
This is the next most obvious source for your potential business. Venture capitalists are professional agencies who put in money, or venture capital, into an upcoming business. What they get in return is either a share of the business, or a share of the profits, or pretty high interest rates. It may sound like exploitation, but this is one of the best ways to get money. Venture capitalists are always looking for new and innovative business ideas that are likely to succeed.

Angel Investors
These are a refined form of venture capitalists, but many people think they mean the same thing. Angel investors are less demanding than venture capitalists, and are with your business in the long run. Usually, they are someone who you would know personally, and they are simply looking for ways to get a higher return on their investment. How companies raise money depends a lot on the nature of the business, and the method of entrepreneurship adopted. Angel investors also help out the business by providing some guidance and mentoring.

Personal Borrowings
Here is a method on how to raise money for a business that should be avoided as far as possible. You can borrow money from someone you know, namely your friends, family or other people. The problem here is that once you mix business and personal relationships, things start to get a bit sour. This is a situation that needs to be handled with great tact and diplomacy, and not everyone can manage to do that. Still, this is a method that many people opt for.

Bank Loans

Another answer to how to raise money for a small business, is to approach a bank for a small business loan. With banks you will not be required to pay a very high interest rate, but you will need sufficient documentation about the business model of your business. Along with that, your credit history and financial stability will also be scrutinized, to see if you are worthy of getting the loan. Most people would love to get a bank loan, but are simply not eligible. This is especially true for someone who is wondering how to raise money to start a business without owning any fixed assets.

Here is another answer, but one that requires a suitable amount of investment, and more than a fair share of patience. If you can handle the advertising of your upcoming company well, you can get more than enough money to sustain it in the long run. There are some websites that also let you advertise your business plan, and then suit you up with a matching investor. This is a slightly unreliable method for sure, but it works wonders if one can find the right match. People wondering how to raise money for a marketing campaign, can use the methods already mentioned above.

Other Options
Here are some other answers to the question 'How to raise money for a business'. One can approach some small business investment companies, some business development commissions, some life insurance companies or a money broker as well. The reliability of these other options will not be very high, and their demands may be exorbitant, but if you have run out of all other options, then this is something that you will need to resort to.

You should move as soon as possible in order to get as much capital and business financing as you can. There are a variety of sources available to you, and as long as you have a great and reliable business plan, you will be able to procure capital. It is not all that difficult to learn how to raise money for a business, but all you need, more than anything else, is the faith and belief in yourself.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Business Etiquette Tips

Business has ceased to be a simple affair. It is not merely limited to the making and breaking of a trade or a deal anymore like it used to be in the earlier times. It has gone way beyond that. Along with the basics of trade, it now includes the whole nine yards - How you talk, walk, present yourself, what you wear, what to speak, how to speak, even to the point of how you eat. All these factors will have an impact on your business. In fact they could very well be the deciding factors of whether you get a deal or lose it. The basics of business etiquette have come to play and stay on. And if surviving in this competitive world is important to you, you need to know the basics of this practice and what it involves.

Business etiquette teaches you a set of ways on how to behave and how to present yourself. This not only helps with your business, but also helps in preparing you to cope with trying situations and preventing your crumbling under pressure. In this following article we will give you certain important business etiquette tips that will help you create a strong foothold in the business world and charm your way through deals, backed with your skills.

Basic Business Etiquette Tips

Many times, business deals fall through because of an action that might have been unintentional, but which was perceived as a breach of the expected or proper behavior. Which is what we look to prevent by understanding the basics of these rules. In this following section we will concentrate on the important rules of proper business etiquette that need to be followed and will give you the basics of how to make these work in different scenarios.

The Co-workers and your Boss
With so many people working around you, you have to understand one thing - these are the elements you need to care for. Never underestimate, bad mouth or insult anyone. Be respectful and courteous and ready to apologize for any mistake that you make. Be diplomatic where required and try not to let personal biases influence your decisions. Be respectful of your boss and make sure that you always inform him/her of any changes in your project. Never surprise your boss.

Be Social and Polite
This one goes without saying, but it is an important factor that needs to be reiterated at all times. You don't have to make friends with people and invite them over for drinks, but building a cordial relation goes a long way in the business world. Make it a point to interact and ask about them and their families. Greet people and talk with people who you share your working space with. Also, develop a firm handshake. A firm handshake goes a long way. This is one of the most important office etiquette tip to follow.

The Attire and Language
Make sure that you adhere to the rules of dressing according to the norms set at your workplace. One must dress keeping in mind the position, the work manner and the work culture that is present. The way in which you dress will work towards building an image of you and thereby your workplace, which matters in the business world. As far as the language is concerned, never ever swear or use such language that is considered crass. For the world to view you as professionals, you need to ensure that you use formal language that does not insult or cross the territory into being too personal.

Time as a Factor
Always be on time, never late. In case it's a meeting or a conference, be sure to be there 5 minutes early. Being tardy and late, makes for a very bad impression and can affect the image that colleagues and bosses might have of you.

Cell Phone Usage
In a professional setup, the usage of cell phones should be strictly monitored. The phone should be on the silent mode so that the noise does not disturb others. Do not take calls at your desk, make use of the area that has been provided for the same. Never receive calls when you're in the company of others. This is considered extremely rude behavior and an insult to the person in front of you because you aren't giving them the full attention they deserve.

Of Emails and Calls
There are certain rules that need to be followed as far as emails and calls are concerned. Make sure that you answer all the mails and call back with the answers. Return the calls with answers or information about who might have them. When calling someone else for information, identify yourself and be clear and concise. Leave the important details with them so that they can call you back. Always be courteous and polite when you answer the phone.

As far as mails are concerned, keep the mails as clear and short as possible. Answer the question in clarity and do not use references that will confuse the reader.

Meetings and Behavior
Meetings are an important part of any professional organization. Make sure that you arrive on time, have everything in order and are fully prepared for what is to follow. The objective of the meeting and the plan of action has to be duly discussed and provided for.

These are some of the basic business etiquette tips that need to be inculcated in your professional life. Following these with sincerity will help in making you a true professional, capable of handling any situation perfectly.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to Make a Business Introduction

A business organization is made up of several different parties, and it is essential for all these parties to interact with each other on a recurring basis. As a result of this, it is necessary for all of these various parties to know each other well, and get introduced as and when the time arises. The various parties that are involved in this continuous process are employers and employees from a business organization, the suppliers and vendors of this organization, the clients and customers of this organization, and people from other business organizations that are in synergy or close contact with this particular company as well.

Each different scenario will require different people to interact with each other, and hence they will all need to be introduced to one another at some point in time. There are many rules and guidelines that need to be adhered to when these introductions are being made, and the manner in which these introductions are made will determine the nature of the relationship between the different parties. For instance, introducing two prospective clients to each other will be a very different process as compared to introducing an individual's secretary to another person in the organization.

Rules for Making Business Introductions

As a result of these differences, it is impossible to state how each business introduction must take place. There are also instances when an individual from an organization will be making a presentation to a large gathering, and in this scenario, he will need to introduce himself and his business to everyone that is present there at that moment. In certain other cases, one party may have to write a business introduction letter to another party, and in this letter / email, he will have to introduce his business in the right manner as well. Here are some general rules that should be followed while making all of these different business introductions.

    One should always start by stating the name of the organization first and then giving a brief insight into the history of the company.
    If the company has recently won a prestigious award or title, that fact should be stated as well.
    One should not delve too much into the financials of the company, but a small piece of information about a healthy financial state may prove beneficial.
    The major sectors where the company functions must also be mentioned.
    The primary focus is to inform the people gathered what the company does and how well it is doing it, and the person making the introduction should provide basic details about the same.
    Lastly, all the people who are gathered must be thanked for their presence and they should be reassured that their relationship with the company will be fruitful.

These tips on how to make a business introduction will come in handy when the business is being introduced to a single person, or to a group of people. Another instance when business introductions and effective business communication comes into play, is when two people are being introduced to each other. Here are some general rules and guidelines to follow in such a scenario.

    The name and the title of each individual is first made known to each other.
    Then further information is exchanged about both the business organizations and the relationship that they share.
    Subsequently, the purpose of the introduction is revealed, and the mutual benefits that both the parties will receive with this interaction, are then stressed upon.
    This introduction must be simple and brief, and delving into unnecessary details should be avoided.
    Both the parties should then be allowed to strike a conversation and take it from there, and the person who made the introduction should only speak when spoken to.

In cases when a business letter is being transcribed, certain other things also come into the picture. This business introduction letter sample will give you a better idea about this scenario. Effective written business communication is an art that is picked up over time and with experience, since there are many subtle things that the writer needs to pay attention to. At the end of the day, successful business introductions are the first step towards fostering positive business relationships, and this is something that needs to be paid close attention to.