Fun Team Building Ideas

Individuality counts but teamwork divides work and multiplies success. Teamwork is something we practice daily, but subconsciously. Such as marriage. If you are married, and married for some years now, it is due to teamwork that you have a successful marriage today. If you are a fantastic teacher, it is teamwork that has got you that position. Had there not been students to praise you would never know you were good at teaching. Teamwork is all about maintaining your individuality yet working together in a group, respecting everyone’s point of view. Moreover, teamwork becomes an important quality that an employee should possess if you are at the workplace. It is the duty of teachers and parents to inculcate the quality of teamwork amongst children from a very young age. Children then learn, to socialize and start respecting others point of view. Now, to get that “we are a team” feeling in children, below are a few fun team building ideas.

For Children

Teamwork enables children to work towards a common goal as they work in their respective abilities and allows them to take turns; instead of doing the task all by themselves. Team building also gives them an opportunity to emerge as natural leaders.The easiest way to foster team building amongst children is to have a few team building activities.

Spill the Beans: You can gather all the children together, give them a piece of paper and a pen, and ask them to write down questions regarding other teammates. Once they are done, collect the chits and start reading them aloud, asking the written questions to the child in concern. Make sure the children have not written anything that sounds offensive or bad. A question-answer round gives children a chance to get to know each other better, and hence fosters the feeling of being a team.

Scavenger Hunt: A scavenger hunt is a part of an important team building activity, since it ensures working in a group to win the hunt. It is a fun game indeed, and you can hide small treasures in places with a clue written on a piece of paper, and get children searching for the treasure. While doing so, teammates interact with each other and celebrate the spirit of teamwork.

Divide and Assign: Team building not only improves the productivity of work assigned to a group, but also ensures self development, leadership skills, improves communication, and increases one’s ability to listen to others and work closely as a group to solve a problem. You can divide kids into two groups and assign a task (it could be project work or some art work). In this way, team members identify their strengths and weaknesses, and channelize them in the right direction as a group, for best results.

For Adults

Sports Day: A sports day is the best way to interact with your colleagues and get to know each other. This idea comes from personal experience as my workplace organized a sports day. There was active participation from all departments, which resulted in us getting to know each other, and then working with each other or working on a project together became easy. This sort of activity also creates a healthy and fun environment at the workplace.

Outdoor Trip: Well, this is a real fun team building idea. An outdoor trip allows you to lose your inhibitions and mix with your colleagues like never before. In fact, an outdoor trip allows adventurous co-workers to come together, have fun and bond well. The bond that develops during such activities, boosts team bonding at the workplace as well.

Charitable Work: Doing charitable work is a fun team building idea. Here, you tend to indulge into some humble service, and at the same time, bond with your colleagues, hence fostering team building. This sort of bonding is the main ingredient of team building, which remains at the workplace as well. It is highly important to improve work and team productivity.

Those were some great activities for building team spirit to choose from. Organizing a potluck, performance art program, or engaging the team in a problem that requires teamwork and systematic planning to arrive at a creative solution, can be considered too. Evaluate the kind of team building program you want for your group, or even your employees, to improve team productivity and the company’s growth.

Small Business Ideas for College Students

College students consider working at fast food joints as the best option to earn money. However, starting a small business can also prove to be a great idea to earn extra money without spending much time. Let us have a look at the different options available for earning money while continuing the studies.

Small Business Ideas for Students

For beginners, these cool small business ideas should prove to be a good source of earning money.

Tutoring: It is a perfect business for students who want to earn only as much money as is required to cover the monthly expenses. In order to start tutoring, you should consider teaching subjects like Mathematics, Science and English. This business doesn’t require any kind of investment and it is possible to earn enough to pay for monthly expenses.

Handmade Crafts and Items: Selling handmade craft items can help you earn enough cash required for your daily expenses. The craft works, paintings, knitting, etc. could be sold at fairs, gatherings, etc. You could also think of selling art and craft items. The art and craft items one has prepared in his school days can be used for the purpose.

Yard Work: It is one of the small business ideas for college students who wish to earn money without spending anything. One can mow grass, carry out weeding, etc. and charge people for the service. If you have some know-how of gardening, you can help neighbors in giving their garden an artistic and beautiful appearance. Tending vegetable patches of your neighbors can also help you earn a decent amount of cash.

Freelancing: The activity of freelancing includes writing for newspapers, doing photography, etc. It is a creative job and helps in bringing out the best in your work. However, there are a lot of uncertainties involved in this activity. For example, the news need to be appealing and one may not get paid if the employer doesn’t find it interesting. However, one of the advantages of freelancing is that one doesn’t have to invest anything beforehand.

Laundry Service: Starting a laundry service is one of the good business ideas for students to earn money. One can advertise this small business through mouth publicity. Since washing clothes is quite a boring job and not many people are ready to do it, one could find a better business opportunity in this work. A good washing machine, capable of washing multiple clothes would prove to be helpful in easing out your work. Moreover, you could also save time for studies and other extracurricular activities.

Cleaning: Just like laundry, you could think of starting a cleaning business. College students always need an affordable cleaning service. Being a college student yourself, you would find it easy to market your service and thereby, prosper in this business. You can add food-delivery to this service of cleaning. It won’t require you to search for a market separately. This way, you get to learn new tricks of the business.

Data Entry Jobs: It is a kind of job that can be done even by a layman since it doesn’t require much skills except for speedy typing. It is a good source of earning money for students in their free time. Basic knowledge of handling computers is enough to do the data entry job. A data entry job is considered amongst the popular online businesses for college students.

Setting up a Website: A person who is good at working with websites and computers as a whole can try out this activity. You could earn more than enough for a month’s expenses through this endeavor. However, setting up a website requires in-depth knowledge of programming languages and functioning of computers. In short, it is a geek’s job to set up a fully functional website.

Entertainment: If a person is fond of playing a musical instrument like piano, guitar, etc. he/she should try to earn money by performing at wedding receptions, parties or other such occasions.

College students have access to hundreds of people who make their marketing job much easier. In fact, the whole college can be viewed as a potential market, provided a person is ready to work hard in reaching out to as many people as possible. There are however, a few things you need to take into consideration before starting any business on campus. First of all, you should check whether the university policies allow for any business activity. Also, you shouldn’t make your roommate’s life hell just because you are churning out profits from your business. Finally, the most important thing – studies should not be ignored. Because you are a college student, your first priority should be studying sincerely. The business should not affect your academic performance.

There are many other small business ideas apart from the above mentioned ones like snack delivery business, bakery service, writing service, etc. Thus, you should find an appropriate business that helps earn money to fulfill your monetary needs.

Team Building Exercises for Small Groups

A team, in simple terms, is when a group of people head towards a common goal. Heading towards the goal is considered a task, and this task in turn is divided into many smaller sub-tasks. The making of a team is essential to cover these sub-tasks, as each requires different skills and different functioning. A team in an organization is the perfect example of a symbiotic functioning. To build this team, we bring to you some effective team building exercises. Some of these can be implemented or applied in bigger groups as well. The importance of these exercises is highly underestimated today. They not only help in building the team, but also in improving the overall environment of a workplace. Not to forget the better productivity that can be achieved through effective working. Team building activities are slowly being inculcated in the work culture as a compulsory phenomenon. These exercises are best suited for groups that comprise 5 – 10 members. If you want to see some amazing improvement in the functioning of your team, these exercises are exactly what you need.

Quick Team Building Exercises for Small Groups

Strengths and Weaknesses
All the members of the team should sit down together every once a month and discuss each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If one member is weak in a particular process, he can ask someone to help him out. Sometimes, work can be exchanged depending on who can do it better. This consideration will bring about a feeling of comfort in the team members, and thus help build the team further in terms of proficiency. The work will be done in the most efficient way as everyone will be putting in their best. When help is provided in any way from team members, it helps in growing as a team. Every member should write down his strengths and his weaknesses, and keep adding to this list every month, even the smallest details.

Problem Solving
It is not possible to discuss your problems everyday, as this will only delay the work you need to get done. For a month, write down all the problems you face on an individual level. This can also include another team member’s attitude towards work, non co-operation from another member, and so on. On the last day of the month or on the first day of the next, discuss these problems as an exercise to build your team. Dedicate that day of every month to this exercise of problem solving. When the problems in a team are solved together, it gets in a feeling of joint work. When someone helps to solve the problems you listed down, you immediately feel good about the gesture and make sure you don’t disappoint that team member.

Enhancing Communication
One of the best, is an exercise that enhances the communication in that group. This exercise can be something as simple as each member taking turns and discussing what he / she feels about the work of the other members. Initially, you can start off with easy exercises to build communication. You can discuss each other’s goals and achievements in life, so as to know each other better. Once this is done, you can decide and play one communication building game every week, on the last day, just for an hour. You’ll can sit together and form a system of easy messaging within the group, where long messages can be converted into short ones, through abbreviations and codes, to save time in the work processes.

Some interesting team building games can prove to be excellent team building exercises. These games will not only help in some recreation but will also give the team some time to interact on a social level. For example, give all the team members a task, work related but more fun. Something that they can do easily. Whoever completes this game the earliest, gets a reward! Another great way to go about these games can be this. Whoever wins the game(s), gets to be the team lead for that month. Members together can also attend workshops and seminars that talk about team building. The company can arrange for these workshops and seminars in the office itself. Thus, team building can be some great fun too! Here are three examples of games you can play to build your team.

Game # 1: Ask all the members of the group to sit in a circle. Each member will write down one good trait about all the members present, and one bad trait too. Once everyone has finished writing, one by one they will read aloud what they have written. The others will either agree or disagree to each trait. If majority of the votes agree, that member should change the bad and also focus more on improving what is already good. This game will motivate the members to improve the skills where they lack.

Game # 2: Every member gets to prepare a list of 20 questions, all of which should be related to knowing more about someone else. For example, ‘What was your dream as a child?’, ‘What are your current career plans?’, and ‘Tell us something about you we don’t know’. Sit in a circle while playing this game. Any member can start from his right. He needs to ask 1 question per member, one by one. At the end of this game, the members will know a lot more about each other than they did before. Knowing your members in the first step of team building.

Game # 3: Write 20 words related to your work process. These words can be names of processes, software, and important customers you work for. Mix up all the words to form a game that represents a word jumble. Mix up your sheets and make sure you don’t get yours in return. Every member will get 1 minute to solve this puzzle game. At the end of this game, members might learn more about the work, and this will undoubtedly also increase the team spirit.

Set Common Targets and Goals
Setting common targets and goals for the entire team, every month, can lead to team building many ways. When the entire team has to complete a task in a given time, they have to work together as one. In turn, the team members can themselves set targets for the month or week. Setting a milestone together and finding the best ways to cross it also adds to the enthusiasm in the work. In this process, the employees also understand the importance of working in a team. Working in a team is very beneficial as your drawbacks are covered by your teammates. Once every employee understands this, they will value their team more, and a feeling of respect will develop between all the members.

These were some interesting team building exercises for small groups that you can implement in your workplace, and see the positive effects for yourself. Working as a team has obvious advantages, but it is also important for the team to function properly. Team building gets you closer. Effective communication and proper distribution of work are the key factors in building a proper team, so focus mainly on these. These exercises will also make sure that the environment in the office remains enthusiastic and active! Best of Luck!

Creative Marketing Ideas

You may have the ingenious product in the world, but what’s the point if you can’t find the market for it? Without a market, a product is as good as dead. Every small business has to engage in aggressive marketing, if it aims to reach its best potential. Most naive entrepreneurs believe that marketing takes a lot of money and it is only meant of giant business organizations. NO! Do you really think Facebook and YouTube used any great marketing techniques, to make a niche in the virtual market?

It is difficult to come up with creative ideas, which is why we are here to help you. These ideas will work the best for small business firms, if they are used with a hint of intelligence. So, let’s see what you can do, to make your business grow faster.

Creative Ideas for Marketing

Small Business Marketing Ideas
Small business marketing ideas focus on tapping the local market, before we take a long leap. Small businesses like catering firms, wedding planning firm, a designer boutique, restaurants and basically the ones that operate at small levels, find hard to bring on some attention.

First to hook on to social networking site, it’s free and it works wonders. Make a page for yourself on the most popular social networking site, send out invites, add all your friends and keep updating your status messages in tandem with the events at your firm. This attracts a lot of attention. Next idea is, to get press releases published in the local newspaper. This will probably cost you a free lunch or dinner for the journalist, a little goodwill and the best foot forward. It’s all worth the effort! Give away awards such as, customer of the month, and advertise this in various places. Make a blog and update it every week, join the clubs in the city.

Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Once again Internet marketing comes to the rescue of your abandoned real estate business. Real estate marketing ideas have to look reliable and trustworthy. Classified advertisements, catalogs, flyers, special reports, E-newsletters, E-books, Internet marketing, radio ads, yellow pages, press releases, sponsor an advertisement, podcasts, business cards and public relations are some of the real estate marketing ideas. Creating t-shirts, pens, calendars, organizers and other stationery items for your employees and valuable customers works very well too. Sending seasonal greeting cards and sending wishes on birthdays and anniversaries are also some PR ideas, which can win you markets. Creative marketing ideas for real estate, should be implemented with tenacity, since it takes a while for people to notice such a business.

Apartment Marketing Ideas
As a novice builder you may be looking for apartment marketing ideas to get some lucrative business, this season. Thus, gaining an insight into real estate marketing, is the need of the hour.

You can promote your projects through the print media, radio advertisements, banners and huge balloons. If you are looking out for tenants for your apartment, then getting in touch with the local coffee shops, shopping centers, colleges, recreation centers, parks and putting up your advertisement there can get you some great offers. Creating an interactive website, making unique offers, highlighting the USPs, giving the prospective customers a look around the place and promoting your apartment through reputed real estate agents are some more creative ideas for marketing your apartments.

How to Develop a Business Plan

Developing a business plan is not exactly an easy proposition, as there are innumerable things involved in it, from the very basic to the extremely complicated and tedious aspects. Basically, while creating such a plan, you should include an executive summary involving:

A brief description of the history of the company.
The company’s objectives
Description of the company’s products or services.
The market the business intends to compete in.
A persuasive statement as to reasons and method for the success of the business.
Projected growth for the company and the market.
Mention of the core management team.
A description of funding requirements, with a time-line and the usage of the funds.

Homework on the Service or Product
Forget the business plan for sometime. Decide what the product or service is that you are going to offer. Without that, it is impossible to go ahead and consider what comes next in your proposal. Researching on the market trends and what the products and services are which will be a hit with the consumers is fundamental. If you have had an experience in a product or service, then your task might become easier. In addition, also think of the name and the overall profile of your company.

Money Matters
Once you are done with the overall profile, think of the capital required for it as well as how much you intend to make from it or can make. To be clear about that, you will have to chalk out and create a financial profile of the company. When you mention this while writing the plan, it should include your current assets, your liabilities, projected income, and monthly expenses within a range of six months. Having all this data will help you establish a viable financial objective for your business. Be very careful about this.

Who are the Competitors?
The market is going to be like a big bad world out there. Therefore, you also would need to study your competitors and how you propose to deal with them, and what gives you an edge over them. You will have to mention that while writing a business plan. Again, this will involve a little bit of homework.

Finally, once you are done with all these things, put all this on paper. Tackle the points mentioned above, and elaborate on them as per the research and statistics you have got. Make it all as crystal clear as you can.

Personal Finance Budgeting

Your money is the lifeline of your home. The standard of living that you have is because you can afford it. Your money basically, is the heartbeat of your lifestyle. To continue living the same lifestyle and to reach higher standards, personal finance budgeting is very essential. Spending is inevitable, if you have money. However, money, or your resource is always limited and your needs are unlimited. Reconciling the two by prioritizing your demands will help in managing your personal finance budget. This practice of budgeting will help you save your money on inconsequential items and teach you the importance of prioritizing.

Need for Financial Budgeting
The need for budgeting arises because of the fact that you are responsible towards yourself. Responsibility towards oneself means, a constant struggle for the better. Thus, the need for personal financial planning is to fulfill the self-actualization need for improvement.

Monthly Financial Budgeting
Make a chart of income and expenditure, which you make all through the month. Based on this you will be able to make successive budgets. Here’s a chart that you can follow.

Net Income
Expenses At Home
Home Repairs
Home Improvements
Natural Gas and Oil
Child Support
Health and Fitness
Other Loans
Contingency Fund
Balancing Figure (Difference of income and expenditure)

Once you fill in the details for this chart, you will get a complete picture of what you are earning and how much of it you are spending. Based on this chart, you can make the estimated budget and the actual details will follow as the month progresses.

Yearly Budgets
Now that you have the monthly assessment, of income and expenditure, multiply it by 12 and you will get the yearly account. Yearly budgets will give you targets of the income you need to earn to sustain the lifestyle of your choice. Getting into the habit of following the chart will give every detail of every penny spent.

What Personal Financial Budgeting Does?
Finance and budgeting go hand in hand. You may get ample of finances, but if you don’t have a budget, they will all go haywire. Budgeting will get you into the habit of saving your money for the rainy day. Living from paycheck-to-paycheck will consequently change to living with wise decisions. Budgeting will employ your each dollar for better returns. Most importantly, it will give you a breathing room in case you decide to take some time out from work.

Double Benefits
Summer is here and you want to take a vacation to an exotic destination. Of course, it isn’t possible with meager travel budget to vacation anywhere else other than your couch! Saving an amount will help you create a fund for both the rainy day and the happy days.

The habit of making personal finances budget, should be started early in life. Beginning to plan while you are at college will make you an expert at managing your own finances by the time you begin to earn your money. Financial planning will alleviate problems during the big days of your life, such as marriage. It will give you an edge over the others in planning the wedding budgets for the ceremony, the way you always wanted. So before you get your next paycheck, tie the financial knot for a happy ending!

Improving Team Communication Skills

All of us know how important communication is for survival and to grow and evolve. Without communication it would be impossible to convey ideas and thoughts. To grow as a business, you need to share certain ideas, thoughts, opinions, judgments and suggestions and to share these, you first need to convey. This is looking at communication in its most basic form in the workplace. Most teams communicate with each other as a need, and not in actuality, this is where the meaning of communication skills is precisely lost. Employees need to understand what exactly is meant by communication and communication skills, inculcate these in their workplace behavior, and then gradually improve them. As far as improving team communication skills is concerned, there are 5 steps mentioned below which you can follow to conquer your objective of improving the said skills. Check them out!

How You Can Improve Team Communication Skills

Understanding Communication
If you want to teach your employees the best communication skills, you have to first teach them the importance of communication and why we need it. There has to be understanding of the concept to learn more about it, and to then enhance this knowledge even more. Communication skills are not limited to only the way you communicate verbally, but also to other methods of communication. Communication also includes aspects such as body language that play an equally important role in determining efficient communication. Once you inculcate this importance, you can proceed to sharpen that knowledge by learning the communication skills.

Communication Games
Communication games are one of the best ways to improve communication skills and fun too. They also give you the much-needed break from work and daily chores in the workplace. Communication games can include some fun games where the communication skills of employees can be tested by making them compete against each other. For example, you can announce a ‘department of the month’ competition where the company would be rewarding the most efficient department. To achieve maximum productivity, the employees will have to communicate with each other in the best possible way and once they do, they’ll see the results for themselves.

Team Building Activities
Communication might not come easily to everyone, and this makes it important for the employer/organization to hold team building activities that would promote team communication. Also tell the employees how to communicate with each other in the perfect way and in lesser time. These activities tell us how minimum communication can get great productivity in less time. You can either search the Internet for some team building activities or call a professional to conduct these activities.

Letting Go of Perceptions
Preconceived notions about a particular group of people, or just about a particular individual, can lead to unwanted communication barriers. This can be overcome by professional communication skills where you don’t judge anyone on any scale apart from that of work. Being opinionated is one thing and being judgmental is another. Don’t let personal bias towards a selected few get in between your communication with all the employees at large. Perceptions will lead to assumptions eventually.

Communication skills can’t be acquired if you are not educated about the different methods of communication. Employees need to learn different types of communication such as verbal, written, formal and informal, and also the methods to use them. There is a particular way you write in, when you communicate with your employees and this is very important for efficient communication. As an organization that promotes efficient communication, you need to inculcate this in your employees if they aren’t aware of it.

These were some ways of improving team communication skills and benefits of doing the same. Since you now know how important developing effective team communication skills is, you can implement all the necessary changes in your workplace. You also have to understand that communication skills can’t be achieved overnight, so be patient and they’ll surely work out for you! Best of Luck!

How to Create a House Flipping Business Plan

Buying, repairing, and restoring old homes and then selling them off at a higher price, is the flipping business in a nutshell. One of the most sought after businesses currently, offering a multitude of opportunities, it is an excellent occupation to take up. If you are a contractor with years of expertise, and if you have a good team of professionals who know how to turn Cinderellas into princesses, house flipping is like a natural profession for you.

Creating the Plan

I assume that since you are getting into this business, you already have a background in home construction work, as a contractor or an architect. It is essential that you are familiar with structural engineering, civil engineering, and interior decoration. If not, you should at least have people in your team, whom you can consult about all these aspects. Knowledge and its application is always the key in any business and house flipping is no exception to this. First and foremost, get a guy on board, who has been in this business for some time and knows his way around. Tips that you get from such a person will be invaluable. Here is how you can create a plan.

Research Costs Involved
One of the first things to do, which is an integral part of any business plan, is to research the costs involved in this business. This includes real estate investment cost, labor, and material costs, as well as other extraneous expenses, that you might incur while obtaining permits, commissioning contractors, and the marketing costs to sell the property. You need to create a financial plan, which tells you how much money you need, when you need it, and from where are you are getting it. This financial equation is the most important thing. As suggested before, gather a good team of construction professionals around you, who can help you with this.

Survey the Local Real Estate for Flippable Homes
Check out the local real estate prices and potential properties on sale, that might fetch a better price, if they are repaired and renovated.

Thorough Inspection Is the Key
Before you decide to select a house for flipping, you need to inspect it thoroughly and know the structural and cosmetic repair tasks that you might have to carry out. If it’s your first house flipping job, start with a home, that doesn’t need major repairs.

Make an Estimate of the Investment and Possible Returns
Once you have chosen a house, calculate the costs involved in the repair and the renovation work that you are carrying out. Gauge the profit you could make, by selling the property. Once you are sure, you can buy the property.

Establish a Time Frame and Start Work
After that, actual work can begin, with a precise set time frame and a renovation plan, that is complete with all the required details. Think about how you can bring out the best out of the old building, while making minimum changes. Flipping houses is quite a tough job and here your expertise or panel of experts will come into play.

Take Help from Real Estate Agencies
Once work is finished, you can think about selling it. It is best to take help from real estate agencies, as they know the target market, for the kind of home you are selling. Promote the sale on your own, through advertisements.

Pick Wisely and Sell Smartly
The key, in this business, is to know which houses are flippable and will fetch a good sum of money, after renovation. It will take time for your eye to develop. Set a price that is high enough to get a decent profit and low enough to be attractive. Starting a flipping business is all about patience and hard work.

Think realistically and spend a lot of time in working out all the details and the costs involved. Only after you think that you have worked out the whole equation of house flipping and analyzed all the risks involved, create a plan that can take all those factors into consideration. Start small and give every project of yours, the best shot that you can give. Every job well done is going to bring you more customers, as your work speaks for itself. Don’t forget that Rome was not built in a day, and it will take time for your business to catch up. All the best.

Online Business Ideas

The past decade has seen a widespread use of Internet across the globe. It has fast emerged as a means of communication, entertainment, and business. Increasing number of people ditch the conventional means of business and opt for more convenient and simpler means of e-commerce. Obviously, Internet has also presented a plethora of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs who wish to make quick bucks. If you are also on a look out for similar opportunities on the internet, then the following ideas should help you.

Online Business Ideas

For Women

Many housewives and stay-at-home moms are seeking newer ways of making money online. The biggest advantage of the internet business is that it allows you to work from home without any time constraints. Besides, the initial investment is also not substantial. Hence, this is a great business medium for women entrepreneurs.

Selling Things Online

Many homemakers are skilled at certain arts, such as painting, making artifacts, costume designing, etc. The internet offers you a golden opportunity to sell your talent online. You can easily showcase your work online and gather rave reviews from people all over the world. The web allows you to exhibit your talent at a fraction of cost. It becomes very easy to sell such products online than investing in a brick and mortar edifice for business. Besides, you can also sell used stuff, such as bags, shoes, jewelry, clothing, etc., on shopping websites such as eBay. These websites are a platform for selling an array of things, including junk. Thus, you can make decent money selling things online, simply by discarding your old items.

Taking Your Existing Business Online

If you are into a business, you will realize that the internet opens a door to exciting opportunities for your existing business. Suppose, you are into a flower vending business, then your clientèle will include mostly people from your locality. However, when you take this business online, you can take orders from almost any corner of the world. However, then you will have to develop a strong backup infrastructure for taking orders and shipping your products.

For College Students

Starting Your Own Website

Many young college students are already into this website making business. By starting your own website, you can create a steady cash flow just by working for a couple of hours a day. This business is ideal for college students, as they can simultaneously manage their academics as well as business. Creating a website is no more a big deal, as you can get website templates for as little as USD 5 on websites, which exclusively deal in website templates. Besides, you can also download a free HTML editor to create your very own website. You can adopt various internet marketing techniques to promote your product and generate traffic on your website. Internet briefcase is a business package that includes all the support required for starting an Internet business, right from website creation to making audio-visual advertisements for your product.

Online Network Marketing

There are several reputed brands, which promote their products through online network marketing. They even provide training and support for people who enroll for their program. This business offers lucrative returns, however, there is an amount of risk involved. Besides, you ought to have impeccable network marketing skills to make the whole thing work for you. Also, the incidences of internet scams are on an all time high. Hence, conduct a thorough research before you enroll for any such program.

Thus, you can effectively utilize the tremendous potential of the internet for making money online. Hope the ideas given in this article were resourceful. There is really no dearth of internet business ideas; in fact you can yourself come up with many innovative ideas to make money online.

Long-term Financial Planning for Businesses

We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, “Stay the course.” Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. – Lee Iacocca, a Popular American Businessman.

A probably angry Lee Iacocca was indicating that finance is something that has to be preplanned, planned, re-planned and even post-planned. Financial planning in itself does not involve just setting budgets, wage rates, or deadlines. It is all about getting to know realistic work schedule, the manner in which they can be executed, back up plans that can be used, and the least cost with the help of which the entire project can be executed. So in general, these aspects and growth forecasting, both involve the answers to the four important questions: why, when, where, and how (answers have to be cost oriented).

Steps in Long-term Financial Planning

Step 1: Let us take the example of a coffee shop, where a financial planner has to find legitimate answers to 4 questions, namely:

Why should we produce a specific item on the menu card? (consider cost of production and sales price)
When should we produce such an item and for what time duration? (bear in mind, seasonal costs, inflation of raw material prices)
Where should we produce the item: right in the shop or some production center? (consider transport cost, nature of goods, and selling cost)
How should one produce the item, manually or mechanically? (consider equipment and personnel cost)

Step 2: The second step is to assess your business environment. In this step, surveying the competitors’ performance, pricing, and distribution is an absolute necessity. In such a scenario, you may also prepare a cost sheet of the financial features of production, namely the money that you would have to invest as a manufacturing cost, its sales cost, and the profit that it would yield. Logically, the sale price should be more than the cost price, and the return-over-asset ratio/return-over-investment ratio should be healthy. While finalizing these three figures, you will need to take into consideration three important aspects:

Average spending capacity of your customers
Your competitors’ quality, quantity, and price
Popularity of the product, potential market, customer retaining capacity of the product, etc.

Though the trend of such products is more experimental in nature, they might become full-time, public favorite products; hence, it is also important to make a financial provision to recover losses that arise in the experimental period, until the product establishes itself in the market.

Step 3: The third and fourth step are more analytical in nature and from the finance point of view, they are also quite expensive. The idea that you need to implement in the third step is allocation of resources in such a manner that you tend to make a genuine profit in sales during the long run. In this step, you will be using and analyzing cash flow statements on almost a daily basis. The key is to have uniform cash outflows for consecutive days/months/years. Cash outflow is typically all expenses and losses. Losses are quite uncontrollable, but expenses are surely controllable. Hence, search for raw material sources, manpower, and production processes that will help you to maintain uniform and low per-unit cost for the item/product. For example, have regular suppliers, who will supply at an agreed and uniform cost. This uniformity will eventually come in handy to curb and control unexpected losses, and will also help you to keep a good hold over the market.

The second part of the third step is making monetary provisions. This is absolutely essential due to the fact that no business is risk-free. Such provisions include advance to the raw material supplier, insurance, provisions for bad debts, extra services, etc.

Step 4: Retain, sustain, and entertain; this step is quite an advanced one, and typically includes many different aspects that aim at retaining the customers. The first important function of this step is to generate regular data and cash flow statements. With the help of these statements, you will realize whether that very item on the menu is proving to be profitable or not. At the same time, you also need to maintain a statement that records cash inflows and outflows over a longer period of time (in months or a quarter). Thus, you will realize what is profitable for your business and what your customers want.

To sum up the whole theory, it can be said that long-term finance planning is a three-dimensional graph, with customer, product, and market being the dimensions. The essence of cost and time is added to every dimension. After all, the key to success is to facilitate all three dimensions logically, bearing in mind this essence.