Monthly Archives: February 2014

Something to Ponder: Stay Up to Speed with Technology and Social Media

Indeed, the world is in the era of mechanics, machines, web, and social media. The different innovations nowadays are proofs that Science and Technology has totally taken over this planet. As a matter of fact, it’s quite difficult to imagine how the world looks like without any of the existing innovations today.

So how can one stay up to speed with the latest trends in technology and social media?

Staying up to Date with Social Media and Technology

Visit Sites that Offer Social Media News

Visiting and reading different sources of information regarding a variety of social media companies is indeed time-consuming. Thankfully, there are analysts and excellent writers who do summaries and give comments on the latest trends in the world of social media and technology, and then feature them in couple of news sites.

Among the most suitable news sites that can make people in loop about everything social media and tech are:

Social Media Examiner

This particular news site is more focused on social media that can be used for marketing. However, if people will ante to the site’s Social Media News tag, they can acquire a hefty summary of the most recent updates.

TechCrunch

As of today, this website is considered as the major news site for the most recent technological updates. Aside from technology based news, people can also find social media related news in this site.

The Next Web

This website features news on technology; however, people can drill down to its Social Media channel to check out topic-specific write ups.

Mashable

This website renders the most extensive commentary and news on the world of social media.

Sign up for Weekly Summary Newsletters

Those people who don’t like the idea of visiting one website to another, they may consider signing up for a technology summary newsletter. Most of these newsletters acquire the articles from the major news websites in the World Wide Web.

Check out RSS Feeds

As highly cognizable, RSS Feeds offer real-time web updates. Once people find news or blog websites that are related to technology and social media, they can subscribe to RSS, Really Simple Syndication, or RSS Feed- this is a form of technology that enables people to subscribe to, visit and read a variety of websites in one place.

Set up Podcasts

These are digital video or audio episodes which people can download in their computer, smartphone, or tablet. New episodes are being featured on regular basis, which are usually about the latest and most modern technological dates.

In this age of web technology and computers, people need to stay up to speed or else, they’ll be left behind the race for development and success. Nowadays, majority of the practical needs of people are gradually becoming dependent on technology, which is why it is now considered as an integral part of the lives of people of this generation.

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Top 5 Tips to Avoid Filing for Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy seems to be the ultimate solution for an individual or business to gain control over or get rid of debts. Whatever circumstances might have caused this financial position, stop moping. Instead, put things in the right perspective because there are strategic ways to recover and to start all over again. Bankruptcy puts anyone in a difficult situation to rebuild and start all over again because it greatly affects your credit standing and employment. Instead of losing hope, you can use these tips to help you get on the right track again and avoid filing for bankruptcy.

  1. Minimize Debt Accumulation. Bankruptcy is most likely to hit you if you have more debts than your capacity to pay. Avoid accumulating debts by paying old ones before getting new loans. Consider liquidating some minor assets or non-core parts of the business to pay your expenses. Downgrade your spending and look for things that have no current use to you but worth selling at a good amount.
  2. Keep Track of Your Financial Record. Use your financial record to put a leash on your expenses. It is a record that shows your monthly expenses and earnings, and a reference that clearly indicates whether you’re earning or losing money. Keep an eye on your spending mode with debt reduction as your goal. Reduce unnecessary expenses and become a wise spender.
  3. Be Honest with Your Creditors. Instead of avoiding your creditors, talk with them about your financial position and show your records to convince them of your efforts to settle your debts. All your creditors will appreciate your honesty and sincerity so find out if they are amenable to reducing rates and slacken terms to help you pay your debts. The last thing creditors want is for you to file for bankruptcy since they have much more to lose.
  4. Consolidate Your Debts. Debt consolidation is the process of taking up a single low-interest loan to pay all your debts. Combining all your debts saves you the trouble of dealing with individual creditors and negotiating at various terms. By consolidating your debts, you only make a monthly payment at lower interest rates.
  5. Be Economical. Check your lifestyle to see if you’re spending more money beyond your means. Use your credit cards more wisely since one of the main causes of bankruptcy is uncontrolled spending. Reduce your expenses to the essentials and make it a habit to purchase only what you need. Grab every opportunity to save, and use the money to pay off your debts.

Analyzing and understanding the causes of your financial trouble can help you choose your options and the best solution to settle your debts and avoid bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision that can harm you and your creditors. There are ways so you can reverse the adverse effects of bankruptcy. Focus on getting up on your feet. Use these strategies to get started. It may be rough sailing at the start, but attaining sound personal or business finances is possible.

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Top 6 Tips for Small Businesses to Survive Economic Downturn

When the economy turns for the worse, small businesses stand little chances of surviving in a market dominated by the giants. While most underlings are concerned about the economy, only few are prepared with plans to protect their business. The top tips are revealed here to help small firms get through uncertain economic conditions.

  1. Create a Business Plan. The big mistake in entrepreneurship is to operate without a business plan. Having a business plan in place helps you strategize based on a set of financial forecasts enabling you to confront the effects of an economic slump. Systematic management results to accurate financial reporting, which is a crucial requirement when it’s time to secure business loans.
  2. Rationalize Spending. Scrutinize expenditures to prioritize essential costs. Consider streamlining operation and look for ways to reduce overhead costs such as moving to smaller premises, or even renting out some spaces in your office. Implementing flexible working setup without terminating staff considered productive can also be an option considering the possibility of running business by relying on affordable and efficient mobile technology.
  3. Invest on Marketing. Small businesses compete for smaller share of the pot thus it becomes even more important to remain visible and convince people why they should choose you. Marketing is crucial in generating business during economic downturn when people are being wise at how they spend money. Allot funds for advertising or creating a website as a cost-effective way to promote your products or services.
  4. Make your Product or Service more Appealing. Finding ways to adapt or make your product more appealing can be a strategy to keep your business afloat. It would be futile to introduce new things people haven’t tried yet or not likely to buy. It’s safer to stick to profitable products while trying to broaden their appeal in order to increase customer base. However, don’t be tempted to reduce prices to gain more customers if the demand is not that high for you’ll just be giving your profits away.
  5. Retain Existing Customers. During hard times, loyal customers remain as consistent source of revenue growth. Instead of putting efforts to win new customers, which involve cost and time do all you can to tie existing customers to your business. Promos such as discounts, loyalty points or coupons, as well as regular communications can greatly help in letting customers know you appreciate their patronage.
  6. Deliver Outstanding Customer Service. Consumers are more likely to stay if they are provided more than their money’s worth. Excellent customer service, including fast delivery, courteous staff, efficient after sales, and flexible payment terms are some methods to help current customers stay loyal during tough times.

In a bad economy, small businesses are always challenged to look out for opportunities to emerge stronger than before. If you can use these tips to successfully navigate through a recession, then you’ll be in a better position once the economy takes an upward turn.

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Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs from Business Icons that Started Small

What do Amazon, Apple, Harley Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, and Mattel, have in common? Among other things, these companies all started in a garage, and they all show that enterprises with humble beginnings can become global corporations. These businesses and the people who started them have valuable lessons that all young entrepreneurs would do well to pay attention to.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Amazon chief Jeff BezosAt the age of 30, as vice-president of a Wall Street Firm, Jeff Bezos had a career that many would kill or die for, and yet he gave it up and relocated to Seattle in pursuit of a dream. Herein lies a four-letter word that expresses the first of many lessons from the founder of Amazon, the world’s largest online retail store: guts. It must have taken a lot of guts to give up what would seem like a dream job to many, but without that first plunge Amazon wouldn’t be what it is today.

Bezos understood from the beginning the importance of a brand name when you are building an online business. He chose the name Amazon for several reasons – because this was the name of what he believed to be the biggest river in the world, and he wanted his store to be the biggest online store. One other reason was the fact that, along with everything that begins with the letter A, his company’s name would be on the top portion of any alphabetical listing.

Bezos started with a list of what he believed would be the 20 items most saleable online and moved on to an essentially unlimited virtual inventory. Today, Amazon sells practically everything from baby food, to equipment, to cloud services, and it makes an annual profit of around $270 million.

So there you have it. Bezos of Amazon risked a very cushy job to pursue an iffy dream; he combined his lofty vision with pragmatism, and he started pretty small. When he put up his business it was initially slow on profit, but solid. He challenged the limits real space imposed by building a store housed in cyberspace instead of brick and mortar.

Steve Jobs and Apple

jobsSteve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started their company in the garage of Job’s childhood home in 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, California, and their first break came with the sale of 50 computers they hand built with the help of a small team. This drives home the point about being “hands on” when you start a business. You want to build an enterprise with an unlimited future? Know your product inside out; it’s the only way you will know how to improve it.

Most people subscribe to the idea of not fixing something if it’s not broken, but this was not the way Jobs thought. He introduced one innovation after another, constantly keeping the company in the lead and the public in suspense.

There are numerous lessons young entrepreneurs can learn from Steve Jobs and Apple, but being hands on and improving one’s product constantly can certainly count as among the most important.

William Harley and Arthur Davidson of Harley Davidson

William Harley and Arthur Davidson started their business in 1902 in what was actually more of a shed than a garage. It took them all of two years just to build a viable bicycle that could be powered by a motor, and this first model looked more like an ordinary bicycle that the Hogs that now cruise highways all over the world. The history of Harley Davidson tells every entrepreneur that some products need to evolve constantly, and you have to be ready to make adjustments where they are needed to achieve perfection.

Harley Davidson today is well known among riders as the company that allows them to create a custom-built ride. This identity has allowed it to survive two wars, the Great Depression, and numerous other challenges. Today, Harley Davidson ranks 449th in the list of Fortune 500 companies. This rank is admittedly nowhere as stellar a rating as Wal-Mart’s or Ford’s; still, the company earns $40 million a year just from licensing its brand and logo.

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard of Hewlett-Packard

The garage where Hewlett-Packard had its beginnings is now referred to as the birthplace of Silicon Valley. With $538 as their start-up capital, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard set up shop in the garage of Packard’s residence in Palo Alto. Their first product, an automatic indicator for bowling alley foul lines, didn’t sell. Their second product, an audio oscillator, sold all of a measly 8 pieces to Walt Disney. Here is where most young entrepreneurs can learn that many so-called successful companies actually cut their teeth on failure.

Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler of Mattel

The company name Mattel is actually a combination of the names of its founders, Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler of Mattel. When they first began their business, they produced picture frames. However, seeing that so much material was going to waste during production, they began to use scraps to make dollhouses. Pretty soon they were getting better sales from their dollhouses than their frames, and it was only a matter of time before toys became their main line. From this company entrepreneurs can learn the value of resourcefulness and keeping avenues open when it comes to developing new product lines.

Their Common Denominator

A close look at these five companies and their founders shows the presence of several common qualities. Their founders started small and learned the business like the backs of their hands. They worked hard, came up with a good and novel product, welcomed innovations, and they never tired of improving what they had. They earned every bit of success that came their way.

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