segunda-feira, 29 de junho de 2009

Business Writing

Even in the relative meritocracy in which we work and live, people still judge others to a large extent by the quality of their written words. Consciously and subconsciously, clients and colleagues make determinations about another’s education and competence when reading their correspondences.

Sadly, secondary schools have subordinated the importance of proper language skills in attempts to make education more “relevant” to their diverse student bodies. This course was created to enhance the image of the company and the advancement of the participants by addressing the common mistakes that signal lack of written language skills.
In either a one-day or half-day format, participants will secure the skill base to compose and refine written communications that both get to the point and reflect well on themselves and their firms. Lecture and demonstration content for both time-frame formats are the same.

The WRITE Method
Among the characteristics of good business writing are clarity, precision, and economy of language. Yet, as students discover for themselves in class, most people write with none of these requisites because they've never been taught a method to do so. Participants in this course learn to differentiate between the different types of information that make up their messages, namely:
W - to Whom it is written
R - Real meat of the message
I - Information on background
T - Take these steps
E - End it

When they discover that different types of information impart different cues to the reader, they learn to arrange their messages in an order that gives all of their words their proper place - resulting in economy, precision, and clarity.

On this video, Jack Appleman talks about his book "10 Steps to Successful Business Writing":

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American English Business Idioms

For better or worse, the American workplace is full of idioms.

People don’t begin a project. They “get a project off the ground.”
They don’t call each other to discuss progress – they “touch base.”
Later, if the project is not going well, they don’t end it. They “pull the plug.”

Here are some idioms you're likely to encounter in the workplace. They're taken from the book, Speak Business English Like an American, which contains over 350 business-related idioms and expressions. After getting to know the idioms, listen for them in everyday conversations and look out for them in newspapers and magazines.

Now, take a look on this video about Business Idioms:

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quinta-feira, 25 de junho de 2009

Preparing to Sell Your Business

Thinking about selling your business? If so, take the following steps now to ensure that you get the most money possible for all your hard work and make the process as swift and painless as possible.

Keep good records: This is the first thing potential buyers and their advisors will want to see when buying or valuing your business. With today’s computer technologies and programs, you have no excuse not to have your business records completely automated. This way you can produce up-to-the-minute profit and loss statements and a current balance sheet. Any bank considering financing the acquisition of your business will look at three years of earnings to decide how much it can lend to the buyer. If the buyer cannot get enough money from a bank, you have two choices: Finance the sale yourself, or sell for less. Keep good records and you’ll be more likely to sell for a higher price.

Grow earnings: Up trends are very important. A buyer will value your business’s future earnings based on past results. If the numbers on the chart are rising, future earnings will have a growth trend, too, and the value will be higher. To grow earnings, implement a new marketing and advertising plan, hire those new salespeople, and get revenue moving. Don’t wait to sell when your business is tailing off.

Deposit all cash in the bank: Most buyers place a value only on revenue they can see. That means what’s in the bank and on the tax return. Yes, you will pay more in taxes today doing so, but you will get a multiple of that cash back when you sell.

Separate fringe benefits from real expenses: Only run legitimate expenses through the business. Rather than having to explain all the personal expenses you are paying through the business, just clean it up. A bank will not recognize these personal add-backs when considering a loan.
Put proper management and staff in place: A business run by family members will be difficult to transition to a new owner. Your best bet is to phase the family out and keep or hire staff that will stay on after the sale. Also, no buyer wants to work 60-plus hours a week. If you work that much, hire and train a manager you can delegate to before you try to sell.
Have room for growth: If your business facility is cramped or the business is limited by the current location and equipment, that ceiling of revenue and profit will be reflected in your valuation. Either sell before your business gets to this point, or buy needed equipment and move to a larger location before selling.

Keep your facility in good repair: Your business’s value will be higher if everything works and looks nice. Buyers will want everything in working order at the day of closing, even that old piece of equipment you don’t use anymore.

Control, manage, and document inventory: Don’t play with inventory as a tax-savings strategy. It will catch up with you someday, and you could face large tax consequences. Plus, you need to keep your inventory lean and moving. If it’s old, donate it or mark it down. Your balance sheet will shine, and so will your business ratios.

Once you’ve prepared your business for sale, you’ll need to decide how to sell the business and how to close the deal.

Peter Berg is managing director for Transworld Business Brokers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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quarta-feira, 24 de junho de 2009

Wireless Power: The Office of the Future Arrives

Imagine an office with no cords and wires to clutter your desk or clog your power strips, one where you can simply put your cell phone down on a special pad or set your laptop on your desk and your device will automatically charge with literally no strings or cords attached. This office of the future is not a fantasy. It’s become a reality with the emergence of wireless power, a concept that has finally been realized and is poised to forever change the way we live our lives and work.
Wireless power works with devices that create an electromagnetic conduit for electricity to travel through, eliminating the need for cords and wires as with traditional electrical currents. Wireless power can be used to charge virtually any device and will safely charge only the devices it is compatible with. The technology is even smart enough to adjust to the specific energy needs of each device, so everything that is enabled to receive wireless power will get a safe charge.
Some companies, such as WildCharge, provide a small pad or mat that mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and headsets can be placed on to charge. These charging pads are universal adapters that will power a wide range of mobile devices and allow you to charge up to four devices simultaneously. They also come in several sizes so they can be used in the office or on the road. The downside of these charging pads is that they require you to attach a small wireless adapter to the mobile device in order to charge, which takes just as much effort as plugging the device into a power cord. This extra effort is minimized if you purchase a special skin or case with a built-in receiver that always stays on the device.
Other companies, such as Powermat and eCoupled, are integrating this mat technology on a larger scale by embedding these mats or “hot spots” under surfaces such as desktops, countertops, and walls, so they aren’t visible. This means you can power up and charge your laptop plus any other enabled device, such as cell phone, mouse, printer, speakers, and so on, simply by placing them on your desk and sliding them over the contact points. No more crouching under your desk to organize wires and power cords. You could even mount a TV or a computer screen on your wall without ugly wires hanging down. In the near future, you will be able to turn your entire desk or any other surface in your home or office into a wireless power source, eliminating the need to find contact points.
As convenient as this is for the office, consider the significance this will have for mobile employees. eCoupled, for example, promises powered cup holders and other hot spots throughout the car that will allow you to charge your phone, PDA, removable global positioning system, mobile PC, and other mobile devices wire-free. This means you’ll never be stuck on the road again with a powerless device, and you’ll gain freedom from a cluttered car full of wires.
Many of these wireless power sources are already available at reasonable prices, so research the options that will work best for you. It’s only a matter of time until power cords join typewriters as an archaic symbol of a bygone office.

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