Challenges

These problems can be classified into two categories;

The internal challenges – concerned with the business and the entrepreneur.

The external challenges – concerned with elements outside the business scope.

Considering the internal challenges, they can be further broken down into;

1) Personal breakthroughs – These are problems the entrepreneur is facing himself. They constitute the social and psychological problems.

Poor relations with family and friends; Stabilizing a business would require much of the business person’s time and efforts. This would take away the moments and periods he used to enjoy with them. This can be solved by scrapping sometime spent on the business, for embracing the company of his loved ones. It is a matter of balancing time for the business and social time. This way loneliness will be avoided during work.

Fear of failure of the business – If the businesses collapses or does not generate enough returns; the owner will lose all his investments. A business person bears this risk in his mind because it is a possibility but acts as an alarm to carefully watch the business. He can cope with this fear by establishing risk management strategies that would mitigate all kinds of risks and compensate for any loss when it occurs. This way the business will always have efforts to move on with its operations despite the impact of risks it is facing.

Risk of Career Loss; some business people give up their jobs so as to pursue their own business. Nevertheless, they may end up regretting if the business performs poorly or is shut down. That is why it is advisable to ensure the business is very stable enough to move on before sacrificing the career life. One can also do business related to his own career field so as to advance in his skills.

Ignorance of Business Ethics – This means failure to practicing ethical requirements of the business because of not being aware of those requirements. This problem can lead to the business being shut down by the authorities very fast if legal procedures have not been adhered to by the business person. To avoid this problem, a business person can seek legal representation. That is, he can employ a personal lawyer to guide him through the legal procedures and assist him to ensure that the operations of the business match with the pertinent business ethics.

Lack of expertise knowledge and experience – This can lead to the business performing poorly. If a business is unfamiliar with the nature of his business operations it would mean that he is not sure of what he is doing. He will also lack confidence communicating with the customers because he may lose all his potential customers who would realize that they are dealing with alien products. The business person would then require seeking the expertise and training he needs to carry out the business; both necessary technical and management skills.

2) Management Breakthroughs – These are problems related to the how the operations of the business are controlled. Considering that the business already has the advanced technology and qualified personnel, the main problem could be mismanagement of funds. Wrong usage of business finances can lead to a big loss. In this matter the business person should seek both surface and deep information concerning the managers he would appoint. This is to ensure that they are qualified and experienced enough to handle management difficulties.

Should You Choose a Multiple Level Marketing Home Business?

As you are searching for a home based business, you will find multiple level marketing is a common platform for many of these business opportunities. This may cause you some concerns as this business model is often greatly misunderstood. It is my hope to show you some of the reasons you may want to consider MLM business model, so that you can make an informed decision.

The multi level marketing business model has been around for the past 60+ years. Many household names use this business structure for the retail distribution of their products. Some of these names include: Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Fuller Brush and Watkins Products to name a few. At its core, MLM is a direct selling approach to retail sales. Direct selling simply means that sales are made outside of a traditional retail store setting. Sales are generally accomplished through independent business owners called distributors, representatives or consultants. This business structure provide an incredible opportunity for an individual looking to build a profitable home based business.

The first advantage of a multiple level marketing business is the low start up cost. When you join as an MLM distributor, you are essentially starting a “micro-franchise.” Most network marketing companies offer a start up cost of less than $200 and some are even free to join. When you consider that most traditional business franchises begin at $250,000 and go up from there, the low start up of a multi level marketing business becomes very attractive.

The next advantage of a multi level marketing business is the low cost of operation that is generally associated with this business model. In most network marketing businesses there are no inventory requirements. Product is shipped directly to the consumer from the manufacturer. Additionally, most companies are set up to take customer orders online, directly from the customer. These orders are placed through a coded website that allows the sale to be tracked to an individual distributor. This means that all billing and cash handling is performed by the company and the bookkeeping and accounting burden is removed from the small business owner. At the end of the sales cycle, which is typically on a monthly basis, a commission check is issued to the distributor for the previous month’s sales.

Another advantage of the the network marketing business model is the ability to build a sales team of your own. In a multiple level marketing company, you are encouraged to recruit and train other distributors, who then become a part of your sales force. You are compensated through overrides and bonuses on the sales production of your team members. A tiered compensation approach is common in most sales oriented businesses. The difference in MLM is the depth from which you are allowed to include sales production and draw overrides. Often times the depth of override compensation is allowed through 7 or 8 generational levels of distributors. The leverage on the production of others creates high earnings potential for the distributor who takes their business seriously.

These are just a few advantages found in an MLM business, but it is also necessary to address the primary drawback as well. A multi level marketing business is a business and it must be treated as such. When a home business owner doesn’t treat their business correctly, they will be very disappointed. Because of the low entry threshold, many people enter their MLM businesses with a hobbyist mentality. They lack the commitment that is necessary to make their business successful. If a home business owner is going to succeed they must make a commitment to invest time, energy and resources into their business, as would be the case with any other model of business. If you are unwilling to make a long term commitment to your network marketing business, you should not consider undertaking a home based business of this type.

Helping Business Owners Understand Their Financial Statements

There is no doubt that the current recession is as long and as hard as we’ve seen for many years. And hopefully we will not get to see again for quite some time. If you are a business owner whose business is not making a profit and you don’t have the capital to invest and keep the business going, you may be wondering about your options.

The first option is to take a real assessment of where you are at. One of the best ways of doing this is to talk with your accountant. Make sure your accountant is not simply filing your tax return to meet compliance but actually helps you look behind the numbers and understand how your business is performing.

What do you need to know?

Most business owners understand their gross sales. Some are adept at using this number to explain the success of their business. For example, have you spoken to a business owner that said “Sales are up 20% on this time last year.” They say this with great pride but that doesn’t tell the full story.

Some business owners can tell you the net profit of the business. Net profit is simply what they pay taxes on or gross sales less cost of goods less expenses. Some business owners like to say “Our bottom line was up 10% compared to last year.” This is good news but that doesn’t tell the full story.

A few business owners can get into their financial statements and understand what’s happening in their business. For this business owner it’s the Profit and Loss Statement. If they prepare this document themselves they know what’s going on, but most business owners have a resource such as a family member or at least a book-keeper to handle these details for them. However, that leads to a couple of points. The first point is that theft in small businesses, due to the recession, is at its highest in many years as the person handling the books is able to cook the books by stealing funds which the owner doesn’t know about. They can steal funds through a false invoice or buying certain goods, have the business pay for them and then take the goods back and get a refund and keep the money. There are many creative ways for someone to find money if they want to. So how does a business owner protect themselves? One of the ways is for the business owner to do a line by line check of the profit and loss statement at least on a monthly basis. Any item that appears and the owner can’t remember what the expense was for can be challenged to find an acceptable answer. It can then be wise to do random tests to make sure all expenses can be verified such as checking to make sure that new computer the sales person needed is still around or that special order of inventory was needed and did arrive etc. Testing the monthly profit and loss followed up with random checks creates good discipline and helps the owner stay on top of the critical aspect of the business but this doesn’t tell the full story of the financial health of the business.

The health of the business is really revealed by working with the Profit and Loss Statement and the owner that can read and understand the Balance Sheet. The balance sheet is the place that explains how the money coming into and going out of the business was used. It shows what’s owed and it shows what the business owns (or the assets of the business). It reveals the owner draw and investments and basic information about the Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payable and how they are tracking. If Accounts Receivables are growing then Accounts Payable may also grow but they should keep their ratio’s consistent.

The Difference Between Small Business Planning and a Business Plan

So, what’s your plan look like? You know, the plan for your business for the year? The quarter? The month? You do have one right? How will you know if you are successful?

Don’t panic. If you are like the majority of small business owners, you are not very good at planning. Not that you couldn’t be, you have just never taken the time to create a plan for your business. In fact, you wince at the thought of sitting down and trying to create a business plan. But that is where the problem is. There is a major difference between writing a business plan, and creating a simple plan for your business.

The traditional business plan is good for starting a complex business, or getting funding for a rapidly growing company, but for small and medium sized businesses, what they need is a simple business plan to run their business. A strategic, living document about what they expect to happen in the coming months or years, where they expect their business to go, and how they intend to get there.

Traditional business plans are all about theory, and possibilities and the unknown. They want you to spell out what you do know, so you can make a determination if you should start the business, or if the bank should give you the loan. But for an existing small business trying to make this year better than last year, all the while focusing on the actual running of the business, who has time to really think about all of the minutia that goes into a traditional business plan.

What most small businesses need when it comes to planning is a simple business plan that focuses on what they need to do now. It does not have to be a large, multi-page binder with appendices and graphs and charts, it can be a single page document that is all about the here and now.

There are some primary elements that your simple business plan should have. It should have a vision statement that describes what the business should look like, what it does and who its customers are or what market it serves. It should have detailed goals and objectives, or measurables, to help you measure the progress and success (or lack of…) of the business. It should also have a section on your strategies or tactics that you will employ, and it should also have a section that covers what the immediate projects or action plans are.

All of these elements should fit onto a single page. And the best part of a simple business plan like this one is that it can always be kept up to date. The plan should be used to run your business and when changes happen, and you know they will, update the plan to reflect those changes.

There is a difference between a traditional business plan and planning for your business. Use a simple business plan, on a single page to run your business, and see how much more focused your business can be.

Health Insurance And Retirement Planning

As we near the end of our working years and begin planning for retirement, one of the benefits we tend to lose out on is subsidised health insurance when we leave our place of work. When health insurance is purchased independently once retirement age has been reached, premiums can rise significantly. However, a growing number of UK health insurance companies are selling affordable policies that are specifically designed with the over 60s in mind.

The benefits of health cover for retirees are many, but a cautious eye must be cast over the possibilities of failing health as we move into the later years of our life. Sadly, the vitality of our youth is often replaced by aches, pains and ailments that require prompt medical treatment. Health insurance gives us the chance to enjoy priority treatment outside of the National Health Service over shorter periods of time.

With waiting times for NHS treatment already taking 18 weeks, private health insurance for retirement planners should be strongly considered. A typical policy will cover the cost of check-ups, which tend to become more frequent in the later years of life, and provide long-term treatment as our resistance to a wider range of medical conditions fades. Prompt treatment can often be the difference in finding a fast and permanent remedy for illnesses, or having to spend your retirement years in pain and discomfort.

If treatment is particularly urgent, a private health insurance policy will grant retirees access to private hospitals where care can be administered by experienced consultants and specialists on a one-to-one basis. If mobility is a problem, private ambulances are supplied to make transport to treatment centres more bearable.

Once in care, private health facilities are frequently cleaner and better sanitised than NHS alternatives, and this reduces the chance of being exposed to deadly bacteria such as the MRSA virus. This is even more important during the later years of one’s life, as the potential for recovery from such serious diseases becomes more difficult. Unrestricted visiting hours mans that patients can also have their families by their side at any time. This facility is very important, especially when adult children may have travelled a long way for a visit.

A private health cover policy will ensure that the retiree will obtain the best treatment, at a hospital of one’s choice, with personal attention from a consultant, without the worry of how to shoulder the financial cost.

Can California Health Insurance Unify Group And Individual Coverage?

As many as 4.57 million California residents either have no health plan or inadequate coverage. According to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, most of these people are between the ages of 18 and 44 and are male. The study also indicated that the majority of these people are healthy in spite of reduced access to health care.

Among those in need of California health coverage, a mere six percent had diabetes and only one or two percent showed signs of heart disease. Asthma rates among this group were similarly low. Only a tiny portion of these people might have been refused coverage based on pre-existing conditions, so why don’t they have coverage?

Many of them have been deprived of access to health care because they’re unemployed or work for businesses that don’t provide health insurance plans as an employment benefit. The UCLA Center evidence pointed out poor access to health care among both the uninsured and people covered with individual plans in contrast to those with group coverage.

Specifically, problems getting prescription medications hit those without group coverage the hardest. As the lead author of the study, Nadereh Pourat said, “The data show that there is a yawning divide between those who get insurance through an employer and the rest of the state.”

Changes In Health Insurance For California Expand Access To Health Care

It’s not surprising that a lack of group coverage through work hits recent graduates the hardest. According to the Commonwealth Fund, almost 40 percent of college graduates and 50 percent of high school graduates who aren’t going to college go without health coverage for at least part of their first year following graduation.

Many of the insured and the underinsured will be eligible to participate in the California health insurance exchange in 2014 when health care reform finally reaches full momentum, but that’s a long time to wait. Even healthy, young people are at risk from accidents. Maybe they don’t have to wait.

California Health Insurance Seeks A New Generation

One particular insurer is promoting a plan to get attention from young, healthy Californians. In exchange for low premiums, Anthem Blue Cross of California is offering a PPO plan called Tonik.

With a PPO, which stands for Preferred Provider Organization, you can see any doctor in the Anthem Blue Cross PPO Prudent Buyer Network. Since that’s the largest network in California, coverage is quite extensive.

Checklist of Things to Consider Before Obtaining a Quote for Canadian Health Insurance

Canadian health insurance quotes can be easily obtained, thanks to the Internet. But getting the rates of each and every provider is not the only thing you should consider. In fact, there are a number of other important factors to be taken into account in order to guarantee that you get the best price for the insurance coverage that is most appropriate for you and your family. The steps below are designed to help you out.

1. Decide how much of a deductible your finances can afford to shoulder. The deductible is the specified annual amount payable by you towards the sum of all the medical expenses you have claimed from your insurance company during the year. Keep in mind that the higher the deductible, the lower the premiums. Hence, before obtaining Canadian health insurance quotes, determine the amount of the deductible that your budget can handle with regard to your yearly health-related expenses.

2. Check if you require supplemental coverage. Because basic health insurance provided by the Canadian government is limited, you may want to include supplemental coverage in the health insurance policy you are considering i.e. critical illness insurance, vision care, as well as other types of coverage. Critical illness insurance provides assistance in the event you are unfortunately diagnosed with any of the debilitating or life threatening diseases covered by the policy. Vision insurance covers various eye care services. Once you have determined which supplemental coverage best suits your situation, the Canadian health insurance quotes you obtain will better reflect accurate prices.

3. Determine whether getting coverage for prescription drug is necessary. Coverage for prescription medications is provided under the Canadian basic health insurance plans. However, you may be limited to a specified monthly amount. Hence, if you are required to take multiple prescription drugs whereby costs are not sufficiently covered by the government health plan, you might want to consider getting additional prescription drug coverage.

4. Consider how often and how frequently you travel. If you travel several times a year, whether for business or personal purposes, you should take travel insurance into account when researching Canadian health insurance quotes because basic plans do not typically provide coverage for individuals who travel for more than one week at a time.

5. Obtain multiple health insurance quotes every time. Without a doubt, getting health insurance quotes from a few insurance providers helps in your search for the cheapest yet most appropriate health insurance coverage out there. Fortunately, this task is made easier now that it can be readily done online. Simply fill out the online forms provided on the websites of the insurers you have selected, and you can get multiple quotes within minutes. Remember, if the information you provide is essentially precise, you will obtain quotes that are relatively accurate.

6. Compare plans based on the coverage and not on the price. As thrift-minded consumers, we often tend to buy the first, cheap health insurance plan we are offered. Now, this practice can initially save you money, but should a case of illness in the family occur, you may be left with insubstantial coverage. So when you are checking out insurance plans, make sure you do not assess them merely on cost, but also on the details of the coverage.

Summer Salads Are a Great Way to Boost Health and Stay Fit

The health benefits of summer salads can be quite useful to a lot of people, especially those who engage in activities that easily drain the strength and reduce the body’s water levels. Summer salads can be found in many lunch and dinner tables this season as lots of fresh produce reach their nutritional peak and impart optimal levels of health benefits during this time. The freshest vegetables and fruits of summer can be deftly and creatively combined to produce a delicious warm-weather feast for family and friends alike.

During the summer, the warm and stifling weather can usually sap energy and water from people’s bodies at a faster pace than normal. Eating a salad is a good way to recoup these lost resources while fortifying the body’s defenses against viruses and bacteria that may cause sickness and other health challenges.

Summer salad health benefits are typically derived from the natural chemical substances that make their health food components bristle with vivid colors. Among the foods that can be included in a highly nutritious and satisfying summer salad include:

Tomatoes – The bright red color of this fruit betrays its rich lycopene content. Lycopene is a vital antioxidant that may help lower the risk of cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular ailments. Additionally, it may also help maintain skin health as well as prevent the development of neurodegenerative ailments.

Carrots – The vivid orange color of this vegetable signifies its abundant content of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Its rich beta-carotene and vitamin A content combine to make it a powerful ally against problems of the eye. It is also a potent partner in the maintenance of colon, lung and heart health. It is likewise good for maintaining skin and nail health.

Spinach – This leafy green contains considerable amounts of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is also a very good source of protein and dietary fiber. This may help fight cardiovascular ailments by lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help maintain brain health.

Lettuce – This leafy green is also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K and chlorophyll. It is believed to help facilitate good digestion and promote liver health. It may likewise help lower the risk of heart disease, strokes and cancer.

Onions – This vegetable has a rich content of sulfides, sulfoxides, thiosulfinates, and other odoriferous sulfur compounds. The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of this vegetable for the treatment of poor appetite and the prevention of atherosclerosis. Onion extracts are likewise recognized by WHO in the treatment of coughs, colds, asthma and bronchitis.

Apples – This healthy fruit contains many vitamins and minerals. It contains the substance pectin that may help lower bad cholesterol levels as well as help in lessening the severity of diabetes. It also contains the antioxidant quercetin that may help shield against Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, the flavonoid phloridzin may also help protect the bones.

Aluminum’s Transformation of the Automotive Industry

Long gone are the days when American drivers wanted to own big, bulky SUVs. While such vehicles provided extra roominess and cargo space, not to mention an aura of protection, they were also serious gas guzzlers. With U.S. gas prices still holding steady near the $4 per gallon mark, suddenly those automobile behemoths of the 1990s are no longer so attractive. The automobile industry, however, is adapting to consumer preference; and aluminum alloy, aluminum coil, aluminum foil and aluminum sheeting are paving the way for the automotive future.

Aluminum is now becoming the metal of choice as automobile manufacturers attempt to design vehicles that are lighter than those of past decades. This reduction in the poundage of their cars and trucks is enabling Americans to drive vehicles that are much more pump friendly; with a higher mileage per gallon.

Indeed, according to AluminiumLeader.com, the newest models coming off the automobile industry’s assembly lines are up to 24 percent lighter as a result of their components replacing steel with aluminum. This change “also allows fuel consumption to be reduced by 2 litres per 100 kilometres.” In American terms, this equates to 0.53 gallons for every 100 miles driven.

What is better still is that all this gas and money saving is achieved without giving up the safety features U.S. drivers demand. That is because the aluminum alloy sheeting that is being used in today’s vehicles is just as durable and strong as the heavier steels of yesteryear.

So just where is aluminum being used in the current crop of automobiles hitting the market? Drive shafts, chasses, suspension systems, braking systems and driveline systems are all beginning to incorporate aluminum into their functionality. The automobile industry isn’t stopping there.

U.S. auto manufacturer General Motors recently announced that it was “readying aluminum-body trucks by late 2018.” According to the Wall Street Journal news report related to this announcement, “pressure from federal fuel efficiency standards” is precipitating this move forward. Why the delay? “Aluminum sheet for automotive bodies is in such high demand that companies need to order it years in advance,” that’s why.

What about the competition? “Ford has already made the switch (to aluminum alloy). The latest upgrade to the automobile manufacturer’s popular pickup truck, the F-150, has a body that “is 95 percent made of a military grade aluminum alloy used in Humvees and weighs up to 700 pounds less than the current truck.”

Financial Wellness Starts With Smart Automotive Decision-Making

January is Financial Wellness Month, the perfect time of year because we can start fresh when it comes to putting all of our finances on the table and making a resolution to get them in order and make them more manageable. We resolve to save more, spend less, be more frugal when it comes to spending, and work hard at sticking to a realistic budget. If your resolution this year is to improve your personal finances or you need to make some positive changes with your money, think about making smart automotive decisions which could have an immediate impact on your monthly budget and down the road when you learn how to properly manage your vehicle.

When it comes to making big purchases, a vehicle is often the biggest investment someone will make second to their home. Saving money towards a big purchase can come in handy. When it comes to buying a pricey item, it is important to think ahead and plan accordingly. Your best bet for large purchases is to use cash, not credit cards or loans. Obviously this is not always possible (or at least for the entire purchase), so planning out the future of the purchase is vital. When you don’t buy a large purchase with cash, it is a good idea to have money saved for a good down payment at the very least. Before you sign any paperwork, be sure that you can afford the loan payments. If you don’t have money for a down payment or you’re unsure if you can afford the payments, then you are not ready to make the purchase.

According to financial experts, a hypothetical situation could be as follows. You see a $20,000 vehicle that you are interested in, but you do not have the cash to buy it outright. You decide to take out a loan. The down payment should be about 20-25% of the total to make ends meet. That means you need to save up $4000-5000 for your down payment alone. Then, finance the rest and make sure you can afford the payments. When calculating what your payment will be, you need to take sales tax and interest rates into account as well as the term of the loan.

Smart financial decisions also come after the vehicle is actually purchased. Preventative maintenance and keeping a vehicle until after it is paid off is a great way to save money down the road, but getting there takes time, money and responsibility. With the cost of new cars rising yet again, buying a previously-owned (or used) car is a good decision for many people. New cars lose a large chunk of their value as soon as they’re driven off the lot; and many people find that used vehicles are a smart financial alternative. The good news is that vehicles are made better than ever, so a used vehicle could be not only a good value, but more affordable too.