Saturday, November 10, 2012

Secrets of Donald Trump Revealed

If you're like most of the television-watching public, you're hooked on Season #2 of "The Apprentice" and the flamboyant entrepreneur in the "starring role."
Love him or hate him, you can't deny that Donald Trump is one of the world's most intriguing success stories... arrogant, conceited, and an absolute lightening rod for wealth of the largest magnitude. Trump is a billionaire! His accomplishment speaks for itself.
I like the man a lot.
One of the "big guns" leveled at "The Donald" is that he's boastful and egoistic. But while his attitude may or may not make him good company in a lifeboat, I think a "super" ego is a great characteristic to have in business.
I'll admit it: sometimes I have a big ego myself. My "ego strength" comes naturally out of the fact that I absolutely, positively believe 100% in what I do.
I have a little gadget on my desk saying, "I might be wrong, but I am never in doubt."
If that makes me an egoist... so be it. Because if you show me a person with low self-esteem, I'll show you a loser.
Self-esteem is the foundation of all achievement. You gotta love yourself. You gotta stand up for yourself. You gotta believe in yourself. And don't be afraid to toot your own horn!
Many people are conditioned that "bragging" is unseemly. But seriously, if you don't shine the spotlight on yourself, who will?
In most businesses, the owner is the "face" of that business, and he must sell himself as well as his products and services. Trump understands the concept, and what's why you see his brand "Trump" on everything.
"The Donald" knows that you've got to be your own full-time marketing campaign 24 hours a day...because nobody else will!
Especially if you're an entrepreneur.
Starting a new business is like having a new baby. In the first weeks and months, you're surrounded by support and from friends and family eager to help you with your "newborn."
But how long does that last? Not very. Suddenly you're out there on your own, and you've got to trust yourself. If you don't have confidence in yourself and in your decision-making abilities, you'll be paralyzed...unable to move.
Here's something huge: you have to believe that you'll be able to bounce back no matter what comes your way. Trump certainly has! And you can bet it was his unshakable ego that made the difference.
So, before you judge "The Donald" for being arrogant and full of himself, consider how having an over-developed ego can be a real asset.
One of the most important lessons I've learned in business is - don't criticize the negative traits of super-successful people. Instead of looking at their flaws and mistakes, say...
"What can I learn from this guy? What are some of his characteristics? How can I adapt this concept to my business?"
Frankly, if you can't pick up at least a good idea or two from a billionaire, you're pretty hopeless.
OK, enough of this "appetizing" chitchat. Let's get to the meat...
What I'd like to do is share some of the key insights I've learned from Donald Trump and successfully applied to my own life.
I'll give it to you Trump's way... then, I'll "Lok and load" it with my own personal spin.
Fasten your seat belt, because this first insight is probably THE concept that completely changed my life.
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Trumpism #1: Making It Big
"I like things big. I always have. To me, it's very simple: if you're going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big."
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Several years ago, I set a goal for myself: to make a 6-figure annual salary as a copywriter. What a small thinker I was!
Today, I've more than achieved my goal, but I didn't get the fulfillment and satisfaction that I expected. It's more like, "OK, I've achieved my goal, now what?"
What if I had set the goal to become a millionaire copywriter?
What if I set the goal to utilize my marketing and copywriting and build a $10-million company?
Would that make a difference? Would I be even more successful?
I think so.
As motivational speaker Les Brown said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."
My mother didn't raise any ignorant kids, and you don't have to tell me something twice. I've learned my lesson and adopted this philosophy in both my business and personal pursuits.
My long-term goal is building a $100 million-dollar company.
Isn't that pretty outrageous? Does it sound 'impossible'? Well, I've got a lifetime to work towards it!
And if I reach that goal, I'll set a new one!
You'll experience a paradigm shift when you think BIG. You'll look at things differently. You'll look at yourself differently.
And most of all, you'll approach your business differently.
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Trumpism #2: Accentuate the Negative
"It's been said that I believe in the power of positive thinking. In fact, I believe in the power of negative thinking. I happen to be very conservative in business. I always go into the deal anticipating the worst. If you plan for the worst - if you can live with the worst - the good will always take care of itself."
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More success, more wealth and more money are created out of knee-knocking, nail-biting desperation than out of "touchy/feely" positive thinking.
Positive thinking alone won't get you anywhere unless you combine it with practical plans, well-defined goals, follow-through, action, knowledge and persistence, etc.
I'm living proof.
I got into the copywriting business out of desperation. I still remember when I was to the world of business and no one would hire me. Feeling helpless and hopeless, I was motivated to become my own boss.
It was do or die for me...and I sure as hell wasn't about to die. And I found out that if I used the power of "negative thinking" in a good way, it was an extremely powerful motivator.
I always like to put myself in situation where I HAVE to grow, I HAVE to adapt, and I HAVE to change. I am constantly pushing the envelope and stepping outside of my comfort zone because...
The success that you want can only be found outside your comfort zone!
Any time you have a decision to make, ask yourself this, "What's the worst possible outcome? Can I handle it? Will it kill my business?"
Expect the best, but plan for the worst. Don't assume things will go smoothly because 9 times out of 10...they won't!
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Trumpism #3: Hiding Your Light Under A Bushel
"You can have the most wonderful product in the world, but if people don't know about it, it's not going to be worth much."
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I've pitched this concept until I am blue in the face to clients who stubbornly say, "I have a great product, so I don't have to advertise it."
That's insane!
No business can survive without a constant stream of qualified prospecting coming to your business. So it doesn't matter what industry you're in or what product/service you make available, whoever you are...
Essentially you're in the marketing business!
Having a good product or service is NOT enough...although it's certainly mandatory! Quality and value what brings your customers back for more.
But how the heck do they do how "wonderful" your stuff is if they haven't even bought from you yet?
In order to make a sale, you need someone you can sell to. To achieve that you need effective marketing systems to get these people in your "funnel" in the first place.
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Trumpism #4: Show Me the Money
"Don't believe the critics unless they love your work."
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I have a reputation for being blunt and aggressive. It's well deserved.
I am tough on my clients. I slap them around (figuratively, of course!). I use swear words when I write. I use even more "colorful language" when I talk.
I could be a real SOB sometime. I don't sugarcoat stuff and I definitely don't care about hurting someone's feelings. I've even fired clients on more than one occasion.
Because of my straightforward and tell-it-like-it-is style, I get a lot more criticisms than other marketing experts. Do you think I care what other critics say or think or about me? Not for a microsecond.
Because my clients either love me or they hate me. But regardless of how they feel about my style, all my clients put up with a manic like me because I make them rich, enormously rich.
And it's my satisfied clients that pay me... not dissatisfied critics.
The world is full of "naysayers" eager to find fault and point to the negative. You can't avoid them. They're a fact of life. Elbert Hubbard said it best, "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
I am a firm believer that the best way to fail is to try to please everybody. So the only criticisms I take to heart are the ones from my mentors, my closest associates, and my advisors.
Your critics aren't buying from you
Your critics don't want to see you do well
Your critics probably aren't qualified enough to criticize you!
Okay, I've "distilled" the essence of the four most intriguing concepts I've learned from Trump's books that have put money in my pocket. If you're motivated to go deeper "The Donald" has written seven incredible books (and you'll notice that each of them has "Trump" in the title!)
  • Trump: How to Get Rich
  • Trump: The Way to the Top
  • Trump: Surviving at the Top
  • Trump: The Art of the Deal
  • The America We Deserve
  • Trump: The Art of Survival

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Planning Your First Business Meeting

Are you planning your first business meeting and want to ensure you cover all your bases? Don't run around like a crazed wedding planner. Have a strategy and stick to it.
First, set the date and establish the agenda. It's important to prepare the agenda well in advance. You want to ensure everyone has a chance to look it over to get prepared and give you feed back on areas that might need to be included. In preparing an agenda, envision the purpose of the meeting. How long will it last? How many speakers/presentations will there be? How will the meeting progress? How will you reach your goal for a successful and productive meeting?
Second, set a time for the meeting to begin AND end. It is imperative that you keep the meeting on schedule. You can always go back and revisit unresolved issues as time permits.
Third, find out who needs to be invited to the meeting. Identify people who must be there to accomplish the purpose of the meeting and include people you may need to invite because of their status. Make this step easier by setting up a meeting notification procedure whether is by email or regular mail. Attach the agenda to the note so everyone is on the same page from the start. Be specific if there is homework or advance preparation for the attendees. Ask all participants to respond to ensure everyone has received the communication.
Finally, pay attention to the details and logistics. This is where a checklist pays off:
Selecting the room and accommodations
Where is the meeting being held? Is it readily accessible (wheelchairs or disability access, comfortable room with plenty of sating?
Check the temperature. There is nothing worse to dampen a meeting than a comfortable room.
Identify where the rest rooms are. Locate a place where people can store briefcases and luggage should they be traveling to attend.
Make sure there are plenty of seats with room to spread out especially if this is a "working" meeting.
Will you need a translator/s?
Will you need AV and presentation equipment at the meeting? Will the presenters need the same? (Check about microphones and podium preferences.) Be sure to find out this information well in advance so you can make the appropriate arrangements.
Test all equipment prior to the start of the meeting. If at all possible have a techie ready to handle any snafus that might occur.
Have name badges, pencils, pads of paper and other necessary meeting supplies available.
Are documents required? Will there be handouts and materials that need to be prepared?
Have them done well in advance in the event of errors.
Have a person sitting outside the room for the check in.
Distribute materials or documents at check in and register attendees.
Secure someone to take notes before the meeting starts.
If you plan to tape the proceeding tell everyone up front that you are recording.
Have water, juice, coffee and tea available. If the meeting covers a mealtime, you will also need to provide food. Make the arrangements in advance and have it delivered to the meeting so as not to interrupt the flow. Keep special dietary requests in mind. It's always best to order a couple of vegetarian items.
Depending upon the length of the meeting one or more breaks may be required. Be specific about the time allotted for the break and resume the meeting on time whether all the participants have returned or not.
No matter how well prepared you are there is always some unanticipated problem. Don't let it get you flustered. Roll with the flow. If you have used these guidelines, you can feel confident that you have done your homework. If something does go wrong, be on the ready to fix it quickly and quietly. And remember, anything can happen even to the most seasoned meeting planner. Use the event as a building block to future successful meetings.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Communicate With Your Bookkeeping

Does the thought of doing the bookwork send you into a frenzy? Do you find anything to do other than get your finances in order? You may be missing some great communication with your books, which could ultimately guide you to success in your business and your personal life.
Now this may sound a bit bizarre communicating with your books, yet so many things are communicating a message to you. You see I recently took a bookkeeping course and then QuickBooks so that I could manage my finances easier. It also deals with repetition on forms and statements saving even more time.
I realized how bookkeeping is just another form of communication. Your books tell you, on so many levels how your business is doing.
They show:
* What trends are developing
* Where most of your money is coming from
* Who your best customers are
* Where you are spending the most amount of your money
* How much is outgoing (expenses) compared with incoming(sales and revenue)
* Who is getting behind on their payments
* How much interest you're paying
* Whether you can get that purchase you wanted
In fact, math seems to have little to do with it and with today's computerized programs. They have taken care of the additions and subtraction for you. You are doing more sorting and compiling than math.
Your books tell you how things have been proceeding or not and assists you at creating long-term plans. You are supplied with the information that allows you to make a more informed decision.
For many people putting aside the math part of numbers and seeing them in a new light helps them to overcome the fear of looking at and dealing with them. When you see them as your friend, it becomes a whole lot easier to work with.
First, let say you have a question. Am I doing well enough to buy a widget for the company? When you have your books in order, they are able to give you a clear picture of how you are doing which gives you the proper information to make a decision.
You can easily put the information into a bar or graph if you are a visual person. This also gives you the data needed right at your fingertips to take to a bank for a loan or line of credit.
Some people have said it is hard to remember what all goes on a financial statement.And lists just shut them down.
I find it easier to have a picture in my head and change things into metaphors or something that I can visualize.
For example:
A financial statement gives you a clear view of how you are doing.
And on the financial statement is your:
This helps me to visualize and therefore remember what needs to be included. So the better you can communicate the details to yourself, the better the numbers will communicate how you are doing to make an informed decision.
So, what are you waiting for, get on to your books, save your self some time, stress and anxiety, and see what they are telling you.
All the Best!
Maria Boomhower
Come to my website and sign-up for my Communication Mastery Ezine
P.S. If you like what you're reading in this ezine, you'll love the book, “Overcoming Barriers to Communication.”

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Group Purchasing Organization Can Save Your Business Money

GPO's (Group Purchasing Organizations) have been around for about ten years primarily in the healthcare industry. The basic concept of a GPO is that a group of businesses can come together and buy products cheaper than any single company can. This model may or may not be beneficial for the Coca-Cola's, Wal-Mart's, or Johnson & Johnson's of the world, but they are great for the small to medium size business because they allow the little guys to buy their products on the discount level of one of these huge corporations.
As industries are expanding and products are being developed, we are seeing GPO's spread into the education, printing, office supplies, and consumer products fields. Manufacturers are willing to cut their margins and deliver products at wholesale prices for the volume of customers the GPO's offer. In most scenarios GPO's can save businesses anywhere from 20% - 40% off their already competitive prices.
GPO's are exclusive to members meaning that your business would pay a membership fee to be a part of the wholesale buying group.
Two things to consider before becoming a member of a GPO.
1. Know what and how much you're buying throughout the year for your business ex. (brochures, catalogs, envelopes, forms, paper, ink cartridges, etc)
2. Consider the membership fees versus your current cost and the savings that the GPO would deliver. If you are buying 500 business cards or 1,000 envelopes a year then a GPO would probably cost you more money than you would save.
All in all a GPO is a good way for you to effectively cut cost without having to compromise quality or service.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Developing Realistic Financial Assumptions

Many investors skip straight to the financial section of the business plan. It is critical that the assumptions and projections in this section be realistic. Plans that show penetration, operating margin and revenues per employee figures that are poorly reasoned, internally inconsistent or simply unrealistic greatly damage the credibility of the entire business plan. In contrast, sober, well-reasoned financial assumptions and projections communicate operational maturity and credibility.
For instance, if the company is categorized as a networking infrastructure firm, and the business plan projects 80% operating margins, investors will raise a red flag. This is because investors can readily access the operating margins of publicly-traded networking infrastructure firms and find that none have operating margins this high.
As much as possible, the financial assumptions should be based on actual results from your firm or other firms. As the example above indicates, it is fairly easy to look at a public company's operating margins and use these margins to approximate your own. Likewise, the business plan should base revenue growth on other firms. Many firms find this impossible, since they believe they have a break-through product in their market, and no other company compares. In such a case, base revenue growth on companies in other industries that have had break-through products. If you expect to grow even faster than they did (maybe because of new technologies that those firms weren't able to employ), you can include more aggressive assumptions in your business plan as long as you explain them in the text.
The financials can either enhance or significantly harm your business plan's chances of assisting you in the capital-raising process. By doing the research to develop realistic assumptions, based on actual results of your company or other companies, the financials can bolster your firm's chances of winning investors. As importantly, the more realistic financials will also provide a better roadmap for your company's success.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Can Help Business Concerns

A close up view of: -
Machinery loss of profit
Despite all the precautions taken by managers, companies may suddenly find itself in a situation that threaten its survival, e.g. as a result of natural disasters, accidents, fire, industrial espionage, sabotage, damage to their reputation, or the failure of a supplier, the power supply or a telecommunications network.
It is well accepted fact that risks can never be entirely eliminated. However, while corporate managements cannot guarantee that losses will be precluded, they are at least expected to deal with loss events and the attendant aftermath in a satisfactory manner.
In addition to the traditional tasks of risk management - identifying, analyzing, reducing and transferring risks companies are thus increasingly being expected to prepare systematically to deal with loss events. A step for this purpose is machinery loss of profit.
Under both machinery and fire insurance, indemnity is provided, in respect of damaged or destroyed machinery, solely for the material loss sustained by the insured. These types of insurance do thus not protect the insured against all the losses which arise in connection with a fire or the breakdown of machinery, since in most cases a material loss also causes an interruption or interference of the insured's business operations. The result is a financial loss in the form of lost profit and unearned standing charges. In many cases the loss sustained as a result of an interruption or interference of business operations by far exceeds the mere material loss.
An awareness of the need for insurance protection against the financial consequences of material damage arose at the beginning of this century, and the result was the introduction of the two variants, loss of profits following fire insurance and loss of profits following machinery breakdown insurance - also called machinery loss of profits (MLOP) insurance. As the size of modern production facilities increases, MLOP insurance is becoming more and more important. The individual production stages in modern processes are often accomplished by just one machine, the failure of which leads to substantial interruption losses.
Machinery loss of profit policy is just a replica of fire loss of profit policy. Like fire loss of profit is require standard fire policy same with MLOP. It requires machinery break down policy or boiler and pressure plant policy or eclectic equipment policy. In US it is known as Business interruption insurance. Sometimes it is also called as business income coverage or loss of profit insurance, is typically a rider or endorsement added to a business's property/casualty policy. As such, what's covered under the main property/casualty policy will determine what is and is not covered for business interruption. For example, P/C policies typically cover fire, but not floods or earthquakes, so if an earthquake damages the business, your business interruption coverage won't kick in unless insured have obtained additional coverage for earthquakes.
Need for MLOP
Business expert Ms.Meenakshi Gupta said this policy is must for every business organization as the market competitions is so tight that one minor loss can ruin the whole business.
The incident of machinery breaks down not only cause loss of property to industry but result in stoppage of work, resulting in loss of production and loss of fixed charges which ultimately results in loss of profit. To cover loss of profit because of machinery breaks down it requires a specific policy given with machinery break down policy or boiler and pressure plant policy or eclectic equipment policy.
The basic features of MLOP insurance will be dealt with.
1 Subject matter insured
MLOP insurance provides cover for the actual loss of profits sustained as a result of a business interruption caused by material damage indemnifiable under machinery insurance. MLOP insurance provides indemnity also in cases where the material loss amount falls below the deductible to be borne by the insured under the machinery cover. Basically speaking, a loss due to an interruption or interference of business operations is made up of the following factors:
1. The reduction in operating profit, i.e. the profit from selling the goods produced and traded by the insured and from rendering services.
2. The standing charges, i.e. the costs incurred entirely or in part if operations are interrupted or impaired. These comprise wages and salaries, including social security contributions if they continue to become due during the interruption; interest, economic depreciations, basic rates for third-party energy, expenses for the current upkeep of buildings and machines, rent, taxes and other non-specified working expenses, expenses for the preservation of vested rights, insurance premiums and other business expenses, e.g. guaranteed commissions.
3. Not included in standing charges, however, are turnover taxes and expenses for raw or auxiliary materials, fuels and goods purchased unless they serve to continue operations; excise taxes, freight charges, specified license and inventor's fees and similar expenses. Loss minimization costs are also covered if they lower the insurer's obligation to indemnify. These include expenses that avoid, minimize or terminate an interruption loss soon after the occurrence of material damage.
Loss minimization is of great importance in MLOP insurance. The following are examples.
1. Purchase/sale of semi-finished goods
2. Provisional repairs
3. Early overhauls
4. Purchase of non-identical (but compatible) machinery
5. Express, airfreight
6. Overtime work, additional shifts, work on Sundays
7. To accelerate repairs on undamaged machines to reduce the interruption loss
8. Rent of machinery (e.g. transformers, boilers, compressors)
9. Shifting of operations to alternative plants
10. Making up for the production loss after reopening
Machinery loss of profit policy gives cover against consequential losses following loss or damage to the property insured under machinery breakdown and/or boiler and pressure plant insurance. This policy covers actual financial losses suffered by the insured due to business interruption arising from:
a) Reduction in turnover and
b) Increase in cost of working
The standard policy thus insures the loss of gross profits in the business because of accident to the machinery, boiler and pressure plant, electric equipment covered under respective policy.
What Can Be Insured?
Continuing Overhead Expenses: - which have to be met out of reduced earnings such as rent, taxes, interest on debentures, mortgages and loans.
Increase in Cost of Working: - necessarily incurred to overcome or to minimize the effects of damage upon the business such as renting of temporary premises, hiring of machinery or extra labour costs.
Loss of Profit: - which would be earned by industry if there was no damage to machinery.
Wages: - of employees not gainfully employed during the interruption period and payments to employees whose services are no longer required.
Indemnity Period
In contrast to a material loss, the loss of profits following a business interruption depends on the time factor involved. In other words, the longer the period for which operation is interrupted or impaired, the greater the loss of profits. For this reason it is essential to set a certain limit for the period during which the insurer is obliged to provide indemnity for an interruption loss. This is done by the insured specifying an indemnity period limit which represents the maximum time for which an insurer is liable for loss of profits. The period of indemnity begins on the date on which material damage could first be said to have occurred, as judged according to the recognized principles of engineering, at the latest, however, on the date when the loss of profits commenced. Generally the indemnity period limit is three, six, nine or twelve months. The basic rule is that the indemnity period limit should relate to the amount of time required for removing the interruption loss, i.e. for repairing the machinery damaged or for the delivery of new machinery in cases of a total loss, assembly and trial run. Higher premiums are, of course, charged for long indemnity period limits.
In other words the indemnity period commences with the date of damage and lasts till such a time as the business is restored to its pre damaged level or the period stipulated policy which ever comes first. The policy insures earnings of the business lost during the indemnity period. But in any case indemnity period will not exceed 12 months.
Graph showing relation of indemnity period with damage
Sum Insured
Sum insured is net profit plus standing charges. For calculating profit past years data are taken. It is difficult to calculate gross profit for future so it is allowed to increase gross profit by 50%.
Refund of premium is allowed if estimated figure is more then the actual figure but subject to that refund does not exceed 50% of premium collected.
Premium rates depend on the critical nature of the machinery covered by the breakdown or explosion policies; their relative importance and contribution to final output; the repairs, maintenance and stand by facilities available and the indemnity period opted.
1. Loss or damage to machinery or other items which are not listed in the list of machinery insured even if the consequence of material damage to an item indicated in the list of machinery insured is involved
2. Any restriction on reconstruction or operation imposed by any public authority
3. Shortage, destruction, deterioration and spoilage of or damage to raw materials, semi-finished or finished products or catalyst or operating media even if the consequence of material damage to an item indicated in the list of machinery insured is involved
4. Alterations improvements or overhauls being made while repairs or replacements of damaged or destroyed property are being carried out
5. Extension of repair period beyond 4 weeks on account of
a. Inability to carry or delays in carrying out repairs
b. Prohibition to operate the machinery due to import and/or export customs & other restrictions or by statutory regulations
c. Inability to secure or delays in securing replacement parts, machines or technical services
d. Transport of parts to and from the insured premises
6. Willful acts or Gross Negligence on the part of Insured &/or his employees
7. War or warlike operations, Civil Commotion, Strike & Locked-out workers
8. Nuclear reaction, nuclear radiation or radioactive contamination
9. Loss or damage caused by any faults or defects existing at the time of commencement of this insurance within the knowledge of the insured or his responsible representatives whether such faults or defects were known to Company or not
Time exclusion
Explosive factory, petrochemical, power plant and fertilizers 14 days exclusion where as in other industry it is 7 days.
Underwriting consideration
- Risk inspection report.
- Description of plant
- Date of make
- Work performed
- Alternative means of working
- Repair time
- Spare parts held
- Unattended plant
- Percentage of daily loss. Incase production is halted.
- Any alternative means of working available.
- Stand by machine.
- Breakdown experience.
The possibilities of loss minimization
The results of MLOP insurance depend to a great extent on the loss minimization measures taken. It is therefore quite obvious that this topic deserves special attention. Such measures for loss minimization are, for example, the hiring of substitute motors, generators, transformers, boilers, small turbines, etc. or the speeding up of repair work by carrying out complex welding operations even on high-alloy materials or using metalock and other special repair methods on the damaged components.
Terms used in policy:
The following terms used in this policy will be defined as follows:
a. Gross Profit is defined as the sum produced by adding to the Net Profit the amount of all insured fixed charges. If there is no Net Profit the amount of all insured fixed charges less that proportion of any loss from business operations as the amount of the insured fixed charges bears to all fixed charges.
b. Net Profit is defined as the net operating profit exclusive of all:
1) Capital receipts and accruals; and
2) Outlay properly chargeable to capital;
Resulting from the business of the Insured at the described location after due provision has been made for all fixed charges and any other expenses, including depreciation, but before deduction of any taxes on Profits.
c. Insured Fixed Charges are defined as all fixed charges unless specifically excluded in the declarations.
d. Sales are defined as the money paid or payable to the Insured for:
1) Goods sold and delivered; and
2) Services rendered;
e. Rate of Gross Profit is defined as the rate of Gross Profit earned on the sales during the twelve (12) full calendar months immediately before the date of physical loss or damage to the insured property.
f. Standard Sales are defined as the sales during that period in the twelve (12) months immediately before the date of the loss or damage to the insured property which corresponds with the period of indemnity.
Marketing aspect for betterment of MLOP policy in India
Capered to other products of engineering insurance, MLOP is very less in number. This product requires proper advertisement and making the small business owner aware of this policy. This policy is more suitable for small industrial sector of India which facing many difficulties. Agents are required to train about coverage and usages of policy, so that they will be in position to explain other. Special advertisement campaign is required.
Vishnu Ramdeo
MBA (Insurance)
National Law University

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Look Forward and Learn

Our calendars are full, and our to-do lists are long. We live in a world that seems to bring more information, expectations and options to us each day and all of these things tend to accelerate the pace of our lives.
There was a time, not that long ago that a trip across the United States. would take a couple of days by train. While this was much faster than previously available transportation, it is still quite leisurely compared to the 4-5 hour flight that we can now take.
In those seemingly slower times we surmise that we would have had time to stop and think. Today we argue our time is limited and too valuable to stop and just think. There is too much to do. It is precisely because of all of the tasks, stimulus and diversions that it is important that we stop.
Just stop and think.
Maybe you can't or don't want to do this every day. Even so, there are a variety of times in our professional and personal lives when we will especially benefit from looking at the past to help us prepare to be more successful in the future.
As leaders and professionals, the times might include:
o At the end of a project
o Before the start of a new project
o After a team or organizational milestone has been reached
o At the start of a New Year
o When a team is formed
o When team membership has changed
As individuals the times for doing this include:
o At the start of a new job
o At the time of a major life change
o After reaching a major goal or milestone (turning 30, finishing your college degree, etc.)
o At the start of a New Year
o At the start of a new calendar quarter
All of these are excellent times to count our lessons, capitalize on our experience and gauge our wisdom. In other words - these are times to capture what we have learned so that we can capitalize on that learning as we move into our future.
Take the time to both look back and look forward from your current situation. One of the best ways to do that is with questions.
Before beginning, find a quiet comfortable place to sit down with a pad of paper or your journal. This is not a task best suited for typing at your computer. There is something about physically writing your responses to these questions that is valuable.
Remember that what you write is for your eyes only - which means it may have doodles, drawings, arrows, phrases, and incomplete sentences - whatever. This is not meant to be literature; rather it is a place and a process for you to capture your thoughts so that you can use those insights.
Here then are 12 questions that you can use to help you with this important task.
o What is the most valuable thing I learned?
o Who did I learn the most from?
o What was the most fun?
o What did I accomplish?
o What would I have done differently (or would I do differently, knowing what I know now)?
o What are the three most significant events?
o How did I most contribute to those around me?
o What do I feel best about?
o What am I grateful for?
o How will these lessons benefit me or change my approach in the future?
o Who do I most want to learn from now?
o What are my goals?
Don't get overwhelmed by the number or nature of these questions. They are guidelines. You may not be able to complete all of your writing in one sitting - that is OK too. What is important is that you take advantage of the opportunity to learn from your experience.
The process can be used with a project or work team, board or others. The questions can be slightly modified and the process now likely involves flipchart paper rather than a journal, but the reasons for doing it are just as compelling and the results just as valuable.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Listening When You Don't Want To

I've said it in a hundred training workshops. Listening is important. I don't know why I say it - everyone already knows it. Whether talking to leaders, coaches, trainers, meeting facilitators, plant operators or anyone else, I'm sure the reaction is the same.
"Duh, Kevin, that's profound."
I believe we all know how to be great listeners when we really want to be. Times like: on a second date, when comforting someone who is hurting, when helping someone we care about. All of these are times we have experienced, and if our listening were graded in these situations, we would all score high.
So, listening is a skill we already have, and can perform quite well in certain situations. The problem is we don't practice our skills at our best in nearly enough situations.
In fact, there are sometimes that we are awful listeners. Times like:
- When we are angry.
- When we are busy.
- When we don't care or are uninterested.
- When we are bored.
Most of us aren't very good listeners in these situations. But it is in many of these situations when improving our listening habits will pay us the biggest dividends. What can we do then to improve our listening habits in these difficult times?
The Seven "Gets"
There are seven specific "Gets" that I recommend to you in any situation when you aren't at your listening best. Here they are:
Get Curious. I learned this in college. I was most successful in classes I was interested in. So, to improve my success in other classes I looked for what I found interesting or wondered about. When I got more curious I became more interested, listened more carefully and was more successful. The same is true for meetings or one-on-one conversations. Become curious and you will listen more carefully, ask questions for clarification and understanding, and voila! boredom becomes interest.
Get a pen. Taking notes when listening has a way of keeping your mind on task. It shows the other person that you are genuinely interested and helps you hear for important facts, feelings and other information. You may not want to bring out your notebook in every conversation, but there are many situations, especially in our professional lives where taking notes will increase your listening effectiveness significantly.
Get focused. The last two pieces of advice help us focus, for sure. Beyond that though we can improve our listening by shutting off our brain a bit. Stop thinking about the call you need to make. Stop thinking about your other project. Stop, and listen.
Get over it. Perhaps someone is talking about something you don't agree with, or they have hit a hot button with one of their comments. Often at this point we stop listening and await our chance to rebut, restate or renounce their comments. Get your mind back into listening mode by telling your mind to "Stop!" If you have a passionate point to make your passion will help you communicate it. Keep listening, and state your ideas when the time is right.
Get over yourself. Sometimes we are angry or frustrated about things that are unrelated to what the speaker is saying. In these cases we need to get over ourselves and get into the other person. The speaker may need counsel or acknowledgement from us, or may need our help on something very important. Get over your stuff and listen. Don't take your anger out on the other party just because they are there. Hint: Listening isn't about you.
Get space. Sometimes we can delay a conversation if we are really upset or otherwise distracted. If the situation allows you to get back with the other person, be honest and tell them that you need a few minutes before you will be able to truly listen to them. They will appreciate your comments and be pleased to have a better listener in front of them at that future time.
Get in practice. Since listening is a skill, we can practice it. When we practice doing something we build a habit. So practice better listening skills all of the time, especially when it is easier to do so. Then the next time you don't really want to listen, your habits will kick in and you will be more effective.
Each of these seven will help you listen better in the difficult situations. I encourage you to take this advice, applying at least one of them today to the next listening challenge you face.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Check 21 Legislation

The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, more commonly known as 'Check 21', came into effect on Oct 28th, 2004. Essentially a means of ending the slow, costly and inefficient reliance on the physical transportation of paper checks; Check 21 allows banks to transmit electronic images of the check through the clearing process. While the advantage of this legislation to banks is self-evident, what is less clear to many merchants and retailers is how they can benefit and how Check 21 will affect the way they do business .
How Check 21 Works
Check 21 works by sanctioning a legal replacement for checks, called the "substitute check," which can be generated from a check image file when the paying bank and/or the check writer insists on receiving paper rather than electronic check images as proof that a payment occurred and was settled.
Although the Federal Reserve regulations  suggest that substitute checks must be created by the banks themselves, it does allow banks to enter into agreement with merchants to allow merchants themselves to capture check images at the point of sale and begin the truncation/electronic clearing process then. This means that Check 21 has significant advantages for businesses that accept check payments.
Advantages of Check 21
One of the primary benefits of Check 21 over other electronic check processing options, such as ACH conversion, are that all types of checks, including corporate checks, can be truncated. This means that Check 21 is not limited to retail stores and companies accepting consumer checks. Any business that accepts check payments may take advantage. Additionally, the Check 21 regulations mean that a check imaged and truncated at the point of sale continues to be covered by check law even though it clears electronically.
When checks are truncated and electronically deposited, funds are posted to the merchant's account the very next day, even if the electronic files arrive at the bank after 9:00 pm. Combine this with the fact that businesses using Check 21 processing effectively eliminate bank runs, get earlier warning on 'problem' checks & can process checks as they are received and the benefits of the new Check 21 legislation become very clear.
What's Required For Check 21
All that's required for companies wishing to process checks in this way is a check scanner and some Check 21 compatible software. There are a number of inexpensive check scanners on the market, such as those available from Magtek and Integrated Financial Systems .
While large corporations may find it of value to invest in in-house Check 21 processing software, this is an expensive option and not suitable for all. A better choice for most small and medium sized businesses is to utilize an online solution via a third party payment processor. For a small per-transaction fee, businesses can simply scan and transmit their checks into the secure software, view files and export them to in-house accounting packages. Such third party processors mean that any business of any size will be able to take full advantage of the Check 21 legislation.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Three Growth Secrets from Guy Kawasaki

Once upon a time, business schools taught us classical marketing, strategy, and sales models and defended those models with research and case studies. For today's entrepreneurial leaders, those approaches may do more harm than good.
Guy Kawasaki's latest business handbook, "The Art of the Start--The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything," will turn many traditional business growth strategies on their heads.
As Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, a columnist for, and legendary Apple Computer Fellow, Guy has played the role of salesman, jewelry designer, venture capitalist, and computer evangelist. Few leaders have re-invented themselves as many times as Guy. His insights have helped launch successful startups such as Tripwire, Bitpass, GuruNet, and Santa Cruz Networks.
In a nutshell, Guy offers several strategies: Make meaning first; make money second. Burn the crusty mission statements on the wall. Polarize your market and let a thousand flowers bloom.
What does he really mean?
Leaders who want to re-energize a fledgling corporate division, or want to increase the odds of launching a successful startup cannot afford to ignore this time-tested advice from Guy.
"Got Meaning?"
The first "antique" startup strategy is over-dependence on wordy mission statements. Guy pities (and ridicules) most mission statements that he sees in the business plans that get submitted to Garage Technology Ventures. Says Kawasaki; "Mission statements were originally meant to be short and memorable; but end up looking more like 'mission impossible.'
He prefers companies who instead create a mantra, and use that mantra to drive innovation, hiring, marketing, and sales. Powerful mantras contain no more than 4 words, and can be memorized easily. Wendy's Restaurant is remembered for "Healthy Fast Food." Mary Kay is "Enriching Women's Lives." Mantras are even beginning to infiltrate the technology industry, which has been historically driven by buzzword-heavy, self-centered mission statements: "Change Powered by Cisco."
Guy asserts that any good mantra will fulfill one of these criteria: It either increases the quality of people's lives, stops or minimizes something that is not working in the world, or perpetuates something that is good.
Love Thy Enemies
Guy believes that polarizing the market will naturally happen in companies that love what they offer. Says Kawasaki, "Just accept that certain clients will absolutely agree with you, and that certain clients will absolutely loathe your service no matter how you try to convince them otherwise." The Toyota Scion is a classic example. Toyota expects very few buyers over 30 years old to buy this vehicle. "You should strive for creating great passion in a very specific market. Polarization is a much better alternative than creating the dangerous position of creating a big market of buyers who are ambivalent, or just don't care."
Market polarization is a proven strategy in the technology marketplace. "You don't get to be industry standard by appealing to everybody immediately," says Kawasaki. As "Inside the Tornado" author and technology marketing expert Geoffrey Moore recommends, recommends identifying very specific niche markets first, and becoming the dominant player. Then companies are in a position to determine how they can penetrate additional markets.
On the other hand, Guy suggests that companies remain open to brand new, untapped market opportunities. Like it or not, new clients will buy new solutions, and stump even top market segmentation experts. Guy recommends, "Let a thousand flowers blossom. That's a good thing. Take the money!"
Sucking Down is a Good Thing
One of Guy's favorite expressions when describing ways to penetrate corporate accounts is to "suck down and suck across." He asserts that too much time and sales training dollars are spent on getting to know the Very Important Top Officers (VITO) in their accounts. Sales teams are often over-investing their time trying to suck up to C-level executives while ignoring many lower ranking influencers.
Guy's "Making Rain" chapter shares my personal story of how I sold $334,000 worth of enterprise software to a large Miami insurer. I owe much of my success to the time I spent working with Armando, the top level Data Base Administrator-the man who occupied the smallest cubicle and the carried most influence with the CIO.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tips to Curb Employee Abuse

Looking for a way to save your enterprise or government organization tens of thousands of dollars a month or more on wireless mobile communication use? First off, it's going to take some discipline and innovative management for your cellular communication services to become more cost efficient and less prone to abuse. Cell phone and handheld usage can bleed a corporation's IT communications funding dry without so much as a turn of the head, or at least until it's too late.
They're Everywhere ...
It's more common than not for a large organization to have employees carrying company owned devices such as cellular phones, pagers, PDAs, and Blackberry devices. All these wireless devices meant to increase employee productivity are more than likely draining funds and ultimately decreasing actual corporate productivity. It's an ever increasing telecommunications expense on a road to disaster.
One is Better ...
One way to better manage corporate employee mobile communication cost is to buy ALL cellular services through ONE provider. Buying through one provider gives your organization the chance to receive volume discounts. If you are giving your employees the opportunity to purchase their company wireless device themselves on the corporate account, you are opening the door to higher rates and actually taking away control from the company as a whole.
Close To Home ...
Secondly, audit not just the usage, but who uses the mobile communications. You need to investigate exactly who is a necessity mobile user and who is not. An office employee who spends most of their time within corporate headquarters and who is not prone to traveling; may very well be responsible for inflated mobile usage. An employee calling friends and even relatives overseas is not entirely uncommon. This kind of abuse has been known to accumulate to a bill well over a $2,000.00 in a matter of days with just one employee.
Allowance, Not Just For Teens Anymore ...
It's important to weed out vanity from necessity. If the hardship of striping cell phones and their usage from employees is too hard to bear, consider revising this strategy. A method that can be effective is allotting an allowance to employees on their usage. In other words, set up a preset amount of acceptable minutes per month per employee type. If any employee goes over their allotted amount of minutes, it is garnished from their paychecks. Many companies have deployed this method to curb abuse with much success.
Reward the Good ...
In addition to an allowance program, a rewards program could be put in place as well. To sweeten the sour, award the employee with the least amount of minutes a percentage of the company savings. Let it be announced beforehand and you may find employees trying to conserve so they can take home a larger paycheck. To make it more viral, perhaps first, second, and third place winners every month. That will ensure that employees know more than one employee each month will go home with a fatter paycheck. Increasing the odds always helps feed the fever. Works in Vegas, right?
Easier Said than Done ...
Now, keeping track of who is who and who calls what can equal to a big headache and ultimately take more time and money to manage. Luckily there are some companies out there that make a living from auditing and managing wireless bills or supplying the firmware to do so. While costs associated with such services vary, they are valuable and more importantly; save money. Some of the companies that provide these services include Let's Talk , Traq, and Vercuity.
Carriers Feel Your Pain ...
Aside from these companies that audit, track, and manage wireless usage, the mobile communications industry has seen the aches and pains of employee abuse. Many cellular carriers now offer more cost effective wireless options for large employers knowing of employee abuse and the minutes (money sacrificed. In other words, lower rates for the higher volume to curb the cost of abuse whether or not it is taking place.
One of the better cell phone providers for corporate services is Nextel. They offer over the phone ordering exclusively for corporate volume clients for all products and services which include some good plans for busy mobile users. You can call them toll free at:
1-866-720-4177 Business Code: 15376 Reference: LL UNLIMITED