Monthly Archives: June 2016

Advantages of Partnership

The other day, I was approached by a friend who wanted to start a new business, and offered me to be a potential partner. Even though it charged me up to the core, it made me anxious when I envisioned the forthcoming challenges in our transition from friends to business partners, and establishment of a business relationship with him. A partnership is successful when you’re in good terms with the person you’re going to work with, but it may not always be true. After all, just like any other venture, there can be many advantages and disadvantages of partnerships.

In simple terms, a business partnership accounts for a relationship that exists between two or more individuals who undertake and carry on a business. Partners contribute funds, property, skills, and labor, and are expected to have an equal share in both the profits and losses made by the business. While partnerships are easy to establish, there are also many positive and negative aspects they involve later on. It is always recommended you learn the various pros and cons that the business of partnership entails. Hence, following are the essential points which talk about the pros and cons of partnerships. Check them out:

Advantages of Partnership

  • Simply put, more than one owner of a business introduces more money to help starting a business.
    2. There is a combination of talents, skills, and experience with the involvement of new partners, which may help in increasing the profits and cost-effectiveness of the business.
  • A partnership brings about better administration and financial planning which is otherwise difficult in case of a single owner of the business.
  • It is easy to expand the business with new partners being involved, since there is no hassle of managing the entire business on one’s own.
  • All partners have an equal say in the matters of financial management, which fosters them to work whole-heartedly for the betterment of their company.
  • Post the payment of super tax to the government, the profits made by the company are equally divided among the partners. It is then that they can pay tax to the government on the shares of profit they’ve received.
  • In case of a loss, partnership renders moral support, thus, enabling for an even more insightful point of view.
  • There is lesser room for rash decisions as the decision-making process is the field of performance for al partners.

Techniques of Debt Management

The main reason why so many people today find themselves in debt is due to rampant usage of credit cards! Yes, it’s true. Credit cards offer the convenience of buying the goods today and paying for them later. This convenience has been misused by our generation beyond belief.

Debt is a dreaded word! Once you fall in it, it takes a lot of planning and perseverance on your part to get yourself out. It would take some really good finance management techniques to bail yourself out of this unwanted situation.

Make a Monthly Budget and Stick to it
It’s very important that you make a budget every month, listing all your income and necessary expenses. Then, there is always some unnecessary expenditures that you can certainly do without. For instance, buying new clothes and cosmetics even when you have a cupboard full of them, taking a yearly membership of a gym when you do not even go there once a week etc. So the first advice is to eliminate all unnecessary expenditures, prepare a monthly budget, and stick to it.

Consolidate your Liabilities
With debt consolidation, you can transfer all your overdue finances from various credit cards, to one single card. This will lower the overall interest rate that you pay on the bills, and at the same time, will save you the headache of keeping track of a number of credit cards, their due dates, and due amounts.

Negotiate for Lower Interest Rates
Negotiate with the creditors, be it banks or private lenders, to lower your interest rates or the amount due. A good way to negotiate, provided you have the money, is to offer them a lump sum, which is lesser than the amount you own, all at once. Sometimes the creditors may agree to this arrangement, if they feel that they might lose out on the entire money you owe them.

Take Help from Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS)
Get in touch with CCCS for debt reduction assistance. They have certain eligibility criteria which you have to meet first. After that, they will negotiate with your bank to lower the interest rate on the credit card. The CCCS will pay your credit card company and you in turn will have to pay them some predetermined amount at regular intervals.

Become a Smart Shopper
When you set out for shopping, make use of coupons wherever you can. Shopping from second hand stores, shopping for things online, and buying from discounted stores are some of the ways to reduce spending, which will keep in check any further additions to your debt.

Use Cash for Payments and Keep Only One Credit Card
Wherever possible, use cash for payments. This will ensure that you only buy things for which you have money available. Reduce your credit card usage to the minimum. One of the best tips here is to keep only one credit card and give up the rest. This way, you won’t have to keep a track of multiple due dates for bill payment, and this will keep the tendency to default on payments due to bad memory, under check.

Take a Second Job!
If you are finding paying off your bills a bit difficult due to low income, supplement it by taking up a second part-time job. Internet has opened up many avenues for earning some good, extra income from the convenience of your home.

One of the major benefits of debt management is that if your finances are sorted out, you will be able to lead a very stress-free and happy life. Finally, once you have got your finances in order, spend wisely and inculcate the habit of saving. This will keep you from falling into the vicious cycle of debt again.

Advantages of E-business

E-business is a monolithic term encompassing the various business processes that aim to integrate the vendors or traders with the consumers and suppliers using the Internet. The entire process of setting up a website, helping the prospective customers navigate through the website, showing them the available products, offering discounts and vouchers and doing everything possible to woo the prospective clients and converting them into customers, comes under the purview of e-business.

E-commerce, on the other hand, is a subset of e-business and refers to online transactions that can be accounted for in monetary terms. For instance, accepting credit card payment for products sold to consumers or making payments for shopping online are examples of e-commerce. In other words, e-commerce refers to the last stage of e-business, which involves collecting payments for the goods sold by the business firm.

Advantages

Worldwide Presence

This is the biggest advantage of conducting business online. A firm engaging in e-business can have a nationwide or a worldwide presence. IBM was one of the first companies to use the term e-business to refer to servicing customers and collaborating with business partners from all over the world. Dell Inc., too, had a flourishing business selling PCs throughout the U.S., only via telephone and the Internet till the year 2007.
Amazon.com is another success story that helps people buy internationally from third parties. Hence, worldwide presence is ensured, if companies rethink their business with regard to the Internet.

Cost-effective Marketing and Promotions

Using the web to market products guarantees worldwide reach at a nominal price. Advertising techniques, like pay per click advertising, ensure that the advertiser only pays for the advertisements that are actually viewed.
Affiliate marketing — where customers are directed to a business portal because of the efforts of the affiliate, who in turn receive a compensation for their efforts meeting with success — has emerged on account of e-business. Affiliate marketing has helped both the business and the affiliates. Firms have managed to use cost-effective online advertising strategies to their advantage.

Developing a Competitive Strategy
Firms need to have a competitive strategy in order to ensure a competitive advantage. Without an effective strategy, they will find it impossible to maintain the advantage and earn profits. The strategy that the firms can pursue, can be a cost strategy or a differentiation strategy.
For instance, till the year 2007, Dell Inc. was selling computers only via the Internet and the phone. It adopted a differentiation strategy by selling its computers online and customizing its laptops to suit the requirements of the clients. Thus, e-business resulted in Dell Inc. managing to capture a chunky segment of the market using the differentiation strategy.

Better Customer Service

E-business has resulted in improved customer service. Many a time, on visiting a website, the customer is greeted by a pop-up chat window. Readily available customer service may help in encouraging the customer to know more about the product or service. Moreover, payments can be made online, and products can be shipped to the customer without the customer having to leave the house.

Curtailing of Transaction Cost
The nature of online business is such that, the costs incurred for every transaction to go through smooth and sound, there is no acting middleman. Websites are sufficiently loaded with directions to facilitate stress-free transactions. Simple and succinct instructional tabs, generally, save the potential buyer from predicaments of any sort.
The mode of payment is predetermined, promising security to the customer. Thus, online payments are a no-ho-hum affair. All that you are left with, as the proprietor of your online business, is to download the requirement order and ship it. This demands effort, too; however, the toil is far less than a tangible business profile.

Overhead Costs Are Reduced
An E-business, essentially, is independent of costs that are incurred due to business having a physical entity. Utility bills and other expenses are manageable. You also cut back on costs incurred for hiring personnel and retaining them with competitive incentives topped with abundant facilities. Running an e-business is highly convenient as the proprietor does not require to rent another site to execute the business.

How to Start a Successful Karaoke Business

Try to buy an existing karaoke business or become a part of a franchise, instead of opting for a start-up. This will not only give you an established customer base but will also be far less riskier than a start-up.
If you can sing, are an extrovert, and can entertain others, you will surely make a good karaoke business owner. However, this business will prove to be a disaster for introverted and shy individuals as they will have to deal with many people every day. It is recommended that you work for a karaoke business before plunging in it yourself. This will give you hands-on experience, and you will be able to network and market your business in a better way. If you do not have the funds for investing in a rental or permanent space, karaoke business is ideal for you. You can conduct this business by hosting shows at bars, cafés, restaurants, private parties, etc. However, remember that you will need to source some investment capital for buying all the equipment and paying your employees, if any. It is advisable to buy a digital karaoke system as it will save you a lot of money, effort, and storage space. If you want to know about a few more essential tips to start a karaoke business, read further.

Equipment

You will require a good karaoke digital system for your business where the files will be played from a laptop and the words will be displayed on the screen. If you think that you do not have the amount to invest in one, you can get CD+G discs which can be connected to a CD+G player, television, monitor, or screen for playing music and displaying words. You can buy karaoke CDs or download music from online websites. You can also buy karaoke music books or make them on your own. However, you need to make copies of these books so that people will select their songs and write them on the slips provided by you. Whatever you do, ensure that you will be able to play your customer’s choice of song in absolutely no time. You will also need good quality speakers, mixers, cables, extension cords, microphone stands, RF converter, and amplifiers. You will also need three wireless microphones. It is advisable that you get one extra as backup. Getting a wireless microphone is recommended because people tend to step on the cables and spoil them. It’s essential that you also carry spare cables, duct tapes, and a tool kit for a quick fix.

Conduct Research

Before jumping in this business, there are certain things which you should know. For example, you will need to know how many competitors you have, how much to charge your clients, which songs to play, dealing with difficult clients, etc. It is advisable that you speak to someone from the same business who operates from a different area. You need to keep abreast with the latest chartbuster songs as well as the classic ‘must-haves’ of a karaoke. Ensure that you have music which caters to all genres as people will like to sing different songs. You will need to have a business plan in place to organize the overheads and income of this venture. Ensure that you find a business mentor who will be able to guide you to go about setting this business.

Charges

Before you start this business, know about the prevalent rates for karaoke gigs in your area. If you are a new player, you may have to charge lesser to survive the competition. Many bar owners may not pay you well even if your show is a crowd-puller. Hence, decide and mention your payment terms in the contract itself. Also, ensure that it is mentioned in the contract about show cancellation or refund policies. Also, predetermine the amount of payment, time of the show, etc., during a private party. If you are to play a special dedication to a bride or a song while a person is proposing to his girlfriend, you can definitely go ahead and charge more fees. Ensure you include your travel and logistics charges in your final figure.

Business Expansion

If you do not want to own a karaoke bar of your own, you can always request hotels, cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, etc., to allow you to host a karaoke night every week. You can also ask them to host open Mic sessions that will rake in business for both the parties. Other than this, you should also network with wedding and event planners who can recommend you for karaoke nights. This is one business that will prosper through word-of-mouth publicity. Host theme nights which will play a particular type of music; this will give you a lot of customers. Ensure that you have many satisfied customers who will recommend your business to their family and friends. Slowly, your schedule will be packed with offers for karaoke gigs.

Hosting the Karaoke Night

If you have to travel to some other venue, like a bar, café, bachelor or hen parties, birthday parties, etc., make sure you interact with the audience keeping in mind what they anticipate from this show. Wear clean and striking clothes; however, remember that you are only there to host the show. So, do not keep speaking, and encourage the other people to take over the Mic. Avoid passing negative comments about the singers as not all of them will sing with the finesse of the professionals. Have a professional attitude, and ensure that people are enjoying their karaoke time. If there is a ‘once more’ for a song, go ahead and play it again. If they request you for having a recording of their song, burn the CD of their performance and hand it to them. You can charge separately for this. If there is a time limitation for the show, ensure that you stop on time.

Wrapping Up

Always ensure that you are personally present for the wrapping up of equipment. Don’t put this duty on your employees as they may not check if everything is in place, before leaving for home late in the night. It is best to make a checklist of all the smallest to largest equipment and load them properly in their boxes before carrying it to your vehicle. Making a checklist will tell you immediately if a certain equipment is missing.

Promote Your Business

It is important that you take promotion of your business very seriously. Apart from meeting people who can get you more business, you must have a website or blog giving details about your business. This will allow customers to get in touch with you. Don’t forget to add pictures of the karaoke gigs you have hosted where people are enjoying themselves. You will have to get a written permission from your customers to display their images. You will also have to keep updating the latest schedule of your shows on your website so that people who want to visit can join you at the decided venue. Most of the younger crowd will get in touch with you through Internet, so ensure that you have posted ads on the Internet and websites that give information about the gigs, concerts, plays, etc. Get your website keyword optimized for reflecting in the top searches. Do not forget to connect with customers through social networking websites.’

Slowly and steadily, you can recruit and train a good employee to become the host of your karaoke gigs, while you can look after the management of these gigs, collection of money, marketing, networking, and getting new business. Also, keep extra song books as people tend to steal some of them away. Make sure you have a professional approach all the time, and do not give a chance for people to complain. Remember that people may constantly force you to play their favorite songs and keep hogging the limelight. You will also have to learn to say ‘no’. Whatever you do, make sure that the people enjoy their karaoke time thoroughly, if you want to survive in this business.