Monthly Archives: July 2016

Tips for Become a Finance Director

The finance department is one of the most important departments in any type of organization. This department has to handle financial transactions of the firm and plan on investments and raising of funds for funding ongoing projects. As no project can be completed without money, the job of a finance director assumes further importance. Finance directors work in the areas like resource management, strategic planning, preparation of a financial budget for the financial year, supervising company’s financial performance and preparing financial reports for outside agencies like creditors and shareholders. Ensuring that the firm’s asset quality is high and debt levels are comfortable, are also some of the responsibilities of this job. Being the leading person in the department of finance, the finance director has to form teams, assign work and help in planning as and when they need. In short, the ultimate aim is to make sure that the firm achieves its financial goals or objectives in a planned way.

High School Preparation
Sincere efforts taken during this stage of one’s educational career pays off greatly. So, take special effort on subjects like economics, finance, mathematics, English and computer science while you are in high school. Get excellent grades so that you are not denied admission to top business schools to get deeper knowledge of finance.

Get Your Graduation Degree
Getting a graduation degree in accounting or finance is essential to pursue this profession. If you look at the track record of the Chief Financial Officers (CFO’s) of top companies, you will find that all of them have passed from top business schools. So, you need to try to do your MBA in accounting or finance from the top business schools in the US. As a student of finance, you should have ability in the following areas:

  • Financial management
  • Managerial economics
  • Management accounting
  • Costing and budgeting
  • Preparation and analysis of financial statements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Fundraising through different routes

During the course of your study, you will be taught these subjects by expert faculties, hard work and passion for knowledge can lay a strong foundation for a successful career in finance.

Become Assistant Finance Controller
Becoming assistant financial controller/assistant manager would be your next target after gaining experience in accountancy and auditing. By working at a managerial position, you will be able to sharpen your business skills and prepare yourself for future challenges. It would take around five years to become assistant finance controller.

Enter the Senior Management
To become a finance director, you first need to enter the senior management of the company. This is possible after gaining around ten years of experience in the field of finance. As a senior management professional, you will be involved in strategic planning, decision-making, chalking out expansion plans and fundraising. After spending some five to ten yeas in senior management position, you can then be eligible for this position.

Intern at a Major Finance Firm
During the business management course, students have to do their summer internships in financial and banking giants. Here, they get practical work experience and can apply their classroom knowledge. You will need to have good educational record to get internship at top firms in investment banking and asset management. A successful internship can help you get final placement in a top firm after you compete your course.

Become Auditor/Accountant/Finance Associate
After you complete your university education, you need to work as an auditor/accountant (junior level) initially for a few years. Then, with proven ability, you can become senior accountant or senior business analyst.

Information on Funds for Small Businesses

funds-for-small-businessesObtaining the necessary funds to kick-start your small business start-up can be quite a challenging task. But before you get dejected, lets first take a look at what the numbers have to say. The average small business start-up cost to become an affiliate marketer for instance, is somewhere around $250, which is a small investment when comparing it with a $30,000 cash deposit, that is required to start a franchise.

But when you take into consideration all the other additional monthly expenses like rent, advertising, payroll and inventory, then you know that starting a small business is no ‘small’ deal. So, coming up with the necessary cash to fund your business can be very difficult when you have a car loan to pay, a mortgage to take care of, and a family to support.

Going the traditional way and opting for a loan from your bank won’t really get you very far, especially when you consider the fact that they don’t like lending out money to start-up businesses that have no assets or history. But, again do not let this dampen your spirit. It is time to take a look at all your personal assets. You never know, you might actually already have the required ‘wealth’ to get your small business started.

Sources for Funds

Here are some sources:
Life Insurance Policy
401(k) Plan
Friends and Family
Credit cards
These are all potential sources that can be tapped into. In doing so, you will raise money out of your own resources. It will give you full control over your money. And this control is the very thing you wanted in the first place right? That’s why you chose to become an entrepreneur!

If you do have a life insurance policy, then you can put it to work. Though it sounds weird, think about it – a life insurance policy will provide money to your family and spouse in the vent of your death. What most people don’t know is that you can actually borrow against the cash value of the life insurance policy, and then pay it back at flexible rates, on your own terms.

Next, you have the 401(k) Plan from your previous employer – all those monthly statements that you filed away so diligently but never cared to even look at. Though the whole concept of borrowing money from friends and family to start your business may sound like a simple one because you already have an inbuilt level of comfort and trust with them, but you need to understand that there are many risks involved as well. If things go smoothly, then you’ll probably be the Donald Trump or the entrepreneurial king of your family or your friend circle. But, if your business goes down the drain, then it will put stress on the relations you had with those closest to you. So, is this risk worth taking?

Now, take a long hard look at your credit card. The one that you used to buy that dinner, your computer, and those new shoes – yes this credit card can help you get your business off the ground. If none of these resources work for you, then you can always take the traditional route and opt for bank loans.

Business Loans Available
Long-term loans are probably the most common types of loans available. These loans can be used as a working capital funding source and you can repay them on a monthly basis over a term agreed with your bank or financial institution.
Short-term loans on the other hand are supposed to be repaid within a year in a lump sum, instead of monthly.
Credit lines are usually used for working capital funding. Instead of granting you the entire loan amount, the financial institution will give you a certain amount each year.
Some Other Sources

When looking around for small business funding resources, your bank should be your first stop, especially if you have a history of working together before. Familiarity does go a long way in clearing any insecurities and doubts. There are many other types of lenders as well, the only differentiating factor between each of them would be the kind of loan they grant – secured or unsecured. Banks grant unsecured loans, while financial institutions are in favor of secured ones.

Strategies and Tactics Effective Marketing

Organizations spend so much of their time, effort and money on coming up with them, the answer is quite simple. The aim of any business is to generate profits, and marketing strategies do exactly that – they help generate more business and revenue. They are devised not only with regards to selling and promoting a product, but also about the kind of customer service that the organizations will provide. Below is a list of some of the most successful tactics, which businesses have been implementing in today’s modern, competitive business scenario, to earn revenues and to keep the competition at bay.

Effective Marketing Strategies

Build Relationships

  • People are very important in business, whether they are customers, suppliers, or employees of the organization.
  • It is necessary to form relationships with one’s customers so that they come again to make repeat purchases.
  • Relationships need to be built with employees as well so that the organization has a positive word of mouth in the market.

Differentiate from Competition

  • One of the most successful of marketing techniques is to create your own identity, which is totally different from the rest of the competitors.
  • A good way to do that is to stay ahead of the competition by offering innovative, technologically-advanced products.
  • For this, a business’ market research should be very strong, so that change is anticipated in advance and action taken accordingly.

Create Advertising Campaign

  • The advertising campaign should be such that it highlights all the advantages and strengths that a company’s product and services have over the one’s offered by competition.
  • The unique selling point, also known as USP of the business, can be something like an excellent after sales service or a guarantee period, which is much longer than what is offered by competition.
  • This should be creatively stressed upon in the advertising campaigns.

Offer New Products and Schemes

  • This is one of the most effective and commonly-used tactic by many businesses today – new products as well as new schemes are offered to customers from time to time.
  • When a business introduces new products in the market, its customer base increases as new customers purchase this product.
  • At the same time, when old customers see some new innovative features in the latest product, they make further purchases too.
  • This increases the sales volume as well as revenue for the business.
  • Another way to increase sales, is to offer some new schemes during the festival and holiday seasons, such as one product at fifty percent discount on another one, especially if the business has some unsold stock of goods lying beforehand.

Implementation of the Strategies

  • The strategy that is set should be very realistic and measurable. It should also be applicable for a very long time.
  • For proper strategy implementation, measurable goals should be set.
  • Goals can be defined in monetary terms, such as doubling the sales revenue in six months.
  • Once the goals are set, a strategy that sets the business apart from competition should be devised and implemented at the right time in the market.

Proper formulation as well as appropriate implementation of strategies is equally important for them to be truly successful. This however does not end here. Post their implementation, measuring how successful they have been in generating revenue and sales, helps in the formulation of strategies for the next year.

How to Advertise for Your Garage Sale

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This idiom perfectly describes the joy that is a garage sale. While you may consider an old heart-shaped coffee mug one too many for your pantry, it may be just what another is looking for to complete their quirky collection. A garage sale is the perfect way to get rid of old, unwanted stuff and make some money out of it. But how do you get people to actually come and help take all this stuff off your hands? You advertise. You advertise big time! You let everyone know that you’re coming up with this to-die-for garage sale that no one in their right mind would want to miss. You make it out to be the ‘garage sale of the century’ and we tell you how.

Use the Internet

The Internet is and will probably remain the most hassle-free way of advertising, be it your garage sale or a corporate giant’s next big product. There are scores of websites that offer listings for garage sales. Craigslist and eBay are two prominent websites that offer this service. You can also Google your town or city and check for local, community-based websites that will let you post a classified.
Yard Sale Search is another great website that offers listings for yard and garage sales throughout the country. In addition to dedicated portals, you can also use your Facebook account to spread the word about your forthcoming event. Create a page, an event, a group, or even an ad that lets people on your friends’ list know that you will be organizing this huge garage sale. When you use these portals, ensure that you describe at least a few of the items you intend to sell. Keep the descriptions short, but attractive. Get them hooked, and you’ll see them flocking!

List in Newspaper Classifieds

Another tried, tested, and quite successful way of advertising a garage sale is in a newspaper classified section. Contact your local newspaper, and check how much they charge. The tricky part here is adhering to the word limit according to your budget. Every word you use will count. So, use them wisely. Say as much as you can in as little as you can. It’s much easier than it sounds.

Make Awesome Posters

While there are other easier ways to advertise, nothing beats the charm of a good ol’ neon poster beckoning passersby to this grand garage sale where they might find the bargain of their dreams. To ensure that your sale attracts hordes of people, pay attention to the following points while making posters.

  • Use bright-colored paper. If people cannot see the poster, they won’t bother reading it.
  • Avoid using multiple colors. A single color will help people identify with your sale.
  • All your posters should look alike. So, if you’re not sure if your 8-year-old kid or the neighbor’s teenage daughter will get it right, do it yourself. Printing is an option, but it’s just more expensive.
  • Use a good quality, permanent marker to write on the poster. Ensure that the writing is neat, tidy, and legible, even from a distance.
  • Include all and only the necessary details on the poster. The date, address (with landmarks if required), and your name and contact number are the most important pieces of information that should go on it. Anything else is supplementary and shouldn’t crowd the poster.
  • Put them up on busy streets that lead to and away from your house. This way, the posters will be visible to people traveling both ways.
  • Make sure there are big arrows guiding people in the direction towards your garage sale. You can also try something humorous like putting up posters that say ‘If you’re looking for ABC’s garage sale, you’re going the wrong way’ on roads that are away from your house. You never know; it might just interest someone.
  • After you put your posters up, drive past them and see if you can read them clearly. If you can’t, chances are no one else will be able to either.

Make Fliers
Fliers are also one of the best ways to advertise the garage sale. They could be just down-sized versions of the awesome posters that you’re putting up, so follow all the pointers listed above for them as well. If you’re getting your posters printed, then getting them in a smaller size shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, it will be more convenient to do so. If you’re making your posters by hand, you can try something different with the fliers. Maybe a different color or a different tone. You could even offer a free drink or snack for everyone who visits the sale. Put these fliers up on notice boards in convenience stores, cafés, community centers, schools, and any other place that sees a regular flow of visitors. Trees and electric poles (if permitted) are also great spots to put up fliers. Make sure you paste them on the poles. Using staples might pose a hazard for linemen.

Plan the sale well in advance so that you can clearly allot enough time to devising a good advertising strategy. On the day of the sale, make sure you have a big sign right in front of your house welcoming people to the best garage sale ever! Apart from advertising, make sure that the area you use for the sale is clean and tidy. If you’re using your lawn, make sure the grass is cut and the soil isn’t too wet. As a source of entertainment, you can play some soft music in the background. This will set the mood as you mingle with everyone helping them out with their purchases.