Business Security Options

Business Security Options

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With the competition in today’s economy, businesses have to step up their game to stay on top. One of the key things that you have to do is make sure that your assets and sensitive information are secure. Hackers can cause so much trouble, which can also mean loss of revenue should you leave your company unguarded. This is why you have to know the many security solutions that trusted IT services companies offer.

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CCTV Cameras

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Closed circuit television cameras or CCTVs are a great way to keep track of who accesses what in your office. With a trusty system in your office, you can check for any suspicious behavior in the area. Moreover, you can review the video clip should any untoward incident happen.

Biometric Technology

As a company, only you and your workforce should have complete access to your office. Locks are passé, and can easily be opened. Biometric measures, however, provide companies an extra level of security by making sure that the computer shows who is entering or exiting the premises.

IP Security Software

Your network should also be secure. Almost all businesses are moving towards digitizing sundry processes, so it’s just appropriate that you get the proper measures to prevent any data theft, unauthorized access, or misuse. This is where IP security programs can be of valuable help.

Securing your company is one way to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. Preventing any untoward incident from happening is a must for your company to thrive.

OBTAINING VEHICLES FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

“Magic” Mike Mayzak

Purchasing a vehicle for your business can be a very tiresome and tedious job. You have a budget and want to stay as close to it as possible. So what’s next? You search and search only to find that many of the used car dealerships are small and don’t offer a good variety and the larger dealerships only see you in terms of commission sales. They try to sell you want they want instead of what you want. Many are very unscrupulous and others are just pushy, rude and uncaring about your plight.

Toyota of Goldsboro, is a company that is willing to assist you with all your vehicle purchase needs.  They are reputable and their customer service skills are top-notch.  Their customer service sets them apart from the others like a cow in a shark tank, because they don’t see customers or dollar signs, but long-term relationships.

Mike Mayzak and Bob Druschel are the perfect team.  So whether you’re in the market for a new vehicle or a used vehicle, they can and they will hook you up.  I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.  In fact, I guarantee that you’ll drive off the car lot a very satisfied customer.

Magic Mike and another satisfied customer!

Magic Mike really lives up to his name.  He can help you no matter what type of shape your credit is in.  He can get it done.

Bob will walk around the car lot with you 50 times to make sure that you get the best deal. He isn’t satisfied until you are.

You’ve tried the rest, now it’s time to try the best.  Let them show you what they can do for you and your business. 

How to start a rickshaw business

Rickshaw Business

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How to start a rickshaw business have been around for hundreds of years. You see them mostly in East Asia, in Japan, China, and other countries in that region. They are also very prominent I India.

Traditionally, a rickshaw consisted of a bamboo frame with two large wheels and one seat, and a cover. It had two bars that extended to the front orHow to start a rickshaw business back. One person, usually a man, would take up these two rods and transport the customer where he or she wanted to go. The customer was usually a person of royalty.

Over time, designers replaced the runner with a metal framed construction that resembled a tricycle. The operator then peddled the person where they wanted to go.

As cars replaced buggies, rickshaws began to disappear and only returned in mostly poor areas of the world and as novelties.

Lately, some business found that this mode of transportation has its advantages over cars and trucks. It allows its customers to travel inexpensively and go places where motor vehicles can’t go. They can see the sites easier and they can stop and go when they choose.

Bicycle rickshaws as a business is becoming very popular in some areas, to include New York.

One enterprising business uses them for taxi s in the crowded New York area. People can take a tour of Central Park while letting someone do the driving. That frees them up to see the sites. The business has experience in this area , so the tourist can tell the driver where they want to go.

This business also uses them to haul freight up How to start a rickshaw business to 500 lbs. they can deliver small packages much more efficiently than trucks and autos that are limited to the crowded streets.

How to start a rickshaw business

Another enterprising former aircraft mechanic got a license to start a “Pedicab” business in Birmingham. He plans to use it to offer tourists and even residents the opportunity to see sites they never could using traditional means of transport.

In Chicago, some enterprising you people have started their own individual business.

They do not have a name and they go where the customers are rather than getting the customer to contact them. They provide a niche service between cars and taxis. They are inexpensive and they will get you were you want to go.

They emphasize that they are non-polluting, not noisy, and take very little space. The can go where other vehicles cannot go. They are “high Tech,” in that they are steel framed, have a real differential, and hydraulic brakes.

They mentioned that if you really want to contact them, get in touch with Cosmos and cosmos will contact them.

You can see a video of them explaining their business to a street interviewer here at http://youtu.be/l-JMamIVM1o.

With rickshaws, we seem to be coming full circle in the transportation business. At one time, they were used to transport all kinds of people everywhere. Runners used to pull them. Now they construct them like a tricycle, and they consist of a steel frame and reliable brakes. They transport tourists in most of the world’s cities and one company in New York City uses them to haul freight.

Perhaps this is a good idea for a bicycle rickshaw business if you live in a town with sites to see. You might even star in your own video.

How to get a Professional Web Presence – For FREE

How to get a Professional Web Presence – For FREE

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As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, establishing a professional online presence is an absolute MUST for any business, whether operating online or not. A business’ website is usually the FIRST PLACE a potential customer will visit before deciding whether or not to purchase from you, so you need to make sure you’re making a good impression!

The good news is that professional web design doesn’t have to cost the Earth. In fact, I’m going to show you an option that will cost you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to get your business up and running with a slick, well presented website. Sound too good to be true? Well, I’ll also include some links to sites that have used this technique and you can see for yourself! Let’s get started…..

Step 1 – Hosting

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Any website that you use for your business is going to need to be hosted somewhere. For those who don’t know what this is, hosting is basically a service that stores the files needed for your site on a server which is turned on 24/7 and can handle the massive amounts of traffic you will (hopefully) get to your site. Without hosting, your website won’t show up on the internet.

There are hundreds of paid hosting services available, but we want to look at FREE alternatives. Once of the most popular free hosting platforms out there can be found at http://www.wordpress.com which can provide you with everything you need to get started absolutely free of charge – forever. WordPress was originally designed as a platform for blogging, but it works just as well as a sales page for your business with the added bonus that they throw in all the software you need to design your site without having to install anything on your computer.

To get started, simply visit http://www.wordpress.com and sign up for a free account. During the process you will choose a user-name, which will also form part of your site’s web address – eg, http://www.username.wordpress.com. So make sure your username is the same as your business name or your customers will get confused! Once you’ve signed up, you can move on to designing the look and content of your site.

Step 2 – Content

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You may have heard the quote “Content is King” – this basically means that if you’re not providing content that your visitors are looking for, they will simply leave your site without giving it second thought. Any online presence for your business is going to need the following content as an asolute MINIMUM:

Home Page – this page is often the first part of your site that your visitors will see, so make sure there is enough information on here to give people a good idea of what your business is all about. Don’t go into too much detail, as you will want to entice people to explore your site a little, but make sure you make it clear what services or products your business provides. It is also a good idea to put basic contact details on here as well, just to make sure everyone knows how to get hold of you.

About Page – here you can go into a little bit more detail about your business. Potential customers will usually want to know as much as possible about the businesses they buy from, so this page is your opportunity to tell everyone about your business’ history, your mission statement and any big plans you’ve got coming up.

Contact Page – even though you should include some contact info on your home page, this page is where you can list all your mailing addresses, departmental phone numbers and emails – as well as some FAQs to try and answer as many questions as possible without people having to contact you directly.

The above information is the minimum that you need on your site. Using the WordPress platform you can easily add further pages with extra information, pictures, videos and music if needed. Once you’ve got all the content you want, you will need to think about how your site looks – which is why we now move on to the design stage.

Step 3 – Design

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Even though “Content is King” you are going to need to present it in a professional manner if you want people to really listen to what you’ve got to say. You do NOT want your website featured in this list! Fortunately, WordPress includes dozens of free templates for you to use to customise the look of your site. Simply log in to your WordPress account and go to the Appearance -> Themes tab on the left hand side of the control panel. Here you can choose from all the available themes and click “preview” to test out what they will look like. Once you’ve found your perfect theme, simply click “activate” to install the template to your site. Simple!

You can further customise your site by adding “Widgets” (little picture or text boxes that appear in your sidebar) which will add extra functionality and style to your web pages. Commonly used widgets are the “search” widget, “subscribe” widget and “image” widget – the latter of which allows you to add graphical links to your site for that extra oomph. There are quite a few other widgets on offer, so make sure you try some out!

To see an example of a free WordPress site designed for a business, check out http://www.insight-guides.com which is one of the sites I use for my online business. This site was designed entirely using the free WordPress platform and I only paid to attach a unique domain name to get rid of the “.wordpress.com” suffix and add an extra layer of professionalism. This only costs around $9 / £6 and I think is worth the small investment! You can opt to use this too by logging in to your WordPress account and going to the “extras” tab on the left hand column in your control panel.

Conclusion

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As you can see, it can cost absolutely nothing to get your business up and running online with a slick, professional feel. All the above steps can be completed in a few hours and it’s a great alternative to the expense of hiring a professional to do the work. The only downside is that the WordPress hosted platform doesn’t allow the customisation of a paid-for hosting service, but it works just fine for simple sales pages and is perfect for those just starting out.

If anyone has some other examples of professional-looking websites that were designed and hosted for free, leave a comment and include the URL. Any questions please feel free to get in touch.

Traditional Debt Sources Largely Unavailable

Although the financial pages are full of stories about how the debt markets are awash in cash and looking for places to put it, they refer mainly to large companies with pristine credit that emerged from the recent economic downturn with profits intact and balance sheets in order. The fact is the traditional debt markets remain largely unavailable to turnaround situations and small to lower middle-market borrowers with a blemish on the record.

We have seen many reports that note the increased competitiveness among banks for asset based lines of credit, but as any executive at a turnaround or lower middle-market company can attest, many borrowers have been left behind in the current market.

All is not gloom and doom, however, for this class of borrower. Plenty of refinancing sources of capital exist as options outside of traditional financing sources.

Fortunately, non-regulated specialty finance companies have remained extremely aggressive even during the downturn, serving many market niches. Borrowers now must find the lender with the appropriate product to serve their specific niche.

Some firms will do turnarounds, some won’t. Some will do heavy inventory-oriented loans, some won’t. Some will look strictly at the collateral and debt service coverage and not worry about balance sheet items such as negative tangible net worth.

There are numerous non-traditional refinancing solutions out there for companies who don’t currently fit into the commercial bank underwriting model. Many times, these options are not readily apparent to management that has spent all their time focusing on operations and guiding the company successfully through tough times. Often, seeking and finding the proper financing partner requires a full scale time commitment that most CFO’s can’t afford to pursue. Our firm manages the capital raising process for management and has a deep network of alternative lenders that will do less traditional deals….

Rickshaw Run Tips

Rickshaw Run Tips

Just as I did in late 2009 after I “finished” the Mongol Rally, I would like to list to some tips for those souls foolish enough to participate in upcoming Rickshaw Runs. So without further ado…

    Don’t overbuy parts at the beginning.

    We had teams of roaming rallyers circling the city looking for every part imaginable in case they broke down in the middle of nowhere and had to fix something themselves. Thing is, even if you had the part, could you fix it yourself? Probably not. Also, if you need it professionally repaired (which you will), they mechanics will always have access to tools and parts (Nepal might be iffy though–not many rickshaws there).Buy a spare tire tube, an extra spark plug or two (The Adventurists give you one), a jerry can, a funnel, and some zip ties, bungee cords, and duct tape (bring from home–not commonly available in India!).

    Don’t freak out about driving the rickshaw in the beginning.

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    Yes, it will be scary as your first get on the thing and try to drive down the test “track”. You might get a few hours of practice time, you might get a few minutes (as we did), but believe me–you’ll learn really fast once you get on the road. We were each proficient in an hour, good at the end of the first day, and pros by the end of the second day.

    If you start having a lot of engine problems your first few days in, visit a mechanic (definitely before you head into Nepal if your route includes the country).

    Day two was hell. We were losing engine power constantly, and couldn’t determine why. Well, the reason was because the engine was crap, and we needed to completely rebuild it. We asked the front desk at our hotel on the third morning to recommend a mechanic, and spent the next six hours watching them completely disassemble it, clean it, replace some parts, and put it back together. From there on we were good (with the engine at least) until the very last day, when new problems arose. For future reference we spent about 3,000 rupees on the rebuild–1,200 was for labor. Didn’t seem unreasonable to us, especially given the circumstances.

    Baby wipes: bring them.

    You will spend much of every day covered in dust, engine grease, and gasoline. Getting this stuff on your hands makes it tough to drive, as your hands slip on the handles. Bring baby wipes to wipe your hands after filling up your gas tank, repairing things, etc. One 72 count pack was all we needed, but you may want to bring another pack if you’re particularly messy (we were pretty conservative with them).

    There are always places to buy water–no need for iodine pills and water filters.

    Unless your route goes horribly wrong, you will be provided with countless areas where you can buy safe, bottled water. Always make sure to check the seals, as we did run into a few sketchy bottles during our trip (even at hotels and restaurants).

    Unless you have no problems with your rickshaw and/or don’t care about making the Finish Line Party, you will not have much time (read: any) for sightseeing.

    Even under the best conditions (of which India is sadly lacking), you will be driving upwards of ten hours a day, and will be lucky to reach your goal for the day before sundown. Sure, you may have a few hours in the morning to see the Ganges in Varanasi, or to take some pictures at the Taj Mahal, but don’t think that this trip will leisurely in any way. The only time we had for sightseeing was an extra day in Jaipur and an extra day in Jodhpur, and we didn’t arrive in Jaisalmer until two days after the party!

    Bring a detailed map–preferably one that shows roads in and out of the larger cities.

    We were hurting more than once because the map we had with us wasn’t detailed enough. Hate to admit it, but we actually had to use the spotty GPS capabilities of my BlackBerry at a few of the lower times getting in and out of big cities, or when we found ourselves in the middle of a field without a clue where we were and no people around to ask (near Bilasipara).

Managing Inflation Threats

Managing Inflation Threats »

Business Financing: More Expensive as Inflation Builds

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As the US economy and businesses continue to show signs of recovery, we believe that recent surges in commodity prices are taking a toll on small businesses and their profit margins. Many companies are affected by increases in commodities like oil, trading recently at just under $115 a barrel, a three year high. With gas at the pump headed toward $4/gallon, businesses are feeling the effects. Indeed, most of our clients in different industries are seeing significant increases in their input costs (cost of goods).

A recent article entitled “Inflation Actually Near 10% Using Older Measure” was very interesting…..if not alarming. According to the article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has changed its calculation of the CPI for numerous reasons since 1980. If the reporting methodologies in place before 1980 were used, the February 2011 annual rate of inflation would have been 9.6%.

Such levels of inflation can have devastating effects on business performance and planning. Budgeting becomes difficult because of the uncertainty created by rising costs and necessary corresponding raises in the sale price of these goods. This scenario typically has an impact on planned capital investment spending.

Regardless of the calculation, even certain Federal Reserve officials are now showing concern, with Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher saying recently that the central bank is reaching a “tipping point” as far as changing its policy with regard to inflation. We’ve seen this drill before in the late 70’s and early 80’s, when the prime rate skyrocketed to a record high of 21.5% in December, 1980!

With rising inflation, the cost of borrowing money will likely continue to rise, as has been the case for the past several months.

If you are a business owner looking to shore up your long term balance sheet with fixed rate debt, don’t delay raising the needed capital. Now is as good a time as ever to lock in at current rate levels. As rates rise, debtors with a fixed nominal rate of interest will see a reduction in the “real” interest rate as the inflation rate rises. The “real” interest on a loan is the nominal rate minus the inflation rate.

We welcome any commentary with regard to rising commodity prices and the impact such a scenario has had on your business performance, capital raising and budgeting for the future.