Managing a warehouse is no walk in the park. However, if you are in the business of moving or selling goods, you will need to have a warehouse that is properly handled. If you are somewhat inexperienced or are from a different field altogether, you might find managing a warehouse rather difficult which could wreak havoc on business operations. Luckily, it’s entirely possible to learn while you’re on the job and with the aid of an effective warehouse management system, you can run your warehouse like a well-oiled machine. Continue reading »

Jeff Bezos

“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com

Amazon.com, one of the world’s most recognized e-commerce sites and one of the most successful startups to come out of the United States, was founded in 1994 by legendary Internet entrepreneur and investor  Jeff Bezos.  Bezos – who has since also founded Blue Origin, a startup human spaceflight company and recently, acquired the storied Washington Post – has become a virtual demigod and guru among tech entrepreneurs and is an influential figure in the startup space. Forbes Magazine lists him among the 15 most powerful people in America and he ranks number 12 in the Forbes 400 list. In their profile, they describe him as such: Continue reading »

Shoebox, your admninistrative assistance

For anyone who loathe doing the paperwork, Shoeboxed is the perfect companion.

A hobby is something people engage in for fun, relaxation, and personal satisfaction. Many have converted their much love hobbies into booming businesses, providing them more  reasons to pursue the hobby since they now earn from it. A serious hobbyist will certainly know his business because of the extent of experience that came with voluntary participation and learning.

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Advantages of Converting a Hobby into a Business

The main advantage in this business option is the genuine interest of owners in the nature of business that will result from converting a hobby into a profitable venture. Because of the interest that is not forced, owners are more eager to make it work. Hobbyists turned businessmen also have the advantage of experience especially in terms of being a customer for a similar business.

It is quite difficult to fake interest especially in a business venture that requires funding and hard work. Businesses that were produced by a love for a particular hobby benefit from such love. In a way, business owners are their own permanent customers, making them more attuned to the specific needs and wants of their target market.

Disadvantages of Converting a Hobby into a Business

It is highly possible that hobbyist turned businessmen may experience a decrease in satisfaction in engaging in the hobby because of the pressure to earn from the venture. Instead of the usual relaxed way of indulging one’s self in the hobby, the need to earn and make money from the effort is always a thought that persists in the owner’s mind. This can dampen the owner’s usual enthusiasm for the hobby.

Also, there may be a blurring of lines between work and hobby. Business owners may miss a separate time to indulge in the hobby when he or she is facing it the whole day. Since the work area and the hobby area are expected to merge once a hobby is converted into a business, not all people can happily adjust to the situation.

Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Should you convert your hobby into a business venture? The answer would actually depend on personal preferences. If you are a person who will be as happy making a business out of what you do for a hobby, then this option may be an option for you. If you however tend to treasure your hobby time separate from your business world, then you are better off finding another business option.

safety first!

It’s almost June, and you know what that means: National Safety Month is here again! This year, the National Safety Council’s goal is to create a culture of safety in every organization and workplace in order to eradicate preventable injuries and deaths on the job. With a bit of planning, your business can join in this four-week observation of the importance of safety at work; here’s how.

Week One: Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention

As far as workplace accidents go, slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of injury. In fact, 15 percent of accidental deaths are attributed to slips and falls, making them second only to motor vehicle accidents. The cause of these common occurrences can be related to faulty equipment, such as improper shoes or uneven surfaces; human error, such as inattention, fatigue or walking hastily; and environmental, such as inadequate lighting or slippery spills on floors.

Your business can help prevent slips, trips and falls by practicing good housekeeping and making work areas clean and clear of obstacles. Train employees on the proper use of ladders and ensure that facility safety equipment is accessible and up to safety standards.  Continue reading »

First Meeting

(Photo credit: lhl)

More and more business travelers are choosing boutique apartments over hotels because of the affordability and value for money. For the same price of a small room, they can get much larger and more comfortable accommodations. Many of the business apartments also offer facilities like a kitchen, and have a living room and dining room that can seat a small group of people.

These extra features make the luxury serviced apartments London a possible venue for small meetings. This is ideal for informal brainstorming sessions, planning sessions, or interviews. The cozy, comfortable environment immediately puts everyone at ease, and of course, nobody has to worry about anyone else overhearing confidential business information.  Continue reading »

Image: tecosim

Under the Foreign Business Act or FBA, foreigners are generally prohibited or restricted from engaging in business while in Thailand.  However, an alien business operation permit can be obtained from the Director-General of the Department of Commercial Registration with the Foreign Business Committee’s approval.  Foreigners operating businesses in Thailand are subject to the provisions of the law.

According to the FBA, there are three main categories that businesses can fall under.  The first category provides for absolute prohibition on foreigners to engage in specific businesses including newspaper, radio broadcasting or television station business; rice farming; animal farming; forestry and wood fabrication from natural forest; fishery for marine animals in Thai waters; extraction of Thai herbs; trading and auctioning Thai antiques or national historical objects; making or casting Buddha images and monk bowls, and land trading.  The only exception to this prohibition needs to be embodied in a special law or treaty.

There are businesses in Thailand which foreign ownership is deemed critical but have been allowed prior to the enactment of FBA and were required to obtain a Special Alien Business License.  These businesses belong to the second category which prohibits opening of new businesses by foreigners unless a Special Permission is successfully obtained from the Minister with the approval of the Cabinet.  These are businesses related to national safety or security as well as those related to arts, culture, tradition, folk handicrafts, or natural resource and environment.

The third category consists of businesses wherein Thais are deemed not yet ready to compete with foreigners.  These would include rice milling and flour production, fishery, forestry, production of plywood, veneer board, chipboard or hardboard; production of lime; accounting service business, legal service business, architecture service business, engineering service business, construction subject to some exceptions; auction subject to specific exceptions; internal trade subject to provisions of law; food retail and wholesale; advertising, hotel, guided tours, food and beverage selling; and plant cultivation and propagation.  Approval for operating businesses under this category is similar to the second category.

Because it is highly complicated for a foreigner to establish a business in Thailand, many opt to operate under a Thai company as a Thai Limited Company.  The use of Thai Nominee shareholders to circumvent prohibition on foreign ownership is a loophole being sought to be remedied by the government.  Closely related to foreign business ownership are the prohibition on foreign land ownership.

About the Guest Blogger

Jeremy is a business entrepreneur presently looking into the possibilities of opening a business in Thailand.  He is currently enrolled in a local school to learn Thai.

Image: millionaireacts

Business people will not always be able to pursue expansion of their businesses due to some limitations in capital, expertise, and facilities.  In this situation, businesses can consider forming alliances with an individual, an organization, or a third party. The choice will depend on which is needed to be done to achieve the goal.

The most common reason why businesses go hunting for partners particularly when considering expansion is the need for additional fund or capital.  It is a fact that very few consider partnerships for other reasons since  any income derived  shall also be divided among partners.  It goes both ways – shared responsibilities and shared benefits.

Businesses seeking partners however will have to look beyond the financial aspect.  Partnership requires sharing the same business vision so that it can move forward.  Disagreement  on the onset specifically on critical matters of business operation already provides a clue on what is to come.  No business would like to be caught in the middle of disagreeing partners.  If this is the case, it would be best to find other partners.

Once suitable partners are found , it is best to make the responsibilities of each clear to ensure the smooth flow of business relationships.  This is best done through a written partnership agreement that also details rights and obligations.  The clearer every detail of the partnership is made, the better it is for the working relationship among partners.  The partner who sought the partnership should fully understand the consequences of inviting partners into his business.

Image: assistnow

There is much sense in companies providing support for their employees’ goals for higher education.   Even if it would appear that it would be the employees who would primarily benefit from such a move, companies stand to gain as much.  Companies can consider sponsoring employees as they avail of educational opportunities and count them as investment instead of an expense.

The professional development of employees is considered an advantage for both the employer and the employee.  When a company voluntarily provides for educational training to employees, it is able to create a positive working environment which encourages employees to perform better.  An employee who sees that a company genuinely cares for his/her continuous development tends to develop more loyalty to the company.

More training and learning usually result to improved job skills.  Learning not only comes from external sources such as schools but also through mentoring as provided by management to employees.  Mentoring is especially appropriate when job promotions follow an internal succession plan.

Subsidizing further employee learning motivates employees to do more than what is expected of them.  The level of overall satisfaction among employees is generally high since there is every reason to believe that the employer values its workforce.

Employees who are not only encouraged but are actually supported by their companies in pursuing higher education or learning additional skills are quite fortunate.  Not everybody is given that chance thus employees should treat it as an opportunity rather than an obligation.  Companies will only benefit from it to the extent of the employee’s give-back while employees retain it for the rest of their lives.

Pay day

(Photo credit: Scott Savage (Jolly Good Show & Good Awful))

When running your own start-up, one of the first things you need to do is open a business bank account. Doing this forms your company’s financial identity and also helps in establishing its credit, among other things. Here are some of the other things you need to know about getting one.

 

Why it’s necessary

All businesses unequivocally need banking services. There are several reasons why:

Reason #1: Credibility and professionalism

Aside from functional reasons, businesses need a bank account to promote an image of professionalism. Any business that separates its finances from personal transactions shows that it is credible. Using cheques signed under a personal account for your company’s transactions could turn off your clients and ultimately affect your business. Continue reading »

 

In general, every business wants to get it right in all aspects especially in the financial side.  However, not all business owner or entrepreneur is equipped with the knowledge and expertise required to handle the accounting aspect of the business effectively.  This then brings us to the question of whether or not businesses should avail of professional accounting services.  Before we answer this question, let us consider what accounting professionals can do for a business.

The most obvious and common task expected to be performed by an accounting firm for any business is to establish proper accounting procedures that will ensure smooth financial flow for the business operation.  Handling personal money is a lot different from handling business money.  The subject of business money requires much more accountability since it is being used for an activity that is expected to realize profit eventually.  This will be difficult to measure if no sound accounting procedures are in place.

Another common task performed by accounting firms is auditing which is very much related to checking whether the established accounting procedures are being followed.  There is no use in creating procedures if such will not be observed specifically by the owners and employees themselves.  Audit findings can provide business owners an idea for areas that have to be looked out for in determining the status of business operation.

Aside from these two tasks, accounting firms can also provide assistance in payroll, taxes, asset management, planning, time management, timely correction of recording errors, and preparation of financial reports required by government agencies.  Many businesses have failed along the way due to improper handling of their financial affairs.  It is a failure that can be avoided with the right choice of accounting firm.

This now brings us back to the question above: Are businesses required to get professional accounting services?.  Businesses are not necessarily required to hire a professional accounting firm especially for small businesses.  However, the advantage of availing of such a service cannot be discounted.

 

About the Guest Blogger

Randy is a professional accountant connected with Lermer .  He regularly contributes articles in this topic.

 

Image: resortrealty

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