Saturday, October 27, 2012

Virtual Offices - The New Age Workplace

Many huge offices, of well established companies, believe in setting up huge organizations across various cities connected by their huge, wide link of corporate branches, offices and meeting rooms. These organizations often neglect the issue of space encroachment, especially rising costs of realty and dumping unwanted office space.
At such times, for the companies, it starts haunting them when such costs show up on their balance sheets and as a result of keeping their organizational goals intact, they start firing employees. Instead, a balanced, proficient HR official would give every company a very important advice, of switching over to a virtual office.
Such implicit offices are considered a boon in today's times, owing a lot to the technological advancements as well as space and resource saving techniques. A company with its huge number of virtual offices can structure its workforce into other areas of skill, for which they could be trained. Accordingly, the company could drop its status of a hire and fire organization. Also, even if a company has to let go off a certain batch of employees, in the wake of such technological readjustments, having worked their virtual office requirements in sync with their company goals, explaining this fact to the greying employees would not be something to worry about.
Virtual offices allow company representatives to communicate from their so-called offices across various parts of the globe with various consumers. A firm which is into selling products and arranges for after sales services will always want to set up a hotline for the customers to seek compensation for any damage caused to their goods or provide them assistance with regards to how to use particular appliance, etc. Such places known as call centres come under the bracket of business process outsourcing (BPO).
These BPOs are the new rising forms of virtual offices. Apart from this, virtual offices exist in the form of home-offices and virtual file directories, saving out on a lot of office and realty space concerns. Video conferencing is another form of virtual office where the client as well the company officials could continue their daily business dealings with the help of a computer and a video imaging software.
In this new age, firing employees is no way of creating goodwill for a company in the market, where every customer has become wise. Also, an enterprise has to keep a good relation with the media and the law.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thinking About Cash For Gold? Tips To Guide Your Decision

You need cash and you have some jewelry that you are thinking about selling. Before you rush out to get cash for gold, there are some things that you must think about to get value for your jewelry collection.
One thing you must know about cash for gold transactions is that it is the weight of gold that determines what its value is. Bear in mind however that jewelers use a standard measurement known as the Troy ounce. Scales in the United States will measure 28 grams per ounce while it will measure 31.1 grams per Troy ounce when it comes to a jeweler's method of measurement. You need to understand how the scales work before you walk into a shop to trade gold for money.
You also should know that there are some dealers who use a weight system known as pennyweight (dwt) in order to measure a Troy ounce. Still other dealers choose to measure with grams. This can be confusing if you do not know what is being worked with. A pennyweight is equal to 1555 grams. A dealer may weigh what you bring in by pennyweight but then pay you by grams. Be prepared for the sneakiness that you may have to contend with and don't be fooled!
When deciding to go for cash for gold you also need to understand your karats. Pure gold is very soft and must be added to other metals in order to give it durability, resilience and color. All jewelry that can be purchased in this country can be thought of as an alloy with karat fineness. One karat would therefore equal 1/24 of pure gold in terms of weight. A 14 karat ring or necklace for example would consist of 14 parts made up of gold and 10 parts consisting of other types of metals. Jewelry that is classified as gold must be no less than 10 karats to be called such. Anything less than this is illegal to be labeled in this manner. You must have a working knowledge of karats in order to have a basic understanding of the scrape value of the pieces of jewelry that you possess.
If you are thinking of obtaining cash for gold at a party then you need to make sure that your jewelry pieces that have different karat values are not all weighed together. Some dealers will take all of the items presented to them and will weigh them as one. Once they do this they will then pay their customers for the absolute lowest value in karats. This is not the right way to do business and is very unscrupulous. Be as shrewd as possible in your karat education and do not fall for this ploy. Separate the jewelry you have according to the karat value of it before you take it anywhere to be looked at.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pick, Pack, Ship: Know What You Need When Choosing A Full Service Provider

here are plenty of warehousing and packaging companies available to handle your pick, pack, ship needs, but not all of them offer full service customer support or even the appropriate engineering, space or software in order to fully automate your order fulfillment requirements. When you're ready to talk look for an order fulfillment expert, have some questions prepared and be sure you can get the coverage you need for all the operations you want to outsource. Experienced pick, pack, ship providers will be able to answer your questions and outline their proposal clearly so that you know what they can and can't offer.
Voice Pick -- What Version Are They Using?
Voice pick is the newest solution to order fulfillment on the market. No longer in its infancy, voice pick can now provide extreme accuracy and fast picking by using impressive voice recognition protocols that mean multiple users can use the system when necessary. Ask about the database system -- does it offer a way to record voice directed picking activities? Can users easily refer to an order look-up screen as needed? Can the voice activated system be directed to use specific templates for carton, cart or pallet? The more flexibility that's built into their voice system, the less likely it is you'll have to scrap one system for another as you expand your operations.
Does The Company Have In-House Engineering And Development?
It's preferable to work with a fulfillment service that has in-house engineers and developers who can take a novel approach to the pick, pack, ship process and turn it into a customized solution for your business. Hiring a warehousing and shipping business that can't redesign an old system or develop a new one for your shipping needs can't evolve without outside help. Be sure you ask whether they have in-house engineers and designers who will work with your company as your needs change. In-house experts can create customized solutions that will minimize touch, lower labor costs and improve your ROI. Guaranteed validation of the expected results of any customization should also be offered by any pick, pack, ship organization.
Do They Offer Advanced Print And Apply Systems?
Print and apply systems can significantly reduce labor costs when combined with automatic packing. They also improve the accuracy of printed address and packing labels. In fact, you can reduce shipping costs significantly simply by using a print and apply system that lets a single operator do the work of up to 15 traditional work stations focused on manifests and labeling. The best print and apply solutions take into account the size of your product, any special packaging needs and your ultimate cost saving goals.
How Can They Help You Reach Your Goals?
Any warehousing, packing and shipping provider can get the job done, but you're looking for one that can not only get it done, but do so in a way that will improve your bottom line and customer satisfaction. Be very clear about what you're looking for. Is saving time or saving money your primary goal? Do you need to increase order accuracy or delivery times? Will you need substantial warehousing space for your products?
Getting the answers to some straightforward questions will quickly tell you whether a company can combine all your needs, including voice activated automation, print and apply, and pick, pack, ship systems, into one customizable solution.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Selling My Grandmother's Very Old Jewelry

Not too long ago I was cleaning out my grandmother's attic when I noticed some older looking boxes filled with antique jewelry. My grandmother was having some problems with her house so we decided to make some extra cash selling the jewelry. I wasn't too sure what to expect when selling these pieces of jewelry, the process, the amount that I should expect. I was in the dark and especially since it was my grandmother's I wanted to make sure we got the most we could get for it. I began doing research on the subject to insure we wouldn't be taken advantage of for our lack of knowledge. There are a few things to check out before selling.
What kind of jewelry do you have? Is it gold, silver, precious gems and stones? Depending on what type you have will drastically change who you will speak with for the appraisal and where you'll go to attempt to sell your jewelry. There are a lot of specifics concerning how to value all the different types of jewelry, so I won't go into it, you can find other articles that specify the details about appraising gold, silver and other types of jewelry.
First have your stuff appraised, it will probably be better to get a first opinion from a third party, this way you won't have to worry about any biased opinions. If you have the time and patience, check out a few different independent appraisers, then you can best judge what your selling price will start at.
After you have decided on your selling price and that's where and who you're selling it to. There are many places to go for selling jewelry. You can take your merchandise to any pawnshop but you'll most likely get the least for your sale. Going to auctions and conventions can bring in more money however it is never certain. If you want people searching for your product you can take out an ad in the local newspaper or use websites auctions or post your merchandise on a number of sites geared towards this exact market.
It is easy to sell your old and unwanted jewelry, the hard part is selling it at the price you want. The important thing is to have it properly appraised so you have a leg to stand on when selling, you don't want to get taken advantage of. After I gathered the information I needed, my grandmother and I were able to get an honest price for her old jewelry, and you can do it to.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Plan for an Unexpected Change in Plans

Saturday was supposed to be my big day. The first installment of my new radio show. I was so excited. Proud. Ready. For the past three months, I had eagerly awaited the moment when I would be in the studio, the producer would introduce me, and I would begin serving the local entrepreneurial community with weekly shows of inspiration, guidance, and expert guests to help them get the most out of their businesses and their lives.
Sponsors had made strong commitments to our listeners to support them on their journey. Guests were in the studio to share their stories. Friends and family were loyally perched on the edge of their seats in support of my new endeavor. I had pages and pages of notes and reminders to myself... that were intended to help me relax and not betray the anxiety I felt about my debut. The entire free world was waiting to hear my show, and I was not going to disappoint them!
... Oh, yes, I was prepared. I had notes for every possible event... What if the guests don't show up? Got that covered with an extra feature. What if the taped interview I did with a successful local business person was accidentally erased? No problem... I'll just talk about his book, and how much can be learned from his experiences. What if I get hungry? Protein bar. Check. Water. Check. Bathroom... already timed the trip so that I can fit it in during a break.
Nothing was going to shake me up... I was ready for anything... Bring it on!
And then, of course, the unexpected happened. About two minutes before we were to go on the air, the producer says that we will be cutting away to a live press conference from Aurora, Colorado, where the Governor, the local Police Chief, and the FBI will be giving more details about the horrible tragedy at a local movie theatre just a couple nights earlier. He tells me that he's not sure when the conference will begin, so that I should start the show, but that as soon as the press conference begins, I will be cut off.
Talk about a curve ball!!! I went from "all systems go" to mortified in the blink of an eye. Should I race through my intro and get as much of it out as possible? Should I introduce myself to our listeners--who have no idea who I am or why Glen Beck isn't on-by telling them that we have a new show, but they'll have to wait until the horrific details of a National Tragedy are replayed before we can start the fun? Can I run? Cry? Reach out for a lifeline?
I think the technical term is discombobulation. My cool was completely blown. How do I show my compassion for the victims and their families, while sticking to my plan to deliver an inspirational show? What do I do now? No time to regroup; this is live radio. I can't call a quick 20 second time out to check with the coaching staff. I have to call an audible... on the fly... for my first play in the game... ever! Maybe, if I'd had just a bit more experience, I would have been able to handle this better... or perhaps if I had given my plan some flexibility, I would have been ready for a detour.
Well, I'll save you the trouble of searching for a link to my debacle of a debut. Suffice it to say that I panicked. Kicked it wide right. Threw it right into coverage. Air ball. Whiffed it. Pick your sports metaphor... the bottom line is that I blew it. I had so overplanned, that I left no room for life to intervene.
Life is much more like jazz, with crazy solos and occasional detours, than a symphony where everyone plays their part according to a beautiful script written long ago. The great artists may have a general idea when they sit down to create, but the final result frequently looks or sounds completely different from what they originally had in mind.
Our businesses are like that, too. We don't live in a vacuum, and the events we encounter are frequently out of our control. Being prepared is important, but being flexible is essential for the times when your plan needs a tweak on the fly. Of course, you need a business plan. Absolutely. It will be your guide through good times and bad... as long as you remember that it is not written in stone.
So, the moral of the story here, is that you must, of course, be prepared... and be prepared to ditch your well thought out preparations when the market tells you that the wind has shifted.
Ok... So, it turns out there was another lesson for me here... and maybe it is one for you, too.
Just as I was about to wrap up this story, I received an email from the radio station, with a link to the show. Like craning your neck at a car accident on the highway, I had to take a listen. Guess what? It wasn't as bad as I thought. Fancy that! I was a little hard on myself...
Lesson number two for me... and maybe you... We are creators, and sometimes we let our inner critic overwhelm our precious creations. I call this my Loyal Soldier, a term I learned from Molly Young Brown... more on that in a future blog. For now, the message is-be kind to yourself during the creative process. As your business evolves-and you evolve with it-there will be times when you don't do everything right. You will make mistakes... be prepared for that... and be prepared to forgive yourself and move forward.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

From Victim to Victor, How to Get Off the Procrastination Highway

Today has been a brutal day. I've been fighting with myself just to accomplish the smallest tasks. This story was supposed to be written this morning, and it is now 3PM, and I have barely made a dent in my "to do list." Days like this used to completely derail me, and lead to more days that turned into weeks of just slogging through my life.
The road to depression is paved with the bricks of procrastination... Or is it the other way around? It doesn't really matter which came first, the depression or the procrastination. The important point is that both are unwelcome guests in your life... and by getting rid of one, you will have gone a long way towards giving the other one the boot, as well.
The more I procrastinated, the more depressed I began to feel. Sometimes the depression led to anger... generally misdirected... and that led to apologies, embarrassment, and shame. I felt totally out of control, and unable to reel myself back in. By the time I was able to pick myself up and get back on track, I was so far behind, I felt there was no way to catch up. Then, I would get so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work I needed to do, that I would collapse under the weight of it all,and sometimes the cycle would just begin again. Don't go there... It's a very dark place.
We all succumb to the seductive wiles of procrastination every once in a while, so the key is to have tools at the ready to get us back to productivity as quickly as possible.
As a matter of fact, I am using one of my favorite tools right now! Yep, I've been stuck all morning in the quicksand of "I'mnotinthemooditis." This is the technical term for that state where you just can't seem to get started, even though you have soooo much to do. Sometimes it is known by other names, such as, "I think it's time to really clean out my sock drawer." Or perhaps for you it is, "Maybe if I rearrange the furniture in my office (for the third time this month), I will feel more like working today." The old stand-by, "I'll get to it after I make some popcorn, pull out that family size bowl of candy, and watch just a little bit of Oprah," has been working for generations.
In any case, whenever your particular strain of this debilitating disease has you in it's grip, the most important thing is to just DO something. Productive. NOW!!!! While that may not be as easy as NIKE makes it sound, it is great advice. The longer you avoid the tasks, the closer you come to the road to nowhere... not to be mistaken for the Yellow Brick Road.
The tool I'm using today is this:
Sit with good posture, in a comfortable chair. With your feet flat on the floor, and your hands in your lap, close your eyes. Let your mind drift back to a time when you were functioning at your highest level. Remember how good it felt to be meeting your challenges head on, and accomplishing the tasks set in front of you? Remember the pride you felt when you finished a really big project, and knew you did a great job? Great...
Now, visualize the biggest task on your list today, and how satisfied you will feel when it is completed. See yourself fully engaged, enjoying the process, anticipating the smile that will fill your heart when you can check this behemoth off your list. See your pen making the check mark beside the task.
Sit with this feeling for a moment. Before you open your eyes, allow yourself to really feel the joy and the sense of accomplishment that you know will accompany your successful completion of this task. Forgive yourself for any self inflicted wounds your procrastination has caused you. Commit to take the first step as soon as you open your eyes. Breathe in your commitment to loving yourself enough to break through the challenges you face and get ready to play big. Open your eyes to the joy of being the biggest you you can possibly be. Inspire yourself to give yourself the gift of accomplishment!
As my old friend, Keith Morton used to say, "There is more than one road that leads to the Promised Land." This is just one of the tools I use to get myself back up and running.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Accentuate the Positive

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

Johnny MercerHaving little kids like I do, offers such an opportunity for my own learning every single day.Over the past few weeks, my older son, Quin, and I have been struggling with his younger brother Cade's behavior. The specific issues primarily take the form of Cade wanting to make older kids laugh. This can include using some inappropriate language (especially for a five-year-old) and being too aggressive with other people through his actions and words.
While this behavior is certainly unacceptable to me, one of the things I have noticed is that his older brother now focuses on what Cade does wrong, and runs to me to numerous times during the day to report on his brother's latest antics.
Now, I'm sure child behavior specialists could have a field day in what I'm describing here. But the thing that has become most apparent to me is how much we focus our attention on Cade's negative behaviors, instead of his many other wonderful qualities as a brother and a son. And we all know that universal law - where the attention goes, so there the energy flows. In other words, what you focus on is what becomes most pronounced.
I've noticed the same thing in my business and in my client's businesses. When the attention is focused on the negative outcomes, or the things that might not be going well for us, we get ourselves stuck - and we just keep getting more of the same!
It's as if the negative thoughts, beliefs and focus create more of what we don't want, instead of allowing us to focus on all the positive things that are going on around us in our businesses and lives.
So where is your attention focused? Are you feeling frustrated and stuck? Could it be you are focused only on the negative aspects of what is going on around you?
As an assignment, I like to challenge you to look at three areas where you find yourself feeling negative and frustrated and try to find five good or positive things about where you are. Write them down and read them to yourself each morning and evening. See if by focusing on the positive, it helps to bring more free-flowing energy and ease to the difficult situations in your business.
I'll be doing the same, as an entrepreneur - and as a mother!