A Little Help is All I Needed

I had no idea that I was missing so many features from my QuickBooks program until I called a Quickbooks Pro customer service phone number and talked with a professional about a problem I was having. After I explained what I was trying to do, he told me that I was taking the long way around to get the results I wanted. In very easy to understand terms, he walked me through a better and much faster way of getting the same results, and with no problems attached either like I was experiencing before the call.

I had purchased the program initially to help me manage my financial accounts with my small business. I am my only worker, but that does not mean that it makes it extremely easy to handle the financial aspects on my own. However, with getting Quickbooks Pro, it did make it a lot easier, especially after calling the customer support phone number that I did to get some questions answered.

Australia is scary business for retail

download-55Australians will spend scary amounts this Halloween as retailers cash in on the spooky celebration to drive spending in the soft-spot between the football finals and Christmas.

What was once considered a gauche American tradition is fast becoming an annual event for many Australian households and it’s not just kids taking advantage of the scary, pagan imagery to binge on sweet treats.

The rising popularity of Halloween is reflected in big sales increases at all the major retail chains, including craft and costume specialist Spotlight, which enjoyed a 100 per cent jump in Halloween sales last year alone

“Last year we doubled our sales and we are hoping to hit those numbers again this year … so it’s absolutely huge for us,” Spotlight Retail Group creative content manager Nick Casey said.

“We target two main demographics, the mums who are shopping for kids, as more and more kids are getting out there and the other customer is the hard core party planner and they go all out, getting everything from costumes to decorations and face paints.

“There’s something about Halloween that really resonates with our core do-it-yourself customer, who wants to make a really personal and exciting experience and Halloween allows them to think outside of the box.”

Mr Casey said Halloween sales were growing “exponentially” from year to year, driven in part by social media and the sharing of Halloween costume and decorating ideas from mature markets like the US and the UK.

Spotlight expects to sell 40,000 fake spider webs as well as more than 30,000 costumes for kids and adults in the lead up to the big night.

Coles supermarkets are preparing for one of their biggest Halloween seasons yet after watching demand for traditional favourite, the pumpkin treble in the past six years.

“This year we’re expecting to sell more than 270 tonnes of pumpkins in the lead up to October 31,” a Coles spokesman said.

The Wesfarmers-owned supermarket chain has doubled its range of Halloween merchandise, including costumes, decorations, party suppliers and trick or treat accessories and this year for the first time it’s introduced Halloween-themed baking accessories.

Target has already sold out of its creepy butler figure, an almost life-sized, and unnervingly life-like talking Halloween figure, and the chain’s general manager of hardgoods, Nick Chilcott said the pagan celebration was now an important event in the retail calendar.

“It’s definitely growing year on year,” Mr Chilcott said.

“It’s one of those events that started out with a kid focus but gradually it’s morphed into an opportunity for adults to dress up as well.”

Major events are now also part of the Halloween tradition, with Luna Park hosting a four-night Halloscream event  in Sydney and Luna Dark over three nights in Melbourne.

Retail analyst Brian Walker said research suggested one in five Australians planned to celebrate Halloween and he said Australia was developing its own, unique take on the festival.

“Australian kids are definitely more into super heroes or fairies and princesses than the scary characters you see in the US and I think it’s all about the treats here than the tricks.”

He said many communities hosted family-friendly events and street parties for Halloween and this was driving kids’ interest in the festival and a lot of the retail spending.

Woolworths experienced double-digit sales growth for its Halloween range last year and its discount department store Big W has expanded its range of costumes and wigs to meet rising demand from both kids and adults.

Woolies has already had its own Halloween scare after it was forced to recall its Halloween Ghost and Pumpkin LED spinning wands over concerns kids might gain access to the potentially dangerous button-cell batteries.

Case study for business

download-57Set up in the 1920s by James Carston, a Manchester tailor, the company has remained in the family and is now run by James’s grandson, Paul Carston.  Employing fewer than 50 people, the company has a reputation for producing high-quality men’s shirts, which it sells by mail order, and has a loyal customer base.  As Paul Carston says, ‘Once someone has tried our shirts, they tend to come back for more.  Our customers appreciate the attention to detail and the high-quality fabric we use.’  And it’s the fabric they now use that makes the company almost unique in the world of men’s shirt manufacturers.

When Paul Carston took over running the company in 1999, he inherited a business that prided itself on using local well-paid machinists rather than sweatshop labour, and looked upon its employees as members of an extended family.  Paul, a committed environmentalist, felt that the company fitted in well with his values.  The shirts were made from 100 per cent cotton, and as Paul says, ‘It’s a completely natural fibre, so you would think it was environmentally sound’.  Then Paul read a magazine article about Fair Trade and cotton producers.  He was devastated to read that the cotton industry is a major source of pollution, and that the synthetic fertilisers used to produce cotton are finding their way into the food chain.

Paul takes up the story.  ‘I investigated our suppliers, and sure enough found that they were producing cotton on an industrial scale using massive amounts of chemicals.  Then I looked into organic cotton suppliers, and found an organisation of Indian farmers who worked together to produce organic cotton on a Fair Trade basis.  Organic cotton is considerably more expensive than conventionally produced cotton, so I did the sums. I discovered that if we were prepared to take a cut in profits, we would only need to add a couple of pounds to the price of each shirt to cover the extra costs.  The big risk, of course, was whether our customers would pay extra for organic cotton.’

Paul did some research into the ethical clothing market and discovered that although there were several companies producing casual clothing such as T-shirts in organic cotton, there was a gap in the market for smart men’s shirts.  He decided to take the plunge and switch entirely to organic cotton.  He wrote to all his customers explaining the reasons for the change, and at the same time the company set up a website so they could sell the shirts on the internet.  The response was encouraging.  Although they lost some of their regular customers, they gained a whole customer base looking for formal shirts made from organic cotton, and the company is going from strength to strength.

Tips when you choose for change your management

download-56When you first read the text, don’t worry about the numbers in brackets.  You will fill in the gaps in Exercise 1.

A change for the better?

In the world of business, change is inevitable.  Nobody would seriously argue with that, especially at a time when IT developments are sweeping through all areas of work and changing how things are done and who does them.  But when change does come, not everybody agrees on what it means.  How you view change depends on  in the organisation, and managers and employees usually have very different perspectives.

If you’re , your focus is on results, and you’ll see the change as the best way to realise them.  They are more aware of the business’ overall goals, the financial state of the company and its position with regard to competitors and market share.

When  consider introducing change, they ask questions such as, ‘How quickly can it be implemented?’, ‘How will it benefit the company?’, ‘What investment is required?’, ‘How cost effective is the change?’ and ‘How will it affect our customers?’  Since they are usually the advocates of change, managers tend to be more enthusiastic about it.

If you’re , however, your focus is more on the immediate task of getting the job done.  They seldom have time to consider how their work fits into the overall scheme of things; they don’t share the broader perspective of the company directors.  Because they are often skilled and experienced in their work, or because they are placed on the frontline dealing with customers on a daily basis, they look at change from a personal perspective.

The questions  ask are, ‘How will this effect the quality of my work?’, ‘How much time will it take for me to adapt?’, ‘What’s wrong with the way we’ve always done things?’ and, ultimately, ‘What’s in it for me?’  Since employees are the ones who have to put the change into action, they are usually less enthusiastic about it.

With such different  about change within the organisation, it’s not surprising that innovation often fails.  Planned changes need to be carefully thought out and managed.  If not, morale will suffer as people feel that they are being forced to change against their will.   There will surely be resistance, and some highly valued members of staff may even decide it’s time to leave.

All of this can eventually have a negative affect on productivity and efficiency.  Management will have to admit defeat and drop the change, or risk losing  to the competition…and then another great idea bites the dust.

Remote Rewards – The Benefits of Using a Virtual Office

Image: https://www.nycofficesuites.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/benefits-of-a-virtual-office-space.jpg

Over the last decade, the rise of the small business has been nothing short of meteoric. Far from crushing the entrepreneurial spirit, the struggles of the global recession have renewed and reinvigorated it. New life is being breathed into a wealth of different industries, as people are waking up to the opportunities presented by technology.

If you can run a successful business from a smartphone, it’s clear that the age of big money is dead. While nobody is arguing that launching a business on minimal funds is easy, software and virtual solutions can now be used to fill gaps and create shortcuts. The virtual office, for example, is helping startups in Singapore to compete with powerful multinationals.

This guide to the benefits of virtual office solutions will explain why they are an important resource for small businesses.

Grow When You Want To

The belief that the best way for new companies to survive is to borrow money, in order to reach a place of profitability quickly, is becoming rather outdated. It is possible to launch a business on minimal funds, but you have to be extremely economical with initial expenses.

Click the website link to find out why virtual offices are a great match for this kind of launch model. They are intended to be used as a flexible form of off site support. You are accessing resources on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, rather than renting them outright for a specific duration.

Moving At Your Own Pace

It means that you can hold back on leasing a full-time office and still utilise all of the software, tools, and equipment needed to run the company. This is a great way to control and minimise expenses, while you’re waiting for returns to kick in and profits to swell.

Doing things this way might not fit the glamorous image of entrepreneurs, with swish private offices full of shiny new equipment, but it will help you avoid debt. The less you borrow, the faster your business will emerge from its startup phase and become an established brand.

Pay As You Go’ Terms

Few leasing arrangements are as flexible as virtual offices. The vendors in Singapore make their facilities available on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. Essentially, this means that tenants have the privilege of cherry picking tools and resources.

When registered, you’ll get the chance to review the range of corporate services on offer and edit the payment plan to reflect your needs. If you don’t want to pay for conference room access, go ahead and eliminate it. If you’d like 24/7 customer phone lines, you just have to ask.

Try Racing to the Top

One advantage of going virtual which often gets overlooked is the unparalleled access to high-end facilities. If you take a look at the virtual offices in your city, you’ll see that they cover some of the finest, most prestigious locations.

Usually, spots like these would be hard to acquire for small businesses and entrepreneurs with tight budgets, but virtual offices have low rates. Tenants aren’t charged full-time prices because they’re not leasing private suites. Therefore, luxury spots are within your reach.

Looking for the Perfect Virtual Office for Your Business

The most important part of finding a virtual provider is knowing what you need. All vendors are different, so be clear on your technical requirements. If you plan to operate out of the physical workspaces at least some of the time, don’t forget to check the server capabilities.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of a provider. If you need help managing your mailbox, enquire about the administrative services on site. If you want to host clients as if it were your own office, make sure there are high-quality conference rooms.

What are the roles of principle mining engineers?

The role of mining engineers is essential to mine plans. They are in charge of evaluating, planning and overseeing construction. They are often involved in the project before mining physically takes place. They begin by calculating a budget, creating a development plan and the scheduling of operations.

Mining engineers will work closely with:

  • Geologists
  • Metallurgists
  • Mineral Processors
  • Geotechnical engineers

    This is part of mining consultancy services that require mining engineers to work in various disciplines, and to be on the ball at all times.

Mining engineers are directly involved in:

  • Exploring and discovering mineral resources
    The actual scoping of potential sites for commercial valuable minerals.
  • Mine design
    Designing a mine that is both safe and economically feasible.
  • Development planning
    The principle engineer will serve as project manager of their team. They must acquire employees and equipment, and determine strategies to optimise both.
  • Production
    Producing a viable and commercially valuable product effectively and efficiently.
  • Minimising environmental effects by planning
    Mining engineers will work with an environmental specialist or geologist to ensure the impact of the mine is minimal to the area.

The mine planning processes that a principle mining engineer will be involved in include:

  • Building a geological model
  • Building and accessing a geotechnical model
  • Building and accessing a metallurgical model
  • Developing an extraction strategy- equipment used, areas drilled etc.
  • Mining costs and processes involved, finding investors, funds for mining
  • Comparing costs to the commodity value and potential profits
  • The method of mining and layout a part of mining design

A principle mining engineer is a dynamic occupation that can include many elements. It is constantly adapted to sustain the economy while doing minimal harm to the environment. Contact professional mining consultancies in South Africa to find out more about the processes and reviewing of various mining projects.


What is MSP &Who should attend this Course?


What is MSP?

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) encourages project managers to take a systematic approach to managing programs of business change. The well-known MSP course enables you to see the benefits of strategic importance when it comes to programme management.

Unlike simpler stand-alone projects, programmes need to direct objectives at a strategic level to improve the business operation.

MSP comprises of a set of principles and processes which is used for managing a programme. It is known to be successful in the delivery of transformational change and can be adapted to meet the unique needs of your business.

The MSP Framework consists of 3 core concepts:

  • MSP Principles

These are especially derived from lessons learnt from successful and unsuccessful programme experiences. They are common factors that underpin the success of change. The MSP Principles are:

  • Keeping aligned with corporate strategy
  • Leading change in a programme
  • Achieving transformational change through envisioning and communicating
  • Focusing on end benefits and what could threaten these benefits
  • Adding value
  • Compiling and delivering coherent capability
  • Learning from experience
  • MSP Governance Themes

These constitute how an organisation approaches programme management. It includes the placement of the right leadership, production team, team structures and controls, ensuring the best chance for success. The MSP Themes are:

  • Programme organisation
  • Vision (how to develop and maintain a vision statement)
  • Stakeholder and leadership engagement
  • Benefits management
  • Blueprint design and deliver
  • Planning and control
  • The business case
  • Risk management
  • Quality and assurance management
  • MSP Transformational Flow

This relates to the lifecycle of a programme, from start to finish, including the delivery of the new outcomes and benefits. The MSP transformation flow includes:

  • Identifying a programme
  • Analysing then defining a programme
  • Managing the tranches
  • Delivering the capability
  • Realising the benefits
  • Closing down all programme activity

Who should take this course?

MSP is a globally recognised course, ideal for:

  • Any professional in a programme management role
  • Project Managers
  • Programme Managers
  • Operational Managers


Print management firm that excels in dispatch labeling

Stationary manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers those who have entered into an annual contract with third parties will have to dispatch the forms and other paper items as and when needed, during emergencies and regularly to them failing which they have to face penalties and other legal battles. Firms which have only printing space and do not have warehousing facilities for dispatching their stocks will find very difficult to honor their commitments. These types of companies which send forms and stationary items regularly can sign an agreement with this company and store their stationary items and other bulky forms here.

This world class print management company which supplies integrated labels will step into the shoes of the customers and maintain their stocks in their sophisticated warehouse, print labels on the consignment and dispatch their products professionally to the communication address. This company is servicing the public sector and other reputed clients for the past three decades and has a small team of highly experienced executives those who have wide knowledge in labeling and stock inventory. People those who do not have sufficient space to maintain their stationary items or bulk quantity of papers can offload their items here. Some of the bespoke products that this firm produces and dispatches are integrated label forms, labels, business stationary, tickets, barcoded forms, magnetic key cards and boarding cards.

Company which specializes in printing official stationeries

Companies which are planning to offer print orders that are related to labels and despatch notes will be surprised with the lowest quote and engage the services of this company which excels in printing and bespoke products. Highly experienced and trained staffs working here will support and guide the customers round the clock. It is worth to note that this form printing company will accept minor as well as major form printing works and finish-off the assigned tasks within a short period of time. Customers can take delivery of the stocks even before the stipulated period and start using the printed matters.

All the products that are manufactured in this company are produced on high quality pre-printed paper. Firms which use picking notes, customer invoice, shipping label and returns label regularly will be happy with the services rendered by this company which is operating for the past several decades. Customers those who are planning to engage this company can request for free sample and hire some of the executives working here. It is imperative to note that this famous company supports the environment in many ways and has garnered highest quality certification from the government. Printers working here will not waste papers and use only recycled papers during printing process. This company excels in printing single, double, treble and bullet integrated printing.


How to Improve Your eCommerce Revenue

No matter which online shopping cart you use, you still need to spend time optimizing your entire online store if you want to boost your eCommerce revenue. If you’re looking for ways to make this happen, there are a couple of strategies you can deploy right away to make your online shopping site more profitable.

Study Your Market

A successful online retailer is one that markets products and reaches out to the right people. This is why you need to know exactly what your target audience is, says SecureNetShop: what they’re looking for in products and services and understand how they compare products and merchants when they shop. This can be done by doing a bit of research online, as there’s a lot of free information out there that’s relevant to the various niches.

Reach Out to Customers

Now that shopping cart solutions allow easy social media integration, you shouldn’t pass by the opportunities that this opens up to you as a merchant. Research shows that being present on sites like Facebook and Instagram can do wonders to boost your revenue. Make posts on your social pages that are relevant and engaging to your target audience, using the right keywords and hashtags when appropriate.

Reaching out to repeat customers is another highly effective strategy to increase eCommerce revenue. Repeat clients account for up to 41% of online store revenue. Shopping carts have various features that allow you to reach out to your previous customers, such as statistics and analytics tools, as well as easy integration with email marketing and CRM systems. Use these to your advantage and watch your sales grow.


Salvage all your lost data with our recovery mechanism

With the advancement in electronic and our reliant to computerized safes has created all new problems that people never had imagined a couple of decades back. We tend to store all the data from computer into drives like hard drives and pen drives. What happens when something goes wrong in those drives?. You end to lose a lot hence it is better you take steps to ensure that the drive that you have stored all the data in it is safe and performing. Regular servicing of your drives will ensure that the data inside is in good health. No one can predict the breakdown of a hard drive however there are symptoms that it displays when caught at the right time can salvage your lost information. You can try downloading regular recovery software that repairs and recovers the data only at the top. Badly damaged hard drives need expertise attention to get data recovered.

We will give you advice to resolve your recovery woes for free

Anytime you suspect that your storage setup is compromised it is critical that you call us and we will provide you with free consultation that will enable you to take steps that required to prevent the damage from happening. If none of it works contact us and we will tell you how our services will come to you rescue. If you have important official documents stored in the hard drive and the loss of it can cause serious repercussions to your business, contact us immediately and we will try to connect remote to your system to see if we can bring your required document to the surface. We provide all kinds of recovery options. We have an emergency service where we get on with your case resolution without delays as we respect the urgency that you have.

Proper maintenance and checks are required to ensure continuous working

We have a strict regime of handling customer hard drives; we don’t share or discuss any information in your drive as we see your drive as a piece of hardware that requires attention. We do recommend to our clients that if they notice hard drive physical damage then it is important that the recovery process takes place in a room that is clean and free from dust as further exposure to the drive can make the entire salvation difficult. If there is certain part of the drive that is corrupted, we will connect to your computer remotely and run diagnostics to understand the exact location of the drive that needs our attention. If the problem can’t be solved remotely we advise our clients to store the drive in an air tight package and send it to us at the earliest for the data recovery process to start. The quicker the works starts on your hard drive the higher possibility for us to ensure that there is loss of data. We have a customer service line that you can contact if you are currently facing trouble with the data stored in the drives.


Retailer Pumpkin Patch

Struggling children’s clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch, which has dozens of stores in Australia, is fighting for survival.

The New Zealand-based company has entered a trading halt after informing the market that it was “highly unlikely that there is any residual value in the company’s equity.”

After years of declining sales Pumpkin Patch has seen its market capitalisation dwindle to just $10.1 million from a valuation of $NZ231 million ($216 million) in 2013.

Its second-biggest shareholder is Jan Cameron, the co-founder of NZ adventure-wear retailer Kathmandu.

On Friday, Pumpkin Patch told shareholders that “substantial uncertainty” remained regarding its future and it would put forward proposals to its bank by October 31.

“Shareholders should note that it is highly unlikely that there is any residual value in the company’s equity.”

The news comes as rival Baby Bunting, Australia’s biggest baby goods chain, plans to ramp up store openings. Baby Bunting’s first year on the sharemarket was helped by the collapse of its major competitor, My Baby Warehouse, which gave Baby Bunting a dominant position in the highly fragmented $2.4 billion baby goods market.

Other baby-focused retailers to have collapsed in recent years are Babyco and the Australian arm of British giant Mothercare, thanks to slowing sales, tough trading conditions, writedowns and restructuring costs.

Early last year Pumpkin Patch put itself up for sale.

But that sale did not proceed, and the company instead planned a four-year turnaround program, which includes store closures and focusing on online sales.

Reporting a deeper loss of $15.5 million for the year to July 31, 2016, Pumpkin Patch said it was at a “very early stage of its recovery journey” and “apparel retailing continues to be highly competitive and challenging.”

It said declining sales were due to store closures, and a decline in its international wholesale business and northern hemisphere online business. The rise of the New Zealand dollar against the Australian dollar was also a “major headwind for the business and if sustained represents a material risk to earnings.”

“The business remains significantly over-leveraged and capital constrained,” it said last month. “Our ability to move forward from here is impacted by the lack of available capital for debt reduction and reinvestment. This represents a material risk to the ongoing viability of the business.”

Ringwood in a bid to take on Dan Murphy’s

Liquor Market’s positioning line “Low Cost and So Much More” could set the scene for a pre-Christmas booze barney as Australia’s two major supermarket giants slug it out over cut-price drinks.

It’s already caught the attention of Martin Smith, the boss of Woolworths’ $8 billion liquor retailing business, who fired the first salvo with a warning that liquor was far more competitive than grocery.

He said competition was concentrated on a small number of lines or brands, which represented the lion’s share of sales in key sectors such as beer.

Mr Smith wouldn’t chat about Liquor Market, except to say that Woolies’ Endeavour Drinks Group kept a “constant eye” on the competition.

The Wesfarmers-owned Coles has made hard work of liquor, failing to make any real dent in Dan Murphy’s’ domination of the sector with its rival big-box chain First Choice and before that its Liquorland Warehouse chain.

It’s no surprise they’ve tried to run Liquor Market under the radar and pass it off as an intelligence-gathering exercise and an opportunity to hear “what customers think” rather than the start of a new national chain.

Coles liquor boss Greg Davis said the Liquor Market test store was part of the “ongoing turnaround of the Coles liquor business”.

But he admits Coles has already collected a “huge amount of customers research” and shoppers have told it what they want.

All that’s left is for the good people of Ringwood to prove up its concept and then it can hit go.

However, Coles hasn’t provided any details on how long it will be in this testing phase or how quickly it would move to roll out the new brand and whether it would replace First Choice.

Liquor insiders have already drawn comparisons between Coles’ booze ambitions and Woolworths’ failed assault on Wesfarmers’ hardware giant Bunnings with its disastrous Masters chain.

Market watchers suggest this is why Coles wants to start small and talk down its ambitions for Liquor Market until it can prove up the concept.

Sources close to the new business suggest its aesthetic will be more like Bunnings than Masters with product ranged in boxes on pallets rather than slick display units and hipster sales staff.

“It appears to be all about bulk booze and presenting it in a cheap way that gives the impression or perception of value,” one liquor insider said.

“But the issue is, they are going to try and do a ‘me too’ when the incumbent already has the buying scale and the best sites, which makes it really hard.”

Analysts are sceptical about Coles’ latest attempt to chip away at Dan Murphy’s’ dominance.

“They’ve had trials before and we are generally sceptical on the efforts of Coles in liquor given the false starts in the past and the competitive advantage or lead that Dan Murphy’s and the broader Woolworths liquor business has,” one analyst said.

“While we don’t think Woolworths’ liquor business is as good as Bunnings, the lead they have from a competitive standpoint is quite significant.