Sunday, November 25, 2007

Understanding Business Mergers

A merger is one of the methods of business combinations between two companies where only one of them becomes the surviving entity. The assets and liabilities of one company become part of the assets and liabilities of the surviving company. Usually, the bigger company survives, acquiring the smaller one as part of its assets. No new entity is created.

Mergers may be:

Horizontal or the merger of companies with the same or related product lines
Vertical or the merger of a vendor or a customer.
Friendly or hostile. Acquiring another company is one way to add to shareholder value and also for the following reasons:

Economies of scale:

This is a commonly used set of words in business. With the operations of the two companies merged, the cost of operations is lowered since the duplication processes are turned into one. The combined operations that would help reduce costs are as follows:

Purchasing. This would also enable the surviving company a better bargaining power with the increase in volume.
Financial. Can negotiate for better interest rates.
Organizational. There shall be only one general manager and some employees maybe terminated for redundancy

Increased Sales Volume or Increased Market Share. Almost, if not all mergers are between major competitors or companies with the same or related products. Naturally, there will also be a combination of product or services output resulting to increase in sales volume. The combination also includes the bigger market share.

Synergy. The surviving company can have better, efficient use of the combined resources.
Taxes. In a merger, it is also common that the merged company is a financially losing company, entitled to some tax write off. The surviving company can use this to its advantage. Increase in R&D budget.

Post Merger Scenario. In a merger, the most affected are the employees. Some problems can not be avoided because people are also merged. Some of the concerns that should be anticipated are:

Job security, especially on the part of the acquired of merged company. In fact, the managers in the acquired companies may lost their jobs due to redundancy. Concerns that may not have been anticipated by the surviving company. Employees of the acquired company need training to know the processes in the surviving company. Different cultures in the two companies. This also means a difficult mind set which would make it difficult to blend in the new workplace

Merger is one way to expand the company. For example, a bank may suddenly have an additional 200 branches through mergers with another bank. As in any new venture, mergers need an honest, thorough discussion between the two merging parties during the negotiating phase.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

How To Apply For A Business Loan

Many small businesses will visit banks hoping to receive a loan to get their business off the ground and of those only a few will walk out with a check. Most financial institutions are over cautious when it comes to lending money to new businesses due to the historically high failure rate of new businesses.

Its no real secret that in order to get a business loan from most banks, you have to be able to show that you really do not need their loan. While bank may be interested in financing businesses, their main concern is the ability to repay the money and insuring the business owner has sufficient collateral and liquid assets to help meet expenses during downturns in the business.

While they may be reluctant to hand money out for a new business there are some thing a business can do to promote a favorable decision and walking into the loan officers office on your knees with your hands folded in a pleading position is not one of them. You must walk into the office with air of confidence, not to be confused with arrogance and dress professionally looking like a potential business owner and a person of integrity who is capable of accepting responsibility for their actions.

Check your credit report before applying for a loan and work to clear out any negative items it may contain. This can take some time so starting on it early can have it cleaned up to more accurately represent your credit worthiness at the time the application is submitted. There are different types of business loans available, some for equipment and some for operating capital and they all have different criteria, which must be met. Make sure you are applying for the right type of business loan. You may qualify to borrow money for new equipment or upgrades but not qualify for an operations expense loan.

Regardless of the type of loan you apply for, be prepared to offer specific reasons why the money is needed. It will not be enough to state the money will be used for business expenses. You will have to break it down into specific amounts for specific purposes. Many bank will not ask for the use of each and every penny of the loan but generalizations about the use of the cash will not be looked upon favorably.

Even with these three issues being addressed there are other factors that will play into the banks decision such as the type of business you are starting and your experience in running that type of business. For example, if you managed a video store for several years and want to open a restaurant, the business aspect of running the store will be a plus but having little or no experience in food service willl be a negative on your application.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Risk Of Business Partnership

When you begin your own business you take a lot of risks that are naturally involved. One of the many risks you may face is issues or concerns with going into business with outside investors. You may have to take a bank loan or perhaps there is someone you know who has faith in your business and decides to loan you start up money. No matter who exactly is providing the funds, using outside investors can create some nasty situations. Here are three examples of this and keep them in mind to help protect your business.

You may face added pressure to your life, pressure on top of pressure. When you choose to use outside financial backers you run the risk of those persons putting extra and unneeded pressure in your business life. Running your business can be stressful enough. There is so much to keep track of and a lot of juggling with your time. Your backers may do a lot of checking up on you with phone calls or emails.

Wondering exactly what is happening with the business and how profitable it has become. You really want to feel comfortable with the person you get financial assistance from. Someone who is patient and understanding as your business grows. Partner with someone who is emotionally supportive as well as supportive with money.

Money can bring out the worst in people. People can be full of greed, selfishness and become persistently pushy. You may hear a lot of talk about being paid back soon. They may begin to say that they should be earning part of your profit since they loaned money to start your business. Backers can become overly pushy with questions on how the business is flourishing. This can all lead to some rather emotional outbreaks at times. Its best to set guidelines with your loan officer or silent backer pre-loan to prevent these issues from ever occurring.

Unfortunately some discussions of money lead to court appearances and lawsuits. When people become heated over money they can be quick with their tongue and create a falling out of business partnerships. It can often be prevented but if this should arise be smart. Do not let emotions take control. Try to keep a cool head and concentrate on being fair about the situation and to get it resolved quickly.

Business involves money and money can create problems. Your safest way to prevent any issues with your outside investor is to create out strict guidelines to keep all of the above out of your life. If you make sure that both parties agree on these guidelines, you are sure to have a much more successful business outcome.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

How To Write A Resume

How many times have passed up what appeared to be a good job opportunity because the company was requesting resume? Many times filling out an application is not going to be enough and putting your work history on paper is not difficult. Only two simple rules will make your resume worth looking. Be complete and be short.

If your first attempt at writing a resume ends up with more than two pages, you will need to go back and condense it. Very few personnel representatives are going to spend all day reading through a resume. They do not want every little detail of your job duties. They can get that during an interview. They are looking for the highlights and how your performance of the job benefited your former employer.

While most resumes will include all jobs held by a person, any large gaps between jobs will need to be explained. Since most resumes do not contain the exact dates of employment, usually using the month and year is sufficient, any gap longer than a month can be answered during the interview. For example, if you spent time in prison do not list that time as working for the state or federal government. A background check is going to reveal the truth.

Begin your resume with the pertinent information such as name, address and phone number. Include an alternate number in case you may not be available at home all the time. Do not put in your birthday, social security number or other personal information such as marital status and any children or other family members. Its nobodys business during the resume reading stage. While some may say that being married is a sign of stability, it is also illegal to consider marital status as a consideration for hiring.

When listing your work history, always begin with the most recent and go backwards. A basic rule of thumb is to include any position which lasted longer than a month, however in some instances of a person having a dozen jobs in a year, there may be some exceptions. Regardless of the length of time on the job, list every occupation that might relate to the position for which you are applying.

Within the section containing education information be completely honest. If your only visit to a college was for sports games or concerts do not claim you attended that school. If you have a degree, by all means list it but be careful of taking credit for any education that can not be accurately documented. Many high profile positions have been vacated by persons who were not honest about their educational backgrounds. If the successful job candidate must have a certain level of education that you lack, there is probably no reason to submit your resume.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Networking For Your business success

Networking is all about being in contact with those important to your business. Networking is necessary to be able to clearly communicate with those that allow your business to work properly. It truly is key to a successful business. There are several tools to help you have a solid business network. There are really two specific areas to focus on when setting up your business network.

Technology is the most helpful part of your business network. Being able to communicate with business partners quickly and efficiently is a must in business. Computer networking is the most popular way to do it all. Email your product provider a shipment order. Fax a receipt to a customer. Set up a business conference online. This is used widely throughout many types of businesses. Also the use of phones has become much more valuable to businesses than ever before.

For contractors and delivery services the use of cellular phones offering walkie-talkie and tracking services has become heavily used. Cellular phones are now mobile offices. You are able to stay in verbal contact with other businesses as well as use Internet services from your phone to look up information or to send quick confirmations to those you are in business with. Technology allows us to be in any part of the world in any location and still be in touch with our business contacts. Making business networking easier than ever before.

Technology has come far for the business network needs but communication skills are a must. If you do not have excellent skills when it comes to personal relations with clients you are destined to struggle and possibly lead your business to failure. You have to have the ability to build strong relationships with those you work with. Have an understanding of people and business. Combine these to create a solid business network foundation.

If you cannot speak to your clients with confidence but at the same time come of as understanding you are doomed to build that connection. You have to balance power and sensitivity. Communication is one of the most important tools in life period. If man can not communicate with one another then no information is ever transferred from one person to another. What good does is if we have something to say but once said no one understands it?

Networking is key because connection and communication is key. They are all joined together to create business success. So no matter the tools used from technology, be it email or the use of a phone you have to be able to converse with those involved in your specific business. Just be sure to speak to those around you with a smile in your voice. You will be sure to make a great connection and create networking success.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

What A Career Coach Actually Does

A career coach performs many duties that include helping new business owners write a business plan, offer advice on issues that may come up while creating the business, putting new business owners in contact with other business owners and being there whenever business owners need to talk about the direction of their business. While a career coach is not needed to start a successful business, many people turn to them for guidance and support, especially if they are new to the world of business.

Most career coaches are business owners themselves, so they understand the pressures of succeeding. Some have worked in other industries and can offer years of expertise in certain fields. Most career coaches specialize in one or two fields. While they may run a full time coaching business helping different clients each day, some prefer to work with one person and may only work in the coaching business part time. Even though the skills needed to help others varies from industry to industry, career coaches are able to give general advice and listen to those who may not have anywhere else to turn.

When looking for a career coach, you should try to find one with experience in your field. Unless you have general career questions, only a coach who has worked in your field will understand your specific needs. Some coaches are available any time, while others are only available during scheduled visits, so try to determine your needs and find a coach that can facilitate them. Most people are referred to career coaches by others who have worked with them.

Once you have found a coach, it is important to outline your needs early on so you can make the most of your time. After working with the coach for a few sessions, you will begin to feel more comfortable and you can move on to other issues. Make sure your coach has the time to meet your needs so you can build your business. If you do not want to own a business but need help advancing in your career, coaches can help by becoming a sounding board offering advice and counsel when you need it.

If your job is stressful, a coach can offer ways to reduce stress and find what work life balance that you need. This is oftentimes the most difficult challenge that people face when they are looking to advance in their career. But career coaches can teach time management and organizational skills that you can use in order to make your life less stressful. They can also suggest reading materials, courses and other information sources for you to turn to when you need them. For many, a career coach can help people find their way in the corporate world or help them establish their own businesses easily.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

What Not To Do As A Salesman

Selling requires the combination of skills in persuasion and product knowledge. But there are some salesmen that lack both. In fact, there are common selling mistakes that salesmen usually make so that sometimes a transaction which should have led to sales does not occur at all. However, some of these selling mistakes are quite understandable because salesmen are sometimes desperate for sales since their compensation is not based on salary but rather from the amount of sales they had been able to generate.

In this business, you will be ale to observe quite a high number of job turnovers because salesmen were not able to meet their quotas and become frustrated or they simply got tired of convincing people who do not even want to give them the time of day. But you can avoid all these if you have a positive attitude that aims to please people and have the right techniques that will make them listen. It is also important to understand the likes and dislikes of people so you can avoid making them uncomfortable. In line with this, here are some of the top mistakes you should always avoid as a salesman.

1. Showing little confidence – there is no better way to discourage your potentials than by exhibiting a lack of self confidence. If you have little trust on the product or service you are offering then they will likewise become discouraged from buying that product. But if you present your products with the confidence and trust of someone who has already tried it then you can expect your potential customers to become interested in the opportunity as well.
2. Do not stretch the truth. If the product you are selling has its limitations then it is your responsibility to make your potential customers aware of these limitations. It would not be right for you to lie and tell people that the product is capable of more functions than it actually is. People do not want to be lied to and being truthful can have a positive impact on your reputation.

3. Never say you do not know. There are some salesmen who have the misconception that they have to answer each and every single question that is thrown to them by the customers even if they do not know the answer. You should avoid this mistake because it is better to say you do not know than to invent something up.

4. Not being presentable. Being a salesman means that you have to talk to a lot of people that can potentially become your customers. Because of this, it is important to present a good image of yourself and the company you work for. In addition, people are naturally attracted to presentable people so making an effort to look professional can yield good results. There are many other things you should avoid but the basic rule is to have honestly when selling because people respect honest persons.

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