Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Important Steps To Maintaining Your Valuable Networking Contacts

Many people spend hours mingling with other professionals or business owners during networking events, trade fairs or business conferences. You may collect a wallet full of business cards, but do you ever contact them once the event has finished? If not, you're certainly not alone. You may not feel comfortable dialing the number of a new contact without having anything to say.

Hence, I'm going to discuss some steps you should follow so you can utilise these valuable contacts at a later date. You have to remember that the steps you take before you actually follow up will determine how easy or difficult the task will be. If you want your new contacts to be available when you need them, take heed to the following 10 steps:

1. Direct Your Conversation To Meaningful Topics

Remember, you normally have a very limited amount of time to chat with other conference participants. Hence, you don't want to waste any time discussing non-important issues such as the weather. You can spend a few minutes breaking the ice, at which point you should move to more important topics. This will enable you to maximise your time spent with as many event participants as possible.

2. Inquire About Their Professional Interests & Goals

If you find initial conversations with strangers a bit awkward, you can always ask a question about the event you are attending. This will not only break the ice, but also lead the conversation in the direction you want. Two useful examples are "What did you find the most useful point you learned from today's conference"? or "What are you hoping to learn from today?" These types of questions will pave the way for more general questions such as their other goals or their profession.

3. Create An Excuse to Follow Up Soon After The Event

Another helpful tool is to create a reason for you to contact any new people you meet during a business event. For example, listen closely to the other person and advise them that you would be happy to send them a suggestion, call them with relevant contact information or email them a recommendation. This will make it much easier to contact individuals because they will be expecting to hear from you.

4. Create A Follow Up Reason That Creates Added Value

Make sure you find a reason to contact the other person that will actually add value to them, rather than just benefiting you. Hence, there is no point sending a person you recently met your company brochure or resume unless they have specifically requested these documents.

5. Obtain A Business Card With Complete Contact Information

Don't risk losing valuable contact information when networking by scribbling names, email addresses or telephone numbers on the nearest available slip of paper. You should always request a business card so you have many available methods to contact them.

6. Write Notes On The Back Of Your Own Business Cards

Instead of jotting down notes on the back of someone else's business card, try the reverse tactic. Make sure to write down some ideas or specifics that you will follow up with on the back of your own business card. This will jog the other person's memory when you decide to contact them at a later date. This is also an effective method of making you stand out in a crowd.

7. Make Sure You Contact Them Within 2 Business Days

If possible, you should follow up with your networking contacts within 2 business days. If you will be away for a few more days, make sure to call or email as soon as you return to your office. If you plan to be away for at least a week, you can send a short email message to explain that you enjoyed meeting them and will follow up when you return.

8. Don't Start Off Asking For A Lot

You risk scaring off new contacts if you start requesting big favours. Wait until you have established a more solid connection. Minor requests such as the name of a great real estate agent generally aren't a problem. However, larger requests such as an introduction to the head of their company or access to main customers should wait. Very few people are willing to risk their professional reputation for an individual they have recently met.

9. Continue To Add Value Whenever You Connect

If you establish yourself as an individual who continually adds value, you will quickly build up an extensive network of contacts. Continue to send information on relevant areas or offer your assistance if someone needs help or has a question. Another great way to build up your contacts is to send people customers who genuinely wish to purchase their service or product.

10. Be Specific & Provide Context When You Ask

When you're finally ready to request a favour or information, make sure you specify exactly what you require. Explain that you felt they would be the best person to contact. This reveals that you have taken the time to deliberately contact them which will increase your likelihood of receiving a favourable response.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get to Know Your Legal Funding Terms

Some companies specialize in legal settlement funding. When people are implicated in a lawsuit, they may apply for a special loan and receive compensation long before they win the court case or create a settlement agreement. Some terms that are unique to lawsuit financing. The following is a list of terms that might be used when someone needs a settlement loan.

Plaintiff
In a civil lawsuit, when a party sues someone else, the party suing is usually called the complainant or plaintiff. They must prove wrongdoing by the other person in the lawsuit in order to recover restitution, which is usually given in the form of money through the legal system.

Defendant
This is the person or persons in a civil lawsuit that is being sued. They are either called a defendant or respondent, depending on the type of lawsuit it is and state in which it is filed. Just because someone is being sued, it does not necessarily mean they have done anything wrong. It is up to the legal process to decide that through a judge or jury trial.

Workmen's Compensation
When someone is injured on the job, the company is responsible for taking care of the worker's medical bills and some of their expenses. The employee may or may not be compensated if they did not follow safety or work guidelines or if the company doesn't have workers' compensation insurance. In some cases, the claim will be denied if the worker did not follow proper procedure in filing paperwork, seeing doctors on an approved list or if they were not scheduled to work at the time of the injury.

Depositions
This is a question and answer session usually conducted under oath with attorneys present. The purpose is to find out general case information and circumstances surrounding the incidents leading up to the lawsuit. There is usually a court reporter present to make an official record of what everyone says. This professional, unbiased person must be paid for their services by the party taking the deposition.

Settling
A settlement is a binding agreement between parties to discontinue the court case under certain conditions. This usually includes a payment to the person suing. The person or business being sued may or may not have to admit any wrongdoing to settle the case. In some cases, the terms of the agreement are confidential.

Settlement Advances
This is a type of cash advance given to an approved plaintiff involved in a case. The finances are usually available within hours or days of applying for financing through a lawsuit financing company.

Settlement Financing
Some companies offer financing to plaintiffs in certain kinds of civil cases. If the application is approved, the person receives an advance on the money they would be awarded in a settlement agreement or if they won their case. The interest rate is usually less than that from standard bank or credit card financing.

CourtTrial
In our legal system, civil cases are planned to go through several steps that end in a trial by jury or judge. Some cases go all the way to trial. Others are dropped or settle before this time.

Filing Bankruptcy
Consumers may make a petition to the court asking for all of their debt to be forgiven because they cannot repay it. This is a very complicated legal process that usually requires legal representation.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Loans Against Nsc Bonds

When you are in desperate need of cash, you tend to weigh all your options and sources of income, dig out your savings, seek help from family and friends or opt for personal loans, loan against property from bank. Availing a loan against your National Savings Certificate (NSC) is one such option which benefits you in a number of ways.

What NSCs are:

National Savings Certificate is a bond issued by the Department of Post, Government of India across the country to anyone who wishes to invest in a long term savings scheme (6 years). It increases your invested amount and also exempts you from paying tax on the amount of the bond. Since there is no lid on the amount you can invest in NSC, you can buy them for any amount you want starting with Rs100.

Loan process:

These NSCs come handy as a security deposit when you require a loan according to your requirement for example personal loans. All nationalized banks, some private banks, and financiers support this form of loan. To start with the process, you need to go to the same post office that granted you the NSCs and pick up relevant forms based on the number of NSCs you plan to pledge. On approaching a bank, you need to fill the form with details about your NSCs. The bank manager will verify the details and sign indicating his approval. You need to again go back to the post office and pay a processing fee of Rs5/- per NSC bond that you pledge. The post office will check and confirm the pledging by stamping a seal on the bonds with the name of your bank giving you the loan. Submit the NSC bonds to the bank manager and fill up a loan application form similar to the regular loan request processes. The sanctioned loan amount will be transferred to your bank account within 2 working days time. The loan amounts sanctioned is usually calculated as 75% of the face value of your bonds (it is similar to that of loan against property, here the property is your bond) and the interest amount accrued from the bonds till the date of loan application. The banks may charge you a small fee as processing charges too.

Eligibility:

The only eligibility for availing a loan against your NSC bonds is that the bonds should be in your name, if you are the applicant. The loan amount and tenure also depends on the number of years that the bond has left to reach maturity.

Benefits of loans against NSC bonds:

The process of availing loans against NSC bonds is fairly simple and fast thus ensuring you receive the loan amount in no time as compared to the formalities for availing other loans like personal loans. There is no extensive paperwork involved and interest rates are not very high. This type of loan especially works as a boon for rural citizens as they face hardships to avail loans such as personal loans, home loans or business loans from banks without much property to show for or have their property already pledged with the local financier. The NSC bonds can be unfledged once you clear the loan amount.

Loans against NSCs help the system because they make good use of the invested money and helps in revenue generation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Looking For A San Diego Mortgage Lender

If you're thinking about moving to the San Diego area, there are quite a few things that you need to keep in mind prior to making your move. Among the most essential of these things is the San Diego mortgage lender you decide to go with to finance your loan. With all of the alternatives out there for mortgage companies in the San Diego area, you may feel a bit intimidated by the choice you have to make. The details on the mortgage that you end up with should be entirely in your favor as long as you do not rush your decision at all and there are no hidden fees in the agreement. When looking for a home lender in the San Diego area, here are some useful things to make your research easier where your able to get the loan you need at a good monthly price.

Asking family members, friends or business associates who have moved recently are good places to start out. The people in your life that you're nearest to will be able to give you good, unprejudiced information that you know will have your best interests in mind. This is a far better way to begin your search than by reading online testimonials written by people you've never met and do not know anything about. As you're actually talking to these people, you can put together a list consisting of the mortgage companies they recommend, while making another list of the ones they recommend you stay away from, if any. You can research lenders individually once you have established a good starting point of prospective companies.

There are several ways you can research lenders on their own. The internet is a fantastic way to find simple information. No doubt the information offered on many company websites will be beneficial. If you're looking for more exact information relating to the particulars of your situation that will affect the terms of your loan, you can call the loan companies in question for that information.

To help you find the appropriate San Diego mortgage lender, it might be wise to consider investing in a mortgage broker. Although it might cost you more money for the short term, a mortgage broker will help you get the deal that will work best for you and just you. Getting their clients the best deal possible is the job of mortgage firms, it is also the job of these people to get you the very best loan possible. A mortgage broker works with different lenders in order to figure out which one in particular will be the best option for you. In addition to acquiring the best deal for you on a financial basis, a mortgage broker will also be doing the majority of the heavy lifting, so to speak as you sort out the process. A lot of the stress can be taken off your shoulders when working with a mortgage broker, which makes life much easier for you.

Purchasing a home is one of the greatest, if not the biggest, investment you'll make in your lifetime. While things can certainly get annoying as they drag out, the most important thing is to be sure you stay patient and to make a level headed decision. Prevent headaches down the road and consider when looking at purchasing a home to consider getting a mortgage broker to help iron out a good deal with lenders.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Accounts Receivable Factoring as a Solution to Increase Cash Flow

At certain times in your business cycle, whether you are a start-up business or a well-established veteran, cash flow is critical. Whether times or tough, or business is booming, cash flow challenges can cause unwanted stress and limit your growth potential.

Everyone knows the magic equation for a financial success: spend less, make more. Or, limit your expenses and increase your income. There are a hundred tips for saving money, and perhaps even more for making it, but when it comes to cash flow, you can really make an impact by turning your focus to your accounting department. There are two key principles to follow. In accounts payable: Keep your cash. In accounts receivable: Get your income as soon as possible.

Keep your cash. When it comes to limiting expenses we must turn to accounts payable. There is absolutely no need to pay any bill before it's due. Do not pay it early, do not pay it late. It's so simple, it bears repeating: Pay your bills only when they are due. When in cash crunch, keep that money in your pocket as long as you can.

Get your income as soon as possible. The second half of the equationincrease your incomemay leave you thinking, easier said than done. Some might think a quick fix for cash would be to take out a loan. Unfortunately, not everyone has this option, nor is it always good business decision. Besides, if you get down to it, this is not really your income, just someone else's money. The focus should be on the income you currently are earning and how to collect it faster. Here we turn to the accounts receivable department.

Your existing receivables are really assets that possess cash value. Rather than simply waiting to get paid, there is an option to reap immediate benefits from outstanding invoices: accounts receivable factoring, or invoice factoring. You can sell your accounts receivable (one or all of your invoices) at a discount to a third party financial institution called a factor. You then immediately collect cash on that transaction. The factor is then is responsible for collecting on the invoice. (Eventually, they will collect the full amount.)
This is different than a bank loan in a few ways.

Factoring involves three parties (seller, buyer, and factor) instead of just two. Also, the factor is not providing a loan but is actually purchasing an asset. The most important distinction is this: in order for a bank to offer a loan to your business, you must have good credit; conversely, in order for a factor to buy an asset from you, they consider the credit-worthiness of the buyer, your customer (the person who owes you money). This is critical because it means that regardless of the credit standing of your business, factoring is an option for you to obtain cash.

Accounts receivable factoring is a perfect solution for anyone unwilling or unable to take out a loan. Arguably, it's an ideal solution for any business looking for immediate cash flow. A small start-up company with not enough credit is constantly in need of cash for growth and expansion. An established firm may need a little boost to get through a tough time, or because they too are expanding.

When cash flow is critical, turn your attention to the accounting department to provide the solution. Spend less by holding on to your existing cash as long as you can, and make more with invoice factoring services. The combination of the two will result in cash flow freedom for your business.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Three Tips on Handling Private Student Loans Successfully

Paying for college has become challenging for many people. The current state of the economy is forcing the costs of tuition to increase. Some of the more established loan and grant sources are drying up. This is putting many high school graduates in a position where they have to search for new loan sources. Many high school counselors are encouraging some of their students to enroll in the military, in order to save money and qualify for The G.I. Bill.

Most people know about federal government loans and grants, but there are some people who do not meet the qualifications that are required to receive funding from these sources. Where can one turn to when he or she is not approved for a grant or federal government loan? Fortunately, private student loans are available for individuals that are interested in furthering their education. Recent statistics show, that more people are applying for private student loans as time progresses.

Finding collegiate private loan sources is not as difficult as some may think. Consulting with academic advisors is one way of getting more information on private sources that are offering money for college. There are also many books that contain multiple listings of outfits, which have private money to spare. These books can be found within libraries and book stores.

Receiving private funding for education is a serious step, which should only be taken by someone who is willing to commit to earning a degree. One must be prepared to pay the principal and interest back, once their education is completed. This is one factor that is often taken lightly by many. Next are a few tips that can help college graduates handle a private student loan responsibly.

Earn A Degree

Earning a degree is the entire purpose of getting a loan. Coursework should be the top priority for all students who are using private funding. It would be a waste of time for one to get a private loan, and fail to finish college.

Double Payments

Future installment payments are expected out of borrowers. It is okay to make timely installment payments, but one should pay more than what is required monthly. Doubling the payments can help one pay off the loan sooner. This strategy also attacks the interest rate that is attached to the loan.

Supplemental Income

A full time job may not be enough to address private student loans. This is certainly true when it comes to a dental school loan. Getting an extra job can help secure more capital, and alleviate any tension that usually derives from paying back student loans.

Paying for college is becoming more challenging, due to the present state of the economy. Fortunately, private student loans are available for anyone who cannot get a grant or federal aid. Following the three tips listed above, can help anyone manage private student loans successfully.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coping With Career Change

Lost your Job? Experiencing a sudden or unexpected career change? Worried about your future?

The emotional response to career change is similar to dealing with loss as characterized by Kubler-Ross.

Denial

There are typically two stages of denial that occur with sudden or unexpected career transitions. The first stage is typically very brief. There may be a short suspension of belief in which it is hard to imagine that you no longer have that job. The facts are pretty hard to deny, the position was there one day and you were gone the next day. Regardless of the circumstances, it is fairly difficult to deny when this fact when that door has been closed.

The second and more dangerous period of denial occurs when lifestyle is not altered, even though the income has changed. In many cases, denial is subsidized by a severance package, a golden parachute, or unemployment benefits. The employer no longer provides the ongoing checks or benefits coverage, but the income if otherwise subsidized and therefore lifestyle if not substantially altered. This form of denial can be very dangerous and should be quickly resolved. With time the severance package, unemployment benefits, or personal savings will start to diminish and eventually run dry. It is difficult to predict exactly when the next position or career will create a new source of income, and it is difficult to determine how the compensation and benefits will compare to previous position. When the change occurs, it is a very good time to begin assessing your financial responsibilities and expenses.

Each month as the credit cards statements, rent or mortgage, and other expenses arrive, use that as an opportunity to evaluate the necessity of the expenses that you incur. It is a common habit that expenses grow in proportion to an individual's ability to support the expenses. Clothes, cars, and eating habits are examples of expenses that easily adjust with a person's ability to sustain the expense. Subscriptions, hobbies, and miscellaneous expenses are often forgotten or disguised personal expenses. Every time that you pay an invoice, consider how that costs compares to your personal hierarchy of needs and how you can be a little more frugal in your expenditures. If you can reduce your expenses now, it will continue to bear fruit, even when your income is restored.

Anger

It is natural to be angry when events impact a person's routines. It is natural to feel anger when events interrupt an individual's ability to support a family or otherwise jeopardize financial responsibilities. It is natural, but is it productive? If the career change is due to personal lack of performance on the job, then there is nobody to blame but yourself. If the career change is due to financial hardship by the company, thereby resulting in overall job reductions, then there is nobody to blame at the company that is also struggling to survive. Organizations have a responsibility to support clients, customers, shareholders, and the remaining employees to the best of the ability of the company. Whatever the cause of the career change, the natural responses of anger and frustration lack direction and therefore offer no source of consolation.

Do you feel the energy that comes from frustration, anger, or enthusiasm? Emotions charge the body with adrenaline and create energy. Even negative emotions like frustration, anger, or worry can create an emotional charge that can be redirected into positive energy. If you sit still and let negative emotions take control, then you may find yourself drowning in continuous waves of negative thoughts and concerns. Rather than slip into depression or self-pity, use that energy to give you incentive to concentrate on positive projects. For example, invest your energy in reworking your resume. Begin making lists of opportunities and invest your time in researching companies that are showing positive growth. Start educating yourself on other aspects of your industry or profession. Use that energy that makes you shake with frustration to put your fingers to work on the keyboard, flipping pages, or dialing phone numbers. If you still have energy left over after you have worked every possibility, then go for a walk and release that energy with some positive exercise.

Depression

The hunt for your next career position may take some time. Economic challenges may restrict the job market and create seemingly overwhelming competition for a limited number of positions. Constant concerns, coupled with a sense of responsibility, can create fertile grounds for depression. If you feel this happening to you, remember that it is a choice and you have control over it. Depression occurs when you allow yourself to feel remorse because events and timelines are not occurring according to your plans. This does not mean that the forces of the universe are working against you, but it could be a strong indication that it is time to change your plans. Sometimes it is necessary to abandon your plans completely and pause to properly evaluate the options available to you. This may mean changing your lifestyle, changing your career, or allowing yourself to take an intermediate transition in another direction. Allow yourself the flexibility to adapt to the situations and opportunities that are available to you. This does not mean that you are settling for less than your full potential, but it does mean that you have the self-confidence to allow yourself to expand your talents and experience in previously unexpected areas. Allow yourself the flexibility to abandon or temporarily shelf those expectations that are causing your depression and give yourself the freedom to adjust your career or lifestyle to take advantage of what is available to you at the moment. When it seems that you cannot make any progress in the direction that you are going then allow yourself to move in the direction that gives your life momentum.

Bargaining

Once you have overcome denial and accepted the sometimes life-altering changes to control your expenses, and after you have overcome or bypassed the feelings of anger or depression, it is natural to begin a process of personal bargaining. This phase is the internal conflict of balances wants and needs with reality and resources. It is a process of justifying small concessions for the greater good. It means offsetting minor sacrifices by placating yourself with some rational of purpose or personal reward.

The process of internal bargaining can be a positive process if it means an awakening realization of the positive outcome of your decisions and actions in contrast to the investment of selective sacrifice. However, it is very important to consider the long term commitment associated with such bargaining. If the sacrifices are worth the return of a lasting career or long term relationship, then it is merely an acknowledgement of personal investment. If the sacrifice results in ethical conflicts or may otherwise require sustained commitment that you are not willing or able to make, then the bargain lacks substance and is doomed to failure. Do not negotiate commitments that you are unwilling or unable to sustain, not even to yourself.

Acceptance

Welcome to the club! There are millions of individuals experiencing various stages of career transitions. You are not alone and you are not really competitors. Each person is looking for the next opportunity to match personal talents and capability with the appropriate corresponding position. Likewise, organizations are searching for the most appropriate candidate in accordance with the job requirements. It is not a competition or a popularity contest. It is a giant puzzle in which all of the pieces are trying to find the perfect fit. As you look for your next opportunity, help those in your network to do the same. If you find a position that is suitable for someone else who is in career transition, take the time to make a recommendation and help good people discover good organizations. Helping others in your fellow career transitioning tribe may encourage them to help one another, and inspire them to help you too. Even if the favors are not returned, you will have the personal satisfaction of helping others.

Once you have accepted that your life has changed, there are countless new opportunities that are open to you. Be ready for new experiences and be prepared for more unexpected challenges. The experiences are all part of the learning process. You could have spent countless months or years in the rut of your routine, but you have been given an unexpected opportunity to apply your talents and experience in new ways. You have been given a personal invitation to expand your capabilities and to meet new friends. It can be unsettling when it is unexpected, but you can use this is an opportunity to invest in yourself and in your future.

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Words of Wisdom

"'There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there. There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand."
- Barack Obama, Election Night Speech

"If government could create jobs and raise children, socialism would have worked."
- George Gilder

"Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the real value of a job.
- Victor Hugo

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