Short term debt funds for short term goals

Debt mutual funds can be classified as per their holding period such as short-term debt funds and long-term debt funds. The meaning of short-term debt funds is that they invest in debt and money market instruments with a Macaulay duration of the portfolio between 1 year – 3 years. Short -term debt fund returns have low volatility..

Investors who are conservative or want to keep a certain portion of their assets in fixed income bearing securities can invest in short-term debt mutual funds. Debt funds, amongst themselves, have different risk profiles, which allows investors to choose funds based on their risk appetite and return expectations in these funds. Investors in debt mutual funds are exposed to inherent risks such as interest rate risk, credit risk, illiquidity risk and market risk etc. Interest rate risks refer to the risk in your investment when prices of the securities purchased move up or down due to changes in macro-economic conditions like higher inflation, higher government borrowings, adverse effect on rupee due to higher current account deficit and other global market developments. Credit risk refers to the risk, when the securities which the fund is holding get downgraded or when there is a possibility of the issuer of the security defaulting in payment of principal or interest. Market risk refers to the risk of the underlying securities cannot be liquidated at the price at which it is valued, due to markets not being deep enough to absorb the sale of the securities. Investors who want to keep their money for very short periods but looking for slightly higher return than savings account and willing to take market risk may invest in Liquid Funds offered by mutual funds. These liquid funds are short term debt funds in nature and invest in Instruments which mature within 91 days.

So if your goal is for a very short period or if you are investing in a different asset class or you have almost reached your goal, it is generally suggested to switch to debt funds as they are less volatile than equity.

How to buy NeoBitcoin (NBTC) in India?

Are you looking for the best exchange in India to buy NBTC with INR? Then, you have landed at the right place. By using this guide, you can easily buy, sell, and exchange NBTC to INR on Koinbazar. Before we get into this, let’s see an overview of NeoBitcoin (NBTC).

What is a NeoBitcoin (NBTC)?

NeoBitcoin (NBTC) is a valuable cryptocurrency to own because it is a tradable digital asset that increases in value as the demand increases with a mass adoption platform. NeoBitcoin provides security and profit for financial services in the future. The low cost to the value of NeoBitcoin makes this solution an attractive and feasible alternative to the typical password-safekeeping methods such as Pen & Paper, USB drive, and PC storage. The total supply of NeoBitcoin (NBTC) cryptocurrency is 49,000,000.

How to buy NBTC with INR on Koinbazar?

To buy NeoBitcoin with INR here, follow the step mentioned below,

Step 1:

Visit Koinbazar.

Step 2:

If you are already a registered user, choose ‘SIGN IN’ at the top right corner of the website to log into your account. If you are a new user, click ‘SIGN UP’ in the top-right corner to register your account.

Step 3:

After you sign into the account, choose “MY ACCOUNT” at the top right corner of the page. Update the requested details to build your profile.

Step 4:

Choose KYC verification under “MY ACCOUNT”.

Step 5:

Update the KYC authentication section requested details and identity certificates should be updated and then click ‘SAVE’.

Step 6:

Choose ‘BANK DETAILS’ and update your required information. Then, click “SUBMIT”. Once the admin approved, you will be able to deposit and withdraw your funds from your Koinbazar wallet.

Step 7:

Once the admin approved your bank details, Choose “Funds” from the top right corner of the menu and select “Deposit”.

Step 8:

Choose the “Fiat” option from the deposit. Your desired funds to be deposited in the form of fiat currency.

Step 9:

Then, choose the ‘Manual Deposit’ option and update the required information and instant INR deposit options. Your transferred amount will be credited to your Koinbazar wallet after reviewed by the admin.

Step 10:

Once your funds get deposited, go to the home page and select ‘TRADE’.

Step 11:

On the trading page, choose the “INR” market and select NBTC/INR pair to buy NeoBitcoin (NBTC) in India instantly at the low transaction fee.

Step 12:

At the bottom left of the page, start trading by setting the order type and order value you would like to buy.

What Important Taxation VAT Accountant

A VAT accountant or professional will be able to give great valuable advice to any businessman, and help them understand all the requirements for VAT payments in order to make sure that they avoid being penalized for non-payment of VAT at the correct time. This article looks at how accounting firms can utilise their expertise to help save businesses money from over-payment of VAT.

What is VAT Professional

VAT is one of the most complicated taxes in the UK. For this reason many businesses are finding it more useful to employ the services of a VAT professional to help them keep track of their tax obligations. While many accountants will have had some experience of VAT and may be aware of the many factors which affect it, there can be vast differences in the way that different accounting firms calculate the tax due.

One of the first steps that any business should take when preparing for VAT is to prepare a comprehensive accounting document. The document needs to list every sale and purchase taking place in the course of a year, and this information needs to be accurate as well as complete. VAT accounts must be prepared both on a regular basis and kept on file at the VAT office in your area. Many accounting firms are also able to offer these services, but it may be worth hiring an external accounting service to help with the preparation of this documentation and for the review it must be given.

Accounting Firms in the UK

There are many different accounting firms in the UK that are able to offer VAT assistance. These include accountants who are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (ICAI Excellence), accountants who are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) and accountants who are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Northern Ireland (ICAN). There are also companies that have been approved by the government as being capable of providing this type of service. These include accounting firms based in the UK and accounting firms based in the regions surrounding the UK. It is important to note that not all accounting firms that offer this type of service are equal. Therefore, it is necessary to shop around carefully in order to find a suitable firm for your needs.

When shopping around, it is advisable to visit at least three firms that specialize in this area. This ensures that you get the best advice possible and that each of the firms that you visit are being independent and impartial. If you choose to deal with a local accounting firm, you should ensure that they are not associated with any VAT provider, as this can often lead to conflicts of interest. Instead, you should seek accounting firms that are not associated with any VAT provider. It is also important to check that the accountant that you choose is properly accredited, as this will help to ensure that they provide a quality service.

A good accountant will be able to work with you to ensure that you minimize your tax liability. The accountant will review your business documents, looking for any areas that could be open to tax avoidance. For instance, they will look for any business assets that can be sold in order to minimize the amount of tax due on them. If you have employees that are based at one location, it may be possible to get a discount on the cost of running the business.

VAT Exemption Procedures

Another way to minimize the tax due on VAT is to keep receipts for every purchase you make. This documentation will enable the accountant to provide you with an accurate assessment of the tax due on any VAT-related transactions that you make. If you have clients who live outside the UK, you can still obtain VAT quotes from a UK-based accountant by using the online UK VAT supplies website. The website will allow you to enter your company’s VAT number, which will then be forwarded to the UK tax authorities for assessment.

A VAT accountant can help you avoid paying too much tax or too little tax, depending on the type of business you operate. A professional tax accountant should have extensive experience in this area. They should be familiar with the UK tax codes and the VAT exemption procedures that you need to follow to claim tax payments. You should be able to trust your accountant to arrive at an affordable fee that takes into account the specific circumstances of your business. If you have any doubts about the impartiality of the VAT accountant you choose, you should ask the company for evidence that they are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the UK.

How to Choose a Computer Support Consultant

Introduction

Like so many other companies, you have made a significant investment in what has become the life blood of your business, your computer systems. From workstations to laptops and servers, and from software applications to printers and Internet connection, you cannot afford to be down even for a minute. Finding a trustworthy professional to keep you running reliably and securely can be a tough and expensive exercise of trial and error and, if you are lucky, when they leave they have fixed more than they have damaged, costing you even more money in the end. This is no economy to be picking up the tab for an alleged computer professional’s on the job training. You want someone that understands your needs, and knows how to address them.

All of my clients have been through this headache-inducing process. From the time they put in a request to their current IT guy for a fix, it takes days to receive a response and another few days before someone actually shows up to address the problem. The person who arrives is frequently under experienced and leaves a trail of problems in their wake. I am reminded of the old cartoons when the severely nearsighted Mr. Magoo would leave a trail of accidents in his rearview mirror as he drove down the road, not a care in the world. I am sure we’ve all felt this way with various vendors we’ve worked with over the years. Many of them are the biggest in their industry and we’re left wondering how they ever got so big?

In the interest of sparing you the pain of hiring a Mr. Magoo, I offer this article with some helpful information for finding and hiring a trustworthy, competent and affordable IT support company

The Value of Referrals

I’d never eat at a C, would you?

Once I made the mistake of telling someone that I won’t set foot in a restaurant unless someone has recommended it to me. “Oh, you can’t be afraid to try something new,” she admonished. I just smiled and nodded as I thought to myself, it isn’t about trying new things, it’s about not having to pay for something I did not enjoy. Likewise, when in need of a new dentist or mechanic I always poll friends, family or colleagues who they use and if they are happy with the service. I highly recommend doing the same when it comes to getting support for your office computers. Ask other business owners in your professional circle if they are happy with their IT support company. If you belong to any local professional organizations, ask your fellow club members if they can suggest anyone. Trust me; the company they recommend will greatly appreciate the referral.

In the late 1990s a Los Angeles local news program ran a hidden camera expose on the filthy conditions of some area restaurant kitchens. Grainy video showed the most extreme violations common kitchen hygiene practices, let alone public health code. The images alone were enough to make one sick and, in the interest of not grossing you out, I will not go into any further detail of the infractions. The public outcry lead to the requirement that restaurants and even stores that sell food post the letter grade of their most recent city inspection. Virtually overnight, small white placards with big a blue A, B or, heaven forbid, C became prominently displayed in eatery windows and even gas station mini-marts all over town. One never sees a D or lower because those places must keep their doors shut until they have cleaned up their act and passed a subsequent inspection. It is rare to see anything lower than an A and, if one did, would one eat there? Probably not. Personally I need that little blue A, that referral from the Department of Public Health, in the window as a reassurance that I won’t be spending the night in the bathroom.

Similarly, you should not hire an IT provider who is not recommended by someone you trust and would not rate anything lower than an A on their virtual report card. I don’t recommend trusting in online reviews from places like Yelp or Yahoo Local where it is too easy for vendors to plant bogus glowing reviews about themselves, or discredit their competition. Another reason I don’t trust them is that shortly after noticing advertisements offering to pay people to write product reviews there seemed to be an uptick in customer product evaluations at various etailers. Coincidence, maybe, but I can’t imagine going online to Macys.com to write a review about the underwear I bought last week whether they were comfy or not.

There are some sites that might be a little more credible, such as AngiesList.com, where consumers pay an annual fee for the privilege of posting and reading vendor reviews. Ideally, this lessens the opportunity for self-promotion and abuse, but I am not sure it is worth a monthly fee.

So, unless there is a particular vendor endorsement web site you like, I would stick with referrals from more traditional sources you know and trust.

Vetting the Candidates

If you called the first person someone recommended to you and it worked out, great! If you have a list of possible vendors that is good, too, but it is time to carefully narrow your selection to the kind of organizations that can meet your needs without draining your wallet.

If your finances allow and your organization is so large you feel only IBM consulting can support your needs, keep in mind that large IT companies have a lot of overhead. If they boast of a thousand employees, huge customers and a big shiny office building, think of the hourly rates they’ll have to charge you to maintain all that overhead.

Instead, look for smaller, local companies that are hungry for your business but have an established, satisfied clientele. You are likely to have a more personal experience as well as more of an opportunity to negotiate fees, terms, etc. Interview them just as you would a potential full-time employee. Have them provide you a list of references and even the resume(s) of the technician(s) that would be assigned to care for your environment. Check their references and, if an IT vendor has posted a customer testimonial to their web site, give that customer a call and get more information. You might learn that things have changed and they aren’t as happy since the testimonial was given, or that while the support is good, their business and computer systems are Macs and you need a PC guru. Hopefully you will find that they have nothing but praise and continue recommend the to anyone and everyone. It’s worth the phone call. In addition to checking basic references, here are more areas to investigate to ensure their competency:

Are They Competent to Handle What You Have?

Ask them demonstrate that they are competent in the software and hardware your business uses.
I really like my mechanic, Mike. He does a great job on my family’s domestic vehicles but if one day I experience a mid-life crisis and go nuts with a German sports car. Hopefully Mike can service it, but if not, I’ll ask him for a recommendation of someone that can. Imagine if you finally settled on a company you like, but when the tech shows up, he stares blankly at your PC and says, “I’m really more of a Mac guy.” That in mind, before you start calling around to see which company gives you the warm and fuzzies, make a list of the software and equipment you expect them to support and go over it with them during the interview. Ask them for specific examples of when and how they have improved networks like yours. Their response should give you an idea of their level of competence with your computer, server, email, financial or accounting platforms.

Familiarity with Your Industry

If you have highly specialized systems, look for companies who cater to your niche.

To a certain extent, the nature of a particular business is incidental to what IT folks do. The accounting staffing company is probably running what the insurance guy has down the hall: HP or Dell hardware running Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, etc. with a T1, DSL or cable modem to the Internet. The staffing company will be running a recruiter-specific software application, such as ProSearch while the Insurance guy’s primary production application is Goldmine, or a web-based solution like SalesForce.com. Any IT guy worth his salt can take a quick look at these, do a little reading and have enough information to keep them running reliably. Businesses such as retailers or legal offices might have custom or legacy (old and out of warranty) software that requires a greater understanding to maintain. It can break in so many different ways that only someone with significant experience with that particular product or its foundations can render a fast, effective fix in the event of a failure. With a proper budget and knowledge, the best techs will have it configured with redundancy and failover mechanisms so that when it does break, it is transparent to the end users and there is no loss of productivity.
If you are running shrink-wrapped software like Windows, Office and QuickBooks, it won’t matter as much if the new IT support vendor is not immediately familiar with your marketing business as long as he has experience with the software you run it on. (He should take an interest to understand your business, which I get into in the next section.) If you are a securities broker with an SDLC card for your DTCC solution, it would be helpful to hire someone with a client base similar to your line of work. When that particular line of communication to the Wall Street goes down the last thing you want is your IT guy scratching his head and searching Google for error codes.

Understanding of Your Needs

Getting immediate problems fixed is important, so too is understanding what is essential to you and making continued improvements in your network to benefit your business.

As you entertain different companies the better prospects will work to gain an understanding of what is important to you and what you need so that you get a return on the investment you’ve made in your computer systems. He should ask questions like “What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your computers?”, “How do you feel things could be more efficient?” And “How is your current IT support vendor falling short?”

Does she listen and repeat back what you said to demonstrate an understanding of your situation, or just go on and on pushing her own product? Once you finally settle on hiring someone, over time the consultant should get a feel for your work flow and begin to make suggestions to improve efficiency and reliability. Security vulnerabilities should be discovered and mitigated, ongoing problems identified and resolved and eventually you will notice your network running more smoothly than ever. A couple of years ago I walked into the office of a new client and could not believe what I found. This was a multi-million dollar retail operation with over 100 employees in the field and 10 people in the corporate office on a peer-to-peer network. The “server” was the office manager’s desktop hosting all of the company’s documents including HR files, marketing, billing, invoices, resumes, etc. It was also hosting a huge QuickBooks file (over 500 MB!) which the other desktop computers accessed. QuickBooks just isn’t designed to run this way and, as a result, it crashed regularly. But that was not the first thing I noticed when I walked in. What caught my eye was a stack of black accounting ledger books, one for each of the 12 stores the company owned and operated. At the end of each shift, staff would call into a special voicemail-only number and leave the sales numbers. The following morning, a clerk would play back as many as 90 voicemails and transcribe the numbers into the black books for the owner to peruse later in the day. Talk about inefficient.

Within a month we had an online form available to the salons via Microsoft’s SharePoint. At the end of the shift, they simply added the numbers into the form for the owner’s immediate review in Excel. The new procedure saved the company 15 hours per week in labor costs!

Your IT consultant should be looking for ways to save you time and money by recommending and implemented efficiencies like we did for the customer described above. If this has not been your experience with your current provider, you need a new one.

Ensuring Business Continuity

Sure you have backups of your data, but do you know how to restore it? How long can you afford to be down while you struggle to get back up?

In the earliest stages of getting to know your environment, like before they are even hired, support providers should ask about your backups. How are they done – tape, external hard drives, online? Who is responsible for them? Are they tested? Once it is established that backups are performed regularly, and the budget allows, you should have a discussion about business continuity. How current does your backup data have to be for you to properly serve your customers? How long can you afford to be down while data is being recovered? In the event of a fire, flood or theft of your computers, how will you get that backed up data onto computers and get your business back up and running?

Make sure that your new IT consultant understands the answers to these questions and has the expertise to properly respond to an emergency to either keep you running, or get you back up and running according to their service level agreement.

Scalability

If you expect to grow, your IT provider should have the knowledge and resources to build a computer infrastructure that grows right along with you.

What are the current growth projections for your company? Are you planning to downsize, stay as you are, or become the 800 pound gorilla in your market? Of course, a new IT consultant won’t be as excited to help you downsize as it implies shrinking income for them as your need for them shrinks right along with you. But if you plan to stay as you are or grow, your service provider should be able to assist as well as keep up.

In the economic downturn of late 2000/early 2001, or the “dot-bomb” era, I was laid off as business took a dive and my employer went into survival mode. Seemingly overnight this successful organization went from about 75 employees to about 5. I was retained to support their computers, but when they decided to move to a more austere office I was not consulted and certain critical things were left out of planning the relocation, like the Internet connection. As a staffing organization the Internet was a key tool to find candidates for their customers, to send and receive emails, post positions to the job board on their internally hosted web site and more. No one at the company transferred the existing Internet service to the new office. And even if they had, no one had the expertise to make sure the web site and email would continue to flow when the servers were moved and brought back online. They were dead in the water.

Today you can get an Internet connection in a couple of days, but this incident was back when the DSL providers had over sold their services through very creative TV advertising campaigns (who remembers SBC’s “Web Hog” commercials?) and new installations were 6 weeks out. So, in a major pinch, they called me and I was able to help them get a temporary and very slow dial-up connection to the Internet to at least get email flowing again.
Whether you are growing or shrinking, your IT guy must know how to set up a new office or move your existing one so that all of your IT services go right along with you. Many IT departments become the de facto Facilities Department of their organizations, so they might even be able to help ensure that your other utilities, such as power and telephone are properly set up as well. If this is an additional office, it must be determined in advance the level of communication required between the computer systems. Will staff at the new location require access to files on servers at the old location? How will they log onto the network at location 2 when the server is at location 1? Is a new server required or will a site-to-site VPN connection be adequate? These are all issues a good IT service provider should be conscience of and develop solutions for.

Respected in the IT Community

The Mr. Magoos of the world develop reputations that begin to precede them. I’ve received resumes from people I would not ever hire based on personal experiences. In some cases the resumes themselves were so error laden, I could not let the sender near one of my computers. On the other hand, some IT guys are so respected that they are never out of a job because they have built such strong reputations as being technically proficient as well as just pleasant to have around. IT vendors can develop similar reputations through the good work of the people that comprise their staff. As mentioned earlier, you should be able to get references from those companies you are hiring, as well as copies of the resumes of the technicians assigned to care for your computers.

Another way to ensure their respectability is through their contributions to the IT community. I have yet to meet the computer professional that knows everything there is to know about computers. There are those who have an awesome memory and can remember every detail of configurations of esoteric applications they worked with 5 years earlier. Others, know a lot, but depend upon the IT community such as their partnerships and online support forums for help with more difficult issues. Hopefully someone has experienced with the same problem I have and has taken the time to post the resolution online. Likewise, when I get over a hump others are still struggling to conquer, I try and let everyone know the solution that worked for me.

A simple Google or Bing search of the name of the company you’re considering, the owner or her technicians might return contributions they have made to their community in the way of technical articles or blog posts. You might also find that they belong to industry affiliations for improving the level of service they provide their customers, awards, or other honors.

Howdy Pard’ner

The vendor you choose should have formal partnerships with the makers of products they sell and support. Among the myriad reasons Microsoft is such a big and powerful company is the value they place in their partners. As a technician, I know that, if I get in a jam, highly skilled support for any Microsoft product is a phone call away. For each product Microsoft has a team of professionals all over the world to help resolve the situation and make sure my customer is pleased. Whether 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning, if my customer’s email server is down and I have exhausted all other methods to resolve the problem, I know I can call Microsoft and a team of engineers will work with me 24 hours a day until it is fixed. They are one of the few companies that will do this and it is thanks to my partnership level with them, Small Business Specialist. This is not a designation that comes easy – a prospective partner must pass a series of tests and satisfy other stringent requirements. The more requirements met, the higher the partnership level and associated benefits.

If you are running Microsoft products in your business, make sure that the people you hire to support you enjoy some level of Microsoft partnership. Likewise for Sun Micro Systems, Oracle, Trend Micro, etc. You will benefit greatly from their association with these companies.

They will know more about the product and take greater interest in it resulting in a residual benefit for you in the way of more reliable performance. It could also mean better pricing when it comes time to upgrade or renew your license.

Non-Disclosure Agreement

When you trust someone with the keys to your kingdom, get some assurance they won’t make copies to share with others.

Almost any business has a valuable database of customer contacts that has grown with them over the years. It can include current and past customers as well as sales leads that will hopefully pan out one day. It takes years of hard work to develop such a list which contributes to the overall value of our company. You would never want to lose this resource or allow it to make its way to a competitor. To prevent it from becoming lost or corrupted it should be backed up nightly with your other data. And to keep it from falling into enemy hands, anyone like an IT provider with access should sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This goes for your employees as well; particularly those in a sales role who would benefit from your hard earned Rolodex if they jumped ship to start their own firm or went to work for your rival. You can easily find customizable boiler plate NDAs on-line, or send me an email and I will gladly provide one to you.

Contracts: Good and Bad

I am so thankful that cable TV, regular telephone service, the gas and power companies don’t make you sign a contract. Of course, they are pretty much monopolies so why would they? But I am sure they would if they could – they’d ding you when you move and need to cancel your contract, then they’d nail the person who buys your home with a sign-up fee. Fortunately, they don’t do that, at least not the ones in my neck of the woods, at least, not yet. It seems like there is plenty of cellular competition out there, but an implied conspiracy suggest they are in cahoots with their obscene early termination fess in excess of $300. The upside to the competition is, of course, they know that when that contract is up, you are a free agent to sigh with whomever you please, so they better be Johnny On the Spot when problems need correcting. I notice a significant difference between the level of service I get from the cable carrier which also provides my Internet service for my business (no contract and no cable competition) and my cellular carrier (contract with competition). The service I get from the latter is infinitely better and I gladly recommend them to others. The cable company? Not so much.

IT support providers have plenty of competition and in order to keep you, most will try and get you into a contract. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. The vendor enjoys predictable cash flow and some assurance that, despite how happy you made them today, they are less likely to hire someone else who is running an enticing promotion. What’s more, the vendor wants to keep making you happy by exceeding your expectations. The more smoothly your machines run, the less downtime you have, the less time you have to worry and the more time you have to focus on developing your business. Likewise, the better your equipment runs, the more money they make not having to pay someone to dash out and fix them. It is win-win for everyone involved. Indeed, contracts in this case can be good for everyone, but make sure that there is some kind of out clause so that you are not held hostage by a company providing you rotten service.

So, if either party can get out at any time, what’s the purpose of the contract? To establish expectations: I will perform this service for you and you shall compensate me x. If I fail to perform said service you may cancel the contract. If you fail to pay me, I will stop service until I receive payment, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, I am writing this in a period of economic decline and things are tough all over. I have allowed several clients to defer payment because I know business is slow for them and they are waiting on payment from their clients as well. Historically they pay their bills and we are all counting on the economy improving. But more importantly, their success is my success and their computers not working properly will impair their ability to conduct business and pay me. I believe this personal touch is what is going to help many companies survive this tough economy.

Even if your contract establishes 15, 30 or 90 terms, the personal relationship you develop with your vendor should allow for some wiggle room in this area as circumstances dictate.

SLA and SOWs

Establish in writing expectations for ongoing support as well as any special projects.

As its name implies, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) establishes the level of service the vendor is expected to provide and the customer expects to receive. It can be issued and signed separately or as part of the contract. On the hardware side this might include computers, servers, software, network and ancillary equipment. For example, the software could include the operating system and production applications such as the Exchange (email server) on the server side and Outlook (email client) on the desktop side.

The SLA should also establish how quickly you should expect the vendor to respond to when you alert them to a problem. Depending upon the severity level, their response time might range from 1 hour for the most critical issues (server down) to 4 hours (1 of 5 printers has a paper jam).

Any work not defined in the contract’s SLA performed on your computer systems should be clearly defined in a Statement of Work (SOW) to establish expectations on both ends. In a nutshell, the SOW will state the problem or need, the solution, timeline, deliverables, end result and costs.

An SOW might not be needed for the odd printer jam or email snag, but if you have been sold a firewall to control employee web surfing, viruses and spam, the statement of work will help both parties understand the scope of the project and agree when the project has been completed properly by the consultant and accepted by you. The last thing you want is for the consultant to tell you he is finished installing Internet filter but your employees are still updating Facebook on company time and you’ve got more spam in your Inbox than ever before.

Summary
The sole focus of this article has been to give you some guidelines for selecting a computer consulting company that, in the end, keeps you and your computers humming a happy tune. With any kind of sophisticated there will always be some issues, especially as changes are made, but overall your systems should run reliably when properly cared for and there should be no nagging, lingering problems that never seem to get fixed. I have worked in few companies where IT was given top priority. In fact, I can count them on one hand; it was a technology company with a commercial website, so naturally there was a great deal of emphasis on the quality of the network, servers, workstations, etc. and technicians looking after them. Unfortunately, either through budget constraints or misplaced priorities, IT usually goes under nurtured and, when there is a failure, it is a big emergency. The email server crashes and everyone runs around like the clichéd headless chicken clamoring for a fix. All the while untold business is lost by this huge workplace distraction. Productivity drops as the crisis dominates the day which is consumed by meetings to find solutions, workarounds or just commiserating and no one able to do his or her job. Making things worse, excuses are having to be given to customers because “the system’s down again” and the organization looks just plain bad.

Only a computer professional with training and experience in the software and hardware you operate has the skill set required keep it all running properly.

3 Steps in Starting a Consulting Business

Summary: Even if you have the skills for starting a consulting business, it still requires preparation. Your chances of success are greatly improved by following some basic but necessary steps.

If you have the right skills and knowledge, consulting may be a professional option for you. When you’re starting a consulting business, lay some groundwork early on that will save time and trouble later.

Business Structure

Decide on the legal structure for your business. There are several different ways to form a legal entity. You might want to stay with a sole proprietorship with you as owner, but this can be risky because of liabilities that may occur. Other choices are a partnership, a corporation, or a limited liability company.

Business Plan

Prepare a business plan that is representative of your current situation. This will help you manage expenses and plan your strategies on advertising and marketing, financing, office space and equipment, publications, personal development, future growth, and possibly hiring additional personnel. Your plan might never be seen by anyone but yourself, and it will require review and updating periodically.

Because you may not have any prior experience with a business plan, it is relatively inexpensive to procure software that will aid you in making it simpler and more accurate. Some packages come with generalized accounting software to help you budget when starting a consulting business.

Your Office

If your business is going to be comprised of you alone at the start, you will need to set up an office. This will most likely be in your home. Unless you are blessed with several high dollar clients in the beginning, you will need to watch your money, and you may even start on a part time basis.

You will need a budget for equipment that you will need to buy, services you must have for your business, supplies, and any construction necessary to have your office in efficient working order. A separate business telephone line is good if you can budget for it to make your business more professional.

Utilities and rent can be prorated at tax time based on how much space your office takes up in your home. If you have a detached building to use for your office, that is even better because it does offer privacy and removes you from distractions.

Pay consideration to these items when you are starting a consulting business, and things will be smoother down the road.

Advantages of Working With an SEO Consultant

Some people may think that hiring an SEO consultant is a ridiculous expense that a lot of businesses could so without, but this is not the case. There are many advantages of hiring a consultant and we’re going to tell you some of them now.

Pay them on an hourly basis

SEO consultants work on an hourly basis and so you will not be required to pay a full time wage. All you will need to do is discuss with him/her about the issue you would like to tackle or the problem you would like help with and then you simply pay them for how long it takes to resolves the issue in question. So you are getting great expert help without it costing a fortune.

They can be terminated easily

Working with an SEO consultant means that once you no longer have a use for them you can terminate your relationship right there and then. Unlike a permanent full time employee where you have to go through the correct procedure there is not such hassle with a consultant.

Outside perspective

We all know what it’s like when you are too close to a problem or issue and it is impossible to see the way out, well a consultant allows you to take advantage of a brand new pair of eyes to look at your business. They should be able to provide a new and fresh approach to the issues you are having an offer an innovative and feasible solution.

So as you can see, although hiring an SEO consultant will be an additional cost, it is not as expensive as you think and provides a variety of different benefits.

Search engines are ever-increasingly important to businesses who want to compete with the industry giants. SEO consultants can help you get to that level playing field. And if you’re not ready for consultancy, then you might want to take a look at SME Marketing’s free SEO training section.

How CFO Consulting Can Help Your Small Business

Small business owners often need all of the help that they can get when it comes to getting their businesses started and, with expert CFO consulting, they’ll be well on their way to being successful.

There are a lot of different parts involved in getting a business running, with some of the most important being the matters that concern the financing.

Some aspects of business financing are obvious: You need money to pay your employees and rent a space to operate out of, for starters. What many aspiring entrepreneurs fail to realize, however, is that there are some hidden costs that come with starting a business.

You also need money for payroll taxes, insurance on your office space, utility bills like water and electricity, not to mention that many businesses might have costs that are unique to them. A transportation company would need to have fuel as part of its budget, for instance.

CFO Consulting can help factor all of these costs into your plans for your business before you get started, so that you know exactly what to expect once you put your plans into motion.

Another aspect of corporate financial planning that anyone looking to start a business needs to consider is the securing of startup money.

Many startups get their seed money either in the form of a business loan from a bank or from private investors but, in some cases, startup money can come in the form of a grant from the government. That largely depends on what kind of business you plan on starting, though.

Regardless of where the money comes from, no potential lender is going to extend the amount of money required to start a business without first being presented a strong, feasible business plan from the person who is starting the business.

Crafting a strong business plan is one of the most important things that you can do from your startup and CFO consulting will help you with that as well.

Going back to the finances that were discussed earlier, a strong business plan should include all of that information in enough detail to make potential investors confident enough to extend you the money that you need with the guarantee that they will eventually see a return on it.

Beyond the basics like salary and office space rent, and the hidden costs like insurance and taxes a strong business plan should also display your ability to look ahead.

Using CFO consulting to help you draft a business plan to present to your benefactors will give you an idea of how your business will grow in both the near future as well as the long term future. Knowing how much your growing business is going to cost you as it continues to thrive is an important part of planning ahead as you can accurately predict not just rising costs, but anticipate how much money your business will bring in as its size increases as well.

All of this is crucial to gaining the leverage that you need to establish strong relationships with the lending institutions that you seek help from because the relations that you have with your lenders could dictate your future success as your business moves forward.

The reason that this is an important point is because not only do your lenders need to be able to trust you with your initial loan but there’s a good chance that you’ll need to take out loans in the future to support prospective business operations. By having a strong relationship that CFO consulting helped you to establish in the initial stages of your business planning, you should have no trouble securing another loan should the occasion that you need it ever arise.

Knowing how daunting it is to start a business, especially in this economic climate, it makes sense to use every advantage that you can come up with. From an air tight business plan, to strong bank relations and a clear understanding of the financial aspects involved in starting a business, CFO consulting can help you make sure that you have a strong enough financial footing to see your dream of starting a business through.

If you’re looking to hire the services of someone who can provide expert CFO consulting in the MD/DC/VA area, then consider hiring Portal CFO for your business finance needs. Experts business consultant with over twenty-five years of business and banking experience, can help you secure business funds and other forms of financing through the use of CFO Services.

SEO Consultants: Your Guide To The Whole SEO Process

Implementation of search optimization tactics are not that hard to do. That is the usual statement that you will get from most SEO consultants. In the practice of SEO, the effectiveness of it can be achieved by knowing what kind of market your client is in and what is their target demographic. With these information,SEO consultants can draw strategies which are applicable to the said market and demographic. These information are essential as they would determine the tactics needed that are tailor fit for you and you alone. But still, no matter how specific the strategy is to the client’s goals, mission and market, they still have a template to start with. And they are as follows:

First is to understand the nature of the client’s business. The consultant must know the following: client’s goal, mission and target market. These are essential before starting the SEO process. The following will be determined by a fact finding process: sales leads, previous SEO endeavours, website’s enquiries, a client’s needs and client’s set skills. The consultant is tasked to primarily make the client understand the whole SEO process.

Second is to conduct a market research. This will help you determine whether the SEO effort will be beneficial to your client and would not set him back more. It is a matter of comparing costs and returns. A consultant will analyse the competition to build a possible market share. This will lead to the discovery as to how much should be shelled out by the clients in order to attain his goals.

Third is what they call SEO audit and recommendations. This is where the consultant will analyse the ways and factors in which they can make the client’s website successful in order to attain their goals. Changes are recommended in this stage as well. All these contribute the process and are all necessary before the stage of implementation.

Fourth is the implementation stage. This is where the client will see the physical changes on the website itself. The development team is guided by the SEO consultants who would oversee the whole project. The consultant will make sure that all the changes and recommendations are executed properly.

Lastly is optimization. In reality, this is really a process that is on-going. Progresses are monitored and measured here as benchmarks are given. Optimization is relevant because Google may think that your client’s website is just sitting duck and inactive and it will eventually drop in the rankings. All SEO efforts will be wasted so this process is imperative and on-going throughout the whole thing.

In conclusion, if you are seeking the help of a SEO consultant, you may want to do your own research first. It is wise and smart to know what you want from them so you can single out the appropriate SEO firm that can help you with your goals and objectives. There is no special secret in SEO efforts. SEO consultants who thrive in the business simply know three things: they follow tried and tested practice, do comprehensive research and in turn make their reports and findings. As a client, you need to have strategy at hand.

Debt Consultation

What To Expect In A Debt Consultation

If you are looking for a debt consultation in order to get control of your finances, you are doing something that a lot of consumers cannot do: admit there is a problem. You have half the battle already won when you realized that you needed help to obtain your financial freedom. It may be an intimidating thought to let someone look at your grim financial picture. You may even be a little embarrassed at what you have to show them. But please know that a professional debt counselor will not make you feel bad about your situation at all. In fact, they exist to help you out.

During your debt consultation, you should be prepared with all of your current bills and statements. Counselors need a true and complete picture of where you stand financially. This will give allow them to make an assessment and suggest the steps that should be taken to get your situation turned around.

Next, you want to be sure to have a copy of your most recent pay stubs or other documentation that shows your income. They will want to know what your “debt-to-income ratio” is to help you try to lower that ratio. Debt-to-income ratio is how much debt you have versus how much money you make. This ratio is a way that future creditors will determine whether you can handle a new account. The higher it is, the less worthy they think you are of paying a new account on time.

Once your counselor determines the best course of action, you will be able to begin a new debt elimination plan with payments you can easily afford. This plan can be completed in 6 – 60 months, at which time you will become debt-free. During this process you may or may not experience fluctuations in your credit score. However, once the plan is completed, you will be showing that you are again creditworthy. Any decrease to your credit score in the short term can be worth it in the long run.

You are not alone with financial issues that need to be resolved. You should not feel embarrassed or intimidated by the debt consultation process – it will only help you in the long run. You will learn to look at money and spending a little differently. You will see how you can use your current income to reduce your debt. Most times when people finish their debt consultation, they are mad at themselves for not doing it sooner.

Ken S., Founder

LowRateSearch

© 2010

Hiring Risk Consultants Can Really Help Your Business Succeed in the Long Term

Starting a new business can be scary and most of the time, a business in the early stages will make a lot of mistakes and this is one of the reasons that so many fail. However, risk consultants are great for ensuring that you avoid mistakes and calculate the risks of certain aspects of your business so that you can concentrate on building your business where it counts.

Risk consulting is something that’s become very popular for young businesses these days. It’s a great way to ensure that you don’t fall into any traps or pit falls along your way to success. Risk consultants can help you evaluate the risk of certain deals and decisions and providing you take their advice, you can see a drop in the mistakes made in the early years of trading.

However, it can sometimes be a bit of a waste of time because a lot of businesses tend to like the risk taking factor of it all and this is how they sometimes get lucky. However, it’s a much better idea to use the risk consultants that you hire to ensure that you don’t get unlucky and ruin your business.

Risk calculations are usually pretty straight forward but there’s a lot of science to back up the risks that people take and it’s a good idea to understand it all – or at least have someone on your team who does. One other thing that you should think about is your chances of success, should you hire risk consultants.

They can really help your business grow by making important decisions easier for you and this can really be a relief. However, just make sure that you only hire consultants who have a lot of experience with your type of business. Counterparty risk is also another good thing to have on your team – it can sometimes help your clients to trust you as well.

As long as you are aware of the risks, you’re more likely to succeed and this is why risk consultants are an ideal addition to any young business. It’s better to be safe than sorry and in the world of business everything is about risk and how far you’re willing to go.