Christian Home Business Information

Maybe you want to own and operate a Christian home business for one or more reasons such as:

1. The demographic for your services and goods are primarily Christians
2. You want to operate a business based on Christian biblical principles
3. You want the business to have minimal operating expenses (no separate office space needed).
4. You want to increase your quality of life (work & family balanced time, more time for your family and working with family).
5. You want your work to have more meaning and purpose aligned with Christian ethics.

There is nothing wrong with becoming a homepreneur with faith-based integrity, excellent customer service, charitable and a profitable business.

The owner of a Christian home business tends to be primarily motivated by serving others and remaining profitable for the long term. Yes, it is possible to accomplish those objectives by careful research and selection of a business that allows the owner and staff to operate in faith-based integrity at all times.

Your research of home based opportunities can consist of internet searches, visiting the local library, chamber of commerce and networking (on-line and offline).

What are some of the potential benefits from starting a Christian home business? By increasing your sphere of influence and opportunities to share your faith with other business owners and customers as you develop great relationships.

Maybe to fund a special project for a ministry or non-profit organization? How about having some extra funds for canceling debts, providing things for your family or giving a special offering to your church or Pastor?

Think about the advantages of opting out of climbing the ladder of success that can cause you to be a stranger to your spouse and children. It is most likely a rare thing for someone on their death bed saying “I wish I had spent more time at the office than with my family”.

If you’re wanting out of the rat race, 12 hour work days, 2 hours of traffic and being on call 24 x 7, then seeking options now for a Christian Home Business maybe right for you.

You can put balance back into your life by making a decision that the current situation has to change. Then start seeking options, knock on doors of opportunity and boldly enter the door into the realm of homepreneurs.

You will be glad that you did. Ready, Get Set, Go and meet your opportunity today.

Building Your Coaching Business – Information Marketing in Networking

Here’s another step in information marketing (see the other articles on Information Marketing), this time applied to networking.

This is a way to take a prospect through a step by step warming up that results in 20% to 70% of them moving forward….this time through networking.

As a coach, you should be an unlimited resource for helping your clients. A part of that can be continually sending them emails, articles, and just plan face-to-face opportunities to expand their business (business coach, executive coach), or answers to their life or career problems (for life coaches and career coaches). This should apply to any kind of coaching. Just provide as many of the answers to the problems that your client is facing.

The more you give, the more value you have established that you provide. If you are really good, you can establish such value in a very short time that they will be begging for more.

Some coaches respond with, “People will drain me, take it all for free.”

Let me state what I said earlier, IF you are good, you can give a little, prove so much value in that short time, that they will clamor to want more. So, you encourage them to want that next meeting…and the next…and the next. Each step is a bigger commitment in time, and eventually cost. This is all about giving value until they want more, then asking them if they’d like more at the next meeting.

So, how do you do that in networking?

When you are talking to someone at a networking event, start asking them what they are struggling with. Then say something like, “I wrote an article about how a client of mine did ____________, and __________ (state measurable results). Would you like to have a copy?” Send them a copy, and make sure that you sign them up for your weekly emails, Hints and Tips on _________________. The email is a way of continually nurturing that relationship. If you are using an autoresponder, then it can be nearly on autopilot.

In most cases, I offer to send the first article to them by email, IF they’d be willing to discuss how it might work for them, and then we set a time for a call to discuss if that will work for them.

Sometimes I email them a copy, sometimes I mail them a printed copy, sometimes I send them a link to the articles that are published in online articles. In any of those cases, I make sure that they see that I am a published online author, an expert in the field. And, I am there to help them through this issue.

At no time am I trying to sell them anything. I want them to want me after exploring how those articles helped someone else with exactly their problem.

Of course, I will always be asking, “was that helpful?” “How helpful?” “Do you think something like that would solve your problem.”

And if all of those are “Yes, it was great.” Then I will be asking “would it be helpful if we set down together to work through issues like those that helped the client in that article?”

The “Yes,” in that instance is the first step toward closing the sale.

You do have to ask for it, but it isn’t a high pressure sale at all. Most of the time the prospect will be asking you for the next step.

Selling Your Business – Informing the Employees

When is the best time to inform employees that you are selling your business? Business brokers and merger and acquisition professionals are asked this question all the time.  The short answer is, “Wait until the transaction is completed,” and with good reason.

Most owners understand that much of the value of their business is embodied in their employees. Employees make the company possible, and many owners develop a close relationship with some of their employees.  Those relationships sometimes lead business owners to want to disclose the potential sale of their business to one or more of their employees.  “They deserve to know” is a common refrain.

There is an enormous risk in sharing this ‘inside information’ with employees.  Confidentiality needs to be maintained.  Once it is common knowledge that your company is for sale (and it will become common knowledge once employees know), it loses value: vendors are less like to sell to you or increase credit limits; customers are less likely to buy for fear of a lack of continuity of the relationship; and employees are less likely to stay.  Once the cat is out of the bag, if you are able to get it back in at all, the damage is already done, and it can take years to redevelop those relationships that made your company valuable in the first place.

While change is scary to some people, nothing is scarier than the unknown.  For example, with one or more employees knowing what is ‘in process’ or being considered, at a minimum the information will be shared with a spouse or close friends.  Invariably, their reactions are to share stories of mass layoffs, companies being relocated, wage and bonus reductions, etc.  It is human nature to fear the unknown and to expect (and perhaps plan) for the worst.  Planning for the worst often involves looking for alternative employment, sharing the news with other employees and, perhaps, outright resignations.  Also understand that when a concerned employee interviews within your industry, the first question they are asked is, “Why are you planning on leaving your current employer?” The answer will put an afterburner on the wildfire of rumors within your industry.  Remember, most buyers expect to have key employees on board when they acquire a business: If one or more of them have departed or indicated that they intent to depart, the value and marketability of your business has clearly been damaged.

Therefore, the best time to make announcements concerning the sale is on the afternoon of the day on which the transaction closes, after the closing is complete.  An employee meeting should be pre-planned to ensure 100% employees attendance.   Once everyone is gathered, you explain your reasons for considering a ‘transition of ownership’ (don’t use the word ‘sale’ or ‘sold’), and that, after a diligent search, you have found the perfect new owner(s).  You can also talk about how there will be a transition period where you will be involved in the operation of the business working with the new owners. The new owners should then be introduced to discuss their backgrounds, share their reasons for wanting to own the company and demonstrate their enthusiasm to do whatever is necessary to grow the business and create more opportunities for everyone. Last but not least, the new owners should honestly indicate that they plan no dramatic changes, that they value the current workforce, and that they want to meet individually with each employee (unless the number is just too large) to get their ideas and suggestions on the best way to grow the business.

In general, anyone who buys your company will want to keep your employees since they represent a significant portion of the value (and continuity) of your business. Massive job losses only occur in extremely rare cases where a new owner relocates the company a great distance, and then usually only after a period of transition.  Experience has taught that when the transition is handled well, virtually all employees perform better under the new management, for the simple reason they want to impress and be on good terms with the new owner.  New owners typically arrive with additional capital, new ideas, perhaps a synergy with an existing business and, almost invariably, a desire to grow the business.   Growth spells new opportunities for employees who want to develop their careers and, in almost all cases, they look forward to working with a new owner.

By keeping the sale of the business totally confidential until the transaction is closed, you are able to both preserve the value of your business and greatly reduce the fear of the unknown from your employees, thus making the transition of ownership a more seamless operation.

Protect Your Business Information – Prevent Document Deterioration, Misuse and Loss With EDM

Security concerns are in the news a lot lately. The government has issued public alerts against terrorist activity. Military experts are debating how to maximize armed forces’ safety amid intensified conflict in Afghanistan. Medical experts are producing vaccine to combat Swine Flu. Each issue focuses on the need to ensure public safety. Yet most businesses – including agencies that rely on timely, accurate information to make decisions about public safety – overlook a serious risk that jeopardizes their effectiveness and ability to survive. The threat? Inadequate document security.

Businesses need secure access to accurate information to make smart decisions. Usually information is scattered: on paper (subject to deterioration, misfiling, security breaches, and loss); trapped in the minds of executives, managers and workers (subject to unintentional alteration and selective memory); and stored in electronic documents and software applications (subject to inconsistent rules, conflicting policies, and difficult to lock down). A recent 2009 AIIM report entitled Electronic Records Management – Still Playing Catch-up with Paper shows 60% of managers surveyed couldn’t be confident their records hadn’t been altered, deleted, or inappropriately accessed if they were challenged. More than 70% had no provisions for long-term electronic record archival; 31% had twenty or more content repositories that could be usefully linked (and presumably weren’t, complicating access and security). Many respondents described their electronic records as unmanaged; most lacked email management policies. It doesn’t take an expert to uncover a foul brew of document security concerns. Ignoring document security invites trouble.

Set clear policies Document security has two sides: human and technological. Management has the onerous job of weighing rules and regulations against operational needs and determining acceptable risks versus those that jeopardize their business objectives. Identifying unacceptable risk is a precursor to creating governance policy.

Communicate policies frequently – in writing Rules are futile unless they’re communicated – frequently, understandably, and in writing. Understanding what constitutes risk, acceptable behavior, and the penalties for disobedience dramatically reduces employee blunders. Convey your rules and reasoning clearly. Document your communications. You’ll reduce company risk by demonstrating intent to comply.

Well-laid plans, smart hiring decisions, and regular communications minimize risk, but they don’t guarantee document security. Where 100% document control is hindered by human limitations, web-based electronic document management (EDM) excels – governing, observing, and tracking file use, 24/7.

Emulate policies electronically Everyone hears about planned security breaches. Yet typically, compromised document security is unintentional:

People view sensitive information while searching for unrelated information. Employees inadvertently destroy original files without noticing copies or imported documents are faulty or illegible. New employees don’t know the rules and handle documents improperly. Temporarily removed or inappropriately stored documents can’t be located on demand for audits, subpoenas, or processing. Workers delete documents deemed worthless, learning afterward that retention rules changed or they were mistaken. EDM ensures security from the moment of capture, preserving file integrity throughout the business lifecycle and providing a central repository for stored information. Readability and integrity are verified upon capture. Digital storage eliminates deterioration, misfiling, or loss. Files are readable, properly stored, and secure. Customizable security determines who can retrieve, view, edit, annotate, manage, move, or delete files. Administrators can set rules for data use and walk away, knowing employees can access whatever they need.

Remove temptation and filing mistakes Companies are increasingly subject to strict regulations governing information use. EDM enforces your governance policies, letting you:

Restrict file access by creating pre-defined searches to retrieve files staff need. Restrict document viewing to specific personnel by job role and document type. Associate individual editing and annotation rights to pre-specified users and file types. Ensure only authorized persons can delete batches, files, and/or pages of documents. Assure consistent indexing Employee logic varies for document classification and search. EDM enables standardization, making filing consistent and search 100% successful.

Assign documents to batches during scanning or importing. Index documents by document type, customer ID number, and other unique identifiers. Associate related documents for a comprehensive view of information. Validate the integrity and accuracy of scanned and imported files through automated validation; request alerts when documents require intervention. Digital capture gives you control over your content.

Prevent document alteration Document alteration poses huge security risks, especially in the face of litigation and audits. ECM allays fears of inappropriately altered documents. You can:

Restrict document annotation and alteration rights to pre-designated persons. Ensure file alteration and editing rights reflect current policies. Store business-critical emails as unalterable documents. Avert inappropriate file deletion Missing and lost documents typically comprise 7.5% to 11% of all document requests, with workers spending anywhere from 20-50% of their time looking for information. MIA documents cost time and money to recreate; if they’re needed for an audit, subpoena, or industry mandate and not found, penalties can accrue.

EDM ensures documents aren’t deleted until they’re scheduled to be migrated or destroyed. By limiting user rights, you ensure against accidental and intentional purging. Automated retention assures document migration, purging, and deletion follow your rules. Regulatory changes? No problem: EDM grasps new instructions immediately, adhering to governance directives.

Adjust rules as hierarchies change Between a quarter and a third of employees change jobs or positions annually. Promoted employees suddenly need access to additional information. Demoted workers lose rights to access particular documents. Some are fired or leave, creating concerns they may take information with them, and new problems arise as knowledge must be transferred to new hires.

EDM tackles these issues with ease:

Users and feature rights are pre-designated electronically, making appropriate files accessible immediately to new employees. Administrators make documents instantly inaccessible to departing employees by deleting user rights and features, eliminating the risk of inappropriate file use. Rules and rights are easily reconfigured, ensuring new employees can access repositories and files they need without the risk of stumbling on sensitive information or overlooking policies for document access and use. Lock down email Email management eludes many managers. Critical communications about customers, partners, third-party vendors, staff, products plans, licensing information and more often are trapped in email Inboxes, inadequately archived and difficult to find.

By managing business email within EDM, you can:

Index and archive critical emails as documents of record. Restrict access to email content, while disclosing contents to authorized persons. Regulate printing, migration, and deletion of stored emails to specific users. Avoid disaster The topic of avoiding business disasters drew attention this year when the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) recommended that companies limit how many executives can travel simultaneously on the same corporate or commercial plane. Experts recognized that a single calamity involving the loss of multiple top-tier executives constituted unacceptable risk, as it could destroy a company and result in considerable job loss. The same is true with the loss of your business-critical documents.

Document preservation is the left hand to the right hand of document security. Careful planning, quality EDM, and appropriate professional services ensure you have:

Effective backups and fault-tolerant, redundant systems that ensure you stay connected to your information. A disaster recovery plan that outlines the hierarchy of document importance to ensure business continuity and accelerate document recovery. Uninterrupted access to your business-critical information if a disaster prevents staff from working onsite. Physical data recovery in case a real disaster strikes or your system is shut down. Forge ahead If your company makes the headlines, don’t let it be because of a security breach or shutdown. Creating a document management strategy and investing in EDM means your past, present, and future documents will be in the right hands, whenever and wherever they’re needed. By leaving the arduous task of document management to EDM, you’ll have more time to focus on taking your business to the next level. Good luck!

Catering Business Information – An Ideal Venture for You

Do you want to earn extra income? Then start a catering business now. Creating a catering business might not be too hard but it is definitely risky. Venturing in this kind of business needs your skills to capture the taste of countless people and discovering the fine art of preparing food. Like any other types of business, of course where you invest your hard earned money, you hope to make the business grow. It is indeed necessary that you got to be prepared and wise from the very beginning of the business venture. You cannot just go through the business venture lacking any preparations and knowledge of being a caterer.

There are some things that need to be considered in opening a catering business so that it will succeed in the long run. Besides hiring a caterer, you must device a business plan to be your guide. It would be better to put into writing the ideas which are playing in your mind the moment you think of opening a catering business. This business plan must include goals classified into short term and long term and also the activities and plans that you want to carry out.

The business plan must also have manpower, investment needed as the marketing initiatives. This will be your reference and guide in making your catering business successful. Whatever plans you have for the business, it would be of help if you include the feasibility and profitability of your plans. The initial cost should be taken into consideration before putting up the catering business. The costs include salaries for the chef and first few employees; cost for the utensils and the industrialized kitchen you will work with. The next thing to focus is the definite regulations and rules of the local health department.

It is important to check the local health department and check the regulations that apply to you. You might need to check out laws governing your business and might need to get permits. This might save you from any problems that may occur later on. It might be of help if you will hire an expert to manage legal matters. Aside from the business plan, marketing strategy is a must for the business. You must know how to capture the taste of the potential customers with no spending lavishly on the ingredients. It is also to think of ways on how to reach the target market. In addition, you have to make a way in keeping a good business relationship with them.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to market and promote your catering business. Therefore, you have to make it a point to make a goof impression on every customer that comes to your business. Another thing to promote your business is through networking. Never miscalculate the power of having connections. Other people go for charity and volunteer works or organize fund raising events. Clients will come to your business and there is a possibility that they will be your regular customers. Printed coupons and flyers can also be effective in promoting your catering business. In the opening, discount can be given to the first few customers so they can become loyal customers.

In opening a catering business, one must be ready for all the risks since all business ventures come with risks so make sure to be well-prepared when starting your business. Being ready and prepared increase your opportunity of creating a profitable business. Business people know that it’s hard to gain potential customers but it is even harder to keep the loyal customers to continue and stay to support you. However, these risks can turn into something profitable as long as you have expert and friendly caterer and the business plan and marketing strategy are prepared well.