Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Write a Mission Statement

Writing a company mission statement will help you and your employees focus on a common goal and give everyone a benchmark to gauge performance.

Suggestions

  1. Include everybody whose perception of your company matters. Collect as many ideas as you can.
  2. Define your company. Think carefully about what role it plays in the industry and community.
  3.  State the things to which you're dedicated. Are you dedicated to quality, your customers, your success?
  4. Assess the value of your product. Use written questionnaires to poll your customers, suppliers, strategic partners and other external parties about the benefits of and ideals behind your product.
  5. Set up a small committee to go through the ideas you have collected and incorporate them into your company's mission statement.
  6. Give the mission statement high visibility; post it in the lobby and halls. People will see it every day and be reminded of what their work means.

Tips

  • Live your mission statement every day. In order to gain credibility with your employees, customers and vendors, you must practice what you preach.
  • Be realistic. Set standards that are reasonable and reachable by you and your employees.



The Executive Suite

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Tips for Starting Your Law Practice

Starting a law practice doesn't take a huge amount of capital or 20 years of experience. Many lawyers find that working in a large to mid-size firm stifles their creativity and limits their earning potential. By starting your own law practice you have the freedom to choose in what area of law you will specialize and what type of client you will take on.

Suggestions

  1. Spend some time right out of law school in an established law firm. This will give you time to learn the ropes and decide what type of law you want to specialize in.
  2. Canvass the area where you want to practice and find out how many and what types of law firms are available.
  3. Make yourself available to teach seminars for non-profit organizations or community outreach programs to get your name out in the community. Volunteer to serve on local governing boards, especially for areas you're interested in. Examples: zoning board, zoning board of appeals, community development and the commission on aging.
  4. Develop your own philosophy of practicing law. Would you like to spend some portion of your day doing pro bono work? Are there opportunities to mentor other young attorneys? Do you want to be a leader in your community?
  5. Find ways to expand the services you offer like becoming a mediator, guardian ad litem or trust administrator.
  6. Build relationships with professionals who will feed you clients regularly such as estate planning attorneys and financial planners, elder law attorneys and geriatric care managers. Network with other attorneys and develop relationships with them.
  7. Find reasonably priced office space, share space, resources and secretarial support with a small group or look into the purchase of a building to house your office as well as provide leasing income.
  8. Plan your exit strategy carefully and prepare your book of business and client lists for transfer to your new place of business.






Monday, December 30, 2013

Asking for a Raise When Taking on More Work

Ideally, additional job duties are accompanied by a commensurate increase in pay. But in the real world, employees often take on new duties without an automatic raise. Before asking for more money, evaluate your job performance honestly. For example, consider whether you put in a full day of work most days or whether you usually leave early. You may be asked to take on more work because your boss doesn't think you're as productive as you should be. On the other hand, if your solid performance is being rewarded with greater responsibilities, research salaries in your field and then ask for an appropriate raise.

Suggestions

  1. Determine the typical salary for your job before you ask for a raise to ensure you're not expecting more than the market value for your position. Use online salary calculators and wage information as well as information from colleagues in your company or industry to find current data on salaries for jobs similar to yours.
  2. Ask for a raise that's close to the market value for your position, and show your employer the salary data you gathered. Tell your employer how much time the additional work he wants you to do will take and how you intend to manage the added workload along with your regular duties.
  3. Don't put your employer on the defensive by threatening to resign if you don't get a raise for dong more work. Instead, give your boss solid business reasons that warrant giving you a raise by citing other things you have done to benefit the company or your co-workers.
  4. Prepare to respond to a counteroffer by determining beforehand whether you will take other benefits your boss may offer, such as additional vacation days, a bonus or a title change. In any case, respond positively even if your boss offers you a smaller raise than you want. Consider that a small raise is more than you had before.
  5. Ask your boss what it would take to get a salary increase if he won't give you a raise right away. Get specific information from him on a time frame for a raise and the tasks you must perform to get the pay increase you want. Work on those tasks and document them as you perform them so that you can ask for a raise again at another time.

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Monogram Throw Pillow

Tips for Asking for a Raise

Before you ask for a raise, consider whether you merit a raise and whether your company is in a position to give you one. If so, then choose your moment and your methods to ask for a raise very carefully.

Things You'll Need


  • Calculators
  • Personal Organizers
  • Spiral Notebooks

Suggestions

  1. Evaluate your worth. Make a list of your accomplishments, skills and contributions.
  2. Arm yourself with information. Know what a normal raise is for someone of your experience and occupation.
  3. Assess your supervisor's mood and outlook. Is he or she ready to consider your request?
  4. Choose an appropriate time of day. Make an appointment or ask if there are a few minutes to spare. Plan for an end-of-business-day meeting.
  5. Consider asking for a specific amount that's a little higher than what you want. Say 8 percent when you would be happy with 6 percent.
  6. Be realistic. If your company is going through tough times but you still feel deserving, decide how you'll respond if a lower amount is offered.
  7. Be flexible. Would you consider a supplement in perks, time off, flextime or vacation time in lieu of a raise? Negotiate.
  8. If your supervisor turns you down, have a plan ready and regroup.


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Friday, December 27, 2013

Selling Mailing Lists

Mailing lists are used by direct-mail marketers to sell their products and services. These companies usually purchase these names in volume and target their sales/marketing campaigns at them. If you want to sell mailing lists, you will need to locate a mailing list wholesaler who can offer you a distributorship. Also, the Direct Marketing Association supplies many mailing lists.

Things You'll Need


  • Mailing list supplier
  • Sales letter
  • Flyer with your company name and address
  • Web site with contact information
  • Stamps
  • Envelopes
  • Phone

Suggestions

  1. Develop a business name and register with your local county for sales tax purposes. Decide which types of entrepreneurs or businesses you wish to market. Find a mailing list distributor online or through the Direct Marketing Association that supplies names of consumers who have purchased products similar to those sold by these businesses. Purchase the consumer names in quantity, or work out an agreement with the distributor to sell these names for a commission. Subsequently, find a vendor who supplies the names of the businesses and entrepreneurs who sell the products. Purchase these names in quantity on peel-and-stick labels.
  2. Develop a convincing sales letter that discusses your list offerings and how potential business clients might benefit from your lists. Develop a flyer showing the types of lists you sell, the quantities and prices. Include an order form on the flyer or print one separately. Include your company name, address and phone number on the form. Print your flyer and sales letters in quantity. Order envelopes with your company name printed on them, and place the peel-and-stick labels of the businesses and entrepreneurs on the envelopes. Purchase stamps and mail your envelopes at the post office.
  3. Record a voice mail on your phone or secure a separate toll-free line for incoming calls. Instruct potential customers to leave their name and phone number if you are unavailable to take their call. Get back to your business customers right away. Close the sale.
  4. When you have begun earning money from mailing lists, create a website with your mailing list information. Sign up for a Paypal account so that you can accept payment by credit card. Enable customers to order directly online. Include your website address on your direct-mail materials.


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