Start a Small Business

Objective of Your Business
The first step is to decide whether you intend to start a non-profit venture for a community service or a technology-related business. This will help you apply for the type of grant you require for the business start-up. Read through the government websites that provide information on innumerable government grants or loans available to start small businesses. Ensure that you have gathered updated data on an everyday or weekly basis.
Kind of Grants Released
Initially, one has to gather information on the kind of grants available pertaining to a business. You may not be able to procure the grant or loan provided by the government, if you are not well-informed about it. You can also approach the special programs directly that provide financial assistance, specific to a particular venture. Some of the grants that are offered by the government are rural economic development loans and grants. The intended goal for such a program is the creation of employment and business opportunity. Other grants include loans for women business entrepreneurs. For instance, if a woman plans to start a

Business for Women

To help you understand better, a grant is a financial assistance for a specific purpose or for a predetermined target group. For example, some institutions provide aid for starting day care centers, whereas others provide assistance to minority women. People have this misconception that grants are excess funds lying in government coffers, waiting to be taken advantage of. However, that cannot be further from the truth. These funds are provided only after careful scrutiny, and only to the truly deserving and challenged.

There are two avenues: federal government grants and private funding organizations. Like any financial assistance program, you are required to fill out an application form, state your purpose, and provide details about your background. Most people get discouraged by the application process itself. However, it is advisable to go through the formalities because the outcome can be rewarding. Here are some ways of getting aid to start your business.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)

You should have a look at the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) which provides grants for women under different categories; they have over 2,000 assistance programs listed in

Interpersonal Skills for Maintaining Good Relations

Interpersonal skills are simply a reflection of your inner self. The subconscious mind is where these values are conceived, which animate your social and personal outlook. These skills are not taught deliberately, they develop gradually right from our birth. They concrete with observing and learning through our upbringing, social environment, and through abilities to define the good, bad, and ugly, in our lives. Basic interpersonal or social skills can be portrayed as communication skills, soft skills, they define how we carry ourselves, the way we talk, the kind of respect we have for ourselves and others around us. Our abilities are to listen and understand. These skills are precisely the riggers of our attitude. The qualities of listening, leadership, understanding, appreciation, and interacting with others, contribute to interpersonal skills.

How do Interpersonal Skills Help You?
Assertive communication skills make you approachable and positive, give you a better image at work and in your career, help you grow, and reduce stress and conflicts.
They make you comfortable and leave you with a sense of ease to new exposures and interactions with people.
You will have

Business children who can earn money

Business activities for kids are much more than simply methods of earning some cash. They contribute to kids’ development of problem-solving skills, social and communication skills, financial responsibility, self-confidence, and other skills, which would be beneficial when they grow up. There are several easy business ideas for kids, which can be used for starting a remunerative, as well as interesting, business activity. Children can take up simple business activities according to their capability to handle work.

Lawn Cleaning and Outdoor Services

Outdoor jobs are a great option for kids who do not like monotonous work. During the spring season, this job normally includes pulling weeds, tilling, sowing, and planting. In the autumn season, this work comprises gathering leaves and putting down mulch, whereas during winter, it may include shoveling snow. With some number stencils, a can of bright-colored paint, and a brush, kids may provide door-to-door services in painting house numbers on drives.

Errand and Assisting Services

Kids can opt for providing a general errand service, such as picking up groceries or posting letters in the post office. They can also choose to work as party assistants or garage-sale assistants, or any similar profile. The services which are expected from such small jobs are

Social Cost Benefit Analysis

Social cost benefit analysis is a part of calculating the merits of a project or a government policy. As the name suggests, social cost-benefit analysis of anything is associated with its social impact. This means that how a project or a policy will affect people is analyzed. Only after calculating the opportunity cost of a project, it is approved.

The scope of social cost benefits can be applied to public investment and also to private investment. In case of public investment, it plays a major role in the economic development of a developing country. And, in case of private investments social cost benefit analysis is important as investments are to be sanctioned and are monitored by the government. There are two aspects of calculating the cost benefit analysis of any project. One is the private cost-benefit analysis and the other is social cost-benefit analysis. Though, social cost-benefit analysis is usually undertaken by the government.

Social cost is often in contrast with private cost. Major differences between social cost benefit analysis and private cost benefit analysis are as follows:

1. In social cost benefit analysis, not only profit but also other effects like how will it affect life of others are considered.

Cognitive Resource Theory of Leadership

Cognitive resource theory was propounded by Fred Fiedler, Vecchio and Joe Garcia as a re-conceptualization of the Fiedler Contingency Model of leadership. This theory discerns that stress can be a factor that prevents an intelligent leader from being efficient. As per this theory, there is no ideal leader. Leaders are said to be either task oriented or those who prioritize human relationships; but leaders are required to deal with various situations and different stress levels. This theory will be explained in three parts, which are as follows.

Cognitive Resource Theory in Brief

Effect of Stress
Cognitive resource theory states that, an intelligent leader or a leader with a high IQ can work efficiently under low stress situation. This is because the stress impairs a persons ability to think effectively. As an intellectual person will seek for rational solutions but, not all problems have rational solutions and that is why he may not be resourceful.

In a high-stress situation, a person with lower IQ level but more work experience will be able to lead better. Similarly, the theory indicates that a leader with higher IQ/ intelligence will perform better than a more experienced leader in low-stress situations. This is because an experienced leader

Free Government Grants

For those who need financial help for any reason, be it education, business, housing, and so on, the federal government has made a provision of a number of grants. These are for individuals as well for organizations. You have to choose which one you need and apply for it accordingly. Free government grants are basically a financial helping hand extended to you by the government, albeit with some obligations. If these obligations are not fulfilled, you may be in a bit of a trouble. But that is another issue altogether.

Applying for Free Government Grants Online

With the Internet being an extremely convenient and easy method of any kind of transaction, it makes a lot of sense to apply for a grant online.

Point #1
The first thing you would need to do is to log in on the website ( There you would be able to find all the information you want about the different types of grants available and the eligibility criteria for that. Check them out and see if you want to apply for free government loans or apply for free personal grants. Select the one which you think is the best for you. For example, government grants for small

Asynchronous Communication

Definition of Asynchronous Tools in Communication

In this particular type of communication method, it is not necessary for communicating parties to be simultaneously present for the communication purpose. An online lecture missed by a student, for example can be covered at some other time. Flexibility is the most profitable aspect of asynchronous communication tools. To understand it better, let us take a contrasting example of Instant Messaging (IM), which is a synchronous communication tool. In IM, it is essential for all the parties chatting to be present at the same time. If you’re chatting with your friend on some chat service, it is an essential condition that the other friend needs to be present on the other side and he or she must be replying you, else the communication remains incomplete. So synchronous communication tools work on the basic premise that all communicating parties can be at “different places” but at the “same time”. Some examples of synchronous communication tools are audio conferencing, web conferencing, white boarding and video conferencing. Asynchronous communication tools are exactly the opposite to synchronous tools of communication. One of simplest example of asynchronous mode of communication is an email system. When you send an email to

Social Responsibility and B-Corporations

Social Responsibility
Over the past few decades, social responsibility has become an increasingly important topic of discussion in all aspects of life in the United States. Although nearly everyone has an intuitive idea of what it means to be socially responsible, there is no hard and fast definition of this term. Normally, people try to be socially responsible by doing what they think is the most beneficial to others in a given situation. For an average individual, practicing social responsibility could mean recycling, picking up after your dog, driving a fuel efficient car or taking public transportation whenever possible, or being honest with others. In most cases, the exact definition of social responsibility doesn’t matter too much. In the business world, however, definitions can be more important.
Responsible Business Practices
Social responsibility extends beyond individuals to larger entities like businesses. Social responsibility is becoming more and more important in the business world these days, both because socially responsible actions are the right action and because businesspeople are finding that social responsibility is profitable. In many cases, consumers and investors alike are more likely to support companies who have a reputation for being socially responsible. Thus, large companies who pursue socially

Why Small Businesses are Important to the Economy?

Did you know? The Bank of America was initially established as a small business and has grown to its glorious position as a corporate giant. There are an estimated 29.2 million small business enterprises in America. As inconspicuous as they may seem, small-scale businesses are vital to bring innovation and drive competition in an economy. They increase national GDP (gross domestic product). Clients now have more trust in small-sized businesses than they do in larger companies. These businesses have successfully developed a sense of trust and security in people around them. Irrespective of the fact that they do not generate turnovers in millions, small-sized businesses provide sustainability to the economy. They are easy to manage, very flexible and easily adapt to economic changes.
Creating More Employment

Although a small business may typically employ fewer than five hundred people, they help generate employment opportunities. While multinational corporates focus on recruiting people with laudable educational qualifications, small enterprises hire people even with most unimpressive resumes along with providing training and development. In the American economy, such businesses have alone provided employment to almost half of those engaged in the private sector. If you were to compare the total number of people employed by

Target Marketing Strategy to Watch Your Business Grow

Marketing is an important function that plays a vital role in the running of the business. If the product is not marketed in the right manner and fails to reach the end customer, the business will fail. This is why, marketing strategies play crucial roles. While marketing a product, the company has to decide a target market. Target market is nothing but that specific set of audience to whom the product manufactured is meant to cater to. Target market is more like dividing the vast sea of customers into smaller segments and using the 4Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) on this segment effectively to achieve maximum sales and profits. Target marketing strategy helps tap that subset of the customer population that are most likely to purchase and use the product.

How to Identify a Target Market
The whole concept of target marketing stems down from the fact that we cannot please everybody! Target market, unlike mass marketing does not dole out a single product to the entire market. Instead it marks out a specific range of people to whom the product must be effectively marketed to. As a marketing professional one needs to identify the target market correctly

Effective and Easy-to-implement Communication

Not enough can be said about the importance of communication in any relationship, be it personal or professional. It is the foundation upon which relationships are built, strengthened and solidified. Now, communication is not only about talking; it also encompasses non-verbal communication that includes body language, and the ability to listen, understand, and relate information to others. It is often the lack of these aspects that results in miscommunication, and therefore, misunderstandings. So here are some effective communication exercises for people trying to improve their relationships to make them harmonious and beneficial.

Communication Exercises that Work

All the activities provided below can be utilized by professionals who wish to improve their communication skills and develop profitable relationships, and for kids, teenagers, and adults to learn how to improve their relationships with others, be it friends, family, or within a general social circle. We have only provided ideas here, from which inspiration may be drawn to improve the exercise or add to its details to make it as effective as possible. While these exercises are better performed on a one-to-one basis, it is also acceptable that they be performed in larger groups. The only reason for the former choice is that

An Explanation of Stealth Marketing

Marketing is a very important phase of business. The business cycle works like this―product planning, designing, development, testing, and then marketing. If the last phase is not implemented successfully, the entire development process will have gone in vain. Hence, companies come up with newer and more innovative strategies of advertising the product and circulating the same amidst the general public. Stealth marketing is one such advertising technique, developed more than a decade back. Unlike traditional methods, where one is at least aware that a product is being advertised (print media, like newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc., and tele-media, like radio and television), stealth marketing concentrates on secret advertising, i.e., no one would even know that the product is being advertised. The following paragraphs elaborate further on the practice of stealth marketing.

An Overview
Many consumers actually wonder if stealth marketing is real or just a myth. Well, to eliminate your doubts, yes, it is indeed real.
Also called undercover/buzz marketing, it is a tactic to let customers know about the product before it has been officially launched.
As mentioned in the beginning, Sony Ericsson was one of the first companies that used stealth marketing.
In order to launch their product labeled ‘T68i’,

Important Ethical and Unethical Business Practices

“I have always recognized that the object of business is to make money in an honorable manner. I have endeavored to remember that the object of life is to do good.” – Peter Cooper, American Inventor, Manufacturer and Philanthropist

Business ethics are moral values and principles that determine our conduct in the business world. It refers to commercial activities, either with other business houses or with a single customer. They can be applied to all aspects of business; from generation of an idea to its sale. Businesses use the society for its resources and functioning, thereby obligating it to the welfare of the society. While the objective of any business is to make profits, it should contribute to the interest of the society by ensuring fair practices. However, greed has led the present business scenario towards unethical business practices, legal complications and general mistrust.

Code of Ethics
Many organizations now implement the code of ethics in their company polices, which they implement during induction and regular training. A Code of Ethics “is generally a more blanket statement of values and beliefs that defines the organization or group” (Brandl and Maguire). It is primarily for the following areas:

– Company’s assets, funds and records

A Guide to Cottage Industry Laws

So you knit an awesome afghan/bake a great cake/whittle a beautiful headboard. Wanna start a business? Sure! Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day again in your life, right? But starting a business requires money. Which you don’t have. Or you wouldn’t need to start a business.

There exists, in the good ol’ U.S. of A., a business type called a ‘cottage industry’. It’s basically a sole-proprietorship that you run out of your home. Sounds perfect, right? Let’s roll! I’ll start today!

Not so fast. Business in this country is regulated, heavily in some cases. There is a set of laws involving cottage industries, and pleading ignorance will not keep you from being heavily fined or shut down if you’re found in violation. Laws vary from place to place, so check your state, county and city websites for the particulars. But the most common issues concern what you make and where you make it.

Your Home
As mentioned, cottage industries are run from the home. But that’s not all there is to it. First, you have to check with the city to make sure your home is zoned for cottage industry (which is entirely separate from being zoned for business

Choice of answers Services that benefit Small Business

Answering services assume importance when the employees find it difficult to keep a track of unattended messages and revert to the callers. Many times, a business may lose revenue despite attending to messages on a prompt basis, since a number of callers may hang up instead of leaving a voice mail. It’s time to turn to a professional service when messages start piling up, and delays in answering customer queries translate into lower business revenue. A 24-hour service, that is geared towards handling customer queries, ensures that a business provides the desired level of customer service, and retains clients while roping in many more.

Preferred Answering Services

These services may be virtual or live. The latter is preferred since the caller has the opportunity of talking to an operator who can render the desired assistance.

Virtual Services

A virtual answering service or a virtual receptionist is programmed to answer calls in the name of the company, take the message and inform the recipient by email or SMS. This is an automated service that is set-up to handle either select calls or all calls that are not answered within 15 seconds. These services also allow the caller to obtain a series of information based on

Reduce Overhead Costs in Small Business

Those who’re trying their luck in the field of entrepreneurship, and are already doing some small businesses, must be aware of a decently vague term, called overhead cost. Though this term may appear vague inherently, it can have a great impact in saving you some precious money when you’re running your business.

Stated in simple accounting terms, overhead costs are business expenses, that are not directly involved in contributing to the profit, but they’re vital to run your business. This may include anything like office space, office stationery, office furniture, cafeteria, etc. For small businesses, extra expenses matter a lot, because capital investment is limited and so maximizing profit and preventing loss is the only key to survival, especially in times of harsh economies and destabilized markets.

Guide to Cutting Your Operating Costs in Business

Regular expenses that are not directly involved in producing goods or providing services are known as overhead costs. It is obvious that you can’t keep your overhead expenses zero. Let us take one example. Electricity is a basic need in the offices, and so you can’t prevent employees from using it! Yes, you can manage electricity usage effectively, and even ask employees to use resources in the

An Effective Marketing Strategy in Itself

Cross merchandising is nothing but a clever display of closely related products from different categories, that encourages the customer to purchase all of them. In turn, it also lifts up the sale of products from different categories. Cross merchandising can be done by displaying the products on a mannequin, or by actual positioning of merchandise on racks or shelves.

In this Buzzle article, learn more about the concept of cross merchandising, in case you are thinking of employing it in your store, or just to show you how supermarkets manage to make you spend more than you intended to.

Before you think of employing the strategy of cross merchandising in your business, consider the following points:
Products must have a logical connection between them
For cross merchandising, the merchandise must naturally go well or complement each other. The customers should be able to relate them together. I’ll elaborate this point with a few examples:
✜ A shoe retailer can benefit by displaying socks, shoe shiners, shoe insoles, laces, and odor-controlling foot creams and powders together.

Electrical appliances
✜ If a retail store houses electrical appliances, like mobiles and laptops, then displaying accessories, such as mobile cases, laptop bags, headphones, memory cards, audio and

These Home Business Ideas for Men

Nowadays, some men prefer staying at home and working. There can be many reasons for an increase in this trend. Not everyone has the money to buy a new property for business, or maybe pay the rent even. The best option in these circumstances is to start a business from home, and look for some work from home ideas that might interest you. There are many home business ideas for men that require less investment, in terms of money and property. While most men usually know what they want to start as their business, some just want to try their hand at something new. For those of you who want to start something new, here are five options that you can choose from. These will help you start with legitimate work from home. Check them out!

Some Home Business Ideas for Men

Writing Studio
A writing studio is one of the easiest ideas for both men and women. In this work from home business, you don’t have to write anything yourself, if you wish to. You don’t even need an office to operate from. All you need to do is take orders from websites that deal into content writing, and give them

Visual Communication

If you think about it, we are bombarded with visual information of some sort every minute of our life, unless we are sleeping. From the commercials in our favorite TV program, to the little dials on the dashboard of our cars, everything is trying to convey something visually, and hence, falls under visual communication.

Most commonly though, it refers to the colorful graphs, charts, and other graphics used when making a presentation for a business meeting. In this article, I have listed the various pros and cons of using visual aids to put across a point.

Advantages of Visual Communication

Visual communication is very fast as far as conveying a message is concerned. A graph for example, showing company expenditure in a financial year, can be understood just at a glance, compared to paragraphs of text or a speech to convey the same information.

A picture is retained in our memory longer than words or quotes. Research shows that people remember visuals the best, followed by speech, accompanied by reading.

Impactful – A graphic of any kind can elicit a stronger reaction from the reader. Compare saying “Nature is a wonderful thing” to an audience, to an image of young, cuddly animals. The image will