Monthly Archives: August 2017

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 daycare center or a home-based business, the chances of getting a grant or a loan to start such small businesses are the highest. You should not write a grant proposal for a non-profit venture to the government agency which aims at technology-related business. If you do so, your proposal will be rejected. This draws the importance of being well-informed about the kind of grants released by different government agencies.

A Course on Grant Writing
A course on grant writing will help you write a very noticeable proposal. You would want a response on every proposal that you write. To ensure that your proposal is accepted, it has to be effective and stand out from other proposals. Your writing has to be personalized, since different government agencies have different criteria for acceptance. For instance, if a government agency offers grants for technology-related businesses, you will have to write your proposal with facts and demographics to establish the need of such a business in the economy. This can be aided by a course on grant writing. The grant proposal is the first impression of the individual applying. As it is rightly said, “First impression is the last impression”. Hence, a course on grant writing will help you cater to this need.
Continue to Apply for New Grants
You can apply for new grants on a weekly basis. Make sure that you apply as soon as the new grants become available. You can choose the grants that would best suit the business you plan to start. If your grant is being rejected very often, you will have to work on framing your proposal.

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 their database. These grants help women from different walks of life and backgrounds.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Another resource is the US Small Business Administration (SBA). They also offer grant programs to organizations, that render small business management or technical assistance. The SBA mostly provides grants to those who operate for profit and have some equity to invest on their own.

You need to apply on the government grants site. Once you do this, you will get a funding opportunity number (FON). You can then track your application on their site. When you apply, you will be required to furnish information about the project details and your background.

State Governments

State governments are a good resource to look for grants closer to home. The federal government allocates development funds for each state, and the state in turn provides a part of these funds to individuals to start or expand their business. They provide grants to businesses that will benefit the community in the long term. Projects dealing with saving energy, child care, and tourism are supported by them.

Nonprofit Organizations

There are many nonprofit organizations that provide financial aid to women-owned businesses. They have cause-driven grants and they help women as a target group. Some organizations specialize in providing aid to minority women.

Whenever you want to apply for a grant, keep information about your financial background, business plan, marketing strategy, and forecasted growth ready to stand a better chance of qualifying.

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 a better self control, and the ability to make quick and apt decisions, with good interpersonal skills.
Building social skills will gradually help in enhancing your relationships with the world around.
List of Interpersonal Skills

Positive personalities and interpersonal communication skills are a requirement in most of the organizations and companies today. Go through these roots of development, you can improve or implement these ideas within yourself.

Generous Greetings

Be a sport and greet whenever you enter your organization or any other social event, it creates a cheerful and lively impression. In corporate offices, it is mandatory to do so, however, even if nobody else bothers to, you do it. Wish your colleagues, whenever there is an occasion, and if you work in a multi-cultural environment, make sure you exchange wishes. People would appreciate your respect and wisdom of thought.

Facial Expressions and Body Language

Reflect a positive image and attitude when talking or meeting people. Always keep a smile on your face! Nobody likes a sulky, or a depressive and odd face. Stand and sit confidently, do not sulk or stand with a hunch. Stop twiddling with your hair, toe-tapping and fidgeting, maintain a decent body language. Make eye contact whenever you talk to somebody, it sure creates an impressive and confident mark. Relax and even if you are stressed with an important meeting, take a deep breath. Don’t be nervous and stay calm.

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 move people emotionally and be more effective.

It is a much more efficient way of communicating – not just in time required for relaying information, the effort is much less too. For example, if I had to describe the usage of a pen to a group of people, it would be much easier for me to do so with a pen at my aid, and the point would get across better when those present actually see the pen being written with.

Ambiguities are more common with only oral communication, especially now with globalization, as people from diverse backgrounds and linguistic abilities are working together. A visual, on the other hand, makes everything very clear. For example, if I say “The Kremlin is a colorful, domed structure”, some would imagine it to be like a grand cathedral, whereas a few others would think of it shaped liked an igloo. But with a picture, everyone would instantly know how it actually looks.

When visuals are used instead of a simple speech, it makes a person more involved and connected, as visuals are able to pull down most barriers of communication, and open up people.
Disadvantages of Visual Communication

The major drawback for using visuals is their higher cost. High quality images, pictures and graphics, require additional resources to procure and make, driving up the cost. Besides, using lower quality visuals has been proven to reduce credibility, having the opposite effect of that intended.