November 19th, 2013Holiday Bonuses: Cash Or Gift?

How do you get to be the boss/company that everybody wants to work for? Well, there are lots of ways, truth be told, but with the holidays upon us it’s helpful to remember that the Christmas (‘holiday’) bonus shouldn’t be a thing of the past just because the economy stinks! When you’re trying to think of an appropriate amount for a cash bonus or are tossing around different corporate gift ideas, do not hesitate to do the right thing and remember your employees around the holidays.

A Number Of Things To Consider

Here are a few things that you might want to think about when you’re trying to decide what kind of holiday bonus to get your employees, if any:

  • What are you trying to say with this bonus – what are you trying to achieve
  • Make sure that the holiday bonus, whether it is in the form of cash or a gift, is doable if it comes out of your business’s budget (utilitarian gifts with the company’s logo embossed upon them is a very affordable option)
  • Yes, size matters – giving too little is nothing short of an insult
  • If you’re trying to make a decision between a party and a gift – again be it cash or a present of sorts – go with the gift (parties are nice but let’s face it, money is money and a tangible gift is a gift)
  • In fact, who would rather have a bonus/gift than a party? Only about 73% of the working population. That cash gift was a favorite of approximately 61% of workers whereas time off that would not be considered official vacation time was preferred by approximately 37%.

Nobody Wants To Party Hearty Anymore?

Now I’m as up for a party as anyone – particularly if it has an open bar! But given the choice of extra money, a really nice gift that is either luxurious or fully utilitarian and a fleeting party from which I will probably have a hangover the next day… The choice is relatively simple. It’s when you decide not to give a gift at all that you have become even more notorious than Ebenezer Scrooge. If you saw the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you’ll know to what I’m referring. Imagine how different the movie would have been if the boss hadn’t been such a cheapskate. Even the guy’s wife branded him as such.

Key: Remember to consider that cash bonuses are reported just like payroll and are suject to taxation just like the employee’s wages. On the other hand, non-cash bonuses are not taxable as such. A ham, a turkey, a gift certificate, gift basket, etc. make good bonuses that won’t be lessened by Uncle Sam… Let him get his own damn Christmas bonus! Happy Holidays!

Our economy is data driven.  Large and even most mid-size companies devote a great deal of time and effort into securing that data.  They rely heavily on it for many functions of the corporation.  If you are a small business owner, you probably already realize how important data is to your operation.  However, sometimes backing up that data takes a back seat to the day-to-day operations that simply must get done.  Small companies often do not have personnel devoted solely devoted to maintaining data integrity.  They often buy a system and assume that things will go as planned and really don’t plan effectively for a disaster.

But what would happen if that data was lost?  Would operations cease? Would rebuilding the data be done based on what could be remembered?  All off the scenarios are too daunting to ponder.  But, if a backup is not maintained, a company could be forced to do just that.

Securing The Data

When it just does not make sense to hire IT personnel, there are options.  One of the best options is to turn over the securing of data to an outside source.  A cloud storage solution might be just the answer and many are free, up to a certain capacity.  You can setup a cloud based storage system to perform automated backups at regular intervals. This is a good option, but there is more that can be done if you are willing to spend a little money you may consider hiring a hosting center to host or store your files.

There are advantages to having a secure and private data storage hosting service over simply storing data in the cloud.  Data on a simple, cloud storage site is replicated during backup; this means new versions simply replace old versions so there is no historical data.  If your company does not need to retain historical data then a free cloud storage solution is the way to go.  But if you need to be able to go back in time a compare data as it changes over time then you are going to need a more sophisticated backup solution.

A Disaster Recovery Plan

Whatever system works for your business, the fact remains, that you need to enact a disaster recovery plan.  If you have one that keeps backups onsite, like a stash of hard drives, tapes or CD’s, consider the fact that a natural disaster could wipe out your entire operation, including those precious data files.  Backups need to be stored offsite in another location some distance away from your operations, in the event of a natural disaster.

Lots of people throw Kentucky Derby parties.  I’ve been at a number of them myself.  But how many people do you know that throw Belmont Stakes parties?  Well it’s high time someone did.  All you have to do is use your imagination a little bit.  Lots of party favors, napkins, cups, plates and decorations are in party stores for the Kentucky Derby.  But you’re probably on your own when it comes to the party favors, decorations and special invitations that you’ll send out for this party.

Things To Include In The Invitation

Designing the outside of your invitation could be as easy as stenciling a horse on the front and printing ‘you’re invited’.  Of course on the inside you’re going to want to put things like your address, the time and date, what to bring if anything, and possibly what kinds of activities that are going to take place at the party itself: i.e. betting.  You can also include an official betting website which will help people decide on their horses. After all, what good is having a party based on  the running of 2013 Belmont, if you don’t know who the 2013 Belmont Stakes contenders are, or what odds are?  It is smart to look at the odds on an official Belmont betting site as the race gets closer, particularly on race day because you will have access to the evr-changing live Belmont Stakes betting odds.

Getting Your Party Supplies Together

You’re probably going to have to do the Belmont themed decorating on your own so get some construction paper and markers.  Preferably the non-toxic markers – though of course I guess that depends on how much you like your friends.  Paper plates can be decorated on the underside and placed with the serving side downs so the decorations show, at everyone’s place at the table.  Cups can be decorated on the outside with markers or you can draw on construction paper and tape or glue the paper around the cup itself.  Napkins can be basically themed toward horses, New York or a racing event.  Hopefully you are artistic enough to be able to cut out the larger decorations needed to hang on the walls, put on the table or hang in the windows.  A centerpiece of straw with apples, carrots and sugar cubes placed on top is fun and appropriate.

You can also hang pictures of the horses and their jockeys along the wall in a line so that people can take a good look at their horse and its colors ahead of time, before placing their bets.

Crafting is more than a hobby, for many folks.  It is a way to bring in an extra income, while doing something that you enjoy.  If you have turned your hobby into a profitable business, like making and selling invitations, you probably already know how important it is to be organized.  The key to becoming organized is to have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. Proper storage is an important factor, when it comes to being organized.

One Man’s Clutter

As a crafter, you probably have a hodgepodge of things that you are holding on to, for just the right crafting application.  Unfortunately, to the untrained eye, it looks like clutter.  Whether you see it as clutter or a crafting cache, ultimately, getting these things in order makes your work area more efficient, and you might have more fun working in your area.  If you are running a home invitation business or any other business that relies on your crafting, your newly well-organized workspace can lead to greater profits.

Containing the Mess

Finding containers to hold all of your crafting supplies is a good start.  However, there are more sophisticated storage solutions available.  The original scrap box is a crafter’s dream, when it comes to organizing all the supplies and tools needed for crafting.  Not only can you store your supplies, you can also conceal your materials, when you are not working.  When closed, the scrap box becomes an attractive piece of furniture.

Creating a Space for Your Supplies

You may be wondering, how a cabinet like this will suite your needs.  Well after reading the original scrapbox reviews, on a few websites for crafters, it is quite apparent that the Scrap Box can be modified, to just about any business that has a lot of materials to store.  For an invitation business that could mean specialized paper or cardstock, rubberstamps, an assortment of ribbons, letterpress plates and other items you need to keep on hand.  All of these materials will easily fit in the Scrap Box.

Remember, even with the most sophisticated storage systems, you still have to take the time to keep everything in order.  It is a good idea to maintain a practice of taking a few minutes at the end of each day, to put everything in its place.  Finding a way to get and stay organized will greatly improve your crafting experience.  It can also lead to a more successful home business.

How would you like to look into all inclusive Banff hotel deals for weddings, honeymooners, and wedding parties?  So popular are these types of celebrations in Banff Canada, that many hotels offer these all inclusive packages.  Imagine sending out your wedding invitations, with pictures of the incomparable beauty of the Canadian wilderness, as your backdrop.  Beauty only rivaled, by the bride herself.

Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Receptions And The Big Honeymoon

Anything and everything to do with your wedding can take place, either under the stars at a warm lodge or in a suite next to a cozy, warm fire, as the snow flies outside.  What a romantic picture it would make, for the bride and groom, to be riding over the river and through the woods, in a horse-drawn sleigh, on a frosty winters eve.  And, the wedding suites, in some of Banff’s hotels are simply over the romantic moon.  Don’t forget to treat your wedding party to a day at the spa. either before or after the ceremony.

During the Honeymoon

Aside from the obvious activities, during a honeymoon, which will not be explored in this article, there is no shortage of things to do, if you actually ever get around to leaving the hotel room itself.  A soak in the hot springs of Banff can be the perfect prelude or finish to your day.  If you’re the outdoorsy type, you may consider fishing or camping, or simply a hike or horseback ride through the wilderness.  And, not that your festivities aren’t enough, if you schedule your wedding around one of the many festivals in Banff, you can enjoy the city and surrounding areas even more.

The really good news about staying at Banff is the fact that it is affordable, for most people these days.  Which lessens the burden on, not only the wedding party, but anyone else interested, in attending the ceremony.

Getting ready to open your business is going to be a very exciting experience, for not only yourself, but your friends and family. Therefore, you need to be sure that the grand opening is going to be spectacular and full of events and excitement. Another major part of having a grand opening is to introduce people to your new products and services. You need to be sure that plenty of people know all about your new company.

Purchasing Your Inventory

When you get ready to have a grand opening, it is also very important that you have plenty of inventory.  A well stocked inventory will provide your new customers, with plenty of selection and introduce them to what products you intend on stocking. If you are running short on cash, for extra products, then you need to be sure that you start looking into a small business loan, prior to your company having its grand opening.

Working On A  Small Business Loan

It may feel as though it is a bit stressful,  when you start looking for a small business loan, but it is actually fairly easy. You do need to get yourself familiar with small business loans, so taking some time on the Internet is highly recommended. Entering the key phrase small business loan Canada is going to give you a great deal of information, that you will be able to utilize and figure out what you need, for  your next step.

The day of your grand opening is going to be an extravagant event. Not only will all of your friends and family be in attendance, but you also will have a wonderful inventory that people will be able to enjoy and purchase.

Networking with a Piano Teacher London can be one of the most effective methods, for buying invitations to your piano concert.  Buying invitations to your piano concert can be somewhat confusing, if you have never before held a concert.  There are many different options available, when it comes to choosing the right invitations, for your upcoming piano event.  It’s important to figure out what your top priorities are before making any final decisions, about invitations.  For some people, the budget really is the top priority, so simplicity is best.

Working with a Budget

It’s easiest to work with a professional, if you are placing a high priority on these invitations and a budget is not really an issue.  People who have no budget limitations and choose to get extravagant, can order unique cards or invitations, some of which even play specific music, for the guests that are invited.  For those individuals with budget limitations, there are many platforms that allow people to provide custom designs, for invitations that can be drafted and distributed over the internet.  It really helps to create a  list of priorities, before exploring the multitude of options available.  Talking with close friends and family is always a great way to get feedback on your ideas and help you stay on budget, with your invitations, and planning the entire event.

Consider the Options

Sometimes, it’s really just about trying to convince those people that balk at more formal musical events to come to the concert, so it’s not about the format as much as it is about the content.  There are a number of services online that specialize in musical, ballet and piano recitals.  Try to find services and professionals that will provide free samples and consultation meetings and then use their best ideas in your approach to planning your event.

It always helps to bring a trusted close friend or family member with you, when meeting up with a professional, in order to get an objective third-party perspective. Placing your event planning in the hands of a professional is also the most helpful alternative, if you are already stressed and have a number of things on your plate.

November 11th, 2012Graphic Design on a “Dime”

What is the scope of your gift list for the upcoming holidays, there are so many possibilities for gift giving and such a wide variety of great gifts to give that narrowing down the best gift can be very difficult.  Fortunately there are websites that make gift giving easier and can accommodate the range of gifts that will please anyone on your list.  If for instance you want to buy a CD for someone but don’t know what their taste in music or what CD’s they may already have, giving them a gift card allows them to make their own selection.  Books, which are another favorite gift to give, can be difficult to buy, you may know your recipients taste in literature, but not exactly what would fill the gap in their library, a gift certificate or card would allow them to make their selection themselves.  Amazon a very popular websites for just about any CD or book you might want to purchase offers Amazon discount codes which can be used with a gift certificate or gift card.  In addition if your gift recipient is going to spend twenty-five dollars or more with a direct purchase from Amazon they may qualify for free shipping.

Graphic Design Savings

If you are looking for software, books or posters, art or tee shirts you can purchase graphic design gifts in these categories or many more for the people on your gift list.  Maybe you yourself are a graphic designer or want to buy a gift for someone who is a graphic designer.  Check out the many offerings for those interested in this art, drafting tables, lightboxes, and easel or digital camera or sketch pads can all be purchased online.  The many ideas and the savings on these tools of the trade are numerous and with a little research and patience you can save money on your purchases.

Giving the Right Gift

We all want to give someone a gift they will enjoy and appreciate and you can find affordable gifts if you don’t mind shopping around a little bit.  Plan you gift list well in advance of the occasion and research various vendors offerings and you will be able to maximize your spending dollars and your wallet will not suffer.  Using coupons and discount and promo codes helps facilitate your efforts to save.

Getting ready to announce that you are having a baby is always going to be very exciting. If you and your loved one have been trying to have a baby for a long time then this is going to be a very cool experience to go through. The first thing you need to do is determine when you plan on having your baby. You should always take a look at a due date calculator so that you can get an idea of when the baby is going to be born. That will help with the design of the birth announcement so you can make the birth announcement a summer announcement or can be a winter one pending on the date that you plan on giving birth.

Figuring Out The Perfect Announcement

If you are not very creative in this might be a difficult task. The cool thing is there are several different options to choose from and you can always go online for additional information that will be able to help you pick out a birth announcement. Certain websites online can help you create an announcement using their formats which can be a terrific help when you are trying to figure out a birth announcement.

Developing A Mailing List

Once you have the hard part over it is now time for you to start thinking about all of the different people that you would like to announce your pending birth to. You should take some time and sit down with your loved one and think about all of your friends and family that would love to hear about you having a baby. You should always think about all of the people that have been in your life throughout your journeys and those who know that you have struggled to have a baby for a very long time.

In the next few months it is going to be a very exciting time and you are going to be overwhelmed with joy. All you need to do now is stay healthy and get ready to have a baby in a few months.

Finding the right bad credit loans online can be the perfect way to help sustain cash flows when you try to build credit for your design business. Any successful business needs positive cash flows and an adequate credit standing in order to survive. If you are struggling to do both or either one, finding an easy loan to qualify for can be an effective step for helping a business get back on its feet. If you do get the loan you are looking for, it’s important to use this new found capital as efficiently as possible.

Know Your Business

It’s important to have a thorough understanding on the intricacies of your budget and the near term and long term headwinds facing your design business before you even apply for a loan. It’s important to know how much capital you need to cover your expenses, how much you can contribute to paying down your current amount of debt and how quickly you will be able to pay the loan back. It’s all important to have a plan for using the extra capital to expand your portfolio or increase your revenues without putting additional pressure on your current overhead expenses.

Plan Effectively for Near and Long Team

Before you get the loan, begin to implement this plan for improving your current business model and increasing your earnings. Focus on grass root marketing efforts in order to increase your clientele. Getting advice from industry professionals can also help to get the business back in good standing. Schedule routine appointments to confer with your CPA. If you do not already have one, this may be the source of many of the current credit and liquidity issues the design business faces.

Also take the time to get together with a business management consultant to get objective advice regarding the current status of your operations and outlook. The more preparation and research you put into the improving the business operations and increasing the opportunities to generate additional revenues, the better equipped the business will be to improve the credit standing in the near term and sustain capital gains for the long-term.


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