Five Deadly Time Management Mistakes

How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.

Q. I am starting a new business as a web designer. Recently a client paid me less than $500 for a website. I spent hours and hours creating a magnificent, eye-popping site that would cost $1500 at market value. My client just thanked me ­ she didn’t even offer a bonus! I’m too busy with these low-paying jobs to go after the bigger assignments.

A. Whether you’re a business owner, corporate executive or independent professional, success means putting a value on your time ­ even when you feel, “I’ve got all the time in the world.”

Mistake #1: Confusing down time with extra time.

The Fix: You finish a project early. Or business is lighter than usual this week. Spend the extra time to market yourself for new projects, not tinker with current clients. If you’re working for someone else, use the time to make yourself more marketable.

Mistake #2: Donating time to people who can pay.

The Fix: Donate time to nonprofit organizations who can’t afford your fees. Before beginning get agreement that you may use this project in your portfolio, along with a signed testimonial on your website.

Occasionally you can offer a deal to a high profile client who will publicize your efforts. Submit an invoice with the full price and mark your deduction as a discount. Make sure you’ll get more than a vague promise to “drop your name everywhere.”

Mistake #3: Assuming clients understand your business.

The Fix: Communicate options. “Here’s what a $250 website looks like. Here’s what a $2500 website looks like.” When clients are new to your service, they rarely know the going rates. And they may not realize you’ll accept a bonus and rejoice in a testimonial.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to set boundaries.

The Fix: Explain exactly what’s included in your basic fees. Changes? Questions? Setting up the web hosting and domain name? Scanning and uploading photos? Fixing a spelling error?

Mistake #5: Thinking small.

The Fix: Learn what would it take to move from $250 to $2500 jobs. Maybe your own website screams, “I’m cheap!” Maybe you need to pitch larger accounts with bigger budgets. Practice saying aloud, “That will cost $500.” Then work your way up to saying, “nine hundred dollars” without choking on your own words.

Bottom Line: Alan Lakein wrote How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, the first (and some say best) time management book. He encouraged readers to ask Lakein’s Question: Is this the best use of my time right now? Tape the question to your computer and ask it often.

Choosing A New Credit Card

What to think about when choosing a new credit card. This article will help the process of choosing a new card.
Neil Brown

1. Choosing A new credit card

There are many reasons for choosing a new credit card. It may be your first card or you may wish to reduce the amount of interest you’re paying each month or if you’re lucky enough to pay off your balance each month you may wish to take advantage of one of the many reward schemes around.

To help you choose we have compiled a set of questions and answers. One thing to consider is that you need more than one new card. For example if you have an outstanding balance and use still make purchases you should consider switching to a balance transfer card for the outstanding balance and a seperate card for the ongoing purchases. This is provided you pay off the ongoing purchases of course.

2. What To Ask – Standard Questions

Scenario: You pay off your existing balance each month Solution : Choose a reward scheme card. These will either pay be cash or may be points that can be used to purchase certain products.

Scenario: You have an outstanding balance but still make ongoing purchases Solution : Transfer the existing balance to 0% balance transfer card and at the same time get an introductory purchase offer card. This way you can allow the introductory purchase card balance to build up, while you pay off the balance transfer card. You need to be very disciplined with approach though. If you have taken up a balance transfer then try to avoid new purchases on this card as repayments are weighted towards the lower interest part of the balance.

Scenario: You have a large purchase coming up Solution : Apply for an introductory purchase card and then pay off the balance over the period of the offer.

Scenario: You have a poor credit history Solution : There are some high interest cards around for people with a poor credit history. If you do obtain one of these cards then make sure you always make your repayments. This way you will slowly build up your credit rating, which will eventually make the lower interest cards available to you.

3. Can your existing card be improved

This is one option that most people completely ignore. It is entirely possible that you may be able to negotiate a new rate on your card, especially if you have another card with a lower rate. They can only say no, so what have you got to lose.

4. Should I close my existing card

Not neccessarily is the answer. You may be able to use this card in the future for a balance transfer (http://www.chooseacreditcard.co.uk/balancetransfers.html). Also, don’t forget that you normally get around 58 days interest free credit. So you may be able to make the odd one-off purchase and spread the cost over a couple of months.

5. Finally …

Please remember the golden rule. Only borrow what you can avoid to borrow. If you are careful you can make the credit cards work for you, but if the credit card companies make a lot of money out of people allowing the spending to get out of control. Don’t allow yourself to be one of these people.

Payday Loans: Some Helpful Tips

Payday loans are short term loans that help you meet your financial needs. Usually, people go to a bank to get this type of loan when they are in an emergency and need financial support. However, the catch is that if you fail to return the loan amount, you will have to bear a heavy amount of interest, which is, sometimes, 200% of the principal amount. So, If you have to pay your loan back on time, you may need some help. Failing to pay back the loan on time may create more problems for you down the road. Given below are 5 tips to help you with this. Read on to know more.

1. Consider your needs

Before you apply for a payday loan, we suggest that determine your needs first. Once you have understood your needs, you should not borrow more than what you need. Smaller amounts are easy to pay back than larger ones. Therefore, you should borrow the smallest amount possible to meet your needs. After all, your purpose to apply for the loan was to deal with an emergency. It’s not a good idea to opt for this option to buy something you want, such as a smartphone or camera.

2. Use what you need

Once you have got the loan, use as much amount as you need. For instance, if you borrowed $2,000, say, and you spent $1,000 to meet your needs, don’t spend the rest of the money on something you don’t need. Instead, you should put that money aside for repayment of the loan.

3. Set your priority

If you want to payback your payday loan, we suggest that you commit to the task. What you need to do is make you payments on time no matter what. If possible, you should get money from other sources to pay back the loan. For instance, you can sell something you don’t need on eBay, volunteer for a few days or work overtime. So, you may want to set your priorities should you want the bank to accept your application.

4. Electronic withdrawal

You can prevent payment delays if you let your lender withdraw funds from your account. This can cost you a lot of money. If this option is not feasible, you may have to repay the amount the expiry of due date. Failing to pay the loan on time will incur penalties and fees. However, you may want to keep in mind that online lenders require you to give them authorization for fund transfer.

5. Emergencies

It is a good idea not to take a payday loan unless you have an emergency. These short terms loans are designed in order to help people deal with unexpected situations and circumstances. So, they can be used for the purpose of covering emergency expenses.

Therefore, if you are habitual of taking out payday loans for ongoing situations and impulse purchases, you will find yourself in a lot of trouble down the road. These loans are not granted to help people buy the new model of their favorite smartphone.

As a matter of fact, your first priority should be to pay off your payday loan as soon as possible. This is the most important thing that you may want to keep in mind when applying for this loan. This will help you prevent things from making worse in the future.

Long story short, if you have been in trouble, we suggest that you borrow funds from your friends, relatives or colleagues. Payday loans should be your last resort when you have no other option to consider. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the best choice.

How To Design Your New Business

If you’re setting up a new business, and you have the ability to design the building how you want, there are a few different ways that you can do this in order to create the most effective customer experience. Before you do this however, you are going to need to design your perfect business model, in order to ensure that you have everything that you need as a start-up before you begin to put it into practice. One you have done this, you can then start to think about how you’re going to design your new business.

Innovation and Ideation

One of the main things to consider when it comes to designing your new business, is this concept of ideation – a generation of ideas. This is where people begin to explore areas that haven’t been explored to their true extent before, and this can apply both to your business model, and also the actual design of the business you’re looking to create. Offices such as Google are known for the way that they design their building, with VR headsets, bright colours and a techy environment – essentially making the ‘geeks’ pretty cool. Being open to all options is important, and you don’t have to run a strict office environment in order to be productive. Being innovative in your business design, both in model-type and the actual business itself may bring you out of your comfort zone to create something spectacular.

Shop Design

The chances are when you’re setting up a business, you’re not going to find the perfect shop design or office environment from the first place that you look at. In most cases, you probably won’t be able to create the perfect shop design until you begin to modify a building yourself, far into the future. While it is important not to settle for less than you want, just because you can, knowing your budget, and exactly where that can take you in the future. If you want VR headsets around your office, which may not be possible within the first few years until you start to make big profits and expand your company further. However, if you’re looking to open a retail store, it is important to know how to have an effective shop design to better customer experience. Knowing where to place your products, and how to design the layout of your store may even be the make or break between your business’ profits within the first year.

Be Flexible

One of the most important things that you need to know when it comes to designing your new business, is that your original ideas are going to need to be adapted in order for them to work properly. Being flexible will allow you to really open up your mind to a range of possibilities and may even make your idea more viable, or crazier than ever. Being flexible with your initial idea can really help you to push the limits, to create an innovative business idea that is likely to be a hit with your customers.

Does Your Company Have Documentum?

Are you lost in the mess of documents that get passed around your company, never knowing what the latest version is and which one you should work on without worrying if someone else has already made the same editions that you are making? Perhaps you have heard of collaboration software solutions such as Documentum to help your company manage its documents that are passed around. Documentum is a very good solution to this problem but is it the only one? In this article you will be presented with some basic information about the differences in collaboration software from Documentum and NextPage.

What is collaboration software?

Collaboration software allows business professionals to work directly with other business professionals by allowing them to work together to create business documents, presentations, and budgets. Most collaboration software is centralized. This allows business professionals to work on the same documents at the same time from different locations. Some centralized collaboration software solutions include Groove Network, Microsoft SharePoint, Documentum, and Filenet.

Why use Documentum?

There are a few advantages to using centralized collaboration software such as Documentum. The main advantage being that they work very well for team collaboration. Documentum’s software keeps all files, projects, and data in one centralized location that everyone who is working on the project can access. This allows them to review and update the same document that everyone else has used, which essentially keeps everyone working on the same page.

Are there any drawbacks to Documentum?

While the collaboration software solution provided by Documentum is very useful and beneficial, there are a few drawbacks to using it. The main disadvantage being that Documentum’s software requires the use of an IT infrastructure. Another potential drawback is that it requires an extensive amount of installation time. This can be a major inconvenience to those business professionals who are always busy and on the go.

Other collaboration software options out there also require everyone you work with to have the same software in order to share information. All of these drawbacks to centralized collaboration software can be very expensive and inconvenient.

What else will work for my company?

NextPage provides an alternative solution to the centralized collaboration software. NextPage 1.5 Collaboration Software tracks documents with Digital Thread technology. Say, for instance, that you are working on your company’s budget. You want to make sure that your facts and figures are correct so you send your spreadsheet to several of your co-workers for review. They look over the spreadsheet and make the necessary changes. They then return their spreadsheet version to you, and with NextPage 1.5, you simply merge the document versions together into one. NextPage 1.5 lets you see all of this visually via a graphical version history. With the graphical version history, you would always know where the various versions of your spreadsheet are stored, what changes have been made, who has reviewed your spreadsheet, when the revisions were made, and how the revisions fit together. NextPage makes it easy to see where the document has been and what revisions have been made, eliminating the confusion of who did what and when it was done.

What advantages does NextPage have?

The major advantages to using NextPage’s collaboration software include the following:

Do NOT need a centralized server
Do NOT need an IT infrastructure
Installation can be done in a matter of minutes
Will work with associates who are NOT NextPage subscribers
Solves document management problems where they originate
If your company is getting lost in the mess of documents then you can benefit greatly by implementing a collaboration software solution. Solutions from Documentum or NextPage will enhance your overall organization and productivity. In this article I have got the ball rolling for you. All you need to do now is to see what solution will best fit your company. So get out there and get your company documents organized!