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Why hire a private investigator for corporate asset investigation

If you are considering a lawsuit and waiting to collect a judgment then it is time for you to hire the services of a private investigator. The private investigator will conduct a corporate asset investigation for you. The corporations are regarded as separate legal entities and are considered as separate legal entities in front of law. The corporate litigation is quite a lengthy and an expensive process and the asset searches which are related to corporations require a special investigation which can be handled only by a licensed private investigator.

The corporate asset investigations mainly occur in two stages-pre-trial investigation and post-trial investigation. It is with the help of a pretrial investigation that a client is able to understand if a particular law suit is worth pursuing. The corporate litigation cost keeps on increasing during the trial period and in case the opposing company is not able to pay a judgment then the cost will increase further.

Proper asset searches by a reputed private investigator will prevent a particular lawsuit from happening at all. The information relating to hidden bank account and the law suits are considered to be very important tools for negotiations. If there is a corporate litigation which involves an amount higher than Rs.500K then the assert search is absolutely essential. The post-trial asset investigation will bring out all the uncovered assets which a debtor is trying to hide.

Most of the corporate attorneys do not have the time and the means to conduct a proper pretrial investigation of the assets of a particular company. However in the post-trial investigations the attorneys work together with the reputed private investigators like Adam Quirk FBI in order to ensure that the client’s judgment is paid. Here the information is required very quickly and the private investigator helps to get the relevant information most quickly and legally. The intelligence on the liquid assets is quite difficult to and it can take a long time to become successful.

There are many services which a private investigator undertakes and if you really want to know more about the various services of a private investigator relating to the pre-trial investigation then given below is a list of those services:

  • Proper search for any hidden bank accounts
  • Finding out information relating to real estate and mortgage
  • Information related to bankruptcy
  • Information that is related to the past judgments and law suits
  • UCC filings
  • Federal and the state tax aliens
  • The companies which are affiliated
  • Information relating to offshore companies

Corporate asset investigation is extremely important and in case you need to hire the services of a private investigator, make sure that you do get in touch with a reputed private investigator like Adam Quirk FBI. This private investigator will ensure that a proper asset investigation is done and will also help the attorney produce the desired report in the court. Hiring the services of Adam Quirk will help you in reaching the desired goal at quite a reasonable rate.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

In relation to entrepreneurs & business top 10 business celebrity entrepreneurs the recent rise of entrepreneurs & business has undoubtedly been fuelled by the popularity of TV business programmes like the Dragons Den & Alan Sugar The Apprentice.

These popular programmes have launched the media careers of their programme panel members, fast tracking many of them into the list of top 10 business celebrity entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs outlines well known global entrepreneurs.

Business enterprises promoted by celebrities have been a topic for discussion for quite some time.

Celebrities have shown their enterprising instincts in many in different ways and many of them have gone beyond endorsing products which had at best previously been a trend.

This discussion about entrepreneurs & business should act as an inspiration not only to aspiring celebrity entrepreneurs, but also to other prospects who intend to use their entrepreneurial skills to become successful entrepreneurs.

The list of top 10 business celebrity entrepreneurs includes the who’s who of celebrities. Many of these celebrities have created thriving enterprises without any formal training in business management and have launched successful and innovative products and services.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#1 Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg who co-founded Dreamworks tops the list. His movie business has generated millions and millions of dollars at worldwide box offices.

Although he has not graced our TV screens in programmes like the Dragons Den or Alan Sugar The Apprentice Steven Spielberg is recognised globally as a celebrity entrepreneur known to push the boundaries in film production.

He is known to have provided business help, business management, consultancy and business development to other aspiring business entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#2 Hugh Heffner

Hugh Heffner was born into a family of farmers. Heffner launched a magazine which was later named Playboy which has since sold millions of copies.

It’s interesting to know that Heffner started with only $8000 which he raised from investors. Hefner is recognised globally through his Playboy brand which expanded upon the initial magazine through shrewd business management, consultancy and business development to include multiple other revenue generations streams the most famous of which is the Playboy TV channel.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs #3 Sean Combs

Sean Combs launched the clothing brand Sean John clothing which generates a business turnover of over $400 million globally. Sean is recognised as an entrepreneur who founded his empire on a solid foundation of top quality business management and business development.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#4 Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks became famous after hosting the famous television show America’s Next Top Model and Tyra Banks Show. She is known to provide business help and support to other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#5 Kathy Irelan

Kathy Irelan is recognised globally as a famous model. Her business development initiative of finding solutions for families and busy moms was received well by the market.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs #6 Bill Gates

Irrespective of your geographical location, you are probably aware of the rise of Bill Gates whose business development idea revolutionised the personal computer market.

Gates has become a true global celebrity entrepreneur. It has been widely reported that Gates has provided business help, business management, consultancy and business development to aspiring entrepreneurs and charitable organisations.

Many people believe he should have been the person of choice to front the American version of Alan Sugar the apprentice hosted by Donald Trump.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#7 Richard Branson

Richard Branson’s Virgin Empire is one of the world’s most recognised brands which hosts approximately 300 business companies under its business development umbrella.

Branson is also well documented for his desire to give something back and as such many aspiring business entrepreneurs have benefitted from his business help, business management, consultancy and business development.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#8 Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs created a business information technology revolution by launching Apple computers with the first graphical user interface of its kind.

Although the Apple brand struggled and lost its way at times, through laser focussed business management, consultancy and business development it has resurfaced as one of the world’s most trusted business brands.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#9 Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is well known for her television shows and her net worth is estimated to be around $2 billion.

Entrepreneurs & Business Top 10 Business Celebrity Entrepreneurs

#10 Donald Trump

Donald Trump is admired the world over by aspiring business entrepreneurs. His glorious rise to fame as the world’s best known real estate owner was brought to the forefront of the global media after the crash of International real estate.

Trump owed the banks so much money they felt they couldn’t close him down. Deserted by the business fraternity many of whom he had helped and provided financial and business support to he resurfaced even stronger.

To audiences worldwide he is recognised as the main focus of the USA version of Alan Sugar the apprentice TV programme.

Many business people will hold a different opinion on which order the above top 10 business celebrity entrepreneurs should feature. My aim was not to list them in any order, rather just to list them together as the driving force of the top 10 business celebrity entrepreneurs.

What’s interesting is that although most of the above entrepreneurs started with next to nothing, not many of these celebrities availed business consultancy services from a family business consultant. They focussed on their vision and had a detailed action plan which was followed with the right business development strategies.

However as their business empires have grown every one of the above celebrity business entrepreneurs are known to employ the very best business development consultants in the marketplace.

The International Business Guru provides business help to every budding entrepreneur and says entrepreneurs should strive hard to create value for their customers and stake holders.

It might further surprise UK readers that none of the Dragons Den judges appeared in this list.

Limitations Of Management Accounting

For the purpose of understanding the exact nature and importance of management accounting, it is indispensable to understand the limitations under which it has to perform the functions and the following are the important limitations when it comes to management accounting:

a)Dependence on historical data: Normally the data provided by the financial accounting and cost accounting on the basis of decision making and the accuracy of decisions arrived at on the basis of such data depends on the accuracy of data itself. Thus the success of management accounting is governed by the efficiency and accuracy with which the financial and cost records are maintained and established in an organization.

b)Lack of desired skill: It has been generally observed that the management accountant or any other officer dealing with management accounting tools for decision making purposes lack the necessary skill, acumen and experience on account of which the high degree of managerial efficiency cannot be expected. A cadre of professional management accountant has to be developed who could better look after the management accounting processes in large sized public companies.

c)Scope for subjectivity: Even though management accounting attempts to replace intuition by objectivity and scientific reasoning, yet it is not possible to do away with subjectivity as the personnel who are engaged in decision making are in a position to utilize the non quantitative information which can provide a lot of scope for subjectivity in decision making.

d)Management indifference: Sometimes, the indifference of management limits the use of management accounting and many managers do not like that there exists any formal system of accounting for the purpose of guiding them in the decision making process.

e)Costly affair: The installation of management accounting concept in any organization is found to be a costly affair, as its installation requires heavy investment in terms of physical infrastructure and trained man power. It is quite unsuitable for small scale business enterprises.

f)Imperfect tool: Management accounting is a growing subject. The tools and techniques employed are not found to be fool proof. It is found that two management accountants while facing the similar problem draw different and sometimes exactly opposite conclusions from the available same set of information.

g)No substitute for management: Management accounting is a means to an end and the end being the efficient business operations for achievements of various business objectives. Management accounting cannot replace the management as it is simply a tool in the hands of the management and the ultimate success in business always depends upon the will and dedication of the management.

What’s the difference between CAT, MAT & CMAT

With higher education becoming exceptionally competitive in India these days, higher education boards and institutions have opted for a more stringent policy towards college entrance examinations. Management studies have bee the latest sensation of the generation, with millions of students applying for management entrance examinations every year, with an aspiration of getting admissions to the top management colleges and B-schools in India. However, there often occur certain misunderstandings regarding the most prestigious management entrance examinations in India. As such, it is important to understand what the difference is between CAT 2012, CMAT 2012, and MAT 2012.

CAT 2012, also known as Common Admission Test, is one of the most prestigious, all-India level management entrance examinations, conducted by Indian Institutes of Management. Based on the CAT percentile, the successful candidates are eligible to appear for the next level of selection procedure, which includes Essay, Group Discussion and Personal Interview. The candidates, who become successful in all the steps of selection procedures, are eligible to get admission in nay of the top 5 IIMs. From 2009 onwards, CAT has been conducted online as a Computer Based Test, with a total of 60 multiple choice questions to be attempted in time duration of 2 hours and 15 minutes, exclusive of a 15 minutes tutorial. The core sections of CAT examination include Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, Quantitative Aptitude, and Verbal Ability. .

CMAT 2012 is also a national level management entrance examination, conducted by All India Council for Technical Education, with the aim of selecting the most eligible students for admission in 4,000 colleges offering a degree in MBA, and 500 colleges offering postgraduate diploma in management program. The eligibility criterion for CMAT is minimum 50% in graduation. Final year students of graduate courses can also apply. CMAT consist of total 100 multiple choice questions, with total marks of 400 and time duration of 180 minutes approx. There are four sections, including logical reasoning, quantitative techniques and data interpretation, general awareness, and language comprehension.

MAT 2012 or Management Aptitude Test is conducted every year by All India Management Association, and is approved by Ministry of HRD as a national entrance test. The examination pattern and syllabus for MAT is almost similar to CAT and CMAT.

All management entrance tests are vital, and it is imperative that you prepare hard for CAT 2012, MAT 2012, and CMAT 2012 in the best possible manner to earn a competitive edge over others.

The Relationship with your Product Producer

Once you have started to build up your company, and once you have all of the things in line for it you have to work on building up the trust level with your product producer. You want to be sure that you are talking with these people and that you are going to make sure that you are getting as much out of the relationship as you can.

One of the things that you have to remember is that the agents that you are going to have to deal with the agents, whether or not you want to. An agent is someone who is most of the time going to be an independent contractor who will work to sell products for the manufacture. No matter what you are going to be doing, you want to be sure that you are dealing as well as you can with these agents. They might be a pain, and in fact there might be major problems with them. This happens sometimes, but you have to realize that you are going to have to work with the agents, which means that you are going to have to be sure that you get a long with the agents as well as you can.

There are many things that you want to remember when you are working with the agents. First of all, no matter what they are or where they sit when it comes to ethics, you are going to have to be working with them very often. This means that you are going to have to work with your agent, no matter what their own morals might be.

Another thing that you want to remember is that when you are looking at agents and various other aspects of your business, there are going to be lots of people who might want to take advantage of you, especially if you are just starting out. If you are able to look at the things that you have to offer, and if you are setting the prices that you want to set as you are working, there are going to be people who are telling you that what you are doing doesn’t quite work right. This is something that is very important to remember. You don’t want to deny the things that you believe in, and you don’t’ want to back down when you have set prices.

When you are being responsible and setting the prices for your products and services, you know that the ones that you have set are going to be the best for your company. However, if you are just starting out you might find that you are unable to find agents that will deal with you on your terms. This might be the case, but if you hold out long enough you will, in the end, be able to find agents and other workers who will believe in you and who will follow through with how they feel about you, no matter what. This is something that you have to wait for, be responsible for, and hold out for.

Once you have started to build up your company, and once you have all of the things in line for it you have to work on building up the trust level with your product producer. You want to be sure that you are talking with these people and that you are going to make sure that you are getting as much out of the relationship as you can.

One of the things that you have to remember is that the agents that you are going to have to deal with the agents, whether or not you want to. An agent is someone who is most of the time going to be an independent contractor who will work to sell products for the manufacture. No matter what you are going to be doing, you want to be sure that you are dealing as well as you can with these agents. They might be a pain, and in fact there might be major problems with them. This happens sometimes, but you have to realize that you are going to have to work with the agents, which means that you are going to have to be sure that you get a long with the agents as well as you can.

There are many things that you want to remember when you are working with the agents. First of all, no matter what they are or where they sit when it comes to ethics, you are going to have to be working with them very often. This means that you are going to have to work with your agent, no matter what their own morals might be.

Another thing that you want to remember is that when you are looking at agents and various other aspects of your business, there are going to be lots of people who might want to take advantage of you, especially if you are just starting out. If you are able to look at the things that you have to offer, and if you are setting the prices that you want to set as you are working, there are going to be people who are telling you that what you are doing doesn’t quite work right. This is something that is very important to remember. You don’t want to deny the things that you believe in, and you don’t’ want to back down when you have set prices.

When you are being responsible and setting the prices for your products and services, you know that the ones that you have set are going to be the best for your company. However, if you are just starting out you might find that you are unable to find agents that will deal with you on your terms. This might be the case, but if you hold out long enough you will, in the end, be able to find agents and other workers who will believe in you and who will follow through with how they feel about you, no matter what. This is something that you have to wait for, be responsible for, and hold out for.

The Benefits Of Itil Training For Your Business

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) training is one of the best assets you can acquire for yourself for implementing an information management system that will improve the efficiency and increase the productivity of your business.

Ever since the system was first introduced in the 1990’s its reputation and clientele have grown at an impressive rate. Today, it is the most widely applied information systems management strategy available, and most of the big companies owe their success to having used an ITIL-based system.

IT services are greatly enhanced

Because the ITIL style of running the business addresses all problematic issues as they come and resolves them in the quickest and most diplomatic way possible, these problems never constitute a major obstacle to the business process and the flow of communication proceeds unimpeded.

Besides preventing the process from slowing down because of difficulties encountered in one of the departments, ITIL structures the organization of the company in such a way that pertinent information reaches the people who have full authority to act on them in the soonest possible time. This ability stems from the fact that system cuts up processes into their basic parts and assigns people for each of the major stages of the process. In that way, the question of who is empowered to act on an issue is settled as soon as that issue emerges. That further speeds up the business process.

Concomitant with avoiding any waste of time, the system enables the business to devote more energy towards being productive. Since problems are addressed fast and resolved easily, employees do not spend their time in the office preoccupied with pending issues. They get the chance to focus on the productive job they have on hand.

Not only is interoffice communication improved, but also client relationships. ITIL makes the creation of a friendly environment for clients possible. Employees are taught how to be client-centered. They learn how to resolve issues brought up by clients in a timely and helpful manner. The clients themselves will never have to return another day because the employee entertaining them does not know to resolve their problems.

An ITIL system with its improved protocol for the transmission of information can almost always provide clients with satisfactory answers to their queries. Of course, when clients are pleased with an organization’s treatment, they will want to keep coming back and patronizing that organization’s services.

As a result of this increased rate of returning clients, the goods and services provided by the company become highly scalable, as is also the case with third-party applications that the company provides the clients.

Finally, the positive effects of having a good ITIL-based system management program in place can only lead to the one thing that all organizations dream of, and that is internal and external growth. Employees grow in stature as they daily learn to master the skills of good communication. Their career prospects grow. At the same time, the company itself will begin to feel the need to expand its boundaries, given the excellent reaction of the public to their way of conducting business.

This entry was posted on August 25, 2015, in Business and tagged .

The Evolution Of Business Analysts

Software application development has only been around since the late 1970s. Compared to other industries and professions the software industry is still very young. Ever since organizations began to use computers to support their business tasks, the people who create and maintain those “systems” have become more and more sophisticated and specialized. This specialization is necessary because as computer systems become more and more complex, no one person can know how to do everything.

One of the “specialties” to arise is the Business Analyst. A Business Analyst is a person who acts as a liaison between business people who have a business problem and technology people who know how to create solutions. Although some organizations have used this title in non-IT areas of the business, it is an appropriate description for the role that functions as the bridge between people in business and IT. The use of the word “Business” is a constant reminder that any application software developed by an organization should further improve its business operations, either by increasing revenue, reducing costs, or increasing service level to the customers.

History of the Business Analyst Role

In the 1980s when the software development life cycle was well accepted as a necessary step, people doing this work typically came from a technical background and were working in the IT organization. They understood the software development process and often had programming experience. They used textual requirements along with ANSI flowcharts, dataflow diagrams, database diagrams, and prototypes. The biggest complaint about software development was the length of time required to develop a system that didn’t always meet the business needs. Business people had become accustomed to sophisticated software and wanted it better and faster.

In response to the demand for speed, a class of development tools referred to as CASE (Computer Aided Software Engineering) were invented. These tools were designed to capture requirements and use them to manage a software development project from beginning to end. They required a strict adherence to a methodology, involved a long learning curve, and often alienated the business community from the development process due to the unfamiliar symbols used in the diagrams.

As IT teams struggled to learn to use CASE tools, PCs (personal computers) began to appear in large numbers on desktops around the organization. Suddenly anyone could be a computer programmer, designer and user. IT teams were still perfecting their management of a central mainframe computer and then suddenly had hundreds of independent computers to manage. Client-server technologies emerged as an advanced alternative to the traditional “green screen,” keyboard-based software.

The impact on the software development process was devastating. Methodologies and classic approaches to development had to be revised to support the new distributed systems technology and the increased sophistication of the computer user prompted the number of software requests to skyrocket.

Many business areas got tired of waiting for a large, slow moving IT department to rollout yet another cumbersome application. They began learning to do things for themselves, or hiring consultants, often called Business Analysts, who would report directly to them, to help with automation needs. This caused even more problems for IT which was suddenly asked to support software that they had not written or approved. Small independent databases were created everywhere with inconsistent, and often, unprotected data. During this time, the internal Business Analyst role was minimized and as a result many systems did not solve the right business problem causing an increase in maintenance expenses and rework.

New methodologies and approaches were developed to respond to the changes, RAD (rapid application development), JAD (joint application development), and OO (object oriented) tools and methods were developed.

As we began the new millennium, the Internet emerged as the new technology and IT was again faced with a tremendous change. Once again, more sophisticated users, anxious to take advantage of new technology, often looked outside of their own organizations for the automation they craved. The business side of the organization started driving the technology as never before and in a large percentage of organizations began staffing the Business Analyst role from within the operational units instead of from IT. We now have Marketing Directors, Accountants, Attorneys, and Payroll Clerks performing the role of the Business Analyst.

In addition, the quality movement that had started in the 70s with TQM, came into focus again as companies looked for ways to lower their cost of missed requirements as they expanded globally. The ISO (International Standards Organization) set quality standards that must be adhered to when doing international business. Carnegie Mellon created a software development quality standard CMM (Capability Maturity Model). Additionally, Six Sigma provided a disciplined, data-driven quality approach to process improvement aimed at the near elimination of defects from every product, process, and transaction. Each of these quality efforts required more facts and rigor during requirements gathering and analysis which highlighted the need for more skilled Business Analysts familiar with the business, IT, and quality best practices.

Future of the Business Analyst Role

Today we see Business Analysts coming from both the IT and business areas. In the best situations, the Business Analyst today has a combination of IT and business skills. Each organization has unique titles for these individuals and the structure of Business Analyst groups is as varied as the companies themselves. However, there is a core set of tasks that most Business Analysts are doing regardless of their background or their industry.

The Business Analyst role becomes more critical as project teams become more geographically dispersed.
Outsourcing and globalization of large corporations have been the driving factors for much of this change recently. When the IT development role no longer resides inside our organizations, it becomes necessary to accurately and completely define the requirements in more detail than ever before. A consistent structured approach, while nice to have in the past, is required to be successful in the new environment. Most organizations will maintain the Business Analyst role as an “inhouse” function. As a result, more IT staff are being trained as Business Analysts.

The Business Analyst role will continue to shift its focus from “Software” to “Business System.”
Most Business Analysts today are focused on software development and maintenance, but the skills of the Business Analyst can be utilized on a larger scale. An excellent Business Analyst can study a business area and make recommendations about procedural changes, personnel changes, and policy changes in addition to recommending software. The Business Analyst can help improve the business system not just the business software.

The Business Analyst role will continue to evolve as business dictates.
Future productivity increases will be achieved through re-usability of requirements. Requirements Management will become another key skill in the expanding role of the Business Analyst as organizations mature in their understanding of this critical expertise. The Business Analyst is often described as an “Agent of Change.” Having a detailed understanding of the organization’s key initiatives, a Business Analyst can lead the way to influence people to adapt to major changes that benefit the organization and its business goals. The role of a Business Analyst is an exciting and secure career choice as U.S. companies continue to drive the global economy.

Training for the Business Analyst

The skill set needed for a successful Business Analyst is diverse and can range from communication skills to data modeling. A Business Analyst’s educational and professional background may vary as well–some possess an IT background while others come from the business stakeholder area.

With backgrounds as diverse and broad as these it is difficult for a Business Analyst to possess all the skills necessary to perform successful business analysis. Companies are finding that individuals with a strong business analysis background are difficult to locate in the marketplace and are choosing to train their employees to become Business Analysts in consistent structured approaches. First, organizations seeking formal business analysis training should examine vendors who are considered “experts” on the field with a strong focus on business analysis approaches and methodologies. Second, you will want to examine the quality of the training vendor’s materials. This may be done by researching who wrote a vendor’s materials and how often they are updated to stay abreast of industry best practices. Third, matching the real-world experience of instructors to the needs and experience level of your organization is critical to successful training. Business analysis is an emerging profession and it is critical that the instructors that you choose have been practicing Business Analysts.

Reasons To Hire A Small Business Marketing Consultant

Many business owners operate under the false assumption that marketing consultants are only affordable for larger companies. In truth, there are many benefits to hiring a small business marketing consultant, as outlined below.
What Marketing Consultants Do
First, here’s a look at just what a small business marketing consultant does for organizations:
Overall business evaluation. It’s hard for new business owners to evaluate their young organizations. A small business marketing consultant can pull from years of business experience to assess the weaknesses and strengths of a fledgling business.
Strategic planning. Business consultants must have:
1. A strong educational record in business.
2. Extensive experience as a business leader.
3. Exceptional understanding of how business trends work.
These features allow consultants to provide suggestions on how a business can succeed. After learning about an organization and identifying major opportunities and obstacles, a small business marketing consultant should be able to create a strategic plan to lead the firm to success.
Marketing design. Chances are your small business marketing consultant can write excellent ad copy to draw in new customers. Beyond designing small business marketing strategies, consultants can construct complete marketing campaigns. From graphic design to copywriting and editing, a small business consultant can wear many different hats while helping your business succeed.
Project and process management. The consulting lifestyle appeals to many leaders in the business world. Indeed, most small business consultants are top business performers who have decided to shift to a different way of life. This means small business consultants usually have project management and process design skills, which they can employ to improve your business’s performance.
How Small Businesses Benefit
Now that we’ve reviewed just what a small business marketing consultant does, let’s explore the benefits of hiring such consultants:
A fresh perspective. Contracting with a consultant as one of your small business marketing strategies will bring you an unbiased, fresh perspective. Internal conflicts and ongoing office politics can limit one’s vision. Outside consultants are free of preconceived ideas about your business, so they can provide a fresh perspective.
High-quality help. As mentioned earlier, most business consultants have transitioned to consultancy from a star-studded business career. In other words, you’ll likely receive top-shelf advice from your consultant – and for less than the cost of a single employee.
Peace of mind. Partnering with a small business marketing consultant can help you feel calm and confident about the future of your business. With peace of mind, you can better focus on your organization’s core offerings and drawing in new business.
Cost and time efficiency. You get great bang for your buck when you hire a small business marketing consultant. Since most marketing strategy planning consultants charge hourly rates, you avoid paying employee-related taxes by hiring them. Moreover, consultants are experienced, versatile professionals capable of handling everything from social media to long-term strategic planning. Rather than bringing in a new crew of writers, marketers, project managers and designers, you can pay a trusted advisor on an as-needed basis. Hiring a small business marketing consultant maximizes cost-efficiency.
Clearly, there are multiple benefits to partnering with a small business marketing consultant. From creating comprehensive small business marketing strategies to performing overall business check-ups, marketing consultants can help your company shine.

Risk Management The Three Lines Of Defence

The three lines of defence principle is a long and well established concept that has been deployed in a variety of industries and situations.
In the insurance industry the three lines have consisted of the following:
The business  the day-day running of the operation and the front-office
Risk and compliance  the continual monitoring of the business
Audit  the periodic checking of risk and compliance.

In part this approach is the solid foundation upon which firms can protect themselves against a range of potential risks, both internal and external, and to a degree it is an approach that is forced upon them through regulators insistence on external audits as well as on an embedded risk management capability.

As reliable and well proven as the three lines of defence concept is throughout the insurance industry, it is in need of an update. In todays market there is a far greater number of risks and regulations and an ever-increasing level of complexity in business. Simply being sure that every major risk is in hand is a difficult task.

It is not so much the concept of the three lines of defence that needs to be overhauled but the way that these three lines communicate with each other and the relationship between them.

The complexity of todays market affects the risk and compliance function more than any other. In the majority of organisations management of the various different forms of risk  operational risk, compliance risk, legal risk, IT risk  are all carried out by different teams, creating a pattern of risk silos. This situation leads to a number of negative consequences. The first of these concerns efficiency.

These risk silos each gather their information by asking the business to provide various information relating to their daily tasks and any potential risks associated with them. Because of the silo structure, the business will find itself being asked for this same information on a multiple of occasions. This not only leads to inefficiency due to the duplication of effort, it can also lead to frustration from front office staff and subsequent disinclination to engage with risk management.

Such is this level of frustration that, according to one insurer which recently appointed a new chief executive, when the new head asked his staff what single change would make their life easier he was told to do something about the endless questionnaires and check sheets that they have to fill out to satisfy risk managers and compliance officers.

While frustration among staff is never a positive development, any companys risk management programme depends on getting buy-in from the staff so anything that threatens the success of this programme has to be addressed.

Perhaps more importantly there is also an inconsistency due to the different ways this same information will be interpreted by different risk teams. This disparate relationship between risk teams can also lead to a lack of recognition over potential correlations between various risks. For example, the recent sub-prime crisis that has affected so many banks may have been avoided if there had been more co-ordination and communication between the credit department and those selling mortgages to people with bad credit.
Similarly the 6.4 billion loss at Socit Gnrale was the result of several risk oversights, combining a lack of controls on individual traders as well as a failure to implement various checks on the trading systems themselves. There was also a negligence of market risk factors with risk management not highlighting a number of transactions having no clear purpose or economic value.

Major risk events rarely result from one risk and most commonly involve a number of potential exposures all combining. Consequently insurers need to be more joined up in their risk management and more consistent in the way that risk is reported across the organisation.

For those individuals charged with the responsibility for enterprise-wide risk management, their task is made harder by the inconsistent formats that they receive their risk information. For example, interest rate risk may be reported as a single Value at Risk number, whereas regulatory compliance or operational risk may be expressed through a traffic light format. How is a chief risk officer, or indeed a CEO, expected to rank such disparately expressed exposures?

What organisations are now looking to do is to gather all of the various risk information in a consistent format for their chief risk officers to work from. So having a common framework for this process is crucial.
There are various initiatives in the insurance industry  ICAS, Solvency II and, often, the Basel Accord  all of which have contributed to the growth of risk and compliance teams. The chief requirement for all of these regulations is capital adequacy, meaning that insurers have to set aside a calculated reserve of capital to cover a number of potential risk scenarios.

However, regulators will say that they are not simply looking for firms to fulfil their most basic regulatory requirement and to set aside a defined sum of money to cover a list of risk scenarios. Instead they are looking for firms to concentrate on the methodology used to arrive at these numbers, and on ensuring that the risk management process is thoroughly embedded throughout the organisation and scenario analyses bring together risk information from all of the various risk silos.

Scenario analysis is one approach that firms are using to meet their regulatory requirements but effective scenario analysis is very much based on the ability to collate and correlate risk information from all over the organisation.

For the internal audit teams, their primary concern is to be more effective and to ensure that they are not simply repeating the work of the risk and compliance teams and are adding value by rigorously testing this work. Such a task requires access to this information and, ideally, to be using the same common framework as the risk and compliance teams so that information can be seen in the correct context.

We are seeing much greater independence and objectivity in the internal audit role, says Simon Rogerson, head of internal audit at Zurich Financial. In an increasing number of organisations the internal audit function is no longer confined to existing within a corner the finance department and has more direct communication with senior management.

The Role of Technology:
According to Rogerson, the use of technology to facilitate the evolution of the three lines of defence is a new development in the insurance industry. Because it has been hard to clarify the different lines of defence and their relationships, it has been difficult to build a business case for a new system and to build the necessary workflow around these different roles.
The situation is exacerbated by the presence of separate legacy systems in the business, risk and audit departments. Everyone is aware of the weaknesses in their own systems but this knowledge does not always translate across the three lines of defence. This leaves most insurers with two choices. The first is to go back to the start and design a new all-encompassing system from scratch. The second choice is a system that supports common processes and reporting while allowing each function to continue using specialist solutions that suit their own needs.

I think the successful firms will be those that recognise there are different functionalities in these different spaces but they are all able to communicate with each other in a common language and through common systems, says Rogerson. Observations can be shared and specific risk issues can then be discussed through an email exchange and summary reports can be automatically sent out to managers.

For internal auditors a lot of their work is manually-based, says Rogerson. But technology would enable us to do these things quicker and more accurately. The system would also enable us to make certain risk issues generic so that where a risk is identified in one office or department we can then alert all the relevant risk managers in other departments and offices to see if this risk has been recognised and if there are processes in place to manage this risk. By automating this identification of risk, it enables insurers to take a smarter, more efficient and more global approach to the internal audit function.

For risk managers it is about simplifying the process. They have a limited set of resources and want to make as much use of them as possible. In order to achieve this, it often means involving the business in carrying out much of the risk process  controlled risk assessments through recording any losses or the breaches where these losses occur. By conscripting the services of their business colleagues, risk managers are able to concentrate on the value-added side of their work and their role.

There are also some wider benefits to the organisation from such a system and the principle behind it. The more that front-office staff is exposed to the mechanics of the risk management process, rather than being repeatedly petitioned for the same information from multiple parties, the more they are aware of its importance and their role in it.

Decades ago, total quality management was a fashionable concept in many organisations. The frailty of this concept was that in having a dedicated management team in this area, the rest of the business could assume that quality was no longer their problem but someone elses. This same misconception could be applied to risk and compliance, unless the business is kept well-informed of the risk management process and their own role within this process. Therefore it is important to make everyone realise that risk is their problem too.

Proven Approaches To Power Relationship Marketing

It should be a no-brainer for any business to realize that good customer relations and treatment can take a business a long way. Even though all business owners would admit that relationship marketing is important, the apparent fact is that most businesses fail miserably at it. If you aren’t able to keep your customers satisfied then it can get really difficult to grow your business and take to a new level. Today we want to share a few relationship marketing tips that have been proven to work well by other businesses.

You’ll want to begin by looking at your database for your customers, and hopefully you have a solid system in place for that information. No worries if you’re a small business with few customers, or you haven’t been keeping records because you can always start. Now, depending on what kind of business you deal with, the information you have about your customers will differ. The type of information stored is usually related to dates and products or services they bought. If you know their birthday, for example, then you can use that when their birthday comes around. So always remember that it’s a person’s emotions that are most important with buying. If you touch them in a positive and emotional-based way, then that will help them to keep you in mind when it comes to purchases. You’ll be able to cultivate positive emotions and feelings on the part of your customers toward your business. You need to provide additional value and surpass your customers’ expectations. The more you over-deliver to your existing clients, the better returns you will get because they would want to be associated with you. Offer them the appropriate solutions to their issues in a timely fashion and help them as much as you can. You will be able to gain their trust this way which will help your business expand.

Relationship marketing should always matter no matter what stage your business is in, however you can lay a lot of strong foundation if you do it right from the very start. There’s nothing wrong or no drawback when you engage another person in communications. You can always engage in positive relationship marketing at any point, and it’s something that should be done with everyone in your customer base. So it doesn’t matter at what stage you’re at with your business, relationship marketing is the kind of strategy that you can implement even if you’ve never done it before.

It is interesting to note that there’s a non-marketing aspect to relationship marketing. You can think of it in terms of simple human nature and relationships much like you do with a friend. You should always work hard to maintain excellent relations with your existing customers.

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