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10 Tips to Build Terrific Virtual Teams

wqHaving tried and tested principles to guide you through the mire of leading virtual teams- technical and non-technical alike.

You know, the kind of teams that are used to operating within geographical, functional or individual silos, don't communicate with each other and so on..

Here are the 10 top tips that can turn make a difference to how teams relate to others, which is as important as technical savvy if you want to achieve results.

1. Identity:

Establish team identity - be it through the project they are working on or the IT organization they are member of - through a clear and simple mission statement.

Companies often think that the IT teams are so absorbed by the technical world, that they have no interest in what they're doing it for, when actually they often appreciate being guided. This can instill a sense of purpose, which, when incorporated into identity and mission can be highly motivational.

2. Common goals:

Establish clear and measurable goals, milestones etc. for the team as a whole and the individuals within the team.

3. Effective organization:

Define a clear organization, roles & responsibilities that is allows for the


Top 10 Tips To Start An Internet Cafe

e3An Internet café is a place where people, who do not have proper computer setups, visit to have access to a private computer for an allotted time. Every computer has an Internet connection, and the users have to pay charges to the café manager for the time spent on the computer. The size of an Internet café can vary from a small room having 10 computers to a huge room with a hundred computers.

We are living in a time when the Internet is the most powerful medium. Therefore, starting an Internet café is naturally one of the most lucrative businesses. Here are some basic tips if you are planning to start an Internet café business:

#1. Budget - The first thing to consider while setting up an Internet café is the budget. Even a small café with 10 computers, Internet connection, routers, and other basic accessories is heavy for a single wallet. It is advisable to take a loan from a bank or borrow money from friends.

#2. Location - The location can decide the success rate of your café. Therefore, you need to find an


The Effect On Productivity

w2We're all looking for efficiencies in business, particularly in the highly competitive market that exists following the last recession and credit crunch. But curiously not many companies have calculated the actual cost of the downtime when staff make their refreshments.

Take the standard kettle - 1.5 litres of water, 1.5kw element, up to 4 minutes to boil, and probably 7 or 8 hot drinks, before starting the cycle again. The cost? Around 3p per boiling cycle.

I hear you say well 3p is not much and kettles are cheap to buy and replace. Whilst taken on it's own that statement is true, but when you start to factor in the loss of productivity when staff queue for their drink it starts to become suddenly costly. People are people, and by nature we are gregarious and standing around waiting encourages an increased loss of time through chatting and socializing.

I came across a company recently with over 400 office staff, just about to move into a multi-million pound new building, and then provide drinking water for hot drinks by means of kettles! Just calculate that out in terms

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The Importance of Contracts to a Business

322Contract law lies at the heart of our system of laws and serves as the foundation of our entire society. This is not an exaggeration. It is a simple observation - one that too often goes unobserved.

Most business owners know that a contract based on just a handshake and a promise is a recipe for disaster. Therefore, the business environment is full of agreements between businesses and individuals.

To make sure your business is protected, here are my 10 top tips you should consider when closing the deal:-

1. Never start work without a contract

You finally landed that much sought-after client and are ready to get started on the project. It's tempting to move forward on a handshake, but it's worthwhile to take the time for your client to sign a written contract. Have your lawyer draft or review the contract to make sure it is favorable to you. If things go wrong, you need to make sure that the relationship between you and the client is set in place in a contract.

2. Think Ahead and Mitigate Risk

Contracts are a strategic tool that companies use


10 Strategy Design Goals

qYour idea is fabulous and you want to make progress on it but you need a strategy to execute your vision as it relates to long-term success or it needs to be reevaluated to ensure that it is on course. Strategy is, "a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time," per Merriam-Webster dictionary. However, we need a functional definition as it relates to your companies vision and goals. Therefore, I would say that strategy is, "the intent to act, the volition to act, and the design to achieve plans of action as they relate to the direction and future of your business." Strategy development is a long-term process that is evolutionary and it should be evaluated yearly, quarterly, and more if conditions warrant a strategy session.

We will evaluate briefly the ten major areas of strategy creation as they relate to you achieving your goal. These ten areas will be listed and broken down to help you evaluate and reevaluate your current position in strategy design. They will be listed logically as they relate to an


7 Secrets Your Consultants Won’t Tell You

dss1. How to Pick the Right Consultant

When choosing a consultant, be sure they are qualified to handle matters pertaining to your investment. Search for professionals who have education and experience in the real estate field, in general, and rental properties, in particular. Begin your search for real estate experts by asking for referrals from individuals in the profession

2. Beware of "Know It Alls"

Beware of the consultant who is willing to give you advice on all subjects. Some people will expound on anything and everything, even if unqualified or unknowledgeable. Always make sure you have people working for you who have the expertise to get the job done.

3. Getting the Most Out of Your Consultants

The best way to get the most out of your meetings with consultants is to record them. You will be surprised to find how much you didn't hear when you play it back. Let the consultant know before you begin that the meeting is being recorded and get approval. If there are any objections, get another consultant.

4. Controlling Fees

Your recording can also help you control billing costs. Consultants who bill on


How to Know What Will Sell

sdYou're selling your handmade products at your local craft fair but aren't sure what will sell. It's not a matter of what you think will sell but about what has sold in the past.

How do you find out? Follow these 10 tips to produce hot sellers for your next event.

Keep Production Costs Low

Craft fairs are not the time to bring out your artistic creations. The best way to make a profit is to keep costs low. This means that you need to sell your item for more than it costs to make.

Example: One baby sweater costs $25 to make. To earn a profit you must mark it up to get your costs back plus make a profit. This is not something to sell at a fair.

Example: A set of 3 face cleaners cost $1.75 to make. It is easy to mark this item up and to make a profit. This makes a good choice.

Cater to the Largest Demographic

Before you produce the goods for your show you need to know who will be attending. Will they be retired? Is it a family oriented show? Is


Delighted to See Me? True Smile or Hollywood Photo Op?

ddEven though your client is smiling when you walk in the door, can you tell if they're truly pleased to see you? When is a smile not a real smile?

It's important to decipher when someone is pleased that you're there or secretly hope your visit is brief and you are out the door fast.

Hollywood stars flash the pearly whites for the camera. How do you decipher someone's sincerity? Some people mistake an expression in which the teeth are showing and edges of the lips are turned up as a smile, or at a minimum, a sign of friendliness.

Researchers have studied and analyzed smiles since 1862, when French scientist Guillaume Duchenne used electrical stimulation to attempt to replicate the facial muscle movements involved in a smile. A cruel way to research smiles, don't you think?

More recent research reports that the part of the brain that controls true, happy smiles is the part of the brain that regulates emotion. Forced smiles come from the part of the brain that's in charge of planned movements, not emotional responses. A fake smile requires someone to make a conscious


The Order of Importance for Your Selling Arguments

cWhy are some proposals a success when others aren't? Why do some people rise to the top of their sales organization and some don't?

Are some proposals just lucky? Are some selling propositions simply better arguments?

Or (the favorite excuse of the less successful proposal writers and salespeople) are your prices just too high?

No way.

If you want to win, you simply need to follow one simple law: present the prospect with the benefits that are most important to him in the order that is most important to him.

When you ignore this law, you're praying to win the deal by luck, by false pretenses or - most commonly - because everyone else's proposal is worse than yours.

Sometimes you have the chance to speak to the prospect as directly before you submit your proposal. If so, then so much the better. Just ask what's important to him.

But with the government or when you're engaging in direct sales, you can't ask about what's important ahead of time. You should still try to work out what's important to this prospect, but you also need to get the prospect's attention


Top 10 Business Tips For Newbies

321. Love What You Do

It's a good idea to select an area which you already have an interest in, for a number of reasons. You already have some knowledge and expertise in this area which is invaluable and you won't necessarily be starting from scratch. If you chose an area which is already of interest to you it won't necessarily feel like work, especially when the going gets tough. No matter which area you chose you will undoubtedly have rough patches, when this happens you are much more likely to persevere because you have an attachment, a vested interest and a passion. If you have no interest you'll be much more likely to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble.

2. Prepare a Business Plan

A business plan is not just something which you need to prepare to show to banks for a loan or to investors. A business plan is necessary and useful as it also serves as a guide to operate by. It's a great way to set goals, measure progress and achievements and keeps you on track with spending. Keep


Top 10 Tips to Follow for Great Business Productivity

r4Productivity means a combination of intelligent planning and focused efforts. Maintaining the productivity throughout the work is a great challenge and bringing the best of our work within the timeframe is crucial. Productivity can be continuously improved and by following some of the basic tips, one can achieve the target more easily and continuously.

Below stated are a few simple but effective tips that you need to follow, if you are running a business and want to attain more productivity out of your efforts and efficiencies:-

1. Fine help / Delegate tasks accordingly- taking a large task alone is not possible. You must need some kinds of help from others. In order to get help from others, you need to trust your colleagues/subordinates in helping you to complete your work. If you tell your colleague about the deadline of the project, then they will take it very seriously.

2. Do not dwell into unnecessary meetings- time management is the most important part of getting the maximum benefits of your work. Try not to waste time behind unnecessary stuffs. You must know to shortlist the most and least

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10 Facts About C-TPAT

4gYou might be asking yourself, as I did, what in the world is C-TPAT? After reading up on the acronym, I realized that Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is an interesting supply chain program that was spearheaded by the United States Customs and Border Protection.

1 - The program is established to improve security used by private companies, as it relates to their supply chain, in the fight against terrorism.

We live in a day and age where terrorism seems to be everywhere. The ingenuity and creativity used by these people is at a high level with the intention of causing damage to property, assets or people.

2 - This certification is important, but not necessary.

Terrorism continues to wreak havoc in different countries and having a global system for preventing these atrocities is paramount. If you want to think outside-the-box and go with the trends, gaining accreditation is a no-brainer. Import/Export and Oceanic Transportation will continue to receive major inspections and heightened scrutiny. Being a member in this program will make your life much easier.

3 - Your organization needs to have their supply chain fully documented.

Every aspect of


7 Assets That Followers Desire in a Leader

5rEvery follower is attracted to a leader who possesses these qualities:

A - Calling - Few things are as compelling to followers as a clear calling in the life of a leader. Someone who has received and accepted a calling usually possesses vision, passion, energy, and commitment. Having the calling first really helps with the direction that you should go.

B - Insight - People respect a leader who has keen insight, who has the wisdom to see the real issue in any situation, and who can see what's ahead. Again, the direction is clear and so easily known if you also have insight.

C - Charisma - People are attracted to leaders who make them feel good about themselves. The term charisma has two senses: compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others, and a divinely conferred power or talent. As regards sense 1, scholars in political science, psychology, and management use the term "charisma" to describe a particular type of leader having "symbolic leader influence rooted in emotional and ideological foundations". Charisma really does inspire others.

D - Talent - Followers are attracted to

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The Private Equity’s View of Your Company

i'Whether it's broken or not, fix it - make it better. Not just products, but the whole company if necessary.' - Bill Saporito

One of the key, often understated, elements of value creation by some Private Equity (PE) firms for their portfolio companies is the ability, as an external investor (or that of any external advisor), to provide an 'outside in' perspective, at least in the first few months following the acquisition. This enables a business review through an objective and dispassionate prism i.e. in a very analytical, facts based, manner not hampered by the many cognitive biases of the leadership team that's already in place (e.g. rationalisation of past decisions and related emotional attachment, endowment effect, mental accounting, status quo or inside view, to name just a few).

All companies are in business to create value for their stakeholders. Some businesses successfully set the correct value creation course, and sustain it over time, while others fail. So take a few minutes today to put yourself in the shoes of an outside investor and his 'outside in' perspective of your business: What would they identify that

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Top 10 Reasons Why Most Corporate Health Programs Do Not Work

wsStarting with the end in mind, I want you to envision consistently creating raving fans and a raving culture for your business. Everything you are doing is to accomplish this goal.

1. Know where you really are. Create a business map to get from where you are to where you want to be.

2. Constant, Strategic Innovation. All business fundamentally comes down to 2 core things. Marketing and Innovation. These are the only 2 things that make money in any business.

3. Constant and Never Ending Improvement of World-Class Marketing and Product Promises. Your products and services must be the best.

4. Constant and Never Ending Improvement of Sales Mastery Systems. Do you use a system to succeed?

5. Constant Anticipation for the power of financial and legal analysis. Most people don't pay attention to this until it is too late. Every successful business needs advisers for legal and financial issues.

6. Constant Optimization and Maximization. Draw out the experience your customer goes through and see where you can add more value to this process. Most people are blind to advertising because we are bombarded by it. People will remember


7 Supermarket Trends Every Independent Food Retailer Should Know

sToday's supermarket industry is a constantly changing business sector. Participants in it must always be on the lookout for new ways to satisfy customer demands. Running a successful independent supermarket involves embracing out-of-the-box thinking to drive revenue and profits.

The following are 7 supermarket trends every independent food retailer should know to stay competitive in the 21st Century:

1. Smaller supermarkets but with dense product offerings

Bigger is no longer necessary better when it comes to supermarkets. More prevalent than ever are stores with less square footage. However, efficient use of space is enabling these stores to still offer a jam-packed product line-up.

A number of food retailers are studying new, smaller stores. The focus is on less selling space but with an extensive array of fresh ready-to-go foods. This is what consumers' desire. The challenge for grocery stores is to cut costs with smaller stores while still offering the product variety shoppers demand.

2. No guarantee of customer loyalty to one supermarket

In years past, one would pick their favorite food store and do all, or most of their shopping there. Today's shoppers now buy their groceries at many


7 Ways to Start Living a Fourth Quarter Offense

3dNFL teams score approximately 30 percent more points in the 4th quarter than they do in the 1st quarter. If you're a football fan, this shouldn't surprise you. The success of the "two-minute drill" is astounding. With only 60 minutes to play, I would think a team should treat each second of the first two minutes of a game as sacredly as the last two. Of course, there are physical stamina issues in an NFL game to consider, but conceptually I hold my ground.

In our lives, very few of us have physical stamina issues to consider in regards to achieving our dreams. However, why do so many of us live life like it's the first quarter instead of the fourth quarter?

I'll get to that later.Tomorrow, I'll tackle that.

Maybe next year, I'll launch out on my own.

I'm not ready for that yet.

Sound familiar?

Living with "fourth quarter" passion has nothing to do with age. I'm reminding us all that our time on Earth is limited, there is no tomorrow. Today is the only day where anything can be achieved. Truly.

Here are seven ways to consider when


Top 10 Benefits of IT Project Outsourcing

32Outsourcing IT projects can be a great idea if it is done correctly. Therefore, here are the ten benefits of outsourcing IT projects.

1. Control IT Costs

Outsourcing converts fixed IT costs into variable costs and allows you budget effectively. In other words, only pay for what you use when you need it.

2. Reduce Labor Costs

Hiring and training an IT staff can be very expensive, and temporary employees don't always live up to your expectations. Outsourcing lets you focus your human resources where you need them most.

3. Trained, Experienced, Qualified, Certified.

If you're not IT trained, how do you assure an employee is qualified? Certifications like Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) are important, but so is experience.

4. Qualified doesn't Equal Experienced

Few problems are new for leading IT service companies, which see related problems multiple times. An in-house IT employee leads an isolated existence no matter how much they train. We'd all rather an experienced doctor; the same is true for IT.

5. Increase Efficiency and Competitiveness

Organizations that try to do all IT Services in-house themselves can have much higher research, development, and implementation time, all of which increase

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10 Qualities and Skills Your Next-Gen Project Manager Should Have

44What are these core qualities and skills that the next generation project management head should have?

1. Management Ability.

Motivating a team to focus on the job and achieve the project goal is one of the project administrator's basic tasks. Moreover, the ability to make the team collaborate with each other effectively is a bigger task. It is very important for next generation management.

2. People/Interpersonal Skills.

A person who has the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with fellow members as well as stakeholders is essential to become an effective next-gen project manager.

3. Emotional Intelligence.

A person who is emotionally intelligent can easily identify verbal and non-verbal elements that can help him in the project planning.

4. Adaptive Communication.

Next generation project management consists of leaders who are articulate in the way they express their insights using the most effective communication methods for each group of people.

5. Business Oriented.

The next-gen project manager is knowledgeable of how a business operates. He has business acumen that gives him the strategic and tactical skills that can help him understand the details of the project easily.

6. Adaptability and Flexibility.

Change is constant and


7 Thoughts From Scripture for Struggling Christian Business Owners

3I have seen a lot of articles that list scriptures for Christian business owners, but rarely do they have practical wisdom that goes with them. Yes, scripture can speak for itself, but when we are struggling Bible verses seem to get glossed over by our stressed out mind.

I want to share with you seven Bible verses with seven thoughts and seven insights. I know when I am going through a tough time, it helps me to 'hear' from someone who understands what I am going through. It makes the Bible come to life when someone shares it from a perspective of a Christian entrepreneur.

Worries are like butterflies, they need to be released.

It is easy to worry. There are so many things to think about it can be overwhelming. Take heart... and mind. When we look at the way we try to handle our problems, we often leave God out of the solution. He cares about all the things you go through and is there to help when we ask Him. We must learn to release our worries to God so that He can work