The Importance of Logo in Branding

Logo symbolizes your business and creates an image of your business in the eyes of your customers. Logo, is one of the many important elements of business branding. Sadly, it’s importance is often transparent to many. Either the business doesn’t even have one or it’s not good enough.

The design of the logo and the process of creating one are similar to creating your brand. Your logo has to go together with your brand, with the ability to deliver positive values to your customers. Your logo should also be unique and meaningful so you will shine your market. Proper logo design creates similar effect as proper branding; it is essential to have one for branding purposes and gives your business an identity.

Have you thought of just grabbing one of the “free” logos that you can find on the Internet? Don’t go through that road! You need to be serious about your logo. By having a professional designing it for you at the first place will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

Some people might oppose the importance of logo in branding. This is because you don’t necessarily have to have a logo to establish your brand. However, you will look a lot more professional and unique if you have a logo attached to your brand. A logo will help you significantly in building your image and identify along with your brand. That’s what’s important about having a logo. After all, humans are visual species!

A logo is successful when it allows the immediate recognition of the business and represents the business’ character or attitude. A successful logo is a guaranteed marker.

Question: I can’t find a logo that people could remember, such as McDonalds.

Answer: Doesn’t matter how good or how appealing your logo is, without proper marketing, professional products or services, and excellent customer service, people will NOT remember your logo. In another words, build a great company and people will remember your logo.

Once when you have your logo created, you should be consistent with the logo – place it wherever possible: business card, letters, emails, website, products, invoices…etc. This is also why proper logo design at the first place is very important, because changing your logo will have an impact on your business’ identity, professionalism, and credibility.

The Business Minder Logo and Brand

Our Brand: Business Minder

Our Brand Tag Line: Business Minder, Business In Mind

Our Logo: Looks like a human shape, representing a business man. The dot and the checkmark on the top part of the logo are in different colours: the checkmark symbolizes successful and the dot symbolizes “mind.” Business Minder focuses on helping business owners to develop their unique business mindset(s), assisting them to succeed in their business journey(s).


Source by: Aaron Lee


Types Of Packaging Tape

There are lots of different types of packaging tape available and knowing which to choose if are just setting up a company that posts products can be confusing. There is custom packaging tape, vinyl tape, double sided tape, coloured tape, cloth tape, masking tape, filament tape, tamper evident tape, gummed paper tape, hazard warning tape, barrier tape and floor marking tape.

Custom printed packaging tape can be printed with your logo and message to build brand awareness and give information or instructions. Custom packaging tape can be printed on a white background tape or a coloured background.

Vinyl tape is very strong, tear resistant and waterproof. It offers superior performance for sealing cardboard boxes and other packaging. Vinyl packing tape comes in 75mm and 50mm widths and is resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations.

Coloured tape is ideal for sealing your cardboard boxes and colour coding them all in one go. This saves time and money not having to put separate labels on the boxes.

Cloth tape is waterproof with a strong and reliable performance. Due to it’s industrial grade it is ideal for duct work, general repair, reinforcement and export packaging. It is widely available in black or silver at 50mm width.

Double sided tape is made from polypropylene with adhesive on both sides of the tape and a silicon release paper. With widths of 25mm or 50mm the tape can hold very heavy weights.

Masking tape is made of creped paper and is largely used in the automotive body building and repair trade, building and construction and many other industries. It is easy to tear and removes cleanly from the surface of the product it is used on.

Filament tape is used for packing heavy consignments. It is cross woven with glass filaments to provide high tensile strength. Suitable for heavyweight strapping applications, export packing and bundling.

Tamper evident tape gives you some protection from people tampering with your packages. The polypropylene security tape is designed to reduce pilferage and unauthorized opening of packages.

Gummed paper tape provides a secure, tamper evident seal. It forms a complete fibre bond with the sealed carton and is unaffected by extreme temperatures of -50 to 100 centigrade. It is ideal for export and deep freeze.

Hazard warning tape can guard your workforce against accidents. It is suitable for use both indoors and out. Red and white tape is used for fire hazards, extinguisher locations etc. Green and white tape is used for safety equipment and emergency exits etc and black and yellow tape for hazardous areas and obstacles.

Barrier hazard tape is used extensively by local authorities, road maintenance contractors and police etc. for restricting access to excavations, accident sites or work areas temporarily out of bounds.

Floor marking tape is made of strong plasticised pvc and is used for lane identification and floor marking in sports halls etc.


Source by: Kevin Thomas

How to Properly Charge Late Fees in a Mobile Home Park

Mobile home park tenants are not rich. Most of them live from paycheck to paycheck. As a result, they frequently don’t pay their bills on time – sometimes at all. To motivate these tenants to pay their lot rent on time, you must enact a late fee for rent that is not received by the due date. However, enacting such a plan is a lot more complicated than most park owners recognize. And messing up the plan can cause extreme legal and financial penalties. Here are a few initial points to consider:

How much to charge the tenant.

There is a law in most states as to the maximum late fee you can charge. It is not left up to your discretion. You are not allowed to charge a punitive amount. For example, if the lot rent is $150 per month, your late fee cannot be $100. The law is very specific on what you can and can’t charge. Don’t know the maximum amount allowed by law? You’ve got to get this data before you can go forward.

How much to charge the tenant as long as it is within the law.

You do not want anyone to ever be late. As a result, you should charge the maximum amount allowed by law to definitely get their attention. If the maximum is $50, then charge $50. I’ve toyed with this as much as anyone, but I’ve found that you have to make it absolutely not an option to be late, or the tenant may rearrange his payment plan and pay for that needed car repair/case of beer/cell phone bill before your lot rent. I cannot think of any reason not to go for the full amount allowed by law.

When do your charge it?

You should charge the late fee after a certain grace period. For example, if the rent is due on the first of the month, then you might have a grace period of the 5th. Any rent paid between the due date and the grace period (and obviously before the due date) would not be assessed any type of late fee. However, any rent received after the grace period would receive a late fee. In our example, any rent received on the 6th or later would be charged a late fee.

How do you prove when you got it?

The best way to do this is by postmark, assuming that you have the rent sent in to a P.O. Box as we do. If the postmark is after the fifth, then you will charge a late fee. What if the postsmark is on the fifth? Well, in some areas, if you sent it on the 5th, it can still reach its destination theoretically by that afternoon. So you are much safer just using the day after the end of your grace period for the postmark definition of late rent. And obviously, you want to save every late postmarked envelope as Exhibit A if you have to go to court over it. No judge is going to rule against you if the postmark is later than the grace period end date.

What about a late fee system that increases with every day? 

These systems, and we’ve tried them, are just too complicated. Although you may feel like it is going to motivate the customer, we’ve found that it really doesn’t – they don’t think that strategically. Basically, if they have the money in hand they’ll pay you, and if not they can’t. It’s not like you are reminding them. Normally, if they miss the first of the month, they don’t get paid again until the 15th, and as a result can’t pay you again until the fifteenth, no matter what the penalty. Just keeping track of a daily escalating late fee will cost you way more in time than it is worth.

How do they know they owe a late fee for next month? 

The best system is to send a monthly invoice, showing the rent plus a late fee, if they have one. Obviously, you have to have some kind of notification system if you want to be paid. If you let the tenant pay the rent in person at the park office, then the manager will need to keep a list of who owes it and collect at that time. If you send the rent to a P.O. Box, then there will have to be some type of system in place or you will never get your late fees. They can’t pay it if they don’t know they owe it. And don’t imagine that they should know themselves – it doesn’t happen in the real world. They always dream that somehow they got around the system, or you screwed up and forget to assess it.

Am I being mean charging a late fee?

No. On the contrary, you are being a bad landlord if you don’t. If the general tenant base starts delaying or stops paying altogether their rent, then the property will either go bankrupt or into disrepair. Neither scenario is for the good of the community. You must maintain order and keep the bills paid for these folks to have a home. And a late fee is the magic ingredient to help keep them paying, and at least create a small buffer if they don’t. Would you rather charge a late fee or kick them all out on the street, because that’s basically the choice you are making over the long run.

Can I forgive the late fee once assessed?

Legally you can. However, if you do that for one individual, then word will spread, and you will be besieged by folks wanting the same perk. You are far better off to stay uniform in your treatment of tenants. If you want, you could spread the late fee over several months to make it less painful, The only exception would be for extremely mitigating circumstances concerning a tenant who has never been late. For example, an elderly gentlemen who was put in the hospital on the 29th and released on the 7th. Even then, I would come up with a spin on it like you kept the late fee, but gave him an early payment discount for the next month of the same amount.

Other considerations?

It has been our experience that the total late fees in a stabilized, seasoned tenant base equals the amount of bad debt. This is very important, as it theoretically eliminates your line item of bad debt, when offset by late fees. Without late fees, you will never have perfect collections. With late fees, you scientifically can. And that’s essential for hitting your budget.

Conclusion

Late fees are an essential part of being a good landlord. And it is very important that you do them the right way for them to be fair and accurate. In addition, you have to build a system to assess the fees that it simple, consistent and not time consuming.

If you follow the system shown in this article, you will see an immediate improvement in your income and general happiness of your customers in your mobile home park.


Source by: Frank Rolfe

Ming-Chi Kuo sees "revolutionary" front camera for the Apple iPhone 8


A report just released by KGI Securities reveals some new information from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo about the Apple iPhone 8. The analyst, who has a reputation for being highly reliable, says that the version of the 2017 iPhone wearing an OLED panel will sport a “revolutionary” front-facing camera and a 3D sensor. The 2D images from the camera will use the new sensor to produce 3D selfies and will also be employed for face recognition.

Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that the iPhone 8 would not have Touch ID embedded under an edge-to-edge display as originally thought. Instead, the analyst said …

Translation – Things To Consider While Translating

The art of expressing in the “target” language what has been expressed in the “source” language is known as translation. Although it may seem simple to a common man, however, translation services include a lot more than mere writing something in a different language. All those who are in this profession, from any part of US like Renton (Washington) and Seattle (Washington) would say that you require plenty of skills to become a successful translator.

When customers wish to translate a text to some other language, like from English to Spanish, it is very important to ask some vital questions to themselves. This actually eases the job of the person who provides translation services and also helps to avoid probable misunderstandings. Some of these questions are:

1. What type of text is the source?

2. What kind of audience is it meant for? ( general public or some specialized section)

3. Which country is it aimed at? (US, Spain or Latin America)

4. The source text that is provided, is it the final version or does it require further editing?

5. What is the context of the text?

6. In case of any questions whom to contact?

Expert translators from US cities like Seattle (Washington) and Kirkland (Washington) would always say that for people who provide translation services it is very important to remember numerous aspects while performing their job. Some of these may be:

1.The cultural aspects affecting the target and the source language.

2.The structure that is followed while writing the source text. At the same time, maintaining the same structure in the target text in order to keep the same meaning.

3.Using the same terminology that is used in the source language.

4.The writing style in the source text.

5.The audience that the translation is addressed to.

6.The register in the source text that should be reflected in the target text.

In case you are looking for someone who provides translation services – Seattle (Washington) and Lake Forest Park (Washington) are some of the cities in US where people can hire expert translators from Global Arena. They have enabled Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, and even individuals to succeed in various languages and foreign contexts. They work hard to provide friendly assistance and excellent quality services each day of the year. Check out their official website globalarena.com, where you can access further information about the company and also their different training programs and options to suit individual needs.


Source by: melvillejackson

Wto and its impact on small scale industries in india

Introduction

The small-scale industries sector plays a vital role in the growth of the country. It contributes almost 40% of the gross industrial value added in the Indian economy. It has been estimated that a million Rs. of investment in fixed assets in the small scale sector produces 4.62 million worth of goods or services with an approximate value addition of ten percentage points.

The small-scale sector has grown rapidly over the years. The growth rates during the various plan periods have been very impressive. The number of small-scale units has increased from an estimated 0.87 million units in the year 1980-81 to over 3 million in the year 2000.

From 1947 to 1994, General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) was the forum for negotiating lower customs duty rates and other trade barriers.  The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on 1st January 1995. When the GATT came into WTO’s umbrella, it has annexes dealing with specific sectors such as agriculture and textiles, and with specific issues such as State Trading, Product Standards, Subsidies and Actions taken against dumping. The WTO has 148 members, accounting for over 97% of world trade. Around 30 others are negotiating membership.

WTO aims to develop the country’s economy by encouraging its export among the member countries. Further, it facilitates for availing new technologies from various countries at a lower cost. In this connection, this paper focuses on the positive role played by the WTO in the globalization scenario.

GROWTH OF SSI SECTOR IN INDIA

Small Scale Industries (SSIs) are the pillars of India’s industrial economy. The SSIs’ chief aims are:

  • To Remove the regional disparities
  • To facilitate for the Equitable distribution of national income and wealth
  • To earn the Return on Investment in shorter period
  • To produce some consumption goods and essential commodities.

As the SSIs consume local resources, the growth of SSIs was quite appreciable at the dawn of new century. It is evidential from the fact that there were over 32 lakhs Small Scale Units in the organized sector as on 31st March 2000 (Naik: 2002) & (Economic Survey: 2001).

SSIs require comparatively a smaller investment and avails the financial support of various financial institutions. There have a number of schemes of direct and self -employment. The employment through SSIs has been tremendously increased from 119.6 lakh during the year 1989 – 90 to 178. 5 crore during the year 1999 – 2000. In succeeding years also in the well grown in all areas.  But it

ORIGIN AND OBJECTIVES OF WTO

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on 1st January 1995.  The ‘Marrakesh Declaration’ of 15th April 1994,  affirmed that the results of the Uruguay Round would ‘Strengthen the world economy and lead to more trade, investment and employment and income growth throughout the world. The WTO is the embodiment of the Uruguay Round Results and successor to the GATT. From 1947 to 1994, General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) was the forum for negotiating lower customs duty rates and other trade barriers. When the GATT came into WTO’s umbrella, it has annexes dealing with specific sectors such as agriculture and textiles, and with specific issues such as State Trading, Product Standards, Subsidies and Actions taken against dumping. WTO aims to develop the country’s economy by encouraging its export among the member countries.

Key subjects in WTO

WTO not only frames rules regarding the marketing of produces in  agriculture, textiles and clothing sectors, but also it fixes international standardized labour wages and working conditions, globalizes the trade and weeds out the corruption at Government level in Government procurement policies. Further, it facilitates for availing new technologies from various countries at a lower cost.

Problems facing the SSI sector

The SSI sector confronts several problems despite its strategic importance in any industrialisation strategy and its immense potential for employment generation.

The problem which continues to be a big hurdle for the development of the sector is lack of access to timely and adequate credit. The Abid Hussain Committee on SSIs (1997) examined the problems of the SSI sector and recommended a package of policies to restructure the industry in the context of current global economic changes. The Expert Committee was of the view that the existing institutional structure for delivering credit to SSEs needs a thorough overhaul. It endorsed the recommendations of the Nayak Committee and urged the RBI to implement the same. The Committee recommended restructuring of financial support through SFCs and SIDCs, tapping of other sources of funding for SSEs, extending credit rating servcies to small units, and addressing the credit needs of tiny units to ensure that they are not bypased by the commercial banking system. The overall credit availability for SSIs during 1991-1996 amounts to only 13% of the value of production.

The Nayak Committee had recommended a desirable norm of 20% of the value of production to be made available by way of working capital through term-lending institutions and commercial banks A norm of 75% was set for fixed capital assets whereas actual availability is only 55%. Lack of finance has been one of the major causes of sickness in the SSI sector, blocking access to technological modernisation and other growth possibilities. There is an urgent need to enlarge flow of credit to the SSI sector from institutional sources. The creation of a facilitating environment for SSIs will centre on access to credit. The Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002) estimates additional working capital funds at Rs. 1420 to 1460 billion for the small sector. Lowering interest-rates, specifying a time-frame to clear loan applications and adherence to norms set down by the Nayak Committee are some of the minimum measures that need to be taken.

Legislative measures have a role to play with regard to funding and financing of small scale units. There are measures which can basically ensure that impediments to credit availability are removed. These measures include:

  • Right to reasonable credit from commercial banks as per RBI guidelines framed after consultation with representative Board
  • Protection against non-normative demands for security
  • Appeal and enforcement by Ombudsman/Board
  • Access to public funds by way of debentures, deposits, securities
  • Government guarantee for loans from banks

The measures to support Marketing and Competitiveness are as follows:

  • State to exempt from contract security
  • Prompt return of contract securities in case of others
  • Prompt payment measures
  • Protection against undue bundling of contracts by the state
  • Protection against restrictive and monopolistic trade practices
  • Ombudsman/arbitral services for enforcement

Positive impact of WTO on SSIs

After the origin of WTO, the SSIs in India enjoy the following privileges:

  • Enabling India to export goods to the member countries of the WTO with fewer restrictions. Reduction of tariffs on the export products to India i.e., Tariff based protection has become the rule.
  • Export in India has been increased from Rs.13883 crores in 1992 to Rs.53975 crores in the year 2000 in SSI sector.
  • Prospects in agricultural exports as a result of likely increase in the world prices of agricultural products due to reduction in domestic subsidies and barriers to trade.
  • Greater Market orientation
  • Radical trade in SSI sector opened new investment opportunities thereby the acceleration of economic growth.
  • Availability of modern technologies from the other countries at reduced cost.

In India, there has been a significant and absolute gain in trade under WTO. Exports increased marginally from $ 30.63  billion during the year 1995 to $ 44.2 billion in the year 2000 though share in the global trade increased marginally from 0.6 to 0.65 percent. India has been a net gainer, though in a limited way. Growth in India’s exports has been marginally above the growth in world exports. This shows that WTO has made significant contribution to the expansion of world trade (Somayajulu & Venkataramana: 2002).

Conclusion

WTO plays positive role in strengthening the SSIs. On the other hand, it is feared that many rules of WTO are biased and in the favour of developed countries; they are formulated to force the developing countries to open their economy which would benefit the developed countries and many indigenous industries of developing countries might fail as they will not be able to compete with the international enterprises. This may cause adverse effect on the employment opportunities in the country.

High investment; High return! Though it is the reason for the handicaps of our SSIs, It can be confronted by the innovativeness, novelty in products and the development of lean technologies in the manufacturing sector. Number of Innovative entrepreneurs having strong need for achievement can surely ensure success and tackle the challenges of open competitions at global level.

References

  1. Naik S.D. (2002), Small – Scale Industries: Preparing for the WTO Challenges, The Hindu Business Line, July, 12, 2002.
  2. India – Business Year Book (2005), Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., p. IV-23.
  3. GOI (1981) to (2007), Economic Survey.
  4. Somayajulu G. & Venkataramana V. (2002), ‘Impact of  Exim policy – 2001 – WTO on Small and Medium Enterprises’, Southern Economist, April, 1 – 15.


Source by: m.vasan

6 Valuable Tips for Setting up your Stock Room when Opening a Dollar Store

Are you opening a dollar store?  One of the important tasks is to design your stock room.  There are so many considerations.  You need to consider the flow of dollar store merchandise as it arrives, gets received and then moves onto the sales floor for display.  You need to establish areas for the storage of excess merchandise.  And of course there is safe storage required for tools and equipment that are required to offload and move incoming merchandise.  In this article I provide 6 tips for setting up your stock room.  These same tips can also be used to check your existing stock room setup.

Tip #1) Don’t create rows of shelves to stock the extra dollar store merchandise you receive.  The sad truth is the more shelves you install the more items that will find their way to your back stock area.  You will soon find all kinds of merchandise stored in the backroom rather than on the sales floor where it will make you money.  The bottom line; add some shelving.  However place back stock on upper shelves right on the sales floor for ease of replenishment.

Tip #2) Your stock room will be used for more than just storing back stock merchandise. Therefore it is important to leave lots of room to move about freely. Place a few shelves against the walls.  But make sure the stock room in your store does have open space to work.  You will find this space useful for sorting, assembling displays and merchandise, and for storing extra incoming merchandise that hasn’t been received or inspected.

Tip #3) Provide lots of open working space in your stock room.  When opening a dollar store you will soon find this area comes in handy for breaking out, counting and inspecting incoming dollar store merchandise, broken cases, damaged and smaller mixed dollar store merchandise.  All you need is a table or other flat topped working space to make it easier.

Tip #4) Be sure to include plenty good lighting in your receiving/stock room area.  Good lighting will significantly shorten the amount of time spent trying to see the small product numbers on boxes and other packages.  It will also make reading the faint printing on incoming invoices much easier.

Tip #5) Be prepared for the weight of the products being handled in your receiving and stockroom areas.  Often you and your stock personnel will be moving heavy pallets of items about your stockroom.  Be sure there is plenty of room to move.  Also be sure to provide the right tools for the job.  Tools include a hand trucks and a pallet jack.  For larger stores consider investing in a forklift to easy the listing.

Tip #6) Really think through the possible risks associated with installing ceiling-high shelving when opening a dollar store.  The higher you build your shelving the more the risk of injury.  Higher shelves require higher lifting of dollar store merchandise.  Higher shelves invite employees to climb about rather than using ladders.  Even ladders add an element of risk.  The higher your shelving the more precautions to take.

To your success when opening a dollar store!


Source by: Bob Hamilton

How Cocoa Beans are Processed

How much do you love a cup of hot chocolate in the morning? Maybe you’re a lover of chocolate bars and chips? If so, you might as well know how those sweet pleasures of life came to be. Chocolates come from cocoa beans. But to make them rich and tasty, not just any other cocoa beans are used. Only especially handpicked, top quality beans can create chocolates and chocolate drinks that can delight your meticulous taste buds.

Cocoa beans come from trees called cacao trees. These trees are mostly grown in tropical countries where the warm weather contributes greatly to the high quality production of these fruits. Once the beans are ready for harvest, the long and complex process of turning the beans into fine chocolate takes place.

Right on, it is easy to see that the source of great-tasting chocolates is premium grade cocoa beans. If the raw ingredient is not good enough, the finished product is not going to be anything better. The best cocoa beans right now come from the Dominican Republic. Out there, organic cocoa are grown and cultivated to perfection, at par with the world’s standards of quality for organic foods.

After harvesting the cocoa beans, it would have to be fermented and dried. These are two very important processes in cocoa bean production because these stages add to the aroma and quality of the beans. The better the fermentation and drying processes are performed, the richer taste and aroma the beans will have. Strict quality control standards have to be implemented in these stages so that only the most desirable results are achieved.

After fermentation and drying, the cocoa beans have to be handpicked to separate the good fruit from the bad ones. They have to cleaned, fragmented, and stripped of husks before they are blended to become cocoa mass. But even prior to that, the cocoa beans have to be heat-treated in order to fully get rid of possible bacteria contaminants. Heat treatment may mean roasting them over a high temperature. After which, they are grounded finely until they become liquid cocoa mass.

In its liquid cocoa mass form, the beans would then be made into butter to make it fit for chocolate production. The cocoa mass will be filtered so that all solid ingredients are removed. Cocoa butter becomes the raw ingredient for chocolate and chocolate drinks. And they are usually shipped in liquid or solid form.

Cocoa butter is currently used in many applications these days and not just in making chocolates. If you were observant of the newest spa body and hair treatments, you’ll see that chocolate massage and hair wax are now being offered. Some toiletries and cosmetic items also add cocoa butter into their ingredients list to make their product fit for its purpose.

In its powder form, cocoa can be used to make cookies, cakes, chocolates, drinks, and all other sweet goodies everybody can’t resist. Milk, sugar, and butter are added to it to achieve that taste as required by the recipe. Sooner or later, the finished products such as chocolate bars, delectable cakes, chocolate chip cookies, and all other chocolate-based food items will be shipped to grocery stores and convenience shops for everybody else to consume. Just imagine what life is without chocolates. Surely, it will be bland and dull.


Source by: Cristian Stan

How Efficient Is Your Client Intake Process?

Following up with clients can be a cumbersome process if it is not systematized for consistency and flow. Having a successful, repeatable process pays for itself over time. Client confusion over what comes next is eliminated. Delegating the process to others becomes effortless. Attaching metrics to the process identifies what works and what does not.  

So, what can you do to streamline your client intake process? The fewer the steps, the more time becomes available to work on other critical business tasks. The first thing to do is to document the steps. Add the approximate time it takes for the step plus the cost of any materials that are sent out. Sometimes, materials are more important to us than they are to clients. A follow up email survey to clients on how valuable the materials were to them would identify which materials to eliminate or change. Brochures and client profile questionnaires can be too lengthy. 

Next, review the documented steps. Add up the time the process takes and multiply it by your average labor rate. Add in the materials cost to get the cost for one client. Next, multiply the result by the number of clients who go through this process per week, month, or year. If the cost seems high, avoid tweaking it by rationalizing the time or cost now. That step comes next and your first estimates tend to be more honest since the numbers were not attached to them initially.  

Evaluate the steps and materials that cost the most. Determine what can be reduced or eliminated without sacrificing the value to the client, not to you. For the steps and/or material costs that could be reduced, plug the new data into the new process and calculate what the annual savings will be if they were adopted. Implement the new process and measure the new result to determine if the changes really did save time and money to your business.  

If the savings were not significant, consider outsourcing the process or automating it for lower rates. Try reducing more steps by repeating this streamlining process. Perhaps, your process is as efficient as it needs to be for the size of your current business level.  

A business owner told how his client profile form had two pages of questions he requested his clients to answer as part of his coaching intake process. He reasoned that the answers to the questions would familiarize himself more with clients to make the coaching sessions less sterile. After realizing the automation cost in collection, the time involved in keeping information up-to-date, as well as becoming generally familiar with two pages of answers, he chose to streamline his intake process and reduced the number of questions by 60% . Both he and his clients are much happier without sacrificing quality. 

How will you improve your client intake process?


Source by: Helen Ewing

How to Troubleshoot Single Pole and Three Pole Contactors

In the world of manufacturing, whether it be heavy industrial or light production, wherever you find an electric motor there’s always a contactor to drive and operate that motor. A contactor is simply an electrically controlled switch, also called a relay, used for switching a power circuit. It is designed so that when sufficient current flows through a coil built into the contactor, the magnetic field which is generated causes the contacts to be pulled in. The contacts, in turn operate as the switch. The contacts are appropriately sized by the designer of the particular circuit to handle current flow without overheating. Contactors are sold in a variety of sizes for specific applications. The design of the contacts themselves permit the contactor to be opened and closed repeatedly with minimal damage. This, of course can and will vary depending on the load current and failure can come rather quickly to an improperly sized contactor.

Contactors are designed and built in two popular configurations, single phase (or single pole) and three phase (three pole). This designation merely signifies the number of circuits that can be operated simultaneously. The coil is the means of operating the contacts. When it is energized with an appropriate voltage, it generates enough magnetic force to pull the contacts into a closed position, or close the power circuit. When the coil circuit is opened, spring pressure returns the contacts into the open position threrefore opening the power circuit. Coils are usually designed to accept a variety of popular voltages including 12, 24, 120, 240, and 480 volts AC as well as some DC control voltages like 12 and 24 volts. Other non-standard or less popular voltages are available as well.

The most common issue with a contactor, single or three phase would be a failed coil. This would cause the contactor to fail to energize when voltage is being applied to the coil. It can be tested in two ways, first in a power on situation, a check of the voltage at the coil terminals should give a definite answer as to whether the coil is energizing. On contactors with overload resets you’ll need to check the overload circuit of the contactor for failure or an open circuit if you do not read the appropriate voltage directly from the coil terminals. Of course you will need to verify the voltage with the label or nameplate on the coil also. Any doubt as to your finding, you can check for coil continuity also. Be sure to power down the circuit (or the machinery if necessary), select a low ohms setting on your multimeter and check the coil terminals. An open circuit (or high resistance) would signify an open coil whereas any moderate resistance would usually indicate that the coil is conducting electricity. A reading of 0 ohms would indicate a short circuit within the coil but this is rare because energizing a shorted coil usually amounts to excess heat, excess current, and an eventual opening of the coil internally.

The next most common failure is in the contacts themselves. They can fail in an open position, literally burned or melted open as a result of the contactor being improperly sized or the aftermath of a shorted load such as an overloaded motor. This can be tested by powering down the contactor circuit, both control and power circuit, and removing the power leads from the load side of the contactor. Energize the coil control circuit and check for the appropriate voltage on the load terminals. Proper voltage going into the contactor and lack of voltage going out of the contactor while it is energized or closed is a classic case of a failed contact. Another failure to the contacts would be a welded, or stuck contact which remains closed even when the contactor is de-energized. This situation can lead to further problems or damage downstream in the circuit possibly by energizing one or two legs of a three phase motor. With the control and power circuit de-energized this can be checked with an ohmmeter set on any range. A low ohm or 0 ohm reading would indicate a closed contact when in fact it should be open.

Additional contactor problems include mechanical failure such as in the return springs or the frame of the contactor and most of the time a visual inspection is enough to find a problem such as this. These failures typically occur after excessive heating or after the operating or service life of the contactor has been exceeded. Overall, the contactor troubleshooting is not complex, yet an overlooked failure within one of these critical components can sometimes confuse even a seasoned electrician or maintenance technician.


Source by: Chet Val