10 REASONS TO START TRADING FOREX! More and more well informed investor and entrepreneurs are diversifying their traditional investments like stocks, bonds & commodities with foreign currency because of the following reasons: 1) FOREX is the largest financial market in the world. With a daily trading volume of over $1.5 trillion, the spot FOREX market can absorb trading sizes that dwarf the capacity of any other market. In fact, when compared with the $50 billion daily market for equities or the $30 billion futures market, it becomes quickly apparent this gives you, and millions of other FOREX traders, almost infinite trading liquidity and flexibility. 2) FOREX is a True 24-hour market. The FOREX Market never sleeps. Trading positions can be entered and exited at any moment around the globe, around the clock, 5.5 days a week. There is no waiting for an opening bell as in the case of trading stocks. It is a 24- hour, continuous electronic (ONLINE) currency exchange that never closes. This is very desirable for you if you want to trade on a part-time basis, because you can choose when you want to trade: morning, noon or night. 3) There is never a Bear Market in FOREX. You can have access to a seamless exchange of currencies. Currencies trade in "pairs" (for example, US dollar vs. JPY (YEN) or US dollar vs. CHF (Swiss franc), one side of every currency pair (for example, USD/CHF) is constantly moving in relation to the other. Thus, when you buy a particular currency, you are actually simultaneously selling the other currency in that particular pair. As the market moves, one of the currencies will increase in value versus the other. Of course, it is up to you to choose the correct currency to be long ( you bought) or short( you sold). 4) High Leverage - up to 400:1 Leverage. You are permitted to trade foreign currencies on a highly leveraged basis - up to 400 times your investment with Fenix Capital Management, LLC and with some other brokers. Standard 100,000- US$ currency lots can be traded with as little as 0.25% margin, or $250. Mini FX accounts are permitted to trade with just 0.25% margin, meaning, just $25 allows you to control a 10,000-unit currency position. Futures traders, who are accustomed to margin requirements generally equal to 5-7%-8% of the contract value, will immediately recognize that the FOREX market provides much greater leverage, and for stock traders, who must post at least 50% margin, there’s no comparison. If you’re looking for an efficient use of trading , trade the Forex Market. 5) Price Movements might be Highly Predictable. Currency prices in the FX market generally repeat themselves in relatively predictable cycles, creating trends. The strong trends that foreign currencies develop are a significant advantage for traders who use the "technical" methods and strategies. Unlike stocks, currencies have the tendency to develop strong trends. Over 80% of volume is speculative in nature and, as a result, the market frequently overshoots and then corrects itself. As a technically-trained trader, you can easily identify new trends and breakouts, to enter and exit positions. 6) YOU don't pay commissions or fees to trade FOREX When you trade FOREX, through Fenix Capital Management LLC (FCM) you can do it totally FREE of commissions and fees , regardless of your account size. Fenix Capital Management LLC, requires a very low minimum amount to open a brokerage account, only US$ 200 and they do not charge commissions or fees to trade or to maintain an account, regardless of your account balance or trading volume. 7) YOU don't have to pay trading fees or exchange fees. There are none of the usual fees, which futures and equity traders are accustomed to pay: NO exchange or clearing fees, NO NFA or SEC fees. Because currencies trade over-the-counter (OTC), via a global electronic network, in FOREX, what you see on your trading screen, is what you get, allowing you to make quick decisions on your trades without having to worry or account for fees that may affect your profit/loss or slippage. In the equity and commodity markets, you must pay both a commission and exchange fees. The over-the-counter structure of the FX market eliminates exchange and clearing fees, which in turn lowers transaction costs. 8) HOW to Forex brokers make money if they don't charge commissions? Like all traded financial products, over-the-counter currency trading involves a bid/ask spread, which represents the prices at which your counterpart is willing to trade. Your broker will receive a part of this bid/ask spread. Because the currency market offers round-the-clock liquidity, you receive tight, competitive spreads both intra-day and night. Stock traders can be more vulnerable to liquidity risk and typically receive wider trading spreads, especially during after-hours trading. 9) Market Transparency. Market transparency is highly desired in any trading environment. The greater the market transparency, the more efficient the market becomes. Unlike other markets where transparency is compromised (like in the many recent scandals), FOREX markets are highly transparent (i. e., analyzing countries, and having access to real-time research / news, is easier than analyzing companies). Because of this transparency, as an FX trader, you will be able to apply risk management strategies in accordance to your fundamental and technical indicators. 10) Instantaneous Order Execution The FX market offers the highest level of market transparency out of all the financial markets. Because of this, order execution and fill confirmation usually occur in just 1-2 seconds. In Forex, order execution is all-electronic and because you'll be trading via an Internet-based platform, instantaneous execution is routine. There are no exchanges, no traditional open-outcry pits, no floor brokers, and consequently, no delays.( will be continued )
Considering Building Your Own Software Solution – Read This First! Every now and again a shop owner decides to take on the challenge of building an estimating/business management system from scratch. The one’s I have come across usually have a little bit of technical knowledge, maybe some previous program writing experience, and that friend/employee who assures them “A system built from scratch, no problem.” These owners tend to think that if they build a system themselves, it will be less expensive, more reliable, and above all give them a strong infrastructure for the future. In the beginning of the software age this might have been the case, but in today’s environment having a “self built” mentality presents some owners with many challenges and disadvantages, which grow larger and larger everyday. Are you considering building your own software solution?
Which Type of Shop Can Rely On A Home Built System? Not all shops are at a disadvantage when it comes to building their own system. To determine which avenue a shop should take, owners must know what type of shops benefit from a self built solution and what type is better off purchasing one. Companies with a small number of people, where only 1 person estimates, producing very few quotes daily, with little to no re-orders, and selling a small number of products with few options, may do fine using Excel or a home built shop management system. But if and when one or more of these variables change, the need for a better solution increases and owners should look else where.
How Much Does It Cost To Build Your Own? Many times an owner thinks it is less expensive to build a system then to buy one. This is one of the biggest misconceptions of a self built system. I recently spoke with Steve Gillispie from Acorn Signs who spent 6 months creating a program from scratch before he ultimately stopped when he found a solution that did everything he needed and more. Steve said looking back “It’s idiotic to try and build your own system. The time involved and the programming knowledge required is too much. Trying to build a system internally, when other software systems are currently in the market, is idiotic.” He stated that “Software companies, such as Cyrious Software which he uses, already have hundreds of development hours invested into their programs; therefore building a system yourself starts you off with a time and knowledge disadvantage.” Software for the Future of Your Business If you are looking to be a competitive force in your market, grow your business, and increase your sales, creating the right infrastructure in the most economical way is key. In an industry where time and money, building relationships, and staying competitive is vital to a business’ success, having a system in place that assists with these areas is extremely important and hard to achieve on your own. This is why many owners today like Steve, are halting the production of a self-built system and looking towards other solutions. How Much Is Your Time Worth? If you spent twenty hours a week developing your own system, assuming it takes you only 6 months to create, how much money does that system end up costing you? Let’s assume it would cost you $100 an hour to get a homemade system built. For six months of work that’s 480 hours for a grand total of $48,000 for a homemade system. Whoa! That’s a rather large investment. But it could be worth it if you get what you need, right? What You Get With a self-built system you get a custom system developed specifically for your shop, with your pricing, cost structure, and business methods. The only problem that exists is that all of this is obtainable without building a system yourself. The company that Steve decided to go was Cyrious Software. Cyrious gave him the personalized software system he needed including his own custom pricing, cost-structure, and business methods in addition to what he wouldn’t have with a self built system, such as technical support. Steve said if he would have kept with his self-built system not only would he have to support it himself but he wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of features like reports, invoicing, CRM, and the Activity Manager. What You Don’t Get With most estimating and business management systems on the market today, you usually have the option of purchasing support. This is a major aspect you can’t get with a self-built system. Most software users believe that support is extremely important, and as Stan Yamamoto from FASTSIGNS® said “Software is only as good as the support system behind it…The support offered by Cyrious surpassed all of my expectations.” A good tech support staff is there to help solve questions, problems, or issues that arise, when using the software. Who would you go to in order to get answers to software issues with a self-built system? Buying Software Includes Perks! Being a software customer, usually entitles you to additional perks. For example, Cyrious Software offers customers on support, software upgrades at no extra charge. These upgrades include many different advancements and improvements to the software. If you choose to build your own system, you become the one responsible for developing, testing, and supplying upgrades. Unless you plan on staying with the same old system year after year, upgrading your system will cost you additional time and money. If you are unable to provide continual support to enable your software to grow with your shop, is it really wise to go forward with building a system yourself? Think about it.
Do you need to borrow money? Home equity lines may be one source of credit. Home equity credit lines may provide you with large amounts of cash at a low interest rate and they may provide you with certain tax advantages with other loans. Home equity lines of credit require you to use your home as collateral for the loan. This may put your home at risk if you are late or cannot make your monthly payments. Those loans with a large final (balloon) payment may lead you to borrow more money to pay off this credit line, or they may put your home in jeopardy if you cannot qualify for other refinancing. If you sell your home, most plans require you to pay off your credit line at the time of closing. In addition, because home equity loans give you relatively easy access to cash, you might find you borrow money more often.
Remember too, there are other ways to borrow money from a lender. For example, you may want to explore second mortgage installment loans. Although these plans also place an additional mortgage on your home, second mortgage money usually is loaned in a lump sum, rather than in a series of advances made available by writing checks on debts. Also, second mortgages usually have fixed interest rates and fixed payment amounts. You also may want to explore borrowing from credit lines that do not use your home as collateral. These credit lines may be a better option for you and your situation.
These are available with your credit cards or with unsecured credit lines that let you write checks as you need the money. In addition, you may want to ask about loans for specific items, such as tuition, cars, and those nasty credit cards. Either way, home equity lines can be useful if done the right way. http:// centurymortgages. org
The single most common mistake that a note holder makes when creating a note is that they fail to check their buyer’s Credit Report. It seems so simple, but it is worth repeating "Most people fail to check the credit report of their prospective buyers!!" Can you believe this? Just by doing this one simple step can save you a bunch of money now and in the future. How so? First and foremost by checking your potential buyers credit score can help resolve your worries of your buyer’s ability to repay their future debt to you. Heck, I don't know of any bank that would not check the credit score of any one of their customers seeking a mortgage. So why shouldn’t you? The second benefit of checking your buyer’s credit score is what if you should ever decide to ever sell your real estate note, trust deed, or owner financed mortgage for all cash? By knowing your buyers credit score would not only benefit you now, but it would also make your real estate note more valuable in the future. Here's why. The first thing a promissory note buyer/investor is going to require to sell your note is your payer’s credit score! Your buyer’s credit score is paramount to how much money you will ultimately receive for your real estate note. Of course the higher the credit score the less risky it is to a perspective promissory note buyer, thus making your note more valuable to them and ultimately you. So, just what is an acceptable credit score concerning a real estate note? That is entirely up to you, but if it was my note I would not accept a score of less than a 550. The credit score counts for 40 percent of a total of 100 percent in rating your real estate notes value. So whether you are creating or selling your real estate note it pays to get your buyers credit score in more ways than one.
Many people confuse a home-equity line of credit with a home-equity loan. With so many different kinds of loans it can get confusing. So lets look at the difference so you can get a better understanding of what works best for you. Home Equity Line Of Credit Home-equity lines have experienced unprecedented growth in the past two years and presently represent 80 percent of the home-equity market. A home-equity line of credit is a varible interest rate loan that works like a credit card. You get a pre-determined loan amount that is secured by your home. Most come with checks and credit cards that you can use to draw on as you need the money. Most lenders only require an interest only payment for either 10 or 15 years. After that the loan must be paid in full. The reality is most people will sell their home and pay the loan off before it actually comes due. You could always refinance if you decide you want to stay in your home. An important thing to remember on a home-equity line of credit is it is based on varible interest rates. These varible rates will cause your payment to change as the interest rates move up or down. Home Equity Loan A home-equity loan has a fixed interest rate and fixed payment. These loans are more like a standard second loan on your home. Like a home-equity line of credit, these loans are also secured by your home. You borrow a certain amount of money for a specific period and get the whole sum at the close of the loan. The payments a on home-equity loan are typically based on 10 to 15 years and are level. People who aren't comfortable with an adjustable or varible rate payment tend to favor a home-equity loan instead of a home-equity line of credit. As interest rates rise, these loans become more popular than home-equity lines of credit. A home-equity loan will have a higher interest rate because it is fixed. Varible rate loans usually have lower starting interest rates. But if interest rates are rising, a varible rate could catch up or even get higher than what the fixed rate is.
What's next after someone becomes your client? What's next is to deliver on what you said you would, and more! As they say, "Under promise and over deliver." People expect you to deliver results. Surprise them by also going the extra mile over and over again. As soon as you get a new client, thank them for doing business with you. Send them a thank you note, an extra report or something of value. Let them know that you appreciate their business and show them you care about them. One small act that shows how much you value your new client can create a client for life. The formula for having your clients turn into raving fans is: good product + great service.
Interestingly enough a good product + bad service gives you unhappy customers no matter how good your product is. A study has shown that it takes 16 times the effort to get a new client as it does to sell to an existing one. So treasure them all and treat them like a $1m client. When you have satisfied clients, they will buy more and more from you. They have already experienced you, your services/products and your quality of service so the decision process is so much easier for them. When you have satisfied clients, they will become your walking, talking sales force. They believe in you and your services/products so much so that they voluntarily tell others about you. Develop relationships with your clients so you can continue to discover what they want. Then provide offers that deliver what they want so they choose to do more business with you. This is another huge key to your success. It is the key to maximizing the lifetime value of a customer. From time to time, do a customer satisfaction survey. Test to see if your clients are happy with your service and ask them for suggestions for improvement. Then act on these suggestions. If you do ever have a dissatisfied client, you have an opportunity. People who are unhappy will tell about 10 other people and then those 10 people tell about 5 people and so on and so forth. Get the picture? So, when you have a dissatisfied client, you have an opportunity to get them to experience your excellent service and to build an even stronger relationship with you. So sort their problem out quickly and they will then tell others good things about you. Treasure your clients and they will treasure you. Treasure your clients and more clients will be attracted to you, that is how it works! (c) Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2005 You are welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end).
When it comes to fishing, my husband takes the lead. But his lack of leadership ability in a recent canoe trip on the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota offered wonderful lessons on how leaders can unknowingly screw up. (1) Assign responsibility without authority. Bill insisted that in order to cast his fishing line, he needed to be in the back of the canoe. I was to paddle as he cast and trolled his lure. The only challenge is that the ability to steer a two-person canoe is handled by the person in the back. He'd shout directions to me but I had little authority over the craft. Frustrated, I wanted to turn around and whack him with the paddle. LESSON: If you assign someone a task, put them where they have full control to do what is required rather than hamstring them with your positional authority. (2) Hire a skill set but don't let the employee use it. The Boundary Waters are comprised of many lakes connected with islands and it is frequently necessary to portage the canoe to the next lake. I have a good eye for reading navigational maps. I would identify the portage spot as we approached. On more than one occasion, Bill would insist I was wrong and we'd spend time "looking", only to return to the site I had identified. I felt like throwing the backpacks up the trail. LESSON: If you hire someone with a skill you don't have let them take the lead. (3) Never believe someone closest to the problem. We were fishing along a rock ledge jutting out from one of the islands. Bill was a distance from me when I suddenly yelled for help. "I have a fish and I can't tighten the reel." "No," replied Bill, "You don't have a fish." "Yes, I do. Please help me." He slowly made his way over and took the rod from my hand. A deft fisherman, he fixed the problem and to his amazement, pulled out a fish. I wanted to hit him with it. LESSON: Pay attention to people down line. A removed view might very well be wrong. (4) Practice unclear communication. From my weak directional paddling position Bill would also holler out a specific direction. "Head toward that tree", he'd call. Now remember he is sitting behind me. The island is covered with trees. Just what is that tree? "The GREEN one," he'd say. " Sorry, Bill. They are ALL green!" Since the eyes in the back of my head were shut I couldn't see where his finger pointed. I wanted to bite that finger. LESSON: Clairvoyance is not a skill set you can hire. Describe specifically what you want, andwhat you see. Bring people along into your vision. (5) Make others bail you out of the trouble you cause. As we circled the various islands, Bill would cast toward the shore. He has a good eye for distance but on occasion his line would snag the low lying bushes and I'd have to climb out and untangle the mess. One foot almost landed on the back of a monstrous rock that moved: a moss covered snapping turtle with a shell the size of a toilet seat and jaws that could break my ankle. I screamed. LESSON: You can be bailed out once. But for repeated errors, get out and do it yourself. P. S. Concerned about workplace violence? Look at my response to a person I deeply love. Consider these lessons VERY carefully. (c) 2004, McDargh Communications. All rights in all media reserved. Reprints must include byline, contact information and copyright.
If some unexpected expense has come up, and it is still days away from payday, it is possible to take out a type of short-term loan known as a cash advance. A cash advance, or a payday loan, can help you if you are in a bind by using your upcoming paycheck as a guarantee for repayment. A cash advance is a quick way to get the money you need. However, it is important to know exactly what this type of loan is, what the terms are, and what the risks are before you decided to take this financial route. A cash advance is a short-term, unsecured loan, usually granted for a smaller sum of money (less than $500). Taking out a cash advance is quick for a smaller amount of cash because there isn’t the paperwork and approval process involved with which you would have to deal with longer-term bank loans. This can usually be done at a small check-cashing outlet or a pawnshop. And recently, more and more online lenders are getting involved with quick cash advances. The borrower promises to repay the loan from his or her next paycheck. The loan is made when the borrower either gives the lender a check or a debit authorization for the amount borrowed plus the finance charge.
The lender consents to hold the check or authorization until the borrower’s next payday. When payday comes, the lender may either cash the check, or the borrower may get his or her check back by paying the full loan amount and finance charge. It sounds easy, and with little consequence, but there are some things to be aware of. If you are thinking about taking out a quick cash advance loan, you probably have very little cash flow to begin with, and few other alternatives. Know what you are getting into. The most important thing to be aware of is the finance charge that is applied to the loan upon borrowing. This fee can be as high as $50. So, if whatever you are taking out the cash advance for has a consequence less than the applicable fee, you might want to reconsider. And if you are not able to repay the loan right away, be aware that the interest you are charged continues to accrue, thus increasing the payoff amount (there is no refund of applied interest if the loan is repaid early). If this is not an issue, and you are able to pay the loan back immediately upon receipt of your paycheck, then perhaps a quick cash advance might be the solution for you. There are times when a quick cash advance loan is not a smart option. Don’t borrow money against your upcoming paycheck for impulse purchases, or just to have some cash in your pocket. This type of loan can get very expensive very quickly, especially if it is not paid back promptly. You will find yourself in more dire financial straits than before. Therefore, only utilize this type of service for serious or emergency financial situations. Unfortunately, some customers who take out quick cash advances often do so repeatedly, and often use it as a method of getting credit extension. This is possible by paying only the finance charge to the lender, and providing a new check or debit authorization repeatedly. Instead of a temporary financial crisis, many borrowers are experiencing continuing financial problems with which they apply a band-aid in the form of a quick cash advance loan. This is not wise. A quick cash advance loan is only a quick solution to a short-term financial problem. If you have a bill that is due and do not want to risk hurting your credit rating, if you have an emergency medical bill that must be paid, or if you are in danger of bouncing a check, a cash advance may work for you. If you are aware of the finance charges you will have to repay in addition to the loan amount, and you are able to repay the loan immediately, this type of loan can be a useful, one-time solution to a tight financial state.
There are a lot of reasons why people consider life insurance a necessity. We all know how precious life is. Getting secured is just one way of saying you love your family. The need to buy this insurance stems from the fact that if the primary wage earner dies, the family left behind has no way to sustain itself. To solve this, the family receives a benefit from the insurance company thus assisting the surviving family members financially in overcoming the burden of being left behind. Any individual can secure these benefits. A good place to begin the process of researching your life insurance policy is 1termlifeinsurance. org. Normally, large employers and government employers offer group life insurance as a benefit to their employees.
The cost of these life insurance policies differs depending upon such factors as age, occupation and health. Say for example, the premium for a 25-year-old male individual, who is a non-smoker and in good health will be far less expensive than a similar policy for a 65-year-old male smoker. In short, the cost of each premium being set by the insurance company depends upon the risks and conditions of the insured. The availability of life insurance varies in different forms to fit the standards of the proposed insured. Commonly, some of the familiar forms of life insurance include: whole life, variable life, and term life. Term life insurance policies begin with low premiums during their initial or starting stages of payment and these will just increase steadily as the insured grows older. Regarding whole life insurance, a part of each premium pays for the insurance and the remainder serves as a tax-free investment. A whole life policy sets a premium at the beginning of the policy and that premium does not change over the life of the existing policy.
“The key to your success on the web is the ability to get surfers to stop at your site, look around and ultimately to buy something.” – Heidi Richards According to Internet. com, by the year 2008 nearly 30% of offline purchases will be influenced by online research. If your site is a well-implemented ecommerce site, the web can significantly lower both order-taking costs and customer support costs after the sale has been made. You could also experience larger purchases per transaction. Through automation, you can sell the ‘back-end” on the front end by suggesting additional items at the time the purchase is made. You can offer your customer more information, such as order tracking. A customer can shop from the comfort of her or his home, in her bunny slippers or his boxer shorts. You can give the customer a larger variety of offerings. No need to send a great big catalog through the mail anymore. When you run out of an item, you simply remove it from the website. Makes shopping so much easier. But first you have to get them there! No matter what function your site performs, whether it be to display your online brochure or ecommerce site, to get people to visit, you still need to market your site. It’s easy to create a new ecommerce site, getting people to visit yours is not so easy. Getting traffic to return to your web site a second time is equally challenging. Provide a product or service the customer needs, and they may be back and they may even refer others. What makes you different from the competition? Check them out. See if they are online and see what they are doing. Look for strengths and weaknesses in the site’s message, design and links. Find out who else is online. How do others fit into your target market? Surfing is one thing, visiting another, but selling something online is the ultimate challenge of ecommerce today. When creating or making improvements to your site, here are a few things to keep in mind: Design a user-friendly site. Make it informative and easy in which to move around, so they will want to come back. Use light backgrounds with dark text for easy reading. It is also better to have less information on a page than pages full of text that will lose the reader’s interest. Have an eye-catching site that entertains and informs. Keep graphics simple. Over-use of graphics and flash graphics take longer to download. Today, you have 5-10 seconds to grab your visitor’s attention. If loading your site takes longer than that, chances are good that they will quickly exit. Keep your URL (uniform resource locator) - aka web site address/domain name – simple. It is the main way people locate you on the Web. While many of the good dot. com’s are taken, dot. net’s are a viable alternative. Soon, they too will be gone. If you have not already done so, get your domain name immediately. Make it memorable, something people might type in the subject line in a search engine looking for what you have to offer. Hard to spell words make it more difficult for visitors to find you. Let’s assume you have built a great Web site. It is filled with great content, well organized, easy to navigate, and encourages customer interaction. But you need visitors. The following online marketing ideas will help you sell your products or services, offer better customer service, help you build your company identity and establish brand awareness in the marketplace. In fact, if you are relentless in your pursuit of marketing on the web, you’ll be hard to beat. Here are just three ideas to "bring the world to your door." Number One: Lead with your benefits. As with any copyrighting, headlines can make or break your success. Clearly state the benefits your site has to offer in your headline. Use power words, words that appeal to your visitors’ emotions. It should describe how you will solve a problem, relieve pain, improve your visitors lives, educate them, give them something for FREE, save them time, and so on. Number Two: Capture visitors. Add a form to your site so visitors can “register” - leave their name and email address. Tell them you want to use the information to send them periodic email message announcing special offers, and new products and services. It is important that you also make it easy for people to remove themselves (unsubscribe) from your list. Never send anything to this group unless you have something valuable to offer or say. Keep the emails short and succinct. Add links to your message that direct people back to your site for more information. Save time by automating this process with autoresponders. Number Three: Start an Ezine This is an instant customer database builder especially if you offer it for FREE and it has a perceived value to your visitors. Ezines allow you to build a relationship with your customers and prospects. It should be short, interesting and filled with valuable information. I currently write five ezines. They are Self-Marketing News, Creating A Legacy, Ramblin’ Rose, Petals N Cents, and WECommerce News. Between the five ezines, we have a total subscriber base of nearly 30,000 opt-in prospects and customers from all over the world. In addition to the great marketing potential ezines offer, they help you develop a positive reputation. As the World Wide Web continues to grow and evolve, more and more companies and individuals are turning to the Internet to serve their needs. Make sure the world knows to turn to you. Excerpted from The PMS Principles - Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business by Heidi Richards
Over recent years, personal loans have become a popular solution for many consumers looking to raise finance for a variety of purposes. You can get personal loans for all sorts of things, from debt consolidation to holidays, cars and other purchases. It is far easier these days to get a great deal on finance, with cheap personal loans available from a variety of competitive lenders. When looking into personal loans, you should consider a number of factors. Comparing the interest rates and terms on a selection of deals will ensure that you get access to cheap personal loans so you can enjoy lower monthly repayments. And if you go online to browse deals and apply personal loans lenders can offer instant quotes as well as really competitive rates of interest. It is always advisable to compare a number of quotes and deals on personal loans, as you can then make an informed decision with regards to which finance package offers the best rates and terms for your needs and your budget. This will help to ensure that you enjoy cheap personal loans and low repayments, and you could even find additional benefits such as payment breaks. The Internet has fast become the leading source of cheap personal loans. Many financial consumers that are looking for personal loans for a variety of reasons tend to go online to get a great deal.
Not only can you check out the various deals on personal loans online, but you can also apply for personal loans online as well. This can help to speed up the process and can result in an instant decision in principle in many cases.
If you were to ask yourself what type of person a prospective employer is looking for, what would be the answer? Good personality? Effective communicator? Dynamic? Knowledgeable? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then you are right. Now, sit back and take a look at yourself and ask yourself if you meet these criteria.
Are you a dynamic, energetic effective communicator with a good personality? Are you knowledgeable in the areas affected by the position? If you cannot answer these questions positively, then you need to make some changes. Why Change The main reason you want to change is so that when you go for an interview, you are not sitting there like a bump on a log waiting for the next question. Instead, you should be asking questions, showing your knowledge and skills and involving the interviewer in stimulating conversation. How do you change? There are many ways you can go about changing but lots of us do not have thousands of dollars to put out for classes. The easiest and often times most productive way to start making changes is to use your friends as guinea pigs to determine if you meet the criteria. Communicate Start by working with one or two friends on your communication skills. If you are shy and introverted, you need to practice with your friends by being assertive and overcoming your shy nature. You can practice daily until you feel more comfortable around people. Local employment security commissions have free programs to help you with improving your communication skills. You can even go to the public library and read on effective communication. Be Dynamic and Energetic If you are the kind of person who just kind of hangs out and lets things go by, you will need to work on your energy level. Companies today are looking for employees who can do more than one job and have the energy level to contribute on any level and at any time. If you are a couch potato who only gets up if the house is on fire then you need to start working on your energy level. Start taking Vitamin B12, CoQ10 or whatever herbal supplement will boost your energy level. Drink extra coffee every morning or jog 5 miles every day. Do whatever it takes to increase your energy level to the point where a prospective employer will be excited by your energy and want to give you a job. Be Knowledgeable The final step in creating a dynamic personality to make an interview the show-stopping, interactive experience it needs to be is to be knowledgeable. When you are called for an interview for a position, make sure you know something about all of the duties described in the job req. I also recommend looking the company up and getting some basic information about them. Your ultimate goal is to create a dynamic, interactive interview experience where you display your awesome communication skills, your knowledge of the position and of the company and your high-energy magnetism that can be immediately directed towards your new job if hired.
It’s common knowledge that most small businesses fail within 5 years. These statistics are mindblowingly depressing for people looking to start up a new venture. So what goes wrong? No-one starts out with the intention of creating something that isn’t sustainable. In fact most people would be adamant that they weren’t going to be one of those statistics. Most business owners start out as technical expert in their field.
For example – an engineer decides to start their own company after working for someone else for several years. He/she knows plenty about engineering, but not a lot about running a successful business. Most of us learn as we go, hence the high rate of business failure. There are many things that can undermine a business.
Here are a few: Getting wedded to a single idea and sticking with it too long. How long has it been since you updated your offer? That can be as simple as delivering your product or service in a new way. Those people who are married to the single, same idea for a along time will fnd themselves left behind in the marketplace. Remember, new ideas are the currency of entrepreneurs. Schedule time each quarter to brainstorm new ideas for your business. Keep it fresh and keep your customers interested. Believing your own b. s. Without wanting to burst your entrepreneurial bubble, sometimes we can believe so strongly in what we are doing that we ignore other (differing) opinions. There is a difference between following your instincts and going forwards with blinkers on. Generally, business owners are genetically wired to be optimistic. Just remember that an alternative view is also likely to be based on sound reason, and it’s a great idea to understand what those reasons are. Ignoring your cash position. Why don’t the customers take up your products/services more quickly – as you planned in the forecasts??? Welcome to the real world. It’s often the case that business owners are overly optimistic about sales, particularly of a new offer. In the event that this happens, your reserves of cash will be your lifeline. Knowing exactly how much cash you need to run your business from week to week is step one in avoiding this trap. Step two is obviously having the cash you need, plus extra in reserve, to survive for 6 months with low or no sales. How does your business stack up on this one? Letting Unproductive Employees Linger You are a business owner right, not a Human Resources manager? Wrong. If you employ other people then one of your key activities is managing and coaching the performance of the people that work for you. If your employees: a) want to do their jobs b) know how to do their jobs, and c) love working with you then you are unlikely to ever have an issue. However, there will be times when your employees just aren’t working out as you had hoped. Have you ever stopped to notice how draining it can be dealing with “staff” issues? But taking action is difficult and uncomfortable – so you let the situation drag on. Don’t get me wrong. I am the strongest supporter of ensuring that everything possible is done to provide employees with the tools they need to be successful. But when this process is exhausted, then it’s time to take action. Check out what’s legislatively required in your state/country and take the action you need to. Selling too hard. If you find yourself selling an idea or product too hard to too many people, perhaps it's time to listen to why they are not buying and learn from that, rather than trying to become a better salesperson. Do you have mechanisms in place that allow your customers to provide feedback? Do you ask your customers what else they want before you go and create something new? Not setting up support structures. Admitting that you need helping some areas is the responsible approach to business management. Hire people and services to handle the stuff that you’re not good at, or don’t have time for. Most entrepreneurs do better when they are fully supported, it’s amazing the difference that taking the pressure off yourself can do for your energy levels and focus. Running a successful business requires wearing many different hats – it’s a very unique person that can wear each hat with the same level of skill. Acknowledging that we all have strengths and weaknesses is vital in a business environment. Recognising the impact of this and taking the appropriate action to support your “weaker” areas is the first step in creating a business to last the distance. Doing it all yourself is not a recipe for success.
Buying a new car or truck can be a major undertaking… and a major expense. If you're like most people, you won't be able to pay for your new vehicle out-of-pocket; that's where automotive financing loans come into play. With an auto financing loan you'll be able to borrow the amount that you need to pay for the car or other vehicle of your dreams, and the purchased vehicle will serve as collateral for the loan meaning that you won't need additional collateral to secure it. The loan is still a major commitment, though, and shouldn't be entered into lightly. Before deciding on the loan, you should take the time to explore the all of the options that are available to you. Finance Options in Your Area By taking the time to consider a variety of financing options, you'll likely find that there are a number of different ways that you can finance a new vehicle in your area. From bank loans and finance companies to dealer financing and online lenders, you should carefully look at each option in order to make sure that you get the best deal that you can on your loan. Consider all of the following financing methods, investigating those that are available in your area so as to find the lender that's right for your needs. Bank Financing The first instinct that many people have when looking for an automotive finance loan is to apply for the loan through the bank where they do most of their other financial business. Banks can be a good source of auto loans, but you should take care not to overlook the other options that are available to you as well. Finance Companies One of the more popular alternatives to banks in regards to finding an auto loan is the finance company. These companies exist for the sole purpose of providing loans and financing larger purchases such as automobiles. The interest rates offered by finance companies can vary depending upon the particular company, and may or may not be better than those rates offered by banks. Despite the occasional higher interest rate, there are advantages to utilizing finance companies… as an example, finance companies do tend to offer loans to individuals who have poor credit, unlike some banks. Dealer Financing Another option that may or may not be available depending upon where you live and where you're purchasing your new car or truck from is dealer financing. This financing option is usually done through a third party that the dealer utilizes or via the automobile company itself, and allows you to make payments on your car or truck at the same place where you purchase it. In cases where the financing is done through the company itself, there are often large discounts in interest for the initial payment period… some are even interest free. Unfortunately, credit is a major qualifier for these introductory interest rates and those individuals with poor credit usually don't qualify and may not qualify for dealer financing at all. Online Lenders One final option that many people overlook is online financing. Online lenders operate without much of the overhead that physical lenders have to pay, and can therefore offer competitive interest rates even for individuals who have had credit problems in the past. Online lenders may have certain requirements that must be met in regards to the vehicle being purchased or where it's being purchased from, so it's important to make sure that you understand exactly what is needed to qualify for online automotive finance loans from the site you choose. You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:
There are many forms of industrial equipment used in the workplace. Industrial equipment is usually large and made of materials such as steel and titanium for optimal strength. These machines are often needed to lift and move materials which may possibly weigh thousands of pounds. A piece of industrial equipment which is not in working order should never be used for any reason. All equipment is inspected at the beginning of everyday to ensure they are in the best condition for workers. By now, there are a million pieces of industrial equipment racing through your head but the question is, which ones are the most popular and most crucial to the industrial field? Below you will find five types of industrial equipment which are known to be the masters of all machines in the industrial workplace: 1. Bulldozers - Bulldozers are massive machines which are used mostly in the construction and mining industries. Bulldozers have the ability to lift and move vast amounts of dirt and other debris from one place to another. Bulldozers can operate in many conditions including snow, hail and rain. These pieces of equipment are generally used to dig up the ground and provide room for building houses or other types of buildings. 2. Cranes - Cranes are generally used to transport hard, heavy items from one place to another. The arm of the crane is used to swing the object from one place to another and the arm can be adjusted according to how far the materials need to go. Unlike bulldozers, cranes have the ability to transport objects over uneven levels of ground. 3. Excavators - Excavators are engineering vehicles which consist of backhoes and cabs. They are mainly used in the digging of trenches, foundations and holes. They can also be used to destroy objects which are no longer needed for any reason and in which case need to be compressed and condensed. 4. Fork Lifts - Forklifts are warehouse vehicles which are used to lift, hoist and transport extremely heavy items from one place to another. Forklifts are known to be indispensable pieces of equipment in many industrial workplaces. 5. Compressors - Most of the pieces of equipment listed above are used for construction purposes, however compressors are generally used in more of a factory-type setting. Compressors are used to provide high pressures of air or other forms of gases. These devices can be regulated in order to maintain the desired amount of pressure in the tank. There are many other forms of industrial equipment. Each piece of equipment is designed to perform a specific task which contributes to the overall success in this field of work. Without these forms of equipment many industrial areas would not exist.
As small business owners, we often take on more than we can handle. Wearing all the hats running our businesses, as well as the other commitments we have (i. e. volunteer work, family, etc.), can sometimes leave us feeling overworked, frustrated, and stressed out. Being under so much stress is not good for anyone and it can definitely have an effect on our businesses. So we need to alleviate some of our stress and find solutions for the reasons that we are so overworked. Take a step back from everything and decide which tasks are ‘needs’ and which tasks are ‘wants’. Which tasks are more important than others? We consider everything that we do in our lives, especially when running our businesses, as important. However, which tasks can you postpone long enough without producing a negative effect on ourselves and our success. Which tasks can wait? Learn that you cannot say ‘yes’ to everything. For most people and for most businesses, saying no to anyone can be like pulling teeth. It can be very painful and have a lasting effect. But again, you need to think of yourself, your success, and your well-being. Decide which tasks you have been asked to do that can be better accomplished by someone else or that will have a negative effect on yourself and make a point to politely decline to assist. Prioritize your life. In step #1 above, we learned to decide between ‘important’ and ‘can wait’ tasks. But, even the important tasks can add up. So, you need to break down that list of important tasks even farther and prioritize them. In business, ensure that those tasks that will enhance your business and your reputation with your clients are the first tasks on your list. Focus on the task at hand and not so much the long-term outcome of the task. All to often, as small business owners, our heads are working in overdrive as we imagine the possibilities that can occur because of certain tasks that we do. Now, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t imagine the outcome of accomplishing tasks and any rewards or ramifications that may result from it, but just don’t obsess or over-dream about it and make it your sole purpose in thriving. Remember to pat yourself on the back when you have accomplished a task, especially the important ones. Take a break away from it and refresh yourself before beginning your next task. I’ve always found going and looking out the window at the wonders of nature while I wait for the kettle to boil for my hot chocolate can have a brightening and rejuvenating effect on my day. And last, but not least, ask for help. No matter how much we think we can take on the world we are not all ‘super human’ and to ask for assistance with something is a part of being ‘normal human’. When running your business, generating revenue and increasing your customer base is your most important ‘needs’ so why not get some help with the non-core tasks (i. e. correspondence, maintaining your website, designing your newsletter, etc.) in order to keep up. There are many, many qualified professionals out there that specialize in helping others stay on the right track and grow their businesses. Stress is an all too common word in our society but it doesn’t have to be something that rules our lives. Learn to manage your time and prioritize your life (and all of it’s aspects) and you will find that you not only feel better inside, people will notice the new relaxed you which, in turn, will be another benefit for yourself and your business as they are more comfortable dealing with you.
Investing in foreign currencies is a relatively new avenue of investing. There are considerably fewer people are aware of this market than there are people aware of several other avenues of investing. Trading foreign currency, also known as forex, is the most lucrative investment market that exists. There are several factors that make this true among which, successful forex traders earn realistic profits of one hundred plus percent each month. Compared to some of the better known investment markets such as corporate stocks, this is an unheard of return on investment. It's very necessary to mention here that a person who invests in forex must, without exception, make it a point to learn the detailed, but simple strategies and information surrounding the market. This very fact is what makes the difference between successful forex traders and other traders. A few additional points, which create such powerful leverage for investors within the forex market are: The amount of capital required to begin investing in the market is only three hundred dollars. For the most part, any other investment market is going to demand thousands of dollars of the investor in the beginning. Also, the market offers opportunities to profit regardless what the direction of the market may be; In most commonly known markets investors sit and wait for the market to begin an up trend before entering a trade.
Even then, investors, as a rule must sit and wait some more to be able to exit the trade with a nice profit. Given that the forex market produces several up, down, and sideways trends in a single day, it can easily be seen that forex stands head and shoulders above other markets. Additionally there are trading strategies, which are taught that provide for compounded profits; these are profits on top of profits. In addition, free demo accounts are available within the industry of forex trading, which facilitate the sharpening of skills without the risk losing any capital.
And the advantage regarding the time factor in trading foreign currency is a very attractive point for any investor. Compared to one of the most sought after avenues of investing, which often requires forty or more hours each week, namely in the real-estate market, the forex market requires a much smaller demand on the investor's time. Forex trading requires approximately ten to fifteen hours each week to earn a full time income. It's easy to see that the advantages and great leverage that exist in the forex market, make it among the most lucrative, time liberating, and easy to enter by far. I hope this information gives you a clear understanding of how you can turn your investing into a true method of making your money work harder for you. Sincerely, Joe Clinton.
Everything we do in life requires communication. Personal and business success often hinges on how well we understand others and how well they can understand us. If one of the objectives of communication is achieving a shared understanding, what can you do to become more effective when communicating? Here are few tips that will help you become a more effective communicator: Do you make eye contact when speaking or listening? Yes, this is simple suggestion. Take a moment to think about how you feel when someone connects with you in this way. Do you feel really listened to? Does it seem that the person is focused on you and the message you want to convey? Adding a couple of head nods will also demonstrate to the speaker you are really listening and interested in what s/he is saying. Making these simple adjustments in your behavior will help improve your communication. Do you keep from interrupting and the let person finish what s/he is saying? One way to enhance your listening skills is to spend more time listening. One of the challenges inherent in listening is that we speak at an estimated rate of 125 to 150 words per minute and we think at the rate of an estimated 500 words per minute. That leaves a lot of time for a listener to wander off into his or her own thoughts, jump to conclusions or formulate a response before the speaker has finished saying what they want to say. One way you can stay focused and present in a conversation is by "listening" for the speaker's non-verbal communication. One estimate has it that 75% of all communication is non-verbal. So, with the extra 350 or so words of thinking time you have available when you are listening, focus on the speaker and what they are communicating non-verbally. Do your words and actions match? Since communication occurs both verbally and non-verbally, it is important to make the message consistent. Send one message, not two. For example, have you ever found your posture rigid or tense while saying: "I'm fine, everything is just great." There are two messages being sent. The body is sending one message and the words are sending another. Another example of this is a feeling you can get that someone isn't telling you the whole story. Next time you have this sensation in a business or personal interaction, look at the person's body language and/or facial expression. Are the non-verbal cues in alignment with the words being spoken? When verbal and non-verbal communication is in sync, the message is perceived as genuine. Does your vocal tone and inflexion match the words you are saying? How you say the words of your message is as important as the words you use when expressing yourself. Think of the phrase, "Thank you" and the variety of ways it can be spoken. Depending on how the words are emphasized it will change the meaning. The same phrase can mean authentic gratitude or sarcasm. Think about the phrase, "Come here". A parent speaking to a misbehaving child will have a different vocal tone than someone in a business context using the same phrase. Even the word "yes", can have many meanings depending on how it is emphasized. A soft "yes" has a different meaning than a "YES" that is enthusiastic and forceful. Matching your intonation and inflexion to the message you intend to convey will increase your effectiveness when you communicate. Are you aware of your barriers and filters? Everyone has a point of view and at times it will affect how one communicates. Just think about the last time you were having a conversation with your spouse or significant other and then somehow, in a split second, you found yourself in the middle of an argument. How did things shift so quickly? One of you hit a trigger in the other, that's how things can change so quickly. We all have triggers and in order to communicate responsibly in personal and business relationships it is imperative to know what they are. Everyone has an opinion and is a result of his/her background; the challenge when communicating is to become aware of how these two factors can shut down the communication process. In the communication process the speaker AND the listener are equally responsible for the success of the interaction. And, because communication is a process, the roles are constantly shifting during a conversation. The speaker becomes the listener who becomes the speaker and so on. These tips are just a few of the ways you can become more effective in your role as a speaker or listener. Remember, one of the primary needs that communication fulfills is the need to connect with other people. Incorporating any of these suggestions will give you greater access to connection, as well as personal and business success. I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.
What you are about to read may make you reassess your attitude to zero interest balance transfer offers. I will show how these balance transfer offers are pushing more and more people into serious financial difficulties and I will suggest a few ideas on how you can manage your debt better. Credit card debt is rising at an alarming rate and many people are now getting into serious financial difficulties. One of the reasons is the promotion of no interest balance transfer offers and interest free initial periods. Like most people, I've been tempted by the these offers to change my credit cards. I've taken them up on their offer and moved my credit card debt and, for a limited time, had no interest to pay. But "just in case of an emergency" I usually hang onto my old card. Then something happens, an unexpected bill, or a wedding or birthday gift I've forgotten about. "Never mind" I tell myself "I can put it on the old card - there's plenty of credit on there so it's no problem." A few months and a few unexpected bills later the interest free period runs out I have to pay interest on both my new card and the old card. Now I'm worse off than when I started but that's no problem as I can look for another card offering another interest free period and zero interest balance transfers. It's so easy and the banks and credit card companies are so eager to lend the money that it becomes routine, until that is, something goes wrong. You could fall ill and be off work, or, you could lose some overtime and your wages fall, or maybe that big deal you were relying on falls through. It may just be that the credit card companies decide you have too much outstanding on credit cards and you would have difficulty paying the repayments, or simply they spot that you are a regular churner of the debt and they don't want your business. Whatever the reason the result is that you have all the interest to pay and you start to struggle with the minimum payments and miss one or two. Because you've missed payments it becomes even more difficult to find the next interest free balance transfer offer. Now you have a real problem but it is one that can be avoided. I could suggest that you don't use credit cards but I suspect that would not be acceptable, and I am not going to suggest you ignore the 0% offers - that would mean you paying interest when it is not needed. The simplest way to benefit from these balance transfer offers, but keep your card debt under control, is to cut up your old card when you switch to a new one. That way you benefit from the 0% offer but minimize your exposure to higher debt. Once you have cut your card up though, it is essential that you contact the card issuer and close the account. Until you close the account the card issuer will continue to tempt you with special offers to use your old card. Another tip is to never pay just the minimum payment. Always pay the maximum monthly payment you can afford. Reducing your payments simply pushes back the time when you have to repay and in the long term increases your payments. Use the interest free period to reduce your debt to the minimum and if possible clear the balance. Credit card companies don't offer an interest free balance transfer because they are feeling generous. They do it because, in the vast majority of cases, they will be able to charge you more in the longer term. Use interest free credit to benefit you not the credit card companies.
In my last article, “The Reality of Buying Wholesale,” we looked at some of the controls that the largest companies in the consumer goods market place on their distribution channels. As we learned, some of these companies make it impossible for the small, start-up online retailer to obtain their merchandise. However, this is no reason to give up on your dream of being a retailer. Less capital to invest just requires a little more creativity. Many established retailers have built their businesses by starting out small and then adding more products as they grew. In this article, we’ll look at some creative options available for those who don’t meet the requirements to be an authorized retailer with some of the most popular brand names. Where do businesses find merchandise? I’m sure some of you are thinking right now about the many eBay sellers or independent online retailers who sell popular brand names. If they are products that are only sold direct to authorized retailers, or through wholesalers bound by strict manufacturer’s requirements, then these sellers are obtaining their products in one of three ways: 1. They are an authorized retailer who met the manufacturer’s requirements 2. They are selling used merchandise 3. They purchased their merchandise through liquidation or closeout Sell Used Goods If you’re looking to make money selling on eBay, selling used merchandise is a very viable idea. Many sellers, including several of my personal friends, have built successful eBay businesses selling used clothing, electronics, musical instruments, and toys, just to name a few. They locate their merchandise through estate sales, garage sales, classified ads, thrift stores, consignment shops, and sometimes even through eBay itself. Then they clean up the merchandise if need be, and list it for sale in an attractive and exciting way. I know several people who substantially subsidize their existing incomes by doing this, and I even know a couple who do nothing but sell on eBay. Closeouts and Liquidations Closeouts and liquidations are also a very viable source of merchandise for both eBay and an online retail store. With a good closeout or liquidation source, you purchase reasonable lots of overstocked or discontinued merchandise. You’ll be purchasing last year’s models, but there is a large market out there for this merchandise. Most people don’t have to have the latest style or model, especially when there is a large savings involved by purchasing last year’s products. Many sources of liquidations and closeouts are available by searching online and calling around to do your research. Consider Lesser Known Brands Another option is to look at other brands that may not be among the most popular. Not every consumer has to have the most popular, most expensive brand. In fact, most people don’t buy the top brands all of the time, making this market very large. This is an excellent option for someone who wants to establish a retail store selling brand new, recent model merchandise. Once you establish yourself as a respected retailer in this market, your reputation will make applying to resell other products that much easier. Keep an Open Mind When you’re deciding on a business venture, it’s very important that you don’t go in with blinders on. Be willing to consider multiple types of products before deciding on the items that you want to sell. For instance, clothing, consumer electronics, and DVDs are very popular items, and not just among consumers but also among sellers. If you choose a very popular market, the requirements for resale may not only be more difficult, but it may also be more difficult to compete with the mass of sellers in the market. Creativity is King Creativity is king in the business world. To be successful, you must locate a niche where you can provide a benefit that makes your business stand out. When I talk of creativity, I don’t necessarily mean originality, either. There is a difference. It’s difficult to be original in the business world, as so much has been done already. Originality doesn’t always win either. If you’re too above and beyond the norm, people may not relate to your approach, and thus turn away. Creativity could be as simple as borrowing an idea from another market and applying it to a market where it hasn’t been used. People had long delivered flowers, and people had long delivered groceries, but no one had ever delivered pizzas until Domino’s started doing it. Now everyone down to the smallest corner pizza joint delivers pizza because it works. That’s an example on a grand scale of where a simple idea grew into a giant success. Not all of us will be as fortunate as Domino’s, but millions of business owners have succeeded using the same principles. They located a niche where they could provide a benefit that made them stand out, if even ever so slightly from their competitors. This advantage gave them market share, and now they live comfortably from the proceeds of their creativity. Put Forth the Time and You Will Reap the Benefits Creating a business requires a great deal of time and research. You’ll need to research products and find some that are attainable at a price that will make you a profit. Then, you’ll need to research the market and determine an approach that will set you apart. At the same time, remember to keep an open mind and consider several markets, ideas, and approaches before you decide on the best fit. You have a lot of work ahead of you, but no one ever said that good things come easy. And I can tell you that when you do your research and do it right, the benefits are more than worth the effort. In my next article, I’ll be discussing the reasons the Internet has made business ownership much more attainable within the last five years. Until then, put on your thinking hats and find yourself an idea worth that’s worth the effort. And, as always, good luck in all of your business ventures!