Laundromat Business Plan – Sample Layout

These days most experts will advise you to create a business plan before you decide to take the risks that are associated with starting a business. A laundromat is typically a little more complicated than other small business models so the need for research, planning and a clear direction are even more essential for entrepreneurs entering the coin operated laundry industry.

A laundromat business plan will help you to prove to yourself that your ideas are viable. With a plan in place you will be able to set clear goals and map out a path towards achieving them in an organized manner. A sound business plan may become essential if you have to show it to financiers or investors prior to getting the startup funds that you need. Lastly it will help you to be more realistic and to ask yourself some tough questions about your ideas.

In this article we have set out a sample laundromat business plan layout. We have set out some examples of titles and content that you might consider using. Feel free to use it as a template as you proceed to put your own plan together.

Cover Letter

Your plan should be set out neatly in a folder with a cover that outlines what the report is about and who contributed to it. It is likely that many different parties will read your plan so you may consider attaching a cover letter to each one that addresses the reader specifically, highlighting the concerns that they will have.

Contents Page

If the plan is any longer than a couple of pages you should include a table of contents. This includes a list of all headings and sub-headings together with a page reference so that the information can be located quickly by the reader.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a simple introduction to the report. Give the reader a brief introduction to your business plan and summarize each of the sections in the plan.

Mission Statement

While not essential, some businesses like to set out a mission statement which outlines their purpose or business philosophy. It usually covers non-financial motives. For a laundromat you might say that you strive to provide the best service to your customers or that you want to provide a clean, safe and efficient way for them to do their laundry. Your mission should be to do your best for the customer and to be better than your competitors.

Background

Provide readers with some background information on yourself and any other individuals who are involved with the proposed laundromat. Readers may want to know what your qualifications are and if you have had any experience in business or in the coin laundry industry.

Provide a background on the local coin laundry industry so that readers get a better understanding of the opportunities that are available.

If your planning has been in progress for a while then you might want to update the reader on what stage you are at. If you are considering purchasing an existing laundromat then you will want to outline the history of the business in this section too.

Business Description

Offer readers a basic description of the proposed coin laundry business. When will your new unit open for business? Where will it be located? Will you have an attendant on-site at the laundromat all day or only part-time?

Goals and Targets

Set out a list of realistic targets that you want to achieve with the business in the first year or two. Such targets could be financial and relate to gross or net profits on a monthly basis. They could also be related to other metrics such as membership numbers or customer satisfaction rates. Thinking longer term you may also set goals to expand into new locations.

Startup Requirements

Before you can launch your new laundromat business you must know exactly what you are going to need and how much it will cost. Costs will include everything from equipment purchases, renovations and marketing along with professional fees and compliance costs.

Once you have listed everything out you can then work out the total startup cost. From here you can mention some of the options that you have for funding the laundromat. Mention how much you will be able to contribute yourself and how much external funding you will require.

Products and Services

Go through the services that you plan on offering to customers. As well as a basic machine laundry service with washers and dryers you may also offer more upmarket services like ironing or dry cleaning. Make a note of the products that will be vended onsite. Obviously you will sell washing related products like soap powder and fabric softener but you may also offer non-related products like coffee and soda.

Market Analysis

As a prerequisite to writing a plan you should have done at least a little market research around the area where you propose to open your coin laundry. You can present your findings in this section of the plan.

In your research you should attempt to discover if there is sufficient demand for a laundromat in the area in question and if so, exactly what kind of services the people within this target market want.

You also need to consider the competition that you have in the local area. Produce a map that shows your customer catchment area bearing in mind that customers will usually go to the laundromat that is more convenient for them to get to. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Is it going to be possible to pull customers from the catchment area of ​​competing laundromats? Can you make your service that much more attractive than theirs?

Marketing Plan

Set out a plan to bring new customers into your laundromat and to convert them into regulars. The marketing component of your plan should cover everything from the development of your brand, pricing, advertising, other marketing methods and customer service.

Remember that in the laundromat business you will be relying on building long term relationships with regular customers. You not only need to focus on bringing in new customers but you also have to focus on satisfying and 'over delivering' to your existing customer base. If you retain your customers and please them then you will also benefit by referrals and 'word of mouth'.

Business Operations

Set out a plan for the daily operation of your laundromat. Make a note of the equipment that you will have in place and how the demands for water and energy will be met. Mention how you plan on maintaining the machines.

Discuss your daily staff requirements. What role will you, as the owner take in the daily running of the laundromat? How many employees will you need and what will their responsibilities be?

What other systems will you have in place to ensure that the laundromat runs smoothly on a daily basis and that you can control and manage the business efficiently. Will you have a computer system to keep track of stock and cash flows? What about a security system?

Financial Analysis

Lastly, but most importantly, a sound business plan will include detailed financial forecasts over a period of two to three years. This data is best displayed in spreadsheets so that you can set up a column for each month. Some businesses include more than one spreadsheet to allow for different situations. You may consider including one as a best case scenario and others that show revenue growing at a slower rate than is expected.

Try to identify a break even point where the business would basically be running without making a profit, but without losing money at the same time. Then you will have an idea of ​​the customer volume that you will have to aim for. To calculate break even point you need to assume an average customer spend per visit and then calculate the number of customer visits needed on a monthly basis.

If you are borrowing money to start the business you should also include a repayment schedule to show how fast the loan will be paid back.

Appendix

Many assumptions are made in business plans so it is important to be able to give reasons as to why you made such assumptions. Rather than guessing you should try to include data that backs up your theories. Include an appendix at the end of your plan that includes all supporting materials that do not fit conveniently into the pages of the report. These could include maps, pictures, spreadsheets, tables and lists of references and sources to name just a few examples.

The Right Denim And Diamonds Attire Makes The Party Authentic

Denim and Diamonds party themes have become a popular party theme for at home parties as well as charitable fundraisers. If you've received an invitation to attend one of these fun events, but are not quite sure what to wear to a denim and diamonds affair, you are not alone. One of the most asked questions is what are some examples of appropriate denim and diamonds attire? The answer is that there is no right or wrong selection for denim and diamonds attire, but this article will give you some creative ideas and guidance on what to wear.

A denim and diamonds party is an elegant, yet casual affair for guests. Whether it's a home based birthday or holiday party or an extensive fundraising event for your favorite charity, attire options can span a wide range of acceptable options. At these popular events, dining options and entertainment are upscale while guest dress code is more country casual with an elegant flair.

Below are some examples of fun and easy ideas for outfits. Remember there is no right or wrong thing to wear. Keeping your denim and diamonds attire casual with a touch of bling and you'll be in tip-top fashion. Note: The diamond accents apply mostly to the ladies wear; gentlemen will need to accessorize to add some sparkle.

For the Ladies, think denim and sparkle with these suggested items:

  • A denim jacket accented with crystals or rhinestones
  • Blue jeans with rhinestone accents on pockets or around the bottom
  • Crystal accented belts or scarves
  • Pair a blue or silver sequined shell beneath a denim jacket
  • A denim look tee or shell with rhinestone accents dressed beneath a casual blazer
  • Denim skirts with crystal or diamond accents.
  • Cowboy boots, plain or fancy
  • Accent items such as: western jewelry, scarves or vests with sparkle.

For the Gents, here are some popular and easy denim and diamonds attire suggestions:

  • Western styled dress shirt with pearl like snaps or other decorative accents.
  • Blue jeans
  • Western boots
  • Cowboy hat with decorative accents
  • Denim jacket – plain
  • A decorative bolo tie or dazzling cuff links.

Denim and Diamonds attire can be found locally or on-line, and does not need to cost a fortune. That's the whole point of a denim and diamonds party – everyone can participate. A few, carefully selected pieces go a long way. Whether it's a pretty sequined top or a simple belt full of sparkle, each invitee can design their own look.

If you think your guests will need some help jazzing up their outfit to look the part, think of simple party favors you can give to guests upon arrival to get them in on the act. Simple bandanas or plain white tees, accented with a Bedazzler type tool to add some sparkle is a great idea. Self sticking or iron-on appliqués commonly found in craft superstores can be a super easy and inexpensive addition to a scarf or bandana that can be handed to your guests as a favor upon arrival. Other party favors that can be used as attire accents, include glittery cowboy hats, belts, or inexpensive broaches or pins.

Creating Your Squeeze Page

MODULE 1

CHAPTER 8

CREATING YOUR SQUEEZE PAGE

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. OBJECTIVES
  1. MAIN CONTENT

3.1 The Game and the Uses

3.2 Types of Squeeze Page

3.3 It is a Useful Trap

3.4 Types of Offer

3.5 Call to Action

3.6 The Practicals

3.7 The Process

  1. CONCLUSION
  2. SUMMARY
  3. ASSIGNMENT

1.0 INTRODUCTION

A squeeze page is a web page with a form, where you collect email addresses (and possibly names) of your prospects for further interactions with them in your attempt to lure and convince them to do business with you in the near or distant future.

There are two possible aspects to a squeeze page:

– The theory of what it should be and

– The practice of actually setting it up online.

In a good show of brevity I will touch both aspects in this discussion.

2.0 OBJECTIVES

– To highlight the importance of a squeeze page to any web-based business

– To encourage learners to practice the process of setting up his / her squeeze page

– To provide resources that can ease the learning process and shorten the learning curve.

3.0 MAIN CONTENT

3.1 The Game and the Uses

If you have been online for any length of time, you can remember visiting a website and after a while a software appear from seemingly nowhere asking you for your Name and Email so that they can send a gift to your email box.

That page was a squeeze page on display!

It is called a squeeze page for two reasons:

  1. It is use to get (squeeze) the customers' details (names and emails) through the sales funnel to the landing page.
  2. It is also use to get (squeeze) the prospects' email addresses out of them for future marketing activities

More often than not the experience can be quite annoying, but the prospects are pacified with a carefully preselected and matching gifts that will perfectly tranquilize all his / her annoyances while at the same time satisfying his curiosity for free information (or sometimes free products / services are used as bait gifts) about certain niche of his interest.

3.2 Types of Squeeze Page

There are three most popular types of squeeze page namely:

  1. Static squeeze page – the most common, static and beginners' friendly, in terms of cost, seen on most websites
  2. Pop up squeeze page – a bit pricey, and the
  3. Splash squeeze page – a highly professional software

There are all plug-ins that are used to collect people's emails for marketing purposes and the format of choice all depends on you and the money at your disposal as well as the speed you want to build up your list.

If you are using WordPress CMS to run your website, there are many of these plugins that are free to use. Even if you are not using WordPress, most of them can still be adaptable to other content management software like Wix, Joomla and Google Blogger.

Squeeze page is such an important tool in the management of your website and no serious, professional, and experienced site owner will ever make the mistake of ignoring its use.

Next time you visit a website, look around to see if it has this curious marketing tool.

If not, leave the website as soon as possible.

Reason: the site is owned by an Amateur – may not have much to offer than buy, buy, buy …

Some website even go to the extent of adding a timer and a counter to encourage their prospects to sign up as quickly as possible; and in view of the overwhelming statistics on such webpages, this easily robs the visitors of any resistance.

3.3 It is a Useful Trap

Before setting up the squeeze page, you might have prepared the offer and store it up somewhere so that your client can be REDIRECTED to them as soon as they finish the signup process.

It is this offers that you advertise on your squeeze (sign-up) page that will act as a subtle bait to induce your prospects to be willing to give out his email / name and in so doing, you successfully trap their addresses for further business deals and subsequent follow up.

Generally, the content of the squeeze page must not be too many to avoid distractions, simple and minimally bulleted points is recommended.

Remember to always add a sense of urgency and possibly scarcity and your (so to say) trap will become very magnetic and effective.

3.4 Types of Offer

You can use any of the items listed below as an offer to encourage your prospects to sign up. It all depends on you and the type of online business that you are promoting.

But it is noteworthy that your offer must match your business model otherwise your unsubscribe rate will hit the roof. It is also a good idea to setup your offer so that they can ONLY get it through their emails and not as a video or downloads which they can easily access elsewhere. This way, you will look more professional, successful and less scammy.

The common type of offers are:

  1. Newsletter
  2. Sample product
  3. Email course
  4. eBook
  5. Video Course, etc.

The last three have the highest signup rates though it all depends on your target niche markets. From my experience on some of my websites, I also advocate adding any of the social squeeze page and at least a video to increase your signups. This opinion may be disputed by some web masters, but as cited above, I support the idea for obvious reasons.

3.5 Call to Action

Again I say, always include a very specific but social call to action on your squeeze page

Examples:

  1. Send Me My Free Tips is better than Submit your Name and Email
  2. Sign Me Up is better than Sign Up Here
  3. Get Instant Access is better than Join Here
  4. Give Me Access is better than Subscribe Here

3.6 The Practicals

I am now going to talk about the practical aspect of setting up your squeeze page and targeting.

It is important to mention here that Targeting is more critical than any other thing else.

Suffice it to say that before you even begin the process of setting up your squeeze page you should ask and answer the following question for yourself:

  1. Which market am I targeting?
  2. Who are my anticipated audience?

When I am targeting Entrepreneurs, Professionals and Bloggers who want to take their business online, I know my audience are mostly newbies – young school leavers, WASCE, Diplomas, HNDs, Graduates, Retirees, 5 years before Retirement, Underemployed Employees, BYO Boss aspirants , and Unemployed.

The best offers for them are eBooks and ecourses, etc.

I target different group of audience when I am selling a Software.

3.7 The Process

As for the setup, it is the simplest thing to do especially when you decide on the particular list builder (autoresponder) that you intend to use. There are plethora of information on their sites to help you do this like in a bliss.

You must also first decide as a learner whether you intend to start with a paid version or a free version to learn the robes.

The most popular ones are Aweber, MailChimp, etc. as mentioned in the previous courses. Their courses on set up are easy to follow.

4.0 CONCLUSION

With modern software squeeze page can be set up by anybody who is not a Techie. Only acquire the resources, stoop down and learn the step by step process.

5.0 SUMMARY

In this lesson we covered the importance of a squeeze page to any online business venture. We also emphasized the fact that anyone who wants to set up his / her online business in such a way that will guarantee profitability in the shortest possible time, should place one signup form at least on the home page of his website.

6.0 ASSIGNMENT

THE PRACTICE: Sign up with any autoresponder of your choice and get a code.

Use that code on your website to create a squeeze page.

What is the difference between A SQUEEZE PAGE and an AUTORESPONDER?

Ways to Make Money in the Great Outdoors

Are you a nature lover? Do you love being outdoors, even in the nastiest of weather? Do you feel like you would rather die than work in a cubicle? If so, you may be perfectly set up to find ways to make money living the dream and working outdoors. There are many things you can do to get yourself out in the great wide open and soak up the sun instead of the fluorescent lighting in a stuffy office building.

Sometimes establishing yourself in an outdoor career is tough, but still possible through government organizations like the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. Getting educated in these fields will definitely help your chances, and often these jobs take many years of seasonal work before you develop ways to make money in a full-time career. But, the reward could be great if you have always wanted to be that park ranger or tour guide in a national park.

Other volunteer organizations are often a good way to get your foot in the door as you establish ways to make money out in the open air. Greenpeace, the Peace Corps, or even private groups like the Sierra Club could be your ticket to success. You may get an opportunity to travel to different parts of the globe as well which could be exciting as well. Many of these groups have full paying jobs that can be had by the most dedicated people. If you are also of the right political ilk as the leaders of these groups you will have a greater chance to establish in a career with them.

You can also venture into your own private business endeavor to find ways to make money working outdoors. Maybe you have a love of fishing and already have a boat big enough to charter out and do fishing tours, or have the right plot of land and location for setting up a dude ranch. No matter what the idea, you can definitely do whatever you want to keep yourself outside and make money doing it.

Regardless of which route you take toward finding ways to make money outdoors, always keep in mind no matter how hard it gets you are still not sitting in a stuffy little cubicle. While the money may get thin, or business becomes hard to grow, you can always find that satisfaction in the simple fact that you are where you want to be.

"The Day That Turns Your Life Around" by Jim Rohn – A Program Review

The Day That Turns Your Life Around. "Remarkable Success Ideas that Can Change Your Life in an Instant."

In this six CD, 12 lesson program, motivational master Jim Rohn shares the story of his life changing day with you, and shows you how to consciously create the conditions that make dramatic lasting personal transformation not only possible, but inevitable. Jim's life changing day involved an incident with a Girl Scout. That incident led him on a journey to heights of fame and fortune that few of us will ever achieve. Have you had that life changing day yet, or are you still waiting?

Some people waste years, and even their entire lives waiting for that magic moment that will change their lives for the better. But those people whose lives really do change in dramatic ways, can almost always trace the change back to something much simpler than magic. One moment, one realization, one action, one step that put them on a completely different path – and ultimately led them to their dreams.

The good news is that once you understand the four emotional states that can change your life, you can generate them within yourself at will, rather than waiting for external circumstances to activate them.

Let's look at the 6 CD's of this great program. Each CD is divided into two sessions, making 12 sessions in all. Here are some tidbits from the sessions:

Session One – "Today is a New Day" – Jim shares with you the day that turned his life around, and talks about life's adventures – the little devil on one shoulder and the little angel on the other – both giving advice. What voice do you listen to? He ends the session with a story about "making something out of nothing."

Session Two – "The Major Ingredients of Life Change" – Jim talks about emotions that can change your life, and shares some philosophies to live by including; "Profits are better than wages – Wages make you a living, profits can make you a fortune", and one of my favorites "Do not wish it were easier, wish you were better."

Session Three and Session Four – "How to Make a Life, Not Just a Living" – Jim's short list on the good life, and words of wisdom including "Beware of what and who you become, in pursuit of what you want."

Session Five – "The Pro vs. The Amateur; Keys to Thriving in Tough Times" – Jim shares his greatest setbacks and what he did to bounce back – and, by showing the difference between the professional and the amateur response to problems – shows how you can do it too.

Session Six – "Financial Strategies for a New Age" – Jim's philosophical foundation for financial independence, and his suggestions for achieving wealth along with giving and sharing. Stuff they do not teach in school, and good advice parents should pass along to their kids.

Session Seven – "How to Protect Your Time" – Time management essentials to help you reach your goals. How to avoid "Being online but off-track".

Session Eight – "Where the True Wealth Lies" – Identifying your core values, nurturing your "inner circle" and the challenge of balancing work and family life and becoming a World-class "parent and grandparent.

Session Nine – "The Goal Setting Workshop" – Great session. Jim actually takes you through a personal goal setting workshop from one of his weekend seminars.

Session Ten – "Success Can Be Simple" – Jim's simple approach to life learned from "Things my mama taught me" and how he uses hard and fast decisions to simplify his life.

Session Eleven – "The Magic of a Mentor" – Although I've never had the pleasure of meeting Jim personally, through his books and programs he has been one of my mentors for many years, and I can attest to the "Magic of a Mentor "he discusses in this session. He goes on to show how you too can be a mentor, and make a difference in the lives of others.

Session Twelve – "Leadership Skills for the 21st Century" – The skills of leadership wisdom presented with witty sayings like "Do not expect a pear tree to bear apples" and ending with the story of the frog and the scorpion ( "that's what scorpions do ").

In summary, if you are you are dissatisfied or unhappy with your life, and would like to change it, "The Day That Turns Your Life Around" will give you the tools to make any change you want to. And, as Jim says, you will be astonished by how quickly and easily it happens. I highly recommend this program. It can turn your life around!

Biblical Business Names: Company and Product Names Inspired by the Bible

Not long ago novelist Marilynne Robinson published an article in the New York Times about Biblical references in literature, which got me thinking about Bible-inspired company names and product names.

Surprisingly, there are not that many.

Robinson pointed out in her article, "Biblical allusions can suggest a degree of seriousness or significance." They have gravity and resonance and indicate a complexity of experience, she noted.

I believe these points can apply also when Biblical allusions appear in business names. Because of widespread education in religious faith, Bible-inspired names often draw on a well of familiarity. They have more potential for long-term relevance and recognition than references from movies, songs and other elements of popular culture.

If you are running a secular business, you might want to avoid a religious flavor. However, as you'll see in most of the examples below, Biblical references do not necessarily come across as either sectarian or devout.

Biblically derived names fall into these categories:

1. Characters from the Bible. For example:

* Samsonite – After Samson, the Old Testament's legendary strong man.

* Lot's Wife Gourmet Sea Salt – A reference to the woman married to Abraham's nephew, who was warned not to look back as they fled the fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrah. She did, though, and was turned into a pillar of salt.

* Bezalel Coins – In the Book of Exodus, Bezalel was a master artisan chosen to craft the Ark of the Covenant and other sacred objects.

2. Words, phrases or concepts from the Bible, especially from the Book of Proverbs, but also from other parts of the Bible.

* Iron Men – A two-man construction company in Michigan named for Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

* Apples of Gold – An online jewelry company that explicitly notes a reference to Proverbs 25:11, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold, in settings of silver."

* Forbidden Fruit – A store in Austin, Texas that sells (ahem) adult toys, named after the scene in the Garden of Eden where naughty Eve persuades Adam to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, which God forbade them to consume.

3. Chapter or verse numbers. This kind of Biblical reference surprised me, as most people can not cite chapter and verse by memory for familiar Bible passages. However, when explained, these allusions have resonance.

* Fitness 9:27 – A personal training company whose name points to I Corinthians 9:27: "I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

* Thirty-One – A direct sales company offering purses, tote bags and organizational products, whose mission of celebrating, encouraging and rewarding women parallels the evocation of the Woman of Valor in Proverbs 31.

In North America, Biblical references – especially those from the Old Testament – tend to have an ecumenical flavor and do not necessarily identify you with a particular religion. However, internationally that may be less true.

While discussing company names with a man intending to set up headquarters in Dubai with a company name in English, I asked him about using the name Solomon to evoke wisdom. "No, that would be perceived as Jewish. Islam has the same figure but refers to him as Suleiman." And naturally, in India or Indonesia, King Solomon may not evoke any associations at all.

Christian Team Building Activities, Games, and Ideas for Fun

Christianity promotes unity and hence team building is an essential activity of the church. To foster unity and enhance the values ​​taught by the religion in the congregation, some Christian team building activities for adults can be organized by the church. Such activities will also help develop leadership skills, reinforce social commitments and co-operation amongst the church goers.

To develop the activities for building a team of church goers, the Bible is undoubtedly the best source. It contains numerous sermons on the importance unity and teamwork hold, in building a strong human race. So before embarking on devising activities for adult church goers, consult the Holy Scriptures thoroughly.

1. Hunt a Bible Verse: Based on the game of Treasure Hunt, this game is a great team builder that will renew interest in the Bible amongst your congregation. Get the people into groups of three to five members. Give a Bible and a list of clues for a verse in it, to each group. Some of the clues could be easy pointers to the verse. Each group should hand in their list of verses within the stipulated time.

2. Do as Jesus would do: Divide the people into groups as in the previous game. Here you will need a few facilitators. They will depict a scene or situation to each group separately. One member from the group will react to the scenario thus presented in the manner he thinks Jesus would have reacted to it. Each and every member of those taking part should be allowed to enact a scene. The chief facilitator will judge the performances.

3. Serving the Needy: Charity or helping those in need is the most Christian of all human activities. An outdoor camp could be organized at a place where people are suffering. You could serve people suffering from accidents and natural calamities, or the sick in a hospital or take care of destitute and homeless children. Here too divide the people into smaller groups and assign them different tasks.

These and other activities that instill the essence of Christianity could be regular activities in a church to build a team of people with genuine human feelings.

Three Reasons Why Money Was The Worst Invention Of All Time

Who invented money? Ask any number of people and they could not tell you who it was that actually invented money or where the idea came from. History has given us some bad ideas, but money has to be the worst and here are my top three reasons why.

  1. Something Invented By Man Should Not Have Power Over Him. If I think really hard and try to imagine a time without money, before it was invented and used on a daily basis, I tend to imagine that the world was a completely different place. People most likely had a barter type society where goods and services were exchanged and that is how one survived. If I had a particular skill, say hunting, and you were hungry you could come to me for food. The idea would be that if you could make fire, and I could provide the food, then we could exchange our skills or abilities and everyone got what was good for them. I assume, for the sake of argument, that if someone possessed absolutely no skills whatsoever, that person was still allowed to eat. I can not imagine that I would loan the helpless soul some meat, only if it could be paid back somehow. Before helpless soul could blink, he might owe me for five dinners and then I have to send out the collection agents to call in his debts. Money provides control, in both a positive and negative control. Although it is man made, and essentially just a piece of paper or a mixture of cheap metals, money has power, and is power. I can just imagine Mr. Helpless Soul explaining to his wife that he can not repay the hunter and does not know what to do. So Mr. Hunter decides to enslave the Helpless Soul family until the debt is repaid. It is unfathomable to me that so many people in my country, and the world go hungry every day. Those who possess the money have the power to deny the needs of those that do not have means. Where have the humanitarians gone? I've seen a business owner kick out a person who was homeless and starving, and then half an hour later deal with a complaining customer as he shouted that his food was not hot enough. Money only has the power that we give it. If we choose to see it as just a means to an end, or just some silly paper we have been told to obey our whole lives, then one can focus on what really matters. I am not advocating not paying debts, or shucking responsibilities. This is the world we live in, and norms must be followed … until the laws change again to suit what the politicians want on any particular whim of a day.
  2. Money Shifts Focus From Helping One Another To Arbitrary "Worth" Of Mere Things. Why should I do anything to help anyone else, unless they can pay for it? If my entire focus in life is to obtain material things, then I should only be motivated by money, or obtaining it, to do anything. What is anything really worth? Marketing companies have defined worth for me since I was a child, and it was beaten into me during commercial breaks of GI Joe. What is the value of all of the things you want in comparison to something that really matters? Imagine what the worth is of spending one more hour with a loved one before they pass away and are gone forever. The worth of teaching your children that there is more to life than money and obtaining things. The worth of feeding a homeless man, and helping him have at least one night's sleep where his stomach does not keep him awake. The value of reaching out a hand and helping someone else in this world is worth more than the largest diamond, the heaviest gold, and the purest oil. Now, I am the biggest hypocrite on this topic, because I love things! It has been programmed in me for so long, it is hard to shake the desire to obtain things. Imagine a life in which people helped each other because it is the right thing to do, and not just for what they could get in return. The argument is, well, that things can not just be free. You have to pay something to get something. How would the world work if everyone was just giving away everything for free and everyone just had everything they needed and did not have to be slave to credit card companies anymore or to a job that they dislike? How would we survive? My answer to those questions is, famously! I would be free to learn a trade that benefits others and could use that ability to provide for my family and to help others. I have wanted to help by donating or giving my entire life, but never had the means. I've donated a little time here and there, and not near as much as I should or would have liked to, but at least it was something. But because I like things, and those things have cost me money, I have to continue in my job, and repeat the same cycle my father did.
  3. Money Makes You Question If People Really Care About You, Or Just Your Money. I try to envision the end of my life surrounded by those that have made my journey with me, who love and care for me because of the enrichment I gave to them through my friendship and dedication. In my latter years, enjoying my days with my wife, and talking to my grown children and my grand children. I want to soak up every single minute of my life between here and there. I want to feel and love and enjoy all that there is to offer. I have seen families destroyed, fighting over the money left behind after a loved one passes. Some of those grudges are held for the rest of their lives. They lose a relationship and also a loved one, and the only thing they can think about, is how much money they will be getting. More than likely, Mr. Entitlement as we will call him, will not even miss the loved one that was lost. How many brilliant individuals never get the chance to succeed because of lack of means, and how many elite are given free passes because their pile of paper is bigger than yours. Do the people closest to you care about you or your money? Does the girlfriend only love you because of what you can buy her? Do your children only listen to you in order to get something they want? Take the money away, and would they abandon you? Such a great idea, this money.

My answer to all of this is that I do not have an answer. My two year old daughter asked me about money and loves putting money in her piggy bank. It made me start to consider all the reasons I worry about money, and fight about money, and read books about money. Nothing like the honesty of a child, to make you sit and think.

Wal-Mart – What Makes Them America's Number One Company?

America, land of "free-enterprise" has millions of companies in its market. The metropolitan statistical area of ​​Houston, Texas in fact has over 600,000 businesses, most employing from 2 to 10 employees. As companies grow in the number of people they employ, fewer and fewer companies surround them. Most companies never grow beyond the smallest group size for many reasons. Some companies grow to become the target of the competition or the "model" on which the smarter more savvy managers base their practices to achieve "best of class" status in their industry or market. Wal * Mart has certainly earned its position at the pinnacle of American business and global retail dominance.

Founded by a retailer named Sam Walton with his brother in 1962, Wal * Mart has become that company to watch and emulate in the twenty first century. Walton, a "Ben Franklin" franchisee between 1945 and 1962 collaborated with his brother Bud Walton to found the first Wal * Mart in 1962 in rural Arkansas. Their strategy was simple. They opened discount-merchandising stores in rural America where big business and big retailers typically ignored "fly over" territory. The strategy of mass buying power and passing on the savings to customers took flight as the company grew steadily into the seventies and eighties.

As Walton situated stores in small towns with populations between 5,000 and 25,000 he implemented his plan "To put good-sized stores into little one-horse towns which everybody else was ignoring." He thought that if they offered, "Prices as good or better than stores in cities that were four hours away by car … people would shop at home." David Glass, CEO, explained, "We are always pushing from the inside out. We never jump and then back fill."

Walton successfully instilled a small town friendly caring atmosphere in America's number one company by indoctrinating "associates" in the idea that Wal * Mart "Has its own way of doing things." He habitually shopped the competitors like K-Mart and Target. He would count the number of vehicles in their parking lots and "measure their shelf space."

Sam Walton believed the number one key to the company's success lay in the way the company treated their "associates." He felt that if he wanted his associates to care for the customers then the associates must know that the company was taking care of them. Do to his foresight in people management the company many associates became wealthy as the stock price continued to climb the value turned everyday individuals in to wealthy people. Walton discouraged such shows of wealth claiming that such behavior did not promote the company's reason for existence, to take care of the customer.

Walton described his management style as "Management by walking around." Walton said about managing people that, "You've got to give folks responsibility, you've got to trust them, and you've got to check up on them." This philosophy required sharing information and the numbers. The target was to empower associates, maintain technological superiority, and build loyalty within associates, customers and suppliers.

Free flow of information to associates gave associates a true and actual sense of ownership of the organization and allowed them to exercise authority to continually improve their processes especially their main institutional profit driver, supply chain management and process improvement. One of their key tools to managing an element of their chain, inventory, is called "traiting."

Traiting in the Wal * Mart sense is described by Bradley and Ghemawat in their article as "A process which indexed product movements in the store to over a thousand store and market traits. The local store manager, using inventory and sales data, chose which products to display based on customer preferences, and allocated shelf space for a product category according to the demand at his or her store. Pairing inventory to exact store market demand eliminated or at least mitigated the need for advertised sales or "fire sales" allowing the company to brand it as the customers' preferred venue for "everyday-low-prices." Walton and later Glass insisted on lower than market average expenditures for advertising complimented with a "satisfaction guaranteed" policy to instill customer-buying loyalty.

Cost containment caused customer loyalty. In store operations, Wal * Mart, in 1993 incurred rental space of an average of 30 basis points lower than competitors. Its new store erection costs were substantially lower than competitors K-Mart and Target. Wal * Mart dedicated 15% less inventory space than the industry average thus allowing for more dedicated square footage for sales inventory. Square footage sales ranked around $ 300 per foot compared to $ 209 and $ 147 for Target and K-Mart respectively. Stores tended to stay open more flexibly than competitors, which also contributed to higher per square footage sales numbers.

The company organized each store into 36 departments and a department manager as a store within a store ran each department. The company had outpaced K-Mart by installing uniform product codes (UPC) electronic scanning equipment in 1988. Labor expense for individually labeling inventory was eliminated by installing shelf tags instead. The company spent $ 700 million dollars to connect the stores with headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas via satellite. Collecting and sharing such sales and inventory information allowed managers to pinpoint slow moving inventory and manage the supply chain by reducing purchased avoiding pileups and deep discounting.

The company manages the distribution chain. They instituted "cross-docking" to reduce and minimize inventory sitting in a warehouse. When an in-bound truck arrives at the warehouse, an out-bound truck is parked right next to it or close and shipments are offloaded from the inbound truck and moved directly to the out-bound truck thereby eliminating the need to sit in inventory. This method of moving it out as it arrived contributed to Wal * Mart's almost one percentage point of sales less cost than the competition for like costs.

Wal * Mart treated its distribution chain as a profit center as well by strategically locating a warehouse or distribution point geographically where it could serve 150 stores and each truck leaving the warehouse can serve or deliver on the same route to four neighboring stores. Distribution gave store managers various delivery options as well as nighttime deliveries.

Wal * Mart manages its vendor relationships in a well-known "no-nonsense" manner. Unlike other retailers especially department stores, Wal * Mart buyers are not greeted and seated in a buyers' office. Sam would not have preferred that haughty presentation and image. They are simply placed in a bare room with table and chairs. The company was sued administratively in 1992 when manufacturers' representatives initiated unsuccessfully proceedings with the Federal Trade Commission. The company has not permitted a single vendor to account for greater than 3% of purchases further enhancing the leverage it exercises over companies.

Wal * Mart is a pioneer in information sharing and partnering with vendors. In its relationship with companies like GE and Proctor and Gamble, they interlinked computers to show real-time sales and inventory product specific data so that such firms could manage their own supply chain delivery. "They expanded their electronic data interchange to include forecasting, planning, and shipping applications."

In 1992, Fortune magazine listed Wal * Mart as "one of the 100 best companies to work for in America." David Glass, CEO, claims "There are no superstars at Wal * Mart" which could embellish the team environment. He said, "We're a company of ordinary people overachieving." The largest company in the United States is non-union. Associates are trusted and treated like owners and information is shared and entrusted to them. Vendors comment on the loyalty and dedication of their associates.

Associates are encouraged and rewarded for bright ideas, which in many other companies would go, unrecognized or stolen by owners or managers whom would steal credit. Stealing such credit and voiding the proper party to the credit only works to beat down associates and instill a feeling of worthlessness. Wal * Mart does just the opposite. Everyone is rewarded for profitability through contributions to the associates profit sharing account. In 1993 Sam instituted his "Yes we can Sam" program for ideas and then a "Shrink incentive plan" to reduce theft and inventory loss. The program allowed Wal * Mart to remain at least 3 tenths of a percent lower than the industry average in slippage.

Sam and David were smart enough to realize that they could not be in hundreds of stores all the time if at all so they decided to properly compensate each of the store managers who can earn in excess of a hundred thousand dollars annually. The company offers incentive pay on top for reaching and exceeding profitability and forecasting targets. The company offered health benefits to employee who work more than 28 hours weekly and also gives productivity and profitability bonuses to such hourly workers.

Tight fisted management names Sam Walton's successors, David Glass and company. He instituted weekly Friday morning meetings where they shout and yell about individual items sold but before the meeting is adjourned, issues are resolved. Glass promotes the idea that "There is no hierarchy at Wal * Mart and that everyone's ideas count and that no accomplishment is too small."

The company began diversifying its store mixes in the early eighties by acquisition of other chains and opening Sam's Clubs. The idea included offering only a limited number of stock-keeping units (SKUs). They financed inventory through accounts payable and generated net income principally by charging "members" for the annual privilege of entering and shopping at the "Club."

Inventory costs at Sam's Clubs was further reduced since only 30% of inventory was ever shipped from a Wal * Mart warehouse. 70% was sent directly from vendor. Since inventory was turned so frequently during the year, Sam's Clubs really never paid for inventory until it was sold or even after.

Now, Glass has been quoted as telling managers "That if they did not think internationally, they were working for the wrong company," Discount Store News, (June 1994). Furthermore, Glass mentioned to Business Week in 1992 that "You can not replace Sam Walton, but he has prepared the company to run well whether he's here or not."

Essentially, Wal * Mart was founded by a man who was smart enough to realize that since he could not be everywhere to serve customers that he need to create and maintain an atmosphere where the people who worked for him wanted to make money and serve customers. As he grew the company he and his management staff continually assessed the supply chain and thought of and enacted pioneering ways many times considered unorthodox that created better and better customer value and lowered the cost of giving the customer what he wanted which was the purpose of the company to begin with not to mention why the company got paid. By encouraging idea cultivation from the grass roots of the organization, Wal * Mart has become the premier retailer at the bottom of the price pole.

This author recommends that Wal * Mart management look to diversify within the store by adding more of what it already does well, maximizing the life experience on the cheap within the store. Other ancillary services could be added to any unprofitable square footage like barber shop, dentists, etc …

Major Facts About Partnership And Business

A partnership can be defined as an association of two or more persons who have agreed to combine their labor, property, and skill, or some or all of them, for the purpose of engaging in lawful business and sharing profits and losses between them.

Partnerships present the involved parties with special challenges that must be navigated unto agreement. Overarching goals, levels of give-and-take, areas of responsibility, lines of authority and succession, how success is evaluated and distributed, and often a variety of other factors must all be negotiated. Once agreement is reached, the partnership is typically enforceable by civil law, especially if well documented. Partners who wish to make their agreement affirmatively explicit and enforceable typically draw up Articles of Partnership.

A partnership is particularly very attractive if it helps to pool the talents or skills of partners for their mutual benefit. Partnerships require individuals who are compatible, honest, healthy, capable, dedicated and equally motivated to succeed. And because of the voluntary nature of partnerships, they are relatively easy to set up.
The term business in this definition includes every trade, occupation, and profession. Therefore, This article becomes very necessary for every individual to have the idea of ​​bargaining / planning and negotiation in any kind of business level.

Humans are social beings, partnerships between individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, and varied combinations thereof, have always been and remain commonplace. In the most frequently associated instance of the term, a partnership is formed between one or more businesses in which partners (owners) co-labor to achieve and share profits and losses. Partnerships exist within, and across, sectors. Non-profit, religious, and political organizations may partner together to increase the likelihood of each achieving their mission and to amplify their reach. It is sometimes regarded as alliance, governments may partner to achieve their national interests.

A partner acts as an agent of the firm in the conduct of its business. A partner must, however, exercise the highest degree of good faith in all dealings with the other partners, devote time and attention to the partnership business, and must account to the other partners for any secret profits made in the conduct of the partnership business. The liability of a partner for partnership debts is said to be unlimited, except when the partner is a limited one in a limited partnership organized in accordance with the provisions of a state statute permitting such limitation of liability.

FORMATION OF PARTNERSHIP
A partnership comes into existence by a contract entered into by the parties concerned. No formality is required but the agreement could be writing, inferred from conduct or oral. The agreement to form a partnership is known as a "Partnership Contract", the most important provision of which spells out the manner in which profits are to be distributed.

Partnerships are governed by the law of contract. It is advisable for individuals who wish to form a partnership to draw up what we called "Articles of Partnership". The article of Partnership essentially contains these items below:
• Name of Partnership
• Name and Addresses of each partner
• Statement of Business Purpose (s)
• Duration of the Partnership
• Name and Location of the Business
• Amount Invested by Each Partner
• Ratio for Sharing Profit
• Accounting Records and their Accessibility to Partners
• Specific Duties of Each Partner
• Provision or the Dissolution of Partnership and Sharing of Net Assets.
• Provision for Protection of Surviving Partners, Decedent's Estate etc
• Restraints on a Partner's Assumption of Special Obligations.

TYPES OF PARTNERS
There are five types of partners:
1. Active Partner: – This is the partner who participates in all the activities of the partnership.
2. Dormant or Sleeping Partner: – This is the partner who does not take an active part in the activities of the partnership but shares in the profit.
3. Nominal Partner: – This is a person who lends his name to a lends his name to the partners for a consideration.
4. Secret Partner: – This is a partner who takes an active part in the affairs of the company but he / she is not known by the public as part of the partnership.
5. Silent Partner: – This is a partner who is known by the public as part of the partnership; but he / she does not take an active part in the management of the enterprise.

ADVANTAGES OF PARTNERSHIP
1. Greater Source of Capital: – The pooling of the individual resources of each partner helps to raise a large capital. It makes it possible for an individual with the know-how, new product, invention, or new idea but no money, to work with man with money who is interested in the project.

2. Greater Specialized Management: – The ownership of a business by two or more people makes it possible for them to pool their skills and judgment for the benefit of all concerned.

3. Greater Incentive for Employees: – Employees in partnerships tend to enjoy better fringe benefit package and higher salaries. They have better prospects for earned recognition and promotions.

4. Legal Recognition: – There is a partnership law that regulates the relationship between partners themselves, and between the partners and their parties that they have to deal with.

DISADVANTAGES OF PARTNERSHIP
1. Personality Clashes: – Partnership require cooperation, trust and dedication but failure on the part of one of the active partners to discharge his / her own responsibilities diligently could lead to personality clashes and to the end of the partnership. Partnerships are known to have ended because the members could not agree on the best course of action to take on an important issue.

2. Difficulty in Withdrawals: – The contribution of each partner ceases to be the property of the individual making the contribution. When a partner needs money, he / she can not withdraw his / her contribution or borrow money from the partnership without the express permission of the other partners. Many entrepreneurs dislike this lack of flexibility characteristic of partnerships.

3. Unlimited Liability: – Each partner is held liable for the obligations of the partnership. If one of the partners makes a costly mistake in the execution of the affairs of the partnership, creditors can sue, and if they obtain judgment against the partnership, each partner may have to sell his / her personal assets to meet the obligations.

4. Short Length of Life: – Factors like, death, prolonged ill-health, withdrawal, bankruptcy, insanity or of sorts could lead to the end of the partnership.

Conclusively, governmentally recognized partnerships may enjoy special benefits in tax policies. Among developed countries, for example, business partnerships are often favored over corporations in taxation policy, since dividend taxes only occur on profits before they are distributed to the partners. However, depending on the partnership structure and the jurisdiction in which it operates, owners of a partnership may be exposed to greater personal liability than they would as shareholders of a corporation.