Top 10 Tips to Create A Business Plan! (For People Who Hate Business Plans)

One of the key challenges for any business is to remain focused and invest resources for maximum pay-off. It’s said that 80% of a business’s activity accounts for only 20% of total profits. In plain language, most of the work we do is unfocused, poorly designed and ineffective. In today’s competitive world, no business, whether it’s an individual professional or a large manufacturing operation, can survive with that much lost time and wasted effort. A business plan can help, but most small business owners (and some managers/supervisors) hate doing them! In the spirit that any map is better than no map, here are my top ten keys to creating your own map to success:

1. Have a dream. This sounds simple and obvious, but answering the questions: “Why am I doing this? What’s the big picture?” can lead to profound changes in many organizations. Too often in the daily grind, we forget to think about where we want to go, or why we started the business or took the job in the first place.

2. Make the dream bigger. What if the whole world bought your products or loved your service? What would it mean if your profits, or your personal income were 10 times greater? How about 100, or 1000 times greater? What shifts in focus would that require? Would your daily routine change? Would you spend your time and energy on different problems, attend to different priorities? Why wait?

3. Make the dream clearer. Have a precise description of exactly what you want and hang it in your office, in the employee lunch room, in the restrooms, and on the dash of your car. Use key words, phrases, a photograph of your future office building or whatever symbol will crystallize the dream and make it real for you and for every member of your team

4. List 100 obstacles that will get in your way. Enlist staff, friends, competitors to help. Ask your customers to join with you in looking for the roadblocks, blindspots and bottlenecks that prevent you from growing. Make it a matter of personal pride to never have a problem pop up that you haven’t already considered.

5. List 1000 solutions, 10 for each potential problem. The key here is creativity, flexibility, and responding instantly when the unexpected happens. Expect the unexpected, and have a file of alternative solutions at your finger tips. It’s called contingency planning. Do it!

6. Get tons of advice. Have your accountant, your attorney, your insurance agent, your spouse and your cousin take a look at this. If you can’t explain it to them, will you be able to explain it to your staff? If these people don’t understand and support your plan, will you be able to maintain your own enthusiasm over the long haul?

7. Get GOOD advice. After explaining your dream and your plan to lots of people, sit down with a handful of those you trust the most, and pay them to give you their best feedback. Lots of people can give you technical advice, expert advice, and even friendly advice. Wisdom is more important, and harder to find.

8. Create the path of least resistance. Using the dream as your goal, and knowing the obstacles that could get in your way, begin mapping your way through the wilderness to your destination. What’s the easiest, most direct, route? What’s the safest route? Which combination of activities and priorities makes the most sense?

9. Take action. Once you know where you want to go and have a path to get there, start walking! Too many managers put their business plan into a nice file folder that is never looked at because they are too busy working “hard.” Instead, use your efforts and your plan together so that your effort is focused, productive and smart!

10. Re-assess often. Just as someone hiking across barren territory needs to periodically stop and check their map and compass to avoid walking in circles, business owners and managers need to check their direction and their priorities. Conditions change. Opportunities pop up or disappear, new problems arrive or the nature of the dream changes. All of these things will happen. Plan for it! Regularly step outside your business to re-assess and redefine your most important tasks. You can’t afford to spend 80% of your effort in busywork and unprofitable distractions. Re-assess and stay on course.

Why People Love Freebies

It has been observed that things labeled as “free” have always captured people’s interest and it acts as a catalyst in attracting many people. Free samples of products or services attract more attention of customer or consumers than the product or services with a specific price. It would be interesting to figure out why people love freebies so much.

Free Stuff and Human Mind

When people find out that there is something they will get for free then their mind and psychology make them believe that they are special and they have earned the thing to get it for free. The free things make them feel they have achieved something with no or less effort for getting it. People feel there is less risk in trying out free stuff and they feel that they have nothing to lose if they try the free stuff. So they reach out to try free stuff with no risk and loss. A similar human psychology works when we get attracted to discounted rates or prices of products and services.

Loads of Non-avoidable Expenses

In our daily lives, everyone knows earning money is not easy and it takes a lot of efforts to make a living. Most of the hard earned money goes away in the necessary non-avoidable expenses like groceries, fuel, and oil, paying bills and other expenses. When we find out we can get something for free, we tend to get attracted to it because we feel that we have saved some amount of money with the best bargain of free stuff for a product or service.

Some People Hesitate Spending Money on what they think is not necessary

There are many people who hesitate to spend money on what they think is not necessary even though they earn a lot of money to save money. When they find out that the product or service is for free then they are more likely to reach out and try the product or services. Such people would possibly try out free stuff than paying for it and experience how the product or service is.

Some People have Low Monthly Income

Some people don’t earn huge amount of money and they have low monthly income. They can’t spend too much money due to lack of funds so they find free stuff more likable and they look out for free stuff because they can’t spend too much.

Why Do People Take Surveys?

Everyone who takes paid surveys is in it strictly for the money, everyone knows that. Well, that’s not exactly correct for there are numerous reasons why people get involved with this type of opportunity and we will talk about some of them in this article.

1. Convenience is a big factor in why a person wants to take surveys. If you have you have Internet access you can do it on the Internet.

This means you can take surveys at work in your spare time or log in and take it right from the comfort of your own home. If you are on the road with a laptop you can do it in a hotel or if you’re visiting friends or relatives you could take surveys there as well.

2. Some people really enjoy taking surveys because it is fun. Because each survey is different it is not a boring job. Some survey companies have discussion forums where you can interact with other people and get to know them which are fun too. Simply taking a break from your daily home business routine and completing a survey or two can be a great change of pace in your home based business daily routine.

3. You control your own schedule which is important when you’re looking for things to do on a part time basis. For the busy person having the flexibility to schedule your own time is a great thing about taking paid surveys.

4. Are you an opinionated person? You can make your opinion count by participating in paid surveys and discussion groups. You get to help shape the products of tomorrow by offering your opinion today.

5. Some people enjoy being on the computer no matter how they do it. You will certainly become better at using your computer when you take paid surveys because you are developing much needed skills.

6. We have saved the best for last and that is the ability to make money working from home! Regardless of your age, income level, or experience there are surveys you can make money taking. Companies require various things from their survey takers so not every survey you apply for will you get to take.

However there are plenty of surveys you can take and earn cash, prizes, points, trips, products and so on. Doing surveys for the money is certainly important to a lot of people and the hourly rate can work out extremely well.

These are six reasons why people take surveys and as you can see not all of them are for the money. Regardless of your own current situation there are surveys you can take online right now both for money and for your own personal reasons.

Zambian Cultural Heritage – Chewa People – Their History and Culture

The Chewa people of Zambia live in the Eastern Province of the country. The language of the Chewa is Chichewa and Chichewa speaking people are Malawi and Mozambique. The reason for this is that historically before the white colonial masters came to Africa, the Chewa people of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique had one ruler – His Royal Highness Kalonga Gawa Undi. But when the colonialists came and created national boundaries, the Chewas were separated and found themselves living in three countries with different colonial masters. Zambia and Malawi fell under the British colonial rule while Mozambique belonged to Portugal.

However, the Chewa continued to recognise themselves as one despite colonial rule and new country boundaries. The traditional Zambian Chewa headquarters are in Mkaika, Katete and today ceremonies (in particular the Kulamba Ceremony) take place every year that bring the leaders of all three countries together.

The Chewa people are known for their love of farming and in particular for their craftsmanship – the women for their pottery skills and the men for their skills in making bamboo basketry, hoes, axes, arrows, reed mats and palm tree leaf mats. The men are also good hunters and fishermen and these skills are believed to bring honour to manhood. The Chewa are hard working people who are known to despise any form of laziness believing that it leads to the demeaning practice of begging.

The sacred sites of the Chewa

  • The royal cemetery at the Mano headquarters in Malawi
  • The shrines at Msinja and Mankhamba
  • The grave of Undi Chisakamzondi who dies whilst travelling in Mozambique
  • Kaphirintiwa in Malawi where marks in the rocks resembling human and animal footprints which is believed to be the place of creation
  • The ancestral graves at the Mkaika Traditional Headquarters

The Chewa clans

The original two main clans were the Banda who historically were healers and mystics and the Phiri who were said to the aristocracy. Other clans are:

  • The Mbewe’s known to enjoy the delicacy of mice eating (although the Phiri’s and Banda’s will also enjoy this delicacy)
  • The Kwenda clan which comes from the word ‘mkwenda’ which means ‘the stripper’. The tail suggests a man from the Phiri clan inappropriately stripped his sisters’ clothes whilst travelling – the rest is history!
  • The Mphandwe clan who are an offshoot of the Banda clan. The story goes that a man eloped with a woman of his clan (a disgraceful thing to do) and as a result wanted to be known as Mphandwe not Banda
  • The Mwale clan from the word ‘kumwalira’ which means ‘to die’. History suggests there was a bloody fight between two groups of people because they shot an animal and could not agree on how to divide the head.
  • The Linde clan from the word ‘kulinda’ which means ‘to watch’. This was the group who did not join in the above fight but instead watched over the carcass of the animal that was being fought over.

Leadership and political organisation

Interestingly the traditional Chewa social structure is matrilineal – property and land rights are inherited from the mothers and it is the woman’s bloodline which keeps the lineage alive. The traditional Chewa leader is usually male but the descendance is carried through the female side deriving its identity from the woman and villages are made up of matrilineal relatives by marriage.

The overall Chewa leader is known as the Kalonga Gawa Undi who is in charge of all Chewa chiefs who in turn supervise village headmen. Kalonga Gawa Undi has the following meaning:

  • Kalonga: ‘one who identifies and installs office in others’
  • Gawa: ‘one who allocates land and shares wealth with others’
  • Undi: ‘one who protects citizens, keeping them under his wings as a bird protects its young’

Those in line for leadership compete for their Chieftainship right but contrary to popular belief this does not necessarily mean conflict. Wise chiefs will select a nephew as their successor and send out their other nephews to establish subordinate chiefdoms. In fact, this system has avoided major dispute for centuries.


The Chewa people will take offense if they are mistaken for the Nyanja because this propagates the colonial misinterpretation of their origin. Though the Nyanja and Chichewa languages are similar they are different and to say they are one and the same denies the validity of the Chichewa language.

Another taboo is to mention, call or write the birth name of the successor to the Kalonga Gawa Undi. The office of the Kalonga Gawa Undi must be seen to never die. Before the burial of the Kalonga Gawa Undi his successor is chosen by the royal family and the birth name of his successor is ceremonially buried together with his forerunner. The name of the current Gawa is therefore simply Kalonga Gawa Undi XI.

This article is inspired by the book ‘Ceremony! Celebrating Zambia’s Cultural Heritage’. It’s fabulous and a visually pleasing book which I would encourage you to get. I got mine from ZAIN in Lusaka, Zambia. It is published by Celtel Zambia PLC and Seka. Original photography, Francois d’Elbee. Coordinating author, Tamara Guhrs. Editor, Mulunga Kapwepwe. Contributing authors, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, Prof Mapopa Mtonga, Mulenga Kapwepwe, Isaac Smogy Kapinga, Miranda Guhrs, Msatero Tembo, Matiya Ngalande and Joseph Chikuta.

Zambia encourages tourists to witness traditional ceremonies and you’ll find local tourism service providers particular helpful.

Languages of India – A Great Unifier Or Divider of People?

Language is usually considered to be an effective tool for communication between people in the process of transferring their ideas, message, knowledge etc. Languages of India are a great unifier as well as divider of people. Translation, whether it is a general translation dealing in languages of India, requires utmost care in transforming the text from the source language to the target language. The translator who translates and checks the Indian languages document should have in-depth knowledge in languages of India. The translator should also have a good grasp of the subject matter under consideration.

India is a land of many regional languages spoken in different regions. Hindi is the National language and spoken widely in Northern India. Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Gujarati, Sindhi etc are the regional languages spoken in different regions of India. So reaching the larger general public means reaching through translator and their translation services. Today with the advent of internet, the dependence on internet for education, business, health etc. have been made easy. Now most of the business transactions, distance education, health advice through video conferencing, online shopping etc are readily accessible to general public through the internet from any corner of the country.

The translation documents translated by translator enable the readers from various part of the country to read through the local language websites. Through this unique Indian language facility, an online business company can transact with consumers easily. All type of national business meetings can be held with multilingual participants from different parts of the country and this helps to promote business within the nation. Moreover, marketing brands becomes an easy task with the help of Indian language translation features where the common customer can easily enquirer without speaking in languages of India.

The accuracy with which the local language translation features deliver the message is very important whether in business, selling products or education. This accuracy mainly depends on the closeness in meaning of the word translated into the required Indian language. It is a common belief that anyone who knows Indian languages can do the translation services. Mere knowledge of local languages does not qualify translator for professional translation. The translator should have good knowledge of at least two local languages, a mother tongue language and another local language.

Another quality of a good translator is that he/she should have the writing skill. Another important point to look forward in a good translator is that he/she should be able to translate the text according to the target culture.Indian translation is a complex task and hence the translators should have more patience, experience and above all concentration while doing the work. He/she is required to read and comprehend the information to be translated first and then start doing the work.

Meeting People From Different Cultural Backgrounds

It is always exciting for me to meet people from different cultural backgrounds. It always thrilled me to learn about the culture of people I met from the different parts of the world. In my stay here in Malaysia, I am very lucky to have stayed in a guest house that caters all migrants from other countries. I was able to meet French, Russians, Dutch, Swedish, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Malaysians and the like.

It is very important also to learn to speak their language. Even a basic understanding of another language can help build bonds with people who speak another language. Concentrate on learning the languages and learn how to speak proficiently. You’ll be able to have conversations with new friends in a language they feel most comfortable speaking.

When you interact with people of varied cultural backgrounds, it gives you an opportunity to enhance your verbal communication skills. The more comfortable you are in communicating with others, the more doors are open for you in your personal and professional life.

Every time we collaborate ideas with other people, we also learn from them. Sometimes we are too preoccupied with our own world that it’s nice to hear differences in opinion and other perspectives. It’s really amazing to learn something from other people whether it’s intended or unintended, the result is the same. You are able to broaden your horizon and widen your perspectives.

Be open and kind to all the people you meet. Being nice to everybody and willing to learn about new experiences help you make new friends wherever you go. Never judge other people because their experience is different from yours. Try to find something that you can have in common to relate to the person. You can ask them about their lives and you can also share the things that you’re interested in. Never come off as condescending or rude to anybody. Keep yourself open to great possibilities. And it’s always great to make a new friends by being the first to open the conversation.

When you are around with new people, you can come alive with new creative ideas to learn from about your life. Having a strong network of people who are experts in different fields is an awesome experience! Because when you need something, it’s always a good thing to have trusted people to lean on. The person next to you might be the one you need right now or could be in the future.

Crocheting Benefits: Why People Love To Crochet

There are many reasons why people love to crochet.

For one, crocheting is therapeutic. Because of its calming, rhythmic movements, many studies have shown positive results for people suffering from chronic depression, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and schizophrenia. Crocheting is also for common ordinary people who simply enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something with their after-work, idle time. Crocheting relieves stress and muscle tensions after a hard day at the office as crocheting easily takes your mind off from work and draws you deeper into a solitary hobby where you can collect your thoughts as you let your fingers and the crochet hook do their work.

Yarn colors also have positive effects on the eyes too. Colors in soft, fuzzy materials provide a diversion to the cold, hard and glaring screens of your office computers that you have been staring at for the whole day.

Aside from the psychological and emotional benefits of crocheting, it also provides material benefits. I have known three housewives who have gone into crocheting, first as a hobby, and then into business, making sweatshirts, shawls and pillowcases in different designs and different colors. Of course, the income may not be as high as when you sell hotdogs during baseball season but it does add a considerable amount of cash into the household income, not to mention the personal satisfaction of having been able to consign and sell your own handiwork in small, local shops. Other items that can be made by crocheting are cellular phone cases, fashion bag parts, tablecloth, and coasters.

Crocheting can also bond people. It provides a healthy venue for women and even young girls to come together to share thoughts and exchange views while exchanging crocheting patterns. It is both a social as well as a solitary hobby. While some people like to meet friends through this common interest, some people are also more comfortable working independently on their crochet and their work comes out just as fine.

Most of all, people who are into crocheting simply enjoys the fact that crocheting tools are small and handy and can be easily kept in purses to take out when a good crocheting diversion is called for.

Home Based Business Ideas For Retired People

For a variety of reasons, retirement may not be an attractive option once you have entered that world. With medical advances, most people live longer and healthier lives. As a result, many retirees have too much energy and passion for life to simply do nothing. If you have spent the majority of your life in the work place, retirement can result in boredom, loss of enthusiasm or loneliness. You may find yourself missing that job you dreaded. Other retired people immediately realize their retirement savings just won’t be enough, especially with an uncertain world economy. So, what next?

Have you ever dreamed of having your own business? Believe it or not, there are definite advantages for retirees that want to start a home based business. In fact, home based businesses in general are increasing and proving to be very successful. If you structure the business correctly and remain in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service guidelines, you will qualify for numerous tax benefits.

As you think about ideas for a home based business, consider your options and do your research. There are, unfortunately, numerous scams and dishonest people that prey on senior citizens. Exercise caution but do not let the fear of a scam keep you from launching your own business.

Start by making a list of your hobbies, your work experience, special skills, talents and passions. Often hobbies can be easily converted to a profitable home based business. A few ideas to get your brainstorming started: photography, accounting, handyman service, crafts, pet grooming, cake design and decoration, web design, selling products on eBay, online tutoring. Once you start brainstorming and as you review your list of specific talents and skills, your list of possibilities will expand.

After you have selected two or three home based business ideas, do your research. Research can be done at the public library, online and discussing your ideas with trusted friends or family. Make a list of your goals before your start researching. Do you want to or need to supplement your income? Are you simply interested in staying active, feeling useful and maintaining contact with the world outside your home? Will you need help with the business? If you have a partner, this may influence your final selection.

What about startup money? You may already have the equipment needed to get started. For example, if you select photography, you may own the necessary equipment. A word of caution at this point is necessary. Be sure you possess the skills and talents required for the business; owning an expensive digital camera and being the family photographer is probably not enough. On the other hand, if you have a passion for photography, consider taking a class at the local community college and learn the skills and techniques needed. Or, find a part time job with a local photographer and learn from a professional. This word of caution applies to any business idea you may choose.

Keep in mind that the Small Business Administration can be very helpful. The SBA funds loans for home based businesses as well as brick and mortar businesses. As long as you meet the established requirements, you may qualify for a loan.

Another huge advantage for retired people starting a home based business is your maturity and years of experience. Our current economy has often been compared to the Great Depression; it is interesting to note that many profitable businesses were started during the Great Depression. Do your brainstorming, complete your research and get started!

Benefits Small Online Business Programs Offer to Internet Business People

The online money making secret, is starting small. Even though you may be having lots of money to invest, it is always advisable to begin from down then make your way up. This will help you learn and gain experience on some of the best business programs to invest in. Small online business programs help you to get little hands on experience on how to promote your website or blog.

On the same note, the advantage of small online business ideas is that most of them are free to enroll. This then means you can start making money online without investing any cash. Considering that there are also internet marketing strategies like free advertising on classifieds or business directories, you can promote your internet business programs and get referrals/leads.

Testimonies exist of people who have become wealthy just because they discovered online money making secrets. If you follow these successful individuals history you will realize that most of them began small online business programs and made their way up. Today, some of them are considered internet business gurus.

Some ideas of small online business opportunities include affiliate marketing, taking surveys and data entry just to mention a few. The idea is to gain visibility in your market niche and this usually takes time. Article marketing is one proven strategy that internet marketing experts recommended. Though you may claim that this is not easy work, realize that nothing good comes without working hard.

Let today be the beginning of your journey towards financial freedom. Take your time and research on at least one internet business opportunity, and concentrate your efforts towards building on it. Within no time you will discover other vital tactics that would assist you build on your small online business.

To research and learn more strategic money making secrets and small business opportunities, visit the link in the resource box below.

New Web-Based Business Ideas For People Who Work From Home

If you’re operating your own web-based business from home, you’ve probably already learned how difficult it can be. Whatever your area of expertise, there’s a good chance that the competition is stiff. The internet puts the whole world on a level playing field, and you have to offer something truly special if you want to get ahead of your global competition.

That’s why new ideas are always in high demand. Do you have a new and innovative idea to bring to the web-based business world? If so, act as soon as possible, before your competition beats you to it.

What Do People Need?

The most successful business ideas are combinations of two things: recognition, and innovation. First, you have to recognize a hole that needs to be filled. When it comes to the internet, you have to get out there, look around, try things, and experience things; basically, you have to be an everyday web user.

This will give you the opportunity to see the internet from the consumer’s perspective. What isn’t working? What’s not on the internet that should be there? Are there any types of websites that you would love to have in your bookmarks folder, but which simply don’t exist?

Second, brainstorm ideas for how to meet those unfulfilled needs. If you’re a web-savvy businessperson with design and web copy skills, you may even be able to fulfill several needs at once to create multiple streams of income. If not, find collaborators to help you make each of your ideas a reality.

Then, once your websites are up, you need to harness all of the latest online marketing strategies to bring in repeat customers. This is the difficult part, but if your idea is truly useful and not just a gimmick, people will come back.

Don’t Waste Time

The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no shortage of new ideas in the web-based business world. There are millions of people just like you who are at this very moment sitting in their home offices contemplating new ideas. That’s why you need to create your websites as soon as possible.

Think about all the biggest internet success stories-Amazon, Google, eBay, etc. Would these services have been so successful if their makers had waited around and let others beat them to the punch? No. So get started as soon as possible.

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