Small Business Valuation and Its Benefits

If you watch the TV show Shark Tank, you often see business owners who lack an understanding about small business valuation. It is estimated that over 80% of small businesses have no financial estimate as to what their business is worth, nor do business owners seem to care. This is like me asking you how much money you have in the bank and you have no idea what I am asking you. You would not run your personal financial life this way; so why would you run your business with no understanding of the value.So why should small business owners care about valuation? The answer is simple: The personal wealth of every small business owner is directly linked to the valuation of their business. If you expect to be worth a million dollars, then you better have a business that has a valuation of one million dollars. This is important because at some point every small business owner must retire and your retirement is based on the value of your business. Consider the fact that 70% of private companies in the United States will be put up for sale by 2030 and according to the National Federation of Independent Business, only 30% of all businesses that are put up for sale are sold. This is because most small business owners never pay attention to the valuation of their businesses.Where does valuation come from? Valuation gets assigned based on the benefit stream of your business. The most common benefit stream is Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization or EBITDA for short. When you go to sell your company and retire from your business, you will sell your company for a multiple of your EBITDA. The bigger the company, the higher the multiple and the higher the valuation. The key is to get the multiple up which will increase your valuation. This requires an aggressive growth strategy linked to the valuation of your business.The good news is that financial professionals are now offering cloud based solutions that empower any small business owner with a road-map for increasing value. The bad news is that this road-map can take five years or more to implement. Additionally, most road-maps require a strong professional team to facilitate the process. Having worked with various solutions, I would recommend small business owners consider one of two solutions:1. Value Opportunity Profile – This is a comprehensive assessment of your business based on interviews with your management team. Specific recommendations are made on how to increase value in three phases.2. Value Builder System – This is a 12 month program that starts with your own self-assessment, allowing you to decide if you want to embark on the program or not. Exercises are used each month to improve the valuation score of your business.Regardless of how you get there, it is imperative for every small business owner to recognize how important valuation is to their own personal wealth. Because so few owners seem to grasp valuation and how to increase it, having a professional outside team can help. You need someone to orchestrate and facilitate the process while everyone else runs the day-to-day operations of the business.

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Does Your College Understand What Students Want And Need From Them?

It must become clear to every college leader that college students want and need good jobs when they graduate. In today’s job market, colleges that do not do everything possible to help students achieve that goal are failing their students.Students no longer attend college simply to obtain a good education. Those days are long gone. Today, students are going to college so they can land a good job, earn a good living and build a future for themselves and their families.Of course, college has always been expensive. However, today, with college loan debt outstripping credit card debt, students need a good paying job so they can live on their own and pay back their loans. When students are not able to land a job that pays well, they are usually forced to live at home with their parents and either defer their loan(s) which adds interest or put nearly everything they earn into their monthly loan payments. That is not a great way to live.Colleges may tell you that their job is to provide students with a good education. That is true but not totally correct. Their job is to serve the needs of their students. When landing a good job is a top priority for students, colleges must respond by making that need one of their top priorities. It does not make any sense to send well educated graduates out into the job market when they are unprepared to compete for the good paying jobs.All students need colleges to help them:- Learn how to conduct an effective job search
- Find out exactly what their target employers expect of them
- Create and follow a semester-by-semester employment plan
- Perform the activities and obtain the practical experiences that employers want
- Build a list of impressive accomplishments
- Identify employers with appropriate employment opportunities
- Learn how to build a network
- Develop an impressive resumé
- Practice their interview strategies
- Cultivate references… and much moreWithout substantial, ongoing job search preparation assistance throughout their entire college experience, too many good students will fall short of their employment goals. That means that their careers will get off on the wrong foot and they will have trouble paying back their college loans. That is not the way students and their parents want things to work out.When colleges show concern for the job search preparation needs of their students, they shift priorities, change the way they operate and provide the resources needed to address those needs. However, when colleges do not respond to important and legitimate student needs, they are sending a clear message that they do not care about those needs.Most colleges will tell you that their career services offices are doing everything possible to help their students prepare for their job search. However, colleges know perfectly well that their career services staff reaches only a small percentage of students in a given year and very few of those students will be fully prepared to conduct and effective job search. By using their current job search preparation systems, no college can thoroughly serve and prepare 100% of their students. To do that properly, things have to change.I can assure you that students do not enjoy entering the job market and trying to compete for the most attractive jobs knowing that they are unprepared. Fortunately, progressive and responsive colleges have begun to seek out and implement systems like The Job Identification Machine™ and The Job Search Preparation System™ because those systems will effectively serve and prepare nearly 100% of the students at their colleges.Does your college understand what students and parents want and need from them? Maybe not. If every student does not receive the full and comprehensive job search preparation assistance that they will need to land a desirable job in their own field of interest, there is much more that your college can do.

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Taking Control of Your Network

If you have a business or company that relies on the use of the internet, chances are that at times you find yourself encountering a vast number of network problems. Whether or not these computer and network problems are caused by human error, there is still a need to have a way to manage the network. This is where network management and administration software comes in.Network management covers a wide area that includes making sure that the network and all the computers attached to it are protected from unauthorized users. It also helps in minimizing traffic in the network, not to mention ensuring that it is readily available to users and countering hardware and software malfunctions that might occur with its use.On the other hand, network administration deals with network address assignments, routing protocols and table configuration as well as configuring authentication and authorization – directory services. It often includes maintenance of network facilities in individual machines, such as software drivers and the settings of the personal computers, which includes the printers and such that are attached to it. Sometimes it also includes maintenance of certain network servers such as file servers, VPN gateways, intrusion detection systems, etc.Dealing with all these by yourself can be such a hassle, especially if you do not have much IT background. This is where having a network management and network administration software is helpful. What it does is that it routinely manages the network by presenting solutions that help make dealing with the network changes and configurations easier.The software has a pre-identified set of network custom best practices which analyzes the network data wisely. This will help the software identify potential problems or vulnerabilities even before they can cause harm to your computer and the network it is linked to. What more, the software verifies any changes that will happen to your network, whether caused by human error or a computer virus.Software such a these also balance itself out in order for it to meet the needs of each unique customer requirements. This makes them extremely user and customer friendly, which is a big plus as far as computer software goes. The software also improves and increases your resources on information technology in order to maximize your experience and expertise.Another advantage of having network management and network administration software is that it helps to reduce the cost of having to hire a lot of people to manage each computer or the network itself. This means that even with just one IT consultant on board you can vastly increase your productivity since the process is automatic and it can set up action within half an hour and supply vital information for action within hours.Whether or not you have an immense knowledge regarding computers, network systems and information technology, the network management and network administration software is the way to go to simplify your operations, at no major cost.

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Off-Market Properties: The Key to Real Estate Success

It was the “Wild-West” days of real estate! The market had just cratered, real estate agents were dropping like flies, and the implosion of “liar-loans” was decimating neighborhoods. Looking back, I sure picked one heck of a time to start!When you begin in and survive a market like this, buying properties at the right price becomes permanently stamped on your being. It is very similar to how many people who survived the Great Depression would always keep an overstocked pantry.So even though I have been a full-time real estate investor for seven years and the market is thriving, I still diligently seek out opportunities that will be financially sound in any market. In other words, I only buy really good deals!The key driver of my real estate success has been OFF-MARKET properties. Using proven systems, I have consistently generated exceptional opportunities often on properties I never would have known were even potentially available!So let’s look at three sources for off-market properties.The first is working directly with homeowners. This is generally my preferred method and this is where I focus my marketing machine. It takes a little more effort but this is where you find those “once in a lifetime” deals. If you have a great system, you will find exceptional opportunities routinely.The second is working with high-quality Wholesalers and Wholesale Brokerages. Here you have an entire group of people scouring the area looking for well-priced investor deals. Generally, they understand exactly what investors are looking for, how to estimate repairs, and what price an investor would pay for the property. So in addition to your own lead generation efforts, you have an opportunity to capitalize on the efforts of 10 or 20 other people as well.Lastly, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, real estate agents can be a great source for off-market properties. You will often hear these properties referred to as “Pocket Listings.” A property where the agent knows the owner has an interest in selling, but for whatever reason prefers the property not be listed “on the open market” yet. This is very common with commercial real estate. If you want to learn about these opportunities before they hit the market, you will definitely need to have developed a strong relationship with the agent.Off-market properties have incredible potential and can really accelerate your real estate investing success. They are going to take a little more effort but the payoff is definitely worth it. In today’s highly competitive property market, there is a tremendous advantage in being able to talk to potential sellers first!

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Intermediaries in Global Currency Trading

The global currency trading market is on an upswing. There is tremendous growth. In the end of 2012, global daily trade in foreign currency rose to USD 4.7 trillion. This is more than 12 times the average daily turnover of the global equity markets. There was a volume decline trend in other asset classes like stocks and bonds over the past two years. currency trade clocked a strong growth in 2011. However, in the third quarter of 2012 it showed a decline. In the last quarter of 2012, global currency trade staged a strong comeback to end the year almost at par with 2011. Global currency has now been widely accepted as a legitimate asset class. UBS AG estimates the daily all currency trade will top USD 10 trillion by 2020.Forex currency is an intermediary led market. The top participants in the global currency market are commercial and investment banks, hedge funds, central banks, corporate players, traders and speculators. important currency trading is an old phenomenon. For 100 years till the 1970s the fate of most currencies was tied to gold. Speculation of global currency in an open market started in the end of 1970s. In the current market, trading in foreign currencies by speculators usually takes place through a dealer, who provides the trading platform to transact. Such trades occur in currency pairs, such as USD/EUR (United States Dollars/Euro). Global currency trade always involves currency pairs. One is sold and the other bought.Intermediaries have an important role to play in the best currency market. They are agents who facilitate trading between dealers and individuals. But intermediaries themselves do not play a role in the trading. They have a network of communication channels with all stakeholders. This real time communication helps intermediaries to be online with the market movements and sentiments. In the end intermediaries collect a commission. The advent of the internet has impacted the global currency market. The different partners in the currency trading chain are now open to being evaluated for their services. There are plenty of online forums available now to give customers enough input to make a correct choice. It is important to understand that currency market is a risky market with chances of huge gains and losses. Most participants will do proper due diligence before choosing an intermediary. There are enough options available to them now. Smart intermediaries believe in a win – win relationship with their clients.

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