How to Create Your Personal Budget

Personal Budget

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Creating a budget may not sound like fun but it is necessary if you want to stay financially afloat. Before you start creating your personal budget, it is important to recognize that you have to be detailed if you want it to work. In the end, your result should show the sources of your money and where it goes. Here is how to create your personal budget.

Assemble all your financial statements

This includes your bank statements, utility bills and all the information pertaining to your incomes and expenses. The importance of this step is to come up with a monthly average. Therefore, the more information you gather, the better it will be for your budget.

Write down your income sources

If you are self-employed and you have some external sources of income, you need to write them down as well. If your income comes in the form of a standard paycheck that tax is deducted from, you should write your net pay. Write down this whole income as a monthly quantity.

Write down your expenses

Write down a list of all the monthly expenses that you expect to incur. This list should include your mortgage payment, groceries, insurance, entertainment and utility bills among others. Basically, write down everything that you plan on spending money on.

Divide your expenses into two categories

The two categories are fixed and variable expenses. Fixed expenses are the ones that remain fairly unchanged each month and they are vital to your monthly living. They include mortgage payments, auto insurance and other permanent fixtures in your monthly expenditure. Variable expenses on the other hand change on a monthly basis. They include entertainment, groceries and gas money. This category of expenses is vital when making adjustments.

Sum your income and expenses

If your end result shows more income and fewer expenses, then you are on the safe side. It means that you can prioritize the surplus to some parts of your budget so that you can pay your debts off faster. If your expenses are more than your income, you need to make some changes in your expenditure.

Adjust your expenses

If you have perfectly listed all your expenses, the end goal is to make your income equivalent to your expense column. This would mean that your earnings are accounted for and planned for certain expenses. If your expenses outweigh your income, you should make changes to your variable expenses. Cut out the variable expenses that are not necessary.

Assess your budget on a monthly basis

It is important that you review your budget monthly so that you can stay on track. After you make your budget for the first time, sit down and compare your monthly expenses to your actual expenses then make changes accordingly. This will show the areas that you need to improve on and those that you did well in.

When you make a personal budget, every penny that you earn will be accounted for. This means that you will live within your means and not spread yourself too thin. If you do not want to create your own Excel sheet or budget forms, try using a personal finance website such as Mint.

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How to Create a Business Brand

How to Create a Business Brand

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Business enterprises have realized the importance of brand power. Basically, business brands can be anything ranging from name, shape, symbol, slogan, design, or term associated with a product or service. It differentiates the product from similar products in the market and gives it a distinct identity. Many people also develop what is known as “brand loyalty”, because they feel sure about getting their money’s worth with a particular brand of product that they’ve used. Marketers have used brands to create a positive impression about the products, and at times even used these brands for giving products an aura of exclusivity. Either way, business brands do translate into profits for the business.

How to build business brands?

Brand building takes time, primarily because this is a psychological game in which the intelligence of market is manipulated or oriented towards a specific brand. Since people differ in thinking, steps for manipulating all of them may also not be easy. The following steps give some insight on how to build business brands.

Develop a brand.

This is the creative level. Any brand name, symbol, shape, design, or term should be such that people would easily recognize and remember it. If it is a term, it should be something that should be in their regular vocabulary and most important, it should be easy to pronounce. If it is a symbol or logo, it should be easy to draw. Lengthy names are usually avoided. Rhyming nature is brought to the fore if possible. If such words or symbols conjure up any image of the product, its even better. Usually names such as McDonald’s or Harley-Davidson become business brand names. Even so, they need to be marketed in a uniform fashion rather than each one writing these names differently. Sometimes, there is striking difference in the way brand name is written so that people notice it. An example of this is the facebook, in which the letter “f” is not capitalized. For instance if your a mobile business you may want ot include wheels in you logo – see here

Introduce the business brands

This primarily means advertising the brand. Here, it should be launched highlighting the brand name, symbol, term etc., as the case may be. It is necessary to associate these components of brand with the product here. Therefore, McDonald needs to be associated with eating joints, and Rolex should mean Swiss watch in the minds of people, rather than shoes or tennis racquets.

Differentiate with other brands

This is slightly difficult but it needs to be done. For example, Nike and Adidas offer sports goods, which are fashionable no doubt, but definitely not party wear. This means a need for those products has to be emphasized, and how this brand of product fulfils that need should be highlighted. It is not necessary to show people playing tennis uncomfortable in Gucci clothes to highlight that they need another wardrobe for sports. Merely emphasizing on comfort level in sports shoes when compared to other shoes will do the trick. When it comes to competitors such as Nike and Adidas, differentiation becomes tougher, and calls for ingenuity of the marketer as well as designs creator. Advertising also goes a long way in snatching each other’s market share. This means the advertisement should be something that people would notice and remember.

Monitor the brand’s effect

As mentioned before, if creation of brand is not increasing the profits, then perhaps, the brand has failed or needs some fine tuning. It may mean more advertising, and aggressive pursuit for establishing the brand. This is usually done by making brand rather common by selling at lower profits perhaps such that the name becomes common place. Once people start recognizing the name of the product, launching higher end products in the same line becomes easier. Alternately, it may be necessary to develop a new brand symbol or adopt a new brand name.

Brand name and social aspects

Holding competitions, sponsoring television programs, and doing social good helps to make people aware of the business brands. Corporates usually advertise the social good that they do. For example some companies mention that so many cents from every product that you purchase of this brand will be spent on educating poor. People are usually drawn to such brands because of their philanthropic interests. Effectively, such brand name becomes a household name.

Easiest Way to Make Money is…Online!

Easiest Way to Make Money is…Online!

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I am tired of people complaining about how it is hard to make money. Maybe they are not looking at the right place. Money can be made anywhere, especially online. All you really need is a laptop and a decent internet connection. Now, I know that one of the questions you’re probably asking is what can you possibly do online. You can do a lot actually…but here is a list of some ideas:

Write- Websites are always looking for content writers. Micro-journalism is also becoming popular these days. Having a blog can also bring you passive income through advertisements or referrals. If you have opinions, strong writing skills, and commitment, making money online wouldn’t be too hard. Writing product reviews and ebooks can bring you massive income too.

Sell- Have things you don’t need lying around the house? Why not sell them online and get money in return? eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist are three prominent examples of where you can sell your stuff. You can also choose to dropship items from the manufacturers so they will send the products to the customers for you. No need to even sell your own things. Or buy items in wholesale and sell them for more individually. A lot of people make money full time this way.

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YouTube- Did you know that you can make money by having people watch your videos? Top YouTube channels make enough money to sustain themselves just by making new videos regularly. If you are not that strong in the writing department, vlogging or recording yourself doing something can be fun and rewarding financially.

Affiliate Marketing- You can make money online by simply referring people to different websites, services, or products. When they purchase something, you will get small compensations. But those small compensations do add up. Some people do make a living by recommending products or services to their friends and family. Depending on the company, products, or websites, you can turn this into a full time job.

Take Photos- As much as people need articles to add content to their websites…photographs are in demand as well. Yes, people will pay you for your pictures even if you took them from your phone! It doesn’t have to be picture. Artistic is good enough.

Social Network- Many of us have Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The more friends and associates you have, the more valuable you are in the eyes of internet.You can get paid by writing on a forum, adding people to your social networking accounts, or even just sharing links and videos.

Freelance- If you have specific skills, try becoming a freelancer. Your work hours are flexible and you will still be working from home. You can design a website, tutor, create phone apps, etc. Internet is limitless. So are you.

I have listed some of the ways you can earn money online. Of course, the list is not complete. At least you get the idea. I stand by what I stated. The easiest way to make money is online. Even a 10 year old kid can do it. Why not start?

7 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

 

Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurs create wealth for themselves and society. When they succeed, they are considered heroes in our culture. One of the main reasons for this is that their accomplishments fuel the progress of regions and sometimes whole countries. It goes without saying it’s not easy at all to accomplish these feats. This is why many brilliant people have studied entrepreneurship. Although much of the literature focuses on particular solutions for our world’s problems, the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs should be studies as well. Entrepreneurs’ traits influence strategies, plans, actions, relationships and their unique style. Knowledge can be learned from books. But these characteristics have to be built through life experiences.

1. Perseverance- A wise man once said perseverance is omnipotent. Just like a drop of water makes its mark over a rock through time, entrepreneurs with perseverance will surely achieve their goals sooner or later. They have to be persistent to reach their goals. More often than not, entrepreneurs will see more failures than successes. If you don’t have perseverance and give up too soon, a business will not sustain.
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2. Creativity- Ideas are the most important source of wealth, power and well-being. This is very important in business, where the changing landscape and the need to reach goals demand a fresh and constant source of new or improved ways of doing things by entrepreneurs. An idea can change whole industries and even create them, improve processes, save money and do things with less resources. Without creativity, you’ll be simply copying someone else’s ideas. You can be inspired by someone else’s idea. However, the idea isn’t yours unless you put a creative and original twist to it.

3. Organization- In order to reach efficiency, a great entrepreneur is always keen to be organized. Although at times it is not possible to achieve it with complete efficacy, the goal is always to improve processes, empower people and minimize complexity. If you’re not organized, at least hire people who are. You need to have a system, a clear plan on how you what to build your business. Why do you need to have a business plan or a pitch? It is to be organized so your business can be represented in a professional manner.

4. Flexibility- Even if entrepreneurs persevere, they should also be flexible in order to become great and to achieve their goals in a shorter period of time. Sometimes, you may be stuck on an idea…unable to make certain decisions about your company. The solution can be found easily through brainstorming with others. This will require you to be open minded and flexible in your way of thinking. By doing this they will be able to reach their destination much faster since adapting to changing circumstances and correcting previous mistakes is a great way not only to survive, but to thrive.

5. Specialized knowledge- Great entrepreneurs never stop learning. It goes without saying that passion for what they do may predict in great measure their future success. Deep knowledge about the entrepreneurial process, industry, products, services and people is required to reach great heights. Of course, you should hire experts in the fields to become your mentors or advisers as well.

6. Boldness- By being daring, even a bit rebellious is in the nature of the most successful individuals on the planet. Their actions gather more momentum and can break through resistance much faster, better and stronger. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either. Be direct with your employees on what your expectations are. Always push the envelope.

7. Leadership- Entrepreneurs are leaders by definition. Even if an individual possessed all aforementioned characteristics, they wouldn’t be entrepreneurs if they didn’t take the lead by setting a clear vision for their businesses. Leaders need to set good examples and inspire their employees. If you don’t have the leadership skills, you probably don’t belong in the top management positions. Most importantly, you need to embrace and seek challenges so that your business can move forward. Once you believe in something as a leader, you’ll realize that you’re not the only doing so.

All these characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are interrelated.  You can’t have one without the others. By nurturing these characteristics an individual can reach astounding success in their fields and even more important, they can contribute to the well-being of the people who depend upon them and for the general well-being of society.

Now, go make things happen.