Strictly speaking, businesses, especially those of the corporate kind have no other primary goal other than to obtain profit for its shareholders. ï¿½This generalization would appear harsh and negative but when taken in the right context, one will eventually realize the truth to it. ï¿½Shareholders invest their money with the expectation that it will earn profit and that is but natural. ï¿½If a person would want to help others without anything in return, there are many charity organizations which could handle such calling.
A business cannot survive without any profit, much less provide its shareholders with commensurate reason to put in their money and accept the risks entailed. ï¿½Profit-earning businesses will have more staying power and can provide benefits not only to shareholders but also to employees, suppliers, and the general public. ï¿½It is necessary for any economic business to earn its required profit to make it a productive venture and there is no quarrel in the premise that without profit, a business does not have any way to go but down.
That said, should businesses therefore not strive to achieve anything more than gaining profit? ï¿½We all know the answer to this since there is life for a business beyond profit. ï¿½A person or group of persons who start a business will usually have other reasons for going into it. ï¿½They may believe in a particular product or service or they may be out to prove the worth of ï¿½such product or service. ï¿½Going into business may be a continuance of a family or community tradition. ï¿½It may also be done in the furtherance of a certain cause.
Somewhere in the general goals of a business is a vision that is positive and not merely self-centered. ï¿½This is true no matter the size of the business. ï¿½When a business cannot go beyond profit, it may survive but it can never be anything more than a business to the public’s eye.
People who wish to open a business can do so through three (3) different forms – sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporations. Each holds its distinct advantage over the other as well as their corresponding disadvantages. The choice of what form to take would depend on the business goals set at the beginning. It is possible for a business to initially adapt one form and change to another in the course of operation to accommodate developments that come with time.
A sole proprietorship is the easiest form among the three because of lesser documentary requirements and the absence of the need to consult several people when making business decisions. The start-up cost is lower and no payroll will be required to be set up in businesses having no employees. It is however fit for smaller scale businesses since the owner represent the company fully and legally. This means that the owner is personally liable for all actions of the company, including debts that may be incurred during operation. The ability to raise capital is very limited in this form of business.
Partnerships are arrangements between two or more people or business entities where they agree to work together for their common interests. This includes contributing money and/or industry to a common fund having the intention of dividing the profits among the partners. A partnership has a separate juridical identity from individual partners where liability can be unlimited or limited. It is dissolved when a partner dies or leaves the partnership.
The most preferred form of large businesses is the corporation. It provides the most effective business organization required in having several shareholders owning the company. That said, it is still the most difficult to create, manage, and organize due to the standard requirements to start and operate one. However, corporations usually have the advantage of having accounting, consulting, and legal professionals do the work. Shareholders of corporations are only liable to the extent of their investment in relation to the debts and obligations of the corporation.
Just this afternoon during my regular meeting with the management team of my company, I was reading the newspaper to see what new developments that the country has been achieving, in the business aspect of course. While the usual crisis as far as unemployment and companies merging or declaring bankruptcy one after the another was still in the top of the heap of news, I noticed that the dollar to peso exchange rate was below the Php 50.00 = $1.00 for the first time after a long time. It currently stands at Php 43.88=$1.00, a far cry from the recent years where is rarely went below Php 50.00=$1.00. Then it hit me that it was just exactly about a year ago when the peso was slowly improving, it took almost a year for it to break through the Php50.00 barrier, something that most deem as a good sign as far as the economic development of the Philippines is concerned. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that the fast growing number of overseas workers, particularly nurses and specialized professions, has been remitting their earnings mostly in the form of dollars or other foreign currencies.
The same can be said for other Asian economies where their currency has improved against the USD, even major ones like Japan. In a time when everyone is worrying about a double dip recession in the US and Europe, and even a slowdown in China- Asia may by default benefit as a perceived safe haven. So while a strong Japanese yen vs. the USD may hurt the export industries like Toyota, Sony or Ajinomoto- the repatriation of funds should more than balance this out and in fact lead to great internal investment.
If my presumptions hold true and the trends do not falter, it can still improve, considering that the holiday season has not yet even been started and this is a good sign for the Filipino people, particularly for trading companies such as the one I am handling right now. Merlion International Sales, Inc., thrives in the exchange rate , owing to the fact that most of the goods are manufactured and produced in Taiwan, a country that has a higher cost of labor and production costs compared to the local manufacturing in the Philippines.
On one side, I still wonder if this is really a good sign, or it is just that other countries are now catching up towards the jumpstart practice as far as economic management is concerned. If there is one thing that most people should consider before celebrating, it is the reaction of other currencies with regards to the Philippine Peso. If there is no significant change, I am sorry to break it to them, but maybe there is something we are not looking at. The dollar has become the focal point for comparison, but it should be noted that other currencies also have something to do with the entire flow of the economy for local and foreign counterparts.
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The technology has been around for so long that it has managed to evolve as a primary business tool for communications. Known mostly to support and call centers, VoIP has gone mainstream saving businesses the much needed cash that hard to come by in today’s economic downturn. From high-end hardware based VoIP that has dedicated hardware designed to work similar to the private branch exchange systems of days past to more affordable soft-VoIP or software-based VoIP that uses emulators presenting the communications interface through the computer’s monitor.
Communications is one of the most expensive costs in a business and what better way to save than to use the existing internet connection for the same purpose. VoIP for business allows the downsizing of the communications infrastructure that used to cost businesses thousands of dollars turning to the ever present internet for communications that with the addition of a mic and speaker system turns into a more profitable investment.
Just because you run a relatively small business does not mean that you cannot have relatively big clients. After all, size can be a matter of perspective. Then again, what if you really operate on a small scale and yet you believe that you can provide a beneficial service to an establishment that operates on a much larger scale, say a government agency or some other private institution? Will this partnership even be possible?
The good news is that yes, it is indeed possible for a small business to cater to the needs of much larger entities. The trick lies in finding the right channel of communication in order to get your message across to the larger entities. If you have not heard of the Small Business Administration’s Business Matchmaking, then it is about time that you did. This program is intended to give a lending hand to small business owners so that they can build contacts that can open wide doors for them.
InYork carries this story:
Presented by SCORE, Hewlett Packard, and other private companies, Business Matchmaking is a series of regional events that bring corporate and government buyers to small-business owners. Since the program began in 2003, business owners have landed more than 20,000 appointments with key government and corporate officials from hundreds of major corporations and agencies.
The best thing about the activities under this program is that they are free! You only have to make sure that you have your killer pitch ready. You never know, you just might land yourself a big fish soon.
Donâ€™t overlook the importance of PR
According to the Business Week article, PR is a large part of blogging. This, I think is one of the strongest points of blogging. It provides an easy and convenient way of communicating with your clients. They can leave comments without going through the normal channels of communications (e-mail, phone calls, snail mail, etc.). Your part is to address these comments as fast as you can and as effectively as you can. The idea is to deal with the comments in real time without neglecting any of them. If you decide to forget all about the interaction between you and your customers through your blog, then you might as well forget about corporate blogging. Not only will you be wasting a very good feature that blogging is offering you but you will also risk negative publicity.
More importantly, place high value on full disclosure
Donâ€™t try to hide your intentions when you do your marketing through blogging. More likely than not, you will end being found out and everything will blow up in your face. If you want to pay bloggers to create buzz for you, then do not hide the fact. Who is to say that your strategy is faulty anyway? As long as you do not try to dupe people and your intentions are made clear, youâ€™ll be alright.
In the last post, we talked about two things that you may want to consider with regard to corporate blogging. Just to recap, they are:
-Bloggers should be trained in their task and they should know their limitations
-Fake blogs are not always the right way to go and there are risks associated with them.
Let us look at some more considerations when it comes to corporate blogging.
Consider tracking blogs
This means tracking other blogs â€“ not your own corporate blog â€“ that may be following your own blog. This would mean that someone in your company â€“ it could be you or someone else â€“ should spend some time in finding out the buzz going around online about your company. Why is this important? Because you can find out relevant information from the actions of others online.
Case in point: Big Blue is testing advanced technology called Web Fountain, which analyzes billions of postings to see if they predict spikes in consumer behavior. Last year, Web Fountain plumbed the blog world for buzz on books and then compared it to sales data from Amazon.com. In about half the cases, researchers could predict the sales growth that would follow the buzz.
This was an example provided by Business Week. If you can use your blog to predict sales growth to a certain degree, why not take advantage of that possibility? More so, you can find out what your customers and clients think about you and your services. Read other blogs which may have mentioned your company or your service or product and see if there is information that is relevant to you.
Photo courtesy of sgis
Blogging is one of the ways to exploit the way that information is being spread all across the world today. Corporations and big businesses who pay large amounts of money to people who do their public relations work can actually save considerable amounts just by engaging in blogging. Here are some thoughts on corporate blogging that can make the whole process easier and more streamlined.
Bloggers should know what they are doing
Just as PR people are trained for their jobs, people who blog for the corporate business blog should know the ins and outs of this task. It does not mean that they have to go to blogging school (if there is even such a thing), it just means that each blogger should know what the limits are. Corporate blogging is a bit more sensitive than personal blogging as the former is basically representing what the company is all about. One misstep can cause the company a lot of damage.
The idea is for your company to have a clear set of rules and guidelines when it comes to blogging. In this way, you can prevent any mishap from happening. You can even use your PR department for this.
Fake blogs may not be the best option
What exactly is a fake blog? They are still blogs, make no mistake about it, but what happens is that this kind of blog is basically set up by the PR or marketing department solely in order to promote a specific product or service. The person behind the blog is not real. This happened a year or so ago when Sony created a fake blog under the pretense of a teenager who wanted a PSP for Christmas. The results? People were outraged. Blogging is based on the principle of authentic information. Engaging in fake blogs is very risky and just might ruin your foray into the blogosphere.
(to be continued)
For those of you who ventured into corporate blogging early on, you might have already read this book. It is not really new â€“ it was published in 2006 â€“ but still has retained much of the edge that it had when it first came out.
Written by Debbie Weil, the bookâ€™s full title is The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right. Indeed, this book not only provides you with the knowledge you need about corporate blogging but also gives you practical tips on how to do things the right way.
I like how Debbie opens the book with 20 questions that any corporate executive would probably have with regard to blogging. With this kind of opening, the book is perfect for the business man who has heard tons about blogging and yet does not really understand the whole concept. In this manner, Debbie provides quick knowledge and quickly eases the fear of the unknown at the same time.
It does not end there, however. The book provides in depth analysis of the issues that a business might face if it, indeed, decides to join the corporate blogging bandwagon. In addition to that, readers would find tools and ideas on how to go about the business of blogging for the corporate setting.
Just because something is not fresh off the press does not mean that it is old and outdated. The Corporate Blogging Book is a good place to start if you are still vacillating on whether or not blogging is the way to go for your business.
Assumption is the mother of all mess ups, so they say. Iâ€™ll go out on a limb here and assume that you have an idea who John Chow is. After all, he has been making huge waves in the blogosphere in the past few months. Now, just to make sure I donâ€™t make wrong assumptions here, let me tell you a little bit about John Chow. He established The Tech Zone, which provides information on hardware news and reviews. He also established TTZ Media Network, which offers shopping and price comparison services for web publishers focused on technology. His site, John Chow dot com, gets an astronomical number of views each day as he offers a myriad of advice on how to make money online. Get the picture?
Just the other day, he posted an entry on his blog business structure. Though it is specific to his case (he lives in Canada), it could very well be useful for other bloggers who need advise on the matter of income through blogs and taxes. His main point is this: if you earn money through your blog, then you have to pay taxes on it. There is no doubt about that. He goes on to point out that in the eyes of the law, the person behind the blog is separate from the blog as a corporation itself. This, according to him, is the key to making some savings on taxes.
His entry does make a lot of sense and bloggers all over the world are realizing this. Though not everyone is a John Chow fan, you might be able to make use of the points he is presenting.