Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Importance of Facebook to Businesses

The world revolves around Facebook these days. It's everywhere, from households to businesses. Launched back in 2004, it has amassed a staggering one billion users. It has affected the social life and activity of people in various ways; it allows users to constantly stay in touch with its availability on many mobile devices.

However it should also be noted that Facebook has become an important medium for businesses to showcase their products. Firms do not know where their prospective clients and customers are. Most of them are active on Facebook, and if your business doesn't have a Facebook page you are missing out on a lot of customers. You can't get a prospective audience of 3 to 4 million or maybe more easily and most importantly for free elsewhere. This is a reason why you can find almost every big business owning a Facebook group or page. From Pepsi to Levi's, everyone is there. You need to be on this social media giant to gain such a market. Marketing on Facebook has a great effect, information spreads through networks virally.

Facebook provides a medium for constant customer interaction between the customer and the business, giving the company a better opportunity to understand, comprehend and discover what their consumers want. Moreover it provides a platform for firms to develop a better relationship with prospective and current audiences. Furthermore Facebook gives a clear idea as to how the business is perceived online. This can be done by obtaining direct feedback and looking at what the people have to say about the product. Businesses can acquire both negative and positive comments and can work accordingly to solve the issues that are arising. This is a great platform to grab new customers as anything you publicly post on Facebook goes viral in no time. This social media is also used as a tool by businesses for creating brand awareness amongst their customers apart from their corporate websites. Gradually as the page or group grows worldwide and increases its fan base the traffic to the company's website will increase. Creating a Facebook page allows businesses to get better search engine rankings.

Facebook is a world in itself; it's a growing universe which is endless. If it is properly used it can create a whole lot of difference to your business operations. A firm can achieve tremendous amount of growth within a very short period of time and it is cost effective.

Wide Format Document Scanning - The Advantages

Wide format document scanning and the digitisation of large documents is one of the most used services these days by the likes of architects and local authorities and with good reason.

Even the largest and most successful businesses in the world are finding that they need to save as much space as possible as well as bringing in the need for resources as much as is physically possible. Scaling back has become a familiar thing for so many businesses but when you have a lot of large documentation or large format drawings, plans or blueprints this can be a difficult task. More often than not these types of wide format files are either kept rolled in hard cardboard tubes or are left in a particular room unrolled where they take even more room than the cardboard tubes do. Cardboard tubes help to recude the amount of space that can be taken by large format documents but they are still heavily bulky things that take a lot of room especially if you have a large quantity of larger wide format images.

The best way to reduce the amount of space taken by these drawings is to simply get rid of them altogether but, as with most things, it's not as simple as that. This is where wie format scanning comes in.

Much like traditional document scanning, wide format scanning is a way to make digital versions of physical files but in this case on a much larger scale. Obviously you can do a large format drawing on a standard office scanner and they are more often than not done on a specialist large format scanner by a professional company.

But in doing this you can gain room that you might never have even realised you had. If your organisation is thinking of downsizing this can make a huge difference or even if you're just looking at giving your team some much needed space, wide format scanning is the ideal solution. This can have untold impacts on people's morale as well as the potential to use the new found room however you wish.

With wide format scanning files can be converted to numerous file formats of your choice whether this is PDF, TIFF or JPEG plus it's also possible, thanks to modern software innovation, to then convert the scanned files to fully editable CAD files which can be modified and used again and again.

With wide format scanning you're not just getting a way to save space and reduce your paper usage it also makes for a more flexible way of handling your documents. As with most PDF, JPEG or TIFF files, you can do pretty much anything you wish with them; modify them, email them, put them online to download and virtually anything else you can think of. This is the true beauty of digitisation.

Once the wide format scanning is completed you can then dispose of the large files either by sending them for secure shredding or to recycle. Usually the document scanning company that handles the conversion of you documents will be able to help out with these needs.

It might be surprising to realise that wide format document scanning is also something that doesn't cost a great deal. Most companies are in a position where they can process files quicker so that prices come down.

Mushroom Growing Business for Uganda: The Real Magic Uncovered

'In just 90 days, I was able to get over Shs. 50 million from the 7,000 stems of oyster mushrooms I grew. Each stem produces an average of 1.5kg of mushrooms in that 90 day period, and a kilo of mushrooms ranges from between Shs. 5000 and Shs. 8000.'

Mr. Kiddu Abel of the African Grower's association (U) Limited

Mr. Kiddu who is referred to above is right, mushrooms do grow quick. Their complete growth cycle is on average 15 weeks (about 4 months), even when using rudimentary methods. In Uganda it is common to grow them by having polythene bags suspended from the ceiling/roofs of dark grass thatched huts. The polythene bags being stuffed with damp cotton seedlings as well as maize brand, cotton or timber waste. With modern methods however, the mushrooms begin to sprout after 1-3 days.

So with the above in mind, how do you set about to make money to "feed the gods" of Kampala and it's surrounding areas?


1. Small Market.

Whilst mushrooms are technically not vegetables, they are often classified as such and owing to a low-level of disposable income, they are often not considered a necessity by Ugandans and therefore market is often limited to supermarkets and a few markets. The East African and International markets as per a few other research reports I have viewed seem to show that exports from Uganda would not be competitive when compared to other countries. The market will not therefore be significant but I however believe that the demand still outstrips the supply and with an increasing middle class, it is expected that demand for mushrooms will continue to grow.

2. Perish ability

Mushrooms are highly perishable and need to be consumed fast or properly preserved immediately after harvest; either through drying them or freezing. For the more advanced farmer, I recommend that you preserve them by drying them using a tunnel dryer. A tunnel dryer is estimated per Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to cost $250. At September 2012's exchange rate this is about Shs 632,000. I however expect that to be the non commercial type as the commercial ones are in the range of $6,500 but I believe the non commercial is a good starting point. There is of course a possibility that the creative manufacturers of Katwe near Kampala can make you a local tunnel dryer.

An alternative to drying is to have refrigeration facilities to keep them fresh as some consumers including export markets prefer fresh to dried mushrooms.

3. Water.

Mushrooms need constant supply of water and a moist dimly lit environment to grow favorably. We therefore recommend having an underground water tank to ensure constant supply of water.

4. Edible types.

Identifying and consuming only the edible types is a challenge, poisonous types with harmful toxins can easily be mistaken for edible ones. I would recommend that you contact an experienced grower to help you find the commercial and edible type of mushrooms. The most common types in Uganda being the oyster and the button types.


1. Little Space.

Growing mushrooms doesn't need a lot of land or space. It is particularly suited for even a Kampala suburb dweller and mushrooms can be grown in your backyard or store.

2. Simple process.

Mushroom growing is simple and doesn't require a lot of expertise and intensive care. The art of mushroom growing can be mastered quickly and easily as compared to other agricultural products or plants.

A word of caution, despite the ease of learning, it is worth visiting a farmer in Uganda to get first hand training. You can try Kabale district which owing to its cooler climate is renowned for mushroom growing and even has modern commercial facilities.

3. Profitability and return on investment.

I estimate the Return on Investment for this sector is as follows:

Start up capital (A): Shs.4,420,000
Profitability (B): 19,170,000
Return on Capital (A/B): 0.23 years
Final word

Mushroom growing is easy to learn and with low start-up costs and returns in about 3 months as shown above. This is therefore a cracking venture to start. It is also a sustainable venture as mushrooms are a very good alternative source of protein.

Mushroom growing therefore has the double benefit of being profitable and good for the community (as a healthy living option).

Otherwise best of luck!

For over 8 years I have worked with several clients providing audit, accounts, tax and advisory in sectors ranging from agriculture, mining, entertainment, financial services and technology.

My client portfolio in Uganda, The Bahamas and The Channel Islands, United Kingdom has equally been diverse and this experience has given me a "well rounded" view of business including several clients in this sector.

Why Should Payroll Accounting Be Outsourced?

Outsourcing the businesses' payroll accounting, is something that all small and medium-sized businessmen should indulge into. Handing over the payroll accounting aspect of the business to a professional service provider offers a series of benefits and advantages. Here are some reasons and tips for outsourcing businesses' payroll accounting, something that every business owner should consider.

-One of the biggest benefits on offer when you outsource your payroll accounting is the fact that they provide guarantee and certification of the fact that your tax will be filed accurately and on time. A lot of businesses regularly suffer fines due to filings that are either late or incorrect. The possibility of this is completely eliminated once you hire a payroll service provider as they take full responsibility of getting things done properly and on time. This saves you a lot of headache and fine money as a business owner.

-Next on list of reasons and tips for outsourcing businesses' payroll accounting is cost cutting. Although these services come at a price, but when compared to the time and money saved in terms of manpower that would otherwise be used if you undertook this process internally, this seems like a more financially viable option and something that makes complete business sense.

-Another feature of outsourcing a businesses' payroll is the fact that this enables direct deposit of paychecks, quite easily and in a convenient manner. Most employees given a choice will prefer the option of direct credit of salaries into their bank accounts and using the expertise of a payroll service provider allows a business to achieve this process in a hassle-free manner without glitches and mistakes. Also, the job of payroll document management as well as personal resolution of paychecks every month that would otherwise have to be done is eliminated.

-One of the most important reasons and tips for outsourcing businesses' payroll accounting is the fact that these payroll providers are always up to date with any changes that are coming up in areas like tax charts etc. This will mean that the possibility of making mistakes on this account by using incorrect reference or outdated information is done away with. This itself is a major advantage and will account to doing away with a lot of headaches for the business owner.

Outsourcing a businesses' payroll accounting is a decision that makes sound business sense and a small investment that will manifest itself in much greater returns.

Gyms Can Fight Financial Flab Using Direct Debit

Running a small business such as an independent gym or health club can be stressful at times. Not only do you need to be concentrating on sales all the time, but there is also the abundance of red tape to contend with. Corporation Tax and VAT returns along with PAYE, employee issues, maintenance of the building and equipment along with customer service issues all start to eat into your time.

Each month you then need to reconcile your membership payments received against those that were due. With four or five hundred standing orders coming into the company account, this undoubtedly will take valuable time that could be better utilised elsewhere. Only when the reconciliation is complete can you identify those members who haven't made their payment and begin the monthly process of chasing those members up by telephone for card, cheque or cash payments. For persistent late or non-payers, more time is then taken by having to pass the debt to a debt collection agency or pursuing the outstanding amounts through the court system.

Moving membership collections onto Direct Debit could help reduce the time taken for reconciliation. Direct Debit is a system that operates on 'reports by exception' so you only receive reports when action needs to be taken - for example; unpaid amounts, cancelled instructions or changes to bank details. This means that you only need to concentrate on doing the things that really matter to your business.

While the Direct Debit payment method has been around for some forty years, getting access to the service can prove troublesome. The Direct Debit Guarantee is in place to give consumers protection and confidence in the system, however a customer's ability to claim back a single Direct Debit, or indeed a sequence of transactions without restriction on amounts or timeframe brings an element of risk to a sponsoring bank who provides access to the service. To restrict the risk to the bank, generally they will look for one or more of the following: (a) a turnover in excess of £1m; (b) A lengthy historical relationship with the bank; or (c) A deposit to be held by the bank.

These prerequisites preclude the majority of UK small businesses, so a number of specialised Direct Debit Companies have stepped in to fill the gap. These services provide a managed Direct Debit Service and can apply for access to the Direct Debit System by sponsoring a Facilities Managed Service User Number (FM-SUN) on your behalf. Some providers can also discount the service further by allowing the use of a shared unbranded SUN which means that the benefits of Direct Debit can be brought to all but the smallest of businesses.

Health Clubs and gyms suffer from high dropout rates. Members that signed up to beat the Christmas Flab rapidly lose interest in February and March and as the festive credit card bills start have impact, gym payments begin to be returned unpaid. This is where Direct Debit comes into its own: unpaid amounts can be scheduled to be resubmitted so a second attempt at collection can be made. Where a payment bounces at the end of the month, a resubmission in the early part of the next month may reap rewards as salaries are credited to members' accounts and the funds become available for collection.

For persistent non-payers, particularly in the initial twelve months of a membership contract, debt collection services can be an important service. Some BACS Approved Bureaux also have the facilities to chase debts on your behalf going through a set procedure of dunning using letters and telephone calls to request immediate payment of outstanding amounts. Letters can become stronger as debts become delinquent, and if no payment is forthcoming after a set period of time, the debt can then be sold onto debt collection agencies for court proceedings to be issued.

All of this happens in the background when you use a Direct Debit Company so you can concentrate on growing your business by selling new memberships, upselling to existing members and focusing on providing that excellent customer service that you can only receive from a truly independent gym operator.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Learn about 3D Printing And Support Materials

3D printing may be a seriously cool technology that exists to help U.S. manufacture the terribly odd things within the style world. CNC cutting and numerous machining tactics cannot create something. Mildew producing tactics cannot create something. I am not planning to say that 3D printing will creates everything either, but it will create quite a bit a lot of. Once it comes all the way down to victimisation 3D printing for producing functions, there ar such a large amount of a lot of prospects. In different articles, I've mentioned the advantages to powder primarily based 3D printing. Today, i would like to hide the magic regarding support materials between the globe of 3D printing. 

If you do not grasp already, 3D printing is that the layer by layer creation of just about no matter you are curious about creating. A machine can lay down layers of fabric in accordance to a 3D style. A designer, artist, architect, product developer, engineer, or no matter you would like to decision him or her can has to be compelled to style a file on the pc. This file can then function the blueprint for 3d printing processes. The extruders between the particular 3D printers themselves can work with this style to make a final piece. A hot glue gun-like head can then begin egg laying down layers of fabric. Once Associate in Nursing extruder lays down layers of fabric, it will solely do such a lot. For instance, it is not simple for a hollow out center to be factory-made. Grooves, curves, and complex centers ar terribly troublesome to manufacture. However, between numerous styles of 3D printing ar support materials. This material is that the key to making terribly tortuous items and styles. 

How do these materials ease once it comes all the way down to producing complicated parts? Well, basically - material is set down love it usually would be. Once there is a crater or a groove to wherever material could not are antecedently, a layer of support material is set down. There ar numerous styles of support material out there. Some support material is also a rather exhausting gel. Others is also created out of the particular material itself. Different styles of support material can merely be dissolved away once exposed to a chemical, going the ultimate product. 

The capabilities of those supports ar endless! There ar such many choices once it comes all the way down to truly manufacturing complicated items that have the capabilities of tortuous centers, hollow areas, floating items, and different advanced styles. There ar such many advantages to having the capabilities of support materials. There is with great care a lot of to realize from this! 

By having support materials within the arsenal of materials and producing, complicated items that might ne'er are created within the past ar currently out there for anyone to use! This implies that there ar planning to be some crazy styles that shake up the producing world. In fact, there have already got been styles that have merely dazed the planning world. The act of victimisation material with support materials are simply awesome! This is often one among the sides that 3D printing has on different numerous styles of producing.