Personal Budgeting: An Imperative

Budgeting is a basic part of accountancy.

Nations, states, cities, towns and every incorporated company have budgets. Every private company, or other commercial entity, worth its salt has a formal budget. So why is it that the vast majority of people do not use a formal budget in their private lives? They do budget of course. We all do in one way or another. But very, very few people have a good enough memory to successfully budget informally – that is, without writing it down. And it's when we forget to allow for some expense that we get into trouble. We get into debt. Is not that just about the worst feeling in the world – to be in unplanned debt?

To be poor is a sad experience – it's a state of mind. To be broke is an uncomfortable experience – but it's a temporary condition. To be in unplanned debt can be gut wrenching. And generally speaking, unplanned debt is just plain carelessness.

Why then does it happen? Simply because in the days before computers and calculators budgeting was a boring and time-consuming task. There was an awful lot of adding up to do and the darned thing had to be continuously adjusted as time went by, usually every month at least. So it was not surprising that most people just did not bother and as the generations passed by, so did the practice of ordinary people not preparing budgets for their personal finances. They just did not think that the value derived from maintaining a personal budget was worth the time consumed.

So what's changed? One very important factor: personal computers – they've just made it so easy that if you do not budget, you're making life unnecessarily difficult for yourself. It is now well and truly worth the very small investment of time to input a few lines of data every week. Because from that the computer can give you more financial reports than one person is ever likely to need. It will produce reports on tax payments; about what you've sent; about where you've spent it, about what you've spent it on and it will do that for any given period of your choosing. It'll find transactions that you've forgotten about but that suddenly you really need to know about. It will tell you how much money you will have in the bank next Christmas (or what you've got to stop spending money on so that you will have the amount of money you need in the bank next Christmas.)

The really big thing is that you will be in charge of your finances. It makes it so easy to explain to your dependents – be it spouse, partner or children; just exactly what the household can afford to spend, on what and when. Ninety-five percent of the arguments about money will go out the window because people will be able to see clearly what can and can not be done. If we buy you that cell phone, we will not be able to buy that game. You get the idea.

What software is best? Well there's no shortage of it. It's not expensive. The best is less than a hundred dollars and you'll save that in no time flat. Check out the choices available, and choose the one which best suits your personal needs. It will be well worth whatever you decide to invest in it. And it will most definitely save you lots of headaches and heartaches in the long run, if used properly.

Your Business Mission – What the Heck Do You Do, Anyway?

Do you really need a business mission statement? Is it just some fancy words to put in that business plan that collections dust on your shelf, or is there really more to it?

One of the key attributes of successful businesses is that they clearly know what they do. Defining the goal or the "mission" of your business can be the key to your success.

A good mission statement does three things:

"States what business you are in." Defines your target market. "Provides inspiration for your business.

One of the best examples of a mission statement comes from Levi Strauss & Co. [http://www.levistrauss.com/Company/ValuesAndVision.aspx]

"We will market and distribute the most appealing and widely worn apparel brands. Our products define quality, style and function. We will clothe the world."

Clothing the world is a pretty lofty goal, but Levi Strauss has the ability to do this for one reason — Their founder, Levi Strauss, started the business with a mission and focus.

Levi started his wholesale dry goods business in San Francisco February, 1853. Rather than hoping to make his fortune in the Gold Rush, he created a fortune by wholesaling clothing and fabric to the small stores supplying the thousands of miners and later, families of the West.

In 1872, he was contacted by Jacob Davis, a tailor who had developed a method to rivet the stress points of the pants he made from fabric he bought from-you guessed it — Levi Strauss. Jacob did not have the funds to patent the process, so he teamed up with Levi Strauss to patent the original blue jean in 1873. The rest is history.

Now, if Levi Strauss was your typical small business, he would probably have spun off in ten different directions in their early years, but the company remained focused on supplying quality clothing and fabrics to the working men and women of the West, and later the world. Rather than focusing on their core market, they would have fallen into the AFAB method … Anything for a Buck.

Most small businesses suffer from this lack of focus.

When we work with struggling business owners, the first thing we ask them is "What is your bread and butter?" What one product or service provides you with the majority of your business profit?

Unfortunately, most business owners can not answer that question. They did not define their core product or service and target market when they started, and end up doing a little bit of everything, and nothing well.

Or, they focus most of their time on a product or service line that they like, without knowing whether it actually is their most profitable.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this problem.

You have to determine your gross profit margin from each of your product lines or services. Get together with your accountant, and figure out what you need to do to separate your revenue and expenses by the major product lines of your business. Then, you can find out your gross profit margin, or the percentage of gross profit you receive from each activity.

The product or service with the highest gross profit margin is your core business activity. It is the bread and butter of your business, and the key to your company profits.

Now, you must focus as much of your company resources as possible on this core activity. Market it, systemize it, and turn your business into a machine for duplicating this product or service over and over again.

What happens?

Well, rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off, putting out fires all over your business, you suddenly have the focus to know where to spend your time and energy. You know your core, and you can work to make a good thing even better.

This focus will transform your business and your life.

Remember the term "Jack of All Trades, but Master of None"? You can not really really good at something without focus, and focusing on your most profitable core product or service will make your business even more efficient.

Does this mean that you should never expand beyond your core? Of course not, but you must make sure you are really good at your core product or service before you venture into different directions. Creating a strong bread and butter business will give you the base necessary to expand.

Your core product or service is the foundation for your business. Build it well.

Domain Names – Selecting The Right Domain Name For Your Online Business

Domain names unrelated to your topic can easily deter potential readers from clicking on your site. As an example, consider a situation where you may decide to invest in an AdSense campaign, or paid search engine placement. Irregardless of where you advertise your site, the domain name is likely to be visible to the reader. If it is unrelated to what they are looking for, chances are they will not click on your site.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the main keyword for your topic may already be included in a number of other domain names. In these instances, you may want to us a domain name that still includes your main keyword, and also a secondary one. That said, it is important to keep your domain name to a comfortable word length, so that it is easy to remember.

Finally, even though hyphens in a domain name may make it possible to use your main topic keywords, they can be very annoying to your potential reader. For various reasons, a potential site viewer may want to type the domain name into the address bar. If you have hyphens in the name, it is easier to mis-type it, and then receive an error message. In all cases, it is important to realize that web surfers rarely have the patience to wade through long domain names, let alone figure out why the error occurred.

Many people want domain names that are fresh and live. Unfortunately, even if the name is very creative, it may not be related to your product or site topic. Aside from this, long or tedious domain names can inhibit potential viewers from returning to your site at a later time.

Motorcycle Footwear

When a motorcycle is purchased there are many other purchases to consider. Every biker describes to have riding gear that will keep them safe while riding. Out on the open road there are road hazards and weather conditions to deal with.

Leather motorcycle jackets come in different types of cowhide and buffalo, along with chaps. These protect a rider from the elements, rocks, debris, and road rash. Leather gloves keep the hands warm in cold weather and dry in wet weather. Gloves also protect the hands from road rash. In the case of an accident and being thrown from a motorcycle the natural instinct is to put the hands out to break the fall. With gloves the skin on the hands can stay intact. A helmet is always important. Use your brain to protect your brain.

A long with leather jackets, chaps, gloves, and a helmet the footwear is also an important part of riding gear. Even picking the correct footwear takes careful consideration. A pair of tall leather boots works well when riding a motorcycle. This will protect the riders ankles from being burned on the exhaust pipes and from debris and stones. On a bike it is important to have the soles of the shoes be grippy; these will make the soles of the shoes like an extra set of tires. The feet are what hold up the motorcycle when you are at rest.

Some bikers may where fashion boots or cowboy boots, but these have slippery soles. Fashion boots are available in a work style with grippy rubber soles. Other bikers prefer a boot with Velcro or latches rather than a lace up boot. First they take less time to put on, and second the laces may come loose and get caught in moving parts, like the drive train.

Along with choosing the perfect bike that is comfortable and fits your cycling style, remember to purchase the riding gear including footwear that looks cool and keeps you protected while riding.