Yeshua is coming back! Are you ready?

Yeshua is coming back! Are you ready?
You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you Free

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Talk About My Favorite Sport: Cycling

While a graphic artist has to stay in shape, physical fitness and good nutrition is needed. Sitting in front of a computer screen or at an easel is not a good idea of a healthy life.  I chose cycling because it's easy, economical and eco-friendly. There are certain things to consider when becoming an avid bike rider. One of these is avoiding any injuries and investing in a helmet is a good beginning. Another is taking care to avoid saddle sores a common and preventable problem. I found an article on how to avoid these at eHow.com

 green_smoothie
Cyclists need to stay in shape. Cyclists need lots of greens, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables for optimum health. Juices and smoothie are a way to boost your energy.
This juice recipe was given to me by a local pharmacy shopkeeper. They say it was use by a patient with pancreas cancer and they recommend it highly. Good health and well-being to you all by the grace in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
What they say what is good for pancreas is good for the enitre body. I recommend this juice to everyone.
1 serving about 8 ounces

Pancreas Rejuvenator
 
4 carrots
1 apple
4 to 5 lettuce leaves
3 ounces of string beans (approximately 3/4 cup)
3 ounces of Brussels sprouts (apporximately 3 to 4 sprouts)

Trim the carrots and cut them into 2-to-3-inch pieces. Process the carrot pieces in the juicer and set aside.
Cut the apple into narrow weddges. Process the apple wedges, lettuce leaves, string beans, and sprouts in the juicer. Combine the juices and mix well.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Art References


Water Buffalo
This is a beautiful animal! It’s an okapi. It’s related to the giraffe and they live in the Congo rainforest region. I’m going to draw one,along with a cheetah, meerkat, water buffalo, eland, reindeer and a sumatran rhino. I did a kudu which you can see in this blog. When time permits I’ll be posting them here. So keep checking back!





When drawing or any art medium you need good references to achieve a successful art pieces. The work is finding a good one. It’s important to create a photo reference file to refer to. You can categorize your references in different types: people, animals, landscapes, architecture, still life, and so on.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Business Profitability



                When starting up a business the new entrepreneur need to think about what products or services they'll be selling to the client. The next step in the process is pricing strategies. The one thing to ask yourself is to find the balance between charging too much or too little. Think on these terms about your clients or customers. They want the best value for their money and they will almost always do a quality comparison and make purchases based on the best price for the best value. Perception is everything. It's how the client will view your product or service and what they are willing to pay for it is based upon discernment. In the end, the client will tell you loud and clear through their purchasing behavior whether or not your price is too high, too low or right on the money. (SCORE)

                When conducting your market research never assume anything. Determine what competitors and charging for products or services similar to you.  Assess how your inventory measured up the terms of quality compared to those of your competitors. Investigate areas of the Internet, trade publications, and trade shows. Give surveys of customers or conduct focus groups. Try and get out and physically shop the competition and evaluate how the operate and how they do business. And, go straight to the customers themselves for feedback. Examine pricing models beginning start-up costs, followed by research, product development, materials (marketing and sales), manufacturing, staff, office space, equipment, packaging.  Keep in mind, that the raise and lowering of prices can change in economic conditions, supply and demand, and competitor's prices. Prices are affected by inflation, recession, a boom, and raising and falling interest rates.
A Plan for Making your Business Profitable
  • The difference between gross profit and net profit.
    • Gross profit is the difference between a company's total revenue or sales of its products and services and the direct costs associated with producing and selling a company's products and services.
    • Net profit or net income is a company's total earnings after subtracting all its expenses from total sales and other income on a quarterly and annual basis.
    • The concept between them both is that gross profit is determined by taking the company's total sales and subtracting the goods costs. Cost of goods sold include raw materials, fuel, transportation, shipping, and employee's salaries directly involved in manufacturing of company's products and services.  Net profit is determined by subtracting a company's sell, general, administration, SG&A expenses, depreciations costs, taxes from revenues and other income. SG&A consists of sales commissions, advertising, marketing, research and development, legal and accounting fees, general administration, other expenses, employee's salaries not directly involved in the manufacturing of the company's product or service. These are the CEO, CFO, and administrative staff. Depreciation refers to the gradual decline in value of the company's hard assets, for example, furniture and equipment. These are usually found in the middle of the income . Net profit is listed on the bottom. (Wang)

  • The misconceptions that new business owners have with regard to revenue and expenses.
                In every business staying on top of obligations of paying taxes to federal, state, and local taxes. It will pay in the long run to keep accurate records by professional accounting. Tax professionals are well trained to keep up with the changing tax codes. As a business owners you need to understand that once your business opens the start-up fees are immediately deductible. If you overpay the Internal Revenue Service you are automatically audit proof. As long as you pay the right amount or a little overpayment. Make sure you properly document your expenses and make sure your getting good advice. Being incorporated can be expensive and a headache. Small businesses that incorporate don't make money for the first two years and are burdened by corporate tax payments and no income. It's best to take the home office deductible. Business expenses are not deductible. You can take deductions on business supplies, depreciation, phone bills, travel expenses, printing, wages, and other expenses. Extensions on taxes only means an extension to pay taxes this extends your filing date. If you do not pay on time it will mean, penalties and interest begin accruing from the due date. Part-time business owner can not set up self-employed pensions. When you start-up a company with a salaried position with a 401K plan you can step up a SEP-IRA and take the deduction. If you have the basic knowledge of how the tax system work you are still liable for the accuracy of your tax returns. If you have an accountant and he messes up your still responsible. (CPA Solutions)
  • Software for Business Management.
    • Sage Peachtree 2012  is one of the top accounting programs for Windows PC. The reviews claim it to be one of the best and can integrate with Excel. (Software News Daily)
    • MS Office Suite 2010 for Windows and MAC features Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. Does so many different tasks that you can integrates between the programs like transfer data from Word to a spreadsheet in Excel. It offers e-mail program and contact management.
    • Sage Act Pro Contact Management integrates with Microsoft Office and can be customized. It keeps track of progress with sales staff and has contact management for e-mail programs, and has capability to import contacts from other programs.
    • The top choice for business owners would be the Sage Peachtree 2012 because they need to keep records of all their sales transactions together. It makes complex accounting tasks like transactions, billing, payroll, and reporting more manageable for small business owners. It's new Vendor Management System showcases vendor history, payment, contact information, and historical information. (Justine)
    • When buying computer software the price tag is a fraction of the cost. The greater cost would be the installation, training, maintenance, upgrades, and troubleshooting. There are two kinds of upgrades: version upgrades and bug fixes. Bug fixes are more frequent they correct major software performance o r security problems. Major upgrades are fundamental changes and are less frequent. The main reason for upgrading is to maintain capability with clients and contractors that use the same software. Technical support on the other hand can be a bit of a problem. Even though the 90-day free support covers short-term installation and hardware compatibility problems, you still need long term technical support. This can get expensive and some companies charge a fee per year depending on required support. Try free sources from software companies that offer websites, newsgroups, and fax-back services that can answer most common support questions. 
  • Pricing products and services for profit
                Pricing can be just as important as the product. Take for example, Xerox. Despite its technology it wasn't selling its copy machines. They were too expensive. Their solution they stopped up-front purchase and charge by the copy. They placed their machines in offices for free and charged for the copies. No approval was required and office personnel grasped its utility and productivity. The trend grew and Xerox expanded. Gillette razors gave away the handles to their razor cartridge refills while their competitors sold them. The customers like the freebies, all they needed was the refills. Gillette razor use exploded as did the revenue for the company. These pricing innovations are just as important as the product innovations. That way your customer can pay for what they really want. Pricing your products and services can be very difficult. It can also be very confusing and frustrating, but is necessary for you to be complete effectively and to turn out a profit. (Frey)
  • Pricing to compete
                Good marketing strategy is how you price your product and service. According to the experts at Inc.com competing on price has pass. They're saying that customers need more on service, marketing support, better fast delivery. Now that price is the least effective. Customers who have been jaded on sales know. This is where you can compete on price. But it takes some thought and smarts. Don't confuse customers will down one day then up the next. If you're going to compete with pricing it must drive every decision you make. According to Jan Bell Marketing of Sunrise, Florida sells its private label jewelry wholesale about a third of manufacturer prices. The company is able to sell for less and make more. Begin by examining how a company buys its raw materials. Purchases were made in bulk. Jan Bell brought direct from the source. Price governs everything  to sell low controls every decision the company makes from buying to advertising to the customers. The lower your fixed costs the higher your margins. Jan Bell doesn't contract out anything. It makes a representative sampling of its line. So they know what each item costs and what should be charged. You can't afford to have inventory to sit around. The line must be designed to move quickly. Leave the caviar to someone else sell the fresh fish. (Brown)

  • Pricing scenarios in a sluggish market, an average market, and a strong market.
Market pricing is one of the most common methods for setting prices. The market pricing approach requires a strong market research endeavor to assess the customer's reaction.
Pricing in a sluggish market  - In the solar panel market, when the market slows the prices fall. When prices are low means it can't support normal production. As in the China slowed its solar output booms as price slips down. China's plants are faced with backed-up inventory, slow capital spending, with shrinking profit margins. (Walet)
Pricing in an average market - When the market is steady the prices are moderate  meaning it will less in demand. This is called "holding the market" the prices can drop but remains steady along with the market trend and production is steady.  The economy is balanced.
Pricing in a strong market - In this market the product can met supply and demand, prices are increasing or decreasing moderately but production slows or decreases. The market trading volume corresponds to price change where increasing  volume accompany increasing prices.



REFERENCES CITED

Brown, Paul B. How to Compete on Price. INC. May 1, 1990. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://www.inc.com/magazine/19900501/5179.html
Free Reports for Business Owners. CPA Cite Solutions. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://www.cpasitesolutions.com/content/articles/businessowners.shtml
Frey, David. How to Prices Your Products or Service for Maximum Profit. Marketing's Best Practices. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://www.score.org/events/workshops/pricing-products-and-services
Justine. Sage Peachtree 2012 Features and Review. Software News Daily. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://www.softwarenewsdaily.com/2011/07/sage-peachtree-2012-review-and-features
Business Sale Seminar. Barnes Walker. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://www.barneswalker.com/Business_Sale_Seminar_Outline_8.29.pdf
Trend Analysis. Investopedia. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/trendanalysis.asp#axzz1kMtHjcaW
Wang, Elizabeth. Gross Profit Vs. Net Profit. Small Business Chron. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/gross-profit-vs-net-profit-4024.html
Pricing Products and Services. SCORE. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012.
http://www.score.org/events/workshops/pricing-products-and-services
Support and Upgrades: Determining the Real Cost of Software. Dun & Bradstreet. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. https://smallbusiness.dnb.com/technology/computer-software/1135-1.html
Walet, Leonora. China to Slow Solar Output Boom as Price Slips. Reuters - Singapore. Nov 2 2011. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/02/us-china-solar-siew-idUSTRE7A14QD20111102
Ward, Susan. Top 5 Small Business Software. About.com. Web. retrieved January 21, 2012. http://sbinfocanada.about.com/od/software/tp/bizsoftware.htm

Financing a New Business Enterprise


                When you start-up your business you need to ask yourself in the business viable and can you make money at it? Most important do you have enough cash to start your business. It's crucial to understand the financial feasibility of a business. The key to cash flow is making sure that you have cash coming in than going out. If you know that your idea and product is viable then you know it is time to start-up your business. Starting a business costs more and takes longer than you think. You can make a trial run on your business to see if it is viable. (SCORE)
Step 1: Financing a New Venture
The 3 types of funding sources for entrepreneurs are the following:
  • Personal contact loans that refer to loans that you borrow from family, friends, and business associates. These people provide the needed support usually interest free to the entrepreneur and enjoy the benefits of a new venture. Angel investors are in this category with a no non-sense equity and few contract agreements. Venture capitalists investor in your business if you're experienced have more money if you need to grow and if you want to share and plan to grow fast and go public.
  • Government loans are called SBA loans, government backed loans that are in every state in the United States of America. The business owner can attend seminars and workshops in obtaining and applying for loan information. These work as guarantors with a network of local lenders to help promote small business to grow and succeed. The seven loan program helps the applicant to apply for a loan from a lending institution. The applicant is required to have a current business status, collateral, and credit history. Microloans are smaller loans no more than $35,000 and is obtained from local non-profit institutions. Grants are an excellent choice if you're in the technology field through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
  • Bank and finance loans are commercial and are not guaranteed by the U.S. Government. IT can be difficult to obtain a loan through a bank since they differ in criteria when lending money. Depending on the amount and purpose of the loan, the primary and secondary sources of re-payment, and so on, means that the entrepreneurs after being rejected several times through different banks before being approved by one. There are three types of financing which can fund entrepreneur start-ups. Term loans are used to buy equipment, building, acquire another company, or expand operations. Business owner have an option to choose fixed or adjusted rate. Another loan is Revolving lines of credit is granted to a business to repay to the bank in the course of one year. Intermediate term debt is a short-term loan about 60 months or less and secured by collateral.  (Sloan)
    • The  Pros and Cons for each type of loan
    • The Pros of Personal loans can be obtained in a very short period of time because your business is shared with your relations based on a personal level. Business owners have the benefit and freedom of not having to pay back this type of loan in a required monthly payment or pay back interest.
    • The Cons of a Personal loan is that you will have to give up more of your ownership of your company. The more partners in the business the more you will have to divide up all the profits. Relatives feel they have the right to offer suggestions which may put a strain on business strategies and also the relationship. Like any loan owners should pay back as soon as possible owed to relations to avoid further conflicts.
    • The Pros of Governments that offer SBA loans provide a good way and promote a better interaction with local lenders. The loans increase the chances of getting a bank loan.
    • The Cons of Government SBA loans is that the guidelines are very strict. The lending partners could reject the applicants based on income, type of business, experience, assets, and so on.
    • The Pros of Bank Non-Bank Financial loans is that it can provide the borrower sufficient amounts of money and lines of credit. When backed by assets they can be obtained quickly. In the case of non-bank financial institutions, they look beyond financial history and assets and will lend to companies that have been turned down by banks.
    • The Cons of Bank and Non-Bank  Financial loans is there is a chance for rejection with banks, if a business owner has poor credit and little income. Non-bank financial lenders ask for a business plan, personal financial statements, cash flow, and 25% capital. (Go4Funding)

  • A lender looks for in a borrower, you, the business owner, if you can pay back the load and how quickly. Can you put up the collateral and put up how much to ensure your ability to re-pay.
        What lenders like to see is your character in personal credit history. They do examine credit scores. These are routinely done where loans are involved. Good character means you pay bills on time and not delinquent. There are no blemishes on your credit report. All banks do a credit report check. They look at your cash flow also known as capacity. They like to see a debt coverage ratio where every $ 1.50 you make to every $ 1.00.
        Keep your income statement handy to review the revenue less cost of sales to get your gross profit and deduct expenses. (If you have a loan payment of $ 32, 998 X 1.50 = $ 49, 497). There must be an overhead when running a business. If you not bringing into the business than what you started with you'll run into trouble.
        The lenders like to see capital that you, the business owner, brings in this is your assets. Banks will not finance 100%, like a down payment on a home. It can go 20% for a business loan or sometimes a little higher. There are certain conditions in a loan request if other factors may exist. How you as a business owner exhibit their expertise. Industries have higher risks. Lenders like to see collateral. This is a breakdown of business assets that is brought into a business. It can be personal property, equipment, real estate, and inventory. Banks will not give dollar for dollar. There are two types of guarantees which are unsecured (personal assets declared) and collateralized (stocks, bonds, second loans). (SCORE)
Step 2: Making the Financing Personal
  • Since it takes a considerable amount of capital to start-up a business affording your own business can take years of hard work through determination, passion, and perseverance.  It's best to create a mindset, if you want to be successful. The amount of money for such a venture has to do with the goals and needs of the entrepreneur. When bootstrapping on your own without outside sources will make it difficult for an first time entrepreneur.   If there's a lack of funding in a business chances are that the company would have to close or even go bankrupt. There are going to positive and negative sides to any business along with your pros and cons. (Butler)
        It's best to make sure that your business plan will work before going deeper into it or investing too much into a new business. Once you have summarized about what your business will be and what you're going to do with that business and products and services that you will offer. When you set out to build a marketing plan, know who your target clients are, how you will finance your business, and what your goals will be and keep it going shouldn't be a problem. When you are educated in the pros and cons of business then you will be able to make the right decisions.
The  Steps Needed to Plan for Future Entrepreneurial Endeavors: 
    • Business Plan
    • Assets, Liabilities, Capital, Collateral
    • Financial Plan
    • Marketing and Advertising Plan
    • Target Market
    • Goals

  • The following are answers to questions to the state of West Virginia small business "Success Stories." These are some of the most recent SBA loan recipients with successful businesses.
    • Some of the trends that are seen are those in the technology, textile, food services, human resources, and automotive industries. The popular trends focus on the baby boomer generation. In the age of the internet social shopping has become a trend as well. Other growing trends are repairs and renovations, travel and tourism, healthcare, retail, green business, and physical fitness. (Wang) These jobs are to increased in the next few years in the future. Some of these business can borrow from $150,000 to up to $500,000.
    • There are different types of business that are receiving these loans. These range from child care services and food services to technology and textile businesses.

    • The three local West Virginia companies that have become successful and are still moving are:
    • Azimuth, Inc. is owned by Craig Hartzell and specializes in engineering, fabrication, and engineering services in support of the U.S. Department of Defense. Hartzell realized in order to be successful  he had to created a company that would win contracts, providing exceptional support, and build up a solid reputation. He was competing with contracts larger well established companies so e need more experience and influence. To overcome this he entered the Department of Defense Mentor Program. They led him to his first contract. Azimuth has evolved into a reputable defense contractor of over 100 employees. (USSBAWVD)
    • ProLogic, Inc. is owned by Jay Reddy who is also the company's CEO. The company provides innovative information technology solutions. The company specializes in 3-D visualization, knowledge management, information technology support services, and independent verification and validation services. It started as a one-man operation and has grown to 75 employees. ProLogic relies heavily on contracts with the Federal Government. Most of the business is primary contractor to NASA, Air Force, Army, and others. Investing in good, knowledgeable people in the IT market is the success of his business. Good work gets more work. Diversification is another key to successful business. Reddy is also looking into other areas of the 8(a) mentor program that he feels will benefit other companies from its success.
    • Home Industry is owned by Mike Harris and his wife Pam, who purchased  the original bakery business in 1984. They put together a business plan and loan package to secure financing. They started out with problems didn't have assets and no collateral to guarantee security. Their parents helped them and offered their homes as security. They pushed forward and approached Union National Bank now Bank One who suggested the U.S. SBA guaranty loan which allowed them to purchase the store. When Meadowbrook Mall opened in the neighboring town, Mike and Pam knew they had to make changes. They took their product on the road making deliveries to the local businesses. This opened up additional opportunities as several stores began requesting their pepperoni rolls. The business also survived a downsizing economy. But in 1994 their landlord terminate their lease so they turned to SBA again for help. They moved their operation not far from their original location just around the corner and down the street. Today they have 55 employees and five delivery vans. Home Industry Bakery pepperoni rolls are found on the shelves of Pantry Stores, Go-Marts, Sheetz, and Wal-Mart. Their delivery route goes as far west as Marietta, Ohio and far north as Uniontown, Pennsylvania. It took two years for Wal-Mart to sell their products. Persistence pays off, believe in yourself and your product. The Harris' believes their biggest asset are their employees. Pam the marketing expert says their success comes from the customer. The key is to pay attention to the customers, the customer is always right.
  • Based on my research, it may be a possibility that I can get a SBA-backed loan in the future. There is a graphics industry business owner who had successful plans and goals. The name of the business, Raven Wing Graphics, applied for financing to get the needed equipment in computer and software. (ABSN) It's not hard for a person into the graphics industry and very little equipment is needed to run it which is mainly computer, printer, scanner, camera, few art supplies, and software. Depending on your niche and your target area will determine whether you will need additional equipment to operate a graphics business. If I were to ask SBA for a loan it would be a small loan and would have it re-paid in about two years. I have most of the equipment I need. The small loan would be for replacement for computer hardware and upgrades to graphics software.










REFERENCES CITED
Butler, Lee. How To Become an Entrepreneur: Characteristics of an Entrepreneur. How to Do Things. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012.
The ABC's of Small Business Funding. Go 4 Funding. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.go4funding.com/Articles/Small-Business/The-ABCs-of-Small-Business-Funding.aspx
Sloan, Jeff & Rich. 3 Best Types of Funding for Your Biz. Microsoft Business. 2011. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.microsoft.com/business/en-us/resources/finance/business-insurance/3-best-types-of-funding-for-your-biz.aspx?fbid=2SaDztXoIbj
Small Business Assist Financial Management Book. SCORE. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. PDF.
Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office. Financing and Resources. U.S. Small Business Administration. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3159
Aboriginal Business Service Network Society. Raven Wing Graphics Business Plan. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.absn.ca/GrapicArtist.doc
Service-disabled Veteran Small Business Owner Receives 7(a) Loan for Start-up Capital. U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office. Success Stories. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3159/success-stories/3959
Minority-Owned Business Achieves High Growth and Success with 8(a) Program. U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3159/success-stories/4100
Small Business Owner Receives SBA Loans for Start-up, Growth. U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3159/success-stories/4099
Wang,  Jennifer and Ohngren, Kara. 10 Trends That Could Change Your Business. Entrepreneur. Web. retrieved January 15, 2012. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217508