A Plan Is Worth It’s Weight In Gold

Have you ever tried to build a building without having a solid plan? A blueprint? When was the last time you decided what you were going to do tomorrow? When was the last time you wrote down your objective to achieve a goal? When was the last time you did a thing or two without having a set idea?

If you haven’t, then stop reading this article and go do it. You see, a gameplan gives you direction. It gives you something to shoot for. It gives you something you can compare your performance to. It gives you something that you can measure yourself against. It gives you something that you can compare your performance to.

You see, preparation becomes the measuring sticks for all your actions. And nothing helps a person achieve more than a plan. And if you don’t have a plan, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Plans help identify what you don’t know, what you want to change, and what you don’t want to change. They help identify where you need to grow, and where you need to grow.

In fact, an exact design is the ONLY thing that allows you to grow. Nothing else, no matter how perfect and how wonderful, can grow you beyond the design. A plan is the only thing that grows a person past that idea.

In a nutshell, you need a to prepare so you know where you are shooting for, and where you are already shooting for. You need a blueprint because it’s the only thing that grows a person past the planning phase.

I mean, if you don’t have a plan, then you’re on your own. You can’t grow beyond whatever limitations your plan is. No one can grow you beyond whatever limitations your plan is. And even if you do have a plan, then that’s only as good as your knowledge of where you are shooting for. And if you know where you are already, then you know where you are not. You know what you’re missing. You know what to add. Your plan is just plan. It’s not a plan for life.

A plan is simply a framework for life.

In that, a plan is worthless. Nothing can replace a plan for growing beyond the plan. Nothing.

You might want a plan. You might decide I need a plan. But a plan alone? Forget it. A plan alone can only serve as a framework in which everything else can grow. Nothing more. And nothing less. That’s because a plan is a starting point. A framework without a course, an experience, a motivation to get there, is an empty vessel. And empty vessels sink without trace.

It is why you often need a plan to get anywhere. It is why you need a plan to start a business. It is why you need a plan to achieve a goal. No one can fill their plan with anything better than themselves. Not your plan. They are your plan. They are your motivation. They are who you are. And when you start with a true plan, you start with yourself.

And as you know, if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to get it. You will find a way to grow beyond your plan. That’s why it is so important to have a plan. It gives a start point. It gives a frame to shoot for. It gives a horizon to determine where you are and to determine where you are going. Without a plan, you can become lost in the wilderness.

But a plan is not enough. You need a plan to grow beyond the plan. You need a plan to shoot for a goal beyond your plan. You need a plan to shoot for a goal that seems unattainable. You need a plan so massive so massive so massive that it makes your heart sing just to create it. That is why the best plans are not plans so simple so simple that you may actually believe that you could achieve it. The best plans are not simple in idea so simple that you could believe you could achieve it. The best plans are in fact massive and quite difficult. Massive so massive that even if you believed you could do it, you wouldn’t be able to. It is the plan so massive that only a force of a magnitude greater than you could ever possibly imagine can create it. It is the plan so large that any forces of opposition and any challenges to its realization would be eliminated. The best plans are the ones that can make you believe in its reality. And in this reality, you are allowed to believe what would be impossible for anything else.

Importance Of Biology & How It Helps In Making A Rewarding Career

Everybody dreams of having a rewarding career- that kind of career that is rewarding in both sense professionally a monetarily. Today biology offers a lucrative market world-wide. Whether you are a simple graduate with the Biology subject or you have some PhD kind of degree in Biology you are way ahead from the other professionals from the job prospectus of view point.

The beauty in pursuing the career in the Biology is the jobs are offered almost in every field. For example a biologist can work in a laboratory, R & D department, hospitals and clinics, Healthcare sector etc. A wide array of job opportunities such as:

General Health Care

A biologist can work in this sector, this is as common as becoming a director in some company to more complicated like research and development. Also, with this degree you can opt for veterinarian which can be lovely with different twist of work responsibilities.

Biotechnology

Another emerging trend to make a lucrative career, it is a mix of bio and technology- a background with physics or technology. Taking up this course certainly increases your job prospective. Especially, if you are opting to have a career in health sector this career turns out to be the best one to reap you innumerable benefits.

Research

The demand of biologist never stops when it comes to research and development field. A research biologist career usually focuses on a natural world. They are supposed to work with various tools in order to understand how the living world works.

Education

Another amazing career to pursue for a biologist, switching to a teaching field will be an interesting choice. After all teaching students and helping them to build their careers as doctors, physician, researcher, or biologist is more than rewarding. Not to forget the fact that this field puts an array of the knowledge to great use.

The most important thing to remember is that the above mentioned career fields aren’t just sake of pursuing just because they would rake in big bucks. Just because your peers are pursuing you should pursue Biology will be wrong thing to do. Browse over the Internet to know the importance of Biology in real life, study in-depth about Biology related certifcations, educational programs or courses. This will help you to determine to pursue the right degree relevant to Biology as it takes immense dedication and series of persuasion to become an expert biologist.

The Influence of Globalization on Tax Revenue

The Evolution of Business

Gone are the days when businesses were local, and they derived their material resources from relatively close locales, with the labor pool consisted of the nearby residents. Limited mass transportation and slower communication inhibited a fast-paced business environment in those days.

However, over the last century technology increased the pace of business to the point where today’s companies secure resources from halfway across the globe in a matter of days, and the once inaccessible human resource now performs duties virtually from the other side of the world. Out of this break-neck speed of business came the birth of globalized commerce, a phenomenon where more transactions occur on a larger, worldwide scale thanks to the help of technology and innovation connecting businesses all over the world.

The Tax Effect

Because certain locations allow for lower costs of doing business, corporations realize more net revenue, which should translate into increased taxable income. However, increased revenue does not necessarily translate into taxable revenue if the organization is maximizing profit by reducing net income tax expense by conducting business where the tax rate is the lowest. When this happens an economic phenomenon called “race to the bottom” occurs (Dreher). Governments reduce tax rates to encourage corporations to locate to their country to do business, thus increasing their economy.

Tax loopholes contribute to a decrease in corporate income tax revenue (McIntyre). Theoretically, these companies should be taxed in both their base country and the target country, which is called double taxation (Lentz). However, double taxation agreements limit double taxation by providing an arrangement where countries do not subject foreign income to double taxation in more than one national taxing jurisdiction. Global taxing agencies enact these agreements to entice companies to do business within their borders to increase their local economy and boost their markets.

There are also other ways to get around taxation. Often a country will enact tax holidays (Lentz) as an incentive for companies to do business within their borders. Tax holidays allow respites from paying taxes during certain times of the year. A “tax haven” (Lentz) is another simpler method of tax manipulation allowing companies to house their revenue in locations where taxes are extremely low and sometimes even non-existent. “It is estimated that the top 500 U.S. companies would owe an estimated $620 billion in U.S. taxes were it not for the more than $2.1 trillion in offshore cash that most of the firms hold in foreign tax havens” (McIntyre).

Countries are businesses as much as the corporations that operate within them. Globalization provides companies the mobility to transact business to different geographic areas with ease. Therefore, countries compete for and attract foreign business by making it cost-effective for corporations to transact business in their country through decreased taxation. When taxable organizations transact their business in locations other than their homeland, they are redirecting tax money that, under non-globalized operations, would be infused directly into the base country’s economy. A result of this redirection is that the homeland creates revenues for its government by replacing the burden of lost tax-generated funding on the individual citizens.

Globalization affects individual taxpayers by providing a means for other countries to seduce tax-paying corporations to conduct business with them by reducing their tax expense. Citizens are burdened by increased income taxation to make up the difference of lost corporate tax revenue needed to maintain the well-being of the economy.

Concerns

As a college student who is getting ready to enter the workforce, having additional individual tax burdens worries me. At a time when our national economy is hurting, many companies are skirting their own nation’s tax needs to pay less tax in another country, yet they still generate profits each year. Many individuals argue that a portion of these profits should be going directly into the base nation’s economy rather than more tax advantaged countries. Globalization allows the redirection of revenue and therefore redirects the burden of tax revenue on the homeland’s citizens, even though they may not be a part of the problem.

Works Cited

Dreher, Axel. “The Influence of Globalization on Taxes and Social Policy: An Empirical Analysis for OECD Countries.” Sciencedriect.com. European Journal of Political Economy, 4 Mar. 2004. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.

Kumar, Manmohan S., and Dennis P. Quinn. “Globalization and Corporate Taxation.” http://Www.imf.org. N.p., Aug. 2012. Web.

McIntyre, Robert S., Richard Phillips, and Phineas Baxandall. “Offshore Shell Games.” (2015): n. pag. Citizens for Tax Justice, Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.

Lentz, Lexi. “B&E | Positive and Negative Effects of Globalization on Taxation.” IndraStra Global Master. IndraStra Global, 27 Apr. 2016. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

5 Reasons Your Business Should Have an Information Protection Policy

Information is the lifeblood of all businesses, but many business owners and high level managers often overlook the security of their business information to focus on what they consider more important; “the generation of revenue.” Many even know the risk well in advance but take on the mentality, “It will never happen to us.” Then the inevitable happens.

Experience has proven that the disregard for the protection of business information is disastrous. The smallest vulnerability in a business’s Information Security System (ISS) can and does cause businesses thousands, even millions of dollars in financial loss everyday. Experts have found that in the majority of the cases involving “loss” from the theft of information that the business owner(s) or managers were aware that potential breaches existed and did nothing to correct the issue. Experts also point out that in 99% of the cases that the cost to fix the breach would have been thousands to millions of dollars cheaper then the loss the business sustained from the breach itself.

According to “Trends in Proprietary Loss” (ASIS International, 2007) these are the top 5 reasons businesses of all sizes should have an active and progressive Information Security System (ISS) and Information Security Management System (ISMS) in place.

  • Loss of reputation/image/goodwill – Taking a hit in the pocket could be bad but not as half as bad as taking a hit to your reputation. Many business can rebound from loss of revenue but repairing your business reputation can cost astronomical time, effort and money. The implications are overwhelming in most cases.
  • Loss of competitive advantage in one product/service – When you have been working feverishly to stay ahead of the game but your competitor beats you to the finish line every time, “There’s a hole in your boat.” The leaking of trade secrets, product delivery timelines and other business processes can completely derail a business and destroy its competitive advantage.” In 2006 there was a well known case of information theft concerning an employee from a major beverage. That employee stole trade information and conspired to sell it to another beverage company for 1.5 million dollars.The employee was arrested after the competitor turned her in.
  • Reduced of projected/anticipated returns or profitability – This can occur when your competitor knows your pricing strategy. If they’re selling the same type of product or service as your business they can, and will easily outprice you.
  • Loss of core business technology or process – A quick Google search will give you some insight on how businesses lose billions in the process when technology is leaked or stolen. The case of the drawn out and costly battle of the “Cell Phone Giants” comes to mind. Do a Google search about it. There are some really insightful facts that you may not have known about the case.
  • Loss of competitive advantage in multiple products/services

All of the above are sound reasons while your business should have an active information security policy. I am of the opinion that any business that regularly loses money and fails to implement processes to stop it,will soon be out of business. Therefore, I encourage all business managers, executives and owners to take the protection of their information seriously. Make time to review your current information security processes and policy with your security manager. Listen to his/her concerns and recommendations. After all that is what you hired him/her for. Concentrate on making your security a “Necessary good” instead of a “Necessary evil” and dedicate a reasonable but flexible budget to immediately address new or unexpected security threats. It could truly save you a life of headaches, court battles and money in the end.

Below are a few recommendations that I believe will help any business to begin improving their information security process. It will also help to improve overall security in general.

Recommendations

  • Ensure that sensitive information is only accessible to a small group of people based on a need to know basis. This information is to be kept in a secure area with progressive and redundant security measures.
  • The first level of security can be posted signage that designates the level of authorization required to be in specific areas. These signs should also advise the consequences for ignoring them.
  • The second level of security may include CCTV cameras which are manned or unmanned (but have the ability to be reviewed later). Cameras serve as a good method to detect, deter and in some cases respond to nefarious behavior.
  • The third level of security mandates designated key cards or key fobs to enter restricted areas. This authorization can also be indicated by color coded ID badges. A security checkpoint guarded by trained security officers is also an option.
  • The fourth level of security concerns areas where the most sensitive information is held. This area should include CCTV cameras, locked file cabinets and safes. This should be supported by a well written Information Protection Policy created in partnership with an experienced security professional and it should be strictly adhered to.
  • Lastly, a schedule for audit and compliance should be instituted and a designated person appointed the responsibility for its oversight. This recommendation has more to do with Information Security Management, which I will discuss in a later topic.

General Information Security Practices

The preceding concerned security strategies for highly sensitive information however, we must not overlook the need for the security of general business information. Information comes in many forms and businesses must protect them all. Here are a few more tips that I recommend to improve your current Information Security Policy:

  • Ensure that all documents that contain personal, personnel and company information are always kept secure. This information should never be left lying around on someone’s desk or in their inbox. Always keep this type of information under lock and key and designate a person to ensure strict accountability.
  • Ensure that you have a information security policy in place and share it with your entire staff. This policy should include how to file or discard company information.
  • Ensure that your company has a shredder and include shredding regulations (what should be shredded, when and by whom) into your policy.
  • Always ensure that someone in your organization stays abreast of current cyber threats. This person is normally the head of the IT department or your security manager. He/she should also ensure that your anti-virus and firewall systems are regularly updated and tested. If your company does not have a dedicated IT department of manager it wouldn’t hurt to consult with an IT Security firm to get a check-up.
  • Ensure that your Information Protection policy includes regulations pertaining to thumb drives and portable hard drives. The policy should clearly state what information can be saved or uploaded from and to the devices. Also consult with your IT department to disable the USB ports on your computers and networks if necessary.
  • Finally, every business should have a Non-Disclosure Agreement. NDAs set the expectations for your employees as it pertains to the privacy of your business affairs, processes and materials. It also provides the recourse for violating the policy. Sample NDAs can be found on the web, but I recommend consulting with your attorney to ensure that your NDA provides you and your business optimum protection.

That about sums it up. I believe that by implementing these strategies that every business can improve the protection of their information and reduce the chances of suffering financial loss. In many cases you may even increase your profitability, which is why we are all in business anyway. I hope that you found this information valuable. Never underestimate what a solid Information Security Program can do for you.

Thanks for reading and I hope that these quick security tips help to kick start or rekindle your Information Security Program.

Author: Melvin E. Key, CPP

Business Intelligence

1. Companies are aggressively moving to computerized support of their organizations. Can you list at least 2 of the factors driving this move?

• Speed and efficiency.

• Legibility and accuracy.

• Self-sufficiency.

• Cheaper research and development.

2. The definition of Business Intelligence (BI) is:

BI is an umbrella term that combines architecture, tools, databases, analytical tools, applications and methodologies.

What does “umbrella” term mean?

The definition of Business Intelligence (BI) encompasses various software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. The discipline entails many related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting

3. Sometime we say that the term Business Intelligence (BI) is “context free”. What does this mean?

The term business intelligence is “context free” in the sense that the expression means different things to different people. For this reason, we have seen researchers advancing different definitions for business intelligence.

4. Describe what a data warehouse is and how it might differ from a traditional database used for transaction processing.

A data warehouse is a central repository for corporate data and information that an organization derives transaction data, operational systems and external data sources. Although these two may look like they are similar, they exhibit several differences with regard to usage pattern, architecture as well as technology. A traditional database is based on operational processing while a data warehouse is based on informational processing.

A data warehouse focuses on storage, filtering, retrieval and analysis of voluminous information.

A traditional database is used for day to day operations while a data warehouse is used for long-term informational requirements.

5. What is the difference between a data warehouse and a data mart?

A data mart is a subset of a data warehouse that relates to specific business line. Data marts are managed by a specific department within an organization. On the other hand, a data warehouse involves multiple subject areas and assembles detailed information from multiple source systems.

6. What is meant by “Big Data”?

Big data refers to a huge volume of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data from which viable information can be extracted. This kind of data is so voluminous that it cannot be processed using outmoded database and software techniques. Big data helps organizations to improve their operations and be in a position to make quick and smart decisions.

7. Data mining methods are divided into supervised and unsupervised methods. What are these and how are they different?

Supervised data mining method has to do with the presentation of fully labeled data to a machine learning algorithm. On the other hand, unsupervised data mining methods conduct clustering. Data instances are divided into a number of groups.

Unsupervised data mining methods do not put emphasis on predetermined attributes. Moreover, it does not predict a target value. Instead, unsupervised data mining finds hidden structure and relation among data.

Supervised data mining methods are appropriate when there is a specific target value that I to be used to predict about data. The targets can have two or more possible outcomes, or even be a continuous numeric value.

Supervised data mining methods the classes are known in advance while in the other the groups or classes are not known in advance. In supervised data mining methods, data is assigned to be known before computation but in unsupervised learning Datasets are assigned to segments, without the clusters being known.

8. When we consider KPI’s (key performance indicators) we distinguish between driver KPI’s and outcome KPI’s. What is the difference between the two (give a couple of examples of each)

Key performance indicators provide a framework on which organizations can value their progress. Outcome KPIs which are also referred to as lagging indicators measure the output of previous activities. On the other hand, driver KPIs/leading indicators measure the activities that have a significant on outcome KPIs. Driver KPIs have a significant effect on outcome KPIs, but the reverse is not necessarily true.

9. A BSC (balanced scorecard) approach for BPM (business process management) is well-know and widely-used. Describe the strengths of a BSC approach.

BPM entails activities

BPM involves activities like automation, remodeling, monitoring, and analyzing and improving business processes.

Cost efficiency

This is one of the most palpable benefits of BPM approach. It cuts down on costs and increases revenue. BPM adds crucial value in the long run by allowing businesses to compete globally. BPM technology equips a business to switch gears and respond to changing business environment appropriately.

Agility

Change is inevitable in business and a business must be ready to undergo sudden changes at any time. BPM accords a business the flexibility of making changes at minimal costs.

Improved productivity

BPM automates several elements within regular workflows. Process improvements such as eliminations of drawbacks, elimination of redundant steps, and introduction of parallel processing are achieved through BPM. These process improvements allow employees to focus on other important activities of their business since the core support functions would have been handled.

Better visibility

Basically, BPM uses advanced software programs to facilitate the automation process. These programs enable process owners to keep abreast of their performance. Apart from guaranteeing transparency, BPM keep track of how processes work without the need of monitoring techniques and extensive labor.

10. A closed-loop process is often used to optimize business performance. Briefly describe what a closed-loop process means.

A closed-loop process, also referred to as feedback control system is a management system that promotes a well-organized base of preferred outcomes and system feedback. This process is designed to achieve and maintain the desired output in comparison with the actual condition.

Tips to Help You Choose The Right Promotional Feather Flags

People have been using flags to advertise their brands. If you are going to opt for a promotional feather flag, we suggest that you consider a few important things. This article will help you choose the right feather flag to meet your needs.

Single or Double Sided

You can choose either a single or double sided print. The double-sided one allows you to use both the sides for advertisement. Typically, most digital printed flags have graphics on one side, which is the front side.

If you are buying the double-sided one, know that you will need to spend a bit more money as they are more expensive. Moreover, they weigh a bit more, which will have an impact on the flight.

Shape

You can choose from several shapes, such as sail, teardrop, swooper or feather. Make sure they have one thing in common: the right type of frame. This is important if you want to fly the flag even if there is no wind.

The selection of style depends upon your personal choice and budget. Normally, the teardrop style is the most popular.

Size

To determine the size, you need to consider your purpose and the place where you want to place it. At an outdoor event, tall flags are a good choice as they can help you attract the eyes of people from far away. On the other hand, if you intend to promote your business, small flags may work better.

Flag Design

When it comes to design, make sure you choose an attractive design. Ideally, it’s better to have your company name, logo and event name on the flag. Bold colors will make it even more appealing. However, make sure there is some contrast between the graphics and the background. Ideally, white letters on a black background work better.

Material and Printing

Most flags are printed with computer systems, which means the cost of each flag comes down significantly. Often, if you buy in bulk, you can get a discount. Therefore, it’s better to order a few more than you need to reduce the per unit cost.

Screen printing is an ideal choice for extra long flags as they give high quality but economical print.

Base

For better stability, you can choose from many bases. For soft soils, we suggest that you get a spike. On the other hand, you may want to go with a water fillable base for hard soils.

Frames

The flag is secured to a strong frame so you can store and transport the unit without any problem. The frame features many sections for ease of use. Aluminum and fiberglass are the two most common types of materials used for the making of the frame.

If you want to choose the right one, make sure you opt for aluminum as it offers more durability. However, aluminum is a bit more expensive.

So, if you are going to buy a lot of promotional feather flags, we suggest that you follow the tips given above. Choosing the right flag will be easier if you make a choice based on the given guidelines.

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