Mind Mapping For Training and Education

In any industry or profession, knowing the tools of the trade has always been an advantage to staying ahead of your competition. Whether it be a professional athlete, building contractor or marketing genius, knowing what information is required to make you a success is crucial to achieving your goals. In training and education our “tools of the trade” cover a wide range of products. These tools include such items as an electronic survey, a Learning Management System, a behavioral test, courseware development tools, Web based training options and much more. While each of these tools serves a specific purpose, the knowledge required to be adept at each is very broad. However, there is one tool that can be utilized in all of these areas and is consistent throughout. That tool is a Mind Map.Mind Mapping has been in existence much longer than online training tools and sophisticated testing programs ever existed. It was originally created back in the 3rd century and has resurrected in the last 40 years. A Mind Map incorporates thinking using both sides of the brain and has the capability to exist in any learning environment using crayons or colored pencils. The secret to unleashing a powerful Mind Map is interesting and fun, and just like any other master craftsmen’s tool does require knowledge and practice.Often referred to as “a visual roadmap” or “the ultimate visual organizational tool”, a Mind Map incorporates the use of color and a free flowing thought process that starts in the center of a page and moves outward in a radial fashion. Mind Maps are not restricted to creative thinkers, however they can create thinking that you never thought existed. The way to incorporate the use of a Mind Map is different for everyone, however once you see the benefits it can bring, you will understand the endless potential it offers. Let me briefly explain some ways to incorporate a mind Map into your learning organization.Creating a Learning Organization – While the criteria for successfully creating and implementing a Learning Organization within a company will vary based on size, the one component that is required and consistent, regardless of size, is a vision. Without a vision in anything in life, success will come hard served or simply not ever arrive. Having a vision to implement a learning culture starts at the top and cascades out to each associate. Companies that lack a vision in this area create a culture that is void of growth and limits potentials within their team.Presentations – If you rely on a PowerPoint as your crutch in your presentation it is likely to let that shine through to your audience. If you are presenting a topic for the first time you know that it can be challenging due to lack of confidence or lack of knowledge or both. Using a Mind Map to prepare for a training deliverable or a customer presentation allows you to remember the key talking points of your presentation and not rely on your crutch to get you through. Incorporating the effective use of imagination and association allows you to be better prepared thus creating a more relaxed and confident delivery.Retention – Whether we are providing a training seminar or attending one, the ability to remember what was covered is extremely important. If you are one who likes to scribe every detail from a seminar or takes as limited information as possible, incorporating a Mind Map as our note making system is a highly effective way to retain the information into our short term and long term memory. If you have ever walked away from a training session and said “I will remember that for sure tomorrow or next week or next month” but never review the information, the likelihood for retention is limited. Using a mind Map as a retention tool is fun since you can view the information at a glance and commit the information to long term storage.Greg Liberto has over 15 years experience in the training and development industry and provides training in the areas of Mind Mapping, social networking, personal branding, time management and more. Greg is the Managing Partner of Web Learners which provides a live online training solution in these areas. If you would like to learn how to implement Mind Mapping into your learning organization.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Why Unsecured Personal Loans Online Are The Superior Loan Option

To bad credit borrowers, ensuring that their poor financial decisions of the past are ignored is the key factor to securing a loan. The problem is that traditional lenders do not tend to forget. Thankfully, online lenders are far more accommodating, looking past credit scores and helping to make a deal affordable. The result is that getting unsecured personal loans online becomes much easier.Of course, approval is not a simple matter of filling in an application form. There are criteria to meet and boxes to see ticked first. To stand a chance of getting fast loan approval with bad credit aspects like the loan size and the income of the applicant are important ascertain.Applying for an unsecured personal loan can be a stressful thing because of the uncertainty involved, but the online option has proven to be far less stressful. That is just one way in which the loan option is superior to more orthodox options.Why They WorkIt might seem strange that it is even possible to get unsecured personal loans online. After all, it is not like in banks where it is possible to sit down and talk to a loan officer. Online, there is practically no interaction. But this actually works in your favor.Online lenders are less interested in the personality, intentions or past of a loan applicant. They look at the cold facts, so once the criteria are met and the loan deal is proven to be affordable, it is possible to get fast loan approval – with bad credit or not.Of course, the lender is still taking on a large risk, which is why the interest rate charged is typically higher than normal. But, as with any unsecured personal loan, proof that repayments are possible and affordable is the key.Alternative Loan OptionsThere is a variety of types of unsecured personal loans online, not just those from the online branch of a well-known bank. Many of them are more likely to be approved, though. A payday loan, for example, is granted against the certainty of an upcoming paycheck.However, the terms are not ideal. The repayment schedule can sometimes be as short as 14 days, while the loan sum is limited to a maximum $1,500. Also, the interest rates can be as high as 35%. On the plus side, however, fast loan approval with bad credit is almost guaranteed.Another alternative option is a bidding loan, where members of a website bid for the chance to finance a loan proposal. This time, the borrower states the terms and the lenders are chosen. This usually means much lower interest rates, and a more flexible repayment schedule, but the size of the unsecured personal loan is usually low.Finding the Best TermsLocating a trustworthy lender willing to issue unsecured personal loans online can take some time. But taking time is usually a sound strategy anyway as it is important to know your prospective lender well.The most effective strategy is to decide on a shortlist of the best loan offers gathered from the Internet. Then, to check out the reputations of the particular lenders on either the Better Business Bureau website or the Verify1st site.The lure of specific loan aspects, like securing fast loan approval with bad credit, should be ignored until later. Knowing the lender can be trusted is the first step.Then read the small print and examine the terms in detail. That way, potholes can be avoided and getting the unsecured personal loan will not prove to be a disaster.

Posted in loans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Finance Your SRED Credit – Financing a SR and ED Claim Is Easy Via a Tax Credit Bridge Loan

Of the many questions clients ask around the SR&ED (SRED) program in Canada a typical one, actually two, is ‘ can we finance and our SRED claim… and how is financing SR&ED grants done?’Let’s work through a short SRED loan primer and cover off the basics, allowing you to better understand the potential benefits of financing your SRED refundable credit, and, more importantly determining if it makes sense to finance that claim.SRED calim percentages actually vary by provinces, because they are a combo grant that is administered and funded by both your province and Ottawa. While percentages of the amounts you receive might vary a bit between provinces for the purposes of our discussion we’ll speak in general terms, because we are pretty sure you aren’t going to move your company location to increase your non repayable SRED credit!.SRED claims vary but in general they do not go much more than over a million dollars. You have the ability to finance your claim if it’s eligible. We will also mention that if your company is perfectly willing to wait for your cheque that’s a good thing also, it just seems to us that if you can put non repayable tax credits to work to generate additional revenue and profits, well… that is a good consideration of financing our SRED refundable credit.A key to financing your claim is the quality of your claim. Three types of preparers are out in the marketplace – your company itself can prepare the claim, your accountant can, or you can use an expert, otherwise known in the industry as a SRED consultant. Theoretically all three parties could prepare a claim that is financeable, but the reality is that your SRED finance firm leans more preferably to the utilization of a SRED consultant. That’s simply because expertise in an area such as an R&D overview submission seems to make the most sense.The government pays out billions of dollars each year to firms such as yours – so filing a claim, and considering the financing of that claim can be a key part of your overall company cash flow.If your claim is a first time claim, and is less than straight forward there is a strong possibility based on current SRED trends that you could wait close to a year for your refund. So the question then becomes, could your firm utilize effectively a SRED loan as a bridge type financing for additional cash flow and working capital.If you are answering in the affirmative then it’s simply a case of working with a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor to fast track a SRED financing. Typical SR&ED loans take a couple weeks or so to process; it’s a basic business application, with your SRED refundable credit collateralized. Advances on your claim are in the 70% range and are typically structured as no payments, with the final 30% due your firm, less financing charges, at the time of final disbursement from Ottawa and your province.A short summary of our shared info is very simple – if you qualify for SRED then clearly use the program – if you don’t you are missing out. Want to wait a year for your money… great, keep us posted, the cheque is in the mail. Want additional working capital and cash flow today out of your non repayable SRED credit, then consider the SRED loan financing program today. It’s as simple as that.

Posted in Finance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Importance of Social Networks for Businesses

Companies after ever increasing the speed of utilization of internet and social networks by individuals decided to use social networks to become more and more popular in terms of their banding strategies, positioning, marketing activities, customers services and feedbacks, implementation of e-CRM and alike. People use social networks in order to communicate, share their ideas, and use the flow of information and other means of publishing information about themselves.Although since 1990s, utilization of internet, many social networks and internet tools had emerged, it was not popular. Recently, through the development of social network in friendly atmosphere and with less complexity in terms of functioning for individuals, this service (social network service) has become part of people’s lives.In terms of clarification of analysis on customer satisfaction, customer retention, and customer relationship management and customer feedbacks, social networks play a pivotal role. As a result companies have tried to utilize Social network services in order to better serve customers and obtain other various objectives. Most companies recognized that social network sites (SNSs) like Napster, Facebook, and Twitter and so on are the best places to them in order to highlight their brand image through which they can increase their market share, and sustainability.What is a Social Network?
It is considered as a platform through which social relations will be built among people and information sharing will be facilitated. Through social networks sites personal information and relationships can be shared and users can stay in touch.Most of SNSs provide a personal page for posting, ability to search for friends and other issues like updating profile and personal data and have the ability to restrict and/or conceal the mentioned information by page owner from the eyes of public or specific people.These Online facilities (SNSs) have improved the movements of individuals on online tasks, especially in the mentioned social networks for the purpose of maintaining friendships regardless of distance (geographical limitation). Not only that but also it enables people to find better jobs and partners.Regarding the acceptance of these sites by people, companies have become interested to get involved in this process through which they can sell their products and services and better serve customer ‘s needs and wants and through analysis of consumer buying patterns and their feedbacks they can fine tune their decision making process as well as their strategies.Below information reveals the fact that how rapidly number of social networks increase since 1997.1997: SixDegrees.com1998: —1999: Asian Avenue, Live Journal, Black Planet2000: LunarStorm (SNS relaunch), Migente2001: Cyworld, Ryze2002: Fotolog, Friendster, SkyBlog2003: CouchSurfing, LinkedIn, MySpace, HI5, Tribe.net,2004: Orkut, Dogster, Flicker, Facebook (Harward only), Mixi, Piczo, Hyves, Catster2005: YouTube, Zanga, Yahoo.360, Facebook (Highschool networks), Bebo, Ning, Asian Avenue & BlackPlanet (relaunched)2006 till now: QQ, Windows Live Space, Facebook (Corporate Networks), Twitter, MyChurch, and then Facebook (Everyone)Many companies during previous decade as a result of increasing the use of these networks have decided to penetrate into SNSs in order to find the relevant information of people, elicit information and analyze them in order to make appropriate decision based on market moves; not only in terms of customers but also in terms of competitors and rules and regulations. They aim at finding useful information in order to do external (Scanning, monitoring, forecasting, assessing), and industry analysis (5 forces of porter) as well as competitor analysis.Usefulness of Social Networks:

Considering SNSs as a marketing tool, they help companies to interact with customers and create online communities and pages,
Updating latest activity of companies, advertisements and providing customers with applications necessary or useful in order to increase the traffic of their page, blog or community,
Facilitate the process of being aware of the company, and promote ideas, products and services,
Skipping search engine optimizations rankings,
It helps to get feedback from customers and to better implement the concept o electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM) and to classify valuable customers in order to serve them with value creating activities,
Focus on market, global reach, limitless number of customers who can be served, to better segment the market and customers,
Enables different model of advertising such word of mouth, suggestions for specific group or niche and so on.
Fastest way to get information and finding opportunities,
Social Networking Sites and E-commerce Businesses:
Although other methods of communication exist, they are to some extent different comparing to SNSs. Social network is a place in which individuals become fan of a page, they see each other and based on their mutual interest they become capable of interacting with each other and make a community on their own.The mentioned issue is the result of shifting the power through utilization of SNSs from company to consumers. More social networks get popular, the tougher is the implementation of business based on traditional procedures therefore; companies must consider market moves in this case. Besides, by digging up the information available on these networks identification of valuable customers would be easier and a business can serve its valuable customers much better in this regard.Regarding the accessibility of individuals to internet, companies moved from Brick and Mortar to Click and Mortar or to virtual one which resulted in operational efficiency improvement as well as generating revenue.As companies are moving toward the above mentioned issue (adaptation of EC), they utilize several strategies to achieve success. They used various strategies in business and corporate level to reduce costs of transaction, reducing delivery time, to better serve the customers and to better manage them, and to better inform them about the current activities performing by the business especially for service companies. Accordingly, due to massive passion of individuals in case of using social networks like Facebook, twitter and so on, companies decided to reduce the gap between themselves and consumers by following consumers passion therefore, they started to make use of social networks and possibly other web 2.0 applications on extend their businesses.In this era, almost all companies have websites and among them, some have social network to better communicate with customers which is linked to a website by the use of social plugins. Consequently, it is highly suggested to businesses that if they are not being first mover in Social networks, at least do never miss the chance of being late mover.Impact of Social Networks on Marketing:
As it is mentioned above, individuals will be attracted to join famous social networks in order to create a profile and connect with existing members or pages or businesses. Once a profile created, users can interact with each other; send invitation for others to join. By the time a link shaped, communication to a friend, group members become easy because users tend to organize themselves by affinity, life stage, and psychographics which would be an excellent chance for targeted marketing.Impact of Social Networks on Purchase Intention:
Through the use of social network as mentioned before members share their ideas, they may talk about different thing even including the recent product they bought or a particular type of service given to them or offered by a company. Many people around the world believe in talking to other consumers in order to get the required information before purchasing for a good or service (a matter of trust factor-word of mouth). And nowadays consumers due to availability of information on the internet they prefer to search online and when going online they more like to go to social networks in order to find more information from other customers, and what have been shared on social network pages of a particular company about certain type of good or service.Form the eyes of marketers the information shared is vital for companies regarding the fact that information shared are the real facts mentioning by customers/consumers, and friends or fans of a particular group may rely or trust on other people (or fans) when saying facts.In terms of marketing, in social networks various marketing aspects can be covered.

Word of mouth,
Market research,
Market segmentation,
General marketing,
Communication between customers as well as employees,
Public relations,
Customer service
Management of reputation and brand positioning,
Marketers use network marketing because of its various benefits which some of them are:

Product increase and brand awareness,
Being online helps companies to increase the awareness of their products and services especially through social networks sites.By every interaction, marketers try to indirectly lead members or fans to follow the news of companies and everything and remember the brand and website.

Increase the traffic,
All companies try to increase the traffic of their websites by using various methods like communicating, recommending and postings on SNSs followed by a link in order to guide a fan or member to the official website and let them know their available products and services.

Improve search engine optimization (SEO),
In order to increase the popularity of a website companies need to share more links everywhere so that search engines find the contents follows by link easily. In this case people will read more of the content a company shared. Social media must be part of search engine optimization strategy.It is worth mentioning that the value of finding content on SNSs is very much because they appear natural to search engines.

Increase loyalty of customers,
Brand loyalty will be achieved when a company can promote its services or products via social networks. By releasing true valuable content, trust go up and reputation of company increases.In the process of using social media customers feel that they are participants rather than being only a user. If they feel they are participant they will be more involved and as a result of customer involvement and value creating activities of company customer loyalty increases.

Increase the success rate of lunching new good,
Regarding the fact that flow of information is very high in SNSs, understanding customer needs and want become easier which can be considered as a unique opportunity of social networks. Accordingly, companies can serve customers better by lunching goods appropriate to the tastes of consumers and manage product development process in order to increase customer loyalty and retention.Impact of Social Networks on Sales:
SNSs are helpful in case of acquiring more benefit and possibly increase market share in competitive market. Through the utilization of social networks companies will find new method to serve customers better based on their expectations and their needs, to find customers, communicate with them and understand them in order to acquire new customers and also to retain the existing one.Although it is a good opportunity, in some organization still a vague attitude toward utilization of social networks exists. Through social networks a salesperson can achieve benefit of having access to profiles before the commencement of communication.SNSs and e-commerce businesses have made the world very small because they have eliminated the geographical limitations as a barrier for marketing and sales and by going online, they reduced the number of intermediaries therefore; firms may sell more and achieve more profit.To exemplify, Facebook has millions users and many of them are over 18years old and its traffic is high. Therefore Facebook can be a very good place to do promotional, customer centric activities in order to increase sales. Also lots of pages exists that users are involved in. Sales persons and marketers can analyze the insights of the pages. Every page reveals information about daily, weekly and monthly active users, demographic information, daily feedbacks and so on which can be used to analyze the customer behavior pattern and customer relationship management which ultimately results in increase in sales.Consequently, through penetrating into social networks, businesses have an access to vast majority of consumers. So creating account in social networks and joining groups leads to expand contacts and increase sales.Impact of Social Networks on Services:
Individuals using social networks are increasing day by day. So the rate of communication among them increases. These communications can be about social stuff or about a product or service they purchased. These communications among individuals can be considered as an opportunity and also a challenge for customer service departments. Customers mainly like to receive a service based on their preferred channels. Because customers reveal their opinion widely if they are not pleased which result in detrimental impact on a firm’s product or service.Through social networks companies receive feedbacks from customers which lead them to improve the quality of services/products as well as finding the best opportunity based on customer’s needs and wants. Therefore customer service channels like Facebook, twitter and alike can be used as a tool for performing value creating activities.It is worth mentioning that through SNSs many problems between customers and company can be solved on the spot and it would be easier to reduce cost of services.In this case some social networking accelerator tools exist like (Microsoft Dynamics CRM) to better manage, handle and monitor customers. These tools perform activities like:

Monitoring SNSs for branding issues and keywords,
Tracking customers,
SNSs also provide efficient multi-channel service which leads to reduce customer service calls and direct contacts and costs related issues.Some social network accelerators help to better analyze customer’s feedback and to track the feedbacks easily. Not only that but also to monitor their activities and participating in communities to identify customers service pattern and trend.Conclusion:
Regarding all the above mentioned issues and facts, social networks can be an excellent driver for a business in so many terms whether the company is click and mortar or virtual. By having access to social networks communication with customers will be easier, companies can focus on marketing aspects as well as sales improvement by utilization of customer relationship management and public relation management. Due to intense rivalry in existing global market, it can be considered as a core competency in order to achieve competitive advantage against rivals which leads to increase in sustainability, profitability and maintaining market share.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Arts and Crafts for Kids

Isn’t it funny how times change?. In yesteryear, kids were really fascinated about all kinds of art and crafts. Nevertheless, in this day and age, most children are so into electronics like cellular phones, and iPods, and video games. It can be hard to get your nipper up and away from the television screen. Naturally this has an effect on their imaginations. If you do not use your brainpower and search for new things, you’ll end up feeling bored and degenerated.This is where childrens crafts and fun art come in conveniently handy. The fundamental thing is to acquaint your youngster to crafts and artwork projects at a young age. Because If you do so, you will have a beneficial chance of them sparking an interest in arts and crafts for the long-term. Whilst they are little, children will be occupied with whatever you have in mind to amuse them for fun. If you do a quick internet search for childrens arts and crafts you will find that there is a great number of websites that will help you with art and crafts for children. The crucial thing here is to make the experience fun for them. Because If your child is not having fun you’ll have some difficulty getting them interested at all. With the complete flood of arts and craft information and products at your fingertips today, there has never been a better reason to get your children interested.This is far more beneficial for your kids and their brains than playing computer games all day long. When your children just sit around and play with electronics, their imaginations go into a hypnotic, vegetative, trance-like state. This is of course, the last thing that you desire. Make the effort to spend some time introducing them to arts and crafts and it will pay off in the long run. This is also a good way for the whole family unit to have some fun together. You don’t have to spend a lot of money keeping children entertained. If you visit a simple crafts shop, you can easily buy a few different items to get your kids started. Why not take them with you. This way they get more exposure and they are able to explore the store and witness all that they have to offer in respect to art and crafts for children. Sine there are numerous offshoots of arts and crafts, it is crucial to let your children explore them all. This is a cracking way to help them find something that genuinely interests them.Whilst one child may enjoy picture painting or painting on canvas, another child could choose ceramics and creating things with clay. It merely depends on the child and his/her imagination. There is a whole new world to explore when it comes to arts and crafts for children.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off