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Ailes is out as Fox News head, Murdoch named acting chief #what

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Ailes is out as Fox News head, Murdoch named acting chief

NEW YORK (AP) — Roger Ailes is out as chief executive at Fox News Channel, his career at the network he built from scratch and ran with an iron hand for nearly 20 years over with stunning swiftness following allegations that he forced out a former anchor after she spurned his sexual advances.

Network parent 21st Century Fox said Thursday that Rupert Murdoch, the company’s executive chairman, would run Fox News and its sister Fox Business Network, which Ailes had also led, until a successor could be found.

Murdoch and 21st Century Fox did not address the widening scandal in the statement on the resignation but lauded Ailes for his contributions. Ailes did not comment in the resignation announcement.

“I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice,” Murdoch said. “Our nation needs a robust Fox News to resonate from every corner of the country.”

Cutting short a vacation, the 85-year-old Murdoch addressed Fox News employees in New York on Thursday. Details were not given on the settlement agreement for a contract that was supposed to run through 2018, but Ailes is expected to get a payment of at least $40 million.

Ailes will have no formal role in the company, but is expected to serve as an informal adviser to Murdoch, said a person familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter. The deal is also said to have a standard no-compete clause.

Fox is heading into a general election campaign in its customary spot at the top of the ratings, but without the man who sets its editorial tone every day. The announcement came on the day Donald Trump is to accept the GOP nomination for president, a speech likely to be watched by more people on Fox than any other network.

The blustery, 76-year-old media executive built a network that both transformed the news business and changed the political conversation. Fox News Channel provided a television home to conservatives who had felt left out of the media, and played a part in advancing a rough-and-tumble style of politics that left many concerned that it was impossible to get things done in government.

Ailes’ downfall began with the July 6 filing of a lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson, who charged that he sabotaged her career because she refused his suggestions for sex and had complained about a pervasive atmosphere of sexual harassment at Fox. Ailes has denied the charges, but 21st Century Fox hired a law firm to investigate.

In a statement, Carlson’s attorneys credited Carlson’s “extraordinary courage” with causing “a seismic shift in the media world.”

Several Fox employees jumped to Ailes’ defense, but notably not Megyn Kelly, one of Fox’s top personalities. In rapid succession, it was reported that Kelly was among other women who had told investigators about harassment — again denied by Ailes — and that corporate heads Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, determined that Ailes had to go. The company has no plans to make results of its investigation public.

Within two weeks of the court filing, Carlson’s lawyers also said more than 20 women had contacted the firm with stories of alleged harassment by Ailes either against themselves or someone they knew. Two came forward publicly.

Before the charges, Fox’s sheer success had insulated Ailes despite some previous scrapes with the Murdoch sons over who he would report to. Fox News Channel is the parent company’s single most important property, said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, with some estimates that it accounted for nearly a quarter of the company’s profits.

Ailes was a prominent Republican media consultant who later ran CNBC before Murdoch asked him to create a cable news network to compete with CNN at the same time MSNBC was starting. Ailes’ slogans, “fair and balanced” and “we report, you decide,” appealed to an audience that believed mainstream outlets didn’t live up to those promises.

“He was ahead of his time in recognizing that dividing, not uniting, an audience would be the key to commercial success in the 21st Century cable news business,” said Matt Sienkiewicz, communications professor at Boston College. Ailes blew apart the notion that public affairs programming should target a broad audience with civil debates, he said.

Ailes hired a combative broadcast journeyman in Bill O’Reilly and turned him into the star of an opinionated prime-time lineup. He directed news coverage and emphasized issues like the so-called “war on Christmas” or the Benghazi investigation that otherwise got little attention. Republican politicians considered Fox the first stop for reaching their intended audience, and they learned to talk tough. “We’re not going to be defensive about anything,” Ailes said at the network’s launch.

“It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies,” Murdoch said on Thursday. “(Ailes’) grasp of policy and his ability to make profoundly important issues accessible to a broader audience stand in stark contrast to the self-serving elitism that characterizes far too much of the media.”

He was also a showman. Fox had flashier graphics, brighter colors and a vitality its staid rivals lacked. The daytime show “Outnumbered” is a classic Ailes concept: four women in dresses, their legs prominently displayed, debating issues with a single male panelist.

In 2011, Ailes told The Associated Press that he hired Sarah Palin as an analyst — a decision that later gave him headaches — “because she was hot and got ratings.”

Ailes demanded and usually received loyalty from a team that knew there could be hell to pay otherwise. When Paula Zahn left Fox for a job at CNN, Ailes retaliated by saying that a dead raccoon could have done her show and gotten the same ratings.

Critics scoffed at Ailes’ promise that he’d lift Fox to first place. By 2002, he did, and Fox hasn’t looked back.

Ailes groomed no obvious successors, and has been so identified with the brand that many have a hard time envisioning the network without him. Will his successor lack Ailes’ political instincts, or tone down aggressive opinion? That could make Fox more broadly palatable, but also risks alienating the audience that has grown to love Fox and made it such a success.

Murdoch said Fox managers Bill Shine, Jay Wallace and Mark Kranz will assist him in day-to-day management of the network. Long-term, CBS News President David Rhodes is well-regarded and worked at Fox in the past. The Murdoch sons may also seek to make a statement by reaching outside the current Fox News culture.

“Whoever invented the Coca-Cola formula has long since passed this Earth, but the brand keeps selling because people like the taste,” said Mark Feldstein, a journalism professor at the University of Maryland. “I think that’s how it’s going to be with Roger Ailes. He invented this winning formula and all you have to do is not mess with it too much and it will continue to mint money for you.”

Documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald, who made 2004’s “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” said he hopes the younger Murdochs will take this moment to change the network’s philosophy.

“I certainly think that some of the hatred and anger and racism and fear that we’re seeing in this election has clearly and absolutely been stoked and stroked by Fox News,” he said. “Once he’s gone, I hope the younger Murdochs will attempt to take an approach in which it does become a news outlet rather than a propaganda outlet.”

But Fox would have to tread carefully to not alienate a loyal audience who will be concerned this news could change its favorite outlet.

“We’re not going to see any quick changes,” said Ken Doctor, a media consultant for Newsonomics and Politico. “That would be foolish from a business point of view.”

While ratings are soaring in an election year, a newly aggressive CNN is making inroads among younger viewers that advertisers seek. Fox faces the challenge of trying to inject youth into an audience that is among the oldest in television, and viewership is expected to inevitably fall without the excitement of a campaign.

The network has also been remarkably stable, with personalities bonded from loyalty to Ailes. O’Reilly has recently mused about retirement, and he and Sean Hannity reportedly have contract provisions that would allow them to leave if Ailes does. Kelly’s contract ends later this year and it would be a huge blow to the network if she left.

AP Television Writers Frazier Moore in New York and Lynn Elber in Los Angeles and Business Writer Tali Arbel in New York contributed to this report.



Business – What Should I Use as My Business Address? #business #idea


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What Should I Use as My Business Address?

Q: I m in the process of creating a business plan for a homebased business that I would like to start. I will be selling products like T-shirts and novelty items. But I have come to a point in the business plan that has me stumped. The problem is, I live in an apartment. What if a customer wishes to return an item that they purchased from me? How unprofessional would it be to have a return address listing an apartment?

A: You re right–creating a professional image from the get-go is important, and it can be particularly challenging for homebased entrepreneurs. Nowadays, people are much more accepting of the idea of operating a business from home, but it s taken some time for everyone to get past the stereotypical image of the homebased entrepreneur waltzing around the house in bunny slippers and making frequent visits to the refrigerator. Still, it pays to give yourself every advantage in starting a business, so it pays to look as professional as possible.

Deciding whether to use your home address for business purposes is a matter of what that address is. Something like 1114 Grove Ave. sounds perfectly fine, but, as you indicate, something like 1114 Grove Ave. Apt. 4, probably doesn t. Luckily, there are solutions. Since you ll evidently be doing some heavy shipping and perhaps dealing with returns, consider using a mail-receiving service, such as Mail Boxes Etc. These services provide you with a street address and a suite number rather than a post office box number (which some people perceive as questionable in itself). They ll also generally just save you a lot of headaches, handling everything from packing and shipping to package tracking. Shop around in your area for a service that s conveniently located to your house and reasonably priced.

You should also think about how you re going to handle mail on a daily basis. Set up a system, and stick to it. Otherwise, before long you ll find yourself buried in paperwork, with a long list of angry customers to deal with. Designate an area in your home office just for mail-related tasks, whether it s incoming or outgoing mail. In your case, it might be best to set up a large table where you can sort and process mail and prepare items for shipping. Don t just use your desk–with all the other business-related paperwork that goes along with running a home office, you don t want to mix and mingle. And pick a time when you ll be able to deal with mail every day–whenever it s most convenient and won t interfere with any other pressing activities.

When sorting through incoming mail, try to handle each piece of mail only once rather than looking at it and setting it aside to deal with later. Separate things into piles based on their priority–for example, items to be filed, items that need immediate action and items to be trashed. Then take care of each pile–and move on to something else.

In addition, consider setting up an e-mail account where customers can send you their inquiries electronically. This will cut down on excess mail and phone calls. Just remember to be diligent about checking your e-mail and responding to inquiries in a timely manner.

In time, you ll have your system down to a science and you ll be able to do it in your sleep. And that can only mean satisfied customers who will provide you with repeat business.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.



Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U #business #card #magnets


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Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U.S. Yields Turn Negative

For Kaoru Sekiai, getting steady returns for his pension clients in Japan used to be simple: buy U.S. Treasuries.

Compared with his low-risk options at home, like Japanese government bonds, Treasuries have long offered the highest yields around. And that’s been the case even after accounting for the cost to hedge against the dollar’s ups and downs — a common practice for institutions that invest internationally.

It’s been a “no-brainer since forever,” said Sekiai, a money manager at Tokyo-based DIAM Co. which oversees about $166 billion.

That truism is now a thing of the past. Last month, yields on U.S. 10-year notes turned negative for Japanese buyers who pay to eliminate currency fluctuations from their returns, something that hasn’t happened since the financial crisis. It’s even worse for euro-based investors, who are locking in sub-zero returns on Treasuries for the first time in history.

For a detailed description of how this index was created, click here.

For an analysis of hedging costs for Japanese investors, click here.

That quirk means the longstanding notion of the U.S. as a respite from negative yields in Japan and Europe is little more than an illusion. With everyone from Jeffrey Gundlach to Bill Gross warning of a bubble in bonds, it could ultimately upend the record foreign demand for Treasuries, which has underpinned their seemingly unstoppable gains in recent years.

“People like a simple narrative,” said Jeffrey Rosenberg, the chief investment strategist for fixed income at BlackRock Inc. which oversees $4.6 trillion. “But there isn’t a free lunch. You can’t simply talk about yield differentials without talking about currency differentials.”

DIAM’s Sekiai has been shunning Treasuries since April, a month after foreign holdings of U.S. debt hit a record. Instead, he favors bonds of France and Italy because they “offer some degree of yield and the currency-hedging costs are cheap.” That shift lines up with the latest available Treasury Department data, which showed that demand from non-U.S. investors in April and May was the weakest in a two-month stretch since 2013.

The fact that yields on 10-year Treasuries are still way higher than those in Japan or Germany is part of the reason foreigners are having such a hard time actually profiting from the difference. Negative interest rates outside the U.S. have caused a surge in demand for dollars and dollar assets, pushing up the cost to get into and out of the greenback at the same exchange rate to levels rarely seen in the past.

Ten-year yields in the U.S. are currently about 0.23 percentage point below a basket of bonds from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland on a hedged basis, versus 1.4 percentage points above on an unhedged basis, according to data compiled by BlackRock. At the start of the year, hedged Treasuries yielded over a half-percentage point more.

In Japan, where 10-year government bonds yield less than zero, the advantage for Treasuries has dwindled from a percentage point at the start of the year to less than 0.1 percentage point now. Without much added value for overseas investors, it’s harder to see foreign demand driving Treasuries to new records, especially as the Federal Reserve moves toward gradually raising rates.

Since falling to a record 1.318 percent on July 6, yields on 10-year notes have backed up as a string of economic reports such as last week’s jobs data bolstered the case for higher rates. They were at 1.58 percent today.

For a large swathe of institutional investors, especially those with conservative mandates, hedging is the norm when they go abroad. It eliminates the need to worry about the daily ebbs and flows in exchange rates and how that might affect their returns. When it comes to Treasuries, overseas buyers usually lock in a fixed exchange rate on the interest payments they get in dollars.

Conversion Costs

In that trade, the cost to convert payments from one currency to another is determined by the cross-currency basis swap. Take Japanese insurers as an example. Under normal circumstances, they would swap their yen for dollars and get interest on the yen they loaned out over the course of the contract.

But now, because the rate has turned negative, they’re effectively paying interest to lend the yen, which eats into their bond returns. That’s on top of the Libor rate they’ll need to pay for borrowing the dollars, which currently stands at 0.79 percent over three months.

The basis, as it’s known, was at minus 0.6425 percentage point for yen-based investors, which is close to the most expensive in five years. For those with euros, the basis is minus 0.43 percentage point. That’s more than twice as costly as the average over the past three years.

In a perfectly efficient market, none of this would matter. Differences in interest rates would be perfectly offset by the cost of exchanging two different currencies over time. But in the real world, things are far messier.

As unconventional monetary policies in Japan and Europe pushed yields lower and lower in recent years, demand for dollars has soared in tandem with the currency’s appreciation. Banks responded by demanding stiffer terms to swap into dollars as supply diminished, cutting into profits on the “carry trade” in Treasuries.

Treasuries will remain a better alternative for many overseas investors as long as an advantage exists, no matter how small the hedged yield pickup has become, according to Ralph Axel, a bond analyst at Bank of America Corp.

“They’ll just keep buying,” Axel said. Because of forces like negative rates and quantitative easing outside the U.S. “you clearly have a long-lasting bid.”

Of course, there’s the flip side. The overwhelming demand for U.S. currency is proving to be a boon for American investors and foreign central banks sitting on billions of dollars. Pacific Investment Management Co. also says there’s profit to be made by getting paid to swap dollars into yen.

Interest-Rate Swaps

Overseas money managers, though, have had to turn to more novel solutions to avoid the onerous hedging costs. Jack Loudoun, who helps oversee about $88 billion for Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich, says he prefers interest-rate swaps and futures on Treasuries to get exposure to the U.S. market because lower upfront costs help reduce foreign-exchange risk.

“We’re using derivatives to get access,” he said. “If you’re worried about hedging cost, swaps and futures are the avenues to go down.”

Whatever the strategy, there’s little debate over how important foreign demand is for the $13.4 trillion market for Treasuries.

“We’re at a point now where investors have to start thinking about this,” said Sachin Gupta, a foreign-bond fund manager at Pimco, which oversees $1.51 trillion. “As the cost of hedging rises to such an extent, there’s no extra carry to be had. That itself will slow down the demand — and, at some point, even reverse the demand — for Treasuries.”

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Design Business Postcards As Unique As You #business #management #degree


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Make an impression with more than just a phone call — ensure your business postcard is memorable! Upload and add pictures of your products, your logo, or your own smiling self right into any of our striking layouts. Next, throw in your contact information and your phone will be ringing off the hook.

Is your postcard missing something? Search our tremendous collection of over 1 million stock photos, images, and design elements to communicate your message — no matter what your business is, from artisanal waffles to life insurance, we’ll be sure to have just what you need to enhance your business postcard.

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You can even collaborate with your co workers by sharing your business postcard and allowing them to customize it. Simply share your design and check the box allowing others to edit, and anyone you link can open, edit, and use your business postcard to make connections and rake in the ROI.



Ailes is out as Fox News head, Murdoch named acting chief #business

#fox news business

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Ailes is out as Fox News head, Murdoch named acting chief

NEW YORK (AP) — Roger Ailes is out as chief executive at Fox News Channel, his career at the network he built from scratch and ran with an iron hand for nearly 20 years over with stunning swiftness following allegations that he forced out a former anchor after she spurned his sexual advances.

Network parent 21st Century Fox said Thursday that Rupert Murdoch, the company’s executive chairman, would run Fox News and its sister Fox Business Network, which Ailes had also led, until a successor could be found.

Murdoch and 21st Century Fox did not address the widening scandal in the statement on the resignation but lauded Ailes for his contributions. Ailes did not comment in the resignation announcement.

“I am personally committed to ensuring that Fox News remains a distinctive, powerful voice,” Murdoch said. “Our nation needs a robust Fox News to resonate from every corner of the country.”

Cutting short a vacation, the 85-year-old Murdoch addressed Fox News employees in New York on Thursday. Details were not given on the settlement agreement for a contract that was supposed to run through 2018, but Ailes is expected to get a payment of at least $40 million.

Ailes will have no formal role in the company, but is expected to serve as an informal adviser to Murdoch, said a person familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter. The deal is also said to have a standard no-compete clause.

Fox is heading into a general election campaign in its customary spot at the top of the ratings, but without the man who sets its editorial tone every day. The announcement came on the day Donald Trump is to accept the GOP nomination for president, a speech likely to be watched by more people on Fox than any other network.

The blustery, 76-year-old media executive built a network that both transformed the news business and changed the political conversation. Fox News Channel provided a television home to conservatives who had felt left out of the media, and played a part in advancing a rough-and-tumble style of politics that left many concerned that it was impossible to get things done in government.

Ailes’ downfall began with the July 6 filing of a lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson, who charged that he sabotaged her career because she refused his suggestions for sex and had complained about a pervasive atmosphere of sexual harassment at Fox. Ailes has denied the charges, but 21st Century Fox hired a law firm to investigate.

In a statement, Carlson’s attorneys credited Carlson’s “extraordinary courage” with causing “a seismic shift in the media world.”

Several Fox employees jumped to Ailes’ defense, but notably not Megyn Kelly, one of Fox’s top personalities. In rapid succession, it was reported that Kelly was among other women who had told investigators about harassment — again denied by Ailes — and that corporate heads Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, determined that Ailes had to go. The company has no plans to make results of its investigation public.

Within two weeks of the court filing, Carlson’s lawyers also said more than 20 women had contacted the firm with stories of alleged harassment by Ailes either against themselves or someone they knew. Two came forward publicly.

Before the charges, Fox’s sheer success had insulated Ailes despite some previous scrapes with the Murdoch sons over who he would report to. Fox News Channel is the parent company’s single most important property, said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, with some estimates that it accounted for nearly a quarter of the company’s profits.

Ailes was a prominent Republican media consultant who later ran CNBC before Murdoch asked him to create a cable news network to compete with CNN at the same time MSNBC was starting. Ailes’ slogans, “fair and balanced” and “we report, you decide,” appealed to an audience that believed mainstream outlets didn’t live up to those promises.

“He was ahead of his time in recognizing that dividing, not uniting, an audience would be the key to commercial success in the 21st Century cable news business,” said Matt Sienkiewicz, communications professor at Boston College. Ailes blew apart the notion that public affairs programming should target a broad audience with civil debates, he said.

Ailes hired a combative broadcast journeyman in Bill O’Reilly and turned him into the star of an opinionated prime-time lineup. He directed news coverage and emphasized issues like the so-called “war on Christmas” or the Benghazi investigation that otherwise got little attention. Republican politicians considered Fox the first stop for reaching their intended audience, and they learned to talk tough. “We’re not going to be defensive about anything,” Ailes said at the network’s launch.

“It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies,” Murdoch said on Thursday. “(Ailes’) grasp of policy and his ability to make profoundly important issues accessible to a broader audience stand in stark contrast to the self-serving elitism that characterizes far too much of the media.”

He was also a showman. Fox had flashier graphics, brighter colors and a vitality its staid rivals lacked. The daytime show “Outnumbered” is a classic Ailes concept: four women in dresses, their legs prominently displayed, debating issues with a single male panelist.

In 2011, Ailes told The Associated Press that he hired Sarah Palin as an analyst — a decision that later gave him headaches — “because she was hot and got ratings.”

Ailes demanded and usually received loyalty from a team that knew there could be hell to pay otherwise. When Paula Zahn left Fox for a job at CNN, Ailes retaliated by saying that a dead raccoon could have done her show and gotten the same ratings.

Critics scoffed at Ailes’ promise that he’d lift Fox to first place. By 2002, he did, and Fox hasn’t looked back.

Ailes groomed no obvious successors, and has been so identified with the brand that many have a hard time envisioning the network without him. Will his successor lack Ailes’ political instincts, or tone down aggressive opinion? That could make Fox more broadly palatable, but also risks alienating the audience that has grown to love Fox and made it such a success.

Murdoch said Fox managers Bill Shine, Jay Wallace and Mark Kranz will assist him in day-to-day management of the network. Long-term, CBS News President David Rhodes is well-regarded and worked at Fox in the past. The Murdoch sons may also seek to make a statement by reaching outside the current Fox News culture.

“Whoever invented the Coca-Cola formula has long since passed this Earth, but the brand keeps selling because people like the taste,” said Mark Feldstein, a journalism professor at the University of Maryland. “I think that’s how it’s going to be with Roger Ailes. He invented this winning formula and all you have to do is not mess with it too much and it will continue to mint money for you.”

Documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald, who made 2004’s “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” said he hopes the younger Murdochs will take this moment to change the network’s philosophy.

“I certainly think that some of the hatred and anger and racism and fear that we’re seeing in this election has clearly and absolutely been stoked and stroked by Fox News,” he said. “Once he’s gone, I hope the younger Murdochs will attempt to take an approach in which it does become a news outlet rather than a propaganda outlet.”

But Fox would have to tread carefully to not alienate a loyal audience who will be concerned this news could change its favorite outlet.

“We’re not going to see any quick changes,” said Ken Doctor, a media consultant for Newsonomics and Politico. “That would be foolish from a business point of view.”

While ratings are soaring in an election year, a newly aggressive CNN is making inroads among younger viewers that advertisers seek. Fox faces the challenge of trying to inject youth into an audience that is among the oldest in television, and viewership is expected to inevitably fall without the excitement of a campaign.

The network has also been remarkably stable, with personalities bonded from loyalty to Ailes. O’Reilly has recently mused about retirement, and he and Sean Hannity reportedly have contract provisions that would allow them to leave if Ailes does. Kelly’s contract ends later this year and it would be a huge blow to the network if she left.

AP Television Writers Frazier Moore in New York and Lynn Elber in Los Angeles and Business Writer Tali Arbel in New York contributed to this report.



Doing Business As (DBA) – Small Business Encyclopedia #business #week


#doing business as

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Doing Business As (DBA)

Definition:The operating name of a company, as opposed to the legal name of the company. Some states require DBA or fictitious business name filings to be made for the protection of consumers conducting business with the entity.

A company is said to be “doing business as” when the name under which they operate their business differs from its legal, registered name. Some states require dba or fictitious business name filings to be made for the protection of consumers conducting business with the entity.

If you’re starting a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you have the option of choosing a business name or dba (“doing business as”) for your business. If you want to operate your business under a name other than your own (for instance, Carol Axelrod doing business as “Darling Donut Shoppe”), you may be required by the county, city or state to register your fictitious name. (Note: No fictitious business name may include the words “corporation,” “Inc.,” “incorporation” or “Corp.” unless it’s a corporation registered with the Secretary of State.)

Procedures for filing for a fictitious name vary among states. In many states, all you have to do is go to the county offices and pay a registration fee to the county clerk. In other states, you also have to place a fictitious name ad in a local newspaper for a certain amount of time. The cost of filing a fictitious name notice ranges from $10 to $100. Your local bank may also require a fictitious name certificate to open a business account for you; if so, they can tell you where to go to register.

In most states, corporations don’t have to file fictitious business names unless the corporations do business under names other than their own. Incorporation documents have the same effect for corporate businesses as fictitious name filings do for sole proprietorships and partnerships.

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Supply Chain Management Review #supply #chain, #supply #chain #24/7, #supply #chain #management,

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Maersk Line has introduced a new service for supply chain managers seeking to finance their global trade while optimizing carrier service.

Posted on 06/08 at 01:00 PM

This announcement follows Scout’s release of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services procurement industry research, which explores the critical roles that sourcing, procurement, and supply chain management play in enterprise success.

Posted on 06/07 at 10:46 AM

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 56.9 in May, down 0.6% from April’s 57.5, which was its highest level since February 2015, while still growing for the 89th consecutive month. The May NMI is 1% higher than the 12-month average of 55.9.

Posted on 06/05 at 12:14 PM



Understanding Technology Costs #outsourced #it #support #services,remote #computer #support #service,managed #it #services,desktop

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Understanding Technology Costs

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses and organizations are expected to buy new IT equipment this year, replacing one in four office computers. Vendors now offer powerful computers at discounted prices, but what will this equipment really cost you in the long run? Whether you purchase a PC, notebook, server or other network hardware, you will likely experience sticker shock once you factor in the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Tight budgets and limited expertise often keep small organizations from making effective IT decisions. However, understanding hidden technology costs can actually help you reduce unnecessary expenditures and reallocate resources to more important business functions. Network Alliance has outlined current industry standards for determining TCO below. Before you invest in new IT equipment this year, we encourage you to evaluate your spending history and implement best practices that will improve your bottom line.

Why is TCO Important?

Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com ) defines TCO as the total cost of using and maintaining an IT investment over time. TCO calculations include a combination of direct costs (hardware, software, operations and administration) and indirect costs (end-user operations and downtime). TCO is often overlooked, and unbudgeted, presenting an inaccurate IT spending analysis.

Most organizations believe their direct costs end at the point of purchase. However, research shows that a computer’s base price typically represents less than 20% of its TCO, with technical support, maintenance and labor costs accounting for the remaining 80%. These aftermarket expenses represent the greatest piece of the TCO pie and should therefore warrant the highest levels of scrutiny.

Computers require constant configuring and maintenance. Ongoing costs related to security measures, software updates, computer repair and general support are unavoidable. However, simplifying your IT infrastructure and management processes will increase efficiency, expand productivity and significantly reduce your TCO.

IT Spending Benchmarks

The average SMB spends 6.4% of its annual revenue on IT expenses.

How Much Do You Spend On Technology?

Probably much more than you think.

As you can see from the pie chart, an unmanaged or poorly managed desktop PC costs more than $5,000 per year. When factoring in associated network costs, such as firewalls, storage, servers, routers, printers and internet connectivity, estimates exceed $8,500 per PC annually.

Remember that the initial purchase is just a fraction of the total cost of ownership, which means a $1,000 PC could actually cost more than $15,000 over its three-year lifespan. If a 10 person organization upgrades its PCs every three years, it likely spends a minimum of $120,000 managing those computers AFTER the purchase. The same logic applies to buying servers and related network hardware – the real investment begins once that equipment arrives at your door.

Even though more than 50% of TCO comes from indirect expenditures, many organizations focus solely on curbing direct costs. Since tight budgets have already reduced IT spending to a minimum, taking measures to improve end-user operations and decrease downtime can generate significant cost savings in the long run. In fact, Gartner recently found that a well-managed computer is 37% less expensive than the example above, often saving several thousand dollars per PC, per year.

Tips For Reducing TCO

IT spending is really a balancing act between hardware, software and services. According to Gartner, strong PC management is the key to overall cost reduction. The more money allocated for direct IT expenditures, such as operations and administration, the less money will be wasted on lost productivity and downtime.

Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. Because of declining IT budgets over the last few years, organizations have been forced to hold back on new purchases and temporarily band-aid ailing IT systems. However, pinching pennies on proper infrastructure and management procedures will cost you dearly in the long run. Here are several important ways you can reduce TCO and increase efficiency:

  1. Measure your current IT spending so you can effectively manage and control your costs.
  2. Build and maintain an accurate inventory of hardware, software and appropriate licenses.
  3. Reduce complexity by standardizing equipment, software platforms and configurations.
  4. Streamline processes for operating system patches, security updates, data back-up and maintenance.
  5. Protect against viruses, spyware, hackers and physical threats.
  6. Control user access to applications, settings, network resources, databases, and other IT assets.
  7. Outsource key IT functions, such as technical support, data storage and back-up, to trusted, experienced vendors.
  8. Provide regular training for both employees and internal IT staff.
  9. Consider implementing a “thin client” or “utility computing” model to more effectively manage and protect PCs.

How Does Your IT Spending Measure UP?

Determining your annual IT expenditures and calculating TCO can be complicated. We recommend following these steps for a basic TCO snapshot:

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