Jun 9, 2017

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9 Questions to Ask Your Potential IT Services Provider

Your IT support team acts as the backbone of your business. You rely so much on them for all your technical and networking needs, which is why you should only work with a reliable IT services company with dedicated professionals who will work with you whenever a need arises. To ensure you got the right IT partner, here are nine important questions to ask when hiring an IT company to manage your business’ tech needs.

1. “How and when will you charge me?”

Pricing method varies from company to company, but usually comes in fixed, variable and per-incident pricing. Fixed pricing is your best option as it has unlimited support. Variable pricing, on the other hand, is based on the time it took to have your problem fixed. If you prefer this over the previous one—perhaps, due to the price difference—you can make variable pricing look like fixed-priced service by paying for a fixed amount of hours. However, the downside is that support is available only on certain hours, thus charging you with extra for services beyond the agreed time.

2. “What contract can you suggest for my company?”

There’s no reason why a company should push you to get into a long-term agreement when you look for a good IT service in Singapore as any service provider should be consistent with their quality, regardless of the length of the contract of their client. However, if you prefer longer partnership, ask what benefits you will get from signing a long-term agreement. Many service providers in Singapore offer price reduction and exclusive discounts to their long-term partners.

3. “Have you worked with the same company as mine?”

Ask if your potential provider have relevant experience in managing companies in the same market sector. Do your research to see whether they provide specialized services for your type of business. Ask to speak with one of their clients with the same size and nature of business as yours to get an idea of how they execute their job.

4. “Are maintenance and system updates included in the contract?”

The core of a good IT support is preventing issues before they actually happen. This reduces the possibility of system failures and downtime, therefore ensures constant productivity of your business. However, an IT services company isn’t just there to prevent and fix problems; they are also there to help your business adapt IT changes. A good IT partner will do regular visits to help you maximize your current IT structure and see what necessary updates should be made for better operations.

5. “Do you offer remote monitoring and management?”

Remote monitoring and management should be a core part of any IT support model you will choose. With the advent of modernized management tools, your service provider should be able to monitor all your servers and PCs, and install packages and upgrades remotely. If one server is running full, your service provider should be able to manage it from their site before the server crashes.

6. “What kind of back-up do you have in case of service failure?”

A reliable IT support company should be a total package. Along with maintenance, upgrades and fixing tech issues, your IT partner should also provide back-ups for your business’ IT system. From back-up servers down to back-up power sources, make sure that your service provider has ‘Plan B’ for your important equipment. Find out how the IT company will switch over to these back-ups in case of system or equipment failure.

7. “How will you keep up with the growth of the business?”

It’s important to know how your supplier plans to work with you for growth. See if they can provide long-term hardware needs to save on expenses down the road. As your business continues to grow, its technical needs and data solution will expand alongside it. Many business owners in Singapore forget that more staff means more demands on the storage and server requirements. When building your IT system, do so in a scalable way. If growth of the business takes off, you won’t have much time to build an efficient IT strategy due to rapid expansion.

8. “Do you have your own help desk support or do you outsource it?

A quick and reliable IT support company should have their own help desk team in the site. That way, they can train them and ensure that they can immediately address client concerns and issues. This is a vital information to ask a potential IT services company, because you need to know where the people answering your calls are located, who they are working for and if they were oriented on both your tech solutions and business operations.

9. “Will you provide reports that show important data about my services?”

Find out how the support team will show details about the services you’re paying for. If you are in an industry that requires compliance audits, reporting the state of your tech security status is mandatory. Make sure to ask a potential provider if a report will be submitted, what details will be included in the report and how often you will receive such information.

Overall, remember to take your time when choosing an IT services provider in Singapore. Choosing an IT company to be your partner is a major decision. Make sure you will be working with a company that complements your business well and provides services and solutions that your business requires.

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Jul 1, 2013

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Investing for Beginners: How to Properly Deal with Investments

We save money for the future. Some people invest and take the risks while there are others that simply keep the money just to be safe.  Of course it is ideal to choose something that can increase the value of our money overtime-investing. While it is risky, investing is a lucrative endeavour. Today, success in investing is not purely luck but a well thought forecasting. Yes there’s no way to predict the market but careful study and planning will do the trick.

If we are given the chance to invest, it is best to grab it because it may be our time to prosper. If we are afraid to give in, it is best to know the nature of investing first. Once we know everything, we can begin our endeavour.

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Don’t be afraid

Investing is scary because one false move will cost us big but if we manage it well, profits will surely skyrocket. It is important that at the onset, we are not afraid to take risks-calculated risks.

Know the market

There are many people that we can ask for help. The world of investment is a complicated one. If we are lost, it is okay to stop for a while and ask for directions. If we have friends with investment backgrounds, we can ask them some questions. We can also take proper courses. There are various materials (books and magazines) and platforms (internet) that we can utilize if it is hard to look for someone.

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Conduct research about the company you are eyeing

If we are ready to invest, we should conduct research about the company we are eyeing. There are many indicators that we can consider. For example, we should consider if the company is steadfast and if they reported increased or decreased profits over the years.

See things positively

When we invest, no matter what happens, it is good if we maintain a positive outlook.

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Mar 13, 2013

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Ways to Sell Your Business

When you feel that you’re finally at the right time and with the right reasons to sell your business, ask this to yourself: How am I going to sell my business?
Here are some guidelines to help you in preparing your exit strategy.

Liquidation
You need to be able to identify which assets you are going to sell before embarking on business brokerage. Assets are both tangible and intangible. Examples of tangible assets are buildings, land, and equipment, or what we call the “fixed assets”. Other tangible assets are the “current assets” which include cash, inventory, and accounts receivable before you put your business for sale Singapore. On the other hand, intangible assets are trademark, company logo, and goodwill. You need to determine each of them because their value matter on their quality.

Family Succession
As the seller of a small business, you might want to sell your business to your close family members or relatives to ensure that it is passed on to good hands. Before you sell business, it helps to do your homework. Buy and sell business in Singapore to family members is very common. Doing so gives you the assurance that even if you sell your business, its next owner will be responsible enough to keep the business going or can develop it even better. When a family member becomes the buyer of your business through business brokerage, you can still personally help that person in some aspects of the business by giving information and advice on how to manage it properly based on your experience.

Selling to Employees
Selling your business to your current employees is also a good way to sell your business because they are the ones who are most interested in buying it. Most of them know much about your company background including its administrative and managerial functions which makes it easy to buy sell business within the company. Thus, there is a great possibility that these people will be able to carry on the tasks for your business for sale Singapore to continue to thrive after you have sold the business. An ESOP or Employee Share Ownership Plan is a stock equity plan that allows the key personnel and other employees in a company to acquire ownership.

Open Market
When you sell your business in the open market, you attract more buyers if you go through business brokerage – thus you create a competition among them, which increases your chance of getting a higher bid for your business. You can select among them the best buyer to whom you are going to sell your business with the hope of getting your business’ real worth.

Acquisition
Bigger companies are interested in buying small businesses for several reasons. Therefore, selling your business to them is one good way of having return of investment and, at the same time, being certain that your small business will have a new and even stronger management.

IPO
This can also be a viable exit strategy, although it is exclusive to large businesses only. Initial Public Offering (IPO), also called stock market launch, is the act of selling a company’s shares of stock to the public. IPO transforms a private company into a public company.

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Mar 4, 2013

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Is Affordable Art Easily Available?

Singapore may be young in many things, but its arts heritage stems from ancient times. Art was already in Singapore in as early as the fifth century, and sure enough, its art is deeply rooted in ancient cultures of Southeast Asia. Singapore houses so many artists let alone galleries that endorse their artistic work. Many of these artworks are a show of some remarkable political, social or cultural potentialities of the art gallery industry. These artistic works are a contemporary fusion of cultural based painting and modern art techniques. Purchasing a desired art piece is vital to any art enthusiast and owning the desired artwork comes with some sense of pride and joy.

Is affordable art easily available in Singapore? Well, finding affordably priced art can be a disappointing task, especially when you desire so bad to own some pieces of art, but you just can’t afford them. Most art gallery in Singapore are substantially advanced, supporting so many renowned artworks of leading artists. Many of these galleries offer paintings and prints at considerably high prices. Some artworks sold in an art gallery in Singapore are of lesser known artist, but still, they are sold at substantially expensive prices. Mostly, these galleries purchase incredible artworks from some upcoming artists at considerably low prices and then they resell them at obscenely high costs.

In the past year, so many online Singapore art galleries have been established, and as far as affordability and convenience are concerned, then these are the best alternative to the expensive galleries. Affordable art is now easily available with just a few clicks. Gone are the irksome days when you had to suppress the burning need to own artwork because you couldn’t afford it. Nowadays, you can view the art collection on a renowned online gallery, and you will be utterly surprised at how cheap artwork is. In a Singapore art gallery, you work directly with the given artist, and you are able to negotiate your purchase. Often at times, the pricing of these paintings are considerably low that you start questioning their quality.

Artworks from Singapore online galleries are exceedingly high quality, and you will be mesmerized by their beauty and artistic touch. Most at times, the quality of these paintings from novice artists is not entirely reflected in the price because in a normal art gallery, some of these paintings would be worth thousands of dollars. This doesn’t reflect a compromise in their quality. The intriguing fact about an art gallery in Singapore is the extensive array of artwork they support. You can find practically any artwork you desire online, as opposed to national galleries. Isn’t it thrilling to select and purchase the desired painting without being intimidated by its price or its credibility?

Apart from being repositories for distinctive affordable art, online galleries are the perfect entry point for any upcoming artists. Therefore, if you are an art enthusiast, then the paintings that these newbie artists offer will be a pleasant surprise and a veritable purchase from an art gallery. What’s more, you can keep track of novice artists in online galleries, purchasing new pieces of art they display from time to time. Art is being democratized by these online galleries, and now more than ever, everyone can own at least one or two original artworks in their homes or offices.

Having a passion for pieces of art comes with the desirable sense to be the Singapore owner of artistic work. As much as admiring artworks in galleries brings some kind of satisfaction, nothing compares to the amazing feeling of owning original artwork from an art gallery. With the easily available affordable art online, the dream of owning incredible pieces of art can turn into a stunning reality.

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Jan 12, 2013

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Starting a Wholesale Barbecue Business

Starting a barbecue business in Singapore is a good idea because Singaporeans have a big appetite for skewered meat. They love going to smaller food stalls because of the wide selection of affordable foods and fast service. Starting a wholesale barbecue business does not only require delicious recipe but a whole lot more of things.

Guide #1: Think of a specific barbecue food to sell and focus on that. For example, Singaporeans love eating satay, otah, chicken wings, lamb chops and sausages. It’s best to make one of those you’re specialty or your main selling item. You can also focus on selling sambal stingray, squid or kampong fish. Since you’re still starting, it’s better if you focus on a particular barbecue food first. Then once your business has started to grow, you can slowly add more barbecue foods on your menu.

Guide #2: Make a business plan. This is an SOP in all wholesale businesses. Business plan is a statement of the objectives and goals of your business. This includes making an analysis of the competition, market strategies, expense budget, and profit projections. A business plan of BBQ Singapore is like the map of your business towards the path to success. It also serves as your business calling card when dealing with potential investors or suppliers in the future.

Guide #3: Secure all legal requirements for start-up businesses. In Singapore, business requirements are industry-specific. Putting up a food and beverage business has different requirements to that of running a travel agency, for example. The process of getting business licenses and permits can be easy as long as you provide necessary documents that are need by the government.

Guide #4: Search for potential suppliers of meat and other ingredients, and tie up with the one that offers the best deals. In this way, you can save a big amount of money when you buy in bulk or wholesale. When you have local suppliers, you can also save on delivery costs while ensuring high quality of food items and ingredients.

Guide #5: Decide on whether you are going to buy your portable smoker or build your own custom smoker with metals or bricks. In choosing or designing your smoker, make sure that it has good heat source and cooking chamber, and adequate ventilation.

Guide #6: Look for a strategic location for your barbecue business. Find a place where there are a lot of potential customers to attract. One strategic location for this type of business is a business center. After, advertise your new business. Place a visible streamer or catchy board that contains your barbecue menu. Print out leaflets to hand out to passersby or to give to customers upon leaving.

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