what’s In A Name – Just Your Business Survival!

Business SurvivalWhat’s so important about how I sign my name?”

I get asked that question all of the time from my business consulting clients.

I tell them that a better question to ask me is this:

“Who cares about how I sign my name?”

The answer is a simple one.

NOBODY.

FINE PRINT: Except… your customers and clients, your creditors, your bank, your mortgage company, your landlord, the I.R.S… oh yes… and anyone else that wants to SUE YOU (and don’t forget ALL their lawyers!).

As in many areas of the law, the exception to the rule swallows up the rule!

What do I mean by this?

Well, let’s start with some basics. For instance, if you’ve already formed a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), you may think that you’re already protected from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit against your business.

In general, the rule is that a corporation or LLC, if formed correctly, and if all of the formalities required under the law of the State where the entity was formed are followed, does protect you from personal liability for business debts and lawsuits.

FINE PRINT: Except… when you choose to do business as an individual, and not as the corporation or LLC that you initially formed.

You see, whenever you sign documents like contracts, purchase orders, contractual agreements, leases, loans, mortgages, promissory notes, and most other legal documents involving your business, you need to make sure that you sign your name only in your business capacity.

You MUST avoid signing your name in your individual capacity.

And how do you do that? It’s pretty simple. You see, the format that you use to sign your name is the controlling factor.

In many cases, you as the business owner, sign your name without knowing how to properly sign your name to business documents. In fact, most business owners of corporations and LLC’s still sign legally binding agreements in their individual capacity…and not as the business.

SIGN AS AN AGENT OF YOUR BUSINESS

If you have formed a corporation or an LLC, you must remember to sign all contracts, agreements, invoices, etc… as an agent of the business.

For example… Many business owners haphazardly, or perhaps inadvertently, sign legal documents like the format shown in

EXAMPLE 1 below:

EXAMPLE 1

(signature)
————————
John Doe

“But what is the consequence of signing my name like in EXAMPLE 1 above to invoices, agreements, or documents?”

EXAMPLE 1 and the above signature format legally establishes that YOU have signed the contract, invoice, loan, or agreement as an individual.

And not as an agent on behalf of your business.

If you sign your name to agreements in the form depicted in EXAMPLE 1 above, YOU could very well be liable personally to meet all of the terms of the agreement.

And you likely don’t want to do this!

Why Simply out, because you’re therefore subjecting all of your business assets and personal assets as well to the risk of a lawsuit.

If you sign agreements as depicted in EXAMPLE 1 above, YOU will very likely be named personally, as well as your business, in any lawsuit filed against the business.

Remember then:

Signing your name like in EXAMPLE 1 above DOES NOT establish that you have signed the agreement as an agent on behalf of your business.

“Okay. So how should I sign my name to my invoices, contracts, leases, loans, or any other business agreements?

What simple step can I take to protect my business, and my personal assets as well?

SIGN DOCUMENTS ONLY AS AN AGENT OF YOUR BUSINESS

Make sure that you only sign legal documents, letters, memos, invoices, loans, leases, etc… as an agent of your business.

How must I sign my name to any legal document or agreement to show that I am signing only as an agent of my business?

Follow EXAMPLE 2 below:

EXAMPLE 2

ABC CORPORATION, INC.

(signature)
———————————–
BY: John Doe
President (Company Title)

If you sign your name on the dotted line following the exact format depicted in Example 2 above, you legally establish that you are only signing as an agent on behalf of the business…and not in your individual capacity.

But you MUST follow the Example 2 precisely.

CAVEAT: Another very important point on this topic.

AVOID SIGNING documents that state “PERSONAL GUARANTY” on them.

A Personal Guaranty is usually a separate legal document attached to the main agreement. You generally see a Personal Guaranty in a loan, mortgage, or lease. However, sometimes a Personal Guaranty can be established just by the way you sign the legal document, invoice, lease, or agreement.

How?

Simple. If the agreement merely has a signature line that has your individual name on it without any reference to your business name, you are signing the document as a Personal Guaranty. You are therefore personally liable for that agreement if you sign the agreement with such a signature line.

But, what do I do if I am being required to sign a Personal Guaranty, like for a business loan or commercial lease for example?

If a Personal Guaranty is required, you or your lawyer should negotiate a limited period of time (the shortest possible) that the Personal Guaranty will bind you as an individual.

Remember, if you formed a corporation or LLC in the first place, you did it to avoid personal liability and to protect your personal assets. Anyone who does business with your company should, and usually does, know this. So, be careful. Other possibilities can be negotiated too. Just do your best not to sign in your personal capacity by signing a Personal Guaranty.

It’s important to remember to only sign legal documents, invoices, and even letters as an agent of your business. (Follow the format found in EXAMPLE 2 above).

How else can I make sure that I am signing my name properly to all of my business documents?

Call your attorney to review all of your agreements, invoices, leases, and legal documents BEFORE you sign them. Your attorney will offer sound advice that protects YOU, your loved ones, and your business.

Now, let’s review.

What’s in a name?

Well… besides your business…

…it could be all of YOUR personal and family assets!

The best advicve especially in the midst of tough economic times or a Recession, is to have any document you sign first reviewed by your lawyer or business consultant.

Copyright (c) 2008. Miguel Mendez, Jr. All rights reserved.

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Good Business Habits

Business HabitsLet me tell you straight, you cannot be a successful business person if you don’t have good business habits. Below I have listed a few habits that you should be doing if you wanted to be a successful business person!

1.) Are you committed to every business you have?

Opening a business is easy but maintaining its operation will take a lot of you time. Will you be available in creating marketing plans and promotional materials? Business without marketing plans is suicide. Once you start a business, put every attention to it. Don’t let your employees manage it. Take note of this, you are the only person who has vision for its success so its only you who can make it
grow.

2.) Are you continuously searching for opportunities?

Business people don’t just stick on 1 or 2 business. A business person always searches for more business opportunities. They are not mediocre. They don’t want stable business but rather a growing one. Always search for new ideas to pursue.. A business person has a vision for numerous income streams for profits!

3.) Do you think positive about you business?

A business person don’t pursue a business to which he/she doesn’t feel positive about. Once you start a business, don’t fill your mind with any negative thoughts. Problems may come your way but it will always have a solution. Business people don’t think of failures, always success behind every problem.

4.) Do you share the business vision?

You can’t survive on your own. You may be skillful at some point but it can’t make you very successful. A business person shares a business vision, to someone else, to a possible business partner. If a single business person can earn $1000 a month, then 2 person can earn $2000 a month. Simple logic but its reality. You can earn more as long as you share same vision with someone else.

5.) Do you delegate tasks?

Normally, every business person only thinks of opportunities and its corresponding marketing campaigns. It will not be healthy if the business person will also do the action of implementation. He will be dead meat if he/she will put every burden unto their shoulders. In fact, employees purpose is to put every plan into action, right?

6.) Do you create a good public image?

People are very sympathetic. They support the business whom they like the owner. Whether you like it or not,if people like your attitude and way of doing business, they will support you. But if you look like a bad boy or a person who looks down and criticizes people, believe me, you will loose every customer you’ve got!

Start creating a good public image. Help support the community where you belong. Extend some help to those in need. Don’t act as if what’s the only thing important to you is your profits and earnings. Make the public see that you care.

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Ways To Finance Your Vending Machine Business

Business MachineWhen starting a business, theres that one big wall that block your way, and thats your startup money. Without money to fund your business, there will be no business at all. So how and where can you get money? Read on to get some ideas on where you can find funding sources for your vending business:

Home Equity Loan
Most people immediately think of getting a standard business loan when thinking of financing a home business or business startup. While this may be appropriate, do not fail to consider using your home as a bank.

Small Business Administration Loan
Banks administer this loan and are more favorable to this type than a standard bank loan because they are only liable for 15% of what they loan (the government carries the other 85%). There are a number of types of documentation required with this loan, but it is certainly worth the trouble if you are willing to follow the process.

Standard Bank Financing
This financial source is probably the most difficult, yet not impossible with good credit and some net worth. Banks typically do not look favorably at vending machine loans and consider them risky because they are not considered a fixed asset.

Invest Your Tax Return Money
For a lot of people, April 15th is bonus time every year as they receive tax returns with earned income credit and deductions for kids. You can use this to slowly build your vending business. Its a great, safer way to build your business.

Family Loan
In some cases, a family member may be favorable to loaning you the money for starting your home-based business. While there may be relationship risks to this setup, it needs to be considered as an alternative to standard business financing. Some family members would rather invest in your business vision and draw a little interest rather than lending it to a bank at 2-3%.

Sell Items You Dont Need
If you badly need to create an income steam, opt for this least popular fund source. How about downsizing your car and investing the money in machines? Why not have a huge yard sale to raise $500-$1000? Why dont you downsize your home and invest your profits in the business? All of us have some money around us in our life that we could put to work.

Lease Purchasing
An option to getting into the vending business is to make an offer to buy an established vending route by lease-purchasing. You agree to lease the route from the seller with an option to buy at the end of the lease period. You invest your profits from the lease period into the purchase of the business or you can continue leasing for the cash flow you are receiving. Remember to get legal help in setting up any contractual agreement like this.

Owner Financing
Not that always easy to find but dont let it stop your from asking the seller of a vending route for it, especially if you have some money to put down.

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Powerful Methods To Stay Successful In Business

Successful BusinessIn business, achieving success is merely half the battle won. The other half? As many veteran businessmen would agree, sustaining success  staying on top of your game and on top of THE game  is the more difficult part of owning and operating a commercial enterprise.

Case in point: flash-in-the-pan businesses are a dime a dozen these days. Overnight successes are stories that are quite commonplace. But businesses that last for years, if not decades? Alas, theyre rarities in this day and age!

The goal isnt merely to succeed in business. The goal should be to remain successful in business.
Here are 5 powerful principles to live by if you want to achieve such a goal:

1. Believe in your business. Your business is bound to encounter many challenges and many tribulations along the way. Some of these trials would be grave enough to make you consider quitting. But should you? Remember: if you dont believe in your business, if you dont believe that it can succeed, then why should your prospective customers believe that your business is the right choice for them? Your faith in your business will go a long, long way in pushing it to reach its fullest potentials.

2.Find satisfaction in what youre doing. If you do not find contentment in what youre doing, then its just a matter of time before you give up on your business. Fulfillment can be attained in so many ways. If you cannot find that sense of fulfillment from your business, its either because: a) youre not looking hard enough; or b) youre looking at the wrong place. The smallest victory can be a cause for celebration. And the tiniest of triumphs can even provide the biggest kind of satisfaction.

3.Make your customers satisfaction your primary goal. Profit is good, but it shouldnt be the driving force of your business if you want your success to last. The happiness of your customers should be your paramount concern. Remembers, happy customers are customers for life.

4.Strive to improve your craft and your trade. Never rest on your laurels. Always try to be the best you can ever be when it comes to the things you do for a living.

5.Have fun! They say that the best kind of moneymaking opportunity is one that you enjoy doing. If you will find such a business, then youve hit the jackpot. Now, no one said that this jackpot cant be created. You can find enjoyment in what youre doing. Even if the business wasnt born from a hobby you once nurtured, you can still find ways by which you can make it very exciting and very enticing for you. Your enthusiasm for your business will eventually show in the products you will deliver.

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Different Strategic Levels In A Business Organization

Business OrganizationA business strategy defines the direction in which a business will take in the future. The business organization tries to achieve an advantage over the competition by the configuration of its resources within a confronting setting so that the needs of the market are met and the expectations of its stockholders are fulfilled. This is the overall definition of a business strategy. This focuses a business organization on which market it should engage in and the activities that are needed to compete in that particular market for the business to grow.

In making a business strategy, the planners need to determine how the organization can outperform its competition in a particular market niche. These are the advantages of the company which it needs to utilize, in order to gain the upper hand. In this connection, the right resources that the company can utilize should be gained, in order to maintain its competitive advantage. These resources will include the skills, various company assets, relationships, facilities and technical competence. As an organization plan how to manage its resources, it should also take into consideration the environment in which it is to operate. These are the external factors which can have an effect on the ability of a business organization to compete. Furthermore, the hope and values of its stakeholders should also be taken into account on the overall business strategy.

Though there is an overall strategy which a business organization enforces, there are different levels in a business setting where particular strategies are implemented. First there is the so called corporate strategy. In this particular strategy level, the focus is on the overall purpose and coverage of the organization to meet the expectations of its stockholders. This is crucial to the company since it has a great influence on its investors and guides the strategic decision making all through the company. A corporate business strategy is posted for all to see in the mission statement of a company.

Next in importance to the corporate strategy would be the business unit strategy of a particular business organization. A business unit strategy is mainly concerned with how a business can compete in its chosen market niche. The decisions which are the focus of attention in a business unit level are about meeting the needs of its costumers, choice of products, gaining advantage on the competition and the creation and exploitation of new opportunities.

The next level of business strategy which a business organization focuses on is the operational strategy of the company. At this level, the focus is on how each segment of the business can be systematized so as to give the direction to the business unit strategy. The consideration is on processes, people, resources and other such concerns. Various business organizations have their own strategies which they see are most advantageous to the company. They each implement safeguards to guarantee that strategic goals and objectives are met and vigorously implemented and followed by each member of the team.

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Create A Business Opportunity From A Problem

Turn a Problem into a Business Opportunity by creative thinking.

People pay money to create a problem and then somebody else turns that problem into a business opportunity. How do we do this? First step is to examine and define in great detail what exactly the problem is? Then look at innovative ways to turn the problem into a business opportunity.

Problem – We are eating a lot more then we should. Opportunity – exercise classes, weight loss diets, larger size clothes & diet drinks / foods.

Think of traffic, then think of bottlenecks! Problem – a lot of people stuck in traffic. Opportunity – Billboard advertising & more demand for entertainment on the move!

Problem – In this day of high speed life, people don’t have time to sit down and eat. Opportunity – Create a fast food franchise that serves hot food within minutes for customers to take away and eat on the move.

Problem – people are drinking more. Opportunity – diet drinks, drink dispensers, low calorie alcoholic drinks, vitamins, more fun drinks & definitely more counselling!

In our previous business, we had a problem when we were manufacturing specialised, shock absorbing pallets. We always many pieces of a certain size of wood left. I sent our salesman round local businesses to see if he could find a use for it. In the end we ended up making “button-ups” which had a 100% profit margin after expenses for pieces of wood which we used to throw away!

Problem – Higher number of asylum seekers & refugees. Opportunity – low cost housing, lower paid labour force and increased demand for economy products!

Problem – More spam! Opportunity – more demand for new software, better firewalls & more experts needed!

What problems have you faced recently? Can you nail it down and turn it into an opportunity?

Here are the steps we should take to turn a problem into a business opportunity:

1) Identify the problem
2) Do overall market research
3) Get a team in to collectively debate the problem
5) Sleep on it
6) Do some more market research
6) Apply creative thinking and problem solving strategies to identify a business opportunity

Many questions can be answered by market research. What is the current state? Where is the market going? Who are the main players? How do consumers feel about the current solutions to their problems? How can we meet their needs better?

We can turn every challenge into a business opportunity. Every business process can be improved. Every problem is a business opportunity. Every time you have a bright idea, make sure that you write it down in an ideas notebook. Can you solve last weeks problems in a way which people will pay money?

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Exports Business In India A Vital Statistics

The Indian export business has been growing steadily for the past several decades. Indian exporters have succeeded in taking the export business to an international level.

Factors Contributing To the Growth of Export Sector

Several factors have contributed to the growth of export business in India. The growth of Small and Medium enterprises is one of the most important factors that have led to an increase in the export of the country. Most of the indian exporters include the SME sectors which have grown tremendously during the past several years.

Some of the most important and profitable sectors in the export business include textiles, chemicals, telecommunication hardware, food grains, iron and steel, consumer durables and electronics. India is second largest exporter in the world next to China.

Another important factor that has led to the acceleration of exports is the online business to business web portals. The use of business directory by the Small and Medium enterprises has led to a global exposure of products and services.

Today Indian exporters can easily find markets for their products through online portals. The small enterprises found it difficult to reach the target audience but with the use of the b2b directories, these industries are able to showcase different products and services in the global markets, make better and faster transactions and have an in depth knowledge about market situations.

Indian exporters have a healthy competition with neighbouring countries which has further led to the growth of export sector in the country. The government has created new opportunities by introducing several policies to augment the export sector. By the year 1990, government introduced liberal policies to boost the export business in India. The introduction of various trade policies have led to a substantial flow of foreign currency.

Some of the Important Export Products

The Indian exporters maintain cordial trade relations with neighbouring countries. Majority of the commodities produced in the country are exported to foreign countries. Some of the most important and notable commodities include:

* Iron and steel: India is the leading exporter of iron and steel to different countries all over the world.

* Leather products: leather products like shoes, bags and belts are exported to different countries on large basis. It is one of the most profitable sectors of the Indian economy.

* Textiles: another sector that contributes to the GDP of the country is the textile industry.

* Chemicals and pharmaceuticals: India is the leading exporter of various chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The export of petroleum has also increased during the past several years.

* Readymade garments: Indian exporters are well known for their readymade products in the international markets. Indian dresses and fabrics have immense appreciation all over the world.

* Jewellery: Indian jewellery has craved a niche in the global markets with its unique blend of traditional and contemporary styles.

* Dairy products: a leading exporter of milk products and eggs, the current census show a considerable increase in the export of dairy products.

The growth of SMEs and the use of business directory have led to a notable growth of the export sector of the country in many ways. Today the country is a leading exporter of many commodities in the international market.

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Choosing Outsourced Accounting Services For Your Business

If you are considering outsourced accounting services, then youve likely arrived at the conclusion that, as a business owner, your time is much better spent growing your business, not fussing with the books. It takes many business owners a long time to come to this conclusion, which can be detrimental to their business. In an effort to conserve finances, owners often bury themselves in excess work that they arent qualified to do. Outsourcing work is a good way to solve this problem.

Why outsource?

When it comes to accounting, outsourced accounting services are the perfect compromise. Many small to medium sized businesses dont have the financial resources to hire a full-time accounting professional to balance their books monthly and file their taxes. In fact, depending on your business, your books may need to be balanced more often and you may also need financial reports and payroll production. Outsourced accounting services allow you to hand this work off to an expert who only works when you need them to, and therefore, you only pay when them when they do the work you assign. No salary.

What are the other benefits?

Your time is crucial to your business. It is up to you to network, find new investors, develop new products and worry about your businesss presence both online and in the real world. When do you really have time to go through receipts or worry about payroll deadlines? You cannot handle every aspect of your business, and while you may think that by doing it yourself you are saving money, the truth is that if you make a mistake, it can cost you money. Outsourced accounting services are the solution you need. Not only will you lose money if you mess up your businesss taxes, but what if you short change an employee? Or miss a payroll deadline? How can you handle the corporate side of your business if youre buried in the books all day?

Its not all about accounting

There are many tasks you can outsource for your business. You can also outsource things like CFO services. The financial side of your business is what fuels your business. You want solid strategic planning and a defined direction for your business. Getting things like outsourced accounting services is just one way to delegate and organize your business plan for success. Outsourcing other aspects is also possible, and most time favorable. Third parties can also assist with raising capital funds and even advise you about how to plan for your businesses future.

Some may see outsourcing as a short cut, but if you are in a position where you are your only employee and your business is not big enough to justify hiring accounting staff, outsourced accounting services only make sense. Dont short-change your business and its success by trying to juggle everything on your own. You want qualified and experienced professionals helping you grow your business. Dont saddle yourself or an unqualified employee with the important accounting needs of your business. Outsource to professionals today.

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The Importance Of Business Stationary In Personal Branding

Business stationery is an important part of building a company’s image. No matter how big or small the company, branding your business stationery will help you to increase your sales.

However, business stationery does not mean just the letterhead of your company. Besides this, you need to have your company logo printed on every piece of stationery that your clients might see or use. These include envelopes, shipping labels, invoices, calendars, calling cards, folders, compliment slips, labels and more.

Just putting your brand on the stationery is not enough. You need the formatting to be consistent throughout the stationery. Remember, the formatting of your brand logo will help with the image you wish to convey. A consistent logo will imprint the brand image much more easily. It also shows a united front for your company and delivers the message that you are efficient.

Business stationery is important because it gives prospective clients the first impression of your business. If you do not seem professional, the client will not want to do business with you. However, a good first impression will definitely bring you more business. Whenever you communicate with your clients, leave them with a piece of your business stationery. It delivers a subtle, but powerful message about the kind of business.

When you design your business stationery, ensure that it delivers the right message across. A youthful business can afford to be more creative. However, if you deal with a very serious line of work, such as law, you need to keep the business stationery curt and professional.

You can print either in colour, greyscale or in black and white. Colour printing is usually much more effective compared to black and white and greyscale stationery. This is because colour printing usually portrays you as an established and trustworthy company. Whichever kind of printing you choose, you need the branding to be effective. It should be simple enough that people can remember it easily, and complex enough that people will take you seriously.

You can hire a business stationery printing company for your company’s stationery. Many companies offer services of not only printing, but also designing the stationery. You can either send them a design made by your company for printing or ask them to design a logo for you.

Ultimately, it is all about building the image of your business. Thus, the power and utility of business stationery should never be underestimated.

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The Academy Of Business Strategy – The Closely Guarded Recruitment Secret

The recruitment industry has always been reactive by nature. This is not intended to be a criticism in any way, it is just considered to be convention within the industry. An employer advertises a vacancy, a candidate advertises their CV. Prospective candidates are forwarded onto the employer and prospective vacancies are similarly forwarded onto the candidate. This will invariably result in thousands of candidates applying for each individual vacancy and success is ultimately determined by the efficiency of each individual employer’s recruitment procedure. Candidates are always powerless throughout this process. The introduction of online job boards through the internet has only served to exasperate this problem. They tend to identify success in terms of quantity rather than quality. They will proudly advertise that they have thousands or even millions of candidates registered with them. They will also have hundreds or thousands of vacancies listed too. The implication being of course that if they serve this many customers then they must be good. Having said this, online job boards do provide an important service now within the recruitment industry. They provide portals where both candidates and employers can be introduced to each-other and the service which they provide is far more cost-effective than traditional offline advertising and in most cases they provide a more efficient service too. Unfortunately it does not really do very much to help candidates gain better employment and it is still rather like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is because the service which they provide merely ensures that more and more applicants apply to each individual vacancy. It is also widely accepted within the recruitment industry that any vacancy which we may see advertised is always a peripheral vacancy. What is meant by this is that they tend to be general vacancies which arise from prescriptive change such as expansion, or a merger or acquisition. The very fact that the organization does not have anyone in mind for this vacancy who could be promoted from within tells you that the vacancy is probably a peripheral one. Core vacancies are never advertised. The organization will already have internal candidates in mind for these positions and they are too important to risk employing a candidate who is considered to be an unknown quantity. Consequently core vacancies are always the ones we should be targeting. They are the vacancies which constitute power, influence and life-changing personal benefits. A senior manager or partner at a major financial institution, retail organization or manufacturing company will earn an annual salary amounting to several hundred thousand dollars for their services. A senior Director or Executive Officer at the same company will earn an annual salary amounting to several million dollars for their services. How many jobs do you actually see advertised with annual salaries that exceed 250,000.00 USD? There are traditional recruitment companies who practise what is commonly known as head-hunting, but these still tend to be for peripheral positions. The reality is that anyone who achieves a core vacancy within a major global organization will have developed and implemented a successful career management strategy over a sustainable period of time. It is quite literally the difference between success and failure. Recruitment companies and online job boards alike are already thinking of innovative ways in which they can provide better services. Improving online technology is to some extent gradually enabling them to do this. There are growing improvements in terms of the search engines that are used to pre-qualify candidates for employers and conversely to pre-qualify employers for candidates. However the more recruitment companies or online job boards which choose to move in this direction the more they will have to charge candidates and employers for the services they provide, whereas registration, particularly for candidates has been largely free of charge and candidates have grown accustomed to this of course. It is already clear that those recruitment companies who are starting to charge candidates for the service that they provide, tend to provide much better services. The old adage that “you always get for what you pay” tends to apply here. Ultimately these changes while providing some improvement in the professionalism of recruitment companies and online job boards over time will not change anything at all concerning the type of vacancies advertised. Advertised vacancies will always be peripheral. Candidates who have the most successful careers are always those who are proficient at managing their own career management strategy. It is true that we cannot all aspire to be the CEO of Microsoft, General Motors, HSBC Bank, or Mittal. But we can still ensure that we at least have the opportunity to achieve as much as we can with our careers and we will not achieve this if we are reactive by nature and if we do not take personal responsibility at some point for our own career development. After all an individual’s career development surely constitutes a core activity, not a peripheral one!

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