Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
One of my free bonus rules: People are very uncomfortable negotiating with children or even young adults (I assume they feel they will appear to be taking advantage of their naivete), so they generally just pay the asking price. It's good experience for your kids anyway. I was selling puppies on commission when I was 8. I did very well. :-) I sometimes wonder why car dealers do not use this... - Connie
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Become a Great Negotiator
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Become a Great Negotiator Altucher Confidential
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Monday, May 26, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
I thought you'd like this episode of Colorado Public Radio: CPR Podcast that I listened to on Stitcher Radio.
Here's what it's about:
Whether you're road-tripping, camping or glamping (that's glamorous camping),we have ideas for your summer vacations and weekends.
Sent from my iPhone
Friday, May 16, 2014
Matching the salary and perks a competitor is offering may look like a good way to keep stars from leaving, but it can be risky.FORTUNE -- Dear Annie: I'm curious to hear what you and your readers think about using counteroffers to retain talented employees. Last week, I was in a meeting of department heads (six of us, including me), and a couple of people mentioned that key team members have gotten great job offers from our competitors. On top of bigger salaries, these other companies are throwing in things like free gym memberships, not to mention substantially more vacation time than we currently offer.
So, naturally, the conversation turned to whether we could, or would, match these offers, and at least one person seemed inclined to do so. But is that really smart? I have my doubts, partly because I accepted a counteroffer for more money, some years ago at a different company, and it sort of backfired on me, so I ended up leaving anyway. Your opinion, please? --Holding Back
Dear H.B.: With hiring picking up, it follows that decisions about making, and accepting, counteroffers are on the rise too. A survey last month by staffing firm The Creative Group, for instance, found that about 20% of marketing and advertising executives are agreeing to match more outside offers than last year, mainly to avoid losing employees with hard-to-find skills, while just 5% said counteroffers have declined.
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The biggest drawback to counteroffers is that they're often a temporary solution to a long-term problem. "Many companies are willing to pull out all the stops to retain their best people," observes Creative Group executive director Diane Domeyer. "And the employee who accepts a counteroffer may feel valued in the short term. The trouble is, the issues, beyond money, that are prompting the person to think about leaving usually crop up again later."
She recommends considering these four questions before matching a competitor's offer:
1. Will a counteroffer address the real problem?Sometimes higher pay is the only reason a star employee wants to change jobs, but more often it isn't. Boredom, lack of chemistry with a boss, no clear career path, or some other issue (or combination of issues) won't be resolved by throwing money at them.
2. Is it a knee-jerk reaction? Domeyer notes that, faced with losing an essential team member, many managers panic. She recommends slowing down, taking a deep breath, and asking yourself, "Are you asking this employee to stay because of the value he or she brings to the role, or only so that your team won't be left in the lurch?"
3. Will it set a precedent you can't afford? Word gets around. "Make a counteroffer today, and you can be sure other restless employees will expect similar treatment in the future," Domeyer says. "If one employee gets a significant raise purely because of another job offer, it could upset your whole pay scale."
4. What impact will it have on the team? "What you gain by trying to appease one person can cause resentment and low morale among the rest of your staff," Domeyer says. That's especially true of conspicuous perks like extra vacation time. People who work together may not know each other's salaries, but they do notice when someone takes, say, four weeks off instead of two.
In this as in so much else, the best cure is prevention. "The time to talk with your most valued employees about their future with you is not when they've already decided to quit," Domeyer says. "Companies with the highest retention rates now are the ones where managers are having frequent conversations with the people they don't want to lose."
It helps to have succession plans in place too, she adds: "People do change jobs, so what if your best team member does quit? You need to be ready and train someone who can step into that person's role."
John Challenger, CEO of Chicago career-development firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, agrees: "Your best people are the ones who are most likely to get other offers. So managers have to take the time to plan for that."
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Challenger also notes, incidentally, that accepting a counteroffer carries its own risks. "If you take an offer that matches the one you got from another company, and you agree to stay, higher-ups still know you were planning to quit," he points out. "You can't unring that bell."
You don't say how the deal you accepted at your previous employer "sort of backfired," but Challenger has seen counteroffers put an end to people's advancement in companies.
"It's kind of like telling your spouse you had an affair," he says. "On some level, trust has been broken. So when it comes to promotions, for example, there's now a seed of doubt about whether you're really committed for the long run." To anyone weighing a counteroffer, Challenger adds, "you have to consider whether that possibility is worth a bigger paycheck" -- or whether it makes more sense to simply take the other offer and move on.
Talkback: Have you ever made a counteroffer, or accepted one? How did that decision turn out? Leave a comment below.
The hazards of making (or accepting) counteroffers - Ask Annie -Fortune Management
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Construction Site Murder - The electrician ... was never charged.... The carpenter thought he was a stud... - Thanks to GCFL
The electrician was suspected of wiretapping once, but was never charged.
The carpenter thought he was a stud. He tried to frame another man one time.
The glazier went to great panes to conceal his past. He still claimed that he didn't do anything, but he was framed.
The painter had a brush with the law several years ago.
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractor was known to pack heat. He was arrested once, but duct the charges.
The mason was suspect because he got stoned regularly.
The cabinet maker was an accomplished counter fitter.
The autopsy led the police to arrest the carpenter, who subsequently confessed. The evidence against him was irrefutable, because it was found that the workman, when he died, was hammered.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Sending small 1st Class Packages ON LINE, How-to & Current USPS Postage Rate Charts, thanks to Jerry Nelson & JohnD
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Friday, May 9, 2014
Connie O'Dell uses MotionX-GPS on the iPhone and is sharing with you the following track:
Please contact MotionX customer support with any comments or questions.
All the best,
The MotionX Team
US and Foreign Patents Granted and Pending. Fullpower® is a registered trademark of Fullpower Technologies, Inc. MotionX™ is a trademark of Fullpower Technologies, Inc. © Copyright 2003 - 2012 Fullpower Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014
The fees consultants charge vary widely, depending on expertise, demand, and other factors. But don't forget to budget for time off.FORTUNE -- Dear Annie: A friend sent me yourcolumn about how to make sure you get paid if you're freelance, and I'm holding on to it just in case that becomes an issue. But I'm not quite at that stage yet. Right now, I have a full-time job but, after several years moving around among a few different employers, I've built a reputation as a troubleshooter in a highly specialized area of IT, to the point where people at other companies now are calling me to see if I would do projects for them on the side. So I'm thinking about going out on my own as a consultant. The thing is, I have no idea how or what to charge for my services. By the hour, by the day, or per project? And how do consultants decide how much to charge (per hour, for example)? — Antsy in Austin
Dear A.A.: It's no wonder you're in the dark about this since "the variety is endless," says Kate Wendleton. As head of national career-counseling network the Club, Wendleton has both hired her share of consultants and freelancers over the years and coached people who have put out their own shingles. "There are almost infinite variations on fee structures," she notes.
For instance, in some fields, companies pay a "success fee" (where, "if the project works, you get a big payday -- but if it doesn't, you don't," Wendleton says), or a modified version, like a success fee with a guaranteed minimum you earn regardless of the outcome. "If you're working with a startup, you might agree to be paid in stock," says Wendleton. "Other common arrangements are retainer, commission, percent of sales, per head if you're running seminars, or, of course, per hour or per day -- or some combination of the above."
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As complicated as that sounds, two basic factors will determine how you price your services. The first is what the market will bear, especially when you're just starting out. To avoid either underpricing yourself or charging more than clients are willing to pay, "find out what the standard fees are in your industry, at your level of expertise," Wendleton suggests.
If you don't know any IT consultants well enough to inquire about this, you might ask around at your own company, and maybe even in the places where you've worked before. You could also ask people on LinkedIn for a general range of IT consulting fees and how they're typically structured. In particular, Wendleton advises, find out from managers in your field who routinely hire consultants what, and how, they typically pay them.
The second thing you need to figure out is your own overhead, or how much you'd need to earn as a consultant in order to cover your costs. Wendleton lays out the math like this: Take your current salary plus bonus, which we'll say just for the sake of this example is $50,000 per year, and add about 20% for the health insurance and payroll taxes your employer now pays. Then take that $60,000 and divide it by the number of hours you can reasonably expect to work in a year. To figure in 10 days off, including holidays, and four weeks of vacation and sick time annually, Wendleton recommends using 1,600 hours as your guideline.
Next, divide $60,000 by 1,600, and you arrive at an hourly figure of $37.50. That's your overhead, which Wendleton notes is what it will take just to stay even with what you're now making. But you're not finished yet. Not only is it possible you won't work every one of those 1,600 hours, but you still have to run your own office, buy your own health insurance, pay 100% of your Social Security, put money aside for vacations, fund your own retirement plan, and cover any other costs your employer now bears.
That's why, Wendleton says, "the rule of thumb for short-term consulting fees is, your hourly rate should be twice your cost" -- in the example we're using, two times $37.50, or $75.00. Once you've arrived at your hourly rate, you can use it as a benchmark to set your fees. Let's say, for instance, that a prospective client has a project you think will take 120 hours to complete. Your fee for that project, at $75.00 per hour, would be $9,000.
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"Remember that someone will be deciding whether or not you're worth it, and there is a lot of flexibility," Wendleton says. "If lots of other people can do what you do for less, hiring managers will just pick someone else. On the other hand, if your skills are unique and in demand, especially if you're a known expert in something, clients will often pay more than the going rate."
Sometimes much more: Wendleton knows a couple of solo consultants who each have two big clients, work for each company two days a week, and bill each one a flat $100,000 a year. Both consultants "had paid their dues in their respective fields and are worth every dime," she adds. "If you can get to that point in your own career, it's not a bad way to make a living."
Talkback: If you've worked as an independent consultant, how did you determine what fees to charge clients? Leave a comment below.
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Hanging up your shingle? How to price your services - Ask Annie -Fortune Management:
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