Your Business Mission – What the Heck Do You Do, Anyway?

Do you really need a business mission statement? Is it just some fancy words to put in that business plan that collections dust on your shelf, or is there really more to it?

One of the key attributes of successful businesses is that they clearly know what they do. Defining the goal or the "mission" of your business can be the key to your success.

A good mission statement does three things:

"States what business you are in." Defines your target market. "Provides inspiration for your business.

One of the best examples of a mission statement comes from Levi Strauss & Co. [http://www.levistrauss.com/Company/ValuesAndVision.aspx]

"We will market and distribute the most appealing and widely worn apparel brands. Our products define quality, style and function. We will clothe the world."

Clothing the world is a pretty lofty goal, but Levi Strauss has the ability to do this for one reason — Their founder, Levi Strauss, started the business with a mission and focus.

Levi started his wholesale dry goods business in San Francisco February, 1853. Rather than hoping to make his fortune in the Gold Rush, he created a fortune by wholesaling clothing and fabric to the small stores supplying the thousands of miners and later, families of the West.

In 1872, he was contacted by Jacob Davis, a tailor who had developed a method to rivet the stress points of the pants he made from fabric he bought from-you guessed it — Levi Strauss. Jacob did not have the funds to patent the process, so he teamed up with Levi Strauss to patent the original blue jean in 1873. The rest is history.

Now, if Levi Strauss was your typical small business, he would probably have spun off in ten different directions in their early years, but the company remained focused on supplying quality clothing and fabrics to the working men and women of the West, and later the world. Rather than focusing on their core market, they would have fallen into the AFAB method … Anything for a Buck.

Most small businesses suffer from this lack of focus.

When we work with struggling business owners, the first thing we ask them is "What is your bread and butter?" What one product or service provides you with the majority of your business profit?

Unfortunately, most business owners can not answer that question. They did not define their core product or service and target market when they started, and end up doing a little bit of everything, and nothing well.

Or, they focus most of their time on a product or service line that they like, without knowing whether it actually is their most profitable.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this problem.

You have to determine your gross profit margin from each of your product lines or services. Get together with your accountant, and figure out what you need to do to separate your revenue and expenses by the major product lines of your business. Then, you can find out your gross profit margin, or the percentage of gross profit you receive from each activity.

The product or service with the highest gross profit margin is your core business activity. It is the bread and butter of your business, and the key to your company profits.

Now, you must focus as much of your company resources as possible on this core activity. Market it, systemize it, and turn your business into a machine for duplicating this product or service over and over again.

What happens?

Well, rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off, putting out fires all over your business, you suddenly have the focus to know where to spend your time and energy. You know your core, and you can work to make a good thing even better.

This focus will transform your business and your life.

Remember the term "Jack of All Trades, but Master of None"? You can not really really good at something without focus, and focusing on your most profitable core product or service will make your business even more efficient.

Does this mean that you should never expand beyond your core? Of course not, but you must make sure you are really good at your core product or service before you venture into different directions. Creating a strong bread and butter business will give you the base necessary to expand.

Your core product or service is the foundation for your business. Build it well.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Do – What is It?

What does reverse osmosis do? This is a question that we've been hearing a lot laTely. A better question would be, what is reverse osmosis good for. The answer to the second question is, not much. We'll explain why as we move along.

What does reverse osmosis do for you to provide you with clean drinking water? It is basically a de-mineralization system used by the water treatment facilities to filter out larger or see contaminants in the drinking water system. It works by using a porous or a ceramic filter to trap contaminants which have a greater molecular weight than the water itself. It will not however block anything of equal or less weight than the water.

So, what is reverse osmosis doing about all of the chemicals, microbes, and spores in our dinking water? How is it protecting us from them? The truth is that it's not designed in such a way as to do anything about them, and without the use of further filtering it's doing absolutely nothing to protect you.

When answering the question what does reverse osmosis do, we can not be completely negative. The system actually has many positive uses when it comes to industrial purposes. De-mineralization is a necessity in many field such as car washing and photo developing. Here it does an efficient and wonderful job.

What is reverse osmosis doing for your health and well being though? Not much at all we're afraid. As you may or may not be aware there are over 50,000 chemicals in use today, any of which can be found in your drinking water at any time. Chlorine, another toxin, is used to disenfect the water, but there are limits to it's effectiveness. Many forms of microscopic bacteria are imperfect to chlorine, and can cause serious gastric distress if ingested.

What does reverse osmosis do to prevent these microbes from reaching your tap? If you answered not a thing, then your catching on. The funny thing is that the very chemical used to disenfect the water does itself leave behind a microbial byproduct. As the chlorine passes, tiny spores are formed which also escape the filters grass.

Some of you may have seen advertising in recent months for rverse osmosis for your home. The ads go on about how their system is the ideal way to protect and purify your familys' drinking water. Do not believe the hype. As we've already shown you, it is an ill effective means of protection. I t really really kind of a silly concept anyway. If the water treatment plant can not decontaminate your water using the system, then what is reverse osmosis for your home going to do?

What you need to do is shop around for a high quality home system featuring an activated carbon filter. There are many different models available, and you can purchase them as individual tap units, or as whole house models.

Now, if anyone should ever ask for you, what does reverse osmosis do? You'll know to tell them, not much.

Tips When Seeking Your Automobile Extended Warranty

You may have heard that "research is critical" when it comes to purchasing an extended warranty for your automobile. Sometimes auto extended warranties are depicted in a negative light because of a few scam artists looking to capitalize off peoples' concern for their investments.

A recent Consumer Reports study recommended that people buy highly rated models only and that they invest in Money Market accounts to save for repairs, rather than invest in a warranty. However, if you tend to incur a good number of auto repair bills, if you plan on keeping your car more than three years and if you drive your car over the recommended 12,000 miles annually, then you are a good candidate for the extended warranty program .

Dealerships know that consumers trust them, by nature. An establishment that deals with billions of dollars in sales each year could not possibly rip you off over a technicality like the extended warranty, could they? Well, maybe they do not mean to rob you blind, but think of the dealership as a retail operation.

If you've ever worked in retail, whether it's clothing, furniture, consumer gadgets or automobiles, then you know that retailers mark up the cost of their items anywhere from 100% to 1,000% of the cost value! Now imagine how much extra you could be paying for your extended vehicle warranty. Do not be afraid to go directly to the source and purchase your warranty online from a trusted company like Warranty Direct.

Another factor to consider is auto warranty for "wear and tear." This type of warranty can be hard to find, since many only cover mechanical failure. However, you can definitely find extended warranty coverage that includes "wear and tear," thereby covering parts like the idler arm, piston rings, U joints, CV joints, wheel bearings, motor mounts, suspension bushings, tie rod ends, seals, gaskets and other engine parts that typically wear down and may or may not cause a mechanical breakdown.

If you have an anti-lock braking system, then you'll want to make sure your coverage extends to ABS and instances of overheating. The comprehensive website, carbuyingtips.com recommends Warranty Direct and Nation Warranty Corporation, which both include "wear and tear" in their plans.

The most important thing is that you do not feel rushed or hassled into securing the extended warranty for your car immediately. Most auto warranties allow you the option of buying later; yet of course, you should only delay as you research, rather than allowing enough time to elapse so your car is a liability. Like with health insurance, it's much harder to get coverage once problems arise.

As with anything, the extended auto warranty is a "buyer beware" scenario, but if you do some homework and understand your auto habits, then the couple of thousand you pay today can save you a small fortune tomorrow.

Proper Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance is Very Important

Freshwater aquarium maintenance is very important part of your duty if you own an aquarium. You have to look after the house of the fishes where they live. I hope like a normal person you take care of your own home so it is quite natural that fishes will also need some well maintained home to stay in.

Freshwater aquarium maintenance is either tough nor absolutely easy. But yes initially you will need adequate guidance for freshwater aquarium maintenance. The steps of maintenance generally include primary preparation, taking out the fishes, washing the tank properly and then putting back the fishes safely.

What are the things you should take care of for the freshwater aquarium maintenance? Well they mainly the removal of the algae, changing water timely and at proper intervals, checking the condition of the filter, vacuuming and testing the water condition and level. All these are very significant part of the maintenance because these factors are directly or indirectly related to the health of your precious fishes.

You can create a chart for the maintenance and this will help you immensely. Break the activities into daily, monthly, quarterly, six monthly and yearly maintenance. Your daily duty is to offer the freshwater fish with food in small quantity two times each day. You must check the working condition of the filter along with the aerator and heater.

During the week maintenance you must alter ten or twenty percent of water, clean the aquarium completely, and test the condition of the water. During the month you have to check the condition of the water, wash off the algae and alter at least twenty-five percent of the water of the tank. At the interval of six months you must reinstate the filter objects.

The quarterly maintenance includes changing the airstones, changing half of the aquarium water and washing the filter. Every year you must change the existing airstones and cleanse the gravel completely. Caring for the fishes is not completely easy and any mistake can leave dreadful impacts on the fishes. Freshwater aquarium maintenance when done adequately will let the fishes live merrily.