With the freedom of expression and the plethora of alternatives it offers, photography is one of the most popular and widespread of all art forms. Whether it’s a dear memory you wish to preserve or an intricate work of art you find your expression in, photography has many takers, each of whom assimilate the art in their own unmistakable style. From bulky cameras trailing yards of film to state of the art pieces which capture images even faster than you blink, cameras have come a long way since their inception. Digital cameras, the latest to join the bandwagon, have opened up new vistas in the flexibility they offer as well as the crystal clear images which they produce, thus making them a hands-down favorite with casual and commercial photographers the world over. But when it comes to selecting your own digital camera, how do you know which one’s the best for you?With technology growing in leaps and bounds, digital cameras, too, have seen many changing faces and features. But to first understand which camera is best suited to your needs, you have to first isolate the purpose which your camera will serve. This is because every make and model of cameras has been developed to suit a certain blend of requirements. Thus, although a high speed camera may be the best bet for a professional sports photographer, it certainly won’t suit your needs if you’re buying it to take along on your family fishing trip. Also, if you’re very particular about the amount of dealing in your images, you would certainly de well to know that several of the sleeker, more compact versions are not equipped with many of the more advanced features as their primary purpose is to ensure portability.You would then need to progress to acquainting yourself with the nitty-gritty or the technical aspects that belong to the field of digital photography. the LCD, or screen that most digital cameras boast of, make a welcome addition to the conventional viewfinder as they allow the photographer the alternative of viewing his image before and immediately after he captures it. However, if the viewfinder has been replaced by the LCD, it may compromise the quality of images, as you will no longer have the option of holding your camera to your face, which grants you a lot more stability. Instead, you will be forced to hold the camera at an arm’s length which will result in distorted and blurred images.Many novice photographers are also unaware about the difference between the optical zoom and the digital zoom. It is crucial that you recognize this difference as it will greatly influence your pick. The optical zoom relies on the more conventional method of magnifying the image that you want to capture while the digital zoom doubles the size of the pixels, leading to fuzzier images. As many expert photographers will recommend, a stand goes a long way in determining that your images are as crystal clear and steady as you would want them to be. Remember to check the number of mega pixels your camera allows. This is because the higher the number of mega pixels, the clearer the quality of your images is bound to be.Once you have ascertained your requirements and brushed up on the basic technicalities, you can then proceed to examine the various models available and measure their pros and cons. Narrow down your shortlist as per those models that meet your budget and requirement and discard those that do not. You can also seek the advice of the expert reviews that are published in many major photography magazines and periodicals, which will also keep you abreast with the latest technology and grant you many tips and suggestions.If you are too used to the conventional manner of photography, clunky camera, film et al, but would still like the clarity and precision that digital photography has to offer, you can also scan your photographs into the digital format after which they can be worked on with editing software. You can also hire online photo services to take over this task for you and even have them rework your photographs to eliminate blemishes like red eye and partial overexposure.The best of all the advantages that digital photography grants you is to be able to practice your skills to your heart’s content without having to think about the enormous film bills you are raking in. instead of printing them out, you can directly transfer them onto your computer from where you can print them out, email them or even design a unique photo-card. The opportunities are endless and awaiting at your doorstep. So take that first step to choosing your ideal digital camera today and explore your creativity to its ultimate!
1. Your claims over a period create an impression of your home’s risk. If you file for every little thing, your home will soon be assessed as a much higher risk than another comparable property where the owner files fewer claims. This will force you to pay far higher home insurance premiums. So if it’s something you can handle with relative ease, don’t file a claim. It will do your home insurance rates a world of good.2. Your credit rating will make you pay more or less. You’ll pay higher home insurance rates if you have a poor credit rating. A poor credit rating means that you’ve not been paying your bills in a timely fashion. No insurer likes this as it shows a pattern you’re very likely to repeat in the payment of premiums. This makes you a higher risk to them and you, therefore, are made to pay much more than someone else with the same profile who has an excellent rating. So do your utmost to pay all your bills in a timely manner. You’ll attract lower home insurance rates if you do.3. Smoking increases the risk of a fire in your home. And reports have it that over 23,000 residential fire annually are as a result of smoking. You’ll pay less in home insurance if no member of your household smokes. If you were a smoker at the time you bought your policy, you’re entitled to a review if you’ve quit. If your insurer refuses to lower your rate after quitting look for another insurer.Now that you know a few things that make you pay more, here is something that will lower your home insurance rates…You could save several hundreds of dollars in home insurance by just getting quotes from at least three insurance quotes sites. Using a minimum of three quotes sites increase the chances that you would realize more savings. This is because insurance companies not covered by one site will be covered by the other. And because your chances of receiving lower home insurance quotes are tied to the number of quotes you receive, the more insurers you obtain quotes from, the brighter your chances.
Washing cars at home with soapy water of detergents is a thing of the past. The practice of self cleaning of cars was quite time consuming and never gave the expected results. Being the 21st century the automotive franchise sector has also grown tremendously offering new services and leisure. The increasing number of automotive franchises is leading to emergence of lot of car wash brands in the segment. Car-care service centres not only wash the cars but also maintain them.Automotive franchise: Unorganised to organisedNo doubt car wash segment is still dominated by unorganised brands, but the industry is gradually moving from unorganised to organised segment. Gauging the rise in the sector lsome of the players have taken the franchise route. Anckur Sama, Founder and Director of CarzSpa said, “We entered into this industry four years back with one outlet, but today, we have around 25 outlets across India. The idea of switching over to car beauty clinic hit me from one of my foreign visits where I saw such centres flourishing. I liked the concept of grooming cars to perfection. Hence my profession of selling cars coupled with a passion of grooming cars brought me into this business.”Need of car care centresIncreasing awareness regarding maintaining cars is the first and foremost reason for the popularity of car care centres. Earlier car owners used to get their vehicles cleaned from local car cleaners, as they had no other option, however now with the availability of car care centres people prefer to get their cars cleaned professionally. Various other factors contributing to the increasing popularity of car care centres are:Increased car owners: With cars becoming purchasable for the middle class, there has been a rapid increase in the number of car-owners. Clients who have spent over Rs two lakh to two crore for a car do not want to spoil it by washing it at home. This had lead to the popularity of organised car centres.Increase in disposable incomes: With increase in disposable incomes, people do not mind spending a few extra bucks on the care and maintenance of their cars.Hectic work schedule: Cleaning a car is a long and a tiring work. Usually people do not have the time or enthusiasm to wash cars due to lack of time. The best substitute for them is the car-wash centre.Proper maintenance: Organised car care centres not only wash and clean cars but also maintain them perfectly. They do a complete check-up of cars, which make them worth-while for each penny that a customer pays.Why franchising of car- care centres?Car-care has emerged as a popular business concept due to its need in the Indian market. Smart entrepreneurs who had seen the vast potential in this business had started small but later on took the franchise route. The reason for expansion through franchising is the well-established brand name. Clients always prefer to send their cars for cleaning to a well-established and reputed centre rather than an unorganised washing unit. Sama shared, ‘Franchising has always been the preferred route for business development. It becomes very difficult for one company to handle the entire business across the country hence we require entrepreneurs to run the show in different cities and locations for further development and success.”Moreover this sector does not require huge investment for its set up. However, keeping expensive machines and a large workforce would increase the budget.Players in this fieldThis is a growing segment with not many players but the car-care business shows great potential for future. The main players in this segment till now are CarzSpa, Express Car wash, Speed Car Wash, Pureshield Car Glass Sealant and 3M Car care. All these payers are successfully expanding via the franchise route.Challenges for successThe car-care franchise may have many benefits but also has a few drawbacks.Firstly many aspirants enter the arena with big dreams of making fast cash. Like any other business, there is a lot of hard work in car washing business. Aspirants take a franchise believing that there are machines to do work and staff to manage it. However it should be kept in mind that even the owner (franchisee) has to struggle. As said by Sama, “To create sufficient footfalls and business in initial months is a challenge for an automotive franchise. We can overcome these challenges with low budget marketing advertisement and good services so that the customers become our permanent clients.”Secondly, the competition from the unorganised players is another challenge that can be dealt with by providing excellent services and showing professionalism.To conclude, it would not be inappropriate to say that current trends certainly favour the automotive franchise business. People are spending huge amount on expensive vehicles, and are ready to spent few extra bucks in keeping their cars in a excellent condition and the preferred choice would always be a branded car-wash centre. There is definitely a large potential for aspiring entrepreneurs as, ‘No matter what happens, it is likely that as long as there are cars, there will always be a need for car wash’.
The best predictor of a good ending is a good beginning. The old adage is a true today as when it was first uttered so long ago that no one can clearly say who first spoke those words. When it comes to the education of young children this proverb has such tremendous relevance that it is hard to overstate its importance. All learning and life experience is moulded by what happens to the child in the early years of his or her life. The influence of the family is of major importance but the influence of the educational opportunities offered to young children is just as powerful and, in some ways, more powerful. For it is the impact of early childhood education that determines the attitude a child will take to formal schooling at primary or secondary level.The world today is a troubled place. We seem to be getting better at hating one another. We seem less and less able to accept people who are different from us. In a world riddled with violence, crime, bullying, chaos and unpredictability we have to ask some important questions. Why is it that some childrenDo not become violent?Do not become bullies?Do not become depressed?Do not loath themselves and others?Do not despair and give up on life?These may not be the most profound questions being posed in today’s world but they are among the most important. Where can we turn to discern the answers to these questions? What do we know that can help us unpack the issues embedded in them and come to a vision of how to raise and educate young children?The answers to these and other questions about children are emerging from new research about how the human brain grows and develops. Although we are a long way off knowing exactly who we can prevent violence and depression we have learned a good deal about how to foster the brain’s potential as an organ to help children grow to become contributing and productive members of society. Before we explore some of the implications from this research we need to briefly review the five areas of development that all children pass through during childhood.Understanding Child DevelopmentThere are five areas of development that children undergo as they grow to be young adults. These steps appear in a rather predictable sequence, one after the other. They are not like steps of a ladder leading to higher and higher levels. Rather, they are like a spiral of stages through which a child cycles endlessly as they grow and mature. At some point the highest level of attainment may not be reached in a given area but that does not mean the child cannot progress to other areas of the spiral.The five areas of child development are:oPhysical
They can be easily remembered by the use of the rather unfortunate acronym “PILES”.Physical DevelopmentThis area of child development is no doubt the easiest to understand and observe. Physical development includes: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, motor control, motor coordination and kinaesthetic feedback. Let’s explain each of these briefly.oGross motor skills are those movements of the large muscles of the legs, trunk and arms.oFine motor skills are the movements of the small muscles of the fingers and hands.oMotor control is the ability to move these large and small muscles.
oMotor coordination is the ability to move these muscles in a smooth and fluid pattern of motion.
oKinaesthetic feedback is the body’s ability to receive input to the muscles from the external environment so the person knows where his body is positioned in space.Intellectual DevelopmentThis area relates to the level of intelligence of a child in general and to the various aspects of intelligence that influence overall level of general ability. Among these many aspects are:oVerbal skills-our ability to communicate with words our ideas, attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and emotions.
oNon-verbal skills-our ability to use visual and spatial-perceptual skills to interpret the world around us.
oAttention span-the ability to sustain a focus on a stimulus for a sufficient period of time to interpret it and understand it.
oConcentration-our ability to utilise attention to juggle stimuli into various permutations as necessary to analyse it accurately.
oVisual-motor skills-the ability to coordinate the movements of the eyes and hands to manipulate objects effectively.
oVisual-perceptual skills-the ability to analyse stimuli visually without necessarily manipulating them manually.
oMemory-can be auditory or visual (or even kinaesthetic as in the case of remember dance steps) and can be divided into some important sub-types:
- Immediate recall-ability to hold input long enough to recall it straight away if required to do so
- Short-term memory-ability to hold input over a longer period of time, perhaps minutes or hours
- Long-term memory-ability to store input and recall is well after it has been perceived, perhaps days or months, even years laterLinguistic DevelopmentLinguistic development refers to language usage. Like other areas of child development it can be divided into sub-types.oReceptive language-our ability to understand spoken language when we hear it
oExpressive language-our ability to use spoken language to communicate to others
oPragmatic language-the ability to understand humour, irony, sarcasm and know how to respond appropriate to what another has said or asked as well as know when to wait and listen
oSelf-talk-the ability to use internal, silent language to think through problems, cope with difficulties and postpone impulses
oReasoning-the ability to think through problems, usually with self-talk but at other times aloud, create plans of action using words
oCreative thinking-although not strictly a linguistic function I include it here because many people use language creatively, in new and inventive ways (e.g. Joyce, Beckett)Emotional DevelopmentThis aspect of development, along with social development, is probably one of the most underrated but yet most important aspects of learning how to live in the world. No matter how excellent intellectual, physical and linguistic development may be we are doomed to live lives of frustration and difficult if we have not gained satisfactory emotional development. It includes:oFrustration tolerance-the ability to cope effectively when things do not go the way we want or expect
oImpulse control-the ability to think before we act and not do everything that comes into our head
oAnger management-ability to resolve conflict without recourse to verbal or physical violence
oInter-personal intelligence-understanding the attitudes, beliefs and motivations of others
oIntra-personal intelligence-understand our own attitudes, beliefs and motivationsSocial DevelopmentoSharing-knowing how to ask to use the materials that belong to another
oTurn-taking-knowing when it is your turn to do something and when to ask if you can do it
oCooperation-the skills of working with others towards a group goal of task
oCollaboration-the ability to communication your input in a meaningful way when working with others.
Again it is necessary to repeat that emotional and social development play a hugely important role in our ability to live lives of dignity and respect. They also largely determine how well we will get along with workmates, bosses and loved ones including life-partners.When we recognise that all children pass through each area of development we design educational programme for them that are developmentally appropriate. Most pre-schools have done just that. Unfortunately many early years settings succumb to pressure and push children towards academic goals and objectives, sometimes almost obsessively. Indeed, the curriculum in our junior and senior infant classes is largely developmentally inappropriate. It is far too teacher and parent-centred and far too little child-centred. Regardless, appropriate or inappropriate, it is not enough to focus on child development alone in our work with young children. We must begin to recognise the inborn potential locked within the child’s brain.The Human BrainLocked inside the brain are the potentialities that make us human. We are born with the potential for:oLove Hate
It is the responsibilities of adults to unlock the positive potentialities of the brain and prevent the negative from appearing.All educational experiences of children in the early years, indeed all educational experiences of children across the entire school years, must place an emphasis on releasing the positive potential that lies within the brain. Recent brain research, much of it conducted by Dr. Bruce Perry in Texas, has illuminated six core strengths, each of them related to brain growth and development that must be a focus in development appropriate educational programmes for young children.The Six Core StrengthsBruce Perry and his colleagues at the Child Trauma Academy in Texas have identified six strengths that are related to the predictable sequence of brain growth and development. These six strengths, if nurtured and fostered appropriately, will help a child grow to become a productive member of society. They are:oAttachment
AttachmentThe first of the six core strengths occurs in infancy. It is the loving bond between the infant and the primary caregiver. Early attachment theorists’ conceiver of the primary caregiver as the mother but it is now recognised that it could as well be the father, grandparent or any loving person. The primary giver, when providing consistent and predictable nurturing to the infant creates what is known as a “secure” attachment. This is accomplished in that rhythmic dance between infant and caregiver; the loving cuddles, hugs, smiles and noises that pass between caregiver and infant. Should this dance be out of step, unpredictable, highly inconsistent or chaotic an “insecure” attachment is formed. When attachments are secure the infant learns that it is lovable and loved, that adults will provide nurture and care and that the world is a safe place. When attachment is insecure the infant learns the opposite.As the child grows from a base of secure attachment he or she becomes ready to love and be a friend. A secure attachment creates the capacity to form and maintain healthy emotional bonds with another. Attachment is the template through which we view the world and people in it.Self-RegulationSelf-regulation is the capacity to think before you act. Little children are not good at this, they learn this skill as they grow if they are guided by caring adults who show them how to stop and think. Self-regulation is the ability to take note of our primary urges such as hunger, elimination, comfort and control them. In other words, it is the ability to postpone gratification and wait for it to arrive. Good self-regulation prevents anger outbursts and temper tantrums and helps us cope with frustration and tolerate stress. It is a life skill that must be learned and, like all the core strengths, its roots are in the neuronal connections deep inside the brain.AffiliationAffiliation is the glue of healthy human relationships. When children are educated in an environment and facilitates positive peer interactions through play and creative group learning projects they develop the strength of affiliation. It is the ability to “join in” and work with others to create something stronger and more lasting than is usually created by one person alone. Affiliation makes it possible to produce something stronger and more creative than is accomplished by one alone. Affiliation brings into the child’s awareness that he or she is not an “I” alone but a “We” together.AttunementAttunement is the strength of seeing beyond ourselves. It is the ability to recognise the strengths, needs, values and interests of others. Attunement begins rather simply in childhood. A child first recognises that I am a girl, he is a boy. Through the early years of education it becomes more nuanced: he is from India and likes different food than I, she is from Kenya and speak with a different accent than I. Attunement helps children see similiarities rather than differences because as the child progresses from seeing different colour skin and different ways of speaking he or she begins to recognise that people are more similar than different. That brings us to the next core strength.ToleranceWhen the child develops the core strength of attunement it learns that difference isn’t really all that important. The child learns that difference is easily tolerated. Through this learning the child develops the awareness that is difference that unites all human beings. Tolerance depends on attunement and requires patience and an opportunity to live and learn with people who at first glance seem “different”. We must overcome the fear of difference to become tolerant.RespectThe last core strength is respect. Respect is a life-long developmental process. Respect extends from respect of self to respect of others. It is the last core strength to develop, requires a proper environment and an opportunity to meet a variety of people. Genuine respect celebrates diversity and seeks it out. Children who respect other children, who have developed this core strength, do not shy away from people who seem different. An environment in which many children are grouped together to learn, explore and play will foster the core strength of respect.How the Brain GrowsThe brain grows from the bottom to the top. Each of the core strengths is related to a stage and site of brain growth. In infancy attachment bonds are acquired and lay down emotional signals deep within the brain. At the same time the brain stem is seeing to it that bodily functions can be self-regulated. Later on in childhood the emotional centres of the brain come under increasing control so temper tantrums disappear and the child controls their emotional life. In mid-childhood the child’s brain begins to develop the capacity to think and reflect on the external environment. It is at this stage when the frontal areas of the brain begin to mature and it is at this stage in brain growth when the core strengths of affiliation, attunement, tolerance and respect can mature as well.The Classroom and the Brain’s Core StrengthsThe education of young children must be undertaken with the core strengths in mind. Classrooms where there is peace and harmony among a wide variety of children will create opportunities for affiliation, tolerance and respect to develop. These classroom must be characterised by play, creative exploration of objects, lessons which are activity-based not teacher-lectured. There must be challenge to the brain in the form of innovative lessons and teaching methodologies. Cooperative learning activities must be part of the school day. The classroom should occasionally consist of an opportunity to engage in cooperative, mixed-ability groupwork. There must be an opportunity for long-term, thematic projects to be explored. The teacher should be a guide, always teaching with the core strengths in mind, always observing children and noticing which of them need more structure and guidance as they grow through the core strengths. The teacher must also be a person the children perceive as predictable and caring, patient and kind; a person who will not obsessively focus on mistakes.Whose Responsibility is It?We have learned that the child’s brain grows in a predictable sequence and associated with this growth are six core strengths for healthy living in the world. Every child is born with a brain possessing the potential to full develop these core strengths. However every brain must have an opportunity to interact with a classroom and home environment that facilitates the development of these strengths. It is the responsibility of adults, particularly parents and teachers to get it right.
Imagine that 20 years ago someone had told you that you would purchase your music, car insurance, airline and hotel tickets, stocks, books and even shoes on a computer that fit in your hip pocket. That you would not have an agent or broker between you and the stock exchange or the airline or insurance company. And imagine that you could do all the comparative research needed to execute your transaction in minutes…in your pajamas! You would have told that person they were dreaming.Well, lately I have been dreaming as well. As my generation (the baby boomers) settles into its post-nesting years, less and less of our disposable income will go to durable goods such as home furnishings. Instead, once college for the kids is taken care of, our disposable dollars will go back into bolstering our retirement accounts, and then to travel.Our absence leaves the future of home furnishing consumption to the next generations: Gen-X, Y and soon, the Millennials. This generation, many of whom grew up with a cell phone as a birthright, will have no qualms about not sitting on a sofa before they buy it. This generation put companies like Zappos the online shoe retailer on the map. They grew eBay into a monolithic clearing house for everything from rare coins and dolls to automobiles and airplanes.Buy a pair of shoes online without even trying them on? Sure, this generation can reconcile the relatively benign inconvenience of returning something, with the huge convenience of carrying on with their multitasking. Think of this: these “kids” watch T.V., carry on a live chat on the computer, text message friends from their smart phones, reply to Facebook posts AND do their homework at the same time! These power users of all things tech will drive the explosive growth of home furnishings online.All that is good news for an ailing industry. But, the glacial pace at which the Home Fashion Industry moves may keep us from a fully realized online presence a bit longer, but it will eventually change. The early adopters may unfortunately suffer some ridicule and perhaps a backlash from the traditional forms of distribution, e.g. walk-in Furniture Stores. However, the momentum toward adopting online furniture sales is inevitable and moving forward. Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma Home and other large furniture retailers report faster than expected growth within the online sector.The ultra-lux online retailer Gilt http://www.gilt.com is adding Home Fashion as major new growth campaign on its invitation only website. Gilt is a luxury online retailer of fashion and jewelry. Eventually and by necessity, the Home Fashion market will have the perfect vehicle in the Web to remove the multiple layers between the manufacturer and the eventual consumer. This will of course spell bad news for the middle-men. What to say about that is another topic altogether.The online Home Furnishings future also portends a new egalitarianism for the small independent Interior Designer. In the past, the small or “housewife” designer was ridiculed for A: not having a serious office and staff and B: Not Stocking product. Most, if not all, were relegated to the retail store (something their own customer could do) or the trade showrooms that were not retail, but no bargain either.With the advent of online buying, designers who heretofore could not meet minimum orders can avail themselves of better than retail pricing and quick responses from the factories. The more established design firms benefit as well. The new system will allow them to purchase just what they want, when they want it. No need to slog through multiple catalogs trying to find just the right thing, when the keyword search found it in milliseconds.Another component to convenience and speed is that designers can purchase when their time allows. This means that the staff that are now doing their own job and that of three others, can buy at any time day or night. So if working late at home over a cup of tea and in slippers or at the office with a glass of wine, they can execute their purchases on their schedule, not the factory or sales rep’s.This is truly a brave new world in commerce. But fear not! We have nothing but positive data to look upon to show us that its working in virtually every consumer sector. The market will always demand an efficient system. It will tolerate waste until a better model is available. We are there now. How long it will take us to adapt will depend on industry leadership and willingness to break old molds. If we keep our customers in mind, the change will come sooner than we might expect.
Does the name Sonoma and Williams sound very familiar to you? You would have heard it because they are a consumer retail company. They are into selling kitchenware, furniture, linen etc. They also sell house wares and also sell special kind of food products. They are a NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) listed company. You would find the company with the name WSM on the stock list.The company has large network of retail stores all over the world. In all there are over 500 stores. The company’s headquarters are based at San Francisco in California in the United States of America. They have many brands under them which are called West Elm, William-Sonoma home, and Pottery Barn Bed. They employ over 7000 people on a full time basis. With such a large network and customers they are also generating a lot of revenues to the tune of over $4 billion.The company was set up in the year by 1956. It was set up by Charles E. Williams in a place called Sonoma. In the beginning the company sold kitchenware for a small customer base. Friends and family members of Charles seeing the kitchenware he sold advised him to change locations to San Francisco to expand his business. Once he moved to San Francisco he expanded by printing mail order catalogs for the customers. The company went public in the year 1983 by listing in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).By 2001 the company had set up its first international retail store in Canada. Then there was no looking back with new stores in Puerto Rico, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. The company also started a TV program in collaboration with CBS called “The 5-Minute Cooking School”. This show showcased various cuisines, methods of cooking and many new recipes for its viewers. The company’s products were selected by Oprah in her list of favorite things for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005.
Pizza is one of the most popular snacks in the world. What is so amazing about it is the fact that it provides more or less a balanced diet that consists of carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals and protein. It is very easy to make for yourself at home and this allows you to garnish as you wish and add the toppings you prefer, if any. Pizza can be baked in a modern oven using an aluminum or metal pan, but there is no denying the superior taste quality of pizza made using a hot stone. The Williams-Sonoma pizza stone is a great example of bakeware that is able to replicate the pizzas made in popular in pizzerias that use brick ovens. These pieces of stoneware make it possible to literally create that taste at home in the comfort of your own kitchen.The Williams-Sonoma Company is one that chefs and leisure cooks have sworn by for years. They provide amazing high quality kitchenware and rare spices, as well as cookbooks and special recipe websites. Anything that will help your life in the kitchen easier, they can provide. They are one of the leading manufacturers of kitchen appliances for both commercial and home use.Features of The Williams-Sonoma Pizza StoneThe Williams-Sonoma stone is made of a ceramic material. This material is a major advantage as it ensures even distribution of heat allowing food to cook slowly and thoroughly. For pizza, this mean a perfect crust and an evenly cooked pie overall. The stone is usually rectangular and has enough space for standard large size pizzas.Some of the stones from Williams-Sonoma come with handles and stands. This allows the user to use the stone as the serving surface. Care should however be taken to ensure that the stone is cooled enough to prevent chances of it cracking due to sudden heat change.How to Use a Williams-Sonoma Pizza StoneWilliams-Sonoma stones work using the old hot stone technique. Just follow these steps:1. Prepare the pizza by adding pastes, toppings and cheese.2. Pre-heat the stone in your oven to the recommended heat of your recipe.3. Sprinkle some flour or bread crumbs on the Williams-Sonoma stone to prevent sticking.4. Place your raw pizza on the hot stone using a peel.5. Close the oven door and allow the pizza to cook for the recommended amount of time.6. After it is ready, remove it using the shovel and place on the serving plate.How To Take Care of a Williams-Sonoma Pizza StoneI. This bakeware is ceramic making it susceptible to cracks or breakages if dropped. To prevent this, place it on a level surface preferably close to the ground when not in use. When in use, make sure that you handle it using gloves to prevent from dropping it in case you get burnt.ii. Wash using a soft brush and clean with soap-less water. The soft brush is to ensure that you won’t wear out the surface due to friction. Using clean water without soap is essential because the Williams-Sonoma stone is made of absorbent material. Using soap will affect the taste of the food being baked on it.iii. Store in a clean dry place to avoid fungus formation on the absorbent surface.iv. Allow the device to cool slowly to prevent cracking due to sudden cooling.v. Do not place any objects on it when in storage.Pros and Cons of the Williams-Sonoma Pizza StoneThe Williams-Sonoma stone is a great product because:The material minimizes chances of overcooking or undercooking the pizza. It is easy to use and maintain. It can be seasoned with salt and herbs to add flavor to the pizza. The ceramic material used is absorbent and absorbs moisture from the dough giving it a nice crusty finish. The one con of Williams-Sonoma pizza stones is the likelihood of cracking when mishandled. This can be avoided by following the care steps that have been provided above.The Williams-Sonoma pizza stone is a must-have item in your kitchen if you want to bake better and healthier foods. It will make it easy for you to make tasty pizzas and other great foods without worrying about kitchen embarrassments and mishaps.
The borrower needs only to pay monthly payments composed of interests and no capital for the first few years of the mortgage repayment program. However, these loans come with some risks that should be taken into account prior to applying.These risks may imply that you’ll end up paying significantly higher amounts on the long run or worst that you may loose your property if you are unable to meet the monthly payments whether it is in the first stage of the loan repayment program or in the second one when the monthly installments turn more onerous due to the inclusion of the loan’s principal. Overpaying Interests To cover for the expected losses due to a higher default rate that these kinds of loans have, the lender will charge a higher interest rate than that of regular mortgage loans. This will imply that even if you get lower monthly payments at the beginning of the loan repayment program, you’ll end up paying a lot more on the long run.Also, since you are not canceling any principal, the interests are always calculated over the whole loan amount as opposed to regular mortgage loans where the loan’s principal gets reduces every month and so do the interests on the loan. This fact alone implies huge savings that you are walking out on by choosing an interest only mortgage loan.No Equity Generation During the first years of the mortgage repayment program, you won’t be generating any equity on your home. Equity is the difference between the property’s value and the amount of debt secured by it. Since with interest only mortgage loans you don’t cancel part of the principal at the beginning of the repayment program, equity won’t increase.Equity is very important because you can always resort to it when you need finance during an emergency. If something happens and you can’t afford the monthly payments on your mortgage loan you can always refinance and obtain cash of your property to get back on track. But if you chose an interest only mortgage loan there will be no equity available and thus, no chances of obtaining extra cash out of your property.Greatest Risk: Variable Interest Rate If you selected an interest only mortgage loan because you couldn’t afford the monthly payments on a regular mortgage loan, you should be especially careful with variable interest rate mortgages. An interest rate variation can affect the monthly payments on a regular mortgage with variable rate slightly because only part of them is interests. Yet, on Interest Only Mortgage loans it can be disastrous.An increase on the interest rate on a variable rate interest only mortgage loan can imply a significant raise on the amount of your monthly payments, and thus you may be unable to afford the monthly installments on your loan. Thus, if you choose an interest only mortgage loan try to make sure that you get a fixed rate mortgage or at least that you have enough available income ready in case your monthly payments increase.
Careers in corporate financing require professionals to hold a degree in the field of accounting and finance. Students can obtain the education they need to succeed by enrolling in an accredited school or college. With an education students can gain the knowledge and skills they need to pursue a variety of careers. Corporate financing career education options are available at an associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree level.
Associate degrees can be earned through accredited educational programs in as little as two years. An associate’s degree is required in order to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. Students can train for an accredited bachelor’s degree by completing four years of study. A bachelor’s degree will allow students to enter the workforce or pursue a master’s degree in the field. Completion of a master’s degree will require students to complete an additional two years of study in corporate finance. The highest level of education in this field is a doctoral degree or PhD. Students who wish to do so can obtain a doctoral degree in the field by studying for an additional four years. Students will need to complete a variety of coursework in order to gain their desired degree.
Specific coursework and areas of study will vary based on each individual students desired level of degree and career. Accredited corporate financing schools and colleges will provide students with coursework that will give them the skills and knowledge needed to enter the field. Associate and bachelor degree areas of study may consist of subjects like finance, budget management, accounting, statistics, investment management, and much more. With enrollment in a masters or doctoral level degree training program students will have the opportunity to learn marking, international finance, cost management, applied statistics, financial statement analysis, and many other corporate finance related courses.
By earning a degree at an associate degree level in corporate financing students will be prepared for a number of exciting careers. Professions for associate degree holders include financial or business analyst, associate support analyst, and more. By earning an accredited bachelors degree students can pursue careers as cash managers, strategic planners, senior financial analysts, and many other related professions. Students who choose to earn a masters or doctoral degree can enter into the workforce as directors of finance, chief financial officers, chief executive officers, treasurers, researches, teachers, and much more. Gaining a degree in corporate finance opens a world of career opportunities.
Courses for continuing education are available to allow students to enhance their skills in certain areas of the industry. Coursework will vary depending on the career and desired skills and knowledge. Students can earn certificates by completing continuing education courses in corporate finance.
Sources of business finance can be studied under the following heads:
(1) Short Term Finance:
Short-term finance is needed to fulfill the current needs of business. The current needs may include payment of taxes, salaries or wages, repair expenses, payment to creditor etc. The need for short term finance arises because sales revenues and purchase payments are not perfectly same at all the time. Sometimes sales can be low as compared to purchases. Further sales may be on credit while purchases are on cash. So short term finance is needed to match these disequilibrium.
Sources of short term finance are as follows:
(i) Bank Overdraft: Bank overdraft is very widely used source of business finance. Under this client can draw certain sum of money over and above his original account balance. Thus it is easier for the businessman to meet short term unexpected expenses.
(ii) Bill Discounting: Bills of exchange can be discounted at the banks. This provides cash to the holder of the bill which can be used to finance immediate needs.
(iii) Advances from Customers: Advances are primarily demanded and received for the confirmation of orders However, these are also used as source of financing the operations necessary to execute the job order.
(iv) Installment Purchases: Purchasing on installment gives more time to make payments. The deferred payments are used as a source of financing small expenses which are to be paid immediately.
(v) Bill of Lading: Bill of lading and other export and import documents are used as a guarantee to take loan from banks and that loan amount can be used as finance for a short time period.
(vi) Financial Institutions: Different financial institutions also help businessmen to get out of financial difficulties by providing short-term loans. Certain co-operative societies can arrange short term financial assistance for businessmen.
(vii) Trade Credit: It is the usual practice of the businessmen to buy raw material, store and spares on credit. Such transactions result in increasing accounts payable of the business which are to be paid after a certain time period. Goods are sold on cash and payment is made after 30, 60, or 90 days. This allows some freedom to businessmen in meeting financial difficulties.
(2) Medium Term Finance:
This finance is required to meet the medium term (1-5 years) requirements of the business. Such finances are basically required for the balancing, modernization and replacement of machinery and plant. These are also needed for re-engineering of the organization. They aid the management in completing medium term capital projects within planned time. Following are the sources of medium term finance:
(i) Commercial Banks: Commercial banks are the major source of medium term finance. They provide loans for different time-period against appropriate securities. At the termination of terms the loan can be re-negotiated, if required.
(ii) Hire Purchase: Hire purchase means buying on installments. It allows the business house to have the required goods with payments to be made in future in agreed installment. Needless to say that some interest is always charged on outstanding amount.
(iii) Financial Institutions: Several financial institutions such as SME Bank, Industrial Development Bank, etc., also provide medium and long-term finances. Besides providing finance they also provide technical and managerial assistance on different matters.
(iv) Debentures and TFCs: Debentures and TFCs (Terms Finance Certificates) are also used as a source of medium term finances. Debentures is an acknowledgement of loan from the company. It can be of any duration as agreed among the parties. The debenture holder enjoys return at a fixed rate of interest. Under Islamic mode of financing debentures has been replaced by TFCs.
(v) Insurance Companies: Insurance companies have a large pool of funds contributed by their policy holders. Insurance companies grant loans and make investments out of this pool. Such loans are the source of medium term financing for various businesses.
(3) Long Term Finance:
Long term finances are those that are required on permanent basis or for more than five years tenure. They are basically desired to meet structural changes in business or for heavy modernization expenses. These are also needed to initiate a new business plan or for a long term developmental projects. Following are its sources:
(i) Equity Shares: This method is most widely used all over the world to raise long term finance. Equity shares are subscribed by public to generate the capital base of a large scale business. The equity share holders shares the profit and loss of the business. This method is safe and secured, in a sense that amount once received is only paid back at the time of wounding up of the company.
(ii) Retained Earnings: Retained earnings are the reserves which are generated from the excess profits. In times of need they can be used to finance the business project. This is also called ploughing back of profits.
(iii) Leasing: Leasing is also a source of long term finance. With the help of leasing, new equipment can be acquired without any heavy outflow of cash.
(iv) Financial Institutions: Different financial institutions such as former PICIC also provide long term loans to business houses.
(v) Debentures: Debentures and Participation Term Certificates are also used as a source of long term financing.
These are various sources of finance. In fact there is no hard and fast rule to differentiate among short and medium term sources or medium and long term sources. A source for example commercial bank can provide both a short term or a long term loan according to the needs of client. However, all these sources are frequently used in the modern business world for raising finances.