Golden Business Ideas


More Comfortable Travel

Airline travel is exhausting, especially when you have long layovers. But there are ways to make the trip more comfortable: Most airports have fancy airline clubs, so treat yourself to a drink or even a quick, relaxing shower.

“Whoa,” you may be thinking. “I don’t travel enough to justify several hundred dollars in annual fees.”

No problem. Although the airlines don’t publicize it, most of them offer day passes for about $50—less than the cost of a hotel room.

Many clubs also offer complimentary drinks, a place for a short nap and office facilities.

Training—A la Carte vs. Table d’Hte

It’s customary for a company to send staff members to training classes to upgrade their technical skills. While it’s good business to provide staff with training, shipping them off to a class they will share with a dozen or so others may be the wrong approach.

Here’s why: A typical class draws people not only with different levels of expertise, but also with different needs. That means a considerable portion of class time is spent offering attendees information many neither need nor want.

Instead of sending a group to the class, arrange for one-on-one training for only your best staff persons (it could be just one), and then let them (or him or her) teach others in your organization.

Most important: The selected staff members will be able to adapt what they’ve learned to your organization’s special needs (or to their particular departments). And the training will take much less time.

How to Market Yourself—Professionally

The better and more widely you’re known in the business world, the more business you’re likely to attract. But how do you go about promoting yourself—discreetly yet effectively?

Start by selecting a local business organization. In all likelihood, you’ll know someone who is a member. Let that person know, informally, you’re available to give a talk. Be sure the talk is on a subject truly of interest to the group. Beware: If you make it a sales pitch, you’ll get pegged as a self-promoter and that may mean you’ll never get another chance with the group.

If you can’t locate an acquaintance who is a member of the organization, write a note to its chairperson, describing yourself and the topic you’re willing to talk about.

And if that fails, attend an organization’s meeting and use it as an opportunity to network. Listen carefully to what other attendees have to say, particularly their problems and concerns. Then, at some time in the future, offer again to speak to the organization—but this time suggest topics you know are of interest to its members.

Forget the Fax

If you have documents in your computer that need to be sent to a remote location, don’t print them out and then fax them. Instead, e-mail the documents as an attachment. That method costs less because you’re sending them via a local phone call to your e-mail provider rather than running up extensive long-distance phone charges.

An Invitation

The JofA publishes a monthly collection of Golden Business Ideas and invites readers to contribute their favorites (for attribution, if you like).

Send your ideas to Senior Editor Stanley Zarowin via either e-mail (zarowin@mindspring.com ) or regular mail at the Journal of Accountancy, Harborside Financial Center, 201 Plaza Three, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.

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