Kristie Lorette reports:
"When you have a business where customers contract you to perform a service, you need a legally binding agreement to spell out...the terms and conditions of the business relationship. According to 'All Business,' a business agreement serves as a guide that all parties to the agreement must follow. Generally, one party draws up the agreement and both parties sign...it as an acknowledgment of the terms and conditions it contains...Write or type up the date on the agreement to establish an effective date...List the parties involved in the agreement, using full business or individual names and titles...Describe your obligations, including the service you must perform to fulfill your obligations under the contract and be as detailed as possible...Describe the other party’s obligations in detail. In the case of ou[r] brochure writing example, this might explain that the client is responsible for providing the copywriter with business information in a word processing document to describe the business and the information to be included in the brochure text...Describe the payment terms for the transaction, including the total amount for the service, how much and when the deposit is due and how much and when the final payment is due...Spell out a [timeline] or milestones. Include specific dates for the delivery of parts of the service or the final deadline for the service to be complete...Write a termination clause that explains the steps that one or both parties need to take in order to terminate the contract...Also, include payment terms for any work completed to date that the customer is responsible for paying for this portion of the work...Write a dispute clause to establish the handling of a dispute between the two parties...Establish ownership rights to the work. Even in service situations, a product is sometimes the result of the work, so you should also include which party retains ownership rights...Add signature and date lines. Be sure to provide a space for each party to sign and date...You may want to have an attorney review and make suggestions on a template of your business contract. An attorney can pinpoint issues for your particular business that you may need to include in the agreement. You can use a business agreement template and modify it to fit your needs, rather than writing the agreement from scratch."
Samuel Hamilton reports:
"Outline your proposal’s table of contents or 'superstructure['.] A formal proposal includes the following sections: an introduction, problem statement, objectives, solution statement, methodology, resources and schedule, management qualifications and structure, and conclusion. Write the introduction for your recycling proposal. Answer the questions 'What is this proposal about?' and 'Why should the reader care about this proposal?' Articulate the recycling problem that your proposal addresses...Conclude your problem statement by addressing the question 'Why is the proposed project needed?' List the objectives of your proposal. The objectives may include providing a detailed analysis of the problem and outlining a proposed recycling plan. Describe your proposed course of action in the solution section. Your solution statement provides specific methods for solving the problems to achieve the objectives outlined in you[r] proposal...Explain the methodology you employed to research the problem and solution, as well as the methodology for implementing the solution...List the resources required to implement your proposed solution. Resources include items such as equipment, facilities, personnel and money...Provide a schedule for your proposed plan. Provide milestones and deadlines between the date you expect that your proposal will be accepted and the date you expect to reach your goal...Explain your specific qualifications for writing the proposal and the management structure that your plan requires. Include other proposals or reports that you've written and similar projects [i]n which you've participated. Explain how you will organize and implement the plan, and how others will assist in the implementation of your proposal. Reiterate the significance of the problem that your proposal addresses and why your proposal offers the best solution for solving the problem."
Dan Ketchum reports:
"Because contracts can cover a virtually limitless variety of agreements among people, there is no single, universal template for a contract between two parties. But there has been plenty of time to perfect the form since Plato was slumming around Athens, and modern laws have plenty to say about exactly what legitimizes a contract...In the most general sense, contracts govern a relationship between two entities or people, who agree to do or to not do something or agree to exchange something of value. This agreement is usually written, but it may be verbal – in some cases, it may even be undated and unsigned. State laws nail down the nitty[-]gritty of when a contract needs to be in writing to be valid, but the most important part[s] of any contract between two people are the foundational elements that make a contract a contract. To be considered voidable (meaning valid and enforceable), a contract typically must include:
Linda Ray reports:
"Children and adults in crises rely on social workers to help them solve problems and cope with everyday living situations. Social workers create a case for each new client and develop a plan of services needed by the client. Case management duties fall to social workers in a variety of settings ranging from healthcare facilities and schools to government agencies. An effective service plan is a critical component of case management and can make a significant difference in the lives of your clients...The more information you can get from your clients, the more in-depth your service plan can be. You’ll understand the needs of your client[s] best when you uncover your clients' strengths and weaknesses, get a complete history and learn the details of the current situation. Your clients should participate in the service plan creation, and being open and forthcoming in the initial interviews plays a significant role in that involvement...An effective service plan works backward in that you first write the goals of the plan and then fill in the services that will allow your client to reach those goals...As you strive to fulfill the final goal, you’ll fill in the plan with other steps such as attaining job training and employment or setting up your client on a waiting list for public housing...Along with solving the immediate problem and building steps to achieve the goals you’ve created, you should be aware of concurrent themes that must be addressed in the service plan...A thorough service plan is built of many steps that you and your client have identified as vital to success. Write each step in the plan and engage the client in the implementation of each step with timelines and results recorded for each step...Your service plan may provide a week for the client to obtain and turn in those forms. Appointments must be made and kept, all duly noted in the service plan. Include instructions for the client in the plan as well as which steps you will assist in completing."
Kori Morgan reports:
"Whether it's a historical incident or a family story, real-life events offer rich inspiration for fiction writers. However, they also impose many challenges in terms of plot development, creating characters and staying true to the events and people involved. You can write a story based on real occurrences by being willing to alter the actual events, transforming facts into plots and understanding the ethical issues that come with this source of inspiration...One challenge of writing about actual events is the temptation to incorporate every detail of what happened into the story. Novelist Julie Schumacher says that even though your memories inspired the story, the act of writing puts distance between the memories and the finished product. Because the circumstances of real life and the imaginary world you're creating are different, the events and characters may change to fit the story. Although the final draft may differ from your original memory, being willing to deviate from the events will make the story more unified and enjoyable for readers...In fiction, plot is the order of events in a story that gradually build tension. Although there may be elements of tension in the real events, fiction writer Robin Hemley says that until you impose the order of plot on the events, they are just episodes, or pieces of a story...If you're writing about a historical event or something that happened in another time period, research will be a key component of your process. Writer Caro Clarke states that fiction writers must create an authentic, accurate world without giving readers too much or too little information. It can be easy to make mistakes, but careful research can help you avoid anachronisms and factual errors...Writing about real life ultimately requires you to think about the people behind the story, especially if telling it could damage their reputations. Santa Clara University professor Ron Hansen warns that even if a project is fiction, stories that defame others or misrepresent events can be deemed libelous. You may want to be creative in your adaptation of the events if there's a chance someone could be hurt by the story."
Sheila Shanker reports:
"Accounting policies and procedures help your employees run your business without your constant supervision. They are simple, easy to understand and [easy] to follow...Writing accounting policies and procedures can be difficult, but they will help you in the long term, keeping processes standardized and simple...Organize your writing. Have a separate section for each accounting process, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and fixed assets. Give each policy and procedure (P&P) a number and use the numbering system to organize the documentation. For example, all accounts receivable P&Ps could start with a 1, accounts payable with a 2. So, if you're looking for a specific document related to paying bills, you can look for the 2 series and find it easily, maybe as a 201 or 2001...Use a template to write policies and procedures. That makes the documentation easy to write and understand. Consider having a format where at the top you have a standard label with name, date, document number and other information. Below that on the page you could place a section called 'Purpose' to explain the goal of the P&P and following that you could start with the actual narrative of the process you want to standardize...Write clearly with good spelling and grammar. Policies and procedures are to be used by many people, so make it easy to read and foolproof. Avoid naming people's names, and instead, use position names. Be consistent in your writing to avoid confusion. If you have an 'Accounting Clerk' filing bills, don't change that same position to 'Clerk I' or 'Filing Clerk' in other P&P...Design your policies and procedures with an eye towards good internal controls. For example, the bookkeeper should not be able to sign checks. All check disbursements should be accompanied by sign-offs from owner or manager acknowledging that the purchase was authorized and all services and goods were received in the appropriate manner...Consider getting a ready-made policies and procedures software package for your industry...Get your accountant to take a look at your P&Ps to spot any internal control problems that could be fixed by using a different procedure...Review the policies and procedures at least once a year to make sure it is still valid and proper. Things change in business, and the P&Ps need to update with the changes."
James Scott reports:
"When you build a landing page, you think that it will become a positive experience for your visitors. Therefore, the work and focus you need to put [in] when you build it is immense...When you want to create the best landing page, you should pay attention to the tiniest details...When you create a landing page, you should stay away from fluff. Landing pages are the ones that convince people to take action. So, the content should be straightforward. You should focus on the problem your products will solve and convince your visitors that you offer answers to their questions. If you feel you are not so inspired, you can collaborate with professional writers...It is very important to think of a clear call-to-action for your landing page. You want your visitors to do a specific action when they enter your page. Therefore, your content and design should convince them to subscribe to your newsletter or buy your products instantly. You can use a button to grab visitors’ attention and make them do exactly what you want them to do...A landing page that attracts doesn’t have to be overloaded with images and videos. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use them at all. You need images, videos, and colors to catch your visitors’ attention. Your design should be in line with your content. What is more, it should lead your visitor directly to the call-to-action button. 'Colors are also very important as they shouldn’t be tiring. Furthermore, if you use headers, the colors shouldn’t be distracting,' Leona Henryson, a UX specialist at EssaySupply[,] explains. She adds[,] 'It’s very important to have a clear understanding of color psychology and what every color could mean to your visitors before starting any visual project'...OptimizePress can be used both as a theme and [as] a plugin. Either way you use it, this is a tool where you don’t need any technical knowledge. Apart from landing pages, OptimizePress can help you create sales pages or membership portals as well. According to Veronica Wright, CEO at ResumesCentre, 'OptimizePress is an excellent tool for landing pages. Its visual editor helps you preview all the changes you implement and thus test various options before you build a high converting landing page[.]'...[Thrive] is another plugin for WordPress which helps you create a successful landing page without any coding knowledge. What is more, WordPress is very proud of this tool and considers it to be the fastest landing page builder they have developed so far. The great thing about it is that it comes with 170 templates which you can use to build your landing page. For instance, you can add columns, social media icons, and much more. The surprises offered by this tool don’t end here. In comparison to other tools, this one helps also to create engaging content. You can choose from various templates which make copywriting a 'children’s play'. 'Thrive is great also when you want to analyze how your landing page is doing. You can track and optimize the conversion rates with this plugin. You can choose from various features like CTA buttons to personalize, testimonials, lead generation forms, or countdown timers[,'] says Christopher K. Mercer, digital marketer and founder of Citatior...The greatest thing about WordPress Landing Pages is that it is free. You don’t have to pay anything and still have an effective tool to help you develop interesting landing pages. It also allows you to visualize in real time the changes you make on your landing page. Therefore, it will become easier for you to decide which design option to choose. Furthermore, it is very easy to use this plugin thanks to its drag and drop interface. In addition, you will have plenty of templates to choose from and decide which one 'talks' better about your business. It is also compatible with other useful add-ons like WordPress Call to Action or WordPress Leads. 'Word[P]ress Landing Pages offers a variety of features to help you create a high converting landing page. You can clone your landing page and use it in a different context[,] or you can also pre-fill forms with information about your visitors. You can use this piece of information for your future marketing strategy and increase the number of visitors on your page[,'] says James Daily, the head of the content department at FlashEssay...[The] drag and drop tool helps you build your landing page almost instantly. You just pick the features and elements you want to add on your landing page, and you will have it ready immediately. There are 100 templates you can choose from to convince your visitors that your product is exactly what they need. What is more, you have plenty of design elements to choose from and thus enhance your visitors’ experience on the website. For example, you can add videos, graphics, column, images, and anything else you can think of to stand out of the crowd. The built-in image editor helps you keep the graphics and design aspect to the highest standard. Finally, Instabuilder is very useful as it comes with robust statistics and analytics to help you understand how your page is doing...Creating a [high converting] landing page in WordPress is not rocket science as you have plenty of options to choose from in terms of plug-ins and templates. Before choosing one tool or the other, it is very important to keep a balance between features like ease of use, responsiveness, drag and drop functionality, [and] costs. Once you have combined these elements, it will become very easy to choose those tools that help you obtain the results you always wanted."
Chris Daniels reports:
"There are many reasons for stepping away from your career temporarily or exploring other careers. Self-work is nothing to be ashamed of and likely provided you with valuable experience. The entrepreneurial spirit that drove you to self[-]work is a great asset for any employer. Your time spent self-employed should be listed on your resume to account for your career timeline and to avoid raising red flags for a potential employer...List self-employment as you would any other job. Describe the work you performed, clients, skills you developed and milestones of your success. If possible, use numbers that provide concrete results of your self-work. Also, list your website, publications or photographs...Avoid describing your employment status as 'self-work' or 'self-employed.' Use a functional job title such as consultant, writer, artist, web developer or whichever term best describes what you do...Be frank about any extenuating circumstances. If a personal circumstance such as your health or the needs of a family member took you away from your career or led you to change career paths, state that. However, be brief and state circumstances in a way that do not make the reader uncomfortable...Provide at least one reference who can confirm and discuss your self-employment...Obtain the references' permission before listing them on a resume and make sure they are prepared to discuss questions a potential employer may have in a way that shows you in a positive light...Format your resume as a functional, rather than chronological, list. For example, the headings under your 'Professional Experience' are your marketable skills such as management, analysis, strategy, writing, speaking, presentations and client interaction."
Paul Cole-Ingait reports:
"Fraud has seen many nonprofit organizations lose funds running to millions of dollars in unclear circumstances. Your report of fraud could help recover diverted assets and serve justice to perpetrators...Financial audits and investigations of nonprofit organizations have unearthed many fraud cases perpetrated by employees and other insiders. Some fraud perpetrators falsify financial information of their nonprofit organizations to conceal the embezzlement and misappropriation of funds...The incidents of fraud at nonprofits are usually precipitated by environments of trust and friendships that employees and volunteers exploit to fleece these organizations...Once you detect fraud, follow leads and gather appropriate evidence from accounting and communication documents. This could be local purchase orders, supplier and debtor invoices, payment vouchers, credit card slips, credit notes or signed contract forms. Form 990, which nonprofits file annually with the Internal Revenue Service, can also provide substantiating evidence. The nonprofit is required to report contributions and grants, program revenue, benefits paid to members and other financial information. The documented evidence will help you back up your allegations against any individual suspected of defrauding the nonprofit organization...If you are an internal or external auditor, highlight detected fraud in your audit report and recommend further investigations. An insider such as a staff member, board member or volunteer may have to report fraud anonymously to avoid retribution from perpetrators of the fraud. Contact fraud reporting organizations, such as the Fraud Hotline and Federal Trade Commission, to confirm whether they can investigate your fraud report. Fraud Hotline offers fraud reporting services to its registered organizations while the FTC attends to fraud red flags from donors and consumers of nonprofit services...Use the hotline numbers, email contacts and online contact forms provided by whistle-blower organizations to submit your fraud report. Some of these organizations provide website links for reporting fraud online. They also allow you to attach copies of your documented evidence in the emails and online contact forms. Seek the help of your state attorney general for legal guidance for reporting fraud in a nonprofit organization."
Megan Leonhardt reports:
"If you are going the DIY route, you’ll need to research your state’s laws. The rules can be quirky: Handwritten wills may not require any witnesses, for instance — but only half of states accept these wills as binding. A newly drafted, typed will now requires two witnesses’ signatures to be valid, wherever you are — but an older typed will that was executed in a state like Vermont or Georgia, which used to require three witnesses, will be subject to the old requirements unless it is updated. You may also want to know if your state has an estate or inheritance tax and how to plan for it...A will won’t cover all of your assets...Anything that’s in joint name or payable to a named beneficiary, such as life insurance policies or 401(k) balances, is outside the scope of a will...Before you even start a will, you should assign beneficiaries for as many accounts as possible...You can also create transfer-on-death or payable-on-death designations for checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and U.S. bonds...The requirements vary by institution, though, so it’s worth making a call to find out what’s needed...Use the right language. You need to spell out who you are and the purpose of the document. Statements like 'I declare that this is my last will and testament' and 'I declare that I am of legal age to make this will, and that I am sound of mind' are not just for the movies. They’re critical to ensuring your will is taken seriously by your heirs and the courts...Be specific. If you are using a will to pass on your house, for instance, include the full address when identifying the property. For personal items, include a complete description. And use the full names of beneficiaries...Name an executor you trust — and tell them where to find your will. This is the person who will be wrapping up your affairs after your death and eventually distributing your assets. [T]he American Bar Association recommends naming a secondary executor or a co-executor, in case your first choice is unable to carry out the task or predeceases you...Appoint a guardian for minor children[.] For each child, you should name one person as a guardian and another as an alternate...It’s perfectly legal (but not necessary) to pick different guardians for each child...Spell out contingencies. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of a DIY will is thinking through all the contingencies...Say you’re leaving everything to your sister. But what if your sister predeceases you[?] Do you want the property to pass to her children? Or do you want to go to your other siblings? Describe the contingencies for each portion of your will...While a DIY will is better than nothing, lawyers argue that a professionally drafted document can do far more to protect your heirs — particularly if the beneficiaries you’d choose aren’t those provided by your state’s intestacy law. It might even cost less than you’d imagine. While a handwritten will won’t cost you a penny, in most states, a fill-in-the-blank formatted will, downloaded from a site like LegalZoom, will set you back about $100 — while a will drafted by an attorney can cost, on average, only about $375, says LegalZoom. (For a larger, more complex estate, with federal estate tax considerations and specific trusts or entities such as family limited partnerships, the price tag will be $1,000 or more — but complex estates should not be relying on DIY wills in the first place.) And at many firms...a will is billed as a flat fee, rather than an hourly rate. So if cost is a concern, you can call ahead to ask what the fees are. Don’t know where to start? Many bar associations...offer...lawyer referral services. Under such programs, lawyers have agreed to provide initial half-hour consultations that are generally free or cost less than $50. Paying a bit more now for a good, legally drafted will can also save your heirs money — particularly if they are not the beneficiaries designated by your state intestacy statutes...If your surviving family or friends are not the designated successors, they may have to spend thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars fighting for what they are entitled to."
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