3 Steps to Lodging Taxes Online Easily

There’s a lot of ways computers make our lives harder. Printers. Crashing. Windows Vista. But there are moments when computers connect us to truly wonderful things. Things like helping us by lodging taxes online.

That’s right. No fuss. No muss. A few clicks. A few forms. And you’re done with your taxes for the year. When you’re lodging taxes online you don’t have to spend days getting a headache over maths. You can be done in an afternoon. That is, if you pick the right place to go. Some sites (some tax offices…) make the whole thing more confusing than it needs to be. So here are 3 steps for lodging taxes online even easier, when computers go and muck things up again.

  • Collect your forms before. Get any documents you might need together before you even think about lodging your taxes online. You need to make sure you can answer any questions they throw your way before they’re thrown. So grab last years tax records, this years pay stubs, your notice of assessment, and all needed receipts. Make sure they’re organized first. Sloppy documentation never helped anyone. The faster you can find a file, the faster you’re done.
  • Make sure you have the time. Lodging taxes online is deceptively simple. It might be easier than sitting at the table with a calculator, but you’ll still need to block some time. So clear a Saturday afternoon, tell mum you can’t come over Sunday, call in sick to work: do what you need to to give yourself time. You don’t want to have to pause your lodging to deal with life. It’s like a pulling off a plaster–best done in one go. Take your taxes seriously and give yourself some time this year.
  • Make sure your computer is up to date. There’s nothing worse than almost being done with lodging your taxes online only to have the computer crash in the middle and lose everything. So when you’re lodging taxes online this year, please make sure all your virus protection, hardware, motherboards, whatever is up to date. Don’t give yourself a reason to curse (as if taxes weren’t enough of a reason!) Take the time to check it all works beforehand…and then start lodging. The frustration will be worth it and pay off in the future too!

All that’s well and good, of course, but there’s one secret fourth step: breathing. Relax. Thanks to technology lodging taxes online is easier and simpler than anything before it. With a little foresight (and maybe a cuppa to soothe while it’s going on) you can be done with your taxes and back to more important things in no time.


How Can Real Estate Professionals Gain Success in Modern Day?

Living in the age of information technology with e-commerce on the boom, it has become too tough for those real estate professionals to survive who are not yet electronically inclined. The real estate industry has almost completely shifted to the cyber domain and all the leading real estate portals have listed countless properties online. Those who have not adapted to the new technology are facing serious difficulty in getting profits out of the industry. If you are also one of the real estate professionals seeking help to reap success in the modern-day, you need to follow a few really important things which include:

Taking help from the online real estate portals

If you have not yet listed your properties online, you are already missing nearly fifty percent of the potential customers in the market. Listing your properties online is not a difficult task and involves a few simple and easy steps. Most of the online property portals have a very simple and easy property listing procedure that allows professionals to upload their property details along with images to reach thousands of potential customers who visit these websites daily.

Go Social – Take Help from Social Media

Nothing is more powerful and resourceful in the modern-day than social media. The social media websites like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. have the highest potential of grabbing online traffic. Owing to great reliance of people on social media portals, it has become inevitable for the professionals to publicize their properties on the social media websites. Besides, once you have listed your property on a well-known real estate portal, they would also keep posting it on the leading social media platforms to help you grabbing more customers. Moreover, you need to have a Facebook page of your real estate firm with sufficient “Likes” to keep your business active on the social networks.

Upload Your Property Videos on Video Sharing Portals

In the modern age, people give more importance to videos and graphics than the text content so you will have to grab their attention by making use of multimedia. The free video sharing portals which include YouTube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Viddler, Veoh, Vimeo etc. are the best sources to upload the property videos and letting your potential customers take a virtual tour of your property without having to visit it in person. This would save your as well as customers’ time.

Learn More about the Industry

Apart from all other factors that are necessary for real estate professionals to gain success in the modern era, the industry knowledge remains vital as ever. If you are not fully aware of the industry’s current condition, you cannot make wise and profitable decisions. In the world of e-commerce, the newspapers and magazines are just a single click away from you. Make yourself aware with the real estate industry news and learn how others are generating big profits from this lucrative industry.­


Correcting the “Disconnect” Between Sales and Marketing in Corporate America

Corporate America has significantly changed over the last 30 years. Excellence and exceptional performance, once the cornerstone of Corporate America, have degenerated in some cases to a complacent mediocrity that just doesn’t seem to care. Maintaining “status quo” has become more important than creating products and programs that address true market needs. One of the symptoms of this affliction is a definitive “disconnect” between marketing and sales.

I recently had a conversation with an HR manager for a large corporation about their prerequisites for personnel in their marketing department. She told me that they take people with graduate degrees in Marketing, Brand Management, etc., to fill these spots. Coming from the “old school”, I immediately challenged this policy. I asked why they didn’t fill the positions with people from their sales group. After all, these are the people that deal with the accounts everyday and know what the customers want and need. Her answer was that sales people “try to do too much” and therefore are never brought into marketing.

How can “trying to do too much” be a bad thing? Where I’m from, those are the people you want to hire. They have initiative, drive, etc. In addition, creativity is not the result of a graduate degree. It is a talent that you either have or not. Period. It cannot be taught.  No amount of schooling can instill this quality.

So what is the relevance of a graduate degree in marketing, brand management, etc? What does it mean in practical terms? It certainly may give someone tools to do research and provide insights into the methodologies of various marketing disciplines. However, it cannot teach creativity and this is the driving force in marketing. Without pure creativity, what do you really have?


The function of sales is to sell. It is to create solid relationships between the company and the customer, therefore driving a wedge between that customer and the competition. This is accomplished by helping the customer to identify their needs and provide long term solutions that address those needs now and in the future. Only by proving that you are there to create success for the customer do you earn the trust to be considered as a business partner. By doing this you break into their “trust zone”. More than likely, the customer now buys from you rather than you having to sell them.

The salesman that achieves this result is also a good psychologist. They know when to listen, when to talk……when to be aggressive, when to be more passive. It is their job to become the value proposition to the account, the reason the customer buys from that company. The result is a partnership based on trust where all doors of potential are now open – competitive marketing information, free focus group studies, etc. This salesman is now viewed as a trusted business partner by the customer. More than likely, this will be a very profitable and long term relationship due to a job well done

The Importance of Pure Creativity

Marketing can be the crown jewel of an organization or its greatest detriment. Great marketing is driven by exceptional creativity. This results in superior planning and proper utilization of all the tools that contribute to an effective new product campaign. It is absolutely essential to the success of any company. However, the best sales force in the world cannot sell poorly conceived products or programs. Nor should they even try. It is the company’s responsibility to ensure that their marketing department has a truly creative leader and avails itself of every resource available to come up with the best in product and promotional ideas.

Marketing should have a Creative Director or someone heading up an Innovation unit to discover new trends and address them on a continuous basis. My experience has shown me that most of these departments are very complacent, satisfied with the status quo. Not a whole lot of creativity, which should be what drives the entire department. Creativity is the engine that leads and makes necessary the rest of the “marketing train”, i.e., sourcing, packaging, branding, etc. Without this creative funnel being fed, neither marketing nor sales have anything to do. Eventually, this leads to the death of the company.

If this is the case, marketing should be communicating with sales for this “read” on the market, taking the information that sales has discovered and creating products and programs to address these needs. Period. They are trained in the methodologies of advertising and how to properly bring a product to market. However, they can’t do this without creative and new information on the market. If they can’t find it on their own, they should rely on sales to provide this information to them.

Sales and marketing should work together in a synergistic fashion where one function enhances and strengthens the other. They are simply different sides of the same coin. Unfortunately, some marketing departments do not fully utilize the information available to them from sales. This can result in a product or program that wastes company resources as well as not addressing true market needs. Or they may bring in consulting groups to answer questions that could easily be provided by sales.

Think about that. Bringing in a consulting group that has no intimate relationship with your customer base nor any practical experience with your company and how it approaches the industry. In my estimation, this is lunacy. There is a perfect consulting group that knows the customer and how the company is positioned in the industry…….it’s called the sales department. It doesn’t cost anything to use and has much more relevant information to offer marketing.


Attack the market with enthusiasm. Throw heart and soul into using every resource available to become the innovator, the leader……the best. Get excited again. Call on marketing and sales to work together as a team to find the best solutions to every challenge. No exceptions.

New guidelines should be established to create a close knit relationship between these departments. Sales and marketing should have a constant feedback loop going on. In fact, marketing should make it policy to accompany sales on a regular basis with important key accounts calls.

Sales can school marketing on interpretation of customer reactions based on their relationships with them and marketing can train sales to conduct “Focus Group Studies”. This turns the sales person into a virtual marketing department in the field on every call and a consistent source of relevant marketing information. It also strengthens the bond between the two departments and creates a great relationship between the customer and company. Customers become creative partners and appreciate being asked what they need, what they think, etc.

This interaction between the departments also facilitates a mutual understanding of the functions of each to the other. Ideas and consumer insights that sales brings to marketing can then be further refined between the two departments until a consensus is reached that defines the ultimate solution.

This is a simple and elegant process that can be repeated again and again to keep the creative pipeline full of ideas just waiting for implementation. The more it is practiced, the more streamlined the process becomes. It creates a synergistic environment for the “Perfect Storm” of creative execution. Everyone works together, enhancing customer relationships and maintaining a proactive stance that may very well propel the company to the top of their industry.

Creativity Cannot Be Taught

Like any artistic talent, creativity cannot be taught.  One either has it or not.  It is engine that drives all new ideas, the innovative force behind every blockbuster product or program. It is the agent of change that makes all the difference between the “want to bes” and the real players. Creativity is the key to all potential. It is a precious gift and yields extraordinary results when utililzed properly.


Therefore, in order to best enhance position in their respective industry, I would encourage any company to look within for answers and remember that graduate degrees in any discipline can only teach book knowledge. They cannot teach pure creativity. Seek out those people with the creative spark, the ones that think “out of the box”. These people are the sources for real growth. They will change your company from a slow moving hulk to a nimble and formidable sales/marketing machine.

Get the sales and marketing departments working together and you will find they are natural companions. Creativity will be greatly enhanced and focused. Once unified, they have the potential to accomplish much more and refine each other in the process. Go back to the “old school” ways and be innovative in all you do.


Refinance of Student Loans – What You Need to Know

Your Main Goal

Before you begin thinking about how to refinance your student loan, think about what your real goal is. Most people in your position will want to reduce their monthly costs. Others may simply want to consolidate all their loans into a single payment. Whichever way you go, you’ll want to set a goal before you begin planning.

That said, when you refinance your student loan there are several things to consider.

First things first

Regardless of the lender you work with when you refinance your student loan, there will be certain qualifications you will have to meet. One almost universal qualification is that none of your outstanding loans are allowed to have what is called “in-school” status. In other words, you cannot be currently paying for your education with an active loan.

Another requirement is that many lending institutions set a minimum balance. That amount will vary from lender to lender, so make sure you know upfront what that balance is before you spend too much time with that lender.

Two ways to refinance your student loan

When you refinance your student loan you can reduce your monthly payments one of two ways:

  • Getting a lower interest rate
  • Extending the duration of your loan

Most people will try to get the lowest interest rate possible because this will mean you will pay far less in total interest costs by the time you have paid off your loan.

That said, if you can’t get the lowest interest rates you should consider the refinance of your student loan by extending the term of your loan. When you do this, your monthly payments will be lower. The downside is that the total dollars you pay for interest will be substantially higher. So, as stated above, you need to set your priorities before you begin implementing your plan to refinance your student loan.

Federal vs. Private Loans

Like many other people, you may have more than one type of loan; some being private loans and others being Federal loans. Because of the way Federal loans are structured, you can get a much lower interest rate on them than you can on private loans. On the other hand, private student loans are basically personal loans made with the assumption that your income will increase with more education.

That said, make sure that you refinance these student loans separately. If you consolidate these types of loans into a single package, you may find yourself paying much more on the combined loans than you need to.

Your Credit Score

Before your refinance a student loan be certain that your FICO score is high enough to make you a solid bet to the lending institution of your choice.These days no one has an excuse for not looking at their credit report — you can get a free copy of it every twelve months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Do it now. Then take the time to review your credit report. If you find inconsistencies or problems, clear them up now. It will pay off in lower interest rates and better terms when you finally refinance your student loan.


Ultimately when you refinance your student loan, your goal should be to make your career — and the rest of your life — more manageable once you leave school. Be intelligent about investigating all the choices you might have before you make an informed decision. If you’re careful, you won’t be bogged down for the rest of your life paying back your loans.