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The term “financial skills” covers a range of activities that a professional buyer or procurement executive needs to have if they are to deliver value for money and manage commercial risk for their organisation. However, these skills are not always covered by conventional training which means that a buyer could be creating needless exposure both for themselves and their career as well as their organisation.

There are six financial skills that everyone who works in procurement should acquire.

1. Financial analysis – this covers the use of financial ratios that enable you to identify suppliers who are under performing compared to their competitors or who might be financially vulnerable and so create a supply risk for you. Ratios compare one financial value with another in order to give you an insight into the way that supplier is run. For example, liquidity ratios look at the ability of a supplier to meet its short-term financial obligations by dividing the value of current assets (such as cash and inventory) with the value of current liabilities (such as creditors). Other ratios tell you how efficient the supplier is in turning sales into profit, generating sales from the use of assets and its ability to grow.

2. Activity based costing – this is a method that takes all of the costs of an organisation and assigns them to the products or services that the supplier sells. The big difference between this approach and more conventional costing methods is that it first allocates costs to the activities that create those costs and then to products or services in direct proportion to the amount of those activities that they use in their production or service fulfillment. What this means is that you get a clearer picture of the true costs of making a product or delivering a service than you get from conventional means. The importance of this for the buyer is that they get an understanding of what drives costs and so what actions suppliers can take to reduce them which in turn lets them reduce the price to the buyer and still make an acceptable profit.

3. Understanding profit and loss accounts and balance sheets – the profit and loss account shows a buyer a summary of all the transactions a supplier has made in a period of time (such as a year) with the resulting profit they make and the balance sheet is a snapshot of the financial position of the supplier at that point in time. Accounting policies that the supplier adopts can make a big difference to the declared profit; for example, a supplier can choose how much to charge each year to the profit and loss account for an asset it has bought and this can have a major impact on the profit in any one year. Knowing what accounting policies a supplier uses can help a buyer to understand their accounts and so make sure that the financial ratios that are used to get an insight paint an accurate picture.

4. Understanding cashflow – the lifeblood of any organisation is its cashflow as it can only pay its bills on time and remain solvent if there is cash in the bank. It is important to understand that this is not the same as its profit. For example, if you sell something for $100 now and give your customer 14 days credit then you will not physically receive the cash for another two weeks. If you have bought materials that have been used to make that product and your supplier has given you only 7 days credit then you will have to make a payment to them before you receive the cash from your sale. If you do not have the money in the bank then you may be in difficulties. Understanding the concept of cashflow and how to calculate and analyse it is an important tool in predicting the solvency of your suppliers and their vulnerability.

5. Understanding break-even analysis – this technique calculates the level of activity your supplier needs to have if it is to break even. Levels of activity above the break-even point result in a profit for your supplier and levels of activity below it means your supplier is operating at a loss. The importance of knowing this figure is in negotiations. If your supplier is already above its break-even point and has included your current level of purchases in its calculation, then any further business from you will provide a “super profit” (that is, profit over and above its expected amount as their fixed costs have already been covered). You should be able to negotiate a price reduction based on this information.

6. Price and cost modelling – one of the key questions that procurement people ask of themselves is “am I paying the correct price for this item?”. Price and cost modelling helps to answer this question. Price modelling involves comparing the price you pay against some yardstick of reasonableness such as the price paid last time or a benchmarked price. Cost modelling goes further and is a technique in which you build up an understanding of the cost of the materials, component and other costs that go into the items production or delivery (if it is a service) so that you can assess whether or not they are reasonable and whether the subsequent profit is fair.

We are living in a world surrounded by numerous things that are either related to the technology, the latest gadgets or the latest fashion. And Fashion today has made its significance felt in almost all sectors of life. Fashion can be termed into two groups: One group which follows fashion trends and adopts them and the other group who create fashion and style statements for the others to follow them. It can also be extended to another set of people who rarely have anything to do with fashion trends but yet follow their own style to create their own unique personality; adding one more style to the fashion world.

Fashion is not just about cosmetics and make up or the hair-do. It is a sense of creating the charisma of looking good in anything you wear and this magic is created with the right kind of accessories going along with the foot wear and the clothes, making up a pleasant picture to view. Many a times, people who do not afford to buy expensive clothes look their best in their casual wear, just by presenting themselves in that manner of sophistication and creating an aura around them with the confidence of looking good.

There are myriad forms of fashion, and trends keep on changing with the seasons. From the early 60s and 70s to the present millennium, there has been an immense change in the forms, looks and thoughts about fashion trends.

In India, much of fashion has been influenced by the Hindi Film Industry, popularly called Bollywood. The trends that have changed through time can be fairly seen in the movies made during the 60s and 70s and how they have evolved in various forms bringing about a style that can be followed by the general public. People have aped the west from very early times and this was no exception. The clothes made in the 60s and 70s were very much influenced by the western countries and given a traditional touch. The Bell Bottoms, scarves and the hair style was very much prevalent in those days as an icon of style. Later in the 80s and 90s, Fashion world sizzled like never before. There was a craving by the people to look different, stylish and modern and this could be seen in their outlook towards their outfit, new styles of hair, makeup, accessories like purses, earrings, necklaces, matching footwear etc.

People were conscious about each and every new thing that was marketed and they copied the styles from their Bollywood idols. Bollywood started as a platform for theatre artistes and went on to become a commercial entry to the youths and aspirants for a career in the film and fashion industry. This gave the youth of today to emphasize on the fashion world. Art and music have become an inseparable thing of the past and so it is deeply rooted in the present as well with more features and facilities.

Today fashion, art, music, designers, dance etc all have a place in the industry and people can choose to take up anything related to this industry as their profession too. Art and music have long been implemented in the school co-curricular activities and the Higher colleges are now offering various courses for better professionalism in these areas. There are also various acting schools and the small screen i.e., the television has opened up avenues in bringing out the talent in the young minds through numerous platforms of music and dance. This is the innovation of the millennium in creating jobs and work in the fashion industry. The trends that we see are brought about by the fashion houses that have regular seasons to showcase their invention, many of which are popularized in FTV, Zee Trendz and TLC channels. We can also get a glimpse of the stylish outfits through these shows that the models present. Today, Modelling is also one of the platforms for an entry into the world of fashion.

In the yester years, fashion was constrained only to the actors in the film or those that were bold enough to carry themselves in the public that they were considered fashionable. Others just wooed them behind close doors. Slowly when times began changing, we could see the women showing off their styles in the traditional saree with an embroidered blouse and a different neck style. Then we saw the saree being draped in various styles like the Bengali style or the Gujarati style etc. The women were liberating their choice of freedom and it could be seen in their appearances with a high heeled slipper or the handbag she carried or the way she held her saree or the hair and the makeup she wore. All these changes brought about the invention of churidhars and then the salwar kameez and finally the fashion of dresses was out in the open. Women accepted to the fact that there was nothing wrong in looking good and the men of course, loved to see the attractive side of women and fantasized the idea over their spouses.

This change in attitude of the public was very well taken by the fashionistas and a huge market was created to meet the demands of the public. Today fashion creates a new look with distinct style for a particular person and keeps oneself updated with the latest trends seen in the market. This industry is popular for its glamour as well as the mixture of Indian tradition and culture put into the designer wear that the models showcase.

People love to experiment different textures of materials used in the outfits and so the designers give them a wide collection of dresses using all kinds of clothes. There is the traditional Khadi and silk combination that is presently creating waves seen in both men’s and women’s wear. Then we have the embroidery work in zardosi, swarovski studded tops and lehangas and multi stoned work in bridal collection sarees etc. Then the most sought materials like cotton, polyster, chiffon, crush materials used in varied iconoclastic designs and styles.

Always there is a hope for the designers that the youth want a change in the fashion and are glad to keep up the trend with a fusion of Indian and western mix of fashionable wear. Also the youth of today are very practical in their sense of styling for a particular occasion. Be it a party or for a marriage or the casual look, they want the best and they believe in looking the best. And to achieve this, people go one step ahead in ensuring that they have everything in their wardrobe for any kind of occasion.

Apart from the stylish clothes and fashion that is currently popular people want to try something that goes along with their outlook. So the market started towards the very own friend of a woman- The Hand Bag or the Purse. The Fresh look of a purse with magnificent colours and its stylish features like the chain handle or the jazzy zips with numerous pockets in different shapes attracted the public like never before. And with the increasing demand of the prices of branded purses, it became a must for every woman to complete her shopping. So did the other accessories line up by creating a place for themselves in the market. Just a few to quote, the earring and necklaces, the various Belts, hand bracelets and brooch, the stiletto and its wonderful embroidered, party wear slippers along with its brotherly high rugged shoes giving a perfect cowboy look etc.

Fashion has always been a very interesting topic for all women and now the trend has even challenged the men to compete for a more appealing look for a remarkable future in the world of Fashion to make it a full fledged acceptable thing for all genre of people.

Kiriti C Chavadi

Bangalore

 

Due to British colonialism in India, India’s culture has been significantly affected by the West. With globalization, Indian fashion today does reflect the Western influence. Halter tops, handkerchief-cut kurtas etc are common today and have become a part and parcel of one’s wardrobe. With 28 states, 7 union territories and multiple dialects, India is a land of great diversity and each state has its own unique fashion.

Conventional sarees, blouses, salwar kameezes and necklines have undergone great changes. The latest Indian fashion trend has a touch of the West. Indian fashion designers are working day in and day out to meet the new demands of the market. Let us see some of the Western influences on Indian dresses.

Short- Style Kurtis

Even a few years ago, traditional kurtis with bold prints were popular among the masses. Though they still continue to be in demand, yet short-style kurtis with halter necklines are giving their traditional counterpart a tough competition. Earlier, kurtis were worn along with chudidars, but today wearing them over jeans is the latest Indian fashion. Right from a celebrity, to the girl next door, short-style kurtis are a rage. Floor length anarkalis are also in high demand these days.

Casual Crinkled Crepes & A-Lined Skirts

Lehengas have always been loved by ladies among all age groups. The traditional embroidered lehenga is one of the best Indian bridal wears. However, lehengas have evolved into a casual crinkled crepes and A-lined skirts which are considered ideal for a party, social gathering or an informal meeting.

Half-Lehenga Style Saree

Saree is the most traditional Indian wear. Sarees are the perfect wear during weddings, religious functions and parties. However, the latest Indian fashion has seen the evolution of a new style saree which mixes both the saree and lehenga into a single wear. This is capturing everyone’s attention. This type of saree is known as half-lehenga style saree. This is pretty comfortable for those who are not well-acquainted with the traditional hanging saree.

Strap & Halter Neck Blouses

Earlier and even now, short-sleeved or long-sleeved blouses are very much popular among ladies. However, today blouses with straps and halter neck styles have also started making inroads. These types of blouses have become very common and are in great demand.

Denims

Denims are highly popular among men and women in India. Earlier in parties, formal wear was a common sight. Though it still is, yet today in many parties and even in offices, there is no dearth of people wearing denims. There are several international brands of denims available in India and each and every day the market is witnessing arrival of new designs.

There are always new styles which are developing from time to time. The western influence on Indian clothing is making them trendy and elegant. A new design can evolve anywhere. It is up to us to adapt to the changes according to our own style, convenience, preference and choice.

 

Many dealerships regard the automotive service manager as an integral part of their business. They are the people responsible for acting as a go-between customers and service staff. They are also responsible for other duties within this department.

These managers hire for their department and must choose the most qualified person for the job. They are in charge of overseeing the employees to make sure they meet the dealership’s quality standards. They are directly responsible for teaching these to the employees. Evaluations of employees are also part of their job within their department.

They must set a business plan into place and enforce the goals so they are met. This makes them accountable for the budgeting of the department in making sure the labor costs are kept in check, inventory balances, and they suffer no additional costs by retaining employees. This also covers a marketing campaign plan to gain new customers, as well as keep the old – through coupons, merchandising and staffing needs.

They must stay current with the changes in the industry by attending classes, seminars, and reading literature. This also includes understanding and implementing any policy changes within the dealership, and offering suggestions for change to make the department run smoother. They must also be able to schedule classes for other employees and themselves when such are offered through the car manufacturer so everyone gets the most current information.

It is also the automotive service manager’s responsibility to stay on top of warranties and recalls offered by the manufacture. They will be required to send the warranty work in for payment and will be held accountable for write-offs to the department for failure to comply with the information. They also are the link between the factory representative and the dealership, and may be required to attend meetings and conferences to further this relationship.

The main duty of a manager is to handle customer complaints quickly and efficiently and maintain customer service and the department. They must create and act upon a plan to keep the customers coming back and must have a way to compromise to ensure customer satisfaction. Bringing in new customers is also a job duty, and they must make sure that the service will turn them into repeat customers.

The education for this position requires a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a complimentary technical field. You must have at least five years experience working in the industry, and many companies require an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. Some will allow work experience to compensate for the college education, where the candidate has many years of experience performing the duties.

If you are one of the legions of people who have acquired, or are about to obtain a new pet snake, then you are also about to have a rewarding experience. Snakes have a lot to teach us. A properly maintained terrarium can be a work of art – many are prominently displayed in homes – so long as the snake keeper keeps some essential information in mind:

· Be sure you give your snake enough heat – that means enough for the snake, not you. A snake is best kept at warmer, summer temperatures of 85 – 100 degrees F, unless being cooled for hibernation. Temperate zone species may tolerate a 30 degree drop in temperature at night, but tropical species rarely do well with such fluctuations.

· Never, ever use your snake to scare somebody! Many people are afraid of snakes, some pathologically so. Using a snake to scare a person is irresponsible of you, may cause injury to another person, and is traumatic for the snake.

· Be sure to feed your snake an adequate diet at appropriate intervals. Snakes under 3 feet in length should generally be fed prey about the size of an adult mouse once or twice a week. Larger snakes take more or larger prey at less frequent intervals. Truly large snakes may eat only once per year, but these are not snakes for novices.

· Do not handle snakes after feeding, or until they have digested their meals. If a snake is handled too soon after eating, it is often likely to regurgitate the meal, and may refuse to feed for many days afterward.

· Snakes must shed their skins, but they do much better if you do not help them. If the snake has been fed and watered well, it will grow, and the old skin is carefully broken by the snake and shed in one piece. If a snake sheds in patches, it may be dehydrated or have a nutritional disorder.

· Do your homework! Buying a snake is not the same as knowing how to care for it properly. It is your responsibility to learn about your snake and any special needs it will have in captivity. For example, unless you carefully teach your snake otherwise, many have specialized diets: garter snakes eat fish and frogs, hognose snakes eat toads, and corn snakes eat small rodents and eggs.

· Get a snake veterinarian lined up now. Snakes have a slower metabolism than us mammals, so they may manifest symptoms long after contracting an illness. Waiting to find a qualified vet until the snake is ill may be too late.

· Clean the snake’s cage as it becomes dirty – don’t merely wait for Saturday morning. Only use appropriate disinfectants for a snake cage. You may use rubbing alcohol, soap, and specialty products available at your pet shop. Do not use chlorine bleaches or industrial cleansers such as Ajax or Comet, because their residues are often toxic to snakes. Lysol is particularly dangerous.

· Always wash your hands well with soap and water after handling your snake or the cage accessories. Snakes, like most animals, may harbor dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella.

· Okay, now go watch your snake and have some fun!

2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia

Travel for trade was an important feature since the beginning of civilisation. The port at Lothal was an important centre of trade between the Indus valley civilisation and the Sumerian civilisation.

600 BC and thereafter

The earliest form of leisure tourism can be traced as far back as the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of historic antiquities was open to the public in Babylon. The Egyptians held many religious festivals that attracted the devout and many people who thronged to cities to see famous works of arts and buildings.

In India, as elsewhere, kings travelled for empire building. The Brahmins and the common people travelled for religious purposes. Thousands of Brahmins and the common folk thronged Sarnath and Sravasti to be greeted by the inscrutable smile of the Enlightened One- the Buddha.

500 BC, the Greek civilisation

The Greek tourists travelled to sites of healing gods. The Greeks also enjoyed their religious festivals that increasingly became a pursuit of pleasure, and in particular, sport. Athens had become an important site for travellers visiting the major sights such as the Parthenon. Inns were established in large towns and seaports to provide for travellers’ needs. Courtesans were the principal entertainment offered.

This era also saw the birth of travel writing. Herodotus was the worlds’ first travel writer. Guidebooks also made their appearance in the fourth century covering destinations such as Athens, Sparta and Troy. Advertisements in the way of signs directing people to inns are also known in this period.

The Roman Empire

With no foreign borders between England and Syria, and with safe seas from piracy due to Roman patrols, the conditions favouring travel had arrived. First class roads coupled with staging inns (precursors of modern motels) promoted the growth of travel. Romans travelled to Sicily, Greece, Rhodes, Troy and Egypt. From 300 AD travel to the Holy Land also became very popular. The Romans introduced their guidebooks (itineraria), listing hotels with symbols to identify quality.

Second homes were built by the rich near Rome, occupied primarily during springtime social season. The most fashionable resorts were found around Bay of Naples. Naples attracted the retired and the intellectuals, Cumae attracted the fashionable while Baiae attracted the down market tourist, becoming noted for its rowdiness, drunkenness and all- night singing.

Travel and Tourism were to never attain a similar status until the modern times.

In the Middle Ages

Travel became difficult and dangerous as people travelled for business or for a sense of obligation and duty.

Adventurers sought fame and fortune through travel. The Europeans tried to discover a sea route to India for trade purposes and in this fashion discovered America and explored parts of Africa. Strolling players and minstrels made their living by performing as they travelled. Missionaries, saints, etc. travelled to spread the sacred word.

Leisure travel in India was introduced by the Mughals. The Mughal kings built luxurious palaces and enchanting gardens at places of natural and scenic beauty (for example Jehangir travelled to Kashmir drawn by its beauty.

Travel for empire building and pilgrimage was a regular feature.

The Grand Tour

From the early seventeenth century, a new form of tourism was developed as a direct outcome of the Renaissance. Under the reign of Elizabeth 1, young men seeking positions at court were encouraged to travel to continent to finish their education. Later, it became customary for education of gentleman to be completed by a ‘Grand Tour’ accompanied by a tutor and lasting for three or more years. While ostensibly educational, the pleasure seeking men travelled to enjoy life and culture of Paris, Venice or Florence. By the end of eighteenth century, the custom had become institutionalised in the gentry. Gradually pleasure travel displaced educational travel. The advent of Napoleonic wars inhibited travel for around 30 years and led to the decline of the custom of the Grand Tour.

The development of the spas

The spas grew in popularity in the seventeenth century in Britain and a little later in the European Continent as awareness about the therapeutic qualities of mineral water increased. Taking the cure in the spa rapidly acquired the nature of a status symbol. The resorts changed in character as pleasure became the motivation of visits. They became an important centre of social life for the high society.

In the nineteenth century they were gradually replaced by the seaside resort.

The sun, sand and sea resorts

The sea water became associated with health benefits. The earliest visitors therefore drank it and did not bathe in it. By the early eighteenth century, small fishing resorts sprung up in England for visitors who drank and immersed themselves in sea water. With the overcrowding of inland spas, the new sea side resorts grew in popularity. The introduction of steamboat services in 19th century introduced more resorts in the circuit. The seaside resort gradually became a social meeting point

 Role of the industrial revolution in promoting travel in the west

The rapid urbanisation due to industrialisation led to mass immigration in cities. These people were lured into travel to escape their environment to places of natural beauty, often to the countryside they had come from change of routine from a physically and psychologically stressful jobs to a leisurely pace in countryside.

Highlights of travel in the nineteenth century 

·        Advent of railway initially catalysed business travel and later leisure travel. Gradually special trains were chartered to only take leisure travel to their destinations.

·        Package tours organised by entrepreneurs such as Thomas Cook.

·        The European countries indulged in a lot of business travel often to their colonies to buy raw material and sell finished goods.

·        The invention of photography acted as a status-enhancing tool and promoted overseas travel.

·        The formation of first hotel chains; pioneered by the railway companies who established great railway terminus hotels.

·        Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers, elite, for gambling.

·        Other types of destinations-ski resorts, hill stations, mountaineering spots etc.

·        The technological development in steamships promoted travel between North America and Europe.

·        The Suez Canal opened direct sea routes to India and the Far East.

·        The cult of the guidebook followed the development of photography.

 

 

Tourism in the Twentieth Century

 

The First World War gave first hand experience of countries and aroused a sense of curiosity about international travel among less well off sector for the first time. The large scale of migration to the US meant a lot of travel across the Atlantic. Private motoring began to encourage domestic travel in Europe and the west.  The sea side resort became annual family holiday destination in Britain and increased in popularity in other countries of the west. Hotels proliferated in these destinations.

The birth of air travel and after

The wars increased interest in international travel. This interest was given the shape of mass tourism by the aviation industry. The surplus of aircraft and growth of private airlines aided the expansion of air travel. The aircraft had become comfortable, faster and steadily cheaper for overseas travel. With the introduction of Boeing 707 jet in 1958, the age of air travel for the masses had arrived. The beginning of chartered flights boosted the package tour market and led to the establishment of organised mass tourism. The Boeing 747, a 400 seat craft, brought the cost of travel down sharply. The seaside resorts in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Caribbean were the initial hot spots of mass tourism.

A corresponding growth in hotel industry led to the establishment of world-wide chains. Tourism also began to diversify as people began to flock alternative destinations in the 70s. Nepal and India received a throng of tourists lured by Hare Krishna movement and transcendental meditation. The beginning of individual travel in a significant volume only occurred in the 80s. Air travel also led to a continuous growth in business travel especially with the emergence of the MNCs.

 

When you’re selling your home, you have to be familiar with related real-estate lingo. You have to know the difference between a canopy and an awning; a mortgage and a loan; and most importantly, the difference between a deposit and a down payment.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of home sellers who think that deposits and down payments are one and the same, when in reality they are not.

A deposit is the money given or handed over to the owner when a buyer indicates a sincere desire to purchase the property being sold. It is a token amount that could be as small as a few hundred dollars, or as big as 5% of the total purchase price. The deposit can be returned when the transaction does not fall through for reasons beyond the control of the buyer, and can also be forfeited in favour of the seller. When the purchase pushes through, the deposit is credited to the buyer and forms part of his down payment.

A down payment or equity, on the other hand, can be considered as an initial payment on the property itself. It is given when the buyer has decided to actually purchase the house (unlike in deposit, where it is given when the buyer indicates a desire to buy the unit). The down payment is the total amount of money a buyer can give as a partial payment and is generally of a bigger value (10% of the total property cost, or more) than regular deposits.

It’s fairly easy to differentiate. Just remember that a deposit is smaller and, once the transaction pushes through, becomes part of the down payment. The total of these two, plus any outstanding balance, should be the agreed upon purchase price of the property.

The reason I love animals so much is that they give off an attitude of happiness, innocence and unconditional love to their people.  Our pets are just as happy being a part of our household as we are of having them with us.

But sometimes an animal comes into our life that is a bit “out there!”

For instance, the dog that has an irrational fear of rain and won’t for the life of him go outside to potty during a rain shower.  Or the cat who hides for hours when a friend comes over.  Or, how about the dog with attachment issues that destroys the house while you’re at work?  Any of these sound familiar?

My cat’s, Sammie and Max, love to hang out on our screened-in patio.  But whenever the garbage truck comes rolling in, they flee for their lives!

It might sound crazy to us, but whatever your animal’s fears or wacky behaviors may be, they are completely legitimate in their minds.

Using essential oils on your animals can really take the edge off of their anxiety, big time!

Because of an animal’s heightened senses, they respond very well to essential oils.  In the wild, animals eat specific plants to heal themselves.  In captivity (our homes), the plant kingdom is not readily available.  Using essential oils on your pet gives them access to the vast healing properties of nature.

The three best essential oils to calm your pets are:

Lavender

Roman Chamomile

Peace & Calming® (a blend from Young Living)

These essential oils can be used to support your animal with; fear of rain and thunderstorms, separation anxiety, hyperactivity, trauma/abuse, depression, Illness, trips to the vet’s office, grief/loss of another family pet and any other situation that causes great stress for your animal, such as garbage trucks!

When you apply essential oils to animals, always remember less is more as animals are very sensitive to essential oils.

Also, with animals, it’s best to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as organic olive oil.  I recommend one part essential oil to 1 part carrier oil for all animals EXCEPT cats. The dilution ratio for cats is 1 part essential oil to 10 parts carrier oil.

Use caution with cats!

Any of the essential oils listed in this article are safe for dogs and horses, however; cats are a different story! Cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils containing phenols, such as oregano and thyme. Cats can not effectively metabolize phenols because they lack an enzyme in their liver to digest the phenols. Avoid Peace & Calming® essential oil blend on your cat, as it does contain phenols. Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils ARE safe for cats.

How to apply essential oils on dogs, horses and cats:

For calming dogs:

Mix 1 drop Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Peace & Calming® essential oil with 1 drop carrier oil.  Rub this mixture on your dogs pads, ears or comb through their fur.  Apply any time you sense your dog is stressed.

For calming horses:

Mix 1 drop Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Peace & Calming® essential oil with 1 drop carrier oil. Rub this mixture on your horse’s muzzle, ears or cornet bands. Apply any time your horse is stressed.

For calming cats:

Mix 1 drop Lavender or Roman Chamomile essential oil with 10 drops carrier oil. Rub this mixture on your cat’s pads, ears or comb through their fur. Apply any time your cat is stressed.

By the way, the essential oils in this article are also good for easing your anxieties, too!  Dilution is not required on humans.  Just apply a drop or two on your wrists, shoulders or behind your ears.

And the next time you’re opening up a bottle of lavender essential oil, share some with your animal friends!  They’ll thank you!

© 2008 Christa McCourt

A Public Improvement District (“PID”) is a financing tool created by the Public Improvement District Assessment Act as found in Chapter 372 of the Texas Local Government Code. The PID enables any city to levy and collect special assessments on property that is within the city or within the city’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (“ETJ”). A county may also form a PID,but must obtain approval from a city if the proposed PID is within the city’s ETJ. The PID establishes a mechanism to finance improvement projects through the issuance of bonds secured by special assessments levied on all benefited properties. Because PID bonds can be used to reimburse the developer for eligible infrastructure early in the development process, often before the closing of the first home.

Public Improvements Eligible for PID Financing are; Acquisition of Right of Ways, Art, Creation of pedestrian malls, Erection of foundations, Landscaping and other aesthetics, Library, Mass transit, Parks & Recreational or Cultural Facilities, Parking, Street and sidewalk. Supplemental safety services for the improvement of the district, including public safety and security services. Supplemental business-related services for the improvement of the district. Water, wastewater, health and sanitation or drainage.

Benefits of a PID

A PID may be established early in the development process allowing the developer to be a reimbursed upon completion of the public infrastructure. Furthermore, unlike a Municipal Utility District (“MUD”), Water Control and Improvement District (“WCID”), or Fresh Water District (“FWSD”), PIDs do not require TCEQ approval, and are governed by the governing body of the city or county, thereby alleviating concerns regarding board turnover and the integrity of the board. If the city chooses to annex property that is within the boundaries of a PID, the city is not forced to pay off the assessments, and the assessments do not affect the city’s debt capacity or rating.

Advertising is a form of mass communication with the public. It is usually one sided i.e. from the company to the buyer/potential user of the product. It is a form of communication that typically attempts to persuade the potential customers to purchase or consume more of a particular brand of product/services. As rightly defined by Bovee, “Advertising is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.”

Advertising an important tool of communication is use to promote commercial goods and services, it can also be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues such as AIDS, Don’t drink and drive, Polio, Save water, electricity, animals and trees etc. “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful tool to use solely for commercial purposes.” – Attributed to Howard Gossage by David Ogilvy.

Advertising is most effective with products that can be differentiated from similar products based on consumer accepted quality difference. Tom Egelhoff has classified advertising in 6 types, i.e. for company image, name brands, advertising service instead of a product, business-to-business advertising, co-op advertising and public service advertising. Television, Radio, Cinema, Magazine, Journal, Newspaper, Video Game, Internet, Billboard, Transit Cards, Sandwich Board, Skywriting are the different mediums used to deliver the message. The companies choose the method according to the cost, budget, target audiences and their response. However, word of mouth advertising/ personal recommendations is an unpaid form of advertising which can provide good exposure at minimum cost.

Various new forms of advertising are growing rapidly. One of them is Social Networking Advertising. It’s an online advertising with a focus on social networking sites and use of the internet/ World Wide Web in order to deliver marketing messages and attract customers. The other is E-Mail advertising; E-Mail Marketing is often known as “opt-in-email advertising” to distinguish it from spam. “I believe ‘credibility’ is one of the biggest issues yet to be addressed by Internet advertisers. Everyone has their eye on ‘privacy’ as a critical concern, but credibility will be far more enabling or disabling to website profitability. A company can have a web presence and, unless the brand name is familiar, consumers have no way of knowing whether it’s a big company, a small company, an honest company, or a single scoundrel. I may be worried about my personal data being disclosed in violation of my privacy, but I’m far more concerned about whether or not the person or company with whom I’m dealing is reputable. Can I believe their claims? Will I have a recourse if something is wrong with the merchandise? Credibility no longer is strictly a brick-and-morter issue. I can’t judge someone by their place of business, when I conduct that business on the Internet. I can’t grasp a hand and look into their eyes to judge their veracity. Credibility is a huge issue.” – Jef Richard.

For a message to be effective keep it short, simple, crisp and easy to absorb. It is essential to translate the products/services offer into meaningful customer benefit by advertising and to build awareness and generate response. REMEMBER: – THE AIDA MODEL -ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE AND ACTION.

In the modern scenario, most of the companies outsource their advertising activities to an advertising/ad agency which is a service business dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising and sometimes also performs other forms of promotion like public relations, publicity and sales promotion for its client. Departments of the advertising agency includes: – The Creative Department (who creates an actual advertisement), Account Service (who is responsible for co-ordinating the creative team, the client, media and the production staff), Creative Service Production (here the employees are the people who have contacts with the suppliers of various creative media), Other department and Personnel. (like public relations). As said by David Ogilvy once that the relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor. Make sure that you can life happily with your prospective client before you accept his account.

Thus, I would conclude by the famous words of Bruce Barton (1955), “Advertising is of the very essence of democracy. An election goes on every minute of the business day across the counters of hundreds of thousands of stores and shops where the customers state their preferences and determine which manufacturer and which product shall be the leader today, and which shall lead tomorrow.”