December 17, 2013

How to Start a Sari-Sari Store Business in the Philippines

Sari-sari store business shops are everywhere in the Philippines. Wherever you go, whether in an urban setting like the capital city of Manila or a rural area, these small stores are very common. One of the main reasons why these stores are so popular is the fact that they are too easy to set up. All you really need is store space, an initial inventory of goods, shelves to display such goods, a cash box and you are good to go. You will be making money in no time.

Is a sari-sari store a profitable business?
Just like any type of business, a sari-sari store's profitability depends on a lot of factors. But yes, running one can be profitable and can earn you a substantial amount of additional or even full-time income. Of course, the amount of net profit you generate, say on a monthly basis, will depend on the size of your store and the number of customers. The simple fact that there are thousands of Filipinos running sari-sari stores all over the country means they are getting something out of it. If they are not turning in profits, then they should all have closed by now.

How do you get started?
The most important things when setting up your sari-sari store business are the following: store space, initial funding, and the necessary permits, licenses or papers to legally operate the business. If you don't have the necessary permits to run a store, sooner or later you'll find yourself in trouble. Authorities can shut down your store if you don't show proof that you are lawfully conducting business.

Finding the right location for your sari-sari store.
The best space would be one that's as near as possible to sources of foot traffic. This is why business owners are so fond of putting up stores near road intersections and bridges and well-traversed streets because their stores will have maximum visibility. Other great locations include spaces near schools, public markets, and loading stations for public utility vehicles. Of course, you have to consider the competition in said locations. Just because a space is near a place where a lot of people pass by doesn't mean it's a great location. What if there are dozens of other sari-sari stores already established in the area.

What to sell in your sari-sari store business.
Think of the basic items that people consume on a regular basis. These include food items like canned goods, noodles, rice, soy sauce, vinegar, instant coffee, and preserved foods such as dressed chicken, tocino, dried fish, hotdogs and longganisa. Skin and hair products like soap and shampoo are also items that sell briskly. You should also keep inventories of dry goods like slippers and office supplies like pad paper and ballpens. For additional income, you can also use your store as a loading station for Smart, Globe, Sun and Touch Mobile subscribers.

December 13, 2013

5 Tips on How to Play Better on Clash of Clans

When it comes to mobile gaming, one of the most popular games out there is Clash of Clans. This is an addictive and enjoyable game that allows players to raid and attack each other's villages with wizards, barbarians and even dragons. However, with the immense number of players within the game, making your way to the top of the game's score leaderboards is not exactly a walk in the park. To help you out in improving your game, here are a few tips on how you should play Clash of Clans. Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to raiding and defending villages much better.

1. During multiplayer skirmishes, know which resources you are going to focus your raids.
Keep in mind that with the exception of the Town Hall, only a certain percentage of the resources available in a drill or storage location can be obtained. For example, you can obtain 75% of the resources contained by a Dark Elixir Drill, 50% from Elixir and Gold Collectors, etc. For the Town Hall however, you can obtain 100% of the resources stored in it. With that said, it's really strategic if you focus your attention on those locations wherein you can get more loot.

2. Defend your village or base with upgraded walls.
This is a very important defense strategy. Once you start playing the game, you will be provided access to walls that are wooden. However, these walls don't hold much against higher-level intruders so you need to upgrade them whenever it's possible. The general strategy is that you should avail of the walls available in your current level. Whenever you reach another level, try to upgrade your walls.

3. Prematurely end a battle but keep all your trophies.
If a really tough raid is coming up and you think you better wave the white flag, then do so. In order to be able to keep your current trophies, you have to stop deploying troops or casting any spells.

Clash of Clans 3

4. If given the chance for revenge, do not hesitate to take it.
There's a reason why the "Revenge" option is available in the game. It gives you the chance to get back to those who have previously raided you. So use it when you have the chance.

5. Protect your Town Hall by utilizing a lot of teslas and traps.
In order to prevent enemies from raiding your town hall, surround it with hidden teslas and traps. The beauty of these things is that they don't appear to your opponents. That said, they will be caught off-guard when they try to raid your Town Hall.

Using these tips will significantly help you to become more successful in playing Clash of Clans.

4 Effective Strategies When Playing Clash of Clans

One of the things you should always keep in mind when playing Clash of Clans is that you will be up against players with varying skill sets. This is not to mention the fact that you will be encountering players from levels that are much higher than yours. With that said, it's very important that you are aware of the various strategies that you can use to help you survive in the game against all types of players. Clash of Clans is a strategy game. You have to be smart and you need to come up with strategies that best suit the opponents you are facing.

Here are a few strategies that you can use:
1. When raiding an enemy village, use Giants to distract enemy defenses before you unleash your own troops. However, for this strategy to work, you have to break down a portion of the enemy's walls with a couple of Wall Breakers. With the wall down, you can then send the Giants in. And while the enemies are busy fighting off the Giants, you can then send your own troops in the form of Goblins, Archers and Barbarians.

2. When you are under attack by Wall Breakers, you can lure them away by building dummy targets. Wall Breakers have a weakness in their AI and you can exploit this by building an enclosed hut within your walls. This will easily draw away the Wall Breakers from much more valuable targets. This also buys you time to plan a counter-attack or set up a defensive front.

3. Lure away the enemy's mobile defenses by dropping a single troop before you unleash a horde of your own army upon your target. This strategy takes timing and precision but it works very well in dismantling and raiding your enemies bit by bit. For good measure, you can also add spells in your distraction strategies to give more time for your troops to implement raids.
Clash of Clans 3
4. Use the bait and surround tactic during raids. This is very effective especially if you are raiding an enemy village whose defenses are exposed and concentrated on the rim of their base. With this tactic, you distract the enemies with your Giants while your Archers destroy the enemy's defensive structures.

These Clash of Clans strategies are rather easy to set up and implement. Just make sure that you have enough resources and troops. The key to winning battles and successful raids in the game hugely depends on how good you are in coming up with good strategies.

A Strategy Guide for New Clash of Clans Players

Playing a game for the very first time can be a bit confusing. The very popular combat and strategy game Clash of Clans is no different. With that said, below is a simple strategy guide which you can follow to ensure that you start playing the game the right way. The main premise of the game involves building and protecting clans, conquering other villages and training troops. So there's the continuity factor. If you conquer and loot an enemy village, you have to set up measures and defenses to protect it from other clans. Below is a simple guide on how the game is played:

Selecting a Unit:
It's probably best for beginners to start in single player mode. Familiarize yourself with how the game is played by selecting various troops and villages. Also experiment with defense strategies and try to determine which defenses work well with particular attackers. Consider this as your training before you engage with serious and more competitive gamers.

Investing in Both Defense and Offense:
Clash of Clans is a strategy game so you have to be knowledgeable in both offense and defense techniques. Your clan may have the strongest troops but if the defenses of your villages are less than par, you will be very vulnerable to raids by other clans. All the resources your strong troops have acquired will only be stolen by other clans because you didn't have the appropriate defense measures installed to protect such resources. That said, train and upgrade your troops very well but don't forget to build walls and towers to protect your villages.
Clash of Clans 3
Clearing Additional Space:
When you plan on creating more space, you need to consider the expenses involved. The more space you create, the more resources you are going to spend. A lot of players use the strategy of clearing smaller items first before they lock on the bigger ones. This allows them to save up on resources like coins and elixirs.

Saving Gems:
Gems are very important in Clash of Clans. They are what you use to build troops and villages as quickly as possible. However, a lot of players make the mistake of using up their gems early on in the game. This is not a good strategy at all. You, as a player, should learn how to save up on your games and use them on much more valuable purchases.

These are the most basic aspects of the game Clash of Clans. If you are able to fully grasp these, then you are on your way to successfully playing the game.

December 11, 2013

Declaration of Pendency/Non-Pendency of Case Form - Where and How to Get It?

The Declaration of Pendency/Non-Pendency of Case is a document required by the Government Service Insurance System or GSIS from government retirees.

My mother who retired after a long career of government service under the Department of Education (formerly the Department of Education, Culture and Sports) has been following up her papers with regards to her retirement benefits. Among the required documents by the GSIS is the Declaration of Pendency/Non-Pendency of Case. During the time that the GSIS messaged my mother that she needs to submit a copy of the Declaration, she was in the province so she asked me to get her a copy from the GSIS branch in Baguio City.
So I went at their office and secured one. I thought getting a form would be a bit of work but it wasn't. This is a one-page form that the applicant has to fill up. To get a form of the Declaration, you have to go to a GSIS office near you. You don't have to present anything. Just go straight to the Members Assistance section of the office and ask for a form. You can ask for several copies if you want.

Download the form online
If you don't want to visit a GSIS office or if there isn't an office near you or if there is one but it is too far, there's an alternative option for you. You can download a copy of the form from the internet. There ar several copies floating around if you know where to look.

December 9, 2013

The Art of Promoting Business Shops on the Internet

Doing business on the internet is getting more complicated by the day as more and more entrepreneurs bring their shops online. People are starting to see the full benefits of running a business online and they're all rushing to jump into the bandwagon. The mad rush not only includes businesses that exclusively offer their products and services on the internet. It also includes brick and mortar establishments whose only goal of going online is for marketing and promotional purposes. This is not at all surprising considering the fact that most people these days are connected in one way or another to the web. And a huge percentage of them gain access to the web in almost daily basis. With that said, it has become a necessity for most businesses to build their presence online in order to take advantage of a growing market.

Furthermore, developments in the various technologies that run web-based businesses are moving forward at a rather fast pace. Entrepreneurs have to keep up of these developments or else they will be left behind by their competitors. Needless to say, competition online is getting tougher and much more messy. Everyone is trying to stay ahead of each other. Business promotion on the internet has become an endeavor that will not only require hard work and patience on the part of the marketer. He or she must also be patient and most important of all, smart. The well-known rule of working smarter instead of harder applies here. Promoting a business is not about using as many marketing strategies as possible. Instead, it's about finding the few strategies that get the most results then scaling or improving them to maximize the results they generate. In most cases, this will require a lot of testing on the part of the marketer.

There are a lot of factors that every entrepreneur should consider when promoting business shops online. The most important of these factors is of course the needs and wants of the target market or audience. An entrepreneur planning a marketing campaign has to determine first what his customers need. After identifying the needs of potential customers, the entrepreneur has to build the marketing campaign around such needs. This ensures that when a person receives the marketing message, at least he or she has some form of interest in it. Whether the person becomes a buying customer or not will depend on the quality and relevancy of the marketing message. In other words, the promotional content being feed to the target audience should be something that they are genuinely interested in. For example, if the marketing campaign aims to promote a new fashion product, then the campaign should focus on getting the attention of people who love shopping or talking about clothes and accessories.

It is therefore very important that before a promotional campaign commences, the target audience or market should have been identified firsthand. In fact, the target market should have been determined even before the planning of the campaign. Either way, identification of the recipient of the marketing message is very important. Online business shops, especially those that cater to very specific niches, can't just promote themselves using a one-size-fits-all approach. This technique may work for more general niches, but for stores offering a specialized line of products and services, it's best that they promote themselves only to people they think will be interested in their wares. This substantially minimizes wasted money, time and efforts. Additionally, with niche marketing, it's almost a guarantee that a business is going to increase its conversion rates. It's simple, marketing to the right people will generate the right results.

One huge mistake that marketers often commit when promoting their shops online is that they often go too salesy in their marketing pitches. Going too hard on a target market can really backfire and hurt a business instead of helping it. That said, entrepreneurs should learn to make use of strategies that don't desperately try to push products and services down the throats of customers. Online consumers are getting smarter these days due to the prevalence of too much advertising and commercialization on the internet. They're now starting to be able to easily identify advertisements from real content. That said, a marketer needs to find ways on how to offer valuable content while subtlety promoting a product or service.

The beauty of promoting business shops online is the availability of options. Unlike traditional marketing strategies like print advertising or TV advertising, the web offers dozens of promotional opportunities for marketers. For a start, there's search engine optimization or SEO for short. This is the process of tweaking and optimizing a website or blog with the sole intention of helping it rank higher in the search engine results. This is very important because most people these days use a search engine like Google and Yahoo when looking for a product or service online. Other online marketing methods that have been proven to be really effective are video marketing, article marketing, social media marketing and forum marketing. For the best results, an entrepreneur should make use of a combination of all these methods.

One virtue that every businessman should possess if he or she intends to get results from his/her marketing efforts is patience. Sometimes, no matter how hard or how long a person does work in promoting his shops, the positive results will not always come immediately. He will have to wait for some time before he'll be able to reap the good fruits of his hard labor. That said, every online entrepreneur should be patient. Just keep doing the good work and results will arrive, sooner or later.

In conclusion, promoting business shops online is not a walk in the park. It requires intelligence on the part of the marketer. It also involves making use of the right promotional methods. As was mentioned earlier, a business which belongs to a particular niche will also require a particular set of marketing strategies. Getting more people to visit and buy from shops online can indeed be done with the right methods and the right attitude.

December 6, 2013

A Step by Step Guide on How to Ace an Interview

Being called for an interview is merely the initial step in the job application process. What you do next will determine if you are going to be hired or not. Now there's a secret on how you can easily land any job you fancy. And that's by controlling the interview process by being confident of your skills, staying calm, and expecting only positive results. If you do all these, you will come across to the employer as unique and refreshing. As a job candidate, the employer will always remember you.

Always keep in mind that it's your attitude not your skills that will determine if you're going to pass the interview or not. Before anything else, remember that the company called you for a reason. That said, you have to prove to them that they didn't make a mistake in inviting you for an interview. By showing confidence, you are reminding the employer that you are not desperate and that there are other jobs that you might choose from. In essence, you are creating the impression that the employer needs you and not the other way around.

Also, don't waste your time waiting for the interviewer to ask questions. The moment you say hello, you should learn to take control of the pace of the interview. Do this by offering a firm handshake while exuding confidence and enthusiasm. Be expectant but don't be too eager or else you will come across as desperate. Stay relaxed and give the employer time to digest what you're trying to impart.

Here are the steps on how you can come away with a successful job interview:
Step 1: Take over the interview process by being the first to ask questions.
This may sound as if it's too direct but it's very effective because employers are looking for no-nonsense candidates. The first 15 minutes of the interview is crucial. You have to use that time to learn everything you can about the company by asking a succession of questions. You then use the information you gathered to determine exactly what the company is looking for. Examples of the questions you may ask are as follows:
How long have they been in operation?
What type of professionals are they looking for?
What's the culture within the company like?
What are the priority qualities they are looking for in an applicant?
Why is the job position open?

Step 2: Answer the interviewer's questions using the information you gathered from step 1.
If you asked the right questions in the first step, you know exactly what the company is looking for. If the interviewer asks you to tell him something about yourself, merely threw the question back at him by saying "What aspect of me do you want to know more about?" The general rule is that you should keep your answers as short as possible. Spouting long answers can bore the interviewer and this can be bad for you.

As the employer proceeds with the interview process, all you need to do is feed back to them the details you gathered in step one above.

Step 3: Create an intense mutual trust.
Since you have identified the type of candidate they're looking for, you'll now have to build trust between the employer and yourself. Here's an example:

Interviewer: "Among the qualities we are looking for in a candidate is resourcefulness. We are looking for someone who can independently come up with solutions without being told what to do all the time." You: "I do understand what you mean. It is indeed necessary that someone has to be proactive in his job by finding various solutions and by working independently as this promotes growth not only for the individual but for the whole company as well."

By creating rapport with the interviewer, he will start liking you. And this will always result to a successful interview.

Step 4: Create the impression that they've hired you already through future pacing.
Considering that you have established rapport and trust with the interviewer, you now have to instill in his mind that you are already a hired employee. You can do this by asking questions that concern your future in the company. The more you talk about the future, the more chances you have in landing the job. That said, you should talk more about the future than about the past. Here are some of the questions you will be asking:

Who are the people I'll be working for or with?
What's it like working for the first six months here?

And the most valuable question of all: I'm really curious. What do you envision me doing on a daily basis if I walk through that door located over there?

If the interviewer positively answers the questions mentioned above, then you've instilled in him the mindset that you are now working for the company.

Step 5: Challenge the interviewer to get more out of him.
If you've followed all the other steps above, then you've put yourself in a very good position to getting the job. Now, to make sure that you indeed get the job, go even further by challenging the interviewer. Do this by querying him about the people in the company you are going to work with.
Your challenge can be as follows: I had the privilege of working with various companies in the past. I'm currently doing interviews with several companies and I've realized along the way what I really need. From my experiences, the title, the position or the company isn't what matters the most to me. What I value the most is the relationship I have with the other employees. I want to be comfortable with them both in a professional and personal level. That said, I wish to know if you are comfortable with me coming on board. And if I choose to work for the company, is it okay with you if I meet the entire group because it's very important to me?

Once you've set the challenge, expect the interviewer to instinctively respond by accepting your challenge and eventually showing you around to meet the other employees.

Now improve the rapport even more by saying the following:
I feel really glad that working with people you are comfortable with is also very important for you. Have you ever come across a person who for whatever reason, you feel totally comfortable working with? And you have this feeling that you can comfortably work alongside the person for days, months or even years? It's really like that with me right now.

This is a little-known interview strategy that works very well just as long as you follow the steps discussed above. By following the steps, you will never fail a job interview ever again.

The Best and Most Affordable Laptops for Budget-Conscious Buyers

The good thing about looking for a new laptop is that you have a lot of options. So many brands are offering high-quality laptops these days. As a consumer, you have the privilege of finding the one that best suits your needs by comparing all the options you have. If you have a limited budget, don't worry because there are many affordable laptops that won't empty your wallet. Of course, the top budget laptops today are still the ones being offered by well-known brands like Toshiba, Sony, Hewlett Packard and Asus. Let's take a look into some of these excellent yet affordable laptops below:

1. Toshiba Satellite U845T: If you're looking for a laptop that works very well and doesn't cost much, this is the laptop for you. With a thin design, it's rather easy to carry around so you can work on it while having coffee in a shop or while waiting for somebody at a nearby park. Additionally, the Toshiba Satellite U845T has a battery that runs much longer than the competition. Design and performance-wise, this laptop is more than decent considering it's highly affordable price. Among its features is a 128 GB solid state drive, an Intel Core i5 processor and touch screen capabilities.

2. The Sony Vaio Fit 14: An all-around excellent laptop, the Sony Vaio Fit 14 has everything you need in a laptop. It has all the basic components and some additional features. It also has a design that's not only easy to the eyes, it's built to be sturdy as well. Aside from a clear, bright and highly responsive screen, the Sony Vaio Fit 14 has a resolution that's much better than those of competing models. Thin and light, you can easily slid the laptop into a bag and it's not that heavy either as it only weighs less than 5 pounds.

3. The Asus Transformer Book T100: One of the most in-demand top budget laptops, the Asus Transformer Book T100 is a nice gadget that has a lot of features. For one thing, the laptop can also serve as a tablet. Furthermore, it fully runs on Windows 8.1 and it comes with a sleek keyboard. As to the processor, it makes use of the new Bay Trail Atom processor. With that said, the laptop runs rather fast and has a great battery life. As was mentioned earlier, the T100 also doubles as a fully functioning tablet. Of course, it's larger and thicker compared to an average Android tablet, but it's still a great tablet to work with.

4. The HP Pavilion Chromebook 14: If all you need in a laptop are the most basic features working well, then this is the laptop that will suit you. With a larger screen, an Intel Celeron processor, a 16GB solid-state drive, and a sturdy plastic body, this is a low-cost and dependable gadget for all your computing needs.

These four are among the top budget laptops available in the market today. They come at very affordable prices without sacrificing quality or longevity. That said, if you are in a tight budget, consider buying any of the laptops we recommended above.
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