Auricular Therapy: Origin, Uses and Side Effects

auricular therapyMedicine is a fascinating subject, one that is full of various treatment options, some of which appear unconventional. One such option is acupuncture, something that doesn’t appeal to most people. This is because it is associated with needles sticking out of every nook and cranny of the body. However, it does work-as auricular therapy shows. Auricular therapy is a form of alternative medicine based on the theory that the outer ear is a holographic system which reflects the entire human body in an inverted fetus form.

It is a type of acupuncture that involves sticking needles or acupontoscopes at specific points in the outer ear in order to manage certain physical, mental or emotional conditions. It’s believed that there are over 200 acupuncture points on the outer ear, with each named after a particular area of the human anatomy. When the acupuncture point is touched, it triggers an electrical impulse from the ear via the brain to the part of the body being treated. You can learn more about acupuncture works in this course.

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Minimum Efficient Scale to Optimize Output

minimum efficient scale.In this increasingly competitive world, entrepreneurs and managers must ensure that the business runs as efficiently as possible. Competitiveness, productivity and efficiency are related; improved productivity means higher levels of efficiency, which translates into increased competitiveness. If your business is efficient, it maximizes its output with a given amount of inputs, while costs are kept at minimum. When the business produces more with less, due to its larger size or scale of operation, this is known as economies of scale. One key metric used to measure efficiency is the minimum efficient scale, which refers to how much your business produces in the long run when the internal economies of scale are fully utilized.

Well, let’s simplify this by defining what internal economies of scale are. They refer to the internal advantages a company has that enable it to produce more with less. They include well-trained staff, superior technology or financial strength. So, minimum efficient scale can be thought of as the level of productivity your company has when it has fully utilized all its internal advantages in the long run. In fact, some industry sectors view the minimum efficient scale as the minimum amount of investment needed to create a company of a certain size to enable it to compete effectively in the market. You can learn more about the concept of minimum efficient scale in this course.

Now that you have learned what the minimum efficient scale is, let’s delve deeper into how economists graphically illustrate this concept, starting with how it is derived from economies of scale.

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What is a Cap Rate and How Does it Affect Real Estate Investments

what is a cap rateA cap rate, also known as capitalization rate, is a measure used to evaluate the viability of various investment vehicles such as real estate. It is calculated as follows:

A property whose selling price is $800,000 and generates an annual return of $95,000 has a cap rate of 11.88%. This is calculated as $95,000/$800,000. This measure can help you determine whether your investment is worth holding to or selling altogether. Assume the value of your property surges to $2 million after three years; the cap rate will decline to 4.75% (95,000/2,000,000). This means you could sell your investment and use that money to invest in another asset.

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Brand Activation and Its Role in Building Brands

brand activationWhenever you go shopping for a certain popular brand, have you always paused to think how did this brand has come to be so popular? By all means, when that product was first introduced, it was virtually unknown outside of its factory. However, through the use of a combination of several consumer engagement platforms, such as advertising, viral growth, and user experiences, the brand managed to gain consumer acceptance. This process of bringing a particular brand to life is known as brand activation.

Brand activation is an indispensable part of the evolution of any brand. It involves analyzing the core values or features-usually one or two features- of a brand that can help it distinguish it in a crowded marketplace. In other words, it involves looking deeper into the brand to find the possibilities, its position and strategy to spot assets that offer benefits to the company in the long-run. Customers must have a real emotional engagement with your brand; it must evoke positive feelings within their hearts and minds in order to convince them to buy your product.

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Win-Win Negotiation: Mastering the Art

win win negotiationIf you have ever been in a position to negotiate for something, like a salary raise, you must have entered the negotiation table hoping to land the deal that would best favor you. Probably, you didn’t care whether the other party was getting an equal slice of the cake in return. While this approach, also known as win-lose negotiation, may provide short-term relief, it doesn’t confer any sustainable benefits. The best approach, one that is more positive, is known as win-win strategy.

Recently, a growing number of businesses are pushing for a more partnering or collaborative relationships with their suppliers, workers and other stakeholders. By ensuring everyone is happy, executives know that the company’s bottom line is impacted positively. Picture this: A supplier may opt to sell raw materials to your business at a price that doesn’t benefit him or her much. However, once another buyer comes along and offers a great price, that supplier won’t focus on giving you quality raw materials or service anymore. Hence, it is very prudent to establish win-win relationships during the negotiation stages.

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Program Trading: Types and Strategies

program tradingOver the past few decades, there has been a radical shift in how traders conduct transactions in the capital markets. Capital market traders have moved in line with modern trends by installing electronic systems to conduct their trades. Using complicated algorithms and extremely fast supercomputers that provide all the required information such as economic, stock or company information as well as breaking news, most financial institutions buy and sell shares and currencies in a matter of microseconds, a practice known as high-frequency trading. Predictably, floor-traders are slowly becoming a dying breed.

Program trading, also known as portfolio trading or basket trading, refers to transactions that involve large amounts of many stocks. The New York Stock Exchange refers to program trading as a trading strategy that involves trading in stocks valued at least US$1 million. You can also think of it as transacting a whole portfolio at a go rather than one stock at a particular time.

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Types of Efficiency Ratios Used in Measuring Business Performance

efficiency ratiosMost businesses exist for the purpose of generating profit and satisfying the consumers’ needs. It is the role of the management to ensure such objectives are attained, and hence must gather sufficient data to inform them how the business is doing. As a manager, you must ask yourself questions such as whether the company’s market share has improved, or whether the assets are generating enough revenue relative to the amount of money invested, the last of which can be calculated using efficiency ratios.

To do this, most managers rely on ratio analysis to help them understand trends and financial statements, which provide crucial information about the company’s performance. Ratio analysis helps them detect strengths and weaknesses of various initiatives and strategies.

The tools can also be used to analyze the company’s performance against other firms in the industry, as well as pinpoint any actions that require corrective measures before it is too late. For example, a quick acid ratio, which measures whether the company has sufficient liquid assets to meet its immediate liabilities, can provide a warning before its debts spiral out of control.

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Qualitative Market Research: Classification and Implementation

qualitative market researchAny manager or entrepreneur worth his salt knows the value of carrying out market research before launching a product. Doing so helps determine how consumers feel about a product and what needs to be done to improve it, which translates into increased sales. Market research is not just limited to studying consumer sentiment concerning your product; there are other applications such as testing the practicability of your idea. Market research is divided into two: qualitative market research and quantitative market research. [Read more…]

Behavioural Segmentation: What is it?

behavioural segmentationHave you ever wondered why some ads seem right on point, pulling you to find more about the product advertised? Well, that is what the marketing chiefs do; they are tasked with studying the market (including you) and structure advertising messages in order to encourage customers to purchase their products.

Marketers instinctively understand that all customers have varying preferences, needs and purchasing power. Not every customer wants home insurance or pet food. Similarly, some customers will buy more of their products, others will buy a few. In other words, not all customers are created equal. It is the goal of the marketer to classify customers with similar traits, a process called market segmentation. [Read more…]

Demographic Variables and Marketing Strategies

demographic variablesIf you have ever started a business, you must be aware that no matter how great your product or service is, your business won’t head anywhere unless you make a sale. Marketing helps you get the product to a consumer, but as an art, it is extensive. Consumers must be grouped according to various categories (market segmentation) based on some similarity or commonality. There are various ways to segment a market: Geographical segmentation, lifestyle or psychographic segmentation, distribution segmentation, price segmentation and demographic segmentation, just to name a few.

However, our focus is on the demographic segmentation, which generally involves grouping the markets into sub-categories based on demographic variables such as occupation, age, religion, nationality, gender, income, race, family size and education. Most marketers prefer segmenting a market based on demographic variables, partly due to the fact that a customer’s preferences are closely related to variables such as age and income.

Types of Demographic Variables

Before we take a look at some of the main demographic variables that heavily influence marketing strategy, learn how to expertly profile your customers to help you create your demographic variables.

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