Browse category by Life

Next-Generation Wireless: No Panacea

Think the cellular providers will surely learn from their current quagmire? Think again. Judging from the money, effort–and hype–expended for its development, the third generation (3G) of wireless services due to roll out around the world later this year should usher in an era of go-anywhere, do-anything communications. Third-generation (analog is cellular’s first generation; current digital systems are the second, and future high-speed digital wireless will be the third) wireless systems will transmit data at hundreds

Getting Paid What You’re Owed

Are your clients using vendor capital to finance their expenses or businesses? Vendor capital’s only similarity to venture capital is that it comes from outside. When a customer puts off paying your account for 120 days, you are making a four-month interest-free loan you can ill afford. Even worse, it becomes an outright grant if you, the vendor, aren’t able to collect at all. When customers are squeezing extra weeks and months out of their payables,

Vacation And Leave Policies

As summer approaches, many U.S. workers look with envy to their counterparts in other countries. While most Europeans and Asians enjoy an average of more than 35 days off a year, Americans lag far behind with an average of 22 total vacation, holiday and personal days taken annually. Although most employers cannot grant their employees a month off, many are beginning to re-evaluate their vacation and leave policies in light of lifestyle changes and competitive pressures.

Tech Incubators: Don’t Call It An Incubator

Tech incubators are so popular these days that they’re practically passe. With more than 800 of them, they’re just “too common” — to steal the words of one uppity boutique owner who once sneered at me when I asked for Calvin Klein sunglasses. But there’s a new class of company emerging that’s part incubator, mixed with a pinch of holding company, and a dash of venture capital. True, these companies bare many of the same marks

Online Brokerage Wars Are No Laughing Matter

Online broker Ameritrade has a reputation for entertaining television ads. So, too, has rival E-Trade. But their stocks have turned in less-than-amusing performance. Just look at how these brokerages performed after reporting results that exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. In the first quarter, Ameritrade netted 306,000 new accounts — nearly equal to the 332,000 new accounts it tallied in all of 1999. Still, the stock price dropped — along with the rest of the Nasdaq

Financing Options For Small Businesses

For the vast majority of businesses, loan financing comes from private banks. As what a lender is able to offer varies signifi- cantly from bank to bank in terms of cost and size of loan, as well as repayment schedule, it is advisable to shop around at several lending institutions (both large and small) for capital. Also keep in mind that while small independent banks have long been committed to financing community- based firms, several major