Is fashion all glitz and glamour? Is it worth to spend thousands of dollars just to don the latest clothes, shoes, bags and accessories? What’s the flip side to being ‘chic and cool’, die-hard fashion aficionado? Is there more to the latest trends that meet the eye?Whether its jeans, sweaters or skirts; pants, dresses or shirts; coats, jackets or suits; lace, leather or fur, we are constantly bombarded with glossy images of fashion every time we click on the t.v or flick through a magazine.But the sad reality is that what become of this mad pursuit is not happiness but anorexia nervosa, depression, low-self esteem and a host of problems that affect our health and well-being.While it is fair to say that individuals are responsible for their own actions, we should not underestimate the powerful impact of prevailing images by the fashion industry.Through the various media, we are feasted daily with images of the so-called ideal lifestyle, which dictates for us how we should look, think and act. Failure to conform to this trend will make you be seen as a ‘dork’, ‘square’, ‘ugly Betty’, old-fashion and lacking in taste.The result of this is the complete subjugation of our minds into acceptance of such unrealistic iconic roles without any questions.Fashion is, without doubt, not really a reflection of consumer taste. It strips us off the power to be ourselves. We are told what to buy, what dress to wear, what shoes to walk in, what bag to carry, what accessories to show off.The fashion industry thus make us helpless and at their mercy. It does NOT represent reality. Instead it conjures unashamed visual images of:– Luxurious and expensive clothes and accessories which are exclusively only the rich and famous that could afford.- Stereotyped clothes which project women as vain, vulnerable and weaklings – mere objects of seduction.- Outrageous styles which not only hurt, but also hinder women’s movements and mobility.- Outlandish clothes which are just not practical for daily wear (eg: feathered skirts, bushy hats etc).- Silly creations and trends that will make you look like a human freak.
With spring almost here and the winter dying down it’s time to take a look at the trendy men’s clothing you should consider investing in for this coming season. It’s better to be prepared for this season’s styles so you can stock up your wardrobe with the right men’s clothing and accessories. Fitted blazers will be very in fashion over light coloured button down shirts with short sleeves. The arms of the blazer should be pushed up the arm for a gathered look. Navy blue and khaki coloured blazers are perfect for wearing on jeans. This is a casual men’s clothing outfit perfect for every day wear.Short scarves tied around the neck are going to be the most popular accessory for the spring and summer season. They are the ideal accessory for any outfit of Men’s clothing. For formal wear you can choose a short silk scarf to wrap around the neck and tuck it into your button down shirt. It can be a good option if you don’t feel like wearing a tie. For completing a casual look you can select a bold coloured paisley scarf that can be tied around the neck and hang out of your t-shirt.A button down formal vest matched with a fitted t-shirt and some jeans make for a great casual summer outfit. The combination of formal and casual men’s clothing makes for a very relaxed and approachable look. A vest can also be paired with cargo shorts if the weather is warm. Plaid vests with the buttons left open look particularly attractive. Brown, blue, grey and black plaid on white are perfect patterns for summer vests. The lighter and brighter the colours, the better they are for this casual men’s clothing look. Another great mix of formal and casual men’s clothing is a tuxedo shirt with a couple buttons opened up at the chest and the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. This formal shirt can give such an amazing contrast to a pair of blue jeans or some regular trousers. If it’s particularly hot out you can wear a tuxedo shirt with denim shorts and a pair of flip flops.Another great look with flip flops is white cotton trousers with a blue and white striped sailor shirt. Sailor stripes will be back in style this summer and look best with white colored men’s clothing. You can put on a white or navy blue blazer over your sailor shirt for a night out on the town. This can be paired with navy blue or white cotton trousers. Anchor chains around the neck will complete your cool nautical sailor look. Men usually wear thick chunkier belts but for this coming season you will notice that belts are a lot more simpler and thinner in width. Thin belts look attractive with cotton trousers and formal men’s clothing. Now that you have some idea of the trends set to come out this spring and summer you can plan your shopping accordingly. You can avail of exclusive offers and sales by conveniently shopping online. Don’t miss out on some of these great Men’s clothing outfits for spring and summer.
The news about the recent economic problems and the looming double dip recession has been tough. The on-going Eurozone economic concerns have triggered a complete collapse in consumer confidence not seen since the original 2008 recession. The consumer confidence collapse coupled with the growing anxiety around global debt has led to a restriction of credit made available to small businesses as worried banks reduce their perceived risk to bad loan repayments. With consumers keeping hold of their money and credit becoming harder to access it is no wonder that small businesses are struggling. This article talks about the important role and benefits accounting software can play in allowing small businesses to navigate through these hard economic times.How can accounting software help small business?Business must be lean and financially sustainable to survive through the current business climate. Small businesses with large overheads and complex financing structures should work on re-organising the business to regain control of their long term economic futures. Now is not the time for reckless investment in the pursuit of growth that only adds increased debt and inflexibly that could ultimately lead to the businesses downfall. Now is the time for prudence and tight financial management that allows a business to be financially independent. Accounting software can be central to supporting small businesses become financially independent and below investigates how.1) Complete focus on cash flowA business owner should be 100% focussed on the financial health of their business. This means having a thorough understanding of the businesses cash flow position. There is nothing more important in a small business than its cash flow position and as result should be very tightly managed. One of the difficulties for small businesses keeping on top of cash flow is the organisation of receipts and invoices. An accounting software package easily compiles all of the relevant financial information and presents easy to understand dashboards and reports of company performance. Once provided with the required knowledge of the company’s performance appropriate action can be taken to improve the company’s performance.2) Focus on customer satisfactionIn times of economic hardship competition is notably increased in every sense. As customers are more considered with their buying decisions small businesses need to ensure that every aspect of their proposition is appealing to the customer. Margins are widely squeezed across all industries in the hope of enticing hard-up customers and therefore the only real differentiator to attract business is customer service. An accounting software package does not only improve business productively it also helps structure all customers and suppliers into an easy to manage database. This structured knowledge allows staff to provide a more tailored service to clients.3) Look for ways to cut costsIn this economic climate any investment that doesn’t directly add value to the top line should be cut. Accounts Payable features with an accounting software package detail every penny that is spent in the business. This allows a thorough review of expenditure to take place to ensure that savings can be made where appropriate. For example costs could be cut down on paper, postage, transitioning to direct debit payroll. These cost cuts would allow the business to reduce its operating cost without cutting expenditure that generates income into the business.4) Consolidate SuppliersBusinesses can also use accounts payable features within their accounting software package to streamline its supply chain. Many businesses needlessly have similar supplies from a range of suppliers. Buying in bulk is always a more economical way of doing business. Condensing suppliers with larger orders is more commercially viable in reducing supply costs. Generating reports by independent supplier will provide valuable information regarding the profitability of each supplier contract.5) Negotiate better rates with long standing suppliersIn addition to the consolidation of the supply chain there may also be an opportunity to renegotiate rates with long standing suppliers. The longer the relationship between a business and a supplier the more appropriate it would be that the business qualifies for a rate that reflects the loyalty of the relationship. Reducing the costs of the supply chain can make a significant and welcome difference to a small business P&L during tough recession times.6) Continuously look for ways to reduce non value adding admin workIn any small business the time of employees is one the company’s biggest assets and therefore spending time on non-value adding activity should be minimised wherever possible. An accounting software package ensures that people are not tied up managing basic bookkeeping tasks and completing quarterly and end year financial reports. Managing a business’s financial affairs can be very admin heavy if not managed in the correct manner. Having efficient software to automate these admin tasks allows staff to focus their attention on growing the business and generating income.7) Streamline payroll and human resource managementAs already discussed people are a huge asset in any small business. An accounting software system can help provide detailed information around staff costs in addition to hours worked and absence information. Having detailed information about staff costs allows a business to more accurately plan for the future and correctly budget for human resources. Also from a financial perspective large fines are imposed on businesses that make mistakes on Tax and National Insurance contributions. Having automated software negates the risk of mistakes occurring at a time when fines cannot be afforded to be taken.8) Streamline billing and invoicingNot being on top of your receivables can literally be the difference between success and failure in today’s challenging business environment. An accounting software package allows a business to fully manage and organise its invoices and payments deadlines around the businesses bills and costs. This way invoice payments get received in advance of bill payments ensuring cash flow is never a problem. Having effective and well organised billing and invoicing ensures that a business income remains consistent.9) Assertive debt collection techniquesEven if a business has streamlined invoice and billing processes there will still be some customers that do not pay on time. All of the structure and process in ensuring invoices are aligned with business costs will have been wasted unless good debt collection processes are adopted as well. Businesses should know when to make phone calls, send written communications and when work with debt collection agencies in order to optimise income collection.10) Know you financing optionsThe Accounting software package allows a business owner to have detailed forecasts of predicted income and expenditure over the short, medium and long term. Having a longer term view of capital expenditure allows more intelligent decisions to be made around company financing. As a rule of thumb last minute loans tend to be expensive as owners run out of time and simply need to pay bills. All forms of business financing from credit cards to structured loan agreements should be reviewed in line with long term accounting forecasts to ensure that the best suited finance is in place at the best possible price.It has never been more relevant for a small businesses to invest in an accounting software package. The benefits run much deeper than simply allowing businesses to keep accurate and timely financial records. Accounting software enables a business to self-analyse every business process in the eyes of profitability and business return. Businesses that adopt the mind set of accounting software by definition embrace the notion that all company expenditure should be controlled and used to drive additional revenue for the business. These lean businesses will be financially sustainable and able to withstand these hard economic times in order to be well positioned in the market to capitalise when consumer confidence returns.