Children’s Birthday Present Ideas

Children’s birthdays are typically celebrated with foods, games, gifts and party themes. One thing that attendees should prepare in a party are gifts. Although giving gifts isn’t mandatory, the essence of the party itself is incomplete without something to offer to the celebrant. For the givers, choosing gifts should not cause any problem because birthday celebrants do not often mind the cost of the gifts they will receive. Rather, children tend to be more interested on the physical look and features underlying a certain thing that can make an interesting birthday gift.

There are some considerations however that needs your attention. Giving gifts especially during a child’s birthday party may vary according to the child’s age. Very common gift ideas are basic children’s stuff like toys, clothing, school supplies and accessories and the like. One of the best thing about children is they seem to be very contented where you can’t find any dissatisfaction as for their early age, they are yet indecisive and not meticulous.

Child’s first birthday party in particular, the gifts should fall under the age category of the child. For 1 year old babies, the gifts are likely to be baby’s clothing, toys, baby bottles and the like. However, these items needs to be extra safer for the child’s usage. As a result, most moms would prefer organic baby supplies which uses pure organic materials that are far more safe and healthier for babies. This can be a ground to delight the parents first instead of the child celebrant itself.

Baby gift baskets are one of the best birthday present idea to commemorate the child’s birthday. There are actually different choices to choose from but a basket filled with adorable baby products and supplies is simply a festive. Lots of items can be placed inside the basket such as clothing, feeding and bathing supplies, toys and even gifts for the parents. The basket however need not to be a typical basket, it could be a laundry basket, buckets, baby bath tub or any container that can hold numerous items. An advantage about the gift basket idea is, this is very easy to make. Containers that are mentioned earlier can be found at home, just add a little bit of creativity…then an adorable gift basket was created.

Of course, the party is not yet over without party favors. Party souvenirs are little things that lets the guests bring something that can remind them of the party. Typically, party favors for a baby’s 1st birthday are bibs, pacifiers, baby bottles filled with candies and chocolates, diapers and the like. Today, there are choices for these items that can be made customized like personalized ones. Parents can be able to monogrammed their baby’s initials or birthday date on the item – making it a special memorabilia for the guests. These items can be found at local specialty baby shop but wider choices are available online such as unique gift ideas that can make a one of a kind gift that guests would sure appreciate and remember over the years.

Salary Negotiations in 3 Easy Steps

Congratulations. You received an offer from one of your target companies! You aced the interviews, the chemistry between you and your soon-to-be boss is solid, and you are passionate about the company’s products and services. Now take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. It has probably taken you a few months to reach this point in your job search – savor the moment!

Ok, time’s up!

Now it’s time to negotiate a compensation package that is competitive, meets your financial needs, and falls within the company’s budget. And you thought the hard part was over! Salary negotiation is difficult, but once mastered, will take your earning power to new heights. Here are the first 3 steps to increase the likelihood of securing a competitive salary.

Step 1 – Research and spend time gathering comparable numbers. Think of salary negotiation like buying a house – you wouldn’t make an offer unless you knew what similar houses in the same area were selling for. Your salary is no different. Ideal sources include other open positions, colleagues who are in a comparable role, compensation consultants and recruiters.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get an “apples to apples” comparison since the composition may be different from company to company. As an example, we have a client that is offering a base salary that is 20% below market, however their bonus structure is 30% above market. The key is to consider the entire package, and then break out each piece (base, bonus, equity, benefits, car, commute, on-site perks, expense account, etc.). If possible, also connect with current or former employees of your new employer to learn more about the company’s negotiation practices. Some companies extend an offer at the high end of their internal range, making it clear that they are unable to negotiate. Conversely, other businesses prefer going the “low-ball” route, expecting the candidate to negotiate a higher package.

Step 2 – Calculate your “3 Numbers” – your dream number, your walk-away number and your comfort number. In other words, know exactly what would compel you to accept the job on the spot. At the other end of the spectrum, what number would be so insulting or ridiculous that it would drive you to walk away without ever looking back! This walk-away number is equally important post-negotiation, as you work to develop a compromise offer. If they are not willing or able to accommodate your financial needs, then they may not appreciate your value and the position probably isn’t a good fit for you.

Hopefully, you’ve discussed some ballpark numbers during the interviewing process to eliminate any surprises, but it’s important to be prepared for anything. It is also during this step that you want to weigh the pros and cons of the position. Consider everything including, your daily commute, the people you would be working with, your potential boss, the business model, and the opportunity for advancement. If you don’t do it now when the level of emotion is low, it will be very difficult to do it after the offer it made. Money changes things and you don’t want to deviate from your “ideal job criteria.”

Step 3 – Don’t make the first move. If you’re asked to provide a target salary, offer a range rather than a specific figure. Do not state your salary goal while other candidates are still being considered. Ideally, the company will make the initial salary offer so you can negotiate in confidence knowing they want you on board.

Generally speaking, the company will allow 10%-20% of “wiggle room” depending on the candidate’s specific qualifications and the level of the position. This is especially true for sales, marketing and general management positions that will directly affect the top and bottom line. In fact, most employers expect to negotiate salaries for these types of positions. As a result, you’re final salary will likely wind up somewhere between your counter and the company’s original offer.

Remember, you must maintain a positive attitude throughout the salary negotiation process. Continue to demonstrate your excitement and enthusiasm for the position even if things don’t go exactly as you planned. After all, assuming you come to an agreement, you will be working alongside the very same people you negotiated with. It’s important that you start out on the right foot.

In Part II, we will talk about the art of dialoguing, sticking to your decision and keeping the door open at all times.

Contact Ken C. Schmitt at [email protected] for additional insights

Mind Mapping For Business Negotiations

There is no doubt about it, negotiating effectively is a skill and one that needs to be mastered if you are going to be successful in business.  It is also a very good skill to have under your belt in daily life as well.  According to some negotiating experts, you could save as much as 10% on your household bills and shopping if you are willing to negotiate.  So it is worth investigating how you too can become an effective negotiator.  This article isn’t going to teach you everything about negotiating, in fact in won’t teach you much more than the basics but what it will do is show you how you can apply Mind Mapping to your Business Negotiations.  So this article is for you if you have some experience of negotiating and want to get a better handle on what you are already doing.

The process of negotiation can be divided into three broad areas: preparation, negotiation and follow up.  Each of these can be enhanced using Mind Mapping so I will take each in turn and explain how you could use the Mind Map.

1.        Preparation

This is probably where the success or failure of a negotiation is decided.  Preparation is such a key stage and the clich├ęs like “Fail to plan then plan to fail” and “Preparation prevents poor performance” hold true in effective negotiation as well.

During your preparations you will need to gather all of the relevant information to support you in your negotiation and of course using a Mind Map is a great tool to use for this.  These days it is likely that you will have multiple sources of information across different media types and by hyper-linking to those documents you can access them from one place.  This is one of the most useful features of great Mind Map software.

The other thing that Mind Mapping is extremely useful for once you have gathered all of your supporting information, is to review and consider your current position, the place you want to be at the end of the negotiations, your opponent’s position and where they are likely to want to be end.  Whilst you can never fully know where your opposite number stands and where they really want to be, thinking about that ahead of time will allow you to consider the various options and alternative stances you may need to take.

When you lay these various options out and explore them using a Mind Map you will start to see themes and connections and potential win-win positions that you may not have seen before.  I am aware of no other thinking tool that can handle multiple what-if scenarios and “if they say then I’ll say” options so well without you becoming overwhelmed or lost.

2.        The Negotiation Itself

During the negotiation itself, a Mind Map can be applied in a number of different ways.  It can be used for the meeting agenda to set things up.  You can use it to personally keep track of the twists and turns of the talks or you can create a shared Mind Map that everyone can see evolve and is used to capture what has been agreed.  Much of the groundwork for the negotiation will have been done in the preparation stage and so you may need to refer to the Mind Maps you put together before the meeting.  In more proactive and dynamic negotiations Mind Mapping can be used to present your position, consider alternatives and even generate new ideas and solve problems.  It is such a powerful tool that it only enhances the thought process you apply it to.

3.        The Follow Up

After a negotiation has taken place, it is important to follow up and ensure what has been agreed is actually implemented.  Keeping track using Mind Mapping is one way of doing this.  Sharing the maps generated during the negotiation is a good way of ensuring everyone has the same record of the meeting and the decisions taken.