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Preparing a seminar

ESS BIZTOOLS contains 35 seminars.  These are of varying length from 1 hour through to 15 hours.  Seminars over 3 hours have been configured in 3 hour segments, referred to as Session 1, 2, 3 etc. 

To prepare a seminar you can DOWNLOAD a zip folder containing all the seminar material that you need.

General Seminar Material:

  • Complimentary Invitation
  • Venue Booking Confirmation Letter
  • Seminar Registration Acceptance Letter
  • Invitation To Key Note Speaker
  • Multiple Seminar Registration Form
  • Multiple Seminars Registration Acceptance Letter
  • Seminar Attendees List
  • Seminar Check List
  • Explanation Of Check List
  • Seminar Attendees General Evaluation Form
  • Seminar Report - General Evaluation Form
  • Thank You Letter To Key Note Speaker

Specific Seminar Material:

  • Contents
  • Features
  • Invitation
  • News Release
  • Registration Form
  • Advertisement
  • Email Broadcast
  • Timetable - With Times
  • Timetable - Without Times
  • Individual Paper Evaluation Form
  • Seminar Report - Individual Papers Evaluation Form

CONTENT - This form indicates the paper details and the presentation time that has been planned for that paper to be presented in the seminar.

FEATURES - This form shows features of the seminar. 

INVITATION - This is a suggested letter to be included on your firm's letterhead.  This is the letter that would be sent to clients or targeted businesses inviting them to attend the seminar.

NEWS RELEASE - This is a draft of a news release which you would customise by inserting the name of your spokesperson and firm and details of the seminar. 

We would suggest that the news release is forwarded to media outlets operating in your area including newspapers, both paid and unpaid, radio and television stations. Many regional, rural and suburban newspapers are continually seeking information especially information which would be of interest to their readers.

Therefore, your firm can establish itself as being "experts" in a particular area of Business Administration by being seen to be running seminars and making public comments on issues to do with Small/Medium Business.  It is suggested that a copy of the news release accompanies the invitation so that even if the media does not use the news release, then at least your clients and prospects can see that you are an accountancy business that understands the benefits of communication.

REGISTRATION FORM - This form should be completed as it relates to this particular seminar showing the date time etc that the seminar will be presented, the charge that you are making for the seminar, together with details as to where the seminar is going to be presented.  This form should be completed by an attendee and sent back to you together with the seminar attendance cheque (if you are charging).

ADVERTISEMENT - If you intend to place an advertisement in a newspaper relating to the seminar, ESS BIZTOOLS contains suggested advertisements for each of the seminars.  You will need to complete the advertisement with details of your firm and the seminar to be held.

EMAIL BROADCAST – As part of your advertising for the seminar, you may wish to email your clients and advise them of the upcoming seminar.

TIMETABLE WITH TIME - This is a theoretical timetable that has introductions, coffee breaks, questions and discussions etc built into the timetable together with time for presentations allocated to each paper.  This form can be used as a guide by the presenter of the seminar in an endeavour to keep on time in the overall seminar presentation.

TIMETABLE WITHOUT TIME - In practice, we do not recommend that you hand a copy of the Timetable With Time to attendees as this can distract some people, but the use this form to show Commencement Time and as a guide for attendees. 

INDIVIDUAL PAPER EVALUATION FORM - Asks participants of the seminar to 'rate' each paper included in the seminar.  This is a quality control form that should be printed and handed to the seminar participants to allow them to give an individual paper rating, 1 to 10 (10 being best) for presentation, PowerPoint presentation and Notes.  Having these forms completed by attendees will greatly benefit your overall review on the seminar. 

SEMINAR REPORT - INDIVIDUAL PAPERS EVALUATION FORM - This form facilitates the recording of the 'ratings' given by participants for presentation, PowerPoint slides, notes and summarises comments that may have been made by participants.  This is a form that could be reviewed by management to judge the seminar participants' views on the presentation of that seminar.

The Papers and PowerPoints required for the seminar are included in the zipped folder.  Once downloaded and saved onto your computer, all ESS BIZTOOLS papers, PowerPoint presentations and seminar organisational material can be 'branded' (or customised with your firm's contact information) and printed. 

To help the person responsible for preparing the seminar, an ORGANISING A SEMINAR CHECKLIST has been prepared to ensure all steps and procedures have been taken prior to, during and after conducting a seminar.

 

Allocated

Done

 

To Whom

By When

Date

Initial

1.      

Review Features of the Seminar

       
           

2.      

Venue Booked Verbally

       
           

3.      

Venue Booking Confirmed - Writing

       
           

4.      

Times allocated on Seminar Timetable Form

       
           

5.      

Introduction Letter - Commentary on Seminar

       
           

6.      

Registration Form - This Seminar only

       
           

7.      

Multiple Seminars Registration Form

       
           

8.      

News Release to Media

       
           

9.      

Advertisement in Media

       
           

10.   

Sponsorship arrangements - including any promotional material (if any)

       
           

11.   

Complimentary Invitations (if any)

       
           

12.   

Invitation to Key Note Speaker(s) (if any)

       
           

13.   

Forward Registration Acceptance (this Seminar only) or

       
           

14.   

Forward Multiple Seminar Registration Acceptance Letter

       
           

15.   

Print Timetable to be handed to participants

       
           

16.   

Print Seminar Papers

       
         

17.   

Practice Promotional Material Print any practice promotional material to be included in attendees’ handouts

       
           

18.   

Download Seminar PowerPoint Slides

       
           

19.   

Print PowerPoint Handouts

       
           

20.   

Room Set Up

       
 

·          Overhead Projector (if required)

       
 

·          Screen

       
 

·          Data Projector

       
 

·          Laptop Computer

       
 

·          Whiteboard

       
 

·          Pens

       
 

·          Name Tags

       
 

·          Writing Paper and Pencils

       
 

·          Business Cards of Presenters

       
 

·          Tea/Coffee/Milk/Sugar

       
 

·          Biscuits/Cups

       
 

·          Water Jugs/Glasses

       
 

·          Sponsor’s Display/Handouts (if any)

       
           

21.   

Seminar Attendees List

       
           

22.   

Seminar Attendees - General Evaluation Form

       
           

23.   

Individual Paper Evaluation Form

       
           

24.   

Prepare Seminar Report - General Evaluation Form

       
           

25.   

Prepare Seminar Report - Individual Papers Evaluation

       
           

26.   

“Thank You” letters to Key Note Speakers

       
           

27.   

Update database on attendees

       
           

28.   

Follow up any queries raised by attendees at the seminar

       
           

29.   

Finalise Seminar Report

       
on Wednesday February 21 by danpoole
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1.      

Features of the Seminar:

Are determined from Form CSxxxx-00 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number) and can be printed to enable a mail out to be conducted promoting the Seminar.

   

2.      

Venue Booked - Verbally

You may conduct seminars on your own premises, or alternatively you may hire premises from external organisations.  It is anticipated that initially a telephone call would be made to the external organisation to make the booking.

   

3.      

Venue Booked - Confirmed in Writing (Form CS0001-10)

A standard letter has been drafted to facilitate the confirmation of the booking for the seminar.  It includes all of the information required by the venue owner to affect the booking including details as to how the room is to be set up (in theatre style, board room style or horse shoe style), together with the positioning of whiteboard, screen, or data projector and laptop computer and lectern.

   

4.      

Times Allocated on Seminar Timetable Form

Form CSxxxx-02 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number) is the Standard Timetable given as an indication of a suitable timetable.  You can set your own start and finish times.  Form CSxxxx-03 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number) allows you to insert your own times.

   

5.      

Introduction Letter with Commentary/Invitation to Seminar

This form is referred to as Form CSxxxx-04 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number) and has been designed specifically on an individual seminar basis.  It should be mailed to potential seminar attendees at least three weeks prior to the scheduled seminar date and include an outline of the matters to be discussed at the Seminar.  The information contained in CSxxxx-01 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number) for each seminar should be attached to the letter as it sets out the features of what is contained within that particular seminar.  An example of an email broadcast is set out in Form CSxxxx-10 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number).

   

6.      

Registration Form - This Seminar Only

This is in Form CSxxxx-05 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number) which is individual to each seminar.  This form is to be used when applicants are being asked to register for one seminar at a time.

   

7.      

Multiple Seminars - Registration Form

This is a special form, which is a multi-purpose form and is Form CS0001-03.  If you are conducting more than one seminar at a time, it will save you a lot of time and conserve paper by utilising one registration form to affect multi-registrations.  Obviously, this form should go with an Introductory Letter as in Item 5.

   

8.      

News Release to Media

About two weeks prior to the conduct of a Seminar a News Release, which has been drafted specifically for the seminar (Form CSxxxx-06 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number)) should be forwarded to the media.

   

9.      

Advertisement in Media

If you wish to place an advertisement in the media, a suggested advertisement is contained within Form CSxxxx-09 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number).  This should be lodged with the media approximately two weeks prior to the seminar being conducted.

   

10.   

Sponsorship Arrangements (if any)

Opportunities arise from time to time to enter into sponsorship arrangements for a particular Seminar, with sponsorship to take a number of different forms including:

·           Cash Sponsorship

·           Kind Sponsorship - by the supply of speakers and organising the seminar

·           Supplying facilities

·           Offer of prizes for attendees

·           A combination of any of the above

Potential sponsors include:

·           Banks

·           Insurance companies

·           Solicitors

·           Insurance brokers

·           Office machinery organisations

·           Technology sales organisations

·           Public companies wishing to project an image to SMEs (or accountants and other professionals)

 

 

11.   

Obviously, if any sponsorship arrangements are being entered into, it needs to be done in advance, to allow sufficient time for the proper organisation of sponsorship acknowledgments and the inclusion of sponsors’ names on all promotional material etc.

   

12.   

Complimentary Invitations (if any)

If you are charging for the seminar, you may elect to issue some Complimentary Invitations to specific clients or people that you are targeting.  A suggested Complimentary Invitation letter is in Form CS0001-30.

   

13.   

Invitation to Key Note Speaker(s) (if any)

A standard letter is enclosed as Form CS0001-20 for utilisation to confirm the invitation (which it is assumed has previously been discussed, either in person or by telephone) to the key note speaker to present a paper at the seminar.  The standard letter includes all of the information that the key note speaker will require.  If any particular arrangements have been entered into relative to the inclusion of details of the key note speaker in media releases or advertisements or the distribution of promotional material from the key note speaker’s organisation, these arrangements should be included in the letter.

   

14.   

Forward Registration Acceptance (this Seminar only)

Experience has shown that it is essential to forward a registration acceptance (Form CS0001-05) back to the applicant to confirm that their registration has been received and processed and to remind them that they have registered for the seminar.  If there is a large time gap between the time someone has registered and when the seminar is being presented, consideration should be given to sending a facsimile or have a phone call made to the applicant forty-eight hours prior to the seminar, reminding them that the seminar is on.

   

15.   

Multiple Seminars Registration Acceptance

If applicants have registered for more than one seminar, then the Multiple Seminars Registration Acceptance (Form CS0001-03) would be used instead of the single Seminar Registration Form (Form CSxxxx-05 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number)).

   

16.   

Print Timetable to be Handed to Participants

The timetable contained in Form CSxxxx-02 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number) should be finalised and printed for participants.

   

17.   

Print Seminar Papers

Please refer to the Seminar Programme (Form CSxxxx-01 (xxxx represents four digits of seminar number)) and print the papers that you require for each session (if applicable) of the seminar.

·           Session 1

·           Session 2 (if applicable)

·           Session 3 (if applicable)

·           Session 4 (if applicable)

·           Session 5 (if applicable)

·           Session 6 (if applicable)

   

18.   

Practice Promotional Material

Print any practice promotional material to be included in participants hand- outs.

   

19.   

PowerPoint Slides

The PowerPoint presentation should be downloaded to be used to conduct the seminar.  If desired, the slides can be branded with your firm details in the footer space made available.

·           Session 1

·           Session 2 (if applicable)

·           Session 3 (if applicable)

·           Session 4 (if applicable)

·           Session 5 (if applicable)

·           Session 6 (if applicable)

   

20.   

PowerPoint Handouts

Print PowerPoint handouts (if required) for distribution at the Seminar.

·            Session 1

·            Session 2 (if applicable)

·            Session 3 (if applicable)

·            Session 4 (if applicable)

·            Session 5 (if applicable)

·            Session 6 (if applicable)

   

21.   

Room Set Up

If you are hiring a room from an outside organisation, then the details of the venue set up should have been included in the venue confirmation letter (Form C2001).

If you are setting up the room in your own premises, you will need:

·           screen or data projector

·           laptop computer

·           whiteboard and pens

·           names tags for Participants

·           writing paper and pencils

·           tea and coffee making facilities - cups, biscuits, milk, sugar etc.

   

22.   

Seminar Attendees List (Form CS0001-40)

This is a list which states the name of the attendee and the name of the organisation from which the attendee is from, to give handy information to the presenter as to the members of the audience.

   

23.   

Seminar Attendees General Evaluation Form (Form CS0001-50)

A general evaluation form has been prepared to cover general matters to be answered by the attendee.  These forms should be handed to the attendees at the beginning of the seminar so that they are aware that you require them to be completed - so that they can give some thought to their answers during the presentation of the seminar.

   

24.   

Individual Paper Evaluation Form (Form CSxxxx-07)

For each seminar an individual Paper Evaluation Form has been prepared which asks the attendees to rate the presentation of each paper with a rating of 1 to 10 (10 is the best) for presentation, PowerPoint slides and seminar notes.

This Evaluation Form should also be handed to participants at the beginning of the seminar, so that they are encouraged to complete their evaluation as papers are being presented.

   

25.   

Prepare Seminar Report/General Evaluation Form

Form CS0001-70 is to be utilised to prepare a summary of the evaluation and comments made by the seminar participants so that the presenter has a record of what happened at a particular seminar, including:

·           number of registrations

·           number of attendees

·           percentage of registrations that attended

·           any media releases and advertisements published should be attached to the Seminar Report.

Provision has been made for any queries raised at the seminar by participants to be recorded so that follow up action can be taken and appropriate information supplied to the person who raised the query.

Provision is also made for comments by the presenters on any particular matters that required attention, so that an effective quality control is in place on all aspects of the presentation of a seminar.

   

26.   

Seminar Report - Individual Papers Evaluation Form (Form CSxxxx-07)

This report is a summary of the ratings allocated to the individual papers by the attendees.  The ratings are to be made under the headings:

·            presentation

·            PowerPoint slides

·            notes

This rating information should be of great assistance in the conduct of future presentations.

   

27.   

“Thank You” Letters to Key Note Speakers (Form CS0001-80)

This is a standard letter, which should be forwarded to any key note speaker who participated in the seminar, thanking them for their contribution.

   

28.   

Update Database on Attendees

One of the main reasons that the seminar programme is being conducted is to enable your accountancy firm to identify clients or potential clients who are interested in securing additional services.  By recording seminar attendees onto a database, your accountancy firm has the opportunity to directly target those persons to attend future seminars and to invite them to special presentations on new services developed by the practice, which might be of particular interest to that person.

   

29.   

Follow up any queries raised at the Seminar by attendees

Seminars are being conducted to differentiate your accountancy firm from its competitors and to create a competitive advantage.  As part of the presentation of a professional service, the presenter should ensure that any queries raised at the seminar by any participants are answered within seven days of the conclusion of the seminar.  At the same time, if the participant has made a comment at the seminar which indicates that they are unsure on some aspect of professional services being provided by the firm, clarification should be sought from the person within your firm who is supplying those services and a follow up telephone call made to the client to ensure that the client is completely happy with that aspect of your firm’s services.

   

30.   

Finalise Seminar Report (Reference Form and Form CSxxxx-08)

Once the presenter is satisfied that all items contained within the checklist have been completed and that the appropriate “thank you” letters and answers to any queries have been attended to, the presenter can then sign off on the conclusion of this particular seminar.

on Wednesday February 21 by danpoole
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1.      

Lectern

Use a lectern, preferable showing the name of the accounting business.

     

2.      

Business Cards

Attach the presenter's business card to the seminar papers being handed to participants.

     

3.      

Papers Punched

Ensure that the seminar papers have been punched with a hole punch prior to being handed to participants.

     

4.      

Seminar Binder

It's a good idea to provide each participant with a seminar binder - showing the name of the accounting business, so as to facilitate the filing of papers handed to participants.

     

5.      

Don't Merely Read the Papers

Do not stand up and merely read the papers.  The concept is that you will talk to the paper and give appropriate examples using the whiteboard so as to generate interest within the subject.  The participants can read the papers at their leisure after the seminar.  At the seminar you should be encouraging questions so that total debate on a particular subject can be held.  This will generate additional interest from the participants.

     

6.      

Avoid Jargon

Be careful not to use "jargon" or to talk "over the heads" of the participants.  Presentation of seminars is meant to enhance your professional reputation and to differentiate your accounting business from your competitors.  Don't ruin it by making the presentation at such a level, or at such a pace, that the audience loses you.

     

7.      

Have Team Members Present

It's a good idea to have some of your team members present at the seminars.  It lets seminar participants see other people from your business and it is also very useful in the breaks to have people from the accounting business so as to facilitate discussion with people who will be either clients, potential clients or other professional referees.

     

8.      

Start and Finish

Start and finish on time.  Remember your participants' time is very valuable to them.

     

9.      

Breaks

Observe the breaks every fifty minutes or people will lose their concentration.

     

10.   

Business-like Format

Remember your accounting business is on trial whenever you run a seminar. It must be professionally organised.  The room should be properly set up prior to the arrival of any of the attendees.  Tea and coffee making facilities need to be available and the seminar should then be presented in a clear, businesslike format.  Whilst there is nothing wrong with a bit of humour being thrown in - remember that it is a business seminar.

     

11.   

Annual Forum

Your accounting business is conducting seminars to enhance its reputation in the market place.  Another concept is to invite all persons who have participated in a seminar during a year to an annual forum seminar to be held late November/early December, to generally review the business of business matters that have been presented at various seminars and to hear presentations by special key note speakers who have participated in the seminars during the year.  This is an excellent opportunity for the accounting business to re-emphasis the promotion of business of business management matters in the minds of SME operators who have attended seminars and to differentiate the accounting business.

At the conclusion of the forum drinks and light refreshments could be served.

It will be essential at such a forum to ensure that as many members of the accounting business as possible are present, so as to maximise the marketing opportunity that such a forum would present.

     

12.   

Annual "Thank You" to Key Note Speakers

One of the reasons for utilising key note speakers in the seminar programme is to enhance the firm's networking within the local business community. It's envisaged that the persons making the key note presentations will do so on a voluntary basis and in their own time.  One way of showing your appreciation is to have an annual get-together with the key note speakers, taking the form of a forum on how business advisors can improve their services to SMEs in your area.

The participants at the forum would be presenters of the seminar programme and other principals and team members of your accounting business, together with the key note speakers. This gives an excellent opportunity for your business to be seen hosting an important forum featuring a significant number of professional experts in their particular discipline from your area.  The forum could last two and a half hours and cover a wide range of issues in accordance with the agenda that your accounting business, as the host, has prepared.  The networking and referral benefits from the hosting of such a forum are very significant. At the end of the forum drinks and refreshments could be served.

on Wednesday February 21 by danpoole
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1.      

Use of Key Note Speakers

The presentation of "ESS BIZTOOLS" seminars enables your practice to implement networking with other key professional advisors, who would be invited to present papers or commentary on their particular services as part of some of the seminar presentations and also to participate in forums on particular subjects.

The key note speakers should be encouraged to provide brochures and business information on their particular businesses, together with an outline of the services that they can offer to SMEs.

     

2.      

Summary of Networking Opportunities

Networking opportunities will exist with the following groups:

 

(a)  Clients

Encouraging one or two of your clients to be involved in making presentations on client services will enrich your relationship with key clients.

 

(b) Solicitors

Could be involved in a number of the seminars.  It is suggested that different firms of solicitors be used on each occasion so as to broaden the networking opportunities.

 

(c) Marketing Consultants

A number of the seminars make provision for marketing commentary.  This is an ideal opportunity for your practice to develop networking relationships with a number of marketing consultants.

 

(d) Bankers

A number of the seminars feature commentary on relationships with banks and other financiers.  Your practice could utilise this opportunity to invite different speakers from various banks and other financial institutions to make presentations.

 

(e) Human Resources

One seminar has provision for a commentary by a human resources expert or a representative of the employers' association.

 

(f)  Insurance

One seminar has particular comments on insurance.  A key commentary could be presented by either an insurance broker or an insurance company manager.

 

(g) Advertising

Advertising is discussed in a number of the seminars.  The opportunity could be taken to invite a local advertising agent to make a submission.

 

(h) Media

SMEs should never under-estimate the value of the media to their businesses.  One of the seminars includes commentary by a representative of the media or a public relations consultant.  Radio stations and newspapers are continually looking for ways to promote their services.  They can be a great source of "free publicity" to an accounting business as they might zero in on the fact that the firm is conducting seminars for SMEs to publish a story or make commentary about an SME.

 

(i)  Business Broker/Real Estate Agents

One of the papers involves a business broker/real estate agent making a presentation.  This gives an ideal opportunity to network with professionals in these industries.

 

(j)  Development Associations

Development associations are always eager to have an opportunity to present an outline of what they can do for the business community.  They will be able to give an in-depth report on what is happening in the local business community.

 

(k) Government

Provision has been made for a representative of the Department of Industry or equivalent department to make comments in one of the seminars on government assistance programmes available for SMEs.

 

(l)  Key Note Speakers

In the half day and one day seminars specific time allocations have been made for key note speakers to comment on any issue pertaining to SMEs.  In the seminar papers these addresses have been referred to as:

·       Excellence in SMEs

·       World Best Practice Management

·       Excellence in Management of the "Business of Business"

on Wednesday February 21 by danpoole
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1.      

It's Your Choice

Individual firms are free to decide whether they charge or don't charge for persons to attend the seminar.

     

2.      

Test Sites Experience

Various variations have been used by the test sites in developing "ESS BIZTOOLS". These include:

·       all attendees paying

·       clients being admitted free of charge and non-clients paying

·       sponsorship arrangements entered into with:

-    an insurance broking firm which paid for all advertising in newspapers to promote the seminar - everyone admitted free of charge;

-    radio station who extensively advertised the seminars - everyone admitted free of charge.  (The quid pro quo for which was the radio station manager presented a paper on relationship with the media.  The radio station's logo appeared on all material.  The presenter acknowledged the assistance rendered by the radio station);

-    another type of sponsorship involved a commercial company involved in the particular industry at which the seminar was directed (tourism) paid a sponsorship fee, which entitled them to send six participants to the seminar (the fee paid would have entitled them to twenty-five participants).  The name of that corporation was placed on all seminar papers and used in advertisements that the seminar was being sponsored by "XYZ firm".  All of the other participants paid a registration fee.

The choice as to whether you are going to charge is therefore yours.

     

3.      

Additional Professional Fees

If the seminars are properly organised and presented, then substantial additional professional fees should be generated from the conduct of seminars.  In this case, many accounting businesses will undoubtedly decide that the presentation of seminars is a major marketing activity and as such no charge will be made.

     

4.      

Differentiating Your Accounting Business

The key point is that the presentation of seminars will, in most cases, be a significant factor in differentiating your accounting business from that of your competitors.  Seminars are being presented to raise the profile of your organisation and to assist in obtaining clients for the business of business work involved in SMEs.

on Wednesday February 21 by danpoole
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Affiliates Wanted

Become an affiliate and earn additional income.
ESS BIZTOOLS’ AFFILIATE CAMPAIGNS
ESS BIZTOOLS is conducting a series of product campaigns for sales of products/services to accountancy businesses, business consultants, advisers and bookkeeping businesses.
AFFILIATE PARTICIPATION ON ESS BIZTOOLS
We are happy to extend an invitation to an affiliate to participate as a supplier of services in promotions to our subscribers. If you are interested in this, could you please contact us?
SMALL/MEDIUM ENTERPRISE MARKET
We have launched the ESS Small Business website which is primarily targeted at small/medium companies and enterprises as well as not-for-profits, charities, sporting and social organisations.

Contact Details

12 Eclipse Street, ROWES BAY, QLD 4810
(07) 4724 1118
Toll Free: 1800 232 088
sales@essbiztools.com.au

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