Great Moments Can Be Small Moments – A Hospice Volunteer – s

#hospice stories

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We worked everything out as she wanted; her doctor cooperated with us. A living will was drawn up, but at the time, a living will was not recognized in the state. She died at home with no tubes to keep her alive; her doctor or a nurse came in regularly to administer drugs for pain. My sister died with dignity.

The above is all provided with hospice care. But, my sister died in 1978, and there was no hospice as yet. Elizabeth Kubler Ross was talking about a different way of dying but it was not yet accepted.

I never forgot the experience of watching a loved one die.

Thirty years later, after I retired from work, I found I was tired of playing Bunco and cards. I wanted something more in my life. I contacted Casa de la Luz Hospice and became a volunteer. Now, I don’t think I have done anything more important in my life. I had been conditioned to think that my life revolved around the special moments—marriage, raising children, children graduating, more marriages, and then grandchildren. These things are all important and worth remembering. But, by becoming a hospice volunteer, I have learned that great moments can be what may be a small moment. I am thinking of being in the Casa de la Luz Inpatient Unit, sitting vigil. The harpist came in and began to play; I was near the patient. The patient opened her eyes and asked me, “Am I in Heaven now?” I replied, “No. Not yet.” That was a moment, small to others, but big to me that I will not forget.

It doesn’t take me long to become involved with a patient. It’s important to me to learn about the patient’s past, family, likes, dislikes, and what makes the patient smile. The patient learns that I am there to help, to listen, and to be quiet—whatever the patient needs. We share experiences, have new experiences, and all is confidential. I’m surprised, sometimes, at what I hear.

Each patient is different and has different needs. For example, if I am told a patient isn’t eating enough, then I arrange my visits around the lunch hour so that I can encourage the patient to eat. You’d be surprised how many patients now eat dessert first and then their lunch. On holidays I try to dress the season—maybe a Halloween shirt, a Santa hat, or red, white and blue for the 4 th of July. Little things mean a lot to a terminally ill individual who is alone and has outlived his/her family and friends.

I am also a knitter. I love to knit prayer shawls and afghans for our hospice patients. I have a memory afghan that I knitted a couple of years ago. It is made up of 20 individual squares, each knitted with a different pattern and then sewn together. Each of the squares was knitted while I visited my patients. I treasure it.

I carry a hospice bag with me at all times. In it I have a book to read, crossword puzzles, snacks and water, and of course, my knitting. As a vigil volunteer, I never know how long my visit will be. I like to be available day or night to keep vigil with a dying patient. If I’m going for a companion visit with a patient, I try to keep it to one or two hours. I watch to see how the patient is holding up; is he/she looking tired? I will drive anywhere to see a patient. Distance is not a problem to me.

I cannot explain the reward I receive by comforting someone who is in need. I just know that the reward is huge, and I think my patients can “feel” my energy.

Being a hospice volunteer is not for everyone. But, to me and the other volunteers, our rewards are well worth it.

Often, I am asked, “How can you watch someone die?” My reply is, “I don’t watch a patient die; I believe that I’m there to help them pass on to the next stage of life.”

By Diane Gilbert, volunteer of two years

Learn more about the various volunteer opportunities with Casa de la Luz Hospice on the Volunteers page of our website.





Top Retail POS Software – 2017 Reviews, Pricing & Demos #phone #systems


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Retail POS Software

What Is the FrontRunners Quadrant?

A Graphic of the Top-Performing Retail POS Products

FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.

To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 100 retail software products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.

Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g. what features they offer, how many customers they have).

Is One Quadrant Better Than the Others?

Nope, Products in Any Quadrant May Fit Your Needs

Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they re worth their price/cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.

FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:

  • Upper Right = Leaders: Leaders are all-around strong products. They offer a wide range of functionality to a wide range of customers. These products are considered highly valuable by customers.
  • Upper Left = Masters: Masters may focus more heavily on certain key features or market segments than Leaders do. If you need a more specialized set of functionality without bells and whistles, then a product in the Masters quadrant might be right for you.
  • Lower Right = Pacesetters: Pacesetters may offer a strong set of features, but are not rated as highly on value. For example, a Pacesetter might offer greater functionality, but cost more.
  • Lower Left = Contenders: Contenders may focus on a more specialized set of capabilities that are priced at a higher point. This makes them ideal for companies willing to pay more for specific features that meet their unique needs.

Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.

Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 3.1 for capability and 3.2 for value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. They appear in the quadrant in relation to how their peers performed.

For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners sub-quadrant might be best. For example, certain retail software products with an emphasis inventory management fit perfectly at home in the Pacesetters quadrant.

You can download the full FrontRunners for Retail Management report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.

How Are FrontRunners Products Selected?

Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews and Other Data

You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here. but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.

To be considered at all, products must have at least 10 reviews and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality for example, all products considered offer point of sale, inventory management and barcode scanning capabilities, as well as at least one of the following: accounting management, customer management and reporting/analytics.

From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product’s customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.

Got It. But What if I Have More Questions?

Check Out Our Additional Resources!

For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:

  • Check out the FrontRunners frequently asked questions (FAQ) for more detailed answers and information about how it works.
  • Check out the complete FrontRunners methodology to understand the scoring.

Have questions about how to choose the right product for you? You re in luck! Every day, our team of advisors provides (free) customized shortlists of products to hundreds of small businesses.

  • Simply take this short questionnaire to help us match you with products that meet your specific needs.
  • Or, talk to one of our experienced software advisors about your needs it s quick, free, and there s no-obligation by calling (844) 687-6771.

One Last Thing How Do I Reference FrontRunners?

Just Follow Our External Usage Guidelines

Check out the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:

FrontRunners scores and graphics are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor-supplied information and publicly available product information; they do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

Runners Up

Providers listed as Runners Up were eligible for inclusion in the FrontRunners quadrant, including having 10+ product reviews, but their value or capability axis score was not high enough for positioning on the FrontRunners quadrant.

Buyer’s Guide

Retail Point of Sale (POS) systems, also known as POS software, have come a long way from being bolt-on applications for cash registers. Today, the cash register as the cornerstone piece of retail technology has been replaced by PCs, tablets and mobile devices.

Retail software vendors offer integrated software programs and POS systems for “mom-and-pop” stores to large retail chains, and everything in between. Retail software applications handle any combination of checkout, inventory control, customer management, e-commerce sales, merchandising and distribution. These systems help retailers automate the point of sale, improve inventory tracking and enable more effective management of customer data to grow profits and decrease store inefficiencies.

Continuously falling hardware and equipment costs, the emergence of mobile devices like iPads and new cloud-based POS offerings have led to more choices than ever. This leaves buyers with a daunting challenge as they try to determine the best application for their needs. The goal of this buyer’s guide is to help retailers understand the market as they begin their research. What we’ll cover:

Common Features of Retail Software

For buyers that manage a single store, the most important features to look for include:

  • Point of sale management
  • Inventory control
  • Accounting management
  • Customer relationship management

Retail software products are generally straightforward, helping retailers ring up customers, update inventory levels, present basic reports and keep track of customers.


Austin Business License Applications #city #of #austin #small #business


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Apply For A Business License Austin, Texas

Is a business license required in Austin, TX?

Only a small portion of business owners are mandated to obtain a business license in Austin, Texas. A business license is only required for those who:

  • Operate taxi or transportation services
  • Liquor services
  • Adult entertainment
  • Clinics and hospitals
  • Animal hospitals and animal breeding
  • Dance studios
  • Contractor activities
  • Scrap and salvage services
  • Massage parlors
  • Any service in which a state license is required
  • Rental outlets
  • Automotive repair services
  • Businesses involving engines, repair services, or heavy equipment
  • Recycling centers
  • Equipment sales
  • Restaurants

As the City of Austin s requirements can change or broaden at any time, it is recommended that you contact the City directly to discover whether or not you will be required to obtain a business license. Even if you are not required to maintain a business license, this does not mean that you as a business owner won t have to obtain certain permits to open business doors. All business owners are required to consult with the Planning and Development Review Department to ensure that the business location is safe and within zoning protocol.

How will I know what Austin, Texas permits I need?

You may visit the official Austin city website for a thorough explanation of which permits are needed and for what purposes so that you may know what to expect for your individual business.

What is the cost or fee associated with obtaining an Austin business license?

Business fees range so widely from one type of business to another that the City of Austin requests that you contact them for a estimate of what fees you can expect for operating your business within the city limits. Even if you are not required to obtain a business license, you still may have fees or taxes or both that may be due to the City. Contact them at (512) 974-2747 or (512) 974-2380.

Who do I call with questions regarding City of Austin zoning?

The City of Austin Planning and Development Review Department has authority over which areas of the City of Austin are reserved for businesses. They will be able to advise you and which of those areas are suitable for your type of business. You may reach them at (512) 974-7668.

What will be needed to complete the City of Austin business license?

If your business type is mandated to apply for a business license, the following is the general information that you will need:

  • Name of business
  • Name of applicant
  • Applicant s contact information
  • Business activity description (The applications are business-specific. If you have questions regarding which application you should complete, contact the city with questions.)
  • Date of business start
  • Business owner
  • Owner s contact information
  • Answer to the question, Are all of your needed permits completed?
  • Signatures of applicant and business owner
  • Date of application

Can I operate my Austin small business from home?

Home-based businesses are permitted in the City of Austin. However, there is a list of exceptions that are not allowed to be residentially-based. Home occupations that are prohibited are:

  • Liquor services
  • Adult entertainment
  • Clinics and hospitals
  • Animal hospitals and animal breeding
  • Dance studios
  • Contractor activities
  • Scrap and salvage services
  • Massage parlors
  • Any service in which a state license is required
  • Rental outlets
  • Automotive repair services
  • Businesses involving engines, repair services, or heavy equipment
  • Recycling centers
  • Equipment sales
  • Restaurants

Where can I apply for a business license in Austin, TX?

To find out what permits you may need and to apply for permits or licenses, contact:

City of Austin Development Services
One Texas Center
505 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

Any questions or concerns?

If there are any questions regarding obtaining a business license, permits for your business or if you will need a business license, please contact the City of Austin Planning and Development Review Department:

City of Austin Development Services
One Texas Center
505 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

You may also visit the official Austin city website to find additional resources for your business.

Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license

There has never been a better time to get a degree. Even top Universities across the U.S. have joined the movement that’s allowing millions to get an education online. Business degrees are the perfect stepping stone for building a career, increasing earning potential, and ultimately growing your business.

Find out how to improve your knowledge and increase your earning potential by getting an online business degree. Click here to find the program that’s right for you.

Search by State

To find more information about a business license in your state choose the state below.

This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.

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  • 2007-2013 City Applications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


    Business Email Solution: Small Business Email and POP3 Hosting Solution #small #business


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    Business Email Solution

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    Business Email Features

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  • Webmail. Get webmail access on any web browser on any PC or Mac.
  • Mobile Mail. Push mail to mobile devices including iPhone, Blackberry. Windows Mobile, many Nokia and Android phones, and others.
    • Share Outlook. Access your mail, contacts, calendars and tasks on Outlook. Even share Outlook contacts, calendars and tasks with your team.
    • Automatic Synchronization. No matter where you access your mail, contacts, calendars and tasks – Outlook, online on HyperOffice or mobile – they are automatically updated and mirrored.
    • Spam and Virus Protection. Corporate level spam filters and virus protection ensures that only legitimate email gets to you.
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    • Email to Tasks. Having a tough time keeping track of tasks assigned to you by email? A single click coverts any email into a task and pushes into HyperOffice’s inbuilt task management system.
    • Rules and Filters. Create email rules and filters to direct incoming messages to specific folders.

    Founded in 1998, HyperOffice is a market leader in cloud collaboration and communication software for small and medium sized businesses. We provide the most comprehensive suite of solutions developed over more than 12 years of understanding your growing business needs. HyperOffice’s capabilities include customer portal intranet software. online document management. online project management. shared calendars. contact management software. business email. Outlook sharing and synchronization. push email and mobile collaboration. online database software and web forms and much more – offered as an integrated, easy to use solution accessible over any web connected PC, Mac, or mobile device. HyperOffice is also a viable Microsoft Sharepoint alternative and Microsoft Exchange alternative for growing companies looking for the power of enterprise class messaging and collaboration – but without the associated costs and hassles.

    Copyright 2014 HyperOffice. All rights reserved.


    Brightstar Limited – Leased Lines, Broadband, VPN, IP Transit, Hosting, Co-Location, Managed


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    isp for small business

    At Brightstar, we offer a full range of voice, data and bespoke communications solutions for businesses of all sizes, from national blue chip organisations with 1,000+ users to SMEs with just a handful of staff.

    Contact us now to see how we can solve your business connectivity challenges.

    This site is for enterprise customers. If you are an SME, visit here.

    Brightstar benefits

    Isp for small business

    Stay online:

    From 24Mbps broadband to 1Gbps fibre, to 3G/4G or even microwave, we have the full range of connectivity solutions your business needs to stay online and stay productive.

    Isp for small business

    Stay in touch:

    With fixed line, VoIP and mobile all delivered from one provider, we have all the voice solutions you need to stay connected.

    Isp for small business

    Stay flexible:

    With the very latest cloud solutions for datacentres, hosting, software and security, your IT and connectivity can scale to meet your needs.

    Isp for small business

    Stay ahead:

    With bespoke solutions tailored to meet your business’s specific IT and communications needs, we have everything you need to outsmart your competition.

    Isp for small business

    Stay available:

    Our datacentre solutions are fully managed, scalable and secure so that you are always available to serve your customers.

    Isp for small business

    Stay innovative:

    Keeping up with the latest technologies is a full time occupation. By leveraging our consultancy services in hardware, software and connectivity, you can be assured that your business makes the most of the very latest innovations.


    Business Loans #business #loans, #business #loan, #small #business #loans, #small #business #loan,


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    Apply Now

    Business Loans

    Fast Business Lending Solutions Merchant Advisors offers small businesses a platform for business financing. Whether you need funding for expansion or working capital, Merchant Advisors gets you the business financing you need when you need it at minimal costs.

    We understand that every business has its unique borrowing needs. Some may want to make new purchases to boost productivity and sales; some need working capital to support operating costs. That’s why we offer the use of innovative technology to offer simple, fast and unsecured business loans. As a non-bank lender, Merchant Advisors offers low longer terms and low rates for more effective business financing. We realize that if a loan costs too much – we may not get paid back! We prevent this by offering affordable business financing.

    Unlike bank lending, our financial experts walk you through the loan process to make sure you have a full understanding of our loan process. We strive to make the loan application process as easy as possible; and this is what sets us apart from other lenders.

    A Smarter Way to Shop for Business Loans, Compare & Save! Our goal is to serve our clients’ immediate and long term financial needs from basic business loans and credit lines to the most intricate financial situations. In today’s fast paced market time is money and we make sure you waste neither. Our experienced financial advisors keep their finger on the pulse of your business, and stay on top of your industries trends which can affect your entrepreneurial goals or existing enterprise.

    If this sounds like something that interests you & benefits you, we highly recommend you APPLY NOW to get started with no upfront fees and no commitment to find out how much you’re eligible for.

    What Sets Us Apart from Other Lenders?

    • We deal with the industry’s most trusted brand name providers
    • Increases your chance of approval by constantly adding new private lenders to our portfolio
    • You get the same (if not better) rate going through us to due to our portfolio track record with our lenders
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    • Receive funding within a few business days!
    • Easiest lending platform with minimal information required for approvals
    • Best rates, save time, and save money!
    • Equipment financing, minority loans, startup funding, working capital many others options.

    10 of the best project management tools for small business owners #small


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    10 of the best project management tools for small business owners

    Successfully managing clients and projects relies on having the right systems in place to keep track of where you’re up to. Post-it notes stuck to your desk simply won’t do. Not when the workload and pressures start to increase.

    This is where an online project management tool will become especially handy. Something that you can access from both your desktop and mobile, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

    There are loads of contenders on the market. Some are free. Others come with a small monthly subscription fee. The following 10 project management tools have been hand-picked by Creative Boom just for you.

    1. Active Collab

    Active Collab is a powerful, yet simple project management tool – perfect for your small business. It helps you and your team stay organised when you outgrow email, but it’s also much more than that — with plenty of helpful add-ons, it’s a one-stop solution for all your projects. You can delegate tasks to your team, get a detailed overview of all team activities, track time spent on individual tasks and issue invoices to clients in just a couple of seconds.

    With a free 30 day trial you will get access to all features and see how a smooth project workflow can add value to your small business from day one. Highly recommended.

    2. Trello

    Trello is the platform that gives you a shared perspective on any kind of project. It’s completely free, so probably an excellent choice for those of you who have just gone freelance. It’s also very visual – appealing to those of you who prefer to see all your tasks laid out on screen.

    Basically, you can create boards that include lists and then you can drag and drop items between lists to show progress. so you might have ‘to do’, ‘doing’ and ‘done’ boards. Simple and effective, it’s one of our favourites. And if you like what you see, you can upgrade to Business Class for just $8.33 per user/month (when paid annually) and get access to app integrations, team overviews and more security.

    3. Asana

    With tasks, projects, conversations and dashboards, Asana allows you to move work from start to finish. You can see progress for any project at a glance, without scheduling a status meeting or sending an email. You can turn conversations into actionable tasks, so you can take the next step. It might be a tad simplified for some, as it doesn’t have as many features as other solutions out there. But it does the job if you just need simple task management.

    4. Basecamp

    Brought to you by the people at 37Signals, Basecamp is a classic, feature-rich tool to help you manage your tasks with to-do lists and streamline your communication through handy message boards. You can also set deadlines and milestones, send ‘pings’ to your team and direct messages, and organise all your key docs, files and assets. With all-inclusive pricing, and no charge per user, you’re never charged more if you hire someone new.

    5. Apollo

    Apollo allows you to prioritise tasks, organise projects and keep your team on the same page. With task lists, milestones, schedules and the ability to track time, you’ll be on top of your project management in no time. There’s even a CRM feature that allows you to keep tabs on contacts and leads, so it offers way more than the usual. Not to mention email integration, recurring tasks, iCal feeds and fast and friendly support.

    6. Solo

    Freelancing’s tough, according to Solo. Luckily, you’ve just found your wingman – according to this affordable tool. It’s a “great assistant and an elegant way to ensure your freelance projects run smoothly”. You can manage and analyse projects, reviewing your performance as you go and managing time and tasks. You can keep detailed and accurate time sheets. You can even enjoy elegant invoicing. It’s a simple system, perfect for those sole entrepreneurs out there. A free 14-day trial is available, so you can try before you buy.

    7. Teamwork Projects

    It’s a tad heavyweight and sluggish compared to some of our other recommendations, and probably overkill for most freelancers, but Teamwork Projects has its plus points. Integrating project management and collaboration, time tracking and billing, and a raft of other features. A handy app is available for your smartphone too, so you can keep everything in the cloud, accessible anywhere and anytime.

    8. Project Bubble

    Manage more projects in less time – that’s the claim from Project Bubble, an online tool that offers easy project management. shared calendar, team collaboration, time tracking, powerful reporting and a promise of safety and security. It offers a 14-day free trial, so you can give it a whirl before you part with your hard-earned cash.

    9. Freedcamp

    Manage every aspect of life. That’s the promise from Freecamp, which gives you a dashboard with quick access to every project – one place to stay organised, updated and productive. With task lists, online sticky notes and calendar, it’s got everything you need to stay on top of your workload _ and it’s free.

    But if you want more, there are additional tools you can pay for, including a CRM app to help you manage contacts and leads; an invoices app, giving you the ability to generate invoices and estimates and a time-tracking feature. Powerful stuff.

    10. TeamGantt

    “Intuitive and beautiful project planning” is the promise from TeamGantt. If you prefer to plan and visualise your projects with timeline charts, this tool allows you to manage projects with super easy-to-use gantt software. Using fast drag and drop scheduling, you can create your gantt charts quickly online. Just jump in and start adding tasks, with no training required. Great for working with teams, and it brings in all your conversations, files, tasks, assignments and availability – all in one place.

    About The Author – Sponsored Post

    Creative Boom offers sponsored posts to selected brands to help spread their message to its creative audience. To find out more and to request a copy of our Media Pack, contact our advertising team via [email protected] .


    Winners – Shortlist – British Small Business Awards, alternative lending small business.#Alternative


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    The 2016 Winners Shortlist

    This category will recognise the accountancy software provider that best suits the needs of SMEs, with the judges considering level of innovation, impressive customer care, value for money, and a product that best assists small companies with managing their finances.

    The judges will look for the accountancy/tax advisory firm that has gone the furthest to target and help smaller companies, with quality of client service, value for money and SME-focused initiatives being prime considerations.

    The judges will assess online finance providers such as crowdfunding sites and peer-to-peer lenders. They will look for the operators most notable in financing small companies, considering factors such as volume of funds provided, innovative services and a dedicated SME offering.

    Business Bank Account of the Year

    For this category, the judges will look for the banking operator with the best business bank accounts for smaller companies, taking into consideration quality of customer service and SME-focused initiatives. Note: This category recognises business bank accounts rather than lending facilities.

    Business Lender of the Year

    This award recognises the lending institution, whether a bank or solely online provider, that has best addressed the needs of smaller businesses, with the judges considering factors such as access to and supply of debt, customer service and SME-focused initiatives.

    Insurance Provider of the Year
    Technology Provider of the Year

    This category rewards the technology provider that has placed an SME service at the heart of its offering, displaying innovation, impressive customer care and a product to help small companies run efficiently and grow.

    2016 Winner: Xero

    Utilities Provider of the Year

    This award acknowledges the utilities provider that manages the needs of small businesses better than its competitors, with judges considering a combination of the best value, customer service, reliability, and SME focused initiatives.

    Website Builder of the Year

    In this category, the judges will assess the website building and/or design platform that best serves small businesses, with design, functionality, innovation and value for money being key considerations.

    Community Business of the Year

    In this category, the judges will choose the business of less than 50 staff that has shown the most contribution to a local community, with considerations including the provision of local jobs, a highly-valued local service, and/or other factors making the business integral to the vicinity.

    Disruptor of the Year

    The Disruptor of the Year category rewards the business of less than 50 total staff that has shown a demonstrable ability to bring market-changing ideas to a sector, with the resulting product/service being truly innovative.

    Exporter of the Year

    The Exporter of the Year will be an business of less than 50 total staff that has demonstrated an ability to succeed in international markets, with judges considering export sales growth/consistency and a notable aptitude for adapting a product or service to new markets.

    Micro Business of the Year

    The Micro Business of the Year will be a company of 2-9 people that has demonstrated strong revenue growth and a product or service of a quality that stands above competitors. The identifying of and capitalising on scale opportunities will also be noted by the judges.

    2016 Winner: Handrail Creations

    Online Business of the Year

    This category will recognise online business of less than 50 total staff. The judges will take into consideration factors such as consistent/growing sales over the past year, a niche position in its industry, longevity, and outstanding innovation.

    Retail Business of the Year

    The Retail Business of the Year will be a small retailer that has shown a combination of factors including consistent/growing sales over the past year, a niche position in its industry, longevity, and/or outstanding innovation.

    Small Business of the Year

    The judges will look for a small business of 10-50 employees with the most innovative and sector-disrupting service/product combined with strong turnover growth over the past year.

    2016 Winner: Inclusion Housing

    Sole Trader of the Year

    This award recognises the sole trader business that provides a service/product that stands above peers, demonstrating consistent sales over the past year and a niche position in its industry.


    Emergency Small Business Loans – GUD Capital #emergency #small #business #loans


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    Emergency Small Business Loans

    For almost all businesses, the ideal form of financing comes from term loans and lines of credit offered by traditional banks (large banks, small banks, community banks, and credit unions). Traditional bank business loans are clearly the best business loans due to their exceptionally low rates and favorable terms. What is not favorable about traditional bank lending is the paperwork and due diligence needed before funding. In fact, a bank loan can take not weeks, but months. If commercial real estate is involved in the financing transaction (especially with a build-out or construction) the funding process can be even longer. Therefore the only real option offered by a traditional bank would be an existing line-of-credit that a small business or company can draw-on when they need without having to go through the approval process:

    • Bank rates: 6-12%
    • Bank Terms: 1-30 years

    Emergency SBA Loans

    SBA loans are an excellent source of financing to companies that qualify for this type of financing. SBA financing is a form of business funding offered by traditional bank lenders, credit unions, non-profit community lenders and small banks to small companies in which the U.S. Small Business Administration guarantees a portion of the loan. Should the small business borrower default, the SBA will cover most of the lenders losses. Since the government is guaranteeing a large portion of the loan, they want to ensure that candidates that shouldn t qualify are not funded with the SBA guarantee without having gone through extensive due diligence by both the SBA and the lender. Because of this, funding time for SBAs can be rather slow. To help speed up the funding of smaller SBA loans, the government now offers the SBA Express Program which can fund within days not weeks. In addition, the Small Business Administration also offers SBA emergency disaster loans of up to $2 million for small businesses that meet their emergency financing requirements.

    Emergency Alternative Loans

    For companies with good credit, but have a business emergency that won t allow for the company to wait around for months for traditional financing, an alternative business loan may be a good option. Mid Prime alternative business lending are actual business loans that can fund within a week while only requiring minimal paperwork and documentation. With a simply credit application and submission of banks statements and tax returns, a company can be pre-approved for up to $500,000 within a couple of hours, and with a few more business documents can be funded directly into the company s bank account within days.

    Emergency Asset Based Loans

    If you re a company that is experiencing cash-flow issues and also lack sufficient credit for more traditional forms of business financing, an option may be to use your company or personal assets as collateral. Asset based business loans allow companies to use their commercial real estate, personal real estate, account receivables, inventory, machinery and or equipment as collateral for basis of funding.

    Emergency Bridge Loans

    Another option for companies in need of emergency business financing is emergency bridge funding. Bridge funding is a form of financing that helps a company meet its obligations while waiting for either permanent financing, or payment from a customer or vendor. Typically, bridge financing is secured by some sort of collateral, but under certain circumstances a company can receive unsecured bridge business financing if they have sufficient credit and cash-flow.

    Emergency Invoice Financing

    If a company isn t looking to actually commit to a term loan or line-of-credit, another way to secure business capital is to sell their unpaid 30-90 unpaid invoices for upfront funding. Invoice financing business-to-business transaction of a company s unpaid invoice in which a factoring company will buy the unpaid invoice, provide the company with a large percentage of the invoice (minus a fee) and then will forward the remainder of the invoice s value once the 3rd party have fully-paid the invoice.

    Equipment Leasing

    Every once in a while a vital piece of business equipment may need replacing without notice. When that happens, if a company doesn t have the capital to purchase the new equipment outright, may instead chose to try leasing new machinery or equipment. Equipment leasing provides companies with crucial equipment without having to commit to buying the machinery long-term.

    Emergency Business Cash Advance

    An emergency business cash advance isn t a loan, but the sale of a small business s future credit card deposits or bank account deposits in exchange for immediate funding. While the rates of a merchant advance (ACH loan) are easily the highest of all types of funding, those rates may be worth it should a company need immediate cash.

    • Factor rates: 1.16-1.55
    • Terms: 4-24 months

    Business Registration #small #business #loans #hawaii


    #

    Business Registration (BREG)

    Who We Are
    The Business Registration Division is a division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, a Government agency of the State of Hawaii. The Business Registration Branch maintains the business registry for all corporations, limited liability companies, general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited liability limited partnerships conducting business activities in the State. In addition, the registry contains trade names, trademarks, service marks and publicity name rights. Overview/Services

    We also run several Business Action Centers that offer in-person assistance with starting a business in Hawaii.

    Business Action Center (BAC)
    Main Location:
    1130 North Nimitz Highway
    Second Level, Suite A-220
    Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
    Phone: (808) 586-2545
    Fax: (808) 586-2544

    BAC offices are also located in Maui and Hilo .

    The Business Registration Division also oversees state regulation of securities .

    What s New

    For those considering Hawaii as their legal business domicile, we offer the following benefits:

    Single Agency Jurisdiction

    In Hawaii, all business registrations are filed with the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division. No county filings are necessary.

    Simple Registration

    Hawaii has streamlined its business registration forms. They are simple to fill out and only require enough information to fulfill Hawaii s statutory filing requirements.

    Efficient Processing

    Hawaii s filing and review process matches up well with any of the leading business registration states like Delaware and Florida. Normal filings can be accomplished in only 3 to 5 working days. Expedited filings can be done in 1 to 3 working days.

    Straightforward Filing Fees

    Hawaii has a very straightforward filing fee schedule for business registrations. Except for financial institutions, Hawaii assesses no business franchise taxes or charter taxes.

    To see all the filings, searches and purchasing that you can do online, click here .

    For downloadable registration forms and fee information in PDF format, click here .


    Blockbeta Marketing – Seattle Marketing Consultant #small #business #marketing,digital #marketing,retail #marketing


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    Don’t Let Marketing Control You

    As marketing has become increasingly complex, with new tactics, techniques and technologies being introduced every day, we help you figure out what you should, and sometimes what you shouldn’t, be doing to squeeze the most out of your marketing budget.

    If You Want to Grow, You Need Marketing Management

    We’ve been working with small to medium sized businesses for over 30 years to help them grow by executing the right combination of products/services, communications strategies and cloud technologies.

    Y ou know your business; we live and breathe marketing. Together we can take your business to the next level by making the right trade-offs between promotional techniques. We work by the project and offer custom marketing programs at a fixed monthly rate.

    Mpower Hours

    Meet one-on-one with a marketing expert for free in Seattle. Sign up

    Just Saying.

    Robbin was excellent and engaged. Gave great examples and answered questions.

    Slay the Social Media Dragon presentation attendee June 2017
    more from happy customers

    Control the Chaos

    Marketing isn’t just about tactics — SEO, social media, advertising, etc. It should be a practical approach to getting the most out of your marketing dollars. If you find yourself overwhelmed by everything you need to do to market your business.

    Branding Websites

    Your website is at the core of everything you do. It’s often the first place prospects experience your business. So what goes into creating a site goes far beyond picking the right tools to build it.

    Marketing Execution

    We deliver professional performance and value. From graphic design through cloud technology, we deliver on time and on budget defined by a well-integrated strategy.

    Start with a Call

    If you have questions about creating or improving your website or marketing your business, we can help. No charge for the initial call.


    Funding Program Types – Australian Government Grants & Loans – Australian Government


    #

    Funding Program

    Choose from many available funding types

    Depending on the size and the nature of your business you may qualify for a government grant or loan from between $1,500 to over $10 million. Our Centre has helped small businesses just like yours receive over $45,072,143 in business funding as you can see from our own success stories. The average funding amount we see is approximately $254,645 and come from a variety of funding types such as:

    Loans

    Grants and subsidies

    Tax breaks

    Business advantages

    Get Expert Help

    Find out if you may be eligible for funding

    Call: 1800 813 863

    Still not sure where to start? Our in-house group of experts can help. Give us a call or fill out the form below to begin.

    For More Info Call 1800 813 863

    Use Our Fund Finder Speak with a Funding Expert

    Find out if you may be eligible for funding

    Call: 1800 813 863

    Still not sure where to start? Our in-house group of experts can help. Give us a call or fill out the form below to begin.

    Government Money May be Available For Your Business

    Search through 486 government programs

    You may be eligible for.

    0 Funding Programs

    $0 Government Funding

    Many government programs have a limited window for when they accept new applications. Don’t risk losing your chance to receive funding.

    Time Left To Register Today

    Time is up for today, but you still have a chance.

    Please note Grant Finder results are to help you assess your possible funding eligibility. Additional possible program eligibility requirements may be applicable. Results provided are not part of a funding application which must be made to the applicable funding office and assessed in accordance with its regulations. Our Centre is not affiliated to any funding agency. Persons acting on information provided here do so at their own risk.

    Ready to Get Started?

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    Or fill out the form below to get in touch with one of our Funding Experts.


    Investment options #jennison #us #small #cap #equity #fund


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    Begin Investing inYour Financial Future

    Securities products and services are offered through: Pruco Securities, LLC and Prudential Investment Management Services, LLC, both members SIPC and located in Newark, NJ, or Prudential Annuities Distributors, Inc. located in Shelton, CT. All are Prudential Financial companies. Statement of Financial Condition for Prudential Investment Management Services, LLC.

    Insurance and annuities are issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Pruco Life Insurance Company (except in NY and/or NJ) and Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey (in NY and/or NJ). Each is a Prudential Financial company located in Newark, NJ (main office) and each is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations.

    Variable annuities are distributed by Prudential Annuities Distributors, Inc. Shelton, CT.

    Retirement products and services are provided by Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company, Hartford, CT, or its affiliates.

    “Prudential Advisors” is a brand name of The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its subsidiaries.

    Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock Symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Site for U.S. persons only.

    Information contained on this site does not and is not intended to constitute an advertisement, solicitation or offer for sale in any jurisdiction, outside the United States of America, where such use would be prohibited or otherwise regulated.

    Prudential Financial, its affiliates, and their financial professionals do not render tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and legal advisors regarding your personal circumstances.

    Prudential Financial, Inc. of the United States is not affiliated with Prudential plc, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom.

    Pruco Life Insurance Company, an Arizona company – California COA # 3637. The Prudential Insurance Company of America – California COA # 1179. Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company – California COA # 08003. The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America Newark, NJ.

    Securities and Insurance Products:

    Not Insured by FDIC or any Federal Government Agency | May Lose Value | Not a Deposit of or Guaranteed by the Bank or any Bank Affiliate.


    Hours & Locations #small #business #loans #houston #tx


    #

    Hours & Locations

    ATM Locations

    Whether in your home town or out of town, with our Allpoint ATM network, you have access to over 55,000 surcharge free ATMs worldwide. Find a location near you .

    Nationwide Service Centers

    Shared Service Centers allow you to conduct business at affiliated credit unions as if it was Members Choice. You can make deposits, withdrawals and loan payments at these locations. (Some restrictions on transactions may apply.) Get a list of locations nationwide here. Please call the location before visiting to confirm hours of operation

    • January 2 – New Year’s Day (Observed)
    • January 16 – MLK Jr. Day
    • February 20 – Presidents Day
    • May 29 – Memorial Day
    • July 4 – Independence Day
    • September 4 – Labor Day
    • October 9 – Columbus Day
    • November 23 – Thanksgiving Day
    • December 25 – Christmas Day

    Click here to view the holiday schedule for the ConocoPhillips Phillips 66 locations.

    Members Choice Credit Union
    14960 Park Row Blvd
    Houston, TX 77084

    Routing Number: 313083196

  • Email Disclaimer

    Notice: To avoid compromising your identity, Members Choice Credit Union suggests that confidential information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, not be transmitted via email. Instead, please contact your nearest Members Choice location.

    External Link Disclaimer

    You are now leaving the Members Choice Credit Union website. Members Choice Credit Union (including its directors, shareholders, employees, and affiliates) is not liable or responsible for the content, information, security, or failure of any products or services promoted or advertised on this third party site.

    *If the web page does not open, please turn off the pop-up blocker on your device or computer.

    Members Choice Credit Union


    Business voip solutions #small #business #voip #solution


    #

    Start your GSM termination business with Profitable business packages for VoIP GSM termination

    Start Your Business

    All-inclusive business VOIP solutions

    New Business

    It is no secret that emergent GSM termination entrepreneurs are interested in making money as soon as possible, applying minimum effort. However, lack of experience, lack of investment and the AntiFraud system stops many of them.

    Over 3 years, we have studied the market and the difficulties that terminators face doing their voip business. We have actively cooperated with and helped more than 2,000 of our customers, tackled their small voip business problems and continually improved our service to prepare an efficient business model, which will allow making $2,000 as early as the second month of doing small voip business.

    An all-in-one package to start the GSM termination business – New Business.

    Equipment. Affordable and easy to manage GoIP gateways and SIM-banks for business voip solutions. We work directly with the supplier, carry out deliveries, connect and set up the entire system. Moreover, thanks to our service, you will get VoIP GSM gateways equipped with the advanced functionality comparable with that of Topex and Antrax, but at an affordable price.

    The AntiFraud system and SIM-lock are the factors that negatively affect the profitability of the GSM termination business. It blocks your SIM-cards and increases the cost of terminated call. To cut expenses, many terminators resort to various tricks, like relocating the equipment from one place to another, simulating the movement of a living human or generate the flow of incoming calls manually, which is inconvenient and expensive.

    Our service combines all the protection features against AntiFraud thanks to the automated system that takes into account the parameters of humanity and allows your business to extend the lifespan of SIM-cards and save on the purchase of new ones.

    The protection logic is completely configured under the supervision of our managers and adapted to the specifics of the country, in which the GSM-terminator operates using business voip solutions.

    Buying traffic. At this stage, many failures happen because of low-quality calls, delays in payment or lowered prices. Your success and increased profits are important to us, so we will advise you reputed originators, who successfully cooperate with our other customers who use business voip solutions.

    Internet and other expenses. In order to terminate, you need a high-quality and proven rout at a 64 MB/s. However, in order to have the entire system operating independently and uninterrupted, you have to pay more money due to the low quality of the Internet. When terminating the VoIP GSM traffic, costs can be daunting, so we connect the SBO traffic optimization module, the latter will help your system reduce the consumption of the Internet by 3 times.

    SIM card unload protection will allow you to terminate around the clock, even there is an unstable connection between the SIM-bank and gateways.

    As a result, our business package can reduce costs up to $830 a month and make up to $4,000 a month.

    You are welcome to start making your money right now!

    Up to 64 channels

    Issues we solve Common problems of VoIP GSM termination that business VOIP solution can handle:

    • Complicated equipment set up.
    • Lack of qualified technical support.
    • Frequent SIM-blocking by GSM operators’ AntiFraud system.
    • No interface available to monitor the equipment operation and collect the channel performance statistics.
    • IT-educated employees required to support VoIP GSM system.
    • Poor business organization.

    Start My Business Now

    Features The complete business VOIP solution to rise your profits from termination with GoIP equipment.


    Call center for small business #call #center #for #small #business


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    • Connections //
      • Residential UTOPIA 250Mbps to 1Gb Exclusive, High-Speed Data and Voice Data and voice services over fiber optics. Available in select Utah cities. Starting at only $37/month (data only).
      • Business UTOPIA 10Mb to 10Gb Fully-scalable Fiber Optic Connection Speeds from 10Mbps to 10Gbps and beyond. Exclusive to select Utah cities. Unique networking options available.
      • Residential Services UTOPIA and VoIP Reliable services for the home Stable high-speed Internet connection and unlimited long-distance calling and countless features.
      • Business Connectivity Advanced networking options Business Connections of Every Size Flavor Optical Ethernet, UTOPIA fiber, T1s and more. Fully monitored. Starting at $350/month
      • Business Phone Services VoIP Systems that Grow Go with Your Business Transition to a fully-featured, digital phone system without any workday interruption. From $39/month.
      • SIP Trunking IP-based call sending and receiving Save money and grow easily using our affordable SIP services. From $25/month
    • Hosting //
      • Web Hosting Stable Hosting for Personal and Business Websites Shared Hosting starts at $10/month with: Plenty of Storage & Bandwidth Expert 24/7 Support Money-Back Guarantee.
      • Managed Cloud Scale up and out to meet your business needs. Flexible, scalable, virtual data center that grows and adjusts with your evolving business. Starting from $127/month.
      • Unmanaged Cloud VPS from XMission. Includes root access for full control. Guaranteed high performance. Easily scale resources. Starts at $27/month
      • Colocation Put Your Trust in Our Data Center A secure, fully-monitored colocation facility with redundant power and bandwidth. Starting at $90/month.
      • Email Collaboration Communicate and Collaborate From Anywhere Email, manage contacts, schedule events. Powered by Zimbra. From $1.95/month per account.
      • SSL Secure Your Data and Your Peace of Mind We offer certificates from established Certificate Authorities, including GeoTrust , Thawte , Trustwave , and Verisign
      • Domains Easy and affordable domain registration. Annual or multi-year renewal options. Drive traffic to your business on the Internet for as low as $9.49/year
    • Company //
      • Our Story XMission is Utah’s first ISP, and now a leading, local provider of business services.
      • Our Network The largest diverse-carrier network in Utah.
      • Professional Services Hire our experts to assist with IT including web development, networking, programming, and more!
      • Blog XMission company news and technology articles
      • Partner Become a Channel Partner. Deliver better solutions to customers and earn money.
      • Community Our Commitment to Utah
      • Environment Our Commitment to Sustainability. We power all of our services with renewable energy.
      • Jobs Work on the XMission Team!
      • Legal Privacy and Policies
      • Media News & Resources
      • Statistics View Statistics For Your Account and XMission’s Network
      • Transparency Our report on how we guard your privacy
    • Contact //
      • Contact Contact XMission by email, phone, chat, etc.
      • Change Password Change your password using this form.
      • Pay Your Bill Pay your XMission Bill using this online form.
      • Support 24-Hour Technical Assistance from Top Experts
      • Announcements Stay updated on XMission’s latest news systems info

    Email & Collaboration

    Give your team instant access to a full communications suite you can trust. Manage emails, schedule meetings, update contacts, and share everything.

    Gigabit Fiber

    SLC isn’t the only Gigabit town in Utah!

    Amp up your data connection on XMission UTOPIA.
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    Ways to Fund Your Small Business #types #of #small #business #loans


    #

    Ways to Fund Your Small Business

    Small business financing can be difficult to obtain, and at some point it may even seem like you ve run out of options, but there are many different ways to get funding, a lot of which you may not even know. If you think you ve exhausted all your options, comb over this list and dive deeper into the areas you haven t tried, (or reexamine the ones you have but were unsuccessful at). Access to Capital offers not only funding education, but tips on how you can stop getting turned down for loans, so make sure you research every option before calling it quits.

    For in-depth resources, tips and education, visit our lending pages:

    Alternative Lending

    Crowdfunding

    Made popular by sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, crowdfunding is the process of requesting funds or small investments from relatives, friends, or strangers to help fund your business. Learn all about crowdfunding, whether it s right for your business, and how to get started, in our crowdfunding guide .

    Micro-financing

    You can find a CDFI in your area by:

    Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P)

    P2P lending allows a business owner to borrow and lend money with their peers in the business space. P2P lending is a method of debt financing that enables individuals to borrow and lend money without the use of an official financial institution as an intermediary. Peer-to-peer lending removes the middleman from the process, but it also involves more time, effort and risk than the general brick-and-mortar lending scenarios.

    Business Credit Cards

    Business credit cards can aid in keeping businesses expenses on track and help in obtaining the purchasing power needed to run a business. Often times business credit cards will provide rewards for business purchases such as airline miles or cash back.

    Merchant Cash Advance:

    Learn more about the pros and cons of an MCA in the video below, or on our alternative lending page .

    Startup Funding

    Venture Capital:

    Venture capital is money provided by investors to startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. This is a very important source of funding for startups that do not have access to capital markets. It typically entails high risk for the investor, but it has the potential for above-average returns. This form of raising capital is popular among new companies or ventures with limited operating history, which cannot raise funds by issuing debt.

    Angel Investors:

    An Angel investor is anyone who invests their money in an entrepreneurial company. The capital they provide can be a one-time injection of seed money or ongoing support to carry the company through difficult times. Angel Investors are focused on helping the business succeed, rather than reaping a huge profit from their investment. -Sources Entrepreneur.com and Investopedia.com

    Business Incubation:

    Business incubation programs are designed to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through a variety of business support resources and services. Check out Entrepreneur.com s overview of incubation programs for the quick facts, or find a program near you: The International Business Innovation Association (INBIA) is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Their site may be able to help you find an incubator that s right for your startup.

    Business Plan Competitions:

    Business plan competitions are an alternative source of financing that can be relatively low risk. They typically do not require you to show your credit score or put up collateral.

    Trying to find a competition near you or read more details? Luckily there s a site dedicated to tracking these competitions and making them easily searchable!

    The SBA

    SBA 7(a) loans:

    The SBA guarantees loans to help small businesses unable to get traditional loans through banks.

    The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s primary program for helping startups and existing small businesses, with financing guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. SBA does not make loans itself, but rather guarantees loans made by participating lending institutions. Visit our SBA Loans resource page to learn more.

    Small Business Lending Fund:

    The Small Business Lending Fund is a $30 billion fund that encourages lending to small businesses by providing Tier 1 capital to qualified community banks with assets of less than $10 billion. Through the Small Business Lending Fund, Main Street banks and small businesses can work together to help create jobs and promote economic growth in local communities across the nation. -Source Treasury.gov

    Check out this map from Treasury.gov which highlights participating institutions.

    Equity Financing:

    Equity Crowdfunding is a hybrid form of funding that combines equity financing with crowdfunding. It s a relatively new form of funding that was just opened to the public in May of 2016. Now, instead of just accredited investors being able to provide funds, anyone can fund a business in exchange for equity in the company. Learn more about equity crowdfunding .

    Personal Assets

    Mortgages:

    Mortgages are used by individuals and businesses to make large purchases of real estate without paying the entire value of the purchase up front, and the borrower is obliged to pay back with a predetermined set of payments. -Source Investopedia.com

    401(k) Financing:

    If you have built up a 401(k), you can consider using your retirement account from previous jobs to fund your new business.

    Bootstrapping/Personal Savings:

    Stretching all of your resources as far as they can go can be an effective way to increase cash flow.

    Bootstrapping is the ability to stretch resources both financial and otherwise as far as they can go. Bootstrapping is one of most effective and inexpensive ways to ensure a business positive cash flow. It means less money has to be borrowed and interest costs are reduced.

    Personal Credit Cards:

    A personal credit card issued by a financial company that gives you the option to borrow funds, usually at point of sale, could help fund minor purchases for your business. Because of the interest rates on credit cards, they are primarily used for short-term financing .

    Share this:


    Entrepreneurship – The New York Times, small business finance blog.#Small #business #finance


    #

    Entrepreneurship

    The Rebranding of the Bronx

    A cadre of homegrown artists, designers and entrepreneurs are giving the South Bronx an image transplant.

    By RUTH LA FERLA

    Small business finance blog

    Entrepreneurship

    Bubble Tea Purveyors Continue to Grow Along With Drink’s Popularity

    Entrepreneurs marketing the beverage hope to ride tea’s rising popularity to expand their businesses and steal more of coffee’s market share.

    By JOANNE KAUFMAN

    Small business finance blog

    Entrepreneurship

    When a Scented Candle Just Won’t Do

    Companies that sell commercial fragrance systems for stores and hotels have introduced high-end devices for the home, aiming to vanquish plug-ins.

    By JOANNE KAUFMAN

    Small business finance blog

    Small Businesses Split Over Republican Health Plans

    Small-business owners, some of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act, are divided over Republican plans to reverse much of the law.

    By STACY COWLEY

    Small business finance blog

    Paid Petsitting in Homes Is Illegal in New York. That’s News to Some Sitters.

    The arrival of dogsitting apps like Rover and Wag has led the city to dust off a rule against caring for pets for pay in homes.

    By SARAH MASLIN NIR

    Small business finance blog

    Beer Makers Who Used Other Breweries Are Opening Their Own

    A sense of place, and a place to sell, are suddenly important in the beer world. So contract, or “gypsy,” brewers are putting down roots.

    By JOSHUA M. BERNSTEIN

    Small business finance blog

    In Social Sports, It’s About Camaraderie, Not Competition

    Businesses step in to provide personal connections through leagues for sports like kickball and dodge ball.

    Small business finance blog

    For Fashion Week, an Archivist Comes Down From the Attic

    For the designer Emily Adams Bode, the shock of the new is worth less than the thrill of the old.

    By MATTHEW SCHNEIER

    Small business finance blog

    Four Questions

    Custom Suits for Guys Who Thought They Were Out of Reach

    With custom-made garments and pieces from under-the-radar clothiers at discount prices, Brooklyn Tailors meets an unexpected demand.

    Small business finance blog

    Entrepreneurship

    Travel Agents? No. Travel ‘Designers’ Create Strategies, Not Trips.

    Boutique travel agencies have carved a specialty out of catering to wealthy clients who want curated long-term travel plans.

    By JOANNE KAUFMAN

    Small business finance blog

    The South Park Commons Fills a Hole in the Tech Landscape

    The Bay Area tech scene has start-up incubators and hacker spaces. But what do you do when you want to figure out your next move?

    Small business finance blog

    Prototype

    Feel the Noise: Homemade Slime Becomes Big Business

    The market for slime — a sticky substance in a multitude of colors — is thriving in a cottage industry run by fourth-graders, teenagers and young adults.

    By CLAIRE MARTIN

    Small business finance blog

    Retiring

    When Mom and Pop Can’t Sell the Farm (or in This Case, the Theme Park)

    Larry and Helene Donley want the Wild West Town they built to survive them, but their sons and grandchildren are ready to move on. What to do?

    Entrepreneurship

    A New Lure for Spa Customers? A Salt Cave

    Hundreds of spas now offer salt therapy, which some claim can treat asthma and eczema and even regulate blood pressure, though there is no proof.

    By JOANNE KAUFMAN

    Small business finance blog

    Economic View

    Why Women Don’t See Themselves as Entrepreneurs

    Research shows that women are less likely to consider entrepreneurship, largely because they don’t see other women entrepreneurs as role models.

    By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

    Small business finance blog

    Corner Office

    Chip Bergh on Setting a High Bar and Holding People Accountable

    The chief executive of Levi Strauss & Company says leaders have to be straight with employees, and tell them if their performance is falling short.

    Small business finance blog

    Now, Your Financial Advisers Will Have to Put You First (Sometimes)

    A new fiduciary rule, which takes partial effect on Friday, will help investors assess the fees they are charged as well as the motives of the people who guide them.

    The Workologist

    Stuck in the Middle (With Good Ideas)

    Friendships at work are wonderful, but they can cause problems when you feel obligated to solve issues that aren’t your responsibility.

    Small business finance blog

    Entrepreneurship

    How Much Did That Zipper Cost? With Transparency Pricing, You Know Everything

    Some online retailers have taken to explaining in exhaustive detail how much their wares cost to make, so consumers know what they are paying for.

    By IMAN STEVENSON

    Small business finance blog

    Corner Office

    Barbara Corcoran on the Power of a Positive Attitude

    The judge on “Shark Tank” says she likes to invest in entrepreneurs who will persevere and always find a way to succeed.

    Small business finance blog


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    Award Winning Search

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    SEO tips for your website at ET Now by Navneet Kaushal PageTraffic

    Creating value for clients is our sole objective and everything else revolves around it. No matter what we are working on, we devise innovative ways to meet the campaign goals following the best SEO practices.

    We have handled the online marketing mandate for thousands of businesses, enabling them to focus on their core business processes. We don’t specialize in any industry; we specialize in what we do – Getting new customers everyday.

    With our best in the class dashboard, get 24×7 access to your campaigns, reports, todos, milestones, teams and reports.

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    “We have used other search engine marketing companies with very poor results. PageTraffic has kept our company in the top spots in Google keeping our phones ringing and our website providing excellent revenues. I highly recommend PageTraffic as one of the best SEO agency for your business.”

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    Search Engine Optimization Let us take care of changing algorithms and elusive rankings with our specialized SEO packages geared to get you top rankings.

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    DSL information #small #business #support


    #

    What is DSL?

    Damn Small Linux is a very versatile 50MB mini desktop oriented Linux distribution.

    Damn Small is small enough and smart enough to do the following things:

    • Boot from a business card CD as a live linux distribution (LiveCD)
    • Boot from a USB pen drive
    • Boot from within a host operating system (that’s right, it can run *inside* Windows)
    • Run very nicely from an IDE Compact Flash drive via a method we call “frugal install”
    • Transform into a Debian OS with a traditional hard drive install
    • Run light enough to power a 486DX with 16MB of Ram
    • Run fully in RAM with as little as 128MB (you will be amazed at how fast your computer can be!)
    • Modularly grow — DSL is highly extendable without the need to customize

    DSL was originally developed as an experiment to see how many usable desktop applications can fit inside a 50MB live CD. It was at first just a personal tool/toy. But over time Damn Small Linux grew into a community project with thousands of development hours put into refinements including a fully automated remote and local application installation system and a very versatile backup and restore system which may be used with any writable media including a USB device, floppy disk, or a hard drive.

    DSL has a nearly complete desktop, and a tiny core of command line tools. All applications have been chosen for the best balance of functionality, size and speed. Damn Small also has the ability to act as an SSH/FTP/HTTPD server right off of a live CD. In our quest to save space and have a fully functional desktop we’ve made many GUI administration tools which are fast yet still easy to use. What does DSL have?

    XMMS (MP3, CD Music, and MPEG), FTP client, Dillo web browser, Netrik web browser, FireFox, spreadsheet, Sylpheed email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor (Ted), three editors (Beaver, Vim, and Nano [Pico clone]), graphics editing and viewing (Xpaint, and xzgv), Xpdf (PDF Viewer), emelFM (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, Rdesktop, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE (ADSL), a web server, calculator, generic and GhostScript printer support, NFS, Fluxbox and JWM window managers, games, system monitoring apps, a host of command line tools, USB support, and pcmcia support, some wireless support.

    Curious about who we are? Check out the contributors page .

    3.x Supports Application launching from limited icons. Application centric. Menu driven.
    Current 3.x version 3.4.12. screenshots: 1 2 Older Screenshots

    4.x Supports Drag-N-Drop, Folder/Document centric. Many icons. Can be run menuless.
    Current 4.x version: 4.4.10. screenshots: 1 2
    Current Release Candidate: 4.11.RC2.


    Where to go to from here?


    10 ways to… Prioritise your workload #small #business #management #online #courses


    #

    Search

    10 ways to… Prioritise your workload

    This page has been archived because it is no longer current information but is still relevant, or it is current but over 12 months old

    • Publish date: 01 June 2011
    • Archived on: 01 June 2012

    Working efficiently is important for any business but getting snowed under is a too-familiar situation. A well-structured workload is key to good time management and will increase your productivity.

    Small Business Update

    This update was published in Small Business Update 90 – June 2011

    Small Business Update from Atom Content Marketing is a monthly magazine for people running their own business. Articles vary in length and cover ‘hot topics’, issues of importance, and current affairs.

    Find out how to prioritise tasks.

    1. The to-do list. Don t keep it on different post-it notes or in your head at the beginning of each day or week, write on a sheet of paper what you want to get done and by when. Rank tasks according to importance or urgency to plan your day and focus your mind.
    2. Review your workload regularly. Is there one task that always ends up at the bottom of the pile? If you find you re avoiding it, can somebody else do it? Consider delegating whole projects that you don t need to be involved in or allocate a specific time when you only do your admin, for example.
    3. Remember the 80:20 rule of workloads. It s very simple 80 per cent of our work contributes to less than 20 per cent of its value. Concentrate on the most crucial 20 per cent of your workload, because performance would still be strong.
    4. Set realistic deadlines for your tasks. Look at your to-do list and estimate the time each task needs to be completed but don t be overoptimistic. Be honest of what you can achieve in a working day or week so that you don t feel overwhelmed from the start.
    5. Allow time for interruptions. If you need to finish a certain task at a certain time, only deal with urgent queries during this time. You can then quickly pick up again where you left off.
    6. Structure your workload. Avoid picking up a job, doing a bit and then putting it back on the pile. Deal with them one at a time and finish each one before starting another. Your mind will be clear and ready for the next one.
    7. Don t let your inbox drive your workload. If you get 50 mails per day, this means 50 interruptions to your day. Don t check your inbox every time a message arrives. Switch off instant alerts if necessary and allocate a time when you will check your inbox.
    8. Fun, fun, fun. Ticking items off your to-do list is great, but are you concentrating on the quick-and-easy ones? Tackling more challenging projects first might mean more time, but also that a major task is completed and a weight off your shoulders.
    9. Keep multitasking to a minimum. Starting a number of jobs simultaneously means most of them won t get your undivided attention. Think of multitasking as dealing with more than one task during a day, not at the same time. That way you focus on the project in hand.
    10. Keep a log of your workload. If you re unsure how long things take, how often your focus shifts or how many times you get interrupted, keep a log of your working week. This will help you plan your week in future.

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    Accounts Receivable Factoring Company #small #business #factoring #companies


    #

    Get funded in days.

    Accounts Receivables (AR) Factoring

    We offer this service as a fast and informative alternative to traditional bank loans. If your business has $25,000 or more in accounts receivables for delivered goods, services you have provided, or other company assets, you can qualify.

    Our alternative financing solutions offer you access to working capital to meet your individual business requirements and help with company growth, new hires, inventory acquisition, and generalized cash flow. Qualified applicants can receive funds from $25,000 to $4,000,000.

    Helping Businesses Get Working Capital

    Working capital is essential for a growing business but sometimes it can be a juggling act, particularly when you are first starting out or especially when you are experiencing a growth spurt.

    Growth can be tricky! You need capital to help you grow and it can take weeks or even months for clients to pay their B2B invoices, stifling your progress and often your ability to fill subsequent orders for them. United Capital Funding can help you in a number of ways so that you can simply do what you do best — serve your clients. Our experienced and professional is here to help.

    How? Some of the ways we serve our clients include: providing funding using your B2B Accounts Receivables as collateral, payroll funding and professional consulting services that help you leverage our expertise.

    When it comes to working capital and funding, the United Capital Funding team is experts and we are known for helping companies hit the next level in their quest for success.

    Unleash the Value and Power of your Accounts Receivables

    Our most popular professional service involves providing working capital using you Accounts Receivables. Simply put, you can sell us your B2B invoices and we provide you funding immediately.

    How can this help your business? By factoring your B2B Accounts Receivables [AR][/AR], you can put your capital to work quickly — giving you the ability to expand, hire new employees, take on the big sale instead of having to wait for getting paid, holding back your business’s growth and potentially causing problems with your with suppliers, customers, and employees.

    When your customers take their time to pay you, you are the one who waits! Entrepreneurial companies of every size in a wide range of industries have very successfully used our factoring services to grow and prosper.

    There are a variety of ways we can help above and beyond providing your business with working capital by factoring your B2b Accounts Receivables.

      • Do you need funding for a big purchase order? We can help find and secure this type of specialized funding for you.
      • Do you need cash flow to help you with expenses and payroll through a sudden growth spurt? We can help here, too.

    We are a professional proven source of working capital that can move quickly and we never ask for equity or ownership in your business. Given our unique funding structure with no minimum volume requirements, you remain in control of how much working capital you need.

    Serving Companies Nationwide since 1997

    We have a proven, impeccable track record of success serving clients of all sizes in a variety of industries. We work with government, service businesses, information technology companies, staffing organizations, and more. We proactively provide client references and have consistently recorded 95% Highest Satisfaction rating from our clients.

    Here are just some of our very satisfied client comments and Client Survey results, check them out!

    Call (877) 894-8232

    Our Professional Services Helps Firms like Yours Achieve Success

    The road to success is paved with hard work, of course, but we can shorten that road so that you aren’t waiting to get paid for weeks (or months) on end.

    Want more information? Want to know if your company qualifies for our proven menu of B2B Accounts Receivables factoring? Feel free to browse our website or get in touch for personalized assistance. Our experienced team at United Capital Funding looks forwarding to serving you soon.

    We have provided working capital to our clients by factoring Accounts Receivables from over 80% of the Fortune 500 firms in the world.


    Compare Small Business Loans for Good, Average and Bad Credit #womens #small


    #

    Online small business loans for you

    Loading your loans.

    *Annual Percentage Rates (APR), loan term and monthly payments are estimated based on analysis of information provided by you, data provided by lenders, and publicly available information. All loan information is presented without warranty, and the estimated APR and other terms are not binding in any way. Lenders provide loans with a range of APRs depending on borrowers credit and other factors. Keep in mind that only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actual APR will depend on factors like credit score, requested loan amount, loan term, and credit history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval.

    The government-guaranteed business loan program works with banks to offer low interest rates and long-term repayment. SBA loans offer low rates and long repayment terms. But the process is time consuming and the requirements are strict. Only those with great personal credit, strong business finances and the bandwidth to wait for funding should apply. – Loan amounts: $30,000 to $5 million – APR range: 7% to 8% – Good for: large one-time investments, purchasing real estate or equipment, buying existing businesses, refinancing debt

    Online lenders offer term loans of up to $500,000. For a short-term loan, the repayment period typically ranges from six to 12 months, while a long-term loan’s repayment can extend up to 10 years or longer in some cases. – APR range: 7% to 98% – Good for: large one-time investments

    A business line of credit provides you with access to flexible cash. Lenders give you access to a specific amount of credit (say, $100,000), but you don’t make payments or get charged interest until you tap into the funds. – Credit line range: $2,000 to $500,000 – APR range: 9% to 108% – Good for: managing cash flow, handling unexpected expenses and financing short-term business needs.

    Invoice factoring lets your small business turn its invoices (the money owed by customers that has yet to be paid) into immediate cash. You sell the invoices to a factoring company, which then gets paid when it collects from your customers. If you’d rather maintain control over your invoices, invoice financing is an alternative to factoring. – Financing amounts: $500 to $500,000 – APR range: 11% to 64% – Good for: managing cash flow, short-term financing

    Only about 1 in 5 businesses that apply for a loan from a big bank are approved. To solve that problem, we work with online lenders that specialize in making the loan application process simple. Plus, they’re faster and offer more competitive rates than many banks.

    How does NerdWallet make money?

    We make money when you get the funding you need. Some of the loan providers on our site pay us a referral fee when customers like you get approved for a loan. We always try to find the best option for you, even if we don’t have a paying relationship with that lender. We also actively turn down offers from lenders that we feel seek to take advantage of small business owners. Read more about how we make money .


    Motel Pro – Hotel Motel Software for Small and Medium Sized Hotels

    #motel software

    #

    Are you tired of doing manual paperwork for your Hotel/Motel?

    Let MotelPRO a full featured Hotel/Motel software can help you manage and organize your business. No typing or computer skill required. Our easy to use, SCAN-SIGN-N-STAY PMS can convert your front desk operation to a paperless office. We offer seamless two way online reservation interface thru our MotelPRO ChannelPRO integration for major Online Travel Agencies and GDS.

    Motel Pro

    We offer a 30 day free trial of our easy to install use PMS software Motel PRO .

    Download Now

    Free trial of MotelPRO
    a full featured software

    Hardware Solutions

    We offer various advanced hardware integration with all our software to retrieve customer’s information and acquire electronic signature.

    TT Scan 800 – Duplex ID Scanner

  • SnapShell Camera Scanner

    Software Solutions

    We provide turnkey software solutions listed below and create customized solutions for many industries.

    Simple guest check-in system for Independent hotel/motel owners. Supports all length of stays including daily, Weekly, Monthly and other.

    A fully automated online booking engine for your hotel/motel website to increase revenue / occupancy and maintain rate parity.

    Manage Rates and Inventory for all major online travel partners like Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity etc. with our state of the art channel.

    Speed up check-in process by scanning License/ID/Passport for all US states, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas and many other countries.

    VTSPRO© is a sophisticated yet very easy to use visitor tracking system for communities, condo lobbies, schools, hospitals.

    To learn more about our Products and services

    Why Choose MotelPRO?

    Motel PRO is being used by more than 600 independent hotel/motel owners and operators nationwide and that number is growing rapidly. Our clients include from 5 room bed and breakfast property to 185 room full service hotel. Our pricing structure makes it affordable to all size properties.

    Read More

    Shailesh Shah

    President, C.T.O
    (Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Florida)

    An IT professional providing hardware/software based systems and solutions for over 25 years. His extensive operational knowledge of many industries has earned him respect from his growing customer base. He has designed, maintained and supported IT based solutions for various types of businesses nationwide.

    Testimonials

    We have been using MotelPRO for over 20 years (from DOS days). We have been promoting MotelPRO to our friends and family thru out USA. Doing paper work with MotelPRO is as easy as it can be.

    Bharat M Patel
    Sinbad Motel (Miami – FL)

    MotelPRO is a full featured easy to install use software. Download your free trial now.





  • Business proofreading services and copyediting #business #proofreading, #proofreading #services, #copyediting, #internet #proofreading,


    #

    Clients Love the Convenience, Speed, and Accuracy of
    Internet Proofreading from BusinessProofreading.com

    Internet Proofreading Is Convenient

    In this “I need it yesterday” world, you’re sure to agree with my clients that Internet proofreading is a blessing. The convenience of being able to simply email a message or attachment and have it returned to you polished and ready to impress is an absolute necessity. With Internet proofreading, all your copyediting can be handled quickly and professionally.

    “In the advertising/copywriting business, I always hear from customers who are in a hurry for copyediting. It’s such a blessing to know that BusinessProofreading.com is available to help me out in a pinch. The convenience factor of being able to email or fax a project to Cathy and have it returned in just a short while is a real lifesaver!”

    Internet Proofreading Is Fast

    I constantly hear my clients’ kind words about quick turnaround. Internet proofreading, in and of itself, speeds up the process. And I always strive to meet your deadlines even if you have a rush job.

    “Cathy Kessler has proven time and again to be a valuable asset in enhancing the effectiveness of many of my different types of written communications. I know that when I send something to Cathy for copyediting, not only will it be returned to me in a prompt manner, but also the document will be grammatically correct. Cathy’s helpful insights in the area of business proofreading have enabled me to clearly state what I want the reader to know, while doing it in a very straightforward, professional manner. I would highly recommend Cathy to anyone who understands the value of the well-edited written word.”

    Internet Proofreading Is Accurate

    Most of my clients rave about the accuracy of Internet proofreading. Because the copyediting is done in digital format, the results are more reliable than marking the changes on paper and then having to make adjustments on your document later. If you’d like to see the changes I’ve made while copyediting, just ask, and I’ll gladly mark them for you.

    “It’s really hard to find your own mistakes, especially when you know how text/copy should read. I always run all my projects past Cathy’s meticulous eyes before releasing a project to press or production. On more than one occasion, she has found typos or grammatical errors that would have cost me money and aggravation to reprint, not to mention client dissatisfaction as a result, I’ve never had to reprint a project. I would highly recommend Cathy’s copyediting and proofreading services to anyone who writes or uses text/copy of any kind. She’s the best!!”


    How to Set Up a Mobile and Virtual Office #small #business #virtual


    #

    Это видео недоступно.

    How to Set Up a Mobile and Virtual Office

    Опубликовано: 26 сент. 2013 г.

    Imagine the day when printers, desks, staplers, whiteboards, and even office walls don’t exist. Wouldn’t that be great?

    Well we’re almost there thankfully. Today, a laptop, or smartphone and an Internet connection are all we need.

    Everything else can be done online. That’s what I’m working on with my quest for virtual freedom.

    I write extensively about this in The Suitcase Entrepreneur book, especially in Chapter 7 where I did my research to bring you the most valuable resources and online tools to run your business from anywhere.

    When you set up a physical office, you probably ask yourself questions likes:

    Do we need to get a landline?
    How many phones should we install?
    How much does new office furniture cost?
    Do we need filing cabinets?

    You can see your costs adding up before your eyes and it’s scary, especially if you’re not turning a profit yet.

    As a virtual business owner with no office though, you save big time on your set up costs, especially when you use online tools that act as faxes and your local post office.

    All your activities, meetings and projects can be virtual and you can set up systems to manage your business and team that can be accessed anywhere and anytime, transcending time zones and international borders.

    So what tools do you really need? Well, you can look at a physical office and translate it into a virtual office pretty easily. Keep in mind too that with tools and a mobile office, less is always more.

    In this video, you’ll learn:

    Which two services to use to make your business appear to have a landline phone connection
    How to combat the issue of needing a mailing address and receiving/sending out physical mail
    Which suite of tools to always use for ease and optimal integration with other tools
    How to keep your receipts, documents, and business cards organized online
    What tool is best to manage your entire accounting system
    The easiest and fastest way to manage contracts with clients and partners

    Skype Personal Number
    Google Voice
    Google Everything — Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Apps — emails, online shared documents, drafts, forms, and scheduling
    Shoeboxed
    Freshbooks
    Hello Fax
    OurDeal
    PC2Paper
    Earth Class Mail
    Also, check out this article for more tips:

    Tips, Tools, and Resources: All You Will Need to Build Your Online Business
    Make sure you SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel for all of latest videos with travel and business tips!

    In the comments below, tell me one tool you find absolutely vital for your online business.

    Категория

    Лицензия


    6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business #marketing


    #

    6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

    If you believe that automated marketing and email marketing automation are the same thing, you re not alone. However, as you can see from the chart below, the use of marketing automation extends beyond email. Pulled from the pages of the Email Marketing Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report, this chart reveals the top six ways marketing automation is being used today:

    Automated Marketing Techniques to Consider

    Let s take a closer look at each of these automated marketing techniques and how you might use them to promote your small business.

    Email Automation

    While automated marketing does extend beyond electronic mail, email marketing is by far the most popular use of marketing automation and the top digital marketing tactic used today. Much of this is due to the benefits of email marketing including more leads, higher conversions, and lower marketing costs.

    Basic Profile Based Targeting

    Profiles, for both your leads and customers, are the basis of the next four automated marketing techniques.

    Targeting is the practice of focusing your marketing efforts on a specific group of people called a target market. Thanks to automated marketing tools, targeting, down to the individual level, is easier than ever, even across multiple channels such as email.

    The power under the hood here is the profile. In recent years, marketing automation tools have gained the ability to learn a lot about your leads and customers from their behavior on channels including:

    • Your website: the products they browse, put in their carts, and buy, the content they read, and where they come from (e.g. a specific social media platform); and
    • Your emails: the emails they open and the links within those emails they click.

    Based on these data points, you can hone your marketing efforts to a fine point by sending offers for the products and services in which they ve implicitly expressed interest. In addition, you can use these profiles to target your customers using one of the four techniques below.

    Personalization Using Dynamic Content

    Whether on your website or via email, personalizing the experience is an effective way to market your products and services.

    The best example of website personalization is Amazon s recommendations. For each customer, they select the both genre and book recommendations based on your past purchase and browsing behavior. In the case of the image below, the customer buys a lot of science fiction and fantasy book and therefore, that s what s recommended to them for their next purchase:

    When it comes to email marketing, the numbers show that segmenting your email list, sending different emails to different recipients based on their profile, is very effective.

    Broadcast Timing Based on Location, Sign-Up Time, or Other Criteria

    Timing is everything and then same is true for both email marketing and social media. If you don t time your marketing messages correctly, there s a good chance your email or social update will end up lost down in an inbox or social media stream respectively.

    How do you know when to market? By using a customer s profile which should contain all the clues you need including the time(s) they:

    • Signed-up for your email marketing list;
    • Most often visit your site and make purchases;
    • Open your emails and click on the links inside.

    In addition, make sure to account for a customer s time zone when configuring your automated marketing. For example, if you want to hit folks with an email first thing in the morning, use time zone targeting to stagger the email broadcast.

    Advanced Segmentation

    Segmenting your marketing efforts, especially your email marketing lists. is an important step to take when growing your small business. While there are a number of common segments to consider, you can break up and target your efforts in many different ways including:

    • Age;
    • Seniority;
    • Industry;
    • Content topic or format; and
    • Call-to-action clicks.

    Every point of data you gather in a customer s profile can be used to create an email segment. And use them you should the more specific the segment, the more effective it will be.

    Lead Scoring

    Scoring your leads is an advanced form of segmentation, both for email marketing and beyond, that enables you to target the leads who are most likely to buy your products and services.

    Many automated marketing systems include this feature which creates a lead score based on certain behaviors such as:

    • Emails opened;
    • Email links clicked;
    • Site visited;
    • Content viewed; and
    • Products viewed, added to cart, and purchased.

    Each time a behavior occurs, it demonstrates the engagement of the lead and, the lead s score goes up.

    6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business

    From on-site targeting to personalization, and lead scoring, you can use automation to more effectively market your products and services to both leads and existing customers. This automation extends well beyond email marketing and is worth considering as your build your marketing arsenal.


    Small Business Workshops Chicago #small #business #administration #chicago


    #

    Workshops and Seminars

    Get the know-how you need with SCORE business workshops and seminars

    SCORE Chicago offers over 200 workshops and seminars annually at either nominal or no cost at multiple locations throughout Chicago.


    Business Workshops
    Our small business workshops offer in depth training on a broad range of business topics. Whether you are thinking about starting a business or are are facing the challenges of being in business, we have a workshop that can help you. Workshops are offered at our Downtown Chicago office.

    Business Seminars

    Our business training seminars offer topical and timely information on subjects of interest to budding entrepreneurs as well as established business. They are usually co-sponsored with a partner, making them free to you. Seminars are offered at various locations throughout the suburbs.

    SCORE Online Workshops and Webinars


    For those who don’t have the time or can’t fit our workshops and seminars into their schedules, SCORE offers a wide selection of free online workshops that can be taken at any time and anywhere that you have computer access. We also offer webinars on timely subjects that are free of charge and allow for individual participation and feedback. Webinars are live and therefore available only at scheduled times.


    25 Free Low Cost Advertising Tips by Small Business Expert Tom Egelhoff


    #

    25 Free Low Cost Advertising Tips

    by Tom Egelhoff

    (Tom’s FREE Podcast for this topic is available. – For More Info Click Here)

    If there is one mistake small town businesses make more often than any other it’s, What ever is left over, we’ll use for advertising.

    Marketing and advertising is an investment, not an expense.

    I know it sure seems like an expense to me when I’m writing the check, but trust me it’s not.

    Without enough money put aside for advertising your sales can go down and you suddenly have less and less for promotion.

    When do you advertise the most? For most businesses it’s the first day of business.

    Don’t you have a Grand Opening, balloons, flyers, ads, on-site radio stations, contests, and prizes?

    Did the income from sales pay for that? No, it didn’t. You advertise most when you need business. You advertise more when you don’t.

    An average cost of advertising is usually 1 to 5% of gross sales, which can vary according to location, local advertising rates, and industry. Car dealers need more advertising than funeral homes.

    Before we get to the 25 tips let’s look at the basic strategies of successful advertising.

    * In order to be successful, your advertising must provide a consumer benefit or solve a problem.
    * That benefit or solution must be wanted by the consumer.
    * The product or service you are offering must be tied directly to that benefit or solution.
    * The benefit or solution must be distinctly communicated through medial advertising. In other words, be clear, forget the advertising glitz and make sure the message isn’t lost in the ad.

    A small-budget advertiser doesn’t have the ”deep pockets to develop big advertising campaigns. Some time you need to break the rules to be noticed.

    Avis did it by admitting they were Number 2 in the car rental business and that campaign took them from 6th place to second place.

    When they stopped that campaign they dropped back to 6th again. In the past year they have gone back to it.

    Budget conscious advertisers must achieve top results for their advertising dollar. Expand your dollars by adopting some creative techniques.

    Here’s 25 tips I hope will help you.

    1. Radio, newspapers and magazine specialists will frequently give free help in developing an advertising strategy. Things like demographic information, money-saving ways to produce your ads etc.
  • Place your ads in off hours or in unusual locations for less. Many times you can still reach your target market with these spots.
  • Instead of a one-time big splash ad, be consistent with frequent small ads that work.
  • Monthly magazines sometimes have unsold ad space at the end of the month they will sell at a discount.
  • If you have an 800 number, put it in every ad for immediate response and feedback.
  • Try advertising consistently in the classifieds. These ads may draw more customers than more expensive display ads.
  • Can you barter for the cost of ad production? Maybe the newspaper needs painting in exchange for an ad about your paint store.
  • Piggyback advertising are the ads you receive with your Mastercard bill. Is there someone in your town that sends out a lot of bills? Can you put a small flyer in with their bills and split the postage? Or pay a small fee?
  • Split advertising costs with the people who sell to you. Vendors and manufactures are always looking for exposure. Let people know you carry their products and have the vendor pick up part of the ad cost.
  • Are there up front advertising discounts for cash?
  • Consider advertising in regional issues of national magazines. The costs are lower and you can still reach your target market. TV Guide is a good choice. It stays around for at least a week. Time, Newsweek, and US News and World Report may stay in local doctors offices for years.
  • Share ad costs with neighbor business. Video stores and Pizza parlors are natural partners. Have coupons to each others stores or share the cost of flyers.
  • Try reducing the size of your ad (not in the Yellow Pages) or length of your radio spots. A 60 second spot is not twice as much as a 30 second spot but you won’t get twice as many customers for a 60 over a 30. Going with small ads or shorter spots will allow you to do more ads which normally pulls more customers. It’s better to be there every day with small ads than every month with one big one.
  • Develop tight production controls to minimize the need to reject finished ads. The message is more important than the messenger. Don’t try to produce ads that win awards, produce ads that sell.
  • Who are your very best customers? Aim your ads to talk directly to people like them.
  • What will suppliers give you in the way of point-of-purchase materials. Posters, stand ups, handouts, etc. Some have excellent display racks you can use.
  • Some national chains like Coke and Pepsi provide outdoor signs for businesses. There are also indoor lighted signs you write on with special markers to advertise your special offers.
  • Can you sponsor a community event? A fun-run, golf tournament, or other event that will be well publicized in the community. Your name may not be prominently displayed but sometimes the positive exposure in the community will bring in new customers.
  • Small businesses can seldom afford saturation advertising. You must be selective in the media that reaches your customers. Pin your ad reps down and make them show you exactly how their media reaches your target audience.
  • Exploit the media you choose to the fullest. If your message is verbal, you don’t need TV. Use radio, billboards and newspapers to the fullest.
  • Consider direct mail. A letter and brochure before customer contact can increase business. An IBM study concluded that selling time can be reduced from 9.3 to 1.3 total hours with direct mail advertising. A Sales and Marketing Executives International Study showed salespeople went from eight orders per 100 cold calls to 38 orders per 100 when direct mail was used.
  • Try an editorial style ad. These are ads that look like actual stories in the newspaper. They will have advertisement at the top of the article. Develop a good headline, and 50% more people will read the article than would read an ad of the same size.
  • You can’t match larger competitors dollar-for-dollar but, you can use unusual approaches (like the Avis idea above), color, music, slogans, humor (be careful here), or media selection to win your market away from the big guys.
  • Due to the high costs of conventional advertising on, radio, TV, newspapers, many cost conscious business have been forced to look for lower cost methods. Can you advertise on parking meters, taxi boards, balloons, blimps, and grocery shopping carts. Community bulletin boards, movie ads, and weekly newspaper shoppers.
  • Key your ads. Put something in the ad that will let you know which media it came from. On coupons, put a code that will record the paper and date of the ad. In radio or TV, have them mention the ad to get the discount. Ask every customer how they found you.
  • Plan for a rainy day. During the year put a small amount aside each month for emergencies. You never know when you’ll need to react quickly to whatever the competition is doing. You must be able to capitalize on breaking national events or news regarding your industry. If negative things happen in your industry you may need to respond quickly to make sure the right message is presented.
  • Always give the customer more than you promised and more than they expected. This is tip number 27 of the 25 we advertised. Maybe this last one is the one you needed.
  • I hope these tips will help your business grow. Not all may be relevant to your particular situation. Hopefully, they will illustrate the importance to plan and control your advertising budget.

    Listen in on Tom’s weekly radio show Open For Business on AM 1450 KMMS Radio, Bozeman.
    Have a business question for Tom? Click here to get Tom’s advice for free.
    Stay up to date on business issues. Join Tom’s Blog.

    This article may be reproduced for your non-profit group or organization provided it is not altered in any way and the following is attached:

    Based in Bozeman, MT, Tom Egelhoff is the author of How To Market, Advertise Promote Your Business Or Service In A Small Town. and The Small Town Advertising Handbook: How To Say More And Spend Less. He is also a seminar and workshop presenter and trainer. He may be reached at 888-550-6100 or PO Box 271, Bozeman, MT 59771-0271

    Would you like Tom Egelhoff to speak at your business function or convention?
    Click here for information, topics and pricing.


    How to Write a Business Contract #business #contracts #and #forms, #small #business


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    How to Write a Business Contract

    Entering into a contractual business relationship with another party is a serious task and should only be entered into after giving real thought about the relationship you want. Don’t fall into the trap of entering into agreements haphazardly or with complete trust of the other party. Even if it’s a family member (some would argue especially if it’s a family member), the business contract should protect your own business interests first and to do so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with some guidelines on how to write a business contract.

    Generally, you will want to keep two things in mind when entering or writing a business contract:

    • Does the agreement address all of the possible situations which may arise. It’s also good to have contingency plans.
    • Do the provisions leave too much room for ambiguity? Contract disputes often arise over unclear terms or provisions.

    Read below for tips on writing business contracts for your small business.

    1. Get it in Writing

    Anytime you enter into a business contract, you want written proof of the agreement as well as specific terms by which each party is bound. Oral agreements do occur in the small business context, but such agreements are difficult to enforce and people’s memories can be faulty and terms easily misremembered or misinterpreted. The first lesson in How to Write a Business Contract 101 is to always get it in writing .

    2. Use Language You Can Understand

    There’s no need to be intimidated by a false sense that a business contract has to be written in legalese. The best contracts, particularly in the small business context, are written in plain English where both parties know exactly what they’re signing and what the provisions mean. Just be sure that the terms you write are specific as to each party’s obligations and the specific remedies that you have in the event that the other party violates the agreement. Also, keep in mind that certain terms have specific meaning in the law .

    The easiest way to write a contract is to number and label each paragraph and only include that topic in the paragraph. By segmenting the contract into individual units, it will be more easily understood by the parties (and by a court should it come to that).

    The rights and obligations of each party should be laid out in specific language that leaves little room for interpretation. If you want delivery on the 15th of each month, use the specific number instead of writing, mid-month . If you and the other party agree to a new term or decide to change an existing term in the agreement, be sure to add a written amendment to the contract rather than relying on an oral agreement. A court may or may not accept the oral agreement as part of the contract.

    4. Include Payment Details

    It’s important to specify how payments are to be made. If you want to pay half up front and the other half in equal installments during the life of the contract, state that, as well as the terms under which you will release payment. For example if you contract with someone to paint your business offices, you might want a provision stating that your regular payments are contingent upon a certain number of rooms being painted to your satisfaction. Whenever possible, list dates, requirements and methods of payment (cash, check, credit). Contract disputes often center on money, so you’ll want to be as specific as possible.

    5. Consider Confidentiality

    Often when entering a business contract, the other party will gain access and insight into your business practices and possible trade secrets. If you do not want the other party sharing this information, you should include a clause that binds the other party from disclosing your business information or information included in the contract to other parties.

    6. Include Language on How to Terminate the Contract

    Contracts aren’t meant to last forever. If one party continually misses payments or fails to perform their duties, you want to have a mechanism in place so that you can (relatively) easily terminate the contract. It could be a mutual termination agreement (when the objectives of each side have been met through the contract) or more likely an agreement that either side can terminate if the other side violates a major term of the contract, after giving proper notice of its intent to terminate.

    7. Consider State Laws Governing the Contract

    Contracts can stipulate which state’s laws will govern in the event there’s a dispute. If the other party is located in another state, you should include a clause that states which state laws will govern. If you don’t, and there’s a dispute, there may be a whole other legal argument (which costs more money) about which state’s laws should be applied to the contract. Avoid this headache and agree to it at the inception of the contract, when both parties are agreeable.

    8. Include Remedies and Attorneys’ Fees

    Especially if you believe that it’s more likely that you’ll sue over the contract (as opposed to the other party suing you), you might want to include a clause that awards attorneys’ fees to the winning party. Without this clause, each party will have to pay for their own attorneys.

    9. Consider a Mediation and Arbitration Clause

    In the event of a dispute, it may be advantageous to include a provision that requires the parties enter either mediation or arbitration. or both. Mediation is a voluntary process where both parties try to work out their issues directly, with the help of a neutral third party mediator. Any settlement must be approved by both parties. Arbitration is a more adversarial process where the arbitrator hears both sides’ arguments and makes a decision that both parties must abide by. It’s akin to a trial setting, but the arbitration process is much quicker and cheaper than litigating in court.

    10. Get a Free Case Review

    Writing a business contract that protects your interests while balancing your business objectives is critical to your business’ success. But while you should get acquainted with the legal terms and processes for writing a contract, sometimes it’s best to have an attorney review your contract before it takes on the force of law. Find a small business attorney near you for assistance and get a free case review .


    The Top 7 Benefits of Email Marketing (Pay Close Attention to No


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    The Top 7 Benefits of Email Marketing (Pay Close Attention to No. 5)

    The numbers show that email marketing is still a widely used, and successful, marketing channel.

    However, your small business can use email marketing in many different ways. How do you choose your approach? One way might be the following chart from the Email Marketing Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report:

    Top Benefits of Email Marketing

    The chart illustrates the seven top benefits of email marketing (ignoring Other ), each of which is a worthy goal depending on what your small business is aiming to achieve.

    1. Generating More Leads

    Encouraging visitors to sign up for your email marketing list is just one way to generate more leads. Another strategy is to encourage your email subscribers to forward your emails on to friends, families, and acquaintances or to share it on social media.

    2. Improved Sales

    If every subscriber on your list turned into a customer, you d be in small business heaven. Unfortunately, that s probably never going to happen. However, you can increase your sales by focusing the right email campaigns on the right people. The secret to doing this is email list segmentation. a process that enables you to nurture each of your list subscribers with the right message at the right time, eventually moving each through your funnel to becoming a customer.

    3. Improved Conversion Rates

    In order to sell, you need to convert and the key to email conversions is to nurture them using content. Like #2 above, the key lies in email list segmentation however, it helps to know what type of content to use at each stage of the sales process. Once you nail that, your nurturing efforts will be much more effective and, your overall conversion rates will increase.

    4. Reduced Marketing Costs

    If your small business marketing budget is tight, you ll be interested in low-cost ways to promote yourself. Happily, there are a lot of email marketing tools out, many of which offer a free tier of service and low prices when you need more features and functionality.

    5. Identifying Better-Quality Leads

    The last thing you need is to waste time on bad leads. That s why, before marketing your small business, it pays to have a lead qualifying system in place. Happily, email marketing itself is a lead qualifying system that demonstrates a prospect s interest based on:

    • The fact that they signed up for your list in the first place;
    • Whether they open your emails; and
    • If they click on any of the links within your emails.

    6. Integrating with Other Media to Boost Response

    • Social share icons;
    • Super-sharable content; and
    • Deals to share which then give a referral reward back to the subscriber who shared it.

    7. Shorter Sales Cycles

    Email marketing is a great way to get your most convincing content in front of prospective decision makers. If you re nurturing the right subscribers via email as mentioned in No. 5 above, and you re using both segmentation and the right content as mentioned in No. 2 and No. 3 above respectively, then you can speed up your sales cycle by getting the right content to the right decision maker at the right time.

    Now that s powerful stuff.


    5 Unique Online Business Ideas, Small But Successful #taking #credit #cards #for


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    5 Unique Online Business Ideas, Small But Successful

    Entrepreneurship has always fascinated me. I m amazed by the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with building your own business. and I respect the risks that come with working for yourself. Even if your venture fails, as a business leader you still learn valuable lessons that you can use to make your next attempt more successful.

    Taking a successful business model from someone else and building on it is no crime. In fact, it is how most leaders build businesses. It doesn t always take a stroke of genius to get to the top. But when those once-in-a-lifetime ideas strike, your window to act may be small. I don t accept the idea that all of the good ideas have been taken. These five unique businesses are proof that you can find prosperity, even in a market that may not have even existed when you first had your idea.

    1. Santa Mail

    When I first heard about Santa Mail. I had one of those Why didn t I think of that? moments. The premise couldn t be simpler: Parents order letters for children, and Santa Claus himself puts a note in the mail. For just under $10, your kids will get a personalized letter from Santa that is (genuinely) postmarked from the North Pole in Alaska. The site isn t flashy, but it s simple and effective.

    Santa Mail has been around since 2003, and as far as I can tell, it was the first company of its kind. Since then, at least four sites offering the same service have popped up. Even though someone may come along and offer something better, for now, Santa Mail is at the top of its niche.

    2. Alchemy Goods

    Though recycling has been popular for years, practical-use items made from recyclable items and materials are quickly becoming more desirable. From clothes and bags to water bottles and wallets, these unique items are high-quality goods that let people show off the positive difference they re making for the environment. Alchemy Goods was originally born not out of ingenuity, but of necessity.

    When Alchemy owner Eli Reich s messenger bag was stolen, he decided that instead of buying another, he would make one himself. With plenty of bicycle inner tubes lying around, he decided to make it the primary material for his new bag. Long story short, the completed product was a huge hit at the office, and Eli began to make them on a much larger scale. Today, Alchemy products are carried in many stores across the country.

    3. Fetal Greetings

    The greeting card business has been huge for years, and it seems to get bigger with every passing holiday. Fetal Greetings offers a special opportunity for expecting mothers: To have their baby greet the world in the form of a card! Holly Nill-McKay started the company in 1999, and while the idea may sound strange, I love it. It s a great example of a unique and clever idea that builds on an existing industry. The cards themselves are cute, and they make wonderful surprises to send to family and friends to announce a pregnancy.

    4. Something Store

    Do you love the feeling of waiting for something in the mail? I know I do, and that s why I tried out Something Store. A few years ago, I saw a piece in a popular magazine about an online store that sells mystery objects. I was intrigued. For $10 (no shipping cost), they send you a random item. It could be anything in the world. Since 2007, they ve shipped over 50,000 somethings to customers who wait with anxious anticipation.

    I tried it and received an unusual, metal, spider-like object. It winds up and moves along the floor or tabletop. I looked it up and found that it usually retails for about $28. While I wouldn t necessarily have bought it in the first place, for $10 I got a pretty good deal.

    5. I Do Now I Don t

    Every day, couples in love get engaged. And every day, couples who have fallen out of love separate or break an engagement. When the latter happened to Josh Opperman, his fiancee was kind enough to return the engagement ring. and he didn t know what to do with it. Since the wholesale markup on engagement rings is insanely high, he would have taken a huge loss in returning it. So instead, he started his business, I Do Now I Don t. an online marketplace for unwanted engagement rings. Customers can buy rings at prices far cheaper than you d find at a traditional store, and you can sell at rates that are better than you d get if you tried to return the ring. Business started booming, and now you can buy and sell other jewelry items there too.

    Final Word

    This short list of examples just goes to show that not all of the good business ideas are taken just yet. It seems to me that when I get one of those genius ideas, I m always in the shower. By the time I get out and try to remember what was on my mind, it s gone. I hope it is not just me that this happens to.

    How do you get inspiration to strike? And what do you do to remember your ideas and put them into action? Share your ideas, or any other unique sites or businesses you ve found. I m always looking for strange and intriguing things.

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    6 Weird But Successful Small Business Ideas


    Small Business VoIP – Voicebuy VoIP Provider #small #business #voip #pbx


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    Small Business VoIP Solutions

    Efficient communication is one of the major factors standing behind the success of businesses. To develop infrastructure that promotes communication among employees throughout the enterprise is not an easy task. And that is where setting up a business VoIP phone system may be quite helpful. Our small business VoIP solutions are specially designed and ideal for business enterprises. Feature-rich and flexible cloud VoIP phone service offered by Voicebuy helps you configure a business phone network and connect your offices worldwide.

    Small Business VoIP Solutions by Voicebuy

    As one of a leading wholesale VoIP and small business VoIP providers. Voicebuy is here to help you build your own small business phone system by providing complete and flexible solutions to improve your business communication. Switching to IPPBX phone system may be the wisest decision for all large and small businesses who own one or more offices and are concerned about managing the inter and intra-office communications.

    Click here to learn more

    Our small business VoIP solutions are aimed at offering novel approaches to ensure a better run communications both for large enterprises and small businesses. In this sense, we want to underline the importance of DID numbers to especially small business. With DID numbers, your small company will have what only big enterprises have – multinational representation. VoIP phone services offered by Voicebuy are the most affordable means for maintaining efficient communications and help you increase your work productivity.

    PBX System for Small Business

    Voicebuy delivers a range of converged VoIP services to combine and simplify your business communication tools. We offer you a complete set of small business VoIP solutions for your business communication needs – IP PBX technology will enable you to create your own business phone system. All your business branches and offices will be easily connected and that will result in work productivity raise. You will particularly like such features of IP PBX like Call Forwarding. Voicemail, Auto Attendant, Intercom, Call Parking, Hunt Groups, Music on Hold, as well as Caller ID management and Answering Mode . You can read more on Voicebuy IP PBX features here .

    VoIP DID Numbers

    Another much demanded service of IP PBX are VoIP DID numbers. These let you establish the presence of your company in as many countries as you like by acquiring local numbers of that country. You can order from Voicebuy local, regional, mobile and toll-free numbers of more than 60 countries. Read more on Voicebuy DID numbers here .

    The Major Advantages That Make Business VoIP Services Worthy of Use

    Here are some advantages of business VoIP services:

    Business VoIP phone system significantly lowers costs on both local and overseas telephone calls. You only pay a low monthly flat rate, for unlimited incoming calling, and all the features you need are included at no extra charge. It also allows making huge savings on travel costs with the web conferencing or other collaboration tools. Over time, with the penetration of more small businessVoIP providers into the market, the cost-saving opportunity of using VoIP services becomes, even more evident.

    Click here to learn more

    By gradually replacing traditional landline phone services, VoIP has become one of the cheapest and flexible means of communication. It lets your employees remain in regular touch with office, partners and clients no matter where they are. The use of internal VoIP numbers assigned to each of the employees results in a more convenient and easier communication both in and out of the office, thus helping you conduct business even on the run.

    Large and small business VoIP networks come with a bundle of more improved and professional tools. The abundance of feature-rich services such as group calling, call hold and forwarding, intercom, speed dialing, music on hold are all designed to contribute to your business expansion.

    Whether you are a large or small business in quest of a reliable VoIP service provider, we are ready to assist you. Voicebuy wholesaleVoIP and business VoIP services will completely meet your business needs and will bring to the improvement of your business communication efficiency. Register for free and check out all the advantages you can get using Voicebuy small business VoIP service.


    Small Business IT Network Monitoring – 4 Reasons to Do it Remotely?


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    Small Business IT Blog

    Small Business IT network monitoring is a core activity needed to ensure uptime and productivity. What follows is 4 reasons to do it remotely?

    Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell indicated that they get piece of mind knowing that someone is on top of their operations, and do not have to worry or take time from other critical tasks.

    An external provider monitoring servers, back office applications and network devices 24/7 allows for real-time notifications of abnormalities, frequently preventing costly failures and shutdowns.

    The other important point is the focus on core competency. Remote network monitoring is one of those activities that is best done by a specialized provider in order to free existing resources to focus on those activities core to the business rather than on IT plumbing, so to speak. This allows for focus on strategic activities such as growth and new initiatives and day to day issues.

    Second Start described how remote network monitoring complements their use of managed services because if network issues arise between visits of external technicians, they are covered.

    Here are some of the key benefits to expect from a remote small business IT network monitoring service:

    Free up technical staff

  • Expand built-in monitoring capabilities
  • More proactive technicians

    Reduce unplanned downtime

    Augment staff for less than hiring

    Standard and customized reports

    Custom alerts (including e-mail and text)

    Fault review and recommendations

    Notice of vulnerabilities and missing patches

    Firewall and Windows system monitoring

    Notification of intrusion attempts

    Internal security changes

    Most businesses we encounter value a wide variety of benefits that they achieve from remote network monitoring. Some activities should be performed in-house, but this is one of those that is a great candidate to outsource and a wonderful complement to other outsourced managed services .

    How do you monitor your network?

    Remote network monitoring both reduces risk and frees internal staff to focus on strategic issues.

    Small business IT network monitoring complements other managed services by filling in between human interactions.

    Real-time notifications of abnormalities frequently prevent costly failures and shutdowns.

    Free 2011 Small Business IT Optimization Guide

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    you could be applying to
    drive your business
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  • The 4 Best Credit Card Processing Options for Small Businesses #credit #card


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    The 4 Best Credit Card Processing Options for Small Businesses

    Cash is no longer king. To stay relevant and competitive, credit card processing for small business owners is no longer a nice to have but a must. Sponsored by National Bankcard

    Cash is not always king. As our society steadily moves towards becoming more digitalized and reliant on technology, we are seeing less physical money exchange hands.

    However, keeping up with the times is not the only reason to upgrade your small businesses payment system. Here are just some of the advantages accepting credit cards will have on your bottom line:

    • Increase in overall sales
    • Improve customer service
    • Broaden your customer base
    • Save time with fewer trips to the bank.

    So if you are ready to take the plunge and provide more value to your customers, here are four of the best credit card processing solutions for small business owners.

    1. Terminal Processing

    A payment terminal, also known as a point of sale terminal, is a device that allows customers to make payments with their credit cards in store. It is a reliable and secure method of accepting credit and debit payments.

    Advantages

    The main benefit of credit card terminals for small business owners is its direct link to improved customer satisfaction. With a card machine payment option, you will be able to reduce wait times with faster checkout, give your customers a secure way to pay for their purchase and more options to pay that suit their needs such as contactless payments and digital wallets.

    There are also a few vendors that give small business owners a free terminal processing system on sign up. This value add helps to reduce initial setup costs and is something to look into if your budget is tight.

    Disadvantages

    The downsides to accepting cards are minimal, but most of them can be avoided. While credit card fraud is still a common problem, merchants can train their staff to spot a fake debit or credit card. Another disadvantage is the unavoidable cost. However, business owners should look at it simply as a cost of doing business and realize the device will pay itself off in no time.

    It s easy to see that the cons associated with terminal processing are minimal and can be easily avoided. The benefits will not only help your business grow but drive customer loyalty and deliver a positive in-store experience.

    2. Mobile Processing

    Mobile credit card processing also referred to as mPOS (mobile point of sale) gives small businesses the ability to accept card payments with a phone or tablet instead of a terminal or point-of-sale (POS) system.

    Advantages

    The main benefits of choosing a mobile credit card processor are its versatility and the low-cost factor. For small business owners that attend local farmer s markets or trade shows, this option lets you accept credit cards wherever you are. This capability can also benefit stationary business owners who can mobilize their sales team by adding more checkout lines without purchasing additional registers.

    Mobile processing companies also tend to charge fewer fees than traditional credit card processors and take the guesswork out of tipping by providing preset percentages for customers during checkout.

    Disadvantages

    There are two main concerns that small business owners should consider before purchasing a mobile credit card processor is how it will negatively affect customer service and getting a robust estimate on costs.

    If you choose not to add a printer with your mobile processor, it will take extra time to capture an email address to send the receipt electronically. Depending on how busy your shop is or if your customer is in a rush, this might lead to some dissatisfaction.

    While mobile credit processors are less expensive than standard credit card terminals for small business owners, they do come with a bunch of small costs that add up. Before biting the bullet with a vendor be sure to inquire about the fees that will be charged per transaction, per day, per month and even year so that you can get a holistic cost estimate.

    Mobile credit card processing for small business owners are ideal for merchants who are on the go and want an affordable solution. The disadvantages above can easily be avoided with some careful planning, and there are numerous ways to lower your mobile credit processing costs if you are prepared to negotiate your rates and ask the right questions.

    3. POS Processing

    POS credit card processing for small business owners is a reliable, affordable and flexible way to manage POS operations. It transforms an ordinary tablet into an all-in-one payment solution that can complement a range of add-on applications as well as cash drawers, scanners, printers and more.

    Advantages

    One of the key advantages of a POS processing system is the ability for small business owners to access their sales data no matter where they are. By using a cloud-based system, you can see real-time inventory levels and customer information as you go about your day.

    A POS processing system also lets merchants take advantage of a cloud-based integration and offer services that are not possible with a traditional POS platforms. Besides allowing payments to be processed anywhere on the business premises, business owners can also use this system to set up check-splitting, loyalty programs and integration with external accounting platforms.

    Disadvantages

    Before you make the big switch to a POS processing system, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, it is important to remember that as your POS system is hosted in the cloud, it is only as good as your internet connection. Do your research and make sure you either choose a vendor that offers offline services or that you have a backup plan in place in case your connection goes down.

    By embracing cloud computing technology like POS and setting up systems to combat possible downtime, small business owners can operate just as efficiently as bigger organizations.

    4. Online Processing

    It is not enough to just have a brochure, these days you have to sell online to stay relevant, and that means accepting credit cards. An online processing system lets merchants accept online payments from buyers worldwide. It is a safe, reliable and seamless way to manage payment processing while you focus on making the best possible product or service.

    Advantages

    Online payment systems give your customers a convenient way to place an order with your business. Instead of having to drive to your storefront, an online POS lets them shop from the comfort of their own home. By offering this functionality on your website, you can easily increase sales by not giving your customer the chance to look at a competitor that does offer online sales or forgetting about visiting your store altogether.

    Disadvantages

    With an online payment system, you will be dealing with sensitive information such as credit cards numbers that be stolen or altered. As a result, you need to make sure you have adequate security to protect your customer s details as well as your company s reputation. Before choosing a vendor, find out what systems they have in place to minimize fraud and their guarantees on data protection.

    In short, an online processing system is a necessary payment option for small business owners who want to remain relevant and competitive. By ensuring your business partners with a service provider that complies with high-security standards, you can increase your revenue and take your business to a global market.

    Conclusion

    Before you decide which of the four credit card processing solutions is the best decision for your small business, make sure you weigh up all the factors and consider which service vendor will be the best fit for not just you, but for your customers as well.

    Editor’s Picks


    Job Interview Online Practice Tests #online #phone #systems #for #small #business


    #

    Get Prepared For Any Interview
    in only 30 minutes!

    Because you may not have a lot of time to prepare, we’ve designed a focused interview tests to help get you interview-ready in 30 minutes

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    Practice is the best of all instructors

    Human Resource managers, professional recruiters and career experts all agree: Practice is the best way to prepare yourself for a job interview.

    The key here is you get to make your mistakes while you’re alone. By the time you’ve practiced a few times, you’ll see a big difference.

    “. Without the help of practicing the interview questions and answers l don’t think I could have got the job.”
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    “. I’ve tried many programs and coaches who only gave me theory and useless advice. Practice was more useful than reading a book about interview because of the interactive nature of it.”
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    Every test prepared in such a way that it helps you in understanding the underlying reasoning in a very detailed way.

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    Small Business Security #small #business #security


    #

    Fortinet

    Protecting Your Small Business with the Best Network Security

    Establishing a Seamless Security Fabric

    Today, having the best network security is critical. Running a small business is challenging enough without ever-changing technology requirements due to mobility, BYOD, cloud adoption, and the increasingly sophisticated threat landscape.

    Fortinet’s vision is a Security Fabric based on the industry’s best firewall/Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions for smaller business, integrated with additional components as needed. It protects your entire business while simplifying your infrastructure. Top-rated effectiveness and automated operation ensure you can focus on growing your business instead of managing IT.

    We lead the market with the broadest and best-rated set of consolidated security functions and networking in a single appliance, coupled with powerful performance and single-pane-of-glass management—giving you the security you need today and the scalability to take on more challenges tomorrow.

    UTM

    FortiGate UTM solutions are compact, cost-effective, all-in-one small business firewall appliances. Powered by dedicated security (rather than general purpose) processors, they delivery high performance next generation firewall, web and email filtering, data loss prevention and more- easily managed via a single console. In addition, you can solve your networking needs with extensive routing, switching, Wi-Fi, LAN, and WAN capabilities.

    Cloud Management

    Powerful central management simplifies initial deployment as well as periodic administration. Rich dashboard views provide at-a-glance understanding of operational status and consolidated logs present a historical view as desired. All of this visibility and control can be cloud-based with no hardware to introduce or maintain over time.


    SuperOffice: CRM Software for Small Businesses #crm #for #small #businesses


    #

    CRM Software for Small Medium Sized Businesses

    All-in-one CRM software

    Award-winning design and usability

    So easy that you can’t stop smiling

    Let us help you achieve more

    Have a question?

    What is CRM?

    CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a company-wide business strategy designed to improve sales and profitability, reduce costs and increase customer loyalty. The CRM philosophy is simple: put the customer first.

    CRM marries all of your customer facing process such as sales, marketing and customer service in one centralized place, which enables your business to really be customer centric no matter who in the company is talking to your customer. All conversations, sales activities, follow ups, marketing campaigns and customer service tickets are tracked in one place giving you a 360 degree view of the customer.

    Why use CRM software?

    Like any business, your goal is to get more customers and increase sales. In order to do this, your team needs the right tools to help them become more productive and efficient in their work allowing them to focus on selling and make your customers happy.

    Why choose SuperOffice CRM?

    SuperOffice CRM has one goal; to help you find, catch and keep more customers. Our focus on creating a simple and user-friendly CRM solution helps you become more productive. SuperOffice CRM integrates with all Office applications and supports all leading technology platforms.


    Small Businesses PBX Phone System – Matrix Telecom Solutions #best #business #pbx


    #

    ETERNITY NE

    In today’s competitive business scenario, small businesses need an efficient phone system that can increase employee productivity, reduce telephony costs and provide high-endcall management features. Matrix ETERNITY NE is a next generation IP-PBX for small businesses sized between 10 to 32 users. A small yet powerful IP-PBX, ETERNITY NE provides all business-class telephony features to be productive, look professional and enhance customer services.

    Key Features

    Converged Platform
    ETERNITY NE is a true convergence of communication technologies with integrated interfaces for FXO (CO), GSM/3G and VoIP networks. ETERNITY NE intelligently selects the most cost-effective route to place local, mobile or long distance calls and reduces telephony costs.

    Flexible Phone Options
    ETERNITY NE offers flexibility to choose from convenient phone options such as analog phones, digital key phones, IP phones and Mobile phones as office extensions to communicate from device of user’s choice.

    EON48S

    • 2×24 and Swivel LCD
    • 17 Touch-Sense Keys for Features
    • 16 User-Programmable Keys
    • Optional 64 Keys Expansion Unit (DSS16x4)
    • Backlit and Contrast Control
    • Full-Duplex Speaker
    • Ringer and Message Wait Lamp
    • Desk-Top and Wall Mounting

    EON48P

    • 6×24 and Swivel LCD
    • 17 Touch-Sense Keys for Features
    • 16 User-Programmable Keys
    • Optional 64 Keys Expansion Unit (DSS16x4)
    • Backlit and Contrast Control
    • Full-Duplex Speaker
    • Ringer and Message Wait Lamp
    • Desk-Top and Wall Mounting

    EON310

    • 2 Line LCD with Backlit
    • Fixed Function Keys Voice Mail, Mute, Do Not Disturb, Forward, Logs, Speaker
    • Fixed Function Keys (Without LED) Hold, Conference, Contacts, Transfer
    • 12 DSS/BLF Keys for Feature, Line, Extension
    • Headset Interface – 3.5mm, RJ9
    • Volume Adjust Keys
    • High Quality Full Duplex Speaker Phone
    • Adjustable Desk Stand
    • Message Wait and Ringer Lamp

    EON510

    • 240*64 Pixels Graphical LCD with Backlit
    • 4 Programmable Context Sensitive Keys
    • Alphanumeric Dial pad Keys
    • Fixed Function Keys (with LED) – Voice Mail, Mute, Do Not Disturb, Headset, Speaker
    • Fixed Function Keys (without LED) – Hold, Conference, Redial ,Transfer
    • Built-in 16 DSS Keys for Feature, Line, Extension
    • Message Wait and Ringer Lamp
    • Headset Interface – 3.5mm, RJ9
    • Adjustable desk stand
    • High Quality Full Duplex Speaker Phone
    • Volume Adjust Keys

    SPARSH VP310

    • 2 Line LCD with Backlit
    • Fixed Function Keys (With LED) Voice Mail, Mute, Do Not Disturb, Forward, Logs, Speaker
    • Fixed Function Keys (Without LED) Hold, Conference, Contacts ,Transfer
    • 12 DSS/BLF Keys for Feature, Line, Extension
    • PC and LAN Ethernet Ports
    • Headset Interface – 3.5mm, RJ9
    • High Quality Full Duplex Speaker Phone
    • Adjustable Desk Stand
    • Message Wait and Ringer Lamp
    • Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af)
    • Plug-n-Play

    SPARSH VP330E

    • 4.3″ Large Color Touch Screen Display
    • Ergonomic and Modern Design
    • Fixed Function Keys – Hold, Transfer, Conference, Voice Mail, Headset, Mute
    • Superior Voice Quality with HD Audio
    • On-screen BLF monitoring – 18 Contacts
    • Presence Indication
    • Local Phonebook (500 entries) with LDAP Client
    • PC and LAN Ethernet Ports
    • Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af)
    • Built-in 12 DSS keys for Feature, Line, Extension

    SPARSH VP248S

    • 3 SIP Accounts
    • LAN and WAN Ports
    • PoE Option
    • User-Programmable Keys
    • Anonymous Call and Selective Call Rejection
    • Auto Configuration
    • Auto Answer with Headset Interface
    • Conference
    • Peer-to-Peer Calling
    • Dialed, Received, Missed and Rejected Call Logs
    • G.711, G.722, G.723, G.726 and G.729AB
    • DHCP, PPPoE, NAT and STUN
    • Least Cost Routing
    • Message Wait Indication
    • Voice Mail Key
    • Multiple Call Handling (4 Calls)
    • Phone Book with 100 Entries
    • Ringer, Speech and LCD Controls
    • Desk-Top and Wall Mounting
    • Web Configuration

    SPARSH M2S (Mobile Softphone)

    • Comprehensive Call Management
    • One-Touch Access to PBX Features
      Call Hold, Transfer, Conference, Return, Forward, Pick-up
    • Corporate Directory Integration
    • Video Calling
    • Presence Sharing and Instant Messaging
    • Voice Mail Access
    • Conversation Recording
    • Busy Lamp Field (BLF) Keys

    Modular Architecture
    ETERNITY NE comes in standard configuration of CO Lines with Analog and Digital extensions to fulfill the essential requirements of start-up businesses. ETERNITY NE flexibly accommodates the growing communication requirements with optional interface modules such as GSM, UMTS (3G), VoIP Server, Voice Mail and Door Phone to integrate in the same platform in future.

    Enterprise-grade Features
    ETERNITY NE is embedded with advance functionalities and productivity enhancing features of enterprise-grade phone systems. Features such as Call Park, Transfer, Hold and Forward, Six-way Conference Calling, Automatic Route Selection, Automated-attendants, Web-based administration and many more are provided as built-in without any additional cost.

    IP Trunks and Extensions

    Key Benefits

    Control Call Costs

    Range of cost control features helps optimizing use of system resources and reduces monthly telephony bills considerably.

    • Call budgeting on trunks and extensions
    • Toll control for authorized usage of trunk line resources
    • Call duration control to limit unwanted lengthy conversations
    • Least cost routing for lowest call costs
    • obile CUG for office and field workers for free calling

    Improve Staff Productivity

    ETERNITY NE offers all convenience features and productivity enhancing tools as available to enterprise users.

    • Auto redial saves time spent in dialling of a busy number
    • Distinctive ringing helps prior identification of an incoming call
    • Conference helps quick decision making and reduces delays
    • Hot line feature helps quick connectivity to a trunk or an extension
    • Priority ensures calls from important numbers are served first

    Extend Business Reach

    Mobile workers can utilize full capabilities of ETERNITY NE phone system on their mobile phones. This enhances customer responsiveness and helps in quick decision making.

    • Remain connected with office communications with mobility features
    • Share voice mail, dial plan and class of services from mobile
    • Use Mobile, Laptop or PDA as mobile extensions
    • Hold and Transfer Customer calls and Initiate Conference with office users to give a complete solution

    Future-Proof Solution

    The state-of-the-art design and modular architecture allows connecting optional interfaces in the same platform, as and when required.

    • Add or remove interface or user capacity as required in future
    • Optional and field pluggable interface modules
    • Open standard SIP support
    • Built-in call routing gateway features

    Ease of Management

    Eliminate the need for dedicated IT staff. Users on their own can make minor changes such as allocating class of services, adding or removing extensions, configuring voice mail and lot more.

    • Web-based local and remote management
    • Multiple language support
    • System localization as per country-specific parameters
    • Password protected access

    Specifications


    Unsecured small business loans for bad credit #unsecured #small #business #loans #for


    #

    Loans.net For All Your Financing Needs

    Loans come in a variety of shapes (types), sizes (loan amounts), and prices (interest rates and other costs). From short term payday loan and cash advances to hedge against unexpected emergencies to long term auto and home mortgage designed to finance your prized asset purchases, lenders offer highly customizable financial aid for almost any financial situation you might have.

    While personal loans are used to consolidate bills, handle emergencies, finance purchases, or facilitate renovations, for business it is used either to serve as working capital or to facilitate business expansion efforts.

    Easy, Three-Steps Application Process

    • Provide some basic information
    • Compare loan offers from multiple lenders
    • Get money as soon as next business day

    Find The Right Loan

    Personal Loans

    If you need money to fulfill a short term or emergency financial need, personal loans may be the right solution for you. Generally, personal loans offer flexible payment terms and come with a fixed payment schedule, interest rate, and periodic payment amount. Once you are approved, most lenders will not restrict your usage for that money and you are free to use it for any legally-acceptable personal need.

    Once approved, most lenders will offer the convenience of having your money deposited electronically to your bank account in as little as next business day.

    In addition to this broad umbrella of funds and financial aid, there are various subcategories that you may wish to learn about. Personal loans with varying repayment terms are designed for both individuals with good credit and bad credit.

    Though not exhaustive, here are some additional varieties of personal loans:

    Secured Personal Loan

    As the term suggests, a secured personal loan is made in lieu of some collateral that is used as security against the loan amount. This is for the lender s safety.

    Unsecured Personal Loan

    Unsecured on the other hand, are not made against an asset and are mostly provided for at the lender s terms.

    Payday Loan

    Payday loans are the short term type that is offered until your next pay check . They carry higher interest rates and are to be returned within the period of a payroll cycle.

    Cash Advance

    Very similar to a payday loan, cash advance offer short term liquidity until your next pay check arrives.

    Auto Finance

    Auto or car payment plan will enable you to purchase your next vehicle car, RV, boat, motor cycle, any vehicle purchase that can be financed under the applicable regulations.

    Student Aid

    Student aid is designed to enable students to complete their education and are either offered through private lenders or the federal government. Interest rates may be low and repayment terms are very convenient.

    Debt Consolidation

    Debt consolidation is a financial assistance that generally offered by the lenders to enable you to consolidate and repay a variety of debt obligations through one easy loan. No more multiple payments, just one single payment.

    Credit Cards

    We bet you know this. Yes, your credit cards are also a form of loan.

    Home Finance

    Whether you want to purchase a new home, refinance an existing one, or make those much needed improvements to your home (home equity), home loans are further categorized as mortgage. refinance, home equity loan, and various other vanilla varieties.

    In addition to these broad categories, there are many other loan options that you can choose from and if you browse through our website you can learn more about them.

    Business Financing

    Thus far we have spoken about personal finance aid, but there is also another subclass that serves small and large businesses and these arrangements are made either as small business loans, line of credit, SBA-backed loans, or other financing arrangements designed to ensure liquidity and business capital for business needs.

    News From Experts

    Search The Site

    Get Your Loan


    Microloans for Women in Business #woman #small #business #loan


    #

    Microloans for Women in Business

    Updated May 14, 2017

    Are you a woman entrepreneur who wants to start her own business but lacks funding? It can be extremely challenging when just starting out, especially if you don t have a strong track record in business, or are without collateral. However, there are many local, state and national resources available to women and minority business owners if you know where to look.

    This is a list of organizations that provide microloans—those under $50,000—to women, minorities, and small businesses. Be advised that some restrictions apply, particularly those that are limited to a specific geographic area. And it s best to check the organization directly to make sure you get the most updated information about what they offer.

    Hero Images/Getty Images

    San Francisco-based Kiva is an international nonprofit started in 2005 that aims to reduce poverty by connecting people through microlending. The loans are crowdfunded. with backers contributing donations as small as $25 to borrowers.

    Kiva s microloans can be used to start or grow a business and for other uses. The borrowers then repay the lenders through Kiva, and the lenders can decide whether to reinvest their funds in another borrower. More

    Woman Carrying Briefcase

    ACCION USA is a private, nonprofit organization that provides microloans up to $50,000 and other financial services to low and moderate-income entrepreneurs, including women and minorities who are otherwise unable to access bank credit for their small businesses.

    ACCION considers business owners character and business strengths as well as credit history when giving loans. In addition to loan programs tailored for female business owners, ACCION has programs for minorities, veterans, Native Americans and people with disabilities. More

    Hero Images / Getty Images

    The New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund is a private, tax-exempt organization that provides loans, training, and business consulting to entrepreneurs, business owners and non-profit organizations throughout the state and the entire Navajo Nation.

    This is restricted to New Mexico small business owners. More

    Buero Monaco / Getty Images

    WBIC offers microloans up to $100,000 with special programs for female small business owners. In addition to lending programs for women they also offer education programs, seminars, and business assistance and referral services.

    This organization s programs are limited to Wisconsin-based small businesses. More

    Women’s Economic Ventures

    Morsa Images / Getty Images

    This organization provides low-interest business loans to women-owned businesses in Santa Barbara and Ventura County in California. Loans for start-ups range from $1,000 to $25,000. Business expansion loans are available to women who have been in business at least 1.5 years with loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

    Elizabeth Street Capital

    Hero Images/Getty Images

    Elizabeth Street Capital is a partnership of the Tory Burch Foundation and Bank of America, which provides access to affordable loans to female entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs in underserved communities.

    Chris Ryan / OJO Images / Getty Images

    Even during tough times, at least one bank is out there gunning for women in business. Key Bank has a long-term record of lending programs for businesswomen and works to ensure that it s helping women entrepreneurs start, grow, and keep their businesses running, even during a downturn in the economy.

    Show Full Article


    Hardcat Fixed Asset Management Solutions #small #business #asset #management #software


    #

    People, Places, Incidents & Assets –
    Hardcat tracks them all

    Audit and Data Capture

    • A Hardcat specialty service
    • Optimised data integrity
    • Better governance & compliance
    • Erroneous asset discover
    • Learn more

    Capturing and/or auditing all critical data about every asset you need to track is a specialty of the Hardcat professional services team. Populating your Hardcat asset management registry with accurate, relevant data is the best way to reap maximum benefit from the toolset.

    Hardcat data integrity reaped from efficient, accurate audit and capture tools allows organisations to know the exact status of assets in real time so they can start leveraging that broad visibility and depth of knowledge to business advantage.

    Mobile Solution

    • Anyone, anywhere, any device
    • Asset management in the field
    • Real time, prioritised work orders
    • Platform agnostic solution
    • Learn more

    As a browser-based application, Hardcat solutions are available on any web-enabled device. Smart phones, PDAs, tablets and laptops can all be used making the full knowledge, control and power of Hardcat at hand in the field.

    Meanwhile, whether you use barcodes, RFID or another tagging technology, Hardcat is quickly and easily configured so that mobile devices can capture and access data anywhere there is an internet connection as well as distribute prioritised work orders to operatives.

    RFID

    • Radio Frequency electronic tracking
    • Reduced Man hours in asset management
    • Fixed and Mobile readers
    • Bulk asset issue and return
    • Learn more

    Hardcat’s expertise in RFID-based asset management is unsurpassed. Whether you are looking for bulk asset issue and return in construction, mining, defence or law enforcement or meticulous document management in the financial or legal sector, Hardcat has an active or passive RFID solution that suits.

    There are an almost infinite number of ways to leverage Hardcat asset management and RFID technology to avert risk, achieve productivity benefits, drive cost efficiencies and derive strategic value from better governance over your asset management regime.

    Trusted by over 2,000 blue chip companies, in over 120 countries worldwide

    Hardcat has specialised in fixed asset management solution products for over 30 years

    Ian Graham Operations Support, Manager, Australian Synchrotron

    “The Hardcat solution helps engineers to ensure the Synchrotron’s components are regularly maintained to sustain a successful operation of the facility.”

    What do you get with Hardcat Asset Management Solutions?

    Companies deciding to get serious about tracking their assets do it because they want measurable and reportable outcomes that will save their organisations time and money at the same time as covering off on every definable warranty, governance and compliance responsibility. It’s all about optimised utilisation, minimised total cost of ownership and bullet-proof accountability.

    Complete Asset Management – more than just financials

    That is why a company’s existing ERP system doesn’t make the cut when it comes to asset management. Look at what Hardcat can do for you.

    Features

    Asset Data Capture and Audit

    Easy mobile interface makes it easy for assets to audited in the field quickly and efficiently creating the type of real-time, searchable asset data that can improve governance and generate valuable knowledge ready for business analytics.

    Streamlined Issue and Return

    There are enormous cost savings and productivity improvements that can be achieved from efficient asset issue and return processes managed by Hardcat. Add passive or active RFID technology and watch the benefits multiply..

    Maximum Mobile Flexibility

    Use the Hardcat MiCat app on any device or take advantage of the web-based interface that brings Hardcat to life on any browser. Take the full knowledge, control and power of Hardcat into the field..

    Best Barcode Scanning

    Barcode scanning to open any asset record and update status or retrieve automated asset work orders. Easily managed custom lists of asset types, locations or financials. Handheld scanners and mobile apps take asset management into the field.


    4 Business Intelligence Tools for Small Businesses – Capterra Blog #business #intelligence


    #

    4 Business Intelligence Tools for Small Businesses

    Having the data about your business is not the same thing as knowing about your business.

    When I worked in corporate strategy, we were also asking, What story does this data tell us?

    Business intelligence tools are specifically designed to help you get to the story in your data more quickly. Instead of looking at a seemingly random set of numbers, BI tools give you reports and dashboards that combine relevant data into a seamless narrative.

    Even small businesses can benefit from having additional insight into their data. Here are four tools focusing on small businesses that can give you a leg up on the competition.

    DBxtra

    DBxtra helps the non-technical among us generate the sort of insights traditionally reserved for coders and Sherlock Holmes. The software integrates with all sorts of databases in all sorts of locations, and lets you dive in without knowing SQL. The data it retrieves can then be turned into tables, charts, or five hour long PowerPoint presentations with pictures of cats scattered throughout to keep the audience awake. It s totally up to you.

    DBxtra is a suite of tools, with report generation being just one of its many features. With other flavors, you can generate interactive dashboards, pull data right into Excel, or auto-generate and distribute reports.

    Due to its modular format, DBxtra can run you anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 as a one-time fee. Luckily, there s a free, fully functional 30 day trial so you can try before you buy.

    Sisense

    One of Sisense s defining features is its ability to drag and drop data sets to combine them. Say you ve got customer data in your CMS and sales data in your accounting software. You can simply open the two databases in Sisense and link the customers together using a visual connector system.

    By easily connecting all your back end data, you can then run much more powerful reports. Dig into which state you spend the most money shipping to, which products account for the most overtime, or what product line is the most popular with customers you contacted via phone.

    Like DBxtra, Sisense s strength is in its ease of use for non-technically minded folks. It s also designed to scale, with features that mean adding more and more data won t slow down processing times.

    Pentaho

    Pentaho is a BI solution with both an open source and a paid version. Limitations on the open source version are real, though, so consider it with a grain of salt. On the other hand, the software is free, and if your needs are basic or you re just interested in trying something out, Pentaho s community version might be for you.

    Like the other packages on this list, Pentaho allows you to connect your databases and run reports on them without having to have a degree in computer science. Pentaho also features a big data integrator it calls an adaptive big data layer. The layer insulates data from data analysis tools, so that changes in the data or tools don t affect your system.

    Zoho Reports

    For larger businesses and data sets, Zoho s business intelligence solution is more hands on than others listed here, with the trade-off of more control over what s being processed. The company has also taken a tailored approach to pricing, with Zoho offering five different pricing tiers based on need — and yes, there is a free version.

    While Sisense, for instance, prides itself on its drag and drop capability, Zoho requires users to insert code into some locations in order to sync up the data you want to analyze.

    Even at Zoho s free level, you ll have access to your data online and you can integrate reports with webpages and other online accounts. While things can be more complicated at the high-end, as a starting place for a small company, Zoho might be the easiest to get your head around. While you will probably need help integrating large online databases, working with all those spreadsheets you ve got on hand should be a breeze.

    Taking it all in

    Once you ve made the leap to data analysis, you have to do something about it. Knowing more about your customers is simply the first step to building better relationships with them. If you re going to take on a business intelligence plan, make sure you budget time to do something with the insights you unearth — otherwise, you ll just be wasting your time.

    Looking for Business Intelligence software? Check out Capterra’s list of the best Business Intelligence software solutions.


    BackupAssist – System State backup and restore #backupassist, #backup #assist, #backup, #back


    #

    System State backup and restore

    What’s included in a System State backup?

    The exact system components that make up your machine’s System State depend on the operating system installed and how it is has been configured. A System State backup generally includes a copy of any installed device drivers and related files, most of the Windows directory, the Windows Registry, the Active Directory configuration (where applicable) and system files under Windows File Protection.

    System State backups for Vista and Server 2008 are usually between 7GB and 15 GB and for XP and Server 2003, they are generally much smaller, being between 200MB and 300 MB. Many files in the Windows directory have multiple hard links. If you are backing up the System State using the File Replication Engine or the Rsync Engine and have Single Instance Store enabled, only a single copy of each multiply linked file will be stored on your backup destination. This data does not need to be copied on subsequent backups, which reduces backup times and saves storage space on your destination.

    Why is a System State backup useful?

    From a System State backup you can restore your Windows system settings in the event of a system failure or corruption. A System State backup is therefore particularly important for disaster recovery purpose as it eliminates you having to reconfigure Windows back to its original state before the system failure occurred.

    We recommended that you always have a recent backup of your System State and that you should perform System State backups on a regular basis, even daily, to increase your level of protection. We also recommended that you perform System State backups before and after any major change is made to your server.

    How to back up the System State

    With BackupAssist v6 you can schedule local* ‘System State only’ backups across all modern Windows operating systems, or even back up the System State as part of a larger backup including files and applications, using File Replication, Zip, or Windows Imaging. A System State backup includes important Windows systems settings, such as the Registry, and is crucial for system recovery.

    *BackupAssist cannot be used to back up the System State of a remote machine; you must install BackupAssist on each server of which you require a System State backup.

    Complete the following steps to configure a BackupAssist job to back up the local machine’s System State:

    1. Launch BackupAssist and either edit an existing File Replication, Zip or Imaging job by selecting Edit from the top menu and choosing the appropriate job, or create a new File Replication, Zip or Imaging job by going to File New backup job .
    2. If you are creating a new job check the Backup local system state option during the Files and Folders step of the Job Creation Wizard.
    3. If you are editing an existing job select Files and folders from the left menu, click the Local system selections tab, and then enable the Backup local system state option .

    How to restore the System State

    Complete the following steps to restore the System Stattefrom a BackupAssist backup using the BackupAssist Restore Console:

    • Note. you cannot restore the System State from an Image backup using the BackupAssist Restore Console. You must use the built-in Windows tool, wbadmin. Visit wbadmin.info for instructions.
    1. In BackupAssist, Click Restore in the top navigation bar and choose the BackupAssist Restore Console .
    2. Click Load all known backups to load all backup catalogues located in the BackupAssist settings folder, or use the Browse option to locate the backup set from which you want to restore.
    3. Choose the job that corresponds to the backup from which you want to restore the System State
    4. Use the calendar to select the date of the backup from which you wish to restore.
      • Note. dates for which backups are available are marked in bold on the calendar.
    5. Use the middle pane to expand the loaded backup set and select the System State to restore.
      • Note. files located on the Windows system drive (C: drive in the example above) may be available for restore, even though only the System State was selected for backup. These files are associated with the System State. If you choose to restore individual files from this list and not the System State, the System State will not be restored, and the files themselves may not restore correctly. If you choose to restore these files together with the System State, the System State option will override selections where there is an overlap. If you want to perform a full restore and are unsure which files are included in the System State we recommend selecting both the System State and all other files listed.
    6. Once you have made your selections click the Restore to button on the bottom right of the window.
    7. The restore confirmation screen will then load:
      You can choose to restore the System State either to its original location or to an alternate location of your choosing. If you select an alternate location click [. ] to set an alternate restore path.
    8. Once you have selected where to restore the System State to, click OK to perform the restore.
      • Note. if you are restoring the System State to a machine that hosts Directory Services, you will be prompted to reboot into the Directory Services Restore Mode.
      • Note. During a System State restore the necessary files are copied to a temporary directory and then moved to their correct location after a reboot of the machine. Before the restore starts, the Restore Console will take a VSS snapshot of the volumes to be restored. This allows the user to manually roll back to a pre-restore state, if necessary, using Windows’ previous versions feature.


    Great Moments Can Be Small Moments – A Hospice Volunteer – s

    #hospice stories

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    We worked everything out as she wanted; her doctor cooperated with us. A living will was drawn up, but at the time, a living will was not recognized in the state. She died at home with no tubes to keep her alive; her doctor or a nurse came in regularly to administer drugs for pain. My sister died with dignity.

    The above is all provided with hospice care. But, my sister died in 1978, and there was no hospice as yet. Elizabeth Kubler Ross was talking about a different way of dying but it was not yet accepted.

    I never forgot the experience of watching a loved one die.

    Thirty years later, after I retired from work, I found I was tired of playing Bunco and cards. I wanted something more in my life. I contacted Casa de la Luz Hospice and became a volunteer. Now, I don’t think I have done anything more important in my life. I had been conditioned to think that my life revolved around the special moments—marriage, raising children, children graduating, more marriages, and then grandchildren. These things are all important and worth remembering. But, by becoming a hospice volunteer, I have learned that great moments can be what may be a small moment. I am thinking of being in the Casa de la Luz Inpatient Unit, sitting vigil. The harpist came in and began to play; I was near the patient. The patient opened her eyes and asked me, “Am I in Heaven now?” I replied, “No. Not yet.” That was a moment, small to others, but big to me that I will not forget.

    It doesn’t take me long to become involved with a patient. It’s important to me to learn about the patient’s past, family, likes, dislikes, and what makes the patient smile. The patient learns that I am there to help, to listen, and to be quiet—whatever the patient needs. We share experiences, have new experiences, and all is confidential. I’m surprised, sometimes, at what I hear.

    Each patient is different and has different needs. For example, if I am told a patient isn’t eating enough, then I arrange my visits around the lunch hour so that I can encourage the patient to eat. You’d be surprised how many patients now eat dessert first and then their lunch. On holidays I try to dress the season—maybe a Halloween shirt, a Santa hat, or red, white and blue for the 4 th of July. Little things mean a lot to a terminally ill individual who is alone and has outlived his/her family and friends.

    I am also a knitter. I love to knit prayer shawls and afghans for our hospice patients. I have a memory afghan that I knitted a couple of years ago. It is made up of 20 individual squares, each knitted with a different pattern and then sewn together. Each of the squares was knitted while I visited my patients. I treasure it.

    I carry a hospice bag with me at all times. In it I have a book to read, crossword puzzles, snacks and water, and of course, my knitting. As a vigil volunteer, I never know how long my visit will be. I like to be available day or night to keep vigil with a dying patient. If I’m going for a companion visit with a patient, I try to keep it to one or two hours. I watch to see how the patient is holding up; is he/she looking tired? I will drive anywhere to see a patient. Distance is not a problem to me.

    I cannot explain the reward I receive by comforting someone who is in need. I just know that the reward is huge, and I think my patients can “feel” my energy.

    Being a hospice volunteer is not for everyone. But, to me and the other volunteers, our rewards are well worth it.

    Often, I am asked, “How can you watch someone die?” My reply is, “I don’t watch a patient die; I believe that I’m there to help them pass on to the next stage of life.”

    By Diane Gilbert, volunteer of two years

    Learn more about the various volunteer opportunities with Casa de la Luz Hospice on the Volunteers page of our website.





    Effective management of information systems in small business organiza by Sungyoul Lee


    #

    Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out .

    Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

    Effective management of information systems in small business organizations: An empirical study of critical success factors

    Sungyoul Lee. University of Nebraska – Lincoln

    Abstract

    Small business information systems (SBIS) emerged as a new research area in the 1980’s due to rapid advances in information processing technology and the accompanying drastic cost reductions. Several publications have addressed the effective management of SBIS. These research efforts, however, produced many inconsistent results. A major reason for this lack of agreement is that important confounding variables, such as differences in information systems, were not controlled. This empirical study investigated the factors affecting successful implementation of an information system (IS) in small businesses, while alleviating the problem described above. It also provides guidelines and a framework for practitioners and for future research.^ Three critical research questions were examined in this study: (1) What are the critical success factors (CSF’s) responsible for the effective management of SBIS? (2) Does the relative importance of CSF’s change as information systems evolve? (3) Should small companies in different industries have different IS usage and strategies?^ A cross sectional field survey was conducted to answer the above questions. Analysis of the returned questionnaires revealed two important points. First, the usage and management characteristics of information systems in small businesses are not affected by industry type, but are strongly influenced by information system development stage. Second, this research revealed that there exist different critical success factors for small firms whose IS’s are in different stages of development. These findings indicate that managers should consider different strategies and management plans for their information systems based on the type of IS present in their firm. ^

    Subject Area

    Business Administration, Management

    Recommended Citation

    Lee, Sungyoul, “Effective management of information systems in small business organizations: An empirical study of critical success factors” (1990). ETD collection for University of Nebraska – Lincoln. AAI9034280.
    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI9034280


    Ooma Business Reviews #small #business #voip #phone #service #reviews, #ooma #business #reviews


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    Ooma Business Reviews

    Ooma Office Review

    Whether your company consists of more than 100 employees or less than 10, the ability to convey your professionalism at all times is absolutely crucial. Your customers make your business and communication is key. In the past, sophisticated multi-line phone systems were very expensive, particularly with all of the added features that give a business that professional edge. Now, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems have taken this industry by storm, providing communications solutions that are not cost prohibitive, even to the smallest of businesses.

    Ooma Office is an outstanding system that is specifically designed for very small businesses. For a fraction of the cost of other VoIP systems, Ooma allows your small business to portray an image that is every bit as professional as that of large corporations.

    Hardware

    While many other providers require special (and pricey) phones and other equipment, Ooma can be used with any type of phone—even analog — so you’re able to use whatever existing equipment your company may have.

    The Ooma system consists of a base unit and Linx devices. These devices are used to connect additional phones to the system wirelessly. Up to 4 Linx devices can connect to each base unit. This setup gives you the ability to connect multiple devices for a very low cost.

    Setup

    Setting up the Ooma system takes only a few minutes once you’ve got the hardware. The simplicity of the initial setup is one of the many features that make Ooma such a great option for small businesses. These simple steps are all it takes to get your Ooma Office VoIP system all set up and ready to go:

    • Log in via the Ooma website
    • Enter your 7-digit activation code (found on the bottom of the base unit)
    • Provide your contact information
    • Create a login and a password
    • Enter the physical address for 911 calls

    Once you’ve completed these initial steps you will move on to choosing your new main business phone number. If you have an existing number you plan to transfer, you can get started with a temporary number. Otherwise, you’ll have the option of selecting from toll-free or local choices. Next, click “activate” to proceed with setting up your Ooma system. It takes only a few more steps to get everything up and running:

    • Click “activate” to initiate setup
    • Connect your base unit to your high-speed modem
    • Plug the base unit into a power outlet
    • Connect a phone to the base unit

    Watch the base unit for a few moments and when the light turns blue, you’re ready to begin making (and receiving) calls.

    Connecting additional phones is just as simple. First, connect the Linx wireless device by plugging it into a power outlet and holding the page key down for 3 seconds. You’ll see the blue light again when the system has recognized the Linx and you can then move this Linx to another part of the office and connect another phone to it. This entire process takes less than 20 minutes total.

    Once you have all of the phones that you’d like to use set up and in place, personalizing the system is extremely easy. Ooma’s online portal allows you to log in and personalize your entire phone system through their user-friendly interface. Unlike many communications systems, Ooma doesn’t require any special training or expertise to use. This means that you can perform updates and make changes yourself and you can do so at any time right over the computer.

    The Customer Care Experience

    Another impressive feature of Ooma is the exceptional level of customer service they provide. No matter how user-friendly any system is you’re sure to have a question or need a bit of additional help at some point. Ooma’s customer service representatives are extremely pleasant to deal with and helpful in answering specific questions or troubleshooting any issues you might experience. In fact, they provide the same outstanding level of service both over the phone and through their online chat support. The Ooma support staff is quick and responsive even when communicating through email. You can even expect to receive follow-ups to ensure that you’re getting everything you need from this service.

    Even Ooma’s website offers excellent resources for customers. You can find helpful information in the form of frequently-asked-questions, video tutorials and step-by-step assistance for troubleshooting whatever issues you may have. Every aspect of the customer experience with Ooma is focused on satisfying your needs in an effective, timely and positive manner.

    Features

    Ooma Office offers a wide variety of features that allow your small business to display the utmost professionalism. These are just a few of the many features available for your utilization:

    • Virtual Receptionist – This feature literally means that you can free up an employee who would otherwise use valuable time just answering phones and transferring calls. The standard way to use this feature is by typing your desired greetings and allowing the system’s text-to-speech technology to convert your writing into speech. You can then choose between a male or female voice as well as choosing either a US or British accent. Alternatively, Ooma allows you to record and upload your own greetings so that you can have your own voice playing the part of the receptionist. Files can be upload in .wav and .mp3 formats and can be up to 5MB in size. In addition to answering and directing calls, your virtual receptionist can provide other business, like your hours of operation, directions to your location and even different prompts that play when you’re closed. This highly customizable feature is an incredible tool that is helpful for your customers as well as for you.

    • Ring Groups – With this feature, you can group your employees by department. For example, you might have separate groups for your sales department and your shipping department. You can customize this option by choosing whether calls routed to each department ring simultaneously or in a specific sequence. In other words, you can set up your groups so that your top salesperson receives the call first; then, if that person is unavailable, the call will move down the line in whatever way you specify. For your shipping department, you might prefer to have all phone lines ring so that the call can be answered quickly by whichever employee is able to get there first.

    • Virtual Extensions Call Forwarding – Mobility options allow your employees to remain productive, whether they’re in the office, on the road or working from home.

    • Voicemail to Email – Business happens 24 hours a day, and Ooma gives your employees the ability to receive voicemails via email so they can listen to them even when they’re not near a phone.

    • Conference Calls – As many as 10 users can participate, giving you the flexibility to conduct meetings with out-of-the-office employees or clients.

    • Hold Options – Select music or company messages for callers to hear when they’re placed on hold.

    For small businesses, these features can really set your company apart. Flexibility, customization and tools that increase productivity give you the ability to truly cater to all of your clients’ and employees’ needs.

    Cost

    Getting started with Ooma Office will initially require one-time hardware costs in addition to the cost of monthly service. The initial hardware cost will vary depending on the number of employees that will be using the system. The basic equipment starter cost is $249.99. This includes one base unit and 2 Linx devices. Ooma does offer promotional discounts regularly, which typically discount this price by $50.

    Service runs $19.98 per month for one phone number with one user. Additional phone numbers can be added for an add-on fee of $9.99 per month. Additional users can be added for $9.99 per month as well. Most small businesses need only one main phone number with multiple extensions for employees. For example, if there are 5 employees in your business who will each need their own extension, the cost will be about $70 per month ($20 + $10 per extension). The incredible thing about this pricing structure is that it includes 15 virtual extensions that can be used for employees who do not work in the office. With these extensions, customers can connect with your employees’ home or mobile phones.

    Internet fax and conferencing also incur an additional fee of $9.99 (each) per month. Calls within the US are unlimited for the monthly base fee. If you opt to have a toll-free number, 500 minutes of inbound calling is included; additional minutes run 3.4 cents each.

    With the incredible variety of professional options Ooma provides, it’s much simpler and much more cost effective than other services out there. For businesses with only a handful of employees, Ooma is the perfect choice for a VoIP provider that has tons of bells and whistles for a fraction of the price. You can even give Ooma Office a try with a 30-day risk-free trial to ensure that this service meets your business needs. We believe you’ll find that the professional features, low cost and ease-of-use make this service an ideal choice for your small business.

    See also


    Small Business Association #small #business #school #online


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    National Federation
    of Independent Business

    Top Small Business News Research

    NFIB is America s leading small business association, promoting and protecting the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. If you re an independent business owner, join NFIB today to enjoy exclusive member discounts, business networking opportunities in your local area, free HR support for your business and much more!

    Check out NFIB s free online business resources, read about our latest advocacy efforts and discover how NFIB is working to protect the rights of small business owners coast to coast. Each day, we publish brand-new business resources to help you succeed and grow your business, including tips for business success, information on how the newest laws affect you, innovative business ideas and more.

    To learn more about NFIB membership or join our network of entrepreneurs (325,000 and growing!), call us today at 1-800-634-2669.

    Get to know NFIB

    NFIB is America’s leading small business association, promoting and protecting the right of our members to own, operate and grow their business

    Find out more about
    NFIB Membership

    Or call us today

    Learn, Grow Operate a Better Business

    NFIB works with trusted providers to offer you quality business products and services that save you time and, in many cases, money.


    6 Tips for Inventory Management – Business Management Advice #small #inventory #management


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    6 Tips for Inventory Management

    Managing inventory and orders is an important part of business that should be taken very seriously. In many cases, not properly tracking these things can lead to mistakes such as lost orders, delayed orders, or even potentially losing a customer.

    Here are six tips on managing inventory and orders to allow any inventory-based business to grow without operational headaches.

    Tip 1: Understand the differences between product types

    There are generally four different product types that businesses use to account for inventory:

    1. Item – a simple product that gets delivered to the warehouse. There is no packaging or assembling effort and the product is ready to be sold to your customers.
    2. Assembly an item that needs to be assembled together by smaller item parts within the warehouse. For example, a bicycle is comprised of a frame, wheels, chains etc. and putting all the parts together results in a finished “assembly.”
    3. Family a group of similar items or variants of a parent item. For example, if you have a t-shirt item and it comes in 3 different sizes and 4 different colors then there will be 12 different variants a part of one family named “t-shirt.”
    4. Case Pack also known as a “bundle,” usually a multiple of an item bundled together into one. For example, a case pack of 12 sunglasses would get shipped to the wholesale customer and then sold individually. The difference between an assembly and a case pack is that an assembly stays intact (as in it does not get broken down) whereas a case pack is bundled together for efficiency purposes and then can later be broken into single items again.

    Tip 2: Always have SKU numbers, barcodes and product specifications

    Similar to a driver’s license, every product needs to have a unique ID number known as a SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). A SKU is vital for internal use as there will be instances where a particular product needs to be found quickly and having an SKU will make it easy to find. Additionally, having a SKU is imperative because another company could have a product named “Black Pants” exactly like and resellers are dealing with multiple vendors, thus creating a need to differentiate between similar products.

    Second, when working with other companies such as resellers whether it be an independent e-commerce store, a brick and mortar store or a big-box chain, a universal barcode/UPC number will be expected. A UPC number is another form of a SKU, but instead it comes in the form of a barcode which can be scanned and identified through a live database powered by GS1. Be cautious not to purchase UPC numbers from anywhere but GS1 or a valid reseller. The whole point of a barcode is to be scanned and looked up via a database, so having a barcode that brings up a different product from another company causes a lot of confusion and could potentially lose customers.

    Finally, it is always good to have a system for listing all your products specifications. Those specifications should have at least the following:

    • Product Name
    • SKU Number
    • UPC Number
    • Description
    • Color
    • Size
    • Price
    • Weight
    • Dimensions (depending on product)

    Tip 3: Track what you sell and to who

    There is a vast amount of data related to a company’s products and who the consumer is. There are certain questions you should be trying to answer on a daily/weekly/seasonal basis to drive core business decisions. For example:

    • Which products are top-sellers?
    • Which customers are buying the most?
    • Which months are our slow months when people rarely buy?
    • How many repeat customers do we have?

    Not having the tools to track this information is like driving with a blindfold it is just not a smart business decision.

    The best companies rigorously measure key metrics to drive an increase in sales, customer lifetime value and purchase size. For example, if you want to run a profitable business, you need to analyze how much money it costs to get a customer (in terms of sales and marketing) and figure out how much that customer will spend with you over the next two to five years. If their lifetime value is typically three times or more than the cost of sales and marketing for that one customer, then you will have a profitable business.

    Making business decisions based on gut feelings lead to disaster when dealing with inventory and order management. Even early on in the building of a business, making an investment in a system to hep with this can save a lot of time and money down the line.

    Tip 4: Create a system for processing and fulfilling orders within your company

    Number of orders is the most important factor for a business because it represents revenue. But many companies do not have proper systems to handle, process and fulfill these orders. The best thing to do is create a list of tasks that need to be completed to fully process and fulfill an order.

    A typical process will look like this:

    1. Step One Create a sales order in the accounting or order management system.
    2. Step Two Check Inventory. See if the product is available.
    3. Step Three If inventory is in stock, pack the order and figure out the cost of shipment.
    4. Step Four If there is a credit card on file, charge the payment for the order total and any shipping and handling charges.
    5. Step Five Convert the sales order to an invoice and apply the payment to that invoice to close the transaction.

    Additionally, if you have other sales channels where you manage inventory separately or you have an inventory spreadsheet, adjust it. It is important that inventory remains the same across the entire system to avoid confusion.

    There are many systems, like Lettuce. that completely automate this process so you don’t have to do all the manual work like managing inventory, customers, accounting, shipping processes and analytics. If you do not create a system, orders can get lost, delayed or configured incorrectly. This is an easy and common way to frustrate customers and potentially lose them.

    Tip 5: Have monthly audits of your inventory

    Even with the greatest technology around, we still need to reconcile the numbers in our books with real numbers. Inventory can get misplaced, stolen, damaged and thrown away. Doing a monthly or at the very least, quarterly audits of your inventory is a great practice. It’s an easy process that, with a well-kept system, will prevent major roadblocks in the future.

    Here’s an easy way to perform a monthly audit:

    Print out a sheet with the name of the product, the SKU number and the inventory number you have in the books. Leave an extra blank space next to the product so that you can quickly write in the counted inventory number and see if your system matches what you actually have in stock.

    Tip 6: Perform daily audits of new and existing orders

    Always do a daily audit of all the orders. If you start getting a large number of orders each day, it is essential that you check the status of each order and not delay them longer than they need to be. The faster you can get an order out to a customer, the more likely they will have a good experience and return to buy more from you in the future.


    How Much Does Business Insurance Cost? Average Price #small #business #insurance #agency


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    Business Insurance Cost

    How to Reduce Your Business Insurance Rates

    If you’re just opening up shop, you are probably wondering what risks you need to cover with insurance. You will need to cover a range of risks and potential incidents, like accidents, injuries, equipment damage, theft and liability claims. Even if you have a well-established corporation, you may be wondering if the coverage you do have is right for your needs and is fairly priced. Is it possible you can get the same or better coverage elsewhere for less?

    An experienced independent insurance agent can help you assess which of the many types of commercial coverage are appropriate for your business, and can look for all available discounts on your behalf. Contact an agent in the Trusted Choice network who specializes in commercial insurance to get a complete assessment of your needs. Independent agents can not only help you compare business insurance plans and prices, but can also help you get all of your business coverage from one office.

    Business Insurance Nearly Every Company Needs

    The right coverage for your company will be some combination of coverage types, which may be offered separately, but can sometimes be packaged into a business owner’s policy, also known as a BOP, which typically gives you a cost savings as a bundled plan.

    Your Business Insurance Rates Are Unique to Your Company

    Each type of business coverage in your policy will provide an important and specific type of protection. You may need some or all of the recommended coverage types. You may need other types of coverage too, such as errors and omissions insurance (“E and O”), also known as professional liability insurance. Calculating your specific costs depends upon the blend of coverage you need, and how much.

    For example, if you are a sole proprietor, you typically do not need to buy workers comp, so you do not need to calculate that coverage into your costs. As another example, if you transport equipment and business supplies from one location to another, you will need inland marine insurance. You may also need additional liability coverage if the materials your workers transport is hazardous, or if your employees or contractors drive big rigs that can do millions of dollars-worth of damage in an accident.

    If you sell products, you will most likely need product liability insurance. If you have employees who handle money or have access to funds, you may want special protection against business fraud. Your property insurance alone may cost you a quarter of a million a year if you have big risks – such as a professional sports arena. You may pay $500 per year as a small business owner, or over $500,000 per year as a major corporation.

    Every company is unique. The products and services sold, the size of the company and the risks workers face all contribute to business insurance rates.

    Business Liability Insurance Costs

    While there really are no average business liability insurance costs for both small and large businesses, we can consider some sample scenarios.

    1. A sole proprietor might pay $500 per year for general liability insurance, but a small consulting firm is likely to pay over $3,000 per year.
    2. A sole proprietor who hems garments out of a home office has limited liability concerns, but a landscaper may pay upwards of $15,000 annually due to increased risk.

    Costs will vary considerably depending on the specific risks of the business. Professional liability insurance costs are in that same ballpark. Also called errors and omissions insurance, or E O, this type of business liability insurance covers the “human error” risk when you give advice or offer consultation. While this coverage is typically associated with advisors such as accountants and consulting firms, many different types of small businesses carry this coverage to hedge against the risk of a law suit. Average business insurance costs for E O coverage for small firms is typically in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 annually per million dollars of coverage.

    Looking for the Best Business Insurance Rates

    There are many ways to package policies, get discounts. and reduce your business insurance costs. For example, small business owners can often get a combined policy that provides all the basic coverage a small business needs. Known as a “business owner’s policy” or “BOP” this type of packaged policy can make the cost of business insurance very affordable for small a small enterprise.

    Be sure to work with an agent who is experienced and knowledgeable in commercial coverage when seeking business insurance quotes. If you are like many business owners, you have put your life blood into building your company. Working with an agent can help you make the best decisions and balance both your risk management and cost saving strategies.

    How Independent Insurance Agents are Uniquely Able to Help Business Owners

    Independent agents in the Trusted Choice network who specialize in commercial coverage have a unique capability. They can provide quotes for your company from a wide range of insurance carriers, and can help you with every aspect of your business insurance. from product liability to workers comp to commercial vehicle insurance – all out of one office. This means you don’t need to go to a range of insurance companies to get all of your needs met.

    Independent agents in the Trusted Choice network are based out of 27,000 member agency locations across the US, which means there is a local agent right near your business. It also means you can work with a real person who fully understands your state’s regulations and ensure that you are in compliance.

    Getting Business Insurance Estimates for Your Company

    The right coverage for your risks can help with everything from concerns about property damage to the risk of cyber crime. Start by assessing the hazards involved in running your business. A knowledgeable independent agent can help you assess those risks and can provide several business insurance estimates for the appropriate coverage to protect your company.

    Make sure you have adequate coverage to protect your business investment so you’ll be there to serve your customers tomorrow. Find a Trusted Choice member agent today and get the quotes and personal assistance you need to get the right business coverage for your company at an affordable rate.

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