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Starting A Business

Communicating Your Brand Online

The internet has so many possibilities for businesses to open their doors to a world of consumers normally not able to be reached offline. Online businesses can take a grasp on the tools and ideas to promote their brand to the community of millions. Aiming for a recognizable online brand is your goal and there are simple steps to help you steer in the right direction.
Consistency with your company image is the first step in creating a recognizable brand and offering a memorable experience for your consumers. Create a fresh, easy to read logo that doesn’t have a lot of text or too much color. You want yourself to stand out but not to be a negative distraction. Most times the simplicity of the logo for a brand is the most effective. Surf the web and get some pointers on which brands and logos stand out to you and which ones you see time and time again.
Getting your message out there regularly is another component of brand exposure. In addition to creating a visually appealing logo and having the right choices of color, you also need to brainstorm ways to expose your brand and message. Advertising your company online is more cost effective than other mediums. A free way to help your company gain increased recognition is to write about your business or areas of relevance. Joining social networks and ensuring your page is branded will help get your business out there.
The idea of having online events for your business will give your brand a memorable experience amongst your clients. These events could include “Ten Percent off Tuesdays” or “Friend Referral Fridays.” Be creative with these online shopping events and promote them regularly. You can also market these events to your consumers through social networks as well.
As mentioned above, research on current brands that are successful will help you build your ideas. Take a look at Apple or CNN. These are two large companies that can be recognized universally throughout the online community. Follow the simplistic trends of design and focus on getting it recognized through advertising, social networks and events. The more ways you’re able to communicate your business online, the more successful you’ll become.…

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Starting A Business

How to Quit Your Job – Tackling the Obstacles That Hold You Back

Talk to a bunch of people in a bar and you’re likely to find a few bitching about their job and how they’d wish they could call it a day. When you ask what they’d do instead, many have no really clear idea. This article is not for them.
Instead, let’s consider those who want to quit their job to set up a business of their own, but who fear to take such a big, decisive step as quitting the paycheck.
If you’re one of them, then you know quite well what you want to do. But because you know what you want to do, you’re also very aware of the obstacles, the reasons for NOT quitting your job.
Fear of Failure
Fear of failure holds many people back, whether they’re aware of it or not.
You have an idea for a business, but there’s no guarantee that you’re actually going to be successful. And having to go back to work with a failed business on your resume is not a prospect that appeals.
Fear of failure is something we all have to face at one time or another. With regards to quitting your job and setting up on your own, however, fear of failure need not hold you back.
Lay those fears to rest by proving to yourself that you have what it takes to run your own business. And the easiest way that’s done is by starting a business that does not require you to quit your job, a business you can run in your spare time.
This is even easier if you base your new, part-time business on a hobby or passion. On something you love and know a lot about. That way, building your business will not feel like work and fears associated with ‘running a business’ will be largely meaningless.
Start-up Capital
Many traditional businesses need a pot of start-up capital and in these financially uncertain times you may not be too keen to get into debt. So, if a traditional business is where your dreams are taking you, you may find yourself chained to your paycheck until you’ve saved enough money to get started.
Consider instead if you could run your ‘traditional’ business in a ‘non-traditional’ way, one that requires little start-up capital.
An online business is comparatively cheap to get off the ground and – if it is your dream to sell widgets – you could source a drop-shipping company to fulfil your orders, rather than set up a shop in the centre of town and hold all your own stock.
Time and Flexibility
Here’s another practical consideration that can look like a major obstacle. You don’t want to quit your job until your new business is off the ground. While all the while you know that the new business can’t really get off the ground while you’re working full-time.
But this is only true for businesses that require you to be present during office hours.
Instead, consider a business that can accept flexible hours, that you can deal with outside of your hours of employment. This means long hours for you – for a time – but if your business is your passion, you won’t really mind too much.
Quitting your job to start your own business need not be the huge, scary step it’s often made out to be. And not being able to quit your job just yet does not mean you cannot start your own business.
All it needs is a gradual approach. Choose a business that needs little start-up capital and that you can run in the time that’s available to you, base it on a hobby or passion of yours so that it feels more like fun than work and watch it take off.
Try this approach to start your own business, and you only need to quit your job when you are ready for it.…

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Starting A Business

3 Online Accounting Software Options for Small Business

As cloud computing gains in popularity, the availability of online accounting software continues to grow.A� Many small business owners want a software that has an intuitive and easy-to-use interfaceA� that allows them to bill customers, enter expenses and check their bank balances,.A� We also want to be able to access from anywhere (you never know when the desire to do your accounting, strikes!)A� I have looked at 3 cost effective, multi functional alternatives below:
Quickbooks Online: The basic version, at $9.95 per month, provides you will the ability to track your invoices and expenses, including sales taxes, and to see where you stand with respect to your payables and receivables.A� It also allows you to customize and create invoices, and provides many reporting options. You can manage your account from either a Windows or Mac platform as well as your iPhone and BlackBerry. Only one user can log on at a time (+ your accountant). There are no limits on the number of the customers or transactions.
An upgrade to $34.95 per month gives you a host of other features including inventory tracking, automated banking (which allows you to download your bank transactions into your QB file), time tracking, industry comparisons and 3 simultaneous user access.A�
Payroll and credit card processing are available as add-ons and have to be purchased separately.
Either version allows a free trial and can be cancelled at any time.
Xero: Although the company is based in New Zealand, small businesses anywhere can use the software. The functionality is similar to Quickbooks except that he plan price differential is much smaller with Xero.A� The small plan at $19 a month allows for 5 customer and vendor transactions and 20 bank transactions per month which could be problematic for anyone who has more than 5 clients or customers. The medium and large plans at $29 and $39 per month, by comparison, allow for unlimited transactions.A�A� Also, unlike Quickbooks, Xero allows unlimited users for all it’s plans and offers a multicurrency feature.A�
Clarity Accounting: For small businesses whose need to track invoices, expenses, payables, receivables and bank balances, this seems like the ideal solution.A� For $10 a month, the user can enter unlimited transactions, create invoices, enter expenses, create financial reports and download their bank statements.A� User access is unlimited, and they support multicurrency transactions.
Clarity notably lacks a smartphone app and a payroll add on feature, which can be tedious if you have employees.
All three options provide a similar service, with some noteworthy differences.A� Quickbooks offers payroll, credit card add-ons as well as inventory tracking with their plus version, but does not allow for unlimited users or multicurrency transactions.A� Xero’s medium plan (the small plan seems a little unrealistic for most small businesses) supports multicurrency and unlimited transactions, but is a twice as expensive as Quickbooks basic plan.A� Clarity is an extremely cost effective choice except that it does not support payroll or have an accompanying smartphone app.A� The choice, of course will depend on your requirements and what you are willing to spend.A� All versions provide a free trial, so it is absolutely worth it to try them out and assess which one you are most comfortable with.…

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Starting A Business

Good Solid Advice About Woodworking That Anyone Can Use

Sadly, there just isn’t a lot of advice out there when it comes to working with wood. You may dream of crafting a beautiful chair or table, but how do you begin. This article was written with you in mind, offering tips and tricks you just won’t find elsewhere, so read on.

Be safety conscious when working with wood. Make sure that you always use tools properly and wear the proper safety equipment. Always keep safety guards in place on power tools. You don’t want to go to the hospital because you did something stupid.

Tape can be your friend when gluing stained wood together. Place the two pieces of wood together in a clamp and tape the seam before applying the glue. Carefully cut the tape along the joint and then separate the two pieces of the wood and apply the glue along the joint. Clamp together and allow to dry. The tape will keep the glue off the wood and is easy to remove once the glue is dried.

If you would like to start woodworking as a hobby or a business, always buy the highest quality tools that you can find. While you may be able to find cheaper tools, they will end up breaking during your project. Spend the extra money and buy a quality tool that will last a lifetime.

The reason why many power tools have guards on them is to keep you safe. Never remove the guards off of any of your tools. You may not understand why they are there, but they are there for a reason. They are there to protect you from sharp blades, moving parts and other things that could potentially hurt you.

If you will be using stain, always do a test on an inconspicuous area, or scrap of wood. This helps you to not be shocked when you see the finished product. Wood is unpredictable at times and you should do this test so that you aren’t disappointed by the results.

Familiarize yourself with the tools that you are going to use. This is a very important tip for the beginner, but even more advanced woodworkers can benefit from it too. Lay out the tools and make sure that you know the workings of each one. If you’ve got a brand new tool to you, spend the time that you need with it.

If you have been doing woodworking for some time now you may want to think about using your skills to make your own furniture. If you already have all that you need you could even do this as a service to those that are less fortunate than you. It is a great way to share your passion with others.

With all of this advice fresh in your mind, the time is now to tackle the world of working with wood. Any project you have dreamed of creating is now within your reach. Take your time as you review each tip and start to use it as you build your first project and the results will be astounding.…

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Starting A Business

Home Business Success Is Yours With These Tips

When those bills start piling up and those ends won’t seem to meet no matter how far you stretch them, you might need to think about supplementing your income or starting an entirely new business. If you do opt for starting a home business, make sure you first read the tips contained in the article below.

To save money when running a home business be sure to hire a certified accountant. It may seem like an extra expense at first, but the expense from a small error can be far more expensive if you were to be audited. Tax laws change every year and having an accountant will relieve stress and allow you to focus on your business.

Figure out the money involved. If necessary save as much money as you can before starting your home business. There are always unseen charges that you will have to deal with, and it is best to pay these with available money rather than a credit card. Don’t think that you can walk into a bank and loan money. Most banks will need to see a proven track record.

Set your business up to accept credit cards. You can use different websites to accept payments through. Some of them have monthly limits which you will need to look over before signing up. Some banks will set up a special business accounts for you.

Keep a mileage log for your business driving. With a home business, you might find yourself driving to meet clients or suppliers, delivering orders or traveling to boutiques and trade shows. The IRS allows a write-off for business mileage, at about 34 cents per mile. That adds up! Check for the current year mileage allowance.

When starting your own home business try to gather as many experts around you as possible. You will need many experienced allies in this as they will be able to provide you with great advice and warnings about things to do or avoid. This will also help you to have a support network.

Create a business plan before you open your home business. This will help you think through everything you need to do to achieve your goals. You can find examples and templates for a variety of business plan styles online. These documents also allow you to troubleshoot ahead of time as you consider the type of problems you may encounter.

Write your home business’s objective. Keep the objective short, but fully describe how your company operates. This way you have a ready response when someone asks what your business does. This will help you sound confident when you are talking about your company, and this confidence will be apparent to your customers.

Needing the cash is certainly a great reason to attempt to start a home business, but it’s far from the only reason. Regardless of your particular reasons, however, the important thing is that you work to apply accurate information and proven tactics so that you can be successful. Use what you’ve learned here to help you get there.…

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Starting A Business

Expert Advice That Can Make Mobile Marketing Easy

There are many definitions that can be applied to the term “mobile marketing.” Businesses integrate it into their marketing strategies in a variety of ways. The most basic definition is the use of mobile devices or cell phones as a medium to promote businesses. These tips can let you see how you can make mobile marketing work for you.

Begin by developing an appropriate database. Do not just add random cell phone numbers when you are constructing a mobile marketing database. Get permission before adding anyone’s cell phone number to your list. You can get permission by having them fill out a request form on your website.

Cater to tech-savvy consumers by placing QR codes on every printed advertisement. The codes give access to your site, where you can offer coupons or special deals for those with smartphones. Put these codes everywhere, including fliers, catalogs, and even your own business card. A QR code is an easy way for a consumer to find more information on your interesting products and services.

When you are gearing your website towards mobile users, remember brevity is a virtue. It is unacceptable to include wordy product descriptions and endless chains of landing pages that do nothing to enhance users’ experiences. Mobile marketing demands short, concise, and direct messages to consumers.

Do not forget to invest some cash into making sure that your site is mobile-ready. Developing an appealing and effective mobile site may be a major challenge. Consider hiring outside qualified developers to ensure this goes smoothly.

Enlist the help of friends and family to try out the effectiveness of intended advertising campaigns, mailings, websites and more. If you need unbiased opinions, you can hire testers.

Mobile platforms that are designed as standalone also need home bases to be successful. Use your mobile presence to increase traffic to your home base and to keep in contact with current customers. Remember that a mobile platform should be an extension of your existing marketing plan, not the center of it.

Remember that it’s real people that you are messaging so treat them with the respect they deserve. Try to be respectful of the individual you are contacting.

It may be harder for people to navigate your website if they are doing so on their mobile device. A mobile marketing campaign should be built on an intuitive and user-friendly platform that allows the user to view your messages on their mobile device. This can translate in pages that appear more simple to computer users. However, you want your site open for as many users as possible.

Include maps on your site for your local customers that are easily seen with various mobile devices. If a customer is searching for a nearby business on their phone, your maps will allow them to find your store quickly and easily.

As you have seen, different people may understand mobile marketing to mean different things. It entails many different principles and can be adjusted to accommodate practically any objective that centers on a mobile device – this is the essence of mobile marketing. By taking the information from this article, you will have a better understanding on how your business can profit from mobile marketing.…

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Starting A Business

How To Tartget The Right People With Email Marketing

It is important that you don’t bombard your clients with a lot of unwanted emails. Your marketing campaign should contain interesting and relevant content. People will stay interested if they find your emails worthy of their time. If you want to put together relevant email messages that will be eagerly anticipated by your readers, follow the advice in this article.

To make sure your emails don’t turn people off, always seek permission before sending them out. Include a subscription button on your site, and encourage regular customers to have their friends sign up as well. If you’d like to give people some extra encouragement to subscribe, you could feature subscriber only deals.

Always seek permission before sending marketing emails to potential customers. Sending unsolicited emails will quickly have you labeled a spammer. Getting permission to send your messages doesn’t have to be hard; offer something valuable to your customers in exchange for the ability to email them, such as a discount, coupon, or other sign-up incentive.

Email only the people on your list. If someone receives unsolicited email, it feels like spam. Recipients will be left scratching their heads, wondering if they actually know you, and they’ll possibly feel suspicious about what you have to offer. This ambiguity can lead to a deletion of the email, which is a loss of both the customer and time.

Make sure that you get permission from customers or potential customers before sending out your emails. If people do not want to get emails from you, they could mark your emails as spam or even ignore you altogether. There is even a chance that your email service could take you out of their system.

Data mine your email list and bucket your audience into various segments based off of any profiling data you have. This will allow you to be more strategic with your messaging and effectively increase your chances of higher open and click through rates. Even if you don’t have profiling, look to geo-targeting. Various regions respond differently to different types of messaging.

Limit your marketing email messages to only one each week. Your subscribers are probably receiving tons of email messages every single day. If you send too many messages, your customers may begin deleting them unread.

Use passive and active feedback to enhance email marketing efforts. Active feedback is obvious: ask visitors for suggestions and advice. Passive feedback is a different thing, altogether. You could use whatever software and tools you have to determine the links that are clicked on, most of the time.

Offer your visitors a free learning course conducted via email. You’ll need to develop a set amount of auto responders, breaking up the lesson into sections. Four to six sections should be an appropriate amount. Make sure the content is both informative and unique. Schedule the sections to be sent out one at a time every 24 hours. This can provide you with a host of benefits, such as enhancing your website, gaining your customers’ confidence, developing your authority, and building your email base.

As the above article has demonstrated, you must ensure that the email marketing campaign is one that will interest your customer. People quickly opt out of mailing lists that they perceive to be spam. Choosing to apply what you have learned from this article can ensure that you send quality content in each of your emails to your customers.…