Tag : 2016

Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Review 2016 #free #business #cards

#business computers


Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Review

PROS / It features a quad-core processor and a dedicated graphics card.

CONS / It only has eight USB ports.

VERDICT / The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 is one of the best business computers. It combines a high-end processor with 8GB of memory, 1TB of storage and excellent support.

Everything about the Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 is fast, reliable and capable of expanding with your business. It comes with a military-grade chassis, which makes it one of the most durable business computers on the market. It also features excellent support to ensure that your business is up and running quickly if components break down. It has the high-end Intel i7 quad-core processor, 8GB of memory, a dedicated graphics card and 1TB of storage. The many upgradable options and expansion features allow you to conform it to fit your business’ needs. For these reasons, it earns the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for best business computer .

For our review, we emphasized performance, which starts with the processor. To evaluate performance, we started by looking at the PassMark score of the CPU. Then we assessed the installed RAM and storage. Finally, we evaluated the connectivity and expansion potential of the chassis. The best business desktop computers provide excellent performance with the ability to expand to meet your business’ needs.

8011.40 PassMark Score


With the Intel Core i7-6700, you get a quad-core processor that has eight threads of execution, which is almost like having eight cores. This provides exceptional computing power that allows you to multitask without slowing down your computer, which is illustrated in the high PassMark score of 11,000.

Out of the 10 computers we reviewed, this is the best processor. Since we determined that a 6,000 PassMark score was the minimum passable score, you can see that this business desktop computer clearly has the processing power needed to handle running multiple business apps at a time.

In addition to the excellent CPU, the M900 is one of the few business PCs in our review with a dedicated graphics card. It comes with the Nvidia GeForce GT 720, which has 1GB of memory. Having a dedicated graphics card means that the i7-6700 processor doesn’t process graphics until the card is maxed out. This allows it to more freely process other data. In other words, when you combine this graphics card with a quad-core processor, the performance is among the best you’ll find at this price range. You can run a video-editing program and do your taxes at the same time without a hitch.

Memory & Storage

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 comes with 8GB of memory, which is the standard amount of memory for business desktop computers at the $1,000 range. With this much memory, you won’t have any trouble running most business programs like Excel, PowerPoint and Word or data-intensive programs like video-editing software. However, if 8GB isn’t enough memory for your business, you can upgrade the RAM to as high as 32GB.

The hard drive has 1TB of storage, which is also standard at this price point. This is most storage of any of the hard drives you can upgrade to, but you can add a second 1-TB hard drive. For most business computers, 1TB of storage is enough for several years, unless you have a lot of music and videos.

You can upgrade the hard drive to a 256-GB solid-state drive, which can add a lot of value to an office PC’s performance, because the data is accessed much faster and is less susceptible to drive failures as there are no moving parts.


The ThinkCentre M900 has only eight USB ports, which is the least number of ports for a business computer. Each port is a USB 3.0, which are also compatible with USB 2.0 devices. The best business computers have at least 12 USB ports. You want to have at least two or three ports more than what you know you’ll need. For comparison, the best you can get on a business desktop computer is up to 14 USB ports. However, you can add more USB 2.0 ports for a fee.

The M900 also lacks a media card reader, which reads memory sticks and memory cards commonly used in phones, cameras and other handheld digital devices. You can add a media card reader prior to purchase, but it costs extra.

Expansion Potential

The ThinkCentre comes with a 250-watt power supply unit, which is enough to handle the installed components but lacks the overhead for expansion. For comparison, the best business computer in our review has a power supply unit of 460 watts with similar specifications. Without sufficient overhead, you’ll have to upgrade the power supply unit before installing any more components.

There are four expansion slots on the motherboard, with two internal drive bays and two external drive bays. These allow you to add more hard drives to increase storage or other devices needed for your business, like audio or video cards. But as mentioned, you need to upgrade the power supply unit if you add any components.

Help & Support

Lenovo has one of the best support systems for business computers, with one caveat the M900 only comes with a one-year warranty. However, Lenovo’s warranty covers parts, labor and on-site service. You can also customize your service and extend your warranty up to five years. These are vital support features for a business computer, because you can’t afford for your computer to break down.

The company offers additional support like asset recovery, online data backup and remote diagnosis. These services help you ensure your business’ vital information is always safe and accessible.


With an Intel i7-6700 quad-core processor, 8GB of memory and 1TB of storage, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 business computer is a high-performance machine with one of the best support systems available. The connectivity is subpar, and the expansion potential is hindered by a weak power supply unit, but these issues can be remedied with simple upgrades. It’s clearly among the best business computers on the market.

HP EliteDesk 800 Review 2016 #business #startup #loans

#business computers


HP EliteDesk 800 Review

PROS / It has a quad-core processor.

CONS / It only comes with 4 GB of memory.

VERDICT / The HP EliteDesk 800 has a powerful high-end processor, but it comes with below-average storage.

Many office PC brands are marketed to both consumers and businesses, but the HP EliteDesk 800 series is designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. The cost-effective design makes it a great option if you need multiple computers for your business. However, while the processor is adequate for multitasking with a lot of business-oriented software, it lacks the power you’d find in the best business computers .

For our review of business computers, we looked primarily at the processor for performance. To do this, we used the PassMark score of the processor, which is a user-submitted score based on industry benchmarking tests. Then we analyzed the RAM and the storage. The best business computers should provide excellent performance with sufficient storage. Finally, we evaluated the chassis’ connectivity and expansion potential, as you should get an office PC that can expand with the needs of your business.

8011.40 PassMark Score

The HP EliteDesk 800’s processor is the Intel i5-6500, which is a quad-core processor with a 6MB cache and 3.6GHz speed. In the PassMark benchmark tests, this processer has a score of 7,035, which is well-above the passable mark of 6,000. This means this desktop has sufficient processing power to multitask with most business apps. However, the highest PassMark score in our review is 11,000. A difference of 3,000 in a PassMark score is generally considered to be exponential, meaning that the best processor in our review is more than twice as good as this processor at multitasking and processing data.

The EliteDesk also lacks a dedicated graphics card, which means that the graphics are integrated with the i5-6500 processor. This computer will struggle to handle data-intensive graphics programs like AutoCAD. However, you can upgrade the processor and add a dedicated graphics card prior to purchase, though at a significant cost.

You get 4GB of memory and a 500-GB hard drive, which is disappointing. While 4GB of RAM is plenty for most business apps like Microsoft Office and Excel, 8GB of memory is the preferred standard. Also, the best office PC has at least 1TB of storage. The best business computer in our review, the Dell XPS 8900, comes with 16GB of RAM. However, you can upgrade the memory to 8GB, and you can upgrade the storage to 4TB. In addition, the motherboard can support up to 64GB of RAM, though you have to manually install the memory yourself.

The motherboard has four expansion slots, which is standard. This allows you to add hard drives or other devices, like upgraded audio or video cards. In addition, eight USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports give you plenty of ways to connect external devices like card scanners and printers. These features make the EliteDesk an office PC that can grow with your business. When you need more out of your business computer, you can add the necessary hardware.

Another downside to the HP EliteDesk 800 G1 is the lack of some important support services with HP. While you get a three-year warranty that covers labor and parts, HP doesn’t have asset-recovery services, online backup or remote diagnostic services. These are important services, because your business computer is a critical aspect of your business. If it fails or you’re having trouble with some components, it affects your business.


The HP EliteDesk 800 has the quad-core processor and memory necessary to make sure that your computer doesn’t slow down while multitasking with basic software, but the Intel Core i5-6500 processor has a middling PassMark score of 7,035. The 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive is disappointing, but you can easily add more hard drives as needed to fit your business needs. The lack of support services means you may not be able to retrieve vital information if you encounter a problem though.

2016 Business Internships in Seattle, WA #small #business #tools

#business internships


Find 2016 Business Internships in Seattle, WA

Are you looking for a Business internship in Seattle, WA? Business internships are the best way to bridge the gap between going to school and landing great job. Internships can help provide valuable work experience by learning the ropes from more experienced professionals. At the end of your internship, you ll have relevant experience to help you decide if starting your career in the field of your internship is the right choice for you. It also helps that 7 out of 10 internships result in a full time job offer, which means interning in Seattle, WA can also serve as the foundation to landing a full time job in that city after graduation.

Business summer internships in Seattle, WA are pretty common, but don’t expect to be in charge at the end of your internship! Usually, you ll have to work from the bottom up, but interns are much more likely to get a job offer from the employer they re interning with. If you decide to intern at a smaller company, you ll sacrifice the name prestige for other benefits, such as having an opportunity to see your projects go from start to finish. Simply gaining Business experience is essential in order to provide value and creativity to the team.

Ready to get started? Search for Business internships in Seattle, WA below.


Search For Business Internships In Seattle, WA


We are a new snowboard company founded in Seattle, producing snowboards, bindings, boots and snowboard apparel. We are looking for an intern who can work mostly work on site in our Ballard office, 3 d

Application Deadline: Available Year-round

Cloutera Seattle, WA

Partnering with startups and emerging growth firms needed to scale their workforce quickly, Cloutera is a leading provider of On-Demand Recruiting and Diversity Hiring Solutions. We drop smart and mot

Application Deadline: Available Year-round

Target Seattle, WA

September 02 2016

JOIN US AS A STORE EXECUTIVE INTERN About us: Target is one of the worlds most recognized brands and one of Americas leading retailers. When people say they love Target, theyre usually talking about v

Application Deadline: 2/28/2017

Seattle Saracens Seattle, WA

September 02 2016

The Seattle Saracens Rugby Club is a member of USA Rugby and BC Rugby. In 2014 the club joined the Saracens Global Network from London, UK and the Seattle Saracens were born. Seattle Saracens is a reg

Application Deadline: Available Year-round

How To Start a Cleaning Business: Quick Start Guide (updated for 2016)

#cleaning business


How to Start a Cleaning Business
(free quick-start guide)

A cleaning business can be extremely profitable, rewarding and flexible. The start-up costs are low, demand for cleaning services is increasing, and profit margins can be high.

In fact, there are many six and seven figure cleaning businesses operating in Australia today, and most of these businesses were created from nothing by someone in exactly the same position as you are today!

In this FREE guide, we ll show you how to replicate their success, get started quickly, and avoid the mistakes most businesses make.

Ready to learn how to start a cleaning business? Let s jump straight in

Step 1: What Type of Cleaning Business Should You Start?

Start with just one or two core services, and add more as you grow. This will keep things simple, help reduce your start-up costs (you only have to purchase one set of equipment and/or products) give you time to refine your systems and processes.

As you expand your business, you can add additional and complementary services quite easily and quickly.

Resist the temptation to be everything to everyone; remember specialists can charge more than generalists!

Questions to ask before starting your cleaning business

When choosing the services your business will provide, consider the following:

  • What are the training / licensing requirements (or recommendations)?
  • How much will professional grade equipment / cleaning products cost?
  • What interests you the most?
  • What is the demand for the service?
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer?

For many people, providing a domestic cleaning service is the ideal place to start. Start-up costs are very low, and demand is increasing every year as people look to outsource their home cleaning.

All you need to get started are some professional cleaning products, a few low-cost pieces of equipment public liability insurance and you are in business!

Because the start-up costs are low, it does mean that there can be more competition; however, if you follow our marketing tips you ll never have to worry about the competition!

If you wish to offer a more skilled niche cleaning service, you ll need to be willing to invest more money to purchase equipment, and time to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications.

For example, in order to start a professional carpet cleaning company you ll need a high quality portable or truck-mounted carpet cleaning machine (which will cost at least $10,000 and up to $100,000).

The higher investment costs does mean competition is lower and you can demand higher prices, which is why we recommend adding on these additional services once you have established your business ( have existing customers to sell to!).

Step 2: Start Your Own Business or Buy a Franchise?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. and at the end of the day it comes down to your personal preference and individual situation.

Start your own business and enjoy the freedom to create a business that meets your own financial and lifestyle goals (but make sure you get the right help support along the way!).

Business Plan Pro Review 2016 #best #small #business #ideas

#business plan software


Business Plan Pro Review

PROS / You can print and publish professional-looking charts, graphs and reports.

CONS / This program lacks some research tools, such as pitch presentation guides and plan tracking, which can help refine your business plan.

VERDICT / Business Plan Pro is ideal for beginners who aren t familiar with using advanced features for creating small business plans.

Business Plan Pro has been around for a long time and is often recognized as an industry leader since it includes some of the best document-creation tools, is easy to use and comes with research resources that only the best business plan software includes. It also has a stellar technical support team ready to help you with any problems that may arise.

These are only a handful of the reasons Business Plan Pro is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner. Other perks of this software program include over 500 business plan templates and sample plans you can choose from that represent many industries and business types.

Plan Types & Tools

This business plan-writing program is one of the easiest to use. The instructions are very clear, and the natural progression through the pages and program are helpful for even novice users. The program has embedded help aids, including video tutorials, that give clear instructions of what information is needed and why. This is especially helpful for beginning entrepreneurs that may need little more help while writing their first business plan.

Business Plan Pro includes top-notch tools for creating an impressive business plan. It has traditional work processing features, such as spell check, autosave, image importing and document preview. In addition to standard text tools, this business plan program also includes important financial tools for creating detailed budget charts and graphs as well as future income projections. Both are important features that should be included in an effective small business plan. The handy financial calculators allow you to enter basic figures. From there, the program automatically calculates your growth projections before generating the graphs.

If you need some inspiration before starting on your business plan, this program has hundreds of sample plans and templates that you can easily peruse and edit. When you are finished, you can save your completed plan as either a Word document or a PDF. You can easily print or email both formats to partners, executives or possible investors. One feature that isn’t included with Business Plan Pro is the ability for multiple people to access the document to collaboratively work on the business plan, a feature we look for in the best business plan software applications.

Research Resources

Researching your business industry can be difficult. The research is grueling and long, but the information is vital, especially when you are requesting an SBA loan or approaching investors. If the information is incorrect, you risk losing out on critical funding possibilities or creating inaccurate projections that would be disastrous for your company if you over calculate. Business Plan Pro gives you access to the more up-to-date business and statistical databases so you know your information is the most current and accurate available.

If you decide you need expert help, Business Plan Pro has professionals to help you with your research, or they can even write the business plan for you. They can also help you identify potential investment opportunities, including angel networks, venture capitalists and private investors.

A couple of guidance tools missing from this business plan-writing package are pitch presentation tutorials and business plan trackers. While you could do a quick Google search for some of this information, it would have been convenient to have this information included with the business planning software.

Customer & Technical Support

Even though Business Plan Pro is intuitive and has step-by-step instructions that are easy to understand, sometimes you need technical support. Business Plan Pro has all the typical help options such as telephone and email support, video tutorials and user manuals posted on the company website. It also has FAQs and a live-chat feature.


Business Plan Pro is part of a great business planning package that includes expert guidance and access to the most current statistical databases and business publications. The step-by-step instructions and intuitive interface make this program easy to create professional and effective business plans, whether you need to create a start-up, investment feasibility or immigration plan.

Where to Find Startup Business Loans 2016 #quick #business #loans

#start up business loans


Credit Cards






Credit Cards






Where to Find Startup Business Loans 2016

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .

Money is a big worry when you’re starting a small business.

Established companies have a wider range of business loan options with the growth of alternative lending. But startups face higher hurdles to funding. So we’ve rounded up half a dozen financing options for new entrepreneurs to help you get your business underway:

1. Microloans and loans from nonprofits

Microlenders and nonprofit lenders are two good financing options, especially if you have shaky finances. Generally, you’ll get solid loan terms from these lenders, making it possible for you to grow your business and establish better credit.

Many microlenders and nonprofit lenders are also focused on helping minority or traditionally disadvantaged small-business owners, as well as small businesses in communities that are struggling economically. And these organizations are willing to work with aspiring entrepreneurs with poor credit.

The U.S. Small Business Administration also has a microloan program that offers loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses and some not-for-profit childcare centers. The average SBA microloan is about $13,000. Here is a list of providers .

The downside of the microloan is the “micro” part: Funding may not be sufficient for all borrowers.

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2. Friends and family

Perhaps the most common way of financing a new small business is to borrow money from friends or family. Of course, if your credit is bad — and your family and friends know it — you ll have to persuade would-be lenders that you’ll be able to pay them back.

In these situations, the potential cost of failure is not just financial but also personal.

“Business is personal regardless of what people say,” David Nilssen, CEO of small-business financing company Guidant Financial, tells NerdWallet. “For most people, it’d be difficult to separate the two.”

Trim your list of friends and family to just those who understand your plans, and do your best to make certain they are comfortable with the risks involved.

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3. Credit cards

Many small-business owners use a credit card to start a small business. If your credit isn’t stellar, your choices may be limited to secured credit cards. which typically have higher fees than regular credit cards.

It’s important to remember, however, that credit cards are an expensive way of financing a small business, particularly if you have bad credit. That’s because card issuers determine annual percentage rates based largely on your personal credit score. Also, research has shown that small businesses that rely too heavily on credit card financing typically fail.


4. Personal loans

Many new small-business owners also access financing through personal loans, especially through a growing number of online lenders. But like credit cards, personal loans usually have high APRs, especially for bad credit borrowers.

For example, you could get a personal loan that could be used for starting a business from companies such as Peerform and Vouch. Both lenders have a minimum credit score requirement of 600, but their loans have APRs as high as 30%.

Nilssen says small-business owners should consider personal loans “an option of last resort.”

“Where they can work,” he says, “is when a business just needs a small amount of money for things like early-stage production or buying equipment.”

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5. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become a popular method of raising funds to start a small business, thanks to such sites as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which let you launch online campaigns to solicit funds. Instead of paying back your donors, you give them gifts, which is why this system is also called rewards crowdfunding.

New avenues are also opening up for equity crowdfunding, in which you tap a public pool of investors who agree to finance your small business in exchange for equity ownership. This became an even broader option recently with new securities regulations that allowed small-business owners to reach out to mom-and-pop investors, not just accredited investors.

Crowdfunding is good for the entrepreneur “who has a product and wants to test the market and validate the opportunity,” Nilssen says. “No credit necessary.”

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6. Grants

Grants from private foundations and government agencies are also a way to raise startup funds for your small business. They’re not always easy to get, but free capital may be worth the hard work for some new businesses.

Startup business loans: Compare your options

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2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Additionally, this site may be compensated through third party advertisers. However, the results of our comparison tools, blog content and editorial reviews are based on objective analysis. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure .

2016 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur s Franchise 500 List #most #successful #businesses

#franchise opportunities


2016 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur s Franchise 500 List

Understanding the Ranking

There’s a lot that goes into putting together the first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Entrepreneur’s 37th annual Franchise 500 .

The process began in July 2015, when we asked franchisors to participate in our survey. Each submission was vetted before being entered for data analysis; 951 companies made the first cut. Of those, the top 500 became the Franchise 500 ranking, based on financial and statistical data from July 2013 through July 2015.

Only franchise companies that supply a full Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) or Canadian Disclosure Document and whose information is verified by Entrepreneur can receive a listing. To be eligible for the Franchise 500 , a franchisor must have a minimum of 10 units, with at least one franchise located in the U.S. The company must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S. and it cannot be in Chapter 11 at the time the ranking is compiled. (The exception to these rules is Canada-based companies that are expanding only in Canada.)

All companies are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. We also consider the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it’s been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA.

We do not measure subjective elements such as franchisee satisfaction or management style. The objective factors are plugged into our exclusive Franchise 500 formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score.

Remember that the Franchise 500 is not intended to endorse, advertise or recommend any particular franchise. It is solely a research tool you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing money in a franchise. Read the FDD and related materials carefully, get help from a franchise attorney and a CPA in reviewing any legal or financial documents, and talk to as many existing and former franchisees as possible and visit their outlets. The best way to protect yourself is to do your homework.

Research compiled by Tracy Stapp Herold and J.R. Jimenez with assistance from Hava Arieh, Rick Ignarra, Nicole Jurinek, Yvette Madrid, Jessica Nguyen and Giuseppe Ricapito; technical assistance from Angel Cool and Daniel Sibitzky; financial analysis by David R. Juedes, CPA; graphic design by Karen Meneghin.

More Franchise Rankings

100 franchises for under $60,000

Sky Blue Credit Repair Review 2016 #home #businesses

#credit repair business


Sky Blue Credit Repair Review

PROS / This company offers a good couples discount.

CONS / This service requires you to hire a separate service for your credit pull and credit monitoring.

VERDICT / Sky Blue Credit offers competitive prices and advertises high credit score increases, but it depends on third-party service for credit pulls and monitoring, which you need to purchase separately.

Sky Blue Credit is a credit repair service that works to restore your credit in an average of six months. It offers friendly customer service representatives that are willing to take time to explain the program without doing a hard-sell. It offers a good couples discount, but doesn’t have many of the program features we looked for when we reviewed credit repair companies. Some of these, like credit pulls and monitoring, it provides through third-party services, which it can direct you to, but for which you pay extra. Sky Blue Credit Repair earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.

Support & Service

We reached out to Sky Blue Credit several times on various days and times to test its customer support to potential customers. Overall, we had good experiences with representatives from this company. They provided transparent and accurate information, were responsive to email and were easy to get ahold of via telephone. No one followed up with us, however.

This company also provides some supplemental education to help you learn more about credit and finances. The overall number of topics it covers was lower than average, but it offers an educational blog to help you learn more about how credit works and how to get back in control of your finances.

Cost & Fees

Sky Blue’s overall fees are affordable and compare well to the average cost of other credit repair services we reviewed. To use Sky Blue’s service, you must pay a monthly fee of $59, charged at the end of the month, and there is a $59 set up fee when you first enroll. A couples discount of 17% off the setup and monthly fees is applied if you sign up for this credit repair service with a partner. You must pull your credit report through a third-party service, but there are no additional fees on top of this, and this company does offer a money-back guarantee. These prices are correct as of the time of this review; depending on your specific situation when you look into this company, your quotes may be different.

Time Frame

Most clients work with Sky Blue Credit for an average of six months, though your program might be shorter or longer, depending on your situation. This credit repair company advertises between 100 and 200 points added to your credit score. Remember that this may vary greatly depending on your credit report and situation. If the credit bureaus can prove that a negative hit on your report is valid, it cannot be removed.

You should expect to start seeing results on your credit report within 30 days from the time Sky Blue begins disputing items on your report. This company typically disputes 15 items on your report at once across the three major credit bureaus. Some companies dispute all your items at once, trying to get the biggest improvement quickly. Other credit repair services only dispute a handful at a time because they believe too many disputes at once increases the chance of having them refused. Sky Blue takes a middle-of the road approach, submitting more disputes than the more cautious companies while still not overwhelming the credit bureaus.

Program Details

Sky Blue Credit offers fewer program features than other credit repair companies we reviewed. To its credit, this company does work with third-party reporting bureaus for credit reports and monitoring. It will provide you links to these services, which can pull your credit report for you (for a fee) and monitor your credit during the process. You can cancel that service at any time. However, Sky Blue Credit only works with the credit bureaus and not with your creditors, which could mean that the hits on your credit might end up back on your report. Sky Blue Credit also does not offer pay for delete negotiations. Such negotiations would allow you to pay off legitimate charges, usually at a reduced amount, and in return, the creditor removes the hit from your report.


Sky Blue Credit offers quality customer service, a good couples discount and a money-back guarantee. It has some educational features to help you learn about credit repair before you call for help, and it takes a quick but not overly fast approach to disputing charges. Be aware, however, that it only works with the credit bureaus and not directly with your creditors, which could potentially make this service less effective than other credit repair companies that work with both.

Overall Rating

Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones

#business phones


TechRadar pro

Top 7 best business mobiles in the UK in 2016: top smartphones for work

Impressive security features

Not premium build quality

When the Priv launched, it took a lot of analysts by surprised because of radical step involving the OS. BlackBerry had finally decided to embrace Android and re-introduce the keyboard (albeit a slide out one) on a flagship handset. It is, as techradar’s John McCann candidly puts it, the mullet of the smartphone world. “It’s still business in the front, but now there’s a party in the back too. It will divide opinion, but this is the best BlackBerry in years,” he added. The device will appeal to those who wants the security halo associated with BlackBerry with the ubiquity of Google’s Android. Overall, it remains a stunning piece of kit, and probably one bound to become a classic.

3. BlackBerry Classic

For those who yearn for the golden age of BB OS

Great messaging capabilities

Old-school QWERTY keyboard

Square screen not for everyone

Pretty hefty phone

There are still BlackBerry fans out there and the Canadian company unveiled the Classic to please them all. An old-school QWERTY keyboard, a familiar operating system and user interface, a design that doesn’t age and the enterprise-grade security are all on the feature list of this smartphone. Sure, Android might well have the upper hand when it comes to market share and the sheer number of applications but BlackBerry provides with yet another attractive alternative when it comes to business smartphones. It runs BlackBerry OS 10 with a square 720×720 pixel touchscreen display, a touchpad and up to 22-hour battery power.

4. Samsung Galaxy S6

A secure and compelling offering for BYOD aficionados

Disappointing battery longevity

With every iteration of its Galaxy S series, Samsung edges towards the business user. The S6 (and its partner the S6 Edge) saw the inclusion of Microsoft Office Android applications as well as Samsung’s own mobile device management container solution, Knox. The latter provides military-grade, multi-layered mobile security. Siloed personal and work partitioning containers (Knox Workspace) means that employers can separate work and personal life in a near seamless way. Great for BYOD aficionados. Samsung also wisely scrapped the plastic finish for a more upmarket design that blends glass and metal.

5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

A more productive way to be mobile

Oodles of power

Some will find it too big

Since the Note 5 is not officially available in the UK, the best Android-based device with a pen remains the Note 4, still a very capable device. Multi-tasking is part of the parcel of business these days and what better phone to handle this than the Galaxy Note 4 with its stunning QHD (better than full HD) 5.7-inch display, 3GB of RAM and serious power inside. A great battery life and expandable memory have always been key Galaxy Note features, but you can now add a more premium design to that list. A metal frame runs round the circumference of the handset, and while the rear is still plastic it’s a big step forward for Samsung and it’s a welcome addition. The S Pen has been given a boost with greater accuracy, making handwriting and multi-tasking even easier. Snap two apps side by side on screen if you want to up your efficiency even more.

6. Apple iPhone 6S Plus

The alternative business smartphone

Bright and vibrant screen

3D Touch has definite potential

Supersized smartphones are all the rage these days, even Apple has one, and if the Cupertino firm’s styling and iOS heritage appeals to your business then check out the excellent iPhone 6S Plus. Its 5.5-inch display is one of the best on the market and the A9 processor that powers it regularly ranks amongst the most powerful in smartphone-dom. It supports more LTE bands than most smartphones and its enclosure is made of the same grade of aluminium alloy as used in the aerospace industry. Add in Siri and a bunch of other innovations (like Touch ID and 3D Touch) and you have a very capable business phone, one whose profile was raised by Apple’s close collaboration with IBM.

7. Lenovo K80M

A handset which boasts sizzling bang for buck

Great value for money

Plentiful RAM and storage

No local warranty

Some pre-installed bloatware

This smartphone is worthy of a special mention on this list as a business phone for a number of reasons. It is built by Lenovo, the biggest PC manufacturer on the planet, one who also owns Motorola as well. It’s shipped directly from China which is a novel but growing shift in the way products are purchased. It has a headline-grabbing 4GB of RAM, same as most desktop PCs, and 64GB of storage. Despite these specs and a quad-core Intel CPU it retails for a fraction of what similar smartphones will cost over here. Sadly though, because it doesn’t have a local warranty you will need to send it back for repairs.

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Harvard Business School Senior Executive Program – Africa 2016 #business #plan #writing

#harvard business


Become a stronger leader and strategist who can help your business seize growth opportunities — locally, across Africa, and beyond.

This executive program will run in 2 different destinations – Block 1 Cape Town, SA; Block 3 Boston, USA.

With 54 independent countries, Africa faces a distinct set of social, economic, and political conditions that create unique business challenges — along with exciting opportunities. To achieve their considerable potential, Africa’s businesses need executives who can design and execute effective strategies for growth within and beyond the continent. These leaders must also excel at creating innovative offerings, nurturing high-performance teams and organizations, and navigating rapid change in Africa’s dynamic markets.

To build these exceptional leaders, Harvard Business School Executive Education is launching a new program, the Senior Executive Program — ​Africa, in partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) of Pretoria University in South Africa. Designed to strengthen your leadership skills and build your insight into local, regional, and global markets, the program explores the proven approaches of successful leaders in Africa and around the globe, preparing you to compete effectively, seize the region’s many growth opportunities, and sustain success for your firm.

Who should attend?

The Senior Executive Program — Africa is designed for experienced senior executives in African companies from any industry. Candidates should have significant responsibility for strategic decision making, have at least 15 years of work experience, and represent growth-oriented organizations. Participants might include CEOs, CFOs, business line heads, and other senior members of a company’s executive team, as well as directors general of government agencies.

How you will benefit

The program immerses you in a dynamic experience that expands your horizons and builds your capabilities as a business leader. You’ll explore best practices in designing winning strategies, enabling innovation, establishing competitive advantage, leading effectively, improving governance, and much more. In a format that maximizes learning while minimizing time away from work, you will also apply your learning to a special project that contributes to your organization’s success.

Click here to download our Open Programmes Calendar for 2016

Harvard Business School Faculty:

Should you wish to see which faculty will be on a specific course please download the course pack.

Senior faculty from GIBS, selected local and international faculty, as well as leading industry practitioners and experts.

Are you interested in fast-tracking your personal and professional development? If so, join us as we showcase our wide range of short programmes.

12 September 2016

​Continental Growth Opportunities and Business Lessons.

08 September 2016

British Brexit and American elections.

08 September 2016

The NPO Collaboration Dialogue presents a panel discussion on the proposed changes to the NPO ​Act.

08 September 2016