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6 Great Sources for Cheap and Beautiful Business Cards You Can Print

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If you’re a freelancer or you run a small business, you know that having a great is a valuable asset. However, when you’re just starting out, printing business cards can seem a little out of reach pricewise. It doesn’t have to be like that though. These days, there are dozens of low-cost printers who will do a print run of a modest amount of cards for you. All you need to do is choose your card style, add your details and put in your order.

There are even places who offer a free trial for your first batch of cards, online business cards to give you a stylish virtual presence and a great deal of variety for printed cards if you’re willing to pay a little. Check out these great options for cheap business cards that we found!

1. VistaPrint

VistaPrint have patented a way to do small runs of business cards cost effectively, thus allowing them to offer cards at a very cheap rate (normally £17.99 for 250 cards). In order to let you try them out, they also offer a 250-card print run for free if you are a new customer (but you pay for shipping). You can’t beat that!

If you’re taking up their free trial, they offer a decent range of designs to choose from and allow some personalisation. If you’re paying for a premium run, you can choose from thousands of designs, plus it’s possible to upload your logo and photos.

2. Moo

Moo has made quite a name for itself as a way of creating business cards from social media services like Facebook and Flickr. Moo specialise in creating unique cards for each customer, allowing everyone to design their own cards with their own photography and artwork or to work with templates. Moo also let you use different images on different cards, meaning that in a pack of 50 cards you can have different images on each one!

We’ve previously reviewed Moo’s quality MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway Today, we’ll be taking a quick look at what MOO is all about and we placed several test orders with them to find out how great their print quality is. We’ll also be giving away. Read More. so we know it to be excellent. Business cards can be purchased for £10.99 for a pack of 50 and are offered in a variety of order sizes up to 600 cards for £101.97. If you want to check out Moo’s quality yourself, order a 10-card sample pack for free. It will be exactly like the premium product, but with a Moo logo printed on it as well.

3. Business Card Star

Using Business Card Star is more about the design process than anything. They allow users to design cards for printing at home, which is a real money-saver as you design and print your cards for free. Of course, they also offer a printing service with high quality cards, which will probably look more professional than the homemade variety.

There are plenty of designs to choose from, plus it’s possible to add your own photos and logos. If you’re printing at home, they charge a fee of US$10 to save a PDF of cards with your own photos and logos on them. If you are having your cards printed by them there is no extra fee for using your own images. Print runs start at US$22.95 + shipping and can be shipped to the US or Canada.

4. Business Card Land

Business Card Land works in much the same way as Business Card Star, as you can download free PDFs of your business cards for home printing or order professional printing via Business Card Star. The design process and the choice of templates are different though, so it’s worth checking out if you want a little variety.

5. Biz Card Creator

Biz Card Creator is yet another free online business card design company, but it has a more limited selection of card styles available. However, if simplicity is your thing, it may be worth trying. They do not offer printing services – in fact, they send you back to VistaPrint if you’re looking to print your cards.

6. Virtual Business Cards

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6 Weird But Successful Small Business Ideas #online #business


#unique business ideas

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6 Weird But Successful Small Business Ideas

Tough economic times can inspire a lot of creativity when it comes to new business ideas. For example, though a recession was in full-swing, 2010 saw the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in decades, according to the Kaufman Foundation .

But it seems counter-intuitive. After all, starting a new business is incredibly risky. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA). over 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years, and of those that make it, another 50% fail in the next few years.

Those aren t good odds for anyone. But when times are bad, sometimes things can t get much worse especially for people who ve lost their jobs and perhaps even their homes. So the prospect of starting a new business just isn t as risky as it might otherwise be. Moreover, for many people, creating their own job becomes their only option.

Though, there are plenty of jobs that are considered recession proof, such as plumbers, morticians, accountants, and grocers, there are also plenty of weird and wacky new business ventures that have thrived in a down economy. These businesses might make your eyes widen with disbelief. I know mine sure did when I found out about them!

So what are some weird and wacky businesses people have started?

Weird Wacky Small Business Ideas

1. Bed Bug Barrier

If you ve ever been to a hostel or hotel infested with bed bugs, then you know how terrible those little mites can be.

Well, Tony Abrams made a fortune by inventing barriers to keep the bedbugs from biting. His business, Bed Bug Barriers. creates and sells barriers that go underneath the legs of a bed. These barriers trap the bedbugs as they attempt to crawl into the bed to bite sleepers.

Think it s crazy? He s made millions with this idea.

2. Rent-A-Chicken

I know what you re asking: why on earth would someone want to rent a chicken?

Well, some people who are interested in urban farming want to get chickens. However, that s a big step. What if they don t like caring for chickens? Then, they re stuck with a coop and several chickens they don t want.

This is where Rent-A-Chicken comes in. This husband and wife team in Traverse City, MI will bring you everything you need to care for a brood of hens for the summer. For $250, you can see whether or not you really want to try raising chickens on your own. In fact, there s another business just like this in Australia called Rent-A-Chook .

Wacky? Yes. Useful? You bet.

3. Hangover Helpers

Here s the situation: You and your friends were up all night partying. Now, you re suffering from a horrendous hangover, you re dehydrated, and your apartment is trashed. The thought of having to make yourself something to eat and then clean up that colossal mess is just too much to handle.

So what do you do? You call the Hangover Helpers. These two college guys in Boulder, CO help their hung over clients crawl back into the land of the living with as little pain as possible. The guys show up at your house armed with a breakfast burrito and Gatorade for you. They then clean every room where the party happened. This includes cleaning dishes, pots, and pans, and recycling all of your beer bottles.

Think this idea is too crazy to actually work? These guys have already been featured in Forbes Magazine, on CBS, and on the talk show, Regis and Kelly. They have enough business to keep them busy as long as they want.

4. The Smashing Place

Have you ever intentionally broken a plate? I m talking about when you re stressed or angry, and you just hurl the thing across the room and watch with a real sense of pleasure as it smashes against the wall. Feels pretty good, right? You might even feel the stress or anger leak right out of you.

Well, that s the whole idea behind The Smashing Place. This business, located in Tokyo, allows clients to come in, buy a plate or a cup of their choice, and smash it against a concrete wall. They can swear, stomp their feet, or do anything else they want to relieve stress. I have a feeling a business like this would really take off in a place like New York.

5. I Do, Now I Don t

When Josh Opperman s fiancée left him after a three-month engagement, he was crushed. All she left him was the fancy engagement ring he d worked so hard to save up for. However, when he took the ring back to the jeweler to return it, he got a nasty shock. They only offered him $3,500 for the ring he paid over $10,000 for. Yikes.

So he started I Do, Now I Don t to get even. I Do, Now I Don t is a website that allows people to sell their engagement rings (or any other fancy jewelry) to other users for way less than going to a jewelry store. Think of it as the Craigslist for fine jewelry.

The site has been an incredible success and has been featured on CNN, The Today Show, Fox News, and in The New York Times.

6. The Pet Loo

If you ve ever had a pet while living in an apartment, then you know how painful it can be to take them out for potty when it s 10 degrees with a fierce wind. Or maybe you work long hours and always have to rush home to let them out. Or maybe you re a senior citizen and it s hard to make multiple trips in and out of your home.

Well, all these reasons are why The Pet Loo was invented. The Pet Loo is a square of fake grass, which sits atop a simple waste containment system that you put inside your home or apartment. It s just like a mini-backyard where your dog can relieve himself. Although The Pet Loo is based in Australia, similar businesses have sprung up here in the States. Good idea? No doubt.

In fact, people are putting their Pet Loos in their laundry rooms, their basements, on balconies, and even in their grass-less backyards.

The Take-Away

So these are six strange businesses that worked, but what can you take away from them? Well, if you re thinking about starting a business, don t go for weird just because it worked for others. That s a sure way to fail. The key to all these unusual businesses is that satisfy a need, even if many people don t realize they have that need (like with the Tokyo business, The Smashing Place).

This highlights a vital element that can t be overstated; every successful business needs to provide value to people in some way.

1. Get Inspired
For unique business ideas. look at your own life. Successful businesses are often started when the inventor or owner is annoyed by an unmet need they have.

For example, what chores annoy you the most? Are there things that frustrate you on a daily or weekly basis? Often, simple questions like these can offer important insights to solid business ideas. You also might get some inspiration from these 18 side businesses you can start today .

2. Write It Down
Next, write out several ideas and resist the temptation to just go with your first one. I ve been an entrepreneur for almost ten years now and had early business ideas that would ve failed had I not kept on brainstorming and analyzing them.

In fact, largely due to this process, the first business I started was a great success. So invest the time to brainstorm and think through several ideas.

Additionally, make sure you find your nearest SCORE chapter. This nonprofit organization is an incredible resource that could very well make the difference between success and failure, especially if you have little or no business experience.

Final Word

Starting a business is rarely easy, but it s a lot easier when you re doing something fun or something you care deeply about. I ve been involved in several businesses and had a blast creating every one of them.

Have you ever had a weird or wacky business idea that you moved forward with? How did it turn out?



6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners #business #leads


#small business tips

#

6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

If you run a small business, it s likely that you re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.

Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.

If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create and stick to a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]

Define and understand your risks

Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce? Cho said. Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.

Overestimate your expenses

If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can t predict when something is going to go over budget.

Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated, said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.

For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won t be fully unprepared.

I go by the cost-moon-stars theory, he said. If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.

Pay attention to your sales cycle

Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an off-season , you ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.

There is much to be learned from your sales cycles, he said. Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.

Plan for large purchases carefully and early

Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.

Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you re operating within, Cho told Business News Daily. An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.

Remember that time is money, too

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

Timing underestimation directly increases costs, Ontra said. For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.

Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.

If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday, he said. So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.

Constantly revisit your budget

Your budget will never be static or consistent it will change and evolve along with your business, and you ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.

Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make, Cho said. Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.

Nicole Fallon Taylor

Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

You May Also like

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  • Organization is Key to Managing Business Finances

  • Don t Burn Through Your IT Budget: 5 Ways to Save Money



  • 6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners #ideas #for #new #business


    #small business tips

    #

    6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

    If you run a small business, it s likely that you re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.

    Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.

    If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create and stick to a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]

    Define and understand your risks

    Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

    How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce? Cho said. Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.

    Overestimate your expenses

    If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can t predict when something is going to go over budget.

    Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated, said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.

    For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won t be fully unprepared.

    I go by the cost-moon-stars theory, he said. If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.

    Pay attention to your sales cycle

    Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an off-season , you ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.

    There is much to be learned from your sales cycles, he said. Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.

    Plan for large purchases carefully and early

    Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.

    Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you re operating within, Cho told Business News Daily. An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.

    Remember that time is money, too

    One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

    Timing underestimation directly increases costs, Ontra said. For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.

    Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.

    If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday, he said. So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.

    Constantly revisit your budget

    Your budget will never be static or consistent it will change and evolve along with your business, and you ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.

    Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make, Cho said. Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.

    Nicole Fallon Taylor

    Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

    You May Also like

    What is Zero-based Budgeting?

  • Organization is Key to Managing Business Finances

  • Don t Burn Through Your IT Budget: 5 Ways to Save Money



  • 6 Business Icons Who Made TIME Person of the Year #the #small

    #business icons

    #

    TIME has dedicated one issue to the “Person of the Year. ” The award, which is “bestowed to those who have, for good or for ill, most influenced the news and our lives in the past year,” has gone to politicians, scientists, humanitarians and entrepreneurs. Click through to see the business icons who have graced the magazine’s famous cover over the years.

    1928 – Walter Chrysler

    Before starting what would become one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the United States, Walter Chrysler worked as a railroad mechanic and locomotive machinist in West Texas. After serving as the head of Buick for three years, Chrysler was tapped to turn around the failing Willys-Overland Motor Company in Flint, Michigan. The now defunct company would become the automaker known today as Chrysler. Two years after being awarded Person of the Year, Chrysler financed the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York City, all with his personal fortune. The building stood as the tallest in the world for 11 months, when the Empire State Building surpassed it. Upon his death in 1938, Chrysler’s estate was worth roughly $8.9 million dollars – almost $150 million by today’s standards.

    1955 – Harlow Curtis

    In 1914, Harlow Curtis, the son of a fruit vendor in rural Michigan, responded to a newspaper ad for a bookkeeper position at the AC Spark Plug Company in Flint, Michigan. Following 15 years of service at AC, Curtis was named president of the spark plug company. According to GM’s online history portal. Curtis worked his way up the Detroit-ranks, landed a position at Buick and eventually became president of the highly profitable GM branch. In 1953, Curtis was named president of General Motors, and at his helm became the first American company to reach $1 billion in profits. A year later, TIME named Curtis “Man of the Year” in recognition of this achievement.

    1991 – Ted Turner

    Now a household name and waiting room fixture nationwide, CNN had plenty of skeptics when Ted Turner launched the first 24-hour news network in 1980. Built on the foundations Turner had put into place as the head of his father’s advertising firm and as the owner of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, Turner changed news from a once-daily occurrence to a never-ending cycle. As of 2010, CNN was streaming to 100 million American households and another 98 million satellite subscribers throughout the world. Turner is worth $2.2 billion, according to Forbes . making him one of the wealthiest men in the country. The wealthy conglomerate extends beyond media, too. Ted’s Montana Grill serves up western-inspired food sourced from Turner’s bison located on ranches throughout the west and abroad.

    1997 – Andrew Grove

    As he proclaims in his book, “Only the paranoid survive.” This is the driving principle that has made Andrew Grove so insanely successful. Born in Hungary, Grove escaped communism to finish his education, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from City College of New York and a Ph. D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Grove was a pioneer the burgeoning semi-conductor industry. Once at the helm of Intel, Grove revolutionized the company into the highest valued computer chip maker in the world today. Under Groves leadership, Intel saw an increase in revenue from $1.9 million in 1987 to an astonishing $26.27 billion in 1998. Steve Jobs idolized Grove, seeking his advice when considering a return to Apple as CEO. In 1997, a year before Grove relinquished his title of CEO, Grove was awarded “Person of the Year ” on the 50th anniversary of the invention of the transistor.

    1999 – Jeff Bezos

    The e-commerce pioneer is most well known for his establishment of Amazon as an Internet commerce icon. Originally a source for books, Amazon had expanded to almost everything by 1999 when Jeff Bezos was awarded “Person of the Year.” Born to a teenage mother, Bezos was technologically adept from a young age, tinkering in his parents’ garage. In 2013, Amazon reported net revenue of $74.5 billion and employed over 132,000. Alexa, the domain ranking service, credits Amazon as the seventh most-visited website in the world. Since his recognition, Bezos has been up to quite a bit. In addition to his continued innovations at Amazon (did someone say drones ?), he acquired The Washington Post from longtime owners, the Graham family. Bezos is betting on his knack for web innovation to bring the publication into the digital age.

    2010 – Mark Zuckerberg

    The same year as he was hailed as TIME’s “Person of the Year “, The Social Network film sealed Mark Zuckerberg ‘s place as an American demagogue, next to the likes of Steve Jobs and others. In a Harvard dorm room, Zuckerberg and friends created what would become Facebook. The website spawned an entire social networking industry. Facebook’s massive $5 billion IPO, the third largest in history, would increase Zuckerberg’s wealth to about $33.1 billion, according to Forbes . making him No. 16 on the list of wealthiest Americans. His wealth makes him part of an elite club – one of three people with more billions than they have years of age. As of September, Facebook boasted 864 million daily active users .



    6 Top Professional Website Builders for Small Businesses #small #business #loans #for

    #business website builder

    #

    6 Top Professional Website Builders for Small Businesses

    Building your website is a priority, but what if you can t afford to bring in an independent website designer? There are plenty of options you can find from a free builders list to take advantage of today.

    To give you an insight into some of the options available, this guide is going to show you some of the top picks that you should consider. With 77 percent believing a poor website is a weakness. you need the right builder.

    Which of these top professional website builders will you use for your small business website today?

    1. Website Builder.

    The Website Builder platform will help you to build a professional website in just three steps. Despite the simplicity of this platform, there are thousands of templates to choose from. And you don t have to stick with the templates available. Every template is freely open to editing, so you can do what you like with it and make a completely unique website.

    There are both SEO and integration tools that come with it, so you can cover all the requirements of a modern website. You can also use the free domain name option, but in general it s always better to use a paid domain name so it s truly unique.

    2. Wix.

    Wix is one of the most well-known website platforms in the world. Other than WordPress, this is one of the best free website builders available. You can create practically anything using Wix, but it tends to work best with fashion and apparel websites.

    What makes Wix stand out are the SEO link building tools that come with your free website. It s easy to rank high when you re using Wix. To get started all you need to do is begin embedding the various Wix templates as and when you please. Connect the media widgets and you instantly have a professional looking website at your disposal.

    3. Weebly.

    Weebly is another one of the more well-known website builders on this list. It s ideal for practically any type of business because there s a website template for practically any niche. Take advantage of the simple drag and drop system when creating your website and you can have something that even a professional designer would be proud of.

    Weebly automatically comes with mobile friendly designs. along with compatibility with multiple browsers. One feature that you get with Weebly that you don t get with other website builders is a personalized domain name.

    4. Sitey.

    Sitey comes with the drag and drop system that makes building a website to your specifications so easy. Every template has mobile responsiveness built in, as well as being compatible to Google s best practices .

    Primarily, this is a network that sticks to using plugins and extensions to make up the bulk of its functionality. The customer service available is another plus point for Sitey. It s available 24/7 and is well-known for being one of the most helpful customer service departments of all the options on this list.

    5. IM Creator.

    IM Creator uses something called Stripes, which are pre-customizable. This website builder is one of the easiest builders to use because you can have a professional website up and running in a matter of minutes.

    All the templates provided by IM Creator are retina ready, which means they are programmed to be used immediately with a live audience. All these designs can be placed onto websites that utilize hundreds of pages.

    With IM Creator you don t have to worry about hosting because you automatically gain access to guaranteed unlimited hosting and bandwidth.

    6. Jimdo.

    If you need an ecommerce builder, Jimdo is an option that you should seriously consider. Create an online shop without all the issues associated with making your shopping cart work by downloading one of the dedicated ecommerce themes presented by Jimdo.

    It even caters to heavyweight ecommerce stores. You can check all the various options and features to make sure you have the functionality you need. While this is a free website builder, you do have a paid option available, which comes with a ton of additional features. However, the free version is more than capable of fulfilling your needs.

    Finding the right website builder for you requires some thought. Consider what your site needs to thrive and the features you need to create the platform you want.

    The right website builder for you is out there. You just need to search for it.



    6 Great Sources for Cheap and Beautiful Business Cards You Can Print

    #cheap business cards

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    If you’re a freelancer or you run a small business, you know that having a great is a valuable asset. However, when you’re just starting out, printing business cards can seem a little out of reach pricewise. It doesn’t have to be like that though. These days, there are dozens of low-cost printers who will do a print run of a modest amount of cards for you. All you need to do is choose your card style, add your details and put in your order.

    There are even places who offer a free trial for your first batch of cards, online business cards to give you a stylish virtual presence and a great deal of variety for printed cards if you’re willing to pay a little. Check out these great options for cheap business cards that we found!

    1. VistaPrint

    VistaPrint have patented a way to do small runs of business cards cost effectively, thus allowing them to offer cards at a very cheap rate (normally £17.99 for 250 cards). In order to let you try them out, they also offer a 250-card print run for free if you are a new customer (but you pay for shipping). You can’t beat that!

    If you’re taking up their free trial, they offer a decent range of designs to choose from and allow some personalisation. If you’re paying for a premium run, you can choose from thousands of designs, plus it’s possible to upload your logo and photos.

    2. Moo

    Moo has made quite a name for itself as a way of creating business cards from social media services like Facebook and Flickr. Moo specialise in creating unique cards for each customer, allowing everyone to design their own cards with their own photography and artwork or to work with templates. Moo also let you use different images on different cards, meaning that in a pack of 50 cards you can have different images on each one!

    We’ve previously reviewed Moo’s quality MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway Today, we’ll be taking a quick look at what MOO is all about and we placed several test orders with them to find out how great their print quality is. We’ll also be giving away. Read More. so we know it to be excellent. Business cards can be purchased for £10.99 for a pack of 50 and are offered in a variety of order sizes up to 600 cards for £101.97. If you want to check out Moo’s quality yourself, order a 10-card sample pack for free. It will be exactly like the premium product, but with a Moo logo printed on it as well.

    3. Business Card Star

    Using Business Card Star is more about the design process than anything. They allow users to design cards for printing at home, which is a real money-saver as you design and print your cards for free. Of course, they also offer a printing service with high quality cards, which will probably look more professional than the homemade variety.

    There are plenty of designs to choose from, plus it’s possible to add your own photos and logos. If you’re printing at home, they charge a fee of US$10 to save a PDF of cards with your own photos and logos on them. If you are having your cards printed by them there is no extra fee for using your own images. Print runs start at US$22.95 + shipping and can be shipped to the US or Canada.

    4. Business Card Land

    Business Card Land works in much the same way as Business Card Star, as you can download free PDFs of your business cards for home printing or order professional printing via Business Card Star. The design process and the choice of templates are different though, so it’s worth checking out if you want a little variety.

    5. Biz Card Creator

    Biz Card Creator is yet another free online business card design company, but it has a more limited selection of card styles available. However, if simplicity is your thing, it may be worth trying. They do not offer printing services – in fact, they send you back to VistaPrint if you’re looking to print your cards.

    6. Virtual Business Cards

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    6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners #small #business #loans


    #small business tips

    #

    6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

    If you run a small business, it s likely that you re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.

    Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.

    If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create and stick to a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]

    Define and understand your risks

    Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

    How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce? Cho said. Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.

    Overestimate your expenses

    If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can t predict when something is going to go over budget.

    Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated, said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.

    For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won t be fully unprepared.

    I go by the cost-moon-stars theory, he said. If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.

    Pay attention to your sales cycle

    Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an off-season , you ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.

    There is much to be learned from your sales cycles, he said. Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.

    Plan for large purchases carefully and early

    Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.

    Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you re operating within, Cho told Business News Daily. An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.

    Remember that time is money, too

    One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

    Timing underestimation directly increases costs, Ontra said. For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.

    Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.

    If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday, he said. So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.

    Constantly revisit your budget

    Your budget will never be static or consistent it will change and evolve along with your business, and you ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.

    Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make, Cho said. Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.

    Nicole Fallon Taylor

    Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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  • Keep Your Business Finances in Order With These 6 Tips #www.business.com


    #business finances

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    Keep Your Business Finances in Order With These 6 Tips

    November 4, 2015

    Do you find managing your business finances to be a pain? Although it may appear to be, and often is, tedious, keeping your finances in order is extremely important.

    It helps you to project where your business is headed, and when you know exactly how your revenue and expenses are stacking up, you can begin to make more informed decisions for your business. Maintaining your financial records also makes tax reporting and payments a lot more manageable.

    Don t try to do it all alone. Leverage the talent and the tools that are available to you. Here are six tips to help you keep your business finances in order:

    1. Keep your personal and business finances separate.

    Mixing your personal and business finances will inevitably result in confusion. It might seem convenient to charge everything to a single card, but ultimately this will make tracking your spending far more complicated than it needs to be.

    Begin by opening separate bank and credit card accounts for your business. For the ongoing tracking and measuring of your finances, and for tax purposes, this practice will take a major headache out of sorting your transactions every quarter, or every year as the case may be.

    This will also take the guesswork out of the equation. If you want to be successful in business, you need to be able to monitor and track your key performance indicators. You need to know the score, and some of the most important elements include cash flow, expenses, revenue, profit and so on.

    2. Choose accounting software that makes sense for your business.

    When it comes to accounting software, there are a variety of different solutions. Think of Xero, QuickBooks and Freshbooks. The best online accounting software depends on your business, and it s worth considering several options before making a decision.

    If you haven t moved your financial data from desktop software to the cloud yet, that should be your first order of business. Cloud-based tools allow you to view real-time insights, and they can be accessed from anywhere at any time. The ability to keep an eye on your finances on the fly gives you a great deal of flexibility as a business owner.

    If you ve already picked out an online solution, ensure that it s the right one for you and your business. Today more than ever, there are a myriad of options to choose from, and if you aren t satisfied with your current service, you can always make the switch to another platform that better matches your needs.

    3. Consider hiring a professional bookkeeper.

    Most people aren t numbers people, and will never be excited about them as much as accountants or bookkeepers are. If managing your own finances is starting to get on your nerves, it s time to look into hiring a qualified bookkeeper.

    Many entrepreneurs have a tendency to try to handle everything themselves. But as with legal matters, the granular elements of small-business accounting aren t usually within a business owner s wheelhouse.

    Although it s easy to balk at the expense of working with a bookkeeper, they will be able to help you save money over the long haul. You ll be freed up to work on high value tasks that keep the business moving forward, while your bookkeeper handles the tedium of number crunching.

    4. Stay organized and plan ahead.

    The aforementioned tips should help with keeping your finances organized. Moreover, monitoring your finances and projecting future revenue and expenses will enable you to make better long-term decisions for your business.

    Without this information, planning ahead can prove challenging. If you aren t looking at the future of your business, you could be taken by surprise. If you want to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition, you should plan as much as 10 years in advance.

    You ll be able to mitigate unwanted surprises if you stay ahead of the ball. Even if unexpected expenses do rise, if you ve been practicing conservatism in your spending, you shouldn t run into any major problems.

    5. Make a budget.

    Part of staying organized and planning ahead should include creating a budget. Many business owners view this step as dull and unnecessary, but the importance of a budget could be equated with the value of a well-formed business plan.

    A budget is not a tool for planning out how every penny should be spent. Rather, it s a framework that you can use to help you make clear-headed decisions, whether it s increasing your marketing spend, or cutting expansion costs to keep your profits on track.

    Make a budget and use it as your guide. Don t allow it to force you into decisions you don t want to make, but use it to make adjustments when and where necessary.

    6. Find a trusted credit union in your locality.

    Credit unions are invaluable to small-business owners, especially since they are often willing to provide loans at competitive rates. Make it a point to seek out the best one in your locality, and make sure they understand your business needs. The partnership could prove immensely beneficial.

    Some of the other advantages of credit unions include fewer transaction fees and account service charges, as well as flexible, customized services.

    Since credit unions are not answerable to shareholders, they are empowered to put your interests at the forefront. Credit unions also keep profits within the community, and help budding entrepreneurs get their dream businesses off the ground.

    Final thoughts

    The reality is that many business owners do not keep track of their finances. Whether you know it or not, this could mean missing out on opportunities to minimize your expenses and maximize your profits.

    Preparing online business accounts can take time, but the end result is worth the effort. Even if you don t consider finances to be the most important part of your business, streamlining your process will allow you to develop a straightforward step-by-step process as opposed to a search-and-find initiative.

    Make the effort to simplify the organization of your business finances moving forward. This will allow for long-term stability and sustainability.



    6 Top Professional Website Builders for Small Businesses #business #from #home #ideas


    #business website builder

    #

    6 Top Professional Website Builders for Small Businesses

    Building your website is a priority, but what if you can t afford to bring in an independent website designer? There are plenty of options you can find from a free builders list to take advantage of today.

    To give you an insight into some of the options available, this guide is going to show you some of the top picks that you should consider. With 77 percent believing a poor website is a weakness. you need the right builder.

    Which of these top professional website builders will you use for your small business website today?

    1. Website Builder.

    The Website Builder platform will help you to build a professional website in just three steps. Despite the simplicity of this platform, there are thousands of templates to choose from. And you don t have to stick with the templates available. Every template is freely open to editing, so you can do what you like with it and make a completely unique website.

    There are both SEO and integration tools that come with it, so you can cover all the requirements of a modern website. You can also use the free domain name option, but in general it s always better to use a paid domain name so it s truly unique.

    2. Wix.

    Wix is one of the most well-known website platforms in the world. Other than WordPress, this is one of the best free website builders available. You can create practically anything using Wix, but it tends to work best with fashion and apparel websites.

    What makes Wix stand out are the SEO link building tools that come with your free website. It s easy to rank high when you re using Wix. To get started all you need to do is begin embedding the various Wix templates as and when you please. Connect the media widgets and you instantly have a professional looking website at your disposal.

    3. Weebly.

    Weebly is another one of the more well-known website builders on this list. It s ideal for practically any type of business because there s a website template for practically any niche. Take advantage of the simple drag and drop system when creating your website and you can have something that even a professional designer would be proud of.

    Weebly automatically comes with mobile friendly designs. along with compatibility with multiple browsers. One feature that you get with Weebly that you don t get with other website builders is a personalized domain name.

    4. Sitey.

    Sitey comes with the drag and drop system that makes building a website to your specifications so easy. Every template has mobile responsiveness built in, as well as being compatible to Google s best practices .

    Primarily, this is a network that sticks to using plugins and extensions to make up the bulk of its functionality. The customer service available is another plus point for Sitey. It s available 24/7 and is well-known for being one of the most helpful customer service departments of all the options on this list.

    5. IM Creator.

    IM Creator uses something called Stripes, which are pre-customizable. This website builder is one of the easiest builders to use because you can have a professional website up and running in a matter of minutes.

    All the templates provided by IM Creator are retina ready, which means they are programmed to be used immediately with a live audience. All these designs can be placed onto websites that utilize hundreds of pages.

    With IM Creator you don t have to worry about hosting because you automatically gain access to guaranteed unlimited hosting and bandwidth.

    6. Jimdo.

    If you need an ecommerce builder, Jimdo is an option that you should seriously consider. Create an online shop without all the issues associated with making your shopping cart work by downloading one of the dedicated ecommerce themes presented by Jimdo.

    It even caters to heavyweight ecommerce stores. You can check all the various options and features to make sure you have the functionality you need. While this is a free website builder, you do have a paid option available, which comes with a ton of additional features. However, the free version is more than capable of fulfilling your needs.

    Finding the right website builder for you requires some thought. Consider what your site needs to thrive and the features you need to create the platform you want.

    The right website builder for you is out there. You just need to search for it.