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How to design a business card: 10 top tips #family #business


#designing business cards

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Creative Bloq

How to design a business card: 10 top tips

A well-designed business card lends legitimacy to your business, and can make you stand out from the crowd of competitors. Check out our top tips on how to make a lasting impression.

Although we re working in paperless offices more and more, the humble business card is still a mainstay of business. If you haven t got a card you can give out to prospective clients or collaborators, you re missing out on a key marketing opportunity.

Not all business cards are created equal, however. We live in a world where the average small business can design their own cards and order them from well-known online printers for under 20. These cards tend to be of an inferior weight, and typically use twee clipart to relate themselves to the business being advertised.

What this means is that there are a lot of poorly designed business cards out there! This is both a challenge and an opportunity: to stand out you need to create a design that looks fantastic, and helps you differentiate yourself. If you can make it tactile and feel pleasant in the hand, you ll be well on your way. Create an effective card and you can elevate your business above your competitors before the prospect has ever seen your website!

So, with all that in mind we ve brought together 10 of our top tips for creating effective, innovative business cards .

01. Use good design principles

It might seem obvious but it s worth reiterating that a business card is a piece of printed material like any other. Because of this, the basic principles of paper-based design apply to business cards:

  • keep all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
  • work at 300dpi for best image reproduction
  • ensure you maintain a minimum size for your typography to maintain legibility
  • design in CMYK unless you re working exclusively with spot colours

Many designers also find it helps to use a grid to lay out their cards, as this can help you to achieve the right hierarchy of information as well as ensure your alignment is sound.

02. Get creative within the constraints

There are a couple ‘standard’ sizes for business cards, depending upon where you are in the world. One typical example is 55x85mm, although you’ll see many other sizes quoted on the web. Working within this tiny canvas you can still get creative with the space: start by considering the key information you want to include, which will typically be a name, phone number and email address, then work your design around presenting this information in a creative way.

03. Avoid common pitfalls

There are some common pitfalls to designing business cards that it helps to be aware of. The first and most obvious is to ensure you provide a bleed as specified by your printer. This is commonly 3mm, but can be 5mm so check! Just as important is to avoid using a straightforward border around the entire of the card, as this will show up any misalignment in the trim if the card isn’t perfectly cut.

04. Use special finishes

This example features a UV spot to highlight fret positions, on the reverse of a guitar tutor s business card

An instant way to add impact to your business card, and make it stand out from the crowd, is to use a special finish. Special finishes include the likes of foil blocking, spot-UV and metallic inks, and can add significant cost to your print. What they offer, however, is the opportunity to make your card more tactile, visually impressive and memorable.

Different printers offer different options for finishes, so speak to them to find out what they can do for you, and don t be afraid to go to a specialist if your usual printer only offers straight four-colour print.

05. Cut into your card

This card, designed by Phil Jones, Ryan Coleman and Jeff McCullough for Yoga One, shows how some creative thinking with die-cuts can result in a fun and memorable card

A great way to make your card unique is to use a die-cut process to remove elements from the card stock, leaving a void. You can either use a die to change the shape of your card (by rounding the corners, for example), or you can cut shapes out of the centre.

Dies are expensive to create the first time, although increasingly printers are offering laser-cut options that make it economical to create a die-cut look on shorter print-runs. There are some amazingly creative examples on the web, and when combined with creasing you can use the process to create architectural features in your card design. Also, don’t overlook letterpress as an option.

06. Use unusual materials

This card is constructed from a printed circuit board, and works as a USB device. When plugged in, it provides additional information about the owner

Most business cards are printed on card stock. This is the most cost-effective option for printing your cards. If you re willing to get a little more creative, you can print onto all sorts of different materials including transparent plastics, metals, wood and even slate.

Here dog treats have been used as a business card material, allowing the card to serve two purposes simultaneously

Keep in mind that cards need to be portable, and easy to file away in a pocket or briefcase, but get creative with your choice of stock material and you’ll instantly stand out from everyday business cards.

07. Make it useful

This business card designed by Emily Berry converts into a handy chair that can hold your phone upright on a desk

One of the problems with paper is that it s everywhere. Some people hold on to every bit of paper they receive, while others are far more ruthless and recycle at the first opportunity. To avoid the risk of being recycled, make your business card work as more than simply a calling card.

This card was designed by Jamie Wieck and includes a seed that sprouts after a few days of soaking

Some of the most memorable designs incorporate function as well as form. Examples include business card that act as a holder for hair clips or turn into a miniature armchair for your mobile.

08. Make your own

Breakfast Creatives cut up old cereal boxes to form their own, brand-relevant business card design. Credit: http://breakfastcreatives.co.uk

If you re feeling creative, why not make your own business cards? You can find letterpress kits on eBay at reasonable prices, allowing you to convert any card stock into your own business card with ease. This is a time-consuming but very satisfying way of expressing yourself in a card!

09. Recycle old cards

These cards were made by hand out of business cards, christmas cards and screenprints that went wrong. Credit: http://designbyif.co.uk

Old business cards, postcards or packaging can be repurposed and given a new life as your business card. Recycling is both environmentally sound and can allow you to express your creativity in new and exciting ways. There are some fantastic examples on the web to get your creative juices flowing. The process can be as simple as getting some stickers printed, or as complex as hand-illustrating over the top of each old card to suit the recipient.

10. Double-check your artwork

This tip applies to every bit of print work you do, but it s so crucial it s worth repeating. When sending your artwork off to the print shop, make sure you ve double-checked every single detail. There s nothing worse than getting back your cards and discovering you missed a typo in the email address or name. Check twice, print once is a a well learnt adage!

Liked this? Read these!

Have you got any tips for designing effective business cards? Let us know in the comments below.



Top 5 Green Business Ideas for Aspiring Eco-entrepreneurs – Green Entrepreneurship #minority

#green business ideas

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Top 5 Green Business Ideas for Aspiring Eco-entrepreneurs

Green businesses are gaining popularity as more opportunities arise for eco-entrepreneurs to invest in. This business is mainly driven by the demand of consumers who are interested in purchasing goods and services that incorporate eco-friendly manufacturing processes. In fact, most of the services and products being offered today have been greened. Thus, if you are looking to start a business that is geared towards saving water, energy and other resources, you simply cannot run short of sustainable ideas.

There are numerous green business options that you can venture into on a part-time basis and with a small investment. Whether you are interested in a part-time or a full-time green business, here are top 5 ideas that eco-entrepreneurs can invest in and join the green business revolution:

1. Green App Development

If your preference is working in the technology world, you can still make a contribution to the green revolution through the development of apps that promote a green living ideology through proper waste management and recycling. Generally, apps that offer information on what to buy and how to recycle waste are quite popular.

Green app development is quite promising in terms of income generation as its potential is not about to exhaust in the near future. Besides, existing businesses can also consider developing apps that are branded, as there is room for winning more customers for your products and services as well as cementing their loyalty.

2. Waste Management/Recycling Business

Recycling is a great step towards ensuring that toxic waste does not end up in the landfills. An electronics recycling business is a great area as old computers, mobile phones, fax machines as well as outdated television sets can be used to produce items that can be used elsewhere. You can also consider offering a pickup service for such electronics and deliver them to recyclers at a fee even though you may not offer actual recycling services.

3. Manufacturing of Green Products

This is another leading business idea that has continued to top the list of green business ideas. You may want to consider manufacturing vegan, organic or herbal soaps, lotions, shampoos as well as other cosmetics whose demand has continued to grow. One of the reasons why these products are preferred is because they have few or no side effects as opposed to chemical-based personal care products. Thus, you can manufacture different kinds of safe and natural personal care products and then market and sell them locally.

4. Green Consulting

Setting up a green consultancy is another good green business idea. This is because more and more businesses as well as individuals are looking to go green even though they do not have adequate knowledge on where to begin. Thus, as a consultant you can develop a concrete action plan for them after looking at their environment and making an analysis of the environmental weaknesses and strengths.

Homes and businesses that are consuming more energy than they need for cooling or heating can benefit from green advice. In addition to consulting, you can also consider adding a green event management service where you will see to it that every area of the event is executed in a manner that is environmentally friendly.

5. Energy Efficiency Auditor

Being able to determine the amount of energy you use at home and sticking to it is a great step in ensuring energy efficiency. Unfortunately, not so many people understand the value of this. This is why you will do really well if you set up an auditing agency that oversees that business owners are determining how much insulation they need, know when the bulbs are due for a change as well as the kind of programmable thermostats they need.

There are endless opportunities when it comes to green business ideas so you need to identify the area that you are passionate about. Also make sure that you are well skilled in your chosen area before setting up your recycling business if you want to make the difference you desire.

Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipments can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog

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Top 10 best business desktop PCs (August 2016) #business #cards


#business computer

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TechRadar pro

Top 10 best business desktop PCs (August 2016)

Plus a handy buying guide

While workforces have become far more mobile, there is still a need for the traditional office desktop PC. It remains the most cost-effective computing device as it’s easily maintained and has the most powerful solutions available on the market.

Despite the drop in laptop prices and increase in mobile processor power, there are still distinct advantages to running desktop systems in an office environment, which is why the desktop remains the most popular form-factor for computer systems.

Speaking of form factors, the desktop PC has evolved significantly over the past three years beyond the monoliths that mid or mini-towers are.

The range of available desktop systems is as wide and varied as business needs themselves, ranging from a few off-the-shelf units for an SMB to the deployment of thousands of basic desktop PCs and everything in between.

The types of desktop PCs

A recent development in the desktop PC world has been a modest diversification of the system case. The typical business PC comes in a mini-tower box, which is probably best sited under or next to your desk.

But if space is at a premium, a smaller case would be a better choice. Dell, for example, delivers its Optiplex models in mini tower, ‘thin’ desktop and ‘compact’ small form factor sizes, each model offering the same computing power but in a different case.

Three other formats that have grown in popularity are:

[1] All-in-one. otherwise known as AIO, which combine the monitor with the base unit. The move to power-efficient components, the falling price of LCD panels and the ubiquity of touch functionality make AIO an increasingly popular choice for businesses. The all-in-one PC essentially resembles a slightly larger than normal LCD display that contains the processor, hard drive and memory built-in to the screen casing. The end result is a very elegant, clutter-free desktop PC.

[2] Ultra-small form factors. otherwise known as net tops or mini PCs, which borrow a lot of their designs (and components) from laptops. They are essentially laptops without a screen, input peripherals and a battery.

[3] HDMI dongles which have been inspired by tablets and smartphones and often share parts with the latter. These are usually used for display signage or in niche markets. They are usually not powerful enough for most tasks but things are likely to improve by the end of 2016.

Top 10 best business desktop PCs in the UK

To help narrow down your search for the ideal system for your business, here are Techradar Pro’s top 10 business desktop PCs in no particular order.

1. Zoostorm 7260-3041

The cheapest desktop PC going

CPU: Intel Celeron 1037U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 500GB HDD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 18 x 40 x 36cm



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


#business website builder

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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.



The Top 10 Grants Available to Black, Minority Business Owners #business #consultant


#minority business grants

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Free Money? The Top 10 Grants Available to Black, Minority Business Owners

Every year billions of dollars are awarded in the form of free money and other types of funding. Most people know this money exists, but just don t know where to apply, how much they qualify for, or even where to get an application.

Contrary to popular belief, free money is available to entrepreneurs. Real business grants do exist. In fact, hundreds of black and minority-owned businesses each year receive such grant funding from various government agencies and nonprofit organizations, reports BlackNews.com. Such funds do not have to be repaid, but must be used to either start a new business or enhance an existing one. Others can be used for innovation research.

Here are the top 10 small and minority business grant programs available:

1. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a nationwide competition that will award $50,000 in total to six deserving U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners. Go to www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/fedex_small_business_grant_contest.html

2. The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program allows business owners to apply for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used funds to purchase computers, hire part-time help, and create marketing materials. Visit www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/national_association_self_employed_nase_business_grants.html

3. The Dare to Dream Grant Program encourages students to move through the business creation process by offering business development seminars and up to $10,000 in funding. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/dare_to_dream_grant_program.html

4. The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition (formerly known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series) is an annual competition for minority business owners sponsored by Miller Lite. Designed to economically empower minority businesses, the program continues to invest in entrepreneurial dreams to empower urban communities. Learn more at MLTaptheFuture.com

5. The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several competitive business grant programs, ensuring that the nation s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government s research and development efforts. Check out www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_grants.html

6. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round financing. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/minority_business_development_agency_mbda_business_grants.html

7. The Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program provides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funds can be used for land acquisition, construction, renovation, technical assistance, project planning, and more. Visit www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/rural_business_enterprise_grants_rbeg_program.html

8. The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program awards grants and business resources to moms to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/huggies_mom_inspired_grant_program.html

9. The DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is intended to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department s highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance programs. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/dot_disadvantaged_business_enterprise_program.html

10. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides grant funding to small businesses to engage in biomedical or behavioral research/development that leads to a potential for commercialization. Go to www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_grants.html

To learn about more 2014 business grant programs, visit www.BusinessGrants.org .



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Free Email Services: Top 5 Features for Small Businesses #sample #business #plans


#free business email

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Free Email Services: Top 5 Features for Small Businesses

Starting with a free email service can afford you the time to let your business grow. / Credit: Keyboard Image via Shutterstock

You don t necessarily have to pay for a great email solution for your small business.

If you re tempted by premium business-class email services such as Google Apps for Business or Microsoft Office 365, consider a free service first. Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo! Mail might meet all the needs of your business, without the monthly fees.

For new business owners, sticking with a free service can also afford you the time to let your business grow. Until you have at least a handful of employees, you might not need the features that paid email provides, such as collaboration tools and shared calendars. And waiting might make it easier to pick the right paid service for the long haul, especially if your company grows quickly.

But don t settle on just any webmail service. Read on for five features you should look for in a free email solution for your small business. Then check out BusinessNewsDaily s sister site, TopTenREVIEWS, for a full review and feature breakdown of the most popular free email services on the Web.

Custom email addresses

Not every free email service allows users to set up a branded email address, and some require you to pay a recurring fee for the privilege. If you intend to stick with a free email service, be sure to pick one that allows you to customize the domain name in your address.

Advanced security features

Just because you re using a free email service doesn t mean you don t deserve top-of-the-line security tools. The best free email services don t just shield your inbox from spam. They also help protect your business machines against viruses and malware by scanning attachments and filtering suspicious messages.

Some services also restrict automatic downloads that could infect your machine, and offer phishing filters to screen against malicious emails that ask for personal information like passwords and credit card numbers. Even savvy small business owners can benefit from these automated security features, especially as your company grows.

Substantial inbox storage

You inbox is a record of every email correspondence you and your employees have made. By picking a service with generous storage limits, you can worry less about deleting and archiving old messages. That means your old emails, especially those that came with important attachments, will still be there whenever you need them.

Inbox storage limits vary widely among free services. Google provides 15GB of free storage for its Gmail service. But even that considerable amount of space might not be enough if you frequently deal with large email attachments. By comparison, other popular free services such as Yahoo! Mail cap your inbox at 1TB, and Microsoft s Outlook has no cap on the number of email messages you can store.

Generous Attachment Limits

Does running your business mean sending and receiving large files such as spreadsheets, product orders or presentations? Most webmail services limit attachment sizes to between 10-25MB. That s enough to send Word documents, but if you need to attach multiple PDFs or other large files, you ll hit the limit in a hurry.

Many modern email services allow users to send much, much larger files by pairing your email with a cloud storage service. Google lets Gmail users send files up to 10GB, so long as the file is first uploaded to a Google Drive account. Similarly, Microsoft s Outlook accommodates files up to a whopping 300GB if they re uploaded to SkyDrive, and Yahoo! Mail offers similar functionality in conjunction with Dropbox.

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. Email services that support IMAP allow for true two-way email management, so any email you send or receive in any IMAP client will synchronize with the provider s server.

Not every free email service includes IMAP support, but it s a must-have for business users. IMAP allows you to access your email through a mobile app or desktop client, in addition to the provider s Web portal. That gives you more options to read, sort and be notified of new messages, so you can always stay on top of your email inbox. When looking for a way to access and manage your email across desktop and mobile devices, opt for IMAP over POP (Post Office Protocol.) POP allows you to download your email to any computer of mobile device, but erases your email from the main server in the process.

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  • Top 7 Tips For Starting A Catering Business #stocks #to #watch


    #catering business

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    Top 7 Tips For Starting A Catering Business




    Top 5 Things to Pay Attention to When Giving Corporate Gifts #grants

    #business gifts

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    Top 5 Things to Pay Attention to When Giving Corporate Gifts

    As the CEO of a small business, one of your main concerns is ensuring your employees know they feel appreciated. Aside from the frequent verbal praise you hopefully provide, the occasional gift can go a long way to making an employee feel valued.

    Yes, you probably have a small office with a few coworkers if you’re just starting out but there will be a birthday, anniversary, or some extraordinary job done where gift giving is going to be expected. Giving a gift in the workplace can sometimes be tricky, but follow these simple rules to make sure your gift leaves a happy employee.

    Get your budget in line.

    Even if you’re giving a gift to a family member or friend, how much to spend is always one of the hardest things to figure out, and it’s even more difficult when coworkers are involved.

    Always consider the reason of the gift. If you’re congratulating someone on a job well done, a $15 American Express gift card may be fine. If you’re celebrating a promotion or engagement, something a little more substantial may be appropriate.

    Conduct research.

    Before you do anything at your company, it’s either tested or researched thoroughly, right? In the same way, think about the person who you’re giving the gift, too and make sure you won’t give them anything that will offend them.

    Examine their desk and see how they have it decorated. You should be able to find something that fits within their idea of a great gift. Are they fanatics about a sports team? Do they Starbucks on their desk every morning? Even though the best gifts come from the heart, remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you can’t figure out a great gift.

    Gift for special occasions.

    As the CEO, you’ll have plenty of opportunities throughout the year to give gifts to employees on special occasions. Whether you’re buying flowers for Secretary’s Day or get well soon gifts for a co-worker, it’s much easier to match a gift to the occasion than to buy one blindly.

    Attach a handwritten note.

    It’s easy to shoot off an email or copy and paste a typewritten note into a custom electronic card, but a handwritten note will make a much stronger impression. Remember one important thing about the person to whom you are writing and mention it in the note for maximum effect.

    Deliver the gift personally.

    Assuming your office and the gifts are small enough, deliver each gift you have purchased to each individual personally. Much like the handwritten note, it will create a much stronger impression when your gift is delivered in person. Plus, you can also use this time to catch up briefly with each of your employees.

    Erin Leigh is a freelance writer for The Serious Teddy Bear Company, a gift basket company for every occasion, from teddy bear birthday gifts to employee and manager gifts. She’s a self-proclaimed gift giving expert and strives to find the perfect gift for any occasion.

    Under30Experiences



    The Top 10 Best Small Business Blogs for Entrepreneurs in 2015 #business

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    The Top 10 Best Small Business Blogs for Entrepreneurs in 2015

    As a small business owner myself, I know how important it is to stay up-to-date with the ever changing trends that the business world throws at us.

    Because I watch very little TV, and rely heavily on the internet for keeping up-to-date with the news, it s somewhat obvious that I d also use the online medium to learn, consume and also produce and market my own content. Bloggers (and increasingly, podcasters, as well as video producers and many are wearing all three hats!) have the ability to express themselves in somewhat ‘real time’, and in an evergreen way, by keeping their content fresh, and sharing their opinions with the world.

    However, in the world of business blogging there s a lot of noise. A lot of content marketers are gagging to get your attention, and with only so many minutes a day to devote to learning and consuming content (personally, I put aside around 30-45 minutes daily), you’ve got to be very strict with who’s content you make time for.

    This is the reason why I’ve put this list together. This collection are the best small business blogs I know of right now. My personal favorite / go-to people in the world of small business blogging and online business building. Individually they strike a chord with me enough to keep me coming back for more, together they act as an ever-growing encyclopaedia of business brilliance.

    Note: These blogs are listed in no particular order of preference, or influence.

    Chris Brogan s Blog

    Chris is the only repeat awardee on this list, from last year. I ve known this man for several years and he has continued to deliver quality, helpful, thoughtful and inspiring content to every business owner wise enough to tune into what he has to say. I m assuming (heavily!) that you re one of them!

    Must Read: Dear Podcaster Chris lays it down in true Brogan fashion. Letting podcasters know exactly how to approach expert guests, record with them and the importance of respecting their time. This SO needed to be said!

    Smart Passive Income

    It s no secret that Pat and I are very close friends. Known for being the crash test dummy of online business he s launched and grown several business, meaning you can learn what works and what doesn t, directly from watching him. We recently started a new partnership together, 1-Day Business Breakthrough. too!

    Must Read: And They Thought I was Stupid – In this post from early 2014 Pat reflects on his decision to starting podcasting and what it s done for his brand along with the 468 comments on the post itself!

    Gary Vaynerchuk s Blog

    In 2010 I picked up a copy of Crush It! by Gary and became an instant fan. Since then I ve had to chance to have him on the podcast twice, as well as hanging out in the US a little together. Ballsy, to the point and with a BS detector like I ve never seen before, he s an influencer in every imaginable way.

    Must Read: Cloud Dirt: How I Do Business – This is a fantastic short film that Gary and his team produced to explain how he feels about business today and why he doesn t focus on anything that won t bring him closer to his goals.

    Amy Porterfield s Blog

    I often refer to Amy as the Queen of Social Media . But, she has become so much more than that in recent years. Now focusing on everything from list building to product marketing, Amy is paving the way for other entrepreneurs in a crowded space that needs to hear it like it is. She s simply awesome.

    Must Read: 3 Strategies to Rapid List Building – I often say that the health and overall success of your online business is directly tied to your email list. This post (and podcast episode) is compulsory consumption for everyone!

    Entrepreneur on Fire

    Talk about taking the bull by the horns! John Lee Dumas hit the scene a couple years ago and hasn t looked back. In 2014, along with his partner in crime (and life!), Kate Erickson, he turned his podcasting empire into a thriving million dollar entity something rarely seen in the online infomarketing world.

    Must Read: 2014: The Year in Review – John and Kate (some would say the real boss at EOFire!) had a remarkable year. In this post they show you exactly how they did it, along with warts and all! Great annual review write-up.

    Copyblogger

    Copyblogger have long been a guiding light in the very dark tunnel that is content marketing . Brian Clark and his team are still leading the way, with decisions such as cutting comments from their blog, deleting their Facebook page and reinventing content publishing by developing the New Rainmaker platform.

    Must Read: Why Copyblogger is Killing its Facebook Page – With social media changing at a drastic pace, sometimes equally drastic decisions are required. Copyblogger shows you the facts behind this big decision.

    Convince Convert

    It s not one of the top ranked social media and content marketing websites on the internet for no reason! Jay Baer and his team consistently publish amazingly thought-provoking and inspiring entrepreneurial content. Whether it s a blog post, podcast, or an episode of JayToday TV subscribe now.

    Must Read: Can You Build a Content Marketing Super Brand – I said thought-provoking for a reason. This ll get ya thinking! A deep dive into Jay s mind as he discusses the in s and out s of developing your own super brand.

    Marie Forleo s Blog

    I do not know Marie. We ve not met, and other than a few brief social media exchanges, we ve never even spoken. But, boy, oh boy can this lady market the hell out of herself and everything she stands for. Want to build a personal brand? Watch what Marie does, rinse and repeat. She s simply awesome.

    Must Read: Can t Turn Off Your Bizself? 2 Quick Steps to Flip the Switch! – In this video (she vlogs, instead of blogs) Marie discusses the importance of switching off as an entrepreneur, and gives us a couple of great tips to get started.

    Duct Tape Marketing

    John Jantsch is an all-star, old school marketing player that has continued to deliver the marketing and sales goods over and over again. His team produce a blog that s a mix of his experience, coupled together with the new in s and out s of online marketing all thrown into one.

    Must Read: How to promote Every Piece of Content Your Create – I loved this birds-eye view of how John and his team cross promote their content archive. This shows you the power of on-going marketing for older content.

    Michael Hyatt s Blog

    When I think of Michael Hyatt, I think of a Leader s Leader . With over two decades of experience in the publishing world, he has since taken online entrepreneurship to a whole new level with his blog, podcast, products and membership communities. He s a one-man leadership, walking talking workshop!

    Must Read: Advice to First Time Authors – This is about as real as advice gets. It s short, sharp, to the point and timeless. Michael s take on everything from finding an agent to considering self publishing is must-read material.

    Don t Forget THIS Blog, Too!

    Along with these awesome bloggers, podcasters, online video producers and all-round content marketing rock stars, please don t forget to continue to tune into this blog and my podcast on a regular basis. I promise you lots of content to help you become the most productive and profitable entrepreneur possible.



    2016 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur s Franchise 500 List #cheap #business #ideas


    #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