Author Archives: Nancy

Don’t Start a New Business without These 7 Essentials

businessStarting a new business can be thrilling. Sometimes you can get so excited about your new idea that you don’t want to take the time to do the necessary groundwork so that your business will have a solid foundation. Channel your enthusiasm into a few of these more mundane fundamentals of business so that when you begin to bring in customers you’ll be ready to handle anything.

1. Operating Capital – A new business is going to need money. Think about how you want to finance your enterprise before you begin making widgets or booking clients. Whether you use an existing savings account, a business credit card or a traditional small business loan, you need to secure funding first if you want your business to really get off the ground.

2. A Business Plan – Sit down and write out a solid plan for your business. Include plans for expansion and ideas for what to do if things don’t go as you expect. A good business plan is also helpful for securing a small business loan because it shows that you have thought the business through.

3. Plenty of Patience – A new business takes time to begin turning a profit. Quite a few tedious tasks have to be done before you can focus solely on your business, as well. Be ready to fill out plenty of paperwork and be prepared to wait longer than you might expect the orders to come rolling in.

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4. Information on State and Federal Tax Laws – Find out what you need to do in order to comply with state and federal tax laws regarding your business. Make sure you know how much sales tax to collect and what kind of tax information you need to provide the government concerning your company.

5. Appropriate Licenses or Permits – Some businesses need special permits or licenses to operate legally. Check local laws to make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork in order so that you don’t have to face fines or other legal problems once your doors open. Be prepared to pay fees or work with an appraiser for some licenses and permits.

6. Product Research – Spend some time researching other businesses that are similar to yours. Find out how much they charge for the same products and services. Think about how you can be competitive in the market you are interested in. You might find that you need to adjust your original business plan. It is better to learn about potential problems in the market before you begin the business so that you can make changes without disrupting relationships with clients.

7. Willingness to be Flexible – No matter how much you research and plan for your business, things will happen that you do not expect. Be ready to roll with the punches and make necessary shifts when you have to so that your business can remain viable. Stick to your business plan as a general blueprint for your company, but allow yourself to make changes when the real world doesn’t follow the script you prepared before the business began operations.

Once you establish your earning power with your new business, you’ll need to purchase a life insurance policy to protect those who depend on your income. Shop the best rates at www.LifeInsuranceQuotes.info.

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How To Make Your Business Seem Green (Without Really Trying)

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So guys, listen. It turns out that a lot of people are really worried about this whole “environment” thing. Turns out there are all sorts of animals and plants and people who live there, and you guys have been doing an awful lot of stuff that sort of… kills it.

Yes, yes, I know! From a P.R. standpoint this is pretty disastrous.  Now the way I see it, we in the business community have two options.

The first involves a major overhaul of the entire way we work. This means making a dramatic shift over to renewable energy sources and sustainable practices, drastically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and seriously analysing the impact our work has on the world around is. It will be extremely costly and a lot of hard work, but the pay off would be we might actually save the planet, which again, from P.R. standpoint would be huge.

On the other hand, we could half-arse it. What do you think?

Yeah, I thought you’d pick the second option too.

Colour Things In Green

Olof S, on Flickr”>Landscape - Green  View, Halla

Okay, so I’ve done some reading, and apparently things are good for the environment are known as “Green”. Therefore, if we colour in our logos, publicity material and packaging green that will tell people we’re good for the environment, right?

Back in 2009 General Motors tried this and got a whole bunch of articles published about how environmentally friendly they were going to be. They described it as “an effort to show consumers that [GM] is leaner, greener, more focused on fuel efficiency and better able to make quick decisions.”

To be honest, when our marketing guys thought of this, they pretty much all high-fived and chest bumped each other, then quit for lunch where they had all of the cocaine.

Use The Right Pictures And Words

After they got back from lunch, however, they figured it might take more than simply colouring in all our stuff a different colour to make us look good. For instance, the Incredible Hulk is green, but our sources tell us that he’s actually really bad for the environment, or at least the part of it he happens to be standing in. Godzilla, we hear, is also green, and likewise that isn’t really something we want associated with our brand.

So to guide our customers’ opinions a little more precisely we’re going to be using carefully selected images and words to make sure they get the right idea about us. Our research showed that people find pictures of leaves, pandas, birds, sea life, clear blue skies and babies who are strange unperturbed about being abandoned in the wilderness are all images they associate with environmentally friendly things. Likewise, we use words “natural” which don’t actually mean anything, but sound good, while by putting say, 20% recycled material into our packaging, we can get that little triangle symbol that says we’re good to the planet.

Theme Weeks

Remember how every Friday with give all the employees a free sandwich to drawer attention away from their quite frankly appalling salaries and working conditions? Turns out your can do the same thing with Planet Earth!

We’ll get the marketing boys to come up with a name for it like Globe Week or Eco Day or something.  Then, during that pre-agreed time period we’ll stick up loads of green coloured stuff and pictures of the Earth from space and so on. Maybe we could scatter some more recycle bins around the offices and stick up signs telling people to turn the lights off when they leave a room. This bit is particularly clever, because we’re basically telling everyone else to be more environmentally responsible, while simultaneously taking credit for it

NBC pulled this trick once a year with their annual “Green Week”. “Green Week” is basically a week once a year when they tell all their TV shows to do an episode with a “green” emphasis. This is good because it “raises awareness”. Again, by “raising awareness” we get to take a tonne of credit without actually, y’know, doing anything. The best part? Their sponsor was General Motors. Seriously, we’ve a lot to learn from those guys.

Chris Farnell is a freelance writer who covers renewable energy jobs, environmental and business issues. He’s 100% natural and organic.

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3 Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy

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The job market today is extraordinarily competitive. Not only are there plenty of employees seeking work, but there are many different employers seeking quality staff. As a small business owner, consider it your job to be a beacon of light in the shadows of potential employers. As much as employees should seek to do their jobs well in order to keep their employment, employers need to offer incentives to keep great employees on board. This can make the difference between a great business plan strategy and a strategy which fails.

Trust Your Employees

There is always a fear as an employer of fraudulent employee claims and theft. This being said, there are many good employees who feel that they are automatically subject to being treated as untrustworthy. As an employer, do your best to give your staff the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being trusted, and treat them as respectfully as you can without turning a blind eye to warning signals. Always protect yourself by performing reference checks before hiring staff members, and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about issues at your small business.

Offer Employee Benefits

One of the premiere things that potential staff are looking for in an employer is the presence of a reliable group health insurance plan. If your company offers health coverage to your staff, even partially, it will set you apart from so many other employers in your industry. In order to keep useful employees, you need to show them that the health and wellness of their family is a priority for you as an employer. You can also offer other benefits, such as paid vacation days, a substancial discount on company products or services, and more.

Educate Your Staff

As a business owner, it’s important to you to be ahead of the game when it comes to business strategies and investments. As such, keeping your staff involved in furthering their education is almost always beneficial. Workshops, seminars, conferences and night school courses are an amazing way to keep your employees on the cutting edge of industry, as well as engaging them in staying interested in the field. Consistent challenges and learning create motivated, forward thinkers which stand to benefit your company in a big way. Consider partial funding for these programs as a long-term investment in your staff, as well as your business, and consider that this practice will be money well spent. These types of incentives are often tax deductible, so talk to your accountant to find out just what you can afford.

Allison writes with GroupHealthInsurance.org, which allows you to find an affordable plan that gives your employees great health coverage.

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Can You Cut Down On The Brochure Printing Prices?

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As the cost of advertising through media channels is very high, printing materials and distributing them on your own seems to be the better solution for the small to medium sized businesses. However, even though the costs are lower, they are still an expense that can have a serious impact on the budget of a company.

Well, the good news is that the brochure printing prices can be reduced via several methods that will not impact the quality of the print and consequentially, the image and status of the company. While creatively managing the funds of the company is a good initiative, the basic knowledge of what the printing process implies is an overall better idea.

Business Brochures

As most brochures are to be used for extended periods, one suggestion is to print them on glossy and quality paper. Even though the brochure printing prices you order are higher, do not forget that these materials will serve their purpose for an entire year. It is worth mentioning that not all brochures need to printed on expensive and high quality paper and you should adapt the process according to the event. While the brochures presenting the business and products should always use quality paper, for onetime events and promotions regular paper can be used just as well.

Perhaps the simplest way to cut down the brochure printing prices is to work with an online company. Unlike the regular printers, the online companies can offer lower prices as they will not have the same expenses with the personnel. In addition, as space is not truly a limitation, online printing companies can also offer tools that allow you to create a suitable design.

Nonetheless, such printing services usually have qualified staff members who can offer advice and tips regarding the design. Therefore, if you feel that you are not as creative as you should or simply need a second thought on what you have designed; do not hesitate to contact them.

A further means of reducing the price of printing brochures is to reduce their size. In general, as the brochures are distributed by mail or handed out, their dimensions should not surpass a standard A4 page. At the same time, do not forget that what customers are attracted to is not the size of the brochure, but rather its appearance. In order to make sure they consider the design exceptional, it is best to determine the size and then consider the elements you want to add in the brochure first. The best approach in this direction is to discuss the size based on the machines of the printing services, in order to ensuring a high quality printing.

Overall, if you obtained a reaction from the loyal customers and others who received the brochure, then you know that it served its goal. Even though a picture is worth more than words, you cannot simply stuff the brochure with pictures and leave out meaningful text. Nonetheless, if you will be working with a reputable and experienced printing company you can be certain that the perfect balance between text and pictures will be respected.

Jordan Siron is a marketing enthusiast and has tried to share his views on making the brochure printing service cost effective through this blog.

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