• November 26, 2017 /  Business Center
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    When running a small business, marketing your products and services is an important aspect your must consider and plan for. No matter what industry you play in you will no doubt have competition. Even if you provide a better service or product you still need to stand out so consumers know. Marketing can be a big cost but there are also many affordable alternative to advertise your business.

    Here are three simple advertising ideas and suggestions to give you high visility.

    Vehicle back windows

    A rear car window covererd with a sticker of your business is an affordable option to promote your business. Whenever your car is being driven around your business is being seen. For as little as one hundred and fifty dollars this is a small investment. Depending on how many years your sticker last, the breakdown cost of purchasing you rear window sticker works out to be even less.

    Don’t overload the sticker with too much details. Keep the sticker bright and colorful. Avoid a cluttered look with too much details. Keep it simple. Don’t put more than three items of information. Your logo with business name, phone and tagline is all you need.

    Car magnets

    Large car magnets are another cheap alternative. These magnets are strong enough to withstand high speeds. To repeat – keep the design simple. Order many at a time and hand them out to your friends for their cars. You can purchase four magnets for as little as fifty dollars.

    An alternative to magnets is use multiple smaller sized ones. A stack of twenty five magnets can be bought for about thirty dollars. Get people to take notice by scattering you car with these. When people take your magnets you know they’re working.

    Outdoor banners

    Ask your signwriter to print you a large banner. The cost of a small banner can be as little as one hundred dollars. We’ve even seen banners from as low as six dollars.

    Use the small banners effectively by parking at the front of a busy event or location. Hang the banner from the side of your car. Your car and banner can’t be missed.

    These are three simple advertising ideas to kick start your marketing on a budget.

    Click Here to see Ryan Johns working these advertising ideas

  • November 20, 2017 /  Business Center
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    Blogs have revolutionized the way that people do business. It seems that all the big companies are making use of blogs to promote themselves and market their products. However, corporate blogs aren’t just for big companies. Blogs can also be utilized by small businesses with great effect.

    Setting up a small business blog is easy and has many benefits. They are powerful promotional tools and a great way to communicate with clients.

    Here are some tips on using a small business blog:

    1. Write Naturally and Honestly

    Small business blogs can be more personal than large corporate blogs. It’s best to write in way that feels natural to you. Avoid writing needlessly complex posts filled with technical jargon. Doing so will endear customers and promote conversation, which is what a blog is for, after all.

    As with any blog, you must always tell the truth. Blogs should address all issues, be it good or bad. This will ultimately beneficial as it helps builds trust the customers.

    2. Post often and Respond to Comments

    Remember to post frequently. Provide readers with plenty of content, so that they will keep coming back to your blog.

    Comments are a vital part of blogs, providing useful feedback. Respond to reader comments often to build strong ties between them and your company.

    3. Promote your business, Promote yourself

    A small business blog is an innovative way to promote a business.

    A good technique is to document your projects. This is good way to show how capable you are at your profession and to garner trust. This is especially important with small business, where reputations can make a big difference.

    Blogs allow for unparalleled interaction with customers. Use this to get closer to clients, and to build bonds of trust. The information gained from readers is invaluable for improving your small business.

    4. Be Informed and Informative

    Read plenty of other blogs to gain useful information. Post comments and promote your own blog. Be an active part of the blogosphere.

    Post links of related information on your blog, and use technology like RSS/Atom feeds to constantly provide your blog with interesting content. This is a great way to promote your business and be informed of everything concerning you industry. Besides informing your readers, it can lead to interaction and possible collaborations with other businesses, all of which will benefit a small business.

    5. Search Engines

    For those who wish to achieve higher search engine rankings, a blog can be an invaluable asset. The constant updating combined with the right keywords can raise search engine results dramatically.

  • October 22, 2017 /  Business Center
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    The mobile marketing and advertising news-wires are abuzz and more and more companies are jumping into the game on a daily basis. Powerhouses like Google and Apple are building their arsenal for the mobile advertising phenomenon that is all the talk right now.

    Companies large and small are jockeying for position within their target markets and local niches in an effort to get a first mover advantage in the inevitable transformation to the Mobile computing tsunami that is already taking shape.

    What this means to the Small Business owner and in-house marketers is that the mobile marketplace has gained momentum. A solid mobile strategy can provide a huge advantage and be your secret weapon for success among a targeted niche audience or in a localized small to medium size metropolitan area.

    You see, we understand that you don’t have the time to keep you ear to the ground on all of this Mobile mayhem, because you are busy with your two hands on the wheel with your companies. What we also know is that you rely on other small businesses to provide you with the knowledge and the tools to make sure that you are keeping you marketing and advertising efforts relevant and effective. In the ever evolving multimedia e-marketplace, you need solutions and you either need them to be service based and low cost, or you need them to be extremely easy to understand and integrate on a do it yourself basis.

    After all, one of the coolest things about being a small business owner is the adventure of wearing a variety of hats and learning the latest and greatest techniques to stay ahead of the competition. Today, Mobile Marketing might be one of the most effective and efficient means to push your business out ahead of the pack. Whether you are a retail shop, professional service, restaurant, hotel, craftsman or independent artist, you can engage your customers like never before.

    The tools, knowledge and abilities to put this into motion for your specific marketplace are right at your fingertips. Although this might seem like a complicated technological maze, you’ll be pleased to find that many other small companies within the Mobile Marketing industry have brought forth some interesting and easy to understand guidelines and tools that you can utilize today in efforts to launching your company into the Mobile arena.

  • October 9, 2017 /  Business Center
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    Starting a small business online

    How to take the first steps to starting a small business online. Today you can easily access anything from online shopping to job information online with just a click of your mouse.

    If you already have an idea of the kind of business you plan to start you can begin by researching on the internet to see if this is something people are really searching to buy. You need to establish there is a demand for your idea. If not, however good you think it is, it is not likely to be successful.

    If you are not sure exactly what your business will be you can browse the internet to find ideas. You can also visit your local bookstore and look for books and magazines on topics of interest to you. Again you should make sure there is a large group of people, or market, for this product or service.

    By browsing the internet and clicking on a few sites of interest to you, it is easy to start an avalanche of information flowing into your email inbox. If you are venturing online for the first time and you have no previous experience it is very easy to feel overwhelmed very quickly. Most people seem to experience what is now referred to as “information overload” at some time.

    One way round this problem is to look for an online marketing offer which will help starting a small business online a little easier. There are many online marketers offering a solution to your problem but how can you choose a good fit for you? Beginners in the online business field are often referred to as “newbies” so this is a good place to start.

    You should look for an offer that concentrates on the basics for any online business rather than the latest trend at this time. If you can find a course that will take you step by step from the creation of your website, setting up your offer and getting visitors to your website this will reduce the time it takes. Why start from scratch when there are plenty of proven systems that work already.
    I highly recommend you stick to one method to start with.

    Enjoy the 5 minute video

  • October 1, 2017 /  Business Center
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    Statistics prove that the demand for unsecured small business loans have been rapidly increasing over the past few years. The idea of an unsecured loan creates new financial horizons for individuals that may not have collateral. This is also of special interest to new business owners that are interested in entering a new business venture. Potential business owners are always interested in a business loan to provide working capital for their new endeavor.

    The paradox when applying for most unsecured small business loan programs is that a new business owner does not yet have any collateral. This can quickly shatter a business dream. The only other consideration such an individual can have is to use his or her personal assets to secure a loan. But new business ventures have a risk associated with them, once that many people are not willing to transfer to their hard earned assets.

    Collateral is often the biggest obstacle to the prospective business owner. Not only does a new business not yet have any commercial collateral to provide; but it is asking a lot for an entrepreneur to put his hard earned personal assets at risk in order to start a new business venture. Yet, without collateral, getting a business financing can sometimes seem impossible.

    Small entrepreneurs, who do not have collateral to offer, find unsecured small business loans as an alternative, which help them expand their business to new horizons. They are only required to make regular repayments to the creditor without any apprehension of their business assets being repossessed by the lender in case of defaults. At the same time, small businessmen who opt for unsecured small business loans should be prepared to pay a little higher interest as compared to other credit options. However, interest rates may vary depending upon the credit history of the businessmen.

    No collateral unsecured small business loan products are now available through select lenders, although they can still be relatively difficult to find among traditional banks and lenders. The revolutionizing force is coming from a plethora of web based lenders that are offering innovative new financial solutions, including no collateral loans. A variety of unsecured loan products for business and personal needs can be found via web based financial companies.

    Applying for unsecured small business loans is easy, all the business owner need to do is just go on line and submit their loan details. Then the lenders will refer back to you with the loan decision in a few days.

  • August 30, 2017 /  Business Center
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    Here are seven ways for owners of small businesses to save money on their taxes.

    1. Incorporate Yourself: If you`re still a proprietor or partner of a business, it`s time to incorporate yourself. Not only will you limit your liability, but you may enjoy lower tax rates on small business income and other tax advantages as well.

    2. Be Home Based: If possible, continue (or switch to) being a home based business. Not only will you keep your overhead down, but you will be able to write-off (or deduct) the business use of your home.

    3. Income Split: Pay reasonable wages to your spouse and children. In this way, you can legally divert income taxed at your higher rate to your family members that are in a lower tax bracket.

    4. Rearrange Your Affairs For Maximum Tax Savings: Can you make some changes to turn your hobby into a moneymaking business? Can you use that extra room in your house as a home office for your business? Can you arrange to use your car more for business purposes? Can you arrange for more of your entertainment expenses to be business related?

    5. Document Your Expenses Well: Do you document your expenses well so that they would survive a tax audit? Have you kept a mileage log so that you can prove the percentage business use you claim for your vehicle? Have you kept receipts for all your entertainment expenses and listed the business purpose on the back of each receipt?

    6. Be Punctual: File all returns and pay all taxes due (income, payroll, sales, et cetera) on time. This way, you avoid expensive late filing (and payment) penalties and interest.

    7. Develop a Tax Planning Mindset: Some people only worry about their taxes during tax season. However, you will save a fortune in taxes, legally, if you make tax planning your year-round concern. Do you make business and personal purchases, investments, and other expenditures with tax savings in mind?

  • August 21, 2017 /  Business Center
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    Small Business Cash Advance is almost similar to a small amount of business loan your business house applies and receives the funding and can utilize the funds for various uses in the business and your business house needs to repay the advance. However, there are substantial differences.

    The Small Business Cash Advance is by nature, unsecured. The approval for business cash advance is not subject to the investigation or scrutiny that is undertaken in the case of a small business loan. You do not need to prove your credentials or demonstrate your plan.

    Additionally, Small Business Cash Advance does not require any kind of share in equity ownership in the business house and the business house is free to utilize the funds in any manner whatsoever, as is required. The lenders of Small Business Cash Advance determine the amount of Small Business Cash Advance based on the amount of cash flow from the monthly credit card charges.

    The approval rates of Small Business Cash Advance almost ten times higher than that of a regular bank loan. This is mainly because of the multiple barriers and the long winding application cycles and processes banks thrust upon the loan applicant.

    If you want to procure a Small Business Cash Advance from any of the institutional lenders, your business house will have to accept the credit cards as a standard mode of payment.

    The applicant of the Small Business Cash Advance will have to process a minimum amount as credit card sales every month, and additionally, the business must have been operational for a period of at least a year. There are usually no fixed payments decided; you do not need to bear any upfront costs and no need to bear any closing cost.

    The biggest advantage is that the funding is made steady and is always consistently available to the applicant business house so that at no point in time, lack of cash becomes a hindrance in the development of the business and puts the business house in difficulties.

    Small Business cash advances can be repaid by credit card sales and the repayments are usually processed through the merchant account of the business house. All other kinds of payments received in the form of check, cash or any other means are not accepted for repayment. There are usually no fixed payments decided; you do not need to bear any upfront costs and no need to bear any closing cost.

    The biggest advantage with the small business cash advances is that they are hassle free and the business houses can procure such loans or advances very easily and with minimal documentation. The only downside is that these advances are unsecured and unsecured business cash advance can tend to become a liability.

  • August 17, 2017 /  Business Center
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    Computer support Virginia services can allow you to fix any kind of hardware or software related problems of your PC. For small businesses, such services are quiet beneficial a sit can allow them to gain cost effective services.

    Easy and fast way of carrying business is by means of using computer as it can assist in smooth running of business. For people running small scale business computer support Virginia services are essential as it can assist in resolving technical problems associated with your computer. In order to solve technical problems you need to have good set of skills and for people running small business it is not possible to carry out all activities single handedly. If you want to prevent your PC from sudden breakdown then it is essential to opt for reliable computer support services. Sudden break down might create problem for you as you might loose all your previous data.

    Proper diagnosis of problem is essential to come up with suitable solution related to computer repair. Hiring professional services can make it possible for you to analyze problem and accordingly work over it without spending extra bucks on problem which actually do not exist. Small problems related to installation of anti virus software or corrupt software can be solved by you but when it comes to major problem, you would need computer support Virginia services. Opt for the services which say no to guesswork. Guesswork in technical errors might sometime not work in your favor and can further create more problems related to your PC.

    While hiring such services for your small business see to it that professional IT expert is available to identify the problem and provide with solution accordingly. Don’t let the employee of your business assume the problem and apply their own mind to solve it. This might sometime work in your favor but can sometime invite more problems. Also it will waste lot of working time and so hiring professional services can help you to save considerable amount of time. Apart from time factor you also have to look after cost factor. Try to resolve problem as soon as possible before it gets too big and invite spending more amount of money.

    Computer support Virginia for small business can be very fruitful in terms of services as well as cost. Look for the service provider who is located near to your business location so that you can save time involved in traveling. Look for the IT professional who can find it easy to resolves different problems related to hardware as well as software. Troubleshooting procedure should be aptly carried out so that further you can find your computer easy to maintain.

    NTConnections provides fast data networking services, best it consultants online & exceptional business technology solutions. Opt for more comprehensive technology & Computer Support Virginia.

  • August 5, 2017 /  Business Center
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    For the business user, the main advantages to working in a company that has an exchange server are:

    1. File sharing
    2. Access to email from any configured computer
    3. Contacts access
    4. calendar syncrhonized and shared between all employees

    Essentially it means the office worker can use any configured computer to access his or her files, emails and calendar. The company will often configure a laptop and provide remote access so the member of staff can also work from home or while travelling and still have complete access.

    The problem with this kind of product when it comes to a small or mid sized company, is that it requires someone to manage it and there is a huge cost, in terms of both initial cost and ongoing expenses.

    So if you manage a small business and you want your employees to have a high level of flexibility i.e. to be able to telework or while travelling, or even to hotdesk at the office, you will need an exchange substitute.

    There are two alternatives which will offer you many of the features of Exchange without the expenditure.

    The first is a hosted exchange server. The second is the Easy-Email synchronization solution plus file synchronization software.

    A Hosted Exchange server is a great solution. You get almost all the advantages but you are spared the resource cost and management time. You simply pay according to the number of users. This allows for quick expansion so as the business grows you just increase a user.

    Easy-Email is a fabulous alternative for small firms.
    Its an email sync answer set out in the form of a series of guides that you, or an IT professional you hire, can follow. It will sync a users mail and contacts on their desktop, laptop, home computer, pda or netbook. In addition it will allow them to manage their email from any other computer via Gmail.

    The Easy-Email solution is incredibly good value compared to any other alternative solutions It’s just $67 US for the Advanced Guide to Outlook and you can get all of your staff set up for this fee!
    The disadvantage in comparison with exchange is that there is at present no shared calendar so you will need to use a google calendar or similar.

    And in terms of shared files and folders its really simple. Set up Dropbox. Dropbox provides you with a system of shared folders that are all automatically sync’d via the internet but they are also stored on the computer so you dont have to be online to access the files. You can select which people have access to which folders and the first 2GB of storage space is free (and it’s very reasonable after that).

  • August 4, 2017 /  Business Center
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    Wondering if your business is too small for a group retirement plan?

    One of the keys to attracting and retaining top employees is to offer a high-quality retirement plan. A group savings plan conveniently helps employees save money for the future while reducing and deferring taxes today. Plus, the investment you make in a group retirement plan is an investment you make in your organization, your employees and your reputation. Everyone’s a winner.

    Three options stand-out depending on what you want to accomplish with your plan and how much flexibility you need. These are: 401(k) plans, SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs.

    The 401(k) Offers the Most Flexibility and High Contribution Limits The traditional 401(k) is probably the most widely known retirement product on the market. It’s the fully loaded, high performance SUV of retirement plans. It’s generally defined as one that enables a business owner and employees to make consistent, tax-deferred contributions during the length of their careers.

    SEP IRAs are Pretty Easy to Start and 100% Funded by the Employer Simplified Employee Pensions, more commonly referred to as SEPs, are also a popular retirement plan choice as they offer a contribution limit that’s similar to a 401(k). It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a 401(k) plan, but it’s got a good engine under the hood. One of the most important things to understand about SEPs is that 100 percent of the contributions made are by the employer (no employee contributions allowed) and these dollars are immediately vested for the employee.

    The SIMPLE IRA is a Solid, Affordable Third Option

    The SIMPLE IRA’s name is a bit misleading (it actually stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees). While both employer and employee can contribute to the plan, the employer must match and matching is vested immediately.

    If you do decide that you want to offer a retirement plan, you are definitely going to need some professional advice and guidance. Pension rules are complex, and the tax aspects of retirement plans can also be confusing.

    As a financial planning and wealth management professional firm, Mintco Financial has been helping its clients effectively plan for comfortable retirements.

    Michael Minter, as a managing partner of Mintco Financial, is a trusted investment management professional who carries more than 16 years of experience in this challenging career field.

    Throughout his professional history, Michael Minter has gained strong insight into what skills and knowledge is necessary to perform investment management, wealth building services, small business development and retirement plans.

    Michael MInter is also author of the book I-Plan, a guide for your financial security.

    Call Michael Minter at 813-964-7100 at Mintco Financial.

    Retirement Planning for Small Business