Browsing: Small Business

6 Key Advantages of Cloud Accounting

Every day we turn on the TV or read an article and hear about the benefits of working in the cloud. How the IT industry is using it to make a bigger mark in the world. How the medical industry is using it to become more innovative. But what about YOUR industry?

Yes there are tons of other industries that can benefit from working in the cloud. And there are a plethora of advantages why someone in those industries should use the cloud more. Even for accounting. Yep accounting.

Accounting is one of those conservative industries. Not too much risk-taking going on. Well, if you have not figured it out by now, I am not your traditional accountant. I like to call myself and the Tech Savvy Accountant ™. I like numbers but I also like technology but I could never find the time to play with the latest and greatest gadgets. That is until I discovered cloud accounting.

Cloud accounting is the process of managing your business finances over the internet. You can say “in the cloud” or you can also call it “virtual accounting”. It essentially means the same. And today I am going to share 6 key advantages of using cloud accounting.

1. Saves you time

Cloud accounting saves you a ton of time with your day to day processing. By connecting your accounting system to your bank account, your transactions are automatically downloaded for you. This saves you hours from inputting each … and every … transaction. (say it slow)

2. Reduces your costs (code for saves you money)

There is no initial or upfront fees, no installation costs and now expensive software to purchase. Simply sign up and subscribe to the low monthly fee. And in most cases you get to try before you buy. If you do not like it, simply cancel the program. You do not have to worry about trying to package it back in the box like you never opened it. (Do not act like you have not tried that before).

3. Accessible anywhere and anytime

Are you always on the go traveling for work or for play? Well now you can check in and see how business is going while your away without picking up the phone. Simply connect to the internet and login. Easy as pie!

4. Real time financial data

Take that access anywhere feature a bit further. With cloud accounting, you have access to real-time data. You can know what money is being spent at any given moment. Need up to date financials for a meeting? Just a few clicks and you will have those reports right at your fingertips.

5. Go Green

You are doing something good for the planet. Once you start using cloud accounting, you also start using other cloud services, such as cloud storage. The end result equal less tress killed for you to print out all those reams of reports every month.

6. Up to date technology & systems (code for no maintenance)

Technology changes every minute. Have you heard the saying that as soon as you take a car off the lot it depreciates? Well I think the same thing is true for technology and software. As soon as you leave the store there is an update. When using cloud accounting, you have access to these updates 24/7 and they occur without you doing anything. And they are at no additional cost to you. Those IT worker bees are constantly at work to make your life a better place. (smile)

What advantages have you benefited from since using cloud accounting?

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Fraud Alert – Carsales

OK, this one does the rounds quite regularly, but it is worth bringing up again because it is a Fraud Alert on carsales.

Just 2 days ago I put my trusty old ute onto carsales and gumtree.

But within 24 hours I had a very promising lead from someone who was willing to pay my full asking price … no questions!

Well !! I had a few questions – LOL …

Here is the text of the email that I received … so that you can recognize it if you get something similar.

It is quite hard to read … but that's how it came!

Thanks for mailing back, am OK with the price and the condition, i work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are currently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kupe project.We do not have access to phone at the moment that's why I contacted you with internet messaging facility.Regarding the payment, i will be paying you through PayPal because i do not have access to my bank account online as i do not have my credit bank account link up with my PayPal account so I will be paying you through PayPal to your nominated bank account or better still is if you have a PayPal account, please get back to me with your BSB and account details or PayPal account so i can proceed with the payment. I have also contacted my courier who will come for pick up and deliver it to my place in Darwin after the whole fund has been cleared into your acct. Await your reply

Note the following about this email:

  • No formatting – designed to be confusing and hard to read
  • Poor English and very bad grammar, (not that this alone means it is spam or a fraud)
  • No name given

None of that alone is exclusive, except that I have seen this fraud before.

Here is how it would read with some paragraphs added …

Thanks for mailing back, am OK with the price and the condition, I work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are currently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kupe project.

We do not have access to phone at the moment that's why I contacted you with internet messaging facility.

Regarding the payment, i will be paying you through PayPal because i do not have access to my bank account online as I do not with my credit but i have my ANZ bank account link up with my PayPal account so I will be paying you through PayPal to your nominated bank account or better still is if you have a PayPal account, please get back to me with your BSB and account details or PayPal account so i can proceed with the payment.

I have also contacted my courier who will come for pick up and deliver it to my place in Darwin after the whole fund has been cleared into your acct.

Await your reply

This is the part to look out for

so I will be paying you through PayPal to your nominated bank account

How this scam works

You get paid into your bank account via the buyers PayPal account.

The buyer then sends his 'courier' mate around to pick up the car and the papers.

Once you hand over the vehicle, you are literally STUFFED.

Next thing you know, the buyer lodges a claim with PayPal to say they never received the goods.

PayPal refunds the money to them, and then extracts it back out of your bank account.

(Yes, apparently they can do that !!)

You are left with the onus of proving that you have in fact handed over the vehicle which is almost impossible to do.


A 'courier' picked up the vehicle so you do not have a signed transfer paper, nor have you sighted the buyers drivers license.

You have no id for the buyer to report to the Police.

Worst of all … you have no car and you have no money!

You do not have the money, and try getting your car back!

Just You Tube search on “carsales fraud using PayPal” and you get any number of listings …

What should you do now?

  1. If you are going to sell your car, take care about the offers you accept.
  2. Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Hotpink Websites now.

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Consumers May Have To Wait A Little Longer For The EMV Secure Credit Card Technology

The October 15th deadline to replace all credit and debit cards with the secure EMV chips may be pashed back. The recent hacking of major retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus prompted the US to mandate the technology already popular in Europe. EMV is essentially a microchip embedded into the card that generates a unique code for every transaction making it more difficult for thieves to use fake cards with stolen data. An independent consultant firm estimates that roughly half of the cards in the United States will not have the new technology by the October 15th deadline. What does that mean for the card issuers and retailers? It means that they will most likely be responsible for any fraudulent transactions that could have been prevented with the EMV chip technology. The merchant services industry as a whole is already very complicated so adding another variable into it will give many small business owners headaches and more gray hair. Globally debt and credit card theft is an 11 billion dollar problem every year and growing.

While a major hassle for retailers, absolutely they will all have to adjust and make the necessary changes and adapt to the EMV technology. For business owners thaqt are not currently accepting debit and credit cards, now would probably be the time to make the transition. Not having the capability could shut down many small businesses since they'll be held accountable for any fraudulent transactions. Consumer groups say that fraud is still much more of an inconvenience than adapting to the new technology.

A survey done by an independent firm shows that more than 80% of small business owners are in favor of the new technology. One business owner was quoted as saying “A couple of fraudulent charges or bad transactions could almost put us out of business especially if they're large transactions.” He went on to add “Our family has built and owned this business for over fifty years now.

While a lot of businesses will not make it by the October 15th 2015 deadline, you can most likely bet that in the end all businesses whether small, mid-sized or big businesses will make the change. The EMV technology is the standard already in Europe and you can bet that soon it will be the same here in the States.

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Essential Online Tools for Small Businesses

There are a wide variety of useful tools available to small businesses that are helpful in starting and maintaining your business model. We've put together a list of the ones we can not seem to live without – most of which are … get this … FREE!

Bitly – This is a great resource if your business requires you to post links to an audience. Most of the time, the link is dreadful looking and long. Think of Bitly as your cleaning lady. It tidies up the link and keeps it clean. The system is very user-friendly and it's FREE.

Google Alerts – Google Alerts can be forgotten, but it is powerful. It's nice for businesses that deal with clients because it allows you to set up alerts that come into your inbox when something you want to know about is in the news. For example: If you have a client who is a weight loss coach, you could set up a Google Alert with the phrase “weight loss techniques or healthy weight loss tools” and when something is published on the Internet for that topic, you are alerted . You can then forward the hot new information to your client. It's an easy way to show you are on top of your game and care about their business model. The alerts can be set up to come daily, weekly or monthly. This is also completely FREE.

Dropbox – This is a service that lets you bring photos, documents, and videos anywhere, and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again! Dropbox can be useful if you and your team are in different areas of the country. It is FREE up to a certain amount of storage.

Constant Contact – For just $ 15 a month, you can easily design a great email marketing campaign. The system also offers a number of other services to help you grow your business. They also have great coaches to guide you along the way if you get stuck. Outside of the software, Constant Contact has local FREE seminars you can attend, varying in topics to walk you through how to use their services and provide tips and tricks to growing a business. It is a great full-service option to growing your business at minimal cost.

Google Analytics – Knowing how consumers are finding your business online is imperative to your business's success. Google Analytics is an easy method to tracking your website traffic, and getting information on how many visits your site has, how people are finding your website, etc. Google Analytics is easy to install and it is completely FREE.

SurveyMonkey – With SurveyMonkey, you can create and publish online surveys in minutes, and view results graphically and in real time. It provides free online questions and surveys. SurveyMonkey is user-friendly and truly is a great way for you to track results. It is FREE for the basic account.

There are a number of tools out there, but these are the ones that are essential in helping our business thrive each and every day. Each item on this list is capable of helping grow and maintain a clean business model, which is imperative to business success. Implementing these great, easy-to-use business tools can help your business flourish into the great company it's meant to be.

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Importance Of Commercial Cleaning Services For Offices

It's a hyper-competitive times in today's world. Meeting deadlines, conducting meetings, workload, stress and so on. Having a clean office space is all the more crucial for your business' success. Offices are witness to hectic activities – paperwork, foot traffic, unintentional spillages and so on. No wonder, cleaning and maintaining offices or any commercial establishments is no child's play.

An unclean workplace can result in decreased productivity, employee disengagement and loss of customers. After all, customers or clients or even visitors would not look forward to engage with a business which can not keep its promises clean.

Your office premises and environment is the first thing that is noticed by your potential customers, clients and potential employees. Cleanness of your workspace creates a first impression on your potential client. It can make or break a contract and attract or turn off potential clients. All this makes it all the more necessary to get commercial cleaning services done for your office. Let's have a look at look some of the benefits of a clean office space:

Attract clients

Would you like to deal with a company that has a shabby, unorganized workplace?

Can you imagine working with a company that has cluttered desks loaded piles of unattended files, dingy washrooms, and dirty floors?

Well, if you can not fancy yourself working in such an environment, you can not expect your customers to put their best foot forward in such an unkempt atmosphere. An organized, clean office space is welcoming and inviting. When the clients see how you keep your promises spic and span, it builds trust in your potential clients and encourages them to initiate further professional association with you.

Promote your brand

Having a clean, shiny office space adds to your brand value and promotions recognition of your business' name and services.

Enhance productivity of your staff

It goes without saying that a neat, orderly workplace gains productivity of employees to a great extent. It not only brightens up the mood of those working there but also encourages everyone to perform better with a calm, relaxed mind in a clean setting. After all, no one wants to work in a cramped, unhygienic, grimy workplaces which unnecessarily build up frustration and annoyance and hamper efficiency and performance of employees. Moreover for potential candidates coming to your company for an interview, an unclean space would clearly be a big turn-off.

Hire professionals for immaculate cleaning services

Offices or any commercial establishments require dusting, sweeping, mopping, disposal of waste, sanitation services on a daily basis. Though such cleaning activities are indispensable, they are time consuming. Hiring a professional and reliable commercial cleaning services provider in your locality to undertake cleaning activities is the best thing for business.

Commercial cleaning services not only mean mopping and sweeping but also include cleaning and scrubbing of restrooms, locker rooms, kitchen, spot clean walls and wallpaper, scrubbing and re-coating of floors, carpet cleaning and maintenance services, upholstery cleaning, cleaning of windows, tiles and grout cleaning services and other such professional cleaning services.

Professional cleaning services not only keep the office premises clean and hygienic; they help create a work-friendly atmosphere and ambiance and raise productivity levels. A clean and sparkling office draws clients, builds your corporate identity, establishes your reputation and brings you more business.

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Why You Should Look for IT Support

Looking for IT support services when starting a business can be very helpful for you over the course of time, particularly as your business starts expanding. Whether it is for help in managing the network and connectivity issues or more efficiently managing the data involved, business IT support is very important for efficient management and control. However, most small scale companies and industries will not be able to afford the costs involved in maintaining a good IT support for their businesses. In such situations, the best option is to outsource the work to other companies that specialize in IT support. Apart from being a cost effective solution, you will be able to manage your business efficiently and handle any problems quickly. However, it is imperative to make a well informed decision while choosing an IT support company in order to get the best value for your money and time.

Outsourcing your work to the right IT company can help you avoid a lot of stress and effort involved in handling server problems and other related issues. These companies typically specialize in dealing with IT problems and will completely take over all the issues of your company. The right IT solutions can also help reduce your operational costs and help you make the most out of your available time and resources. As you no longer need to implement extra security measures or hire administrators to manage the servers and the systems, you will also be able to save a lot of time and money when outsourcing your work to an IT company.

The benefits of implementing a good IT support
For every company, a prerequisite for a long and successful venture is the establishment of a good IT support. This can help you manage your company more efficiently and also deal smartly with any problems or system failures. Without IT support 247, any problems with their servers or the company can take a longer time to detect and resolve. This can lead to a greater downtime thus reducing the productivity of the company. The other benefits that you can avail when implementing good it support are:

Better management and control – After delegating the job of security and management to the outsourced IT support company, you will be able to devote your time to effectively manage and tackle the other issues relating the company. This can be a change in organization, product development, etc.

Better use of resources – Rather than focusing your resources on handling security issues or other common problems, by outsourcing your work to an IT services company, you will be able to use your resources for accomplishing the goals and objectives of the company.

Expertise – Without good IT support, any problem with the server can take a longer time to get rectified. As IT support companies are experienced and deal with such issues on a daily basis, they will be able to apply their knowledge in order to develop the best solution quickly.

Therefore, by spending a little time to upgrade the existing IT support systems in your company or outsourcing the work, you will be able to have a peace of mind and work towards achieving better productivity from the company. For further information contact your local tech support guy or local IT services company.

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How to Earn Residual Income By Starting A Home Based Business

Everyone requires an additional income in today's economy. Creating a residual income through home based business is a great way to earn extra money. Another great thing is that you can earn this additional income from the comfort of your own home.

Nowadays many people are starting a home based business or working from home for many good reasons. There are several ways to create residual income from home based businesses. But it is significant to know how to find the right one that suits your needs. One of the best ideas for making a residual income is to discover something that you find interesting to do. Start working with your desired home-based job and you can develop it into a residual or passive income stream. When you are truly passionate about something, and envision your life 5 years into the future because you are doing it, you will always find remarkable success.

Making residual income from multi-level marketing (MLM) is one of the more popular opportunities for earning income from home today. A large number of people have found MLM or network marketing as a way to generate an additional source of income for them. In this type of home based business, you have a service or product that allows you to attract customers and like-minded business owners what you want to work with. Working together and building together leads to great success. As it is a multiple level marketing system, the business is completely dependent on the performance of the entire team you are working with. As long as your team is growing and getting customers for themselves, you are also assured that you are getting the residual income from your business.

Another great way to make an additional income is to join in affiliate marketing programs. You can promote services or products by other companies and you will get the commission when a transaction happens. You can also develop a marketing system and allow other companies to use your system for a fee. The more companies join your marketing system, the more will be your residual income.

If you are interested in article writing and SEO projects, you can work from home as freelance writer. You can write articles and post them on different websites and the sites will pay a share of ad revenue to your account. Once the articles are published you can continuously earn income from different ads on the site and you can gain an ongoing residual income. Similarly, you can create a blog or website and allow others to run advertisements on your site for a fixed fee. You can also choose social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook and provide links to promote various sites from your profile. When people will visit your profile and click on your provided links, you will receive your commission. You can also make ebook, videos and audios and create residual income by publishing it online.

By doing some online research you can find a right home based business that you can work with. The Internet has resources where you can meet a wide variety of people who are interested in home based business and residual income opportunities. No matter which type of business you choose, it will require dedication, focus, and consistency to begin with and by working hard it will help you move forward successfully.

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Colocation Services For Business

Colocation services or centers are a type of rental service system that focuses on providing many services to the customer such as space, bandwidth, and equipment etc. at an affordable price. Due to their cheap prices and flexible options, they are a preferred option for most small and mid-sized businesses looking to establish themselves in the market. By providing contract term services to such businesses, managed colocation is quite a cost effective and beneficial solution.

Business owners can make use of these services in order to make the maximum use of the resources that they have available in order to accomplish their objectives rather than concentrate on the overhead involved. However, due to the many available options and choices, it is important to compare all the offers available in order to make a well informed decision while choosing colocation services. Business owners can make use of such centers in order to get all the services that they need such as power, security, and cooling etc. at easily affordable prices without having to compromise on the quality.

Different services provided by colocation centers

Services offered by colocation centers are usually on a contract or rental basis with small or mid-size businesses. They mainly include services such as:

  • Power- Whether it is AC or DC, these centers offer a variety of power supply to the businesses based on their needs and requirements.
  • Security- These involve features such as CCTV monitoring, employee tracking, and biometric scanning etc. that can improve the physical security of the business. By using features such as badge access and logging, intrusion and unauthorized entry can be checked.
  • Cooling- This is particularly important for businesses that deal with mass computing or internet related services. Adequate measures for cooling the servers are introduced in order to avoid any failures or system breakdowns.
  • Network connectivity – Based on the needs and requirements of the user providing the adequate connectivity features for the user.

Apart from this, they must also provide real time monitoring of all these systems and make sure that they are all working without any hiccups. Backup or redundant systems can be provided which can be used temporarily in the case where the primary system fails. Although this can be a cost effective solution in the long run to help your business grow, performing adequate research on colocation pricing can help you avoid paying for unnecessary features and then make a well informed decision.

As there can be many such colocation centers available in the market, it is often confusing for the customers to choose the best solution that meets their requirements. In such cases, you can go through the reviews and the user opinions of several colocation services in order to better understand the customer support that they provide and the level of satisfaction that they have managed to achieve with their previous customers. This can help you avoid losing any inefficient or faulty service and get the best value from your investment. Therefore, taking some time out to compare different deals can help you narrow down the most beneficial and cost effective solution. You can select a colocation facility in any location. For further information contact your local IT support guy or local IT services company.

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Advantages of Local IT Support

A majority of large-scale companies these days have become mainland to outsourcing their IT support to countries like India and China. Why is that so? Well, for the simple reason that they are horrific in terms of economic concerns. However, with the passage of time, all of these businesses have come about to totally ignore the advantages that taking on local IT support can offer.

The fact of the matter is that outsourcing IT solutions to offshore service providers come with its set of drawbacks. For one, each time that technology experiences a failure, it is necessary for communications to be connected in a timely fashion, and in this case, across hundreds upon thousands of miles. Although companies of all sizes these days have just the sort of internet infrastructure required for these purposes, you simply can not deny the advantages that you get to gain by working with someone that you can actually talk to in person.

What Local IT Support Services Have To Offer

A contract that has been put in place between a business and a local IT support company initially works out the basics of elements including PC upgrades, network safety, system defects and computer monitoring etc. Local support is particularly beneficial in the sense that it has the potential to recover systems from any impending problems. To be honest, local IT support guarantees that the business is going to be able to reach out to them as and when required without having to worry about time differences, and other elements that might impact communication. A local company is always there to resolve issues right away, and they can visit the awards personally to inspect what all has gone wrong, and how it needs to be resolved. On the other hand, service providers based abroad will need to be described fairly all that has gone wrong, after which they will be able to come up with a solution.

The best part about taking on local business IT support services is that they are rather reasonably charged. No matter what sort of support services you require, be it computer or internet installation, or troubleshooting network issues, the technical support services that they offer are actually going to help you save up on a whole lot of money in the long run. Most interestingly, local IT support services even offer warranties, so this is additionally going to help reduce costs on IT support – something that foreign based managed service providers simply can not offer.

The major reason why businesses these days should consider taking on local IT support services is because in case of failures, they can be immediately contacted for resolution purposes. This particularly holds importance in the fast-paced world that we live in today where delays equal business loss. If a hardware failure or any other issue comes up, local IT solution providers can be contacted in a jiffy, and they will be there to resolve the issue instantly – this simply is not the case with offshore providers. For more information contact your local tech support guy or local IT services company .

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Cyber Becomes Essential – Cyber Essentials

Cyber ​​Security a Real Concern

Cyber ​​security is big news gloabally. News feeds regularly feature companies that have had an event of some kind. It may be lost data, lost credit cards or an outage of their service. It is now hitting the board room as a relevant issue of modern business.
Cyber ​​in the UK

In the UK this is just as revelant and now the issue is being taken up by the UK Government. The UK Government is launching a new scheme. The aim is to try and simplify the topic and make it easier for business to implement good security controls.

Introducing the Cyber ​​Essentials Scheme

The Cyber ​​Essentials Scheme consists of five key areas. It is intended to “provide a clear statement of the basic controls all organizations should implement to mitigate the risk from common internet based threats.”

The Five Areas Covered

  • Boundary firewalls and internet gateways

These are devices designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from private networks, but good setup of these devices either in hardware or software form is important for them to be fully effective.

  • Secure configuration

Ensuring that systems are configured in the most secure way for the needs of the organization.

  • Access control

Ensuring only those who should have access to systems to have access and at the appropriate level.

  • Malware protection

Ensuring that virus and malware protection is installed and is it up to date.

  • Patch management

Ensuring the latest supported version of applications is used and all the necessary patches supplied by the vendor were applied.

Assurance Framework

The Government is looking to organizations to demonstrate that they have the basic, good practice principals in place and will expect them to demonstrate this through an accredited process.

Where does ISO27001 (Information Security Standard) Fit In?

The official site states “The first stage in the certification process is to decide which level to certify against – Cyber ​​Essentials or Cyber ​​Essentials Plus. an aim to further entrench the scheme into an organization's over-arching approach to information risk management, such as ISO 27001 and in accordance with the 10 Steps to Cyber ​​Security ”

If you are already ISO27001 certified or working towards this standard then you are already doing much of what is needed in the 'Cyber ​​Essentials Scheme'. But for those businesses who are struggling with the topic or need a baseline to start from, the scheme offers a simple first step.

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Residual Income is A Must! Part-time or Full-time Discover How To Build Residual Income Today

Stating that residual income is a must is a strong statement. However, it's true, if you have any desire for financial freedom. Residual Income earns you money even if you are not working. In fact, you can build your residual income stream to be paying you 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

Many people are not sure what the difference is between residual income and other income. Over 90% of the people work for what is known as linear income. Linear income is swapping time for dollars. If you work eight hours a day for five days a week, the company will pay you for those forty hours of work. Miss a day or week, and you lost the ability to earn income.

Residual income is different; you do the work once and get paid month after month and year after year, and this becomes a very powerful way to earn income. As you continue to build your residual income stream, you will find the income paying for your car, then your house, finally you will have more income than bills at the end of the month. You will notice an increasing amount of discretionary cash in your bank account allowing you to become debt free.

Residual Income can come from many sources; some of them are:

  • Royalties from books, films and songwriting, etc.
  • Advertisements, subscriptions and affiliate links from your website
  • Investing in stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • Real Estate holdings
  • Selling the business you owned
  • Interest from Your Savings Account

Residual income from these sources are very good vehicles, but they take a special talent or large sum of money up front to build the financial freedom people are looking to achieve. Residual income is the preferred income for the rich and famous.

One of the most accessible ways to build Residual Income is starting a Home Based Business. Below is a chart that shows the power of a Home Based Business that rewards you with Residual income.

Residual Income

  Desired Monthly Income Required Bank Account Value 

$ 20,000 $ 8,000,000

$ 10,000 $ 4,000,000

$ 5,000 $ 2,000,000

$ 2,500 $ 1,000,000

$ 1,250 $ 500,000

$ 675 $ 250,000

$ 388 $ 125,000

$ 194 $ 62,000

This chart is based on 3% annual interest rate (approximately.)

Shortly, after starting your Home Based Business you should be able to not only recoup your return on investment, but also be making over $ 200.00 per month (That is equivalent to having over $ 62,250 in a savings account!). With the right guidance, think of the possibilities! A Home Based Business; not only gets you the power of residual income, you will get major tax benefits that will dramatically help build your generational wealth. Yes, Residual Income is very powerful and has built Generational Wealth for many people that have bought it out.

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Want More Clients? Be Special!

The biggest wish of most VAs I come into contact with is to have more clients … better clients … great clients.

But many times they are not doing anything to find those clients.

Look at your client list. Do you love everyone you work with?

Are there people you 'watch' online that you wish you could work with?

I know there are people that I would love to work with … so how do you stand out?

Be special. Get specialized. Get known for what you do best.

Think about those clients for a moment. They know what they need help or support with. In many cases, they are looking for that help when they are networking, whether it's online or in person.

If people do not know what you specialize in, how is your name provided to get bought up to those who need you most?

It's so important to stand out in the sea of ​​online support professionals – even if you specialize in general support.

So how do you do that? Well, there are a few ways.

1. Focus your marketing message. Be really clear on what it is you put out there. Talking about everything you know how to do is confusing and will water down your overall message. Be specific when you talk about your area of ​​expertise and it will be much clearer to the people who are listening.

2. Speak with the right people. Getting in touch with the right people is such a huge part of your hurdle in finding great clients. Research where they hang out in large groups, and go there. Connect with them. Get to know them. Make sure you are listening and asking questions to learn more about what they need. Always.

3. Find others who can help. Strategic partners can be the best way to really build your business. A strategic partner is someone who serves the same market as you, but does not provide the same service as you. Looking for someone who can help you (and who you can help in return) is not only a good business practice, it's really fun too! References will always be the best way to build your business.

4. Get really good at your specialty. Need extra training? Get it. Need better procedures? Set them up. Master a step by step process to implement your specialty, so you can support the maximum number of clients easily. Make sure when you build your business that you have the right foundation in place!

Being special … and specialized … helps you to clearly convey your services to the people who will be your clients, or who will kindly refer you to people who will be your clients.

So, what's your specialty? and who knows about it?

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Business Card Printing and Design With a Professional Touch

With businesses trending large toward digital marketing and advertising, the single stand-alone seems to be the business card.

A quality business card, not only conveys your contact information, but the overall image of the business. Do not expect the card to tell the consumer everything that your company does. It is important that you do not over-design the card with too much information or distraction. Remember space is limited. Keep it simple. Use your logo as the basis, this should be the largest element on the card.

Most people tend to scan over marketing materials such as cards, brochures, flyers, or other forms of advertisement vs. actually reading them . Meaning, they do not actually read every word, but quickly scan looking for desired information. This is why it's best to provide only concise, pertinent information. If you have several social media accounts, provide the one that you are most active on. Make sure that the information that you are conveying has contrast to the background so that it is readable. The same applies to the font-style, make sure it is readable. Cosmetic appeal and accuracy of information is what you are shooting for. Is the information clear and concise? Is the information accurate and up to date? If you can answer yes to those two questions, you're doing alright.

Your business card is a reflection of your business. It's best not to skimp on design, style, or paper to save a few dollars, if it is not an absolute necessity. Most business cards are printed on a 12pt. card stock, to 16pt. card stock which are pretty durable. Some companies will offer cards on a 80lb to 100lb cover stock. The cover stock is not as thick and sturdy as a card stock. For a more professional image, stick with a premium card stock . There are also coating options which give you an option for a high gloss appearance. Although this looks really nice, it is not recommended for a surface that needs to be writable. An example of needing a writable surface would be on a doctor's business card. Having a “next appointment” on the back of the card that needs to be filled in for the patient would be an example of where gloss will have a negative effect. Some companies will offer more intricate design options, such as Spot UV Business Cards. The spot UV cards are reliably inexpensive, but extremely eye-catching and elegant because only selected areas have a high gloss, while everything else has a matte finish. As you can see there are many things to consider when creating a business card, and the level of professionalism that your company ports. Keeping it simple on a thicker stock will provide you with a nice, professional business card.

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Weighing the Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Business

You may have already heard many times about the joys and fulfillment of being your own boss. Now you have started to contemplate quitting your desk job and starting a small business. Taking the jump is scary because of the fear of the unknown, and you do the right to feel that way. Some entrepreneurs may have a success story of their own, but a large silent portion of those who had their start-ups can not say the same. Before plunging into the swirling depths of the world of business ownership, weigh the pros and cons first.

The Pros of Making It on Your Own

You take control of everything. Whatever dreams you've been longing for while locked up in your office cubicle for nine hours will finally come to fruition. You have the say on what product you want, how to do it, and when to do it. As the cliché goes, “You're your own boss.”

You have the potential to create something larger. Look at Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and all the millionaires that have become household names because of their success. When they started their business, they did not know how big it would get, and you'll never know unless you try.

You achieve a work and life balance. Running your own business lets you work at home and spend time with the family. If you're in the Internet business, you can work at any satellite-covered area of ​​the world. You get to have a LIFE that's not dominated by 40 hours (or more) of being stuck in your office chair, while you're being monitored by your boss.

The Cons of Starting Your Business

You are the be-all and end-all of your business. Being self-employed does not mean that you can go out on the golf course chatting with potential clients all the time. You still have to work for your real boss and that is your clients. If you have to work until late at night, you must because you do not want to lose your source of income. All successes and failures will fall up your shoulders.

You do not have a regular income. Freelancers face this problem where the dollars depend on the completion of the projects, which may go on for weeks or months.

You allocate your personal savings for the capital. Banks and other lenders can finance your business, but you still need to pay them on a monthly basis. Without money coming in, you may have to order the expenses from your own coffers to purchase licenses, equipment, furniture, etc.


They say that you'll never know unless you try, but this does not permit you to just dive into an endavor that has no turning back. Look into the above-mentioned pros and cons and interview small business owners as well to find out the challenges that they endured. You may find that the pros outweigh the cons if you are strictly confident of the product or service you are offering.

A service-based business (eg freelancing) is recommended if you want to start with low overhead costs, so you get to keep more of the revenue coming in. Budgeting will be much easier because you can control the expenses, such as the type of office furniture to buy or using your home phone for business calls. This sounds more reassuring than product-based in which you'll be carrying an inventory of products that you are enjoined to sell to at least break even.

Starting one's own business is not for the faint of hearts, but the glory and pride of managing one can not be matched by any six-figure salary. So ask yourself-are you ready to change your life?

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Outsourcing IT Services: A Prudent Move For Most Small Business Owners

One of the aspects that are paid attention to during any business startup is the cost saving measures implemented. As new companies typically have a limited number of resources, more emphasis is placed on measures that can help reduce the efforts and costs associated with developing and running their business.

An important feature that is necessary for any business is the need for a good IT support team. This is crucial for smooth running of the IT infrastructure operations and can either make or break the business. However, implementing your own IT support team for your business can be quite a challenging and expensive process. The expenses are usually associated with the costs of hiring the relevant personnel and the equipment involved. In such cases, the best cost effective measure for such companies would be to outsource the IT computer services to another firm or company that specializes in this. As the companies that handle outsourced tasks typically have a lot of experience and expertise in dealing with the subject matter, they will be able to provide efficient service at a nominal fee. However, in order to get the most beneficial solutions, it is important to compare the different deals available before zeroing in on one.

The different tasks and responsibilities of the IT support team

Primarily, a good IT support team monitors the IT infrastructure of the business and must ensure smooth performance. When there is a problem with any of the servers, it may usually result in downtime. The IT solutions team must be able to detect the cause of the problem and take the appropriate measures to fix it in an efficient manner. They also take care of the storage and the data management aspect of the businesses critical files. They must be able to store the data in such a way that it is easily accessible and secure at the same time. Backups of data must also be created in order to minimize the loss to the company during any data loss or corruption. Apart from this, the IT services support team also monitors the security and must prevent any unauthorized entry or intrusions in the system servers.

Therefore, it is evident that an IT support team has a lot of responsibilities and tasks delegated to them. Implementing all these features in a company or business can be quite an expensive method. This can be especially difficult for small businesses and companies who are looking to make the best use of the resources available to them. Therefore, outsourcing these tasks to a firm or company can be one of the most cost effective and beneficial solutions that a business can acquire. As they will be able to handle all the problems and the maintenance tasks for the businesses IT infrastructure , the user will be free to devote his time and resources to achieving the objectives of the company. This can also help a great way in reducing the stress and the effort in a newly formed company. Therefore, outsourcing IT services can be a very beneficial and prudent option. Contact your local IT services company or local tech support guy for more information on the benefits of outsourcing IT services for business.

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