29 Apr
2013

How Doing Business Online Changes the Game

Guest post Provided by Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. Charge.com enables small businesses to do ecommerce credit card processing, while providing low costs and flexible options. Visit the Charge.com website for more information.

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Consider the nature of the home business, as ecommerce credit card processing is the simplest way for online merchants to interact with their customers. Our society is becoming increasingly more internet based. If you are a business owner operating from home, you are more likely to find that you will be interacting with customers online as opposed to face-to-face. While a credit card machine works well for brick and mortar enterprises, having a shopping cart for your website online is more compliant with the nature of home business and what customers will want from you.
Customers want two things: accessibility and convenience. That’s what drives the Forrester Research Inc. statistic that nation-wide online sales will increase by 62% in the next five years. With mobile devices, browsing and online shopping is more prevalent than ever. The more instant the gratification is, the more likely your customers will want to shop from your online store. Being able to do credit card online processing with things like a free shopping cart is something that few other merchant services can offer. Consider how credit card processing companies can save you money when you choose them. They should be working for you and not the other way around.

11 Feb
2012

Organizing Your Home Office

This is a guest submission by Linda Chapin.

The main goal for organizing your home office is to keep the work flow smooth and efficient. An organized home office may help in saving hundreds of work hours and keeping the peace of mind. Setting a home office also lets you set your work schedule, the client base and a particular office style & decor. Piles of papers, entangled wires, lost scissors and pens can create a workplace of considerable stress. Even if you can keep track of all those items, still it takes a lot of your brain power, this affecting your productivity. A few simple tips can help creating an office space that is easy to maintain.

The first thing to keep in mind while setting up your home office is to keep distractions out. Alert your family members and friends that this is your office space and only you would be working there. You should not be disturbed for other home tasks during your work time. Also keep the phone out from your reach, so that you don’t have to attend unnecessary call during work hours. Whatever the business maybe, it needs a waste management system. For paper works, a waste basket and a shredder provides more space and safety of important documents. Another easy thing to do is to get an organizer for wires. With all the necessary electrical and electronic equipments in the room, it is easy that it may create a jungle of wires. To get rid of this chaos, use cable Managers, Raceways or some Electrical Ties. Keep the furniture and equipments along the wall so that the middle of the office remains clear. Positioning shelves in the right position can help save a lot of space. One of the most recommended positions is to place the shelves over the desk. This provides more space for other things as well as keeps important things handy.

These were just a few basic things to keep in mind while organizing your home office. This can save a lot of time and thus help increase your creativity and foster production.

3 Feb
2012

Why Writing a Business Plan is Important

Article submitted by Andrew Erickson of  Business Planz
Starting a business is one of the most important investments one can make in their life. This is because should they lose their jobs, it is in business that they can earn a living. A business plan is therefore a formal statement that sets out the goals and objectives of the business. It is therefore very important for any business to flourish. This will help the business remain within the truck and carry out their initial plan. Writing business plan always helps people to think of the objectives of their businesses, this helps in deciding whether it is profitable investments.

In case one needs to take a loan from the bank or other financial institutions to boost their business, it is the business plan that these institutions will require for them to approve the loans. It may also be required when one needs to get apartment to carry out their business. It is during the initial stages of starting a business that one needs to draw business plan, this helps them identify the risks that this opportunity may present and possible solutions to such problems should they arise.

The processing of drafting ones business plan may also help them come up with new business ideas that they never thought of before. Should the business plan to merge with similar businesses for the purpose increasing its profit, its plan may become very important in determining the terms of this merger. This helps reduce the conflicts among business merging together. Retaining ones customers is one of the most important activities of any business, this is because it is the customers who buy goods and services for the continuation of the business. These customers may request to see the business plan so as to be sure that the business is a serious one. These factors may try to answer the question, why write a business plan.

1 Feb
2012

50 Home Business Ideas

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You may want to start business at home, but lack ideas of what to do. In this article we showcase 50 Home business ideas you can explore for ideas.

1. Writing Resuming for clients
2. Designing Power Point Presentation
3. Typing
4. Graphic Design
5. Website Design
6. Logo Design
7. Voice Over
8. Online Reputation Management
9. Social Media Management
10. Data Entry
11. Ghost Writing
12. Motivation Speaking
13. Home Tutor
14. Party Rental
15. Event Planning
16. Personal Trainer
17. Cartoonist
18. Photography
19. Sell stuff on Ebay
20. Cake Decorating
21. Cup Cake Venture
22. Hot Dog Cart Ventures
23. Vending Ventures
24. Mobile Catering Ventures
25. Forex Trading
26. Mystery Shopping
27. Blogging
28. Book Editing
29. Use spare rooms in your house for Bread and Breakfast Business
30. Elder Care Ventures
31. Doggie Day Care
32. Dog Training
33. Dog Walking
34. Dog Training
35. Dog Breeding
36. Dog Grooming
37. Beekeeping. You must have a big compound to do this
38. Candle Making
39. Face Painting Ventures
40. Soap Making
41. Bounty Hunting
42. T-Shirt Printing
43. Life Coach
44. Lawn Care Ventures
45. iPhone Repair
46. Cell Phone Repair
47. iPhone App Development
48. Micro Brewery Business
49. Baby Day Care
50. Scrapbooking Ventures

None the above business ideas do not need huge investments to start. All what you need is your computer and internet connections and a little skill.

There are lot of advantages working from home. Firstly, you are not spending money on transportation any more. The cost of transportation, buying of fuel or bus fare could be saved for another use in the house.

Secondly, you are always with your family. The days of you spending hours away from your family would be gone when you work at home.

Finally, you save more time and eventually increase your productivity. The time to move one place to another will be saved to work more hours. If you spend thirty minutes to your work and 30 minutes back every day, then you can save the one hour to work more at home.

15 Oct
2014

Perfect keyboard covers for SAM4s cash registers

Written by Cash Registers Online

Cash Registers are some of the most used objects in a store, especially if it is shared by several employees. Numerous keystrokes and keyboard manipulation are made throughout the day with each sales transaction. The amount of keystrokes could be a cause of wear of the keyboard of your cash register. Depending on your activity and especially if you operate in the food industry, your keyboard might catch dirt and grease from exposure to the atmosphere.

A solution around this is to get some Cash Register Keyboard Covers. You can easily find keyboard covers from shops specialized in the selling of cash register parts. Keyboard covers for cash registers usually come in good quality silicone or are made of rubber. The advantages of such covers are that they provide a good protection against moisture and dirt. These covers are fully washable and can thus inhibit the proliferation of germs and viruses. They are usually made to exactly fit the keys of specific brands of cash registers.

Accessorizing your cash register with a keyboard cover can prolong the life of your machine and keep the markings on the keys intact as the keys are not in direct contact with the fingers of the user.

Cash Registers Online is a reputable online store specializing in the selling of cash registers of different brands such as SAM4s cash registers since 1999. This company also sells accessories and parts for your cash registers.

15 Oct
2014

US Vendors and Their Shipping Limitations

Submitted by USA2Me.com

Like just about everyone in the world, you’ve probably used US vendors at more than one point in your life. It makes a lot of place given the marketplace and extent of globalization. At this point, too, they function so smoothly that it’s hard to believe any better option out there.

Of course, they do have their limitations. You need them to send you the goods you paid for and this is where things can get dicey. Vendors are streamlined when it comes to your average request. But what if you need help forwarding US mail? They aren’t going to be of any use there. While they can send your package to the address you provide, that’s the extent of their mail order fulfillment.

So what would happen if you ordered something important from a US vendor and then needed to leave the country or simply a new location with a different address? You’d need to rely on a mail forwarding company that would then take responsibility for getting your important mail and forwarding it on.

If you travel a lot and sometimes at unexpected intervals, these types of services cannot be underestimated. When you need packages from US vendors, they’re the only way to go.

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USA2ME is a parcel forwarding company that can help you receive your mail, without changing your address (they can also use a virtual address ) no matter where your travels take you. They’re the perfect for service for those with recreational vehicles, jobs that take them abroad or those on an extended trip.

6 Oct
2014

Considerations When Selecting a Cash Register Dealer

Article written by Cash Registers Online

 

The days of a cash register simply being a way to accept payments for transactions are over. Today’s cash registers are sophisticated pieces of technology that can help you to connect with your customers, collect vital pieces of information on them and reach out to them with special deals and advertising. Companies such asCash Registers Online offer affordable machines that also have the latest high-end features necessary to improve the efficiency of your point-of-sale system.

 

While you have plenty of options for where to buy a new register system, it’s important to go beyond selecting the cheapest option when it comes to selecting a cash register store. You need to choose a cash register dealer that can provide you with the right solution for your business needs while also keeping your budget in mind. Here are a few factors to consider when researching potential cash register stores:

 

Does the company specialize in cash registers? Many companies that sell cash registers also handle other products such as software – particularly if they specialize in installations on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Understanding how to make a software application isn’t the same as understanding the unique needs of retail customers. This is especially true when considering the issues dealt with by companies in specialized vertical markets.

 

Are you buying directly from the manufacturer or from a retailer? There are pluses and minuses to buying directly from the manufacturer. Buying directly allows you to have a one-on-one connection with the company that makes your product. However, this also means that they are only interested in selling you their product – even if it’s the wrong product for your needs.

 

Working with an independent retailer typically means that they sell products from many different companies. This means that they can focus on delivering you the right product instead of pushing a particular brand on your company. This attention to your specific needs often means that you end up with a solution that is a better fit for your situation.

 

Is technical support available? Just because you are working with an independent cash register retailer doesn’t mean that you can’t have access to technical support for your products. Many cash register stores provide their own customer support for products bought from their site. Some companies will even have dedicated customer service teams who specialize in products from the leading brands.

 

What if you need to expand your operations? Your goal is likely to grow your retail business over time; you need to work with a cash register retailer that can help you to expand your operations and your point-of-sale process. This includes giving you the ability to expand to new markets.

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Source: Cash Registers Online has an affordable selection of cash register supplies from leading manufacturers. They also handle programming of cash registers prior to shipping.

22 Sep
2014

How To Buy and Hang a Door

When you order a door, some doors won’t let you fit something into the hinges and call it a day. You’ll need to remove the housing for the old door, measure the space, then slide your new door into place with shims to help bridge the gaps in the frame. That means you’re not just looking at the width of the door, you’re looking at the entire frame. Here are more considerations when you’re buying and hanging a door:

Measurements

Understanding the correct places to measure makes a big difference in the size of door that is constructed. Measurements should be done at an edge, because a measurement from the center may not be straight, and can add unnecessary length. The width and length of the existing slab or doorway should be measured, and considered separate from the door jamb. It’s important not to overestimate the size, because the door needs room underneath and on the sides to be able to open and close.

Slab vs Pre-Hung

Some people are looking at replacing a door, and others need both door and trim. The door by itself is called a slab, and may come with the doorknob hole drilled or not drilled. Pre-hung doors have few problems with matching up hinges and door hardware, as all holes are matched up by the door builder. However, they do require more work to install in a doorway, versus simply hanging on new hinges.

Interior vs Exterior

An exterior door is more insulated and can be thicker, and an interior door doesn’t need to have the same insulation level. Doors can be made of steel, wood, or fiberglass and be either interior or exterior doors, so it’s important to know. An exterior is built to withstand the elements, an interior door is designed primarily for privacy.

Swing Direction

A buyer should understand whether they want a door to swing in or out (based on the orientation of the room), and whether they need a left or a right hand swing. The swing is based on the direction of the doorknob on the outside of the door.

Hardware

Items that are needed for a door include trim pieces for the doorway, hinges, door sills and doorknobs with appropriate locking mechanisms for the location (keyed entry for exterior doors and perhaps additional deadbolts, one-sided locks for bathrooms and bedrooms, etc).

ETO Doors – Our delivery process from ETO-Doors on Vimeo.

Source: ETO Doors is the Web’s largest supplier of doors for commercial and residential projects in the United States. All of ETO Doors products are offered with a low-price guarantee, so customers can shop with confidence. Read ETO Doors reviews online, or browse our wide selection of doors.

18 Sep
2014

How Ice Cream Shops Can Incorporate Technology

Written by: Gelato Products

With the evolution of technology, nearly any business can incorporate various devices and apps in order to improve efficiency. Ice cream shops are no different as these establishments can use various technological wonders in order to create a stronger business platform. From the point-of-sale system to ice cream spoons, technology may reduce expenses providing for greater annual profits.

Digital Checkout

With the right Point-of-Sale system, you can keep customers moving at the register. Digital PoS systems are developed to swiftly accept the customer’s money whether it’s in cash or credit card. The faster you move the line, the more money the company makes per hour. If customers experience a quick transaction and spend less time waiting in line, they are less likely to become irritable and frustrated. Digital PoS systems also assist your bookkeeping efforts, with easy totals for the day that you can quickly record for future reference.

Inventory Control

Inventory control systems can come in a variety of styles. While some are still stuck in the 1900s with pencil and paper, others use Cloud-based apps that can keep track of every unit processed through the shop. This may include ice cream cups, spoons and various other supplies that are needed for the business. One of the benefits to Cloud-based apps is the ability to generate inventory reports regardless of where you are. As long as you have an Internet connection, you’re able to see exact numbers in real-time allowing you to order an accurate number of supplies even if you’re visiting family in another state. These applications are especially important to franchise owners who manage several locations across a particular state.

Proper Refrigerated Displays

The display is how many people make their choices when it comes to ice cream products. Having a well-developed cooling unit keeps treats frozen without eating into your power bill. This can be critical as the wasted materials and energy can directly impact a company’s bottom line. By using new and energy compliant cooling systems and displays, you may cut costs of ice cream shop supplies while reducing the money you spend on electricity.

By embracing the technology that is available, nearly any business could become more efficient. Try to view the transition with a holistic mind set. If you invest in upgrades now, will you be able to make your money back and see a decent return on that investment? As efficiency is linked to financial improvements, it may be worth your time to investigate how you could implement today’s innovations.

8 Sep
2014

Sheetz

Written by Phin Upham

Bob Sheetz started his business in 1952 when he purchased a dairy store from his father. The store’s location was in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and Bob set out to work the store himself. He recruited his brother Steve for help in 1961, and built their brand.

Sheetz Qwik Stopper, the second store the two opened, began selling in 1963. Within five years, the brothers had expanded to a third store, and by 1972 that total had risen to fourteen stores. Sheetz also added a working gas station to his Central Pennsylvania store.

In 1983, the brothers opened their 100th store, and Bob retired soon after. He handed the reigns formally to Steve. Steve held onto the company until 1995, when he gave Bob’s son Stan the lead position and took on a position as chairman of the board. Sheetz is still a family-owned company, with at least five family members sitting on the board.

For a brief time during the 90s, Sheetz sold a popular brand of cola it made called “It!” The soda developed a huge cult following, but the company took it off the shelves for no particular reason. It then replaced all of its in-store soda taps with Pepsi products, with Coke and Diet Coke remaining the only options for cola.

Today, Sheetz manages 400 locations in six states in the Northeast. It has more than 13,000 employees, and prides itself on being company-owned and operated. The company, like In-N-Out, has no plans to franchise its operations or sell to third party interests.


Phin Upham

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.
28 Aug
2014

VMWare

This article was written by Phin Upham

Diane Greene founded VMWare in 1998 with her husband Mendel Rosenblum. The company’s first year was spent in “stealth mode,” meaning it operated as a very small company keeping only about 20 employees on its payroll. It used this time to focus on development, releasing the first VMware Workstation product in 1999.

By 2001, the company was ready to enter the server market. They supported 64-bit architecture by 2004, and after an acquisition the company went public. Its shares debuted at $29, closing the first day of trading with a high of $51.

Greene was fired from the board in a sudden move done in 2008. She was quickly replaced by Paul Maritz, who was previously an executive for Microsoft. VMWare also stated at the time, perhaps not coincidentally, that profits would be modest compared to 2007’s growth.

VMWare then began a collaboration with Cisco Systems to provide data centers to enterprise operations. It also manages an Open Source platform-as-a-service it calls Cloud Foundry.

VMWare’s core product is what is known as a “hypervisor,” or more commonly as a “virtual machine monitor.” A virtual machine allows one user to essentially tap into the computer of another user, which is useful for a variety of applications. It enables employees to work effectively from home. It helps tech support people repair customer computers remotely, in addition to a host of other applications. VMWare essentially uses the host machine to power the transmission of data over an Internet connection.


About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his LinkedIn page.

22 Aug
2014

The Most Important Part of a Data Center

By Rack Alley

When our Los Angeles business gets to the point that it’s time to find an LA data center they can rely on, you’re going to have numerous things you need to look for. In many ways, no detail is too small either. If your company must have a certain aspect, keep shopping around until you find it. Now is not the time to rationalize no getting everything you need.

However, the most important thing to look for in a data center is definitely their redundancy. These days, with server hosting in Los Angeles being such big business, redundancy should go without saying. Any company worth their salt is going to have the kind you can trust. It’s as simple as that.

Yet, you still want to ask around, dig in and make sure that they have the best possible redundancy—second best means a huge risk. We’re not just talking about 99.9% uptime, we’re talking about backup plans if the electricity goes out in all of LA. Where will your information be? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask until you get answers that satisfy.

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When your LA business needs a Los Angeles data center they can rely on, look no further than Rack Alley. They have all the data center services you need, including the all important customer support and redundancy, at a price you can afford. Don’t end up paying for more than what you need with this option so close by.

21 Aug
2014

The History of Hewlett Packard

Written by Phin Upham

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard graduated Stanford University in 1935. Both came from the school of electrical engineering, and they decided to start a company after a fellowship they had with a past professor.

They decided to start their company in Packard’s garage in 1939. Their first capital investment was for a total of $538. It is said that they came up with Hewlett-Packard after having tossed a coin to determine whose name would appear first. HP formally incorporated in 1947 and debuted on the stock exchange in 1957.

HP first successfully built and marketed a precision oscillator for audio applications. They figured out how to use a small light bulb as a temperature dependent resistor, which allowed them to sell the unit for cheaper than their competitors.

Walt Disney was one of the company’s earliest customers, using the oscillator as a prime component in the Fantasound system that came to theaters when Fantasia debuted.

HP was an unfocused company in the early yuears. It worked on everything from agriculture to electronics, measuring everything from temperature to voltage. HP built a name for itself constructing extremely precision instruments, but it became known as the founder of Silicon Valley after its interest in semiconductors.

HP has positioned itself as a leader in corporate, and lately consumer computing products. It has entire product ranges including servers, printers, tablets and more. HP is a hardware and technology company more than anything else. It is also a consumer brand, modeling sleek looking home computers and tablets to the tune of $112 billion in revenue.


Phin Upham

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham.
21 Aug
2014

Receive Packages Abroad

Written By USA2Me.com

Are you planning a trip abroad? Plan on being away for a bit longer than a normal vacation? There’s a lot to consider when you decide to take such a journey, but it’s far from impossible. One thing a lot of people in your shoes do is get a forwarding address to their mail will get sent overseas instead of collecting dust back home.

International mail forwarding makes a lot of sense when you think about it. For one thing, it’s far more affordable than most people imagine. This is especially true when you think about how much it would cost to miss out on important mail or packages. Do you run your own business, for example? If you’re the sole employee, it can be years between vacations because you’re afraid of missing out on important deliveries. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Instead, sign up for a mail forwarding plan and your work can follow you abroad wherever you go. Not only will this help you get work done while you’re away, it will help you enjoy the time on vacation even more because you won’t be stressed about what you’re forgetting.

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Whether you’re on the go or travel a lot, you shouldn’t have to be without your mail. That’s why USA2Me makes it possible for you to receive your important messages no matter where you are in the world. Whether you need simple mail or full on order fulfillment services , they can help.

Electric Fence - We can help you design an electric pet fence

 

How to Conduct Market Research

How to Conduct Market Research

Market research gives a business an idea of what products and services in the market can give a profit. If [&hellip

Organizing Your Home Office

Organizing Your Home Office

This is a guest submission by Linda Chapin. The main goal for organizing your home office is to keep the [&hellip

Tip of the Day

Any business plan should start with the perspective of the audience. What is the purpose of the business plan?