How to Write a Business Profile
A business profile is like a résumé for your company. It lists basic company details and gives you a chance to highlight your strengths. Just like a résumé, you should write each business profile with a purpose in mind. Use it as an opportunity to briefly state why potential clients should work with you, but give thorough and precise details.
Part One of Two:
Getting Down Company Information Edit
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Talk about your company’s ideas. If you have a mission statement, put it here. Otherwise, write out your company vision, guiding ethos, and a little about your history. Telling who you are and what drives you gives your company a human element. It also gives you a chance to do some subtle advertising early on.
- This is a place you can afford to be a little vague. Mission statements are legally necessary for some businesses, and may need to be specific. For everyone else, try to state what you do without limiting yourself. You don’t want to scare away potential business that thinks you wouldn’t consider expanding into adjacent industries. But it is easy to overdo vague language.
- A bad example: “XYZ Semantics is a company driven by the pursuit of its dreams. We want to bring you with us on this journey. Our dedication to solutions and innovation make us the leading marketing consultants west of the Mississippi.”
- A good example: “XYZ Semantics is seasoned and talented team of marketing consultants. Since 1975 we have helped our clients grow their business and profits. Though our methods are complex, our goal is simple: we want to help you sell your product to more customers.”
Find out more specific details. Check with your secretarial or human resource staff to find out up-to-date details in several areas. You may not need to use all these, but having them on hand will make it easier when you sit down to craft the profile. Set up a way to streamline this process in the future, as you will want to update this information in your profile regularly.
- Number of employees
- Turnover. Low turnover can indicate stability, but either way it’s a good statistic to have on-hand.
- List of all business activities. What are all the areas you work in?
- Unique equipment or specialties. If you are the only company that produces, say, a rare machine part, you need to mention that.
- Your methodology and/or what software you use.
- Volume of output you can handle. Prospective clients need to know if you are prepared to meet their needs.
- Delivery stats. How many units do you ship in a given period?
- Major accounts or clients. This is a way to show prospective clients whether or not you are used to doing business with companies like theirs. It’s also another chance for subtle advertising.
Sift through all this information. Since you want to keep the profile short, you can’t include every possible detail. Also, not all of them might be strengths. Pick out what might be relevant to include in your profile in various contexts. Keep the other information on hand for future reference, but put the important stuff in one place for easy access.
#creative business names
Choosing a name for a business is tricky it s got to be catchy, memorable and sum up ‘you’ too. We searched the web for crafty companies who took family names as the ultimate personal inspo. Find out how this line-up of crafty businesses came up with their shop names.
So you re looking for a business name. How about naming it after Nan, or combining your name with your partner s like celebrity power couples? If all else fails use our trusty craft business name game. take your favourite colour and find the quirky paint name for it, use one word from the colour name, add your craft of choice and the name of the street you grew up on (or a family member s name). Shuffle them round until they make no sense! So, Dayroom Crochet Orange or Henrietta Embroidery Villa. Huzzah, it works! Now you try.
1. Flossie Limejuice
Shelagh called her business “Flossie Limejuice after her mother-in-law s nickname for her grandson’s toy rabbit. Aww!
2. Anais Aiyla
Mish named her business after her daughters Zoie Amelia Anais and Emilie Aiyla Aeon. She says: “When we moved back to the UK from the Cayman Islands, one way I found to help them adjust to their new (very cold) surroundings was to crochet for them.”
Cross stitch queen Hannah Sturrock named Bobostitch after her son’s mispronunciation of his sister Baby Olive s name. “She was born around the same time, says Hannah. The name is a constant reminder for me that the business is totally intertwined with our family life.
4. Lily Val
Owner Valerie McKeehan says: “Lily is a nod to my mother. We both share a love of flowers, in particular, stargazer lilies!”
5. Mingo Grace
Designer Farrah Gee named her children’s clothing brand after her little twins’ middle names.
6. Kit and Nancy
Maker Laura named her business after her grandmas: Kit and Nancy.
7. Bob John Knitwear
Jonie Worton’s knitwear company is named after her equally hands-on grandfathers, engineer John and builder Edgar known as Bob.
8. Clarise Crafts
Alyssa borrowed her business name from her mother Denise, who set up a jewellery business with her friend Claire under the name Clarise , merging the two friends names. Alyssa says: “I do get called Clarise but I see it as my crafty alter-ego!”
9. Holly and Evie
Let’s not forget the most important family members of all! Lucy Vernon named her knitwear company after her first dog Holly, and her current pooch, Evie.
10. Lily Dot
Aussie “vintage whimsy” store Lily Dot was named after two very creative grandmas.
Named your business after loved ones too? Leave your business name and link in the comments below and tell us why you chose the name.
#online business courses
10 Places to Get a Free Business Education Online
Getting a business education doesn’t have to be expensive. An increasing number of colleges, universities and even nonprofit organizations offer free business courses online. Find out how you can sign up for these courses and what you can get from them.
Online Business Courses for Credit
Online business courses that don’t require students to register or pay tuition are plentiful, but these courses don’t lead to college credit. Students who would rather earn credit for the courses they take online might want to consider resources that charge a fee in exchange for access to online course materials.Study.com offers this form of distance learning through its quick and informative video lessons and corresponding self-assessment quizzes. Students also have access to free transcripts for the video lessons.
Students can start with Business 101: Principles of Management which include chapters like:
- Management Basics – Study different managers’ roles and examine the four functions of management.
- Leading in Organizations – This chapter explores the difference between leadership and management and how the two work together. Various leadership styles are also covered.
- Marketing Philosophies and Ethics – Learn about marketing versus sales, corporate responsibility and cause-related marketing.
- Consumer Decision Making – Topics include consumer behavior theory, the purchase process, cognitive dissonance and consumer buying influences.
- Network Systems Technology – Examine client/server systems, network operating systems and wireless computing devices in this chapter.
- Systems Development – Subjects include life cycles, graphical user interfaces, application development processes and project management tools.
Free Online Non-Credit Business Courses
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT OpenCourseWare might be the next best thing to getting an MIT education for free. Through these free online publication, students can find bachelor-level and master-level courses business courses offered by MIT’s Sloan School of Management
- Undergraduate and Graduate Business Courses include online lecture notes, videos, labs demonstrations and more. No registration is required and more than 150 courses are available.
The U.S. Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration has one of the best selections of business courses on the web. Topics include everything from starting a business and business management to government contracting and international trade. Most courses take only 30 minutes to complete.
- Financing Options for Small Businesses centers around determining financial needs, loans, grants, venture capital, angel investors, crowd funding and more.
- Strategic Planning looks at the significance of strategic planning while breaking down the steps of the process.
Free Management Library
- The Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA(SM) Program is a great resource for students wishing to learn more about nonprofit management. Completion of this program will not result in an MBA degree, but enrollment is free. The amount of time it takes to complete the program will depend on how fast you learn, but you may expect to spend at least 200 hours on coursework.
University of California Irvine
The University of California Irvine offers several free business courses in English and Spanish through their OpenCourseWare site. Courses are broken down into lessons, and include optional reading lists for students who want to dig deeper into the course subjects.
- Fundamentals of Business Analysis focuses on the function of a business analyst within the operating of an organization.
- Training and Human Resource Development breaks down the information and experience needed to pick out an organization’s training and development needs while looking into the related processes.
Financial Management Training Center Courses
The Financial Management Training Center provides 20 free downloadable business courses for people who need to learn the finer points of financial management. All courses can be taken online. They include full exams as well as evaluation forms for people seeking Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.
- The Management of Capital provides a basic overview of navigating a company’s financial structure.
- Creating Value through Financial Management serves as an introduction to concepts related to Value Based Finance.
- Project Management introduces the concept and components of project management.
Kutztown University – Small Business Development Center
- Strategic Planning and Execution Course presents strategies for crafting and executing business visions, mission statements and goals. The SBDC also provides strategic planning software free to all course participants.
University of California Berkeley
The University of California Berkeley offers a new selection of business courses each semester. Courses are lecture-based and typically include either audio or video or both.
- Business Administration Videos are uploaded to the school’s YouTube page often. Videos are presented by leading business experts such and cover topics like leadership, investment strategies and behavioral economics.
- Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Business teaches students about descriptive statistics, probability models, confidence intervals, controlled experiments vs. observational studies, tests of significance, correlation and regression.
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.
An admission advisor from each school can provide more info about:
- programs curriculum
- career opportunities
- tuition financial aid
- admissions starting dates
1 Southern New Hampshire University
Minimum eligibility requirements:
- Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
Get Started with Southern New Hampshire University
2 Kaplan University
Minimum eligibility requirements:
- Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
- Graduate faster & save money with Study.com transfer credit
- Doctor of Management in Organizational Development and Change
- Doctor of Management in Project Management
- Doctor of Management (DM) – General Concentration (Executive Format)
- Doctor of Management in Leadership
- Doctor of Management – Nonprofit Leadership (Executive Format)
- Master of Business Administration
- MBA in Entrepreneurship
- MBA in Project Management
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – International Business
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Management
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Human Resource Management
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Organizational Behavior
- Associate of Science in Business Administration
- (BS) Accounting
- (BS) Business Administration
- (BS) Business Admin – Asset Management
- (BS) Business Admin – Human Resources
- (BS) Business Admin – New Media Marketing
- (BS) Business Admin – Technology
- (AAS) Business Management & Accounting
#online business opportunities
Top 10 Online Business Opportunities to Make Money
Great ways to increase your income directly from your private computer
Money makes the web go around. Whether you’re on a mission to find a new source of income or just looking to increase your paycheck with a side gig, the internet can offer a variety of solutions for you to choose from.
With such a great selection it’s easy to get lost. And although trial and error is a method we usually would recommend, it’s probably not a good idea to invest time and resources on experimentation when something so crucial as your income is at stake.
The solution? Research, and fortunately for you we can save you time with that. Below is a list of 10 online business opportunities that have a high potential for generating profit. Read through and consider which of these options might work for you.
1. Teach Online Classes:
Your expertise and knowledge can be very useful to you when you start your online business. Whether you’re a certified chemistry teacher or a knitting master, you can create an online course and charge students for access to the study material.
2. Do Affiliate Marketing:
On the web, affiliate marketers are people who promote various online services and receive a commission for making sales. Many online services have an affiliate program Wix.com has one as well! This type of business is especially worthwhile if you already have a blog or a website set up and can simply start working on promoting your affiliate goods.
3. Write for Pay:
If you happen to be a gifted writer, your skills could be valuable to a huge variety of target audiences, from companies that need tech manuals, to college applicants who need help writing their resumes, or small businesses looking for good newsletter content.
4. Design Wix Websites:
You have no idea how many times we’ve seen this pattern a person in need of a website creates one using Wix’s web publishing platform, is very pleased with the process and the outcome, publishes the website and then receives offers from friends and acquaintances to design a site for them as well. The idea behind Wix is that everyone can create websites, but not everyone has the time or the will to do it, so why don’t you step in and fill the need? Check out WixEd. our very own online course where Wix users can become certified web designers and start their own business in web design.
5. Open an Online Consulting Agency:
Provide professional and specialized observations based on your field of expertise health and wellness, finances, law and more. Here you can choose whether you want to work solely online or combine face-to-face service with your digital one.
6. Use Your Research Skills:
The internet created a neverending source of data. Companies searching for business intel, an individual interested in family genealogy or an author in need of background material do not always have the ability to search this vast pool of knowledge with a fine-tooth comb. In these examples and others, they would prefer to hire someone to perform online research. Might that someone be yourself?
7. Get with the Retail Program:
With online sales continuously on the rise, selling products to web shoppers is definitely a worthwhile path to follow for business purposes. Using Wix to create your own online store. you can set up a retail business with minimum effort and costs. We even have a guide that can help you choose the best products for your online store.
8. Offer Text Editing Translation Services:
It’s the most straightforward process you can imagine. A customer sends you a text for proofreading, literary editing or translation purposes, you do your work and send them a document back. This kind of hassle-free operation will leave you plenty of time to focus on promoting your service.
9. Become a Social Media Marketer:
Small business brands and professional freelancers often require help with promoting their work on social media platforms. You can train yourself to understand the fine art of social media marketing and offer to either take over their social marketing efforts or to provide consulting services on the matter. The Wix Blog will provide you with an abundance of reading material on how to market on social media .
10. Create Custom-Made Art or Music:
If you want to support yourself as an independent artist without having to take on an office job or wait tables, why don’t you use your talent to make extra money? You can offer people from all over the world the option to commission illustrations, caricatures, sculptures, video art, designed candles, custom-ordered songs or anything that your creative force is able to produce.
Other Cool Stuff
#sell my business
10 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Business
If you re thinking about selling your business, think twice. Selling a business should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision, says Curtis Kroeker, group general manager for San Francisco-based BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. business-for-sale marketplaces that have an inventory of about 40,000 businesses. You need to figure out things like if you should sell, when is the best time to sell, and what you need to consider before selling, among many other considerations.
So, should you sell your business? Here are 10 key questions to help you figure it out.
Is my business ready to sell? Kroeker recommends at least two years of preparation before putting your business on the market. Make sure you can produce two to three years of tax returns that are accurate and show maximum profitability to get the best price for your business, he says. You can t start putting things together the month before you sell.
How is a buyer going to value my business? Particularly with family ownership, companies sometimes run everything through the business, such as country club dues and car allowances, says Robert Kibby, section head of the corporate and securities group at Dallas-based Munsch Hardt Kopf Harr Attorneys and Counselors. Loading the business with tax write-offs can make you appear less profitable and cause a buyer to undervalue your business.
Who should be on my team when I sell? It s important for entrepreneurs to figure out whose services will bring them through the sales process and help them get the best price for their business. Do you need an accountant? How about an appraiser, attorney, consultant and business broker? The buyer is typically going to have a good team to go over your business, so you should, too, Kibby says.
Is it the right time to sell? Many people wait till their business is on the decline to sell. That s the exact opposite of what you should do, says Debbie Allen. a Phoenix-based business and brand strategist and consultant. You want to sell when you are at the top of your game peaked out, she says. Some will say, I m making good money now. Why should I sell? That s thinking like a business owner, not an entrepreneur.
Is the market right? Before selling, look at current market conditions for your industry. Selling a home improvement business in 2006 showed a pretty good return. Fast forward a couple of years and many roofing, siding, home financing and other housing-related companies had lost a big chunk of their value. I saw companies who turned down an offer in 2005 who couldn t get three-quarters of that price a few years later, says Allan Siposs, a managing director of FMV Capital Markets in Irvine, Calif. which offers services for mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Wait until market conditions are better to sell.
Can I cope with the changes on the horizon? Rapidly changing technology, increasing globalization and other business trends can prove too much for some business owners. Keep your eyes trained three or four years down the road, and if you don t believe you can keep up, sell before your failure to adapt catches up with you. Some people find it hard to leave, but if you wait too long, the industry may pass you by, Allen says.
Can my business thrive without me or without a key customer? If a buyer is concerned that a business is too dependent on the owner or a single customer, he may take his offer elsewhere. A good business can operate when the owner is on vacation and has good revenue diversification, where no one customer represents more than five percent of the business, Siposs says.
Would I be willing to stay on if the buyer wants me to? Sometimes you can seal a deal by agreeing to stay on in a consulting role for a period of six months. But first, you need to determine whether it s really worth it to you. If you re willing to stay on, it might reduce the risk to the buyer and increase the value of the company, Siposs says.
What are the potential deal breakers? Unresolved issues can rear their ugly head and interfere with a sale, particularly in areas such as company ownership, accounting and intellectual property rights. For example, an owner may have used a contractor to write software for the company without requiring him to assign his rights to the company. This can create questions about who possesses critical rights, which can scuttle the deal, Kibby says. So, consider what your potential deal breakers are and try to resolve them before you re near to closing a deal.
Would I consider alternatives to an outright sale? If an outright sale isn t right for you, a CPA or investment banker can help evaluate other options. How about structuring a deal to pass on the ownership to employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)? Would you consider selling a percentage of the company to a private equity fund? Or would you do a leveraged recapitalization, which is a loan that puts a portion of the proceeds in your pocket?
10 Great Colleges for Business Majors
All offer an excellent education, affordable prices, and substantial salaries for their graduates.
Business is the single most popular major for college students today. But one of the first lessons future business leaders have to learn is buyer beware. Some colleges business programs seem to provide little in the way of an earnings boost for graduates, while other schools names help get their grads r sum s to the top of job recruiters lists.
Here are 10 high-value colleges where alumni with bachelor s degrees in business tend to out-earn their counterparts from most other schools.
These colleges scored the best overall when we combined MONEY s measures of each institution s educational quality and affordability. including graduation rates and student and parent debt loads, with the earnings reported to Payscale.com by alumni who earned a bachelor s in business and didn t go on to earn an MBA or other graduate degree.
Each of those main factors educational quality, affordability, and post-graduate success was given an equal weight of 1/3.
For more business-savvy advice, see our companion article Find Your Best College for Majoring in Business .
10. University of California–San Diego
Location: La Jolla, Calif.
Estimated net price of a degree: $125,593
Average annual early career earnings for business majors: $52,100
MONEY Best Colleges overall ranking: 32
9. Cornell University
Estimated net price of a degree: $201,768
Average annual early career earnings for business majors: $60,300
MONEY Best Colleges overall ranking: 34
8. Brigham Young University–Provo
Location: Provo, Utah
Estimated net price of a degree: $80,988
Average annual early career earnings for business majors: $56,300
MONEY Best Colleges overall ranking: 15
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#business card template
Freebie Release: 10 Business Card Templates (PSD)
Until the business card finds a better, faster, more convenient replacement, it serves as the most secure connection one can make with another in the offline world of business. By putting all your contact and business information into one handy 3.5 by 2 inch piece of paper, this is the best reminder you can leave with your potential and existing clients.
There are plenty of things one must look into when designing a business card. but if budget is a big constraint for your business or the new startup you are working on, these 10 business card templates may be the break you need. Created by Meng Loong of Free-Business-Card-Templates.com. these exclusive business card templates are available in PSD format for hongkiat.com readers to download and use.
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
- Pin it
We hope you like it and feel free to spread the word!
#best business laptop
The 10 best business laptops in July 2016
Our Techradar experts help you choose the right laptop for your organisation
It takes a lot to run a successful business, whether you’re managing a small-to-medium sized organisation, or working at a large enterprise scale. Second to top-notch talent, the most important thing required is top-notch machinery: high functioning, cost-efficient, and easy-to-use computers.
In many cases, particularly in open offices where space is tight, or in environments where employees may be shuffling from meeting to meeting or even working remotely, it’s necessary that these workstations be mobile. So, all that considered, what’s it going to be for your staff?
You’ve got no shortage of options; we’ve highlighted our favourite business-focused laptops taking into consideration a number of key factors including power, battery life, feature set and sheer value for money based on actual value as opposed to RRP.
This means that we’ve selected a wider range of laptops to suit most if not all budgets and hopefully all tastes; there’s a mix of cutting-edge products and old favourites here.
Almost all of them come with Windows Professional to enhance their business credentials. Remember that you can upgrade from any recent version of Windows Home/Personal (7, 8.1 and 10) to Windows 10 Professional for 99.99 (although you will need to upgrade to Windows 10 Personal for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7).
Note that you have only a couple of weeks till the free upgrade to Windows 10 expires.
1. HP 255 G4
A reliable workhorse that certainly won’t break the bank
CPU: 1.8GHz AMD A6-6310 | Graphics: AMD Radeon HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 pixels | Storage: 500GB HDD
Up to 11 hours battery life
Doesn’t have the best input peripherals
Not much else wrong here
So, you want the most powerful system on the market with plenty of connectivity but don’t want to compromise on size or portability or battery life. Mission impossible? Well, not really. Take this Portege laptop from Toshiba. The Japanese manufacturer managed to squeeze an extraordinary amount of components in this device including a VGA port, a fingerprint reader and even a 4G/LTE modem and A-GPS!
4. Lenovo ThinkPad X240
An old favourite, but still a very worthy notebook
CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U | Graphics: Intel HD 4400 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, 1366 x 768 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
Hot swappable batteries
Great fingerprint reader
Dense for its small size
Mention the word ThinkPad to older geeks and many of them will wax lyrical on how that laptop range set the benchmark for enterprise notebooks. The X240 might be a couple of years old already but its feature set means that it simply cannot be ignored at its current asking price. Sure it doesn’t have the latest CPU or a touchscreen but that probably won’t matter for the audience the X240 is aimed at.
5. Lenovo B51-80
A not particularly portable powerhouse
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 1TB HDD
Not great in terms of portability
Comes with Windows Home not Pro
If you are willing to sacrifice portability for sheer power, then this laptop is worth considering. Oddly enough, although it is part of Lenovo’s B-series (essentially aiming for the SMB market), it comes with Windows Home rather than Professional. Other than this, the B51 is a very decent all-rounder that hits almost all the right notes: from the powerful CPU to the full HD display and the discrete GPU.
6. HP EliteBook 745 G2
A great budget offering
CPU: 2.1GHz AMD A10 Pro-7350B APU | Graphics: AMD Radeon R6 Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 14-inch, 1600 x 900 pixels | Storage: 240GB SSD
MIL-STD 810G compliance
Display isn’t the best
Only 4GB of RAM
Business laptops do not have to be expensive. This EliteBook from HP embodies that idea, bringing together some very decent components at a rock bottom price. How HP manages to do that beggars belief, because this notebook is loaded with a powerful AMD CPU, 4GB of RAM, a fast SSD and it gives you up to 10 hours battery life.
7. Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Display 2015
A great performer with an excellent screen
CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core | Graphics: Intel Iris Pro Graphics | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2880 x 1800 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
Superb Retina Display
Great battery life
Force Touch underdeveloped
Should a member of Apple’s award winning MacBook Pro family be included in a best business laptop shortlist? Certainly as it hits all the right notes especially as IBM has boosted Apple’s credentials as an enterprise player. And Apple’s top of the range models are certainly not overly expensive compared to their Windows-based counterparts, especially if you buy them from trusted third-party websites.
8. Fujitsu LifeBook E736
This notebook delivers on all fronts, but has quite the price tag
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6600U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
Impressive performance levels
Modularity and expansion
Not a cheap laptop
Lacks option for discrete graphics
This is the other Japanese laptop company that we often hear about and while Fujitsu is rarely seen as an innovator, its newest range of notebooks may well change that perception by bundling a lot of features that are often regarded as optional by the competition. From the two-year standard warranty to the massive battery and 4G/LTE integrated modem, there’s a lot to love about this machine .
9. Dell Latitude E7470
A solid performer backed by Dell’s quality aftersales
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 128GB
Impressive performance levels
Strong on connectivity
Screen suffers a bit from reflections
Not cheap for higher-end configurations
Dell’s decision to bypass the E7460 series to launch an E7470 left a few analysts puzzled but the PC vendor managed to deliver a magnificent piece of kit which it says is the most secure, most reliable and most manageable business-class laptop. It does come at a hefty price though and compared to the competition, this notebook may feel underwhelming. However, Dell’s forte lies in its services and aftersales.
10. Lenovo ThinkPad T560
Powerful yet still nicely slim and portable
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6600U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 2880 x 1620 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
Three-year onsite warranty as standard
Top spec models aren’t cheap
Keyboard could use some improvement
Lenovo calls the newest member of the ThinkPad T-series family the ‘new standard for highly mobile laptops’. What makes it so special is the fact that it blurs the line between traditional business devices and more powerful mobile workstations. The top-end spec highlighted here boasts some of the highest configuration levels we’ve seen on any laptop and yet manages to pack everything into a very portable and elegant Ultrabook-esque form factor.
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#small business grants
Small-Business Grants for Women: 10 Go-To Spots
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here’s how we make money .
If you’re starting a business and need outside financing, it’s natural to be wary of small-business loans. Why take on debt if you can get a grant that you won’t have to repay?
But small-business grants for women — or men, for that matter — can be hard to come by. “There’s not a pot of free money,” says Michelle Somes-Booher, a business consultant at the Small Business Development Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
If you need business financing, two more likely options are business credit cards and small-business loans for women. The competition is fierce for small-business grants, and it takes a lot of time and effort to find them and complete the applications. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the payoff can be worth it. Here are 10 places women entrepreneurs can look for small-business grants.
Federal small-business grants for women
The federal government offers some grants for small-business owners, but they’re designated for very specific purposes, such as certain research and development projects or for businesses in rural areas. Government grants can’t be used to cover startup costs or day-to-day expenses, and most aren’t earmarked specifically for women.
Grants.gov is a database of all federally sponsored grants. You can search for small-business grants here — just make sure you filter the results on the left side of the page to view grants specifically for small businesses.
2. InnovateHER Challenge
The U.S. Small Business Administration hosts an annual competition for businesses with a marketable product or service that positively affects women s lives. To participate, you must first enter and win a local InnovateHER Challenge to advance to the national semifinal round. The top three national finalists will win $40,000, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.
3. Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs
The SBA facilitates these two competitive programs, which ultimately provide grants to small businesses that contribute to federal research and development. Eleven federal agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services, post grant opportunities on their websites. You can search all grant opportunities on the SBIR website.
State and local small-business grants
Because federal small-business grants are limited in number and often very competitive, you may have better luck looking for grants at the state and municipal levels. You’ll have to do your own research to pinpoint specific grant programs in your area, but here are some places to look:
4. Women’s Business Centers
The SBA sponsors about 100 Women’s Business Centers nationwide, designed to help women entrepreneurs with business development and access to capital. Some, such as the California Capital Financial Development Corp. lend money directly, while others simply help you find small-business grants and loans that you may qualify for.
5. Economic development agencies
Every state and many cities have economic development agencies focused on promoting a strong local economy. Even if the agency itself doesn’t offer a small-business grant, it will likely be able to point you in the right direction.
6. Small Business Development Centers
There are hundreds of these SBA-sponsored centers around the country, typically housed at colleges and universities. SBDCs offer free, one-on-one business consulting. Set up a meeting with your local SBDC advisor, who will be able to tell you about grants and other business financing opportunities in your area.
Private small-business grants for women
Some private organizations and businesses have created national grant programs for women small-business owners. Here are two to look into:
The Amber Grant Foundation awards $500 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $2,000. The application is relatively simple: Explain what your business is, describe what you’d do with the grant money and pay a $7 application fee. The foundation’s advisory board chooses the winners, looking for women with passion and a good story.
8. Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant
Eileen Fisher, a women’s clothing retailer, awards $100,000 to up to 10 women business owners each year. To be eligible, women must make up at least 51% of your business s ownership and leadership, your business must have been in operation for at least three years, it must not exceed $1 million in annual revenue, and it must be focused on environmental or social change.
Two other good possibilities for grants
These options aren’t specifically for women, but they’re good small-business grants to consider:
9. FedEx Small Business Grant
FedEx awards up to $25,000 apiece to 10 small businesses annually. The application requires an explanation of your business, how you’d use the money, photos of your business and — this part is optional — a short video explaining your business. You don’t need a FedEx account to apply.
10. Mission Main Street Grants
Chase Bank gives $150,000 to 20 small businesses each year through its Mission Main Street Grants program. To be eligible, you must have been in business at least two years and have fewer than 100 employees, and the application includes answering five essay questions.
Find and compare small-business loans
NerdWallet has come up with a list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.
To get more information about funding options and compare them for your small business, visit NerdWallet ssmall-business loanspage. For free, personalized answers to questions about financing your business, visit theSmall Businesssection of NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor page.
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10 Influential Business Books You Need To Read To Be Successful
10 Influential Business Books You Need To Read To Be Successful
Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.
I d bet they re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that s how they got to be where they are today.
Jealous of them? You don t have to be. You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here s 10 of my favorites.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime. Read this book and you ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.
2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy
Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.
Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.
3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Creating a me-too product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.
In essence by making the product different you ll be building the marketing into the actual product development which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.
4. Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
If you ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.
5. Man s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel
It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work. Man s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.
6. 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.
Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.
7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.
To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits .well you can get where I m going with this.
If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.
8. One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard
If you re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.
9. Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries
Before you create any sort of business you ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.
10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar
The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you re passionate about.
Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it s not likely to work. This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you re heart isn t into.
Set a Goal For Yourself