Tag: 2016

2016 Business Internships in Seattle, WA #business #startup #loan

#business internships


Find 2016 Business Internships in Seattle, WA

Are you looking for a Business internship in Seattle, WA? Business internships are the best way to bridge the gap between going to school and landing great job. Internships can help provide valuable work experience by learning the ropes from more experienced professionals. At the end of your internship, you ll have relevant experience to help you decide if starting your career in the field of your internship is the right choice for you. It also helps that 7 out of 10 internships result in a full time job offer, which means interning in Seattle, WA can also serve as the foundation to landing a full time job in that city after graduation.

Business summer internships in Seattle, WA are pretty common, but don’t expect to be in charge at the end of your internship! Usually, you ll have to work from the bottom up, but interns are much more likely to get a job offer from the employer they re interning with. If you decide to intern at a smaller company, you ll sacrifice the name prestige for other benefits, such as having an opportunity to see your projects go from start to finish. Simply gaining Business experience is essential in order to provide value and creativity to the team.

Ready to get started? Search for Business internships in Seattle, WA below.


Search For Business Internships In Seattle, WA


We are a new snowboard company founded in Seattle, producing snowboards, bindings, boots and snowboard apparel. We are looking for an intern who can work mostly work on site in our Ballard office, 3 d

Application Deadline: Available Year-round

Cloutera Seattle, WA

Partnering with startups and emerging growth firms needed to scale their workforce quickly, Cloutera is a leading provider of On-Demand Recruiting and Diversity Hiring Solutions. We drop smart and mot

Application Deadline: Available Year-round

Target Seattle, WA

September 02 2016

JOIN US AS A STORE EXECUTIVE INTERN About us: Target is one of the worlds most recognized brands and one of Americas leading retailers. When people say they love Target, theyre usually talking about v

Application Deadline: 2/28/2017

Seattle Saracens Seattle, WA

September 02 2016

The Seattle Saracens Rugby Club is a member of USA Rugby and BC Rugby. In 2014 the club joined the Saracens Global Network from London, UK and the Seattle Saracens were born. Seattle Saracens is a reg

Application Deadline: Available Year-round

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The 10 best business laptops in July 2016 #business #franchise

#best business laptop


TechRadar pro

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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Harvard Business School Senior Executive Program – Africa 2016 #business #networking #sites

#harvard business


Become a stronger leader and strategist who can help your business seize growth opportunities — locally, across Africa, and beyond.

This executive program will run in 2 different destinations – Block 1 Cape Town, SA; Block 3 Boston, USA.

With 54 independent countries, Africa faces a distinct set of social, economic, and political conditions that create unique business challenges — along with exciting opportunities. To achieve their considerable potential, Africa’s businesses need executives who can design and execute effective strategies for growth within and beyond the continent. These leaders must also excel at creating innovative offerings, nurturing high-performance teams and organizations, and navigating rapid change in Africa’s dynamic markets.

To build these exceptional leaders, Harvard Business School Executive Education is launching a new program, the Senior Executive Program — ​Africa, in partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) of Pretoria University in South Africa. Designed to strengthen your leadership skills and build your insight into local, regional, and global markets, the program explores the proven approaches of successful leaders in Africa and around the globe, preparing you to compete effectively, seize the region’s many growth opportunities, and sustain success for your firm.

Who should attend?

The Senior Executive Program — Africa is designed for experienced senior executives in African companies from any industry. Candidates should have significant responsibility for strategic decision making, have at least 15 years of work experience, and represent growth-oriented organizations. Participants might include CEOs, CFOs, business line heads, and other senior members of a company’s executive team, as well as directors general of government agencies.

How you will benefit

The program immerses you in a dynamic experience that expands your horizons and builds your capabilities as a business leader. You’ll explore best practices in designing winning strategies, enabling innovation, establishing competitive advantage, leading effectively, improving governance, and much more. In a format that maximizes learning while minimizing time away from work, you will also apply your learning to a special project that contributes to your organization’s success.

Click here to download our Open Programmes Calendar for 2016

Harvard Business School Faculty:

Should you wish to see which faculty will be on a specific course please download the course pack.

Senior faculty from GIBS, selected local and international faculty, as well as leading industry practitioners and experts.

Are you interested in fast-tracking your personal and professional development? If so, join us as we showcase our wide range of short programmes.

12 September 2016

​Continental Growth Opportunities and Business Lessons.

08 September 2016

British Brexit and American elections.

08 September 2016

The NPO Collaboration Dialogue presents a panel discussion on the proposed changes to the NPO ​Act.

08 September 2016

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2016 Best Small Business Technology Trends #china #business

#business technology


2016 Best Small Business Technology Trends

If you are a small business owner in the year of 2015, you have probably figured out by now that it is not enough to have an idea (or a pool of ideas, for that matter) just to stay on the market.

Once they create new business, many small business owners think that some invisible force will help them to keep the motors going and make bigger profit. Well, they are delusional. There are a few options which are slowly taking over other trends, with the tendency to dominate the market.

In 2015, a small business owner has to find alternative ways of going bigger. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, and ahead of your competition, here are some of technology trends you should start thinking about this year.

New methods of payment

As a small business owner, you need to keep up with modern technologies and take what they are offering you. The biggest development in the sphere of payment is definitely mobile payment system .

Plastic cards were a revolution, but are passé now because everybody wants to replace their wallets with smart phones – simply because it is easier.

For example, Apple Pay is becoming ever more popular due to the popularity of the smart phone, so if you want to count on Apple users, bring your business closer to them and sew the seeds of good business.

Even though it has not yet established itself as a ‘norm’, it does show a tendency towards it, so take this word of advice seriously: invest into mobile payment system for your company, because it is going to pay off very soon.

3D printing is here to stay!

You have probably heard of this new way of manufacturing, which almost evolved from sci-fi to useful technology. And its price is no longer astronomous!

What is best about 3D printing is that it is very useful for small businesses – 3D quality and lower costs are the main reasons why you should use this technology in your advantage.

The development of cloud computing

If you worry too much about your data (of course you are, those are classified data!), fear not, because cloud-based computing is there to help you.

With cloud computing system, you no longer need to have a local server – that is a computer that is keeping your data in one place and is susceptible to defects.

And you will no longer require an IT technician – since cloud based technology is affordable and easy to maintain.

Find alternative funding options

In the fast-changing and growing world of today, you have to think about alternative ways of funding. This means not to stick to one product or area of expertise, but to evolve and make way for new things.

For example, if your business does not give you the chance to broaden your business, you can look for other funding options, such as crowdfunding, public offerings or take direct loans.

So, if you are the owner of a small signage business. you can make way for new things with the help of crowdfunding. Let not money be the obstacle – make it an advantage!

And finally, the best advice for small business owners for this year is that if you see a chance – take it! Do not wait for someone else to make that risk, so if you have an idea, and you think it is good, why not try it? If you do not do it, the odds are that someone else can beat you to it while you are waiting. Do not wait!

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Top Business Intelligence (BI) Tools – 2016 Reviews & Pricing #get #a #business #loan

#business intelligence tools


Compare Business Intelligence (BI) Software Tools

Business intelligence (BI) software has gained considerable traction since its introduction as “decision support systems” in the 1960s. Today, there are over 100 BI software companies selling some type of business intelligence tool. We put together this buyer’s guide to help buyers understand the market. In this guide, we’ll review:

What Is Business Intelligence Software?

BI software helps organizations organize and analyze data to make better decisions. This could include internal data from company departments as well as from external sources, such as marketing data services, social media channels or even macroeconomic information.

The BI market is growing rapidly because of the proliferation of data to analyze. Over the past few decades, companies that have deployed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and other applications are now sitting on a mountain of data that can be analyzed. In addition, the growth of the Web has increased the demand for tools that can analyze large data sets.

One of the biggest trends in the BI market is the shift in software architecture and design to more user-friendly applications. These applications are now being used by business users not just IT staff to analyze particular sets of departmental data, including marketing, procurement, retail and Web data.

Common Features of Business Intelligence Software

BI software can be divided into three broad application categories: data management tools, data discovery applications and reporting tools (including dashboards and visualization software). In the next section, we’ll explain how these applications can help your organization’s decision-making process become more data-driven.

What BI tools you need depends on how your data is currently managed and how you would like to analyze it. For example, if it is currently scattered across disparate transactional databases, you might need to build a data warehouse to centralize it and invest in data management tools that offer Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) functionality to move and re-structure it.

Once data is given a common structure and format, you can invest in data discovery solutions such as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), data mining and semantic or text mining applications, with the capability to create custom, ad hoc reports. And because information is stored within the warehouse, users can quickly pull reports without impacting the performance of the organization s software applications, such as CRM, ERP and supply chain management solutions.

We ve illustrated this concept in the image below:

But this isn t the only way to implement BI within your organization. If you re only analyzing data from a single source, ETL and data warehouses are unnecessary. Alternatively, you might require multiple warehouses, and thus, require different tools to connect data between both these servers and other BI applications that need access to this data.

We’ll cover these in detail in the next section, but in general, the features you should seek in a new BI solution should include:

  • Data quality management
  • Extract, transform and load (ETL)
  • Data mining
  • Online analytical processing (OLAP)
  • Predictive analytics
  • Semantic and text analytics
  • Visualizations
  • Dashboards
  • Report writers
  • Scorecarding

Top Business Intelligence Tools

This table will help you understand some of the top BI tools available on the market today.

BI Tools Comparison

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PlanMagic Business Review 2016 #business #at #home

#business plan software


PlanMagic Business 11.0 Review

PROS / PlanMagic includes resources for researching industry statistics, business trends and identifying possible investment opportunities.

CONS / This program doesn t have a multiple-user option for team collaboration.

VERDICT / PlanMagic Business is designed with your specific industry in mind, including industry-specific tools for finances and document creation.

PlanMagic Business is one of the business plan software programs we reviewed that has specific software for each industry, including retail, construction and food services, to name just a few. It also has a program for nonprofits with its unique financial requirements and reporting procedures. Each program is designed to be easy to navigate and intuitive to use with step-by-step guidance and in-program help aids.

PlanMagic has reliable financial calculators that take the numbers you enter and automatically configure your company’s monthly budgets, depreciation values and years of financial projections. It allows you to import financial data from your accounting software or Excel spreadsheet, and it generates impressive charts and graphs from that information. Because each industry is different with the information that is required for an SBA loan or for an investor to seriously consider your idea, each individual software program includes the information you need for that particular industry.

This business plan-writing program includes all the necessary document-creation tools you need for writing your plan, such as spell check, document preview and the ability to import images. It also includes sample plans and templates to make it even easier to create your own business plan.

There are some drawbacks to this software application. First, it doesn’t support immigration arrangements, which may be necessary if you’re locating the business outside of the United States, sponsoring foreign workers or plan to secure overseas funding. Second, PlanMagic doesn’t include an option for team collaboration. The top-rated business plan software allows multiple users to access the business plan and make changes at the same time, which is a great feature if you have business partners or even investors that need access to your business plan.

PlanMagic includes some of the best guidance and research resources available through a business plan program. You can access several statistical and market-analysis databases with the most up-to-date business trends and information for your particular industry. PlanMagic guides you through the various available funding options and can even help you identify specific angel investors, venture capitalists and personal investors that may be a good fit.

PlanMagic Business offers many tips and hints on its website to help you launch a great business and make it successful. It can help you prepare presentations so you can pitch your idea with confidence to investors. If you need expert guidance, PlanMagic has a group of advisors that can mentor you or even write the business plan for you.

PlanMagic offers great technical support. We received responses to our email questions within a half hour of sending our request. The support personnel we chatted with on the telephone and via live chat were very courteous and knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. This program has video tutorials, FAQs section and user manuals available on its website. You can also reach the company through Facebook and Twitter.


Even though it doesn’t have immigration plans nor a team-collaboration feature, PlanMagic is an easy-to-use program with specific software designed for your industry, whether you’re launching a nonprofit or a retail establishment. The financial and document tools, business tips, and sample plans are all designed around your business needs. The extra guidance and resource tools, such as investment identification and access to market-analysis databases, make this business planning program worth the investment.

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Enloop Review 2016 #sample #business #plans

#business plan software


Enloop Review

PROS / Enloop is a cloud-based application that has a basic version that is free to use.

CONS / Business plans cannot be saved as Word documents.

VERDICT / Enloop allows you to import financial and current business analysis information to help you create an effective, professional business plan.

Enloop is an online business plan-writing program that has templates and support for multiple industries with the exception of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits have special financial and budget needs that require specific tools that Enloop doesn’t have. Despite this oversight, Enloop is easy to use with step-by-step instructions and an intuitive design, making it one of the easiest business plan software applications to use of the programs we evaluated.

Your vision for your new company ultimately determines the business plan you need to write. If you are starting a small business, you need a specific startup plan. If you need funding to expand your established company, a funding or investment plan is ideal. All of these small business plans are available through Enloop. It also has plans for determining the feasibility of an entrepreneurial endeavor so you don’t have to waste valuable time investing in a project that may not work.

Business plan writing should be as stress-free as possible. Enloop includes some of the best document-creation tools to help make writing your small business plan easy. This includes spell check and the ability to import images, such as your company logo or product photos. Enloop gives you step-by-step guidance through each section of the writing process. You don’t need to worry about formatting because Enloop takes the text you enter and automatically formats it for you using its AutoWrite feature. You can turn this off, though, and enter and edit text on your own. The one feature that is missing is autosave. This means that if you are working on your business plan but forget to hit Save, none of your changes will be saved, and you will have to start over. This feature provides a lot of peace of mind and is found in our top-ranked business plan programs.

Enloop is cloud-based software, which means you can give multiple people access to the document. Everyone can see and contribute to it, allowing everyone on your team to contribute their personal strengths. This business plan software can track your writing progress and score your plan so you can see how effective it is. If anything in your plan is missing, Enloop has help tools to make your plan stronger.

Every business plan should include information on income projections, operating expenses and budgets. Enloop includes financial calculators, chart generators and budget tools to help you create financials quickly. Enloop also lets you import financial data from your accounting program and automatically formats it for you. When you are finished with your business plan, you can save it as a PDF before emailing or printing out a copy to give to investors. Unfortunately, you don’t have the option of saving it as a Word document.

Some important information you should include in your business plan are market projections and current industry stability. This information is found in databases such as the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). In order to access this information you need a subscription, but Enloop gives you access to these databases as part of its service. To incorporate this data in your plan, all you need to do is click the information from the database and Enloop automatically includes it in the proper place in your business plan.


Enloop is a cloud-based business plan software program. While Enloop doesn’t offer the specialty financial tools needed to create a nonprofit plan, it has everything you need for a start-up business plan. It is easy to use with step-by-step instructions and the most important document-creation tools, such as financial calculators and feasibility tools. You can only save your finished document as a PDF though.

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Top 10 Business Card Printing Services of 2016 #start #up #business

#business card printing


Business Card Printing Reviews

Why Use Online Business Card Printing?

The top performers in our review are Elite Flyers. the Gold Award winner; Jukebox Print. the Silver Award winner; and 4Over4. the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a service to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 services.

While everything is going digital these days, a good business card is still a viable way to get your business noticed. The more flashy, innovative and creative your card, the less likely it is to be tossed into the proverbial pile of business cards and forgotten. While there are many business card printing services to choose from, the companies we reviewed stand out with their large selection of design tools, superior quality, and various printing and finishing options that help you create a custom business card that stands out from the rest.

In addition to business card printing services, be sure to check out our reviews on business card scanners that you can use to scan cards to a desktop program for easy access later on. While all of the business card printing services on our lineup offer other promotional business items and office supplies, our review of online printing services delves into more detail about the quality and vast selection of promotional items you can purchase from these companies. For more information about these companies, read our articles on business card printing services and other business-oriented services.

While both offset printing and digital printing create quality products, a good rule of thumb to remember is that offset printing is preferable for specialty colors and for applying certain finishes, such as gloss and ultraviolet (UV) varnishes. Digital printing is a good option for small projects.

Using an online design tool, you can either create your own business card designs, use a pre-designed business card template or choose from a variety of themed business cards to use as your own. After you have created a card that represents your business, you can view a proof of what the finalized cards will look like and then order them from the printer. Each service offers a variety of paper types, finishes and printing options.

Business Card Printing: What We Evaluated, What We Found

When choosing an online business card printing service, consider the service’s printing process, design tools and selection. These features greatly influence the quality of both the service and the product you will receive.

Print Quality
For our evaluation, we compared sample business cards from each of the services on our lineup, noting the quality of the ink, paper strength, finish and selection available from each company.

All of the companies sent a variety of business cards, ranging in paper type, weight and finish. Some even sent samples of other print materials. We evaluated a standard cardstock business card with a high-gloss finish. We assessed the ink quality of those cards, awarding business cards with deep and vivid colors a higher score.

The best business cards have finishes that make them stand out, such as gloss, UV spot finishing and foil stamping. We looked at a standard business card printed on 14-point cardstock with gloss coating and awarded the services that offered the most durable, shiny and high-quality images a higher print-quality score.

While our top-rated business card services offered the best quality, the difference in the quality of the ink, paper or finish from one company to the next was minimal.

Quality of Service
To determine our overall quality of service score, we evaluated how easy it was to navigate the company’s website, the online design tools it offers as well as customer service before, during and after our cards were shipped.

Most of the websites are easy to navigate and offer several business card designs you can browse through. However, we found that some services do not display any designs on their website. Instead, you have to open the design tool and browse through stock images or designs to see what types of business cards you can create. These services also typically charge an additional fee to use those designs and stock images.

Each service has an online design tool you can use to either design your own business card or personalize a pre-existing one. However, our top-rated business card services, such as GotPrint. offer superior design tools with advanced features that help you make high-quality business cards.

If you prefer using your own design program, each of the business card services on our lineup give you the option of uploading your finished project for printing. Each service has its own file formats it accepts. These requirements can be found on our matrix, on the service’s website or by contacting its support personnel.

When reviewing online business card companies, we considered the turnaround time, or how long it takes for your cards to arrive after you place your order. Most companies offer a 24-hour turnaround time for rush orders. However, orders generally take a few days to ensure every detail of your card is perfect before it goes to press.

We awarded companies that sent confirmation emails about our order and shipping details a higher score, since this was not standard. There were several companies we had to contact for updates about our order since they did not send out confirmation or shipping emails. Some orders took several weeks to arrive.

Our hands-on testing is designed to simulate typical, real-world experiences with business card printing services. For our tests, we evaluated the sample business cards each company offers and used the design tool to customize others. The companies had no input on our testing methodology, and our rankings are not shared with them prior to publication.

What Else Is Important in Selecting a Business Card Printing Service?

In addition to the quality of the service, the final product and the turnaround time, you should consider the selection of cards each service offers. While some companies offer cards with vivid colors, it’s not enough to compensate if they do not offer a variety of paper types, shapes, finishes or card features.

We looked at the selection each service offers, including paper type, finishes, shapes, paper weight and whether the service offers specialty cards. With most services, you can choose from a variety of materials linen, cardstock, magnet and plastic. Some online business card companies, specifically MOO. have custom services to print on specialty materials, such as metal and even food items.

Finishing Options
While the type of material you print your business card onto makes a big difference in distinguishing your card from the mundane, each service also offers finishes you can apply to your card to help it stand out. We found that spot UV coating helped emphasize logos and made the business cards pop. Our award-winning services, as well as MOO and Vistaprint. offer several finishing options to bring your designs to life.

Paper Weight
Business cards need to hold up to everyday wear and tear. Lighter-weight cardstocks can be flimsy and fall apart easily. Using a heavier cardstock not only makes your business cards more durable, it sets them apart from the standard card. The best business card services give you several weights you can choose from. In addition, they offer specialty shapes so you can create round, square and oval business cards.

Our Verdict Recommendations

We found minimal differences between the quality of the business cards we reviewed. However, there was a significant disparity in the usability of the design tools, card selection and customer service between the best business card printing services and average services.

Elite Flyers exceeds other printing services both in the quality of business cards it offers and its customer service. It offers a wide selection of paper types and finishes to make your business card stand out. It has an easy-to-use design tool so you can either create your own design or customize a pre-designed template. We found the service not only processed and shipped our order quickly, but they were helpful with any questions we had.

Jukebox Print and 4Over4 offer a large selection of high-quality business cards. You can select from a variety of paper types, finishes and even specialty shapes to help you create a unique business card. Both services’ design tools are easy to use and allow for advanced customization.

GotPrint serves as an affordable option. Not only is this service more affordable than all of the other printing services, it offers a good selection of paper types, finishes and shapes. We found the service offers high-quality prints and helpful customer service.

Contributing Reviewer: Jessica Stone

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Penny Stocks to Watch for September 2016 (BGI) #business #continuity

#penny stocks


Penny Stocks to Watch for September 2016 (BGI)

Trading and investing in penny stocks requires special skills attuned to unique price action at the low-end of the market’s value spectrum. The SEC defines penny stocks as stocks that trade for less than $5, so when trading penny stocks, aggressive risk management is needed because many of these low-priced equities have descended from much higher levels for good reasons that include declining earnings, sector headwinds, and accounting blow-ups. (For further reading, see: How to Invest in Penny Stocks . )

That said, not all low-priced stocks are bad. It’s a different story for up-and-coming companies listed at low prices on national exchanges because they often go public with limited revenues, but excellent growth potential, or at least a bullish story that will attract healthy speculation. Even so, there are no guarantees they’ll prosper in the competitive marketplace so aggressive risk management is needed to avoid significant or unexpected losses. While low-priced stocks are risky, they can produce handsome yields. Below are five penny stocks to watch this September.

1. Birks Group Inc. ( BGI )

Montreal-based Birks Group Inc. (BGI ) sells jewelry and other luxury products through 26 retail outfits in Canada and the United States. This is an old company founded in 1879, but it just listed on the NYSE in 2006. A quick rally into 2007 posted an all-time high at 9.13, ahead of a steep plunge that finally came to rest at 20-cents in March 2009. A recovery wave into 2010 stalled above 2.00, yielding sideways action ahead of a successful test at the bear market low in February 2016.

The stock took off in a high volume rally after the company reported an unexpected profit in July, rising more than 300% in a single session and dropping into a consolidation pattern that just broke support at the .618 Fibonacci rally retracement at 2.20. On Balance Volume (OBV) indicates shareholders are hanging tough, raising odds for renewed buying interest when price nears the confluence of the rising 200-day exponential moving average(EMA ) and .786 retracement at 1.42.

2. MGT Capital Investments Inc. ( MGT )

MGT Capital Investments Inc. ( MGT ) develops mobile and online gaming technology. It came public in 2006 at 167 (post a 15 for 1 stock split in 2012) and entered an immediate downtrend that lasted for more than ten years, dropping the stock to 15-cents in January 2016. It ground sideways into May and took off in a vertical rally that added more than 5 points into a three-year high at 5.58.

A quick decline to 2.27 got bought, with that level offering support in the last three months. The sideways action has drawn the outline of a symmetrical triangle that could yield a fresh rally wave into double digits. The stock is now trading in the dead center of the pattern and needs to rally above the August 5 high at 3.74 to set a breakout into motion. A September 8 shareholder meeting could offer a catalyst for that buying wave.

3. Gold Standard Ventures Corp. ( GSV )

Canadian junior miner, Gold Standard Ventures Corp. (GSV ) ended a strong uptrend at 3.05 in May 2012 and entered a steep downtrend that finally ended at 26-cents in July 2015, well ahead of the December low posted by the gold futures contract. The subsequent uptick eased into a rising channel in November, with price gains continuing into July when dropped into a pullback that tested the 50-day EMA. Aggressive buyers emerged, lifting the stock 15-cents above the 2012 high, to 3.20 and its highest high since listing on the U.S. exchanges in 2010.

This level marks major resistance, predicting a consolidation period before a breakout drives the stock to much higher ground. Watch the rising 50-day EMA for buying interest just above 2.00, with that level now aligned closely with the August 10 gap between 1.96 and 2.06. It may take a gap fill to bring prospective shareholders off the sidelines.

4. Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. ( NAK )

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. ( NAK ). also based in Vancouver, Canada has been listed on the NYSE since October 2003, when it came public at 2.83. A rally into 2007 posted a top at 15.61, ahead of a steep decline during the 2008 to 2009 bear market. It bottomed out at 1.69, with the bounce finally reaching 2007 resistance in 2012, ahead of a breakout that posted an all-time high at 21.76 in 2011.

The subsequent downtrend may have finally ended at 20-cents in January 2016, with price action since that time carving an Elliott 5-wave pattern that’s lifted price to a two-year high at 1.16. It’s been pulling back for the last week and could drop as low as the 50-day EMA, currently rising from 61-cents, before gathering the buying interest needed to test the high and start the next leg of the trend advance.

5. TOP Ships, Inc. ( TOPS )

Greek shipper, TOP Ships, Inc. (TOPS ) has struggled since coming public on U.S. exchanges in 2004, posting four reverse splits that now set its first-day value at an astounding 14238. It entered a massive downtrend just four months after public listing, falling to an all-time low at 13-cents in January 2016. It ground sideways into February and went vertical, rising from 21-cents to 3.00 in a single session, after completing another reverse split.

A sideways pattern gave way to an early August breakout above the March high at 4.44, with the stock rising above 8 and then reversing sharply. It’s now filling the August 1 gap, which is located just under the breakout level at 4.44. The 50-day EMA is rising toward falling price and could provide the support needed to generate a strong bounce that sets the stage for a rally into double digits.

The Bottom Line

The low-priced, penny stock universe includes both beaten down entries and newly-minted start-ups hoping to become the next Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT ) or Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL ). It’s important to keep in mind that secondary offerings, warrants. and other financing games pose a significant risk with stocks under $5.00. Since low revenues force many of these companies to issue stock repeatedly or enter sweetheart deals with big investors, who will get paid before public investors when the company finally grows, and the stock’s valuation expands. (For tips on how to avoid being scammed, read: The Risks and Rewards of Penny Stocks ). The most successful strategy at this end of the pricing spectrum treats each candidate according to its unique risk profile, taking extra care with new uptrends forced to navigate multiple resistance levels put into place by long downtrends. The above-mentioned stocks are key penny stocks to watch this fall.

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2016 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur s Franchise 500 List

Understanding the Ranking

There’s a lot that goes into putting together the first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Entrepreneur’s 37th annual Franchise 500 .

The process began in July 2015, when we asked franchisors to participate in our survey. Each submission was vetted before being entered for data analysis; 951 companies made the first cut. Of those, the top 500 became the Franchise 500 ranking, based on financial and statistical data from July 2013 through July 2015.

Only franchise companies that supply a full Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) or Canadian Disclosure Document and whose information is verified by Entrepreneur can receive a listing. To be eligible for the Franchise 500 , a franchisor must have a minimum of 10 units, with at least one franchise located in the U.S. The company must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S. and it cannot be in Chapter 11 at the time the ranking is compiled. (The exception to these rules is Canada-based companies that are expanding only in Canada.)

All companies are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. We also consider the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it’s been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA.

We do not measure subjective elements such as franchisee satisfaction or management style. The objective factors are plugged into our exclusive Franchise 500 formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score.

Remember that the Franchise 500 is not intended to endorse, advertise or recommend any particular franchise. It is solely a research tool you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing money in a franchise. Read the FDD and related materials carefully, get help from a franchise attorney and a CPA in reviewing any legal or financial documents, and talk to as many existing and former franchisees as possible and visit their outlets. The best way to protect yourself is to do your homework.

Research compiled by Tracy Stapp Herold and J.R. Jimenez with assistance from Hava Arieh, Rick Ignarra, Nicole Jurinek, Yvette Madrid, Jessica Nguyen and Giuseppe Ricapito; technical assistance from Angel Cool and Daniel Sibitzky; financial analysis by David R. Juedes, CPA; graphic design by Karen Meneghin.

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