Tag: Tips

How to design a business card: 10 top tips #small #business #accounting

#designing business cards

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Creative Bloq

How to design a business card: 10 top tips

A well-designed business card lends legitimacy to your business, and can make you stand out from the crowd of competitors. Check out our top tips on how to make a lasting impression.

Although we re working in paperless offices more and more, the humble business card is still a mainstay of business. If you haven t got a card you can give out to prospective clients or collaborators, you re missing out on a key marketing opportunity.

Not all business cards are created equal, however. We live in a world where the average small business can design their own cards and order them from well-known online printers for under 20. These cards tend to be of an inferior weight, and typically use twee clipart to relate themselves to the business being advertised.

What this means is that there are a lot of poorly designed business cards out there! This is both a challenge and an opportunity: to stand out you need to create a design that looks fantastic, and helps you differentiate yourself. If you can make it tactile and feel pleasant in the hand, you ll be well on your way. Create an effective card and you can elevate your business above your competitors before the prospect has ever seen your website!

So, with all that in mind we ve brought together 10 of our top tips for creating effective, innovative business cards .

01. Use good design principles

It might seem obvious but it s worth reiterating that a business card is a piece of printed material like any other. Because of this, the basic principles of paper-based design apply to business cards:

  • keep all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
  • work at 300dpi for best image reproduction
  • ensure you maintain a minimum size for your typography to maintain legibility
  • design in CMYK unless you re working exclusively with spot colours

Many designers also find it helps to use a grid to lay out their cards, as this can help you to achieve the right hierarchy of information as well as ensure your alignment is sound.

02. Get creative within the constraints

There are a couple ‘standard’ sizes for business cards, depending upon where you are in the world. One typical example is 55x85mm, although you’ll see many other sizes quoted on the web. Working within this tiny canvas you can still get creative with the space: start by considering the key information you want to include, which will typically be a name, phone number and email address, then work your design around presenting this information in a creative way.

03. Avoid common pitfalls

There are some common pitfalls to designing business cards that it helps to be aware of. The first and most obvious is to ensure you provide a bleed as specified by your printer. This is commonly 3mm, but can be 5mm so check! Just as important is to avoid using a straightforward border around the entire of the card, as this will show up any misalignment in the trim if the card isn’t perfectly cut.

04. Use special finishes

This example features a UV spot to highlight fret positions, on the reverse of a guitar tutor s business card

An instant way to add impact to your business card, and make it stand out from the crowd, is to use a special finish. Special finishes include the likes of foil blocking, spot-UV and metallic inks, and can add significant cost to your print. What they offer, however, is the opportunity to make your card more tactile, visually impressive and memorable.

Different printers offer different options for finishes, so speak to them to find out what they can do for you, and don t be afraid to go to a specialist if your usual printer only offers straight four-colour print.

05. Cut into your card

This card, designed by Phil Jones, Ryan Coleman and Jeff McCullough for Yoga One, shows how some creative thinking with die-cuts can result in a fun and memorable card

A great way to make your card unique is to use a die-cut process to remove elements from the card stock, leaving a void. You can either use a die to change the shape of your card (by rounding the corners, for example), or you can cut shapes out of the centre.

Dies are expensive to create the first time, although increasingly printers are offering laser-cut options that make it economical to create a die-cut look on shorter print-runs. There are some amazingly creative examples on the web, and when combined with creasing you can use the process to create architectural features in your card design. Also, don’t overlook letterpress as an option.

06. Use unusual materials

This card is constructed from a printed circuit board, and works as a USB device. When plugged in, it provides additional information about the owner

Most business cards are printed on card stock. This is the most cost-effective option for printing your cards. If you re willing to get a little more creative, you can print onto all sorts of different materials including transparent plastics, metals, wood and even slate.

Here dog treats have been used as a business card material, allowing the card to serve two purposes simultaneously

Keep in mind that cards need to be portable, and easy to file away in a pocket or briefcase, but get creative with your choice of stock material and you’ll instantly stand out from everyday business cards.

07. Make it useful

This business card designed by Emily Berry converts into a handy chair that can hold your phone upright on a desk

One of the problems with paper is that it s everywhere. Some people hold on to every bit of paper they receive, while others are far more ruthless and recycle at the first opportunity. To avoid the risk of being recycled, make your business card work as more than simply a calling card.

This card was designed by Jamie Wieck and includes a seed that sprouts after a few days of soaking

Some of the most memorable designs incorporate function as well as form. Examples include business card that act as a holder for hair clips or turn into a miniature armchair for your mobile.

08. Make your own

Breakfast Creatives cut up old cereal boxes to form their own, brand-relevant business card design. Credit: http://breakfastcreatives.co.uk

If you re feeling creative, why not make your own business cards? You can find letterpress kits on eBay at reasonable prices, allowing you to convert any card stock into your own business card with ease. This is a time-consuming but very satisfying way of expressing yourself in a card!

09. Recycle old cards

These cards were made by hand out of business cards, christmas cards and screenprints that went wrong. Credit: http://designbyif.co.uk

Old business cards, postcards or packaging can be repurposed and given a new life as your business card. Recycling is both environmentally sound and can allow you to express your creativity in new and exciting ways. There are some fantastic examples on the web to get your creative juices flowing. The process can be as simple as getting some stickers printed, or as complex as hand-illustrating over the top of each old card to suit the recipient.

10. Double-check your artwork

This tip applies to every bit of print work you do, but it s so crucial it s worth repeating. When sending your artwork off to the print shop, make sure you ve double-checked every single detail. There s nothing worse than getting back your cards and discovering you missed a typo in the email address or name. Check twice, print once is a a well learnt adage!

Liked this? Read these!

Have you got any tips for designing effective business cards? Let us know in the comments below.





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Window Cleaning Coach: How to Start a Window Washing Business, Tips, Advice, Training, Tools,

#window cleaning business

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Hi, my name is Dave and I run my own successful window cleaning business called ShineTime in Birmingham, England.

The reason I’ve created this website is because I found that there was a lack of free information on setting up your own window cleaning business when I first started.

Instead I found there are a lot of opportunist window cleaners on the internet who are selling their knowledge (you can’t blame them really can you).

I realise when you’re setting up your own business funds are tight, so I’ve decided to give my expertise away for free.

The reason for this generosity you might ask? Well window cleaning helped me out of a tight spot: I was working in a dead-end factory for minimum wage and wasn’t too happy about the situation.

I finally decided to start my own window cleaning business, and after a lot of trial and error my business became successful. I want to help other people thinking of starting their own window cleaning company avoid some of the mistakes I made when I first started by doing this informative website.

Let’s get one thing straight, being a window cleaner is a horrible job: in Winter you feel like your hands are going to drop off, if you’re working by yourself it can become very lonely, and sometimes your customers can give you hassle. As you’re the head of the company you’re the one who has to deal with troublesome customers because there’s nobody to pass the blame onto.

It’s not easy either, most people seem to think it’s just a case of buying a bucket, getting a chammy and you’re away. Sadly there’s a lot of competition out there, it’s highly likely you’ll find all the best areas where you live (the posh ones that make you the most money) are taken.

You have to be prepared to work hard to build up your round and be able to discipline yourself because there’s no boss to kick you up the arse when you feel like having an impromptu day off. It’s very easy to slip into the habit of thinking: I can’t be bothered with it today. or I think I’ll knock off early .

It’s good to have the freedom that only comes with being your own boss, but it still doesn’t mean you can spend every other day in bed. Disappointing I know, but that’s life.

I want to make it clear that not everybody is suited to self-employment, some people need a person watching over them to make them work. If this is a description of you then you probably shouldn’t bother wasting anymore of your time on this site. Instead, you may want to consider looking for other cleaning jobs first to get some experience and see if a window cleaning career is really for you.

Despite all the drawbacks however, I believe if you’re desperate, i.e. stuck in a job you absolutely hate, or unemployed and on the dole, then window cleaning could be for you because it’s a realistic way of making a respectable living for a person who has no other options, just don’t expect to be driving around in a Bentley anytime soon.





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5 Tips for Starting a Successful Business #candle #making #business

#business tips

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5 Tips for Starting a Successful Business

When you start your own business, you re certain to hear a lot of different advice. Most of it will come from people who don t know the first thing about running a successful company. Turn to the internet, and you ll be overwhelmed by a multitude of articles and lengthy lists on the subject. Don t make the mistake of overthinking and overanalyzing it all. A few simple steps now can start your business down the path toward success. Here, we outline the five basic tips we ve followed to help us run our company.

1. Begin with a detailed plan.

This one is a must: Develop an in-depth plan that fully details how you ll attack the challenge ahead. Your plan should define any opportunities you ve identified, clearly state your mission, describe your target, establish measurable goals, and set deadlines for each milestone along the way. Remember that while it s important to have a plan, it s equally vital to be flexible enough to pivot when needed.

2. Get out there and network.

Our business would not be where it is today without all the professional networking we did when we first started. We continue to emphasize networking today. Until you ve established your business, you ll need to create your own word-of-mouth. Be your own brand ambassador, touting the benefits of working with your business and showing why people should give you a chance.

Start your own momentum. A wealth of events, trade shows, and networking groups exist to connect you with other professionals. These initial connections can lead to future business prospects, mentors, and strategic partners with the capacity to help grow your business.

3. Surround yourself with the right people.

The right mentors and strategic partners aren t the only people with whom you ll need to align. Surrounding yourself with a great team is equally important. Build your staff with smart, talented, and driven employees who share your vision. They can not only transform your business but also accelerate its growth. Hiring positive, can-do employees helps create a culture that encourages teamwork. Foster an environment in which everyone participates, so you can collectively celebrate your company s successes.

4. Stay ahead of the curve.

You can t afford to be rooted in the present and solely focused on the day-to-day. It s crucial to keep one eye focused on the future, including upcoming movement in your industry. If you aren t anticipating the next big thing, you re destined to fall behind. Successful business owners study trends and anticipate what s coming around the bend. This allows them to nimbly adapt and evolve.

Stay current on emerging issues in your field by faithfully reading trade magazines and websites. Keeping pace as your industry changes assures you ll have your finger on the pulse to predict what customers will want — and which direction your competition might move.

5. Find a healthy work-life balance.

Running a successful business requires an inordinate amount of time and energy. It s paramount to find a healthy work-life balance, even though it can be a challenge to do so. It s easy to let work dominate your life. Don t. It could result in your losing touch with those whom you consider most important. It s also crucial to take care of your own health and well-being. Your business can t run without you. You might believe you need that perpetual hustle to stay sharp and succeed. But that pace can and will burn you out, ultimately limiting how much you can achieve if you don t take time for yourself.

Find ways to maintain perspective and preserve healthy relationships outside of work. Set aside time to get your body active in ways that energize and invigorate you, and schedule catch-up time with friends and family. They ll help recharge your batteries and inspire you to persevere as you dream even bigger.

Copyright 2016 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.





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6 Best Business Tips from 6 Top Entrepreneurs #owning #your #own #business

#business tips

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6 Best Business Tips from 6 Top Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur, content marketer, online educator

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is no easy feat. Sacrifice, hard work and an unwavering determination for achieving greatness are required. So is surviving your mistakes — because they will happen.

At CreativeLive, I ve always strived to learn from my own mistakes and to gain powerful insights from those who have successfully gone down the path before me. That s why I reached out to six top entrepreneurs, writers and CEOs I ve admired for years.

I asked each of them to share with me, in a selfie-style video clip, their single most impactful piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs. Those interviewees included:

  • Chase Jarvis. the prolific photographer and CEO at CreativeLive, who s on a mission to revolutionize the way the world learns
  • Jon Acuff. the best-selling author of five books designed to teach how to find and create meaningful work
  • Sophia Amoruso. the founder of NastyGal and the best-selling author of #GIRLBOSS. who launched one of the fastest-growing retail brands in recent history
  • Lewis Howes. the best-selling author, lifestyle entrepreneur and podcast host, who s interviewed more than 200 influential entrepreneurs on how to achieve greatness
  • Nir Eyal. the best-selling author, entrepreneur and speaker, who s pioneering the psychology behind creating habit-forming products
  • Guy Kawasaki. the entrepreneur, investor and former chief evangelist at Apple, who s helped dozens of well-known startups launch with a bang

Here s what each had to say:

Just about any and all business owners who have created a sustainable self-employed career will tell you that they wouldn t have achieved their goals without guidance from others. They re not afraid to ask for help. In fact, most of them are successful in a large part, because they ve surrounded themselves with trusted advisors. mentors and industry experts.

Here s more from these top entrepreneurs on how they ve risen to success in the world of business.

1. Chase Jarvis, CEO at CreativeLive

Image credit: Chase Jarvis

Scratch your own itch.

After becoming one of the world s best-known photographers at a relatively young age, Chase went on to found CreativeLive. the world s largest live-streaming education company. He credits much of his success to following his passions and pursuing only the opportunities that he s genuinely interested in.

Jarvis: Go after solving a problem that you have. Something that s near and dear to you, not some random market opportunity. Because, when things get hard, if you re chasing just the dollars, or a random market opportunity, you re not going to be able to have the fortitude, the passion, to stay with it.

2. Jon Acuff, New York Times best-selling author of Do Over

Image credit: Jon Acuff

Success takes hustle.

Acuff, the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over . set out early on in his career to pursue at all costs only meaningful work. For him, that meant 16 long years of being hired and fired, before eventually finding his dream job and launching his self-employed career as a writer, speaker and brand consultant.

Accomplishing his dream of working for himself took a lot of hard work, focus and hustle.

Acuff: Hustle is an act of focus, not frenzy. Hustle is about subtraction and addition. It s not about doing more, it s about focusing on the things you need to do, in order to move your business forward.

3. Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, author of #GIRLBOSS

Image credit: sophia amoruso

Don t give up, don t take anything personally, and don t take no for an answer.

Since founding Nasty Gal. in 2006, as an eBay store selling vintage clothing, Amoruso has transformed the business into a multi-million dollar empire with its own clothing line, which was named the Fastest Growing Retailer in 2012. Recently, TheNew York Times best-selling author of #GIRLBOSS has stepped out of her role as the CEO of Nasty Gal to become the executive chairman and to oversee the creative and brand marketing functions of the business.

Without any fashion or business experience before starting Nasty Gal, Amoruso credits much of her hard-earned success to her refusal to accept failure as an option.

Amoruso: The people who told me no were the people who eventually told me yes.

4. Lewis Howes, author of The School of Greatness

Image credit: Lewis Howes

Follow your heart.

Howes, The New York Times best-selling author of The School of Greatness , and host of the podcast bearing the same name, is a professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur. After suffering a debilitating injury on the field, Howes faced the fact that his football career was finished. Overnight, he lost his ability to do what he was passionate about, and was forced to discover a new way to live with purpose. Today, he s a writer, speaker and online educator who teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their online businesses .

5. Nir Eyal, author of Hooked

Image credit: Nir Eyal

Certainty is more dangerous than ignorance.

Eyal, the author of the Wall Street Journal best seller, Hooked . has become the authority on how to build habit-forming products. After years of research and experience in the video game and advertising industries, Eyal is a sought-after writer, speaker and educator on the psychology behind what motivates consumer engagement.

Eyal: It s up to us as entrepreneurs, to see the world as it should be –not necessarily how it is. When you think you re sure of the way things are, that s when you get passed up and you don t see the opportunities that real entrepreneurs envision.

6. Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva, author of The Art of the Start 2.0

Image credit: Guy Kawasaki

Focus on the prototype.

Kawasaki, the former chief evangelist of Apple, is an immensely successful marketing executive, investor and author of 13 books including The Art of the Start 2.0 . Over the years, he s helped dozens of well-known companies take their products from concept to market dominance.

His formula for replicating startup success? Focusing only on the activities that drive positive results for your business.

Kawasaki: If you get a prototype out and you get enough people using it, you never have to write a business plan. A prototype is where you separate the BS from the reality.





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9 Tips For Growing A Successful Business #the #small #business #administration

#business tips

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9 Tips For Growing A Successful Business

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To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money – only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought. You can avoid this in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to reach to achieve success. Read on to find out how.

1. GetOrganized
To be successful in business you need to be organized. Organization will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things to be done. A good way to do this is to create a to-do list each day – as you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re not forgetting anything and you’re completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business.

2. Keep Detailed Records
All successful businesses keep detailed records. By keeping detailed records, you’ll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome the obstacles that can prevent you from being successful and growing your business.

3. Analyze Your Competition
Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.

4. Understand the Risks and Rewards
The key to being successful is taking calculated risks to help your business grow. A good question to ask is “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards for your business.

5. Be Creative
Always be looking for ways to improve your business and to make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and new approaches to your business.

6. Stay Focused
The old saying that “Rome was not built in a day” applies here. Just because you open a business doesn’t mean that you’re going to immediately start making money. It takes time to let people know who you are, so stay focused on achieving your short-term goals and give the rest time to come together on its own.

7. Prepare to Make Sacrifices
The lead-up to starting a business is hard work, but after you open your doors, your work has just begun. In many cases, you have to put in more time than you would if you were working for someone else. In turn, you have to make sacrifices, such as spending less time with family and friends in order to be successful.

8. Provide Great Service
There are many successful businesses that forget that providing great customer service is important. If you provide better service for your customers, they’ll be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competition.

9. Be Consistent
Consistency is key component to making money in business. You have to consistently keep doing the things necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you make money over the long term.

Conclusion
Starting and running a successful business can be rewarding and challenging. Success requires focus, discipline and perseverance. However, success will not come over night – it requires a long-term focus and that you remain consistent in challenging environments.





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Small Business Administration Business Plan Tips #best #online #businesses

#small business admin

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Writing a Business Plan: Tips from the SBA

The best way to turn your great business idea into a reality is through the creation and use of a well-thought-out business plan. A strong business plan not only attracts investors or secures financing in the early stages of business development, but can also function as a roadmap for the future.

Great business plans have a structure that allows you to define what your business is, the market it serves, how it will conduct operations and the money it will make and spend. Here are the sections the Small Business Administration recommends including in your business plan.

Editor s Note: Need more in-depth support for your business plan? Fill in the questionnaire below and we ll have a top rated company offer you a competitive quote to write your business plan for you.

Executive Summary. The executive summary is considered the most important part of the business plan, and is usually written last. Its purpose is to summarize the rest of the plan, introducing the reader to your business in its most condensed form. It should talk about the highlights of your business, your mission statement, the history of your company and what you see in its future.

Company Description. This section goes into more detail about your products and services, how they meet the demands of the market and the differentiators that set you apart from your competitors. [See Related Story:Business Plan Tools for Startups]

Market Analysis. This is where you show off what you know about your industry, and in particular, the market your product or service will serve. Discuss your target market, its size, the distinguishing characteristics of your offering, and how much market share you can capitalize on accordingly.

Organization and Management. This details how you are going to run your company and conduct day-to-day operations to meet company goals. Talk about organizational structure, the management team and what makes this team qualified to run the company.

Service or Product Line. In this section, describe your product or service and the consumer needs that it meets. If applicable, talk about patents filed on intellectual property. Describe the product s life cycle, and any research and development activities for new versions or products.

Marketing and Sales. In this section, discuss your overall marketing strategy, including market penetration, growth, channels of distribution and communication. Your sales strategy includes your sales force and sales activities what will get your product or service into the hands of the customers your marketing strategy created.

Financial Projections. Here, you will discuss historical financial data and the prospective financial data developed after you ve analyzed the market and set clear objectives for your business. Projections should explain any assumptions you ve made in developing the data.

Funding Request. If you are planning on using your business plan with financing institutions or investors, your business plan must include a funding request. Discuss your current funding requirement, the requirement over the next five years and how you intend to use the funds.

Appendix. This is not in the main body in your business plan but can contain data that would be of interest to financial backers. This can be your personal credit history, r sum s, letters of reference, contracts, list of business consultants and other documents.

In an email interview with Business News Daily, Tameka Montgomery, associate administrator of the SBA s Office of Entrepreneurial Development, shared some additional thoughts on what entrepreneurs should know about writing a business plan.

Business News Daily:What are the most important qualities of a good business plan?

Tameka Montgomery: It s very important your business plan is thorough and well written, but you also want it to be clear on what you have to offer. Ask yourself: Beyond basic products or services, what are you really selling? Identify your niche. You don t want to become a jack-of-all trades and master of none, because this can have a negative impact on business growth. As a smaller business, it s often a better strategy to divide your products or services into manageable market niches. Small operations can then offer specialized goods and services that are attractive to a specific group of prospective buyers.

BND:What are some of the challenges new business owners face in creating their business plans?

Montgomery: One of the big challenges for smaller businesses is actually building a business plan. SBA can help [with its] Build a Business Plan online tool. It provides a step-by-step guide to help new business owners through the process of creating a basic, downloadable business plan. The great thing about this tool is they can build a plan in smaller bites, save their progress and return at their leisure.

BND:Is there anything entrepreneurs often overlook when making a business plan?

Montgomery: Entrepreneurs often overlook concrete, specific plans and sales forecasts. All businesses need to project sales because the plan versus actual impact of sales is the key to ongoing management in changing times. Your costs and expenses pivot on sales.

BND:Do you have any general tips for creating a good business plan?

Montgomery: Business owners should reach out for help. SBA has an extensive network leveraged through our resource partners and available to small businesses nationwide. The resource partners include 950 small business development centers, more than 100 women s business centers, and 350 chapters of SCORE volunteers who provide training and counseling. Counseling is free, and training courses may have a small fee to cover costs through this strong network that provides management and technical assistance. In addition, SBA s online training offers free courses and online tools to assist entrepreneurs with business management resources.

Editor s Note: Need more in-depth support for your business plan? Fill in the questionnaire below and we ll have a top rated company offer you a competitive quote to write your business plan for you.

Ready to write your business plan? Here are some more free templates to help you get started.

With an Associate s Degree in Business Management and nearly twenty years in senior management positions, Marci brings a real life perspective to her articles about business and leadership. She began freelancing in 2012 and became a contributing writer for Business News Daily in 2015.





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How to design a business card: 10 top tips #print #business #cards

#designing business cards

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Creative Bloq

How to design a business card: 10 top tips

A well-designed business card lends legitimacy to your business, and can make you stand out from the crowd of competitors. Check out our top tips on how to make a lasting impression.

Although we re working in paperless offices more and more, the humble business card is still a mainstay of business. If you haven t got a card you can give out to prospective clients or collaborators, you re missing out on a key marketing opportunity.

Not all business cards are created equal, however. We live in a world where the average small business can design their own cards and order them from well-known online printers for under 20. These cards tend to be of an inferior weight, and typically use twee clipart to relate themselves to the business being advertised.

What this means is that there are a lot of poorly designed business cards out there! This is both a challenge and an opportunity: to stand out you need to create a design that looks fantastic, and helps you differentiate yourself. If you can make it tactile and feel pleasant in the hand, you ll be well on your way. Create an effective card and you can elevate your business above your competitors before the prospect has ever seen your website!

So, with all that in mind we ve brought together 10 of our top tips for creating effective, innovative business cards .

01. Use good design principles

It might seem obvious but it s worth reiterating that a business card is a piece of printed material like any other. Because of this, the basic principles of paper-based design apply to business cards:

  • keep all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
  • work at 300dpi for best image reproduction
  • ensure you maintain a minimum size for your typography to maintain legibility
  • design in CMYK unless you re working exclusively with spot colours

Many designers also find it helps to use a grid to lay out their cards, as this can help you to achieve the right hierarchy of information as well as ensure your alignment is sound.

02. Get creative within the constraints

There are a couple ‘standard’ sizes for business cards, depending upon where you are in the world. One typical example is 55x85mm, although you’ll see many other sizes quoted on the web. Working within this tiny canvas you can still get creative with the space: start by considering the key information you want to include, which will typically be a name, phone number and email address, then work your design around presenting this information in a creative way.

03. Avoid common pitfalls

There are some common pitfalls to designing business cards that it helps to be aware of. The first and most obvious is to ensure you provide a bleed as specified by your printer. This is commonly 3mm, but can be 5mm so check! Just as important is to avoid using a straightforward border around the entire of the card, as this will show up any misalignment in the trim if the card isn’t perfectly cut.

04. Use special finishes

This example features a UV spot to highlight fret positions, on the reverse of a guitar tutor s business card

An instant way to add impact to your business card, and make it stand out from the crowd, is to use a special finish. Special finishes include the likes of foil blocking, spot-UV and metallic inks, and can add significant cost to your print. What they offer, however, is the opportunity to make your card more tactile, visually impressive and memorable.

Different printers offer different options for finishes, so speak to them to find out what they can do for you, and don t be afraid to go to a specialist if your usual printer only offers straight four-colour print.

05. Cut into your card

This card, designed by Phil Jones, Ryan Coleman and Jeff McCullough for Yoga One, shows how some creative thinking with die-cuts can result in a fun and memorable card

A great way to make your card unique is to use a die-cut process to remove elements from the card stock, leaving a void. You can either use a die to change the shape of your card (by rounding the corners, for example), or you can cut shapes out of the centre.

Dies are expensive to create the first time, although increasingly printers are offering laser-cut options that make it economical to create a die-cut look on shorter print-runs. There are some amazingly creative examples on the web, and when combined with creasing you can use the process to create architectural features in your card design. Also, don’t overlook letterpress as an option.

06. Use unusual materials

This card is constructed from a printed circuit board, and works as a USB device. When plugged in, it provides additional information about the owner

Most business cards are printed on card stock. This is the most cost-effective option for printing your cards. If you re willing to get a little more creative, you can print onto all sorts of different materials including transparent plastics, metals, wood and even slate.

Here dog treats have been used as a business card material, allowing the card to serve two purposes simultaneously

Keep in mind that cards need to be portable, and easy to file away in a pocket or briefcase, but get creative with your choice of stock material and you’ll instantly stand out from everyday business cards.

07. Make it useful

This business card designed by Emily Berry converts into a handy chair that can hold your phone upright on a desk

One of the problems with paper is that it s everywhere. Some people hold on to every bit of paper they receive, while others are far more ruthless and recycle at the first opportunity. To avoid the risk of being recycled, make your business card work as more than simply a calling card.

This card was designed by Jamie Wieck and includes a seed that sprouts after a few days of soaking

Some of the most memorable designs incorporate function as well as form. Examples include business card that act as a holder for hair clips or turn into a miniature armchair for your mobile.

08. Make your own

Breakfast Creatives cut up old cereal boxes to form their own, brand-relevant business card design. Credit: http://breakfastcreatives.co.uk

If you re feeling creative, why not make your own business cards? You can find letterpress kits on eBay at reasonable prices, allowing you to convert any card stock into your own business card with ease. This is a time-consuming but very satisfying way of expressing yourself in a card!

09. Recycle old cards

These cards were made by hand out of business cards, christmas cards and screenprints that went wrong. Credit: http://designbyif.co.uk

Old business cards, postcards or packaging can be repurposed and given a new life as your business card. Recycling is both environmentally sound and can allow you to express your creativity in new and exciting ways. There are some fantastic examples on the web to get your creative juices flowing. The process can be as simple as getting some stickers printed, or as complex as hand-illustrating over the top of each old card to suit the recipient.

10. Double-check your artwork

This tip applies to every bit of print work you do, but it s so crucial it s worth repeating. When sending your artwork off to the print shop, make sure you ve double-checked every single detail. There s nothing worse than getting back your cards and discovering you missed a typo in the email address or name. Check twice, print once is a a well learnt adage!

Liked this? Read these!

Have you got any tips for designing effective business cards? Let us know in the comments below.





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13 Best Quit-Smoking Tips Ever With Pictures #slideshow, #slide #show, #slideshows, #slide #shows, #quit

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13 Best Quit-Smoking Tips Ever

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

(1) Sami Sarkis / Photographer’s Choice / Photolibrary
(2) Stuart McClymont / Stone / Getty Images
(3) Image Source
(4) Jupiter Images Unlimited
(5) Marcin Balcerzak / iStockphoto
(6) Jacob Wackerhausen / iStockphoto
(7) Terje Rakke / The Image Bank / Getty Images
(8) Image Source / ArtLife Images
(9) Charles Thatcher / Stone / Getty Images
(10) Aimin Tang / iStockphoto
(11) UpperCut Images / ArtLife Images
(12) Jupiter Images Unlimited
(13) Justin Horrocks / iStockphoto

Smokefree.gov: “What’s Your Reason to Quit?” “Tools Tips,” “Find a Quit Method That Works for You,” “How Much Will You Save?”

American Lung Association: “Benefits of Quitting.”

Kidshealth.org: “How Can I Quit Smoking?”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 09, 2015

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE VETERINARY ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your pet’s health. Never ignore professional veterinary advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think your pet may have a veterinary emergency, immediately call your veterinarian.

WebMD Slideshows

View our slideshows to learn more about your health.





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  • 6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners #business #loans #rates

    #small business tips

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    6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

    If you run a small business, it s likely that you re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.

    Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.

    If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create and stick to a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]

    Define and understand your risks

    Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

    How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce? Cho said. Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.

    Overestimate your expenses

    If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can t predict when something is going to go over budget.

    Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated, said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.

    For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won t be fully unprepared.

    I go by the cost-moon-stars theory, he said. If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.

    Pay attention to your sales cycle

    Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an off-season , you ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.

    There is much to be learned from your sales cycles, he said. Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.

    Plan for large purchases carefully and early

    Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.

    Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you re operating within, Cho told Business News Daily. An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.

    Remember that time is money, too

    One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

    Timing underestimation directly increases costs, Ontra said. For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.

    Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.

    If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday, he said. So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.

    Constantly revisit your budget

    Your budget will never be static or consistent it will change and evolve along with your business, and you ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.

    Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make, Cho said. Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.

    Nicole Fallon Taylor

    Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

    You May Also like

    What is Zero-based Budgeting?

  • Organization is Key to Managing Business Finances

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  • How to File Federal Income Taxes for Small Businesses – TurboTax Tax Tips &

    #business tax

    #

    How to File Federal Income Taxes for Small Businesses

    Depending on your business type, there are different ways to prepare and file your taxes.

    When it s time to file a federal income tax return for your small business, there are various ways you can do it, depending on whether you run the business as a sole proprietorship or use a legal entity such as an LLC or corporation.

    Each type of entity requires a different tax form on which you report your business income and expenses. Regardless of the form you use, you generally calculate your taxable business income in similar ways.

    TurboTax has two products to serve business owners – TurboTax Home Business is designed for sole proprietors and 1099 contractors, while TurboTax Business helps you prepare taxes for corporations, partnerships and LLCs.

    Step 1 – Collect your records

    Gather all business records. Before filling out any tax form to report your business income, you should have all records in front of you that report your business earnings and expenses.

    If you use a computer program or a spreadsheet to organize and keep track of all transactions during the year, calculating your income and deductions is much easier than trying to remember every sale and expenditure that occurred during the year. TurboTax works with programs like QuickBooks and Quicken, so you can import information directly into your tax return.

    Step 2 – Find the right form

    Determine the correct IRS tax form. You always need to report your business earnings to the IRS and pay tax on them, but choosing the right form to report earnings on depends on how you operate your business.

    Many small business owners use a sole proprietorship which allows them to report all of their business income and expenses on a Schedule C attachment to their personal income tax return. If you run the business as an LLC and you are the sole owner, the IRS also allows you to use the Schedule C attachment. However, if you use a corporation or elect to treat your LLC as one, then you must always prepare a separate corporate tax return on Form 1120.

    When you use TurboTax Home Business (sole proprietors and contractors) or TurboTax Business (corporations, LLCs and partnerships), you just need to answer simple questions about your business income and expenses, and we ll fill in all the right forms for you.

    Step 3 – Fill out your form

    Fill out your Schedule C or Form 1120. If you will be reporting your business earnings on Schedule C, you can search the IRS website for a copy or use TurboTax to generate the form for you after you input all of your financial information.

    Schedule C is a simple way for filing business taxes since it is only two pages long and lists all the expenses you can claim. When complete, you just subtract your expenses from your business earnings to arrive at you net profit or loss. You then transfer this number to your personal income tax form and include it with all other personal income tax items.

    However, if you use a Form 1120, you calculate your taxable business income in the same way, but the form requires more details that may not always apply to a small business. The biggest disadvantage of filing a Form 1120 is that it is separate from your personal income tax return.

    Step 4 – Pay attention to deadlines

    Be aware of different filing deadlines. When you use a Schedule C, it becomes part of your Form 1040 and therefore, no separate filing deadlines apply. It is generally subject to the same April 15 deadline.

    If you need to file a Form 1120, you must file it by the 15th day of the third month following the close of the tax year, which for most taxpayers is March 15. You cannot send this form to the IRS with your personal income tax return.

    Remember, when you use TurboTax to prepare your taxes, we ll determine which forms you need and put the information in all the right places. All you need to do is answer simple, plain-English questions.

    Business and personal
    taxes in one

    Just answer simple questions about your business and life, and TurboTax Home & Business takes care of the rest.

    The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

    * Important Offer Details and Disclosures

    • Filing Deadline: IRS filing deadline for tax year 2015 is April 18, 2016 (except for residents of Massachusetts or Maine, where the IRS filing deadline for tax year 2015 is April 19, 2016).
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    • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for efiling state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase expected 3/18/16. Prices subject to change without notice.
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