• 5 Tips for Maximizing LinkedIn for Your Business

    5 Tips for Maximizing LinkedIn for Your Business

    While LinkedIn is often used by job-seekers or employers looking to fill open spots, hiring isn’t LinkedIn’s only function.

    The social network, which reports more than 259 million members in more than 200 countries, also provides a great opportunity to connect with customers and identify new leads, says DJ Muller, president of WebLink International.

    “What LinkedIn is, is an awesome tool that is underleveraged by businesses in general. It’s a great tool to build more relationships with existing customers and it’s an awesome tool to use your customers to connect with prospects,” says Muller. LinkedIn research suggests that members are nearly 50% more likely to purchase from a company they’ve interacted with on LinkedIn, and 80% say they want to connect with companies on the platform.

    Here are Muller’s five tips to make the most of your time on LinkedIn:

    No. 1: Create a personal and a company page.

    Muller says it’s important to have LinkedIn accounts for both your company and yourself as an executive. LinkedIn has special “Company Pages,” which allow LinkedIn users to “follow” your company, and you can create a profile that clearly details your company’s expertise.

    On your personal page, Muller sa[...] Read More...

  • How To Successfully Host A Corporate Catering Party

    How To Successfully Host A Corporate Catering Party

    Plan the Details

    The most important thing you can do when hosting a corporate catering party is to plan out all the details. Make sure one person is in charge of checking over everything, to make sure it is all coordinated properly. You’ll need to know how many people you are inviting. Is it all people from one company? Are people going to need other accommodations? Will they be allowed to bring a plus one? What will be the dress code? How much will it cost per person? These are all details you will want to start thinking about in the beginning stages of planning for your catering party.

    Number of People

    One of the first things you will have to decide is the number of people who are coming to your party. Once you figure that out, you can start working with a menu and figuring out plate price and a budget. If you are only going to have 30 people, you might be able to afford fancier dishes than if you are feeding 500.

    You will want to send out some sort of invitation because it always makes things easier if you ask people to RSVP by a certain time so you know how many people to expect and whether or not they will need specialized meal types. Make sure on the instructions for RSVP you ask them whether or not they need a[...] Read More...

  • 5 Best Photo Editing Apps

    5 Best Photo Editing Apps

    Photo editing apps are a must for businesses that use smartphones or tablets to take photos.

    Smartphone and tablet cameras are better than ever, turning Average Joes into instant professional photographers. Still, smartphone and tablet snapshots are far from perfect. Photos can come out looking flat, dull or otherwise lifeless. Whether you share photos on social media or use them on your website or online store, a quick editing session with a photo editing app can make a world of difference in attracting customers with beautiful works of art.

    To help you wade through the sea of photo editing apps available at app stores, here are five of the best for iOS and Android

    1. Adobe Photoshop Express

    Adobe Photoshop Express takes the basic photo editing features of Adobe Photoshop and packs them into an app for iOS and Androiddevices.

    Designed for on-the-go photo editing, Adobe Photoshop Express is an entry-level photo editing app that offers a handful of features for quick edits and automatic fixes. Ba[...] Read More...

  • Real Estate

    Posted on November 20th, 2013

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    Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Drop to Lowest in Four Months

    Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Drop to Lowest in Four Months

    Purchases of previously-owned U.S. homes fell in October to the lowest level in four months as limited supply and higher mortgage rates restrained momentum in the housing-market recovery.

    Sales (ETSLTOTL) dropped 3.2 percent to a 5.12 million annual rate, the fewest since June, according to data released today by the National Association of Realtors in Washington. Themedian forecast of 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 5.14 million pace. The partial federal shutdown last month may have delayed some closings, the group also said.

    Concern that fiscal gridlock in Washington will damage the economy combined with the increase in borrowing costs amid expectations Federal Reserve policy makers will soon dial back monetary stimulus have slowed the rebound in housing. Sustained payroll gains would help repair confidence and enable more Americans to buy real estate.

    “The housing data has downshifted in recent months, presumably b[...] Read More...

  • Starting a Socially Responsible Business: How to Make It Work

    Starting a Socially Responsible Business: How to Make It Work

    With the holidays coming up, you might be planning a special charitable promotion for your small business, such as donating to a local nonprofit organization. While many for-profit startups make a point to give back to their communities during the season of giving, some incorporate philanthropy into their business model all year round. It may not be feasible for all small businesses, but for those who can afford it, the long-term benefits of social responsibility far outweigh the cost of giving away a portion of their profits.

    What is a socially responsible business model?

    For-profit companies that have a philanthropic business model make a commitment to support a social cause with every sale, 365 days a year. A well-known example of this is Toms‘ “One for One” model, in which the footwear company gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair of shoes it sells. Other companies donate a percentage of each sale to a certain cause or variety of causes, with some allowing customers to choose where their donations go. If you think your business will lose money with a model like this, think again: Philanthropic incentives only help your bottom line.

    “Research tells us that 80 perc[...] Read More...

  • Finance

    Posted on November 8th, 2013

    Written by

    The Crucial Role Of Savings In Upward Mobility

    The Crucial Role Of Savings In Upward Mobility

    Whether it’s the chicken or the egg, there’s no doubt that savings is an essential ingredient in upward mobility, as shown by a Pew Charitable Trusts study released Thursday.

    Just as a host of factors can contribute to a fall, a series of interrelated factors can also largely determine a family’s socioeconomic rise: namely, education, dual incomes, continuous employment and savings.

    “Forty percent of Americans think it is common for a person in the U.S. to start poor, work hard and become rich,” said Diana Elliott, the research officer for economic mobility at Pew. “But that rags to riches story is more often found in Hollywood than in reality. In fact, 43% of Americans raised at the bottom of the income ladder remain stuck there as adults, and 70% percent never even make it to the middle.”

    But among the many factors that are associated with upward mobility, several of them have one commonality: their ability to allow a household to build wealth. Before we dive into that connection, let’s explore these factors

    Top Factors Associate[...] Read More...

  • Apple releases its first transparency report

    Apple releases its first transparency report

    (CNN) – Apple is opening up about how many government requests it gets for customer information.

    The secretive company released its first transparency report on Tuesday, breaking down the number of account and device data requests it received from law enforcement by country for the first half of 2013.

    The United States submitted the most requests for account information, with 1,000 to 2,000 requests regarding 2,000 to 3,000 individual accounts. These requests might be for personal information found in iTunes, Game Center and iCloud accounts.

    The vast majority of requests the company receives are from law enforcement agencies trying to track down lost or stolen phones, tablets and computers on behalf of Apple customers.

    Apple received 3,542 of these “device information” requests in the U.S. for 8,605 devices, and Apple turned over some or all of the desired information 88 of the time. Germany made the second largest number of device requests, followed by Singapore.

    This is the first time Apple has released a transparency report. Google began disclosing data about its government requests in 2011 and releases [...] Read More...

  • How to Thrive On and Beyond Small Business Saturday

    How to Thrive On and Beyond Small Business Saturday

    In between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting local small businesses. The movement has inspired thousands of Americans to shop locally and it’s making a big impact. Last year, consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion with local retailers on Small Business Saturday.

    Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for small businesses to gain visibility, attract new customers and grow sales. But one day of strong sales a year is not enough. You need a game plan that sets you up to thrive every day.

    Flourishing Beyond Small Business Saturday

    Unlike big companies that can leverage extensive marketing departments to prepare for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping frenzy, small businesses have to be more resourceful in their marketing to get noticed.

    The Lifecycle Marketing process provides a systematic approach for promoting, selling, and distributing your products or services on Small Business Saturday … and beyond. There are seven stages that make up the Lifecycle Marketing process:

    • Attract Interest
    • Capture Leads
    • Nurture ProspectsRead More...

  • How to Accept Credit Card Payments from Anywhere

    How to Accept Credit Card Payments from Anywhere

    Forget the checkout counter: Small businesses today are using mobile devices to accept credit card payments from anywhere.

    By coupling your smartphone or tablet with a credit-card-reading add-on, it’s easy to process transactions — whether you’re at a conference, at a client’s remote work site or simply at home.

    But the market is crowded by a dizzying array of options for merchants looking for an easier way to accept credit cards.

    Read on for six steps you can take to begin accepting credit cards on the go.

    1. Own a business

    It might sound obvious, but most mobile credit card paymentproviders require applicants to prove they have a business before they can sign up to use the service. The good news for business owners is that these platforms were designed with small businesses in mind.

    That means virtually any business of any size can get approved, whether you own a boutique, run a handyman service or sell wool socks you knit in your spare time.

    The smallest businesses have the most to gain by opting for mobile credit card readers, which are cheaper and far more portable than traditional options. Businesses that don&[...] Read More...

  • Inheritance Investment Tips: Making The Best Decisions

    Inheritance Investment Tips: Making The Best Decisions

    Inheriting a large sum of money is a mixed blessing in so many ways. Even though the money may well be welcome, the passing of a loved one can be a traumatic and emotionally painful experience.

    However, the inheritance can be an important part of your grieving process. The way you handle that money is part of the legacy that your loved one left behind – so you want to make sure you treat it in a suitably fitting way.

    We’ve put together a short guide to help you make the right decision as to how best to deal with a big inheritance. Hopefully the tips we’ve pulled together can help you to decide what you do with your windfall.

    A word on inheritance tax

    It used to be the case that only the richest estates were affected by inheritance tax but a recent report has revealed how this is changing. While there are some ways that this tax can be mitigated, it’s important to keep the basics in mind.

    Here are the essentials of inheritance tax:

    • The tax is due on any estate which is worth more than £325,000. Most estates don’t have to pay as they fall below this threshold but rising house prices has meant[...] Read More...

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