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10 Essential Tools For Entrepreneurs and Startups

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Ideas can strike anytime. An idea may wander in your thoughts waiting for the best time when it can be implemented. A process of thought in your mind can be worth millions. In the present era idea and innovation is they key for a successful business. Addition of new game changing ideas, thoughts and young entrepreneurs are making the business world more dynamic and human life simpler and easier. If you can earn money from your hobby, then what can be a better and more satisfying job than that? You are your own boss, you manage your own money and you have more time for your friends and family!

When a group of colleagues or students think of a startup they are initially not much organized. Often people start with a hobby and when they observe that they have started making good money or money equivalent to their salary they plan to make it bigger and take it to another level, taking it to a complete professional platform. At this one needs to be professional and should create a professional environment that keeps the team motivated and give them the feeling of working on a big change. To help with this we are going to list some ten tools which will definitely help you in managing and running your startup.

1. Dedicated Contact Numbers

A visible complete office address, professional website and a dedicated line number can make your business look more professional and established. For examples having a toll free easy to remember number or 0845 numbers in case you are in UK can help your customers to connect with you without spending much. While having a toll free number will help your customers to connect with you for free, a 0845 number will help your customer to connect with you by paying only for a local call no matter wherever you are. A number of companies are available to provide you dedicated numbers hosted on their telecoms network making it sit on  top of your existing numbers. Thus, avoiding any need to install additional lines. You will also get additional features like call statistics, disaster recovery and online call management.

2. Wave

Wave is a very famous free tool that helps you be your own boss. Wave can help you with invoicing your clients and get paid by them, Accounting, managing Payroll and receipts and personal money management. Wave provides everything for free, only the Payroll feature is paid where they charge $1 per employee. You can connect your banks directly with Wave and it will help you keep a track of your transaction, your earnings, and will tell you where you stand financially and how you can manage it. All the features of Wave are inter-connectable, i.e any money earned through invoicing will automatically be updated in the accounting tool, similarly any bank transaction you make will be updated there. No need for manual entry, although Wave provide manual entry feature for those who are uncomfortable connecting their bank with the tool.

3. Skype

Skype has proven its supremacy when it comes to VoIP. It is quick, free and connects you with your team members around the world whether they are on computer or mobile. After the recent purchase of Skype by the Microsoft it has been nicely embedded in latest Windows OS and Windows Phone devices. Skype is available for almost any platform, not just Windows. There are a number of apps supported by Skype that can enhance its ability to be used as official communicator for your company. There are apps that provides complete PBX (Private Branch Exchange) solution. With Skype you can record your calls, divert your incoming calls to another number or voicemail, call people on their mobile or telephone for a very low price, etc.

4. Cloud Storage

Today with improvement in mobility and degree of freedom we need our data where ever we go. It will cost a lot of space if we start copying everything from our computers to tablet and mobiles and then a lot of effort to keep them on sync. Here comes cloud storage in picture. You can store your file on the online servers and access them, make changes and do whatever on any device. You can also share your documents with your team members and can give them authority to make changes as well. Dropbox is a famous cloud storage provider. With its free 2 GB space and desktop apps you can keep your systems at sync and upload files on the server so that you can access on other devices. Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive are one step ahead as they provide essential Google Docs apps and Microsoft Office web apps respectively for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and notes. When it comes to storage and costs, Skydrive is slightly better as it provides 7 GB of free space when compared to Google Drive’s 5 GB and Dropbox’s 2 GB. Also when it comes to extending your storage, Skydrive with its yearly plans comes to be cheaper. You can extend your storage capacity by 500 MB for free in Dropbox by inviting your friends to use it.

5. CrowdFunding

Often you have great ideas that when implemented can bring a good change and generate a large amount of revenue, but to implement such an idea and convert it into a startup requires some investment. If you do not have money to invest and if bank is unavailable to provide you loan, then crowdfunding is the solution for you. As the term suggests it is a platform where crowd (individual people, investors or companies) can fund your idea (can be anonymously) if they really like it. In return you can either give them momentos or gifts or a part of your profit when your business will be a success. There are a number of online services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo which can provide you robust platform to get started and raise money for your idea or cause.

6. Mailchimp

Often you disregard communication and service mails from websites and uncheck “send me communication and promotional mails” while signing up for a service, but there are people who do select it. Interested people want to hear what is new with your company, or when can they expect a new exciting announcement from you, or may be you will provide discounts and offers directly to their inbox to keep them engaged. Never undermine the power of emails. Even if you are not sending any such mails at present, it is a good idea to at least have contact information of your regular readers/viewers/customers as anytime in future you might require to send them a communication mail. For this reason Mailchimp is there to help you out. It can build a list of your customers for you and can help you to contact them with appealing email templates. This service is free up to 2000 customers and sending 12000 mails per month.

7. Website/Blogging Tool

It is very important to have your online presence whether your business require direct online involvement (like e-commerce, online journalism) or not. Having your company online connects you with your potential customers who may be out of your reach in the real world. Customers can find you and easily contact you online. Wix is a platform that can help you create free and beautiful website for you quickly without any requirement of coding. When it comes to online customer engagement, you need to have an updated blog about your company, containing updates, offers, communication etc and anything that is official. WordPress and Blogger are two most popular and powerful blogging platform. Whatever you write is available for everyone and can generate even more potential customers as blogs are indexed by search engines and they can be shared on social media websites generating more views and expanding your reach.

8. Domain name and Professional Email

When you have created a website and blogs for yourself, you need domain name and professional email. Just like point number one that we discussed, having a professional domain name www.somecompany.com and then directing it to your website and having professional email [email protected] can make your business look more professional and established. Godaddy is one such popular service that can provide you domain name and email Id for your company. You can even chose Google apps and that can buy you a domain via Godaddy or any other service and provide you its premium email features on Gmail.

9. Personal Productivity

You have a lot of ideas and things in mind but you forget one thing while doing the other thing? You note down at your desk or on papers creating a lot of mess and clutter. Often startups do not exactly start with an office space you might have your own private space and your team members might have their own. So if you are at any other location you will not be able to access or refer to your notes that you had pointed down on the papers or on the desk. There comes Evernote to help you. Again it is a multi-platform application and you can use it on your mobile, tablet, and computer no matter what operating system you are using. It can capture anything from your ideas, your thoughts, and anything that you think might need to be referred later. When you need to refer to your notes you do not have to search in the clutter of paper, but all you have to do is type some search keywords and Evernote will present you your notes. You can even share your notes, ideas and collaborate on project with your teammates. A similar service exclusively for Mac and Apple products is Omnifocus. If you are already using Skype and Skydrive, then you can use Microsoft Office OneNote, another service by Microsoft like Evernote.

10. Hootsuite

It is the time when almost every company is trying to make their presence on social media bigger. It not only keeps you connected with your followers and customers but also extends your reach to potential customers. Social media is not about time pass and killing time when moms used to scold their kids for wasting a lot of time on Facebook. Today it is a virtual market and with the help of customized Facebook pages you can even sell your products. Hootsuite is an application that can help you manage all your social network profile at ones. In a free account you can add up to five social media profiles. You can not only post, track each posts, respond to notification, view analytic, but also schedule posts. Scheduling a post at night can help you target the people on the other side of the globe even when you are asleep. keeping your social media pages active 24X7.

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Editor | The World Reporter. An economist, IT specialist and a post graduate student from Romania.

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Business

How To Reduce Your Shipping Costs As An Online Seller

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Reduce shipping costs

Shipping costs are something that you are stuck with as an online seller. This makes finding innovative ways to reduce your expenditure on shipping a necessity. This keeps your profit margins high and your stream of revenue flowing steadily. Thinking strategically to reduce shipping costs for yourself and your clients is a major requirement if you want to be successful as an online seller. This is because your customers and clients expect to spend less on shipping and want free shipping in most cases. Here are five smart ways to reduce shipping costs.

Choose lighter packing materials

Protecting items in transit is important, and this means you must get the best packing materials to secure them. However, not all packing materials are the same. To lower shipping expenses, consider lightweight, protective materials that offer the same level of protection as the heavier ones. In this regard, use air pillows and bubble wrap to secure the boxes’ empty spaces—the lighter the package, the lesser the cost.

Use flat-rate shipping

Make the most out of flat-rate shipping. Most major logistics businesses offer some sort of flat-rate shipping, and you can take advantage of this to save some money. If you happen to ship heavy items frequently, this could present a great opportunity to save a lot. Be sure to research your options and make the best choice that makes it economical for your business. You can get significant savings on UPS prices here.

Improve your negotiation skills

Great negotiation skills are key to saving money anywhere, and in the shipping business, your ability to negotiate will save you some expenses. You can negotiate the terms and rates of your parcel volume even if it is on the low side with your shipper to slash your shipping costs. With competition high amongst shipping vendors, being a good negotiator could secure you a good deal. However, note that not all shippers can provide certain services or guarantees. So, be sure you settle on one that can fulfill all your shipping obligations and satisfy your customers’ demands.

Buy in bulk

Buy packaging products, from cartons to air cushions, to bubble wraps, and even pallets in bulk. Buying in bulk usually comes with volume discounts that can save you some money. One more thing to consider is your product packaging. Your packaging is part of your brand, so find suitable branding methods that do not alter your products’ weight by much.

Recycle and reuse shipping supplies

It is more likely than not that you also have items shipped to you before you resell. It is best to recycle and reuse such shipping supplies, to save money on shipping costs and packaging materials. You can repurpose the cartons and packaging material for your own packages. Simply replace the shipping labels with your branded ones. This also ensures you run a green business as you reduce the effects of possible environmental pollution.

If you decide to offer free shipping to your clients, that is fine but remember that it will eat into your profits. In this regard, you must find smart ways to save money on shipping expenses as well as packaging. If not, then as much as possible, find ways to reduce the shipping costs for your customers so that they can continue purchasing your products.

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Ensuring The Best Quality For Your Customers

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Best Quality for Customers

For all businesses big and small, customer satisfaction should be the number one goal, as they’re the ones who make everything possible. Without customer satisfaction, you’re going to see sales decrease, and it’s going to be hard to operate with efficiency! There’s a lot you can do to ensure that your customers are satisfied, and it doesn’t hurt to put in that extra effort to make sure of it!

Data security

Data security is very important for many reasons, but most importantly you want to make sure customer information is not at risk! It’s a legal requirement to protect the sensitive information of customers and employees, and you’re likely going to lose sales if you have a data breach. Make sure that all of your data is secured and away from people with ill intent, else you’ll be risking your reputation and the trust of your audience!

In-house guarantees

If you work in retail, the only way you can ensure customer satisfaction is from product testing, and making sure everything is the quality you want it to be! Whether it’s by tasting products as a food retailer or making sure customers are getting what they pay for. If you sell by weight, consider investing in some scales to make sure you’re selling what you advertise – ones like these: https://www.arlynscales.com/scale-knowledge/industrial-weighing-scales/. You don’t want any mixups with customer satisfaction, and many brands have faced criticism for inaccurate advertising.

Promotions and loyalty cards

Loyalty cards and promotions are a great way to reward your customers for buying from you, they allow you to give back to the customer for their repeating patronage! Make sure to set it up so that you don’t lose out, while also giving back to your customers – you’re trying to please the customer, not sink the business!

A lot of businesses offer credit instead of a loyalty card, finance that can only be used in their stores, encouraging them to come back and buy from you again! These deals are great for building lasting relationships between you and your audience, and should be used by every retailer if they can afford it!

Customer feedback

Allowing customers to give feedback is very important if you’re trying to please them, as they can tell you exactly what you did wrong and how you can do better! A lot of businesses do this through their website with a review feature, allowing them to collect data on their customers and find a general consensus on what the audience wants. It’s never bad to hear what your customers have to say, and you might end up pushing yourself a little closer to success with each change based on customer complaints! You can read more at https://survicate.com/customer-satisfaction/tips/.

You can’t please every customer, but trying to please the majority of them is what’s going to help you climb closer to success. Trying to keep an honest relationship with your customers, and not driving your prices up too high is important if you want to keep loyalty between you; people can tell when they’ve been overcharged – and that’s not something you want!

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Where can I find Ray-Ban’s online spare parts?

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Rayban lenses parts

It has been many years since the aesthetics and fashion sector came to the world of eye wear. Especially in the case of sunglasses. Great brands and designers began then to work to launch to the market interesting models that have conquered the public of the whole world.

One of the most iconic examples is that of Ray-Ban. The American company has been launching sunglasses that are recognized by almost anyone for almost one hundred years. This makes them coveted examples with a high average price, so it is not pleasant that Ray-Ban glasses break and cannot be repaired.

Fortunately, nowadays it is easy to find Ray-Ban replacement parts online in a simple way and without this entailing a great economic expense. And what is so positive about this? In short, you can extend the life of a pair of glasses of this brand to infinity and thus amortize the investment.

Spare parts for all types of glasses

As easy as finding the right store on the Internet, knowing the model of glasses you have and looking for the part you need: replacement lenses for Ray-Bans, screws, Ray-Ban temples or even frames for the most serious accidents. You can find practically any type of part of this brand on the net at affordable prices!

In addition, these reference stores include the possibility of getting other types of lens-related accessories such as Ray-Ban sunglass cases. In this way, you can replace any element related to the optics that is broken, damaged or simply aged. Any of these problems has nowadays an immediate solution and very interesting thanks to reference webs in the sale of spare parts.

Unbeatable price

Options such as Replacementlenses are suitable for all types of Ray-Ban brand consumers for quite a few reasons: their unbeatable prices, the quality of the materials, and compliance with all U.S. brand guarantees.

This has made the web, which allows to receive the orders comfortably at home and in a very short time, become one of the favorites of the ‘Raybanmans’. There are people who are truly addicted to the aesthetic lines of the brand and who acquire different types of frames and brands for each look.

Thus, the Ray-Ban glasses have become a real fashion accessory to combine with the tie, suit, hat or socks every day. And this is partly possible thanks to the possibility of finding spare parts and accessories at very affordable prices in Replacement lenses.

There is no longer any doubt when buying a Ray-Ban: it will become one of the best investments made in terms of optics and eye care, while providing a touch of distinction and beauty on a daily basis. And, in case of any breakage, customers know they can get Ray-Ban spare parts quickly and at very reasonable prices.

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