Home Business for New Parents: How a Play Crib Can Help You Organize

In order to spend more time with their babies and to cut child care costs, parents are opting to do business from home instead of at the office. Working from home with a baby can be challenging, and it requires structure, organization and the right tools.

Home Office needs Playard

The Right Crib

An all-in-one playpen and crib, or playard, can provide the most comfortable and safe setting for your child to nap and play. With a set of built-in toys, your baby can be entertained while you work from home. Toys with noises and melodies, bright colors and plush materials can be soothing and fun. As your child begins to grow, you’ll want to make sure the crib remains a safe environment, and they’re unable to get into dangerous situations by climbing out unnoticed.

A Routine to Enjoy

It may be rough at the beginning to get into a routine as you try to balance work and a new baby. However, as the weeks go on, you’ll be able to establish a more realistic plan for how to spend the day. You’re going to have to practice flexibility, and you may be required to get more work done when your baby naps and after bedtime. If your child is on the floor, you can take the laptop down next to them while they play. It may be fun reading your work out loud to your baby. They won’t understand what you’re saying, but the inflection in your soothing voice with be helpful with their language development.

Portable Baby Carrier

Another way to keep your baby close is with a baby carrier or portable bassinet. Infants are especially comforted when they’re close to a parent during the early stages after birth. A carrier allows you the freedom to work on the computer with your child attached close to your chair.

Age Appropriate Toys

The age appropriate toys in an activity center are designed to keep your baby entertained. The average attention span of an child is figured as three to five minutes per year of the child’s age. Changing activities can be easy when you have the right tools. A bouncy chair mimics a parent’s gentle bounce and comes with a host of activities to keep your baby entertained. Baby mats and activity gyms are just as fun for your child, especially when you add plush toy animals and rattles. Baby swings and playards are also popular with stay at home parents. Make sure to position the equipment so that it not only faces you, but it is close to you and your work station. In addition to making them fun and entertaining for your child, choosing the right toy should also be important to their development and coordination.

The All Important Break

You don’t want your home business environment to be all work and chaos. The advantage to working at home is that you get to spend time with your baby, so you need to make sure you take a few breaks. Taking time out to play or read a story can promote bonding and relieve stress from a busy day.

Making money is important when you set up your business at home. However, it’s just as important to spend quality time and make special memories together too.

A work at home parent, Ann Bailey posts these reminders for new parents in a home-based business. Kids II, an innovative child equipment company, offers the Bright Starts playard activity and safety crib for all parents’ peace of mind about their infant’s health, comfort, inspiration and safety.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dharrels/3095646139/

 

 

 

The Three B’s You Need to Become a Great Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur runs a business or businesses by selling their product or services for a price, can afford to pay rent, wages and interest on the capital and still gain a profit in the end. An entrepreneur is also unafraid of the challenges and risks that are typically associated with the business on a day-to-day basis. Risk City. Global Entrepreneur Week.To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to have three important traits that can put you ahead of the competition. Brains, bravery and business coaching are three skills that will aid you in getting your business off the ground and moving toward a financially sound future.

Brains

Many business owners learn their skills through schooling and experience, but others are inbred with successful traits and were born to be leaders. Intelligence is always considered a key to any financial success, and entrepreneurs must have their share.  However, knowing how to work smart can separate successful entrepreneurs from those that find it difficult to overcome the typical business hurdles. An intelligent business owner knows that being a strong leader can make or break a business, especially when they lead by example. Financial geniuses are also smart enough to realize that they need to be disciplined enough to do whatever it takes to reach the finish line.

Bravery

It’s a fact that solid rewards can come with hard work and dedication. But a person who is brave and unafraid to take risks can achieve greatness in the business community. What separates the regular business owner from the successful entrepreneur is the gift of taking risks in order to make a fortune. All transactions may not be profitable, but it takes a skilled entrepreneur to handle that risk, calculate the gains and reap the rewards. If you’re only willing to make a modest income and never be brave enough to go above and beyond to reach your goals, you’ll likely not see overwhelming success in the independent business world.

Business Coaching

In order to achieve greatness with your own company, you need to formulate a plan. Many people are ensconced in their dream job, but they are unsure of how to reach beyond and achieve higher goals. A business coach can help an owner achieve success by organizing a plan, observing the strengths and weaknesses of their strategies and holding them to their final goals. Executive coaches are trained to aid you in your career from platforms of psychology and organizational development to human resource management and adult learning.

Bottom Line Benefits

Successful entrepreneurs that use business coaching see this as an investment instead of an expense because of the way their revenue can grow consequentially. An online directory of coaches is one of the best resources for those interested in learning more about this unique service. Here you will find a variety of people that are experienced and knowledgeable in this field, and you can choose the one that you will feel most suited for your executive career needs.

Most entrepreneurs in the world today have made it as far as they have by hard work, diligence and confidence. However, the three B’s of bravery, brains and business coaching will always separate the top producers from the rest of the crowd.

Ann Bailey started her own art business and shares these inspirations for other business founders seeking a step up. Noomii, a go-to online directory of executive coaches, is available to help any client ready for the next level of business guidance, encouragement and success.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradmontgomery/8192544700/

 

Owning a Piece of the Apple: How Small Businesses Get Started in New York

New York Real Estate

New York City presents a lot of opportunities for small business owners, but it can be daunting to navigate through the world of commercial real estate. Although the city has vacancies just like anywhere else in the country, it also has a higher concentration of new businesses starting every day. Due to this, you will need to be patient and dedicated if you are going to find the perfect place within your price range.

Tips for Finding the Right Place

1) Use a Real Estate or Rental Agent – Whether you are looking for a commercial rental or purchase, it will be much easier to navigate through all of the current listings with the assistance of a professional agent. Not only will they be able to help you avoid looking at places that are not suitable for your new business, but they will also have the inside track on any new properties that become available.

2) Set Flexible Guidelines – In order to find the right place, you definitely need to have guidelines such as the price, general location and size. However, if you are not at least somewhat flexible with your guidelines, it might be impossible to find a location for your business. Therefore, you need to determine what the property absolutely must have and what you are willing to live without.

3) Be Prepared to Move Forward – Even though it is always a good idea to look at multiple options before you commit to something, it is also imperative in New York City to be willing to move quickly. For example, if you are looking for a rental property and you find one that fits all of your guidelines, it would be unwise to leave without filling out an application. In order to do this, you will need to have all of the necessary verification paperwork with you. Keep in mind that a rental application is not a contract, so you will not be locked into anything by simply filling one out.

4) Get Pre-Approved – If you are planning to buy a piece of real estate for your new business, you will want to obtain mortgage pre-approval. By doing this, you will not only know exactly how much money you can spend, but you will also look like a much more viable buyer to the individual or business that is selling the property. In fact, whether you ask a Brooklyn Realtor or a Manhattan real estate lawyer, you’ll hear that some people will not even accept a real estate offer unless a pre-approval letter is attached. Therefore, it is in your best interests to obtain that before you begin seriously looking at your options.

5) Hire a Real Estate Lawyer – There are two main reasons to work with a real estate lawyer in New York City: to review the contract before you sign it and to resolve any disputes that arise after the contract has been signed. By hiring a lawyer who specializes in real estate, you will be able to avoid a lot of the issues that have caused other businesses to fail before they even get a chance to greet their first customer.

Even though it can take a while to find the right place within the city limits, there are definitely prime real estate opportunities available for both buyers and renters. Therefore, you simply need to utilize the tips above and take the time to visit every property that matches up with your guidelines.

 
Ann Bailey, a business advice contributor, shares this list to help small business owners in their quest for commercial space in New York. The Manhattan real estate lawyer group at Canfield, Madden & Ruggerio LLP has thirty solid years of experience assisting clients in all aspects of business property purchases, leases and dispute resolutions.

5 Top Ways to Advertise Your Business Locally

Marketing is central to the success of any business, but the size of a business substantially affects its ability to reach its customers. Small businesses often have a limited budget for marketing activities and generally confine their marketing activities to advertising. When advertising, all businesses must seek a cost-effective medium that provides a suitable number of exposures to the greatest number of customers for the least amount of money.

This One's Going to Stay Up Here

1. Sponsorship Banners: Promotional sponsorships like vinyl banners can be a valuable tool when advertising to the local community, and are remarkably low cost to produce. Sports programs at local schools will often allow businesses to display these types of advertisement at games in attempt to raise money. Advertising at local academic institutions allows businesses to improve their local community and raise brand awareness at the same time. Local game advertisements allow businesses to target individuals who live within a specific school district and maintain a captive audience for the duration of the sporting event.

2. Direct Mail: Direct mail is one of the most common forms of advertising for local businesses. Direct mail campaigns involve sending advertisements directly to customers in order to communicate the marketing message. Direct mail advertisements have the advantage of being highly customizable in terms of both content and format. Sizing, laminates, length, and even thickness are all variable. Businesses can produce small flyers or send entire catalogs. Unfortunately, direct mail campaigns present problems of clutter, where the recipient is so overwhelmed with marketing messages that any one particular message is likely to be lost. Additionally, many advertisements go directly into the wastebasket, thus losing any repeat exposures that a permanent advertisement might ordinarily provide.

3. Radio Advertising: Radio is a valuable advertising medium for local businesses. Radio advertisements are inexpensive to produce, offer businesses a high reach, can be targeted at listeners of specific programs, and airtime is inexpensive to buy; this results in a low cost per thousand exposures. The limitations of radio include a highly variable reach depending upon the station, the region, and the time of day, and the fact that many people rarely sit and do nothing other than listen to the radio. Listeners are often completing other tasks while listening to the radio, such as driving or working. This reduces comprehension, which necessitates additional exposures.

4. Newspaper and Magazine: Print media is a classic source of advertising. Newspapers and magazines offer businesses the chance to present their advertisement to a highly targeted demographic. Nearly every town has its own paper and every hobby has its own magazine. Businesses can create and place advertisements in such media at a low cost. It is not perfect; the limitations of modern print media include a potentially low circulation and clutter. However, for businesses who can produce eye-catching advertisements and identify publications with a high circulation, print advertisements are worth including in any advertising campaign.

5. Television Presence: Television advertising is highly effective at presenting a message to customers. Unlike most media, television advertisements allow the business to provide both visual and auditory stimuli; even if the viewer is not looking at the television or if the viewer has the television muted, the business can present its brand and its offerings to the potential consumer. Using both auditory and visual stimuli, businesses can present far more information in a television advertisement than they can in other media.

Unfortunately, airtime is expensive relative to newspaper or radio advertising. It is also less precise than other media. Confining the advertisements to a local market is always possible, but if the business specializes in a particularly narrow field, there is no guarantee that the audience is even interested in the products or services. Producing television advertisements is also more challenging than producing other forms of advertising. Creating brand awareness requires a refined touch and businesses with no video experience may be better off hiring an expert, who will usually be expensive.

When advertising a local business, the direct costs are important but targeting is critical. Advertisers must seek out media with a low cost per thousand exposures. These exposures must be aimed at a targeted audience. The advertisement should not blend in with clutter. Finally, the advertisement itself should not be excessively expensive. While every medium has its limitations, local businesses will generally benefit from community-based advertising.

Photocredit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/luahiwa/4915540290/

 

 

New Hampshire Storm Recovery: Is it Safe to go Back to the Office?

Flooded Workshop

The year 2012 was not kind to the Northeast. Many buildings were damaged by severe weather, leaving property owners with the task of clearing up damage from wind and water. Hurricane Sandy brought flying debris, shattered windows, and flooded buildings, causing clear structural damage. Some of the damage is less obvious; flood-waters can introduce mold and other contaminants into buildings and cause electrical issues. If a damaged building is not fully repaired before work resumes, employees can get hurt.

Property Owners and Premises Liability

New Hampshire closely follows other jurisdictions in setting the liability that property owners have to individuals on their land. In New Hampshire, property owners have a general duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. This duty includes a duty to warn persons about hazardous conditions on the land and take action to protect them from reasonably foreseeable harm. A failure to warn about the defect, remedy the defect, or act reasonably will render the property owner liable for any injuries that result. Unlike other states, New Hampshire does not distinguish between invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

This distinction largely applies to guests, first responders, and other people who are not employees. If a non-employee is injured as a result of a condition on the land, injury lawyers NH can guide them as the above test applies. If the owner did not provide an adequate warning to the non-employee about the hazard and if the owner did not repair the harm, the property owner will be liable for the non-employee’s injuries. Injuries to employees are different; they are not normally handled through the tort system.

Workers’ Compensation

When an employee is injured at work, the employee will be compensated for his or her injuries through the state’s workers’ compensation program. This applies whether the injury was a cut from broken glass, electrical shock from a shorting outlet, blunt force trauma from a physically collapsing structure, or a long-term illness arising from exposure to mold. The nature of the injury matters little; if it was incurred while acting within the course and scope of one’s employment, it will be covered.

Workers’ compensation in New Hampshire offers injured parties a variety of benefits. In all cases, the employer will pay the employee’s medical costs including hospital care and rehabilitative costs. Employees are entitled to 60 percent of their wages if they are unable to perform any work. If the injured claimant can perform some light work, the injured claimant will be entitled to 60 percent of the difference between his or her old salary and his or her new salary. Claimants receiving full disability benefits, no Social Security Benefits and less than 60 percent of New Hampshire’s average wage are also entitled to a cost of living adjustment after three years.

Not all workers’ compensation claims are paid immediately. If the insurer believes that more documentation will be necessary, the insurer may delay payment until it is satisfied or deny an otherwise legitimate claim. If a legitimate claim is denied or if the insurer is making frivolous requests, contacting the state’s Department of Labor and lodging a complaint may resolve the situation. Those employees not covered under workers’ compensation should consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss options for recovering compensation. A lawsuit for negligence may be possible.

Ann Bailey has formerly reported for daily news outlets and offers these distinctions to help anyone injured while at an office in New Hampshire. Tenn And Tenn, PA are injury lawyers NH that represent clients for maximum recovery of their wages and benefits lost because of their office and other work injuries.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielpink/3548120912/

 

Business Delivery Service: What Happens When there’s an Accident?

Minott's Flowers - Delivery Time

Home delivery is a convenient feature for consumers and a competitive advantage for businesses. Many small businesses offer home delivery to make consumption easier for customers. Unfortunately, time on the roads results in greater exposure to severe weather, poor drivers, and other traffic hazards. When an accident occurs on one of the deliveries, businesses should take preventative action to avoid liability. This is the case regardless of whether the employee was at fault. Failure to do so may lead to a frivolous claim.

Determine Whether the Employee Is Injured

Avoiding liability is important, but the health and safety of all employees comes first. Money and company vehicles can be replaced; life cannot be easily replaced. If the accident was sufficient to disable or severely damage the vehicle, the employee may be injured. If the employee is injured, he or she will probably be receiving medical attention by the time the restaurant owner is notified of the incident; if not, encourage the employee to visit a doctor for an examination.

If an employee is injured, determine whether the employee is able to come back to work relatively soon. If the employee will be unable to return to work at his or her full capacity, provide the employee with the appropriate paperwork to file for workers’ compensation. The forms will provide the employer with legal notice of the injury and an application for workers’ compensation. The employer will need to fill out its own workers’ compensation form, OWC-8, and submit it to the Department of Employment Services no longer than 10 days after receiving knowledge of the employee’s injury.

Collect As Much Documentation As Possible

In any accident in which the worker was not at fault, it is still possible that the other driver will attempt to file a lawsuit of some type. In these cases, documentation will be key to thwarting the plaintiff. Collect police reports, the employee’s driving history, and any other documentation relevant to the collision. The insurance company will want a copy of the police report unless the at-fault party admits liability.

Repair Or Replace The Damaged Vehicle

If the accident involved a delivery vehicle owned by the restaurant, replacing the vehicle in a timely manner is important. The vehicle is an important revenue generating asset. Begin the claims process as soon as is practical. Alternatively, contact the business’ insurance provider and file a claim with them; this may result in a quicker replacement of the vehicle, but may also result in increased rates. Discuss the matter thoroughly with the business’ insurance provider before filing a claim with them. Do not admit fault to either insurer.

Protect Yourself with Legal Counsel

If the other driver was at fault, a car accident lawyer will be useful in warding off frivolous claims. Automobile accidents involving commercial drivers can involve claims against the business, regardless of whether the business or the driver was actually at fault. Plaintiffs will sue the driver and the business, arguing that the business is vicariously liable for the driver’s perceived negligence. Additionally, plaintiffs will allege negligence on the part of the business, usually under the theory that the business owner failed to train the employee in proper driving procedures, failed to supervise the employee while driving, failed to verify the driver’s record, or other numerous theories of liability.

If an employee is involved in a collision while acting within the course and scope of his or her employment, businesses should prepare for a workers’ compensation claim and even a civil lawsuit. If the other driver feels that he or she was not at fault or if the other driver simply believes that he or she can get quick money with a frivolous claim, mounting a legal defense may be necessary. If an accident occurs, ensure that the employee is well, document the incident, and seek advice from legal counsel.

With small business owners in mind, Ann Bailey shares these helpful steps for coping with an employee work-related traffic accident. The Virginia car accident lawyer group at Price Benowitz LLP is on hand in the greater D.C. area to assist any client’s delivery business against frivolous claims in the event of a driver collision.

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/therichbrooks/4090669986/

 

When Office Conditions Are Hazardous: Who Protects the Boss?

Lawsuits and liabilities definitely aren’t the first things that a person considers when they dream of owning their own business and being their own boss. Unfortunately, it’s a reality that they must face. Whether from an employee or customer, small business owners often face liability when injuries occur in their place of business. There are times, however, when simply being in an office building can be dangerous, even for the boss. It’s important for all who own businesses to recognize these risks and respond accordingly.

Broken windowsDangers that Business Owners Face

The only negligent parties people usually think about in office building environments are employers and workers, but the owner of the property can also cause injuries through their negligence. It is the duty of those who own and manage the property to ensure a safe environment for those who occupy offices in their building, and when they don’t, everyone, including the resident shop keeper, can suffer consequences.

  • Fire Hazards Fire hazards can be especially disastrous. If a business property is set up in any way that blocks exits, prevents early detection or creates a fire hazard, the landlord can be liable for any injuries caused by the incident.
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that can cause illness or worse in human beings. This gas can come from furnaces, gas powered engines and even refrigerators. The effects of this gas are deadly, and this applies to anyone, employee and management alike, who works in the building.
  • Undisclosed Dangers Any hazard in an office building that a property manager should have knowledge of is their direct responsibility to fix. A landlord who should’ve known that mold was growing in the duct system, for instance, could be held liable for illness related injuries that were caused due to the negligent act of not fixing the issue.

Preventing Injuries

Being proactive is the most promising way of avoiding injuries. Even though property locations are required to be safe, it never hurts for a tenant business to be vigilant in ensuring the safety of themselves and their workers. They should start by ensuring there are no fire hazards in the office.

-Check that all fire detectors are functioning properly

Ensure that any windows that are supposed to open actually do

-Make sure that no exits are blocked or sealed

-Report any electrical problem to building management immediately

There are also ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning or death. The easiest is to invest in a CO detector. Also, if everyone in an office starts experiencing flu-like symptoms, a carbon monoxide leak may be the culprit. It’s important to report this or any other strange occurrence or danger that exists in an office to the premises manager.

Responding to Hazards

Whether you listen to a Santa Barbara or a Syracuse personal injury lawyer, you will hear that the critically important thing to do is report any possible hazards as soon as you notice them. Unfortunately, sometimes these hazards don’t become apparent until an injury actually takes place. In these cases it’s important to find an attorney who can help with the issue since medical and office bills can quickly add up.

Business bosses have the same rights as anyone else; when they’re injured due to another’s negligence, in this case the landlord’s, they’re likely to lose considerable money and have the right to compensation. It’s sometimes difficult to prove, however, that the property owner should’ve known about the danger. This is why it’s so imperative to have an injury attorney go over the situation and figure out exactly how the claim should be handled.

Accidents can happen anywhere, and unfortunately, even when shop keepers follow all safety guidelines, injuries can occur. Many of these injuries can affect workers, clients and even the owner themselves. It’s important for them to know their rights in these situations, particularly when the injury was caused by a malfunction in office space they are leasing. Being proactive and responding accordingly are a small business boss’s best methods of protection.

A prior TV news host, Ann Bailey shares these sympathetic tips for business owners who suffer from landlord negligence. The Syracuse personal injury lawyer firm, Bottar Leone PLLC, fights strenuously for compensation and maximum support for their clients injured in office buildings or other work locations in the upstate New York area.

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/benhusmann/4620235686/

 

Promotional Items to Consider in 2013

When people think of promotional items, they think of popular items such as t-shirts and tote bags. And while the most popular promotional items in 2013 continue to be fashion accessories such as clothing and sunglasses, as well as functional items such as water bottles and tote bags, the landscape for promotional items in 2013 is changing. Although these items will continue to have prominence in 2013, they all have a modern spin.  Therefore, promotional companies have to adapt to the new year by offering fresh and innovative versions of their old products.

promotional items trends
photo credit: Rice and D via photopin cc

Tote Bags

One promotional item to consider in 2013 is the tote bag. Tote bags continue to grow in popularity because of their lightweight design and versatility. Also, environmentally conscious consumers like tote bags because they replace several plastic bags by being stronger and having a higher capacity. Tote bags can have many uses, including being used as a purse, grocery bag, or lunch bag.

One very popular tote bag for 2013 is the BYO lunch bag. BYO lunch bags are tote bags made of neoprene, a soft and stretchy fabric. One reason they are popular is that the bas are insulated in order to maintain the temperature of the items inside.  BYO lunch bags are also popular because they are environmentally friendly.

Water Bottles

Water bottles appeal to everyone because we all need water to survive. One reason water bottles are popular is because buying plastic water bottles at the store becomes expensive when done on a consistent basis. Therefore, reusable water bottles are popular because they save people money while being ecofriendly. While water bottles are still popular, new designs are beginning to arrive on the market. CamelBak water bottles and tin canisters are replacing old-fashioned plastic water bottles. Promotional water bottles appeal to people because they can be ecofriendly, fashionable, and thrifty at the same time.

Sunglasses

Who doesn’t love a new pair of sunglasses? Sunglasses are fun promotional items that are bound to please everyone. Today, sunglasses are used for much more than protecting your eyes from the sun. In addition to protection, sunglasses have morphed into fashion accessories. Stores have sprung up that specialize in selling designer sunglasses. Therefore, sunglasses make for great promotional items because there is a huge market for them.

Multifunctional Items

We live in a society where everyone has to double task. Also,smart phones have imbedded the notion that everything has to have multiple purposes. If everything has multiple uses, shouldn’t promotional items go with the trend? One popular option is the keychain. Keychain are great promotional items because they are small, fairly inexpensive to make, and can be transformed to have more than one use. Key chains can have many uses from bottle openers to flashlights.

Clothing

The last promotional item to focus on in 2013 has been a popular item for a long time. Clothing still stands as one of the bestselling promotional items for many companies. However, the standard t-shirt doesn’t cut it anymore. Many organizations want to custom label nontraditional clothing items, including cardigans, jackets, and watches. Companies that only offer custom t-shirts should focus on offering nontraditional clothing items for the new year because of its growing popularity.

About The Author: Sharon Greenwood works in the marketing and advertising arena. She reviews and writes about marketing companies like paragonpromotions.com. In her free time she enjoys swimming and spending time with her 2 dogs, Betsy and Ralph.

Hosting Your New Business: How to Buy More for Less

When it comes to starting a business, your online presence is a key factor in determining your success. While there are a variety of options available to business owners to have presences on the web, one of the most important is having a dedicated website. Unfortunately, many business owners who are starting out don’t understand what it takes to create and keep a website in cyberspace. Many think that they can simply build a site and then it will magically appear on the Internet. The truth is, however, that after a site is built, it must be hosted.

Web Building

 

What is Hosting?
Hosting is the process of placing and keeping a website online. A hosting company is one that offers storage space on a server, and the business owner’s website is then hosted from that space. Anytime a visitor accesses the business’ website, a connection is made to the server, and the visitor pulls data from it. These central companies are generally the route that most business owners take when getting their websites online, and most hosting companies offer a variety of options regarding different types of service.

 

Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting
When choosing an online service, business owners must also decide whether to go with shared or dedicated options. Shared service allows a business owner’s website to be on a server along with other people’s websites. This type of plan is generally less expensive than other options, but it also has its drawbacks. Because someone using shared hosting is sharing a server with other websites, loading speeds may be affected, especially if another site on the server is bringing in a lot of traffic. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, allows a website to be stored on its own server. This type of function is generally more expensive than shared, but it also allows websites to have faster loading times, quicker download speeds and less down time.

 

Costs to Control
No matter what hosting option you choose to use, it’s important to consider the costs involved. Some plans may start out a few dollars per month, while others may cost hundreds of dollars per month or more. Generally, the cost will be determined by the amount of space your site needs, the amount of visitors your site attracts and the amount of bandwidth your site uses. If you’re concerned about Internet costs for your new business site, you might want to do some research about coupons.

 

Discounts are available through a variety of avenues like www.hostingcoupons.com, and they can ensure savings on all kinds of web services. In fact, many business owners who are just starting out on the web use coupons to try out various hosting solutions until they find the one that’s right for their business.

 

When looking for a server solution, it’s also important to find one that will be able to grow with your business. As your business expands, the hope is that you will have more consumers visiting your website over time, and this may mean that you will need to change your web plan in the middle of a contract period. As a precaution, always look for a web provider that is willing to allow you to add on services with time and growth.

 

Ann Bailey has a small business website and shares these tips to help new site owners make decisions about hosting plans. Coupons available at www.hostingcoupons.com can assist smaller web-based businesses with start-up costs, adding to bottom line savings and business survival rates.

 

Capitalizing Your Business for Success

Every business needs capital to grow, no matter whether it’s a mom-and-pop storefront or a mature multinational corporation. Startups face particular challenges, however, given that they are generally untested and unproven.

For a new business in today’s economic climate, securing enough funding from a bank may prove a difficult proposition depending on how much it needs to borrow and how much collateral it can offer. For that reason, some entrepreneurs turn to courting investors or financing the business themselves. Both of these methods have own pros and cons.

venture capital
photo credit: Bikerock via photopin cc

Investor Cash Can Be Blessing and Curse

Money from outside investors can be very appealing for the simple reason that a business owner is not risking his or her own nest egg on the new venture. In addition, investor funding can help fuel massive growth in a relatively short term. However, that has the potential to be both a blessing and a curse. Uncontrolled growth can bring challenges – business owners may have little time to consider and refine their product and/or strategy as they become consumed by the demands of daily operations.

Large sums of outside capital can also bring publicity and media attention. On the plus side, that exposure can create word-of-mouth buzz, bringing customers without the expense of traditional advertising. On the flip side, however, a heavy amount of attention can overwhelm a startup, ratcheting up demand beyond supply capacity and threatening to undo any initial positive press with a wave of customer dissatisfaction.

In short, a new business must be ready for all eventualities when it hits the market.

Bootstrapping for Controlled Growth

Unless we’re dealing with the likes of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, the option of self-financing a business – also known as bootstrapping – probably won’t yield the quick growth and flash of an investor-funded startup. What it can offer, instead, is an enhanced level of control and stability, which may prime a business for long-term success. When owners bootstrap, their business can only grow as fast as their revenues and their ability to pay employees. That makes it less likely that customer demand will outpace the quantity or quality of the goods, or the capabilities of the workforce.

Of course, there are tradeoffs. Bootstrapping means the owner assumes the financial risk if the business fails. It may also be tricky to cover expenses, especially in the early days when sales volume is low. This is where a business owner may need to get creative, at least in the short term, in generating revenue and trimming expenses, which could include reducing or foregoing a salary. Other possible options include working from home to avoid office rent and using social media and other technology for low-cost marketing.

Funding Help Available for Small Businesses

There’s no denying that having a pot of cash at the ready would probably make life easier for startup businesses. Still, there are ways to grow a business with little or no capital. Online affiliate programs, for example, can provide a revenue stream – a business earns a commission each time a visitor to its website clicks a link to another firm’s products. Joint ventures, meanwhile, allow business owners to pool resources and share expertise.

The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, which is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration, seeks to help business owners secure private funding and long-term loans, with the overall goal of boosting private-sector job creation.

In FY 2012, the program provided financing totaling $3.1 billion to more than 1,000 small businesses, a 17% increase over the previous fiscal year. Almost one-third of the recipients were owned by minorities, veterans or women, and/or located in low- to moderate-income communities.

According to the Small Business Administration, about 65,000 jobs were sustained or created as a result of SBIC-related financing in 2012.

Whether entrepreneurs and small business owners tap into government programs such as the SBIC, finance themselves or seek backing from outside investors, they have options for securing startup capital.

About the Author: Dean Vella writes about business and leadership on behalf of University Alliance, a facilitator of online certificate programs in business administration, and leadership and management.