Category: Business

25- Nov2016
Posted By: Terrance

Should New Entrepreneurs Wait Before Obtaining Small Business Insurance

New entrepreneurs are usually working with a tight budget. Since they are just getting their business of the ground, they may only have enough funds to buy tools, supplies, and promotional materials. With no established client base, it would be difficult for them to pay a small business insurance premium each month. For this reason, most would rather operate without insurance until they get more customers and a loyal following.

This seems logical, but what would happen if an incident occurs while the entrepreneur is in the process of building their business? Legal matters and accidents can occur at any time, whether you are selling a product or offering a service. Anyone with just cause can file a claim for any reason, and the matter doesn’t even need to be that serious. The cost to fight this claim is usually far more expensive than obtaining insurance for small business.

Business Liability Insurance for New Entrepreneurs

If a business owner sells someone a faulty product, or gave someone bad service, the person has the right to file a complaint and/or a lawsuit. This doesn’t necessarily mean the person is going to win, but it still costs money and time to appear in court and present a defense. If the matter is not serious, the entrepreneur may be able to afford the cost with no problem. However, if a lawyer is necessary, the entrepreneur may have a hard time paying them if their business is still generating capital slowly.

Liability insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially when you are new to business. Unfortunately, an incident can occur at any time, whether you’ve been in business for 6 months or 10 years. The small monthly cost of obtaining liability insurance can save you thousands in the long term. The protection you will receive will cover accidents, negligence, errors, and claims (false or warranted).

Health Insurance for New Entrepreneurs

New entrepreneurs may have the longest working hours of any individual. They are usually up pretty early and they will work well into the night if they need to complete a task. This lifestyle can be hard on the body and mind, and it can cause health problems over time as well. Even if the person is in good health, it would still be a good for them to obtain health insurance in case of an emergency. When a person is working this hard, they are usually not aware of the issues that may be going on in their body.

Insurance Quotes for New Entrepreneurs

Small businesses started by new entrepreneurs may only have one to five employees. Insurance quotes for new businesses with few employees are generally affordable. If you are a new entrepreneur, you will need to obtain insurance quotes from several companies to get an idea of what you should be paying. This will allow you to make an informed decision so you can protect yourself as your new business grows. You can always learn more at the TruShield Insurance website.

21- Nov2016
Posted By: Terrance

How to Make Your Start-Up Fund Itself

If you want to open a small business but lack the necessary funding, you should know that there may be ways to make these efforts fund themselves. The Internet is a dynamic and incredibly powerful medium. It has created countless opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to finance their projects without having to saddle themselves with debt or compromise their visions.


Start The Brand-Building Process Early and Monetize Your Content


One of the best ways to create a self-funding start-up is by advertising your brand and your business, long before you’ve even opened your proverbial doors. This will give you the chance to generate excitement about the service or products that you’ll soon be offering while giving you plenty of opportunities to establish yourself as an industry authority. You can do this by writing articles or blog posts that answer common questions and that help consumers better-define their purchasing goals and needs. When you do have sufficient funds for kicking your small business operations into high-gear, you will have already created market awareness and trust. Best of all, each of your posts can be monetized with in-content links or links that surround your content, and that lead to third-party websites. Any time one of your readers uses these links to complete an off-site transaction, you’ll be generating a modest amount of revenue. These monies can be saved up and later used to implement more aggressive marketing campaigns.


Use Video Hosting Sites to Generate Revenue


Video content can be far more valuable than written content when it comes to funding a start-up. That’s because web users can watch videos while on the go much more easily than they can read through lengthy, heartfelt essays on any subject. Create a channel on a popular video hosting platform and then use this to talk about your niche. Your content can be purely creative or wholly informational. The more engaging it is; the more viewers it will attract. Advertisers will pay you top dollar to air their ads just ahead of your most popular posts. You can use video descriptions to share links to your company website. You can also use some or all of the revenue from your video campaigns to fund your business.


Get Paid by Targeting a Specialty Niche


There are countless grants for small businesses that are awarded based upon the relevance of the targeted niche and the demand for the services or products supplied. There is also a lot of needs-based funding that company owners can appeal to as well. The key to making optimal use of this funding is to target a niche that is heavily supported by grant monies. For instance, significant increases in demand for senior health care services have prompted a number of government agencies, private companies and private consumers to offer grants for small businesses that intend to service this niche. Grant monies are rarely unlimited and they’re usually issued on a first-come, first-served basis. As such, it makes sense for company owners to target areas of industry that are currently the best-funded in this respect.


Insufficient funding should never be sufficient cause for failing to pursue your dreams. Savvy entrepreneurs can get their ideas off the ground with limited out-of-pocket spending. Best of all, they can even use funding strategies that match or even outperform the earning abilities of their small businesses. For additional resources, you may be able to learn more at the Ontario Centres of Excellence website.

18- Nov2016
Posted By: Terrance

Essentials of IT Management Software in Running Your Business

To many businesses, the Information Technology department is an expense. Due to the high costs involved in purchase and installation of infrastructure as well payment to staff and other processes, it is easy to think of IT as a necessary evil. However, the introduction of IT management software seeks to dispute the notion, instead insisting on the need for IT to be operated as a business.

IT management involves the use of different software aimed at enabling enterprises manage their IT assets and portfolio, improve efficiency and security and gain control over IT processes. In addition, the software helps businesses manage their spending on IT and other related resources in line with their priorities. Since todays data centers are complex and multi-layered, you need to utilize an IT monitoring platform from which you can manage your IT services with ease and high efficiency.Remote IT Management

Whether your business is small or large with branches in different locations, you can still use IT management software to ensure that your IT department runs smoothly and gives you its worth. Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software is one of the best ways of troubleshooting and solving any issues with IT devices and servers located in remote places. It enables managed services to simultaneously monitor the IT functions of multiple clients while saving on the costs of labor and travelling.

How It Works

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) install a software, usually known as an agent, on the clients endpoints including servers and mobile devices. The agent then relays information about the functionality and status of the IT machines back to the MSP. Through this automated reporting, the MSP is able to provide the necessary services to the client. There is no need to travel to the client’s location since everything, including automated maintenance and automated setup, can be done from any location or distance.

The Cost

Most MSPs base the pricing of their RMM services on flat rates which their clients pay every month. Some of the factors put into consideration when pricing is the number of devices and the nature of needed services. The MSP may also offer you additional services of your choice at a la carte pricing. Keep in mind that you will be charged according to the number of devices to be monitored or the number of the device users in your business establishment.


The latest IT management software, which includes RMM, is one of the best initiatives in handling all IT operations of small and medium sized businesses. Apart from greatly reducing the cost of keeping their IT departments in top form, businesses can raise their profit margin and thereby earn loyalty from customers as a result of uninterrupted services. Moreover, businesses can always acquire top talent, improve retention rates of employees and increase their productivity through automated onboarding which can be paid as an additional service provided by MSPs.

17- Nov2016
Posted By: Terrance

Deli-Style Trends Expected to Last

Unfortunately, lunch meat and the delicatessen that sells them receives a fairly bad reputation. People rarely correlate a deli with a cutting edge trend, usually because they are unaware of what these establishments really have to offer. Rather than pulling a number and waiting in line to receive the same, dull bologna, consider the fads sweeping the industry and the field of catering services in general for a more riveting approach to eating.

Expanded Flavor OptionsMost are able to understand why delis receive a fairly dull reputation because they are often affiliated with simple options. However and in recent years, these establishments have expanded their flavors to be more international, exciting, and perfect for a multitude of occasions. A professional caterer understands the need to incorporate tastes like Daniele Bresaola, which is beef that has been cured for three months, and Mortadella Pistachio, an Italian bologna filled with chunks of fat and fresh pistachios, into their business.

Upscale Sides and Soups

Typical potato salad and tomato soup are hard to come by in delicatessens nowadays; more intricate sides, including fresh chowders, robust pasta salads, twice baked potatoes, house salads with crisp vegetables, and even homemade potato chips are what’s trending today. These classy sides make it possible for catering services to provide solid meals for a vast array of events opposed to small luncheons.

A Focus on Desserts

Granted, desserts are always popular, but when it comes to delis, these sweet treats are rarely mentioned, a reality that makes the process of hiring professionals more difficult. Because of this, a current fad is to play dessert up by incorporating new ones into the overall menu of the establishment. Instead of a typical deli-style cheesecake, the industry is baking cookies, cakes, brownies, homemade ice cream, fried sweets, and even international favorites such as crepes, macaroons, and cannolis.

Smaller, but Filling

Surely there is an emphasis on eating healthy, specifically when the topic of portion control is presented. Though these services are known for crafting rich foods, an understanding on monitoring the portions is being used. Balanced meals are presented, which is excellent when wanting to sample multiple menu items without feeling any of the guilt. This concept greatly coincides with the smaller plate trend that has been heavily appreciated in the industry for years as well. Lesser portions are ideal for events that encourage dancing or any other physical activity, too. You can learn more by visiting Greensville Gourmet.

16- Nov2016
Posted By: Terrance

What the Future Holds For Mapping in Indoor Navigation

Trust technological innovators to come up with something that is out of this world and immediately transform a bitter struggle into a walk in the park. Several years ago, you had to rely on the goodwill of strangers to find your way through unfamiliar territories. Thanks to whatever guiding spirit that inspired the invention of Global Positioning System (GPS), you can sit back and enjoy your ride, unsure of your route but confident of your destination. Unfortunately, traditional GPS is hardly efficient in indoor navigation and the innovators had to go back to the drawing board and come up with GPS for indoors.


The Setting in of Indoor Mapping

In the recent past, indoor maps were simply floor plans that served as the only means for people to find their way in buildings such as shopping malls and stores. However, the introduction of indoor radio maps ushered in a new era in indoor localization marked by the use of smartphones to navigate through the indoor environment and view floor plans. Thus, it is now easy to find a product in a large store full of various different goods. This not only saves the customers’ time but also leaves them more satisfied and increases the possibility of the customers’ returns for more.


Challenges of Indoor Mapping

Like outdoor GPS, indoor localization has been on the lips of many positioning enthusiasts. Nevertheless, radio fingerprint mapping has been hounded by several challenges including lack of ease of use and consumption of too much time. Keep in mind that the indoor mapping process involves the measuring of WiFi signals at different points in the building in question for the purpose of accuracy in navigation and positioning. This is different from visual orientation floor maps. However, the two can easily be combined for maximum benefit of indoor navigation and well-designed maps.


The Future of Indoor Mapping

Only a few years ago, you had to make data recordings in just a few meters interval. In addition, you would need to move between the various points in the building, a tiresome and time-consuming affair, especially if you are taking the measurements of a very large building. With the invention of latest technology, there is a sure hope for elimination of most of the challenges including the cumbersome manual work with a tremendous reduction of the time taken in the mapping process while improving the quality of the results. In place of spending long hours walking through the building, all you will need is a predefined route along which you walk at a uniform pace while recording the ground truths only when there is change of direction.



Nothing is permanent in the world of technology. There is always someone working round the clock in an effort to come up with new improvements even when it seems the available technology is the best that can be hoped for. Like in every industry that relies on technology, there have been great improvements in all aspects of indoor navigation with a promise for even more.

11- Oct2016
Posted By: Terrance

How to Start a Business

A new venture can be an exciting time for many entrepreneurs and their families. While a small company can be an excellent way to gain personal freedom and earn money, it’s important to understand the reality of a new company.

Most new companies fail within the first few months. Accord to the United States Small Business Association, over 50 percent of new company ventures will cease operations after a year. While a new company may seem like a good idea, it can be a waste of time and energy if it isn’t researched.

A business plan is essential for all new companies. A business plan will consist of an executive summary, a company overview, a synopsis of the market environment, a company description, a company action plan and a financial overview. Without these components, it can be difficult to understand all the challenges and opportunities a new company may face.

It’s important to find a market niche for a company. Since a young company will have limited experience, it’s important to avoid competing with established companies that provide a similar product or service. In many cases, a new company’s products or services will be inferior to those of an established company. In addition, an established company will have higher marketing, research and management budgets.

When researching a potential market, it’s important to understand the competition one might face. For example, a company selling books online will have to compete with,, and many other companies. All these companies can manage books sales better than a new company. They will pay lower shipping costs, have better marketing departments and always have better financial resources.

If an entrepreneur wants to sell books online, it’s important to find a unique niche. For example, a company could specialize in pop-up books for children. Since this would differentiate it from most competitors, it would be possible to gain a significant number of consumers.

It may not be necessary to find a niche when starting a brick-and-mortar company. While an online store will have to compete with multi-national companies, a local restaurant or bar will only face local competition.

It’s also important to have realistic goals for a new company. Setting a goal that is too ambitious may lead to the downfall of a new company. For example, it is unrealistic to think one can successfully start a new company like Facebook, Google, Twitter or Apple. However, it is realistic to start an SEO company, car wash, restaurant, bar or laundromat. Since people rely on these services every day, it’s a pragmatic direction for a new company.

In addition, it’s important to keep track of budgeting and fixed costs. While a company should strive to minimize its spending, there are some expenditures that can be effective when marketing a company. For example, advertising and marketing are essential for gaining a new consumer base. Wasteful expenditures can include using new computer systems, over-developing a website, creating a private social network and signing a lease for an expensive building.

While a new company can be an exciting time for many people, it’s important to be rational when making decisions.

30- Sep2016
Posted By: Terrance

Six Illinois Kmart Stores Closing — What Can Retailers Learn From This?

The announcement that six Kmart stores in Illinois are shutting their doors is just more bad news for a struggling company and the hundreds of employees that will feel the effects of this. For other business retailers out there, Kmart’s troubles can be a very important lesson going forward in a time when the way shoppers make decisions is changing rapidly.

Customer Service and Product Availability

Even after joining forces with Sears, Kmart continued to have a bad reputation for not having products that its consumers want readily available. A lot of people also considered many Kmart stores to not provide premier customer service. In a time when there are so many options for consumers, these are two very important things that simply cannot be neglected. For example, Walmart, Kmart’s biggest rival, has been working hard to repair its image for bad customer service. Responding to change in the industry and what your customers are after is essential to staying on top, and Kmart obviously had trouble doing that in its later stages.

Online Shopping On the Rise

The E-commerce era has changed things. It wasn’t but just fifteen or twenty years ago that going to a department store was the only way for people to get the things they needed. Whether it was clothing, electronics, or just day-to-day grocery items, stores only had to compete with other stores. Location was as important as anything. Even in the early days of online shopping, local stores were okay because of long shipping times that made a lot of people still prefer to just run to the store versus using the Internet. That all changed as services like Amazon came on the scene and revolutionized the online shopping scene. Now, two-day shipping is becoming the norm, and every business retailer out there is feeling the strain as they not only have to compete with the store down the road, but online stores across the globe.

Window Shopping

Before the rise of Internet commerce, consumers visited multiple stores to view the selection of products and compare prices. Online shopping hasn’t changed that mentality. Everyone wants to get the best deal they can get, but the one major flaw of online shopping is that you don’t have the opportunity to physically examine the product and hold it in your hand. Unfortunately for brick and mortar businesses, this leads to a new kind of window shopping where consumers use the retail store just to check the product out when they really plan to make the purchase online. Of course, this offers nothing for the retailer. They have customers in the store, but they aren’t purchasing anything. Meanwhile, the retailer still has to pay the bills to keep the store operational. This is a major problem for retailers, and there’s no real good way to stop it. After all, you can’t easily differentiate between the customers that are considering buying the product from your store and the ones that are just using your facility to help them make a better decision.

The bottom line on the Kmart closings is that business retailers have to understand the problems they are facing and change with the times. Many retailers are working heavily on the online front to give their businesses a piece of that pie as well. The solution moving forward has to be understanding the threat from online retailers and finding ways to compete not just with the local competitors, but the global ones as well.

29- Sep2016
Posted By: Terrance

Valuable Small Business Development Centers Are Closing


The economy on Illinois, like that of every other state, depends on entrepreneurs deciding to start a business. That’s a difficult process, so the state has helped those new business owners learn about marketing, finance, and other important topics with their Small Business Development Centers. The centers have been highly successful for several decades, but many of them have been forced to closed down in the past few years.

What Do The Centers Do?

The centers provide training affordable training to new entrepreneurs. The training can cover essentially every aspect of running a small business, from management skills to the different ways of financing expansion. The low cost makes it especially valuable for people who never had the opportunity to attend business school, and their local focus means the lessons can be adjusted to deal with local market conditions.

Where Are They Closing?

Small Business Development Centers are closing all over the state. Approximately one fifth of the centers have either closed already or are scheduled to close in the near future. That’s a large number, but the fact that the closures are scattered all over the state means that many people will still have access to a center if they need it. They will need to travel a little further than they used to, and the centers will be more crowded, but relatively few people will suffer from a complete loss of support for their small business.

Why Are They Closing?

The centers are closing down due to a lack of funding. The program depends on government grants to survive, and those grants have suffered significant cuts in recent years. The majority of the centers are associated with universities. Those universities contributed to funding the centers, but few of them can afford to support the centers without help from the state, especially when their own funding has also suffered recent decreases. The Business Development Centers that are not associated with universities tend to be significantly less reliant on funding from the state, so many of them are still operating and have no plans to close.

28- Sep2016
Posted By: Terrance

Chicago Will Continue to Benefit from Low Interest Rates

In late August 2016, the President of the Chicago Federal Reserve was invited to speak in Beijing at the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance. Among the topics in his lecture to finance ministers and policymakers from around the world, the Chicago Fed President Charles Evans addressed the current economic climate of short interest rates.

The U.S. economy has been enjoying historically low interest rates since the height of the Great Recession in 2008. In the beginning, the low rates helped banks access cash that was desperately needed after many financial institutions failed and were forced to stop operating. By 2010, the expectations from Wall Street for the three-month Treasury bill were around 4.25 percent, but they have since fallen to just under three percent.

Why Low Interest Rates Are Good for Chicago

According to Chicago Fed President Evans, a move to raise short-term rates will not benefit the U.S. economy at this time. This happens to be a sentiment shared by Stephen S. Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada. It so happens that Chicago and Canada have been enjoying good trade relations during the historical period of low rates as nearly 200 Canadian companies have set up shop in the Windy City in the last decade.

Around the same time the Federal Reserve agreed to leave interest rates low, the S&P CoreLogic Case/Shiller Home Price Index was released. This benchmark report, which covers the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., had some good news for Chicago: local home values have increased by 3.7 percent since July 2015, and this appreciation is the highest experienced in the last two years. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of room for improvement as home price are still 18 percent below their peak levels from a decade ago.

The gains observed in the Case/Shiller Home Price Index are impressive from a historical point of view. Since the collapse of the American housing market, single-family residences in Chicago have recovered by 34 percent while condo units have recovered by 45 percent; this recovery has been boosted by the low interest rates of the last few years, and it needs to continue until the end of this decade.

Unlike other metropolitan areas such as Dallas,the economic recovery of Chicago has not yet come to fruition. Low interest rates will continue to benefit the Windy City until real economic progress can be felt.


Without Tax Reforms, Illinois May Not Achieve Economic Growth

The first debate between United States presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton left voters in Illinois wishing for clues with regard to job growth and private business incentives.

Trump mentioned tax breaks while Clinton mentioned tax adjustments, but neither candidate mentioned the possibility of tax reform, which is something that the Prairie State desperately needs. Tax breaks and adjustments

After a lukewarm year for the American economy, greater economic activity in Illinois seems like a dream that may never be achieved. In terms of job growth and economic expansion, Illinois is behind the national indicators for these two important macroeconomic factors.

For most of the 21st century, U.S. presidential candidates have shied away from including tax reform in their political agendas. Just like Trump and Clinton, they have talked about tax breaks, adjustments and enforcement, but they seem to draw the line at sweeping tax reform.

Why U.S. Tax Reform is Overdue

One of the problems with a stagnant tax code is that business innovation ends up getting stifled while local governments seek dubious means of revenue. In Cook County, for example, a tax on sugary drinks has been proposed while property taxes soar. Research and development operations do not receive the tax credits they deserve, which means that innovative projects are never completed.

With a tax rate as high as 39 percent for many private business enterprises, companies cannot be entirely blamed for taking advantage of tax loopholes that allow them to direct their profits outside of the U.S. The tax code has become so complicated that the adjustments and breaks proposed by Clinton and Trump will probably have little to no effect on the economy.

How to Pass Tax Reform

Some political analysts believe that Trump and Clinton have not proposed tax reform because it would be an impossible task. While it is true that such reform will not be easy, calling it impossible is a stretch.

During his two terms, President Barack Obama presented two reform projects far more complicated than taxation. One was Obamacare, which was a massive insurance reform program; the other was immigration, which he was able to advance to a certain extent. There is no question that the next administration would be able to handle tax reform.

Comprehensive tax reform could benefit not just Illinois but also North America as a whole. With nearly 200 Canadian companies operating in the Chicago area alone, the prospect of corporate-friendly tax reform is too valuable to ignore for another four years.

25- Sep2016
Posted By: Terrance

Electric Bikes- The New Mode of Travel

Among the lesser known marvels of commuting today is the electric bicycle. Also known as e-bike, it has the potential of turning almost any situation into a trailblazing, fun filled session of excitement. It’s important to note that an electric bicycle is not the same as the standard moped. Electric bikes come with an on board battery but you will still need to do some pedalling at least in some parts of your trip. The majority of electric bikes are pedal-assisted and several even have throttles.

Healthy Commuting

While e-bikes save you money that you would have otherwise spent on filling the car gas tank, it will also you save time and takes away all of the frustration associated with traffic jams. Then, throw in the endorphin-driven, mood-elevating daily exercise routine. With an electric bike, you arrive at your destination in the best of moods.

Easier Parking

You cannot easily forget how you dread the parking nightmare every morning. Even when you have a secured or reserved parking space at your place of work, it certainly feels nice to avoid having to drive into those concrete monstrosities that have become of the modern car parks and be able to ride your e-bike right to the office door.

And who can forget the joy of not having to pay parking fees. Even if you have to pay for bike meters, definitely, easier parking options are most welcome, a reprieve from those nasty parking tickets.

Saves you Money and Time

Everybody wants to save some bucks during these hard economic times. Electric bikes come with huge cost savings. This could be as huge as saving you from having to buy a car! You may also opt to using an e-bike to occasionally supplement your current modes of transportation and hence keep some money from filling up that gas tank. Besides saving the environment, the rechargeable battery pack will save you from daily trips to the gas filling station.

Reduces Pollution

Today you won’t go very far without being encouraged or persuaded to become more “green”. The global trend is to give more care and attention to our fragile environment. Electric bikes are green as it can get. Coming with rechargeable battery packs, the e-bike gets you to almost any destination that your car can, but with a much better carbon footprint. You physically stay fitter while contributing to environmental conservation.


The electric bike has seen tremendous growth in terms of popularity around the world. Today, 1 out of 7 bicycles being sold is in fact battery-assisted. A 2009 report on “Electric Two-Wheel Vehicles” forecasts that over 466 million motorcycles and electric bikes will be sold globally between 2010 and 2016, representing a10% growth in annual compound rates. You might be interested in learning more at the Scooteretti website.