Small Business Expert
Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.
Running a small business is a fulfilling experience, but it also provides enough expenses and small headaches to last you a lifetime. You have enough troubles to worry about and costs to fret over even without the stress of finding the financial software that’s right for you and your business.
Luckily, the Internet is a portal to financial software options that are easy to use and inexpensive, making them ideal for small business owners that already have enough on their plate. Here are five of the best personal finance apps and accounting software programs that can help you manage your personal and business expenses.
FreshBooks – FreshBooks is a program that specializes in invoicing and billing, though it’s not well-suited to accounting tasks in general. Still, its interface is straightforward, it has international options, and a robust online community means that there’s lots of help on-hand if you should need it. You can try FreshBooks for free for 30 days.
Mint – If you want to track your small business expenses as well as your personal expenses, Mint is a good solution, as it lets you pull all your financial accounts into one easy-to-access spot. You can keep track of your income, your expenses, and even budget for that dream vacation you so richly deserve.
Money 4 – Money 4’s tagline is, “Your sweetest accounting app.” How can you possibly resist such a friendly invitation? In all seriousness, Jumsoft’s “Money” software series has long been a favorite of budget managers everywhere thanks to its ease of use and affordable price. With Money 4, you can plan budgets and loans, handle invoices, and keep an eye on stocks. It’s all yours for under $40 USD, which makes it a pretty sweet deal. (For Mac and iPad)
Xero – Xero is an easy-to-use piece of accounting software that lets you track your bank transactions, your cash flow, and create invoices. You can also integrate your account with add-ons to expand its functionality. You can try out Xero for free to see if it gels with you.
iBank 4 – iBank 4 lets you keep track of all your expenses in one place, track your investments, and sync your financial data with your iPhone or iPad. You can manage loans and debts, and the iBank’s customer service is attentive and always ready to help. (For Mac and iPhone/iPad)
For more suggestions on financial/accounting software that’s ideal for small businesses, visit:
Personal & Small Business Financial Software for My Mac at MarkParrot.com
The Best Personal Finance Software for Windows at About.com
7 Great Financial Apps at AppStorm.net
Small Business Expert
Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.
Want to make a little extra pocket change? The Internet can help—and no, making money over the ‘net doesn’t mean stuffing envelopes or selling diet pills. Instead, you can use online services to produce and distribute books, crafts, games, and other cool items made with your own hot little hands. Before you make plans on how to spend all that sweet money, though, you should make yourself aware of the best self-publishing sites and services.
Most services specialize in one field, or a small handful. It’s important to find one that suits both your needs and your budget. Here are five suggestions for good self-publishing services and sites.
Lulu – Lulu is one of the Internet’s most popular go-to sites for authors that would like to do things themselves. You retain all the rights to your work, which can then be sold through popular online outlets like Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Lulu also has a wide range of print options, including paperback, hardback, glossy, color, or black and white.
Kickstarter – Kickstarter is fast becoming an extremely important site for individuals looking to fund niche projects via crowdsourcing. The person who is looking for funding pitches their project on the Kickstarter site in hopes of attracting enough donors. If the target amount is reached, the project is funded (the donors’ credit cards are not charged until the Kickstarter is successful), and donors are rewarded for their contributions. Kickstarter is used to fund all kinds of creative projects, including independent video games, books, albums, and documentaries.
Smashwords – If you’re looking to self-publish a book, it’s not a bad idea to start off with an ebook. Ebooks are much cheaper than self-published hardcopies, which makes people far less reluctant to take a risk on them. Smashwords lets you publish your stories on-line and then distribute them at a price you set yourself.
Etsy – Etsy is a crafting/supply site. It’s typically the go-to option for ladies and gentlemen who are looking to sell crafts, art, jewelry, and home-made toys online. For some artists, operating an Etsy store is a full-time job that brings in a steady income.
App Hub – App Hub is a website that offers free/affordable services to indie game developers that want to publish on the Xbox 360 and/or the Windows Phone. Developers who join will gain access to free tools, sample code, community support, and more.
Need more tips on where to find great self-publishing resources? Visit:
How to Self-Publish Anything at Mashable
Music Self-Publishing at Squidoo
Research shows that the most important factor for a person’s overall health and well-being is job satisfaction. And studies also show that happy workers are more productive. So it behooves all job seekers and employers to make sure employees not feeling stuck, bored or unstimulated by their work situation.
So how can you take control of your own destiny, and get a fulfilling job that will make you and everyone else happy? From the resume process to the interview to negotiating your compensation, here are 10 ways to get hired – and get a better job – for anyone seeking to find more satisfaction.
Always Be Networking – Even if you’re happy in your job, you never know when you may be on the lookout again. Make sure you are professional, courteous and thorough with everyone you meet, because you never know who might hold the keys to your next opportunity.
Define Your Online Identity – If someone wants to work with you, they’re going to do their online research. So make sure what they find is exactly what you ‘d want to be there. Control your image, across all social networks, from LinkedIn to Twitter and beyond. Share and highlight issues you want to be associated with, and make sure to treat any interaction as if your future livelihood can be judged on it.
Make a Resume That Stands Out – While you certainly don’t want to overdo it, showing a little flair with formatting, font size or even graphics can help make your resume into something unique and memorable. Creating an online digital resume is also easier than ever, and is a way to quickly and easily show you are tech savvy.
Avoid Jargon – As you craft your resume, be on the lookout not only for annoying buzz-words like dynamic, synergy or paradigm, but also be aware of using too much industry- or company-specific jargon that may not make sense to an outsider. Instead of mentioning your extensive and thorough TPS Report experience, simply call them weekly progress updates.
Adapt Your Pitch – Whether you’ve sent a dozen resumes since lunchtime or it’s your first application in years, make sure you’re adapting your resume and cover letter to fit the position you’re looking for. It makes sense that the same objective that might appeal to an interactive entertainment company might not really apply to the waste management firm.
Make Yourself Impossible Not To Notice – Do whatever you can to be seen associated with topics or industries you want to be a part of, whether it’s by creating and moderating a group on Linked In or participating in conversations on Twitter. Even if nothing comes out of it at the time, chances are someone will take notice of your ubiquity and expertise.
Seek Out Potential Employers – Don’t just wait for a job listing to figure out what companies you’d like to work for, but instead research firms in your area that specialize in your areas of interest and expertise. Make friends and follow companies closely, and you’ll be prepared if an opening ever does become available.
Dress For Success – Just as you work to establish your online persona, it’s imperative you’re prepared to look the part for your ideal career. Even if it’s a trip to the coffee shop, if you think you may run into someone with whom you have or would like a professional relationship, make sure you look your best. What you wear and how you look can have a profound impact on other’s opinion of you.
Prepare For Standard Interview Questions – At this point, you may be annoyed but you shouldn’t be surprised if someone asks you to tell you about your biggest weakness on a job interview. Make sure you’ve practiced answers to this and other common interview question so you won’t awkwardly stumble through your answers.
Use Leverage While You Have It – If you’re on the cusp of securing your dream job and a chance to be happy, make sure to take advantage of what may end up being your one and only chance to really bump up your salaries or incentives. Ask about a slightly higher salary than offer or inquire if bonuses are available. If you phrase the question the right way, employers may be willing to throw a little extra compensation your way.