Monthly Archives: January 2019

Printing Your Own Fabrics | Business News Daily

Need custom fabrics in a hurry for a company flag at a new location, customized trade show furniture or uniforms for the factory softball team? You can have a conventional loom weave them for you and wait, or you could print them yourself on a wide-format printer right away.

The difference in time and cost is enormous, with the conventional textile route taking weeks or months to accomplish and potentially costing thousands of dollars. If you do it yourself, it can be done in an hour at a fraction of the cost, with the option to tweak the design if you don’t like the results.

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6 Mental Exercises For Busy People To Calm the Hectic Mind | Life Hack

The cold hard truth is that we’ve become big, clumsy animals.

We eat too much, carry way too much weight on our torsos. We sit in unnatural positions all day, which makes our steps awkward. But worst of all, we’ve isolated ourselves from nature and now our mental and emotional wellbeing is taking the hit; despite the fact that there’s overwhelming scientific evidence that the more in harmony with nature we are, the better we feel.

One recent study found that walking among trees improved participants’ short-term memory better than walks in urban settings. Another showed that soaking up natural beauty can cure brain fatigue and improve mental health. Elsewhere, researchers found that spending time in forests lowered participants cortisol levels (a hormone used to mark stress), reduced inflammation, boosted immunity, and even reduced the risk of early death.

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Cities should purchase from minority and women entrepreneurs | Fast Company

The population of Memphis, Tennessee is 63% black. Over half of the local businesses are black-owned; if you’re a black entrepreneur, it regularly tops the list of best places to start a businesses. But a 2012 study found that black-owned businesses take in less than 1% of all the money spent in the city. Women-owned businesses–particularly those owned by women of color–also struggle.

Part of the issue, says Joann Massey, a businesses consultant who now heads up the Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance, is how Memphis spends its money. Cities contract with vendors for everything from paper and pencils to construction work and technology services. In Memphis, as in most cities, those vendors are typically run by white men.

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2019 Tax Refund Chart Can Help You Guess When You’ll Receive Your Money

If anyone tells you that they have the 2019 tax filing season all figured, they’re lying. By all accounts, the upcoming tax season is going to be tricky. Despite a shoestring staff due to the shutdown, new tax forms and new tax rules, the 2019 tax season is still set to open on January 28, 2019. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claims that the season will operate as close to normal as possible—including issuing tax refunds.

So when are those tax refunds coming? Assuming no delays, what follows are my best guesses for expected returns based on filing dates and information from the IRS:

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Weird February Holidays Small Business Owners Can Use for Marketing | Small Business Trends

January’s going by in the blink of an eye as businesses of all sectors channel their energies into starting the new year as they mean to go on.

The good news is that while it might not be home to a ‘momentous’ holiday like Christmas or Easter, February is brimming with some wacky and wonderful holidays that offer business owners opportunity to promote themselves, extend their reach and ultimately make money.

Weird Holidays in February

Take a look at the following weird February holidays small business owners can celebrate and make money from.

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14 Overused Business Phrases We Must Retire (And Better Ways to Communicate) |

There are over 470,000 entries in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, with scores added every year. Yet in business, we tend to overuse the comfortable phrases we’ve become accustomed to, thinking we sound smart. News flash: We don’t actually sound smart.

I’m guilty of it. You’re guilty of it. Your clients are guilty of it. Using these clichés must stop now. Communication (read: good communication) is critical for your business to succeed. It helps you establish credibility among clients and even employees.

I reached out to business professionals across the United States for their number one buzzword pet peeve, and better ways to communicate it. You’ll want to save this list.

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The Best Way to Sort Consulting Clients into “Types” | David A. Fields

As consultants, we are masters of a particularly human trait: simplifying. We boil down a confusingly multifarious muddle into orderly, digestible bites. We apply this ability to trends, situations, strategies, opportunities, and virtually everything else. Including people.

Yep, we will happily reduce incomprehensible complexity (which pretty much describes humanity) into a handful of characteristics (which pretty much describes tiddlywinks pieces).

This makes sense, of course. You don’t want to address your English-speaking clients in Korean, serve pastrami sandwiches to vegan prospects, or invite a supremely introverted decision-maker out to the disco.

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Is It Time to Consider a Fixed Fee for Your Consulting Services? | Liz Steblay

Generally, the more experience you have as an independent consultant, the more likely you should move from billing by the hour to a fixed fee. At some point you’ll master your specialty and work much more efficiently than others. This means to earn what your services are truly worth, you’ll have to keep raising your hourly rates. But at some point, you’ll reach an invisible rate ceiling when clients think you’re too expensive, even if it takes you half the time to do the work.

When you reach this point, it’s time to start thinking about billing for your services by the project instead of by the hour or day. The idea is to price the project as if you’re going to do it from scratch, even though you know you’re going to adapt plans and materials from prior projects. By doing so, you’ll boost your income per hour.

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5 Ideas for Your Loyalty Program | Business

Want to boost customer loyalty? These rewards program tactics can help you build a loyal customer base and drive more sales.

Everyone loves to save money when they shop. When customers join a loyalty program, they expect brands to give them the freedom to use their points to get better deals.

However, roughly 54 percent of memberships for loyalty programs remain inactive, indicating that many customers are not using the loyalty programs for which they signed up. This is possibly because the program isn’t relevant to them or is inconvenient for them. With this in mind, you need to find ways to improve your loyalty programs so your loyal customers can get the most out of it and become even more loyal to your brand.

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Amazon’s Slick Fire TV Recast is a Great Way to Record Broadcast TV | Digital Trends

If you’re a dedicated cord-cutter or a rural viewer without reliable cable, on-demand access to your favorite network shows can be a pain to find. Sure, a quality HDTV antenna is a great way to get local programming for many, but who has the patience to rearrange their schedules for appointment viewing in the streaming era? Thankfully a whole new generation of over-the-air (OTA) DVRs has emerged to solve this problem, including Amazon’s own Fire TV Recast.

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