10 Steps to Start Importing from China

When it comes to importing goods from China to the United States, getting started is the most complicated part of the process. Free trade agreements have made business exchanges between the two nations a cinch. By spending a bit of time preparing yourself for the process, you can get started in no-time at all.

tips for importing goods from China

While the process is simple, it is also an exact one. It is absolutely crucial that you follow all customs requirements and do not make any assumptions when it comes to importing goods. A small mistake can be a costly one when it comes to importing goods from anywhere in the world.…

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Top 3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Do It All

outsourcing business tasksEntrepreneurs are the first ones with the great idea and, more importantly, the first ones to bring it to life. You do more in an hour than 20 people can do in one day.

But how long can that last? Entrepreneurs have a tendency to fall into the “I have to do it all” trap. No one gets the vision as much as you do and no one can possibly do your work as well as you.

In falling into this trap you create a bottleneck. There are limited hours in the day so do you update the database, make those new business calls, work on that report, meet with your product vendor, confirm meetings”¦

If you are like me you probably answered, “Yes, I do it all and stay up late to get it done.”…

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Are You Consultant-Phobic? Check Out These 6 Mind Blowing Benefits to External Advice

benefits of hiring a business consultant

Ever think about hiring a consultant? Think your business is too small to benefit from a consultant? You’re wrong! Check out these 6 benefits before you say “No Way”.

Regulatory Compliance: A consultant would be able to help decide on the most optimal structure for your specific situation. Other compliance requirements like documentation and tax filing are also better done by a third party. Most regulatory provisions are open to interpretation and a consultant would help you to minimize your compliance costs without incurring any penalties for violations.

Performance Optimization: Consultants typically have access to benchmarking data across diverse industries on areas such as best practices, cost elements, strategy options and so on.…

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Is Your Answering Service Helping Your Business?

business virtual answering service

Call answering services can be a great, cost-effective way to enhance your customer service without taking on a full-time staff member. A phone call is likely to be your clients’ first interaction with your company, so it’s important that you choose the right service for your business.

How can you make sure your service will make your business look good? Remember that:

First impressions matter. Are the virtual receptionists answering your calls happy? Do your callers hear ring after ring before they pick up or are they greeted right away by a live person?

Call your perspective answering service several times before you sign up and you’ll see what your callers will go through when you finally forward your line.…

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Tips to Reconvert Leads (and Why It Really Matters)

Your website is out marketing your local business 24/7, right? If it’s doing a good job, you’re getting a lot of visitors. With a good call to action, hopefully a fair majority of your visitors are taking an action on your website.

As positive as any action a visitor takes on your website is, a simple visit to your site does not make this individual a solid lead. Instead, you have the opportunity to re-convert this individual (or in other words, convert him or her). After a number of the right interactions with your site, this individual begins to develop into what could be a solid lead.…

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3 Best Practices for Managing Employee Performance

Managing Employee Performance

When your company is small, having formalized employee performance and talent management processes can seem unnecessary. But since your staff are your most strategic resource, and your only sustainable competitive advantage, it makes sense to establish some HR processes that help maximize employee performance.

Here are 3 basic employee performance management best-practices that every company should have in place, regardless of their size:

  1. Goal management
  2. Performance feedback
  3. Development planning

Goal management starts with setting organizational goals and communicating these to all staff. Then, every employee should work with their manager to establish individual goals that are pertinent to their job/role, and help the organization achieve its goals.…

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4 Reasons You Should Continue Providing Your Employees Health Insurance

providing health insurance to employeesAs some of the Obama administration’s health care reform legislation goes into effect in 2014, many businesses are left wondering what they should do about their employee’s health insurance coverage.

One major law that will be enacted in 2014 is that small businesses (under 50 people) will no longer be required to provide coverage for their employees. These employees will now have the option of buying into state-based insurance exchanges.

If your business is larger than 50 people, it’s mandatory to provide or pay a $2,000 per employee fine. Some small businesses may be tempted to drop insurance coverage and perhaps bump their employees’ salaries.…

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Crowdsourcing as a Business Solution

Crowdsourcing is a relatively new platform which can be used to accomplish a great deal of work that used to be costly and time-consuming to complete. Crowdsourcing is a fantastic business solution when it comes to problems like repetitive tasks, copywriting, editing and more.

crowdsourcing for business

Businesses everywhere can benefit from crowdsourcing many of their more menial tasks, both in time, money and the peace of mind in knowing the work has been completed.

Which companies benefit from this business solution

Any online company can farm out a great deal of their work to crowdsourced workers. These workers are independent contractors who are paid for the work they complete and not the time they spend doing it.…

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The Clean and Simple Cloud Computing Primer for Small Businesses

Nobody likes paying for things they don’t use. From finishing a restaurant meal when you’re already full, to calculating just the number of minutes you’ll need on your phone plan, we hate to hand over our money for nothing.

In a traditional office environment, business owners are forced to estimate how much server space they’ll need as they grow, investing in expensive hardware to store company data. That’s all changed in just a few years.

cloud computing for your small business

Once the sole domain of large-scale corporations, cloud computing is now infinitely accessible to even the smallest of businesses. Do you utilize web-based email services like Gmail?…

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Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss?

behaviors that are essential to being an entrepreneur

If you have ever thought about starting your own business and being your own boss, you may want to consider if you have the personality traits and necessary skill set to become a successful entrepreneur. The following is a top-ten list of behaviors that can be essential to one seeking entrepreneurial success:

1. Seek Knowledge

Throughout life, we should never stop learning. Successful entrepreneurs will ask questions to gain understanding and then can put this into actionable plans. By asking questions, gaining knowledge and understanding, you can gain the wisdom to achieve great things.

2. Identify Opportunities

An entrepreneur must be able to identify an unmet need.…

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