Printing Business Cards Can Be An Enjoyable Business

The Oxford’s and Webster’s Dictionary do not supply any meanings for the term “business card.” However, the said dictionaries provide a few examples and key definitions for the term “card,” which is defined as: (a) a rectangular piece of stiff paper used to send messages; (b) A thin cardboard, usually rectangular; (c) a card certifying the identity of the bearer.

Based on these definitions, printing business cards can then be defined as “producing promotional messages containing a person’s name, job title, business address, and contact numbers, usually on small rectangular pieces of thin cardboard or stiff paper which measure 3-4 inches in length and 2 inches in width.”

The very first business cards (branded as calling cards in the previous years) were created in China during the 1400s, and during the 1600s, the people in Europe used them for the first time. On the other hand, people from the United States have been using what we recognize as the modern day business card for more than two centuries now.

The first immigrants of the country used lithography to print their name and occupation on a calling card (also known as a visiting card) and personally gave them out. At present, you don’t have any reasons to use materials that are of cheap and poor standards in printing your business cards because the prices of up-to-date and quality printing facilities is at their all-time low. You have to take into account that a card is a “card.”

If you want to use a stiff card, you have to indicate that, and if you’re fine with spending on raised ink, you should also indicate that. The business cards you will print and hand out to your associates and prospective clients should suffice to prove to them that you are a professional.

And because it’s so easy to set up desktop publishing these days, you could start printing business cards on your own at a minimal cost. You could even turn printing business cards into a profitable business.

Using minimal capital is very important when starting your own business, and some time during the first stages of putting it up, you might think of ways on how to buy first-rate printing materials using only a small amount of your cash.

If you have very limited finances, you can still take into consideration printing business cards using laser printers. Despite the high quality of their output, they are still quite affordable. The reasons for using this type of printer are: A. different paper collection of perforated sheets of business cards, and sometimes preprinted four color elements, are included when you buy papers for laser printers; B. these kinds of printers have good graphics programs that will allow you to print scanned logos and other artistic graphic elements; C. there are no problems with smudges when handling materials printed on laser printers (unlike when using inkjet printers), translating to savings in the long run.

Action Step

You have to take note that printing business cards is not a duty but the start of having a fruitful business. Loosen up, enjoy the work, and do your best to create a unique design that will grab people’s attention. Give special attention to detail, too when printing business cards of your own. They will serve as samples of your high-quality work and creativity.

By: David Faulkner

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You can also find more info on Magnetic Business Cards and Personalized Business Cards. Buy-businesscard.com is a comprehensive resource to know about Personalized Business Card.

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Business Model Innovation

What is business model innovation (BMI)?

BMI is about finding new ways to add value to a business in the face of rapidly changing circumstances – economic, social, environmental, technological and political, global, national and local. People have been devising innovative ways to do business for centuries. The explosion in the breadth, scope and power of communications and other technologies over the past decade, however, and in particular the emergence of the commercial Internet, has opened new business model possibilities which were previously unimaginable. This is so regardless of the nature of the core business.

BMI requires of business owners and managers not just a thorough understanding of the key players in their particular industry, but also a sophisticated appreciation of the likely impacts of emerging global, national and local trends and events. It is no longer enough to simply be aware of what the competition is doing. This is an outdated, reactive approach which completely misses the point that the global business environment is changing in ways, and at a pace, never before seen. It is businesses which properly understand this point which will be able to position themselves to take advantage of the most profitable opportunities these trends and events open up, and to avoid their most adverse consequences.

Why BMI is important

BMI is crucial not just for the sake of maintaining current profitability, but also because the valuation of an operating business is significantly affected by the level of future maintainable earnings. Because of this, any business owner with a future sale in mind must recognise that maintaining business model relevance in the face of rapidly changing circumstances is as crucial to future sale value as it is to current profitability.

BMI – the current view

In a recent edition of Fast Thinking magazine, the leader of Strategy and Change Consulting with IBM Global Business Services, Matt English, observed as follows:

… IBM’s Global CEO Study 2006, which surveyed over 750 CEOs worldwide, concluded that business model innovation is the key differentiator in an increasingly competitive and globalised market place. …

The study had examined three types of innovation which CEOs had identified as being crucial in driving growth in their organisations – products and services innovation, operational innovation and business model innovation. The study demonstrated that organisations with an emphasis on business model innovation generated a higher performance in profit margin. English went on:

… By understanding revenue, enterprise and industry model innovation, an organisation is able to make strategic changes to its business model to increase flexibility, reduce cost and open up new markets.

The message is clear that the business model is a key area for innovation in the way organisations shape their businesses and deploy their capabilities. The business model presents strong opportunity for growth, but also provides some challenges regarding collaboration, governance and people processes and technology. …

Langdon Morris, a Senior Practice Scholar at the Ackoff Center for the Advancement of Systems Approaches at the University of Pennsylvania, had this observation in his 2003 paper Business Model Warfare:

… As we examine industry after industry, we see that wherever there is an exemplar, a company that stands head and shoulders above the others, that company is almost always a business model innovator that is applying creativity in dimensions other than technology to become a market leader. … .

.. what’s happening continuously in the marketplace is competition between business models themselves. … What this means is the winners at business model warfare have generally applied innovation to create competitive advantages, building stronger relationships with customers by developing business models that fit closely with customer needs and preferences.

By: Greg J O'Connor

About the Author:

Greg O’Connor is Managing Director of Wingarra BMI – http://www.wingarrabmi.com – a specialist business consultancy which works with clients to road-test alternative business models, and to optimise those found to be most profitable. Its specialty is in identifying and mapping all variables likely to impact upon the financial performance of a new project or business or business unit, and in designing and constructing robust and customised technical/financial models which allow all combinations of these variables to be fully tested.

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Small Business Start Up Financing

The number one question I get asked as a small business start-up coach is: Where do I get start-up cash?

I’m always glad when my clients ask me this question. If they are asking this question, it is a sure sign that they are serious about taking financial responsibility for start it.

Not All Money Is the Same

There are two types of start-up financing: debt and equity. Consider what type is right for you.

Debt Financing is the use of borrowed money to finance a business. Any money you borrow is considered debt financing.

Sources of debt financing loans are many and varied: banks, savings and loans, credit unions, commercial finance companies, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are the most common. Loans from family and friends are also considered debt financing, even when there is no interest attached.

Debt financing loans are relatively small and short in term and are awarded based on your guarantee of repayment from your personal assets and equity. Debt financing is often the financial strategy of choice for the start-up stage of businesses.

Equity financing is any form of financing that is based on the equity of your business. In this type of financing, the financial institution provides money in return for a share of your business’s profits. This essentially means that you will be selling a portion of your company in order to receive funds.

Venture capitalist firms, business angels, and other professional equity funding firms are the standard sources for equity financing. Handled correctly, loans from friends and family could be considered a source of non-professional equity funding.

Equity financing involves stock options, and is usually a larger, longer-term investment than debt financing. Because of this, equity financing is more often considered in the growth stage of businesses.

7 Main Sources of Funding for Small Business Start-ups

1. You

Investors are more willing to invest in your start-up when they see that you have put your own money on the line. So the first place to look for money when starting up a business is your own pocket.

Personal Assets

According to the SBA, 57% of entrepreneurs dip into personal or family savings to pay for their company’s launch. If you decide to use your own money, don’t use it all. This will protect you from eating Ramen noodles for the rest of your life, give you great experience in borrowing money, and build your business credit.

A Job

There’s no reason why you can’t get an outside job to fund your start-up. In fact, most people do. This will ensure that there will never be a time when you are without money coming in and will help take most of the stress and risk out of starting up.

Credit Cards

If you are going to use plastic, shop around for the lowest interest rate available.

2. Friends and Family

Money from friends and family is the most common source of non-professional funding for small business start-ups. Here, the biggest advantage is the same as the biggest disadvantage: You know these people. Unspoken needs and attachments to outcome may cause stress that would warrant steering away from this type of funding.

3. Angel Investors

An angel investor is someone who invests in a business venture, providing capital for start-up or expansion. Angels are affluent individuals, often entrepreneurs themselves, who make high-risk investments with new companies for the hope of high rates of return on their money. They are often the first investors in a company, adding value through their contacts and expertise. Unlike venture capitalists, angels typically do not pool money in a professionally-managed fund. Rather, angel investors often organize themselves in angel networks or angel groups to share research and pool investment capital.

4. Business Partners

There are two kinds of partners to consider for your business: silent and working. A silent partner is someone who contributes capital for a portion of the business, yet is generally not involved in the operation of the business. A working partner is someone who contributes not only capital for a portion of the business but also skills and labor in day-to-day operations.

5. Commercial Loans

If you are launching a new business, chances are good that there will be a commercial bank loan somewhere in your future. However, most commercial loans go to small businesses that are already showing a profitable track record. Banks finance 12% of all small business start-ups, according to a recent SBA study. Banks consider financing individuals with a solid credit history, related entrepreneurial experience, and collateral (real estate and equipment). Banks require a formal business plan. They also take into consideration whether you are investing your own money in your start-up before giving you a loan.

6. Seed Funding Firms

Seed funding firms, also called incubators, are designed to encourage entrepreneurship and nurture business ideas or new technologies to help them become attractive to venture capitalists. An incubator typically provides physical space and some or all of these services: meeting areas, office space, equipment, secretarial services, accounting services, research libraries, legal services, and technical services. Incubators involve a mix of advice, service and support to help new businesses develop and grow.

7. Venture Capital Funds

Venture capital is a type of private equity funding typically provided to new growth businesses by professional, institutionally backed outside investors. Venture capitalist firms are actual companies. However, they invest other people’s money and much larger amounts of it (several million dollars) than seed funding firms. This type of equity investment usually is best suited for rapidly growing companies that require a lot of capital or start-up companies with a strong business plan.

By: Susan L Reid

About the Author:

Small Business Start Up Coach provides value, inspiration and direction to entrepreneurial women starting up and launching small businesses. Accidental Pren-her™ providing a place for pren-hers to share stories, build community, and embrace their inner Samurai. Welcome!

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