Insert the url of the feed you want to read here (e.g. http://news.google.com/?output=rss):
Or try one of the following: Afterdawn, Ajaxian, BBC News, BBC China, BBC Russia, Brent Simmons, CNN, Digg, Diggnation, Digital Point Forums, Flickr, Forex Events, Google News, Harvard Law, iTunes, Killer Startups, Movie Trailers, Newspond, OS News, Poker Blog, Swimming, Technorati, Yahoo! News, You Tube, Zeldman
Vergify – Making Business Better With Simple But Powerful CRM Software 18 May 2017, 1:30 pm
Live chat, email marketing, surveys, events, blog posting, phone calls… the tasks on an entrepreneur’s plate are endless. Everyone is aware of this, which is why there’s a near infinite number of tools available online for handling each part of a business. But start grabbing for a new tool as needs arise, and before long, managing a bunch of services and apps turns into its own job.
Ask yourself, is your business overdue for simplification? Isn’t there some way you could free up more time to focus on the most pressing matters? Could you streamline your workflow and accomplish tasks more efficiently? And more affordably?
Vergify wants to supply the answers to all of these questions. Yes, all of them. Vergify is all-in-one CRM software for startups and small businesses.
“We help businesses focus on their clients while growing their business with features like Lead Management, Lead Forms, Email Marketing, Live Chat, Online Discussion, Survey Creator & Distribution, Email Integration & Services.”
Vergify gives you a clear view into your entire operations with an intuitive dashboard, and keeps the different aspects of your company within easy reach. Instead of paying a fortune for separate services, Vergify equips you with virtually everything you need to run your business, while sparing you the tedious process of integrating analytics, calendars, comment sections and more.
And Vergify is free for up to two users, for managing up to 100 clients – including a number of chat sessions, survey responses and mass emails. Beyond the freemium subscription, Vergify is reasonably priced at $25 per month, per user.
Straightforward pricing is easy to appreciate. Tight organization can help you to stay focused and manage your schedule better. Having so many features connected in one place – that has game-changing potential.
Only the coders out there want to invest time in building a live chat or making a space for conversation on their website. With Vergify, these important tools for interacting with customers in timely fashion are readily available. So, you can improve your communication and spend less time on figuring out how to reach your audience.
Things like client information, payment pages, and invoicing are just a couple clicks away. Basically, Vergify makes it easier to attend to your customers and not lose sight of opportunities – having frank discussions, extending special offers, soliciting feedback, etc.
Based in the cloud, Vergify was founded “with the vision of providing exceptional products for startups and small businesses that would help them succeed.” Looking to make life better for your business and to engage customers more effectively? Get started by signing up at vergify.com.
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Stop Sharing Data For Free And Get Paid Through Ourdata 16 May 2017, 2:30 pm
If an oil company wanted to drill on your land because there was an untapped reserve beneath your feet, worth millions, billions of dollars, would you let them drill out of the kindness of your heart, without getting paid a cent?
Of course not. You’d expect a huge payout and begin spending the majority of your time interviewing message therapists and deciding what tropical island to call home. Yet, every time nearly each and every one of us goes online, someone else is savoring an ocean view courtesy of profits from the oil most of us fail to claim as our own – our data.
But that’s about to change.
Ourdata is a Benefit Corporation founded on the idea that consumers should be paid for their data. On the surface, Ourdata offers an ad or content blocker, currently available as an iOS app and Chrome browser extension (with an Android app coming soon). Ad blockers are hardly new. Here’s what separates Ourdata from the others: it is the only content blocker that pays you. Yes, you, the consumer.
Ourdata functions like a union. You consent to use them as your only ad blocker. In exchange for joining the community, they negotiate on the behalf of members with data-driven companies (like Google and Facebook) that already gather and use consumer data. Advertisers and publishers pay for the privilege to access your data. You can either block ads, or you can agree to see ads and share data. In the latter case, Ourdata then shares the financial rewards with you.
They pay out 90% to their consumer customers. As opposed to you normally receiving zilch.
The bigger the community, the more leverage Ourdata has to negotiate – tantalizing companies with a larger pool of valuable data. And since growing the community is key, Ourdata is offering more shares to those who sign on early. The sooner you join, the more money you earn. You can also increase your slice of the pie by having your friends sign up.
Data has become so valuable that it may well be worth more than advertising, as it allows businesses to target customers with much greater accuracy than traditional ad campaigns. We’re talking billions on the table. The only question is will you have any say as to where the money goes?
To enlist Ourdata to advocate on your behalf and get paid for your data, sign up or download the app at ourdata.us.
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Best Productivity Hack Ever? The Hangover Drink 11 May 2017, 1:30 pm
In an episode of the Showtime program Billions, the boss’s wife shows up at the office – after a night of team partying – with a squad of nurses who administer IV drips to a hungover staff. The scene is a comic/sad statement on our burgeoning on-demand service economy as well as on the lengths to which hedge firms are willing to go to keep their competitive edge. What makes bit particularly absorbing is that the picture of an office performing well beneath usual capacity after a night of excess is all too familiar.
Ours is a drinking culture, and one that accepts feeling terrible the next day as a price to be paid for a really good time. Trouble is, we often don’t think beyond the personal agony of our own headache, fatigue, nausea and unquenchable thirst.. when our US economy loses over $170B a year due to hangover-caused productivity loss.
Ouch and ouch again. Wouldn’t we all like to say goodbye to hangovers?
The makers of The Hangover Drink certainly think so, having ventured as far from their Silicon Valley base as Korea to research cures, where they gained valuable knowledge of your soon to be favorite drinking buddy that they now use in the formulation of their drink.
The Hangover Drink is made of all-natural ingredients. It will come in 100ml glass bottles, which can be stored safely for two years. And by consuming The Hangover Drink during or after imbibing, you can wake up with “little to no hangover.”
Sounds like magic, but this one-stop hangover cure is actually rooted in science. The key active ingredient, Hovenia Dulcis extract (Japanese Raisin Tree), contains Dihydromyricetin (DHM), which has been known for centuries to have properties that improve liver function.
Basically, DHM helps the liver flush alcohol from the system faster, before toxins build up and cause debilitating hangover symptoms. DHM also helps the brain rebound quicker from drinking alcohol. A proprietary blend of other natural ingredients – including vitamins, electrolytes, prickly pear extract, the amino acid Taurine, and milk thistle – help to “hydrate our body, restore vital nutrients, and counter the effects of inflammation in our body after a night of drinking.”
Your brain, liver, body and coworkers will thank you.
Want to metabolize alcohol faster and less painfully? All you have to do is practice moderation until the first batch of The Hangover Drink goes on sale in June, because the first 200 samples, unsurprisingly, were snatched up quickly. Learn more about forthcoming products or join the waitlist at thehangoverdrink.com.
Is Content Marketing the Marketing Strategy that your Business is Missing? 9 May 2017, 4:16 pm
Content marketing is one of the best ways to help let people know about your company and raise awareness about your brand, product or services. It differs from regular advertising and marketing where the company is actively trying to promote or sell a product or service. Content marketing is less direct.
It is more of a long-term strategy that is based on building up a relationship with potential customers by giving them high quality and relevant content consistently.
In this post, I will teach you content marketing and the marketing strategy your business is missing.
But What is Content Marketing?
The name “content marketing” has become widespread within the last decade, but what is content marketing? Content marketing is a new marketing strategy that involved creating various online content that is relevant to a company’s field without directly promoting their brand or service.
A company that creates surfboards and gear might develop content such as a blog post on various surfing locations complete with high-quality related images.
This content is relevant to their field and will spark the interests of people that surf and will be interested in surfboards and gear. It stimulates interests and indirectly develops brand recognition and trust.
There are many different types of content marketing, a few popular methods of content marketing are:
An infographic is a long, vertical graph or document that is packed full of visual information such as statistics, graphs, charts, images and other information.
Blog posts are a passage of writing that includes personal opinions and showcases knowledge around different topics that are related and specific to the business.
Email is a strategy that sends information out to people that are interested. A way to maximize this strategy is to send out unique content that meets the needs of the target audience.
Adding in elements such as humor, personal touches and tips are all things that will make people open the email rather than letting it sit in their inbox unread.
To discover more methods of content marketing, check out the following infographic courtesy of my company, Skilled.
The Simplicity Behind Content Marketing
The idea behind content marketing is that when the target audience decides that they want to make a purchase, they will have already decided that they want to use your company.
Their loyalty already lies with you. They feel like they know the company well and will not even question going anywhere else. Content marketing helps to show your customers you care about them, and you are not just trying to get their money.
You are providing them with something of value for free, and in return, you will also get something of value back at some point.
Another way to describe the concept of content marketing would be to describe its process:
- Step 1: Is to create valuable content.
- Step 2: Is to share the content with people that might be interested in it.
- Step 3: Is Brand recognition and trust that is associated with the created content.
- Step 4: This can convert content readers into customers and eventually into repeat buyers.
Of course, it cannot just be any random content, the content needs to be relevant to your product or service you are offering. The idea being that the customer will want to read, watch or listen to the content.
The customer will choose this path rather than being forced to — which is often the case with everyday advertising. You are trying to get people to trust you enough to do business with you by educating them about your business.
Content Marketing Today
Today, content marketing is used by an incredible 86% of all businesses, sometimes without them even realizing it. It is important to note that not all content marketing is successful, some content marketing comes across as just needless content or too salezy.
To be successful the content has to be of the highest quality, but more importantly, it has to be relevant and about something that the target audience wants to know about.
When you have achieved this, you will know about it, as the audience will want to get more of your content by subscribing to your content or sharing it with others. Soon you will grow a loyal following for your business, and it doesn’t have to cost the company much at all.
Sure, there are businesses that will add quality content for you at a high rate, but there is nothing stopping you from creating content yourself for your own business.
The key is to keep the content going out to those who want it — consistently. A good example of this is blogging. If a company blogs sporadically then the audience will not know when the next set of content is being released and may lose interest.
If they know when the next set of content is being released, they may even wait for it. 82% of marketers that blog every day have claimed that they gain at least one customer through their blog, compared to 57% who only blog about once a month.
Research has shown that visual content is more successful compared to content that does not have any visual elements.
Around 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual, so it makes sense for this method to work best.
This is why infographics are currently a popular form of content media. Readers can get a lot of information from it in just one glance, plus it is easy to pass around to others that may find the content interesting.
How to Distribute the Created Content?
One of the best ways to distribute content marketing is through social media. Facebook and twitter are good as it is where people go to pass the time, yet the most popular platform is LinkedIn.
89% of B2B marketers use the LinkedIn platform as a way to distribute their content, which makes it the most effective and used social media platform.
However, over the past 2 years, content on Facebook has increased by a huge 57%, most notably in the form of video content. YouTube is also a good way to distribute content as potential customers can subscribe to your YouTube channel and be notified when there is more content.
There are so many ways that companies can utilize content marketing, they just need to find the best method that works for them and gets them results.
Content Marketing can be very individual and some types of marketing work best for a certain number of one type of business while other types of content marketing will deliver better results for other types of businesses.
It can often be a trial and error process until you find the perfect content marketing combination for your business. To find out more about content marketing and how it can work for your brand or business, take a look at the adjoining infographic created by the team at Skilled.co.
Is Content Marketing the Marketing Strategy that your Business is Missing? was originally published on Due by Colin Cieloha.
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Why Branding Your Invoices Can Make a Huge Difference to Your Bottom Line 6 May 2017, 2:03 pm
Invoices are one of the most important documents for business owners. They ensure that you get paid for your goods or services. They’re used when it’s time to file your taxes. And, they can help boost your brand.
As Amanda Abella perfectly stated in a previous Due post, “The reality is if you want to make money you also need to spend time building your brand.”
The Importance of Branding
A strong brand is how others perceive you, which in turn, will impact your business in the following ways:
- Clearly shares your business’s message, values, and goals.
- Develops your reputation and increases recognition so that customers will remember you. For example, having a memorable logo will help you stand out from your competitors.
- Builds trust. A professional appearance legitimizes your business, which makes you more credible and trustworthy.
- Generates new business through referrals, word-of-mouth recommendations, and demonstrating that you’re a leader within your industry.
- Inspires employees who are proud to work for a company that they share values with.
- Supports your advertising and marketing efforts since it helps you narrow down your audience and what channels to promote your business.
How to Brand Your Invoices
An effective branding strategy involves a unified approach. In other words, you should be constantly branding your business wherever you can, such as your social channels, emails, and even your invoices.
Thanks to platforms like Due, it’s easier than ever to generate customized invoices that boost your brand’s awareness, as well improve your bottom line:
- When you create a well-designed and professional invoice that is free of errors, you set yourself apart from other businesses, which should help make your bill a top priority to get paid.
- Demonstrates the value that you have brought the client. For example, including an itemized list of services that you provided shows the client exactly what they paid for.
- Colors, fonts, and a logo not only different your business, they make you appear more professional. Additionally, they influence the client to pay your invoice on time. We’ve found that you are 3x more likely to get paid if you add a company logo to your invoice. Furthermore, almost 85 percent of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80 percent of people believe color increases brand recognition. Make sure that your invoices appearance matches your website, social channels, and other content so that’s consistent and recognizable across the board.
- In the comment section, thank the client for the opportunity and share what you learned from working with them, ask for their feedback or if there are any additional projects, and include a link to a helpful resource. These tactics help you learn more about the client, secure future work, and prove that you’re an authority figure within your industry.
Why Branding Your Invoices Can Make a Huge Difference to Your Bottom Line was originally published on the Invoicing Blog by John Rampton.
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Diets Are Dying, goEvo App Is For Everyone Wanting To Live And Eat Healthy 3 May 2017, 1:30 pm
What good is a diet if it makes you feel miserable? All the time. About yourself, about life… Doesn’t matter if you stay within an ideal range of calories, if you temporarily drop a few pounds – if you’re unhappy, the diet is a failure. And this truth points to an open secret that everyone knows but won’t admit: Dieting doesn’t work.
The goEvo app takes an entirely different approach to weight loss. It’s “not a diet. It’s a tool for people who want to lose excess weight, get fitter and lead a healthier and ultimately happier life.”
Another open secret: Eating healthy and exercise are fundamental to wellbeing. We all know this. We just need the kind of support that goEvo offers to condition our brains and bodies to accept this knowledge.
Rather than focus on food, goEvo puts mood and habits under the spotlight. The app helps users to track moods and recognize emotional food cues that lead to unhealthy eating. Eating that piece of chocolate cake at a birthday party should bring you joy. A bad day at the office should not result in you scarfing down an entire cake. By creating awareness for our eating habits and the emotional triggers that cause overeating or eating unhealthy foods, goEvo guides us toward altering our behavior so that we develop healthier eating patterns.
To accompany the tracking and learning components of the app, goEvo provides access to experts and other resources in real time – when those unhealthy cravings hit and you most need a voice other than your own to steer you in the right direction. With goEvo, you gain access to support from nutritionists and fitness consultants.
goEvo also furnishes hundreds of tasty, balanced recipes and fun workouts. Forget about the proscriptive diets – nonsense like no fat or low carbs. And, yes, you read that correctly, fun workouts. Time to re-learn that fitness is about play, creativity, and feeling good. goEvo offers simple and quick exercise videos for anyone, including a variety of activities such as yoga, boxing, soccer and martial arts. No more joyless workout routines that serve more as punishment than promotion for better quality of life.
The creators of goEvo explain: “A lot of issues with health and eating come down to cultural norms, both at a family level as well as the wider social level. These are instilled in us from a young age and stay with us through later years unless we deal with them… We know that dieting doesn’t work in the long run … The cycle of dieting, losing weight, then regaining it can leave us feeling hopeless and guilty. But this is not the fault of dieters. The problem is the diet culture.”
“The only way to get rid of excess weight and keep it off is by changing the way we think and feel about food and our bodies. That’s how we can end our dieting cycle for good and that’s what goEvo is all about.”
The startup is gearing up to launch the goEvo iOS app. Sign up to their mailing list for the launch at goevoapp.com and automatically be entered to win a Nutribullet Blender plus two wellness book titles: Eating Well Made Easy and Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (total prize value: $120.00USD).
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Does your Business Need its own Credit Card? 2 May 2017, 10:00 am
Business and lending have gone hand in hand for centuries, but for some businesses, the decision to open a credit card or apply for a loan is not an easy one. Some business owners have had their own struggles with debt or watched as friends or relatives worked to pay off large credit card balances. But just because you have had negative personal credit card experiences does not mean you should avoid them for your business. Whether you are a
Manage cash flow and liquidity
Every month, businesses have cash go through the door and out. While you can’t force your customers to pay sooner, you can use credit cards to pay later. Most vendors want to be paid right away, but your credit card is no ordinary vendor. If you pay a bill today with cash, you no longer have that cash for other bills, savings, or business needs. But if you use a card, you don’t have to really pay a dime until the credit card bill is due.
Depending on the time of the month, you can enjoy two to six weeks interest-free before you have to pay your credit card bill. If you put all of your purchases on a credit card, or a couple of cards, you can break up your major cash outflows for the month into a schedule that works best for your business.
Build your business credit score
Just like people, businesses have credit scores. While the most popular credit score for individuals is the FICO score, developed by the Fair Issac Corporation, businesses are generally graded on an A to F scale like you were in high school.
If your business never borrows and never uses a credit card, you won’t have a business credit score at all, however, you can pay a fee for a credit assessment from a company like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, or Fitch. Startup Nav offers free business credit scores so you can see how your business is doing today. Nav offers Experian and Dun & Bradstreet scores.
Startup Nav offers free business credit scores so you can see how your business is doing today. Nav offers Experian and Dun & Bradstreet scores.
Earn valuable rewards
My newest business credit card is the American Express Business Platinum. This card came with a targeted offer for a massive 100,000-point signup bonus (current public offer is 40,000 points at the time of writing) if I could spend $15,000 in the first three months I had the card. I did spend that amount and got the bonus. In the months since I have built up a balance of over 200,000 points in my American Express Membership Rewards account. (This is a screenshot from my account.)
I have earned millions of reward points and miles as a travel hacker, and thanks to those miles have enjoyed free or cheap trips to London (twice), Paris (twice), Amsterdam, Vancouver, Lisbon, Spain, Israel, and destinations dotting the entire United States.
Credit card deals change all the time, so be sure to search around for the best business credit card offers before you sign up for a new card.
Float your inventory to keep cash in the bank
If you run a business that sells physical goods or needs to keep an inventory, you might be able to “float” your inventory on credit cards to preserve cash. This use case is similar to the idea of cash flow management discussed above, but with a twist.
If you can buy an item and sell it for a profit before the credit card bill is due, you can hold the inventory interest free without putting out a big cash outlay. Of course, that credit card bill will come due at some point so you do need the cash available, but if you are in a cash crunch and need to get by, this strategy can make it work.
Beware common credit card pitfalls
While credit cards have numerous benefits, they are not without their drawbacks. Banks issue credit cards to make money, not as a charitable service for business owners. Keep that in mind each time you use your card. Here are some other issues to look out for and avoid:
- Missed and late payments – If you miss a payment or pay late, you will have to pay fees around $20 to $30 per occurrence. In addition, you may trigger a higher interest rate and hurt your credit score at the same time.
- Interest – If you pay your balance in full every month, you never have to pay credit card interest. If you ever make a minimum payment or anything less than the entire balance, you do have to pay interest. Most credit cards charge interest rates between around 7% and 29%.
- Bad spending habits – The worst thing you can do is treat your credit card like a blank check. Never spend more than you need to and absolutely never go over your budget!
Credit cards can be a great fit for some businesses
If you have a history of being responsible with your credit cards and have a strong grasp on your business finances, you can safely open a credit card, reap the rewards, and enjoy the benefits. However, if you have a tendency to overspend or forget about bills – autopay is your friend – credit cards may not be right for you.
How do you use credit for your business? Share in the comments below!
How to Escape Feelings of Inadequacy When It Comes to Your Business 29 Apr 2017, 9:28 pm
It happens to even the best entrepreneurs. You get a killer business idea or turn a passion into profit and start working for yourself.
You find out that running a business may or may not turn out to be what you thought it would be but it is rewarding after you put in lots of effort and countless hours of work.
Yet and still, it’s easy to feel discouraged and inadequate when you don’t meet certain business goals or if it takes you longer than you anticipated to accomplish something.
Feeling “meh” about your business sometimes is normal seeing as it’s common to run low on steam or compare yourself to someone who seems to be doing better than you but it’s never good to maintain feelings of inadequacy if you truly want to be successful. You have to work to get rid of the downer of these thoughts.
To escape these negative feelings and get back on track, keep these three actionable tips in mind:
Never Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle or End Results
One of the main things that you can you feel inadequate about when it comes to your business is when you compare yourself to other people in your niche. There is probably always going to be someone who seems to be doing better than you or they seem like they are working harder than you are.
While you can use the success of others to motivate you and inspire you and get some tips from them to help you — you should never take their actions to heart. You are not them and they are not you.
Comparing is pretty much a waste of time and effort because everyone starts their entrepreneurial journey at different times and has their own unique situations to deal with. If you just started your business a year ago and you’re comparing your success to someone who has been running their business for 4 years, that’s pretty unfair to yourself and a good way to bring on discouragement — and you don’t need that.
The person who has been running their business for several years longer than you has time to make mistakes and learn through trial and error while you may not have had that much time. Remember that you are on your own path and try not to let other people’s timeline affect you.
Get a Coach
Running a business can be lonely at times and you may find that you need lots of support and encouragement for the ups and downs. If you are constantly feeling stuck, you might want to consider hiring a coach or mentor to help you break through and get clearer on your mission or vision.
Having a coach is also great for accountability. For example, if you’ve been meaning to publish a book for years now, your coach or mentor can hold you accountable for that goal so you can actually start making progress on it.
A coach or mentor can also help you identify new strategies to improve your business and personal success, especially if they have already reached the level of success that you wish to obtain.
Focus on One Thing At a Time
If you are feeling like you never get a chance to finish any of your big projects or put enough attention to detail into them, try to slow down and focus on one thing at a time.
It has been studied over and over — Multi-tasking hardly ever works because it pulls your attention in a hundred different directions and can actually slow you down.
If you have big moves to make with your business, map everything out on a calendar and business plan, and focus on each item one-by-one. Once you’ve completed a project and you are pleased with the results, then you can move to the next thing. Remember that you do not have to be 100 percent pleased. It will help move you along more quickly to find the “good enough” ground. Remember, good — and good enough — not perfect. Perfectionists tend to move slower and often discourage themselves into a slump.
This may seem to be a slower way to do things, but it is more effective and will allow you to feel more accomplished in the long run.
Summary: Acknowledge Your Progress and Focus
Feelings of inadequacy often stem from insecurities that may or may not even actually exist. Your first step to overcoming those negative feelings are to take a step back and acknowledge your progress made thus far.
Recognize and celebrate your wins both large and small, then move forward by choosing one or more of the three action-based tips mentioned above.
Remember to stay focused and shy away from letting what others are doing influence how you measure the worth of your business. Focus on your own path.
How to Escape Feelings of Inadequacy When It Comes to Your Business was originally published on Due by Chonce Maddox.
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Truly See Your Industry’s Landscape with Competitive Intelligence Software – Reveal 28 Apr 2017, 3:00 pm
There are weapons, and there are weapons made with plutonium. Well, there is competitive intelligence, and there is the competitive intelligence made by Knowlium.
Knowlium is the maker of the competitive intelligence software called Reveal – a product that “accelerates your digital strategy with real-time competitive insight.”
Here’s a quick rundown of what the Reveal competitive intelligence software covers:
- Brand Monitoring
- Content Marketing
- SEO Analysis
- Social Media Analysis
- Influencer Analysis
Which is to state matters very very simply. You must have a look for yourself to appreciate the comprehensiveness and sophistication with which Reveal processes data. If you want simple scores to understand your market position compared to competitors, this is your tool. If you want to stay current with your rivals’ every move and better understand each facet of your rivals’ reach, this tool is for you.
Companies love to describe their analytic tools as having ‘powerful visuals’ that make complex data easier to grasp. In many cases, the display is underwhelming. Reveal provides the real deal. One could easily guess that the graphs, charts and other visual aids that Reveal produces took teams weeks to assemble. But it isn’t humanly possible to gather intelligence and report it so effectively, and maintain constant watch, as does Reveal.
If you’re determined not to miss any activity or important signals, Reveal keeps the stream of intelligence flowing on autopilot – giving you the chance to leverage opportunities quickly and address threats.
And Reveal doesn’t skimp by any measure. When it comes to brand monitoring, the software watches social media, press, blogs, forums, reviews and videos, search engine rankings and more. It keeps tabs on audience and news coverage and identifies market influencers.
Reveal analyzes content performance, which allows you to see engagement trends. This enables you to adjust your strategy across multiple channels and to make informed content planning decisions.
How do you accurately gauge marketing ROI? Where should you deploy your resources? Are you making progress toward achieving your goals? Reveal has your answers.
Ultimately, Reveal delivers a complete view of how you stack up against the competition. See where you stand next to industry leaders in any area you wish to compare. Follow the KPI targets important for your business, discover competitors’ weaknesses, and keep the edge that will allow your company to continue growing.
Plans start at $99/month and begin with a 30-day free trial. To learn more or sign up for an account, visit the Reveal website here.
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Anyone – Anyone! – Can Make A Free Logo On MakeLogoOnlineFree.com 28 Apr 2017, 1:30 pm
It’s so easy to get hung up on the details. Don’t get me wrong, they are all important. Your logo, for example, is a key piece of your branding. But should you spend months agonizing over the fonts and icons used in your logo? Should you wait until you can afford a professional designer to create a logo before you go forward with your startup?
If your answer to those questions is “Hell, no!”, then you’ll want to have a look at MakeLogoOnlineFree.com (MLOF). MLOF is a simple tool that enables anyone to create a free logo in minutes – and not some napkin doodle logo, but a professional logo that will make your business proud.
Making a logo truly couldn’t be any easier than using MLOF’s free logo generator. You enter the name of your brand, enter the category your business falls under, then click “create my logo design.” Within seconds, MLOF generates pages of logo options that you can choose from to download and call your own.
You can see sample results of the logo generator in action below from me typing in “I’m Outta Here” as the name for my imaginary travel company. I know, the name doesn’t exactly scream the next Expedia. It zipped off the top of my head. The point is that it took me hardly anytime at all to go from having just the faintest notion of a company to having boundless logo examples that might help define the spirit of my proposed venture.
MLOF is a fantastic resource for generating ideas if you have none, or if you lack the resources to pay for help. And I must say, if you’ve ever had any idea for a business, it’s great fun and motivation to browse logos and begin visualizing actually turning your dream into reality.
MLOF is also ideal if you have some notion of how you want your logo to look, but lack design skills. MLOF has a growing library of over 6,000 logo designs and 150,000 icons for you to play around with. You can combine designs, search for icons, mix and match until you’ve found your perfect logo. It’s easy to use. And it’s free! You can download and save as many logos as you like.
In their own words, the makers of MLOF say: “Use our Logo Creator to design logos online for you or for your clients. The logo generator is developed in a way to keep things simple for our users but also deliver top quality logo designs and to have almost unlimited options. In a few simple steps you can get free logos.”
Why not? If you want to create a logo – if you’re a designer and need to get the creative juices flowing – dash to makelogoonlinefree.com and immediately start creating logos.
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EmailPet – The Email Beast Tamed At Last 26 Apr 2017, 2:30 pm
Email. The word has grown synonymous with tedious work and turned into a curse word. Email. It’s a short word, but it carries a heavy weight, doesn’t it? We feel dogged by it, oppressed by it, and rail against the dumb amount of time we spent trapped in our Inbox.
Ready to turn the snarling beast that eats your time and tests your patience into a delightful companion? EmailPet is “a cloud-based email filtering service that allows complex conditions, filtering on any folder (not just the Inbox), and includes powerful automation actions.”
The creators of EmailPet liken the tool to an IFTTT for email, allowing you to establish automatic actions that keep your inbox clean and your attention free for more important matters. And you don’t have to work hard creating rules to make your Inbox friendlier, because EmailPet learns how you like emails managed.
EmailPet learns addresses (and subject lines) and then automatically files new incoming mails from the same address where they belong. A simple drag’n drop into folders such as “read for later” or “trash” teaches EmailPet where to send similar email.
We all receive plenty of emails that we either instantly discard or file away to read for later. The action takes seconds, and these repetitive tasks seem painless enough on the surface. But the interrupted workflow is a brutal productivity killer.
EmailPet filters emails so that you’re not distracted by emails that don’t require your immediate attention – filtering by addresses, subjects, headers, even text within the body of emails, and attachments. Non-urgent emails quietly filed without disrupting our concentration alone is a huge win.
Even better, the filtering and automating powers of EmailPet extend beyond the reach of the Inbox and into folders as well. Drop an email into an Evernote folder and it will send the email to that app with the full data intact, for example. Move an email into a Receipts folder and it will automatically ship to your accounting software. Then, when you receive another receipt from the same service, EmailPet will save you steps and file the email under Receipts and ship it to accounting without you lifting a finger.
From pushing alerts to snoozing all mail for later reading, you gain tremendous flexibility and control by enlisting EmailPet as your intelligent assistant. Unlike many tools that focus strictly on Gmail, EmailPet works with any email account. And it’s available on all devices, since filtering is done in the cloud. So EmailPet is always by your side.
We’d all like to spend less time in our Inbox. Signup for EmailPet at emailpet.com. Take advantage of the free beta period to stop inconsequential messages from grinding your work to a halt.
Your Family Memories Are Safe From Time Thanks To Arq 24 Apr 2017, 1:30 pm
That photo was taken in 2006, wait no, 1998, on a fishing trip in Montana, err… the Catskills? Sound familiar? Most of us are pretty lousy at preserving our family histories and memorabilia. And now, with our messy digital lives – photos and videos and notes spread across apps and different devices – the task of maintaining any kind of meaningful record isn’t getting any easier.
Let’s not fool ourselves. If we don’t take action immediately, we never will. But there is hope. It can be done.
Arq is “the smart website that helps people capture the memories of family members and preserve them for future generations.” First Arq collects all of your voice and video recorded memories, typed notes and photos. Then it transcribes those recordings, and adds depth to memories by augmenting them with relevant information. Finally, Arq stores everything securely online and helps turn it into beautiful keepsake books for future generations.
This is a smart service for a couple of important reasons. It gathers precious content in one secure location. Too often we wait until a funeral to come together and share our memories and heirlooms. By then, maybe an account has been deactivated, a hard drive erased. Any number of errors or oversights can result in the loss of priceless memories. The value of stashing family content in one place where everyone in the family might find it cannot be overstated.
What’s more, Arq preserves not just data but narrative. Keepsake books tell our family stories. We lose context with frightening ease. Memory is notoriously unreliable. Details blur and vanish over time for nearly everyone. Unless our memories are arranged in a meaningful light, there’s little chance that we ourselves will remember people and events clearly, let alone future generations.
If you want to safeguard your memories and have them rendered into book that will make family stories both more intelligible and more fun to share, Arq is a great medium. Sign up for early access at v3.myarq.com/#sign-up. The startup is wisely not throwing the doors wide open until they’re fully prepared for traffic, accepting a few people each week. Even so, they’ve still managed to quickly sign on over 5,000 people.
It’s easy to forget how fortunate we are to have such a wealth of memories at our fingertips today. We can digitally record so much now. Not so long ago, capturing a grandparent’s voice and learning his or her entire story was a far greater challenge. With Arq, no one should let their invaluable family legacies fade away.
The post Your Family Memories Are Safe From Time Thanks To Arq appeared first on KillerStartups.
How to Cultivate Patience When You’re Waiting For Return On Investment 22 Apr 2017, 3:43 pm
I spent the first quarter of 2017 investing into new contractors, systems, and services to help scale my business and automate a sales funnel. Everything is built out and now we’re moving into running Facebook ads. This also means its time for me to wait for my return on investment.
If you’re anything like me, then waiting for your return on investment can cause you a lot of stress. Simply put, returns don’t happen overnight and when you’ve invested time and money into something it’s almost painful to have to wait to see whether or not it will work.
With that being said, I’ve been in this position a couple of times already so I’m better equipped to handle the waiting game. Here are some of my tips to help you cultivate patience as you wait for your return on investment.
See it as an experiment.
One of the things that have helped me as I wait for my return on investment is to see the entire process as an experiment.
For instance, I’m currently running split tests on Facebook ads. Since I’m a little bit of a data nerd, I’m actually less stressed about the money I’ve spent on testing and more excited to see how the data turns out.
The entire process has become fun to me because I almost see it as a game. How can I improve? How can I get better ROI from my ads? What gender and age group are responding well to my ad?
All of these data points fascinate me as I become a better market and better business person.
(Note; This is also why I say that people who go into business for themselves have to actually like the nature of business in order to succeed. Otherwise, this will drive you nuts.)
Realize it’s just money.
This may sound absurd coming from a personal finance blogger, but when you’re in the process of investing money you need to realize that it’s just money.
I used to get very emotional about my finances. This led to bad money decisions and avoiding investing in my business because of a fear of risk.
But, as a personal finance blogger, I’ve also learned that there’s always risk involved with investing – whether that’s investing in your business or in the stock market.
There’s also risk in not investing. You could either have your money sit there and not earn a return, or you could invest it and make more money. I’ll take the latter, thank you very much.
Additionally, money is just a tool that really doesn’t need us to interject our own emotions into it. That’s actually what gets people into trouble.
Instead, we need to learn to look at money objectively. This is especially true when we’re taking on some risk in an effort to see a return. This Zen-like approach will help you keep your wits about you as you wait for the return on investment.
Realize investing is a long game.
Investing in the stock market is a long game, and I’d venture to say that investing in your business isn’t much different. Remembering this will help you during that period when you’re waiting for a return on investment.
Granted, you could have much higher returns with your business and it may not take you as long as investing in the stock market for 30 years, but the point I’m trying to make is investing of any kind takes some time to manifest into returns.
Since I’ve been on this ride a couple of times already, I know I have to give it at least three to six months upon implementing new strategies before I really should start seeing a return on investment.
I can probably get a return sooner (and have already started to see one), but I know it can take a while before it really takes off.
Know where the return is supposed to come from.
If you know how an investment is supposed to lead to more money, then it will be easier to wait for the return on investment.
For instance, I know Facebook ads will give me a return in email opt-ins, coaching clients and product sales.
I also know that spending $200 to test ads won’t seem like much if I can land a $1500 a month contract just from the test ads. In other words, the potential to make money is there even if I’m still in a testing stage.
Granted, this is something you need to figure out before you actually invest. I wouldn’t have hired someone to help with Pinterest images and management if I didn’t already know that more traffic via Pinterest meant more affiliate sales from my website.
I also wouldn’t have started running Facebook ends if I didn’t know what the end goal was. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes business owners make when investing money is not having clarity about where the return is supposed to come from.
If you don’t know where the return on investment is supposed to come from or how to measure it, then halt the investments until you can clearly pinpoint it. Once you’ve got a clear map of where the money is to come from and how it’s coming, then you can resume with your investments.
Actually use what you invested in.
I spent the last few weeks building out every part of an email sales funnel, testing copy, creating a presentation and connecting everything via my email marketing system. This all cost time and money so you can bet I’m going to use it.
I also started implementing everything I’d learned at a business retreat in Puerto Rico so that I’d be ready to start running ads in the second quarter. This also cost money, so I wanted to make sure I actually used what I spent money to learn.
One of the issues I sometimes see with business owners is they don’t actually use what they pay for. They hire coaches without showing up to sessions, they buy courses but don’t actually take them and they take an eternity to implement the things they learned at an event.
Stop wasting your time and money and start using what you’ve actually invested in. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself wondering why nothing is working.
While waiting for a return on investment can be frustrating, it is a part of the process. Keep these things in mind to help calm your nerves as you invest in your business.
How to Cultivate Patience When You’re Waiting For Return On Investment was originally published on Due by Amanda Abella.
The post How to Cultivate Patience When You’re Waiting For Return On Investment appeared first on KillerStartups.
Should You Itemize or Take the Standard Deduction? 18 Apr 2017, 2:31 pm
Tax day is today! If you are like one of the millions of Americans scrambling to get your taxes in before the deadline, you may have come across questions about itemizing your deduction versus taking the standard deduction. While this is certainly accounting jargon, it is a simple yet important concept to understand.
If you are doing your taxes today or preparing for another year, here is everything you need to know about the standard deduction or itemizing.
What is the standard deduction?
When filing your taxes, a deduction is an item that lowers your taxable income. Popular income tax deductions include the mortgage interest deduction, student loan interest deduction, and charitable contributions. Deductions should not be confused with credits, like the child tax credit, that lowers your tax bill directly. Deductions lower your taxable income, and your taxes as a result, where credits lower your taxes due dollar for dollar.
The government gives every American that files income taxes an option to take a standard deduction. For 2016, the standard deduction is $6,300 for individuals, $12,600 for married couples filing jointly, and $9,300 for head of household filers. For 2017, the standard deduction increased by $50 for individuals and $100 for those married filing jointly.
To put this into practice, let’s look at an example. If you earn $50,000 per year and are single, taking the standard deduction means you only pay taxes on $43,700 of income. That is roughly a $1,575 tax savings. For a married couple that earns $100,000 per year combined, the standard deduction means they only pay taxes as if they earned $87,400. That is roughly a $3,150 tax savings. But in some cases you can save even more by forgoing the standard deduction. To do so, many filers take advantage of itemized deductions.
What does it mean to itemize your deductions?
The IRS gives you two options to handle deductions on your tax return: you can either itemize or you can take the standard deduction. If you take the standard deduction, you are guaranteed a specific income deduction to lower your taxes. If you itemize, the total you can deduct is unique to your taxes.
Some deductions, including the popular and previously mentioned mortgage interest tax deduction, have to be itemized to qualify for a deduction. This means that for itemized deductions, you have to add up everything and use that total on your taxes instead of the standard deduction. But knowing which to choose is not always so simple.
Choosing between itemized and standard deductions
Deciding between the standard deduction and itemized deduction depends on how your money moved over the past year. As a general rule, most people will not itemize unless they own a home and can claim the mortgage interest deduction. Without that, it is unlikely to have more itemized deductions than the standard deduction allows. Personally, I have only ever been able to itemize once and used the standard deduction every other time I have filed my taxes, which includes 17 years of tax returns.
Some common itemized tax deductions include:
- Mortgage interest
- Charitable donations
- State and local taxes
- Tax preparation expenses
- Medical and dental costs
- Unreimbursed work related expenses
- Expenses related to finding a new job
- Moving expenses when you move at least 50 miles for a job
Get the official list of possible deductions from the IRS at the official page here. If you add up your itemized deductions and they are lower than the standard deduction, you are best off taking the standard deduction. If your itemized deductions are higher, go with the itemized deduction.
Calculate your best option every year
Your personal finances change every year, and so do your taxes. If you have simple taxes and do not own a home or make large charitable contributions, you are likely going to use the standard deduction most years. However, you never know for sure until you do the math, and it would be a shame to leave free money on the table!
Congress and the IRS have made our tax code incredibly complicated. According to the Washington Examiner, the current tax code is a whopping 74,608 pages long! With that massive volume of complex information behind our tax system, there is a clear reason why taxes are so challenging. Do your best to take as many deductions as possible to minimize your tax bill to the IRS!
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Credit Problems? Stop Worrying, And Float 18 Apr 2017, 1:30 pm
So much is made of trying to reach Millennials and take home the money that they spend, yet so much of how our financial institutions operate is designed to restrict or punish them as they strive to establish financial freedom.
How absurd is it that merely applying for credit could potentially hurt your chances of gaining credit? Well, if you find the status quo outrageous, outdated, demeaning, you will delight in hearing about Float.
Float is a digital lending platform that provides checking account holders with convenient and affordable lines of credit as an alternative solution to their short-term illiquidity needs. Screw the shady payday lenders, predatory banks and credit companies with their insanely high interest rates and overdraft “protection.” Float is faster, smarter and all-around better.
With Float, a personalized line of credit is a mere 180 seconds away. Instead of relying on credit scores (which factor in plenty of variables often beyond an individual’s control), Float offers credit “based on how you make, spend, and manage your money.”
In just a few taps, you can send credit directly to your debit card, either already in pocket or easy to access via mobile banking. Policies and pricing are completely transparent. Float charges a 5% fee for transfers of $50 or more, $2.50 for transfers under $50. Borrowers have until the 21st of the following month to pay back money loaned, which defuses the 1st of the month pressures that cause so many complications in the first place. Float does not charge any other fees, interest, or APR to access your line of credit.
Besides the benefits of instant coverage and a line of credit for those special moments of need, choosing Float has the added advantage of helping to actually build credit history – it’s a ladder to financial stability, not a trap door.
Who hasn’t been in a tight spot at one time or another? It’s a miserable feeling. Especially when you know you have money coming in, but not quite in time. I must say, I’m pleased to find I haven’t turned into an old-timer thinking you should only buy what you can pay for with money in the bank. Where’s the sense in passing up incredible opportunities – singular events, giving someone a Christmas gift, for example – because your paycheck is due to arrive three days late?
I remember being a working college student and someone offering me another job that meant upgrading my wardrobe. I didn’t have enough credit yet to charge the clothes, or friends I felt comfortable asking for money, and I didn’t want to ask my parents for their help, again (after all, part of living away from home is learning to take responsibility for your own life, right?).
“We exist to free people from financial pressure and encourage them to live life on their terms,” say the creators of Float. May the app spare others from ever again feeling stuck in a similar crummy spot. Learn more about the company or apply for a Float line of credit at hellofloat.com.
Plug&Paid – Does Selling Online Get Any Easier? 17 Apr 2017, 1:30 pm
Remember when setting up shop used to entail finding the right space, paying to occupy that space, organizing merchandise displays, and having someone on hand to sell things and accept payment?
Sure, we still need our brick-and-mortar stores for some things, but you have to love the low barriers to entry when it comes to selling online. Consider just how fast and easy Plug&Paid makes life for online sellers.
Plug&Paid is a cloud-hosted checkout cart station that lets you easily turn any website into a shop. Three simple steps, and you’re in business.
First you set up a customizable button, link, or widget – what the startup calls a ‘plug.’ This could be as simple as a ‘Buy now’ button. Then you add the product you wish to sell and your preferred payment service provider. Lastly, you install the small HTML snippet that Plug&Paid generates for you, anywhere that you like on your website.
Yes, you can design your plug to reflect your branding, the aesthetics of your website. Yes, Plug&Paid supports using multiple payment services such as PayPal, Stripe and Bitpay. But that’s about as complex as the service gets.
Plug&Paid is designed to be “the fastest way to start selling online.”
Links allow people to reach buyers effectively on mobile devices and through social media, as Plug&Paid can be used to send followers on Facebook and Instagram straight to your shopping cart.
Plug&Paid even provides analytics that help you to keep track of where things are selling and how much you’re selling of any particular item. All in all, the service is extremely light on the setup and maintenance, and heavily focused on expediting sales.
For those looking to get started selling, there’s some more good news. Since you haven’t earned revenue yet, you’re likely on a tight budget, and Plug&Paid is free to try. You can create one plug for one product (using a single payment cart) free of charge. Even if you have lots of goods to sell, Plug&Paid keeps its pricing affordable. For just $4.79 per month, you can create an unlimited number of plugs and accept payment using multiple services.
Ready to supercharge your sales, and collect payment from anywhere in the world, without putting forth hardly any effort on your part? Learn more about Plug&Paid and how it can turn you into an efficient selling machine by visiting the website plugnpaid.com.
Photo and Video Credits
7 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself Everyday 15 Apr 2017, 12:00 pm
Each and every one of us has those days when we’re just not feeling it. We’re mentally and physically drained and the last thing we want to do is crawl out of bed and tackle the day.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury to stay-in-bed all day. When this happens, it’s time to use these simple 7 techniques to help you overcome that emotional hurdle.
- Review your goals first thing in the morning and pick one thing.
Sometimes life just gets in the way and distracts us from accomplishing goals or tasks. To stay on track, review your goals when you first wake-up in the morning and start working on one of your most important goals and put a plan in place to achieve that one goal.
SUCCESS has some excellent tips on setting powerful goals, such as;
- Evaluating and reflecting what’s going in your life right now.
- Defining your dream and goals.
- Making your goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive).
- Holding yourself accountable.
- Come on, get happy.
Think about all of the times that you procrastinated. I bet a majority of those times where when you weren’t in the best of moods. In Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess, author Daniel Akst writes;
“So procrastination is a mood-management technique, albeit (like eating or taking drugs) a shortsighted one. But we’re most prone to it when we think it will actually help… Well, far and away the most procrastination occurred among the bad-mood students who believed their mood couldn’t be changed and who had access to fun distractions.”
To combat procrastination so that you can stay productive and keep moving forward, make yourself happy by showing gratitude, surrounding yourself with positive people, celebrating small wins, being charitable, doing things that you enjoy, and even just forcing yourself to smile. Put on some loud music and clean your house for a few minutes, or clean out your desk and surroundings. This technique can usually get you motivated to get onto your important work and to stop procrastinating.
- Get motivated by others.
When you really need an extra motivational push, you can always turn to the words or art from others.
With music, you can start by creating a playlist of songs that can you excited and inspired. After all, music can change your mood and lift your spirits. For example, I dare you not to want to hit the gym or get physically active when listening to “Gonna Fly Now” from Rocky.
Besides music, there are books, movies, and videos that can assist you in moving forward by through inspiration and guidance.
And, don’t forget the thousands of motivational quotes from successful or respected individuals that can immediately change your mindset by making you more optimistic.
- Have fun.
We all have those everyday tasks or chores that are boring, mundane, and dull. I mean who really wants to clean the dishes or writing blog post after blog post. The thing is, you can have some fun with these otherwise uneventful tasks.
We’ve mentioned music, but it’s easier to keep yourself happy than to have to bring yourself up when you are down real low. For example, sing and dance when you’re cleaning your office or home. Skip down the grocery store aisle. Challenge yourself to write a 500-word blog post in under 30 minutes. Download an app that can help you, such as the gamify app and make these tasks into a game, such as Epic Win.
- Cut your to-do list in half.
Lengthy lists are roadblocks that prevent us from achieving success. Instead of going forward, these lists hold us back. Cut your to-do-lists in at least half so that you can focus on the most completing items first. Some studies show that if you have more than 7 tasks on a list you will do none of them, yet if you only have 3 items listed, the likelihood to finish all three is high.
- Find a partner in crime.
I remember the reason why I stopped going to the gym. My gym partner had to move several hundred miles away for work. I tried to keep going on my own, but I lost interest very quickly. Since I no longer had someone else to push me, it was acceptable to miss one day, then another, until I finally stopped going altogether.
Having someone else by your side is one of the motivators since this person will be your biggest cheerleader and motivate you whenever you feel like throwing in the towel. Here are a few good tips to finding the best business partner.
- Take a break.
I understand that your life is chaotic. Between work and your family, you’re constantly on-the-go. This becomes a problem after a while because you’re exhausted and burnt out.
Even though you believe that you don’t have the time to take a vacation, the least you can do is take a day or two to decompress. It recharges your batteries and gives you a new outlook on everything that’s going on in your life. Mikita Mikado from sales enablement platform PandaDoc recommends “Go for walking breaks. There are days when I can’t get away from the office, but I feel burned out. I go for a quick walk around the block, suit and all, and come back ready to work.” So, whether you are taking a couple days off, or just 15 minutes, take some time to relax. When you return to your work, you’ll be surprised at how refreshed and enthusiastic you are.
Is Data Integration Complicated? Not For Etlworks 12 Apr 2017, 1:30 pm
No question about it, we all take the Internet for granted. Most of us are blissfully unaware of all the tremendous work done behind the scenes that allows us to do so much so quickly with either a couple of clicks or swipes.
The people who hold everything together for us might be accustomed to complexity, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t appreciate simple solutions just as much as the rest of us.
Having EVERYTHING connect seamlessly? Ensuring databases integrate properly with one another? Yeah, these good people are well overdue for a killer tool that makes their lives easier.
And thanks to Etlworks, they now have the Etlworks Integrator, a powerful and easy-to-use data integration service that connects various systems and APIs through one common gateway.
Given that what the Etlworks Integrator does might prove a tad esoteric for outsiders, here’s a more in-depth explanation of what they offer: “Integrator can connect to almost all relational databases, local and cloud-based file storages, public and private APIs, as well as read and write data in most common data exchange formats.”
Basically, if you want your data backed up, if you want to export and import into different systems, replicate data – regardless of location, format, or volume – Etlworks Integrator will make it happen.
Here’s something you don’t have to be a genius to understand. Etlworks accomplishes such magnificent work with… drag-and-drop interface. Simple as joining peanut butter and jelly.
With the Integrator, businesses of any size can build complex workflows with action triggers and multiple integration points using its drag-and-drop wizard. You get to create scenarios, integrate several connectors, schedule flows and make sure everything is running smoothly in real time.
And Etlworks will only become better and better, as it has app integrations on the near horizon. The Etlworks Integrator is made available via the cloud, as a hosted and managed SaaS service. The company also provides custom services for installing and configuring the Integrator on any hardware, if you’d still rather leave data integration jobs to the pros.
Specifically created to develop and market the Integrator, Etlworks is a subsidiary company of Toolsverse, an innovative software company that focuses on data integration. This same group has built the highly regarded Data Explorer, ETL Framework, and Integration Agent solutions, among others.
Keen on integrating your data in the cloud? Save money and time by employing the Etlworks Integrator. Learn more about how the Integrator works or sign up for services at etlworks.com.
Rethinking Perfumes, OLIO de Luxe Offers A Solution That Makes Scents 11 Apr 2017, 3:00 pm
No matter how enthralling the bouquet, there’s a lot about brand name designer perfumes that stinks – chemicals that cause allergic reactions like headaches, coughing, wheezing, and contact dermatitis; animals used for testing; and pocket-emptying prices for goods with a shelf life of 24 to 36 months.
OLIO de Luxe will make you rethink how you stock your vanity with their new line of “socially-conscious perfume oil fragrances that strike the perfect balance between innovation, affordability, and quality.”
100% alcohol-free, the company’s perfume oils don’t evaporate or lose their scent no matter how long you store them. With just one application, depending on a few personal factors, fragrances last 6 to 12 hours.
Since the product line is up to 90% perfume oil-based, none of the perfumes for either men or women contain irritating chemicals. And, OLIO de Luxe is adamantly opposed to animal testing, which makes their fragrances cruelty free.
“It’s actually really difficult finding a high-quality, natural perfume that won’t break the bank, and most national brands aren’t worth the value on the price tag,” OLIO de Luxe Founder Vincent Paul Fiola explained. “Customers have been unwittingly paying more for the company’s fancy packaging, marketing, and overhead costs than for the actual perfume inside the bottles. We’re changing all of that.”
Ready to hold your nose? In reality, for the average $100 bottle of perfume, only 2% of costs go into the actual perfume!
With OLIO de Luxe, you save dollars on scents. And, unlike the bottles of most high-end fragrances that are too large and fragile to transport easily, OLIO de Luxe products come in compact packaging that is practical for use at home or on the go.
The innovation behind these fragrances is even more remarkable when you take into account the hard-knock story that led to Fiola creating the company. In 2014, Fiola found himself stranded in Dallas after having had to close his retail stores in Canada and then being defrauded of a large sum of money from a supposed potential investor.
Looking to maintain his dignity and to continue projecting an outward image of success, which he knew was crucial to rebounding, he found himself short of the dough for even an average quality perfume. Relying on a few sprays from the bottle of his friend who’d also been kind enough to put him up, Fiola had his lightbulb moment to create a line of high-quality perfume oil fragrances at sane prices.
To complete Fiola’s triumphant comeback, OLIO de Luxe has just launched a Kickstarter campaign. Backers can receive fragrance packages as well as exclusive merchandise, starting at a $25 pledge level. For more information on their products and crowdfunding rewards, the OLIO de Luxe team invites you to visit their Kickstarter page here.
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CUE Handles – You’ll Really Want To Get A Hold Of This Tech 6 Apr 2017, 1:30 pm
The handle turns. The locked door thuds. The voice on the other side is compelled to respond with something like, “Just a minute.” We’ve all been on both sides of this most awkward door. At parties, at home, public bathrooms, we’ve all endured these graceless encounters.
Though not on the same crisis level as, say, a nuclear standoff, CUE has a simple solution for these washroom meetings that we can all appreciate. CUE is “a smart door handle that allows users to discreetly use the washroom and notify others when it’s ‘safe’ to enter.”
The sleek door handle fits with just about any door and is straightforward enough for anyone to understand. It works like this. Once you’re inside the bathroom, you push the lock and a lock icon illuminates on the other side to let others know that the bathroom is occupied.
No more disturbing the person in the bathroom. No more having to reveal your presence while you’re in the bathroom. There’s even an illuminated lock icon on the inside of the handle as well, so you can use the bathroom with confidence.
On your way out, you push an hourglass button that initiates a five-minute sequence of red, yellow and green lights that alerts anyone waiting to when the washroom will be ready to enter.
Founder Cory Mahoney found inspiration to make CUE when his mother was diagnosed with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. Her disease made her feel uncomfortable using residential or public washrooms, and Cory, being a thoughtful and innovative son, set out to alleviate her stress.
If you’re suffering from disease, the last thing you need added to your life is embarrassment or more stress. Shoot, even if you’re healthy you could do without such avoidable discomfort. As the startup says, this is “privacy you can handle.”
CUE means business when it talks about helping to alleviate the embarrassment and stigma associated with using the bathroom. The company donates 10% of its profits to Chive Charities and 15% overall to charities that support sufferers of Crohn’s and Colitis.
Ready to introduce this smart and tactful measure of privacy to your world? You can see the handle in action and learn more about the company by visiting cuehandles.com. Even better, you can back CUE’s Kickstarter campaign and help see that door handles are shipped out in mass this November. The odds favor you’ll be thanking yourself before long that you did.
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