List of Discounts for Business Students

bigstockphoto_Business_Team_2812254If you’re a college student studying business and struggling to make ends meet, saving money is essential. One of the simplest ways to save money as a college student is to take advantage of the many discounts that are available out there.

You may be surprised to find that as a student you may have to try and not get discounts, as they are everywhere. Some are better than others though, and this article will help you find the most outstanding deals going.

The following is a list of the best discounts out there, along with some ideas to help you conserve on school supplies, such as paper costs and printing. You already know there is more than one professor out there who wants a paper copy of a term paper or test.

With printer ink and toner so precious, it’s wise to conserve on ink and paper. Breeze through your college career without causing nearly as much concern for overspending on ink or damaging the environment.Student Discounts

Check out the major software companies for outstanding product discounts.Books and Supplies

JourneyEd, Save up to 85%; AcademicSuperstore.com, outstanding discounts for all students on all of the necessities; Amazon Student, Student members get discounts on a wide variety of books and student supplies.

Newspapers

Business professors are always asking students to get regular subscriptions to business publications. Here are a few of the discounts for students:

New York Times offers 50% off digital subscriptions and very low for home delivery. Wall Street Journal offers 75% to students; Boston Globe also offers 50% off for home delivery. Check out their websites individually for more information.

Technology

Apple offers discounts to students on their site, where you can get App gift cards when you purchase select merchandise. Apple’s special education pricing might save you a few bucks.

Ink Technologies offers deep discount on ink like HP ink cartridges (one of the most popular sold) and even offers a recycling program for your old toner.

Students with an e-mail address from their .edu school can receive six months free of Amazon Prime by joining Amazon Student.

Often software is heavily discounted for students such as Windows Operating System, Adobe Creative Suite and Photoshop.

Check With Your School

Many schools offer employee and student discounts with preferred vendors. Check your University or Colleges website to find helpful discounts at stores and online retailers near you.

This list is not exhaustive but a very good start for business students. Wherever you go take your student ID and be sure to ask if they offer a student discount. You may be surprised at just who does.

In addition to gathering savings on the above discounts, stores you can easily save money in other ways. One way is to change the way you think about things such minimalism (less stuff) and recycling. One huge area a student can save is with printer, ink and paper. Printer paper and ink can be a large part of your budget with so many projects and papers due throughout the year. The best student discounts can be the ones you make for yourself.

5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business/5 Tips for Entrepreneurs

images1. Have a target demographic in mind but stay flexible and agile:

We founded Dobbin with a detailed business plan, and a firm target customer in mind. We imagined what kinds of places she lived, where she worked, what brands she shopped, and what she liked to do for fun. As soon as we launched, and started successfully selling, we realized we were only partially right in our estimations. From then on, we’ve gone back to the drawing board almost weekly to discuss our learnings about our customers and to try to further define our constantly evolving core customer, and to crystallize our business strategy. So far, so good!

2. Find a way to work on your business and not always in your business:

Prior to founding Dobbin,  both Catherine and myself have had specific roles in small and large companies. Now that we’re co-founders, we’re wearing a much wider variety of hats. I once heard a designer joke that he once spent a whole day changing lightbulbs in his showroom.Now, I know that to be true. As entrepreneurs, we spend  95% of our time working on administrative tasks like ordering fabric, shipping, accounting, inventory, customer service and manufacturing. We make it a point, as mentioned above, to constantly tackle marketing and biz dev. But it’s something we need to make time for.

3. Find co-founders and workers whose skills complement your own:

Catherine and I are great partners because the way we work together is so complementary. Our thought patterns and work styles are synergistic, but they’re also different, in a good way. Co-founders and co-workers who can help to accomplish a greater vision via varied talents will pave a quicker path to success.

4. Look luxe; spend smartly: 

Dobbin’s product is luxe. We use the same high-end fabrics as brands like Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez and Diane von Furstenberg, and we manufacture our line right beside those brands. So although we’re a tiny company-we need to project a glamorous marketing image-especially because our product is sold only online. At the same time, we’re as thrifty as we can be. We negotiate contracts, aim for short photo shoots, use our own accessories, search Etsy for packaging and do our graphic design in-house, all in the name of cost-saving.

5. Talk to your customers as often and in as much detail as you can: 

I learned early on that they key to a successful business was to listen carefully to  customers. I’ve carried this with me all throughout my career, and am now in touch with Dobbin customers day in and day out. We list our emails all over the site, on both customer service and actual product pages. I include my business card in each and every customer package, so women can easily reach me when they have questions or comments. We thrive on customer feedback on our product, our pricing, our marketing and our service. Remember that your closest advisors are those who are shopping for and actually buying your product.

 About the Author: 

Jessica Gold Newman is the Co-Founder (with Catherine Doyle) of Dobbin Clothing (www.dobbinclothing.com). Based in NYC, Dobbin is a line of wardrobe workhorses, constructed of the finest
European stretch fabrics, fit to flatter, that is sold exclusively on their website and priced under $200. Jessica has had 15+ years of experience in the fashion and retail industry.

How Mobile Can Grow Your Business

imagesIn a rapidly expanding digital age, organizations must be aware of how mobile can grow a business. As of March 2013, over 1 billion smartphones are in active use, which means that one out of every seven people on Earth has one. The rapid growth of smartphones across the world has also meant the rapid growth of mobile apps. Innovative entrepreneurs are maximizing the potential of this phenomenon to improve their businesses. If you are intrigued and looking for more information about how mobile can grow your business, here are just a few ways that mobile plays a role in this process.


How Can Mobile Grow Your Business?

  1. Heighten branding. When a company’s slogan or logo is clearly displayed on people’s mobile screens, inevitably those people will think of your company when they need your products and services. Mobile advertising gives companies a distinctive edge over competitors that have not yet embraced this business technique. Mobile creates instant brand recognition and heightens general corporate branding and overall reputation.
  2. Improve the customer service experience. Mobile gives customers the benefit of 24/7 access, from any location, to products and services from your company. This is critical for businesses that do not have round-the-clock help lines. Set up your mobile site with the feature that allows customers to look over your products and purchase whenever, wherever.
  3. Offer “on the go” information. Mobile users are “on the go” often, so a mobile site with information and features that are helpful for them is valuable. Contact details and GPS information are popular options. Many users also appreciate the ability to manage their appointments and services on the go too. For example, a day spa can give users access to information about their upcoming appointments with the ability to make changes or cancellations as needed.
  4. Serve as a marketing tool. A mobile site or app is much more than just an application. As it can be easily integrated with social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, it also serves as an important marketing tool. With a single click, users can share your company’s site, app, or their experience with your business, promoting your company for free. Businesses also have the option to use push notifications to send information about upcoming events or special deals to their potential and existing customers. Another option is to consider using QR codes to display information about certain events and specials.
  5. Increase customer acquisition. Consumers today are always on the move and are dependent on their mobile devices for communication and information. It goes without saying that mobile users appreciate a company’s engaging mobile features, which make the company more attractive to them. When mobile helps users save time or makes a good impression, customers are more likely to spread the word to their friends and family.
  6. Increase income. A mobile site that features order fulfillment capabilities offers a new revenue channel for a business. For example, a restaurant that offers reservation booking through a mobile site or app has the potential to increase its number of diners every day.

Whatever you decide to do with mobile, you really can’t miss. Smartphone usage is only increasing and your use of mobile marketing can only help your business prosper. Good luck!

 

About the author:

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm offering merchant services. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management & marketing and also serves on its Board of Directors.

 

5 Ideas for Personalized Business Gifts

imagesA personalised business gift is great for many occasions. You can celebrate a new business deal or partnership, or you could give an employee a beautiful gift that they’ll love. Personalising the gifts provides a touch of elegance and customisation. You could have your company’s name engraved on the product to market your business and bring in more customers. Furthermore, business gifts show clients and business partners alike that you appreciate them. In this post, MatCreations.com present 5 brilliant ways to market your business and imprint your brand in customers’ memory.

Personalized Wine Bottles

An elegant and beautiful personalised business gift that’s great for celebrating a new partnership or successful business venture is personalised wine bottles in a wooden box. Wine is a great way to bring representatives from different businesses together in celebration. It is a sophisticated gift; you can personalise the wine bottles with your business name, and you can have a special message written on the box.

Personalized Desk Organiser

A great gift to give to an employee is a high-quality desk organiser made from beautiful wood. Desk organisers are very useful to help employees keep their pens and other items together easily, and it makes their workspace more attractive. You can have the employee’s name engraved onto the organiser. Having it personalised shows an employee how appreciated they are.

Personalized Leather Journal

Leather journals are elegant and a great way to show your appreciation to employees. Leather is a beautiful material, and the journal has many uses. Employees can write their personal thoughts, or they can write important notes or lists detailing what they need to do for the day. These leather journals can be personalised by embossing the name of the employee in a beautiful font on the front of the journal. It gives the journal a personal touch and is useful in case the employee loses the journal.

Personalized Pen

Another great business gift is a high-quality pen. The pen can be in any style you like including a ball-point pen or a fountain pen. A pen that has your company’s name engraved on it can be given to new clients or customers. By giving out this type of personalised business gift, you can market your company. Having your name engraved on the pen will allow your company to get the exposure it needs while showing clients that you appreciate them; a nice, personalised pen can really show how much you care about your customers.

Personalized Flash Drives

Nowadays, computers are a necessity for businesses. USB flash drives are convenient and safe ways to backup information in case your computer has a problem. This is why personalised USB flash drives with your company’s name on them are great to give out to clients or even business partners. It’s a good way to show you care about their business and the safety of its information. With so many great business gifts from which to choose, you can easily please clients, associates, and partners. Personalization is also a great way to add an extra touch of class while getting the word out about your business.

Tips for Traveling Safely Abroad for Business as a Woman

Woman business travelerThe number of professional women in business has certainly increased dramatically over the last few decades. Women are indeed a vital force in the business world. Often, their duties will take them around the town or to foreign locations. Traveling is a rewarding experience and very risky. The fact is that in some areas crime is on the rise also. Criminals look for easy targets that will not fight back. Therefore, women traveling alone are seen as more vulnerable than men or groups of women. It is important to keep safe to insure that the trip is a positive experience. Here are tips for traveling safely abroad for business as a woman to help ensure you have a carefree travel experience.

The first important tip concerns the business itinerary. It is important to let the home office and family know exactly where you are going and what meetings or functions that are on the itinerary. Supply contact number or address to business associates and family members. Consequently, if something should go wrong, people will know where you were going.

The second tip involves your attitude and body language. Criminals look for women with submissive body language. They realize that anyone with submissive looking body language will not fight back and is a soft target. Walk with your head up. Look people in the eye. Stand tall and proud. Look in control and walk with a purpose. Use a firm direct voice. This type of body language demonstrates that you are a confident and assertive woman who would stand up for herself and is definitely not a soft target.

Criminals are on the hunt for single women who are traveling alone. Slip an inexpensive wedding band on your finger to stop stalkers. Most criminals and stalkers will think twice about approaching a married woman. Once again, they are searching for an easy target. One without ties.

This is a tip that every woman should follow when traveling abroad or at home. Modern technology has made keeping in touch very easy. Always carry a fully charged cellphone with you doing travel or social engagements. This tip will help you stay safe. If trouble occurs, help is just a call away.

Try to blend in with others around you. Leave the expensive jewelry and fashionable clothing at home. Wear the type of clothing that does not draw too much attention. Thieves and criminals target women with expensive jewelry and designer clothing.

Business travel abroad can be a throughly rewarding, enjoyable, and a safe experience for women who follow the tips included here.

 

4 Tips for Keeping Your Business Organized

imagesKeeping your company organized can ensure that you and your employees can find important financial and business documents quickly. Having an organized business can also give your business a more professional scheme. Keeping your business organized over a long period of time can be challenging, but you can maintain an organized company if you take steps to get others in your office involved. To develop an organized company, you need to have a system for keeping track of important documents and a plan for organizing your company and its workload.

Filing System

Every company needs to develop some form of organizational system for important paper and electronic documents, such as receipts, business licenses, legal documents or customer-related paperwork. Many companies use alphabetical or chronological filing systems, but the structure you choose should fit with your company’s and your personal needs. Develop one or more filing systems that allow you to add additional documents in the future. Make the filing system accessible to the people in your company that will use it but employ different tools, such as locks or passwords, to keep your documents secure.

Document Storage

Use different types of storage devices or tools to store important documents. Many companies keep more recent documents in one place and older documents in another spot. You can use cabinets, desks, filing folders or electronic folders to store your documents. Develop a method for labeling documents that makes sense to you and your employees and make sure that everyone goes by that system. If necessary, establish a policy or customized booklets to inform employees about your company’s procedures. When you store documents electronically,back them up in case of future issues with your computer system.

Employee Workload

To keep a company well organized, distribute work in a way that makes sense.

When employees know what they need to do, they are more likely to get work completed. While there may be overlap in the work certain employees do, attempt to define roles in your company from the start and rework them as you introduce new people into your business. Either you or the supervisors who work under you should regularly monitor employees to ensure they are working efficiently and effectively.

Company’s Plan

When you first start and as your company continues to grow, you need to have strategic plans to keep your company on track. In your plan, outline your company’s purpose, mission, goals, market, timeline, budget and promotional strategies. Adapt your plan over time, as the goals, products or services, finances or marketing strategies for your business change. Work with other key players in your company, such as your partners or investors, when developing strategic plans.

Five Great Ways To Get Your Businesses Name Out There

promotionNo one is going to buy your product if they don’t know that your company exists. Therefore, you need to make sure that your target market knows about your company and its bran. Here are five ways that you can gain more exposure for your business.

Offer Promotional Products

People who have used your products will have an easier time remembering the name of your company. They will also be able to tell their friends about your company as well. If you are in a cleaning industry, the use of custom towels can promote your brand while also allowing potential customers to try your product for free.

Promote At Large Community Events

Get your name out there by putting yourself where the people are. Consider setting up a table at baseball games, at festivals and other events where large numbers of people will descend on one spot. Setting up a booth at a local flea market could be a great way to get your name out to people in smaller towns.

Go To Trade Shows

Trade shows give your company the opportunity to mingle with other business owners who may want be interested in helping you to market your product. Going to a trade show can also help get press coverage for your new product. It can be just what a fledgling company needs to gain traction in the marketplace.

Advertise Through Multiple Channels

It is important to advertise through as many channels as possible. For example, you should post ads on social media sites, on search engines and in newspapers. If possible, you should also consider posting ads on television and radio broadcasts. Billboards are another great method of advertising. If you do advertise online, a company such as HALO Branded Solutions can help you provide potential customers with promotional products.

Put Your Logo On Your Car

There is a good chance that you will use your car on a daily basis. This gives you a great opportunity to advertise your company while running errands or going to see a movie. Placing your logo, contact information and other relevant details about your company will leave interested customers wanting to know more.

It can be easy to get the name of your company out there to your customers. Place advertisements online, go to trade shows and use promotional products to spread the word about your company. If you can do that, you will gain increased visibility for your company.

Business Smart: 5 Legal Situations You Need to Consider Before Start Up

LEGAL_RESEARCHAre you starting a business and wondering whether you can do everything on your own? Starting a business, even a small one, can be difficult. Not only do you need to create a business plan, you also need to consider all of the legal liabilities that are involved with starting up. From naming your business to creating an entity, there are a number of ways that you can violate current business laws, and doing this can cost you a great deal of time and money. Before you start writing down your plans and acting on them, here are five legal situations you need to plan for.

1. Trademark Infringement

You cannot just choose any business name, unless you are using your own legal name. When you are choosing a business name, you need to be smart and check to see if the name is already trademarked. You should also be sure that the domain for the name you choose is available. If you order all of your marketing material and then try to register a fictitious name that is already in use, you will need to order new materials and come up with an entirely new name. 

2. Structuring your Business Legally

Many entrepreneurs choose to structure their businesses as an LLC because they will not lose their personal assets if the business faces litigation. You must learn how to form an LLC and learn about the ramifications of choosing this legal structure before you fill out the forms and file them. Failing to understand the consequences can land you in hot water with the IRS. If you choose to form a corporation, which requires a board of directors, you must file all of the appropriate articles of incorporation with an attorney to ensure the administrative side is in order.

 

3. Deciding Whether or Not to Patent a Product

If you are manufacturing products, you may have to decide whether or not you should patent your products. You may not actually need the rights to a product that you would earn by patenting and it is a very long process that will cost money start ups cannot typically afford. If the patenting is not going to give you a marketplace advantage, assess whether or not you need to take this start now.

4. Applying for Licensing and Permits

While you always need a business license, some service providers need special permits and licenses, and these must be applied for before you can start your operations. Applying for permits and licenses can be difficult if you are not familiar with the process. Do not wait until you want to open your doors to apply for the rights to get these licenses and permits. If you are not sure where to start, you can use a program like Lexis Nexis legal software and get access to all of the documents you need to file for these licenses well before you are ready to open your doors.

5. Vendor Agreements

If you will be dealing with vendors, you are going to need to create contracts and non-disclosure agreements that protect your rights and your business interests.

If you want access to all of the documents you need to structure your business, use technology to your advantage. With advanced software programs, you can do your very own legal research and avoid some of the common pitfalls small business owners make.

Sustainability: The #1 Priority for Tomorrow’s Business Leaders

shutterstock_88492132It is difficult to deny the enormous importance of sustainability in light of recent headlines concerning global recession, credit crunches, fiscal cliffs and large-scale bankruptcies. The long-term growth of a business is inextricably linked to economic policies and social and environmental policy, as well. So, why is it important for a business leader to consider sustainability? Simple, it is one of the smartest ways to ensure your business will survive. Here are 3 reasons why sustainability can work for a business.

1. Sustainability forces you to cut costs and increase efficiency: Considering environmental disadvantages will force you as a business leader to look for new ways to “do more with less”. Whether it’s reducing costs in the office by limiting resource spending, eco-friendly office policies, or reducing fuel and distances if you run a logistical department for deliveries, all these decisions impact your budget and they impress your customers, too. Today, customers and investors are looking for companies that match their own personal values in terms of practice. By making your policies transparent, you show how your business is operating to the maximum standards of eco-friendly sustainable policy. Publish an annual sustainability report to highlight this.

2. Sustainability planning helps to mitigate risk and prepare strategically: Approaching the future from the perspective of sustainability helps business leaders to look at opportunities and assess risks more clearly. Depending on your type of business, different scenarios happening in the future present different risks and economical grievances to your livelihood. Tax increase on electricity, fuel prices hiking, or a number of geopolitical events occurring spell out policy change within your business. Keeping a priority of maintaining sustainability will force you to put your thinking cap on and plan strategies to overcome this. In turn, potential investors and customers alike make the connection of sustainability to risk aversion and maintaining financial stability through hard times.

3. Sustainability drives your employees to be more innovative and creative: There is little doubt that working with the “do more with less” mantra forces people to be more creative with how they use resources, and how to get the maximum benefit from very little. Instilling the concept of sustainability and social responsibility into your business ethos will likely bring out the best from your employees and help your business to shine against your competitors. Customers will more likely choose to give their money to a company with a clean and green business record with long-term growth potential over other companies.

These are only a few reasons why considering social responsibility and sustainability within your business plan can work for your advantage as a leader. It is also a good idea to further your own understanding of the field by taking a post graduate program an MBA in sustainable business or enrolling for post graduate certifications in green development. This would help to further your understanding on how to make your business and policies more “green”.

Writer Biography

”This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon, a part-time guest-blogger and a full-time private tour organizer. Her main interests are education and health, but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. If interested in an online MBA, feel free to check it out at: mba.marylhurst.edu

 

How to Choose a Small Business Credit Card

Business credit cardIf your business is searching for alternative funding options, small business credit cards offer great financial benefits, a fact recognized by many business owners. In fact, many small businesses rely upon business credit cards to continue day-to-day operations.

Did you know many banks offer credit cards tailored to small businesses with the ability to itemize expenses, track finances, control spending, and save time? Banks offering these business credit cards also provide high spending limits and award incentives for business transaction activities. Also, a business credit card is separate from personal credit, contributing to the establishment of a positive credit history leading to a higher credit rating.

How to Select a Small Business Card

Knowing how to choose a small business credit card ensures the best deal and rates for your company, as well as the ability to capitalize on the many benefits a business card provides. Consider these factors when deciding which business credit card is right for your company:

Annual Fee Since the annual fee varies from credit card to credit card, identify the benefits associated with each card to determine which business card is most appropriate for your company. Understand that the lowest annual fee does not guarantee that specific card is the right one for your company.

Interest Rates The amount you pay each month is impacted by the interest rate associated with the card. If you anticipate not paying off the card’s balance each month, identify credit cards that offer lower interest rates. However, if you find a card that has a higher interest rate but seems appropriate for your company, take the time to evaluate the other benefits the card offers.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) The annual percentage rate also impacts your monthly payment if the balance is not paid in full each month. Pay attention to the type of APR, as variable and non-variable rates differently impact your payment and the terms of the contract.

Teaser Rates Some credit cards offer teaser rates to attract new customers. Be sure you understand what happens after the teaser rate period ends.

RewardsMany small business credit cards have an awards program attached to the total dollar amount spent. Cash back, business travel perks, rebates, and discounts are among the many rewards offered when you use your business card on select purchases.

Credit Limit The credit limit is determined by your business credit rating and credit history. Evaluate if your company needs a high credit limit and then weigh this feature against the other benefits offered by the business credit card you are considering.

Employee Credit Cards If you are considering providing credit cards to your employees for business expenses, check out the parameters of this feature for the cards you are considering. Be certain you understand the policy regarding employee usage to ensure the best option for your company.

Knowing how to choose a small business card is essential to the financial health of your company. Business credit cards offer an array of advantages that can help a small business fulfill production, operation, and service needs. Choosing the right card for your company contributes to productivity and efficiency, while also allowing the company to shoulder unexpected expenses. Understanding these factors helps ensure that you choose the right small business credit card that provides the benefits your company requires.

About the author:

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing company that provides small business payment processing. She has more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing.