If you don’t already use a service like Grasshopper for your business, then you might want to start thinking about doing so right now. Grasshopper Connect has a texting feature that lets you text from a business number using the Grasshopper app. Even though you will still be sending texts on your personal phone, recipients will only see your business number so it will look like you’ve been using a work phone to contact them. There are several benefits of using the Grasshopper Connect texting service:

  • You’ll be able to respond to calls that you can’t take in a meeting in a very discreet way.
  • It provides your customers and clients with a different way to communicate with you. These days, most customers tend to prefer texting rather than picking up the phone and speaking to someone.
  • You can send out appointment and meeting times so that everyone has them in writing. That way, they are a lot less likely to forget about them.
  • You can text and call at the same time if you use the Grasshopper desktop app. So, you don’t have to ever miss a call just because you are busy writing a text.
  • You’ll be able to send MMS pictures to customers and clients.
  • You can enjoy this service for free if you sign up to the introductory free trial.

Using the Grasshopper Connect texting feature will certainly revolutionize the way you communicate with clients and customers. Why not give their free trial a go and see how you get on with it?

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Verizon is the most popular cell phone service in the USA. The plans of this company are generally thought of as expensive but their latest offerings are quite attractive for many cell phone users.

The Latest Verizon Cell Phone Plans Prices are worth looking into. Here are the major plans of Verizon. The costs mentioned below are just for the data package. You will also need to pay $20 for line access charge for a single line.


The small plan costs a total of $35 per month and gives you 2 GB data. This is the best plan for you if you don’t do a lot of live streaming or music. This plan works best for regular web surfing along with an occasional YouTube video. It is the lowest cost plan from Verizon.


This plan will cost you $50 per month. Just for fifteen extra dollars, this plan gives you an extra 2GB of data compared to the small plan. This means you get 4 GB of data for $70. You can carry over the data left over to the next month. You can do occasional movie streaming on this plan.


The large plan costs $20 more than the medium plan and gives you 8 GB data. You can easily watch an occasional TV show or two with this plan every month. However, just for $5 extra, you can get an unlimited plan so I wouldn’t really recommend it.


The last is Verizon’s unlimited data plans. If you are a heavy data user, then Verizon’s Unlimited plan is probably the best for you. There isn’t a single data plan in this category, but there are two different unlimited plans by Verizon.

The first is the Go Unlimited plan starts at $75 for a line. As you buy more lines, you get more and more discount per line which brings the cost of four lines to about $160 per month. It includes 15 GB of hot spot data which is capped at 600 Kbps speed. Video streaming in this plan is limited to 480-pixel display.

One downside of Go Unlimited plan is that you cannot use it while traveling in North American countries.

The second plan, Beyond Unlimited, starts at $85 per line and about $200 per month for four line. It also includes 15 GB of hot spot data per month. Beyond, this allowance, the speeds drop to 600 Kbps but you can continue using the internet. You can stream HD videos of 720p with this plan.

In both plans, the maximum data limit is 22 GB per month. Above that limit, the data speeds might get reduced according to the network congestion. This is common in most unlimited data plans.

Verizon Prepaid Plans

Apart from the plans mentioned above, Verizon also offers a lot of monthly prepaid plans. These monthly plans range from $40 per month which gives you 3 GB data to $80 per month for unlimited data. These plans include unlimited talk and text all over the world along with data carryover and mobile hot spot usage.


In the old days, an online presence used to mean that you build a website, upload content and call it a day. These days, an online presence is more like online real estate. For a small business, an online presence is more like having a presence in the real world. You need a storefront, you need a bright and easy to read sign that people can view from the information highway and you need to get your website listed. There are some brilliant directories out there that rival any phonebook. The only difference between a tangible street corner and the information highway street corner is that foot traffic can be measured not by the hundreds, but by the millions, and even billions. Here are five ways for small businesses to build an online presence.

  1. Plan. Before you build your small business’ online presence, you need to get all your ducks in a row. For instance, you need to find the right platform for your business. For instance, an informational or consulting website will need a vastly different website from an online store. Also, you need to plan your SEO campaign, your marketing campaign and how you plan to get the highest conversion rate.
  2. Implement. Your next step in building your online presence is to build your website. The website should have three phases: the blueprint phase, the build phase and the testing phase. As a small business, you can’t really take your chances. You need to build a website that will get the best response. When it comes down to it, you need to not only build your website for customer engagement in mind, you also have to bring those customers in to test their engagement. It is important to keep tweaking your website until it is optimized.
  3. Reach. When you build an online presence, building a website is one thing, but actually bringing people off the information highway and into your business is another challenge. When you reach for customers, you need to customize your website’s experience for them. You can use bots and cookies to measures likes and interests, so that when visitors come to your website, they get a totally personable experience that is all their own.
  4. SEO. Theses days, it is nearly impossible to build a web presence without a strong SEO campaign. SEO, or search engine optimization, is used to optimize the website in order to get the most traffic. Basically, you can start with embedding key words, so that people searching online can find your website easier. You can also start a link program – basically, you purchase organic links that get propagated across the web. The more your business’ website is out there, the stronger your presence will be.
  5. Market. When it comes to web presence, marketing is critical. There are also numerous ways to market, but it can usually be broken down into two forms: paid and unpaid marketing. You could have a pay per click, or PPC, marketing program, or you can have totally unpaid marketing campaign by creating a video or a viral strategy to attracts visitors. At the end of the day, maximizing traffic is all about maximizing your presence.

Wire, wire, wire – it’s a truly wired world. However, whether you have a small, medium, or large sized business with a reliance on a multifaceted telecommunications and data system, chances are, you have too many wires and lack an efficient way to organize them. A structured cabling system is a revolutionary new way to consolidate with one highly condensed system for all of your cables – for voice and video communications, Internet, multimedia, and more. Without a structured cable, your business might not be able to connect to the world and operate as efficiently. Not only that, but structured cabling is cost effective, versatile, and very easy to operate. Here are 5 benefits of structured cabling for your business.

  1. Affordable installation. Having a different wiring system for all of your equipment and each different vender can be incredibly expensive. Moreover, each vendor might charge a certain amount per construction and installation. Yet, by integrating and structuring all of the cable, you can save your business up to 40%. This is because you are dealing with one type of cable and one contractor to do the job. Not only that, but they can get the job done faster – instead of waiting for different contractors.
  2. Cost effective upgrades. If you have multiple different wires for each one of your systems, it can be a virtual nightmare to move, repair, upgrade, or even remove all the wiring. By having one focused system, making upgrades is much easier. In fact, you won’t have to shut down your business for multiple days while you go offline to make the upgrades. Upgrades can be done in a single night – without having to go offline. In most cases, you will be saving almost 50% in upgrade costs and the revenue you would have lost if you took your business offline.
  3. Uniformity. By having one type of wiring throughout your business, like express data network cable wiring, you have a unique sense of consistency and uniformity. You don’t need to worry about having a number of different wires – some not being the same color, thickness, or even the same bandwidth. Sometimes it’s what’s inside the wiring that counts – some wiring might not have the same capacity as other wiring, which could leave one component of your business running faster than another.
  4. Versatility. With one type of wiring, or with a structured cabling system, you can have a number of different manufacturers or platforms on one single platform. There are a number of benefits that come with streamlining all of your platforms – mainly you don’t need to hire a specialized person to make adjustments or repairs on each system, which can make troubleshooting much easier. Also, you’ll have problems fixed much sooner.
  5. Make future changes much easier. One of the best parts of getting an integrated or structured cabling system is that you can replace the system with faster cables if they become available in the future, which is especially important when it comes to internet speed. If you want to connect with the world faster and more intuitively, your business will surely benefit from a structured cabling system.

If you got into the transportation business, chances are it was at least in some part due to a glamorous picture of life on the open road. You love driving, and relished the idea of being your own boss, keeping your own hours and seeing the country all while running your own business. It’s a fantastic idea, and the freight industry is a solid one. But it’s no guarantee of smooth sailing ahead. Transportation companies can be decimated by short term cash flow issues that become major headaches. Something as small as a spike in gas costs, which consumers gripe about but then simply move past, could cripple a freight company. And if you’ve got customers who aren’t paying their invoices in a timely manner things will only get more complicated. This is where factoring can really help things out. Here are five benefits of freight factoring for your business.

First and foremost, you can use the cash you receive from factoring your accounts receivable to grow you business in any way you choose. There are very few limits on the applications of that money. You can pay your staff with it, buy new vehicles, add on to your insurance policy or even handle a tax bill. The money is yours, free and clear, just as it would have been if the invoice was paid outright.

It’s also an approach to solving your cash flow issues that is completely customizable. Unlike taking out loans, you don’t have to go all or nothing. You can factor the invoices that will help you solve your current predicament, and then hang on to the others. For example, there’s really no need to go the factoring route with a customer who pays on time. But if you know you’ve got a load coming that usually takes three months to pay you out, that’s a good candidate for the factoring company. You could see a payment in a day instead of ninety days in this case.

If you use the same factoring company repeatedly, you could find them willing to offer you up some additional benefits. For example, many factoring services that work within the freight and transportation industry provide referral payments for new customers. If you’re feeling the pinch, chances are some of your friends in the same business are feeling it as well. You could see a nice payday simply by pointing a friend in need in the right direction.

Freight factoring companies often expand their services beyond factoring, giving you a go-to financial partner for the years ahead. At its core a factoring firm is much like a bank, and like a bank they make the most profit by retaining a customer and helping him into additional product lines. So see what else your freight factoring partner has on the table. Some companies will handle the credit checks you need to run on potential customers completly for free. Some create partnerships with gas companies and can provided discount fuel cards. Others head up industry networking associations, and can point you straight towards all sorts of new business opportunities. You’ll never know until you ask.

Finally, a good relationship with a factoring company could lead to some useful advice for growing your business. You might not know the first thing about the best non recourse factoring program, but your consultant at the freight factoring company sure will. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. These are financial pros, and they’ll have a ton of knowledge about the economics of the transportation industry as a whole. You might hear a tip or trick that will help your business grow exponentially!


Starting a business may be one of the best decisions you will ever make. However, it can be hard to think of a unique idea ¬- an idea for a business that you know for certain will draw in customers. Maybe you even have a notebook full of business ideas – late night epiphanies that you wrote down after a feverish dream, but none seem too motivating. Yet, there are a number of ways to get motivated and find ideas for a business that garner a certain corner of a niche market or industry. Here is where to look for inspiration when starting a new business.

One of the best places to look to for inspiration is at your own occupational history. Maybe you worked in a certain industry and think you can do a better job of running the business or even starting another business like it, but better. Maybe you were a secretary at a graphic design agency, but know that you would like to start one of your own. Maybe you worked in the mailroom of a certain company, but now you want to work on the top floor. Making a list of all your previous jobs is an excellent way to find ideas for a new business.

Another way to find inspiration is to look at what some of your passions are. No matter what, there is certainly a way to turn your hobbies into not only a career, but a full fledged business. Do you like landscaping? Why not start your own landscaping business? Do you enjoy baking? Why not start your own confectionary shop, bakery, or even a catering business? There are a number of ways to capitalize on your passions. As they say: If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Next, another way to find inspiration when starting a new business is to look at past business leaders. One of the most famous inspirational quotes comes from one of the greatest business leaders, Henry Ford: “There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.” It is true, all the great business leaders in the world have realized their true happiness by creating their own businesses and doing something they absolutely loved. There is nothing like waking up in the morning and not only realizing that you have built something, but that you are giving something back to the world.

Lastly, if you really want to look for inspiration to start a business, you need to meditate on what people might need, or benefit from. Perhaps you can gather a few friends together and think of a new idea for a computer or smartphone application. If you are thinking about bridging a gap in a certain marketplace, technology is a great place to start looking, because these days a tech start up could be built on next to nothing, and six months to a year later, it could be sold for a billion dollars. Perhaps the next great invention or fortune 500 business is at the tip of your fingers.


If you’re looking for ways to motivate your staff to deliver better results, take your eyes off of the computer systems and think about the office itself. If you check out the headquarters of some of the most successful companies you’ll find that each and every one designed a unique and modern workplace. Gone are the days of gray cubicles and white walls, at least at the companies that are thinking about the future. A unique working environment will energize your staff and make sure people are excited to come to work every day. If you don’t focus on a quality environment, you’re living in the past. Here are five creative ways to modernize your workplace.

First of all, consider going minimal. Not all modern workplaces are clean of clutter, and this design aesthetic won’t work for every company. But you’ll probably find an improved workflow and better energy across the board if you clean house and streamline things. Look for spaces with high ceilings, lots of light and very few surfaces to cover with clutter. Office upkeep will be a lot easier as well.

Next, abandon the individual workstations for a more communal workplace experience. You want your staff to be able to bring in personal touches from home, but modern workspaces aren’t usually laid out that way. Instead, pick nice desks and ergonomic chairs, and set them up without separating walls. Run power and broadband connections to each station, and then let people pick and choose where they want to work. The best locations in the office will get snatched up first, which will also give people incentive to come in early.

Another great way to modernize your office is to mix building materials. If your workplace is a uniform color, with the same fabric, plastic and metal covering everything you’re not doing anyone’s creativity any favors. Don’t be afraid to switch things up. Bring in wood details, change up the color schemes, and even give people a lounge area with astroturf under their feet. It gives the eye something to focus on when one of your employees wants to take a moment away from the computer, and you’ll notice more of your employees choosing to take their lunches at the office.

If you are going to differential the workspaces, do so in a creative way that fits your brand. Remember, a creative, modern workspace won’t only impact your employees, but the clients and customers who stop by as well. So think about your business and create individual or group workspaces that fit the vibe of your work. Set up one room trailers, or wooden shacks. Divide the desks with potted plants or trees. Even consider simply using bright colors to separate the spaces. Whichever direction you choose, make sure it’s inspired by your company’s mission.

Finally, take that money you would have used to buy office cubicles and invest it in creative lighting design. Nothing makes an office more boring and uncomfortable than those huge squares of fluorescent lighting embedded in the ceiling. Create track lighting, which will actually make the space seem bigger. Set lights over the artwork, or pointed at the unique design elements of the office. Play with colors and textures, or feature daylight for a vibrant space. Just remember that small lights set throughout the office are far more enticing than bland light that blankets the space.


These days you simply cannot run a business of any size without reliable internet connectivity. This will hold true even if you don’t operate any sort of e-commerce web portal. Social networking is crucial to the process of attracting new customers or clients and branding your business, and a quality blog or website is now far more effective as your billboard and digital storefront than a brick and mortar location. Ethernet service is an excellent choice. It offers a wide range of packages, is generally reliable, provides the flexibility you’ll need and comes at a fairly low monthly cost. But how do you choose between the dozens of products on the market? Here are five things to consider when selecting an ethernet service for your business.

First of all, how flexible is the product being offered? This may well be the first priority for your business. A company’s network grows with the staff, and will need to evolve organically along with the requirements of your daily tasks. Make sure the ethernet company you are considering gives you a quick service timeline for additions and subtractions of ethernet ports. Ideally you should find a company that can change any element of your service in as few as three days. That way you won’t lose any productivity while adjusting your service.

You’ll also need ethernet service that is easy to scale in either direction. Monthly expenses must be closely managed in any business. These days it’s difficult to get top price for your services. The long recession ate into most people’s disposable income, and the majority of shoppers now make their choices with price as the core determinant. You shouldn’t have to buy additional ethernet service in huge chunks. The goal is to scale in incremental steps, adding applications and additional bandwith in the exact amounts to fill your needs. This keeps your workflow efficient while managing expenses for success.

Thinking about bandwith, that’s another point of consideration when choosing ethernet service. You’ll see options as fast as 100Gbps and as small as 3Mbps offered to businesses by most service providers. But how is the proper bandwith determined for your business? Ethernet service is grounded in speed and efficiency, but if the service provider doesn’t give you a wide range of options, you might find yourself paying for more service than you need, or less than what would provide you with optimal efficiency. Make sure there are a wide range of options, and the ability to change at any time without having to renew a contract.

Next you’ll need to consider reliability. Does the service provider have a track record of few interruptions and quality customer service? No ethernet provider is perfect, and it’s impossible to guarantee uninterrupted service. But constant connection losses will cripple your ability to do business. Your ethernet partner should react to network disturbances quickly and efficiently, and maintain open communication about the process.

Finally, don’t forget to ask about security. Internet security is incredibly important, especially as more and more businesses store delicate financial and customer data online. You’ll find that keystone jacks alone won’t solve the problem, and if your business gets any sort of reputation for privacy issues you could find your customers swiftly flocking to one of your competitors. Make sure the ethernet provider you choose has a clear security and privacy process, and that it is current on the latest techniques.


Whether you are starting a business, growing a business, having a sale or are even going out of business, blasting out a press release is your best bet in securing press. Besides getting press, however, there are a number of other reasons why sending out a press release is important, especially if you want to make your mark in a specific industry. A press release can tell people who you are, what your missions are, and how you plan to take over the market share. Also a press release can be your shot to tell the competition to watch out, because your business is coming. Here are 5 benefits of a press release for your business.

  1. It can bring traffic to your website. If you use a press release service, your press release – with a link to your website – will be blasted out to thousands of different sites. One the first few days after you send out your release, you will start to notice a huge spike in visitorship and traffic to your website. Not only is sending a press release out good for garnering real press, but also to get website hits as well, which can be hugely beneficial.
  2. It can garner press. A press release’s function is to get picked up by a member of the press or a journalist in the hopes that they will be interested in writing a story on your business. So by blasting it out to a wide net of platforms, you are increasing your chances of getting written up in a magazine, newspaper, or perhaps even the nightly news. If you are in a band or you manage a musical act, you could use a website like SonicBids that has connections to music press and promoters.
  3. It can build your brand. A press release is a great way to announce your presence in the market place. It can also show competitors that you are ready to rumble. By getting your name and your logo out there – via your press release – you are increasing your visibility. Visibility is key when it comes to building your brand. The more familiar people become with your logo, the more effective your brand building will be. You want people to recognize your logo from a block away and know exactly who you are.
  4. It can give you legitimacy in the marketplace. By sending out your press release it connotes that your business is serious, professional, and dedicated to serving customers within a particular niche. If you are a new or start up brand – in any industry – this can be a crucial way to not only garner new customers, but also turn them into loyal customers. If you haven’t started your business yet, this can be a great way to have people lined up around the block at your grand opening.
  5. It can increase SEO. By sending out a press release online, you are increasing SEO, or search engine optimization, especially if you provide a link. This can be a great, organic way to increase your ranking in the search engines.

Between driving to work everyday, using the computers, the lights, and other electronic communication, the office is a little bit like one giant carbon footprint squashing out the earth’s resources and contributing to global warming. While about 70% of businesses are making more “green” decisions and purchasing more products, the problem still remains. This is primarily because no matter how many green products we use and how much we try to carpool to work, we still have a lot of paper to toss out, computers to power and lights to turn on. Here are 5 energy conservation tips for the workplace.

  1. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them. Have you ever looked at a skyline at night – when people are safe and sound in bed? Chances are that many commercial and office buildings still have all their lots on, or at least most of them. This is because most businesses don’t even think about the energy waste that results from leaving the lights on. If this is the case, post warnings, dock sick days, get angry – do whatever you can so that employees shut off the lights at night.
  2. Streamline your systems so that you don’t have to rely on cooling so much equipment. Chances are that there is a room in your office or workplace that is just filled to the brim with wires and servers that make up the bulk of your companies main nerve center. Many businesses rely on heavy air conditioning to keep these rooms cool so that they don’t overheat. However, by switching your business to the cloud or using more streamlined systems, your business won’t have to rely on keeping these special IT centers refrigerator cold all year round, which can save both money and energy.
  3. Turn off all equipment at night. It might be wise to get a “sleep” function for all the equipment in your office. This will encourage employees to save their work and shut down their computers before they are automatically shut after people leave the office. Many people don’t shut down the computer because there are so many unsaved documents. However, if your business leaves all the computers, fax machines and printers on at night, this can be a huge waste of energy and money.
  4. Cut down the paper usage. Did you know that everything from memos to radius maps can be digitized and viewed online. Sometimes taking everything you did on paper and moving it online can be faster and more people can see the information in real time. For instance, instead of printing out a number of profit and loss sheets for the board to see, why not scan one and turn it into a PDF to be viewed on a slideshow or tablets.
  5. Cut down the energy in the kitchen. Most businesses leave the microwave, coffee machine and other office kitchen appliances on all the time. However, you can easily get more energy efficient appliances that turn off on their own and you might also want to get an instant hot water appliance for your sink so that you don’t need to keep blasting the boiler or kettle. It is the little things that count when it comes to energy efficiency in the workplace.