» START AND GROW The top source for startup resources, business resources and startup business ideas for young entrepreneurs Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:12:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 of The Best Publicity Stunts in London: 2014 Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:45:32 +0000 1. Paddy power go the full monty

The marketing department at Paddy Power must be an incredibly fun place to work at the moment as they continue to conjure up a sequence of headline grabbing stunt. Their gatecrashing of the Brit Awards red carpet in February 2014 was no different.  Daft Punk’s new album Random Access Memories was the talk of the town and when Daft Park turned up at the Brit Awards in their robot helmets and suits, stars such as Katie Perry and Beyonce were obviously keen to mingle with them. They shocked the onlooking superstars and paparazzi alike when, in true Chippendales fashion, they ripped off their trousers to reveal bright green Paddy Power pants. The impostors were promptly removed from the red carpet, but not before hundreds of photos had been taken ready for circulation.

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2. Pepsi’s unbelievable bus top

At the start of 2014 Pepsi launched their new ‘Unbelievable’ marketing campaign. Hosting videos on their YouTube channel entitled The Unbelieveable Channel, they set about generating videos from a national outdoor campaign featuring the general public. The most spectacular of these was footage of Londoners interacting with an augmented reality bus shelter on New Oxford Street. Bored commuters were jolted into life as the high tech bus shelter (posing as a clear pane of glass) began to play tricks on them. Thinking that they were looking down the street, the stunned travellers were suddenly confronted with laser wielding robots, escaped tigers, flying saucers, and meteorites…  just watch it; it’s only a minute and a half and it’s good.

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3. Pirates hang out on the thames

Back in the 1800s it was a common sight to see pirates swinging in gibbets (you know the thing in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves that Alan Rickman has Brian Blessed squeezed into) along the banks of the Thames as a gruesome reminder to the public about the shortcomings of a pirates life. However, on a misty morning in April 2014 it wasn,t the sight that many Londoners expected to stumble upon during their daily commute. Along the very same stretch of the Thames where Captain Kidd and over 100 of his followers were strung up in 1701, passersby were taken aback by the first public gibbeting since 1830. The aptly named Mischief PR were behind the stunt designed to herald the launch of the new pirate drama Black Sails, which became available on Amazon Prime Instant Video in April.

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4. Charity says f**k the poor 

The shocking “F**k the Poor” campaign, saw a number of Londoners really riled up on camera. The  footage was created by The Pillion Trust in order to galvanise Londoners into giving more to poverty charities after the country saw a 20% drop in charitable donations in 2013. The video shows a number of pedestrians taking great offence to a man who is walking around with a sandwich board that says “F**K THE POOR” on it. Disgusted by the message on the sign, a number of people stop and engage in heated debates with the billboard holder. The video then displays the message “WE KNOW YOU CARE” before continuing with footage of the same man being completely ignored whilst standing in a crowded high street with a board that says “HELP THE POOR”. Powerful stuff. The video has now had over four million views and is well worth watching and sharing.

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5. Uber-cool

Uber were at it again in July 2014, whipping up another stir in the news but this time with hundreds and thousands on top. The private driving service has had its fair share of heat in the press recently but they acted quickly to cool things down by offering on-demand ice creams to all Londoners. On the hottest day of the year to date Uber hired a team of promotional staff from events company LOLA and rolled out a fleet of retro ice cream vans across the capital. Anyone with an Uber app on their phone could select the “Ice Cream” option and summon a Mr Whippy vending van straight to their location. The stunt was also simultaneously popping up on iPhone and Android apps all over the world in 144 cities, across six continents (Uber judged that Antarctica could do without any frozen treats).

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Why You Should Grow Your Brand with Facebook Advertising Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:49:35 +0000 There are many ways to market your business online, so when it comes to determining the best use of your advertising budget you could quickly become overwhelmed. Some business owners like to stick with what they know or those search ad campaigns that pop up the most. However, an important advertising resource that might get overlooked is the use of Facebook.

Consider the following five reasons to use Facebook advertising. If you don’t know how to advertise on Facebook, today may be the day to learn.

1. Reach Thousands of People on a Tiny Budget. In the US, the minimum spend for Facebook is less than a dollar a day. This incredibly small budget covers exposure to literally thousands of people. This doesn’t refer to random groups of people, but to the specific set of targeted audience members that will boost your business. Compared to some of the other popular advertising groups, this means phenomenal results. Look for multiple bid types in order to determine the most appropriate structure for your ad campaign.

2. Facebook Offers Great Targeting Options for Ads. The ability to target ads to specific user demographics and interests provides better results than targeting through user searches. The refinement offered through Facebook ads is truly exciting.

Here are some examples:

  • You can refine your search to small business owners or to those over 30 who are likely to hold leadership positions in the workplace. You can target users according to their interests using terms such as “business” or “advertising”.
  • Establish an age range within a specific gender – women, for example. Then refine the search to those women who only tend to shop online.
  • Limit your ads to show to people within your specific geographic area. You can do this by country, city, or zip code area.

3. Facebook Is Already Popular Enough to Include Your Customers. There are already a good number of active users on Facebook. Their own estimate is 1.28 billion users and more than 800 million of those are active every day. No matter what type of business you run, there will be members of your target audience actively participating on Facebook. Utilize their targeting options in order to hone in on those individuals who will be influenced by your advertising.

4. Conveniently Track Your Spending, Performance, and ROI.  As with all areas of your budget, you want to know how effectively your money is being spent. Facebook advertising makes it easy to track your expenses, how well your ads are performing, and the ROI results. The information you can get includes:

  • Total number of times the ad was shown, the number of individuals who saw the ad, and the frequency of viewing
  • The number of clicks, page likes, comments, shares, and other actions taken by people who viewed the ad
  • Cost data based on your specified goals

5. Facebook Advertising Can Give You an Important Edge. In spite of the success and exposure that Facebook advertising promises, many businesses have not yet taken advantage of this tool. If your competitors aren’t using Facebook yet, then you have the chance to give yourself a powerful edge over your competition.

It’s Time to Get Started

You may need a little bit of help at first if you haven’t used Facebook ads yet. This effort will be well worth your time. If you aren’t confident setting the ads up, then an experienced ad manager can assist you and the results will be well worth it.

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The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Social Media Marketers Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:01:39 +0000 Every successful social media marketer is required to stay engaged at all times. Social marketers connect with customers and manage multiple social accounts on daily basis. They stay up to date about industry trends. Social marketers do a whole lot of tasks to be successful at what they do. Most companies are yet to fully leverage social media tools for marketing purposes. And they are most likely to adopt social management systems in the near future to reach millions of prospective customers who are constantly using social apps.

These are a few of the many things social media marketers do on daily basis to be successful.

1. They create checklist to evaluate new social platforms. The temptation to keep your fingers on the pulse of new and trending social media tools is very high for social marketers. Knowing when to leap into the latest social platform is a great skill to master. Most employers want to be on almost every social platform. You don’t have to be on every social media platform to be successful at leveraging social tools. It’s your job to know which social platforms converts the most for your business.

Related: 12 Experts Reveal Their Social Marketing Ideas That Actually Work

Successful social media marketers choose social tools that will be most effective and can achieve their overall marketing objectives. They measure their social campaigns and focus on platforms that perform instead of being on every social tool out there. Before you jump on social tools, ask yourself: Does the purpose of the social tool align with our brand and social identity? Is our current or potential audience on this platform? Will we see a return on investment or energy if we join this social platform?

2. Successful social marketers create measurable strategies. Every business has a strategy for acquiring new customers or users. Your social marketing campaign should always have a unique strategy for attracting customers and retaining them. They align their social marketing goals with the general business objective.

Their overall agenda takes into account where the company is headed. They don’t do anything in isolation. Whilst creating your social marketing strategy, ask yourself: Do my social goals support greater business goals? What is our brand voice and how do we adapt that for social?

3. They know where to invest social marketing resources.  The importance of social marketing measurement cannot be overemphasised. Successful social marketers regularly access their current social campaigns and pull the plug where necessarily. Don’t hesitate to limit investment of time and resources on social platforms that are under performing.

Related: These 10 Free Tools Can Significantly Improve Your Marketing Efforts

You should know which social platforms require your maximum attention and which ones do not deserve further investment of time based on your measurements. Ask yourself: Is the audience on this platform still appropriate for our brand? What factors caused the decrease in performance/engagement?

4. Successful social marketers never stop learning.  You can only know the trends in your industry if you maintain a curious learning habit. Blink and you will miss out on what works now and what will convert next year. Social tools evolve. Twitter is not the same Twitter we knew last year.

Consumer behaviour changes. You don’t want to be using the same strategy next year. Successful marketers are agile and change with time. They keep themselves updated with almost everything about their industries.

Ask yourself: Which tools, blogs and resources can I use to keep myself updated about my industry? How much time should I allocate to learning new things about my industry? Staying updated could take most of your time.  Don’t just stay updated, get actual work done.

5. They know when to take a break. Some social marketers live and breathe their role almost all the time without a break. You don’t want to break down. Your body can never and will never keep up with automatic tools. Twitter will be live 24/7. Facebook runs all the time, but you can’t keep up. The good news is, there are tools that can help automate your tasks when you take a break.  Stop the insanity! Don’t even try it to keep up. You won’t lose anything whist Twitter is running at 2am.

Brand evangelism is 24/7/365. Your role is not 24/7. Don’t kill yourself. It’s essential to stay up to date with the news, trends, tweets and updates but don’t do it at the expense of your life. Successful social marketers set realistic, measurable and attainable social marketing expectations.

Related: 8 Experts Reveal What Works Today In Content Marketing

Ask for help when the need arises. To be successful, ask yourself: What are the best days and times to engage our brand’s audience? What social tools can we employ that provides automated and optimal send times for best results?

Social media marketing can be productive and professionally satisfying. It can also be overwhelming and demanding. To stay on top of your game, focus on these five habits and you will undoubtedly reach new levels of success in your social marketing efforts.

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5 Strategic Ways You Should Be Using LinkedIn Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:04:14 +0000 LinkedIn is the leading business professional network you should leverage to increase your network of professionals. LinkedIn’s membership increased to 313 million from 296 million in the first quarter of 2014.

You should not overlook the importance of LinkedIn for you and your business. If you are not using LinkedIn fully yet, it’s about time your took it serious to increase your business connections and expand your network. So many businesses are generating leads and making sales on LinkedIn today. Business professionals have made profitable connections, secured jobs, won contracts and generated hundreds of leads on LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives everyone a snapshot of their capabilities, skills and competencies.

My network has consistently grown to over 3,000 and I have recently attracted over 8,000 followers on the LinkedIn publishing platform. I attracted most of the followers this year because I started sharing consistently on the LinkedIn publishing platform. It can only get better. Show your work on LinkedIn. I have also joined lots of startup groups and share resources I write on starting a business with group members. I sometimes start discussions on the topics I write about as well.

Related: 6 Things Successful People Do On LinkedIn

These are a few of the strategic ways you should be using LinkedIn.

1. Start with a clear and awesome profile.  Your profile is a quick way to share who you are, what you do and what you are capable of doing. People are statistically more likely to speak to you if you have a face picture. Don’t forget to upload a great headshot. Your headline is your advert. A great LinkedIn profile should have your name, your picture, and a heading. Your profile is an informal version of your CV. Ensure it gets picked up in searches by including key phrases relevant to your field.

Use the heading to communicate what you do and what you offer. Keep it brief. Keep it interesting! Have a great summary. The summary is about YOU (not your company). Use this to demonstrate to people the benefits of linking with you. List your skills. People rarely connect with someone who hasn’t clearly stated his or her skills. Post statuses. Status updates make you visible to your connections as it appears in their newsfeed. Post relevant status updates related to your industry.

2. Introduce yourself when you join groups. To find experts and get advice on running your business in various groups, introduce yourself when you join groups and let members know what you can do. Active groups are all about communication. The first thing you should do when you join relevant groups is to introduce yourself. Other people always want to know who you are and what you do, take advantage of that and write a killer statement about yourself. In some groups, its even compulsory to introduce yourself before sharing articles or links. Don’t rule introduction out. LinkedIn can immensely help you build and strengthen your personal and business brand.

3. Don’t sell but educate. You can easily promote your business via LinkedIn pages for businesses. Whatever product you are selling, just like Facebook pages, you can promote your products, find or be found by new customers and get your marketing message out there to some of the best relevant target audience with your LinkedIn pages.

You can post and share company announcements, updates, news and new product features but most importantly educate your audience. With the introduction of the LinkedIn publishing platform, educating and informing your prospective audience gets better. Just like any free publishing platform out there, you should be writing posts and articles that educate your audience about your industry. You are more likely yo win the trust of prospective customers if you care about their education instead spamming them with product messages all the time.

4. Climb the “expert” ladder instead of the “corporate” ladder. When you consistently share your expertise with your network and group members, you can become an expert in that niche and be recognized as such. You can win businesses with that kind of recognition. The LinkedIn publishing platform even makes it much more easier now to climb the expert ladder. It’s like having another business blogging platform but with millions of business professionals at your disposal.  Make the most of it and climb the expert ladder instead of the corporate ladder.

5. Find new opportunities for business, partners and investors. No single social platform offers the kind of opportunities LinkedIn offers. Leads, sales, customers, business partners, investors, co-founders etc. All it takes is a single introduction to the right connection and your business or your life can change for the better. You may not be seeing the full benefits of LinkedIn yet but if you do your homework well, new opportunities could open up for you soon.

Related:  Don’t Make These Mistakes On LinkedIn

If you find a connection that can help your business or cause but can’t directly introduce yourself, ask your closest first degree connection to make the introduction for you. Don’t forget to make the most of related and relevant groups. If you need funding, search for related investor groups and make your case for funding or partnership.  The same goes for other business groups. There is always a group out there you can find useful to advance your career.

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These 10 Free Tools Can Significantly Improve Your Marketing Efforts Fri, 15 Aug 2014 18:14:23 +0000 Marketing has always been a difficult task for new startups. It takes time to get your products to the right audience. Even when you think you are doing everything right to get the attention you expect, conversion still fails to impress. You may be using all the marketing strategies, tips and tricks in the books but there is always room for improvement.

Marketing never ends. As long as you are in business, you need to make it known to your target audience almost all the time. These are a few free marketing tools that can significantly improve your marketing efforts. You may be using some of these marketing tools already but if you are not, try them and let us know what you think.

1. Open Site Explorer. Open Site Explorer allows you to see a list of the sites that are linking to you – or another site. Links are great for SEO, and this is great info for building better relationships with sites that like what you do, or even keeping an eye on competing sites.

2. Blog Topic Generator. This Hubspot’s tool is great for bloggers. If blogging is a big part of your marketing strategy, this free tool can help you generate ideas for your blog posts. Fill in the fields with terms (preferably nouns) that you’d like to write about, and the tool will come up with a week’s worth of relevant blog post titles in a matter of seconds!

I put in the words “business” “marketing” and “tools” and got the following ideas:

–Why We Love Business (And You Should, Too!)
–10 Signs You Should Invest In Marketing
–7 Things About Tools Your Boss Wants To Know
–The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Business
–4 Common Misconceptions About Marketing

3. Google Drive. With Google Drive, Google’s cloud-based file management and storage service, you can share an incredible amount of information with your audience, including presentation slideshows, PDFs and even password-protected documents. You can quickly invite others to view, download, and collaborate on all the files you want–no email attachment needed.

4. Tagboard.  This tool is a hashtag monitor for all social media feeds, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Vine and Instagram. The hashtag content is displayed on custom boards that you create and specialize. It is great for monitoring your own hashtags or even your those of your competition. Tagboard allows you to hear exactly what the customers are saying about the hashtags that you follow.

5. Hemingway Hemingway can help with clear and simple marketing pitches. Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences and common errors. You can paste in something you’re working on and edit away. Or, click the Write button to compose something new.

6. Tweriod. Tweriod is a free twitter tool that helps you make the most of Twitter by letting you know the best time to tweet.The free analysis will analyze up to 1000 of your followers.

7. Buffer. Buffer makes it super easy to share your brand tweets. This social management app helps you manage multiple social media accounts at once. Quickly schedule content from anywhere on the web, collaborate with team members, and analyze rich statistics on how your posts perform.

8. LikeAlyzer. LikeAlyzer helps you to measure and analyze the potential and effectiveness of your Facebook Pages. It allows you to monitor, compare and explore all the possibilities of your Facebook Page by evaluating your activity to ensure your success on Facebook.

9. Zapier. Unlock the hidden power of your marketing apps. Zapier connects the web apps you use to easily move your data and automate tedious tasks.Here’s an example of a Zap: When I get a new entry from a Wufoo form, create a new lead in Salesforce. You can create Zaps like these using over 200 web apps without knowing anything about code.

10. Quicksprout is a really comprehensive website audit, social media analysis and competitor report, all in one. Anyalize your website and find out why you are not getting enough traffic. You can also compare your website with other similar ones to know what you are doing wrong. Find out which social tools are generating the most traffic for your site.

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6 Signs You Are Sabotaging Your Future Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:13:32 +0000 You are not your failure but your actions are either getting you closer to your dreams and making you a better person or sabotaging your future. These are the frequent signs that you are sabotaging yourself. The good news is, it’s not too late to get on the right track. You can overcome these road blocks if you put your mind to it and take actionable steps to get better at what you do.

1.  You lack focus.  Your lack of focus could be costing you your short and long term goals. Distraction is a common problem we all face on daily basis. You set out to do one thing and before you know it, you are doing something else that isn’t productive. It’s not easy to stay focused on important tasks when there are lots of distractions around you all the time.

You check Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your favourite blog and watch a few YouTube videos. Online distraction could take most of your time if not managed. Do you have a set of clear goals for your life and for your work?  If you don’t, you will be tempted to try almost everything that sounds great to you in the mean time.

On the other hand, If you have “too many things to do and not enough time to do them”, you may feel rather anxious and depressed about life most of the time. Set clear, measurable and attainable goals, and focus on achieving them in a specific time. The next time you need to stay focused, get rid of your distractions and create time for everything that needs to be done.

Related: These Are The Biggest Waste of (Valuable) Time In Your Life

2. You are isolated. Whatever your goals, and ambitions in life, you need the help of other experienced professionals along the way. If you are isolated from your specific industry, you could miss out on a lot opportunities. You can get closer to your goals faster with the right network. Start connecting with the right people who can help advance your personal growth.

Subscribe to influencer blogs in your industry, follow market experts on Twitter, read industry blogs, attend relevant and specific events, reach out to professionals and experts and  arrange a meet up if you can. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Make that connection today and get closer to your dream career.

3. You are failing to plan. If you don’t have a plan, you are already on your way to failure.The reality of our busy, multitasking lives is that if it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t get done. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish today, tomorrow, next week or next month, you are planning to fail.

You can easily overcome this form of self-sabotage by recognising the need to plan ahead and making sure that your goals get into your schedules and therefore not allowing yourself the option to fail.

Related: 7 Things That Could Be Holding You Back From Being Your Very Best In Life

4. You allow your past achievements to get in your way. At some point in your life, you may have achieved something significant worth talking about. You may have even written about it and most people know because of that accomplishment. That’s past tense and you’ve to move on. Don’t lie to yourself and get complacent. You can do a lot more than you think. Your accomplishments from yesterday are past and gone. What have you done today?

5. You focus on your failures. Don’t fear to fail. The number of times people fail is the difference between those who succeed in life and those who fail to accomplish their goals. Most successful people today have failed countless times in the past but they don’t allow their failures to get in the way of their long-term goals.

Successful people have many more failures in their lives because it’s the risks and the failed attempts that eventually lead to the knowledge, skills and opportunities that create success. The next time you experience a setback or failure, don’t allow your concept of failing to sabotage your efforts. Shift your perspective and decide to see the lessons in your experience.  Failure lessons are positive—they provide information and the necessary feedback to improve and course-correct.

Related: 5 Signs You Will Do Something Amazing With Your Life

6. You give up too easily. Don’t give up just yet. There are too many ambitions that crushed because people just quit at a time when they were so close but thought they couldn’t go on again. Hang in there for a little while and you will be amazed at what happens. How many times have you tried something and you quit as soon as it became hard?

How many times have you postponed taking action till later, because you did not feel like doing it right away? ”Don’t keep telling yourself you can’t do it. The next time you hear those words, recall all those who heard the same words many times – but have succeeded against all odds. No matter how good your life currently is –it can still get better.


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Tips For Routing Phones for Employees on the Go Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:44:56 +0000 To compete and win in your industry, you have to be able to move and act quickly when it comes to customer service. Customers expect more than you can give, they want immediate response to their feedback and complaints.They will easily turn to your competitors if you constantly ignore their call, put them on hold delay in getting back to them. You customers are your business and should be your primary focus.

To stay in constant communication with your customers, your workforce should be able to receive calls even when they are mobile. Some phone systems can automatically route incoming calls to cell phones, desk phones, computers, and the like. This is especially important for employees on the go. Example, the virtual phone system can help you work remotely. While a system like this may be beneficial, you are not going to get the most out of it without customizing the experience to match your needs. Use these tips when deciding how to approach this in regards to employees who are always on the go.

1. Get a set itinerary. 
Ask your employees to give you a set schedule of where they will be and when. If they travel for work, you need to know their exact travel plans each day so that you can know which device makes the most sense. If they are on the office, for example, a desk phone or a computer could be used, but it has to switch over to a mobile phone the moment they head for the train station or get in the car.

2. Provide employees with work phones. 
A surefire way to make sure that the employees actually have their phones on them when someone calls is to give them each a work phone. This should be as much a part of their work outfit as a suit coat or a tie. Once they get in the habit of carrying it, they are easier to reach.

3. Understand cell coverage charts.
Finally, you must know when employees may be leaving areas with good cell coverage. If they do, they should start taking calls in a different fashion – such as through the app on their laptop.

If your business is not taking advantage of a phone routing system or virtual number yet, invest resources into how it can help your business and stay in touch with your customers to win their business all the time.

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How Automattic (The Company Behind WordPress) Grew Into A Billion-Dollar Startup Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:31:46 +0000 Automattic is the company behind and VIP, the cloud version of WordPress. Automattic hosts and supports all sites ensuring that there is continuous and strategic development of the software available to its users. WordPress powers at least 19 percent of the Web. Automattic  is now valued at $1.16 billion thanks to a new $160 million funding round in May 2014. Even though the company has a great San Francisco office, Automattic doesn’t consider location when hiring employees. Workers are scattered across over 141 cities and 28 countries

The company uses chat rooms, Google Hangout video, and its own blogging tools instead of email and conference-room meetings. In this way, they update and support WordPress, which is open source software. Open source is a way of writing software in a community. Anyone in any location who uses the software can write code for it, employee or not.

In an interview with Business Insider, Matt Mullenweg (Co-founder of WordPress, Founder of Automattic) shared how the company grew into a startup worth over $1 Billion with no office workers.

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How A Prepaid Card Can Help You Save Money Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:38:00 +0000 There are now so many different ways to pay for everyday purchases without necessarily using cash. Debit, credit cards are the preferred and most popular because they are safer and quicker compared to huge amounts of cash in your wallet. But convenience and speed  often lead to overspending when not managed carefully.

When you’re trying to save money, finding ways to cut corners can be tricky. Fortunately, there’s a fun way that you can reduce your spending without any hassles. If you’ve never tried using a prepaid card, now is the time to consider it. Utilising a prepaid debit or credit card might seem tricky, but the truth is that it’s fairly simple.

The first step is to load your prepaid card. After your initial activation, you can actually reload your prepaid card online. This means that there’s no hassle involved for you. You can simply hop on your computer, go online and add funds to your card when you need them. Once you have cash on your card, you can simply use it as you would any other credit or debit card.

The idea behind using a prepaid card is that you won’t be dipping into your savings or driving up your credit card bill when you make a purchase. Instead, you’ll be using funds that you have already allocated towards your spending and expenses. You can significantly increase your financial discipline and improve your spending habits.

Additionally, using a prepaid card ensures that you aren’t going to overspend. You won’t have to worry about being overdrawn on your bank account because it simply won’t be an option with your prepaid card. You are in control of your spending every time you use a prepaid card. You use only what you load onto your card. You don’t have to worry about over spending.

Many parents find that sending their kids off to college with a prepaid card is a good way to start teaching them about spending and debt. If you’re concerned that your children aren’t ready for a credit card, but still need a bit of financial help, you could get a prepaid card for them to use at college.

Using a prepaid card will ensure that your children are able to pay for tuition, rent and minor expenses without having to charge anything on a traditional credit card. If your children need more money, you can easily reload the card from home without having to meet up with them in person.

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How One Startup Grew Sales From $10 Million A Year To $10 Million A Month Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:52:59 +0000 Growth for any startup is hard, really hard. It takes time to successfully scale a new business. Most startups don’t have the resources to wait that long for growth to happen, hence the need to fold up and move on to something else. Anaplan, a start that is on a mission to kill the spreadsheet is having incredible success. Companies use Anaplan’s cloud-based solutions to model their business, collaborate on decisions, align operations and manage their sales and finances from one place.

“It offers cloud software that’s as easy to use as a spreadsheet, yet does sophisticating financial planning and prediction modeling, with the click of a mouse. Plus, it does things Excel can’t do, like let groups work together.”–Business Insider

The company was founded about eight years ago. But it’s really been in the past year that it has started to flourish. It went from making about $10 million in all of 2012, to $10 million per quarter in 2013. And $10 million per month as of Jan. 2014, the company told Business Insider.

Anaplan is a hyper-growth company you may have never heard of. In the past year they have opened eleven global offices, have doubled in size, and there is no sign of them slowing down.

In May 2014 it secured over $100m of funding from investors to plough into research, product development and expansion of its sales operation.

“This is an alternative to using programmes like Excel for things they were not designed for. Excel is great for personal productivity but not for running large companies on.”–said Michael Gould, Anaplan’s founder and chief technology officer.

“It is a very open market for us. There are a number of products working in this space but they are 20-30 years old now so we have reached a stage where someone needs to come in and create a completely new platform. A lot of companies are using things like Excel for operations they weren’t designed for. They are doing things on spreadsheets which get the job done but they would be better with purpose-built software.” he further stated.

In an interview with Business Insider, this is what Frederic Laluyaux,the CEO had to say about the company’s recent amazing growth.

Business Insider: Why has Anaplan become so popular all of a sudden?

Frederic Laluyaux: This is a space that has been dominated by Oracle, SAP, and IBM and their technology is aging. … We’ve been able to add hundreds of key accounts in the last few months. … We patiently invested for more than five years in the development of our blazing fast core data engine which is really the “secret sauce” of Anaplan.

BI: Who is using Anaplan and what does it replace?

FL: We are now helping some of the largest companies (HP, Kimberly-Clark, McAfee, Diageo to name a few) … For example with McAfee, Anaplan replaced their use of Excel and Oracle Hyperion.

BI: How has expanding internationally helped you grow?

FL: We opened operations in the UK, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Russia. We have also a few strategic partnerships with global organizations like Deloitte and Accenture and with technology partners like (with more on the way).

I would estimate that 60% of our revenue is now coming from outside of the U.S. so we’re expanding and it’s driving increased deal size. … We had an outstanding Q1 of 2014, as Anaplan achieved over 6x year-over-year growth for contract value booked.

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