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[BLACK] TOOL: Stripe Payments


Making Money

Charge it. Cha-Ching.

Are you looking for an easy to use credit card processor for your company?  Look no further. One of my favorite business solutions is Stripe, a software tool for collecting credit card payments.

Positioning itself as the ‘payments infrastructure for the internet,’ Stripe is the perfect solution for those looking to build a marketplace, mobile app, online storefront or subscription service.

Stripe Features

Do you need to accept payments quickly and easily? Stripe is not only easy to set up, but it doesn’t entail a long application process. You can be up and running same day. Do you need to accept payments from anyone, anywhere? Stripe currently supports businesses in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and many European countries.

Do you need recurring payments? With their subscription APIs and webhooks, storing customers’ cards on file is easy. Go ahead and collect the customer card upfront for background billing later. Stripe also offers flexible billing periods, coupons, trials, secure checkout (SSL) and more.

Pricing:

It only takes minutes to get started and there are no setup, monthly or hidden fees. It’s just 2.9% + 30 cents per successful charge. Transfers arrive in your bank account in 2 business days.

Sign up:

Visit the Stripe website.

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[BLACK] TOOL: Shoeboxed


Making Money

Ready to eliminate paper clutter?

As entrepreneurs, we’re always collecting receipts. Yet, it seems like we never have any spare time to organize them.

Shoeboxed.com is ready to come to your rescue!  Consider Shoeboxed your full time virtual assistant that saves you time and money (especially during tax season)!

Shoeboxed takes the pain out of paperwork.  All you do is send the paper documents (receipts and business cards) by mail via the supplied envelope or upload them via your mobile phone.

Shoeboxed will scan, enter the data and categorize the receipts before posting them into your secure account.

Why I like it.

For me, the most appealing thing is the ability to just ship off all your receipts (in a shoebox!) and have them scanned.  So no matter where you are in your fiscal year, you can bring you receipt organization up to date without scanning one thing yourself.

That means your time as an entrepreneur is free to spend on more important issues.

With Shoeboxed mobile, you can just snap a photo of the receipt or business card on the go and upload it directly to your account.

Watch the video to learn more.

Pricing:

It’s free or you can get a paid account for $9.95/month.

Sign up:

Shoeboxed.com - Scan Receipts and Business Cards

Live and Learn.

If you enjoyed learning about this tool, please share it with others below.
Thank you for your support.

~ by Connie Hammond ~

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[BLACK] TOOL: Meeting Ticker


Making Money

How much is your time worth?

If you’re anything like me, when your work day comes to a close, you find yourself asking this frustrating question “Where did all the time go?” Even more so, you’re probably exasperated by the fact that you didn’t get a lot more accomplished — in spite of the fact that you were not only ‘cranking out’ work all day long with not so much as a lunch break, but you were also attending worthless meetings. If you recognized yourself above, then there is a tool that I guarantee will help you save time … and money.  Because, in business, time is money.

Stop the bleeding.

I recently came across this free online tool that’s a real eye-openers when it comes to monitoring time.  That tool, which stops the bleeding when it comes to wasting time, is the Online Meeting Ticker. All you do is enter in the number of people attending your meeting, the average hourly rate of the attendees and then click start.  You can even enter “one” attendee if you’re on a conference call and want to see if it was really “worth your time” at the end of the call. Trust me, after you freak out, you’ll want to stop the bleeding. And I’m guessing that if you have this ticker up and running during a meeting where attendees can view it, they will get to their point a lot faster.

Pricing

It’s free!

Live and Learn.

Get the latest TIPs and TOOLs:

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[BLACK] TOOL: Hello Fax

Making MoneyThere’s a new kid on the block when it comes to faxing services, and trust me…this is one tool you want to get your hands on.

Hello Fax.

If you’re anything like me, you hate having to print out documents that require your signature, sign them, scan them and then fax them back.  It’s always so time consuming and frustrating that just the thought of someone asking for a signature sends chills up my spine.

Until now.

If you’re ready to get your contracts and proposals executed asap in order to make money faster, then sign up for Hello Fax stat.

It’s a deal-maker.

It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s a dream.

Rarely do I get so excited about a new tool.  Yes, there are some that save me time or help with my workflow, but this tool is a dream come true for entrepreneurs, especially eco-friendly ones.

Did you know that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year?  Hello Fax was started by Joseph Walla who had a vision of a paperless office, and that’s another reason I love it.

It saves trees. And it will save you time, money and stress.  Check out this :60 second video that shows just how easy it is to use:

With Hello Fax, you not only sign, edit and fax documents entirely online (no more printing!), but you’ll save money too.

Pricing

There are four package options available.  Pricing ranges from $0.00 to $69.99 depending on your needs.  I use the basic package, but envision upgrading to the next level soon as my business grows (I’ll need more fax pages for all those contracts!).

You can view Hello Fax packages and pricing here.

If you enjoyed learning about this tool, please share it with your friends.

Live and Learn.

Get the latest TIPs and TOOLs:

~ by Connie Hammond ~

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[BLACK] TIP: How To Attract More Money


Making MoneyEveryone is working so hard these days to make more money and survive this recession, including myself. We’re laser focused on acquiring the actual dollars and cents to pay our bills that most, I’m afraid, are forgetting how money really flows to us.

Money flows to us in the form of opportunities.

When you have your nose to the grindstone, going through the motion of making a living, you’re more than likely missing opportunities that are presented to you throughout each day versus when you’re engaged and truly present in the moment.

It’s time to slow down, open your eyes and really start paying attention to the “signs” that show up.

What opportunities have you missed out on today?

Did you shut down the person who tried to make contact with you at the coffee shop this morning? Did you choose not to take the call from a friend, opting to work…work…work instead? Did you dismiss yet another volunteer project that came your way because you just don’t have the time?

When was the last time you reached out to someone else and offered help or support? When was the last time you shook up your routine and tried something new? Have you spoken to your neighbor lately? What about that long lost friend?

How many times did you say ‘no’ today?

Sometimes you have to take the time to create the opportunity.

A customer of mine from Aspen asked me to spend time reviewing his website content earlier this week as a favor. It was 1:30 am, and I was tired from working all day. Needless to say, it would have been easier to blow off his request and just go to bed.

Instead, I stayed up longer and took the hour needed to provide solid feedback and offer my opinion.

Meanwhile, I’d been fretting about my upcoming trip to Aspen and where I’d find the extra $3,000 I needed to get there and really enjoy an extended stay.

The “opportunity” to help my client out auditing his website for free resulted in a grateful phone call the following morning. The first words out of his mouth were, “Can I please pay for all your expenses to come out to Aspen so you can help me with my website?”

Holy Moly!  Done!

A few weeks ago, my friend invited me to a “preview” for a personal development course. During this overview presentation, I learned some wonderful new techniques that would prove beneficial in both my personal and business life.

I really wanted to attend the full weekend course.

As I was thinking about whether or not I should just go ahead and register for the pricey course in spite of being on a strict budget, my generous friend tapped me on the shoulder, pulled me aside and told me that she really wanted to treat me to this course if I was interested in attending.

Holy Moly! Done!

Last night, I connected via phone with a new friend and fellow resort-entrepreneur who I met online. The conversation lasted well over an hour, and I have a sneaky suspicion that we’ll be working together in one form or another in 2012. Instead of being rushed because of my never-ending to-do list, I took the time to be fully engaged in our conversation.

Who knows where it will lead, but I have a good feeling that’s another opportunity in the making.

Opportunities may not produce actual dollars in your pocket, but they produce riches nonetheless.

I’m most certainly a “pay-it-forward” kind of gal, so I’m guessing that’s one reason these opportunities continue to pop-up. But, I also know it would have been easy – because of my workload — to stay hunkered down, work some more and concentrate only on me and my stuff.

When you start saying yes to opportunities and invitations that show up, you may be surprised at the riches coming your way in return (and riches don’t have to mean cold hard cash).

You may win a laptop. You may get a special treat. You may receive advice that you really needed to hear…advice that changes your course and opens more doors.

Stay open to the possibilities today.

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[BLACK] TOOL: Amazon Associates

Making Money

Do you write blog posts (you should) about your business?

If so, you have an opportunity to create another revenue stream for your business by recommending Amazon products which apply to the subject at hand.

What is it?

Amazon Associates is one way to make money when you advertise the products on Amazon.  When you sign up to be an “associate,” you’ll be given a unique associate id which is embedded in the URL for tracking and payment purposes.

Links and Banners

One way to use Amazon Associates is by posting links and banners.  When you add these links and banners to your web page and visitors click on them from your page, you can earn up to 15% on all purchases made during their shopping session. 

So, not only would you make money if they bought your recommended item, but if they continue to shop during that specific online session, you’ll keep earning a commission.

There are three options for promoting the Amazon product: text links, image links and enhanced image links.  Your links will include your unique Associate tag for tracking purposes, allowing you to get paid for qualifying revenues coming through this link.

Or, link to Amazon product categories and promotions using their stylish, graphical banners.  Banners come in a variety of sizes adn shapes.  They’re easy to add, and you can show special graphics for special Amazon promotions such as Back to School or Mother’s Day. 

Widgets

Amazon Widgets are rich, interactive mini-applications that bring Amazon functionality to your website. There are 14 different widgets to choose from including: search widget, my  favorites and a carousel widget.  You can customize your widget and grab the HTML for you to use on your site.

Site Stripe

If you want to go gangbusters, turn the Site Stripe on so you can build your Associate links right from any Amazon.com page.  It’s a quick and easy way to build links while browsing Amazon.  You also get short-cuts to Associates news and reports, it’s easy to configure and completely compatible with the Product Links.

WordPress Plugin

I use the WordPress Amazon Associates plugin by Matthew John Denton which quickly and easily allows you to monetize your website through the integration of Amazon products and widgets tagged with your associate id.

It’s extremely easy to setup.  All you do is download and activate the plugin, then insert your unique Associate ID.  Once set up is complete, you’ll have the option of inserting relevant product recommendations into your posts while editing.  This plugin even makes product recommendations based on your subject matter.

It really doesn’t get much easier than this.  Below is a screenshot of what the plugin looks like in wordpress.  You just enter the search term and choose which index (ie. books), and then it suggests relevant products.  You can see an actual example of what the enhanced image link looks like at the end of this post.  I’m suggeting the “KaChing” book (one that I’ve actually read and do recommend) about Making Money Online.

Bottom line?

Unless you have huge traffic numbers, don’t expect to make a lot of money.  But little things do add up, and this is one simple way to generate extra money while also providing the additional service to your readers of recommending relevant products. 

Recommended Reading:

[amazon_enhanced asin=”0470597674″ /]

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[BLACK] TOOL: Square Payment System

What is it?

Rated as one of the 50 best inventions of 2010 by TIME magazine, Square is the easiest way to get paid.  Better yet: it makes it easier for your customers to buy.

Their app enables you to accept credit cards quickly and easily using your mobile device — and get NEXT DAY payout to your bank account!

It’s the perfect tool for small businesses.

When you sign up for a Square account and download the app, they ship you a free card reader (a “square-shaped swiper” that plugs into your phone to swipe credit/debit cards; see product photo below).

Square 2.1 just launched which help users better run their business.  New improvements include faster transactions (4 second transactions!), easier tipping (add gratuity with a single tap) and the ability to skip signatures on purchases under $25.

As of May 2011, the company had shipped 500,000 card readers and is on pace to process $1 billion in payments this year.

Why Do I Like It?

Because Square will be around a while: they just raised another $100 million in June 2011.  Because Jack Dorsey who was co-founder of Twitter also founded Square so it’s got some credibilitiy.  Because it’s a cool little gadget.  Because it works.  Because you can collect money and avoid ‘check in the mail’ or ‘I forgot my wallet’ excuses.  Now you can just reply to those excuses with: “No problem. I take credit cards right here and now.”  SWIPE.

What Is The Cost?

Free.  You pay a transaction fee of 2.75% for each swipe (no commitments).  If you enter credit card numbers manually, Square costs 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.   More details re: pricing.

Who Are The Competitors?

Most competitors out there require a merchant account, a credit check, have hidden fees or require its own system.  Word on the street is that Google is planning a new mobile payments service which would allow consumers to tap or wave their mobile phones at a cash register to pay for their purchases.

Although this is a unique solution without direct competitors, some similar companies are:

More Information:

Product Screenshot:

Click to Tweet   

Live and Learn.

~ Connie Hammond ~