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There are a lot of things to consider when choosing apps/services/programs for your new business. And you are going to need a few, if you want to run your business smoothly.

It’s easy to think that it’s clever to save a couple of bucks by doing things by hand, especially as you’re just starting out. It makes perfect sense, too. If you save 10 bucks a month by doing your accounting by hand instead of paying for the service, you’re gonna save 120 bucks a year. So you’re thinking that “Hey, do I want to waste 120 bucks? Of course not”. But time is money and if you take into consideration how much time those 120 bucks could have saved; time that could have been spent making MORE money, you’ll soon realize that it was a bad decision in the end.

First of all, compare invoicing software before you commit to one, if you’re going to use one. They can be very expensive. A good invoice template can be a quick fix to get started, but sooner or later, you better switch to software. Invoicers is the best online service to compare these solutions currently (Oh, and it is free). Using a third-party invoicing service is not only good in the sense that it will save you time. It’s also good in that it makes you (and your new business) look much more professional. While it’s not the biggest deal, by a long shot, it may still add a little flair of “we know what we’re doing”, and this is REALLY important in the early days.

Second, consider outsourcing your accounting/bookkeeping to a third party. Sure, you can find good software for this as well, and good invoicing apps make your bookkeeping that much easier. But stil – bokkeeping isn’t easy, and one small mistake can prove very costly in the long run. Trust me, I’ve fallen into this trap myself on more than one occasion.

What typically happens is, you make a tiny mistake, which in and of itself isn’t that bad or that big of a problem, but then you don’t notice it until a month or two later. And when that happens, it’s much more difficult to fix the error, as your fix will be at a later date (e.g. out of chronological order). If you’re lucky, your corrections will just be a few hours of extra work – which is bad enough – but if not, you may need to start over. Yep, you heard that right, you may need to redo your ENTIRE books for the whole period, which can take days.

In summary – get a good invoice template, or invoicing software. Then, outsource your bookkeeping. Do not try to do it yourself, unless you have a lot of spare time and a desire to learn how to do it properly. Bookkeeping can be simplified with apps and services, but it’s still hard to get it right.

The EU, and Europe in General, Will Be Glad to See the Back of 2018

2018 will be remembered as a difficult year for the Eurozone. From the economy to politics and sport, the region will remember the year as a turbulent time in its existence.

It is yet another year when the European Union had to grapple with the effects of an imminent detachment of the United Kingdom; one of its most active members, from the bloc. The act, albeit tricky for Britain itself, threatened the very existence of the union, as it set a precedent for other countries to start re-evaluating how much benefit they get from remaining within the umbrella body.

At the same time, the region’s currency, the euro, experienced great trembles from significant world currencies in the exchange market. The US dollar, in particular, took 2018 as a year to give the euro a major hammering on every day the sun came up. It is the year when the euro experienced probably its lowest rate against the dollar in the present decade.

Besides Brexit, financial strains in member countries, such as Italy and Greece, continued to cause a headache for the union. The famous saying, that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, meaning the general EU economy was relatively weak in 2018.

On the sporting front, 2018 will be remembered as a year when Europe had to make some mostly unpopular decisions in the region’s most popular team sport, that of football. Yes, it is the same year when the continent managed to defend the World Cup, but that is no news given that European teams have won the trophy since 2006.

Instead, the decision to introduce a competition known as the UEFA Nations League will be remembered as the highlight of sporting occurrences throughout the year. For starters, the decision was frowned upon by footballing nations across the world, who viewed it as Europe’s selfish way of segregating itself from the football fraternity. This is because the league largely reduces the chances of countries outside Europe, landing friendlies with European nations.

Secondly, some countries within the confederation were less than amused by the method used to divide them into groups. It means that teams with a low ranking, have less chance of playing top sides at any time.

Immigration and national security remained a concern in 2018.

Well, Europe is a mostly stable continent, and will always recover from setbacks, but all disciplines within the region will be glad to see the back of 2018 and hope for a friendlier 2019.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Business Card

A business card is the ideal tool to advertise and inform the public about your company. When networking it can be an invaluable method of giving potential collaborators your information. There are several things worth noting when deciding the best business card to go with.

You will be given a wide range of design options and it is up to you to decide the best one to fit your corporate image. First and foremost, the card should reflect your company’s brand identity. If your business has specific guidelines on this, then it is worth researching so that these are followed accordingly.

Incorporating the company logo into the design is a perfect way to instantly signify who you are and what you relate to. However, it is important to note that the logo should never be the dominant element of the card layout. Rather, it should be in the background. The most important information will always be your name and contact details. This text should take centre stage. As such it should be in an appropriately sized font.

The advent of cheaper priced color printing has meant that you can make your business card as flashy as you want without paying more. However, if it is too garish then this will make you and your company look unprofessional. Unless you are in the creative industry it is still common practice to wield a traditional black and white card.

Some brands like to be more inventive with their design. There have been several interesting business cards that double as bottle openers, flashlights and many other fun gadgets. This can be a good way to encourage a client to retain your contact information. However, this is only a viable option if it is cost effective.