Balancing Your Day Job With Your Small Business

For some people, owning a business is a full-time job in which more than 40 hours are devoted towards running it. For others, running a small business is something that is done as a side job on weekends or during weeknights. For those in the latter, balancing the two jobs is never an easy task. This article will present some insight as to how you can be successful at both through proper time management and understanding of priorities.

#1: Make A List Of Things You Need To Do For Your Business During Any Downtime During Work

During the day, your day job should be your number one priority, but you will always have some downtime. It’s important to make good use of this time to think about your business and what tasks have to be done. This list should be written but if that is not possible, make sure you keep the list in your head. Making a list will help you prioritize which tasks are the most important and which can be put off for later if time is an issue.

Learning to prioritize responsibilities for your business is key to its success. If you understand which tasks are most important, you can focus the limited time you have on accomplishing those tasks.

#2: Be Ready To Spend A Lot Of Time To Make Your Small Business Work, But Make Time For Yourself As Well

A small business requires a significant time commitment in order to be successful. The amount of time varies between businesses, but you can expect to spend at least 16 hours each week to make the business successful. What will make this challenging is that you don’t have as much free time to work with so you will need to plan carefully. You will also have to deal with possible burnout since you are working hours on top of your day job. This leads to the second part of this point and that is making time for yourself.

A small business requires a significant time commitment but you also need to make time for yourself. While you are required to devote time to the business, you are also required to take care of yourself and make sure you have the mental and physical stamina to work in an effective state. This might involve taking some time away from the business if it is possible or just spending a few hours each week doing what you love. The important thing is to give yourself time so that you don’t wear yourself out.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Between Large 3D Printing Services Online

Not all 3D printing services are the same, especially when it comes to creating large size prototypes. This is where you separate the boys from the men.

3D printing is essentially simple. A thin layer of liquid or melted polymer or powder is deposited by a nozzle onto a substrate where it cools and solidifies or is cured by UV. A part is built up layer by layer by interpreting a 3D CAD design through software. Printers range in size from small desktop models to create small objects in large engineering models to create complex prototypes.

As long as the prototype to be created is within the limitations of a printer, there is not much of an issue, though there are several matters that must be taken into consideration. If the size is larger than what the machine can print, it requires special expertise to put together a large prototype. This is where the difference lies when one chooses a 3D printing service to create large objects with complex profiles.

Large 3D printing service bureaus use the finest, high-end equipment to manufacture complex profiled prototypes with relative ease. The printers are coupled with high-end software and handled by engineer specialists that are well trailed in the areas of the printer and software.

A CAD design for a large prototype exceeding the capabilities of a printer is split into various sections. Each section is printed on a fused deposition modeling 3D printer using ABS or PC material in filament form. Expertise is required to slice the design into parts and then assemble them together using a unique welding process with liquid plastic to create a seamless, monolithic, structurally sound large part. The finished part looks like it emerged from a large 3D printer.

A complex profile prototype may have holes, overhangs, recesses, bridges and even threaded screw holes that must maintain dimensional tolerance after the printing is complete. ABS or any plastic tends to shrink on cooling and require precise calculations to ensure the finished prototype has holes or recesses that are dimensionally accurate. Experience, skills and knowledge of the staff handling the equipment at a large 3D printing service bureau mean a lot.

Inexperienced printers may waste a lot of materials before they can come up with a 3D printed prototype. Even then it may not have the required wall thickness, rigidity, strength or dimensional accuracy. These issues do not exist when one outsources work to professionals in 3D printing. How even orientation of build plate and placement affect the final outcome as regards accuracy along all three axes. And post processing is just as important as the printing process.

Where time is of the essence, an experienced printing service with its team of specialists and the best equipment always takes care of deadlines.

While 3D printers are highly sophisticated and versatile, they too have their limitations. Experienced machine operators know these limitations and develop key solutions.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Company Logo Design

According to an expert’s estimation, we are exposed to more than 5000 customized logos every day. From our tooth paste to frozen food to clothes, every product we use displays a logo design that is somehow causing us to perform a certain behavior. Many companies are winning customers’ attention through their captivating logos and others are losing the game due to their poorly designed logo.

So how do you make your custom logo stand out?

It can be done by highlighting your company offering and features through a smart logo design that is both appealing yet memorable. It should leave an impression that makes your audience pay your custom logo several seconds to notice and inspire. Unfortunately, many businesses make serious mistakes when creating a company logo design. There are many companies with great products & services that can give them a bright future but when their logo is not up to the mark, they lose great opportunities. Here are the most common mistakes made my most of us:

Critical Mistake #1: Drawing Your Company Logo Yourself

A business logo should not be designed by a beginner. It cannot be based on your favorite color or your favorite artwork of childhood – It should have a professional look and for it to have the sophistication you require get it designed by an experienced designer. And most importantly, downloading a clip art logo design will only leave you with a copy logo that others have downloaded too on cheaper rates.

Critical Mistake #2: Forgetting About Your Customer

No matter what make your customer a priority when designing a company logo design – It should never be based on your taste only. So the next step after identifying the company’s core features is to know your audience since your logo is for your clientele to see and love, it should be based on their understanding and taste in mind as well. Find out if they are male or female? Young or old? Single or married? Know about them as much as you can to be able to come up with an appropriate company logo design. The more you know about their likes and dislikes, the more you can create a design that appeals to them.

Critical Mistake #3: Imitating your Competitors

The worst mistake you can make is copying your competitors design. It will not only make your audience question your originality but it will make your competitor more credible in their eyes, since their design has been copied. It is a good idea to seek inspiration from remarkable logos but don’t mimic your competition instead use colors, fonts, shapes and icons that set our business apart.

5 Tips for Developing Better Storytelling Skills

The Lure of Lore: Why is storytelling is so compelling?

Once upon a time… Even if it doesn’t end in happily ever after, there is something about hearing a story that puts us into a much more receptive, more relaxed and engaged listening mode.

Storytelling is so powerful and compelling, I find it interesting that it’s so often overlooked. But why? What’s the lure of lore? What draws us in and holds us captive?

Storytelling in our own recent history takes us back to childhood. But through the ages, it has captivated audiences and stood the test of time as one of the most impacting ways to communicate and holds as prominent a place today.

What’s even better is that we have 21st century digital tools that can take that story across the world in a matter of minutes with one click. We can now share our stories, freely and easily across multiple platforms reaching hundreds of people as we build community.

When we hear a story, we more readily identify with one of the characters. We place ourselves in the story as it resonate in us on an emotional level. Sharing the story about the success of a school resonates far more by sharing the struggle, journey and triumph of one of its students. Sterile facts and features, even benefits and WIIFM statements, cannot trump the power of a compelling story.

We find ourselves in a ‘just the facts ma’am, tell ya what I’m gonna do’ situation, our guard goes up because we feel we’re about to be sold. Storytelling breaks down barriers and gives the listener an opportunity to get to know us and trust us first. And since marketing is the conversation before the sale, it behooves us to make that conversation as attractive and magnetic as we possibly can. One of the very best ways to do that is through stories.

Here are a five ways to weave storytelling into to your marketing and build a tribe of loyal followers in the process.

1. Build affinity through authenticity. Share your passion, struggle, journey, mission, hope and ideas by telling us how you got there, got through, got burned and what you learned. We identify because we have been where you are.

2. Transition to transformation. Remember to tell us the then and now. don’t skip parts. The harder the climb, the greater the triumph. Helping us know what someone had to overcome to get where they are gives us courage to press on and not give up.

3. Be light-hearted and engaging. A good storyteller know when and where to use humor and how to infuse the story with fun and engaging anecdotes and information that still helps get the point across.

4. Imagery open the imagination. Details and descriptions help us to connect with the characters and plot on a deeper level.

5. No fish tales. To resonate with the audience the most, you have to be real. Plausibility is more persuasive. Tall tales are easy to see through and will cause you to lose credibility in the mind of the listener.

So whether your speaking or writing your story, even though you have pertinent and relevant information to share and want to direct your audience to take action, make sure it is compelling. Draws us in, hold us captive, bring us through so that when your story has been told we are more than ready to take the next step– whatever that may be.