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HostGator

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HostGator.com is a provider of shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated web hosting. With over five million domains hosted by HostGator, they make up approximately 1% of the world’s Internet traffic. HostGator.com allows you to have unlimited subdomains under your account, with no restrictions on bandwidth or disk space. The down site to having so many …

LogoWorks

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LogoWorks is a service of HP. They spell out a very detailed process, which inspires confidence. Plus, they have customer feedback and ratings right alongside each package choice. They have designed over 45,000 logos; packages start at $299. HP also offers LogoMaker, a free logo creation service with an upgrade plan of $49. It is …

Logo Design Team

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Logo Design Team stands on its in-house design team, as opposed to a freelance team of people spread around the globe. They offer a $149 start price. Logo Design Team offers a “logo repair” service where they will update your existing logo, refreshing it to something modern and hip.

Logo Mojo

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Logo Mojo (a division of Deluxe) has a starter package at $195 which includes six concepts, two rounds of changes, and a three-day turnaround. They offer other artwork services, too, including Twitter backgrounds and Facebook profile images.

Sage One Invoicing

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Sage One Invoicing is a monthly subscription-based invoicing service that will run you $9 a month. Sage One Invoicing allows you to send out your invoices from Sage, and the customer can pay directly from the invoice into Sage’s credit card service or through Paypal. If the payment is late, Sage One will tell you …

WePay

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Online invoicing and payment app service WePay just released a new app for iOS devices that allows small businesses to send invoices and charge credit cards from mobile devices. Credit card processing and invoicing both come with a fee of 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. The payment app accepts all major credit cards, and there …

FreshBooks

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FreshBooks signup is easy, fast, and free. No credit card required, which is always helps reduce signup friction. You can trial the software for 30 days for free, then decide on a paid plan or a forever-free plan. Of course, the free plan is limited, but it may work for your business. Paid plans start …

Guru

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Guru offers a wide variety of freelancing jobs and allows you to create up to five different profiles. Their commission is variable, but they handle tax reporting so you do not have to give out your Social Security number to every employer. Escrow ensures freelancers are paid, but can be confusing. The onsite messaging is …

oDesk

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Odesk is designed for freelancers who prefer hourly wages as opposed to flat fees. They are a little more expensive in their commissions, but they cover employer tax costs if the employer wants to hire you through their payroll service. You need to log in to the website while you work so it can record …

Freelancer.com

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Freelancer.com is one of the world’s largest outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace for small business. The site connects over 3,961,410 employers and freelancers globally from over 234 countries & regions. Through the website, employers can hire freelancers to do work in areas such as software, writing, data entry and design right through to engineering and the …

Infusionsoft

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Infusionsoft combines everything your business needs — contact management, CRM, marketing automation and e-commerce — into a single online system. Along with their impressive array of features available, Infusionsoft allows you to be able to place a single contact into multiple list. This gives you the ability to track and target your customers more effectively …

MailChimp

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MailChimp is a Web-based email marketing service that comes with a great suite of tools. With over 95 million emails sent per day on average, MailChimp proves that email is still a viable way for small businesses to get the word out. One of the most important things to know is the service is completely …




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Skype Launches New Online Platform for Small Businesses | Small Business News, Tips, Advice – Small Business Trends

Skype Launches New Online Platform for Small Businesses

  • November 8, 2012

LONDON and PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Skype today launched to the public Skype in the workspace (SITW), a new online platform for small businesses to instantly connect with potential customers, partners and suppliers across the globe.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

The free-to-use tool makes use of the huge network already offered by Skype, allowing millions of small businesses to promote their products and services to new networks and connections. Users can improve existing connections and establish new ones by instantly sending messages and talking to or meeting face-to-face with peers and business prospects over Skype.

The SITW community is already active because today’s launch comes at the end of a six-month beta trial, which enabled 500 businesses, offering more than 140 different services, to sign up, try out and test the platform.

“With more than 280 million connected users each month, Skype offers a huge range of contacts for the small-business community,” said Ural Cebeci, head of SMB Marketing at Skype. “We aim to connect millions of small businesses with Skype in the workspace and believe that, by taking advantage of this shared network, businesses can develop the range of tools they need to grow, regardless of location or industry. From the designer in San Francisco looking to source textile suppliers in Thailand to the London consultant connecting with clients in Milan, the possibilities are endless.”

SITW will provide a central hub for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses to connect with experts, coaches and consultants who can help them develop their businesses. Users join the community using their existing Skype accounts, then through a series of promotional tools can create public “offers” or “opportunities” inviting community members to live sessions on Skype to demonstrate services or products to a wider audience. Users can also book appointments with potential customers or suppliers and keep track of them with a meeting notification service. When an opportunity is over, users can instantly give testimonials on the product or service offered.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy,” Cebeci said. “For these businesses to survive and grow in what is still a tough economic climate, we understand that good communication and connections are key to their success.

“This is why today we are opening the Skype in the workspace platform to the public,” Cebeci said. “We feel we’re helping connect businesses face-to-face with their customers and prospects, no matter where they are located. It opens up a world of opportunity for them.”

Alison Coward, an avid user of Skype and owner of the London creative collaboration agency Bracket, said, “Skype in the workspace is a real breakthrough. It’s the perfect platform for me to promote my business and connect with the people who can help it to grow. My business is about getting in front of people and helping them to solve their problems. With Skype in the workspace, I am visible to quality leads without even leaving the office. With no travel time to contend with, it’s also now far more feasible for me to grow my business outside the U.K. into Europe and the U.S.”

Jorge Parra, an avid user of Skype and owner of Florida-based Jorge Parra photography, said, “There’s a big difference between a professional network and a social network, and Skype in the workspace seems to understand this distinction. It is the perfect companion to my existing online presence and generates connections that will actually bring me business.”

Cindy Bidar, owner of All Quality Websites, a U.S. startup providing expert advice on how to design, build and maintain an online presence, added, “Skype in the workspace has offered something other online platforms couldn’t — a community of business-focused individuals who can explore my services and interact with me in real time.”

SITW is available to all Skype users starting today. Those wanting to sign up for the community can register their details here.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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