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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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Online Retailer OpenSky Launches An Open Marketplace For Small Merchants | Small Business News, Tips, Advice – Small Business Trends

Online Retailer OpenSky Launches An Open Marketplace For Small Merchants

  • May 1, 2013

NEW YORK, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – OpenSky.com, the social network for shopping where people connect with their friends to discover, buy and share unique things, announces today, the launch of an open social marketplace where small merchants can apply to open and manage their own stores within the company’s network of nearly 3 million members.

“Operating exclusively as an online retailer for the last two years, we built pioneering tools for social commerce,” said John Caplan, Founder and CEO of OpenSky. ”Today, we’re handing these easy-to-use tools over to thousands of small businesses in a platform they can leverage to reach new customers and build their business.”

As with all social networks OpenSky users design their own experience by connecting to other people. The launch of OpenSky’s marketplace offers them the ability to connect, interact and share with thousands of small merchants from around the country as well.  It will enhance the ever-changing assortment of goods for users to discover, shop and share with friends both within the network and outside.

“There is a growing appetite to discover products that are unique and different, not mass produced,” said Caplan. “The OpenSky marketplace is the social platform that connects people with extraordinary things and the small businesses who make them.”

According to a recent survey by Harris Interactive, consumers prefer to shop small, with 53% preferring to buy products from small independent businesses and 64% preferring to buy a product that is unique and different rather than mass-produced.

For small merchants, connecting directly to OpenSky users including the many industry insiders, celebrities and experts using the network offers a unique opportunity for their brand and products to spread virally within a community focused on shopping.   As members discover and interact with new products, their activities are shared socially among their OpenSky connections, creating a ripple-effect of discovery within the network.

“Once fashion editor and stylist Suze Yalof-Schwartz discovered and shared my jewelry with her followers on OpenSky, we immediately began selling out of pieces and had to increase our production,” said Angela Parker Kennedy, Founder of Olive Yew Jewels. “We’ve had so many sales on the site, I’ve had to double the size of my team and move into a bigger studio.”

For merchants, opening a store on OpenSky is free. The site takes a commission on products sold to OpenSky members with the exception of any sales made to those members a merchant brings into the network when they open their shop.

Here’s how the experience works for merchants, they:

  • Build and customize a store front
  • Add products
  • Tell their brand story with photos and videos
  • Invite loyal customers to follow their shop on OpenSky
  • Share product updates in their customers’ personal feed
  • Program sales and promotions
  • Answer customer questions and comments directly using social tools
  • Reward loyalty

“OpenSky’s platform makes it easy for me to have a beautifully branded store in a place where people are much more likely to discover it organically,” said Indie Lee, Founder and CEO of Indie Lee & Co. “The site harnesses word-of-mouth online into an experience that actually converts into sales.”

Merchants can apply by visiting opensky.com/merchant.

About OpenSky: 

OpenSky is a social network for shopping where people connect with their friends to discover, buy and share unique things. Since it launched on April 5, 2011, nearly 3 million members and thousands of small brands have joined the OpenSky network.

For more information on OpenSky contact: Emily Lawi, VP Communications – Emily@OpenSky.com

1This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of OpenSky from April 10-12, 2013 among 2,036 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Leah Lefco, OpenSky, pr@opensky.com.

SOURCE OpenSky

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