Facts To Consider When Choosing A Laser Printer

Monday, February 13, 2012 0 comments
Laser printers are not created equal and you need to consider all of the facts to make the right choice. They come with various features and capabilities, but it all boils down to how you want to use the printer. Here are the facts to consider when you select a laser printer.

- Purpose of Printer

The first thing to consider is how the printer will be used in the first place. You may not even need a laser printer depending on what you are trying to do. Laser printers are designed to print text documents quickly and they are not that good with high quality pictures. The best use for this type of printer is in a home office or business.

- Monochrome or Color

There are monochrome and color printers available. A lot of businesses use monochrome printers because they only use them for business documents, but many users at home will get color laser printers to print color documents. The thing to remember is that they can print in color, but the images will not be of the highest quality. Monochrome printers are cheaper and the ink is less expensive while the color printers tend to be more expensive as well as the ink.

- Resolution and Quality

Laser printers have different resolutions and levels of quality. As a general rule, the higher the resolution, the higher the quality of the document. Most of the monochrome printers will have a resolution of 1200 x 1200 and the color printers have a resolution of 2400 x 1200.

- Price

Printers are offered at varying prices from as little as $100 to over $1000 depending on the features. Most homes and small businesses will be able to use a printer in the $100-$200 range, but large organizations may need to purchase a higher end model because it will be used for industrial purposes.

- Print Memory

Print memory is what the printer uses to save the document and print it to paper. This is important because the print memory determines how fast the printer will be able to print documents. Most of the printers can have their memory upgraded, but they will usually come with anywhere from 64MB-128MB.

- Reviews

There are usually reviews of most of the printers on the market. You can look online and find reviews or ask around if you know anyone that owns the type of printer you want to buy. If you notice some patterns in the reviews about some negative issues, then you should probably take note.

- Warranty and Customer Service

Given that the printers are manufactured by a number of different companies, they will come with different warranties and customer service policies. It is best to purchase a printer that comes with at least a one year warranty that includes customer service and technical support via phone.

Choosing the right laser printer really depends on how you plan on using it. Most small businesses and homes can use a moderately priced printer with an average resolution and memory. Investigate the product thoroughly before you make your final decision.

The Benefits Of Remanufactured Ink Cartridges

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In this day and age people are moving more and more to the internet for communications. However, there are still a large number of industries that rely on printing. This covers all manner of documents, from presentations to fliers and business cards to detailed reports that would strain the eye if read on a screen. As a result the amount of money we spend on printing as businesses and individuals can really mount up.

Thanks to the current economic climate, cost-cutting is a must for the vast majority of the population; and using remanufactured ink cartridges is a great place to start. Since remanufactured ink cartridges also come with the benefit of being good for the environment, the trend for switching to recycled is hard to argue with. Below we’ll take a look at all the plus sides of using remanufactured ink cartridges, which are just waiting to be discovered…

Economy

The main advantage people tend to think about where recycled ink cartridges are concerned is the reduced cost. The alternative is to buy cartridges from the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), but this can be an expensive alternative. Indeed, according to some sources the price difference between recycled and OEM cartridges can be anything between 50% and a massive 70%.

Some people may quote the adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ with these things and that the extra money is justified. However, as you’ll see below, with recycled ink cartridges a lower price tag doesn’t necessarily mean inferior quality.

Environment

OEM cartridges that don’t go on to be recycled end up in landfills. Estimates assert that millions of used ink cartridges end up in landfills each year, and since they are not biodegradable they will still be around polluting the planet for years and years to come.
The answer is obvious. Recycling ink cartridges saves on waste, making it a responsible way to care for the planet. If all of us made this small change together it would help to make a big difference for generations to come.

Industry

The phenomenon of ink cartridge remanufacturing has produced a thriving industry tailored to the task. New enterprises in this sector are helping to create job opportunities, as well as make us reconsider our behaviors in the home and the workplace.
As long as the recycling industry is growing, our hopes for the future are bright. The tide is turning as far as our recycling practices are concerned and the recycling of ink cartridges is just the tip of the iceberg.

Quality

As mentioned above, some people may have concerns that using remanufactured ink cartridges could be detrimental to the quality of their printed materials. They need not worry. In the remanufacturing process every ink cartridge is thoroughly cleaned and filled with high quality ink, before the internal pressure is checked with high-precision accuracy. Each remanufactured cartridge is then tested for functionality and quality assurance.

It is only after this process has been thoroughly adhered to that the cartridge will be considered ‘remanufactured.’ So, when it comes to quality and value, this is one case of not ‘getting what you’ve paid for’ – but actually getting something much better.

Five Legal Documents Everyone Should Have

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If you are an organized sort - you know the kind - who has all of his, or her, t's crossed and i's dotted then this advice probably won't apply to you. But, for the rest of us, a vast majority, I imagine, this checklist of "Five Legal Documents Everyone Should Have" may be a good reminder.

Will -- If you own any property, have any money in the bank, any life insurance, IRA, 401(k) etc. It is probably a good idea to have a will. It doesn't need to be fancy or long and drawn out but it does need to cover the basics of who you are, what your wishes are and an affidavit from witnesses that you knew what you were doing in preparing the will. As long as you follow guidelines for your state you probably don't even need a lawyer. Estate Planning Basics and Who Needs a Will can offer guidance.

Advance directive -- An advance directive, also often referred to as a medical directive is a legal document that provides instructions on how you would like to be cared for medically should you be unable to express your wishes to the doctor. The American Academy of Family Physicians, as well as other groups provide information on what should be included in an advance directive.

Power of attorney -- A power of attorney gives legal authorization to another person to act on your behalf. This can be used when you are unavailable to make legal decisions for a wide variety of reasons. Power of attorney can be given for a single transaction or can be granted for a broader length of time. The New York State Attorney General's Office offers a question and answer fact sheet on how power of attorney is applied in that state. You should check the laws in your state before making final decisions.

Birth certificate -- A certified copy of the record of your birth is a vital document for many things including obtaining driver's licenses, Social Security cards and passports. If you do not have an original copy, with a seal from the issuing government agency certifying its authenticity, you should obtain a copy and then keep it in a safe place. If you wait until you actually need it you might find that your application (for a passport, driver's license or whatever) is delayed. You usually can track down vital records, including birth certificates, by contacting the appropriate agency in the state where the event occurred.

Passport -- Especially in a time of heightened security a passport proving your national affiliation can be critical to you ability to travel between countries. You may not need the U.S. passport to get into another county but you probably will need it to get back into the United States. Passports can be obtained from the U.S. Passport Agency. Applications and information on obtaining a passport are available from the U.S. State Department. Links also are provided to locations, often post offices, near your hometown where you can apply.

The Vision Behind Empower Network

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Every company has a vision, a mission, a path they wish to proceed down. It is this path that either sets them up for failure or success. And it is this path that entrepreneurs must look at prior to committing to the team or not. With Empower Network, their vision is quite a bit different from most other companies. But this difference is what sets the company apart from others.

The vision of Empower Network is fueled by sincerity and compassion. It is the joy that comes from helping someone brand new make their first $100 online. Everyone has to start somewhere and the creators of this fine company hope they can be the ones to kick-start as many online careers as possible.

It is no surprise then that they seek the little guys on the internet. It is the people who are just getting started that will truly flourish with Empower Network as it is a program that does everything they can to provide value to all members. The internet can be a rough and tough place, but there is hope to be had when jumping on this team.

Sadly, a lot of programs are simply seeking prospects to sign up. And as soon as they have signed you on, they move on to the next prospect. With this company, you will actually feel like a valued partner upon becoming a member. They want you to feel just as important as anyone else above.

The number one goal for any company or program has to be to build the business as much as possible while generating as many sells as possible. Everyone's mindset is the same; to keep the business profitable.

The difference with Empower Network and other programs is that you will never feel overwhelmed with training or distractions. This is a company that cares about you and your success. For this, they will constantly be there to help you grow personally and financially while making the overall community a better place to live.

The internet is flooded with millions of entrepreneurs all seeking the same thing; success. Rather than limit the amount of people who can profit from a tremendous opportunity, Empower Network welcomes as many as are willing to jump on the bandwagon.

They help hundreds of thousands of network marketers, affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs looking to make it big online. And it is this kind of guidance, assistance and care that has each and every member experiencing a true breakthrough online. You too can experience this permanent change that will ultimately alter your quality of life for the better.

Phone Answering Etiquette: Following Your Caller's Cues

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If there's one skill every employee should know, it's proper telephone etiquette. Receptionists - and those working for small business answering services especially - speak with a wide range of people day in and day out, and how they respond to callers sets how the business is perceived. One simple way to make a great impression is to mimic their communication style.

Five questions to ask yourself when chatting with someone over the phone that will cue you to the right way to respond:

Do they sound serious? If your caller sounds a bit stern or has a serious issue, it's best to ramp up the professionalism. When you work for a small business answering service, your next call could be for an attorney who focuses her practice on probate, in which case many callers will be more on the somber end. On the other hand, you could answer a call for a less formal plumbing company. Either way, take your cue from each individual caller; if your caller is cracking jokes, chat and have fun with them!

Did they address themselves with a title? "Hi, this is Susan! Is Bob available?" Stick with how your caller addresses him or herself. In this case, your caller will probably be most comfortable with a reply like, "Let me check! May I place you on hold for a moment, Susan?" If they introduce themselves as "Mr. Smith," it's probably because he's most comfortable being addressed with a title.

If your caller offers their first and last name, their first name is still your best bet. They'll feel like you're old friends and they're being taken care of! Plus, it can be difficult to distinguish gender with a voice alone, and calling your male caller "Mrs. Jones" may create some ill will.

The only exception is if you work for a lawyer or a virtual receptionist service for attorneys, when a caller gives you a title that's a profession like "Judge Bruce Stevens," address them formally as "Judge Stevens" as a sign of respect. Same goes for doctors; as the villain in Austin Powers says, "It's Doctor Evil; I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'mister,' thank you very much."

Are they a fast-talker or slow-talker? Short, rushed sentences indicate your caller is in a hurry; giving long explanations or asking a lot of questions will likely make them frustrated. So, when a caller asks brief, to-the-point questions, keep your replies concise. Those who sound eager to chat or ask a lot of questions themselves will likely enjoy a little friendly banter. When asked a question about yourself, always thank your caller and reciprocate: "I'm doing very well; thank you for asking! How is your day going so far?"

What kind of mood are they in? You can tell by their overall tone of voice - you can just as easily hear a smile over the phone as discontent. If you sense an urgency in your caller's voice, use it as a cue to reassure your caller, and take care of business. "I certainly understand! Let me put you in touch with our support team, and we'll make sure this issue gets resolved right away." If they mention any news - good or bad - make sure to acknowledge it ("Congrats! That's wonderful!" or "I'm sorry to hear that. I'll do everything I can to help!").

So the next time you answer your phone, look to your caller for cues on the best way to respond! Your callers will be happier, and you'll become a better listener in the process!

6 Call Answering Tips The Best Virtual Receptionists Use

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Do you work for a call answering service? It can be very rewarding - if you have the right techniques to help your callers. As a virtual receptionist, you get to talk to people from all walks of life, from all over the country. So how do the best small business answering service employees create connections, help callers feel heard, and make their days a bit brighter? These six tips will help you make the most out of every interaction:

1. Exude confidence. When you work for an answering service for small businesses across the nation, it might be difficult to know all the ins and outs of every unique company. Not to worry; the best virtual receptionists know that not even in-house receptionists will have all the answers. If you respond confidently, your callers will feel taken care of. And if you don't know the answer, try to get them to someone who does.

2. Never say, "I don't know." Along the same lines, try to avoid the phrase "I don't know." It doesn't add anything to the conversation and is a dead-end. The best virtual answering services will have instructions on how to route different types of calls (e.g., potential new clients go to Joe), so try using the phrases "Let me" and "I would be happy to." For example, "Great question! Let me see if Joe is available to speak with you about our services. May I tell him who's calling?"

3. Look for opportunities to offer assistance. In addition to offering alternatives when you don't know the answer, look for other chances to chime in! Offering a call to a client who uses your virtual receptionist service and sense a hesitation? Offer to take a message! Did your caller tell you while you're taking a message that they've been playing phone tag? Ask if there's a good time for them to receive a return call so that they can connect. Some surprise thoughtfulness will make their day a bit brighter and make your client's business look good.

4. Repeat/confirm information. Human error is a common fear for callers when leaving a message with a receptionist or answering service. Numbers can be transposed, key points misheard or missed entirely; on the flip side, the advantage of having a live person to take the message is that they can make sure their caller's message is relayed accurately. Confirm all contact information with a quick, "Just to confirm, your phone number is (503) 555-2185?...Wonderful!" For email addresses and mailing addresses be sure to keep a phonetic alphabet handy for similar-sounding letters ("B" and "D" are hard to differentiate over the phone, but a simple, "And is that a 'B' as in 'boy' or 'd' as in 'dog?'" takes out the guesswork!).

5. Enunciate. "Yeah" and "Naw" won't earn you points in professionalism, and it'll make you look inexperienced, or worse, indifferent. Go for the gold with the full "Yes," or even better, use expressive phrases like, "Absolutely," "Certainly," and "I would be happy to!"

6. Sound familiar. The best answering services know that formal titles like "Mr." and "Ms." can be off-putting to callers. Your callers may introduce themselves as "Mr. Smith" or, if you work for a virtual receptionist service for attorneys, "Judge Murray"; in that case it's probably best to refer to them as they refer to themselves. However, most of the time your callers will appreciate your familiarity by calling them by their first name often. It makes you sound like you're old friends and will put them at ease. If you're a virtual receptionist, that can make all the difference!

Keeping Corporate Minutes: Avoid Alter Ego Liability

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Running a business is like navigating a minefield on a unicycle. To limit risk, entrepreneurs incorporate. There are other reasons to incorporate (e.g., documenting a structure with a partner), but covering the downside is the main reason for forming a corporation. Courts have acknowledged that the law "permits the incorporation of a business for the very purpose of enabling its proprietors to escape personal liability."

But not so fast - that protection can be lost if the entrepreneur fails to treat the corporation like it's a real corporation. That's right -- even if you incorporate, the liability protection might not be there when you need it. This is referred to as "alter ego liability" or "piercing the corporate veil". Magazine articles, radio ads, and seminars would have you think that "piercing the corporate veil" is some sort of mysterious event that takes everyone by surprise when it happens, but that's not the case at all. Nearly 50 years ago, the California Supreme Court in a case called Associated Vendors v. Oakland Meat created a test that paints a very clear picture of how to prevent alter ego liability.

The Associated Vendors "test" is a secret recipe for liability protection. It's a list of a couple of dozen factors. No one factor matters more than the others, but if taken as a whole it seems that the corporate form was not respected, the shareholder will be held liable. Some of the factors include whether the corporation was adequately capitalized, whether corporate assets were used by the shareholder for personal use, and whether there was commingling of corporate and personal funds.

In the day-to-day insanity of running a small business, it's frequently hard to avoid some of these factors. Who hasn't needed to pull some money out of their business bank account to fix a leaky roof or pay their kid's summer camp bill? The good news is that Courts don't require perfection. They just look at the facts and circumstances to determine whether on balance, it seems like the corporate form has been respected.

That's why it blows my mind when I see small corporations fail to nail the easy ones on the list. Remarkably, one of the most important factors is also incredibly easy for a small corporation to satisfy - keeping corporate minutes. Whether a corporation keeps corporate minutes is a factor that comes up in virtually every alter ego case. Even in the Associated Vendors case itself, the court refused to pierce the corporate veil even though the corporation was undercapitalized, because the corporation held "a number of meetings" and kept minutes.

In a case involving a lawsuit on a lease, a one-person corporation's inadequate capitalization was not sufficient to establish alter ego liability where the corporation conducted annual board meetings and "memorialized the meetings in the corporate minutes." Despite being the sole director, the individual even went so far as to call special sessions of the board to authorize important corporate decisions, such as the purchase of an office building, and those sessions "were also memorialized in the corporate minutes."

On the other hand, in virtually every case where the corporate veil was pierced, failing to keep minutes has been a common theme. In one case, the shareholders were personally liable for more than $4.5 million in damages. The Court noted that the shareholders "elected not to memorialize [even] the most significant events in the history of the" corporation in the minutes.

If you are sued as the "alter ego" of your corporation, you will have to produce a copy of your corporate minute book. One Court noted (rather obviously) that "it is simply not enough to have a minute book if no minutes are kept in that book," but far too many small corporations have a dusty, faux-leather corporate minute book without any minutes kept in the book. In one case involving a DJ, the shareholder was held liable for $77,000 where he could not produce a "single slip of paper" showing that he held formal meetings or kept corporate minutes. Being able to respond with copies of properly maintained minutes - a very simple task for a corporation that regularly holds meetings and keeps minutes - is the best way to prevent alter ego liability.

For nearly five decades, dozens of cases in every major jurisdiction have involved corporate minutes. Sure there are other reasons that the corporate veil is pierced, but the courts are plainly telling us that "memorializing meetings in corporate minutes" is one of the key ingredients of asset protection.