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Business Resource Categories

Accounting
Associations
Barter Systems
Collections
Consulting Services
Consumer Affairs
Customer Service
E-Commerce
Education/Training
Engineering
Financing Assistance
Government Agencies
Home Office
Import/Export
Insurance
International
Legal Information
Management Issues
Marketing
Mentor Programs
News Resources
Nonprofits
Patents & Copyrights
PR
Purchasing
Safety/Quality Issues
Sales
Software
Tax Services
Temporary Services
Travel
Women in Business

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Accounting

Your E-commerce Accounting Tutor : Your key to increasing profits, reducing expenses and improving cash flow, accounting is critical in the world of business. You will find this site filled with small business accounting tools and information.

BusinessTown.com : This informative site covers all aspects of accounting. They use terms that are easy to understand to help small business owners understand the basics of accounting. General accounting ledger, components of an accounting system, income statements, balance sheets and much more.

FREE Accounting Software : Free Accounting is an easy to use complete Multi-User/Multi-Company/Multi-Branch Windows based Accounting, Inventory and Customer Management solution for your business. The price is right! FREE!!


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Associations

Small Business Administration : The Small Business Administration is one of the most resourceful sites for small businesses on the web! Bookmark it as you'll want to return often.

The American Small Business Association
When you join the American Small Businesses Association, you join the collective buying power of a large organization, and your voice on issues that affect small business is echoed in unison with thousands of other members.

Service Corps of Retired Executives
This volunteer organization's mission is to provide free consultation to prospective and existing small business owners. Direction to your local chapter as well as online e-mail volunteers are available.


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Barter Systems

This company put a twist on the bartering concept by using a "trade dollars" system under which you can barter with each participating company rather than limiting direct bartering. Join and transfer Trade Dollars ONLINE!

International Reciprocal Trade Association

This website was designed with a fantastic search engine to help you find local bartering services and brokers in your area. Bartering statistics are shown reporting eight billion dollars worth of trade transactions occur yearly in the U.S. alone. Fantastic website for statistics and general bartering information.


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Collections

Action Professional Services : We'd all like to "assume" the world is full of honest people. However, when payment problems arise, this site provides a solution. They offer an excellent guideline (red flag) table showing warning signs and possible solutions to payment problems from your clients.

Entrepreneur.com has compiled a very informative article on the importance of debt collection and how to choose and agency or handle debt collection for your small business on your own.


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Consumer Affairs

ConsumerAffairs.com : Internet on your side! They have a complaint form to fill out in the event you've been mistreated as a buyer or consumer. You can also review scam alerts, information on the lemon law, small claims guide and much more.


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Consulting Services

Team Building USA : This company will give you the first coaching session free to prove that you will receive strong value for your investment. Team Building USA has the best Executive Coaches in business today. They state their coaches are seasoned professionals who know the needs of a small business owner and can help you negotiate the obstacles you are facing right now successfully.

Computer Professor : Computer Training for the 21st Century: Read. Click. Done. Has created a proprietary learning system. With 5 minutes a day receive a new lesson via email and learn the most productive tips, tricks, and new techniques for the computer, the Web, and Office. Sign up for 2 free weeks to try their lessons.


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Customer Service

American Productivity and Quality Center : A nonprofit education and research organization that helps a variety of businesses and industries improve customer service within their organization.  They offer useful lists of benchmarking studies to help you.

Business Virtual Postcards : Send a virtual postcard to a client or business associate. Simply click on the link above and fill out the multimedia form including sound. Send a card letting your client know you appreciate their business today. This is a great free service offered at NOVA PLAZA.

Web Assured :  ColDen Communications is a member of Web Assured. They distribute a seal for your web site after your commitment to certain standards of customer service and reliability.  This is an online form of the Better Business Bureau.


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E-Commerce

Accept Checks Online : CheckSoftware.com allows you to purchase software and blank checks giving you the ability to accept checks online, over the phone or by fax legally. This system applies a bank draft directly to the buyers account once purchase is confirmed and documented. Millions of buyers do not have credit cards, this is an option to allow those that have checking accounts an immediate e-commerce transaction. ColDen Communications currently uses this system and no longer hears "The check's in the mail"... nice feature...check it out!

VetHost.com : ColDen Communications offers web hosting with secure socket layers enhanced for secure online purchases and shopping carts. See the e-commerce packages offered by VetHost.com for your own small business website. Reseller packages allow you to start your own home based business on a limited budget.


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Education/Training

AcademicInfo
AcademicInfo is an online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. They work to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers).
AcademicInfo was founded in 1998 by Mike Madin, a librarian coordinator, and is now maintained by multiple contributors. It's a wonderful educational resource.

Columbia Southern University : They offer one of the most complete degree based distance education programs.  Also available are certificates for environmental and ergonomic compliance.

My Own Business, Inc. : This company offers A FREE five week educational course for entrepreneurs and new small businesses. Training topics include deciding on a business, the business plan, borrowing money, buying a business or franchise, accounting and much more. The site has a very detailed listing based on each topic. Free courses are hosted by rotary clubs across the nation. Will one be hosted online?...we'll see. Until then, visit the site and find out if one is being hosted near you.

Training and Education for Small Businesses : US Chamber of Commerce has always been a strong advocate for small business.  This site offers training materials in 35 subjects (budgets, supervision, customer service, etc.)  Material is reasonably priced, and can provide Continuing Education Credit and a Small Business Institute Certificate.

University of Massachusetts CyberEd : The alma mater of the co-founder of ColDen Communications offers great online services.  Their CyberEd distance education system
offers some of the best business courses including "Business Writing" and "Improving Your Intercultural Skills," very important subjects in today's business world.


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Engineering

ARA Engineering, Inc. : This TQM (Total Quality Management) customer driven company offers product development and engineering consultation services. They develop and analyze product designs helping your company make dreams and ideas into realities. From prototypes to full system product lines, this company has the experience to meet your specifications.

Gas Engineer Jobs: Gas engineering job vacancies from the Energy Institute.


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Financing Assistance

America's Business funding Directory: Here you will find definitions of hundreds of types of business funding available. If you're seeking capital submit your request via their simple search form. It will be compared to the lending or investing criteria of 15,000+ Sources. a list of matched potential funding sources is instantly returned to you online! Free 10 day trial & Free guide to successfully raising capital.

MortgageLoan.com Free Calculators : This site offers free calculators for financial planning. One that really caught my eye was under tax calculators for figuring your estimated self-employment tax.

Insider Reports : This site will show you how to start and finance your business. It is the source for 100's of valuable, FREE business reports. This is a great capital resource. They offer the lay person's crash course in business credit.

Canadian Grants and Loans : The SBFC's (Small Business Funding Center) mandate is to help new and existing small businesses gain access to government funding: helping young entrepreneurs gain the knowledge and tools to obtain the funding to help start-up their own practice. Coincidently, they also have an interesting and educational monthly newsletter/online database containing hundreds of articles related to various business topics and other relevant issues.

Money Hunter : This site helps small businesses get off the ground. They offer downloadable business plan templates, advice from experts, and bulletin boards for business owners and entrepreneurs. They also have an online application to tell your business story on the accompanying PBS TV show.


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Government Agencies

Bureau of Labor Statistics : You can see here how your pricing compares to the consumer Price Index.  They have an up-to-date statistical information to help in your decision making process.

FedWorld Information Network Home Page : FedWorld's home page provides a single point of contact to receive information and links to government agencies. They also have a search engine for the entire database and some government agency sites accommodating keyword and phrase searches.

GSA Regional Small Business Centers : Learn about current bidding opportunities with GSA, introduct a new item for government. Purchase or receive business counseling. If you're planning on doing business with the government you'll need to get on the GSA listing for government contracts. Here is the link to get you started.

Small Business Administration - Financing : You'll find a variety of special financing programs for small businesses.  This site includes details on all 7(a) loan guaranty programs.  Ready to complete form applications are available at this site.  The SBA also offers a financing workshop on the web.

Stafford, VA Local Government Site : This award winning government directory for information here is Stafford, VA is very well designed. Read all about the wonderful county where ColDen Communications resides.

Internal Revenue Service : Yes, we did have to include this link.  This directs you to the Internal Revenue Service Small Business and Self-Employed one stop resource. Questions regarding small business taxes will likely be found at the source.

Rural Development : This agency's site allows you to reference information on rural development.  It is important to every economic aspect of rural communities.  This is one of the most compelling rural/small town resources online...not just for the farming community.

U.S. Airforce Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization : (whew long one..) This website gives you tips on selling to the USAF offering government forms, specs and stds. I found the Mentor Protege Program to be a great resource to assist small and women owned businesses in becoming suppliers to the USAF and it's prime contractors.

U.S. Customs Service : Controls the flow of goods and services across our borders, collects duties on certain items, and enforces laws prohibiting the import or export of regulated products or technologies.  Thousands of rules and regulations are searchable.  If you're planning an overseas trip, check out Know Before You Go.

U.S. Department of Labor  : Business owners should be well aware of the minimum wage laws and when you can hire someone for less.  How to protect your pension and many other complex issues explained in their site.

U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leadership Home Page : Is there a schedule the House of Representatives will be considering this week that will effect your business? This site will tell you! They also provide up-to-date events on the house floor as they happen. Identify and/or contact your elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives from this site today!

U.S.P.S. : Mail will always remain a critical part of your Business.  The US Postal Service has information to help you save money by choosing the right sending method.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office : Any company doing serious research about patent and trademark law should view this site.  It allows you to search the database, download forms and order copies of official documents.

U.S. Small Business Administration : The focal point for small business direction and assistance from the Federal Government.  Excellent information for both the mature business owner and the budding entrepreneur.  Information on patents and trademarks, sources for capital, business plan workshops, and a shareware library all in one location.


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Home Office Resources

VetHost.com : Own your own hosting company hosting websites around the world. If you are interested in starting your own business this is a great option! The hosting business is booming and these hosting reseller packages allow you to make a nice monthly profit. Anyone that has a website needs hosting. If their current host is not meeting their support or technical needs they'll be looking for a new one! If you partner with VetHost.com your clients will find the speed, reliability and search engine placement they're seeking.

American Express Small Business Exchange : Access small business advice on loans, trade shows, as well as very useful information and tools for every phase of your business from management to expansion.

CCH Business Owners Toolkit
Their business tools include model letters, contracts, policies, forms and templates. All are ready to customize for your small business.

Entrepreneur Magazine : This site has great information on your home based business needs from start up to legal and money matters. It's all here including new ideas and home based business advice, articles and opportunities.


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Import/Export

LTD Management : Logistics consulting and import/export information. Import service for small businesses. Leveraged purchasing power for ocean shipping. Full scope of abilities to meet all shipping needs. Excellent import and export resources also available.


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Insurance

MyOwnBusiness.org :  This is a nicely built site with great information regarding what kinds of insurance coverage you may need for your business and why. There are question and answer pages, Top ten do's and don't and MUCH more regarding small business insurance needs


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International

Doing Business Internationally : Today’s rapidly expanding global marketplace offers ample opportunities for profit; however, without careful evaluation of the risks involved in conducting business internationally, a perceived “golden opportunity” can quickly turn into a costly mistake. Learn more from this website.

Exemplas : Internationalising a business takes time, effort and planning but access has never been easier. For the forward–thinking business, overseas trade holds the key to increased growth and profitability. Great site on rewards and pitfalls when expanding your market to international businesses and consumers.

globalEDGE : From country insights to global resources this site has it all! They provides current information on the business climate, news, history, political structure, economic landscape, and relevant statistical data for 196 countries. International stock exchange, statistical data and much much more. Before doing business internationally this is a must visit site!


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Legal Information

Small Business Lawyer : Find a Lawyer or Law Firm specializing in Small Business Laws. This is an easy to navigate site packed with great resources and information regarding cases including contract laws, acquisitions mergers, joint ventures, Business Frauds, Business Scams, business torts, copyright laws, trademark laws, contract negotiations and Contract reviews.

Better Business Bureau : Well known for their role as a consumer advocate, so it pays for businesses to stay on top of businesses the BBB is currently critical of and make sure they don't appear on one of their lists of bad businesses.  They also have a variety of business publications to protect businesses from vendor fraud.

LLC-USA : LLC-USA is a web site dedicated to those interested in learning more about limited liability companies.  Visitors can subscribe to an LLC forum to discuss limited liability issues and concepts.  They also list the contact names and phone numbers for the Secretary of State in all 50 states.


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Management Issues

IT Business Management Solutions : One of the best tutorial sites I've seen. This site focuses on information technology management and budgeting needs. Their self test series to evaluate your companies processes and procedures is a coming added bonus. Very comprehensive products and services relating to IT management needs are available.

Online Business Advisor : At this site you will find a wealth of free business advice. Here you will find training and information on managing people, sales management, profit enhancement, marketing, strategic planning, customer service, and a host of other business and management related topics. If you own a small business and are seeking an ongoing source of practical business advice, this site should prove to be a valuable resource for you


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Marketing/Advertising

ColDen Communications: ColDen Communications is the host of Nova Plaza.  Their marketing services are geared for the small business owner on a small business budget. You will see the services covered to help you get your website listed well in search engines so visitors needing your services can find you!

ColinMason.com: Jennifer coaches small businesses, self employed professionals, and solopreneurs in strategies for getting clients to help you earn more income. Discover what you need to know to get client's, by reading Jennifer's FREE report "What You Need to Know to Be Successful at Getting Clients"

BPlans.com : This site supplies information on marketing and business plans. They display sample plans to help you design yours and currently offer a review of your plan by an expert.

Business Lists Online Offers nationwide business listings to download from their web site. They pride themselves on offering accurate "new" business listings. Very extensive for California market and other states expanding daily.

D&B MarketPlace :  Registration is required to get to the goodies at the D&B marketPlace site, but it's worth registering.  You'll have access to reports on any U.S. Industry, by state, employment, specialty and market.  A site you won't want to miss.

The Drayton Bird Partnership : This website is a HUGE information resource, provided by one of the worlds leading direct marketing professionals, Drayton Bird. You'll find answers to 277 common marketing and direct marketing questions. Great articles and related examples and case histories also available along with theri speeches to read and advice on training.

Entrepreneur's Marketing Plan : The Small Business Administration comes through with the Entrepreneur's Marketing Plan.  Use their template to ask yourself key questions about your marketing target, competition, important economic factors that affect your business, your suppliers, your image and your pricing.

Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership : This site is provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. It offers one of the best searching functions I've seen for specific information you may be seeking. 72 search results came back with "Home-based" as the criteria. 48 of these were upcoming conferences and seminars. This is a great way to stay informed on upcoming events in your area.

NOVANNOUNCE : Enter your website in the top search engines with ONE form! A Free search engine submission service brought to you by NOVA PLAZA! Really it's one of the best multiple search engine submission services I've seen with the ability to stay on one page for submissions. The site also offers META TAG information and tips.

Linkbuddies Free Banner Exchange : Linkbuddies is a great free banner exchange service for marketing your online business site. Create a large banner (or use one of their pre-formed banners) and join linkbuddies for free and they'll give you 500 free impressions! This is the only free exchange service I've seen that allows you to "TARGET YOUR MARKET", EXCLUDE COMPETITIVE BANNERS from being displayed on your site, and target the hours you would like your banner displayed. Their online stats let you know exactly how your current banner is doing for clickthroughs.


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Mentor Programs Online

Entrepreneur.com Comes through again with A great article on what business mentoring is and how it can be effective in building and growing your small business.

Score.org is a great organization of mostly retired business people wishing to help those small business owners like you and I in their community. To find a SCORE location near you here's the link to their local offices. They also have online resources for effective business counseling.


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News Resources and Services

Utandem...A Fantastic Resource :  Tap into the knowledge of the Worlds Leading Entrepreneurial School. If you have a question on any business topic, from what I viewed; they will answer it! Obscure...test them out! They ask you to pay what you believe the value of this service is worth. It's a fantastic site to browse through. Previous questions and answers are posted. There is also a nice search function to see if your question has already been addressed.

Business Week :  This online version of the off-line source provides the full text of each current issue, including international sections not available in the printed version.

Business Wire : They promote themselves as the "global leader in news distribution".  Review up to the minute business headlines and in the Personal Web Box they cover 31 industries in ten categories.  For a small monthly fee you will get all the headlines that fit your search criteria.  They do have a free demo of this service available.

Kansas City Small Business Monthly : This is an online version of a very affordable monthly publication. In the May issue, I found fantastic articles to choose from. All articles relate to small business needs and offer sound business advice. While there, bt sure to check out the many resource links available.

PR NewsWire :  This electronic news distributor has an excellent site.  Search for the latest press releases by company name, or industry for news releases, trade show info., classifieds, and related links.  Several Online business magazines featured here as well.  ColDen Communications uses PRWire for distribution of national and regional news releases they write and edit for clients.

Small Business Advancement National Center : Located in Arkansas, this site offers a fantastic newsletter, one of the best I've seen. Very resourceful information on a wide variety of topics. Information delivered to your e-mail box on a weekly basis and best of all it's FREE.

Small Business Information : Well designed site for free resourceful information linked in about 30 small business related categories. Bulletin Board and chat as well as great spotlighted news, weekly featurs and guest experts to help your small business along the road to success.


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Resources for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Managers' Library : This extensive nonprofit library was designed to facilitate sharing of free, how-to management resources and information. Categories include starting a nonprofit, risk management and insurance, strategic planning, supervising staff and volunteers, communications skills, fundraising, grantwriting and much more.


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Patents and Copyrights

The Copyright Web Site : Property lawyer Benedict O'Mahoney explains copyright laws in a very attractive way. Browse primers on fair use, public domain and "bleeding edge" internet copyright issues.

The Law office of Lloyd L. Rich presents Publaw. Very well designed site to help you with publishing, business and intellectual property rights that may affect your business. Subscribe to their free newsletter "Publaw Update" to learn more about protecting your published material with trademarks and copyrights.

Ten Big Myths About Copyright : Yes, the myths of copyrights.  The author, Brad Templeton, also makes a special point of addressing myths about digital copyright issues.  Templeton's site can clear up confusion for those researching or registering copyrights.

Oppedahl & Larson Patent Law Web Server : This patent law firm hosts a web server with frequently asked questions and answers on patent law and other intellectual property subjects.  This site is updated on a regular basis, their newest section includes weblaw.

Peter's Patent Page : Great articles and resources provided by Peter Nieves. He writes some of the articles and has listed great resources and information pertaining to the trademark, copyright, and patent law fields.

Thomson & Thomson : An electronic clearinghouse for basic and detailed information about copyrights and trademarks including trends on the internet.  The International Guide To Trademarks is listed covering over 130 jurisdictions.


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Public Relations

All-In-One Gebbie, Inc. : The All-In-One Gebbies Media Guide is touted as being the best there is by PR Professionals. Mark Gebbie's site is just as impressive and offers a 21,000 linked listing to radio, TV, daily newspapers, weekly newspapers and magazines on the internet! "The consummate resource for mass media", quoted a government PR professional. Gebbie's NEW media software is available with a demo to download complete with TV station data. This is by far the best PR related site I've seen!


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Purchasing

OfficeMax : Here's a great small business supply house in most every part of the country. Can't beat the free shipping after purchasing $50. Office Supplies: Office Products, Paper Supplies & More for your small business.

Office Depot : This is an excellent source for stocking up on your bulk office supplies. Prior to making any large purchases, you would be wise to check this site first.

The Royal Group : For all of your packaging needs you'll find your answers here. Products that go in, on, or around a box, design and production of graphic and display packaging, sheet plants, intricate die cuts and product conversions. One of the oldest and largest independent corrugated manufacturers in the US. Very well designed and quick loading site.

Thomas Register Online Resource : Find suppliers of a wide range of industrial products and services.  Industrial Product/Service Search — Search ThomasNet.com, the most comprehensive resource for industrial information, products, services, CAD drawings, and more…


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Safety and Quality Concerns

Coastal Protective Industries: Along with a great supply of fire protection clothing, this site offers safety & OSHA related resources and links, utility related information and great links to topics covering the electrical contractor industry.

Praxiom Research Group Limited : Praxiom offers a very resourceful site pertaining to ISO quality standards requirements and guidelines. As quoted "We have translated these requirements and guidelines into plain english" They even offer an ISO Quality System Development Plan. Finally, you will find the Internal Audit Programs helpful if you are dealing iwth the ongoing ISO requirements and audits.


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Sales

Let's Talk Selling : They offer a fantastic free newsletter which highlights great sales and marketing tips. These are geared towards the sales and marketing management staff. Along with the free newsletter, Let's Talk Selling also specializes in seminars and sales products.

Inc.com Sales knowledge shared freely from cold calling, managing customer data to closing the deal! This is a great site packed with information on every topic! Sales is your most crucial aspect of your small business. Without it...you have no customers. Be sure to review all information they provide on sales management and techniques for your small business.


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Software

Business Resource Software, Inc. : You'll find the answer to your business and marketing plans here. They explain the reasons for creating such plans, provide the best software to execute these plans and the ability to examine and re-evaluate as your business grows. The software available has received numerous awards including Best Buy by Home Office Computing. Free demo version and excellent business resources offered.

Download.com : A great search function allows you to find the exact software needed for your small business. Descriptions and reviews are very helpful and you'll find smaller free software to help you grow your business and not break the budget!


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Tax Services and Information

Michael Gray, CPA : This website offers excellent articles and free reports on how to build an extraordinary small business. Excellent article on how to reduce your estate tax for a family business by 35 percent or more. I found more than 15 great free articles helping you with the success of your business. Michael also provides tax assistance and with his knowledge of small business needs, this would be a great place to turn.

National Tax Deal Negotiators : If it's gone too far for you to handle, this site will help you with resolving IRS tax problems including unfiled returns, payroll taxes, liens and audits through penalty abatements, offer in compromise and payment plans.

Tax Software : If you're small enough (or bold enough) to do your own taxes, this is the site to find your software.  You can investigate all of the options on the market.


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Temporary Services

Accountemps : This is a well-known temporary labor firm providing bookkeeping, accounting, finance, data entry, credit and collections, or payroll personnel for short or long term assignments.  This site will help you locate and office near you.

Mactemps : PC-trained employees for temporary assignments including desktop publishers, art directors, illustrators, production managers, presentation graphics experts, multimedia experts, network administrators, systems analysts, technical support, etc.  You may find one of their worldwide locations near you.


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Travel

Southwest.com : Of course you know this one but don't forget to try their rates first as they're usually the lowest and not part of expedia, orbitz, travelocity or other mass travel searches.

JetBlue Airlines This is another low cost provider if you're lucky enough to have them flying where you're heading. Leather seats, individual monitors for movies and such. I personally check JetBlue first and hope they have flights where I'm going!

Hotwire.com Ok so you can't pick your hotel. You can select the city you're going to be staying and the rate of the hotel such as three stars. Then you'll see the amenities and price of hotels offered at your destination. I've always had GREAT luck with Hotwire in getting hotels for sometimes less than half the cost that other guests pay.


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Women in Business

Advancing Women : Their business planning resource guidance covers financing, developing a system, crisis management, persistence and much more. Geared to women in business, they offer the resources & tools for networking your way to success.

Business Week Online's Women and Business : The well-known and respected publication Business Week has created an area at their site specifically for women and business.

Quick Healthy Meals: Plant Pure Foods offers quick, healthy, natural and nutritious meals that are quick to prepare. All of our meals are vegetarian, vegan, dairy free that only take minutes to prepare.

iVilliage Work from Home : This fantastic site was designed to help women who choose to work from home with their success. See their online message boards for networking and gaining knowledge or join in on daily topic chat discussions. They also offer quizzes and useful tips to get your home based business moving in the fast lane.

Online Women's Business Center : The SBA and Corporate Sponsers of this site will help you learn about business in general, information on running your business, exchange resources with other women in business. The online forums and hosted chat schedules offer fantastic information and advice all free of charge. They have a finance center and marketing mall...this very comprehensive site has it all! It will take you days if not weeks of enjoyment to just scratch the surface here. A truly remarkable site.

Small Business Administration :The Small Business Administration comes through with fantastic women's resources for all of us struggling in the "male marketplace" of business. Fantastic free publications and newsletters available, training and mentoring programs, pilot-loan programs for women-owned businesses with downloadable forms, statistics and so much more available and very easy to navigate.


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