Ways to Celebrate Your Start-up’s First Anniversary

cakeAfter all the blood, sweat and tears you put into your start-up over the last twelve months, you can’t believe the day is finally here: Your company’s first anniversary. This big achievement is worth a hearty celebration; no matter if it’s been a long, hard road or you were an instant success. It’s time for you to plan something to mark the occasion and pull together all the people who made it possible for you to be standing here today. Here are a few ideas to help get you brainstorming.

Host a Party

The most obvious thing to do is to plan a party. You can make it a small, intimate affair for your employees and co-workers or open it up to your clients so they can come celebrate with you, too! If you’re not sure where to host a get-together like this, consider renting a Davinci meeting room so you can accommodate everyone you want to invite.

Conquering the “Loop” in Chicago

chicago-hancock-webAll those late hours you’ve invested into your work have begun to pay off, and now you’re ready to soar into the Windy City to set up the next phase of your business venture. Challenges lie ahead, but by setting your sights on Chicago, the city with the nation’s third largest GDP, you’ve already proven that you’ve got the hunger and drive it takes to succeed.

One word describes the advantage you’ll enjoy when your work takes you to Chicago: proximity. Setting up shop in the Heart of America puts you at the center of action, close to major leaguers like Boeing, Walgreens, Sears, and McDonald’s. The international hub is also home to standout start-up companies like Groupon, Orbitz, and Careerbuilder. It’s no wonder that Chicago’s central business district is known as “The Loop.” Opportunities for connecting with the city’s inner circle of industry leaders abound.

The Flavor of Success in Belgium

brussel-sprout-webIf you’ve ever wondered whether Brussels sprouts first came from Brussels, Belgium, the short answer is yes, they probably did, and it’s easy to find them in the city itself. Who wouldn’t want to eat Brussels sprouts in Brussels itself? Of course, that is just one of the many foods Belgium is known for, along with Belgian waffles, Belgian chocolates, and Brussels-brewed lambic beer. The city has built itself a richly-deserved reputation for hosting a variety of tastes, but this isn’t limited to the food market.

Tax Refunds to Keep in Mind for Your Small Business

tax-webWhen you’re an up-and-coming entrepreneur, you naturally focus on improving your bottom line, and believe or not, tax time offers you opportunities to do just that. While you can’t avoid paying taxes completely, there are numerous deductions you can take to hold onto more of your hard-earned cash. Grab your accounting books, gather up your receipts, and make sure that haven’t missed these four money-saving deductions.

Take Advantage of the Capital Expenditure Deduction

If you purchased new computers, software, vehicles, or manufacturing equipment in 2013, you may be in for a pleasant surprise. As part of the fiscal cliff deal in January 2013, Congress extended the Section 179 Deduction, which allows small business owners to deduct up to $500,000 in qualified capital expenditures. In 2014, the annual deduction amount drops to $25,000.

Soaring above the Competition in Toronto

soar-webYou have left the nest and you are ready to soar. As a young entrepreneur, you are full of big dreams and ideas. Now it’s time to put them into action. You’ve set your sights on Toronto. Not only is it a popular draw for visitors from around the world, it’s also a powerhouse. As Canada’s business capital, Toronto can open the door to opportunity. The government has rolled out the welcome mat and savvy business owners have responded in a big way. This is the place for start-ups and anyone ready to try innovative ideas. Listed as one of the top ten financial centers in the world, you can put your money where your mouth is by diving in. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a piece of the pie to get a taste. Try Davinci meeting rooms to take advantage of this prime location.

“Raining” in Business Opportunities in Seattle

rain-webMost people think of Seattle and think about grunge music, coffee houses, and rain. When you think of this city, however, you see the enormous potential for technology, entertainment, and well, rain. While it never stays dry for long, Seattle is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to start a new business, or have an established business get noticed.

Of course, if your company doesn’t already have an established presence in Seattle, you need to be there. High tech companies are flocking to the area to get away from the high rent and cost in Silicon Valley. The area is the place to film new movies and television shows. Even manufacturing companies love the lower cost of living and proximity to major transportation lines. While you’re looking for a building to set up your operation, however, you’re still going to need a place to conduct meetings.

Tips for Being the New Employee

professional-woman-webWhen it comes time to start your new job, you might have just one goal in mind: don’t get fired. Once you’ve settled the nerves and are on your way from the lobby to your new desk, remember a few of these tips for a successful beginning as the new employee of the office.

Dress Like Your Co-Workers (or slightly above)

If you can never figure out the right thing to wear to work, take a cue from your co-workers Copying their style means you’ll always be appropriate and dressed for success. Dressing too far above them could cue jealousy or annoyance, which isn’t going to win you allies in the office. However, there’s nothing wrong with dressing a shade up from their standard ware. If the style of dress is a hoodie and jeans, showing up with jeans and a blazer over a t-shirt is a subtle way of sticking out, without rocking the boat.

Zipping and Zagging to the Top in Denver

ski-webYour skis land with a muffled “whump!” as you drop down off the lift. The view up here is spectacular: the sun glitters in tiny rainbows off the snow, and the distant mountains form almost cathedral-like shapes. Maybe it’s just the thin air, but for a moment you wonder if you might be in heaven. How is this possible just a quick shuttle-ride from downtown Denver?

You pause before pushing off with your poles, sucking in the cold, clear air. Suddenly, the best business idea you’ve ever had hits you like an avalanche: You’ll bring your clients here, to Colorado, where you can combine your work with play in a series of long ski weekends. Denver’s a great place to do business, with a thriving economy and a great, youthful vibe. The city’s perfectly situated between the west coast and the big manufacturing centers of the mid-west. It’s consistently ranked as one of the country’s best places for business. And on top of all that, it’s surrounded by gorgeous forests, mountains and parks.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of London’s Booming Business Potential

sherlock-webYou’re sitting in a pub with a view of the Thames, the London Eye turning slowly in the background. Your plate of curry and chips is almost empty; the Brazil vs. South Africa game rages on the telly behind the bar, and a French guy at the next table begins an anecdote about his travels in Greenland. Suddenly it hits you: London is the perfect city for the series of seminars on your company’s international business! It’s friendly and hip, but also the most modern and international city you’ve ever been in.

Four Smart and Simple Ways to Welcome a New Employee

coffee-webA smart, qualified, and optimistic individual is reporting to your office tomorrow. You want to let them know they made the right decision by choosing to work for you. How you welcome a new employee could set the tone for a very long career. Here are four simple ways to get a new employee off on the right foot with your organization:

Coffee and Bagels

A new employee has a lot of introductions to make on their first day. You can get curiosity out of the way by hosting a brief breakfast introduction for your department. A formal introduction will prevent an employee from being interrupted for introductions throughout a critical first day of training and orientation.

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