The holiday season is approaching, and this presents a lucrative opportunity for your small business. As you market your products to potential buyers and plan out your holiday deals, you should also take a second look at your shipping methods. All too often, small business owners make small mistakes that inhibit efficiency.

“Of course, there are many responsibilities that require the attention of new entrepreneurs while launching a business, and any number of ways to reduce costs in other aspects of the business,” Peter Gasca writes in Entrepreneur. “Shipping, however, can account for as much as 25 percent of your overall costs, so why don’t more entrepreneurs dedicate resources to managing it?”

By analyzing your current shipping practices, you will likely find places for improvement. This guide will help you spot where these gaps are hiding.


Minimizing Shipping Cost

How financially efficient are your shipping methods? There are ways to make transporting goods more cost effective for you and your customers.

  • Take advantage of flat rate shipping. Ignoring flat rate options could have you paying more than you need to for shipping. You could streamline shipping costs and make your inventory tracking easier.
  • Make your packaging more effective. Do you have your goods in the smallest possible packaging? You may be using a box to send your custom made scarves when you could be shipping them in a mailbag.
  • Work with a shipping consultant. A shipping consultant can advise which methods of shipping make the most sense for your business model. This way, you can pair cost-effectiveness with efficiency.

Shipping More Quickly

It’s also important to consider the speed at which you are able to ship your goods. This is especially important during the holidays since people expect their packages by a certain time. One of the best ways you can assess your current shipping model is to use modern tracking software. You might also consider using a similar software to cross-check customer addresses. This will help you spot shipping inaccuracies, reducing the probability of the package getting lost. A shipping consultant can also help you analyze the speed of your shipping.

Lowering Your Environmental Impact

In today’s world, eco-friendly shipping is key. This involves the type of shipping you use, as well as the materials in your packaging. You can select recycled boxes and bags for more eco-friendly transportation. By making your shipping practices as green as possible, you may also appeal to a conscious audience.

Efficient shipping practices are key to customer satisfaction. When you ship in a quick, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly manner, you can make your business stand out among your competition. And these customers will hopefully return next season.

Market Mommy is thrilled to have Beleave Teas included in our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide! Read on to learn more about the great herbal tea options they have to offer for kids!

Their Children’s Herbal Teas are naturally tasty for your little ones yet gentle on their developing digestive systems. Only the very best ingredients are blended together to make these herbals yummy and tummy friendly.

Steeping Instructions: When making Herbal Teas for children, we suggest bringing the water to a full boil and then steeping for 2-3 minutes. You can steep for less time if it seems too strong to your child. We also recommend letting the Herbal Teas cool down to room temperature before serving or add ice. Children’s mouths are not as accustomed to hot drinks.

Here are 3 reasons why you can feel good about giving Herbal Teas to your children. 

1.They are naturally caffeine free: The great majority of Herbal Teas in the world are naturally caffeine free. There are a few like Yerba Mate that do contain caffeine, but they are in the minority.

2.They are naturally sugar free: Many Herbal Teas such as Rooibos have a natural sweetness that kids will love. Some are blended with fruits that contain fructose but the amounts are dramatically less than other children’s beverages. The best part is that you are in control.

3.They can be served warm or cold: Herbal Teas make a delicious warm drink for your little ones but they are also wonderful iced. Can you say that about any of the other beverages marketed to kids?

Visit the Beleave Teas website for more information, or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest!

Calzico. Designed by a mom and her tween, CALZICO brand for tween girls includes versatile pieces with convertible or reversible features in sizes 6-8 through 12-14.

Beleave Teas. Our Children’s Herbal Teas are naturally tasty for your little ones yet gentle on their developing digestive systems.

LuLaRoe is the most comfortable and stylish clothing.  We carry women sizes XXS to 3XL.

Butterfly Designs by Kristi. My main speciality is t-shirts and onesies but I also offer socks, pillowcases, coffee mugs, signs, santa sacks and other holiday decor.

FlexJobs is the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs.

I am Beautiful. Every girl needs to know that she is beautiful and it all starts with us as moms!

Arbonne. At Arbonne, we have been on a green journey for 37 years and always will be.

Forever Vintage offers vintage and unique designed jewelry by Plunder Design at reasonable prices.

Forever Vintage offers vintage and unique designed jewelry by Plunder Design at reasonable prices.

JuneBee Baby, Inc. specializes in artisan clothing for infants and toddlers.

At Magic Carpet Corner, you’ll find some of the best gifts given are education, excitement, and imagination!

Namely Newborns offers timeless baby gifts and save $10 with coupon code SAVE10.

Cuddle + Kind. We are a family of five on a mission to feed children in need.

My Sanctuary Shop. Your refuge from big box shopping. Accessories, gifts and home decor that do more.

Trades of Hope is all about empowering women out of poverty through sustainable Fair Trade business.

Cricket Stitches is your one stop shop for all of your personalized gifts.  Promo code: FREESHIP17

Wonder Crate: Fun games, activities and books that promote social emotional learning for kids ages 4-8.

CW HEMP EXTRACT -The Worlds Most Trusted Hemp Extract. Maintain balance through the daily chaos of life with a hemp extract boost!

Dainty Heirlooms are event Stylists servicing event requests: Planning, DOC, DJ, Lighting, Venues, B. Miztvahs, Floral, and Wedding Attire.

Braces for adults have increased in popularity in recent years. However, many adults prefer to avoid traditional metal braces whenever possible. For those who would like to straighten their teeth in a discreet manner, Invisalign is the way to go.  

Benefits of Invisalign 

Invisalign offers adults a variety of benefits that traditional metal braces simply cannot provide them with. Firstly, Invisalign aligner trays can be removed for short periods of time so that adults can eat, drink, and clean their teeth without any issues or discomfort. 

Next, Invisalign aligners do not feature any metal or sharp wires that may irritate the mouth. Lastly, Invisalign requires less visits to the orthodontist, making it an excellent option for adults who lead a busy lifestyle.  

Invisalign Process 

The Invisalign process almost always begins with a complimentary consultation from a certified Invisalign orthodontist. During this time, you can find out whether Invisalign is ideal for your particular situation.

In the event that you and your orthodontist decide to move forward with Invisalign, a digital 3D model of your teeth will be created using x-rays, impressions, and photographs of your teeth. Then, your orthodontist will use cutting-edge software to map out your precise tooth movements and figure out how long your treatment will take. During each stage of your treatment, you’ll be able to see a virtual representation of the movement of your teeth.

Once your treatment plan is created, you will receive aligner trays. Each tray must be worn for a two week period for at least 22 hours a day. Although you can remove your aligner trays to eat, drink, brush, and floss, understand that keeping your aligners out of your mouth for more than 22 hours a day can prolong your treatment. You will visit your orthodontist every four to six weeks so that your progress can be monitored.

Invisalign is a safe, effective alternative to metal braces that every adult should consider. If you are wondering if Invisalign is right for you, contact Gladwell Orthodontics at 919-453-6325 to schedule a complimentary Invisalign consultation.

Thanks to CEREC technology, a strong, custom-fitted, tooth-colored crown can be created and set on the very same visit. In only 15 minutes, the CEREC machine will use a virtual impression to sculpt your ceramic crown. 

What to Expect From CEREC Crowns 

At Wells Family Dentistry, we understand you lead a busy life. You are likely juggling work, children, household chores, hobbies, and social events, making CEREC crowns ideal. When you opt for CEREC same day crowns, you can expect the following: 

  • The chance to save as much of your natural teeth as possible
  • Strong crowns that last for years
  • No need for temporary crowns
  • Time and money savings

CEREC Crowns vs. Traditional Crowns 

The most significant difference between CEREC crowns and traditional crowns is the convenience they offer. If you visit our office with a cracked, damaged, or broken tooth, we can repair it that day with a CEREC crown so that you can feel comfortable once again. In addition, you’ll find that CEREC crowns match your natural teeth and last for years to come.

The CEREC Process

Once you come in for a CEREC crown, your dentist will answer any questions you may have about the procedure. Then, they will use a 3D imaging camera to capture a video of your tooth. Next, your crown will be designed using a proprietary CEREC machine. Lastly, your dentist will bond the crown to your teeth.

Caring for Your CEREC Crown

If you do receive a CEREC crown, you will care for it the same way you would care for your natural teeth. Simply brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis and visit the dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning.

With CEREC crowns, you can enjoy amazing results in minimal time. For more information on CEREC same day crowns, you should contact Wells Family Dentistry at 919-266-5332.


If you are in need of dental crowns or bridges in Denver, visit our sponsor Mile High Smiles.

Tooth fillings are designed to restore cavities so that they won’t evolve into larger issues down the road. They repair fractures and cracks in your teeth in addition to filling in small holes that are caused by tooth decay. These days, most fillings are comprised of composite materials.  

Although a trained and experienced dentist is the only individual who can let you know whether or not you need a tooth filling, there are several signs and symptoms that can inform you that you may have a cavity and require a filling. If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible:

  • Tooth sensitivity when a certain tooth is exposed to sticky, sweet, or sour foods or hot or cold temperatures
  • Throbbing or sharp pain in your tooth
  • Tooth pain when you chew your food or bite down
  • Food that is constantly stuck on or between certain teeth
  • A dark spot on your tooth or a hole that you can feel with your tongue
  • A feeling of roughness on your tooth
  • A chipped or fractured tooth
  • An existing tooth filling that is broken

Keep in mind that even if you don’t experience any of these signs and symptoms, you may still have a small cavity. When left untreated, a small cavity can evolve into a more serious issue in the future. Since tooth decay can come on when you least expect it and many people do not realize they have a cavity, you should make it a top priority to visit your dentist every six months.  

By doing so, you can find out if you have decay prior to any signs and symptoms developing. In addition, your dentist can fill any cavities you may have so that you won’t need a root canal at a later time. 

Visit Wainright & Wassel  

If you are wondering whether you need a filling, you should schedule an appointment at Wainright & Wassel DDS, a top-rated dentist office in the Raleigh area. Call us today at 919-847-1322.


This post is supported by Lane and Associates Family Dentistry. Their comprehensive approach to dental care has been helping people in North Carolina for nearly 40 years. If you are in the Durham area and in need of dental assistance, please check them out.

It’s no secret that running any type of small business requires consistent reevaluation of current and existing marketing concepts and strategies. This is especially the case for spas and salons, which definitely need an “on trend” brand to succeed. Spa Business magazine reports that 83% of millennials — the generation that loves technology the most — go to a spa less than five times a year, which means there’s a major opportunity to speak to and engage these young customers.

So instead of cutting your losses and targeting an older demographic, there are plenty of ways to engage with a younger audience through digital media strategies. Here are just a few of 2017’s best millennial-targeted Instagram marketing ideas perfect for salons and spas.

Instagram Giveaways

For businesses related to the beauty industry, Instagram is a majorly beneficial social media site because it’s all about aesthetics. Get your spa and its services noticed by posting frequent before and after photos of any clients who are willing to share their results and experience. Every so often, create a custom hashtag, ideally with your business’ name to promote brand awareness. Prompt followers to use the hashtag in a response to a prompt, such as submitting a photo, sharing a spa experience, or creating a video. Then, choose a winner to receive a prize like a gift card or voucher for a free service. Not only can this cause the winner to become a longtime customer, but every contest entry is more free marketing for your spa.

Integrate Social Media Platforms To Maximize User Experience

Some businesses may see it as a bit too self-promotional, but it makes perfect sense to advertise your spa’s other digital media channels on a significant amount of its Instagram posts. People’s faith in a business rises when they see how connected it is to the digital realm. Not only that, but any follower of a follower on Instagram who sees and enjoys even just one post from your spa’s page can then stay connected through other channels without even having to look for them. An intuitive user experience is essential to any successful business tactic.

Communicate Seasonal Specials

Finally, it’s important to keep your spa’s Instagram updated with the latest specials or promotions, even if they change on a daily or weekly basis. Similarly, your spa should strive to constantly expand the products and services it offers. For example, cosmetic industry figures find that laser hair removal is the most popular aesthetic procedure for women under the age of 35, and is second only to Botox for women over 35-years-old. If your spa can offer these services and communicate related promotions in an engaging way that the audience can relate to, you’re bound to secure more long term customers.

Ultimately, understanding these ideas and applying them to your spa’s Instagram strategy is an investment into brand awareness and overall customer engagement and satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques that resonate with both millennials and older generations.