The Path to Realising your Business Start Up Dreams

the path to realising your business dreams

If you feel that the one and only aspiration of your life right now is to start up your own business, but you do not know where to begin, then read on. You may even have other goals like that MBA or those lifestyle choices or even starting a family, yet you have this one seed idea that needs to grow and blossom into a full-fledged business; and if you know that it needs to take priority and needs your full dedication and attention, then you know in the depths of your consciousness that you need to give it your best shot and only then you have a chance of it coming true. Nevertheless, how do you pull it off? The path to realising your business start-up dreams is riddled with potholes, but this blog post tries to give you some tips to make that journey a possibility whatever your terrain.

Some people are naturally good at multitasking, whilst others like to focus on one task at a time. To start-up and run your own business, you need both, i.e. you need to balance doing a multitude of start-up activities from day to day management to social media, as well as have a focus on the end goal. You may have heard of the importance of SMART targets. Whilst it is incredibly important that your goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-based, do not let the overly mechanical nature of setting such goals ruin your creativity. Be prepared to think outside of the box, venture into new areas and take measured risks when starting your own business!

Obviously, there are the logistics and the legal stuff – make sure you do these in a correct and timely manner. Choose a business name, and a legal business structure and let HMRC (for self-employment) or Companies House (for limited liability companies) know what you are doing. Register for PAYE if you are employing someone. Sort out insurance cover and set up a business account and start accounting everything, how ever minor. Hiring professionals is always a good idea but be wary of the costs, it could affect a small business significantly. Consider your funding options if you do not have enough start up finance. Government loans are available up to £25,000 but if you have a novel idea think about pitching the idea to a business angel. And, do not forget the most important document you will write regarding your business – your business plan! It will not only help with securing funding, but will help collate your thoughts into a vision for the business.

Finally yet importantly, networking is one of the most fundamental things to do for a business. Whether you network on social media (highly recommended in current times) or prefer face to face events (also impactful), realise the importance of people to the success of your business. Contrary to popular believe a business’ goal should be more than about making money for the shareholders! Sure, that bit is super important, but if you set your business goal to increasing the well being of people, your business becomes a force with a more potent goal!

Networking is important for a successful business

5 Creative Things to Do With Your Instagram Photos (in Pictures!)

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You might have been using Instagram regularly for some time, constantly adding new content, but you will probably rarely scroll back down all the way to those precious first posts. Yet these posts are where it all started and deserve more than a throwback. They deserve to be cherished as more than an old Instagram post. Here are five creative ways to revive your old posts and cherish them forever!

Make printed Photo Books and Albums

make your Instagram post into a photo book

Make Photo Magnets

Make your Instagram photos in to magnets

Add to a Postcard Design

Turn your Instagram photos into postcards

Print on Canvas

Print your Instagram photos on canvas

Make a Photo Calendar

Turn your Instagram photos into a calendar

Running low on ink? For quality ink and toner cartridges compatible with your printer, go to the Ink N Toner UK website.

 

Printable Ludo and Snakes & Ladders!

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Play the Ludo game indoors

In our current fast-paced lifestyles, social interaction is all the more important. And playing a game without staring at the screen comes with many holistic benefits. So, if you are wondering what you and your kids should do on a rainy day, here is a printable Ludo board! Print it on card and cut it out. Assemble the die and get ready to play with your friends and family. You need 2-4 people to play. We are sure you will love it as our team at Ink N Toner UK play it during their free time!

Ludo:

Printerable Ludo game with die and counters

Ludo Instructions:

Each player gets rolls the die, the roller who gets 6 begins the game. The other players start rolling the die in a clockwise direction. To win the game a player must move all their counters to the finishing centre square first.

To enter a counter into play, a player must roll a 6. If the player does not roll a 6, the turn passes to the next player. Once a player has one or more counters in play, they can take any of their counters in play and move them forward. The number on the rolled die will determine the number of squares the chosen piece moves forward.

When a player rolls a 6, they may choose to move a counter already in play forward, or alternatively, they may enter another counter from its stationary starting position to its starting square. The rolling of a 6 earns the player an extra roll. If the extra roll results in a 6 again, the player earns another additional bonus roll. If the third roll is also a 6, the player may not move a counter, and the turn immediately passes to the next player.

If a player lands on a square they already occupy, the pair of counters form a block. Other players cannot pass or land on the block. If moving a counter forward means it ends on a square occupied by an opponent’s counter, the opponent’s counter is returned to its owner’s starting position. The returned counter may only be entered back into play when the owner rolls a 6 again.

Once a counter travels around the entire board and reaches its home column, it has to be moved towards the home. For this, a player has to roll the exact number the counter has to move in order to reach home. For example, if you roll a four, and your counter requires a move of only three squares, you have to move another counter or pass.

Want to play another game? Try this Snakes and Ladders game!

Snakes and Ladders:

Printable snakes and ladders with die and counters

Running out of ink or toner? Why not try out our range of original or compatible cartridges for your printer?

4 Recent Inspirational Indies to You Should Not Miss in Collages

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Print out these fantastic collages as posters for indie films that are currently creating a buzz. For ink and toner cartridges visit inkntoneruk.co.uk.

Colette:

Colette Indie Film Collage

Set in Paris in the early twentieth century, this film as about a woman’s fight for creative ownership against constraints in society in her time.

6.8 on IMDB

 

Mathangi/Maya/M.I.A

Maya Mathangi M.I.A Documentary Collage

This film has a mine of personal footage, which form a documentary on the Sri Lankan artist and musician known as M.I.A.

7.6 on IMDB

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind Collage

When a school boy is kicked out of school for being too poor to pay his fees, he sneaks into the library to learn how to build a windmill to save his village from a famine.

7.6 on IMDB

 

Wildlife

Wildlife Film Collage

When his father goes off to fight a raging forest fire, leaving him behind with his mother, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water.

6.9 on IMDB

Printer Security: Why It’s Important and What To Do

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Printer Security: Why It’s Important and What To Do

Printer security has been in the news over the last year, famously for the PewdiePie printer hacking incident, but is a wider issue than we seem to realise. Yet fewer than 50% of business currently protect personal identifiable information, especially in relation to printing-base processes. Multi-Function Printers (MFPs) are in fact vulnerable to attacks and thus the General Data Privacy Regulation are requesting enterprises to protect their print infrastructure from cyber attack, which could range from malicious external cyber attack to documents being left on a shared device. In both cases sensitive printed documents can end up in the hands of unauthorised recipients. Pretty much every MFP currently on the market could be a target for hackers who aim to use them as a way to access corporate networks. However, print security is generally something which is overlooked by even the largest of firms, and personal identifiable information is rarely protected.

Ensuring security should be a twofold procedure when it comes to print security. Firstly, printers must be secured, and then the printing processes must also be secured. The latter usually entails a multi-faceted approach ensuring data is protected at the print environment level. Although there is a lot of focus on data privacy, it is usually at the digital level that measures are implemented. Most businesses forget about the security risks that poor control of print-reliant processes and working culture poses. This needs to change if we want to limit risk and demonstrate compliance. So how can enterprises secure printers from the potential threats? Here are some simple tips:

The first level of security is done by applying the latest firmware updates as manufactures are trying to fix vulnerabilities including serious security issues with their printers and they might also include other features that could make your printers more secure. You can also use admin tools to make this process simpler such as HP Web Jetadmin, which is not restricted to HP printers alone. The next step you can take is to ensure you printer has an internal IP address. You can also restrict connectivity to a specific LAN. Many business printers have a PIN system whereby you can enter a PIN to start the print job. Not only does this add an extra level of security but also ensures less paper is wasted. The next crucial step is to making sure that remote printing is secure. There are other levels of security that can be implemented, such as making sure your printer’s hard disk is encrypted and if you decide to scrap a printer make sure that the hard disk is professionally wiped. If the printer is administered over the internet, then enable SSL to ensure all communications take place over https. Hopefully these tips should ensure security to an acceptable level. However, there are additional ways to approach the process of securing your printer. Getting a Secure Print Analysis from HP is a good way to start.

For affordable printer ink and laser toner cartridges for personal, home and business use, check out our low-cost ink cartridges and toner cartridges.

Printer Security, why is it important and what do you do to secure your printer

Advantages of Toner with Drum Unit Combos

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advantages of toner with drum combo

There are essentially two ways to buy consumables in the market when you consider how the toner and drum units are sold. Either they are sold together or the two components are sold separately and therefore are replaced separately.

So how do you know when it is time to replace the toner? The toner cartridge contains powder used for creating the image. When the toner is running out you will notice your prints are being inconsistent or too light, and sometimes even blank. However, the drum is the component that transfers the toner to the paper. You will know when it is time to replace the drum, as when the drum is at the end of its life, you will begin to see lines or similar errors repeated across the page. So, the obvious advantage of buying a combo is if you see both of these happening (therefore implying both need replacement) However, if only one or the other has reached the end of its life then you may believe it would be advantageous to buy separately, that is buy just the one you require, but actually you may need to replace the other too further in time.

As drum units typically tend to last much longer than toner cartridges (though this is dependent on the design), you will probably find that in most cases, it is the toner that runs out. Also if you like to buy our own brand cartridges as opposed to the OEM products (i.e. made by the manufacturer of your printer) you will more likely spend less money as refilled and generic toner are less costly and have the same life span (last as long) as original toners. Only these instances, previously it was easier to find alternatives when the toner was separate from the drum. The reason behind this is that, the manufacturer is meant to refill the toner and refurbish the drum, but usually they only refill the toner and forget about the drum. You can also buy the OEM drum if you prefer that whilst getting any of the compatible toners for your printer when you buy from us. But we have made it easier for you by matching the compatible toner with its accompanying compatible drum. We would highly recommend buying the combo, as to be honest there are really not any disadvantages to buying the combo as both the toner and drum will run out at some point anyway!

Also, toner and drum combos are great value especially if you need to replace both, but also in the instances when you need to replace only one, as the other can be kept for when the one in your printer has reached the end of its life. Check out our great value top selling toner and drum combos for Brother, Xerox, Panasonic, HP, OKI and Samsung!

Toner and Drum Combo Brother

Happy 30th Birthday World Wide Web!

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World Wide Web is 30 today

The World Wide Web has grown to the extent that we cannot now image a world without it. From education to e-commerce, it is part of our everyday lives. And it was invented on this day (12th March) thirty years ago!

It all began when Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a software engineer at CERN, realised that information could be shared on the internet* by an emerging technology called HyperText. He made a visionary proposal and later developed three fundamental technologies that to this day remain the foundations of the web, namely, HTML (HyperText Markup Language), URI (Uniform Resource Identifier also known as URL) and HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), which is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web.

Realising that the web could be made accessible to anyone, people outside of CERN were invited to join this new web community. Revolutionary ideas originally produced by the web community have found applications beyond the technology sector, spreading into a number of different fields such as politics, education, scientific research and culture.

These principles included decentralisation, non-discriminatory ideals, a bottom-up design, consensus and universality. The World Wide Web Consortium was founded later in 1994, and Tim remains the director to this day, and continues its visionary approaches to continually build a better web that serves all of humanity.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) tackle issues such as the fact that more than half the world’s population is still not able to get online as well as the risks posed by the web to privacy, democracy and rights. Fighting for digital equality, women’s rights online as well as for affordability of the internet, they are rethinking the way things are done, which may again have positive impacts on other fields.

*(The terms internet and World Wide Web are often used interchangeably, by do not mean the same thing! The internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks whereas the World Wide Web is a global collection of resources linked by hyperlinks and URLs.)

Today, Google has dedicated a Doodle to the World Wide Web for its thirtieth anniversary!

google doodle world wide web

With resources readily available at your fingertips, finding the inks and toners for your printer is just a click away! At Ink N Toner UK, we are happy the WWW exists, which means that we not only have a physical store but also an online site. Check us out at https://www.inkntoneruk.co.uk/ we have a wide range of original and compatible inks and toners for you at great prices!

world wide web birthday

So You Want to be a Photographer – Advice on Buying the Tools

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so you want to be a photographer - buying the tools

So you want to enter the world of photography but are wondering where and how to begin. Perhaps you are tight on budget, or you want to quickly accelerate to a professional level but are wondering which camera you want to start with. Though we won’t be able to explore the whole equipment range, this blog post gives you great general advice for starting out whatever your circumstances. There will obviously be other tools available but we will cover the very basics.

Firstly, you need a decent camera. Research the latest camera editions and remember to look at models just slightly older than the current ones, as they may be considerably cheaper with pretty much the same functionality.

Aside from the camera, it is vital you buy good quality lenses, as this one of the major factors that dictate the quality of the photo. Consider zoom lenses and research the effect of the different ranges offered by your viable options. A standard zoom lens might offer the focal lengths 18-55mm, which may be enough for your requirements, but if you want to take wildlife photography for example consider a greater range. As you may know the advantage of a zoom lens is the flexibility, however if you want better image quality, prime lenses should also be a part of your kit. Check out prime lens reviews and the clarity of images they would produce before you buy. Some great value lenses in the market sometimes come with slight tints, which may or may not be what you want. You may need to invest in more than one prime lens.

The next pieces of equipment are filters depending on the look you are going for. However also bear in mind that digital photos can be edited and have filters added in post-production to give the same look and feel as having used physical filters.

Next, invest in a tripod if the camera is going to be standing still in one position for a while for the photos; this may not always apply. If you need to move around a lot and need clear shots or want to record a video, consider options like a Steadicam.

Cleaning equipment and memory cards are essential but should not be difficult to choose from the options available. We sell a range of SD cards, which vary in size and capacity from 1GB to 256GB; choose one depending on you device and the quantity and quality of your photos. For a professional photographer, who usually takes photos rapidly, getting the fastest SD card is important. The same goes for if you would like to record video.

Now you are well equipped to take great photos, but what about post-production work such as editing? If you can afford an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription then the question is which of the suite to go for. Photoshop and perhaps Lightroom are essentials but are there other photo editors out there that are good alternatives. Do your research. If your objective is to print your work as opposed to post on digital channels, then make sure your editing software allows RGB to CMYK conversion so that your printout will have the colours optimised. For more information on this, read our blogpost on CMYK & RGB.

Printing out your photographs is the last but crucial step to get right. Experiment with colour and black and white prints, and invest in a good printer, photo paper, and cartridges. For a quick printing guide, checkout our blogpost ‘A Quick Printing Guide for Photographers’. Depending on your budget and requirements, you can choose from a range of available options. For example, for vivid photographs a combination of glossy paper and dye ink might be the best option. We sell quality compatible ink and toner cartridges at a fraction of the cost of the originals – these are a great alternative to original cartridges if you are short of cash. If you went for a HP printer, and want the quality of original cartridges and don’t want to go for compatibles, IBM replacement cartridges are great alternative.

Buying photography tools

CMYK & RGB Colour Models for Print & Digital Design

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CMYK vs RGB for print and digital

If you are familiar with working with digital or print design, you will probably be aware of the different colour models to utilise. RGB is an additive colour model, which means white is produced by combining all the primary coloured lights and black is the absence of light. CMYK is however a subtractive colour model and refers to the ink colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black).

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black

The CMYK model works by partially masking the colours on a lighter, usually white background. The ink, which reduces the light that would have been reflected, therefore ‘subtracts’ the colours red, green and blue from white light. This distinction between the models makes the RGB prefect for digital and CMYK ideal for print; CMYK sometimes refers to the printing process itself.

However, the range offered by RGB (its colour gamut) is larger than that of the CMYK which explains why sometimes although you design looks good on screen in RGB, the CMYK usually lacks vibrancy. Also, some colours cannot be reproduced using CMYK. As a result your print out may look a little muddied. If you are a professional photographer for example, this is obviously not the result you want.

Many constraints exist when trying to achieve the reproduction of colours that are perceived by the eye in nature. However, there are many printing processes that have be devised such as offset and lithographic printing processes, which though are still in development, already produce a more natural look.

One good advice is to make sure you only work with colours that can be printed (that is, within the CMYK gamut). For example if you are working in Photoshop, you can opt to work in the CMYK mode. However, with today’s wide format printers that have 12 ink colours, you may be able to achieve a spectrum closer to that of RGB. Canon’s imagePROGRAF PRO printer range has good options for this. You can buy printing supplies for these printers in the InknTonerUK website. Ideally, if you are concerned about the colours looking good you would opt for original inks. But, this can be very expensive, so we provide you with multipack options which will give you great savings. For example, we sell multi-packs for the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, imagePROGRAF PRO-2000, imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 and more.

CMYK vs RGB

Busting the Myth that Printing is not Sustainable!

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Printing is sustainableThe digital revolution has meant a switch over to non-paper-based communication, increasingly reinforced by penalties and supplementary charges for using paper. But has misinformation been the driving catalyst for this change? Did you know that one of the main reasons companies want to shift to electronic delivery is to save money and not necessarily be environmentally responsible. It is a well-known fact that people understand, retain and use information better when in print on paper, and paper is in fact sustainable when consumed responsibly. For example, double-sided printing in the office and collection schemes will reduce costs as well as improve sustainability. There are software packages available such as GreenPrint that isolate blank pages for example, thus reducing the number of binned sheets of paper. If companies want to save money, then investing in a printer that takes compatible cartridges easily is a good idea (most printers do). As it is often the cartridges that add to the running costs of printing, knowing your cartridge options for your particular printer becomes of paramount importance. You can search for cartridges by navigating using the make and model of your printer on the InknTonerUK website on the quick search toolbar.

The European paper industry recycles at the rate of 72% (2016 figure) – and with recycling collection systems improving this rate is set to increase. As you know, the main raw material is wood; if harvested in a carefully controlled and sustainable way, it makes printing a sustainable industry. In some countries, in particular, in the tropics, the conversion of forests to industrial plantations is a cause for concern, but that is not the case in Europe where most of our paper is sourced. In fact, European forests have increased in size by an area the size of Switzerland in just ten years. The paper, pulp and print sector is one of the lowest industrial emitters or greenhouse gasses, accounting of 1%of global emissions. And with many customers still valuing paper-based communication, it might be wise to not go entirely digital.

If you want to print in an environmentally friendly manner, but worry about the quality of your prints, rest assured that buying remanufactured cartridges from a trusted vendor like InknTonerUK would guarantee that your remanufactured cartridges would perform as well as a new cartridge. Look our for the pink ‘premium’ label on the products on the site for premium remanufactured products. Compatible cartridges on the other hand are great value alternatives for everyday use.

Minimise environmental impact by printing consciously