Are you spending too much on office supplies?

Running your own business provides the type of freedom that many people spend years dreaming of. And if it is a home-based enterprise, you have the added bonus that costs and overheads are kept to a minimum. It all sounds great, until you look at the bank statement at the end of the month and ask yourself just where all that money is going.

The problem is that whether it is in a traditional corporate environment or a room at the back of your home, an office soaks up money in consumables. Generally, it is more in the form of small drips than major floods. However, that is only the more dangerous, as those expenditures are harder to spot, yet they can still add up to a significant dent in your bottom line. 

If you’re scratching your head as to how you’re managing to spend so much on office supplies, here are some areas to look at that might just alleviate the problem. 

Paper

An office gets through lots of paper. That might come as a surprise in this largely online world, but it is true, and it goes to show that we are not quite as paper-free as you might think. In part, however, our use of paper is down to habit rather than necessity. Some people still prefer to read a hard copy of a document, as opposed to simply viewing it on a screen. 

If that’s because they want to make ink annotations, fair enough, but if it really is simply to print it, read it then throw it in the recycling, it is a habit that you should encourage them to break. Also, adopt a policy of printing double sided, or of placing waste sheets face down in the printer feed so that they can be reused. 

Ink

Reduce the amount of printing, and you won’t just save paper, you’ll also use less ink. It is one of life’s ironies that while today’s printers are incredibly cheap, their consumables can still cost a fortune, especially if you buy direct from the manufacturer. It is both cheaper and easier to buy Canon ink from third parties, and they typically stock cartridges for other major manufacturers such as HP, Epson and Xerox, too. 

Desktop stationery

A basic fact of life is that you can never find a pen when you need one, and this is particularly the case when you operate a business. You can order pens, staplers and so on in bulk, but the problem is that if you employ staff, they can start to assume there is a magical and inexhaustible supply. The result? A few weeks later, you are having to order more. 

You don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill and start rationing out paperclips, but if you choose wisely and give one person the responsibility for stocking, distributing and reordering stationery, there is a 100 percent guarantee that people will take better care of it, and what was lasting only six weeks will suddenly keep you going for six months! 

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4 Reasons Why You Should Write Your Notes

In spite of all the technology available to jot down information like important notes, there are still many reasons to take what feels like a step backward and write your notes by hand.

You may look at the abundant stash of digital equipment you’ve gathered to support your business enterprise goals and wonder, “Why would I let this amazing technology go to waste?” Quite simply, there are some tasks that benefit from a more traditional — or some may even consider it old school — approach. More importantly, you don’t have to completely abandon your technology in your quest to take truly beneficial notes, as you will soon discover.

Consider these four important reasons why you should write your notes:

1. It Is an Effective Method of Learning, Absorbing and Retaining Information

Research shows that hand writing notes is one of the most effective ways to study and retain new information. According to a study published in Psychological Science, taking notes by hand requires extra processing of the material written. The reason for this seemingly simple phenomenon is that committing information to paper through writing stimulates a part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS serves as a filter for all that your brain needs to process, prioritizing the information upon which you are immediately focused.

Essentially, writing your notes means you may find it at least slightly less likely to refer to them in the future, thanks to better retention. Your new associates and business prospects will appreciate your sharp memory and attention to detail.

2. Hand Writing Can Help to Improve Any Necessary Content for Your Business

If any aspect of your home-based business requires writing tasks and capabilities, such as writing blog posts to support your website, note that writing by hand can help you improve your writing skills. Writing out an early draft, or even just jotting down notes from your research, can help you gain a better understanding of the topic, how it relates to your business and the best approach to writing the post. Think of all the outlines you wrote out in school and how useful they were to guiding your writing. The same benefits are there, no matter how much or little writing you do for your business.

3. You Can Use Your Tablet or Smartphone to Write Your Notes

You can have the best of all worlds with the right electronic devices to support your business goals. A mobile phone along with its accompanying smart writing stylus is a prime example of tech gadgetry that lets you do it all. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note8’s intelligent S Pen lets you write, draw and even doodle with incredible accuracy. You get the sensation and memory retention benefits of hand writing while still being able to save every document for future reference.

4. Writing By Hand Helps You Maintain Focus

It is easy to become distracted during meetings, training sessions and seminars if you are not an active part of the event. If you pull out your laptop to jot down a few notes, you may find yourself wandering over to Facebook or answering a few emails. Using pen and paper — or the electronic equivalent — to dash out ideas can help you stay focused, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Whether you are drafting your notes with a classic pen and legal pad combination, or a smartphone and stylus, you will discover a newfound depth that can help bolster your daily business practices.

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Success on a Shoestring – How to Build a Healthy Business on a Small Budget

In today’s economy, growing a successful business is an accomplishment of which you can be proud. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks to starting a business these days is the fact that it probably won’t see a profit for quite some time. However, finding cost-effective ways to grow a healthy business can be easier than you think. To establish a viable venture, you must be smart with its budget. Below is a short guide on how to do just that:

Have a Plan

Every good business starts with an idea, which evolves with a solid plan. Your business plan should include specific details for how things will operate. For instance, will your company trade from a brick-and-mortar building or will you explore virtual office solutions to cut costs? When you have a clear vision of the path to success, it’s much easier to get the job done.

Don’t Obsess About What the Competition is Doing

Yes, it’s important to know what your competition is up to but you don’t want to become totally fixated on them. Instead, focus on managing your bottom line and what you can do to be more attractive to customers than the other guys. Believe in the unique advantages and value that you offer, rather than attempting to mimic the competition and becoming just another me-too. It’s crucial to understand that every business, even those operating in the same market, can and should have different ways of serving their clients. If you don’t find ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you won’t be able to grow.

Automate Tasks

You can save your business a lot of money by automating tasks rather than hiring employees to do them. In today’s “there’s an app for that” environment, things like inventory, communications, sales activity, accounting and more can be managed virtually, at huge savings.

Foster Good Supplier Relationships

Regardless of the type of business you run, you must rely on others to make it successful. From inventory to office supplies, the people from whom you purchase your stock and supplies should receive high priority. Go out of your way to build a friendly rapport with them, and they’ll be more apt to extend a line of credit that frees up short-term capital for other productive uses.

Figure Out Where to Cut Costs

Growing a business on a tight budget is tricky, but not impossible. The key is to figure out what expenses are necessary, and which ones you can do without. For example, do you listen to music in the office? If so, is that Spotify subscription a necessity or can you just turn on the radio instead?

Cutting costs anywhere you can – even those that seem minimal – can free up funds for more important things that will contribute to the growth of your business.

Use Social Media to Market Your Business

Marketing can be expensive, and there’s no way around having to do it. Fortunately, social media is a very cost-effective way to market your business to the masses. While you’ll still have to spend money to advertise on social media if you’re prepared to put in the work, it can be much cheaper than most other forms of marketing. As your company grows, so should your marketing budget, which will open other channels for building your brand.

Just because you don’t have a huge budget, doesn’t mean you can’t experience business success. By implementing the tips above, you can build a healthy business, even on a shoestring.

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Leadership: Putting an end to the Classic Myths

It’s become something of a buzzword in the industry over the last few years, with umpteen autobiographies and business journals really putting a spin on the term “leadership”.

In truth, this isn’t something that you can pick up a book and learn in a flash. Sure, if you were to turn to the best online MBA, you would probably see some real progress, but a lot of people rely on pure experience over a long period of time.

The problem with a lot of the autobiographies is that they are very opinion-based. In the business world especially, there are a lot of opinions doing the round. This, in turn, creates a lot of misconceptions which can cloud the issue of leadership somewhat.

Bearing this in mind, today’s post is going to tackle some of these leadership myths, and highlight what’s really true about the elusive L-word.

“Leaders have to be born”

This is one of the most ridiculous myths of all. There’s no doubt that every person in the world is born with a different personality, and some of these personality types will be associated with leadership more than others.

However, to suggest that leaders can’t be made would be a gross inaccuracy. Many believe that leaders are created through the circumstances that they find themselves in. There will be occasions when they naturally find themselves in said circumstances, and others where they strategically place themselves in these situations to try and develop themselves. To coin the same example, studying for an MBA is a case of someone aiming to creep out of their comfort zone and ultimately develop their leadership qualities.

“Leaders will never delegate the important tasks”

This is another myth that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the most important things that a leader needs to be able to do successfully is delegate. This is a point that few would disagree with.

It’s plain wrong to suggest that leaders won’t delegate the most important tasks on their agenda though. On the contrary, they will find the right person to do the job. In some situations, this might involve them carrying out the task themselves, but on others they will be more than happy to delegate accordingly.

“Leaders are imposing and charismatic”

One of the biggest stereotypes of leaders is that they are imposing figures that are full of charisma. The main reason behind this misconception is that it’s these types of leaders which tend to find themselves in the public domain. In other words, they put themselves in the shop-window, and everyone else thinks that there is no other way to be a leader.

However, if we were to view leaders around the world, the overriding characteristic would be influence. Some might do this through more vocal ways than others, but the key attribute beneath everything is the ability to influence others. Others will respect them, and it’s not necessarily for the way that they portray their ideas.

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8 Things to Research Before Becoming A Franchise Owner

If you’ve decided that you’d rather buy into an already-successful franchise than risk starting your own business, there are some things you should know before you go ahead with your decision. Fast food franchises, such as Quiznos, Checkers and Wendys, for example often encourage individuals like you to buy into the franchise, but it’s up to you to do your homework before investing. You would own your own location, run your own store and be your own boss. You would be responsible for hiring and firing employees, and you would get to learn how to run a business. You’d of course have to pay a royalty to the franchise corporation, but the rest of the profits from your location’s sales would belong to you. Opportunities are abundant when it comes to being a franchise owner, and you just have to do your research to ensure that you are buying into a reputable franchise with strong brand power and a loyal customer base. Here are 8 things you need to research about a franchise before buying into it.

  1. Do customers love them? It’s crucial that you research how popular this franchise is before buying into it. Do the customers love it? Do customers leave positive reviews about the food? Quiznos, for examples, is known for its quality and customers can’t stop talking about how fresh the ingredients are and how flavorful the sandwiches are. And yes, there currently are Quiznos franchise opportunities.
  2. How strong is their brand power? In other words, how well known are they? How strong is their brand? How successful are their marketing campaigns? If their brand is in good standing, reputable, widely recognized and positively regarded, that’s a great thing.
  3. How many franchises do they have? It’s better to buy into a franchise that doesn’t have too many locations. For example, there’s a Starbucks on every corner, and several Starbucks locations compete with each other (they compete with their neighbor two blocks away). If there are less locations, there is less competition.
  4. What locations are available? When it comes to owning a franchise, three words come to mind: location, location, location. It definitely matters what location is available for you to buy. It would be amazing to get a location near a business district (hello, lunch breaks!) or near a university, or on a busy street that gets a lot of foot traffic. Sometimes the locations that are off of a busy highway do quite well also. Definitely put some serious time into researching the location.
  5. How reasonable are the costs? Owning a franchise comes with costs. You’ll have to pay for employees, inventory, equipment and more. You’ll also have to pay a royalty (franchise fee) to the franchise corporation. Research these costs to make sure they aren’t completely unreasonable. You should decipher what your total investment costs will be before you make your decision.
  6. How long will it take to break even? Since owning a franchise involves some up-front costs, you should research how long it will take to break even. The reason this is important is because you don’t truly start profiting from the business until you break even. Sometimes, this can take awhile. You have to be willing to wait to see the profits.
  7. What is the earning potential? Your research should include an attempt to figure out how well a franchise owner in a comparable location is doing. You should ask leading questions to figure out what your earning potential could be if you buy into this franchise.
  8. What level of support does the franchise corporation offer? Support is key, and many franchise corporations offer an incredible level of support to their individual franchise owners. Support comes in the form of instructions, guidance, materials, deals on equipment, negotiations on your behalf, advice, etc. Ask the franchise corporation what they offer in terms of support.

 

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5 Things To Spend Your Inheritance Money On To Guarantee That Your Fortune Grows

If you’ve been fortunate enough to come into a large inheritance, it goes without saying that the question of how do I spend all this money, is a very good problem to have. It’s crucial that you think before you spend and get advice from professionals. That means no big impulse purchases during your celebratory phase when you first receive the money, even if it’s burning a hole in your pocket. Every single purchase beyond your regular daily expenses should be carefully thought about. There are also clever things you can do with your inheritance money, such as smart investments, that will guarantee that your fortune not only lasts, but that it also grows.

Spend money on a reputable financial advisor. The best way to hold onto sudden wealth is long term, strategic planning. Your fortune will erode much faster than you expected if you don’t get that cash managed. People often overspend to the point where they’d have to actually have inherited three times that amount in order to be able to spend that much. Financial planners often have people come to them years after they inherited their fortune, because they’re shocked at how quickly it’s depleting and they get scared into seeing a planner. So, why not just spend some good money hiring a good financial advisor from the very start? Seems wise. They can guide you as far as what funds to invest in, and how to plan strategically for the long term growth of your fortune.

Invest in home real estate. Yes, when you have money, you should invest in an asset such as home real estate, in a location that is in predictable demand. You shouldn’t necessarily live in your investment. Home owners can often profit off tenants paying rent that is higher than their mortgage, all the while having their tenants pay off an asset that they own.

Invest in a franchise. Investing in a franchise can really pay off in the long run, and it’s an investment you can safely profit off of. One of the reasons why so many people who want to do this end up not doing it, is because investing in a franchise does requires some significant upfront costs. If you have the money, however, it can be a fantastic investment. Being a franchise owner offers consistent income, and the sales at your location are yours to keep aside from a royalty fee paid to the franchise corporation. If your franchise is a reputable business with strong brand loyalty (such as a Checker’s franchise or a Quiznos franchise) and your location is a good location with lots of foot traffic, you could see your investment grow far past the point of breaking even, into some serious profits. You’ll be strategically supported by the franchise corporation for the entire time you are in business, and you’ll be investing in a tried and tested market that already is doing well. This is a clever investment and a good way to spend some of your inheritance.

Put some of it in an RRSP or 401(k) plan. If your goal is to put a chunk of the inheritance away, saved for retirement, then you should contribute a large chunk into your RRSP or 401(k). One of the smartest things you can do with inheritance money is put a large portion of it into your retirement account. Your retirement fund is tax-sheltered, and the contributions you make to it are tax deductible. The fact that your contributions into your own savings account can actually lower the amount of tax you owe at the end of the year makes it a very intelligent investment.

Pay off debts. Having debt will only hurt you in life, which is why you should use some of your inheritance money to pay off your debts. First of all, you’ll be happier once your debts are gone. You’ll sleep better at night, and you’ll feel less stressed because that huge weight is off your shoulders. Secondly, being debt- free puts you in a position of having good credit, which leads to more opportunities. Considering how much interest costs on your debt, by paying it down to zero, you’ll ultimately save yourself thousands and thousands of dollars in interest you’d otherwise pay over the years. Just because you can’t see the savings, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

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Andrew Argue Course Cost: What Are You Paying For?

Everyone wants the facts before they commit to any purchase. Thanks to how we all conduct our reviews before committing to a purchase, we’re able to go in-depth and really explore the pros, cons, and the overall costs. Everyone has the power to be informed, but when it comes to items that don’t have a retail price tag, such as the cost of working with Andrew Argue, then things get a little interesting.

Who is Andrew Argue?

If you’ve ever looked up an Andrew Argue course review, then you’ve had a chance to peruse everything you get when you hop into one of his webinars or attend a private consulting lesson. Andrew’s students are out there, dominating the playing field with their newfound tax knowledge and business sense.

Andrew Argue claims he can help grow your accounting or tax business. Here at HomeBusinessWiz.com, were a little skeptical of this claim. When you are working from home and creating your own tax or accounting business, being super profitable is everything. If someone were to approve you and tell you they could help grow your business leaps and bounds, most people would doubt them. So we looked deeper into Andrew Argue and what he offers.

What Does Andrew Argue Offer

If you’re sizing up the price and trying to figure things out, the Andrew Argue cost is going to surprise you. Everyone likes to know exactly what they’re paying for, so Andrew Argue custom tailors everything to your specific needs. He understands that there’s no simple solution that applies to everyone. His students are out there commanding their businesses and building seven-figure incomes, and he taught them what they needed to know.

Argue offers a free, yes free, online mini-webinar to showcase his work. All you have to do is sign up with your email address and he will set up a time with you. The free webinar is a “Training program for people looking to start and grow a hyper-profitable accounting & tax practice.”

Argue hopes you enjoy the free mini-webinar he offers and also offers more extensive services. All of Andrew Argues services are custom tailored to his clients. He offers everything from 12-month programs for an accounting firm to one on one training, he even offers live seminars.

Custom information, custom prices; its how he operates. Andrew believes that you should get what you pay for, and you should value your purchase. The last thing he wants is for you to feel as though you didn’t get value out of your purchase.

Course Materials 

What sets Andrew Argue apart from other accounting training is his programs are a mixture of lessons. He will teach you how to obtain hyper-profitable clients and maintain good relationships. All of his course is online and can be accessed at any time via a computer, tablet or cell phone. Because not everyone learns the same, the course material range from video lessons, workbooks, text and quizes.

You’re going into an industry that has a lot of established fortune 500 companies that you need to compete against, so when you wonder what you’re paying for, know this: You’re getting the advantageous edge that others aren’t, and you can’t get that with anybody but Andrew Argue.

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Incorporating More Fish Into Your Diet

Consider incorporating fish and seafood and get the best menu options at Long John Silver’s.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week. Fish rich in omega 3, which helps maintain good brain and heart health. It is also very high in protein and contains essential amino acids to keep your body functioning normal. That doesn’t mean you can’t have it everyday it is better than eating meat. According to Harvard University eating it more than twice can lower the risk of  a fatal heart attack.

Consider cod fish. It is packed with lean protein, omega-3 and vitamin B-12. Cod has a mild flavor and is liked by almost everyone.

Now stop at Long John Silvers to enjoy savory and healthy fish option menu. Feed your appetite and go for a satisfying  Baked Cod Meal. The cod is drizzled  with a Sweet and Zesty Asian Sauce. It comes with  seasoned rice, a choice of 2 sides and  2 hushpuppies. Long John Silver uses wild and caught Alaskan cod for this meal.

Why consider seafood? First of all, it is low in fat, cholesterol and is loaded with good protein. It also  has antioxidants and selenium to help  prevent many diseases; and even fight off  depression and anxiety.

Consider Shrimp.  It is high in niacin and  has no carbohydrates which can help lose weight. It also contains astaxanthin, a mineral known to  fight cancer.

Stop by John Long Silver’s and try New Sweet and Tangy  Panko Butterfly Shrimp. It is composed of  panko breaded shrimp lightly coated in sweet and tangy sauce. There are six delicious shrimps, natural cut fries and two hushpuppies.

Consider including  clams in your diet. Clams are nutritious, packed with good lean protein, full of  iron and  low in calories. Plus, they increase energy levels, boost your immune system and help skin look younger. Best of all, they  have a great salty ocean flavor.

Visit Long  John Silver’s to enjoy lightly fried clams combo of 2 with 1 side and 2 hushpuppies.

Consider crab. It helps with inflammation, and even improves gastrointestinal problems. Out of all shellfish crab is the most rich in selenium and also has chromium which helps maintain a good cholesterol level.  Crab is full of flavor and needs very little added when used in other  recipes.

Get  the best crab cakes  under 600 calories and opt for a 2 crab cake basket. It is composed of gently fried crab cakes with a side of fresh green beans and  2 golden hushpuppies.

If fish is really an absolute  “no” Long John Silver’s also has chicken in its menu.

Try a 3 chicken meal with 2 sides and 2 golden hushpuppies.

Long John Silver cares about customers satisfaction and the ocean. With its partnership with many fishing organizations it follows sustainable fishing practices. This helps give consumers great tasting fish they can proudly  enjoy.

Give fish and seafood a  chance and save on your meals with a Long John Silver’s coupon. 

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Home Insurance when Working From Home

home insurance when working from home

Working from home has a number of great benefits. No commute, flexible schedule and lower stress are just some of the advantages of running your business from your house. However, it also comes with certain complications. Protecting your home from ruin is now tied up with protecting your business from going bust. You need to make sure you have both business and home insurance when working from home. When it comes to home insurance, have you taken into account your business insurance needs as well? You’ve built your dream home office, now make sure everything is covered!

home insurance when working from home

Theft and Fire Insurance

Working from home can have its perks in the world of insurance. Your home is actually significantly safer with you being there most of the time. When purchasing home insurance when working from home insurance from your chosen provider, be sure to let them know that you spend your working day occupying the house.

Your presence will deter burglars and mean that you can stop the spread of a fire. This should lower your premiums. If you are buying home insurance in New Jersey, you will already have a lower premium compared to a state such as New Mexico. This is because of differing state by state crime rates. However, being home all day reduces the risk of theft even further.

Public Liability Insurance

Unfortunately, there may be some extra costs that come with running a business from home. If you have customers and clients regularly visiting, then you may need to invest in public liability insurance. This means that if anyone is injured in your home (if they’re there on business), your insurance company will pick up the cost instead of you.

Your home insurance won’t be enough to cover this. So if part of your business is having members of the public over, be sure to cover yourself. Otherwise you could be facing a pricey court case.

Dedicated Business Insurance

Beyond public liability insurance, you will need home insurance with a dedicated business service. Home insurance when working from home may not automatically cover your business entirely. If you have employees working in your home, then they need to be insured. Likewise, your home insurance may not cover specialist work equipment. If your business relies on any technology or machinery, then it makes sense to cover this under a dedicated business insurance plan.

Running your business from home is increasingly common and makes financial sense.  Working from home is the future! However, remember that your home insurance may not cover business costs. Get dedicated business and public liability insurance to keep your company protected. You can also use the fact that you are always home to try and get a discount on your regular home insurance.

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Working in the West: Traveling for Business has Plenty of Perks and Colorado Springs Offers some Great Venues to Visit During Your Trip

If you happen to be traveling to the Colorado Springs area on business you have to try and make the most of the opportunity to enjoy some leisure time around your busy work schedule.

Here are some of the must-see venues that deserve your attention if you are working in the West.

Inspirational views

There are some great hotels in the area to stay at like the Colorado Springs Marriott, for example, and as well as enjoying comfortable accommodation you will also be within close proximity of some very worthwhile attractions.

If you want to witness one of the most photogenic landscapes you are likely to see anywhere the one place that should be on your leisure itinerary is the Garden of the Gods.

These awesome and distinctive rock formations are a major draw in Colorado Springs and you can take a segway or jeep tour around the area if you want to enjoy as much of the scenery in the time you have available.

A bit of time for hanging about

If you are seeking an adrenaline rush and want an aerial view of Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs a good way to do that would be by being suspended in mid-air and getting ready for your zipline adventure.

The Manitou Springs Zipline Adventure experience is well worth considering as the five different ziplines give you an amazing view of the area from the air, that’s if you can focus while soaring across this spectacular alpine canyon location.

Soak up a bit of history

If you would prefer your leisure time to be more sedate and educational a good attraction to visit would be the National Museum of World War II Aviation.

As well as enjoying an inspirational journey that tells you all about the history of the aircraft and the role they played in the war you can also visit neighboring WestPac Restoration and see how they are restoring some original aircraft to their former glory and ready to take to the skies again.

A challenging escape from work

Escape rooms are a popular new phenomenon in a lot of places and Colorado Springs has at least 11 different experiences to choose from.

The idea behind these escape rooms is to work out the clues and find your way out of the rooms within a limited amount of time. There are a variety of themes from “Escape from Hellscream”, which has a horror twist to the game, to “Planet Deadline” which will appeal to sci-fi fans.

If you want to escape from work for an hour and like a challenge, try one of the escape rooms located in Colorado Springs.

Whether you want to enjoy the amazing natural scenery or enjoy some man-made entertainment you won’t be short of options when it’s time to take a break from work during your stay in Colorado Springs.

Make sure you try and squeeze some of these attractions into your itinerary.

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