Want to get a jump start on Empire faction standing or Navy corp standing?
If you have ISK, there's a way to do it built into the game without having to grind standing yourself. They're called Data Centers, and there's 12 of them in New Eden. Five of them are major Data Centers, serving the Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, Minmatar, and Ammatar factions. Seven of them are minor Data Centers, serving those five plus the Khanid faction.
You can find a detailed report at the EVE Wiki entry for Data Center Agents, but it's kind of complex.
A shorter, much less complex version of how it works:
Decide which faction that you would like to buy standing for. Anyone can use a minor Data Center regardless of faction standing. Let's say that you'd like to start building standing with the Caldari State (and incidentally, the Caldari Navy). Search the wiki entry for Caldari, and you'll find that the minor Data Centers are in the Ahtulaima, Saikanen, and Kamokor systems.
Check the Agent Level and you'll find that there are eight agents that you can run missions for in these three systems. The wiki entry lists quality, but that's no longer relevant. No matter your standing, you'll likely be able to run all eight missions, and all eight are effectively storyline missions, granting both corp (for five different corps) and faction (all Caldari State) standing. Each agent is represented by a small ship marker in space near the Data Center.
Two of the missions are "Keeping Crime in Check" missions, which means that you'll need pirate tags to complete them. Check the top of the wiki entry, and you'll find that for Caldari, you need Guristas tags. Check the top of the entry, and you'll find that for level 1 Data Center agents, you need either Copper or Bronze tags. Usually, you need two Copper or 20 Bronze, but double-check with the agents for specifics. You can buy the tags in Jita, which is nearby.
Look more closely at the Kamokor Data Center entry in the wiki, and you'll see that there is a major Data Center here with 10 additional "Keeping Crime in Check" agents. These additional agents are in the cylindrical structures situated in two rows near the Data Center. From "away" from the Data Center to "near" it, left to right, the agents advance in level and quality. Even though quality no longer registers, they will still ask for different classes of pirate tags. Again, you can check the specific types at the top of the wiki entry. For instance, Ichmari Obesa is level 2, quality 0, so will want Guristas Silver tags.
Each agent has a specific faction standing that they require to speak with you, but your Connections or Diplomacy skill counts. As a result, if you have decent Social skills when you visit the Data Center, it will only take visiting a few of these agents and providing the tags that they want to rapidly increase your standing with the Caldari State. Run through as many of the eight minor agents as you can, and four or five of the major agents, and in only an hour or so, you'll almost certainly have sufficient standing to run Level 3 missions, and may even gain enough standing to run Level 4s. In each case, buy the tags you need in Jita.
The other factions work exactly the same way. Start by searching for the faction you want to gain standing with, then work backwards to the information on the top of the entry, and the wiki entry becomes much easier to understand.
One thing to watch out for: some of the tags are very rare drops and as a result, the low-level tags are sometimes more expensive than the very high level tags. This comes from the fact that lower-level tags are easiest to gather in low-sec, and few players will bother running low-level missions in low-sec. As a result, it is not uncommon for low-level tags to be 3-4 million ISK per tag. You can safely skip these tag levels if you wish and only turn in the less expensive tags, which generally run 200-400 thousand ISK each. Since you'll need 20 tags, this means you're paying between four and eight million ISK for the privilege of running a storyline mission.
Still, if you have the ISK, this is a quick way to convert that ISK to standing, and the quick standing gain might be very well worth it to you. This is particularly valuable if your Empire corporation decides to move to a new faction area of space and you don't want to start the grind merry-go-round all the way back at level 1 missions.
Happy standing grinding!