Monday, October 25, 2010

Advertising Secrets

When I first got into the online advertising business, I was looking for the magical combination that would put my website into the top search engine rankings, catapult me to the forefront of the minds or individuals looking to buy my product, and generally make me rich beyond my wildest dreams!

After succeeding in the business for this long, I'm able to look back on my old self with this kind of thinking and shake my head.

If you're reading this article and you've come this far, you're probably looking for the magic answer yourself. You've probably read a few dozen or a few hundred articles just like this about pay-per-click advertising, maximizing return on investment, keyword stuffing, black-hat seo tactics, text-link banner exchanges, and the list goes on.

Well, I'm here to tell you that I have the one be all end all answer and I'm sharing it with the world!

The truth is that there is no magic secret to online advertising. No one method will generate the largest amount of income/exposure for every website or business imaginable - it's all a matter of trial and error, time and talent.

That's a pretty weak answer, I know. It would have been much cooler for me to tell you that buying tiny classified ads in your local paper was the key to success and riches. Well, I'm sorry. For the few of you that have been down this road before and are starting to get it, you'll hear a ring of truth in my words. The sooner you stop looking for a quick fix to make your message stick, the better.

For what it's worth, these are my thoughts.

1) The internet has only been alive for a few short years, and in that time it has changed dramatically many times over. Remember in 1995 when everyone first discovered the cool little animated envelope .gif that you would click on to send them email? Where was your online bill-pay, instant messaging, and dynamically generated page content then? And only a few short years later you can see how far we've come and use that as a measure for how far we can go.

The point is that the internet, like other forms of media, is a rapidly evolving monster. What works for online advertisers today might be completely ineffectual only a few months from now. That's why the best advertisers are constantly researching and creating their own unique marketing strategies. The trick is to find out what works for you, and to make sure that you revisit it from time to time to tune it up as the market changes.

2) You Have to Spend Money to Make Money.  It's a tired line, but it's that way because everyone says it. Don't be afraid to add fuel to your advertising fire and take it to another level. Try investing (note that I said investing and not spending) five, ten, or fifty thousand dollars in advertising. If you don't jump out a window the first time you do it, you may walk away with a big smile and a little pocket money!

The hard part about investing a big chunk of money is coming up with it in the first place. If you already have $50,000 laying around for advertising and are just looking for a place to put it, give me a call. If you're not that lucky, try looking at the Small Business Administration for ideas on how to get a small business loan.

If you don't want to go farther than your mailbox, examine some of those credit checks your bank keeps sending you in the mail. A lot of people take advantage of their fairly reasonable interest rates to fund projects.

3) Presentation is Key. You'll find that excellent writing skills and good marketing go hand in hand. As you improve on one, the other is bound to follow. Knowing how to write, and how to write well will give you an extraordinary advantage of the majority of individuals vying for your customers' attention. I don't know about you, but I get a lot of spam for people wanting to sell me their "good, cheap, A+ #1 $$$ rolex watch, discount Viagra, H0t s1utz, etc."

Needless to say, I have never purchased anything from them and most likely, neither have you. If you have, please drop me a line and let me know how it worked out. I'm always wondering how many of those are a scam.

The emails and circulars that I do purchase from come from GoDaddy, buy.com, Google and a host of other professional companies that take a few minutes to earn my trust with good punctuation, grammar, and quality content.

If you don't have a talent for writing (and you know who you are) you have two choices:

Get better - easier said than done. Like most things, writing is one part talent and nine parts hard work. Take some classes, do peer editing suggestions, or send it to me look over (first ten-thousand submissions only).

Or, get someone else to do it - leaving more time for you at the helm. I like this option not only because it's a time saver for me, but also because the work generally comes out better than anything I could have done. This article is an excellent example. I provided a detailed outline, some good anecdotes, and the strategies above and the copywriters at danifer.com did the rest. I made a deal with them to write the article for $149 and we share the syndication rights. Not bad for half an hour's work.

If you can't afford to hire a pro, be courteous to yourself and your audience by simply re-reading your work, running a spell check, and letting your wife/husband/friend/co-worker look it over. You'd be surprised at how many things invisible to you will stand out to a fresh set of eyes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10 Ways To Reduce Tax Burden For Your Small Business

Everyone worries about taxes and looks for ways and means of reducing the tax burden. When you have a small business of your own you must up date your knowledge of tax laws that pertain to “small businesses.” As a business owner you must understand clearly about accounting systems and tax planning. Sit down with your accountant and plan on ways of maintaining business expenses, filing receipts, planning on “tax saving” investments, and a strategy for running  the business in the most beneficial way.

Did you know that:

1.    According to law you can reduce your tax liability by hiring family members to carry out work in your business. Pay your children and spouse to perform assigned duties. This way you can shift from higher tax rates to lower ones.
 
2.    Consider hiring independent contractors instead of employees. You will save on payroll taxes. However ensure that you meet the IRS’s criteria.

3.    Think about “deferring income” postpone receiving money to January instead of December. This means that payments received will be up for “tax” calculations a year away.  However ask your accountant’s advice as the benefits are dependant on profit and losses for the year and your corporate legal structure.

4.    Take advantage of tax deductions allowed for charitable donations. Make donations in November or December instead of January so that you can include the donations for tax deductions in the current year.

5.    Maximize your expenditure on equipment and office supplies. Buy in advance for a quarter and use the tax deductions allowed in the current fiscal year.

6.    Include expenses of business related travel in the current year.

7.    Pay all bills due before the end of the year. Payment to cell services, rent, insurance, and utilities related to the business can be included for accounting and applicable tax waivers.

8.    Plan a retirement plan and make payments before the end of the year. This will reduce your income for the year and proportionately the tax due. Be sure to check on the limits. Plan a feasible and beneficial strategy with your accountant.

9.      Be sure to deduct from your taxable income money paid to licensing fees, businesses taxes, and annual memberships to businesses related organizations. Be sure to deduct interest paid on borrowings for running the business and related fees. Insurance premiums paid to insure the business office and machinery are eligible for tax deductions. Make a list of your memberships and check which ones are eligible for tax deductions.

10.        Check whether you have deducted management and administration expenses as well as money spent on maintenance and repairs of equipment.

Decide whether a cash accounting system or accrual one will benefit your business. The tax deductions are different depending on the system you use. When setting up your small business take the advice of a tax and accounting professional as to which accounting system would be most suitable.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Write a Business Plan

There are many types of symbols. Money from investors, banks or financial organizations is one such kind of symbols.

A successful Business Plan (=a successful manipulation of symbols) is one which brings in its wake the receipt of credits (money, another kind of symbol). What are the rules of manipulating symbols? In our example, what are the properties of a successful Business Plan?

(1) That it is closely linked to reality. The symbol system must map out reality in an isomorphic manner. We must be able to identify reality the minute we see the symbols arranged.

If we react to a Business Plan with incredulity ("It is too good to be true" or "some of the assumptions are non realistic") - then this condition is not met and the Business Plan is a failure.

(2) That it rearranges old, familiar data into new, emergent, patterns.

The symbol manipulation must bring to the world some contribution to the sphere of knowledge (very much as a doctoral dissertation should).

When faced with a Business Plan, for instance, we must respond with a modicum of awe and fascination ("That's right! - I never thought of it" or "(arranged) This way it makes sense").

(3) That all the symbols are internally consistent. The demand of external consistency (compatibility with the real world, a realistic representation system) was stipulated above. This is a different one: all symbols must live in peace with one another, the system must be coherent.

In the example of the Business Plan:

Reactions such as: "This assumption / number/ projection defies or contradicts the other" indicate the lack of internal consistency and the certain failure to obtain money (=to manipulate the corresponding symbols).

(4) Another demand is transparency: all the information should be available at any given time. When the symbol system is opaque - when data are missing, or, worse, hidden - the manipulation will fail.

In our example: if the applicant refuses to denude himself, to expose his most intimate parts, his vulnerabilities as well as his strong points - then he is not likely to get financing. The accounting system in Macedonia - albeit gradually revised - is a prime example of concealment in a place where exposition should have prevailed.

(5) The fifth requirement is universality. Symbol systems are species of languages. The language should be understood by all - in an unambiguous manner. A common terminology, a dictionary, should be available to both manipulator and manipulated.

Clear signs of the failure of a Business Plan to manipulate would be remarks like: "Why is he using this strange method for calculation?", "Why did he fail to calculate the cost of financing?" and even: "What does this term mean and what does he mean by using it?"

(6) The symbol system must be comprehensive. It cannot exclude certain symbols arbitrarily. It cannot ignore the existence of competing meanings, double entendres, ambiguities. It must engulf all possible interpretations and absolutely ALL the symbols available to the system.

Let us return to the Business Plan:

A Business Plan must incorporate all the data available - and all the known techniques to process them. It can safely establish a hierarchy of priorities and of preferences - but it must present all the possibilities and only then make a selection while giving good reasons for doing so.

(7) The symbol system must have links to other, relevant, symbol systems. These links can be both formal and informal (implied, by way of mental association, or by way of explicit reference or incorporation).

Coming back to the Business Plan:

There is no point in devising a Business Plan which will ignore geopolitical macro-economic and marketing contexts. Is the region safe for investments?

What are the prevailing laws and regulations in the territory and how likely are they to be changed? What is the competition and how can it be neutralized or co - opted? These are all external variables, external symbol systems. Some of them are closely and formally linked to the business at hand (Laws, customs tariffs, taxes, for instance). Some are informally linked to it: substitute products, emerging technologies, ethical and environmental considerations. The Business Plan is supposed to resonate within the mind of the reader and to elicit the reaction: "How very true!!!"

(8) The symbol system must have a discernible hierarchy. There are - and have been - efforts to invent and to use non-hierarchical symbol systems. They all failed and resulted in the establishment of a formal, or an informal, hierarchy. The professional term is "Utility Functions". This is not a theoretical demand. Utility functions dictate most of the investment decisions in today's complex financial markets.

The author(s) of the Business Plan must clearly state what he wants and what he wants most, what is an absolute sine qua non and what would be nice to have. He must fix and detail his preferences, priorities, needs and requirements. If he were to attach equal weight to all the parts of the Business Plan, his message will confuse those who are trying to decode it and they will deny his application.

(9) The symbol system must be seen to serve a (useful) purpose and it must demonstrate an effort at being successful. It must, therefore, be direct, understandable, clear and it must contain lists of demands and wishes (all of them prioritized, as we have mentioned).

When a computer faces a few tasks simultaneously - it prioritizes them and allocates its resources in strict compliance with this list of priorities.

A computer is the physical embodiment of a symbol system - and so is a bank doling out credit. The same principles apply to the human organism.

All natural (and most human) systems are goal-oriented.

(10) The last - but by no means the least - requirement is that the symbol system must be interfaced with human beings. There is not much point in a having a computer without a screen, or a bank without clients, or a Business Plan without someone to review it. We must always - when manipulating symbol systems - bear in mind the "end user" and be "user friendly" to him. There is no such thing as a bank, a firm, or even a country. At the end of the line, there are humans, like me and you.

To manipulate them into providing credits, we must motivate them into doing so. We must appeal to their emotions and senses: our symbol system (=presentation, Business Plan) must be aesthetic, powerful, convincing, appealing, resonating, fascinating, interesting. All these are irrational (or, at least, non-cognitive) reactions.

We must appeal to their cognition. Our symbol system must be rational, logical, hierarchical, not far fetched, true, consistent, internally and externally. All this must lead to motor motivation: the hand that signs the check given to us should not shake.

THE PROBLEM, THEREFORE, IS NOT WHERE TO GO, NOT EVEN WHEN TO GO IN ORDER TO OBTAIN CREDITS.

THE ISSUE IS HOW TO COMMUNICATE (=to manipulate symbols) IN ORDER TO MOTIVATE.

Using this theory of the manipulation of symbols we can differentiate three kinds of financing organizations:

(1) Those who deal with non-quantifiable symbols. The World Bank, for one, when it evaluates business propositions, employs criteria which cannot be quantified (how does one quantify the contribution to regional stability or the increase in democracy and the improvement in human rights records?).

(2) Those who deal with semi-quantifiable symbols. Organizations such as the IFC or the EBRD employ sound - quantitative - business and financial criteria in their decision making processes. But were they totally business oriented, they would probably not have made many of the investments that they are making and in the geographical parts of the world that they are making them.

(3) And there are those classical financing organizations which deal exclusively with quantifiable, measurable variables. Most of us come across this type of financing institutions: commercial banks, private firms, etc.

Whatever the kind of financial institution, we must never forget:

We are dealing with humans who are influenced mostly by the manipulation of symbol systems. Abiding by the aforementioned rules would guarantee success in obtaining funding. Making the right decision on the national level - would catapult a country into the 21st century without having first to re-visit the twentieth.

Business – Strategy and Execution

Every company aims to formulate good strategy and execute that strategy well. But many times it is found that it was either good strategy, bad execution or bad strategy and good execution. Why and how to avoid this?

Let us begin with what is a strategy? In simple terms, it means the plan to achieve the desired goals or results. If any organization has well defined goals, and can develop a strategy to achieve them, it should be half the battle won. But it is seen that execution fails. Why should that be so? It may be the fault of the team that executes the strategy, or certain unknown factors that unexpectedly or unknowingly creep in while executing the plan.

What should be done? Ideally the team that forms the strategies should consider the factors such as who are the people who will execute, does the company have the capacity to execute, what if any unexpected change or event occurs while executing, what are the risks involved, and so on. No strategy can be created without taking into account the ability of the people who will be executing it. One may create a great marketing plan but if the field marketing staff fails to understand and execute the game, it is bound to fail and then the blame game begins.

Can a company make a single team that not only creates the strategy but is also responsible to execute it? This will eliminate many such hiccups on the way. The problem is expertise. I am a good strategist and not a good executor. You are a bad strategist but a good executor on the ground. What if such arguments are presented by the team under formation? All right, how about creating a strategy and keep the execution team in the loop throughout the process of creating strategy? This creates another set of problems. The views of both the teams may be so different that no positive outcome will ever result.

I have discussed in brief about these factors above. In real life, more complications arise and especially in large organizations, the complexities increase. The only solution for the top management is to set goals and discuss them with every one. After getting every one in confidence, create strategies and let every one participate in the strategy formation. Decide about what is totally achievable and why may be achievable. Let the team that will execute commit itself to achieve what is totally achievable and promise them with rewards if they manage to achieve the other part also. The synergy between the strategy makers and the executors will ultimately decide the final outcome.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Boost Your Sales Through Sales Trainings

Many people regard sales as the most effective way of earning unlimited income. In fact, 7 out of 10 salespeople who were interviewed why they preferred sales as their job, they have contended that in sales, they can earn income on tap. This goes to show that they can either earn more or earn less.

From this point of view, salespeople view their success based on the kind of sales training that they have. Of course, no one could instantly exert expertise without the proper training that he needs in his career.

Hence, many salespeople are more than willing to submit their selves to sales training. They know that it would be one of the best ways to earn and achieve success.

So for those who cannot understand why sales training is important in a salesperson's career, here are some of the advantages of engaging into such sales booster activity.

1. It is a great help

Based on its basic concept, sales trainings are especially created to help the salespeople hone their skills and improve their craft. Their ability to create more sales is improved through the acquisition of advanced marketing strategies.

2. Molds better attitude

Another best thing about sales trainings is that they do not mainly focus on improving the skills and abilities of the salesperson as far as selling are concerned. Through these trainings, the attitude and behavior of the salesperson towards sales are improved.

Sales trainings teach them how to deal with the clients properly, how to handle objections, and how to persuade people. These things are not commonly taught on ordinary training programs.

3. Teaches good interaction

Through sales training, the seller will be able to identify the right strategy in dealing with his clients. It provides the right combination of language, perception, attitude, and the art of selling in order to interact with the client in the most favorable method.

The focus of this activity is to make the seller realize that selling should never be hard, or what most salespeople believe as hard selling. The point here is that with proper interaction, selling becomes an art, where the words and emotions are interlaced so as to lure the client to buy the product.

The Upshots

If sales training had been effective and was properly explained, chances are, sales will grow. But if it was done otherwise, more than a few unconstructive results may happen.

One of which is the lack of communication or miscommunication. Without proper orientation on the job and proper comprehension of the nature of the job, both the management and the employees might have difficulty in communicating the correct ideas and concepts.

Also, without sales trainings, salespeople will be less confident in distributing their products. This is because they are not fully aware on how to face their clients and how to persuade them into buying.

And last, without proper sales trainings, the people will not be enticed to do their job and advanced on a higher level of enthusiasm. This is because they are not aware of the possible compensation they will get ever they have performed better.

Indeed, sales trainings are not just any ordinary program and not just like any other training program designed just for the sake of having it. It has its purpose, and its results will definitely reap more income.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Five Tips To Managing Your Small Business

Managing a small business is rewarding, both personally and financially. However, it is also stressful and time consuming. By keeping in mind the following five tips, small business owners can better manage their business and feel less stressed.

• Maintain a healthy work-life balance. If your business is run out of your home, try to set business hours that you work by, take breaks throughout the day or go out for lunch. Destress and recharge your batteries by developing interests or hobbies outside your business.

• Set goals. Setting short and long-term business goals can help you keep your business on track. They can also offer a sense of direction that helps to guide business growth. Whether it's opening another store or increasing profit, it doesn't hurt to "think big."

• Keep finances in order. Keeping track of money coming in and going out can easily get out of control using paper, spreadsheets and file folders. If this is your method, it's time to accurately track and keep your company finances organized throughout the year. This will also make tax time a whole lot easier. No matter if you have simple or complex accounting needs, with the help of financial software such as QuickBooks, you'll be able to easily and effectively manage your finances. For more information about managing your business finances.

• Stay informed. With any business it's important to stay informed about the industry, business trends and current events. At the same time, you need to stay informed about specific laws, regulations and tax codes that affect your business.

• Develop a network. Small business owners often don't have the support and resources that a large company can provide. Therefore, it's important to build a strong network of people-employees, vendors and other small business owners.

For example, participating in local business organizations and conferences are good ways to find support and develop a professional network. This network will prove invaluable when you need inspiration or advice on how to better manage your business.

Managing a small business doesn't have to be a juggling act. Simple tips can make managing a small business a breeze.

Monday, October 18, 2010

7 Key Strategies to Earn Customer Loyalty

The key of your business success is building customer loyalty. Holding on to existing customers is as important as soliciting new customers to keep feeding your list with fresh subscribers. Customer loyalty is the key to your business growth and profit. Because loyal customers generate a continual revenue stream through repeat purchases, they bring your business-increased profitability at a lower cost.

Like in any other moneymaking system, to succeed as an email marketer, you will need to understand all the secrets that are available to keep growing your business and apply them immediately.

How to Build a Business Relationship to Gain Customer loyalty!

Everywhere you go online they tell you that you must have a list to succeed. That's true but it doesn't go far enough until you understand exactly what makes subscribers eager to pay for your products, success will remain subtle.

If you don’t know how to build a business relationship to keep your subscribers enthusiastic, eagerly waiting for your articles and rush to buy your product without any regard for brand, your list is worthless.

Hands down the main key factor of a responsive email list is the Trust Factor. If you earn your subscribers trust, you will have much more success when it comes to advertise to your list. Without the trust of your subscribers, they will be leery when it comes to pulling out their credit card to buy from you.

1 - Earn your subscribers' trust

Honesty is essential to earning customers' trust, and that trust is the key to gaining customer loyalty. Earning customers trust is important to the success of any business. Being honest goes with not hiding anything.

Let your subscribers know your Identification and contact information, such as your name, physical address, email address and telephone number. It is important that you let your subscribers know how to contact you for assistance. The more they know you as a person, the more they'll trust you. And when it comes to asking for money, nothing is more important than trust.

Warning: Be sure to be selective in what you promote to your subscribers. If you suggest a product that turns out to be a scam, your subscribers will likely blame you first for recommending it to them. You really can’t afford to take a hit like this to your reputation.


2 - Give Them What They Want

When your subscribers sign up to your ezine, they are doing so for a reason. They want the information you are telling them they will receive. Keep giving them that, and they’ll be happy as can be. Diverge from that, and you could find yourself losing subscribers quicker than you can get them.

Tips: Ask Your Subscribers what they want. Don’t guess. Use this great, easy to use online tactic to find out exactly what your subscribers will buy from you or what subject they want to learn about. You could hold a contest. By sending them simple questionnaires or surveys will give you a sense of your market's needs, wants and preferences. Give the winner a quality prize and/ or gift that he can’t find elsewhere. Getting your subscribers involved like this will also keep them interested in your emails and help get more emails opened.

3 - Don’t send “too many” marketing messages.

Two thing you really need to watch, as a publisher, is how to advertise your product/ service and what product you endorse. Nothing ticks off a subscriber more than thinking a publisher is only in it for the money. This will happen if you advertise too much, or if you advertise the wrong products.

Sending out an email newsletter with too much ads and a little or no quality information will hurt your reputation. You have everything to lose, and nothing at all to gain by stuffing your Ezine with ads.

The ads in your Ezine aren’t the only things you have to worry about. This also includes any ads you send out that are separate from your regularly scheduled newsletter. Sending out an ad each day is not the way to go if you want to build customer loyalty. It is the way to go if you want everyone to unsubscribe from your list.

4 - Make your subscribers your friends!

Give your subscribers a good sense of who you are. It’s important that your subscribers see you as a real person, because they will likely never meet you in person. One thing every successful publisher does is just talk about whatever is on their mind in each issue of their Ezine. They may talk about their family, their favorite sports team, politics, the weather, anything that’s going on. They usually ask the reader to write back a few comments about it, or the reader will just write back without being asked to. This creates a bond between the publisher and the reader that could result in future sales and future partnerships.

5 - Over Deliver

Nothing makes people happier than knowing you pay attention to them. Make your customers and potential clients delighted by giving them more than they expected. After they order your product or sign up for your publication, give them a gift or a bonus that wasn’t advertised, in addition to any gifts or bonus you promised they would get. I’m not talking about any ebook or software they can download from any website. Give something that no one or only a few other people are giving away. This kind of gift and bonus says that you put a lot of attention and thought into helping them succeed.

From time to time and in special events send free gifts just for the heck of it. By continuously over delivering, your subscribers will realize that you are trying to help them learn what they need to know, and they will appreciate it when you give them the tools and information they need to succeed. This is obviously geared more towards strong relationship and they stay loyal customers longer.

6 - Help Them Out

Besides giving your subscribers what they want, helping them with whatever they need help with is the best way to earn customer loyalty. While this works on an individual basis, instead of taking care of all of your subscribers at once, the people you are able to help will be very grateful, and will probably tell their friends, colleagues and neighbors about you. Positive word-of-mouth is a powerful way to acquire new customers and build customer loyalty.

If one of your subscribers sends you an email asking for help, help them out as much as you can. Don’t just give them a quick, one word answer. They’ll probably just be back asking for a little more information. Just go ahead and tell them what you can, and be nice about it, even if you think it’s a stupid question.

7 - Don’t Use Hype

I’m sure you’ve seen this before. It seems to be everywhere you look people trying to hype-up their offer to make it sound better than it is. Most people just want you to be straight with them.

If you just stick to telling the truth about a product, without making it look like hype, I think your subscribers will have much more respect for you. Personally, I think its stimulating when someone sends me a sales letter and outlines how I can benefit from it without trying to make it sound better than it is. Most people can tell the difference, and will probably be turned off by the hype.

The bottom line

When you combine all of these keys, you’ll build a strong relationship with your subscribers and they stay loyal customers for years. All you need to do is find a way to include all of these keys into your business marketing strategies, and you’ll soon find yourself getting new subscribers, building relationships with and earning customer loyalty.

Becoming A Coach In Everyday Life

Be the change you want to see occur in the world around you. We can't make other people be more considerate, helpful, honest, etc., but if everyone were to work on themselves and develop these attributes, our world would be a better place.

Don't be judgmental. Look for and recognize the good in yourself and in others. We are all capable of so-called "good" and "bad" behaviors and we all have our "good" and "off" days. We are all unique and it is wonderful that we are different and not all the same - in our appearance, our thoughts, our opinions, our likes and dislikes. Being different is not threatening, it is not "bad", it is just "different". Embrace the differences and be happy for the variety. Likewise, forget the concepts of "right" and "wrong". People are not good or bad or right or wrong; they just are. If you were in "their shoes" maybe you would act differently, or maybe not. Being judgmental wastes time and cuts you off from opportunities and meaningful relationships - because you are not perfect either, and your judgment might be worse than the person's you are judging!

Respect. Don't make the mistake of thinking your rights are the only ones that count. Don't ignore the other person's rights. Our fundamental right is to be respected. Being wealthy does not make a person more deserving of respect and neither does a high-flying career with a fancy title. Respect is not about material issues or where one sits on the social ladder. Respect is acknowledging another human being's dignity and treating them how you wish to be treated yourself. We all came on to this earth equal and we're all checking out as equals. What happens in between is just a series of different life experiences. The poor man who lives in a slum, who cares for strangers, volunteers assistance without expecting anything in return and lives a clean, honest life is more deserving of respect than a wealthy businessman who dresses in fine clothes, lives in a huge mansion, and treats everyone like pond amoeba, cheats on his wife, swindles his shareholders and has forgotten how to tell the truth.

Be a Good Listener. How often do you really listen to other people? How often do you plan what you are going to say next while they are talking, or allow your mind to drift off onto something else instead of concentrating on their every word? It takes practice to be a good listener, but in being one, you are showing respect and in a position to better comprehend the real message being given to you. You avoid misunderstandings and missed instructions. Furthermore, the other person will appreciate your attention and return the courtesy.

Be interested - not interesting. This goes hand in hand with being a good listener. People love to talk about themselves and will delight in the opportunity to do so, so ensure you ask questions and take an interest in what they are telling you. Don't worry about them hogging the limelight - you can have your turn during the conversation. Have you ever met someone who only talks about themselves? Count the number of times you use "I" in your conversations. Judging, arguing points, interrupting the conversation, and using "I" a lot are sure signs you need to review your communication skills.

Respond from Your Heart. We tend to respond to others using our head, not our heart. We formulate stories about us, we defend our ego, or we judge other people or what they have said. If we respond from our heart, we can respond with understanding and a sense of connection. Find something good to say about people and to people. Build people "up" - don't knock them down. Go with your gut instincts.

Be truthful. There is a good reason for the saying "honesty is the best policy." Nothing good ever comes from lies, and there is a difference between being diplomatic and telling an outright lie. Nobody trusts a liar. If you've made a mistake, well, welcome to the human race! You don't have to lie to cover it up. You don't have to tell your truth "brutally", there are gentle and tactful ways of delivering truths and you should think carefully before you speak. But don't try to be deceitful because it has a habit of coming back to haunt you, and in those situations you are worse off than if you had just come clean in the first place, as uncomfortable as that may seem at the time.

Be helpful. When you need a helping hand, don't you just love the person who comes up and offers that to you? Wouldn't you love the opportunity to repay them? You can be that person that others look to respectfully with gratitude in their hearts, who will, one day, repay the gesture. What comes around, goes around. If you want people to be helpful to you, you must be helpful to others. It doesn't matter whether this is assisting your boss with a special project you can see he needs help with, or a co-worker who is struggling with a large workload, or an elderly neighbor struggling up the stairs with her arms full. People do remember kindness.

Maintain Your Integrity and Your Dignity. People with their integrity intact are easier to deal with in work or personal situations. They know where they stand and you know where you stand with them. You will feel better about yourself when you set your standards and stand by them and you will attract those who respect your standards and who have standards of their own. Being a doormat is disrespectful to yourself and to the person 'walking all over you'. It does not allow them to grow and learn to do something for themselves. Learn to say no gracefully. You have as much right as everyone else on the planet to have your own opinion and your own way of doing things, and reminding you of point (1) above, nobody has the right to make you feel 'bad' if you think, feel or dress differently. Remember, "to thine own self be true."

Go the Extra Mile. I mean this in a couple of ways. First, whether you are either asked to do something, or you are offering to do something, remember that if something is worth doing in the first place, then it is worth doing well. And while you are at it, what little touches can you offer to improve it? For example, who would you rather go to for your shoeshine… Mr. A does a wonderful buff and polish and is timely and not too expensive. Mr. B also does a wonderful buff and polish, he is also timely and not expensive, but he is also cheerful and interested in you and whistles while he works, so after your polish, you go on your way feeling on top of the world! Mr. B just went the extra mile for you. He didn't just polish your shoes, he lifted your spirits and made you feel good. If you are offering a co-worker assistance with copying some documents, go the extra mile and ask if she needs a hand stapling them or collating them. Going the extra mile need not involve a large expense of time, energy or money, but it's value to the recipient is often priceless, and one day, it will be reciprocated.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say. Neither beat around the bush being evasive, nor make promises you can't keep. On the other hand, if you say you are going to do something, do it. Be known as a reliable person. Honor your promises and agreements wherever possible - this stems back to integrity. Prepare to be flexible if need be, but know that you don't have to bend over so far backwards that your back snaps. Being assertive and being aggressive are two entirely different things, and you do not need aggression to be assertive. In fact, you are better off without the aggression! If you are wishy-washy and allow people or circumstances to be unconcerned for your position, you will develop that reputation and find more and more people willing to walk all over you and more situations in which it occurs. Being like this does not prove you are valuable to anybody - it just means you are a 'pushover'.

Manage Your Finances & Get Back in Control of Your Life

“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting”

----- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

There is no shortcut to personal and financial. Getting rich entails long years of discipline, hard work, thrift, and wise use of resources. Those who get rich quick usually do so because: they won a million dollars on lottery; duped other people in a scam; or inherited a fortune from a wealthy father or relative.

But if we go back to the root of the issue, it may be important to ask, “Why are some people poor?”

One of the main reasons why many people are poor or remain far from becoming rich is encapsulated in two words: financial mismanagement. Financial mismanagement is about squandering one's resource on things or activities that do not bear fruit or result in additional income. Mismanagement of finances is also one of the common causes of marital trouble and a source of enormous stress and anxiety in people.

So many people have fallen into the debt trap and now feel totally out of control of their life and finances.

So what can the average person do to better manage his or her finances? You do not have to be an economics graduate or a finance guru to get out of debt and stop the cycle of living from paycheck to paycheck. To get back on track in terms of your money and investments, consider the following suggestions:

1. Eliminate Your Debts, Avoid Unnecessary Spending

If you are like most people, credit card interest payments actually consume a large portion of your monthly income. The solution is simple: pay-off your existing debt and avoid making additional loans or unnecessary purchases. Eliminate debt as fast as you can. Make a list of payables and prioritize either by starting on items that have the higher interest or those that can be easily paid off. The choice of which debt to pay-off first depends on your paying capacity, or the amount that you take out from your monthly budget to settle the debt. Another tip is to tell your bank to set automatic payments on your checking or savings account so you can avoid late payment charges and other penalties from the credit card company. Avoid missing payments since the compound interest on your loan or credit will affect your financial position.


2. Have an Emergency Account

After paying off every single debt, the next step is to start on an aggressive savings plan. There are actually several savings plans that you should start on. One such plan is to have an Emergency Account. Always set aside at least 5% to 10% of your paycheck as savings. If your budget permits it, save a separate amount to fund your emergency fund which you can use for unexpected expenses, sudden loss of a job, hospital bills, and other unplanned spending. Having at least six month's worth of your salary as an emergency fund is a workable goal. However, make sure that you use the emergency fund for emergency purposes only and not for trivial spending.


3. Check Out Your Company's Retirement Plan

Retirement plans help individuals set aside money that they can use after they retire. A 401(k) is a retirement plan that was named after a section of the United States Internal Revenue Code. The employer-sponsored plan works by setting aside a portion of an employee's salary which, in turn, is invested in mutual funds, stocks, and other investments in the money market. Another option is to invest the money in company stock. The advantage of the 401(k) is that the plan is tax-deferred.


4. Pension for the Self-Employed

If you are self-employed or belong to an unincorporated business, you can study the potential benefits of the Keogh Plan which allows self-employed individuals set aside up to 15% of their income or they can participate in a mutual fund company and make automatic contributions or you can get a pension plan.


5. Invest Your Money

While saving some of your hard-earned money is a good start, leaving it all in the bank may not give you the results you need. Get educated about investments and other financial instruments you can use to make your money earn more than what you are currently getting from the bank. The first step is to learn about passive and active income. You must also learn how to analyze and choose investments that will earn more money in the long run. Mutual funds, stocks, and other investment options are available for you to study and consider.


6. Manage Your Money Online

If you have an Internet-capable computer at home or at work, you can actually manage your finances online. You can check your balance and credit statements, transfer funds, pay your bills, and monitor the status of your savings through your bank's online system.

Indeed, there is no shortcut to wealth. Living the good life entails planning, setting goals, discipline, a great deal of sacrifice. Getting rid of worry and anxiety attacks over financial difficulties is not an impossible task. When you save and invest wisely, you will be able to prepare the tough times that are sure to come; and you can have enough to enjoy life, which is the reason why we need to take control of our finances.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Business loan and how to acquire it

Business(perniagaan) loan can cater to your each and every aspect of your business. The urgent requirement of funds for your business can be catered through a business loan. It is easy to seek a business loan now a day. All you need to do is to fill up an online application form and your application form will reach to suitable lenders. The lenders may contact you by making thorough analysis of your application form. There are lenders in U.K. who can provide you with the business loan quickly and with great ease.

Business loans are offered according to your need and business concern. A business loan can be availed by entrepreneurs for various business requirements. It can be used for purposes like maintaining cash flow, establishing infrastructure, purchasing office equipments, machinery etc.

A business loan can be sought for small, medium and big businesses. If you are suffering from an adverse credit history then also you can seek a loan. It can also be used to start a new business venture or in expanding your existing business.

The business loans are flexible enough for loan repayment terms depending upon the current revenue trend. A great advantage with a business loan is that you will get competitive interest rates and your loans would be processed faster. The growing competition among the lenders in UK will help you in getting a businesses loan cheaper.

With a business loan you can attain an unimaginable profit in your business. Business loan will help you to cater to all your business need which would be really tough for you from other resources.

Don't let funds come your way in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Seek a business loan and expand your business, the way you want.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

5 Good Reasons a Self-Employed Professional Should Take Vacation

So you think you're not justified in taking time away from your business because you're self-employed? Here are five great reasons why you should definitely take a vacation:

1. Physical down time
You work hard to grow and maintain your business. Trying to be superhuman will certainly take its toll if you allow it to. Give your body a break by taking in some R&R.

2. Mental down time
Your days are filled with busy, sometimes even hectic, day-to-day activities related to your business. If you don't allow yourself to get away from it once in a while, your peace of mind and general well-being will most definitely suffer. Get out and play. Your mind will thank you!

3. Spend time with loved ones
Your family and friends see you working, working, working, sometimes rarely coming up for air. Both you and they will appreciate spending some quality time together.

4. See the world (or your own back yard)
The important thing is to do something you enjoy, whether it's traveling or, if that's not your cup of tea or you don't have the budget for it, spend time at home. If you also work out of your home, this could be challenging. The key is to stay out of your office during your vacation time. Try getting creative with this. Make your office "off limits" by closing the door and placing a sign on it. Do whatever it takes to keep your mind off working. How about a hobby or a day trip to the beach? Think of what you can do within your budget that's fun. Or do nothing at all!

5. You have a life
Although this one is a no-brainer, it surprises me how many small business owners don't feel as if they deserve time off. There is too much to do, and not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Well, I've got news for you. It's always going to feel that way! Only you have the power to allow yourself time off. Even if you prefer only to take a day here and a day there instead of a week-long (or longer) vacation each year, that's a whole lot better than never taking time off. Trust me, you'll feel better about yourself and your work if you take regular vacation time. You'll be healthier, too!

Friday, October 15, 2010

3 Reasons Why Every Business Needs A Newsletter

There are many benefits you and your business can reap from publishing your own newsletter.

1. Keeping In Touch -- Your customers and clients are the lifeblood of your business. What better way to stay in touch with your existing customers than through a newsletter? A newsletter allows you to add personal touches to your relationship and celebrate milestones, both your own and your client's. In addition to furthering your relationship with your clients, a newsletter can also allow you to introduce new products, offer special sales or discounts to your existing client base, and encourage referrals.

2. Hook In New Customers -- Unless they have an immediate need or came to you through a powerful referral, most potential customers won't buy right away. Often they will shop around and compare which means you will likely never see them again. However if you have a free newsletter that offers interested clients the opportunity to learn more about you, your business, and your products for free and they can also learn more about your interaction with your existing customers. A newsletter can be a very simple strategy to turn a one-time visitor into a lifetime customer.

3. Establish Your Expertise -- No one knows more about your business than you do which makes you an expert. Likely the construction of your own business has further left you with a great deal of expertise in your field. Share your nuggets of knowledge through your newsletter to deepen your relationship with your existing customers and convince potential customers that you are the answer to their problems.

Now that I have convinced you that you need to publish your own newsletter, I want to go over a few questions that budding editors and publishers always ask.

What exactly is an electronic newsletter?

Just like their paper counterparts, electronic newsletters deliver written messages usually relating to a common theme or topic. The main difference is that an electronic newsletter transcends paper and ink and most likely only ever exists on a computer screen.

Some electronic newsletter are delivered only via email while others are delivered only on the web. Most are delivered in some combination of the two. Most of my ezines and newsletters are delivered via email but also available immediately via web page (or rather blog page) and RSS feed.

You can choose the method is most suited to you and your audience.

How do you publish an electronic newsletter?

It is much easier to start publication of your own electronic newsletter than it is to start up a print publication. You simply need to decide on a topic, name your publication and start writing. It is easy to find an audience (beyond your own customer base if you choose) through the various ezine and newsletter directories around the internet as well as going directly to the source, for example discussion boards for people interested in your topic.

You will need to determine a delivery method, which means most likely setting up your own web site or page on your existing web site; creating an archive for your issues once they are created, which could mean setting up a blog; and tracking your readers, which likely means setting up a mailing or autoresponder service. However you can use free tools to do any of these things.

Choosing A Name For Your Company... That Makes Sense...

One of the most important things your company needs is a name. Your name will be the very first thing that almost all of your customers see from you -- long before they meet you, they'll have responded to something (or someone) that told them the name of your business.

So What?

So, if you're planning on running a professional operation, don't call it 'A1 Supplies' just because you want to be listed first in the phone book. You have to pick a name that says something about you and your business, and that people in your target market will be able to say without feeling stupid.

The Professional Name.

If you're running a serious business targeted at other businesspeople, you'll probably want to keep the name sober, but memorable. A good formula is your surname, followed by what you do: 'Smithfield Tailoring', or 'Watson Engineering'. You might also want to add the name of the town where you live: 'Watson Engineering Anytown'. Little things can make a big difference: 'Watson & Associates Engineering' or 'Watson Engineering Co.' both sound quite good, for example. Don't use your first name, though -- it sounds terribly amateurish. Would you rather deal with Ted's Office Supplies or the Johansson Office Supplies Co.?

Another approach is to leave out your name altogether, and simply become 'Anytown Engineers' or 'The Anytown Engineering Co.'. This makes you sound like the first choice locally, especially if your main competitor has the name of another town nearby in their name.

The Corporate Name.

They sound quite bad, I reckon, but there's a still a place for them -- mainly if you want to deal with the big companies that this kind of name appeals to. Simply think of a word to describe your business and translate it into Latin. Then add the word "Consulting", if you want.

The Trendy Name.

If you're going for a more young or technology-savvy market, you might want a less formal name. Names of this form should be kept to one word, and preferably written in lowercase, URL-style. Another common trick is to make '.com' part of the name. Notice the difference between 'Fun House' and 'funhouse.com' -- the Fun House doesn't sound all that much fun, does it?

The Playful Name.

You'll be surprised how many people will love your name if you just decide to name it after an animal, and use that animal in your logo too. If you don't have much of a marketing budget, this is a good way to get a quick brand identity -- if you choose the panda, for example, then people start associating you with pandas, and you can have panda-pattern designs on your stationery and decorate your office with bamboo. Don't underestimate the power of this, seriously.

The Shortened Name.

One naming method that seems to be especially well-used by the big hitters is to take two words that describe your business, shorten them both, and make it one word. So you end up with Fedex (Federal Express), or Microsoft (Microcomputer Software). This is good for suggesting what you do without having an overly lengthy name.

The Random Name.

If all else fails, a great way to make up a name is to just string together sounds that you like until you come up with a made-up word. This can be a surprisingly good way to come up with a name -- and it will be completely unique.

Make It Easy.

Whatever you do, though, make sure your business' name is easy to pronounce and spell. If your surname is hard to say, don't use it. If people seem to have trouble spelling a made-up word, come up with something easier. You'll lose out on an enormous amount of word-of-mouth business if people have to write your name down just to communicate it to each other.

Check for Others.

Once you've got some ideas, make sure you check that no-one else is already using them. It will be expensive to get halfway through starting up a company only to find that the name you wanted is already taken. Also, you'll have trouble establishing any kind of Internet prescence with an over-used name, if that was part of your plan -- if your name is too common, you won't stand a chance of getting yourname .com.

Acquire New Business

A major part of keeping profitable and growing your business is maintaining a focus on business development. Even when you've got the right mix of work, clients and employees you should be looking for new opportunities. You could establish a process to do this whilst ensuring your existing customers don't get neglected. The process helps you manage new business opportunities in a cost- and time-effective manner.
Generate leads
Identify the types of companies you want to work with and a realistic number of companies you want to target over a given period of time. For example: an accountant with experience in the marketing industry might decide to target five opportunities per month focussed on marketing consultancies.
Finding potential clients and identifying new opportunities can be done through networking events, tenders listed in newspapers and industry magazines and headlines in newspapers about new projects and industry seminars. Keep an eye on your industry and stay aware of new developments.
Track the companies you approach in a database ( you could use Microsoft Excel or Access). Tracking should cover the obvious things (company contact details etc) as well as details of what was discussed, potential works, actions and more.
Qualify the leads
Once you have a list of identified companies you must review to ensure they are realistic opportunities. Some areas to think about include:
• Do you have the right contacts to get started?

• Do you have the right services to offer them?
• How can their website help you understand them better?
• Do you have any conflicts of interest in pursuing this company?
• Does this client have growth potential or would it be a quick job?
• Who makes the decisions? How can you reach them?
3. Raise your business profile
By raising your company profile (no matter how small you are) you'll be able to generate new business with less effort. As a leader in the industry new business will come to you. There are many ways to raise your profile; you could try sponsoring events, adverts and gaining media coverage. The size, location and target market of your business this will dictate what medium to use and the areas to cover.
4. Show them what you're made of
Start to reach your qualified opportunities by showcasing your company's products. Send them a brochure or a copy of any newsletters you produce and invite them to join; show off examples of your work; highlight relevant media articles.
Develop standard template letters in Word to send to potential clients to accompany your credentials/brochures. Ensure you link to your database (Excel, Access or Outlook) when merging the letters and envelopes to ensure you don't have to re-enter details.
There is no specified time for this courting so be patient. It could be six months before anything comes to fruition.
5. Set a meeting time
So you're in the door. Now you need to sell yourself. Tailor the meeting to suit the way you operate as a business. It could be a formal PowerPoint presentation or a discussion over coffee. You may have no choice for the style of the meeting but make sure you are comfortable and well prepared. During the meeting be sure to demonstrate the knowledge you have developed in the previous stages.
6. Follow up
You've presented your capabilities and ideas. Don't stop there. Follow up is essential. This is a major part of the process and should be taken as seriously as the other steps. You'll probably be able to build on ideas from the meeting, or you might find an interesting/relevant article or statistics you could send to re-open discussion. Even if you don't have anything to send, thank them for the opportunity.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Adwords Keyword Research for Beginners

When you embark on your first PPC journey, you need to keep a small number of keywords at first. Keyword lists that are thousands of words long should be left to the more experienced PPC marketer. Ideally, a beginner should use around 100 targeted keywords, anything more will probably prove too cumbersome for you to manipulate. If you can't harness the power of large keyword campaigns, they will suck your bank accounts dry. There are some very simple free techniques that you can use to find targeted keys words with low competition. One process of finding low competition niche keywords utilizes Google and excel. More specifically you want to use Google's keyword tool, just type this into Google, and it will appear in the search results.

Upon landing on the main Google keyword tool page, you will find a white box(field) where you want to enter your particular keyword(s). Enter one keyword for now to get an idea of how this works, and press enter. After pressing enter, you will be directed to a page of keywords that will be closely related to the keyword that you entered. For the purposes of what we want to do, you will need to scroll to the middle of the page where the text Add all 150 is highlighted in blue bold text. Below these words you will see the words download all keywords with text,.csv(for excel) and .csv. You want to click on .csv(for excel). By doing this, you will export this data into an excel spreadsheet. The data, which only appears as green bars on the main Google page, will be transformed into numeric data that has much more value for you.

Once the data is in the excel spread sheet, you can begin some simple analysis on it that will benefit your PPC campaign a great deal. In the excel spreadsheet, there are going to be columns of data, A-D. The columns are going to be, from A-D, Keywords, Advertiser competition, the previous month's search volume, and the average search volume.The two columns we are interested in are the advertiser competition and the Average search volume. What we want to do is merge the data from these two columns to give us a number that we can work with. So what we need to do is take a generalized average of these two to get a number which we will compare to a predetermined benchmark. Sounds a little odd, let me explain a bit more completely, and hopefully you will understand. All of these numbers are in decimals on a scale ranging from .00 to 1. The higher the number, the more competition there is(as expressed by the advertiser competition numbers) and the higher the search volume(as expressed by the average search volume). Ideally, we want low competition with a decent search volume to target lower cost high converting keywords. So, to find these keywords we use a general benchmark number that will determine their competition and volume level. If the keywords exceed the benchmark, we leave them be, if they hit right around the benchmark, or fall below it, we want to capture them and include them in our PPC campaign.

To get our figures, which we are going to compare to a predetermined benchmark, we are going to take an average of the advertiser competition column and the average search volume column. We want to do this for all the keywords that have been exported to the excel file. And the way we do this is by typing in a simple command in excel and copying the command down throughout the related boxes. So to start, we find box E2 which should be blank, this is the first box to the right of the first value in the avg. search volume box. So, within this blank box you want to type=average(D2,B2). This will automatically give you an average of those two numbers in this E column row when you close that last ).Now, to get all the averages for every keyword you simply want to click on that box(E2) and pull down on the box while you hold in right click. The boxes should fill in with color when you drag down to the last box(nothing will be in them yet). Then, when you have filled in the boxes with color up to the last box you want to lift your finger off the right click. When you do this all the averages will appear in the boxes. You basically just copied the function down through the boxes. So now we have all these averages. What do we do with them, what do they tell us?

Well, a good benchmark average is around .50. This will give us a reasonable competition level with good search volume. So we compare these averages to anything that falls around .50 and below. Anything that goes above .60 we want to avoid to start out with, because it will probably be too expensive to bid on. So now compare all the averages in column E to the predetermined benchmark of .50. Whatever falls below .50 or, .55(to possibly get some more data) we want to keep. Take all the keywords that meet this criteria and copy them into a notepad .txt file. (There are faster ways to do this but they take some learning of excel functions that you may not know yet.)

So now we want to take these keywords that fell below or right around the benchmark and plug these back into the Google keyword tool and hit enter. Now go back through the entire process that we just did to get the keywords we just plugged into the Google keyword tool. You are going to want to take the average again of the two columns mentioned above, then get all the averages of all the keywords by draggin the first box down, and then compare again to a benchmark of .50 or .55. But now, because we found some more targeted keywords to work with(as a result of the first exporting of data to excel, and taking the averages to compare against the benchmark) we should have more keywords that hit right around the benchmark and below it. This is because we are working with more targeted and hopefully lower competition keywords. We are finding yet more targeted keywords related to the first set we found. This should produce a larger list of keywords that meet our benchmark. So now we can take the words that meet the benchmark here, and we can use these in our targeted PPC campaign. You will want to sort through this list of course, and make sure the keywords are well suited for the particular items that you are selling. This method will get you headed in the right direction for your PPC campaign.

Learn How Entrepreneurs Make Millions

There are three basic ways of earning money which include trading time for money, trading money for money and trading expertise/value for money.

Society and the formal education system promote the first method of earning money which involves trading time for money. In other words, you work for someone else for a specific amount of time and then they pay you. Working for someone else drains your energy and you don’t make much money.

The second way to earn money is utilized by a small portion of the population and involves trading money for money. In other words, you are earning money through investing. Investing can be risky because if you lack additional funds then how can you invest any money in the first place? Therefore, many people can’t even try this option because they only have enough money to pay their bills.

The third way to earn money is the best option. This entrepreneurial option involves trading expertise/value for money. This is the strategy of entrepreneurial experts. You have a flexible schedule, work less, and earn more. You can make thousands of dollars a day in this option.

In order to earn money through trading expertise/value for money you need to first figure out who you are and what you can give to others. What information do you know that could help others? You can find value from previous work experience or even from your hobbies. From this you can create your intellectual property.

What is Intellectual property? How big is the market for Intellectual property? Is there room for you in the Intellectual property market? These may be a few of the questions you have when you are investigating the information marketing business. First of all, anyone can create intellectual property. You don’t need to be a Rocket Scientist. You just need to have an area or expertise, or access to an expert, and a drive to succeed.

Intellectual property combines e-commerce and book publishing. For example, you can write and sell an eBook. Recent research has found that approximately 6 out of every 10 American adults surf the Internet on a daily basis seeking out entertainment, education, and to shop for products. People are more comfortable buying online then in the past. The market through the Internet is global and encompasses millions of people. Therefore, the information marketing business has room for everyone!

When you market on the Internet, you market to your niche. Therefore, you don’t have to worry whether or not your neighbor will want to buy your product. The Internet opens the niche market for you.

If creating and selling intellectual property on the Internet is so simple, why isn’t everyone doing this? The formal educational system and previous societal beliefs are to blame. In school, we are taught to finish school and then become an employee at a company. The entrepreneurial spirit is not promoted; in fact it is almost shunned.

Don’t let societal beliefs stop you. The intellectual property market is wide, diverse, and ready to fill your pocket book with cash.

How to Build a Customer Focused Business

You can have the best products, the plushest offices, the best location, but unless you are a ‘customer focused’ business, all of this counts for nothing, you will never really hit the heights you deserve.

So what can you do to build a business which focuses outwardly on the customer, and not inwardly on the business?

Build Passion and Commitment

The first building block is passion and commitment. This is the very foundation stone of a customer focused business. Without passion and commitment the structure you will build above will be weak and prone to collapse at the first sign of stress.

The passion and commitment has to come from you and your staff. All of you have to totally believe in the concept of the customer being the centre of everything you do. From the moment you step into work everyone has to do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer.

As the key person in the business what can you do to build passion and commitment? Lead from the front and set an example. Keep the concept at the top of the agenda and demonstrate it in everything you do. Keep talking about it. Celebrate all the great examples of putting the customer totally in focus.

Build Processes Around Your Customer Not The Business

All great businesses have clearly laid down processes on how to get things done. Whether you have a formal Process Manual or a Quick Reference Guide, which sets out your processes, a clear procedure provides confidence and clarity for both your staff and the customer.

But don’t just build your processes around making things easier for you, build them to make things easier for the customer. Look at every step in the process and ask yourself, “Can we do something to make it even easier for the customer to do business with us?”Are there steps which can be refined or even eliminated all together? Be inquisitive, bold and challenging!

Build a Relationship

Building a relationship with your customer is at the very heart of a customer focused model. Build a strong, firm relationship and you will have a customer for life. The basis of relationship building is A.B.C. – Always Be Communicating. Here are some ideas on building an enduring and profitable relationship through ABC:

• Make a point to periodically call your customers. Set up a diary system to provide you with a regular reminder or prompt. Call them even if you have nothing sell! A strange concept perhaps but you never know what will come out of the conversation

• Issue quarterly newsletters telling them about your latest products, what you have planned for the future, a customer profile, news about new employees. Find anything which would be of interest and at the same time binding both of you closer together

• Make it a point during any conversation to find out something about the business you didn’t know before. File away any interesting fact and think how you can use it in the future. Imagine how powerful it would be when you ask how the idea they mentioned in your last conversation was going!

• Do memorable things. Send birthday or anniversary cards to your key contact, a simple thank you note for doing business with us, send articles or newspaper cuttings, which you think will be of interest to them

Build a Culture of ‘Wanting To Know’

If you are to build a reputation for being customer focused you should be making an effort to find out on a regular basis what they want from you. This can be achieved by either an informal phone call or a more formal survey via mail or e-mail. Find out what they like about your business, what they don’t like and what changes they would like to see.

Having gathered together all the information, suggestions and ideas, set out an action plan to follow up. Once you have acted upon the workable suggestions, get in touch with the customers again and tell them what you have done in response to their comments. This will demonstrate that you have taken their ideas seriously and really care about what they think. Powerful stuff!

Being customer focused can be very rewarding and help in building a great business. Which of these steps are you going to put into practice today? Remember this – let the customer be your focus and you will become their focus.

The Start of Your Own Business

Excitement at the thought of starting your own business venture, fear at the thought of failure, are the two major emotions that people face when thinking of starting their own business. For many the fear of failure is enough to hold them back from taking the chance at starting their own small business; however, with careful planning and some luck a small business will be set for success.

When starting a small business it is important to step back and decide what exactly the company will be focusing on. What type of products or services will it be providing and to what group or niche will the company be aiming towards as its target audience. This seems like a simple enough step however many people many people either try to cater to too broad of an audience or to too small of a group. Although trying to appeal to a large audience may sound great at first, it can be harmful for a small business. Trying to cater to a broad spectrum of people makes the company lose focus and ultimately lose its identity. Targeting too small of an audience is a problem simply because a small target group makes for a small population of potential customers.

Another thing to consider is the supply and demand of the market that the company will be focused on. A company will need to either be excellent at what it does, very unique in what it does, and most importantly lucky to succeed let alone survive. Choosing a market that is largely in demand and short in supply will increase a company’s chance of survival immensely. The opposite can be said for a market that is low in supply and large in demand. Try to study where current business trends are headed towards and what is needed or wanted by today’s consumers. Also, it is important when looking at trends to try and think about its long term viability. The last thing that you want to do is start a business based on a fad that is over within a year or two.

When a general direction is decided for your small business, it is important to then think about the things that your company will do better than your competition. What will make you unique? What will make people choose your products and services over anyone else’s? Most importantly, is there something that will make people choose you over your competition? There is definitely a problem if the last question was met with hesitation or a no. There needs to be something that sets your company apart from the rest and pulls you out from the mold of every other business.

Finally when all of that is set, it is important to think of how you will get your name out to your consumers. Marketing and advertisement are crucial in getting your business known to your audience especially at the start of your business. If it’s possible getting a public relations firm to help market your name will help immensely.

Advantages Of Time Management

The advantages of time management include reducing stress, gaining time, reducing avoidance, while promoting reviews and eliminating cramming. Another advantage is that managing time helps us to stay motivated while we avoid procrastination.

The trick to successful time management is setting up goals that work, while having an awareness of those goals and prioritizing your list of goals. When you set up an effective time management plan, you are growing and upholding a personal commitment to yourself, with the ability to be more flexible.

When you have a great time management plan, you are giving yourself an individual chance to, to generate a timetable that works to suit your busy caseload. When you create a good plan, you will soon find time to do all the things that matter most to you in life. In addition, when you have a good time management plan, you are saving your health.

Plans have a schedule timed, which includes all the activities you are responsible to handle. Your Master Timetable should include all the most important activities you are responsible to handle. It is important that you modify this schedule according to your time changes. When you set up a Master Timetable, you will need to list the priorities first, and work your way down to the least important tasks.

It is important that you follow as you write the tasks first listed. In other words, if you state on your Master Timetable that you need to write up some documents for your business, then do this task first and proceed to the next task. Try to avoid handling multitasking at once, unless it is your job and you are sufficient, and have laid out a time management plan.

You will also need to include meals, sleep, family, friends, yourself, and other tasks if you they are a part of your time management. By setting up a Master Timetable, you can work out your time scheme by working through the list on the time chart. Try to avoid skipping a scheduled task, or procrastinating, since this will only delay your plan.

It is important to keep in mind, that time is essential. When we waste time, we are wasting money. After you have laid out a suitable Schedule Timetable, you will soon learn that your motivation has increased, while your progress is moving ahead. In addition, you will soon find that your stress level is at a normal state. When you are not focused, or do not have a time management plan, you are only hurting yourself in the long run.

Most people without a time management plan often suffer with poor health, insomnia, and other discomforting issues. Some people even find themselves in court waiting for the judge to say “You are now divorced.” So you can see that time management is important since it affects everyone around you, but most of all, it affects you.

A final tip: Exercise and eating right plays an essential role to time management, since when you feel good, you work well under a management plan.

10 Marketing Tips For Entrepreneurs

Nothing happens in business until a sale is made. Marketing is simply about getting new customers and keeping them. If you’re not doing something everyday to market and promote your business, your competitors are. Here are ten easy-to-implement tips to effectively market and grow your business:

1. Partner with large email database list owners and offer to cross promote each oher. The list owner will advertise your event, product, or service to their email database and you’ll offer to do the same to your list.

2. Create your own blog which is an online journal with frequently updated posts to entertain and excite existing and potential customers. It’s more personal and immediate then a website and keeps people engaged and hopefully coming back for more. You can even create one for free at http://www.blogger.com.

3. If you want to increase word-of-mouth fast, do something beyond normal industry expectations. For example, Mr. Lube offers fast and affordable tune-up service to customers right on the spot, without having to leave the car, while offering coffee, cappuccino, and a fresh newspaper.

4. Always ask happy clients for endorsements or testimonials and put them on your website and other marketing collateral. They’re worth their weight in gold. Try to get some recognizable names in your community for additional cachet.

5. Put a special offer or product advertorial on every invoice and statement you send out. Likewise, you can also negotiate a deal with another company to advertise your product or service on all their invoices for a percentage of revenues from placed orders.

6. Make your business cards stand out and be natural keepers. Offer important information on the back such as emergency phone numbers, a map, or special dates to remember. Have a slogan that offers a powerful benefit statement to your prospective customer.

7. Offer special bonus packages with your product or service offering. Get corporate sponsors to give away products as part of the bonus package in exchange for free exposure.

8. Align your business with a cause or charity. Give back to your community. Customers appreciate doing business with companies that are bettering their communities and the environment and being good corporate citizens.

9. Find an angle that makes your work controversial. The banning of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, reviewed as "trashy and vicious," was a blessing in disguise. Twain made a poster advertising the ban, which significantly increased sales.

10. Post frequently in online message boards/forums relevant to your business or expertise. Include your signature and offer tips and valuable advice. Eventually you will begin gaining word-of-mouth exposure as a leader in your field. Posting messages with your company information also helps to increase your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site.

Aikido and The Art of Selling




What's your first instinct? Most of us will do one of two things. We’ll either try to step away, or we’ll raise our arms to deflect him and fight back, which can result in harm to you or to your attacker.

But if you were trained in Aikido, the Japanese martial art that focuses on diverting an attacker’s energy, you could quickly diffuse the situation by immobilizing him without harming him in any way.

In essence, you’re diffusing the energy that he’s using to try and attack you in a way that takes the conflict out of the situation.

Unlock The Game and the philosophy behind Aikido have many similarities.

Traditional cold calling and selling are designed to focus only on the "close" by presenting -- or in too many cases, "pushing" -- your solution onto prospects, sometimes even when they’re not interested.

But if you focus only on your goal of making the sale before having a discussion about the problems that you can help your prospects solve, something happens.

They start feeling that you’re "attacking" them. After all, you’re a stranger to them, and when you start talking about yourself and your solution rather than about them and their specific issues, you immediately trigger their suspicion and cause them to start "pushing back."

This pushback is the resistance or energy that Unlock The Game teaches you to diffuse. Then both of you can quickly "get on the same page" and open a natural dialogue that will let you determine whether it makes sense for you to work together.

Let's look at two real selling scenarios -- cold calling and "get-you-off-the-phone" objections:

Scenario 1: Cold Calling

Suppose you’re at your desk and you receive a call from someone who says "Hi, my name is Jack Johnson, I'm with XYZ Company, and we’re a full-solution provider of..." Is your first reaction to welcome and be open to his call? Or do your mental defenses immediately kick in and you shut down against this stranger "salesperson"?

Probably the latter, especially if you sense that the caller is focused on his interests and not yours.

That’s why this old-school cold calling approach triggers the resistance and negative energy that prospects immediately throw your way.

The Unlock The Game way to make a successful cold call -- "successful" being defined as not triggering rejection -- is by beginning your call with, "Hi, my name is Jack, maybe you can help me out for a moment?" That simple question is a very natural way of beginning a conversation with a stranger.

But you can't just read this word for word, like a script. It won’t work. That would be like an Aikido instructor teaching a first-time student the physical movements before he or she has learned the philosophy necessary to carry them out.

The same applies here. First you need to integrate a new Mindset that changes the goal of your call from making the sale, or getting an appointment, to engaging the person in a natural two-way dialogue.

To do this, your voice has to be low-key. You have to avoid communicating any hint of typical "salesperson" enthusiasm, or any sense that you’re trying to direct the conversation to an end goal. Once you integrate the Mindset, all this kicks in naturally.

So, if you want to succeed in prospecting and cold calling, become aware of how you might be triggering the resistance or energy that instinctively causes prospects to push back against you.

Scenario 2: "Get-you-off-the-phone" objections

Here’s another example. Forget the idea of "overcoming objections." Doing that only triggers more resistance from prospects that’s very difficult to diffuse.

Think about it for a moment. When prospects give a reason why they don’t want to proceed --when they "put up resistance" -- you’ve been trained to "overcome" their objections rather than to diffuse their resistance by acknowledging that what they’re telling you is their truth.

By applying the Unlock The Game Mindset™ and skills, you diffuse that resistance and remove the conflict from the situation, just as in Aikido.

Here’s the Unlock The Game™ process for dealing with objections:

1. Diffuse the objection with "That's not a problem... (Pause)"

2. Acknowledge the truth of their objection (see the sample language below).

3. Reopen the conversation with "Would you be open to..."

For example, suppose a prospect says, "We already have a vendor." The path of diffusing and reengaging would go like this:

1. "That's not a problem...(Pause)"

2. "I wasn't calling to replace the vendor you’re currently using." Here, you’re addressing their suspicion that your only focus is on making the sale and on ripping out their relationship with their current vendor. You’re simply asking whether they would be open to different ideas that might help them solve a problem. This diffuses the tension.

3. "Would you be open to some different ideas that you might not be using now?" After the tension is dissolved, this lets you reopen the conversation in a natural way because they clearly understand that your goal is to help them. Then, if things are a match between you, you can decide where to go from there.

Keep in mind that this process will work only if you fully integrate the Mindset so it feels as natural to you as breathing.

In short, if you’re using any form of traditional selling, you could be triggering a resistance every time you communicate with your prospect.

But if you learn this new Mindset, along with words and phrases that remove any conflict or tension from the relationship, you’ll have taken your first steps toward your black belt in unlocking the cold calling game!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Solid Choice for Business cards

In order to keep pace with today’s busy world, you go out with a potent handy tool. It must be so accessible that you can put them in your pocket. Tiny yet powerful, what do you think will it be?

Whether you are a businessman, lawyer, doctor, engineer, model, marketing analyst, you are definitely in need of business cards. Let’s face it, we cannot cope up just by talking the whole day. Our facilities are limited thus, we have to extend them through the help of marketing tools.

Business cards are powerful in the sense that it can transmit valuable information by just handing them to individuals. Whether you know them or nor does not matter. What matters is that you give them to the right recipients.

Who then, are the right recipients? They can be your prospective clients or customers, your friends, your associates and employees. With this, you can be assured that your money will not be put to trash but will serve as an investment to make your business or profession productive.

Brochures need to be eye-catching so as to attract attention. Thus, they must be printed in the most effective manner. The solid choice though is 4 color business cards printing. Why? Simply stated, it is outstanding – outstanding for the cards, outstanding for your resources.

To choose how many colors to use in a brochure printing job is an easy task. You will just have to consider the text, image, graphics, logo and the likes. This is another reason why 4 color printing is such a big hit. With it, colors are like a huge palette available to be used by the printer. Second, it is not expensive like six-color printing and spot colors.

To achieve color quality, avoid doing color separations just by yourself. Seek assistance from printers. 4 color process is pretty exacting and may not be tolerated by amateurs. Thus, you have to have assistance from the pool of experts when it comes to 4 color business cards printing. Printers can adjust to your business card printing needs.

Business cards are advised to be printed on coated paper. After that varnish or liquid lamination is applied. This will make them durable and lasting. To be sure that you will be getting high-quality prints, request for matchprint proofs.

Make a lasting business card impression, 4 color business cards printing can be your valuable formula!

Business Plans - What is including?

Business Plan - What Is It? 

A business plan is a document that provide answers to the type of questions anyone who may provide financing would like to know about your home business. A business plan says. "I've considered this from every angle, and here's what I've come up with". What is your product or service? This is the first question every business plan should answer. You must explain in the clear, concise language what in the world you plan to produce or what service you plan to provide. 

Who are Your Customers? You need to clearly identify your customers in order to properly target your advertising, packaging, pricing, et. 

What Makes You Different? You need to identify the "primary factors" that will make your business different than other businesses you'll be competing with. 


What are Your Expenses? Your start-up expenses include any equipment that you need before you can get up-and-running, while your day-to-day expenses are staff costs and supplies. 
Following is a Simplified Example of Business Plan 

Catering Plus 

The business will be a home-based catering company, producing luxury food for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. We will provide a comprehensive catering service, while specializing in high end customized cakes, which have a higher profit margin than other foods. 

Our catering business will be aimed at middle-class customers who desire a top-of-the-line catering but must operate on a budget. Our initial market area will consist of Mytown and the affluent area of Theretown. Perniagaan

We will only use commerical grade ingredients purchased from wholesalers and provide top quality design and service. This will allow us to provide food that looks tastes great, while keeping costs as low as possible. 

Beause I will be using my kitchen and making the food myself, there are only two real expenses: The purchase of an industrial grade mixer and then the day-to-day cost of supplies. Our research has shown that this supplier offers the best value for start-ups. 

To wrap it up, you should include a breakdown of both projected profit and loss per month (in graph form)for the first year in business. Show one-time and day-to-day expenses versus projected profit to indicate how you will pay-off your loan. Your business plan should show you making enough of a profit each month to live on - if it doesn't, then it may be considered unfeasible. 

Study a Few Real-World Business Plans 

The best way to get a real a feel for the dos and do nots of a business plans is to find real-world plans that have already been approved and study them. A good place to start is the internet. Once you've studied a few, you will get a better feel for how much work will be involved in putting your business plan together.