Wednesday, October 31, 2012

7 No Cost Tips to Market Your Business

Marketing a business can be fun, exciting and creative. It can also be very frustrating and expensive if one doesn’t know what outcome they are looking for or how to evaluate cost effective methods of marketing.

Over the years people have come to know me for my unique ability to develop low cost and no cost strategies to market and promote a business, product or service. Strategies that have realized incredible returns.

Some of my successes have included:

- Before my last book was published I pre-sold over $8,000 in books
- Over 250 people registered for a recent seminar in less than 2 weeks and the cost to promote was under $25
- One company used my strategies for a career expo and made over $180,000 in consulting fees
- One speaker sold over $23,000 in product sales back of the room at a two hour seminar with strategies outlined in my program

I don’t share this to impress anyone, rather to impress upon you when using the right strategies for your market, you can realize some incredible results.

People have also come to know me as someone who is a stickler when it comes to putting systems in place. My marketing successes are a direct result of the systems I have implemented.

With a bit of forethought, planning and desire, you can successfully market your business in a very effective manner. Below are seven proven strategies sure to increase visibility, leads and sales.

1. Business Cards
Business cards are often one of the most underutilized tools in one’s marketing.
Use the front and back of your business card to gain full benefit. Depending on your market you can put some very valuable information on the back such as a sports schedule, emergency numbers, or special dates people want to remember.

Keep some in your wallet, your automobile, on your desk, and some at home. Be sure to carry them with you wherever you go and be willing to hand them out as opportunity presents itself.

Creatively distribute your card. When you eat out you can leave one with the tip.
If you borrow a library book, use one as a book mark. Hand them to clerks in stores who may know other people who could use your product or service.

When someone gives you their business card be sure to enter their information in your database. Send them a short note or email within 48 hours of meeting them to keep your name fresh in their mind.

2. Send a picture
A great way to keep your name fresh in a customer’s mind is to send them a picture of when they purchased a product or service from you.

Put a picture of a buyer’s auto purchase in a beautiful calendar. Likely, the proud owner of the vehicle will display the calendar for the next 365 days.

For specialty gift shops, when a customer makes a substantial purchase, have a picture taken with the shop owner. Frame the picture and send it to the customer.
Chances are very good the picture will be displayed proudly for friends and family to see.

A dentist who specializes in smile makeovers can easily arrange to have a professional makeup artist and photographer capture the patient’s beautiful new smile. No doubt the patient will be more than happy to show others their new look.

3. Associations
Associations particular to your market are a great resource for marketing. There are associations specific to virtually any industry, job type or business. A quick web search will likely show you how much is available.

A major opportunity within many organizations is the chance to network. Additionally, to make presentations. Along with presentations come publications.
Often, when you do a presentation, you will get a mention in the association newsletter, their Ezine and/or on their website.

In many cases, when an organization has a newsletter or Ezine, they welcome the presenter writing a press announcement for them. It saves them time and often assures you have a better chance of the information making it into the publication.

They may also welcome you writing an article for their publication or website.
This lends itself to pre-presentation visibility. Additionally, you will position yourself as an expert and increase credibility.

Most organizations have the following opportunities that can help you to gain visibility and do some very effective marketing:

-Newsletters
-Internet listings
-Links to you website
-Discounted advertising rates
-Networking opportunities
-Business referral services
-Special recognition events
-Education seminars
-Business and membership directories

In many cases you will need to be a member of the association to take advantage of the multiple marketing opportunities. In other cases membership is not necessary.

4. Committee Involvement
Committee involvement is a great way to give back to the association or community while building visibility for you and your business. In some cases, you may even want to get involved in a committee where you have little experience or knowledge. This will give you an opportunity to stretch yourself and meet and network with individuals you may not have otherwise had the chance to meet.

5. Contests and drawings
Contests are a favorite for many businesses such as restaurants or those that have high foot traffic. Contests are a great way to build your database quickly.
You are generating very hot leads when you have a contest with people who have already frequented your place of business. The key though is to do back -end marketing. Far too many businesses hold contests, get lots of names and do nothing with them. In this case, it is a complete waste of time to hold a contest.
You can advertise a contest to gain new foot traffic in your place of business.
Trade show booths are a great place to hold a contest. Pre-show marketing helps to generate traffic at your booth. Invite people to stop by booth # _____  (whatever your booth is) to enter to win. Creative contests can also generate free publicity.

6. Cross-promoting
Join with other companies who have products or services that compliment yours and promote each other. Let’s say you have a massage business. You could partner with a candle company to sell their candles to your massage clients. They can give out coupons for your massage business. Or the candle company can partner with a gift basket company. Cross-promoting is only limited by your imagination.

This can considerably cut down the cost of business promotion and allow each business to use promotion techniques that might be too expensive to implement alone.

7. Bonuses
Secure special offers from various businesses who want to share a similar market as you. When a customer buys a minimum amount they receive a bonus packet with the various offers from the other vendors. This is a win/win all the way around. The other vendors gain visibility, you have something extra to offer you customers and the customers get incredible value for their purchase.

Be aware of who you cross-promote and joint venture with. You want someone who will be equally committed to a campaign.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

5 Ways to Stay Motivated in Your Work at Home Business

Whether you're just starting out with your work at home business or you've had a home business for many years, you'll need to stay motivated if you're going to see continual success. Everyone goes through a home business slump occasionally, but it's those who stay motivated who will reach their goals. Here are five simple ways you can stay motivated in your work at home business.

1. Work from a List

Create a daily, weekly and even monthly list of things to do in your business. This sounds so simple, but yet a "to do" list is a powerful tool in helping you accomplish home business tasks. Prioritize your list each day so you can do those things that are most important first. If you have tasks that you absolutely dread, then put those tasks at the very top of the list if possible. This will give you a free mind for the remainder of the day to concentrate on the tasks you enjoy.

A list can consist of many things, from promotion steps to phone calls to make, and even a stack of papers that must be organized on your desk. Most successful business people create a list and then check off items as they are completed. This gives a sense of accomplishment throughout the day as you complete tasks.

2. Search for New Opportunities during Slow Business Times

Having a slow time in your work at home business? Don't despair. And, whatever you do, don't go apply for a job at the local fast food chain - just yet! Stay motivated by seeking out other home business opportunities that may tie into your current business.

Perhaps you offer a product or service that sells very slowly during the spring months. You could seek out related products or services that would be popular during those months to offset the other in profits. This will give you a chance to make money and enjoy multiple streams of income year round!

3. Take an Online Training Course for Better Education

Educate yourself through online training courses related to your field so you can learn how to maximize your skills and profits. There are many training courses available online today in the fields of web design, graphic design, online marketing, real estate, travel, office skills, medical, insurance, and finance.

With online training, you choose only those courses that will benefit you and your work at home business. You can usually take the courses at your own leisure from home, and will pay far less than you would for a college course.

4. Expand Marketing Avenues

Don't settle for less. Use the wisdom and experience of others who have been in business a while to expand your marketing avenues. You might consider reading after top marketers to get Internet marketing ideas. Also, there are many ways to promote your work at home business off-line.

To stay motivated, always test your efforts to see what results they bring. This is far more exciting than paying for ads and never knowing if they work or not!

5. Network with Others

Another way to stay motivated during a business slump is to network with others. Find others in related fields who can offer advice and encouragement about your business. A work at home business can be lonely at times because you never leave the house! Finding others online and off-line who do the same thing will give you an outlet for those lonely days.

Use these tips to stay motivated in your work at home business. You deserve success, so don't give up!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

5 Ways to Incorporate Network Marketing with Your Home-Based Business Opportunity

Many people are looking for a new business opportunity to make money at home. The Internet has made it possible to market products and services all over the world. This has created a huge potential for individuals to be involved in their own home business.

Some people work at home for themselves, providing services to others, or selling their own exclusive products. There are business opportunities in MLM, and network marketing that allow a person to earn money while selling for someone else. Either way, it depends on the ambition and dedication of the person involved. Any business can become a success with hard work and a product that is easy to sell.

Finding a Business Opportunity

Network marketing is about selling and dispersal. You want to get your product known to prospective customers and have it distributed so that it creates more sales for you. By investing a small sum of money, you can begin to make money and work from home selling your own products or products for another company.

Promote Your Business

The first and best form of advertising and marketing is word of mouth. Whenever a person finds a new product, or a new store, new doctor, or a new restaurant, they tell everyone they know about it. This stirs up interest and encourages people to try something new. If you have a product or service to sell, the ones who use it will become your best form of advertisement. Many businesses depend on this positive form of network marketing.

Secondly, to make your product known to more people, try printing business cards to hand out everywhere you go. When you go to the grocery store, church, school meetings or other everyday places, hand your cards out with a friendly smile. This will spread your name and increase your business opportunity.

Thirdly, you can promote your products through your own website or by emailing people from related websites. The Internet is also useful for marketing by submitting articles related to your products to other websites.

Fourthly, another effective network marketing tool is a send-out card. These keep you in touch with your clients and customers by using a more personal approach. Sending an email is easy and cheap but it does not seem as personal as a card addressed to them

Fifthly, network marketing is not just about making a one-time sale. You need to generate new sales and keep your customers coming back for repeat business. A business opportunity that enables you to add products or sell multiple products to your previous customers will give you a solid foundation for building a steady yearly income.

Following up on your customers will build a relationship that will develop confidence in your home business. By thanking your customers for their business and staying in touch, you show them how valuable their business is to you.

Build Your Home Business

The success of your home business will depend on your dedication and hard work. You don't have to start out with a lot of overhead expenses and huge facilities. By investing a few hours a week, you can slowly build your business and not be overwhelmed by debt. Start working today to build up your home business and enjoy fulfillment and financial security.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

5 Tips To Successful Joint Ventures

When businesses think of team building, business owners usually associate it with building their company’s internal workforce into a lean-mean fighting machine.  Team building, however, should be extended to include external relationships such as those with other businesses.  Enter joint ventures or JVs for short.

Joint ventures generally are business partnerships established between two or more parties (individuals, business groups, companies, corporations) for the purposes of expanding the business and achieving merits by joining forces and working as a team. The parties involved in joint venture agreements complement each other, leverage each other’s assets assets, compensate each other’s weaknesses, and at times equally share risks.

Less than 5% of businesses actually use joint ventures effectively and most don’t even use it at all.  In order to get the most out of joint ventures correctly, multiple factors such as choosing who to partner with, approaching potential partners correctly, negotiating a win-win deal for all parties involved, and having a well-coordinated execution need to be taken into consideration.

There are several types of joint ventures. Big companies may join forces to become even more powerful and thus dominate the market, while small companies may team up to build a stronger presence in their market niche in order to fend off bigger, resource-rich companies. JVs can also be used to gain access into foreign markets. Foreign companies often form joint ventures with indigenous companies that are already present on the market, but lack capital or financing to truly take advantage of the market potential. Foreign companies can bring money, new technologies and competitive strategies into a joint venture deal, while benefiting from the relationships and the brand of the domestic company.

These complementary partnerships benefit all the businesses involved if set up correctly with the right partner.  Here’s a powerful but simple example of a JV that many businesses can take advantage of to grow their small business fast.  It is a highly efficient method of increasing business profits by teaming up with another partner whose business is non-competitive and offers a highly valuable asset, a highly responsive client list that would be interested in your products or services. By tapping into this hidden goldmine, small businesses can save thousands of dollars in marketing expense to reach their target clientele while achieving the goal of boosting the bottom line.  The business offering the vehicle in which to reach these clientele, the client list, benefits from offering complementary products and services that it does not sell and makes a cut of the sales generated from marketing to this list.

Here are 5 tips for joint venture success:

- Choose your partners carefully.  A joint venture has greater chance of being successful if partners have an excellent reputation. An essential component to good team building is having the right partners.  They must be trustworthy and have a high level of integrity.

Joint ventures involve extensive team building effort because it is a relationship between two parties and if the relationship is to last, it must be nurtured and kept going.  Both parties must be able to trust each other and deliver on each other’s promises.  To find the right partner, perform solid market research and approach only businesses you would want to do business with long term.  If you want to form a partnership with a certain company, make sure that its business practices are in-line with yours. It would be very difficult for you to form a reliable team with people who lack motivation or professionalism, so you should look for well-trained, open-minded potential partners.

- Know what to expect from the beginning of any JV relationship.  Know from the start what your goals are, what you want to accomplish, and see if your goals are attuned with the partner.  Each company should come up with a marketing plan and clearly specify what is expected from their potential partners.

Plan your strategy ahead of time and make sure you cover all the legal aspects stipulated in your joint venture contract, like resource availability and management, special allocations, mutual gains, deductions and income issues. Stick to the business development plan and establish new priorities and goals as you progress. By efficiently managing resources and by maintaining a good, competitive business policy, you will secure the longevity and the success of your business.

- Draft proposals like mini-sales letters.  Compose a professional proposal letter explaining the advantages of the joint venture in a convincing way. Keep it short, clear, concise and coherent while briefly introducing your business and why they should do business with you.  Remember to tune in to the radio station your prospective JV partner listens to, WIIFM or What’s In It For Me.

If you want to propose a joint venture to anyone you have to give them a really good reason why they should do it.  Otherwise, they will most likely decline your proposal. Big, successful companies receive many joint venture offers so you have to stand out. You should educate them about the advantages and the benefits of choosing you over the others. If this partner happens to be a dream partner, stay persistent as persistence demonstrates sincerity and determination to make it work for the potential JV partner.

- Avoid shooting too high with your offers.  If you are a smaller business, do not target your offer to a large company first as it will most likely be thrown away.  Instead of aiming too high at this point, establish successful joint ventures with small companies in order to get noticed by the bigger, powerful ones.  Establish a reputation as a solid business owner who knows how to turn joint ventures into gold for their partners.  Businesses naturally gravitate towards successful businesses.  Remember to toot your own horn by announcing JVs through press releases and/or articles in trade magazines.  As your business expands, the competition will quickly become aware of your presence, and there is a chance that powerful companies might come up with proposals of joining forces with your company. 

- Be honest and open with all business transactions always.  Once you have negotiated the details of the joint venture, the actual work begins. In order to keep things going, a lot of trust, understanding and expertise are needed for ongoing team building on both sides.  Maintain an open dialogue and always address issues upfront before it becomes a bigger problem that threatens to break up the partnership.

These are the basic rules for joint ventures and it is ultimately up to you to see whether a deal will be successful.  Learn with each joint venture deal to improve on the next deal.  Deals can only be made if you go after them.  With lots of hard work, you’ll develop enough expertise to be a joint venture expert and take your business to the next level.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

5 Tips for Estimating Your Start-up Costs

Before you take out a second mortgage, use these rules to figure out the realistic costs of setting up a business.

Have a Solid Plan — Then Change It
Most business start-up stories say that you have to have a business plan. And you do. But that's not the beginning and end of figuring out your start-up costs.
Jeff Shuman, who directs entrepreneurial studies at Bentley College, says, "The conventional wisdom is that an entrepreneur sees an opportunity, comes up with a business plan to capitalise on it, determines the capital that needs to be raised, raises the capital and then applies it to building the business described in the business plan."
There's one major problem with that model, says Shuman. It all hinges on getting the business right the first time, and that doesn't often happen. "In reality, it's likely that some of your initial assumptions are pretty good and others aren't going to be worth the paper they're written on," he says.
Shuman and others say that figuring out your start-up costs means regularly reviewing your assumptions and changing your initial model. Writing a plan is good because it forces you to write down everything you are going to need to start your business.
But that initial plan is likely to change repeatedly as you learn new things and incorporate them into the plan.

Be Willing to Pull Back
It's tempting to add up everything you need for the full-fledged business you imagine, and decide it's what you need to start out.
But pulling back and looking for a smaller model can give you a way to get started while also saving money. Shuman uses the example of someone who calculates the total cost of starting a retail business in a local shopping centre.
"You could start that way and write a business plan based on that amount," he says. "But maybe you'd be better off renting a stand and testing what the demand is for your products at that location."
This consumer testing reduces your initial start-up costs. The result is that the initial cycle of your business is dedicated not so much to generating profits as to generating information. "With this, you can fund your business on a cycle-by-cycle basis," Shuman says. "When you go for the second cycle and for expanding your business, the numbers are now based not on focus groups or surveys but on real-world experience."

Calculate Prices and Time Correctly
Calculating your initial cash flow is part of figuring out your start-up costs. It's an area where businesses are sometimes less optimistic than they should be. "Small business owners may under-price their product or service, thinking they have to come in at the lowest price point to compete," says Barbara Bird, who chairs the business management program at an American university. "They don't necessarily need to do that."

Correctly Estimate Your Start-up Time
Yes, when beginning a business, time can be money. Let's say you're going to have fixed costs such as a monthly lease. If you have to make improvements to a space before you can actually open for business, those fixed costs are going to be additional start-up costs until you can actually open for business. I've watched many entrepreneurs draw up a timeline for their ventures and get tripped up on the safety and inspection requirements imposed by local agencies.
For that reason, I think one of the first places a prospective new business owner should go is to the local government planning or license department. Construction permits and inspections can push a prospective opening date back by months. If you fail to take into account the cost of this time, you could be short of working capital right at the start.

Be Realistic About the Cost of Money
Many small business owners finance their ventures by running up big balances on their personal credit cards. Others tap the equity in their homes.
But self-financing isn't a practical option for larger ventures. Tom Emerson, who directs the entrepreneurship centre at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, says start-ups should figure in the cost of capital when determining initial expenses and cash flow. "The cost is usually based on what the interest would be, were that cash invested in something with similar risk on the market" Emerson says. "It's usually a figure that is a few percentage points or more above the prime rate."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Money Online

There are many ways to make money online today, and thousands of people are earning a substantial income from the comfort of their own homes. How are they making money? With a successful Internet business, of course!

Perhaps you want to earn a part-time income from home or start a full-time Internet business. Maybe you're a mom who wants to stay home while earning a living. Or, maybe you're sick and tired of the "rat race" and want to settle down with your own home business. Whatever the case, you can choose one of the sure-fire methods of making money online below to get started.

1. Offer Services That Other Web Business Owners Will Need

Many people earn money online while offering services that other Web business owners need on a continual basis. These services include Web hosting, domain name registration, web design, and content writing. Every new website must have a Web host, domain name, web designer and content. These services are available everywhere online, but fortunately, there's always room for a few more! Online users are starting new Internet businesses every day. So, the potential for making money online with these services is tremendous.

You can start from scratch with these businesses or find a company that allows you to resell its products and services. For instance, instead of setting up your own servers to become a Web host, you can become a reseller of hosting services and share a part of the profits. With this setup, your primary job is to promote the service. The parent Web host company does the rest.

2. Expand Your Present Business

If you already own a business, you can expand it by using a website. If your company has its own website, your customers can go online to learn more about you, buy your products or ask questions. It's a great way to advertise and build customer trust. Also, you can mention your website address in all your print, television and radio advertising to maximize results.

3. Start a "Niche" Internet Business

Many people start small Internet businesses that reflect who they are or what they enjoy. The word "niche" took on a whole new meaning when the Internet came into existence. A niche business can be anything you want it to be - an online flower shop, online classic car club, online magazine, online clothing store, online shopping mall, online photo stock agency, online candy store, online quilt outlet, or an online shoe store. Choose something you enjoy doing and find a way to build a small Internet business around that theme. And, don't let the word "small" fool you. Owning a small business is a great way to make money on the Internet!

4. Earn Money Online Through Auctions

Don't have time to manage a website? Try online auctions. You can sell just about anything at eBay and other Internet auction sites, but be sure you choose a market that has a strong demand. Some items sell well through auctions, some don't. Also, be sure to choose a product with a high profit margin so you don't lose money each time you list your items.

5. Provide Internet Marketing Services

Online company owners are always looking for effective ways to promote their websites. If you're a savvy Internet marketer, this business offers a tremendous money opportunity for you. You can earn money online while helping others increase their profits. Internet marketing today involves search engine promotion and SEO, Web content and optimization for article pages, pay-per-click campaigns, keyword research, press releases, banner and pop-up advertising, e-zine and mailing lists, and link exchanges. You can specialize in one of these areas or offer marketing techniques for all categories.

These are five proven ways to make money online. Each of these opportunities can provide a steady stream of income if you work diligently to promote your online business and services and always provide excellent customer service. Use these ideas to get started making money today!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Super Wealth-Building Tips Pave the Way to Financial Freedom

There are so many things involved with building wealth that it would take much more than one article to explain it all. So, we've put together a simple five-step guide to help you get a great start in building wealth for a lifetime.

Step 1: Set Specific Goals

Goal setting is a task that can be easily put off - especially when you are extremely busy in day-to-day activities. However, goal setting is the first and one of the most important steps you'll take to achieve wealth. Set both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals may be daily, weekly and monthly goals. These should reveal where you would like to be financially by a certain time in the near future.

Long-term goals include the amount of wealth you would like to accumulate within a year, two years, or maybe even five or ten years. Both types of goals are necessary to build wealth. Without goals, you are wondering blindly with no care or thought of what's ahead. This pattern of life is sure to leave you empty-handed!

Step 2: Create a Business Plan

Every successful business from the past and today started with a plan. Your business plan should illustrate where you are now, where you plan to be in the future, and how you're going to get there. Write these few notes down on paper. Then, fill in the blanks to create a rough business plan. It's easier than you think.

*Your current income
*Business profits and expenses (if you already own a business)
*Business budget (or personal budget if working for someone else)
*Capital needed upfront to promote and operate business
*Plans to acquire the capital needed (source of capital)
*Spending plan (promotions, supplies, inventory, online expenses, etc.)
*Expectations (What results do you expect from your initial efforts?)

Creating a business plan is a necessary step to build wealth through your own business. Even if you don't own a business, you should write down a similar plan to reach your personal wealth goals.

Step 3: Avoid Harmful Debt

Debt is the one of the key reasons many people never accumulate wealth. But remember, there are two types of debt: harmful debt and necessary debt. Harmful debt is the debt you create for things you do not need such as excessive shopping, luxury items, expensive cars that you can't afford, etc. Necessary debt is a debt most people must have to live, such as a mortgage, car loan (affordable), medical, college, etc. These debts are a part of life for most families and will be for many, many years. However, even these types of debts should be kept well within your income limitations. If you can only afford a $250/month car loan, then shop around until you find one at this price. Don't give in to the temptations and pressures to buy the fancier, more expensive car with a $450/month payment. It's not worth the risk!

You may ask, "I thought these steps were for building wealth?"

As it happens, debt is the opposite of wealth.  The more debt you have, the less wealth you will accumulate. You can't save money or invest money that belongs to someone else. If you earn $3,000 in income this month, but owe $2,000 in loans (before everyday living expenses), you can't possibly have extra money to save. You must either earn more or sell some items to pay off your debt. You should avoid this "debt trap" if you intend on building wealth for the future.

Another type of debt is one for your business. You may take out a small business loan to get things started or to promote your business. If you are uncertain about whether the business will bring profits, try to avoid business debt until you have tested it a while.

Step 4: Develop a Personal Plan

Above, you developed a business plan. Now it's time to create a personal plan. What tasks will you do daily to build wealth? Put yourself on a schedule and a strict budget. Work toward your goals daily by making a list of things to do and marking off each item on the list as you complete the tasks. In your budgeting, include a set amount of money you will put away in savings (savings account, IRA, stocks, bonds, etc.) If you plan to invest, be sure to diversify your investments. Choose only one or two high-risk investments and several "safer" investments such as mutual funds or bonds.

Step 5: Stay focused on the Goal, not the Circumstances

No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, keep your eyes on the wealth-building goal ahead. Even if sales are down in your business, don't stop dead in your tracks. Remember, businesses have ups and downs. If you remain steadfast toward your goal during the slow times, the busy times are bound to be much better than ever. Your income will grow and you will have the extra money needed to reach your wealth-building goals.

In a nutshell, building wealth does not happen over night with one get-rich-quick program. It happens with consistent labor toward the goals and tasks you have created. You can build wealth for your future if you do not waver from these basic truths that have worked for millions of others!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5 Start-up Ideas for Your Home-Based Business

So you've decided to start a home-based business? That's great, but where do you start? If you're online quite a bit, then there's no reason you can't start a business right from your own home on the Web. There are so many resources available online today that you can benefit tremendously from the research of others while building your own business. And, there are many companies that will do lots of the work for you when you join with them.

Here are five easy start-up ideas for your home-based business to save you time and money.

1. Choose Your Hours

Decide how much time you will be able to invest in your home-based business. To be honest, there are many new business owners who never make it because they're not willing to invest their time. If you work a full-time job and plan to keep it while your home-based business builds, then you should determine how many free hours you can spend working. Can you invest a few hours per day, or week perhaps?

Once you choose your hours, stick with them on a consistent basis. Treat the home business just as you would a store with operating hours. If you open a store from 9 to 5, then someone must be there during those hours. So, if you plan to work on your new business from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. five nights per week, then let this be your "operating hours!"

2. Choose a Business

Even if you plan to start a business selling products of your own, you might find it useful to join with a company to sell their products to build extra income at first. You can even do both if you can invest enough time and effort into both businesses. Choose a product or service that you enjoy selling. No business is fun if you dislike it. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to be successful.

3. Prepare Your Home-Based Business Work Area

Before you start a home-based business, be sure your home office is up to par. Upgrade your computer to a fast one with a super-fast Internet connection so your work will not be hindered by outside factors. Also, get a very comfortable desk chair with plenty of back and arm support. Choose a keyboard and mouse that you're comfortable with, and organize your desk. Working in a well-organized environment clears your thinking so you can work and promote without distraction.

4. Investing Your Money

Before you invest a dime, be certain it's the right business for you. When selling products for others, you might be asked to invest money before getting started for inventory, membership, a website, and so forth. If so, study every aspect of the business before doing so. Any business start-up will require some monetary investment, but you need to think before you invest.

Once you've chosen a business to invest in, set up a budget solely for your business. Having a business account at your local bank will help. Also, set up an account with an online payment processor if possible. PayPal and StormPay are two of the most popular ones online right now.

5. Use Your Talents and Skills

Whether you sign on with an affiliate company or start a business selling your own products and services, remember to use all your talents and skills. Maybe you're a great typist or a very savvy Internet user. Perhaps you know how to design websites, printed flyers, or promote online. Use your talents to maximize your home-based business profits.

Don't just sit at home and dream of owning your own business. Use these five start-up tips to get your home-based business moving today!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

5 Reasons Why the Right Point of Sale Equipment Increases Profits

Whether you own a restaurant or a retail outlet, the right point of sale (POS) hardware and software can increase your bottom line. Here are five reasons why:

1. Return on Investment. While there are POS systems at many different price points, there are inexpensive software solutions that have great functionality, work with a wide variety of types of hardware, and can integrate with other business software. For example, if you are looking for pizza shop software, Point of Success is a low-priced restaurant POS software package that has a wide range of features. Similarly, Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (also known as Microsoft RMS) is a cost-effective solution for a clothing boutique.

2. Enhance Customer Service. If you're a restaurateur or a retailer, your relationships with your customers are paramount. POS equipment can ensure that your employees can spend more time interacting with customers and less time entering information into equipment. Restaurant POS software, for example, allows employees to enter and track orders, so mistakes are minimized and customers aren't kept waiting. Similarly, retail point of sale software can give your staff immediate access to availability, prices, and the location of inventory. This means that your customers can get a high level of service, increasing the likelihood of repeat business.

3. Increase Efficiency. If you can increase the efficiency of your restaurant or retail store, you'll soon see increased profits through a decrease in staffing costs, losses due to errors, and improved accountability. Microsoft POS, for example, allows your employees to quickly and efficiently check out customer purchases with built-in credit and debit card processing. It also enables you to do everything from tracking work hours with a time clock to tracking cashier tasks. This kind of transparency enables you to make informed decisions about policies and procedures, as well as to track problems back to their source.

4. Lower Training Costs. With point of sale software and hardware, you have a standardized training approach for your employees. By customizing the software to correspond to your menu items, for example, a trainee can quickly and easily enter orders. That same software can print preparation tickets or display orders on a kitchen monitor. With pizza shop software, you can easily train delivery drivers to pick up delivery dispatches and note their availability when they return from deliveries.

5. Improved Reporting. One of the primary benefits of point of sale software is its reporting capability. Better reporting gives you the information you need to do everything from making buying decisions to preparing your tax returns. Reporting capabilities vary from software package to software package, and the type of business you have will most likely dictate the type of software you need. For example, Microsoft POS and Microsoft RMS both allow you to manage and track inventory, generate purchase orders, track customer purchase histories, and track employee hours. Microsoft RMS offers even more reporting options, including customized reports, the ability to track backorders and layaways, and the capability to manage account receivables of customers.

The importance of point of sale equipment and software can't be overstated. It may seem like a significant investment, but it will more than pay for itself with increased sales, efficiency, and reporting.


Friday, October 12, 2012

5 Proven Strategies for Internet and Network Marketing Success

There are many opportunities in network marketing to help you reach your life goals. You can work from home and enjoy a steady cash stream while setting your own hours and doing what you love most to earn an income. But if you're like the majority of people who join a team of online network marketers, you probably aren't sure how or where to get started with Internet and network marketing. Here are five proven strategies to get you started.

1. Start Your Own Network Marketing Website

With your own network marketing website, you can build a profitable business model for your team. Your website can be used to provide information to newcomers as well as update your team members on a regular basis. A website can be used to enhance off-line network marketing as well. For instance, you can print your Web address on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes, postcards, and in printed ads. Those interested in your proposal can visit your website for more information. Your website can contain almost unlimited information that will help convert prospects into team members.

2. Start Your Own E-zine

An e-zine is an electronic newsletter sent by email to a database of subscribers. An e-zine builds trust and establishes you as an expert. At your website, you can set up a subscription form for your e-zine. Those who sign up are obviously interested in your offer, so you can send e-mailings to them weekly and use the e-zine to get them back to your website. This is a great way to turn visitors to your site into network marketing partners.

3. Answer Questions in Forums and Discussion Groups

With forums, you cannot merely advertise your business, but you can answer questions and include a link to your email or website. Find work-from-home forums online that are related to your network marketing business or that might cater to your target audience. Observe and read the questions and answers for a while before posting to get a feel for the people and atmosphere. Then, answer those questions pertaining to your type of business in a truly helpful manner. The person asking the question might visit your website as well as any others who might read the post. It's a great way to meet new people and market your business.

4. Create Network Marketing Excitement

Another thing you can do online is to create network marketing excitement for your team members. At your own website, you can hold contests for your team members, random giveaways, provide hosted space for your team members to create their own profiles or mini-websites, do feature bios on your team members, and more. These will motivate your network marketing team to work harder and increase their cash stream (and yours) while having fun.

5. Content Writing about the Internet and Network Marketing

One of the most powerful ways to promote your website is to add valuable content articles to your website on a regular basis. Articles should be targeted about network marketing and working from home. They should provide your target readers with helpful information. At the conclusion of each article, you can include a signature/bio that will lead the reader to your sales pages.

Add articles to your website on a regular basis and submit articles to free article directories for maximum results. Articles will help attract search engine traffic to your website without any cost to you.

There are also many other methods of Internet promotion for network marketing such as e-zine advertising, banner advertising, contextual or paid search engine ads, free traffic exchanges, and affiliate programs. Whether you are part of a global resorts travel business, a profitable reverse funnel system, or another successful business model, you'll be amazed at the results when you combine all of the promotion methods above for the Internet and network marketing!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5 Lessons Your Kids Will Learn By Starting A Business

Kids need to be kids and enjoy their time as children. But, at the same time, as they get older, they also need to learn to make money and function in our society as responsible adults.

Oftentimes, they get a job at a Burger Joint, where they learn how to listen to a boss, and how to work with others, but then they may also have to give up some extracurricular activities, study time and time with family. Not terrible things, but enough of a challenge that many families are helping their kids start their own businesses.

Why? Let’s compare the lessons your kid is learning working at a burger joint verses starting a business.

1. Responsibility.

Burger Joint: Yes, it teaches responsibility. You need to show up for work and do a good job or your boss and co-workers will get mad at you.

Entrepreneur: Teaches you responsibility as well. You need to work hard or you won’t get paid.

2. The Value of a Dollar

Burger Joint: You learn that time is money.

Entrepreneur: You learn that creativity, ownership of responsibility and hard work is money.

3. How to Market Yourself

Burger Joint: Teaches you how to fill out an application and go on an interview to market yourself. You do this once and then you’re done.

Entrepreneur: You have to market yourself and your business on an ongoing basis if you want to make any money.

4. Customer Service

Burger Joint: Service with a smile or your boss may reprimand you.

Entrepreneur: Service with a smile or you don’t get repeat business and your income drops.

5. Banking Skills

Burger Joint: You learn how to collect a paycheck and how to deposit it into the bank.

Entrepreneur: You learn how to budget for advertising costs, taxes, and expenses and weigh them against your profits. You learn to deposit your income into the bank and write checks to cover expenses. You learn how business works.

As you can see, both options have benefits. As for which option you’ll choose? That’s up to you and your child.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

5 Key Elements of a Successful Home Based Business

Who wouldn't want to work from home? You can make your own hours, forget ever having to commute, and never have to answer to a boss. Plus, as a home based business owner, you have the potential to earn exponentially more than you ever will by punching a time clock.

Yet, there are so many home based business opportunities available that it's often difficult to choose the one that is a good fit for you and that has the income potential that you need. To help you make your choice, here are five key elements to look for in a home based business.

1. Go with Network Marketing

While it's true that not everyone succeeds at network marketing, the principles behind it are sound. After all, network marketing is essentially using and selling products through word of mouth. This approach allows you to reach out to an ever-growing number of people and reap the financial rewards of building your own network. Because network marketing cuts out the middleman, your earning potential increases. In the process, you create the potential for residual income while enjoying low overhead and the opportunity to work when and where you want. Furthermore, when you take advantage of Internet-based network marketing, you are not bound by geographic boundaries; your customers and network can reach global proportions.

2. Choose a Company that Offers Multiple Products

Every day, you use dozens of products. Some home based business opportunities focus on one product, while others focus on many. When you do the math, it's easy to see why it's preferable to choose a company that allows you to become a member and have access to a wide variety of products, as well as to sell those products.

3. Find Cutting Edge Products to Use and Sell

Few people need more candles, kitchenware, or knick-knacks. What they really need and want are information and mobile technology products, such as DSL, VOIP, and broadband. Baby boomers in particular are looking for values in discount shopping, travel, and professional services such as legal services and health services. Companies and entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for cutting edge business software, conference calling, SEO services, marketing products, and video production services.

4. Look for a Solid Compensation Plan

Compensation plans vary from company to company, so be sure to find one that gives you the greatest earning potential. A single paid matrix is an excellent approach, as is a 3 x 9 monthly matrix commission.

5. Gain Access to Business Building Tools

One of the premises of network marketing is that you don't need to reinvent the wheel; the infrastructure for a successful business model already exists. When reviewing home based business opportunities, especially those that are Internet based, find one that allows you to grow your business through duplication, so that you can immediately get up and running. The company you work with should also have a support system that includes mechanisms to capture leads, create ads, and develop solid marketing strategies. Moreover, there should be a sense of community, camaraderie, and mutual support.

Launching your own home based business can not only lead you to a debt free life, but can also enable you to travel the path of true financial freedom.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

5 Home Business Solutions for the Homemaker

If you stay at home and want to earn an income for yourself or your family, there's never been a better time than now. With so many opportunities online, you can easily start your own home business with a computer, Internet connection, desk and chair! Whether you want to start a part-time or full-time home business, here are some excellent home business solutions to consider.

1. Make Money Online by Offering Web-related Services

If you're skilled in Web design, graphic design, Internet marketing, or other Web-related services, you can make money online by offering these services to others. There are many homemakers and business people just like you who are getting online to start a business. They'll need their own website, hosting, domain name, company Web logo, and Internet marketing services.

If you can provide these services, you'll have a terrific opportunity for residual income. Many of these services are paid monthly or yearly, so the potential for success is amazing.

2. Educate Others and Work from Home

If you have special skills and love to teach, there's good news. You no longer have to apply for a teaching job at a school or university. You can now start your own training website and teach others from the comfort of your own home. The Internet is flooded daily with people who want to increase their knowledge and skills. Many moms and dads are now offering classes, selling e-books, and providing instructional websites all while staying home with the kids. It's a great way to make money online without paying high daycare bills!

There are also unique home business solutions online where you can sign up with a company that provides training to students for you. You can potentially earn a huge residual income by promoting their educational services.

3. Niche Home Business Solutions

Many homemakers are earning a substantial income by offering niche products or services. For example, the mother who loves to sew baby clothing decides to sell her items through her own website or through consignment websites. Or, a father who loves to do handiwork around the house starts a "handyman" e-zine and sells related products and tools. A young college student discovers the secrets to college life and starts his or her own "college life" newsletter.

The possibilities are endless. Other niche home business ideas include baking, hunting, fishing, musical instruction, handmade crafts, handmade furniture, parenting, pets, weddings, gardening, and sports.

4. Investments

If you like to take your chances in the stock market, investing is easier than ever on the Internet. Many homemakers make money online by investing in Forex, the popular and lucrative currency exchange market. Some earn money with traditional stocks. If this is your passion, you can now do it from home with minimal effort.

Please be careful, as there are many scams with companies trying to get you to invest in fake stocks. Check out every opportunity carefully, and keep your funds safe by dealing only with reputable, well-known stock companies and brokers.

No matter which home business solution you choose, use online directories and the testimonies of other online business owners to help you find the opportunities that will fit your schedule and budget.


Monday, October 1, 2012

5 Good Reasons to Incorporate Your Business Online

You've decided to incorporate your business, but aren't sure how to proceed. Incorporation is a process that involves lots of decision-making, paperwork, and legal processes. Thankfully, you don't have to go far to learn the ins and outs of incorporation. You can now incorporate online with helpful services that are just a click away. Here are five good reasons to incorporate online.

1. Never Leave the Home or Office

One reason to incorporate online is you can get all the help you need from the comfort of your own office or home. With online incorporation, you'll have all the facts about corporations at your fingertips. The incorporation services provided online usually come from those who are experienced and can provide you with the paperwork and guidance needed to ease the process. You'll save time and many headaches by using an online incorporation service and you won't have to run from one place to another trying to determine what is needed.

2. State-by-State Incorporation

No matter what state you plan to incorporate in, you can incorporate online within minutes. Many online services are equipped to handle incorporation paperwork in multiple states. The services can provide you with detailed information about the state such as the fees to incorporate a business, total cost for incorporating, how long the process will take, and the steps or paperwork required to incorporate in that particular state. 

3. Incorporate Quickly

Some online services may offer expedited incorporation services. This service can be useful if you need to incorporate your business in a hurry. Expedited service often costs a little more, but can be well worth it if you need it fast. By choosing this option, your business might be incorporated within 10 days or less.

4. Know all the Facts

When you incorporate online, you can know all the facts about incorporation before deciding to take that final step. You can take time from your home or office PC to read about forming a corporation, the requirements involved, and the pros and cons of incorporation. This will enable you to make an informed decision and determine the proper direction for your business.

You can also compare different forms of business, such as Corporation, S Corporation, forming an LLC (Limited-Liability Company), sole proprietorship, and partnership. For instance, to form an LLC and a corporation is similar in some ways, but very different in others. LLC formation should be carefully compared to incorporation before making a decision.

5. Save Money

To incorporate online is often more affordable than hiring an agent or attorney to do the paperwork for you. Online services are able to operate with minimal expenses by providing Web forms and information via the website. These savings are passed on to you and enable you to incorporate your business with a minimal investment.

These are only a few reasons to incorporate online, but there are many other benefits. Discover all that incorporation can offer for your business today, and watch your business soar to new heights!