Friday, July 31, 2015

Business Growth Requires Individual Effectiveness

When we read about business growth in the top business periodicals, they always refer to the multi-national corporations. I’m not a large corporation. I’m not even incorporated.

But for the purpose of this discussion, think of your business as a corporation. You hold the office of president of this corporation, and you're responsible for its success or failure. You and the members of your team are stockholders in your corporation, and it's your responsibility to see that the value of the stock increases in the years ahead.

If your company is growing, it will have a tendency to continue to grow because you're doing things right. Conversely, a company that is going backwards or shrinking has a tendency to continue to go backwards or shrink until acted upon by an outside force. All responsible company officers know that unless the company is growing, it's showing the first signs of death. As the head of your corporation (be it 1, 5 or 50 people), you must realize that this applies to you as well.

However, because you are also a person, you have a tremendous advantage over even the largest corporation. Think of any large multi-national corporation. Can it double its production in a single day? Of course not. Can it double its sales in a single day? Of course not. It might like to, but its growth must be gradual and steady because of the complexities of such a large organization. Yet a person can double, triple, quadruple his/her effectiveness in a month or less. Small businesses have the flexibility, control and responsiveness which corporate giants lack.

Can you grow and improve as a person at least 10% a year? Of course you can. In fact, experts estimate a person can increase his or her effectiveness anywhere from 50% to 100% and more within 30 days. Now apply that to your entire business.

Some examples:

I’ve increased readership of this newsletter 300% in the last 60 days.

In his Freshman year in college my nephew got a 2.1 GPA first semester; but got motivated to study, applied himself, and delivered a 3.6 GPA for second semester.

I remember the days in sales when my datebook looked like pure snow (no appointments). Then I accepted a challenge to have 10 appointments on the books every week (most of my peers averaged 3-5 appointments). My previous year’s sales became my monthly sales.

History is filled with people who exceeded their previous performance to an almost unbelievable extent (artists, athletes, musicians, orators, military and political leaders, not to mention the corporate rags to riches stories).

Think about what that means. If you waste even an hour of productive time every work day, it adds up to 250 hours a year. If you had an employee who wasted that much time, would you keep him on the payroll or fire him?

What is your time worth per hour? Multiply this by 250 and you can see what you're throwing away. The effect is compounded when you tally the cost for each member of your team. Whether your business pays for this wasted hour or not, is unimportant. Rather, what can you do now to improve the effectiveness of every member of your team?

Here’s the challenge from Earl Nightengale:

"How much are you worth right now, today, as a corporation? What's your value today, to yourself, your family, your company? I f you were an outside investor, a stranger, would you invest in this corporation? What attention are you giving to the growth of your corporation?"


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

11 Secrets To Excel In Time Management For Entrepreneurs

Why is it that the Bill Gate's of this world are rich and famous? What secret do they know that the rest of us don't? If you study their lives closely, you'll discover the rich and famous have certain habits that attribute to their success. Successful people are very careful about how they spend their time. No matter how you slice it, we all have 24 hours in a day, so the key lies in learning to use our time wisely. Below are some ways you can dramatically increase your productivity through more effective use of your time.

1. MONITOR HOW YOU CURRENTLY USE YOUR TIME: If it seems like your day slips by all too quickly, try creating a log of your daily activities. Once you see where you are spending your time, you can identify and focus on the activities that provide the greatest returns for you personally and financially. Start your log by writing down what time you wake up, get ready, and begin work. Calculate how much time you spend on individual activities such as email, phone calls, and client work.

=> FREE TIME TRACKING TOOL: Here's a personal time survey to help you discover how much time you spend on various work activities: Personal Time Survey Tracker

2. CALCULATE HOW MUCH YOUR TIME IS WORTH: Time is money. Knowing how much your time is actually worth can help you make better decisions as to whether you should perform a task or outsource it. For instance, if your time is worth $200 an hour, you are far better off paying someone $30 an hour to edit your newsletter. You can "bank" the other $170 per hour by spending your time on profit making activities. Also take the time to determine how much time a day you need to spend on billable activities to make your desired profit. I try to spend 1.5 hours a day on money making projects.

=> FREE TIME COSTING TOOL: Here's a time costing worksheet to help you determine how much you are actually when you subtract the expenses. Time Costing Sheet

3. CREATE A DAILY SCHEDULE: Don't start your day without a to do list. Make a list of tasks and categorize them into business building activities, client activities, and personal items. Then break bigger unmanageable projects into smaller "doable" chunks so they less intimidating and are easier to accomplish.

=> FREE DAILY TO DO LIST: Try this free all inclusive WebMomz To Do List

4. PRIORITIZE: Have more to do than hours in the day? By prioritizing your tasks, you'll make sure that you are tackling the items that matter most. Create a system that works for you. One standard way of prioritizing is to mark items with A, B, and C.

Ask yourself these key questions:

What items MUST be done today?
Which items can be rescheduled?
What can be delegated?
Which tasks most closely match my priorities and goals?
Which items can be eliminated?

5. LEARN TO SAY NO: Are you adding one more item to your never-ending TO DO list? You are in control of your time. Be strong and uphold your personal boundaries. When you are well rested and treat yourself and your family to the time off you deserve, you'll feel happier and more productive when it's time to go back to work. **

Before you say yes, ask yourself these questions:

Do you really have the time or energy to do that extra task?
Do I like this customer? Are they good for me?
Will it be profitable?
Does it invade on your personal time?
Does it involve doing something you enjoy?
Does it fit in with your list of priorities and goals?

6. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS AND TIME SUCKS: Time sucks are lurking everywhere like viruses. Think about which activities are eating up your time. For me personally, these items include email, social calls, and telemarketers. I "conquer" the email demon by shutting down my Outlook when I am working. When a family member calls during work time, I politely ask if I can call them back during the afternoon and remind them of my work hours. Caller ID valiantly saves me from the "would be" telemarketer time thieves. With one glance, I can quickly differentiate telemarketers from important client calls.

7. STICK TO THE PLAN: Try not to get sidetracked from your plan. One of my friends has a motto, "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency for me". It's a smart one to live by. Unless it's a true emergency, or you are being paid "rush" time, you probably don't need to squeeze a last minute request in today. Also, by assigning yourself project deadlines, you can keep on top of projects and avoid those dreaded last minute emergencies.

8. CHOOSE AN INSPIRING PLACE AND TIME: We are all "built" differently. Do the tasks which take your most "brain power" when you are at your prime. Are you a morning person or do you work best burning the midnight oils? Create an ultimate work haven that is clean, distraction free, and inspiring. My office overlooks my flower garden and is right in the heart of family activity. As I glance to the right, our Angel fish "Spike" proudly parades across the fish tank. In front of me, Monet has a glorious display of peach poppies in a field. Above me, Monet is painting a vivid portrait of his flower garden. In the living room, my son is softly singing the Spiderman theme to himself - music to my ears!

9. BUNDLE LIKE TASKS TOGETHER: As you work through your daily list, try to chunk your tasks into like activities. By creating a separate "chunk" of time for answering email, invoicing, making return phone calls, you'll save time and mental energy.

10. AVOID INTERRUPTIONS: Trying to do the same thing over and over again with interruptions can be maddening. Once you start a task, try to finish it to the end. If something comes up that you need to remember or do, unless it's urgent, simply add it to your list and continue on with your current project.

11. BE ORGANIZED: When things are tidy, it saves you time and frees you to focus on the task at hand. Digging through a pile of papers and finding a squished Twinkie isn't very conducive to the work experience. Follow your own organizational style. PHONE LISTS: For instance, I arrange my phone lists into groups according to how I use them: friends, family, doctors, my children's playmates, etc. I also list people in my phone book that I talk to on a first name basis by their first name alphabetically. For instance, I list my mom under "M" and my brother under "T" for Troy. "D" has a list of all my doctors. This works for me, because it's how I think.

EMAILS: Another time saving idea is to color code your emails. In my personal color scheme I use one color for clients, one for newsletters, and another for my coworkers. You can also group your emails using categories and folders.

ONE CALENDAR MEETS ALL: Keeping track of work appointments, Brownie meetings, and committee meetings can be very difficult. My secret to keeping on top of family and work appointments is to schedule them all on one calendar.

DAYTIMER SPECIAL SECTION: Create a special section of your Daytimer just for special interests, hobbies, or kids. My husband keeps one with all his stock info. I have a special kid section with phone numbers for Brownie leaders, playmates, doctors, school contacts, bus number and other items.

SUMMARY: Why wait for success when you can literally schedule it! By mastering your time, you can accomplish much more with less effort. Be choose about how you spend your time. Focus on activities which most closely match your goals. By taking time to monitor, measure, and manage your time, you will enjoy an abundance of success and happiness.

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Ways Moms Can Make Money With A Home Business

Does the idea of starting your own business from home sound appealing? Has finding the right one stumped you?  Do you often think that if you could make money at home you would be one very happy person? Then read on and see how easy it is to make money with a home business.

Make Money with Your Interests

Everyone is born with a special talent that sets them apart from others. Your job is to figure out what that talent is and find a way to turn it into a business. One lady I profiled in my book, "The Stay-at-Home Mom's Guide To Making Money" had always liked horses. When she was younger she didn't have a horse of her own, so she would groom and feed other people's horses just for the chance to ride. Now that she is an adult, she has turned that interest into a pet sitting business. While she takes care of the smaller critters, she has niche herself in the area of horse care.

What Are Your Hobbies? 

Is your hobby candle making, painting portraits, herb gardening? These are all great home businesses just waiting to happen, and you don't necessarily have to produce these items to make money. Maybe you could start a newsletter on the subject of your hobby for others just like you.  Maybe you could sell supplies to other hobbyists or businesses. Or maybe you could write a book on the subject. Once you start brainstorming you'll be surprised at all the ideas you will come up with.

One woman I've met online is now the owner of her own portrait sketching business. She actually had two other home businesses before she decided that she could make extra money drawing sketches of people.  She does incredible work, and when you look at your pictures it's hard to believe she hasn't been doing this longer. Sometimes the business for you is right in front of you; it's just hard to believe that someone would actually pay you to do something that comes so easily and naturally for you.

You're Producing a Product or Service for Your Friends and Family for Free already.

I talk with moms all the time who say their family or friends are always coming to them because they are great at creating a resume, or because they can really put a nice bouquet of flowers together for special events. These are all great ideas for a home business. Seriously consider charging for these services. Let your family and friends know you are in business. They've already used you in the past for these things; they trust your work. They will probably enjoy spreading the word and letting other people know that you are open for business.

Go With What You Already Know A Lot About

Maybe you enjoy your work outside the home but still want to be home with your kids, or want the flexibly and satisfaction of owning your own home business. Use your previous skills to get your business started. Teachers become tutors, secretaries become virtual assistants, graphic artists become -- graphic artists. The same can go for architects, photographers, and transcriptionist. You'll be surprised at the number of jobs you've held in the past that could be the key to getting your own home business started now.

Have You Ever Thought, "Why Doesn't Someone Start A Business Doing…?"

Do you see the need for a particular product or service in your community? Are you trying to figure out why someone hasn't thought of it and started providing it yet? Why can't that someone be you? There is no reason why you shouldn't be the one to see a need, fill it, and make money from it.

You have many interests, talents, previous experiences, hobbies, and good ideas that are just waiting to be turned into a money making venture. Why not make this the year your home business dreams come true?

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Great Importance of Doing Business with Ethics

For most people, money makes the world go round and business bears that money.  Businessmen will perhaps do anything just to achieve the ultimate goal of having a business, and that is to earn income. Net profit or income financially means a surplus of sales or revenues after deducting costs and expenses. Whether you are engage in profession, occupation, work or trade, you are in business and you speak income. When you earn an income you suffer taxes, the worst nightmare for every income earners. Income tax is your punishment of doing well in business. This sounds ridiculous but this is the reality, you pay when you earn. Because tax is legislative, noncompliance to this would results to crimes. This thing called income tax had already made billions of liars around the world. Some governments imposed taxes which are already too much to burden the flow of business. Others make tax laws that are already beyond the ability of taxpayers. However these facts must not result in the existence of enormous number of dishonest people in the world.

Ethics in business rarely exists nowadays. Perhaps it is because for most people, profit will come without the need of business ethics. This, I don’t agree. The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos, which means "character," and from the Latin word mores, which means "customs." According to the encyclopedia ethics is the branch of philosophy that defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of obligations, or duties, that people owe themselves and one another. Maybe ethics is not needed to earn profit if you define profit or income as money. But deeply speaking, business is not just for money. Yes it is definitely for profit, but profit is not just financial profit. We need profit that will not just sustain our pocket or our stomach. Significantly, we also need profits that will feed our hearts and soul. Considering that we are great businessmen, we should extend our minds to this principle. We need business ethics to earn these high valued profits. We must be concerned to the virtue of our character and to the common good.

Your business is not just for the survival of your life on Earth but it can also be your road to the survival of your soul. If you’re in business and had a company, you can help your employees by providing them enough salaries and other benefits that will make their lives better. You can be honest and pay your exact tax for the government who will eventually use it for your country’s development. (Assuming your government is straight and not corrupt) But don’t mind them, be honest even others are not. We are talking here your soul survival and not theirs. You can also serve your customers by providing them their needs and giving them convenience. Customer care is so important for your customers as also important for your business to earn public trust and loyalty. If you build infrastructures for your company you contribute to the development of your place in terms of buildings and infrastructures. When you got ethics in business you practice fair business competition. Fair business competition is a challenge for every business to improve the qualities of their products and services, and the end benefits are to the consumers.

Doing business with clean conscience is doing business with good night sleeps. It is also doing business with gladness of your heart and soul. Gratitude will come to you and you will become a stress free businessman if you do business with ethics. These and other spiritual profits will straightly come to you and the good thing on this is you are not taxed on this kind of profits. As an extraordinary businessman, you do not only set your long-term goals for 10 years or for a life time. You must also consider eternity and set goals to achieve profits that will benefit your soul. You need profits that last forever, profits that will give us everlasting life and happiness, and profits that will earn us the key to heaven.  These profits will benefits us in the short run, midterm run, long run and eternal run, as God is great from the beginning and unto the never-ending.

Do business and believe in God. Building our business in God’s place is like building it in rocks which are in great foundations. Let us be kind and grateful to our employees as they are our best assets. Let’s give them bread and they will give us a ham sandwich. Let us have huge care to our customers as they are our best revenue generators. Let’s give them good price, high quality products and best services and they will give us their respect and loyalty. Let us be fair to our competitors as they are our great motivators. Let us give them fair game and they will give us the true meaning of winning. Let us be thankful to our Almighty God as He is our greatest business partner. Let’s serve Him and He will give us joy and peace of mind.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Business Systems - Not Just For Big Business

When I mention business systems to you, what comes to mind?  Do you think of an IBM mainframe computer sitting in a big room in the middle of your building?  Do you think of expensive, highly specialized software?  That’s what many small business owners imagine.  And they think it’s not for them.  If that’s what you think, you’re only half right.

Half right because expensive, highly specialized software is probably not for you.  Half wrong because good business systems most definitely are.  A business system isn't hardware or software.  It’s the way that you do any part of your business.  It’s how you do things.  You are using systems all the time, you just may not be using them efficiently.

I regularly urge business owners to get everything they know about their business out of their head and onto paper.  I’m urging you now to do the same with your systems.  Start writing out how you do things in your business.  At a minimum, write out how you treat your customers or clients, how your paperwork for each sale flows, how your production systems work, how you market to clients, and how you do your bookkeeping.

Do this in detail.  For each area, make a very detailed description of every step in the process.  Include what you do and why you do it.  Include the subtle parts that make your company uniquely you.  Include the parts that you are proud of.  Include the tricks that make it efficient.  Include what you tried that didn't work and explain why.  Each system should become a very rich, highly detailed system.  Why so much detail?

Because this is the beginning of being able to consistently deliver results.  And the beginning of being able to consistently deliver results even when you aren’t around.  Documented (written) systems make delegating much more manageable.  Delegating is one of the keys to success in growing your business while still having a life.

Maybe you don’t want a bigger business.  Maybe you want to keep yours small.  Still, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go on a long vacation and turn the keys over to someone else to run and make money for you while you are gone?  Without systems, that wouldn’t be remotely possible.  With systems almost anything is.  Now, does that sound like something that should only be for big business?  I think not.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

10 Tips for a Successful Entrepreneurial Pitch

One of the hardest presentations to make is the entrepreneurial pitch. You have a great idea for a business and you want someone to give you money to make it happen. The problem is that venture capitalists, angel investors, and even rich uncles are heavily predisposed against you. Why? Because 99% of the pitches they hear sound like sure-fire prescriptions to lose money!

If you are pitching investors to give you money for a new venture, you should subscribe to the following rules:

1. Explain exactly what your business is within the first thirty seconds. Many entrepreneurs waste valuable time giving loads of data, background and other info—all the while investors are left scratching their heads thinking “What does this business actually DO?”

2. Tell your audience who your customers will be. Paint a vivid, specific picture of these people.

3.  Explain why your customers going to give you there hard-earned money.

4. Explain who your competitors are. (And if you say you have no competitors, that is a certain sign you are unsophisticated and deserve no investment money!)

5. Explain why you are the ONE to make this happen.

6. Give your presentation with confidence and enthusiasm. Investors want a founder/CEO to be a chief salesperson; they want to see that you can convince the world of your dream—not just them.

7. Explain what star you can hitch a ride to. Has Best Buy or Radio Shack agreed to distribute your new product? Investors feel much more comfortable knowing you have an established player willing to distribute your wares.

8. Ask for a specific amount of money. If all you do is ask for money, then you can’t complain if an investor gives you $3.25 for a cup of Starbucks coffee.

9. Tell prospects exactly what you are going to spend the money on (hint:a trip to Maui for you and your friends will not impress)

10. Dress well, act confident, and put on the air that you don’t really need their money, but would be willing to accept it if they bring enough to the table to be a strategic partner for you. Sad but true regarding human nature, but people are much more likely to give you money if they feel you don’t really need it.

Finally, make each pitch presentation serve as a focus group for your next presentation. When one group of investors asks you a series of questions after you pitch, write down all of those questions and make sure most of them are answered in your next pitch so that the next group doesn't have to ask them. Keep pitching and keep improving your pitch and eventually you may get funded.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Is Bad Customer Service Killing Your Business?

It's time to beat the old bad customer service drum again. I know, I'm sick of beating the drum, too, but as long as bad customer service runs rampant through so many businesses I feel it is my entrepreneurial duty to bring it to your attention. So grab a pew and prepare to listen to the sermon I've preached before: bad customer service is the bane of business. If the Almighty smote down every business that dispenses bad customer service, the world would be a much friendlier, albeit much sparser place. Consider a world without malls and fast food joints… would it really be so bad?

What puzzles me most is if bad customer service is such a death knell for business, why do so many businesses allow it to go on? Don't they read my column, for Pete's sake? I think the problem is that most bad customer service is doled out (or at least condoned) by business owners and managers who have ceased caring what their customers think. When you stop caring what your customers think it's time to close the doors. Go find a day job. You'll make someone a wonderfully disgruntled employee.

My latest parable of lousy customer service was actually experienced by my better half while attempting to buy my daughter a pair of basketball shoes. I won't mention the name of the sporting goods chain store in which the bad customer service took place, but I will tell you that its name is similar to the sound a frog with hiccups might make.

As my wife waited for someone to assist, the four or five teenagers who had been charged with manning the store stood in a clump at the cash register giggling and flirting with one another as if they were at the prom instead of at work.

When my wife pointed out this fact, one of the employees, a cheeky lass of 16 or so, put her hands on her hips and said, "How rude!" The males in the group didn't react at all. They were too busy arguing over who could take a break so they could chase other cheeky lasses about the mall.

Needless to say my lovely bride, who has the ability to instill fear into the hearts of even the most worthless employees, left the gaggle of giggling teen idiots standing with their mouths open in disbelief. How dare a customer tell them to do that with a pair of basketball shoes?

As much as I bemoan bad customer service I celebrate good customer service. It should be applauded and the purveyor of said good customer service should be rewarded for actually delivering satisfaction to the customer, above and beyond the call of duty.

So let me tell you the story of my new hero, Ken. I won't tell you the name of the store in which Ken works, but let's just say they started out selling radios in a shack somewhere long, long ago.

I first met Ken when I went into the store to buy a mixing board for my business that records audio products for the Web. In a nutshell, you plug microphones into the mixing board then connect it to the computer and you can record audio directly to digital format. Totally beside the point of this article, but I didn't want you thinking that I was purchasing non-manly cooking utensils.

When I got the mixer installed it didn't work. So I boxed it up and headed back to the store to return it. When I told Ken my problem he didn't just grunt and give me my money back as so many bad customer service reps would do. Instead he asked, "Do you mind if I try it?"

"Knock yourself out," was my reply, confident that if I couldn't get it to work, neither could Ken. Ken took the mixer out of the box and went about hooking it up to one of the computers on display. He started pulling power cords and cables off the display racks and ripping them open and plugging them in. He tore open a new microphone and an adapter and kept going until he had the mixer hooked up and working. Yes, I said working. It turns out the mixer was fine. I just had the wrong power adapter.

Ken could have just given me my money back and been done with me. Instead he spent 15 minutes and opened a number of other packages that I was under no obligation to buy just to help me get the thing working.

I was so impressed that I not only kept the mixing board, I also bought another $50 worth of products. And the next time I need anything electronic guess where I will buy it? Even if it costs twice as much, I'll buy it from Ken.

Now here's the moral of the story: if you are a business owner who has a gaggle of teenagers in charge of customer service at your store you would be better off replacing them with wild monkeys.

At least monkeys can be trained.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7 Critical Aspects of A Fantastic Logo Design

When it comes to logo design, you ultimately want it to convey your brand in the best possible manner. At the same time you don’t want it to take up too much space. That is the greatest challenge to be able to create a winning impact within the space constraints.

Here are the 7 factors you need to consider to have a logo that can make your business success:

1.  Research always helps in effective logo design
Never make the mistake of rushing into creating a logo design. It will only make matters bad. You need to do a fair bit of research to understand the company, its objectives and mission as well as its business goals – both short and long term. You also need to know the demographics of the target audience.

2.  Attractive and unique: two elements of great logo design
You would obviously want your logo design to catch the attention of the customer. At the same time it should not be screaming for attention. It should test the intellect of the customer; make him or her think a few minutes after seeing the logo. If you notice some of the top logo designs each of them have a unique aspect to it that depicts something about the company.

3.  Simple and memorable logo design
One of things you need to really focus on is to make sure your logo design is not too cluttered or too fancy. This will just confuse the customer. Ultimately you want the customer to remember your brand. That will only happen if the logo is easy to remember. Also be sure that the logo sends out positive signals to the customer.

4.  Flexibility is a major issue in logo design
There are so many companies who invest a fortune on their logo design only to realize later that their logo doesn’t work on a product wrapper! What a waste of time and money! Your logo needs to be flexible enough to work and create a lasting impact on any medium whether it is a product wrapper, your company website or even any promotional materials you send out!  That means you need to consider the size of the logo and the usage of appropriate colors. The colors used need to match well with any background while also helping the brand to stand out.

5.  Never clutter your logo in logo design
One critical mistake people make is to cram in too much information in their logo design. This makes your logo look cluttered not to mention the fact that customers will fail to remember your brand!

6. Use fonts that promote readability in your logo design
You might select a font that looks great on paper but when you use it in the logo it hampers readability. There is absolutely no point using classy fonts in logo design if they are going to prevent customers from remembering you. Make sure fonts are easy on the eye.

7. Usage of color in logo design
Great logo design will always focus on using complementary colors that looks good against a black or white background.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 Tips on Maximizing Opportunities to Earn at Home

There are few people who wouldn't welcome the opportunity to earn extra money. After all, the sluggishness of the economy means that our money just doesn't go as far as it used to. When you add in the mortgage crisis and job outsourcing, it only makes sense to find ways to make money at home. In times like these, extra cash can help make ends meet or pad your bank account a bit just in case the unthinkable happens.

Unfortunately, many people who want to work from home don't take the steps necessary to find the right opportunities and ensure their success. Here are five tips to get started and stay on the right track.

1. Write down your motivations. To find the right opportunity, it helps to get clear on why you want to earn money from home. Do you want to supplement your income, to have part-time work while the kids are in school, or do you want to save for a vacation? Whether you are looking for some extra spending money or you need the money for necessities, putting pen to paper and outlining why you want to earn money will help you focus and stay motivated.

2. Make money online. If you have a high-speed Internet connection (as most people do), it literally pays to look for ways to make money online. After all, you already have a computer, so why not work at home and make your own hours? Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people are already making part- or full-time incomes online. Shouldn't you be one of them?

3. Find the right opportunities. It's sometimes difficult to figure out which work at home opportunities are legitimate and which will work well with your skills and interest. The best place to start looking is a website that provides visitors with a comprehensive listing of the top-rated opportunities to earn money from home. That way, you can be assured that the opportunities have been researched and investigated, and that the company or companies you choose to work with pay on time, give excellent support, and will help you earn from home.

4. Do the math. Once you've written down your motivations and have reviewed opportunities to work at home and make money online, you need to determine your financial needs. When you know how much you want to make, you can do the math and figure out the amount of time you'll need to commit to reach your goals.

5. Treat it like a job. While it's true that working from home means that you can set your own hours and work as little or as much as you'd like, the only way you'll truly succeed and earn money at home is if you treat it like a job. That means setting regular "office hours" where you're free from distractions and can concentrate on your efforts to make money online. Perhaps you want to work while the kids are in school, or maybe you're a night owl and want to work from midnight until three in the morning. To increase your likelihood of success, though, set a regular schedule and stick with it.