The entrepreneurial edge

Some would say that big business has it made; I on the other hand believe that there will always be a special place for the little business guy. Entrepreneurs have an edge over their bigger competitors. So while the Amazon’s of the world are struggling to break even from their multi billion-dollar overheads, the smaller Dot coms are already realizing profits. What advantages do the “little” guys have in the marketplace? Below is how to “think like a startup” and realize greater success. HOW TO KEEP THE ENTREPRENEURIAL EDGE 1) STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? The old adage says that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. In business, the customer is king. It’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one. So, once you get a customer, you need to service the heck out of them. So how do you make your customers feel like they are number one? By letting them know that they are top priority. This means answering your own phone, replying quickly to email requests. It means staying in regular communication with your customers. Keep up a good rapport. Send an occasional email asking them what’s new. Mail birthday cards or a customer anniversary card. Gestures like these can build close, long lasting customer relations and goes a long way to building customer loyalty. In addition to building stronger customer relationships, keeping in touch with your customer base can enable dot coms to offer one to one marketing. By identifying your customers needs and buying habits, you can personalize product packages and service offerings to meet your customer’s individual needs. 2) LISTEN TO THE BEAT OF THE STREET If small business owners want to keep their head above water, they need to closely monitor their environments. By “listening” to the pulse, you can think proactively rather than reactively. This means spotting things when they are coming so you can act quickly and take advantage. Web stats - Do you look at your web stats regularly? Or are you guilty of being too “busy” to make time? Unless you regularly look at your web traffic reports, they probably will read like a foreign language to you. By looking at your web reports regularly, you’ll be able to spot trends. What pages are your visitors going to? What is the hits-to-sales ratio? What can you do to improve that number? Feedback - Another way to “listen to the beat” is to get feedback from your customers. Try to be on a first name basis with your customers. Ask them how they are doing and if there is anything you could assist them with. The answers you’ll receive will be worth their weight in gold. Industry news - Keep up with the industry by reading everything you can get your hands on. When you work in “living room central” it’s easy to let yourself be isolated from the world. You can’t rely on your favorite soap operas to keep you informed about the current trends in business. So put down your munchies and flavored coffee and make a concerted effort to stay “in the know” by subscribing to print magazines and online newsletters 3) FLEXIBILITY When I think about flexibility, the childhood rhyme “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick” comes to mind. In order to keep from being burned, small businesses need to be nimble and quick. This means having the flexibility to act quickly in response to changes in the marketplace. Like a surfer riding a wave, you have to be in just the right place at the right time to ride the crest of the wave and get the best ride. Likewise, if small businesses monitor closely what’s going on in the marketplace, they can act quickly to take advantage of current events and trends in the marketplace. They say what gets measured, gets managed. Keep a close eye on your monthly financials. Listen to your customers. Measure the effectiveness of your advertising. Then when you see a difference ask yourself, “was that good or bad” and ACT! 4) TAP INTO THE FIRE AND LET IT FUEL YOU Simply said, small business owners want it more. Because of this, they will try harder and go the extra mile. That’s why big companies like Wal-Mart and Saturn have made their employees part owners in the company. They have seen that people will work harder for themselves than for anyone else. The best secret to success as an entrepreneur is to find something you are passionate about and create a business around that. When you do something you love you’ll never “work” a day in your life. Entrepreneurs have that fire in their belly. Find a way to tap into that internal fire and let it fuel you to success. 5) VALUE While big companies will often be able to offer the lower prices, small businesses will always be able to pile on the value. By offering better service, adding bonuses, giving and discounts on related products, the entrepreneurs can add more bang for the buck. 6) CREATIVE SPARK What’s great about the entrepreneurs is that they aren’t afraid to try something new. When I think of “creative spark”, I think of my son, when he was three years old, eyeing a package of cookies up on top of the refrigerator. He doesn’t know that it is up really high and that climbing up there is dangerous. He only sees the cookies and starts stacking chairs and climbing until I find him sitting on top of the fridge with a big smile and a mushy cookie face. Similarly, entrepreneurs don’t “know” if something will work or not and fearlessly forge forward with their eyes on the prize. This innovation helps them to tap into new products, techniques, and processes. SUMMARY They say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. When the market starts putting the heat on your business, ask yourself, are you staying “sharp”? Do you still have the entrepreneurial edge? By thinking like a start up, you will find that you will have the staying power to compete with the big boys on the block. And you’ll find that kind of hard-earned success is “oh” so sweet!

5 tips for mom entrepreneurs how to make and take time for you

You are busy at both work and at home. Some days it may seem impossible to find time for YOU. You may wonder how other busy Mom Entrepreneurs make time for themselves, but you don’t have time to stop and ask. Here are four quick tips: If it’s too late and you are already stressed… 1. Take a break. Have you ever been overwhelmed and feel you can’t stop for fear you will fall further behind? When you’re in a high-stress situation, your thinking is often cluttered making you less productive. Michele Dortch, The Integrated Mother, suggests that you take a break when you become stressed. Whether you choose a 15-minute nature walk or a full day doing activities you love, stopping can actually provide amazing clarity and help you complete your tasks on time. This may seem counterproductive, but it really works! To prevent going on overload, try the following tips on a regular basis… 2. Take time out to socialize each week. Alice Seba of Mom Masterminds advises taking time out is invaluable to the Mom Entrepreneur. Alice makes a point to have a few opportunities to socialize each week—with girlfriends, her partner, or to just have some time alone. It revives her and makes her more focused when she comes back to being a mom or a businessperson. Alice says, “All work and no play not only makes you a dull mama, but it makes you a stressed out and ineffective one, too!” 3. Take a few “Mommy Minutes” as often as possible. Ponn Sabra, author of Empowering Women to Power Network, puts herself on “time out” and takes “Mommy Minutes” as often as possible. Ponn sits in a self-made sauna in the bathroom with the hot shower running or enjoys a favorite goodie (she sometimes hides special ice cream sandwiches in back corner of her freezer where no one, even her husband, can find them.) Ponn also insists that “adults need naps, too!” Whether for ten minutes or forty-five, it is important just to take a nap. The revitalization you receive from a catnap is very powerful. If you are unable to nap in the middle of a chaotic day, it is important to take yourself out of the situation to regain focus. You will have more energy if you meditate and clear your head. 4. Go “off duty” regularly. In Linda Goodman Pillsbury’s Survival Tips for Working Moms, she recommends choosing a regular time when you are “off duty.” For example, you might say that after 8:30 every night, the kids cannot bother you with “Where are my blue jeans?” “I need cookies for a school party tomorrow,” etc. (Of course, you are there for emergencies.) Children will soon learn to ask for what they need before you go off duty or wait until the morning. This works on very young children up to teenagers--but you should make exceptions for talking to the kids when they come in from a date!

Usa vs the world

This dispute originally was in relation to tax relief plans for Foreign Service Companies (FSC's) that consist of US companies with overseas branches of major US companies with a global reach, like computer giant Microsoft and aircraft manufacturer Boeing. In short during 2003 the WTO held hearings on the matter and ruled that the tax breaks were in violation of international trade law. This ruling lead to a hefty 14% tariff on $4 billion worth of US imports ranging from steel and car parts to foodstuffs and textiles. The EU then raised the sanction in 2004 after congress reportedly removed the illegal tax breaks, but has threatened to reinstate them by May of this year if translational provisions left in by congress were not removed immediately. The good news is that the US is no longer the biggest kid on the block regarding international trade. The EU and WTO, once mere puppet enforcement organizations for US economic policy are beginning to protest high costs and unfair tax breaks in the US. Am I the only American feeling a bit behind the ball? Why is the EU standing up for our economic rights and we, the entrepreneurs, of the US are not? In my opinion it is very simply answered. The constant barrage of bad information and dis-information (aka propaganda) firing at us from the current administration is clouding our judgment locally while remotely being seen clearly. More good news: The global market place has never been more lucrative to enter into and the gaps (needs) left exposed by the obvious obstinacies of our congress are comparable to pots of gold. Adversity breeds opportunity in almost all situations and this is one of them. Using our creative energies while acting as god global citizens will allow the entrepreneur to profit like never before. The bad news: The US economy continues to suffer as more and more people find themselves out of work due to an economic centralization policy centered on warfare and the spread of American policy. I wonder if the congress and the current administration need a refresher course in Roman history.

Why cash crate is the best gpt site in the industry

When I first set out to find new ways of earning money online, Cash Crate was the first GPT (get paid to) program I came across. Assuming it was just another internet scam, I skimmed their website and moved on. But a few days later I couldn't stop wondering about it. If their claims were true this could be a nice extra income stream for me. Not really expecting much, I went ahead and signed up. Now, several months and several hundred dollars later, I can tell you that Cash Crate is definitely NOT a scam. After having a good experience with them, I went on to sign up for several other GPT sites, many of which I have made quite a bit of money at, but Cash Crate remains my favorite for several reasons, which I will address in this review. What Is Cash Crate? Cash Crate is a Get Paid To site that allows you to earn money by taking surveys and completing trials and offers. Companies are always looking for consumers to try their products or services. GPT programs, such as Cash Crate are hired by advertising companies to provide these leads. Cash Crate gets paid by these companies; they then pass on up to 75% back to us. How Are You Paid? Cash Crate automatically sends you a check each month for the previous month’s earnings. All you need to do is earn a minimum of $10 to each month to qualify for payment. I can't even begin to tell you how easy this is. I was able to do this within the first few hours of working with Cash Crate. Within a few days I was up to over $50. Do You Need to Refer Anybody to Earn Money? Absolutely NOT. You can earn quite a bit of money without referring a single person. If you are like me though and enjoy recruiting new members, there is a very good income to be made this way as well. Cash Crate has one of the best referral programs available in the GPT industry. This is one of the reasons that Cash Crate remains my favorite GPT site. Cash Crate's excellent referral program makes it not only lucrative, but also easy to refer others to. In my experience, once people understand the power behind this referral program they are very eager to join. Cash Crate pays you 20% of what your referrals earn and 10% of what their referrals earn. Plus once your referral earns enough to cashout for their first time (only $10) they also give you a $3 bonus. Once you have 50 active referrals under you they raise your referral commissions to 25%! I compared Cash Crate's referral system to other GPT sites and this is what I found: Between the high referral rates offered by Cash Crate, their quick crediting, and consistent payment history, Cash Crate holds the most earning potential. After several months of working with close to 20 different GPT sites, I can tell you that I consistently earn far more money at Cash Crate than any other GPT site. If you'd like to try Cash Crate for yourself you can get started here: http://cooldealsites. com/recommends/cashcrate

Benefits of virtual assistance

A virtual assistant is an individual who provides business services to other professionals. They're considered virtual because they perform their services from a remote location. Communications with their clients take place through telephone, fax, email, and snail mail. As a business owner, you can save time, money, and energy by hiring a virtual assistant. Best of all, you'll have more time to do what you do best - running a business! 1. You do not need to provide a physical workspace. A virtual assistant works from their own home or office. This is especially convenient if you are running a business from home or if you have limited space at your own office. 2. You do not need to provide costly equipment. Virtual assistants use their own equipment to provide services to you. This can result is tremendous savings especially if the virtual assistant has access to equipment that you don't already own. Also, you don't have the worries of dealing with the maintenance and upkeep of office equipment. 3. You save valuable time not performing tasks you don't have time for or are not able to do. As a business owner, the highest and best use of your time is to work in your business. Delegating important and necessary administrative tasks like web design and maintenance, bookkeeping, writing, shopping cart setup, and other tasks will allow you to spend time developing your business and building relationships with your customers or clients. 4. You do not have to deal with payroll, taxes or benefits. You can hire a virtual assistant as an independent contractor which frees you from spending time dealing with tax filings and compliance issues. You also have the added benefit of hiring them just for the task at hand, paying them at an hourly rate or by the project. This is much more cost efficient than having a full time employee who you might not be able to fully utilize. 5. You can accelerate growth by finally having the time to focus on the most important issues of your business. The administrative tasks related to running a business are overwhelming, even for a one-person business! The best way to grow your business fast is to concentrate your energies working on your business and leaving everything else to your virtual assistant. 6. You have the freedom to work on growing and improving your business/life skills, knowledge, and relationships. We have a vision for our business. We are constrained by time which limits how quickly we can move towards achieving the goals which underlie that vision. With the help of a virtual assistant, we'll have more time to do the things that matter most to us, the things that will bring richness and enjoyment to our life. 7. You are able to make better decisions by having a partner to “bounce” ideas off. Having an assistant is a great benefit especially if you are a solopreneur. Their strengths, background, and expertise can provide fresh eyes through which to view your business problems and projects. There's a lot of truth to the saying, "Two heads are better than one." 8. You have peace of mind knowing that the details are being handled. Most business owners find themselves swimming in details. There are so many things to handle, from paying the rent, to returning calls, from updating the customer data base, to sending out products. There are literally dozens and dozens of details to remember and juggle which leads to mental and physical exhaustion. By turning over these tasks to your assistant, you'll get more done faster and with a lot less stress. 9. You are finally able to run your business instead of it running you. At some point during the progression of our business, we start feeling like our business is running us instead of the other way around. Feelings of overwhelm from the countless tasks we must complete can make it difficult to do anything at all. Partnering with a virtual assistant can help us avoid getting stuck. Instead, we can then stay focused on our goals and in control of our business. 10. You have flexibility to assume new, challenging opportunities. With the administrative details handled by your virtual assistant, you'll automatically be more open to taking on new projects that can benefit you and your business. Your talents and creativity can really shine when you aren't bogged down in details, overworked, or distracted by things that aren't directly related to serving your clients. © Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith

The wright way

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These brothers had little formal training or education, but they had amazing brainpower. Few accomplishments can match what these two former bicycle mechanics did with that flying machine. The key principles of problem-solving used by the Wright brothers are still relevant for business owners today. There are only eight of them, and here they are:CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT: This conflict can be used to discover and validate new ideas/strategies to find a practical answer. TACKLE WORST THINGS FIRST: When big problems are put first, the cost for the whole is limited to this set should a solution prove unachievable. JUST PLAIN TINKERING: New approaches can be created by tinkering with parts of a problem when you’re trying to understand it. RIGID FLEXIBILITY: Flexing the mind allows for thinking of possibilities outside the realm of policy, tradition, or experience. FOREVER LEARNING: Learning as a lifelong passion is essential for finding the information to solve problems. METHODICAL METICULOUSNESS: The fastest, most efficient way to solve a problem is by being meticulous and methodical in your approach. EQUITABLE TEAMWORK: The force of a group with a common purpose is multi-plied by interdependence and powered by trust, effort, profits, power, and honor. A side benefit to these steps is that there is an added financial bonus. By using these principles, the Wright brothers minimized their costs to less than $1,000 and solved the problem of flight with mind-boggling speed. 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The advantages of owning a handyman franchise

: Many exciting reasons to participate in a handyman franchise business exist. One of the most sought after franchise concepts for a decade has been in the industry of home improvement. These franchise systems are planned specifically to take on common problems that need maintenance around the home. The preceding facts can explain why the home improvement market is growing. If you've ever invested in a business or franchise in the past, you will find that a handyman franchise typically requires very little capital to get started. There is no cost of goods and on average a fixed location is not required to run the business. As the owner of a handyman business, your duties focus on the retailing of services. There are two distinctive parts you can play as the owner of a handyman franchise.

Before you can own your handyman franchise, you must decide whether you will run the business and do all the repair work as well, or whether you will hire employees to do the repair work. Many handyman franchises are looking for a person with a business background and not a handyman background. In some franchise systems like Home Task Handyman Services, you do all of the repair work while the franchisor runs the business. In other systems, like Mr. Handyman Franchise, your business is dispatching experienced technicians into your customers' homes.

So, if your current life situation doesn't allow the time it takes to be on the road doing home repairs, you can hire a repairman to do the work and still be part of the home maintenance industry. Because of your expertise and through ownership of the franchise, you will still call the shots. If you plan to focus on only managing the business while your technicians perform all of the repair work, you will need to know how to direct and motivate your employees to provide the service; this is where highly focused franchise training and support prevails. A franchise's training and support system is one of the strongest benefits of being a franchise owner and why so many entrepreneurs are tempted to buy a franchise in the first place. Brand-name recognition, built through years of establishing a reputation, also plays an important part in the overall success of the business. The training and support you receive from your franchisor is prepared to maximize the earning potential of your business.

After the training period is over, and when you open the doors to your business, the system must be followed accordingly if your busi Note, that if you come into this business with the skills and professional knowledge of a handyman, then you will have an advantage and the foundation for the successful operation of your handyman franchise. Nonetheless, professional handyman or construction knowledge is not a requirement to own a handyman franchise. When you evaluate different franchise companies, it's a matter of which one offers the most effective system. That will be a determining factor in the success of your business. Many businessmen become interested in franchises becuase of their flexibility. For instance, you may chose to provide your handyman services from your home, so there are handyman franchising opportunities that offer that flexibility.

There are several franchise systems in existence that have been adapted to run a successful handyman business from home. In that sense, handyman franchises offer more flexibility than other franchise systems such as fast food franchises. It is always in good practice to let a franchising attorney read over your contract before singing off on anything. Purchasing a franchise business may be one of the biggest investments you will ever make, so it's crucial that a specialized franchising attorney reads over your contract to make sure you are getting the best possible deal. Many people feel that the franchisors have the advantage on franchise negotiations.

The franchisor has invested a significant amount of time and money to develop a system that is designed to earn all of its franchisees adequate financial returns, so you will not find much flexibility if you chose to negotiate a contract. Finally, remember that one of the most important sources of valuable information when considering a franchise company will be the existing frnachisees. So what's the bottom line on starting a handyman franchise? There is definately a great financial potential in the handyman franchise industry. If you're looking to escape from your daily grind of working for someone else and would like to start your own business, there is no doubt that a handyman franchise can turn your financial dreams into a reality.

Top 15 ways solo prenuers use virtual assistants

Your time and money are worth more when you are able to concentrate on what you do best and leave the rest to an assistant. Virtual office assistants work from their own home-based offices and are highly trained in their skill areas as well as a variety of technologies. Many of them have advanced degrees as well as years of professional experience. Not only can a virtual assistant relieve you of mundane, everyday tasks, but also in many cases, s/he can even help you grow your business. One of the biggest benefits to hiring a virtual assistant is the ability to delegate work to people who have better skills, and can do work you don't know how to do, don’t have time to do, or just don't want to do. The next big draw (when considering virtual assistants over bricks-and-mortar assistants) is that virtual assistants only clock-in and work when you need them and use their own resources.

In other words, they’re not charging you to sit there and play solitaire on a computer you purchased for them. Top 15 Ways Solo-preneurs Use Virtual Assistants 1. Your VA receives calls routed to his/her home office phone and your prospective customers do not receive a voice mail. You pay only for the minutes that the VA is on the phone 2. You need to confirm appointments for the week. Your VA calls the appointments and notes who is confirmed and who must be rescheduled. Your VA even updates your calendar online, if you’re using a mutually accessible calendar program. 3. By purchasing a software program that installs a desktop electronic billing system on the VA's computer, billing can be done off-site. The software vendor technical support trains the VA to use the program, then you email or fax information to the VA, who then does daily electronic billing or accounting services to get your billing done. 4. You are preparing a marketing plan and need further information. Your VA can contact possible advertising outlets on the Internet, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, etc. and acquire information on pricing, publishing dates, publishing deadlines, payment policies, etc. All information is compiled into a report for you to review. 5. You are preparing a direct mailing and need to verify your database. The database is sent to your VA via email attachment. Your VA telephones each name and verifies name, spelling, title and address. All corrections are made, old names are deleted, and new names are added. The corrected database is “zipped” and returned to you via email attachment. 6. You need a brochure, business card or flyer for your business. Your VA can design, type and print your advertising material using your own artwork or stock art. Your VA can also make the materials ready to print by a professional print shop and simply email the file to the shop for printing. 7. You have a blog, but do not have time to update entries regularly. Brief ideas and thoughts or links can be emailed to your VA, who then updates your blog. 8. You need a website set up, either on a directory site or using a web-hosting service. Your VA can design a custom site or adapt a template, and can maintain it on a regular basis, adding current articles or information as needed. 9. You need a telephone conversation (i. e., conference call, teleclass, etc.) recorded. The VA records the call and transcribes the tape for the participants. 10. You dictate letters, reports, notes or memos on a cassette tape and mail it to your VA via overnight delivery. Your VA transcribes the tape, prints the letters on your stationery and mails them the following day. Or, send your VA an MP3 file of your recording. S/he transcribes the audio and emails the completed transcript back to you. 11. You cannot keep up with the volume of email and are missing important messages. You or your webmaster set up a general email account (info@mycompany. com). Your VA retrieves all email, sorts, responds to routine requests, and forwards items of importance to you at your personal email account (myname@mycompany. com). 12. You are going on vacation, but can’t let your customers wait for two weeks. Your VA answers the phone and email and responds to customers. You are called for urgent calls while you are away if you want. 13. You need bill paying services. You simply have all bills mailed to a post office box near your VA. Your VA sets up a checking account with payment authorization for both you and the VA. As the bills are prepared for payment, your VA notifies you how much money to deposit into the account. The bills are then paid. Another option, if available from your bank, is to use on-line bill payment services. Security features can be set up which make this a safe and simple solution. 14. You implement an advertising plan or promo. Your VA can monitor the plan, submits ads by deadlines, track expiration dates, coordinate payment, handle correspondence with advertising vendors, and continually update the advertising report and/or advertising budget report for your review. 15. You would like to write a book, but can't get organized. Your VA can compile rough drafts, notes, fragments, letters or memoirs and get them into an editable form to begin the process of formatting the book, research publishers, and send out queries. Virtual assistants are here to stay. The above shows that virtual assistants can and do work well for most small and home-based businesses and especially solo-preneurs. Over the next couple of years you can expect your conversations with regards to virtual assistants to go from “What is a virtual assistant and what does a virtual assistant do?” to that of “Who provides your virtual assistant services?” Implementing the use of a virtual assistant, especially through a virtual staffing agency, is a low-cost, low-risk undertaking. If the virtual assistant doesn’t work out, you simply request another, perhaps for a better fit. What’s more, coupling the use of a virtual assistant (or several virtual assistants) with your already up-and-coming business can catapult your income and success to the next level and beyond.

Hey i invented that first

The other day I was struck by the “Hey! I invented that!” conniption fit. You know the one I’m talking about. It happens when you’re mindlessly watching TV and a commercial pops up marketing THE item you always told your friends, family, and anyone who would listen, was the next big idea and would make you tons of money. And there it is. On TV. Making someone else tons of money. Or maybe you’re the type that gets spastic with the “ Psssh!

I could make that!” twitch. Whether you have the “I thought of it first” knee-jerks or the “any five year old could do that” spasms, it all boils down to the same coulda-woulda-shoulda disease. The appalling disease of inaction and envy. Tired of hearing stories of so-and-so selling such-and-such on eBay (“I could do that!”) or neighbor Joe making big bucks with his online business (“Didn’t I just tell you what a great moneymaking idea that is?”)… I took matters into my own hands and plunged into the world of web marketing and online business. Now there were more than just a few “humps” or misconceptions that I had to climb over (alright, alright, I was dragged over kicking and screaming by the tow-truck of necessity).

But here are two major ones: 1) Making a website is hard. Well, I’m not going to lie to you and say it was peaches and cream, either. It turned out to be rather simple when I realized I didn’t need to learn any fancy new programs from the ground up. For real beginners, there are free html editors that you can download from the web; and if you’ve ever typed a document/essay/paper/letter in your life, you basically understand a textual layout and the things you can do to it. So fine. My first website was not very… attractive. In fact, it was rather boring. However, I had some fine power tools on my belt. I knew how to google. The thing about the Internet is people like to talk, and they like to give out information for FREE. So I learned just enough html to understand the underlying structure, and I used that helpful little trick of “View>Source” (on simple pages, of course… simple but better looking than mine). I googled any html code abbreviations I didn’t understand. And voila – I had a website that looked… downright gaudy. Long story short, I learned the fine art of balancing a little too much with just enough. (Helpful hint: just because you now know how to highlight every other word, doesn’t mean you should.) And patting myself on the back over a job well done (at least until I can make enough money to hire pros to make my site uber-wonderful), I then ran into misconception number two. 2) If you build it, they will come. It took me a while to realize that the only ones who knew of my existence were family, who I bragged to, and my hosting site, who I’m sure will remember me on "invoice day." You can see where I'm going with this next. Ok, I'm not going to re-hash everything you already know about bringing people to your site, nor am I going to preach to you about "conversion rates." Let's just say the bottom line for actually getting your website viewed, is to be creative. There have been hundreds (and will be probably millions) of e-books and the like which show you the sexiest ways to get traffic to your site, down to the simplest method like...hehe...writing an aticle. (dancing emoticon) A lot of good information out there is, again, free. Ultimately marketers want to sell you something, but you would be surprised at the amount of free information on the net that is actually worth something and is more than a baited hook. Poke around, do some research, check out a few forums, download a few e-books (free or paid), and above all get creative! -Joshua White http:// webwealthmethods. com

Your own business

РПаЎ±б>юя 8:юяяя7яяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяямҐБ5@ рїДbjbjП2П2 "(­X­XДяяяяяя€PPPPPPPdЁЁЁЁґ$dЗєддддддддFHHHHHH$ЃRУ!„lPдддддlPPддЃєєєд PдPдFєдFє.єиЋЮhPPдШ kЅє ЖЁо^FF—0ЗVДW"LLW" ddPPPPW"P,ддєдддддllddD Ё?"ddЁ860 wordsSo You Want Your Own Business! There are many reasons for wanting to start your own business, and most of us get to this point. Which one of the following applies to you? Freedom from daily routine. Doing what I want when I want. Improve my living standard. I want creative freedom. I want to fully use my skills, knowledge and education. I have a product/idea/service that people need. I’ll have more time with the family.

I won’t have a dress code. There are good tax breaks for business owners. I’m a Type B person and work best alone. I want to be my own boss.

I want to make the decisions. Now granted, every one of the above is a good reason for wanting your own business. The rub is, that not many people think the process through – step by step. There are 7 phases to business planning. They are:Investigation PhasePlanning PhaseStart-up PhaseOperating/Monitoring PhaseProblem/Challenge resolution PhasesRenewal/Expansion PhaseSelling, Transferring, Retirement PhaseWe’ll cover all of the above in my next few columns as a “Business Basics” refresher, but for today let’s take number one. In the Investigation Phase you take a look at yourself and also your business options. There are careers that are suited to personality types, so the first thing you must discern is “Which personality type am I?”Duty Fulfillers This is an introverted personality who is serious, quiet, thorough, orderly, matter-of-fact, logical, realistic, and dependable.

They take responsibility, are well organized, know what should be accomplished and work steadily toward it disregarding distractions. They are careful calculators, and 20% of this group become accountants. The Mechanics These are also introverts and are cool onlookers. They are quiet, reserved, observing, and analyzing life with a detached curiosity and have unexpected flashes of original humor. They’re usually interested in cause and effect, how and why mechanical things work, and in organizing facts using logical principles. They usually are craftsmen, mechanics, or handymen with about 10% becoming farmers. The Doers These people are extraverts who are good at on-the-spot problem solving, don’t worry, enjoy whatever comes along, are adaptable, tolerant, and generally conservative in values.

They tend to like mechanical things and sports, and dislike long explanations. They are best with “real” things that can be worked, handled, taken apart, or put together. About 10% of this type go into marketing or become Impresarios. The Executives These are another extravert group and are hearty, frank, decisive, leaders in activities and usually good in anything that requires reasoning and intelligent talk, such as public speaking. They’re usually well informed and enjoy adding to their fund of knowledge. They may sometimes appear more positive and confident than their experience in an area warrants. They’re sometimes called “judgers” and “thinkers” and 21% of this group become legal administrators. To go into each personality type would be far too complicated, but to give you an idea of the roles that personality types could fall into look at the following list.

Beside the categories we covered in depth here are some simply broken down into Introvert or Extravert Personality. Introverts choose careers that satisfy being:NurturersGuardiansArtistsScientistsProtectorsIdealistsExtraverts are usually:PerformersVisionariesThe InspirersGiversCaregiversThe second part of the Investigating Phase is looking at your business options. When choosing the business you want to start consider the following:Do you like to work with your hands or brain, or both? Does working indoors or outdoors matter? Are you good at math, writing, puzzles, blueprints, installing things or fixing things? What interests you? What are your hobbies?

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Do you like to plan things, or go to events? Do you like machines, computers? Do you like to drive or operate equipment? Do you like to travel, collect/display things, give/attend shows, or take pictures? Are you small, large, strong? Make a list of your likes and dislikes.

Keep a diary of things you do that relate to business and rate each entry from 1 to 5 based on your interest. Then prepare a list of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and concerns. After doing all that, you should have a list of candidate businesses that are right for you. Then you can make a list of the “candidate businesses” and rate them from 1 to 5 based on your own chosen criteria. Some criteria could be is it feasible, low in cost to establish, meets my objectives, will make money, there is a “niche” market of existing customers, or it will produce residual income to name just a few. By the time you’ve accomplished all that, you should seriously consider visiting the local chapter of S. C.O. R.E. or your own mentor to use as a sounding board for your plan. Next week, if I haven’t dissuaded you so far, we’ll cover the Planning Phase.+<=M ®>?IJйшитS]9:ГДьхьсмьмьемЭьмьмьХьОьКhй)Ehb^рh‡uchb^рh‡uc>*h*Eфh‡uc>*heяh‡uc h‡uc>*h¬h‡uc5Ѓ>*h‡uc *+ё№Хф ) a ‘ ¶ С ) C a b 78L[j…©ъътъъъккккккккккккъъъввввв &Fgd‡uc &Fgd‡uc$a$gd‡ucgd‡ucДю©Бйкef<=Mџ ®?@JийшКЛзи *2=Hччттттттттттттттттттттккккк &Fgd‡ucgd‡uc &Fgd‡ucHRSlwѓ‘?Ј¤:;r›уN{њЗ9:фхДчттккккктттввввввввввЩттт„h^„hgd‡uc &Fgd‡uc &Fgd‡ucgd‡uc &Fgd‡ucДЕВГДъъъшgd‡uc 1ђh°Р/ °а=!°"°#ђ $ђ %°њ@`ся@‡ucNormalCJ_HaJmH sH tH DAтяЎDDefault Paragraph FontRiуяіRTable Normalц4Ц l4Цaц(kфяБ(No ListBBѓTOC 11$7$8$H$5ЃCJOJQJDZ@Dѓ Plain TextCJOJQJ^JaJFFѓTOC 2„р1$7$8$H$^„рCJOJQJJJѓTOC 3„а1$7$8$H$^„а6ЃCJOJQJД ( яяяя *+ё№Хф)a‘¶С)Cab78L[j…©Бйкef<=Mџ ®?@Jи й ш КЛзи *2=HRSlwѓ‘?Ј¤:;r›уN{њЗ9:фхДЕВГЖ?0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0 ЂЂЂ? 0 ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ? 0ЂЂЂ?0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂ Ђ?0ЂЂ Ђ?0ЂЂ?0ЂЂ Ђ?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂ?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂ? 0ЂЂ€? 0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂ€? 0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂ€? 0ЂЂ? 0ЂЂ€? 0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂ€? 0ЂЂ?0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂ€?0ЂЂ? 0ЂЂ€? 0ЂЂ? 0ЂЂ€? 0ЂЂ? 0ЂЂ? 0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂp? 0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂ?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂp?0ЂЂ?0ЂЂ?0ЂЂpД©HДДДЖїВ<=Ђ‘ўіЪжSb*Ж333333 ЌХф)к<=¤Ж ;<ГЖяяGina Gaudio-Gravesф6p ШиЯяяяяяяяяяm{.Ъ4ХяяяяяяяяяT+уIІф&яяяяяяяяя‘"рQ„—@¦яяяяяяяяяЗ[‚x&юBGяяяяяяяяяh„Р„?юЖР^„Р`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„ „?юЖ ^„ `„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„p„?юЖp^„p`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„@„?юЖ@^„@`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„„?юЖ^„`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„а„?юЖа^„а`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„°„?юЖ°^„°`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„Ђ„?юЖЂ^„Ђ`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„P„?юЖP^„P`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рh „Р„?юЖР^„Р`„?ю‡h€H.ђh „ „?юЖ ^„ `„?ю‡h€H.’h „p„LяЖp^„p`„Lя‡h€H.ђh „@„?юЖ@^„@`„?ю‡h€H.ђh „„?юЖ^„`„?ю‡h€H.’h „а„LяЖа^„а`„Lя‡h€H.ђh „°„?юЖ°^„°`„?ю‡h€H.ђh „Ђ„?юЖЂ^„Ђ`„?ю‡h€H.’h „P„LяЖP^„P`„Lя‡h€H.h„Р„?юЖР^„Р`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„ „?юЖ ^„ `„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„p„?юЖp^„p`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„@„?юЖ@^„@`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„„?юЖ^„`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„а„?юЖа^„а`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„°„?юЖ°^„°`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„Ђ„?юЖЂ^„Ђ`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„P„?юЖP^„P`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рh„Р„?юЖР^„Р`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„ „?юЖ ^„ `„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„p„?юЖp^„p`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„@„?юЖ@^„@`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„„?юЖ^„`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„а„?юЖа^„а`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„°„?юЖ°^„°`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„Ђ„?юЖЂ^„Ђ`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„P„?юЖP^„P`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рh„Р„?юЖР^„Р`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„ „?юЖ ^„ `„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„p„?юЖp^„p`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„@„?юЖ@^„@`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„„?юЖ^„`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„а„?юЖа^„а`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рђh„°„?юЖ°^„°`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H·рђh„Ђ„?юЖЂ^„Ђ`„?юOJQJ^Jo(‡h€Hoђh„P„?юЖP^„P`„?юOJQJo(‡h€H§рЗ[‚xm{.ф6p T+уI‘"рQяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяяя ей)E‡ucѓ¬д4¬я@Ђ<

Make 2006 your most profitable year ever 5 crucial steps for every entrepreneur

Many of us maintain the tradition of making New Year's resolutions for our personal lives. The New Year has just as special significance for our businesses too. Whether you're an experienced business owner or are just starting out (or thinking about starting a business), there are 5 crucial steps you need to take at the beginning of the year to assure the 2006 is your most prosperous year ever. 1. If you have not done so yet, take advantage of the greatest tax shelter available today: the opportunity to start a small business and organize your business activities to generate multiple streams of income for you. If you have been thinking about starting your own business but are still sitting on the fence, resolve to take action today! With the internet making getting into business for yourself easier and more cost-effective than ever, there's no excuse for not taking that crucial first step. 2. If you already own your own business make sure that you're generating income from more than once source. This way, if changing economic conditions exercise a negative effect on one stream of income, you are not left high and dry (so to speak!). If you're involved in network marketing, you'll have to make a point of ignoring those who would have you focus exclusively on a single company (often start up) that might not be around 5 years from now). You can and should diversify (within reason, of course!). 3. Make sure that you are using the most advantageous structure for operating your business. This applies to you whether you have a traditional bricks-and-mortar business, operate a UPS Store franchise, or are operating an e-business doing affiliate marketing. If you're operating your business as a sole proprietor, as most small business owners do, your business is not in the most advantageous position to reap the fruits of the generous tax deductions available to small businesses. More important, you are placing all your personal assets, including your home, your vehicle, your personal savings, and your family's future at risk. Today, it's no longer as cumbersome as it used to be to establish an alternative business structure that will protect you from such risk. And with all the resources now readily available to the average person at minimal cost, you don't have to incur massive legal fees just to get started. 4. Resolve to learn the information you need to know to operate your business in the most profitable manner. Continuing education about structuring and operating your business is an absolute necessity for the entrepreneur. Even if you have an accountant or attorney on your mastermind team, how do you know if she has the knowledge and sophistication to handle this for you properly? Unfortunately, too many, do not, and their lack of expertise can cost you thousands of dollars. If your accountant or attorney tells you, for example, that you "don't need" an LLC or corporation to do business, you'll know to run--do not walk--out of their office as quickly as possible and search elsewhere for competent advice. In addition, even if you have compentent counsel, it is your responsibility as a business owner to operate your company in accordance with governent requirements governing corporations, partnerships and LLCs. 5. Adopt a Mindset that Focuses on Tax Reduction as a Way of Life The largest single expense of most Americans is taxes. To optimize your bottom line, you must be up to date on which expenses are tax deductible for your business and keep proper records to document them. Using a credit card--even a personal card dedicated to your business--and an accounting program that is specifically for businesses--we recommend QuickBooks by Intuit--will help you immensely in keeping track of your expenses. It can be bought at a substantial discount on eBay. Implementing these 5 steps might sound complicated at first, but they are well worth the trouble. Remember that in running your business, "Keep it simple" can be costly advice. What simplest--setting up shop as a sole proprietor, operating on a cash basis, using your personal bank account instead of a separate business account for your business, and failing to track and document expenses using appropriate business accounting software--can hazardous to your financial future. Take advantage of the fresh start spirit of the New Year to implement these 5 tasks, and you'll be on your way to making this year your most profitable ever. ©Copyright 2006 Azur Pacific Associates. All media and formats known and unknown. All rights reserved.

Minority owned franchises can help business grow

Building minority partnerships through franchising can help grow your business, according to Henryk Strzeletz of Wheels America Advertising. Strzeletz, born in Poland and a 30-year resident of Germany before moving to the U. S., searches out viable markets and recruits potential business people from all walks of life who are interested in growing with his mobile advertising business, which he established in 1995. Philip Mereday, chief executive officer of WAA, shares Strzeletz's vision. Mereday, an African-American with a combined business experience that spans over 30 years, sees franchising as a way to open doors to a multinational work force, giving easy access to government programs such as the Minority Business Development Agency and others. In the end, this greatly benefits Strzeletz's business - helping WAA turn a substantial profit and keeping the company competitive. "The challenge for many minorities is that they don't have the resources to take advantage of government programs," said Mereday. "They don't know that you can bid for contracts with the Department of Commerce or get a grant from the Small Business Administration." To get its franchises rolling, WAA is working on team-building - giving seminars and workshops to those interested in opening franchises. "We're trying to build a foundation, a bulwark for business people looking for a viable investment in an already proven growth market. Maybe they're building up their portfolio or looking to strengthen their future," said Mereday, who has been an investment banker and writer and has worked overseas in the United Kingdom. "The main benefit of franchising is personal satisfaction from growth." Success is crowning WAA's efforts. A minority business partnership in Detroit has grown from one mobile billboard advertising vehicle to six, which operate daily. A predominately Latino franchise in Miami has been working with clients ranging from Western Union to Spanish-language auction site DeRemate. com. With more than 30 U. S. locations, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas, minority-owned franchises have helped to make WAA a major player in mobile media, with Fortune 500 clients including Toshiba, Fox Sports and Einstein Bros Bagels.

Step by step patents

Do you have an idea or an invention that you would like to get patented?? Are you confused or unsure of what to do to obtain an invention patent? The best place to go to get patent information is through the U. S. Patent Office. This patent information is available online at their website at uspto. gov. Here's a step by step guide to how the patent process unfolds. The first step to filing your patent is to determine what kind of patent you need.

There are 3 types of patents. The first is a utility patent. A utility patent protects how the new article is used and how it works. The next is a design patent. A design patent protects the way the new article looks. The third is a plant patent which is used to protect asexually reproducing plants that have been invented or discovered. Once you have determined what kind of patent you need, you then start the application process.? The application must be filed with the U. S. Patent Office. The application describes the invention and it must state how to make use of the invention.

It should also include why this invention should be protected by a patent. Documents, drawings, and testimonies should be included, along with the application fees. The second step is when the patent examiner does a patent search to be sure your invention is truly new and not a copy of someone else's patent. The patent examiner will communicate with the inventor or the inventor's patent attorney if any questions arise. This part of the patent application process can take some time. The third step is for the patent examiner to decide if the invention is truly unique and therefore in need of a patent. If your invention is unique, you receive a patent.

If not, your claim will be rejected and you will have to argue against it. You may go through a patent attorney or submit your patent application yourself. Patent attorneys can be found online or in your local telephone book. You may submit applications online electronically at the U. S. Patent Office's website at uspto. gov. Once you have obtained your patent, it will be good for a number of years. Even so, it is possible for other inventors to try to copy your patented idea. Your patent protection is of no use if it isn't enforced.? To help ensure enforcement, you may wish to get the help of an Invention Development Organization (IDO). They will help you to keep your invention safe and to market your product. That's it! There's really not much involved in filing your patent. For resources and other questions you may have see http://patent101.com. With some tenacity and a clever idea, you should be able to get a patent for your invention in just a matter of time.

Is self employment right for you

Business ownership can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences – under the right circumstances and at the right time! It’s not necessarily “better” than having a job – it’s just different. For some, self-employment is the ideal career solution. How about you? The exercises below are designed to help you ask the “tough questions,” and quickly discover whether self-employment would be right for you or not. So, take out paper and pen – or get comfortable in front of your computer – because you’re about to do some important “homework!” If you’re seriously considering the self-employment option, there are two main questions to ask yourself: 1. Is self-employment potentially right for you? 2. If so, which of the four paths to business ownership would be most appropriate for you? Let’s address both of these important questions. In the world of work, you have two main career paths: Self-Employment and “Getting a Job.” You’ve probably already gone the “getting a job” route. If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’ve found your jobs unsatisfying. So, now you’re probably asking yourself, “Could self-employment be right for me?” The following three questions will provide some direction: 1. Why are you exploring entrepreneurial alternatives at this time? 2. Rate your desire/motivation/commitment to have your own business, 1 to 10 (10 being the highest)? 3. If you could land the ideal job OR start your ideal business, which would you choose TODAY? Focus now on the first of these three questions, because you must first understand your core motivators: - What’s your WHY? (Lifestyle, income, image/prestige, leave a legacy, control, build equity, self-expression, independence, make a difference, passionate interest, etc.??) Unless you identify and hold onto your deepest need and desire, you will not have a strong likelihood of succeeding. So, spend some time writing about your WHY! ---------------------------------- There are Four Paths to Business Ownership: 1. Become a Consultant 2. Buy an Existing Business 3. Start a New Business 4. Buy a Franchise Below, you will see the “unique considerations” for each of these entrepreneurial pathways. Take some time to answer all the questions in the four categories. BECOME A CONSULTANT - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What markets will you serve? - What services will you offer? - Who will be your competition? - How will you price your services? - How will you market and sell your services? BUY AN EXISTING BUSINESS - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What type of business do you want to buy? - How do you envision your own role? - How will you finance the purchase? - What will you expect of the seller? START A NEW BUSINESS - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What markets will the business serve? - What products or services will you offer? - Who will be your competition? - How will you market and sell your products or services? - How will you finance the business? BUY A FRANCHISE - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What type of business do you want to be in? - How do you envision your own role? - What will you expect from the Franchisor? - How will you finance the purchase? Go back now, and review all your answers. Then address the questions below, as thoroughly as you can. What are your “Pros and Cons” for each entrepreneurial option? 1. Become a Consultant Pros: Cons: 2. Buy an Existing Business Pros: Cons: 3. Start a New Business Pros: Cons: 4. Buy a Franchise Pros: Cons: In reviewing this brief list of “Pros and Cons” for each of the four business options, which choice seems best for you right now? Why? Another way to determine if self-employment could work for you is to consider your own qualifications and preferences. Many people THINK they could successfully own and manage a business – but in reality, this takes a particular kind of person with a specific set of skills. This section will help you do an honest self-assessment. YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR OWNING A BUSINESS The main categories of ability include: - Marketing and Sales - Financial Management - Operations and Administration - Human Resources - General Management For each category above, answer these questions: - What results will the business require each year to become and remain successful? - What education, training or experience do you have to indicate that you will be capable of producing desired results? - Are you personally interested in, and willing to do, the required tasks? - If you do not plan to lead specific parts of the business, who will manage them, and how much will you need to pay those people? Every business has its challenges, but some of the biggest challenges of self-employment often come from “the inside.” Here are some of the most common personal issues faced by new entrepreneurs. PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES - Do you feel certain or doubtful about becoming self-employed? - What are the major challenges or obstacles you will face? - What are your biggest concerns or fears? - What questions or issues do you still have? There are definitely answers to your questions, and there is help to get you through the transition effectively! Here are five more questions for you to consider: 1. Two years from now, the qualities that you want most in your work/career are: 2. Will you have those qualities in your work if you continue doing what you’ve been doing? 3. If not, what changes must you make in order to make these qualities a reality? 4. Could business ownership or franchising help you create these desired qualities in your work/career? How? 5. If you’re still interested in business ownership, what are the next steps you will take (include approximate dates for completion): If these exercises have made you decide that self-employment is NOT for you, that’s actually a positive outcome. Think of all the time, frustration and money you’ll save by not going into business! On the other hand, if the questions above have crystallized and clarified your intention to own a business, then nothing should hold you back from the great entrepreneurial adventure. May you achieve success greater than your dreams! ---------------------------------- Copyright © 2006, Ford R. Myers. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2006, Ford R. Myers and The Franchise Alliance, LLC.

Running a business on limited resources

When I first started my business, I went to the bank for a business loan. Simple enough, right? I had my business plan in order, an itemized list of everything that I would need to successfully run my business, and all the necessary documents. To put it plainly, I was turned down. Why? Not because I did not have the credit to back it up, or did not have a good business plan.

The reason the bank man gave me was "because I did not understand that over 90% of businesses fail within the first year, and that I was not prepared in case mine did." While I understand he was attempting to look out for my best interest, I felt cheated. He was not even going to give me the opportunity to fail. On some level, everyone that goes into business for themselves understand that chances are, the business will not make it past it's first year, and I was no different. The only thing was I had faith in myself that I would not give up trying. The loan processor took that as I would spend my life savings before giving up, and he did not want to see me financially ruin myself. So what did I do? I set out on the adventure on my own, only using the limited resources and financial backing that I had. I bought second hand office supplies and furniture. I bought the small cheap laptop instead of the multi-thousand dollar computer specifically designed for what I would be doing. Without the proper money for advertising, I had to get creative. My advertising methods was unconventional, but they worked. I found that I did not need large amounts of money in order to get my business to the world. So would I have been so successful had the loan processor gave me the business loan I asked for? I am not sure, because after all, I made it without the money, what would have happened if I would have had the proper money for advertising? Whatever the case may have been, I am glad he did not, because I am not better able to understand the limited resources that many small businesses face. So how can you run your business on limited resources? Here are a few things that I learned along the way. 1) New vs. Used - When starting your business, you do not need everything to be "new." Second hand items cost substantially less then new items, and work just as well. Plus, if you think about it, customers will be more comfortable around your office if it feels "broke-in", rather then new and sterile. It gives them the feeling that you have been in business awhile. 2) Creative Advertising - You do not need the hundreds of dollars that it takes to place ads in papers or put commercials on TV. It costs very little to design and print you own flyers and put them in places where your potential clients would gather. Turn your vehicle into a moving billboard by investing in a vinyl signage for your doors or windows. The best thing? Face to Face meetings with your potential clients do not cost a penny, so look for every opportunity to talk with our potential clients. 3) Work At Home - Depending on your type of business, you may consider working at home rather then renting office space. This will save you a lot of money on rent and furnishing an office. Once your business becomes more successful, then you can always rent office space later. Overall, be thankful for the struggles that you go through now, because in the future, they will have been well worth it. Plus, it will give you a better understanding when it comes to other small businesses. And, no matter what, never give up on yourself.

Learn how entrepreneurs make millions

There are three basic ways of earning money which include trading time for money, trading money for money and trading expertise/value for money. Society and the formal education system promote the first method of earning money which involves trading time for money. In other words, you work for someone else for a specific amount of time and then they pay you. Working for someone else drains your energy and you don’t make much money. The second way to earn money is utilized by a small portion of the population and involves trading money for money. In other words, you are earning money through investing. Investing can be risky because if you lack additional funds then how can you invest any money in the first place? Therefore, many people can’t even try this option because they only have enough money to pay their bills. The third way to earn money is the best option.

This entrepreneurial option involves trading expertise/value for money. This is the strategy of entrepreneurial experts. You have a flexible schedule, work less, and earn more. You can make thousands of dollars a day in this option. In order to earn money through trading expertise/value for money you need to first figure out who you are and what you can give to others. What information do you know that could help others? You can find value from previous work experience or even from your hobbies.

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

Intellectual property combines e-commerce and book publishing. For example, you can write and sell an eBook. Recent research has found that approximately 6 out of every 10 American adults surf the Internet on a daily basis seeking out entertainment, education, and to shop for products. People are more comfortable buying online then in the past.

The market through the Internet is global and encompasses millions of people. Therefore, the information marketing business has room for everyone! When you market on the Internet, you market to your niche. Therefore, you don’t have to worry whether or not your neighbor will want to buy your product.

The Internet opens the niche market for you. If creating and selling intellectual property on the Internet is so simple, why isn’t everyone doing this? The formal educational system and previous societal beliefs are to blame. In school, we are taught to finish school and then become an employee at a company. The entrepreneurial spirit is not promoted; in fact it is almost shunned. Don’t let societal beliefs stop you. The intellectual property market is wide, diverse, and ready to fill your pocket book with cash.

Make money with no investment starting from scratch

In the begining it's a tentative situation. Your first few deals are small potatoes. To make money with no investment is not entirley accurate. Everyone has access to something. Some small amount that will be allocated for wealth building. I think back to when I was starting from scratch and at the time my cynical attitude made it painful, but looking back I remember the experience fondly.

It's challenging to make money with no investment capital but when you are starting from scratch you have nothing to lose. With your back to the wall, you can go forward confidently in the knowledge that you literally have little to lose. Curiously, all great wealth once began from scratch. To make money with no investment capital is exactly the situation you need to be in if you want to succeed and get that first million under your belt. You see, it's not how much you started with that counts. It's not how much you have made that counts. What matters is the system. HOW you do it. If that is based on sound principles then you will never fear poverty again.

I could make money with no investment capital if you dropped me in any free City on the planet. I guarantee you within a few months I'd be living well (providing I spoke the language). Starting from scratch, the first thing I would do is find a market. No money, but I have my self. I can offer a service. As soon as I make a few hundred dollars saved, I would begin applying the principles of opportunity investment. I would trade up and up until I had borrowing capacity. I would use the leverage that borrowing allows me to manufacture obscene compounding returns in real estate and large ticket items like used trucks and yachts.

I would work until I was comfortable, then start spending on myself. You are in a better situation than my scenario. You have friends, contacts, and knowledge of your town. You have experiences and intimate perceptions of the existing markets in your home town.

All you need is the knowledge to make it happen. To make money from scratch with no investment capital is easy. Don't be fooled into thinking your situation is hopeless. You need knowledge, tools, and skills.

It's time you took a real shot at your first million, believe me the second and third will be easy. "The pain of discipline is less then the pain of regret" -- Martin Thomas Copyright2005 Opportunity Investor. com

Catch the spirit of the entrepreneur

Grabbing opportunities with open arms is often easier to talk about than to actually do. Most people find themselves dreaming about being rich but never actually doing anything about it. A combination of procrastination and 'what if' syndrome can cripple your creative spirit and might mean your idea will never become a reality. Socrates said "Action equals knowledge'. He was one of the greatest philosophers of our time. What he meant was that it is through action that we achieve results. For example, you could think about learning Spanish for months, imagining the holidays you will take and the people you will communicate with. You can dream forever but accomplish nothing unless you actually make the effort to start taking lessons. Much like the martial arts approach - the idea is to take action immediately and avoid over analyzing the situation. Do you want to start your own business but are afraid of what kinds of things can go wrong? What if your initial investment doesn't pay off? There are millions of things that could go wrong but likewise there are many things that can go right! Fear can be paralyzing.

When thinking about starting a business particularly if you keep waiting for the right time. There will never be a perfect time. It's now or never when it comes to starting your own business. Overcoming your fear is a step by step process. - Do you have a clear idea of what kind of business you want to start? A clear plan will help keep your worries at bay. - Do you have access to the resources you will need? This includes the necessary start up cash as well as anything else you will need. - Do you have access to clients or do you know enough about marketing basics to ensure you will have enough interest in what you are offering? Just like anything - taking action is the most important part. Make an itemized list of what you feel needs to be done in order for you to start that business you always dreamed of. Prioritizing your list will help too. Don't wait for all your ducks to be in a proverbial row before you begin but make sure you have all the basics covered. Don't wait for that 'perfect someday'. Make an imperfect start. Don't over think everything. Sometimes the best approach is to just jump into the deep end. Don't wait to start discovering your own entrepreneurial spirit. Take action today!

Buying a franchise

Buying a franchise can be a life changing experience. There are many good reasons to pursue your dream of owning a successful franchise. For starters when you buy a franchise you are buying a proven system. Buying a franchise comes with the advantage of knowing that the business has been successful in other locations. The idea and process of running this business has already been proven. Therefore the learning curve in operating the business can be virtually eliminated.

When you are buying a franchise your are also buying an established customer base or brand name. Most franchises are already recognizable to consumers. The brand awareness provides security and trust to the customer who expects uniform quality to be provided. Therefore a customer base is already established.

You can also benefit from any advertising or promotion that the franchiser (owner of the franchise) does at the national or local level, without absorbing the cost. The franchiser can also provide input to the franchisee on a local marketing plan. If you buy a franchise you also receive ongoing support. Training and support is usually always part of the deal.

Since the franchise company has a vested interest in how well you do, ongoing training, system upgrades, product enhancements, and question and answer resources are provided. The franchiser offers experience to franchisee in such areas as accounting procedures, personnel and facility management, and business planning. Also, many times obtaining financing for buying a franchise is easier since the franchise name and reputation are usually recognized by the lenders. Therefore, banks are more likely to fund the franchisee. In addition, relationships with suppliers are already established; affording the opportunity to buy in bulk, enabling a great deal of savings for the business. The first step when buying a franchise is choosing an industry you are interested in or have prior experience in. There are many great franchises out there to choose from. Auto franchises and coffee franchises are very popular franchises but it is important to research the each opportunity before investing.

It is recommended you sit down with a Franchise Consultant and decide if buying a franchise is right for you.

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.

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