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Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget

Starting a business on a low budget and succeeding sounds quite unrealistic but it holds true when you are talking about an online business. Online businesses have numerous advantages compared to a traditional one. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get started; even if your idea flops you do not loose a lot of money, and you can promote and sell a variety of products from expensive items to perishables.
Selling your product online also does not require you invent new wheels; all you need to do is to choose the proven ways and get started. This approach will also be helpful in avoiding any scams and fake programs.
When staring a business online with a low budget your first investment would be to buy a domain name and hosting for your online store. Next step is the choice of product. Choose a product that has no inventory. The product should have its worth is today’s debt ridden world and it should help people make there life better.
Now comes the most important thing that is how you market your website to get targeted visitors keeping in view you low budgets. Advertising you business is not a piece of cake it requires hard work and commitment. It’s advisable to keep advertisement budget next to zero. The reason for not spending big sums in the beginning is that you are still in the learning phase and by this tactic you are forced to learn. Once you gather enough knowledge about internet marketing than you can spend bigger amounts on advertisement and it would be called secured investment.
There are number of ways by which you can market your online business. SEO, search engine optimization technique can be used to submit your website to different search engines; you can place a link of your website on other similar websites. Some websites take money just for placing your ads while others charge you when these ads are being clicked. Business with very low budgets can also send emails to targeted customers.
Direct marketing is also an effective and cheap way to market a newly started low budget business. You can reach your audience by posting on different online forums and social networks, inserting fliers in newspaper is also a good direct marketing tool.
Starting a business with a shoestring budget and attaining success is a possibility in today’s world. All you need is a little hard work and motivation.…

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Online Business

The Real Scoop on Network Marketing

The word seems to be out that network marketing or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) isn’t what it used to be. Some people are saying “yeah!” and others are saying “oh no!”
Network marketing is just that; it’s marketing. Marketing is an ever-changing commodity. It’s influenced by media, advertising, transportation costs, customer demand, supply, climate, etc. Marketing is ever changing. Our world is ever changing. So, why should MLM be any different?
One thing that will always remain constant, however, is that it is based on developing relationships, and that is what makes it different from conventional marketing (manufacturer to wholesaler to customer).
This type of business is very appealing to anyone who enjoys interacting with people and wants to create another income stream. And, you certainly can’t argue that it’s a pretty sensible system – manufacturer directly to the customer.
The internet has had a major influence on MLM. Some have grabbed the explosive opportunity and run with it, and others are still wondering “what happened?” The internet is a tool that allows communication at levels that have never been seen before. There is an endless supply of systems, sales pitches, opinions, etc. Take them all with a grain of salt.
MLM compensation plans can sometimes be less appealing for those looking for a quick buck without much work because it usually takes time to build a downline that is really profitable and sustainable. Because of this, the attrition rate today can be cruel! We, unfortunately, are living in the age of “I want it now,” so people jump in and out at record rates – they’re looking for the “Big Thing” and will keep on looking, and looking and looking forever. They keep believing the “get rich quick” promises.
This particular industry is the same as any other business – it’s a business, and it has to be treated like a business and not a hobby. Unfortunately, many people who go into it don’t think about this, and many are not business savvy in any way. There’s plenty of information available on how to operate a successful business, but, hey, that’s work, too! Which then would mean it’s not instant riches.
Yes, network marketing has changed. There are opportunities that never existed before. Because of the internet, there are thousands of MLMs that are launched every year. How many of them survive or are legitimate? Not all, by any means. There’s a vicious fight going on among these marketers all the time for the dwindling supply of warm bodies looking for an MLM business. Because of that, there are some pretty ridiculous promises and sales hype being broadcast constantly across the internet.
For anyone looking with interest at creating another income stream or full-time business, this could be for you. It can be very profitable if you know what you’re doing. Make sure you check out any opportunity you are looking at VERY carefully, do your due diligence, get the business information you need and treat it like a business. And beware of anyone who says you only need to work a few hours a week. It just ain’t so!
I’ll leave you with perhaps the most exciting development of all – the advent of SOCIAL NETWORKING as a marketing tool! As I said, it’s a relationship business – always has been, always will be. It’s just different now. You no longer have to pitch your friends and family. Go to MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and meet all the people you want. You’ll make great friends, and everyone is looking for MORE MONEY!…

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Business Letter

Want to Start a Business? Start With These Five Things

Like any other major endeavor, figuring out where to start in launching a business can be the toughest part. Of course, the path to successful entrepreneurship is long and winding with innumerable steps, but just getting started can be enough to build the momentum you need. Here are, in no particular order, the first five things you can do to get ready to strike out on your own.
1. Evaluate Business Ideas
Some would-be entrepreneurs know exactly what business they want to start, others have no idea but just want to work for themselves. Either way, it is essential to realistically assess your ideas and options before you spend money on it. Do some cursory research into the market and competition. Think about what you would need to get the business started. Talk to others (family, friends, networking contacts) about your ideas and listen for useful feedback. The more background work you do in evaluating your business ideas, the easier it will be to hone in on the best opportunity for you.
2. Make a Commitment
If you are serious about taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, you need to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself. Set a deadline for taking the next step (choosing which business to start, beginning the business planning process, opening date) and figure out what needs to be done to get there. In most cases, finding the time to do the planning is difficult, so work on clearing time in your schedule to focus on your goal of entrepreneurship. Figure out what will keep you motivated to stay on track and set yourself up for success.
For example, gather some pictures or symbols of why you want to be an entrepreneur and place them prominently where you will see them frequently. It sounds cheesy, but can be very effective reminders to get you through the tedious aspects of starting a business.
3. Save Up
Bootstrapping a startup is a good way to keep costs under control, but it doesn’t make it free. Every business requires some capital to succeed, and the cash usually comes straight from the owner’s pocket. Even if you are planning to find investors or loans, you will need to show that you are risking your own assets before they will hand over theirs. Don’t count on finding grants for your startup – they are few and far between for new businesses and those that do exist usually have significant restrictions on how they can be spent. At a minimum, try to save between $3,000 and $5,000, more if your startup requires commercial facilities or inventory.
4. Get Organized
Before you dive into planning your business startup, get organized for success. In most cases your business planning will happen in a workspace at home. Select an office space with limited distractions and the tools you will need to work (desk space, internet connection, good lighting). Gather up basic office supplies and stock your workspace. Start using a planner to schedule your days so you are in the habit of managing your time.
Take care of any lingering projects around the house so you will not be tempted to avoid the tedious parts of your startup. Take a good look at what you currently do with your time and evaluate ways to open up some blocks of time for your business. The more organized you are before you start planning, the easier it will be to stay on track.
5. Start Talking
Talk up your plans with friends & family and whomever else you find yourself chatting with. Making this effort now does several things to help you succeed. First, telling others about your plans can “seal the deal” are likely to be more committed to making progress and they will provide support and encouragement as you go along. Second, you may be surprised at what you hear when you talk to others about your startup. Many will have knowledge or skills you were unaware of (which could turn out to be a great help), and listening to reactions to your business idea can help you modify and refine your plan to greater success. Third, talking about your plans to people you know will develop your networking skills. Whatever your business idea, networking with other entrepreneurs, customers, and suppliers is an essential key to success. The sooner you become comfortable and confident in talking about your business the better.…

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Small Business Ideas

The One Essential Ingredient For Starting a Business – Persistence

What is the one thing you must have that will compensate for all other problems, short comings and obstacles you will face in your journey to start your business? Persistence is the only quality you really need to make it through everything else.
It is very simple but that is all it will take. You can be very smart but if you give up too soon you won’t get there. You can have a great idea but if you let negative events cause you to quit you aren’t going to get there.
Lots of people who don’t consider themselves especially smart or gifted or even hard working have achieved their goals just by doggedly moving forward no matter what kind of problem cropped up. Other people who seemingly had everything going for them failed because they decided they couldn’t or didn’t want to follow through to the end.
The key to staying persistent is to know exactly what the end goal is and then break down the steps to get there into small and manageable steps so you can complete each one in sequence and always know you are moving closer to your goal. If you simply resolve not to quit until you complete each step and then always resolve to move on to the next step once you’ve completed the one before you will find it impossible to stop and the path forward will always be clear so that all you will have to do is continue to make a little progress towards your next intermediate goal each day until you reach the very end.
I guarantee that if you are persistent and always look for a solution to whatever problem comes up and refuse to quit until you have gotten what you want then eventually you will get there. It won’t always be easy and it won’t always be smooth but eventually you will get to the end result.
I also promise that wishful thinking and planning without taking action will never result in you achieving the goal. It just doesn’t work that way and there is no reason to expect an exception in your case.
Many people are disappointed to find out there really isn’t a trick or secret that will simply give them everything they want without any work but those people will always be disappointed and complaining that life isn’t fair and that things are too hard. That’s fine.
I think they are wrong, though. What could be fairer than rewarding the people who are willing to do the most and keep at it after others quit with ultimate success?
If you want you can have it no matter what point you are starting from and what point you are aiming at. All it takes is not quitting even when quitting seems like the best option and a lot easier than continuing.
So the only question that remains is are you going to start and once you start are you going to finish? Many already have. Now it is your turn to do it.…

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Business Owner

Common Mistakes Made When Starting a Business

It is estimated that something like 20% of new businesses fail within a year of starting up, and 50% within the first three years. These are grim numbers, especially for anyone who is considering starting up their own business. Fortunately, there is an upside, looking at those figures in a slightly different way, 80% of all new business survive their first year and 50% make it to at least three years.
What anyone looking to start their own company needs to do is to analyse what the businesses that succeeded did, that the ones that failed didn’t. There are in fact a number of common mistakes that failed businesses have made and knowing what they are will give newcomers the necessary knowledge to help them avoid falling into the same trap.
Business failures are often blamed on insufficient start up capital or not hiring the right people. The truth however, is that the failure of many new businesses comes down to something far closer to home, a failure to thoroughly research the potential viability of the business in the first place. Believing you have a great idea and throwing money into getting it up and running, without first having undertaken proper market research is the number one killer for the majority of new businesses. Fortunately there are ways to avoid this by carrying out relatively simple surveys yourself, without breaking the bank on expensive market research organisations before you have even begun.
Test out the viability of your business by asking the opinion and advice of your own network of contacts. Take a look at government data on such things; it is almost always available completely free of charge. Take a look at businesses operating in areas similar to yours and see if they are succeeding or failing. If they are profitable take a look at why, and find out whom they are selling their products or services to. One of the most common mistakes made by new businesses is that of over estimating the market impact that they will have. Setting up in a larger than necessary office or shop; hiring too many people and purchasing unnecessary and expensive equipment based on cash flow projections that have more to do with hope than reality, are the quickest ways imaginable to send a new business to the wall.
The importance of accurate market research and enforcing a strict cost control regime cannot be overstated. Never be afraid to seek professional, expert advice on financial issues, preferably from an experienced business accountant or financial adviser. Make sure you have enough money to get your business idea up and running and have contingency plans in place should it fail to take off in a short period of time. Also be aware that situations can arise that are entirely beyond your control, such as interest rate rises, for example. Having healthy cash reserves to get you through an unforeseen crisis is an absolute requirement in this day and age.
A professional business plan is an essential tool for starting up a new business successfully and it is highly advisable to draw one up, or have one drawn up for you, before you embark on your new business venture.
If you can avoid these common mistakes, your business will have a much greater chance of becoming the profitable success you obviously expect it to be.…

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Business Week

Discover How You Can Start Your Own Small Business On the Internet

There are a lot of ways to ‘skin the cat’ and start a small business. The Internet is no different although it offers quite a few options for the entrepreneur or want to be small business owner. For those of you that prefer to work out of the home and/or have a business that offers flexible hours, then a small business that revolves around an online, internet based model might be for you. In this particular article I am going to share five different options that you can choose from when considering starting an Internet business.
When I say Internet business that means a small business that is using the web as the business model to market, distribute and complete transactions. All of the marketing, distributing and selling of your product or service will be done via the online business model.
First we need to identify the problem and that is that people think that they are going to get online and make money in a flash or overnight. When in reality it’s going to take work and lots of it in order to get an Internet business off the ground or any small business for that matter. Maybe not as much as an offline venture and in some cases maybe more. You need to realize this up front and be prepared to put in the time, energy and money to get your small business up and running.
Here are five different options for you to look at should you choose to start an internet business:
1. Market and sell your own physical products or services via the e-commerce model. You’ll effectively have your own website and be able to have control off all aspects of your business.
2. Market and sell other peoples products through affiliate programs. This kind of model works well for those that like to sell and market but don’t have their own products yet. If you get excited about certain products or services and they offer an affiliate program, then basically what you will need to do is determine if there’s a market and then drive traffic.
3. Sell your product to other online retailers. They become resellers and all you do is provide the product or service to them. This is a great way to market but you’ll obviously need a product that is in demand if you are going to make any money.
4. Create, produce, market and sell info products through your own websites. This model works great for those that have information that can be beneficial to others. It works best when there is demand for the information that you have to offer.
5. Create and sell coaching, if you are an expert or specialist in a particular niche. If you are a people person and there’s a need that you see is unmet in your industry or niche, then coaching might be for you. Info products can also go hand in hand with this model of business. Keep in mind that coaching is not for everyone and should you decide to go this direction, I recommend that you have a mentor to guide you through the jungle.
Your internet business really is a small business that you own and operate, so you need to determine which model works best for you, your budget and your lifestyle. Remember, all of the above takes time and effort on your part, even if you outsource tasks. Just get started, take it one step at a time and always treat your business like a business, not a hobby.…

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Starting a Small Business? Should You Keep Your Day Job?

To work or not to work during ‘s a tough question for many entrepreneurs. There are two primary pulls either way — a full-time startup gets your full attention and shortens the time to making money, but working during startup keeps the bills paid and provides a back-up plan for the risk of going out on your own. The best option for you depends on a number of factors, and with either method it is essential that you manage your time and money effectively.
Business Type
The type of business you are planning to start is the first consideration in whether to launch full-time or part-time. There are some ventures that require you to be available during the standard workweek — 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. If your current job includes these hours, it may be impossible to get your business off the ground. The best option in those cases is to develop a complete plan for your business while still employed, including a full marketing plan, budget, and beginning to network. The more developed your business idea, the more clear it will be when the best time to commit full-time will be.
Available Capital
The amount of capital you have for your startup is another critical factor. If you haven’t developed a full startup budget yet, do so before you quit your day job. Startup costs are easy to underestimate, especially without working through the details of the business idea. In addition to the actual startup costs, you will need enough cash to keep your personal bills covered. Often, entrepreneurs discover the hard way that the few thousand they thought would be sufficient disappears rapidly once work starts on the they end up going back to work anyway. Set a realistic budget based on a realistic time frame for getting the venture off the ground before you commit to full-time entrepreneur status.
If You Decide to Start Part Time
If you do decide to keep a job while working on your business, your first priority is to get organized. You will have to master time and task management in order to make reasonable progress on your business idea. The odds are that your work hours aren’t the only time consumers on your schedule, so it is critical to establish dedicated blocks of time to focus on your startup. Eliminate as many time killers as possible and consider getting up a few hours earlier or staying up a few hours later to get the venture going.
Do not even consider using your time on another job to work on your startup. In the first place, it is disrespectful and probably a terminable offense. You won’t want your employees working on outside interests on your time, so you shouldn’t either. In the second place, most professional jobs include provisions within the employment contract that deem all of your work product as owned by the company. Thus, if you create a new or innovative product or service using company assets (even your work computer), they may well have a legitimate lawsuit regarding the rights to your ideas.
If You Decide to Start Full Time
If you decide to quit your job and go after your startup full-time, you still need to take control of your time. Especially if you are working from home, it is very easy to be distracted from the business by daily chores, projects that have been awaiting your attention, even the television. Set yourself a clear work schedule and organize your time as you would if you were working for someone else. Your startup will have to be your priority if you are going to succeed, so expect to commit more hours to the venture than any other job. In fact, the average business owner works 65 or more hours per week, and that’s after the startup period!…