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Income

Tips For Choosing An Internet Business

Many people are finding that the internet offers a tremendous number of business opportunities to the entrepreneur. However, knowing what to look for when comparing opportunities will help you to make the wisest investment when you are starting a business. There are a few tips for choosing an internet business that will help you to identify the legitimate opportunities from the scams.
BE WARY OF FALSE PROMISES
Just like a land-based business, there is no “get rich quick” scheme on the internet that is going to work. When you are looking at opportunities that begin with making promises about little or not work and lots of money fast, be wary. There are many scams on the internet, put there by people who are preying on people that need to make money.
There are individuals who have several different sites on the internet offering different business opportunities. These people use different names for each website so you don’t know that the same guy is selling the dream under a different domain. This type of person is getting rich by ripping people off, not by selling a legitimate business opportunity.
A legitimate business opportunity will have a history and a paper trail. Do not take the testimonials on the website at face value, remember that those cool records of earnings are very easy to recreate and make up using Photoshop, be aware that if the seller had made a gazillion dollars using the secret formula they are selling, they would not need or want to sell the secret formula to strangers. The secret formula for them is to make money off of people looking for a fast buck.
RESEARCH THE PRODUCT
Before you enter a business opportunity be sure that you research the products that you are going to sell. While most people do not think of affiliate marketing as “selling”, it is exactly that. In order to build a successful business, you must have a passion for the products you sell and they must be reliable and dependable.
Think about the investment of time and money that will be involved in selling the product and becoming the leader in the industry. It is much easier for a person to market a product or service that they are passionate about. If you are going to sell another person’s product on your website, make sure that you test it, try it, and feel comfortable that it will do what you are promising people it will do.
The internet community is global, but very small. An individual who gets a bad name on the internet for their business practices is soon found out. These individual may be able to scam a few individuals, but anyone researching the individual can easily find their history of complaints and unscrupulous actions. Therefore, it is important that you maintain a reputation for reliability, dependability, and have a product or service that you can over-deliver on easily.
CONCLUSION
Doing the proper research and getting a clear idea of the time and money you will need to invest to give your business the foundation it needs to grow will help you to knowledgeably select a business and product that will allow you to enjoy a continuous, long-term residual income. Once you have established the foundation you need to have a successful business, you will be able to enjoy greater returns on your investment.…

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Business Plan

Why the Lifestyle of an Entrepreneur Is No Longer a Lonely Road

In a recent article written by Marty Zwilling (Entrepreneur: Challenge Yourself Before You Invest), he discussed several risks of starting a business. One of the risks he stated was: “Being a startup founder is not a job, but a lifestyle, getting married versus staying single. In fact, it’s more like being single, since founders usually have no one to lean on, no one to make decisions for them, no one to blame, and no vision to follow but their own.”
I completely agree with this statement and propose this question to the audience: When starting a business do you need a business mentor?
The simple answer is “Yes” and here are several reasons why:
Someone to be answerable to. It is often too easy for an entrepreneur to procrastinate when it comes to performing tasks that consume a lot of time, are boring, difficult, etc. A business mentor will help keep you on track by continuing to ask what your goals are and pushing you to succeed.
Someone to help you refine your business ideas into reality. You have great ideas… some of them; however, are raw and need refinement to be put into reality. A business mentor has the experience necessary to help you hash out the details of your idea and bring it into fruition.
Someone who can bring a wealth of new ideas to your business. A business mentor has been there before and understands what works and doesn’t work. As an entrepreneur your goal is to learn as much as you can and then use the lessons he/she teaches you to grow your business and become successful.
Someone outside looking in. As an entrepreneur, one of the hardest things to do is take a step back and see your business from an outsider’s point of view. A business mentor is an excellent resource to get this pivotal feedback.
There are many reasons why an entrepreneur should find a business mentor; however, how do actually find a business mentor? When looking for a business mentor the first place to check is your friends and family. As people who know you extremely well and vice versa there should be a level of trust already established. This should allow you to comfortably ask the question, “What do you think about this?” If friends and family are not for you, these are some other options available: SCORE, people in your extended network, complete strangers, indirect competition, industry leaders, and paid consultants.…

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Business News

Starting a Business? Why You Need to Know Technology

Of all the fundamentals that entrepreneurs need to know to succeed, technology provides the most new opportunity and the most constant change. Computer literacy is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity. Every business needs a website in the same way every business needed to be listed in the Yellow Pages 25 years ago. The marketing opportunities on the world wide web must be understood and evaluated to ensure the best decisions for your venture. The technological tools and capabilities available to small business are expanding every day, and only those entrepreneurs savvy enough to keep up are going to survive and thrive in the new economy.
You Need a Computer
The ability to use a computer is pretty much a given these days, though there is the rare entrepreneur who is still uncomfortable with the idea. The advent of the internet makes most things much easier, from conducting industry and competitor research to keeping in touch with your customer base. Excellent accounting system and contact management software decrease the time spent on these non-core competencies while simultaneously making related data more accessible and useful than the old ledger books and rolodexes ever could. Email is the preferred form of communication for many, from vendors to customers, so current business owners need to be prepared.
Your Business Needs a Website
A website for your business is an absolute necessity. Whether a simple 3 to 5 page business card site or a full-blown ecommerce store, having a web presence is no longer a luxury, it’s a must. What you need depends on your industry and business model, but failing to represent your business online is likely to become a fatal mistake. However, simply posting a website is not enough. Doing so without performing the appropriate SEO (search engine optimization) is pointless. It is akin to placing a billboard on Mars — if nobody sees it, it might as well not exist. Effective SEO tactics are not particularly complicated, but they take some time and research to ensure you are making the best use of your time.
Get Involved with Social Networking
Social networking is the new frontier for marketing a business. It’s hard to say whether that will continue or if and when consumers will become immune to the constant barrage of messages, but for now it is essential to exploit the opportunities available on these social websites. The contacts you gather through your activity on social sites and from opt-in mailing lists from your own site provide excellent direct marketing opportunities. Email newsletters and promotions are extremely effective, and cost you only a bit of time and effort. Email blasts to your customer base keep your company in mind. Even if they don’t open all of them, they are repeatedly exposed to the business name, a psychologically important outcome!
Consider a Smart Phone
In addition to basic computer operations and internet opportunities, the newest technologies can help entrepreneurs stay organized and manage their time more effectively. Smart phones are not just for twenty-somethings – every entrepreneur should consider investing in one. They can be used to keep up with email and phone calls, sure, but they can also supply your accounting, inventory, employee schedule, and other obligations at your fingertips. They have internet access, GPS systems, cameras, and thousands of applications available to fulfill just about any need for entrepreneurs. They are a bit more expensive than a standard cell phone and much more than a landline, but if used effectively they are worth every penny in the time and stress they can relieve.
Use Technology to Your Benefit
No matter what type of business you are launching, the available technology will play an important role in the success of your venture. It is important for every entrepreneur to be more than familiar with the tools that are out there and how they can support and promote your business. The constantly changing face of technology notwithstanding, the success of small business is intricately tied to an entrepreneur’s ability to use what is available now and to stay abreast of the opportunities in technology as they come along.…

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Income

A Few Words of Wisdom For Starting a Vending Business

So you think you’d like to start a vending business. Do some soul searching and make sure you are the right type of person. Ask:
· Are you an entrepreneur? This is someone who must assume all the risks of a business, but can also guarantee the benefits.
· Are you self-motivated? There is no 8-to-5 in the vending business; you work until everything is done. On the other hand, there are days when the hours just fly. The really great thing about vending machines is they conform to your schedule: They can be installed just about anywhere, generate sales 24/7 and can be serviced most any time. But it’s up to you to make it happen.
Best ways to get started:
The more information you can get about vending, the better off you will be.
· Contact NAMA, the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the trade association that handles issues involving the food and beverage vending industry. They have information on all aspects of the business, including education, health and safety, government affairs, NAMA-certified vending machines, publications, expos and careers. You can reach them at (312) 346-0370 or .
· Work for a vending company. You will learn if you really like the business, and find valuable shortcuts, like installing and loading vending machines, buying product, inventory and accountability. Of course, you can learn all that on your own after starting a vending company, but it takes time.
· Check with (or find) appropriate business counsel:
– Accountant – How best to run the paperwork for the best return – on profits, as well as taxes. Also ask if you should set up your company as a sole proprietorship, corporation or LLC.
– Attorney – To set up your corporation and advise on any legal implications
– Banker – Open new accounts solely for the business (don’t use your personal accounts)
– State, county and federal governments – Any licenses, permits and other paperwork
Some people avoid all this; they just jump in, set up a couple locations, find out they like the business. . . and then have to go through all this. What a hassle. Do it right from the start and you’ll be able to focus your newfound excitement and energies on building your vending business.
A few words of wisdom
Buy the right brand of vending machine – this can make or break your company. Check out the NAMA-certified vending machines and buy one of these. Call a vending company in your town and ask what brand of vending machines they use. If you have decided to buy a particular brand of machine, ask the vendor if he has heard of it or has any experience with it. There are only 5-7 brands of vending machines that I would buy. See my article: “What types of vending machines should I buy?”
Look at what Coke and Pepsi buy when you’re considering drink machines. They have more machines out than any vendors. Find the brand name and model number on the left side of the door, on a manufacturer’s plate. Make sure there is more than one company distributing the parts. If there is only one source and it goes out of business, the machine will no longer be useful to you when replacement parts aren’t available.
Watch out for “biz op” guys. These are the unscrupulous companies that try to rip you off by selling a vending franchise with substandard vending machines, bad accounts, and a franchise that is little more than name only. These companies last only a short period of time. They steal your money, bankrupt out and laugh all the way to the bank.
The people who stay in this business stay in it for life. Every day is different; you have new challenges and new ways of making money. I seldom see vendors retire, but if they do, they’re back to work in just a few weeks. Compared to running a vending business, golfing and fishing just aren’t enough.…

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Google My Business

Starting a Business Is Not for Me – Too Scary

Does that sound like you? Always wanted to go to business on your own, yet never took the first step? What the hell are you so afraid of? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Remember: if you don’t take risks in your life, your life will forever be the same.
This article is actually not really an article. I simply wanted to share with you two insights I gained over my years of entrepreneurship. So here goes.
There are two conversations I will always remember. The first one was with a good friend of mine, one Saturday perhaps 15 years ago. I was born and raised in Tel-Aviv, Israel and the whole concept of Saturday morning with friends is a big thing. My friend had an idea for a new business, and me being an entrepreneur in heart, was listening and giving pointers. He was going on and on about the business model, what the steps were, how big the market is etc. in his head he was already going public and retiring to a little island he just bought off the coast of Greece.
I remember vividly sharing his enthusiasm, telling him how I thought it was a good idea, where he should get the initial funding, how I thought the product should be designed etc. We had a lovely talk and then said our goodbyes, going back to the daily grind on Sunday (in Israel, people work on Sunday, but mostly have Fridays off).
After a couple of days I was talking to him over the phone, chit chatting about life the universe and everything, and asked him how he was moving forward with his business idea. His response was, and I quote: “I don’t have time right now; things are really hectic at work”. It hit me like a thunderbolt. My friend is a Saturday entrepreneur. In his head he build up a fantastic scenario made of the things he believes can bring him joy, then comes the start of the week and he is back on his daily routine. Saturday entrepreneurs will never take the leap to becoming real entrepreneurs. That takes guts, risk and a little bit of uncertainty.
The second conversation I wanted to share with you was a talk I had with my late grandfather. He was an old school businessman, filled with wisdom and insight. At the height of his ventures he actually owned a bank that he sold to another bank, making a nice bundle in between;)
I was 17 years old and had just failed my third driving test. I remember sitting with him in his house, telling him that I will probably never have a driver’s license. He looked at me, smiled and very calmly said “go take a look outside, see how many idiots drive a car, then come back in here and tell me you can’t do it”. I had carried that sentence with me all my life. Whenever someone tells me entrepreneurship is hard, I tell them to look at the guy who owns the local grocery store, the person who owns a caf?�, even a guy selling hot dogs on the street. If they can be entrepreneurs, why can’t you?
So what’s there to learn from these sayings? Only one thing. Don’t be afraid.…

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Starting A Business

Business Building: Does In Person Networking Still Make Sense?

In a high tech world where it is virtually possible to survive and run a business over the web without ever leaving your bedroom, does in person, face to face networking still make sense?
Of course some will argue that in person networking is now obsolete and is completely unnecessary. Certainly with social networking and how comfortable people are now with doing business via their mobile devices you could still make great connections purely via the Internet and never have to step foot out of your home. In many ways you could say that it is definitely more cost effective and better time management not to do face to face meetings or attend networking events.
However, in a new business environment dominated by the web and Internet companies it is clear that those who do get out from behind the curtain and embrace real world engagement with other real people can gain a major advantage over the competition. You may have the best prices in world, the coolest outsourcing network set up that allows you to run staff on three different continents, 24 hours a day and the catchiest slogans, but at the end of the day people buy people, not slick websites. If you are the only one out there making a personal connection you could have a major advantage over the competition regardless of price.
You do need to be careful about budget when getting out and doing in person networking. If you aren’t watching the bottom line it is easy to blow a lot of money and time on unprofitable meetings, not to mention gas, fancy restaurants, bar tabs for entertaining and more. However, when people are able to put a face to a name they are much more likely to bite on big ticket sales items, forge new strategic partnerships and sign checks much faster, all which can mean much bigger profit margins and taking your business to the next level much faster than you thought possible.
So, yes in person networking definitely still makes sense in a lot of industries. Be sensible about it, but if you block out even a couple hours a week to attend networking functions at the Chamber of Commerce, put together mastermind luncheons or even hang out with the right crowd you will find it can have a huge positive impact on your business and enable great growth. Worst case scenario, getting out will at least provide a better balance in your life and open the door to new inspiration for fueling your venture to new highs.…

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Business Line

Why Starting a Business Is Like Slow Cooking

New business owners often want to create a business the way we prepare an instant frozen dinner. Pop into the microwave, press a button and enjoy dinner almost immediately. But for long-lasting business growth, think of starting from scratch, simmering slowly and waiting till you’re really ready to serve.
Now I am being biased here, but I refuse to eat frozen meals. They taste like cardboard. They tend to have lots of preservatives. Even the dog will turn up her nose when I offer her the leftovers.
When I take the time to cook a meal from scratch – stir fry, simmer or bake – I find the labor often isn’t much greater. The resulting meal tastes about 100 times better and you know exactly where the ingredients came from. It’s also more satisfying.
So how does this apply to business? If you look around the Internet you see all kinds of ads promising to get your business off to a FAST start. You hear stories of people who skyrocketed to success.
First of all, many people who jumped to success have a hidden X factor: a background in sales (the ultimate ingredient in copywriting) or a few years where they plugged away learning – usually some combination of luck and persistence that’s the 90% you don’t see.
But taking the longer path may be more desirable. Why would you ever want to do that?
(1) It’s a good idea to move slowly when you start without a lot of money. You may need to take a j.o.b. so you can invest in your business. This strategy makes better sense than starting a business without any resources. If you can’t afford $97 for an eBook or you’re watching the minutes on your cell phone, you won’t make a lot of progress.
(2) Sometimes you need time to figure out your business. If you don’t have a background in sales (or a business background where you had to get clients) you will need more time to find your way in this new world. “Margaret” spent nearly a year learning her way around her new field. She did lots of pro bono work, studied and began finding clients before investing in a web site.
(3) You’re forced to do one thing at a time. Work on just one eBook and promote that eBook hard. Work on one niche and build up your profitability.
Then take what you learn and start the next project. One step at a time, you’ll reach a more satisfying destination.…