Starting a Business Vs Remaining an Employee: Which Is Riskier?

Starting a business is definitely a risk. But so is remaining an employee. You just don’t always notice it.
Your continued biweekly paycheck is no sure thing. It’s important not to put all of your financial eggs in one basket, especially a basket as precariously positioned as the national unemployment rate.
As a salaried employee, it’s easy to become complacent. But don’t let your biweekly paycheck lull you into a false sense of security. That paycheck could stop at any time. If you’re thinking of your employment as a rock-solid fact, you’re doing yourself a disservice as far as getting an accurate picture of your risk.
There are risks involved in being an employee.
If 100% of your income comes from one single source, what will that do to your family’s finances if that source runs dry? Starting a business is a great way to take your destiny into your own hands.
As an analogy, consider your investment strategy. A diverse portfolio is a strong portfolio — if one of your investments tanks, it’s not going to cause you to dip into your retirement funds in order to survive; you’ll be buffered by your variety of other investments, and your investments will begin to even out again.
It may be valuable to think of your salary in the same way. If you lose your job, without additional sources of income, it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to stay afloat.
But I’m a great employee — no one is going to fire me!
How many people caught up in the foreclosure nightmare of recent years though this exact same thing when they signed on the dotted line?
Even if you, personally, are confident in your relationship with your management and could never see yourself being laid off or fired, there’s another risk involved here: the future of the company itself. In the economic upheaval of the times, depending on the size and level of establishment of your organization, your company may suddenly find itself struggling to stay afloat (despite your individual dedication to helping it succeed). In other words, it’s hard for management to retain a valuable employee like you when there’s nothing to manage.
Starting a business doesn’t have to mean quitting your job.
Diversifying your income means just that: diversity. What are your personal strengths and skills? If you’re a graphic designer, consider starting a business on the side that you can manage during nights and weekends. If you’re an English major, consider freelance editing. You might even consider taking some classes to gain knowledge and experience should the unthinkable occur.
If you can build some individual credibility in your field on a freelance or part-time basis, you have a safety net to fall back on if you should suddenly lose your job. Without a second option, you could suddenly find yourself at square one.…

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The Problem With Outsourcing When Starting a Business

A great many startup “experts” now recommend that new entrepreneurs outsource as much of the noncore tasks as possible. The arguments sound logical – leave the work to the professionals; focus on your core competencies; don’t be distracted by accounting/marketing/whatever details. But there are a few problems with this advice that you should be aware of before you send your business out to be handled by others.
Consider the Source.
Much of the outsourcing advice comes from those who benefit from you choosing to outsource. For example, “free” websites with startup information are making the ad clicks and paid advertisements of outsource professionals! Check out the ads on and around these they convince you to hire one of those advertisers to do your work, they earn a piece of your fee. It’s not always bad advice, but be aware that they aren’t really providing you valuable information for nothing in return.
Is an Outsourced Business Really Yours?
Being a business owner is all about taking control of your work life and financial future. How much of that control are you willing to hand out to others? The job of an entrepreneur is more than just being your own boss. You are also your own accountant, attorney, sales staff, secretary, and janitor. If you only really want to play one of these roles, you might be better off working for someone else. Turning over too much responsibility to outsiders can be a huge mistake, especially if you don’t know exactly what they are doing for your business!
What you don’t know…
Many new entrepreneurs do not have a strong background in finance and accounting, or just plain don’t like to deal with numbers. Some figure it would just be easier to have someone else handle the marketing. Many believe the legal paperwork is just too complicated to do for themselves. The thing is that all of these skill sets are part and parcel to owning and running a successful business. It’s OK that you don’t know everything right now, but the trick is to use the startup process to learn all you can. After all, how can you pick the right professional to outsource to if you don’t know what you are looking for? Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s a good idea to let some stranger make important decisions for YOUR need to have your hand in everything, especially during the early stages.
The reality is that in business the bottom line is the bottom whole point is to make money. Turning over all responsibility to an outsource professional can be an enormous, irreparable mistake. They can’t possibly understand your business like you do, they can’t make the best, most strategic decisions for growing your company, and as long as you pay them their fee, there isn’t much motivation to go the extra mile. Business owners, especially those who want to make some serious money, must master the money matters on their own before handing it off to an outsider.…

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Affiliate Marketing: A Guide to Successful Promotion of Products and Services

Affiliate marketing is a growing business over the internet these days because of the number of businesses vying to drive traffic to their sites and generate more sales. As we all know, website traffic is one of the deciding factors to a company’s success over the internet, be it in search engine rankings or customer following. This is why a lot of online companies these days are paying top money to affiliates who can drive traffic to their sites and generate sales for them. In most cases, commissions as high as 75% of a generated sale goes to the affiliate who is able to sell the product through his or her website or blog.
A lot of people are taking advantage of affiliate marketing because of the high income potential without money going out of their pockets for start-up expenses. This is more promising than the conventional methods of starting a business where you have to shell out a chunk of cash to open shop. What’s better is that affiliates can do business without leaving home and can make money even if they don’t go online on a particular day. If you want to be an affiliate marketer, here is a guide that can help you.
First off, think of a niche that has a need for certain products or services but is rarely tapped because of its size. Large companies don’t market to small niches as this may prove costly for them in terms of the number of customers actually buying the product.
Second, find a very good affiliate marketing program that is related to the niche you’ve chosen to market. You can search the internet for websites that offer lists of affiliate programs that cater to almost any niche. Make sure to compare each program to come up with the best rates with which you will be paid once you become successful in producing a sale.
After you’ve chosen the right affiliate program, create a website or a blog that will cater to content relating to the niche you are trying to market. Make sure that these are optimized so your readers and potential customers can easily find you.
Always provide fresh content for your readers and target niche. Affiliate marketing is only successful if you keep the contents fresh and informative so people can be encouraged to try out the product you are promoting. New posts and write-ups should be done on a regular basis to keep your target audience checking back for additional information.
It may also be a good idea to sign up for search engine and RSS directories and encourage your followers and customers to sign up for RSS feeds. This will keep them updated on whether there is new content available on your site or blog.
Of course, do not expect to earn from these programs overnight as this requires patience and a good network of affiliate sites that you can set up. For each niche that you want to target, create a separate website or blog to be able to keep track of your success. Affiliate marketing can work for you in many ways, but you have to put in the necessary effort as well.…

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Starting a Business With Pure Passion – A Guide For Success

Three years ago I was not a runner. I was somewhat athletic but I certainly was not a runner. Now, here I was, approaching mile 22 of my first full marathon and self doubt was starting to creep in. “What was thinking? The longest I had ever run during training was 20 miles. What made me think I could get to the finish?” Every ounce of my body was screaming in pain. The worst part was the pain was so much more than physical; it was total mental and physical exhaustion beyond anything I had ever felt before.
So what could I do now? I had visualized myself finishing this race everyday for at least 100 days. I had given up so much of my summer fun to train and push myself to complete this challenge. I had recruited the support of my friends and family. So what could I do now that my body was screaming NO? I let my vision guide me through the pain.
With my little sister running alongside me, pushing and encouraging me, there was only one answer; just get to Todd. You see Todd is my husband and he was waiting for me at mile 22 so that he could “bring me home”. In preparation for the marathon, I had asked various members of my friends and family to run alongside me during consecutive segments of the race so that I would always have someone to help pace me. It turns out, Todd and Sarah’s job was about much more than pacing. They were great support to help me through the toughest physical and mental challenge of my life.
Why did I choose to run a marathon? It is simple, the search for constant and never ending improvement. I have learned to always keep challenging myself and to make big goals that both excite me and scare me at the same time.
For me, becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own business in specialty medical sales was one of the biggest and scariest goals I had ever set.
I was a nurse. I had transitioned to medical sales after a few years and I found that I was pretty good at it. I had a strong work ethic and I related well to the people I was selling to. But, I was educated as a nurse. I really knew nothing about starting a business. The self talk and self doubt were very loud voices in my head.
These voices are built over time from past experiences. These voices are there to keep us in our comfort zone. I believe most people listen to their inner voices when they have a big idea. A person might see a beautiful house and think “boy, I would love to have a house like that”. And then in the next thought they would have cancels that idea, with a negative like “I could never afford that”.
Well that’s exactly what I did at first. I pushed the idea of having my own business away as quickly as it came to me. But something different must have happened this time. I started to have thoughts about owing my own business; I started to see myself enjoying the work I was doing. I imagined the freedom entrepreneurialism would bring me.
This idea started to expand and consume more of my thoughts. It’s like a seed was planted and I couldn’t stop its growth. I began to notice all the entrepreneurs around me and I engaged them in conversation about what it took to become a business owner. The excitement of the idea was overwhelming but it also scared the crap out of me.
I must have gone back and forth on the idea for 6 months. Todd and I discussed the pros and cons and we discussed the risk involved to our finances. For 6 months I could not get myself to take that final step towards commitment. However, I kept researching the subject, planning, talking to bankers, attorneys, and accounts. Still, the final step of commitment wasn’t there.
The turmoil of the back and forth was terrible. I felt stuck, like I wasn’t going anywhere. The doubt was like a virus trying to find a way to keep me in my comfort zone.
However, as much as that doubt was trying to keep me in my comfort zone, that vision of freedom as an entrepreneur was growing much stronger and more powerful. I could not stop thinking about it. And then it finally happened. One day, Todd and I were floating on the pool and a decision was made. We decided that we had to take the risk, mortgage everything we owned, to see where this would take us.
You see, I believe, once the mind is expanded by …

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6 Questions Entrepreneurs Should Ask About Every New Idea

I love entrepreneurs! Generally, I’ve noticed a drive and a determination that takes creative-minded, bootstrapping, do-it-yourselfers a long way. Those who show true ingenuity, persistence, and resilience inspire us all to have a brighter attitude.
I also love entrepreneurs because they ask me to help them with things like logo and graphic design, social media strategy, and web-based user experience. Oh, and I charge for those things, so it’s doubly-nice.
One thing I’ve noticed, however, about super-entrepreneurs is that their minds tend to race about 10,000 RPMs with cool, new ideas. I really wonder how many ideas are eventually left laying in the dust, not because they weren’t good ideas, but because not quite enough thought and planning went into them.
Having received tons of emails with ideas from entrepreneurs hoping to take an idea big-time, I thought I’d throw together this list of the six things I either say, or want to say in response. They are mostly questions, not recommendations, but the questions themselves are often overlooked.
Is it possible?
I know this one sounds obvious. If it weren’t would I be asking about the idea to begin with? And aren’t all things possible to those who believe? Certainly, but quite a few great ideas are laying in graves because the technology was either not ready, or too expensive.
Who else is doing it?
Use search engines and social networks to scout out the potential competition. Sometimes you wind up jumping into an arena filled with insurmountable competition. You’re probably not going to start the business that will topple an Amazon or Apple.
Can it be done well remarkably?
Doing something well doesn’t make it successful. Doing it well enough to get noticed does. Can you execute the idea in such a way that people will buy into it?
Do I have accesses to the resources to get it done?
This thought may sound strange, but some ideas are good (or noble) enough that you should consider handing it off to someone who can get it done. And every good entrepreneur knows that “resources” aren’t limited to the money in your pocket. It includes the money in other people’s pockets as well!
Is the idea something I’m passionate enough about to stick with over the long haul?
Pretty self-explanatory. Most of us have been there, burying an idea for which we had great enthusiasm, but didn’t see the gap between enthusiasm and real passion.
Can it be monetized?
This is the slimy question nobody thinks anyone should ask, but it must be faced. Why? Because if it can’t be monetized, it can’t be sustained or expanded. Sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes a good idea needs to piggy-back some other more profitable concept. Sometimes, the idea needs to go back into the incubator though.
These questions are seeds. You may have more to face. But at least face these and use them as a filter for every new idea. Let your genius lie asoak in the probing process. If an idea survives… wow!…

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Starting a Business in Australia

Starting a business in Australia is an undertaking that many ambitious entrepreneurs decide to have a go at these days. Due to this, starting a business in Australia is no longer a long and complicated process. There are several online companies that offer generic legal documents and same day issue of company registration (ACN) with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). In addition to this the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have developed there own online application system where almost anyone can apply for an Australia Business Number (ABN), Tax File Number (TFN), or tax registrations such as GST.
Given this information you could be forgiven for thinking that starting a business in Australia could be quite easy, that’s because it is!! (The only hard thing about starting a business is getting your business to make money!) It just seems difficult because there are several different agencies or commissions that you need to deal with in order to setup your small business.
It when people get to this stage it all begins to seem a little hard and start to ask themselves.
Which agency do I need to apply to first?
What do I need from that agency?
Why do I need it in the first place?
How do I make an application??
After looking into this process it became obvious that the issue didn’t lie with the individual application processes at each professional agency. Most of the applications have detailed help with easy to interpret information throughout the process. The issue lied in tying all the applications together to construct a business. With that in mind below is the order, which any entrepreneur would need to follow when starting a business in Australia.
1) ASIC
Company registration and attain CAN Number
2) ATO
Apply through the ABR website for the following
ABN Number
Tax File number
GST (Maybe)
PAYGW (Maybe)
3) Bank Accounts
You will need your ACN, ABN and TFN to be eligible to open a business bank account. By law all you need is a photocopy or printout of your ACN registration to open a bank account. However depending on the bank and how up to date they are its best just to take all three numbers in to avoid frustration and a second trip to the bank.
4) Insurance
Which insurances you need (if any) will be specific to your business. Some of the more common ones are public liability and workcover insurance.
5) Accounting Systems
Depending on the size of your business you may choose to use a bookkeeper or accountant to look after your books. There are also computer accounting software such as MYOB or Quickbooks that enable you to look after you own books as well as integrating the information with you financial professional as well.
Completing the above 5 steps should generally take you anywhere from a day to a week. The ASIC and ATO registrations should usually be completed within a day, the only thing that will potentially draw the process out to a week is, yep you guessed it, the banks.
The banks can be rather frustrating actually, as mentioned the bank should be happy with a photocopy of your ACN, but sometimes they may want to see the original along with your ABN number and Tax File Number.
I have started two companies and both occasions the bank has treated my case differently. I strongly believe that it just comes down to the individual who serves you on the day. If you are having trouble you can always try another bank!
Further information about starting a business in Australia is available at…

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Top Tips To Boost Your Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing should be part of your business plan but it is difficult for newcomers to understand and apply correctly. There is so much to learn both on the marketing side and the technical side. Use the stops outlined below to make the most of your mobile marketing campaign.

Focus on understanding your customers. You will be able to reach out to your customers only if you understand how they think and what they want. If you cannot determine what your customers want, you won’t make any profit from them. Therefore, when you first meet a customer, you should try to find out exactly what they are looking for.

QR codes are being used more and more on advertisements to appeal to the smartphone-using audience. Customers can then use their smart phones to reach your website and find coupons. Have the QR codes on collateral like catalogs, business cards, posters, and brochures. If a customer wants to know more about your business, a QR code is a way that they can do that instantly.

Mobile content should be easy to read and to the point for the success of your campaign. Make sure they know your message and can absorb it, as quickly as possible!

Ask your friends to test your website, advertisements and emails. You could even pay someone to test it for you if you want an unbiased opinion.

Craft a mission statement more for your purpose than anything if you want to stay on track in social mobile marketing. Adhering to your principles will help you to keep on the straight and narrow.

To improve your own social marketing, keep an eye on your competition’s efforts. It’s imperative to distinguish yourself from your competition.

Mobile platforms that are designed as standalone also need home bases to be successful. Your mobile presence is dependent upon driving your customers to that base, or keeping contact with those who are already in contact with you. Don’t base your whole approach on the use of a mobile platform.

Expert mobile marketers deploy various aspects of their marketing strategies in sequence. You should too. You can start with a text messaging campaign, expand into using mobile websites, then incorporate mobile apps and eventually deliver videos to mobile devices. Keep progressing and improving your overall mobile marketing campaign. Use all resources that you have at your disposal.

Use a short code that is dedicated. While it may cost a little more, it is important in protecting your brand. It offers some legal protection for you as well.

If your business decides to have a mobile app, be sure that your users will appreciate using it. If it is a useless or annoying app, it could be ignored by your prospects or potential prospects.

Mobile marketing is a beneficial tactic to gain knowledge in, and the more you know about it, the better you will do in business ventures. Once you understand your options, you’ll be able to choose the best techniques for your own business. A good place to start is with the tips above.…

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