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Starting a Home Based Business

While a regular business is usually operated from an office, outside of the home, a home based business, as the name suggests, is essentially operated from the comforts of one’s home.
Most home based businesses have certain features in common, like –
– They are run within the family and primarily by the family members, who retain major share in the business.
– Usually a small operation that is run by one or more persons
– The initial financial outlay is usually very low
For those of you who want to start a business working from the comforts of your home, all you have to do is find an idea that suits your interest, is cost effective, and is lucrative enough to bring in the cash.
Some of the advantages are:
– You’ll save money on setting up a home office by using a spare room in your home
– You’ll save yourself the hassles and expenses of traveling to and from work
– You don’t have to worry about money for lunch
– Great place for those who may be restricted in their movement due to physical disabilities
– For parents who have small children you can work around your children schedule.
A good thought out plan, with adequate research on market demands and proper execution is all that is needed to make a success of your business. In addition, you are your own boss and do not have to worry about corporate layoffs, employee downsizing and pampering the boss’s ego!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a walk in the park. Just like any business enterprise, your idea must be viable, well planned, researched, and executed in order to make it successful.
Consider the following:
Just like any business write a business plan. The great thing about a business plan is that it forces you to take a good look at your business idea. It forces you to think it though. In this plan you will have to prepare several fundamental components that will clearly let you know if the idea you’re thinking about is doable or not.
You will have to spend time thinking about what the operational costs, when will the business become profitable, who are your competitors, marketing, sales and how your idea is different from what is already available, etc.
After organizing your business plan take a trip and visit a SCORE center. This is an organization that is run by retired professionals who will look at your ideas and advised you accordingly. And the service is absolutely free.
While making plans for your start-up, spend some time educating yourself on the subject, read, read, and read some more. Take some courses on Entrepreneurship.
Finally, know the products and the services you’ll be offering inside out.
Then move forward with your action plan.…

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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.…

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Secrets to Starting a Business Blog and Getting It Off the Ground

Are you just getting started with blogging for your business? This article is part of a series that will help you get your blog off the ground.
Choosing Your Post Length
There are differing opinions on this issue. Some expert bloggers suggest longer posts so that with each post, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and capture the reader’s interest in your topic. Others point out that some readers will click away from a post that seems really long before they have even had a chance to read it. They recommend keeping your posts short but informative.
I tend to side with the latter opinion. If it too short, readers may wonder if they have read anything of value, but I think it is even worse to make them too long, but the length will intimidate readers who otherwise might have stayed to read the post.
I suggest posts that are 200-500 words in length, especially if you are writing every day. If you would like to give more information that that you can write articles and provide a link to them in your blog post or create reports that you can offer your readers for free.
Increasing Traffic to Your Blog
Once you have your blog ready and have begun to post, how do you get people to find it? One way is to write articles, as I mentioned before, and post links to your blog at the end of them. Use an article directory, such as EzineArticles, and in the resource box, mention your blog and provide a link.
Another thing you can do is visit other blogs that have a similar topic and leave comments with a link back to your blog. Find the ones you enjoy reading and comment on them regularly. Other readers will want to know more about you and will follow you back to your own blog.
List Building
Ideally, your blog will help you find the customers who are interested in what you are selling. But if you can find a way to increase their exposure to you by adding them to your list, they get to know you better and you get a chance to persuade them to work with you or buy from you.
To add them to your list, you will need to have something on your blog that provides a reason for them to give you their name and email address. A sign-up box that offers a newsletter subscription, a free report or something else of value to them that they can only receive if they sign up for it. Place this sign-up box high on the page in an obvious place so that they will see it every time they visit your blog.…

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Making Big Changes, Even When You’re Broke

The past few years have been difficult for many Americans. Jobs have been lost, the future is up in the air, and unexpected changes are all around. The one great outcome of hard times is that we tend to reevaluate what is important and take steps toward creating the life that we want. Of course, having plenty of cash can make big changes easier to accomplish, but being broke is no excuse for complacency. Even if you are struggling financially, make 2011 the year that you take back control and make some big moves in the right direction. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Design and Plan.
Take a good look at every area of your life – work, health, hobbies, family, whatever – and create a picture of how you’d like your future to be. Think big, as if there are no obstacles to getting what you want. Talk your ideas over with your spouse and close friends and family, but avoid the naysayers and negative nellies – you don’t need to hear all the reasons it can’t work right now! Once you have decided who, how, and where you want to be, develop step-by-step plans for getting from here to there. The more detailed the plan, the better, and be sure it includes steps that can be implemented immediately. Organize your plans so that you are doing something every day that moves you in the right direction.
Make the tough decisions.
The odds are that the exercise of connecting where you are now to where you want to be is going to reveal some serious obstacles. Whether those obstacles are financial (debt, income limits), personal (relationship issues, lack of support), or career-related (hate your job, lack of control), you are likely going to have to make some tough decisions to affect real change in your life. Those decisions might include bankruptcy or moving or taking bigger risks than you normally would, but they must be made to get to the life you want. Be honest with yourself about what needs to be done, then make the decision and go after it. Most of these things are like pulling off a bandaid – if you jump right in it will only hurt for a little while.
Do good.
One of the best things you can do to put your own life in perspective is to help out those less fortunate than you. Whatever your situation, there is always someone who is worse off and could use your help. Volunteer through a local nonprofit or church and spend a few hours each week doing good. Not only will you feel better about your own life, you will be helping out those who really need it as well. And, if you skip the movies and volunteer instead, you can save up your entertainment budget to put towards the parts of your redesigned life plan that require cash!
Knock off the To-do List.
Most of us have a ridiculously long to-do list in our head. You know, all those pesky chores and projects that pop into your thoughts at the most inconvenient times. Those tasks are a distraction, and if you are serious about making changes in your life, you should get those items off the list. Write them all down, set priorities for completing each task, and knock them off one-by-one as you are working on redesigning your life.
Start a business.
Owning a business is a dream of a great many of us, and there is no time like the present to follow that dream. Business that are started now will be poised to explode as the economy recovers, and there are some incredible deals available to small businesses right now. Commercial space is inexpensive, vendors are flexible, and quality workers are available and willing to work cheap. The recession knocked out the businesses that weren’t well-managed, and there are opportunities in just about every industry, in every part of the country. If launching a business is on your wish list for 2011, don’t wait another day!…

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Tips On How To Succeed In Article Marketing

Many people believe that the promise of making money with article marketing is just another get-rich-quick scheme, but they are mistaken. It is very competitive, but simple to do. Just avoid misleading gimmicks. Be Honest. In order to succeed with article marketing, you need some awesome tips to make it happen, and that’s where this article comes in.

What kinds of ads interest your audience? Adding new content and ads periodically will keep things interesting. Don’t be reluctant to show your creativity with different fonts, colors and graphics to focus attention where you want it. Trial and error is the best way for you to find out what works regarding technique.

Think about outsourcing. If you are not a talented writer or don’t have the time needed to write your own content, hiring a professional to write for you may be your best option. In the end, you will save time and help your website, so the extra cost will be worth it.

Make sure your articles reflect you as a writer. Personal touches make your articles more appealing than if they are dry and impersonal. Always be honest in your articles and allow your style to become evident. Your readers will appreciate the effort and are more likely to return.

Use social media. Using your Twitter and Facebook accounts is a good way of attracting new readers. All you have to do is post some kind of update whenever you put out a new piece of writing to get peoples’ attention. You can also ask your followers to share your articles with their friends for an even higher boost in traffic.

Maximize the benefit of your articles by including at least one keyword or keyword phrase. For the best results, try incorporating keywords into headings and the URL. You should pepper the keyword throughout the article. By placing your keyword throughout your page, you increase the chance that a search engine will find your article.

Learn all that you can about your target audience. If your target is casual blog sites, make sure your content is short and personable. If you want to look professional, aim for longer content that is well-researched.

Add bullets and numbers in your articles. Bullets and numbered lists help the reader to better understand and remember the content. Bulleted text helps the reader to categorize and retain the information, because it is viewed as more important.

The articles you write must be original and filled with unique content. People do not want to look through the same old stuff over and over again. In addition, if the topic of your article is something many people have not heard of, you will reduce your readership.

Your opener is extremely important. Make sure that you present any opening paragraph in a way that will grab your reader’s attention. Give your readers statistics or questions that will make them more attentive to what you are trying to tell them. Most visitors will form an opinion after reading just a few lines of your website’s content. Whether they stay on your site or not depends on the quality of that content.

Use the advice in this article to infuse your business with greater visibility, higher online rankings, and an improved reputation all through the prowess of your article marketing. You’ll find that the exposure it gives your content will lead to both increased traffic and profits for your website.…

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Useful Facebook Marketing Tips For Your Business

Anyone can use Facebook to market their business today. You can reach people from all over the world. The best strategies for using this form of marketing are found below.

If you are using Facebook for business, do it professionaly. Although social media tends to be a casual venue, your business must be presented professionally. You will develop a better reputation if you stay professional.

Consider creating a Facebook group rather than just a page. Facebook groups are a great way to get people to interact more. You can also use a group and a page so subscribers can share their content via your group and they can get updates via your page.

Custom audiences allows you to personalize the emails that you send. This boosts the conversion rates and makes the campaigns cost less because lots of the people will start to buy things from your site instead of just being potential customers.

Consider purchasing Facebook ads. These ads can target a specific market if you desire. You can work within a certain budget, doing as little or as much as you desire. There isn’t a huge contract either. Your ad can be taken down at any time.

Don’t forget to discuss your business on other Facebook pages. Posting information on other people’s Facebook pages can garner a great deal of attention. Make sure it’s the kind of attention you want. Post to other Facebook pages when you have something worthwhile to say. Avoid spam at all costs.

Everything you put up on Facebook needs to have value. Your followers must be able to benefit form every single post that you make. Avoid too many postings that show on their feed so that your fans won’t be tired of your name showing up.

One way to entice people to follow you is to only show content to those who are following you. Having hidden content will make it so those who are interested will have to become a fan. Don’t hide too much of your site, as search engines won’t be able to crawl anything that is hidden.

Ask your fans for advise about various decisions you need to make about your company or business. Folks like feeling as though they are part of the process. If you ask your customers what they want it will help your campaign. As an example, a blogger could have readers vote on a topic they’d like to hear about.

Make sure you have a good personality with your posts. If people find everything you post to be stale and brand, this will give them the same perception about your brand. Be certain all your advertising stays professional, even those ads that are skirting the borders of being “edgy” or “trendy.”

Always know exactly why you have a Facebook page. From a business standpoint, you should always be actively promoting yourself and your products on your page. Are you communicating to your customers with it? Or, is the point to help them communicate in your direction? Utilizing Facebook to increase sales is something different than simply using it to keep fans interested.

Include discounts and coupons with the contest that you hold. Fortunately, this article has taught you what the experts do. You need to use them as a part of your campaign.…

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Your Most Pressing Locksmith Questions Answered Here

Do you know how to find a locksmith your can trust? What qualities should you be aware of? What do you need to avoid? There are many things to figure out with regards to finding a good locksmith, but many people are unaware of what they need to know. This piece should provide a useful guide.

You do not necessarily need to replace a lock just because you are locked out. A well-qualified locksmith should have the ability to open almost all doors without needing to replace the entire lock. It is more expensive to have a new one installed.

It is advisable to be prepared even if you never think you will need a locksmith’s service. Research locksmiths before you have need for them, and you will have a reliable person you can call if there is an emergency. You can save the locksmith’s phone number so you have it ready to go if there is an emergency.

Avoid extra expenses by calling the locksmith in his business hours. The price a locksmith charges goes up after hours. During the day you may pay under $50 for a locksmith to come out, but at night it is hard to tell how much it can cost. If you have few locksmiths in your area the price can be doubled or even more.

If your locksmith charges you more than was quoted over the phone, don’t use their services ever again. There are plenty of honest locksmiths out there, so you shouldn’t deal with one who is not.

Before you allow someone like a locksmith to enter your home, you should get references and a professional recommendation. Call the references before hiring them. Naturally, you want a skilled technician, but you also need to be able to trust this person.

Call local locksmiths and identify the one’s that are well established, long-term businesses because these tend to be more stable and trustworthy. In addition, ask how long they have been in business at their current location. Companies with many years in business in a location are usually reputable.

If you have a chance, do a quick search online for any locksmith you are thinking about using. You can find lots of good review websites online. Just make sure the website you’re looking at is not affiliated with that or any other locksmith. You should also check the Better Business Bureau too determine if the locksmith you are thinking of hiring is in good standing.

Check the credentials of a locksmith before you let him inside your house. This will prevent you from getting ripped off. The Internet has made it simple to find out about a person and see how trustworthy they are. Go on and do it!

This information has been presented so that you will easily be able to find a good locksmith when you need one. It still won’t be a fun process to deal with, but you’ll at least get it over with quickly thanks to preparation. From switching out a lock to gaining access to something, when you know a lot about locksmiths, the time will go better.…