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Business Week

Is Working For Yourself Worth It?

Starting and running your own business is one of the most exciting and potentially rewarding activities anyone can undertake. The possible rewards are boundless as is the opportunity for fulfilling personal ambitions. However, there are certain questions you should ask yourself, before you decide to take the plunge and invest your time and money in trying to start a new business venture.
You will also need to make plans, because that old saying: ‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail’ is true, especially in business. For without plans, a business is subject to the random outcomes of chance rather than sound judgment. you can even get to the stage where instead of running the business, the business runs you. In order to avoid that sad state of affairs, you need to make sound plans before you start; decide which skills your business will need and accurately assess whether you possess those skills.
The first question you should be asking yourself is, ‘What am I going to get out of it?’. After all, you are giving up most of your rights as an employee. Rights such as job tenure, regular wages, paid holidays, sick leave, insurance and the right to forget your job when you leave it at the end of the day. In exchange you get the right to invest lots of time, energy and money. So, you have every right to know or at least to ask yourself, what you will get in return.
The rate that the number of new business being opened every year rises most years, although perhaps it won’t this year due to the banks’ reluctance to lend us our money. However, usually the rate does rise, so there must be a positive perception among the population that owning one’s own business is an advantage. The most common advantages cited are:
Control: as the boss, the authority and indeed the responsibility to make decisions rests squarely on your shoulders. You will direct all the activities of your business for better or for worse.
Creative Freedom: you are at total liberty to express your talents and ideas without seeking permission, having them approved by superiors or going through channels.
Profits: the more successful your business becomes, the more money you will make, whereas, in general, an employee’s salary is dependent on corporate or even national agreements, policy and regulations. Yours will be directly related to the performance of your business.
Job Security: if your business is viable, no one can sack you, lay you off, make you redundant or force you to retire.
Satisfaction: most people derive a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that they have built a successful business from nothing.
The most common disadvantages of being the boss cited are:
Risk to Capital: if you business fails, you could lose everything you put in and more.
Long Hours: your hours will not be ‘9 to 5’, especially in the beginning, when they are more likely to be ‘8 till late’.
Income Variation: you may not receive the same amount of wages every week, depending on the takings.
Responsibility: the buck stops with you and you can’t blame anyone else, if things go wrong.
Pressure: the pressure is on you the whole time to keep your customers happy and pay your suppliers and employees on time.
Regulations: you are responsible for complying with government and union regulations and ignorance of those regulations is never taken as an excuse.…

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Business Week

Success on a Budget

The best thing I ever did for myself as a business owner was to become a student of success. That meant plunking down some cash to get the knowledge I now have. I truly believe that small business owners must never stop learning. When we stop learning, we stop growing and our businesses typically follow.
Today, I’m consistently investing in 5-figure coaching programs and I have no doubt I’d be investing in coaches that cost 6 figures before long. Hard to believe, but I didn’t start out that way. I started out on a budget. Here are 5 budget-friendly ways to get some revenue-producing knowledge for your business.
Magazines
Magazines cost very little. Typically $15-$30 a year (even less sometimes). Sign up for Entrepreneur Magazine or even better Millionaire Blueprints. Even my teenager is subscribed to the teen version of Millionaire Blueprints and he devours it. I recommend this magazine because it’s full of stories on how people created success. How they overcame the odds, how they remained persistent, and how they succeeded. Basically, success recipes. Feed you brain this kind of stuff every week and success will no-doubt become the way you think… and the way you are.
Books
I remember constantly being on in my search for how to create a successful business. And there were times I’d search for a book on Amazon, check out the user-reviews, then call my local library to borrow it (zero dollars). Books like the Guerrilla Marketing book series and many others. I devoured them all because it was all I could afford at the time.
I didn’t complain that “I didn’t have time to read.” I just did. I found the time because I was determined to feed my brain recipes for success. Don’t forget books on success mindset as well like Think & Grow Rich and Who Switched Off My Brain. Also check out the No BS series of books by Dan Kennedy for some unique marketing advice.
Free teleseminars
Just do a Google search for free teleseminars. They are happening every single day. Sign up and learn something. You’ve got nothing to lose. If you don’t like it, you can get off their list just as easily as you got on. I listen to about 6 teleseminars a week. Some free and some are included in the coaching programs I’m in. But all of them teach me something. Even if I get just one idea, it was well worth it.
Home Study Systems
If you cannot invest in a high-priced coaching/mentoring programs, a great alternative is to get the home study version. It’s always less expensive and they are rich in content. Read the testimonials to get a sense of what is valuable about the product. Most have some kind of money-back guarantee so you can check it out risk free. “Do it Yourself” home-study options are a great low-cost way to boost your business knowledge and your revenue with profit-generating new ideas and strategies.
Low-cost Seminars
In every city, there are low-cost seminars. Typically 2 hours to half day and many are free. Sure, the free ones mean you’ll get a sales pitch at the end, but you can graciously decline. Even if you get just one idea to pump into your business, that’s one idea you didn’t have before. Check your Chamber of Commerce, or just Google “business seminars” in your area. Search around, you’ll find them.
Get determined
Often people ask me how I found my 7-figure mentors or how I got the vast amount of business knowledge I share with them. The answer is sheer determination. A burning desire to succeed. Whether you have lots of cash to invest or very little, if you’ve got a burning desire, you’ll find countless ways to increase your business knowledge. And if that knowledge is translated into ACTION, you’ll see an increase in your revenue as well.…

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Business Week

Tips For Choosing An Internet Business – MLM Vs Product-Service

Many people do not consider the amount of time that must be invested in a start-up internet business. If you are looking at business opportunities on the internet, narrowing down the opportunities may be very difficult. Many business opportunities look as though you will not have to invest time or money in the effort except for an initial start-up. However, starting a business on the internet is just as time-consuming as starting a land-based business and it will be important that you follow a few tips for deciding on the most lucrative and satisfying venture for you.
If you are the type of person who would not get involved with an MLM in a land-based business, you will probably not want to invest the time required to start an MLM online. Remember, that the basic structure of an MLM is the same whether you are doing it in your local neighborhood or doing it online. You must both sell products and recruit a downline to take full advantage of the financial opportunities available.
There are many MLM opportunities offered on the internet and if this is a business you are considering, it will be important to research the company carefully before committing to the business. Some MLMs on the internet walk a very thin grey line between being a legitimate MLM and being a Pyramid scheme. An easy way to tell if the MLM opportunity is legitimate is to look at the products. The products that are sold should be able to stand on their own, be tangible, and be made of quality materials.
The cost of joining an MLM will vary, but should not exceed the cost of the products that you receive. And, you should “receive” products. An MLM that sells “education” or “information” is not selling a tangible product and must be researched thoroughly to make sure your income will not be dependent on recruiting a downline.
Some people find that they can develop a very lucrative business by selling other people’s product through a web-store. When you are considering starting this type of business, you will make more money and be able to develop a greater customer base if you keep your products in a specific niche market. For instance, selling products that are related to your hobbies or interests will make marketing your website through articles and advertising much more enjoyable.
Marketing your website is critical in establishing your presence and visibility on the internet. Developing an effective marketing strategy is going to take time and, if you choose to use an article distribution service, money. Calculating your budget for your business and defining your goals before starting your website will help you to establish a good foundation for growth.
CONCLUSION
By thoroughly investigating business opportunities that are related to your areas of interest and passions, you can effectively incorporate those things you enjoy doing most with your business. The internet is a great way to reach a global audience that has the same interests as you and will benefit from the information you have to share about your products or services.…

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Business Week

Tips For Choosing An Internet Business – MLM Vs Product-Service

Many people do not consider the amount of time that must be invested in a start-up internet business. If you are looking at business opportunities on the internet, narrowing down the opportunities may be very difficult. Many business opportunities look as though you will not have to invest time or money in the effort except for an initial start-up. However, starting a business on the internet is just as time-consuming as starting a land-based business and it will be important that you follow a few tips for deciding on the most lucrative and satisfying venture for you.
If you are the type of person who would not get involved with an MLM in a land-based business, you will probably not want to invest the time required to start an MLM online. Remember, that the basic structure of an MLM is the same whether you are doing it in your local neighborhood or doing it online. You must both sell products and recruit a downline to take full advantage of the financial opportunities available.
There are many MLM opportunities offered on the internet and if this is a business you are considering, it will be important to research the company carefully before committing to the business. Some MLMs on the internet walk a very thin grey line between being a legitimate MLM and being a Pyramid scheme. An easy way to tell if the MLM opportunity is legitimate is to look at the products. The products that are sold should be able to stand on their own, be tangible, and be made of quality materials.
The cost of joining an MLM will vary, but should not exceed the cost of the products that you receive. And, you should “receive” products. An MLM that sells “education” or “information” is not selling a tangible product and must be researched thoroughly to make sure your income will not be dependent on recruiting a downline.
Some people find that they can develop a very lucrative business by selling other people’s product through a web-store. When you are considering starting this type of business, you will make more money and be able to develop a greater customer base if you keep your products in a specific niche market. For instance, selling products that are related to your hobbies or interests will make marketing your website through articles and advertising much more enjoyable.
Marketing your website is critical in establishing your presence and visibility on the internet. Developing an effective marketing strategy is going to take time and, if you choose to use an article distribution service, money. Calculating your budget for your business and defining your goals before starting your website will help you to establish a good foundation for growth.
CONCLUSION
By thoroughly investigating business opportunities that are related to your areas of interest and passions, you can effectively incorporate those things you enjoy doing most with your business. The internet is a great way to reach a global audience that has the same interests as you and will benefit from the information you have to share about your products or services.…

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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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Business Week

Economic Revival the Entrepreneurs’ Way

In all likelihood, the dramatic recession of 2008 and 2009 will continue into 2010, and no amount of government intervention is going to provide a cure. Instead, Americans will use their own independent spirit to dig us out of this economic mess through innovation and entrepreneurship. More and more of us are recognizing the iffy status of corporate employment and seeking ways to take ownership of our work life and future. Entrepreneurship is the best path to recovery, whether the startups are independent contractors or fast growing gazelles, or any size in between.
Historically, startups that are considered gazelles account for most of the growth in private sector employment and revenue in the US economy. These companies can be launched in just about any industry but are most commonly found in whatever field is the hottest at the time. In the 1990s, most gazelle firms were high-tech companies on the dotcom highway. Now, the most recent gazelle-like startups are in the petroleum industry. Still, these high impact firms can be developed from just about any viable business idea. The primary factor that sets the gazelles apart from the rest of the startup field is their overall efficiency – they generate for more revenue per employee than either traditional ventures or most other startups.
The average staff size of gazelle companies is around 50, and gazelle firms generally grow to that point very quickly relative to other startups. They typically are responsible for more than 85% of all job growth, though they represent only 2% of all businesses. They tend to be industry innovators that identify and exploit unique market opportunities. They move and change quickly and place significant focus on applying entrepreneurial fundamentals and creative thinking to streamline and revolutionize the way things are done in business.
Of course, not all startups can be gazelles – in fact 98% are not. But smaller startups make significant contributions as well, and the outcome of this recession is likely to see that impact be even greater. Small businesses employ millions, and every startup that begins with the intention for growth will build that security for a few to a few dozen workers. And, most economic development councils provide second-stage loans and grants to help existing businesses grow. Savvy entrepreneurs develop new markets (often international) and drive innovation through better processes of producing and delivering goods and services. In addition, small business owners tend to wield significant political and social power in their communities. Thus, those who join the ranks of entrepreneurship can and do influence the culture and social standards within their communities.
Many long-time cubicle workers will take this opportunity to strike out on their own as independent contractors as well. While these workers are not technically entrepreneurs, they still will be taking control of their work lives and creating a larger class of people willing and able to influence legislation and standards regarding the self-employed. Qualified independent contractors also provide a strong support base for the larger startups – bootstrapping entrepreneurs can use the expertise of the ICs to reduce overhead and achieve specific goals to grow and improve the company.
Whatever role future entrepreneurs seek to fill, they will be crucial to the economic revival of the country and help us regain our competitive edge in the global marketplace. It doesn’t matter where you are or which business you start, just taking the leap into entrepreneurship will have a positive impact overall. No, you aren’t likely to become rich overnight, but the cumulative effect of entrepreneurship across the nation will be the driving force behind rebuilding the economy.…

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Business Week

Video Marketing Tricks To Help You Become Successful

If you are tired of using traditional marketing methods, try something new. You should be if you want to attract more customers. But have you given video marketing a shot? Now is your chance! You can reach broad groups of individuals in this way. These video marketing tips can help you see what to do.

Few marketing tactics are as effective as video clips. Have your customers send questions related to your products, select the best questions and answer them in your weekly video. Free giveaways can be incentive for the questions.

Optimizing your videos is key. When you upload videos to more than one site, you should have unique titles and descriptions for every one. You have to remember to place targeted keywords into these, as well. You should put in contact info so that people can get ahold of you.

If your video’s objective is pushing a product to the individuals watching, make certain that you include some hyperlink near the bottom of the frame or the page’s margin. The link ought to be embedded in the video itself. That way, the link will stay with the video if the video gets shared or embedded elsewhere.

Make sure you always have fresh, exciting content available so viewers come back often. Boring content does nothing except repel viewers, and that is not good for business. Leave your viewers waiting and wanting to see what you come up with next. The more interesting your content is, the more it will attract viewers.

Once you’ve collected data from statistics and comments on your videos, make another video! Put into practice what you’ve learned to improve the content and quality of your videos.

You can use a tripod in order to make your videos more effective. Don’t let your video be shaky and unsettling. Marketing material needs clean, steady shots. Most people just take a couple of seconds to decide if they will watch the rest of the video.

The key to success in video marketing is to share it as widely as possible. Email it to friends and family. Put a blog post onto your site, encouraging your viewers to share your videos. Let current customers know about it by sending an email message or other type of communication. Additionally, post your videos on Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites. Spread the message!

In most cases, it is best to keep videos brief. Your viewers’ attention will wander if your video rambles on. You can make one up to five minutes, but longer than that is really unnecessary. A great motto to follow is to keep things short and sweet.

To make your video marketing efforts successful, you have to make sure you’re real and above-board. Never have a hidden agenda. IF you want to sell your product tell them that. Monitoring and responding to comments is a great way to engage your customers. Establish networks with people in your niche and make it known you’re an expert, as well.

There are nearly an endless number of ways that video marketing can be utilized. You can really beef up your customer list by using video marketing. You can grow your business and reconnect with existing efforts at the same time.…