Monday, July 27, 2015

Fence Sitters: Thinking About Starting an Internet Business?

                 The key to everything is taking action. While things usually start with a thought or idea, somebody has to do something to make them happen! We should first analyze our situation – why do you think you want to start a business from home? Likely it has to do with money. However there are other intangibles that could be causing you to think about starting your own business. For example maybe you are in a rut at work, wish you had a different job, know you could do more and you want to be more interested and invested in what you are doing; maybe you would like to be with your family more, or are bored with staying at home to take care of kids or others. While this is very important, you don’t find it particularly stimulating mentally; or for many reasons when you have looked for a job you were over or under qualified, didn’t agree with some ideologies of the company, or weren’t ‘politically’ connected and/or just didn’t fit in.
                Maybe through years of trial and error you find that you really want an alternative lifestyle. Guess what! It’s your life and if at all possible you should be able to live the way you want to. After all they say you only live once and the regrets that people have are more about what they didn’t do than what they did. How tragic. So many people have to ‘sell out’ just to survive. They can’t be themselves or have any fun at least in public and still keep a roof over their heads. Anybody logical knows that is the primary consideration – survival – and so they don’t feel that bad about having to go along with the program in order to live comfortably. Guess what! You can have it all if you can think of a way to become self-employed. If you have a home, a computer with an Internet connection, and some basic skills, you have all the makings of a home business.
                Now all you have to do is determine some ways that you can make money. You may have to do this in stages where it is not your best idea that is the most feasible. Just like in a corporation where you have to start at entry level and work your way up, you may need to do this with your own business – but the point is to start some place. There are a number of different things you can do and/or learn to do online that would make a fine business someday. At all points the search engines are your best friend. You can research anything just by submitting a query and you can drill down with all the links you can find that give you information about your ideas. If it is something you need to learn, find out how you can do that, how much it will cost, if anything; do comparative analysis on all of your ideas to see what is most feasible for you. Be sure you know what you are doing and how to do it before you ‘burn any bridges’ (quit your job, fire your boss, etc.).

                Be realistic. You need a way to survive while you are building and developing your business. Be logical – nothing is going to happen overnight or by magical thinking. Set your target goals and then plan exactly what you need to do to make it happen. The budget to survive in the meantime should be a primary consideration, obviously. Eyes wide open, march onward and upward to reach your goal!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ideas for a Home Business

           Although not all businesses have to be related to computers and/or the Internet, it is highly recommended to pursue the Internet as the way and the means by which you market and advertise any home business. You will find that everything is less expensive, much faster and easier and more effective in that you can reach so many more people. For example; a guy that made videos of his dog misbehaving has gotten over 25 million hits! Too bad he is not selling anything. He should think of something with a response like that. Some things that come to mind that would work well with a site dedicated to those videos could range from pure kitsch, like a framed portrait of the dog which could be sold as tee shirts or refrigerator magnets, to something substantial like treats for pets and pet accessories (pet beds, leashes, training books, or toys). This would be called ‘monetizing’ the site. It is likely animal lovers or people who have pets would be interested in the video and would be the best target market for pet products. It’s a natural!

So that is just one example of taking almost nothing and making a business around it. Other examples can be something like a recipe for which you receive compliments and maybe even is something passed down in your family for generations that people always love. You could make something like cookies, candies or cakes and package them up and sell them. For example gift baskets for the various holidays that include a dozen cookies, a decorative mug and some little packs of coffee, tea or cocoa. This of course involves shipping and packaging that will allow everything to arrive in one piece. You could create an expensive or even free site (blog) to advertise your gift baskets. If you have a digital camera you just need some good pictures of the baskets and the ingredients. You would need to factor in all your costs for materials and shipping (and of course a profit) and create order forms. The cheapest (free) way to accept payments would be to get a free button for your site – that way you can accept credit cards through PayPal without having to incur all the costs of having a payment gateway, (“cart”) etc. (All the credit card companies charge a monthly fee even if you have no sales).

So you could apply this type of ‘theory’ to almost anything you can think of – arts and crafts – for example soap and candles, or other crafts like jewelry or decorative gifts – anything you enjoy doing or even what interests you like your hobbies – sports, etc. – you can build around anything and they actually say that you do best with what you like to do so why not make some money while you are at it? If this is all more involved than you had anticipated, you might also consider just selling the recipe! This would go nicely with a blog where you do share some recipes for free and/or discuss various baking techniques and ingredients (just keep the prize ones to make money). Again, how you might monetize a blog about baking might be to get a line of bake ware – pans, mixers, etc. In this case you might want to get a free store from so that you could list their products and they would handle the payments for you and pay you a commission. 


Friday, July 10, 2015

You Need to Take Control of Your Life – Earn an Income Online from Home

Unless you have been holed up in an igloo the past 20 years you must have heard the horror stories about people suddenly losing their jobs without cause and without notice, and many of them unable to replace their income. You must know that many of the industries that created employment here in the US have been moved to foreign countries where they can pay almost nothing for labor. It is actually the position or even company that is being eliminated – so the position is not going to be available to someone else in many cases. In spite of selling the workforce down the river, the last recession has shown that the businesses themselves can go bankrupt and consequently go out of business. Bottom line is that many thousands of new jobs that would be created; are not. No more taking it for granted that you can always find another job.

This is hitting people at all skill and income levels and stages in their careers (all ages). The last recession also taught us investments are also vulnerable – many people lost their life savings, their real estate etc. Rather than retiring they are looking for part-time work as a result. The point here being that we are vulnerable – more than ever before – our very survival and ‘lifestyle’ are not guaranteed. However you can take control of your finances by starting a business where you can earn an income from home. Ideally you could do this part-time while you still have a job and start saving money for an emergency – and God willing if that emergency never comes, you can always use it for retirement or something fun like a vacation or for something you always wanted but could never afford living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Although there are lots of things you can do at home to earn money, the easiest, least expensive way to do things is online. No matter what you decide to produce or sell, the Internet is the best way to promote it. There is just no comparison between virtual or online advertising vs. printing and mailing costs for example, just to name one aspect that is superior about Internet marketing. There is no way that you can reach millions of people all over the world if you are trying to call them on the phone either. Not being a computer nerd is no excuse at all. There are ready-made services, software applications, consultants, etc that perform all of the technical tasks necessary. If you would like to have total control then maybe you can take some courses online from a community college (very inexpensive) to learn some technical things if that would make you more comfortable. The more you can do for yourself the least expenses you will incur as well.

The important thing here is that you take action – commit some time each week to researching ways you can take control of your own financial situation by creating a way to earn an income apart from your job or career – Best to start it before you are desperate so that you can land on your feet if something unexpected should happen.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Home Business Start-Up – Your Primary Tools

  When we talk about ‘tools’ we mean resources. Resources can be anything from time to money to skills. Starting a business online really requires most of all a willingness to learn and a strong will to succeed.
  The most important skill for Internet marketing is writing. Whether it is writing to communicate with others, blogging, or creating ads, publishing content is of major importance. It goes without saying if you have some challenges and you just really can’t see ever becoming proficient at writing; then there are services that you can use for ghostwriting and copywriting that will get you through with some expense.
  However it would be much more natural and of course inexpensive if you were to ‘bite the bullet’ and force yourself to do something that is maybe out of your comfort zone – and now you have the motivation to do so if you really want to have a successful Internet business and you believe it is in fact necessary to write.
  To make it real simple, writing is related to reading; it is related to talking; in fact it is related to thinking. More than likely you can do all 3 of these things – now the trick is to get it all into your fingers and start typing! Just sit down and start pounding away to say what you are thinking, what you have read, what it means to you.
  There is a technique used for decision making and planning that also works really well to help you start writing! It is referred to as ‘brainstorming’. Brainstorming is where you don’t worry about crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s – you just let your thoughts flow freely and start listing them. In the case of decision making it might be two-columns with Pros and Cons. For planning; it might be just a ‘to do list’ in no particular order. You can sort everything out and organize it later but the point is just to get it all down where you can see it.
  So if you are really having trouble writing; know that once you just get started trying that it gets easier. There really is such a thing as ‘writer’s block’ even for people who are comfortable with writing. However, it is more a question of having ideas to write about and with business online you are fortunate that there is so much information available that you can use to create an idea. One of the main ways is to do keyword research – find out the relevant terms used in your niche – and then go to a free keyword research tool and look them up – that will produce other related words and phrases. List them out and build around them.
  You can actually use your keywords as an idea list. If you have to pretend you are talking to someone, or writing someone a letter, fine – just start writing. Describe the keyword – what does it mean in general – what does it mean specifically to your business. What are some of the ideas you have with regard to that term; what information (facts) do you have; what have you read or heard people say about it. Write it all down – remember don’t worry about what it sounds like or looks like just get it down.
  Then maybe get away from it and let it all settle down in your head. Go back to what you wrote and start cleaning it up – Create sentences, check your spelling and grammar, and try to organize it into paragraphs. Do a little more research and put the term in a search engine query to get some more information and ideas that relate to this term.
  You know as they say, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ and this will work a lot better for you than ‘I can’t’ or ‘I don’t know how’ or ‘I’m new’. You have to try! Find a way to “Just DO it”.