Working From Home – How to Avoid Being Cheated

If you are only just thinking of working from home and are new to the home business scene, be very wary of the scams that exist. This is especially true if you are looking to work on-line (As the Internet is the number 1 breeding ground for Shady on-line business scams). After coming across several advertisements, it will be easy for you to distinguish between scams and genuine work opportunities, but it is very common to fall prey to the false claims of the scam artists in the initial stages. Do bear in mind the following points when you next looking at offers about working from home.

One of the first things to remember is that there is no shortcut to success. Most of the get-rich-quick schemes that thrive on the Internet are pure fiction and their only aim is to draw as much money from you as possible. There are many people who have been successful working from home but they had to put in a lot of effort and a lot of hours in before they could quit their day jobs. So if you come across sites that claim to give you money that is way out-of-proportion with the work you put in, you can easily assume that it is too good to be true.

There might be many legitimate data-entry jobs over the Internet but even still the number of scams outnumbers the legitimate ones. Most of the advertisements for data entry ask for a upfront fee and it is a good indicator of the offer being a scam. Never pay money for someone to give you a job, an authentic job offer would not ask for any payment from your side. This holds true for other scams like filling up surveys and advertisements asking you for money to send you assembly kits.

Other scams include sites that ask you for a small sum of money to download their product that will help you in setting up on-line business. This could be a rip-off in one of two ways:

1.The download might just be a book giving you tips on setting up on-line business but it will have no original information. All the so-called "precious" information offered by the website, will be available freely on other sites, all you have to do is search long enough.

2. It might contain 'Spy-ware' that will infiltrate your personal computer and take all your personal information like your bank details! So, if you are downloading anything to increase your potential for working from home, be 100% sure that it is authentic.

If you have not applied for a job and you get offers regarding working from home, be very careful yet again. There could be some hidden problems here. It is advisable not to trust the scams that send you a well composed offer letter, in which buried in it are questions about your bank account.

Another all time great scam doing the rounds in the name of 'work from home', is the Internet based pyramid schemes with no actual product. While most multi-level-marketing and legitimate network marketing offers are not scams, this type of business model is used all the time to setup less than reputable 'business opportunities' that then fleece thousands of people out of their money. Know who you are working with. The numbers of people who make it big are only a handful (even in the more reputable network marketing companies), so it is advisable to steer clear of these schemes if the people you are working with are not successful themselves.

Great Ideas for Marketing Your Tile Business on the Internet

If you want to be successful at marketing your tile business, you will need to turn to the internet as your marketing solution. Thanks to the fact that most people will search online before leaving their homes to make a purchase, you will find that your tile business can have a huge advantage over your competitors if you can turn to the internet for marketing.

There are many ways that the internet can help you market your tile business. The world of internet marketing is fast becoming one of the most competitive arenas in the world, and you will find that you will have to do a good deal of work in order to market your tile business online. However, if you are willing to do the work, you will find that marketing your tile business on the internet is the best thing that you can do for your company.

Step 1: Build a Website

The first step that you will need to take to begin marketing your tile business on the internet is to create a website for your company. You can have a simple website created, as it will just be the face of your company. If you want to truly succeed, you will find that a more advanced website will be advantageous and will help you to market your website more effectively.

The reason that a more advanced website will be more effective is that more people will be enticed to visit your website. The more people you can attract to your website, the more advertising you will be able to achieve. There are many aspects of your website that will lead to your success online, but nothing will be more important than having a website that is constantly being updated. The best way to have the ability to add new information to your website is to create a blog on your website. If you can post informational articles related to your tile business, you will be able to generate more traffic that will direct people to your site. The more people that visit your site, the more likely you are to receive customers.

Step 2: Internet Marketing

Once you have built your website, you will need to start trying the various techniques involved in the internet marketing game. There are hundreds of techniques that you can try, but here are some of the techniques that will be most effective in leading customers to your website:

Social media marketing is one of the most effective internet marketing techniques, and you can start driving traffic to your site through Facebook and YouTube. Facebook is the largest social network, and you can tell all of your friends about your website. Ask them to mention it to your friends, and you will start driving traffic towards your website. YouTube is a great place for you to post videos, and you can post some instructional videos on how to lay the different types of tiles effectively. Insert a link to your website at the end of your videos, and upload them all to YouTube. The more people search for your videos, the more people will see the link at the end that will lead them to your website.

Craigslist is the largest online classified ads website in the world, and you can harness it to help you advertise your business. All you need to do is write up an advertisement for your tile services, insert a link to your website, and create a unique title that will catch the attention of readers. Post the ad in the Craigslist section for your city, and ensure that it is in the right category. Millions of people use Facebook every day, and you will find that it is one of the best platforms for advertising.

If you want to succeed in the world of internet marketing, you will find the search engine optimization is the key. The higher your ranking is on the search engines, the more likely it will be that people will find your website. Learn as much as you can about SEO, or hire a company to optimize your web page to make it as search engine friendly as possible.

Exchange links with other companies in a parallel industry to yours. Find a website that promotes painting or other construction services, and offer to promote their link on your site in exchange for them promoting your link on their site. This link exchange can be one of the most effective methods of getting your website known, as many links directed to your page will usually increase your SEO ranking. You will also find that people browsing the other websites will be interested in clicking on yours, as you are providing a service similar to the one that they are looking for.

Use Pay per Click advertisements to promote your website. Pay Per Click ads are posted all over the internet, and they are usually displayed on websites that are similar to yours. You will pay for every time someone clicks on your advertisement to visit your web page, but you will find that these PPC ads will be some of the most effective methods of driving targeted traffic towards your site.

These are just a few ways that you can start marketing your website on the internet, and the sky is the limit. The world of internet marketing is growing every day, and hundreds of new ways to market your tile business online are being discovered every month. If you are serious about marketing your tile business on the internet, you will find that you can easily learn by investing a bit of time into studying internet marketing.

9 Things That Hinder Business Growth

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses take off and grow very rapidly and others stay the same for years and years?

Small business growth takes strategy and strong leadership. Some new business owners achieve a certain level of success, sit back and fail to do what is necessary to grow the business.

9 Things That Hinder Small Business Growth

1. Lack of Vision

All businesses need a written vision statement to help direct their planning and decision making. If there is no clear vision, a business can waver with no specific direction. Lack of vision is detrimental to any organization. How can you plan, or have a business strategy without knowing where you want to go?

2. No Strategic Plan

Every organization needs strategy and should have a strategic plan to map out steps to achieving the strategy. The strategic planning process helps to keep an organization's vision fresh and moving forward. Strategic plans need to be updated every few years as the market, environment and focus changes.

3. No Written Goals

Not having SMART Goals, and accountability for achieving those goals, is a sure way to impede the growth of an organization. Goals are what make a strategic plan happen. Not writing goals, and having a structured performance management process to achieve those goals, is an invitation for business failure.

4. No Desire to Grow

Believe it or not some businesses do not have a desire to grow. With growth comes growing pains and sometimes business owners are not comfortable making the necessary changes for growth. Hiring the first employees and dealing with human resource management issues is an example of a growing pain. Other areas of growing pains are delegating and trusting others to do things the way you would do them. Growth requires a commitment from the top of the organization.

5. Not in Tune with Customer Needs

This is where many organizations get stuck. The world is changing at such a fast pace that unless an organization understands customer expectations and puts systems in place to take care of their customers, competitors will do it for them. Ensuring good customer service is critical to long term success. The fact is, customers pay the bills and employee salaries so you'd better find out what they want and give it to them!

6. Failing to Reinvest Back In the Business

When a business is just starting out it is sometimes difficult to reinvest back into the business, but not doing so can affect business growth. Keeping up with changing technology and updating facilities are examples of areas that can consume considerable resources but are important to meeting customer expectations. Clean, updated facilities can have an impact on customer perceptions and customer loyalty.

7. Failing to Delegate

As a small business grows, it becomes more and more important to learn the art of delegation. It is important for business owners to develop employees, delegate and trust others to complete tasks. Small business owners can quickly get overwhelmed with trying to manage every aspect of the business and learning to allow others to help is critical at this stage of growth. Successful small businesses have learned the skill of developing, delegating and letting go of lesser things so they can continue to drive organizational vision.

8. Not Collecting and Believing Data

Collecting, analyzing and making decisions based on data is another critical aspect of small business growth. Confronting "the brutal facts" (as described in Good-to-Great by Jim Collins) is one of the most important aspects of managing a small business. Understanding what the data is telling about the business can lead to changes in practice or improving processes. Organizations shouldnt have Trade shows All Established Critical success Factors to help monitor and visits track performance toward Goals.

9. Not Having a Clear Problem Solving Process

The reality is, every business has problems and as soon as one problem is solved another problem takes its place. That is what management does – solves problems. As small businesses grow, problems are created that need to be solved. As an example, outgrowing office space creates the problem of finding new office space. Finding new office space creates the problem of planning out the layout of the new space. Once a layout of new space is done, planning to move offices needs to be done. Organizations need to have structured processes for planning and problem solving. Having good leadership, coupled with good processes, can result in successful problem solving.

Lastly, thriving small businesses understand how to remove those things that impede growth and put a lot of focus and energy into strategy, planning and goal setting.

Steps To Success In Running A Minibus Company

A minibus driving operation is one of the thriving businesses today. In fact, running a minibus business can be a good asset to enhance your existing vehicle business. If you are living in London, you would notice numerous people taking a ride in a minibus to reach their destinations. This could mean that a minibus driving operation is a potential business opportunity.

There are several types of minibus business that you can start off. You may consider starting a minibus hire service, start your own minibus driving operation, provide hired drivers to clients, or run your own company.

Considering the existence of bigger minibus companies, starting your own minibus company can be challenging. Nevertheless, this article will walk you through the steps on how to be successful in running a business company.

– First and foremost, you will need to create an excellent business plan that will assess the strength and weakness of your minibus company. Your business plan will contain the mission and vision, creative strategies, estimated expenses, and financial summary report, which will help you to efficiently operate your minibus company and oversee its outcome.

– Find clients for your service. Your clients can be students visiting expos or having field trip, families having a weekend outing, or any club visiting spots of interest to them. Determining your target audience can also help you define and specify your service.

– Whether you are renting a minibus to provide clients with minibus service or you are operating a bus rental service, make sure that all your operations are legal. Complete and secure the legal documents, which will also help you increase credibility, such as business licenses and other significant certifications.

– Make sure to have your minibus company ensured. While the start-up cost of running a minibus company can be expensive, operating an uninsured business will cost you to lose more money that you expect. Choose for a suitable insurance policy that will cover up for the cost in case of damages caused by unforeseen accidents and natural disasters.

– Maintain a competitive rate for your minibus service. Inquire about the current rate in your location and set a price that may be lower than your competitors while providing a reliable and quality service. To keep a smooth operation, always keep track of your expenses like your monthly payment for the bus if you have built a business through commercial loan, insurance, gas, and maintenance.

– Create an excellent public relations or advertising strategy to entice audience. Once you have built a credible name, it would be easy for clients to contact you in times of needs. You can also expand your marketing strategy online and capture customers that your competitors are not able to do so. For instance, you can provide online booking services for clients who are trying to save time and efforts. Through an effective online marketing strategy, you will be able to maintain a fast and easy communication that allows you to reach a wider variety of clients.

– At the end of the year, you should have an operations evaluation and financial summary report to assess how much your company have lost or profited. Once you start to earn bigger, you can decide whether or not to expand your minibus company, such as buying more bus to provide services to other locations or setting up for a new minibus service to cater to another group of clients.

How to Start a Diaper Cake Business – And Make Money Doing It

The great thing about starting a diaper cake business is the fact that you will always have customers and low cost word of mouth is your best advertising medium.

There are, on average, 10,657 babies born each day in the United States. That’s nearly four million births annually and if anything, those numbers will continue to increase each year.

Diapers and formula are the two largest material expenses when raising a child for the first three years of that child’s life. A mother will go through more than 3,500 diapers a year at a cost of nearly $2000 by the time your little one is potty trained. Diapers are a welcome gift to most mothers.

As long as there are babies, there will be the need for diapers. Our diaper cake business model certainly has a demand that is expecting to continue to increase and that is an important thing to consider when starting any business.

There is no accurate estimate on the money Americans spend on baby showers but it is A LOT!! This is a monumental time in a woman’s life and she wants this to be a memory that will last a lifetime. So, we now add emotion to our business model which is another positive.

There is a start up cost to this business in the form of materials, but you can work out of your home, use low cost word of mouth advertising methods, buy in bulk and take advantage of the many tax deductions available for a home based business.

Word of mouth advertising is basically all I use to sell my diaper cakes. I donated ten cakes to friends I knew who were either having a baby shower themselves or were attending one in the near future. You cannot believe the response these unique gifts get and everyone wants to either know where to get one or how they can make one.

A simple website with pictures of your cakes and how they can be purchased is really all the advertising you may ever need to earn a lot of extra income. Combine this with other unique baby gifts and needs and you can earn a very good living where the sky truly is the limit!

Friend Seeding in Social Media: Why Is It Important?

There are numerous small businesses, organizations and groups attempting to cultivate an online audience. Many of these business owners are using social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to develop an online following.

For now, setting up pages and business accounts on these sites is free and it’s relatively easy. If membership and visibility on social networking sites is a priority – friends and contacts are also important success.

Like any social activity, participation in the conversation is critical to winning friends and becoming popular. So, the more relevant “chatter” posted on social networking accounts, the more interest in your company, organization or group. Posting on regular basis is important to nourishing the contacts you already have.

It is possible to expand friend popularity on social networking sites through some proven methods, too. These days there is a lot of cross-pollination between email contact lists and social networking sites.

Q. What is Friend Seeding?

A. It’s geek speak for increasing the number of friends and associates on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Q. What is the most effective way to do friend seeding on Facebook?

A. The primary way to obtain more friends is to allow Facebook to view all email accounts and contacts associated with that account. If you have several email accounts and one is reserved for business correspondence, use the business email. For business pages, generate friends from other employees’ email addresses. Facebook will automatically generate friend requests from you through the email contact lists. Presently Facebook is set up to work with Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, Comcast, SBCGlobal.net, Verizon.net and even Skype. It will also work with some other email services.

In addition, Facebook encourages options, called ‘Other Tools.’ It will crawl resident email programs on the computer such as Eudora or Apple Mail. Facebook will also look for contacts already on Facebook, from past high schools, colleges and universities, and past and present employers. Facebook has stored this information in your individual or company profile, so it is simply matching you to others with parallel information listed. Typing an email address into Facebook’s search bar is one of the simplest ways to find someone.

Q. What is the most effective way to do friend seeding on Twitter?

A. Twitter has developed a different spin on friend seeding then Facebook. You can view suggestions from Twitter. In theses selections, Twitter attempts to link you to friends of people following you. On Twitter, you may also browse interests by large categories and get more specific with keyword searches. Find Friends will search email contacts and generate automatic messages to those contacts inviting them to follow you on Twitter. Find Friends will also search a LinkedIn account if it exists. Twitter, like Facebook allows you to expand followers by typing in their email address.

Q. What are some insights on expanding contacts on LinkedIn.com?

A. LinkedIn allows members to import contacts from the email account connected to the LinkedIn account. Business referrals are a common practice. LinkedIn encourages this sort of business networking and offers a forum for it online. LinkedIn allows the member to invite connections from his or her own network by contacting others through existing connections. LinkedIn Groups are also a great way to expand contact lists. Join LinkedIn Groups related to a profession or industry and start actively conversing and posting to groups instead of just ‘lurking.’ Often members of the group will become interested in what you’re saying and want to be connected to you.

Q. Are there other ways to find friends besides private email contact lists?

A. Yes. If you have a solid email list developed for your company, try uploading this list to Facebook or Twitter. Check individual sites for proper file formats. Using an effective email list of clients, business contacts, and prospects will be quite helpful in expanding business in the world of social media. These lists can be uploaded to sites and automatic friend or contact requests will be sent.

It’s pretty evident that there are plenty of ways to expand friend and contact lists on social networking websites. If friend seeding is done properly, a business or organization’s presence on these major social networking sites can be increased dramatically.

Which One Is Better – Bespoke Software or Off-The-Shelf Software?

Every business has diverse requirements and needs to implement efficient software solutions which can improve work flow, processes and output. Most of the software in use is called Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software, also known as Packaged Software. This software can fulfil the requirements of many organisations but is not suitable to the meet the specific needs and expectations of every client. On the other hand, Bespoke Software (or Custom Software) is built as per the exact needs of a business. It can adapt to the current requirements as well as future needs of a business. This makes the process smooth and improves the working efficiency. Many organisations prefer to develop a Bespoke Application which is tailored to meet the needs of the organisation.

So, which type of software should an organisation or an individual use? There are two sides of the same coin. Similarly, Bespoke Software and Custom Software have their benefits and disadvantages. Let us discuss this further in order to help organisations to take the right decision.

The ADVANTAGES of Off-the-Shelf Software

  • The first benefit for any organisation is that Off-the-Shelf Software is relatively cheaper than Bespoke Software since there are many end users.
  • This software offers more number of features as more resources have been used for its development. This is possible because the revenue earned from such software is higher than Custom Software.
  • Support, maintenance services and help manuals for this software are easily available (at a lesser cost) as a large numbers of users are using the software.
  • It is easier to share files since it is likely that other users are also using the same software.
  • There is no need to spend time on the development process.

The DISADVANTAGES of Off-the-Shelf Software

  • This software is highly complicated and may require a lot of time to learn. It has many features which are not used at all.
  • By its very nature this software is designed for a large number of users. So, the organisation will need to adapt and alter work practices which meet the requirements of the software, and not the other way around.
  • You cannot gain an edge over your competitors as everyone has access to the same software.
  • The organisation has no control over the development and thus cannot make any changes to the software, even if it feels the need to do so.
  • If an individual faces some problem, then his concerns may take a long time before the organisation solves the issue.

The ADVANTAGES of Bespoke Software

  • Bespoke Software is designed to meet the specific requirements of an organisation. So, it is perfectly tailored to the needs of a business and operates accordingly.
  • This software is developed as per specific needs and is flexible. It can solve existing issues easily and has the potential to adapt to future needs as well.
  • Bespoke Software can easily integrate with existing systems and provide a fully integrated IT infrastructure.
  • It provides an easier and intuitive user interface. It does not contain unnecessary features which are not of use to a particular organisation.
  • In case users face any problems, they can directly contact the developers and get the issue resolved quickly. It saves precious time and resources.
  • The developers of Bespoke Software can suggest more options and innovative features to improve productivity and efficiency of an organisation.
  • An organisation can gain an edge over the competition by using Custom Software as the competitors are not using the same software.

The DISADVANTAGES Bespoke Software

  • This software is developed by a single company, so requires a higher investment initially for the development as compared to Packaged Software. A business needs to compare the costs and the expected benefits in order to come to the right conclusion.
  • It is important to be wise in choice of developers. You need the services of an experienced and a highly professional team who follow the best industry practices to develop Custom Software. An inexperienced team can deliver software which is unstable and has many bugs.
  • It is important to get a copy of the source code; else an organisation will be dependent on goodwill of the developers
  • This application is designed to meet specific needs and can take a longer time to implement.

A Bespoke Software offers you a competitive edge and higher revenues. Moreover, it is easier to use. At the same time, it involves a higher investment in terms of money and time. An Off-the-Shelf Software is a cost-effective solution which is used by many people. So, it is essential for organisation to evaluate the pros and cons before coming to any conclusion.

Business Plan and Projections For the Optometry Start-Up Practice

The decision to start-up an optometry practice can be fraught with many concerns. Drafting a “master plan” to account for the various aspects of the project can be helpful when taking an organized approach to the endeavor. Optometry school instruction does not typically cover enough of the business aspects of running a practice to assist in this matter. Beyond the clinical aspects of vision care there are many realities of running a small business that can only be learned through experience and additional assistance.

Not all optometrists have the desire to manage a practice or take on the risks involved in opening a private optometric practice, but for those who are prepared for the challenge it can be a rewarding and lucrative route. Writing a business plan which reflects reality is very important. It is crucial to spend as much time on an analysis of the surrounding market and competition as it is on the internal flow and design of the practice itself. Paying close attention to the economics and financial considerations of the practice in terms of its external dynamics will yield the highest chances of success and ultimate staying power.

Assessing and catering to the needs of the patient demographic is often more important than addressing every personal like and dislike of the practice owner/operator. The most effective business plans I have seen for optometry practices are those that take the worst care, best care, and most likely scenario into account when calculating projections. This gives a more clear range of possible outcomes. It is also advisable to fine tune the business plan and projections at different stages in the process. This is especially relevant when preparing calculations for underwriting review and credit approval for practice start-up loans. It is essential to retain practice financing assistance, and the services offered by vision care practice loan specialists are well geared for the variables that start-up financing candidates will experience when initiating the practice financing process.

MLM vs. Consumer Direct Marketing Business Opportunities

We’ve all seen them before – businesses that promise great wealth and prosperity with a minimal amount of effort. Did you know that only 1 out of every 1,000 home-based businesses last longer than 5 years? So what REALLY sets all these companies apart, and which method has the least risk for everyone?

First, let’s take a look at a way of marketing that has gotten SO popular (and many times out-of-hand) – Multi-Level Marketing. When you think of multi-level marketing, you may think of overbearing sales people who begin by bothering their family and friends, and resort to manipulating others into buying lots of inventory. You might also imagine a get-rich-quick scheme with promises of great wealth through very little work. Finally, you may envision business schemes that lack a compelling product, but hype up the promise of big incomes.

Now, let’s take a look at what a few companies are turning to – Consumer Direct Marketing. What’s the big difference? Well, Consumer Direct Marketing typically redirects the funds that would typically be used for advertising, multiple shipping costs, various middlemen, and several distribution channels into spending for higher quality ingredients, product innovations, and profit sharing with customers. The result of this is a new and interesting method of delivering quality, low-cost products to families around the world – and then SHARING THE INCOME with those families.

The companies that are truly heads and tails above the rest are all turning their attentions to the important aspects of Consumer Direct Marketing. The true result is less risk for the business-builder as well as the consumer, because there are no inventories to buy, no financial risks, and no hype. EVERYONE, people referring the products, and customers alike, only buy what they need each month. And of course, anyone who refers someone else earns a commission from the purchases of the customers they refer.

Maybe the neatest thing about this almost “laid-back” method is that the majority of customers buy each month without any interest in receiving commissions, and when you have customers that really love the products and aren’t pressured from the vast majority of MLM companies out there, that means true residual income – income that you’ll receive the rest of your life – your retirement, or your children’s college education!

If you’re interested in a 20-year-old Consumer Direct Marketing company that might be a great opportunity for you and your family, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I’d be happy to share my experiences with you.

Gain Control Over Your Network Marketing Efforts

When you start network marketing, it can be overwhelming. After all, you’re really running two businesses. On the one hand, you are selling a product. On the other hand, you are recruiting others to sell the same product. Both areas deserve your full attention, and here are some tips to make sure you succeed with both.

Never, ever lie on your network marketing website. Your reputation is your key to making money in this business, and a marketer with a clean record will have a long career. Use honest testimonials, statistics, sign-up information and marketing techniques. Do not exaggerate and never say that it’s a way to make money for doing nothing. A lot of hard work goes into it and you know that!

Don’t give away all your secrets, yet. Your network marketing materials should entice the reader into wanting to know more and taking the next step to seek out the information you provide on your website. If someone takes the time to visit your site, they’re showing they have the drive to actually be a part of your business.

Remember when network marketing that time is a very valuable commodity, both for you and for members of your marketing network. You need to act in a timely fashion when there’s something that needs to be done, whether it’s introducing a product or contacting members of your network. You can’t just leave people waiting around.

You’re going to need to have a lot of confidence in yourself to make it as a network marketer. You won’t need to visit the shrink or anything that drastic, but you should work on boosting your self-esteem in order to become a better salesperson and to increase the number of members in your network.

One easy way to increase your chances of success at network marketing is to use visualization techniques. Although some people may think this is a lot of hokey-pokey, those who truly believe in its power see measurable results in various areas of their life. Make sure you truly immerse yourself in the experience while visualizing whatever it is you want to improve ” sales techniques, product descriptions, the ability to recruit your sales force or any other aspect of your business. Use all of your senses to imagine that success is already yours, and soon enough, it will be!

Use the power of social media sites in today’s world to help you with your network marketing business. Network marketing is a business of today, and today is revealed through the internet and media. The two biggest things in today’s world are Facebook and Google. Optimize your search results on Google, and market your business and products on Facebook.

Even though network marketing can be a challenge, if you know how to manage the two sides of your business you’ll be fine. Use the tips in this article to better help you manage both the sales and the recruitment parts of your business. Stick with it and you’ll see positive results.