Home Business – Setting Goals VS a Setting a Benchmark – What's the Difference?

For anyone who wants to have a home business or already has one, setting goals and having a benchmark is essential for the success of your business. We hear a lot about goal setting and not so much about benchmarks. Benchmarks are just as important.

Your goal is what you are aiming for . The result you wish to achieve. You need to have an ultimate goal. This is what your life will look like when you have success. Clarity is essential. This should be on the tip of your tongue. You should be able to describe your ideal lifestyle in detail and with emotion.

Next your goals need to be broken down into Long Term, Medium Term, and Short Term.

Short Term: What do you want to achieve in the next 2 days to 1 week?

Medium Term: What do you want to achieve in the next 1 – 6 months?

Long Term: What do you want to achieve in the 6 months to 3 years.

All of these goals should be bold, inspiring, and very specific. It should be an action step that brings you closer towards your long term goal.

Benchmarks:

Your benchmark differs from you goal. A benchmark is your minimum acceptable result. This is what you will do no matter what. Even when life gets in the way you will still manage to squeeze this in. Benchmarks are linked to your sub-conscious mind to help you develop a consistent habit.

Goals need to be a stretch for you. Like a rubber band you will stretch and retract over and over. Gradually you will stretch further than before and never quite go back to where you started

Your physical activity goal maybe to run 5xs a week. Your benchmark would be twice a week.

Using networking marketing as an example, because that is an area of expertise for me: Your goal may be to do 3 business presentations a week with 1 being your benchmark. You do not have control over the number of presentations you can give. You do control how many dials you make a week or a day. Your goal may be to talk to 2 people a day if you are still building your business using old school methods or if you are using attraction marketing it may be to make 50 dials a week with your benchmark being 40. 40 would be the minimum that you accept from yourself.

Remember goal setting is extremely important and beneficial particularly if your goals are written down. Setting a benchmark is every bit as important. There are countless distractions when running a home business. Setting your own minimum activity which is acceptable to you is critically important for developing consistency in your business.

How to Promote Your News Web Site Online and Get Quality Traffic

Promoting your news web site online requires more due diligence than promoting a business that sells a physical product. Like the name of your site, your domain name should be unique, recognizable and something that people can easily remember. After you set up the brand and generate content, the next step is to promote the news articles and make sure they get read. One way is to promote through social media.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer opportunities for readers to directly connect with web content. Create accounts on the most popular social media platforms. To syndicate your news feed on those services, there are a few prerequisites. Make sure that your news site has an RSS / Atom feed. With the RSS / Atom feed handy, create an account using the service "TwitterFeed." Follow the instructions and link the RSS / Atom feed to your Facebook and Twitter. Every time you publish an article, it appears on Facebook and Twitter automatically.

When it's convenient, be sure to login to your accounts and interact with readers and potential readers.

On Facebook fan pages, there's limited personal interactivity between the page administrators and fans. Facebook appeals to more organic growth. You promote the articles on your site's fan page and wait for people to "like" you: that's not a formula for success. You can do more with a Facebook fan page – a lot more.

Consider running sponsored ads for your news site. This allows your site to receive exposure on user profiles of those within your targeted demographic. Facebook Ads offer businesses the opportunity to broadcast ads based on a specified age range, location and interests. You'll also see very detailed estimates on how many people your ad will "reach." Those estimates will come in handy when crafting a presentation for potential advertisers. Before you invest any money in Facebook Ads, consider the nature of your news site. If your news site appeals to a limited or niche demographic, you should focus instead on promoting your site for free by using Twitter and submitting your site to search engines.

Critics of the Facebook advertising program have said that Facebook ads are too discreet and not very engaging. To overcome these issues, you need to have ad copy that will emotionally invest people into reading the news on your website. Think like someone at a news desk. You need a captivating headline and concise teaser copy that brings people to you. Consider mentioning milestones for your publication ( "Over two million subscribers!") And announcing / reminding potential readers of resourceful sections (ie Classifieds). Your teaser copy must be clear and focused on one subject. Do not hesitate to place advertisements that announce giveaways and contests held by your publication. Advertising a news site on Facebook will always be trial and error, but the likelihood of gaining new visitors will increase when you invest in longer ad campaigns. Continuously tweak your ad content until you find the right wording and demographic.

Your Facebook page content needs constant maintenance. You need to populate your Facebook page with news articles regularly. Be sure to interact with your readers regularly and converse with them. Human interaction is a popular social media trend for businesses. Encourage readers and viewers to not only check out your content, but also comment and get involved in other ways. For example, readers respond favorably to captivating visuals – just like they do in print publications. Readers tend to respond to photos of stunning and colorful landscapes, food photos, and timeless portraits that readers can relate to. It's preferred that the visuals you upload on your Facebook page relate to articles on your website. Follow up with some text that encourages people to check out your articles and features.

Twitter takes things to the next level. The popular social media service allows news sites to interact with people directly. Take advantage of the features that Twitter has, such as the "Find People" option. If you have a Gmail, Yahoo or an AOL e-mail account that has contacts, use that e-mail account and Twitter will search for contacts that also have a Twitter account. Be sure to "follow" those who are already following you on Twitter. Like Sites "Twellow" ( Http://www.twellow.com/ ) can help you on the find followers based versions categories. Grader Tweet Watch this ( Http://tweet.grader.com ) Allows you to the find and users . Follow WHO COMPLETE live in your community. Follow members that would be interested in the news on your web site. The people you choose to follow should also have many followers and update regularly. Never think about the amount of people you follow. Always think about the type of people who you want to follow. Quality over quantity is an adage that's welcomed on Twitter. If you focus on finding the right people – and not following a lot of people – you'll be successful.

Connect with users who either benefit from reading the articles you publish or would be interested. For example, if you have an article that features a certain business, follow popular users that are likely to express interest in the business and their product, including the business' Twitter account. If you have an article that covers an event, follow popular users that have a strong likelihood of posting or re-tweeting event information. Interact with these users in moderation. Imagine you're at a bar and you overhear people talking about something that you're interested in. The best way to jump in is to study the flow of the conversation and then take part once the opportunity to do so arises. If someone asks a question about a subject featured in one of your articles, feel free to answer them with a link. People will appreciate the friendliness as long as you're focused on being resourceful and not promoting your news site directly. Remember, you're trying to promote your news site – so being resourceful should be your primary goal. Once you develop a large following or subscriber base, you will no longer need to do this.

It's important to note that message boards are good for article promotion. While message boards are now taking a backseat because of social media, they're still very useful for generating buzz and traffic. Register accounts and take part regularly on message boards that relate to your content. It's advised that you link to your material responsibly and sparingly. In other words, do not spam a message board with links. Only give self-serving links when there is relevance and a deficiency of information. Provide a link to your domain name in your forum signature. Also, do not hesitate to customize your forum profile. People will be more attentive to those who have a strong, human presence. And once you feel that your site has developed a consistent, substantial amount of traffic, you will not need to continue promoting your site on message boards.

News websites are a dime a dozen, which is why it's so important to have quality content. No matter how you promote your news site, the goal for your news site is to have articles that are clear, engaging, thought-provoking and resourceful. When people are able to see that your news site is dynamic in design, organization and content, they will use your site as a resource. News is often considered a disposable commodity in the digital marketplace, but it takes a good content provider – with the promotional know-how – to make the news something worth reading.

Hunters Vs Farmers – How to Organize Your Sales Force

It is the age old question. Is there a secret sauce that all great salespeople have, or are successful hunters different from successful farmers? Over the past couple of years it has become clear (at least in my head) that there are two distinct types of salespeople: hunters and farmers. I decided to write this article because I have had several discussions over the past two months with salespeople who want to know whether they are a hunter or a farmer, and with sales executives that want to know how to organize their sales force based on the two distinct types of salespeople. As always, I would love your opinions on hunters vs. farmers, and what your company's sales force looks like!

Let me first articulate what I mean by hunters (Ex. "New Business Development Executive") and farmers (Ex. "Account Manager"). Hunters largely work at the beginning of the sales funnel, both prospecting and qualifying sales opportunities. They generally will find a solution to a qualified prospect's expressed need and work to take the opportunity to closure, but are not responsible for post-sales activities. Farmers largely work at the back end of the funnel, and are responsible for servicing existing customers and identifying / closing new sales opportunities with their assigned accounts.

Differences Between Hunters and Farmers:

One of the shocking things that I learned when getting to understand what makes great hunters / farmers was that many of the major competencies that make someone successful at one type of sales role actually work against them in another! If you have been engaged in this debate or are wondering if you are a better hunter / farmer, here are some key differences between the two types of sales roles.

Emotional Resilience vs. Emotional Intelligence: Hunters must be emotionally resilient to deal with the high levels of daily rejection that come with prospecting (ex cold calling); they have to bounce back in a matter of seconds from rejection and reach out to another potential prospect. Because hunters spend a lot of time prospecting, this is a key aspect to their success. On the other hand, farmers must be emotionally in-tune with their account team and the customer team. After all, customer satisfaction is an emotional feeling and farmers must be adept at sensing that.

Hunt vs. Fulfillment: Hunters are driven by the rush of the hunt (go figure!), And the thrill of the "kill". Given how exciting that rush is, everyday details can seem pretty boring. Because the primary duty of a hunter is to hunt, this works out well. In contrast, good farmers like to get their hands dirty with the details, and consider themselves solid and dependable. This caters well to fulfillment duties, which are vital to managing an account.

Independence vs. Team: Hunters are self-motivators and work very well independently. They sometimes even have a disdain for marketing or sales operations folks that try to work with them, and often do not like team work. This is a vital characteristic because hunters work primarily by themselves during the prospecting and qualifying phases and have to be highly self-motivated. They rarely get help in their jobs unless an opportunity has passed the qualification phase. By contract, farmers are team players and collaborators. They work closely with their account management team and the client, often framing business challenges and creating solutions alongside their client.

Qualifying vs. Nurturing: The best business development people out there are superior qualifiers. Hunters can be given 100 accounts and very quickly tell which five are worth pursuing. In business development, it is essential that hunters spend their time on prospects that might close or else they are wasting their time. This is the biggest barrier to a hunter's productivity, so the ability to qualify quickly and accurately is crucial. In contract, farmers are great nurturers. They look at relationships from a long term perspective and are interested in getting to know their clients on a multitude of dimensions. In account management, it is essential that salespeople develop thick long term bonds with their customers to promote trust and loyalty. If a farmer was given 100 prospects, they would naturally try to develop long term relationships with most of them.

Organizing Your Sales Force into Hunting and Farming

Growing revenue is always a priority in business, so hunters are always needed when the business is small and growing. As the business starts to grow and you see potential for profitable long term relationships with current customers, you will need to add farmers to your mix. The most common mistake I see business make is to under invest in their farmers. This is primarily because by the time you need farmers your sales force is filled with hunters that do not value farming. Take great care to check your hunters and invest in a farming unit. The type of farming unit you need will depend on several factors: size of client (gross revenue), complexity of client's business, importance of your products / services to client's business, complexity of your product / service portfolio, and of course revenue potential. As those criteria grow, there is the opportunity for more investment in an elite farming group. Farming units vary from cheap inside sales reps, to expensive Strategic Account Managers.

The investment in splitting your sales force into hunters (New Business Development) and farmers (Account Management) is large. You will need additional management layers, dedicated sales operations and enablement personnel, and other support roles. You should always run the numbers to make sure that each NBD and AM unit is profitable and can support itself. Sales should always be a revenue center.

Weaknesses of Implementing the Hunter / Farmer Model

One of the things that I have come to believe in my time studying and working with businesses is that every management model has its weaknesses. Splitting up your sales department into hunter and farmer departments is no exception. Here are two problems that I have seen businesses encounter and how to overcome them:

First, companies think Account Management (farming) is the same as customer service …. IT IS NOT. Certainly customer service is a large component of account management, but the primary focus of Account Management is to grow long term revenue …… which should be reflected in their incentive plans. I find too often that Account Managers do not work on any form of commission, and therefore do not seek out new sales opportunities. If you do not incentivize your farmers to grow the business, you will get a reactive group of folks who do not grow your most fertile customers. Keep in mind that it costs 8-10 times as much to sell to a new customer than to an existing one, so your farming unit should have a great expense to revenue ratio.

The strongest objection to the separation of a sales force into hunters (new business development) and farmers (Account Management) is that it makes for an awkward transition for the customer after they have signed on the dotted line. This is a VERY valid point. After all, the customer has purchased from you because they have had a great experience with your hunter and might perceive a transition as a bait and switch. It is important to get your Account Managers involved with sales opportunities as early as the proposal writing process and as late as the final presentations.

You should also develop a value proposition for your customer's transition to the Account Manager during the proposal / presentation process. You need to ask for your new client's approval to transition to the new Account Manager, and you should only fully transition them when the clients feel comfortable. This part does require a lot of "managing", but is well worth the price to put your employees in roles that align with their competencies and put your customers in good long term hands.

As always, I would love to hear what you think of the hunter / farmer model, and what your sales force looks like!

How to Write a Business Plan For an Online Business Directory

Writing a business plan for an online business directory is as important as writing a business plan for any type of business. A proper plan is essential to making an online directory a success. This will outline the type of business directory you will be running and how you will make it profitable. Below are a number of tips to writing a business plan for an online business directory.

1. The plan should outline your strategies on how you will make the directory a money generator. It will detail how the directory will work and how you will maintain profitability. It will also help you plan for unexpected obstacles, such as if one method of acquiring business listing does not work, how you will modify the strategy to make it more effective. It is important to regularly update your business plan to maintain competitiveness. Create short and long term goals and establish time frames for achieving specific tasks and set goals, such as the number of businesses that will post their listing in a week, or in a month.

2. The mission statement is a blueprint to having successful directories. It should define your values ​​and objectives to maintaining competitiveness in the marketplace. It is important that you outline how you understand your target audience, including their needs and wants and how your directory will meet them. It must detail how you will attract customers to list their businesses.

3. You must detail your understanding of your competitors and how your directory will be unique and stand apart from your competitors' directories. For instance, will yours fill a particular niche market? You need to outline your promotion plan and how you will implement your marketing strategies. You need to create a strategy that gives you a competitive edge.

4. You need to detail a comprehensive financial plan. You have to include such information as advertising and promotion costs and the expected revenue you will generate. You should outline all of the methods and programs you will use to effectively monetize your directory. This can include affiliate programs, offering paid listings … etc. You should create an effective budget that is practical and takes hidden or unexpected costs into consideration. You will need to break down your expenses and revenue to make sure you have a plan that generates more revenue that money paid out.

Starting a new online business directory can seem overwhelming as there are so many online directories on the internet. To stand out from the others, you need a strategic plan, clearly defined objectives, clear promotion and marketing plan, and a practical budget. It will help minimize the risks and maximize the benefits. A general guide on writing a business plan for an online business directory is helpful when planning to build a successful online business directory, but it is essential that you do your research and consult with others to make sure your business plan is a blueprint to success.

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.