25 Plus Ways to Grow Your Business As a Beachbody Coach

To achieve the most success as a Beachbody coach I think the most important thing is to be consistent and take action. Try to set long term goals for yourself for 1 year, 2 years and even 5 years down the line. It takes time to build your business and to have massive success in network marketing you will have to build relationships, take consistent action and become a leader. Here is a list of ideas and ways myself and other coaches have used to build their business. So if you are just starting as a Beachbody coach or are looking into it here are some great ways to get your business going.

1. Make videos about anything related to Beachbody and put them on the popular video sites. Talk about your journey to fitness, your struggles, what programs you like or other things related to Beachbody. Doing videos helps you reach a large audience and people get to see you and hear your story. It is a good way to make a deeper connection with your customers.

2. Start a Fit Club. Getting out there into your community and doing the Beachbody workouts can really help to grow your business. It is a great way for people to try out the workouts. Many of the coaches who do fit clubs find their business is growing quickly.

3. Do a Home Party. Make a fun event out of Beachbody and the workouts. Have people over and demonstrate a workout and sample some of the nutritional products.

4. Lead a challenge with a group of friends or family. Challenge friends and family to a fitness contest or a weight loss challenge. You could use a Beachbody workout or product as part of the challenge. You could also make a Beachbody product an incentive for the winner.

5. Lead a health challenge at a large company. You will find many large companies have health and wellness incentives for their employees if they are working out a certain number of days per week. You could organize a large challenge at a company or work with their HR to make Beachbody workouts a part of their health and wellness incentive package.

6. Present the Beachbody opportunity to Personal Trainers . Beachbody is a great opportunity for personal trainers to not only supplement their income but help Beachbody customers with their knowledge. Working with Beachbody as coaches they will have the opportunity to offer more to their existing clients and make more money so it really is a win-win situation for them.

7. Present the Beachbody opportunity to Real Estate Agents. Beachbody is a business that works well for Real Estate agents because they already know the importance of networking and how to market a business. Beachbody is a great way for Real Estate Agents to supplement or replace their lost income.

8. Present the Beachbody opportunity to Teachers. While some teachers enjoy their summers off there are some that look for jobs or opportunities in the summer. Summer is an ideal time for a teacher to get started with Beachbody and build their business and then continue part time during the school year.

9. Work with Brides. Every bride wants to look fantastic on her wedding day. You could coach a bride and her wedding party to get into shape using Beachbody products. You could work with wedding planners to offer your free fitness coaching when they buy a Beachbody workout.

10. Work with New Moms. Moms are also a large demographic who want to get back in shape and feel good. Beachbody works out great for new moms because they can workout at home when they can fit it into their schedule.

11. Present Beachbody workouts to people doing a weight loss program such as Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. The Beachbody workouts are a great compliment to eating well and losing weight. Since these programs focus more on weight loss with eating you could help people using these programs to find an appropriate workout to round out their weight loss plan.

12. Present the Beachbody Products to Police and Fire Departments. Police and fire departments are great to work with because they need effective workouts to keep them in shape for their jobs. You could even lead a challenge with a fire or police department.

13. Present the Beachbody products to Athletes. Many of the more intense Beachbody programs really help sports players and athletes train for their sport or build up their endurance. There are many pro sports players and even MMA fighters who are using P90X.

14. Have a garage sale and display Beachbody Products. If you are going to have a garage sale you could hand out samples of Shakeology to shoppers at your sale. You could also set up a table with Beachbody products and have a workout playing.

15.Do a booth at Local Events- There are events both big and small where you can set up a Beachbody booth. You could do a booth at a race or a marathon, a health and wellness fair or any other local gathering where you get permission. Check into costs and any restrictions you might have before committing to it.

16. Go to the Library and leave your business cards in exercise and fitness books. People looking for exercise and fitness advice from books would most likely be thrilled to have the free coaching that Beachbody coaches offer. This is a great way to target people who are looking for what you have to offer.

17. Communicate with your free customers. Market and follow up with your free customers. Find out what program they are doing and send them a follow up letter or post card asking how they are doing and how you can help them.

18. Do weekly a weekly newsletter for all of your customers. Stay in touch with your customers so they know who you are and are there to offer them help. I have had several customers contact me and say their coach has never been in touch with them. You will lose out on developing a relationship with your customers if you do not stay in touch and offer your help.

19. When you are out and about wear Beachbody logo items. Many of the Beachbody brands are very popular so you will most likely get people starting conversations with you.

20. Be a great example of someone who is a product of the product. If you want to sell the products it is hard to do if you are not using them. If you are using them and have had great results people will approach you. It leads to easy conversations and sales when people can see you have used the product and have had a great result. I hope these things help you out if you are a new Beachbody coach or are looking to become a Beachbody coach.

21. Have Beachbody decals made for your vehicle . This is fairly inexpensive and you get a lot of exposure for your business as you are out driving around.

23. Start a Facebook Page / Group. Create a Facebook page or group. This is a great way to separate your business from your personal Facebook page. It is a great way to communicate with your customers and fans about what is going on in your business and to keep people plugged in.

24. Create a Hub page or Squidoo lens about fitness or Beachbody. These 2 sites are free and they are a great way to write about things related to fitness or Beachbody. Try writing unique and interesting content and you could help get traffic to your blog or website.

25. Learn. Learn all you can from people on your team, in your upline, and underneath you. Read all you can about network marketing, personal development, personal branding, social media, or anything else that relates to this business. The more knowledge you have the more powerful you will become.

26. Set long term goals for your Beachbody Business. Beachbody is not a get rich quick business. You will have to work at this business to be successful. Set goals for yourself for a year, two years or even five years down the road. Take consistent action to achieve those goals and you will be doing well.

I hope these ideas help you get going in your Beachbody business or give you some ideas if you are looking to get started as a Beachbody Coach.

4 Similarities That Dancing And Online Business Have Together

Even though you may feel that dancing and online business are two, completely different worlds, there are surprising similarities between those two.

I figured out these points when I participated to some dance lessons with my wife some time ago.

You need someone to teach you

When you get started in online world, you are pretty much clueless what to do. There are so many things to learn – yet you are not sure which way to choose. However, as soon as you have someone to guide you (teacher / mentor), you get clarity to your actions and you start to progress much faster.

The same thing it is with dancing. You can try to watch how others dance, even try to do it by yourself, but as soon as you have someone to teach you, things get much easier. You are able to grasp the concepts much faster than trying to do everything by yourself.

You need to focus to get the results

When running an online business, the focus is very important part of it. You need to work the focused way in order to finish what you have started and to reach the goals you have set. You just can not do million things at the same time and still expect to get everything done. You need to focus on what you do.

The same it is with dancing. As soon as your mind starts to wander, you are going to lose your steps. However, when you keep you focus on the dancing, things get much easier.

You can not do everything by yourself

I must say at first that many people are running their online businesses by themselves. However, in many cases you see entrepreneurs partnering together.

The reason is quite obvious. You are able to grow your business faster with a partner than doing it by yourself. Also, whereas you have your own strengths, your business partner may have strengths of his / her own that will complement your business.

You have to ask for help

We get stuck every once in a while and need some help to move on. For example, although our dance teachers showed us the moves many times over, we still had to ask for help so that we could figure out some steps.

Even though you may be running your business by yourself, there are times when you need some help. Whenever this kind of situation occurs, you have to be willing to ask for a help to move forward. You can do this by asking your business coach or going to forums or blogs in your market, to meet other people, who may have experienced the same issues than you.

Working at Home Jobs For Housewives and Moms

Many housewives and moms prefer to stay at home to take care of their kids and do basic household chores. However, they now recognize the fact that staying at home and earning nothing is not economically viable anymore. Thus, they seek online employment through taking working at home jobs.

The emergence of working at home jobs has made it possible for full-time housewives and moms to help earn additional income for the household. Through such online job opportunities, they could stay at home and generate money without compromising their basic tasks as homemakers. There are many ways to get self-employment through home-based jobs and freelance online jobs.

You could startup your own small business from scratch. Be warned that establishing any business could be tedious and time-consuming but it surely is a wise money-making action. There are numerous home-based business opportunities that could help you earn additional income for the family.

Selling Home-Made Products

Selling home-made products is one of the most popular working at home jobs taken by housewives and moms. You could make your own candles, soaps, and pastries right at the comfort of your house without leaving your kids behind. If you are artistic and skillful enough, you could offer your services to online craft-making groups. There are also options for event planning, tutoring, and providing parental advice to new parents.

Telecommuting

There are working at home jobs that are available if you intend to stay regularly employed. One of the most popular is telecommuting. You could apply for a telecommuting position at any business process outsourcing company, which allows home-based processing of tasks. You would be required to work regular hours everyday but without leaving the comfort of your home.

Be A Writer

If you are a good writer, you should try out content writing. You should realize that the online media has a steady demand for content. Write a few articles each day and get paid at good rates. Many online sites are now facilitating and processing such working at home jobs for freelance writers who prefer to work at home.

Data Entry

Data entry is also a popular job. It is considered a standard in the growing stay-at-home employment market. The job tasks include data transcription and encoding. You could take regular data entry jobs that do not require you to report to an office daily. Instead you would be required to work at home and meet an output quota.

Providing Customer Service

Are you comfortable at providing customer service? Housewives and moms are best fit for jobs in the support and customer service fields. That is because they are usually patient and understanding when dealing with people. You could embark on this job if you have a phone line and you like talking with clients for several hours everyday. You could do all your job tasks at home.

Asthma, "Hidden" Asthma, And Allergies

During the winter months, colds, flu, sore throats, and respiratory illnesses become more prevalent, outdoor activities decline, family members are in closer contact with one another, and our homes are sealed up against the wintry elements. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) declines as indoor airborne pollutants and indoor allergens increase. The accumulation of built-up antigens (allergens) within a home, typically cause family members to suffer adverse health effects. Recent research confirms the EPA's claim that indoor air quality can be 100 times, or even in some cases, 500 times worse, than the outdoor air quality. Those persons prone to allergies and asthma suffer severely at this time of the year. Until the general public becomes aware of the dangers of polluted indoor air and then begins to demand the services, Home Indoor Allergen Control services, specializing in improving indoor air quality, will remain limited in numbers. The EPA, utilizing public service announcements, is presently promoting campaigns to educate the public on the dangers to health from poor indoor air quality.

Coinciding with the energy conservation practices initiated in the late 1970's, including better insulated home-building construction methods, asthma (and asthma related deaths) among children has continued to increase, year after year, since 1980. Asthma can not be cured, but it can be controlled through;

  • patient / parent education
  • allergy injections
  • medications, and
  • avoidance of "triggers"

Symptoms of Allergies

Symptoms ranging from itchy skin, stuffed up nasal cavities, runny noses, head or sinus aches, bouts of sneezing, sinusitis, irritated, watery and reddish eyes, puffy, swollen or discolored eyelids, wheezing, a "tight" chest, scratchy throats, raspy voices, dry unproductive coughs, feelings of lethargy, mental fatigue and even depression are not uncommon. These symptoms may only result in temporary, or day to day, discomforts for some. Yet these discomforts, even if minimal, can now be controlled, at a low cost and without over-the-counter allergy medications, a huge revenue source for the pharmaceutical companies.

More importantly, without utilizing the benefits of home indoor allergen control, the nearly 50 to 60 million American's (one in five) who suffer from allergies are at great risk of becoming afflicted with even more permanent, life long, ill-health effects including; asthma, bronchitis, perennial rhinitis (hay fever), eczema, dermatitis, sinus infections and other serious health issues, looming in their future.

Asthma and the Differing Types of Asthma

By overlooking the need for home indoor allergen control, children, the elderly, and persons with weak immune systems (even if just temporary) are at a high risk of developing long term medical afflictions. Although 4 to 5 million children, knowingly suffer asthma attacks yearly, asthma remains one of the more common chronic diseases of childhood and is often undiagnosed amongst children. There are as many types of asthma as there are "triggers" that can cause asthma attacks, but basically asthma is classified as either "intermittent or" persistent "asthma.

What is very important for parents to realize is the possibility of your child having "hidden" asthma a condition that exists before wheezing, coughing and rapid breathing become noticeable. Since infants and toddlers can not verbalize how, or what, they are feeling, "hidden" asthma may be very hard to diagnose, even by your family physician. Irritability in very young children can mean many different things but, like a guttural cough or rapid breathing, could also be a sign of respiratory difficulties.

So how do you know if your child has signs of developing asthma or "hidden" asthma?

Pay attention! Become knowledgeable of the symptoms and alert to the possible triggers. Although it may be difficult to notice any tell-tale signs with children under the age of 18 or 24 months, there are definitive symptoms to look for in older children. Wheezing, for one you may think … but not necessarily so, is a prime characteristic found in asthmatics, yet it's not necessarily the most common symptom. Coughing is a particularly prominent indicator and wheezing may not be readily noticeable to parents or the family physician, even through a stethoscope. Children with a history of bronchitis, pneumonia, respiratory infections, numerous and constant bouts of coughing (particularly at night or in cold weather when asthma conditions tend to worsen) should be thoroughly checked for asthma. Coughing immediately after vigorous activities such as running, or even a long-lasting spell of crying, are also signs that should be noted and may require a physician's evaluation for asthma. Family history, especially a history of allergies or asthma, genetics, the child's moods and actions, responses to foods and possible allergy triggers, must all be communicated to a physician in assisting to determine whether a child may be susceptibility to asthma.

Infants and toddlers with a past histories that include chest colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic coughing or unusual breathing patterns, either shortness of breath or rapid breathing, should be tested for asthma as well as other respiratory diseases. Keep in mind, as active as toddlers and pre-schooler's tend to be, it may be very difficult to discern the limitations of physical activities. Pulmonologist's, performing lung function tests on very young children, still find it difficult to ascertain an asthma diagnosis, but these tests may still reveal airway obstructions. Asthma, brought under control, allows children to live more active lives without frequent asthma attacks.

Common Home Indoor Air Pollutants Resulting in Asthma and Allergies

Through education and knowledge, basic common sense, and recent technological innovations, the removal, reduction, and control of the following worst pollutants and allergens, will greatly improve Home Indoor Air Quality and the health of the home occupants. Of the nearly 50 – 60 million American's suffering from allergies, 20 million or so, are allergic to household dust and / or the particulates that make up household dust. Guanine, a potent and harmful allergen produced by dust mites and found in their fecal pellets and exoskeletons, is a major contributor. The most common indoor allergens include:

  • Dust and Dust mite allergens
  • Second-hand cigarette smoke
  • Pet dander
  • Cockroaches
  • Molds and mildew

Education will allow homeowners to gain the knowledge of just how these allergens accumulate. By simply changing practices and habits, methods can be easily integrated into the present home lifestyle to minimize the amount of unhealthy allergens and thereby improving the quality of health for the home occupants. To a degree, housekeeping practices have evolved over the past generation or two. Kitchen areas have tested to be the most bacteria ridden parts of a home.

Our bedrooms, especially within the mattresses that we sleep upon one-third of our life, are the dirtiest and nastiest. Mattresses and the micro-climatic ecosystem within them, provide all the creature comforts that allow dust mites to live, thrive and breed while producing the antigen guanine, the worst offender and most harmful of all indoor allergens. Our grandparents can recall the days when mattresses were carried outside to have the "dust" literally beaten out of them and then placed in the sunlight for a naturally cleansing. Nowadays, aside from both parents working full-time jobs, mattress technology has evolved to the point that mattresses are too heavy or too bulky, to tote outside even if there is an area that exists where the mattress can be placed for "cleansing". Carpeting accumulates many allergens as well, however carpeting does not provide the micro-climatic ecosystem that dust mites require. Regular vacuuming assists in controlling built-up allergens in carpeting, but only if the proper vacuum is used.

Home Indoor Allergen Control Technicians

Mattress cleaning technicians, trained in the removal, reduction, and control of home indoor allergens are in an excellent position to not only offer their much needed services, but to also help educate the general public on methods of improving and sustaining healthier lives by simply improving home indoor air quality.

The above information is not intended as medical advice. If you or your family members experience any of the above symptoms, please see a medical professional. Excellent information is available from either the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) or the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI).

The Disadvantages of Home-Staging Business

There's no doubt that there's money at home-staging. If you are a home-stager, you know that you are in a unique business. You get to apply your designing and decorating skills while getting paid! But just like anything else, this business has its disadvantages aside from its benefits.

In this down real estate market, every seller wants to sell their homes fast that they do almost anything to generate a sale especially for their properties which had been stuck for more than a year or so. This is because in real estate, the longer the property stays in your hand; the more difficult it is to be sold. The listing becomes stale and real estate agents will not be willing to show those buyers as there are newer properties in the listings.

The best strategy for sellers to get rid of stuck properties is home-staging. But is repairing, painting, changing of curtains and putting a few flowers in a property worth it? Let's just say that doing all those processes are not expensive, but have you thought about your competitions? The new built homes? The following are the other disadvantages of this business.

There are many anxious sellers who are desperate of getting rid of their homes and the easiest way that they seem to make that happen is to have their home for home-staging. Staging is, no doubt, the most unique approach to sell homes. However, is it really worth your time and effort? What if you staged a home, and still never sell? You just got your money wasted as well your own time. So what to do?

The following are some tips on the advantages and disadvantages of home-staging your property that is up for sale:

1. It takes so much time and so much effort, and may become expensive in the case of homes that are hard to sell.

2. When talking about investment, home-staging is not practical. Remember, a good investment is spending one dollar and getting two in return. If it's 1 to 1 or 1 to 0, then it is a very bad investment.

3. If you stage the home while you are still living on it, you will have to empty the furniture, empty the closets and drawers, and keep the bathroom clean and fresh every day. That's another household chore that is difficult to maintain in regular days.

Unless you are willing to make sacrifices, exert extra effort and willing to risk your money, home-staging might not work for you, so think carefully.

Work From Home, Online Employment

Working from home on the internet provides users with the convenience and job security they require. A home job that is done on the internet can be what you need to get you started on a career path that will lead to job satisfaction and success in every sense of the word. Building a successful online business takes time, hard work and some investment capital, though more time investment may remove the need for capital investment. The good thing about online businesses is that anybody can develop one and be a success in it without any qualification or heavy capital investment. An online job should be taken seriously if meaningful progress is to be made in good time. Online jobs are numerous and can be grouped into three categories which include; skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs.

Skilled jobs: basically, a skilled job is one that requires a certain level of skill and certification to accomplish. Skilled jobs are for individuals who have acquired a high level of expertise in order to be able to carry out the duties required of such tasking jobs. These jobs may only be given to those who have the qualifications and the much needed experience that such jobs require for effective and satisfactory results to be obtained. Performance for certain skilled jobs online is at a very high level based on the job description. Certifications for many skilled jobs are acquired offline by attending educational institutions. Some skilled jobs can also be learned and certification given online after a mandatory learning process and examination has been passed. Examples of some skilled job services that are provided for online customers include; web designing; website security; professional services such as stock brokering and ecommerce services; program writing and networking among others.

Semi-skilled jobs: these are jobs that may or may not require certification for one to be able to accomplish. Semi-skilled service providers may be required to have a certain level of qualification in some quarters but may not need to have any qualification in others. Most semi-skilled jobs can be learned and certification provided for those who have passed online. Examples of semi-skilled jobs online include search engine optimization, copywriting and secretarial skills among others.

Unskilled jobs: these are job descriptions that can be done by anyone without any prior certification. Most online jobs are in the unskilled category and you do not need any qualifications to become a service provider. The vast majority of service providers in the unskilled category learn these jobs and become experts by continuously providing their services to customers. This is the main reason why the internet is seen as a very good avenue to develop a viable business. Unskilled jobs require little or no income to start practicing and in a very short period, depending on your work rate, you can earn considerable amounts of money from them. Almost every internet business has a link with an unskilled job description which makes it possible for everyone to benefit from providing any kind of service on the internet. Examples of unskilled jobs that have their roots on the internet include article writing, link building, blogging, lead generation and social networking among others.

The internet is a user friendly environment that helps a lot of people all over the world develop certain basic skills and earn a substantial living. Whether your skilled, semi- skilled or unskilled, there is a place for you in the online business world.

Make Money With Just A Van – The Easiest Way To Make Money?

When it comes to utilizing your vehicle to make a profit, the possession of a van may go a long way. While many companies and other services offer the use of rented vehicles, many do not offer assistance. For jobs that require an extra helping hand, establishing a "man with a van" service is just one of the ways you can make a profitable use of the van you own. Customers may opt to select your services because you can help them with aspects of a move or item transportation that they are unable to handle on their own.

The price to rent a truck from a major company can sometimes cost an arm and a leg. Even the use of a van from a local business for only a few hours may seem a bit pricey. When you are able to deliver a better deal to individuals in need of this type of service, a small business or making extra cash on the side is the result. To further contend with the competition, you may also offer your services after hours when other companies have sent their workers home.

Who Needs Van Service?

Moving companies are known for making a bundle packaging, loading, and transporting items from point A to point B. For local moves, a "man with a van" service might be just what a family needs in order to stay within their budget limitations. Sometimes, the use of the van is all that is needed and for that reason, you may offer two different options with your business: van only service and van with assistance service.

As college kids shuffle to the realm of higher education, some students do not move far from home. Transporting all of their belongings to the college campus may prove too overwhelming for the family car to handle. The use of a van for a short period of time is just the thing to make sure as few as possible trips back and forth to the college are made.

Sometimes a heavy-duty round of spring-cleaning has created a need to transport unwanted items to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, local charity, or junkyard. Old couches, sofas, dining room tables, and other sizable household goods simply do not fit in the back of a car, calling for the use of a larger vehicle. A "man with a van" service not only helps individuals load these items, but also charges a small fee for delivery to their intended destination.

The use of a van is also needed when large household items are purchased from a furniture store and there is no way to transport the objects back to a home. A "man with a van" service not only solves this problem, but also helps consumers bring the items safely inside of their home.

Spreading the Word

To get the public interested in your van services, you have to let people know that your services exist. When individuals are in need of help or the service of another, one of the most commonly used resources is the local Yellow Pages. Placing an ad or listing with this source is highly suggested in order to make your business a competitive venture.

The local newspaper is also a popular mode of advertisement, which helps to drum up business. Also, as you ride about town in your van, eye-catching advertising splashed on the side of your vehicle will alert the public of your services.

Once you have established yourself then word of mouth will spread if you give a good service, then you can think about expanding your business and taking on staff to cover more areas, then the world is your oyster!

Tips on How to Start a Home-Based Facial Business

Beauty is a very lucrative business. Every year, billions, even trillions of dollars are spent all over the world just on hair care, cosmetics, and skin care. This is the reason why it's not surprising to see beauty based businesses popping up like mushrooms all over the place. Cosmetology, or anything that has to do with the beauty industry is probably one of the most popular professions at present. It provides a lot of opportunities for growth and profit which makes it one of the fastest growing careers. However, a lot of people get intimidated to put up their own beauty business because of the high capital cost that it requires. But do not let that hinder you from starting your own business. If you do not have enough funds yet to rent a commercial space for your business, having a home-based facial business is a great way to start your beauty career. Let me share to you some tips on how to start your very own home-based facial skin business.

1. Plan it out. Like any other business, you have to make a detailed business plan. A well written business plan will definitely play a big role on your business' success.

2. Learn before you earn. Before you even open your home business, you have to be armed with enough knowledge on what you will do. It would be best if you become a licensed aesthetician first prior to opening your business.

3. Once you're all set, you can now register your business on your city or town. You need to have the necessary permits for your home-based business to operate.

4. Designate an area of ​​your house to your business. It could be a spare room or a small space anywhere in your house. Once you've designated an area, you can now start to decorate it. Make your space appear like a professional spa. You can do that without spending a lot. Just choose your decors properly. Do not forget to load up on aromatherapy candles and other spa essentials such as oils.

5. Invest in a skin care device. There are a lot of skin care devices available in the market today. Having your own skin care device could really help your business boost its popularity.

6. Market your business. There are many ways to market your home-based business. You can put up your business website so that people on your area and surrounding cities can find you. If you have the budget, you can also have some ads placed on your local paper and you can also give out flyers. It's also best to have business cards ready so anytime a customer hops in, always give out a business card so that he or she can endorse your business to others.

Capturing New Business Ideas – How to Avoid the Dangers of Darkminding

Everyone seems to agree innovation is important. Consider the following:

• Studies show innovation increases profit and return for investors.

• Being innovative can help you make better business decisions.

• Focused innovation can also increase productivity and reduce employee turnover.

• Searching for 'innovation' on Amazon within business books returns 5,757 entries.

Even allowing for duplicates, this indicates a lot of interest in the subject!

So why are not more companies innovating more often? Can innovation really work inside a corporate structure?

Are you Darkminding?

"Darkminding" is a term I use to explain two of the natural ways in which we think:

• Sticking to what is known – we do not like things to change, so even if we could be more creative we resist developing new ideas because they create risk. We "mind the dark" by maintaining it and trying not to let any light in (ie new ideas). This is another way of saying we like the status quo.

• Avoiding trying to develop new ideas – it's just too much hard work! Why think new things when the old way still works? We keep our minds dark and avoid the effort of creating light.

Darkminding can be quite useful for some things. If you had to reconsider every step in every process you carry out, you'd never get anything done. Routine can be efficient and helps us achieve things we do on a regular basis.

But, unfortunately, the world changes and often the process we've developed does not. These changes happen very gradually, though, so it is hard to notice when the normal routine becomes less useful. If things start going wrong, a few tweaks to what we are doing and we may be back where we were. But if the fundamentals have changed, these minor differences suddenly become very big problems.

All this is exacerbated by a corporate structure which often awards, in subtle and more obvious ways, keeping to how things are done and protecting your own area of ​​the business. Change in a company often means a threat to status and control, which makes coming up with ideas dangerous.

How a Company Can Create a Solution

If our brains naturally work that way you may be asking "Can innovation fit inside my company?" Fortunately, our brains also work in more creative ways which you can encourage, based on easing up our initial reaction to 'Darkmind' at the first glimmer of a new idea. It may be hard work, but realising our limitations and implementing some of the changes below can create an atmosphere of innovation in any company.

1. Why should I care?

The first step is understanding why innovation is important. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but the most important ones are those which give insight into your specific company. You can produce multiple studies and statistics showing the value of innovation, but without relating it to your company it will not have the same impact.

What are your competitors doing? You need to understand how they innovate, and whether you are up to their standard. Comparison to others outside your industry may also give you a benchmark to aim for. Analysis like this will give you details about where you are falling behind and prey to more creative competitors.

You also need to know how big the gap is between where you want to be in, say, three years and what it will take you to get there. If you want to increase turnover by 20% in that time, and assuming some of your products and offerings will become outdated or obsolete, how are you going to make up the difference? If revenues from new products need to provide part of that turnover, how many new innovations are required? If your analysis indicates two to three new products will be needed, it can often mean you need to have a minimum pipeline of 6 or more viable ideas. The gap may be bigger than you think, but you will not know until you check.

2. Make 'Business as Usual' unusual

Let me deliberately be provocative for a moment. People need the motivation to put forward ideas and accept a culture of innovation. One radical but effective way to do this, suggested by Peter Drucker in his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is to review every single area of ​​your business at least every three years and make it clear they will be on trial for their life. Underperforming areas should be rigorously reviewed and cut if necessary. This approach focuses minds on new developments and ideas and keeps people from stagnating and going with the flow. If you know you'll need to explain how you'll be profitable in future, you'll need to be able to explain the gap and how you'll close it. Innovation is the best way to make your case. If this sounds scary, the pressure the market will eventually put on an underperforming area is usually worse. Globalisation only amplifies this pressure.

3. Make it a part of the system

Whatever systems you have in place, make innovation part of what is done every day. If you review monthly budgets versus actuals, add a section on the status of current product development. If you have regular staff meetings, add a five minute slot to let people discuss recent innovations they've developed. Make innovation seem important and soon it becomes part of the culture. Do not forget you should also take time to step back from your usual work and actually go through some techniques to generate new ideas that can lead to new products, market approaches or cost savings. Just put some time in your diary! Remember, if you make it a habit, it gets easier to keep doing it.

You also need a system to track innovations being developed, including who is doing the most work in this area. You can then ensure you have a fresh and growing list of new ideas waiting to be developed. You can also award people who are continuously innovating. Someone should be responsible to the CEO for this list and for growing the number of ideas produced. Without a system, you'll have no oversight of where innovation is needed nor will you know how to use the full skills of your most innovative employees.

4. Create connections

Creativity is connection, so the highest priority is to foster people's ability to do new things and meet new people. Innovation is killed by people working in silos, passing the product from one area to the next. Your company can not survive with the following mentality any longer:

• "Here you go engineering. We've designed it, now you build it."

• "Here you go marketing. We've built it, now you let people know about it."

• "Here you go sales department. We've advertised it, now you sell it."

Everyone needs to work together, at inception, on ideas or services to make sure they will perfectly fit what the customer needs. The side benefit is that the more a diverse team works together, the greater number of unexpected innovations will arise. Try mixing people up and see what happens.

Another way to get people thinking differently is to move them around. Make secondments easy, for both internal and external moves. And when they're off, make people aware that part of their time should be spent thinking about how their experience can enhance what the company does in other areas.

The need for leadership

Some of the above ideas you could implement easily, in fact they can be done without people realising you are fostering innovation. Underlying it all, however, is our human inclination to prefer how things are, so there is hard work needed to implement a fully functioning process. Which leads to a need for leadership. Innovation always brings out uncertainty and the top managers and directors of the company need to define a vision to make it all seem less scary. Can you help people see, feel and know this is all the most important issue facing the organisation? Can you make the vision so vivid and so compelling people naturally want to go into that future? That is often the hardest part of driving innovation.

How to Start a Haul-Away Business For Just $ 400

There is a pressing need for haul-away services all across the United States. As people dispose of unwanted items, a new house is built or renovated and homes are foreclosed, people are needed to haul away the debris. The current national average for haul-away services is $ 53 an hour. But will not a haul-away business be expensive to start? Not really. Do you already have a truck or van? Okay good, there are only a few other things you'll need. In fact, you can start your own haul-away business for just $ 400. Here's what you'll need:

You might need a special kind of insurance, because you're using your vehicle for business purposes. Check with your insurance agent to find out more. Also inquire about any other insurance you might need.

Chances are you probably already have a computer. You'll need that to take care of billing, record keeping and other things. If you do not have one, get one! This will help you immensely.

A cell phone is another thing you might already have that you'll definitely need. It's the best way to keep in contact with your customers.

A reliable GPS system is something you should consider. This is not a must, but can greatly ease stress when you're trying to find a dump site and where you are supposed to pick up the discarded items. It's not only safer and easier than using a map, it could greatly speed up your time in traffic, which can mean more money for you.

Business cards are a great way to advertise your business. Make sure you have your business's name and your contact information on the card. Get in the habit of handing these out to prospective customers. After awhile people will start to be familiar with your junk-hauling service and what you have to offer.

You'll need a day planner or other reliable way to keep track of your schedule. An organized haul-away service is a successful one. There are many schedulers available for computers and cell phones too.

Many items might be too heavy for you to pick up. That's where a hand truck can come in handy. Many hand trucks can lift as much as 500 pounds. Get one that is capable of that. And do not forget about moving blankets. These are the best way to transport fragile items, such as a computer or television.

There is also a variety of hand tools you'll need, such as a shovel, rake, broom and screwdriver. You might need to clean up a site you just removed debris from, or take apart a box or other item to move it. You might also need some more heavy-duty tools, such as a sledgehammer, bolt cutters, a saw and more. Play it safe and be prepared. You do not want to arrive to the job and not have the appropriate tools.

It might sound like a lot, but it's really not. Make a simple to-do list and you could have these items all checked off before you know it. It should not cost you a lot of money either. Do a full day of work and you'll have paid off your supply costs. It's really quite possible to start a successful haul-away service for just $ 400. Learn more about To this lucrative business, . Read Haul It Away, available at: Http://haulawaycash.com