You may have an exceptional product that can improve the lives of many.You may provide a service that is second to none.BUT …if you don’t have exceptional sales skills, you will lose out on many an opportunity to demonstrate or provide value to anyone.The most important, yet least developed business skill in many small and home-based business owners is selling.You may associate selling to undergoing a root canal because of the bad experiences you have had with sales people.Lack of effective sales skills is a major contributor to the demise of a business.The great thing to realize is that selling is a skill. It is not something you are born with. It is a skill that is learned and cultivated.Do some people seem to be naturals at it? You bet! I am in awe of some people who seem to just learn a technique and after practicing it once, are off to the races like they’ve been doing it for years.For others, a little more practice and polishing may be required, but in the end, they can be just as effective and successful as those who seem to have it mastered right out of the gate.A major block in selling is the stereotype of salespeople. When I say, “Salesperson” to you. What immediately comes to mind?Do you see a fast talker in a bad suit?Is this person arrogant and pushy?Does this person hear a word you’re saying or does he/she speak over you?Does this person ignore your questions?Is this person a know-it-all?Will this person not take “No” for an answer?If you raise a concern will this person make you feel stupid?I had first titled this article, “Key Secrets to Being a Great Salesperson,” but recognized that just by using the word, “Salesperson,” fewer people would read the article.The negative or positive association of a word is powerful!Although you are an entrepreneur, you are also a sales person. You are in the business of selling a product or service to others.How would you like to be viewed as a salesperson? Would you like others to see you as:Authentic?A good listener?Genuinely concerned for the best interests of the buyer?Understanding?Professional?A person of high integrity?Trustworthy?Knowledgeable?Honest?These are not only skills. They are behaviors; behaviors that must be embraced and practiced.Others may have a better product or service, or lower price than you, but clients and customers will naturally gravitate to the seller who makes them feel valued, respected and heard.I’m sure you have been in a situation where you opted for a product or service you didn’t originally have in mind because of the way the salesperson made you feel.I know I have.Buyers need to know the facts and benefits of a product or service, but they also need to have a sense of relationship with the salesperson.Take a look at yourself from the buyer’s perspective. How are you coming across? Does the prospective customer or client walk away from your interaction feeling empowered, valued and understood?These skills are not only necessary for selling products or services. You sell yourself to others every single day.How you make people feel determines whether or not they want to do business or have any other type of relationship with you.Keep these thoughts in mind as you go throughout your day.Become aware of the impression you create for others and if you are not satisfied with the results, modify your behavior, measure again and keep fine-tuning until you see positive results.Become the kind of salesperson people will recommend to their friends and acquaintances and watch your business grow.
Many full-time employees spend 40 to 50 hours per week in a cubicle or small office environment. When a person spends that much time in one place, it would seem the decor of that space would reflect their personality and personal style. Not true for most workers.With “political correctness” naturally setting the tone in most corporate environments today, decorating a common work space to personal taste has been severely limited. But with a little creativity and grouping of small items with common themes, one’s personal decorating style can be introduced in subtle ways.Here are a few tips to get you started:
choose a theme for your area (i.e., ethnic, tropical, etc.);
wall calendars come in a menagerie of styles — chose one reflecting your imagined theme;
find a milf porn mouse pad that reflects the look for which you’re vying;
purchase decorative stationery and matching envelopes that compliment the setting;
frame small pictures of family members and/or pets in coordinating styles;
your coffee cup need not have the office logo — choose a bold pattern that suits your personality and your decor theme;
even your screensaver can boast a thematic background — scour the web and find the perfect one for the look you’re creating!
“A small item can make a big statement when strategically placed,” says Cassandra Black, partner of EthnicHomeDecor.com, an online retailer of home decor with ethnic themes. So as not to offend anyone, Ms. Black says a basic rule of thumb is “when in doubt, don’t.”There’s no harm in tastefully coordinating a few small items on your desk or in your office that subtly tout: cartoon porn “This space belongs to me…” According to some experts, it may even increase productivity.Have fun decorating your work space to personal taste!
Since receiving child support payments and back-child support payments for over twenty years, it’s no secret how that support has helped to provide for my child’s well-being. Fortunately I was able to use a portion of my child support funds to make more money by starting a small business. If you really give it some thought I am sure you too can come up with a home-based business idea that will help you provide a little something extra for your family.It’s no secret that these are difficult economic times for many parents but particularly for parents who have only one income. Today everyone appears to need several streams of income and in this volatile and often unpredictable economy operating a home-based business is one available option.Consider operating one of the 5 home-based businesses. None involve a lot of start-up money and although they won’t make you a millionaire, they will allow you to provide for the additional needs of your family. Believe it or not a one time in my life I have had to do each one.1. Home work TutorDo you like to listen to your children read? Are you patient and caring? Do you visit the teacher’s store in your area buying little books that can help your own children read, write or do basic math? Would you like to help another child in your neighborhood? If you think you might be interested in helping children with their homework, become a homework tutor. There are busy parents who do not have the time to help their own children and would appreciate someone making sure their children understand and complete their homework. Remember parents are not only paying for your willingness to review their child’s home work, they are paying for your time and expertise. Make sure you provide parents with a weekly progress report and ask them to let their child’s teacher know they are working with a homework tutor, so your efforts will not be in vain.2. Letter Writing ServiceSeveral hundred years ago only clergymen and professionals were literate. Today even literate individuals need help writing letters, particularly written complaint letters and letters seeking a resolution or response to a concern. If you enjoy the research involved in helping to resolve everyday problems this may be the home-based business for you. There is little doubt that you will encounter a wide variety of needs as a professional letter writer and your goal is not to solve a problem but to write in such a way that you bring the problem to light. Think carefully about who might need your services and why and remember there is power in the pen or in the keyboard.3. Mystery ShopperCan you shop till you drop? Would you like to get paid to shop? This may be the home-based business that fits your schedule and fore fills your need to make extra money. Mystery shoppers, also known as secret shoppers have been around for many years. Their purpose is to complete service checks, performance evaluations and frontline evaluations along with other checks and balances requested by the company employing the mystery shopper. Mystery shoppers enable trained researchers to take a “birds-eye-view” of a shopper’s experience. It also allows management the opportunity to quickly and efficiently evaluate their business practices, deliverables, and employees from the perspective of a non-bias consumer. If you would like to learn more about becoming a mystery shopper visit: www.nationalshoppingservice.com4. Community FoodyDo you have a food specialty? Is there a dish you prepare that is always a family favorite? Have you ever tried to sell your special cheesecake or gumbo? Today everyone seems to be consumed with thoughts of food, and why not since most of us have little time to cook or even think about cooking. The old adage “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go” is more true today than ever before. Take a look around your community and visit bakeries and cafes, is something missing? Is there a café that would benefit from your double fudge pecan cluster ice cream or those lovely black currant scones? You may want to start small and deliver a few goodies to a local eatery in your area. You may want to sell your recipe to a local bakery or become a recipe developer for a number of restaurants in your area. Are you into recipe contest? Commercial food companies are always looking for a new original recipe and they are willing to pay. What have you got to lose? As Nike would say…”just do it!”5. Teach Your TalentFew people know that according to the No Child Left Behind legislation all school districts should be offering parent involvement opportunities to participating Title I parents. These opportunities may be in the form of a parent enrichment seminars/workshops. You can teach your talent and get paid for it. All Title I eligible schools have parent involvement funds that can only be used to provide parents with information that will assist them in helping their child achieve in school. Children cannot achieve when parents are homeless, jobless, illiterate and lack the skills to help their child do well in school. There are many people who have the skill and ability to teach resume writing, job seeking skills, tutor or teach adult reading, and help parents clean up their credit. If you think you could present this type of material in a professional manner, create a proposal and submit it to schools in your district. The funds available to provide these services to parent must be used or school districts will be penalized. This is a great way to make a real difference in your community.
Snack vending machines come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small enough to hang on a wall and some are the full size floor models like the one I had. Some are electronic that you plug into an electric wall socket. Some are manually operated that don’t require any electricity at all.There are snack vending machines that offer user’s the chance to buy a coffee right out of the same machine, while others can vend soda and other cold beverages. There is snack vending machines that do all three! That’s right, these machines offer customers the chance to buy coffee, cold beverages and snack products out of the same machine.I’ve seen a snack vending machine that sells cigarettes.I’ve seen a snack vending machine that sells hockey cards.I’ve also seen a snack vending machine that sell bus passes to access the local transit system.And I’ve even seen a demo where one of my local distributors showed me how he could vend a can of three (3) tennis balls out of a snack vending machine! That actually impressed me.So what does this all mean and how do you choose the right kind of snack vending machine?You need to have as much flexibility with your snack machine as possible. I wanted my machines to be able to have maximum flexibility to sell my customers whatever they wanted (within reason and legal parameters) and I needed to have the machine that was capable of doing that.This meant I needed…Pricing flexibility. I needed to be able to raise or lower my prices according to my supplier costs or customer demands. That meant I needed to have snack vending machines that gave me that option without any additional equipment upgrades. That meant mechanical was out, you just don’t have the kind of pricing flexibility with mechanical as you do with electronic. With electronic you can raise or lower prices of individual selections and do that within seconds. With a mechanical snack vending machine you might have a customer stand in front of your machine with a pocket full of coins but your mechanical machine can’t sell her anything because it isn’t configured to accept certain coins.Payment options. All my snack vending machines came with built in capabilities to add payment options. I could have added a bill acceptor if I wanted to. This may have boosted sales if the customer had bills in her pocket instead of coins. Some machines may allow you to add credit card or smart card capabilities.Product options. Have you seen the Pringles chips business opportunity? How about the Campbell’s soup business opportunity? There are others and in my view Pringles chips are good products as is Campbell’s soup, but the business opportunity is garbage.For $100 at the time I owned my business I could have purchased an add-on to install that would have given me the ability to sell cans of Campbell’s soup if I wanted to. I would have had to sell a lot of soup to pay for it though. Plus when the Pringles chip business opportunity was going around I bought a coil for one of my snack vending machines that allowed me to sell that product. For $20 at the time I was selling the same thing those so-called ” Pringles Vending Machines ” were doing!A lot of people lost a lot of money buying into those so-called business opportunities. I know because I saw the machines for sale months after I saw those so called business opportunities advertised.The bottom line with snack vending machines is that they can be extremely versatile. You can sell a lot of different types of products other than just snacks. The ability to change your prices quickly and easily are vital and the option of installing additional payment capabilities is also a necessity.Don’t limit your options when you purchase snack vending machines. At some point in your business you may want to sell a higher cost item(s) and there is a good chance that snack vending machines may be able to do that for you.
You have to be the expert before you even start your business. You have to know your products or service inside out. You may love a business for the product lines, but will your customers love the products too?When problems arise with a product, or when a customer asks technical questions, are you knowledgeable enough to resolve these problems and answer their questions competently and confidently?One way to increase your product knowledge is to contact the manufacturers or local distributor. Find out the following:* How long have these products been on the market?* Are they seasonal, and when do most sell?* How often are these products upgraded or changed?* Could you be caught unexpectedly with obsolete inventory?* What do the manufacturers’ warranties cover?* Are replacement parts readily available?* Are the products competitively priced?If you have decided to take the plunge and be a stay at home mom/dad with an internet business, here are 5 tips that can help you become more successful. These tips have certainly helped me:1. Choose your product carefully:Don’t just choose to sale a product because you think it can make you rich. Choose to sale a product or service because it is your passion. Choose something that you feel will make you happy in the process.2. Make sure your product is of high value:You need to sale quality based products or your customers will know the difference. Your goal is customer satisfaction, always!3. Provide excellent service to your customers:Go that extra mile for your customers. A happy customer is a healthy business. Answer emails, and/or phone calls promptly.4. Don’t Stress:Take care of you. If you need to take time out, then do it. Come back refreshed and ready to tackle your daily activities. Success will prevail!5. The Competition:Competition is an ugly word, but competitors are a fact of life. If your business can’t compete with other stores or services, don’t start this business. You have to have some sort of an edge.You may have an excellent product, but if everyone else is selling a similar commodity, just how much of the market can you expect to capture? You will have to get to know everything thereis to know about your competition and keep up to date with their marketing strategies.Be unique in your own style. Always come up with new ideas to present your product and improve your business. Access your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and see how youcan provide new ideas for promoting your business. Best of all have fun and it will show in your business.
I AM AFRAID I WILL FAIL – WHAT SHOULD I DO?It is normal, and even wise, to feel some nervousness about starting any new venture. We have three suggestions to start with:1) Provide as much of a financial cushion for yourself as you can, before you begin. Any new business takes time to get started and begin to become financially viable. In fact, you may wish to start your home based business in your spare time while continuing to work at your “day job” for a while. You may wish to view it as a “hobby” for a while – until you gain the confidence to step out full time into a work from home business.2) Connect yourself with others who have already gone through what you are goingthrough now and come out on the other side.3) Get as much training as you can in the mechanics of using the internet and findingyour way through such obstacles as taxes, government regulations, legal issues and so on. The more you know about these things – or better yet the more you know about how to LOOK THEM UP the less fearful these things will be.The most basic internet search will lead you to sites and links which will give you step-by-step instructions for putting your home based business idea into effect. If you have a little start up money (and you should expect to need some) you can find, for a small fee, someone to design a web page for you or furnish you with all the forms you may need for administering your business in a professional way. Don’t forget – the idea is for you to make maximum use of your PERSONAL skills and interests. You don’t need to feel that you have to start out knowing EVERYTHING – no one does. But once you get in contact with others who have done this you will realize that if they can do it, you can.One thing that many beginners neglect in their eagerness to get started is proper preparation in the form of a solid business plan. Again, a quick search on the internet will lead you to ways to find good templates for business plans that you can use to plug in your particular information. This will not only be an invaluable asset in promoting your business but will serve to focus you on exactly what you want your business to be and to do. A good business is neither too narrow in focus (limiting your possibilities) or too wide (not having clear goals.) It is difficult to present to others exactly what you do if you do not have a clear idea yourself. Sometimes in writing a business plan a person realizes that want they truly want is something slightly different from what they originally envisioned. That’s good! Look for a good business plan design and then shape it to fit your ideas.People sometimes become discouraged early because they had too high an expectation of sitting back and watching the money roll in. You will see ads on TV which encourage this kind of expectation. Ignore them. Realize from the beginning that any business takes hard work and some disappointments before it gets off the ground. But isn’t that the case with a salaried job also? At least your hard work is going for something you are building for YOURSELF, not for someone else. And your early disappointments will give you valuable experience instead of knocking you down a step on the corporate ladder.Don’t forget, the internet – and the use of it – is the one thing that will DEFINITELY grow in the future. Remind yourself, too, that those thousands of people out there working at their own businesses cannot all be geniuses and you don’t have to be either!In part two we will explore the government, non-profit and paid services that can help you shed the fear you have about starting your home business.
Where was I going wrong? How could I ever be rich? Reaching my forties I really was beginning to question myself and have self doubts. Friends and others around me had built better lifestyles for themselves and I admit to being jealous about the fact that they seemed so much better off than I was.One day I decided that enough was enough. It was time for me to take a chance in life. I came across an advertisement that would change my life forever. Sure, they wanted some investment but then who wouldn’t. It was time I invested in myself and got what I wanted out of life.I made over £750 in my first day. My dream had come true. I realised that I was in control of my life. I made things happen.What you have just read is absolute and utter tripe. You have probably come across several similar writings before, all with a similar success story and all ending in a ‘call me now’ telephone number at the end of the advert. That’s all it really is – an advert. A company, or some person trying hard to get you to part with your hard earned money or work for them on a commission only basis.Don’t fall for it. If it was so good then why the hell are they even having to tout for business? If it is so inspirational and fool proof then how come so many fools have to part with their own money? If it was so darned successful then why on earth would you want to run off and tell everyone about it? Why wouldn’t you want to keep it to yourself and quietly earn a fortune from it. The fact of the matter is – you pay for it, not them and if you are unsuccessful then its not their fault – you just never cut the mustard!Unfortunately we can all get sucked in by similar ploys and crass advertising by hyper maniacs who leap around being ultra positive and cheesy with their get rich quick schemes which somehow always seem to need your money in order for them to work? Call them to account and you will be accused of being negative. That’s the way they operate.Next time you see a similar advert just smile and walk on. A fool and their money are soon parted. Don’t feed the hyper bullshit – keep your money in your pocket!
We all believe that bigger is better. We’re driven into debt lusting after bigger houses, bigger cars, and big screen TVs. Weíre told bigger dreams are more rewarding. Companies want bigger profits; managers want bigger salaries. Think big. Act big. Look big.Big thinking, while an ideal starting point for black porn setting goals, also gets us into more trouble than we bargain for. It is not that there is anything inherently wrong with thinking big or wanting to be big, it’s just that operating a small business requires a new set of tools; a mindset of thinking small.Many small business owners get caught in a trap that they are starting small as the first step to becoming big. This may be the dream in some instances. Most big corporations started small, launched in a basement or garage and ended up being big. If that is the goal, then big dreams and big thoughts are essential. But for many, that is not whatís behind the desire to own a small business.In the course of any week, I receive dozens of calls from small business owners (and some big ones!) eager to discuss some aspect of their business. While each owner has their own unique business challenges, there is a common theme that weaves its way through most conversations. Many small business owners are struggling with the reality of their smallness, whether it is a small customer base, limited funds, staff shortages or hours in a day. The enthusiastic launch of their small business, with its dream of financial independence, a gentler lifestyle and relaxing by the pool, have given way to big demands. And the inability to satisfy those demands leave many stressed and frustrated. This wasnít the intended course of action, was it?Recently a business consultant approached me with the intention of helping me get big. His technique was to have me think as big as possible regarding the potential of this publication: Picture it as a national magazine with thousands of readers and advertisers. Feel what it would be like to be at the helm of such a big, successful enterprise, feel the corner office, the fancy car, the fame and recognition. Now come back to the present. I’d like to help you set a course for that goal.But like so many business consultants, he was struggling with the reality of his own small business. More importantly, he never asked me if I wanted to be big. I declined his seduction. (Parenthetically, never hire a business consultant who has never owned and operated a successful small business. They can spin the theory but lack the substance of experience.)Operating a small business is not about thinking corporately (big) with smaller goals. That’s like downsizing your home but wanting to keep all the furniture. Small business success depends on instilling a whole new paradigm of thought. It requires a totally different approach.Paramount is knowing exactly how big (actually, how small) you want to be. All too often the vision of a gentler lifestyle of downsizing to a more palatable pace of life is overshadowed by our conditioned mind set that says, think bigger. This sets actions in motion that have big consequences. Bigger always requires more time, energy and input. Bigger often comes at the expense of taking care of the smaller things, like customer service, balancing the books and quality time with friends and family.While financial shortfall is often cited as the cause of the high failure rate of small businesses, what befalls many great small business ventures is the lure to become big. After all, isn’t the goal of many small business owners to land the big account so that the pressures of being small can be eased? It is our cultural prerogative to strive for greatness and to measure a man or woman by their achievements. And the bigger the achievement the better.Unfortunately for our culture, business success is often rated according to size …as if that really mattered.
All of us most likely share a similar goal and dream. In an ideal world we would be able to stay at home AND earn a comfortable income. With all of the stress that exists in our lives and with all of the discomfort we feel working for someone else on “their” terms while lining “their” pockets with our efforts, the notion of starting our own business and working at home poses an almost irresistible allure to us. More and more, people are moving beyond the mere dream and fantasy of working at home and they are actually seeking out opportunities and taking the necessary steps to establish themselves with a work at home opportunity.Have you thought about moving beyond the dream and actually taking those steps towards working at home for yourself? Its an applaudable idea! However, before embarking on this exciting journey it is ESSENTIAL to firmly establish and recognize the difference between the fantasy of working at home and the reality of working at home. In our fantasies, perhaps we picture ourselves leading a life of leisure in the comfort of our homes while money simply “rolls” in on a daily basis. Beware of this fantasy because that false notion is what the scam artists who abound on the internet are hoping you are going to believe. They are out there, and believe me, they are waiting for you and they will tell you that you can be earning a very appealing sum of money in a very short time with little or no effort put forth on your part. Well, honestly, who wouldn’t find that idea enticing? DON’T buy that idea! If you do, you will find your pockets empty and your dreams broken!The reality of working at home, although it may not fully live up to our pie in the sky dreams of living a life of leisure while money rolls in without effort, is that you can earn a nice income at home. However achieving this goal involves several crucial factors. It takes quite some time….this will not happen overnight or even in a few months. If you are truly going to build a successful home business the reality is that it will take a few years. Further, it will take work. It will take hard work, dedication, persistence, attention to detail and an optimistic attitude. If you believe that you have these attributes and are willing to work towards your goal consistently in a dedicated and concerted manner over time then you will likely succeed. You cannot expect a home business to support you in the immediate future. You must have another source of income while you build your business and eventually your home business, if you apply yourself correctly, can become your primary source of income.Many people make the decision to establish themselves with a home business and then run helter skelter all over the internet signing up for five or ten different programs making focusing on anything next to impossible. It is imperative to select ONE solid program and then stick to it like glue and give it your full attention and your best effort. It is indeed possible, with a healthy dose of realism, to become an internet success story.
Calgon… Take me away!Okay, sorry about that.. a bit of an inside joke. Or, was it? How many times a day do mobile porn you find yourself muttering those words to yourself.I may be aging myself here but I think that sentiment is felt by everyone, at some point. As busy entrepreneurs, we need to “get away from it all” in order to rejuvenate our bodies and our minds.Our days, as home-based business owners, are filled with task after task, project after project, both personal and business. And, if we don’t take a little time to take a breather, we can end up burning ourselves out.How you choose to recharge your batteries is a personal choice. For myself, I make sure to take ‘family time’. When 6 o’clock (at the latest) rolls around, my computer goes into sleep mode and my brain officially switches to “life” mode. I don’t know what it is but, just the thought of relaxing (even if it is mixed with a few household chores) has a calming effect on me. It’s kind of like a winding down feeling.There are many other ways to help you calm your nerves and take a break:Get back to nature.Puttering around in your garden can make you feel very relaxed. Sure, pulling weeds and watering your plants may seem like hard work but the rewards from your efforts have a calming effect. Watching your plants blossom and flourish is a wonderful site.Curl up with a good book.After you have put the kids to bed, find a quiet place and open up a favorite book or that book you have always wanted to read. Winding down this way may go a little far and you may fall asleep. But, if that does happen, who cares? And just imagine what it will do for you.Go to the movies.Actually, why not bring the movies to you? You local video store has all the latest releases and most of the classics. Grab a healthy snack, curl up on the couch and pop the movie or DVD in. Again, if you fall asleep… so be it. Just pop that movie back in later, when you are more awake.Sit down to a special meal.In our busy lives, our schedules can sometimes cross paths and we may not have time to eat meals together. But, we need to! So, whether you want a romantic meal with your partner or a family meal without the TV turned on, be sure to mark it on everyone’s calendar and then just sit and enjoy each other’s company.Take a trip.Once again, it is important to take yourself completely out of the entrepreneurial setting. That means that you need to get away from home… the place where your office may reside. Whether it is a day out with the family, a weekend away at the cottage, or a week or two on a sunny beach, every little bit of R&R can have a rejuvenating effect.Soak your troubles away.One of the most relaxing feelings there is! There is nothing like a long soak in a warm tub or whirlpool. Even a sauna or hot shower can do wonders to relieve the tension.Take up a hobby or exercise.Have you always wanted to build birdhouses? Or, how about joining a gym? Why not start now? It may be helpful to start off slow so, don’t choose something that requires following a schedule. Eventually you can move on to taking classes or joining a sports team. Hobbies and sports can help to get your mind off of any worries you may have.Even sitting down in a quiet spot to write an article, like this one, can help ease frayed nerves.So, no matter how you choose to relax, please remember that you are entitled to some time to just put your feet up, at least for a little while. Taking a break can help you to relax and perhaps get a new perspective on things.