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5 Popular Home-Based Business Ideas

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.

Take the Leap! And Work at Home

Would you like to work for yourself from home? Oh! You h milf porn ave you been toying with the idea for a while now. So what is holding you back? I know you linger over those classifieds offering work from home opportunities. You sit for hours in front of your computer viewing web sites. Why is it taking so long? There is nothing very scary about leaving your name and email address. Ah! It is that little voice inside saying ” it’s a scam” or “It’s too good to be true”.Maybe I can help. I was also hearing that voice. A 40-year young mum of 3 boys under 9, working in a 24/7 call center doing 10 hour shifts. Oh! It was great; I only had to work 4 days a week one of those days was Saturday till 9.00pm. A small sacrifice to make to still earn a full time wage I was home 3 nights to have dinner with the family and I had Sundays free to catch up on the housework.Finally I realized the whole thing was ridiculous, I hated it, my family hated it and I took the leap. I now run my business from home. My once skeptical partner is now planning his retirement, and looking forward to staying home and fishing a lot, possibly one downside to all this, (no just joking, really!).Let me share some information with you that I discovered while on my search for a home based opportunity. Multi Level marketing is the way to go. There are plenty of ethical and successful MLM companies out there with great products and marketing plans. If you are concerned make sure they are registered with the Direct Selling Association.Why MLM you ask? It costs very little to begin. There is very little overhead. It doesn’t require long hours and you can decide when and how many hours you want to commit from one day to the next. You don’t have to leave your current job. You can take your business anywhere you go and you can work it from anywhere you want. Absolutely anyone can do it. Regardless of your education, race, color or religion everyone starts off on an equal footing, the rest is up to the individual. You get to meet a lot of great people who all share a common goal and interest and who nurture each other as a team.Your first exposure to the Business will be your Sponsor. Listen to what they say. They provide you with the initial information you need to make your first decision. Is this business right for you? Sponsors should not make you feel like you have been backed into a corner. It is as much in their interest to make sure you fully understand the business as it is yours so you can make an educated decision on whether or not a particular opportunity is right for you.Do your homework. Ask people have they heard of the company or the brand and have they tried it. You want to hear facts and testimonials like buying a car. Does the marketing plan offer good compensation ? Does it offer continuous growth? Is the Company Local or is your business going to be able to grow Internationally? Make sure the product you will be moving is usable and will need replenishing. More importantly make sure you are comfortable with the product. You need to become what we call “A product of the product” then before you know it the rest just happens.I hope I have succeeded in arming you with a bit more information that you had 5 minutes ago. Now! Go back to those businesses that have been lingering in the back of your mind and order that information pack. When it’s right for you, you will know. Your first conversation with your sponsor will leave you excited. You will find yourself thinking of all the people whom you can show this product to and all the people who you know that need to see this opportunity. Figures will start calculating in your head and you will keep thinking about it over and over.When that happens it’s time to take the leap! Whatever you do don’t look back, hold onto your vision even if you are the only person who can see it and don’t ever lose sight of your dreams and goals. Good luck!

Tips On How To Earn Money With a Home Business

Everyone wants tips on how to earn money with a home based business. It never seems to amaze me that a lot of people with a work at home business are not earning some money.When I got to question a few of these people about why they are not earning any money, I found out why!People, you have to do something to earn something! Just because you have joined a MLM or affiliate program, don’t think just by sitting back you will earn some money. NOT TRUE!!!So I have tried to make it easy on these people by coming up with the necessary things you need to do to earn money from home.If you honestly do these things, and still don’t make any money then maybe a home business is not for you. But you need to be honest about this and put out the effort.1. When you first start with a work at home business, set out at least an hour a day devoted to your business.2. Spend the first day advertising your business on the free classified websites, there are literally thousands of these sites to advertise on.3. If you have a website for your business, then spend day 2 submitting your website to all of the search engines, Yahoo, MSN, Google, AOL, etc.4. Day 3 start submitting to ezines, this is a very good way to promote your business.5. Day 4 start by writing an article to use in the yahoo groups. And with this article your can promote your website at the end of the article.6. Day 5 submit your business to the various business message boards, there are lots out there that let you post an ad for your home business.7. Day 6 you will want to start advancing up and checking for “Leads” that are interested in starting a home business. When you find a good source you will want to start emailing them. To do this you will want a good auto responder to handle the high volume of emails.8. Day 7 you will want to start this process all over again.You can do these steps in any order, but remember persistence is the key. Spend an hour a day for the first 30 days on these 7 items. Each day promote your business in a different way.Within 30 days you will start to see the rewards of your work that you only spent 7-10 hours a week on!Further more don’t expect to get rich overnight. The businesses offering “pie in the sky” so to speak do yourself a favor and stay away from those type of offers.Do yourself a favor when you get involved with a work at home business. You owe it to yourself to give it an honest try. Nothing will happen, if you don’t do anything.Copyright 2004 Jim Noel

10 Best Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Home Business

Picture this!When your neighbor must wakeup early morning and run for their live to avoid get angry for their bos, you can wake up what ever you want and go to your office without worrying about what the “BOS” said.Or maybe, when they mass up with their work and they scare to dead that they will get fired, you can just relax that you won’t be on their place.And how about not to worry about “pay the bill?” long vacation 4 times a year with your family? And the best part is, what do you think that you can have six – figure in cartoon porn come?WOW, it’s all sound to good to be true??? Well my dear… The GOOD NEWS is, “That is Possible! Your dream may come true!!!”I won’t lie to you, by saying that build a home business is easy, HELL NO! It’s not! I’ve been there! After decide to start, I don’t have a picture where to start, no clue who will buy my product, got headache about building the traffic, advertisings, etc…But all I can say that all the trouble is worth it!! Ask all “guru” about online business, I bet they will say the same, it’s not easy, but now all worth it, and they can reach their dreamAnd if is it not enough, this is the best reason why you should start to think to have your own business.1. You can start part Time – The best part is, you don’t have to jump suddenly without any safety, you can start it part time, and if after you get enough money to get Retire from your Job, than it’s your choice to fired your boss… but I suggest to start it part time first, so you don’t need to gambling to much, but believe me I know a lot of people who full time in this business.2. Freedom at Time – Just try to speed at last 2 hour a day to build your business, and you can spend much more valuable time with your family or spend it in your hobby, or anything else that you want.3. Freedom at Place – All you need just your PC and Internet Connection, and you can work at any place, your home, your parent house, library, café, etc, it is nice or what?4. Six Figure Incomes – Have you questions this to your self, “I give all my live to my job, but I feel that they don’t pay me enough?” Well, that is a classic questions, but if you have your own business, you will be paid as much as what you give to your job, so the answer is YES it’s possible to make six figure income on online business.5. It’s Cheap – I mean Chap here is, that you don’t need much money to start your business, you can event start it FREE if you join only for the affiliate program or if you want a web site for your own all you need just a domain name (which you can have it for around $9 – $ 20 / year) and hosting fee ($24.95) and you ready to start, compare it with if you have start your own offline office (I have one, so I know exactly..) the office building, the employee, electricity, phone, tax, etc…etc… Can you imaging that? To be honest, if know early about this online business I won’t event think to build my offline business To get more information about that GREAT opportunities please visit http://www.MakingMoneyGetRetire.com6. World Wide – this is another benefit about online business that offline business it’s WORLD WIDE, it’s mean that you may have consumer for around the world, you don’t need to worried about lacking consumer, it’s enough consumer for all, because you have the world! The survey said that everyday around 5,000,000 people have their first time with internet, how about with the people who already familiar with internet and ready to spend their money to buy your product?? Well for me, it’s mean that I don’t need to worry about don’t have enough consumers.. 7. It’s all ready for you – When I try to build my own offline business, one of the main issue is “The System”, the system for training the employee, the system of shipping the product, the system how the client will pay us, etc..etc… If you have your own product and your own website maybe you will still got headache because of that, but if you join one of the MLM program you don’t need to worried about that, I give example from SFI, one of the most outstanding company in internet, all the system from the training until all the resource that you need to build your business are already done for you, all you need just to follow they system, and event if you dream to have your own website but you don’t have the money to pay a webmaster to build your website, I will build it FREE for you for just 24 hours, and Guest what? I also will build the 400 day email marketing newsletter, just to make sure that you don’t need to have a headache with that, just visit [http://www.MakingMoneyGetRetire.com/pips.html]8. A lot of Support and Help – Before I decide to jump in into this business one of my biggest fear, is that I DON’T HAVE any experience on this, I mean NOTHING! So how if I need some help? Where I should start? And thousands other questions, but then when I finally decide to give it a shoot, I found out that every time I need help there always somebody helping me, give me courage, give me millions tips how to start, all I need to do just join the forum that have something in common with my business. And now that after you know me, I’m ready to help you…  just email me at: odilia_paula@makingmoneygetretire.com9. It’s for everyone – It doesn’t mater that you just 18 years old, or maybe 60 years old, are you blonde or brunet, are you disable or not, or any other condition, trust me I know a lot of people in this business get their dream with all the condition that I mention above, all they need just build and stick with their business and they get the success.10. Retire Rich it’s not a dream – I’m not saying that, just right away you join and build your home business, you can get rich instantly and get retire. But after you read this article and visit some interesting site that focusing in home business, you’ll realize that get Retire Rich is not a dream, but it can be true, if only you make a step, and for the start you just can subscribe FREE news letter, at my site and I’ll tell you all about Home Business, just send blank email at : makingmoneygetretire@getresponse.comSo… after you can see all the benefit that you can have with your own online home business, you must be kidding if you said that you don’t start to think about have your own online Home Business, Right???

Learn How To Identify Profitable Web Niches For Your Business!

Most get it wrong when they start an e-business! They start building a business on the web by picking the wrong market.Many start by giving advice on how to start a home business or by marketing Internet marketing information. This is the wrong way to do it!Or even worse, become trapped by the many business opportunity programs that are out there. Many of them are nothing more than pyramid scams in disguise.Why do so many try to market Internet marketing products online? One reason is that this is a subject that people get interested in and they soon see themselves as experts in this field.You find another reason when you look and examine Internet marketing materials. What have most of the marketing of these products in common?The answer is that they are marketed by slick copywriters. The marketers want to promote their own products, so they naturally promote these products on their websites, newsletters and where ever they can.Of course, they don’t tell you the truth! The harsh truth is that if you are a beginner in web business and start by promoting web marketing products, you will fail.To start with, you don’t have the right experience and you don’t have the traffic that you need.You are much better off, if you focus on web markets that are not as saturated by competitors as in the internet marketing field. One secret to successful Internet business is by find niche markets where people are spending money and the markets are not saturated.So how do you find suitable web markets that is right for you? That will depend on how you plan to market. Do you plan to build an information theme site, mini sites, work with Pay-Per-Click marketing or do you plan to make a product to sell on the Internet?If you target information theme sites or mini sites, then you want to find web niches with little competition and you also want to identify web niches where the bid values on pay-per-click are relative high.If you use Pay-Per-Click promotion you might want to find niches with low Pay-Per-Click bid values and a lot of traffic.And if you want to try to a market product you have produced, you want to make sure that there is a market for the product. You also want to know if there is a need for the product and that people are spending money on products in this Internet market.A final key point is to find niche markets that you have an interested in or at least have some knowledge in. It is much easier to work in a niche that you are interested in than in a niche that have no interest in at all.Copyright 2004 Per Strandberg

Start a Home Based Business? When Is The Best Time?

I’m often perplexed at the number of people that I see start home based businesses on the Internet and then give up on the idea shortly afterward. The usual excuse is that they don’t have the time or don’t have the money to invest.Starting a business on the Internet is somewhat like having children…if you wait until you have plenty of time and lots of money, then you will probably never have any.When I started my home business, I didn’t have a lot of extra time and I certainly didn’t have a lot of extra money. I was still working a full time job when I started my business, and I made time for my business by simply cutting out the two hour television time that I enjoyed each evening and opted to work on my business instead.This two hours a day that I got to invest towards building my business certainly didn’t win me any fast track records as far as turning a profit, but that was the best I could do black porn while still working full time and raising my family.I had made a conscious decision that I would rather have a home business and be financially independent “someday” rather than never.Finding the money to invest was not a big issue for me, because running an internet business is very cheap compared to running a traditional business. I didn’t have a product to sell, so I joined an affiliate program on the Internet that allowed me to sell their products and make commissions. The membership fee for this program was 29.95 a month. Then I needed my own website in order to promote these products and that cost me 29.95 also. I knew that I would have another $60 a month going out of my income while I was still trying to build my business, and probably wouldn’t have that much coming in for several months.So as usual, my good business sense took over and I looked at my household expenses and decided what I could do without. The easiest choice was my lunch expenses. Every day for years I had went out to lunch and spent at least $5 daily. Instead I opted to bring my own lunch to work and saved myself approximately $150 dollars a month.Now you realize why I become perplexed when someone tells me that they don’t have the time or the money to start their businesses. I often find myself reading between the lines and coming to the realization that they simply don’t want to.Starting a home business is about sacrifices, and as you can see I made some sacrifices that really didn’t hurt my lifestyle in the least, and I’m sure if you look at your schedule and your financial commitments that you can also find some things that can be easily replaced so that you can start your own home business.If your interested in starting a home business and need some ideas on where to start. Visit me at: [http://www.101homebusiness.org] and let me help you on the road to success.

The Danger Of Negative Thinking

As you have shown an interest in starting a business of your own it would be safe to assume that you want to changeyour life. You want more money – more control over yourlife – more respect. But just as we each have a dream, wealso have a reality.Unfortunately for most people, the reality bears no similarity whatsoever to the dream. In many cases, thedream exists as an escape from the reality.Think now of YOUR reality – the life you lead every day.What do you do? How do you feel as you awake? Do you haveany enthusiasm for your way of life? Do you enjoy your work, or are you on welfare? Then ask yourself thisimportant question: Do you resent having to live this way?If you answer ‘yes’ to that question, then you are in danger of succumbing to the most destructive human emotion – Hate.If you hate the life you live, the people you deal with, theactions you are forced to take, then you will find yourselfrapidly rushing toward disaster. When you hate, you may as well be drunk! You no longer function in a creative manner. Your mind is geared toward destruction. Instead of aimingto create a new life for yourself and those you love, youwill become obsessed with the act of revenge.The more that you hate the people and situations around you, the more your mind becomes poisoned with the purpose ofgetting even. Logical thought becomes impossible and hatethen becomes a substitute for action. You must learn NOW,to resist the urge to hate. It achieves nothing constructive and it will destroy both you and your dreams ofsuccess. As Gandhi said…”An eye for an eye just makes thewhole world go blind.”Take a good look at your way of life. Do you always have tomake do with what you have got, because you can’t afford areplacement? Are you always having to put off paying billsuntil next week? Have you never enough money to enjoyyourself? Are you unhappy with the area in which you live?You may find that you are regularly having to write a checkon Monday and hope that you will be able to cover it byThursday. Or you may just be sick of the daily grind ofearly mornings, or the regular nightshift. If most of theseapply to you, the you probably hate living this way. So nowmake a POSITIVE effort to achieve success. Only throughpositive endeavour and thought will you achieve your goal.Although your current way of life may be hard, think not how toget rid of it, but how to REPLACE it with a better way oflife. Think SUCCESS – not revenge. Assess what you resentabout your life now.You may even resent the things that you would normallyenjoy, were your circumstances different. Occassions likeChristmas, birthdays, and Easter can can be trying timeswhen you have no money to spend. Children don’t understandthe restrictions of a tight budget, and it can cause greatdistress to a parent who is unable to give his child thegift, or day out, that they would like. Now imagine thedifference in these circumstances when you have achievedsuccess and you are wealthy.There is no harm in imagining the difference your wealthwill make to your lifestyle – but approach itlightheartedly.Say to yourself: I will work to be a success so that I cantell my boss where to stick his job! And so I can see thelook on the Bank managers face when I tell him not to botheroffering me overdraft facilities anymore! This attitude ispositive, but don’t hate the way things are, or the peopleit involves. That would only make things worse. You willhave plenty of time to reflect on your past when you arewealthy!These things that make you miserable and depressed will beall behind you when you put the secrets of success to work.Imagine life without all these trying times. You will beable to enjoy Christmas, and give your kids what they want.That squillion function, water-resistant, solar-poweredgizmo (that they ALWAYS wanted) will be a drop in the oceanto you!Many of the people who buy books on starting a businessactually don’t bother starting up. They can’t imaginethemselves ever running their own business and earningUnlimited amounts of money. They never see things howthey CAN be – only how they are. Don’t make this mistake!KNOW what you want, KNOW how to get it, SEE how it WILLbe, and then go for it!!

Take Advantage of the Internet Power

The Internet has become a huge market place, and the recent explosion in online retailing and e-commerce prove it. Merchants now have access to a world wide consumer base (no longer limited by their geographical location). People have become comfortable buying on the Internet and are looking for products from all over the world 24 hours a day — think of the different time zones. The total number of Internet users now stands at about 500 million and it is estimated that by the year 2005, this number will triple. Imagine this number of people in the world as your prospect customers or e-customers to be precise. This is a very powerful concept!Anyone with a computer and access to the Internet with basic skills can setup a home based business and tap into this huge market and sell virtually anything they wanted right from their home or anywhere they have Internet access.Many have taken advantage of the Internet’s power; they are working at home using the Internet’s many work at home opportunities. You don’t have to quit your job to start your own home business.So what e-business can you start? how much money is needed to start?Before being a huge market place, the Internet, since it’s inception, is the place for Information. People surf the big net looking for Information even when they are looking for a product to buy online, they are looking for Information on that product before they buy it.There are many home e-business ideas you can explore. It all depends on how much time and money you want to invest to start your own small e-business. The key is to start very small with as little money as possible. Anything come to mind? you got it; selling Information is a great idea that cost little to no money to prepare into an e-product and sell it.Selling Information or e-products has many advantages. You won’t need products to stock, no warehouse, no office space, no employees, no merchant accounts, no shipping (instant delivery), and you don’t need to go open your store every day. You can go to work if you like and let your small e-business run virtually unattended. Selling e-products is the perfect fit for the Internet.Your e-product can be in the form of e-book that is downloadable instantly or it can be in the form of membership based website where you set-up a protected directory with your HTML pages in it.You are not limited by a certain type of Information product. You just need to think about one that will fit the reality of the Internet. For example, you might be a programmer. You can sell your knowledge in programming plus develop your own application software and sell it. Actually, you wil have an edge here since Information products come only second to Software products in terms of demand and sales.Another way of using Information to generate income is to become an affiliate with as many companies as you choose. You can set-up a free website about needed information and put your affiliation links for people to click on. The more visitors to your site, the more money you get from commission.You can work your way up to becoming what is called a Super Affiliate. Super Affiliates make thousands of dollars each month by choosing the right affiliate program once their web sites reach traffic count of thousands of visitors every month.It is not as easy as “build it and they will come”, but is certainly possible. If others could do so can you.The key here is to get as much knowledge about starting your own eBiz as possible. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power” very true, but “knowledge with ACTION is much more powerful”. Your action should be fast for example: more and more search engines are starting to charge for web site submission. Some are still free, but not for long so you need to act fast.How much money is needed to start?Not a lot, there are one time fees and recurring fees. You may choose to create your own e-book, and to do that, you will need e-book compiler software at a one time fee of as little as $29. Your domain name and hosting fees which are anywhere from $50 to $100 annually, are about your only recurring fees. If you choose to set-up a membership site, then you can choose not to buy the e-book compiler software thus reducing your start-up costs. That’s about all the money you will need to pay. The Information itself will be coming from your brain unless you elect to resell other people’s e-products given the proper resell rights.

Business Opportunities: Success and Failure Statistics as Well as Possible Prevention

Let’s face it, business opportunities are a rather quick, easy way to start a business. They are usually “turnkey” operations, where someone that buys into a program either online or offline is provided with all the necessary elements of immediately being in business for themselves. Business opportunity programs can also be cost effective, as many abound, and finding one within a restricted budget is rather easy.The biggest challenges faced when choosing a business opportunity program are the following:1. Choosing one that suits an entrepreneur’s needs and skills as well as interests.2. Choosing one that pays enough in commissions on goods or services that makes it lucrative enough to turn a healthy profit.3. Choosing one that is wanted and needed by customers/clients.4. Choosing one that does not exist in an already glutted market. This would lead to too many choices of other providers and a rather limited market for the business owner.The sad facts are that because of the easy start up, and the rather quick “fix” that business opportunities present to potential entrepreneurs, business opportunity members can quickly enter a business and just as quickly leave it. Turnover can be quite a problem. Since little initial investment is required, many members “jump into” a business opportunity at whim, and quickly find that running a business is a whole heck of a lot of work!The reason for the failure rate is also attributable to certain outlooks and requirements that many business opportunity “joiners” fail to consider when joining:1. Is the business opportunity nothing more than empty promises, the old “too good to be true” adage? Unfortunately, these types of offerings run rampant both online and offline.2. Is the business opportunity catering to a dying market? Markets can fluctuate, so due diligence is needed. Research into markets, just as with any other business is paramount.3. Is the business opportunity solvent? Talk to other members, and do research. Become aware of any problems in payments/revenues before you join.4. Is the business opportunity flexible? Does the Biz Op restrict members in their advertising methods, or are they inflexible and “distant” in their approach to members’ concerns/problems.5. Is the business opportunity viable? Viability should be financial as well as personal. In other words, does the Biz Op have a great financial track record and does it meet the needs of “you” personally, as far as personal satisfaction and approaches to sales and marketing?6. Is the business opportunity working within the confines of federal, state and local laws? Depending upon where a member lives, these laws can vary widely!The real statistics on failures of small businesses, many of which now are business opportunities and franchises, are well documented by the United States Small Business Administration: http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/. Business statistics provided by the United States Department of Labor, report that in 1994, the number of businesses that failed that year were divided into the following categories:* Bankruptcies (a 15.4% increase from 1993).* Failures (a 17% increase from 1993).* Terminations (.3% increase from 1993).The Small Business Administration attributes these failures and the evolving higher percentages to the fact that there are now MORE small businesses in the United States overall, with a 49% increase in numbers since 1982.The Small Business Administration also states specifically that statistically, only one in seven can be considered a true “failure”, leaving unpaid obligations in their wakes. Others simply sell or shut their doors for a variety of other reasons.Since most business opportunities, at least initially, open with less than 100 employees (many are simply the owner, as sole owner and executor of all business “chores”), then most Biz Ops are indeed “small businesses” and as such all the pertinent failure statistics can be applied to them. What is really surprising and rather “staggering” is the fact that most business failures are not due to outside forces, but those that the business owner has complete control over! These issues included lack of marketing know-how, lack of record keeping, lack of management competence, lack of financial management, and other business basics such as controlling employees and the inability to seek outside assistance and advice!The wise business owner, whether or not involved in a business opportunity, will seek to learn and implement proper procedures, and investigate proper methods of operation throughout the life of a business.If this is done, a Biz Op owner, or any small business owner, has less of a chance of becoming the “latest failure statistic”!© Vishal P. Rao. All rights reserved.

Run Your Business From Home? Here’s 10 Ways to Be More Productive

Ah, working at home… Visions of leisurely days, conference calls in comfy sweatpants, increased productivity with fewer interruptions. But the distinctions between work life and home life soon blur. You really should throw some laundry in the wash before you write that proposal. You have an hour before a meeting: Should you balance your books or clean the kitchen? And remember to call that client back right after you empty the cat box.Welcome to the real world of working at home: unforeseen distractions, a lack of structured time, and sometimes a perceived loss of identity. But don’t give up the dream just yet! By putting into place a few simple ideas, you can reap more of the rewards of working at home. Based on my experiences and those of my associates, here are 10 simple ways to help you stay on track.1. Separate Your Space.Keep a separate, distinct work area in your home. (This is especially difficult if you’re living and working in a shoebox studio, like I was when I started my business in New York City!) If you don’t have a separate room, at least define an area, and know that when you’re in it, you’re in “work mode.”2. Structure Your Time.As your business and personal time mesh, it’s more important than ever to structure your day. For example, if you regularly take a walk or go to the gym, try to do it every day at the same time. Value that personal appointment with yourself – even when you’re very busy. It will actually help you keep your business on track! I like to get up early and work until noon, then I take a few hours off to enjoy lunch, do some reading, and take my daily jog on the beach. Then I’m back at my desk at 4:00 until who knows when!3. Outsource All You Can.When I began my business, I made the mistake of acting as my own courier service. I soon learned how much time I was wasting by frequently visiting clients just to pick things up and drop them off. Whenever you start thinking, “Well I can just do that myself,” STOP. Streamline your business, making everything as automatic as possible. Use outside services to stay focused on your *real work*. Get accounts with an overnight delivery service, messenger service, virtual assistant (VA), bookkeeper, etc. Save your energy for your brilliant ideas! : )4. Use Technology to Your Advantage.In-person meetings are very valuable when appropriate, but schedule them sparingly. Try to do most of your business via phone, fax, and e-mail using the best equipment you can afford. For most home-based entrepreneurs, when you’re out of the office, you’re NOT making money. So it’s important that you can communicate flawlessly from where you are. And PLEASE do us all a favor and get separate lines/services for your phone, fax, and Internet! No one likes getting a busy signal.(BONUS TIP: If your phone company offers voicemail, get it. Not only will your outgoing message sound more professional, but if you’re on an important call and don’t want to be disturbed, other callers can still leave you a message.)5. Group Your Errands.Try to group your meetings and errands together to minimize your out-of-office time. Make a list in the morning of all the outside tasks you need done for the day, and attempt to complete them in one fell swoop. Even better, do what I do and designate just one day a week as your “blitz” day for errands and meetings. Plus, then you only need to get dressed up one day a week! : )6. Stay Focused.Make your workspace off-limits to other roommates or family members when you’re working. For you animal lovers, this may go for pets as well. (My cat Francine gets *very* jealous when I’m not giving her complete attention!) Keep all personal paperwork such as bills, magazines, and to-do lists out of sight, so they won’t distract you from your projects.7. Beware of Yappers.Many of your friends and family will be immediately delighted when they learn that you’re working at home. They picture you lounging on the couch, eating potato chips, and waiting for their calls. When they call you simply to chat, politely remind them that you’re working, and ask them if you can call them back after your day is over. It may take them a while, but they’ll eventually get the idea.8. Work With Your Moods.Keep track of your moods and productivity compared with the time of day. For example, if you find you’re more alert in the morning, use this time to make important calls and do your creative work. Take advantage of your natural cycles. If you feel better after an afternoon nap, go for it! (I’m a BIG proponent of the catnap. In fact, I may start a support group.)9. Suit Yourself.To bring out your best work, make your environment perfect for YOU. How do you work best? With plenty of breaks, or with no interruptions? In silence, or with some light music in the background? On a cushy couch and coffee table, or at a business desk in an ergonomic chair? (My friends thought I was nuts when I spent $750 on my Herman Miller Aeron chair, but they quickly understood why once they sat in it! And my spine thanks me every day.)Also, find some places you can do work when you need a change of scenery. How about the library, the park, or your neighborhood coffee shop? When I need to do serious reading, thinking, or editing, I take my work outside to the beach. The sea air, sunshine, and soothing waves help me think much more clearly.10. Break for People.Feeling sluggish, lonely, or moody? Arrange for at least one social break during the week. (I aim for two or three.) Schedule breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even just coffee with a client, vendor, or friend. Join a business networking group, or sign-up for social activities such as dance class or recreational sports league. Don’t go into hermit mode – it can be self-destructive!© 1999-2009 Alexandria Brown International Inc.