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Work From Home Businesses: A Viable Option?

You have been searching for your next job or new career. You rewrote your resume, created a cover letter, posted both on job sites, attended a couple of career fairs, contacted some recruiters, and sent your information in response to some ads you saw in the classifieds. You’ve started networking. You also went on some first interviews, none of which developed into anything further.You have been searching for roughly two months, and as you take stock of your situation, you realize that you are no further ahead than when you began your search. You have come to a defining point in your job search process.This may be the perfect time to consider taking your talents and channeling them in a completely new direction. If you are ready for a meaningful change, starting your own home-based business may be the answer. The rewards could be better than you’ve ever experienced before in your working life.Work from home businesses these days usually means an online business. You use your computer to make a living. In most cases, that means you need to sell something. But what if you’re not a salesperson? What if you’ve never sold a thing in your life?You don’t have to be a salesperson to sell online. In fact, most people starting an online business have never sold anything previously. You begin by looking at the knowledge you possess in a particular area. It could be anything you learned extensively that you now can teach or help others to understand. Anything can be sold online.It can be software such as a how-to CD or book you write, or a service helping others write code. It can be a book on quilting. It can be information about truck parts. It can even be someone else’s product that you sell, for which you receive a commission. The possibilities are endless.You’ll need a website to promote your products, and there’s a lot of assistance you can get online to help create one. The bottom line is, the initial expense to get your online business up and running is very small. It may take a few months to organize your business into a profit-making machine, but the revenue potential is huge.You’ll have to give up rush-hour traffic. You may not be wearing business attire as much. You won’t be having those spell-binding meetings you are accustomed to. The only office politics you may have is when your spouse comes home from his/her job at the end of the day. Is a work at home business a viable option? Absolutely.Copyright © 2005 TopDog Group All rights reserved.

The Freelancer Within

Every day, I’ll get an email that goes something like this: “I’ve been looking for a homebased job for x number of months now…with no luck. I just want something I can do in the evenings or on weekends so I can supplement my income. Can you help me?”You might be thinking, “Yeah, I’d like that too… can you help?”Well, I just might, though my suggestion might not be exactly what you had in mind.A lot of the peple who email me have marketable skills. Skills like typing, word processing, accounting, human resources, transcription..the list goes on. Here you are working all day long, then spending all this time searching for that ever-elusive telecommute job. Well, there may be another option- freelancing.You might say, “Me? A freelancer? I don’t think so. I don’t have the time to go out drumming up business.”I say, “Oh, but you do!” Among all the other nifty conveniences the Internet has given us (Finally, a place where I can get garden gnomes 24 hours a day!), there are now “Freelance Marketplaces”. These are sites that enable the freelancer and the employers who need freelancersto hook up.Most of these sites work something like this:ABC, inc. is a relatively small company that doesn’t have a Human Resources department (or Accounting department or Transcription department). Rather than take on the expense of creating an in-house HR department , they want to contract out their HR related projects. They go to a Freelance Marketplace, post their projects and then wait for the bids to roll in.This is where you, being the consummate Human Resources Professional (or Accounting Professional or Transcriptionist), will go and post your bid for the project..and voila! You’re a freelancer.Some sites that offer this type of service are eLance.com and Ants.com. While both registration at both sites is free, Ants.com charges a fee of 5% for all jobs completed by you. eLance.com is currently offering their services for free during the Beta period, but it is clear that this will change at some point. At eLance.com, freelancers (or e-lancers) can leave feedback regarding project posters. This is a handy feature that can help you to decide who you want to do business with.The beauty of being a freelancer is that you can often do your work on a part-time basis- at your convenience. The bottom line is that you will typically have a deadline to meet, so when you do the work is flexible. Another benefit to this is that as you build your clientele and your reputation as a freelancer, you may find that you have enough business to freelance full time.

Networking Tips For Home-Based Business – Creating Connections

Networking is as much an attitude and a way of thinking as it is a skill. It is something that many people do naturally while others can find it quite daunting; but it can be learnt. When you acquire the mindset and master the skill of networking you will boost your personal productivity.There are any number of different networking groups and events that you could choose to attend to help lift the profile of your home based business. To make the most effective use of your time and energy, it’s worth investing effort in identifying and sampling groups that look like they might suit your personal and business needs – here’s how:Choose the network. Decide what you’re looking for from a networking group and ask around. Find out what groups are available and ask for recommendations and opinions from people you respect.Contact the network. Phone the organiser of the group or event and ask questions such as these to help you decide whether this is a good place to invest your time.
What industries are represented at this event?
How long has it been established?
What three words best describe this group?
Is there an opportunity to promote my business?
Does this network have mobile porn membership?
If so, how cartoon porn does it work?
What does it cost?
Visit twice before deciding to join. Allow yourself at least two opportunities to evaluate the network and to decide whether it is worth your time and energy. Sometimes your first experience may not be pleasant, and you may feel nervous, so give it at least two tries.Commit to the events. When you do find a network you enjoy, schedule the time to attend and become one of the regulars. This is a great way to establish connections with people as well as to let others get to know you.Get involved. Volunteer to help – serving on a committee or helping with an event is a great way to get to know people: help on registration, collect business cards, offer to be the MC or help to arrange an event.

Five Minutes

Everyday.You’re hunched at the computer, flicking the keys with the greatestof ease – or, like me, poking each stroke with the speed ofa…umm…well, it DID rhyme!Everyday.You’re mesmerized for hours by the wonders of Internet business – you market, you negotiate, you design, you submit, you research,you chat…a lot…Everyday.Enthralled and empowered by your cyber-independence, you plan andscheme, plot and dream.While life in the REAL world goes on around you…”Hey Mom, can I have lunch now?? It’s three o’clock!!”"Huh? Whaa…yeah, five minutes, honey…lessee, click here…”Funny how the daily grind hasn’t ground to a halt…”Dad?? Couldya sign this? It just says that you know about mytryin’ to burn down the school and ya assume full financialresponsibility…No big deal, couple alarms…”"Darn HTML code…Hmm? Yeah…five minutes, umm…son??”Things just keep rolling on…”Ya GOTTA see this cool fort me and Billy Scuzbucket built,Grandma!!! And we got grenades, napalm, coupla ICBMs…WAAAY cool!!!”"Whazzat? D’ja want something, sweetie? I’ll be right there…justfive minutes…”Life is like that…”Are you Dilbert Greenbaumgarten? Sir, are you aware that yourchildren are conducting a warehouse sale of stolen merchandise inyour garage? You’ll have to come with us, sir.”"Yeah, yeah…garage sale, ahh…be with ya in five minutes…justleave the money in the coffee can on the folding table, K??”Everyday.Just five minutes…Whoa…super-important e-mail…ahh, look, be with ya in fiveminutes…seen the kids?? Honey?Hello?? Coulda sworn we had furniture before…This article is an excerpt from “The WAHumor Way: Reality Check,Please!”, now available at www.WAHumorWay.comThis article may only be reproduced in its entirety, including theresource box and subscription information electronically or inprint. A courtesy copy of your publication would be nice, too!

A Window Cleaning Business Depends Upon Top Customer Service for Ultimate Success!

The window cleaning business is a “service” business, but yet most window cleaners have forgotten about the service part of it. And since most window washers don’t implement top notch customer service into the daily running of their business, that’s great news for you, IF you follow the tips below!Have you ever walked into a store and all the employees seem to run and hide? Have you ever contacted a business just to be put on hold or be talked rudely to by some $5 an hour clerk? Have you ever asked for a business to do something, and they finally get around to it at their convenience instead of at your convenience?Dumb questions I know. Because we’ve all experienced that.I write in my manual How to Start Your Own Residential Window Washing Business about this lady who became my customer due to her previous window washer being “unavailable”.This frustrated customer of a previous window washer would call her window washer repeatedly to see if she could have her windows serviced. She never got a call back, so she ended up calling me from the phone book.The end result is that I ended up having her as a customer for many years all because of poor customer service given to this customer.But here’s the kicker of the whole thing…this window washer probably ended up losing thousands of dollars in business to me over the years just from that one mistake. I’ll explain how in a minute, but first let me give you a little background on this individual.I actually have known about him for quite some time. When I first got into the window washing business, I tried to call him four times just to introduce myself to him.I never said that I owned a window washing company or gave him any impression that I was a competitor. For all he knew, I could have had a multi-million dollar house that needed a good window cleaning.Well…he never called me back. I left four messages on his machine (it was always a machine, never a person that answered the phone) and I NEVER received a call back. That just blew my mind.I saw him washing some windows one day so I finally was able to talk with him. He seemed like a nice guy, but I’d be embarrassed if I treated my customers or prospects with that kind of disrespect.I made it a point to always answer the phone in person (my business phone line forwarded to my cell phone), so if I was on top of a ladder, I answered the calls. My customers loved it.But let me get back to my explanation as to why this guy lost a lot of business to me.Due to his never calling back that customer, she called me, as you already know. She was tickled pink about the job I did, and again…she became my customer for years.But here’s the best part…her next door neighbor saw me, and with some kind words from my new customer, I got that job (at a high price I might add). PLUS…the next door neighbor owns a screen enclosure business where he encloses swimming pools.Needless to say, he deals with some clients who have money-the perfect type of person in need of window cleaning services also. So because of this next door neighbor’s complete satisfaction on the job I did for him, I have received numerous referrals from him. Jobs that have made me lots of money. And how did this all start? Poor customer service to just ONE customer by a previous window washer.Funny how it worked out, huh? Do you think I should tell this guy to get rid of his answering machine? Um…no I don’t think so.And that situation repeated itself many, many times with other window washers being non-responsive and/or doing a poor job for their customer. Customers will only put up with so much before they’ll move on.Customer Service is really simple. It consists of:* Answering the phone in person when someone calls (or at the very least calling them back right away).* Showing up on time for the estimate-if you’re running late, that could make a difference between you getting the job-or not.* Calling the customer the night before your scheduled job as a courtesy reminder for them.* Showing up on time for your scheduled job. If you’re running late, call them.* Doing an excellent job on their windows.* Sending a thank you note after the job is completed.That’s it! Everyone CAN do it, but as I said earlier, very few window washers DO do it. That’s good news though. I’ll take disgruntled customers who are unhappy with their current window washers all day long.So the moral of the story here is to just treat your customers to outstanding customer service. It doesn’t take much effort or time to do, and will directly affect your bank account in a positive way.Best Wishes,Steve256-546-2446

Internet Based Business Models – Part 2

Getting Started At Home in Your Very Own BusinessInternet Based Business Models – Part 2Still here? Excellent, I’m proud of you.Really, I mean that.Never give up on your dreams.. ever, and they will rewardyour persistence and faith by coming true. A simplephilosophy but incredibly powerful one that Iwhole-heartedly believe and beginning to experience.OK, let’s pick up where we finished last time.Last time we discussed:o Turn-key businesseso Affiliate programs ando Drop shippingNext I want to talk about:Advert Revenue – did you know when you visit someone’s siteand click on a Google advert the website owner makes money?It works like this, Miss A has a product to sell so she paysGoogle (in this example) to advertise her product.There are 2 places to put the ads -(1) on the Google results pages, you know the ads you seedown the right hand side of the results pages, they arecalled ‘Adwords Ads’ and every time someone clicks, Miss Apays for it.(2) The same type of ads are also sometimes displayed onwebsites, usually, but not always, they are also displayedby Google but this time they’re called ‘Adsense Ads’.If you are the website owner in situation (2), every timesomeone clicks on one of Miss A’s ads on your site, half ofthe fee she pays will go to you and the other half toGoogle.Get a lot of clicks and it can add up fast. I’ve only juststarted doing this and found it an excellent additionalanother revenue stream for my business.Selling on eBay – its no secret that eBay has created moreat home buzinesses than anything else in the history of theworld. Its not difficult to set up and the great thing isyou don’t have to go looking for customers.They come to you with their credi.t card already in theirhands. Believe me, when you begin your very own business,you will appreciate the beauty of having customers that’look for you’.You would be excused for thinking eBay is only a place tosell that old skate board, or retired TV but it is much,much more than that. With supposedly over 30,000,000registered users, everything imaginable is being sold.I’ve seen websites selling for 8-figures, $300,000 Ferrarisand $1.20 vintage clothes pegs. Because there is such ahuge scope of possibilities, there are many ways to makedollars.For example:- You can use drop shipping to sell product warehoused bysomeone else. This is the method used by most BIG sellerson eBay.- Or purchase things cheap on eBay and resell them at ahigher price by writing a better advert and listing it in abetter category.- Or pick up bargains at your local trash ‘n’ treasure andsell them on eBay for a profit.- Or resell a digital product (eg. ebook, software, audioetc) created by someone else but you own the resale rightsto (very simple to do).- Or create your won digital product and sell it on eBayRecently I’ve been testing how selling one of my ownproducts on eBay will go. I’ll keep you posted.Resell Rights – many book authors sell resell rights. Thatis, for an additional fee, you can purchase the right tosell the book and keep 100% of the proceeds. Often, therights come with the book at no extra expense. Why wouldsomeone ‘give you’ the right to sell their book and keep100% – I’ll tell you when we look closer at resell rights.There are literally hundreds if not thousands of booksavailable with resell writes.Well, that’s another 3 methods for you to think over. Whatdo you like so far, you don’t have to decide now because wewill give each a closer look soon.Next time we will continue this discussion and I’ll coverthe remaining ways for getting into your very own businessusing the Internet.Until next time, remember persistence pays off – BIG TIME.Your Friend,

DOH! A Home Biz Even Homer Simpson Could Do

Everyone likes Homer Simpson, moron that he is, because let’s face it–there is a little Homer in all of us. Have you ever come across a business opportunity you would have liked to try but didn’t because you were afraid of your own ineptitude? Well, leave your fears aside fellow Homer Simpsonites because here is a business you can start with your eyes closed and your brains on hibernation mode–Loan Signing!Loan signers, Notary signing agents, loan signing agents, mobile Notaries, all of these terms have been used interchangeably and they all describe the same thing–a traveling Notary Public (and no, Homer, that’s not an island country somewhere in the Bahamas). A loan signing agent goes to a borrower’s home to witness the signing of loan documents. Of course you need a few supplies (like your Notary ledger), but I’m not going to get into particulars in this article. What you really want to know is, how do you get started, what is the work like, and how much can you make right?To get started you can join a Notary Association, most of them have a signing agent section. There you will find more of the basics to getting started with this business and get your name listed. They will all try to sell you some really expensive loan signing classes but that is completely up to you. The smart, un-Homer thing to do is a search for some Notary signing agent message boards where you can learn how to get started for free. The process is very simple and involves a small fee to get a license, ledger, and certificate with your county.The work is even simpler. A client (usually a title company that found your name through a Notary association listing) calls you and asks if you want to do a signing. They fax a contract that states how much you’ll get paid, or how much you won’t get paid if you don’t do your job right etc. After you accept, they send you the loan package by fax or email. You then call the borrower to schedule a time frame for the signing which usually takes an hour. You watch the borrowers sign their papers, you sign and stamp a couple yourself, the borrowers get a copy of the loan package, and you get one to overnight back to your client. Yes, I’ve simplified the process a bit, but not by much.Borrowers will ask you what every piece of paper means and will try to get you to decipher the never-ending stream of legalize contained therein but guess what? You don’t have to explain anything to them; in fact, you’re not legally allowed to because you are not a lawyer (unless you’re also a lawyer–in that case, kudos for you). You simply explain that you are there only to witness the signing of the documents and you refer their questions back to their lender.How much do you get paid? There are various factors that come into play, such as location, how long you’ve had to build up a clientele, the client’s policies, etc. but you can figure as a complete newbie, to make about $75 a signing. Not bad for an hour’s worth of work eh? Soon you might even be able to tell Mr. Burns to go shove it.Copyright 2005 Jon CastleArticle may be reprinted freely as long as the author bylines and info box is included.

Creating Your Company

My story is fairly common. My husband and I met and married in university. We both worked in the high tech field. After about five years of working, I entered an Executive MBA program. At work, I was moving into increasingly challenging management positions. Everything seemed to be going according to plan.Suddenly, I was in my 30s and we decided that children were going to be part of our future. While pregnant, I had every intention of continuing my career. In fact, there was a great infant day care program in my office building. But plans and reality are not always the same thing.My daughter didn’t adjust well to day care, was constantly sick, and I was only managing to be at work about 3 days a week. Fortunately, they were downsizing and offered me a good buy-out package. Now I was a full-time Mom. I love being at home with my daughter but I had worked long and hard to acquire skills that were quietly slipping away.We have our own consulting company, and I seriously considered part-time contracts. However, most contracts would involve meetings in town, possibly some travel, and frequent sitters for my kids. That approach just didn’t fit with the life style we wanted for our family.I spent over a year researching different possible home-based businesses, and trying to determine what would be right for us. After looking at many options, and actually writing 3 business plans, I had a fairly detailed criteria for the characteristics of any business we would consider.1) The business had to be financially viable, and viable doesn’t just mean break even. As a consultant, I could earn a high hourly wage. Any business would have to have the potential of generating a good income for the amount of time it would take me away from my kids.2) The business had to fit our lifestyle. I like spending a lot of time with my children, and hoped to find a way for them to be involved in our family business. Also, if the kids are sick, I am the primary care-giver. Any business would have to allow for very flexible scheduling.3) The business had to be something I could believe in. There are lots of good causes that could benefit from having an additional volunteer. I had no interest in trying to sell a product I didn’t believe in. Basically, the product had to be something I would want used in my home.Any business would have to meet those three criteria for me to even consider it. In addition, we had some under-utilized resources. Ideally, any business would take advantage of some of those resources.Anyone thinking about starting their own business should come up with their own criteria. Do you need a reason to get out of the house and meet people? Have you always wanted to pursue a dream? Decide what is important to you, before pick a business.Now that I knew what I was looking for, I just needed to find the right business. The smartest thing we did was taking the time to work out a detailed business plan. This step alone saved us from making a $200,000 mistake. I am still surprised at the amount of planning and research it took before I realized that two possible businesses were not right for us.It was discouraging to put so much effort into researching a business and then basically throw it all way. About the only worse would have been starting those businesses with less planning and realizing the mistake when it was too late.Were we being to picky? Should I put my hopes and goals on hold while the kids were young? There didn’t seem to be a solution.At this point in time, two unrelated events happened that crystallized the idea for our company. The first event was watching my daughter’s eyes light up when she got a package in the mail. The second event was listening to a small business owner describe how she came up with her business idea. She was frustrated over not being able to purchase some specialty products for her own family without driving for at least 30 minutes. She realized that there was an unmet need she could turn into a business. The lights went on and the concept for Creative Kids at Home crystallized.Children love getting mail. It makes them feel special. Someone cares enough to send them a package. Then there is the surprise of not knowing what is in the package. I liked the idea of creating a product that would be fun for kids. My daughter and I love doing crafts together. Craft packages could be sent through the mail, and kids would like having something they made themselves.So we started again on a new business plan and this time, everything fell into place. We opened Creative Kids at Home in 1999. It has taken time and lots of work, but it has been worth it.We’ve expanded our product line from the initial idea of the craft subscription (six packages sent throughout the year) to include a science subscription and special holiday packages for Christmas and summer vacations. We’ve gotten great reviews from the Toy Testing Council and been featured in national parenting magazines.Most importantly, we’ve learned that it really was worth taking the time to thoroughly investigate and plan a business before you create a new company. The research pays off for years to come.

Mystery Shopper 007

Living a Double Life as a Mystery ShopperAs a mystery shopper you are kind of like a spy. Just as James Bond gets briefed on his next top-secret assignment at some high-tech cave complex beneath a tropical island, you the mystery shopper are briefed in advance over the telephone or emailed at your own secret location–your home. While James Bond gets shot at, you get free mugs of beer placed in your hand, steak put on your plate, and you have to deal with several more hazards that come with the job–like dodging golf balls while teeing off on an 18-hole golf course. That’s because your job as a mystery shopper is to shop. That’s the best part about being a mystery shopper–companies will pay you to buy their products and services. Imagine getting a back massage as part of your job. Sounds like tough work doesn’t it?Attentive companies are hiring mystery shoppers to get an impartial consumer evaluation on the quality of their customer service. Customer service is arguably the most important factor contributing to a company’s continued success. Every business has customers and if these customers aren’t satisfied they can easily take their money somewhere else. There are several ways a company can screw up when it comes to customer service. A mystery shopper can inform a company about current business practices that might need adjustment or about employees whose attitudes need an even bigger adjustment. Companies use this feedback to improve the overall customer experience.If you would like to mystery shop you have to be prepared to write a small evaluation report or complete a survey that black porn grades the level of customer service you received from your client companies. In regards to that, you better have a decent memory and pay good attention to detail. You’re probably not going to be allowed on the job with a laptop or a giant note pad and pencil. You will have to leave your, “I’m a Paid Mystery Shopper” t-shirt at home as well. Remember, as a mystery shopper, you are going in undercover.You have several ways to get assignments:1. Free lists of companies that hire mystery shoppers: You and everyone’s uncle is going to apply for the same limited jobs because everyone else has the list. Good luck getting a call back.2. Go business to business and offer your services: But be prepared for rejection, an empty gas tank, and sore feet.3. Sign up with a professional mystery shopping referral company: The jobs come to you. Easily the best way to get assignments.Mystery shopping is still a developing field but more and more companies are reaping the benefits of improved customer service through mystery shopping programs. Most mystery shoppers do it on the side for fun, free stuff, and supplemental income. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to get out there sign up with as many mystery shopping companies as you can afford. This message will self destruct in five seconds (not really).Copyright 2005 Jon CastleThis article can be reprinted freely as long as the author bylines are included and it is published in its entirety.

Separating Business & Home Life

If you’re a home-based business owner, it could be difficult to manage your time. milf porn Since your office is located within your home, you tend to spend much more time working in your office than spending quality time with your family. There is that temptation to spend more hours on a project, and the worse case scenario is that you tend to think about your business all the time.As a home-based business owner, I have been in situations where I have spent so much time on business-related projects that my son has knocked on the door wondering if I was going to work all night. So personally, I have been guilty of this and it is very easy not to pay attention to how much time is spent in your office or working on projects.Family and friends take advantage sometimes because you work from home you’re always available. They tend to drop by unexpectedly, or they call you on your business line instead of your residence line. When it comes to your family, make a conscious effort to dedicate time with them so that they feel as important as your business. If you have little children not quite school age, arrange a trip to the library, a matinee movie, or a trip to the park but try to schedule these outings at the same time every day or as your time permits in between client appointments.Now, if you have a spouse, it is very important to allocate time alone with him or her. If your spouse is supportive, encouraging, and understanding of the time that’s dedicated to your business, sometimes you might take advantage of his or her understanding. On the other hand, if your spouse is resentful, you may have more problems than you bargained for. Keep communication open all the time. Another scenario would be that your spouse isn’t interested at all about your business venture. Find the right time to discuss your day-to-day schedules and projects. You should understand his or her needs as well.It is important to talk to your spouse regarding what your business structure and hours will be prior to starting your home-based business. In the end, it will alleviate the ‘you don’t have enough time for me’ argument.