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How To Reorganize Your Time to Accommodate A Home-Based Business

Almost everyone needs or wants more money coming in, and with this desire most would like to start some sort of extra income-producing project. The trouble is, not many of these people seem able to fit “a second job” into their time schedules.It’s true that most people are busy, but extra time for some sort of home-based extra income-producing project can almost always be found. It may mean giving up or changing a few of your favorite pastimes – such As having a couple of beers with the guys or watching “reality TV” – but if you score big with your extra income project, you will have all the time you want for doing whatever you want to do.The first thing to do is to sit down with pencil and paper and list your daily schedule. What time do you wake up? Then step-by-step, list everything you do each day. Most people will find that they have about three hours each day that can be utilized in a more constructive or efficient manner.Efficient time management boils down to planning what you’re going to do, and then doing it. Start by making a list of the things you want to do tomorrow, each evening before you go to bed. Schedule your errands to coincide with the other things you have to do and with your trips to or from work. Take stock of the time you spend standing around shooting the breeze – especially the time you spend on the telephone – and eliminate all that isn’t necessary.Whatever chores you have to do at home, set aside a specific time to do them, and a specific amount of time to devote to them. Don’t try to do a week’s work in one big flurry. Whether it’s painting your house, fixing leaky faucets, or mowing your lawn and trimming your shrubs, do a part of it, or one particular job each day, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.Take care of all your mail the day you receive it. Don’t let those bills and letters pile up on you. If you’re unable to pay a bill immediately, file it in a special place that’s visible, and note on the envelope the date you intend to pay it. Answer your letters the same day you get them.The important thing is to think of time as your most valuable asset, because it is. So organize! Decide what you have to do, and what you want to do. From there, it’s just a matter of arranging priorities. Once you start listing and planning what you want to do, and then carry out your plans, you’ll find plenty of “extra time” for handling virtually any kind of home-based income-producing project. You may not like routines or schedules, but without some sort of plan as to what is supposed to be done, you won’t achieve your goals. The secret of all financially successful people is simply that they are organized and do not waste time. Think about it. Review your own activities, and then see if you can’t find a couple of extra hours in each day for more constructive accomplishments.When you begin planning, and then when you really become involved in an extra in come-producing endeavor, you should work it exactly as you have organized your regular day-to-day activities – on a time-efficient basis. Do what has to be done immediately. Don’t try to get done in an hour something that’s realistically going to take a week. Plan out on paper what you have to do – what you want to do – and when you are going to do it. Then get right on each project without procrastination.Finally, and above all else, when you’re organizing your time and your business, be sure to set aside some time for relaxation. Be sure to schedule time when you and your spouse can be together. Don’t be so wrapped up in your business that your family has forgotten what you look like.Copyright 2004 DeAnna SpencerThis article may be reprinted and redistributed as long as the resource box remains intact.

Make Gift Baskets For Fun & Profit

Putting together lovely gift baskets is the way to give a memorable gift to anyone at any time of the year. Now you can assemble gift baskets, and at a very low price! Baskets come in a variety of shapes from traditional round to oval, square, heart-shaped, and circular. Some have a couple of handles, others are colored brightly, while still more baskets are as natural as the reeds that make them up. Of course not all baskets are made from reeds; you’ll find those made from plastic, metal, tin, fabric, or combinations thereof.Basic BasketsDecide what item[s] will be going into that gift basket.Group the items together. It is best if the largest items are in the center or at the back, so it creates a pyramid shape. If in doubt about sizing your gifts to your basket, just measure the tallest part and the circumference of your gift items.Make sure your basket will be a bit larger than the items.Decide what you will fill your basket with: plastic grass, tissue paper, raffia, crinkled or shredded paper or a towel.Add your items carefully and securely.You might be able to find a cellophane bag that is large enough to cover a gift basket and add that.If using cello wrap, make sure you have a large enough piece. Using clear tape, apply to the bottom of the basket to help secure it. Sometimes it may be necessary to tape around the width of the basket. If so, please use invisible tape!Tightly gather the ends of the cello wrap and tie together tightly with a twist tie. Then add a bow, making sure it’s securely attached.Adding a gift card is always a nice idea. Your gift card should have a loop in which you add a short length of ribbon or elasticized band which you then attach to the perimeter of the ribbon or twist tie.Make Your Own Shredded PaperAll you need is a nice quality paper shredder and some plain colored paper and you have your own basket lining at virtually no cost, and no effort!Basket ThemesCreativity rules here when it comes to what you can add to a gift basket! Determine whom you will be giving this basket to, if this person is male or female, and what their interests are. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.Baby ~ Stuffed toy, blanket, booties, cap, bib, baby powder, mobile, pacifier, books, blocks, toys, bath & body items, music CD, and baby shop gift certificate.Bath & Body ~ Soap, loofah sponge, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, whipped shea butter, bath salts, sugar scrub, aromatherapy bath oils, bubble bath, washcloth, rubber ducky, spa gift certificate, relaxing music CD, and scented candles.Birthday ~ Balloons, candles, stickers, bubbles, toys, games, teddy bears, dolls, jewelry, books, gift certificates, cookies, candies, and fruit.Bon Voyage ~ Travel guides, maps, compass, travel diary, passport holder, atlas, travel size toiletries, and gift certificates.Bridal ~ Scented candles, bath & body products, spa gift certificate, gourmet chocolate, flowers, lingerie, champagne, wine, crystal, other gift certificates.Chocolate Lover ~ Chocolate bars, chocolate candy/bon-bons, chocolate cookies, hot chocolate mix, cocoa butter lip balm, cheesecake, chocolate scented bath & body products, chocolate candy, and gift certificates.Coffee Lover ~ Sometimes you can combine this with the Tea Lover gift basket. Varieties of coffee, honey, creamer, sweetener, coffee mugs, coffee pot, Thermos, coffee-scented soap, coffee sugar scrub, coffee-scented candles, coffee shop gift certificates.Corporate/Executive ~ Wine, spirits, gourmet foods, imported chocolate, personalized gifts bearing company logo, cheesecake, fully stocked picnic basket, and gift certificates.Gourmet ~ Pancake mix, imported jams, cheesecake, candies, cookies, cheese, chocolate, condiments, teas, coffee, fruits, syrup, smoked salmon, truffles, olive oil, imported vinegars, pasta, biscotti and gift certificates.Sports Lover ~ Sports Lovers baskets can include a variety of general sports, or specialize in one sport like golf, football, hockey, etc. Including tickets to a game, a stopwatch, popcorn, nuts, wine, beer, snacks, cheese, toys, t-shirts, baseball cap, autographed team/sport merchandise, and gift certificates.Tea Lover ~ Sometimes you can combine this with the Coffee Lover gift basket. Varieties of tea bags, tea cups/mugs, honey, teapot, tea infuser, blocks of tea, tea cakes, wafers, cookies, tea-scented soap, tea-scented candles and gift certificates.Wine & Cheese ~ Fine wine, wine glasses, champagne, napkins, cheese, cheeseballs, cheese spread, crackers, biscuits, wine soap, and gift certificates.Other Theme Ideas ~ Movie Lover, Congratulations, Easter, Pet Lover, Retirement, Anniversary, 21st Birthday, Sweet 16, Game Lover, Music Lover, Gardener, Book Lover, etc.Buying Your Gift Basket & AccessoriesFinding an excellent bargain for the basket itself is quite easy. You can locate them at your local dollar store, Goodwill, Salvation Army, thrift shops, flea markets, swap meets, garage sales, craft stores, discount stores and online.Also, don’t be afraid to be creative when selecting a basket. You can easily find other sizes/shapes that will perfectly match your theme. A Christmas sleigh for Christmas presents is an obvious choice. But how about a bucket, mailbox, birdhouse, birdcage, or large mug to name just a few alternative basket ideas?Cellophane, organza bags, tissue paper, ribbon/bows and plastic grass/shredded paper, can be located at discount stores, drug stores, craft stores, packing suppliers, and online.Once you’ve made your first gift basket you might be hooked to this creative way to give gifts and will make many more! Gift basket assembling is a profitable business that can be started right in your own home. Make certain you have enough storage space for all your baskets and supplies! Investigate wholesale options for the products you will be adding to gift baskets. And make sure you do your research about starting a small home-based business.

Why Budding NetPreneurs Fail

NetPreneurs fail all too often because they wrongly assume that marketing on the Net is a no cost business when, in reality it is simply a low cost or targeted cost business.The most successful NetPreneurs invest either targeted advertising dollars AND/OR targeted “sweat equity” in order to generate a steady flow of traffic to their websites. Without traffic, NO product ever sells.Many would be NetPreneurs understimate the amount of traffic that is actually required to create and sustain a business though. They will join free “safelists” and blast away often ill conceived or “me too” messages to thousands of names without realizing that, for the most part, participants on the list are all looking to sell – not buy.If asked, any honest businessperson would admit they want a clientele of affluent, repeat buyers who may one day even become joint venture partners not the “dollar store entrepreneurs” who make no effort to grow as business people. (We all have to start somewhere…some though are unwilling to move beyond humble beginnings and invest in themselves!)They design (or use cloned) websites and then think that every hit should become an instant “sale”.In reality, thousands of hits may only translate into a few sales (at best). NetPreneurs should be seeking thousands of hits per day… budding netpreneurs who fail though routinely think that they’d have it “made” if they received a thousand hits per month and give up when that paltry number of hits does not produce instant wealth.Then as hosting bills start to mount and the affiliate commissions don’t roll in like a tidal wave, reality sets in!The key for the budding NetPreneur is to target a niche.Identifying buyers when they are ready to buy requires an altogether different strategy of allowing prospects with money to spend to FIND YOU.That involves a long term strategy of dailing activities designed to 1) create significant CONTENT that is 2) Search Engine Friendly and Buyer Friendly while 3) “monetizing” the site so that it generates several streams of income from both advertising AND affiliate sales.Keywords niches analyzed.Articles written.Pages posted and optimized.Blogs blogged.Press releases submitted.Message boards visited.Customers served.Joint ventures pursued.Subscriber bases built.Ads judiciously targeted.Etc.Only by constant tweaking and promotion will the budding NetPreneur get the Big Boys (and Girls) at Google, Yahoo!, Inktomi, and to send search engine referrals their way.Most give up well before succes is achieved. Don’t be one of them!For more on this topic from a netpreneur who generate $436,767 in first year revenues visit: http://1stHowToWorkAtHome.com/15Reasons

How to Create Your Own Mail Order Products

Pick up almost any book or report on Mailorder Selling and invariably you will find the same advice. When you select a mailorder product, select one which:- appeals to a large segment of the population- is not readily available in stores- is easy to ship by mail- is worthwhile- and a product that lends itself to repeat ordersMost mail order writers will also tell you to try to acquire exclusive selling rights to your product. Most writers will agree that a dealer has a better chance of succeeding in the mailorder business if he has created the product himself.All of this is certainly good advice. The trouble with it is that it does not go far enough. It does not tell you HOW to create a product that is exclusively you own. In what follows, I would like to show you, step by step, HOW to create your own mailorder product.I would like to begin by making a very revolutionary statement. THE FIRST STEP ON THE ROAD TO MAIL ORDER SUCCESS IS NOT THE SELECTION OF A PRODUCT! That may sound like a very strange statement, but there are three things you must do (if you want to be successful) before you ever select a product to sell by mail!FIRST, you must ANALYZE YOURSELF. You will only succeed in selling a product, or a line of mailorder products if you really enjoy selling them, if you can be honestly enthusiastic about them, and if they are products you yourself would honestly want to buy.SECOND, you must SELECT YOUR MARKET. Once you have analyzed yourself, you will want to sell to people who have interests similar to your own. Only then will you be comfortable in your mailorder business.THIRD, you must thoroughly ANALYZE YOUR MARKET. Before you ever select a product, you should KNOW what your market is buying, what it would like to buy, if available, and what it will buy form you, in the very near future.Once you have analyzed yourself, selected your market, and then thoroughly analyzed your market, you will have no trouble selecting or creating a product to sell by mail. It will almost select you! Now, let’s go back and study these three steps, one by one.ANALYZE YOURSELFTo help you understand yourself, sit down and, as honestly as possible, write out your answers to the following questions:1. When I go to a newstand, what kind of magazines appeal to ME?2. What kind of books do I really like to read?3. When I daydream, what do I daydream about?4. What do I do with my free time? (How do I spend my evenings? What do I do on weekends?)5. What do I do on my vacation?6. What one subject interests me more than any other subject in the world?7. If I didn’t have to work for a living, how would I spend my time?8. If I could go back to college, what subjects would I take?9. What kind of products do I like to purchase by mail?Once you have HONESTLY answered all these questions, you will see an amazing pattern emerging. When you have finished, pay a visit to your local library. Go to the Reference Desk and ask to see the latest edition of the WRITER’S MARKET. Sit down and study the Table of Contents, which lists all the main categories of magazines currently being printed. Decide which CATEGORY interests you beyond all others. It is in that mailorder market that you will be most at home . . . and it is there that you will be most successfulNow go back to the Reference Desk and ask for two other publications. Either one will provide you with the information you need. They are:- THE STANDARD PERIODICAL DIRECTORY and- ULTICH’S INTERNATIONAL PERIODICAL DIRECTORYI, of course, have no idea what your interests really are, but let us, for the sake of illustration, say that you have a compelling interest in Astrology. With a little search in the Standard Periodical Directory, you will find the name and address of at least a dozen or so Astrology magazines. In Ulrich’s you will find even more, since it lists magazines published in foreign countries as well.Jot down the names and address of each and every publication. Write to each of them, on your letterhead if possible. If you don’t have a letterhead, you will still hear from most of them. Tell them you are starting a mailorder business, specializing in Astrological products, and ask them for a sample copy of their publications, along with their ADVERTISING RATES.When you start receiving your sample copies, save them . . . and save the advertising rate cards. They will be invaluable to you in the future.While you are waiting for these to arrive, go to the nearest second-and magazine store and buy a few dozen old astrology magazines. (The cost? Probably a dime apiece!) Get as many different magazine titles as possible and be sure to get copies with MAIL ORDER ADS in them. Issues that are ten or fifteen years old will be valuable to you, but also try to obtain some of the more current issues. You are now ready to start . . .ANALYZING YOUR MARKETStart a notebook. Pick up one of the magazines which you have purchased at the second-hand magazine store. Read the first ad. . . every line of it. Read it slowly and carefully. When you have finished reading it, see if you can describe what is being sold in five words or less. If you can’t, go back and read it again. If you can, record your description under one of three headings in your notebook:- Merchandise- Information- ServiceAll mailorder offerings come under one of the three headings listed above. If the ad was for an Aquarian Necklace, it should be listed under Merchandise. If it was for a treatise on Flying Saucers, it should be listed under Information. If it was an offer to chart your horoscope, it should be listed under Service.After you have analyzed the first ad, go on and study the next ad. Continue until you have thoroughly analyzed every single ad in the magazine, including the classifieds. When you are through, you will have three lists:- A list of Astrological Merchandise for sale- A list of Astrological Manuals (Information) for sale- A list of Astrological services for sale.As you read, watch for:UNDEVELOPED IDEAS — Especially in older issues, you will find really good ideas that were, for one reason or another, never developed. Perhaps the originator lost interest or didn’t have the capital to develop his idea. He may have died or he may have run off with a chorus girl from Las Vegas and forgotten all about the mail order business. If you can develop the idea, you have a mail order product.WHOLESALE SOURCES — Watch for ads that say “Dealers Wanted” (in more current issues, of course). Here may be the perfect source of mailorder products for you.STUDY THE ARTICLES — They will show you what the readers are interested in and they will give you clues as to what the readers want to buy. Remember the articles are doing two things — they are printing articles about subjects which the readers are already interested. But they are also CREATING NEW INTERESTS in the minds of the readers. CAN YOU CREATE A PRODUCT THAT READERS WILL WANT AS A RESULT OF READING THOSE ARTICLES?You will be amazed at what you will discover when you read magazines from the viewpoint of a mailorder man!While researching this manuscript, I analyzed three totally different magazines from the viewpoint of a mailorder man. I would like to share some of my findings with you. Don’t worry if the fields are different from those which interest you. MAILORDER PRINCIPLES ARE THE SAME FOR EVERY MARKET!The first magazine which I analyzed was ASTROLOGY – YOUR DAILY HOROSCOPE, December 1975. I would like to begin with the Merchandise Offerings.ASTROLOGY (MERCHANDISE)The first ad is for personalized stationary. Any mailorder man knows you can sell personalized stationary to any market. But this dealer took a commonplace product and adapted it to the Astrological market. Next to the name and address which he prints on the stationary, he prints the Astrological sun sign and he calls it ZODIAC STATIONARY.The next ad is for another very commonplace product — soap! You can buy soap in any grocery store. But this soap is special. It has YOUR ZODIAC SIGN imprinted in it, and it lasts as long as the soap lasts. Here is another good example of adapting a commonplace product to the special interests and desires of your prospective customers.If you are now selling a product by mail and you would like to increase you sales, make a list of the kinds of people you would like to sell it to. (For example, doctors, waitresses, farmers, gun collectors, etc.) Then go back and ask yourself what you could do to your product to make it appeal to each individual group. You’ll be amazed at how you can turn commonplace items into red hot mailorder sellers just by taking the time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a while.The next merchandise offering is for “SEASHELLS FOR VIRGOS AND SCORPIOS”. Brother, this is a fantastic idea. Had this advertiser offered plain old seashells in an astrology magazine, his mailbox would probably have been empty. Had he advertised “Seashells for Astrologers”, he MIGHT have gotten a few orders. But he made his seashells special, exclusive, and very, very desirable, because they are only for Virgos and Scorpios. He is catching the attention of one reader out of every six and I would bet that ad was a mailorder success! Here is an idea worth remembering. Try to apply it to YOUR product!Another merchandise offering was a “Hand Bio-Rhythm Computer”. For the past few years, Astrology magazines have been running article after article on the Bio-Rhythm Theory (i.e. every male and female person has emotional, intellectual and physical cycles, which can be predicted in advance). The Astrology magazines, in effect, have been creating a mailorder market for this kind of new product. The ad promises, “it reveals your emotional, intellectual and physical state . . . EVEN BEFORE THE DAY BEGINS!” This dealer was clever enough to do something about this new interest. If he had not studied his market, he could never have discovered the NEED for a Bio-Rhythm computer!ASTROLOGY (INFORMATION)People who read Astrology magazines are very interested in Love, Money, Success, Power, Miracles, Prayer, etc. One enterprising dealer has written six “personal guidance” manuals, and runs full page ads in Astrology magazines, selling them form $2.00 to $11.00 each! His ads have been running successfully for years. Back in 1960, when I first became interested in selling by mail, this dealer was running small ads in mail dealer magazines, selling mailorder manuals!Here are some of the other information manuals which dealers have written and are selling by mail:- How the Maya Indians Foretold the Future – $15.00- Powerful Words to Be Recited Daily to End Your Money Worries – $4.00- How to Spiritually Heal Your Pets – $5.00- A Manual on Etheric Astal Projection, written “especially for the Neophyte” – $3.00Can you create a WORTHWHILE manual for this market? (I predict that the first dealer who writes a good manual on Bio-Rhythm will make a fortune!) If you need ideas for manuals, study the subjects being offered in the Astrology magazines. Remember –the readers are interested in those subjects! In the issue of ASTROLOGY – YOUR PERSONAL HOROSCOPE which I read, the following information articles appeared. (This is only a partial list.)”Yearly Forecast for Sagittarians” “Basic Astronomy for the Astrologers” “Sybil Leek Analyzes YOUR Dreams” “How to Make Your Dreams Pay Off” “How Mercury Inspires Your Creativity”A study of OLD Astrology magazines will provide you with a wealth of subjects for New Mailorder Manuals (or folios).ASTROLOGY (SERVICE)If there is one thing people who read Astrology magazines love, it is this . . . They LOVE TO BE ANALYZED AND COUNSELLED BY PROFESSIONALS. Do you have specialized training in the art of Horoscope Reading? If so, you can sell your services by mail. Here are some of the headlines form ads offering such services:- “Let an Expert Discuss YOUR Life!”- “This Horoscope is about YOU”- “Now . . . a serious study of YOU!”- “Now there is a Horoscope written for the TWO OF YOU! . . .One for you, one for your loved one! It could mean thedifference between a Happy Marriage and a Painful Divorce!”- “1976 – 1977 – 1978! Is one of these YOUR Year of Destiny?”(This had been running in Astrology magazines for at least tenyears. Every year, the advertiser simply changes the dates!Other services being offered in this magazine include:- Personal Questions Answered by Psychics and Mystics- Spiritual Readings- Tarot Readings- Palm Readings- Handwriting Analysis- Questions answered through Astro-Extra Sensory PerceptionAre you trained to offer such services through the mail? Or are you interested in receiving such training? (You will find many such offers to train you in a newstand magazine called FATE.) If you answer is Yes . . . this is where you should begin your mailorder career.The next magazine I analyzed was the November 1975 issue of FIELD AND STREAM. Since this magazine is aimed at two mailorder markets, hunters and fishermen, I analyzed only those ads pertaining to Hunters.HUNTERS (MERCHANDISE)Men who hunt for wild game spend a lot of money on their hobby. They buy top quality hunting clothes. (Who wants to go hunting in a CHEAP pair of jungle boots?) They spend a lot of money on their guns, their hunting knives, and on top quality binoculars. There are several dozen well-established mail order companies selling this kind of merchandise to hunters. If you ar planning to establish a one man mail order operation, you would be well advised not to try to compete with these companies. Instead, look for something unique that a hunter can USE, and begin you mailorder business there.Here are a few merchandise offerings being made by enterprising dealers:”Deer Hunter’s soap” (Bathe in soap scented with the aroma of a female deer and you will attract a Buck. Only $1.50 per bay!) Notice how a smart dealer ADAPTED a commonplace item to a specialized market. Notice too, that he adapted it to ONLY ONE KIND OF HUNTER. HE DIDN’T OFFER IT TO BEAR HUNTERS, TO COON HUNTERS, TO QUAIL HUNTERS, OR TO GAME HUNTERS IN GENERAL. He offered it to deer-hunters! If you are a deer-hunter, you would notice that ad!”"Curtain rods for HUNTING Vans – $3.95 a pair.” (Sure, you can buy curtain rods in any dime store, but not curtain rods for HUNTING VANS! Another excellent example of taking a commonplace item, adapting it to a specialized market, and creating a new mailorder product.Also offered:- Gun cleaning cloths (10 for a dollar)- Brass Nameplates for HUNTING DOGS (not for just any old dog!)- ID Tags for Your Hunting Dogs- Handwarmers and Bodywarmers (Boy, could you use these when you get lost in the snow!)- There was a small classified ad offering “Fish and Game Rubber Stamps.” I hope this dealer got a lot of orders, but if he didn’t, I suspect it was because his offer was too general. First of all, it would have sold better with an illustrated display ad. But even better . . . let us go back to the Virgo and Scorpio concept above. How about rubber stamps for Coon Hunters? Or for Pheasant Hunters? Or rubber stamps for Taxidermists? You will always get more orders if you direct your ad to specific people.HUNTING (INFORMATION)Frankly, I was amazed at the amount of Information Folios being sold to Hunters. Here are some examples:”How to Build Your Own Gun Cabinet”"Duck Calling Instructions” (30 minutes on tape!) A lot of information, in every field, is now being put on cassette tape and sold by mail. If you would rather talk than write, this could be an aspect of mailorder selling for you to consider.”Chart showing Life-size Tracks of 38 Animals in the Adirondack Mountains” (Incidently not all information is written. A lot of people buy plans, diagrams, etc. To digress, recently a dealer advertised plans to build your own flying saucer detector!)”How to Build Box Traps – $1.00″”My Secret on Coon Trapping, after 50 years. Guaranteed, $1.00″”Mount fish for Fun and Profit – Easy instructions – $1.00″”Tan Your Own Hides – Hair on or off – Complete, easy to follow instructions and Formulas – $1.00″”Build (meat, fish, sausage) smoker! Inexpensive, protable…. easy plans, $1.00″”Wild Game and Fish Recipes – Deer, Bear, Rabbit, Trout, Salmon and dozens more – $1.00″Can you write an information manual for hunters? Can you tell him how to shoot ducks? Or how to hunt buffalo? . . . Or what to do for snake bites? . . . Or how to sign up for a Big Game Safari in the wilds of Africa? If you can, write a good manual (or put it on tape!) and sell it by mail!HUNTING (SERVICE)Unlike the readers of Astrology magazines, Game Hunters don’t give a damn about being analyzed or counselled! But if you can teach his hunting dog how to chase a bear up a tree, then he will probably pay you for your services. Can you repair his gun? Or can you stuff and mount his catches? If so, you can build a mailorder business offering such services.The final publication analyzed was the WRITER’S DIGEST of November, 1975.WRITING (MERCHANDISE)If you are interested in the craft of writing (or if you have done well in creative writing classes) you might decide to build a mail order business catering to the needs of hundreds of thousands of persons who dream of becoming professional writers. here are some of the merchandise offerings being made to writers:- “Copyright and Related Laws for Writers”- “Grants and Aids to Individuals in the Arts – 1500 Sources.” (What writer isn’t looking for a grant?)- “I receive checks every week for features, fillers, news. Free details.”- “Gagwriters Guide”- “Secret Way to Make Money Writing – $2.00″- “Make Money Writing Fillers! Up-to-Date Filler Directory.”- “International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses.”If you can produce an information manual showing writers how to write better, or how to sell their manuscripts, then write it and sell it by mail. You will have CREATED a new mailorder product! (To get ideas for subjects of interest to writers, study the articles in such publications as the Writers Digest, The Writer, Saturday Review, etc.)WRITERS — (SERVICE)Some of the largest mailorder business in the world sell correspondence courses teaching people how to write for a living. There are also a dozen or more large printing companies (called “Vanity Publishers” in the trade) whose sole business is printing books for authors, whose works have been rejected by the regular publishing houses.If you are a serious literary person, with a gift for writing, you could very possibly establish a business offering your services to writers. Here are some of the services which were being offered in the November 1975 issue of Writer’s Digest:- Literary Counseling- Literary Criticism- Literary Editing- Short Story Evaluation- Manuscript Analysis- Article Evaluation (No Fiction)- Ghost Writing- Newspaper and Magazine Reference Service (Authors often need such a service.)- Manuscript TypingAre you qualified to offer any of these services by mail? If you are, you have found a service to sell by mail! If you are not now qualified, why not acquire professional training . . . and then offer your services by mail?IN CONCLUSIONI realize that I have just touched the surface of three different mail order markets. There are hundreds of other mail order markets for you to explore! Analyze yourself and then select the market that is best for you.Study your market thoroughly . . . AND NEVER STOP STUDYING IT. Most successful mailorder people read dozens of magazines every month. They KNOW what their customers are thinking about, what they need, and what they will buy.Successful mailorder people are interested in the NEEDS and WANTS of their customers FIRST. They understand that if they concentrate on those, profits will flow naturally. Those who think only of profits soon pass by the wayside.In the beginning of this manual, I asked you to write to every magazine in your chosen field. Subscribe to as many as possible. When you have created your first product, then start advertising in those magazines (which is why I said to keep their rate cards.) Never run an ad unless you can run it in three consecutive issues. Then CONTINUE running it for as long as it continues to produce new customers for you. Slowly add new (but related) items to your line. Whenever possible, expand your business by inserting your ads in new publications.Remember these simple guidelines:- DON’T COPY ANYONE ELSE! You are a unique individual. Express your own individuality in your Mail Order business.- CREATE SOMETHING NEW AND EXCITING!- CREATE SOMETHING USEFUL AND WORTHWHILE!- CREATE SOMETHING YOU YOURSELF WOULD WANT TO BUY!Copyright by DeAnna Spencer 2004This article may be reproduced and redistributed freely on the Internet as long as the resource box remains intact.

Keeping Your Business’s Finances on Track

One of the biggest benefits of operating a home-based business is that it doesn’t require any formal training or experience. After all, some of the most successful individuals never attended a single business-related class or workshop.The only drawback to having a lack of experience and/or business education is that it can make tracking your company’s finances difficult. Even accountants who spend their lives working with numbers often find bookkeeping a tedious chore.But no matter how mundane keeping track of your company’s revenue and expenses may be, it is also necessary for several reasons:1) You need to know at a glance if your business is spending more than it is earning.2) You need to have all of this information documented for tax time.3) You can use this data to help you establish your budgets and to adjust your spending.Of course, just knowing it’s important doesn’t make it easier to accomplish. In fact, you really have two options if you want to reduce your accounting stress:A) Hire a professional to help you orB) Invest in a helpful accounting software program.While hiring a professional would be the easiest route, it’s also more costly. For most home-based businesses, the most effective choice is to use an accounting software program.Before you spend a dime, however, there are a few things you need to know.1) Know What You Need The Program To DoThe accounting programs currently available can handle a wide array of business related tasks, such as tracking expenses, creating invoices, handling payroll, and printing checks. The more of these tasks a program can do, the more expensive it will be.For that reason, you should know exactly what you are going to use it for. That way you can get a program that meets your needs without paying for features you’ll never use.2) Know The Details Of Your ComputerBefore you buy any software, you need to know your computer’s current statistics, such as what operating system you use, how much hard drive is available, and how much RAM your system contains.If you buy a program that won’t work on your system, you won’t be able to return it and get your money back once it’s been opened. Checking in advance will protect you from getting stuck with software you can’t use.3) Do Your HomeworkAny type of business-related purchase requires careful consideration, so be sure to investigate before you buy. Explore all of the software programs available and find out what other people are saying about them. Sites like Epinions.com and CNET.com can provide you with product feedback from both consumers and reviewers.Pay attention to mentions of difficulty levels since you want a program that is easy for you to learn and to use. Also, take advantage of software demos. Nothing beats a hands-on preview. You should do some research into the companies’ technical support and customer service as well. If you ever need help, you want to know it’s readily available.4) Be Aware Of CostsAnother thing you need to know is how much you can afford to spend on the program. The costs for accounting software run from $30 to $600 or more depending on the features included.Knowing what you need and can afford in advance will prevent you from paying too much. Shopping around for a particular program won’t do much good, however. Whether you buy a program online, from an electronics store, or from a retail outlet, you’ll pay about the same price. Watch for rebates or special offers, however, because they can cut your costs considerably.Here are a few suggestions if you find it difficult to identify the right accounting software program for you:* Peachtree Accounting 2003Peachtree is one of the most recognized names in business accounting. This program allows you to manage your accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, payroll, job costing, fixed assets, even general ledger. Other valuable features perfect for small or home-based businesses, such as Internet postage, credit card service, direct deposit, and contact management are also included.This version costs $199.95, but others are also available. You can learn more about Peachtree’s line of accounting software at http://www.peachtree.com* Quicken Home & BusinessAt $89.95, Quicken Home & Business is one of the most budget-friendly accounting programs on the market. Even though its price is low, its packed with features, such as creating custom estimates and invoices, generating business reports, setting up a Merchant Account, managing taxes and expenses, and keeping track of your cash flow.You can also use the program to download your transactions and pay your bills online. Other versions of Quicken are also available through the company’s web site [http://www.quicken.com/quickensw/]* Microsoft Monday 2003 Deluxe & BusinessWith this software, you can take care of most of your accounting needs without breaking your business’s budget. At only $64.95, the software still comes with a wide range of features including the ability to create customized invoices, estimate tax payments, compare financial data, balance your checkbook, track cash flow, and pay your bills. Additional versions of the the program are available for sale at http://www.microsoft.com/moneyKnowing this useful information will help you find an accounting program that will make your job easier, less stressful, and more efficient.

SPORTS – Best Homebased Business Ideas: Part 2

Building a sports merchandise business on the internet means loads of competition. Still, done right, a sports merchandise business could be very profitable. The key here is to build more content and valuable non-sales articles than your sports merchandise business competition.A sports merchandise business can encompass everything from jerseys and helmets, cards, tickets, and memorabilia. Your sports merchandise business can be virtually anything you want it to be, a fact that definitely interests many.sports merchandise business and youThe sport merchandise industry is pretty vast- it would be easy to get lost! Instead of trying to compete with the mega-sites, try complementing them, and possibly even partnering with them.Selling collectibles can be even tougher for a new website. It’s best to partner with a reputable firm, as trust is a critical element in earning business as a collectibles dealer.Licensed MerchandiseYou may want to sell licensed sports merchandise direct from your website. I have a suggestion that may make it easier to find companies that will drop shop for you. This can be an easier way to operate on a small level, because the dropship company handles order fulfillment for you. Once you’re established, I would suggest taking on inventory.I will suggest actually the only guide that makes perfect sense. It’s online based, meaning you will access their list through a secure website. It’s maintained by eBay radio’s product sourcing editor, Chris Malta. The guide is the only dropship source guide Certified by Ebay!What’s even better is that since the guide is online, you will get automatic updates, so you’re always getting fresh contacts. Most paper guides are out of date soon after you get them. The updates for the guides are lifetime once you purchase!