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Three Steps to a Professional Image

One of the biggest reasons home-based business entrepreneurs often fail to attract customers is that they also fail to create a professional image. A professional image is an element of your credibility and without credibility winning customers is an uphill battle.Think of it this way: would you give your hard earned money to a guy selling products out of an alley? Probably not. For one, you would wonder where the good had come from. It would also be inconvenient because your method of payment options would be limited. You would also not have the peace of mind of knowing you could get a refund if it turns out that your purchase is defective or does not live up to your expectations. Just as you would have these concerns, so will your customers if you do not create a credible image.Many home-based business owners feel they can’t afford to create a professional image on a small start-up budget, but not only is creating that image possible even with limited funds, it’s something you can’t afford not to do.Here are a few ways to create that image:1) Provide Multiple Payment MethodsMost modern shops and businesses accept a variety of payment options, including cash, checks, and credit cards in order to make it more convenient for customers. Money orders and debit cards are also payment options widely accepted. You should try to accept as many of these payment methods as possible.Additionally, online stores must be prepared to accept international funds or risk losing a percentage of their audience.Accepting checks is the easiest method you can incorporate into your business. However, keep in mind that most people will be wary about making the check out to an individual when they feel they are doing business with a company. So you will need to create a business checking account. These accounts can be opened at any financial institution.Unless you have officially registered your company through the government and received an identification number, your account will be listed as you doing business as (dba) your company’s name. With the account, you will be able to cash checks made out to you or your business.Credit card, debit card, and international funds, on the other hand, can be more difficult matters. At least initially, you may want to use a service such as Paypal to handle these transactions. A PayPal business account will cost you nothing to open, but a small percentage of the funds will be automatically subtracted for each transaction. You can also use Paypal to accept electronic check payments.2) Provide Detailed Contact InformationCustomers like to know who they are doing business with and how they can reach them if there is a problem with their purchase. However, many home-based business owners don’t want to put their personal contact information online where it is accessible by millions, and you do want to protect your family’s privacy. So instead, you need to create business-specific contact information.First, you need to rent a post office box. Various sizes are available, and payments can be made every six months or every year. You can use your post office box for all of your business correspondence and can safely display it on your web site.Second, you should either get a second phone line or a cellular phone which is dedicated to your business. Not only does this allow you to keep your family’s privacy secure, but it also prevents your children or loved ones from answering important business calls in an unprofessional manner.Also consider investing in a fax machine or using an online service such as efax. Including your fax number with your other contact information, not only provides customers with an additional method of communication, but also creates an image of professionalism.3) Deliver on Your PromisesIt can be easy to start taking customers for granted once they have paid for their product. After all, once you have their money, the hard part is over, right? Wrong! Customers can become repeat customers if they are treated well; they can also bring additional customers your way via word-of-mouth referrals.Treating them well means delivering on your promises, including shipping products on schedule, standing behind your guarantee, providing effective customer service, and promotion products honestly. Doing these things sends a message to your customers that says not only that your company is professional but also that you care about your customers.These three ideas are just the beginning but they will help you begin developing the image you want and need your company to have if it is to succeed.

Home-Based Business Owners Save Thousands on Their Taxes

Do You Qualify For Home-Based Tax Deductions?New changes in the tax laws have made it easier than ever to claim Home Office Deductions and keep more of what you earn.If your home is a place of business, many of your personal expenses can be deducted as business expenses resulting in lower taxes.You may be thinking, “I have an Accountant/CPA/Tax Preparer/Tax Software who knows all about tax deductions so I don’t have to know anything about them.”There are several reasons why that thinking could be costing you thousands of tax dollars. Some of those reasons are:
Most Accountants/CPA’s/Tax Preparers do not “specialize” in Home-Based Businesses and do not keep up with the ever-changing laws pertaining to them.

You are ultimately responsible for knowing what you can and cannot deduct as business expenses. Why? YOU are accountable to the IRS for your deductions, not the tax preparer.

If you pay someone to do your taxes you still need to know what you can deduct so that you can gather all relevant paperwork.

The most compelling reason: Getting the greatest benefit from your deductions.

To qualify for these deductions you must meet 2 conditions, which most, if not all, Internet Marketers meet.Condition 1: Do you work as an Internet marketer out of your home (on your “home computer)?To qualify for deducting expenses related to using a workspace for business in your home, your home must be
Your “principal place of business ” or you must use the space only to earn your business income.

Use it on a regular and ongoing basis to meet your clients, customers, or patients.

ANDCondition 2: Are you in business to make a profit?Whether you made a profit or not is immaterial. Even if you lost money but intended to make a profit these deductions are still available to you.If you answered yes to both of these questions then you do own a Home-Based Business and as such you are qualified to deduct Business Assets, Direct and Indirect Expenses.Business Assets include business equipment such as computer, fax machines, business furniture such as desk (your dining room table for instance), desk chair and filing cabinets. These are 100% deductible if they are used “exclusively” for business purposes.If these assets are not used “exclusively’ for business the amount you can deduct is proportionally related to how much these things are used in your business. It is possible to deduct a portion of your living room, sofa, DVD player etc if you meet certain conditions.Direct Expenses are those directly related to conducting your business. This would include office supplies, telephone service,, cellular phones, ISP service, hosting, advertising etc. Direct expenses are generally 100% deductible.Indirect Expenses include such things as rent on your home, utilities including heating and air conditioning and general repairs such as replacing a roof or repainting the exterior of your home.These are authorized legal deductions passed into law specifically for Home-Based Businesses by congress.If you use your home for business purposes, many of your personal expenses can legally be converted into deductible business expenses including utilities such as heat and electricity, cleaning materials, house insurance and property taxes.Learn all you can about what you can deduct and you will consistently save thousands on your income tax each year.”I’m proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money.” - Arthur Godfrey

You Can Work at Home and Love It

What are you passionate about?What do you believe in?Is there a product or service that you find yourself just raving about with friends and family!Share your talents, experiences, and beliefs through a home business.Choosing a work at home business is rewarding.Earn extra money – meet your savings and debt reduction goals faster! Have Flexible Hours – schedule your work around other duties or your household duties around your work. Either way, you set the schedule. Set your own goals – You decide what is enough. Provide a creative outlet to do something you love to do. You might feel motivated to work at home because you need a little extra money. Perhaps you just need a creative outlet.Maybe you’ve become so good at your household management skills that you just have too much time on your hands. With the many challenges of family and household management I congratulate you if the latter is the case! Give yourself a pat on the back!You know we learn our most valuable lessons from our failures and successes. Hopefully, Right!I have learned one undeniable truth in my work experience. If you love it and have a passion for it, you WILL be successful.There is nothing easier than doing what you love to do. This is an undisputable fact of human nature. We all know this instinctively, but somehow fall away from the idea.If you can incorporate what you love to do, are passionate about and truly believe in, into your work at home business you will find success!You can choose to live your work or work to live. The decision to live your work can only be successful. It just makes sense!Until you find your niche in life you are just trudging along doing the necessary steps to survive.It’s when you find and work your passion in life that you begin to live.Your work naturally becomes your life.No, I’m not talking about being all about work 24/7. I’m talking about bringing something you are passionate about in life into your work at home business.There’s a huge difference.That being said, you need to really analyze what it is you like to do. Think about something productive or creative that you love to do in your spare time.WHAT IS YOUR “THING?”You may instantly know what your “thing” is or it could take you several days to figure it out. You may not have been able to do what you love for so long that you have forgotten what it actually is you love to do. Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of us.For example, through all my experiences I found nothing that excites me more than what I am doing right now! Bringing my family back to basics, getting my financial goals back on track and teaching my children to be financially responsible and successful.When I started looking for an extra income I tried so many things that just seemed to be out of character for me.I accepted offers only to discover that the program either required me to sell something (which I determined early in life was definitely not my thing), or required me to do something that I had no clue how to do. Like building a website or internet marketing.I was shot down from the start and couldn’t even get motivated to try.I learned that you don’t always get what you expect when you accept a work at home offer. You have to be careful to read everything.Make sure you know what you’re getting!If you choose an internet business and you’re a “newbie”, make sure you will be provided with all the educational and technical tools you need.Internet marketing and website building is very technical. If you have no knowledge of …….writing HTML textSearch Engine Optimization – click and pay hits – search engine spiders? Keyword brainstorming affiliates – associate programsWell, you can see it’s another college degree it seems. At the very least it would involve a great deal of reading, studying, and trial by error to create a website much less be successful at it.You need a step-by-step program to help you through. Some programs can leave you in a sea of confusion! Where do I start? What’s that mean? How do I promote it? Build a website? Advertise with search engines? You will be defeated before you’ve even begun if not careful.If you’ve bought into any of these informational offers and still feel lost on how to get started on your work at home venture, you know exactly what I mean.So, if you’re not internet savvy, or a webmaster, be sure the program offers the assistance that you need to be successful!Perhaps a work at home internet business is just not your cup of tea. There are lots of other wonderful ideas for generating a home based income.Child Care, crafts, and cleaning services are just to name a few. And, yes, there are people out there that do love to clean! Just remember – Do what you love to do to be successful!Find something that interests you or adapt an idea to suit your interests. You’ll be meeting your goals in no time! No matter what it is you love to do, you can find a way to use it to make extra money.The best part is you’ll love doing it if you love the work!If you choose to include a work at home business to strengthen you family’s foundation, I wish you the best of luck.Remember, if you pursue what you love and are passionate about, YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL!

6 Time Management Tips for Moms

Many of you have expressed the challenge of not having enough time to accomplish all your needed tasks and not being organized. Having good organization and management skills is absolutely imperative to your business. Being well organized can greatly affect your successfulness. Applying a few of the following tips will help you become more organized and make better use of your time.1. Learn to delegateMost of us are mothers and as moms we tend to automatically take on everything and are used to doing everything ourselves. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with delegating different tasks.2. Set business hoursOne way to keep yourself and your business organized is to set regular business hours. You know Monday through Friday 1 – 4 or whatever times works best for you and your family and try to stick to it as much as possible.3. Keep your office organizedHave a place for everything keeping like things together.4. Group like activities/errandsKeep track of errands that need done and try scheduling most of them on the same day.5. To-do listsHaving a to-do list keeps you motivated and lets you know what needs done at all times.6. Plan for tomorrowMake it a habit to review the following days schedule at the end of each day.Take a few minutes right now and start a list of everything you need to get done. Take that list and re-write it by placing the things that most need accomplished and place them at the top of your list. Once you’re finished get back to work and cross off tasks as you go. Not only will you find yourself getting more accomplished you’ll also find a sense of fulfillment.

The Power of Membership Programs

Membership programs are the best way to create residual income. You know the kind of income that is coming in month after month for years to come or at least as long as the referral remains a member of the service you sold.There is no difference in how you advertise for this programs compared to how you advertise for one time sales like ebooks or software. There are membership programs available for almost every thing you can imagine. It would take weeks for you to sort through all the possibilities.In my opinion membership programs are the best products to advertise for. Even if you only sell one membership per month. Doesn’t sound much, doesn’t it? But it’s probably more realistic than the high flying promises of the membership program owners. Focus for just a minute and follow my math.1 membership sale per month. Let’s say your commission is $5, this is a realistic amount not a fantasy commission nobody ever gets. After selling this program for 1 year you have 12 paid memberships, which now totals $60 per month. Plus the commission from all the other members as well. You will earn $390 in your first year. Hmm, not quite enough to quit my job.Let’s continue. The second year you already start with 12 members and $60. By the end of the second year you have 24 members and $120 residual income per month, which is $1110 per year. If you continue this for the period of 5 years your monthly residual income will be $300.Ok, still not exited. I don’t blame you. Here’s what you can do. Run free classified ads and slightly increase your sales rate to let’s say 1 membership sales per week. You just shortened to length of time to get $300 a month from 5 years to 1 year. Now let’s further assume that you promote more than 1 program. Promoting 5 membership programs at the same time is no big deal to do and it will increase your monthly income from $300 to $1,500.Of course these are all just numbers and speculations. To make my point. Selling on the internet is a numbers game. To make the numbers work you need to sell a lot and often. Membership programs are a perfect product to get the most out of your advertising efforts. Remember: The income potential is too low to run massive paid advertising. Stick to free classified ads and use the method “set and forget”. The less attention you pay the more effective your campaign will be.This is my list of membership programs that are free to join as an affiliate. They never will cost you any money to promote their membership program. Remember, the subscribers are making you money not the program.o Search Engine Blaster – Search engine submission service for a monthly fee.o The Secret To Their Success – Corey Rudl’s membership program for power affiliates.o Guru Mailer – This is the premium email list builder. Solid performance and quality leads.o Convert More Traffic – This is the premium membership site that offers proven tactics and strategies to improve your traffic conversion rates. You can have all the traffic in the world as long as you can’t get any profit out of it it’s useless.If you like to learn more about the power of membership sites visit my web sites or send me an email.Copyright © 2005

10 Ways To Make Money With Your Web Site

Listed below you will find ten different ways to make money online with your site.1: Sign up for Google Adsense and place Google ads on your site. Google will display the most appropriate ads according to your content and you will get paid for every click on an ad. People are making thousands a month with this.2: Sell ad space on your site. You could sell banner or text ads. To make more money, sell top placement or best exposure ads at a premium.3: Charge a fee to access part of your site. A recurring fee is best. People will pay for your site content if it’s valuable to them. This could be a members forum, ebooks, software, reports etc.4: Hire out pages on your site to other people. You could also give them away for free and make money by including your ads on the pages.5: Sell your own products or services. They should be related to your audience.6: Make money online selling other people’s products and services through affiliate programs. You will get a unique link to enable you to track your sales. You can be paid per sale, per click or per sign-up.7: Publish an e-zine from your web site. Have visitors subscribe to the e-zine right from the site. You could sell sell ads in the e-zine. The more subscribers you have the more you could charge.8: Sign up with a site offering a datafeed of their product range. You can have a whole store implemented on your own site through this datafeed and all you need to do is drive traffic to it. You get paid a commission per sale.9: Does your site have a good Page Rank in Google? You could auction off text links across your site. There are a number of text link broker sites about now to allow you to do this.10: Create an RSS(Real Simple Syndication) feed with up to the minute content. If you have valuable information e.g. stock related news, business charge a subscription fee.

7 Tips to Setup your Budget for your Home Business

Every Home Business entrepreneur in the world has a clear and well defined goal: to earn money with his/her Business. Then the next question would be: how can we know if we really ,,earn”or are just losing money? Allthough it sounds trivial, it is not.I assume that only in few cases a fellow home business entrepreneur will be able to have an own accountant to calculate the Profit/Loss sheet. So you may need to help yourself. Let’s go step by step. Setting an own Budget could help you to know ,,when you are in plus”and when the opposite is the case.A Budget is nothing else as estimating costs and income. As every ,,prediction”, calculation and reality could differ. Thus it is your task to review your budget from time to time and adjust it based on real numbers. The ,,real numbers”are the ,,actuals”you get from your business. The ,,budget”is the estimation of your costs and income. There are several applications on the market to perform the mentioned steps. For the beginning, you can use a calculation sheet.1) Choose the periodicity of your budget. Usually you may choose weeks or months. This means you need to calculate every cost to a weekly or monthly basis. I.e. if you pay for your autoresponder 120$ a year, the monthly costs are 10$ and the weekly costs are equal 120$ divided by 52, getting 2,31$ per month2) Make a complete list of all recurring costs you already know: i.e. Web hosting, Residual Income Fees, your autoresponder, lead subscriptions and so on. Make a complete list with all costs you already know. Consult your credit card statements and search your Paypal account for subscription payments. Transform the costs to the unity of time you have chosen in step 1 (i.e. monthly or weekly).3) Now make a list of all ,,one time”payments you plan to have this year, and calculate the accruals for the periodicity you have chosen in Step 1. Example: you plan to buy Internet Marketing Literature for 300$ this year (this is your Budget). You could calculate then a monthly ,,costs”of this literature as 25$ a month, or 5.79$ per week. If you have purchased equipment (i.e. Hardware), you need to distribute the costs amount the life of the product. I.e. one PC usually is used for three years. If you pay 1000$ as one time payment, you can distribute the costs over three years, giving 333.33$ per year or 27.7$ monthly, or 6.41 $ per week. This is call ,,depreciation.”. If you now that after three years you may sell the PC for 200$, calculate the depreciation accordingly, starting now from 800$ (1000$-200$). As you see, Hardware is not as expensive as you would expect, from the financial point of view.Add the costs obtained in step 3) to the list you have already prepared in step 2). Now you have the complete list of your estimated monthly or weekly costs.4) Now we come to the most interesting section: your Earnings! Obviously you can be in ,,plus”, only if your earnings are higher as your costs. This sounds again trivial, but is not easy to achieve.Most of the Internet Marketing Newbie’s would expect to be ,,in plus” after a very short period of time. This is unrealistic. As you have seen in the first steps of the calculation of your budget, you may consider Hardware, Literature, Marketing spending and other costs that in the first months do not have the corresponding earnings. Thus, it is absolutely normal that you may have a period where you are ,,in minus” for a while, till you reach your ,,break-even point” (earnings = costs).But let’s come back to the earnings. In Internet Marketing, your earnings are derived from sales. There are either direct sales or indirect sales from your downline, if you are driving an MLM like business.Here you will see that the estimations of earnings is obviously much difficult then the estimation of your costs. Ideally, you may express your earnings as a percentage of your marketing spending. If your marketing effort is not able to produce sales, you may review it and look for other marketing strategies. You need to achieve that every penny invested in marketing lead to internet income. IF you have tracked properly your marketing campaigns, you may be in a good position to estimate your ,,conversion rate” (the percentage of your clicks that lead to sales) and thus, can express your earnings as a percentage of your marketing costs.Example: you are running a Campaign with PPC Search Engines to promote your business. You pay 0.05$ per click and achieve 300 clicks a month. Your corresponding recurring costs of 15$ a month are already considered in your budget. Your conversion rate may be 1%, so you expect three sales per month. If you get 8$ per sale, your monthly earnings are 24$ a month. This means your profitability is 25% (24$-15$) / 15$. For every advertising dollar you get 1.25$ sales.The total profitability of your business will be lower, since you need to consider the total cost and not only the PPC marketing cost.The problem may consist that at the beginning you will not know the conversion rate of your campaign, so you will need to work with estimations. Once you have the real numbers, review your estimations based on that numbers. Your Budget will get more and more accurate, the more data you can provide.5) Now you can build your Budget based on Costs and estimated earnings month by month.You may decide to ,,reinvest” part of your earnings and increase your marketing spending month by month.It is time now to put all data into your Calculation Sheet. Start building columns, one column per period (week or month). Per each period, reserve two columns, one for your budget and one for your ,,actuals” (your real numbers).Divide your rows in ,,Earnings” and ,,Costs”, subdivide them in several rows for your earnings (in the case you are working with multiple programs, reserve one row per program) and one row per each cost element identified in the steps 1-2.Reserve a Row for a sum of all your cost elements (per period) and a corresponding row for the sum of all your earnings (per period). At the end, add one Row with the difference of your earnings minus your costs.Now you are in the position to see period by period, what is the ,,net result” of your business. You will see immediately if you are earning or losing money.As already mentioned, it is absolutely normal that in your first months (or years?) you will have more costs then earnings. This is the case for every business. However you should be now in the position to ,,predict” when your ,,break-even” point will be reached (total earnings = total costs, per period). You may decide to invest more in marketing activities if they seem to be profitable, or save costs by reducing your recurring expenses.6) Review your budget on a regular basis. The more data you have, the more accurate your budget will get. Calculate period by period your conversion rate and monitor the results of your marketing activities. Put the results back to your budget and create new Budget ,,versions” for that purpose.7) Now run your business! Your Budget is now a powerful instrument to give you a good financial basis if you are on track or not. Some people have the tendency to oversee spending and overestimate earnings. If you feed your budget with real data, it will give you an instant view of the results of your entrepreneurship! Most of the CEO´s of the world are doing exactly that. Of course financial aspects are important, but can not replace your Vision and Strategic thinking. But it can ,,bring you back to the earth”, if your strategy and vision is too ambitious, but can not be financed.

Give An Entrepreneur A Break

Why do any of us choose to work from home? The answer to that question is as diverse as the individuals who call home their workplace.For those of us who have chosen to market online, this question has many answers. But ultimately, everyone who works at home – online or off – has the same goal.To make money.For some reason, however, those of us who choose to do it online are often perceived as being greedy.Let me elaborate.Over the last few weeks, I’ve corresponded with several online colleagues who have indicated that they’ve actually been questioned or even criticized by individuals who feel it’s somehow “unfair” for them to ask for money in exchange for their information product.As if that was some sort of crime.Now, I suppose that the proliferation of scamsters online can indeed make people somewhat skeptical. That’s the reason that having a mailing list or newsletter is so important. There’s no question that marketing online does have an impersonal nature to it. And, if a consumer isn’t careful, he or she can be taken.Another reason for this attitude, however, is that the internet is still perceived by some as a great gift that they are entitled to. That any information they want should be handed over to them without question – and without any compensation on their part.Well, certainly a lot of information is online – if you are willing to spend months and even years (not to mention cold hard cash) to accumulate the knowledge and experience that those who have put these products together have done.So why shouldn’t they be compensated for it?If someone were to walk into a bookstore, stroll up to the checkout counter with a stack of books, and tell the clerk, “I want to get all these books, but I don’t want to pay for any of them,” you’d think they were nuts.So I ask you – what’s the difference online?Here’s one big difference – and one not at all favorable for the much-maligned online information marketer. Keep in mind that these same honest, reputable marketers who have put tremendous effort into producing their own products have offered their products with an unconditional money-back guarantee as well.And when people ask for their money back (unlike in the offline world) they can get it WITHOUT RETURNING THE PRODUCT.So who’s being scammed now???I see changes – lots of changes – on the horizon for those who provide information products online. More and more of these individuals have their products on a secure site that denies continued access should the purchaser request a refund. I even purchased an ebook recently that uses a system which “locks” the book when a refund is given.This is just as it should be.Why should someone who has invested the time to create an information product and invested money to market it NOT be expected to be compensated for it?No reason at all.