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Managing Your Time In Your New Home Based Business

If you are just transitioning from working outside the home to working from home, your thoughts are probably spinning with all the things that you will get done now that you don’t have to waste all that time commuting, getting ready for work, etc. And then a few weeks into your new lifestyle, things just don’t seem to going along as smoothly as you had imagined! What the heck happened, anyway? Well, I certainly hope you didn’t toss that daily planner you used to fill out so religiously! You just might need to pull it out, dust it off, and put it back to work.In the first place, you are “still working.” You are just working “here” and not “there.” You still need to keep a schedule, and maybe even a daily flow chart. It will just have different items on it. Instead of dealing with meetings, phone calls, reports, face-to-face chats with clients or customers or employees or “the boss,” deadlines, “managing by walking around,” countless interruptions, and all that, you will need to schedule time for focusing on the work you are doing from home, maintaining your home itself, your family, and maybe even YOU!Take your planner out and come up with something that works for you. You might start with what worked before. In other words, if you had to be ready to leave the house by 7:00 AM, before, then be that way now. You don’t have to be “all dressed up with nowhere to go,” but you can be showered and dressed, etc. Assign times to focus on various activities, keeping in mind that none of this is etched in stone. Build your own individual situation into this, and remember that it is only a guideline. Your boss is not going to call you on the carpet if the schedule doesn’t work unless you stand in front of the mirror and have at it! Remember that you have flexibility that you didn’t have when you were working outside the home. You are the boss and you can arrange you day as you choose, to fit the needs of your family, health, interests, schooling, or whatever reason you chose to work at home. Keep adjusting until you find what works. It may need “re-tweaking” when school starts up or lets out, as days get longer or shorter, as the seasons change, etc. That’s OK!If you are thinking, “but I quit work so I didn’t have to be scheduled!” remember that this is YOUR schedule, not someone else’s. You can take as many breaks as you need, and you can take them whenever you need them, not when you are told to go. You are working into the schedule YOUR needs and your family’s needs, not the needs of the company for whom you used to work. Because you have control over what is happening instead of being at the mercy of someone else, you can handle it!And one last thing: you will never, ever have to come home so exhausted that you stand at the kitchen sink in your coat and high heels doing dishes because you know that if you stop to take them off, you will never get up to get the dishes done. And yes, I actually heard of some poor soul who did that.

Growing Your Company In Today’s Chaotic Market!

I think we’ve all heard enough bad news to last us few months to last us several lifetimes! Our mantra for clients is “get over it” – cut cartoon porn your losses when where you can and focus on the basic building blocks to grow your business. Here are some fundamentals we recommend to any company that wants to survive and grow in this chaotic market:1. Practice maniacal focus! Who is your customer, how do you reach them with your advertising, partners, channels and/or OEMs? If you can’t readily identify these benchmarks, then you may need to take a hard look at look at your business structure, personnel, costs of good/services, etc. and rework your model.2. Outsource and build virtuosity into your company. We tell clients to minimize fixed costs like the feudal barons of old – they kept a core group of fighters to man the garrison walls and hired (outsourced!) conscripts when the baron from the next door came calling at the castle gates with a legion of longbows behind him to exact tribute. Marketing, finance, HR, IT infrastructure, even product development or manufacturing can be easily outsourced to specialists who have levels of proficiency that you might not be able to afford if you tried to hire them full time.3. Flex and tier your pricing creatively to minimize barriers to entry. If chaos is the order of the day (and we think it is) then make sure your pricing is tiered or structured so your clients can afford to try out your products and services – and be flexible in your negotiations and look for creative ways to bring new customers aboard.4. Make your suppliers real business partners! Fed Ex and UPS are setting up shop in their customer’s shipping docks to save valuable time and money and become active business partners. You may not have the clout of a Fortune 1K company/behemoth to leverage Fed Ex but you can ask your suppliers to extend terms, work with you on just in time delivery schedules or get creative with pricing, joint promotions, etc.5. Ensure your marketing fundamentals are up to snuff! We see so many sloppy web sites that do not address the basic fundamentals of good site design, menus, UI, etc., brochures that are out of date, power point presentations that are barely legible, etc. – basic marketing principals should be addressed; i.e. integrate your color scheme and logo across all marcom materials (digital and traditional), reinforce your branding and positioning with clearly worded value propositions (“we save you X by doing Y”) and ensure your logo and tagline look professional and are used properly.6. Create and deploy credible PR that isn’t full of fluff; i.e. “market or cost leadership, best of breed technology, leading provider of …, high-performance, etc.; don’t use terms any editor sees hundreds of times a day! Create PR that is original and truthful – you will stand out from the crowd much better.7. It’s truly a Global Market! Position your company so you can work with customers all over the world – if you don’t have the resources or personnel (see two above) then partner with a local reseller, dealer or distributor who has an established presence in a country or market which you can’t serve via your corp/home office.8. Don’t waste time chasing venture capital – fund your company creatively! Venture capitalists are busy today trying to save their existing portfolio of “.bombs” so don’t waste a lot of your time contacting them! Be creative, talk to friends and family about investing or look to your suppliers to give you extended terms in exchange for a long-term contract, discounted parts, etc.9. Leverage technology to help you grow your business. A good web site should answer questions for your customers, not leave them frustrated and confused – make sure you address fundamentals with an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), or even setup instant messaging via any number of chat technology providers so people can anonymously ask your sales or c/support personnel questions while they are on your web site.10. Ignore marketing hype and concentrate on technology that really works. Tried surfing the web via your cell phone and finding a hot bistro in a new neighborhood recently? I hate to pick on this technology du jour, but it rates high on my “hypeometer” at this moment in time. There is a reason why opt-in e-mail advertising is the one of the best ways to reach a target market – its virtually instantaneous, is 24/7 in most cases, very targeted, provides global reach, and drum roll … it really works!

Eliminate Your Health Care Headaches With A PEO!

There are many complications to being a small business owner but none so pressing as the need for health, dental and life insurance. Many small business owners obtain coverage through the employment of their spouse. However, there are just as many small business owners who are not married, whose spouse is also self employed or not offered benefits through their employer.Another option for a small business owner is to partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). PEO’s, also known as employee leasing companies, handle the human resources functions of companies of any size but they focus primarily on small and medium sized businesses. Some of the human resources functions handled by a typical PEO are:

Direct Deposit

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Health Insurance

Dental Insurance

Life Insurance

Retirement Plans

Tax Deposits and Reporting

Regulatory Compliance

A PEO groups together businesses of all sizes in order to get the best rates for benefits and to reduce human resources costs to a minimum. In order to work with a PEO you will be asked to fill out an application and provide a set-up fee ranging from $50.00 to $300.00 depending upon the size of your business. Monthly fees will be determined by the PEO and are usually based on the number of payroll checks issued during each month and the number of employees. Your company will be billed, at least monthly, for the cost of fees, milf porn benefits, taxes, etc. not paid by employees.After signing a contract with a PEO your employees will need to fill out employment and tax forms that will then be forwarded to the PEO. The PEO then becomes the employer of record for the employees and from then on handles all payroll and benefit tasks. Timesheets, benefit enrollments and changes will all be submitted to your PEO and you will receive regularly scheduled management reports. At the end of a calendar year the PEO will provide all employees with a W-2.Some PEO’s work with companies in every state and others are state specific. You can find individual PEO’s by using a search engine such as Google. You can save time by using the free services of a PEO clearinghouse such as http://www.StaffMarket.com. You can also find a SEO by visiting The National Association of Professional Employers Association (NAPEO) at http://www.napeo.org. NAPEO offers a directory of members searchable by company name, state or country and offers guidelines to help you screen and select a PEO.A PEO may not be the perfect solution for every small business but it is an option for individuals and companies who are willing to outsource human resource functions to obtain much needed benefits, improve employee retention and save time that can be better used to growing the business.© 2003, Davis Virtual Assistance. All rights reserved.The author grants reprint permission to all venues so long as the copyright and by-line are included intact.

When Your Friend Decides to Start a Business

Etiquette books, as far as I know, will tell you how to behave when your black porn friend gets married, buried, graduated, or hospitalized.But let’s say your friend, who always seemed sensible and predictable, tells you she’s quitting her job. Sure, it’s a good job, she says, but she dreads getting up for work and she’s stressed. Her medical bills have risen along with her salary.You suggest, as delicately as possible, that she get “professional help.” She tells you she’s hired a coach and a business consultant, and no, she isn’t starting a baseball team. She has a new business. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.Here are a few suggestions to maintain the friendship.1. Do not call your friend after two weeks to ask, “So, made any money yet?” This will be a sore subject for the first six months or more. And remember: dollar amounts are relative. Your friend who previously earned ten thousand dollars a month will be ecstatic when he sees five hundred. Dollars, that is, not thousand.2. Choose gifts with sensitivity. Best bets are gift certificates at mega-stores, preferably online, so your friend can buy anything from software to books. A gift certificate for coaching, computer maintenance or office supplies will be appreciated.Dinner at a nice restaurant will go well if you can persuade your friend to leave her beeper and cell phone at home. Just one warning: The sight of a computer on the restaurant desktop may trigger the urge to check for email. Remind your friend firmly: the messages will still be waiting after dessert.3. Offer support when your friend feels discouraged. “Well, you won’t lose much if you pull out now” is about as insensitive as you can get. Friendly questions include, “Are you seeing signs of progress?” Better, take your friend to a movie and suggest he call his coach afterward.Whatever else, do not say anything like, “You might as well spend the money now. You won’t have more later.” Or, “I heard the person who replaced you just got another raise.”4. Expect your friend to keep weird hours. You just got a call at eleven o’clock at night? Or five in the morning? Never fear, there’s no emergency. Just routine business hours for the self-employed.5. Allow your friend to change her mind. Some people who start a business realize they miss corporate life. They may decide they want to take a job for awhile, to increase their stash of cash and gain some additional experience.That’s when true friendship comes through. Saying, “I told you so” is a major taboo. And, “I knew you wouldn’t make it” will kill even the most solid friendship, as soon as the words are out.I offer one-to-one consultations for anyone considering starting a business.

Will Your Home Business Succeed Or Fail?

You may operate a home business selling services or products, but no matter which kind of business you’re in, there’s always a question in the back of your mind: will my home business succeed or fail, or do I have the motivation it takes to keep it afloat? Whichever type of home business you have, it’s important that you know ways that you can keep your business going during slack times and/or economic downturns. If cash flow is a problem in your business, you should be sure to make certain that your money management techniques are on target and well refined.Some of the things you can do to make sure your business will survive in the 21st century is to avoid impulse expenditures. There are many reasons for impulse spending, even as it applies to business. We may fall under the persuasive spell of a salesperson who has talked us into buying things we don’t need. Maybe we simply made impulsive purchases because we had a little extra money, or perhaps to keep up the appearance of prosperity. Then you realize a few days later that you’ve committed some of your business funds to products or services that are not necessary for the success of your business.”It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult”. — SenecaHere are some tips to help you avoid these impulse purchases and make certain your business succeeds:1. You can help control impulse purchases by requiring two (or more) signatures on all company checks over a set amount. This will give you time to seriously consider whether or not you really need the product or service you are about to buy.2. If you are vulnerable, you can get yourself out of the grasp of an insistent salesperson if you explain that all purchasing decisions are contingent upon the approval of a second party. This so-called second party can be anyone – a partner or a department head or even a family member.3. If you are the sole owner of your business, you won’t need to worry about these impulse spending patterns because you normally have three days to cancel your purchase if you decide you don’t need it or that you can’t afford to spend the money. However, be sure that you don’t skimp on services or products that you really need.4. When business is slow, you must learn to say “no” to anyone, even friends, who are trying to sell you unnecessary items. When business is good, you will probably allow more vendors to show you new equipment or new mobile porn lines of so-called “new and improved” merchandise; otherwise, concentrate on your basic needs. However, take particular care that you are courteous so these vendors will consider you a friend.5. If you commit yourself without investigating all details and charge ahead, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Be certain that you are prepared for all situations and emergencies that could arise. It pays in the long run – regardless of cost – to ask for professional advice before you start on any plan; it may prevent failure of your business. A business without a plan is like a boat without a rudder, you may be lucky and drift safely shore but most likely you’ll end up on the rocks with 90% of other home business owners who fail because they don’t have a plan and goals.6. Another way to assure the success of your home business is to be sure of the direction your business is heading. You should be aware of your daily progress and monitor what your competitors are doing. Stay abreast of business trends and sales information for your particular industry.Whether your home business succeeds or fails is dependent upon good money management, having decisive goals and a definitive plan on how you will achieve them. Also your motivation and the ability to foresee and solve any problems if and when they occur, is a deciding factor as you whether you succeed or fail.Take the bull by the horns and decide now where you want to be at the end of the year, in two years time, in five years and set about following a precise plan of action to achieve your goals. Take daily action to ensure success; if you truly want to succeed you will take daily action, work hard and persevere.”Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” — Benjamin DisraeliI recommend you read Napoleon Hill’s ‘Unlimited Success’ and ‘Think and Grow Rich’ to develop your success mindset and motivate you to succeed. I also follow a definitive plan to ensure my success which is greatly influenced by the work of Cory Rudl and his Insiders Secrets to Marketing your Business on the Internet. It’s an excellent course and well worth the money if you are serious about an online home business.Copyright © Ian Canaway(Feel free to use this article online and in your email newsletters as long as you leave it intact and do not alter it in anyway. The by-line and resource box must remain in the article.)