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Small Business

Every Successful Business Needs A Plan

A business plan is your map to the money. It tells you where you’re going to get it and how much of it you’re going to be able to keep. And just like any map, the more detail the plan has, the easier it makes it to get to your destination.
Do you need a business plan? Would you hire someone to remodel your kitchen who didn’t have a set of blueprints? I’m sure you wouldn’t think of it. So why run a business without a plan? Unfortunately, it happens all the time, which may be the reason well over 500,000 businesses fail every year.
Most of the small business owners I deal with really know their craft. They know what materials to use, which vendors offer the best terms, which customer is most likely to complain, and so on. They’re also pretty good business people. They understand controlling expenses, tracking labor and material, and pricing their product to make a profit. They work hard and are justifiably proud of the results.
Their business plans, though, all too often sound like “If I build it, they will come.” That may work in the movies, but it stands as much chance for success as a plan to install a tonneau cover that doesn’t include the model number of the truck.
If you expect to run a profitable business, you need a business plan for many of the same reasons you need a plan to remodel a house. It helps you focus on the important factors that contribute to success. It helps you make key decisions on everything from the types of work you look for to the number of employees (if any) that you hire. A sound business plan is also an absolute must if you are looking for capital, whether it be from investors, banks, or even suppliers.
A concrete business plan identifies the customers, quantifies the sales they will produce, and analyzes how profitable those sales will be. It’s like a job estimate that begins at the end of the process (the sale to the customer) and works backward. It helps you determine how much material to order and how much labor to plan on, project the costs, and figure out whether the job will be profitable at the price quoted. Only, instead of doing it on a job-by-job basis like an estimate, the business plan does it for your company as a whole over a period of time.
A business plan isn’t really about what kind of work you’re going to do or how much shop space you need. Those are elements of it, but they are so minor that they’re almost footnotes. There are five basic components:
1. Business Description – A short statement about why the business exists and what it hopes to accomplish. Generally, the more specific-and shorter-the better.
2. Marketing Plan – Answers the questions about how the business will be successful. Who is going to buy the product or service? Why? What need does it satisfy? How many potential customers for it are there? How often will they buy? What are their competitive alternatives? What price will they pay? How will they know about it? How will you get it to them?
3. Financial Plan – Shows the expected financial results of the marketing plan. How much income will be produced? What net worth will be generated? Who will receive that income (you or the bank)?
4. Cash Flow Plan – The step-by-step instructions for generating cash and keeping it. How will the working assets be acquired? When will operating cash be needed? How soon will profits appear? What happens until then?
5. Management Plan – Describes the shop owner or manager’s role in the business. Who will do what? What are their qualifications? How much training expense and time is required? How much time will be devoted to production, marketing, and administration? It also includes contingency plans for events like natural disasters, up- and downturns in the economy, and competitive changes.
This very brief description of each component is not at all complete but it should give you a flavor of what kind of information, hard data, guesstimates, and reasoning go into the business plan. Most of all, a good business plan needs to be grounded in reality, not wishes. I like to say that it should produce an optimistic outlook based on pessimistic expectations.
Preparing a good plan doesn’t happen over a lunch hour. It requires research and thought. Sound business plans can come in many forms, but they all have one thing in common: they are in writing. Whether you use one of the many good software packages available or fill up a loose-leaf binder with pencil-written notes, the act of writing it down forces you to give your plan …

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Small Business

How To Make More Money With Your Network Marketing Business

If you derive income from running or participating in online businesses, do not discount network marketing as a fun and profitable money making strategy. There is a lot of work and effort required. You may wonder how to get started in a business like network marketing but with a bit of knowledge and a lot of focus you can create real financial freedom in this industry.
Here are a few tips to help you get started;
In order to grow a better business, always stay on top of learning new techniques and strategies. Take some time out of every day to read books about network marketing, business and many other topics to be successful. Another great way to learn from those who know it is to attend webinars run by experts. If you’re more educated on the matter, you can be a great resource to others.
Your client may hear you for the first time on your answering machine, so do not underestimate the effect of your message. Make your message short but meaningful, leave a great impression. Make sure your message specifies the information you want them to leave, and if at all possible, tell them when they can expect to hear back from you.
It is important to be an expert on the product you are selling. People are more likely to buy from you if you have a genuine passion for what you are selling. If you believe in what you are marketing, you will be more convincing to potential recruits. Having a high level of expertise in your products will also enable you to give thorough and genuine reviews that people will trust.
Make sure you create a budget for your business expenses related to network marketing. This will ensure that you have enough money to run your business, as well as enough to expand your business. When you have a good budget plan, you will be able to see the big monetary picture and plan accordingly.
It is always wise to have a thorough business plan, before you begin any network marketing ventures. This plan should include your specific goals and the path you will take to achieve them. Understand how many customers are necessary, how many sales must be made each month and how you will market your business.
Prior to investing in any network marketing business, contact the BBB (Better Business Bureau). While many companies are legitimate, there is a fair share of bad ones too. Make sure you are making a good investment before you just start. The BBB is a highly reliable source for determining if the business in which you’re interested in investing is on the up-and-up.
Put in place a flexible but solid business plan to keep you on track but provide you with the ability to change direction if and when the time comes. Be aware of what needs to be done each month, and then adjust this according to what you are actually capable of doing. The business plan you have created for yourself will help to marry these two together and, hopefully, steer you towards a profitable business.
In summary, network marketing will need time, effort and dedication before the profits start to roll in. Also, long term success will depend on your continuing efforts and dedication. Remember the tips covered here to help ensure your success in this endeavor.…

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Small Business

Startup Business Ideas – Don’t Ignore These 8 Great Ideas!

If you’re looking for simple and low risk startup business ideas then this is the article for you, let’s get right into it.
1. Local business: there is a massive opportunity at the moment to help local stores get a website and get online. If you can learn a few simple web design tricks you can fill this niche in your area.
2. Forum offers: whatever market you want to work in there are hundreds of forums online full of potential clients who are also obsessed by the subject. So what you need to do is craft an offer just for the forum members and then build your profits on the back end.
3. Direct mail: have you noticed that you get a lot less junk mail theses days? Well that is because most advertisers have turned to email marketing, which leaves a gap in the market for a good copywriter to refill that space.
4. Google advertising: You must have seen this while browsing the web. Google has ads on millions of sites and this can be a great low cost way for you to gain leads for any new business.
5. Freelance: If you have a skill for writing then there are so many webmasters looking for people to write good copy. Visit a site like and see what you can find.
6. Get partners: so you may be great at marketing but not have the profile to be able to front your own products. The way to get around this is to borrow the credibility of a partner and split the profits.
7. Sell information: the great thing about info products is that people find it hard to value information. So you can command high sums for simple ebooks.
8. Start a blog: this is one of the best startup business ideas that I have come across because you can take a subject your are passionate about and just start writing about it once a day. The only thing you need to check is that there are people searching for your topic and then you’re good to go. Once you have a good number of hits per day you can start to display ads and the revenue will roll in.
Happy days…
Final thoughts.
I thought long and hard about putting this list together because to be honest with you startup business ideas are everywhere. The trick is to pick the right one that works best for you and take massive action to make this stuff happen.
I wish you all the best of luck with your new business.…

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Small Business

Home Business Ideas – 4 Blogging Tips to Increase Traffic

Blogging is probably one of the best ways to get fresh new content to your website. Search engines look mainly for content. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is because when bots crawl your website, they look for keywords and content.
Successful internet marketers blog frequently to get more traffic and thus visitors compared to those who don’t. I’m not saying that blogging is the only thing required to get traffic. But if you are reluctant to spend big bucks on getting traffic, this is one great way to get free traffic to your website. So before you start blogging, I have 4 blogging tips I would like to share with you.
1. Rewrite Existing Articles
You might have hundreds of articles or just 25 on your blog. Sometimes you might run into the problem of not knowing what to write. When you encounter this “writer’s block”, search for inspiration elsewhere. For example, rewriting your previous articles is one way to do it. Doing this can also help give you fresh articles to post onto article directories. Bear in mind there are some article directories which has strict quality control, so you need to ensure you article still remains unique and doesn’t look as if its written by someone else.
2. Research Your Keywords.
Before you start posting anything, take your time to research on keywords. Yes it is tedious but its definitely worth the effort. If you are in the acne niche, don’t write unspecific titles like “Getting Rid of Acne”. Go to Google Keywords and search for Acne or Acne Prevention and see which keywords has high traffic. Do not go for keywords that have too much competition. I say go for those that has an average of 10,000 to 50,000 searches a month. If you go beyond that, it would be very difficult to get into the first few pages of search engines. So again to quote the above example, it is better to write something like “5 Steps To Reduce Acne Naturally”.
This applies to any niche and not just the acne niche.
Once you’ve chosen the right keyword. Try using it in your body(content) also. Do not repeat the main keyword too often. Try varying it and use them across your article. Search engines give more weight to your Title and the first few paragraphs of your article. Less emphasis is given to what’s at the bottom of your article.
3. Post it on Social Bookmarking Websites.
If you’ve heard of Onlywire or SocialBookmarker, use their services to instantly get your blog or articles on them. You will need to register to all the social bookmarking website but it is definitely worth the effort and your time. Do this consistently and you will see more traffic to your website and more backlinks. Most social bookmarking websites have very high traffic and good PR rankings.
4. Use Videos/YouTube
Videos have a much higher chance of getting good ranks then articles or content. You can supplement your blog with videos. You might notice that when you are searching for something like weight lost. You will find some videos on dieting and losing weight in the 1st page of Google. Again, do keyword research for your video title and make a good video. You don’t necessarily have to use YouTube. Other high traffic video websites include Metacafe, , or even Google Video.
You can also out links back to your blog or use these videos to pre-empt your blog post. Add links or call to action on your videos to direct your viewers to your website.
My Final Words
As you can see it does not have to take a lot of time to do a quality blog post. You don’t even have to do them every day. If you are willing to spend 30 minutes or so three times a week it can really pay off for you in terms of new traffic and repeat traffic to your Internet business.
To Your Success,
Bryan Wong YH…

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Small Business

The Commercial Value of Celebrity Scoops

When the late Michael Jackson was in the last stages of his deterioration we could rely on the TMZ website to give us the latest outrages to befall the singer. When the final scoop came, I was flabbergasted by the accuracy with which they were able to pinpoint the great events in the lives of celebrities. I then decide to visit their website and found that indeed they were one of the best celebrity scoop websites on the market at the moment. That got me thinking about a possibility for savvy entrepreneurs to make money in this way. If one could help with the administration of such a website then they would be in a very good financial situation.
The market for celebrity gossip is almost endless. Everyone wants to know what is up with Tom Cruise and his family. We watch with wicked delight as Lindsay Lohan goes on the road to jail. Paris Hilton has made it her mission to discuss the most intimate parts of her life in the public domain. Victoria and David Beckham have built a brand of celebrity reputation rather than reality. How much money could be made from such scoops? Well the answer is that it is an absolute struggle.
First of all you need to be prepared to be sued. These celebrities have all the cards and the money to sue you into oblivion. They will not hesitate to go after you if they believe that you are destroying their reputation. In fact they could effectively frustrate you into submission with all their queries on the work that you are doing. Therefore the ordinary entrepreneur will find it incredibly difficult to make it in such a context. They simply do not have the financial backing and legal buffers to withstand the inevitable onslaught from the celebrities.
You then have those websites that end up genuinely getting it wrong but then at the end of the day they pay the price by losing their reputation forever. I would advise people to think carefully before they join the celebrity scoop bandwagon. It looks and sounds attractive but when you open the package, there are plenty of horrors that you will need to be wary of. Moreover it is not really nice to make a living from making other people’s lives miserable. Some of these celebrities are so emotionally fragile that a single piece of bad reporting will send them into a hissy fit.…

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Small Business

Lead Generation Tips And Advice To Start Using Today

Lead Generation Tips And Advice To Start Using Today

Do you know how to generate new leads for your business? Do you know the best techniques for finding new customers and generating interest in your products or services? If not, you need to read the following article. By doing so, you can learn the techniques of truly effective lead generation.

Try direct mail as a lead generation tactic. Many people think that direct mail has gone the way of the dinosaur, but it’s not true. In fact, it may be very powerful for your market as a lot of competitors shy away from it as a strategy. You may find a lot of business opportunity here.

If you are employing digital ads, create landing pages for visitors who can be your potential leads. A landing page targeted to match the advertisement driving the traffic, will show better results than being driven to the business site. Take them to the place that has exactly the information they are seeking. Get that tied in with your contact form and you can start building some leads.

Business Owner

If you’re business owner, don’t worry about generating leads. Just make sure you deliver what your ads say you will. Follow through on your promises from the ads. Many times a business owner will fail to live up to the message in their ad campaign, and that can have devastating effects in any future lead generating endeavor.

Income

If you’re using affiliate links as your source of income, be sure to change your ads out frequently. Just because an ad worked last week doesn’t mean it still is! Test out new media and links to new products and monitor their success. The more you experiment, the more you will learn.

Money

Target people seeing freebies as part of your list generating efforts. While giving things away doesn’t usually make money right away for you, there will be plenty of people ready and willing to sign-up for the free stuff. Keep this list separate from your others, but include it in all your future campaigns.

Online Business

Remember that lead generation is crucial to an online business. It is basically the backbone to your great entrepreneurial ideas online. It needs to funnel a steady customer stream to your high-quality goods. You still need to make contact with your potential buyers properly to establish your authority and reputation. This can help you build personal relationships that bring in referrals, which can boost your lead base to make your business very profitable.

Opportunity

Use social media as a lead generation tool. In social media, you need to not only build a presence, you also need to build a community. It’s an opportunity to build trust which will lead to more and more leads coming your way. Don’t just look at the obvious social media channels. Consider them all.

Lead generation is one of those subjects that seems simple at first, but can be quite tricky in practice. You may just need some good advice so that you can know how to generate leads most effectively. Fortunately, the article that you have just read has taught you what you need to know.…