Tips To Set Up Your Internet Home Based Business

Home Based Business
What are the top three things you should concern yourself about when starting an Internet home based business? Here are some tips to make it in the online business environment.
Setting up an Internet home based business is like starting an actual business. Some people may think that since a business is operated online and from home, it is a smaller-scale venture compared to real businesses. This, however, is a misconception. Some Internet home based business are even bigger and are experiencing more growth than real ones. Starting and operating an online business venture may be a bit challenging when you are new to the field and is used to the conventional business and marketing world. However, there are also many resources on the Internet that you can get your hands on in the actual setting. The difference lies on how you take advantage of these unique Internet resources and make them work for you. Here are some tips on how you can successfully set up your Internet home based business.
PLAN AND SET GOALS
As in any business venture, the key to a successful Internet home based business is to plan. Set goals; determine what you want your business to achieve, and prepare concrete action plans on how you will achieve your business goals. Plan what you are going to need, in terms of investment and tools. In terms of investment, you might need to upgrade your computer for a better one, or you might need to purchase another computer to sustain your business operations. The investment requirements will differ based on the nature of your Internet home based business. In terms of tools, since there are a lot of resources available to you on the Internet, plan which resources can help your business. Do you need to set up a blog site, or join forums to advertise your site? If so, in what way should you advertise? These are just some of the things you should already lay out in detail before you even get started.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
Once your Internet home based business is under way, the next thing you need to do is to advertise! There are plenty of ways to advertise on the Internet. You can set up a blog and write articles about your products. You can join forums and post website ads in various sites that your target customers often visit. You can exchange links with other sites to drive traffic to yours. You can post pictures and videos of your products on your site, your blog, and in forums. Also, master the art of search engine optimization to lure people to your website, and thus, to your product. The more visitors you get, the more potential customers you have!
BUILD A CUSTOMER BASE
Just as any actual business will not succeed without a loyal customer base, you also have to build a customer base for your Internet home based business. It is important to build a relationship with those who transact business from you. Chances are that they can even bring in more customers because of their contacts. Social networking is yet another concept that is very popular on the Web, and it will pay to take advantage of the social networking sites and communities online. There are a lot of social networking sites on the Web, such as Facebook and Myspace, which can help increase your customer base. When you have a loyal customer base, coupled with a social network that continues to bring in more and more customers, your Internet home based business will be unstoppable!
The arena where your Internet home based business will perform in may be different from the conventional marketing world, but the same rules applies. No business will be successful without careful planning, focused goals, a loyal customer base, and a source of customers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you put your business on the Internet, it will grow on its own. The Internet is as wide as the world we live in, and your Internet home based business will only be successful if you’re ready for a challenge

Posted in Business | Tagged | Comments Off on Tips To Set Up Your Internet Home Based Business

Small Business Start Up Costs

Small Business StartSmall business start up costs can prove to be frustrating and stressful for a beginner business owner. Several entrepreneurs are intimidated by small business start up costs and choose to avoid even trying their knowledge in a small business for fear of not achieving success. Because starting a small business involves many expenses, they often think that having such a business will just lead them to failure. Fortunately, there are various ways to finance start up cost for a business; the ones that can help you some of the mounting business costs.
A business plan is an important catalyst of any successful business. In the absence of business plan, you can not easily get an access to business startup loans offered by banks and investors. Letting them know about your business plan can give them confidence. If you have professional business plan, you are providing a blueprint for successful business because you are making a change for your own business to be showcased to potential business startup funding providers. However, in doing this, you must strive to design a business plan that is really convincing and that pictures your abilities to manage such business reflected in your plan.
A business plan, for the purpose of acquiring a loan for business start up costs, has numbers of components. The first few pages showcases the Executive Summary and the Table of Contents. This is followed by the company descriptions- one of the most essential portion of business plans because this explains the short history, the company backbone, as well as the future plans, to the potential investors. The company description sections also mirrors the plan for business possible expansion. In other words, in this section is where the loan providers are most interested to know.
In the company description, you will need to steer clear of discussing that your business is a startup business. Startup businesses are categorized risky investments by most investors. Instead, convey what you have poured to the industry that you are presently in or plan on entering. You can also discuss the things you did that made others become successful. Another is, you shall discuss the growth of your business in the recent months or years and your forecast growth. You have to be sure that during your business plan presentation, you must be in full enthusiasm and passion for your new business venture and so you will be able to acquire a loan for your business start up costs.
Marketing analysis, in a well-written business plan, must be included. This explains your feasibility/ demographic study regarding your potential clients- this can help to convince your potential investors for your start up costs for a business . This portion of your business plan also tells your potential investors on how you are going to promote your business to clients in your target market. This also must show how intense your marketing research to ensure that your product would hit a great demand.
In order to acquire a loan for your small business start up costs , comprehensive financial plan must also be included in your business plan.
Numbers of new and small businesses struggle with the enormous quantity of small business start up costs incurred in order to materialize their business plan. Many entrepreneurs design a professional business plan to help them offer potential investors with their roadmap that shall poise them for success in their new venture.

Posted in Business | Tagged , | Comments Off on Small Business Start Up Costs

20 Business-Building Practices

Business BuildingYou have nurtured your idea, created a business plan, and secured financing. Now for the make-it or break-it question: How do you continue to grow your business year-after-year?
Building a better “mousetrap” doesn’t guarantee that the world will beat a path to your door. And, contrary to the inspiring message in the movie, “Field of Dreams,” there are no assurances that, “If you build it, they will come.” Increasing demand for your products/services and growing your business is realized by the creation and implementation of well-defined strategies.
Two major factors of marketing are the recruitment of new customers (acquisition) and the retention and expansion of relationships with existing customers (customer relationship management). Once you have converted the prospective buyer, customer relationship management (CRM) takes over. The process for CRM shifts from that of being the marketer, to that of being a builder of relationships. Building customer relationships involves nurturing the links between you and your customer, enhancing the benefits that sold your customer in the first place, and continuously improving the product/service in order to protect your business from competitive advancements.
The marketplace is ever changing; therefore, a marketing strategy that works today does not necessarily mean that the same strategy will work in the future. These changing environments necessitate the need to continually analyze and measure the results of each and every one of your promotional efforts. A system that tracks and monitors incoming sales inquiries, by the lead source, is imperative.
The basis of your business development strategy is the recognition of the concept that marketing is a process and not an event. Building a business is, in fact, building a brand. Building your brand is a process that consistently broadcasts your message through a number of different channels to a targeted audience. The trap in event marketing is that it creates the effect of start and stop marketing and produces gaps in the frequency of your promotional efforts.
The need for a written marketing plan is critical. The American Marketing Association (AMA) states, “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives”. Your marketing plan is your road map that guides you through the marketing process.
There is a variety of ways to generate greater demand for your business. Whether you are starting a new business or jumpstarting an existing one, you need to identify at what stage of the business life-cycle your company is currently in. This information will impact your choice of strategies.
Here are twenty (20) effective business-building practices:
Review your unique selling proposition: The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is your biggest marketing weapon and the key to differentiating your business. What is a USP? In essence, it is a simple statement that sums up the unique features, benefits and value that you provide, that no one else can. You arrive at your USP after you identify the features, benefits, and advantages of your company’s products/services. After you apply the same process to each of your competitors’ products/services, then compare and isolate the elements that distinguish you from your competition.
Establish a marketing communication budget:: Determining and allocating a specific amount of money to fund your marketing strategy cannot be overstated. Whether you use the affordability method, percentage-of-sales method, competitive-parity method, or objective-and-task method to determine the amount of your marketing budget, you must pre-establish an amount of money that you will spend on marketing activities to achieve your sales/revenue projections.
Incorporate integrated marketing communications: A management concept that is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing must work together as a unified force. In practice, the goal of IMC is to create and sustain a single look and message in all elements of your marketing campaign.
Utilize indirect marketing: Needless to say, putting more “boots-on-the-ground” in your sales and marketing activities can pay huge dividends. Some of the more popular indirect marketing methods are networking, strategic alliances, independent sales representatives, affiliate marketers, and dealers/distributors.
Ask for referrals: You know the importance of referrals. But, if you do not continually ask for referrals, you will not generate them. It makes good business sense to always ask for referrals. Just ask your customer if they may know of other companies that could utilize your products/ services. You may be pleasantly surprised by their reply.
Explore different markets: If your products/services are presently being sold to one or two different markets, then it is time to explore the opportunities that may be available to you in other markets. A little brainstorming with your staff about this often produces a good “hit list”. As they say, “think outside the box”.
Consider additional channels of distribution: There are a number channels of distribution that may work for you. For example, selling direct, such as via mail order, Internet and telephone sales. Companies also use sales agents who sell on their behalf and/or
distributors (also called wholesalers) who sell their products to retailers. And finally, there may be possibilities of selling direct to retailers and end users.
Expand your geographic reach: Additional channels of distribution are often needed for you to expand geographically. You may want to consider the possibility of franchising or licensing others to promote and sell your products?
Increase product/service offerings: This is a very common method to increase sales/revenues. Important considerations when evaluating a new product/service offering are: Can the new product/service be sold to your existing customer base? Does the new product/service complement your existing products/services?
Differentiate your business: Differentiating your business means that you define your company in relationship to the competition and that you communicate to your customers the value added benefits of doing business with you, versus doing business with your competition. Differentiating your business also means that you continuously make improvements to sustain a leadership position.
Identify your customers’ competitors: A great source for new prospective customers is your customers’ competition. In most cases, these competing companies have the same or similar needs as that of your existing customers.
Survey your customers: In order to effectively differentiate your business, you need to look at your business from your customers/prospects’ perspectives. A customer survey is a great avenue for your customers to express their opinions, to air their complaints, and to voice their satisfaction with your business. The information collected from a customer survey provides the foundation for your marketing strategy.
Profile your competitors: A competitive analysis lists your leading competitors. It summarizes their products and services, promotional strategies, distribution methods, strengths and weaknesses, locations, offerings, prices, and branding. A competitive analysis also outlines strategies for gaining an edge and defines a course of action to take in order to keep competitors out of your market. The analysis helps you expose the competitor’s weaknesses and areas of vulnerability. With this information, you are better equipped to craft competitive and marketing strategies that you may choose to fine tune your brand and your messaging.
Acquire new customers: This is a given…your business cannot sustain itself without the addition of new customers. New customer acquisition is a process that combines market data with direct marketing tools to identify and reach high-potential prospects and convert those prospects into customers.
Mining your existing customers: It is far less expensive to generate additional business from your existing customer base than it is to generate new business from new customers. A regular review of your customers’ buying history and frequency of purchases can reveal some interesting facts about your customers’ buying habits.
Create customer loyalty programs: As the marketplace continues to be more competitive, more and more businesses are offering loyalty programs. These programs help to transform first-time customers into repeat customers by rewarding them with incentives, coupons, certificates or discounts.
Up-sell: Capitalize on the untapped value of your existing customers by promoting related or more expensive products/services. As an example, your customer who regularly buys golf balls is a strong candidate to purchase golf clubs, apparel and other golf accessories. Make a routine practice of recommending additional items that can be added to your customer’s order.
Merge or acquire a competitor: The benefit of combining your company with another company creates an immediate sales growth opportunity simply from the acquisition of their existing customer base. And everything else being equal, the new “combination business” should have the potential to become even more profitable than the two businesses operating independently. This potential for increased profitability comes as a direct result of both sales increases and operational efficiencies (opportunities to reduce total costs) that accrue from combining the two businesses.
Use SWOT analysis: SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is an assessment technique that paints an accurate picture of how your business stacks up based on those four factors. SWOT can identify your venture’s pros and cons, so that you can align internal strengths and weaknesses with external opportunities and threats. This exercise is essential to sound strategic planning. With SWOT, you can identify and prioritize the issues that will accelerate success.
Revisit lost customers: According to the research in the book, Customer Winback How to Recapture Lost Customers and Keep Them Loyal, written by Jill Griffin and Michael Lowenstein, a firm has a 60% to 70% chance of successfully repeat-selling to an active customer. A 20% to 40% chance of successfully repeat-selling to a lost customer and only a 5% to 20% chance of successfully closing the sale on a brand new customer. These statistics suggest that a key opportunity exists for businesses to increase or maintain a customer base by mining and evaluating their database of defected customers. Bernd Stauss and Christian Friege make this argument even more convincing in a case study entitled, Regaining Service Customers. Their findings show that the net return on investment from a new customer obtained from an external list is 23% compared with a 214% return on investment from the reinstatement of a customer who has defected.
Bonus Item. Dead prospect files: Dig out your old prospect files and make a “hit list” comprised of all of the old prospects that you think may still have life. Contact each one of them. Express your wish to discuss their present-day wants and needs, as well as, the opportunity to explore the possibility of you servicing their needs.
Which of the above business-building practices have you, can you, or will you implement in your business development strategy?

Posted in Business | Tagged | Comments Off on 20 Business-Building Practices

The Evolution Of Business Analysts

Software application development has only been around since the late 1970s. Compared to other industries and professions the software industry is still very young. Ever since organizations began to use computers to support their business tasks, the people who create and maintain those “systems” have become more and more sophisticated and specialized. This specialization is necessary because as computer systems become more and more complex, no one person can know how to do everything.
One of the “specialties” to arise is the Business Analyst. A Business Analyst is a person who acts as a liaison between business people who have a business problem and technology people who know how to create solutions. Although some organizations have used this title in non-IT areas of the business, it is an appropriate description for the role that functions as the bridge between people in business and IT. The use of the word “Business” is a constant reminder that any application software developed by an organization should further improve its business operations, either by increasing revenue, reducing costs, or increasing service level to the customers.
History of the Business Analyst Role
In the 1980s when the software development life cycle was well accepted as a necessary step, people doing this work typically came from a technical background and were working in the IT organization. They understood the software development process and often had programming experience. They used textual requirements along with ANSI flowcharts, dataflow diagrams, database diagrams, and prototypes. The biggest complaint about software development was the length of time required to develop a system that didn’t always meet the business needs. Business people had become accustomed to sophisticated software and wanted it better and faster.
In response to the demand for speed, a class of development tools referred to as CASE (Computer Aided Software Engineering) were invented. These tools were designed to capture requirements and use them to manage a software development project from beginning to end. They required a strict adherence to a methodology, involved a long learning curve, and often alienated the business community from the development process due to the unfamiliar symbols used in the diagrams.
As IT teams struggled to learn to use CASE tools, PCs (personal computers) began to appear in large numbers on desktops around the organization. Suddenly anyone could be a computer programmer, designer and user. IT teams were still perfecting their management of a central mainframe computer and then suddenly had hundreds of independent computers to manage. Client-server technologies emerged as an advanced alternative to the traditional “green screen,” keyboard-based software.
The impact on the software development process was devastating. Methodologies and classic approaches to development had to be revised to support the new distributed systems technology and the increased sophistication of the computer user prompted the number of software requests to skyrocket.
Many business areas got tired of waiting for a large, slow moving IT department to rollout yet another cumbersome application. They began learning to do things for themselves, or hiring consultants, often called Business Analysts, who would report directly to them, to help with automation needs. This caused even more problems for IT which was suddenly asked to support software that they had not written or approved. Small independent databases were created everywhere with inconsistent, and often, unprotected data. During this time, the internal Business Analyst role was minimized and as a result many systems did not solve the right business problem causing an increase in maintenance expenses and rework.
New methodologies and approaches were developed to respond to the changes, RAD (rapid application development), JAD (joint application development), and OO (object oriented) tools and methods were developed.
As we began the new millennium, the Internet emerged as the new technology and IT was again faced with a tremendous change. Once again, more sophisticated users, anxious to take advantage of new technology, often looked outside of their own organizations for the automation they craved. The business side of the organization started driving the technology as never before and in a large percentage of organizations began staffing the Business Analyst role from within the operational units instead of from IT. We now have Marketing Directors, Accountants, Attorneys, and Payroll Clerks performing the role of the Business Analyst.
In addition, the quality movement that had started in the 70s with TQM, came into focus again as companies looked for ways to lower their cost of missed requirements as they expanded globally. The ISO (International Standards Organization) set quality standards that must be adhered to when doing international business. Carnegie Mellon created a software development quality standard CMM (Capability Maturity Model). Additionally, Six Sigma provided a disciplined, data-driven quality approach to process improvement aimed at the near elimination of defects from every product, process, and transaction. Each of these quality efforts required more facts and rigor during requirements gathering and analysis which highlighted the need for more skilled Business Analysts familiar with the business, IT, and quality best practices.
Future of the Business Analyst Role
Today we see Business Analysts coming from both the IT and business areas. In the best situations, the Business Analyst today has a combination of IT and business skills. Each organization has unique titles for these individuals and the structure of Business Analyst groups is as varied as the companies themselves. However, there is a core set of tasks that most Business Analysts are doing regardless of their background or their industry.
The Business Analyst role becomes more critical as project teams become more geographically dispersed.
Outsourcing and globalization of large corporations have been the driving factors for much of this change recently. When the IT development role no longer resides inside our organizations, it becomes necessary to accurately and completely define the requirements in more detail than ever before. A consistent structured approach, while nice to have in the past, is required to be successful in the new environment. Most organizations will maintain the Business Analyst role as an “inhouse” function. As a result, more IT staff are being trained as Business Analysts.
The Business Analyst role will continue to shift its focus from “Software” to “Business System.”
Most Business Analysts today are focused on software development and maintenance, but the skills of the Business Analyst can be utilized on a larger scale. An excellent Business Analyst can study a business area and make recommendations about procedural changes, personnel changes, and policy changes in addition to recommending software. The Business Analyst can help improve the business system not just the business software.
The Business Analyst role will continue to evolve as business dictates.
Future productivity increases will be achieved through re-usability of requirements. Requirements Management will become another key skill in the expanding role of the Business Analyst as organizations mature in their understanding of this critical expertise. The Business Analyst is often described as an “Agent of Change.” Having a detailed understanding of the organization’s key initiatives, a Business Analyst can lead the way to influence people to adapt to major changes that benefit the organization and its business goals. The role of a Business Analyst is an exciting and secure career choice as U.S. companies continue to drive the global economy.
Training for the Business Analyst
The skill set needed for a successful Business Analyst is diverse and can range from communication skills to data modeling. A Business Analyst’s educational and professional background may vary as well–some possess an IT background while others come from the business stakeholder area.
With backgrounds as diverse and broad as these it is difficult for a Business Analyst to possess all the skills necessary to perform successful business analysis. Companies are finding that individuals with a strong business analysis background are difficult to locate in the marketplace and are choosing to train their employees to become Business Analysts in consistent structured approaches. First, organizations seeking formal business analysis training should examine vendors who are considered “experts” on the field with a strong focus on business analysis approaches and methodologies. Second, you will want to examine the quality of the training vendor’s materials. This may be done by researching who wrote a vendor’s materials and how often they are updated to stay abreast of industry best practices. Third, matching the real-world experience of instructors to the needs and experience level of your organization is critical to successful training. Business analysis is an emerging profession and it is critical that the instructors that you choose have been practicing Business Analysts.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on The Evolution Of Business Analysts

Deadly Principles Of Business Planning. You Must Know These

Whether you are running, or planning to run, an offline or online business the traditional basics of achieving business success apply. For instance, it is well-known that a business that has no plan is almost certain to fail. No matter how small a business is, it needs a plan. A business plan compels you to think before you act. It compels you to find out about your business area before you start; i.e. to research your business area or to establish its groundwork.
A business plan forces you to think hard about your competition and how you are going to beat them in the market. It forces you to establish whether your business idea is worth pursuing. Why start a business that is going to fail? Isn’t that stupid?
A business plan forces you to establish the expected costs and revenues of your business, and hence to determine profitability. Why run a business when, at any time, you cannot tell whether or not the business is succeeding? If you don’t know your costs or your revenues you cannot compare them together to tell whether your business is succeeding or failing.
An online business is no different from an offline business, when it comes to business planning. It needs a business plan! Yet, how many newcomers do we see trying to make it online without even understanding the concept of business planning? Is it then a surprise that too many fail?
This article discusses 12 fundamental principles that you must understand and use in your business planning if you are going to run a successful business. The principles are as follows…
1. The Requirements Principle
A business plan must comply with the requirements of funding bodies. This is particularly key when you are applying for funding, but is also necessary when you are not applying because the compliance act itself makes the business plan rigorous. Funding bodies always have requirements that a plan must meet, and some of these are: technological innovation, presence of technical risk, and presence of commercial potential.
2. The Objectives Principle
A business plan must have clearly defined objectives and it must accomplish those objectives. A business plan is a strategic business document, and fundamental to any strategic planning process is the need to have objectives which the formulated strategies must aim to accomplish.
3. The Motivation Principle
A business plan must have clear motivations which highlight its importance. The motivations of a business plan are the reasons for completing the plan. These reasons tell us why the plan is important.
4. The Background Principle
A business plan must be the work of someone with a relevant background (the founder, for a start-up business), and the plan must comply with its authors background. A business plan should be prepared by the person or team who is going to run the business. For a start-up business, this is critical because the planning process prepares the owner for running the business. If the planning is delegated to someone else then it is unlikely that the owner will understand the plan sufficiently to be able to implement it. In these circumstances, the owner abandons the plan and does his or her own thing with deleterious consequences for the business.
5. The Detail Principle
A business plan must be sufficiently detailed to inspire confident action when executing the business; yet it must be flexible. A detailed plan is easier to implement than a superficial plan. A detailed plan suggests that the plan has been thoroughly researched and thought over. Detail inspires confidence in the owner of the business (assuming that he or she prepared the plan). A detailed plan should be flexible to accommodate changing times.
6. The Conservatism Principle
A business plan must be conservative. This means that it must always underestimate revenues while overestimating expenses. The reasons for this are underpinned by risk. A business is always executed under uncertainty… we never have all the knowledge we would like to make business success certain. An immediate consequence of this is the tendency to underestimate cost, only to find that we run out of money at critical times of a business’s execution. We also have a natural propensity to overestimate revenues… to dream!
7. The Cash Balance Principle
A business plan must always have a positive cash balance. A negative cash balance means that you plan to run out of money… to be insolvent! If you cannot realistically get the cash balance positive, without padding figures, then this is a sign that the business idea is not worth pursuing.
8. The Insolvency Principle
A business plan must guarantee against insolvency… against running out of cash. There are four ways to do this: conservative estimates so that the business always outperforms its plans, detailed cost identification to minimise omitted costs, contingency planning to accommodate forgotten items, and a positive cash balance throughout the plan.
9. The Risk Management Principle
A business plan must manage risks by convincingly dealing with uncertainty, reducing it to as close to zero as possible. This is simply stating that a business plan must be thoroughly researched, including desk research and field research. The more thoroughly a plan is researched the more it rests on sound facts, knowledge, and understanding, and the less the uncertainty and risk associated with the plan.
10. The Evidence Principle
A business plan must rest on supporting evidence, and guess work must be minimised. Sound evidence increases the reliability of a business plan and reduces the risk associated with it. And the less risky a plan is the more likely it will guide a business to success.
11. The Rigour Principle
A business plan must be rigorous  complete, correct, and reliable. This means that the plan must be derived from a systematic process that attends to all the issues that must be addressed. In particular, the plan must not be rushed. The issues must be sequenced and dealt with, each at the right time.
12. The Collaboration Principle
A business plan must be founded on collaboration (not confrontation)  it must satisfy the collaboration principle. This means that a business plan must be based on the works of others. It must not be opinionated. It also means that a collaborative, rather than a confrontational spirit, must exist in any business planning team if the results of that team are to be worthwhile.
Final Remarks
This article has discussed 12 killer principles of business planning that any plan must satisfy if it is to be taken seriously. Five of such principles are: requirements principle, objectives principle, motivation principle, background principle, and detail principle. These principles are a must for anyone running an offline or online business. If your business is failing it is more than likely that your failure to comply with one or more of these principles is to blame.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on Deadly Principles Of Business Planning. You Must Know These

Jeff Usner Can Help You Launch Your Own Online Business

When trying to run a successful business, many people will offer bits of obvious advice. However, there is no logic in considering the advice of people who have never been in your shoes. It will be more beneficial to heed the words of a person like Jeff Usner, an experienced business owner who is responsible for his own immense success using tools like the Internet.
As the founder of numerous businesses who has brought his net worth from six-figure debt to six-figure revenue, Jeff is a man you can trust. He knows what it is like to be starting from the ground up, and by being resourceful, he has been quite successful. He generated systems for sales that are responsible for such large net profits and implemented the necessary technological tools; now he wants you to do the same.
Success like this does not need to seem like a freak accident anymore. He is making it easy for anyone and everyone who is interested to get their hands on valuable business plans and marketing information. Simply follow him on his social networks and pay his website a visit to sign up for his mailing lists. This way, you can receive all his latest news and information about products and training.
For example, he is responsible for the creation of ProfitHub, which is a comprehensive program that trains its users on the Internet as a resource. You can learn everything from strategies to branding to creating websites with this product  all information that is vital to online business growth. It is the perfect blueprint for online business strategy, which is what makes it so ideal  it contains everything necessary for getting started.
He even makes himself personally available to anyone who wants to have an in-person consultation with him. This will make it easy to ask questions, have the strategies and skills laid out in front of you, and be informed about his events. Whether you want to meet him one-on-one or with a small group, he is available for scheduling, and it is often these types of meetings that make or break a persons success.
The way technology is advancing, there is no way around it: the Internet is soon going to be your most important resource for running a business, if it is not already. It can help create a clientele base, bring in consumer traffic, advertise, spread information, and much more. Since Jeff Usner is experienced in using it as a tool and puts all the necessary knowledge within your reach, everyone should seize the opportunity.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on Jeff Usner Can Help You Launch Your Own Online Business

How To Make Your Small Business More Secure

Many small business owners take shortcuts when it comes to security. They may not think they have the money to invest in a security system, or they may think that theyre not a target. However, this negligence is precisely the reason many burglars and other criminals go after small businesses. Here are 7 steps every small business owner should take to keep their clients and employees safe.
Stay Alert
Not all criminals strike at night when the building is deserted. In fact, many prefer to slip in unnoticed through a side door during the day. Teach your employees to pay attention to your property and report any strangers who are lingering nearby. CCTV in Calaveras, CA, is a good way of monitoring your property at all times, and you can usually access it from work or home.
Maintain Your Building
Criminals will assume that your building is an easy target if you dont put an effort into keeping it well maintained. Long grass, weeds, graffiti, and other signs of neglect are signs that you cut corners when it comes to expenses and probably dont have a security system installed. Overgrown trees and bushes also provide good hiding places for criminals to conduct surveillance on your building while theyre planning a way to get in. Keep the exterior of your building clean and well lit to encourage burglars to try a different target.
Keep Emergency Plans Handy
Your building should have a written set of instructions for emergency situations posted in an area where all employees can access it. This should include steps for dealing with natural disasters and phone numbers of the local police and fire department. Review these plans with your employees regularly, and discuss what they should do in the event of a burglary or another crime.
Keep Track of Your Keys
The fewer keys to your building, the better. Make copies only for those who absolutely need them, and make sure you have a list of everyone who has a key. Tell your employees to be careful with the keys, especially in public places like the gym or Laundromat. If you lose track of a key, have the locks changed just to be on the safe side.
Dont Advertise Your Cash
Never let on to your customers how much money you have in the store. Your employees dont need to see you counting cash at the end of the day. Make regular deposits at the bank, and never leave large amounts of cash in your store overnight, even in a safe.
Protect Your Computers
Your computers contain sensitive information about your business and your clients, and its important to take steps to keep them safe. Use firewalls to prevent communication with other networks and block people from hacking into your system. Limit computers in your building to official use only–your employees shouldnt be using them to check their personal emails or surf the Internet. They may accidentally stumble onto something that could compromise the safety of your computers. Give every employee their own individual login so that you can keep them accountable for anything that happens while theyre logged on.
Invest in a Security System
A security system is usually the best defense against burglars, and it can also help keep your building safer from natural disasters like fire. Most burglars look for easy targets where they wont be caught, and will avoid your store if they know that its protected by a security company. This is especially true if they think theyll be recorded by CCTV in Calaveras, CA. If someone does break in, your security company can alert you and the police instantly, giving the police the best chance of apprehending the trespasser.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on How To Make Your Small Business More Secure

The Influence Of Internet On Modern Business

An Internet Marketing program has two sides. One is the part devoted to individual customers. The other is the business to business component. E-commerce programs as well as advertising, sales support, customer service and public relations are all elements of an internet marketing program.
Similar companies compete against one another while being only a click of the mouse away. In other words, a buyer can locate numerous sellers offering similar merchandise, similar prices and similar offers in a very short time period. As more people and businesses become comfortable with the internet, the marketing landscape will continue to evolve quickly in the coming years.
Use of the internet has exploded during the last few years in both the consumer and business-to-business markets. Although the experts still debate the future of the internet, no one doubts it is having an impact on how business is taking place in the twenty ‘first century, even with all of the – – dot crashes – – of the late 1990s. Here are some facts about the internet that highlight its tremendous growth and presence in society:
– The most common products consumers’ research online and purchase off-line (at the store or outlet) are: automobiles, computer, hardware, travel, electronics, books, appliances, music, sporting goods and clothing.
– Over 25 percent of all business-to-business purchases are placed through some type of internet connection.
– The five top business-to-business e-commerce products are computers and electronics, motor vehicles, petrochemicals, utilities, papers and office products.
– In 2004, 10 percent of business-to-business advertising dollars were spent on the internet. The total amount spent was $8.7 billion.
– About 54 percent of the e-mail users have responded to an e-mail advertisement. Almost half purchased a product.
– Internet retail sales account for almost 2.5 percent of all retail sales.
Business-to-business marketers were among the first companies actually to make profits using the internet. In today’s marketplace, the web is becoming the communication tool of choice for many business-to-business companies. The internet provides opportunities for communication, customer service, sales support, collaboration and e-commerce.
Some companies use the internet for every aspect of their business including taking orders, inventory control, production scheduling, communications plans, sales programs, service departments and support programs. The change from traditional communication channels such as salespeople, telephone and – – snail mail – -to the internet and e-mail happened quickly in some companies and more slowly in others.
Now, convincing top management of the benefits of internet marketing is essential. There is still a lack of internet expertise in the business community. As a result, many companies are turning to marketing agencies for guidance.
To conclude, the influence of the internet on various businesses and industries has been clearly noted in today’s world. The presence of the internet and e-commerce is so sweeping that the various applications of web technology are now essential elements of a fully integrated marketing communications program.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on The Influence Of Internet On Modern Business

Defy Limits With An Online Business

The world is now becoming web-based, and almost everything are being mounted up on the World Wide Web. The Internet is now the way of the world. Are you on the right track? Are you ready for an Online Business?
Everything is now on the Internet. Banks are now e-banking, and more people are finding ways to earn money online. The world of marketing and commerce is not one to be left behind. With the Internet rising as the “information superhighway”, marketing and commerce have now transformed into e-marketing and e-commerce. If you have a business, then you should definitely be in with the trend. It’s the only way for your business to survive, especially in the future, as we expect the Internet to become even more powerful. It’s time to turn your business into an online business.
There is no need to consider this option long and hard. There are plenty of benefits you will get from an online business. The Internet will account for faster and hassle-free transactions, especially with e-banking. More than that, since the Internet crosses boundaries, your online business will be everywhere and anywhere in the world. If you decide to go international, you can even build a customer base from other countries as well. Another advantage of an online business is that your business will be on the Web at all times. You can even make money as you sleep! The best thing is that you can avail of all these benefits and more at a lesser cost than your overhead and operation expenses for your actual business. So are you ready to start your online business now?
Here are some tips to turn your business into an online business. The most typical thing that companies first do when they decide to go online is to create an online presence through a website. Since people now turn to the Internet as the primary source of information, it is also likely that customers will turn to the Internet to look for something they want to buy, or information about a certain product. An online presence will certainly enhance a company’s image. Setting up a company website is not as easy as it seems. It’s not just about coming up with a site and filling it with images and text. Setting up a company website is part of your corporate marketing. Your site should reflect your company’s image, and should be properly conceptualized. Before you create a company website, make sure to read up on the subject a bit more.
Another option is to create an online store, or an online extension of your business. If you are selling something, dedicate a page in your website where people can actually order your products online. This will certainly help generate more sales, since anyone who just happens to come across your site is already a potential customer.
Another way to turn your business into an online business is to advertise on the Web. Even if you don’t want to offer your products for sale online, there is no reason not to advertise them on the Web. There are a lot of promotional products available online. You can choose to display banner ads, which can range from static ads to animated ones. You can also choose to post pictures or videos of your products in online forums. The Internet is a world of opportunities, with no known boundaries. Make sure you exhaust the opportunities out there.
Aside from the more typical methods of turning your business into an online business, there are some methods that bank on more specific Internet-based trends. One of these trends that have further enlarged the opportunities for e-commerce is blogging. Blogging has a wide following of Internet users. Companies, instead of just setting up a formal company website can also create a blog where the products can be discussed in a less formal or indirect manner of selling. A business blog can also contain stories and interesting trivia, which can make readers more interested in the products the company is selling. A business blog is also an easy way to know what people think about your products. Since people can easily leave comments on the blog, you will get the pulse of the people and you will certainly pick up helpful tidbits of information from these comments.
One of the reasons why the Internet became very powerful is its ability to break barriers. This ability will certainly help your business become more successful once you turn it into an online business. Put your business up on the Web and defy limits now!

Posted in Business | Tagged | Comments Off on Defy Limits With An Online Business

Overcoming Business Loan and Commercial Mortgage Finance Problems

One of the most difficult business loan scenarios occurs when a commercial borrower is rejected for either a commercial mortgage or commercial loan. There are five specific reasons that account for a healthy majority of business finance rejections. These common business financing application problems are particularly applicable to commercial real estate investment property financing.
Commercial borrowers are likely to be confused when their commercial loan application is turned down and will probably be unsure as to why it happened and what to do next. For each of the five major reasons that a bank might decline a commercial mortgage, a practical strategy is provided for converting the declined commercial real estate loan into an approved business loan.
Two reasons (tax returns and business plan requirements) could impact virtually all businesses. Many business loan officers will begin their business loan and commercial mortgage review process by stating “We will need to see at least three years of tax returns” and “Can you show me your business plan?” before proceeding.
Commercial projects are frequently too unique for traditional commercial banks. In these situations (even if a commercial borrower has favorable tax returns and an adequate business plan), it is not unusual for the business owner to be declined for a commercial mortgage loan by a traditional commercial lender.
The reasons described do not involve unusual issues. It is likely that two or more of the reasons will be applicable for many commercial loan situations.
Commercial Mortgage Rejections: (1) Special Purpose Commercial Real Estate –
Reason Number One for commercial mortgage rejections: The bank does not generally make business loans for the type of business involved or imposes special requirements that make the commercial loan impractical for the commercial borrower. For example, fewer banks are making commercial mortgage loans for restaurants.
In a similar fashion, an auto service business is often given expensive and unnecessary environmental stipulations. There are many special purpose commercial properties such as golf courses, campgrounds, churches, funeral homes and gas stations that most traditional lenders have eliminated from their commercial lending program.
Strategy Number One for converting the disapproved business loan into an approved commercial mortgage loan: For most business owners, there are reasonable commercial loan options beyond traditional commercial lenders.
There are action-oriented non-traditional commercial lenders that will offer commercial mortgage loans for most special purpose commercial property situations. The best business loan could be available only from a non-traditional lender when a traditional lender won’t provide the necessary commercial real estate loan.
Business Loan Disapprovals: (2) Tax Returns Required –
Reason Number Two for business loan rejections: A loan underwriter finds an issue on tax returns that disqualifies a business borrower under the bank’s lending standards. This “issue” will often be inadequate net income, but when commercial loan underwriters analyze income tax returns, there can be a wide variety of other possibilities which produce the same disapproval.
Strategy Number Two for converting the rejected commercial real estate loan into an approved business loan: Commercial borrowers will never have this reason to worry about if they have applied for a “Stated Income” commercial mortgage loan. Very few traditional lenders use a Stated Income process (no income verification, no tax returns, no IRS Form 4506) for a commercial loan.
Borrowers should search for commercial lenders using Stated Income commercial mortgage loans. Unfortunately, this suggested solution will not work for all commercial loans because of a normal maximum loan amount of about $2-3 million for a Stated Income business loan.
Commercial Loan Rejections: (3) Cash Out Limitations –
Reason Number Three for commercial mortgage loan and business loan disapprovals: When a business attempts to refinance their commercial property loan and wants to get significant cash out, it is normal for a traditional bank to restrict what the funds are used for and to severely limit the amount of cash received. Even though the bank is willing to make the commercial loan, if they won’t provide the cash required by the commercial borrower, this is similar to rejecting the loan.
Strategy Number Three for converting the declined commercial mortgage into an approved commercial real estate loan: As mentioned above, there are other commercial lending options available. The commercial borrower’s mission (and it is not impossible at all) is to use a commercial real estate lender that will allow them to get much larger amounts of cash out of a commercial refinancing without restrictions on what they do with it.
Commercial Real Estate Investment Property Loan Disapprovals: (4) Cross Collateral Requirements –
Reason Number Four for commercial mortgage loan and business loan disapprovals: The bank will not make a commercial loan without sufficient collateral such as a lien on personal assets.
Strategy Number Four for converting the disapproved business loan into an approved commercial mortgage loan: Business borrowers should seek out commercial lenders that will not “cross collateralize” assets as a stipulation for getting business financing. This will result in more flexibility for the commercial borrower and preclude unwise (and unnecessary) connections between business and personal assets.
Commercial Real Estate Loan Rejections: (5) Business Plan Requirements –
Reason Number Five for commercial mortgage loan and business loan disapprovals: A bank’s loan officer determines that the business plan does not support the needed commercial loan.
Strategy Number Five for converting the disapproved business loan into an approved commercial mortgage loan: Commercial borrowers should save money and avoid possible delays by working with a lender that does not require a business plan due to these primary advantages:
(A) Reduce commercial loan costs by thousands of dollars. A common range for an average business plan (prepared to typical bank specifications) is $5,000 to $10,000.
(B) Shorten the business financing closing period. Business plan preparation is likely to take 1-2 months or more.
(C) If the lender does not require a business plan, there is one less item standing between the commercial borrower and their approved commercial loan.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on Overcoming Business Loan and Commercial Mortgage Finance Problems

Tom Martino Damages Oregon Business

In November 2004, talk radio host Tom Martino picked up the phone on his consumer-advice show. Unhappy Washington state resident Melissa Feroglia was calling to complain about a jet ski she had purchased in Boring, Oregon at John and Susan Gardner’s Mount Hood Polaris. Unfortunately for the Gardners, Martino’s show was nationally syndicated.
Feroglia told Martino that her jet ski had broken down again and again. According to Feroglia, John Gardner had first promised to refund her money, but had then said that her ski jet was fixed and there would be no refund. Feroglia concluded her woes by telling Martino that at that point the weather was too cold. She would have to wait until spring to try out her jet ski.
Martino, in the flip and annoying way of many talk show hosts who could not be bothered with the facts, then told Feroglia that Gardner was lying to her. Martino and Martino’s producer continued the saga by telling us of a cycle we are all far too familiar with: Calling the shop, being told to contact the manufacturer, contacting the manufacturer, and being told to call the shop again. We don’t know if their tale was true or not.
We do know that Martino said, “Polaris sucks.” The situation further spiraled out of control as Martino encouraged his listeners to contact Mount Hood Polaris and the manufacturer and tell them that they would never again buy any Polaris products.
John and Susan Gardner sued after their phone lines were flooded and they were threatened. The Gardner’s lawsuit stated that people driving by the store for several weeks shouted insults and the store lost approximately $600,000 in business. A judge dismissed their suit and in April a federal appeals court upheld the dismissal. According to the federal appeals court, this was basically not slander because reasonable talk show listeners do not expect facts on talk shows like Martino’s, just opinions. Without facts, there cannot be slander.
In the eyes of the law, any damage to the Gardners’ business and reputation was due to Martino’s opinion, not to any false fact or facts. Given that this damage could not have been caused by reasonable talk show listeners, the Gardners have no recourse. No law protects businesses from talk show hosts who urge unreasonable talk show listeners to damage the business.
Tom Martino has more critics than just the Gardners. His critics are concerned by the “Troubleshooter Referral List,” a list of businesses that Martino endorses. A business can join Martino’s list by paying a $3,000 fee and agreeing to a code of ethics. This code includes agreeing to let Martino decide disputes with consumers and follow his decisions. Martino also personally endorses business products and services on the air for payment. Critics question Tom Martino’s being a creditable consumer advocate due to the very substantial fees he earns from his endorsements.
Martino apparently enjoys both sides of the street. He appears to profit as an entertainer masquerading as a consumer advocate. He also appears to profit as a businessperson selling endorsements that appear to make him a pseudo consumer advocate. Unfortunately, his audience does not appear to notice that he is a pseudo consumer advocate. He is not the real thing.
Perhaps some day we will have a law that holds talk radio hosts liable for inflaming audiences that can reasonably be expected to cause damage. Until then, businesses savaged by Tom Martino will continue to occur damages, both justified and unjustified. In the final analysis, we have no idea if the Gardners were fine upstanding business people or not. We don’t know anything about their business practices. We can definitely state that it would have required some very bad business practices for $600,000.00 in damages to have been a fair penalty. We can conclude two things from this: We need laws to handle situations like this and we need to watch out for Tom Martino and other talk show hosts like him.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on Tom Martino Damages Oregon Business

Ask Yourself These 10 Questions Before You Write Your Business Plan

One of the most important parts of starting any type of business involves the creation of a business plan. This plan will allow the process of opening a new company go much smoother and eliminate several problems or complications that could have possibly aroused. There are many different ways to create a business plan, but asking a few common questions will ultimately help new business owners determine the best way of doing so.
A company must ask what the introduction is about. Creating a potential business model should include carefully outlining the goals and objectives of the company and put them into phrases known as mission statements or company mottoes. If a business theme or motto can be created and put into the business plan, this will greatly enhance the productivity of the business in the future. Every owner and employee of the company will know, from the very beginning, where the company is headed and what direction that it should go.
Business owners should also ask what the body of the model should entail. The main portion of the business plan should include detailed instruction on how the company will achieve its goals and objectives. It describes absolutely everything that the company will do, obtain, purchase, and sell in order to grow and be successful. Once again, these specific procedures and information should mainly revolve around the principle idea of the company’s theme that was created and implemented at the beginning of the business plan.
What the ending of a business plan includes is very important as well. This part of the plan normally tells viewers where the company will hopefully be in the next ten to fifteen years. This part of the business plan allows potential owners to express their future dreams and allows others to see what the future potentially holds for this specific business.
Explain what the products and services are going to be. New business owners must create some sort of a business model that will promote the company’s services or products to the most amount of people possible. This particular business plan will greatly increase the effectiveness of not only the company’s advertising campaign but also the company as a whole. It will also help the company improve its competitiveness when battling with other businesses.
People should ask about the type of clients that will be targeted and the reasons why it is targeting those specific customers. Customers are the number one priority within a company, and how the company will attract customers is one of the most important priorities within the business model.
Should the plan be inductive or deductive. Most business plans begin by providing the overall picture of the company’s marketing strategy, and then breaks down into details about how it will realistically achieve such goals and objectives. Most business owners should set a budget for marketing objectives and then provide different ways that the plan will be implemented.
More questions that business owners should ask when creating a business plan:
What can my business do for people that others cannot do?
What are my business’ weaknesses and strengths?
What will I name my business so that it is the most effective for profit?
Who will I hire as business leaders and managers?
Success ultimately comes from asking and answering these types of important questions.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on Ask Yourself These 10 Questions Before You Write Your Business Plan

Acquiring Capital For A Business

Beginning a new business is an extremely difficult venture. The amount of time, effort, work, and money it takes just to start up is a wonder to think about. There are several different things to think about, for example what type of company you are going to start? Are you going to hire employees or do the work yourself? What type of professional licenses are you going to have to have in order to start the venture you really want to start? While all of these questions are important, one of the most important questions to ask when thinking about establishing your own company is: Where will I get the money to make all this happen? There are many different sources for money to begin an enterprise. Some are using savings you may have accrued, acquiring a business loan, or having investors.
One source of capital to use for starting a business is if you have managed to save money. Many people go through life putting away amounts of unused or extra money in different savings accounts or other interest-bearing ventures. Using cash you have saved up as capital for your business is a great way to help stay out of debt. Many times, people that start a company on a shoe string or almost non-existent budget, they wind up going into a large amount of debt very quickly. Having a resource of money that is set aside in case of an emergency is a great way to be sure you have something to fall back on. This is the most ideal situation when starting your own business. If you have money saved that can be used as a resource for start up costs, this may be preferable to starting a line of credit or taking out loans.
If you arent fortunate enough to have saved the money necessary to start your own business, the next best alternative may be to do what many other owners do: take out a business loan. This requires a lot more than one might thing. It is much easier to get a personal loan than it is to get a business loan. With a professional loan, you need to submit professional plans on how you will pay back the money and take other specified steps to satisfy the terms for the loan. If you can indeed receive a loan to start your endeavor, it will help you toward your ultimate goal of opening.
Another way to achieve the funds for starting your own company is to round up investors who would be willing to provide you with the means necessary. This sounds a lot easier said than done, but you would be surprised what amounts of money people are willing to put up for the introduction of a worthwhile service or product. Always be cautious about using investors, however, because once they become an investor, they are typically in partial ownership of the company you have begun with their money. Make sure things are laid out very clearly in the terms of the contract of such an alliance.
There are several ways to build a business from the ground up. One of the things you must think about is how you will get the capital for such a venture. By using money you have saved, acquiring a loan, or rounding up investors for your project, you can have the money required to get off to an off and running start for your new career.

Posted in Business | Comments Off on Acquiring Capital For A Business