Selasa, 24 Februari 2009

Home Business Opportunities on the Internet - Scam or Not?

. Selasa, 24 Februari 2009
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Choosing a home business opportunity on the internet may be difficult because there are so many to choose from and you may not be sure if they are legitimate or not. There are several opportunities that may help provide an income while working from home. These opportunities offer varying products and compensation plans.

The problem when seeking to start a business online is the fact that some of the opportunities claim that you can earn big money very quickly. These opportunities should be avoided. You should not spend your hard earned money on "get rich quick" schemes. Opportunities that are worthwhile getting involved in require real work to earn money.

There may be some costs when running a home business but it does not have to cost a fortune. If you want to build a business quicker, you may want to spend some money on advertising. However, if you are on a tight budget, there are several free ways to advertise also. Until there is some money coming in, using the free options may be the best thing to do.

You should check for honesty and integrity when looking into an internet business opportunity. Investigate to see how long the company has been in business. If the company claims that you will be rich within a short period of time, it is probably too good to be true. If a company suggests that you will actually have to do some work in order to earn money, their opportunity is probably a legitimate one.

There definitely IS money to be made on the internet. You just have to do your research first. Once you find a legitimate opportunity that you feel passionate about, you just have to market the website that the company may provide and get visitors to your site. Generating traffic for sales and building a list of prospects are important for the success of your business.

When you decide to start a home business, be prepared to put forth the time and effort needed to make it a successful one. Prepare a budget and a schedule and make sure to stick to them. Give yourself several months to grow your home business and start earning money. You'll be glad you did.

For more information about a legitimate business opportunity working with a company that has been in business for over 50 years, visit:

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Senin, 23 Februari 2009

17 Ideas You Can Steal to Grow Your Business Without Spending Money. by Liz Walker

. Senin, 23 Februari 2009
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This week we're sharing what we call "ideas to steal". They are all real-life ideas from successful businesses — action steps you can pick up and run with right away, without having to research, test or otherwise delay implementing. And, you don't need to spend money to do them.

Pick three that you can sink your teeth into, and don't hesitate to contact us if you want more information or help implementing them — these days we all have to work together.

- Bill faster. Your receivables can count for 40 - 50% of your actual assets. Don't batch invoice: bill as soon as you can.

- Simplify your business. Weed out the unprofitable and the hard-to-sell.

- Simplify your marketing message.

- Get your business and your web site listed in relevant directories. To find directories, Google the name of your town plus "directories url" (e.g. "cobourg directories url").

- Learn to delegate. Figure out what you do that turns dollars. Then delegate the rest.

- Encourage employees to explore more efficient approaches to their tasks instead of relying on their standard way of doing things.

- Don't forget suppliers. They might not be on your payroll, but they are more apt to do a few things for you at no charge because you really take care of them.

- Work faster. If you can condense three four-month jobs into three three-month jobs, you can do one more job in the year.

- Reward your team for meeting budgets and time lines. A 5% bonus is cheaper than a 20% increase in costs.

- Cut overhead by automating most of the non-producing items like accounting, customer care, voice mail, sales reporting, ordering and record keeping.

- Make sure you've clearly outlined project scope, and don't be afraid to charge your customer for changes.

- Offer to be a spokesperson on your specialty when your local media need an expert opinion. Send them a relevant press release every month.

- Give something valuable away on your web site; at your front counter; when you send out your invoices; when you deliver goods. This should be free to you, but valuable to the recipient, for example, coupons or a "How To".

- Highlight offers, features, promotions and news in your email footers, invoices and letter signatures.

- Start accounts with, and and post articles.

- Go where your audience is on the web. If your potential audience hangs out on forums, then post to those forums. Become a trusted advisor.

- Get your supporters to refer you.
Marketing Masters, Ken & Liz are Duct Tape Marketing Authorized Coaches and authors of The Buzz.

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Jumat, 20 Februari 2009

Become a Manager in 7 Easy Steps (and Get Yourself Out of the Detail of a Subject)

. Jumat, 20 Februari 2009
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One of the biggest challenges when moving up the career ladder is knowing how to give up control of the 'detail', i.e. influence and decision making of technical subject matters. To some people, it's losing their edge - their very basis of power and expertise. This can be a big misconception, particularly by those people who are already feeling the pull towards management and leadership positions.

Have you been through this journey yourself?

Breaking out of this mindset can take a long time, yet it can be achieved by eventually realizing that having a strong understanding of the concepts of a subject, and how to make it sound sensible and accessible to the layman, is even more powerful. Our role must be able to influence people outside of our subject matter. Decisions of funding, risk management and acceptance of business cases are generally performed by other people in our organization, so it is these people that we must learn to appeal to and build relationships with.

There are seven steps to take that will take use through this journey from subject-matter expert into a manager.

1) Understand the overall concept and value of a subject,
2) Know how it fits into the big picture and the business environment,
3) Develop messages and models that articulate its value to our organization,
4) Learn how our subject matter impacts other departments in our organization,
5) And how it is influenced by the work of other departments,
6) Understand its costs to our organization and our customers, and
7) Learn how to describe it in simple, plain language

This is the most powerful application of a subject!

It takes a brave person to make these steps, and confidence is the key. We don't really leave our subject behind, rather, we learn how to make use of it in the wider business context and demonstrate its value to colleagues outside of our department. It is then that we can manage our subjects as a Manager.

The author of this article Simon Stapleton is a coach helping Information Technology professionals with their Career Development, Commercial Development and Personal Development. His website

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Starting a Business with 7 things

1) Why are you starting up a business?

Setting up a business is a time intensive task - you need to be dedicated and focused in order to be successful. The rewards of starting up your own business can be great, but think carefully if you have the attributes and right sort of personality to cope with going it alone. What is your goal for starting a business? Is it financial reward or the freedom that comes from being your own boss? What is your motivation?

2) Skills

Identify your skills and particularly your weaknesses. Be honest and ask others for input. If you are less hot in certain areas, outsource these areas of the business or seek professional advice when you need it. Spend your time doing what you are good at.

3) Company Structure

You will need to decide what business structure you will trade under (sole trader, limited company, or partnership) and what obligations and responsibilities you will have as the owner of a new business.

4) Funding

Even if you have the best idea in the world, you are unlikely to make a killing instantly. Make sure you have enough money to live on for 6 to 12 months before committing yourself to self-employment. Alternatives include approaching the bank or an investor. Both these options will require a solid business plan.

5) Competition

Thoroughly research all your competitors. Identify weaknesses they may have and try to ensure your product or service is better. Competition is a very healthy thing, but you need to do constant research and never be complacent.

6) Marketplace

Make sure that there is a market for your product or service. Do plenty of market research and take notice of what your potential customers tell you. You can get very useful feedback that will improve your product or service.

7) Marketing

How are you going to reach you target market? The best product in the world will fail if it has no route to market. Think about your ideal customer - what do they do? What do they read? Where do they go? If you can answer these questions you will begin to identify the best places to advertise.

The author of this article is Tref Griffiths who is the CEO of the online speed-networking website

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Kamis, 19 Februari 2009

Strategies to promote and profit from your website. by JMyersNHP

. Kamis, 19 Februari 2009
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So you want to sell online? Building trust in you and your website, you won't be that easy. One of the things you must do online is to get people to trust you and your online business. One of these ways is to offer invaluable information if at all possible. One thing is to offer something free. Maybe a free eBook or e-mail course or article.

Make sure it your site has the most wanted response it should always be reasonable, be measurable and should always be a good fit.

Some meeting to search engines in directories are important. The best time to do this is between Monday and Wednesday between the hours of 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. This is the cause most people are own lunch breaks and searching the web.

Word of mouth is always the best. You can always reach as many people as you want. All it takes is you speaking to as many people as you can.

Know your visitors, could a guest book on your site and welcome people to put what they think about your site, asked for feedback. Ask them what they would like to see on your site.

Publishing a newsletter would be also a great idea. It can bring in new viewers to your site.

And you should always continue to learn more and more about ways to promote your site there me will resources on the net to help you with this. If you have affiliate programs you're a affiliated with may have some training that may help you. Don't be shy about using training material to promote your home site.

Using the strategies to help you promote your own web site and business can be a great opportunity to bring in more profits to your site.

There also a few question you should ask yourself before starting a web site if you don't have one. Do you offer content supported by affiliate programs? Which programs would you want to be affiliated with or promote? What items do you want to sell? Do you offer a date newsletter and do you make key easy for people to subscribe?

Try using some of the strategies to help better your site for you and your customers.

Remember to focus on your audience, come up with and niche and decide what your target audience is. Have an objective mine. Keep it simple and communicate clearly.

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Foreign exchange market is different from the stock market

The foreign exchange market is also called the FX market, and the forex market. Trading that occurs between two counties with different currencies is the fundament for the fx market and the background of the trading in this market. The forex market is over thirty years old, established in the early 1970's. The forex market is one that's not grounded on any one business or investing in any one business, but the trading and dealing of currencies.

The difference between the stock market and the forex market is the immense trading that takes place on the forex market. There's millions and millions that are traded every day on the forex market, almost two trillion dollars is traded every day. The sum of money is much greater than the money traded on the every day stock market of any nation. The forex market is one that involves governments, banks, financial institutions and those same types of institutions from a different countries.

What is traded, purchased and sold on the forex market is something that may easily be liquidated, meaning it may be returned to cash fast, or often times it's really going to be cash. From one currency to another, the availability of cash in the forex market is something that may happen fast for any investor from any country.

The difference between the stock market and the forex market is that the forex market is global, worldwide. The stock market is something that occurs only inside a country. The stock market is based on businesses and products that are inside a country, and the forex market takes that a step further to include any country.

The stock market has set business hours. Normally, this is attending follow the business day, and will be closed on banking holidays and weekends. The forex market is one that's open normally twenty four hours a day as the large number of countries that are involved in forex trading, purchasing and selling are settled in so many different times zones. When one market is opening, another countries market is closing. This is the endless process of how the forex market trading occurs.

The stock market in any country is going to be based on only that countries currency, say e.g. the Japanese yen, and the Japanese stock market, or the United States stock market and the dollar. However, in the forex market, you're involved with several types of countries, and several currencies. You'll find references to a variety of currencies, and this is a big difference between the stock market and the forex market.

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FOREX (Foreign Exchange Market)

The foreign exchange market is also called FX or it's also found to be named to as the FOREX. All three of these have the same meaning, which is the business deal of trading between different companies, banks, businesses, and governments that are situated in different countries. The financial market is one that's always changing leaving transactions required to be completed through brokers, and banks. Many scams have been emerging in the FOREX business, because foreign companies and people are establishing online to take advantage of people who don't realize that foreign trade must occur through a broker or a company with direct involution involved in foreign exchanges.

Cash, stocks, and currency is traded through the foreign exchange markets. The FOREX market will be introduce and survive when one currency is traded for another. Think of a trip you may go for a foreign country. Where are you going to be able to 'trade your money' for the value of the money that's in that other country? This is FOREX trading base, and it's not available in all banks, and it's not available altogether financial centers. FOREX is a special trading condition.

Small business and individuals frequently looking for make big money, are the victims of scams when it comes to learning about FOREX and the foreign trade markets. As FOREX is seen as how to make a quick money or two, people don't query their participation in such an event, but if you're not investing money through a broker in the FOREX market, you could easily end up losing everything that you've invested in the transaction.

Scams to be wary of
A FOREX scam is one that involves trading but will come out to be a fraud; you've no chance of getting your money back once you've invested it. If you were to invest money with a company stating they're involved in FOREX trading you wish read closely to learn if they're permitted to do business in your country. Many companies are not permitted in the FOREX market, as they've defrauded investors before.

In the last five years, with the aid of the Internet, FOREX trading and the awareness of FOREX trading has become all the rage. Banks are the first source for FOREX trading to occur, where a trained and licensed broker is going to complete transactions and demands you set forth. Commissions are paid on the transaction and this is the common.

A different type of scam that's prevailing in the FOREX markets is software that will help you in making trades, in learning about the foreign markets and in practicing so you may prepare yourself for following and making trades. You would like to be able to rely on a program or software that is really going to make a difference. Consult with your financial broker or your bank to learn more about FOREX trading, the FX markets and how you may avoid being the victim while investing in these markets.

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Senin, 16 Februari 2009

Steps To Increase Your Website's Page Rank by Edward Magee

. Senin, 16 Februari 2009
0 komentar

A great many of your visitors probably come from search engines. This is why having a good page ranking is important. On of the primary criteria used by search engines to determine this is link popularity. Link popularity is related to the number and quality of you back links to your website.

Here are some good techniques to boost your link popularity:

1. There are many article directories out there that are ranked very high on the search engines. The reason for this is that these directories are filled with web pages(articles) rich in good content. Getting your articles published in these directories will go a long way to driving traffic to your site and the great thing is they build your site's link popularity at the same time. A way to increase this is to use article submission services to submit your articles. A well executed article marketing campaign can create hundreds of links back to your site and boost your page's ranking very quickly. 2. Getting your site listed in web directories can provide links back to your site for free. Try to find the highest-ranking web directories and make sure your site shows up under the right categories. 3. Blogging is another great way to get links to your site that does not cost anything. Blogs have become very popular with search engines of late. Post at least a few times per week to make sure your content is fresh for the next time a search engines looks at the blog site. Posting comments on other blogs will attract attention to other bloggers who many do you a favor and link back to your blog.

These techniques all work if you work them. Getting a high-ranking website will not happen overnight, but if you apply these and other strategies soon you website will enjoy a high volume of targeted traffic from the search engines.

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Six Simple Ways to Explode Your Affiliate Profits by Eric Kreman

Affiliate marketing over the years has become increasingly competitive, it is still one of the best ways to make money online but in order to be successful you need to start playing it smart and start practicing some common sense. There are a few simple but powerful steps you can take as an affiliate marketer that can double or triple the amount of money you're making from Affiliate Marketing.

1) First of all DO NOT go overboard with affiliate links. Too many new affiliates make the mistake of adding stuffing their pages with affiliate links and then wonder why their links aren't converting and why their traffic eventually disappears. Too many affiliate links can confuse your visitors, make you seem pushy and hurts your credibility. Instead of boosting your profits you are actually driving your customers away.

2) Promote quality products, don't just promote a product you don't know anything about just because you're getting paid. Doing so will hurt your credibility and your profits, so suggest products that you have tried or that come from good solid companies. Remember if the visitor you referred asks for a refund, you will not get that commission. If you have to lie about a product to make a sale, then you should look at other products you can promote.

3) Only promote products that are related to the topic of interest. For example, if your website is about golf don't promote an affiliate program about guitars because they are completely unrelated. Links to unrelated products usually confuse or annoy your visitor and very rarely convert to sales.

4) Don't treat your visitors as a big dollar sign. Don't just make a sale ... add value to the visitor and give them a reason to trust you. Your goal is to have your visitor click on your link and ultimately make a purchase. So you want your visitors to look at your site as a value-added destination which provides useful information about the product or topic. Give your visitors the best advice you can and they will reward in return.

5) Choose affiliate partners that offer long term cookies. A cookie is a method that allows the affiliate's site to know when a visitor was referred by your site. Also with cookies, the visitor doesn't have to buy something right away. A 30 day cookie for example means that if a visitor that clicks on your affiliate links today doesn't but doesn't buy anything can come back to the affiliate's site and make a purchase anytime during the next 30 days and you will still be paid a commission. Normally you want programs that offer cookies of at least 30 days; however 90-day cookies are even better.

6) Whenever possible try to link directly to the product page and not the main page of your affiliate's site. When a visitor clicks on your link, you want him or her to make a purchase as soon as possible. Ideally, you want to give the visitor as little time to change their mind about a purchase as possible and that includes having to try to find the product page after having clicked on your link

By linking directly to the product page, you will increase the chances of the visitor buying the product. This tactic alone can dramatically boost your sales (and ultimately commission).

You'll be amazed at how these simple guidelines can dramatically boost your sales putting more money in your wallet.

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Six Simple Ways to Explode Your Affiliate Profits by Eric Kreman

Affiliate marketing over the years has become increasingly competitive, it is still one of the best ways to make money online but in order to be successful you need to start playing it smart and start practicing some common sense. There are a few simple but powerful steps you can take as an affiliate marketer that can double or triple the amount of money you're making from Affiliate Marketing.

1) First of all DO NOT go overboard with affiliate links. Too many new affiliates make the mistake of adding stuffing their pages with affiliate links and then wonder why their links aren't converting and why their traffic eventually disappears. Too many affiliate links can confuse your visitors, make you seem pushy and hurts your credibility. Instead of boosting your profits you are actually driving your customers away.

2) Promote quality products, don't just promote a product you don't know anything about just because you're getting paid. Doing so will hurt your credibility and your profits, so suggest products that you have tried or that come from good solid companies. Remember if the visitor you referred asks for a refund, you will not get that commission. If you have to lie about a product to make a sale, then you should look at other products you can promote.

3) Only promote products that are related to the topic of interest. For example, if your website is about golf don't promote an affiliate program about guitars because they are completely unrelated. Links to unrelated products usually confuse or annoy your visitor and very rarely convert to sales.

4) Don't treat your visitors as a big dollar sign. Don't just make a sale ... add value to the visitor and give them a reason to trust you. Your goal is to have your visitor click on your link and ultimately make a purchase. So you want your visitors to look at your site as a value-added destination which provides useful information about the product or topic. Give your visitors the best advice you can and they will reward in return.

5) Choose affiliate partners that offer long term cookies. A cookie is a method that allows the affiliate's site to know when a visitor was referred by your site. Also with cookies, the visitor doesn't have to buy something right away. A 30 day cookie for example means that if a visitor that clicks on your affiliate links today doesn't but doesn't buy anything can come back to the affiliate's site and make a purchase anytime during the next 30 days and you will still be paid a commission. Normally you want programs that offer cookies of at least 30 days; however 90-day cookies are even better.

6) Whenever possible try to link directly to the product page and not the main page of your affiliate's site. When a visitor clicks on your link, you want him or her to make a purchase as soon as possible. Ideally, you want to give the visitor as little time to change their mind about a purchase as possible and that includes having to try to find the product page after having clicked on your link

By linking directly to the product page, you will increase the chances of the visitor buying the product. This tactic alone can dramatically boost your sales (and ultimately commission).

You'll be amazed at how these simple guidelines can dramatically boost your sales putting more money in your wallet.

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Kamis, 12 Februari 2009

Writing Articles For Affiliate Programs

. Kamis, 12 Februari 2009
0 komentar

Why write articles

Writing articles can make your affiliate pages unique and drive more traffic from the major search engines, resulting in more sales.

In some instances the merchant's affiliate program may not provide you with more than a banner and a few text links.

If your traffic levels are low than this will not do much to drive traffic to your affiliate links.

If the merchant does provide you with content then this can be viewed by search engines as duplicate material depending on how many affiliates are promoting the same product with that content.

Beginning Your Article

First begin by reading all the information on the merchant's site about the affiliate program, if you are not already familiar with the product.

It is very important that you learn what it is that you are offering to your customers such as,product features,capabilities,limitations and specifications.

Many merchants will include these details with the description.

Researching your article

Use one of the many free or paid keyword suggestion tools to build your list of niche keywords.

Google Adwords, Digitalpoint and CBtrends all have really useful keyword tools which are free. Experimenting will help you discover search trends.

Testing these keywords in major search engine will give you a sense market saturation and competition.

Include Keywords In your Article

When writing for search engines your article should be keyword rich. Include long tail keyword phrases in your article title and subcategories. Product specific keyword phrases will help drive targeted traffic from search engines to your specific niche.

What to include in your article

Creating an outline will help you organize your article and supporting subcategories sequence.

Including descriptive keywords such as, size, color and dimensions in your article will further help drive targeted visitors to your site.

Helping your visitors solve a problem

When promoting affiliate programs through article writing, bring attention to product features that will help your visitors resolve a problem.

Use examples and illustrations of how these features can be applied in real life situations.

If your product is easy to use, then bring attention to why you believe it is better than similar products.

Ways to emphasize product features

Use bullet points, numbering or italics when writing articles to emphasize and bring attention to helpful product features.

Free content

Articles provide free instant content for ezines,newsletters and website publishers. This free content is used to optimize and attract free search engine traffic.

Submitting to article directories

There are countless popular free article directories, where your can submit your article for publication. Arcanaweb publishes a list of many popular directories. These directories allow anyone to reprint the article as long as the resource box is included at the end of the article.

Read and follow the guidelines before submitting your articles

Do not include affiliate links in your article or resource box.

This may cause your article to be rejected by the directory.

Do not plagiarize another writers material.

Resource box and backlinks

Writing articles can increase the number of one way links or backlinks to your site.

Included at the end of every article is a resource box,where you can include a brief bio and link back to your site.

Free article directories

Free article directories will allow you submit content but you are not paid for your article. Goarticles,Isnare and Articledashboard are among some of the large high traffic free article repositories.

Article distribution and submission services

Article distribution services will submit your article for a fee to article directories,ezines,newsletters,article email groups, social bookmarking and article announcement sites.

Article submission software

Article submission software such as Artemis Lite and Article Submitter 2.2 are free and may expedite the process once your are registered. You will need to do a manual submission for sites using an access code.

Paid article directories

These directories will pay you for writing articles or reviews.

Compensation may be in the form of revenue share or per word.

Paid to write reviews

In addition to getting paid for writing articles, reviews can be another avenue to earn extra income. Review rates can range anywhere from $2.00 to $200.00.

Reviewme, Reviewstream, Softwarejudge and Epinions are just a few of the popular paid to review sites that can put extra cash in your pocket.

You can also earn money with your clickbank id at Reviewsarena for up to 60 days.

Paid to blog

Writing blogs are yet another alternative for earning extra income.

Payperpost and Smorty are blog sites that pay weekly and compensation may range anywhere from $5 to $100. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a price with the advertiser.

In conclusion

Do your research before writing an article,use targeted keywords on affiliate product landing pages. Submit to high ranking article directories to increase the number of quality backlinks. Check site stats for increase traffic levels. Test and improve your writing skills by reading writing tutorials and ebooks. Learn from mistakes and continue writing articles.

About The Author
Nick Kaplan internet marketeer and writer provides useful resources and products for internet visitors. Covering a broad range of topics from affiliating marketing tools, publishing articles from experts in the field of health,automotive, finance and more.

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The Top 7 Overlooked E-bay Success Tips

Last year alone, millions of people made a profit on e-bay. Some were just selling odds and ends, while some ran huge businesses exclusively on e-bay. The amount of commerce done on the internet is only expected to increase, making prospects for e-bay users bright. You very well may be one of the people who's discovered the great benefits of making money from e-bay auctions. I myself have been an e-bay user for a little over a year and have had great success with my auctions.

When my friend began her business on e-bay selling high end purses, it started out quite rocky. Her auctions weren't getting the hits she wanted and usually sold off of one bid, instead of creating the bidding frenzy that beautiful bags like she had should have!

So, she called me up knowing I had been successfully using e-bay for almost a year at the time. She gave me her login information (we're best friends- she trusts me!) and asked me to check her her sales and current auctions and see if I noticed where the problem was. When I saw her current auctions, alot became obvious!

So, I compiled a list of things that I had used which had made me successful which I suggested she implement into her own auctions. I even revised the auctions she had active at the time. One of those auctions- a gorgeous brown Coach purse- sold for $546.00. She had listed it for $125.00. It was her biggest sale yet and she was thrilled.

The funny thing is, the methods I use are not some internet guru secrets. They are just things I picked up during my time using e-bay, but seem to be overlooked alot of the time. Here are what I have found to be the top 7 overlooked tips for successful e-bay auctions:

1. The Importance of a Good Title- When you're creating a title for your auction, you've gotta think like a buyer. When I checked my friend's listings, she had a beautiful, brand new brown patchwork Coach purse titled as 'coach purse'. This is way too general! A buyer knows what they want; in your title, include color, any brand name, main keywords that people will search, and condition is possible. I changed her title to "Brown & Beige Patchwork Coach Purse-Brand New". By the next day, it had over 100 new hits. Previously her auctions were hardly even reaching 100 hits throughout the whole 5 days.

Another mistake people often make is writing things like 'The best wristwatch ever!!!!" Even if you do believe you're selling the best wristwatch ever, is this really what a buyer is searching for? Of course not. Use a more descriptive, detailed title like 'Gold Armani Wrist Watch w/ Leather Band-New".

One more thing when it comes to titles: make sure keywords are included. For example, whatever the item you're selling actually IS, include that in the title. On e-bay, I mostly sell high end women's heels. I always make sure to include in my title 'Womens Shoes" because this is a common keyword. An example of a title I would use is:

"Brown Marc Jacobs Womens Silver Stud Pumps Shoes"- I know that 'pumps shoes' sounds awkward, but many women will search for "marc jacobs womens shoes", and I want to be sure my item shows up in the results. Use these tips when creating your title and you'll be sure to see increased traffic to your auction.

2. Give honest descriptions- Sure, that stain, tear, or other defect may be sooo small that it's almost impossible to notice. Still, mention it in your auction. If you send an item out and a buyer realizes that the item has a defect that you didn't mention in the auction description, they will be disappointed and very possibly leave you negative feedback. Anyone familiar with e-bay knows that feedback is everything. It is what makes people feel comfortable buying from you and proves that you are a trustworthy, reliable buyer.

It's best to provide a photo of any defects so potential buyers can see what they're getting. And believe me, if you say that there's a defect but don't show a picture, people will e-mail you asking for some. I have sometimes had a defect so tiny on a shoe that I couldn't even get it to show up in a picture. If that's the case, say it! Provide a picture of the area where the defect is and also explain in your listing that it's so miniscule that you can't get it to show up in the picture. Buyers will trust you much more and be way more willing to buy from you in the future. You also won't have to deal with an unsatisfied customer who can damage your feedback rating and make future potential buyers hesitant or even completely dissaude them from buying from you.

3. Offer International Shipping- So often I see sellers who are providing great products but don't offer international shipping. Let me tell you- about 30% of my sales are to international buyers, and very often international buyers will pay more for products. I never understood why people are restraining their own sales potential by not offering international shipping.

Remember, the buyer is the one who pays the shipping, not you!! Even though international shipping is expensive, you are not paying it! And don't be discouraged thinking sending things internationally is difficult- it's super simple and not much different then sending things within the country. If you use USPS (the method I find most efficient for prices and service), you may have to fill out a short customs sheet that takes no more than a minute. Don't be lazy! Offer international shipping and see your sales soar!

4. Send a Thank You card with your purchase- You can get packs of black decorative cards from any general store, WalMart, or even discount chains like TJ Maxx. Buy a couple packs and with people's packages, send a nice thank you card.

You don't have to write a dialog, just a simple "Name of Buyer, Thanks so much for your bid! Enjoy your purchase, and I hope to do business with you in the future! Your Name or Business Name" If you want to really go all out and rake in some super feedback, include a small free gift. When I sell a pair of shoes I usually include a free headband or pair of earrings. If you'd like to try this out, try to find something that compliments whatever it is that you're selling. You could also include a little bag of candy or some tea light candles (go to the dollar store for great knick knacks and free gift ideas). Use your imagination to make your customers satisfied and loyal!

5. Offer combined shipping Buyers love combined shipping. If you offer a good combined shipping deal, and have more than one item they're interested in, they're ten times more likely to buy both items. Some people choose to determine combined shipping depending upon the two items the buyer is interested in, while others have set shipping rules. A good example is to charge $_.__ for the first item and offer to send the second item free, or for $1.00-$2.00 more. Usually the additional weight of the package isn't much so it's possible to offer combined shipping without losing any profit at all. Determine your own rates depending on the weight of the items you sell and the shipping service you use.

6.Keep communication with Buyers open and offer more pictures upon request. Of course in your listing you must include good pictures to attract buyers. Most people include 2-4 pictures per listing, depending on the size of the items and any special details you've got to show. I always include at least 3 pictures, and more if I feel the item needs more pictures of some detail it has that is unique.

Even though you have already provided your buyers with good pictures, it's helpful to write in your listing "Contact me with any questions or for more pictures. (with your contact info)" This is another method that makes buyers instantly trust you more and feel more comfortable placing bids. They feel that the communication lines are open and that they can get more info on the item if needed. And don't be discouraged thinking that you'll spend the whole day responding to e-mails requesting more photos; If you've already included good pictures, most people won't bother asking for more. Of over 50 listings where I've written this, only one person ever asked me for additional pictures. Check your e-mail though at least once a day to see if you've got any questions, people love quick responses and will reward you with good feedback for your effective communication.

7. Always use Delivery Confirmation- This is a biggie! Make sure that when you post your shipping costs, delivery confirmation costs are included so buyers aren't questioning the extrra expense when they receive their invoice. Delivery confirmation is a cheap effective way to ensure both your own and the buyer's investment.

First of all, you do not want to get scammed. What? Scammed? Yes, it happens. I know that most of the scamming referred to on e-bay is about sellers who scam their buyers, but don't be naive; we sellers are also at risk. Although the majority of the e-bay community is good people who are just trying to conduct legitimate transactions, there are those rotten apples which make it hard for all of us.

The usefulness of delivery confirmation was brought to my attention my an acquaintence of mine who does some selling on e-bay. He sold some very high quality digital remote for around $250.00. He shipped the item using delivery confirmation, and after about a week told me he received an e-mail from the buyer saing she'd never received the product. She filed a whole complaint with e-bay and made a big fuss about it. GOOD THING he had the delivery confirmation number and was able to prove that the product had been shipped to her address. Don't let one of these scammers get a chance to cheat you out of your money.

Making delivery confirmation a requirement is also something that will make serious bidders trust you more and see that you're a legitimate business person who wants to secure shipment. Think about it; if someone requests NOT to use delivery confirmation, you can guess where their intentions are. The extra .75 is not breaking anyone's piggy bank, so don't feel bad about it.

There you have it! Use these highly useful yet highly overlooked tips to generate more traffic to your auctions and enjoy higher sale prices. To e-bay success!

Check out for more e-bay and work at home tips and programs!
Copyright Jamie Sloan 2008, Re-use of this article is permitted along with author's name and link to website

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Manage Debtors And Creditors To Improve Liquidity

Sales turnover and net profits may follow a rollercoaster pattern familiar to most business but when the cash flow dries up the game is over. Urgent attention to the management of working capital can provide every business with the cash resources to exploit its potential

Most businesses will experience periods of lower sales and times when losses may be incurred as expenses exceed sales income. The situation is recoverable by producing higher sales and reducing costs and expenses. A business that runs out of cash resources is dead in the water.

Debtors and sales income management

The objective is to obtain payment from customers as fast as possible improving cash flow and minimising the risk of bad debts and not being paid at all.

Payment terms offered to customers should be clearly stated and fixed as standard accounting figures according to the amount of funding the business is prepared to offer its clients. Because that is exactly what credit terms to customers is, free cash funding in exchange for eventual sales income.

Consideration should be given to using a cash discount system to encourage sales invoices to be paid faster. In some businesses it would be appropriate to obtain up front deposits and scheduled payments. Review this practise to obtain a greater proportion of payments faster to improve liquidity.

New customers should be subjected to a strict credit check. All new customers where credit check details are not available should be invoiced by the accounting function on a pro forma basis. Any businesses who fail to meet the highest credit score required should remain on a pro forma invoice basis.

The credit control function needs consideration from the first step of issuing customers with a sales invoice, producing customer statements of the debt owed and a set procedure of credit control letters and telephone follow ups that actually achieve the end result of getting the cash in. An essential process in the credit control procedure would be to ensure the accountant or bookkeeper always issues sales invoices and customer statements promptly.

Incorporate into the terms of trade a set of rules to invoke interest payments for late payment and late payment debt recovery costs. In the UK the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 sets out the statutory rights of business to claim interest and costs.

Consider the possibility of factoring sales invoices due from debtors either by selling the sales invoices to a third party or raising cash on the value of those invoices pending payment. Factoring has the disadvantage of often not being cheap but does have the advantage of generating a regular stream of cash.

Bad debts have a double impact on any business and all possible steps should be taken to reduce the risk. A bad debt not only uses valuable resources in chasing the debt with the negative impact on cash flow and liquidity but also is a straight loss to the net profit and a strong indicator that the accounting function is failing the business.

Creditors and expenditure management

The objective is to extend the time allowed for payment of expenses the business incurs.

Consider the frequency of all payments made to suppliers. Small business have alternative payment terms available for the payment of taxes. In the UK value added tax can be paid quarterly or monthly, vat cash accounting can ease the tax liability due in critical periods and paye payments can be paid quarterly rather than monthly for smaller businesses.

Every opportunity should be considered to improve liquidity and that would include the frequency which employee salaries and wages are paid. A sensitive area since it involves the most important people to the business success but adopting a payment period to coincide with the receipt of cash from customers may in some circumstances balance liquidity.

General creditors are a major area to be addressed in terms of both the amount of credit received from suppliers and the time required to pay those creditor accounts. Larger orders on extended payments terms creates a risk area should the goods not be used but can greatly assist cash flow as the business is effectively borrowing free cash from its suppliers.

Stock levels are crucial to financial management of the creditor total. High stock levels use valuable working capital which is offset in part by the level of creditors. Higher levels of stock financed by free credit from creditors lowers the cash flow requirements on the other parts of the business.

About The Author
Terry Cartwright designs UK Accounting Software at on excel spreadsheets providing complete Bookkeeping solutions for small to medium sized businesses

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Superior Leader - Warren Buffet

Superior business leader and American investor Warren Buffett is often called “Oracle of Omaha” or the “Sage of Omaha” and philanthropist. (Wikipedia, 2007) Buffett is the CEO, and the biggest shareholder of the Berkshire Hathaway Company. Buffett’s has an estimated current net worth of approximately $52 billion in US funds. Forbes Magazine ranks Buffett the third richest person in the world in September 2007 behind Carlos Slim and Bill Gates.

Warren Buffett is known for his economical and plain lifestyle. Buffett still lives in the same Omaha, Nebraska house that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 with a current value of $700,000. In 1989, Buffett spent $9.7 million of the Berkshire’s funds on a corporate jet. He jokingly named it “The Indefensible” because of his past criticisms of such purchases by other CEOs. (Wikipedia, 2007)

Warren Buffett decided to make a commitment to give his fortune to charity back in June 2006. Buffett’s charity donation is approximately $30 billion, which is the largest donation in the history of the United States. The donation was enough to more than double the size of the foundation with 83% of it going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett believed that his family had enough money to get started in life so Buffett decided to give his fortune to charity. Buffett’s annual salary in 2006 was only $100,000. In 2007, Buffett was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. (Wikipedia, 2007)

What makes Warren Buffett a good business leader? This is what everyone wants to know because Warren buffet is so successful. It all starts with leadership. Warren buffet is a true leader where his leadership makes a difference in the world. Leadership is very much related to change and Warren Buffett has the capabilities of leadership change to fit the changing world. Warren Buffett has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to map read in the irregular waters of change. Is Warren Buffett born a leader? The authors of this paper believe not. Experience and research has shown little evidence that an individual who comes to power is a “born leader.” Warren Buffett took the falls that any other leader has to take. Warren Buffett learned from his mistakes and turned his mistakes into a positive thing. Warren Buffett shares his leadership at all organizational levels and Buffett is empowered to share leadership responsibilities. In the world of business, many titles related to leadership roles are actively used in business and Warren Buffett wears those titles to make him effective in multiple leadership positions in business. Distinction between good leadership and good management is made often. Managers are made to be organizational, controllers and budgeters. Warren Buffett has leadership in all three departments and one must have these traits to be a good business leader.

Another important trait in Today’s business leadership is communication. Warren Buffet is a skilled communicator in all aspects of life. Communication is the real key of leadership. Skilled communicators have an appreciation for positioning in the business world. Warren Buffet is experienced at positioning himself at the right place at the right time. Warren Buffet has the understanding of the people he is trying to reach and what he can and cannot hear from the people. Knowledge of audiences’ needs and wants gives the orator the ability to listen. Warren Buffett is an excellent listener with the ability to convey his understanding.

When Warren Buffett talks, people listen. Warren Buffett can send a message through an open door and does not have to push the message through a wall.

Leadership is crucial to any successful business and good leadership is what Warren Buffett is all about. This is what makes Warren buffet a good business leader.

Mr. Warren Buffett’s investment strategies and course of leadership are shining examples of characteristics shared by cognitive theorists. Cognitive theory is an approach of explaining behavior through perception, anticipation, and thinking. Mr. Buffett’s continual approach of analyzing both possible investment choices, market trends, and the ability to place management resources of the right caliber in the right position has consistently brought this investor to the forefront amongst peers and the marketplace. At the core of every sound investor is a creative innovator.

Innovation demands creativity. Creativity in turn draws on our cognitive faculties, across the full amplitude from emotion to reason. In the number-heavy world of global investing, innovative thinking is critical. Innovative investors decipher future trends, spot likely winners by combining science (financials) with art (acuity and perception) and continuously mitigate risk. They assess user needs, product features, the proper deployment of money, professional organizational structures and risk management. (Kore Kalibre, 2006)

Mr. Buffett’s instinct and ability to interpret market trends is also held by tight reigns. Despite over 50 years of growth, Mr. Buffett always adheres to one of the most basic business principles: “…only compete where you have a competitive advantage. Warren Buffett refers to staying within your circle of competence. Social psychologists tell us, though, that we are prone to overconfidence when it comes to assessing our abilities…” (Arthridge, 2006) A man of Warren Buffett’s position and track record could easily be derailed to a sense of over confidence. The principle of only competing within your range of competitive advantage is a principle that can be applied to many other areas in life, and Mr. Buffett’s ability to work and live by this idea has allowed him to continue forward with minimal bruising.

By establishing the previous examples, the authors can reinforce the principles of cognitive theory in that Mr. Buffett behavior patterns are clearly dictated by thought processes, which include interpretation, analysis, and foresight. “As experiences and events gain meaning and value, the process becomes increasingly top down as the mind in (a) attempt at an orderly process influences perception though beliefs, goals and external process” (Gardener, 2007)

Warren Buffett’s is a self empowered leader, because he is loyal, sets goals, plans a strategy for achievement, and stays committed until he accomplishes his purpose. Up to date, he is the greatest stockbroker of all-time. He is a very conservative investor that prefers to invest in companies that sell name brand products that he uses. For example, Coca-Cola, Gillette Razors, See’s Candy, Gulfstream Jet, and GEICO are the major companies he invested in. In the nineties his assets quadrupled in less than five years. He is a smart investor that usually does not take big investment risks. For example, he will not invest in internet stock, because the return is unpredictable. He likes to invest in companies that he is sure will be successful 20 years later. He buys the company with the intentions of keeping it forever. Usually, the management team of each company is the same staff that sold it Warren Buffett from the beginning. He stays loyal to his partners, and the team workstheir best to keep him happy.

After Warren Buffett’s wife died, he decided to donate 85% of his money to charity. However, “he wants his money to be used the same year he donates it”.(Harris, 2006) The requirement will accelerate the process to help the world. According to Fortune magazine, five-sixths of his money will go to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation which focus on finding cures for diseases that are common in poor nations. The rest of the money will be split among four other charities, that are each run by his three children and one that is in his late wife’s name.

Warren Buffett is not a huge spender. In fact, he still lives in the same house he bought 40 years ago. Warren “told ABC News “Nightline” that being born into wealth did not entitle his children”(Harris, 2006). In addition, he told Fortune magazine that, “A very rich person would leave his kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing.”(Harris, 2006) In other words, he wants his children to work earn their money and value hard work and smart choices.

In the year 2006, Warren’s first annual donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was $1.5 billion and the rest was divided among the four charities. He was the first person to make a donation better than Bill Gates, the richest man in the world. It seems as if Bill Gates and Warren Buffett set a good example and lead others to be more generous, because now the Barron Hilton has committed to donating half of his fortune to charity also. Barron Hilton is the founder of the Hilton Hotels and is worth $2.3 billion. Hopefully, a trend started among the fortunate to give to the less fortunate.

The personality of Warren Buffett ties to the Social Cognitive Level, because he tries to understand and make sense of other people. He observes the differences in social knowledge when dealing with people. Social cognition refers to making sense of ourselves, others, and how the information is used. In the sixties and seventies Albert Bandura and Walter Mischel were psychologists, studying personality development. They found that social learning and cognitive principles improve ones abilities to self-regulate and to follow goals. Warren investment choices were successful, because he conditioned his the way he processed information, choices, and expectations.

About The Author
Michael J. Spindler - - A Musicians Community for Fans and the Bands to promote hits in local music on a national stage.

Gardener, J. (2007). Cognitive Behavior Theory. Retrieved December 26, 2007, from

Harris, D. (2006, June 26,). Warren Buffett's Unprecedented Generosity. Retrieved December 31, 2007, from

Kore Kalibre (2006, March-April 2006). Warren Buffett’s Innovation: Staying away from Rapid Product Innovation. Retrieved December 26, 2007, from

Legg Mason Value Trust (2006, October 26). Legg Mason Value Trust (LMVTX) Letter to Shareholders. Retrieved December 26, 2007, from

Wikipedia (2007, December 25). Warren Buffett. Retrieved December 18, 2007, from

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Rabu, 11 Februari 2009

Managing People: Are You Frustrating or Inspiring

. Rabu, 11 Februari 2009
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Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
John D. Rockefeller

How good are you at managing people? As a leader you can be joyful and inspiring or frustrating and soul destroying. Let's look at how you can turn managing people into a soul destroying enterprise and then take a look at a few simple actions that can steer you toward inspiring yourself and others.

How To Be A Frustrating Leader

When you got your first management role, you probably had very good intentions about the difference you would make and the results you would deliver. Unfortunately, for many, the extent of their training in managing people is to attend a one or two day supervisory course.

Once the impact of the training is over and forgotten in the rush of day-to-day busyness then the most likely source of influence on how you manage your people is the people you report to. Even if you don't like them as managers, their style will have an indelible impact on how you show up as a leader.

In hundreds of workshops, consistently participants have told me that the things they dislike and are frustrated the most by, in their managers are:

* Think You Must Have All The Answer and Not Ask Others Opinions
* Be More Concerned About Own Needs Than The Needs of Others
* Spend Little Time In Reflection, Self-Insight and Self-Improvement
* Hog The Limelight
* Inconsistent In Behaviour
* Don't Let Your People Have Opportunities to Develop
* Don't Set Clear Targets

As a youngster growing up, you probably said to yourself "I will never do/say/be like my Mom and Dad". Yet, how many times have you heard people say: "My goodness, I sound just like my parents!" And there's the rub.

This is exactly what happens in organizations. You promise yourself that when you become a leader you won't be like your boss - s/he has done a good job of showing you what NOT to do.

However, the people who report to you may well tell a different tale! They may see you as everything you disliked in your boss!

How To Be An Inspiring Leader

Of the hundreds of things you can do to be an inspiring leader here are what are possibly the top five approaches you can use to inspire your people to be at their best.

Focus on Strengths, Minimize Weaknesses: Create a work environment that enables people to focus on using their strengths and to work around their weaknesses. According to research conducted by the Gallup organization, managing people's strengths, is one of the key success levers of any business.

When people are using their strengths, they come into that state of being that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls Flow. In Flow people become absorbed in what they are doing and use their capability to its fullest.

Traditional thinking has been that people should focus on improving their weaknesses. The research, however, finds that getting people to spend a lot of focus on improving weaknesses is fundamentally flawed.

Provide Challenging Work by Delegating Authority and "Sexy" Assignments: Delegating work that provides added responsibility, variety, challenge and enables a higher profile in the organization is one sure way to inspire the people you are managing.

Done well it engages, energizes and improves commitment because people feel they are needed and respected. It also builds your reputation as a person who develops talent and ensures, as word gets out, that you attract stars to your team who want to be a part of the buzz.

Demonstrate the Value of Your Team: You must have impact on those people who hold the keys to the resources and promotional opportunities your team desire. Influence upward well, so that your team is seen in a good light - as a place where winners and many potential future leaders reside.

Regular Face-to-Face Contact: Make sure that on a regular basis you are meeting with your team members. Set aside time to talk about what is working, not working for them in their job. What their goals and aspirations are. What support they need from you in order to make this a great work experience for them.

In survey after survey the number one thing that people wanted from their leader is that they had regular opportunity to talk to their leader about more than just the day-to-day issues.

Walk Your Talk: People need to feel that you are committed to your personally espoused principles/values as well as the principles/values of the organization. Most managers believe they are honest when communicating with and managing people. Yet, most employees don't believe their managers honestly communicate results and requirements.

It is critical that people believe they can rely upon you. If you make an agreement with someone, no matter how small, make sure you stick to it. Nothing will undermine your credibility and integrity quicker than broken promises.

The advantage of consistently using these approaches is that your people will feel good about work and even better you, you will feel inspired about the difference you are making. Oh and by the way, your business results will sky-rocket!

Breakthrough Leadership Mentor, Shelley Holmes has helped thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations to align their potential. How do you rate on the 99 point Manager to Breakthrough Leader scale? Take your self-assessment today:

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Kamis, 05 Februari 2009

Franchise Opportunities - Many Franchisors Are Looking At 2009 with More Advertising

. Kamis, 05 Februari 2009
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Let's face the reality of the times. The US government has officially admitted to over 2 million jobs lost in our current economy. If this is true, what does it mean besides the obvious for the potential of buying a new business or franchise opportunity?

The fact is that times like this never last forever and right now may just be a perfect time to take the initiative to investigate the potential of owning your own business…whether you are affected by the downsizing or not. Interest rates are lower than usual and with a new Presidency and administration right around the corner, the time might be better than believed to start a new business.

As the year unfolds, we are going to be keeping a close eye on the franchise scenario and doing our best to keep you informed about franchise opportunities that may be worth learning more about.

While the economic downturn ripples through the US economy, numerous Franchisers are looking at the challenging business landscape and ramping up ad buys.

Take Dunkin' Donuts for example. They are launching a $100M ad campaign that represents an increase of more than 5% over 2008. I believe that what they are saying is that we are going to fight even harder to maintain and even increase market share.

In so called "normal times" a 5% increase would also be considered normal. In these times of relative uncertainty, 5% sends a definite message. It speaks to a bullish position on the market and is exciting to see taking place. Remember that even though Dunkin' Donuts has 5,769 U.S. stores that are relatively well positioned, they are right up there on the front line doing what they do best bringing in consumers for coffee and donuts.

The same levels of ad expenditures can be seen across the board in some areas and demonstrates that many Franchisers share the same thinking i.e. yes, it is going to be a challenging year but we are going to do our best to maintain and surpass past performance.

I say that is what we need more of. A positive attitude, a smart business plan and perseverance can really reap big rewards even when the environment is less than optimal.

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Rabu, 04 Februari 2009

A Checklist of Questions To Ask Before Buying a Franchise by James Davis

. Rabu, 04 Februari 2009
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Franchise businesses such as Wendy's, McDonald's and Jack-In-The-Box are booming. The people setting up franchise ideas and businesses know a good thing, and are really promoting this idea. Franchises for just about every conceivable kind of business are being sold in ever increasing numbers.

Some franchises are very good. They treat both the franchisor and the franchisee very well. Others are very one-sided. Still others are almost total rip-offs that trap one into paying ten to fifty times the actual value of the business idea, equipment, or whatever it is they are trying to get you to buy.

Before putting any money into a franchise, you should investigate everything completely. We've prepared a list of questions you should be asking, and should get satisfactory answers to before investing.

1. Has your attorney studied the franchise contract, discussed it completely with you, and do you both approve it without reservations?

2. Does the franchise require you to take any steps which are either illegal or even border on illegal, or are otherwise questionable or unwise in your state, county or city?

3. Does the franchise give you an exclusive territory for the length of the franchise period, or can the franchisor sell a second franchise in your territory?

4. is the franchisor connected in any way with any other franchise company handling similar products or services?

5. If you answered yes to the above questions, what is your protection against the second franchising company?

6. Under what circumstances can you end the franchise contract, and at what cost to you?

If you sell your franchise, will you be compensated for your goodwill or will it be lost to you?

8. How many years has the firm been offering you the franchise been in operation?

9. Does the company offering you this franchise have a reputation for honesty and fair dealing among its franchisees?

10. Has the franchisor shown any certified figures indicating exact net profits of one or more of its members, and have you personally checked the figures with these people?

11. Will the franchisor assist you with: a) A management training program; b) An employee training program; c) A public relations and advertising program; d) Capital; e) Credit; f) Merchandising ideas?

12. If needed, will the franchisor assist you in finding a suitable location?

13. Is the franchising firm adequately financed so that it can carry out its sated plans?

14. Does the franchisor have experienced management, trained in depth?

15. Exactly what can the franchisor do for you that you cannot do for yourself? 16. Has the franchisor investigated you carefully enough to assure itself that you can successfully operate a profit to both of you?

17. Does your state have a law regulating the sale franchises, and has the franchisor complied with that law to your satisfaction?

18. How much equity capital will you need to purchase the franchise and operate it until your income equals your expenses?

If you can get the answers to each of these questions, and those answers satisfy you, then you're probably thinking about buying a pretty good franchise deal. However, if you're in doubt about any of these points, be sure to check it out and know the answers for certain before you invest or sign anything.

Buying a franchise can give you a measure of security, and in some cases, sure-fire profits. Business surveys show that fewer than 20 percent of all franchised businesses fail. This is in comparison to a 60 to 80 percent failure rate for ALL new businesses started in this country each year.

Information regarding specific franchising ideas can be found in the franchising directories, which are generally available at the local library. Often there will be a notice posted in franchise outlets themselves.

If you can afford the entry into this business, statistics are on your side. You are now armed with some CAUTION and STOP and GO signs!

About the Author

For more information Click Here - A Checklist of Questions To Ask Before Buying a Franchise.

This article is shareware. Give this article away for free on your site, or include it as part of any paid package as long as the entire article is left intact including a live link. Copyright © 2009 James Davis

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Owning a Franchise: Getting Ready by Art Gib

With the recent economic events and cutbacks, individuals are looking for more creative ways to earn a living and become financially independent. Franchises may seem like a great idea: own your own company, create your own hours and reap the benefits. But owning a business like this is a lot of work, and should not be entered into lightly or hastily.

No matter what type of business you choose to become a part in, it requires a whole-hearted commitment and your most precious commodity: time. Your hard work will be needed to make the venture profitable. Here are some things you should know before you consider purchasing.

You'll need to remember that as a businessman, you don't only participate in the start up and then reap the rewards. Running a business is hard work, and you must be comfortable with all aspects of the business, from flipping burgers if it is a fast food franchise, to keeping accounting records. A high level of commitment is necessary, and if you want your venture to be successful, your time will be needed.

Consider how you deal with the general public? Most franchises offer goods and/or services to the public, and if your customer service skills leave much to be desired, you may want to rethink the desire to own a franchise. Remember that dealing with the public can be draining and tough, so if you are easily offended or don't have a toughened skin, this career is not for you.

Also examine if you are happy with the location that you are currently in. In opening or owning a company, you are making a long term commitment to the location in which you currently live, and if you were planning a move in the next five years, don't purchase a franchise. Franchises need a longer time than average businesses to become profitable, so make sure you're in it for the long haul before starting your relationship.

Have a clear picture of what is expected as far as daily operations involved with owning your own business. If the thoughts of accounting, insurance for franchises, hiring and firing employees and managing day to day tasks sound exhausting, it's because they are. Before purchasing, ask plenty of questions of the business owner as well as asking questions of other owners on your area. Go into the experience with your eyes wide open as far as the workload goes.

About the Author

All Franchise Insurance ( offers quotes on insurance for franchise owners. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

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How To Write A Good E-mail for Business

How To Write A Good E-mail Subject Lines That Works?

Here are the 5 tips:

1. Ask a question. One of the best ways to get a reader's attention is to ask a question. But like a trial lawyer questioning a witness on the stand, make sure it'll get you the response you're looking for. "What's the best way to grow your business?" is a great subject line for business owners. After all, what business owner wouldn't want to grow his or her business? Or let's say you run a health club. An e-mail with the subject line, "How can you lose 5 pounds in one month?" would certainly be compelling. It's important your question be relevant to your audience.

2. Be a tease. A clever subject line can be enticing. When it's done right, reader curiosity is piqued. They want to know more--and they'll open your e-mail. Writing a teaser-style subject line requires some creativity, and your content needs to deliver. A company that sells high-definition TVs could use the subject line, "You're not going to believe your eyes" as a teaser to introduce a new addition to their product line.

3. Tell it like it is. Often, what works best is to say exactly what you want your reader to know. Examples of this straightforward approach are, "Sale on all sweaters this weekend," "Master jazz pianist plays live this Friday" and "The seven secrets of a profitable business." This just-the-facts approach works especially well when you can appeal directly to your audience's interests. It's also the best approach to use when you send a newsletter.

4. Remember "WIIFM". When a person gets your e-mail, the first thing they consider is "what's in it for me?" They have a decision to make. Do they open your e-mail, leave it for later or delete it? If there isn't something about the subject line that lets them know why it's worth their precious time to see what's inside, then the choice will be clear. Keep WIIFM in mind when creating every aspect of your e-mails, including the offer, content, images--and most definitely the subject line. It's all about them. They know that; just make sure you know it, too.

5. Get personal. The more you can make each contact feel you're speaking directly to them, the more effective your communication will be. Whatever style of subject line you use, you can make it personal by using the word "you." Professional copywriters know the secret of using this powerful little word. Just look at the advertisements, mail and e-mail you receive. A few examples are, "Find the right swimsuit for you," "You can save 50 percent on travel," and "You'd look phenomenal in a custom-tailored suit." "You" is ideal, but "your" works too.

6. Not sure which approach is right for you? Try them all, and then show a friend or colleague to get their feedback. Pick the one you believe will be most effective for your audience. Whichever approach you choose, it's always worth spending the time and effort to write a great subject line. Because if your readers don't open your e-mail, they'll never have the chance to read the important message you've created for them inside.

Topic 2 ~ Increase Click-Through Rate (CTR) ~

How to Increased Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

Here are some guidelines:

1. Include a feature, a benefit, and an advantage in the opening. This needs to be used in a subtle way, but in the opening you're really doing a small marketing job for this issue of your email newsletter. Highlight an article or two that are important, explain what you're providing the readers that they won't get elsewhere, and tell them what the benefit will be. A great example is something like "Nokia and Sprint announced second quarter earnings today. Learn what our Wireless Week experts say about the results, and what effect you can expect them to have on the industry at large."

2. Put the email newsletter in the context of your readers' day. This goes hand in hand with the last point. Your readers are busy, and if you can make a compelling case for why they should stop what they are doing and take a few minutes now to read your email newsletter, you'll get them in. We recommend editors reference important events, upcoming trade shows, or other things that say to the reader "You will find it worthwhile to stop and read this email newsletter now, because the information in it will help you stay on top of your business."

3. Keep it fresh. Don't craft a "perfect paragraph" and use it issue after issue after issue. One of the keys to success is to keep the copy fresh and highlight items in that issue of the email newsletter. If you use the same generic language repeatedly, people will stop reading it and it'll be a waste of your time.

4. Keep it short. This is critical. We recommend no more than two to three sentences -- just enough to get them interested and pull them in to read the rest of your email newsletter.

Try it out and see the results! This is just one of the simple things you can do to engage your reader and optimize your CTR.

Topic 3 ~ Killer Email Sales Letter ~

How to Write Killer Email Sales Letter That Get Results?

Here are what we've found works best. Use these tips properly and your results will skyrocket.

1. Your email "from" sender line should be your brand name or company name and stay consistent. Use your own personal name only if that is your brand image.

2. Send emails only when you have something to say that will benefit the reader. No fluff. No filler. You must be relevant. If you can't be, don't send an email until you have something beneficial to say.

3. Start your emails with the specific benefit the reader can get from your message. You have no more than 3 seconds to pass the crucial "what's in it for me?" test.

4. The copywriting tone and language should be personal and conversational, instead of stuffy and "corporate".

5. Make a specific offer to the reader and, if possible, include a short deadline by which he must respond to get it.

6. Use as much copy as is needed to fully pile on all the benefits the reader will get by ordering, answer objections, create urgency, and close the sale.

7. Test your subject lines and offers on small segments of your list before you send the email to your entire list.

8. Include "Email this to a friend" service in all your communications for pass along and viral marketing.

Topic 4 ~ Good Call-to-Action ~

Get More Clicks With a Good Call-to-Action!

The call-to-action is a determining factor of your click-through rate. It is an important component of your email copy because it answers three important questions for the recipient. They are:

1. What you want them to do

2. Why they should do it, and

3. How to take that next step.

Whatever action you want your recipients to take, you can make it happen more often with a good call-to-action. First, decide what you want them to do:

1. Buy something

2. Sign up for a service

3. Fill out a form

4. Read an article or get more information

5. Visit your website or store

6. Make an appointment


Then, make sure you incorporate these 6 characteristics to get the results you're looking for. Make your call-to action:

1. Visible - People read, react, make decisions and take action differently. Some make decisions right away ("You had me at hello.") and some need more details ("I'm from Missouri."). Place call-to-action links in the beginning, middle and end of the email so that recipients can click whenever they are ready.

2. Clear - Stick to simple words, short phrases, bulleted benefits and paragraphs of 1-3 short sentences. Include appropriate graphics and cut the clutter by making effective use of white space.

3. Compelling - Use action-oriented verbs and phrases: "buy now," "call today," "save" and so on.

4. Rewarding - Offer an incentive or reward for action. For example, "Act now and also receives...," or "the First 100 respondents will be entered into a raffle to win..." The giveaway, or prize, you choose should be closely related to your product or service. That way, you will be targeting customers who are interested in what you have to offer, not just the latest gadget.

5. Urgent - The longer an email sits in an inbox, the less likely it is to be acted on. Create a sense of urgency to get a more immediate response. Try limiting the offer to a specific time period, to the "first 50 customers," "while supplies last," etc.

6. Direct - Your call-to-action links should go to the appropriate page on your website with more details on the specific product or service you're promoting. If you don't have a website, the call-to-action might be store locations to visit or a number to call for an appointment.

Keep in mind that, in addition to repeating your call-to-action, you can vary your call-to-action to appeal to different types of buyers (and to fit your sales cycle). For example: "Click here to buy now" will naturally work better with loyal customers. The softer, "Click here to learn more" may be better for newer prospects.

Topic 5 ~ Avoid Common Pitfalls ~

Read Your Email Message Backwards to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Here are some common problems to look out for:

1. Misspelled words - It's a good idea to spell-check a document, but it's not enough. A spell checker won't catch every error.

2. Wrong word used - This is why a spell checker isn't enough. A spell checker will only flag words it doesn't recognize. It can't tell if a legitimate word is used incorrectly. Some words commonly confused: accept, except; your, you're; then, than; there, their, they're; cite, site, sight; lay, lie; loose, loosen, lose. Also, look out for a missing "r" in the word "your." It's easy to overlook a sentence such as "Visit our Web site now to receive you free copy."

3. Grammar error - Again, if you know you're not a good writer, have someone else check your writing for grammatical errors. Mistakes make you look bad.

4. Punctuation error - This is another area where you'll benefit from a review by someone who knows their stuff. If you're determined to do it yourself, purchase a good grammar or style book. One of the most common punctuation problems: Too many stupid commas!

5. Vague or confusing statement - Make sure every sentence is crystal-clear. You don't want your promotional message to raise more questions than it answers.

6. Illogical statement - Read over what you have written slowly. At the end of each paragraph, ask yourself: "Did that make sense?" Rewrite so that it does.

Topic 6 ~ Frequency of Sending Emails ~

How Often (Frequency) Should You Send Email?

There's no quick answer to the frequency question. It depends on the goals for your email and the type of content you send. Some rough guidelines:

1. Mail at least once a month. Mail less often than this, and you risk being forgotten by recipients. Monthly is the bare minimum if you want to keep your brand or company name top of mind (a common email goal).

2. Let content be your guide. Look at what you provide readers and you'll get a feel for proper frequency. Analyze how often the information changes and how quickly readers must receive it to act on it.

3. Work within your resources. A daily email requires many more resources than a monthly. Better a well-done monthly email than shoddy weekly or daily. It's recommended to start with a monthly. Once that's going smoothly, they can think about moving to weekly. You need to walk before you can run!

4. Watch for trends. Declining response, open, and click-through rates can be signs of list fatigue. Though some decrease is normal, watch carefully and cut back frequency if you see a problem. Don't assume if the unsubscribe rate is stable you're OK. Many people prefer to forward email directly to their delete folder rather than unsubscribe.

Topic 7 ~ Understanding Spam Filters ~

Understanding Spam Filters to Avoid Your Emails Get Junked!

If you send email campaigns long enough, you will inevitably run into spam filter issues. On average, you can expect 10-20% of your emails to just get lost in cyberspace, mostly due to overzealous spam filters. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. If you want to avoid getting your emails junked by spam filters, you have to understand how they work.

Generally speaking, spam filters look at a long list of criteria to judge whether or not your email is junk. For example, they might look for spammy phrases like "CLICK HERE!" or "FREE! BUY NOW!". They'll assign points each time they see one of those phrases. Certain criteria get more points than others. Here's a sample of criteria from Spam Assassin, one of the most popular spam filters out there:

• Talks about lots of money (.193 points)

• Describes some sort of breakthrough (.232 points)

• Looks like mortgage pitch (.297 points)

• Contains urgent matter (.288 points)

• Money back guarantee (2.051 points)

• Why Pay More? (1.249 points)

It's easy to use "spammy" keywords in your email without even knowing it. Here are some common ways marketers unwittingly trigger spam filters with their campaigns:

1. Using spammy phrases, like "Click here!" or "Once in a lifetime opportunity!" too many times in your email. Sometimes, you can't avoid phrases like "FREE SHIPPING!" but use them sparingly, and don't do anything else risky.

2. Going crazy with exclamation points!!!!!!


4. Coloring their fonts bright red, or green

5. Coding sloppy HTML (such as by converting a Microsoft Word file to HTML)

6. Creating an HTML email that's nothing but one big image, with no text (since spam filters can't read images, they assume you're a spammer that's trying to trick 'em)

7. Using the word "Test" in the subject line (agencies run into this all the time, when sending drafts to clients for approval)

Topic 8 ~ Why Email Marketing Does not Work? ~

If Your Email Marketing Does not Work, Think Again Why?

Before you arrive at the faulty conclusion that email marketing doesn't work, let’s look at this from a different perspective for a moment that would make your emails ineffective.

First there's what you are writing in the body of the email. If this is your first attempt to get in touch with a prospect, what are you putting in the email? A dissertation? If it's longer than one or two paragraphs, it's too long. Look at your emails like an initial cold call. You need to laser in and deliver a compelling opening statement that's going to grab their interest and stimulate a conversation. Because there's no one to cut you off in an email or stop you from persistent pontification, people have tendency to ramble on and on in an email, giving the prospect the life story of the product or service they want them to consider. Keep it short and focus on the one or two benefits, opening up the opportunity to have a dialogue. That's it.

Second, are you sending attachments in the first email? No attachments! It's hard enough sending an unsolicited email to a prospect. Now you're adding more barriers and increasing the chances of your email winding up in their spam box or junk email folder. Some people have filters on their email that if an attachment is sent it automatically gets deleted. No attachment until that information in the attachment is solicited by the person.

Third, html or text? Once again, with all the email filters people use today, you will increase your odds by sending a text message only rather than trying to get fancy with formatting, graphics and pictures. The prospect really doesn't care about how beautiful your email looks; they care about the core message. Besides, they will never even get a chance to see your beautiful masterpiece in an html email if it's winding up in the trash.

Finally, you are using way too many spam words. As mentioned, the biggest enemy to email marketing or selling via email is the additional security that companies and individuals have on their network or computer. As such, the specific words you are using in the body of the email can be the culprit who is sending your email directly into the trash or spam box. In other words, you are using words that are often identified is spam and in turn, you email is getting flagged and deleted. Not even eye contact! The prospect is not getting a chance to, at the very least, see your email let alone read it and have a chance to respond accordingly.

Ending ~ Please Forward ~

Feel Free To Forward This E-Book To Your Friends!

Thank you for reading this e-book on “How to Make Email Marketing Works for Your Business”. This e-book provides useful guides on email marketing, and helps e-marketers to avoid several pitfalls in email marketing.

We hope you may regard this e-book as a book of guidance and that we can help you in your e-marketing effort.

If you think the outlined tips can help you, please take a few seconds to help us distribute or forward this e-book to as many people as possible.

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How To Write A Successful Business Plan

Whether you are planning to start a brand-new business, expand an existing company, or get financing for a business venture, you will need to write a business plan. A business plan not only lends your business a sense of credibility, but also helps you to cover all your bases, increasing your chances of success.

Although writing a business plan can be a lengthy, intimidating project, it is not necessarily difficult. Here is an overview of how to write a successful business plan.

What to Include in Your Business Plan

Your business plan needs to demonstrate that you have thoroughly considered all aspects of running your business. To that end, the standard business plan has nine major sections, covering everything from your business’s mission statement to a detailed financial analysis.

Executive Summary

The first – and most important – section of your business plan is the executive summary. This section is so important that it should literally be the first thing the reader sees – even before the table of contents! However, it should also be written last, as you’ll have a better understanding of the overall message of your business plan after you’ve researched and written the other sections.

One of the most important parts of the executive summary is the mission statement. The mission statement is only three or four sentences long, but it should pack the most punch out of everything else in your business plan: Those four sentences are responsible for not only defining your business, but also capturing the interest of your reader.

The rest of your executive summary should fill in the important details that the mission statement glosses over. For instance, your executive summary should include a short history of the business, including founder profiles and start date; a current snapshot, listing locations, numbers of employees, and products or services offered; and a summary of future plans and goals.

This section is a candidate for a bulleted format, which allows you to list main points in a manner that is easy to scan. Avoid using too much detail – remember, this section is a summary. A page or two is usually sufficient for an executive summary.

Market Analysis

The next section of your business plan focuses on market analysis. In order to show that your business has a reasonable chance for success, you will need to thoroughly research the industry and the market you intend to sell to. No bank or investor is going to back a doomed venture, so this section is sure to fall under especially close scrutiny if you are looking for financing.

Your market analysis should describe your industry, including the size, growth rate, and trends that could affect the industry. This section should also describe your target market – that is, the type or group of customers that your company intends to serve. The description of your target market should include detail such as:

• Distinguishing characteristics
• The needs your company or product line will meet
• What media and/or marketing methods you’ll use to reach them
• What percentage of your target market you expect to be able to wrest away from your competitors

In addition, your market analysis should include the results of any market tests you have done, and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

Company Description

After your market analysis, your business plan will need to include a description of your company. This section should describe:

• The nature of your business
• The needs of the market
• How your business will meet these needs
• Your target market, including specific individuals and/or organizations
• The factors that set you apart from your competition and make you likely to succeed

Although some of these things overlap with the previous section, they are still necessary parts of your company description. Each section of your business plan should have the ability to stand on its own if need be. In other words, the company description should thoroughly describe your company, even if certain aspects are covered in other sections.

Organization and Management

Once you have described the nature and purpose of your company, you will need to explain your staff setup. This section should include:

• The division of labor – how company processes are divided among the staff
• The management hierarchy
• Profiles of the company’s owner(s), management personnel, and the Board of Directors
• Employee incentives, such as salary, benefits packages, and bonuses

This goal of this section is to demonstrate not only good organization within the company, but also the ability to create loyalty in your employees. Long-term employees minimize human resource costs and increase a business’s chances for success, so banks and investors will want to see that you have an effective system in place for maintaining your staff.

Marketing and Sales Management

The purpose of the marketing and sales section of your business plan is to outline your strategies for marketing your products or services. This section also plans for company growth by describing how the growth could take place.

The section should describe your company’s:

• Marketing methods
• Distributions methods
• Type of sales force
• Sales activities
• Growth strategies

Product or Services

Following the marketing section of your business plan, you will need a section focusing on the product or services your business offers. This is more than a simple description of your product or services, though. You will also need to include:

• The specific benefits your product or service offers customers
• The specific needs of the market, and how your product will meet them
• The advantages your product has over your competitors
• Any copyright, trade secret, or patent information pertaining to your product
• Where any new products or services are in the research and development process
• Current industry research that you could use in the development of products and services

Funding Request

Only once you have described your business from head to toe are you ready to detail your funding needs. This section should include everything a bank or investor needs in order to understand what type of funding you want:

• How much money you need now
• How much money you think you will need over the next five years
• How the money you borrow will be used
• How long you will need funding
• What type of funding you want (i.e. loans, investors, etc.)
• Any other terms you want the funding arrangement to include


The financials section in your business plan supports your request for outside funding. This section provides an analysis of your company’s prospective financial success. The section also details your company’s financial track record for the past three to five years, unless you are seeking financing for a startup business.

The financials section should include:

• Company income statements for prior years
• Balance sheets for prior years
• Cash flow statements for prior years
• Forecasted company income statements
• Forecasted balance sheets
• Forecasted cash flow statements
• Projections for the next five years – every month or quarter for the first year, with longer intervals for the remaining years
• Collateral you can use to secure a loan

The financials section is a great place to include visuals such as graphs, particularly if you predict a positive trend in your projected financials. A graph allows the reader to quickly take in this information, and may do a better job of encouraging a bank or investor to finance your business. However, be sure that the amount of financing you are requesting is in keeping with your projected financials – no matter how impressive your projections are, if you are asking for more money than is warranted, no bank or investor will give it to you.


The appendix is the final section in your business plan. Essentially, this is where you put all of the information that doesn’t fit in the other eight sections, but that someone – particularly a bank or investor – might need to see.

For instance, the market analysis section of your business plan may list the results of market studies you have done as part of your market research. Rather than listing the details of the studies in that section, where they will appear cumbersome and detract from the flow of your business plan, you can provide this information in an appendix.

Other information that should be relegated to an appendix includes:

• Credit histories for both you and your business
• Letters of reference
• References that have bearing on your company and your product or service, such as magazines or books on the topic
• Company licenses and patents
• Copies of contracts, leases, and other legal documents
• Resumes of your top managers
• Names of business consultants, such as your accountant and attorney

Writing a Successful Business Plan

Despite the quantity of information contained in your business plan, it should be laid out in a format that is easy to read. Just like with any piece of business writing, it is important to craft your business plan with your intended audience in mind – and the bankers, investors, and other busy professionals who will read your business plan almost certainly won’t have time to read a tedious document with long-winded paragraphs and large blocks of text.

Business plans for startup companies and company expansions are typically between twenty to forty pages long, but formatting actually accounts for a lot of this length. A strong business plan uses bullet points throughout to break up long sections and highlight its main points. Visuals such as tables and charts are also used to quickly relay specific information, such as trends in sales and other financial information. These techniques ensure that the reader can skim the business plan quickly and efficiently.

Think of your audience as only having fifteen minutes to spend on each business plan that comes across their desks. In that fifteen minutes, you not only have to relay your most important points, but also convince the reader that your business venture merits a financial investment. Your best bet is a well-researched business plan, with an organized, easy-to-read format and clear, confident prose.

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