Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Build Your Business Through Strategic Networking

Networking – it’s the latest business trend. Or is it?

Actually, business owners have always engaged in the art and science of networking.
Only years ago it didn’t have a name. Business owners would get together, shake hands, and smile and chat about themselves and their businesses. Same thing with “coaching.” I’ve been a sales trainer for 40 years, but it wasn’t until five or six years ago that someone said, “Milt, you’re not a sales trainer, you’re a coach.” I always thought coaching was leading your kid’s soccer or baseball team. Turns out I’ve been a “coach” for 40 years.

The buzzwords, however, aren’t important. What counts is what you do. And if you’re a business owner looking to grow your business, then networking should be a way of life for you. It’s how you climb the ladder of success. But if you don’t actually climb that ladder, you won’t go anywhere. That’s why it’s called networking!

While you can network anywhere – I’ve met some really great clients while eating at the local diner – a good place to begin is by joining a networking group. It’s an excellent way to meet a lot of potential “suspects” who have the potential to become “prospects.”

Here you will have a brief opportunity to stand up and talk about yourself and your business to a group of people who share the same goals you do. In essence, you become a 60-second commercial. When given the opportunity to “sell” yourself, be sharp and to the point. Look directly at your audience, not at the ground or up at the ceiling. Make eye contact. It lets your peers know that you’re confident.

Once your commercial is over, get out in the crowd and talk to people. Work them like a politician works a crowd. But don’t be pushy; don’t use fancy words – not everyone is a Princeton graduate, and make sure you have a firm handshake. Trust me, you can tell if a person is positive or negative by their handshake. And be a good listener. Listen 80% of the time, talk 20%.

But most importantly, don’t make this an “it’s all about me” affair. Remember, you’re not the only person there networking. You’re all in the same boat. When you introduce yourself, don’t hand someone your business card and immediately tell them what you do. Show an interest in others – talk about what they do. Ask them questions about themselves and their families; develop a rapport. In other words, don’t kiss on the first date!

You’ll know if there’s any “chemistry” between you. If there is, make arrangements to meet at another time and place to discuss your mutual interests. Why eat lunch by yourself? And always ask for a referral.

While there’s no harm in speaking to everyone, do target your audience – seek out people who you know would benefit your business. But even if you determine there’s nothing worth pursuing, a particular business owner may have other clients that can help you. You may speak to a business owner with whom you have no mutual interest, but you’re also talking to his/her 30 “suspects” who may become “prospects.”

As for that business card – make sure it describes what service you are offering. Your card is your billboard. I suggest putting your photo on it. If I don’t remember what you do, chances are I will toss the card. When you receive someone’s card, don’t wait a week or three weeks to make contact. Follow-up in a day or two.

The key to successful networking is practicing your presentation. Write down your message and key points and practice it over and over. Repetition leads to confidence. Practice in front of your spouse or friends and neighbors. Practice is especially important for people who are terrified to speak in public, which is about 99% of the total population. You may even want to consider hiring a coach.

There’s also the “likeability factor” to consider. In order to sell your product or service, you have to sell yourself. And if people like and trust you, they’ll sign that contract. Conversely, if they don’t like you, you can be selling gold in your pockets, but they won’t buy.

Networking is the best way to build your business. You can read a million books about it, but unless you get out there and do it, you’ll never even reach the first rung of that ladder.

By Susan Young

Breaking The Chains!

Everyday, customers and business owners are bombarded with billboards, logos, print and electronic ads from huge corporations. With annual ad budgets that are more that our businesses' SALES in an entire year, our small independent businesses are getting squeezed out of consumers minds (and wallets) more and more each year. But the good news is, there are ways to fight back and “break the chains”:

-Build that website and perfect your online presence.

The Internet is one place where, compared to print and other forms of electronic media, the playing field is relatively level. A website filled with loads of great content will be loved by the search engines like Google and Yahoo!, and because of that, customers that may not even know where you are can find you and buy online. If you own a retail store, start an e-store. If you own a restaurant or a service-related business, offer a gift certificate or printable coupon. Starting a mailing list on your website with the latest news, events and special offers is a great way to get (and keep) loyal, regular customers. The options are endless, and best of all, content is the Internet king, not slick, flashy, repetitive advertising. If you aren't comfortable with all things Internet, there are many companies that are, and can help you with web design, web hosting, search engine optimization, and web marketing.

-Join (or start) a co-op or business association.

“Strength in Numbers” is more than a catchy phrase, it is becoming a necessity in our current business climate. Trade organizations can purchase products together to get better rates and buys, they can advertise together with direct mail coupons and newsletters (another big money saver), and they carry more political clout by appointing representatives to call on state legislatures or even Congress in order to promote legislation favorable to small independent businesses. If your area doesn't have a trade organization, or does but you feel it doesn't meet your needs, start one! The National Federation of Independent Business is a great resource with representatives in all fifty states and Washington D.C.

-Don't mimic Corporate America

Advertising is not cheap, because the prices that the large corporations are willing to pay for it have priced it out of the reach of most small businesses. This is not necessarily a bad thing; let them have all of the cold, impersonal, beat you over the head repetitive advertising! People only care about this on Super Bowl Sunday anyway! Always go for the personal touch. If you own a restaurant or retail store, introduce yourself. Let them know you appreciate them coming by, and you can't wait to see them again. Always offer coupons or incentives. Remember that “word of mouth” advertising is so great you can't put a price tag on it. Put yourself in the customers shoes, and stay there! Don't ever do what you want; do what they want. Don't just market your business, market yourself. It leaves an impression, and with the sorry state of customer service today in most (chain) businesses, people won't forget it!

Remember, you are an independent business because you wanted to do something new or different, so promote yourself accordingly. Here's to you “breaking the chains” and becoming successful with your chosen endeavor.

By Jason Gober

Beware Of Bad Credit Payday Loans

Could bad credit payday loans be the answer consumers with low
bank accounts have been looking for? Is there any harm in using
these services? Aren't they better than using credit cards or
going hungry?

Have you seen the commercials? Cute characters promise financial
prosperity. Happy, professional individuals appear to regularly
visit their corner pay day loan shop as proudly as cashing a
check at the bank. Customers at the grocery store all recommend
pay day loans as the easy solution for a lack of funds.


Some individuals reason that paying a bill with borrowed money
is better than receiving bad credit marks because of not paying
the bill. This is understandable. However, some financial
institutions are willing to make the occasional exception if
contacted about the situation. Or there may be a small fee, but
not a credit report made.

Using it for groceries or other items? Consider the true cost
before making a decision. Compare the cost of using a pay day
(or cash advance) loan to the fees charged for taking a cash
advance on your own credit card. Can family help? Often those
who are forced to use pay day loans are not able to repay the
loan by the next pay check and that can lead to a cycle of debt
and stress.


Several sources, including a consumer report by the FTC (Federal
Trade Commission) and the CFA (Consumer Federation of America)
state that usual the usual APR is between 350 - 650% with some
as high as 780%.

A loan of $100 ranges in cost between $15 - $30. If the loan is
not repaid by the pay date then it can be renewed with another
fee due at each renewal. A loan of $100 can cost $60 in fees
after 3 renewals.


Based on the warnings issued by federal and consumer
organizations it is clear that using pay day loans or cash
advances from these businesses can often lead to more debt and
problems. Some sites were reported to automatically roll over
the loan and only withdraw the renewal fee on the pay date.
Other sites surveyed by the CFA required customers to agree in
contract to not participate in class action suits or to file for

For those who are having debt problems it is recommended to seek
no- or low-cost credit counseling from a local non-profit
organization. These organizations can help with reducing current
interest charges and lowering monthly payments. If the problem
is budget, you should look to a financial planner who can help
you to manage the money you do have and avoid using credit at

By Jeff Schuman

Beware Of Bad Credit Payday Loans

Could bad credit payday loans be the answer consumers with low
bank accounts have been looking for? Is there any harm in using
these services? Aren't they better than using credit cards or
going hungry?

Have you seen the commercials? Cute characters promise financial
prosperity. Happy, professional individuals appear to regularly
visit their corner pay day loan shop as proudly as cashing a
check at the bank. Customers at the grocery store all recommend
pay day loans as the easy solution for a lack of funds.


Some individuals reason that paying a bill with borrowed money
is better than receiving bad credit marks because of not paying
the bill. This is understandable. However, some financial
institutions are willing to make the occasional exception if
contacted about the situation. Or there may be a small fee, but
not a credit report made.

Using it for groceries or other items? Consider the true cost
before making a decision. Compare the cost of using a pay day
(or cash advance) loan to the fees charged for taking a cash
advance on your own credit card. Can family help? Often those
who are forced to use pay day loans are not able to repay the
loan by the next pay check and that can lead to a cycle of debt
and stress.


Several sources, including a consumer report by the FTC (Federal
Trade Commission) and the CFA (Consumer Federation of America)
state that usual the usual APR is between 350 - 650% with some
as high as 780%.

A loan of $100 ranges in cost between $15 - $30. If the loan is
not repaid by the pay date then it can be renewed with another
fee due at each renewal. A loan of $100 can cost $60 in fees
after 3 renewals.


Based on the warnings issued by federal and consumer
organizations it is clear that using pay day loans or cash
advances from these businesses can often lead to more debt and
problems. Some sites were reported to automatically roll over
the loan and only withdraw the renewal fee on the pay date.
Other sites surveyed by the CFA required customers to agree in
contract to not participate in class action suits or to file for

For those who are having debt problems it is recommended to seek
no- or low-cost credit counseling from a local non-profit
organization. These organizations can help with reducing current
interest charges and lowering monthly payments. If the problem
is budget, you should look to a financial planner who can help
you to manage the money you do have and avoid using credit at

By Jeff Schuman

Best of the West - Retirement Picks

I am pursuing my final career – and I am quite comfortable working a 40-hour schedule for the first time in my life. I take my time and pick my clients carefully.

I get to take a day off here and there for golf, and I travel around the western states every couple of months. Over the past two years I have been keeping an eye out for the perfect spot to retire in the Western US.

I now live in a small community near the Bay Area in Northern California. I’ve lived here for 20+ years, and it has been great. The Bay Area is vibrant, has a good climate, and is home to some of the most creative people on the planet. But it certainly isn’t paradise.

It is an expensive place to live. The highways are congested. The boarders of the US are out of control and that has hit California hard. The government is dysfunctional, and we pay a premium for that. While we have good weather, it is great half the year and somewhat over-rated the other half. My business has changed over the past five years. I can do about 80% - 90% of it from anywhere. That’s the beauty of information and communication technology.

Let me share with you what I have found as I looked for better working/ retirement locations in the western US.
- Portland, Oregon area; especially Southern Washington
- Prescott, Arizona
- Northern Baja, Mexico
- Hilo, the big island of Hawaii
- Boise, Idaho

Southern Washington: I recently visited a friend who built his dream house on a few acres in Southern Washington, about 30 minutes from Portland. His 2,500 square foot house cost about the same as a ¼ acre lot in the Bay Area. He is within easy drive of a good airport and Oregon has no sales tax. He can explore the Cascades and reach ocean or skiing in a few hours. Yep – it rains a lot, but not as much as Seattle.

Prescott, Arizona: This gem is home to 30,000 people, who enjoy mountain vistas and a temperate, sunny, four-season climate thanks to its mile-high elevation. If you aren’t real fussy, you can find a nice house for $350k. If you are a little fussy or want some land, expect to pay $500k or better. Prescott is an old, established town with historic buildings and strong family culture. It’s true that absentee Californians have snapped up a good bit of the real estate up. But they have been are running around most of the west buying spare homes and putting them in the “bank” for future use

Northern Baja, Mexico: Don’t write this one off too fast, especially if you are in So Cal. and want a second home near the beach. It is not as crazy as it sounds You can live near the beach in Rosarito and get an absolutely great ocean view or ocean front house for a fraction of the price of a house located two hours north in San Diego county. South of the Border property even has financing available from this side of the border.

Hilo Area on the Big Island: One of the best deals in the United States has been discovered and land prices are climbing rapidly, but guess what? Land in Hilo is still inexpensive. If you are looking for a slow pace, it doesn’t get any slower than Hilo. This area is absolutely beautiful yet not a prime location for vacation resorts and condos. Condos on Kauai, Maui, and the other side of the big island run $500 - $750k, yet a Hilo acre lot can be purchased for $40 to $75k, and houses for $150k. If you want some privacy, like to garden, and have dreamed of building a hideaway on an tropical island, there is still time to do it in the USA. It rains almost daily in Hilo but showers are short and the 75 to 80 degrees temperatures makes the showers and lush green growth a real delight.

Boise is rated as the second best city to do business in the US by Forbes Magazine. It has a population of about 400,000, and median house prices around $165,000. Boise is an excellent gateway to the natural beauty of the Northern Rockies. For those of you not quite ready to hang it up, but looking for an interesting, affordable small city environment, Boise deserves your serious consideration.

By John Thomas

Friday, March 12, 2010

Become an Expert at Speaking

Does anybody really have anything new to say? There is no
end to the number of people who enjoy bringing their
expertise to the platform. There will always be an
audience who will want to hear your good ideas communicated
uncommonly well in an uncommon way. Your challenge as a
speaker is to figure out how to do that.

Here are some starter tips on how to become an expert at

1. Study the best. Choose a topic that you love to speak
on and that others need to hear about. Then listen to
those who are either most successful in that area, most
gifted, or both. Some speakers who get paid very well for
their information may not necessarily have outstanding
delivery styles. Content is always king, but all speakers
should deliver their talk with eloquence. I tell my
professional speaker clients that they will be hired for
their content, but paid for their delivery!

2. Listen to tapes, videos, DVD’s – and attend lectures
when possible. Expose yourself to as many speakers and
styles as you can. You can learn from everyone, the good
and the bad. Listen with an ear that helps you to know
what you like best about the speaker’s presentation and what
you like least. How can you use this to make you better at
the platform.

3. Practice for Free. Don’t charge for your first speech.
There are many service and business networking clubs looking
for speakers every week. Check the clubs in your area
(ex: Rotary, Lions, Leads, Chamber of Commerce, church
groups) and contact the program chairs to speak to their
groups. Speaking often is critical to your development as a
sought after speaker. I encourage my clients to speak for
free often as they are building their speaking careers. The
audience will tell you what your best material is and this
will help you hone your skills so that you can eventually be
a paid speaker with groups that have budgets.

4. Get feedback. Interview clients and friends who can
provide you with input about the value of your topic(s) as
well as your content and delivery style. After you speak to
a group, verbally get some feedback from a few attendees.
You can do this with a phone call or email. Better yet,
provide your audience with an evaluation form. I always
encourage my clients to do this and include a line that says:
“Do you know of any other groups who would benefit from this
program?” “If so, may I call you to get that information?”
Be sure to include a line that requires their name and phone

5. Get good, and then get better. Even the best, at the top
of their game, keep working at doing it better, doing it
differently, keeping their material current and interesting.
There is always room for improvement. Don’t rest on your
commercial success alone. Always be present for
“breakthroughs.” You never know when the next one is around
the corner. How do you get better? Hire a speaker coach,
like me ,and get out there and speak, speak, speak!

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Get
more clients and consistent monthly income? Judy Cullins,
book coach, and Sandra Schrift, speaker coach, invite you
to join a "Business Marketing Achievers" small group
coaching beginning May 25th. We are looking for 12
committed people who are ready to use speaking and writing
to catapult their business. For more details, contact
Sandra at 1-800-340-3683 between 9-6pm pst. Hurry! This
group will fill quickly. For details and to
register go to: http://www.schrift.com/group_coaching.htm

By Sandra Schrift

Be A Real Spy Associate

When the need arises for any kind of spy equipment or surveillance equipment www.spyassociates.com is the answer. This website offers all of the latest equipment for surveillance and tracking.

www.spyassociates.com has plenty of products at any kind of price level to meet the budgets of everyone that will enable you any kind of surveillance job you seek. Spyassociates.com will meet the needs from someone who just wants cool spy gadgets to a full time private detective. Some products that spyassociates.com offers is GPS vehicle tracking systems which with the help of a satellite allows you do everything from tracking vehicles to just finding your way around.

Listening products are another item available on spyassociates.com commonly called bugs, they are available in many different kinds of varieties. Bugs are used to listen in on conversations to get the information that you want or make sure that someone is staying out of trouble.

Night vision is another choice that allows you to see better at night to aid in your stake out. Night vision is used commonly by the military and law enforcement to allow you to see better during a night mission. Spyassociates.com offers products that will add to your video library with video surveillance products that take all different kinds of video. Our website Spyassociates.com offers many other types of products that will fulfill all of your spy and surveillance needs.

By Joe Andre Gooden

Barcode Reader Manufacturers - The Future For Barcode Readers

They’re not really the greatest invention of the recent century. To claim such would be an unbelievable hyperbole. But barcode readers have attained, and kept, their place as indispensable tools for many businesses the world over.

Though the world in general may not have been evolutionized by their introduction to several industries, barcode readers have made quite a fortune for benefiting enterprises and barcode reader manufacturers alike.

Indeed, barcode reader manufacturers have enjoyed tremendous and sustained profit by reason of their main products. Barcode readers have become a must in certain fields that demand for the said products has never waned, instead, has experience a steady increase throughout the years. As a result, barcode reader manufacturers are always aiming to discover new applications and improvements for their cash cow.

The Driving Force Behind Barcode Reader Manufacturers

Like most industry giants, barcode reader manufacturers discovered a need, and they provided for such a need through their worthy invention: barcode readers.

Before barcode reader manufacturers started to distribute their products, businesses involved with the identification and verification of items, especially those in minor or major transits, have been fraught with errors and delays.

The reason? Everything was being carried out manually, hence the processes are susceptible to human fallibilities.

Barcode reader manufacturers offered barcode readers to solve these problems. The bread and butter of these barcode reader manufacturers was able to make things more accurate and convenient, resulting in a more efficient and speedy execution of the said processes.

Barcode Reader Manufacturers And The Developments In The Industry

Since the time they have started to offer barcode readers for the usage of relevant businesses, barcode reader manufacturers have likewise introduced improvements over the original models. Today, barcode readers come in a variety of forms, care of the many barcode reader manufacturers in the industry.

Fixed readers, portable batches and portable RF readers are just some of major types of barcode readers that barcode reader manufacturers are currently selling in the market. They come in further variations, of course.

Barcode reader manufacturers have also developed scanner-based barcode readers, camera-based barcode readers, and CDD barcode readers for businesses with equally varied needs.

Barcode reader manufacturers also change the products to conform to current demands. For example, barcode reader manufacturers today offer barcode readers that could decode numeric barcodes. These barcode reader manufacturers also offer barcode readers that could translate barcodes using alphabetic characters. They also offer barcode readers that could identify and verify barcodes with lines of fixed or varying lengths.

Barcode Reader Manufacturers And The Future

Judging from history, only good things can be expected from barcode reader manufacturers in the coming years. The leading barcode reader manufacturers of today such as Symbol Technologies, Intermec, Opticon, Argox and American Microsystems, Ltd. Are already positioning themselves for their continued success in the future.

They are heavily investing on their research and development departments to come up with better applications and features for the barcode readers they will manufacture for tomorrow.

It is an exciting time for both interested businesses and barcode reader manufacturers. Fueled by unceasing success, the future does look bright for those tools that have helped boost the efficiency of countless businesses throughout the years.

By Ewen Chia

Banking on Good Banks: Guidelines to Help You Choose the Right Bank for You

More often than not, we make decisions impulsively, without dwelling on too much thought about what we want and without considering other options, guidelines and criteria to base our decisions with. We can always get away with this on small decisions such as deciding on the flavor of Starbucks coffee we want; whether this is decaf or not; medium or large; with cream or without and many other trivial options.

This is okay but this is not applicable when we are considering things that concern the financial aspect of our lives - financing, refinancing, mortgages, insurance, investments and yes, even choosing the bank where we could save and store our money. Here are some guidelines you have to consider when you want to invest portions of your money into banks:

1. Location. When choosing banks, you have to consider their locations. If you see yourself visiting your bank or banks in a regular basis, then the best option would be to look for banks nearest to wherever you conduct your business or in your home.

2. Accessibility of ATM Machines. Choose banks where a sufficient number of their ATM machines are accessible to you.

3. In relation to number 2, check the functionalities offered by the ATM machines of these banks. Check if it has the following features: - Do the banks' ATM machines allow deposits to be made in it? - Do the banks' ATM machines printout statements about your accounts such as your available balance, etc.? - Do the banks' ATM machines enable a client to order a check book?

4. Telephone Banking. If you are one of those people who cannot go to banks during banking hours, then one of the features you have to look for in banks is the availability of telephone banking service. With this, you can make queries and transactions in your banks anytime, anywhere usually 24/7 all year. Telephone Banking allows you to do some of these transactions in your banks: - Transfer your money from your accounts in your banks to pay your bills - Telephone banking in banks enables cancellation and change of current orders - Check the balance of your account - Telephone banking in banks allows you to apply for other products or services from banks

5. Internet Banking. Internet banking features in banks also allows the following services offered by Telephone Banking wherein transactions and inquiries can be done via the Internet through the Internet portals of these banks.

If you are a business person and you need a bank or banks for your small business, here are some other aspects and guidelines you have to consider when choosing the right bank/banks for you:

1. Aside from the first general consideration on the location of the banks, you have to consider if the banks understand the nature of the business you are involved in.

2. Consider also if some of the banks will be able to allow you to deal with the senior employees/executives in the bank. This way, problems concerning your business banking needs will be addressed easily.

3. Check banks that offer SBA - Small Business Administration - Loans. This can help you should different needs arise in your business that will compel you to make a loan.

4. It is good to consider banks where the capitalization rate is greater than six percent. This will ensure you that the banks you will be working with will still be present while you are still in business

5. Consider the competitiveness of the banks by checking how much they charge for every transaction you make.

6. Aside from these, check also the competitiveness of the interests and other fees that come with their credit cards.

7. Check the stipulations on balances for checking accounts that bear interests.

8. Check if the banks you are considering are members of the FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Federal Reserve Bank and lastly,

9. Look for banks that are capable of giving service that you and your business might need ahead of time.

Keep all these in mind when considering the right bank/banks and surely, you will never go wrong. Good luck!

By David Arnold Livingston

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Autoresponders: One simple Trick That Will Improve your Results

Autoresponders, or responders, are simply programs that allow you to send out pre-written emails which have been pre-loaded into the responder. Prospective customers or recruits either input their email addresses into a signup form on a website or send a blank email to a trigger address. They are then entered into a database and receive your emails at the intervals you specify when you set up the responder.

This is an extremely powerful marketing technique as it allows you to send repeated messages to people who have positively displayed their interest in whatever you're promoting.

Numerous studies have shown that the majority of consumers will not buy, or signup to something, at the first exposure. Prospects typically need to have somewhere between 5 and 12 exposures to the product or service before they feel comfortable enough to commit. The ideal number of follow up contacts is often said to be 7, but this will vary depending upon the individual consumer and the product on offer.

Since the recipient of your emails has given you permission to contact them, you won't be accused of "spamming". You may need to provide full contact details in your emails to be sure of this - it varies from country to country, but err on the side of caution. An added bonus is that you will have their email address in your database - or "list" - so that you can keep them updated with any new offers you may have in future.

Many internet marketers already appreciate the awesome power of automated follow up using an autoresponder loaded with well crafted sales messages. However, there is one enhancement that is often overlooked, even by relatively experienced marketers: The "Thank You" page.

Used properly, this can boost your signup rate by as much as 20%, it can help promote your other programs, products and opportunities and it can even earn you some money.

It's easy to overlook this aspect of autoresponders. After all, you've probably spent a good deal of time crafting your email messages and loading them into the responder. It's only natural that when the last one is input you want to get the messages out to the big wide world ASAP - right? But take just a few minutes - and that really is all it needs - and you could benefit hugely.

First of all, whatever you do, don't use the Thank You page that your autoresponder company so kindly provides for you. Why do you think they provide this? Certainly, it is a service to their customers. Normally it gives a polite (if generic) thank you and contains a few reassurances about spam along with brief details of the opt-out procedure. However, when you look at it closely, it is a full page advert for the autoresponder provider isn't it? A full page advert which you have provided for them.

As an absolute minimum, if you can't be bothered to spend a few minutes to generate your own custom Thank you page, redirect your new signup to one of the other pages on your website, or to the home page of one of your other sites if you have more than one. However, it's much better to take the time and produce your own full page advert.

Some of the items you might want to consider including are listed below:

1. A polite thank you (mandatory).
2. A brief statement that you only send emails with permission, that they may unsubscribe at any time and that you will never pass their contact details to a third party (also mandatory).
3. A link to another website that you own or promote.
4. An advert for another opportunity that you are involved in.
5. A "Tell A Friend" form or link.
6. Adverts from Google Adsense or some other source.

Items 1 & 2 are only common courtesy. Items 3 - 6 could give your performance a real boost.

Remember, this is a page that your viewer will automatically click away from. They are "ready-to-click" so at least give them the option of making a click that will benefit you rather than just clicking on their "favourites" or home page buttons.

Not all of them will click - but some of them will and you need every advantage you can get!

By Hamish Hayward

Are You Ready To Become Self Employed?

If you are interested in starting a business, or taking over
one, you face a daunting task that carries a level of risk and
excitement not possible in the 'employee' world. This forces you
to consider are you ready to become self employed?

If the financial independence of self-employment appeals to you
- no boss, no income limits as to time and wage, and the ability
to let your personal drive determine your compensation - then
you will no doubt be eagerly going over the many options
available to release you from your current job.

However, the rush of financial excitement must be tempered by
the necessary cost of time, money and effort in properly setting
yourself up independently.

Despite income claims made by business opportunity companies, or
competing businesses, you must be ready to accept the reality of
not seeing personal income for several months - or even years.

Becoming self employed on the side, while keeping regular
employment as your financial security, is a wise method of
ensuring your income.

Another option is to have substantial savings that permit you
the freedom to pursue your dreams unencumbered with other
employment. However, the savings must also be capable of
carrying the costs of developing a business along with providing
for your material needs.

Do you also recognize the time it takes when you become self
employed? In some ways it is almost unnecessary to bring up the
point since your passion will likely drive you to spend many
hours in your pursuits. If you have other obligations; family,
job, social etc. then you will have to consider if you CAN
devote the time needed to get your business off the ground.

Having discussed both money and time, you must recognize that
there is much more effort extended BEFORE a business is
profitable than at any other time in your business. Yes, once
you are getting work and are satisfied with the income level you
may be very busy indeed but you will then be compensated for it.
When you are still cultivating your business - marketing, doing
free jobs, searching for clients and customers - you may not be
seeing any income, or a very meager one, which makes your
EFFORTS seem immense.

Do not falter! If you come to the point when you are working
your hardest and doing everything your business requires but
still not seeing monetary results, you may hit a psychological
wall. This is where truly entrepreneurial individuals see an
obstacle to overcome as opposed to a dead-end to their hard
work. Passion for their work and the strong desire to work for
themselves overcomes any perceived barriers and moves them to
keep going and ultimately becoming very successful.

By persevering you will certainly see the fine fruits of your
labors and prove to yourself and others that the benefits of
becoming self employed far outweigh the mediocre status quo of
the typical worker's daily grind.

By Jeff Schuman

Are Your Business Habits Fostering Success?

The success or failure of a home business is based on the type of behavior we cultivate. People who have successful home businesses have adopted thinking patterns and action plans that foster the success they crave. Notice I say crave, because I believe you have to want your home business to succeed to the point of craving, to make it happen. Unsuccessful business owners tend to drift through life without having cultivated disciplined behavioral habits.

Order is not just heaven's first law it is essential to progress. Where there is clutter, dirt or chaos, confusion develops and the way ahead soon becomes blurred. Important tasks tend to get forgotten in an effort to deal with the urgency of the chaos and confusion that surrounds you. Concentrate on getting into the habit of keeping your surroundings tidy and your mind will be freed to focus on what is timely and important.

All action starts in the brain, so it becomes imperative to teach your brain how to set goals!! When the goal is set, see, feel and believe with all your heart in your goal, then start making plans towards it's ultimate fulfillment. Learn to research your chosen business niche and make every effort to educate yourself on each minute detail. The habit of focusing on your ultimate goal will become one of your most important habits, and is usually the one that most people who fail have neglected.

The buck does not stop with education. Research and education are worthless if action is not taken to fulfill the ideas gained. Each week you should go through a routine of study, planning and the implementation of your plans. Plans tend to work best when they are implemented.

Get into the habit of prioritizing your work. The object should be to work smart not just hard! Running a successful home business can be extremely demanding. If you are a young parent with children, successful habit forming becomes even more of a priority. When you run a home business the demands on your time are phenomenal, so to able to succeed without feeling overwhelmed all the time, requires that your organization becomes routine enabling you to achieve your desired result in the shortest possible time.

Is victory a habit? I think it is. Why? Victory is achieved by fostering a winning attitude which then becomes a habit. I hate to lose, and love to succeed, therefore I do things which will foster success. Success in business is no different from success in any other aspect of life. Just as an Olympic athlete trains himself for mastery, home business entrepreneurs must do the same if they want to bring home the gold!

It all comes down to training yourself to think and act in ways that ensure success. Having a successful home business is not an elusive dream that only happens to the lucky few. It is obtained by fostering successful business habits. If you wish to harvest profits off the Internet you must first begin by sowing, then cultivating the necessary home business habits that will get you to your ultimate goal.

By Janice Sharman

Friday, March 5, 2010

Are There Easy Ways To Make Money?

Are you looking for easy ways to make money? Let's analyze 3
easy ways you can make money using the internet. Internet
marketing, affiliate programs, and a home based business.

Internet marketing is the use of the Internet to advertise and
sell merchandise or services. This involves use of Web sites and
e-mail to inform customers about a product, solicit their
questions, and accept their orders directly through the
electronic medium. Virtually any product or service can be sold
online over the internet. This is a great way to make money if
you already have a product.

A home business is a business which is carried on entirely
within a dwelling unit by the occupants and with no more than
one full-time equivalent non-resident employee, which is
incidental and subordinate to the dwelling use, does not alter
the exterior of the property , or affect the residential
character of or have unreasonable impacts on the surrounding
neighborhood. A home business can be anything from party plans,
to mlm businesses, or any business based in your home and
conducted outside of it.

Affiliate programs allow Web sites who provide links to your
site to receive payments or reciprocal advertising in exchange
for promoting your Web site. Audio/Video streaming - Audio/video
streaming allows you to provide visitors to your site with a
real-time sound or video experience. Backbone - The network of
connections and high-speed lines that forms the infrastructure
of the Internet. An important consideration in choosing a Web
site host is that host's proximity to the backbone. The less
intermediate network distance between your provider and the
backbone, the faster and more reliable your Web site will be.
Affiliate programs are a way to make money selling other peoples

An excellent program that combines all 3, internet marketing,
affiliate programs, and your own home business is the Plugin
Profit Site. In 3 easy steps you can be set up with your own
money making website, and internet marketing newsletter that you
can run from your own home. This is an easy way to make money
for someone who doesn't have the time, money or knowledge to set
up their own home business on the internet. You can learn more
Easy Ways To Make Money

By Jeff Schuman

A Practical Method To selling Customers What They Want

Almost all of the marketing and referrals we see is based
on a numbers list of what you think prospective customers
should care about. This is probably why no one responds.
Just in case you can't figure out why the numbers game
creates no curiosity, and therefore no response in most
cases, is due to poor ads and not targeting your market.

Thinking about how you promote your business is the first
and foremost objective you should be doing. You must get
rid of the illusion that your products, services, or
company, or self, are so good that people will be compelled
to read about them. The fact of the matter is that no one

It is still a mystery to why we are all trained to believe
that, because we think we have such wonderful ideas, and
the "best company," and so forth, that everyone is
concerned. Anyone who has tried to impress someone with
bragging knows that is one of the fastest ways to turn
people off.

Try walking up to a complete total stranger and start the
conversation with, "Hi. I just wanted you to know that my
company has the best track record over the last three
centuries, and that we offer more services than anyone
else. As a matter of fact, I have been in the business for
three decades, and have won every award my company has How
about pulling your checkbook out, and writing me a check
for this product".

After the person brushed you off, you might have wondered
what went wrong. Is that the kind of phrase that gets
people to buy? Could it really be that no one wants your
company's products or services? Is it possible that your
interrupting someone with your pitch was unwelcomed? Can't
this person see how important it is to have a proper
representative? What other company could possibly help
people as much as I can?

Not hardly. It might just be your fault. You see, there
isn't any law that states that people must think about you,
and they won't until they are ready to. So why does
everyone send mail, or make calls, or send emails, or run
ads that assume prospective customers have been waiting for
your pitch? Because that's what you have been taught to
believe. For example, have you ever sent out postcards for
your product or service that said something like this
exterminator said:

(Dear Resident, Owning a home is a mixed blessing. It's
probably your greatest asset... and your greatest expense.
As an experienced exterminator, I can help protect your
home's valuable wood and foundations with professional
exterminator treatments. With my services, you'll feel more
comfortable living in the house you own...)

These types of marketing pieces are not affective. Here's
why. Because you are assuming that your prospective
customers care. Because you are assuming they think like
you. Because you are saying nothing different. Because you
are bragging about yourself without displaying any empathy.
Because you are not attracting attention. Because you are
stimulating zero curiosity or interest. Because you are
trying to convince people of something they don't believe.

If you are interested in getting responses, you might want
to try to understand what it is that your prospective
customers do think about. Try to get a real handle on what
they feel and what they want.

By Abe Cherian

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Applying For A Credit Card With No Credit History – Tips You Need to Know

Oddly enough, not only will bad credit work against you when applying for a loan or a credit card, but no credit will too. Even though this doesn't seem fair, it is the way things work in the complicated world of consumer credit. Lenders are leery about opening accounts for people with no credit history because they simply have nothing to base your reliability on.

So, if you can't build a credit history without credit and you can't get credit without a credit history, just what has a person to do? It's nearly impossible to rent a car, stay in a hotel, or shop online without a credit card, so let's explore a few of the options that can eliminate this Catch-22.

Available Credit Options

Although many of the major credit card companies won't give you a card without a credit history, some smaller ones, like department stores, will. Find a department store that will issue you a card and apply for it. You can try getting a gas station card also. Either way, use your card but be sure to make all payments on time. Your goal is to build a good credit history, not just get a credit card.

Find a credit card company that will review your overall financial situation and not just your credit history. Some lenders will look at your employment history, your housing situation, and how often you have moved. If this is all on the up and up, they may approve your application. Again, use this card wisely.

Credit Unions

If you are a credit union member, or are eligible for membership, see what their card issuing terms are. Although they are no giving out cards with their eyes closed, they will often have more relaxed conditions for members. You no longer have to work for a specific company to be eligible to join a credit union. So it's well worth checking if there's one in your area.

Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are offered by lenders who will give you a line of credit that either matches, or is slightly higher than, a cash deposit that you give them to hold. As your experience with the card grows, these lenders will often raise your limit without requiring you to increase your deposit. Eventually, you can use your experience with this lender to apply for cards that are not secured.

Student Credit Cards

If you are a student, then you'll be best off with a student credit card. Student credit cards can be a great way of building the credit history that you will need to depend upon after graduation. The important thing here is to remember to use that opportunity wisely. Many banks will issue college students a credit card, especially banks that are located in college or university cities and towns.

When you do manage to get a credit card, remember that you are establishing a credit history. Show that you are a good financial risk by paying the bill on time. Don't go crazy with the spending. It will only cause you problems in the future.

By Gordon Goh

Antiques - The Modern Day Treasure Hunt

In today's world, everything that’s old can be described as antiques and generally speaking that’s quite true. A product is considered to be an antique if it is over a hundred years old or is rare enough to have some value. In other words, these are old items that are in limited supply.

An antique is something collectible. It may be a piece of antique furniture that you want to collect to enhance the look of a room, or a piece of antique pottery to decorate a corner cupboard, or some antique books, antique camera and photographs, antique jewelry, antique money, antique car, antique clocks, or antique watches that you want to hand down to your grandchildren but the items must be rare enough to be considered an antique. The others are just secondhand goods junk. Most people have a common misconception about an antique: the older they look, the more antique they must be. Appearance has nothing to do with it, just because a piece looks like it came out of grandma's attic does not necessarily mean that it’s an antique. The value of an antique is based on demand due to suitability and limited supply.

Most people become fascinated in an antique for two reasons; either they have an interest in collecting antique purely for personal enjoyment and are willing to shell out money for antique restoration or they inherited it from a family member. The most common are antique pottery, antique car, antique furniture, antique books, antique camera and photographs, antique clocks, antique money, antique jewelry and antique watches. However they came about it, everyone wants to be sure of one thing that what they buy or inherit will escalate in value as time goes by. That is what antique collection is all about.

There are two main principles that apply when collecting an antique: The first is to know everything that you can about the antique that interests you and second is to obtain them at the lowest possible price. Doing so will not only give you satisfaction and enjoyment, but at the same time you will also be assured that your investment will appreciate in value.

Some people only developed an interest in antique because they inherited an item or a whole house full of antique from a relative. The dollar signs started to appear and they began their hunt for some antique appraisals and antique auction. But what most failed to consider is that much of what Great Grandmother had is probably just junk, unless she was a seasoned collector who’s into antique restoration or an expert in antique appraisals.

It’s true that people could have bought a piece of furniture to decorate their home a long time ago and that furniture, if it were of fine quality, would now be worth something. But only a professional appraiser can guarantee that, and appraising costs about $100-150 an hour. So if you are keen on bringing you item in an antique auction and contemplating about asking someone how much an item is worth, be prepared to shell out a few bucks for the information. Appraisers charge so much because they shoulder the lion’s share for insurance companies and lawyers settling estates. Although appraising is not an exact science, it still requires an appraiser to do lots of research and then prepare a detailed report that’s acceptable in a court of law.

By Tom Lange

An Internet Business Opportunity Entrepreneurs Reality Check

So you want to learn the internet business marketing secrets to make money by starting an internet business? Do you feel like an internet business entrepreneur that is just waiting for the best opportunity to strike it rich with? You know that the internet is a hot money market and you want to get your share! If there’s money to be made, you’ll find a way to make it! The only things you need are an income source, and the resources to market it. Once you have them, it’s all downhill from there!!


Well, let’s take a brutally honest approach to analyzing your hopes of being an internet business entrepreneur. There are thousands of other entrepreneurs out there just like you who are just waiting for the chance to start their own internet business and make an insane income from the internet. That’s alright though, because any good internet business entrepreneur knows that there is always a way to make money out there.

The beginnings of any entrepreneur’s business are what ultimately what define their long term success. This not only applies to any successful internet business entrepreneur, but to any entrepreneur in history. That’s right! I’m not even speaking specifically about our modern culture! Throughout human history, entrepreneurship has been always centered on one basic, broad concept. We hear all too often today, but rarely give it a second thought. Here is the golden rule for any entrepreneur, whether an internet business entrepreneur, a small business owner, or perhaps even an entrepreneur who is looking for the chance to start a business.

Entrepreneurship comes down to the ability of finding a need of the people and filling it.

We all know this is common knowledge. However, what happens all too often with internet business entrepreneurs is that they get caught up in the hype of a last chance offer or internet business opportunity, and forget to question if it fits the definition of entrepreneurship. Now, I’m not saying you can’t be successful with these things. The problem is that entrepreneurs get hyped up in thinking they’re all set for wealth because they have the best internet business program out there. They know that all they need to do is execute the pre-written plan they were given to achieve success. They may very well make money with any given internet business opportunity. Then, after a little success, they tend to convince themselves that they have become a true internet business entrepreneur and have accomplished exactly what they set out to do originally.

Well, if they were successful, what’s wrong with thinking that?

The problem is that they have diluted the idea of being an internet business entrepreneur so far that it would be unfair to even consider them an entrepreneur. They may have had some success, but were they really an entrepreneur? This is where the men separate from the boys.

They are not entrepreneurs they better fit the definition of an Opportunist.

So what? They were successful right? What’s the difference anyway?

The difference is this: Entrepreneurs find the need and fill it. Opportunists fill the need, but weren’t the ones to find it. Now, when someone hears the word “opportunist,” it usually carries a bad connotation. This is not the case. Opportunists are simply different than entrepreneurs. No one ever said they were less successful than entrepreneurs.

If you don’t agree, think about the very famous, successful man we all know is without a doubt the world’s greatest opportunist. Who would that be? Here are a few hints. He didn’t find the need, but he knew two entrepreneurs who found the need. He even worked for the entrepreneurs who filled one of the biggest needs in history. He didn’t even invent the product that filled this need, but most people who use this product don’t know that. Do you know who it is yet? Here are a couple obvious hints. To this day, his products are inferior to his competitors’, but he still leads the industry. He made his wealth through quality marketing, not a quality product. If you still don’t know, here is the giveaway: He is the richest man in the world! Bill Gates, of course! Bill Gates is the greatest opportunist in history. But he still wasn’t an entrepreneur.

So what? He’s the richest man alive!

Yes, he certainly is. But that doesn’t make him an entrepreneur. Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak are the real entrepreneurs of the Computer Industry. They both are successful, but they were caught off guard by an opportunist with a vision. They could have very well had a virtual monopoly on computers to this day, but an opportunist stole it from them.

Alright…Well what’s so good about being an Entrepreneur then?

Well… Umm… it sounds good to say you’re an entrepreneur? No, that can’t be it. Uhh… Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur? No, that’s not it either.

The brutally honest truth is that being an entrepreneur is not all that it’s played up to be. It involves a high risk of failure, and the bottom line is most people aren’t going to take that chance. Also, it’s good to remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an opportunist. Sure, you’ll have to factor in your own ethics. But, speaking monetarily, there is nothing wrong with being an opportunist.

With almost every entrepreneur we know of, there are opportunists that follow. Michael Dell founded Dell Computers on the idea that people would want computers built to their custom specifications. He was and still is very successful with this. Soon, Hewlett Packard, Compaq, Gateway, and many more adopted his principles into their business models. Many people would label what you now know as opportunists to be entrepreneurs.

Many people who declare themselves “internet business entrepreneurs” are really internet business opportunists. Many successful network marketers would call themselves entrepreneurs, but they are really network marketing opportunists. The real entrepreneur is individual that came up with the idea of network marketing. He found a need for a business model that would utilize ambitious individuals who had no product to sell on their own, but still sought a way to earn an income through marketing a product.

Entrepreneurship is one of the many subjects of common knowledge that few people think twice about. There are thousands of people out there who say want to be entrepreneurs that don’t even know how to define “entrepreneur!” If that entire group was to eventually find success in internet business or any business at all, the chances of the majority of them becoming a true entrepreneur are very small. I would estimate that about 98% of them, if successful in the long run, are opportunists and not entrepreneurs.

Any given successful entrepreneur knows the concept described in this article all too well. That’s most likely because at some point, they lost some aspect of business to an opportunist who picked up on what need they are filling and how they are doing it. Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak would be able to describe in detail the shear frustration of this.

So if you really do believe that you want to be an entrepreneur, think about the golden rule. What is the need you will fill and how will you fill it? If you can come up with some answers for those two questions, you very well may be on your way to success. Don’t forget to get a patent, trademark, and/or copyright though!

*On a personal note, I will take a shot in the dark and say that you’re probably wondering what right I have to speak so bluntly about this subject. Maybe you’re wondering what my experience and qualifications are. Perhaps you’re ever curious about my own entrepreneurial endeavors. I’m not going to come out and spill the details of my entrepreneurial endeavors, but take a good look at this article and the information presented, and how it is presented. Maybe you can figure it out!

About the author:
Joe Borowy is the Owner of www.SuccessForFreedom.comwhere they work hard to maintain an honest and reliable source for work at home internet business opportunities. They work for your success instead of working you for their own.

By Joe Borowy

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Crucial Key Factor To Your Online Success: Keywords Research

Let's start from the basics.
Keywords research IS a crucial key factor nowadays for anyone that is already or want to be active in the online business and run a work at home based business.

Maybe back to the end of the 90's it was possible to think to work from home and start a new business oriented website targeted to a broad market and get to have it successful with a relative limited effort, a basic knowledge and an amateurial budget, simply putting a lot of passion in the work, but these times are gone, and it is very difficult that they will come back again.
Hoping that something similar will happen today is just an unreal expectation.

So we arrive to the subject of this article: Keyword Research.

If we make a search on the net to have a DEFINITION of this important concept we can easily find a usuful link like this:


In brief we can say that "keyword research" means the search of the keywords related to our website, AND the related ANALYSIS to find the most valuable keywords for our online business as well as the ANALYSIS of the COMPETITION for the same keywords.

Well, there is a lot to understand here, isn't it?
Prepare yourself, there is a lot more to do after we have clear the meaning of all this in our minds.

This definition in my opinion takes for granted that we are not building a general website that can show totally unrelated stuff messed up together trying to be interesting for anyone using a PC connected to the internet.
It is a quite technical definition that is addressed to people that already have some knowledge about how online business is going in year 2005, and that have already read, or been taught that it is recommended to build business websites targeted to NICHES, that are fractions, small parts, of a sector of an industry or of a market.

So this important concept can be summarised like this:
"When people wanting to run a home based business working from home start the planning of the building of a new website that is business oriented it is good practice to focus on a niche and to research keywords related to a niche instead of to a wide market in order to have to face a smaller competition and be able to generate value and a positive return on their investment".

Does it make sense? I think so, and so think most of the savvy online marketers and gurus nowadays.

Please note right now that keywords research is also crucial if you run PPC ADVERTISING, both for your own website or for AFFILIATE PROGRAMS that pay you commissions. We will return on this later in this article.

Now that we have understood the meaning and the importance of keywords research it's time to move to the practice.

How is it done the important task of keywords researching?

As experienced internet marketers we are able to provide you with a great SHORTCUT that has a small cost and will be able to save you a lot of time, efforts and also money, but we will provide you also some free resources if you really are on a zero budget and need to make some basic researches.

Here is the recommended resource for keywords research, it is a desktop program called "Keyword Locator" that has excellent features and will complete many tasks from a single software.


If you only use free resources you will need to use many of them in order to achieve similar results, or even to have done only a part of the tasks of Keyword Locator.

Let's see what you can do with free resources. The first site we suggest is NicheBot.com:


This site includes keyword count data from different sources, Overture and Wordtracker (only the first 15 results), and add also figures for number of pages for the researched keyword, competition and a ratio.
More detailed explanations are available on the site of course.

This website is probably the best free resource you can find as it already summarise data that normally would require you to use different websites to be reached.

Another popular free resource is GoodKeywords.com, that offers a free software to download that allows to do basic keywords researching and provide some other search features. You can go there to download the software for free:


And finally a set of free online tools you can use are offered by InstantPosition.com here:


InstantPosition.com is focused on SEO and provides many valid tools you will surely find interesting; amongst them you can find the keyword suggestion tool and the keyword popularity tool.

As you see we have been there with the free resources. Like everyone else we try to find online what can help us with the lower possible cost, and we all know that lower than free there is nothing.

But we also learned to profit of the experience of those who have been there before us and have developped better solutions and offer them for a small price. And sometimes the solutions developped are small gems that can become invaluable.

This is the case with Keyword Locator.
With this software you can do much more than you can do with all the different free resources put together, and of course much easily and quickly.

Keyword Locator is the professional solution to your needs.

In fact you can easily locate in demand niche markets and under exploited keywords in a matter of minutes.

You can complete keywords researching much faster and with less efforts, and pass to the phase of website building much sooner and with more detailed data on your hands.

And you can analyze and expose Your competition as you would not be able to do with only free resources.

All right, do you remember we told you that keyword research is very important also if you advertise in PPC like AdWords or Overture? Well this software is developped to minimise your expense and maximise your revenue from PPC advertising.

There are so many features we cannot report them all here in this article, so here there is again the link to this great software, the best one we have found for keyword researching:


We hope this article can be helpful for you and your work at home based business.

By Gian Luigi Ruggeri

A Critical Review of Metastock 8.0: Is Upgrading Worth the Money

If you are like many other traders, you have been eagerly waiting for the release of Metastock 8.0 for one reason, and one reason only, the reportedly redeveloped system tester. Metastock`s one major flaw has always been its lack of back testing capabilities, though previous versions of Metastock are head and shoulders above the competition on other fronts.

But whatever criteria you use to trade with, be it moving averages, candle sticks, fibonacci retracements, or any other trading system, you`re going to need to back test it. Everyone needs to thoroughly back test, or simulate, their trading system in ways that can match the conditions you will be trading in. It`s something all serious traders do.

Consequently, when Equis International (the makers of Metastock 8.0) announced "an all-new type of exploration that emulates running system tests over an entire database of securities", I could hardly wait to get the Metastock 8.0 release.

While waiting to receiving my copy of Metastock 8.0 I began building trading systems. By the time my copy of Metastock 8.0 finally arrived, I had around 20 systems ready for testing, and couldn`t wait to try them out.

However, when I loaded up the software, I was in for a surprise. It looked like nothing had changed. I thought maybe Equis International had kept the same interface and added in greater flexibility and some more features, but after searching in every nook and cranny, I found next to nothing that was new. It looked the same and, except for a couple of small changes, it was the same!

Then I came to the System tester - now called the "Enhanced System Tester". This was my major reason for upgrading from version 7.22. This is what appeared to be only real difference between Metastock 7.22 and Metastock 8.0.

After fiddling around with the Metastock 8.0 Enhanced System Tester for a few hours, and testing my 20 systems, I reached the verdict that I wasted my money on the new version of Metastock 8.0. Despite the supposed improvements to the Enhanced System Tester it, like it`s predecessor, left a lot to be desired.

Even though the Metastock 8.0 Enhanced System Tester tests multiple securities in one batch, it treats each security independently of the others. Therefore, when Metastock 8.0 tests the first security, it uses your predefined float and takes the trade over the test period selected. Once that is completed, it repeats the same process for the second security, using the same initial float, with no reference to the first security.

In the end, you receive the same result that you would have if you simply tested each security individually and added the results together. Not only is this process dreadfully slow, but the entire reason for testing your system is side-stepped. When your finished all the explorations, the performance of your trading system is still unknown!

The moral of the story is that if you already own Metastock 7, don`t worry about upgrading to Metastock 8.0. Simply stick with the version you have and keep your fingers crossed that Equis International gets it right for Metastock 9.0.

By David Jenyns

Accounting Methods – Cash and Accrual

When starting a business, you have to determine the method you are going to use for accounting and paying taxes. The two choices are the cash method and the accrual method.

Cash Method

If you are looking for simplicity, the cash method is probably your best accounting choice. Generally, income and deductions can be claimed when payment is actually received or made. This is best shown with an example.

I open a small business and have to order business cards and stationary. I receive the products and pay the invoice on November 18, 2005. Under the cash method, I can deduct the cost on my 2005 tax return.

Some businesses are restricted from using the cash method. C corporations may only use the cash method if they have less than $5 million in gross revenues for a particular year. Professional Service Corporations can use the cash method without limit, while farming corporations can due so if gross revenues are less than $25 million. Tax shelters are prohibited from using the cash method.

Accrual Method

The Accrual Method of accounting is a bit more complex. Under this method, the focus in on the date the expense is incurred, not paid. Although this may seem a small difference, it can play havoc with your books and piece of mind.

Using our previous example, assume I order business cards and stationary on the December 18, 2005. I receive the products on December 30th, but don’t pay the invoice until January 20, 2006. When can the expense be claimed? It depends on when economic performance occurred.

Generally, economic performance occurs when goods or services are provided to you. In the above example, economic performance would arguably occur when the business cards and stationary were delivered with the invoice on December 30th. Thus, I would be able to deduct the expense for the 2005 tax year.

In Closing

As you can see, the cash method is the easier of the two accounting methods. To determine the best method for your business, speak with a tax professional.

Accepting Credit Cards Payments For Offline Businesses

Any smart business owner knows that accepting credit cards as a payment option will dramatically increase revenues. Not only do credit cards offer customers the convenience and ease of not having to carry around cash or checks, it lends a sense of professionalism to your establishment as well. The process of applying to become a credit card merchant can be a bit confusing and frustrating, so let's take a look at how it all works.

The Credit Card Account

The credit card account that you will use is called a merchant account. These accounts are different from a regular business checking account in that they are accounts that have been secured through a bank that offers credit card processing. This account enables you to process your credit card transactions through their banking establishment. This is a safe and secure process which provides both you and the buyer security and protection from the beginning of the transaction right through to the end.

Since most of the merchant accounts are offered by a third party vendor, you are not obligated to use any specific bank or institution. You are free to choose the one that offers the options that will work best for you and your company.

What you do need to pay attention to are the fees. These fees will come in three different forms. First, the initial setup fee (pretty self-explanatory), moving on to the percentage fee (the provider will take a percentage of each transaction based on amount of sale), and then ending with the monthly service fee. Read the fine print of any contract before signing it. Pay attention to all three fee categories, not just one.

Also, look for contract obligations. Some providers will offer you great deals but will want you to sign on with them for a long period of time. You need to be aware of what, if any, penalties will be charged for getting out of the contract if things don't work out.

How Do I Actually Get Paid

Obviously, this is pretty important. If a customer has used a credit card, no money has actually changed hands. Since more and more customers are now using credit cards, how that money gets into your account and how fast has become vitally important.

Any of the reputable merchant account providers will provide the business owner with payment into their account within the first 24 to 48 hours of the initial transaction. Whether that customer has a balance on that card is not a concern of yours. The bank will pay you anyway.

If the customer disputes the said transaction, the bank is usually under no obligation to pay the business owner, especially if that dispute has been deemed acceptable. If a business owner has a high number of legitimacy claims against them, the provider may just drop them.

The majority of the time, though, things go as planned and the money shows up in your account within a day or two.

By Keith Baxter

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

30 Different Ways To Promote And Advertise Your WebSite

There are literally thousands of things you can do to promote and advertise your website, here are just a few I have found to work for me.

1- Tell your audience what kind of support they'll get after they buy. It could be free consulting, tech support, free servicing, etc. This may also answer some of their buying questions ahead of time. People don't want to buy products without knowing you will be there to help if they have problems.

2- Ask people at the end of your copy why they decided not to buy. This will give you new ideas on how to produce ad copy that’s more profitable. Have a web form or e-mail link in place so they can answer you. You may find out they don't like your guarantee or graphics. It could be anything.

3- Think of ways to get your site or business in the the news. You could sponsor a fundraiser, break a world record, hold a major event, etc. Simply write a press release about what you’ve accomplished, then send it to media outlets that cater to your target audience.

4- Hold a contest on your web site. Give other web sites the option of offering it to their visitors. This'll multiply your advertising all over the Internet. It would become a viral contest. Of course the contest must either be ongoing or held regularly so you could allow other online publishers to offer it to their visitors or subscribers.

5- Tell your potential customers that your ordering system is highly secure. Also reassure them that you take every effort to protect them. People want to feel they are safe online. They want to know that you care about their well-being. Tell them all about what you currently do for them to make them feel more secure.

6- Carry business cards with you wherever you go. Have your web address printed on them. You can hand them out to anyone you meet. Just think of all the people you meet on a regular basis: grocery clerks, post office workers, bag boys, family members, friends, salesmen/women, etc.

7- Contact national radio stations to ask them if they are looking for guest speakers. Tell them your area of expertise; maybe they'll book you for a show. Of course you would want to contact targeted stations and shows which would want to know more about you and your area of expertise.

8- Join clubs related to your area of business. You could trade leads with other businesses. Learn new ways to run your business and sell your products. You could also create your own online business club. You could provide private chat rooms, message boards, articles, etc.

9- Think of a domain name for your web site that's easy to remember. It should be related to what your business does, sells or provides. If there aren’t any business names available, use your actual birth name. You could at least brand yourself. Your own name will give you credibility.

10- Position your web site at the top of pay-per-click search engines. You will only pay your set amount for each click-through you get to your web site. Just make sure your profits will pay for your advertising cost. If they won't, maybe you could share a web site with another related business and split the costs.

11- Allow your visitors or customers to increase your traffic or sales. Ask them how you can improve your business, web site or product. You can ask them at your web site, in your e-zine, on your message board, in your chat room, in your guest book, in your product packages, etc.

12- Team up with other e-zines that have the same target audience. Combine subscriber bases and then publish one e-zine together to increase subscribers. You could all include your ads and announcements in the e-zine. You could also take turns for the top advertising space.

13- Swap endorsement advertisements with other web sites. Endorsement ads usually pull more sales and traffic than regular advertisements. People have taught themselves to ignore advertisements because they see hundreds of them every day. Endorsements usually don't look or sound like normal ads.

14- Outsource part of your workload to save time and money. You can spend more of your time and money promoting your business. You'll save money on employee costs, space costs, training costs, etc. Keep the work you enjoy doing to keep you motivated and ship out the work you don't like.

15- Include a signature file on all the e-mails you send out. Provide your business name, phone number, e-mail and web address, etc. Also include a brief blurb for your business or the product you're selling. For example, you could say, "How To Wash Your Car In Two Minutes or Less!"

16- Use pictures or graphics on your web site that support the product you're selling. They could give your visitors a clearer vision of your product, the benefits of the product, people's emotion when they own the product, etc. You could also use ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.

17- Create a friendly, long-term relationship with all your customers. Practice good customer service and follow-up with them on a regular basis. You could follow-up with gifts, greeting cards, free things, coupons, special offers, reminders, your e-zine, helpful advice, etc.

18- Create strategic alliances with other web sites. You could exchange banner ads, sell each other's products as back-end products, cross-promote, etc. You could also create a web site together and promote it on your separate web sites. You would both just split the costs and profits.

19- Increase the perceived value of your product to skyrocket your sales. Add on free bonuses, after- sale services or an affiliate program. Other factors that would help are: your own domain name, a professional web design, a good-looking product graphic and persuasive ad copy.

20- Give customers a discount on their total order to increase sales. You could give them a discount for ordering over a set dollar or product amount. For example, you could say, "Buy over $39 worth of products and get a 20% discount on your order!" Another example, "Get a 15% discount if you order 3 or more products!"

21- Allow your visitors to reprint the content on your web site. Just ask them to include your resource box and a link to your site in exchange. This will turn your content into a traffic machine and the external links will help increase your ranking in some search engines.

22- Provide a free contest or sweepstake at your web site. It's a fact, people like to win things. If you can fulfill that need, people will visit. You can also attract them to revisit by holding one every week or month. You could also start an opt-in list for people who enter your contest or sweepstake so you can follow-up with them regularly.

23- Save time and money by using ad submitters. You will reach a larger part of your target audience far more quickly than by manually submitting your ad. You should manually submit your ad to the most popular web sites so you have a better chance of being listed or placed in a good position.

24- Create a good first impression. You will not be able to sell very many products if your visitors think your web site looks unprofessional. Use crisp graphics, attractive color combinations, a readable text size, even spacing, even margins, bold headlines, indent benefits, etc.

25- Stop procrastinating and start finishing all your business tasks. Do one at a time. Don’t get caught up thinking that you can never get them all done. Make a list. Do the easiest or most crucial one first and move down the list. Cross off each task as you complete it.

26- Develop a relationship with all your visitors and customers. Tell them how much you appreciate them visiting your web site or buying your product. Invite them to online and offline events like free chat room classes, parties, dinner gatherings, business events, etc.

27- Hire a business coach to help improve you and your business. That could help increase your sales, motivate you, balance your workload, etc. It would be like renting an extra brain. You would have double the thinking power.

28- Stay away from being too comfortable with your income or life. You should always be making new goals for yourself and developing new sales ideas. The world keeps changing and if you pause too long, you might miss out. You only live once.

29- Make sure you don’t become a workaholic. Your mind needs time away from your business life. This will help your brain think clearly while working. The best time to get profitable ideas is when you’re not thinking about them. They just pop into your brain.

30- Create and follow short/long-term goals for your business. The short-term goals can create early success and the long-term goals can create future success. Design each goal so they all add up to your ultimate goal. Don't make your goals too unrealistic otherwise depression and frustration could move you farther away from them.

Good Luck and get busy promoting!

By Andrew Wroblewski

16 Vital Traits Shared by Successful Entrepreneurs

The first step in deciding whether to start a business is to ask yourself this important question: "Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?" A variety of experts have documented research that indicates that successful small business entrepreneurs, whether male or female, have some common characteristics. How do you measure up? It will be up to you -- not someone else telling you ­- to develop projects, organize your time and follow through on details.

Contrary to conventional opinion, an entrepreneur can be either an introvert or an extrovert. The basic difference is, introverts tend to focus their energy internally and often work better by themselves. Extroverts focus their energy externally. They usually work better in groups, or teams. Very few people are completely one way or the other. Most fall somewhere in between. True entrepreneurs:

1. Have a passion for what they do.

2. Have "street smarts." They don’t stay locked up in their ivory towers.

3. Have the capability of excelling in at least one area of business.

4. Become an authority on what they do, and monitor the progress of their endeavors.

5. Are team builders. They excel at bringing people into the enterprise who are smarter and more skilled in specific areas.

6. Ask for what they want and need and are relentless and tenacious at problem solving.

7. Realize the need for the help and support of others.

8. Understand that success rarely comes without total commitment. The only limitations they face are the ones they impose upon themselves.

9. Have high energy.

10. Have extraordinary self-confidence.

11. Set long-term goals.

12. Perceive money as a measure of accomplishment.

13. Persist in problem-solving and have a knack for getting more accomplished with less.

14. Take initiative and moderate risks, learn from failure, and seek and use feedback.

15. Accept personal responsibility, and use all available resources.

16. Believe that success or failure lies within their personal control or influence.

The most successful entrepreneurs are certainly not the most intelligent or the most highly educated. But they are creative, highly motivated, intuitive and possess the ability to recognize opportunities when they spot them.

By Michael Brassil