Find Lucrative Home Business Opportunities Using a Narrowed Search

Sifting through all the millions of home business opportunities available online can be difficult. You must determine which work at home jobs are really what they claim and which are scams. That's why it's important to take your time and investigate each business opportunity before spending your money.

You can use the search engines and narrow your searches to improve your chances. Here are some tips to help you find the home business ventures that best fit your needs.

Search for Home Business Types

Before you narrow your searches, you should know generally what type of business opportunity you are seeking. There are many out there in the world of cyberspace, and it's your duty to find the ones that will match your skills and lifestyle. Among some of the most popular ways to make money on the Internet are paid surveys, MLM systems, turnkey website solutions, affiliate opportunities, and more.

Use the search engines to narrow this search even more by typing in one certain business opportunity by name such as "paid surveys." This will bring up a list of companies offering paid survey tips, paid survey business opportunities, and so forth. You can also use the keyword "paid surveys from home" or similar words to narrow the search again.

Narrow Searches to Match Your Personal Interests

Once you find several types of home business opportunities you feel will work for you, it's time to search using your personal interests. What this means is to find work at home jobs that are of interest to you; don't settle for jobs you won't enjoy doing. For instance, if you're going to start a turnkey website of your own, find a turnkey website opportunity that sells products or services that are of interest to you.

If you like crafts, you might be able to find a turnkey website opportunity related to crafts. The same goes for finance, herbs, health and beauty products, electronics, children's clothing, jewelry, home decor, and fashion.

A turnkey website is a website that you purchase or receive upon joining a home business opportunity. The website is pre-designed to sell certain types of items or services so all you have to do is promote the website.

To narrow your searches, add a keyword to the business opportunity name while searching. The keyword should be what interests you. An example would be "crafts turnkey website" or "photography turnkey website." Or, if seeking an MLM opportunity, you could type in "crafts MLM" or "herbs MLM."

Time to Make Money on the Internet

Once you find work at home opportunities of interest, you're ready to make money on the Internet. Don't put all your eggs into one basket as the saying goes, but try out several of the opportunities you find that appear to be the most lucrative.

Be sure the home business opportunities are not scams by checking them out through search engines and the Better Business Bureau. Then, give them a try!

This is the amazing true story of how one woman, with no previous business experience, earns $435,000+ per year online

This is the amazing true story of how one woman, with no previous business experience, earns $435,000+ per year online

... selling other people's stuff!

Have you seen all the hucksters' hype about 'How to earn HUGE money on the 'Net?'

It's sickening! Most of them have never earned a dime online! They're trying to sell you some gimmick, or 'Internet Mall' that won't bring you 2 red cents.

If you're tired of the B.S. and are ready to learn the truth about Internet and Affiliate marketing - stick around.

This book could change your life!

Letter from the Author, Rosalind Gardner

September 17, 2007

Dear Aspiring Netpreneur,

Honestly! I get angry every time I hear someone say that there's no money to be made by promoting affiliate programs.

What a pile of unadulterated cow dung! Anyone telling you that affiliates aren't making money, either hasn't tried it himself, or is so greedy that he doesn't want you to share in the wealth.

The truth is, you can make INCREDIBLE MONEY online by promoting ONLY affiliate programs.

Everyday hundreds of thousands of affiliates make money promoting their affiliated merchants products online. Thousands of folks have been able to quit their jobs simply by promoting other people's products.

These companies want YOU... to promote their products!

Here is just a tiny sampling of the BIG brand-name companies that use affiliate programs to promote their products online:

Barnes & Noble

Dell

Discover Card

Dollar Rent-a-Car

eBay

Eddie Bauer

Gateway

Gap

KMart

New York Times

NBC

Old Navy

Patagonia

PayLess Shoes

PetSmart

SONY

Sports Authority

Staples

TimeLife

USA Today

Verizon Wireless

Weight Watchers

http://sevilyalci.webvista2.hop.clickbank.net

5 Reasons to Send Business Christmas Cards

The holiday season will soon be upon us, which means that it's time for businesses to start thinking about Christmas cards. If you've never sent business holiday cards, or don't make a point of sending them out every year, here are five reasons why you should start:

1. Meet Expectations. Although the adage, "It's better to give than to receive," is a sentimental favorite, those with whom you do business expect to be remembered during the holidays. Holiday greeting cards help smooth your business relationships during the rest of the year by meeting expectations during the Christmas season.

2. Improve Customer Relations. Whether you have a business-to-business enterprise, provide a professional service, or own a retail store, chances are that your success is built upon maintaining relationships with your customers and clients. Christmas cards show your customers and clients that you appreciate their business, and that you want to share the spirit of the season.

3. Cost Effective. Perhaps you already buy holiday gifts and remembrances for your best customers or clients, but business holiday cards allow you to reach many more people for relatively little money. You can purchase personalized business holiday cards for as little as $1.40 each, including options to select among many different styles and verses, several colors of ink, and imprinted envelopes. This is an excellent investment in your business.

4. Excellent Return on Investment. Chances are, you and your company receive business Christmas cards from your vendors and suppliers. So, you understand the warm feelings that arise when you read their holiday cards, and you probably experience a "carryover" positive impression when you do your purchasing in the New Year. If you doubt that business holiday cards generate an excellent return on investment, ask yourself this: All other things being equal, which company would you choose to do business with - the company that sent you a holiday card every year or the company that only contacted you when it was time to reorder or collect payment?

5. Limitless Choices. With the rise of Internet and ecommerce, companies have an unprecedented opportunity to select business Christmas cards that reflect their company's image and values. The best online sources for business holiday cards have a wide variety of high quality card designs. In addition, the best online greeting card companies offer a free choice of verse, free coordinated foil-lined envelopes, free samples of Christmas cards, and a multitude of choices for personalization.

In today's business world, you need to take advantage of every opportunity to differentiate your company from your competition. Sending business Christmas cards is a small gesture than can mean improved customer relationships and an excellent return on investment. You really can't afford not to send holiday cards to your customers, clients, and associates.

Payment Terms For Your Computer Consultancy

Payment terms are the one thing that even your best customers will abuse if you let them.  When you set your payment terms you need to look out for yourself.  You don't want to get into the habit of extending credit and giving discounts when they are not warranted. Here are some tips and tricks to get the most mileage out of your payment terms.

Setting Payment Terms

Another term for payment terms is stolen discounts.  When you have payment terms like net 30, people assume you're giving them credit.   Use net seven or net ten instead.

Avoid saying payment on receipt. How do you know when they receive it? It's very ambiguous.

Always put a specific payment due date on your invoice.

When payments go past due, then you have to deal with the issue of collecting your money.  Some tips to use when faced with this situation include:

When a customer is slow at paying, pull your own reigns back and delay their appointments for another week.  Typically the invoice clears pretty quickly, especially if there's an emergency.

Pick up the phone, phone calls work better than faxes or letters. You are likely to get the news you want to hear when they have to talk to you.

Even better than phone calls are personal visits.

Don't let late payments get beyond two terms.  If they were supposed to pay in 14 days and it is now 28 days, you need to move in quickly to recoup your money.

The Bottom Line on Payment Terms

The best offensive if often a good defensive.  When you think about setting your payments terms, make decisions that are in your best interests.  Collect money up front whenever possible and do not allow invoices to go long over due.  The more credit you extend to your customers the more likely you are to lose.  Keep your payment terms tight and get the money you are owed into your bank account quickly.

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Biz Tech Talk. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Best practices for eMeeting

Preparation

According to the number of participants, you will decide to broadcast the voice through a normal telephone call or through an audioconference. In this regard, we offer a free audioconference service in which the participants make a usual long distance call with access points in Europe and America as well as in a passage via Skype, with the necessary password to join in. The meeting’s WEB page is edited to display the order du jour. Other resources are offered, under SERVICE, specially to detect the opening of an invitation e-mail ensure the automatic resend to those whom have not confirmed their participation as well as to convert an Excel  file into an interactive board.

Progress

Several Conferenceware functionnalities can be used to profit from the efficiency of an eMeeting. The same apply to the PowerPoint presentation and screen sharing in order to be able to display Word or Excel documents, for example. Also, several presenters may intervene under the guidance of a conference master or president of the assembly and each of the participants might be authorized to write on an interactive board or to make notes on a presentation. The presenter can transmit to the participants any screen saver or image or file, such as a report. While in meeting, a participant can virtual raise his/her hand to show the intention to share something publicly or communicate privately with the presenter, just like whispering. Finally, a question might be submitted to consideration by vote and the results may be displayed or not, as wished by the presenter.

Follow up

The meeting’s report indicates not only the participants but also the answers given to questions asked or votes taken. Moreover, by recording a meeting, in which voice and image are synchronized, the absentees could see it any time by getting the hyperlink and password required to replay it.

Niche Marketing means different things to different people

The term niche marketing means different things to different people.Generally it is known to mean the developing of websites in sub mainstream market segments to profit from selling products, generating advertising revenue or other forms of website monetization.

Niche marketing is effective because it allows you to operate in markets that are less competitive meaning you have the potential as a new or seasoned marketer to capitalize on big opportunities with relative ease and far less cost.

Particularly for new marketers, niche marketing can be the key to riches because it allows you to compete on a level playing field. You don't have to jump into the ring with the heavy weights, you can develop your skills in the junior divisions before moving into the big leagues.

If you pick the right niche you can build your site, extablish yourself as an expert, sell your own products, recommend other people's products, the opportunities can be endless and good money can certainly be made.

The trouble is that as niche marketing grows in popularity, many of the markets we called niche markets are now not so nichey at all, they're almost as bad as mainstream markets in terms of their competitiveness and difficulty to profit from.

The markets that spring to mind are things like acne, dog training, or anxiety. Markets like these, while they can still be profitable will not make the average web marketer alot of money at all. Even the more nichey versions, acne treatments, dog training videos or anxiety relief are difficult for most people to compete in and make money.

Then there's the other extreme. You can go to the tiny tiny niches that get almost no search volume. You can find "long tail" keywords like 'pug training schools in atlanta" or "acne treatments that work in 2 days". The problem with these are, 1. that they often don't get enough traffic and 2. they are so specific that even if you can drive traffic, there isn't much you can do to serve those people except show them ads. Again this can be profitable if you know how to do it but it seems like there just has to be an easier way...

The niche marketers that really make the most money are those that know how to find the perfect balance between competition and search volume. Not only that but they know how to analyze the nature of a niche market to determine how much potential it really has before they enter it.

By doing this they find markets that can make them big money very quickly, faster than most people think possible.

Then when they do find markets they know how to make sites that will capitalize on them as effectively and efficiently as soon as possible. The result? Big profits, easily, and quickly.

There is no doubt that niche marketing although often a tricky game, can be wildly profitable when done right.

Discover Financial Freedom with an E-book Home Business

Financial freedom can only be recognized with hard work, innovation, and a popular - but reliable - product or service. But with an Internet business, these three often get clouded with having almost too many opportunities. You can easily get discouraged when researching the overwhelming number of business venues that are available online. But with e-books, many small business owners are discovering financial freedom while offering long-lasting products of value.

E-books are electronic books that might contain graphics, photos, sound, and content relating to any subject. They can also contain links to various web pages for promotions or illustrations. It's very inexpensive to create an e-book, but yet people enjoy reading them every day. E-books are popular online because they are usually inexpensive or free and offer advice and tips on a variety of subjects. The subjects can be anything from "how to earn money online" to "how to start a home business." E-books may also cover more specific subjects such as "how to make money with a crafts business" or "cross-stitching tips for the beginner." The possibilities for e-book subjects are unlimited.

E-book Home Business Facts

Starting an e-book business means you are offering e-books for sale online to a specific target audience. You might sell only one or a few e-books, or you might even sell hundreds of them. The choice is yours, but of course, the more e-books you offer, the more chances you'll have to earn a lucrative income.

Here's how it works. You'll promote your e-books using various techniques such as an e-mail newsletter (e-zine), search engine promotions, paid ads, and other methods. Customers will visit your website to read your presentation. When they purchase one of your e-books, they will download it directly from your website or from an e-mail. You can even automate the entire process to make things easier on you and the customer.

The reason e-books are so successful for gaining financial freedom is because once they're created, you don't have to do anything except promote them. You can create an automated cash system that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. E-books can be sold and downloaded by your customers while you sleep!

Resell E-books to Earn Money

If you don't want to write your own e-books, you can also create a cash system and enjoy financial freedom by reselling e-books that others have written. With this type of home business, you will purchase rights to various e-books, sometimes hundreds of them, and resell them as your own products. Keep in mind that other companies will likely be selling these titles as well. But the Internet is so big, there's plenty of room for everyone!

Some companies provide business opportunities in which you'll receive a number of benefits along with hundreds of e-books to resell. These opportunities may cost a little up front, but are definitely worth the investment for starting your own home business. The e-book products alone can generate a very healthy cash system for years to come.

As with any home business, selling e-books will take some time to build and promote. But once the ball's rolling, you'll enjoy financial freedom and success like never before!

Free Background Check Online

Online background check that is Free is virtually non existent. Before you go online looking for that free online background check, consider that there very few resources providing free services. If there were such free online background check resources, there would be no reason for background check companies to be in business.

Background check companies provide a valued service. This valued service comes in means of providing you a online background check report that is not free. Detectiveunlimited.com an affiliate partner of a leading information database company provides you the most accurate instant online background check report.

You should worry about companies claiming to provide you a free background check report online. Detectiveunlimited.com has access to billions of data such as utility bills, rental applications, country court records covering the entire United States.

So if you’re looking to get an online background check report, enter the persons name on the form box. If you are not satisfied with the report, simply ask for a refund.  What we provide you is a RISK FREE solution to your needs.

Read more about <a href= http://detectiveunlimited.com/content/view/19/36/> Free Background Check Online )

What Is Branding?

Most business owners start with hiring a logo designer to work on their business image, and whilst this is right, it’s important to be clear on what your brand ethos will be before ink hits paper…or with modern design methods it’s more like ‘before mouse hits screen’.

If you aren’t clear on what important messages you wish to present to your customers, you will end up marketing an all together ineffectual image for your business – resulting in reduced impact on your target market and hence less sales.

Whilst it's very important to utilise the services of a high quality logo designer to ensure the success of your business through proper brand design, your brand is about more than just your business name or logo design.

An effective brand tells potential customers what you do and who you are. In addition your brand image is how your business is perceived by it’s customers. Brands are in the minds of customers and nowhere else, and you need to make sure you develop the correct brand image by engineering it deliberately.

A good logo design should however be your starting point for developing a firm footing for the brand development of your business.

Good quality brand development, and indeed your logo design itself as the icon behind this branding, will give you the edge over your competitors, and despite the fact that most small businesses won't have unlimited funds for branding campaigns, they do have several methods available to them for developing a high quality brand and in turn benefit from the perception of the value of that brand.

It's well known that customers will happily pay much more for goods and services provided by 'brand name' companies, and your sales team will find it easier work converting customers who have already heard of your company through your brand marketing and exposure of that all important logo design image linked to this.

A high quality logo design and brand will allow you to introduce new products and services to your customer base and expect a better reception for them, than had you presented yourself as a new unknown brand and a good quality logo design is the image that customers will link with your brand and use to ‘visually remember’ your brand.

If your customers can’t remember you, you’re in trouble. I’m sure you can now understand why a good quality logo design to link to your brand image is so important.

Before you commission a logo design decide on your ethos;

What are you values? What sets you apart from the competition? Once you are clear on that ethos you can work to ensure that you and your team reinforce it with everything you do and say.

Evidence to your customers that that they can trust in your brand to deliver what it always delivers them...that they can always rely on your company to provide this particular quality of products and/or service.

Re-ignite Your Passion For Reading

One of the greatest memories of my childhood is spending time among books and paper.  I've enjoyed books since I can remember.  The best place to spend quality private or family time is in the library.

Over the last 10 years, however, the Internet has irrevocably changed both access to and obtainment of information.  We have the capacity to take a trip to our nearest wireless device rather than a trip to our local library to get the same information and possibly more.  We have the equivalent of the volumes of books in a library at our fingertips through various electronic mediums.  This opportunity has both positive and negative impacts on our society.

The inarguable convenience of information retrieval by way of the Internet, on the one hand, is an infomaniac's paradise.  And, I am certain that there are a numerous parents who appreciate not having to make those late-night trips to the library to whiz from shelf-to-shelf as the lights flicker with impatience.  On the other hand, we severely lack respect for our educational blessedness and as a result, tend to take advantage of the privilege of having such tremendous access to education resources.

I have a saying, "Convenience is essential to utility."  The way we value a person, place or thing in our lives has to have some basis in their availability to us at any given moment.  But, we cannot automatically equate accessibility with value.  There is a lot of information that we can readily access, but has no inherent value.  It does not teach or edify us in any way, so its value is misrepresented because of its accessibility.  Ironically, the  educational intelligence available to us today in libraries and on the Internet is often underappreciated.

America is a nation rich in culture and community.  In heritage and history.  Nothing saddens me more than to think that our propensity for material gain has overshadowed our appreciation for the national treasury of knowledge, education and wisdom we are privy to.  The illiteracy rate in this country is alarming at least, unacceptable at best.  We need to become a nation of readers again.  We need to read and teach our children to read.  We need to take the family trips to the library to explore the wonders of the world as written by many well-known and not-so-well-known authors.  It is important to make that a priority just to experience the sheer joy of being around books as knowledge and information ooze from them.  Libraries and museums will always be part of the fabric of this country.

For those who are most apt to read electronically, there is now a tidal wave of wireless readers coming ashore.  They boast of instantaneous access to countless thousands of newspapers, books, magazines, blogs, and even, wikipedia.  A civilization is defined by the quality of its education.  It's defined by accessibility to information, but even more importantly, the applicability of information for educational purposes.  We need to become a nation of readers again.  I challenge you to rekindle your love affair with reading.

Paid Survey

One of the most popular work at home money makers today is paid surveys. I'm sure you've seen one of the following ads:

Cash for taking Surveys, Paid Survey, Get Paid for your opinion, Online Paid Surveys, Get Paid To Take Surveys, Take Online Surveys for Cash!

If you are like I was I'm sure your wondering how does one learn how to make money by taking surveys.

The fact is there are many companies that will pay you to participate in Online surveys, focus groups, and product tests. These are market research companies that are paid by large companies to find out what the public feels about their products. They want to know if their advertising campaigns are working and how everyday people feel about their products. Many Major corporations spend a huge amount every year on advertising. So paying you a few dollars to find out if their advertising is working is not that big of a deal and considered money well spent. They hire market research companies and the market research companies send out surveys to everyday people to see what is appealing to the public.

So now that we understand where the money comes from lets move on to how one finds which companies to do business with, because there are many companies that will waste your time and pay you nothing. The best method in my opinion is by either doing alot of major research or finding a reputable company that has done the work for you. There are a few of these companies around and I highlight them on my website. They companies are called Paid Survey database companies. It's easier to research a few of these than the hundreds of survey companies that are currently out there.

The major benefit to these types of programs is that it saves you time and time is money. You could spend hours searching the Internet for Free Survey companies on your own or you can join one of these Survey database companies that have done the leg work for you. I lean toward Paid Survey directory database companies myself, because I felt I could make more taking surveys during the time I would be going through the many Survey companies. Time is money and many of the companies I have on my website charge a modest fee for access to their database.  Online paid survey databases are not free. Paid Survey database companies charge about $35 - $60 for their paid surveys directory.  Again the time you save and the training you get is well worth the modest fee and I'm glad my wife and I chose to use one of these companies. My wife actually does that side of our business.

Okay, we understand how we make money, how to find the survey companies to deals with and now we will deal with the last bit of information, which is how do we start and what do we need to start making money from home taking surveys.

All you will need is a computer, access to the Internet, email address and a few hours a week to put into your new work at home business. I would suggest setting up a separate email address for you survey business. You don' t have to do this, but I like keeping it all separate myself.  You will need a phone line if you want to participate in some of the areas like focus groups. You can choose whether you want to do that portion or not. It's all up to you.

The next thing for you to do is to choose which Paid Survey Database Company you choose to use.  You can either do the research yourself or feel free to access my site whereby you can read and review the research and recommendations I have made.

In summary

1. Review the available Online Survey database Programs

2. Narrow down the choices to 1-3 programs

3. Find out which ones have a money back guarantee

4. Use your charge card if possible for further protection

5. Sign up & start making money!

Softwarelady

Making Money Online - What Separates The Dream From Reality?

The answer? Firstly accepting that making money online is an ongoing process resulting from hard work, patience and knowledge of internet marketing.

If you look for other people to make you money online, by joining their scheme or plan, then sadly, this will be the truth you will have to face again and again: You'll make them money (because they've put the work into building their online business - and know internet marketing - and are patient enough to see the results) whereas YOU will lose your hard earned cash lining someone else's pocket.

How to get resell software?

Buy software one by one or join a membership club?

You can go to eBay or other sites to find resell software. The problem with this is that you are ending up getting many of the same products each time you are buying a product. You must also use much time looking around the web for new products to add to your site.

If you find yourself a serious membership site where you can download  as much as you want for a small fee. You save the time looking for products yourself and can concentrate on selling and making a great site. This is what a good resell seller would do. He would let other find the products for him and concentrate himself on selling and marketing his site.

Who to trust?

There are many schemes out there and finding the right membership site for resell software are not easy. To help you we have tried several sites and we have a winner. The winning site is not the site with most products but this is the site that takes care of you and help you if you need it. The member service are excellent and if you are a "nice" member they will help you with free marketing of your site.

SoftwareLady.com

After joining and sending a couples of emails to the management of SoftwareLady, we where overwhelmed by the service of this site. We therefore decided to give them some extra point in this article. The site have about 200-300 products you can download. Most of the products comes with resell rights and others are for personal use and some you can use in your work. They have just started a forum for peoples dealing with resell products. There are not many post in this forum yet, but its a start.

The good thing about this site is that they add new products all the time, you will therefore always have access to new products. The second thing is that they always help you if they can. After joining them they gave us free submission to 20 search engines and added us to over 500 link directories. The admin of the site wrote in the email with this offer: "We are trying our best to get our members to succeed".  This is the feeling we have about this site.

If you are thinking about starting your own internet business with resell software - www.softwarelady.com is a place to start

Is Freelancing Right For You?

After spending 20 years in corporate America, I decided it was time for a change. It was time to step down from the long hours of laboring for someone else’s benefit, to say “no” to the business trips and after-hours functions, and to begin a new career as a freelance writer. Finally, I’d be able to enjoy the fruits of my own labor, set my hours, and pick and choose my clients and assignments. For the first time, I would be in control, I would be my own boss, and I would write the rule book by which I would play.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? As I’m sure you can guess, becoming a successful freelancer wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be. Instead, it took a lot of patience, persistence and hard work. Whether you are considering becoming a freelance graphic designer, Web master, writer or consultant, here are five points to think about when deciding if freelancing is right for you:

Consider what products or services you’ll offer.

If you enjoy making jewelry, buying and selling real estate or finding priceless collectibles, you may, indeed, have a talent that can translate into a full-time business. If building ant farms or playing online poker is your passion, however, be sure to research the income potential before quitting your day job. Do you have a marketable skill, talent or hobby that you’d like to share with others?

Evaluate your finances.

This step is a critical one, particularly if you are the primary breadwinner in your household. Is it your job that brings in the majority of the income and provides benefits to your family? If so, you can still start your own freelance business, but you will have to plan ahead to ensure your family’s needs are met during the transition from your current job to your new venture. This will not only include managing your current bills, but setting funds aside to invest in your business for equipment, supplies, inventory, staff, marketing, etc. Are you financially prepared to make the necessary sacrifices?

Enlist support.

If you choose to start your own business, you’ll obviously want the support of your family and friends. Take their “you can do it” attitude one step further. Ask for their help answering the phone, sending out mailers, or sharing your business with their friends and acquaintances. In addition, seek out the support of professional groups and organizations in your community as well. Most cities have a chamber of commerce that will allow you to visit once or twice before joining. Other towns have a women’s professional network or marketing group you might join. Do you have a network of support available to you? If so, what will it take to put that network in place?

Assess your personality.

While businesses vary far and wide, the most successful business owners often possess similar traits. Many of us are independent, forward thinking, objective and analytical, while others are creative, passionate, flexible and communicative. We know our products and services, and we know our customers. Above all, we are comfortable making difficult decisions and taking risks. The question is, are you?

Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Through education, experience, and heredity, we have each been blessed with strengths and saddled with weaknesses. It is crucial to each and every business owner to identify those strengths and weaknesses. I suggest getting out a sheet of paper and dividing it in half. On one side, list your strengths – things like “good with people,” “business savvy,” “ability to make solid decisions.” On the other side, list your weaknesses such as “uncomfortable hiring and firing” or “mediocre bookkeeping skills.”

Once you’ve completed both of your lists, ask someone who knows you well (spouse, friend, peer, mentor, etc.) to objectively critique your lists and make adjustments. For example, maybe you don’t think your bookkeeping skills are up to par, but your wife knows your checkbook is always balanced to the penny.

Afterward, carefully consider your strengths and weaknesses. Make your strengths your greatest assets. If you are good with people, for example, you should be your company’s key spokesperson. If you are creative, assist in the design of your Web site and marketing materials. If you are not particularly business savvy or if you just hate working with numbers, however, consider outsourcing some of those management tasks to an outside firm. Let someone else hire key staff or perform regular bookkeeping. Are you willing to relinquish control enough to maximize your strengths while delegating the other tasks to professionals?

After carefully evaluating these five points and assessing your resources, you should be able to make a sound decision about whether or not a freelance business is right for you. Best wishes to you for many years of freelance success!

Liquidation Wholesalers Buy and Sell Stock

When it comes to inventory, buyers and sellers face similar dilemmas. For the individual or business that sells goods on eBay, in discount stores, or at flea markets, it's a challenge to find high quality products at wholesale prices. For the business or manufacturer that has surplus merchandise or who is on the verge of going bankrupt, it's a challenge to find wholesalers who will buy entire stocklots.

Liquidation Wholesalers

Liquidation wholesalers serve an important function for both buyers and sellers. They buy huge quantities of clearance items, bankrupt stock, surplus stock, overstock, and end of lines from businesses and manufacturers, and then resell it in smaller lots to individuals and businesses. The customer base for a company that sells liquidated stock can include other wholesalers, online merchants, garden centres, grottos, retail shops, market traders, and even those who do car boot sales.

If you are a business owner or an individual looking for high-quality products at bargain prices, you need a liquidation wholesaler. If you're new to the liquidation scene, here are some things to keep in mind.

Variety of Products

Liquidation wholesalers buy from a variety of sources, including large importers, local and regional manufacturers, and bankrupt businesses. Because liquidation wholesalers deal in bankrupt stock, overstock, and end of lines, they have a wide range of product types. They may have seasonal merchandise, jewelry and fashion accessories, tools and hardware, decorative items, pet products, car products, bathroom items, and kitchenware. Virtually everything you find in a retail store will eventually make its way into a liquidation warehouse.

Ever-Changing Products

The most successful liquidation wholesalers go through an enormous quantity of stock. Indeed, their success lies in their ability to buy huge lots, warehouse them, sell them, and ship them at a breakneck pace. For that reason, the wholesale inventory that's available is constantly changing. You might be able to buy candles and candle holders one week, but once they're sold, they're gone. That's why it's important to keep checking liquidation wholesalers' available stock. If possible, work with a wholesaler that offers a mailing list, and who will send you email newsletters about special offers and new lines that have arrived.

Quantities

Many people assume that, in order to buy from liquidation wholesalers, they have to buy whole pallets of a single product. To the contrary, there are some liquidators that sell products by the case. Because you don't have to commit to buying thousands of the same product, you can easily add variety to your own offerings.

Prices

Because liquidation wholesalers buy their stock so inexpensively, and because they are motivated to sell it quickly, you can get unprecedented bargains on high-value items. For example, you might be able to buy 120 wallpaper borders by a well-known designer for only Ј1.20 or 48 porcelain dolls for only Ј12.00.

Where to Find Wholesalers

Like most businesses, liquidation wholesalers are opening up their customer bases through the Internet. Because their stock is stored in warehouses, potential customers can't browse in showrooms. The Internet, however, is the perfect medium for both liquidators and those who want to buy stock, since pictures of items can be viewed and transactions can be performed online. After a transaction is completed, the stock is shipped to the buyer, and the liquidator makes room for more products.

Turning to a wholesale liquidator is the perfect solution for both those who need to sell quantities of stock and those who wish to buy merchandise for resale.

How to Keep Your Laptop Out of Thieves’ Hands

Here are six guidelines to help you avoid seeing your notebook PC disappear!

So there you are, rushing to catch a plane. You've got an important presentation on your laptop, along with sensitive company and personal information. And then, suddenly, it's gone.

Either you've lost it, or it's been stolen.

Airports and hotels are favourite places for thieves. Laptops disappear from both and that's bad enough. But often, irreplaceable data has gone with them. According to Safeware, an insurance agency specialising in insuring high-tech equipment, in the US alone 591,000 laptops vanished in 2001.

None of this has to happen to you. But you have to be extra careful today. With the increased security at airports, losing track of a laptop is easier than ever. Here are six guidelines to help you avoid seeing your notebook PC disappear — or, if it does, help you find it or get a quick replacement.

Tips for Getting Through Security Checks

Oddly, some airports have collected stacks of laptops. They're left behind by harried passengers in security areas. Most are reclaimed eventually. But some people never come back for their machines.

Obviously, you've got to allow yourself plenty of time when you fly. When I travel, I carry my laptop in a backpack. There's lots of room in there, and it's inconspicuous. I see fashionable businesspeople carrying laptops in expensive cases. They're asking for trouble. Those cases say, "Laptop! Laptop! Steal me!"

Security people most likely will want to check the laptop. If possible, handle it yourself, rather than having them do it.

Don't be afraid to speak up. You don't need your machine damaged.

Be sure your battery is charged. The security people may well want to turn on the machine. Most important, don't let it out of your sight. This becomes especially difficult if you are selected for a random head-to-toe check.

Once on board your flight, put the computer — safely stowed in your bag — under the seat in front of you. Try to avoid putting it in the overhead bin. Others will have more access to it there.

Have Sensitive Data? Encrypt It

If you have sensitive information on your computer, consider encrypting it. If you have Windows XP, you already have the tools needed. While the thief has your machine, these extra steps will make it much more difficult to access the laptop's data.

Encryption will protect your business secrets, but it won't retrieve your data. To do that, you've got to back up your information to another computer. If you run your own server, you can easily upload files to it.

You don't have to back up everything on the laptop. Just copy the files you will need to the server. If your laptop should be stolen on your trip, you may be able to borrow a computer at your destination and download your important files. Finding time for backups is a pain, I know. But they can save you.

Make Your MP3 Player do Double-Duty

If you don't have a server, or don't want to back up to it, take a look at MP3 players. Some today have huge hard drives. They are easily hooked to a laptop through the USB or FireWire ports. The data can then be copied to the MP3 player. These things can copy any data, not just MP3s.

Trace a Stolen Laptop's Location

If your laptop does get stolen, wouldn't it be great if the system could do the high-tech equivalent of phoning home? There are programs that will report the location of a stolen laptop. They work when the laptop connects to the internet.

Security experts also say that engraving your name on the computer is helpful. That will make it more difficult to sell on so thieves may look elsewhere.

Set a System Password

Every road warrior should protect their laptop with a start-up password. This way, a system password prompt will appear each time you start your computer before Windows even begins to load. It will prohibit any access to the computer at all.

To create a system password, you'll need to access your computer's setup utility (also known as BIOS settings, which stands for "Basic Input/Output System"). Typically you do this by pressing Delete, Esc or F1 as soon as you turn on the computer. Check the manual though, as some computers are different.

Consider Laptop PC Insurance

If your laptop is expensive (and aren't they all?) you might want to insure it. Some homeowners, renters and business insurance policies don't cover computers, and if they do, there may be many conditions attached.

Today's laptops are ripe targets for thieves. If you follow these basic guidelines along with some good common sense, you won't have to give yours up.

Podcasting – What Is It? How Can It Help Me?

Podcasting is a new way to get your message out to millions of people without costing you an arm and a leg.  A podcast is a digital media file that gets distributed over the internet using syndicated feeds for playback later and can be downloaded to a portable media player or computer.  Listeners can also subscribe to your podcast so that when you record a new one and publish it to the internet they are notified and can download it for their listening pleasure or a fee if you choose to go that route.

How can podcasting help your business?  The ways are limitless so instead of having a blog a million pages long and boring no less, we are going to highlight two of the best reasons, in my opinion of course, here.  Reason number 1?  You are in complete control! No one will tell you what you have to record, you control what your listeners hear, how long the cast is and who is allowed to listen to your message.  Reason Number 2?  It’s easy and you can do it for free!  What is better than growing your business and doing it affordably?  There are programs out there that let you record and edit your audio files for free like www.audacity.com.  If you want to pay for a program they come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges.

To reach your target audience you will want to do some research to find the appropriate place to link your site and then get it out to all the RSS feeders that you can.  If you don’t know what an RSS is that’s alright.  An RSS is Really Simple Syndication and is how your podcast is syndicated and found by others on the internet. Many websites today will have RSS somewhere on them with a logo or icon.  When you click on this little logo you will be able to subscribe to the feed and be notified when there are updates and new content available. It is an easy way to get updates without having to manually visit a web page or blog to check for updates or news.

Having your podcast associated with an RSS feed will allow those listeners that have subscribed to your feed to be notified automatically and immediately when you have new information.  No more sending emails out to everyone individually, this saves you time and therefore money!

Podcasting is yet another wave of the future.  To get ahead and reach more people than ever you need to grab your board and ride the waves into the next age of technology.  Surf’s Up!

Tips for Window Cleaning

Windows appears to be fine and superlative if they are clean. Cleaning should be done on a regular basis, at least twice a year.

Given below are some useful techniques for cleaning a window:

•      Clean one part of a window with the horizontal strokes and the other part with the vertical strokes. By doing this, you can identify which area of the window have a streak.

•      To steer clear of streaks on a large window, employ squeegee. Situate it at the top of the window and pull down effortlessly. The trick for no streaks with the squeegee is to introduce a dry rubber blade on the dry window.

•      Bring a flexible toothbrush or cotton swab in use to clean the corners.

•      To give a superfluous shine to the window glass, polish it with the well-washed cotton T-shirts or old cloth diapers. Or else rub a clean blackboard eraser over a freshly rinsed and dried out window to furnish it a brilliant shine.

•      Polishing windows with the wrinkled newspaper will provide a luminous shine. Besides, it leaves a film which is resistant to dirt.

•      When you have to clean the soil, grease or the other debris from your window panes, use a product such as baking soda, ammonia, or washing soda.

•      Make certain that you dry out your windows in one direction only, leftwards or rightwards as mingling of the direction will not give a tidy look.

•      If you are cleaning the window sills, scrape the entire surface through the wet cloth sprayed with alcohol so that all the spots get cleared.

By following these tips, you can view the world from a clean perspective which will come into sight as rose-tinted glasses.

Avoid Sticker Shock when Buying Ink Cartridges

Over the past year, I've had the dubious pleasure of buying two different printers: a black-and-white laser printer and a dual-purpose copier and color inkjet printer. My laser printer gets a good workout on a daily basis, while I usually reserve my color inkjet printer for photos.

Although both printers are well made and carry brand names (HP and Brother), they were incredibly inexpensive. In fact, one of the primary reasons I bought both was because of their bargain prices. Imagine my chagrin, then, when I had to replace the toner cartridges in my laser and the ink cartridges in my inkjet, and discovered that each cartridge cost about half of what I paid for the printer.

I quickly - and correctly - surmised that printer manufacturers sell printers at or below the cost of making them, and generate profits from the sale of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink cartridges. With dire warnings of possible damage to the printer or voiding the printer warranty, the manufacturers insist that consumers buy only OEM printer cartridges. I resented being gouged by their inflated prices, and so did some of my own research about OEM print cartridges and alternatives. Here's what I discovered:

Option One: Compatible Ink Cartridges

Contrary to popular belief, compatible ink cartridges are not recycled. Rather, they are brand new, generic versions of OEM cartridges. They have all of the quality and reliability of OEM cartridges, but cost only a fraction of the price.

Option Two: Remanufactured Print Cartridges

As the name implies, remanufactured ink cartridges are, indeed, recycled. However, the old cartridges aren't simply refilled. Rather, they are disassembled, inspected, cleaned, reassembled, filled with ink, and individually print tested to meet or surpass the specifications associated with OEM ink cartridges.

Cost Savings

I was astounded when I saw the price differences between OEM, compatible, and remanufactured ink cartridges. For example, one black and one colour ink cartridge for an HP DeskJet 920C might cost Ј50.45 for the OEM cartridges, but only Ј16.95 for remanufactured cartridges. A pack of four ink cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, and yellow) for the Brother DCP117C might cost Ј31.80 for OEM, but only Ј8.95 for the compatible version. Over the lifetime of a printer, those kinds of savings really add up!

Cartridge Life

Typically, remanufactured ink cartridges have a shorter "shelf life" than OEM or compatible cartridges. A remanufactured cartridge will be good for about six months, whereas a compatible cartridge is vacuum-sealed and will be viable for years.

Suppliers

I also discovered that it's important to purchase compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges from a reputable dealer. When shopping online, look for a supplier that uses top-quality ink, has been in business several years, offers free UK delivery, and doesn't require a minimum order.

Medical Innovations Via Modern Machine Tool Technology

Massive advancements have been made in the cost and the quality of orthopedic devices, implant devices and many other medical components. These advancements have been supported, and in many cases made possible, by the modernization of equipment and manufacturing investments in the medical products industry.

Injected molded plastic parts, such as artificial knee and hip joints, specially engineered small - to medium-sized medical parts, and plastic injected syringes, pill containers and breathing apparatus devices are all essential to modern medicine and personal health care. Implant devices such as artificial hip joints are frequently made from strong, tough but hard to machine titanium and cobalt chrome stainless steel.

Much of this technological improvement simply would not have been possible without the machine tool advancements that have occurred to help generate these medical applications. And many of those industries and jobs are located in the heartland of America, according to applications engineers at Makino, a global provider of advanced machine tool technology.

This is an area of future manufacturing growth. One major designer and developer of cardiovascular medical products, such as leads that connect to life-saving devices such as implantable defibrillators and pacemakers, says the intricacy of modern machine tools makes all its work possible. The small, detailed shapes with exceptional finishes demanded by modern health industry consumers simply could not be made without the work performed by modern CNC machine tools.

Health care and orthopedic health professionals recognize that technologically progressive equipment and methods are vital to making continued advancements toward superior health care in the United States. Prioritizing the investment in machine tool technology will yield even greater health care benefits and options to an aging American population that continues to grow.

How Do You Measure Success?

How Successful are you? It all depends on the way you look at your life, and what you consider to be truly successful. It also depends on what you use to measure these different valued achievements. Certainly we all have our own priorities, lifestyles, and goals, but there are ways to measure success in your life that are healthier than others.

For example, would you consider a person who is extremely wealthy, with a mortgage paid off, three luxury cars, a pool, a tennis court, and a high-status job to be successful? What if that same person had a terrible disease or suffered from chronic pain? What if the anxiety from the job that gave the person so much money felt like slow torture? What if that person spent so much time earning money and making luxury purchases that s/he never had enough time to enjoy those items, or even meet a potential spouse?

Conversely, would you consider a person successful if he or she was living under the poverty line, and never knows where tonight’s dinner will come from, let alone how rent will be made at the end of the month? What if that person was married to the love of their lives, was working their dream job, had lots of friends, was as healthy as anyone could be, and didn’t mind a bit of financial risk?

It’s funny how the results change when you look at the different details, or from a different light.

The primary misconception that many people have is that money or monetary gain is synonymous with success. But when we look at things from another angle, it’s easier to see the successes in one’s life for what they truly are. Instead of thinking about dollar amounts, try looking at the following three powerful measures for your success:

Living your life’s purpose

Planting seeds of hope, inspiration, and encouragement in others

Making the most of every day to achieve your true potential

When you consider a successful life on these terms, it’s much easier to find the motivation that you need in your life both at home, and in your business. Then again, changing your entire life view of success isn’t something that is entirely easy – unless you know exactly how to do it.

Best Merchant Services

A High-risk merchant account is a merchant account service provided to internet merchants that have been declared "high-risk" by Visa and MasterCard. This is owing to the nature of their businesses, that have a high credit rate or a high turnover but also, an increased risk of fraud and chargebacks.

Characteristically, it's very hard for high risk and non-US businesses to obtain a merchant account. High risk merchant accounts offered by different service providers allow International Merchants to privately process their credit card transactions and have the proceeds sent to an offshore bank account. The fees are higher for offshore/high risk credit card processing.

Credit card processors are likely to reject you if your business is considered high-risk. The aim is to locate a credit card processor that gets you approved and has you up and accepting credit cards quickly and efficiently, with either a high risk merchant account or an international merchant account.

Examples of high risk merchant accounts include pharmaceuticals, telemarketing, infomercials, travel industries, online dating, replica, gaming etc. Some of these are considered more high risk than others.

High risk merchant accounts are available with international banks. A merchant has to do the following to obtain a direct account if their merchant account is considered high risk:

1. Incorporated in the bank’s jurisdictions (this requirement is based on credit card operating regulations)

2. Have 6 months of existing processing history (preferable the last 6 months)

3. Chargebacks in the last 6 months must be less than 1 %.

4. Pay the required set up fees

5. Provide principal’s passport, business incorporation documents - some jurisdictions require a local nominee director’s passport and a utility bill of the nominee director. This is done to avoid cross border issues.

6. The merchant website has to be in compliance to Visa and MasterCard requirements

These merchant accounts can also be classified as offshore high risk merchant accounts, international merchant accounts, and high volume merchant accounts.

The other option if you do not have processing history and you do not want pay the expensive of incorporation in the bank’s jurisdiction, you can always get a third party merchant account. A third party merchant account’s underwriting is less stringent and is set up much faster than a direct account.

Five Best Practices For Dominating The Search Engines

It is possible to achieve Page 1 listings on search engines

without ever submitting your website.  If you follow the five

best practices for dominating the search engines that are

described in the two parts of this article, then you will

have a good chance of a high listing, although you will have

to adapt the information to suit your own particular website.

The first part, this one, explains the importance of website

design and the use of keywords. The second part will discuss

contextual relevance to the topic, commonly called LSI, the

importance of links to your website and the fact that you

cannot allow your website to remain static.  You must keep

updating it.

Before you can apply search engine optimization to your site,

you must understand how search engines view it. Let's discuss

Google, as being representative of a true search engine

rather than a website directory.  It is the most used search

engine, and also the one that appears to set the standards

for search and listing criteria.

Google does not list websites, OK?  Get that understood right

now.  Google lists web pages. Theoretically, ten of your web

pages could monopolize the first page for any particular

search term. This is important because it means that you

should make every single page of your website as attractive

to search engines as possible.  However let's consider your

home page as being representative of your website and the

page that Google finds first.

WEBSITE DESIGN IS CRUCIAL

So what are these magical five best practices? The first is

the design of your website. When the search engines check out

your site, they use algorithms, or mathematical formulae,

that apply statistical rules to what they find.  These are

commonly called 'crawlers' or 'spiders'.  I will use the term

'spiders'.  When you design your site, you must make it easy

for spiders to crawl around it.

Spiders are slaves, and follow instructions to the letter.

If you tell it to go to point A, it will go to point A. It

won't wonder if that's the best thing to do - it will go

right there. If it lands at point A and you tell it to go to

point B, it will do that as well.  Now, think what that

means.  If point A is another page on your website, and point

B is a page on somebody else's website, where does the spider

end up?  That's right, you've got it!

When a spider lands on your web page, it does so at the top

left of the first column in the first table.  It then crawls

along from left to right until it reaches the end of the

column, then goes to the next column and so on.  It then goes

to any nested tables, again from left to right and so on.

Using that information, you can draw a spider's web using

your HTML:  spiders are monolingual - they only read HTML,

not Java or Flash or any other script.

Using the information above you should be able to work out a

path on your website that will lead spiders to where you want

them to go. The easier a spider can scuttle round your site

the more pleased it will be with it.  However, as hinted

above, don't lead it off your site: it might just stay there!

There are ways to lock certain doors to spiders but that is

for Part 2.

KEYWORDS ARE SPIDER FOOD - DON'T GET THEM FAT!

Do you remember when you were told to use a keyword density

of 1% - 3% on each page?  Well forget it!  That's nonsense.

First of all let's look at what a keyword is.  Have you ever

used Google, or any other search engine, to find some

information?  Of course you have !  Did you do what I do, and

think of the best wording you can use in the box to describe

what you want and wonder if these were the best words to use?

You probably did, and like me either got what you wanted or

had to type in something else. Do you know what?  Each of the

search terms you used was a 'keyword'.  That's right, a

keyword can be a phrase as well as a single word.  A keyword,

in fact, is any term that a Google user enters into the

search box hoping to get the information they need.

Therefore, when you are adding keywords to your web pages,

you are adding words or phrases that you hope others are

using to find the information you have on that web page.

Remember that Google lists every web page separately.

What this means is that to maximize the traffic to your web

pages you have to figure out what keywords Google users will

use to find your website.  There are tools to help you do

that, such as the free Google Keyword Tool and Digital Point

Keyword Tool, and the paid for Wordtracker.  Check them out

and decide what suits you best.  Keyword research is a big

subject, far too big for this article, but that is a rough

idea of what is involved.

Use your keyword in your title and heading, once in the first

100 characters in the main body text, and once in the last

paragraph.  No more, though you can add it once every 500

words.  And that's it. More information on the use of words

that relate to your keywords will be given in Part 2.

Applying For Merchant Accounts

For most businesses, a merchant account is essential to economic growth. Providing business owners with a way to accept credit and/or debit cards, gift cards and other forms of electronic payments, merchant accounts are commonly referred to simply as credit card or payment processing. As a general rule, any merchant who accepts payment in exchange for goods or services must apply for a merchant account if they wish to accept electronic payments. Surprisingly, however, not everyone is approved for merchant accounts. One example of a potential problem could be a business owner who has little or no credit or even a poor credit history may find it difficult to obtain a merchant account.

For many online entrepreneurs, PayPal has revolutionized the way people do business. An online payment system that allows you to instantly send or receive payments using a credit card or checking account, PayPal does not require that its users have a merchant account nor do they perform a credit check prior to issuing an account. In a nutshell, anyone with any type of credit history can sign up for a PayPal account and begin accepting electronic payments within minutes.

For those who do not use the internet, but rather need merchant accounts for in-store payment processing, you will find that there are fees that accompany each credit card payment. The actual cost will vary among providers, but the fees are always present. Among the common fees charged include transaction, authorization, statement, monthly minimum and chargeback fees. A chargeback fee is automatically charged to the business owner if they process a credit card payment that is ultimately denied for any reason. In this scenario, the business owner would then be responsible for having their customer pay the chargeback fee in order to compensate the business for its cost.

In order to apply for merchant accounts, business owners must be able to provide a valid business license, description of the company, business location and other verifiable information used to perform a credit check on the owner. Upon approval, the bank will issue a credit card terminal and/or other equipment that will be used to process payments. Depending on the terms of the agreement, the equipment may or may not remain the property of the issuing bank.

When deciding where to apply for merchant accounts, business owners should consider starting at the bank where they already have a personal account. This will enable them to do business with a bank that they are already familiar with and they may find that their past responsibility in handling their own account may carry substantial weight when applying for merchant accounts from the same institution.

Go Lean To Eliminate Waste

Surplus inventory is one of the seven "muda" or wasteful processes identified in the lean manufacturing methodology. Eliminating them can be applied to any manufacturing or production process to achieve performance improvement.

Raw materials, work in progress and finished product ties up valuable capital into the production chain when it could be released for better use within the business. Handling and storage utilizes valuable space, takes up time and resources and adds even more costs. Shortening production lead times and reducing handling and storage tasks releases capital and cash.

Leading manufacturers have found that modular and adaptable carts, trolleys and lineside storage facilities can help to introduce flexible processes and deliver materials and components to the lineside when they are needed to align production more closely with demand.

Modular systems enable rapid implementation and reconfiguration. New or temporary applications can be built quickly and adapted easily to meet changing process requirements. This means that the overall cost of implementation and ownership is reduced because all components can be re-used for new applications.

Carts and trolleys can be designed to carry precise numbers of specific items to the lineside. Parts supermarkets can be created at the lineside and replenished frequently when stocks fall below predetermined levels. The overall result is that the amount of inventory in the supply chain can be reduced. Manufacturers can also introduce greater agility into their processes to respond more quickly to changing customer demands.

Reduce wasteful production movements

Another of the seven "muda" is unnecessary handling and storage movements. Unnecessary movement in the working area adds to the time taken to complete a task which reduces productivity and adds to costs. It occurs when items such as tools, equipment and components are positioned so that staff have to walk, reach or stretch to collect or handle them.

To avoid these wasteful movements, modular workstations and storage areas can be configured ergonomically so that items are in the correct position and close to hand whenever they are needed. The savings in movements achieved by staff reduce the overall time taken to complete a task or process and this contributes to increased productivity and performance.

Ergonomic production and storage areas also present staff with fewer distractions which means they are less likely to make mistakes and this helps improve overall quality.

Adaptable workstations and parts supermarkets can be designed to take up the correct space - no more, no less - to accommodate the specific manufacturing process. In addition to improving ergonomics this helps increase overall production density because more workstations or manufacturing cells can be fitted into the same space which reduces the cost of each.

To incorporate or not to incorporate?

To incorporate or not to incorporate?

It seems that more companies feel the need to incorporate than ever before. In today's society,  just everybody can sue and everybody can be sued and that makes a corporation all the more attractive. However, there are unfortunately more obstacles surrounding incorporation than ever before. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation? Is it right for your company?

First off, incorporation might be the best decision for one company and the worst decision for another! There is not just one right answer out there. The key is to determine what liability concerns you have in particular and what tax benefits you desire and then find out if incorporation will help your company fulfill its goals better.

Probably the biggest benefit of incorporation goes to the company's owner. Once a company becomes a corporation, it essentially becomes a separate entity and its owner will only have limited liability as a result. Don't think that this gets individual shareholders out of the clear, though! Shareholders can be held liable in many circumstances; they can't always hide behind the corporation.

There are many other benefits, though. Investors are drawn to corporations, and for some companies, investors are invaluable. Not only will investors buy stock in your company, but your employees can have stock options as well. Your employees also might be happier working for a corporation because corporations are forced to be well-organized and consequently, are very efficient.

Still, there are a handful of glaring disadvantages of incorporation that you should also consider. While hopefully a corporation will run like a well-oiled machine, it takes a long time to build that machine. And time is money. Incorporation is a process that all must be entirely committed to. A company doesn't turn into a corporation over night!

Even after the process of incorporation is over, it can be a real headache to those in charge, as they must welcome a lot of bureaucracy into their company. Many decisions and practices are standardized for corporations across the country and this means your employees might have to go to a regular meeting every week that they didn't have to go to before. It's no secret, but small companies are a lot more personal and easygoing than corporations.

There's also the whole tax issue. While incorporation can sometimes lead to some great tax benefits (which you'll want to research on your own), it can also lead your company into some financial difficulties. Whether or not taxes get better or worse for your company depends on your specific situation, but don't assume tax benefits will be waiting for you just around the corner if you incorporate.

Will incorporation make your company bigger, better, and more secure? Probably. But what is the price you will pay for a sturdier company? If you don't have many concerns about liability and your autonomous company is performing quite well, then there might be more cons than pros to incorporation. So, when deciding whether or not to incorporate, just remember to take into consideration every aspect of your company.

How to Diffuse Cold Calling Pressure Points

Stop your expectations from sabotaging cold calls.

Sales pressure is a mighty saboteur. And it comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Beginning any conversation with the anticipation of a sale puts the whole conversation under pressure. This doesn’t normally create good outcomes. It usually triggers pressure, resistance, and tension.

People have received so many calls with such a strong focus on sales that they respond in a defensive manner to any sales calls at all. If you can release your expectations while making a cold call, you’ll diffuse the underlying tension that comes with sales pressure. And you’ll be surprised how often others will welcome talking with you.

Most of us truly believe that our product or service can help others, so we assume that anyone who fits the profile of a potential client should buy what we have to offer. Isn’t that one of the first things we learn in our sales training?

But this is a recipe for disaster when it comes to cold calling. When we make a call assuming someone will be interested, we’ve automatically moved into expectations. No matter how well camouflaged they are, sales expectations block the flow of natural conversation and put pressure on the other person.

So move away from making any assumptions when making cold calls. After all, how much sense is it to have assumptions about someone you’ve never spoken with? How much can you possibly know about their problems, issues, needs, budget, or other key information?

If you approach your calls from a place of genuine interest rather than expectations, you’ll diffuse any sense of sales pressure. The other individual will relax and the interaction will flow naturally.

However, if you’re already convinced in your own mind that they should be a fit, certain pressure has already started before the conversation has really even begun. The last thing you want is to introduce this into the conversation. So rather than moving into a sales presentation immediately, maintain the natural flow of interaction instead.

You can diffuse underlying sales pressure within any conversation by focusing first on whether you are a good fit. Invite the other person to focus on this with you. And determine together whether a good business relationship might genuinely be possible.

When our honest objective is not to make a sale but rather discover the truth of the situation, we have released expectations. The key is to offer options, so the person we’re talking with doesn’t feel pressure from us. This would only trigger the defensive reactions we’re trying to avoid.

Overcome the temptation to immediately discuss what you have to offer. Instead, help the other person overcome the fear of who you are and what is expected. Potential clients are much more likely to respond to you when they are not subjected to an immediate mini-presentation. This approach usually just creates suspicion and rejection.

So allow the conversation to have a natural sense of rhythm. Define mutual interest before launching into a description of your solution to a problem you probably know very little about at this point.

If you’re still caught up in the traditional mindset of making the sale, your voice and demeanor will be full of expectation. Although you may even be using the "asking questions strategy," you are really thinking about moving the conversation into the sales process. Others will subtly (or overtly) react to this expectation with resistance.

It’s perfectly fine to describe your product or service. However, you must introduce this at an appropriate time.

So be relaxed and low-key. Otherwise you risk introducing sales pressure immediately.

Rather than a presentation, you might begin with the question, "Hi, maybe you can help me out a second?"

The person will almost always respond by saying "Sure.  How can I help you?" You’ve now diffused any immediate sales pressure. You’re being genuine and not using the canned phrases that every other salesperson is using. You’ve gotten rid of the usual initial pressure and tension that comes along with sales expectations.

When your expectations are released, others won’t feel you’re trying to lead them down the path to a sale.  They are usually willing to examine along with you whether a business relationship might be good.

So there you have it. Release your expectations to avoid conveying a sense of sales pressure. Potential clients become more interested and involved as a result, and also much more truthful about where they stand.

Turn Your PC Into a Filing Cabinet

It'll get you closer to the dream of a paperless office

Guidance for Workplace PC Users

One of the big dreams of PC aficionados 20-plus years ago was the paperless office. Why would you need paper if you had everything saved on a disk? So much for that dream. We're a long way from saving the forests.

But here's my goal for you today: I want to convince you that, to a large degree, your office filing cabinets are wasting space. Paper is a pain in the neck. Theoretically, you could get rid of every scrap of it. You can store a record of everything you do in your computer. And finding it is easier than digging through a filing cabinet.

Let's get started.

Step 1: Understand Windows Explorer )

There are two parts of the Microsoft Windows operating system that you really should understand. One is the desktop. That's what you see when you turn on the computer. You probably have a grip on that already.

The other is Windows Explorer. That's where all your files are listed.

You use the Start button to find Windows Explorer. For Windows Me and XP, click Start&gt;Programs or All Programs&gt;Accessories&gt;Windows Explorer. If you're still using Windows 98, click Start&gt;Programs&gt;Windows Explorer.

When you open Windows Explorer, you'll find the screen is split into left and right panes. The stuff on the left is folders; the things on the right are subfolders or files. If you click once on a folder, the subfolders and files within that folder are displayed on the right.

The folder section on the left is called a "tree." It could be better described as an "upside-down tree." Near the top, you'll find the root folder, usually C:. Everything grows from that. The most important thing under C: is My Documents. That's where you store your documents. The other thing you should be aware of is Program Files.

When you install an application — Microsoft Word or whatever — it will normally go under Program Files. Some programs install directly under C:, but they are the exceptions. So, if you ever need to dig into the folders in Microsoft Word or another program, you'll probably find them under Program Files.

Step 2: Reclaim the My Documents folder )

Microsoft includes more than one My Documents folder in Windows Explorer. Why? Beats me. But you could use any My Documents folder you find on your drive. To avoid confusion, just use one. I'll focus on the one under C:.

You can set up My Documents the way you do a filing cabinet. Think about that cabinet: Your top drawer might be "Important Letters." Inside, you might have letters to your customers, arranged by folders. Each customer would have a folder. Your second drawer could be marked "Invoices to Customers." Again, the folders inside would be individualized for your customers.

So here's how you set up My Documents the same way:

Click once on My Documents, highlighting it. Click File&gt;New&gt;Folder. Give the new folder the name "Important Letters." Be sure the Important Letters folder shows on the left side, under My Documents.

Now, click once on the Important Letters folder. Click File&gt;New&gt;Folder. Give the new folder the name of a customer. Do this for each of your customers.

Follow the same procedure for invoices. Create a new folder under My Documents and name it "Invoices to Customers." Then create subfolders for Invoices to Customers, and give each the name of a customer.

You can create as many folders under My Documents as you like. And you can create lots of subfolders. In fact, you can add subfolders to subfolders to subfolders, if you like. This method of filing is flexible.

Paper documents you receive, as opposed to those you generate, are more problematic. If you have a scanner, you can scan them into your system. Otherwise, you might want to continue to file them. The same is true of newspaper clippings and other pieces of paper. They can be scanned if you want to digitize everything. But you might find traditional filing handier.

Step 3: What hardware do I need? )

You probably have enough space on your hard drive to store the Library of Congress. Hard drives have grown exponentially in recent years. Unless you're storing huge video files, you probably don't have a space-limitation issue.

It's easy to check your space situation. Click Start and My Computer. Right-click C: and click Properties. Your hard drive information is on the General tab.

Checking mine, I find that I have 4.76 gigabytes of data. Much of that is Windows and other applications. I also have thousands of personal files, because I store everything I write. Even so, I have 33.5 GB of empty space. This hard drive will turn to dust before I fill it!

Meanwhile, assuming you commit your business life to your hard drive, you must protect it. Do that with data backups. Then, if a hard drive fails, you can restore the data to a new hard drive.

Hard drives are very reliable today. But you should never take chances with your business. The world is already tough enough!

If you don't feel comfortable diving in, start slowly. Put just a few of your files under My Documents. I think you'll find Windows Explorer easy to use.

You may never drive paper out of your life. But you can certainly reduce it, and maybe save a tree or two.

A Change in Career a Change in You

Some of us are lucky (or unlucky) enough to start our own business, we work all the hours under the sun and moon and think that this is it, this is going to make me, I will be happy and have no worries about bills and the future. Sadly,it's not quite like that. If you're into manual labour you generally end up with no money and all sorts of

ailments like back pain, trapped nerves (very painful!) or even the odd limb missing. All from slogging your guts out 24/7! And if you do find that job you always wanted?

Are you still there? I'll bet your not or you won't be in the near future. Why? Because you aren't getting the appreciation you feel you deserve, you know you do a good job, and you know you could do it better but something's stopping you, stopping you from progressing and stopping you.

Why is this? Have we been brought up to be like this? For the average person we weren't taught how to look after our bodies or our minds at school, we were doing homework on Arithmetic's, English, French, Geology and Physics to name a few, all good if you knew what you were going to do in life! Society didn't teach us how to make money or be happy or to look after ourselves, it just taught the basics so that we could fit in.

But fitting in doesn't work!.....we all have that built in desire to be successful, to be better than we are, it's only with us for a certain period of time and you know when

it's running out, it's inbuilt, we are human and it's natural. You have to take a look at yourself and almost go back to school, your school! Do it the way you want to be taught not how society taught you.

Your school, what is your school?..........It's anything you want it to be!

You just need knowledge, only WITH THIS TIME its knowledge you want to learn and you can get enthralled in. You can work any amount of hours in the day as little or as much as you want, but the big difference is that you will be enthralled with your new venture, you will want to work all the hours life allows (and your family) and the

appreciation will come from yourself.

Your life that has passed by (which goes too quick in my book) has gained you a wealth of knowledge that YOU know, that you can pass on to others that need that information.

Information that is valuable and easy for you to convey to others, it's called a niche.

So you see, to all those out there with yearn and the willpower (and we all have it, it's natural) you have an opportunity that no society has had before us. The world is a small village, and the reason for that s.......................... the INTERNET.