Basic eCommerce Fundamentals

Basic eCommerce Fundamentals

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

Basic eCommerce Fundamentals

eCommerce can be VERY complex. To offer a world-class customer experience, retailers must incorporate technologies and functionality that exceeds rising customer expectations.

On the flip side, however, site fundamentals still play a very large role in converting visitors into customers. Many retailers surprisingly lose sight of these site basics and leave significant sales on the table. This brief examines 4 quick “fundamentals” every eCommerce manager cannot afford to lose sight of.

Think Fast

Speed has become less of a problem due to the penetration of broadband, but don’t forget that a significant number of people still shop by a dial-up connection. When creating a site framework, designers and e-commerce teams should ensure that the site is developed with pages loading in less than 9 seconds (over a dial-up connection).

Our recommended page size is within 60-70k in bytes. At that amount, sites will likely load within the maximum wait time of 9 seconds. Online retailers should avoid flash at all costs within their transactional site. Flash’s artistic aspects may help you establish a brand presence – but it will likely lose potential customers before they have even searched within your store.

Image is important

Images are a very important aspect of selling online and are often neglected. All product images should be of the highest resolution possible, be much larger than the product page original, and have

multiple views. Dynamic imaging capabilities can improve the user experience to an even higher level by increasing interactivity (zoom & rotate). At a minimum – retailers should have at least two additional views outside of the product page image to help build emotion.

Be my guest

Shoppers do not like being forced to do anything, especially when they are ready to open their wallets. Forcing a shopper to register on your site before purchasing can drive a portion of your traffic to your competitors. Too often, shoppers do not have the time or the inclination to fill out a lengthy form explaining what types of information they desire.

When possible offer the ability to check out as a guest. You will see less customer leakage within the checkout process and can still offer the option to register when the sale is completed.

Make sure it’s “above the fold”

Your homepage is the most important page within your eCommerce store. It sets the initial tone for the shopping experience and offers your best promotions and products to your visitors. Users typically visually scan a web page from top to bottom and then from left to right.

Abandoned Cart Notifications – The following is provided courtesy of Shopify:

Why Online Retailers Are Losing 67.45% of Sales and What to Do About It

You’re losing money. We haven’t even met, yet I know this because the data supports it; that each and every day you’re losing potential orders on your website. Cart abandonment causes online retailers a great deal of pain. How much pain?

According to Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Think about that. For every 100 potential customers, 67 of them will leave without purchasing. How much would your revenues increase if you were capturing those sales instead of losing them?

Let’s look at a quick example. If you’re currently making $15,000/mo in online revenue and could turn just 25% of those abandoned orders into sales, you’d make an extra $45,000 each year.

Baymard’s study is important because it’s a collection of 22 different studies containing statistics on e-commerce shopping cart abandonment. Their number is the average of those 22 studies. Some sources report a much higher abandonment rate – as high as 80.3%.

Many Shoppers Do Leave Without Paying

Clearly, shopping cart abandonment is a big problem. Now we’ll look at why. According to Statistics, there are 14 main reasons why shoppers abandon their carts.

Approaches to Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

There are two ways to deal with shoppers leaving your store before buying. They can be broken down into two groups:

1) Before Cart Abandonment

2) After Cart Abandonment

There are some effective solutions to increasing your sales and reducing lost customers thru Cart Abandonment.

For a comprehensive and informative solution to this issue, CLICK HERE to visit Shopify for this FREE information.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Living the Entrepreneurial Life Can be quite Appealing

Living the Entrepreneurial Life Can be quite Appealing

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Living the Entrepreneurial Life Can be quite Appealing
by STC Staff Writer

Being an entrepreneur is very appealing, but not everyone can become one. One of the quickest and easiest ways to become a successful entrepreneur is by working at home through a home-based entrepreneur business.

To begin you objectively need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses

After the evaluation, you can now determine if you can manage your own online business. Aside from the evaluation process, you must know how to plan, organize, staff, and control. These are your responsibilities as an entrepreneur. You should be able to work alone because now you’re the boss and all business decisions will be made by you.

Is running your own business easy, without hugely problems to overcome?

Some say that online businesses can be run without considerable problems. Well, they are very wrong because even with an online business, you have to deal with certain business problems and risks. You can’t eliminate such risks because that goes hand in hand with any business undertaking, both for online and offline businesses.

However, you can reduce the risks that you’re bound to deal with in the future by choosing the best home-based entrepreneur business that will work for you.

Entrepreneurs must be self-starters

Organizing your time is a difficult task, but if you want to run a home-based online business, you should be able to do it. Remember, you don’t have a boss that you can rely on. This is your business, and you have to be responsible for it at all times.

Are you up to the task of dealing with a huge diverse group of people?

Running your own business would also mean that you have to deal with different kinds of persons. You will surely encounter demanding customers, moody vendors, and an unreliable staff. To become a successful home-based business entrepreneur, you should know how to deal with them individually. You should know the quirks of every person that you encounter so that you can address them and the situation correctly.

Running an online business reveals much about your attitude and character.

According to some experts who conducted researches about the characteristics of entrepreneurs, there are certain traits that an entrepreneur should possess. As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurs are risk-takers, self-starters, and know how to deal with different kinds of people.

Those traits and characteristics are not enough. You have to have more than that. Another quality that you should possess is being an excellent decision maker. Since you’re the boss, you should be able to make quick yet effective decisions.

Some situations are filled with pressures, but despite the pressures, you still need to make an informed and wise decision. As the owner of your online business, you have no one else to rely on when it comes to business-related decisions.

To be an effective online business entrepreneur, you must have considerable energy and superior work ethics. Owning an online business may mean working late hours and on the weekends. However, you must not be pressured by these tasks even if they may seem daunting at the time. View them as challenges and strive even harder. Your efforts will be rewarded once you see the profits rolling in.

If you are already aware of the responsibilities required of an entrepreneur, then you are equipped to assess your potential success in an online business world. Working at home through a home-based entrepreneur company requires dedication and hard work.

You must be able to monitor your finances, tasks, inventory, work schedules, and many others. Good luck and may your chosen home-based business become a success.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Woman Entrepreneur

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Woman Entrepreneur

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a
Woman Entrepreneur

by STC Staff Writer

As an entrepreneur, you will have advantages to help you succeed. Unfortunately, there will also be disadvantages. As a woman taking on entrepreneurship, however, you may face challenges and develop strengths differing from what a man may experience during his entrepreneurial career.

It’s important to identify these possible issues so that you may use your advantages to become a successful businesswoman and learn how to overcome the disadvantages holding you back.

The Disadvantages

Networking

Women are less likely to have relationships with people who have networks or connections to help launch and sustain a business. Not only does a network provide valuable information needed to successfully create a business, but it also provides a mentorship as well as referrals you may need for future expansion.

Due to the tendency of the highest levels of corporate leadership to be mostly occupied by men, it is difficult for female entrepreneurs to find a woman in a high occupational seat to seek advice from.

Family Needs

It can be difficult for women to devote the time needed for a business to become successful if they have young children who require constant attention. Trying to launch a business may take up all of your time and this can often put a strain on obligations to your family.

It is important to schedule your work life with your family duties in mind. As an entrepreneur, you are the boss and therefore you set the hours needed for your business to grow.

The Advantages

Strength in Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Leadership studies reveal that having high emotional intelligence may prove to be an advantage in business. Having a high emotional intelligence quotient is an important factor in leadership and studies have found that women, on average, have an edge over men when it comes to this.

People with high emotional intelligent quotients understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of their peers and use the information to help guide how to think and react to the situation.

I often utilize the services of women, especially when people interaction is involved, since I’ve learned that women are the superior “people persons” in many instances. I, being a male, find they are especially skillful at dealing with highly sensitive issues.

Have you seen the current TV show, “Madam Secretary?”  Elizabeth, the main character is a prime example of a woman in a power position, handling enormously important, and sensitive issues, as well or (In my opinion) MUCH better than most men could. She’s simply a magnificent example of these points in this article.

Collaboration Skills

Working with others and building long-lasting relationships is a strong trait among many women and may aid in the success of a new business. Creating new partnerships among businesses like your own opens a world of opportunities for your business to grow with your competitors, rather than compete against them.

New businesses are going to have difficulty competing against more established companies. If you’re struggling to match your competitors’ progress or sales, you may end up in debt. This may eventually result in your company going out of business. Taking on new opportunities creates lasting partnerships and encourages companies to include your business in future prospects.

This is a good time to point out that many people feel that women basically do have the same advantages and disadvantages when it comes to entrepreneurship. Whether or not it’s actually true remains unclear.

When it comes down to it, the best way to ensure success as an entrepreneur is, to be honest and work hard to achieve your goals. Hopefully, doing so will lead to more advantages and fewer disadvantages.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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6 Steps to Writing a Business Plan for Your Internet Business

6 Steps to Writing a Business Plan for Your Internet Business

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

6 Steps to Writing a Business Plan for Your Internet Business
by STC Staff Writer

A business plan is the first thing you need to do if you are starting a new business.

It is designed to outline your goals, business strategies, financial goals, and marketing plans. When you have a business plan in place you are taking steps to make sure that your business is on the best path toward success, and it’s also a tool for presenting to financial investors for funding, loans, and even attracting quality employees. Most successful companies have prepared a strong business plan.

An internet business can be operated differently than a traditional brick and mortar company. Nonetheless, it still needs a business plan for better success potential. The difference is that the financial, management and marketing details should reflect a growing online market.

6 Basic Steps to Writing a Quality Business Plan.

Step #1 – Your Business Summary
If your business operates only on a website, you should take the time to describe all of your site’s aspects, primary features, and benefits to the customers. Answer questions like who is going to run the business, what does it offer, who does it target, competition, niches’ served, etc.

#2 Create an In-Depth Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan need for you to gather a great deal of research so that you can do this quite sometime before you ever create your business plan. However, you need to make sure the information hasn’t become outdated by the time you incorporate it into your business plan. Include your pricing plan, your checkout options, etc.

#3 Provide the Details on Your Management Team
Explain the details of your major team members. Their duties, how much they will be paid, benefits, etc. Make sure you provide enough detail for investors to understand your management team’s role.

#4 Create an In-Depth Financial Plan
This should include your startup capital, operating costs, and your profit forecast and various intervals such as 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, etc.

#5 Create a Business Schedule
Your schedule needs to include now, the immediate future and your long-term plan. This would include things like the date you are going to open your online door, when employee hiring will take place, and when any loan will be repaid, etc.

#6 Write an Executive Summary
Write an in-depth executive summary that includes research as well as an easy to understand explanation of your business plan. Your summary should be broken down into sections and each should have its own title. This will help the information flow better for anyone who chooses to read it.

You can locate and utilize free business plan templates online if you feel confident you know enough about business to complete one and have extra time for this approach. Or you can use either a business plan software or online (Cloud) program to accelerate your progress, offer guidance on how to complete your plan, and even sample completed changeable templates for hundreds of SPECIFIC business.

In Conclusion – Online Tools or Specialized Software Make Writing Your Business Plan a Breeze

Writing a business plan can be challenging and a bit of a daunting task. Now thanks to online options it no longer has to be. You can quickly and easily create a sophisticated business plan that’s ready to use with your investors or bank.

Starting a business is tough work by itself, and then you once needed to learn the art of business plan writing, which is a talent unto itself. Not anymore. Now online tools have the skills and will do the hard work for you.

All you need to do is fill in the information as you are asked for it. This is a safe and effective way to put a business plan together. Of course, you still need to have all the information available about your business.

These online tools will even remove the need to have an accountant, creating financial forecasts based on the information that you provide. Most applications will generate a Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Income Statement also called a Profit and Loss statement.

Of course, you need to ensure that you choose the right online tool to provide the type of detail you need, as there are now several of them available.

The more people that look at your business plan the more streamlined it’s going to become. Most online tools allow you to freely share your creation so that others can ask their questions and include their input to help you create a better business plan. You might invite colleagues, clients, your accountant and anyone else who could be a valuable asset.

Look for an online business plan tool that allows you to create charts and graphs, which are extremely pleasing to the viewer’s eye and make information available at a quick glance. The ability to create charts is extremely important in your business plan presentation, as it will peak the reader’s interest.

When you are done, many business plan writing applications will rate you on how you did – provide you with a report card of sorts. This will help you to make sure that you have covered everything you need in the business plan you’ve created – now is not the time to miss anything! It will also show you where you may have been weak, which gives you the opportunity to tweak things

Online business writing tools make it easy for anyone to create the business plan they need to get the backing they want.

I have used Palo Alto’s Business Plan Pro as a business consultant to create business plans for clients for over 25 years. It’s very easy to use, has almost no learning curve, and affordable. CLICK HERE for more information about features, and pricing. There are very cheap software programs designed to make business plans too.

I have a couple, tried them and continue to stick with the leader of the pack, Business Plan Pro or it’s online equivalent “Live Plan Pro” also by Palo Alto Software, on a subscription basis. Business Plan Pro is actual software you can use for years.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Blogging News Stories as They Happen – Learn to BLOG Series

Blogging News Stories as They Happen – Learn to BLOG Series

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

 

Blogging News Stories as They Happen
by STC Staff Writer

Blogging news stories as they unfold is one of the most exciting and controversial applications of technology that bloggers have discovered. One thing that makes the blogosphere so active is the fact that it is possible to update a blog instantaneously, so the news on blogs tends to be more current than the news in the paper, or on television.

We exist in a new age of FAST enlightenment, though one would do well to not believe everything they read online because ANYONE, for ANY REASON, can anonymously post articles and false information anytime. So let the reader beware of false information.

Still on a positive note, unlike news delivered by these other media like SLOW reporting newspapers, news that appears on blogs does not have to travel through a series of editors and administrators before it reaches the public eye. This has some advantages and some distinct disadvantages.

One of the most notable cases of news hitting a blog before appearing in other media took place in July 2005 when terrorism struck London. As passengers were evacuated from a subway car near an explosion, one man took several photographs of the scene with his cellular phone, and within an hour these images were posted online. This is quite common these days.

First-person accounts of the catastrophe began appearing on blogs soon after these photos appeared, and people all over the world learned about the events in London by reading the words and seeing the photos posted by bloggers.

The fact that these stories and images were being spread directly by individuals operating without the added filter of a reporter or editor helped make the crisis feel very immediate to people across the globe. When it comes to blogging, news often appears in a very personal context.

This has the potential to be the beginning of an exciting new era of reporting, one that takes “New Journalism” to its logical next step by putting the power to shape how the news is written and read directly into the hands of the public.

Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are champions of the Web Blog movement feel that this growing trend of individuals who get their news from blogs is a good thing because it makes the flow of information more democratic.

By decentralizing the control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the field of debate about important current events. However, many people are adamantly opposed to the use of blogs as news outlets, and there are plenty of good arguments on this side of the debate. Regardless of this reality, BLOGS are likely here to stay and are growing at an impressive rate.

Unlike newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact- checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic accountability on many blogs. This can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation, and more than one falsehood has taken the blogosphere by storm.

The questions about whether blogging news as it happens is ethical or not are very complicated, but no matter where you stand on the topic of current events blogs you are almost sure to agree that this movement has revolutionized how modern people get their news.

Newspapers, radio, and TV news do tend to present more honest and accurate news because of their inherent internal structure, using checks and balances to help assure their news sources are real, and the content is accurate.  One way to utilize the Internet for more accurate news sources is to frequent the websites of newspapers, radio, and TN news shows.

But expect to pay a fair subscription price for these. The net shines more for BLOGS and “HOW TO” websites if the reader will check the quality of the sites content through a reasonable amount of research.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Blogging For Small Business Owners

Blogging For Small Business Owners

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Blogging For Small Business Owners
by Bob “MAVERICK” Stanford – Senior Business Consultant

If you run a small company, you may find that the world of blogging is  vital tool for business owners to utilize. Blogging is a great way to get the word out to consumers about your products or services, and it can be useful for inspiring employee loyalty, helping you keep your workers at peak performance, training, and morale.

And, if your competitors have one, do you really want to be passed over by future online searchers visiting your competitors website and BLOGS instead? Ultimately, that can become a death blow if your competition is aggressive online, growing, and drawing YOUR potential customers to them.

If you are looking for an effective way to advance your business to the next level, consider the many benefits of starting your own blog.

Benefits of having a BLOG for a small company

  • It can greatly Boost your presence on Google, Yahoo, and other Search Engine (Called SEO – Search Engine Optimization)
  • Providing an online presence to Develop & Strengthen Relationships with New and Existing Customers
  • Position Your Business as an Industry Leader, especially if you are a local company.
  • Solidify, and advertise your Brand to potential customers. Enhances your posture with existing customers too.
  • Express Yourself, Your Passions and educate potential customers to your products /services
  • Share Your Knowledge for online searchers
  • Helps refine Your Writing technique, and skills
  • Learn How To increase your companies income through the benefits of online marketing
  • Build Your Professional Network.of customers
  • Gain additional business exposure
  • Enter the 21st Centuries standard business model
  • Increase your advertising for very LITTLE cost

The key to having a successful blog as a business owner is keeping your goals clear and concrete at every step of your blogging adventure.

It can be all too easy to get sidetracked, especially if you are just learning about the exciting possibilities of blogging technology, but if you want your blog to succeed you need to stay focused.

Write up a plan for how often you will update, how you will promote your blog and retain readers, whether you will feature photographs or video, and other aspects of your blog, and then stick to it with the same kind of determination that you used when you built your company.

HOW TO OUTSOURCE Your Website and BLOGGING Posting Cheaply

If you’re not a technically oriented individual or feel your time is better spent growing and operating your business, consider outsourcing this work.  It can cost pennies on the dollar to create and maintain you website, and BLOG by using one or more of the following sources:
* http://fiverr.com
* Your local Craigslist
* Your local high school or college – There are students that can, and will build your BLOG, website for very little cost. Simply place a cheap ad in their school newspaper.

STC’s BLOG is publishing a complete series on “Learn To BLOG” for beginners and intermediate Bloggers. Follow it daily if you liked this article and would like to learn more. Thanks for reading.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

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Blogging 101 – Learn to BLOG Series

Blogging 101 – Learn to BLOG Series

The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Blogging 101
by STC Staff Writer

In this 21st Century, the Internet is a mainstream commodity used by hundreds of millions daily to communicate through websites, BLOGS, emails, Chat Rooms, and etc.

Blogging has become a vitally important tool for communicating training, news, courses, and entertainment in NICHES’ and made instantly available to the masses. The world’s youth would be clueless how to live in a world without the Internet since they have been weaned on it from very young and tender ages.

If you desire to have an online business today (October 2018)  rest assured you will likely need a BLOG on your website (similar to the STC BLOG you are reading now) to provide a reason for your readers to return to your website regularly.

Blogging 101 is mostly about the blogging vocabulary. To understand blogs, you need to know the terms blog, platform, domain, and web host. Once you have mastered these key elements of blogging, you can enter any conversation about blogging with confidence.

Blog is short for weblog, which simply means a series of online posts generally presented in reverse chronological order. The newest BLOG “POST” (the name for each new article) is placed on TOP of the previous one. That’s all!

BLOGS can have just text, text and photos, and even include videos. About 2/3rd’s of the world’s BLOGS are built around the FREE WordPress (WP) themes. Most of the other themed platforms like Blogger, Weebly, and etc. place ADS on YOUR PAGES, so you do all the work and THEY get the sales too.

WP has NO ADS, and once you have the basics down, very easy to use. STC offers online training from beginner/intermediate to advanced levels in WP.

You just pay a small monthly fee to host your website and use a website building program like DIVI and you’re all set. This STC website was built using DIVI (by Elegant Themes).

There are other web building platforms, and we’ve tried most of the major ones like WIX, Dreamweaver, CoffeeCup, MS FrontPage (FP – No longer used), HOME, HOTDOG, GO-DADDY, 1and1 (STC’s – Our hosting provider), and numerous  other programs, and even started out years ago creating our sites with only HTML code from scratch.

DIVI is 100% compatible with WordPress (WP), affordable, updated often (No extra charge for updates), and adds incredible additional features to WP website building control. CLICK HERE for additional information on DIVI.

Programs like WIX, GO-DADDY, and 1and1, are provided by hosting companies and can be quite restrictive. This can become quite evident once you have a little experience with them and realize you would have been better off with an independent one like DIVI.

The rest of blogging 101 has to do with the technical side of things. If you are setting up a blog, you will need a platform, a web-host, and a domain. A DOMAIN is your address on the Internet. You use a Domain Name Checker (FREE), find the available domain name you want, and register it.

Just do a GOOGLE Search to find the cheapest current services. There are just too many too many to list here, and their pricing changes daily. Expect to pay around $10 to $15 mo. for a good WordPress Hosting provider (some are FREE with ads – And others cheap but not many features). We use 1and1 Hosting (the 3rd largest in the world)

The DIVI builder is currently $89 per year (subscription), or $249 for a LIFETIME. Once you have your hosting company, you can install WP FREE through them. Hosting companies like ours (1and1) make this process very easy and quick.

A blogging platform is a computer software program that allows you to write posts and to update your blog like WP. Your platform is also what you use to design the look of your blog, from color scheme to font size. like DIVI The web host is sort of like the virtual file cabinet where your blog is stored like 1and1, go-daddy, WIX or etc..

Your computer communicates with the host when you upload or edit a post. The domain is the online address of your blog, and usually ends in .com, .org, or .info, but can be many other ending designations these days.

Start your BLOG today, start attracting subscribers, build your Email lists, and then make sales.  Now that you know what a blog is, what a platform is, and what domains and hosts are, congratulate yourself! Smile! You have just passed blogging 101.               

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

What motivates the people who visit any website to buy?

What motivates the people who visit any website to buy?

The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

 

How To Motivate People To Buy

This is the one question that every Internet Marketer is seeking the answer to. If you know how to motivate people to buy, then you can increase your sales and your conversion rate. And wouldn’t that be good for your profit and your business?

So what motivates people to buy?

It is often said that you should give people what they need because that is what they are going to buy. That may well have been the case once but sadly today society has changed and people no longer buy what they need.

Instead, they buy what they want and what they crave – hence people struggling to put food on the table, but have a 42” plasma TV, satellite system and a bottle of Jack Daniels!

You need to pitch your product not as something they need, but as something they absolutely must have; make it so they crave your product and absolutely must get their hands on it.

People also buy because they want to get pleasure from what they buy. Someone doesn’t walk into a car dealership and buy a top of the range Mercedes because they need it; a Skoda or Toyota would have done the job just as well.

They buy the Mercedes because they want the pleasure that goes with it. Whether this is the comfort of the car, the joy of all the gadgets, or the fact that it is a status symbol – they drive a Mercedes! Whatever their reason it will be because they have associated pleasure with owning a Mercedes and so they buy one when they could have saved tens of thousands of dollars and bought a cheaper car!

Another reason people buy is that they want to avoid pain. Volvo is one of the best selling cars in Europe. Why? They are not the prettiest of cars, nor that expensive, nor are they of the perceived class of a Jaguar, BMW or Mercedes.

Volvo’s sell well because people want to avoid the pain associated with car accidents. Volvo’s are some of the safest cars on the market and as such appeal to people who want to protect their family and passengers.

These are three of the main ways that people are motivated to buy. If you can work out how to use this in your sales copy, your emails, your newsletter and your website, then you can convert more visitors into paying customers.

Identify your target market and learn their pain – what problem are you solving for them with your product?

Understand this and your sales copy can become smoking hot and you can boost your conversion rate!

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

CLICK HERE for the “ASK MAVERICK” form to contact us with your questions.

Starting a Home Business In Photography

Starting a Home Business In Photography

The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

Starting a Home Business In Photography

 

A home photography business doesn’t necessarily require formal photography training. What it does require is a passion for photographic art, an artistic flair, the technical skills to operate the equipment and the ability to market the business.

Someone who is still in high school or college can start out preparing for a home photography business by taking photos for the yearbook or the student newspaper. A basic photography course would be very helpful as well. Nowadays it’s good to know how to operate both a 33 mm and a digital camera.

Local community colleges often have very reasonably priced community education courses, many that involve just one class in the evening or on the weekend. Colleges that offer Lifelong Learning Centers for folks 50+ have courses as well, and some of these are taught by very experienced retired home photography business professionals and little or no cost.

There are many types of photography and the home photography business entrepreneur may want to specialize, perhaps in photography for news organizations such as the local daily or weekly paper, in advertising photography for local magazines and local firms that need to market their products.

One of the most common forms of home photography business is for events and celebrations such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, and other events. These can be especially lucrative as repeat business and excellent multiple referrals.

Travel photographers have exciting home photography business lives, although it takes a lot of skill and a lot of travel expense and practice photography before that first paid vacation is finally paid for.

Some folks create a home photography business working as photojournalists or specializing in medical or science photographers. While quite lucrative, these almost require a four-year degree with extensive photography and communication training. A college photography internship is a wonderful foot in the door for a home photography business as well.

A portfolio is a must for building the clientele for a home photography business. This means taking lots and lots of unpaid photo shots to show off exceptional talent to potential clients.

Helpful ways to learn the ins and outs of home photography and a home photography business are by working as an assistant to a photographer, by joining associations and organizations of fellow photographers and by attending seminars and workshops on home business and photography.

There are also much cheaper ways to learn them directly from your home by downloading eCourses from the web.

If you would like additional information, resources, or assistance with the information outlined in this article, please CLICK HERE to visit our “ASK MAVERICK” information request form. It’s FREE, and no obligation.

Computer Consulting Services – Selling the Network as Security and Data Protection

Computer Consulting Services – Selling the Network as Security and Data Protection

The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

Computer Consulting Services – Selling the Network as Security and Data Protection

Small business prospects and clients may view your computer consulting services as part of their insurance policy. You write up a service agreement that lists what’s covered and what’s not, as well as various parameters for coverage. Then each month, quarter, or year you collect some kind of retainer deposit, similar to an insurance premium.

Play Up the Value of your Computer Consulting Services

Part of the reason small business owners never miss a premium is that they want to make sure that your firm will be there in their time of need. So effectively, one of the reasons small businesses hire your firm is for “security.” Rather than go kicking and screaming trying to vehemently deny this, play up the value of your computer consulting services and add security and data protection into your sales pitch – as significant parts of your clients’ network investments.

Superior Security Foundation

Be sure to weave some of the following security and data protection points into your computer consulting services sales presentations. In sharp contrast to a client/server network like the one you’re proposing, a peer-to-peer “server” generally isn’t capable of maintaining its own user account security database.

As a result, a standalone peer-to-peer network is limited to “share-level” access control. This means everyone that connects to this peer-to-peer “server” share point has the same username and password. There’s no way to differentiate between access levels of users and no way to terminate an individual’s password when he or she leaves the company.

Highlight Your Computer Consulting Services

A dedicated server OS, on the other hand, provides much better control over who has access to which shared resources. Each person can be assigned his or her username and password. Be sure to highlight how your proposed networking solution takes this into account.

Security with your proposed networking solution is also more flexible or granular. With most peer-to-peer “servers,” security can only be controlled at the share level. When a share point is set up on a dedicated server with a true NOS security can be controlled all the way down to the file level.

The Bottom Line about Computer Consulting Services

Consider adopting this file cabinet analogy for your client presentations: Would you rather grant employees unrestricted access to an entire room full of file cabinets, or just a few select hanging folders in certain file drawers which are pertinent to their job?

 © 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

Anticipation Of My First Home Business Sale

Anticipation Of My First Home Business Sale

The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

Anticipation Of My First Home Business Sale

What’s the most significant motivational tool out there when you start an internet home based business? Well for me it was the anticipation of making my first sale.

When I started my internet home based business, I quickly learned that nothing comes for free and you have to work at it to become successful. I thought that I could make lots of money in a short period; well I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Yes, I got into the get rich quick scams, to begin with, searching on the internet for ways to make money fast. First, there was the “get paid for doing surveys” scheme. Then I thought that I could sell things on e-bay to make a quick buck. While there are lots of people doing this, it’s not a way to get rich quick. Next was the pyramid scheme. As time went on the money kept going out and nothing was coming in.

I could have quit there, but I was determined. I changed my way of thinking and started to search for legitimate ways to make money online. That’s when I found my first no “B.S” internet home based business. I learned everything there was to learn about it, applied the strategies and then reread it all to see if there was anything I missed. Doing those simple things can make all the difference.

While working on my new business online, I soon learned that one store wasn’t going to be enough to sustain me working at home. So I decided to take on four more legit home based businesses so that I could obtain multiple streams of income. If I could get each of them making $500.00/month that would be enough to allow me to stay at home. I dedicated myself to learning everything about them as well and all the while I kept repeating the things I had learned. Repetition and Duplication are the keys to making any home based business work.

Things started to happen after a month, and a half had gone by. My site was indexed from the search engines, and I got a few signups to my affiliate programs. This in itself was enough to keep me plugging along, but still no sales. I was more determined than ever now, spending countless hours at my desk.

And then it happenedI got my first sale. I couldn’t tell you how happy I was.

Things have been picking up more steadily every month. The more I apply the things I’ve learned, the more successful I become. The more I repeat things I’ve learned the more successful I become and the more I track and duplicate things I’ve learned….well you get the point.

© 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

5 Tips For Closing That Consulting Deal

5 Tips For Closing That Consulting Deal

5 Tips For Closing That Consulting Deal

The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

There are several reasons why consultants ultimately lose deals they should have won. Unless your portfolio is weak, consultants lose contracts because they either didn’t listen or they didn’t speak effectively to convey what services they could offer, that would help the client reach their goals. Here are a few tips to help you sell your services.

Every consultant feels that if there is anything that they do well, it’s talking the talk. Effective speaking is more of an art than a science. If you cant effectively convey how your services are going to help the client, you won’t get the contract.

Reflect Before You React
Its human nature to say the first thing that comes to our mind when we’re asked a question. Take a moment to think of what answer is best for the client. It will show that you put thought into your work and don’t just plow ahead. Your clients will appreciate that. Your best reaction is not always your first reaction.

Keep It Simple Superstar
Just because you know the ins and outs of your business doesn’t mean that your client will. Speak to them on their level, not yours. Keep the conversation simple and get straight to the point.

If your client understands what you can do for them, they are more likely to hire you. If you try and dazzle them with industry speak, you’ll lose them, and drop the contract.

You may find that if you are speaking to a prospective client on the phone, stand up. For many people, standing makes them get straight to the point.

Let the Client Talk
If you want to learn how to best position yourself, find out exactly what the client wants and ask questions to home in on what their needs are.

By asking questions, you gain a better understanding of how you can help the client, and the client feels that they are part of the solution. This gives you a chance to reflect on what you can offer your prospective client.

A Little Enthusiasm Goes A Long Way
Your client feels passionate about what they do, and if you show that you are passionate and enthusiastic about providing them the solution they want, you’ll get the client onboard. Enthusiasm will open many doors for you.

Let’s Get Personal
It takes experience and a watchful eye, however, if you show your client that they are more than just another big deal for their portfolio, you will learn how to best work with them. Treat all clients the same way, and you will find your schedule empty of projects. Remember that clients say things for a reason.

If they volunteer that they can’t talk right now because they are getting ready for Bobby’s birthday party on Saturday, on your follow up call, ask them casually how the party went.

Don’t pry, and don’t send balloons. By casually asking about the party, you show that you pay attention to details. Knowing how successful the party will prepare you on how to approach the conversation.

Remember that you need to sell to the customer’s needs, not your skills. Master this, and you will have a long career as a consultant.

© 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

4 Important Affiliate Marketing Tips For Effective Online Marketing

4 Important Affiliate Marketing Tips For Effective Online Marketing

4 Important Affiliate Marketing Tips For Effective Online Marketing
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

Starting your own home business has never been easier, thanks to the internet. With the help of the internet, you have access to people from all over the world, right from your own home. While there are many types of businesses you can start, affiliate marketing is one of the best. It can give you a substantial income and all you have to do is learn some new skills. If you can read and write you can have a very successful online business working from home.

To help you build your business as quickly as possible and avoid the potential pitfalls, I’ve compiled a list of some affiliate marketing tips:

1. Get basic training before you start a website – While I know you’re probably anxious to get your site set up and get started, you’d be better off taking a little time first to learn how to do it correctly. There are many places online where you can learn everything you need to know about affiliate marketing. You’re best bet would be to invest a little time and money into an internet marketing course. Learn how to do it, then implement what you’ve learned.

Even though it may seem like you’re having to wait before you set up your business and start making money, in the long run, you’ll be saving yourself some time if you learn how to do it first, before jumping in. To be successful with online marketing, you MUST have a Responsive (Mobil device friendly) website template design. Approximately 80% of all Internet access is now down on these devices. This includes online buying.

2. Don’t get sidetracked with all the ridiculous promises online. – You will probably get dozens of emails every day promising you that you can make money in no time and with no effort. It’s not right and if you spend all of your time jumping from one ‘sure thing’ to another, you’ll never make any money. Don’t fall victim to the hype. Just build your business nice and steady and tune out all the other noise.

3. Until you know how to do it properly, steer clear of using Pay Per Click. – The search engines are constantly changing the rules when it comes to PPC. There is a very steep learning curve, and you can waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are people online who make a living doing nothing but keeping up with all the PPC changes and teaching other people how to use PPC techniques. Make some money first, then take some of that money and invest it in a PPC course before you jump in.

4. Build a list starting with an autoresponder. – Up to 98% of the people who visit your site won’t buy anything, and they won’t be back. You can get a bigger share of this traffic by having an email list that they can sign up. That way you can build trust and rapport with them over a period. You’ll get more than one chance to convert them into paying customers.

Making money online with affiliate marketing is one of the best home businesses you can start. It’s quick and easy to start, though you will need to learn some new skills. If you’re willing to invest a little time and effort, the rewards can be enormous. Just use these affiliate marketing tips as a starting point. Continue to learn all you can and be willing to apply what you’ve learned. If you do, you can make virtually as much money as you want.

© 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

7-tips to Work at Home Successfully

7-tips to Work at Home Successfully

7-tips to Work at Home Successfully
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

You’ve decided to start a home-based business. Congratulations! and welcome to the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship. While there is a lot to learn, your effort will be worth it. The thrill of growing your business, the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours, and the possibilities of ever-increasing financial rewards are all wonderful reasons to start your home based business.

Now that you’ve decided to start your business, you might be wondering “How can I get it off to the strongest possible start?” These seven tips will help:

1) Set up a separate working space in your home. It doesn’t matter if this is a small bedroom, one part of the garage, or a corner of the living room. The important thing is to have some space that you can designate as your working area. This will give you space and room you need to craft your dream.

2) Stock your working space with materials. This sounds basic, perhaps, but one underlying element of success is that you have easy access to the tools, materials, and other resources you need. Gathering everything close by also keeps you from wasting time searching for it, so this step can be considered a time management strategy, too.

3) Speaking of time management, your third step is to define the parameters of your business. What days and hours will you work? When will you market? When will you provide services or products to clients? How will you keep all of this straight?

4) Balance action with planning. One of the most common pitfalls to successful entrepreneurship is getting too caught up in action without enough planning. Stated another way, this means that you confuse “being busy” with “working on important projects.” The best approach is to plan your next couple of goals and then work backward to create step by step action plans to reach them. Once you have the plan, then it’s time to take the action.

5) Network like crazy. One of the fastest ways to grow any business is to make connections with other people. Be sure to share your passion and enthusiasm with others at every opportunity. Let people know who you are and what you offer. Remember, people can’t buy if they don’t know you’re selling.

6) Present a professional image. If you want to be treated professionally, present a professional image. Set up a separate bank account for your business. Install a separate phone and fax line. Create professional marketing materials. Be courteous and pleasant in all your customer-facing interactions. Basically, be someone people want to do business with.

7) Automate your business as much as possible. Granted, you are just one person (right now) and might have a lot of extra time to take care of all the details. This might work for now but won’t work into the future as you get busier and busier. It’s best to set up automatic systems and processes right from the start to free up your time to concentrate on the most profitable activities.

These seven tips will get your home business started (and growing) in the right direction.

© 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

5 Top Things Baby Boomers Must Do Before Starting a Home Based Business

5 Top Things Baby Boomers Must Do Before Starting a Home Based Business

5 Top Things Baby Boomers Must Do Before Starting a Home Based Business
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

Leaving the security of a job with established 401(k) plans, health insurance or other benefits can create a real tug of war for baby boomers who want to pursue their dreams of owning their own business.

Don’t quit your day job just yet. If you are a baby boomer looking to start a home business, there are five essentials things you must do first. Leaving the security of a job with an established 401(k) plan, health insurance or other benefits can create a real tug of war for baby boomers who want to pursue their dreams of owning their own business.

Analyze Your Exit Strategy

At the time of this writing, the youngest of the baby boomers are turning 42, and the oldest are turning 60. No matter where you fall into this group, analyzing and preparing your exit strategy from your job will be crucial to your long-term success as a home business entrepreneur. Do you have adequate savings? If you’re married, will you be able to participate in your spouse’s health insurance?

Create a Financial Plan

How much is your salary now? What are your fixed, variable and frivolous expenses? Creating a solid plan so that you and your family will know exactly what the financial picture will be until your business gets off the ground and starts generating revenue.

Choosing a Business Model and Legal Entity

There are several business models to choose from; home party plans, consulting, and affiliate marketing to name a few. You have to make the decision based on your personality and what you are best suited for. Choosing a legal entity for your business should be discussed with a tax accountant or your attorney. Options are a sole proprietor, LLC or Subchapter S- Corp.

Set Business Benchmarks

You wouldn’t travel across the country without a road map; your business is the same. Setting financial and business-building benchmarks will help you to create a focused plan that will help you to reach your success.

Get a Physical

What does getting a physical have to do with your business? Once you leave your job, most likely your health insurance will change and as unfair as it may be, trying to get new health insurance when in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s can be difficult. While pursuing your dreams of a home business is something you are probably very passionate about, if you do not have good health to enjoy the rewards of your efforts, then not much else is important.

The baby boomer generation is like no other before it or after it. Technically, we are considered middle-aged, but we are anything but middle-aged in mind, body, and spirit. We know there is more meaning to life than a commute to an unrewarding 9-5 job, but there are also essential steps we must take first. Planning and preparing for your home business now will lead to less headache’s later on.

© 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

5 Reasons Why You Need A Work-At-Home Schedule

5 Reasons Why You Need A Work-At-Home Schedule

5 Reasons Why You Need A Work-At-Home Schedule
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

After studying my time and chatting with some other work-at-home folks, I discovered five reasons to embrace the schedule

One of the attractions of working at home is the vision of freedom it invokes — no time clock, no time sheets, and no one to account to for how you spend your time. Yes, it is an attractive proposition, but like so many attractive propositions there is a substantial downside — you are likely wasting a lot of time.

My friend spends time every day filling out these large spreadsheets to account for his day. He works for a large engineering company and his day often encompasses work on a variety of projects for different clients. He loathes the activity, and I have always dismissed it as a waste of time — that is until my home business recently took off, and I realized there just wasn’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all my goals.

I now have my spreadsheet and agenda for the day, and I have improved my productivity and reduced my stress immeasurably. If you don’t think you need a schedule for your home business, then think again — and read on.

After a spate of relatively unproductive days when my “To Do” list seemed to grow exponentially every time I looked at it, I knew something had to change.

Granted I was going through a rough patch. My home business was experiencing growing pains and taking up more than the usual time, my four-year-old was only in preschool part-time, my husband wasn’t pulling his weight on the home front, and my extended family was experiencing a number of crises. But I’m also old enough to know there is never a perfect time in life — you just live the one you’ve got. These are merely the problems I’m dealing with this year. Next year these problems will be traded in for new fresh ones.

After studying my time and chatting with some other work-at-home folks, I discovered five reasons to embrace the schedule:

1. It’s too easy to waste time doing nonpriority tasks
2. It’s too easy to get sidetracked or distracted from your current task
3. Unscheduled work time can often overlap into your free time until you don’t have any free time at all
4. Your free time can overlap into your work time until you fall behind with essential projects
5. Concentrating your time and effort on highest priority projects means more gets done

I’m not the only work at home business person encompassing the schedule. I recently took part in an online forum where men and women had moved to embrace it — and found it more freeing than restrictive. After all, you are still the one setting the schedule, so you are free to schedule yourself off for a 3-hour lunch, an afternoon, or a whole day whenever you choose.

If you find it difficult setting up your schedule and priorities for the day and week then perhaps your significant other or a friend can help you set your schedule.

© 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

Offline Places to Sell Your Stuff

Offline Places to Sell Your Stuff

Offline Places to Sell Your Stuff
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

Selling your stuff offline isn’t as hard as you may think. After all, people have been selling stuff offline much longer than they’ve sold stuff online. Let’s look at a few of the places you can sell things offline.

1. Consignment Stores – There are various types of consignment stores in most local areas. Some will specialize in furniture, some will allow all types of things, and others focus on clothing. So, look at what you need to sell and then locate the right type of store for your merchandise.

2. Plato’s Closet – If you have a lot of clothing to sell, especially for the teenage and college crowd, this is a great place to go. There are other stores like it popping up under different names, so check what is available in your area.

3. Pawnshops – If you have jewelry, musical instruments, televisions, electronics and so forth, you can take them to a pawn shop and sell them directly to them. Then you’ve got your money up front with no need to place ads and find a buyer.

4. College Bulletin Boards – You can make a flyer for your stuff and put it on the college bulletin board. This is great for clothing, backpacks, storage containers and other things that you know college students would need.

5. Yard Sales – If you have a lot of different types of things to sell, you can always have a yard sale. If you don’t have your own yard, ask a friend who owns a house if you can have a joint yard sale with them.

6. Sell Directly to Shops Locally – Depending on what you’re selling, you may be able to go into gift shops and talk to the owner and sell your stuff. This works great for certain collectibles, and even new items that you have made yourself.

7. Craft Shows – If you’re selling crafty items or vintage items, craft shows may be something that works for you to make sales. Even if you’re selling old crafts that someone else made and that you just want to get rid of, a craft show is a great place to do it (provided they’re in good condition).

8. Flea Markets – You can rent a table at a flea market relatively inexpensively. You can literally sell anything you have at a flea market – whether it’s older stuff, wholesale merchandise, or stuff you made. It doesn’t matter.

9. Community Fundraisers – If you have a business selling anything, you can offer any association a percentage of sales if they help you sell your stuff.

10. Farmers’ Markets – These markets don’t only sell fruit and veg. Often people buy a table to sell other things too. You’ll need to talk to the leaders of your area farmers’ markets to find out what they allow.

11. Workshops – It depends on what you’re selling, but workshops are great if you’re selling anything professionally, from how-to courses to direct sales merchandise.

Using these methods to sell your stuff requires that you consider what you’re selling, who might buy it, and how long you need to wait to get your money.

© 2018 Stanford Trade Center – World Rights Reserved

Top Ten Legitimate Companies That Offer Work-at-Home Jobs

Top Ten Legitimate Companies That Offer Work-at-Home Jobs

Top Ten Legitimate Companies That Offer Work-at-Home Jobs
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

It’s important to be careful when looking for work-at-home jobs in order to avoid scams. Hopefully, this list of ten legitimate work-at-home companies can help you find a job and avoid being ripped off. Remember, even with this list, be sure to check out everything and do your due diligence to avoid feeling used. You want a job that pays enough to make it worth it to work, and you want a job that values your experience too. One of these might fit.

Transcription Services

1. Nuance Transcription Services – With a focus on medical transcription, this is a real job as an employee doing transcription. They offer extra training for experienced transcriptionists and are often looking for qualified transcriptionists.

Link – http://www.nuance-nts.com/

2. Orion Transcription Services – If you’re experienced with transcription, this is a good place to apply for a job. You must be U.S. based and have at least two years of experience to get one of these medical, legal or other transcription jobs.

Link – http://www.oriontranscription.com/career-opportunities-contact-form/

3. Tigerfish Transcribing – If you’re new to transcribing, you can take the test and apply with Tigerfish Transcribing. Plus they direct you to free software to use for practice to help you with passing the test.

Link – http://tigerfish.com/employment/

Call Center Agent

4. LiveOps Agent – With this company, you can do many different types of positions from inbound calling to insurance sales, claims, and more. They work with many well-known companies and hire educated and experienced sales professionals.

Link – http://join.liveops.com/

5. West at Home – This inbound calling center will hire beginners after giving a small voice test if you pass the background check. It’s a good place to get started if you want to be a call center agent.

Link – http://apply.westathome.com/

6. Sykes Home Powered by Alpine Success – This company prides itself on hiring military spouses, retirees, and parents to work at home answering calls. They also hire in Canada and are especially looking for bilingual workers.

Link – https://jobs.alpineaccess.com/

7. Working Solutions – You get to start your own business while also having the comfort of knowing you have a big business behind your success. You are a contract worker with training and once you schedule your hours you know you’ll get them.

Link – http://www.workingsolutions.com/work-at-home-agents/

Teaching Jobs

8. Ed2go Network – If you have a degree, you can teach. In this opportunity, you can write and develop courses as well as online teaching jobs. What’s available depends on the time, but they are always taking applications. How much money you can make will vary but even they say on their site not to quit your day job. But it can be combined with other opportunities to make a full-time income.

Link – http://www.ed2go.com/TeachWithUs.aspx?tab=Introduction

9. Elevate K-12 – If you have a teaching certificate and teaching experience, you can teach online. While you do have some control over your schedule, they ask that you are available between 8 pm and 4 pm each day.

Link – http://elevatek12.com/careers.html

10. ETS – Writing, scoring, and even fellowships are available via ETS. You’d be scoring advance placement tests and other types of proctored tests that students take for advancement or certification. If you’ve always wanted to be involved in helping shape testing given to students, this is your chance.

Link – http://www.ets.org/careers

Three Bonus Opportunities

1. Blue Zebra Appointment Setting –They offer different positions such as appointment setter in which you might perform cold calling to try to set appointments for another sales professional to talk to the person again. They also sometimes hire virtual administrative assistants. All positions are independent contract positions.

Link – http://www.bluezebraappointmentsetting.com/Careers.aspx

2. Travel Outlook – If you want to work in the exciting world of travel, this is the chance. You would be working taking reservations for hotel rooms and sometimes other duties such as touring local venues for clients. They want people with experience at least with customer service and working from home to ensure that you’re self-motivated. They say that some of their agents make over 40K a year and you are an employee.

Link – http://traveloutlook.com/jobs/

3.  Fiverr – Start your OWN Freelance online Service or Consulting Business – This is one of the top-three Freelancer websites online. If you have marketable skills, maybe you should consider working at home for yourself. Almost $0 startup capital is required. Also, you can list your services on craigslist.om for free.

Link – http://fiverr.com

These are all legitimate companies. There are many more but these offer opportunities that are real. Some take experienced workers while others will take new people too. Hopefully, you can find something that will work for you.

How to Talk to Your Family about Working from Home

How to Talk to Your Family about Working from Home

How to Talk to Your Family about Working from Home
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

When you first realize the possibilities about working from home, it’s normal to get super excited and believe everyone else will be too. But often times the family isn’t as happy as you are, nor as trusting. They think it’s just a pipe dream, or worse, a scam. They haven’t done the research you have so they do not realize the true possibilities and potential surrounding the idea of working from home.

Provide Your Research to Them

Many times your family just cares about you so much that they simply want to protect you. But, if you show them the research that you’ve done, they may quickly realize that you’ve done your homework, and that you’re not going to get scammed.

Give Examples of Others Doing It Successfully

More than likely, at this point you have a circle of influence that includes work-at-home success stories. Let your partner and family in on the fact by talking about how so-and-so is making x dollars and all from working from home. Explain what they do, and put the bug in their ear of the possibilities and potential.

Write Out a Business Plan

Banks want business plans to ensure that you’ve looked at all aspects of the business you plan to run. They want to see the numbers, and how you plan to make more money in the short term and the long term. Your family will feel better seeing these numbers, too. Even if you don’t plan to get a loan for your business, showing them everything down on paper will impress them.

Transition Slowly Timing Is Everything

Don’t expect everyone to be on board from day one. The idea takes time to sink in for some people. Mostly out of concern for you, but sometimes also from fear. Spouses fear what they don’t understand and not everyone is entrepreneurial or likes taking what they see as risks. Even though telecommuting has been around a while, it’s still rare enough that people are shocked to find out that their home shopping orders, or pizza orders are being taken by someone in their home office.

Work after Hours to Show Them the Money

If you’re not getting any place with discussion, you might want to start working after hours to show them the money. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in the movie, Jerry Maguire, had it right. People think differently about many things when they see the cash. If you have a spouse or family like that, you can work around their schedules doing something to earn money and then show them by paying for something fun, like a family vacation.

Explain to the Children about “Work” Time

You’re going to have to talk to the children a lot about work time. You might even have to with your spouse. It’s a myth that you can work in chaos and constant interruption. You need a place you can work, and that people realize to leave you alone when you’re doing it. You can use a sign on the door, timers, and other incentives to get everyone on board and understanding. As for family that live outside your home, just don’t answer the phone or door when you’re working. Everyone will get accustomed to it eventually.

Make Your Family into Partners

As they start to get on board with the idea of your working from home, reward them by making them part of your business. You can hire family members and spouses on a contracting basis and pay them, and deduct if from your business taxes. Plus, they will start making money too and that will make them really get on board. Children can file, spouses can sometimes do what you’re doing or offer technical help.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

The most important aspect of talking to your family about working from home is to keep the lines of communication open at all times. You want to be honest with what is working and what is not working, and you’ll be surprised at how much your family is on your side with the goal of your working from home.

Family can sometimes be a hard sell, but it’s not because they don’t love you. It’s because they do love you. Also, sometimes it’s just because they’re ignorant of what working at home means. This is especially true of older individuals who may not understand technology. With them, you might want to let them see you working so they get it.

How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work Part Time from Home

How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work Part Time from Home

How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work Part Time from Home
The Maverick Entrepreneur Series

Everyone is after more work-life balance. Some jobs are better than others at allowing at least some work-life integration possibilities, but some business owners are slow to catch on. If you have a job that would make it simple to work part time from home, then you’re in a good position to try to convince your boss to let you work part time from home by following these steps.

Figure Out the Logistics First

Before even approaching your boss about the idea of working from home, you’ll need to figure out whether it’s possible. What tools do you need at home that you have at the office to make it work? Are you willing to come out of pocket and set this up for yourself, or are you going to ask your boss to foot the bill?

Provide a Well Thought-Out Plan of Action

If you can demonstrate exactly how everything will work, including showing up at meetings on time, then you’re half way there. Create a report for your boss about how you will do each area of your job while you’re at home so that they can visualize the potential.

Provide Supportive Research

Include supportive research that shows people who work from home at least part of the time are more productive, instead of less productive. Be ready to prove this by increasing your productivity when you’re given the opportunity to change your work location.

Develop a System

Set systems in place well in advance so that you know they work. Test them out before approaching your boss so that you know they will work 100 percent. Ensure that you won’t have dead spots in your house when you answer your phone, or that household sounds like the TV won’t interfere in calls.

Provide Assurances about Required Meetings

If meetings are planned in advance there should be no issues about you getting to meetings on time. But, if your place of business often has last-minute meetings, that could be a problem. You could set up technology to help with this, but it will require help from others. Alternatively, if you live close to work you can state that you can be at any meeting within an hour or two if they’re important.

Call in Sick

Prime your boss before approaching them by calling in sick but working from home while you’re sick. Just state that you don’t want to infect them, but you’ll get your normal work done from home. You should wait until you’re really sick to try this, but you may feel good enough to get some work done.

Ask for a Trial Run

Once you present the idea to your boss, ask for a trial run. Say that you’ll work two days a week from home such as Thursday and Friday, which are usually low meeting days anyway. Then if you get the permission, do a great job.

Over Deliver

Be prepared to up your game if you do get the go ahead to work from home. Make sure you find ways to connect with your boss, and show them what you’re doing so that you won’t be seen as someone not even needed. Deliver more results once you’re home, and your boss will be pleased and maybe even make it possible for more people to work from home.

Working from home does have its good side and downside, so be prepared to have to work out some kinks and perfect your systems as you go. Many bosses are keen on having some of their employees work from home these days, so why not you?