Saturday, November 03, 2007

Standing Out in The Online Realm

It has always been a challenge to make your business stand out from the rest of the competition. On the internet, this challenge is ten fold. The competition is fiercer and it can be very difficult without the touch of personal service to make your business stand out amongst the others. In order to do so, you’ll need to add that little bit extra that will separate you from the rest of the crowd. The cream rises to the top, so here are some ideas to make your online business the creamiest of them all.

One thing that a lot of startup online businesses skimp on is the packaging of their products. Yes, it’s fine to send out your products in a plain old boring brown box from UPS or the Post Office, but it won’t make you stand out in any way. At the worst, it will make you stand out in the opposite way you want. Better to design your own packaging and send your products out in something that has your company name emblazoned on the side. If you want to take the time to design something that looks a little colorful, or fun, that might even be better (although whether or not this is appropriate will be determined by the type of business you run). The Post Office will actually create custom packaging for you if you purchase enough of their shipping services to qualify.

One thing your website should have is some general information and education on the product that you sell. Say for instance you are selling tennis rackets. There should be plenty of information of your website about tennis is general and tennis rackets in particular. There are two reasons for this. One, it’s good to have some sections of the website that are not dedicated to the hard sell. This leads a customer to feel secure, as if the website is there for more than the express intent of taking their money. Another good reason to have this information is to attract visitors that weren’t necessarily looking to buy a tennis racket in the first place. Maybe they were searching for information about tennis. But once you have them at your site, perhaps they will buy something.

A message board is another great way to create a community and have repeat visitors. Don’t think you have a product that would attract a lot of people to sit around and talk about it? That’s okay. Again, think of the example above. A message board solely dedicated to tennis rackets wouldn’t likely entice too many web surfers. But a message board about tennis is another story. And it doesn’t even have to be just about tennis. There could be other sports, a section for general talk, you name it.

Follow these three guides to bring your website up and into the light. It can be difficult to make a dent in the crowded online market, but it’s not impossible.

Want to work from home? Find the best home based
business opportunity by following these 3 proven steps:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Home Business Opportunities

If you want to work from home, there are many home business opportunities for you to explore. Depending on your prior work experience, you can work as a freelance service provider, analyst, customer service representative, or pursue your hobbies and see where they take you. Since the Internet explosion, many people have found incredible ways to work from home. While you may need additional training or experience, this too can be found online.

Some popular home business ideas include affiliate marketing, niche marketing, freelance writing, graphic or web design, or you can choose to stay with your current employer and work from home. These days many companies are open to the idea of employees working from home at least part-time. Not only does this save space, but also cuts costs for heating and cooling, absenteeism, and other costs. If you think your employer would be interested in pursuing a work-from-home relationship, ask and see what happens.

Once you have decided on which home business opportunity you want to pursue, you should research all the opportunities available, average pay, work involved, and the ease of finding employment. You may have to market your services to order to find projects to work on, but this is to be expected. If you know other people who work from home or those who are in need of the services you provide, you should contact them to see if they have any work available. Begin building a portfolio and it will become easier to find work.

Building a website, creating business cards, and signing up on job boards and forums are ways to market your business. While there are many opportunities for you online, you will probably compete with others, so be sure to have the right marketing materials so you can present yourself in a professional manner at all times.

Working from home and creating a business of your own is a rewarding experience. Not only will you be your own boss, you can also set your own hours, choose which projects you want to work on, and earn a living without having to worry about commuting to a job, buying new clothes every few months, or spending money on lunches, dinner meetings, and other social functions that are work related.

If you are unsure about which home business opportunity to choose, consider what you are most passionate about. Do you have a hobby that you always wanted to turn into a full-time job? Are you skilled in an area where there is limited competition? Finding lucrative job opportunities in areas that need your skills will pay off in many ways including the opportunity to use skills you have learned, build a portfolio, and develop steady client relationships.

Want to work from home? Find the best home based
business opportunity by following these 3 proven steps:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Affiliate Marketing

One Internet business that many people are involved in is affiliate marketing. If you are unfamiliar with this type of online business, chances are you have become interested in a product or even made a purchase from an affiliate website. Companies who want to increase their presence online pay a commission to others to advertise and entice web surfers to visit the company's site, sign-up for membership or a newsletter, or encourage people to purchase products from the company. This is called affiliate marketing.

There are many ways to advertise for another company. You can create a website, blog, newsletter, ebook, and other materials that are used to encourage people to place an order directly with you or visit the company website and place an order there. By using the links you provide, you will receive credit for each sale you make. At the end of the month, you will receive payment for every customer you direct to the company's site who makes a purchase. While companies offer different commissions, the marketing strategies are the same.

If you enjoy using the Internet, are able to find groups of people to target your marketing efforts with, and are able to write convincing copy that sells, this home business is very easy to get into. Because you can use the same strategies over and over, you do not need to learn new skills after learning the basics. Many companies offer training and other incentives for joining their programs. Once you have created a marketing campaign, you will begin to earn money during the day, in the evening, and while you are sleeping. Because people surf the Internet at different times, you can potentially make a profit at any time.

When choosing a company to work with, you should first review their terms, the commissions they are willing to pay, and also the types of products they are selling. If a product is too difficult to sell, then you won't make any money. While you want to work for a company that is known, you don't want to work for a company that is so well known that people will automatically visit the company site instead of looking for it online.

The best part about affiliate marketing businesses is that you can join two or three programs and make commissions from several companies at one time. As long as you are marketing each product, you will earn money. While some companies do not want their affiliates to work for other companies, many understand that you need to earn a living and will not care which companies you work for. As a rule, try to find companies that are diverse so there is not a conflicting.

Want to work from home? Find the best home based
business opportunity by following these 3 proven steps:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Locating Customers for Your Home Business

While the adage “if you build it, they will come” may apply in the business world most commonly in the cases of big stores with highly visible signage, big advertising budgets, and the kind of reserve funds to allow them to operate at a deficit for a few months, small home businesses usually do not have that luxury. Instead, always keenly aware of the shrinking bottom line, the small business entrepreneur needs to locate customers almost from the beginning of the business itself, yet while doing so come across as professional and most certainly not desperate. At the same time, you will need to avoid alienating your friends and family, and if you have ever been in the clutches of someone selling Amway, you know exactly what that means!

So how does the savvy home business owner locate customers?
1. At the very beginning, concentrate on those with whom you have a good relationship and who will be supportive of your home business. For example, if you are in the business of baking and selling gourmet doggie biscuits, ask your friendly dog-owning next door neighbor if she would like to buy a little bag. Sell her the bag at a deep discount and see what she says. If she likes it, see if she will help you hand out samples at the local dog park.
2. Once your immediate neighbor pool is exhausted, move on to family and friends. Dog owners like to treat their dogs to little treats, and if they are healthy and the pets love them, they will be more than happy to spread the word. As you sell your wares at a deep discount, offer little sample bags for them to give away to other dog owners. Before long, you should be getting orders from friends of friends or family members. Always remember who your first customers were and treat them to special bargains!
3. Next, move on to groups of folks you may not know personally, but who might be known to your professional contacts. Dogs go to vets, and your vet may be willing to have you see doggie biscuits on consignment in return for a donation to her or his favorite animal charity. Conversely, you could include a sponsorship blurb on your print ads accompanying your orders that recommend the vet’s office to other dog lovers. You dog’s groomer is another such contact.
4. Next contact pet stores in your area and see if they will sell consignment products. If you run into problems, try small stores with which you have an established business relationship. Remember that as a small business you do not need global advertising to get started but can simply work within your immediate sphere of influence!

Want to work from home? Find the best home based
business opportunity by following these 3 proven steps: