Friday, February 8, 2013

10 rules for succeeding in your own business

What does it take to start and succeed in business? That's a question I get asked a lot by startups and by owners of existing businesses that aren't living up to the owners' dreams. Although there is no one answer that fits all businesses, there are a number of practices followed by successful, happy business owners. No matter what you sell, you'll be ahead of the game if you live by these ten essential rules for succeeding in your own business.
1. Be true to yourself. No matter how much money someone else makes, if you don't enjoy the business, wouldn't be proud to show your relatives what you are doing and how you are doing it, then don't do it. If you run a business you don't like or don't believe in, even if you have temporary success, it will come back to haunt you one way or another.
2. Find a need and fill it. Yes, you've heard that a million times. But it still works. The easiest business to run is one that produces products or services that people already know they need. The reason: you don't have to spend a lot of time and money convincing prospects they need what you sell. You can focus on why you are the best source to satisfy their need. Just be sure the "need" is one people will spend money to satisfy.
3. Choose products or services that you can sell for a lot more than it costs you to make or buy them. If the difference between your cost and selling prices is too low, you will have difficulty growing the business. When profit margins are too low, you won't have enough money to hire employees, pay for rent (when you need to move the business out of the house), advertise more, and do other things needed to expand.

4. Make realistic estimates of your expenses... then double them.
Most new businesses either forget about marketing, fulfillment, overhead costs, income taxes and self-employment or greatly underestimate them.
5. Be true to your customers and prospects. Don't promise what you can't deliver. Don't lie or exaggerate the benefits of what you sell and always deliver a quality product or service. Word-of-mouth marketing has always been one of the primary ways small businesses find customers. The Internet and social networking sites spread the word (good or bad) to even more potential customers.
6. Understand the importance of marketing and learn how to do it effectively. The world won't beat a path to your door just because you build a better mousetrap or write a great ebook about how to grow tomatoes or teach a child to read. To get customers you will have to market your products or services effectively and continually.
7. Treat your vendors, manufacturers and service providers with respect and let them know you appreciate them. They are an important part of your team and your success. If you speak down to them, pester them with questions you could answer yourself, imply that they don't' do a good job, nickel and dime them to death, or are an ongoing pain in the neck, they'll never go out of their way to help you -- and might drop you all together. No business needs picky, annoying, time-consuming customers.
8. Embrace the web. No matter what you sell or to whom, there's a good chance your customers will turn to the web in one way or another to make their purchase. They may turn to online yellow pages to find a florist in Florence, SC; or go to Google, MSN or Yahoo and search for a phrase like "Elder law attorney Farmington Hills MI", or "plumber weekends Astoria NY" If customers can't find you in their queries, they are likely to give their business to one of your competitors.
9. Don't expect miracles. Yes, people do make money in their sleep or while they're away on vacation -- the Internet makes that possible. But only after they've invested a lot of time , effort, and money in building the business and building the team that keeps it going and growing.
10. Remind yourself that one is the loneliest number in business. One product, one service, one main client, and all your records stored on one computer hard drive without regular off-site backups is a recipe for failure. If you only have one product or service you're missing out on the chance to profit by selling more things to people who already know and trust you. If you have only one main client, you 're up the proverbial creek if they decide to change vendors or run into cash flow problems. And if all your records are on your computer and you don't have always up-to-date backups of your important files, a hard drive crash could destroy your business.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Uncover your hidden market

Uncover Your Hidden Markets

by Thod Ochie

Want a simple, low-cost way to boost your sales? Just uncover the narrowly defined sub-markets hidden in your main market. Then create special versions of your advertising to focus on the specific needs of prospects in these hidden market segments.

1. How to Find Your Hidden Markets
Start by evaluating your existing customers. Look for groups of customers with similar characteristics you do not currently cater to in your advertising. Then create new versions of your sales message appealing to their specific needs. You will attract a lot more customers just like them.

For example, the owner of an accounting service marketing to small businesses noticed that many of his new clients were landscapers or insurance brokers. Therefore he created separate web sites highlighting the unique benefits his service provided to clients in each of these businesses.

The two sites looked similar, but their sales content was customized to appeal to the specific needs of potential clients in each market. Visitors to either site probably assumed he specialized in working with companies in their industry. Within two months he was able to increase the number of new clients from each group by over 25 percent


2. Adapt to Your Customers and Become a Specialist

As you work with a lot of customers and prospects in a narrowly defined market, you gain special insight into how they think and what they need. You will be able to communicate with them as in "insider" using their own special vocabulary and style.

Prospects and customers will think of you as being "one of us"... a specialist who caters to their unique needs. They will want to do business with you because you understand their special situation and know exactly what they need.

As a specialist you also eliminate much of your competition... even if their prices are lower. Most customers will pay a little more to buy from a specialist so they can avoid the risk of doing business with a competitor who has little or no understanding of their special needs.

Bonus: When you deliver results as a specialist you also establish yourself as an expert in your field. Customers will proudly refer other prospects to you. They appreciate what you did for them and are confident you will deliver the same results for others.

You can boost your sales significantly by using the two simple, low-cost steps revealed in this article. Just (1) identify the narrowly defined sub-markets hidden in your main market. Then (2) become a specialist catering to the unique needs of the customers in each of these sub-markets.

Monday, August 2, 2010

How to Make Your PC as Fast as the Day you Bought It

One of the most frustrating things in life is a slow computer.

Every few years, we buy an expensive new PC and love how fast it starts up, runs programs, and loads web sites. Inevitably, though it starts to slow down, until eventually we are pulling our hair out waiting for it to do routine tasks.

Why is this? It turns out the answer is actually quite simple and you don't even need to be "technical" to understand the causes and solutions.

The good news, it's not the computer hardware that's the problem. In most cases the hardware you have is perfectly capable of being restored to its original glory and kept in fast running condition with minimal effort.

Rather, the problem lies with changes that occur to the PC's software. The 2 most common causes of slowdown (along with easy solutions) are:

Registry errors - the most common problem

Every time you (or your kids) load a program, game or file, your PC's software registery is updated with new instructions needed to operate that item. However, when the item is removed, these instructions usually remain on your PC. Every time you run your computer it tries to execute these instructions but, because the related program can't be found, it causes a registry error. Your PC is doing a lot more work than it should be and the result is a significantly slower computer.

One of the best ways to manage this is with a neat little tool from a Seattle based company called the Advanced Registry Optimizer 2010 (ARO for short). This program scans, identifies and fixes registry errors - resulting in a computer that's a lot more like it was when you first bought it. On top of the amazing results it offers, it's so easy to install and use that it was recently awarded a coveted 4.5 star rating (out of 5) by CNET's editorial staff.

You can now get a free working version of the software which will quickly scan your entire PC and identify all of the registry errors that may be bogging it down. The free version eliminates the first 100 errors and if you have more errors that you want to clean-up or want to set the program to run on a regular basis (recommended) you can easily upgrade to the full version for just $29.95. After that registry errors will no longer be a problem.

To get the free version simply click here.

Spyware and viruses

Spyware and viruses are software programs that are loaded on your computer without your knowledge or permission. They have various purposes, including:

  • Changing the default search engine in your browser
  • Tracking your web surfing habits and showing you targeted advertising
  • Using your email program to send out spam to other email addresses
  • Stealing your personal information

Most spyware and viruses get onto our computers through files that we download from the internet or as attachments to emails. They tend to take up a lot of computing power and as a result will significantly slow down the computer.

The simple rule of thumb to follow is to never download any free software programs from companies you do not know and trust, especially screensavers, emoticons and the like. In addition, you should never open any attachment to an email unless you are 100% certain you know and trust the sender. In addition, make sure you have a good anti-virus / spyware removal software running at all times.

Follow the above advice and your PC should stay fast and safe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

BlackBerry, a security threat

The United Arab Emirates has declared BlackBerry smartphones as potential threat to national security, saying the devices operate beyond the jurisdiction of national laws and are open to misuse.

The move raises concerns of another attempt by the government to control the flow of information in the Arab Gulf nation, which actively censors websites and other forms of media seen as harming national security or conservative local values. At the same time, however, the UAE is trying to establish itself as an international business hub, the Associated Press reports.

This is the second major controversy over the Blackberry in the UAE. A year ago, the Middle East country’s biggest state-run mobile operator was caught encouraging unwitting BlackBerry users to install software on the devices that could allow outsiders to peer inside. The government has never made fully clear what happened in that case.

In the latest flap, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority voiced fears that the BlackBerry manages data in a way that could allow it to be misused. BlackBerry devices were singled out because they are the only phones operating in the country that automatically relay users’ information to privately managed data centers overseas, the regulator said.

“As a result of how Blackberry data is managed and stored, in their current form, certain Blackberry applications allow people to misuse the service, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions,” the regulator said in a statement carried on the state news agency on Sunday.

It said that BlackBerry devices operate “beyond the jurisdiction” of national laws because they immediately send data abroad to be “managed by a foreign, commercial organisation.”

Gmail - Fw: 9ja 4 U - Looting of Treasury! -

Gmail - Fw: 9ja 4 U - Looting of Treasury! -