The Home-based Business Phenomenon

Present-day American dreams

Present-day American families have the same dreams shared by families a few decades ago; buy a home, provide for the health and welfare of their children, and send those children to college. But the price tag for fulfilling these dreams climbs higher and higher every day, making it much more difficult to achieve the same standard of living that families enjoyed in past decades.

It used to be that a husband went off to work in the morning and the wife stayed home doing household chores and taking care of the kids; but the days of one-income households are long gone and both parents must now go out to work – when they can find it.

However, as the old familiar adage suggests, “necessity is the mother of invention” and accordingly, many enterprising single moms & dads, and even husband & wife teams are finding ways to stay home, and still earn a living via opportunities that are springing up all over the country as a result of the tremendous growth of an industry that makes work at home possible.

The Home-Based Business (HBB) industry has made it possible for anyone with some basic skills, a computer and Internet access to start a business at home. For example, an individual with a background in word processing can create his/her own in-home word processing business.

Getting started

Before you begin your Home-Based Business however, it is important to do your research. Find out what kind of software program will be most suitable for the type of business you intend on doing. You will also want your computer system to be compatible with your clients and customers.

Next, look at the make-up of your industrial area. An arts community, or a thriving business area? By checking out the demographics of your area, you can make a decision regarding the type of advertising you want to use.

In the beginning, you will want to try all sorts of advertising. Neighborhood newspapers are an inexpensive way to advertise, but they usually only published on a weekly basis and that may not be enough to keep the clients rolling in. You can put your name on the bulletin board at your local supermarket and pass out flyers door-to-door in large office buildings or other business complexes.

Although it may be more expensive than neighborhood newspapers, you may want to run an ad in your local daily newspaper (in the business services section). Church bulletins and university newspapers that sell advertising may also be a relatively inexpensive way to go. You should also get your business cards printed up right away; and don’t let a client walk out the door without one or two business cards. Repeat business and word-of-mouth may well be your best advertising tool.

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Whatever methods you choose to employ in your advertising, do yourself a favor and track the responses. Put a check list next to your telephone and whenever a call comes in (whether you get hired or not) ask the prospective client where s/he found out about you. It won’t take long for you to discover where your most cost-effective advertising comes from and when you know that, you can punch it up and drop the ones that aren’t doing anything for you.

Do your homework!

One telephone call will be the only opportunity you have to sell your service. If you hesitate when asked a price for a particular project, you will probably lose the job so do your homework. Call the competition and ask what they are charging. If the competition is out of your immediate geographic area (and you are therefore not a threat to their livelihood), you may want to be straight with them and tell them you are starting a home-based business in their field and ask for their input. You may be surprised to find them willing to help out with important information.

Keep in mind that there are myriad of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to establish the fundamental operations of your new home-based business. Whether you expect to get clients from the Internet or not, it is necessary to set up your business in a manner that will accommodate local clients/customers. So business letter heads, envelopes, forms, business cards, invoices and other paraphernalia will be necessary.

It will also become necessary to establish your pricing policies and have them available upon inquiry. Depending on your business, you could set a basic rate which can be a flat rate or a percentage.

For example…

…Using the business of word processing for a pricing example, a prospective client may call asking what you charge for 4 single-spaced pages. Your answer might be $45.00 per page straight text and then when the client comes, you discover that what s/he has is 4 pages of extremely complicated tables – definitely NOT STRAIGHT TEXT.

By not making firm pricing commitments over the phone, you will have the flexibility to charge a more accurate price when a client brings you something other than what you were expecting.

Elaborating further on the word processing example, to some clients a resume may be a single spaced page, but it takes a lot longer to type than a business letter and you will want to charge more for resumes. You will want to establish an hourly rate for tables, transcription and other more time-consuming jobs.

Always keep in mind that your pricing will change as you become more familiar with what your clients demand, and you may find yourself doing a lot of list maintenance and merge letters, or you may be doing work primarily for doctors, or attorneys; so you need to have a good basis for your pricing… but be flexible.

There are several home-based business models you can choose from, each one giving you the same flexibility to create your own USP (Unique Selling Proposition), as well as your own operational balance sheet. After all, the income & expense aspect of any business is usually an excellent indicator of that business’ prospects for success or failure; and truth be told, no business – new or old – start out with failure as an aspirational milestone. Therefore, it is success to which they aspire and choosing the type of home-based business to launch could make all the difference.

Choice of business types

The two business types that came to mind – based on my own – experiences are: Promotion and Distribution. You can choose to be a promoter or a distributor in addition to all the other choices that are available; but I have provided a glimpse of each vocation with the help of two other publishers whose knowledge of the topics is unquestioned.

According to a What is Promotion? article published to the Slide Player website, “Promotion is any form of communication a business or organization uses to inform, persuade, or remind people about its products and improve its public image. Product Promotion: 1) Explains the major features and benefits of its products (especially in relation to competitors), 2) tells where the products are sold, 3) advertises sales on those products, 4) answers customer questions, and 5) introduces new products…”

…And Distribution is described in the following manner: After a product is fully developed and offered at a competitive price, it must be delivered to an identified target audience. The place element of the marketing mix is where product production and distribution channels are decided and planned. The decisions made in this step directly affect the types of communication that are used to tell the target audience about a product.” This description is provided in the article, What Is the Difference Between Place & Promotion in the Marketing Mix? Written by Tim Burris for the Chron website. And there are so many more!

Article Writing – Affordable Web Marketing Task!

From Overture, a keyword suggestion tool, you will see the millions of searches done for a certain keyword. When these keywords are typed in search boxes of search engines, indexed websites containing articles with those keywords will be displayed. And this is what leads traffic to websites with keyword-rich articles. Yes, the magic word is articles.

Content is king. You can say that again. That is why writing articles is one of the most utilized in Web marketing activity today. Web surfers just can’t get enough of information on various fields. Providing information through these articles is a surefire way to drive hot traffic to your web site.

Why is this so?

Following are few benefits that can enhance your Web business from writing articles:

1) It’s absolutely free

Too good to be true? Not really, although you do have to pay your Internet Service Provider; but that’s it. All you need is your thoughts, your computer, and your hands. If you have those, nothing will stop you from typing words that will make you complete that article for your website. So for which aspect of that process did you really shell out a red cent? Not immediately, but perhaps later when your electric bill come.

2) Your website will be noticed in a shorter period of time.

Submit that article of yours to article directories that get the most web traffic and in no time your web site will be crawled. That is if you don’t forget including your resource box or byline.

3) Obtain back links automatically.

>When you submit your articles to directories, surely, other websites will make use of your article too. With the copyright terms of your articles, the URL of your website will still be in tact and will subsequently direct more traffic to your website.

4) Improve your reputation.

As an Internet marketer, if you plainly display your products on your website, you will not gain much conversion rate. Conversion is when your traffic converts to sales. You have to show that you are knowledgeable on your field. And what better way to show that than by writing articles that will allow you some bragging rights, right?

Just make your creative juices flow and jot down or key in those ideas quickly to jumpstart your article writing momentum. With those benefits listed above, a writer’s block is the last problem you will ever be able to surmount.

Keep in mind that your writing need not be restricted to articles, because there are other modes of writing that are just as attractive to search engines. Those include: ebooks, blog posts, newsletters and public announcements, among others. So write! And write some more…just make your writing interesting and compelling for both humans and the search engine bots.

Making A Profitable Amazon Affiliate Site

If you ever wanted to create an online store that brings in handsfree, passive income the first thing you will need is some kind of presence online; and in order to establish an online presence there are a couple of different methods you can utilize to accomplish such a goal. The first method you can employ is installing your own blog.

The installation (or creation) of your own blog option can work for you if you don’t mind putting in more work and are familiar with registering domains, buying hosting and installing WordPress. WordPress is quick to install, but if you are short on time you can quickly get lost in all the options available for appearance, security, functionality, and other such tasks that are normally associated with creating, managing and maintaining a WordPress blog.

I’m not going to give you a step-by-step guide to building a blog-site with WordPress, because there are thousands of those online already which can be found with a simple search on Google or YouTube if you need a tutorial on how to build a site with WordPress. It’s a lot easier than you probably think! However, if you want to use this option you’ll need the following:

  • Domain name, purchased through NameCheap or other registrar
  • Hosting, purchased through NameCheap, HostGator, or other Web hosting company
  • WordPress, free and easy installation often included by most hosting providers
  • A WordPress theme, free or paid.

Once you have a basic website built, next up, you need to start adding content. You can create this content yourself, or hire someone to do it for you – or use the trick we’ll explain in the next chapter to have it done fro you. Just make sure the content is well-written, grammatically correct, and interesting, because Google has become a lot more strict about the quality of any content it indexes.

Get a closer look at the ShopABot model for delivering viral traffic!

The second method you can use to create your blog-site and simultaneously set yourself up to establish that needed online presence is to use a software program known as ShopABot. The creators of ShopABot wanted to make it as simple as it has ever been to blog online. They give you a website and will even host it for you if you want. All you need to do is just tell them the niche you want to use and then add your Amazon affiliate details, and in about 30 seconds it’s built for you. When you create your ShopABot account, you’ll also get the option to ‘go pro’ which gives you a blog connected to your done for you store so you can make the most of traffic from Google too.

Just so you know, I’ve been blogging for over 10 years on three different platforms. The first site-building platform I was introduced to during my early years on the Web was Blogger (Blogspot) which was a Google-owned blogging platform that permitted me to add content, but limited my control of functionality, although it is described as “…a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries […], developed by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003 […] and allow blogs to be served from a custom domain owned by the user (like www.example.com) by using DNS facilities to direct a domain to Google’s servers.” You can learn more about Blogger on its Wikipedia page.

Several of the first websites I used to publish content to the Web during my early years were created on Weebly, the second platform I used and learned many of the things I know today about website creation, blogging, content creation, coding and other needed skills required to do many of the self-expression, promotional or marketing tasks on the Web. Then I found the WordPress-hosted version of their blogging platform before moving on to the self-hosted version where more work was involved, but almost full control of the blog software was at my disposal. I controlled the look and feel, functionality and styling (among many other features), which was always something that was important to me.

However, all that having been said, I must be totally honest with you and poinjt out that if I had the opportunity back then to grab something as powerful and simple to use as ShopABot, I would have jumped on it without hesitation. Of course the technology was not yet available… didn’t even exist. I believe the time it took me to learn the techniques necessary to get domain names, find good Web hosting, create websites & blogs, get traffic and maintain the blogs & sites would have been cut in half had the opportunity existed for me to utilize the ShopABot system for site/store creation, blogging, viral traffic and, ultimately establishing an online pressence. Bad timing for me, but maybe not for you. Learn more about ShopABot here and you can have your own store live and ready for sales just minutes from now. Good luck!

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