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.

Patented Body Detox With a Twist

Toxins? What’s that?

You may wonder sometimes why your body seems to be heavy and you feel lazy to move, yet you are not sick. You are more than willing to be energetic but your body is not just up to it. To address the problem, you resort to eating a lot, gulping down cups of coffee and smoking, thinking that you will feel lively after; and for a while you do feel kinda good and ready to get going. However, while you think you’re feeling so great you are actually accumulating toxins in your body and not knowing it. With this scenario happening more frequently, you might need to detoxify.

But let’s be practical (realistic?), in our ever-dynamic world today, we want our bodies to be constantly active so we can keep up with the fast-paced lifestyles. Hence, we resort to body stimulants such as coffee, cigarettes, diet pills, drugs and other such stimulants, thinking that they will help the body to stay up all the time; but they do otherwise. These stimulants cause immediate loss of energy and emotional symptoms such as headaches, sickness and depression. They are also considered as toxins in the body.

What are toxins? Toxins are agents that will cause the body harm. There are two kinds of toxins, the Exogenous or external toxins and Endogenous or internal toxins. The Exogenous toxins come from external sources such as car fumes, tobacco smoke, drugs and factory pollution, among other poisonous substances. On the other hand, the Enogenous toxins come from viral or bacterial infection. In addition to these two types of toxins the body, due to metabolism, creates its own toxins known as autogenous toxins.

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Detox naturally

Through the natural process, these harmful substances are eliminated in the body via a process called detoxification, which is defined as the removal of stored toxic products from the bowel, the blood, liver, and kidneys. This detoxification process also removes a great amount of toxic substances stored in body fat in an effort to cure chronic diseases such as cancer. The easiest way to detoxify the body is detox through a natural diet; but this will consist of a change in body intake changing from a poor diet to a healthy one. A healthy diet might include raw foods, specifically, fruits and vegetables.

Naturally, the body detoxifies itself all day long, with the peak of detoxification occuring when the body is rested during sleep until about noon. This is a way for the body to eliminate those toxins acquired from pollution, stimulants and nutrients. And for the ever busy folks it is suggested that they substitute such stimulants with natural diet to acquire a healthy and active body. Most common stimulants taken by people are refined white sugar, coffee, diet pills, cigarettes and red meat.

Sugar has a stimulating effect which creates the feeling of invigoration when we drink sodas and other sweet drinks; but what we do not know is that refined white sugar often has detrimental effects on the body. Good examples of products containing refined white sugar are cola and ketchup. It is advisable to cut down on this misleading stimulant by using brown sugar produced from sugar cane which is natural. Fruit juices also give the same kick as refined white sugar.

Late night workers resort to drinking coffee to keep them awake, and as a natural substitute to coffee with an equally detoxifying effect is Japanese or Chinese green tea. The Japanese or Chinese green tea gives the same kick because it also contains caffeine, but it does not contain substances that are irritating to the stomach.

Stimulants

Diet pills are also stimulants which sends a message to the body that it is being kept alive. This may be observed among athletes, specially during the time for special competitions because they use up more energy. Such pills might be taken despite the toxic effect on the body; but in lieu of this, athletes should ingest a variety of fruits due to their natural detoxifying effects.

For cigarette smokers who think smoking stimulates their mind to think, they must think twice because it has been proven in all studies conducted on tabacco products that smoking causes cancer. If they eat carrots instead, they will experience the same effect in a more natural way. For red meat lovers who really feel good and strong after feasting on a good steak or burger, they’d be better off thinking about kicking the red meat habit and eating more fish, which is widely considered a better substitute.

Fit & healthy!

As a result of this information, we should all have a better understanding of why our parents kept on reminding us to eat more fruits and vegetables, because they give us energy in more natural ways and along the way they keep us fit and healthy.