Tag Archives: online marketing

How to Turn a Worthless Business Idea into a Million-Dollar Startup

Everyone has ideas. I get ideas by the dozen. When I’m brushing my teeth, when I’m driving to work, when I’m at my desk reading an article. But that does not mean that all can be converted into million-dollar businesses.

Not that these cannot be converted into million-dollar businesses, but I may simply not be driven enough to see those particular ideas through to that milestone.

You may get many ideas, too. But if you don’t, don’t despair. You don’t need ideas to start a business. Regardless, your business ideas are worthless. Let me explain why.

Ideas are just ideas. An idea is the seed of a successful product or service. Without proper care and maintenance, it will not bloom. Ideas require solid research of the target market, a good strategy and a sound business plan, without which, ideas cannot go much further.

Related: 4 Ways to Find Your Next Revolutionary Business Idea

If you want to start a business and make a go of it, you need more than just an idea. To begin turning startup dream into a million-dollar business, consider the following advice.

1. Settle on one business idea.
If you’re mulling a number of ideas, odds are good that none of them will see the light of the day. Why do I say that? Because your approach is all wrong. Skimming through different ideas every day and figuring out whether they motivate you or whether they work won’t get you anywhere.

The amount of time you’re spending on them will likely be insufficient. An you’re probably not passionate about any of them. So how do you fix it? Take one idea that moves you, that you feel most passionate about and stay with it. Stay with one till you can’t go any further. Until you’ve given it your all.

Only then will you know whether or not that business idea is worth a million dollars.

2. Validate your idea.
Your idea is absolutely worthless if you keep it to yourself and do not test it with actual customers.

Writing a business plan with projections through market research is a sure-shot way to a startup doomsday. Nothing beats an actual customer using your product or service.

So how do you get to customers when you’re at the idea stage and don’t want to spend a huge sum building something they don’t want?

Build a minimum viable product or a prototype. The idea is to put out something that offers the main value of your startup or that solves the core problem of your customers.

The prototype could be a PowerPoint slide, a dialogue box or just a landing page. This is something that you can often build it in a day or a week. A prototype can be an actual functioning product with the core features offered.

Share this with your network and see the response. Are people excited to use it? Do they feel their needs or problems are resolved by using your product? Is it easy to use?

3. Execute.
There is no such thing as a million-dollar idea. Facebook was not a million- (or billion) dollar idea until it saw the light of the day, until it was executed.

Ideas evolve into products which themselves evolve over a period of time through constant customer feedback and use. You must build a prototype, beta or a minimum viable product and get it out in the hands of the customer. Let your customer decide whether the idea is of value or not.

Related: 5 Ways to Hatch Your Next Business Idea

Most people just don’t get their products out in time and spend most of their resources in trying to build that one perfect product. Save yourself some grief, time and, most of all, cash, and build on a product that your customers want.

4. Find a large market.
Don’t waste your time on an idea that does not cater to a large audience. Sure, you can start local and expand later, but is your idea solving the needs of a few hundreds? Is your idea scalable to the next hundred thousand? If not, you’re not building a business.

Validate whether the problem that you are trying to solve is truly the problem of the masses. And not just yours and a few neighbors and friends or your network.

Think big, think global, if you can.

Base your idea on a large audience and you’ve got yourself a product with the potential to grow into a larger and a more successful business.

5. Make it a must-have, not a nice-to-have.
A lot of ideas are utter nonsense. Those can surely be turned into selling products, but you won’t end up building a business out of them. These are the nice-to-have ideas.

You must spend time getting to know from the market whether your idea or product is a nice-to-have or a must-have. Nice-to-have products are mostly in the novelty domain or are not compelling enough for customers to buy or own.

If you want your ideas to develop into successful products that help you create and sustain a business, then go after must-have ideas.

So, decide what is important to you: the figment of your imagination that tells you your idea is a million-dollar one or validating it to build something that can get you the actual million dollars.

The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

By     http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225354
Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea LLC, a company committed to helping entrepreneurs and businesses build, market and monetize their mobile apps, with offices in San Jose, Calif. and Pune, India



Native Advertising Is Growing In Popularity


For many business owners, online advertising has traditionally meant banner ads and Pay Per Click campaigns with the likes of Google and Yahoo. While the online space was in its infancy for marketers, this approach was successful.

However, in recent years, consumers have become more discerning about how they’re marketed to, and this has resulted in banner ads and PPC campaigns taking a revenue hit. According to a recent article at Smart Insights, global clickthrough rates continue to show unimpressive interaction, with “banner blindness” a key factor in consumers ignoring straight-up advertising.

Instead, social ads and content marketing have started to drive bigger engagement, with consumers increasingly acting upon ads within the likes of Twitter and Facebook, as well as sponsored blog posts from bloggers promoting a certain brand or product.

Yet even these methods of advertising are beginning to be less effective, with reports showing consumers tiring of constant blatant promotion by bloggers, and confusion around disclosure of a paid/sponsored promotion via these channels.

With consumers looking for a better brand experience that doesn’t necessitate a barrage of ads, one area that’s set to break out in 2014 is that of native advertising.

What Is Native Advertising?

The problem with advertising is it can often seem out of place to the recipient. Mass advertising in particular—print ads or TV ads—is sent out based on attachment to a popular TV show or the reach of a newspaper or magazine. This leads to less relevance for the audience.

Online ads allowed marketers to become more focused, and begin to isolate target audiences based on age, demographic, browsing habits and more. However, this could still lead to irrelevant ads, with ads showing up based on a Web user’s browsing history, versus the ad matching the content being viewed.

This is where native advertising comes into play.

By matching advertorial to content, the hope is the increased relevance to the viewer results in the desired action for that ad. For example, let’s say you’re a fan of Ford vehicles. You visit a site like Jalopnik and, while reading about the new Ford F-150, you see an accompanying ad for tonneau covers, or tire pressure monitoring hardware.

By providing complementary ads to an audience on a relevant site, and providing context for the purchase, the chances of the ad being more successful are higher than an ad for toothpaste, for example.

Mobile native responses
It’s this contextual relevance that’s making native advertising so attractive to marketers, advertisers and business owners of all sizes. So how can your business benefit?

Native Ads As Content Marketing

As consumer behaviour shifts from making a purchase after seeing a brand ad to researching and validating through reading blogs and trusted online media sources, businesses need to think about how they can be a part of that shift.

A particularly effective approach is to partner with bloggers in your industry or niche, and provide relevant advertising opportunities for them where they can also benefit. There are multiple benefits to this method:

  • Both the blogger and his or her audience are relevant to your products or services, offering a warmer lead opportunity.
  • The blogger is respected by their audience and, as such, offers a higher potential for actions taken (downloads, demos, inquiries, etc.).
  • By partnering with a blogger, your business can bypass ineffective ad partners and provide fresh, relevant content direct to the source (blogger and audience).

To help you identify which bloggers are the most relevant to your brand, as opposed to those with a larger audience but less relevance, you can use tools like InkyBee and InNetwork to help you filter out the best matches.

These companies also offer excellent support in ensuring the bloggers who are the best fit for you are the ones identified by their technology.

Once you identify the bloggers, take the time to review their blogs and how they traditionally partner with third-parties like your brand. Some may display relevant ads next to an editorial, while some may offer sponsored content.

See which works best for the blogger you’re looking to connect with and then reach out with your proposal, identifying your budget and goals to ensure the blogger is the right fit from a financial standpoint.

Native Ads And Mobile

As desktop browsing continues to make way for mobile browsing as the preferred source of content consumption, so marketers and businesses need to adapt their tactics to meet this diversifying audience.

Indeed, ComScore predicts that mobile browsing will overtake desktop browsing in the next year.

Mobile versus desktop 2014
This opens up a host of different opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers on their chosen mobile platform.

  • Facebook reports that mobile ads have contributed more than $1.5 billion in revenue, with much of that coming from targeted, native ads in a Facebook user’s stream.
  • Social networks Instagram and Tumblr are enjoying profitable brand partnerships through in-line native ads that are part of the user experience.

For businesses already using social media as part of their marketing outreach, the mobile-readiness of these networks make it easy to create in-line ads that will go directly to a targeted customer base (Facebook Ads offer the option to be placed in both desktop and mobile feeds).

Additionally, there are dedicated solutions to help you create a mobile native ad. One such company is Namo Media, which provides a seamless way for you to include in-line ads on mobile apps. Nano Media’s templates adapt to your brand’s design, keeping ads unobtrusive and a natural part of your customer’s experience.

If your business doesn’t have the scale to build apps, solutions like Conduit Mobile enable you to create inexpensive apps with multiple features and promotional solutions.

Whether you’re looking to partner with bloggers and media for native ads through content marketing, or offering a dedicated mobile experience either through existing social networks or a dedicated app, it’s clear that native advertising is growing in popularity and effectiveness for marketers and businesses of all sizes.

With budgets increasingly being allocated to native advertising, now might be a good time to start considering how you can use it for your business, before your competitors leave you behind.




Make more money, Get Unstuck, & Hot Dog Marketing

If you want to make more money for 2014, but felt “STUCK” then continue reading…..

Being “stuck” will mean different things to different people, but I’m sure you know the feeling. Like me, maybe you feel you’re destined for something great, but need a BREAKTHROUGH – Or maybe you just feel generally unfulfilled and STUCK! The good news is that you can change your world to suite your desires anytime if you knew how to get Un-Stuck! http://partners.selfdevelopment.net/ref/74023/7f6516ed  

There are many techniques to help you get UNSTUCK… and to create quick and lasting change. For example:- Some people have TONS of confidence. They can talk to anyone. They’re the life and soul of every party. They can command an audience on a whim. These people weren’t born with confidence. They got their copies of the Learned NLP at Home Course… You can grab it instantly at: http://partners.selfdevelopment.net/ref/74023/7f6516ed       (click that link)

If you are really feeling stuck then I suggest you try something PASSIVE that will pull you into a more motivated state.  Here are a couple of quick shortcuts that anyone can do to get a quick boost of motivation… even if they’re practically glued to the couch.

Need to get in better shape?
…Dust off that DVD of “Rocky” and watch Sylvester
Stallone train his butt off with “Eye of the Tiger”
blasting in the background.

Want to create a bulging bank account?
…Get addicted to watching TV shows like “How I Made
My Millions” (on CNBC) or something like it.

Are your sales slumping?
Turn on the movie “Wall Street” or “Boiler Room”.                                                                                           These are quick SHORTCUTS, and I suggest you use them only as a SPARK of motivation.

Meanwhile, I highly suggest you get your copy of the NLP            http://partners.selfdevelopment.net/ref/74023/7f6516ed

With Learn NLP At Home Course :you will know how to create deep inner motivation; you will learn the techniques and strategies to create quick and lasting change in your life; and you will have tons of confidence. So what are you waiting for? Start listening to the NLP today You can grab it instantly at: http://partners.selfdevelopment.net/ref/74023/7f6516ed
(click that link)

And Now…

Hot Dog Marketing (how NOT to show up as a spiritual entrepreneur)
by Brenda MacIntyre

On one of my walks in the city one day, what I saw on a business sign sparked something in me. I feel sad for the business, but it also reminded me that this is what I see a LOT of in the healing and coaching industry…

1. Wearing too many hats in your marketing.

2. Marketing the wrong thing.

3. Operating out of fear, instead of from your power.

Let me explain. Note, this is a bit of a long article because I wanted to give you a full clear picture of what NOT to do and, if you find out you’re doing “hot dog marketing”, how to change it NOW before you lose too many people (not to mention losing yourself).

Here’s all that’s GOOD about the restaurant in question:

1. Everyone who works there – and the restaurant owner – is Mexican. I love that sense of authenticity. I could go to hundreds of places in Toronto for a burrito but none of them I’ve been to except this one and one other has ONLY Mexican people cooking and serving the food.

2. Friendly customer service with a special touch. They’re always smiling, very welcoming, playing Mexican music that makes me feel like dancing, and I feel like I can have a real conversation with whoever is at the till, if they’re not too busy with other customers. They went the extra mile once by offering me a complimentary piece of what was no ordinary cake. I forget the name of it, but it was some kind of traditional food and very clearly “home-made”. Made me feel even more steeped in authenticity.

3. It’s a family business, and it makes me feel good to support local family businesses.

4. Every time I used to go there, they’d have some kind of new traditional Mexican “patty” – pupusa’s and other little snacks. I loved the variety of traditional Mexican foods that I couldn’t just get anywhere.

So you might be wondering what I was so sad about the other day when I saw their sign…

I had lost interest in their restaurant, partly because I want to eat less carbs and partly because… well, I wasn’t sure why. Until I saw that sign. It was advertising HOT DOGS. Yes, that’s right. Hot Dogs.

Ummm… What??

Yeah, I had to do a double-take.

But then my memory lit up for me. I remembered a couple of months ago walking by and the sign said “Special on Hamburgers and Fries”.

What happened?

Well, a 2nd Mexican food restaurant opened up on the other side of the street. At their grand opening, they hired Mexican musicians to perform. But that, to me, was the only authentic thing about this 2nd restaurant. The staff all have identical t-shirts (they’re great at branding). Oh, and you must only be able to work there if you’re a pretty teenage girl with long hair and an over the top outgoing personality, because that’s the only staff at the counter. One of them may have been Mexican. Maybe. Their burritos, I have to admit, tasted a bit better than from the other restaurant. But it was more like being at a glorified hamburger restaurant and I don’t even remember what their burritos tasted like. All their bells and whistles and fake authenticity did NOTHING to inspire my loyalty.

BUT… Ever since that restaurant opened up, my favourite one stopped being themselves and have been unsuccessfully trying to be something they are not, to try to get people in.

Do you ever find yourself in this pattern? Are you trying to be or market yourself as something you’re not, in order to get business? Do you overstuff programs with bells and whistles to entice people to buy them?

OR Are you being authentically YOU in your business, but you’re not getting the clients you want (or any at all)?

Or do you just never start your business in the first place because you’re afraid to unveil who you really are?

Here’s what you need to do…


Your Portal to Your Power in your business is the act of immersing your business in YOU.
So how do you do that?

Let me give you an example. The first restaurant’s Portal to its Power – what made this restaurant so appealing – was the immersion in authentic Mexican everything that you couldn’t help but feel when you walked in the door. It was in their home-made hot sauces and their friendly Mexican atmosphere. But it still kind of did look like a hamburger joint. So they could’ve just gone BIG with being Mexican… and here’s how.

1. One thing I didn’t mention is, the name of their business isn’t Mexican. It’s Italian. ??? They might want to rebrand to reflect their authenticity. I’ll talk in another article about how important naming is, but that’s a total mismatch.

2. They could have AMPLIFIED their Mexican authenticity within the actual restaurant, in their branding, in what they were wearing, and in their cooking, and stayed the course even when the other restaurant started to take some of their business. My bet is, they would’ve gained more customers, and they would have inspired the loyalty of the customers they already had, including me. Trying to be some hot dog joint, when Toronto has thousands of those plus hot dog stands outside, is a death wish for any new restaurant (uinless they amplified their “hot dog-ness” and specialized in some weird delightful way totally on hot dogs). Let me spell this out for you. Branding yourself as a “business coach” or “xyz practitioner” (insert any healing modality you want) is HOT DOG MARKETING. It is NOT immersion in YOU, and does NOT inspire loyalty in your clients.

3. After the other restaurant opened, they could’ve put out a sandwich board expressing their authenticity. I mean seriously… hot dogs??? That made me wonder if they even served Mexican food anymore. What if it had instead been some quirky Mexican saying, with it written in both English and Spanish? What if they just made a few simple décor changes to create an even more authentically Mexican atmosphere?

The truth is, it does take time to grow a business, and these guys gave up only a few months into the game, because they saw there was “competition”. The truth is that if you open the Portal to Your Power within your business, there is really NO competition.

Also, business-building isn’t overnight – it takes time. If they had endured the investment of ideas, time, energy and money into amplifying their power (and I really hope they will!) for the long haul, then I would find myself back in there again, even if it was just to buy a Mexican dessert for my daughter.

So I urge you NOT TO GIVE UP when you look at how many other practitioners are out there in your field. There is ONLY ONE YOU. When you DO YOU – 500% YOU – then you inspire loyalty, you remove yourself from the “competition” and your potential clients will see that you’re not just another coach or practitioner in the millions out there.

If you’d like my help in Opening the Portal to Your Power in your business, fill out an application for an interview here: https://ah133.infusionsoft.com/app/form/portal-vip-app

Viwida Feature:- The Women’s Business Center at Community First Fund

The Women’s Business Center at Community First Fund provides training, customized business counseling, loan capital, and advocacy support to small business enterprises. The goal of the Center is to develop more knowledgeable, better prepared business owners through these services and outside resources.The Center focuses on the unique needs of existing business owners by providing one-on-one counseling sessions to discuss specific business issues and offering intensive classroom training on how to establish your new business and manage your growth.

The Women’s Business Center at Community First Fund also offers special topics seminars, covering a variety of business issues such as gaining access to capital, marketing, networking,  and certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).

The Women’s Business Center offers loan capital through its Women’s Business Loan Fund and through programs offered by Community First Fund. This loan capital may be used to help start up your new business or expand your existing business.

Additional funding to assist small minority- and women-owned contractors, who do not have access to lines of credit or other small business loans from traditional sources, is available from The Pennsylvania Business Opportunities Fund (BOF).  Loans from the BOF are administered by Community First Fund which partnered with the Department of General Services and the Department of Community and Economic Development to create the program.

For more information, please contact Lydia Walker, Director of Women’s Business Center.

State Procurement classRecent State Procurement class, taught in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration

Women’s Business Resources

DID YOU KNOW?     According to the Small Business Administration, of the 23 million non-farm businesses in 2002, women owned 6.5 million businesses. These firms generated $940.8 billion in revenues, employed 7.1 million workers, and had $173.7 billion in payroll.   To find out more..

Goldman Sachs – Capital Support and Business Education to Small Business Owners across the United States


GOLDMAN SACHS 10,000 SMALL BUSINESSES  EXPANDSUPPORT                                               TO SMALL BUSINESS LENDERS

Announcement of initiative to select lenders to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and to provide training to small business lenders in partnership with Opportunity Finance Network

NEW YORK, October 17, 2013 – Today, Goldman Sachs announced at the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) Conference three initiatives to support small business lenders, in conjunction with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program which provides capital and business education to small business owners across the United States. The first initiative, the 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative, delivered by OFN, will provide national training opportunities for mission-driven small business lenders to increase their capacity to finance small businesses. The second initiative, the Small Business Leader Award, will recognize innovation and excellence by community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and other mission-driven small business lenders. The third initiative, the 10,000 Small Businesses Capital Opportunity Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), invites expressions of interest from mission-driven small business lenders who want to partner in the 10,000 Small Businesses program. Pending qualified demand, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will commit $40 million in loans accompanied by charitable support to approved small business lenders.

“Small businesses are an important driver of economic growth and job creation in this country,” said Esta Stecher, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Bank USA.  “We are proud to work with OFN and our community lending partners to provide entrepreneurs with access to financial capital.” 

Through a three year, $1.3 million partnership, the 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative will provide national training opportunities for CDFIs and other mission-driven community lenders to scale their capacity to serve small businesses in underserved communities. As part of the program, OFN will design and implement a series of two-day workshops, supplemented by webinars and best practices guides, focused on growth models for more than 90 small business lenders, delivered across the country over a one year period. OFN and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will select a subset of 20 lenders, through a competitive application process, to receive training and intensive technical assistance over two years to develop and implement ambitious and customized growth plans. The program will include OFN-led training and peer-learning forums, quarterly webinars and conference calls, and 800 hours of one-on-one technical assistance. The focus will be on adoption of best-in-class policies and procedures that will enable growth, and promotion of common performance measurement and management standards that will increase availability of capital.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, in partnership with OFN, will also launch the Small Business Leader Award to recognize innovation and excellence by small business lenders who demonstrate a strong commitment to growth. The new cash award will go to a different small business lender each year for three years, and will be given to a small business lender demonstrating outstanding leadership and commitment to serving small businesses. The awardee will be recognized at both the OFN Small Business Forum and the OFN Annual Conference.

“CDFIs lend to small-business owners—many in low-income areas—who can’t secure a traditional loan,” said Mark Pinsky, President & CEO of Opportunity Finance Network, the leading network of CDFIs. “In a time when small business credit is scarce, this new partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will expand the ability of CDFIs to meet the credit needs of entrepreneurs, increase the financing available for small businesses, and help make loans that transform people’s lives.” 

The new 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative builds off the success of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses’ prior partnership with OFN that resulted in the creation of a peer learning network of CDFI lenders and helped CDFIs improve loan policies, improve collections on delinquent loans, expand capital deployment and increase underwriting and servicing efficiencies.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses also announced at the OFN Conference the launch of an RFEI aimed at identifying small business lenders across the country who want to become lending partners. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses will commit up to $40 million in loans accompanied by charitable support to partners selected through the RFEI.  The RFEI follows the success of the firm’s 2011 RFEI to fund capital-led 10,000 Small Businesses sites, where 8 partners primarily in rural areas received $40 million in loans and $4 million in grants for loan loss reserves and general operating support.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million program that will unlock the growth and job-creation potential of 10,000 small businesses across the United States through greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services. The program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth for small businesses. The program is currently operating in both urban and rural communities across the United States including Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City as well as six capital only states— Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

Small business lenders across the country, particularly those in urban areas, can now apply for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Capital Opportunity RFEI at gs.com/10ksb/capitalopportunity.  Proposals are due December 6th.

Small business lenders across the country can sign up to get more information on the OFN and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative at  10KSB@opportunityfinance.net. Applications will launch in 1Q2014.

About Opportunity Finance Network

Opportunity Finance Network, the leading network of private financial institutions, creates

growth that is good for communities, investors, individuals, and the economy. Members of OFN are community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that deliver responsible lending to help low-wealth and low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2011, OFN’s network originated more than $30 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities, and financed 940,000 housing units, 83,000 business and microenterprises, and

9,000 community facilities. More information is available at: www.opportunityfinance.net


The Power of CHOICE Summons Universal Forces in a Flash!

Choice is yours for the taking      –        Life is yours for the making! –                                                        One thing that can change everything…

The Choice Factor! By Aine Belton

           Choice is a gateway to the possible – not only at cross-roads on your path, but in every moment, giving access to the limitless palate with which to paint your life.
You can choose a new action, thought, feeling, or behaviour at any time, and birth an entirely new reality as a result.
There are no ‘perfect’ choices, but there may be choices that you may feel more passionate about, aligned to, enlivened and inspired by, choices that move you, speak to your heart, and take you towards bright futures.
Those may be small choices, big choices, easy or more challenging choices.
One of the magical things about choice is… you can make a new one in any moment!  Choice, when owned and yielded, is a powerful tools with which you create your reality, especially as it can steer and direct the others – namely your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, imagination, focus, and so on.
A vast number of choices you make are barely conscious, or you may fail to acknowledge them as the choices they indeed are. Habits, for example, are choices that have become more automatic, be they your sleeping patterns, the way you communicate, your job, your daily routine, how you take your coffee (that you even drink coffee), etc.
What you tangibly do (your actions) are the most obvious choices, but there are choices at subtler levels, i.e. what you think and feel, your attitudes, principles and values, etc.
Choice opens you to the realization that each moment is filled with possibilities – for more love and joy, for a new beginning, a new direction, expanded success, etc.
Every choice has an impact to a greater or lesser extent, each one like a pebble dropped in a pond; the ripples, the ramifications, spreading out into your future and other areas of your life.
Even one small choice made today that shifts your life by one degree, overtime can lead to a future far brighter than where you may be currently heading, opening you up to a new path and life; new doorways, visions, people, horizons, places, and opportunities, new levels of love, happiness, health and success.
I’ve no doubt you can remember choices you made weeks, months or even years ago that have significantly changed who and where you are right now. Perhaps you can also think of choices you didn’t make and wonder where your life may have ended up, for better or worse, if you had.
What choice could you make TODAY that would change your life for the better – both now, and in the coming days, weeks and months ahead?
One of the contributors to our education project I’ll be sharing about was telling me how some years ago he began asking the question, several times a day, “How may I serve?”
From that asking, inspirations began flowing to him, including a book, that flowed out onto paper within 3 days.
It reminds me of a quote I share on twitter:
“If you lack vision, passion, motivation or direction, think of how your gifts can be of service in some way”.
If you feel unclear or uninspired by choices, reflecting on how you may be of help to yourself, others and the world can ignite possibilities.

hat choices could you make for sharing your gifts, love and being of service in some way?              
There are many ways you can give. You can give of your time, care, attention, love, money, information, support, appreciation, joy.
That includes giving those to you and making serving choices for you and your life too, obviously. If your tank’s empty, you’re not going to have any juice for others. One of the greatest gifts you have to give the world is the gift of your happiness.


The Secrets Of Million Dollar Sales Letters

Regardless of what you’re trying to sell, you really can’t sell it without “talking” with your prospective buyer. An in attempting to sell anything by mail, the sales letter you send out is when and how you talk to your prospect.

All winning sales letters “talk” to the prospect by creating an image in the mind of the reader. They set “the scene” by appealing to a desire or need; and then they flow smoothly into the “visionary” part of the sales pitch by describing in detail how “wonderful” life will be and, how “good” the prospect is going to fee after he’s purchased your product. This is the “body or guts” of a sales letter.

Overall, a winning sales letter follows a time-tested and proven formula: 1) Get his attention 2) Get him interested in what you can do for him 3) Make him desire the benefits of your product so badly his mouth begins to water 4) Demand action from him – tell him to send for whatever it is you’re selling without delay – any procrastination on his part might cause him to lose out. This is called the “AIDA” formula and it works.

Sales letters that pull in the most sales are almost always two pages with 1 1/2 spaces between lines. For really big ticket items, they’ll run at least four pages – on an 11 by 17 sheet of paper folded in half. If your sales letter is only two pages in length, there’s nothing wrong with running it on the front and back of one sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 paper. However, your sales letter should always be on letterhead paper – your letterhead printed, and including your logo and business motto if you have one.

Regardless of the length of your sales letter, it should do one thing, and that’s sell, and sell hard! If you intend to close the sale, you’ve got to do it with your sales letter. You should never by “wishy-washy” with your sales letter and expect to close the sale with a color brochure or circular. You do the actual selling and the closing of that sale with your sales letter – any brochure or circular you send along with it will just reinforce what you say in the sales letter.

There’s been a great deal of discussion in the past few years regarding just how long a sales letter should be. A lot of people are asking: Will people really take the time to read a long sales letter. The answer is a simple and time-tested yes indeed! Surveys and tests over the years emphatically prove that “longer sales letters” pull even better than the shorter ones, so don’t worry about the length of your sales letter – just make sure that it sells your product for you!

The “inside secret” is to make your sales letter so interesting, and “visionary” with the benefits you’re offering to the reader, that he can’t resist reading it all the way through. You break up the “work” of reading by using short, punchy sentences, underlining important points you’re trying to make, with the use of subheadlines, indentations and even the use of a second color.

Relative to the brochures and circulars you may want to include with your sales letter to reinforce the sale – providing the materials you’re enclosing are of the best quality, they will generally reinforce the sale for you. But, if they are of poor quality, look cheap and don’t compliment your sales letter, then you shouldn’t be using them. Another thing, it will definitely classify you as an independent homeworker if your hand-stamp your name/address on these brochures or advertising circulars.

Whenever possible, and so long as you have really good brochures to send out, have your printer run them through his press and print your name/address – even your telephone number and company logo – on them before you send them out. The thing is, you want your prospect to think of you as his supplier – the company – and not as just another mail order operator. Sure, you can get by with less expense but you’ll end up with fewer orders and in the end, less profits.

Another thing that’s been bandied about and discussed from every direction for years is whether to use a post office box number or your street address. Generally, it’s best to include both your post office box number, AND, your street address on your sales letter. This kind of open display of your honesty will give you credibility and dispel the thought of you being just another “fly-by-night” mail order company in the mind of your prospect.

Above all else, you’ve got to include some sort of ordering coupon. This coupon has to be as simple and as easy for the prospect to fill out and return to you as you can possible make it. A great many sales are lost because this order coupon is just too complicated for the would-be buyer to follow. Don’t get fancy! Keep it simple, and you’ll find your prospects responding with glee.

Should your or shouldn’t you include a self-addressed reply envelope? There are a lot of variable as well as pro’s and con’s to this question, but overall, when you send out a “winning” sales letter to a good mailing list, a return reply envelope will increase your response tremendously.

Tests of late seem to indicate that it isn’t that big a deal or difference in responses relative to whether you do or don’t pre-stamp the return reply envelope. Again, the decision here will rest primarily on the product you’re selling and the mailing list you’re using. Our recommendation that you experiment – try it both ways – with subsequent mailings and decide for yourself from there.

Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Promoting Your Business http://www.promopress.com/earning_money.html

The Survival Tips For Small Businesses

You may be in Mail Order, Direct Mail, or you may be a local merchant with 150 employees; whichever, however or whatever—you’ve got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions. Anytime the cash flow in a business, large or small, starts to tighten up, the money management of that business has to be run as a “tight ship.”

Some of the things you can and should do include protecting yourself from expenditures made on sudden impulse. We’ve all bought merchandise or services we really didn’t need simply because we were in the mood, or perhaps in response to the flamboyancy of the advertising or the persuasiveness of the salesperson. Then we sort of “wake up” a couple of days later and find that we’ve committed hundreds of dollars of business funds for an item or service that’s not essential to the success of our own business, when really pressing items had been waiting for those dollars.

If you are incorporated, you can eliminate these “impulse purchases” by including in your by-laws a clause that states: “All purchasing decisions over (a certain amount) are contingent upon approval by the board of directors.” This will force you to consider any “impulse purchases” of considerable cost, and may even be a reminder in the case of smaller purchases.

If your business is a partnership, you can state, when faced with a buying decision, that all purchases are contingent upon the approval of a third party. In reality, the third party can be your partner, one of your department heads, or even one of your suppliers.

If your business is a sole proprietorship, you don’t have much to worry about really, because as an individual you have three days to think about your purchase, and then to nullify that purchase if you think you don’t really need it or can’t afford it.

While you may think you cannot afford it, be sure that you don’t “short-change” yourself on professional services. This would apply especially during a time of emergency. Anytime you commit yourself and move ahead without completely investigating all the angles, and preparing yourself for all the contingencies that may arise, you’re skating on thin ice. Regardless of the costs involved, it always pays off in the long run to seek out the advice of experienced professionals before embarking on a plan that could ruin you.

As an example, an experienced business consultant can fill you in on the 1244 stock advantages. Getting eligibility for the 1244 stock category is a very simple process, but one with tremendous benefits to your business.

The 1244 stock encourages investors to put equity capital into your business because in the event of a loss, amounts up to the entire sum of the investment can be written off in the current year. Without the “1244” classification, any losses would have to be spread over several years, and this, of course, would greatly lessen the attractiveness of your company’s stock. Any business owner who has not filed the 1244 corporation has in effect cut himself off from 90 percent of his prospective investors.

Particularly when sales are down, you must be “hard-nosed” with people trying to sell you luxuries for your business. When business is booming, you undoubtedly will allow sales people to show you new models of equipment or a new line of supplies; but when your business is down, skip the entertaining frills and concentrate on the basics. Great care must be taken however, to maintain courtesy and allow these sellers to consider you a friend and call back at another time.

Your company’s books should reflect your way of thinking, and whoever maintains them should generate information according to your policies. Thus, you should hire an outside accountant or accounting firm to figure your return on your investment, as well as the turnover on your accounts receivable and inventory. Such an audit or survey should focus in depth on any or every item within the financial statement that merits special attention. in this way, you’ll probably uncover any potential financial problems before they become readily apparent, and certainly before they could get out of hand.

Many small companies set up advisory boards of outside professional people. These are sometimes known as power Circles, and once in place, the business always benefits, especially in times of short operating capital. Such an advisory board or power circle should include an attorney, a certified public accountant, civic club leaders, owners or managers of businesses similar to yours, and retired executives. Setting up such an advisory board of directors is really quite easy, because most people you ask will be honored to serve.

Once your board is set up, you should meet once a month and present material for review. Each meeting should be a discussion of your business problems and an input from your advisors relative to possible solutions. These members of your board of advisors should offer you advice as well as alternatives, and provide you with objectivity. No formal decisions need to be made either at your board meeting, or as a result of them, but you should be able to gain a great deal from the suggestions you hear.

You will find that most of your customers have the money to pay at least some of what they owe you immediately. To keep them current, and the number of accounts receivable in your files to a minimum, you should call them on the phone and ask for some kind of explanation why they’re falling behind. if you develop such a habit as part of your operating procedure, you’ll find your invoices will magically be drawn to the front of their piles of bills to pay. While maintaining a courteous attitude, don’t hesitant, or too much of a “nice guy” when it comes to collecting money.

Something else that’s a very good business practice, but which few business owners do is to methodically build a credit rating with their local banks. Particularly when you have a good cash flow, you should borrow $100 to $1,000 from your banks every 90 days or so. Simply borrow the money, and place it in an interest bearing account, and then pay it all back at least a month or so before it’s due. By doing this, you will increase the borrowing power of your signature, and strengthen your ability to obtain needed financing on short notice. This is a kind of business leverage that will be of great value to you if or whenever your cash position becomes less favorable.

By all means, join your industry’s local and national trade associations. Most of these organizations have a wealth of information available on everything from details on your competitors to average industry sales figures, new products, services, and trends.

If you are given a membership certificate or wall plaque, you should display these conspicuously on your office wall. Customers like to see such “seals of approval” and feel additional confidence in your business when they see them.

Still another thing often overlooked: If at all possible, you should have your spouse work in the business with you for at least three or four weeks per year. The important thing is that if for any reason you are not available to run the business, your spouse will be familiar with certain people and situations about your business. These people should include your attorney, accountant, any consultants or advisors, creditors and your major suppliers. The long-term advantages of having your spouse work four weeks per year in your business with you will greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience. Many couples share responsibility and time entirely, which is in most cases even more desirable.

Whenever you can, and as often as you need it, take advantage of whatever free business counseling is available. The Small Business Administration published many excellent booklets, checklist and brochures on quite a large variety of businesses. these publications are available through the U.S.Government printing office. Most local universities, and many private organizations hold seminars at minimal cost, and often without charge. You should also take advantage of the services offered by your bank and local library.

The important thing about running a small business is to know the direction in which you’re heading; to know on a day-to-day basis your progress in that very direction; to be aware of what your competitors are doing and to practice good money management at all times. All this will prepare you to recognize potential problems before they arise.

In order to survive with a small business, regardless of the economic climate, it is essential to surround yourself with smart people, and practice sound business management at all times.






Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Promoting Your Business http://www.promopress.com/earning_money.html


Online Advertising Is Actually A Good Selection For Anyone Who Has A Business

When men and women are thinking about expanding their business one of the initial things which should come to mind is online advertising. The Internet is vast, and pretty much every person on the earth today has access to the Internet, which makes each and every one of these men and women a potential customer. There are many ways of marketing and advertising successfully, but none as cost effective as online marketing and advertising. The most significant issue you’ll run up against is finding which approach is best. When your online advertising campaign is carried out correctly you are going to see that you will have the ability of greatly increasing the quantity of money you are making each year.

A lot of folks believe that all they need to do is put a website up on the web in order to carry out online advertising but there is far more involved. Getting visitors or traffic to the website that you develop will mean the difference between success and failure with your online advertising. The search engines like Google are wonderful place to get traffic, but you need to realize that you will need to build your site correctly and perform proper SEO. Building website links to your internet site will be one of the best methods for you to get top search engine rankings, and you’ll also see that creating videos about your website is additionally a good option. After you find an effective strategy of advertising your web site you’ll be well on your way to getting the traffic you need.

One strategy men and women use to be able to get traffic to their web site is by using something which is known as affiliate marketing and advertising. With this technique you get other men and women to sell your products and services for you. To be able to get internet marketers to actually market your website, you will need to compensate them with a particular percentage of every sale they generate. There are many internet marketers these days who have an e-mail list that they are able to send offers to, and this can drive large amounts of traffic to your website. Many men and women do not understand just how much more money they are able to make on their product by just opening it up to affiliates to promote. The product itself should be something that is of demand, simply because if people do not want your products you will not be generating any sort of product sales no matter how much traffic you will get. Affiliate marketers are a doorway to your business, and the more you get, the bigger your business will become.

Online advertising can either give your business credibility or it could ruin your reputation, according to how you do it. Remember that any content you post to the Internet should be extremely informative and valuable to individuals since this is how you’ll improve your reputation in the end. If men and women see that your information is actually a waste of time, the opposite can happen with your reputation. So long as the knowledge is valuable and pertinent to other people there’s a good chance that your visitors may recommend your website to other individuals. Valuable and pertinent information is going to be one of the main keys to a consistent rise in the amount of traffic you receive.

It will be vital for you to do some research before you begin your online advertising in order to ensure that your doing it correctly. For people that are trying to take your business to the next level and improve your income you are going to see that online advertising and marketing may be exactly what you’ve been searching for.

Getting into a subject like online buisness info, one thing that would be helpful is to have a place you can go for some of most legitimate information around. Check out the #1 home based buisness information portal you’ll find this side of the internet.

3 Great Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Even though so many online and offline businesses have jumped all over social media marketing and platforms, the surface has really just barely been scratched. Social media is definitely still in infancy, and you can count on many innovations in the future. This is very good news for large and small businesses alike. In fact, this arena is so wide open, you will be able to test out and learn new strategies everyday. That is one aspect of online marketing you have to embrace and accept; there will always be something to learn.

All the various social media places have their own set of unique social etiquette that you should pay attention to. An example of social media etiquette would be having people follow you on Twitter – proper etiquette is following them in return. Usually it is the famous people who feel the need to only follow others who are famous. It seems like some kind of condition that you have to also be famous to get the follow. In the same way, you don’t want to ignore people that follow your Twitter feed. You just never know what could happen by simply letting people follow you, even if you don’t know who they are.

For people with a business blog, it is important that you develop a relationship with your visitors that is professional. If you have a website, and you do Internet Marketing, it is possible to rank for just a handful of pages on the search engines if you want to. When you are able to post regularly to your website or blog, you can get your site ranked in no time at all. Regularly posting usually places dates on the posts themselves. Although people look at these, you can remove them as well. People that ignore you will typically be following what you do. More than likely, if you are not posting regularly, they will not show up.

Being a motormouth will more than likely get you in trouble. There is something to be said about people that actually pay attention. What you need to learn is to get all of your facts straight, and then address the topic at hand. This principle can be used virtually anywhere, and is not limited to social media at all. Apply this to any type of social media! Facebook, Twitter – it virtually works everywhere. Monitoring the pulse or movement of anything across social media networks like Twitter is possible. Monitoring people or groups would include your past customers, your competitors, and your basic audience base.

As you are moving forward with your business and using social media marketing, remember the concept of leverage. This can become beneficial in so many ways. But always remember to build relationships. You will make become a success with social media until you have a target market that can trust you.

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