Author:
• Friday, September 25th, 2009

I’ve just learned about a great new business opportunity.  It’s great for the following reasons:

1) Low start up (max $75)

2) Great earning potential (up to $340 for one “party”)

3)  Rinse and repeat for another $340 as often as you like

4)  Opportunity to earn your way to full distributor rather than fronting the money

How can you beat that?

This particular product is perfect for the upcoming Christmas season.  Now is the BEST time to get  involved, because the highest sales will happen in the next three months.

This company is just venturing into the Home Party business, so it’s looking to find party scheduling experts. Are you good at doing parties?

Even if you’re not, this system is so easy, you just have to start the ball rolling and let your new affiliates do the parties.  Basically, you purchase a business in a box for $49 (which comes with an account for using the product for yourself). For another $25, you qualify yourself as a Retail Affiliate (RA), eligible to sell new accounts and earn retail profits and bonuses.  A Retail Affiliate is not as good as a full Distributor, because you don’t get residuals as an Affiliate, but the RA position lets you earn the money to become a full Distributor.  An AWESOME system!

Give me a call for details!  678-298-9422

Category: General  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Thursday, August 06th, 2009

I’m pretty good with computers in general (I’m a software engineer, so I SHOULD be!), but I confess to knowing the bare minimum about most applications that I need for various tasks like e-mail and word processing.  I have a good feel for what they “should” be able to do, but I’m weak on exactly how to do it, so I look it up online.

Most recently, I discovered an easy way to do an e-mail merge with Outlook/Word 2007.  I’d done mail merges before for letters and labels in Word, but I had never attempted it with a “form” e-mail.  Yesterday, I had to send out about 70 personalized e-mails, so I REALLY didn’t want to send each of them individually.  I wanted something personal in them!

Here’s how it works:

1.  Set up your data file.  I used Excel. I had actually exported my data to a CSV, so the fields were already set up.  Have all your data in appropriate fields with a header row to identify each column.

2.  Open Word and type your e-mail message.

3.  Click on the Mailings tab, then Start Mail Merge and select E-mail Messages.  Then Select Recipients, Use Existing List, and find your data file.  Then Edit Recipients – check the box next to whichever recipients you want/don’t want.

4.  Set up your form fields.  For example, after Hi, click to Insert Merge Field and select first_name (or whatever field you want to put there).  Insert as many Merge Field as needed.

5.  Preview your e-mails.  Click Preview Results and scroll through the records (numbered beside the Preview button).

6.  Finish.  Last, click Finish and Merge, Send E-mail Messages.  Enter the field containing the e-mail address, a subject line, and  click OK.

You’re done!   You’ll see each individual e-mail in your Sent Mail in Outlook, so you’ll know exactly what went out and to whom.

This is great functionality for sending business correspondence to prospects!

Category: Technical Stuff  | Tags: ,  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Friday, May 22nd, 2009

There are lots of cool tools available on the internet. The problem is finding them. Whenever I find one, I’ll post about it here so you won’t have to hunt it down.

The latest one I played with was Animoto.com. You can upload pictures, choose/upload music, and click Mix. Their service “mixes” your photos with the music to create a really cool slideshow with great transition effects that go to the music. The creation actually evokes emotion, and it’s all done with software!

You can create a free 30 second slide show (about 6 pictures).
A full length video is only $3 or $30 for a year’s unlimited use. Not bad considering how cool this service is!

Check this out!

Author:
• Sunday, May 17th, 2009

I love working from home!

I love learning how to build a business on the internet!

I’m a work-at-home mom with two kids.  I truly don’t understand how mothers working full time do it all – juggling kids, cooking, cleaning, laundry, not to mention their OTHER full-time job outside the home – do it.  I’m ecstatic to have the flexibility to work from home, earn income for my family, and determine when I need to work and when I need to tend to my family.

This unique option offers several things for me:

  • Time Flexibility – I get my kids on and off the bus to school, stay home with them in the summer, and have the flexibility to visit the out-of-state grandparents regularly.
  • Financial Freedom – I earn money for my family with a productive business, fueling my own need for intellectual stimulation while attending to the needs of my family when necessary.
  • Work Freedom – My business truly allos me to work when I want, full-time or part-time, earning a little or a lot, without inventory, mandatory meetings, or expensive  monthly fees.
  • Geographic Freedom – I can work and earn wherever I am, as long as I have a phone and internet access.  Talk about permanent vacation!

Some of the great things I LOVE about my business:

  • Personal online coaching for my business – FREE!  Step-by-step instruction through online courses that show me and guide me – setting up my blog, social networking, e-mail – all specifically for MY business.
  • Social Networking – I can leverage the social networking I’m already doing (Facebook addicts, anyone?) to build my business online.
  • Four free websites that I could start using right away!
  • Awesome leadership to help me get started AND continue growing.

If you’d like to hear more about how I work from home, fill out this form and I’ll send you some cool links of what I’ve done!

Category: General  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Friday, February 20th, 2009

STEP 1:  Make a commitment to yourself.
•    Make a commitment to yourself to NOT quit.  Figure out your WHY.  Use your why for motivation.  Re-motivate every day to meet the commitment to yourself.  You’re worth it!
•    Track the numbers.  Understand that it’s a numbers game.  Numbers are different for each person, but just worry about keeping track of YOUR numbers.  Don’t worry about how many YESes, or even how many you get to talk to.  You only control how many people you invite to listen.  Track your numbers to determine how many you need to INVITE in order to reach your goal.  Then make it happen! ALL of the great success stories in home-based business have huge numbers – because that’s how you reach success.
•    Meet the commitment to yourself with consistent action every day.  Talk, talk, talk and talk some more.

STEP 2:  Self-Improvement
As you’re living up to your commitment and inviting X people each day to listen, work on self-improvement – books, tapes, CD’s, seminars, training programs.  Always keep something in the car to listen to and something by your bed and even something in the bathroom.  As you learn and change, your results will change and that’s when the magic will happen.

Some classics to look into:  Books by Zig Ziglar or Jim Rohn, tapes and seminars by Dani Johnson.

STEP 3:  Teach Your Team
Once you see that it CAN be done, that it’s possible to make changes to effect a different (positive!) result, you can teach others on your team how to do it.  Ensure your system is duplicatable and teach everyone on your team to duplicate it.  Teach them the rule of the numbers.  Teach them to LEARN.  Watch them change, grow, produce, and duplicate. (Of course, this last step will only work for those on your team who are teachable.)

Bottom Line: It takes time!  Don’t sell yourself short by quitting during a dry spell.  Believe in the numbers – they don’t lie! Talking to more people WILL build your business.  As you improve, your numbers will improve.  Earnestly pursuing self-improvement will insure growth not just in your business, but all aspects of your life.  What a bonus!

Author:
• Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I hear the phrase “relationship marketing” more and more these days.  Based on the definition in Wikipedia, it is the marketing effort which focuses on customer retention, satisfaction, and referrals from those satisfied customers.  So, basically, it’s

  • taking care of a customer for the long term,
  • building a relationship based on more than just a single purchase,
  • giving the customer value beyond the value perceived in that one purchase.

Therefore, relationship marketing is the alter-ego of advertising which aims to acquire more first-time customers.  The objective of relationship marketing is to satisfy and retain the customers you already have so that they’ll

  1. continue buying from you and
  2. refer other customers to you by word-of-mouth.

Typically, you hear more about how to get new customers, how to reach more people.  However, in a contracting economy, new customers are harder to get.  Plus, you’ve already done the hard part to acquire the customers you have.  Why not take care of them?

The concept of relationship marketing has been around a long time. It really isn’t new.  But what IS new about the customer or the marketplace?  The modes of communication used to build relationships with customers are new.

Gone are the days when you built relationships with customer by seeing them around town on a daily basis.  How do we communicate now?

Social Marketing, online social groups, Twitter, e-mail, etc, all of which equals information overload.  Because of increasing junk,  customers develop finely tuned filters.  Extraneous information MUST be strained out or they risk overlooking important information.  It doesn’t matter that an occasional baby might be thrown out with the bath water, as long as it’s not THEIR baby.  That’s pretty tough filtering.

As a merchant, how do you cut through the clutter?  How you push your message through the (necessarily) ruthless filters?  Here are some ideas:

1)    Email marketingoffer VALUE!  Offer a free report, offer an e-course on an important subject.  Whatever it is in your niche/industry to offer value to your customer.  If they perceive your e-mails as valuable, and therefore worth their time, they will not delete them.  Constant Contact
is one email marketing service worth trying.  They offer a 60 day free trial to see how it works.
2)    Social Media – There are so many social networking sites out there and so much activity going on that it’s difficult to focus valuable marketing messages.  Here, it is imperative to determine your target audience and focus your message for that specific audience.  If the message is too general, it won’t make it through the (figurative) filter.  Of course, the message must be presented as part of the social conversation, NOT as a marketing message.  A blatant marketing message would get tossed out on its ear before ever being read completely.
3)    Written correspondence – Personal cards, letters, or post cards in the mail have  a greater chance of being read than even e-mail.  As in all other media, you must offer value in the card or letter.  Good wishes, prayers, new sales offer (based on previous known interests), useful information, holiday wishes.  Make the customer feel important, something other than a number or an address in a database.  Birthday cards, holiday cards, get well cards, thank you cards.  Written correspondence on a personal level is quickly becoming a lost art.  Personal mail is appreciated and, most importantly, READ.  Not every message has to have a marketing message.  The biggest challenge with personal written correspondence is the effort required to make it happen.  Send Out Cards is an innovative way to take the heavy lifting out of this marketing channel.

In a receding economy, making the most of your existing customer base is imperative.  Using a couple of simple marketing methods – e-mail and personal cards – can make a huge difference in your business growth.

Category: Referral  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Review

Sell Without Selling: Lessons from the Jungle for Sales Success

by Terri Levine

Terri Levine sets out with this book to make the jungle safe for everyone venturing in to sales.  Her colorful and descriptive narrative lays out one of the classic truths of sales:  Sell yourself sincerely before trying to sell anything else.  Without being long-winded, Levine personifies the classic sales stereotypes into various animal characters which make them very easy to remember. I guess that’s what makes it a fable. Duh.

Pros:

  • Easy read.  Short and to the point.  Reads like a novel with a storyline, so it’s not boring or technical.
  • Useful points to keep in mind.
  • Colorful figures which make the points easy to remember.

Cons:

  • Lacks real meat and how-tos.  While the principals addressed are enduring, the book is too short to go into real how-tos or sales methods.  Indeed, that’s not what the book is about anyway.
  • Makes it seem TOO easy. (Maybe it is.) Levine’s simplistic personifications make the process of sales very black and white, yet seldom is it so in real life.  Or maybe it can be with the proper mindset, which is the primary purpose of this book – to set the right perspective on sales.

Using the advice in this book might just make the jungle safe (and even fun!) for you, too.

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Category: Bookshelf  | Tags: ,  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Are you a Planner or a Doer?  I have to admit to being a Planner.  I love to make lists, thinking of all these great things that I will do.  I break down the big tasks into smaller ones to be done each day, just like I’m supposed to.  But why do those smaller tasks not get done?  When the day is done, most of the things I had wanted to get done are still left unchecked.

In my case, it’s hard to say whether I’m planning too many tasks into a certain time period or simply not using my time to its best advantage.  I suspect it’s a little of both.  When planning out my days, I know which tasks I want to complete by the end of the week, so I spread out necessary tasks accordingly.  Unfortunately, completing my list of tasks in a given week if often wishful thinking.  In order to get them done on paper, I overload each day with work.  I could probably get the work done if nothing else came up.  Yeah, right, how often does that happen??  But since I work in a business instead of a bubble, my days are full of interruptions, constantly changing priorities, and new work to get on the schedule.  Obviously, those unplanned events need to be planned for.  Just expect them to happen and cut back on the time you expect to have for completing planned tasks.

I know I also have an issue with time management.  I do all the right things as far as creating a to-do list, prioritizing what needs to be done, and actually working on my list.  But I’m easily distracted, frequently changing priorities without valid reasons (“If I don’t do this now, I’ll forget about it later!”), and, I admit, just don’t feel like doing a particular task sometimes.  Yes, I’m guilty!  I definitely need to get over that one.  Not feeling like doing something is NOT an excuse for not getting the job done!  Neither is it an excuse for changing priorities mid-stream.

So, my lessons learned:
1) Plan for less time than expected to be able to devote to getting work done during the day.  Simply expect the unexpected.
2) Plan fewer tasks in a day so you’re sure they will get accomplished, regardless of what goes awry.
3) Stay focused on the planned to-do list.  Ruthlessly rein in the temptation to drift into another related task which is not on the list.
4) Maintain priorities unless you have good reason to change them (besides “I don’t feel like it.”)
5) Put your feelings aside and just GET IT DONE!

Category: General  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Monday, January 19th, 2009

So many home-based business options exist that it can be hard to choose.  The first decision needs to be whether the opportunity aligns with your passion.  What is your passion? Decide that before moving forward.  Then, find a company in line with your passion so that you will talk about it naturally to everyone you meet.

Most home-based businesses fall into Health and Wellness, Home Products, or Services.  Health & Wellness can be further broken down into Supplements (think Waiora, Juice Plus, Herbalife, Berry Tree) and Skin Care/Cosmetics (think Avon, Mary Kay, Arbonne), among others.

Pros for Health and Wellness:

  1. Given the current health crisis in the U.S., everyone needs to think about getting healthier.
  2. With society’s emphasis on outer beauty, many people are willing to spend big bucks on anti-aging formulas and quality cosmetics to cover up those wrinkles.
  3. Health and Wellness products might be marketed to both personal consumers as well as health professionals.

Cons of Health & Wellness:

  1. Most people don’t want to hear about their mortality. No one wants to admit that they aren’t healthy or that they’re going to be the one of the 1-in-2 people to get cancer.
  2. Although everyone wants to look younger, they may not believe product claims or they may not be willing to pay the additional cost for high quality cosmetics or supplements.
  3. Many people dismiss any health product as “just another juice,” regardless of how great and wonderful the latest product is.

Home Products typically fall within Kitchen Products (think Tupperware, Pampered Chef) and Home Décor (think Southern Living, Longaberger (longaberger.com), Home & Garden).

Pros for Home Products:

  1. Home Parties are fun to do for very social people. Just start booking parties and bucks start rolling in.
  2. You can buy the products for yourself at wholesale prices.

Cons for Home Products:

  1. In this economy, cute home products are likely to end up on the discretionary spending chopping block.
  2. Without a steady stream of home parties, your customer stream may dry up.
  3. Your market is typically limited to personal consumers, not businesses.

Service companies include Sent Out Cards, Ignite, and Prepaid Legal, among others. For service companies, you need to determine if the service is viable and whether or not it has sufficient marketing options.  Is this a service which would appeal to just regular consumers or to businesses as well?  Is this a service that enough people would want or need?

Pros for Service Companies:

  1. No inventory to worry about. Customers typically order and manage the service online.
  2. In today’s busy society, people will often spend money on convenience services in order to save time.

Questions to ask for all companies:

  1. What is the quality of the product/service? Do you/would you use it? Do you believe in it? You don’t want to associate yourself with a sub-par product or service.
  2. Determine if the company emphasizes the product/service or recruiting. The product/service should be strong enough to be sold without the business opportunity. If the company emphasizes recruiting over the product, think very hard about the opportunity.
  3. What is the market for the product/service? Can you target both individual consumers as well as businesses? The wider the market, the better for your new business.
  4. Examine the compensation plan. Is there a realistic way for you to start making money early as well as making more long term? Can you make money working part-time as well as full-time?
  5. How do you advance in the company? Will your efforts be rewarded?

Lots to think about, but you’ll benefit by doing some research before taking the plunge into a new business.  Learn the critical points about product/service, company, and the team you’ll be joining.  Learn to trust your instinct.

Author:
• Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Contrary to what some believe, a home-based business is neither a scam nor a means to instant wealth.  Although some may be shady, most opportunities are legitimate money-making ventures IF you work them like a job – every day, consistently, persistently.

The perks of a home-based business are plentiful – work on your own schedule, five second commute, be your own boss, business tax deductions, no one looking over your shoulder.  The list could go on.

However, building a successful home-based business takes discipline, consistency, persistence, self-motivation, teachability, and lots of hard work.

  • Do you have the discipline to work your business activities day after day, even when you don’t “feel” like it?  Do you have the discipline to schedule your work activities around your family schedule so there’s time for both?  Do you have the discipline to make arrangements for your family when you MUST accomplish a work activity (like a phone call)?
  • Are you willing to repeat the same activities time after time consistently, always believing that the next activity will make a difference?  Will you consistently perform your work activities every day, regardless of what other priorities may be pulling you in different directions?
  • Do you have the persistence to get through the No’s in order to find the Yeses?  Do you have the persistence to learn new techniques until you find what works for you?
  • Are you motivated enough (do you have a strong enough Why?) to keep at it, day in and day out, for at least a year to see what can happen?  Most opportunities take at least two to three years to start showing significant results.  If you throw in the towel after three months, you’ll never know what you may have missed.  But do you have the motivation to keep going against the tide?
  • Are you teachable?  Are you willing to learn from others who want to help you succeed?  While creative thinking is an asset, reinventing the wheel is probably not.
  • Are you willing to put in the time, energy, and work to make your business successful?

It’s not for everyone, but the rewards of a home-based business are great for those who stick with it.