Friday, October 26, 2012

Starting an Online Business

With numerous people depressed about their income and looking for ways to make quick money, it is not surprising to find yourself thinking about starting an online business. While the profits from a business have always had their attraction, the internet has now prompted a larger population to contemplate the idea. This is because online businesses provide the ease of operating from home, which is why they can even be controlled by individuals like housewives and students. Moreover, the success of large online businesses in almost every niche is now attracting several people. If you, too, are thinking about starting an online business, here are a few tips for it.

For one, you must play to your strengths. While you may look up to large social networking websites as an inspiration, it may not be a great idea for you to make a similar effort if you do not have thorough knowledge regarding it. You must, therefore, stick to the things that you know best. If you are a home cook, for example, you can go for a business related to the culinary industry. Similarly, if you feel that you are great at writing, you may want to start your own writing company! While such ideas may seem cornered and unfit for an online business, you need to understand that going for unique ideas is the key. You might just find these ideas becoming extraordinarily popular in the years to come!

Secondly, it is necessary to find a web developer for your site. Naturally, an online business will not grow to its maximum potential if it does not appeal to customers. Therefore, if you are not adept at creating websites and managing them, you must go for professional help. While this may call for investment, you can minimize the latter by going for expert freelancers. The investment will definitely pay off if your website turns out to be attractive enough to drive traffic!

Moreover, once you have established your website, it will be necessary to market it. This is because several great businesses do not make enough profit simply because they fail to reach out to potential customers! Do not let this happen to you. You can hire people to blog about your website or products and write persuasive articles that can be scattered around the web. Moreover, you can go for marketing through popular social networking platforms. With the right strategies, these platforms can enable you to reach your targeted audience and, thus, to inform them about your business.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Starting a Woodworking Business From Home

Starting a home based business such as woodworking requires a plan. Starting a business with no plan or a poor one is a recipe for failure. Part of this plan should include learning how to control the costs of your home based business. If this business is a woodworking business then this will be similar to many businesses which involve the use of materials and specialized labour.

To make a profit in any business you need to keep track of your costs. When you start your woodworking business you will need to put a final cost on your products. This will include a number of cost variables such as material, labour, overhead, shipping and other miscellaneous items. This may not be accurate at the beginning and you may take a loss. So that is why you need to keep track of your expenses right from the start. Adjustments will have to be made to insure that you make a profit as you grow your business.

Here is a list of costs you should keep track of as you grow your woodworking business:

Labour Costs - This should be determined by how much you would pay a professional woodworker, if you hired this person as an employee. This will be your personal labour cost. You could determine the actual rate of pay based on a percentage of you the cost of materials to complete a particular woodworking project.

Material - Each item you build will have a definite material cost built into it. This cost will not change once you have purchased the material you need to complete the project from start to finish. Keep track of even the smallest items. Remember small things add up over the course of a year and can become a large expense. These could be fasteners, screws, nails, glue, sandpaper, miscellaneous tools and masking tape, etc.

Overhead Costs - These costs include all those not involved with the actual production of your woodworking projects. These would be office supplies, advertising, insurance, rent, utilities, internet, phone, office supplies and other related costs. You will need an office to do accounting and sales. You might even decide to have a website which would advertise your woodworking business. This website could advertise products available to people beyond your local area. The operation of a company vehicle could be included in these costs.

If you decide to ship your woodworking products to your customers, include this cost in the price. Consider adding a shipping charge to the final price and itemizing it on the customers bill. Be up front about this. Explain to your customer there will be a shipping charge before the final transaction. If your product is of high quality the customer will accept this as part of running a business.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tips For Success At The Networking Event

You have prepared and planned for your networking event with almost military precision. You have arrived in plenty of time; you are relaxed and mentally prepared. Now what do you do? Do you rush in and hand out business cards to anyone who will take them? No! Don't do that. Here instead are nine great tips that will help you maximize your networking enjoyment and potential success.

1 - Meet your pre-arranged contacts

After you have been greeted by the event host, and if you previously arranged to meet with a sponsor or business colleague, make sure that you seek them out as promised. Do not spend all your time talking to the people you know well. Save this for another day. After all, everyone is really there to meet new people.
2 - Get introduced to others

Use the host or people you already know to introduce you to others that you may want to meet. This method gets rid of the sometimes awkward ice-breaking stage.

3 - Be the introducer

This is a great way to feel confident. Introducing people demonstrates your confidence and social grace. Pay particular attention to people who seem lost, shy or simply isolated. They will love the chance to be introduced to someone so after talking a little with them yourself, find out who they want to meet and then make the introduction. You will feel really good about this simple act.

4 - Refreshments and snacks

These can be a nightmare. If the event has a sit-down meal element that is fine and you can eat and talk as you would in any other dining situation. If the refreshments and snacks are intended to be eaten whilst mingling then I would suggest that you stick to soft drinks only. Even handling a cup and saucer with coffee or tea can be tricky when you are expected to shake hands or kiss cheeks. Don't even get me started about people spraying crumbs of food when they talk or getting food in their teeth - leave the snacks for later.

5 - Be careful with your promises

This may sound counter-intuitive but don't just give your cards out to everyone you meet. Only swap contact details with people you feel it is worth keeping in contact with. It is unfair and a waste of everyone's time to give the impression you want to connect with people you really don't want to connect with. If you promise to call someone or follow-up with some more information, then you had better make sure you do it. Make a to-do list and stick to it. This will help you protect your hard-earned credibility.