Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monitoring Your Competitors

No matter what type of business you have, whether you are at home, in an office, or online, you are going to want to keep your eye on the competition. This is important for several reasons. You need to be sure that you are getting the most customers that you can and that you are meeting the needs of these customers so that you can keep them and get others. In order to do this successfully, you have to be sure that you are keeping up with what your competitors are doing. This has always been the case, from the time that business itself was new. Competition is just that. However, it has lately changed in several ways.

First of all, in the past you keep up with what the top of the field was doing. The business at the top was getting all of the customers, all of the best deals and was just in generally at the place that you wanted to be. This meant that everyone had their eye on who was above them and was sure to keep up with them as much as they could. However, this has changed lately due to several factors.

Because of the internet and of the fact that someone can sell just as many units of something from their basement as they can from a ware house, you have to be aware of what all of the people in your field are doing, even the little guys. In the past the small companies that were just starting out would not have caused you any problems. However, now that these little guys are able to swoop up out of nowhere and own the market very easily, within just a few years, you have to keep your eye on each of them as well.

Another thing that has changed is distance. In the past, you only had to worry about what your competitors in your same area where doing because they were the ones who could get your customers away from you. Now, however, when just about everything is available online, you are going to find that it does not matter where the other businesses are, they can still be competition for you, even in your own home town.

This means that you have to find something that only you can do, or a hook that only you are going to be able to use and you have to strive to set yourself apart from all of the others that are doing the same thing you are. This might seem tough at first but once you have gotten the hang of it, you will see that the competition that is all around the world is actually going to make your business stronger and make you more able to compete in a world wide market.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Marketing Your Online Business

If you have an online business, chances are your customers are going to be online users and focusing your marketing efforts online is the most logical move. However, while the bulk of your marketing efforts may go to online resources, do not forget the offline customers as well. Many may not react to online marketing but finding your website in a print or broadcast media advertisement may have more integrity with some users.

As people continue to be bombarded with online advertising through pop-up windows, email ads and advertisements playing on the internet whenever they open a new page, they tend to become immune to seeing them. Even news videos offered free of charge are often preceded by a commercial and most people tune them out and watch the play clock until the news footage they requested begins to play.

Research is beginning to show what most web users have known for years that graphic intense pages that take a long time to open, usually never see the light of day. Even with broadband connections some pages can take up to 20 or 30 seconds to load, exceeding the patience level of most want-it-now internet users. It does not matter how great the page looks once it opens, if no one hangs around long enough to see it, it was a waste of time and money to build it.

Flash presentations became the big thing a few years ago and many webmasters were quick to jump on the bandwagon, but with the length of time needed for these pages to load made most web users reluctant to sit and watch a page unfold. Low graphic content and heavy text with a simple message open quicker, increasing the chance a person may actually look at the page.

Keeping the message on your landing page simple will also help people decide if they have any interest in going any further. The first thing people see must relate to their interest and clearly explain what they are going to find on your website. If the page opens instantly and there is nothing grabbing the users attention, the page will close just as fast.

One of the most used means of internet marketing is the use of affiliate programs. With most forms of advertising you pay for a certain number of exposures and hope someone finds the advertisement interesting enough to visit your site. Then you hope they buy something. With affiliate marketing, you only pay for ad placement if a sale is made, usually a small percentage paid as a commission on the amount of the sale.

Numerous websites will host advertising as an affiliate, placing an ad you had designed and when visitors to that site click on your ad and make a purchase, the website owner is paid a commission. You get the advertising free until a sale is made. Additionally, the site becomes a link back to your site, improving your sites position on search engines, drawing more traffic to your site as well.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

How To Organize Your Home Office

When you set up your home office for the first time you should take five simple things into consideration. These areas include space, quiet, lighting, office tools and security. These five areas can make your home office an enjoyable and efficient space to work in and enjoy. A home office can be a space where you work full time, pay your bills or finish up work from your office outside of your home. No matter the use the function of your office will be the same. Below is a more detailed description of why these five areas are business essentials for the home office.


Space is very important in the sense that the amount of space we have to work in can create certain feelings and emotions that can affect the way we work. If you have ever worked in a small office cubicle for any number of times, you have probably felt caged or cramped at least once in your time there. Especially if there are no windows to peer out of. For most of us we enjoy enough space to stretch our arms out in front, out to the side and of course above our heads. You need space to move from your desk to the filing cabinet or bookshelf. You do not have to have a spacious cathedral like room to work in but definitely enough space to be comfortable in.


A peaceful area where there are little to no distractions. You would not want your office next to your childs bedroom, where they are hollering or blasting their favorite music. You would not want to be disturbed by Barneys laugh or carton sound effects from the television. If your office space is to be used for work, you need quiet for concentration and focus that will allow you to complete your tasks effectively and efficiently.


Lighting can be seriously important for your moral and for your health. Poor lighting can cause blurred vision and serious head aches. If you are forced to squint or sit absurdly close to your screen due to the level of light, then it is time you invest in a desk lamp. If you prefer natural light, then place yourself near a window to satisfy your need for an outdoor view.

Office Tools

If there is one piece of office equipment to invest in it is a comfortable office chair. So many people suffer from back and leg pains due to sitting in a poor office chair. You want to have enough cushions for your bottom, proper support for the back and the arms as well as a chair that can be raised and lowered for proper leg fit. Purchasing a comfortable chair can make hours in the office much more comfortable. And when you are done working for the day, you can leave the office behind instead of taking the pains with you.


When running a home business you want to be extra cautious of your homes safety and security. With the office equipment such as computers and fax machines you want to protect these from thieves. Also if you do any work from your home office that contains private or personal information, you want these files or documents protected. You may want to speak to an insurance agent for additional coverage. You may also want to invest in a security system or at least have your home surveyed by a security system company to evaluate your safety risks. In the day and age we live in, you simply cannot be too careful.

By keeping the above five areas in mind you are sure to set yourself up with an office that can be everything you need it to be. A space to work as well as to find sanctuary, peace and quiet from the outside business world.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Starting Your Own Busines

There is nothing quite like having your own business. You might not realize that you can have complete and total control over what you are doing with your own business. Owing a home business can be something that you can do at any point in your life which is a part of what makes owning a home business so exciting. Many people choose to own a home business after they have worked in various sectors of the professional realm. They feel that they can more easily do this because they know a lot about what they have been doing for many years and they can be more secure in the fact that they will be able to know what they are doing in their business.

However, there are also people who feel that experience is not everything. These are the people who start right away with a home business even if they have no work experience in the field that they are having a business in. This is something that is being done more and more often, simply because it has become more and more easy to learn the things about home business that were previously only learned by working in the professional field.

With all of the tools that are available to people who begin with home businesses, it is a wonder that more of them have not started each and every day. In fact, this is the case as the days go on. More people want to work at home for a variety of reasons. The main reason is simply the idea that a person can work at home and can therefore be in charge of what they are doing with their lives.

This is a main factor in many decisions that are made regarding working at home. When you own a home business, you are more than able to actually choose your hours, your own schedule and to do the kinds of things that you have always wanted to do. This is all very important parts of owning your own home business and the freedom to make your own schedule is only part of the decision that many people are making.

Another main reason that many people choose to work at home is simply that idea it is at home. A person can take advantage of the time that they are working to enjoy the home that they work so hard to keep up. This is something that many people site as one of the most important aspects of owning their own business. Simply being at home and able to answer the phone, the door and to take advantage of all of the things that being at home has to offer them is one of the main reasons that owning a home business is so exciting.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Acceptable Means of Business Security

For many people, especially those new to business, asking for money upfront from clientele or patrons is a questionable, even downright nerve wracking prospect. Will the other party perceive a lack of trust on the initiators part? Is such an action illegal?

The reality is, however, such a practice is conducted by many institutions and contractors, so it is not out of line. As a matter of fact, such a policy as requesting a certain percentage of payment before work begins is required in many cases to ensure the security of those providing a service and it is totally ethical and professional.

This can be seen in the case of the apartment manager who insists on deposit before prospects move in. Some even require first and last months rent paid in advance as well. The reason for this is so if damage is incurred during a particular tenants stay or if the said tenant disappears before the termination of the contract, the manager is compensated for whatever loss is accrued and sustained.

Another example refers to the business relationship between clients and contractors, such as freelancers. Those getting paid for service quite frequently request a percentage of payment, such as 25 or 50 percent before work begins or they too might ask for a deposit in addition to percentage. Service providers practice this policy to ensure some degree of compensation should the client pull out before the transaction is complete or turn out to be untrustworthy or conduct unethical practices.

As for this last circumstance, many entrepreneurs are scrupulous and intend on getting something for nothing or very little. With these individuals, making and saving money takes priority over behaving ethically and equitably with aforementioned service providers. This is a scary and depressing notion but such things do in fact happen. Acquiring compensation or part of it, in advance offers some sense of security for those who might otherwise be stiffed.

As for the two examples above, along with many others, asking for payment ahead of time shows other professionals that one is on top of the game and initiating self protection, which is professionally sound and responsible. Others who have been involved in business know the necessity for this. Some who might take offense are either inexperienced or pose questionable character and therefore should be distanced or avoided at all costs.

Yes, certain people operate covertly and are difficult to detect early on. This is why incorporating such security measures into ones business policy is an important move whether blood suckers are lurking about or not, the business is safe. In the end, protecting oneself ensures a greater sense of survival in the business world over scrupulous behavior.

It makes no sense to treat people unfairly and expect the business to grow, especially when mistreated customers will go elsewhere or even press charges for illegal practices incurred against them. Unsavory reputations will destroy a business quicker than anything else. Others must have their eyes open to this at all times.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Computer Work At Home Business

Online Businesses, unlike many on site businesses, require entrepreneurs to not only have a background in business but also computers. Yes, on site businesses function on computer systems too but they do not rely solely on computer technology for their operation. No matter how shrewd or savvy an entrepreneur may be, if he does not have a strong grasp on how computer technology works regarding ecommerce, the utilization of marketing strategy through online systems, hypertext languages, a knowledge of other forms of software, such as Adobe, Flash and Java and other essential aspects of business networking, the online business is sure to fail.

This is why a whole new type of business study has emerged in recent years. Yes, double majors in Computer Science and Business would prepare those who wish to primarily work online but business schools now have incorporated a computer oriented dimension to their programs on all levels not only because computer technology has become an important integration in society in general but also because online businesses, revolving around ecommerce, have become a prominent and necessary community in the overall scheme of global business altogether.

It is crucial for all business students to know about computer technology, whether they intend to eventually work online or not. Many on site businesses today are also available online, so Internet interaction is inevitable for everyone involved in business. As it stands now, any business person who is unable to maneuver successfully through online communities is likely already destined to fail. Such graduates from business schools are arguably incomplete in their learning.

Those who wish to set up their own business site must know how to establish and work through online banking systems, download software and files essential for business site management like templates and tutorials. Upload files, such as image files, moderate forums for technical support, integrate registration and merchandise ordering software for interactive purposes, write in basic HTM, HTML, PHP and other hypertext languages, incorporate clipart and icons applications as necessary and effectively initiate advertising and other marketing strategies.

Conducting online business is much different than offline because the community in which it thrives operates according to its own distinct set of rules and mannerisms. Being able to maneuver through the landscapes constructed by such distinctions with ease and to ones own advantage will lead to success in that community. This is even true for the Internet. It can also be argued these days that those who learn about online business first are likely the more valuable because of their technical capabilities.

Computer techn ology is just as appreciatively vital and important in business as it is in Computer Science and every single business, whether online or offline, will be looking for those with such experience inclusive or aside from any academic achievements. Anyone in business having both academic degrees and experience with Internet technology are understandably most ideal.

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