Thursday, January 13, 2011

Home Based Business With The Touch of IT

Have you ever asked yourself how to start a home-based business? Read on to create the spark so you can start your own home based business.

But, "How?" and "Where?" it's one of the most common questions when starting anything new, right? In today's age and with the advent of technology our options can be over whelming. Then, let this article jump-start your journey on starting a home-based business.

1. Set Your Goals - 1st things first, be very clear with your goal setting. Don't just start your engine and just drive; although you will eventually get somewhere the question is, is that where you wanted to be?
2. Evaluate yourself - Don't just start any business opportunity just because you read it somewhere or a friend of yours told you so. Since your going to be part of this whole thing, then it is just best to assess yourself as well.
a. What are your skills?
b. What is it that comes naturally to you?
3. Equip Your Self - REMEMBER THIS! It does not mean that because you want to start a business, you are already qualified to run one. If it applies to life in general, then it applies to business as well. When your just starting out you will suck at it, so don't worry cause its okay. Even if you answered none to both questions on evaluating yourself, you don't have to worry cause you can give it to yourself by, learning and equipping yourself.

So, what types of home-based business are out there? Before we continue, here's a very basic point that is easily overlooked. Every business no matter what kind of business you have is always and will always be about selling, selling a product or a service. "Nothing happens, until something is sold!" So every business is about promoting a product or service. So our success in business and making money and in general is directly proportional to our ability to promote and sell things. Another thing about businesses is that it is a system that is supposed to make you more money, without you being stuck in it. Cause if you are stuck in it - then you own a job and not a business.

These are some of the industries that allows' you to learn and earn from home.
• Direct Selling and/or Network Marketing - Amway, Avon, Herbalife, USANA are some of the world-famous companies in this category. When joining companies like this, you are basically buying a complete business system that allows you to make money by "selling" their products directly or through your network.
• Internet Marketing and/or Affiliate Marketing - Internet marketing is the newest fad in making money or starting a home based business. This business system allows you to leverage on technology and the internet specifically to run your business system. Some of this technology driven systems can be run on autopilot, you set it up once and you watch your bank account grow.
• Work From Home - This is part of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. You can find freelance web developers, content writers, technical support reps, telemarketers and transcriptions in this industry. If you have a marketable skill that can be delivered using the internet, then sites like and would allow you to start your home-based or work at home services.

Here's a quick run down on why people are starting to join these home based money-making activities
• Being your own boss
• Working anytime you choose
• Building the future you have always wanted
• Spending your time on things that you value the most
• Compared to traditional business - it has lesser overhead expenses

Latest News: Since the inception of Facebook in 2004, it has growth exponentially. Facebook right now is becoming the worlds' largest market place with more than 500,000,000 Million users. Once you have decided on what and how to start your home-based business, make sure that you add Facebook marketing into your strategy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sales Jobs on Craigslist - How to Avoid Trouble and Frauds

Are you an experienced salesperson who is looking for a new job? If so, you may turn to Craigslist is a popular classified website and service. There are many jobs listed, including sales positions. Unfortunately, you will also find scams. How can you tell the difference between a legitimate sales position and a scam?

It is usually best to avoid national positions. This isn't saying that you can't work for a sales company that operates on national basis, but make sure there is a store or office located nearby. The best types of sales jobs are those where you work in a traditional office or store setting. You aren't just a contract worker who doesn't receive benefits, but you are an actual employee.

Do a small amount of research online. A standard internet search can save you a world of trouble. For example, you know that Mary Kay and Avon are legitimate sales companies and these positions are real. What about others? Can you really make money selling cell phones or health insurance? Yes you can, but there is always the risk of a scam. If you haven't heard of the company name before, especially with work-at-home sales positions, perform a standard internet search online, check with the Better Business Bureau, or visit scam reporting websites.

Avoid advertisements where little to no information is posted. All legitimate job postings on Craigslist should be filled with information. Not only should you know how much you make, but you should also know what type of products you will sell and how you target customers. Will you cold call or go door-to-door? Making $1,000 a day sounds nice, but it is usually unreasonable. Plus, if you check many of these job listings, no specific information is provided. These are scammers who usually want you to pay a training fee or get your personal information. There may be no real job available; it is just one giant scam.

To avoid scams and for your financially safety, look for sale jobs where you get base pay and then earn additional commission. With these jobs, you are usually working out of a store or an office location. There are fewer scams involved with these types of jobs and you are guaranteed a paycheck, even if you don't make a sale. Typically commission earning positions have a lower base pay. This means you may start out at minimum wage, but you have the potential to earn more money everyday that you work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

7 Things Everyone Ought to Know About Finding a Job

Being unemployed for a year, and 6 months in my life, there are things that I learned in both experiences that I vowed I'd never do again. I got lucky last go round to find a position while I was still employed, however, now I even have a 'better strategy'. I feel blessed to be employed right now, however, if I were let go today, this is what I would do to find a job, even in a recession

1. Remove any and all unnecessary expenses.

For example, you really don't need a smart phone, cable, gym membership, and a latte-a-day Starbucks habit while unemployed. So get rid of that crap. Besides, most of what you wanted to watch on television can be seen online anyway, so why waste the money?

2. Recruit other people to do your job search for you.

Remember all of the time you DIDN'T have to see your friends? NOW you've got time. Go through your list of connections, friends, co-workers, etc. and make appointments to see them and hang out. While you're there, gently remind them that you've just been laid off and you're looking for a position. Recruit your friends to help you search their 'hidden market' for available positions.

Contact every headhunter, temporary work agency, recruiter that you can find. This includes 'job centers', church groups, etc. The majority of all of these firms work on commission (i.e. you have to get hired in order for them to eat.). While some can be shady and yes you're going to lose %10-%15 of your potential salary, you could also be employed and deal with the details later. After being unemployed for a year, I signed with a Temp Agency. 5 days later I had a full time job and 6 months in I was 'bought out' by said company.

3. Get ACTIVE. Get out at least two nights a week.

You might not be social. You might hate talking to people outside your comfort zone. But the alternative is to sit at home, getting depressed and continuing to be broke. By being active, you break that hold and open yourself up to potential. Volunteer for your local charity / cause. Go out to networking events (they are either free, or severely cheap. Connect Work Chicago allows you to work the admission fee off for some events). Start building your Linkedin 'million dollar Rolodex'.

4. Re-evaluate your priorities

Right now is the best time to take inventory of your life. If you were laid off for amicable reasons, then you can make a list of people you enjoyed working and interacting with and touch base with them. If you were fired, hated your job, or just didn't like your environment, more than likely something in your world brought you to that place. My suggestion is to weed out those people and situations out of your life. Almost like breaking up with someone, give yourself the gift of a clean slate and a positive environment. It will help in the long run.

Also, check your career priorities. Whatever you come up with, add that you're flexible enough to change careers or industries. I'm currently in a position that I never thought I could apply myself to, but the employer found enough potential in me to bring me on board. If I was narrow minded, I would have never taken the position. While you're at it, if you have an opportunity to sharpen your skills in technology (word, excel, website design, social media, repair), and/or sales (marketing, writing copy, headlines, offers, etc.) you can write your own ticket for your next position.

5. Start a blog, and build your own web-presence.

I personally believe that people make blogs more simple, and more complicated than necessary. Everyone has an opinion, and it doesn't matter how many people don't get it, but how many people do.

Besides, my reasoning for starting a blog / website is three-fold. For starters, future employers are doing 'Google searches' for you before they hire you now. You want to be in control of said search so that your site and information comes up first and not your embarrassing photos on Facebook (Speaking of Facebook, now is also a good time to check your privacy settings and make sure you do look professional if you decide to keep your profile open to the public). Secondly, You can demonstrate your subject matter expertise of your industry (or niche), and host your resume!. Last and certainly not least, you could potentially monetize your traffic with affiliate offers.

6. Make a list of companies you would love to work for. Find out the CEO's name and information and send them a personal letter.

This is something I think people overlook as a strategy. The letter can be typed, double space, but it should be signed by you, licked stamped and sealed in a standard envelope. What is going to be on this letter? Do some market research about the company, tell the CEO or Founder that you admire his or her firm and mention you would love to work there one day. Attach your resume. Plan on sending 2 more followup letters a few weeks later. Although you might run into gatekeepers, it helps to get to the 'decision maker' of the company to make sure that they are aware of your presence. At the very least, you might get a contact inside the company that you can network with. Ask your connections inside said companies for either informal interviews, introductions to managers or HR folks, something that gets you into the door and puts your face to the resume that casually goes across someone's desk. (For an even faster way for this method, find the charities that said companies sponsor and volunteer for them. More than likely a representative from the company will be there AND they will be open to being your friend since you share a common interest in the charity. Neat, huh?)

7. Find ways to make money in small increments.

You could give away free blogs for me. You could sell tickets to networking events. You could run errands for your friends (start a personal concierge service or virtual assistant service, really popular!). Walk dogs. Wash cars in the summer. Write reviews for products on Amazon/Yelp. Send traffic to your blog so you can sell affiliate offers to your friends (btw, Groupon has an affiliate program too. You could make money just by referring an already awesome service to their friends!). These are not all full time income type things, however, if done right can make you some extra income and at least keep you afloat till you get on your feet. I'd stay away from direct sales (Avon, Amway and the like) and I'd definitely not SPAM your friends, because that can have an adverse effect.

BONUS 8. Develop an online Daily Action Plan

Take one hour out of the day to focus on your current job, which is finding a job. So the goal is to list all of the job websites (CareerBbuilder, Monster, Craigslist, etc.) and make it a point to apply to x amount of jobs on each one, regardless of if you're qualified or not. Get on LinkedIn, contact 3 people a day, participate in 3 group discussions. Call 3 people a day with the intent of discussing finding a position. (you could outsource this to ya know...)