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Are You Like The Bumblebee In Your Home-Based Business:Part I

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Uncategorized

A bumble bee…Is she asking me about my shape, you may be wondering? And, no, this has nothing to do with the brand of tuna. Let’s take a closer look at the bumble bee for a few minutes.

The bumble bee’s body is large and is supported in the air by two pairs of very thin wings connected together so that they look like just one pair.  A statement attributed to scientists around the mid-19th century and again in the early 20th century concerning the ability of the bumble bee to fly has proven to be a myth.  The view was held  for many years that aerodynamically the bumble bee should not be able to fly, but it flies anyway.  Although the original calculations proved to be faulty and we recognize that the bumblebee was created with the ability to fly, people still continue to quote the thought.

Ivars Peterson goes further to confirm that “on average, a bumblebee travels at a rate of 3 meters (almost 10 feet) per second, beating its wings 130 times per second. That’s quite respectable for the insect world.”

The bumblebee CAN fly: Women, more often than men, are told that that they cannot possibly achieve a particular goal.  One that bothered me over the years was when a woman saw the flexibility and opportunity to start her own (more…)

The Value of Relationship Marketing and Customer Retention in Your Funnel

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Business - Home-Based Business, Direct Sales, Mindset, Uncategorized

Relationship Marketing is defined on cecausa.com as a “marketing methodology by which a business establishes a relationship with their customers and stakeholders in order to foster customer loyalty and purchases over time.”

This simple, but straightforward definition captures the essence of why relationship marketing has to be an integral part of the strategies implemented by small and micro-businesses owned by soloentrepreneurs.  The goal should be to develop long-term relationships as it is over time that business owners will be able to continue to provide value, and as they provide value the often repeated factor – the know,like, and trust factor – will develop.

One of the essential aspects of relationship marketing is the retention of existing customers.  When you consider that it takes (more…)

Expand Your Circle Through Local Business Networking Events

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Uncategorized

There are many schools of thought regarding offline networking. Some think it’s a waste of time, others think it’s a chore to attend events where you may know just one or two persons. How do you personally feel?

I enjoy attending networking events because I usually get to meet new people. I enjoy finding out what makes people ‘tick’ – their hot button, and the only way to do this is by taking time to converse with them. It’s easy to become overwhelmed at the thought of a room full of 20-50 people or more depending on the event but let’s focus on just ONE area that may help to make attending networking events more fun than chore.

You may be a Solo Professional, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner, or you may be an Independent Contractor for a Corporation and are responsible for finding your own Leads. New connections are essential to your business. (more…)

5 Action Steps To Keep Your Focus in Your Online Business

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Uncategorized

In my last post we highlighted how easy it is to allow ourselves to become distracted from our focus.  Here are 5 recommended action steps to help you to maintain your focus:

1.  Be specific in your objective. This makes a huge difference in reducing the level of distractions as your objective can be as broad as the ocean, which leaves you with a lot of room to flounder and get lost; or it can be narrow or focused as a little pond in your backyard that allows you limited freedom, but provides a place for growth.

For example: If your objective is “to make money online as an internet marketer” that is way to vague and you will lose focus by becoming bedazzled by all the information on the internet.  On the other hand make your objective more specific; perhaps, “I am going to be the best Affiliate Marketer I can learn to be in the next 6 months.” That will be your focus for the next six months so you will ignore all the other ‘opportunities’ that are offered to you. (more…)

A Positive Mindset Affects Customer Service in Your Online Business

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Business - Home-Based Business, Direct Sales, Mindset, Uncategorized

Your mindset is your mental attitude or disposition which affects the way you handle  situations that arise in your business.  Whether you market online on a full-time or part-time basis, you must have the correct mental attitude in order to experience success.  And the key to the correct
attitude is to treat what you’re doing as a  business rather than a hobby.  A hobby is something that you indulge in from time to time when the whim takes you, and you cannot afford to approach your internet marketing business in that way.

It’s important for us as entrepreneurs to recognize that if we provide products or services, there are thousands more entrepreneurs providing the same types of products or services, so our mental attitude or disposition is what will determine how we handle a customer inquiry, a customer concern, any type of customer service issue.  Think about this for a moment:  by having an online business your market will be global.  Therefore, it means you could be dealing with persons in different time zones.  Would you be prepared to take a customer call at 2:00 a.m. your time zone?  Have you mentally prepared yourself for such an eventuality?  It would be interesting to hear how other online marketers have handled this situation when they had to take a customer service call at an ‘odd’ time.

Keeping a positive mindset or mental attitude will allow you to deal with ‘inconveniences’ when you are just getting started, knowing that how you handle these so-called inconveniences is the foundation that could lead to exponential growth in your business.  It seems to take a long time to build a good reputation online, one that allows people to know, like and trust you.  On the other hand that reputation could be lost in a flash if we fail to display a position mental attitude that supports growth in our online business.

Support From Like-Minded People Can Keep You Motivated

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Business - Home-Based Business, Direct Sales, Uncategorized

I was recently asked what methods  I used to keep myself motivated in my business.  It should have been an easy answer because even while working in the corporate world, I had a successful skin care business while working with a number of women to build their own business.  Later I had a Customer Service home-based business for two years where I had to schedule my own hours, and have now been working in my online business for over one year.  The answer did not come very easy though, because there were times I did not feel motivated and there were times when I wanted to give in and give up.

After thinking about it a while I realized that there has been a common thread through all my experiences: support from like-minded people.  When I did not feel like making those three customer calls per day, or leaving my home to do a Beauty Show or call my team members, all of which were important aspects of my direct sales business, I would call a peer who was managing her business successfully or my Sales Director, or even listen to a motivational tape or CD.  Those conversations served to energize me and help me get my thinking back on track.

Moving forward to my online business, there were times when it felt like I was moving further away from my goals rather than moving towards them especially since no one in my direct circle was involved in an online business.  However, relationships that were built during online classes allowed me to stay in contact with some Mentors and classmates as we have communicated with each other through Skype, e-mail and the telephone.

Interestingly, over the past month through the first 30-day challenge I’ve met and am coming to know some incredibly supportive  people, and this has continued through to the current 30-day June challenge and is expanding.

My recommendation as one way to keep yourself motivated is to find and connect with like-minded people.  These will sometimes be networking groups in your community, or if yours is an online business, in online groups as well.  People want to be able to relate to others and have a natural sense of wanting to be part of ‘something.’  When you find people that you share common interests and goals with, this can go a far way to help you keep yourself motivated in whatever you do.

How do you keep yourself motivated in your online business?

Make Your First $100 Online

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Business - Home-Based Business, Uncategorized

Making $100 does not seem like such a big deal in the offline world, but making your first $100 online seems to be a much greater achievement.  Do you remember the first $100 you made online?  Or, have you made your first $100 online?  You may be new to the internet or just recently started your business.  On the other hand you may have been online for sometime, but it just has not happened.  Do no despair; it can and will happen.  It’s easy to feel that you are a failure because others seem to be achieving success at a faster pace.  There is nothing wrong with you as a person; you may not have been shown how to do so.

I remember when I got my first affiliate sale how excited I was, then my second and it seemed to stop for a while.  It was challenging for me to continue because I was used to seeing growth quickly in my business in the offline world.  But I persevered and I am so glad I did.  As I continue to learn the various ‘how to’s’ correctly, I have the opportunity to share this information with others.

One of the persons I’ve learned from is Kathleen Gage and was most recently in her VIP Program.  Kathleen has produced some amazing reports and her “Discover How to Make Your First $100 online” is chock-full of information that when applied will propel you forward.  Kathleen has been charging $17 for this report, but on June 1st the price goes up to $27.00.  I would recommend that you get a copy of this report before the price goes up.  She will also be including an MP3 for a limited time.  This report, along with others by Kathleen like, 5 Simple Steps to Money-Making visibility for Your Blog have been of tremendous benefit.

Order Kathleen’s “Discover How to Make Your First $100 Online” before the price goes up on June 1st!

Direct Sellers – 5 Tips to Help You Save on Income Taxes

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Uncategorized

This is a guest post by Lisa Robbin Young.  Lisa Robbin Young is a certified direct sales marketing coach, teaching direct sellers to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at http://www.homepartysolution.com/

5 Tips to Save on Your Taxes

By Lisa Robbin Young

As a business owner, at least here in the United States, Ben Franklin reminds us that there is at least one certainty in life: taxes. As a direct seller, you may have opted to build a small “side gig” to earn a little extra operating funds for trips, to give your family a little “more” or just to fund your shoe shopping habit.

Ultimately, though, if you’re producing revenue, you’ve got a business, and Uncle Sam wants his due. Even if you’re not profiting from your direct sales business, there may be some taxable situations that will effect you.

Mind you, I’m not a tax professional, but my friend, Scott Lovingood is, and he shared some great tips on his call  for the Small Biz Super Summit this Spring. While the deadline for filing your taxes for 2010 may have passed, now is a great time to consider ways to get your finances in tip top shape this year. (more…)

Should Direct Sales Consultants Build An Online Presence?

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Business - Home-Based Business, Direct Sales, Uncategorized

During a recent conversation with a group of women who are in various Direct Sales companies, different opinions were given on the value of establishing an online presence.  The majority felt that they did not need to do this as –

1) Each company they represented had a company website, which their prospects and customers could be referred to.
2) Most Direct Sales companies place limitations and restrictions on their consultants/distributors as to what they can and cannot do with their company names, logos, etc. so that it would be a breach of company policy to establish personal websites to promote the products and services they offer.  Some persons also noted that most companies already allow consultants and distributors to have a company website with their own name.  Note that this is usually a duplicate of the company website that’s basically a static site that’s updated by the company and which each consultant/distributor cannot personalize.

Are you in Direct Sales?  Can you relate to the foregoing?  I definitely can and had similar views to those expressed above until just over one year ago when I was introduced to another concept:  Establishing an online presence is designed to promote ME, not the Direct Sales company I represent. It is essential to establish an online presence to promote YOU.  This will allow people to get to know you, who you are, what sets you apart from all the other consultants or distributors who represent XYZ company.  In this was you will also be helping people to develop the Know, Like and Trust factor, which is so critical to success in business in general, but especially in doing business on the Internet.

How To Set-up a Business Plan for Your Online Business

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Uncategorized

Everyday new businesses are started on the internet.  Some persons start an online business for fun, some with the intent of making some ‘extra money’ while others have a purpose in mind: that of starting a ‘real business’ to provide a regular income online.  Regardless of the reasons, one factor that most persons omit to take into consideration is the need to have a business plan.  What is a business plan? http://www.google.com/url?q=http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/business_plan describes a business plan as “A summary of how a business owner, manager, or entrepreneur intends to organize an entrepreneurial endeavor and implement activities necessary and sufficient for the venture to succeed.”  Your business plan for your online business should clearly explain the what, why, when, who and how of the project.

Based on the above I can hear someone saying, “I don’t need a business plan.  After all an online business is not like a brick and mortar business…”  And that’s true.  However, by setting up a business plan, you are laying out a roadmap to success. It will help you to develop your business goals and strategies, as well as provide you with a better understanding of the marketplace. It will also highlight any business strengths or weaknesses that you may have, as well as providing you with an opportunity to take a close look at your competitors. While this is optional at the outset, it would do no harm to include financial projections, historical data and growth expectations into your business plan.  If your goal is to make money, you will need to document what your resources are at the outset, and what it’s going to take to reach your goal.

One vital concept of your plan for success in an online business endeavor is to identify your target audience.  This way you will know how your service, your product, or your knowledge can specifically meet or exceed the expectations of your audience.

Your business plan may be broken down into the following seven sections:

1. Business summary – The product or service you want to provide.

2. Market analysis – Research on the product or service and how the competitors are doing.

3. Product positioning – How to make it more prominent compared to your competitors.  Or, what need is not being filled in your area that you can fill.

4. Market strategy – How are you actually going to market it? Every business must have a marketing plan otherwise you are setting-up yourself for failure.

5. Customer analysis – Look at what the customer wants or needs.  How will you find out?  Feedback, surveys, etc.

6. Financial analysis – What you need to invest in order to set up the business and to keep it going while it is just getting started. You’ll need at the minimum a domain name, a hosting service, and an autoresponder.  I use and recommend GoDaddy.com for domain name registration, and AWeber.com for e-mail autoresponder service. Click on the links to take you directly to both sites.

7. Overall business goals – What you hope to achieve in, say, a year’s time or even 5 years’ time.  Short-term and long-term goals.

Although you may be thinking  you need pages and pages of information, which could cause you to hesitate, keep in mind that the sections listed above can be condensed into just about two pages.  This is for your reference, and should serve as a guide which you can refer to from time to time in order to determine your progress.  And, above all, make it your determination that once you have created a business plan for your online business you will stick with it.  As your business evolves, you can amend as you see fit.

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