Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Business Training Courses to Help You Escape the Planet of Death

People sometimes ask me if I believe business training courses can rescue a person's career. Strange though it may sound, it's a question that invariably gets me thinking about the perils of space travel. Let me explain.

If you read enough science fiction you will eventually come across the story of a galactic adventurer who crash lands on a seemingly benign planet. It looks like the perfect place to be marooned, a world covered with lush vegetation and enjoying a warm and welcoming climate.

But all is not what it seems. Maybe the planet is home to a deadly virus, or its oceans are awash with toxic chemicals. Perhaps it is populated by a race of man-eating turnips or sadistic koala bears.

In the Garden of Eden
Whatever form the dangers might take, it's clear something on this alien world is not quite right. Our adventurer thinks he's arrived in the Garden of Eden. But it won't take long for him to realise he's landed on the Planet of Death.

In fiction we can enjoy the ups and downs of a sci fi hero as he tries to escape from a hostile environment. In real life, however, being trapped in this way is no laughing matter.

Over the years I've talked to many people who, in career terms, feel as if they have been shipwrecked on the Planet of Death. They are tied to a soul destroying job and are unsure how to break free.

But all is not lost. For them a good business training course could offer a practical and realistic escape route. Acquiring a new skill, or strengthening an existing one, could be all they need to transform their circumstances.

Choosing the right business training courses
When investing in training, it's important to choose courses that will provide you with marketable skills. Ideally, you want to place yourself in up and coming business sectors, where there is a strong demand for well trained people and you detect a clear skill shortage.

Talk to friends and family members in different industries. Take a close look at the employment ads in local and national newspapers. Identify the positions that are much in demand and command high salaries. What skills might you need to apply for these? Are there any business training courses that could provide you with the missing expertise?

Some of these jobs may require years of education and training. But not all. There are many courses lasting one or two days that could open up exciting new career possibilities for you. They could take your current skill set to a higher level or complement an existing expertise.

Improve your employment prospects
For instance, you could be a web designer who wants to broaden your value to customers by learning how to write for the web. There are plenty of excellent courses out there that could get you off to a flying start as an online writer.

Or maybe you know everything there is to know about your company's products and services but you're stuck in a boring desk job. A course in selling could be just what you need to save your career and allow you to put your knowledge to more profitable use.

Good business courses not only supply you with the expertise you need, they can give you the confidence to seek fulfilment in new fields. By widening your appeal to prospective employers you increase your chances of career success.

So, if you find yourself trapped in a dead end job with no obvious way out, ask yourself this question. Could a well chosen business training course be the interplanetary rescue ship that lifts you safely from the Planet of Death.

By Ben J Morgan

Brainstorm Better With These 7 Valuable Tips

What is really at the heart of business success? Ideas. Without new ideas, companies can achieve no more than the status quo. Ideas lead to better products, more effective marketing and sales, efficient operations and communications; you name it. Without ideas, organizations have nothing.

The most widely used tool for generating and developing new ideas in organizations is group brainstorming. Literally hundreds of thousands of brainstorm sessions take place in offices and conference rooms across the globe, every single day.

In our innovation work, we have the opportunity to question business people about the effectiveness of their brainstorming efforts. And it is rare that we don't hear a negative response. "Boring." "Intimidating." "A big waste of time." "The same old ideas over and over again." "Nothing ever happens with the concepts we do come up with." These are all comments we hear repeatedly, from individuals at every level of an organization, and from every business category.

In fact, brainstorming as traditionally practiced is a sloppy, haphazard process. Remarkably, this single activity, which is so vitally important to business success, is allowed to take place in a manner that is completely lacking in structure, facilitated by individuals with little or no training and who have no idea what tools or techniques might make their efforts more productive. One can only imagine the cost of ineffective brainstorming to business, in wasted manpower, lost opportunity and damaged employee morale.

The topic of brainstorming is a big and important one. But here are seven things you can start doing today to make your sessions dramatically more effective.

1. Make a Plan, Stan

It is sometimes said that professionals plan, amateurs wing it. Before your brainstorm ever begins, take the time to plan your session. What is the challenge you will present to the group? What is your objective for the session? Ten new ideas? One hundred? What idea generation techniques will you use to inspire your group's imagination and make new connections? When you create a vision and a plan for the session, you increase the odds you will actually realize it.

2. Invite Diversity

Tired of getting the same old ideas in every brainstorm session? Maybe you should consider not inviting the same usual suspects. By including individuals with refreshingly different backgrounds, perspectives, ages, genders, ethnicities, etc., you will be creating a group mind with a wealth of divers experience to draw on. Consider who in your organization might make an unexpected contribution to your idea pool, and make sure they're there.

3. Kick Out The Boss

I once knew the president of a company who would insist on attending every brainstorm session, and then start it off by saying, "You know how they say there are no bad ideas? That's wrong. There are very bad ideas that should never be expressed. So, anybody got anything?" Nothing will more effectively shut down a brainstorm session than the fear of saying something stupid in front of the boss.

It's sometimes easier said than done, but unless your company leadership is extremely supportive and accepting, they shouldn't be in a brainstorming session. Idea generation requires a safe environment, where people aren't afraid to share their thoughts. Ensure the boss you'll review everything with her after the session is over.

4. Play By The Rules

Of course it's not just the boss who can derail and brainstorm. Anyone with a big ego, loud voice or attention-seeking personality can do the same. Negativity and judgment bring instant death to spontaneous idea sharing faster than negativity and judgment. Make a list of guidelines or rules for your session as soon as you begin.

Ask for everyone's agreement. No negative comments. One person talks at a time. Crazy, even audacious ideas are encouraged. If anyone breaks the rules, ask others in the group to good-naturedly remind him-perhaps by pelting him with crumpled paper balls!

5. Hold The Phone

"Phone" here, of course, means any device that will distract one's attention from the task at hand. The remarkable convenience and productivity provided by PDAs is nothing short of miraculous. They also make brainstorming sessions come to a grinding halt.

One of your most important rules is, "All phones, smartphones, iPhones, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, whatever OFF during the session-and put out of sight, out of temptation's reach!" Reassure attendees that you will provide breaks during which they can check messages or email.

6. Ask Lots of Questions

Not getting what you want from your brainstorming group? Maybe you're not asking the right questions. You can immediately change the consciousness and output of any group by simply posing a provocative question? "What if we combined the last two ideas?" "That was a wild idea.

How can we rein it in to make it more on strategy?" "What are three more ideas like that one?" Learn and apply the art of powerful questioning and you will get an exponentially greater return on your ideation investment.

7. Maintain Momentum

Most brainstorming sessions tend to start out slow and low energy. People are feeling their way into the process. After awhile, the energy sometimes picks up for a few minutes. Ideas come from everywhere. Then it stops.

They've run out of steam. They start talking about last night's episode of Mad Men. You're lost. A great facilitator is like an accomplished surfer-they can "sense" the crest of the wave, where it is now and where it's going, and ride it all the way to the end. Be tuned into the energy of the room, when it's high, let it rip.

At the first sign of dropping energy, ask a provocative question that takes the group in a new, interesting direction and gets everything going again. Brainstorming facilitation is work-fun work, but work nonetheless. Stay focused, ride the wave and you'll walk out with a stack full of great ideas.

By Keith Harmeyer

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Secrets on Why They Failed to Make Money Online Fast

98% of all internet marketers online failed to make money. Millions of ads have claimed to earn up to 7 figures income in a month. But what people don't know is that 98% of them failed to make money online.

They are so hungry to make money online that they posted ads that claimed able to earn you money fast. Don't trust those kinds of things. You don't earn money just because you want to. Everybody wants to earn money; you need to have that something that other people don't have.

Now, what is the secret that makes some of the internet marketers have those big successes? Why do some of them failed to make money online? Just exactly what is the reason and key behind having a successful career online? I would say persistence.

Yes, it's that simple. Just by persistence you could make thousands and even millions online. That is the thing that people just don't have. Now let me show you what the 98% of internet marketers online just love. They love this more than money and success. They love this thing I called The Cycle of Reasons.

Here is one example, the 98% of the internet marketers that failed to make money online joined their first business online, and they spent a couple thousand in the first program they joined. At first they are so motivated that they can't sleep the first week.

They are so busy setting up things, writing their blog, writing a nice and compelling profile. 3 months have passed and they're still broke. They're still not having the success they want and again they don't make money online yet. They started making reasons.

They said, "This business is a scam; I'm not making money at all. This marketing system is not good enough for me. I got to find a real business, I got to join another program, and maybe I'll have my success there." Well, just like they said, the grass is greener on the other side.

So they joined another business online and spend another thousand on that program. Yeah, well, they got motivated again by the message from the owner saying they're going to have their success here and etc.

3 months have passed again and they're once again still broke and they don't make money online again yet. They are going through this cycle even when I'm writing this article. They just don't have the persistence needed.

Now, as a successful internet marketer it's so important to have persistence just like what Napoleon Hill said, "If you don't have persistence, if you jump from one project to another project without the persistence to keep going.

If you give up too early, you're robbing yourself off the rewards that are just down the track. If you just stay steadfast in your business with your persistence, you're going to have the success you want". Only some of them manage to be persistent in their business, if they can make money online, you also can.

I was really struggling with Internet Marketing back then; I needed to learn things that were so strange to me. I almost gave up. I was unlike others; I've a very limited budget to start with in my business.

I only have about $100 left after joining the business, and that money is not really enough to use paid advertising for my business. So I need to use free marketing, I need to try harder ten times than the others, I was so tired that I wanted to give up.

But then I learn, this is something that I had to master if I were going to have any success in any business. I can't give up just like this. I need to be more persistent. And there, just through persistence, I go the results I want. If I can, you can. Remember! Be persistent in everything you do.

By Tantawi Sagara

How Walking the Camino De Santiago Can Help With Running a Business

I'm just back from walking in the Spanish Countryside for 8 days on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. This time we walked from St Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona; and from Logrono to Burgos. 8 days in total. The camino is something that is quite unusual to be described as a holiday activity.

It seems a crazy endeavour - to participate in a gruelling experience that can only be described as painful and challenging, all to reach the distance that a 2 hour bus journey would cover. It is evident after a few hours of pain that walking is not the most efficient or effective means of transportation!

I'm trying to think of what I learned. Every day there was a new lesson, but apart from patience, and tenacity, finding new pain thresholds, and self belief to continue and reach my goal, I think that coming home after doing the walk I find myself much more grounded in time.

Starting your own company is so difficult. People envy the idea of working for yourself - your own hours, your own ideas, your own expectations, and your own dreams, but in reality, although the magic is there, it can be a whirlwind of never-ending to do lists, stressful self-inflicted deadlines and it feels like it will take forever to reach your destination.

After walking for 7-8 hours a day, my minds complete and utter intoxication with "work" and the excitement I feel everyday on encountering problems and identifying possibilities began to lose its stickiness, and gradually I was released from its sucking grip. I remembered what it was like to not have meetforeal on my mind 24 hours a day.

On coming home, I am pleased to find that I have learned something about work from my long hours on the road. I've learned that as long as you have a destination in mind, and self belief that you can get there, you can make it, and when exactly you get there does not necessarily matter. Of course it's nice to have a deadline, and expectations, but if you just keep walking, you will arrive.

Sometimes you have someone beside you, sometimes you're alone; sometimes it's up hills, sometimes the ground is muddy, or stony, sometimes all you can feel is pain, foot pain, knee pain, ankle pain, hip pain, hunger, dizziness, heavy bag pain; sometimes you feel like you won't make it, can't make it, don't want to make it anyway, and then the ground levels out or you reach a bench near a fountain and you can catch your breath. Sometimes it's raining, sometimes the heat of the sun bears down on you and fills you with energy and light, sometimes it takes all your energy away.

You have to deal with naysayers, people who moan along the road beside you, who want to quit, and want you to quit, who say you can't make it, who don't have the same vision, and you have to leave them behind. You have to be with your own pain, your own heavy bag, your own feet and your own struggle, as each has their own.

And it's the people you meet, the places you visit, but the people you see them with that make every step worthwhile, every ounce of pain measurable against joy, and every inch of agony a step in the right direction.

The camino is like having a company, and walking along a long road to reach the destination that you have determined as being your goal, your milestone, your Santiago. Our Santiago was Burgos this time, with only 8 days to walk, and reaching Burgos was every bit as important as people walking for 30 days to reach Santiago de Compostela.

It reminded me that in reality, there is never enough time in life to do all of the things that we want to do, and yet at the same time, there is all the time in the world. That not everything can be done now, today; we can't reach our destination without walking there, step by step.

Sometimes it feels like the steps are tiny, minuscule in fact, that no one would even notice the effort involved to travel such short distances, sometimes it can seem as though we are standing still, but then one day, you look back over the hills and trees, and you see just how far you've come.

By Ellen Dudley

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Business Success - The Secret of Effective Team Building

Do you think that it is possible that your team may not be reaching it complete potential? Do you feel that the people on your team posses more talent and creativity and potential which if applied could make a night and day difference? What if you could get each one of them to work at the company vision as if it were their own?
If this is your goal as a leader than keep reading and you will discover the secret to effective team building.

First, you must make the humbling decision to admit that a great vision always belongs to more than one. Every single person on your team has a piece of the puzzle and without them things will always be incomplete. The true leaders is not the one who has the vision, the true leader is the one who can see the vision in each person and put the pieces together.

This means that you get the people into the right seats on the bus and see where what direction that points you in. This way the vision is born out of the strengths of those involved. Instead of coming up with the vision and trying to force everyone into the same mold, let it form naturally around the strengths of each person.

Begin with encouraging people to work on their strengths, forget about the weaknesses. Better to them those be compensated for by the others who are strong in those areas. Ask yourself if you have anyone working with an ax when they have a chainsaw they could be using. Is each person on your team getting within the same range of results? If not, look at those who are not and see if there is something they could do which would be better suited for them.

Once you have discovered this, turn your critical eye in on yourself. Chances are that if you are feeling less effective than you could be, that you are wasting your energy on things which someone else could do better. Delegate as much as you can until you are left with only the things which you do REALLY well. This will empower you to set an example which people can follow with confidence.

These changes could make the difference between the results you are getting now and a one-hundred percent increase in effectiveness.

By Seth Czerepak

How to Choose a Location For a New Hotel

Choosing the right location is key to the success of your new hotel. Although a large hotel can change the very nature of a street and neighborhood, the success of a small hotel is more likely to be impacted BY its surroundings. It is important to look closely at the neighborhood and beyond when considering your hotel's location.

Who are your customers?

To know if the hotel's location is right for you, a hotel entrepreneur must first ask "who are my customers?" and then "what do they want to be near to?" The right location for pleasure travelers may be very different from the right location for business travelers.Will your customers value being near downtown and the conference centers and event spaces where their business sends them? Will they be looking to enjoy the serene countryside and regional attractions? Will they be looking for recreation like skiing, the beach, lakes, or theme parks? Will they want access to the best restaurants and attractions the city has to offer? Regardless of the answers to these questions, it would help your customers if you were accessible to the local airport, train and bus stations, and car rental locations.

The Neighborhood

Start by looking at the closest potential neighbors and then move outwards. Are there high-quality businesses in the nearby area that either offer services your customers may want to use or that may even help you fill your rooms, like museums or banquet halls? If there are, do the legwork of talking to the owners about how they might partner with your new hotel to offer promotions to their customers.

Alternately, are there neighbors which might be a nuisance for some customers (ie nightclubs, casinos, bars) or that are entirely undesirable for travelers (ie abandoned lots, garbage dumps)? If you won't be adding parking, is there parking available nearby at prices that won't be prohibitive for your driving customers?

Talk to Owners and Neighbors

When you find a location that is for sale, don't just speak to the owner. Speak to neighbors to hear what they know about the owner and the previous tenants at the location. Learning about this history can put you in a much better negotiating position when the time comes.

By Dave Lavinsky

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Got a Loafer on Your Team Or Committee?

Is someone not pulling their weight yet expecting to enjoy the fruits of your group's hard work? Here are five tips to prevent freeloading. Avoid the unattractive, energy-sucking role of the nag. Instead increase the chances of bringing out the best talents and temperament in everyone. That makes work more productive and life more fun.

1. Meet in person at least once
Face-to-face meetings are more likely to build relationships than meeting virtually, by phone or online. After making a connection in person we are inclined to bond with the group and want to follow through.

2. Establish rules of engagement
As a group create ground rules that involve rewards and penalties. If, for example, someone doesn't meet a deadline and doesn't explain in advance, offering an alternative to make up for the loss, will the group drop that person?

3. Agree on a few vital commitments
As a group, prioritize top goals and tasks. Rather than agreeing to many assignments, settle on a few that are important to each member. Success begets more success - and group esprit de corps. Over-committing then missing goals makes one feel guilty and avoid teammates. It brings down the whole team.

4. Create a visible task tracking system
Create a way that all committee members must record their progress on a task and view others' progress. Such transparency affects each member's reputation with others on the team. The most successful self-managed teams have a specific top goal and a short, prioritized list of concretely-described tasks - each with a lead person and timetable. All these elements are easily viewable by all members.

5. Provide an automatic reminder system
Create a way that members receive reminders for key deadlines, perhaps by email. This system may also include notification when other team members have completed tasks or provided information that's needed for a member to take the next step.

By Kare Anderson

Building a Winning Business Team

Anyone out there got the guts to do it? I mean, is anyone "brave" enough to create and lead a team of like-minded people towards the kind of exceptional business success that one only sees, if one is lucky, once in a career?

I've spent the last couple of weeks talking to and working with business people - I heard a lot of anecdotal evidence which proves the old adage that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Highly placed executives falsifying new business projections whilst lining their pockets based on their lies.

More highly placed executives getting massive compensation payments - once when they were unceremoniously booted out (and rightly so) from their lofty perch - and again for when the company that had sacked them was subsequently sold (because it was in their contract).

We all know about the rogue bankers, the rogue traders the realtors who sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. We all know that, given a little power, people generally look after themselves first.

I must admit that even I (and I've been around for years) was taken aback by an answer from a senior company executive to the question "What are large organizations in business for?" I expected the usual - "bottom line", "shareholder value", "profit".

But the answer I got was entirely unexpected: "The really senior guys are there to make as much money for themselves in the shortest space of time possible and then get the hell out before the wheels come off!"

And, yet, once in a while, I come across a group of people who are different and, as a result, exceptionally successful without being dishonest, untrustworthy or downright jailable! Only a couple of times throughout my career (in large organisations and as a "consultant") have I had the experience that I've recently enjoyed with a Senior Management Group who not only know how the world really works - they're actually putting it into practice.

Part of an multi-national organisation, their business is the most profitable division in over ninety countries. They hold the number one market position in their market (with more than twice the market share of the number two) - whereas their colleagues' normal market position is somewhere between number seven and eight.

And they only set up their business two years ago! These guys and girls don't just work hard - they play hard too, having the kind of fun that was squashed out of companies by bean-counters in the late 1980s.

Why are they different from any other organization I've ever come across? First of all, the CEO takes a very alternative approach to business and life. He understands that you're at your most effective and impressive when you're abnormally focused in the present moment.

He knows that, if you're worried about trying to make an impression (on his team, on customers, on the international board, on whoever) you'll never make one! He knows that if you don't find a way of truly listening to your real "gut instinct", then you'll never take the bold decisions and the bold initiatives which have taken him to where he and his team are. He knows that you don't take "No" for an answer to something that makes sense - that's why his entity has been allowed so much scope and freedom by global HQ.

He knows about the "power of now", how to focus in the present moment and how to be achieve abnormal success effortlessly. He practices what many of my clients call their "mental exercises" - for all the world very similar to age-old meditations - because those exercises develop a sharp discipline of mind that creates a single-mindedness and presence that creates effortless success.

But, more than that, he's introduced his entire senior management team to the concepts and practice of how to clear one's mind, how to discipline an otherwise wayward and distracted mind and how to fully focus in the here and now.

By Willie Horton

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

A lot of property buyers, as they decide to go in for a purchase, decide consciously to exclude real estate agents from the entire process, so as to save on precious money, which has to be paid by way of commission.

This sometimes backfires as they end up dealing with unscrupulous people who take advantage of their naivety and cheat them of their hard earned money. Real estate agents or brokers as a valuable part of the entire process provided you use them judiciously.

It will be wise to recall incidents in the past of people who have taken the help of agents to finalize a deal. They shall tell you that the money paid as brokerage fees has been worth it, as they have got good deals and been able to live a peaceful life afterwards, as they have faced no issues regards that purchase.

Need less to say, not all agents are sincere and honest. There are cheats among these too, those who resort to unfair means to earn a fast buck. It is therefore advisable to have a screening process for real estate agents as well, before you decide to choose one.

A few factors that can be help you in finalizing a real estate agent are:

1. Reputation of the agent: The goodwill earned by an agent and his reputation in the open market carries a lot of weight. You can gauge his honesty by asking for a list of his clients and then proceeding to cross verify with them about his work ethics. This gives you valuable insight into his business.

2. Status: The status of an agent can be measured by the location of his office or by the type of staff employed. A well organized set up indicates that he has worked favorable deals and has been fairly successful. Such people can help you as they have contacts to clinch good and fair deals.

3. Contacts: As you personally meet an agent, it will be wise to check with him about the availability of a legal back up for your transactions. A competent legal team will help you finish all formalities without any mistakes.

4. Deals Offered: Ensure that the agent is offering you commission rates which are on par with the market rates. Some agents offer lower rates to lure customers, in which case, it is always a good option to scrutiny the workings of such a broker.

By Ravisankar Poduval

Tips For a Real Estate Agent on How to Gain More Clients

With a tight competition, real estate agents find it hard to gain more clients. This is why this business must be promoted in certain ways to boost sales and gain more customers.

Agents can make use of the Internet to have an online presence. In addition, positive social relationships must be maintained, and a visual identity must be created to attract more clients.

• Real estate agents need to create their own business card to be given out to potential clients. One can create his or her own design by incorporating personal photos and images on the card. If an agent wants to seek for an expert designer, he or she can resort to a reliable printing company that produces high quality business cards.

The card is the agent's visual identity that is why it is important to produce the print in a high quality stock material. Furthermore, the printed material must contain pertinent information needed by the clients. Attractive business cards can attract more potential customers.

• Social relationships must also be maintained by agents. They can start promoting real estate business to their friends. During social gathering, agents can have sensible conversations with the guests.

The conversations don't just have to revolve around this business. It is important to build a positive relationship with potential clients first. Then after the conversation, an agent can just hand out a printed business card. It is important to mix up with a lot of people during events and gatherings to find potential clients.

• The Internet is one of the most commonly used medium of advertising. A real estate agent can promote real estate business though a website, blog, and social networking sites. Online promotion is advisable because one can easily spread news through the use of the Internet.

These ways can help a agent to meet more people and gain potential clients. It is important to make use of any possible way to build connections with people. Through building positive relationships, a real estate agent will have the opportunity to gain more customers.

By Kat Nocom

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

5 Tips For Making an Effective Poster For a Small Clothing Business

In the current economic climate, there is a need for a small clothing business to promote its products, with a limited marketing budget. A printed material like poster plays a big role in promoting the store's clothing line to the target clients.

This is because poster prints can communicate the company's marketing message to people. With this, the owner of the small clothing store business must be able to produce cheap poster prints that will be of high value to the consumers.

The store owner can make posters online to maximize time and resources. Online printing is a cheap and convenient method that helps small businesses implement promotional campaigns.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs can have a wide variety of options in printing marketing posters online. However, if the small clothing business owners decide to make their own design for the prints, they have to remember these tips:

1. Set the objectives for the marketing campaign. The theme and design of the poster prints must be aligned with the marketing aims.

2. Determine the target market and design the prints for the clients. If the clothing line caters to kids, then the printed materials must incorporate colorful images that will attract children.

3. Use Images and color to communicate to the customers. The photos must be of high quality to create an attractive poster. Moreover, the colors must complement the images and other visual elements on the printed material.

4. Decide on what will be the focus of the promotional print. If the store owner wants prospective clients to focus on the image, then emphasis must be given to that particular image on the poster. On the other hand, if the store owner wants to give emphasis on the headline, then the texts must be in large font size and powerful font face.

5. Incorporate the company logo to gain trust from potential customers. Clients will perceive a poster print reliable and professional if they see a logotype printed on the marketing tool.

These tips will help a small clothing store implement its marketing campaign with limited resources. Furthermore, the store owner will be able to boost sales and gain more clients through the use of poster prints.

By Kat Nocom

How to Make Your Own Business Cards

A key tool for your business marketing efforts is a business card. This printed material is invaluable in creating and introducing your company's image to potential clients.

Furthermore, a business card can elicit action from prospective customers, encouraging them to contact you or your company for a business deal.

If you are looking for an effective way to communicate with more clients and gain positive results, then you have to make your own business cards. Knowing how to create the said promotional prints will help you come up with cost-effective marketing tools.

1. Decide on the information that must be included on the business card. The calling card must include your name, position, company, company logo, company address, contact number, e-mail and website. It is important to include these details so that prospective clients can make contact with your company.

2. Seek for a reliable online printer and ask questions about the particular service. You can also browse an online printer's website to learn more about the products and services provided by that specific printer.

3. View the estimated price through a printing company's website. This can be done by indicating specifications for the business card prints.

4. Choose among business card samples or use your own photo in designing the cards.
If you choose a template, set the specifications including size, paper stock, color, quantity and die-cutting service.

If you want to use your own photo, upload a digital file online through a printing company's website, then let a design professional review the uploaded image. You must also set the specifications for the prints.

5. You can seek assistance from a printer's graphic designers regarding the business card design. Whether you have used a template or a personal photo, the printing experts will review and correct erroneous files before proceeding to printing.

By Kat Nocom

Monday, June 22, 2009

Business Planning - How to Set and Reach Your Goals

By Sean R Mize

As a business owner, I am pretty sure that you'll do anything to grow your business. This can be achieved through proper business planning. In this article, I will share with you the best ways to set and achieve your goals.

1. The first thing that you need to do is to brainstorm. Spend some time alone or brainstorm with your business partners (if you have any) to set your goals. What do you want to achieve in the next 1-3 years? What are your long-term goals? Write these down and be very specific. Your goals must be realistic and clear.

2. Create an action plan. How can you achieve these goals? You will need to write down everything that you need to do to reach your goals. For example, if you want to boost your sales by up to 5% for this quarter, you may want to invest more time and energy on your marketing strategies, you may want to run promotions to attract more new customers, and think of strategies to get your previous customers to come back.

3. Put your plans into action. Start your day by checking on your list and make it a point that you do as much as you can. Remember, this could be the key to grow your business so you must do the entire process right.

4. Assessment. Go back to your written goals after 3-6 months and ask yourself, "Were they met?" If everything you've written were achieved, you can consider your business planning a huge success otherwise, you will need to go back to step number one and do the entire process all over again.

Problem Solving For Business Success and Innovation

By John R Hewitt

No matter how successful your business, or personal life, becomes you will inevitably come across problems. In fact how one deals with problems as they arise is a key skill that can become the main contributing factor to your business success.

Now we are not going to look at specific problems and their solutions, for the list would be infinite! Instead what we shall be doing is discussing the ways that we can approach problems and pinpoint solutions from the nature of the problem itself.

Where there is a problem, there lays the solution for the two do go hand in hand and this viewpoint will release a little pressure as you come to realize you are actually looking at the solution itself.

Whatever the problem may be there are only two ways that you can approach the situation. In a state of panic, in varying degrees from mild to severe or approach with confidence that seems to have no degrees at all. You are either confident or you are not.

Now when you approach any situation with panic there is a tension within you that prevents optimum clarity and optimum efficiency. We all know that in extremely tough situations we breath quicker, our heartbeat is quicker and in fact our breathing becomes more shallow and we focus on the higher section of the chest for energy.

This puts us in a "flight or fight" mode that reduces us to baser instincts and prevents a more focused or even creative way of dealing with the situation. Forcibly breathing from the abdomen in a slow and controlled manner will, with practice, allow one to become calm and allow the adrenaline to ease off and allow the mind to be the focus rather than the body.

This method is used in therapies of all kinds and also in self defense classes and within the martial arts. Now this may seem a little extreme for business problem solving, yet you will find that as you approach any problem in this manner you will gain so much more insight than you had before.

Again, assuming that the problem does in fact hold the solution, this approach will allow the mind to clear and the whole playing field to be made visible, thus allowing the solution to come forth.

The next stage of problem solving comes from your own self confidence. This is not just a confidence in your skills related to your work, it is also the confidence that you have about yourself as a human being.

Yes your working knowledge will come forward but also so should your intelligence, your creativity and your mental focus and conditioning. These will all play a huge part in the problem solving process.

As a manager, courses in self confidence, conflict management and possibly even meditative practice can greatly benefit your employees not just for the problem solving techniques that they can learn but also for their own morale which will spread throughout the company as more employees gain more confidence.

The other side of this is that with techniques such as these as well as adopting the state of mind that we have discussed, you should start to see a reduction in the problems that do arise in the first place. This then becomes the ultimate problem solving mechanism; the problems never arise to begin with.

Another idea is that the problem is not actually a problem but is in fact a clear sign of how a specific area within your business could be improved. If we are driving and we take a wrong turn how do we know? We know because the traffic sign directing us to our destination is pointing a different way. So rather than approaching the sign as a problem we obviously see the sign as a guide for us to turn around.

This may sound incredibly obvious yet from a business perspective we can thus approach problems as good indicators as what we need to do differently or which direction our business might have to take. So the problems become solutions and we are grateful for the indicators that show us the way forward.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Small Business Success Secret

By Calvin Brown

It is not really a secret, because every guru on the internet will tell you that the small business success secret is to take action.

The biggest reason people have for not taking action, is that they are afraid to fail. Unfortunately, it will be impossible for them to succeed. You cannot become successful if you are not willing to fail.

You cannot be one hundred percent perfect in your choices. It is in failing, that you are gaining valuable knowledge down the road to a bigger and better business.

Every business opportunity comes with a whole list of pro's and cons, of good things and bad things. Accept the good, and duplicate them. Accept the bad, and learn from them.

Believe me, it is the mistakes you make that you will remember, and will not make again. On the flip side, you will most likely make a series of completely brand new mistakes.

It makes no difference if you take action as a brick and mortar business, or an internet business. Taking action is the biggest small business success secret! Even after you take action, there are still many other things that contribute to your small business success.

Watch your money like a fox. Statistically, most small businesses go bankrupt within five years. The reason is that most businesses are under-funded from the start.

You have spent a lot of time dreaming of the day when you will own your own business. The money, the wealth, the lifestyle. Some business mentors spend a lot of time teaching you to get into the wealth mindset.

Unfortunately, most business mentors do not teach the "if you don't have the money in hand, don't spend it" approach. They talk about things like, getting your business cards.

In the beginning, business cards are unnecessary unless you are in sales, and will be meeting face to face with clients. They also teach you to spend money as if you already have it.

The rationale for this, is the assumption that you will have the money coming in, within a few days. Believe me when I say, yes the money will come. But nobody can say for certain how long it will take for it to get there!

Here is a case in point: On the internet, you are taught that promoting Clickbank products is the easiest way to start. This is based upon the idea that the fastest way to generate income online, is to promote products as an affiliate.

For many people, yes that is true. However, even if your first sale came one hour after you opened for business, you will not be getting your commission payment for at least 54 days.

Smaller Business, Bigger Profit

By Chuck R Stewart

The economy today is struggling and many people are losing their jobs in America. A lot of people have been forced to reconsider how they should make a living after being out of work.

Some are going back to school or learning a new technical trade to market themselves in. Others are pondering whether they should follow their passion and create their own business where they can be in charge of how they do and be their own boss.

Even though retail businesses are down on the average about 20% from last year's sales, some smaller businesses are thriving and having a great success in this troubled economy.

This article will touch on a few of the business industries that are succeeding like artistic jewelers that find a niche market such as making horse jewelry or star jewelry or making items specific to marathon runners and triathletes. These smaller niches continue to thrive today.

The smaller businesses that do not succeed and have gone out of business due so for a variety of reasons. One reason is that they chose the wrong location for their business where the need for their particular item was not important and therefore they fell by the wayside.

Another reason small companies may fail is that they try to sell something that is sold by several other larger companies that have greater marketing, advertising and lower prices.

A great example of this is the old Mom and Pop bookstore that has struggled to compete with the huge Barnes and Noble and Borders Bookstores.

Their small size and marketing funds just can not compete with these huge stores that are selling the same products.

The key to succeeding whether it is in a store or just an online internet store is to find a special niche that will appeal to a smaller group yet one that continues to look for products within that niche.

A great example of this niche market is the area sports. That group of people continues to grow every year as people are choosing to become more active for their health and are finding the great benefits to participating.

Whether it is a marathon race or an equestrian event, many vendors attend these events to appeal to those participating. Often in their area, there is not a store that may contain special horse themed gifts or clothing specific to racing in a triathlon.

At these events, the vendors can sell to this specific niche and also let the participants know how they can purchase more items for the future, typically online.

People that are passionate about their hobby or sport want to have everything regarding that passion. Many people now see cars driving around with a equestrian sticker or a 26.2 sticker letting others know that they are a horse jumper or have completed a marathon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Working Women Home Businesses

By Michael Cairns

Internet Marketing today is probably the most efficient home based business. Working women may find this an easier option than starting a business which requires them to do party plans or presentations, taking up valuable time.

You don't have to venture out of the house and you can work with the kids running around you if you want. No travelling either, no costs for fuel or your car.

Great!! You can even work in your pajamas if you like. This business can be started on a low budget, so if money is scarce then you could try your hand at this type of business.

All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Well almost because you will need something to sell. Sell you say. Yes you do need to sell to make some money. I don't know how to sell! What will I sell?

All these question could stop you in your tracks right away, but do not let this stop you. There are a lot of companies out there who will provide you with the training you need and products to sell.

So you do not have to worry if you join a good company. Just carry on and learn how to market whatever product or products you choose and NEVER give up.

Those companies that say you will make a million overnight are a load of hype and you should not go with them. A few ideas could be Multi-level marketing or affiliate marketing.

Maybe you could write your own e-book and sell this. There are a lot of options open to you. Use the search engines to research some of these companies. Don't worry if you have no internet experience because everybody had to learn to use the internet.

Home Based Travel Business - More Vacations - 100% Online

By Anthony Severino

You may be interested in starting your own home based travel business. With travel and vacation being a large market that is here to stay, it may be a viable solution to achieving your financial goals.

In starting your home business choosing an income vehicle that you can manage is important. For instance, you may not want clients depending on you to do all of their booking for them when they vacation.

In this case choosing a travel product that captures the market without requiring you to service your clientele's travel needs would be something to consider for your home based travel business.

Common sense should tell you that you won't get rich doing nothing. Starting a home based travel business will require choosing the right products to offer and some upfront research. If this is done properly, your chances of success will be tilted in you favor.

What would the ideal home based travel business look like to you? Does it include employees and meetings? Since you are looking at a home based travel business, obviously renting an office space would defeat our purposes.

How will you market your vacation packages and travel deals? The internet provides highly advanced and affordable advertising avenues, though ignoring traditional methods would be irresponsible.

There are various membership packages available that you can sell as an independent agent, relieving you of all the organizing and negotiating. This would leave time for the most profitable activity for any business: marketing.

As you begin to get a vision of what your ideal home based travel business would look like, choosing from different programs and affiliate relationships becomes simply shopping around.

While considering which product(s) will make you the most money, be sure to factor in which companies are most likely to offer the most value to your customers. This will eliminate hard selling and allow you to focus on advertising and processing payments.

There is a substantial amount of markup in travel. Luxury resorts and hotels are available at huge discounts-frequently around 80%-if you position yourself properly. Access to these discounts will allow you to generate regular sales through effective advertising and marketing.

A travel membership that can save potential customers thousands per vacation will sell itself. In fact, if you can show your customers how it will pay for itself in one or two vacations, your home travel business should do quite well.

Should you choose to market a product backed by top tier customer service that is optimized for online marketing, you may be well on your way to taking more vacations yourself and working from luxury resorts and villas, not home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Business Courses in Hertfordshire

By Wesley C Clarke

Do you live in the Hertfordshire area? Are you looking for Business related courses? Well there are a few places you can find business courses around this area.

Stevenage is one of these places, here you will find the North 'Hertfordshire College' and they offer a range of business courses offering NVQ's and Diplomas. A couple of courses available:

Apprenticeships Business Admin Level 2 (PT) - This is a full time course, it will include basic skills training as well as communication and office procedures, Office applications (Word, Excel and Access) will be covered, Prepare Documents using computers, Maintain Data in a computer system, retrieve and supply of information.

Once this course has been completed it will open the door for NVQ3 Business Administration Work in Administration.

NVQ Administration Level 3 - You will need at least 4 GCSEs graded C or higher to take this course or previous experience in administration. This course offers advanced administration training in office communication, health & safety, organisation skills, customer service and bookkeeping. It also offers advanced word and information processing.

Once this course has been completed it will open the door to Personal Assistant / Private Secretary Job roles, it will also open up Supervisory Administration posts.

Another place that offers Business Courses in Hertfordshire (at a higher level) is the 'University of Hertfordshire'. The level of courses is at a higher level and certain requirements must be met to be accepted on the courses, if you are interested in the University of Hertfordshire they offer open days throughout the year.

Business Electricity Supplier

By Wesley C Clarke

Electricity can work out quite costly, even in a home when you have a lot of appliances running, if a business where to use standard electricity rates and packages it would cost them a fortune, especially business that rely on the use of computers and shops that have lights, screens, tills and music on all day every day.

That is why companies use Business Electricity, it is essentially the same thing but taking into consideration what will be used and how much electricity will be consumed they work out special rates.

Domestic electricity is on off and interrupted stream depending on weather you are home and using items or out. Businesses use an uninterrupted continuous stream of electricity. Due to this fact they change their rates accordingly.

There are a lot of companies that offer Business Electricity but there are so many it can be hard to find the best value one. Because of this there are a lot of comparison companies, ones of these is called uSwitch:


This company offer a free service in which they will come out to your property and evaluate your electricity needs, they will determine how much you use and advise you on who they think will be the most beneficial company for you.

Once they have made their evaluation they use all the statistics and compare your needs with licensed electricity companies, if they find one that is suitable for you, you will be notified and should you like the sound of what is on offer they will arrange your electricity supply is transferred to the new business electricity supplier.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

3 Tips to Make Your First Internet Business Fun and Easy

By Dale E East

You have learnt or someone has told you that there is lot of money on the internet. The tuning for your first internet business is therefore perfect. Now you should launch your business and put in hard work (read intelligent work) for it to grow. How do you achieve that? The three tips discussed below are specifically focused on absolute beginners.

1. Weed out the high promises
One of the overwhelming factors in finding your internet business opportunity will be weeding out the scamsters. Hundreds of websites make alluring offers, but when you dig deep, you will find that those promises are built on hypothesis. The earning matrix provided by these sites is a pointer in this direction. A thumb rule to apply is that any website seeking upfront payments in the form of membership fee, purchase of kit etc. are only making money for themselves.

2. Set attainable goals
One way you can save yourself from the scamsters is by setting attainable goals in your first online business. Each business calls for specific skills and without those skills, you could soon be winding up your business. Tuning your internet business to the skills you possess will be a huge help in establishing and building your business. If $1000 per day or more were truly available to everyone through internet business, most physical businesses would have closed shop by now.

3. Learn the ropes
Once you have identified your first internet business, the next step towards success is learning the ropes. If, for example, you have chosen website design as your business, you should focus on identifying websites and other resources where the business opportunities come your way. Bid and Win is the format employed in most cases. Your bids should instill confidence in the prospective customer and creating such bids calls for learning.

Online Business For Newbies - 3 Key Factors to Jump Start Your Online Business

By Sharon Zolna

Starting an online business does not have to be a huge or a difficult task. In most cases it is much simpler than opening other forms of businesses. However there are factors that seriously need to be considered in order to safeguard your interests and help you better with your success.

Here are 3 key factors needed when starting your online business:

1) Choose a product of which you are interested and have some knowledge about. This has two major advantages. First, since the product is something you have a passion for, you will more than likely find it easy to commit yourself with it.

Second, starting an online business can be complicated. If you have the advantage of already knowing everything about the product you are going to be dealing with, it will greatly simplify your job and let you concentrate on the other aspects of starting the business.

If you decide on a product that you know little about then you could be in for some potential trouble. You will have to spend time learning all you can about the product. This means that it will take you longer to get your online business up and running which could lead to delayed income from making sales - not a good idea for a beginning business.

2) Research and study everything there is to know about a business before you invest your time and money. Learn what different techniques and strategies are needed for an internet business. This will be your business and, unless you have a staff of people, you will be the person who will do the work.

3) Be patient - starting an online business doesn't always mean that you will be successful overnight. As with any other business it takes time and commitment from you to make it work. The most important thing is that you start your business properly from the beginning.

One way to help ensure this is to get yourself a personal coach or mentor. As a Newbie you will have many questions about your online business and you won't always find the answers in eBooks or canned courses that you buy on the internet. Having a personal coach to directly answer your questions will make your life so much easier and less frustrating as you begin and continue to develop your online business.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finding Abundance With Online Business Opportunities

By Oscar Derrida

Everyone wants to be successful in their careers and financially comfortable in their lives. Having enough money to live is wonderful, but in a perfect world, people would have an abundance of money that would allow them to live without worry or fear. Online business opportunities can give you dynamic options for making money and developing your life as an entrepreneur.

Direct sales businesses are fast becoming one of the biggest online business ventures available. People are turning to MLM and direct sales because of the preformulated business models and easy access to products, training tools, and other business needs. For a single fee, the majority of your needs are provided for you to get your business started.

Creating your own unique combination of products for sale is also possible, using affiliate programs which pay commissions on sales. Products are promoted through blogs, social networks, and websites, with driving traffic to their sites and pages being the main focus and key to success. There are very few expenses involved, so for those on a tight budget, this can be a perfect way to develop your own business and start on your way to financial success.

Another way to find great success in an online business is by capitalizing on your own strengths. Creating a business that is based around your own talents and abilities is a wonderful way to bring in a solid income.

Writers, artists, designers and even organizers can offer their services to others who need help in growing their own online presences and developing their own businesses. If you have a specific marketable talent, you can name your own price for your time and assure that you bring in the money that you need to get ahead.

While abundance means something different to everyone, most can agree that what they want to achieve is having a financial status that allows them to do the things they want, when they to do them.

By finding the right online business opportunities and running them well, you can be the successful entrepreneur that you have always wanted to be and have financial freedom to live the way you deserve to live.

The Best Online Businesses - What Are They?

By Troy Pryczek

Nowadays it's not very difficult to find some of the best online businesses that can help you make money right at the comfort and convenience of your home. Another huge advantage of online businesses is that you can choose to do it on a full time basis, or even make it a part time basis.

There is more than one theory of which is the best way to earn money by running a business online. With the on going economic recession, pay cuts and downsizing, many people are opting to work from home, leading to the growing popularity of online businesses.

So what are the best online businesses? Another huge advantage of online businesses is that you can choose to do it on a full time basis, or even make it a part time basis. Be it the sole source of your income, or a supplementary source, online businesses, if done the right way, can be very lucrative.

Currently, some of the most well known methods of earning money online are by creating customized service or product, organizing trading services, or promotion of products or services either of self or even others.

One of the best online businesses is the business of creating your own customized service or product. While this can be a very lucrative business proposition, it might prove to be difficult as a lot of hard work and big investments are required to create a product.

The production line-up usually comprises the creation, and testing of the new product, which is a very cumbersome process. But in case you have the technical expertise as well as the capital at your disposal, then this can be a very good option for you.

Another one of the best online businesses, is one involving trade services. In this module, you need to buy products and services at the cheapest possible prices, and then sell them or auctions them to wholesalers. This is a good enterprise as you are not required to invest a lot of time and money in order to create a product of your own.

All you need to do is find a good line-up of specialty wholesalers called drop shippers. Then you can directly ship the products to your customer; this is fast and also helps you to make a lot of money.

However, the drawback of this business module is that there is absolutely no assurance that you will be able to match the demand-and-supply of any particular product, at all times. Take for example; you may have a stock of a swanky printer, which you plan to sell in the coming three months.

But suddenly the manufacturer decides to launch a new product and decides to remove the existing one from the market! These are unforeseen circumstances which might hamper your business. In order to overcome this hurdle you need to have good business acumen and also a good knowledge of the market.

There can be many easy income opportunities such as online marketing, affiliate marketing, pay per click services, ad and space selling services, multi level marketing etc. Do your research thoroughly, ask experts and join various discussion forums to choose something that matches your skill set. But doesn't worry if you have no skill sets for an online business, many reputable 2 tier affiliate programs have sufficient training and mentorship available.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Seven Crucial Elements of Customer Satisfaction

By Dr. Gary S. Goodman

I received a very polite inquiry from India this morning.

It read:

Can you please tell me exactly, "What is customer Satisfaction?"

My first impulse was to suggest reading my book. But after a few seconds, it occurred to me this is a genuine question that is foundational.

Let me make seven clear points about customer satisfaction that may help you:

(1) Most companies never stop to define it. If you ask them, "Is it important?" they'll shout, "Heck, yes!" but they would be hard put to explain what it is. This is a serious shortcoming, which prevents them from aiming at and systematically producing customer satisfaction.

We know what a "sale" is, don't we? It is an agreement, a deal, an exchange of money for performance, or a promise of money for a promise of performance.

(2) In many cases, satisfaction is thought to be an internal, psychological or emotional state, fostered by a customer. Specifically, it is the degree of one's "pleasure" arising from a "purchase." Yesterday, I bought a pound of ripe, organic cherries for five bucks. Fairly pricey, I thought, as I put the item into my shopping cart. But after biting into one or two, tasting the sweetness and texture, I concluded I made a wise investment. My pleasure equaled or surpassed the purchase price. I was and am satisfied with the purchase.

(3) Customer satisfaction is also measured by the likelihood that I'll purchase the same item, again; and that there will be a "halo effect" that will make me willing to purchase other fruits and vegetables from the retailer that sold me the cherries.

(4) Loyalty is also an aspect of customer satisfaction. I define it as a premium that customers are willing to pay because they have been satisfied in the past. Literally, this means they may be inclined to pay five dollars for your cherries, but only four dollars to your competitors.

(5) Good will is yet another aspect of customer satisfaction. This is an intangible asset, as any accountant can tell you, but it has value. It is the reasonable expectation that clients or customers will return to do business with you in the future. This can arise from habit, from developing a sense of community, kinship, or friendship with purchasers. Good will is, in part, a desire to do business with you, again.

(6) Satisfaction is not measured accurately by surveys and questionnaires. These are contrived, forced-choice expressions of attitudes and emotions that are abstractions to customers, that don't naturally arise from transactions. Using surveys and questionnaires, literally, we are "putting words into the mouths" of those that do business with us, substituting our constructs for theirs.

(7) The best predictors of loyalty, good will, and repeat business and the truest indicators of genuine customer satisfaction are directly observable during transactions and as transactions conclude. Customers "telegraph" their feelings, attitudes, and intentions through distinctive verbal and nonverbal clues that can be monitored, measured, and managed.

When pursuing customer satisfaction, most businesspeople act like the three blind men describing an elephant, touching it here and there, at random, making grossly inaccurate inferences about its characteristics.

But unlike the elephant examiners, most businesspeople voluntarily disable themselves, opting to pretend that surveys and such are satisfaction, when if they merely opened their eyes and looked at the right things, they could see, quite clearly what it is, and when and how it occurs.

The Greatest Customer Service Trait

By Rick Weaver

What is the greatest customer service trait? Without question - Empathy!

Customer service is far too often thought of as being nice and friendly. Although both these traits are important they do not necessarily set one part from competitors. The secret to great customer service is empathy.

That's the ability to get into the customer's head and think like your customer thanks, to know their challenges and frustrations, to understand what makes them happy, to see their turn-offs, and understand what gives them pleasure.

Leadership Examples

Nordstrom, Walton, and Penney all understood this important principle. It is why Nordstrom gave a refund to a customer returning automobile tires even though the store didn't sell tires. It is why Sam Walton continued to drive an old pickup truck and live in a simple home despite having enormous riches. It is also why Penney is one of the most quoted leaders of all historical retailers.

How my financial planner learned about empathy

Almost all professional salespeople I have met believe they give outstanding customer service. Yet in many cases they know little about their customer other than what they had to ask to fill out insurance applications or financial plans.

Russ, a financial planner, and I were talking one day about sales calls. He told me he was struggling with listening. I shared a story my attorney had told me about a client that was head strong and demanding.

He was making an eloquent argument for his client before the judge. In the middle of his monologue he felt his client tap him on the side. He looked down to see that she was giving him a note that said, "Sit down and shut up".

I told Russ that whenever I am having a discussion with a client or prospective client and feel the need to interrupt them I recall that sign. I actually visualize what it might have looked like in my mind. Then, I keep quiet.

A few weeks later I found myself sitting across the table from Russ once more. He told me that a couple days after our last get-together he was on a sales call with a client who had a huge problem with stuttering.

As the man struggled to complete his sentences Russ felt an overwhelming urge to finish his sentences for him. Yet he told me that each time he started to say something he visualized that sign and was able to refrain.

When Russ finished giving the gentleman his value statement he asked what the man wanted to do. The gentleman told him he was going to invest his money with Russ.

As Russ got up to leave meeting the man asked him to wait a moment. He got up from the table and gave Russ a firm handshake. More importantly the man told him how great it was not to have been interrupted.

Russ' secret, every time he thought about interrupting he could see the sign and thought to himself what it must be like to try and tell somebody something without ever being afforded the opportunity to complete his thought.


Russ showed empathy in action. When you master empathy you will constantly provide world-class customer service. Unfortunately empathy is a lot like humility. Someone who is truly humble is only humble until they realize they are humble. As soon as that happens humility is gone. Empathy is only yours as you work toward being more empathetic. When you stop your ability to empathize begins to fade away.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How to Make Money on the Internet From Home - Secrets Revealed

By Willox Perez

If you really want to learn how to make money on the Internet from home there are many things you most learn and skills you must acquire.

This is an industry where a lot of people make money but on the flip side many people fail to because they simply lack the knowledge that it takes.

This is a real business and it should be treated just as that, not as a hobby. If you treat it as a hobby you are only going to get hobby results.

One of the first things you will need to make money online is an internet. Does this mean you have to go out and create your own site? Not really, you can but it is not necessary right off the bat. What you need to do is find a good website to promote that you can begin to generate sales from.

Once you find this there are some more pieces of the puzzle left.

You will have to learn how to bring targeted traffic to your website. This is key. Having the largest amounts of traffic which is targeted and ready to buy is one of your main objectives.

You can have the ugliest website with the worst graphics but if you bring enough people who want what you have to offer you will make sales.

Also the last piece to this whole thing would be to build your email list. Now I have heard a lot of gurus talk about the money is in your list which is partially true in my opinion. Your job online is to build a strong relationship with your list consistently.

How to Start an Online Business - The First Step

By Dale E East

As you consider the possibility of getting your own Internet business up and running you are likely asking yourself how do I start an online business and what is the first step in the process? That is a very good question and as you begin to research online for the steps that you will need to take you will run into all kinds of shiny web sites touting their systems.

I am here to tell that you don't need that! In this article I will give you the first crucial step in getting your new Internet based business up and running. That step is to select a niche.

The process of niche selection is not that hard once you understand the process and what to look for. It is important that you have a clear understanding of what a niche is before you begin this process.

My definition of a niche is a market or sub sector of a market that can be defined and targeted, In other words, if you have a market that you can nail down the specific needs of that market, you have a niche.

The first thing to look at when looking for a niche is your own interests and strengths. Look at what you do in your job, what are your hobbies, what do you know that others would like to know? Look at things that you have some expertise in and things that you may not know but would like to learn.

Do you have to be an expert in your niche to build a business? The short answer is no. However, if you have some background in your niche you will not face the learning curve associated with learning your topic added to learning about setting up an Internet business.

When you have a good list of niche ideas you will need to do some online research. What you are looking for is the amount of interest or traffic there is for your subject as well as the amount of profitability in that niche.

Start by doing some research for general related keywords and phrases. This will give you other terms that are searched for relating to your topic as well as the number of searches performed for that phrase.

You are looking for sufficient interest in your topic to support your Internet business. Don't be afraid of bigger competitive niches as there will be plenty of money being spent and you will be able to carve out a piece of the pie for yourself.

Now you will need to examine the potential profitability of your niche. Search for a general term in your niche and look at the sponsored ads on the page. If there are ads on several of the search results pages, the odds are good that there are people spending money in your niche.

Now you need to spy on these advertisers and find out what they are selling in your market. This will give you some good ideas about what your market is buying and what you will want to sell in your new online business.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Restaurant Furniture

By Sharon V Chapman

The interior of a restaurant is almost as important as the food being served. Patrons won't continue to dine in a restaurant where the furniture is worn or so out of touch with the atmosphere of the restaurant as to be distracting. Many restaurants use their furniture and décor as a marketing tool, a lovely dining room that is warm and inviting is bound to attract customers.

There are many aspects to consider while deciding on restaurant furniture, one of which is what it is made of. Tables and chairs can be found that are made of wood, aluminum, bamboo, steel and more. The decision should be based on the overall scheme of the room and should blend well.

Restaurant furniture design should be one that is current and yet will still be fashionable in years to come. Restaurant furniture designs should be functional and appealing to the eye. It should also be expandable should business flourish. Trying to match restaurant furniture when the pattern has been discontinued is not a pleasant task and sometimes cannot be accomplished.


The dining room's décor should be based on the menu theme. For example, one would expect to see nautical items and nautical décor in a seafood restaurant, not multi-colored sombreros and Mexican memorabilia. After deciding on a theme for the restaurant, furniture should be chosen that complements the theme.

Restaurant furniture should be sturdy and able to withstand heavy use. Consideration should be give to the type of clientele the restaurant expects. Families tend to have more children and put a lot of wear and tear on furniture. An upscale restaurant can choose furniture that is more luxurious than other restaurants.


Not only should the material that the furniture made of be considered, the material that covers the seats and the table tops should be looked at. The seat cushion material should be washable and easy to clean; it should also have a built-in stain protector to prevent stains from setting in to the material.

Seat cushions should be kept in good condition. Should tears occur, and they will with time, they should be replaced or repaired to keep the dining room fresh and inviting.

Table tops should be scratch resistant or have a glass or poly top cover to prevent damage to the wood. If a covering is not chosen the restaurant should have the wood tops sealed to prevent damage from liquids and hot plates.

Choosing restaurant furniture should be approached much like furnishing a home. It should be warm and inviting and show off the personality of the restaurant. It should be durable and functional, built to last and yet replaceable should the need arise.

Recession Proof Tips For Growing Your Business and Sales Fast

By Larry Benet

As most people wait for the sky to fall and listen to the doom and gloom that is in the news we just had our best week in the past year, and I have several of my friends whose businesses are actually up despite this crazy economy.

I won't kid you the past year has been tough, I have faced my fair share of challenges. I refuse to participate in this recession, how about you? I hope you decide not to participate in it either.

Here are 10 tips that can help you take your business to the next level, and help you recession proof your income. Connect with me and let me know what you think.

1. Change your thinking and you can change your life

I used to be a some what negative person, but the moment I made a decision to focus on expecting positive things and being a ball of energy that is contagious amazing things started to happen in my life.

As I write this I am on the plane.

2. Don't read the news, and turn off the TV

3. Change your environment

4. Get an accountability partner

But have some consequences built in if you don't follow thru on the task you have committed to. If you say you are supposed to make 10 new sales call a day, and you don't do it, what are the consequences. If you say you are going to work out 4 times a week, and have a date night once a week with your significant other, what are the consequences.

When I miss a call with my accountability call with my partner, I pay 50 dollars to him or his favorite charity.

5. Get a mentor

I used to try to figure out things on my own, thinking that was the cheaper way to go, because perhaps I couldn't afford the higher priced coaching. Well it took forever, and half the time, I didn't get the results I wanted.

You are paying for not having a mentor, whether you like it or not. What is the one area in your business or in your life that you are not getting the results you want, or it is taking longer then you would like to reach that goal. Today, I just get on the phone with one of my mentors. When I have a problem and I feel stuck and next thing you know in a matter of minutes, problem is solved.

I had a complex problem that came up 2 days before my seminar, and my mentor solved the problem in 3 minutes flat. I had tears of joy after that conversation.

6. Create your own Board of Advisors

Create your own board of advisors or build your own Power of 6 as my good friend and business colleague Dave Stech likes to talk about.

7. Call your clients

Find out how they are doing, what they need, and how else you can serve them.

8. Call your top prospects

When the economy gets tough, and the news is really bad, people get paralyzed from fear. They stress out about their business, their money, they think the worst is going to happen to them. Be the beacon of light they need to get them thru this tough time, give them ideas that can help them not only survive but thrive in this economy.

9. Raise your expectations and your standards of yourself

Some examples of that for me include getting a personal assistant to manage my personal affairs not my business affairs. Getting an assistant that travels with me at all times, which is different then my assistant who is back in Atlanta handling our day to day business affairs.

10. Building deeper relationships with more influential people

What is your best idea for winning big in this crazy economy?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Take the Boredom Out of the Boardroom

By Chuck R Stewart

Talk to any business person and they probably will tell you that they simply dread any type of professional conference, occasion or meeting.

There seems to be nothing as boring as gathering with a bunch of other people all in the same profession. All anyone does is sit around and swap war stories as well as listen to one speaker after another lecture about marketing and sales strategies while being bombarded with slide presentations.

If managers and companies want to avoid this uninspiring environment then there is another approach for planning Dallas team building events. Get out of the conference rooms and hotel reception halls and take the employees off-site where they will be excited and motivated to attend Dallas corporate events.

One simple way to get people interested in attending professional conferences is to hold them in cities that offer a wide variety of entertainment and dining options.

Just leaving familiar surroundings and getting away from the same old daily grind can enhance cooperation and get creative ideas flowing. Attendees won't mind being cooped up in meetings all day when they are able to choose how they wish to amuse themselves at the end of the day.

Also, it is wise to select a location based upon the weather conditions. Who wouldn't look forward to a business conference in Florida in the middle of winter when they live and work in Minnesota? A sunny location keeps everyone's spirits up from the boardroom to the beach.

If traveling out of town for company meetings is not an option, there are still lots of great places to gather. There are venues that provide plenty of space to take care of the meeting requirements as well as the entertainment portion of the day.

These venues are able to accommodate convention galas, business meetings, company picnics and specialty themed affairs. Their professional planners will use their knowledge, experience and creativity to arrange any type of occasion that a company needs.

From casual to black tie, there are virtually no limits to what they can accomplish. Even some of the more popular themes such as a western rodeo, survivor island or spy games can be customized to suit your needs.

Impress the boss with a top-notch venue that offers hospitality in addition to state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, gourmet food and excellent service. These special facilities can accommodate small gatherings to groups numbering up to a thousand.

Whatever the size or level of formality, you can count on these types of venues to cater to your every need. Meeting and presentation space, food and refreshments and entertainment are all provided in one convenient location.

You can rest assured that attendees will be refreshed and energized by the end of their experience. There's a reason why the old saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is so well known-because it's so true! So, don't be dull and be sure to arrange for both a fun and successful business function.

You Just Can't Win! Why Most People Fail at Business

By Karin Hiebert

Game Plan:

In order to play the game, or be in the game, you need to know what the game is. Who are the players? Who is on your team? {this is a team game} always is, was and will be... its called a business. Never is a successful business a one man {or woman} show.

In all of history it is, and will be an "us" vs. "them." Simple. Not easy, but simple. My philosophy is; there are no losers. "if" THE GAME IS PLAYED WELL, and fair. both teams win, everyone wins- "when you can shake each others hand and say "good game" and mean it, genuinely and sincerely." Play by the rules and play fair. No cheating. No switching dices, or moving your man up the ladder when no one is looking. No challenging the creators of the game and the rule makers.

Rules are there for a reason, as is law, and divine nature/ order of things. Google or any top search engine from here on in, are the game creators and rule makers. (when in question refer to the rule book) Here is the break down of the game, its rules and how you win the game, and what you win! 1. You will win abundant Freedom, Respect, and Recognition for PLAYING. You and your teammates will win the prize. {whatever you set out to BE the prize...} this is by "your" definition of success or accomplishment of goals.

Think Monopoly. Park Place. [what is it that you want or what is important to you? to your business? to your team?] Knowing what your team wants, or what your team will do, or not do is a must! [avoiding jail] missing a turn, or getting to roll twice, seeing other "opportunities" when they run into them for both you and them. this is the type of team and game you want to play...

{this is the first question; you need to examine-where do you want your business to go? or grow? will you want to sell it down the line or "will it" down the line?} Team Captains, Managers and coaches are all good to have. As well as "Spares"

2. You win this game by working with your team players and by playing fair. Now think Hockey, Who plays what? Will they pass the puck? {or pass the buck?} Where, who or what are the players strong points, who gets paid what? what are assets, weakness? who makes up for what, and where? Think game. Think games. How are they played? How are they best played? This is your second question!

3. We enter into playing a game for several reasons; its FUN! it's challenging! it makes you "think" and often in games, you need to think a few plays or steps ahead...it is creative, and a lot of games can go on forever, or for a very looooong time, chess, monopoly, whatever. 3rd Question= "WHY ARE YOU in the game?" "why play in the first place, and what kind of player ARE YOU?"

4. How long do you want to play for? [stamina, endurance, consistency, all matter] who will sit in for you when you leave the table, or game...? May all sound like a strange analogy to some business questions...It helps to figure out, or try to figure out, what it is that we want, and how we will get it. It eliminates the "what's in it for me"question you have, or anyone has who is on your team...of course we all pretty much want the same things...there is no question there...the only question remaining is "will you play, read the rules, and kind of learn as you go along?"

This is to stimulate thought, and your mind. Rather than the typical "what are your goals" these questions come before the "what are your goals" for your business... take time to think on this, until I get back in touch with you later today!