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Make a Business Plan for Working from Home

One of the biggest mistakes those who work from home make is neglect creating a business plan. Oftentimes they are thinking that because they work at home, a business plan does not apply to them as it would for other types of business startups where financing is needed. Of course there are home businesses that need financing to start up but oftentimes the reason why people choose a home business is because little startup capital is needed (i.e., financing). But you still need a business plan. Lets look at a few reasons why.

A business plan defines your product or service. First, you need to decide what products or services you are going to offer when you work from home. You need to take your business idea and write it down. This will be the basis of further market research to test your idea. For example, lets say you make a great blue widget and decide you want to go into business and sell it. So, you declare that you will sell blue widgets. However as you do market research you find out that everyone is now buying yellow widgets and blue widgets are no longer in demand. This means in order to work at home and sell widgets, you will have to adapt to make and sell yellow ones. Our example uses imaginary widgets but you can replace widget with your idea and see if there is a market for it. Deciding what it is you want to sell or the service you want to offer now will save you expense later on.

A business plan identifies your target market. If you have no idea who your target market is for selling your product or service then you do not know where to focus advertising for your home business. Using our widget example, it could be that younger people like yellow widgets with green stripes while senior people like plain yellow widgets. With the business plan, you can write this research down so that you can refer to it as you build the marketing strategy for your home business.

A business plan identifies your competition. You have to identify your competitors and as much as possible pinpoint what they do right and how you can do it better. Remember that in order to increase the chances for success of your home business, you must have characteristics that set you apart from your competition. A business plan lets you identify what it is that will set you apart and by writing it down you can refer to it and stay on track.

A business plan defines the daily operation of your business. Your home business [http://www.beasuccesfulconsultant.com] might be a one-person shop but you still need an operational plan. For example, what are your terms of service? What are your payment policies with your clients? What are your delivery procedures? Who are your suppliers if you have them? These are just a few of the questions you will answer in a business plan for your home business.

A business plan identifies any loan requirements. As mentioned before, one of the big reasons why people set up home businesses is that the capital investment requirements are lower. However there are certain types of businesses where you might need people to invest money or you have to get a loan from a bank. These people wont even meet with if you have no business plan.

Get yourself a self-help book and read how to make a business plan [http://www.beasuccesfulconsultant.com] for your home business. It might seem labor-intensive but it will help your business be more profitable and run smoother in the long run.

What’s a Widget?

A widget is a small utility working in the background, looking for specific information for you on the Internet and aggregating it in a specific location. For example, the weather forecast for the next week in your city, currency exchange, digital clock, your favorite stocks ticker, TV broadcasting and so on. Almost everything that you need to have current. In technical language, widgets are small JavaScripts applications running a widget engine on a user computer under MS Windows or Mac operating systems. Originally called Konfabulator, they were recently acquired by Yahoo! and now widgets are commonly known as Yahoo! Widgets.

How Do You Use It?

First of all, you need to download a widget engine from Yahoo and install it on your computer. This will allow you to access more than 3,000 different widgets created for this engine. There are several designed specifically for photographers, and particularly for those who are actively selling photos to stock and microstock agencies.

There are several widgets for iStockPhoto such us iStockWatcher, iStockDash and iStockphoto-PC Widget. All of them are free. iStockWatcher works under the Yahoo! Widget engine only and has an iStockwatch Lite version with some limitations. This watcher gathers information such as last selling, statistics, personal message notifications, new forum and blog topics, news and so on.

iStockDash is Dashboard Widget for the Mac operating system only. There are no big differences in functionalities from the one mentioned above.

In contrast, iStockphoto-PC Widget is an MS Windows version that contains everything you need to work autonomously. In other words, you do not need to install the Yahoo! Widget engine first, but rather everything is inside this widget package, so you just download and install it, and it is ready to work.

There is another one that covers all of the above and more. I’m talking about MicroStock Watcher. This widget keeps you up to date on iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, Fotolia, Shutterstock, Stockxpert, and LuckyOliver. And the list of microstocks is growing. But, this widget is shareware with a trial period.

For those who are only interesting in photos themselves, there are several widgets working with photo sharing Web-sites like Flickr. They’ll show you recent photos in selected categories, travelers’ stories and so on. To find out more try to make a search both in the Internet and Yahoo widgets page.

A Tale Of Two Widget Salesmen

Many people see sales as an exercise in confrontation. If you’ve ever bought a high ticket item like a car, then you know what I’m talking about. You want to get a cheap price, and the seller wants to make as much money as possible. For the most part, the difficulties in buying and selling aren’t centered around the price, they’re centered around the transaction itself.

Consider somebody who is selling widgets at a booth. Say the booth is at a home show. For every widget he sells, he’ll make a profit of a dollar. Naturally, the more widgets he sells, the more money he takes. If he had his druthers, he’d sell a widget to everybody that passed him by. This is precisely what he tries to do.

He comes up with a huge pitch, designed to lure in as many people as possible. He claims this widget can do anything, so more people will want it. Because he is so good a persuasion, or sales, a lot of people are convinced they want this widget. They get it home, still feeling happy that they’ve bought this widget.

But a few days and weeks pass, and they find they really don’t have much use for this widget. After a while, they wonder why they bought the thing. Soon their friends start asking them why they bought it. They don’t know. They say they were conned into buying it. The salesperson was really pushy. They bought it just to be polite.

Pretty soon this widget seller has developed a reputation as a pushy salesperson. He has to travel to a new city every couple months, because he quickly wears out his welcome. Such is the life of a traveling widget salesman.

Now consider another widget salesman. He doesn’t promise the moon. He just says what the widget does. His reputation is more important to him than anything. Instead of trying to sell his widget to every single person that walks by, he qualifies his customers. He asks them questions to make sure they can get a real use out of the widget. Plenty of people like the widget, think it looks cool, but the widget salesman is clear that they really won’t get much use out of it, unless they really do need it.

So a lot fewer people buy his widgets. But the ones that do, really use it. And enjoy it. And tell all their friends. Pretty soon people that really need this widget are beating down this poor widget salesman’s door trying to buy his product.

Before long, he’s got a huge mail order business, and he doesn’t have to do any more traveling to sell his widgets. He can relax at home, while his business runs itself. He out-sources all the people he needs to handle his orders.

The first widget salesman was worried about not selling anything, and thus created a life of hardship. The second widget salesman was convinced of the quality of his product, and in the interest of his reputation, only wanted to put it in the hands of people who really needed it. As a result, he lives and easy life with easy money.

Which one are you?