Why an Online Business is the Way to Go Today

Aspiring entrepreneurs planning to start a business today need not have a huge capital. They don’t even have to set up a physical store and rent a commercial space in order to sell and promote their products and services.

The best solution to business-minded people with a limited budget is to start an online business. And why not? There are many benefits to be enjoyed if you opt for this.

Firstly, the internet is free to use. Millions of people use it every day to search for and share information without paying any fee.

A second benefit is its global reach. Unlike a physical store which has a limited target market, an online business allows an entrepreneur to offer his products and services to potential customers around the world.
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Originally posted on October 2, 2012 @ 6:07 am

Productivity Tips for Work-at-Home Parents

One of the best things about the internet boom is that it has opened up opportunities to work from home that otherwise would never have existed. As a work-at-home mom with two small kids, being able to stay at home and see to the kids while earning enough money to help ease the financial burden at home is a huge deal. However, the set-up is quite frankly less than ideal if your goal is maximum productivity at work.

When it comes to working at home, any parent knows that no matter how well you plan out the day something is bound to happen to disrupt your schedule. It may be something trivial like spilled milk, or something more important like a trip to the emergency room. No matter what it is, the point is that the small things can add up leaving you wondering at the end of the day where all the time went, and having to scramble to finish your work.

If you work at home and have kids, here are some tips that could hopefully help increase your productivity:

Set aside a work space for you – The work space may be an entire room, or just a small corner at the kitchen. The point is that you should have a place where you can put your laptop and the rest of your work stuff that the kids will know are off limits. Having a work station will also help you not just in having a place to dump all your things, but help put you in the zone once you start working.

Establish your kids’ bedtime – This is not only good for your kids, but will also give you a more predictable time of the day when you can catch up on work without any interruptions. The few minutes you spend putting them to bed might will earn you hours of “you time” and plus points in the bonding department.

Pre-post – Every time you have a chance to do work ahead of time, do so. Publish posts ahead of time so that the next time some emergency arises you won’t have to worry to much about unfinished work because you’ve already done them ahead of time!

 

Photo via Charlotte Fire Dept Credit Union

Originally posted on December 18, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

Look to the Past in 2012: How to Put Referrals Back on the Table

Many companies are focusing on the 2012 trends and new developments in business, but some should be thinking more along the lines of a New Year’s resolution. In other words, the New Year is a great time to improve upon what your company is already doing (or should already be doing). Many of those old marketing tricks still work just as well, but companies have slowly been pushing them to the wayside. While methods like social media and QR Codes are great, my advice is this: Make improving your older marketing methods your New Year’s resolution.

One of my favorite “classic” marketing tricks is the referral. Getting a referral is so important to a company because it has a very good chance of actually bringing in a profit. This is the case for because a referral means that your company is being talked about on a level of trust. The person getting the referral trusts the person giving the referral. This yields better results than if someone was just looking at a website.

If you think your company could benefit from more referrals, it’s time to start making this a priority. Consider a few of the ways your company can increase its number of referrals in the New Year:

Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Number of Referrals in 2012

1. Co-Marketing – Part of a co-marketing strategy is giving referrals. For those who are unfamiliar, many companies create partnerships with other, complementary companies for marketing purposes. For example, if you work at a day care center you may want to have a partnership with a pediatrician. If you refer customers to his/her practice and they refer their patients to your business, you will have an entirely new audience very quickly.

2. Social Media – You don’t need to resort back to traditional phone systems if you’re hoping for a referral. Contrary to what some may believe, old marketing tactics can coincide with new age methods. If you love social media, be sure that you have sharing buttons for all of your readers. This makes it easy for customers and clients to send an online referral to all of their friends and family.

3. Compensation – Even though giving a referral is very easy, people will be more likely to do so if there is an incentive. If you can give someone five dollars off their next visit or a free consultation just for bringing in a friend, your referrals will skyrocket. This is probably the easiest way to bring in new customers and clients (while making your existing clients happy).

4. Simply Ask – It’s never a bad idea to remind existing customers and clients that referrals are appreciated. This can be as easy as reminding them when they leave—just put it into your “goodbye” spiel. If you have a good relationship with a specific customer, ask them directly if they know anyone who may be interested. You might be surprised how something so little can go such a long way.

5. Testimonials – Gathering testimonials is great because it allows those who want to help to do their part. Many customers will tell you they simply do not know anyone in the area or anyone who would need your products or services. The solution to this is to ask for a testimonial for your website or brochure. Have them sign a document saying you can use their words on your website, and you’re good to go. This is an indirect way to give a referral, but a referral nonetheless.

In the end, people will not blame your company for trying to step up its referral statistics. It’s an inexpensive and successful way to grow a brand. In other words, looking to the past may benefit your company more than looking to the future in 2012.

Photo Credit: servicebusinessreinvention.com, mylot.com, blog.marketamerica.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to telemarketing. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including customer referrals to small businesses and entrepreneurs for Resource Nation.

Originally posted on December 14, 2011 @ 11:13 am

How Can Employees Benefit from Mediation

In any workplace, conflicts can occur at some point in time. It can be caused by various factors and can affect several people.

Issues in the office among employees as well as between employees and high-ranking officers that are unresolved for quite some time can affect performance and productivity. They can have a negative impact on one’s emotions thereby affecting one’s work attitude. As such, they need to be settled as soon as possible in the most appropriate manner.

These days, workplace mediation is very much encouraged. It’s considered an effective way of resolving conflicts and ensuring that the same issues are not repeated in the future.
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Originally posted on August 23, 2012 @ 1:10 am

Recipe Finder: Your Indispensable Kitchen Helper

Recipe Finder Home Page

Recipe Finder Home Page

Cooking is one of the most relaxing and fulfilling activities that you can engage in. Even those who do not have much cooking experience can gain a lot of benefits spending some time in the kitchen and enjoying the fruits of their labor. For some, cooking is a necessity, but this fact does not necessarily take away from the experience.

One thing is for sure – both the seasoned cook and the newbie has to have access to different recipes and ideas. Naturally, there is the adventure of coming up with your own recipes, but even the best cooks will tell you that inspiration also comes from existing dishes and recipes.

Speaking of inspiration, here is something that will give you some assistance in that area. The newest recipe site in town is here to serve as your most important helper in the kitchen. Recipe Finder is a new search engine that features a host of dishes that anyone can make at home. The advantage of Recipe Finder over other recipe sites is that it offers a collection of over a million recipes found online today. Recipe Finder crawls other recipe sites, doing away with the need of having to check individual sites over and over again. Consider it your one-stop recipe site! And with Recipe Finder regularly checking for new recipes, you are assured that you will always have something to new to discover.

Searching for recipes on Recipe Finder is as easy as pie. You only have to enter the names of recipes or keywords in the search bar. If you have stricter requirements, you can make your search more specific by identifying details such as ingredients (include or exclude them), calorie count, cook time, number of servings, and so on. Furthermore, you have two viewing options: text or images. If you want to get cooking immediately, the former option is perfect. If you want to choose recipes based on how the final product looks, then the latter is ace.

Recipe Finder can help you get organized. It has a built-in menu creator which you can use to plan meals. Whether you are preparing for a normal everyday meal or a special one, the menu feature can make the planning so much easier for you. And if you want to plan meals days or weeks in advance, the calendar function will serve you perfectly. Finally, if you like having printouts of your recipes, you simply have to press the print button on the recipe page.

Ready to start cooking? Visit Recipe Finder now!

Originally posted on September 29, 2011 @ 11:30 am