Home Business Magazine https://homebusinessmag.com Home Business - Home-Based Business - Business Opportunities - Franchises - Business Start-up - Work From Home Sun, 25 Jun 2017 10:04:34 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Excel in Your Business by Learning Organizational Skills and Balance https://homebusinessmag.com/lifestyles/self-improvement/excel-business-learning-organizational-skills-balance/ https://homebusinessmag.com/lifestyles/self-improvement/excel-business-learning-organizational-skills-balance/#respond Sun, 25 Jun 2017 10:04:34 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34449 Organization provides the ability to utilize your time, efforts and resources in the most effective way to produce positive results.

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Why are good organizational skills so critical in the workplace?  Organization provides the ability to utilize your time, efforts and resources in the most effective way to produce positive results.

Mastering those skills will assist with:

  • Time and stress management.
  • Meeting project deadlines.
  • Better management skills.
  • Accessibility of documents.
  • Creating trust and professionalism within your team.

So, how do we begin with organization?

  • Create “to do” lists, and mark items off as you complete them.  Categorize them relative to A, B, and C—A priority, B middle, and C least important. Many people do a to-do list and lump it all into one list. Should you go in that direction, your list will just grow and you will become overwhelmed. Categorizing it assists with mind control. Once you achieve positive results in accomplishing the most important tasks first, you will become motivated and your B and C list will be very easy.
  • Set boundaries and learn to say no to colleagues.  Boundaries and limits assist with taking charge of your time and feelings.
  • Set family goals.  Do not allow anything to interfere with things you have scheduled with your family.  We all realize how important goal setting is.  We continually strive to meet our professional goals so don’t forget about the importance of personal and family goals.
  • Choose an accountability partner.  This will assist with eliminating procrastination.  An accountability partner understands your strengths and weaknesses, therefore, helping you reach your desired outcome in a productive manner.
  • Allow additional time in the morning so your day will be structured in a calm and positive way.  This will help you accomplish your tasks in a timelier fashion.
  • Keep track of your PA (productive actions) and NPA (non-productive actions).  This will help you figure out your time wasters.

Creating organizational structure will assist you with persistence.  Persistence is an essential factor in the process and if you do not learn how to be persistent you will not achieve successful results.  To become persistent, you must first know what you want. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties. You must have the desire to pursue the object of your intensity. This will develop your self-reliance and help you formulate organized plans for the development of your goal.



Be sure to create time for yourself.  You are no good to family or colleagues if you can’t find time to relax, relieve tension, and minimize stress.  Once you practice effective organizational habits you will be able to spend additional time with your family and friends.  Include your family in as many areas as you can. For example:  after-work socializing can interfere with your personal life, but there are times it is a necessity in your career.  Find ways to balance those after-work socialization functions successfully by including your spouse.

Once you are organized your mind will be clear and you will be able to unwind on your way home and you won’t be taking home any negativity.  The end result will be additional family bonding and enjoyable time.

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Six Steps to Sell with a Heroic Storytelling Formula https://homebusinessmag.com/sales/selling-tactics/six-steps-sell-heroic-storytelling-formula/ https://homebusinessmag.com/sales/selling-tactics/six-steps-sell-heroic-storytelling-formula/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 16:43:37 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34445 Now any business leader can use proven techniques of telling a great story by employing “The Simple Six-Step Heroic Storytelling Formula” to make a proposal or close the sale.

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A tough challenge for many in business is convincing enough prospects to hire them. To become more persuasive, it pays to know how humans are hardwired for stories. If you want the prospect to think it over, give them lots of facts and figures. If you want them to decide to hire you, tell them the right story.

Storytelling helps persuade on an emotional level. Maybe that is why so many Fortune 500 companies are putting an emphasis on teaching their sales and business development professionals storytelling techniques that will move units and convince prospects to come aboard.



Now any business leader or sales professional can easily use proven techniques of telling a great story employed by Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street by employing “The Simple Six-Step Heroic Storytelling Formula” to gain the chance to make a proposal or close the sale.

These stories must be true case studies, but told in a certain way. Here is a quick overview of the formula:

One: Start with a main character. Every story starts with the name of a character who wants something. This is your client. Make your main characters likable so the listeners will root for them. To make them likable, describe some of their good qualities or attributes. Generally, three attributes work best: “Marie was smart, tough, and fair” or “Johan was hardworking, caring and passionate.” For privacy reasons you do not need to use their real names (“this is a true story, but the names have been changed to protect confidentiality”).

Two: Have a nemesis character. Stories need conflict to be interesting. What person, institution, or condition stands in the character’s way? The villain in the story might be a challenge in the business environment, such as the recession of 2008 or higher tax rates (the government is always a classic nemesis character).

Three: Bring in a mentor character. Heroes need help on their journey. They need to work with a wise person. This is where you come in. Be the voice of wisdom and experience. The hero does not succeed alone; they succeed because of the help you provided.

Four: Know what story you are telling. Human brains are programmed to relate to one of eight great meta-stories. These are: monster, underdog, comedy, tragedy, mystery, quest, rebirth, and escape. If the story is about overcoming a huge problem, that is a monster problem story. If the company was like a David that overcame an industry Goliath, that is an underdog story.

Five: Have the hero succeed. Typically the main character needs to succeed, with one exception: tragedy. The tragic story is told as a cautionary tale. Great for teaching lessons, but not great for attracting clients. Have the hero go from mess to success (it was a struggle, and they couldn’t have done it without you).

Six: Give the listeners the moral of the story. Take a cue from Aesop, the man who gave us fables like The Tortoise and the Hare (the moral: slow and steady wins the race). Don’t count on the listeners to get the message. The storyteller’s final job is to tell them what the story means.

Six Ways to Put Stories into Action 

After you build an inventory of stories that demonstrate how you take clients from mess to success, you are then ready to deploy the stories. In storytelling, context is everything. You should never randomly tell stories, but instead use stories at the right strategic times.

Here are six perfect opportunities to persuade with a story:

  1. During an Initial Call to Get a Meeting. Never lead with the story. First have a conversation with the prospect. Ask about their goals, what they are doing right, and what they see as the roadblocks they hope you can help them get past. At this point ask: “May I tell you a true story about how we helped a client get from where you are now to where you want to go?”

  1. To Close a Client During a Meeting. For many companies, business development is not a one-step close. During an initial get together you gather information and in the subsequent meeting you propose a course of action. This is the time to add a case history story of a client that was in a similar situation.

  1. On a Website and in Collateral Material. Get rid of those dry case studies on the website. Instead, convert them to the more persuasive story format of the six-step formula. This also applies to your marketing collateral. Don’t just tell when stories will sell. In your brochures and information kits replace drab case histories with persuasive heroic success stories (remember your role is as a wise mentor).

  1. During a New Business Presentation. Oftentimes, you may be asked to make a presentation to a group. Because humans are hardwired for stories, this is a perfect opportunity to make your pitch memorable.

  1. During a Speech or Media Interview. Occasionally you may receive an invitation to make a speech or give an interview to the media. Illustrate your message with a pithy story.

  1. To Train Employees on Core Values. Stories can also be the gift to your business that keeps giving. Reinforce core values with employees and new hires through sharing the inventory of stories.

Bottom line: Nothing is as persuasive as storytelling with a purpose. The right stories can work wonders whether you are using them in a one-to-one meeting, in a presentation that is one-to-several, or in a speech or publicity that is one-to-many. Start today to build an inventory of persuasive stories.

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Tips That Should Help You in Finalizing an Ideal Cloud Service Provider https://homebusinessmag.com/home-office/internet-technology/tips-help-finalizing-ideal-cloud-service-provider/ https://homebusinessmag.com/home-office/internet-technology/tips-help-finalizing-ideal-cloud-service-provider/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 15:38:48 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34425 In this post, let's learn about things that should be kept in mind before choosing a cloud service provider.

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Cloud service is important for every business and even personal needs today. There is a certain level of dependency on cloud service, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, it is possible that if you’re looking for a Cloud Service Provider for the first time, there can be some confusion because there are many myths in Technology and it might make it difficult for you to choose an ideal option. In this post, let’s learn about things that should be kept in mind before choosing a cloud service provider.

1. Evaluating the provider’s portfolio

The first task to be accomplished is that you should evaluate the cloud service provider’s portfolio carefully. Many companies make the mistake of randomly shortlisting providers and regret the decision later on. Remember that if you do not evaluate the portfolio carefully, you’ll not be in a position to know whether they will satisfy the requirements or not.

While evaluating, you should consider looking for characteristics like interoperability, flexibility, service level agreements and security.

2. Analyzing the provider

Once you have understood the portfolio of the cloud service provider, it is important to evaluate the provider by keeping in mind points like forward-looking cloud strategy adopted by them, the experience of the provider in the field, access to technical expertise and past performance.

This will help you know whether they are trustworthy or not. Apart from this, you can even look for reviews that might have been posted online by other companies who have used the shortlisted provider’s service in the past.

3. Understanding the business health and processes of the provider

If the task of choosing a cloud service provider was as easy as opting for an affiliate program offered by Lead Network, the level of stress for business is dependent on technology would have been reduced significantly. However, it is a challenge, and you should look at it as a challenge. So, even after understanding the business health of the providers shortlisted by you, you’ll have to make an effort to be sure that an ideal provider will be a part of your business campaign. For this, you should check for the financial health of the organization, governance, risk management, planning, business knowledge, technical know-how and compliance audit.

4. Learn about the administration support you’ll get in the process

Talking about administration support, you need to have a look at the service level agreements and make sure that the provider will give you performance report from time to time. Billing and accounting should be automated, and resource monitoring should make things easy for your company.



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Starting a Wedding Planning Business? 8 No-No’s to Avoid! https://homebusinessmag.com/blog/business/starting-wedding-planning-business-8-no-nos-avoid/ https://homebusinessmag.com/blog/business/starting-wedding-planning-business-8-no-nos-avoid/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:48:39 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34428 If you are planning to kick-start your own wedding planning business, here are the 8 top things you must certainly avoid if you don’t want your business to run afoul of couples to be!

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A myriad of details dot the couple’s path between the “she said yes”, and “I do!” As soon as the newly engaged couple stops swooning with the initial bouts of exultation, the realization of the mammoth and lumbering task looming ahead of them, dawns over: planning a wedding from scratch! Everything from booking the florist, sprinting from bride and groom salon to salon to select the most eye-grabbing ensembles, making sure of the availability of their favorite venue and band, to contending with food and wine tasting, the bride and groom soon get overwhelmed trying to run after vendors that they are entrusting the most precious day of their lives to. This is why, more and more couples these days are relying on wedding planners to help them execute their wedding dreams to perfection, while alleviating them of all the hassle.



If you are planning to kick-start your own wedding planning business, here are the 8 top things you must certainly avoid if you don’t want your business to run afoul of couples to be!

1. NOT HAVING AN IMPRESSIVE WEDDING PORTFOLIO

A picture speaks a thousand words! A hundred … well you do the math. Other than the obvious word of mouth, one of the most viable ways of selling your services as a wedding planning authority is through putting together a viable online portfolio that portrays your expertise and lets your excited couple sneak a peak in to the types of services you offer and your éclat in your niche.

Source: QC Event School

Here are a few ideas on what to include:

  • A stunning photo shoot of a mock wedding; including the cake, the band, the sumptuous décor of the reception, the floral fiesta, the reception table, and the couple having the time of their life. This is a great opportunity to flaunt your attention to detail and grasp of the hottest wedding trends. Leverage your photo-shoot to build relationships with local vendors, by offering to give them referrals if they contribute to your mock wedding.
  • A list of your professional memberships or certifications.
  • Samples of wedding timelines created by you.
  • Photographs and written testimonials from relatives and friends’ weddings to which you have contributed.

2. NOT ESTABLISHING AMIABLE RELATIONS

Wedding planners are in charge of ensuring that all aspects of the wedding run smoothly without a snag. If the wedding cake is lopsided, you have to work a spell upon it before the bridezilla notices. If the flowers do not arrive in good condition or on time, it falls upon you to fix the dilemma. In order to sidestep such potential hitches, it is indispensable to establish working relationships with reliable vendors, who are trusted by other wedding planners for providing a good service or product, for the right price, and on time. In order to cater to brides with different budgets, try recruiting vendors in myriad price ranges.

Investing your energy and time into cultivating cordial relationships with other wedding vendors and professionals in your vicinity is worth the effort. Not only would it help you gain a sense of which vendors are reputable, professional, and worth their salt when referring to your clients, you will also get a chance to create referral sources for new business. For instance, joining your local chapters of the International Special Events Society and the National Association of Catering Executives, puts you in direct contact with officiants, florists, videographers, photographers, caterers, venue owners, and more. Most wedding professionals are keen to know more about other service providers in their area and build their networks.

3. NOT DEVELOPING A COMPANY IMAGE

Style is the new vogue in wedding planning. In essence, brides are putting their trust in your ideas to realize their fairy-tale wedding dreams.  However, with the plethora of wedding planners dotting the wedding industry, how does a planner stand out and make an impression even before a couple has stepped over their doors?

Therefore, building the right business image, from the wedding logo and name of the business, to the fonts and colors you are planning to capitalize on in your marketing, must demonstrate attention to detail and a penchant for style. While most wedding planning businesses design their logos almost as an afterthought, they fail to realize the importance of putting a face to their company name to make sure that their business is etched upon the minds of the aspiring couples, shopping for wedding planners.

You can consider splurging on a professional graphic designer (if your pocket allows it) or go DIY to glean winning logos, professional looking business stationery, and business cards for a relatively modest cost. Make sure your branding mediums are designed to reflect the nature of your services, touched up with your individual flair, to make couples-to-be swarm over to your threshold.

In addition, flyers and brochures go a long way in marketing your services. As part of your branding foray, try to exhibit at trade shows targeted to brides. Having a smartly designed website can also contribute to your success as 79% of people 19 to 28 years old shop around on the internet, and considering the average age of the bride as falling around 26 years old, most couples feel more comfortable perusing portfolios and websites of wedding planners at home, before deciding to pay them a visit.

4. LACK OF COMMUNICATION

Poor communication with your clients spells failure for you from the start. Your clients come to you harboring certain expectations for their big day, and look to you to ensure their execution. Therefore, it is vital that you are both on the same page to avert disaster. Remember, the exultation and contentment of your clients dictate whether the wedding day was successful or not.

The key to great communication lies in listening to your clients actively. Listening to the happy prattling of the thrilled couple entails more than hearing the words coming out of their mouths. The best wedding planners use their perception and intuition to read between the lines, as clients are notorious for leaving out details, forgetting to elucidate certain fancies, or worse still, having flighty whims. Observe closely the body language of your clients. For instance, if their eyes light up when discussing about hiring a particular caterer, you can hazard a guess that food is a priority for them.

Also keep your ears perked up for any areas your client avoids talking about or overemphasizes. Does your client keep changing the subject every time you bring up the guest list or keep stressing the budget restrictions? Delve into any mixed or hazy messages to ensure that the expectations of your clients are crystal-clear.

It’s imperative to incessantly check-in with your client as you progress through the planning phase, to ensure that everything comes out perfectly together. Wedding planners are not seers or mind-readers, and clients are often infamous for changing their minds and simply “forgetting” to fill you in. Before purchasing or booking anything for the event, check with the client if you are headed in the right direction.

5. HAVING NO BACK UP PLANS

As a planner, Murphy’s Law should be your right arm: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” All the planning and preparation in the world cannot garner you a flawless event. If nature decides to rain on your parade (literally), it will rain even though the weather man promised a bright, sunny day for an outdoor wedding. No matter how arduously your famous band has pledged to make it to your wedding, the lead singer can come down with a terrible case of cold. It’s good to hope for the best, but also important to prepare for the worst. Lest things go awfully and disastrously wrong, having a plan “B” can help you save the wedding (and your nose).

Risk assessment should be a vital part of your planning process. Identify potential risks that can plague your wedding event and come up with a viable contingency plan for each conceivable glitch. Have a store of emergency vendors at the ready who can act quickly and provide a similar service/product to that you have booked. Even have a stand-by person to take on MC duties, lest the planned MC is late or sick. When planning an outdoor soiree, leave some room in the budget for an emergency tent or an indoor space available promptly.

6. NOT LEVERAGING FREE MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES

Most small wedding businesses spend a considerable amount of their time marketing their company and manifesting their presence in the sea of planners. Luckily, this critical task doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. In addition to designing a stunning website that depicts and flaunts your expertise, create social media business pages to share photos from the weddings you’ve helped plan, your current developments, plans, ideas, as well as the latest wedding statistics and trends.

Also, considering the fad of themed weddings, creating inspiration boards through Pinterest helps enormously as Pinterest is the Makah for couples planning details of their wedding. In addition to free marketing opportunities, there are more traditional marketing avenues, such as networking and paid advertising in print media. Your goal is to appeal to engaged couples and show them how you can make their wedding dreams come true.

7. NOT BEING ABLE TO PRODUCE REFERENCES AND EXPERIENCES

It is highly unlikely that any harried bride would hire a wedding planning business that fails to show a wedding-related business experience. Why risk the most important day of their life? Gain experience by working for a caterer, florist, a bridal shop, or any other established wedding planning company to get a know-how of the wedding business and be seen as an authority on matrimony.

Another alternative is to plan the weddings of a few friends pro-bono to provide you with references, and gain ample experiences. Capture good photographs for your online wedding portfolio to show potential clients what you can accomplish.

8. POOR BUSINESS ORGANIZATION

A disorganized business restricts a professional’s ability to grow their business, impacts quality of work, and leads to poor customer experience. Inconsistently communicating with clients, struggling to prioritize planning between multiple events, or forgetting to schedule a consultation or respond to inquiries, are some examples of what ensues when a wedding planner doesn’t manage his or her business effectively.

Through planning tools and software, you can stay organized and ensure that your clients are served with the best experience. Such technology-enabled solutions can help you grow and manage your business.

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Hunger Games https://homebusinessmag.com/blog/working-smarter-blog/hunger-games/ https://homebusinessmag.com/blog/working-smarter-blog/hunger-games/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:53:42 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34422 Here's why urgency on the part of a prospective client is a huge red flag.

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I live by two simple rules:

Rule #1: Never sit in the front row of a comedy or dolphin show. In both cases, you’re liable to be more involved than you’d like.

Rule #2: Never shop for food when you’re hungry. Here, you’re apt to buy things that you neither want nor need.

And yet there I was, just this past Sunday, strolling into the Hannaford Supermarket around 2pm.



I’d been running around all morning.

I hadn’t eaten lunch.

We were going out to dinner that night and this was my only window of opportunity to pick some things up.

It started out just fine.

Eggs? Check. Milk? No problem. Bread? Right there on the shelf.

But then I turned the corner and saw the Shrimp Tortellini in Alfredo Sauce. “Hmm… that seems right,” I said to nobody in particular. Into the cart it went.

A package of Swiss cheese and a pound of sliced turkey at the deli counter? Totally reasonable; I was back on track.

That is, until somebody (I’m pretty sure it was me) said:

“Oh, and can I get a medium container of General Gau’s Chicken and a quart of Seafood Chowder?”

It only got worse from there (I hadn’t even visited the chip aisle yet).

In the end, I left with about twice as much “food” as usual (General Gau was an unfortunate casualty of the drive home), much of which consisted of things I didn’t really want.

Indeed, Rule #2, when you follow it, is a good rule.

Which is why I hesitated – and ultimately turned down – a request to “jump on a content project superfast” for a company that called on Monday.

The problem is that they were too hungry. And hungry people, as my trip to the supermarket reminded me, make bad decisions (and lousy clients).

“Now hold on there just a minute, Mr. Clever-Food-Analogy-Guy,” you’re probably saying, in-between bites of chowder.

“Aren’t desperate, time-constrained clients good? They don’t have time to shop around and they’re generally willing to pay a premium.”

My answer? No. And here’s why:

1. Hungry people don’t consider other options. 

So sure, they’ll hire you. But without giving any real thought into whether or not who you are and what you do is what they really need.

As a result, you’re very likely to butt heads throughout the entire project.

2. Hungry people don’t care how things taste.

During the early stages of a project with a hungry client, they’ll happily eat anything you give them (because they’re hungry).

But as time goes on and the urgency dissipates – as it nearly always does – they’ll start thinking more clearly.

They’ll forget about how you saved the day and begin wondering about things like your higher than normal fee and the specifics of the arrangement they agreed to in the heat of the moment.

3. Hungry people regret what they’ve eaten.

The guy in the store eyeing the chicken is not the same guy sitting at home a couple of hours later. At that point, his motivation and priorities have changed.

Similarly, the desperate soul who calls you Monday morning begging for help will soon be replaced by an entirely different person. A person who, chances are, would not have bought what he bought, in the same way, had he not been under the gun.

4. Hungry people are already in trouble.

I wasn’t hungry at 2pm on a Sunday for no reason. It’s because I did (or didn’t do) a number of things prior which led me to shop at the wrong time.

The desperate prospect has also been travelling down a path long before getting in touch. Did somebody quit? Did he overpromise on the timing? Is there a crazy boss or client of his own on the other end of the transaction that you can’t even see?

Whatever the reason, the minute you say yes to the project, you inherit all the insanity that led up to today’s fire alarm. (Hint: There’s more coming.)

Here’s the bottom line. Urgency on the part of a prospective client is a big (HUGE) red flag. Rather than being an opportunity for you, more often than not, it’s a sign that things are already off track and about to get much worse.

The only question is whether or not you choose to climb aboard.

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What’s in Your Tool Chest? https://homebusinessmag.com/blog/management-blog/whats-tool-chest/ https://homebusinessmag.com/blog/management-blog/whats-tool-chest/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:45:54 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34418 What kinds of simple, efficient tools have you developed for your business? If you find yourself creating things from scratch, over and over again, it might be worth considering.

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My friend Andy came to Boston on Tuesday. He lives in LA and sent me an e-mail to let me know he was coming to town: “If you’re free and interested, I’d be glad to buy you dinner.”

Between you and me, I wasn’t sure if his invitation meant that he’d be eating along with me, but a free meal is a free meal, so I took my chances and said yes.



He told me he was staying at the Westin Hotel in Copley place, so I suggested Legal Sea Foods, a terrific restaurant that never disappoints. We agreed to meet at 6:30.

I arrived about 10 minutes early so I had a seat at the bar and ordered a beer. 20 minutes later he hadn’t shown up, so I sent him a text:

Me: Here at Legal!
Andy: Seated
Me: Stand by

I grabbed my half-full glass, walked into the restaurant proper and started looking around.

No Andy. So I asked a waiter: “Have you seen a guy sitting by himself in here somewhere?” Nope.

As I made my way back to the front entrance, things were starting to click together. I asked the hostess: “By any chance, is there more than one Legal Sea Foods in the area?”

She smiled and handed me a small slip of paper. I confess that for one fleeting moment I thought maybe it would be her phone number, but no, it was walking directions to the other Legal Sea Food.

I thanked her, sent a quick text to Andy and gulped the remainder of my beer. Eight minutes later, we were sitting down to dinner.

Now I don’t know why the people at Legal feel the need for two restaurants so close together. Some people go years between seafood meals; certainly the rest of us could afford to hang on for three more blocks.

Whatever the reason, clearly I was not the first person to make this mistake. The prewritten slip of paper was a smart idea – one that made the hostess’s life easier by her not having to keep repeating walking directions and my life easier by not having to remember them.

So, what kinds of simple, efficient tools have you developed for your business? If you find yourself creating things from scratch, over and over again, it might be worth considering.

Here are a few that I rely on, to help get you thinking:

  • Directions to my office. I don’t get a ton of visitors, but after typing it into an e-mail a few times, I developed a one-sheet direction page complete with a map, instructions for parking and my contact information. I e-mail it to people the first time they come.
  • Standardized cards. “Congratulations on the launch of your newsletter;” “Thank you for the referral;” “Good to meet you.”Using an online service called Send Out Cards (my affiliate link) that automates the sending of snail mail cards from my computer, I’ve set up a number of standard templates. I customize the messages each time, but the format is done and ready to go.
  • Service descriptions. I’ve got a handful of client programs that I offer. These are invariably customized for different people and different situations, but here as well, I begin with a standard template that I modify.
  • New client questionnaire. I ask new clients to fill out a 30-question (or so) questionnaire about their company, goals, approach, clients, etc., before our first meeting.It helps them begin thinking about our work together and gives me greater insight into who they are and what they need before we begin. Plus, it gives them the (accurate) impression that I’ve done this many times before.
  • Newsletter sign-up form. Speaking to a group is a terrific opportunity to grow your newsletter subscriber list. If they like you, you can easily walk away with 75% of the room signing up.I’ve got a form that I pass out and that I’ve fine-tuned over the years to make this as productive as possible (click “reply” to send me an e-mail and I’m happy to share it with you).

Here’s the bottom line. Lots of solos don’t bother developing these kinds of simple tools and systems – they think they’re only for big companies and big projects.

Not me. The way I look at it, the more efficient we can get managing repeatable, often mundane aspects of our work, the more time there is for eating seafood.

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The Culture That Brings You Down https://homebusinessmag.com/management/leadership/the-culture-that-brings-you-down/ https://homebusinessmag.com/management/leadership/the-culture-that-brings-you-down/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:15:31 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34407 How can you create a culture that prevents sexual harassment situations from undermining your business, and even your own leadership?

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What Others Should Learn from Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick’s Downfall and How Your Culture Can Bring You Down

This began with a major employee, Susan Fowler, going public about her harassment and sexual assault by her manager at Uber. It was a situation that first appeared to be unique to her and then turned into tsunami of complaints and extended into how HR handled Fowler’s accusations—or didn’t.

This wasn’t about a single individual. It escalated into a more profound upheaval at Uber with sexual assaults by drivers and engineers and a culture that has lost any focus on core values.



The turmoil even extended into the board meeting where Ariana Huffington was insulted by David Bonderman, who subsequently resigned from the board and apologized for his inappropriate remarks.

It doesn’t take much research to see that sexual harassment continues in workplace cultures.

  • Last February Sterling Jewelers, “the parent company of Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry — were accused of creating a work environment in which sexual harassment and discrimination against women went nearly unchecked.”
  • Fox News ouster of Bill O’Reilly, the exit of Roger Ailes and the $13MM to settle claims against O’Reilly show the depth of the sexual problems at the news.
  • The boarding school Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., “released a devastating report detailing nearly five decades of sexual abuse at the hands of a dozen teachers.”

A survey by Cosmopolitan of 2,235 part-time and full-time women employees revealed that 1 in 3 had experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. At a time when women represent 46% of the workforce in the U.S. how can you create a culture that prevents sexual harassment situations from undermining your business, and even your own leadership?

What should a CEO refocus on if he or she is going to lead a culture that does not allow this to occur?

1. It is not about what you say. It is about what you do. Kalanick created a very different brand of service that set it apart from others. It was a democratization of the taxi industry. It was built on values that were new, fresh and very exciting. Yet he allowed a culture of inequity, sexual harassment and abuse to flourish in his organization. He didn’t even know, he says, what was taking place.

a. What are you doing? Are you creating work teams where men and women listen to each other, respect their roles and watch those casual inappropriate jokes? Or do your employees have few mentors, no role models and simply do what they want to do – all that “guy” stuff.

2. Are you building a culture that reflects your public brand? Uber’s brand was a populist ethos built on the “aha” moment that Kalanick and his friends had when they could not get a cab. While he wanted customers to be able to get a cab when they wanted it and allow people who had cars to use them to make money through the sharing economy, their public persona was sizzle while their interior culture was faked.

a. Take a good look at what you say and what you do. Try to see your organization from the inside. Spend a day in the life of your employees. And listen closely. In the stories they share and the jokes they are telling each other you will hear what they value – and it will give you early signs of problems emerging. Don’t wait.

3. Are you admired by your employees and your customers? Uber was the hero brand. They were turning upside down an industry that was stuck in the past. Their mission was to rescue people from this long history of “injustice.” It was battling for the betterment of everyone. Except it was not. They were really not heroes but rogues. Internally they would victimize their employees, not save them.

a. How about you? What is your mission? Are you living it? Or is it just a façade for people to do what they wish under the guise of changing the world—or at least those of your clients or customers?

This is a great moment to change. Don’t let your culture take you down.

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Great Tips for Starting a Home Business https://homebusinessmag.com/business-start-up/how-to-guides/great-tips-starting-home-business/ https://homebusinessmag.com/business-start-up/how-to-guides/great-tips-starting-home-business/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:00:49 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34402 Here are some great tips to help make sure your new home business is a success from the beginning.

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Working from home is a dream for many. It allows a greater flexibility when it comes to childcare and family commitments. It also gives a great opportunity to make money doing something that you love, without having to answer to anyone else. However, it’s important to realize that running your own business from home isn’t all fun and games. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult, stressful, and time-consuming. Here are some great tips to help make sure your new home business is a success from the beginning.

Choose the Right Business

Don’t just rush in with the first idea you have. Think very carefully about what kind of business you would like to start before you make any commitments. Make a list of any hobbies, talents, or work experience you have. Ideally, try to find something you feel passionately about that could make you money. Starting a business takes a lot of time and effort and you’re bound to give more if it’s something that you love.

Research

While choosing your idea, do as much research as you can. Look at the competition, what you need to get started, marketing ideas, branding, and assess how much money you are likely to make. Read guides, such as this one on how to make money selling photographs, and try to get as much advice as you can. Then, spend some time creating both a business plan and a financial forecast.

Get Your Accounting Right

Accounting is the biggest issue for many self-employed people and business owners. If you make an accounting error or fall into bad habits it could be costly. Come up with a system that works for you at the very start, even if you don’t think you earn enough to warrant it. Then, stick to it. File all your receipts, enter every detail of your income and expenditure into a spreadsheet and back everything up. This way, it’s all there when you need it come tax time.

Be Organized

When working from home, being organized is the key to success. Try to set aside specific work times, stick to a routine, and make sure you write everything down. To-do lists and planners can be exceptionally useful in this area.

Create an Office Space

When you are working from home, it’s a great idea to have a home office. If you don’t have the space for a specific room, add an office space to another area. If possible keep it out of the bedroom and your family room. This will help you achieve a great work-life balance by separating your home life and your work life.

Get Online

Use the internet to your advantage. Set up a website or blog for your business as well as social media profiles. Use them to build a loyal following by engaging with your followers, advertising your skills, and publishing interesting and entertaining content. The internet makes starting your own business a much more realistic opportunity if you use it well.

Being prepared is the best way to make sure your new business is a success. Follow this advice, research, and plan as much as possible, and then take that first leap of faith and get started. Good luck!



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Economic Impacts of the Cannabis Industry https://homebusinessmag.com/businesses/special-types/economic-impacts-cannabis-industry/ https://homebusinessmag.com/businesses/special-types/economic-impacts-cannabis-industry/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:02:16 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34341 Love it or hate it, there’s no question that the economic benefits of legalizing cannabis would be a huge win for state and federal government budgets.

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How Legalizing Marijuana Will Affect Every Citizen

Turn on the television, read a news site or listen to the radio and you’re bound to come across a story about the legalization of the cannabis industry.

Legislative efforts across the country have resulted in the passage of medical and recreational marijuana laws in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced plans to legalize recreational marijuana across the country. At the same time, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has indicated he would like to rescind the Cole Memo, which guides prosecutors on how to prioritize cannabis laws.



Love it or hate it, there’s no question that the economic benefits of legalizing cannabis would be a huge win for state and federal government budgets. Last year in Colorado, the state collected more than $135 in taxes. California, which voted to legalize recreational marijuana, is projected to exceed $15 billion in sales and $3 billion in tax revenue, according to ICF International.

The money from taxes would help balance strained budgets for pensions, healthcare, housing, education and social programs. It would also allow police and law enforcement to spend less money and resources on marijuana enforcement and more on serious drug offenses and crimes.

As the legal cannabis market becomes mainstream, a February 2017 Forbes Magazine article projected that it will create more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. That’s more than the expected level of jobs produced in manufacturing, utilities or even government.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Of course, legalizing an industry that has been largely unregulated has its own set of challenges. Governments need to monitor, track and regulate the cannabis industry. Banking, security and transportation services are needed to securely transport the extremely valuable product as it travels from growers to dispensaries, producers and retailers. Quality control, pesticide restrictions and price regulation are necessary to protect consumers.

After working in the financial industry for more than 20 years, I founded Amercanex to help with many of these issues. Our marketplace helps protect both the consumer and business owner by tracking cannabis from seed to sale, creating price transparency and operating at true market pricing. All products traded on our marketplace have been lab tested to ensure quality control.

Our three platforms, ACExchange, ACEpay and ACEtrak, have helped streamline the buying and selling process while instilling safeguards for the wholesale cannabis industry.

These safety measures are badly needed. Because cannabis has been largely unregulated for years, there has not been a track record of government oversight and protection. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, we need these protections now more than ever.

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Ryan McAweeney of San Diego: How Affiliate Marketing Has Changed Today https://homebusinessmag.com/marketing/ryan-mcaweeney-san-diego-affiliate-marketing-changed-today/ https://homebusinessmag.com/marketing/ryan-mcaweeney-san-diego-affiliate-marketing-changed-today/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:21:53 +0000 https://homebusinessmag.com/?p=34382 Affiliate marketing has transformed and attained a new shape in this digital era.

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Affiliate marketing has transformed and attained a new shape in this digital era. As digital marketing takes over the traditional marketing, affiliate marketing has repositioned itself and attained a new face. It is probably true that if you abandoned affiliate marketing in those early days, you might find it much more interesting and a lucrative business strategy today. Affiliate marketing can bring an impressive ROI, create brand awareness and has minimal risks;thus, it proves to be a viable option for those who can take the bull by the horns.

In 1994, affiliate marketing was born, but it was marred with many obstacles. Since then, many people stepped out of this path reasons being, there was a lot of fraud and dreary analytics. Traditional affiliate marketing didn’t embrace transparency and many affiliate marketers pulled off or didn’t just want to join the programs.

Among the things that have seen a comeback of affiliate marketing is the focus on data and optimization. Integrating technology in affiliate programs and real-time tracking are some of the changes that eliminated the flaws witnessed in the traditional affiliate programs.

Today, affiliate marketing brings in different approaches and strategies that enhance buyer–advertiser relationships. Social media channels have created interactive platforms from where advertisers can relate with their buyers and understand their needs better. Mobile devices have increased conversion rates considering that a big number of audiences are using smartphones to shop online while on the go. Entrepreneurs from San Diego like McAweeney have been featured in Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, and many more publications for his inroads into the affiliate industry.

A Forrester research report released January 2016 signaled the growth opportunities likely to be seen in affiliate marketing. The U.S. affiliate marketing spending was expected to reach $4.8 billion in that year and would continue to grow at an annual 10 percent till 2020 reaching over $6.8 billion. Also, BI Intelligence has estimated that about 15 percent of revenue realized in digital media industry comes from affiliate marketing. These statistics show that affiliate marketing has really matured and it is a significant channel that can drive sales for merchants and advertisers of all sizes.

People wishing to venture into affiliate marketing may still have the notion that it’s still ill-fated by the challenges it experienced after its birth. However, things have changed and today you can succeed in this industry using the time-tested approaches, strategies, and the enhanced real-time tracking of customer buying behaviors and sales performance.



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