Career Advice

Home Equity Line Of Credit Starting Your Own Business

Home Equity Line Of Credit Starting Your Own Business

Home Equity Line Of Credit Starting Your Own Business

All the initial steps for starting your own business can easily be financed with the funds obtained from a home equity line of credit and the flexibility for repayment will provide you with the ease you need to concentrate specifically on your business instead on repaying the loan. The characteristics of home equity lines of credit are perfect for this purpose.

In this article we will analyze the concepts of home equity and home equity lines of credit and explain why these particular lines of credit are perfect tools for starting new businesses and what the benefits that these financial products provide are.

Defining Equity
Equity is the difference between the current value of your property and any pecuniary obligations that it is guaranteeing. These obligations can be liens, mortgages, etc. The amount of available equity is obtained by subtracting the amount of the outstanding obligations to the valuation price of the property.

Thus, if you own a property that is worth $120,000 and your current mortgage balance is around $70,000 that means that you still have $50,000 of available equity on your home that you can use for obtaining a loan or line of credit and use it for any purpose you can think of. Following we will analyze home equity lines of credit for starting businesses.

Lines Of Credit for Businesses
Lines of credit are revolving sources of funds that can provide you with all the finance you need for starting a business if they are based on sufficient equity. The idea is that you are granted credit up to a certain amount limit which is guaranteed with your home equity.
In the above example you would count with up to $50,000 on your line of credit to start your own business.

There is no need for you to withdraw the whole amount and as long as you don't request money, the line of credit won't generate interests. You'll only have to pay a small maintenance fee.
Moreover, say you withdraw $10,000, the interest rate will only be charged over that $10,000. Once you repay the amount, it will stop generating interests and you can withdraw that amount or any amount up to the credit limit whenever you want.

As regards repayment, it is also very simple. You will only be required to repay a minimum amount every month, just like with credit cards. This minimum almost always consists on the interests and sometimes a small portion of the principal. This provides you with a lot of flexibility. When starting a business you can't be suffering pressure from lenders because you need to concentrate on generating income rather than repaying a loan. Thus, home equity lines of credit provide you with all the finance you need and don't asphyxiate your business with high monthly payments.

Once your running business generates enough income for you to cope with higher payments, you can start repaying the principal at your best convenience. Moreover, you can easily fix the interest rate (that is otherwise always variable) and turn the home equity line of credit into a home equity loan.

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Author Bio
Jessica Peterson writes finance articles for where she shares her knowledge about how to get a bad credit small business loan, consolidate any kind of debt and more.

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Getting the Credit You Deserve?

Getting the Credit You Deserve?

Getting the Credit You Deserve?

Have you ever wondered why so many businesses fail within 1-2 years... or even after 5 years in business?

To many business owners, this question is scarier than finding a burglar standing over your bed at night. So, here's some common sense advice that can save your business, regardless of how long you've been in business.

First of all, building a solid business credit rating is possible regardless of your personal credit scores. Obtaining the right types of corporate credit is vital to: the protection of your personal assets, the risks associated with personal lawsuits affecting your business, and your business' ability to weather economic changes that seem to occur overnight.

All business owners must make it a weekly priority toward developing relationships with the right types of lending institutions. You usually want to start your application process with out-of-state, national (or international) lenders... not your local or regional banking institutions; because these larger lenders typically won't require a personal guarantee or your social security number.

However, there are many steps you'll need to take before you start applying for any type of business credit. Ultimately, it's in your best interest to find a competent professional that can help you navigate through the murky underworld of building a strong corporate credit rating... giving you a head start on your competition & also letting you focus on running your business' day-to-day activities.

An excellent business credit score can help your company's image, overnight. You need to be able to answer some very basic questions, before you apply for any business credit.

1. Is your business strauctured as a sole proprietorship, C-corporation, S-Corporation, Limited-Liability Corporation (LLC), Partnership, or Trust?

2. How long has your business been recognized by your State & Local government?

3. Has this company ever had any derogatory information provided to the most popular business credit reporting agencies, Dun & Bradstreet or Experian?

4. Does your company have the proper permits, licenses and registrations necessary to conduct business in your jurisdiction?

5. Does your business have a physical address?

6. Does your business have a landline telephone number that's recognized by directory assistance?

7. Are your incoming telephone calls professionally answered in your business name, or is it answered as if incoming calls are personal conversations?

8. Does your business have a business checking account?

9. Does your business have an Employer Identification Number (also known as an EIN)?

If your answer to the first question was a sole proprietorship, partnership or trust; I urge you to re-establish your company as a corporation or LLC. I'm not going to provide you with legal advice, but many CPAs and attorneys highly recommend LLCs (Limited Liability Corporations) as a way of protecting your personal assets & estate... in the event of any lawsuits being filed against your company. As a sole proprietor, your personal assets are at direct risk of seizure or forfeiture when faced with most types of legal action. Additionally, most lending institutions will not require you to provide any personal guarantee when applying for credit in the name of an LLC.

A corporation can still face difficulties applying for business credit, if its been in business less than 2 years or if its had previous credit problems reported against it... although its not impossible to overcome. Here are some common fixes. You can purchase a "shelf" or "aged" corporation that's been recognized by your State government for longer than 2 years. You can attempt to repair your business credit rating by writing dispute letters to Experian or Dun & Bradstreet, which isn't always possible. A few corporate credit experts will sell you "shelf" or "aged" corporations, some of which already have strong credit ratings established in each entity's name... saving you alot of hassles.

I cannot stress this enough... you MUST have a physical address (not a PO Box) if you want to establish a solid business credit rating. The same thing is said for telephone numbers & the way incoming phone calls are handled. You don't have to act as if your company is a Fortune 500 company. You just need to put yourself in the lender's shoes for a moment & ask yourself, "Would I lend money to a company that I can't find a physical address for?" or "Would I lend money to a company that answers their mobile phone with your favorite musician's answer tone & is answered in a non-professional manner?". I hope your answer was a resounding "NO!". If not, can I borrow $1,000,000? You can always find me wherever my mobile phone is at the moment. (Get my point?) And, don't forget to get the proper paperwork to go into business & keep these documents current.

Moving on, business checking accounts are a must. Again, this proves stability to your potential lenders. Here are some possible solutions, if you've had checking accounts closed in the past. Pay off the outstanding balance (if any) that's being reported by the bank, or open a checking account at a bank or credit union that doesn't use the ChexSystems credit reporting system. Most credit unions don't use ChexSystems, and you can always find a list of banking institutions in your area that don't use ChexSystems... by simply doing a search on Google, Yahoo or MSN.

Corporate credit ratings are tracked using your business name, business address and employer identification number (EIN). It takes less than five (5) minutes to apply for an EIN at which is the IRS' website.

Next, you'll want to obtain a D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet, the largest business credit reporting agency. You can apply for this without any fees at which is the Dun & Bradstreet website, and you'll usually receive this number within thirty (30) days. Do not apply for this number until you've prepared your self thoroughly, because any information you give to them... goes into your credit file... permanently.

After you've obtained your D-U-N-S number, you're probably ready to start establishing some vendor credit. Vendor credit is where many business owners start establishing business credit ratings. Simply go to, or to get started. Then, you'll also need to fax your business telephone bill & the credit application to them... on your business letterhead (which you can create using your favorite word processing software). They usually don't require any personal guarantees (if you've followed the outline above), and you'll usually receive a starting credit line of $750.

Be sure to always pay your invoices before the grace periods begin. This is critical, especially on unsecured credit cards. Dun & Bradstreet issues what's known as a Paydex score (your corporate credit score), and a score of 80 is very good... with 100 being the highest score you can achieve. Your Paydex score is issued once you've established a known vendor/credit relationship with at least five (5) creditors... and it reflects negatively on your credit score if you pay a bill after you've entered in the grace period & even worse if you pay after the due date.

Again, there are shortcuts that will help you get much more than $750 alot faster. I've seen hundreds of people start with vendor credit equaling $25,000-$50,000 and open credit lines of $50,000 up to $1,000,000... in as little as 45-90 days... by using a corporate credit expert's knowledge of the application process & "shelf" corporations. In fact, the best corporate credit experts will usually already have "shelf" corporations for sale... with pre-established credit ratings & lines of credit.

In summary, I've given you most of the tools & information you need to obtain corporate credit lines. Are you going to let a "cash crunch" put you out of business? Are you going to try to establish a business credit rating yourself & build your credit slowly? Or, will you utilize the services of a knowledgeable corporate credit expert to establish your credit rating & secure large credit lines... overnight? The choice is yours.

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Author Bio
Lee Kendrick has been featured on the cover of numerous magazines as a highly respected credit expert, finance professional, and experienced internet marketer. Register for his infamous newsletter at to discover how easy it is to get business lines of credit equal to $250,000 or more... in as little as 45 days... regardless of credit.

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25 Ways to Find Companies to Buy

25 Ways to Find Companies to Buy

25 Ways to Find Companies to Buy

By: Mark Smock

When you start your program to purchase your "ideal" company, you quickly realize that your ultimate success will depend on two primary skill sets: 1) Your ability to FIND viable companies that are for sale, and 2) Your ability to effectively qualify the potential acquisition investment once found.

This article is about only step one, how to creatively find viable companies and one's that are able to be purchased.

Assuming you have clearly defined your business purchase criteria and you have decided to pursue only companies that are "officially" for sale, versus attempting to find and contact company owners who might be willing to sell, you will need to explore as many ways as you can to find companies for sale as possible.

As a business buyer you want to use the best means possible to position yourself to get the first shot at your most promising acquisition candidates and to do such in as cost effective means as possible.

Often the more "creative" you are to find deals, the quicker you'll find the "right" deal. The more diverse your means to locate viable companies for sale the better your chances of finding a quality acquisition candidate that few others are aware of.

When you are pursuing acquisition candidates you really never know where your next deal will come from. It could be word-of-mouth, something your read in a newspaper, a visit to a website or a lead from an association meeting. Listed below are a variety of ways you can use to find businesses to buy:

25 Ways to Find Businesses For Sale
* Investment Bankers: Regional, National, International
* Investment Banker websites: Listings of businesses for sale
* Business Brokers: Regional and National
* Business Brokerage websites: Listings of businesses for sale
* Venture Capital Firms: Good referral potential
* Mezzanine Lenders: Regional, National, Always aware of potential deals
* Newspapers: Listings in Local, Regional, National and Industry specific
* Magazines: Listings in Regional, National and Industry specific
* Newsletters: Listings in printed or "Ezines" on the internet - Industry specific
* Commercial Banks: Many of their clients are considering sale of their company
* Consultants: All varieties, many have extensive practices and many owner contacts
* Associations: All varieties, some are focused just on merger & acquisition activities
* Business Directories: All forms of printed and electronic, many industry specific
* M&A Service Providers: They know who is selling what often on a national basis
* Product Suppliers: Many product manufacturers/ distributors are in the know
* Trade Shows: Walk a trade show in an industry of interest, salesman love to talk!
* Accountants: Many have large practices with extensive business owner contacts
* Professors: Many provide consultative services to business owners or are board members
* Corporate Officers: Especially Corporate Development managers, seeking "spin-off's"
* Bank Trust Departments: Sometimes viable businesses surface in trust situations
* M&A Legal Specialists: Many are in the "crosswinds" of constant deal opportunities
* Networking Meetings: Your local business newspaper publishes many of these
* Technology Licensors: Always aware of companies getting "out" of new technologies
* Directory of Board Members: Board members typically know other board members
* Business Associates: Current and previous business associates and service providers

These "25 Ways to Find Businesses for Sale" are only a few of the creative means you can use to find acquisition candidates. Keep this list and add your own methods once you start your business pursuit program. With today's endless capabilities of the internet, its worldwide reach into various countries, industries and industry participants, there are countless variations for most of the means listed here.

As important about being proactive to locate companies to acquire you need to be as diligent to broadcast and document your specific business purchase interests and purchase criteria whenever and wherever possible. Business owners; individuals, corporations with multi divisions, merger and acquisition intermediaries, private equity firms need to know who you are and what specific businesses you seek to purchase.

This notification effort can be manifested in printed or "electronic" formats. The internet again is the most cost effective means to document your exact business purchase criteria and interests. However, be aware that there are few e commerce sites that specifically accommodate proactive business buyer needs. Most business transaction websites focus on listing businesses for sale, facilitating primarily business sellers needs, not business buyers.

Take the time and effort to research and try all these different means to locate companies to buy. Some will be more productive than others, while some may be more accommodating to your specific business pursuit requirements. You must do what you must to throw away as much hay as you can to get to that needle in the stack!

Author Bio
Mark Smock is 30+ year veteran of the sales profession and President of, the FIRST international business buyer directory of its kind. Business Buyer Directory provides a non-traditional means for proactive business buyers to locate businesses for sale worldwide that meet their exact registered purchase criteria.

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Does My Small Business Need a Budget?

Does My Small Business Need a Budget?

Does My Small Business Need a Budget?

By: Melody Campbell

"I only have a small business, I don't need a budget."

"I don't have enough money to budget."

For many small business owners, the word "budget" is something for the bigger company - maybe they'll have one when their business "grows up."

What is a Budget?
The simple explanation is a budget is a plan for how you will manage all financial resources and all expenses for your business. The basic equation that you want to demonstrate in a budget is as follows:

(estimated )Sales minus (estimated) Expenses = Profit (or loss)

How to create a Budget
If this is your first time to work on a budget for your small business, you might work from the perspective of having to list cost of goods or services plus all of your operating expenses to start the process.

How much does it take to operate your phone line? What is the cost of other utilities? How about the cost of a company vehicle, or what is the cost of transportation if you're using your personal vehicle to also serve as a company vehicle. Do you need any supplies or inventory to operate your business? How about any employee payroll, payroll taxes or independent product or service providers? Remember to include everything you spend money on to operate your business even if you allocate some of the expenses to "petty cash" expenses, such as parking or bridge tolls while traveling to see clients.

I recommend that you create annual budget, as opposed to a monthly budget, so you can identify any expenses that you may have that come up only once or twice a year such as insurance and include them in your list of expenses. This allows you to amortize or spread the cost of this out over several months so that you can plan ahead for the expense.

As you work on your list of expenses keep in mind that these are the expenses that are necessary to operate your business. These should not be your "wish list" unless you want to budget in some expansion or growth. You may want to create a budget with just the necessities and another version of your budget with expansion expenses listed so that you can see the cost of both separately.

With a dollar figure to work with of your total expenses you are able to set the standard for or evaluate your sales figures. If you are new to your business you may need to use the dollar amount of your expenses to help you determine what your sales need to be in order to cover all costs and show a profit. If you have been in business for a while you can evaluate whether or not you are producing a profit by looking at historical sales figures.

As you conduct business during your budget year you should compare your actual income and spending with what you estimated. This will allow you to manage your spending so that you don't over spend and cut into or eliminate your profits. You will also be able to see if sales have met expectations in order to cover expenses and still remain profitable.

Who should Budget?
Every small business owner should budget, no matter the size of business. I have heard some small business owners say their business is too small to budget, but that is not true. If you don't have a written plan for what your financial obligations are and how your revenue will cover those obligations and leave some money unspent, then your business will never grow. In fact, you may out-spend your revenue and put yourself out of business.

Why Budget?
Budgeting for your small business gives you control over your finances. By looking ahead to what you know or can reasonably estimate what your expenses will be, you can then make financial decisions that will keep you from over-spending, or give you the freedom to invest in the growth of your business.

When Budget?
Every small business owner should have a budget to start their business and then review it annually. I recommend that small business owners review their budget several months before the end of their fiscal year. When I say review the budget I'm talking about comparing projected budget with actual. In the comparison you can see if your estimates were realistic. You and your CPA can also plan for last minute tax strategies, or plan to implement strategies in the up coming year's budget.

The Goal in Budgeting
Remember, the goal of having a budget is to stay in control of your finances in advance. Setting the standard for your spending and revenue and having a tool to compare with actual will give you the control that you need to stay profitable. At the very least it will give you an indication of whether or not your business is actually profitable and not just busy.

Throw away all your receipts!
Yes, you can throw them all away after you've scanned them into NeatReceipts. This handy tool is operated by scanning all of your receipts using a portable scanner into your computer or laptop. The software can produce expense reports or you can import the information from the receipts into your accounting software such as Quicken or QuickBooks. Once the receipt has been scanned into your computer you have a digital copy so you can through the receipt away. No more shoe boxes full of receipts!

Author Bio
Melody Campbell is The Small Business Guru. You can view more Small Business Owner Resources at The Small Business Guru website. Educate yourself for Success in the Core Competencies to becoming a Master Small Business Owner. New monthly membership trial for only $1 for the first 30 days!

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What Does It Really Take To Do That Home Business?

Home Business - What Does It Really Take

What Does It Really Take To Do That Home Business?

By: Ron LeBlanc

So you're there at that webpage again. Looking at all the smiling faces and all the people telling how they started with five minutes a day and no money down and now they have a vacation home in Aspen. Is it real? Can average Joes and Janes really make it that big?

Yes and no. I have personally met many average people who have made many hundreds of thousands of dollars each in home businesses. Some of them had impressive educations and backgrounds. Some were pretty unimpressive before. I've met a tattoo parlor owner, a bouncer, a college coach, and a homemaker. All of them have made multiple six figure incomes. They were average in terms of their education and work background, but there are also some things about them that aren't average at all.

Did they have to train for years and listen to a home correspondence course of hundreds of CD's? No. Did they go get another degree? No. Did they just get lucky? I don't think so. The reason I don't think so is because they all had a few things in common. Logic tells me that if the things they had in common produced the same result, then maybe that's not luck.

I have known all of these people personally, and I can show you some of the things that they had in common. If you have/do these things then you also have a great chance at success. If you don't do these things, then your chances of success are slimmer.

Firstly, each one of them treats their home business like a real business. If you don't put your business near the top with family and your current job, then guess what - you will continue to have that job. What that comes down to is making decisions like your whole future depends on it. Don't feel like calling that last contact? Can't attend that company function? That $2000 for marketing could be used for those new curta! ins or that new stereo. Those are the key decisions and all these people made them with their business in mind first.

Secondly, they all had a very pressing "why" to their business. For some it was the heartbreak of dropping off their 2-year old in day care. For others it was a divorce or separation and they would have lost everything. In every case these people had a "why" that gripped them like a grandmother who hadn't seen them in three years.

I have seen people who were asked about why they are doing a business or what their goal was and they were vague such as, "I want to get financially free", "I want more time at home", you get the picture. Worse yet some people have a negative reason such as "I want to be out of debt", or "I hate my job". Those are NOT going to carry you through the hard times.

If you can't tell me right now exactly WHY you want to do a business, then you may want to consider figuring that out before you get started. Get really specific and positive. What do you want to accomplish? When do you want to have it by? What are you going to use the $30k in the next month for? How much will you give away?

Once you have concrete answers to these questions, then you are ready to start looking at the how-to. I will discuss the process of figuring out your why in my next article. Don't miss it!

Author Bio
Ron LeBlanc, PE spent 20+ years in science and engineering when he woke up to his true potential and began working from home. He lives in Boulder, CO and works out of his home. He enjoys helping other people learn to do home based businesses. Get his tip-filled newsletter and some special offers at

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The Explosive Benefits of a Natural Market

Explosive Benefits of a Natural Market

The Explosive Benefits of a Natural Market

By: Allyn Cutts

Last year a local gentleman opened a Mexican restaurant in our area. The unique aspect of the restaurant is that not only is the Mexican food authentic, but the employees are Hispanic as well. When you walk through the doors, you feel as though you've stepped into another culture.

Six months later, this same gentleman opened up another restaurant on the other side of town. What was the secret to his immediate and amazing success? ...he found a natural market. No one can simulate a natural market. Outsiders go to get the cultural flavor as well as the good food, insiders go to enjoy the "homey" experience.

What Defines a Natural Market?
The most obvious natural markets are cultural, but include a host of other characteristics that you may be familiar with as well. What about homeschooling parents? Who could communicate more clearly, or provide more relevant products than another homeschool parent?

A natural market is simply the part of a market that you have something in common with. It will automatically make you connect with your customers on a personal level, making your marketing strategies more effective.

Why Explore Natural Markets?
You can make immediate and lasting connections with your potential natural market. Let's face it, we're more comfortable and more confident doing business with someone we have a lot in common with. It can't be helped... it's just in our nature. Take advantage of natural markets on the Web where a more personal business is rare and will hold strong appeal to consumers.

How Do You Get In On The Action?
First think about your interests, hobbies, and life experiences. List your occupations, hobbies, club memberships, nationality, language, and background. Wow, there's a lot of potential for natural markets at your fingertips.

Once you've got a nice list, start critiqueing it for the potential market that will make the most impact. The rule of thumb for deciding on the depth of impact is: the more unique the characteristic... the more impact it will have.

Natural markets add a brand new layer to your existing business, or you can create a new niche business from the natural market idea. Whichever you decide...pull out the stops... blitz the market with advertisments... and get ready to add up the profits!

Author Bio
Who is Allyn Cutts, and why should you care?
Allyn has spent over 24 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales to current customers. Allyn is a marketing and sales fanatic, providing measurable marketing solutions that drive huge results for small-to mid-size business clients. Allyn works personally with clients to design and deliver off-line and on-line direct marketing strategies that focus on metrics and measurable results. You can learn more about Allyn Cutts at and you can call 610.437.4106 between 10 AM and 4 PM Eastern Time Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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How To Start Your Home Based Business

How To Start Your Home Based Business

How To Start Your Home Based Business

By: Kent Thompson

The benefits to having your own home based business are very exciting. You can be your own boss! You decide when you want to work. You go to work straight from the bedroom. Not having to deal with traffic, rude clients or demanding bosses can be quite a relief.

But wait a minute, have you seriously thought about what kind of small home based business opportunity you should bank your future on?

Before you start your own small home based business, do the following and you'll get your home based business off to a good start.

What marketable skills do you have that you can use to work from home? Some examples of people who have made a good transition to home based businesses are accountants, sewers, teachers as tutors or educators of toddlers, musicians who teach musical instruments, etc... If you have a skill, you can market it and have a home based business.

What's your capital and operating budget? Even businesses from homes need capital investment. Find out what your home based business needs. It can be as simple as having space for office files and to meet clients. Your home based business still needs the veneer of professionalism.

How do you get clients for your own based business? You can start with your present company. Some companies are happy to pay for outsourcing services. The specialist they've hired is knowledgeable about them and can be trusted. From there you can add on more clients.

Advertising and promoting your home-based business is crucial. That's right...even if it's a small home based business, you'll need to advertise and promote. Print your business cards on the home printer, and distribute them. Or put your company details on a promotional calendar and give it away for the holidays. These are small things to do for your home based business, but they do make a big difference.

Lastly, add up your monthly expenses and check your savings and insurance. When your home based business starts, you may not gross enough. Make a projected budget and see what the bare minimum you can live on while the home based business is just starting out.

By doing your research on home based business opportunities and educating yourself on the various scenarios, you'll set yourself up for success. For you'll be better equipped on solving future problems such as competition taking business from you, low cash flow and any other problem that may crop up as your home based business grows.



Author Bio
Find out how you can make $1000 per sale in one of the hottest home based businesses! Check out

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Contractors...Double Your Income

Contractors...Double Your Income

Contractors...Double Your Income

By: Pam Newman

5 Simple Ways to Double Your Income Immediately

So you think that you are just like your competition? Well, then it is time to differentiate yourself. As a contractor, you probably use the same types of materials as your competitors do... so how can you differentiate yourself? Service! Build it better and serve your clients better. You will come out on top. This may seem so simple, yet very few contractors really do things better than their competitors.

So what are 5 simple ways that can double your income? Here they are...

1. Use only high quality subcontractors. It costs you less in time and rework costs to use quality subcontractors the first time. You may think you are going to save a few dollars by hiring the cheapest one, but in the end we all know it doesn't work out that way. We pay for what we get. What's quality service and product worth to your reputation? Priceless!

2. Implement a service mentality. Everything you do is for the benefit of your homebuyers. Don't keep it to yourself... tell everyone you know about the way you build your houses and the benefits that you provide to your homebuyers.
Don't think there are benefits? Think again... everything that you do in the construction of your homes can be portrayed as a benefit to your homebuyers. All it takes is a little creative communication.

3. Offer a referral program. People buy from people they know. How do you incentivize your homeowners to tell others? The first way is to build an awesome house and that will speak for itself... but add some icing to that cake by rewarding your homebuyers for their efforts to grow your business. It can be simple things like gift certificates, lawn services for a month, extended warranties, or other motivational offerings. It's cheaper to reward your customers for promoting you than advertising to the general public!

4. Market your business consistently. Everyone expects you to have a website... so don't let them down. You can have a GREAT website designed and hosted for a nominal amount that will bring great returns to you on recognition and sales within your community. Show the quality that you build into your homes and stress the benefits to your potential buyers in the most cost-effective medium available, the World Wide Web.

5. Network, Network, Network! Don't keep your great offerings to yourself. Get out there and build relationships with those who can promote your homes! You can't be everything to your business. So look at those you do business with (vendors, subcontractors, real estate professionals, etc) and see how you can build referral networks. This is the best way to cost-effectively cross-promote your businesses. Plus people trust referrals from others higher than self-promotion, so it is a win-win opportunity.

The returns that your business will get on these 5 tips will more than double your income if implemented correctly. You can't sit back and hope that your business grows. You've got to make it happen! Success happens because of a well-constructed plan... not by chance. It's a choice... you choose to make it happen, or not. What's your choice? Go out and double your income now!


Author Bio
Pam Newman is a Certified Management Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Author and Speaker. She enjoys the opportunity to share her knowledge and passion with other entrepreneurs. You can visit her website at or call 816.304.4398.

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Stand Out in Business the Write Way

Stand Out in Business the Write Way

Stand Out in Business the Write Way

By: Lydia Ramsey

When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a business associate? It may be that it was too long ago for you to remember. On the other hand, if you have gotten one lately, you know exactly who sent it and when. Handwritten notes have become almost extinct in the business world. So if you are looking for ways to stand from the crowd, to be noticed by your colleagues and clients, try putting pen to paper whenever you have the slightest excuse.

There are few acts more impressive than handwriting a letter or a note to someone with whom you do business or would like to. Most people think that writing notes by hand requires extra time and effort. Ironically, it can be quick and painless if you do it frequently and follow these tips:

1. Have writing supplies close at hand. Store stationery and stamps in the most convenient place in your desk. When you need to send a note, all you have to do is reach for your stationary, dash off a few lines, address the envelope, put the stamp in place and mail it.

2. Keep your message brief. These are notes so you only have to come up with three or four sentences. If you attempt to compose more than a few lines, writer's block is liable to set in and you will never get past "start."

3. Develop a system. Before you head out of the office to a business meal or function that someone else is hosting, address an envelop to your host. It will be a breeze to jot down your short message when you return.

4. Use the appropriate professional stationary. Both single-sided correspondence cards and fold-over notes with the company name or logo imprinted on them are business-like and will represent you and your organization well.

5. Poor penmanship is no excuse unless your handwriting is totally illegible. The person who receives your note will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will not be grading your handwriting. If your penmanship does not meet your standards, it is never too late to improve. There are numerous resources at your library or on the Internet to teach you to write legibly.

6. Use any occasion to get noticed with a note. A few of those instances are when...

You have received a gift
You were a guest in someone's home
You were hosted to a meal
You received a business favor
You are replying to an invitation
You are sending condolences
You want to offer congratulations
You need to apologize

7. Make your message timely. Whether you are sending a note of appreciation, congratulation or condolence, do it as quickly as possible. A thank you should go out within 24 to 48 hours. However, don't forgo sending a note because you think too much time has elapsed. There is no definite statute of limitations on appreciation.

8. Understand that e-mail is not a substitute for the personal handwritten message. The Internet is fast, efficient and remote. If you are corresponding by e-mail immediately following a meeting with a business associate, include your expression of gratitude, but don't let that stop you from sending a second message by ground.

Successful people pay attention to the details and look for ways to build better business relationships. When you take the time to send handwritten notes, you will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Your next big sale or job promotion may came about as a result of your doing business just a little differently.


Author Bio
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at or visit her web site

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Getting Work Done When You Just Can't Distract the Kids

Getting work done when you just can't distract the kids

Getting Work Done When You Just Can't Distract the Kids

By: Stephanie Foster

When you work at home, one of the biggest challenges can be keeping the kids busy. There will be the days when the usual tactics won't distract them, but you just have to get some work done. It might just be time to do something the kids won't expect.

Some work at home jobs and businesses may not require you to actually be at home. Can you bring a laptop or briefcase and work at the playground, library or fast food restaurant? You'll still have to keep a sharp eye on the kids, but they'll have a chance to release that pent-up energy.

What about things you can do with your kids at home while working? Older children may be able to help you with parts of your work, knowing that this will free you up to play with them sooner.

Other times you may have to take advantage of any flexibility in office hours your work at home job or business will allow you. Go play! Dance with them, play a board game, paint... just find something fun to do with them for a while. Don't make a habit of this, or your generally cooperative kids may suddenly expect you to drop everything to play with them, but there are times when you make exceptions to your office hours.

Not all work at home parents can do this, of course. Some jobs do require set hours. In that case, have someone you can call on to help. This doesn't have to be another adult. Even having an older child from the neighborhood come over to play can be enough to let you get work done.

If you are regularly having problems with the kids needing your attention while you are trying to work, it may be time to reassess your office hours. Children's needs do change as they get older, so the schedule that worked perfectly for your toddler may not work now.

Remind yourself as often as necessary why you decided to work at home in the first place. It's easy to get your priorities mixed up when you have a schedule to keep, deadlines to meet, etc., but your children need you too. Keep them high in your priorities and let them know how much they mean to you.


Author Bio
Stephanie Foster is the owner of Home with the Kids - a resource for parents who want to work at home. For more tips on working at home, please visit

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