As an online business person, how do you set prices for your products or services? For obvious reasons, pricing is a very important factor to convince your target market to buy your offerings. When you set it too high, they might think that it’s of less value and not worth their dough. On the other hand, if you set it too low, they will think that it must be of lower quality than its commercial counterparts.
Here are some of the things that must be considered when setting price for your product/service:
- Ask yourself first – In order for your company to succeed, it is vital that you have a strong conviction in what you are doing. If the business owner himself believes that the price of his company’s products is too high, then he will find it difficult to handle customers’ price objections. First, you have to ask yourself if your offerings are affordable and reasonably priced.
- Know your target market – Studies have shown that buyers always ask for discounts but they don’t really expect the sales person to grant their request. They are only giving it a try but they will still buy with or without the discount. For instance, if your business website is selling data recovery services, clients would initially ask for cheaper deals merely as a force of habit. If your sales person is not effective in handling situations such as this, you will either lose a prospective buyer or give in to the buyer’s request for bigger discounts.
- Appreciate the value of your product – In general, it is okay to set a lower price when the company is still beginning to make a name in the industry. This will attract customers to try out your offering and if they are satisfied, they might come back to place more orders. However, the need to consistently offer discounted or cheaper items to keep people’s interest in your product is a big problem. First, you have to learn to defend that your product is really worth the price.
- Sales negotiation – Online business can be summed up in taking calculated risks. Remember that most of the time, you will deal with people you don’t personally know. Everything is transacted via the internet, so they say. This means that you have to be extra careful in negotiating with your prospects. If your clients are pressuring you to give in to a cheaper business deal, use the “surprised technique.” Make them feel that you are actually shocked that they value your products less. This will force them to lower their expectations.
If you believe that your product has a lot to offer, this will enable you to set your prices correctly and fairly. Justify your price and customers will react accordingly.
Posted in business advice
Truth be told, nobody wants to have a boss. Unless you are comfortable about being monitored on a daily basis, you probably dream of establishing your own business someday. Let’s face it, being an employee for the rest of your life is a hopeless case. Your opportunities for growth are limited hence your chances of achieving a higher standard of living are also thin.
There are different ways to become your own boss and start making money for yourself:
- Use your expertise – Experience can be converted into a stable source of income. For instance, if you have a strong background in teaching, you can start your own online tutoring program. This is especially true if you are an English or a Math teacher. Online tutors are in-demand in Europe and other Asian countries where English is not the first language.
- Turn your hobby into a profitable business – You can also make a living online by taking advantage of your hobbies. Perhaps you are into hand-crafted materials. You can sell your products in various internet marketplaces such as Etsy or eBay. Maybe you love writing. Why not write an ebook about your favorite topics and submit it to Amazon Publisher program? There are many ways to turn your interests into a business. You might have to start small but at the very least, you can create an extra source of income for yourself.
- Learn something new – Pursue your thirst for additional knowledge. If you’ve been wanting to study web design, do it. Enroll yourself in a culinary school if you are interested in cooking. You’ll never know if this will open doors of opportunities for you to start a whole new life style. The bottom line is that to be your own boss, you have to continue on learning new things.
- Use your resources – You don’t need money to make money. In other words, lack of financial capital should not stop you in putting up your own company. If you can’t afford to rent an office space, transform your attic or empty room into a home office. In terms of maintenance, this is actually more practical than renting a commercial space.
- Use your ideas – Instead of following the footsteps of those who are already successful in the industry, why not create your own unique business model? Being innovative will take you to far places. While customers love to try out new products and services, remember that they also get bored quickly. So, carefully plan your ideas and continue to improve your product to keep the interest of your target market.
It all boils down to one word: business. You must be a businessman to be your own boss. If you do your business correctly, this will definitely grow and time will come when you can afford to hire other people to operate it for you. You can even sell your company for a big fortune and completely retire and enjoy non-stop holidays with your loved ones.
Posted in business advice
One of the best ways to monetize your website is to install Google Adsense in your sidebar or wherever is appropriate. It is a pay-per-click advertising program that lets you earn dollars depending on the number of visitors that you have. The cool thing about this method is that you can actually customize the advertisements to fit your blog’s theme. You can change the font style, text colors, and box size.
However, not all blogs/websites are accepted in Google Adsense. To avoid your site from being rejected, consider the following tips:
- Age of website. Don’t submit sites that are too young unless it already contains plenty of original content. In general, a blog should be running for at least 3 months and has more than 20 posts before you submit it to Google Adsense.
- Copyrighted content. Google is against spamming and stealing of written articles. If you are going to publish copied texts from Ezine or HubPages, don’t forget to credit the original source to prevent being penalized for copyrighted content.
- Regular updates. The gap between posts should not be more than a week. Ideally, you have to write new blog entries everyday but if this is not possible, try to update your site at least every 3 days.
- Decent content. Pornographic and gambling-related sites are commonly rejected by Google. Anything that can be considered as offensive will not be accepted in the program. This includes x-rated materials, racial discrimination, and bigotry.
- Domain conflict. If your blog is running in BlogSpot or a subdomain of another website, this shouldn’t concern you. But if you have a self-hosted domain, it usually takes 3 months before Google accepts you. This is because you still need to establish domain ownership.
- Language. English is the best option but other languages are also approved. Make sure the posts are written in a supported language. In addition, do not attempt to use robots or plugins that re-write articles from Ezine publishers. If you plan to use this type of software, you will have to pick one that can produce high quality re-writes.
- Profile. Accurate information in your profile page is a requirement. You will have to use your legal name and true home address so you can receive your payments. As of today, Google sends earnings through Western Union. You can’t use Paypal to receive your income.
These are some of the factors that can help you get Google’s approval fast. Most webmasters also agree that a strategic blog layout or design is also helpful. If it looks clean and it appears professional, you have a higher chance of getting accepted.
A lot of people dream of starting a home business. This is especially true for mothers who have toddlers to take care of. Instead of hiring a nanny to help manage the kids, working at home is a better option.
These are the basic steps to make your home business work:
- Identify why you want to invest in this particular kind of entrepreneurial venture. There must be a good reason why you are willing to invest you savings for this. You might want to augment your family’s income. Or, you might be thinking of changing the world for the better. There a hundred of possible reasons but the opportunity to earn profits shouldn’t be your primary motivation. You must also have the passion and the love for it. Otherwise, you will easily give up in case something went wrong.
- Determine whether it is right for you. You can’t simply select any kind of business that comes your mind. Consider your work experience, skills, personality, life style, passions, your immediate family members, and of course, your starting capital. For instance, selling antique furniture is a brilliant idea. But then, you have to ask yourself if vintage stuff is something that suits your personality. Another consideration to think of is the fact that this may require a large amount of capital.
- Seek family support. Since this is going to be a home-based business, it is important that all family members have full support for your plans. The husband and children should understand exactly how the new business is going to affect your life as a family. Explain that although you want your venture to succeed, your partner and kids will always be on top of your priorities.
- Organize your calendar. Take note that your business should not, in any way, steal your time for your family. Arrange a schedule for everything with the highest priority for your loved ones. For example, you may work on your products or services during weekdays then spend time with kids and husband on weekends.
- Stick with your schedule. The thing about having your own home business is that you tend to forget about time. Initially, you’d start to feel like you own your time. But in truth, you need to keep track of your activities to ensure that none of your time is wasted. So, if you used to wake up at 7AM when you are still an office woman, you might need to wake up an hour earlier now that you are a businesswoman.
- Manage your finances. You can’t keep your revenues all for yourself. First, you will have to pay your taxes at the end of the year. Second, a percentage of your earnings should be allotted for emergency expenses while operating the business. Third, business is 80% marketing so they say. This means that advertising expenditures are going to be a staple in your monthly budget.
- Take care of your health. This may sound off topic but working too much is not good for your health as well as for your business. If you ever get ill, your transactions will also be affected. You might not be able to deliver within the promised date and consequently, this might leave a negative impression from your clients.
- So take a break. Every once in while, it’s good to rest and just relax. Don’t worry. There is no need to fly to some tropical island to free your mind from all the stresses that a business could offer. You can simply read a book, invite your spouse to a nice dinner, or spend a few hours with the children in a nearby park.
Posted in business advice
It is the virtual age, so they say. Almost everything is transacted via the internet. Online shopping, online banking, online school, online job, online games, etc. These are just a few of the things that we can do online.
Having said this, there is a huge market for virtual assistance. It is a growing industry and experts say that revenues for the last couple of years amounted to $130 billion. What does it mean to you?
Well, it gives you opportunities to create multiple income streams. You can be a virtual assistant yourself. Or, you can start your very own virtual assistance business. Below is the list of reasons why this is a profitable venture:
- Make a living in the comfort of your own home. Forget about the hassles of daily transportation, heavy traffic, and the inconveniences of having a boss. This will enable you to live a completely different yet favorable lifestyle.
- Do whatever you are passionate about. Virtual assistance does not necessarily mean that you are going to do mindless clerical tasks. You can be a creative writer, a blog/website manager, or a call center agent. There is an endless opportunity to work on your passions.
- Meet people from all over the world. Since this is a virtual business, dealing with people of various nationalities is common. This means more chances of meeting individuals who are in need of your services.
- Work at the most convenient schedule. If stagnancy is something that you hate, being a full-time VA means that you get the freedom of working at hours that fit your personal preferences. You can opt to work in the morning, afternoon or night.
- Achieve your own dreams and your own goals. When you work for a company or for an employer, your personal ambitions will be set aside. This is not so with having your own virtual assistance company. Every effort that you exert is for your own benefits and advantages.
- Spend more time for your self and family. Now you can be with your kids while working. You can set hours for your VA tasks and for your housework chores. The best part is this will also allow you to do other things that you thought not possible due to lack of time like yoga or dancing classes.
- Hire and inspire other individuals. Once your business is getting bigger, you will need to employ additional staff to handle jobs you can no longer perform. Hire a friend and inspire her to start her own business too.
These are a few benefits of starting your own virtual assistance company. Device a plan and create a timeline. Goals should have a clear target date. Keep track of your achievements and more importantly, learn from your mistakes. That is the only way to grow and become successful in your chosen field.
Posted in business advice
If you are lucky enough to be given the option of working in an outside office or in a home office, which of the two are you going to pick? For most people, home office is not only ideal but is also the perfect deal. Enjoy the convenience of staying at your own home and save on gasoline, car maintenance, etc.
These pointers will convince you that home office is the right choice for you:
- Significantly lowered expenses – For obvious reasons, work-at-home people save money in so many ways. Should you decide to put up your own home office, you can forget about expensive lunches and dinners with your office mates. You can cook your own meals and help reduce your family’s daily expenditures.
- Availability and convenience – This will allow you to adjust your working schedule so you can attend to your child’s needs better. Be available when there are school meetings. Resume working after you finish attending to your family’s needs.
- Quality and expertise – Although some clients might not be impressed with a work-at-home setting, this is just an initial reaction. In the end, these people are still after quality and expertise. If necessary, you may invite them in a fancy restaurant to discuss business matters.
- Better improvement options – There can be a lot of restrictions in renting a space for your business. Because it is not yours, your enhancement moves are limited. You have to consult everything to the real owner. On the other hand, you get to decide with a home office. You can re-construct anything according to the image of your company.
- Test your self-discipline – When you work-at-home, you get the chance to see how responsible or irresponsible you are. When you are an employee, your paycheck is based on the number of hours rendered for the job. Sometimes you also get bonuses for your good performances. However, work-at-home is quite different in so many ways. You are on your own. No one is going to tap your back for a job well done. Hence, owning a business won’t work if you are the type of person who needs a strict boss for motivation.
- Increase the value of your home – Convert an empty room or an unused space in your house and add up value to your property. Home offices are becoming extremely popular in the US and some people are looking for this feature when buying a house.
- Healthy living – Imagine a life without traffic, pollution, and the potentially-dirty-canteen-food. Wouldn’t it be a healthier choice for you? Less car usage. Less exposure to the polluted air. In other words, you’re helping make a better world for your children.
Of course, home offices are not exactly ideal for all types of businesses. But if you are running an online business, this will absolutely work for you. Why rent an expensive space in the city if you can operate right at the comfort of your own home?
Posted in business advice
Today, most companies are operating on a shifting schedule. However, most people are not willing to work during graveyard shifts which is quite understandable. This will ruin your body clock and some studies even suggest that it is a possible cause of cancer. Aside from health issues, social life is also affected.
Fortunately, employees have the option to quit the corporate world and look for a work-at-home type of job. Online jobs allow virtual workers to set their own working hours depending on their lifestyle and personal preferences. As long as they are able to meet the deadlines, working schedules are not a problem.
Now, the question is do you have what it takes to be a full-time virtual worker?
- Discipline. One of the many reasons why a lot of individuals are dreaming of working online is the chance of doing your tasks at the comfort of your own home. This means that you will not have an immediate boss. When your employer wants to assign a task to you, he can simply send an email or chat with you via Skype. This sounds fantastic, right? It is. But you have to remember that although you are not being monitored by anybody, you must be responsible enough to deliver the job on time with the highest quality possible. In other words, self-motivation is a must and it is quite impossible to do that without self-discipline.
- Focus. If you are working for more than one employer, you have to ensure that each of them will be served appropriately. You have to set your priorities. Arrange a clear schedule. For instance, Mondays through Thursdays will be allotted for employer 1. Then Fridays to Saturdays will be spent for employer 2. Finally, you also need a rest day for yourself so you need a self-imposed day-off. Sunday is a good choice as friends and family are also free during that day.
- Dedication. Working in your comfort zone can be a problem too. There are the kids, TV, pet, and other factors that may distract you from doing your job. However, this will also test your dedication to your work. While it’s true that your top priority is your spouse and children, a dedicated online staff is willing to accomplish his tasks even if it means working at wee hours of the night. You see, sometimes graveyard is inevitable.
- Flexibility. Virtual employees are often assigned with various tasks which are not limited to clerical, technical, and there are even times when you have to do manual jobs. You might be asked to copy and paste thousands of information into a spreadsheet. Or, you might be asked to write a press release and submit it to the top 25 PR websites. Etc. You have to be as versatile as much as possible.
- Honesty. Since you are not required to “punch in and out” and that no one is directly monitoring how many task you are able to finish in an hour, being honest is essential to working online. For example, if you are a virtual writer and you know that you can finish writing a 500 words article in 2 hours, don’t make it appear like you can finish it in 3 hours. That would be stealing of time.
Having said everything, work-at-home ethics is, more or less, similar to working in the corporate world. You have to equip yourself with both professional and moral traits in order to succeed.
Lack of financial capital is a common reason why most people are discouraged to build their own company. Raising a family is also a popular excuse. Instead of investing their money on businesses, they’d rather save it in banks for the future of their children. However, do you know that you can start a home-based business for as little as $1000? It is possible. You just have to allocate your funds properly and plan each step that you are going to take.
- Opt for Premium WordPress themes – Let’s face it, hiring a professional web designer for your website can be quite expensive. A personalized theme can cost an average of $700 and above depending on your requests and special instruction. If you want to save substantial amounts of money, it is highly suggested to buy frameworks such as Thesis, Genesis, or Headway. Thesis and Genesis offer professional-looking skins or child themes. On the other hand, headway is particularly easy to customize because of its drag and drop feature. You can do it by yourself even without knowledge of coding and PHP. Cost: Less than $200.00
- Take advantage of Fiverr – You don’t have to hire a big company to make a logo for your business. Just hire freelancers in Fiverr. Pay $5 for each task that you want them to accomplish. They can design company logo, website header, banner, etc. Don’t forget to ask the designer to send you the images in high and low resolution. Cost: more or less $15.00
- Do-it-yourself – Consider to perform tasks that you can do on your own. If you have the skills in writing, don’t hesitate to write your own sales page. It will only take a few hours, in some cases, it can be finished in less than 20 minutes. This is just a little effort and it’s more practical than paying a copywriter hundreds of dollars for a simple job. Cost: $00.00
- Establish connections – This is the virtual age. Now, entrepreneurs don’t leave their business cards and contact information in coffee shops and public areas in the hope of finding a new client. They use Twitter and Facebook. Google+ is also a good option. The more friends and followers you have, the easier it will be for you to promote your business. Don’t forget to create an account in LinkedIn as this the place where professionals from all over the world find each other. Cost: $00.00
- Use free software and apps – You don’t always need to purchase licensed software such as Adobe Photoshop and Camtasia. Although these products are amazing, there are free alternatives available. For example, you can use Picnic for simple photo editing tasks. This is absolutely free and easy to use too. Cost: $00.00
Total cost: $215
Whatever type of virtual business you are planning to establish, you can always find a way to avoid overspending. Remember that being an entrepreneur means making money from scratch so don’t expect your company to succeed in the first few months. Continue on working hard and see your sales gradually increase.
Let’s face it, we all need money for the upcoming holidays. Christmas is fast-approaching and we have to create income streams as early as now. As we know, the special season is more enjoyable when we have cash for buying gifts and presents.
Below is a list of money-making opportunities for you:
- Product wholesaling – If you are selling goods in online marketplaces, try to offer your items in large quantities at a discounted price. This will encourage customers to place more orders in order to avail discounts.
- Product retailing – Instead of offering packages to buyers, why not sell your products at retail. This will attract people who are shopping on a tight budget. This is actually an advantage on your part because retail items are sold quickly and easily.
- Affiliate program - This is a free way to promote your products and services. Recruit affiliates and let them spread the word about your offerings. In return, you will have to give them a commission for each sold item.
- Write an e-Book – Do you want to share your knowledge, experience, or expertise in a specific area? If you think speaking in public is not for you, why not share your information in the written format? Digital products like ebooks are selling like hot pancakes Clickbank. Don’t waste your talent!
- Consultancy services – If writing is not your forte, you can put up your own consulting company and share your experience one-on-one via Skype chat. This is a good online business because most people don’t want to meet up in person and would like their identity to remain private.
- Tutor a student – Teaching a foreign student is also a great source of money. Parents from Korea, China and Japan are looking for native speakers of English to teach their kids online. The cool thing about this part-time job is that all you have to do is to talk or chat with kids for an hour or so. All they want is to enhance their conversational skills.
- Be an online speaker – Don’t worry because you won’t have to go up stage to share your expertise. You can simply create an informational video of you explaining or discussing things that would be useful to your viewers. You can sell these videos in online marketplaces.
- Subscription fees -This is in line with number 8. Once you have a lot of videos to share and people want to know more of your knowledge, start a blog and charge a couple of dollars for getting access to your site.
- Become an affiliate – Endorse other people’s product. You can recommend a software or plugin to your fellow bloggers and receive commission for every successful deal.
- Advertising space – Sell ad spots in your blog’s sidebar or footer. You can also try Google Adsense and other pay-per-click programs. Ensure the ads are located in strategic places so visitors will be encouraged to click. In addition, don’t attempt to click on your ads as this is a ground to be banned from Adsense.
Start earning as early as possible to ensure that you will have spending cash for the holidays.
Posted in make-money
Lack of financial capital is a common alibi of people why they can’t start a business of their own. They don’t have the money for the materials, resources, office rent, employee salary, etc. However, this mindset is actually wrong and misleading. Anyone can put up his own company with absolutely zero capital. In the first place, the reason why you want to invest into an entrepreneurial venture is because you have no money and you want to earn lots of it, right?
Facts about zero capitalism:
- In business, lack of capital is not the problem. What is necessary is customers. Remember that without them, it is impossible for a business to survive.
- Entrepreneurship is about earning profits from zero investment. Forget the saying that you need money to make money.
Money is not the only form of capital. Although the two words are often associated with each other, capital comes in various forms which you can use to earn cash:
- Time – You can use your free time to start a business. For example, you can start up a company that provides services related to forum profiling. Website owners want to build backlinks to their site by joining forums and using signature links. Since backlinking is generally a time-consuming task, they’d rather hire another person to do it for them. Take advantage of this opportunity to create an extra source of income for you and for other people.
- Solutions – If you can offer solutions to problems and complex situations, you can use your skills to augment your income. For example, there are plenty of people looking for weight loss methods. If you think you have a formula that will help them burn fats immediately, you can write an eBook and sell it in online marketplaces.
- Talent and skills – If you have expertise in developing computer programs, you can create a special app or application for mobile phones, or you can author a game for iPhone or android phones. First, you have to identify your skills and knowledge. You can be a writer, designer, programmer, the opportunities are endless.
- Experience – You can also use your experiences to earn a living. Online consultancy businesses do not require money to operate. As long as you can provide professional advice about business, career, or marriage, you won’t need financial capital to kick start your own company.
- Social – If you really want to make it big in the online industry, lots of friends and connections will help you in achieving your goals. Build friendships through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blog communities to meet clients. Social connection can be a great asset in finding people who need your offerings.
These 5 forms of capital are a proof that lack of finances is not a problem in earning money. Not all people will agree that financial capital is not necessary but have you got to lose? Try the zero capital method now and start making extra right away.
Posted in business advice