Book Summary: EntreLeadership – 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom – Written by Dave Ramsey

Dave is a bestselling author and financial consultant. His ideas are simple in thought and tough in reality but that is why they are so good. Some examples are pay down debt, if you don’t have the cash don’t buy it and the most famous “the borrower is slave to the Lender”. EntreLeadership is a combination of Entrepreneurial and Leadership in action.

Why is this important to me?

I always want to ask this question as if I am sitting in your shoes. Will this summary benefit you if you review it? I am a big fan of mash ups which means combining concepts to make a “bigger/better” outcome. Successful mash ups include: Ray Charles – combination of Gospel and R&B, Kid Rock – combination of Rock & Roll, Country and Rap. Mash ups are very successful and that is why millions of people carry a combination phone, computer, camera in a device called the iPhone.

Entrepreneur is a term applied to a person who is willing to help launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome.

Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”

EntreLeadership is packed with great information about building a business. This is Dave’s scrapbook of experiences and lessons. We can learn a lot from this book. Remember, it is more important to leverage associations and learn from others to speed up success. I will profile four concepts and put a spin on it as it has helped in my business.

1. Passionate Action – Passion by far is the most important energy force in any business. Without passion, then the business will die. The easiest way to put this in perspective is marriage. If there is no passion in the marriage or relationship then over time, it will die. Action is required to get things done. Action and execution is what separates winners from losers. George S. Patton said – “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.”

2. Decisions – Decision making is a skill that has to be mastered. Any decision is better than no decision. Many people become paralyzed when an important decision needs to be made. There are several skills in decision making but here are a couple of things that will help:

1. Weigh the worst case scenario – If you can handle the worst case and the benefit outweighs the cost then do it.

2. Trust your gut – The red flags are there for a reason. I can tell you from personal experience that I did not follow my gut when I purchased a particular business. I knew the previous owner was a nightmare and I did the deal anyway. It was a big mistake. My gut told me no and my head got caught up in the perceived numbers. Not following your “informed gut” equates to bad decisions.

3. Decision Tree – People tend to think that decisions exist in a vacuum. This is not the case because a decision will just lead to the next decision. When you frame it this way then it becomes more manageable.

4. Outs – If you play poker then you understand the power of leaving yourself outs. Having outs (or options) after the decision makes things much easier. In poker if you decide to go all in and need one card to win then that is a bad decision but if you have 12 card options to win then that is a good decision. That is the essence of having “outs”.

3. Selling – Generating profitable revenue is the most important task of any business. Thus when you make the decision to start your business then you need to do it part time without quitting your job. The fastest way to build up the business is to make sure a market exists and you can generate revenue. I have seen countless failures because people focus on setting up the business, the office and the equipment to get started but they forgot the customer part. This leads to bankruptcy. You can scale infrastructure after you start generating profitable revenue. Until then you need to sell and market to prove that the business is viable. One quick note, you can do market testing with Google without spending any money on product. This is a great way to prove that people will buy your stuff and you don’t have to fork over thousands of dollars on prototypes and production to do it. Do the market research first and then ramp up.

4. Money – “Borrow is slave to the lender” according to Dave and he is absolutely right. When the tides come, you know exactly who is naked because too much debt and expenses kill businesses. In 2008, Lehman Brothers went out of business, Merrill Lynch was sold in a weekend and Bear Stearns got a bail out. All of this happened because the management was incompetent and had no idea how to manage debt. Money hides mistakes. It should be a goal that each week you walk out of your business not owing any money. For the small business owner this gives you “outs” and flexibility to ride the market waves.

EntreLeadership is a good book that provides a functional road map for the small business owner. A portion of the book talks about adding people. This can be the scariest thing a business owner can do. Remember that if you hire people better qualified than yourself then your business can go to heights beyond what you thought. Good quality people with the right direction and leadership make for great businesses.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is ACTION. If you have an idea and need extra money then put the hours in and start a home based business. Small business accounts for 3 million new jobs a year. Start now but don’t give up your day job until your business can sustain your life style.

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Accounting Records the IRS Require for Network Marketing/MLM and Other Stay At Home Business Owners

Two questions frequently asked by Network Marketers are “What kind of business records do I have to keep for the IRS?”, and “What’s kind of record-keeping system should I use in my business?”

Operating a business without paying attention to record-keeping is a recipe for disaster. You may be thinking “who cares-I hate bookkeeping and tax details, and if my business takes in enough money, it won’t matter anyway… I’ll just pay someone else to clean up my record-keeping later!”

Not so fast, my friend! A good record-keeping system is crucial for preparing your tax returns. And if you don’t prepare your tax returns with care, you’ll not only pay too much in taxes, but also increase the risk of a dreaded IRS audit. If an auditor finds insufficient records or significant mistakes in your books, it can disallow deductions, plus impose hefty fines and penalties, possibly forcing you out of business and wiping out your life savings as well.

The good news is that the IRS doesn’t prescribe one particular system of keeping records that must be used. No two businesses are alike, so there’s not one uniform fashion when it comes to record-keeping. Any system is okay, just as long as it paints a true picture of your income and expenses.

You can keep your records either manually, or with a computer.

The manual system works fine for smaller home businesses and cost only $10 to $20 a year for a ledger book and some manila file folders. I recommend a Weekly Bookkeeping booklet, where you can record your income and expenses on a regular basis, and then update the year to date totals, by expense category, at the end of each week. This way you always have an up to date statement of Income and Expenses, or “Profit and Loss” report, at your fingertips. In addition to the weekly record book, keep a check register, an adding machine, a mileage log,and an accordion file close by for filing receipts. Organize your receipts by category; Advertising, Travel and Entertainment, Cell phone, and so on.

A computerized record-keeping system works on the same principles as the manual system, however, the computer automates the process. You can use spreadsheets to record your residual income and bonus checks, and use separate columns to categorize your expenses.

An even quicker way to categorize your expenses is to use a software program such as Quicken or QuickBooks. These programs work like a checkbook register, with each income and expense transaction typed in as you go. A Profit and Loss report can be printed in a snap-assuming you do have some basic accounting knowledge. But beware. A software program is no substitute for a basic understanding of debits and credits. Often the year-end reports that I see produced from accounting software programs is best summarized by the statement “Garbage in-Garbage Out”.

If you’re comfortable at the computer and have basic bookkeeping expertise, good for you! But you don’t need computer software to keep accurate records. At minimum, categorize your receipts (auto, office supplies, advertising, etc) in manila folders or an accordion file, and total them up by category at tax time. Staple the adding machine tape to each folder or stack of receipts. Either system is okay as long as it paints a true and accurate picture of your income and expenses.

Network Marketing business owners should get a copy of IRS Publication 583, “Starting a Business and Keeping Records”, for more details on IRS record-keeping requirements.

Jim Flauaus, President / CEO of Anchor Accounting & Tax, is a Network Marketing / MLM tax specialist. He connects with Home Business owners and Network Marketers across the country and around the world via phone, email, and fax to help them plan and prepare their income tax returns.

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Why Retail Businesses Fail Part 3: Do You Make This Mistake In Retail?

Lack of Understanding of Target Market

I visited Harrods for research for my books on store design and visual merchandise display. Harrods, for anyone reading this White Paper who might not know this, is the Mecca of retailing. Royalties, A-list celebrities and the ‘who-is-who’ from around the world fly into London just to shop at Harrods.

You can now imagine my anticipation when I visited Harrods. In my mind everything in Harrods was made of gold. I was disappointed, when I noticed a toy bus I had purchased for my son from ASDA, was also being sold in Harrods. It was exactly the same toy bus, in exactly the same packaging that it is sold in ASDA.

A question popped into my mind, why is it that exactly the same bus, probably manufactured in exactly the same factory in China, is sold in Harrods for twice the price that it is sold for in ASDA?

The answer is decisively simple – ASDA sells a ‘toy bus’, however, Harrods sells a ‘classy toy bus’. There is a difference. This is marketing 101: people buy emotionally but justify their decision logically.

Customers who shop at Harrods do not shop there to buy Harrods’ products; they shop at Harrods to buy ‘elegance and class’. Harrods sells them class even if it is ‘Made in China’.

How does Harrods pull this off? They achieve it with the combination of elegant store design and attractive visual merchandising displays. When you move from one department to the next in Harrods it is like moving from one store to another. Their ability to use their store design to create the illusion of differentiation is one of the keys to Harrods’ success. Harrods understand their customers; they know what their customers desire so they design their store and display their products to satisfy the desire of their customers.

Marcus Buckingham, in his book “The First Thing You Need to Know”, said when he interviewed Sir Terry Leahy, who transformed Tesco into a global brand, he asked him what was the key to Tesco’s successful transformation. Sir Terry Leahy replied that it was asking and answering the simple question: Whom do we serve?

When Tesco figured out whom they were going to serve, they changed their store layout and products to serve their target market. As a result of this change; Tesco increased the number of checkout counters which reduced the amount of time customers spent queuing at the checkouts ultimately resulting in a dramatic increase in Tesco’s footfall.

Wal-Mart serves the person who lives: pay check to pay check.

Body Shop serves the ethical consumer.

Waitrose and Holland & Barrett serve the consumer who wants to live longer.

Ann Summers took merchandise that were hidden in secret ‘adult’ shops; made them trendy and brought them to the High Street. They made a taboo subject acceptable to the mainstream.

If I was to take my significant other clothes shopping at John Lewis she would probably phone my mother to inform her that I was having a nervous breakdown. She would not want to be caught dead in John Lewis’ outfit. She describes John Lewis’ clothing department as a Bridget Jones museum where they store a collection of Bridget Jones costumes.

However, John Lewis continues to increase profit year after year because John Lewis understands their target market. Someone like my significant other might not want to be caught dead in John Lewis’ outfit, but there are people in the UK, who love Bridget Jones’ memorabilia, these people are John Lewis’ target market, so John Lewis cater for them.

The most successful retailers understand their target market and show their understanding of their target market through their store design and visual merchandising displays.

The retailers that go bust fail to understand this basic marketing concept.

Most book retailers are struggling because they are still using the 1960’s business model in the Amazon era. Borders failed because it did not develop its internet business properly and it invested heavily in compact discs when music was going digital. WH Smith only makes money from its airport and train station sales. The rest of its stores are struggling. Waterstone’s is also on a downward trend. Sales are down and customer footfall is in steep decline.

Why are bookshops under threat? Amazon! They will all shout. Of course Amazon is the cause because Amazon understands their market better than them. Since it seems Amazon is not going away anytime soon, are all book stores going to close down?

Will WH Smith and Waterstone’s close down? Or will they rise to the challenge and modernise their stores? Instead of complaining about Amazon, they need to redefine their target market and redesign their stores to attract their target customers.

On Christmas Eve, I had not done my grocery shopping and was dreading the prospect of entering a supermarket, knowing how packed they were going to be. But as I drove passed my local Lidl store, I noticed it was empty. I rushed in and completed my shopping. As I drove back home a question came to mind; why is it, that even on this day when most supermarkets are typically jam packed to capacity, was Lidl empty?

The answer, in my opinion, is that Lidl does not have a target market. One of their biggest sins was making the decision to force customers to pay for carrier bags. Marks & Spencer can afford to do that because they appeal to a different class of customer.

In Tesco and ASDA, customers who are environmentally conscious have the option of paying for shopping bags. However, those who do not want to pay for carrier bags also have the option of getting free ones.

This is because Tesco and ASDA understand their customers. Lidl’s senior management, on the other hand, believed that having implemented a similar strategy in Europe, can introduce the same in the UK. If the Brits do not like it, tough! Well, the Brits are showing their displeasure with their feet.

I have tried to demonstrate with the above examples, that success or failure in retail is the result of the strategies every retailer adopts. Those retailers who understand their target market and cater to them will continue to move from success to greater success, while those who roll the dice and hope that customers show up are the ones who will struggle or go into administration.

I hate to be the one breaking this type of news to the retail industry I guess someone will have to do it: the internet is not going away. This means that retailers are not only competing with one another, they are also competing with factory owners in China whose name they have never heard. Shoppers are now ordering directly from warehouses and distributors, for example an individual can log on to eBay and order a pallet load of goods.

Here is the good news: the majority of people still prefer to shop from physical retail outlets. The question is how does an individual retailer ensure that shoppers are attracted to their store? It can be done by adopting the concept of the “Blue Ocean” strategy.

Adopting the “Blue Ocean” strategy is the only salvation for book, DVD, music and furniture retailers. What is “Blue Ocean” strategy? “Blue Ocean” strategy “is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost” which results in the creation of a new market space making the competition irrelevant.

The concept of “Blue Ocean” is practiced by the most successful business organisations whilst struggling businesses pursue what is described as the “Red Ocean” strategy. “Red Ocean” strategy is fighting to compete in the existing market place.

The “Red Ocean” strategy is adopted by many of the book, DVD, music and furniture retailers. They are trying to compete against the internet and it is just not possible. A brick and mortar store can never go head to head with the internet and win. It can never be cheaper that the internet.

However what they need to do in order to drive customer traffic to their stores is become innovative and creative. For example a book store could arrange periodic book signings; of course authors want to sell their books so it is a win-win situation for all parties concerned.

In order for the book signings to be a successful marketing platform for the book stores it would be advisable for retailers to work in collaboration with the publishers from the onset in order for the book signings to be better promoted.

Promotion of the book signings could take various formats such as making effective use of social media sites, local press and captivating signage in and outside the store.

Another idea could be to arrange book clubs for various genres of books this would entice a variety of customers in to the store, these book clubs would also need promoting in a similar way as described for the book signings promotion.

The trick is to be innovative.

Richer Sounds is a classic case of a retailer that has adopted the “Blue Ocean” strategy. They understand that people still prefer to interact with other people. So whilst other electronic retailers focus on price, they focus on excellent customer service and staff product knowledge. Their “Blue Ocean” is excellent customer service and superior product knowledge.

For book, DVD or music retailers to compete in Amazon country, they need a “Blue Ocean” strategy that goes beyond price discount. They need soul. They need understanding of the perception of their target market.

• What do they want?

• What are their hopes and fears?

• What is their perception?

I can order a book or DVD from Amazon and receive it the following day. I can download music instantaneously from iTunes. There are millions of me in the world. What kind of “Blue Ocean” strategy can WH Smith or HMV devise to get me away from my laptop? It takes me half an hour to drive to the town centre, pay for parking, spend another half an hour in WH Smith or HMV and another half an hour to drive back home.

The 64 million dollar question is: What can WH Smith or HMV do to make it worth my while?

Let me give them a clue, I could order my groceries online, however, I choose to go to the supermarket. What is the difference? That is for book, DVD, electronic and furniture retailers to find out. They probably need to visit Starbucks it might just hold the keys to unlocking their creativity.

The only point of differentiation that most retailers know is price reduction. Price reduction is not a business strategy, it is a death wish.

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How the Top 13 Companies Use PR

#1 Apple

Product placements in many moves and TV shows with the stars using their products. For example, a great shot of JUST THE IPHONE and nothing else in the Sex in the City Movie. My favorite? I am Legend!

#2 Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffet, the most successful investor in the world apologizes to his stockholders for making mistakes in the bad economy.

#3 Toyota Motors

They sponsored Top Chef Chicago in 2008. Not only did they have commercials every other second but every shopping trip was in a Rav 4

#4 Google

Becoming a verb and being used in a movie with Jennifer Lopez in Maid in America, Google was written into the script!

#5 Johnson & Johnson

Not only do they have a you tube channel, they also have multiple Facebook pages for the different segments of their market.

#6 Proctor and Gamble

Took Movie product placements to Books! Cathy’s book, Persius book authors agreed to have character use certain make up products!

#7 Fed Ex

Movie product placement abounds! Bowfinger, Runaway Bride and of course their super commercial called Cast Away!

#8 Southwest Airlines

Lots of papers are written on them because of their service.

#9 General Electric

Top Chef is heavy with their appliances.

#10 Microsoft

Bollywood has been the beneficiary of their product placements.

#11 Wal-Mart Stores

Product placements on shows like Dame Chocolate and others.

#12 Coca-Cola

Obama was seen drinking a Coke during the campaign. With giant cups placed on the desks in American Idol, In a children’s book about dinosaurs, there is a coke bottle on every page, The Democratic convention, Madea goes to Jail and the Olympics make them product placement champs.

#13 Walt Disney

The View from Walt Disney Studios and Marley and ME…need I say more?

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Benefits of Joint Venture Marketing

The term Joint Venture or JV is one that is being thrown around a lot online nowadays but having read many books written by so called Joint Venture experts it becomes obvious that most people are missing the full extent to which JV’s can be used to add profit to a business. Most of these experts will tell you that a joint venture is when one company mails an offer to their customer database promoting the product or services of another company and receives a commission for any sales that result. This form of JV is also known as a host-beneficiary offer, a phrase coined by Jay Abraham.

In reality Joint venture marketing can be so much more. A joint venture is any marketing promotion that involves 2 or more organisations for mutual gain. If you were to walk in to any McDonalds store today you would find multiple JV’s in action. Take a look at their kids’ meal and you will probably find a toy from a company looking to promote their toy brand or latest movie.

When you expand your thinking you instantly expand your opportunities to profit from JV’s.

Lets look at a few of the benefits you can enjoy by including joint venture marketing tactics into your marketing mix.

1. You can set up Joint Ventures to get more customers. Customers who are already presold on the benefits of your company so they only want to buy from you. When your JV partner endorses and promotes your product or service to people who know and trust their business you get instant customers who want to buy from you.

2. Joint Ventures can be used to tap in to thousands, possibly even millions of dollars of other peoples advertising capital. Your JV partner has invested a fortune into his/her business to obtain the customer following they have. When they promote your business to their database you get instant access to that valuable investment.

3. The right JV will add additional revenue streams to your business requiring no additional work or investment on your part. You can promote your joint venture partners services to your database and get paid a percentage of the sales generated. The money you earn is pure profit from day 1.

4. JV’s allow your business to leverage off the resources of other organisations.

5. JV’s let you capitalize on your businesses hidden assets.

6. Your business gains credibility in the eyes of the customer when you are associated with well respected businesses.

7. You can grow your business significantly without spending a single cent on traditional advertising.

8. You gain greater control over customers purchasing habits allowing you to control your businesses downtimes.

9. JV relationships are a great way to separate yourself from the competition and establish your business as a market leader. The most powerful leg up you can give your business is to do something totally different because when your business is unique then by definition there is no competition!

10. JV’s can be used to encourage your customers to spend more money – more often.

11. Low cost advertising. Traditional advertising can be expensive. Joint venture marketing can save you that expense by letting you promote your business for FREE.

12. Fast, effective, results driven advertising. Joint venture marketing is a direct response marketing method, which drives immediate results.

13. Wholesale Advertising. Cash is the only form of trade in traditional advertising but joint venture marketing lets you give away samples of your product or service to get new customers so your only cost is the wholesale value.

14. Increase profit by creating an ‘Incredible experience’ which drives referrals and word of mouth advertising. Giving away gifts and running generous promotions gets people talking, and recommending your business, another FREE advertising method!

15. Increase customer loyalty dramatically. Customers will generally remain loyal to businesses that treat them well and give massive value.

16. Decrease your customer acquisition cost. Joint venture marketing gets new customers to your business at a fraction of the cost you’d expect to pay in traditional advertising.

These are just a few of the benefits…. they’re endless!

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Network Marketing In A Way That Works

One of the best parts about becoming a network marketer, is that your campaign can grow indefinitely. But that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to grow at all. Don’t be one of the know-nothings attempting to get rich through marketing. Read the information provided in this article and you’ll understand what it takes to succeed at network marketing.

While many people mistakenly focus their efforts on the numbers of leads they get, successful marketers emphasize the importance of quality prospects. When you have workers who are devoted to their part, both you and they will see financial growth.

Get a separate phone line as a network marketer so that people can always stay in touch with you without intruding on your personal life. You can get this phone line on the same mobile phone, but make sure it’s registered to a blank business address. You do not need to be so personal with everyone.

Always make sure the prospect is relaxed and comfortable with you before trying to promote your product. Being a good listener and showing the person that you care about their feelings and thoughts goes a long way towards building trust. Be sincere in your want to hear from them because people can tell when someone is faking them out.

When starting a network marketing strategy, you must figure out what your driving motivation is. Is it how much profit you want to make? Is it an item you’d like to buy or maybe, it’s success based on the number of profit-earning people you have in your downline? Sometimes, helping others is the greatest benefit of all.

Monitoring your network marketing downline is hugely important. If you see someone under performing, ask them if they need any help or advice. If someone drops off entirely, maybe they just need some motivation to get back on track. You need to be a mentor to the people below you to ensure they’re making you profits as well as themselves.

With so many details to attend to in your network marketing business, it is easy to lose sight of your number one goal: prospecting. When you have a dozen emails to respond to, a pile of paperwork cluttering your desk, down-lines to train, and a company conference to attend, finding new prospects can sometimes get lost in the crowd. Make sure you prioritize your duties to keep prospecting at the top of the list. While your other responsibilities are still important, you don’t have a business without any customers.

Increase your network marketing success by taking the time to learn one new technique every day to improve your leadership skills. Skim a book of inspirational thoughts. Discover what well-known experts are saying. Enroll in a community college or adult-learning leadership course. Read the biographies of famous world leaders and business gurus. Incorporate their strategies into your business plan, and take charge of your accomplishments!

A flourishing network can mean some serious money for you as a marketer. By taking what you’ve just learned in this article and applying it to your particular network marketing campaign, you might be able to get the wheels rolling and initiate a successful business that doesn’t stop growing for years to come.

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The Debate Continues: Offline VS Online Marketing

Why does the debate over offline vs online marketing continue? Since the advent of the Internet, business owners, marketing experts and ecommerce gurus have debated the pros and cons of offline vs online marketing. Traditional media outlets argue that print and broadcast media reach a larger audience. Experts in web marketing argue the benefits of marketing to a very specific market segment. Business organizations tout the human aspect of networking events and face-to-face meet ups.

The truth is, when discussing offline vs online marketing, both venues have their place. Both provide specific results and benefits that the other misses. When combined in an effective marketing plan, the two methods can compliment each other, provided you have the budget to support efforts in both arenas. However, not all of the old offline vs online marketing arguments are still valid today, decades after the Internet first changed the business world.

For the small business owner and home-based solopreneur, budgetary concerns create a deep divide when considering offline vs online marketing. For these individuals, the issues between offline vs online marketing are not merely conceptual or based on the potential return on their investment. Small budgets and limited start-up capital necessitate finding the least expensive methods for marketing products and services. While the debates over market penetration, market reach, and message delivery rage on, these entrepreneurs must focus on cost.

As more readers and shoppers look to the Internet for information and solutions to consumer needs, the arguments presented for offline vs online marketing become thinner and carry less weight. Today, consumers reach for their computer keyboard, rather than a phone book. They search online for products to meet their needs, rather than watching television commercials or browsing sale papers. As such, business owners with an understanding of internet marketing gain a greater advantage over those who focus on offline marketing venues.

Internet marketing efforts, especially those centered around social media, search engine marketing, and website conversions, are often free or have a considerably lower point of entry than offline efforts. In considering offline vs online marketing, few options provide the kind of flexibility and low start-up requirements as internet marketing. Viral videos, social media shares, and search engine results now replace television commercials, radio spots and print advertisements.

Rather than spending hours rubbing shoulders at boring networking events and stuffy business meet-ups, savvy business owners use social media profiles and automated tools to engage with potential customers. Instead of balancing peek broadcast times with cost, your marketing message can be set up to automatically reach targeted customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many online businesses can be marketed while the owner still works a regular day job, forever ending the offline vs online marketing debate.

With an easier point of entry, lower risk, and the ability to automate many marketing tasks, new online entrepreneurs can easily see the benefits and drawbacks of offline vs online marketing. Internet marketing is simply easier, less expensive, and when done properly, more effective than traditional marketing efforts in the offline world. Even novices can get started with a profitable online business with just a little basic knowledge and the right tools.

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What Public Speaking Involves

How would you define Public Speaking? Let us examine some definitions of public speaking:

Public speaking is speech-making before a large body of audience in a formal situation wherein you, the speaker, display your talents for eloquence and oratory.

Public speaking is communication of ideas using words and actions to let others know what is happening in your head.

Public speaking is an art of facing a group of people and communicating to them your thoughts and feelings by means of effective speech.

Public speaking is direct communication with the audience — the creation of an idea in other minds through the stimuli of words, facial expressions, and movements.

Personality is one factor that makes up effective Public Speaking. Personality – It is impossible to make interesting speakers out of uninteresting people. Only people with interesting personality make good speakers. For this reason, personality is one factor we cannot overlook in the training of a person as a public speaker for his personality determines his speech.

If we are to define personality, we may say that it is the sum total of all our physical, mental, and emotional traits. Personality is not a matter of height, color, shape, etc., but a development of all traits of an individual.

Through speech, we express our individual personality, our total self. As we talk, others see, hear, sense, and feel our personality. What we say bears the imprint of our sympathies, prejudices, passion, fears and aspirations as it is filtered through our inner selves on the way to expression. Our spontaneous speech reveals our mental states and our emotional attitudes, our upbringing and our level of education. Hence, speech revels our personality.

For you to become an interesting and attractive personality, consider PERSONALITY factor essential in the cultivation of necessary characteristics or traits of a successful speaker:

Personal grooming. The speaker’s appearance has much to do with how well he will be received by his audience. Even in simple conversations, your external appearance affects your simple conversations, your external appearance affects your listeners. For this reason, you must pay careful attention to your personal appearance when you get involve with public speaking. Consider these questions as a guide to good grooming:

As a speaker, is your dress appropriate to the occasion?

Are you neat and comfortable?

Do you choose clothes that will establish basic similarities with your audience so that you make them feel at ease and comfortable with you?

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In Direct Sales – Ditch Your Frank List and Use Target Marketing

For most of us in Direct Sales, 10 new recruits equals a promotion – either for someone in our organization, or for ourselves. Sometimes it equals qualifications for a special incentive – perhaps a trip to some exotic locale, or maybe some designer jewelry.

Most of us, who follow the out-dated ideas that our upline offers have been spinning our wheels watching THEM earn trips and recognition, while we sit scratching our heads, wondering why we aren’t getting in on the action. I mean, after all, we’re doing exactly what they told us, exactly the way they told us to do it.

Is this happening to you?

Our upline said make a list of 100 people. Check.

Our upline said contact them all and ask them to “help” you get started. Check.

Our upline said it’s a numbers game, talk to everyone. Check.

Our upline said to stay away from running ads in the paper. Check.

Our upline said to do 3 way calls. Check

Our upline said bring our recruits to the opportunity meetings. Check.

Our upline said pass out 500 business cards each month. Check.

Is your team growing by leaps and bounds?

Our upline never told us to be an authority on our company’s best product (that would be YOU!).

Our upline never told us to market ourselves first, and the company second.

Our upline never presents us as the authority. They become the “guru” instead of us!

Our upline never told us we could use the Internet to build our businesses on autopilot.

It means you need to position yourself as the expert. Set yourself apart and start thinking and acting like a leader NOW. Change your mindset – even if you’ve been in the business for years, start thinking like a leader at the next pay level. Already at the top of your game? Great. Start thinking like the owner of your company.

By the way, YOU are the owner of your company. You have the best product to offer anyone – and that is YOU. You can’t get that product from any other company.

Christie Northrup, the Lemonaid Lady, is a champion of ditching the FRANK list. She talks about using “WILMA” instead:

“Who

Is a

Likely

Marketing

Audience?”

Target marketing is the best way to see desirable results. The Shotgun methods still work, but the amount of time and energy you put into growing a business that way is, to me, excessive.

Let’s break down the numbers. ASSUMING you can buy 500 business cards for just the cost of shipping (there are online companies that run specials periodically), You’ve got a $10 investment in materials, plus the time it takes to deliver all of them. From here, we have to make a lot of assumptions:

  • Assume you give away 30 at every party (3 to each guest – who needs 3 business cards?)
  • Assume you have 8 parties per month (that’s pretty standard in Direct Sales)
  • Assume you give away 1 to every person you meet outside a party (that’s another 260 people each month)
  • Assume it takes 1 minutes to deliver each card outside a party (and really, you’re not building a relationship, you’re just shoving a card into their hand)
  • Assume a 1% conversion rate

You’re spending 4 hours each month just giving away cards, plus the additional 24 hours you’ve spent preparing and doing your parties. And I must reiterate – who really needs 3 of your business cards? More to the point, who’s going to TAKE 3 of your business cards?

And if you give away 6,000 cards each year, you’ve got 60 new leads (about 5 per month) that may book, buy or recruit. Most of those will probably come from your shows anyway, to be honest. For $120 in business card expenses (plus other show and travels costs) and 336 hours of your life. Each POTENTIAL lead costs you $2 and 5.6 hours of your life!

Is your head spinning yet?

Now if you really, truly have no other method of building your business, it’s a start. But I hope you realize that there are other, better options to growing your business. You could definitely be putting that time (and money) to better use elsewhere.

Find a niche and fill it.

In direct sales, there are targeted groups of prospects for every product line available. All you have to do is ASK your home office what the target demographic is for your direct selling company. If they can’t tell you, you’ve got bigger problems. If you sell kitchen tools, who it your target market? Men? Women? What about age, income, ethnic origin? The more you focus, the smaller your market will be.

Smaller market=bigger return on investment

If you invest your time and money wisely in your target market, you can easily bring your time and money cost to less than half of what you would have paid for the shotgun business card method.

Think of it this way, would it be wise for a retailer to send advertisements to everyone in an entire city, when all they sell is children’s clothing? Absolutely not! A better use of their advertising dollars would be to focus on places where there are mothers of children who want/need their kind of clothing. Moms buy the clothes, not the kids (in most cases), so it’s wise to find out where they buyers are.

Think about your product? Who are the most likely buyers? Yes, contrary to what your upline has told you, it IS okay to pre-judge. At least for now. Focus in on that market. You know where they are most likely to spend their money (with you!), now figure out where they are most likely to spend their time. Go there. Market yourself THERE.

You’ve heard it said before that parties/demos are the life blood of a direct sales business. Your most targeted market is right in front of you – in a semi-captive group. This is a place where you would NOT want to pre-judge. Everyone is there for a reason. That reason may be you.

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Online Appointment – Scheduling System – Cloud-Based Versus Traditional

Small businesses must make important decisions for their operations to succeed. Rent their office space or buy it? Purchase new or used office furniture? Hire a receptionist or use an automated telephone answering system?

Another decision small businesses may have to make is whether to implement cloud-based or traditional appointment-scheduling system. With many differences between the two technologies, it’s important for small business owners to analyze their specific needs and conduct ample research into what software packages would work best for them.

AN OVERVIEW OF APPOINTMENT-SCHEDULING SYSTEMS

Appointment scheduling systems are software programs that allow small business owners and organizations-along with their staffers-to more easily book and manage their scheduled appointments. Without scheduling software, most proprietors rely on the more traditional manner of scheduling their appointments: A paper appointment book, pen and receptionist or staff member taking the appointments by phone or e-mail. Some may also utilize basic computer software, such as a database, to keep track of their scheduled appointments. Besides taking appointments, some businesses and organizations also inform their customers, clients, students and patients of their scheduled appointments with some form of reminder, such as a telephone call, e-mail or mailed card. In most instances, this process is inefficient and takes significant staff time to properly manager.

Additionally, a business’s office hours usually dictate when an individual can schedule an appointment. Considering the number of individuals who conduct their personal tasks online, the above appointment process is inflexible and does not allow a person to schedule his or her appointments when it’s most convenient, such as during after-hours.

With proper appointment-scheduling software, these essential-yet oftentimes time-consuming-tasks are managed automatically and with little user effort. However, like many software platforms, there can be many differences between providers. Case in point: Cloud-based appointment scheduling software offers features not found in traditional appointment-setting software packages.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

Before we discuss the differences between the two, let’s first describe the general characteristics of each one. Cloud-based programs are a type of Software as a Service (SaaS) whereby users access the software online as a service on demand. As with most SaaS programs, online scheduling services are typically housed online on a secure server. Additionally, many do not require program installation or downloads. All it requires is an Internet connection to access the software.

The more traditional appointment-scheduling software programs are just that: The for-sales packages available at stores and online that require installation on each computer where staff will access it. Think of a word processing or accounting program for your home computer that you purchase and install. They can also be software purchased and downloaded online, but with no direct access to online databases, functionality and services. It’s basically the packaged software purchased through the Internet instead of a retail outlet.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO

Although both varieties of appointment software may offer similar scheduling capabilities, it’s important to note the differences found in each. It could have a dramatic impact not only on your business operations, but on your expectations of the product.

• Accessibility. This is probably the most important difference between the two. An online appointment scheduling system gives you the ability to access your account anywhere, at any time. All you need is an Internet connection. Traditional software you install on an individual computer is typically restricted to that device. Although you may have a program that allows you to access it from outside the office, it creates additional steps and is not an efficient way of managing your appointments.

• Self-Scheduling. More and more businesses and organizations are allowing their customers, clients, patients and students to schedule their appointments online at their own convenience. In fact, those that don’t offer this service may be missing the boat, as some individuals simply will not choose a service provider that doesn’t permit online transactions. Many cloud-based companies offer this feature, which is a natural fit for a SaaS program. Persons simply schedule their appointments in the same manner as other online services, such as purchasing travel or managing a bank account. It’s efficient, it’s easy, and individuals can schedule their appointments outside of normal business hours. Traditional scheduling software may offer this, but most likely would be an expensive alternative to Web-based technology, given the extensive programming and set-up procedures necessary to permit this functionality on existing computer networks and systems.

• Cost. With budget restraints a significant factor in most business decisions, cost of a new online appointment scheduling system is another consideration. Prices vary widely, from free to tens of thousands of dollars (for custom programming). Typically, Web-based software is the more affordable choice and provides the most “bang for your buck.” Additionally, some SaaS scheduling providers offer month-to-month service contracts without requiring a long-term commitment. This can oftentimes be the best option, especially for businesses and organizations with limited budgets or changing future needs.

In the world of online appointment scheduling systems, it usually comes down to two options: Web-based or non-Web-based. Make sure your business or organization examines its specific needs before deciding.

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