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"Can I Start a Home Based Internet Marketing Business With a Zero Budget?" and Other Good Questions

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Anyone seriously looking to become a home based business owner should ask lots of questions in order to make a well-informed decision. A good place to begin is by doing several informational interviews with successful business owners in the same kind of business. Most people are more than happy to share their experience with others, and some will even recount the lessons they learned the hard way so that you can avoid costly pitfalls.

Following are a few questions that I often hear about start-up costs. It would be a good idea for you to ask these of other people as well, but here are a few of my own responses:

Q: I’d like to get into Internet Marketing, but I don’t have any money to invest. Can I still do it?

A: Depends on what you mean by “get into it.” If you are serious about becoming a successful business owner, then the short answer is “no.” It takes some money to start any business. The good news is that home based Internet marketing businesses require a lot less cash investment than traditional “brick and mortar” businesses, franchises, or even cottage industries that depend on expensive materials, production equipment, licenses and inspections, product shipping and/or inventory storage. All of that makes a home based Internet business accessible to almost anyone by comparison.

It also depends on what you will be marketing and whether you already have, or need to purchase the products and/or services in order to fulfill customer orders promptly and professionally. This will vary from company to company, so be sure you fully understand what is required of you, up front.

Q: So what kinds of costs are involved?

A: There are different kinds of expenses-capital expenses (one-time or infrequent) and operating expenses (those that recur monthly or even more often). You might compare the two to buying a truck for a business (capital expense) and buying gas, oil, insurance, and maintenance to keep it running (operating expenses).

Capital expenses for Internet Marketers include the cost of things like your computer, printer, phone, etc., and other home office set-up needs. You might find that you, like many people, do most of your work out of a wi-fi café and “out-of-pocket” with your cell-phone, pda, and so forth. Easy, then, to keep these costs reasonable-especially if you already have the equipment and gadgets. But since these tools are the lifeblood of any Internet Marketer, they need to be up-to-date and reliable. You may also need to put some money out to get your business branded (your visual look, logo, etc). If you don’t have these things in place, you won’t be able to compete in the vast online universe. That will affect your profits, and hence your success. You might have people in your personal network who could help you with this, and that could save you money.

Operating expenses in this industry will primarily be related to these things:

o The actual marketing of the product, service, or opportunity in which you are dealing: that is, online advertising. There are lots of ways to market online, and the costs will range from free (yes-there is some) to…well, not free. The cost of paid advertising, and pay-per-click (most effective) usually depends on your volume, and may become more economical once you have a good reputation and add value to the ad vendor’s bottom line.

o You’ll need broadband Internet connectivity, phone service with voice mail and unlimited long distance, a merchant account (so you can take payments online), etc..

o Remember to budget for training (there is always a learning curve to scale) and ongoing professional development. If you don’t invest in becoming an expert, those who do will quickly soak up the profits that could have been yours. *Finally, don’t forget to budget for general office supplies, transportation costs, and other “everyday” items that you might not currently be spending money on in your life.

Q: How about fees to “buy into” an Internet Marketing business?

A: These will vary, but yes-you can expect that in most cases there will be some kind of application and/or start-up fee. Beware the exceptions because the costs will only be more hidden. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get burned:

o Anything you pay while you are still gathering information about a company or opportunity should come with a written money back guarantee. o Check to see what period of time the guarantee covers-24 hours? (not so much) 30 days? (much better)-and use that time to learn all you can. o Avoid any company that does NOT provide such a guarantee up front. o With a guarantee in hand you should be able to pay the “start-here” fee confidently-you will have little to lose and perhaps much to gain.

Q: How much should I be willing to pay up front?

A: As with the previous questions, this one also depends-mostly on you this time.

o An application or start-up fee should be modest-affordable for you-and the compensation plan presented to you should thoroughly explain what you would need to do to see both a return on your initial investment and future profits.

o If you absolutely do not have the amount of money requested just to open the door, then the chances are good that this opportunity is out of your reach at this time.

o If you really, really like what you see and still don’t have the cash or credit available to get started, then do whatever it takes (legally and ethically, of course) to turn this situation around and find the money. Serious entrepreneurs think and act in these ways all the time: this could be a good test for you as to whether you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

Q: Okay. So let’s say I find the money, get started and then find that there are MORE things to spend money on than I could see at the outset: Have I been scammed?

A: Not necessarily! In fact, probably not. You are now just far enough into it to begin learning what the top-tier producers do to succeed. This would be a good moment to take stock again:

o Are you willing and able to do whatever it takes to succeed, or is this all a little too hot to handle for you? If the latter, then it might be time for you to request your refund and step away from home based Internet Marketing. If, on the other hand, you are still highly motivated to succeed by taking on these challenges, then you would do well to press on. The returns can make it all worthwhile.

Remember that you are in business now and that you will have to spend money to make money. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Here are a few good rules of thumb to follow on your way to Internet marketing success:

o On average, you should not spend more than 10-20% of your anticipated commission on the marketing needed to make that commission. For instance, if your compensation plan pays a $100 commission on the product or service you are marketing, then you should not spend more than $10-$20 to make that sale.

o Make your first goal to pay yourself back for your start-up costs.

o Once you have recouped your initial investment, continue putting 80-100% of your profits back into your marketing in order to build your business.

Q: ARE YOU KIDDING? I need to make money, not keep putting it down a hole.

A: Exactly! Drastic as this sounds, it is the only way to ensure that you will survive and thrive in the face of the competition. Consider these things:

o Once you have built a steady and profit-generating business, expect to put no less than 10-15% of your revenue back into marketing on a continual basis.

o The number one reason people fail in any kind of business venture is the failure to manage and reinvest profits in order to grow their businesses. If you take your first profits and buy that big screen TV with your name on it, chances are you will start to FEEL “scammed” because you won’t see the kind of traffic and response to your marketing that more experienced Internet marketers are having. So get your priorities straight and tough it out.

o The best home based Internet Marketing opportunities offer professional guidance and direction about how to start up on a limited budget and be responsible with your money.

o If the company you are connecting up with can’t show you a range of effective marketing options that fit your budget while you are still getting started, then keep on walking.

In business, it takes money to make money-there is no way around that. If you can easily accept that basic truth, then simply keep your wits about you while you are gathering information, and resist the temptation to react (positively or negatively) ONLY on the basis of reading other people’s testimonials about getting rich.

Internet Marketing has been identified as one of the few fairly recession-proof industries out there today. That doesn’t mean, however, that anyone can “get rich quick” with no effort, or simply become a millionaire without investing (and reinvesting) time, know-how, and a percentage of profit. In fact, only about 3% of those who enter this industry have what it takes to hit multiple six and seven figure incomes. Those who build wealth through Internet Marketing (and quite honestly the profits can be life-changing), regularly spend money to make money. They take their businesses and their reputations as successful entrepreneurs seriously. If you are prepared to do the same, you too may have the bright and prosperous future of your dreams with a home based Internet marketing business. Here’s to your success!

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Source by Thia Hamilton

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Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?

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Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program

Direct Sales Agents

Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.

Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.

Colleges and Universities

Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.

Freelancers

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.

Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.

Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions

There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.

Advertise!

The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.

Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.

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Source by Lina Stakauskaite

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Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them

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The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.

The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?

Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.

Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.

Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:

Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon

First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.

Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:

  • 2006 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
  • 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
  • 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
  • 2020 – Prices hit the Top
  • 2020 to? – Prices Decline

*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.

The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.

Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound

Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.

Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.

Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.

To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.

Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care

If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.

However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.

Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.

This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”

Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price

This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”

However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.

Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.

Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.

Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price

Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.

Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.

During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.

The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.

Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission

Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction

Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.

For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.

Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.

In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.

By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.

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Source by Robert W. Dudek

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Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer

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Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:

1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers

If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.

2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer

It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.

3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part

Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?

4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer

It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.

5) Brand is important

Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider

If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.

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Source by Damien Oh

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