Monthly Archives: February 2013

Time Management For The Home Based Business Entrepreneur

The biggest challenge of running a business from home is getting the right balance between your professional and your personal life. It is very easy to loose track when some of the things competing for your attention are your kids, spouse, pets and household chores. If you are not careful, you will very quickly become consumed by things that have nothing to do with your business.

Dangers of Poor Time Management

Poor time management can result in a sloppy run business. You may see a slowdown in operations, and, in turn, a reduction in sales and profits. In drastic cases, poor management of your business time can equal a complete shutdown of your home based business.

Effective Time Management Tips

Now that you know how poor time management can harm your home based business, here are a few things you can do to improve the management of your business.

Set your home office area

It is important to have a designated office area where you carry out your home based business operations. If you try to work from the bedroom, kitchen and lounge you will be distracted by all the activities taking place in these areas.

Have a set schedule for your home based business

Having a set schedule can make a huge difference in your productivity. Stick to a schedule similar to a normal work i.e wake up at the same time, prepare breakfast, drop kids to school and then get down to work at exactly 8.00 am.

Prioritize all your work

It is important to consider all of your priorities. As a business owner, what are the most important tasks for you each day? Do you start by prospecting for new clients or do you start by collecting pending bills? You will need to set all your priorities and make sure you follow them to the letter.

Delegate non-core work

Task such as prospecting for new clients can be delegated to people or companies that specialize in generating leads. For a set monthly fee, the lead generating company will do all the work of finding clients. Imagine how easy your work will be when you log in into your email and you find 5 clients waiting for you?  Other tasks that can be delegated are, social media campaign, bill payment, accounting, typesetting etc.

Write it all down

It is not enough have ideas in your head, you need to write down your schedule and priorities. This can be written on a business diary or a general note book. Include the following details:-

  • Everything you do for your home business everyday.
  • Write the exact time that you begin a task and the exact time that you end it.

When writing your business journal assume you are writing a daily report for your boss.This type of report will help you review your performance and see where you might be wasting time or doing something that’s ineffective.

You can even ask your spouse, brother or kid to go through the reports and give their opinion, that way it can be more objective.

Proper Time Management equals greater productivity

In the end, you will reap benefits for managing your time. You will have enough time to attend to your business task and your will get more from your work. At the end of the day you will have enough time to spend with your loved ones, attend to domestic task and engage in other hobbies/interest.

Proper time management is an important skill that every home business owner needs to learn and master if he/she wants to succeed. You will not master it over night but if you stick at it, you will get it.  Once it becomes a daily routine you will be able to run a successful home based business and enjoy a quality home life.

Selling Insurance From a Home Office

Selling insurance is one of the most popular home based business ideas. An insurance agent /broker working for one of the big insurance companies has the luxury of meeting with prospective and existing clients at well furnished company premises. But as a insurance agent working from home, you will need to go an extra mile to win the trust of your customers.

One way you can overcome the handicap of lacking corporate support is to work on your selling skills. Be very good at your selling skills such that it won’t matter to the client that you work from home.

10 Tips of Selling Insurance for a Home Based Agent

To sell insurance successful, you will requires to master the process of selling. The process starts from identifying a potential client to closing the sale.

1. Researching – The first step is researching on where to find new clients. The best place is to look at data for the latest hiring in your area. Once you have discovered companies that have new employees, you can then try to find specific employees inside the company.

2. Identifying the client- once you have identified a potential prospect e.g. from from your on research, or a lead you’ve bought or someone you know, find out as much about that person. The internet has made it easy to do background checks. People have left crucial background information on Facebook, Linkend, forums and dating sites. This information can tell you a lot about a persons age, marital status, employment and education. Information that you can use to determine the right products to pitch to them.

3. Pay them a visit – Insurance works best when selling face to face rather than making a call or sending an email. If your target has left his/her number somewhere, you can call them and book a meeting. The best place to meet is at the office or their home. If you have some spare cash, offer to discuss things over lunch, dinner or coffee.

4. Rapport – It is important to connect with the clients. If the clients doesn’t instinctively like or trust you, you will be doomed.When you meet for the first time, start with a smile and a firm hand shake. During the discussion take opportunities to speak relevant topical issues (e.g the latest news on insurance industry) this is sure to get strangers to warm up to you.

5. Be clear – You might have introduced yourself when booking an appointment but it is important to re-introduce yourself. Tell your potential client who you are, what you do and what you’re there for.

6. Be specific – Selling is not about just talking but also being a good listener. Ask the ‘WHAT IF’ questions such as “what would happen if you lost your job? This is the only way you can uncover their insurance needs.

7. Get personal – During the discussion ask about their work, holidays, pets, the area they live, the children, the weather etc. This should be done at appropriate times. The objective here is to make them feel at ease and get additional information. During this process, you will hopefully find what is important to them and what they might want to protect or insure.

8. Agreement – Once the clients has seen he has a need, the next step is to get agreement from your potential client that there is a need for insurance protection and that they are prepared to do something about it i.e. buy an insurance policy.

Once you have this agreement, you can then let them know you will come up with 1 or more potential solutions. This is where you sell your cover.

9. Solution – Don’t be greedy and try to force them to take the most expensive cover because that is the one that will give you the largest commission. Present them with all options for example, one with the full level of cover, one with the minimum and one somewhere in the middle. Let them be in-charge.

10. Close – After all the talking you have to get them to commit by signing the documents to authorize payment. Simply ask them for the details you require to pass the stage on to the underwriting company.

Follow this process and you will never regret making the decision to set up a home based general and life insurance business.

How To Start Home Based Business With Little or Zero Start Up Capital

I was reading the latest list of top 500 franchise by Businessweek and I noticed the best and most profitable niches had one thing in common; They required large amount of start up capital. These business required investment in personnel, expensive inventories, machinery and equipment.

Given the fact that most of us are not blessed with a trust fund to give us a leg up in life, starting a business usually demands a large investment of capital. Looking at such a list it is easy to despair for lack of low cost opportunities.

Worry not….

Home Based Business Ideas that Require Brain Power Over Money

In order to start and grow a small home based business with the potential for growth, we need to look at new business models that allow us to begin an operation with more brain power than money.

If you are among the many opportunity seekers trying to find a way to build a truly profitable home based business from scratch, your best bet is setting up your business online

The internet allows you to work from home and yet build a corporate-like image with little or no money, and you will not have the need for, physical locations and other expenses that usually choke many a beginner business owner.

Some ideas suited for internet are business idea focused on offering professional services e.g Graphic design, Accountancy, publisher etc. The internet has enable people to sell products without the need of handling payment, warehousing and shipping. Websites like clickbank give you opportunity to sell digital products and make money: Your job is to promote the product and they will store and ship the product to the client.

How you get started with zero start up capital

With internet, you can get a free website from, free email address from Yahoo and Google and even free tools from twitter and facebook to help you find potential customers. If you want to promote products by companies like, Clickbank and Google, they don’t require you to buy expensive inventories. You just register for free and you are ready to go.

The unique set up by these internet giants have enabled new age entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the power of internet, thus enabling you to efficiently run a huge operation all by yourself without the need for employees and other usually heavy expenses associated with the traditional business model.

Since the internet begun, thousands if not millions of entrepreneurs have started their journey in building a home based business online. The start up capital can be as low as $400 or less, and trust me, that small investment can slowly grow into a several thousands of dollars business if you work smart and hard enough.

Using Google Adwords to Grow Your Small Home Based Business

Google AdWords is the easiest and cost effective way to get new customers for a small home based business. The majority of people do a Google search to find providers of services and goods. What Google Adword does is connect searchers with local business.

In the old days a small home based business was marketed through Yellow Pages ads because it was what people turned to look for local business. As people have made a shift to internet they are turning to search engines like Google to find local businesses. That is why it is important for every owner of small / large home based business to learn how to use Google Adwords to market their business.

Introduction to Google Adwords for Small Home Based Business Owners

Google Adword is a product from Google. it is a “pay-per-click” advertising service, which means your ad will be displayed only to people searching for your service, and you will pay a “bid” price only if someone clicks on your ad.

Lets say your home based business is about selling Garden Tools. The way Google Adword works is Google displays your ad every time someone is doing a search for “garden tools.” You will pay if someone clicks on the ads. If they don’t click, you don’t pay.

Cost of Google Adwords for Small Home Based Business

How much you pay for that click is based on how much you’re willing to bid against competitors who are also bidding on the search terms a customer is searching for in Google’s search engine. This type of advertising only costs you money when your ad is clicked.

Google Adwords allows you to set your daily budget. If you set to spend $50 a day, they will not charge you extra.

Getting Started With Google Adwords

To use Google Adwords you need to open an Adwords Account. If you have a Gmail Account you can use that account to open an account. Registration is free but to start using the account you will need to deposit at least $10 into the account. This is just an act to show good faith.

Inside Google Adwords you can do a search using the search tool to determine the monthly search volume of your product or services and how much competitors are paying.

Difference Between, Exact, Broad and Phrase Keywords Search

On the left sidebar of your Adword accounts there is a option of Exact, Broad and Phrase Keywords Search. I recommend you tick them all before doing a search because they provide different information.

Exact Match – Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase exclusively

Example: an exact search for “pineapple pie” would only give “pineapple pie” and would not include “pineapple pies”, “pie pineapple”, “pineapple cream pie” or “how to make pineapple pie”

Broad Match – Allows your ad to show on similar phrases and relevant variations

Example: a broad search for “pineapple pie” would include searches for pineapple pies, pineapple cream pie, how to make pineapple pie, etc. as well as banana peal and pumpkin pie

Phrase Match – Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase

Example: a phrase match search for “pineapple pie” would include searches for “how to make pineapple pie”, etc. but would not include “pineapple cream pie” or “pineapple pies”

After you are done with Keyword research the next thing is to build a list of keywords phrases that you will target.

Usually the keywords that have the best conversions are “long tail” keywords. This is a term that is used for keyword phrases that are better defined. So if you are selling hammers, you will get better results by targeting “Brown Carpenters Hammer”

How to target customers near you

If you live in California and you are a provider of landscaping services, you don’t want a searcher in Indonesia clicking your Ad. Google lets you target your ads geographically to your country, states or certain cities.

Writing an Ad that Converts

The next thing you need to do is write a good ad. Since the space provided is limited, you will need to be creative. Your ad must be clear and direct. Your goal should be to grab people’s attention and get them to click on your ad.

A good ad should include one of your keywords. Do not include your business name within the ad since people search by product or service.

Try to have a call-to-action in your ad. Something like “Buy two get one free!” . This is a good trick is a good to get searchers to visit your website.

Adwords allows you to create a several ads. These ads will rotate so that the best performing ad is used more often. This helps you find winning ads. Try listing different offers, services or features of your product or service to see what is most in demand. Always continue to test to find the best ad.

The ad is one part of promotion and the next part is your Landing page A.K.A. your website. Your ad might be great but if the people land on a sloppy website, they will leave as fast as they landed. A good landing page delivers on what the ad promises. Make sure the content is clear and convincing and it explains why your product or service is better than your competitor’s. The navigation should be clear so that the visitor can be able to contact you and buy your product.

I hope you have learnt how to use Google Adwords to Grow Your Small Home Based Business.

Building a Successful Home Based Photography Business

Photography Business is one of those business that are easy to start and operate from home. In fact the majority of world famous photographers like Steve Mccruy, Henry Cartier and James Natchey have built successful careers in photography while working from home. If you are planning to run a home based photography business, you are in great company.

The major disadvantage of running a home based photography business, rather than renting a place in town is you will miss out on walk in customers. In this article I will show you how to overcome that challenge and beat your competition.

10. Basics things to do before starting a Home based photography business

  1. Write a business plan
  2. Get a Physical address. It gives you credibility.
  3. Talk to your accountant. Just because you will be running your business from home does not exempt your from paying taxes.
  4. Have your hardware ready. You will require a camera, lighting and various other items.
  5. Get the right software.
  6. Study the local market and the competition.
  7. Pick a business name.
  8. Have a domain name and a website
  9. Have marketing materials. Flyers, Business cards and headed letter are important
  10. Advertise on local dailies and magazines.

Writing a Business Plan for a Home Based Photography Business

Photography business is a competitive industry and think the best way to have a good crack of it is not try and do everything but to specialize. Various niches are wedding photography, portrait photography, birth photography, pictures of young children or high school graduates. Your choice will depend on your market, competition, skills and passion.

Your written business plan doesn’t need to be fancy, a rough business plan with the basics will be more than enough to meet your goals for your business. A business plan can be drafted by a qualified business coach or you can do it yourself. Look online for templates/ samples to guide you in drafting  a workable business plan.

A business plan includes everything from what you will charge for your photographs, to your finances, and marketing strategies.

Setting up your Home Based studio or office

It is important to remember first impressions count. Prospective clients will judge you by the appearance of your home office. If it is sloppy they might think you are sloppy in your work. So make an effort to keep the work area sparkling clean at all times, even when you are alone, you never know when a client might decide to walk in.

The essential areas of home office is a reception area where you meet clients and your work station where you review prints and conduct other in image processing business. The reception area should include at least a large table and at minimum two extra seats for prospective customers.

Office Theme

When you set up your space to start a photography business, keep in mind the services you’re planning on offering. The reception area of someone who plans to work primarily with weddings will be very different for someone doing headshots for aspiring models and actors, for example.

Studio for a Home Based Photographer

Setting up a studio is not cheap but worry not. If you don’t have the funds to equip a studio, you can still shoot outside or on location.

Cost and Expenses of Setting up a Home Based Photography Business

The start up capital for a photo business is very little. You just need a basic camera and you are ready to go. But for you to have a thriving successful biz I will advice you to spend some money in furnishing a descent home office with a desk, chairs and most importantly spend money in setting a website, marketing materials and adverting. The cost of buying furniture can be reduced by buying from a yard sale or timing your purchase at a time when stores are having a clearance sale. As for adverting the business, don’t make a mistake of seeing it as unnecessary expense, it is what keeps the big companies like Nike and Coca cola as market leaders. Remember this quote “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark”

Finding Customers & Marketing a Home Based Photography Business

When you have set up your office, equipment and you are ready for business, you’ll want to let the world know you are available for their photography needs.The trick in finding customers is to know where your potential customers hang out. Which magazine/newspapers do they read? which websites do they visit? answers to these question will help you razor target them.
To reach users of internet learn to use tools such as Google Adwords and Facebook Marketing.

Have you name included in the local business directory. You can never go wrong by advertising in the classified pages of your local paper. Other low-cost marketing strategies include, flyers, referral and press release

Setting up a Website for your business.

In the old days having a physical mailing addresses was a must because that was the only way to reach people. Today a lot of things happen online. People looking for photographers will use Google rather than flip through a businesses directory. A website will have your contact details and samples of your best work.

All the best