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7 Critical Steps You Should Take Before Investing in a Business

Are you considering starting an Online Business? Maybe you already have one. Is it everything you hoped it would be? Chances are it’s not.

With so many online opportunities available, such as network marketing and MLM companies, there’s a multitude of ways to make money. However, I believe more people lose money and more easily when it comes to these types of programs. Am I against them? Read on to find out.

If you have been trying to make a living online or just wanted to earn a little extra money, there’s a good chance, you’re failing. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. If you’re only beginning you’re probably in the, “I’m so excited” newbie stage and just don’t know any better yet. If you’ve invested in one of the thousands of opportunities out there and you’ve been working at it for more than a month or so, I’ll bet you’re in the “frustrated and asking yourself, ‘Is this really going to work’?” stage.

Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. There is a 97% failure rate for people trying to make money online. I talk to people all the time who’ve spent thousands of dollars, and not made a dime. It’s very sad.

Why do you think this is? What is it about the Internet that makes people so willing to throw money at every opportunity that comes along? Why is it that only three percent people make real money?

I have a few different theories. To begin with, to most people running an online business is uncharted territory. “Any expert” can say “anything.” Many of these ‘experts’ claim to make money when in reality they’re not. Innocent people believe them, and join, only to find it was all hype! Worst of all, the person who signed them up doesn’t know any more about running an online business than they do.

The other big “issue” is the crazy assumption that people think they can become wealthy or make millions by investing in a “low start up cost” business. They think, “Oh well, its only $100 so if I lose it, it won’t be so bad.” If you go into a business with that attitude you will lose it. Most people I’ve talked to have invested small amounts in at least five or six different opportunities and never made a dime. Believe me, it adds up very quickly.

CASH is KING! Yes, I said it. You need cash flow to keep your business going. Don’t get me wrong. There are some great ways to market your business online for free. But, YOU NEED CASH FLOW! Without it, you’re dead in the water, or should I say, “dead on the web”?

Last but not least, Attitude is key! You have to go in knowing it will take hard work. There will be failures, and success doesn’t happen overnight. Interestingly enough, research shows that most people quit after three weeks.

The Internet is amazing. It has made the world a much smaller place and created many opportunities to create wealth, but come on people! It’s not magic! Treat your Internet business as you would a “real” business and you will find success.

The Keys To Online Success:

1) The right program or product. Do your homework on this one. Visit sites like MLM Watchdog. If there’s something negative on the business, it will be on Watch Dog. (I have no connection to Watch Dog in any way, nor am I a member).

2) Make sure it’s a product people want. If it was to sell at a store, would people buy it? Would you be proud to tell your friends and family about it? How long has the company been in business? Google the company and find out as much about them as you can. Check the Better Business Bureau too.

3) Who is your sponsor? Do you like them? Can you trust them? It’s hard to tell from just a phone call. Ask to speak to a few of their members and someone who is directly signed up under them. Try to get some form of proof of their success. Google their name. You’d be surprised at what you can discover. Remember, this is the person you’re counting on to help you succeed.

4) What kind of marketing system do they have in place? How do they get their leads? How much do you have to pay to get your own website? Will you have to make your site on your own or will they provide it? Do they provide training?

5) How do you get paid? What is the pay plan? Is there residual income?

6) How much more will it cost (in addition to the program itself) to stay in? Will you have to order products monthly or keep an inventory? How much will it cost to use their corporate website? Do they have customer service?

7) Finally, will you enjoy being a part of this program? Life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy.

The Internet is an incredible place to earn a living and I know that online network marketing is one of the best ways. It has changed the face of business forever. Never in history has there been so many people working from home running their own business. The thought of having a 15 second commute in your PJ’s is a pretty good one.

You “can” make a living online. Just make sure you do your due diligence and when you do find an online business, stick to it. If you have done your homework and it is a legitimate and honest business, you will succeed, as long as you just stick to it.

Business Cards That Make Your Business Stick Out

One might ask how significant are business cards for the success of a business or what happens after one hands them out to prospective or current customers. It’s until one becomes an independent businessman or woman that one realizes how essential they are as part of marketing and networking tools. A good business card should always put creativity and artistic display at the core of everything. This is something that professional photographers and designers will always proffer to anyone who intends to design one. The cards should be exceptionally creative with inclusion of some unique features such as some portraits at the back of the card or an inspirational quote that will leave an indelible mark in the reader’s mind.

It’s always necessary to think of a card as a marketing tool from the onset. There are common mistakes that many business people make by making it a directory of contacts and poorly elucidating on the services they offer, and thus making the card lose the taste immediately after exchanging hands. Think of the impact that a card designed with high resolution with lucid and well cut out graphics and letters. The selling point of such a card will undoubtedly be high and will always bring out the rare Wow factor.

If one has a small business offering products to the market, it is always advisable to include a product picture at the back of the card while at the same time ensuring that the card professionally designed and are the type that one can hardly throw away. The best way to achieve this is to look for designers who print full color on both sides of the card. One can choose the best photos or choose from the color schemes and designs that they have in their numerous templates although using the available flexible templates usually works well. All one needs to remember is that creativity is the bench mark with which to measure whether the business card will stick out or not.

Be Your Business’s Best Marketing Tool!

She personified everything that is displayed in the glossy magazines. Lifestyle, beauty, serenity and calmness! She is impeccably dressed, welcomes me with a huge smile, escorts me to my relaxation zone, ensures I am comfortable and happy, provides an outstanding facial using quality products (which she knows ALL about), loads me up with samples and sends me on my way.

Yep, this is much more then just your standard run of the mill facial, this is delux, creme de la creme, or as Eve puts it “The Rolls Royce” of facials! But for me this moment of “me” time is more then just a facial, it’s an entire client experience that keeps me coming back…

So, the point to my little story here (yes, there’s a point!) is that Eve is the very essence of being her business’s best marketing tool.

Often overlooked and in my opinion seriously underrated, what YOU say about your business sticks with people! And I am not just talking about when you rattle off what you do for work, in the hope that people will take it on board and remember you when they need your particular service or product.

I am talking about EVERYTHING you “say” in all forms to your clients. Starting with your physical presence, your product/service knowledge, all the way through to your memory. So if you want a holistic approach to your “being-your-business’s-best-marketing-tool” plan here’s my tips!

1. Look the part.

First impressions stick, so your appearance has a lot to do with the opinion your current and potential clients will form of you. It may seem like a simple element to remember, but personal grooming, business etiquette, positive energy and a smile will go a LONG way in reflecting the image of your business. Imagine signing up to a gym with an unfit/overweight trainer, or buying cosmetics from a sales rep who doesn’t use any herself!

2. Know your stuff.

KNOW your product or service, even if you have to practice what you preach, meaning, if you get nervous when someone asks “so what do you do?” have an answer prepared, think of those key words you need to mention within the first few sentences you speak…remember you want to come off memorably…but for all the RIGHT reasons!

If you are passionate about what you do and are confident in your own abilities, this will be reflected in your work.

3. Be a head of your game.

Don’t be afraid to offer your services. Ask “why do you ask, are you in need of a super-designer?” (followed by a SMILE). But seriously, give out business cards, don’t be afraid to talk about yourself and your achievements and experience, and make your “pitch” person-specific!

4. Follow through.

A business basic, but SO often forgotten! Follow up and follow through. Make phone calls. Follow leads. AND fulfill everything that you said you would. Give your clients or customers an overall experience, rather then just providing your service or product….this way, they’ll keep coming back!

5. Lock it in the memory bank.

With all the technology available to us these days, it’s easier then EVER to remember important, significant and individual things about a client… remembering birthdays, kids and significant others names, important business events and special occasions are a simple way to keep a client happy, feeling important and special….and I’m not talking about befriending every client you have, but these small gestures, make a BIG impact!

So remember, every person is a potential client! Whether you’re in the lift, ordering your morning coffee, chatting to an old friend…you are showcasing your business and opening it to a world of opportunity.

Even when you have a limited budget for traditional marketing routes, (or even if you spend big on advertising your business, for that matter!) remember to focus on these seemingly obvious, often forgotten areas that can speak thousands about you and your business. Work on you, so you work on being your business’s best marketing tool!