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    How to have great ideas

     

    : Want to have great ideas? You could try waiting to see if they pop into your head someday, and they honestly might. However, if you want a more systematic method you can use today, here it is in three simple steps: 1. Get knowledge in the area in which you want the ideas. 2. Use idea-generating techniques. 3. Choose the best ideas from the results. Great Ideas Start With Knowledge You wouldn't expect to come up with a new theory of relativity if you had no knowledge in physics or mathematics. You need some degree of knowledge in the area in which you want new ideas. For truly great ideas, it helps to have a great deal of knowledge. To create a new transportation device, for example, you would want general knowledge in that field, as well as more specific knowledge. This might include knowing a little about all the current modes of transportation. You might add to that a list of things that have been tried and failed, and a list of all the things that people want in their transportation. Great Ideas From Techniques Ideas and inventions start in the mind, and the mind follows certain patterns and rules. This is why tools such as problem solving techniques and other idea generating techniques work so well. Consider the "concept combination" technique, for example. Tell your mind that you need a useful combination of a plane and a motorcycle, and it will search until it finds it. This mind took twenty seconds to imagine wings that expand out at high speed from a motorcycle, allowing it to glide right off the edge of a cliff. The technique of redefining problems in many ways can open whole new areas to explore. Redefining "inexpensive homes" as "ways to help people afford homes" has lead to all sorts of new financing methods that have made it easier to buy a home even as prices have risen. If "better job" becomes "better way to make money" you open a whole range of possibilities. There are dozens of great idea generating techniques to choose from, each with it's own advantage. Many Ideas To Choose From The more ideas you come up with, the more likely you are to find good ones to work with. This is why you should learn the systematic ways to produce new concepts. Finally, if "great" means "important" to you, you need to work in important areas. There's nothing wrong with inventing a better clothes hanger, but if you want to change the world, start working on new ways to save the environment, ways to end hunger, new political processes that avert wars and other great ideas.

         
    How to not waste money on marketing

     

    If you own your own business, you're probably innundated with advertising and marketing opportunities and salespeople. You probably get asked to sponsor events and donate to organizations. Maybe you've even been hit up by the premium company trying to get you to buy pens with your company name on them. So how do you know what to spend your marketing dollars on, and what to pass on? How do you avoid wasting your money on marketing that isn't going to result in more clients and more sales? How can you ensure you'll get the "biggest bang for the buck?" The answer is to go back to your marketing plan and look at your goals and objectives. You'll also want to look at who you identified as your ideal prospects or target clients. Then you simply evaluate these potential marketing activities based on their ability to help you achieve your objectives, and their ability to put you or your company in front of your ideal prospects. While sponsorships and donations are in part a goodwill activity and can be very worthwhile for that reason alone, if you are evaluating them from a marketing perspective (and I recommend you do, especially if you get asked to sponsor or donate frequently) you need to make sure they will give you exposure to your ideal prospects and contribute toward reaching your objectives. The value of the exposure you receive should be worth the investment you are making. Consider what it would cost to reach those prospects in another manner to help determine the value of the exposure. As far as purchasing pens with your company name, the same tests apply. Ask yourself how you will use the pens. Will they provide exposure to your ideal prospects or clients? Will they reach your prospects in a manner no other marketing activity can? For example, if you are looking for repeat business from your clients, if they have a pen with your name on it that they see and use everyday perhaps they will be reminded to frequent your business. If you are planning to do a direct mail follow up to clients who haven't done business with you in awhile, a pen might be a nice premium to include in the mailing, and it will continue to serve as a reminder long after the direct mail piece is read and thrown away. But do NOT order the pens if you don't have a plan for using them and an objective for what you hope to achieve. Just having pens with your company name without these two items defined is definitely a waste of your money. Whenever you are questioning whether you should take advantage of a particular marketing opportunity, ask yourself these three questions: 1) Will it provide exposure to my ideal prospects or target clients? 2) Will it help me achieve my marketing objectives? 3) Is this exposure worth the dollars I am investing? If you can answer "YES" to all three questions, and you have marketing budget available, then you'll want to seriously consider the opportunity. If your answer is "no" to the first two questions, and the opportunity doesn't put you in front of your ideal prospects or help reach your objectives, you'll want to "just say NO!" to that particular marketing opportunity. If the answer is "yes" to the first two questions, but "no" to question number three and the opportunity is well-suited to your marketing plan but the value just isn't there, you may want to go back and negotiate more exposure or a lower price. And, last but certainly not least, if you don't have a marketing plan to help you evaluate these kinds of opportunities when they come your way, my advice is simple: You NEED to get one. If you haven't identified who your ideal prospects are and what you want to achieve with your business you will most certainly waste valuable time and money on marketing opportunities that are not a good fit for your business. In fact you'll be in danger of doing this everyday. If you need help creating a marketing plan, The 10stepmarketing System is a great way to do it. When you create your own marketing plan using the simple, step-by-step 10stepmarketing System you are setting your business up for success and you can be sure you are not wasting valuable dollars on marketing that won't deliver you the results you deserve. (C) 2005 Debbie LaChusa

         
    How to recognize learn from and correct the most common blunders

     

    What is a Blunder? Definition of Blunder: Main Entry: 1blun·der Function: verb 1: to move unsteadily or confusedly 2: to make a mistake through stupidity, ignorance, or carelessness transitive senses 3: to utter stupidly, confusedly, or thoughtlessly 4: to make a stupid, careless, or thoughtless mistake in - blun·der·er / noun - blun·der·ing·ly / adverb Source: Merriam Webster First, why even focus on the blunders? Isn't that kind of a negative focus? The reality is that we all make mistakes. Most of us don't like to re-live the mistake so we try our best to forget what happened. Worse yet, we sometimes blame our clients (bad client, bad, bad client). But that same coaching blunder can be used to “sharpen” our coaching skills. The very thing that we worry will be the end of us (a blunder) can actually catapult us to a very different level of performance. Learning to recognize and embrace our coaching blunders is the path to better coaching. We will continue to blunder, so let's take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves! What are some reasons to focus on the blunders? Here are 8 compelling reasons to embrace your mistakes and use them to your advantage: 1. Become a more (polished) (sophisticated) (evolved) coach. 2. Eliminate your rough edges while refining the sharpness with which you coach. 3. Replace repetitive blunders with a stealth form of uber-coaching. 4. Give your clients the gift of effective coaching on every call. 5. Begin to learn the real reasons your clients leave (“fire”) you and what to do to turn that around. Coaches often have clients for 2-3 months and then they “fade” away. Now you can begin to learn why clients leave you. 6. Discover how to love being “rated” by your clients in performance reviews. 7. Learn how to self-assess, and self-coach, with honesty and compassion. 8. Discover “real time” solutions for when you get stuck (and who doesn't at one time or another). What kind of Blunders do coaches make? In the Coaching Blunders Series, available in audio with a workbook, we discuss different types of blunders and their value to us: 1. Administrative Blunders 2. Fearful Blunders 3. Avoidance Blunders 4munication Blunders 5. Power and Empowerment Blunders 6. Benefits of Blunders What are the Top 10 Blunders that you see coaches make? Although we identified close to 100 coaching blunders I feel that the Top 10 Coaching Blunders are: 1. Waiting until you are ready to coach (new coaches) or waiting to coach the more challenging clients (experienced coaches). Get clients now! Your coaching education will make more sense if you're coaching. You're never going to "have it" if you don't "do it". I highly recommend that you "dive in and get both feet wet". 2. Taking your client at face value. This may sound shocking but the reality is that clients come to us because they are here, and want to get there. If they could do it on their own, they wouldn't' need us. Often, what a client says to us has to do with the client's current paradigms and attitudes. If we take their goals and ideas at face value, we may be missing huge goals that they want to tap into but don't yet know how to express. They are hiring us so we can tap into the goals with them. 3. Going into solution mode. Most coaches, particularly new ones, will jump right away to finding solutions and solving problems. Why do we tend to go to solution mode? What's our motivation? We do this because we think it will justify our fees and prove our value as a coach. This is very limited thinking on the part of the coach. 4. Not knowing your client. a. Do a thorough pre-hire interview. If you want to know how to do this successfully consider getting the eBook “Ten Step Buying Process: Converting Prospects to Clients” at discninja/products. htm. b. Have a complete intake form for your clients to complete. c. Use assessments. My favorite is the DISC Personal Profile System. To see a number of valuable coaching assessments visit InternetAssessments. I prefer to have a complimentary collaborative interview with a potential new client instead of offering a complimentary free session. This way I get a clear understanding of the potential client. By using the DISC assessment, it helps me stay out of "solution mode" because I can deal with client behaviors and discover their motivations from there. 5. Avoiding difficult or touchy subjects. Allowing client to avoid issues that are "hot" (and avoid they will). Sometimes coaches inadvertently allow clients to avoid the touchy subjects. We have to be very watchful to know what the touchy subjects are for each client. If the client keeps avoiding a certain topic, it's a blunder on the coach's part to allow that to happen. Once you notice a client avoiding a touchy subject then bring this up in session. For instance, “Every time, I begin to ask you about this topic, you change the topic. I'd like us to take a few minutes and see what's here.” 6. Not having a system in place for the administration of our clients. a. Keeps us from serving our clients and growing our business. b. Client Compass software is a great administrative environment. i. E-Caps that can be sent to your client directly after each call. ii. Invoicing - Failing to manage the money and/or get paid on time. Payment can be handled directly through the premium version of Client Compass. iii. Keeping track of paid and volunteer time iv. For more info visit clientcompass c. Not having a well-written coaching policy that sets clear client expectations. If you would like to see my coaching package it is available as a part of the 90DayMarketingMarathon as lesson #41. For your quick reference it is available at this link: 90DayMarketingMarathon/coachingpackage. pdf. If you set up systems, then tasks can be done automatically and you can spend more time coaching and earning a living and less time on administrivia. 7. Not building an environment that allows more people to know about you as a coach. In the 90DayMarketingMarathon program, we create just such an environment for you. a. Selling people or talking people into coaching. Once again, I recommend reviewing the Ten Step Buying Process: Converting Prospects to Clients (see #4 above) b. Coaching any one other than your "ideal" client. c. Not letting enough people get to know you. A lot of coaches love to coach, but they don't love to market. If you're not marketing and people don't know about you, you won't have the business you want. Consider joining the 90DayMarketingMarathon It will help you be clear on your ideal client. And I guarantee that you will be a much better coach when you are coaching your ideal client. 8. Coaching around topics we should avoid a. Legal b. Financial c. Medical d. Therapeutic We know this and yet it's so easy to get sucked into it. Hold clear boundaries and coach your clients to contact the appropriate contacts – such as their employee assistance program (EAP), therapist, attorney, etc. Our job as coaches is to not get “sucked into it” but to have strong and clear boundaries and to hold the right space for coaching our clients. 9. Constantly asking questions and/or not allowing clients to answer before asking a new question. Silence tends to make most of us very uncomfortable. So, if the coach becomes uncomfortable we often ask new questions before the previous one was answered. This is a serious blunder. That same silence can also put your client into a certain discomfort, which can be a good thing. It teases something deeper out of them. Don't let clients "off the hook" because of your discomfort! 10. Raising fees before we are ready. If we don't feel worthy, it will not work. Clients will sense this like dogs sense fear! One option is to create coaching programs with a specific focus as well as a beginning, middle and end. There is less risk for the prospect or client in both time and money. And, you can often convert people who have taken one of your coaching programs into a one-on-one client. This is because they have had a chance to get to know you and trust you. You have developed a relationship with them and they will feel more confident in working with you. You can create your own program or purchase a license for a coaching program from a third party such as CoachVille. I am also offering several licensing programs so feel free to contact me for more information. Parting Words of Wisdom: The key is to embrace your own “blunderella or blunderfella”. Embrace them and you will learn much more quickly than when you are in resistance. © Copyright 2005 Alicia Smith Permission to reproduce granted if all attribution & contact information is included.

         
    How to save thousands with an s corporation

     

    How to Save Taxes with an S Corporation Ever wondered why so many small businesses—more than 3,000,000 at last count—operate as an S corporation? Simple. An S corporation saves business owners big taxes in three separate ways: First, as compared to regular corporations (sometimes called C corporations), S corporation owners can use the business’s losses incurred during the early lean years on the owner’s personal returns as deductions. For example, suppose a new S corporation suffers a $20,000 loss its first year and that the corporation is equally owned by two shareholder-employees, Smith and Jones. Smith and Jones each get a $10,000 business deduction on their individual tax returns because of the S corporation loss. This $10,000 deduction might save them each as much as $4,000 in federal and state income taxes. A second, big S corporation benefit: As compared to almost every other business form, S corporations can save their owners self-employment or Social Security/Medicare taxes. Suppose, for example, that Adams, Brown and Cole independently each own businesses that make $90,000 a year in profits. Each business owner may pay $13,000 in income taxes. But, unfortunately, that’s not the only tax they pay. Each owner also pays self-employment or Social Security/Medicare taxes. For example, Adams operates his business as an LLC and therefore pays 15.3%, or roughly $13,500, in self-employment taxes on his profits. Brown operates his business as a C corporation which pays all of its profits to him as a salary. Accordingly, Brown (through his corporation) also pays 15.3%, or roughly $13,500, in Social Security and Medicare taxes. Cole’s situation is different. Cole operates his business as an S corporation which means that Cole can split his $90,000 of profits into two payment amounts: salary and S corporation distributions. Suppose that Cole says only $40,000 of his profits are salary and takes the other $50,000 as a “dividend” distrbution. In this case, Cole pays the 15.3% Social Security/Medicare tax only on the $40,000 in salary. Cole therefore pays roughly $6,000 in Social Security/Medicare taxes—and annually saves $7,000 in taxes as compared to Adams or Brown. S corporations also, sometimes, provide a third form of tax savings because S corporations don’t pay corporate income taxes. This means that S corporations avoid the often-talked about “double-taxation” problem. However, the “no corporate income taxes” benefit often isn’t a savings for small corporations and their owners. But let me explain. Suppose that two corporations each earn the same pretax profit of $100,000 and are owned by Ms. DaVinci who pays the highest federal income tax rate of 35%. One corporation is an S corporation and the other is a C corporation. The S corporation can distribute the entire $100,000 in profits to DaVinci as dividends because there is no corporate income tax. DaVinci then pays $35,000 in personal income taxes on the S corporation profits, which means she nets $65,000 in after-tax profits from the S corporation. In comparison, the C corporation can’t pay the entire $100,000 in profits to DaVinci. The C corporation first pays $22,250 in corporate income taxes. When the C corporation pays the remaining $77,750 to DaVinci as a dividend, DaVinci pays another $11,663 in 15% “dividend” taxes on the C corporation profits. This means that DaVinci nets roughly $66,000 in after-tax profits from the C corporation profits. In this case, DaVinci saves money with a C corporation in spite of having to pay the corporate income tax. How to Get S Corporation Benefits To create an S corporation and receive S corporation tax savings, you need to do two things: First, you must incorporate the business either as a regular corporation or as a limited liability company. Second, you need to make an election with the IRS to have the corporation or LLC treated as an S corporation. The S election is made with form 2553, available from the irs. gov web site. Note that some states (such as New York) require a separate state S election. A final tip: S corporations can save you thousands of dollars annually, but your tax savings can’t start until you elect S corporation status. If you’re interested is electing S status to save on taxes for next year, you may want to call your tax advisor or attorney right now!

         
    How to tell if an online opportunity is legitimate

     

    Summary People lost hundeds or thousands of dollars a day to bogus online "opportunities." While there’s no way to know for sure if an internet program or opportunity is 100% legitimate without trying it, this article discusses 5 concrete ways to evaluate a site's credibility. Doing a credibility check BEFORE taking a financial plunge, significantly reduces the chance you’ll experience online “buyer’s remorse.” Internet Legitimacy Sign #1 The site has posted a privacy and terms of use policy. Some people argue that website’s are obligated to post privacy policies dictating how they collect and use data. However, even if they’re not obligated to do so, posting a privacy policy says much about a company’s professionalism. Read the “terms of use” and “privacy policies” of a company, and decide what you think of its policies before buying its products. Internet Legitimacy Sign #2 The site has posted testimonials and they sound reasonably credible. Testimonials can be faked, but few net cons will take the time to do so. Read the testimonials and decide what your gut thinks about their authenticity. If you're able to contact any of the testimonial authors, do so. Internet Legitimacy Sign #3 The site has few complaints at the Better Business Bureau or a more informal consumer advocacy site such as the Rip Off Report. This sign is a toughie because competitors sometimes unfairly malign companies, and any good project has its critics. Consistency and credibility are the things to note in complaints. For instance, if you see 10 complaints, are they all saying about the same thing (e. gpany refuses to give refunds, customer service is poor) or are they varied? Do the complaints seem reasonable and well explained, or does the complainer sound like they have a vendetta against a certain company, and nothing will make them happy? How does the company respond to complaints posted on sites such as the Rip Off Report? Do they insist they can do no wrong, or are they willing to make amends? Internet Legitimacy Sign #4 The site posts a 100% refund guarantee that’s good for at least 30-days. If a site isn’t posting a 30-day refund guarantee, that's probably because the site owners have little faith in their product. Before purchasing a product, read the “Terms of Use” and “Terms of Purchase” pages to make sure there aren’t any hidden catches in a “100% refund guarantee.” In particular, think twice before signing any kind of "refund contract." Internet Legitimacy Sign #5 The site’s customer service staff responds to information requests in a courteous, professional, and intelligent manner. Have you ever submitted a question online and gotten a canned answer back about how great XYZ product is, and how 1000 people have made gazillions of dollars using it? Did you wonder if the customer service rep didn’t really understand your question or was just reading from a script? If the service is poor before you’ve even purchased a product, imagine what it’ll be like after the company in question already has your money in hand. Before buying anything from a site, e-mail the customer service folks and see how they respond to a question about the legitimacy of product XYZ. Conclusion There’s no guarantee that any online company or product will be everything you hoped it would be. But by checking out an opportunity before purchasing it using the steps above, you greatly decrease your chances of falling victim to a scam. Copyright. This article may be reprinted, as long as it contains a link back to web-biz-stress

         
    How well do you know your prospects take this 10 point quiz to find out

     

    It’s crucial to know your prospects if you want to market effectively to them. Take this quick quiz to see how well you know and understand your prospects. If you can't answer these questions, how can you be sure you are connecting with your audience in a relevant and meaningful way? How can you be sure you are reaching them with a compelling message about your product or service? How can you be sure you are tapping into the conversation they are already having inside their own head with respect to your product or service? I would argue you can't. And if you can't do these things, your marketing will not be effective. 1. Who are they? 2. Where do they live ... work ... play? 3. What problem do they have that you can solve? 4. How does your product or service fit into their life? 5. What else do they buy in your product or service category? 6. Where do they get information regarding your product/service? 7. What is most important to them? 8. What are they most afraid of? 9. What is their emotional connection to your product/service? 10. How will they rationalize purchasing your product/service? How’d you do? If you can’t answer these questions, odds are your marketing message isn’t connecting with your prospects. And if your message is not connecting with them, you won’t be very successful in selling them on your product or service. Take the time to get to know your customers and prospects. Learn all you can about them. Use this quiz as a guide. When you do you’ll be able to speak directly to their needs and concerns with your marketing, they will respond. And your business will thrive. © Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa, 10stepmarketing

         
    Ice cream franchising information

     

    Everyone loves ice cream. Ask anyone what type of ice cream they like best and you will listen to a lot of interesting answers and some great stories too. For longer than anyone alive can remember People in America have been eating this simple treat through good times and bad. During rich times and poor times people will look for ways to find great tasting ice cream. While driving by any ice cream shop you will notice that there are more folks wanting ice cream than there are franchises. When there is a demand for a product at this level it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that owning an icecream franchise can be the best decision you will ever make. Around the turn of the 20th century the ice cream soda was a favorite with teenagers. In some communities the fun snack was considered to be sinful and in a few places it was even prohibited on the Sabbath. Once cheap refrigerators grew to be standard in businesses in the second part, ice cream started to spread all around the world. Ice cream took off even more when the Baskin Robbins franchise introduced ice cream to the world. Enourmous growth was again experienced in the frozen treat market because the amount of air was upped and this made the first soft ice cream, forever changing the way the dessert was enjoyed. After the rise of soft ice cream everthing was in place for the ice cream franchise explosion. One of the very first frozen treat franchising opportunities was the Carvel franchise. Tom Carvel at first sold ice cream from a broken down truck in the late 1920s and in the late 1940s created the first retail fun food ice cream store franchise in the U. S.,. This only started the craze and the ice cream franchise industry kept going long after Carvel had started. As a matter of fact, it has grown to be one of the most popular franchise opportunity industries in the mass collection of franchises. Even though this can be fun there are some things to consider when investing in a franchise or starting a business. A common mistake a lot of investors make is to get frantic and to rush. You must know a lot about the market you would like to own and then it is very important that you follow the necessary steps to business ownership. For any business, whether it’s an ice cream franchise opportunity, a franchise restaurant, a oil change business, or any other type of business franchise it will require extreme dedication and many hours to be successful. Several things come to mind when the time comes to invest in a franchise, but one thing that can't be overlooked when buying an ice cream franchise is the marketplace where you are going to start your business. If you study the industry you will see that some business models like restaurant franchises are always busy in all places, but a few franchises can do better at different times of the year. Of course, this does not mean that ice cream franchise opportunities don’t do well all year round in some climates, but these franchises might not make as much money in friged places up north but in the southern states they may never experience a lull in business. One option for owners in cold climates is to open their ice cream shop franchise in spots like malls where people are protected from bad weather so the patrons can enjoy the frosty treat all winter. Possessing an ice cream franchise is a fun business where you can make lots of money. The United States eats way more ice cream than any other country in the world with most people eating their body weights of this simple treat and other fun frozen dairy foods per year. Around 98 percent of American households buy ice cream, and if you consider all of that it's no task to see the demand for quality ice cream. Go ahead and buy a franchise that is very profitable while also creating pleasure in your area then buying and running an ice cream business might be a life changer for you as an investor.

         
    Ideas for new products and inventions

     

    : How many new products and inventions can you dream up with in thirty minutes? At least a few if you know the techniques of innovation and creative problem solving. The following are thirty minute's worth, with some notes at how they were arrived at. New Products and Inventions From Old A fast way to invent new things is to start with existing concepts and find new applications. With the concept of inflatable things, the first thing that comes to my mind is inflatable shelters for emergency situations, such as after earthquakes or hurricanes. Such shelters could be transported easily, and erected quickly with a simple air pump. A basic large tent design, but with inflatable ribs instead of poles might work. We can always find new products and inventions for babies. Inflatable cribs or playpens come to mind. Deflated, they could be folded up and stored almost anywhere. A simple design for a playpen might be a plastic floor with a simple wall that surrounds it and is attached to it. Think of air mattresses for swimming, set on their sides, connected end to end and wrapped into a circle and you'll get the idea. When we used to go "tubing" down rivers in Michigan, we were forever trying new ways to carry a cooler with us while keeping it convenient to get a soda or beer out of it. A solution could be an inflatable bar. It might have a cooler built into it, have can and glass holders, and maybe even a secure place to set snacks. It could be used in a pool, lake or river. Many people drive into water and die each year. One solution to this problem might be inflatable flotation that is activated when the car begins to sink. They would quickly inflate in an accident involving submersion, and would keep the car afloat. Put one in the trunk, and another inside the car, or have them come out from the wheel wells. To avoid accidental inflation, the triggering device would be activated by water, but be in a place where rain and car washing water couldn't reach. Vending Machine Products and Inventions When I considered the concept of vending machines, the first thing that came to mind was a beer machine. It could only be used in a bar that was restricted to adults, of course. A big benefit is that it would lessen the need for bartenders, since half of all the drinks sold in a bar are just simple beers. It is an innovation that could be implemented tomorrow, using beer in cans in existing pop machines. A vending machine for books and magazines might do decent business in an airport, bus station or other places where people are forced to sit for hours. They may already exist, but I haven't seen them yet. Add some padding to the drop chute, and existing snack vending machines could be used. They sell phone cards everywhere now, but I haven't yet seen them in vending machines. You could also sell those collapsible umbrellas from a machine. There are dozens of other things that could be profitably sold from vending machines. Use simple techniques like this extension of existing concepts, and there are also thousands of other new products and inventions waiting to be made.

         
    Internet entrepreneurship conversion rates

     

    The conversion rate is the key stat for a website. As long as you are paying for clicks, the efficiency with which you convert those clicks to sales is really the only measure that counts in determining your website design. When I started my UK silk tie website it took a while to get enough data to start tracking and conversion rate as you need at least ten sales to get any sort of statistically valid result. It took a couple of weeks to make the first ten sales and I calculated my conversion rate at 0.5%. As I was paying 25p per click, this means that it was costing me Ј50 per customer. Even with an average order size of Ј30, this was a long way from profitability. Luckily, conversion rates can change quite dramatically with things like the website design, sales copy, products on the front page, range of products, product descriptions, guranatees, pricing, ease of payment etc. etc. In short there are many things you can do to get conversions up. The great thing about internet businesses is that you can make a change, measure the result and if it doesn't work, then change it back. I am constantly trying new things to see if it affects the figures. Initially I changed too many things too quickly and it was very hard to unpick the results of different factors. Also the Christmas period started when I was one month in and conversion rates rose strongly and then fell back after Christmas, it was hard then to unpick the seasonal effect from my changes. One of the first thing I experimented with was pricing. From my initial prices of about Ј9 for a woven silk tie, I tried cutting them to Ј8 for a few weeks and then putting them up to Ј11 for a few weeks, then cutting back a bit, until settling on prices about 15% higher than my first try, just over Ј10 average price. Cutting prices below this point did not seem to increase sales. I also looked at which ties sold well and put them on the featured products list which are then randomly selected on the front page. I worked a lot on the cataloging of the ties by colour, style etc. and added keywords so that people could find what they wanted easily. I also experimented with my sales copy and have made the money back guarantee more and more prominent. One of the first things you need to establish when people visit your site is credibility. So I have the address at the top so that people know we are easy to physically track down, I have put the Visa and Mastercard symbols near the top for legitamcy, I have signed up to affiliate programs for upmarkets shirt makers so that I can display their ads to add credibility and as I started to get a few pieces of nice feedback from people, I added them to the site. All of these changes have pushed the conversion rate up to over 1% and I am now targeting 2% with my next wave of changes which will try and capture email addresses for follow up mailing by offering a free ebook on a mens fashion related subject. More about that another time. There is a feature in both AdWords and Overture which, once you have inserted a piece of html code into your payment page (or, as I did got your web site supplier to do it) will allow you to track conversion rates by keyword. I am only now building enough data to do this justice, but it allows you to cut out keywords which don't convert well. For example, I had been buying the keywords "how to tie a tie" and was getting 50 clicks a day at a bargain Ј0.02 each, however after 1700 clicks I still hadn't made a sale, despite making sure there was sales text in with the tie instructions and ties shown either side. Not entirely surprising as people searching for tie instructions were not looking to buy ties, but clearly they do wear them and I thought some people would buy one. Not so. So now I am saving that money. I recently received an email from a reader of my previous articles, Louis Roberts. It's great to know that people are reading my blog already. Louis asks "I first read your article on "ezinearticles" and it brought me to your site; I like your online store. How are your online businesses doing? Are you hitting your goals of $1000 profit per site? I am very interested in opening a store myself. Since you seem to enjoy sharing advice; I was wondering of you could recommend some good products to sell, suppliers, dropshippers, etc. that carry as you would say "healthy margins"? " These were good questions, so I have devoted this post to answering them. Thanks for the note, glad someone reads the articles. In answer to your questions: No I am not yet anywhere near reaching $1000 profit per site per week. I expect it to take a year to reach that figure. As my sites are less than four months and one month old respectively there is still a way to go. It is easy, reading some of the web business sales pitches out there to believe that instant riches are easily achievable. This is not true, it takes hard work and dedication to make money. I have reached the break even point on both sites which was the first milestone - initially I was losing $500 per site per week as the cost of advertising on Google AdWords way outran my sales. It is hard for me to tell you what to sell, but I can recommend the criteria that I used to rate a product: Niche product where there is not a major house hold name supplier (i. e. don't go into the book business against Amazon) Must be being sold on the internet already (you don't want to have to create a whole new market by yourself) Must have keywords that people searching for that product would use but that are not shared with other products (for example "silk ties" and "oil paintings" are good "gifts" would be bad) Do a search on Google for the product. If less than 5 advertisers come up on the right hand side, then chances are you can get reasonably priced traffic Must not need a support to get it working. Things that need technical support are too problematic. You want things that are easy to use and where you can sell and forget. I have also made it a rule that I will not hold or carry stock at least until I have strong sales and good demand already. So need a drop shipper or a make to order product. A final point that I have learned from trying to do ties, is that you need a $50+ margin per product. The cost of attracting customers for paintings or massage chairs is not much higher than the cost of getting customers for ties, although the conversion rates are lower. It is easier to reach break even with higher ticket price items. It also helps if it is a product that you have bought yourself and get interested in and passionate about. Based on these criteria I have gone for silk ties with tiespecialist, oil paintings with artspecialist and soon to be launched a massage chair website. I tried selling cuff links on my tie site but the AdWords competition was so fierce that I needed to pay 75c per click to be on the front page and there was no way to make money, I dropped that idea quickly. As for good drop shippers, I search for reviews or feedback on any supplier I am thinking of using and then do a trial order with them to make sure the quality and service is good. However popular drop shippers will have lots of people selling their products and it will be hard to make money. Always check eBay to see what prices the products sell at. Another option is to find suppliers in China of make to order or high value products I used alibaba to find suppliers and have dealt with them by email. I hope this helps. I hope you have found this useful. Read more on my blog at specialist-paintings-ties. blogspot/. In the next article I will take about conversion rates

         
    Internet entrepreneurship first step getting started

     

    First steps: choosing the business When I was thinking about starting an internet business there were a few things that were must have requirements. The first one was that I needed to be able to get the business to profitability for less than $1600 (Ј100). In practice each site has cost more than that when you figure in the marketing costs needed to get it off the ground quickly. The silk tie retailing site was set up for less than $300 but when you factor in marketing spend, then I have spent almost $800 per month on marketing, mostly Google Adwords and Overture. It is only after month three that I have got close to breaking even. Anyway, near enough and if you are more patient and make less costly mistakes than me then you should be able to do it for less. Secondly. The business had to need as little manual work as possible. I am after a business that I can start working part time and as am a management consultant and sell my time by the hour, for me time really is money. I am also not keen on hiring people if I can avoid it. The internet has the potential to offer some really virtual businesses and I wanted to use this. For this reason as well as start-up costs this means that I do not want to stock or handle any products. I do a lot of supply chain consulting work so it was obvious to me that I could have a business that used other companies to buy, store and deliver the products. The easiest way to do this is by using dropshipping. Dropshippers are wholesalers that ship individual customer orders direct to your customers. There is a lot of information on dropshipping online, however it has to be said that there are some terrible dropshipping companies where prices are too high or products too common to successful. Typical of these is thSelect which charges a fee to join, but once you join you find that the prices are often higher than they are being sold for on eBay and are widely sold with lots of competition. It is very hard to make good money from these sort of dropshippers. There are however some good companies out there with niche products where achievable margins are good. The third requirement was that the business needed to have the potential to generate at least $1k per month in profit. That way with a few web businesses it could become my full time job. I decided that I was not trying to start the next Amazon, instead I was after a good profitable niche. Something not too competitive and with no house-hold names as competitors. This means that I have not gone into electronics even though it is the area I know the best, it is a very competitive market online and were competition includes Amazon and Dixons. To be successful in electronics you either need to find a niche not served by the big boys or spend serious money to get established. I then started searching for business ideas. I read the get rich quick newsletters, internet marketing newsletters, internet business forums and drop shipping websites. I searched for dropship suppliers then when I found a product that I thought might be promising, did a search for it and checked out the competition. If after that it still looked interesting then I did a keyword search on Google AdWords to find out how many clicks I could get and at what cost. While doing this I came across some sites selling ready-made business websites. Essentially they provide a shop template, a catalogue and a supplier of stock and off you go. These sell for between Ј50 ($80) and Ј500 ($800). I wasted a fair bit of money with a couple of false starts. I bid on a lingerie web business template on eBay with a starting price of Ј99; my wife was a lingerie merchandiser for Marks & Spencers and so I though she could help, then I saw a gadgets website from the same people and thought I would get that and see if I could find a gadgets niche and bid for that too. Trouble was I then did some more research and found that lingerie was very competitive online and that the supplier I would be getting had a limited selection of very tarty undies at rather high prices. I also found that the gadget supplier was the Select and as I have already said they are overpriced. I then found the tie web business and decided this was a better niche where margins really are 60% and bought that one from DpbUK who have been very good. Unfortunately no one else bid on the two on eBay and I ended up winning them although I no longer wanted them. $300 wasted. Oops. So do your homework carefully before buying; look carefully at the sample sites and try and find some clues to the suppliers, check the competition out and make sure the margins are high enough.

         
    Is edc gold a scam setup the wealthfunnelsystem works

     

    The EDC Gold and diamond were brought originally in the 2006 by two internet entrepreneurs Craig Garcia and Michael Corcoran. Garcia and Corcoran's EDC home based business is to assist people who join the EDC program, helping them to be a success in the field of home based business. So the question is, is it a SCAM? Does it really work like people say, it would be capable of earning thousands of dollars just by working at home in a week. In general, the Edc system does for members, was providing member instant access to thousands of software products to sell and market online that claimed these products enable to have you achieve an unbelievable income in short amount of time (3 weeks to a month). Unfortunately, majority of people interested in EDC were most likely blind sided by these commitments presented in the EDC site, that they did not go digging for further info. The truth to the matter is thousands of EDC products offered to consumer really have no essential consumer beneficial with no actual high yield or high profit value. In addition of the low value given products, EDC does not provide to its member a proper marketing training program in terms of successful online marketing. Basically EDC hands you the stuff, letting you do the rest without a sense of knowing where to begin the marketing road. Maybe you could contact David Dubbs for direct assistant, but odds are David Dubbs most likely isn't available at anytime. So does other top internet entrepreneur like Chris Campbells, Tim Rohers, Matt Sunderland, Lance Frisbee. Why? Because these top internet entrepreneur can spend time with you due to there entire income is generated from one specific program, NOT members. So what makes the wealthfunnelsystem differentiate itself from other thousands of internet marketing business? Simple, Derrick Harper and wealthfunnelsystem earn profit by primarily focusing on training member into pro and not the product alone. The Wealthfunnelnetwork delivers to you of 7 streams of income. First stream of revenue guides you to all the fundamental knowledge regards of how to successfully market the potential products properly. Once all of the essential skills has been adapted progressively then the wealth funnel will put you immediately onto streams of 2 3 4 5 6 where these products and services contained of high affiliate rates and sales than EDC GOLD or any other internet market product. These products possessed of quality potential market along with high market saturation and are consumer driven. So there is no need to ever worry of questioning the product if able to market online successfully. Besides of marketing the high potential product you will also given the job to develop your very own team guiding them the same way as the mentor of your have taught you so. Besides of just earning feasible sells of 997 dollar, you'll additionally receives half of the commission of your team member for every sale being sale when mentor actually didn't contribute anything except providing specific guidelines and instruction. If you ever struggle in a problem require some help immediately, your mentor and Derrick Harper will always be reachable through phone call or leave messages which will respond as soon as possible. Bottom-line, the wealthfunnelsystem does NOT re marketing a business opportunity over and over again going nowhere, plus is MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.

         
    Is it time to kill your marketing program

     

    Ouch . . . sounds pretty drastic I know, but . . . If you've been in business for any length of time, you've no doubt been faced with the question, "Should I dump this marketing program or should I wait a little longer for it to start producing results?" Even if you're new in business, you may have tried a new way to market your business and with lukewarm results found yourself wondering how long you should stick with it before giving up and trying something else. It's the age-old question of "When is the right time to put a marketing program out to pasture?" This reminds me of my advertising agency days. We'd create a new ad campaign and run it for awhile, and because we (and the client) were exposed to that campaign day-in and day-out, we'd all tire of it quickly. Knowing when to hold and when to fold Often, the client would want a new campaign and we'd have to remind them their prospects hadn't seen the campaign nearly as much as we all had, and that it was best to let the campaign keep running. How do you know what to do? Just how do you know when it's time to let an ad campaign or marketing program keep on running and when it's time to try something new? The answer is very simple. Look at your results It's time to make a change when the marketing is no longer producing results. And by results I mean, it's no longer moving you toward your objective. Are you achieving your objective? Every marketing activity should have a specific objective — that is what you hope to achieve. Your objective may be to generate a certain number of phone calls, or web site hits, or even sales. Tracking your results will tell you You'll want to track the results of your marketing activities from day one, so you'll know how well they are producing and you can monitor their trends. For example, you may get consistent results for weeks, months or even years. In this case, my motto is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Don't be tempted to make a change just because you're tired of it. If it's working, leave it be. Are your results on the decline? However, if your tracking shows you are steadily getting fewer and fewer responses (e. g. phone calls, web site visits, sales) it's probably time to freshen up that marketing or start anew. Or, maybe your results never really materialized And, if your marketing program has never really generated the response you are looking for, even if it's relatively young, it's also time to take a good hard look at reworking it to make it more effective. Just be careful not to give up too soon You do need to give your marketing time to work — most people will not act after seeing your message just once, but rather need to be exposed to it repeatedly before taking action (industry standard is between three and seven times). Having said that, if you've given your marketing ample time to produce results and nothing's happening, odds are you missed the mark and either the message or the medium is off. Is your message missing the boat? If your message is off, it means you are not effectively speaking to your prospects or hitting their "hot buttons." Do you really understand their problem or challenge? And does your marketing speak clearly to that issue and position your product or service as the best solution? Or are you missing your audience? If the medium is off, it means you have put your marketing message in a place where your prospects aren't likely to see it. It's important to understand your prospects and where and how you can best reach them so you can put your messages in those places. After all, if they don't see your message, they can't respond. What type of response rates can you expect? For direct marketing efforts a response rate between 1% and 3% is considered good. On the web a 1% conversion rate is the norm, so if you're doing better than that consider yourself lucky. You can expect a higher response rate from your current subscribers or clients because they already know and trust you. As far as new mailing list subscribers, expect between 5% and 15% of your web site visitors to join your mailing list. The key is to make sure your marketing is reaching enough people so these response rates yield results you can be happy with. If you've given it time and it's still not producing . . . If you've given your marketing program time to work and nothing much is happening, or if your results are on the decline, it's time to kill that program. Or, at least, to give it a makeover. Starting fresh can breathe new life into your business Consider starting over with a fresh new approach, a new message, and some new mediums. Make sure your new marketing program is grounded in solid marketing strategy. The 10stepmarketing System is a simple way to be sure of this — and you don't need a marketing degree to figure it out! Learn more about this simple system at 10stepmarketing (C) Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa

         
    Is self employment right for you

     

    Business ownership can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences – under the right circumstances and at the right time! It’s not necessarily “better” than having a job – it’s just different. For some, self-employment is the ideal career solution. How about you? The exercises below are designed to help you ask the “tough questions,” and quickly discover whether self-employment would be right for you or not. So, take out paper and pen – or get comfortable in front of your computer – because you’re about to do some important “homework!” If you’re seriously considering the self-employment option, there are two main questions to ask yourself: 1. Is self-employment potentially right for you? 2. If so, which of the four paths to business ownership would be most appropriate for you? Let’s address both of these important questions. In the world of work, you have two main career paths: Self-Employment and “Getting a Job.” You’ve probably already gone the “getting a job” route. If you’re reading this article, chances are that you’ve found your jobs unsatisfying. So, now you’re probably asking yourself, “Could self-employment be right for me?” The following three questions will provide some direction: 1. Why are you exploring entrepreneurial alternatives at this time? 2. Rate your desire/motivation/commitment to have your own business, 1 to 10 (10 being the highest)? 3. If you could land the ideal job OR start your ideal business, which would you choose TODAY? Focus now on the first of these three questions, because you must first understand your core motivators: - What’s your WHY? (Lifestyle, income, image/prestige, leave a legacy, control, build equity, self-expression, independence, make a difference, passionate interest, etc.??) Unless you identify and hold onto your deepest need and desire, you will not have a strong likelihood of succeeding. So, spend some time writing about your WHY! ---------------------------------- There are Four Paths to Business Ownership: 1. Become a Consultant 2. Buy an Existing Business 3. Start a New Business 4. Buy a Franchise Below, you will see the “unique considerations” for each of these entrepreneurial pathways. Take some time to answer all the questions in the four categories. BECOME A CONSULTANT - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What markets will you serve? - What services will you offer? - Who will be your competition? - How will you price your services? - How will you market and sell your services? BUY AN EXISTING BUSINESS - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What type of business do you want to buy? - How do you envision your own role? - How will you finance the purchase? - What will you expect of the seller? START A NEW BUSINESS - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What markets will the business serve? - What products or services will you offer? - Who will be your competition? - How will you market and sell your products or services? - How will you finance the business? BUY A FRANCHISE - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS - What type of business do you want to be in? - How do you envision your own role? - What will you expect from the Franchisor? - How will you finance the purchase? Go back now, and review all your answers. Then address the questions below, as thoroughly as you can. What are your “Pros and Cons” for each entrepreneurial option? 1. Become a Consultant Pros: Cons: 2. Buy an Existing Business Pros: Cons: 3. Start a New Business Pros: Cons: 4. Buy a Franchise Pros: Cons: In reviewing this brief list of “Pros and Cons” for each of the four business options, which choice seems best for you right now? Why? Another way to determine if self-employment could work for you is to consider your own qualifications and preferences. Many people THINK they could successfully own and manage a business – but in reality, this takes a particular kind of person with a specific set of skills. This section will help you do an honest self-assessment. YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR OWNING A BUSINESS The main categories of ability include: - Marketing and Sales - Financial Management - Operations and Administration - Human Resources - General Management For each category above, answer these questions: - What results will the business require each year to become and remain successful? - What education, training or experience do you have to indicate that you will be capable of producing desired results? - Are you personally interested in, and willing to do, the required tasks? - If you do not plan to lead specific parts of the business, who will manage them, and how much will you need to pay those people? Every business has its challenges, but some of the biggest challenges of self-employment often come from “the inside.” Here are some of the most common personal issues faced by new entrepreneurs. PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES - Do you feel certain or doubtful about becoming self-employed? - What are the major challenges or obstacles you will face? - What are your biggest concerns or fears? - What questions or issues do you still have? There are definitely answers to your questions, and there is help to get you through the transition effectively! Here are five more questions for you to consider: 1. Two years from now, the qualities that you want most in your work/career are: 2. Will you have those qualities in your work if you continue doing what you’ve been doing? 3. If not, what changes must you make in order to make these qualities a reality? 4. Could business ownership or franchising help you create these desired qualities in your work/career? How? 5. If you’re still interested in business ownership, what are the next steps you will take (include approximate dates for completion): If these exercises have made you decide that self-employment is NOT for you, that’s actually a positive outcome. Think of all the time, frustration and money you’ll save by not going into business! On the other hand, if the questions above have crystallized and clarified your intention to own a business, then nothing should hold you back from the great entrepreneurial adventure. May you achieve success greater than your dreams! ---------------------------------- Copyright © 2006, Ford R. Myers. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2006, Ford R. Myers and The Franchise Alliance, LLC.

         
    Is the limited liability company the right entity for your business

     

    : Should you operate your business as a corporation? Or is there another, simpler alternative. You've probably noticed that in the past decade there are more and more businesses with their names followed by the letters "LLC" instead of "Inc.". "LLC" stands for Limited Liability Company, is the newest type of legal entity that exists in the United States, and for many entrepreneurs it is the ideal marriage between the tax advantages of the limited partnership and the limited liability feature of the corporation. Now available in all 50 states---even to non-U. S. citizens--most likely the LLC should have a key place in your business structure. When it comes to legal entities for conducting business, limited liability companies are the newest kid on the block in the United States. The state of Wyoming was the first to pass legislation, in 1977, to establish this new entity. By 1999 all fifty states in the United States had enacted legislation to allow the formation of this exciting new legal entity. But why is the LLC so attractive, so irresistible to legislators? And why have so many entrepreneurs opted for the LLC instead of a "C" corporation, or even an "S" corporation? And most important, how do you decide if it's right for you? Perhaps the most important reason is for the popularity of the LLC that the it satisfies the demands of both accountants and attorneys. Accountants tend to prefer the Limited Partnership ("LP") because they are concerned about the dangers of "double taxation" if their clients use a corporation: If your corporation pays dividends, the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and its shareholders pay taxes again on those same profits when they are taxed on the dividends they receive. By contrast, attorneys usually prefer the greater asset protection offered by the limited liability that the corporation has to offer to all its owners. Let's begin with an understanding of what the limited liability company is. Basically it is a partnership among its owners, who are called "members". The LLC is like a limited partnership (and an S-corporation), because it is a "pass-through entity"--each partner's or member's share of the net gain or loss for the year "flows through" to the individual tax-payer's 1040 individual tax return. There is no separate tax to which the LLC itself is subject. On the other hand, the LLC is also like a corporation, because unlike the limited partnership--which requires a general partner, who is responsible for all results of all decisions and actions of the partners--all its owners benefit from limited liability. People choose to form LLCs basically for the same reasons that they would elect to set up an S-corporation or a limited partnership. The LLC, like the S-corporation, is attractive if you have earned income that puts you in a high tax bracket, and you would like to be able to offset that income with the losses that you can normally expect to incur in your first years in a business. When I formed my first business entity twenty years ago, my husband and I selected the S-corporation. We both had salary income that placed us in a high tax bracket, and we knew that our new consulting business would incur significant capital expenses in the first few years. After all, we would have to purchase new equipment such as a fax machine, a laser printer, personal computers, and the replaceable supplies to operate them. We were also aware that it would take some time to build a clientele, so our income from the business would take a few years to take off. The S-corporation allowed us to carry the losses we incurred onto our individual 1040 tax returns. The losses were deducted from our gross personal salary income, and we paid dramatically lower taxes. If you can get this advantage from an S-corporation, why would you bother with an LLC? The LLC has a number of advantages over the S-corporation: 1. First, LLC does not have the limitations that the S-corporation has on who can be a member of the LLC. Only individuals, estates, some trusts, and other S-corporations can be members of an S-corporation. Individuals (shareholders) must be either U. S. citizens or residents. By contrast, the LLC is not subject to these limitations. Thus, it is an ideal entity that you can combine with other entities in your business structure. For example, you can have a corporation or other legal entity be a member of an LLC. 2. The LLC has much greater flexibility for allocation of rights, profits, and assets than the S-corporation. The S-corporation can have only one class of stock: In other words each share of stock has the same rights as every other share. This means that the allocation of profits and assets is extremely rigid. If Parties A and B are equal shareholders in a corporation, and the corporation decides to distribute its profits of $10,000, then A and B must each receive $5,000. This might not necessarily be equitable if one partner was much more active and produced a much greater share of the profits than the other. The LLC allows for A to receive, say, $8,000 if its business activities generated 80% of the profit, leaving B with the remaining 20%, or $2,000. This can be very attractive in a partnership in which there is a significant difference in the amount of capital and ongoing business activity that the partners are contributing to the business. 3. The LLC is not subject to the same corporate formalities that are required of the S or C corporation. While the LLC must still maintain appropriate LLC records and bookkeeping, it is not required to be managed by a board of directors and maintain minutes of regular board of directors meetings. 4. Unlike the S-corporation, liquidation of an LLC is generally not a taxable event. As your personal and business financial situation change over time, you may determine that it is no longer in your interest to maintain a "pass through" entity for your business. Once your business begins to turn a regular profit after the relatively high costs of the first year or two, you may decide that a C-corporation that is taxed at a maximum of 25% (unless it is a personal service corporation) would be more advantageous to you. If you have been operating as an S-corporation and you liquidate it by selling the liquidated assets to the shareholder(s) at their fair market value, the liquidation will be a taxable event. This does not apply to the LLC. This is one of the factors that makes the LLC particularly attractive for holding real estate. 5. The concept of the charging order makes the LLC especially effective for asset protection. This makes it a particularly attractive entity for holding real estate. The corporation should not be used to hold real estate, because if the corporation is sued, the court might award shares in the corporation in the judgment. Control of the corporation translates into control of the property, and you effectively lose control over your real estate holdings. By contrast, the charging order, used with Limited Liability Companies as with Limited Partnerships, gives the plaintiff only the right to receive income distributions from the interest of the party or parties against whom the suit was brought. The charging order grants no voting rights or management powers. Thus, the existing managers or members could vote simply not to distribute income, thus leaving the plaintiff with no recourse; yet the plaintiff will have to pay taxes on the income allocated to her, even though the funds were not distributed(!). This offers a strong incentive for the plaintiff to negotiate for a settlement. Clearly, the LLC is a powerful tool for protecting your assets against financial predators. If you use it for real estate holdings, you can maximize this protection by holding each piece of real estate in a separate LLC. Thus, if one LLC comes under attack from financial predators, the operations affecting only a single property will be affected. Disadvantages of the Limited Liability Company Needless to say, there are some disadvantages with the LLC--otherwise there would not be remain so many other attractive options for structuring your business. Why might the LLC not be the best option for you? 1. Increased taxes for LLC members in high tax brackets. Once your LLC is making a profit, its income passes through the individual members, who are taxed directly on that income, whether it is actually taken out of the LLC or not. Thus, members who are in a high tax bracket might pay higher taxes than they would if they used a C-corporation, which is subject to lower marginal tax rates. Proper planning of disbursements for expenses and other aspects of the business could overcome this disadvantage. 2. Higher initial filing fees for LLCs in some states. Some states may levy heavier tax obligations on LLCs in their initial years. Our home state of California requires that an LLC pay a minimum $800 tax in its first year, while corporations are exempt in their first year--whether the business has any earnings or not! It can still be worthwhile for you to start an LLC: If you have high start up costs, tax savings in the thousands of dollars will outweigh these higher filing fees. 3. Unlike corporations, LLCs do not have continuity of life, that is they are limited usually to a specific period of time (say, 50 years) depending on the state. If an LLC member dies, the remaining members may vote to continue the LLC business. LLC interests can be gifted to other family members; and the LLC can have a trust or family limited partnership as a member, thus providing for effective estate planning. 4. The LLC is a relatively untested entity. There is the large body of case law on corporations but on LLCs. We may also expect to see changes in the laws governing LLCs as the implications of this new entity become more apparent to legislators. Space does not permit coverage of all the advantages and disadvantages of LLCs, but clearly the LLC can be a powerful tool for operating your business, protecting your assets, and planning your estate. It is easy and inexpensive to set up on your own, if you use one or more of the items on our Wealth Structuring Resources page. Copyright 2006 Azur Pacific Associates

         
    Is your teen an entrepreneur

     

    Are you hoping you've got your own Bill Gates in the making in your home? As a parent you can probably tell pretty easily whether or not the entrepreneurial spirit is evident in your child. Some kids make it very obvious that the regular nine-to-five will not be a part of their future. For others, you might need to investigate a bit further to see. Ask these simple questions about your teen to see if your teen has the entrepreneurial spirit. If your answer is "yes" to one or more, you probably do. 1. Does she ask what she can do to earn more allowance? Is she willing to take on jobs around the house instead of hanging out at the mall with her pals? Does she do her chores and work with vigor and excellence? 2. Did she have the best lemonade stand on the block? Did she go the extra mile to make sure that her stand was profitable and her product and service brought back customers over and over again? 3. Does she value flexibility and independence more than the “sure thing” of an hourly job? Does she make comments about wanting something "more" than just flipping burgers or selling pink t-shirts? 4. Does she work well on her own? In her free time is she thinking of other ways to make money or start a business? When you give her a job or chore around the house does she jump in and do it quickly and efficiently? 5. Is she a self-learner? ? Does she spend time researching and reading for her schoolwork and outside of that? Does she enjoy finding out more about how to use the computer to her advantage? If, indeed, you do have a young entrepreneur budding in your midst, you might want to start her off now in a business of her own even now, before the college bills start piling up! It will serve her well now and in the future!

         
     
         
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