Working at Home – The Benefits

I have been working at home for some time now beginning part-time whilst I had a noisy office job, but now I can work anywhere with a good internet connection. The accent is on “good connection” because if it isn't it will drive you crazy. (I am currently staying in a caravan and the line keeps dropping out or not connecting, I cannot think of anything more frustrating unless perhaps it is running out of petrol but that is likely to be your fault, a poor connection isn't!

So why do I enjoy working at home?

Time Freedom – Yes you still have to commit to regular time slots of productive input but you can work around family commitments, hobbies and your chosen activities.

Location Freedom – Last winter we spent 6 months in the sunny climate of Spain where I worked mostly mornings whilst my partner enjoyed his sporting activities, so that we could enjoy exploring beaches and other delights in the afternoons. When you enjoy your work it is more of a hobby and labour of love.

Choice of surroundings – I prefer the peace and quiet of shutting myself away when I work at home. No constant chatter or phones ringing. I can also work in a temperature I am in control of instead of incredible heat in the summer, and almost frostbite in the winter, which we suffered in our old offices. In fact on many occasions we wore our coats and finger-less gloves. The surroundings at home are much more pleasant and not dusty. OK, so I had to forego the companionship of work-mates but you can't have everything. There is a saying you can have anything but not everything; you have to choose when you set your goals!

No Office politics – Or aggravation from the boss or anyone else. She was a very difficult boss to work for which was highlighted by the continual staff turnover. Why did I stay – because it wasn't too far from home, I liked my job and my colleagues and I knew it would be temporary, however I did stay for 5 years. So I was well and truly ready to leave when I did!

For anyone else coping with a boring or less than satisfactory job, a book with some great suggestions for improving it is: “Thank God Its Monday” by C Cameron and S Elusorr.

Earnings – Your income is up to you, your efforts, inventiveness and commitment once you have built your business to your required level. There are both millionaires and part-timers in the industry. The choice is yours.

The simplest way to work online I think is affiliate marketing as long as you enlist the guidance of a good coach, who provides great products and up-to-date training. This enables you to learn the necessary techniques whilst at the same time earning generous commissions.

How do you find great coaches – word of mouth is great, or Google YouTube or look online, check out what others are saying. So if working at home is something you aspire to begin part-time and see if you like it as much as I do.

5 Common Mistakes in Your Home Business Web Design To Avoid

While every Web site design should reflect the unique qualities of the business itself, there are some universal rules of professional design that every business owner should follow. You don't want to lose a potential customer or client due to a simple mistake.

1) Don't Be Too Flashy

Flash animation certainly has its place in the Web site world – but it's typically not on the home page of your business site. Customers arrive at your Web site expecting to find helpful information about the products and services that interest them – not a slowly unfolding display of digital animation. Use flash wisely – and sparingly – in your professional Web design. I recommend not using flash at all; especially if you are using SEO. Discuss the pros and cons with your design team.

2) Don't Strain the Eye

Keeping Web site design simple can literally save you – and your customers – from headaches. Use a tried-and-true font style, such as Arial, that's sans-serif and proven to be readable. Background is another area of concern for professional Web design. Using busy patterned backgrounds or placing colored type against a black background may cause users to get frustrated and leave your site.

3) Don't Make it Difficult

Use of navigation in designing your web site is like using GPS on a road trip. Use it wisely to guide visitors to the desired destination – and they will enjoy themselves along the way. Resist the urge to get too creative with this aspect of your web page – a clean navigation panel is a user's best resource. Don't lose your customers interest in a flood of flashy pictures and spinning click here buttons.

4) Don't Waste Time

When your Web site design is full of graphics and images, it requires a greater amount of bandwidth. This increased bandwidth takes longer for the user to download. Keep in mind that some people use older computers. In the time it takes for your Web site design to load, your customer may very well decide it's not worth the wait. Only use the graphics and images that are absolutely necessary for your web site and save the rest for your portfolio.

5) Don't Overdo It

Too much or a cluttered Web site design overwhelms your site's visitors and can make your business appear unprofessional. A disorganized site tends to reflect poorly on the very business it is supposed to promote, while a professional Web design speaks volumes about your attention to detail. Keep it simple and clean.

A good website design needs to not only turn customers' heads, but also keeps them interested. Follow the simple guidelines of a business Web design and you'll see the beauty in a more positive visitor experience.

Create a Professional Web Design for Your Home Page

There's no place like home in professional Web design – the homepage, that is.

When you create a website homepage, keep in mind that first impressions truly are everything. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention. More than any other page on your site, your homepage's design should help your visitors answer several key questions about your business.

Bringing visitors to your homepage is only half the battle. In order to be effective, your homepage must also encourage visitors to stick around and take action. Whether you create a website yourself or work with a professional Web design company, there are several steps you can take to make your homepage a sticky success.

Add a Logo Design

Little things can make a big difference in professional website, and that is certainly the case with adding a logo to your homepage. A professional company can work with you to create a customized logo design that strengthens your brand identity and boosts customer confidence. This logo should also be produced in several file formats for images –.JPG,.EPS, and .TIF — so you can use your new logo in the website or in print marketing materials.

Explain Who You Are

You'll need to tell visitors about yourself – and do it fast. Building rapport and relationship is a key part of attraction marketing for your business. As soon as a visitor arrives at your homepage, the clock is ticking. If your page does not point them directly to the information they want, they may lose interest in your company. One popular way to accomplish this — add an “About Us” page to your website.

Reduce Scrolling

Here, web site layout takes its cue from print design. Just like a newspaper's major headlines should be above the fold, your professional Web design should place your most pertinent information above the point where a visitor must start scrolling to view. The more scrolling required by your Web design, the less likely your visitor is to stay.

Test for Compatibility

When you create a website homepage, remember that not all browsers and devices were created equal. Keeping your design simple can help you capture the largest possible audience across the board. To be sure, though, you'll need to test your website from multiple devices and browsers.

Update Regularly

Once your web site is completed, you may be tempted to leave it that way for quite some time. A website, just like a business is always changing and growing. In order for your site to keep visitors and search engines coming back for more, it must be updated regularly. You want to keep building your contact data base with new information and subscriptions.

Promote Recognition and Testimonials

When done in moderation, the homepage can be a good place to display small graphics representing rewards and recognition you've received from your clients and industry peers. By adding these graphics when you create a website homepage, you can strengthen your professionalism by showing visitors that you are a legitimate business worthy of their time.

With so much depending on your homepage, it's important to get it right. When you're ready to create a website yourself or work with a professional, remember these simple suggestions for a professional and effective site that encourages visitors to stick around.

Are You Sure You Want To Start A Home Based Business?

If you're thinking about starting a home based business there are a few questions that you really need to answer first. When you start a home based business, everything doesn't have to be done at once. You can work at your own pace to achieve your dreams and objectives. But it is worth taking the time to answer these questions below so that you don't start something that you come to regret.

1. Are You Ready To Commit To It?

Running a home based business can be very satisfying both financially and for your personal ambitions. But is does need a solid commitment. If you treat it like a hobby, that's all it will ever be. It will take time and resources to get it off the ground and to keep it going. You'll need to prioritize your tasks and decide which are the most important and which are the least important. Know which things are achievable within the time-frame you've set for yourself, and which tasks cannot be done.

2. Have You Carefully Chosen Your Market Sector?

You need to have a clear idea on the products or services that you are going to sell and who your target market are. Start with a niche that interests you or that you know something about. It's much easier to work on something that you like and find interesting rather than something that has no interest to you whatsoever.

3. Are You Ready To Get Online?

When your home based business is online you can reach potential customers from all over the world. It can even be working for you while you're asleep. You don't need to be a computer expert to set up a website and there are many straightforward, step-by-step online business tutorials that can get your business on the internet in a matter of hours.

4. How Will Customers Know That Your Business Exists?

If nobody knows your business exists it won't be a business for very long. You will need to market your business. Advertising online is very cost effective and you can get your messages in front of your target audience very easily. And there are also many ways that you can drive customer traffic to your website for free. Are you prepared to learn some website traffic strategies?

5. Why Should People Buy From You?

It's very likely that you will have competitors selling products and services that are similar to yours. Customers make purchases from businesses that they know, like and trust. Focus on your target customer. What are the benefits of buying from you, rather than your competitors. What extra value can you offer your customers? If you don't know, how will you expect your customers to know?

5 Mistakes I Made When Starting An Online Business From Home

When I started my online business from home it was both exciting and daunting at the same time. I knew that the internet was the place to start a business because of the billions that are being spent online every year. After all, a potential customer can only look at one website at a time and that website could easily be mine, right?

So I jumped into starting my online business without any real thought and soon realized that I had made some mistakes that held back my progress and results.

1. Learning Without Action

I knew that I would need some guidance and training to start an online business from home. But I became overwhelmed with all the “how to” videos, reports and courses available. These things, while a great help, aren't any good if you're not going to follow the directions and do what they say. Now I put the things I learn into action before moving on and learning something else.

2. Not Staying Focused

New online home business opportunities can sit like beckoning lights on the horizon that are hard to ignore. They call it “shiny object syndrome.” I would see something new, like the idea of making money with it, and then invest time and money into it, leaving my current business to one side. But you won't succeed when you constantly buy into new online business opportunities and don't actually take the steps of using them. Once you decide on something, stay laser focused on your core business before you start looking at other options.

3. Not Using Automation

Time and money are limited when you run an online business from home. At first I tried to everything myself. But I learned that investment in software that automates tasks for me was money well spent. There are many software programs that will automate tasks for you. This includes email marketing, blog posting and social media posts.

4. Chasing Perfection

No one is ever perfect. And I was trying be perfect in everything I did. If I made a mistake I would hang my head in shame for days, thinking that I would never recover. But I did. And I started to see any mistakes I made as a learning process. Always remember that something is better than nothing, and online everything can be improved later.

5. Not Building An Email List Of Prospects

This was probably my biggest mistake of all. Make sure that you're building an email list of prospects from day one. Every email list starts with one prospect. When somebody arrives at your website for the first time, they may leave and never to return. So, if you can obtain their email address, you can then remain in contact with them via email. Email marketing is still considered the most effective online marketing method.

The Advantages of Email Marketing

If used correctly, email is a way to reach potential and existing customers in an organized and targeted way. The use of email to promote your business gives you the opportunity to capture the attention of a potentially huge number of customers, especially those who would otherwise not be able to visit your store (if you operate a brick and mortar business) or to reach people across the world through your website! By using a simple means of communication, your company can benefit from increased visibility offered by email marketing. If it is well written, designed and directed, there is no reason why your emails won't lead to an increase in sales, traffic (online as well as in store) and inquiries about your products and services.

Email is fast and efficient!

Using email marketing, you can connect to your list in a matter of minutes! One of the main benefits of email marketing is the instantaneous nature in which messages can be sent to customers. This allows you to be very creative and promote your services with the click of a button. Again, unlike offline marketing, email marketing software allows you to track explicitly how well your promotional efforts are being made. You will be able to see how many people are opening your emails; how they are interacting with your emails and most importantly, what sales and leads are being generated as a result. The software needed to control your email campaigns is very affordable and many are available for only a few dollars a month – and some of these programs are free! (Did I ever say I like “FREE”)?

Email marketing is an excellent way to attract customers to your websites.

Increasing the amount of traffic to your website will be even more important if you have a new product or service that you are promoting. The main advantage of email marketing is the low-cost and how effective it is. As mentioned above, there are a number of free services (like GetResponse and Aweber), which allow individuals and companies to promote their products (provided they have fewer than 2,000 subscribers) for free or very, very cheaply. This is why email marketing is a very convenient option, not only for small businesses and online marketers, but also large companies that are looking for another channel through which their products can be marketed.

Immediacy of Email Marketing

Email marketing is not limited by traditional time constraints. While direct mail campaigns are based on the use of postal mail, email marketing generates immediate answers. In the time it takes to get an email to a reader to give them the information, you have paved the way for even more information and have promoted your brand. For example, if you were in the Travel niche, you could send a newsletter and offer discounts for travel packages purchased through you. You simply include a link to your travel website which will allow potential customers to respond instantly and request more information or to book a package. If you were using traditional direct marketing, it would take at least one week before your mail piece reached the same people (and, depending on the number of people reached, could cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars)! In the meantime, perhaps the impulse of buying a vacation package could have worn off.

Interactivity

The use of email marketing attracts readers. These campaigns are interactive. You can include graphics and survey's which leads to potential customers interacting with your company through your website (from the convenience of their own homes) and purchasing your products as well. When the recipient of an e-mail promotion clicks a video or answers questions in a questionnaire, you have created interest and attention.

E-mail marketing is incredibly versatile, extremely affordable (free or at very low prices), very fast and easy to use. One of the wonderful things about e-mail is that it is traceable. The information can be used to study open rates, click through rates and conversion rates. All of this information can help adjust the content and message of your future emails.