Home Based Business System – The 3 Pillars of Building a Business

There are three main components that each home based business system needs to pursue in order to operate and make money: list building, building your relationship with prospects, and providing a money-making service. By performing just these three simple steps, your home-based business system will operate at incredible profitability without having to waste money on other, less necessary tasks.The first step may be the hardest, but with diligence you’ll be develop your own personal strategy to locate the ideal MLM prospects. Many home based business services opt to purchase lists from other companies, but this can be expensive and you won’t gain any market experience using this technique. Though you’ll be provided with well-populated lists of MLM prospects, these lists may not contain all that many interested customers. By generating your own lists, you’ll be able to target those who you’re really trying to sell to, and you won’t have to pay a dime for it.Next, you’re going to want to have something to provide this list of MLM prospects. If your home business system has nothing to offer, they simply won’t be all that interested. To appease their appetite, offer them some free samples or valuable information. This will lure them in a little, interest them in your product, and hopefully develop a positive relationship that you can then take to the bank.The final step for any real home based business services is to provide an actual product or service to sell. After all, if you don’t actually offer anything to the customer can you even be considered a business? This product or service doesn’t have to be much, but it should be something that you can provide competently and at competitive prices. Though your home based business system doesn’t have to provide the greatest service on the planet, or the best priced service, you should make both of these qualities reasonable enough to present a tempting offer.If you follow the first two steps, your product should be able to sell pretty well. You’ll have a list to market to, valuable information to provide them with, and most importantly a real product to sell them once they fully buy into your business. That’s all there is to operating your own enterprise.Discover all the insider “tricks of the trade” for your home based business system, and grab My FREE REPORT titled: “How To Create YOUR First 6-Figure Month In Network Marketing.”

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Can Be Costlier for Small, Independent Business

The Canadian temporary foreign workers’ program was recently in the news again.As you may recall, the Conservative government moved to make changes earlier this year in hopes of reducing the avalanche of applications and temporary workers in Canada. But as Carol Goar pointed out in an article in the Toronto Star, the numbers accepted into Canada between January to June 2013 actually increased by 5%, when compared to the same period in 2012.While some of these arrivals may include those applications submitted prior to the change but fulfilled this calendar year or represent an outlier in a transitional period, Dan Kelly, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business continues to lobby against tighter regulations, as they may negatively impact his membership base.Mr. Kelly offers sober thought for those SMBs operating within the western provinces’ robust economy. Faced with low unemployment and open positions unfilled for a myriad of reasons, wages have been driven higher by the oil and gas industry, and the businesses servicing them. In being forced to pay at times exorbitant wages to attract Canadians to low and high skill jobs in our western provinces, the labour component of a company’s balance sheet challenges the bottom line of any business, let alone small and independent business.Temporary foreign workers, and the previous allowance for a 15% discount on wages, helped fill these available jobs, while propping up profits.In my role as a business adviser, I help small and medium independent businesses primarily in Ontario improve their top and bottom line. I have observed most owners spending their day putting out fires, with little to no time available nor financial experience to plan and improve business operations, sales, direction, and hence, profits.This short term focus in turn impacts their hiring decisions, wage scale and ability to train or retain staff, and bears a direct cost to the business most owners don’t capture nor measure when making decisions.I would counsel business owners to spend a portion of their week working towards more medium and long-term planning and implementation. Those may seem like scary terms in small business speak, for big business or people who have time, or so I have been told, but time spent putting out fires might be mitigated if business owners spend even two hours up front considering cost-reduction, revenue-generating exercises, such as the following:Operational efficiencies:

thin-client or zero-client computers vs purchased or leased computers and services contracts.

revised purchasing terms with a consolidated vendor base, improving cash flow.

review and amend inventory mix to improve working capital. Hidden inventory costs deplete resources.

establish formal process to sell old or excess inventory, freeing up space and cash.

audit and analyze cash flow, sales, inventory, returns.
Sales:

is your pricing model optimized? Can you enhance and communicate product or service differentiation to allow for a price increase?

can you improve go-to-market strategy? Are you reaching the right customers? The right industry? What is the cost of servicing your current customer base? What is your cost of customer acquisition, and is it optimized?

Introduce a formal promotional calendar mechanism. Track success of each promotion run, capturing incremental price/product (service) revenues, seasonality factors, and failures.

referral programs for employees, end-users or direct customers

strategic alliances with other key business partners.
Human Capital:

develop a mentoring program, linking new hires and junior staff with senior staff, and offer rewards for individuals or teams that suggest and implement measurable cost-savings or sales generation. Create competition for “best” idea and reward with annual prize.

establish and communicate performance objectives for each staff member and offer bonus program for goals reached and surpassed.

weekly Monday hour long meeting with all staff (or representative from each department), with sharing of successes, failures, issues. Collaborate on projects and on-going issues. Establish priorities for week, month etc.

semi-annual review with all staff of overall business and financial performance creates stakeholder connection for all employees, improving loyalty and retention.
I’m sure some of you are sceptical or may complain that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to spend on anything other than capturing, filling and shipping orders in a timely manner for product-oriented business or scheduling, delivering and completing contracted services.My advice rests on the following premise and applies to any small business owner in any country: by enacting these profit-enhancing steps, you are changing your business culture and may succeed in raising the discussion with your (new) customer, strategic partner, (prospective) employee, vendor or investor above that of low(est) cost or price provider. Anyone is capable of coming along and pulling that floor out from beneath you, and because a response is required, it inevitably leads to a race to the bottom. It’s a zero sum game. Lowest price is not a bankable nor sustainable business strategy model.Why not work, in small and large steps noted above, in improving your financial performance, and investing those newly gained dollars in a loyal, engaged and motivated staff that grows with you. Invest in them by paying fair wages and they will invest in you.Replacing staff every two years through the temporary workers program is the type of costly and short-term thinking that undermines a business’ potential for success and growth. For some business owners, it’s a short-term requisite, or an absolute need due to true shortage of high skillset, but the longer-term approach should strive for sustainable, profitable growth delivered by a staff committed to your small business.

Free Website Monitoring Services: What You Need to Consider

Some say that the best things in life are free, but in the real world we know that’s not always the case. Sometimes you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to vital business services, and website monitoring services are no exception to that rule. If you know the importance of website monitoring and the role it plays in maximizing the uptime of your website, then you probably know that paying for a quality service that actually protects your site is a much better option than choosing a services that doesn’t cost anything, but may be found lacking. Before you decide that free website monitoring is the way to go, here are some things you may want to consider.Sometimes You Do Indeed Get What You Pay ForAlmost all businesses that are on the Web were created with the purpose of generating revenue. If you are being offered a service like website monitoring without any costs attached, you have to ask yourself a few questions. How good can the service really be if the company is providing it free of charge? If you aren’t paying for the website monitoring service, how is the company generating its revenue? No one wakes up one day and decides to put a lot of time, effort, and money into providing quality website monitoring service without getting anything in return. If you aren’t being charged for a service, that service is likely going to be lacking in crucial features and, worse yet, the company may be using information that you provide to generate its profits.Is the Free Version of the Service Just a Lure?Oftentimes a company will offer free website monitoring service, but the “free” version of the service they provide has quite a few limitations. For example, the free version of the website monitoring service may only offer email alerts when your site goes down. If your email goes down with your site, you won’t be notified of the downtime until your email goes back up (and that will likely be when your site goes back up as well). This means that the free service doesn’t really notify you of the downtime when you need to know about it, which is the moment it occurs. However, that same service may offer additional methods of notification for a price. You find yourself paying for the service so you can get the features you want, resulting in the “free” service not really being free at all.Chances are, when you sign up for free website monitoring, you will end up paying for it eventually. Which means when you shop for a service, you need to shop for one based on the features you want and the quality of the service. It is never a wise idea to shop for any type of service based on price alone, and website monitoring service is no exception to this rule.The Bottom LineThe bottom line is that while there are free website monitoring services out there, free doesn’t equate to quality. When it comes to something as important as the uptime of your website, you do not want to leave your downtime alerts in the hands of a service that is lacking features or does not have the technology needed to truly monitor your site the way you need it to. Since every minute of downtime costs your company money, a “free” service might actually end up costing you more than a paid service would.