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Work-At-Home Franchises: Real Opportunities Or Scams?

I’d like to make sure that you understand the difference between a home-based franchise, and a work-at- home “opportunity.” The differences are huge. . . A franchise is a licensing system by which the owner (franchisor) of a product or a service licenses others (franchisees) to market and sell the product or service within a defined territory, following the guidelines established by the franchisor. There is an up-front franchise fee, and you’ll be paying a percentage of your gross sales to the franchisor.  Franchises are regulated by the government, and the seller must give you a detailed disclosure document at least 10 business days before you pay any money or legally commit yourself to a purchase. Here are some examples of some home-based franchises: Kidzart- Children’s art instruction P...

Taking Advantage of Google’s Small Business Toolkit

Last week Google announced that they had redesigned the Small Business Network to not only help small business owners stay informed about new legislation, but to also include a small business toolkit. The Toolkit was designed to help SMB owners learn about the free Google products available to help them connect with colleagues and run their businesses more efficiently. The goal of the Toolkit (other than just heavily promoting Google’s complete line of services) is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners learn about Google products and to enable them to exchange ideas and best practices with other entrepreneurs. Essentially, it makes it brain dead simple for SMB owners to solve some of their biggest business concerns. For example: Need help finding customers? There’s Google Local B...

The Details: Preparing for Your First Tweetchat

This is part two of Twitter series:  Everything You Wanted to Know About TweetChats But Were Afraid to Ask. The first post focused on the pros and cons of sponsoring a Tweetchat and outlined the possible reasons you may want to consider adding this to your marketing mix. If you’re planning your first Tweetchat, it’s going to take preparation and planning.  There are very few ‘how to’ guides out there for sponsoring an ongoing chat and the best way to learn is to participate in some well-known and well-attended chats and see what you like and dislike. Here are a few key components that you’ll want to think about upfront: 1.) Select a Hashtag: The “how to select a Twitter hashtag” search comes up with a lot of tips on how to select one for breaking news stories or to follow existing events, ...

Don’t Forget About Real Customer Service

Social Media. Word of Mouth Marketing. Online Reputation Management. Engagement. Listening. We’ve given it a lot of fancy names over the past year, but all we’re really talking about is customer service. It’s about treating customers better than they expect to be treated and surpassing their expectations. And if you’re a small business, customer service is what most separates you from the big corporations. Customer service is your point of difference. A year ago I bought a fairly pricey pendant. I saw it while on the road at a conference and immediately loved it. I loved not only the pendent itself but the story behind the company, the one the woman who sold it to me spent at least 15 minutes reciting. And I purchased them both — the necklace and the tale of the company. I felt connected t...

Reducing IT Costs While Boosting Revenue

When businesses look at IT, high costs often come to mind. However, reducing these costs and establishing proper metrics can turn what is often a large expenditure into a way to boost revenue, which opens a path to higher profit. Just a few small steps can mean all the difference to the bottom line. According to Jennifer Perrier-Knox, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group, where companies allocate resources will vary according to their strategic objectives. “The organization needs to decide if its practice of IT gives it a competitive advantage in the market or if the department has core competencies that it needs to retain,” she said. Any practice or process that doesn’t fit this description could be a way to cut costs. The typical IT costs a business incur...

Ten Small Business Startup Ideas – 2009/09/20

If you are sat at home this weekend contemplating starting your own small / micro home business or becoming a self-employed freelancer / sole trader then here are ten quick-fire business ideas to use as a starting point.  A website teaching readers about the day-to-day training requirements for various sports. Improvisational comedy confidence-building exercises. A company which takes your dead electronic equipment and smashes it until it becomes modern art! A premium hotline providing legal advice. A café for aspiring filmmakers to congregate and show their work to receive feedback. A clothes-sharing website for high-value items such as shoes. An impartial advice line for people purchasing consumer electronics. A YouTube channel reviewing local restaurants. Keep other people’s ...

Small Business World News Round-up – 2009/09/22

Here is this week’s news round-up for home business, micro business, sole-traders, freelancers, self-employed and any one who is interested in small business news from around the world. Small businesses want, fear health reform: Small-business owners are begging for changes to the health care system, but they believe they have the most to lose when and if reform materializes. From distilleries to backwoods bowling alleys, NYC provides loans to rural small businesses: The city has laid off teachers, trimmed the housing authority payroll, chopped cultural grants and scrambled to close a looming $1.1 billion budget gap. The CEO in the mail room: Small businesses have shed an estimated 1.6 million jobs this year. That leaves the remaining staffers to pick up the workload left behind — and even...

The Seven Deadly Sins When Starting a Business.

Apparently there are millions of people out there thinking about starting a small business. Many doing so for the first time, losing your house or pension should not be part of this experience. Here are some things not to do when you start a new business venture: 1. Don’t spend money if you don’t have too. Think about what you need to start your business. You’ll have many items in your house already, like a computer, ADSL/DSL broadband, desk or even an office. Get free software, like openoffice.org for your word-processing, etc. – get bundles of services, not single applications – it’s often much less expensive. 2. Don’t pay for business ideas. There are many free business ideas online, just google for them. Don’t spend you money on paying someone else to give you an idea, that...

100 Things You Should Know As A Freelancer or Self-Employed

  If you are a freelancer, virtual assistant or self-employed then winweb.com has a list of over 100 tips & tricks for you on how to make your business more profitable, how to find more clients and other useful ways to improve your small business. During times like these you can’t afford to miss a trick, so why not go over to the WinWeb blog and find out more. Read more @ WinWeb Business Blog winweb.com– Software and business services online to start and run a small business – free trial and 100+ free business ideas. Share This

Financial Core Toronto – Commercial Real Estate – September 2009

Open publication – Free publishing Please note the attached office space is not listed with OfficeSearchToronto.com but call us first at 416-992-9869 or E-mail Me for floor plans and additional information. Follow me on Twitter Subscribe to my RSS feed OfficeSearchToronto.com on Facebook Join me on LinkedIn Shared Offices

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