Business Advantages Working From Home Developing A Unique Selling Proposition Consistency Between Online And Offline Marketing How To Choose The Best Web Hosting For You In Business Think Small How To Use Viral Marketing To Drive Traffic To Your Webpage

It was generally accepted that one had to be in an office to work efficiently, probably until the late 1960’s-early 1970’s when people began to question the old methods and new trends began.

Why was this? In my opinion, it was a general level of questioning things throughout society, not just the workplace but the establishment across the board, eg. fashion,music,films,etc all questioned the old practises and looked for a way to change them to their advantage -this brought good points and bad, indeed some believe it contributed to a lowering of”standards”,whilst others felt it brought liberation.

It was into this climate that the punk-rock movement was born, for example.

However, no matter what one feels philosophically about trends or changes the hard fact of the matter is that the business practice has to be effective irrespective of whether or not it is from an office or from home, or the trend would have a very short shelf-life.

This being the case, it is important to examine the advantages/disadvantages of working from home.

Looking at the traditional model, in, say, a factory, as I have experience of being a part-owner of, hence can glean personal experience from compared to working from home, I will outline both examples and then explore the advantages and disadvantages.

Running the factory for almost a decade as we did, we experienced the growth from 3 people(ourselves),to almost 50 people by the time we sold it.

Additionally, the space needed increased from one room to 45000 sq.ft., encompassing manufacturing space, warehousing facility, forklift trucks,lorries,transport costs, health and safety inspections, fire certificates, tax and national insurance for all employees, requiring additional administration staff, and many other cost-centres involved in any business of that magnitude.

Compare this with a small outfit working from home that carries none of the above in terms of space and staff, with no stock on the balance sheet needing to be shifted and immediately you see an advantage.

But what are the other advantages?

Initially, one does not have to be at the office at any certain time, to lock up or open up and this leads to a flexibility of lifestyle, which has been shown to be one the greatest motivating factors in any chosen career; this has to be tempered with careful discipline, as the working environment may be tempting to stray from the workstation.

Also, should one choose the right path or industry, be it as a consultant or otherwise then it is possible to make greater income as there are no huge expenses to bear; of course if it is compared to a working to an office environment, then the advantages may be construed as non-necessity of turning up at a certain time, leading again to flexibility, not having to put up with annoying workmates or office politics and normally putting one’s own efforts to one’s own benefits rather than being part of a team and carrying lazy people.

Summarising; in general, working from home suits some characters but not others but the main advantages are avoidance of costs, flexibility, and if chosen properly, a chance to maximise potential and thus earning power.

This month’s articles hammer home the importance of synergy and consistency between your online and offline marketing efforts. Within this context this month tip addresses what may well be the most important and overriding marketing consideration you can make, online or offline — Developing your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

When companies are trying to determine how to market a product, they focus on the Unique Selling Proposition, the one thing that makes that product different than any other. It’s the one reason they think consumers will buy the product even though it may seem no different from many others just like it. It may be that the product has a lower price or more convenient packaging, or it may taste or smell better, or last longer. Would you buy from a company that does not promise some great value, benefit, or service but just a “buy from us” for no good reason sales pitch?

Your unique selling proposition is the mantra around which you will build your success so you need to be able to state it in a single statement. It will discipline you to focus on what your business is all about and bring your company to mind when someone is looking for the products or services you sell. It answers the question every consumer asks “What’s in it for me”?

Many businesses online and offline don’t provide an answer – and very few online businesses make sure that answer appears on their landing and home pages. If you can’t cut through the clutter, grab attention and communicate immediately that you offer value nobody else has, your visitors are gone to someone who can.

In order to create your USP ask yourself the following questions:

1. What are the unique aspects about my business, product, or service vs my competition?

2. Which of these aspects are most important to my customers?

3. Which aspects are difficult for my competition to imitate?

4. Which of these aspects can be easily communicated and understood?

5. Can you create a memorable message (USP) of these unique, meaningful qualities about your business or brand?

6. How will you communicate this message (USP) to buyers and end users, both online and offline?

Examples:

AVIS: “We Try Harder”

Burger King: “Have it your Way”

Kentucy Fried Chicken: “Finger Lickin Good”

Dominos Pizza: “Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed”

Choosing a web host can be a tricky business – after all, there are lots of web hosts out there to choose from, and it’s often hard to tell which is the best. When choosing one there a few key things you can look out for:

Disk space

Make sure that you get enough disk space for your needs. Most websites do not utilize as much disk space as you think. Most people when looking to buy web hosting they see the different packages that a certain host offers and always want to get the bigger one to ensure that they have enough disk space, bandwidth and features. The general rule of thumb is to get the middle package.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth can be trick business. First I will explain what bandwidth is. When someone loads one of your web pages it uses bandwidth. It is pretty easy for you to run out of bandwidth which is why most people recommend to get the middle package. Usually the middle package has enough bandwidth to ensure your website does not run out. If bandwidth runs out for that month people cannot view your website. So make you choose a package with sufficient bandwidth.

Server speed

When buying from a host make sure that they list their servers technical specifications on their website. If they do not that usually means that the servers are not top quality. You want a server that is up to date and has the latest in processing power, memory, hard drives and network connections. The faster the server the faster your website will be viewed in most cases.

Features –

Some key features you want to make sure you have are; FTP (File Transfer Protocol), Perl, PHP, CGI, SSL, MYSQL, Email such as POP3, subdomains and more.

Make sure that the web host you are looking at has good customer support. How fast do they respond to emails? When they do respond is it helpful information or are you getting the run-around? If they respond in a timely manner with useful information, they are probably the right host for you!

I have a friend who always seems to fail at every business opportunity he lays his hands. Do you know why? He thinks BIG! I mean really BIG!

He never looks at any opportunity unless he can make huge sums of cash. What always ends up happening is that he never has the cash flow to manage the opportunity that he wants so much to come true.

My main concern is that there are too many books in the market place that seduce people with large business ideas and impossible goals. Often it is better to think small and with incremental baby steps reach higher then was thought possible.

When people start thinking BIG, then even a positive outcome in business might not meet their initial goal leading to possible despair.

When you have small plans and perform better than expected this gives a boost to mind and body. If you have high goals and fail to reach them – even though you are successful in other people’s eyes – in your own mind you have failed.

Many of the business books out there tell you that you MUST think BIG. I disagree strongly. I like the philosophy of “think small and make it BIG”.

I believe in Baby Steps. It is amazing what you can achieve in 5 years if you take small baby steps at regular intervals. No matter what stage you are in your business, focus on the next small baby step. Step by step, you will get closer to your goal.

If you must then BIG, then start by thinking small and make gradual incremental steps towards your goals.

Now women excel at thinking small and planning small carefully calculated steps. This is probably why we are seeing more and more successful business women. They never seem to lose sight of their eventual business goal and also don’t get upset easily when the road throws up more challenges.

Even with product developments, small incremental improvements often work better then developing a brand new product. It is usually far cheaper to improve an existing product then to axe it and replace with something that hasn’t been tried and tested.

You can apply the same ideas when dealing with business clients. Remember that with customers it is often the small things that count like: how long did it take before someone answered the phone, how quick was the response to their query. The small etiquettes of business service also help you to attract the BIG clients.

Work hard, pay the price, and enjoy your work. The short term realities of business might be tough but the long term opportunities can be high. Stop thinking BIG and take small steps towards your goals and you might possibly achieve Greatness!

Viral marketing is a great way to gain exposure for your site. The key of viral marketing is having your info passed from person to person. There are many different ways to use viral marketing, we will go over a few of them.

1. Writing Articles- Writing your own articles and submitting them to websites is a great way to viral market. Webmasters are always in need of content and all you have to do is provide them with quality content. Also be sure to try and write to the best of your ability.

2. Writing Ebooks- Another way is writing your own ebook and giving it away for free. If you have never written an ebook before do not worry. Just go to google, there is a ton of info on how to write an ebook. Once you have your ebook you can also give it away as a free bonus for ordering your product.

3. Signature Files- Use signature files in every email you send out. Think about how many emails you send to family and friends. One way to really use your sig file is to send out a joke or something funny to the people you know. In turn they will forward it to their friends and so on.

The great thing about viral marketing is there are many different ways to use this method. All you have to do is be creative and think of new ways to use this technique. Here are a few other examples. Give discounts on your product for every new customer referred or instead of a discount give away free things. Or have a contest, where the customer who refers the most new customers gets 1,000 dollars. You should get the idea. Be creative and this technique could blow your sales through the roof. Viral marketing is a very effective way to get your product out there without breaking your bank account.

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