How To Outsource Your Online Business Increase Your Profits By Doing Less Work Is Franchising Right For Your Business The History Of Domain Names Video Game Addiction

You’re better than me at Adwords. I’m better than you at list-building. Harry Potter’s better than both of us at magic.

The point is, no-one can be perfect at everything and if your business is to grow beyond a mere “mom & pop store” then at some point you’ll need to start delegating responsibility and delve confidently into the world of EMPLOYING people. Someone creates your content. Someone else your website. Another markets. And you? Well you’re scooping up the profits and repeating the whole process with another project. And then another.

For the internet business entrepreneur, by far the best way of hiring is through OUTSOURCING. Here’s a small sample of the type of work that can be outsourced:

– Development of custom-built software & content.

– Customer support.

– Internet marketing.

– Site development.

– Graphic design.

– Creation of business plans/forecasts/research reports.

– Accounting.

I could go on for pages but you get the idea. While outsourcing tends to be associated mostly with huge companies it’s every bit as important to the small internet business entrepreneur. Consider these advantages of implementing outsourcing into your business:

– “Saving time”. Are you trying to do *everything* yourself? This may seem noble to you, and undoubtedly you ought to gain as much practical experience into how things need to be done in your business in case of emergencies. But after a time, if you’re doing a lot of menial tasks then you’re cheating yourself out of time you could be using to do the things that a CEO of a company should be doing to grow the business. Do you reckon Bill Gates sits down every week to do his own search engine optimisation? No, his team handles it for him. What about you? If you can identify the parts of your business that are taking up way too much time, you can potentially seek to outsource them.

– “Cost Effective”. With outsourcing, you only pay for services as and when you need them. In a lot of traditional businesses that employ their own staff this is not so. Often, there is over-capacity so old Dave is having a nice cuppa and reading Sports Illustrated and you’re paying him by the hour to do it. Not so with Outsourcing – you pay only for what you need. Further, when you hire staff you have to deal with additional costings such as insurance and taxes. This is simply too much to handle for a small business – again, something that isn’t a factor with outsourcing.

– “Let The Professionals Handle It”. Certain elements of your business need to be handled by the pro’s if you don’t have the required skills or experience to do it yourself. When you outsource to a reliable professional, you’re ensuring that the job is done right by someone who has the know-how.

So how can you get started growing your business by outsourcing? First, you need to take a long hard look at your own business and pin-point those areas that are either taking too long to complete, aren’t being done properly, or aren’t being done at all.

Franchising a business is a great way to expand and get your products to the market quickly. It is possible to achieve strong growth using the franchise model.

Franchising though is not suitable for every business. Analyse your business model and ask yourself the following questions:

Can my business model be taught easily to people with no prior business experience?

How easy would it be and how much would it cost to recruit new franchisees?

What kind of person would make the ideal franchisee?

Who would provide the training and ongoing support?

What are the unique selling points of my business?

If you can answer all these questions then it is time to seek expert professional advice. You will need help in creating a franchise agreement, training programmes, support systems and marketing methods.

A franchise lawyer will be able to assist you with creating a professional franchise agreement which will end up being the cornerstone of your business.

You will have to decide whether you can do the training in house or outsource it completely. There are many training providers who can do an exceptional job of training your franchisees and I strongly advice you to examine them carefully. These providers will not only assist with the initial training but can also provide ongoing support.

A marketing expert preferably from the franchise industry can give you ideas on how to market your franchise and recruit the best people. It is essential that you do not offer your franchise to everybody who has money. They must also possess the skills required to manage your business successfully.

The services of an accountant will then be required to present your franchise to the banks that specialise in helping franchisees to buy a franchise. Funding agreements must be in place before you start recruiting. Banks are very helpful to have on your side when you start recruiting as most of your franchisees will not have the full funds required to buy your franchise. The franchisees will also require operating capital until their new business can sustain their lifestyle.

To attract the right kind of franchisee you need to present your business opportunity in a professional manner. There are hundreds of franchises on offer and many of them are very good opportunities. The presentation is almost as important as the concept when it comes to recruitment!

Once you have managed to attract the right franchisee it is imperative that they are taken skilfully through the training process. The training must be well thought out and thorough. Many of your recruits will not be coming from either a sales or business background. They will have to be taught basic business and marketing skills prior to learning how to manage your business model.

If premises are required then the choice of location must not be left to the franchisee but rather it should be a joint decision. Even this can be outsourced to professional companies, who specialise in finding the right locations, negotiating favourable terms and dealing with the landlord.

Using the franchising route to expand into new markets can be fraught with dangers but if correctly handled it can lead to successful growth of your business model and ultimately to the profitability of your business.

What is a domain name? A domain name is a unique name, kind of like an e-mail address is unique, which is registered in a database called WHOIS through an organization called Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI). The domain name corresponds to a unique set of numbers called an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The reason we use domain names instead of IP addresses is that they are closer to our language. It would be difficult to market a site like this: “Go to 64.233.167.99 or 216.109.112.135 to search the internet!” A much easier way to do this is to say “Go to www.Google.com or www.yahoo.com to search the internet!” (Both Google and Yahoo are trade marked by Google, Inc., and Yahoo, Inc., respectively).

A domain name points to a computer called a “name server”. The name server knows that your domain name corresponds to your web hosting server’s IP address and it routes the person who typed in your domain name to your web hosting server – to your web site. That is how people anywhere in the world can see your web site by typing your domain name.

In 1992, the National Science Foundation granted an exclusive contract to NSI to be the sole registrar of top level domain names. NSI also had a cooperative agreement with United States Department of Commerce (“DoC”). With no competition, consumers were at the mercy of NSI.

In 1998, NSI and the DoC amended their cooperative agreement to allow for competing registrars. NSI was forced to provide domain name registration to the competing registrars at wholesale prices, rather than the standard $34.99 annual fee. NSI still charges $34.99 per year.

In late 1998, the DoC assigned the responsibility of overseeing the transition to a competitive market for domain names and accreditation of new registrars to a new organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

In 1999, ICANN began taking applications from companies who wanted to become registrars – and then capitalism took over: companies had to compete for business. Prices came down and service improved, however some are better than others. For a more detailed history of this transition, visit www.icann.org/registrars/accreditation-history.htm.

Even with the positive effects of competition in the domain name marketplace, the process of internet domain name registration remains a mystery for many.

There are a lot of companies that want to charge you hundreds of dollars to do the simple task of domain name registration for you. There are some registration companies who will charge you $35 just to register a domain. And there are web site consultants who charge over $100 to do the work for you. But you can do it yourself in about 15 minutes and it can cost as little as $1.99 for a year. If you do some research, learn a little and work smart, you can save yourself some money – and some headaches.

For most of us, video games represent a pleasant break in the day and a source of some entertainment. However a consumer concern group is seeking to raise the understanding in the general public that computer games misuse posses a significant and growing source of addiction in our society. This addiction is real and threatens the lives of many adults and children. It is not limited to children and young adults but affects members of the population at all levels of society and many occupations. However, the biggest threat is to children because they are vulnerable and they may be unable to recover from a serious addition formed at a young age.

People with true video game addictions substitute playing them for normal interaction with friends and family, and the time spent playing them is excessive to the point of interfering with work or school. The time spent at this activity steadily increases as the addiction grows and ending play can bring about withdrawal symptoms of irritability and moodiness. Addictive individuals can spend and average of 70 or 80 hours a week playing these games, reserving little time for work, social life, school or even sleep.

The signs of an addiction in children are easy for a responsible parent to spot. The biggest symptom is the time spent on the computer playing games. Video game time should be monitored just like television watching and the parent must make certain that both activities take place after the normal activities such as family socializing, homework and chores have been satisfied. If a child falls asleep at school often, it may mean that he or she is using sleep time to pay computer games. The child may then lie about the cause of tiredness. The child may also be irritable when not on the computer playing games. If these symptoms are spotted, it is time for the parent to enlist the child’s teachers, friend’s parent and a professional to help the child overcome this problem.

Adults are harder to monitor but a boss who notices an employee asleep at work or failing performance will certainly discuss the reasons with the employee. It is unlikely that the employee will admit his activity since video game use is usually characterized by feelings of guilt. Friends who notice a person dropping out of activities and becoming irritable or sullen should become involved and discuss the possibility of this problem frankly with afflicted person. It is not acceptable to sit by and wait for the problem to pass. Video game addiction can advance to physical addiction and symptoms such as Carpal tunnel syndrome. Sleep problems, back and neck aches, dry eyes and an increasing failure to maintain personal hygiene. The video game addict has replaced his or her real world with the virtual reality of the game. This person needs all the interest and help friends and family can give him and probably a healthcare professional and support group as well to surmount this problem.

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