How to Host a Successful Online Direct Sales Party, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)
3-Prepare Well Prior to the Event

Good preparation is key for any event, but really knowing your inventory and product lines are essential for a successful show. You will want to make sure that you have everything ready to go before the party.

Important items will include your product pictures, promotional materials and links to buy. You will also want to have activities for attendees that will enable them to participate and win prizes.

What can you do online in a chat room? You can play guessing games, or you can have a raffle and give away prizes. One fun game is to have people hunt for an object in the online product catalog. Give hints, and the first person to find the object wins that prize.

Since this is an online event, you will have to be prepared to mail out any winning items, so be sure that the things you plan to give away are light-weight and can be packaged easily with little concern for breakage or damage.  Have supplies on hand for these mailings, including inexpensive cushioned envelopes, or the free Priority Mail flat rate envelopes and boxes. Have return address items printed up with your contact information and URL of your online direct sales storefront.

You might also consider creating handy sheets like make-up tips for women with various complexions, how to create certain eye make-up looks for various occasions (smoky eye, day time eye make-up, and so on) and perhaps a list of your top 10 bestsellers, with details, so they do not have to hunt so much online.  Any chance you get to be in someone’s mailbox inexpensively is a great offline opportunity. Also encourage them to pass along the information to their friends (be sure your URL and contact info is on everything you send out) and to invite them to come to your next online event.

We recommend you schedule one per month for three months in a row to get people excited and also enable anyone who misses one to have a follow up chance to attend another one. Announce the second one at the end of the first event, and so on. One sales event is great, but continuity, that is, regular customers buying each month, will be crucial for creating a steady income from your direct sales business.
(Continued in Part 3)


How to Host a Successful Online Direct Sales Party, Part 1

Online direct sales parties are growing in popularity. Direct sales professionals love them because they don’t have to leave home to make money. Customers love them because they are fun, and everyone loves shopping online.

If you have never considered marketing your online sales business in this way before, there are a few things you will want to do to ensure your online direct sales party is a success.

Here are a few suggestions:

1-Plan It just Like a Party

Impromptu parties rarely work. That’s true online and off. In order for your online direct sales party to work well and create a successful sales opportunity, you need to plan it in a similar manner to any other direct sales party you would hold in the real world. There are essential for both that you need to remind yourself of. These include:
* Making a list of the people you want to attend.
* Choosing a date and time  that works well for everyone (remember the different time zones in the United States and aim for a time that suits everyone.
* Send the invitations through a variety of means, including social networking.
2-Decide where to hold the virtual party.
Instead of someone’s living room, you have a variety of virtual rooms to choose from. These can include a chat room or webinar meeting site. You can also host it on a social networking site. Skype is fun if everyone has Skype but it can also be a bit chaotic. You want to be able to showcase your products, have a little fun and socialize online all at the same time. The more visual the presentation of your products, the better.
(Continued in Part 2)


How to Start Your Own Business With Little or No Money, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

4-Become an affiliate.
An affiliate sells products and services for a commission. You are probably familiar with Avon and Tupperware, in which people sell products to friends and family, host parties and so on. This is commonly referred to as direct selling, and is done in person.

You can also sell products online for a commission, in which case it is referred to as being an affiliate. There are many affiliate marketplaces in which top companies and designer brands recruit people to sell for them.

The largest marketplaces for affiliate selling are Commission Junction (, LinkShare and ShareASale. Amazon and eBay also have affiliate programs. You don’t even need a website to sell these products. Simply create your links and put them in the signature files of your emails, put at the end of any posting you create on notice board or forum, use in the comments section of a blog you read and use in your social networking area.

If you do have a website, so much the better. You can post [honest] reviews of the products you are selling, the latest hot items in your niche, and more.

Choose a niche, that is, an area of expertise, and stick to it. Study it carefully and know what people like and are genuinely interested in. For example, if you are a real movie buff, then selling DVDS is a great option. Do not do it, however, if you barely ever see a film.

Being an affiliate can be a fun and interesting way to make your own money and even start your own side business. You promote the products, and the company you are an affiliate for does the rest, taking care of all the order fulfillment, packing and shipping. The commissions may not be that high, but they are better than nothing.

You can also consider being an affiliate as an ‘instant discount’ on any products and services that you buy. For example, you shop online at Amazon anyway (and tens of millions of people do), become an Amazon Associate, then set up a second account so you can buy through your own link and get instant savings.

Being between jobs doesn’t mean you have to do without income. You might also want to supplement your income from your day job, or start moving towards the financial and personal freedom you long for by starting your own business.

There are many ways to start your own business even with little or no spare cash, if you are willing to put in the time and effort. The ideas above are just a starting point to get you thinking about all of your available options.

As an added bonus, by earning any sort of temporary income, you can start creating the kind of wealth you need to start the business of your dreams. You will also be coming into contact with people who may be able to help you find a permanent position.

If you still have a job but you are underpaid, underemployed, or both, these are just a few of the ways that you can make extra money to pay off debts, start an emergency fund, or start saving for your financial goals for the future.

Further Reading
YOUR RECESSION SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to Save Money and Even Boost Your Income in This Recession

How to Start a Successful Small Business Even If You Don’t Have Much Cash

How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing Even Without a Website

Information Marketing Success: How to Make the Most of Your Online Content for Increased Traffic and Profits


How to Start Your Own Business With Little or No Money, Part 1

Many people long to own their own business, but don’t know how to get started. Thanks to the Internet, many people are now able to start their own business and work from home, using the assets that they already have.

If you are eager to start your own business, but think you can’t because you haven’t got a lot of spare cash, here are some ideas that can help you get started today.

1-Clean out your house, and buy garage sale or eBay items to re-sell them for a profit.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Clean out your house of any old items you no longer use or might already have replaced with a newer model. Why have it cluttering up the house when you can sell it and put that money in the bank or pay off your debts?

Spending Fridays and Saturdays snapping up bargains from garage sales and selling them at flea markets or on eBay can be very lucrative. So can buying items in bulk at wholesale prices from websites or eBay and selling them on your own site or in the Amazon Marketplace. In the past decade or so since Internet shopping has taken off, this has become a profession that provides a full-time living with part-time hours for many people.

You need to know your niche and the prices for things, and what is hot at the moment, to do really well financially. You will also need to know about packaging and shipping rules and have a good customer service mind set in order to get good reviews. The good reviews will help keep repeat customers coming back for more. If you have a particular skill set or in-depth knowledge of a certain topic, known as a niche, you can do well by providing exactly what the people in that niche are eager to buy.

2-Try landscaping.
Landscaping has become a profitable hobby or full-time living for many. If you have a way with plants and an eye for design, you can charge some good professional fees for doing some landscaping. Start with your own garden and those of as many neighbors as possible to get your portfolio going, and then you should be able to start charging competitive rates to new clients.

3-Make money from your hobby.
You can build furniture or decorative items, arts and crafts, create personalized scrapbooks, home-made gifts of all kinds, and so on. If you don’t have a hobby like this, the skills for many of them are easily learned and enjoyable as well. Sell your items at flea markets, on or eBay, or spread the word through friends.

(Continued in Part 2)


Top Tips on Outsourcing For Your Small Business, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

* What to Outsource
The first few things to outsource are:
1. Low-level tasks that take up a lot of time
2. Things that take up a lot of your energy
3. Things that you are not very good at, annoy you, or you dislike

By easing the burden on both your time and energy, you will feel less drained and be better able to tackle the really important challenges in your business.

* When to Outsource

The real answer is as soon as you start your business, but you might not have the cash for that. However, do include it as a built-in part of your business plan. Once you have some cash coming in, go to the freelance marketplaces and and see who you can find to lend a hand with certain tasks. You can easily get rid of the bad workers and find some reliable good ones to help you. Just remember that outsourcing should actually make you money, not cost you money.

For example, if your work is ultimately worth $50 an hour but you are spending your time on $10-an-hour tasks, you can hire 4 workers at $10 an hour and still be making a profit, but you will have reduced the value of your time. However, if you can boost the value of your time to $100 an hour because you are free to focus on what you do best, then your outsourcing will more than pay for itself and leave you plenty of profits besides.
* Outsource In All Areas of Your Life the Box

Don’t just outsource things inside your business, but in your personal life as well, to help you become more efficient. You might not like the idea of people ‘waiting on you’, but especially in this economy, think of all the people you can help earn money in gainful employment.
If your time is worth $50 an hour, then by all means pay someone $10 an hour to do your laundry, clean your house, shop for your essentials, and so on. Even if you are only paying your child or spouse, remember that there are many acceptable tax deductions once you own a business.

It might seem like an extraneous expense, but again, every extra hour you can put into your business is more money earned. More money earned means more success for you and your loved one, and more ability to help others.
*Outsourcing Online
Outsourcing online can give you access to people all around the world willing to work to earn money. In this case, you might not outsource ongoing tasks, but small projects. Logo creation, website creation, and other one-off projects can all be running in the background simultaneously while you do other work. You can also outsource ongoing tasks like attending to customer service, virtual assistant tasks and more. See how you spend your time every day and what you can safely hand over to others and free up your time to generate more revenue more rapidly thanks to outsourcing.



Top Tips on Outsourcing For Your Small Business, Part 1

Outsourcing is one of the most powerful tools in any small business owner’s toolkit for increasing their productivity, output and eventual profits.

Most new business owners start out doing everything themselves. This allows them to keep control of all aspects of their business during the critical start-up phase and to keep costs down. Unfortunately, this control over the work and the costs can actually start to hamper them and prevent the business from growing to its full potential.

Here are some top tips on how to use outsourcing effectively for your small business.

* The Boss Does Not Need to Sweep the Floor

Most business owners get into the mindset that if they want the job done well, they have to do it themselves. This might be true, but as your business grows, you will have to decide which jobs you NEED to do for the sake of the business, and which will need to be outsourced because there will never be enough hours in the day to do everything.

It is easy to find someone to sweep the floor for minimum wage. That same person would not be likely to be the best choice to send to a high-powered meeting with potential investors. Therefore, why are you doing THEIR job, when you should be doing YOURS?

Your job as the head of the business is to grow your company to a healthy and sustainable level financially through activities which generate income. No matter what your business, there are administrative tasks that can be handed over to others. The critical thinking and real value creation is where you as the owner should be focusing your attention.

By all means start people off in the process, for example, by creating sample customer service emails that your outsourced worker can edit as needed. And do ask them to let you know of any major problems that might arise, since customer service is an important part of keeping customers loyal and establishing a good reputation for your business. But it would not be a productive use of your time to answer every CS email yourself.

(Continued in Part 2)


Apple iPod Touch

The new Apple iPod Touch is a state-of-the-art mini-computer that has
revolutionized wireless technology. Not only can you access the internet, but
you can send email, get the latest stock quotes, check the weather, use it as a
GPS system, and much more.

The Apple iPod features the following:

* Includes five software applications: e-mail, maps, weather, stocks, and notes

* 32 GB flash memory stores up to 7,000 songs, 40 hours of video, or 25,000

* Built-in Wi-Fi capability allows direct access to the Internet via Safari,
YouTube videos, and the iTunes wireless store

* Includes earphones, USB 2.0 cable, universal dock adapter, polishing cloth,
iPod touch stand, and quick start guidw

* 1-Year Limited Warranty, 90-Day Single Incident Phone Support

* Capacity: 32 GB flash drive

* Song capacity: Up to 7,000 (128-Kbps AAC format)

* Photo capacity: Up to 25,000 iPod-viewable photos

* Video playback: Up to 40 hours

* Display: 3.5-inch widescreen multi-touch display, 480 x 320 pixels

* Battery: Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery; charging via USB or power
adapter (not included)

* Battery life for audio playback: Up to 22 hours

* Battery life for video playback: Up to 5 hours

* Battery charging time: Fast-charge time: about 1.5 hours (charges up to 80%
of battery capacity); full-charge time: about 3 hours

* Interface: Dock connector, 3.5-millimeter earphone jack

* System requirements (Mac): Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later; available USB 2.0
port; iTunes 7.4 or later installed

* System requirements (Windows): Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or
Professional with SP2 or later; available USB 2.0 port; iTunes 7.4 or later

The Apple iPod has wireless capability so that you can access to the web using
its new built-in application called Safari. This allows you to surf the web
using the touch-screen keyboard. Moreover, you can view the screen in portrait
or landscape as well as zoom in and out to give you a full view of the
information you are seeking.

In addition, YouTube can be accessed and videos can be bookmarked for future
viewing. You can also send and receive email; and access such applications as
Microsoft Word and Excel as well as graphics incorporated into the email itself.

Add to this the fact that you can locate music of all genres, download movies,
TV shows, and display thousands of photos; there is no doubt why the Apple iPod
has been touted as the best mini-computer of its kind to date.