INTERNET BASED MONEY-MAKING BUSINESS

With any internet-based money-making business, there is often a sense among beginners that it is pointless to even try it, because they have no special knowledge and cannot expect to develop it in time for it to be effective.

The fact of the matter is, though, that many of the systems in place are so designed to be user-friendly that you don’t actually need that high a level of knowledge in the first place.

You just need to follow some simple instructions and you’re pretty much on your way.START A BUSINESS NOW

Adsense is a system that has grown up among people who run their own websites, and allows them to monetize their sites without really doing very much.

It is a simple matter of signing up to use Adsense on your site and allowing Google to have access to your site for the placing of ads that are relevant to your content.

Adsense will do the rest itself and give you the tools to make money from the searches and clicks of people who visit your site.

This all sounds very straightforward and there is no doubt that many people will be looking for the “catch”.
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YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WEB SITE

Your Small Business Web Site

A web site is a crucial ingredient of your marketing strategy because it can widen your target market to include anyone who has access to a computer and the internet. So, how can you reach some of those internet surfers, and how can you capture some of the billions spent in ecommerce?

small business web site, small business website

A web site is a crucial ingredient of your marketing strategy because it can widen your target market to include anyone who has access to a computer and the internet. Almost 60% of Canadians had access to the internet at home in 2003, and around 8 million had regular access to the internet from somewhere, either at home, at work or at school.

And that’s just in Canada. Ecommerce sales from Canada were $7.2 billion, and we only captured 4% of the global ecommerce market! So, how can you reach some of those internet surfers, and how can you capture some of that $7.2 billion spent in ecommerce?BUILDING RETIREMENT WEALTH

First, you build it

The first step is designing your website. If your company already has business cards and letterhead, it’s best to design your website around them. A matching corporate identity and website helps with branding.STARTING A BUSINESS

I like uncomplicated websites, with a simple layout and easy navigation. A nice, simple layout, with good graphics, balanced look and good color combinations is my #1 goal when designing a small business web site.

Remember to use graphics sparingly and to optimize them for your website because internet surfers are impatient. If your page loads too slowly, they’ll leave.

Navigation should be easy to find and to use, and it should be consistent from page to page. I’ve left more than one site frustrated because I couldn’t easily find their navigation.

Small business web sites aren’t static. They evolve. You need to start somewhere, and starting with an introductory web site is probably easiest. All you really need to start is five pages. You can always add pages later.

The important thing is to just do it—take the plunge and get it out there.

Your five pages could include an index, or home page, about us, services, contact and a sitemap. The index page is your landing page. Typically its design is a little more detailed than the others, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I like to use CSS (cascading style sheets) for designing because it’s simply easier to build a web site and to edit its layout with CSS rather than just HTML (hypertext markup language) alone. A change on a CSS sheet changes all the pages on your site at once.

Content is king
Once your site is designed, you’ll want to start thinking about content. Design is very important, but it does little good to have a beautiful site without high-quality content.

Your small business home page introduces you and your company—who you are and what you do. The about us page is usually used to give more detail than the home page about who you are, and your services page gives more detail about what you do.

You might wonder why you’d “waste” a page on a sitemap since you only have 5 pages, but sitemaps help search engines find all the pages in your site.

As far as content goes, more is better, up to a point. Your pages should be content rich and informative, but they also need to be relevant to your small business. If your visitor can’t figure out what your web site is about in just a few seconds, they may leave.

The internet was at first strictly informational, and that’s how it remains today. Several times people have tried experiments using copywriting similar to direct mail sales letters, but they’ve all failed.

It seems as if people surf the internet more for information than anything else. Knowing this will help you write pages people will want to read.

Attracting visitors

You could follow your instinct and just start writing, but wait. There’s research you must do first, or your web site simply won’t be high enough in searches to be found. Search engine optimization is far too big a subject to cover in this short article, but among other things, search engines find your pages based on keywords.

So, pretend for a moment that you’re on the other side of the desk. If you were a customer of your own business, what words or phrases would you use to search for your product or service? Ask friends and neighbors how they’d search for your product or services.

When you’ve come up with a few, check them out on a keyword suggestions tool. You can also use that tool to suggest similar words and phrases. Then find out how many results there would be if you searched for that term.

What you want to do next is narrow down your choices to the words or phrases that are searched for the most, but have the fewest results.

Remember that people generally don’t look beyond the first three pages for any search term, so if you’re not in the top three pages, your business is not likely to be found at all. If there are millions of results for your phrase, you might simply need to make it more specific.

For example, let’s say you have a small business consulting company that specializes in communication for small business. Using “communication” as a search term is nearly pointless because there are almost 2 billion results for that word.

But, there are only 974 results for “small business communication”.

Much better, but how often is that searched for? According to WordTracker, it’s searched for 10 times a day. Not bad, but I think we can do better. How about “small business consulting”?

That’s searched for 261 times a day, and there are 373,000 results. That could be the best primary phrase for a small business communication consulting company.

What you want to do, is write your content around those words and phrases. You don’t want or need very many—three or four are plenty.

Getting them to come back again and again
Getting visitors to come back to your site again and again is relatively simple. Keep your content fresh and lively, make sure it’s informative, and add to it often.

I hope you decide your small business needs a web site. It’s the best way I know how to reach a wider target audience with a relatively small investment.

15 STEPS TO STARTING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

ONLINE BUSINESS, INTERNET BUSINESS, MULTI-LEVEL BUSINESS, HOMEBASED BUSINESS

15 Easy Steps to Starting Your Small Business BY EVE JACKSON — 2006

When I was first starting up my business, I searched for a good article on startup, and couldn’t find any, so I decided to write this short guide.

starting a small business, a small business startup guide

Yeah, sure it’s easy, and of course, that title is a little tongue in cheek. It takes a lot of hard work to get off the ground. But, it’s worth every hour I’ve spent getting to where I am now.

When I decided to start my communication and image consulting business, I tried hard to find a good startup guide. I couldn’t find any that had all the steps. So, I decided to write one. So far, it’s mostly just the bare-bones outline (which is long enough as it is) you see in this article.

I’ll be adding to it every week or two, and writing more detailed articles on all the steps, so try to stop by and check it out from time to time. Let me know how I’m doing. Shoot off an email to me if I’ve forgotten something or you have questions.

Before you spend so much as a dollar, talk to a few experts. Go to the library or get on the internet and research, research, research. Take a little time to make sure entrepreneurship is right for you.PASSIVE AND RESIDUAL PART TIME INCOME

Make a pro and con list of business ownership, and evaluate yourself honestly. How many characteristics do you have in common with successful entrepreneurs? Is your financial position strong enough? Do you have the necessary technical and management skills?

You’re not going to be the perfect entrepreneur. Nobody is. But in order to make yourself the best entrepreneur. you can be, consider ways to compensate for any weaknesses you might have.

I’m from Canada, so the government agencies I’ve mentioned in this guide are Canadian, but really, they can be used by anyone. All you have to do, if you’re from somewhere other than Canada, is find out where you need to find some of the things I’ll talk about.

Some of the steps might be slightly different, and you may not have to worry about things like GST for example, but I’m sure you’ll find this discussion helpful all the same.

These steps to starting a business are in reasonably good order, but you might find yourself varying from it under your particular circumstances. That really isn’t a big deal, as long as you get most of it done.

There are some steps you’ll be able to skip as well, but please don’t skip any of the “big ones”, which I’m sure you’ll pretty much figure out from taking a look at the list.

So, assuming you’ve done your evaluation and you still want to start a business, take a deep breath, and let’s get started.

1. Conduct a feasibility study of your business. Describe your typical customer, your product, and your competitors. Who will your suppliers be? What will you charge for your product? How will you market your product? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer.

2. Write a complete business plan for your company, using the information you gathered from your feasibility study. This vitally important often overlooked step needs to include a description of your company, its goals, competitors, market, financial information, and of course, how you intend to meet your goals.

3. Get your financing in place. There are many ways to finance your business, from your own savings to personal credit cards to bank loans. If you need credit, know your business plan from front to back and maybe even sideways.

4. Decide what kind of structure your company will have. From a legal standpoint, there are three basic choices, sole proprietorship, partnership, and incorporation, each with advantages and disadvantages.

5. Choose a name for your company and check on name availability. Naming your company is highly individual, but it’s the first thing associated with your business, so choose your name carefully.

You’ll need to do a NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) report, which checks your name choices for uniqueness against a database of other business names. A reserved name is valid for 90 days.

6. Decide whether you want to register federally or provincially and register your company. If you register federally, you’ll also have to register provincially, which almost doubles the cost. You don’t have to have a lawyer process them for you, but it might be a good idea to at least consult with one.

You can get the forms from your local government officials, have them faxed to you or download them. You can fax or email printed copies, or complete the forms online

7. Contact Canada Revenue Agency Business Window for your business number, and to register for GST/HST, payroll, corporate income tax, and import/export (if applicable).

You can also contact the CRA if you need general information about business expenses. Chances are you’ll have to collect GST, but you may want to register for a GST number even if you don’t have to collect it because of input tax credits.

8. Decide whether you need to collect PST. If you do, you need to submit “Registration as a Vendor” documents with your province.

9. Determine whether there are special permits or licenses in your municipality. It’s highly unlikely that your municipality does not have special permits or licenses.

10. Develop the marketing materials you decided on in your business plan. They should include at least a company identity package, press kit, and website. Your identity package is your logo, business card, and letterhead. A press kit can include letters of introduction, biography sheets, press releases, articles, and a brochure. In today’s electronic age, printed materials aren’t enough. You need a website that looks professional, matches your printed material, and has a great copy. You’ll also want to make sure it’s optimized for search engines.

11. Set up your business bank account and record-keeping system. Your banker will need to see your incorporation documents, and you should probably set up more than one account so you can keep track of your finances better. Record-keeping is required, and can be done manually or with a computer program.

12. Purchase insurance. There are many different types of insurance, but most probably your company will need at least one. For example, if you’re going to have employees, you need to contact the Worker’s Compensation Board.
Depending on your type of business, you might want to contact them even if you don’t have employees to insure yourself.

13. Contact potential creditors and set up credit terms. You should have researched suppliers when you were doing your feasibility study. Now is the time to contact them.

14. Decide where your business will be located. Lease your business space. Alternatively, you could choose to start your business from home if it’s feasible. There are advantages and disadvantages to starting your business from home. You have tax write-offs for example, but sometimes your image suffers.

15. Purchase supplies and office equipment. You’ll need too many things to list here, and of course, each business has different needs. You might need a fax machine and printer. You’ll probably need a computer. You’ll definitely need paper, pens, pencils and a calculator.

Congratulations! Go out, buy yourself a bottle of champagne and celebrate. You’re about to embark on a most exciting journey. And may I be the first to wish you good luck and prosperous times in your business venture
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As promised, here’s my email address so you can ask questions, make comments or add steps to my list. Or, if you want, you could just drop me a line to let me know how your small business is doing. I’d really like to know.

Copyright© 2006 Eve Jackson