Tag: Home business

Marketing Ethics

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired with the current marketing strategies of certain companies. You are invited to watch a video, or a landing page, and it literally loses me in the first 5 seconds.

You will ask why? Well, I don’t want to hear 600 times if I would love to look better, make more money, or anything, accompanied by not so official stories of success, only to end up at the end of the video or page, to see that IF you REALLY want all that you have to buy this, that or the other.

How about you start respecting your prospective clients and customers by being honest. Yes share a video or a landing page or even a webinar, and take 10 seconds to tell your audience all the great stuff your company offers, if we only pay this or that amount to learn the how to, or buy your product?

Don’t underestimate the savvy consumer or business person by claiming things that are not proven. Branding your company and gaining respect in the market is essential. Don’t use Facebook or other social media with LOUD titles such as W. White is being fired from TV O M G she is hiding a huge secret, or Helen DeGeneres, only to have people land to a page that claims to have the latest cream, or pill that will magically transform you.

Have you ever seen Dell let’s say, or Macy’s, or Microsoft drag you through the mud to convince you to buy something or subscribe to a service? Of course not! Be honest. Respect who you are and what your company stands for.

In today’s ever changing market, EVERYONE wants to become a billionaire in 5 minutes, pushing buttons, becoming an affiliate of shady companies that show you income pictures from their so called Bank Accounts or PayPal accounts.

Give me a break!

And I do not mean everyone! There are fantastic, hard working honest companies that stand behind their products or services and who respect YOU, the end buyer.

Stick with those good companies and do not fall prey for shady business practices. It is really a shame to see such ethics and conduct, especially now that we have so many wonderful tools to further our businesses and be proud of our process, our product and the people we come in contact with!

The uphill marathon toward entrepreneurship

Hi everyone! Have been traveling a lot this summer and have been observing a lot of stuffThe uphill marathon toward entrepreneurship.

There is a frenzy for blogging, for success, for more, more, more and more. S T O P!

Start thinking and calm down. When will OK be good enough? I do not make money from my blog on purpose. I just write my thoughts, my experiences and see it as what it really is. A hobby. Not EVERYONE has to be an entrepreneur, not everyone has to have a blog. Continue reading “The uphill marathon toward entrepreneurship”

Avoid tech support phone scams

Avoid tech support phone scamsThis happened to me today, and because I am very vigilant, I hung up on them. Here is the article from Microsoft’s own site:

Cybercriminals don’t just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following: Continue reading “Avoid tech support phone scams”

Victims of Employment Scams Speak Out

Victims of Employment Scams Speak OutI had to share this article for all of you.

Adding insult to injury during a recession, some people are preying on the vulnerable and unemployed.

You’ve seen the titillating ads, saying things like: “Make $600 a Day Wearing Your Pajamas” or “Achieve Financial Freedom Without Ever Leaving Your Couch.” Continue reading “Victims of Employment Scams Speak Out”

Holidays are around the corner

November is already here and with it starts a frenzy of spending.

This is a very good time to budget your expenses, because most of my clients come to me wide eyed after the Holidays asking themselves where all the money went. We tend to forget that the year comes to an end and we need to prepare for taxes. Do you have all your ducks in a row?

I have talked about creating a budget in the past. If you haven’t done so, PLEASE start now. Make sure that you are out of debt! If you have consumer debt (credit cards, store cards, etc.) get creative about the upcoming Holidays. Expensive gifts are not going to help you with your debt, and don’t show how much you love your friends and family.
Start simply with an excel sheet, write down ALL your monthly expenses and include your credit card debt payments.
On the next column write down what you bring in every month. Subtract expenses from income and see what you have left.

If there is nothing left, then you have to set some goals and get rid of your debt as fast as possible. Wait to do some basic shopping after Thanksgiving, when prices are at their best.
Make a very conservative list of people you NEED to buy presents for. If you have kids, they don’t need 20 presents each. They can do with 2. Don’t fall for the social pressure trap, and never compare your situation with others. Everyone has their own financial situation and never forget that we create our situation.

Make these Holidays simple, happy and surrounded only by people that truly matter. You can absolutely decline invitations that do not mean anything more than more expenses, and that are not surrounded by friends.

I have cut my list down to 8 people. Everyone else, like colleagues, social acquaintances, my hair and nail salon people etc., will be very happy to receive a small package of cookies or a cake that you baked. You can easily find cheap festive baking pans in your local super market, and simply bake something. The cost of this will only thank your wallet.

I will be posting more ideas as the days go by. Have a great November, and remember! Good finances give you absolute freedom from stress and anxiety.

 

 

 

Pricing yourself and services

When you offer any kind of professional service, you have to know how much to charge. Be prepared, look around. Do an online search for similar services and check out prices.

Do not go over your local Market, but do not under charge either. It is really strange, but when you charge much less than the Market, people tend to think that your services are not worth much. The buyer’s psychology is very important when you try to land a new client.

Also do not apologize for what you charge. 90% of prospective clients will say that they can’t afford you, trying to make you lower your fee. Don’t fall for this trap. Stand your ground by being very polite and by explaining in detail what your services will entail on your part, how much time it will involve and why you are an expert in your field.

It is really ok not to land a client sometimes. On the other hand, if you bend over backwards to get the client, you will seem desperate.

So this is a very tiny rope you are walking on. I am sure that you try to land clients via all the social media platforms out there, and many times there is not the response that you expect. Keep in mind that the internet and social media platforms are inundated with information and millions of businesses just like you trying to do the same thing.

Try to keep your perspective local. Once you establish yourself in your local market, then you can venture further.

Never overdo it with constant posts, constant updates to your pages. People now know how to either unlike your page, stop following your tweets, and simply blocking your information from being uploaded on their news feed on Facebook.

There is a silver line. Be present without annoying people, respect who you are and what you do, make sure that your posts are up to date and always relevant to what you have to offer. Do not post personal jokes, or pictures on any of your professional pages. Respect your clientele so that they respect you.

Facebook Business Page Traps

Lately, I’ve come across the same problem over and over again. Most of my clients are gang ho with all the fuss about creating business pages, blogs, websites with WordPress plugins, SEO webinars and are all confused.

I see fan pages coming up in staggering numbers, but they get stuck. Some people confuse their personal pages with their business identities, and think that posting something about their business will get attention, amidst jokes, pictures with political and non-political messages and then come to be baffled as to why it doesn’t bring them clients or more “friends”.

Time to untangle this knot. You MUST have a personal account on Facebook in order to create a fan (business page). Your personal page has nothing to do with your business or career.
You can create a fan page and then invite your friends to “like” it.

You click on Create a Page and you follow Facebook’s instructions.

Pages

Be informative, give people a reason to like your page, and include information about who you are and what you do.

Take a look at my own “about” page:

About Page

After you have 30 “likes” on your new page, you can then choose a link, so that you can copy and paste it to invite people, or add it to your own website if you have one. It will look something like that: www.facebook.com/stockmalm

This is the very basic. The main point here is NOT to try and talk about your business on your personal page. Your information will get lost in the avalanche of information and posts from your friends and this way you will never attract new clients.

Think of it like that: Your home, and your job or office. You don’t merge the two, you don’t mix your personal life with your business life. You don’t go to work in your pajamas, and you don’t watch TV at night wearing a suit and tie. The same applies to Facebook.

If you adhere by these rules, and want to have any amount of success, then do your career a favor and create a fan page on Facebook.

Also join LinkedIn and connect your Facebook fan page. These are very basic steps to join the business world.

You can contact me and I can guide you further for a fee. Feel free to use my contact form.

I wish you the best of luck!

About a new friend, Mike Omar

I rarely write about others in my blog. This one though not only caught my attention, but also made me change my simple blog to a website-blog.

Looking around to buy a new book for my Kindle, I saw a title that captured my curiosity: HOW TO START A BLOG THAT PEOPLE WILL READ, by Mike Omar. I bought it and started reading, to see what this guy had to say. BIG POSITIVE SURPRISE!!!

Needless to mention that I am sick and tired of the same marketing recipe that is floating all around us. And I mean: “this book will show you how to this and that and the other… Have you ever……???? Well I am here to……” 30 some pages go by and you still haven’t even started reading what you bought the book for!

Not Mike Omar though. He captured my attention from the first paragraph and literally reignited my passion, my fire and my inspiration. I have been writing my blog since July 2010 and with a lot of patience and persistence I gathered 700 followers and subscribers. Not a small feat for a novice like me.

He took me from blah… to WOW in a minute! So my friends, I followed step-by-step his easy to understand, straight forward advice and here I am today with a brand new website-blog of my own, that supports WordPress and I have a wonderful blog with new features, more interactive and without space limits.

I am still learning by Mike, and I will make this a lucrative blog that can eventually bring me some income.

I totally urge you to go see what Mike Omar is all about, at http://makemoneyfromhomelionsclub.com/

Even if you are not interested in blogging, you will learn some valuable stuff.

THANK YOU Mike!

DO YOURSELF A BIG FAVOR during tax season

     

Tax Season is upon us again. Please tell me that you have done your tax preparation. DO NOT let this task get the best of you yearly. It is really a shame to file late, or to panic and fill bags with helter-skelter receipts that you don’t even have a clue about.

Do yourselves a huge favor and buy a piece of software like QuickBooks. If you simply run a household, it will work miracles. ALL you’ll need are about 15 minutes per week.’

You enter EVERY penny you spend, as well as your income. That’s all. You are done.

Buy a few filing folders. Categorize them by the stuff you need to keep, which counts for your taxes.
A few folders should be: Home Insurance, Mortgage Payments, Postage-USPS/UPS, Automobile expenses (gas, service, and insurance), Medical expenses (should include your health insurance), Clothing, Bank account statements, Utilities (TV, electricity, water, gas, trash), Phones, and Charitable Donations. If you have a home office, then add a file for Office expenses (printer cartridges, paper, pens, etc.).

Enter everything into QuickBooks, including groceries, charitable donations, deposits and withdrawals to and from your Bank account.

THROW AWAY grocery receipts and anything that does not apply to your CPA’s needs. The rest, you need to keep for three years. Once you have collected three years’ worth of files, and then start your fourth year. On the fifth year, you throw away everything from year 1. In other words, you ALWAYS have in hand 3 past years and the current year of files with receipts and statements.

It is really simple. Teach yourself to get into this routine. You will feel so much freer, so much more organized that your CPA will thank you for it.

On January 1st, simply print out your last fiscal year, mail it to your CPA without any other papers and guess what? YOU ARE DONE.
If you are employed and receive 1099 or W2 forms, then you have to wait until January 31st to receive those, because you have to hand those to your CPA as well.
If you have a business, I am sure that you have a bookkeeper in your team, whose responsibility is to have all that in order for you and mails out all the necessary tax forms for your employees and independent contractors no later than January 21st, so that everyone can have their tax documents in order.

All it takes is some organizing, some determination and a piece of very helpful software.
If you take those very simple steps, you will breeze through tax season each year and avoid headaches, problems, stress and frustration.
If you need bookkeeping help, you can contact me through my page: www.facebook.com/MariellaStockmal1

What I Have Learned From my Mistakes

When we make mistakes, or rather while we are making them, often we don’t realize that they are mistakes. My excuse was always, “Oh, I’ll find a way around this,” or “Just this one time.”

I found out though that the more slack I gave myself, the more I repeated the behaviors, and then I beat myself up for not learning from my mistakes.

It is a big thing for me personally to be able to say that I have learned from my mistakes. It took time, effort, and a lot of tears.

Here is my personal list of lessons learned. I have a copy on my fridge so I never forget.

1. Be honest about what you need and what you think you need.

2. Ignorance is not bliss. Not knowing where you stand financially, can ruin you.

3. Don’t buy unless you pay off your debts. No shoes, clothes, jewelry, spas, lattes.

4. Stay on top of your bills every month. Pick a date and go through your bank accounts, bills, and payments.

5. Run your home like you are the CEO of a huge corporation.

6. Don’t “invest” in get-rich-quick schemes. You will only wind up spending more money. When something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is just that: Too good to be true.

7. Be happy with every small victory. Every payment that you make toward your debt brings you closer to freedom.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are not alone in this journey.

9. Don’t be ashamed of your situation. MOST of us have been exactly where you are at some point in our lives.

10. And last but not least, SMILE. Life is going by too fast. Smile; you’re doing the right thing. Every small step is a step closer toward achieving your goals.