general

A Simplified Staffing Business Model

Posted on

In much the same way Amazon and eBay have helped many get their start in starting, developing and running an e-commerce business, this same help is now available in starting a staffing business.

There are now well over two million third-party sellers on Amazon. The infrastructure that is on Amazon and eBay is plug_ and_ play for all who try and claim their stake on these selling platforms.

With this in mind, the traditional route for those seeking an opportunity to start their own staffing business included the need for a large capital infusion, a payroll system, access to high-cost worker's compensation insurance and many other costs that were prohibitive for most to enter the industry.

For many who do have the resources to enter the staffing industry, they often turn to high-cost franchise staffing companies who enjoy a large slice of earnings for the lifetime of the business. This relationship can grow strained over time and at some point the operator may feel they are contributing more to the franchise than the franchise is contributing to the operator. When this occurs, the separation from the business can grow messy and can even end in litigation.

The simplicity of both Amazon and eBay and their policies are a big draw for many who are looking to sell products online. There are no long-term agreements or costs that can easily cripple a new business. Being able to be flexible in a new venture is always a great asset and both these platforms allow for it.

This flexibility platform is now available in the world of staffing and has over 150 firms using this unique business model to grow impressive sized businesses with many reaching over a million in first-year billing. With over half a billion under management in less than 10 years in operation, one can see this is becoming a great alternative to going it alone or entering into a long-term agreement with a franchise.

What you get on the platform:

  • Worker's compensation insurance with no liability to the operator.
  • An unlimited funding source for all payroll and client billing.
  • A complete back-office for all management and personnel needs.
  • Access to professionals with over 40 years of staffing experience.

With all the boxes checked, this platform can be summed up as the Amazon or eBay of the staffing industry. If mitigation of risk is high on your list for starting a sustainable, prosperous business there are few options that can match what is now available.

Source Article

general

Discover the Top 7 Lead Generation Methods for Your Business (And Understand Them)

Posted on

Just like the classic real estate industry question: "What are the TOP 3 most important features of any property?" (location, location, location) – the single most important fuel you'll ever create, buy or wish you had for your business is leads, leads, leads! Doesn't it make sense to know and understand the top 7 ways to generate leads?

Production Method # 1:

Direct Visual Impact. Impact? Really? Really! Unfortunately, when it comes to direct lead generation like it has been done for decades, most people get it wrong. It doesn't matter if it is a sign on the side of your vehicle, building or bandit signs, you must be direct, powerful and short with your message. Your colors must be bright and high contrast. Yellow and black signs work best, period. The sign area must be maximized so that letters are as big as possible. Become a sign sage – evaluate readability, placement and "attention factor" of every sign you see. Emulate the best of what you see.

Production Method # 2:

It is very important that you become hyper-aware of the power of coupons. You can easily make a business card that is also a coupon. When you do this, you are adding huge power to every card you give out. Can you put flyers on car windows? If you put a flyer on my windshield, it makes me want to meet you to give you a piece of my mind. When you put a valuable coupon the size of a business card just above my door handle in the window rubber, I will put it in my wallet – BIG difference!

Production Method # 3:

The US Post Office (USPS) is now offering delivery of an 8 "x 11" flyer for 16 cents per mail box. This is an amazing deal. It gets better. You can sell advertising on a flyer to other businesses that do not compete with you and cover your cost. Please understand, you can get 5,000 double sided color flyers that are plastic coated for about $ 400. You can see, with both sides available for ads (coupons) you'll have plenty of space to sell and at the same time, your ad (coupon) appears on a portion of the same flyer. This is endless free advertising in exchange for a little work. You could even make money while getting your ad for free!

Production Method # 4:

We all hate email SPAM, don't we? However, you may not realize that you have probably responded to a SPAM email at some time. From that email, you may have built trust in the person who sent you the original SPAM. SPAM is legal if you follow some simple rules – Google it. Major corporations use legal email SPAM. Most people don't realize that the SPAM law is actually the CAN-SPAM law (meaning you can spam as long as you follow a half dozen simple rules).

How can you do it so no one gets upset? Offer …

general

The Most Powerful Business Model – Social Entrepreneurship

Posted on

The Reasons Why We Can’t Ignore Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurship is quickly becoming the most powerful business model of the 21st century. It is an exciting process by which passionate and ambitious individuals build or transform a business to provide innovative solutions to social problems such as poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, clean air and water, and health care.

The world today is plagued by probably more problems than ever before in history. We face challenges like never before and the “to do” list is enormous and growing. Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon that operates in areas where traditional non-profit and government based support structures have not been successful.

Social Entrepreneurs are ordinary people who find innovative solutions to society’s social problems. They use traditional entrepreneurial models to bring social or community benefits. Social Entrepreneurs often have a personal experience of the need they are addressing and as such they are uniquely positioned to address some of our most pressing social challenges. They are passionate, driven and committed.

The recognition of Simon McKeon as 2011 Australian of the year has brought the term “Social Entrepreneur” in the national conversation. From the presidential campaign of Barack Obama to grassroots organisations, the concept of social entrepreneurship has received a lot of attention in recent times. It has been touted by many as the means of bringing real and lasting change to a broken and hurting world. Although Social Entrepreneur and Social Entrepreneurship are relatively new terms, examples are found throughout history. They have always existed but in the past they were called visionaries, humanitarians, missionaries, philanthropist, reformers, saints or simply great leaders. Attention was paid to their courage, compassion and great vision but rarely to the practical aspects of their accomplishments. Children learn that Florence Nightingale cared for wounded soldiers but not that she built the first professional school for nurses and revolutionised the hospital system.

Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss and improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating solutions to change society for the better. While a business entrepreneur might create entirely new industries, a social entrepreneur comes up with new solutions to social problems and then implements them.

But while they may read from a different bottom line, social and business entrepreneurs have a lot in common. They build something out of nothing. They are ambitious to achieve. They marshal resources – sometimes from the unlikeliest places – to meet their needs. They are constantly creative. And they are not afraid to make mistakes.

In fact, this new initiative has the world’s leading policy makers predicting that it will not only become the most purposeful, profitable platform of our time, but also a revolutionary change in thinking and planning for sustainable global improvement.

Social responsibility+Entrepreneurial strategies = Big Change.

Source Article

clothing

Men’s Fashion – 5 Steps to Painless Shopping for Business Attire

Posted on

Are you a guy who loves to shop? Or would you rather do anything than spend an afternoon buying business clothing?

If you avoid the mall like the plague, this article gives you 5 steps to shopping for a smart looking business wardrobe.

1. Survey your closet. Instead of making haphazard purchases, go through your closet to see what you need. If you are like most men, you hate the thought of doing this. Here’s how to do it quickly and easily. Enlist the help of a sympathetic female – your girlfriend, wife, friend, sister or cousin. Make sure this woman has a good eye for fashion, and can help you decide what looks good on you, and what is detracting from a professional business image.

2. Make a plan. Decide what items are highest on your priority list. These may be items you don’t currently have, such as a suit or dress shirt for a job interview. Or they may be items that are outdated, that don’t fit you well, or that don’t meet your work needs. For example, if you’ve changed jobs and now work in a more conservative environment, you may need a new jacket or two. But if your company has a new business casual policy, a few sweaters or polo shirts can update your business wardrobe.

3. Do your market research. Scout out a few stores to find out what kind of men’s wear they carry. It is mainly suits? More casual wear? What is the price range? Do they accept all the major credit cards, or only their store cards? If you are on a budget, it’s important to find this out before you fall in love with a designer suit that’s way out of your range.

4. Know your finances. Decide on your priorities, and how much money you can spend before you go shopping. Even if money is not a problem, when you buy clothes, especially suits, the price can rise quickly when you add the shirts, ties and accessories to match. Deciding ahead of time what you are looking for can help you resist sales pressure once you’re in the store.

5. Know your body type. If you aren’t sure, ask a good sales person, or your female shopping companion, to help you discover what looks good on you. Even small changes in style can make a huge difference in how the clothes fit you, and the impression you make.

Source Article

general

How the SaaS (Software-As-A-Service) Model Affects Business Process Improvement

Posted on

An early question surrounding business process improvement (BPI) and the use of technology was:

Does the technology drive the processes?

Or …

Does the process drive the technology?

While many believe that the process should drive the technology because you only want to spend your limited technology budget on the most efficient process possible, an interesting change is occurring in the information technology (IT) environment with the increasing use of the Software-as- a-Service model.

The SaaS model is the next generation of software implementation models. Over the last decade, companies moved from the traditional software model (where the company provided the infrastructure to host the application, customized the solution to the company specific requirements, provided the necessary IT support, and dealt with major upgrades every three to five years) to the Application Service Provider, or ASP, model (where the vendor hosted a software application on their hardware and leased out a unique instance to a company, which allowed a certain degree of customization).

The ASP model did not require companies to purchase on-site hardware, and provided the opportunity for a less expensive and quicker software implementation. In moving to the ASP model, companies hoped to reduce the total cost of ownership for a technology implementation.

Today, the SaaS model is rapidly growing and quickly defining the way companies implement software applications. You can think of SaaS as the next generation ASP, with a key difference being that all customers reside on the same instance. In this model, the vendor has responsibility for increases in capacity and scalability. They continually perform research and development, thus enabling them to provide more frequent enhancements to customers without the need for major upgrades. SaaS sales increased from 2010 to 2011 by 21% and estimates indicate that sales will more than double by 2015.

While companies enjoy reducing their technology investment, they do not necessarily want to use the same exact product that their neighbor uses. The SaaS model though depends on application standardization to keep costs down, which means limited or no customization. So, how do companies balance the financial benefit of the SaaS model with the need for unique business processes since companies differentiate themselves from competitors by their business processes, among other things?

A company has to identify what truly differentiates the business from the competition. What are the core competencies of your company? Accept that not all business processes are created equal and focus resources on building (or improving) business processes around your differentiators. For example:

  • If research and development sets your company apart, focus on processes like idea generation, market research, and product development.
  • If service delivery differentiates you, focus on processes like order processing, order fulfillment, and customer support.
  • If retaining employees is critical, focus on employee-centric processes like recognition and succession planning.

Take advantage of the lower cost offered by the SaaS model for non-core business processes, but keep improving the business processes that differentiate you from your competition.

Copyright 2012 Susan Page

Source Article

general

Is Your Business Model Snuffing Out Your Message?

Posted on

I often talk to coaches, consultants, freelancers, small business owners, authors, speakers … etc. who feel stuck.

Well, screw the label, that's not important. They're the "do their own thing, do something meaningful" kind of people.

They've done the professional training, bought the marketing program, and even built a business or two.

But they rarely go back to square one and question whether they have structured their business to amplify their vision and message.

Oh, you're certified as a "coach" – so there's what a coaching business model looks like: a 1: 1 program, a group program, an online course, and an info product. Or, a 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month package. The end.

When people are starting out, a business model is a godsend. It gives you something to build upon and the visibility of "where the money is coming from."

But as you evolve and refine your skills and message, it's easy to get on autopilot and take the business model as a given.

What used to work when you needed training wheels may not work now that you've figured out what the heck you're doing.

Have you revisited and validated your business model lately?

Is the suite of offerings in alignment with your message?

Are they giving you the best venue to serve your ideal clients?

Are the programs / products / services tapping into your strengths?

Are the creating the most value for your clients?

Are the formats of delivery amplifying your message … or are they snuffing out its essence?

When we try to squeeze our message into some predetermined format … due to habit, laziness, fear, unawareness, inertia, or good intention (because the gurus say so) … we may not be doing it justice.

Product-Centric vs. Client-Centric

If you start with a business model (which is essentially a collection of products, services, and pricing) instead of your message and its expression, you're putting the cart in front of the horse.

Leading with a business model is a product-centric mindset. It's an old-school approach and doesn't do well when we're evolving quickly as a society (think Kodak and film.)

Leading with an audience is a client / customer-centric mindset. It helps you stay relevant even when "the thing that people want" changes (think Netflix and entertainment.)

Leading with your message grounds your business in your Truth, connects you with the work you do, and anchors you in the community that you serve.

Have you asked your message what it wants to be when it grows up?

Are you connected with your message in such a way that you can let its expression come through without overthinking it or mucking it up with your ego?

Pop the bubble. Leave the echo chamber.

Don't limit your message to "what a _______ business is supposed to be like."

(If you keep digging, you may realize that your business isn't about ________. What if you're something else?)

Source Article

wedding

My Handmade Wedding Invitation Business – How to Start One

Posted on

Everybody always wants to know how I set up my handmade wedding invitation business. It wasn’t all that difficult really. Anybody could do it. All you need is a little artistic ability and an imagination. And with all the neat stuff they have in the craft shops now, you don’t really even have to have that.

Have you seen all the beautiful papers they have out now. When I first started out you had your choice of white, ecru, and maybe a few pastel colors. And if you wanted them to have any kind of floral design or pattern on them, you had to do it yourself. But when it comes to wedding invitations, you have to be very precise and exact. Nobody wants a paint spattered wedding invitation and the more “store bought” they look the better. Even though it’s an original design, it still has to look professional.

But now you can get all kinds of beautiful papers. Floral patterns and stripes and polka dots. And some of the most breathtaking colors, too. Those days of peach or lavender are long gone! Another thing that’s helped in my design business is the increasing popularity of scrapbookking. With so many people turning to this as a hobby now, the manufacturers who create those products have created hundreds and hundreds of embellishments for those scrapbooks that are just perfect for wedding invitations and stationery.

No matter what theme the bridal party is looking for, you can find something useful in the scrapbookking aisle at your local craft store. I had someone ask me for a beach theme for their wedding stationery a few weeks ago and I found the most beautiful embellishments at the craft shop. They had these little pearlized seashells that matched perfectly with this muted seashell pattern paper that they had. I also found a lovely sand colored paper to use for inserts and finished it all of with a natural raffia bow. They were gorgeous! And the bride loved them!

Computers have helped a lot, too. Years ago, when I first started out, my only option for the lettering on my invitations was calligraphy. Can you imagine?! Hand lettering an invitation is a very time consuming process, even when you know what you’re doing. But now, I can let the bride sit right beside me as we choose the font styles for her invitations and I can even print our samples for her to help her decide. And in the blink of an eye, I can print out all of the inserts I need without ever lifting my calligraphy pen.

Of course, I make sure to make an extra of all of my invitations so I can put them in my portfolio. I have people ask to see samples of my work all the time. Which is only natural. No one buys wedding invitations without being able to see them first. So you see, setting up a handmade wedding invitation business these days is easy!

S

general

The Well Known HostGator Coupons Are Useful For Any Business

Posted on

HostGator coupons can save you plenty of money. With today's economy we all strive to uncover new ways to save every cent we can. If you are directing an online business then this may be even truer. Any funds not spent on things like web hosts, can mean savings for new and existing clients and that brings in more business.

If you are desperate for quality results then using HostGator along with a site that offers free search engine optimization can help you get the achievements you could profit from. Combine this with free directory submission and you get a targeted customer base that is profitable. This is by far the cheapest and effective way to help your website grow.

With HostGator coupons you can save as much as twenty percent on your subscription. Their site is user friendly and they provide you with all of the service you need the most to help your business grow. Check out the savings today.

If you need a web site for any reason the HostGator is the one to use. You get plenty of space and you are working with professionals who understand your needs. They have tools available to help you develop the site you want.

The customer reviews say it all. HostGator is one of the best in the business. They make all of the top ten lists and that combined with the savings will insure you get the best deal possible. Customer satisfaction appears to be their number one goal.

There are many HostGator coupons available on the web. You are guaranteed to save money no matter which one you choose. Pick the coupon that is right for you and your needs. They also offer many other discounts such as saving on longer subscriptions. With all of this you could save a ton of money.

A select few of coupon providers will also offer you free search engine optimization, article writing with submission and free directory advertising. This is offered if you sign up to HostGator through an affiliate link as the payment that the affiliate gets for making the sale can be used to pay for paid services for your new website in which you would otherwise have to pay for separately.

Source Article

beauty

Staffing Your Beauty Pageant Business

Posted on

Running a pageant is definitely not a one person show. It requires teamwork.

Selecting the personnel for your pageant staff doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t need large numbers. Here is my recommendation for staff positions:

Director

Judges – select people from different occupations and industries to get diversity. You can also use people you work with and respect. Reigning queens love to participate because it keeps them involved and motivated with the pageant community. Your banker, hairstylist and florist should also be approached.

– This is you!

Use three judges for the childrens pageants and five for the teen and older divisions. You can also assign the title of Side Award Judge to one of your supporters. The Side Award Judge job is to distribute the extra awards and create balance among the contestants.

Auditor

Pageant Liaison

Promotions Manager

Stage Manager

Designer Editor

Emcee – You will have to supply the Emcee or Host with a Script of the pageant.

These are the key positions you need to run a pageant. You can also create other positions as you see fit. In some cases the same person will do multiple jobs. Spouses can show support by filling in at one or more positions. Remember that a good leader is also a good listener so pick people whose opinions and skills you value:

– is the front person who makes the majority of announcements and establishes the tone and flow of the show. They must be good at public speaking and have a pleasant voice. This role could be done by you, a beauty queen, or a local celebrity.

– designs and creates the program book.

– is in charge of setting up the stage and usually supervises two assistants.

– a friendly, gregarious go-getter to raise funds and acquire prizes. They will also pass out entry forms at local schools, beauty salons and even at day cares centers.

– this person picks up the judges scoring sheets from each judge at the end of each round, and hands it to the auditor. Choose ex-queens when possible as a way to keep them involved in the pageantry business.

– someone good with numbers who understands pageantry rankings.

Source Article

gift

Four Things Every Home Based Gift Basket Business Owner Should Consider

Posted on

A home based gift basket business can be a rewarding and profitable experience, or it can suck up all of your finances, time, and energy like an evil black hole. Since you want it to be the former experience, take time to plan in the beginning. Here are four things that every owner of a home based gift basket business should think about.

Supplies

The supplies that you buy can go a long way towards making or breaking you. Since you are a home based gift basket business, most of your cash flow is probably going into supplies. This is especially true when you are just starting and need to buy a hot glue gun, cellophane, shredded paper, containers, and items to put in the baskets without know how fast the merchandise will move. Start small and don't buy more than you can comfortably store and afford. It's better to grow in the future than to start too big in the beginning.

Focus

Another thing you should consider is what you want to focus on. Although you may feel like billing yourself as the gift maker for every occasion, this is not practical. You only have a limited amount of money to spend on advertising, a limited amount of time, and a limited space for all of your supplies. Focusing on one area can give you the most return for the money. In the future when you can afford a warehouse and employees (if you choose to go this route) you can broaden your base.

One thing many home based gift basket businesses do is focus on corporate clients. People such as realtors need gifts regularly, and you may want to specializing in offering customizable and personal corporate gifts. If you want to deal more with the public, you might start by focusing on the holidays such as Valentine's Day and Christmas. Or you could advertise yourself as the best maker of gifts given to the parents of newborns. Specializing on one thing does not mean that you can't make baskets for all occasions, just that you focus your energy on targeting the best customers.

Sales

Since you don't have a retail front, you'll need to be especially proactive to secure sales. Networking is very important and you can never be shy about letting people know what you do for a living. You may benefit from joining the Chamber of Commerce or a business referral group.

The internet is another way to make sales. Even if you are focusing on local sales it is good to have a website so that people can look at samples and place orders online. Having a website doesn't have to be too expensive, but you'll either have to learn to do it all yourself or hire someone that you trust.

Commitment

Finally, think about how much commitment you want to put into your home based gift basket business. Do you want to stay at home, or are you hoping to move to a warehouse …