Legal Disclaimer: No Warranties: All products and services are provided, as is, without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchant ability and fitness for a particular purpose. Our company does not warrant, guarantee, or make any representations regarding the use, or the results of the use, of the products, services or written materials in the terms of correctness, accuracy, reliability, current information or otherwise. The entire risk as to the results and performance of the information is assumed by the user. Earnings and Income Disclaimers: Every effort has been made to accurately represent our product and the potential. The testimonials and examples used are exceptional results, don't apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results. Each individual's success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire and motivation. As with any business endeavor, there is an inherent risk of loss of capital and there is no guarantee that you will earn any money. Where specific income figures are used, and attributed to a specific individual, those are possible, theoretical earnings only not real earnings of that person. There is no assurance that you'll do as well. If you rely upon these figures, you agree to accept the risk that you may not do as well. And any all claims or representations, as to income earnings herein are not to be considered as average earnings. You agree that our company is not responsible for the success or failure of your business decisions relating to any information presented by our company, or our company products or services. This is copyrighted material and no part of this ebook can be reproduced or duplicated for any reason without permission. Introduction and How to Use This E-Book Simply browse the material. Review the ideas, concepts and businesses that interest you the most. Take notes as you go through this ebook. Any $$$ amounts are only meant as examples and any supplier contact information may not be all current. Sometimes companies change their contact information. Remember, anytime you want to find “anything” - then simply perform an Internet search for whatever you need. A great deal of time and energy went into providing this material. We hope you enjoy and use it to the best of your ability. LEGALITIES & TAX ADVANTAGES IN A HOME BUSINESS Every year, several thousand people develop an interest in "going into business." Many of these people have an idea, a product or a service they hope to promote into an income producing business which they can operate from their own homes. If you are one of these people, here are some practical thoughts to consider before hanging out the "Open-for-Business" sign. In areas zoned "Residential Only," your proposed business could be illegal. In many areas, zoning restrictions rule out home businesses involving the coming and going of many customers, clients or employees. Many businesses that sell or even store anything for sale on the premises also fall into this category. Be sure to check with your local zoning office to see how the ordinances in your particular area may affect your business plans. You may need a special permit to operate your business from your home; and you may find that making small changes in your plan will put you into the position of meeting zoning standards. Many communities grant home occupation permits for businesses that involve typing, sewing and teaching, but turn thumbs down on requests from photographers, interior decorators and home-improvement businesses to be run from the home. And often, even if you are permitted to use your home for a given business, there will be restrictions that you may need to take into consideration. By all means, work with your zoning people, and save yourself time, trouble and dollars. One of the requirements imposed might be off-street parking for your customers or patrons. And, signs are generally forbidden in residential districts. If you teach, there is almost always a limit on the number of students you may have at any one time. Obtaining zoning approval for your business, then, could be as simple as filling out an application, or it could involve a public hearing. The important points the zoning officials will consider will center around how your business will affect the neighborhood. Will it increase the traffic noticeably on your street? Will there be a substantial increase in noise? And how will your neighbors feel about this business alongside their homes? To repeat, check into the zoning restrictions, and then check again to determine if you will need a city license. If you're selling something, you may need a vendor's license, and be required to collect sales taxes on your transactions. The sales tax requirement would result in the need for careful record keeping. Licensing can be an involved process, and depending upon the type of business, it could even involve the inspection of your home to determine if it meets with local health and building and fire codes. Should this be the case, you will need t o bring your facilities up to the local standards. Usually this will involve some simple repairs or adjustments that you can either do personally, or hire out to a handyman at a nominal cost. Still more items to consider: Will your homeowner's insurance cover the property and liability involved in your new business? This must definitely be resolved, so be sure to talk it over with your insurance agent. Tax deductions, which were once one of the beauties of engaging in a home business, are not what they once were. To be eligible for business related deductions today, you must use that part of your home claimed exclusively and regularly as either the principal location of your business, or the place reserved to meet patients, clients or customers. An interesting case in point: If you use your den or a spare bedroom as the principal place of business, working there from 8:00 to 5:00 every day, but permit your children to watch TV in that room during the evening hours, the IRS dictates that you cannot claim a deduction for that room as your office or place of business. There are, however, a couple of exceptions we will note to the "exclusive use" rule. One is the storage of inventory in your home, where your home is the location of your trade or business, and approval for your business, then, could be as sour trade or business is the selling of products at retail or wholesale. According to the IRS, such storage space must be used on a regular basis, and be a separately identifiable space. Another exception applies to day care services that are provided for children, the elderly, or physically or mentally handicapped. This exception applies only if the owner of the facility complies with the state laws for licensing. To be eligible for business deductions, your business must be an activity under taken with the intent of making a profit. It's presumed you meet this requirement if your business makes a profit in any two years of a five-year period. Once you are this far along, you can deduct business expenses such as supplies, subscriptions to professional journals, and an allowance for the business use of your car or truck. You can also claim deductions for home related business expenses such as utilities, and in some cases, even a new paint job for your home. The IRS is going to treat the part of your home you use for business as though it were a separate piece of property. This means that you'll have to keep good records and take care not to mix business and personal matters. No specific method of record keeping is required, but your records must clearly justify any deductions you claim. You can begin by calculating what percentage of the house is used for business, either by number of rooms or by area in square footage. Thus, if you use one of five rooms for your business, the business portion is 20 percent. If you run you r business out of a room that's 10 by 12 feet, and the total area of your home is 1,200 square feet, the business-space factor is 10 percent. An extra computation is required if your business is a home day care center. This is one of the exempted activities in which the exclusive use rule doesn't apply. Check with your tax preparer and the IRS for an exact determination. If you're a renter, you can deduct the part of your rent which is attributable to the business share of your house or apartment. Homeowners can take a deduction based on the depreciation of the business portion of their house. There is a limit to the amount you can deduct. This is the amount equal to the gross income generated by the business, minus those home expenses you could deduct even if you weren't operating a business from your home. As an example, real estate taxes and mortgage interest are deductible regardless of any business activity in your home, so you must subtract from your business' gross income the percentage that's allocable to the business portion of your home. You thus arrive at the maximum amount for homerelated business deductions. If you are self-employed, you claim your business deductions on Schedule C, Profit (or Loss) for Business or Profession. The IRS emphasizes that claiming business-at-home deductions does not automatically trigger an audit of your tax return. Even so, it is always wise to keep meticulously within the proper guidelines, and of course keep detailed records if you claim business related expenses when you are working out of your home. You should discuss this aspect of your operation with your tax preparer or a person qualified in the field of small business tax requirements. If your business earnings aren't subject to withholding tax, and your estimated federal taxes are $100 or more, you'll probably be filing a Declaration of Estimated Tax, Form 1040-ES. To complete this form, you will have to estimate your income for the coming year and also make a computation of the income tax and self-employment tax you will owe. The self-employment taxes pay for Social Security coverage. Invest in buying some time if necessary to consult with an experienced CPA who has knowledge of tax savings or tax benefits for home business owners. The right professional should be able to enlighten you on all the benefits of owning a home business. SURVIVAL TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES You may be in Mail Order, Direct Mail, or you may be a local merchant with employees; whichever, however or whatever - you've got to know how to keep your business alive during economic recessions. Anytime the cash flow in a business, large or small, starts to tighten up, the money management of that business has to be run as a "tight ship." Some of the things you can and should do include protecting yourself from expenditures made on sudden impulse. We've all bought merchandise or services we really didn't need simply because we were in the mood, or perhaps in response to the flamboyancy of the advertising or the persuasiveness of the salesperson. Then we sort of "wake up" a couple of days later and find that we've committed hundreds of dollars of business funds for an item or service that's not essential to the success of our own business, when really pressing items had been waiting for those dollars. If you are incorporated, you can eliminate these "impulse purchases chases" by including in your by-laws a clause that states: "All purchasing decisions over (a certain amount) are contingent upon approval by the board of directors." This will force you to consider any "impulse purchases" of considerable cost, and may even be a reminder in the case of smaller purchases. If your business is a partnership, you can state, when faced with a buying decision, that all purchases are contingent upon the approval of a third party. In reality, the third party can be your partner, one of your department heads, or even one of your suppliers. If your business is a sole proprietorship, you don't have much to worry about really, because as an individual you have three days to think about your purchase, and then to nullify that purchase if you think you don't really need it or can't afford it. While you may think you cannot afford it, be sure that you don't "shortchange" yourself on professional services. This would apply especially during a time of emergency. Anytime you commit yourself and move ahead without completely investigating all the angles, and preparing yourself for all the contingencies that may arise, you're skating on thin ice. Regardless of the costs involved, it always pays off in the long run to seek out the advice of experienced professionals before embarking on a plan that could ruin you. As an example, an experienced business consultant can fill you in on the 1244 stock advantages. Getting eligibility for the 1244 stock category is a very simple process, but one with tremendous benefits to your business. The 1244 status encourages investors to put equity capital into your business because in the event of a loss, amounts up to the entire sum of the investment can be written off in the current year. Without the "1244" classification, any losses would have to be spread over several years, and this, of course, would greatly lessen the attractiveness of your company's stock. Any business owner who has not filed the 1244 corporation has in effect cut himself off from 90 percent of his prospective investors. Particularly when sales are down, you must be "hard-nosed" with people trying to sell you luxuries for your business. When business is booming, you undoubtedly will allow sales people to show you new models of equipment or a new line of supplies; but when your business is down, skip the entertaining frills and concentrate on the basics. Great care must be taken however, to maintain courtesy and allow these sellers to consider you a friend and call back at another time. Your company's books should reflect your way of thinking, and whoever maintains them should generate information according to your policies. Thus, you should hire an outside accountant or accounting firm to figure your return on your investment, as well as the turnover on your accounts receivable and inventory. Such an audit or survey should focus in depth on any or every item within your financial statement that merits special attention. In this way, you'll probably uncover any potential financial problems before they become readily apparent, and certainly before they could get out of hand. Many small companies set up advisory boards of outside professional people. These are sometimes known as Power Circles and once in place, the business always benefits, especially in times of short operating capital. Such an advisory board or power circle should include an attorney, a certified public accountant, civic club leaders, owners or managers of businesses similar to yours, and retired executives. Setting up such an advisory board of directors is really quite easy, because most people you ask will be honored to serve. Once your board is set up, you should meet about once a month and present material for review. Each meeting should be a discussion of your business problems and an input from your advisors relative to possible solutions. These members of your board of advisors should offer you advice as well as alternatives, and provide you with objectivity. No formal decisions need to be made either at your board meeting, or as a result of them, but you should be able to gain a great deal from the suggestions you hear. You will find that most of your customers have the money to pay at least some of what they owe you immediately. To keep them current, and the number of accounts receivable in your files to a minimum, you should call them on the phone and ask for some kind of explanation why they're falling behind. If you develop such a habit as part of your operating procedure, you'll find your invoices will magically be drawn to the front of their piles of bills to pay. While maintaining a courteous attitude, don't be hesitant, or too much of a "nice guy" when it comes to collecting money. Something else that's a very good business practice, but which few business owners do is to methodically build a credit rating with their local banks. Particularly when you have a good cash flow, you should borrow $100 to $1,000 from your banks every 90 days or so. Simply borrow the money, and place it in an interest bearing account, and then pay it all back at least a month or so before it's due. By doing this, you will increase the borrowing power of your signature, and strengthen your ability to obtain needed financing on short notice. This is a kind of business leverage that will be of great value to you if or whenever your cash position becomes less favorable. By all means, join your industry's local and national trade associations. Most of these organizations have a wealth of information available on everything from details on your competitors to average industry sales figures, new products, services, and trends. If you are given a membership certificate or wall plaque, you should display these conspicuously on you office wall. Customers like to see such "seals of approval" and feel additional confidence in your business when they see them. Still another thing often overlooked: If at all possible, you should have your spouse work in the business with you for at least three or four weeks per year. The important thing is that if for any reason you are not available to run the business, your spouse will be familiar with certain people and situations about your business. These people should include your attorney, accountant, any consultants or advisors, creditors and your major suppliers. The long-term advantages of having your spouse work four weeks per year in your business with you will greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience. Many couples share responsibility and time entirely, which is in most cases even more desirable. Whenever you can, and as often as you need it, take advantage of whatever free business counseling is available. The Small Business Administration published many excellent booklets, checklists and brochures on quite a large variety of businesses. These publications are available through the U.S. Government Printing Office. Most local universities, and many private organizations hold seminars at minimal cost, and often without charge. You should also take advantage of the service s offered by your bank and local library. The important thing about running a small business is to know the direction in which you're heading; to know on a day-to-day basis your progress in that very direction; to be aware of what your competitors are doing and to practice good money management at all times. All this will prepare you to recognize potential problems before they arise. HOW TO PREPARE A BUSINESS PLAN THAT GUARANTEES BIG PROFITS… Success in business comes as a result of planning. You have to have a detailed, written plan that shows you what the ultimate goal is, the reason for the goal, and each milestone that must be passed in order to reach your goal. A business plan is a written definition of, and an operational plan for achieving your goal. You need a complete business tool in order to define your basic product, income objectives and specific operating procedures. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN to attract investors, obtain financing and hold onto the confidence of your creditors, particularly in times of cash flow shortages - in this instance, the amount of money you have on hand compared with the expenses that must be met… Aside from an overall directional policy for the production, sales efforts and profit goals of your product - your basic "travel guide" to business success the most important purpose your business plan will serve, will be the basis or foundation of any financial proposals you submit. Many entrepreneurs are under the mistaken impression that a business plan is the same as a financial proposal, or that a financial proposal constitutes a business plan. This is just a misunderstanding of the uses of these two separate and different business success aids. The business plan is a long range "map" to guide your business to the goal you've set for it. This plan details the what, why, where, how and when, of your business - the success planning of your company. Your financial proposal is a request for money based upon your business plan - your business history and objectives. Understand the differences. They are closely related, but they are not interchangeable. Writing and putting together a "winning" business plan takes study, research and time, so don't try to do it all in just one or two days. The easiest way is to start with a loose leaf notebook, plenty of paper, pencils, pencil sharpener, and several erasers. Once you get you mind "in gear" and begin thinking about your business plan, "10,000 thoughts and ideas per minute" will begin racing through your mind... So, it's a good idea when you aren't actually working on your business plan, to carry a pocket notebook and jot down those business ideas as they come to you - ideas for sales promotion, recruiting distributors, and any other thoughts on how to operate and/or build your business. Later, when you're actually working on your business plan, you can take out this "idea notebook" - evaluate your ideas, rework them, refine them, and integrate them into the overall "big picture" of your business plan. The best business plans for even the smallest businesses run 25 to 30 pages or more, so you'll need to "title" each page and arrange the different aspects of your business plan into "chapters." The format should pretty much run as follows: Title Page Statement of Purpose Table of Contents Business Description Market Analysis Business Location Management Current Financial Records Explanation of Plans For Growth Explanation of Financing for Growth Documentation Summary of Business & Outlook for The Future Listing of Business & Personal References This is a logical organization of the information every business plan should cover. I'll explain each of these chapter titles in greater detail, but first, let me elaborate upon the reasons for proper organization of your business plan. Having a set of "questions to answer" about your business forces you to take an objective and critical look at your ideas. Putting it all down on paper allows you to change, erase and refine everything to function in the manner of a smoothly oiled machine. You'll be able to spot weaknesses and strengthen them before they develop into major problems. Overall, you'll be developing an operating manual for your business - a valuable tool which will keep your business on track, and guide you in the profitable management of your business. Because it's your idea, and your business, it's very important that YOU do the planning. This is YOUR business plan, so YOU develop it, and put it all down on paper just the way YOU want it to read. Seek out the advice of other people; talk with, listen to, and observe, other people running similar businesses; enlist the advice of your accountant and attorney - but at the bottom line, don't ever forget that it has to be YOUR BUSINESS PLAN! Remember too, that statistics show the greatest causes of business failure to be poor management and lack of planning - without a plan by which to operate, no one can manage; and without a direction in which to aim its efforts, no business can attain any real success. On the very first page, which is the title page, put down the name of your business - ABC ACTION - with your business address underneath. Now, skip a couple of lines, and write in all capital letters: PRINCIPAL OWNER followed by your name if you're the principal owner. On your finished report, you would want to center this information on the page, with the words "principal owner" offset to the left about five spaces. Example: ABC ACTION 1234 SW 5th Ave. Anywhere, USA 00000 PRINCIPAL OWNER: Your Name That's all you'll have on that page, except the page number...-1- Following your title page is the page for your statement of purpose. This should be a simple statement of your primary business function, such as: We are a service business engaged in the business of selling business success manuals and other information by mail. The title of the page should be in all capital letters across the top of the page, centered on your final draft - skip a few lines and write the statement of purpose. This should be direct, clear and short - never more than two (2) sentences in length. Then you should skip a few lines, and from the left hand margin of the paper, write out a subheading in all capital letters, such as: EXPLANATION OF PURPOSE. From, and within this subheading, you can briefly explain your statement of purpose, such as: Our surveys have found most entrepreneurs to be "sadly" lacking in basic information that will enable them to achieve success. This market is estimated at more than 100 million persons, with at least half of these people actively "searching" for sources that provide the kind of information they want, and need. With our business, advertising and publishing experience, it is our goal to capture at least half of this market of information seekers, with our publication, MONEY MAKING MAGIC! Our market research indicates we can achieve this goal, and realize a profit of $1,000,000 per year within the next 5 years… The above example is generally the way you should write your "explanation of purpose," and in subtle definition, why you need such an explanation. Point to remember: Keep it short. Very few business purpose explanations are justifiably more than a half page long. Next comes your table of contents page. Don't really worry about this one until you've got the entire plan completed and ready for final typing. It's a good idea though, to list the subjects (chapter titles) as I have, and then check off each one as you complete that part of your plan. By having a list of the points you want to cover, you'll also be able to skip around and work on each phase of your business plan as the idea or the interest in organizing that particular phase, stimulates you. In other words, you won't have to make your thinking or your planning conform to the chronological order of the "chapters" of your business plan - another reason for the loose leaf notebook… In describing your business, it's best to begin where your statement of purpose leaves off. Describe your product, the production process, who has responsibility for what, and most importantly, what makes you product or service unique - what gives it an edge in your market. You can briefly summarize your business beginnings, present position and potential for future success, as well. Next, describe the buyers you're trying to reach - why they need and want or will buy your product - and the results of any tests or surveys you may have conducted. Once you've defined your market, go on to explain how you intend to reach that market – how you'll alert these prospects to your product or service and induce them to buy. You might want to break this chapter down into sections such as... publicity and promotions, advertising plans, direct sales force, and dealer/distributor programs. Each sect ion would then be an outline of your plans and policies. Moving into the chapter on competition, identify who your competitors are their weaknesses and strong points - explain how you intend to capitalize on those weaknesses and match or better the strong points. Talk to as many of your "indirect" competitors as possible - those operating in different cities and states. One of the easiest ways of gathering a lot of useful information about your competitors is by developing a series of survey questions and sending these questionnaires out to each of them. Later on, you might want to compile the answers to these questionnaires into some form of directory or report on this type of business. It's also advisable to contact the trade associations and publications serving your proposed type of, business. For information on trade associations and specific trade publications, visit your public library, and after explaining what you want, ask for the librarian's help. The chapter on management should be an elaboration on the people operating the business. Those people that actually run the business - their job titles, duties, responsibilities and backfilled resume's. It's important that you "paint" a strong picture of your top management people because the people coming to work for you or investing in your business, will be "investing in these people" as much as your product ideas. Individual tenacity, mature judgment under fire, and innovative problem-solving have "won over" more people than all the AAA Credit Ratings and astronomical sales figures put together. People becoming involved with any new venture want to know that the person in charge - the guy running the business knows what he's doing, will not lose his cool when problems arise, and has what it takes to make money for all of them. After showing the "muscle" of this person, go on to outline the other key positions within your business; who the persons are you've selected to handle those jobs and the sources as well as availability of any other help you might need. If you've been in business on any kind of scale, the next chapter is a picture of your financial status - a review of your operating costs and income from the business to date. Generally, this is a listing of your profit & loss statements for the past six months, plus copies of your business income tax: records for each of the previous three years the business has been an entity. The chapter on the explanation of your plans for the future growth of your business is just that - an explanation of how you plan to keep your business growing - a detailed guide of what you're going to do, and how you're going to increase your profits. These plans should show your goals for the coming year, two years, and three years. By breaking your objectives down into annual milestones, your plans will be accepted as more realistic and, be more understandable as a part of your ultimate success. Following this explanation, you'll need to itemize the projected cost and income figures of your three year plan. It'll take a lot of research, and undoubtedly a good deal of erasing, but it's very important that you list these figures based upon thorough investigation. You may have to adjust some of your plans downward, but once you've got these two chapters on paper, your whole business plan will fall into line and begin to make sense. You'll have a precise "map" of where you're headed, how much it's going to cost, when you can expect to start making money, and how much. Now that you know where you're going, how much it's going to cost and how long it's going to be before you begin to recoup your investment, you're ready to talk about how and where you're going to get the money to finance your journey. Unless you're independently wealthy, you'll want to use this chapter to list the possibilities and alternatives. Make a list of friends you can approach, and perhaps induce to put up some money as silent partners. Make a list of those people you might be able to sell as stockholders in your company - in many cases you can sell up to $300,000 worth of stock on a "private issue" basis without filing papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Check with a corporate or tax attorney in your area for more details. Make a list of relatives and friends that might help you with an outright loan to furnish money for the development of your business. Then search out and make a list of venture capital organizations. Visit the Small Business Administration office in your area - pick up the loan application papers they have - read them, study them, and even fill them out on a preliminary basis - and finally, check the costs, determine which business publications would be best to advertise in, if you were to advertise for a partner or investor, and write an ad you'd want to use if you did decide to advertise for monetary help. With a listing of all the options available to your needs, all that's left is the arranging of these options in the order you would want to use them when the time comes to ask for money. When you're researching these money sources, you'll save time by noting the "contact" to deal with when you want money, and whenever possible, by developing a working relationship with these people. In your documentation section, you should have a credit report on yourself. Use the yellow pages or check at the credit department in your bank for the nearest credit reporting office. When, you get your credit report, look it over ant take whatever steps are necessary to eliminate any negative comments. Once these have been taken care of, ask for a revised copy of your report and include a copy of that in your business plan. If you own any patents or copyrights, include copies of these. Any licenses to use someone else's patent or copyright should also be included. If you own the distribution, wholesale or exclusive sales rights to a product, include copies of this documentation. You should also include copies of any leases, special agreements or other legal papers that might be pertinent to your business. In conclusion, write out a brief, overall summary of your business - when the business was started, the purpose of the business, what makes your business different, how you're going to gain a profitable share of the market, and your expected success during the coming 5-years… The last page of your business plan is a "courtesy page" listing the names, addresses and phone numbers of personal and business references - persons who have known you closely for the past five years or longer - and companies or firms you've had business or credit dealings with during the past five years. And, that's it - your complete business plan. Before you send it out for formal typing, read it over once a day for a week or ten days. Take care of any changes or corrections, and then have it reviewed by an attorney and then, an accountant. It would also be a good idea to have it reviewed by a business consultant serving the business community to which your business will be related. After these reviews, and any last-minute changes you want to make, it'll be ready for formal typing. Hire a professional typist to type the entire plan on ordinary white bond paper. Make sure you proofread it against the original. Check for and correct any typographical errors then one more time - read it through for clarity and the perfection you want of it. Now you're ready to have it printed and published for whatever use you have planned for it - distribution amongst your partners or stockholders, as the business plan for putting together a winning financial proposal, or as a business operating manual. Take it to a quality printed in your area, and have three copies printed. Don't settle for photocopying... Have it printed! Photocopying leaves a slight film on the paper, and will detract from the overall professionalism of your business plan, when presented to someone you're trying to impress. So, after going to all this work to put it together properly, go all the way and have it duplicated properly. Next, stop by a stationery store, variety store or even a dime store, and pick up an ordinary, inexpensive bind-in theme cover for each copy of your business plan. Have the holes punched in the pages of your business report to fit these binders and then slip each copy into a binder of its own. Now you can relax, take a break ant feel good about yourself... You have a complete and detailed business plan with which to operate a successful business of your own... A plan you can use as a basis for any financing proposal you may want to submit... And a precise road-map for the attainment of real success… Congratulations! And my best wishes for the complete fulfillment of all your dreams of success!!! HOW TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IN SALES Most people are always striving to better themselves. It's the "American Way." For proof, check the sales figures on the number of self-improvement books sold each year. This is not a pitch for you to jump in and start selling these kinds of books, but it is an indication of people's awareness that in order to better themselves, they have to continue improving their personal selling abilities. To excel in any selling situation, you must have confidence, and confidence comes, first and foremost, from knowledge. You have to know and understand yourself and your goals. You have to recognize and accept your weaknesses as well as your special talents. This requires a kind of personal honesty that not everyone is capable of exercising. In addition to knowing yourself, you must continue learning about people. Just as with yourself, you must be caring, forgiving and laudatory with others. In any sales effort, you must accept other people as they are, not as you would like for them to be. One of the most common faults of sales people is impatience when the prospective customer is slow to understand or make a decision. The successful salesperson handles these situations the same as he would if he were asking a girl for a date, or even applying for a new job. Learning your product, making a clear presentation to qualified prospects, and closing more sales will take a lot less time once you know your own capabilities and failings, and understand and care about the prospects you are calling upon. Our society is predicated upon selling, and all of us are selling something all the time. We move up or stand still in direct relation to our sales efforts. Everyone is included, whether we're attempting to be a friend to a coworker, a neighbor, or selling multi-million dollar real estate projects. Accepting these facts will enable you to understand that there is no such thing as a born salesman. Indeed, in selling, we all begin at the same starting line, and we all have the same finish line as the goal - a successful sale. Most assuredly, anyone can sell anything to anybody. As a qualification to this statement, let us say that some things are easier to sell than others, and some people work harder at selling than others. But regardless of what you're selling, or even how you're attempting to sell it, the odds are in your favor. If you make your presentation to enough people, you'll find a buyer. The problem with most people seems to be in making contact - getting their sales presentation seen by, read by, or heard by enough people. But this really shouldn't be a problem, as we'll explain later. There is a problem of impatience, but this too can be harnessed to work in the salesperson's favor. We have established that we're all salespeople in one way or another. So whether we're attempting to move up from forklift driver to warehouse manager, waitress to hostess, salesman to sales manager or from mail order dealer to president of the largest sales organization in the world, it's vitally important that we continue learning. Getting up out of bed in the morning; doing what has to be done in order to sell more units of your product; keeping records, updating your materials; planning the direction of further sales efforts; and all the while increasing your own knowledge – all this very definitely requires a great deal of personal motivation, discipline, and energy. But then the rewards can be beyond your wildest dreams, for make no mistake about it, the selling profession is the highest paid occupation in the world! Selling is challenging. It demands the utmost of your creativity and innovative thinking. The more success you want, and the more dedicated you are to achieving your goals, the more you'll sell. Hundreds of people the world over become millionaires each month through selling. Many of them were flat broke and unable to find a "regular" job when they began their selling careers. Yet they've done it, and you can do it too! Remember, it's the surest way to all the wealth you could ever want. You get paid according to your own efforts, skill, and knowledge of people. If you're ready to become rich, then think seriously about selling a product or service (prefer ably something exclusively yours) - something that you "pull out of your brain;" something that you write, manufacture or produce for the benefit of other people. But failing this, the want ads are full of opportunities for ambitious sales people. You can start there, study, learn from experience, and watch for the chance that will allow you to move ahead by leaps and bounds. Here are some guidelines that will definitely improve your gross sales, and quite naturally, your gross income. I like to call them the Strategic Salesmanship Commandments. Look them over; give some thought to each of them; and adapt hose that you can to your own selling efforts. 1. If the product you're selling is something your prospect can hold in his hands, get it into his hands as quickly as possible. In other words, get the prospect "into the act." Let him feel it, weigh it, admire it. 2. Don't stand or sit alongside your prospect. Instead, face him while you're pointing out the important advantages of your product. This will enable you to watch his facial expressions and determine whether and when you should go for the close. In handling sales literature, hold it by the top of the page, at the proper angle, so that your prospect can read it as you're highlighting the important points. Regarding your sales literature, don't release your hold on it, because you want to control the specific parts you want the prospect to read. In other words, you want the prospect to read or see only the parts of the sales material you're telling him about at a given time. 3. With prospects who won't talk with you: When you can get no feedback to your sales presentation, you must dramatize your presentation to get him involved. Stop and ask questions such as, "Now, don't you agree that this product can help you or would be of benefit to you?" After you've asked a question such as this, stop talking and wait for the prospect to answer. It's a proven fact that following such a question, the one who talks first will lose, so don't say anything until after the prospect has given you some kind of answer. Wait him out! 4. Prospects who are themselves sales people, and prospects who imagine they know a lot about selling sometimes present difficult selling obstacles, especially for the novice. But believe me, these prospects can be the easiest of all to sell. Simply give your sales presentation, and instead of trying for a close, toss out a challenge such as, "I don't know, Mr. Prospect - after watching your reactions to what I've been showing and telling you about my product, I'm very doubtful as to how this product can truthfully be of benefit to you." Then wait a few seconds, just looking at him and waiting for him to say something. Then, start packing up your sales materials as if you are about to leave. In almost every instance, your "tough nut" will quickly ask you, Why? These people are generally so filled with their own importance, that they just have to prove you wrong. When they start on this tangent, they will sell themselves. The more skeptical you are relative to their ability to make your product work to their benefit, the more they'll demand that you sell it to them. If you find that this prospect will not rise to your challenge, then go ahead with the packing of your sales materials and leave quickly. Some people are so convinced of their own importance that it is a poor use of your valuable time to attempt to convince them. 5. Remember that in selling, time is money! Therefore, you must allocate only so much time to each prospect. The prospect who asks you to call back next week, or wants to ramble on about similar products, prices or previous experiences, is costing you money. Learn to quickly get your prospect interested in, and wanting your product, and then systematically present your sales pitch through to the close, when he signs on the dotted line, and reaches for his checkbook. After the introductory call on your prospect, you should be selling products and collecting money. Any call backs should be only for reorders, or to sell him related products from your line. In other words, you can waste an introductory call on a prospect to qualify him, but you're going to be wasting money if you continue calling on him to sell him the first unit of your product. When faced with a reply such as, "Your product looks pretty good, but I'll have to give it some thought," you should quickly jump in and ask him what it is that he doesn't understand, or what specifically about your product does he feel he needs to give more thought. Let him explain, and that's when you go back into your sales presentation and make everything crystal clear for him. If he still balks, then you can either tell him that you think he's procrastinating, or that overall, you don't think the product will really benefit him, or it's purchase be to his advantage. You must spend as much time as possible calling on new prospects. Therefore, your first call should be a selling call with follow-up calls by mail or telephone (once every month or so in person) to sign him for reorders and other items from your product line. 6. Review your sales presentation, your sales materials, and your prospecting efforts. Make sure you have a "door-opener" that arouses interest and "forces" a purchase the first time around. This can be a $2 interest stimulator so that you can show him your full line, or a special marked-down price on an item that everybody wants; but the important thing is to get the prospect on your "buying customer" list, and then follow up via mail or telephone with related, but more profitable products you have to offer. If you accept our statement that there are no born salesmen, you can readily absorb these "commandments." Study them, as well as all the material in this report. When you realize your first successes, you will truly know that "salesman are made - not born." SECRETS OF GETTING FREE ADVERTISING The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or services are limited only by your own imagination and energies. There are so many proven ways of promoting your own objectives without cost that it literally boggles the mind just to think of listing them. One way is to write an article relative to your particular expertise and submit it to all the publications and media dealing in the dissemination of related information. In other words, become your own publicity and sales promotions writer. Get the word out; establish yourself as an expert in your field, and "tag-along" everything you write with a quick note listing your address for a catalog, dealership opportunity, or more information. Another really good way is by becoming a guest on as many of the radio and television talk shows or interview type programs as possible. Actually, this is much easier to bring about than most people realize. Write a letter to the producer of these programs, then follow up with an in-person visit or telephone call. Your initial contact should emphasize that your product or service would be of interest to the listeners or viewers of the program - perhaps even saving them time or money. Other ways of getting free or very inexpensive exposure include the posting of advertising circulars on all the free bulletin boards in your area, especially the coin-operated laundries, grocery stores, and beauty and barber shops. Don't discount the idea of handing out circulars to all the shoppers in busy shopping centers and malls, especially on weekends. You can also enlist the aid of the middle school students in your area to hand out circulars door-to-door. Some of the more routine methods include having a promotional ad relative to your product or service printed on the front or back of your envelopes at the time you have them printed with your return address. Be sure to check all the publications that carry the kind of advertising you need. Many mail order publications just getting started offer unusually low rates to first-time advertisers; a free-of-charge insertion of your ad when you pay for an order to run three issues or more; or special seasonal ad space at greatly reduced rates. And there are a number of publications that will give you Per Inquiry (PI) space - an arrangement where all orders come in to the publication, they take a commission from each order, and then forward the orders on to you for fulfillment. Many publications will give you a contract for "stand-by" space. In this arrangement you send them your ad, and they hold it until they have unsold space, and then at a price that's always one third or less than the regular price for the space you need, insert your ad. Along these lines, be sure to check in with the suburban and neighborhood newspapers. If you send out or publish any kind of catalog or ad sheet, get in touch with all the other publishers and inquire about the possibilities of exchange advertising. They run your ad in their publication in exchange for your running an ad for them of comparable size in yours. Finally, there's nothing in the world that beats the low cost and tremendous exposure you get when you advertise a free offer. Simply run an ad offering a free report of interest to most people - a simple one-page report with a "tag-line" inviting the readers to send money for more information, with a full page advertisement for your book or other product on the backside. Ask for a self-addressed stamped envelope, and depending on the appeal of your report and the circulation of the publication in which your ad appears, you could easily be inundated with responses! The trick here, of course, is to convert all of these responses, or a large percentage of them, into sales. This is done via the "tag-line," which issues an invitation to the reader to send for more information, and the full page ad on the back of the report, and the other offers you include with the complete package you send back to them. As mentioned at the beginning of this report, it's just a matter of unleashing your imagination. Do this, and you have a powerful force working for you that can help you reach your goals. HOW TO SET UP A TAX-SAVING BOOKKEEPING SYSTEM One of the most important, but least understood or appreciated aspects of any business is its bookkeeping or accounting system. And, because very few people know much about the reasons for a bookkeeping system, most people are frightened by the thought of the work involved in setting up such a system, and the drudgery of daily maintenance. There's really nothing complicated to bookkeeping - it's as simple as keeping a daily diary and/or maintaining your personal checkbook. At the bottom line, it's simply a matter of recording your deposits your incoming monies - and keeping a record of the money you spend on your business. So, the first thing you need to do is open a business account for your extra-income business. Generally, this is simply a matter of asking the new accounts teller at a local bank for a business account registration card. A small business registration fee might be necessary to open a new business account - complete with imprinted checks. Drop by a local stationery store and pick up a loose-leaf notebook, and a supply of paper. We've always picked up a supply of index tabs at the same time - either to separate the months or the accountability sections for each item we sell. Assuming that you want to make it as simple as possible, while at the same time keeping it as efficient as is necessary - here's what you do and how you do it: On the first page in your notebook, write on the top line and in the middle of the page: The DATE or whatever day you officially start your business. Then, as your orders come in - if by mail, as you open your mail - jot down starting from the left side of the page, the amount you received - dash - for what - from whom, and their address. Starting out is not rocket science, but it is important to keep track of sales and expenses. And then, carry on with this recording of the money you deposit, receive and spend each day with similar entries for each day of the week - every day Monday thru Saturday for each week. It's simple, uncomplicated, and a positive record of your business activity. Then at the end of each month, transfer this daily diary information to one of the low cost bookkeeping registers that your tax consultant or accountant can work from. These people won't work from your daily diary, and will not transfer the information you record in it to a formal bookkeeping register without charging you a small fortune. It's not that big of a job, and if you do it after the close of business on the last day of each month, it will take at the most a very few minutes. Then, of course, when you're ready to do your taxes, you simply give your bookkeeping register to whoever is going to do your taxes, and you're home free. CHECKLIST OF QUESTIONS TO ANSWER BEFORE YOU BUY A FRANCHISE Franchise businesses such as Wendy's, McDonald's and Jack-In-The-Box are booming. The people setting up franchise ideas and businesses know a good thing, and are really promoting this idea. Franchises for just about every conceivable kind of business are being sold in ever increasing numbers. Some franchises are very good. They treat both the franchisor and the franchisee very well. Others are very one-sided. Still others are almost total rip-offs that trap one into paying ten to fifty times the actual value of the business idea, equipment, or whatever it is they are trying to get you to buy. Before putting any money into a franchise, you should investigate everything completely. We've prepared a list of questions you should be asking, and should get satisfactory answers to before investing. 1. Has your attorney studied the franchise contract, discussed it completely with you, and do you both approve it without reservations? 2. Does the franchise require you to take any steps which are either illegal or even border on illegal, or are otherwise questionable or unwise in your state, county or city? 3. Does the franchise give you an exclusive territory for the length of the franchise period, or can the franchisor sell a second or third franchise in your territory? 4. Is this franchisor connected in any way with any other franchise company handling similar products or services? 5. If you answered yes to the above question, what is your protection against the second franchising company? 6. Under what circumstances can you end the franchise contract, and at what costs to you? 7. If you sell your franchise, will you be compensated for your goodwill or will it be lost to you? 8. How many years has the firm offering you the franchise been in operation? 9. Does the company offering you this franchise have a reputation for honesty and fair dealing among its franchisees? 10. Has the franchisor shown you any certified figures indicating exact net profits of one or more of its members, and have you personally checked the figures with these people? 11. Will the franchisor assist you with: a) A management training program; b) An employee training program; c) A public relations and advertising program; d) Capital; e) Credit; f) Merchandising ideas? 12. If needed, will the franchisor assist you in finding a suitable location? 13. Is the franchising firm adequately financed so that it can carry out its stated plans? 14. Does the franchisor have experienced management, trained in-depth? 15. Exactly what can the franchisor do for you that you cannot do for yourself? 16. Has the franchisor investigated you carefully enough to assure itself that you can successfully operate at a profit to both of you? 17. Does your state have a law regulating the sale of franchises, and has the franchisor complied with that law to your satisfaction? 18. How much equity capital will you need to purchase the franchise and operate it until your income equals your expenses? If you can get the answers to each of these questions, and those answers satisfy you, then you're probably thinking about buying a pretty good franchise deal. However, if you're in doubt about any of these points, be sure to check it out and know the answers for certain before you invest or sign anything. Buying a franchise can give you a measure of security, and in some cases, sure-fire profits. Business surveys show that fewer than 20 percent of all new franchised businesses fail. This is in comparison to a 60 to 80 percent failure rate for all new businesses started in this country each year. Information regarding specific franchising ideas can be found in the franchising directories, which are generally available at the local library. Often there will be a notice posted in franchise outlets themselves. If you can afford the entry into this business, statistics are on your side. You are now armed with some CAUTION and STOP and GO signs! HOW TO RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR FRANCHISE How often have you thumbed through a business opportunity magazine, noticed a franchise opportunity advertisement, and felt you'd really like to get in on that... if only you had the money? If you're like most who are seeking greater opportunity and wealth, this probably happens with you more often than you care to admit, except perhaps in strictly private conversations. When the average person sees one of these opportunities, or comes up with a similar idea of his own, the problems of start-up capital may seem formidable. But in reality, they may not be. In fact, just about anyone with a good credit record and an "insider's sense of business" can get the capital he or she needs, whenever it's needed. The secret is in knowing how to put together a proper proposal, and to present it to the right person. These are the "how-to" instructions we're going to give you in this report. The first thing you're going to need is a complete business plan. This is a complete and detailed description of exactly how you intend to operate the proposed business. Your business plan should detail precisely the product or products you plan to sell; how you're going to produce or manufacture the product; your costs (inventory costs if you're purchasing them from a supplier); who is going to sell those products for you; how they're going to be sold; the attendant costs; when you expect to recoup your initial investment; your plans for growth or expansion; and the total dollar amount you're going to need to make it all work according to your plan. Your business plan must be detailed - complete with projected income and expense figures - through at least the first three years of business. Now, assuming you have your business plan all worked out, put together and ready for presentation with your request for capital, let's talk about your capitalization proposal. First, keep in mind that whenever you ask somebody for money whether it's for a small personal loan or a large amount of money to finance a business, you're involved in a selling situation. You have to prepare a "sales presentation" just as if you were getting ready to sell an automobile or refrigerator. Within this sales presentation you must have all the facts and figures; you must anticipate the questions and the possible objections of the prospective lender with answers or explanations; and you must "package" it as impressively as you would yourself for an audience with the president of IBM or General Motors. The more money you ask for, the more "in-the-know" will be the people you want to borrow from, and so the more detailed and organized your proposal must be. This shouldn't cause you too much worry however, because you can hire a CPA to help you put it together properly, once you've got the facts and have a business plan he can work from. Look at it this way: The more money you request for your business, the more your lenders or prospective investors are going to want to know about you, your planning, and your business. They want to be impressed with the fact that you've done your homework; they want to see that you've researched everything and documented your facts and figures; they want to be assured by your presentation that investing in your business will make money for them. It's just that simple at the bottom line. Unless you can instill confidence in them with your business plan and loan or investment proposal, they're just not going to give much positive thought to your request for capitalization. So you'll need a balance sheet describing your net worth - the worth of what you own compared to the amount of money you owe. You'll also have to prove your stability and money-management talents relative to how successful you've been in paying off past obligations. If you have had credit problems in the past, get them "cleaned up", or at least explained on your file at your local credit bureau office. Under the law, credit bureaus are required to give you all the information they have about you in their files, and it's your right to correct any errors or either explanations regarding negative reports on your credit. Do this without fail because prospective lenders or investors will definitely check your credit history. So, now you have your balance sheet prepared; your credit history organized in a light that's favorable to you your business plan (with costs and income projected over the coming three years), you're ready to start looking for lenders or investors. Almost all franchisors offer help in setting up with one of their franchises. Most will go out of their way to assist you in getting the financing you need. Some will lend you the entire amount, with payments coming out of the income they expect you to make from their franchise operation. Many will carry this loan themselves, while others will carry part of it and find you a lender to finance the remainder. Franchisors have two objectives in mind when they off franchises to the public: They are trying to expand their operation, thus increasing their profit, and they are trying to raise capital for themselves. Generally speaking, if you have a good credit history, and if they feel you have the necessary business personality to achieve success with one of their operations, they'll do everything within their power to get you in a franchise outlet. Keep this in mind the next time you see an advertisement for a promising franchise opportunity requiring a substantial amount of cash outlay. You don't necessarily have to have all the money. They want you, and they'll help you! Many people seem to be unaware that most of today's largest corporations started on a shoestring - on borrowed money. Many people seem to feel that unless they've got it all "in hand" in savings, then they'll just have to keep plugging away until they can save up enough to take the big plunge. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Just a quick bit of research will show that 999 out of every 1,000 businesses were begun on borrowed money. Look to your family and friends for financial help. Approach them in a business-like manner; tell them about your idea or plans, and ask them for a loan. Agree to sign a formal statement to pay them back in three, five or ten years, with interest. When you have your proposal assembled, you might even want to think of a limited partnership or even a general partnership arrangement as a way to finance your project. In any kind of partnership, each partner shares in the profits of the company, but in a limited partnership, each person's loss liability is limited to the amount of money he initially invested. The truth is, in this kind of a situation, you'll be doing all the work and sharing your gain with your partners, but then it's a fairly sure way to obtain needed financing. Another common method of obtaining business financing is through second mortgage loans on a home or existing piece of property. Say you purchased a home ten years ago for $135,000, and today the assessed valuation is $385,000, with a mortgage of $125,000 still outstanding. A lender may consider your home to be security or collateral for a loan up to $60,000. In many instances, this is the easiest and surest way of getting the money needed for franchise or other business investment. And, it makes sense; you've got "net worth" available that is doing nothing but sitting there. Take this equity and invest it in a worthwhile business, and you could double or triple your net worth each year for the rest of your life. Deciding to obtain a second mortgage on your home in order to finance a business opportunity is without doubt a major decision, but if you are sure about your investment project, and are determined to succeed, you owe it to yourself to go ahead. You could incorporate yourself, borrow money from your family through a second mortgage on your home, and protect against the loss of your home through the Federal Homestead Act. The important point here is that all business opportunities involve risk and sacrifice. It's up to you to determine the feasibility of your success with your proposed venture, then decide on the best way possible to proceed. In every instance where you run into reluctance on the part of a lender to lend you the money you need, explore the feasibilities of "two-name" or "cosigned" loans. You can have the franchisor sign with you, or one of your suppliers, a business associate or even a friend. Oftentimes you can borrow or rent collateral such as stocks, bonds, time certificates, business equipment or real estate, and in this way give greater confidence to the lender in your abilities to repay the loan. Whenever you can show a contract from someone who has agreed to purchase a certain number of your products or services over a specified period of time, you have another important piece of paper that most lenders will accept as collateral. Still another possibility might be to get a bank or a firm that has loaned you money in the past to guarantee your loan. They simply guarantee that they'll lend you money in the future if ever the nee should arise. Going straight to your neighborhood bank, applying for a business loan and walking out with the money is just about the most unlikely of all your possibilities. Banks want to lend money, and they must lent money in order to stay in business, but most banks are notoriously conservative and extremely reluctant to lend you money unless you have a "regular income" that guarantees repayment. If and when you approach a bank for a business loan, you'll need all your papers in order - your financial statement, your business plan, credit history and all the endorsements you can get relative to your succeeding with your planned enterprise. In addition, it would be a good idea to take along your accountant just to assure the banker that your plan is verifiable. In the end, you'll find that it all boils down to whether or not the bank officer studying your application is sold on you as a good credit risk. Thus you must impress the banker - not only with your proposal, but with your appearance and personality as well. In dealing with bankers, never show an attitude of doubt or apology. Always be positive and sure of yourself. However, don't come on so strong to them that you're either demanding or overbearing. Just look good, know your stuff, and project an attitude of determination to succeed. Your best bet, in attempting to get a business loan from a bank, is to deal with commercial banks. These are the banks that specialize in investment loans for going businesses, real estate construction, and even venture programs. Look in the yellow pages of your telephone or business directories; call and ask for an appointment with the manager; and then explore with him the possibilities of a loan for your project. One of the "nice things" about commercial banks is that even though they may not be able to approve a loan for your business ideas, they will almost always give you a list of names of business people who might be interested in looking over your proposal for investment purposes. A lot of commercial banks stage investment lectures and seminars for the general public. If you find one that does, attend. You'll meet a lot of local business people, some of whom may be able to and interested in helping you with your business plans. When you're looking for money to move on a business deal, it does not really matter where the money comes from, or how it all comes about. It's important that you get the money, and at terms that are suitable to you. Thus, don't overlook the possibilities of an advertisement for a lender or investor in your local papers. Place your ad as well in national publications reaching people looking for investments. Other avenues to seriously consider are foundations that offer grants, local dental and medical investment groups, legal investment groups, business associations, trust companies and other groups or organizations looking for tax shelters. Basically, it isn't a good idea to go to a finance company or other commercial lender of this type for a business loan. The most obvious reason is the high interest creates you have to pay. These companies borrow money from larger money lenders, and then turn around and lend it to you at a higher interest rate than they pay. Herein lies the means by which they make money from granting loans to you. The more it costs them to provide the money for you, the more it's going to cost you to borrow their money. The only element in your favor when borrowing from one of these agencies is that most will generally lend you money against collateral other lenders just won't accept. Insurance companies, pension funds, and commercial paper houses are not too out of sight with their interest rates, but they generally will not even consider talking to you unless you're requesting $500,000 or more. They'll also pretty much require that your business proposal be backed by the best possible plan. Finally, the bottom line is this: You must have a well-researched and detailed business plan; you must have all your documents and projections put together in an impressive presentation; and then, you will have to be the one who does the final selling of your proposal to the investor or lender. This means your appearance, personality and attitude, because - make no mistake about it - before anyone lends you any sizeable amount of money, they're going to want to take a close look at you personally before they hand over the money. Actually, the different ways of financing a franchise opportunity are as many and varied as your own creativity. The sources of obtaining money are virtually limitless, and available to anyone with an idea. One word of caution before you jump into any franchise purchase agreement: The price you pay to participate in a franchise operation is not always the total cost involved in getting the business off the ground. With some franchise operations, you may find other costs such as down payments on the purchase of property, building construction costs, remodeling or site improvements, equipment, fixtures, signs, advertising, and training. Virtually all franchise deals require that in addition to the purchase price or the license fee of the franchise, you're required to give a certain percentage of your gross business income to the franchisor, plus extra payments for promotion and administrative costs. Above all else, before you get involved in a franchise, or any business venture for that matter, make sure you've conducted a complete and thorough investigation of the opportunity presented. If it's a good deal, then go with it; but if you have any doubts or feel as though you're getting in over your head, back off an look around for something not quite so ambitious, or perhaps expensive. There a lot of good franchise opportunities, and some not so good. It's important that you be sure of what you're investing in, and that you can make money with it. From there, preparing the proper business plan and the necessary financing, while not always a snap, can be done. Now's the time to do it! We wish you outstanding success with your franchise business. HOW TO OBTAIN FREE BUSINESS PUBLICITY Product publicity is the "secret pathway" to business success everyone wants. In simple terms, product publicity is a kind of advertising that costs you nothing, yet brings in the orders for you. Regardless of what kind of business you are operating, you should want, and strive for, as much publicity for your business and your products or services, as possible. After all, it's "free advertising" that is essential to the growth of your business. However, your publicity efforts should be well through out, and preplanned for maximum results. The first, and basic form of obtaining publicity is through what is known as the press or news release. This is generally a one page story about your business, your product/service or an event/happening related to your business that is about to, or has recently occurred. These publicity stories are generally "shot-gunned" to all the various media: local newspapers, radio and TV, and trade publications. Problem number one is getting the people to whom you have sent these publicity stories, to use them - publish or broadcast them. And this leads us back to the "right way" of writing them and sending them in. In every case, send a short cover letter addressed to the person you want your material to be considered by... This means that you send your story to the city editor of the newspapers; the news directors of the radio & TV stations; and the managing editors of the various trade publications. It will do you no good what-so-ever, to send your material to the advertising, circulation or business managers - describing how you are a long-time advertiser, subscriber or listener. The most important thing is that you make contact with the person who has the final say as to what is to be published or broadcast, and at the bottom line - this person's use of your material will somehow make him a "hero" to his or her readers, viewers or listeners. The cover letter should be a short note. Go to a paper supplier - tell them you want a hundred of so sheets of good bond paper - 8 1/2 x 11 preferably in a pastel color such as blue or ivory - and that you want this paper cut into quarters, giving you a grand total of 400 sheets of note paper. "From the desk of..." note sheets are too elaborate until the people you are contacting get to know you - first time around, and until they use your material, don't use these semi-formal note sheets… On this note sheet, begin with the date across the top - skip a couple of spaces and then quickly tell the recipient of the note, the attached material is new and should be of real interest to his readers, viewers or listeners. You can advise dealers and distributors of MONEY MAKING MAGIC - our regular publication for serious wealth builders and extra income seekers - to send the following note to the editors and news directors of the media in their area: "Here's something that is new, and for a change, truly helpful, to people trying to cope with inflation - the soaring costs of living - and those engaged in building extra income businesses of their own. Should be of real value interest - to your readers. Please take a look - any questions, or if your need more into, give me a call at: (503) 666-5824..." Then, or course, you skip about four spaces, type your name, your business name, and your address sign your name above where you have typed it, and staple this note in the upper right hand corner of your news release. This note should be typed and double-spaced. So now, you have got a cover letter, and you know who to send it to... We type up one such note and take it to a near-by quick print shop. Copy the note 4 times, paste these 4 copies onto one sheet of paper, print 50 to 100 copies, and cut the paper into individual notes, all for less than $10... Do not try to save money by photocopying or making copies - a photocopy is a photocopy is a photocopy, and will not do the job for you… Now you need the actual publicity release, which also must be "properly" written if you expect it to be used by the media. Above all else, there is a proper form or style to use, plus the fact that it must be typed, double spaced, and short - about a half page in total length. About an inch from the top of the paper with an inch and a half margin on each side of the paper; form the left hand margin, type in all capital letter: PRESS RELEASE: Then, underline these words. Immediately following the colon, but not in all capital letters, put in the date. Always set the date forward by at least one day after the day you intend to mail the release. On the same line, but on the right hand side of the page, and in all capital letters, write the words, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Underline this, and immediately below, but not in all capital letters, type your name - your phone number - and your address… Skip a couple of spaces, then in all capital letters - centered between the margins - type a story headline, and underline it... Skip a couple of spaces, and from the left hand margin, all in capital letters, type the words, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: From there on, it's the news or publicity story itself. You can write the headline before the story, and then a story to fit the headline - or the story before the headline, and then a headline to fit the story - either way, it's basically the same as writing a space ad or a sales letter... You attract attention and interest with the headline and fill in the details with your story. Here is an example of the headlines we use on publicity blurbs for MONEY MAKING MAGIC: HELP IN MAKING ENDS MEET NEW PUBLICATION FOR EXTRA INCOME SEEKERS Notice how we continue to sell or involve the editor - His readers are always looking for better ways to make ends meet, and he's specifically interested as to what our promise involves... He wants his readers to "think well" of him for enlightening them with this source of help, so he reads into the story to find out who, what and how... An actual copy of one of our publicity releases is contained as an appendix to this report… Suffice it to say that your headline, and the story you present to the editor, must sell him on the benefits of your product or service to his readers. Unless it specifically does this, he will not use it mind as you write it. The person you send your press or publicity release to, must quickly see and understand how your product or service will benefit his readers - thereby making him a hero to them - and he must be assured it will do what you promise in your headline. Come right to the point and say your product is lower in price, more convenient to use or in what way your product or service is useful to the people in general. It is also a good idea to include a complimentary sample of your product or an opportunity for him to sample your services. Remember, the editors receiving your information are fully aware of your purposes - Free Advertising! They are not in the least interested in your or your credentials - If you have sold them on the benefits of your business to their readers, and they want background details, they will call you. That is why you list your telephone number and address… These people are busy people. They have not got the time nor the interest in reading about your trials and tribulations or plans for the future. They want only "a flag" that alerts them to something new and of probable real interest to their readers. Sell the editor first. Convince him that you have found the better mousetrap. Show him that your product or service - that your business - fills a need and/or will interest a large segment of his readers, his viewers or listeners. When an editor uses your publicity release, always follow-up with a short thank you note. Never, but never, send a publicity release to an editor and then call or write demanding to know why he did not use it, use it as you wrote it, or only gave you a quick mention. Do this once, and that particular media will "round-file" any further material received form you, unopened! If your first effort is not used, then you should review the story itself, perhaps write it form a different angle; make sure you are sending it to the proper person - and try again! As stated earlier, these people are busy, with hundreds of publicity releases passing across their desks every day - They only have so much space or time - therefore, your material has to stand out and in some way, fit in with the information they - the editors - want to pass along to their readers, viewers or listeners. Regardless of your business, product, or service, you must build your press release - write it - around that particular angle or feature that makes it beneficial or interesting to the readers, viewers or listeners of the media you want to run your press release. Without this special ingredient, you are lost before you begin! The timing of your press release is always important, Try to associate your press release with current events in the news. A story on job lay-offs and increased unemployment carried in the newspapers, on TV and radio would prompt us to get a publicity release out to all the media on the help and opportunity offered by MONEY MAKING MAGIC! Say there is a deluge of chain letters and pyramid schemes making the rounds - the media picks up on it and attempts to warn the people to beware... Within 5 days, we would get a publicity release out, explaining the availability of our reports on chain letters and pyramid schemes - a report that explains everything form A to Z - who are the winners and who are the real losers. You must sell the first person receiving your materials. Keep this fact uppermost in your There is another kind of timing also to keep in mind...Publication Deadlines... For best results, always try to time it so your material reaches the editor in time for the Sunday paper. This is because that is when the papers have their greatest circulation; the most space is available; and the people, the most time to read the paper. For articles you would like to appear in the Sunday paper, you will generally have to get your releases in at least nine days prior to the date of publication. If you are in doubt, call and ask about the deadline date. SUMMARY Choose the media most likely to carry your press release. Select those that carry similar write-ups on a regular basis. Always use a cover letter of some kind. It pays to call ahead to find out the name of the person you should be sending your press release to. Use the proper press release form, complete with a headline that will interest the man deciding whether or not to use your item. Be sure your press release is letter perfect - no typo's or misspelled words and don't photocopy - always have each letter or press release individually typed or printed. When your item is used, send a thank you note or call the editor on the phone and thank him for using your press release. Never, but never call or write an editor demanding to know why he did not use your press release, why he had it rewritten or cut it short - just try, and try again! SURE-FIRE METHODS OF RAISING INSTANT CASH The inability to come up with the necessary cash when suddenly presented with a "can't miss" opportunity, is one of the most frustrating experiences anyone ever live through. Yet, there are literally hundreds of ways to raise unlimited amounts of cash in an hour or less! You may not be aware of many of these cash-raising methods we're about to describe for you, but they are all legal and any one of them could be the answer to your money needs the next time you have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a sure-fire winner. The important thing is to be aware of the possibilities, and then to position yourself to use them when the need arises. Almost everyone uses plastic credit cards in place of money for the purchase of many of the things they want and need. Most people aren't aware though, that in addition to merchandise and services, you can also buy money with these credit cards. The "Cash Advance" privilege of these cards is actually the best and easiest way to raise cash - immediately and with no questions asked. Generally, most people can write themselves a check for at least a thousand dollars against these credit cards and with no questions or quibbling relative to the amount requested. With an American Express card, you can even write yourself a check for $2,500 with no argument. Now then, if you have 10 of these credit cards, and you needed $10,000 - all you'd have to do would be to write 10 different check for $1,000 each - a $1,000 check against each of your credit cards with this cash advance privilege - present the checks at each of the banks sponsoring the credit cards, and you've got the $10,000 you were needing. Besides the no-fee cards such as MasterCard and Visa, there's a growing number of travel and entertainment cards such as American Express, Carte Blanche and Diners Club. Your annual income and credit rating has to be higher than for many of the others, and they charge you an annual service charge for the privilege of using them, but the amount of cash you can draw against them is much higher. For instance, with an American Express "Gold Card," you can draw up to $5,000 in instant cash, immediately with no questions asked. In addition to the "cash advance" privileges of most credit cards, most modern bank accounts include an automatic overdraft provision. This amounts to the privilege of your being able to write a check for more than the balance you have in the bank, and the bank honoring your check by merely loaning you money to cover the amount of the check. In effect, this is an immediate and automatic loan to you - without questions. Most of these "check guarantee" accounts will cover you up to at least $1,000 and if you have 3-such accounts, you can write three $1,000 checks, and be on your way with whatever you need instant cash for. Another source of money is your circle of friends and relatives. Therefore, it's always to your benefit to make friends, encourage them as necessary, and keep them believing in you. One of the easiest of all money-raising ideas to promote amongst your friends and relatives is the sale of "private stock" in your idea or project. For instance, if 100 of your friends and relatives were to give you $100 each, you'd have $10,000 with which to either jump into or launch a new venture. And by-the-way, it's always important to have at least 3 people you can count on to co-sign a note or loan for you if the need should ever arise. Loans against life insurance policies are another source of "no questions asked" instant cash. You simply borrow against the cash value of the policy, and in most cases, the interest you pay is far lower than against other loans, plus you never have to pay it back nor will your insurance policy lost value, so long as you keep the interest payments up to date. Still another avenue to explore is the feasibility of using your insurance policy as collateral when you don't seem to have enough unassigned collateral otherwise. If you're buying the home you live in, and have a conventional home mortgage, you can often-times borrow against the equity you've built up. Generally speaking, if you buy a home for $50,000 - live in it and make regular payments on the mortgage for 10-years the value of your home has probably increased to the neighborhood of $100,000 and conceivably, you could borrow $50,000 against your equity. In these times of tight money, this is a most intelligent method of coming up with the cash you need to start a new business. There's also a lot of possible instant cash just lying dormant in people's attics, basements and garages. Go through all the things you've got stored - you may find valuable heirlooms, priceless antiques and collectibles that other people are looking for, and willing to buy from you. And, don't forget all the money you've loaned out to friends, neighbors and/or relatives over the years - check your memory and get in touch with these people - ask for repayment. Finally, if you're wanting to start a business, and you've got your business plan all together, don't be afraid to take it in and show the people at your commercial bank. These banks - as opposed to regular savings banks - are always on the lookout for new businesses to invest in, and are willing to take risks - they'll welcome you with "open arms" and can really help. TO BE SUCCESSFUL YOU MUST LEARN TO MARKET YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE To be successful, a business must learn marketing methods and techniques that attracts customers. Whether you are working part-time or full-time, selling a product or a service, working out of your home or office, you can't survive if money isn't changing hands. In order for that exchange to take place, consumers must be aware that your product or service exists. They must also know that it fills a need, solves a problem, is fairly priced, has value, provides benefits, is attainable, and where they can go to obtain it. There are many ways to market a product or service, including: Newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, flyers, brochures, business cards, or television and radio. Whatever advertising medium is used, it will be up to you to: 1) Get prospect's ATTENTION; 2) Create a continuing INTTEREST; 3) Arouse their DESIRE; and 4) Move them to ACT! In effect, it is marketing skills that will make others want to purchase your offer. There are basically two forms of advertising, classified and display. Classified ads appear in newspapers, magazines, and makes statements that prompt them to act. In many businesses, word-of-mouth and strategically placed hand-written ads located on bulletin boards are also effective. According to professional advertising consultants, an ad should not tell too much or too little. The initial object is to whet the reader's appetite and make them desire to know more about your product or service. Experts say that the real trick to getting new customers, is to create a situation where they act on impulse. Research has shown that most buyers, whether for products or services, act on impulse. Even items considered necessities are chosen and purchased on impulse. You must excite a prospect enough to act on impulse Now! If your ad doesn't tell enough (in whatever form your ad appears in), interest will not be aroused enough to cause decisive action. Ironically, if an ad tells too much, excitement and desire can disappear quickly. Besides metro newspapers, most cities and towns have regional or local newspapers that are issued on a weekly or semi-weekly basis. These papers fill a need within the area they serve, and ads placed in these publications are usually highly successful. However, the key to your success will ultimately be in selling yourself. Your best references will be satisfied customers who are willing to do repeat business with you. Through word-of-mouth, they will begin to tell their friends, relatives, and neighbors to do business with you also. As the cash begins to pour in with no end in sight, then you will understand the meaning of Success! SECRETS OF ECONOMIZING IN INFLATIONARY TIMES During periods of high inflation, most people have to "tighten their belts," and watch their expenditures a bit more closely. After all, buying on credit and attempting to spend more than you have coming in is a sure-fire road to financial ruin. In order to live within your income - keep the bill collectors off your back and not really lower your accustomed standard of living, this report is made up of a number of proven ideas to help you. One of the first things you should do is take write out a budget. You do this by listing your total take home income on one piece of paper, and all of your regular monthly obligations on another piece of paper. A good idea is to set up a separate envelope for each of your bills - use the envelopes from your incoming mail for these, marking on the front of each envelope what it's for. There should be an envelope for your mortgage or rent payment, for any payments to loan companies, and of course your charge cards, for your groceries, your lights, heat, water and telephone costs. Then, as you get paid, cash your check and divide the money you have into each envelope. If you're "strung out pretty tight," you may have to contact each of your creditors with a request to lower your payments, and extend them over a longer payback period. If after making out your budget - and actually seeing on paper how much money you've got to pay your bills - this is necessary, then by all means get in to talk with your creditors. Tell them about your situation; explain to them that you've taken a look at your income/outgo situation, and have devised a plan and work with you in everyone off. In almost all instances, they'll welcome your plan and work with you in every way possible to help you get caught up. Probably the biggest area in which you can cut your expenses is with your groceries. To do this, always make a detailed and itemized list of the things you need before you leave home. Total up the costs and if it goes beyond the amount you want to spend or have to spend, simply go back through your list marking off those things lease necessary. Never go grocery shopping when you're feeling hungry! When making up your list of groceries to buy, always check your local newspaper for best buys - if you've had to discontinue newspaper delivery check your local post office about midweek and you'll find "grocery shoppers' supplements" stacked up by people who don't want them. Go through your papers with a fine tooth comb and compare prices. Shop at the "no frills" stores, the "food barns" and liquidation sales. By all means, clip out the "cents off" and refund coupons. Keep a sharp eye out at all times for these coupons and use them - if they're for brands or items that you don't want to use, offer to trade them with people who want them. It almost goes without saying that when you're trying to watch your expenses, you'll have to give up snacks and eating out. Instead of buying a candy bar to munch on as you walk through the store, buy a bag of apples and take one with you from home. Instead of eating out once a week, cut it down to once a month and make it a real reward for having lived within your budget for the preceding month. With your cooking, prepare more of your meals from scratch instead of serving processed, pre-cooked or hear and serve meals. Save your foil/transparent plastic wrap - just wash it and use it again. Use paper towels or do without napkins. Use bread wrappers and save those place containers - just wash and use them for keeping leftovers. Use washable cloth handkerchiefs instead of expensive facial tissue. Clothing is another area in which most people can save. Instruct everyone in your family that there won't be anymore new clothes purchases until you've got your finances reorganized - instruct them to learn to value and take care of the clothes they have - make them last longer. Learn to sew on buttons, repair ripped seams, and sew on patches. Never throw anything away - if something becomes outgrown or no longer wanted, save it for a garage sale or trade for something you can use at a second hand store. Learn all you can about auto upkeep and minor repairs. Visit your public library and explore what is available that you can use to learn how to "do-it-yourself" instead of having to pay someone to do it for you. Talk with your relatives, neighbors and co-workers about swapping services - you do little odd jobs for them in exchange for their doing things for you that you either can't or don't want to do. Save and sell all materials that can be recycled such as aluminum, bottles and paper. Don't splurge on gifts - either at Christmas or on birthdays. Think of things you can either make yourself or trade for - often-times a handmade card is a gift-enough when times are tough. And finally, don't go shopping at the big advertised sales if you don't have the cash in hand to buy a needed item. A savings of $50 on an item that puts you $50 in debt is no savings at all. At the bottom line, before you buy anything, ask yourself if you "really" need it! The rewards are as great as the work. This concludes the Home Business Survival guide, and begins you on your exciting journey into the wilderness of online marketing. It doesn’t have to be a jungle out there! Now go Enjoy the Journey!
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