I Quit

I will officially be shutting this site down on May 31, 2014.

When I started it up, I had great plans for what I could do with it, but the reality that anything I did involved marketing, which I do not know.. I’ve read books, gone to sites, signed up for email newsletters and did everything I could physically do, but the reality is that it’s been 8 months and I have not gotten a single person who even inquired about what I do.

I know it’s all my fault. There is a great disconnect between my limited idea of the concept of marketing and the reality of what to do with and for my site. I can’t do face-to-face networking and don’t have any money to try to do anything online. And, when I try some avenue of marketing, I don’t have any idea what to say to draw people to the site.

It takes money to make money. That, unfortunately is the one concept of marketing I do understand, and since I don’t have any, I start out with two strikes against me and my lack of knowledge of marketing turns out to be that fatal third strike.

It will take me awhile to shut down all the other sites I used to market it; my Google + site, my LinkedIn site, etc., but I no longer have the energy or desire to delay the inevitable.

Beginners Guide to Blogging

A blog is basically an online journal wherein you can digitally pen down your thoughts, ideas, opinions and practically anything that you want people to read. Blogs come in different styles, formats, and settings, depending on the preference of the user. Many blogging sites, offer built in features such as hyperlink, straight texts, pictures etc. Some blogging sites, even allow you to put video and mp3’s on your blogs.

Instead of writing texts, some bloggers choose to make their blogs more audio friendly, by using spoken word entries. This is called audio blogging.

Basically a blog contains these features:

title- which allows you to label your post
body- this is the content of your post
trackback- other sites can be linked back to your blog
permanent link- every article that you write has a URL
comments- this allow readers to post comments on your blog.

One of the advantages of blogging, is that it is made of only a few templates. Unlike, other websites that is made up of numerous individual pages. This make it easier for blog users to create new pages, because it already has a fix setting that include: slots for title, body of the post, category, etc.

This is especially useful for first time users, since they can start blogging right away. They can chose from a number of templates that blogging websites provide.

Anyone who wants to start a blog can do so by becoming a member of a blogging website of their choice. Once they’ve become members, they automatically become a part of that particular blogging community. They can browse through other bloggers pages, and link them back to their own blogs. They can also make comments on other members’ blogs.

Blogging is not just limited to personal usage. There are a lot of blogs that follow a theme such as: sports, politics, philosophy, social commentary, etc. These blogs espouse on their specific themes. This way blogging becomes a medium in which people can share their knowledge and opinions about a variety of themes and topics.

Some bloggers even use their blogs as a means to advertise. Some authors advertise their books on their blogs. While other bloggers, use their blogs to shed light to currents issues, events, news and catastrophes.

Nowadays in education, blogs also play an important part. Professors use blogging to document the lessons that they have discussed and taught. This way, students who who have missed classes, can easily catch up with their assignments.

A lot of entrepreneurs benefit from blogging by promoting their businesses on their blogs, with millions and millions of people logging onto the net everyday, blogging has become a lucrative move. Some bloggers who run online businesses promote their merchandise online. While others profit through advertisement.

But by far, the most popular blog type is the one that takes the form of a personal journal. This is the kind that is usually used by first time bloggers. Individuals who want to document the daily struggle of their everyday lives, poems, rants, opinions, find that blogging offers them a medium in which to express themselves.

Bloggers usually communicate within themselves. This is one of the appeals of blogging. It creates a community of people sharing their ideas, thoughts, and comments with each other.

Blogs varying in topics, themes, and set-ups, can be found in blog directories. First time users who want to get an idea of what the blogging world is all about can browse through a number of blogs using these directories. This way they’d get an idea of what these blogging communities are like.

Blogging is popular all over the world. Blog is short for the term weblog. There are no rules when it comes to blogging. Bloggers have the freedom to express themselves how ever way they want, and the best thing about blogging, is that most blogging sites are free.

There are numerous blogging websites to choose from in the net. This give first time users the option of joining a blogging community that appeals to their interests.

Just search any blogging directory and you’d get a listing of a lot of blogging sites that are available on the net. It’s easy to search a blogging directory, because it is organized according to category. This way you would get exactly what you are after. Blogging is really for everyone. It is fun, simple and easy.

Blogging 101

Blogging 101 is mostly about the blogging
vocabulary. To understand blogs, you need to know
the terms blog, platform, domain, and web host.
Once you have mastered these key elements of
blogging, you can enter any conversation about
blogging with confidence. After you know what
exactly a blog is, you will be on your way to
passing the final exam of blogging 101.

Blog is short for weblog, which simply means a
series of online posts presented in reverse
chronological order. That’s all! Most blogs are text,
but there are also photo blogs and video blogs. The
rest of blogging 101 has to do with the technical
side of things. If you are setting up a blog, you will
need a platform, a web host, and a domain. A
blogging platform is a computer software program
that allows you to write posts and to update your
blog. Your platform is also what you use to design
the look of your blog, from color scheme to font
size. The web host is sort of like the virtual file
cabinet where your blog is stored. Your computer
communicates with the host when you upload or
edit a post. The domain is the online address of
your blog, and usually ends in ‘dot com’. Now that
you know what a blog is, what a platform is, and
what domains and hosts are, congratulate yourself!
You have passed blogging 101.

Tips And Ideas From Financial Gurus

With world markets still on shaky ground and families on the ground still waiting to feel the effects of a recovering economy, the only individuals who seem to have cushy savings account to keep them warm at night are the millionaires. While it is too…

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Well, I’m back!

I don’t know what happened, but I got the site back up this afternoon.  I will hopefully resume my weekly posts soon!

 

Thank you!

A Startup Founder’s Guide for Building an Efficient To Do List

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Operations Manual Template

Operations Manual Template

Company name
Address
Phone number
Website

OPERATIONS MANUAL

PHYSICAL

PHYSICAL FACILITY
• Location/address
• Security code/access
• Landlord
• Workspace
o Desks
o Storage
o Files

FINANCIAL

FINANCIAL
• Accounting program/Expenses Log (Excel, QuickBooks, Quicken, Money, etc…)
Invoicing procedures
• Taxes – annual, quarterly (federal, state, local, special taxes)
Licenses
ADMINISTRATIVE

BUSINESS PASSWORDS
Online and off line

BUSINESS INSURANCE
Policy #
Agent
Dates of coverage
Price

LIST OF KEY BUSINESS DOCUMENTS
Operations Manual
Client Agreement
Independent Contractor Agreement
Speaking Agreement
Marketing & Launch Calendar
Annual Report
Record Retention Policy
Business Loan
Mortgage or Lease for Business Space
Business Plan
Succession Plan/Will/Trust

BUSINESS & OFFICE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
Business Equipment/Assets
• Computer and electronic equipment
• Office furniture
• Smart phones
• Automobiles
• Rental space
• Ink Cartridges
• Label Maker Tape
• Multi-purpose white paper

COMPUTER NETWORKING FOR BUSINESS
Networking instructions
IP address
WORKING WITH CLIENTS

CLIENT INTAKE PROCESS
• New Client Welcome Packet
• Client Intake Checklist
o Track source of client – How did they hear about business?
o If in-person – Give business card and brochure
o Conduct telephone consultation
o Book session
o Get full contact information
o Submit Agreement to be signed
o Add prospect/client to database/contacts/e-zine list(s)
• By email
o Within 24 hours, send email template with business background, rates, how to book sessions, travel policy, etc. and attach Agreement.
o Add to contacts database, and to ezine list.
o Get address/directions.
• By phone
o Return call within 24 hours
o Give basic information and/or set up telephone consultation to determine client needs.
o Mention website, ezine and blog.
o Get contact information.
o Send Agreement, add to contacts database, and add to database/contacts/ezine list.

PREPARING FOR CLIENT SESSIONS
Supplies
Review Agreement
Review Intake Forms/Assessment/Notes

FOLLOW-UP PROCESS AFTER CLIENT SESSIONS
Thank you notes/cards
Testimonial Forms
Evaluation
Add to database/contacts/ezine list
Referral Offer
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

PRODUCT LINE
Physical Product/Inventory
Print – books, tips booklets, ebooks, checklists, templates, etc.
Multi-Media – audio, video, etc.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Trademarks and Service Marks
Copyrighted material
BUSINESS PLANNING

ANNUAL PLANNING
Profit Pyramid
Marketing & Launch Calendar
Schedule for year with days off (vacations, holidays, professional development conferences, etc)
Business Retreat
Annual Report

Succession Planning
Letter of Instruction
Will/Trust
PERSONNEL / HUMAN RESOURCES

BUSINESS TEAM MEMBERS CONTACT INFORMATION
• Business Manager
• Virtual Assistant
• Organizing Associate
• Webmaster
• Graphic Designer
• Information Technology consultant
• Public Relations consultant
• Social Media consultant/assistant
• Copy Writer
• Proof Reader
• Photographer
• Transcriptionist
• Accountant
• Insurance Agent
• Business Coach
• Lawyer

HIRING OR RETAINING NEW TEAM MEMBERS
Interview Process
Hiring Procedures
Training
MARKETING / NETWORKING / PUBLIC RELATIONS

LIST OF BUSINESS DOMAIN NAMES & WHICH HOSTING COMPANY REGISTERED WITH
Website – Hosting Company (date of expiration)
Blog – Hosting Company (date of expiration)
EMAIL TEMPLATES
From referral source (friend, client, third party referral source, etc.)
Organizing – Residential
Organizing – Business/Corporate
Request for Speaking
Coaching
Consulting
Pro Bono requests

EXPO/TRADESHOW PREPARATION CHECKLIST
• Name tag
• Business signs
• Blog post-it notes
• Business cards and business card holder
• Brochures and brochure holder
• Media Kit
• Table top plastic holder with upcoming events listed, product offering, product order forms, etc.
• Ezine sign-up sheets and clip board
• Basket or small bag for business card collecting for ezines
• Products for Sale (Books, CDs, E-Book, etc…)
• Flyer with special offer
• Product Order Forms
• Laptop for scrolling slide show/Power Point presentations and/or before & after shots
• Power pack for laptop
• Resource Library w/ catalogs, etc.
• Door prizes/product give-aways
• Branded business pad(s) (for giveaways, raffles, etc…)
• Ribbon, stationery, post card for door prize or give away
• Bowl of candy
MARKETING AND NETWORKING
Target Market
Ideal Client Profile
Elevator Pitch
Mission Statement
Advertising Placements
Marketing & Launch Calendar
Ezine and Blog Editorial Calendar

BUSINESS BRAND & STYLE MANUAL
Brand Colors
Logo
Slogans
Graphic designs
Website design/template
Ezine design/template
Business cards
Brochures
Signs

SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
LinkedIn
Facebook – personal and business page
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+
Instagram

CERTIFICATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS
Associations
Certifying body
Annual Dues
Dates of certification/renewal
Continuing Education (CE) requirements

PUBLIC RELATIONS PROTOCOL
Submit press releases, teleclasses, and upcoming events to the following sources:
• Social Media Sites
o Twitter
o LinkedIn
o Facebook
o Pinterest
o Meet Up
o Biznik
• Bulletin Boards for Flyers
• Local networking groups
• Media List
• Chamber of Commerce
• Online newspapers
• Radio stations
• Online Press Release sites
o www.prlog.org
o www.press-release.com
o www.free-press-release.com
o www.24-7pressrelease.com
o www.free-press-release-center.com
• Ezine articles online
o www.ezinearticles.com
o www.selfgrowth.com
o www.ideamarketers.com
o www.articlealley.com
o www.goarticles.com
o www.buzzle.com
o www.onlineorganizing.com
o www.DivineCaroline.com
o Biznik.com
• Teleclass Sites
o www.planetteleclass.com
o www.seminarannouncer.com

EZINE ARTICLES PROTOCOL
After uploaded to Articles Library on website and/or blog, also send to ezine articles sites above.

TELECLASS OR WEBINAR CHECKLIST
Teleclass and Webinar Administrative Sheet (online platform used, account numbers, dial in number, web address, access code, prompts, recording instructions, etc.)
Teleclass and Webinar Script

SPEAKING

SPEAKING REQUESTS
Speaking Intake Form
Pre-Program Questionnaire
Reduced Rate or Pro-Bono Speaking Form
If hired – Speaking Agreement

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS PREPARATION CHECKLIST
Bring the following items to live workshop:
• Digital audio recorder & tie-clip microphone
• Name tag
• Flip chart and markers (or dry erase markers for white board)
• Business signs
• Business note pads (branded)
• Branded post-it notes
• Pens
• Business cards and business card holder
• Brochures and brochure holder
• Media Kit
• Table top display holder with upcoming event listed, product offering, etc.
• Ezine sign-up sheets and clip board
• Basket or small bag for business card collecting for raffle
• Products for Sale (Books, CDs, etc…)
• Hard copy handouts (in case technology doesn’t work)
• Laptop if one is not provided
• Power Point clicker (even if not bringing your laptop)
• Jump drive (with Power Point presentation or handout on it)
• Evaluation Forms
• Resource Library w/ catalogs, etc.
• Door prizes/product give-aways
• Ribbon, stationery, post cards for door prize or give away

FOLLOW-UP AFTER SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT
Thank you note/email
Log in participants to database/contacts/ezine subscribers
Testimonial Form
Collect evaluations if did not do so after event

An Automated Ordering System

An Automated Ordering System

When you have an online company, it only makes sense to use all the online resources available. The payments you accept should be credit card and paypal, if you choose. Are you going to accept international orders. If you are going to receive orders daily, which is the goal, you will want to use an online shopping cart that automatically accepts the credit card, approves it and delivers the autoresponder emails and in the end, the product itself. What exactly is an online shopping cart. It is a lot like a regular shopping cart, where you can add or remove items as you please. It calculates shipping and taxes and the total of the purchase and passes this information along to the merchant account by a secure site, which protects the customers’ information. Choosing a shopping cart is crucial because if you choose the right one, it can double your sales. Imagine trying to purchase a product and you are entering all your information when you order and the pages take forever to load. Or worse, there are too many forms to fill out or you cannot find the pricing or product list easily. You would abandon that idea pretty quickly. In addition, you will also need a reputable merchant account that can handle the amount of sales you are going to send their way. You do not want to find a merchant account that requests a very high escrow fund, because this can be difficult to come up with. Before you launch your product, you need to make sure you have a way to provide customer service. You could hire a fulfillment house that takes care of customer service, orders, credit cards, and shipping all at once. But, if you intend to have a lot of business, this is not very cost effective. It would be much easier to take care of the customer service with paid employees and have a special fulfillment house only duplicate, package, and ship products for you.

Are You Building A Wall?

Americans throw away enough paper in a year to build a wall 12 feet high from New York City to Los Angeles. This fact is from earth911.org, a public service Website that focuses on recycling issues. Now that’s a lot of paper!

Despite the hype that computer makers fed us a few years ago, the computer has NOT decreased the paper used in most offices today. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Clean Your Files Day Program, the average citizen uses 1 ½ pounds of paper per day. The average office employee uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Now that’s just the figures on paper. What about the ink cartridges and cell phones that are tossed into landfills each year. No matter how you slice it, recycling today is big business.

Whether it’s glass, paper, plastic, steel, ink cartridges, computers, magazines, cardboard boxes, cell phones or another material, recycling products reduces waste and cost, and saves energy and resources. So why isn’t your business utilizing a recycling program?

Many small business owners feel overwhelmed when asked about recycling, but it needn’t be daunting because there are a lot of resources available. Many of them are just an Internet click away. Some that you might look at are:
www.earth911.org
www.epa.gov/recyclecity/
www.greenofficerecycling.com
www.obviously.com/recycle
www.nre-recycle.org
www.recyclingtoday.com

There may also be businesses nearby you that have “been there and done that” and may be willing to share advice, strategies, plans, and programs. Why reinvent the wheel when you can duplicate it?

Here are 18 steps that will help start your recycling program, and help your business become a good corporate citizen:

1. Make the decision to start. Believing that a recycling program is positive and beneficial to the business must exist as the foundation.
2. Get “buy-in” from other management and employees.
3. Decide if you need a “designated” recycling coordinator. This could be a volunteer who feels strongly about the subject.
4. Find a mentor or model. Find a business similar in size that has a successful program and ask for help.
5. Create a program plan. This should include goals and measurable objectives.
6. Know what can be recycled – what to collect and what to toss. There are regulations as to what can and cannot be recycled.
7. Understand recycling and educate the team. Tell your employees why you want to recycle, why it’s important and what’s expected of each employee.
8. Determine a collection method. Decide from the beginning whether recyclables will be commingled or separated by source.
9. Make recycling convenient and easy. Don’t skimp on collection bins, for example. If a bin is easier to find than a trash can than your program is bound to work.
10. Choose a method for removal.
11. Establish program guidelines. Keep it simple and foolproof for employees.
12. Launch your program and get team “buy in”. Make it fun. Schedule a kick off program, or even a company-wide contest to name the program.
13. Implement! Now it’s time to put the program into practice. Purchase and place bins, label recycling areas/bins. Make sure you place signs about what is recyclable and what isn’t in the same vicinity as the collection bins.
14. Promote and market your program. Keep the momentum going among your employees. Some companies even offer incentive programs to recognize individuals or departments for their efforts.
15. Evaluate the program periodically. Analyze your program’s effectiveness and let team members know the result. How much waste is being saved? Is it reducing costs? Are supply expenses lower?
16. Keep it going and build on the program. If you started with just paper, now extend it to plastic/ink cartridges, for example.
17. Publicize successes. Internally promote the program with workers via a newsletter or email. Externally, use it for a PR boost by sharing results with local and trade publications with a Press Release. Hey, great advertising!
18. Close the loop. Buy recycled content products for your business, reduce waste in the office, and reuse materials when possible.

The start of a new business year is the perfect time to start a recycling program in your business. It’s just what’s needed to re-energize holiday-worn workers, and make them feel like a part of your company’s planning team. Happy Recycling!

An Online Newsletter

When you start an online newsletter you have the opportunity to collect opt-in email addresses to build your subscription base and establish creditability with your subscribers so that they may want to purchase products from you, a trusting source. The best part about an online newsletter is that it is free to start up. With an online newsletter you can offer your subscribers juicy daily or weekly information and they will love it. It will slowly build up their curiosity and they may purchase a monthly membership or products from you because they love receiving the information you supply. Now, if you send them junk, the complete opposite will occur, so having an online newsletter takes work, but you can always pay someone to do it for you. So, with all this work put into it should you consider charging for subscription. That depends on what you want to accomplish. Do you want to attract visitors and entice them to your main product. Or are you only offering an online newsletter with no products. How often do you send out autoresponders and how in depth and valuable is your newsletter. Is this information easily found free somewhere else on the Internet.

Free newsletters are much easier because you can get a lot of people opt-in and you can sell them a subscription in the future. Everyone loves free stuff. Occasionally, at the end of the email you may want to offer special subscriber only promotions or notify your subscribers of new products or services. You could even offer special subscriber only bonuses with a purchase.

By the way, if you send your subscribers what begins to look like sales letters, they will opt out quicker than you can say wait! Be careful because this is your potential customer crowd and it is like gold to you.