10 Important Things To Keep In Mind Before Starting An Online Business

These ten factors may not necessarily appear in the same order as listed below but certainly, they are vital for the issue at hand.

HERE ARE THE TEN QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

1. What type of online business do I want to engage in?
2. What do I have on offer that will be better than my Competitors in my niche?
3. Do I need to prepare a business plan for my business?
4. How much will it cost to set up my business?
5. Is my business online based or BOTH online and offline?
6. Do I need a dedicated website for my business and how much will it cost?
7. How will I market my business whether online or offline?
8. What is the right strategy to use to market my business?
9. Am I getting value for money in advertising my business?
10. Am I reaching the right audience with my advertising?

Having a positive answer for all these questions can only lead you to the next stage of your pursuit of running an online business.

Engage yourself in research into the business you want to get involve in and have a go at it. Take for instance, the Mobile Phone Industry. Statistics have shown the total number of mobile phone users worldwide from 2013 to 2019. For 2017 the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.77 billion. Customers and potential customers use their mobile phones to browse the internet for Products and Services more than a Laptop or Desktop computer, so it make sense for business owners to utilize this piece of technology for marketing their products and services. This could suggest that there is an opportunity to tap into the mobile app industry to meet the needs of these businesses requiring mobile apps.

Millions of apps for almost anything you can think of, are now in circulation whether for free download or at a cost. You might ask, why don’t I have a slice of the pie and start a mobile app business? The excitement kicks in, but one has to have some kind of knowledge about the whole App design process. This will probably force you to dig deeper into your research on the whole aspect of mobile app development. With this being established, my first question is answered; through study and research, you have made an informed decision to get involved in Mobile App Design and Development. But, what will you be offering that will be better than your Competitors? This is not a simple question to answer, but to say the least, strive to offer quality products and services to customers, and simply make your Products and Services more affordable while maintaining quality.

Starting a business without some kind of a business plan is like driving onto a very long motorway with 1/4 tank of fuel, with the hope that it will take you to the next service exit. The business plan will give you a breakdown of what you need for the business even though success is not guaranteed, as there are a number of opposing factors along the way.

There are a lot of businesses with little or no startup cost as opposed to other businesses with huge startup cost. It also depends on whether your business will both be online and offline. You have to decide if the business you want to indulge in, has minimal startup cost.

To setup an online business, does not have to cost an arm and a leg, if you take the time to do extensive research into the business you want to get into.

If your business is online based, advertising it to the right audience can be a huge task. Finding the right sources to advertise your business, can be quite challenging and risky as this is where you can spend huge sums of money to advertise, but yet get little return on investment if the advertising strategy is wrong.

Advertising a business to a targeted audience involves a number of factors like;

1. Google Indexing
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
3. Domain Authority (DA)
4. Page Ranking (PR)
5. Back links
6. Social Media
7. Joining Forums
8. Blogging
9. Google AdWords
10. Google Analytics
11. Keywords Research

To do all of these stuff can be demanding and boring, but if you need success in any business, you just have to get on with the task at hand.

Handing over this challenging task to an SEO Expert can be quite expensive. If you put the time and effort in and do your research and utilize the available SEO tools on the Market, believe me, you can bring your online business to life without ‘breaking the bank’.

To conclude, I would say to minimise business startup costs, try to do as much as you can yourself. When you have exhausted all avenues, seek help.

I did not need any website design experience to build the Apptitecture’s website. Therefore, not having to ask a web designer to build a website, has saved me some money which I was able to channel elsewhere in the business. Starting an online business can be quite daunting but with hard work and determination, you can have a successful business in the end.

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Internet Marketing – What It Is And Why Do You Need One?

Nowadays, Internet Marketing is moving at the speed of the light and if you want to be in the limelight, so, you have to follow it. It is the simplest process of promoting your brand over the internet or intranet and reaching millions of shoppers around the world. It helps to generate leads, which positively increase your overall business profits.

Internet Marketing is a broad term that is divided into different categories like Affiliate Marketing, Display Advertising, Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing, etc. There are so many reasons you need to add into your strategy and some of them are as follows.

Branding: Needless to say, brand image is important if you want to be in the competition, otherwise, no one will know you. It helps to make a sale and expand your business at a higher level and this is why you should invest in Internet Marketing now.

To Increase The Website Visibility: Another reason you need Internet Marketing is that it helps to increase the website visibility on different search engines. Nowadays, people prefer online than the offline for anything and almost everything, therefore, it is a must for every business to expand them to a higher level.

To Connect With More Customers: No doubt, a customer is very important to make a sale and Internet Marketing helps you to target a wider audience without any boundary restrictions. By the way of this, your brand is promoted worldwide and you are able to make clients nationally and internationally both.

Tracking And Integration: Internet Marketing makes a track record of everything related to your business easier and it even allows you to get integrated with your clients. This may give you an opportunity to know about their likes and dislikes related to your products, so, you can improve yourself accordingly to get better results.

Flexibility: Lastly, Internet Marketing is one of the flexible ways of marketing that give you an opportunity to manage your store easily without any help and support. Besides, it saves your bucks and thousands of seconds, which lead your business to the success.

All in all, it is essential for your business growth and you should never ignore its power anyhow. If you still have any doubt because you are new to the online world, so, you can take the support of a leading SEO Company which engaged in providing Internet Marketing Services at a pocket-friendly price that fits into your budget and gives you the results beyond your expectations.

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What Is Computer Aided Engineering And Computational Fluid Dynamics?

Computer Aided Engineering (CAE)

CAE is the broad use of computer software with the aim to aid engineering tasks. It is a broad field that involves computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, optimization and multibody dynamics. Software tools developed to support the activities are known as CAE tools and they can be used in different application, including analyzing robustness and also performance of assemblies and components.

Computer aided design has indeed revolutionized modern engineering as it allows easier development of products and management integration of the same. It has also made modeling greater and offers basis for virtual networking. In the engineering world, the design is used widely to develop products to meet consumer expectations. It is this knowledge that makes engineering students and professionals important because of the benefits they bring to the engineering workforce.

Using computer aided engineering designs can be simulated in all kinds of scenarios without any physical change to the model. The technology is therefore widely applied to engineering applications. It comes with drawing benefits, project management benefits and networking benefits as well. It is applied to fields like aviation, space, shipbuilding and automotive industries. Computer aided engineering systems are supportive to businesses because they can place information views into the business process and make reference architectures useful especially when it comes to manufacturing models and products.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

This is a discipline that falls under computer aided engineering and is used to engineer products and process designs as well as fabricate and analyze all elements involved in the processes. The technology also falls under fluid mechanics that rely on numerical methods and algorithms to analyze and solve problems that are related to fluid flow as well as heat transfer. Computational fluid dynamics are made up of three phases:

· Pre-processing that defined computation fluid dynamics models that include physics environmental factors, geometry and boundary conditions

· Analysis which offer solution of transport equation using the computational fluid techniques

· Post processing which involves results using visualization tools

CFD started way back in the 1960s with the first successes becoming prominent in 1970s. In services industry it took effect in the 1980s and the industry significantly expanded in the 90s. CFD packages continue to develop and significant changes are definitely expected in the future. The knowledge on how fluid flow and the quantitative effects of solids that are in contact helps:

· Architects and building service engineers to provide safe and comfortable human environments

· Power plant designer to achieve maximum efficiency and also reduce pollutant releases

· Chemical engineers in maximizing yields from processing equipment and reactors

· Designers of marine, air and land vehicles to achieve maximum performance at minimum costs

· Safety engineers and risk-and-hazard analysts to make predictions of the damage extent of structures, human beings, vegetation, animals and even equipment as a result of blast waves, explosions and fires

The flow simulation also proves helpful to the metropolitan authorities in determining pollutant emissions, meteorologists in foretelling water and wind current, petroleum engineers in designing oil recovery strategies among many other applications.

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Online Shopping for housewarming and weddings in Lebanon and Middle East Where does it stand today?

Why is Lebanese e-commerce so dormant?

The retail sector has evolved drastically over the past decade. Buyers are no longer limited by the physical presence of inventory, nor are they forced to vent into their overheated cars, get stuck in hours of traffic, only to find out that the overcrowded shopping center has run out of their favorite item.

E-commerce has allowed users to purchase anything they would like with the click of a few buttons and a couple of days of delivery time. Lebanon, with its increasing internet and credit card penetration, as well as its tech-savvy and trendy shoppers should be one of the region's first e-commerce adopters! Neverheless, Lebanon still relies very heavy on bricks-and-mortar shopping, while online shopping is only given a second (third, fourth, or fifth) thought! So why has e-commerce in Lebanon and the Middle East lagged behind the rest of the world? Below are the three major reasons why Lebanese e-commerce has been struggling to catch up:

1. Lack of viable payment portals:

The country has two reliably out-dated payment portals that do not integrate with the websites. As such, customers are directed to external links and forced to re-enter their credit card data for every purchase. This is highly impractical and reduces the ease of second purchases.

In addition to the out-dated nature of the payment portals, they command a monopoly on the market and charge exorbitant fees: $ 350- $ 500 initiation fee, 3.5-4.0% transaction fees, as well as $ 35- $ 50 / month "maintenance" costs .

Furthermore, the lack of Paypal and other online payment portals in Lebanon creates an incentive challenge for e-commerce businesses.

"Ease of payment" is ranked as one of the highest conversion factors for e-commerce businesses. Lebanon provides dismal options, and then online businesses struggle to provide dynamic options such as one-click purchasing and Paypal.

2- Lack of practical online shopping:

Most new e-commerce businesses in the Middle East have been set up to cater to the "trendy" and "hip" crowd. They offer flash sales of highly priced designer items, indexing of exclusive local boutique designers, or niche gift items that cater to niche consumers. Furthermore, the "old guard" of e-commerce in Lebanon provide the typical online gift selections flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, and other "one-off" emotional gifts.

With the exception of very few sites, most Lebanese websites have a very basic design with little attention to practicality and detail. Menus pop-up in impractical ways, data entry is challenging, and most products are not searchable.

Examples of these "old-guard" websites are:

Exotica flowers: This site charges high shipping costs, overcharges for its bouquets, and tends to deliver smaller and cheaper bouquets than it promises online (it's happened to me on multiple occasions!). Furthermore, they only deliver flowers! They are one of the highest ranking e-commerce sites in Lebanon at 1.3M globally (www.alexa.com). They also take credit for adopting the online delivery system early, although they have not felt the need to improve due to lack of a sizable competitor.

Buy Lebanese: Colors, fonts, sizes, photos, and boxes are not user-friendly. Neverheless, they rank pretty high on Alexa.com: 2.5M globally. This group takes credit for being one of the early adopters of e-commerce in Lebanon! Hat-tip to their foresight!

961 gifts: not sure about the website name, the design looks basic, but menu items are clear. Their product strategy is broadly based on flowers, perfumes, cosmetics, and brandless accessories – 4.2M global ranking

Examples of the newer "niche consumer" sites are:

Lebelik, Eezmeez, Marka VIP

Some of the newer websites have focused on great design and have achieved relative success in the hip and young markets. Nearheless, away from Marka VIP which is based in Dubai, none have managed to truly achieve a sufficiently large market.

3. Purchasing power is in the expat community

Businesses that focus on the local online purchasing power will struggle in the short term. Hopefully this will change as Lebanon progresses ( hopefully) . However, until then, the buying power for Lebanese e-commerce sites will be coming from Lebanon's expat community seeking to provide gifts to their families and loved ones in Lebanon. This creates a rather challenging market for e-commerce businesses. How do you target your Diaspora? Who is your target consumer? Is the market over-fitted with one-time gifts such as chocolates, flowers, and niche designer items?

How to fill the gap

As such we identified the need for the establishment of a practical well-priced website that provides customers practical and quality options for gifts or personal use. The reasons I believe that such a model will overcome the sector's challenges are:

A- The payment portal technology will inevitably improve, along with the market's trust of online payment

B- The market is arranged with one-off gift items that typically fall under the flowers, chocolates, and traditional gift items. Therefore, competition is minimal

C- The market has seen high quality designer boutiques pop up online, but these only cater to a niche market segmentation. Highlighting the fact that the adoption of online purchases is on the rise

D- There is no website that provides practical useful household gifts with high quality branded items

In summary, there is a gap in well-priced high-quality branded items online in the Middle East and Lebanon. There is a gap in websites that provide quality household items such as Riedel, Nambe, Pip Studio, Bodum, Greenpan, Images D'Orient, Voluspa, as well as many other global brands. Rather than sending flowers, chocolates or highly-priced niche products, the consumer would not want to have an online option for:

A- Housewarming gifts to Lebanon

B- Wedding registries in Lebanon

C- Wedding gifts to Lebanon

D- Lebanese gifts that do not involve cheap chinese products, high-priced niche items, or flowers and chocolates!

Thanks!

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Make Money Online by Selling Other People’s Products

A lot of people are now getting into internet businesses and online marketing either to add extra income or eventually making it their primary source of income. Why? Because online marketing can provide better benefits!

First, you can contact and communicate with just about anybody in the world who has internet connection if you advertise your products online. That indicates a broader market reach for you, which can convert to larger profits. Second, setting up an internet based business needs only a portion of the cost required to set up an actual company establishment, which indicates lesser expenses for the business owner

Another thing that has drawn a lot of attention from people towards online marketing is the fact that you are not required to have your own product to begin. In online marketing, anyone can start generating profits online just by promoting, or even by just trying to sell other people’s items. Getting started with this type of marketing procedure is actually quite simple. All that you need to do is to set up a compliance agreement with an online merchant or vendor, and after everything is set up, one can instantly begin to generate profits by promoting the vendor’s or the store’s items.

Furthermore, the most popular and the fastest method of selling other people’s products and services on the internet is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, in its basic definition, is a relationship between an internet merchant or store, who has items to sell, and his affiliates, who are willing to sell the vendor’s product on their website.

In a common affiliate marketing set up, the vendor provides his affiliates with advertisements, either banner or text type that directly links to his site. The affiliates will then get these ads placed on their site and they get compensated whenever visitors or product purchases directed to the vendor’s web page. Affiliates are often compensated on sales by commission, although other online product vendors would opt to pay a set fee for the affiliate’s compensation.

Getting started to make money online through affiliate marketing is fast and simple. You just need to sign up as an affiliate marketer to an affiliate program. Another option is to sign up as an affiliate on an affiliate network that hosts different affiliate programs. Signing up usually costs nothing, although some networks might require you to pay a small fee that may be the amount as a payment for the additional service those companies render like tools, webinars and training materials.

When you sign up with an affiliate program, you are usually required to fill up an information form about yourself. Some affiliate marketing programs may also need you to present the URL of your web page and describe its content. This will allow the retailers to verify that you actually have a web page with material that are relevant to their products. Some affiliate programs, however, does not require you to have a website. After filling out the form, you are then free to choose the affiliate programs you want to use.

After signing up with an affiliate program and becoming an affiliate, you are now ready to make money online by selling other people’s products. How do you make money? There are actually various ways for you to generate income as an affiliate marketer, and most of these ways depends on the type of affiliate program you’ve sign up for.

A lot of affiliate programs pay their affiliates in either of three methods: pay-per-click (PPC), payper-sale (PPS), or pay-per-lead (PPL). In pay-per-click marketing, the affiliate is compensated whenever he directs traffic to the vendor’s site. PPS and PPL online marketing programs is different. In PPS, the affiliate only gets paid when his referral converts into a sale. In typical PPS online marketing program, the affiliate would usually get 15% to 20% commission for each conversion. Pay Per Lead works the same way, although affiliates are paid a fixed compensation whenever his referral converts into a lead for the vendor.

Some affiliate programs are two-tier, which means the affiliate is also allowed to refer other affiliates to the vendor. In such affiliate program, the affiliate would not only be paid for the visits or sales that he would redirect to the merchant’s site but also for the visits or sales directed by the affiliates who signed up with the program through his referral.

Another way of earning more profits with affiliate marketing is through residual affiliate programs. Residual marketing programs are affiliate programs where the affiliate gets compensated a number of times for as long as the vendor keeps the customer the affiliate has recommended to his site. One type of residual program gets the affiliate compensated a commission every time the referred customer purchases something on the vendor’s site.

Another form of residual program gets the affiliate paid every month for as long as the merchant keeps the customer being referred.

With a lot of choices available and a lot of methods to generate income, affiliate marketing is simply the most popular and the easiest way to earn cash by selling other people’s products on the internet. As to how much cash an affiliate can generate from affiliate programs actually depends on the affiliate. A persevering and diligent affiliate would certainly get more from affiliate marketing compared to those who would simply sign up and forget about it later on.

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The 8 Questions You Must Ask Before Working With Any Business Credit Building Company

There are few business credit building companies out there, however, those that are out there are taking advantage of the lack of knowledge from the general public regarding business credit and how to get a business loan.

DON’T LET THEM RIP YOU OFF!

I’m going to try to show how to get unlimited capital for your business…

Without risking your personal assets, lowering your personal credit score, or damaging your personal credit history

These 8 Simple Questions will ensure Your Success Building Business Credit when looking for a Small Business Loan

There are simply too many people who hire business credit building companies that are not happy with the results. Before choosing another company, if you ask these 8 questions you will be assured that you will be working with a legitimate company who can help you build business credit and more importantly get the small business loan you seek. Getting that business loan is after all what you’re looking for, isn’t it?

Why is it so important to work with knowledgeable advisor? Why can’t you do it on your own? The Fair Credit Reporting Act does not apply to the business credit bureaus; this means that if you make a mistake, skip a step, try and take a short cut, your business credit file can be “Red Flagged.” This means your company is prohibited from receiving credit and perhaps that elusive business loan.

There is a proven step-by-step process that MUST be followed if you plan on properly building your business credit and getting working capital. If you don’t follow the proven process then you can be put into the “High Risk” category. When that happens, no lending institution will give you a cash advance or small business loan and there is nothing you can do to remove it.

Make sure to choose a honest credit building company that has the knowledge, experience and proven systems to support you, before you decide whom you will work with, make sure to ask them these 8 vital questions.

Question #1

Will I be obtaining only trade credit or CASH credit?

Be careful, there are a number of companies out there that will only help you obtain trade credit. Trade credit can only be used with the individual creditor, and nowhere else. This is great if you need $3000 of paper products, but is useless if you need payroll loans, inventory loans, or simply to cover business expenses or expand your company.

And if it is CASH credit, will I always need to personally guarantee the application?”

If the company says you will always have to personally guarantee all types of credit – then you are NOT receiving the full benefit of business credit. Keep in mind, the solution must introduce you to business funding services that will not require a personal guarantee, however these non traditional lenders will still be checking your personal credit and need your social security number. They do this to stay in banking compliance.

Question #2:

Will a trained coach show me, step by step, how to incorporate my business and build business credit with an eye to getting that merchant loan or business loan?

My guess is that if you wanted to figure out the intricacies of incorporating your business, and building corporate credit on your own… you would have already done so. (I’ve done it. And believe me… this is NOT stuff you want to muddle through on your own.)

So if you won’t be receiving step-by-step instructions supported by a trained credit coach, resulting in a predictable successful outcome, call another company. (I’ll spell out each step for securing business loans without traditional personal guarantees in crystal clear detail in a later article).

Question #3:

If I get stuck while I’m taking all those necessary steps, will I have to pay you hundreds or even thousands to help me figure it out?

Many companies charge low fees up front and continue to tack on heavy, additional charges each time you call or write for help.

Make sure they deliver everything you need to know to secure a bad credit business line of credit or high risk business loans, all without the traditional personal guarantee. Make sure you will have access to a dedicated coaching advisor and who places no limits on how often you can speak with them.

Question #4:

Will you have the ability to set up capital loans, and monitor the development of your business credit score with all major business credit agencies all within your coaching platform?

Why work with an advisor who is trying to blindly lead you!

Question #5:

When companies promise to get you cash credit, ask them this pointed question: “What type of paperwork is required to get cash lines of credit?

Beware of companies that say it is not required to furnish any financial statements, tax returns, business plans, bank statements, etc., to obtain a small business loan without a traditional personal guarantee. When it comes to getting approvals for cash advance without a traditional personal guarantee, you will need to show that your company is financially responsible and you do this by showing it earns revenue, pays its bills on time and has establish good business credit.

If the company tells you that you can obtain this type of financing without providing any real documents, don’t bother working with them, they are not being honest.

Think about it, is a lender really going to give you hundreds of thousand of dollars without a traditional personal guarantee without you having to show them that you are a “safe-risk?” Over time I will show you exactly what you need to do in order to become a safe risk and secure a small business loan.

Question #6:

How are your coaches paid?

This is a really important question! How would you like to work with someone that could care less if you obtain the business loan you desperately need? Think about it!

Question #7:

When it comes time to apply for a business loan, are you going to pass me off from lender to lender?

This is another very important question. Virtually every credit building company will, when it is time to apply for a business loan, pass you off to one lender to apply, and then tell you to go and apply at the next lender and so on. They literally end up sending you on a wild goose chase and just hope that one of the non traditional lenders can obtain capital loans for you. Does this sound like something a real business credit and financing expert would do?

Question #8:

What kind of a guarantee do you offer?”

It’s critical to get the specifics about guarantees. Because most companies that offer guarantees or promise only that your corporation will get a 80+ Paydex score. While this is a start, it’s not good enough -

If after completing your program, you should have:

Corporate Compliance and documentation review

D&B file and a D&B rating

D&B Paydex Score

Business credit file with Corporate Experian with an intelliscore

Business credit file with business Equifax with the appropriate business credit score.

Trade accounts and/or Vendor Accounts with and without a personal guarantee.

A Business Credit that can be used to leverage financing opportunities

This is not, by any means, a comprehensive list of all the questions entrepreneurs should ask when it comes to building corporate credit. But if you address these costly and dangerous errors, you will be on your way to building a safe, secure, and financially sound business-the business you always dreamed of!

Hopefully, these 8 questions will help ensure that you work with a credit building company that will be honest, upfront as well as help you successfully establish your business credit and leverage it into new small business loans and opportunities for your business.

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Your 50 – Part 2 – The Keys to Starting Your Own Business Now!

In part 1 of this article series we met 3 individuals with unique backgrounds that left corporate and forged their own way. Here we illustrate 2 addition stories along with important strategies and tactics you need s you go forward in your own business. This journey of starting your own business is not for the faint of heart, but the success you will find will be life-changing.

Here is what you will learn:
1. Franchising is a good option for a business.
2. Doing your own business is very rewarding.
3. How coaching is vital to making your business a success.

First Entrepreneur

Our first entrepreneur, was a successful high-level executive first at Ford and then at Terex, a firm focused on lifting and material processing products (e.g. cranes), with all the associated perks and incentives. Meet Pete Gilfillan. He had the good life and no reason to change until one day…

Alan: I saw that your main business is helping people evaluate franchises (FranChoice). How did you get started in your own business? What triggered that decision?

Pete: I was a corporate executive, first with Ford and later with Terex and they literally owned my life. I was traveling all the time. I just decided one day I had had enough and I would be an entrepreneur.

Alan: Tell me more about what happened when you decided to leave corporate life.

Pete: In my last position, I was with Terex. I live in Chicago, but the Terex is headquartered in Connecticut and I was on the road 6 days a week and much of the travel was international. With all the travel I didn’t eat right, didn’t exercise and frankly I was miserable. I was in another country and I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t remember what country I was in. I realized then I had had enough. When I got back to Chicago, I told my wife about the decision. At first my wife wasn’t keen on the idea of my leaving corporate. She saw the practical side of staying in corporate (financial security), but I knew I needed to make a change. I quit my job and I started working with a franchise consultant in order to find a franchise. After a few months we found Junk King and saw that it was be a good fit. I liked that it was a service based business and could be scaled up; such as adding trucks as the business grew and it had little overhead. Later, I started to work with FranChoice, where today I’m one of the top franchise consultants. I really like the way their business model works. There is no cost to individuals (companies pay FranChoice) and it gives me the opportunity to do what I love most, which is to help people find the business that meets their needs.

Alan: That’s great. You are able to do what you love. Let’s change gears for a minute. I saw that you wrote a best-selling book. Writing a book is a big step. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Writing is a key way to demonstrate your expertise and build your business

Pete: Darren Hardy, who is pretty well known in the entrepreneur circles, is my mentor. I went to his High Performance Summit and Darren said one of the best ways to give back is through writing a book. Since I have a lot of knowledge about the franchise business, doing a book on it was a good fit.

Alan: How did you find the time to write?

Pete: There is many ways to write a book. I found a company that would write the actual words while I talked. I would put together an outline for each chapter and talk for a couple of hours with the writers. We would meet for 2 hours a week, either early morning or late at night. After a draft of the book was created, I had someone edit the book. Even then it took a year and a half to complete the book.

Alan: How did you go about publishing it?

Pete: I was able to find a publishing company through my business coach.

Alan: It had to be daunting to start your own business after being in corporate. What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your own business?

Pete: If I could have been able to keep my corporate job and invested in franchise and then make the leap instead of going in cold to my own business, it would have saved me a lot of angst. I may have done something different than Junk King. I could have started a franchise on a part-time basis, say 15 hours week. With Junk King there was no way to do it on a part-time basis.

Alan: What’s next for you?

Pete: Speaking engagements, so I can reach more people and continue to work with ExecuNet, which is a private community made up of over 750,000 CEOs, VPs and various leaders and influencers.

Alan: Any final words?

Pete: I would say that for franchising, people need to have an open mind. When people ask me about franchising, they have already made up their mind that it would be food (McDonalds, etc.) They have that in mind because they see a lot of people eating at those restaurants so they assume it is a good business to get into. I help them understand that the food business is very competitive; has high capital investment and a high cost of goods sold (the food). There are over 3000 franchises in every conceivable business that may fit their needs. It doesn’t have to be food.
But regardless of what business you go in, whether it is a franchise or not, you need to work hard. There is no substitute for hard work.

Alan: Good words to live by. Thanks for your time.

Second Entrepreneur

Our second entrepreneur was a successful telecom executive before going into his own business. He shares key ideas on making your business grow. Meet Rick Lochner.

Alan: How did you come to be an entrepreneur?

Rick: I’ve known for some time that I wanted to be in my own business and that it would be in the leadership area. I worked with entrepreneurial company and it was sold 2 years after I started. I went to another company and 2 years later it was sold. The turmoil of being at companies that are going through turnarounds is very difficult for everyone involved. It is very long hours, great stress and often the rewards of that hard work just aren’t there. I’ve been laid off 4 times in my career so I knew corporate has no security. I even negotiated my severance package before I went to work a healthcare company.

Alan: How exactly did going into your own business occur?

Rick: My wife and I were having brunch with a couple and we talked about how it would be great to start business and details on what that business would look like when it started in a few years. At the end of the meal, I said, “Why are we waiting; let’s do it!” It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Alan: What do you like best about being an entrepreneur?

Rick: The best thing is I get to do what I love. In corporate, there were many things I had to do that I really didn’t enjoy. Being an entrepreneur, being in my own business, enables me to live with purpose and that is very meaningful to me.

Alan: Is there anything you would do differently now if you were just starting your business?

Rick: I would have pursued the non-profit market right away. I didn’t because people told me there is no money in that business, but that is not true. That market needs to be approached differently than for-profit but they need my services just as much. Now non-profit is 25% of my business. But you asked if I would have done anything differently and the answer is no. The business strategy worked and I would have approached starting the business the same way.

Alan: What challenges did you have starting out?

Rick: I started the business in July 2008. The US was already in a recession and financial markets were in turmoil and little did I know things in the business world were about to get a lot worse. I had worked in telecom for many years as an executive and I had been quite successful. I had a load of contacts at my previous company, Sprint; there were many people that knew me well and respected me but I was not able to get business from them. They still saw me as a telecom executive and not as knowledgeable in leadership development, even though I had been developing leaders at Sprint. I had traveled a lot during me years in corporate and my connections in Chicago were no better than in Atlanta or any other U.S. city. I knew I needed to develop roots in the local community. I joined Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and started to created circles of influence. In time the contacts I made developed into connections for the business. It wasn’t easy, but I went all in; 100% to make the business work.

Why having a part-time business is so important

Alan: What advice would you give to someone that is climbing the corporate ladder?

Rick: Every corporate employee should have a part time gig to provide a bridge to go into business for themselves or just to have a secondary income source. I started teaching leadership at Keller School of Business in 2004. Teaching helped in the 8 months transition to my business full-time. It provided income after getting laid-off; making it easier to focus on the growth of the business and not where the next paycheck was coming from.

Alan: What has been the biggest challenge in your learning curve as an entrepreneur?

Rick: Marketing was new to me; I had not worked in that area. So I put together my business plan and my marketing plan and discussed it in detail with my two mastermind groups. They both said the business plan was great and was going to work but the marketing plan was not good. So I was tutored in marketing from people that were 20 years younger than me and their advice was spot on. This taught me a couple of valuable things. 1) You have to know what you are good at and what you are not good at and find experts in the areas that you are not good. 2) Spend a lot of time with people 20s to early 40s in order to gain insights on trends.

Alan: What additional advice would you give to someone that was looking to start their own business?

Rick: Know what problem you are trying to solve and position yourself so that is clear that you are the only one that can solve it. Too many people get hung up on their product or service and less focused on the problem to be solved. If you are going to go for it, then you really have to go for it. At the core, you have to know how to solve the problem in a unique way.

Alan: How did your writing a book come about?

Rick: The business model I developed has been a work in progress since 1999. I used that model to align the business at every organization I led as an executive. Often we try to fix a problem in an isolated way which doesn’t work. The process may not be broken; it may be the people, so you need a holistic approach. I wrote the first book in 2012 to complete my initial business strategy and a book does that. I was advised by a couple of authors and self-published it. I needed to promote the business alignment method and the book helps clarify the model as well as promote the business. I asked clients what is perfect length for a book and they said a Chicago to Los Angeles flight, which is about 4 ½ hours.

Alan: You’ve actually published multiple books. How did you come with your ideas?

Rick: The second book was to help the individual leader and the third book was for the entrepreneurs. I write books that apply to the business areas I work in.

Alan: How do you find the time to write?

Rick: The secret to success is having a coach. I’ve had 3 accountability coaches so far and each one helped me in a different way. When I first started the business, I needed an accountability coach; someone that would keep me accountable and keep me encouraged. She was the type of person I needed at that time. Keep in mind, I was starting this business during the depths of the Great Recession and needed that support. The second coach helped me write the books, not from the standpoint that he had ideas for the book, but he was able to get me moving along on the development of the book. I actually wrote the first book while my wife was driving during vacation because I was on a self-imposed deadline and needed to get it done. The third coach has helped me grow the business and take it took another level. If I would have had her in the beginning, it would not have worked well. Now that the business is growing and I am at a different place in my thinking and my business, she is exactly what I need.

Alan: Any final thoughts?

Rick: I talked with 20 different coaches before starting out in leadership coaching and based on my research, billions of dollars is wasted on leadership that doesn’t work. I am on a crusade to change that one leader at a time. It will take time to undo the wrong things that leaders are doing today; takes time to unlearn. But I will continue to work with them, one leader at a time. It is my passion.

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Social Media: Why Do Some People Look Towards Social Media To Give Them Approval?

In the beginning, it could be said that people generally used social media to get in touch with their friends and family; the people who they actually knew. But as time has passed, this is no longer why a lot of people use it.

As for the people who only use it to stay in touch with their friends and family, it is likely to be no different to how it was when they first started using it. Now, they might notice that the site they use no longer looks the same as it did or that others use it differently, but that could be as far as it goes.

Friends

If one only added people who they knew when they first started, there is the chance that this is no longer the case. Even if they have only met someone once, they could still end up adding them to their ‘friends’ list.

When this takes place, they might only be thinking about how this will have an effect on how other people perceive them. For example, if one has a certain number of ‘friends’, they can end up being seen as popular.

One Purpose

What this can then show is they are more concerned with how they look than they are with connecting to others. This doesn’t mean that they won’t talk to others; it just means that it is unlikely to be their priority.

And if one has this approach when they go online, there is a strong chance that they have a lot of ‘friends’ who are just the same. In addition to this, it might also be important for them to look right in other ways.

The Perfect Life

What this can then mean is that they will want other people to believe that they live the ultimate life. As a result of this, they are going to have to be very careful when it comes to what they share.

It will be vital for them to share pictures where they are having a good time, and being in exotic locations will also help. If one looks as though they are enjoying themselves in a warm country, it can be normal for people to believe that they lead a good life.

The Right Image

Along with this, one can also have the need to look right, and this is going to be relatively easy. Not only can they choose what pictures to upload; they can also change how they look.

Through using the right angle and the right light, one can take pictures where they look their best. Once this has taken place, one can make a few major or minor changes to the images.

An Act

In this sense, it might be accurate to say that when one uses social media, they are putting on a performance. This is their stage, and they are choosing to be someone who has their life together.

But like someone who acts in the real world, they are not going to be able to truly connect to anyone when they are playing a role. Who they are has been put to one side, and their needs are going to end up being unmet.

Approval

When one has this approach when they go online, it is likely to show that they have a strong need for approval. If their ‘friends’ don’t give them the kind of feedback that they need, they could end up being in a bad way.

However, this doesn’t mean that this is the only way they will come across when they are this way. For one thing, one might not try to create the impression that they lead the perfect life, and they might not even edit their pictures.

A Number of Ways

One could receive the approval they need through posting funny videos or memes that make people think about the world differently. What this shows is that one is not going to need to rely on their appearance and neither are they are going to need to travel all the time.

And as long as they have some kind of device, it can allow them to receive approval whenever they need it. It is then not going to be necessary for them to delay gratification; they can fulfil this need instantly.

A Closer Look

When it comes to the people who behave in this way and the people who don’t, it is clear that there is a big difference. What this can show is that the people who do need a lot of approval are emotionally dependent on others.

As they are unable to handle how they feel, they need other people to regulate their inner world. But this is not the only thing that can be involved here; they can also be in a position where they haven’t got any close friends.

One Direction

If they had people around them who they were close to, they would be able to receive the approval and the validation they need from them. And through having the ability to regulate their inner world, they wouldn’t depend on other people to do it for them.

The reason one doesn’t experience life in this way and looks towards social media to give them approval can be the result of what took place during their early years. This could have been a time when they didn’t receive the kind of care that they need in order for their brain to develop in the right way.

Conclusion

The ability to regulate their emotions wouldn’t have developed, and this would have stopped them from feeling comfortable enough to reach out to others when they need them. Ultimately, no one is their own island, and this is why human beings need other people.

But when one doesn’t receive the right care, it can set them up to be dependent on others, or to go the other extreme and become extremely independent. What this emphasises is how important it is for children to be brought up in the right way, and for there to be help available when this doesn’t happen.

Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. His current projects include ‘A Dialogue With The Heart’ and ‘Communication Made Easy’.

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Tips To Help You Plan A Fulfilling Cruise

Cruises are some of the most exciting vacations you can choose to enjoy. They offer unbeatable value because you do not have to think about constant transportation needs from place to place and neither do you have to pay costly airfares to your destination. The cruises give you the chance to enjoy refreshing sea air helping you relax and simply enjoy the warm ocean breezes whenever. With so many ports scattered around the world, you can place a cruise travel to visit areas that you have always wanted to visit.

If you love water and water activities, then cruises will prove to be most rewarding to you. But then to enjoy the most pleasant experience you still need to plan properly for your cruise. When everything is in order from the initial stages, then you are bound to enjoy a fulfilling vacation on a ship.

1. Know the number of people cruising with you

If it is just a few of you, then planning should be easy, but you will need a lot more planning and coordination when you plan to travel with more family members and friends. If you are bringing children along, then you need to make sure that the cruise package has plenty of activities for them too. You can plan for a private kind of cruises or you can choose to pay for cruises that accommodate lots of other people headed the same direction you are. The important thing is to choose what works for you and the people you are tagging along.

2. Choose the best cruise length

Cruise packages differ in length and the vacation time you have available should help you select the length that is most suitable. A cruise can be only a few days or you can choose one that goes for a week and more. A weekend cruise can be a great choice for those with little time to spare. With so many destinations and packages, you should be able to plan a cruise length that you can afford and enjoy to the fullest.

3. Pick the best stateroom

People have different preferences when it comes to cruises and your stateroom choices should be guided by your vacation preferences. For instance, if what you dream of is lounging in a private balcony as you enjoy the gracious tropical views, then a balcony stateroom is the ideal selection. Couples can cruise in a suite or a penthouse to get the most from the cruise vacation. If you are a little pressed on a budget, then you can always settle for an inside stateroom. Some cruise packages can offer you additions such as 24 hour butler for your luxury experience.

4. Consider onboard activities

Even when you are going on a romantic cruise vacation, you will definitely need activities to fill your time on board. Find out what activities you will find on-board and how exciting they will make your cruise. Spa services, wine tasting, bingo, culinary demonstrations, live entertainments and others are some of the most popular on most cruises.

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Let Your Car Breathe Freely With Routine Air Filter Replacement

In a similar way to living creatures, vehicles also need to be able to freely “breathe” clean air. Of course cars do not have lungs, so when we say “breathe”, what we really mean is “filter air.” Your vehicle’s cabin air filters should be inspected and serviced on a routine basis to ensure perfectly clean and unobstructed “breathing.” For permanent filters, a professional car mechanic will clean them, dry them, and replace them as needed. For disposable ones. A simple inspection and replacement is all it takes! Continue reading to learn more about the importance of clean automotive air filters.

Defense Against Airborne Contaminants

Your vehicle’s air filters play an important role in terms of interior cabin air quality and comfort. But it also plays a significant role in how your vehicle operates. Clogged or defective filters can cause a decrease in engine performance and capacity, as well as, lose their ability to protect you against harmful airborne contaminants. You see, dirt, oil, and other harmful contaminants are trapped in air filters, and after sometime, they accumulate to mass amounts, causing the filters to lose their value. And when the filters become too saturated, they cannot trap anymore contaminants. As a result, these contaminants enter the engine and damage pistons, piston rings and bearings, cylinders, cylinder walls, and more. This causes the engine to then lose power. For fuel injected cars, air filters protect the air flow sensor from contamination.

As for interior air quality and comfort, dirty filterings can jeopardize the cabin environment. Without anything between you and airborne contaminants, you are left to suffer from dirty indoor air. This results in musty odors, stuffiness, allergy-agitation, and more. When it comes to cabin air filters, try to have them inspected and replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. If you are a frequent driver or frequently drive long distances, decrease this rule to every 10,000 to 12,000 miles.

Although such an important part of car safety and maintenance, air filter replacement is often overlooked. Be sure to talk to your trusted car mechanic about recommended factory scheduled maintenance for your vehicle. They have the knowledge and advanced diagnostic systems to provide accurate and effective service for your exact make and model car or truck. They can then provide you with a trusted schedule that you can continue to use and refer to for years to come!

Call Main Street Auto Tech at 317-881-7220 for car filter replacement in Greenwood, Indiana. They are ASE certified car mechanics that offer a wide range of automotive services for all make and model vehicles, domestic or foreign. Ask them about their auto repair coupons and discounts too! Call 317-881-7220 to request a free estimate for Greenwood car maintenance, today.

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