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February 15, 2009

Why This is the Perfect Time to Start Charging for Website Subscriptions

If you're a writer, researcher, subject matter expert, enthusiastic hobbyist, or an authority on almost any topic, there has never been a better time to start your own subscription website or online newsletter. And if you're already publishing a hobby website, now is the ideal time to convert at least a portion of the content to fee-paid access.

Smart website owners are now realizing just how valuable their hard-earned knowledge is to others. Much of the information that used to be available for free to anyone and everyone on the World Wide Web is moving behind closed doors, accessible only to paying subscribers.

Savvy writers and publishers are not giving it away anymore. They're setting up profit-driven, members-only websites and building online communities of subscribers who value their knowledge. Perhaps surprisingly, resistance to paying for content is gradually melting away.

The End of Free
This trend away from websites offering free information and toward a subscription, or pay-for-access business model, has several causes.

First, only a few websites operated by big companies can afford to provide valuable content without being compensated. Some of them can do it for the public relations value, but they are the exception.

The rest of us can't be so generous. And trying to recapture our expenses by selling advertising on our websites has failed to pay the bills. Online advertising and click-through rates are on the decline.

Second, many people are now more than willing to pay to learn what you already know, as thousands of online publishers of subscription websites have already proven.

Why subscribers are ready to pay
The Internet has enabled people with similar interests to find each other and form online communities. Whether your interest is in politics, gardening, or model railroading, the Internet enables you to connect to others who share your enthusiasms and values.

But in the current political and social climate, there is heightened anxiety and concern about privacy. If you previously contributed to public online discussion forums, you may now be feeling vulnerable. You never know who is lurking and reading your comments, or gathering information about you. One frequent concern: what spammers are harvesting your e-mail address?

However, in the seclusion of a subscribers-only website, you feel more protected. You can share ideas with an affinity group of like-minded people with less fear of ridicule or repercussions. The publisher moderates the forum and promises to honor your privacy.

These concerns are not diminishing over time, they are intensifying as people perceive the world -- and cyberspace -- as an increasingly dangerous place. The result has been a proliferation of private, members-only, subscription websites and online newsletters covering literally hundreds of diverse and specialized topics.

Finding the right subscription business model
Coming up with the right topic for a successful subscription website is usually the biggest stumbling block for those wanting to get into this business. Choosing your site topic is a serious issue, as the topic you select pretty much dictates your chances of success with a subscription website.

As the Internet changes, it is creating moneymaking opportunities for people who like to write, teach and otherwise share their expertise. Your years of study, hands-on experience, and tried and true wisdom could be worth a hefty income when turned into an online community.
Online communities bring together people who are interested in a common topic. They create value by providing insiders' secrets that the group is eager to learn about. And best of all, the members are willing to pay money to join.

Why having a subscription website on the Internet is so great
As the publisher of a subscription website, you have an almost unfair advantage over other print publications that don't operate on the Internet.

Consider the benefits:
Low cost of entry -- a computer, minimal software and Internet access are all you need. No or low rent -- work from home. Low overhead -- production and distribution costs are close to zero. No employees -- do it all yourself. Operate from anywhere in the world. Access a worldwide audience. Reach a well educated, affluent market. Offer a visually rich website, with text, images, audio or video. Sell and deliver digital information products instantly. Build loyal communities through discussion groups, online events. The next phase in the subscription website evolution
Information is increasing in value. Over the next several years, the trend to information provided on the Internet by paid subscription will continue.

A two-tier model for the dissemination of quality content is emerging. Successful online publishers provide samples of their wares for free, either on the public portion of their website, or through a free, opt-in e-mail newsletter.

But to get down to the most valuable data -- the premium content of secrets and the insider's tips and techniques -- subscribers are learning that they have to pay. Information seekers are getting accustomed to the change, just as they have learned to pay for premium content on cable and satellite television.

The most successful online publishers will be those who can strike the perfect balance between free and fee. The time to get started with your own subscription website is now.

Original from Peter A. Schaible

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Subscription/Membership Websites Part 1

I'm putting together some briefs on membership/subscription websites that I thought are of interest for internet based entrepeneurs . I know many would also be interested in learning more about them.

I'll combine several of the mini series and post them this weekso you don't have to wait for them like you do with emails. Let's start with the basics:

Before we get too far I want to make sure I anwer the question:

What exactly is a paid membership site?

Some membership sites provide mentioning or coaching, some containuseful articles or information in a particular field or product,some publish the results of tests and studies, some provide accessto libraries and other reference information, some containreviews, some act as a a meeting place for like minded people.

But all these sites have one thing in common: to access all (orthe best information) on these sites, you have to pay for it.

Why would people pay for it? People pay for magazines, newspapers,books, clubs, memberships, and access to porn sites, then whyshouldn't they pay for website access containing specializedinformation, mentoring or ? However again to get people to pay for access to a website itneeds to have specialized information that you can't find anywhereelse … is hard to find anywhere else, or would be time consumingto find on your own.
After the dot com bust it didn't take long for the big companiesto realize there was huge amounts of money to be made by chargingpeople for access.

For example:
-Consumer Reports has over 1 million paid subscribers paying$19-24/year!
-The Wall Street Journal is also raking in millions for access totheir paid site.
But for every one of the big companies raking in tons of moneyfrom their subscription websites, there are literally hundreds(probably thousands) of "little guys" quietly running profitablepaid websites all over the world that you will never hearabout…and you wouldn't believe some of the topics.
Topics like: tall people clothes, PT Cruisers (cars), buying websites,unusual business ideas, selling drafts, patterns, divorcees, financial, dating, fitness, employment, work abroad, marketing and the list goes on.

The paid membership of these sites range from a few hundred to afew thousand in most cases but …depending on your pricing andtopic you could earn $50,000/month with just 250 paidsubscribers!!
Next time we'll talk about why you should have your own membershipwebsite!

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February 13, 2009

Best Way To Quickly Make Money Online

Best Way To Quickly Make Money Online
Earning money online does not have to be tough, you just have to be taught by the right sources.When someone asks me the best way to make money online, I say that the best way is with affiliate marketing, I believe that 99% of people that make money online will agree with me there. Thousands of people are selling products for businesses with commissions as high as 75% in some cases, so if you learn to promote products you can make massive amounts of money online.
Starting is the hardest part, once you learn what you are doing you can really make good money online.I will go through the basics of affiliate marketing for anyone interested in creating a successful home business.Affiliate marketing is selling products to others and you then receive a commission. For example, if you join an affiliate program, and they offer you 75% of the sale for the promotion of a laptop, the laptop sold for $ 800, you receive $ 600 off the sale of something that you did not even have to ship or anything.

The great thing about it is, you will not have to deal with any client at all, just refer them to the affiliate company and get paid.I advise anyone wanting to start with affiliate marketing to begin with Clickbank , Trivita and PayDotCom.These sites are very easy to use, and pay good commissions on their products. Of course, we must learn the best ways to promote products, as well as joining affiliate networks in order to be truly successful with a home business and make good money online.The best home business package I have found is Trivita and Forex Enterprise. It comes with an in-depth guide that will teach you how to make money online in several ways. After searching through hundreds of home business programs, I would refer to my closest friends to Forex Enterprise, simply because it is a great starting point for someone who wants to earn money online.
ConclusionI advise anyone wanting to succeed with a home business and work from home to start with affiliate marketing, it truly has great potential, and if you can succeed in promoting 1 product, think about how many products there are. The potential is incredible. Contact me for the links, and this will give you an advantage in being a success online.

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February 09, 2009

Female entrepreneur

What does it take to be successful female entrepreneurs?

To be successful female entrepreneurs basically takes what all entrepreneurs need – determination, imagination, and a desire to be successful. Successful female entrepreneurs do need to have a good idea of the area they are starting a business in.

In deciding whether to start a business, I've talked about the need for both passion and opportunity. If passion does not exist, the entrepreneur will quickly be drained; yet, an ingredient that is often not mentioned is that of opportunity. For me, this means meeting and knowing the right people so that you can do partnerships that will help your business.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur trying to decide what industry to go into. These questions seek to help you find that something or industry that you are passionate about, and which would make your entrepreneurial start a little smoother. However, I also reasons for the other side of the fence: that sometimes it’s wonderful to work for someone for a while, before you dash into some dream or business. You will learn discipline, things like having a report on the table by a certain time.”

I acknowledged that money is very important and that there is nothing wrong with having money as a motivation for starting a business. Money itself is not the corrupting factor, but the love of money that is. I admitted that for myself, I was driven by money to be successful and we all have to agree with me that money is a good motivation. What we must see is that money wears the personality and characteristics of its owner. If you have money, you can help built lives and schools, enrich your education or someone else’s. All of which are noble goals to have.

is that whether they have to be a man to succeed in business? I agreed that female entrepreneurs do not have to pretend to be macho or to try to adopt ‘male characteristics’. Instead, female entrepreneurs should retain and enjoy their femininity.

Being male or female, each person has personal qualities that can enable them to succeed in business. In fact, being female can even be a strength amongst male counterparts. Traditionally female characteristics like a greater sensitivity to emotions could be a great strength rather than a weakness, enabling the female entrepreneur to reach out more to her team and employees and thus forge stronger personal links, and in time to come, a stronger company.

Marisol Diaz

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How to start your own internet business

There's more to it than putting up a site and waiting for the orders!

If you've ever had an idea for a product or service that you think could net you a fortune, you may well have considered setting up an internet business with the aim of sitting back and watching the money roll in.

After all, in 2006, consumers spent $30.2bn on online goods and services, according the industry body for global e-retailing. Over the past 10 years, the growth of the internet has resulted in the high-profile successes of many internet-related businesses. Just a few weeks ago, for example, price comparison service became the second-biggest internet float in the world since the implosion, after that industry behemoth, Google.
The internet has certainly revolutionized the way we live our lives, and offers a place where individuals can compete with global organisations. But just how easy is it to get started?

Your business plan
The starting point for any new venture is to create a business plan,
"You need to know your target market, know your competition, attract funding, secure good resources, build consumer loyalty – especially blogger coverage – and forge alliances with strategic partners," he says. "Preparation and research are key."
The objective of the business plan is to tell a simple yet compelling story that leaves the reader wanting to meet the management team and find out more about the proposition. "It should be as succinct and accessible as possible, and around 20 pages at most."
Finding a market
One of the most important elements of setting up an online business is finding out if there is a market for your idea.
"It's all about finding a niche," says William Berry, a self-made internet millionaire. "Hampers, for example, are a niche of food retailing, but there are already market leaders in this area, so you either need to aim for a niche which doesn't already have a market leader, or attempt to become even more niche – by offering Christmas hampers, say. "
There are many different financing options available to aspiring entrepreneurs. For many businesses, raising funds may involve several sources.
Bank finance in the form of a loan or overdraft is usually cheaper than selling shares or equity in your business, says Macklin. But he adds that equity investment is ideal for those businesses that do not want to increase their level of borrowing, or are unable to provide the necessary security.
If you're considering equity investment, two options are so-called " business angels" and venture capitalists. Business angels are wealthy individuals who look to invest in growing companies wanting to raise between $10,000 and $250,00. They will also offer contacts and advice. Venture capitalists will only invest – usually a minimum of $2m – if they can see a significant return in three years, say.
For internet start-ups with a sound business proposition but without the necessary security to obtain conventional lending, the Maytree foundation is another option, cash-flow analysis is vital.
"A common error businesses make is to ask for too little financial support in the hope of getting at least some of the funding they need," he says. "But this is potentially a recipe for disaster."
Your website
Websites will set you back varying amounts. "The cost is relative," . "While a basic one could cost as little as $500, a really good one that dominates the market could cost up to $20,000."
If building your own website is not an option, try searching for web designers online, or ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Keep the site clean and simple: people will buy from you if they trust the site and can find what they want.
"Make sure you update your website's content constantly, as innovation, imagination and invention are essential if you are going to succeed in the longer term," "Also make it easy for people to get in touch: your business needs to present a human face."
One area where internet businesses often fail is marketing.
Too many people fall into the trap of developing their product or service and then expecting orders to come racing in," . "But with no 'shop window' through which to promote yourself, how are potential customers going to find you?"
Sites such as Google AdWords can be a cost-effective way of advertising, she says. These operate on a "pay per click" basis, so you only pay when someone clicks through to your website.
I also recommends emailing your friends and family with details of your site. "Look out for chatrooms and discussion forums, and let people know you're there. "Network with others and get referrals."
You may want to get a company to do search engine optimization (SEO) for you to ensure that you catch any potential customers searching for your type of product on the likes of Yahoo! and Google. "But try to get them to work on the results," . "SEO isn't that important if you have spent money effectively on online ads. A lot of people try to get to the top of search engines – and there can only be one."
Customer transactions
Make it fast and easy for customers to order, as a site with a difficult sales process is likely to lose customers. "Fulfil every order as fast as you possibly can," he adds.
Websites should be easy to navigate so users don't get frustrated and leave without making a purchase. Security should also be a priority, and potential customers should be assured their details will be kept safe.
"How you treat customers matters". "Talk to them as often as possible and help them to get to know you and build confidence in you and the services you provide. Ask them what they want from you and react to what they tell you."

Start small and have patience
Don't give up your day job too soon, as it will take time for your internet venture to grow – and in the meantime there may not be much incoming revenue. As a budding online entrepreneur, you'll need lots of energy, enthusiasm, determination and passion; but you also need to be realistic. "Success on the web is rare". "While many businesses are launched, few make a profit, and most will never see a return on investment. That said, while starting up an internet business can be one of the toughest things you ever do, it can also be the most rewarding."

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Learn how to Start A Business, how to Write A Business Plan, and ...

Learn how to Start A Business, how to Write A Business Plan, and ... more!

Starting and operating an Internet business is surprisingly similar to operating any other business. Good business practices, like building the confidence of customers through truthful advertising, providing products and services at a fair price, and developing long-term business relationships, are as applicable to Internet businesses as they are to any other businesses.

Having said that, there are some important differences related to Internet businesses.

Low Start-up Costs - When you decide to start a business online, you can do so with as little as a few hundred dollars and a good idea. However, don't be misled into believing that the Internet is an arena for instant riches with little or no effort. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like any business, it takes creativity, planning, money and hard work to be successful.

Multiple Skill Requirements - Suddenly it's not enough to simply have a good product or service. To use the Internet effectively, you now need to have or be able to acquire skills in graphic design, web server technology, programming, and a brand new marketing medium, not to mention skills needed in multi-lingual translations, international accounting and legal issues. Fortunately, it is not necessary that you have all this knowledge yourself. With the right combination of strategic partners and associates, all of these skills are easily found, if you know where to look. That's where we come in! Hineni Media can get you in touch with all the professionals you need to accomplish your task.

There are endless Marketing Possibilities - The opportunities and ease of fostering strategic alliances to bolster marketing efforts is unsurpassed on the Internet. The reason I see so many cooperative relationships between companies online is that doing so has become so simple and so profitable. The advertising industry has found itself with many more possibilities as well as significantly more competition.

Easily Traceable Results - Another byproduct of business on the internet is that tracking potential customers as a group and visitor preferences is an ordinary part of business on the Internet.

International Audience - Even if you do not think of your business as an international business, you must recognize that your visitors are likely to be from all over the world. You should consider whether or not you are prepared for international shipping and other transactions with countries other than your own. You should also strongly consider having your website translated onto languages other than English. The percentage of non-Canadian businesses on the Internet has risen dramatically in just the past year!

Professional Look - If you are a Internet and Web Professional who is planning and designing web pages for others, I have a secret to share with you. I called it the "Web Proposal Kit". What it's done for my company is help us look more professional, charge average fees and get paid for all of my work. It's the best investment I have made since I started our business! email me for requesting information

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February 03, 2009

Starting and Growing a Business: Developing Your Business Plan

Do You Have a Business Plan?

By completing a business plan, you will better understand your market, cost of production, and the competitive factors that will influence the success of your new business. A solid business plan will boost your confidence and your ability to obtain the necessary financing and resources required to start a new venture.

Your business plan is a roadmap for your new venture. It shows you where your business is positioned, where it is going and how it will get there.

By putting your vision, aims, objectives and long-term business goals on paper, your new venture will become more realistic and you will quickly learn the strengths of your business and other areas that need improvement.

Remember, no one plans to fail they fail to plan.

Purpose of a Business Plan

A business plan helps you formalize the thinking and planning process. Developing and recording a plan helps you systematically think through the steps involved in your business development. By completing a business plan you will better understand the markets, costs and competitive factors that will influence the future of your new business. A well thought out plan gives you increased confidence and prepares you to obtain necessary financing and resources. Think of a business plan as a working document, one that changes, expands and shifts with the times.

Preparation . How Do You Write a Business Plan?

Elements of a Business Plan

Executive Summary

Most important part of your business plan
Must be clear, concise and compelling so that people will read further
Should be written after you have completed the other sections of your business plan
Try to keep this section to around one page

Description of Company
State company name, legal status and ownership structure
Mission statement – should provide focus for your company and define your business for at least the next few years
Outline where your company has been and where you are at right now. If you are a startup company describe what your company intends to do. Only include information that is relevant to the product or service you are describing.
How will this new activity add to or enhance your existing business

Product or Service
Describe your product or service – what is unique about it and why will you be a success
Indicate any regulations that will effect you and show that you have or can meet the requirements

Outline the industry you are in, how you fit in and what will be your market share.
Who is your primary customer? What are the demographics of this customer base? It is very important to know your customers as success depends on you being able to meet customer needs.

Why have you chosen this customer base and how large is it? You need to know that there is enough room in this market for you and that it is not already saturated.
What are the trends that are influencing and affecting your market (customer base)? How are you addressing these trends?

Who is your competition and how will you be able to compete? By knowing and understanding your competition you will be able to better position your product or service in the market place.
If your business is seasonal (ie u- pick operation), explain how you will handle this challenge
What is the price of your product or service? How does this compare to similar products in the market?

How will you distribute your product?

Marketing Plan
The marketing plan is very important - you can have the best product in the world but if you have no sales, you have no business.
How will you make customers aware of your product or service?
Where will you sell your product (ie farmers’ market, farm gate sales, retail, etc)?
When will you launch your marketing plan?

Where will your business be located?
What facilities and equipment do you have and what do you need?
How will you run the business?
How will you keep track of inventory?
How will you keep costs down to remain competitive?
What is your plan for growth?
How does this business mesh with your existing business? It is important that you keep separate records for each different business you have. This way you will know what is making you money and what is not.

Management Team

Investors pay particular attention to this section. They want to know that you have the right people for your business.
The quality of your people will determine the success of the business.
Indicate who is on your team, their qualifications and responsibilities (ie production, marketing, accounting etc).
If you do not have people in these positions right know because of the size of your business, provide a time frame to put your team together.
How will you overcome any labor shortages?


Financial statements show where your business is at right now and provides you with the information you need to make decisions.
It is important to keep your statements current and to refer to them on a monthly basis.
You should include the following financial forms with projections for three to five years:
Income statement
Cash-flow projections
Balance sheet
When making financial projections, it is important to explain any assumptions - how you determined the figures you used.
If you are looking for financial assistance, lenders will want to know where you will get financing for your business and how you will spend the money. They will also want to see historical records for the past three to five years.

What Should a Business Plan Look Like?
here is a link to " Perfect Your Business Plan" by - RBC Royal Bank

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Entrepreneurship: the creation of new enterprises

There exists a widespread hostility within society to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. This is due, to a certain degree, to envy on the part of those who are less competent, less visionary, less creative, and less successful than others. In the past, entrepreneurs such as Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Carnegie were maligned and vilified for being innovative and focused businessmen with uncommon vision and an unrelenting work ethic who helped advance the standard of living of all Americans. Bill Gates, Sam Walton, and Ken Iverson are among their modern day counterparts. Attacks on such great enterprises tend to come from less efficient and envious rivals who attempt to achieve through the political process what they failed to accomplish in the marketplace.

It is a fact of human existence that some individuals are more capable than others, that some individuals are harder workers than others, and that some individuals are better at creating wealth than others. Envy is an egalitarian outcry against the claimed metaphysical injustice of the existence of individual differences in abilities, accomplishments, and monetary outcomes. There will always be inequalities among people. Differences between people simply exist. The idea of justice does not apply to conditions built into the nature of life – justice is a concept that only pertains to other-directed human actions.

Perhaps the envious will be less likely to disparage the wealth creator once they have learned: 1) the true nature of the entrepreneur's work; 2) the fact that there is no fixed quantity of economic benefits; 3) that the entrepreneur does not profit at the expense of his customers; 4) that the larger the entrepreneur's profit, the better off individuals in society must be; 5) that the existence of differences in human talents is neither just nor unjust – it just is; 6) that individuals possess the free will to use or not use the abilities that nature has endowed them with; 7) that economic equality is incompatible with nature; and 8) that each person should be allowed to use his aptitudes to their fullest in the pursuit of his conception of happiness.

Entrepreneurs are Wealth Creators

Wealth, in the form of goods and services, is created when individuals recombine and rearrange the resources that comprise the world. Wealth increases when someone conceives and produces a more valuable configuration of the earth's substances. Although resources or raw materials are finite, the human mind, through ingenuity and creativity, is able to continually increase the wealth of the world. Profits are a person's reward for wealth creation.

It is the existence of unremitting change in human activities that summons entrepreneurs in their search for profits. A critical ability for a successful entrepreneur is to make appropriate predictions regarding the uncertain future. Since accurate knowledge of the future is a valuable asset, the entrepreneur is willing to invest time and money in information gathering and dissemination.

Every one of us makes predictions about an uncertain future and we all make our life decisions in terms of our assessment of that future. However, some individuals are so capable at forecasting the future that they specialize in that activity by becoming entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur predicts, responds to, and creates change regarding the discovery of new resource sources, new consumer desires, and new technological opportunities. He seeks profit by creating new products and services, new businesses, new production methods, etc. The successful entrepreneur correctly anticipates consumer preferences and efficiently uses resources to meet these preferences. The goal of an entrepreneur is to know the consumer's future wants before the consumer knows them.

Markets create incentives to search for opportunities that a person's singular knowledge provides to him. No individual has perfect knowledge of the earth's resources and their potential uses. Profits result when a man reduces imperfections in knowledge by discerning and producing a more valuable arrangement of things. An entrepreneur is concerned with opportunities that are not perceived as such by others.

The potential for profits motivates men to discover and use new information before it becomes widely known to others. Profit opportunities always await alert individuals with creative ideas. Attentive people reinterpret the world in order to grasp and act upon profit opportunities that have eluded others. Ultimately, wealth is a product of intelligence and creative vision. Foresight, envisioning the potential of some product, service, process, technology, or market, precedes action.

An entrepreneurial insight is checked against reality through its incremental development as knowledge and experience are amassed. New ideas are refined, changed, refocused, improved, and expanded through incremental experimentation and the constant search for betterment.

The successful entrepreneur realizes that knowledge and opportunities are constantly changing, highly local, and individuated. Information exists as dispersed bits of knowledge possessed by various individuals throughout society. This information consists of both scientific knowledge and the disarrayed knowledge pertaining to the particular conditions of time and space.

Although the wealth creator can experience luck and serendipity, he does not rely on them. Profits and losses are not the results of totally random processes. Entrepreneurs do not randomly choose their projects. Rather, they seek out knowledge by constantly asking questions, looking for patterns, making novel connections, imagining possibilities, and projecting the future.

Regardless of a person's metaphysically given natural endowments, it takes great effort and choice to actualize one's potential. Reality requires that valuable goods and services be created. Although ability (especially intellectual ability) is crucial, it is not sufficient. The entrepreneur must be a man of ideas and a man of action, who can implement appropriate ideas, often in the face of adversities.

A person's actions are motivated from within. An inspired individual may seek to attain his goals and values, to better the conditions of his life, to accomplish something outstanding, etc. Whatever his incentives, he must be committed to action, reality, and the need to transform ideas into concrete form. An entrepreneur attains wealth and his other objectives by providing people with goods and services that further flourishing on earth. Entrepreneurs are specialists in prudence – the virtue of rationally applying one's talents to the goal of living well.

A wealth creator tends to be a person of superior ability who pursues his goals relentlessly even in the face of obstacles, opposition, setbacks, and failures. To be a self-driven doer, one must expend both mental and physical effort. He must persist in the face of adversity, confront the unknown, face challenges, risk and learn from failure, have confidence in his capacity to deal with the world, and take practical rational steps in the pursuit of his goals. The successful entrepreneur tends to be a visionary, competent, independent, action-oriented, passionate, confident, and virtuous person who uses reason to focus his enthusiasm on reality in his efforts to attain his goals.

We Live in a Positive-Sum World

A zero-sum game is one in which the winner's earnings come solely from the loser's losses. In a zero-sum world, if one person profits then someone must lose because there is only a fixed amount to go around. We must always come up with a sum of zero when we add together all the changes in the economic wealth of all individuals, since one person can only prosper at the expense of others. In such a static world, economic activity merely redistributes existing wealth.

Fortunately, we do not live in a zero-sum world. Individuals' subjective valuations determine the economic value of things. Personal valuations of a marketable good can have different values for a given person in different situations and at different times. In addition, the same item can have dissimilar values for various individuals in the identical situation and at the same time. In a free exchange both parties benefit or they would not make the exchange. Exchange in a free market is a positive-sum game involving mutual accommodation.

Entrepreneurs create wealth by offering what is perceived to be a more valuable combination of resources than the combination that existed previously. Profits are an entrepreneur's reward for increasing the wealth of individuals in society. The entrepreneur does not profit at the expense of others. Rather, he gains because the product of his actions is judged to be worth more than what existed before his undertaking.

Obstacles to the Entrepreneur

The wealth of certain individuals and groups is tied to the status quo. The discovery of new products, services, and processes means that some established products, services, and technologies will be valued less. As a result, firms tied to the past may find their products, services, and methods becoming obsolete and may even experience business failure.

The government often responds to politically influential interests by acting against progress in order to preserve the status quo. The greatest enemy of the entrepreneur is government intervention in the form of regulation, paperwork, taxes, high interest rates, occupational licensing fees, government-conferred monopolies, etc. Such obstacles actively discourage innovative activity and risk-taking and arrest the wealth-creating process. In addition, information is lost when price signals are stifled by price ceilings, rent controls, minimum wage laws, etc. The entrepreneur requires accurate information regarding incomplete or mistaken market responses in order to know which actions should be taken.

When the government protects some against failure, it actually increases the overall costs of failure by imposing it on others. If the government did not protect unsuccessful businesses, then the loss of wealth experienced by them would be accompanied by a transfer of resources to those who would put them to more valuable uses. Allowing some businesses to fail and others to begin would provide an incentive to redirect capital into more productive and profitable uses. Economic failure cannot be avoided if we are to experience economic progress. If an individual is responsible for his losses then the market will work to permit the adoption of appropriate behavior. Profits and losses are inherent in the human condition.

Protecting Market Entrepreneurs

Profit opportunities are best discovered and pursued within a legal framework that permits individuals an interest in discovering them. The entrepreneur requires the freedom and flexibility to adapt to individuated conditions by acting in accordance with his best judgment. It is necessary to protect the ability of all people to enter the market without restraints and favors perpetuated by the state.

Political entrepreneurs seek and receive help from the state and, therefore, are not true entrepreneurs. Market entrepreneurs do not request nor obtain such assistance. They are the only true entrepreneurs. A successful market entrepreneur accepts the responsibility of using his own judgment, uses his mind to create material values, is honest in his dealing with others and with reality, risks failure and loss, persists in the face of adversity, is alert for information regarding previously unrecognized needs and ways of meeting them, and earn profits as his reward for increasing the wealth of individuals in society. Unlike the political entrepreneur, the market entrepreneur relies on the market mechanism to sort out the successful from the unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

original by Edward W. Younkins

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A Solo Business Owner

Even thought i work for a large non profit company, I’ve worked independently all my life. Most of the first five years of my business experience were completely solo because I had the mentality that I needed to do things myself in order to save money.

An Entrepreneur is an individual who chooses to go into business by himself. Often entrepreneurs decide to stay a one-person company to keep decisions and quality of work under control. These single entrepreneurs are often called solo entrepreneurs, too. These entrepreneurs are often referred to as free agents, freelancer, self-employed, sole proprietor, or home based business owner (although not all single person entrepreneurs are home-based). This often depends on the professional field they work in.

Being a one person business does not mean being completely on your own. These entrepreneurs often collaborate with other businesses or build alliances with other entrepreneurs or consultants. It all depends on their business needs. Outsourcing of basic work or certain project related work is the closest these businesses get to in regards to having staff. Businesses run as one-person companies often have owners that meet certain characteristics. What are typical Solo Entrepreneur characteristics?

- The desire for personal freedom that allows them to adopt the lifestyle of choice.

- The drive and passion to implement the business plan and to fulfill their personal dreams.

- The willingness to go the extra mile and the desire to succeed

- They are very passionate about what they do.

- Being committed to their venture.

- Comfortable working alone and an above average usage of new technologies such as the Internet or Voice over IP (VOIP).

Why the one-person company?

Many entrepreneurs are refugees from the large corporate world, while others choose to be self-employed in a one-person company as a change from a traditional-based small business with employees and increased management responsibilities. Being unemployed after another wave of outsourcing to India can also trigger the desire in people to become self-employed and especially to stay a one-person company. Especially the political games played in larger corporations increase the desire to completely get a way from the same. Being flexible and able to implement decisions without having to worry about the internal political players is a driving force to work alone.

Other reasons:

- A general change in attitudes to be more in control of individual choices and actions that affect life.

- Getting out of the daily rat-race and away from working in large companies, climbing the corporate ladder in search of more money, and more (political) power.

- To be able to choose the tools of trade and not being forced to do things in an inefficient way.

What drives the one-person company owner to be successful?

Freedom: The biggest reason for leaving the corporate world is the freedom an individual gains when working for himself. Being employee makes the entrepreneur feel like being in a prison. The freedom to decide when to work, where to work, and who to work with makes all the difference.

original from
Christoph Puetz

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February 01, 2009

Telecommuting Ranks High On Job Seekers List

It's tough to find employment in today's job market, especially if a person lacks a formal education or has minimal work experience. Still, even without such background deficits, attempts to find home-based employment may be fruitless at best, financially and emotionally draining at worst.

According to the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC) of Washington, D.C., there are more than 19.6 million people who reportedly work from home (1999). The ITAC estimates that by 2010, there will be around forty million people working part- or full-time from their homes. (

Sage Research, Inc. reported that companies will continue to initiate telecommuting programs. The use of remote workers will become a necessity as overhead costs continue to rise. (

Yet, even though the trend of telecommuting (working from home) has steadily grown over the past two decades, it remains an untapped benefit for the majority of North America's workforce. This makes many job seekers ask: "Where are the companies that allow individuals to work from home? What does it take to land a home-based job?"

With a bit of thorough research, this information can be found. Without proper research, however, there are plenty of unscrupulous people trying to make a lot of money from others' need to find home-based work. Through tricky advertising they take millions of dollars from the very individuals who are trying to earn a living. These scammers, as they are commonly called, are all too aware of how desperately people want to earn a paycheck from their homes. And their target market grows by leaps and bounds every year.

Compared to the amount of misinformation out there, the amount of reliable information about working from home seems scarce. That's why it's important to search it out and take advantage of it when it becomes available.

To learn what it is like trying to find and actually land a telecommuting job, Telework Recruiting, Inc. surveyed dozens of people who frequent online E-mail groups that focus on telecommuting issues. The results of this survey will help give job seekers an understanding of what's involved in a search for a telecommuting position. These results should also help employers realize the value that having a telecommuting option has for so many candidates.

Although telecommuting is a work option that increases each year across North America, it is still not the norm. According to Telework Recruiting, Inc.'s survey, the average length of time a job seeker spends searching for a position that allows telecommuting is two years. For individuals who want to start out with a new company as a teleworker, it can take longer than for those who try to persuade their current companies to allow them to telecommute full- or part-time.

The number-one reason survey respondents believe that it takes so long to find telecommuting work with a new company is that they simply can't find legitimate companies to work for. Their research usually takes them to companies offering bogus job opportunities or scams. These supposed hiring companies either want people to pay for information about the job or to file an application or, they want people to perform idiotic activities such as sending spam E-mail or posting advertisements all over the Internet.

The second reason is that they believe companies are afraid to trust them to perform their work from home. Despite numerous studies that indicate that teleworkers are actually more productive, it still seems to be a concern for employers that home-based employees will be sitting around watching television, rather than working.

The third top reason people feel they can't find work from home employment is there are simply too many people competing for the few telecommuting opportunities that are out there. This may be true, which only reinforces the point of how it is important for job seekers to invest in creating a top-notch resume and to continually hone their skills.

Other reasons attributed to the inability to find telecommuting opportunities include:

-- Lack of training or experience for the jobs they are seeking

-- Not being open to other types of work; that is, being too narrow in their job seeking focus

-- Not looking hard enough

-- Or not actually having a home situation conducive to telecommuting. (I.e. Having a child around that requires almost constant attention.)

For survey respondents who have been successful in finding and keeping telecommuting positions, we asked for their input on what were some factors related to their success. The number one reason they gave: Diligence. They believe they were successful mainly because they didn't give up looking. They researched everything. As one person put it: "Leave no stone unturned."

Another top factor for their success was having a good employment track record. These days background checks are almost always performed. (The growing number of background checking services out there evidences this.) Maintaining exceptional references by previous employers is extremely important.

The third top factor for successfully finding work from home is being able to demonstrate how they could perform their jobs from home just as well or better than if they worked onsite. However, they didn't wait for an interview or meeting to start coming up with reasons why they felt their company should let them stay home. Each person came prepared with a proposal. A well thought-out proposal that would answer any questions or objections an employer might have. Bringing samples or examples of work already done from home was an added bonus to a proposal.

Other important elements to successfully finding work from home include:

-- Opening doors for themselves by starting out as volunteers.

-- Knowing how to network.

-- Having self-discipline and good management skills.

-- Having a supportive supervisor or manager.

Before starting any type of venture it is always helpful to be clear on what that venture is and to have a plan for that venture. Very often people decide they want to work from home (for various personal reasons), yet they aren't sure what type of work they will do, or even if they're suited for a telecommuting life. Our survey respondents offered some suggestions and ideas to look at before even beginning a job hunt. In order of their most common responses, these suggestions are listed below:

1) Be able to recognize a scam. If you plan to use the Internet at all for your job search, save yourself a lot of time and energy by knowing the different types of scams out there so you can bypass them altogether.

2) Locate sources of legitimate telecommuting opportunities. This, of course, is easier said than done. But it is possible.

3) Learn how to research a company. Don't just browse a company's web site. They won't tell you on their site if they have a problem paying their workers, or if this is a third attempt to start this company, or if the work they have for contractors is extremely inconsistent. Look at the company from other sources, such as the Better Business Bureau, Rip Off, message boards that focus on the type of business that you're interested in, and even will have information about them.

4) Understand what are realistic earnings for each type of profession when performed as a telecommuter. Do not be surprised if as a counselor you made $30,000.00 at your local rehab center, but only make $10.00 as a home-based, telephonic counselor. (Approximately $19,000 a year.) Companies that use home workers know that you won't have the usual commuting costs and work expenses. Working from home is NOT a way to get rich quick.

5) If necessary, get resume assistance. If you think you have a great resume, look at resumes of other people and compare. Chances are you could use a resume expert to write one up for you. Remember: Your resume will be what determines whether or not you even get in the door to make a proposal for telecommuting.

6) Be sure you have an up-to-date home office. Up-to-date does not have to mean "top of the line", "super expensive". It means that you must have: a computer with at least WIN98, a fax machine, a printer, and usually high-speed Internet access. None of these things are luxuries anymore. They are basics. Also, part of having an up-to-date home office is actually having a workspace that is separate from the rest of the house. The dining room table will not do.

7) Know the realities of a telecommuting life. Some most common ones are: constant interruptions by children or non-work-related phone calls, and distractions of the home such as laundry or the lawn. For some teleworkers, they have to constantly struggle with family and friends to convince them that just because they are home, they are still at work and cannot be at everyone's beck and call. Their time at the computer needs to be treated as work time, without interruptions.

8) Companies who hire telecommuters do so to save themselves overhead. Part of saving money is hiring independent contractors rather than employees. This eliminates the need to pay employment-related taxes such as unemployment and workers compensation. This means that you will be responsible for your own taxes. Learn what it means to be an independent contractor from the IRS's perspective.

9) Another part of a companys telecommuting plan is often not having to pay for benefits. Be prepared to fend for yourself when it comes to health insurance. If your husband or wife works outside the home and receives benefits, this makes things a bit easier. However, health insurance options are still something worth researching in the event you end up being responsible for obtaining healthcare for the family.

10) Finally, the life of a telecommuter can be a lonely and independent one compared to those who work in a company's office with all the hustle and bustle of fellow workers. Not only do you not have someone close by to share the latest jokes with, but you also do not have a conveniently located person around to bounce ideas off of or discuss work-related issues.

Taking all these things into consideration, as well as all the bumps that come with finding a telecommuting position, how important is working at home for our survey respondents? On a scale of one to ten (one being the lowest), almost every one said "ten". Having their independence makes it all worthwhile. Being able to spend more time with their family instead of on the highways outweighed any downside of telecommuting. Having a personal life, even if it wasn't an exciting one, was of more value to them than any other benefit a company could give.

Original by, Pamela La Gioia

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