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        a home based business onlinehome business ideas


        ============================================================
           A Home-Based Business Online
        ============================================================

          
          
           January 6

            Sent to 2,523 subscribers

          Editor: Elena Fawkner
          Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
            
           Contact By Email
         
         
        ============================================================
         

        ============================================================
              IN THIS ISSUE
        ============================================================

        1.  Welcome and Update from the Editor
        2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Gettin'
          Crafty
        3.  Feature Article - Look Before You Leap ... Is A
          Home-Based Business REALLY For You?
        4.  Guest Article - The Importance of Customer Trust
        5.  E-Book Review - Don't Mess With the IRS!
        6.  Freebies
        8.  This Week's Web Site Pick
        9.  Next Week
        11.     Subscription Management
        13.     Contact Information
         

        ============================================================
        1. Welcome and Update from the Editor
        ============================================================

        Hello again and a warm welcome to all new subscribers!
         

        Well, it's been another week of webhost server problems
        unfortunately. If you've had difficulty accessing the
        AHBBO website or have had email returned, that's why.
        All now appears to be back to normal though, for now at
        least.
         

        A reminder that the AHBBO newsletter publishing tutorial
        starts January 21. If you've been thinking about starting
        your own online newsletter (ezine) but haven't known
        where to start, this tutorial is what you've been looking
        for!
         

        Remember, this newsletter is for YOU! If you have comments
        or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed,
        or would just like to share your experiences with other
        subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments,
        questions and stories to: Contact By Email
         

        ============================================================
         

        ============================================================
        2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Gettin' Crafty
        ============================================================
         

        It's great to delve into an interesting hobby such as
        artwork, photography, or crafting paper jewelry. It's even
        more exciting (and financially rewarding) to turn your
        special talents into a successful home-based business.
        That's exactly what Mary Maturi of Cleveland Ohio, Leslie
        Croyle of Bay Village, Ohio, and Marlene Stephenson of
        Virginia, Minnesota, did. Each turned her hobby into a cash-
        generating business complete with paying customers and a
        bank account.

        These aren't isolated stories. Men and women across the
        country are joining the ranks of entrepreneurs converting
        hobbies into money-paying propositions. It's important to
        note that none of these women originally planned to start a
        business. On the contrary, interest by others in their
        hobbies convinced them to sell their work.
         

        MARY MATURI'S KILLER WHALES

        Mary Maturi markets a line of "Killer Whale" petroglyph
        tee-shirts, sweat shirts, and note cards both in Alaskan
        gift shops and in natural history museums in the lower
        forty-eight states.

        It all started when Mary and her family spent a year living
        in Wrangell, a small town located on Wrangell Island in
        southeast Alaska. One day Mary ventured down to Petroglyph
        Beach on the island. Petroglyphs are ancient rock carvings
        left by an unknown people. Using rice paper and different
        colored ferns, Mary "rubbed" the petroglyphs to capture
        their images on paper. When others saw her rubbings, they
        offered to buy them.

        "People's interest really surprised me, so I thought of
        other ways to share the uniqueness of the petroglyphs
        without having to deal with their awkward size (some were
        several feet in length). That's how the "Killer Whale"
        notecards were born," Mary says. Using her rubbings as a
        guide, she created smaller scale pen and ink drawings
        which she took to a printer to get price quotes for paper,
        printing and envelopes.

        "The major cost of printing is making the plates. Therefore,
        it's wise to get price quotes for different runs of 1,000,"
        says Mary. For example, a run of 3,000 cards might cost
        around 10 cents per card while a run of 6,000 note cards
        could drop that per unit cost below 8 cents per card. That
        decreases your card cost by more than 20 percent - quite a
        saving. Mary also recommends getting bids from several
        suppliers or even splitting up the order.

        While printers know how to price their printing
        competitively, they don't make their own envelopes. Mary
        uses the least costly printer that can deliver the quality
        of paper stock she desires, but buys her envelopes from a
        warehouse specialist at a saving of nearly 35 percent from
        prices quoted by printers and other envelope suppliers. It
        pays to let your fingers do the walking and get competitive
        quotes.

        Once Mary obtained the cost estimates, she visited several
        gift stores and museums to gather pricing information on
        competing notecards. She also talked to store owners and
        museum managers to determine their interest in ordering.
        After all, it would make no sense to have the notecards
        printed unless buyers would purchase at prices that can
        generate a profit.
         

        LESLIE CROYLE'S PHOTO-FINISH

        Leslie Croyle converted her love of photography and knack
        for framing into a full-fledged photo decorating business.

        Leslie and two friends offered for sale enlarged photos of
        popular Cleveland events such as the start of the Revco-
        Cleveland Marathon & 10K, and a spectacular shot of the
        United Way Kickoff's release of thousands of colored
        balloons in Public Square.

        "We hired several photographers to cover the events and used
        the best photographs of the bunch," says Leslie.
        Advertisements for photo promotion proved popular. The trio
        sold 600 photos at prices ranging from $8 to $10 a piece,
        gathering a bit less than $5,400 in revenues. Not bad for
        the first venture. Unfortunately, the combined cost of ads
        and fees for the photographers ate up the $5,400 and more.
        "Although we ended up with a loss, it gave us a lot of
        market exposure and a proven track record," says Leslie.

        Next, Leslie and her friends put together a portfolio of
        photographs and contacted local businesses. This marketing
        move landed them a job of photo decorating PJ McIntyre's
        Restaurant in a Cleveland shopping center. "We tied into
        the nostalgia theme of the restaurant by contacting area
        historical societies and arranging to have their vintage
        photographs copied. It's important to make sure you have
        the right to reuse the prints. Ask for proper releases and
        permission to use whatever photos you have copied," advises
        Leslie.

        She stresses the importance of networking industry contacts.
        A decorating firm they worked with on one project led to
        additional work when that firm recommended Leslie and her
        partners to some of their other clients.

        Since 1987, the photo decorating business has progressed
        well since its initial unprofitable photo event ventures.
        Major projects include photo decorating the guest rooms and
        suites for the historic Glidden House, which has been made
        into a unique bed and breakfast, and an all-sports photo
        motif for the Grand Slam Bar & Restaurant in the refurbished
        Cleveland Flats night spot area.

        "From our humble beginnings, we're now getting into some
        pretty good sized jobs," says Leslie. "Just keep bumbling
        along - don't give up."
         

        MARLENE STEPHENSON'S PAPER PROFITS

        Marlene Stephenson makes her money tearing paper. Actually,
        her unique sculptured jewelry draws rave reviews wherever
        she wears it. In fact, people routinely ask to buy her
        unique designs right off her dress when she appears at
        public functions.

        Marlene is a medical technician by trade, and her paper
        profits grew out of a coffee get-together group of friends
        that met once a week to try their hands at new craft ideas.
        One day one of the ladies brought a book on making paper
        jewelry. "I just fell in love with it and made a pin and
        some earrings to wear to a business meeting. Lots of the
        women at the meeting asked me to make some for them also,"
        says Marlene.

        As with any fashion item, Marlene pays attention to color
        schemes and design. Even though she makes several copies of
        different designs, each is unique in color, shading, size,
        and even texture. Marlene crafts her one-of-a-kind jewelry
        to match her customers' special outfits.

        "With any small business, it's important to link up with
        other small businesses," stresses Marlene. For example, her
        local hairdresser lets Marlene display her paper jewelry at
        her shop. Local gift stores either buy the pins and
        earrings outright or take them on consignment, which means
        they pay for them after they sell. Marlene also teamed up
        with several other artists to display their work at trade
        shows.

        "Try to tailor your product to the particular market. With
        the loon as the state bird of Minnesota, my loon pins always
        do well at local craft shows," she says. Likewise, when
        Marlene sent samples of her pins to trade show in Anchorage,
        Alaska, she made some new designs to capture the wilds of
        Alaska, These pins included a polar bear, Alaska wild
        flowers, whales, and fish.

        Whatever your own hobby pursuits, you may be overlooking
        an opportunity to turn personal interests into money-making
        enterprises. Investigate the possibilities, calculate the
        costs, analyze the market, and move forward with your plan
        of action. Take your lead from these three women who have
        turned hobbies into profits.

        -----
         

        There are many more ideas like this in AHBBO's Home Business
        Ideas page at AHBBO Unique Home Based Business Ideas with more being added all the time.
         

        Don't go it alone in your home-based business. Our team
        leaders help you build a downline and insure you earn a
        residual income. Promote and market with our FREE Internet
        Income course. We provide the FREE tools. You provide the
        ambition to succeed. Act NOW!
         

        ============================================================
        3. Feature Article - Look Before You Leap ... Is A Home-
        Based Business REALLY For You?
        ============================================================
         

        By Elena Fawkner

        Working from home sounds wonderful, doesn't it? No commute;
        no boss breathing down your neck; no fixed schedule; reward
        for effort; control; work/family flexibility; not having to
        worry about being laid off; leaving the office politics way
        behind; not having to get dressed up; being with your
        children. Is this what comes to mind when you think about
        what it would be like to work from home? If so, take a
        good hard look before you make the jump from paid to self-
        employment.

        Although these are all indisputably strong benefits of
        running your own home-based business, they need to be
        weighed against some pretty harsh realities if you are to
        make an informed decision whether a home-based business is
        truly right for you. These realities can be grouped into
        three main areas: personal, financial and situational.
         

        PERSONAL REALITIES

        -> Commitment - you must be totally committed to making a
        success of your business. It is important to distinguish
        between commitment and mere interest. If what you want to
        do as a business is only an interest, your enthusiasm and
        motivation may wane over time. You must be absolutely
        committed to the success of your business if you are to
        achieve the success you desire.

        -> Risk-Taker - one of the benefits of owning your own
        business is that you don't have to answer to a boss. The
        other side of the coin is that there is no-one to fall back
        on if things go wrong. If you make a mistake or suffer a
        loss, you wear it. For this reason, you must be comfortable
        taking calculated risks. If security and stability are very
        important to you, perhaps paid employment is a better option.

        -> Self Motivation - again, there is no boss to wave a carrot
        under your nose to get you moving. You must be able to
        motivate yourself to do what needs to be done and that
        includes the stuff you don't particularly enjoy doing.

        -> Self Discipline - being your own boss means exercising
        personal discipline to ensure that the work gets done.
        There will be no end of distractions to tempt you away from
        the task at hand when you're working from home. You will
        need a healthy dose of self discipline to ensure you stay on
        track.

        -> Patience - starting a home-business is one thing; turning
        a profit is quite another. You will not make a profit
        overnight. Be prepared to be patient and frugal during the
        first few months of your new venture.

        -> Reasons - closely related to the need for self-motivation,
        your reasons for wanting to work from home will keep you in
        the saddle. If your reasons are to get rich quick or work
        fewer hours, think again. A home-based business will
        definitely not deliver.

        -> Flexibility and Adaptability - you may have come from a
        corporate environment where you enjoyed a certain status.
        You may have had a secretary or assistant to take care of
        the more routine aspects of your job description. In your
        home-based business you will need to be prepared to wear
        many hats, at least in the beginning. This means being
        flexible and adaptable, being prepared to learn new skills
        and willing to take on new tasks.

        -> Willingness to Sacrifice - especially in the early stages
        of your business, be prepared to make sacrifices in terms of
        time and money to get your business off the ground. You
        will need to be prepared to put in long hours and, more
        likely than not, get by on less money than you were bringing
        home from your paid job.

        -> Work Ethic - the backbone of all of the disciplines you
        will need to practice in your home business is your work
        ethic. If you have a strong work ethic then the need for
        personal discipline and sacrifice will come as no surprise.

        -> Stress Management - the burden of your business's success
        or failure will rest squarely on your shoulders. That's a
        lot of responsibility. Consider your capacity for stress
        management. If it's not high, learn ways to increase it.
         

        FINANCIAL REALITIES

        -> Cash Reserves - if business is slow to start, do you have
        sufficient cash reserves to see you through? If not,
        perhaps you should consider starting your business part-time
        until it is bringing in enough of a profit to sustain you.

        -> Retirement Planning - say goodbye to the employer-
        sponsored pension plan and hello to the world of IRAs
        (Individual Retirement Accounts). You need to think
        differently about your retirement plans and should seek the
        advice of a qualified financial planner in the early days of
        your new business.

        -> Health Insurance - say goodbye too to the perks of paid
        employment such as free medical, dental, life and disability
        insurance. You will need to take out your own cover for
        these risks.

        -> Vacation - no-one's going to pay you while you take that
        two week vacation any more. And, while we're at it, who's
        going to run your business while you're away?
         

        SITUATIONAL REALITIES

        -> Hard Work, Long Hours - if you think that working for
        yourself means you won't have to work as hard or as long,
        think again. Most likely it will mean more of both.

        -> Interruptions - if you have children at home, be prepared
        for constant interruptions. Being with your children, of
        course, is one of the main advantages of working from home
        but you will need to set limits if your business is to get
        sufficient attention. The same goes for your spouse!

        -> Distractions - beware of the temptation to take care of
        household tasks during the time you have allocated to your
        business. It's very tempting to run a load of washing or
        vacuum the carpets instead of facing up to that business
        task you don't feel like doing right now. Self-discipline
        is crucial if you are to avoid procrastination undermining
        your productivity.

        -> Isolation and Loneliness - if you come from a busy
        corporate background, at some point after the novelty of
        working from home begins to wear off, you may begin to feel
        isolated and even lonely. Be prepared with strategies to
        keep the isolation blues at bay. See "Overcoming Isolation
        in Your Home Business" at
        http://www.shelteredturtle.com/Overcoming_Isolation.html for some
        suggestions.
         

        As you can see, although there are many wonderful reasons to
        work from home, there are also many strong reasons why a
        home-based business may not be the right choice for you.
        Take a good hard look at the above realities and your own
        personal qualities and motivations. Do you have what it
        takes to make a success of your business? Are you prepared
        to do what has to be done? Whatever that is? If so, a
        home-based business may very well be just what the doctor
        ordered. But, if you have any doubts, look very hard before
        you make the leap from paid employment to your own home-
        based business. You could very well be jumping from the
        frying pan into the fire.
         

        ------

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        ===========================================================
        4. Guest Article - The Importance of Customer Trust
        ============================================================
         

        By Cathy Bryant
         

        Each time I begin to write about an aspect of marketing
        online, I ask myself the same questions: Is this
        information going to be valuable to my subscribers? Will
        it help them in developing or improving their own home-
        based business? Is it accurate and timely?

        There's no shortage of subjects to write about when dealing
        with your own business, either online or off. And each
        writer brings to their work their own experiences,
        techniques, and opinions about what works and what doesn't.
        But all successful online marketers will agree with what
        traditional marketers have known for years to be true -
        your customer's trust in you is paramount.

        If you are currently marketing online or have plans to do
        so in the future, this is a critical element to be
        considered when developing your marketing strategy. It
        is obviously even more important online, since the
        face-to-face contact we are so used to in the traditional
        marketplace is absent.

        So how do we develop and cultivate our customer's trust in
        us? There are many ways, but the most important should be
        the most obvious - HONESTY. How often have you seen the
        headlines "Make $14,000 a month working at home in your
        spare time?" or other such garbage? Even though we'd all
        like to believe that such a thing is possible, our common
        sense tells us it's not. Developing your own home-based
        business online is just like any other endeavor - it takes
        time, along with a lot of hard work, to be successful.
        Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply not being
        truthful. Be honest with your customers and they will
        return to you time and again because they know you won't
        mislead them.

        Another way to develop trust with your customers is to
        deliver what you promise - whatever that may be. If it's
        information, products, services, and/or support, make sure
        that they get what they expect. Remember that the
        customer is always right, and if they're not happy, they
        won't do business with you any more.

        What are some specific things you can do online to deepen
        the trust that your customers place in you? Communicate
        with them as much as possible. Newsletters such as this
        are a good way to keep in contact with your customer base,
        and they are easy to implement. You don't even need any
        special software - there are many free services that will
        host your newsletter for you. The following are all free
        services:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/
        <http://www.topica.com/>

        A great site that can help you get your newsletter up and
        running can be found at

        <http://www.e-zinez.com/>

        This site is full of resources for you, including articles
        that you can publish in your newsletter along with a
        template to get you started.

        These are all the same resources I used to start my own
        newsletter. They worked for me, and they can work for you.

        Don't forget the most important thing of all - answer
        your emails promptly and courteously! This is probably one
        of the hardest to implement, but it is vital to your long-
        term success. When people need help, they want to know
        you're available. Things sometimes happen unexpectedly that
        get us off our schedule, but if you know you will be
        unavailable for some time, you owe it to your customers to
        make them aware of that.

        Communicate with your customers with honesty and deliver
        what you promise, and they will continue to place their
        trust in you. The loyalty of your customers is a key
        element in helping you grow and prosper in your own
        business.
         

        ============================================================
        5. EBook Review - Don't Mess With the IRS by Jackie Hale
        ============================================================
         

        FINALLY, someone has produced an easy to understand yet
        comprehensive summary of all of the myriad of tax and
        accounting issues we, as home-based entrepreneurs, need to
        come to grips with in our businesses.

        Jackie is a CPA and this e-book is the product of her years
        of experience as a controller of a company that endured
        what appears to be more than its fair share of audits from
        various taxing agencies.

        "Don't Mess With the IRS" does not purport to be a
        definitive guide to the tax laws. What it is is a
        collection of 108 logically grouped "tips" to flag the
        issues you need to turn your mind to in your business. And
        Jackie doesn't restrict herself to purely tax issues, either.
        This ebook is as much about good business management
        practices as it is about tax and accounting.

        Jackie covers general business set-up issues, office
        organization, employee issues, insurance, general accounting
        issues, daily accounting transactions and records (including
        business use of your car, meal and entertainment expenses,
        the home office deduction and other expenses), customers and
        sales, end of year issues and, finally, what to do if your
        tax return is selected for an audit.

        "Don't Mess With the IRS" is an excellent bird's-eye view of
        the tax, accounting and general business issues you need to
        be aware of when running your own business. The price is
        easy to swallow, too, at only $9.95. One of the best value-
        for-money products I've seen in a long time. I highly
        recommend it.
         

        ============================================================
         

        Need Some Advice to Help Grow Your Business? Join the
        Top7Business List. Top7Business Is A Daily Broadcast Of 7
        Tips, Tricks, Secrets, Suggestions, And Other Useful
        Information Relating To Helping You Build And Grow Your
        Business, Delivered to Your Inbox Each Day. Surf the
         

        ============================================================

        ============================================================
         

        ============================================================

        ============================================================
         

        ============================================================
        8. This Week's Web Site Pick - Work At Home Success
        ============================================================
         

        http://www.workathomesuccess.com

        A well-worth-a-visit site for those of you just flirting
        with the idea of starting a home-based business.
        Particularly geared towards those seeking a balance between
        work and home, this site is full of resources and specific
        information to get you going.

        Sections include:

        -> Can You Afford to Work? Do you know how much it costs
        you to work? Get ideas on how to live on one income
        instead of two.

        -> Work At Home Success Profile - benefit from the
        experience of others who have found a way to work at home.

        -> Work At Home Success Company Profile - companies hiring
        at-home workers.

        -> Business Basics - how to start your own home-based
        business including choosing a business, financing and more.

        -> Telecommuting Corner - how to locate or create a work at
        home job.

        -> Scam Alert - the most common scams and how to avoid
        them.

        -> Work At Home Wannabe - follow Kathleen as she strives to
        fulfill her goal of working from home.

        A very useful resource.
         

        ============================================================
        9. Next Issue
        ============================================================
         

        That's it for this week, everyone. Here's what's in store
        for the next issue:

        ->  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week: Finance Broker
        ->  Feature Article: How the 9 to 5 Grind Could be Costing
          You More Than You Earn and Why a Home-Based Business
          Could Be the Answer
        ->  Guest Article: It could be yours!

        Thanks for being with us and have a great week everyone.
         

        ============================================================
        11. Subscription Management
        ============================================================
         

        To SUBSCRIBE to this Newsletter:
        Home Business Newsletter

        To UNSUBSCRIBE from this Newsletter:
        http://ahbbo.com/privacy.html#unsubscribe

        If you find this newsletter valuable, please forward it
        in its entirety to your friends, family and associates!
         

        ============================================================
        13. Contact Information
        ============================================================
         

        Elena Fawkner, Editor
        A Home-Based Business Online
        Contact By Email

        ============================================================

        Signup to Receive Our Free Home Based Business
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