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        a home based business onlinehome business ideas

        Return to AHBBO Newsletter Archives

           A Home-Based Business Online


          January 27

            Sent to 3,089 subscribers

             Editor: Elena Fawkner
           Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
          Contact By Email


        ATTENTION You are receiving this newsletter because you
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        subscriber and respect your privacy.

           IN THIS ISSUE

        1.  Welcome and Update from the Editor
        2.  Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Utility Auditing
        3.  Feature Article - Putting the Plan Back Into Your
          Business Plan
        4.  Newsletter Publishing Tutorial - Part 2 - Why Publish
          An Ezine?
        5.  Book Review by Amy Shellhase of ReviewZ
        6.  Freebies
        8.  This Week's Web Site Pick
        9.  Next Week in A Home-Based Business Online
        11.     Subscription Management
        13.     Contact Information

        1. Welcome and Update from the Editor

        Hello again and a warm welcome to all new subscribers!

        This week sees the continuation of the AHBBO newsletter
        publishing tutorial looking at exactly WHY you should publish
        your own ezine and another of Amy Shellhase's informative
        and entertaining book reviews.  The winner of the REAL 'Net
        Profits Contest for January is also announced this week (see
        segment 7).

        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 - Utility Auditing

        Auditing is not a matter of magic. If you have the patience
        to sort through regulatory tariffs and have a keen eye to
        spot billing inconsistencies, you can conduct an audit
        (subject, of course, to whatever licensing requirements
        apply in your area).


        Auditing utility bills has become one of the most popular
        areas of concentration for auditors because of the inherent
        complexity of billing for utilities. Utility rates are
        highly confusing because they differ depending on type of
        service, volume of usage, and promotional packages offered
        at the time of installation.


        Utility Auditors earn commissions, usually around 50% of any
        overcharge they uncover. And this is where you may need to
        exercise more of your patience. Although utility companies
        would gladly settle a verifiable overcharge (relatively
        quickly out of court), it may take them up to six months to
        issue any refund. This is particularly true with larger
        utility firms.


        Most clients prefer to pay auditors on commission basis for
        two reasons: no upfront cash outlay, and no risk if the
        auditor comes back empty-handed.

        For the auditor, working on commission offers distinct
        advantages: it makes it easier for them to land clients, and
        it usually enables hem to earn more than if they would take
        a basic fee.


        The biggest challenge facing auditors is to get a potential
        client to admit that there is a high probability that they
        (the client) overpaid for their utilities without knowing
        it. This issue is usually not a problem if the client is a
        small business where the owner makes all the decisions.
        However, the executive committee of a major corporation may
        feel threatened that they'll be held accountable for
        irresponsibly overpaying for utilities.  Your job is to
        convince your potential client that overcharging does
        happen and that it is the job of an outsider auditor, and
        not people from within the company, to "fix" the problem.

        For a listing of business opportunities in the utility
        auditing field, visit


        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.

        3. Feature Article - Putting the Plan Back Into Your
           Business Plan

        By Elena Fawkner

        Very little that is worthwhile in life happens by accident.
        Cause and effect dictates that worthwhile results come from
        worthwhile efforts and the converse is also true.  It's
        basic goal-setting theory.  Set the goal, put in place
        the steps that will eventually lead you there, carry them
        out and you will eventually reach your destination.  Think
        of a business plan as a goal-setting tool for your business.

        There are two main purposes for writing a business plan.
        The first is to help you to manage your business.  The
        second is to raise capital.  The focus of the business plan
        for each purpose is different.  In this article, we are
        focusing on the business plan as a tool to help you manage
        your business.

        Why Write a Business Plan?

        There are many reasons why a business plan is a valuable
        tool when it comes to managing your business.  Most
        fundamentally, it helps you 'set your sail' in the direction
        you want your business to go.  Rather than drifting along
        aimlessly, being tugged this way and that by random currents
        and puffs of wind, a business plan helps you steer a
        predetermined course and stay on track.

        A business plan also facilitates focus.  It can help you
        keep your attention where it is required ... on those steps
        you need to take to bring you closer to your objectives.
        This creates a results-oriented mindset which helps break
        the inertia that can result from a lack of focus.

        The process of creating a business plan can help you to
        anticipate hurdles and threats to your business and to
        formulate actions to overcome adverse contingencies.

        A business plan also serves to keep your business on track
        by reinforcing your vision for your business.  It acts as
        a check and a balance, something against which to weigh
        a proposed action.  Does the action further the purposes
        you have outlined in your business plan?  If so, go for it.
        If not, it is probably just a distraction.

        Things to Think About In Your Business Plan

        A good starting point to begin thinking about the elements
        of your business plan is to carry out a SWOT analysis (what
        are your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
        and threats)?

        The strengths you identify will become the foundation for
        your competitive focus.  You want to think of ways to exploit
        your strengths here as these are what will set you apart
        from your competition.  For example, you may be particularly
        good with people.  Use this talent in the customer service
        aspects of your business to distinguish yourself from your
        competition who may be lacking in this area.

        By identifying weaknesses, you can plan for ways to compensate
        for them.  For example, you may be in a business where you have
        to wait for some time to be paid by your clients and as a result
        you may be vulnerable to cash flow shortfalls from time to time.
        By recognizing this potential weakness in your business, you
        can take steps to minimize cash flow difficulties by arranging
        for an overdraft facility with your bank.  Or introducing an
        incentive for clients to pay you earlier such as an early
        payment discount.

        The opportunities you identify become the cornerstones for
        your business development.  What opportunities exist that you
        can exploit in the next 12 months to develop your business?
        Think here in terms of things like technological advances
        that you are in a position to exploit but your competition is
        not, possible joint venture partnerships, or the exclusive
        rights to XYZ patent that you have negotiated.

        Finally, the threats you identify become the foundation for
        your contingency planning.  By recognizing the threats that
        exist to the future health of your business before they
        become a reality, the better placed you will be to implement
        contingency plans in case the worst happens and the better
        prepared you will be to ride out the storm.

        Deciding on Your Plan

        Once armed with your SWOT inventory you can begin to
        refine your thinking in terms of coming up with an overall
        strategy for your business.  Remember, you want to exploit
        your strengths and opportunities and minimize the impact of
        your weaknesses and threats.

        Once you have your overall business strategy in front of you,
        you are then in a position to reformulate the elements of your
        SWOT analysis into specific goals and objectives.  Write
        objectives to support every goal for every area of your
        business.  Think about your products and services, customers,
        competition, image, customer service, marketing and advertising,
        financial objectives and the like.  For example, one of your
        goals may be to introduce a second or a third product line
        in the coming twelve months; or to launch a new advertising
        campaign or to negotiate a more favorable line of credit with
        your bank.

        By the time you are done, you will be very clear in your
        own mind where you want your business to go and what you
        need to do to get there.  In turn, this awareness will help you
        to recognize new opportunities as they present themselves.

        Finally, bear in mind that a business plan is just that, a
        plan.  It is not carved in stone and, as with any plan, be
        prepared to be flexible and make changes as circumstances and
        priorities change.  Work with your business plan and treat
        it as a living, breathing, organic part of your business.  By
        constantly keeping your plan in mind when making business
        decisions you can rest comfortably, knowing  you are steering
        your business in the direction YOU want it to go.

        4. Newsletter Publishing Tutorial - Part 2 - Why Publish
           An Ezine?

        If you have started or are contemplating starting your own
        online business, you cannot afford not to publish your own

        Before we move on to consider the purely business reasons
        why you should consider starting your own newsletter, I want
        to touch on what has been, for me, the most satisfying
        aspect of my online business.

        Initially I started the A Home-Based Business Online website
        because, like many of you, I was in full-time work and was
        disenchanted with the whole 9 to 5 grind.  So I started
        looking for ways to work from home.

        Already an avid internet user, I used my favorite research
        tool in my search.  At some point during my quest the seed
        of an idea for my own online business was planted and AHBBO
        was eventually born.  The website, that is.

        Then I started researching ways to market my new site and
        generate traffic.  I read the marketing gurus' advice and
        one piece of advice was repeated ad nauseum.  Everyone kept
        saying you need to publish your own newsletter.  And so I
        did.  When I started the AHBBO newsletter, it was intended
        purely as a secondary way of generating traffic for my
        website and as a vehicle for advertising my own affiliate

        Over time, though, in a day-to-day sense the AHBBO website
        has become very much secondary to the newsletter.

        Why?  Well, for a start, I work on the newsletter every
        day.  I update my website only a couple of times a week.
        So the newsletter is always in focus.  It takes time every
        day to produce and manage.  There are always articles to
        write, home business ideas to research, advertisers to work
        with, subscribers to welcome.  Don't be under any illusions.
        Publishing a newsletter with original content (and you
        shouldn't even think about doing anything less) takes real
        work and real time.

        But the other side of the coin is that it is actually
        enjoyable!  Sure, there are a lot of very good business and
        financial reasons why the AHBBO newsletter SHOULD have been
        born but the real reason I enjoy it is the people I meet
        along the way.  I have made MANY new acquaintances, a couple
        of friends, and I have forged alliances with new colleagues.

        And it is SO rewarding to hear from someone who has just
        made their first sale after being inspired to start their
        own venture by AHBBO.  I received another one only today,
        in fact.  Way to go Charlotte!

        So, when you're considering the following reasons why a
        newsletter may be a good business move for you, think also
        of the personal rewards this venture will deliver.

        Influencing others in a positive way is a very real
        byproduct of newsletter publishing.  This is often
        overlooked in the marketing hype you will read on this
        subject but keep it in mind.

        OK, enough of that.  Onto the nitty gritty business reasons
        why you should publish your own newsletter.  Ezines or
        electronic newsletters (the terms are used interchangeably
        in this tutorial) are generally recognized as enormously
        powerful marketing tools for the following reasons.

        -> They Remind Your Site Visitors To Revisit Your Site

        In the first place, your ezine keeps you in front of your
        customers.  Any visitor to your website should be
        prominently encouraged to subscribe to your newsletter.
        Why?  Buyers typically don't buy on the first visit.  You've
        heard it a million times.  Prospects need to see your
        message at least seven times before they will seriously
        think about buying from you.  What guarantee do you have
        that your site visitor will come back a second time, let
        alone a seventh?  By inviting your site visitor to subscribe
        to your newsletter, you have a way of making repeated
        contact with that visitor to remind him or her to go back
        to your site.

        -> They Are a Way of Creating a Network

        One of the most important skills you can cultivate in
        your online business is the ability to network.  Successful
        networking involves forming relationships with people.
        Through networking you create a pool of contacts, each
        one of whom is a potential customer, service provider,
        colleague and/or joint venture partner.

        A newsletter is an excellent way of allowing other people
        to get to know you.  In short, it is an effective way to establish
        rapport with many different people.

        -> Generating Customers Without Creating a Website

        Apart from the people who join your newsletter because they
        have visited your site, you can also generate new customers
        directly with your ezine.  If you publish your own newsletter,
        it is not necessary to have a website to run an online
        business.  You can do the whole thing by email.  By this I
        mean your newsletter IS your business.  You run it and grow
        it because you derive advertising revenue from it and
        perhaps promote affiliate programs or your own products.
        Of course, if you HAVE a website, you can use your
        newsletter to make your readers aware that your site exists
        and thereby encourage them to visit.

        -> Income Generation

        Far from being merely a tool to drive traffic to your
        website or to keep in touch with your site visitors,
        an ezine can be an income producer in its own right.  When
        you have generated a decent size subscriber database, you
        can begin to charge for advertising in your newsletter if
        that's what you choose to do.  Many people who have really
        substantial databases can derive sufficient income from
        this source alone to quit their day jobs.

        These are only the main business reasons why an online
        newsletter can be so important to the profitability of
        your online business.  Hopefully, I've convinced you and
        you're now itching to get started with your own.  The rest
        of this tutorial series will be showing you how you can do
        exactly that.


        Next Week  Part 3 - Finding Your Niche and Refining Your

        5. Book Review by Amy Shellhase of ReviewZ

        Starting from No:  10 Strategies to Overcome Your Fear
        of Rejection and Succeed in Business
        By Azriela Jaffe
        (Dearborn, $17.95)

        There is much I like about Azriela Jaffe's writing, but what I admire
        most is her up-front honesty. She uses examples from her own
        life & from her family to 'tell it like it is'.

        There's no writing as though she's a guru on high dispensing
        wisdom that's nothing more than theory.  When you read
        anything from Azriela, be it her books, web site, or newsletters,
        you get a very clear picture of the woman behind the words.

        "Starting from 'No'" is a workbook filled with self-tests, charts,
        checklists, worksheets, quizzes, tips, & strategies. Everything
        is backed-up with examples, stories, and real life experiences.
        The suggestions for working though problems are down-to-earth
        and do-able. No 'pie in the sky' for Azriela.

        And the examples come from small business people, sales
        people, home-business owners, writers, consultants, coaches,
        and more. These are real people, like you & me, who have
        come up against the same fears, problems, & rejections &
        lived to tell about it.

        Chapters cover:

        => fear of rejection & why rejection is just the word we use for
        fears of all kinds -- failure, success, humiliation, approval (or
        lack thereof), and more

        => how to make yourself rejection proof. What concrete things
        can you do to overcome the fear that cripples you?

        => what are your limits? Can you stretch them? Are you taking
        on more than you can handle & setting yourself up for failure?

        => the power of your mind. The only thing you have to fear is fear
        itself -- now who said that!?

        => resiliency & flexibility -- do you know when to hold fast & when
        to give in? Do you see yourself as a victim? Do you see negative
        situations as everyday occurrences, use them, & move on?

        => maintaining detachment -- take a step back & assess

        => asking for referrals, building rapport, keeping yourself
        motivated, & knowing when to take a break.

        => staying in the game -- do you know the difference between
        temporary setbacks & when to throw in the towel?

        Shall I go on with more examples? Nah. Just know there's much

        I found so much useful information in this book. One section that
        caught my attention while thumbing through the book is what
        Azriela calls "The Jaffe 3-5 Rule". Azriela, like me, has experience
        with network marketing (or you might know it as MLM).
        Many of us were taught the '3-Foot Rule'. It means that anyone
        within 3 feet of you is a possible prospect.

        Talk about pressure! I never could figure out how to bring up
        nutritional products while standing in line at the post office. That's
        probably why I don't do network marketing anymore.

        It's not the products; they're usually superior to store bought. It's
        turning everyone into a customer that puts on the pressure. You
        feel as though you never relax. And I felt I was putting friends &
        family on the line.

        Azriela rejects this notion, too. Her '3-5 Foot Rule' has no pressure
        attached & reads like this:

        "To prosper in your business, focus your efforts on no more than
        three to five major target markets, using no more than three to five
        primary marketing tools, and making the most of your three to five
        greatest business skills. Be sure you spend your time in three to
        five major business responsibilities, and if possible delegate the
        rest." (p. 144)

        You're not left in the dust after this statement. Azriela walks you
        through a step-by-step way to implement the idea so it'll work in
        your specific business & situation.

        Then she shows you how to draw up a chart so you can see what
        needs to be done & then prioritize your tasks.

        I'm not categorizing this book. It's not self-help, though it has those
        aspects. It's not strictly a management book, either.  Let's call it a
        success book. It will prepare you for the pitfalls of running your
        business, show you how to avoid them, and, if you do get caught,
        how to get out of them.

        I highly recommend this book. You won't be disappointed. I also
        suggest you check out Azriela's web site, Anchored Dreams:

        Consider signing up for any or all three of her newsletters, too.
        Information is on the web site.

        Liked: Easy to read style. Good layout. On target cartoons.
        Consistency in fonts, headlines, charts, etc.

        Didn't Like: Azriela looks too young to have written 6 (might be 7
        now) books, run a business & raise 3 little ones under the age
        of 5.  How can you like this woman? (that's a joke for those of
        you who lack the humor gene)


        Amy Shellhase publishes ReviewZ every two weeks expressly for
        those small business owners who are good-looking, smart, & rich
        -- or who plan to be.
        All context is the opinion of the author.
        Copyright 2017 (c) Amy Shellhase All Rights Reserved Worldwide



        8. This Week's Web Site Pick - A Beginner's Guide to HTML

        This is the starting point for many people wanting to learn
        about hypertext markup language (HTML) and is, without a
        doubt, one of the best introductions on the web.  If you've
        been thinking about creating your own website but have been
        too intimidated because you think HTML is beyond you, then
        this site removes all the excuses.

        9. Next Week in A Home-Based Business Online

        -> Home-Based Business Idea of the Week: Wire Jewelry
        -> Feature Article: How to Minimize Legal Liability In Your
           Online Business
        -> Newsletter Publishing Tutorial: Part 3 - Finding Your
           Niche and Refining Your Theme

        11. Subscription Management

        To SUBSCRIBE to this Newsletter:
        Home Business Newsletter

        To UNSUBSCRIBE from this Newsletter:

        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


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