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A Home-Based Business Online
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Editor Elena Fawkner
Publisher AHBBO Publishing
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IN THIS ISSUE
1. Welcome and Update from Elena
2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week
Video Taping Service
3. Feature Article - Putting Theory Into
A Personal Perspective
4. Web Watch - Misuse of Too Much Information
5. Pro-motion Column - Answers for the
"Pro in Motion"
7. Subscriber Q&A
8. This Week's Web Site Pick
11. Subscription Management
13. Contact Information
1. Welcome and Update from Elena
Hello again, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
who have joined us since the last issue!
This mid-week issue is being sent (late!) to catch up with the
missed issues I couldn't get out due to ISP problems while on
the road earlier this month. The next issue is targeted for
May 28 or thereabouts and then we will be back to a normal
weekly publishing schedule from June 2, ready for the launch
of the new AHBBO Build Your Own Website tutorial series.
Work is well underway on the new AHBBO website and I
expect to be able to announce a launch date shortly. I have
a lot of wonderful features planned for the site so stay tuned.
As awlays, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this
Remember, this ezine 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
Video Taping Service
Here's a great business to go into with your video camera which
requires very little in the way of expenses, supplies and, if done
right, marketing funds.
Besides your video camera, you'll need an instant camera and
an engraving tool, which you should be able to pick up for less
Here's the business in a nutshell You videotape household
and business inventory and valuables for insurance purposes.
Then, if a robbery occurs, the owner has video documentation
of the missing valuables for law enforcement and insurance
Your primary prospects for this service will be upper-income
families and businesses that specialize in high-ticket items or
have a high investment in equipment.
The first step you should take to run a property inventory
taping service is to meet with your area law enforcement
agencies to find out what regulations, if any, apply in your
Good contacts to begin with to drum up business are
representatives of the Neighborhood Watch committees and
community services in your area.
Normally, police agencies are enthusiastic supporters of
services like this, as it makes their job easier. Others to meet
with include insurance agents, private detectives, fire officials
Not only will you gain valuable information from them, you will
be building up a network for referrals. Be sure to keep a good
record of who you meet with so you can send them business
cards, brochures and periodic reminders of your services.
When meeting with insurance agents, take care of your own
insurance requirements while you're at it. You should carry
liability insurance, and you should also get bonded. The
extra expense is worth it, as it will both help to get business
and will protect you and your customers.
Your service will be ripe for publicity, so prepare a good press
release. There's a wealth of information about how to do this
online. Get these releases to every daily and weekly
newspaper in your area, as well as local business magazines
and television stations.
When your service gets written up in the papers, keep a
clipping of each article to use in your marketing materials.
Send a copy to all the insurance agents, attorneys, private
detectives and law enforcement agencies in your area. You
WILL get referrals from this!
Another idea for publicity is to set up a booth at local home
and garden shows, preferably in the home protection areas
(alarms, etc.). This will establish your name in the minds of
consumers. If you don't mind public speaking, offer to give a
short seminar on home inventory protection and how your
service can help prevent theft. You can prepare one
presentation that can be given numerous times at different
community-related functions and locations, such as country
Now for the meat of the service. When you set up an
appointment with a customer, make sure they know you will
be charging by the hour, so it will be to their advantage to have
things such as jewelry, china or antiques laid out and ready
to be taped. Take your videocamera with extra tape and
batteries, an instant camera with plenty of film, your engraver,
forms for listing valuables, and a three-ring binder for the forms.
When taping valuables, be sure to get a clear picture of them,
including any distinguishing characteristics. Be sure to fill out
your forms completely, listing special features or
characteristics, such as type and weight of gems, etc.
Jewelry is probably best photographed with your instant
camera, as are any small valuables. Large antiques and other
primary household items are easily videotaped. Be sure to get
any brand names and model numbers clearly taped. After
taping the individual items, walk through the house. Be sure
to get any computer and video equipment, phones, TVs, art
and other items that would be tempting to thieves. Engrave
the client's social security or driver's license number on the
back or bottom of items that won't be damaged by doing so.
Record all this on the forms, including the location of the
engraving and all serial numbers.
If the home is burglarized and police recover the stolen goods,
this will help the client get his or her valuables back quickly
Don't forget to tape the outside of the house, including patios,
walkways and landscaping. This can help the client establish
value in case of vandalism.
In businesses, videotape the office equipment, as well as the
offices themselves, inside and out. In specialized businesses,
be sure to tape any special equipment.
A good idea is to provide window stickers for your clients that
tell potential thieves that items in the house have been
marked and recorded. These stickers can be purchased or
printed. Your local law enforcement agencies may even be able
to provide these to you at a low cost.
When through taping, give the tape a quick run-through to be
sure everything's OK, then give it to your client, along with
the binder. Encourage them to store these in a safe deposit
box, in case of fire.
How much should you charge? A typical mid-sized to large
home should take two hours, at most, to tape, if the owner has
prepared everything ahead of time. You can charge anywhere
from $50 to $150 per hour, depending upon what your local
market will bear, with $75 per hour a good figure to start with.
You should be able to see how this business can add up!
In your marketing materials, and this includes both online and
offline, stress the fact this your charge is a small price to pay,
considering it is a crime deterrent and will result in far less
stress and time on the customer's part if a mishap does occur.
You can feel good that you are providing a service which will
help people in bad times. Remember to be professional while
in the client's home, don't make any comments which could
be construed in bad ways, and be assuring about the safety
and reliability of yourself and your service.
=> Video University
=> Camcorder Business Start and Operate a Profitable
Videotaping Business Using Your Camcorder
by George A. Gyure with Mick Gyure
=> How to Make Money With Your Camcorder and 35Mm
by Paul Kasper
These titles are available online at http://www.amazon.com
There are many more ideas like this in AHBBO's Home
Business Ideas page at Home Based Business Ideas
Let the E-commerce experts show you how to create the ecommerce website that will take your business to the next level.
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3. Feature Article - Putting Theory Into Practice ... A Personal
Copyright © 2013 by Elena Fawkner
Since July last year I have been writing about the benefits
and pitfalls of working from home. Up until now, though, I've
been preaching theory rather than practice since all that
time I was working full-time as a corporate lawyer and running
this business part-time in my spare time. Last month, though,
the company I worked for for 12 years was sold and my
request for a termination was granted. I now officially run my
online business full-time from home.
In this article, I'd like to share with you my first month's
experiences and observations in making the transition from
full-time corporate suit to full-time work-from-home
entrepreneur. If you're about to make the break, hopefully
these words will help ease you through your own transition.
1. Identity Adjustment
To begin with, don't underestimate the mixed emotions you
will experience when you leave the paid workforce to work at
home, particularly if you've been in your job for a long time.
I wanted desperately to leave my job (I'd been waiting for my
package for two years before it finally happened) but when the
time came I was surprised to find how much I'd identified with
what I did for a living. I was comfortable with Elena Fawkner,
corporate lawyer, but how did I feel about Elena Fawkner,
home-based internet business entrepreneur? Just fine as it
turned out but it took a few days to adjust to the idea.
In my job I had a 75 minute commute. Each way. Do I miss
that? Yeah, like a hole in the head.
3. Time Control
Without a doubt one of THE best things about working for
yourself from home is being able to control what you do or,
more particularly, when you do it.
I have always been an early riser and this hasn't changed. I
still get up at 500 am, the same time I used to get up to go to
work, but now I start work at 500 am and find that the three
hours from then until 800 am are the most productive of my
whole day. I use this time to read and respond to email and
to work on the next issue of AHBBO, among other things.
There is something about the peace and serenity of that time
of day that makes it ideal for thinking work.
Then at 800 am I hit the shower and get dressed, take the
dog for a walk, have breakfast and pick up around the house,
maybe put put on a load of laundry and get the dishwasher
By 1030 I'm back at my desk ready to pick up work again.
Painless, and everything gets done. Business AND personal.
Then I work through until lunch, break at 100 pm for lunch and
do a few other things around the house then get back to it until
around 500pm when I FINISH for the day (with no interminable
commute to face). None of this 18 hour day nonsense for me!
I am no longer dead tired at the end of the day, just pleasantly
relaxed. What a difference!!
4. Working With Your Body Clock
Closely aligned to the time control point is the fact that you
can organize your work so that it dovetails with your body
clock. If, like me, you're an early morning person, you can
get your most intellectually demanding work done in the early
morning and less demanding work, such as creating web
pages or whatever, during your less 'sharp' time. On the other
hand, if you're a night owl, by all means work from 1000 pm
through 400 am if that's your 'time'. You can sleep until noon
if you want (if, like me, you don't have kids, that is!).
Being able to schedule your work around your body clock
rather than around someone else's arbitrarily determined
'work day' means you are far more productive than ever
before and, as a result, you will find you get more done
in less time than you would if you were still caged within your
9 to 5 prison.
5. Blurring the Edges
Another unanticipated benefit of working from home is that
I don't have to segregate my business and home lives.
Whereas before I would work from 830 am through 500 pm
(which meant being away from home from 700 am through
615 pm by the time you add in the commute each way), I
would have to do all the other stuff of life, such as grocery
shopping, laundry and cleaning the house in what I thought of
as 'my own time'. Now all time is my own and I can do what
I want at the most appropriate time for me.
In this sense, I have integrated my business into my day to
day life and from one hour to the next I can switch between
business activities and non-business activities. After all, it's
just stuff that has to get done sometime during the day. Why
label it 'business' or 'non-business'. Why have 'business'
hours and 'non-business' hours? Why can't time be just time?
Now, it must be realized this is a double-edged sword. It
works fine now, in the early days of my full-time home
business, but as time goes on I expect that I will want to more
clearly delineate my business and personal lives if I start
having trouble turning business off for the day. For now,
though, I'm thoroughly enjoying the freedom of calling the
shots in all aspects of my life.
Another advantage that I hadn't thought of in advance is that
when the weather is foul, I don't have to leave the house. That's
more of a luxury than I ever would have believed.
On the other hand, when the weather is delightful, I CAN go out
and enjoy it. Even if I need to work, my laptop works just as
well outside in the sunshine as it does inside in my home office.
7. Grocery Shopping
OK I know this one is pretty frivolous and it may seem strange
to you that I've bothered to include it here, but one of the things
I like most about working from home is that I don't have to do
that one huge shop each week, battling with unruly trolleys,
loading the car up and then unloading at the other end. Now I
can go to the store every couple of days, buying stuff on an
as-needed basis, not having to use a trolley at all! One
obvious benefit is the ability to buy and consume food when it's
still very fresh, without having to freeze or store it for several
days before needed.
The isolation monster hasn't reared its ugly head yet but I
expect it to, sooner or later. I have found it difficult to work
a completely silent environment though, but that could just
be because I'm used to the 'busy noise' of an office. In the
meantime, I have the radio on for company (talkback station)
and find that takes the edge off nicely.
9. Activity Level
One disadvantage of this lifestyle that I hadn't anticipated is
that I am less physically active than when I worked in a
corporate office. I no longer have to go marching down a long
corridor 20 times a day to go talk to someone about something.
I no longer run up and down 4 flights of stairs 3 or 4 times a day
as I did at my office building. But with the time I'm saving
having to commute I can certainly afford the time to take some
exercise every day. Walking the dog for an hour a day will
10. Relative Economic Insecurity
There's no doubt that you enjoy a certain feeling of security
knowing you have a regular paycheck coming in. Those days
are over for me and I am acutely aware that my income now is
solely dependent upon my own efforts. Although finances
won't be an issue for some time, funds won't last forever so my
business had better be a success if I'm to avoid returning to
the corporate world.
11. Personal Discipline
This one comes as no surprise. If you're not personally
disciplined and self-motivated, don't even THINK about giving
up your day job. You need to be a self starter to work for
yourself and if you need a 'boss' looking over your shoulder
to make sure you work, then working from home is not for you.
So there you have them. The personal reflections of a fledgling
full-time home-business entrepreneur. Naturally, if you have
young children, then your ability to be home with them while
making your living would obviously make number 1 on your list.
These are early days and the novelty is yet to wear off. I have
no illusions that as time goes on other issues will arise that will
test my resolve to work for myself. In time, I may forget there
is any other way of working and begin to take it all for granted.
In the meantime though, I plan to enjoy my newfound freedom
and independence for the luxuries they are.
**Reprinting of this article is welcome!**
This article may be freely reproduced provided that (1) you
use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
and (2) you leave the resource box intact.
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4. Web Watch - Misuse of Too Much Information
Here's a story that ran on the front page of the major broadsheet
newspaper in my city yesterday
"KILL TRIAL ABORTED DUE TO WEBSITE
"A Supreme Court judge yesterday made what is believed
to be Victorian legal history when he aborted a murder retrial
because he feared it would be prejudiced by information on an
"Justice George Hampel said he believed there was a real risk
the jury may learn of information about an accused man's
previous trial on a popular and controversial Victorian-based
Internet site CrimeNet.
"The decision came about two weeks after Justice Hampel
refused to abort another murder retrial when the defence
counsel complained that the accused man's case was
featured on CrimeNet.
"The cases prompted a meeting between Justice Hampel and
Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, who yesterday called on
the site proprietors to shut it down until after a meeting of state
and federal attorneys-general on July 27.
"In a letter to site managing director Ken Schultz, Mr Hulls
said he had grave concerns that the site might enable jurors
to obtain details of convictions of accused people or witnesses.
""If this occurred, the accused would not get a fair trial. The
community may also lose confidence in the integrity of criminal
trials," he said.
"CrimeNet offers details on 4,000 convicted criminals gleaned
from newspapers [WHAT a reliable source!] and court records.
Launched less than a month ago, the site has been a big
success, recording more than one million hits."
The owners of the site have spent many tens of thousands of
dollars (not to mention their investment of time and energy) on
set-up and launch. It apparently never occurred to them that
the accessing by a juror of an accused's criminal history might
be prejudicial to the accused.
Well, all I can say is, "DUH!".
So why am I telling you this? Here's the point. Just because
you have a great idea for an online business and even if your
great idea will attract a LOT of traffic, it still operates within
context of the real world and real world considerations need to
be taken into account in your business plan. I find it
believe that if the owners of the CrimeNet site had first carried
out a thorough SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities,
threats) analysis, the possibility of misuse of information within
the context of the jury system would not have been considered
a very real threat that could potentially lead to the site being
shut down in the interests of public policy.
The site owner's proposed resolution? To require site visitors
to check a box to the effect they are not sitting on a jury in a
trial in which the subject is the accused.
Yeah, right, that'll do it. Kiss your business goodbye guys.
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5. Pro-motion - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
by jl scott, ph.d., Director, IAPO
Q. Having set up my own web-site and spending the last three
months reading on how to get traffic to it, I still can not attract
I am finding this venture very frustrating and time consuming.
Basically, I have swapped one job for another. Can you
recommend someone (company) which will market my site
for me? What will be the costs involved, etc.??
A. Mark, you have come up with an issue that haunts every
beginning web site owner. Unfortunately, I can't use this
column to recommend particular companies. (Much as I'd like
To begin with, it sounds as if you have traded a "regular" job
in favor of an online business. I hope you didn't do this with
the idea in mind that working online would be easy. Forget all
the hype about making millions in 3 hours a day. If you came
online expecting that you wouldn't have to work - there is a
rude awakening in store.
We may spend 8 hours a day at a "brick and mortar" job. Yet,
we can expect to spend 18 hours a day working online -
especially in the beginning. One of the first things you have to
do is establish your credibility. No where is it more important
than online to present yourself as a professional - and that
A start-up business in the brick and mortar world usually takes
at least two years to show any true profit. Nothing less should
be expected online. If you expect to have a successful - and
professional - online company, you just have to do the time.
You have myriad details to keep track of on a daily basis. Even
if you hire a company to do your promotion for you, you will
need to stay on top of what they're doing. You will also need
to double-check their work as well as continue to do whatever
activities you keep for yourself. EVERYthing is hands-on unless
you can afford to hire a full-fledged staff - train them - and
In the beginning, we sometimes waste time and money trying
every product/service out there that makes big promises. Sad -
but true - that's also how many people learn what NOT to do.
So why don't we ask those who actually GET high traffic?
Let's start by asking our readers. How do you do it? What
processes have you found that TRULY increase traffic in a big
way? Don't try to sell me your affiliate programs. I'm looking
for "processes" here. What saves time? What works? What is
I will publish the best answers - and give you full credit.
This truly is a question that many would like to see answered
in ways that are relevant and useful. Remember! No ads! No
touting of affiliate programs! Those will be trashed. I just want
tried and true methods for building traffic.
jl scott, ph.d., Author
Copyright © 2013, All Rights Reserved
This article may be reprinted with permission by including
the following resource box
dr. jl scott is the Director of the International Association
for Professionalism Online (IAPO)
also the publisher of MONDAY
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7. Subscriber Q&A
I've gone into your site as I'm very very keen in starting a
business of my own - one of my ultimate dream. I'm from
Singapore and if you may know, the market here is very
saturated with tremendous competition.
It's as if I cannot think of what business can get involved with
that has little or no competition in this country. Whatever
business I can think of, we have it here and with many
companies springing like mushrooms, only to close down
To summarise the whole thing, it is risky doing business in
Singapore as many have closed within a short period of time. I
was into freight forwarding and trading before.
Right now, I'm wondering what business can be done here
which will hopefully be a success. I was thinking of grocery
shopping as only one or two major supermarkets offer this
service, otherwise there is no company into this business. I
would truly appreciate your kind advise and comments asap!
I chose Regina's letter because it's a good example of the
typical "I know I want to start my own business but I don't know
where to start" question that arrives in my mailbox on a regular
The standard advice I give in response to such queries is to
look first to your natural interests and hobbies. These are the
things you choose to do because you enjoy them. The key to
a satisfying business life (whether that be paid employment
or a business of your own) is to do something you really enjoy.
Your natural enthusiasm will ensure your eventual success.
The Internet is an enormous help because it means that,
whatever you decide to do, you have a ready-made low-cost
way of getting your message out.
Let's say your favorite hobby is knitting. Hard to see how that
could be turned into a profit-making venture you say? Without
the Internet, that may well be true (at least on anything other
than a very small scale). But with the Internet, you could
develop a webpage showcasing your work and inviting orders.
As business grows, it's simply a matter of paying others to
take on some of the knitting. The business could then be
expanded by including design work and wool import/export.
You get the idea.
Now, let's turn to Regina's concerns about competition. She
wants to do something that has very little or no competition.
To my mind, that is back-to-front thinking. If there is no
competition, that may very well mean there's no market for the
product or service in question. Alternatively, it may mean that
it is a new idea for which there IS a market but even in this
case, the period of time with little or no competition will be
extremely short. As the market is exploited by early entrants
such as Regina, other players will quickly be attracted and
Regina will very soon be dealing with competition.
The point is not to avoid competition but to compete with it
while at the same time running your own race. If there
competition in your market, particularly a lot of it, all that
means is that there's a good strong market for whatever it is
that's being sold. None of us should be afraid of competition.
All we have to do is to differentiate our product or service to
either be better than the rest or to target a unique niche
market within the broader market.
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for banner creation sites for the new AHBBO website. This
one is definitely a winner! Create your own banners and
buttons that look just like the ones you have to fork over cold
hard cash for absolutely free.
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11. Subscription Management
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Best business ideas and opportunities for your home-based or online business.
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Monday, 25-Jan-2021 21:55:56 CST