H H O O M M E E B B U U S SI NI N E E S S S S
225+ HOME-BASED BUSINESS START-UPS GET STARTED TODAY!
SOCIAL START-UP Use SOCIAL MEDIA to Start-Up & Grow Your Business – Pg. 14
Home-Based Business & Opportunity Magazine
50+ “SOCIAL” START-UPS. – Pg. 22
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Interview: Ryan Gosling “Raise Your Financial Game” – Pg. 20
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Imagine if you could get paid monthly on these services that people already use!
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t’s a fact that everyone has utility and monthly bills: Electric, gas, cell phone, TV, Internet, and the list goes on. And no matter how financially
The way Shane has grown to be one of the top income earners and trainers in this business is by following the system the company offers all of its
challenged or wealthy someone may be, these essential services are needed and can never be paid off; everyone will have to pay for these services for the rest of their lives out of necessity.
independent business owners (IBOs). He says that he tells people they can get the same services from the same major service providers, but get paid. Then, according to Shane, all he does is direct them to his online store, which is included in the companies start up business package.
So when a global company is open in 24 countries worldwide and endorsed by one of the wealthiest people in the world, who features this company on his hit primetime reality TV show not once but twice, says you should find out more, would you want to hear more about it? What if this same company said they’d pay you generously for helping others get paid when they pay their monthly essential bills, would you want to know even more? Shane Douglas did, and it’s paid off in an incredible way for him. It’s been 10 years since this Idaho native living in a town of just 1,500 people
“Our system can be 100% automated for you,” he explains. “Simply direct potential customers to your online store that the company provides for you, and they can sign up for any of these services with many of the major companies that are available in their area. When they sign up on your online store, you receive a residual commission every month when they pay their bills. It’s that simple.” The key to his success, he says, is that he doesn’t complicate his business; he just goes out and shares the company’s program and his personal story. ”Before you join some other company that makes pie in the sky promises,
started his home-based business helping people achieve their financial goals and showing them how they too can get paid every time they pay their own
ask yourself one simple question. Would people I know buy this product/ service even if I wasn’t involved with this company and making money? If the
monthly bills. “I was tired of all the promises from other companies that say you can
answer is NO then you should be prepared to be in sales and the team your going to build better be prepared to be sales people. Because no matter how
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much money they say you can make it won’t matter if you or your team of business partners can’t sell. This is where we are different, as I said before we only provide essential
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action and so has my team. We’ve expanded all over the world by sharing this simple concept with others. Shane is looking to mentor the right motivated individual this year to the same level of success that he has accomplished,
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“In this declining economy, home-based businesses are on the rise. People want to supplement their income and possibly replace their incomes while working from home. So the opportunity to get paid every single month when someone turns on their lights, heats their home, uses their cellphone watches
To see more information about this company go to www.BThe1.com. Their proven leadership, who started out just like you, are here to answer your questions and help you get started.
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May/June 2016 | Home Business
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Home-Based Business & Opportunity Magazine
Magazine May/June 2016
BUSINESSES & OPPORTUNITIES
Run Your Business Better. Business
operations tips with two star entrepreneurs.
From Boomers to Booming Biz. Six practical ways to increase business from boomers.
14 Social Media and Ecommerce: Engage the tech-savvy market and have a greater platform to share your company mission.
SOCIAL START-UP! Use Social Media and Ecommerce to Start-Up & Grow Your Business in 2016.
Interview with Ryan Gosling. Ever-Popular Canadian Actor Shares Insights into the Financial Crisis in The Big Short, His Directing Debut, and His Main Influencer. 50+ E-Commerce/ Social Media Start-Ups. Check Out This Table of HomeBased Businesses That Offer Opportunities in 2016.
Money Corner. Instant Pay Raise. Four types of critical deductions.
WORK-FROM-HOME SUCCESS STORIES
Powerhouse Business Advice: Per JT Torregiani, Book/Product “Running a celebrity hotspot Reviews. Hot items to means that you will be a help increase your revenue. conductor.”
Ryan Gosling: “You need to do a lot of acting as a director and look very much in charge and keep the atmosphere very positive and creative.”
Stepping into the Beauty Industry. Mother-daughter duo beautifies consumers with skincare products.
Connecting Eco-Conscious Consumers. Serial entrepreneur
A Second Chance. Corporate
Brush and Straighten with Ease. Hair stylist launches
leaves a mark on the world. VP starts a medical billing business.
state of the art products.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Letter from the Publisher.
Letters to the Editor & Notice to Readers.
MARKETING & SALES
Email Tips: How to Increase Your Open Rates. Effectively com-
municate with subscribers and generate interest.
Strategies for a Modernized and Comfortable Home Office Haven.
Safe Haven for Infants. Mompreneur changes the face of baby loungers.
Back to School and the Office: Deborah Melnick’s company is a national designer and manufacturer of stationery, novelty, and office accessories.
Personalizing Schools and Home Offices. Businesswoman leads the stationery industry.
Revolutionizing the Fashion Industry.
Best of New York. Day spa owner succeeds in the
Cheeky Messages Uplift Customers. Art school grad
Stress-Saver for Parents.
Stepping into Ecommerce. Mompreneur Lisa
Entrepreneur designs dress shirts to help people. wellness industry.
launches a design company. Mom-of-two introduces easy-to-clean sippy cups. Drop ship Internet business offers consulting.
Furuland invents innovative baby lounger.
Maximize productivity by addressing your business needs. May/June 2016 | Home Business
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Volume 23 Issue 3, May/June 2016 www.homebusinessmag.com
The Home Business Team ®
Publisher Richard Henderson United Marketing & Research Company, Inc. Editor-in-Chief Stacy Ann Henderson Managing Editor Sherilyn Henderson Experts Editor Shannah Carol Graphic Services Kara Primm, Slice, Inc. Production Manager Ultra Graphics, Theresa Art Direction Richard Rabil Advertising email@example.com Phone: 800-734-7042 Shayla Christine John Richardson http://www.homebusinessmag.com/magazine-advertisng http://www.homebusinessmag.com/online-advertising Distribution Manager Richard Trummer, Curtis Specialized Circulation Bob Kennedy, Cavendish Media Circulation Manager Dennis Porti, Curtis Subscriptions Publication Fulfillment Services Int. Call 888-881-5861 - M - F 8am-4pm PST. For International, call 714-226-9782. Fax: 714-226-9733 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Print Manager Kris Hayner, R.R. Donnelley Reprints Betsy White, The Reprint Outsource, email@example.com Mailing Lists www.homebusinessmag.com (Click on “Mailing Lists” to order) Mailing List Manager Paula Dazi, firstname.lastname@example.org List File Manager Travis McMillian, Lee Coats Newton Digital Media Manager Jim Pappadeas, Epsilon Digital Media Internet Manager Infoswell Media Website/SEO Kevin Hagen Social Media Sherilyn Henderson Customer Service Email: email@example.com Phone: (800) 734-7042 Fax: 714-388-3883
Editorial Bob Phibbs, Shannah Henderson, Yolanda Berry, Liz Greene, Erik Kangas, The Torrenzano Group, Russell Smith, Fred Allen (The Interview Feed), Andrew Matthews, Eliza Osborn, Kerri Byron, Liz Kowalsky, Rick Snider
Distribution Curtis Circulation Company 730 River Road New Milford, NJ 07646 Tel: (201) 634-7400 Fax: (201) 634-7499
Home Business® Magazine Home Business Magazine (ISSN 1092-4779) is published by United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., 20664 Jutland Place, Lakeville, MN 55044. 6-issue Subscription Rates: Domestic $19. Canadian $39. Foreign $59. For Subscriptions: 714-693-1866, M–F Periodicals Postage Paid at Lakeville, Minnesota, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Home Business® Magazine, 20664 Jutland Place, Lakeville, MN 55044. Printed in the United States
LETTER FROM PUBLISHER
Magazine M i
Are You Socializing Your Start-Up? Increase Business by Combining Traditional Advertising and Social Media Promotion 2016 is well underway and as we approach summertime, home business owners should take a step back and ask: what successes have you found in your social media pursuits? Around midyear, when the sun stays out longer, entrepreneurs may find time for a vacation, and a collective positive spirit permeates our community. It’s a good time to socially connect with new customers and extend the reach of “your brand.” With a new season, launch your business into the digital media world and use social media outlets as an advertising tool to market your products or services. Entrepreneurs should analyze their social media strategies to determine what is working and what needs improvement. You may have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, with your information updated; including links to credentials, awards, and other newsworthy mentions. However, be realistic with how well these connect with potential clients. Do you post engaging and entertaining content daily? Do you re-tweet followers’ tweets and share opinions and support on related businesses’ blog posts? Have you started a LinkedIn group to connect with professionals in your industry? Launching Launching a social media page a social media page is only the start to is only the start to socializing socializing your start-up. Becoming an your start-up. Becoming an active participant is key. Follow-through active participant is key. will equate to higher revenue in 2016. A hotly debated topic, print vs. digital advertising, is in the news. Certainly, any business can find varied successes in both advertising venues, and should keep diversified through print channel marketing. Pulling up a Google search on a smartphone and tracking down a homemade baking service of glutenfree cookies can be a fruitful effort. However, a flyer, stuck in-between the crack of the door broadcasting details about your home-based baking business, is just as effective. Consumers appreciate a hands-on, visual, approach. So combine your print advertising with online social activity. Digital media is growing at double-digit rates, as it rapidly evolves. Digital marketing used to be primarily about placing banner ads, and converting its clicks into customers. Many tech-savvy online users have installed, however, specialized software that can block the display of banners. This challenge is helping to fuel the digital age growth of what is termed “content marketing.” Through content marketing (i.e., article posts), you educate your audience on issues of interest within your industry; while simultaneously communicating to them about your product or service. In contrast to overt advertising, publishing and sharing content engages consumers through information that expands their knowledge, and interests them in what you are marketing. In the cover story, learn more about how to win with content marketing linked to social media. Our May/June issue will also help “social media-preneurs” discover various social platforms currently available, and how to select and use them in your business. The rise of the “Millennial generation” has brought an influx of new multimedia platforms of interactive visual and written content, centered on sharing of articles and images. Boomers have joined the revolution, using personalized means to connect with old acquaintances and family members; and in using social media to streamline ways to read the news and share their social commentaries with the world. So take advantage of our experts’ social media advice in this issue to increase online visibility, gain new loyal followers, surpass last year’s income, and become a better leader in your industry.
Publisher, Home Business® Magazine 10
Home Business | May/June 2016
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DEAR HOME BUSINESS
H H O O M M E E B B U U S SI NI N E ES S S S
225+ D HOME-BASE BUSINESS START-UPS GET STARTED TODAY!
ess & Home-Based Busin zine Opportunity Maga
DIRECT SA!LES RRiichhes
50+ “DIRECT SALES”
START-UPS. – Pg. 22
HOBBY DOLLARS: Hobby Your Turn into a Business
s to Grow Use Direct Sale Your Business. – Pg. 14
INCREASE SALES: Improve Your Customer Service S: HEALTHY E-PROFIT stic She Creates Holi Wellness Site COMBAT PAY: from a Run a Business - Pg. 10 Combat Zone? e Potential $6 Figure Incom -to-Cloud! in Emerging Video – Pg. 33
JOLIE PITT: ANGELINA Relationships & Strengthening 20 r Demands – Pg. Balancing Caree
Engagement with Your Brand Most brands measure their success online by examining their conversion rate, or in simpler terms, the percentage of users that are taking a certain action on a site that will help accomplish brand goals. Whether that step is making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or requesting a quote, before a user will complete that conversion, there needs to be some engagement with your brand.
Taking Your Sales Team from Good to Great Let’s face it, the lifeblood of any company is sales. Without sales, your organization is dead. And it’s no secret that how we choose to lead the charge of sales is the difference between a good company and a great company. Here’s the rub: Most organizational leaders believe they personally have developed relatively strong sales skills. However, as organizations grow, the ability to effectively develop the next generation of sales leaders falters. In fact, most organizations use a “hire and hope” model of sales leadership. Essentially, they hire dozens of sales people over the course of a year’s time, hoping to find a few superstars amongst the masses. What’s missing in this “hire and hope” model is a simple rule: The ability of any company to sell its product or service is limited only by the ability of the leadership within that company to develop sales professionals within their organization. The problem is NOT the amount or quality of the people being hired. Instead, what is preventing exceptional sales growth is just a 5% shift in the power of Process, Mentality, and Technique within an organization that most often allows a team to move from good to great. Tim Brown and Dan Streeter Co-authors of Old School with New Tools: The Extra 5% That Takes You to the Top of Your Sales Game and Keeps You There
Small Innovations Are Hugely Powerful To stay relevant these days, your company Mark Montini, Chief Results Officer of m2M must innovate or die. For many leaders, scarier http://m2mstrategies.com words have never been spoken. But it might take the pressure off to realize the I-word doesn’t necessarily mean what you think. An Automation Doesn’t Solve Everything “innovation” doesn’t have to be a hot new Translating your materials professionally product worthy of Steve Jobs or a Eureka! is a smart business move. Translation may moment that transforms your company. Setting be required for your market, it makes people your sights on achieving a steady stream of tiny more likely to buy your product or service, and incremental innovations can be an incredibly support costs go down as people can access powerful approach. information in their own language. But where Patrick Stroh should you begin? Sure, professional translators will get you exactly what you want, but you’ve Author of Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, probably heard some buzz about machine Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! translation (MT) and are wondering if it might www.imanet.org/ivs save you money and time. But will it really? Caitilin Walsh Maximizing Meeting and Event ROI Businesses invest heavily in meetings and Expert interpreter and translator events, yet often have no concrete plan to help Past President of the American Translators increase their return on investment. A Google Association search shows thousands of articles on the We appreciate your feedback and work-from-home success stories for review and consideration. Please send both via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or via postal mail to: HOME BUSINESS® Magazine, 20664 Jutland Place, Lakeville, MN 55044. 12
Home Business May/June 2016
importance of calculating meeting and event ROI; however, there is little guidance on how to improve event effectiveness. In order for your next meeting or event to produce a positive ROI, your attendees need to leave the event motivated to do something different long-term. Are you maximizing the ROI for your meetings and events? Mark A. Vickers Certified Professional Coach Certified World Class Speaking Coach http://speakingisselling.com
Notice to Readers HOME BUSINESS® Magazine is sold as information only. The publisher, United Marketing and Research, Inc., considers its sources reliable and verifies as much data as possible, although reporting inaccuracies can occur; consequently, readers using this information do so at their own risk. The publisher has not done a background check on listed companies (which includes advertisers), nor does it know people at all the companies. The publisher cannot assume any responsibility in any manner for the actions of any of the listed companies, and the publisher cannot guarantee the outcome of any correspondence, arrangements, or subsequent transactions the reader may make with any of the listed companies. HOME BUSINESS® Magazine is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering medical, legal, financial, accounting, tax, or other professional service. If medical, legal, or other expert advice and assistance are required, the services of a competent qualified professional person should be sought. The publisher, United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., assumes no responsibility for any changes of offers, nor for any companies/advertisers that may go out of business. All correspondence regarding questions or problems on a company’s (including advertisers) program, products, or services should be directed to the company, not to the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all contents of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. It is up to the user of this publication to investigate the product or service offered, and to make sure the company is reliable and that the product or service meets the user’s requirements. United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., is not responsible for the delivery of merchandise, starter kits, supplies, or other products and services ordered from advertisers. ©1993-2016. Reg. # 4180563 and 4145799. TRADEMARKS: Home Business, Serial Number 74/713646 and Home Business Magazine, Serial Number 75-086596, issued by the United States Department of Commerce, Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks. Mark Type(s): TRADEMARKS: Conform to the minimum requirements set forth in 37 C.F.R. Sec. 2.76 (e); and formal requirements set forth in 37 C.F.R. Sec. 2.76(b) and (c). All rights reserved. No part of HOME BUSINESS® Magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transcribed, in any form or by any means, photocopying, electronic, mechanical recording or otherwise, without prior permission in writing of the publisher, United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., Lakeville, MN 55044. Articles appearing in this publication express the opinions, experience, and research of its authors and not necessarily the opinion of HOME BUSINESS® Magazine.
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SOCIAL START-UP! F E AT U R E
Use Social Media to Start-Up & Grow Your Business
By a Panel of Social Media Experts
crolling down a Facebook “news feed” is no longer a tepid activity to employ in-between the important daily events that make up a businessperson’s routine. Previously solely riddled with statuses and engagement pictures of old high school acquaintances, and used as a means for you to keep track of birthday greetings, the social page has progressed into so much more. With the social aspect still highly prevalent, there has been a major spike in human interest pieces, political commentaries, lifestyle blogposts, social justice memes, and breaking news articles splashing the pages. Many users utilize the site as an easy one-stop source for news and to keep up on the trends. As you yawn, stretch, and haphazardly scan the top stories while deciding between a blonde or dark roast Keurig cup, an article pops up that has been shared 12,000 times, about a new hat that will block 97% of UV sunrays and offers a (for two more nights only!) twenty percent off deal for the first 500 buyers. Facebook users excitedly comment about the new health-conscious product. The article gives detailed analysis of the harmful effects of sun damage, ominous statistics, and its intent was effective. Taking a step beyond selling, the article emphasized to the reader just how dire and relevant to each person’s livelihood owning a wide-brimmed sunhat was for the approaching summer days. The digital media world is prime for you to market your business through viable online content, make connections, demonstrate your business’s relevance in today’s culture, and expand into greater markets. Possible customer reach is endless and the online community only increases with opportunity. In this issue’s cover story, a panel of social media experts offer perfect startup tips for diving into social media practices. Drawing from these experts’ years of expertise, you can learn: the right platforms for your business, LinkedIn marketing tips, how to use QR codes, tips to utilizing
Home Business May/June 2016
Strengthen your presence on social media to engage the tech-savvy market and have a greater platform to share your business’s mission in 2016.
public relations, strategies to increase engagement and how to win with content marketing. With the right tools, social media can be the game changer for your business in 2016.
unlimited visibility that used to be free. Visit www.facebook.com. ■
Twitter: Posts are limited to 140 characters – about the length of a headline – and can include a photo or link to a website. “It allows you to easily connect with prospects and potential associates, so it’s great for businesses,” Alex says. “People use it primarily as a source of news, which makes it easy to interact with people you don’t know – you have something to talk about.” Twitter aggressively cleans house of “robot” followers – dummy accounts sold for cheap that make it look like the buyer has a huge following, so don’t buy followers and make sure to delete any potential spam followers. Visit www.Twitter.com.
LinkedIn: The social network for professionals is a good place to find and meet people within and outside your industry. People can easily see your credentials and endorse your skills. The background information on your profile page – where you went to school, other companies you’ve been associated with – provides great fodder for finding common ground with strangers and building relationships. Visit www.Linkedin.com .
Google+: The Google search engine favors anything posted on Google+, which is great for SEO. It also combines the best features of Facebook and Twitter, including photo sharing and categorizing content using hashtags (#). “It’s still new, so it’s still defining itself,” Alex says. “I think it will be the next social networking giant.” Visit https://plus.google.com/ .
“Through LinkedIn, you can
build and enhance relationships with key inﬂuencers who can provide you with access to prospects you would otherwise not have known, met, or done business with.” Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You? Tips for Deciding the Best Social Media Outlets to Use If you want to be visible in today’s marketplace, you absolutely must have a presence on social media. In addition to the biggies like Facebook and Twitter, we have newcomers, including Instagram and Pinterest. How to know which platforms will best meet your needs? Alex Hinojosa, our vice president for media operations at EMSI Public Relations, shares insights to help you decide the best social platforms to use for your business. ■
Facebook: Artists, authors, public speakers and every sort of business professional benefit from having potential customers get to know them on a more personal basis. Setting up a business page is straightforward and it’s easy to gain followers. A downside to Facebook is that, in an effort to make money for shareholders, it requires users to pay for the potentially
Continued on page 16
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How To Make Money With Non-Lethal Self Defense Products? For 29 years, 1000’s of people have made $5000, $10,000 a month and more by selling the 500+ much in demand, non-lethal, self-defense products provided by Safety Technology. Here are 7 WAYS you can make money with our products.
6. SELL TO BUSINESSES - Sell surveillance cameras to convenience stores; stun batons, Tasers or metal detectors to bars and nightclubs; pepper sprays or personal alarms to hospitals for their nurses, etc. All these things have been successfully done by other Authorized Dealers…plus more!
1. SELLING AT GUN SHOWS - There is no better way to sell anything, then face to face. Selling at gun shows allows you to put your products in front of people who are definitely interested in defending themselves, their families and their home.
7. SELLING ON THE INTERNET WITH YOUR OWN WEBSITE – Without a doubt, selling on the Internet is the best way to reach the largest number of customers. We can even build a money making website for you and teach you how to sell on the Internet.
2. HOME PARTY PLAN SELLING - Yes, just like Pampered Chef or Tupperware! Except you get to keep all the money. You don’t have to accept a paltry commission from the mother company…you are the company. All the profit is yours!
There are many other ways to sell these self-defense and surveillance products. How would you sell them?
3. SELL AT FLEA MARKETS AND SWAP MEETS - Another great way to get the products in front of people. The advantage here is costs less and can do it at the same spot every weekend. Some flea markets even allow you to set up permanent displays. 4. SET UP ROUTE OF GUN STORES, PAWN SHOPS, NAIL SALONS, BEAUTY SALONS - We suggest starting with our pepper spray displays as a way to get your foot in the door. Great way to receive residual income...money on a regular basis because the stores reorder. 5. AUCTION SITES, SUCH AS EBAY AND AMAZON - One way to get your products exposed to a very large number of buyers is to sell on eBay and Amazon. Not only are the auction sites good for selling products, but also lead generation.
Authorized Dealer at Gun Show
There is no fee to do business with us. Visit our website at www.helpdefendpeople.com to discover how you can help people defend themselves, their loved ones and their homes.
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center of related pics. Easy-to-search, with millions of pictures to peruse, businesses find success in creating a live photo feed that acts as a visual incentive for customers to try your product or service. Visit www.instagram.com.
SOCIAL START-UP! Continued from page 14
Here are some outlets that have recently taken off. Try them out for your business, and tap into a “younger” market: Instagram: The visual-based social app acts as a picture collage for users to share any moment they wish with the world. Users “tag” friends in pics, and hashtags connect the pics to a universal
F E AT U R E
Pinterest: The “visual bookmarking” site acts as a proverbial bulletin board where users “pin” pictures for their followers to see. Young millennials have been infamous for “pinning” together dream weddings and fall activities to admire. Users can “like” pins, and “repin” other user’s pins. Your business can link pins to articles on your blog, or directly to products on your site, to engage your customers and increase sales. Visit www. Pinterest.com. ■ Youtube: Now you don’t have to be a celebrity to star in a film all about your business. Start a video blog smartly educating your audience about your industry with tips or how-to presentations, or simply finding an entertaining way to directly market your services. All it takes is one
Create a LinkedIn proﬁle that is written for the referral sources and media you want to attract starting with your headline.
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video to spiral into viral success- you can become the next online influencer. Visit www.youtube.com. ■
Tumblr: Users post multimedia content on the social networking website as a public journal for other users to see. Get involved with sharing inspiring pictures or funny quotes that will tag back to your business. Visit https://www.tumblr.com/.
Jump into the platforms that align best with your home business goals. You’ll soon wonder why you didn’t get more invested in digital media a long time ago! Marsha Friedman is a public relations expert with 25 years’ experience developing publicity strategies for celebrities, corporations and media newcomers alike. Using the proprietary system she created as founder and CEO of EMSI Public Relations, an award-winning national agency, she secures thousands of top-tier media placements annually for her clients. The former senior vice president for marketing at the American Economic Council, Marsha is a sought-after advisor on PR issues and strategies. She shares her knowledge in her Amazon best-selling book, Celebritize Yourself, and as a popular speaker at organizations around the country. Visit http://www.emsincorporated.com.
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By Kristina Jaramillo
media you want to attract starting with your headline. In the headline, identify the audiences you want to connect with — and why they should want to connect with you. Use any media mentions to your advantage in your summary sections as well as having a complete media kit on your profile using the Box.com, Slideshare and Google Docs applications.
Use Facebook and Twitter to build your community of prospects — but use LinkedIn marketing to attract these three audiences that can double your sales: 1.
Media Professionals — You have more access to journalists who are looking to quote experts like you or publish articles regarding your industry and how you can help your prospective clients. This extra publicity enhances your credibility and gives you exposure to more prospects.
Referral Sources — Through LinkedIn, you can build and enhance relationships with key influencers who can provide you with access to prospects you would otherwise not have known, met, or done business with. Referral sources are valuable tools because they can act as your sales agent as they want to give their customers and clients more value. Larger Companies That Offer Products or Services That Are Supplementary to Yours — Think of the different companies and organizations that can add your products or services to their own at a premium price — and use LinkedIn to build
Create a news page on your business’s website, feature anything newsworthy about your business on this page and share stories on social media.
relationships with the different company’s executives. Your Next Steps 1.
Figure out who would be the best referral sources, key influences, types of media, and companies for you to connect with. Create a LinkedIn profile that is written for the referral sources and
Stay on top of your referral sources’ and media professionals’ minds. When you make a new connection, invite the referral source or media professional to your LinkedIn group where you provide tips, tools, and articles. Every time you are published, featured, or quoted in the media, you should be announcing it to your connections and group members.
Create a strong LinkedIn profile using my Instant LinkedIn Marketing Templates, figure out who would be the best referral sources and media types, and start making connections that can double your sales. LinkedIn Expert Kristina Jaramillo creates online marketplace opportunities for B2C companies and marketing executives that want to get more publicity, build relationships with key influencers, and double their website traffic and sales. Visit http://www.getlinkedinhelp.com/ Continued on page 18
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SOCIAL START-UP! Continued from page 17
UTILIZING QR CODES QR CODES - What You Absolutely Must Know
F E AT U R E
By Frank O’Hara QR codes: the little black matrix-looking boxes are capturing the imagination of marketers and consumers alike. Scan the code from a static display like a newspaper ad or a product label and the user is taken to a multi-media explosion of videos, product reviews or cool offers right on a smartphone.
To ensure brand consistency, accuracy and effectiveness, check that everything from product information, proﬁle pictures and headers contains consistent, updated logos, images and color schemes.
Mobile social media interaction is exploding. More people access Facebook from a mobile device than on a desktop and that number keeps climbing. All QR codes must be linked to a mobile optimized landing page that is usable on a smartphone. Mobile marketing must address this by allowing for an interface from a scanned QR code. Set up a page that asks for a name and email address, a cell phone number, or a way to easily interface with Facebook and Twitter. And after that information is shared, there should be an auto-responder system to operate a meaningful drip campaign. Allowing consumers to sign in with Facebook credentials is a three-fold benefit. It is simple for the consumer, encourages sharing of information and gives the business a wealth of demographic information through the consumers’ Facebook profile pages. A call-to-action phrase should accompany every QR code placed in an ad. (Example: Scan 2 Win!) There has to be a pretty compelling reason for prospects to scan that code. Contests and sweepstakes are big drivers of QR code scanning. Create distinct QR codes and landing pages for each channel to get immediate feedback on campaigns, deliver real-time offers and to build databases of loyal customers. It’s a winning combination of on-going data acquisition and strong ROI. Frank O’Hara is a freelance writer and C.E.O. of O’Hara Publishing Enterprises. You can obtain a wide variety of online (and offline) business marketing strategies and online business opportunities by visiting his web site http://oharapublishing.tripod.com.
Home Business May/June 2016
USE PUBLIC RELATIONS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA Three Easy Tips to Grow Your Business by Unlocking Your PR potential Here are tips for entrepreneurs who are looking to improve their public relations strategies and build a strong brand presence. 1. Become your own news source: Create a news page on your business’s website, feature anything newsworthy about your business on this page and share stories on social media. Creating original content and linking readers back to your website is invaluable for search engine optimization. 2. Be honest and transparent: All news is good news as long as you disclose maximum information with minimum delay. Always be honest and never try to cover up or hide something from the public or media. 3. Broaden your horizons to get noticed: Only promoting your business in industry publications or writing about topics within your professional wheelhouse can be detrimental because you are limiting your brand’s sphere of influence. “Utilizing public relations as a way to grow your business is an important, but often overlooked and affordable opportunity for businesses to expand their reach,” said James Judge, president and founder www.homebusinessmag.com
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of Judge Public Relations. “Ultimately, you want to do good things and then you want to tell others about the good things you’re doing.”
or access to exclusive offers or events.
Judge Public Relations is a veteran owned, full-service public relations, marketing, creative services and crowd-funding acceleration firm. The company was founded in 2011 by James Judge, a recognized expert in the field of public and media relations. Judge PR offers companies the quality results of an in-house public relations and marketing team with significant cost advantages. The firm is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, but assists clients throughout the United States. Visit http://judgepr.com/.
INCREASING SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
2. Ask for feedback. Introducing a new product? Ask for feedback on the design, packaging or name. Not only will you get free market research, you’ll build some buzz. 3. Create a sharing environment. Encourage others to share their experiences when they visit your place of business. Have a designated “sharea” complete with backdrop, props and selfies sticks. 4. Keep it exclusive. Holding an event or having a special sale? Make it exclusively an invite-only event through social media. Everyone who shares your post (with hashtags) gets on the guest list.
Five Proven Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement and Sharing By Marc Gordon
5. Be disruptive. Forget looking like everyone else. Create a fun video, write an article that goes against popular opinion, or share some groundbreaking new information - like this article.
What can a business do to get more traction out of their social media activities? Try out these five proven ideas. 1. Reward for sharing. Using hashtags gives you the ability to track conversations. Encourage your community to include your hashtag in their posts for a chance to receive gifts such as discounts,
Marc Gordon is an internationally recognized marketing expert, speaker and strategist. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit marcgordon.ca or his online show at marctv.net for more business tips. Continued on page 52
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3/28/16 4:58 PM
Ryan Gosling Ever-Popular Canadian Actor Shares Insights into the Financial Crisis in The Big Short, His Directing Debut, His Main Influencer, and Raising Your Financial Game!
t’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to see Ryan Gosling in a major movie. He took some time off to make Lost River, which marked his directorial debut, while his partner Eva Mendes gave birth to their first child, Esmeralda, now 15 months old. The 35-year-old Canadian actor and ever-popular sex symbol is back in action with The Big Short, an insider’s look at the 2008 collapse of the financial markets. In the role of Jared Vennett, a fast-talking Wall Street investment banker, Gosling serves as the film’s narrator and helps guide audiences through the complex chain of events surrounding the global banking crisis that resulted from the catastrophic plunge in the sub-prime mortgage market.
“A lot of his colleagues
and bosses weren’t interested in hearing him warn of the dangers involved and that’s why people were making fun of him and calling him Bubble Boy or Chicken Little. But he was right.”
– Ryan Gosling The movie is based on the best-selling non-fiction book by Michael Lewis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, which explains how the mortgage-backed securities bubble developed and ultimately burst, panicking financial markets and plunging the world into a deep recession. The film focuses on some of the key players involved and exposes much of the greed and corrupt behavior that precipitated the crisis. “This film was a massive education for me,” Gosling says. “Until I read the script, I never would have imagined that you could take audiences through these events and 20
Home Business May/June 2016
make a compelling movie out of it. But (director/screenwriter) Adam McKay has been able to create a rich film experience that will surprise audiences with how much they are going to learn about what really happened and how this financial disaster came about.”
C rte Co Cou rtesy s of Reu sy Reuter t s ter
F E AT U R E
By Fred Allen / The Interview Feed
“You have to treat the ﬁnancial world like this place where they’ve created their own code to make it as hard as they can so no one can understand what they’re doing! It was like learning another language.”
Directed by McKay and co-produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment along with Paramount Pictures, The Big Short is a tourde-force portrait of high-stakes finance and the distinctive personalities who alternately contributed to and profited from the 2008 crisis. Pitt also co-stars in the film alongside Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Marisa Tomei, and Melissa Leo. Next year, Gosling, who received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his memorable role in Half Nelson (2007), will be seen in the musical comedy La La Land opposite Emma Stone, as well as the crime thriller The Nice Guys. He is about to begin shooting the highly-anticipated Blade Runner 2, co-starring Harrison Ford, the sequel to the cult 1982 Ridley Scott film. Question (Q): What made you want to be a part of The Big Short? Ryan Gosling (RG): I was intrigued by the subject matter and l discovered while reading the script and preparing for the film that (like most people) I didn’t know what was really involved in the 2008 financial crisis. We should all know more about how the financial markets operate because they have such an impact on our lives. Q: How would you describe your character, Jared Vennett? RG: My character is loosely based on a real person and he serves as a tour guide who helps take you through all the events that took place during the financial crisis and helps explain a lot of the complicated
terminology and financial matters. Q: Was it difficult to be able to understand the very arcane ways that financial markets operate and all the complex financial instruments involved? RG: (Laughs) You have to treat the financial world like this place where they’ve created their own code to make it as hard as they can so no one can understand what they’re doing! It was like learning another language. But once you get past the jargon and begin to grasp how different financial instruments were being bundled into giant packages and then being traded, then you can focus on how the game is being played. Q: What role does Jared play during the onset of the crisis? RG: Jared was the one who knew that the credit default swaps were eventually going to lead to a collapse. He was someone whose job was to make money for the bank, but he also had a good instinct to know when things were getting out of hand. A lot of his colleagues and bosses weren’t interested in hearing him warn of the dangers involved and that’s why people were making fun of him and calling him Bubble Boy or Chicken Little. But he was right. Q: What was it like working with Steve Carell? RG: Steve is probably the nicest person you could ever hope to meet and is also a great actor and I think his performance in Continued on page 56
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50+ Home-Based Businesses E-COMMERCE & SOCIAL MEDIA
Company # of Type of Business Started Business
Advanced E Media Auto Dealers Licensing Group AVOS Gifts Candlefun Charter Financial City USA.biz Coble International Decor & You Digital Video Archiving Dr. Glass Business in a Box Dropshipproductsource.com Early Shares Endurance International/Bizland Faces N Cups Inc. Forum Publishing Company FoundValue, Inc. Global Success Strategies Home Inventory Business iDropped, Inc JW Enterprises Inc. Luksa Industries, Inc. MWSB Inc. Mycityapp.com NWC Inc. OccasionOgraphy On-The-Spot-Ads Video Ntwrk Photo Throw, Inc. Picture Stock Publishers Media Pure Ecommerce RealEasyBooks, Inc. Reseller Dynamics Safety Technology Set Up and Grow Sierra Judgment Recovery South Hill Designs Spencer Brown (DBA) Springboard Net Solutions Spyglass Point Productions Streamsmart STS, LLC Synergy Wealth System, LLC The Loan Consultants, Inc. TML Productions, Inc. Toodol.com United Virtual Office Voices.com Worldwide Brands Inc. WorldWide Merchandise, Inc.
6 B Liberty Suite 145, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 225 E Broadway, Ste.B117-2), Glendale, CA 91205 6030 Rangeview Drive, Dayton, OH 45415 2432 Pinebark Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46217 2617C W. Holcombe #544, Houston, TX 77025 5304 Main St., Spring Hill, TN 37174 1420-A Steeple Chase Dr., Dover, PA 17315 900 Main St. S., Bldg. 2, Southbury, CT 06488 8148 Raven Rock Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46256 620 Pershing Dr., 2nd Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910 3907 Terry Ave., Crystal Lake, IL 60014 1200 Brickell Ave. #1410, Miami, FL 33131 70 Blanchard Rd. 3rd Fl, Burlington, MA 01803 6130 West Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89103 383 East Main St., Centerport, NY 11721 660 4th St., PMB 340, San Francisco, CA 94107 24900 Anza Dr. Suite C, Valencia, CA 91355 93 Main St, Box 365, Hebron, CT 06248 300 Lackawanna Ave #235, Scranton, PA 18503 P.O. Box 1754, Bolingbrook, IL 60440 3150 Innisdale Rd., Mississauga, ONT, Canada 834 South union Street, Olean, NY 14760 100 Paddock Rd, Belleville, IL 62223 1538 Turnpike St., North Andover, MA 01845 10571 Hearth Rd., Spring Hill, FL 34608 16162 Bristol Pointe Dr, Delray Beach, FL 33446 141 Lanza Ave, Bldg 3A, Garfield, NJ 07026 2 Toronto St, Toronto, ONT, Canada M5C 2B5 1145 N. 2nd St., El Cajon, CA 92021 305 Russo Valley Dr, Cary, WA 27519 P.O. Box 133, Alamo, CA 94507 1605 555 W. Hastings St, Vancouver, BC, Canada 1867 Caravan Trail #105, Jacksonville, FL 32216 70 Copperfiled drive 391/58, London, England P.O. Box 5040, St. Marys, GA 31558 15330 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 658 Mt. Pleasant, Laurena, SC 29360 5116 Audreystone Dr., Cary, NC 27518 P.O. Box 13141, Pensacola, FL 32591 San Diego, CA 8140 E. Pine Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85257 973 Thornwood Drive, Greenwood, IN 46143 4201 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 3956 Town Center Blvd., Orlando, FL 32837 2121 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach, FL 33411 2522 Chambers Rd., Tustin, CA 92780 130-100 Collip Circle, London, ONT, Canada 465 S. Orlando Ave. #209, Maitland, FL 32751 2275 W County Line Rd Ste 6, Jackson, NJ 08527 1660 Tech Ave., Mississauga, ONT, Canada L4W 5S9 7201 Arrowwood Road, Louisville, KY 40222
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$85 $1,000 $10K $400-$6.5K $195 $199 $750 $30K-$95K $1,000 $2K $0 N/A Varies $3.5K-$9.9 $50 $80 N/A $299 $4,999 $100 $20 $100 $159 <$100 $495 <$10K $99-$399 $50 $300 $5K-$10K $0 $50 $0 $175 $155 $30 $50 $100-$200 $30-$400 $300 $100 N/A $13,800 N/A $995 N/A $0 $299 $199 $60.4K-$166.7K $50
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500 N/A N/A 68 600 45 100 210 1000 120 100 N/A 500 585 N/A N/A N/A 900 N/A 50 275 150 60 43 2,000 60 2,100 1,000 25 950 N/A 1,000 N/A 30 407 N/A 100 N/A 1000 N/A 25 100 N/A 1000 7 100 750 20 N/A 1,232 100
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START UP A FULL- OR PART-TIME BUSINESS THAT USES ECOMMERCE AND/OR SOCIAL MEDIA. PLUG INTO PROFITABILITY! Type of Business: D = Dealer, DR = Distributor, L = Licensor, F = Franchise, M = Manufacturer, W = Wholesaler, DS = Direct Sales, MO = Mail Order, S = School, SB = Service to Business, MLM = Network Marketing, IA = Independent Agent, E = E-Commerce Training Provided: M = Manual, V = Video, ON = Onsite, HQ = Headquarters, I = Internet Support Provided: $ = Financial, MK = Marketing, ON = Onsite, HQ = Headquarters, T = Technical, S = Sales Leads, I = Internet Support, O = Ongoing, M = Meetings Mobile: = Business is Home-Based and is Operated Primarily Outside of the Home. Start-Up Costs: K = $1,000 N/A = Information Not Available
Training Provided Support Provided
Description & Email
M ON VI M HQ I V ON HQ MVI MVI VI M V ON HQ I V ON M V ON HQ MI MI HQ I M V ON HQ I I MV V MVI HQ I MI M HQ I I VI M V HQ M V ON HQ I HQ M ON HQ I M M V HQ I M I M M ON I MI M HQ I M V HQ I MVI M V HQ I MV M M V ON HQ I M MVI M M ON HQ I V HQ I MI M V ON HQ I M V HQ I
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$ MK S I MK T I O T MK ON HQ T S I O M MK HQ T I O M MK T I O M MK I MK HQ T S I O TSI MK HQ T I O M MK O T MK T $ MK ON HQ T S I O M MK I MK T S I O T $TO HQ T MK T S HQ T S I O M MK HQ T $ MK T S I O M MK HQ T S I O MK T $ MK HQ T I O IO MK MK I HQ MK T I MK HQ T I MK ON I MK T I O MK HQ S I M MK HQ T S MK T I O MK T ML HQ T I O MK MK S $ MK ON HQ T I O M MK $ MK ON HQ S I O M I MK T S I MK HQ I MK T I MK HQ T I O HQ T I
May/June 2016 | Home Business
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3/29/16 2:48 PM
Mother-Daughter Duo Steps into the Innovative Beauty Industry Beauteque Beautifies Consumers with Asian Skincare Products By Andrew Matthews
sian beauty products are revolutionizing the way we look at skincare, and the brains behind Beauteque have jumped on the bandwagon. An eCommerce beauty company specializing in Korean (Asian) beauty products, Beauteque launched as a home-based business, selling their products through their online retail site and also through their two subscription services, the BB Bag and Mask Maven. Besides selling through eCommerce, Beauteque is also working with major fashion and beauty retailers in distributing the products they carry. The company targets millennials, aged 15 to 35, on the lookout for the latest beauty items and who also love surfing the internet and following many beauty influencers to check out what is currently being raved about. Customers are either very knowledgeable in Asian beauty or are fresh onto the scene and still learning what the best skincare products are for them to use. The inspiration for this company derived
Home Business May/June 2016
from co-CEO and cofounder Elina Hsueh’s struggle with very bad acne during her freshman year of high school. She tried all types of skincare products and routines but nothing worked. A friend of Elina’s brought back masks and creams from South Korea and after using the products, her skin and acne cleared up tremendously. Elina’s mother, an entrepreneur, also inspired the idea of starting Beauteque. With her love for Asian beauty products and business, she was a huge contributor to the foundation of the brand. Beauteque attributes a great deal of its growth to its promotion through heavy use of the media, social media, and bloggers/ vloggers. Five different social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, are used to highlight the newest brands and discounts that Beauteque has to offer. The company often works with the media, bloggers, and vloggers from YouTube and sends them their best
Elina Hsueh and her mother Josephine started Beauteque, an online Asian skincare and beauty products company.
products and subscription bags. In lieu of existing for only two years, Beauteque is constantly achieving new goals that they deem proud of. Elina says, “Our best business achievement so far, is being able to partner up with major retailers and convince them to carry our products in their stores.” It is the company’s desire to expand their business and have their products sold in main fashion and beauty retailers as well as increase their customer base on their site and subscription services. Visit Beauteque online at www.Beauteque.com.
3/29/16 2:52 PM
Connecting Eco-Conscious Consumers
25-Year-Old Serial Entrepreneur Leaves a Mark on the World While Staying Grounded By Kerri Byron
eginning at the early age of 22, entrepreneurism has always been something that flowed through Kyle Michaud’s veins. His “sky’s the limit” approach to business has made him successful across several industries, recently finding a special place in production-based expositions. Currently 25 years old, Kyle’s impressive portfolio serves as inspiration to many young adults wanting to make an impact on the world. After selling his first company, which he considers his biggest business achievement, Kyle went on to found Experience Expositions. Experience Expositions is a leading operator of business-to-consumer festivals, producing more than 10 North American festivals annually. These festivals include the Green Planet Festival, The Yoga Expo, and the recently announced South Florida VegFest. Through a strong social media presence and highly strategic partnerships, Kyle is able to saturate his target audience of Yogis and eco-conscious consumers with each new festival he produces.
Sustainability and positive, healthy living are among the trends seen across all of the festivals produced by Experience Expositions. The Green Planet Festival, which recently took place in Fort Lauderdale, FL, was created to bridge eco-conscious consumers with environmentally-sustainable companies, products, ideas and services, and inspire change in the community and lifestyle of its constituents. The Yoga Expo welcomes Yogis of all experience levels to attend and practice in one of the seven cities where the festival currently has presence. It offers classes and workshops, strengthening the yoga community, and allows individuals to explore practices, taste sustainable foods and try out new beverages. The South Florida VegFest is set to be held on Saturday, December 3. This not-to-miss event will include food samples, cooking demonstrations, live music and more. As a Boca Raton native, Kyle has found that keeping local roots within his business practices aids in his success and growth as not only a professional, but as a community member as well.
Kyle Michaud is the founder of Experience Expositions, a leading operator of business-to-consumer festivals.
Aside from his serial entrepreneurism, Kyle still makes time to give back to his community. He is currently a Mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, a Mentor at the BBBS Afterschool Program at Boca Elementary School, and speaks regularly to young kids and teens at multiple schools throughout the Broward and Palm Beach counties. Kyle believes that success and giving-back go hand in hand. He plans to remain active within his community, and hopes that his success will continue to allow him to travel the world. For upcoming events, visit www.experienceexpositions.com/
May/June 2016 | Home Business
3/28/16 5:04 PM
BUSINESSES & OPPORTUNITIES
Run Your Business Better Business Operations Advice from Horse & Carriage Hospitality Co-Founders JT Torregiani & Sylvain Bitton By Shannah Henderson
here’s no doubt that the nightlife & hospitality industry is a lucrative one full of promise. From exclusive nightclubs to see-and-be-seen restaurants, to boutique hotels and rooftop sky bars, there are countless ways entrepreneurs can launch themselves into this prosperous industry. According to Statista, the bars, taverns, and nightclubs industry is even projected to grow to $25.74 billion dollars in revenue by 2017! If you want a piece of this pie and are searching for a model to follow, look no further than Horse & Carriage Hospitality co-founders JT Torregiani & Sylvain Bitton. JT Torregiani and Sylvain Bitton are two of the most successful veterans in Hollywood’s nightlife industry. Torregiani pioneered the revitalization of Hollywood Boulevard with must-see establishments like Beso Restaurant, and Bitton is the renowned proprietor of legendary Hollywood nightspot Les Deux. Les Deux reigned as Los Angeles’s hottest nightlife venue during the mid 2000’s and ultimately earned investors a whopping 286% return. Collectively, Torregiani, Bitton and Horse & Carriage Hospitality run some of Hollywood’s most premiere hotspots, including: Warwick
LA, Aventine Trattoria, Beso Hollywood, and Maia West Hollywood. They are the perfect leaders to emulate when taking a journey into the nightlife & hospitality world. One great thing about the nightlife & hospitality industry is that consumer tastes are always changJT Torregiani is a serial hospitality entrepreneur who ing, which means there is is best known for the popular Beso Restaurant he always room to launch a hot developed with actress Eva Longoria and celebrity chef new venue to keep up with Todd English on Hollywood Blvd. the trends. Home Business Magazine had the chance partnered together on the venture. Les Deux to sit down with Torregiani and Bitton at was a craftsman house in the middle of a Aventine Trattoria, one of their impressive parking lot that you would never guess was a Hollywood restaurants, and hear their expert nightclub. You would walk down this long corinsight for aspiring impresarios on what it ridor, turn the corner, and it was the façade of takes to launch and manage a successful ser- this huge house. We were the only place open vice industry establishment. seven days a week! Every celebrity would be HBM: First off, tell us how you two met and co-founded Horse & Carriage Hospitality. Bitton: “We met about 12 years ago through a restaurant & nightlife company we were both a part of called The Dolce Group. JT lived across the street and I was working in Beverly Hills. We essentially both wanted to get into the nightlife and restaurant business, and JT started getting involved with The Dolce Group before I did. They opened up a place together called Bella, which was an Italian concept on Beverly Boulevard. Celebrity-driven and teeming with great food, Bella was right at the point where Hollywood turned into something amazing.
Hollywood nightlife veteran Sylvain Bitton originally made his mark as proprietor of legendary nightspot Les Deux, and has since developed a number of successful hospitality ventures in Los Angeles.
Hollywood comes in waves. It’s hot then it’s not hot, then it’s hot, then it’s not hot. Bella opened right when Hollywood started getting hot. I was somewhat working at Bella as a kind of host, but I also wanted to open a nightclub. So I raised the money and opened up Les Deux, which was a big hit. We
there every night.”
“…running a celebrity hotspot means that you will be a conductor. It’s like a chess match—sitting people in the right places makes a difference.” HBM: What are the characteristics of a successful nightclub? Torregiani: “It is important to have a beautiful venue with a great location, but it’s also all about being there and taking care of people. You must make sure everyone gets there happy and leaves happy. Consistency is also very important—you don’t want to have one hot night and the rest of the nights are bad. To run a successful nightclub, you have to have common sense and cannot be emotional—you have to have a wise mind. You are going to deal with a lot of things every night and you can’t fly off the handle. Also, running a celebrity hotspot means that you will be a conductor. It’s like a chess match—sitting people in the right places makes a difference. Continued on page 30
Home Business May/June 2016
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BUSINESSES & OPPORTUNITIES
Introducing: The Powerhouse Duo Running Hollywood’s Nightlife Scene Continued from page 28
You need to really know all of your guests and customers, as sitting one person next to another person has to make sense. One way we’ve helped get our nightclubs on the map is that we do not do anything media-oriented in terms of photo shoots or photo spreads. It really ups the exclusivity factor.” Bitton: “We don’t have a VIP area in our venues because we want everyone to feel like they are important. We always say, treat the celebrities like regular people and treat the regular people like celebrities. We also try to make our venues the most inviting luxury nightlife experiences, from the floral to the uniforms. For example, at Warwick, the guys are in white tuxedo jackets and we have incredible natural flowers throughout the venue.” Torregiani: “We also do something special that no one does. Every four months, we completely change around the venue. We go with the seasons. Right now it’s a little dark and in the summertime it will be all white with new furniture and will look completely different. It’s important to switch up your establishments to surprise your clientele and make the club seem like a whole new spot.”
HBM: What are the characteristics of a successful restaurant? Torregiani: “Every person has a different taste; some people like a specific dish and some don’t. Sometimes you Beso Restaurant is a high-end hot spot that serves Pan-Latin deal with people & steakhouse eats in a lush setting. who come in with a negative vibe and HBM: What does it take for an entreyou have to overpreneur to find prosperity in the nightlife & come it and change it. Make people happy hospitality industry? and help them have a good experience, so they enjoy your establishment and are happy Bitton: “Entrepreneurs need to be acceswhen they leave. sible if they want to prosper in the nightlife HBM: How can an entrepreneur create & hospitality industry. This means, if the buzz about a new nightlife establishment they phone rings, pick it up. If you receive a text, launched? Bitton: “In the beginning, we created buzz by calling hundreds of people, sending them invites to our establishment, sending cars to pick them up, and giving away a full free night at the club. This was a great way to help get the word out.”
“We also don’t have a VIP area in our venues because we want everyone to feel like they are important. We always say, treat the celebrities like regular people and treat the regular people like celebrities.”
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Home Business May/June 2016
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to happen is going to happen and you can always deal with it the next day.” HBM: Do you have any other helpful tips for entrepreneurs who want to enter the nightlife & hospitality industry? Torregiani: “Absolutely never give up. It took so long for us to get to where we are now. We sometimes even had to work for free! If you love what you do and it doesn’t feel like work, the money will come. Keep doing it every day and don’t think about the past or future. Just enjoy the present process of growing your business.”
Aventine is a hot-spot trattoria that serves elevated Italian cuisine in a spacious, rustic room & welcoming patio. immediately write back. If there’s an email, make sure to address it in a timely manner. If people need to get ahold of you, make sure you’re easy to get ahold of.” Torregiani: “If you open a venue with a business partner, make sure your partner is CC’d in every email and ask he/she to do the same for you.” HBM: What are your top tips for entrepreneurs who feel like their work is taking over their lives and they can’t relax? Bitton: “Pace breathing. It’s so important to just take a minute to not overwhelm
yourself and just be mindful and present. JT also taught me that even taking the time to eat breakfast in the morning can change a lot of how the day goes. Before, I would wake up and just go. I would also wake up and always reach for my cellphone. Get ready for the day, get the coffee going, and then tackle the phone. It’s all about you controlling the phone, not the phone controlling you. Torregiani: “Having a good night’s rest is extremely important. In the evening, turn off your phone an hour before you go to bed. We’ve learned that whatever is going
Bitton: “Remember that every single relationship matters, from the ground up.” HBM: Where do you hope to see your company in three years? Torregiani: “We want to continue our mission of creating the most inviting, luxury nightlife experience possible with new venues. We get national and international offers all the time, but Sylvain and I are local people. What we do best is in Los Angeles. We’re talking to hotel companies and doing hotel deals and we also are working on a new gentlemen’s barbershop in Hollywood…stay tuned!”
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May/June 2016 | Home Business
3/28/16 5:09 PM
BUSINESSES & OPPORTUNITIES
From Boomers to
Booming Biz Six Practical Ways to Increase Business from Boomers By Bob Phibbs
hen you are focused on creating a team culture of customer service, it is important to realize how generational differences can impact the selling process. That Generation Gap was on display recently when Graham, a friend of mine, walked into a local electronics store to buy a microphone. The young sales associate took him to the microphones and then stood there silently hovering over him. The associate wasn’t helping with anything. In fact, Graham didn’t think he knew anything about microphones. Finally he said, “I’m fine.” The clerk replied, “I only get a commission if I stay here.” Most Baby Boomers would not consider that good customer service—in fact, they would consider it just the opposite. The Millennial employee, on the other hand, thought he was doing his job. That’s the Generation Gap The Baby Boomers grew up when retail still had people who chose working retail as a career and modeled exceptional customer service. Most had entry-level jobs where they were taught how to help a customer in a friendly manner. As such, they expect when they go out to a store to still receive that kind of treatment. The Millennial generation—those under about 32—grew up with the Internet. Efficient, fast and cheap were things that became increasingly important to their generation as they conducted their lives online. Most did not have entry-level jobs so the social skills necessary to engage a stranger in many cases
“ 75% of purchases will still come from Baby Boomers expecting personal service for the foreseeable future.
Home Business May/June 2016
just weren’t developed. Here’s the rub: 75% of purchases will still come from Baby Boomers expecting personal service for the foreseeable future. Unless your business is able to give Baby Boomers the customer service they expect, you’ll see less and less of them.
Take initiative, show courtesy, use tactful language, and make communications personal to connect the dots between what Boomers want and what you have to sell.
To ensure that your Millennial staff are properly equipped to sell to the Boomer generation, utilize these six training tips: Initiative. Don’t make Boomers come to you—find them. Boomers do not want to ask, “Can you help me?” or “Where do I pay?” Keep your head up and engage them regularly. And once a Boomer is ready to leave, they’re ready to leave.
Boomers in general are old school and appreciate proper grammar. Connecting the dots. It is great to connect with customers and build rapport, but you have to go further with Boomers. You need to connect the dots between what they want and what you have to sell. If you sell electronics, for example, you want to be able to keep connecting them to the item you have in stock, selling it in a way that says, “It’s not just a device, it’s all the things it can do for you.” In Sum
Hustle. Your speed of service has to be given in proportion to the amount of customers in your store. Your head must be up and looking at who just came in, who needs help and who needs to be rung up. If you ignore Boomers they’ll walk.
Selling to Baby Boomers is not that hard. You have to make it personal. Respect the fact that they took the afternoon off from the kids and work, and they are in your shop to buy from you.
Being included. Boomers want to fit in; they want to be popular. They were the ones who wanted a trophy but someone else got it. Unlike the Millennials, they are still looking for validation. And for Boomers, it comes from owning things.
Despite job-hopping that’s occurring across the country, Millennials’ commitment to their job is typically very high. They’re looking to acquire new skill sets and experiences. Make sure you are training them so they can deliver world-class customer experiences.
High touch over high tech. A Millennial salesperson could show a virtual product but a Baby Boomer wants to touch it. Boomers want to see it for themselves— that’s why they are in your store and not shopping online for the item. They still want to feel, touch, smell and experience it.
If not, you risk not only losing their interest in working there, but Boomers’ interest in shopping with you. .
The choice of right words. Avoid phrases like “no problem” and the word “like” as in “this printer is like the fastest we have.”
Bob Phibbs is the CEO of The Retail Doctor, a New York consultancy. As a speaker, sales consultant and author of The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business, Bob has helped thousands of businesses since 1994. With over thirty years’ experience beginning in the trenches of retail and extending to senior management positions, his presentations are designed to provide practical information in a fun and memorable format. For more information on Bob, please visit www.RetailDoc.com.
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A SECOND CHANCE Corporate VP Swaps Stress for Second Career with a Medical Billing Business By Rick Snider
lifetime in the corporate world treated Terry McNamara well. But after 35 years, he yearned for his own business and a less stressful lifestyle. McNamara found it with TPM Business Solutions that processes medical claims for 12 health care providers around Chicago, IL. “I hit my limit in corporate finance,” he said. “I was a vice president of a manufacturing company, but I did all I could accomplish and wasn’t having much fun anymore.” McNamara’s brother-in-law was a doctor and said the medical industry needed people to remedy their billing ills. With an accounting background, McNamara could easily see a company’s problems whether it was poor billing, cash flow or overdue receivables. “Medical billing was something I thought about doing for a long time,” he said. “My brother-in-law was a doctor who put the thought in my head. He said doctors need our kind of help. They just don’t have that kind of thought process to run a business. It’s really basic.” Terry recognized the opportunity in the market, but he needed to figure out the best way to enter the industry. An extensive internet search led him to ClaimTek Systems and their turn-key business startup programs. The programs include MedOffice and DentOffice -- advanced billing and practice management software created by founder and President Kyle Farhat. “ClaimTek was in the forefront,” McNamara said. “I spoke to Kyle more than once. He’s a straight shooter. The other guy I talked to from a competitor was greasy.” With no medical background, McNamara knew obtaining the best software was crucial to success. And, it wasn’t long before he dominated the keyboard. “It was very intuitive,” said McNamara of MedOffice and DentOffice. “They have a great personalized training program with a biller who knows the software. Within a few
sessions, I was doing well.” But support is also as vital as training for newcomers to the medical claims industry and McNamara praised ClaimTek for its responsiveness.
After a career in manufacturing, Terry McNamara fulﬁlled his lifelong dream to own a business by starting a medical claims and practice management business with Claimtek Systems.
“The support has been great,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago, I needed some assistance processing patient statements and within an hour ClaimTek had helped me take care of it. They’ve always been very responsive.”
But how hard is it for someone with no medical background to quickly learn billing? “The job itself is pretty easy,” McNamara said. “It’s not rocket science and I’m not a rocket scientist so it works out well.” With no sales background, McNamara also wondered how easily clients could be found. That’s when ClaimTek helped get him started with the first client. “I’m not a salesperson,” he said. “A ClaimTek employee set a couple of appointments for me [through their Guaranteed Appointment Setting Service].” McNamara has since added another 11 clients himself through various means. It just takes some networking and good service to existing clients to gain more business. “It’s been word of mouth,” he said. “My second client was a psychologist. I had a sister who was just starting a career as a licensed counselor so she threw her business to me. Then she referred me to her colleagues, who referred me to clients. The word of mouth has been good. I’ve had very favorable feedback.” The corporate world doesn’t provide much positive feedback. That’s why McNamara enjoys dealing with clients one-on-one and helping their businesses succeed. “My third client’s previous biller was awful,”
he said. “My client was going broke because she wasn’t getting paid. I took over and a month later things started flowing and she has been so complimentary and wondering why she didn’t do it sooner.” MedOffice’s many features also allow additional revenue streams through practice management that extend far from billing. Once clients see McNamara handled their billing successfully, they often want more services. “I do some practice management,” he said. “I’m more of a financial consultant.” Indeed, having a business background allows McNamara insight into what ails both health care providers and patients over the billing process. “I can understand the pressures providers are in,” he said. “The patients have been calling me with positive feedback on what their needs are.” McNamara handles nearly 1,000 claims each month, which allows the 61-year old to enjoy life more than a corporate career often did. “I want to be able to enjoy life. The lifestyle has vastly improved,” he said. “Handling medical claims doesn’t take much time. The company is still growing and will continue to grow.” And McNamara doesn’t even have to wear a tie to work anymore. For more information on how to start your own medical billing practice, visit: www.ClaimTek.com or call 800-224-7450.
May/June 2016 | Home Business
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MARKETING & SALES
How to Increase Your Open Rates Effectively Communicate with Subscribers and Generate Interest
egardless of how beautiful and compelling you believe your email marketing messages are or how full of receptive and purchase-ready prospects your subscriber list is, it will do little good if your message never reaches the eyes of your target audience. Email campaigns are an important means to spur interest in your company, products, and services. Open rates are an effective means to evaluate your success in generating interest. Useful and relevant content will capture higher open rates and help you measure the type of communication that’s most effective with your particular subscriber base. This success can enhance your campaign’s return on investment and help you better understand how to reach your consumers. Why Are My Open Rates So Low? There are many reasons why you may have lackluster open rates. Your subject line may not grab your reader’s attention, your subscribers are too varied to have any single email topic in common, or you may over- or under-engage your audience with too many or too few email efforts. There are a great many strategies that can help you increase your open rates and improve engagement. Take a look at the tips below: Don’t Underestimate the Split Test If your campaign is consistent across your entire subscriber base, consider running split tests to evaluate what approach works best. Split tests include changing the campaign slightly and sending variants to different subsections of your subscriber base and then evaluating the response to each test. You might change the subject line slightly, test out different days of the week or times of day you send out your email, or adjust the name of the sender (such as whether emails come directly from the company or from a company employee). In addition, you can also test the content of your campaign. Try out a few different lengths and styles of content. Are text-only communications or content-rich emails better received?
Home Business May/June 2016
By Erik Kangas Split testing can help sort out exactly what type of campaign is the most effective, allowing you to get the largest return on your investment.
There are a great many strategies that can help you increase your open rates and improve engagement with readers.
Create Subcategories of Subscribers If you have a rather large subscriber list, or you know that you have subscribers with varied interests, do yourself a favor and segment your list accordingly. You can segment by location, interest, prior purchases, or any other notable information that might help you better target your customers. By only sending your subscribers emails that are relevant to them, you’re ensuring they don’t pass up per-
“ Split testing can help
sort out exactly what type of campaign is the most effective, allowing you to get the largest return on your investment.
tinent information on the assumption that it’s not tailored to their needs. This helps build trust between you and your subscribers and also helps increase consistent engagement. Alter Your Frequency Send frequency requires careful balance and can have drastic consequences if not managed delicately. Too much communication or too little can deter subscribers and create a large reduction in open rates. If you’re not sure where the problem lies, err on the side of cautious communication. Make sure you’re sending effective but selective emails to avoid getting sent to the junk folder as punishment for overzealousness. Avoid Clichéd and Spammy Content Keep in mind the type of content that makes you click on or pass up messages in
your own email account. Spam filters often pick up phrases such as “FREE” or “Click Here” or readers subconsciously screen those words out, which can send your otherwise effective campaign right into the virtual trash bin. Avoid generic phrases and make sure your links and subject lines are specific and transparent. Let your readers know exactly what your links will lead them to and help them understand from the outset why they’re opening your email. Offer Value How many emails do you receive that seem to have no rhyme or reason? Sure, they’re placing their business’ name in front of your eyes consistently, but what do you associate that name with if there’s no clear call-to-action or benefit to reading the email? And how many more times are you likely to open their content in the future? To increase click rates, maintain purpose and value. Make sure your content is interesting, any product or service offerings pose significant value, and your email has a clear call-to-action. By establishing value, you establish a reputation and a good relationship with your reader. These relationships are the best way to increase open rates and ensure your campaigns are effective. Remember that your email campaigns are a clear and consistent representation of your business. If you want customer loyalty, you have to build and maintain loyalty-worthy communications to share with them. Be Consistent Think about your own inbox. Are there emails you look forward to receiving every Monday morning? Do you know you’ll receive Continued on page 36
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Wanna Hear A Story? Title – “1Up Pay Plans Are For SUCKERS” There is a person named Pat. Pat is trying to make money from home, so Pat joins a 1Up program. Pat does this for a few reasons; 1)Most programs are 1Ups. 2) His sponsor lied and told him the 1Up was there to motivate sponsors to help & train their new people.
There is a person named Pat. Pat is trying to make money from home, so he joins a company that Fosters PARTNERSHIPS with the industries ﬁrst ever Partner Pay Plan™
After Pat joined, Pat’s sponsor told Pat of a few marketing ideas. Pat paid for some of this marketing. IT WORKED! There was a SALE! Pat’s sponsor got the commission.
Well unlike the antiquated, designed to ensure you fail 1Up pay plan that actually results in YOU competing with the VERY PERSON that enlisted you.
What does this mean?
THIS pay plan is based on TRUE PARTNERSHIPS Pat paid for the marketing! Pat’s sponsor got the rewards! Pat’s sponsor now seems a lot less interested in speaking on the phone. Sound Familiar? Think about it… You join an antiquated 1Up program. Your sponsor helps you make ONE SALE. THEY GET PAID… YOU get NOTHING! After that, there is NO MOTIVATION FOR THEM TO HELP… YOU are their COMPETITION!
Your sponsor helps you make $500.00? THEY make $500.00. Today, tomorrow or a YEAR FROM NOW. Which means you can Partner on advertising, prospect follow up, EVERYTHING. Why? Because for the FIRST TIME in the HISTORY of the home business industry. YOU HAVE TRUE PARTNERS! AT LEAST 2…
Ask YOURSELF a question; If YOU were a skilled experienced marketer. Who would you be more motivated to help? Someone that after possibly HOURS, WEEKS, even MONTHS of training you received ONE override commission? Or someone that after training you received override commissions FOREVER? Makes you wonder why someone that ACTUALLY helps their people would be in a 1Up pay plan… THEN you remember that those pay plans have a 97% failure rate and it all makes sense Starting a home based business, doesn’t it just make sense to go into it with at least 2 PARTNERS? REAL PARTNERS? Partners that have an EQUAL vested interest in YOUR success? Rather than someone that simply wants to use YOUR marketing money to make THEMSELVES a commission? Our Partner Pay Plan™ means that when YOU help someone that joins you make $500.00 YOU make $500.00. Which means when someone joins you… YOUR marketing efforts DOUBLE!
I C a n S e n d A L e t t e r. c o m Want An Income From Home? Start With At Least 2 PERMANENT PARTNERS & Push Button Done For You Marketing.
Really Nothing Else Makes Sense. 35_HBM0616.indd 35
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MARKETING & SALES
Email Tips: How to Increase Your Open Rates Continued from page 34
consistent content at a predictable time with a predictable frequency? Consistency builds attention, and if your subscribers know what to expect and when, you’ll have a better chance of catching their eye. Inconsistent email campaigns can quickly become lost in a sea of communications or misidentified as junk or spam. By dispensing your communications on a routine schedule, you’re priming your subscriber list to expect your communications.
“ By only sending your
subscribers emails that are relevant to them, you’re ensuring they don’t pass up pertinent information on the assumption that it’s not tailored to their needs.
Scrub Your List If your open rates are low, there’s a chance your subscriber list is just too high. Perhaps your subscribers are no longer interested in your offerings, they no longer check the listed email account, they accidentally marked you
Home Business May/June 2016
as spam, or you’ve fallen prey to a plethora of other reasons why they don’t engage with your communications. An easy way to scrub your list is to send an email asking them to reconfirm their subscription. This provides you with the opportunity to reaffirm the value of each of your subscribers and confirms you’re working with an engaged list so you can gather a better understanding of the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Practice cautious communication and send effective but selective emails to avoid getting sent to the junk folder as punishment for overzealousness.
Open rates can tell you a lot about your email campaigns. They can tell you what content is valuable to your subscribers and what campaigns offer the best return on investment, and they can also help you measure customer engagement and loyalty. By carefully managing your email campaigns to maximize your open rates, you benefit from increasing brand loyalty and remaining consistently connected to your customers.
Contributed By: LuxSci founder Erik Kangas has an impressive mix of academic research and software architecture expertise, including: undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University in physics and mathematics, PhD from MIT in computational biophysics, senior software engineer at Akamai Technologies, and visiting professor in physics at MIT. Chief architect and developer at LuxSci since 1999, Erik focuses on elegant, efficient, and robust solutions for scalable email and web hosting services, with a primary focus on Internet security. Lecturing nationally and internationally, Erik also serves as technical advisor to Mediprocity, which specializes in mobile-centric, secure HIPAA-compliant messaging. When he takes a break from LuxSci, Erik can be found gleefully pursuing endurance sports, having completed a full Ironman triathlon and numerous marathons and half Ironman triathlons.
3/28/16 5:12 PM
Top Five Digital Trends Communicators and Marketers Must Master Richard Torrenzano, CEO of The Torrenzano Group, highlights the top five digital trends for 2016 that communicators and marketers will need in order to keep up with new social media and technology developments. Trend # 1 - Crunching Big Data into Intimate Knowledge The demand and need to sift usable knowledge about consumers and customers from big data will be the most valued expertise in 2016. Businesses are finding market intelligence brought about by good data analytics boosts profits. Trend # 2 - Internet Stars Are Growing Up Consumers and customers would rather hear about a brand from a friend
or someone they trust, find entertaining or helpful. Through YouTube and other digital media platforms, Internet stars have emerged since 2011. Influencers will be a key way brands will reach the largest upcoming generations of consumers — Millennials and Gen Zs. Trend # 3 - Mobile Optimize or Fail In early 2015, Google leveled the playing field for digital marketers when it updated its search algorithms to favor mobile devices. With mobile optimization, the user flow is seamless, and content is fitted and designed for mobile. It’s critical that every business’ website is continually updated to suit consumers and customer needs as well as Google algorithms. Trend # 4 - Post-Digital Thinking Emerging Social media is digital media. We have begun to see a post-digital thinking emerge in which digital media is so ubiquitous that it ceases to be a separate category. Businesses can
no longer allow messaging to change among or between departments or geographic regions. These partitions dilute key messages and give rise to campaigns that fail to lift the entire business. Trend # 5 - Capture Magic Micromoments To take advantage of the micromoments of when mobile users check their phones, marketers need to anticipate and commit to be there when they occur and deliver relevant solutions to consumers’ needs. They must provide answers and connect to what mobile users are looking for promptly and efficiently. The Torrenzano Group is a reputation and high-stakes issues management firm specializing in building and protecting corporate reputations, helping clients grow their business as well as enhance brand and shareholder value. For additional information: www.torrenzano.com.
May/June 2016 | Home Business
3/28/16 5:12 PM
Brush and Straighten with Ease Talented Hair Stylist Launches State of the Art Products from HomeBased Beauty Business By Eliza Osborn
aving long been inspired to work for herself and build a successful future all on her own, professional hair stylist Kayla McNeill realized at a very early age that creating a home-based business was a logical first step. Passionate on staying up-todate on the newest hair trends and offering all women the luxury of having beautiful hair at home, Kayla founded Head Kandy in 2014. The online shop delivers professional salon quality hair care tools and products to the consumer at attainable price points. After completing school for hair styling, Kayla got hired at a local Colorado salon. She came to recognize her clientele’s ubiquitous desire to obtain salon-quality results at home without damage or risk…and the idea for Head Kandy was born. Kayla knew it would allow consumers of all types to glamourize their looks without breaking the bank or risking the damaging effects of traditional flat irons.
With the launch of Head Kandy, Kayla created an extremely successful and profitable small business (in her basement, mind you), along with a much-needed niche offering to the industry – quality, affordable hair & beauty products. Head Kandy’s premiere offerings included a signature Straightening Brush and a uniquely formulated Fiber Lash mascara, paving the way for Head Kandy to quickly becoming a staple US brand. By using Facebook to promote her ecommerce brand, Kayla has expanded Head Kandy’s popularity exponentially, with her products adored not only by her extensive customer base, but by the media as well. Working from home is something that Kayla is passionate about. She attributes Head Kandy’s accomplishments to her own persistence in making her dream a reality, as well as to her hardworking employees. The company has grown from a one-woman venture to having four full-time employees in
Kayla McNeill founded Head Kandy, a site which delivers salon quality hair care tools and products at affordable prices.
a short three months. Kayla hopes to create more internal positions in the near future. In three years, she expects to remain up-to-date on the latest hair trends, providing innovative industry-changing products that customers have grown to love and expect from Head Kandy. She also hopes to help many families in her community, Poncha Springs, Colorado, by providing more jobs and continuing to bring revenue to the area. Visit www.headkandybrush.com.
Safe Haven for Infants Mompreneur Changes the Face of Baby Loungers with DockATot By Sherilyn Colleen
hen her son was born, Lisa Furuland was on the lookout for an alternative to the blanket, the cot, and the typical baby lounger. She wanted something that was snugger for her tot to rest on, but at the same time was more versatile, provided health benefits and was completely safe. After an unsuccessful search, Lisa came up with the perfect idea for what is now the world-renowned DockATot™ multifunctional baby lounger for infants. Featuring a unique cocoon shape, the DockATot Baby Lounger gives parents a safe, snug spot for baby to comfortably relax, play, bond, get in tummy time, and sleep. DockATot is 100% breathable and hypoallergenic, using materials that are Oeko-Tex certified and sourced from top-quality suppliers. Dockatot provides the ideal hygienic microclimate that mimics the womb. It eases crib-to-bed transition, reduces flat head syndrome, and helps prevent SIDS. DockATot’s cocoon shape also reduces the effects of the startle reflex, helping 38
Home Business May/June 2016
baby sleep longer. Parents also love this baby lounger’s portability; it’s lightweight and travels well. Before inventing DockATot, Lisa studied architectural education. Now she runs her international business (DockATot distributes worldwide) from her home in Sweden. Her home office even has a camera that allows her to check on her kids while they are in their classroom! Lisa’s relationships with influencer moms on Instagram, bloggers, and celebrities have all been successful marketing tactics, as well as DockATot’s referral program. “When a mom loves DockATot, she can’t wait to share it with her circle of friends and followers.” According to Lisa, the primary advantages of working from home are flexibility and seeing her children both before and after school. “I prioritize family time before work,” Lisa says. “When my children are teenagers, I know I won’t be thinking ‘Oh, I wish I had gone on more conferences and business trips when they were young.’”
Lisa Furuland is the inventor of the DockATot™, a baby lounger that mimicks the mother’s womb and creates a snug and tender surrounding for little ones to lie in.
Lisa’s greatest business achievement thus far is launching DockATot in the U.S. eight months ago and turning it into a cult favorite in such high demand that they can’t stay in stock. In three years, Lisa hopes to continue launching innovative, high quality and safe baby products. “When you realize that your product has made life a lot easier for thousands of families, it’s hard to feel anything but incredibly proud.” Visit www.dockatot.com. www.homebusinessmag.com
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Strategies for a Modernized and Comfortable Home Office Haven Maximize Productivity by Addressing Your Business Needs By Yolanda Berry
ome-based businesses have increased in the past five years. Many entrepreneurs have launched out on their own without proper knowledge on how to start their own business. Majority of small business owners are not focused on the menial tasks involved. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or work from home, you need a workspace that accommodates your overall office needs. The first step in managing a business is the organizational process. When you run a business, it should not run in dysfunction. A cluttered office is known to decrease energy, motivation and enthusiasm. It also enhances frustration and stress. You need to be at the top of your game. It’s time to transform your work area from organized chaos to an office haven. Technology is one of the leading developments for any type of business to run efficiently. Understanding your specific business needs will help you make wise, cost-effective decisions when purchasing office equipment and software. Mobility is King Long gone are the days of being chained to a desk. In this ever-changing phase of technical advances, mobility is a necessity. Ensuring that your website is visible on mobile devices is critical to your business since potential
customers or clients are using mobile devices to access products and services. Having a smartphone or android also provides unlimited communication options and provides promotion and marketing analysis at your fingertips.
Be at the top of your game by transforming your work area from organized chaos to an ofﬁce haven.
Tablets are the new laptops. The sleek design makes it easier to transport anywhere and provides all the functions that a laptop provides minus the accessibility of USB ports. Although these timely portable devices are convenient, it does not eliminate the use of laptops or desktops. In many cases, desktops are still needed, especially if you’ve decided to open a design or photography business. A large monitor is essential for pumping out those visually aesthetic projects. When you’re deciding what top priority is, you need to consider your overall needs which will also save you time and money in the long run. Go All in with Comfort While running a home business, you can easily become complacent with the minor details. With the long-term effects of back, neck, wrist or eye strain, you must ensure that your workspace is comfortable and properly aligned. Ergonomics is mandatory to your overall health. As simple as it may seem, it’s often overlooked until a health issue arises. Here are a few things to consider for your home office: ■ Sit or stand desk that can be electronically elevated for optimum performance. ■ Padded chairs made of suede or leather with a variety of seating positions with wheels for mobility.
An organized workspace consists of correct placement or arrangement of equipment and furniture in your location. 40
Home Business May/June 2016
■ Proper lighting: a variety of natural sunlight and
artificial light with the option of utilizing blinds or shades to block out glare. ■
Office location should be preferably away from traffic, family and other distractions. It helps if you can work in a serene environment.
Setting up Your Workstation An organized workspace also consists of correct placement or arrangement of equipment and furniture in your location. For example, reaching for office supplies that block the printer area or climbing over boxed inventory can be a hazard or a workman’s compensation case if you have employees. Your workspace should be clear of clutter. Each item should have its own home and there should be a designated space for all office equipment. A carefully planned space will enhance productivity. Simple things like reference books or files should be properly placed on a book shelf or file cabinet. Just as one would function on a 9-to-5 schedule, you should adjust your home office to accommodate a traditional work environment. However, you have the freedom to create a space that represents your business or personal style. Don’t forget to add beauty to your space: An abstract painting or variety of hanging, table or floor plants can make a tremendous difference and create a welcoming atmosphere. Color and design is equally important. Selecting vibrant wall paint will elevate the appearance and also enhance your mood. You can either go bold, neutral or subtle. The color Continued on page 42
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AAJudgment JudgmentRecovery Recovery Business Business isis Hot and andininDemand. Demand.Here’s Here’show how to to start start your your own... own...
ave aveyou youever everwatched watchedJudge JudgeJudy Judy or or any any of of those those mid-afternoon mid-afternoon court courtTV TVshows showswhere wherepeople people sue sue each each other other for for unpaid unpaid rent rent or services? services?InInmany manycases, cases,Judge JudgeJudy Judyslams slamsdown down her her gavel gavel and and barks barks orders ordersatatthe thedefendant defendanttotopay payup, up, but but here's here's aa little little known known fact: fact: the the court courtdoes doesnot notenforce enforcethat thatjudgment. judgment.And And that that goes goes for for non-televised non-televised court courtcases casestoo. too. That's That'sright, right,just justbecause because aa judge judge orders orders someone someone to to pay pay aa debt debt doesn't doesn'tmean meanthat thatperson personisisgoing goingtoto do do it.it. Imagine Imagine ifif someone someone owed owed you youa afew fewthousand thousanddollars dollarsand anddecided decided not not to to pay pay you, you, regardless regardless of what whata acourt courtofoflaw lawordered. ordered.Would Wouldyou youknow knowwhat what to to do? do? Most Most people people don't, don't,sosothey theywait waitininfrustration frustrationfor forthe thedebt debtto tobe bepaid. paid. Christina ChristinaSmiley, Smiley,founder founder ofof Sierra Sierra Judgment Judgment Recovery Recovery and and selfselfproclaimed proclaimedopportunity opportunity junkie, junkie, learned learned how how to to profit profit from from this this little little known knownmarket marketofofunpaid unpaiddebt debtby byhelping helpingjudgment judgment holders holders collect. collect. She She explained explainedthere therewas wasvirtually virtuallyno no one one who who was was providing providing this this service. service. And And that that once once people people had had been been awarded awarded these these judgments... judgments... 80 80 percent percentofofthem themwere werenever neverpaid.” paid.” This Thisdiscovery discoverycouldn’t couldn’thave havecome come atata abetter bettertime; time; Christina Christina and and her her husband husbandTerry Terrywere werepart partowners ownersofofaa carpet carpet store store and and had had amassed amassed aa large largeamount amountofofdebt. debt. They Theyhad hadthree threesmall smallchildren childrenand and thought thoughtthat thatbybyowning owningaastore storethey'd they'd have havemore moremoney moneyand andtime timefor fortheir their family. family.Initially Initiallyit itwas wasan anexciting excitingtime time forfor them, them, but but that that dream dream quickly quickly turned turnedinto intoa anightmare nightmareofofdebt debt and and endless endlesshours hoursatatwork, work,as as Christina Christina remembers, remembers, "We "We accumulated accumulated monstrous monstrousdebt. debt.We Wewere weretruly trulyonly onlyaa few few paychecks paychecks away away from from being being homeless." homeless." And Andthen thenshe shelearned learned about about the the big bigmoney moneyininsmall smallclaims. claims.Christina Christina focused focusedononlearning learninghow how toto recover recover judgments judgmentsfor forpeople. people. She She says, says, "It "It was wastrial trialand anderror errorfor forsix sixmonths monthstotoaa year. year.I buried I buriedmy mynose noseinincivil civilcodes.” codes.” Christina Christinacontacted contacted aa number number ofof small smallbusinesses businessesininher herarea areatotosee seeifif they theycould coulduse useher herservices, services,and andas asitit turned turnedout, out,there therewas wasplenty plentyofofwork work forfor her. her. "These "These people people were were overjoyed overjoyedtotogive giveus usallallofoftheir theircases cases totocollect collectand andwere weremore morethan thanwilling willing toto letlet me me keep keep 50% 50% ofof what what I I collected collectedfor forthem," them,"she shesays. says. InInmost mostcases, cases,they theyhad hadfiled filedaway away their theirjudgments judgmentsaafew fewyears yearsprior priorwith with nonohope hopeofofever evercollecting collectingon on them. them. Christina's Christina's business, business, Sierra Sierra Judgment JudgmentRecovery, Recovery,gets getsthat thatmoney money back. back. These These people people figured figured they'd they'd never neversee seeany anyofofthat thatmoney moneyagain, again, sosothey're they'remore morethan than happy happy toto pay pay Christina's Christina'sfee. fee. Another Anotherattractive attractive aspect aspect ofof this this
service service isis there's there's no no up-front up-front cost to her her customers. customers. Any Any filing filing fees or costs costs incurred incurred by by Christina Christina are reimbursed reimbursed to to her her out out of the judgment judgment once once it's it's collected. collected. The customers customers don't don't have have to pay anything anythingout out of of their their own own pocket. pocket. From From what what she she says, says, this is primarily primarily behind-the-scenes behind-the-scenes work, which which makes makes itit an an entirely entirely nonconfrontational confrontational business. business. She She does everything everything through through the the court court system from from seizing seizing debtor debtor bank bank accounts, accounts, garnishing garnishing wages wages and and other other income, to toplacing placingliens liens on on property. property. One One year year after after starting starting the judgment judgment recovery recovery business, business, Christina Christina and and Terry Terry closed closed the carpet carpet store. store. Finally Finally they they could could work at at home home and and have have money money left over at at the the end end of of the the month. month. They've been been running running Sierra Sierra Judgment Judgment Recovery Recovery for for over over 10 10 years years and are bringing bringing in in aa five-figure five-figure paycheck paycheck each eachmonth. month. And And the the most most important important aspect aspect isis they've they've got got more more time for their their kids. kids. “I“I can can attend attend their their events and and my my husband husband gets gets to to go go on field trips trips now now -- he's he's usually usually the the only dad on onthem.” them.” But But the the story story doesn't doesn't end end there. Christina Christina wants wants to to share share her knowledge knowledge with with others others across across the country country as as aa home-based home-based business opportunity. opportunity. She She has has put put together together aa judgment judgment recovery recoverytraining training course. course. In In addition, students students have have access access to to aa National Network, Network, which which can can be be extremely extremely helpful helpful in in cases cases where where the the debtor has has moved moved out out of of state. state. Christina also alsoincludes includes unlimited unlimited support. support. The The training training course course is is on a home-study home-study basis basis and and itit teaches
Christina Smiley Smiley
how to contact contact judgment judgment holders holders to get their their business, business, the the steps steps to to tracking down down aa debtor debtor and andsorting sorting through the the paperwork paperwork from from the the court. Christina's Christina's motivation motivation for for sharing this this business business opportunity opportunity with others others isn’t isn’t to to get get money moneyfrom from sales of the the course course (a (a one-time one-time flat fee of of $185.00, $185.00, she she only only makes enough enough to to cover cover the thecost costof of producing producing course course materials): materials): she she wants to continue continue to to develop develop the the National Network Network of of judgment judgment recovery specialists. specialists. Anyone Anyone interested interested in in aa homehomebased business business who who really really likes likesto to do research research could could benefit benefit from from this training training course, course, according according to to Christina. Christina. "This "This business business isisfilling fillingaa true niche. niche. ItIt provides provides steady, steady, predictable predictable home-based home-based income income of $5,000 $5,000 -- $8,000 $8,000 per per month month on on average. There There is is no no lack lack of of customers customers and and no no foreseeable foreseeable decrease decrease at at any any time time in in the the future," says says Christina. Christina. If you’d you’d like like information information on on starting your your own own home-based home-based judgment judgment recovery recovery business, business, register for for their their free free guide guide at at www.recoverycourse.com. www.recoverycourse.com. You You may also also contact contact Sierra Sierra Judgment Judgment Recovery Recovery directly directly by by calling them them at at (912) (912) 882-8190 882-8190 or email email Customer Customer Support Support at at Support@recoverycourse.com. Support@recoverycourse.com.
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Strategies for a Modernized and Comfortable Home Office Haven Continued from page 40
vibration is according to your individual taste and personality. When considering design, do not forget to incorporate texture. Threedimensional, organic art pieces add interest. Don’t overlook the materials that office furniture is made from. Whether it consists of wood, glass, acrylic or some other raw material, it should complement the space. Digital Space is Relevant Too There are a variety of online resources that are helpful in organizing your finances, taxes, recordkeeping, time-management, work processes and daily tasks. You ought to seek out the appropriate software tools that suit your needs. Here are a few online resources that will get you started and keep you on the right track:
Seek out the appropriate software tools that will help with your ﬁnances, taxes, recordkeeping, time-management, work processes and daily tasks.
Invoice generator: www.sendowl.com or www.batchbook.com Time Management: www.Teamwork.com or www.evernote.com Time Tracking: www.myhours.com or www.toggl.com Digital Filing Made Simple It’s best to start out with an organized email management and a digital file system. Understanding how to properly name documents and files, once your venture begins to grow, sets up your business for success. Although adjustments and changes can always be made, having a unified digital space in the beginning will eliminate frustration down the road. Your files should be easily retrieved and have a cohesive, systematic order when saving information. Utilizing caps is helpful when creating digital folders. Subfolders should also be categorized for simple retrieval. Once you have a method that works, stick to it. Nothing is worse than trying to find information that even the search bar cannot seem to locate. Cloud management is an option, but ensure that you back up all documents and files in multiple locations to ensure online safety and off-site access for business trips and shortterm travel engagements. Yolanda Berry pens online content for small businesses, non-profits, ministry outreach programs and creative entrepreneurs. She also assists in the concept development and implementation in a variety of genres. She maintains four blogs related to small business, art & design, spiritual growth and development and fashion/beauty topics. Her writing interest includes commercial copywriting, small business, B2B, eCommerce writing, creative copy, and non-fiction. She enjoys mostly anything with substance and grit that grabs the heart, challenges the mind and empowers the soul. For business inquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Business May/June 2016
Tech Tools Every Home Business Owner Needs After you score your first few clients or sales, it is crucial to have a strong handle on your business operations. Many new business owners have no idea how to schedule their client’s work, manage time, or create professional invoices. Here are useful tech tools to consider: The Hardware Once you start bringing in revenue, upgrade to a better laptop to use at home, and a tablet to use during client meetings. When buying hardware for your freelancing business, go for high quality vs. grabbing what’s on sale, so it will have a longer lifespan. If it’s something that will spend its entire life in your office, go for a desktop with a snappy microprocessor and oversized monitor. If mobility is your thing, you’ll want a thin laptop that weighs next to nothing. If you’ll be meeting face-to-face with customers, choose something versatile, like a 2-in-1 Yoga laptop from Lenovo. The Software Nothing beats great software —here are four favorites for you to utilize: Evernote Evernote is the “it” app for home business owners. It allows you to store notes, images, PDFs, audio clips, and web pages into files and folders known as notebooks and stacks. Your notebooks are synced across all of your devices and can be
easily searched, retrieved, and edited. Trello Managing tasks can be a nightmare, so a powerful organizer is a must-have. That’s where Trello comes in. With Trello you can create project boards, add columns of task cards, and attach files, pictures, comments, deadlines, and labels to said cards. Cards can be easily dragged and dropped within (and across) categories, making it incredibly simple to organize your freelance projects. Dropbox You should never rely on your hard drive for your client files — that’s just asking for trouble. A cloud-based storage service is every freelancer’s best friend, and Dropbox is definitely the cream of the crop. With Dropbox you can access and share your files anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Toggl When you’re billing your clients by the hour, you need a dependable time tracking app. Toggl is a handy web-based software that allows you to effortlessly create, start, and stop timers for project tasks. You can categorize your tasks by client and mark them as “billable.” You can then use Toggl’s reports feature to pull together professional-looking PDFs or CSVs for invoicing your clients. Liz Greene is a dog loving, beard envying, pop culture geek from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho. Visit Instant Lo (https://instantlo.wordpress.com/) or follow her on Twitter @ LizVGreene.
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Personalizing Schools and Home Offices Businesswoman Grows Company from Selling Musical Pens to Leading the Stationery Industry By Sherilyn Colleen
hen Deborah Melnick woke up with double vision, she did not realize that her life would change forever. Several days later, on Valentine’s Day 2005, she received the diagnosis: “You have Multiple Sclerosis.” Those words began a journey that has been filled with struggle, pain, and tears, but it has also been one of growth, achievement and success. Ironically, just years prior, Deborah was pursuing a career in Neuroscience, and heading into a career in medicine. Deborah’s career ambitions took a dramatic detour when she came up with an innovative product concept: a pen that played music. After success from her first item, Deborah aspired to develop a line of products to promote self-expression and allow people to create the world around them. Debbie Lynn, Inc. launched in 1998, and has since produced hundreds of items for the home, office and classroom. By introducing fashion elements to everyday home, office and school products
Home Business May/June 2016
and manufacturing them in a way to minimize retail cost, Deborah offers product lines that everyone can afford and which enables people to personalize their work space. Prior to her diagnosis, Deborah ran Debbie Lynn, Inc. much like any other small business with an office, small staff of employees, a warehouse and customers. After her diagnosis, Deborah was forced to reconsider how to run the business in light of potentially worsening physical limitations. Deborah made the decision to move her business into her home, reduce her customer base and pare down her workforce. These changes, while difficult, enabled Deborah to focus on product development and customer service, without the stress of high overhead and a rigid work schedule. Not giving up on her vision while fighting a chronic illness is Deborah’s greatest personal and professional achievement. Debbie Lynn, Inc. has evolved into a national designer and manufacturer of stationery, back
Deborah Melnick founded Debbie Lynn, Inc., a national designer and manufacturer of stationery, back to school, novelty and office accessory items.
to school, novelty and office accessory items. Currently, Debbie Lynn, Inc. products are offered for sale in the nation’s largest grocery, retail and discount channels. As the trend in customization and personalization grows, the future looks bright for Debbie Lynn, Inc. In the upcoming years, Deborah envisions a complete product offering to enable customers to order products directly from Debbie Lynn, Inc. Visit www.debbielynn.net/.
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Revolutionizing the Fashion Industry Entrepreneur Designs Dress Shirts to Help People with Arthritis and Limited Mobility By Liz Kowalsky
hen your career is coaching college football and you spend two hours outside of practice exercising every day, one of the last concerns on your mind is being diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The unthinkable happened to Don Horton, however, when he was informed he had Parkinson’s disease. Don’s diagnosis not only led to changes with his body, career and life; it inspired his wife Maura to return to the workforce becoming an entrepreneur and inventor of MagnaReady. MagnaReady is the first fashionable dress shirt infused with a magnetic closure system designed specifically for people with limited mobility and dexterity. The shirts contain self-closing technology that eliminates the need to button a shirt. Wearers simply press the two sides of the shirt-front together and it snaps the magnets into place. This is the first adaptable fashion technology to go mainstream. Prior to Maura inventing the MagnaReady
shirt, she had been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. Running the business out of her home allows Maura to have flexible hours and the ability to greet her kids when they get home from school. Although MagnaReady is a home-based business, they are an e-commerce platform. Maura attends many meetings and travels often to help promote and discuss what MagnaReady’s mission is. In addition to the in-house MagnaReady product line of dress shirts for men and women and outerwear for children, MagnaReady also licenses its patented magnetic closure technology to businesses including PVH (Phillip Van Heusen), one of the world’s largest apparel companies, and Runway of Dreams, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with the fashion industry to adapt mainstream clothing for communities that have disabilities. MagnaReady’s customers range from ages 16 to 104. The shirts help a diverse group of
Maura Horton is the CEO of MagnaReady, a product line of magnetically infused dress shirts that ease dressing for those with limited mobility or dexterity.
people, from baby boomers that may suffer from arthritis to the limited mobility community. By licensing the technology to PVH and Runway of Dreams, they have been able to help such a larger number of people with limited mobility. These partnerships are so important not only because of the business aspect; the education to consumers is a big part of Maura and MagnaReady’s message. In the years to come, Maura is going to continue to work hard and educate people that fashionable adaptive clothing is a possibility for everyone. Visit www.magnaready.com/shop/.
May/June 2016 | Home Business
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Trend-Driven Innovation: Beat Accelerating Customer Expectations By Henry Mason, David Mattin, Maxwell Luthy, Delia Dumitrescu, Alexander Osterwalder Every business leader, entrepreneur, innovator, and marketer wants to know where customers are headed. The problem? The received wisdom on how to find out is
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Home Business May/June 2016
You’re not ready to grow until you Nail a Niche. Overnight success is a fairy tale. You’re not going to be magically discovered. You need sustainable systems that Create Predictable Pipeline. Growth exposes your weaknesses and it will cause more problems than it solves — until you Make Sales Scalable. It’s hard to build a big business out of small deals. Figure out how to Double
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Your Deal size. It’ll take years longer than you want, but don’t quit too soon. Make sure you can Do the Time. Your people are renting, not owning their jobs. Develop a culture of initiative, not adequacy by Embracing Employee Ownership. Employees, you are too accepting of “reality” and too eager to quit. You can Define Your Destiny to make a difference, for yourself and your company, no matter what you do or where you work. Pinterest and other social media networks for business
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team member. “The advertising is done for us, and best of all, I don’t have to close my sales. That is such a huge relief! It’s so great to have a roadmap. It takes the guesswork out of running my business.” Gail explains, “We have made it as turnkey as possible. We’ve eliminated the things that cause people to fail and are completely committed to our team’s success. It doesn’t matter where you are in our organization. If you are on our team, you’ll receive our full attention.”
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Gail says, “It’s great to be making this money, but what’s even better is investing in our team members’ success by buying each of them advertising so that they can hit the ground running. It’s a big reason why our team duplication is so high.” Sally and Gail are so committed to their members’ success that they invest 20% of their commissions to buy advertising for new members. And, as part of their marketing system, they teach every new team member to do exactly the same for each of their new members. “When you invest in advertising,” says Sally, “your income grows exponentially, so we teach our members to follow this simple strategy. Duplication is all about simplicity.” The team’s National Advertising Co-op reaches 5.5 Million readers. And, to complete the process, Sally and Gail close their team members’ sales! “This is a complete system that works for everybody,” says a TDI Pros
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May/June 2016 | Home Business
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Instant Pay Raise Four Types of Deductibles You Need To Know About By Russell Smith
eductibles are the savior and headache of the self-employed.
For those new to the self-employed world, deductibles are items you purchase in order to sustain your business that can be added to your tax return to reduce the amount of taxable income you earned that year. Some purchases are unique to the job you do, such as a hammer for a builder or a laptop for a writer. Others are universal. The problem with deductibles is that while they reduce the amount of taxable income you have, they also come loaded with a set of stringent rules that must be adhered to in order to claim; usually in the form of tightly kept records and evidence to back it up. These requirements can put people off claiming deductibles, especially when the hassle of recording small everyday purchases seems more effort than it is ultimately worth. In the case of a small purchase, say a pack of pencils, this isn’t all that harmful to your finances, but there are plenty of other rarely thought of deductibles that can really help boost your bank balance at the end of the fiscal year. Vehicle Expenses Vehicle costs are well known as being one of life’s great money sinks. Those four-wheeled contraptions are a vital part of our daily existence, but that dependence comes at a financial cost. Be it fuel, repairs, insurance, servicing, etc, running a vehicle is expensive. For the self-employed, some, if not all of that money can be reclaimed through tax relief. This can be done in two ways. The first is through standard mileage rates. This is a cost applied to every mile travelled in the vehicle that can be totaled and claimed on insurance. The idea behind this is to make for simple tax claims and the cost per mile is supposed to be a rough estimate of all costs adding up together; everything from fuel to tire replacements. This method is perfect for those with little time on their hands, or if the vehicle is used for both personal and private use. If you have a bit more time to spare and
Home Business May/June 2016
use the vehicle purely for work, then you can claim on actual expenses. This would be exact costs for fuel, repairs, and everything else. Be aware in order to do this, you have to keep all records. Property Rent and Upkeep
Deductibles are items you purchase in order to sustain your
business that can be added to your tax return to reduce the Deductibles aren’t just amount of taxable income you earned that year. things you use for work; they can also include the premiums are another deductible that the roof of which you work under. Office spaces, warehouses, and stores self-employed can claim on, as long as they all cost money to upkeep and rent and provid- are solely for business use, such as employing they are used solely for your work, these ers liability, personal indemnity and business contents. costs are eligible for tax deductions.
Claims for upkeep can come in the form of electricity bills, repairs and anything else that is a necessity for keeping the building functional for your work. Claims for rent are a bit simpler, although they come with a caveat. You cannot claim on rent if you have any affiliation to the property; i.e. partial ownership or equity.
“Fortunately, insurance premiums are another deductible that the selfemployed can claim on, as long as they are solely for business use, such as employers liability, personal indemnity and business contents.” Insurance Premiums Being a small business owner, your life will be filled with all kinds of responsibilities other people don’t have to deal with. If something goes wrong, the buck stops with you, or if something is damaged, stolen or destroyed, it’s your money down the drain. Insurance then is vital in securing your financial future, but insurance itself can come at a high cost. Fortunately, insurance
Retirement Plans For the self-employed, planning for the future is practically instinctive. We are always looking for our next move, where we are heading next, who we’ll be working with and how we’ll get there. A focus on the short term, however, takes away attention from long-term financial planning, and as a result, many self-employed individuals fail to make retirement plans. This is not only damaging to the financial well-being of your future self but also your current self too. Money paid into retirement plans is considered to be non-taxable income. The amount you can save as non-taxable earnings varies, depending on your income. Despite this, even those in the lowest tax tier are able to put away thousands. This reduces the amount of tax you pay at the end of the year, as it raises the amount of earnings that is considered tax-free. It might not be in your bank, but it is safely tucked away, still yours and waiting to be spent at a later date. Russell Smith, a chartered accountant based in Leeds in the UK, is an experienced small business owner and a financial expert. For over a decade, he has run his own accounting business, helping self-employed individuals manage their accounts and grow their business.
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Best of New York Day Spa Owner Reaps over 18 Years of Success in the Wellness Industry By Sherilyn Colleen
ruce Schoenberg was inspired to start Oasis Day Spa as a home-based business so that he could be his own boss, create his own hours and effort-driven fortune. Before Oasis was born, Schoenberg spent 40-60 hours in the New York Public Library learning the ins and outs of the spa sector, from financials to business structures. Stemming from his background in the event and trade show industry, the Oasis team started small, providing outcall services and working events out of Bruce’s home. It didn’t take long thereafter for the first Oasis Day Spa to open in 1998, providing wellness, beauty, personal services, and retail to local New Yorkers and tourists alike. Soon enough, his Manhattan location was named “Best of New York” by New York Magazine. In the beginning stages of Oasis, Bruce determined that the best market for the spa to go after was the working professional and
heavily relied on the internet, networking events and the word of mouth that played a part in the spa’s initial success. His number one marketing tip, that he feels has made his business most effective and profitable to date, is to “data mine your customer base, create strong relationships with brand ambassadors and get out in the community to create relationships with your customers.” Fast-forward to nineteen years later. Bruce considers his best business achievement to be a deal made with JetBlue Airways in 2002, when he opened New York’s first full service airport spa in JetBlue’s Terminal 6 of the JFK International Airport. The spa featured quick treatments including massage, skincare, hair and nail care, along with a retail store offering unique gift and travel items. The same year, Oasis was named “Small Business of the Year” by Crain’s New York Business. The primary advantage Schoenberg took
Bruce Schoenberg is the owner of Oasis Day Spa, a relaxing spa that offers a multitude of services, helping customers achieve the ultimate in wellness and experience pampering at affordable prices.
from working from home was being his own boss. He comments, “You can work well with other people, but not always agree with what the boss tells you. I would rather do it on my own.” In the future, Bruce plans on doing more product based work and rebranding Oasis. He notes, “We’re still going to define ourselves as ‘affordable luxury,’ but I would like to add more of a luxury feel in certain aspects of the spa. I have also considered pursuing a more high-end boutique location. I don’t see myself ever retiring, so it’s just a matter of time.” Visit www.oasisdayspanyc.com/.
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3/28/16 5:20 PM
Cheeky Messages Uplift Customers Art School Graduate Launches Original Design Company with Sister from Apartment By Sherilyn Colleen
t all started back in the 80’s, when Rameses was cutting up his mother’s paper plates, cups, and anything else he could find to make the things he saw in his imagination. At the same time, his big sister Angelica was parading around in blazers with dreams of one day joining the workforce. Fast forward 20 years, and the now designer and businesswoman teamed up to start bottledBrooklyn. bottledBrooklyn is an original NYC Design company that creates bold, fresh & fun design products for everyday use. The co-founder siblings originally moved into an apartment together to save money and launch the business. “It was far from ideal, but we made it work without killing each other,” Rameses says. A designer at heart, he uses his voice and imagination to create new and interesting things. Angelica tackles the business side of things. Now living separately, the sibling duo continue to be compatible business partners. The company’s name evolved from the
brand’s first conceptual piece featuring grass and dirt stains found around Brooklyn. Following mixed reviews, the brand has since evolved its focus to delivering positive messages to combat all the negative images and sayings that have saturated the current market and popular culture. The brand features a line of vanity mirrors with tongue-in-cheek messages that promote self-empowerment. “I created the vanity mirrors to simply remind people that they are “good enough,” Ramses says. “Actually, they’re awesome.” bottledBrooklyn’s vanity mirrors serve as a positive confidence boost people can experience daily. Prior to starting his business, Ramses worked in magazine advertising/sales and even worked for a couple non-profits. He now acts as the Creative Director and changes many hats, from writing marketing material to designing the graphics, to conception and sourcing. bottledBrooklyn has customers in
Rameses Crisis is the co-founder of bottledBrooklyn, a brand featuring bold, fresh and fun lifestyle products.
their teens as well as in their 60’s. Some of their products have been picked up by stores like Ricky’s NYC and P!Q. They note their best achievement to be hearing positive customer feedback, such as how it’s an uplifting gift for a friend who’s going through a divorce or job hunting. “It means the most to know that something we’ve made might give people a little hope,” Rameses shares. The primary advantage of working from home is that Rameses gets to spend the day with his dog, Petunia. Three years from now the sibling entrepreneurs may just have to transition out of their home-based setups! Visit http://bottledbrooklyn.com/.
May/June 2016 | Home Business
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SOCIAL START-UP! Continued from page 19
Social Media Strategizing Tips to Evaluate and Strengthen Your Social Media Plan By SocialCentiv Not sure where to start your social media audit? Bernard Perrine, Ceo of SocialCentive, offers tips to help businesses evaluate their social efforts. 1. Review your goals. It’s important to know 1) your end goals, 2) who you want to reach and 3) what you want them to do. 2. Check out customer comments. Quick searches should give you a good idea on how people are rating the quality of your products and services. Tools like Mention, HootSuite, Talkwalker and Social Mention can all help with your efforts. 3. Evaluate the brand position on social media. To ensure brand consistency, accuracy and effectiveness, you need to check that everything from product information, profile pictures and headers contains consistent, updated logos, images and color schemes. Other elements of the analysis include
determining how many posts include images, which tend to increase engagement – such as generating more Retweets on Twitter – what your competitors are up to on social media, and evaluating how you engage with others on social media. Metrics are also Encourage your community to include your hashtag in their important to collect. social media posts for a chance to receive gifts such as This effort can be discounts, or access to exclusive offers or events. simple, such as using the page insights that In August 2014, HipLogiq integrated its portfolio of Twitter marFacebook provides, or something more sophisticated, such as keting applications under a single product line, SocialCentiv. Now, businesses can visit www.SocialCentiv.com and find a user-friendly, through third party technology, notably do-it-yourself Twitter marketing tool that makes it easy to create a Followerwonk’s data crunching and graphing campaign that tracks keywords and reaches relevant consumers with greater precision by targeting local Tweets. You can be part service for brands that use Twitter. “There are a lot of resources out there to help execute a successful social media strategy,” says Perrine. “You wouldn’t design and print a brochure all by yourself. You’d need help. Treat your social media efforts the same way.”
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Today’s consumers are flooded with more promotions than ever before, so the impact of more traditional channels is diluted. The cure to this overtly saturated market is content marketing. Why? Because content marketing possesses the capacity to resonate more powerfully with consumers due to the fact that it’s carefully customized to their specific needs and interests. When it comes to developing and implementing content marketing strategies, it’s not always easy to know exactly where to begin— especially if you haven’t invested much time or energy into this method before. Win the marketing content battle by building brand awareness, boosting traffic, connecting with more leads and growing your business with these three key ingredients: 1. Do your homework Research your target audience to understand their interests, questions they have, who their influencers are and the types of content they respond to. 2. Determine your goals Determine your business’s content marketing
objectives (driving conversions, increasing social following, generating press coverage, etc.) and strategize accordingly. 3. Be a trusted resource Answer the questions your prospects and customers ask by developing content that is specifically targeted. Be sure it doesn’t read like an advertisement or promotional post, and establish a tone that differentiates your brand from competitors. If you want to utilize content marketing but you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to most effectively make this happen, Jacobson Strategy offers one-on-one Skype, phone and in-person marketing coaching to empower small businesses with the strategy, support and expertise to tackle any marketing needs – without the expense of a marketing firm. By harnessing the power of strategic communications, we provide our clients the competitive edge to stay ahead of the curve and impact the bottom line. We offer nationally a suite of end-to-end communications services that deliver quantifiable results; helping our clients identify what makes them truly unique in the marketplace, develop and execute a marketing communications plan that delivers their message to the right audiences. Our integrated marketing communications programs reach target audiences of all arenas. By laying the groundwork with a comprehensive strategy, we ensure all marketing activities work synergistically and support our client’s long-term goals. For more information, visit www.jacobsonstrategy.com.
Becoming Financially Secure Selling Dietary Supplements (This is NOT a MLM opportunity–But something potentially MORE LUCRATIVE) Dietary supplements like weight loss products, vitamins and probiotics are huge sellers. And they can be very profitable – offering them either on the Internet, through a store-front or right out of your home. You combine the high profit margins and the fact that many people will stay on a particular supplement for years (if not forever) makes the dietary supplement market potentially lucrative. Right now we’re offering a free report that outlines how you can start your own dietary supplement business. Simply send a self-addressed stamped envelope to MWSB Inc., 834 South Union St, Olean, NY 147603917 www.homebusinessmag.com
Determine your business’s content marketing objectives (driving conversions, increasing social following, generating press coverage, etc.) and strategize accordingly.
Socialize Your Business for a Successful 2016 By following these experts’ insightful advice, you can strengthen your social media campaigns and online efforts to become the musthave brand for millennials and boomers alike in 2016. For information on online businesses you can start in tandem with your social media plans, check out the table of different home-based ecommerce businesses and profile information on each business in this issue. For additional information on social media outlets for your business and online businesses to start, visit www.homebusinessmag.com and http://expo.homebusinessmag.com/.
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SUCCESS STORIES 54
Stress-Saver for Parents Mom-Of-Two Introduces Easy-To-Clean Sippy Cups to the World By Sherilyn Colleen
t happened organically when mompreneur Gwen Keefe struggled with sippy cups when her kids were babies. All of the sippy cups she used featured loose parts that kept disappearing, and had tiny hard-toclean valves. After realizing that many parents probably faced the same dilemmas, she spent the next six years developing what is now the easy-to-clean Poli Sippy Cup that features no loose parts. Since all of its small parts are attached to the lid, the Poli Sippy Cup is a godsend to parents who don’t want to lose their minds over misplaced parts! The valve also opens up for fast and easy cleaning in your dishwasher—bacteria can’t hide and turn into mold! The Poli Sippy Cup features adjustable flow to grow with your child (so babies don’t get extra gas in their tummies) and a soft, chew-resistant spout for teething tots. It is available in three playful nursery rhyme designs: Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Hey
Home Business May/June 2016
Diddle Diddle to promote early reading skills. A former teacher for ten years, Gwen now manages Poli Sippy Cup from her home office. Her mission is to help improve the future of the world for our kids. “Sustainability and responsible use of resources are central to our thinking,” she says. “We manufacture all sippy cup parts in Riverside, California, where worker safety, pollution prevention, and environmental protection are established by the Environmental Protection Agency.” Gwen’s top marketing strategy is sharing Poli Sippy Cups with pregnant moms at hospitals, because it is “an awesome way to spread the word without having to spend any money.” Some hospitals are free and others might charge a small fee. The mompreneur loves being able to help out in her kids’ classroom and being at home when they come home from school. Her kids are also learning first-hand that it takes a lot of
Gwen Keefe created the Poli Sippy Cup, a baby product that is easy to clean and features no loose parts.
work to launch a business. “My kids know that at the beginning of a business you will work hard and likely not profit, but eventually with faith and determination the business becomes successful.” According to Gwen, her biggest business achievement was bringing her idea to market after 7 years of intense product development. In three years, she hopes to see many more families using Poli Sippy Cups and to also have her products in stores like Nordstrom, highend grocery stores, and boutique shops. Visit www.usapoli.com.
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Answer Anytime Interview with Ryan Gosling Continued from page 20
this film is very special. His character is based on a real person and you would never know it unless you had met the actual guy heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s playing, but Steveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance is so accurate. He got the walk, the way of speaking, everything about the man exactly right. Q: You chose to spend a lot of time the past few years working on your recent film, Lost River, as opposed to acting. Why did you want to go in that direction? RG: I wanted to tell a story where I had control over the final product and bring my own vision into making a film. People who watch movies have this impression that actors are really the important part of the process, but in reality thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this little man behind the curtain who has an idea, a vision of what should be taking place in front of the camera. A film set is really a directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world and I wanted to experience that, and now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen how hard a job it really is. Q: What surprised you most about directing? RG: (Laughs) That thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always something going wrong. But you need to pretend that everythingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s under control and project a 56
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