Category Archives: Business

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11 Quick tips for fixing slow computers

Hi guys! There’s nothing more annoying to me than waiting for a slow computer. Waiting for a slow, creaking, computer to churn through a simple task is one of life’s biggest annoyances. Moreso, when your daily bread depends on the efficiency of your computer, there’s nothing as annoying when it “hangs”. A tired, old PC really can make your blood boil. But sometimes even new PCs can clog up and run slowly. came up with 10 great quick fixes anyone can perform, these variety of tricks and optimizations you can perform to help increase the  speed of your computer


  1. Stop unnecessary start ups

Whenever you switch on your PC some programs will automatically start to run in the background. Things like Skype and Spotify are guilty of this. All the applications running will use your computer’s memory so ditch the ones you don’t need running.


To do this click Start and type “Run”. In the box that appears type “msconfig” and a box will appear, at the top click the “Startup” tab listing all the applications that run when your computer starts up. Either manually untick the ones that are unnecessary or click “disable all”, but be sure to keep vital things like antivirus going.


  1. Delete temporary files

Whenever you use internet Explorer all your browsing history remains in the depths of your PC. The same thing happens when you install something. It’s like never throwing away the packaging when you buy a new TV and by doing so it’ll free-up space on your system. To get rid of all this clutter open “My Computer”, select your main drive, click the “Windows” folder then open the folder inside that called “Temp”.

  1. Run virus and malware scans.

Viruses and other malware are one of the primary causes of slow performance. Adware can bog down your computer and tie up your network connection, and viruses can make your CPU and hard disk use skyrocket. Removing any malicious programs should be your top priority, and you should always have a lightweight antivirus program installed, such as BitDefender or Avast.

Removing viruses can be a difficult process, and oftentimes it may be easier to simply backup and reinstall your operating system instead of trying to track it down and eliminate it.

  1. Get more hard drive storage

No matter if you keep your computer tidy, if your hard drive becomes too full, it will affect the speed of your PC. If you use your system for processor-heavy tasks, such as recording video and media the likelihood will be that your drive will get chokka before you know it. Nowadays you can get mega storage drives over 1TB which is good for thousands of HD movies.

  1. Uninstall unused programs

When you buy a new PC the chances are there are a load of programs pre-installed onto it. Old PCs can simply accumulate these over time. Most of these you’ll never use and some of them can often run in the background without you knowing, slowing your computer down in the process.

To remove these click “Start” then go to “Control Panel” then click “Programs and Features” and scroll through the list, uninstalling the ones you never use.

If you’re unsure what should stay or go, use PC Decrapifier – a free piece of software that recommends what is worthwhile or not.

  1. Get more RAM

Have you noticed when you try to work on several applications at once, such as email, internet, and word your computer has a minor stroke when flicking between them? This is because you don’t have enough RAM. This is memory used by your PC to run the programs and can be easily upgraded (and quite cheaply) if you know where to look.

      7. Run a disk defragment

Don’t be scared by the description, it’s essentially a way to optimize your hard drive’s efficiency. To do this go to “My Computer”, right-click on the hard drive and select “Properties”. Under the “Tools” tab there should be an option to “Defragment Now”.


  1. Run a disk clean-up

Spring clean your whole system using this built-in tool which looks for unnecessary large files.

  • To perform this click “Start” then go to All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
  1. Vacuum out the dust

If you open up your PC and you won’t believe how much dust gets sucked into it through the cooling fan. Dust can clog airflow, which is vital to keeping your system temperature down and if it overheats, its performance will slow.

Use a vacuum on a low setting to clean out the insides, but ensure the PC has been off for at least 30-minutes and it’s disconnected from the mains. Also, go easy when you’re poking around in there as you could dislodge some important cables.

  1. Reinstall or upgrade your operating system.

Sometimes, the best way to improve performance is to simply wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Reinstalling Windows will clear your hard drive and improve performance. Upgrading to a newer version of Windows will often increase performance as well, though obtaining a newer version will set you back about $100.

If you can, try to format and reinstall your operating system at least once per year. This will ensure that your computer is always running at optimal speed.

Many people are put off by the thought of the time investment needed for reinstalling their operating system. If you have a good backup system already in place, you can have your computer formatted and your operating system reinstalled in about an hour. When it comes to reinstalling your old programs, you’ll probably find that you actually used less than you thought.

       11. Buy a new PC

Simple advice, but most effective if you’ve got a PC that should be cashing-in its pension. With the rise of tablet PCs and the low cost of components, prices of new laptops and desktop computers are so much more affordable than years ago. Save yourself a heap of trouble and think about it. We have a wide range of affordable laptops on our website. Shop Now!!!

The top-10 pharmaceutical companies in this market had share of around 40% in 2016 and approximately 50% considering the top-15.

The global pharmaceutical market was estimated in USD 1.1 trillion in 2016. The global market is highly mature and consolidated. The top-10 pharmaceutical companies in this market had share of around 40% in 2016 and approximately 50% considering the top-15. A comparative analysis of the top-15 organizations was used to develop a ranking for these companies.

The ranking model incorporated seven criteria for each organization with focus on revenues generated by pharmaceutical products and growth in pharmaceutical revenues (2015-2016). These additions emphasizes on the company’s pharma product portfolio unlike last year’s ranking which was based on company’s overall growth. The criteria includes pharmaceutical revenues, annual pharmaceutical revenue growth, total R&D expense, total expense, total income, proportion of revenue from top three pharmaceutical products and revenue per employee. A score statistic was developed based on these criteria. Each company was assigned a score for each criteria and a weighted sum was used to arrive at the final score statistic. Pharmaceutical revenue received the highest weight (40%) while revenue per employee (6%) receive the lowest. The score statistic represented the pharmaceutical financial health and diversity of product portfolio of each company.


Pfizer is a research-based pharmaceutical company engaged in the wellness, prevention and treatment for diseases across a broad range of therapeutic areas. The company operates through Innovative Health and Established Health businesses.


Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiaries are engaged in the research, development, manufacture and sales of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer health products.


Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) develops, manufactures and deliver innovative therapeutics and diagnostic instruments and tests.


Sanofi is a French life science company involved in research, development, manufacture and marketing of therapeutic solutions.


Novartis is a global healthcare company based in Basel, Switzerland. The company’s portfolio includes innovative pharmaceuticals and oncology medicines, generic and biosimilar medicines and eye care devices.


AbbVie, the Illinois-based company develops and markets therapies focused on treating rheumatology, gastroenterology, dermatology, oncology, virology, neurological disorders and metabolic diseases conditions.


AstraZeneca is a global company involved in the discovery, early- and late-stage development to manufacturing and distribution, and the global commercialization of primary care, specialty care-led and specialty care medicines.


Gilead Science is an American biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes therapeutics.


Amgen Inc. is an American multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California.

Watch the summary video

Sources: SEC filings and annual reports.

How content marketing can benefit your business

What Is Content Marketing Really About?

Content marketing is the fuel to every successful marketing campaign. Without content marketing, there will be no voice to be heard. After all, Google primarily indexes text. Therefore, your real question is, “how do I market with content?” There are many ways to perform successful content marketing. Here are few ways to properly market with your content.

  • Identify and define your ideal buyer, then study the behavior and needs of this targeted customer persona
  • Publish your website with mouthwatering informative content that speaks to your buyer’s persona
  • Regularly post fresh, unique content to multiple social media networks
  • Frequently publish relevant, meticulously written articles to a maintained blog
  • Perfect your content marketing on web pages, subpages and landing pages to raise conversion rate
  • Create exciting content by publishing offers and eBooks that will teach others about your expertise

Content Marketing

Does Your Website Have Poor Content Marketing?

Not to worry, adding fresh content will liven things up! In 2010, Google released an algorithm tweak, it was named caffeine, and it deemed quality content a big deal! Now, 4 years later, content marketing has never been so important. Especially since the release of Google’s new algorithm hummingbird earlier this year. Don’t panic! Google’s new algorithm will identify and reward those who produce mind-blowing content.

Does Your Content Marketing Have Them Coming Back For More?

It is easy through all the various campaign-monitoring tools to follow the pattern of your visitors. Test different campaigns to see which add prompted more activity, and then adjust accordingly. Remember, with content marketing, it’s all about, test, test, and test again!

7 Most Common Content Marketing Killers:

  • Not testing variable campaigns to improve techniques
  • Speaking about yourself to much
  • Not focusing your posts on one main topic
  • Failing to identify your target audience
  • Misusing call-to-actions
  • Failing to understand the true meaning of quality over quantity
  • Not regularly maintaining your blog with fresh content

Agriculture as the future of Nigeria economy (starting a lifetime investment on Palm oil production)


Harvesting needs much time and much care, because only those fruit clusters which are cut at the right moment yield a lot of good-quality oil.You must go through the plantation many times to pick the ripe clusters.A cluster is ripe for harvesting when the fruits begin to turn red, and when 5 or 6 fruits drop to the ground.
If you wait too long before harvesting the clusters, harvesting takes much more time, because you must pick up all the fruits that have dropped to the ground.
The fruits will also yield less oil, and the oil will be of less good quality.

If you do not wait long enough before harvesting the clusters, the fruit will not be ripe enough.
It will be more difficult to separate the fruits from the clusters and the clusters will yield less oil.

  • The clusters can be cut off with different tools.For oil palms 4 to 7 years old
    Cut the clusters with a chisel.
    Slip the chisel between the stem and the leaf; in this way you can cut off the cluster without cutting the leaf below it.For oil palms 7 to 12 years old
    Cut the clusters with a machete.
    If the clusters are too high up, climb up the tree by putting your feet on the base of the leaves.For oil palms older than 12 years
    Cut the clusters with a long-armed sickle.

If the clusters are too high up to be cut with the longarmed sickle, use bamboo ladders, or else climb up the tree with a belt; you can also wear spiked shoes.

Any clusters that have dropped to the ground should be collected in a basket.
Fruits that have come loose must also be picked up.

What’s the escuse

Image may contain: one or more people and text

When I share business opportunity with women the two biggest excuses I get are: 👇

  1. I don’t have the time.
  2. I don’t have the money.

Do you hear the same?

The funny thing is, like myself, many of the top leaders in my company started out broke, or living pay check to paycheck with no experience in direct sales or Network Marketing. But today some of them are seven figure earners.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

Making #excuses takes energy. Stop wasting that energy and try focusing on solutions!
Be coachable, have an open mind and be ready to learn.

💁🏼Being successful is hard. Being broke is hard. Pick your hard.

If you are ready to be coachable and earn to assist your home.

The Secret To Better Networking

Networking is one of those things we all know we need to do, but never get around to because we’re too busy doing other things. Too busy building our customer base, enhancing our brand, winning more business… but the funny thing is, networking is the route to all of these things. So we don’t put it off because we’re too busy to network, but because we’re nervous.

Walking into a room full of people and making conversation with strangers is always difficult, so of course you’re going to feel a little uncomfortable. In fact, you’ll probably wish the ground would swallow you up with the number of awkward silences you’ll encounter at first. But the thing to remember is it’ll get easier the more you do it. Nobody is a born networker and everyone gets nervous when approaching strangers in a room.

When I was building my first business, networking was one of my pet peeves. I was young, inexperienced and completely new to the market so I always found it really tough to strike up a conversation without any formal introductions. However, being very determined (and a little stubborn) I stuck to it, made it part of my weekly schedule and my efforts paid off.

Remember, the more you spread your name and talk to other people in your industry, the more new opportunities are likely to arise.

Some of the best deals I have been involved with have come about as a result of chance conversations. Trust me, you’d be surprised by the amount of interest you can drum up from a genuine, one-to-one conversation.

The best advice I can give you is to be prepared. Most of the time, there will be a list of attendees available for you to browse before an event. This is your chance to develop pre-connections.

Check out their LinkedIn profile, find out something about them and use it as an ice breaker. Not only will you break any awkward silences but you’ll also make a good impression and be the person they remember. If someone starts a conversation by mentioning somewhere you used to work, where you attended university or any communities you’re a member of – you’re instantly engaged.

Let people know your movements – use your social networks to tell everyone how excited you are to network and where and when they can meet you. Don’t forget, you’re giving up your time to attend this event so you need to take something from it.

Make an effort and don’t let the experience become a waste of time. Even if you don’t find a new client straight away, the chances of meeting someone who knows someone who could do with your help are pretty significant.

Everything starts with a conversation. Make yours count. Good luck!

Here’s why snap C.E .O Evan Spiegel(Snap Inc) is playing it safe with investors

Image result for Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. (Snap Inc.)

Snapchat executives hit the road on Friday to lure investors into what could be the biggest tech-sector stock offering in years.

The schedule of meetings will take them to London on Monday, and New York on Tuesday, and eventually across the US. And if it’s like other high-profile tech deals of recent years, they’ll draw a standing room only crowd of analysts and fund managers looking to get a feel of what the buzz is about.

Already, though, Snap Inc. has raised some eyebrows on Wall Street. After people close to the company floated the idea that it would be valued at up to $25 billion — for months — it hits the road with a price range that puts its maximum value at closer to $22 billion.

It’s not a massive difference, but it was enough to raise the question of what happened. There are plenty of reasons for investors to be skeptical of the company’s disappearing message app. One is simply that its user base is young, and that means plenty of decision makers on Wall Street won’t even understand what it is.

Snap knows this and one video posted on its website for investors Friday is simply a lesson on how the app works. People close to the company said that preliminary meetings with investors and analysts, late last year, included this lesson.

Then there’s the question of its valuation. Even if $22 billion is lower than it might have sought, the company only reported $400 million of revenue in 2016 and no profits. Also, it has a share structure that means investors paying that will get no say in how it is run.

So is that all getting baked into the price already? Maybe. Reuters reported that one reason for the slightly lower valuation reflected feedback from those preliminary meetings.

Playing it safe

One person close to the situation told Business Insider that Snap is playing it safe with the intention of going higher as soon as demand merits. Conversely, asking for the full $25 billion and being forced to roll it back if investor demand isn’t high enough would be a worse outcome that taints the company’s trading debut.



The company said Thursday it was seeking to price shares at $14 to $16, but this person — who asked not to be identified discussing the situation — said the only acceptable price, in reality, will be $16 per share or more.

This person expects Snap’s order book to be oversubscribed, meaning there will be demand for more shares than it is selling.

“If you look at Twitter, Facebook, or Alibaba, there’s a pretty consistent playbook that many companies run,” a pre-IPO investor in Snap, who also asked not to be identified, told Business Insider. “They come up with range that’s very attractive and then they walk it up.”

A spokesperson for Snap declined to comment.

So is it worth it?

Among the risks investors are likely to focus on is a slowdown in user growth. In the fourth quarter, for example, Snap says it had 48% more users than a year earlier. That’s the slowest growth rate for any of the 12 quarters for which it reported numbers.

“The deceleration in user growth is a clear indicator that Snap is losing its snap,” said Lee Bressler, portfolio manager at Carbon Investment Partners, a small hedge fund. “Instagram’s stories feature is a direct competitor and will continue to take market share. This could be the next Twitter, or worse, Myspace.”

Twitter, which went public in 2013, is struggling to grow its user base and investors who held the stock for the last three years have been punished for it: at about $16 a share currently, the stock is well below its IPO price of $26.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.playTwitter founder Jack Dorsey.


Spiegel is set to respond to concerns around its slowing user growth in investor meetings. As Business Insider previously reported, he plans to emphasize quality of engagement over quantity of users. He wants his existing users to really enjoy the product and is focused on innovating to make it more usable.

Part of that means users must have higher-end smart phones. Snapchat works best on iPhones, and while some problems persist on Android and other phones, Spiegel says he will not dilute the product to make it work on every phone.

So unlike Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion users around the world, Snap will not focus on non-iPhone-using customers in places like the developing world because those markets are not easily monetized. The logic is that advertisers want to reach North America and develop Europe rather than the rest of world.

In the company’s roadshow materials, it said its biggest revenue opportunity is the growing budget for worldwide mobile advertising, which could reach $196 billion by 2020 from $66 billion currently.

Snap’s business is to “create the best camera platform so we can drive engagement and monetize that engagement through advertising,” Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan said in the video.

Growing revenue

Focusing on revenue growth makes sense for Snap’s executives because of the blistering pace at which sales are increasing. The company sold its first ad at the end of 2014, but really started to monetize the business with the hire of Khan in 2015. His team grew revenues from $58.7 million in 2015 to $404.5 million in 2016. Last summer, the company launched Snapchat Partners, an advertising API, to expand the advertising business.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.playFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

(Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Consumer tech investors Goodwater Capital estimate Snap will grow revenue to $1.10 billion in 2017, $1.94 billion in 2018, and $2.75 billion in 2019. They estimate the company will turn its first profit in 2020.

Certainly, the company’s existing backers are betting that the stock will be more like Facebook — which is up 250% since its 2012 debut — and less like Twitter.

Of course, Facebook’s stock famously tanked in the months after its debut, losing about half of its value and raising questions about its pricing, though the company has now far surpassed that initial valuation.

“While on an absolute basis, the valuation appears high from an investor’s risk/reward perspective, I think Snap becomes very much the next Instagram, or possibly bigger,” the existing Snap investor, whose fund has a $150 million stake in the company, told Business Insider.

Instagram, a photo-based social media network, is owned by Facebook.

Facebook has “consistently tried to kill Snapchat off,” the investor added. “It’s a risk, but what helps me sleep well at night is that Snap has consistently out-innovated Facebook for five years and I think that is likely to continue.”




What it takes to be an Entrepreneur





Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.
An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture.

According to economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), entrepreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success.

Schumpeter discovered that they
greatly value self-reliance,
strive for distinction through excellence,
are highly optimistic (otherwise nothing would be undertaken), and

always favor challenges of medium risk (neither too easy, nor ruinous).


25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Do you have what it takes to get through hard times? Here are the traits that help home-based business owners thrive.

Regardless of your definition of success, there are, oddly enough, a great number of common characteristics that are shared by successful businesspeople. You can place a check beside each characteristic that you feel that you possess. This way, you can see how you stack up. Even if you don’t have all of these characteristics, don’t fret. Most can be learned with practice and by developing a winning attitude, especially if you set goals and apply yourself, through strategic planning, to reach those goals in incremental and measurable stages.

The Home Business Musts

Like any activity you pursue, there are certain musts that are required to be successful in a chosen activity. To legally operate a vehicle on public roadways, one must have a driver’s license; to excel in sports, one must train and practice; to retire comfortably, one must become an informed investor and actively invest for retirement. If your goal is success in business, then the formula is no different. There are certain musts that have to be fully developed, implemented and managed for your business to succeed. There are many business musts, but this article contains I believe to be some of the more important musts that are required to start, operate and grow a profitable home business.

1. Do what you enjoy.

What you get out of your business in the form of personal satisfaction, financial gain, stability and enjoyment will be the sum of what you put into your business. So if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, in all likelihood it’s safe to assume that will be reflected in the success of your business–or subsequent lack of success. In fact, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, chances are you won’t succeed.

2. Take what you do seriously.

You cannot expect to be effective and successful in business unless you truly believe in your business and in the goods and services that you sell. Far too many home business owners fail to take their own businesses seriously enough, getting easily sidetracked and not staying motivated and keeping their noses to the grindstone. They also fall prey to naysayers who don’t take them seriously because they don’t work from an office building, office park, storefront, or factory. Little do these skeptics, who rain on the home business owner’s parade, know is that the number of people working from home, and making very good annual incomes, has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.

3. Plan everything.

Planning every aspect of your home business is not only a must, but also builds habits that every home business owner should develop, implement, and maintain. The act of business planning is so important because it requires you to analyze each business situation, research and compile data, and make conclusions based mainly on the facts as revealed through the research. A business plan also serves a second function, which is having your goals and how you will achieve them, on paper. You can use the plan that you create both as map to take you from point A to Z and as a yardstick to measure the success of each individual plan or segment within the plan.

4. Manage money wisely.

The lifeblood of any business enterprise is cash flow. You need it to buy inventory, pay for services, promote and market your business, repair and replace tools and equipment, and pay yourself so that you can continue to work. Therefore, all home business owners must become wise money managers to ensure that the cash keeps flowing and the bills get paid. There are two aspects to wise money management.

  1. The money you receive from clients in exchange for your goods and services you provide (income)
  2. The money you spend on inventory, supplies, wages and other items required to keep your business operating. (expenses)

5. Ask for the sale.

A home business entrepreneur must always remember that marketing, advertising, or promotional activities are completely worthless, regardless of how clever, expensive, or perfectly targeted they are, unless one simple thing is accomplished–ask for the sale. This is not to say that being a great salesperson, advertising copywriting whiz or a public relations specialist isn’t a tremendous asset to your business. However, all of these skills will be for naught if you do not actively ask people to buy what you are selling.

6. Remember it’s all about the customer.

Your home business is not about the products or services that you sell. Your home business is not about the prices that you charge for your goods and services. Your home business is not about your competition and how to beat them. Your business is all about your customers, or clients, period. After all, your customers are the people that will ultimately decide if your business goes boom or bust. Everything you do in business must be customer focused, including your policies, warranties, payment options, operating hours, presentations, advertising and promotional campaigns and website. In addition, you must know who your customers are inside out and upside down.

Related: Keeping Your Customers Satisfied — It’s All in the Details

7. Become a shameless self-promoter (without becoming obnoxious).

One of the greatest myths about personal or business success is that eventually your business, personal abilities, products or services will get discovered and be embraced by the masses that will beat a path to your door to buy what you are selling. But how can this happen if no one knows who you are, what you sell and why they should be buying?

Self-promotion is one of the most beneficial, yet most underutilized, marketing tools that the majority of home business owners have at their immediate disposal.

8. Project a positive business image.

You have but a passing moment to make a positive and memorable impression on people with whom you intend to do business. Home business owners must go out of their way and make a conscious effort to always project the most professional business image possible. The majority of home business owners do not have the advantage of elaborate offices or elegant storefronts and showrooms to wow prospects and impress customers. Instead, they must rely on imagination, creativity and attention to the smallest detail when creating and maintaining a professional image for their home business.

9. Get to know your customers.

One of the biggest features and often the most significant competitive edge the home based entrepreneur has over the larger competitors is the he can offer personalized attention. Call it high-tech backlash if you will, but customers are sick and tired of hearing that their information is somewhere in the computer and must be retrieved, or told to push a dozen digits to finally get to the right department only to end up with voice mail–from which they never receive a return phone call.

The home business owner can actually answer phone calls, get to know customers, provide personal attention and win over repeat business by doing so. It’s a researched fact that most business (80 percent) will come from repeat customers rather than new customers. Therefore, along with trying to draw newcomers, the more you can do to woo your regular customers, the better off you will be in the long run and personalized attention is very much appreciated and remembered in the modern high tech world.

Related: Why You Should Never Prejudge a Sales Prospect

10. Level the playing field with technology.

You should avoid getting overly caught up in the high-tech world, but you should also know how to take advantage of using it. One of the most amazing aspects of the internet is that a one or two person business operating from a basement can have a superior website to a $50 million company, and nobody knows the difference. Make sure you’re keeping up with the high-tech world as it suits your needs.. The best technology is that which helps you, not that which impresses your neighbors.

11. Build a top-notch business team.

No one person can build a successful business alone. It’s a task that requires a team that is as committed as you to the business and its success. Your business team may include family members, friends, suppliers, business alliances, employees, sub-contractors, industry and business associations, local government and the community. Of course the most important team members will be your customers or clients. Any or all may have a say in how your business will function and a stake in your business future.

Related: Why Teamwork Should Be Your No. 1 Sales Tool

12. Become known as an expert.

When you have a problem that needs to be solved, do you seek just anyone’s advice or do you seek an expert in the field to help solve your particular problem? Obviously, you want the most accurate information and assistance that you can get. You naturally seek an expert to help solve your problem. You call a plumber when the hot water tank leaks, a real estate agent when it’s time to sell your home or a dentist when you have a toothache. Therefore, it only stands to reason that the more you become known for your expertise in your business, the more people will seek you out to tap into your expertise, creating more selling and referral opportunities. In effect, becoming known as an expert is another style of prospecting for new business, just in reverse. Instead of finding new and qualified people to sell to, these people seek you out for your expertise.

13. Create a competitive advantage.

A home business must have a clearly defined unique selling proposition. This is nothing more than a fancy way of asking the vital question, “Why will people choose to do business with you or purchase your product or service instead of doing business with a competitor and buying his product or service?” In other words, what one aspect or combination of aspects is going to separate your business from your competition? Will it be better service, a longer warranty, better selection, longer business hours, more flexible payment options, lowest price, personalized service, better customer service, better return and exchange policies or a combination of several of these?

14. Invest in yourself.

Top entrepreneurs buy and read business and marketing books, magazines, reports, journals, newsletters, websites and industry publications, knowing that these resources will improve their understanding of business and marketing functions and skills. They join business associations and clubs, and they network with other skilled business people to learn their secrets of success and help define their own goals and objectives. Top entrepreneurs attend business and marketing seminars, workshops and training courses, even if they have already mastered the subject matter of the event. They do this because they know that education is an ongoing process. There are usually ways to do things better, in less time, with less effort. In short, top entrepreneurs never stop investing in the most powerful, effective and best business and marketing tool at their immediate disposal–themselves.

15. Be accessible.

We’re living in a time when we all expect our fast food lunch at the drive-thru window to be ready in mere minutes, our dry cleaning to be ready for pick-up on the same day, our money to be available at the cash machine and our pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free. You see the pattern developing–you must make it as easy as you can for people to do business with you, regardless of the home business you operate.

You must remain cognizant of the fact that few people will work hard, go out of their way, or be inconvenienced just for the privilege of giving you their hard-earned money. The shoe is always on the other foot. Making it easy for people to do business with you means that you must be accessible and knowledgeable about your products and services. You must be able to provide customers with what they want, when they want it.

16. Build a rock-solid reputation.

A good reputation is unquestionably one of the home business owner’s most tangible and marketable assets. You can’t simply buy a good reputation; it’s something that you earn by honoring your promises. If you promise to have the merchandise in the customer’s hands by Wednesday, you have no excuse not to have it there. If you offer to repair something, you need to make good on your offer. Consistency in what you offer is the other key factor. If you cannot come through with the same level of service (and products) for clients on a regular basis, they have no reason to trust you . . . and without trust, you won’t have a good reputation.

17. Sell benefits.

Pushing product features is for inexperienced or wannabe entrepreneurs. Selling the benefits associated with owning and using the products and services you carry is what sales professionals worldwide focus on to create buying excitement and to sell, sell more, and sell more frequently to their customers. Your advertising, sales presentations, printed marketing materials, product packaging, website, newsletters, trade show exhibit and signage are vital. Every time and every medium used to communicate with your target audience must always be selling the benefits associated with owning your product or using your service.

18. Get involved.

Always go out of your way to get involved in the community that supports your business. You can do this in many ways, such as pitching in to help local charities or the food bank, becoming involved in organizing community events, and getting involved in local politics. You can join associations and clubs that concentrate on programs and policies designed to improve the local community. It’s a fact that people like to do business with people they know, like and respect, and with people who do things to help them as members of the community.

19. Grab attention.

Small-business owners cannot waste time, money and energy on promotional activities aimed at building awareness solely through long-term, repeated exposure. If you do, chances are you will go broke long before this goal is accomplished. Instead, every promotional activity you engage in, must put money back in your pocket so that you can continue to grab more attention and grow your business.

20. Master the art of negotiations.

The ability to negotiate effectively is unquestionably a skill that every home business owner must make every effort to master. It’s perhaps second in importance only to asking for the sale in terms of home business musts. In business, negotiation skills are used daily. Always remember that mastering the art of negotiation means that your skills are so finely tuned that you can always orchestrate a win-win situation. These win-win arrangements mean that everyone involved feels they have won, which is really the basis for building long-term and profitable business relationships.

21. Design Your workspace for success.

Carefully plan and design your home office workspace to ensure maximum personal performance and productivity and, if necessary, to project professionalism for visiting clients. If at all possible, resist the temptation to turn a corner of the living room or your bedroom into your office. Ideally, you’ll want a separate room with a door that closes to keep business activities in and family members out, at least during prime business and revenue generating hours of the day. A den, spare bedroom, basement or converted garage are all ideal candidates for your new home office. If this is not possible, you’ll have to find a means of converting a room with a partition or simply find hours to do the bulk of your work when nobody else is home.

22. Get and stay organized.

The key to staying organized is not about which type of file you have or whether you keep a stack or two of papers on your desk, but it’s about managing your business. It’s about having systems in place to do things. Therefore, you wan to establish a routine by which you can accomplish as much as possible in a given workday, whether that’s three hours for a part-time business or seven or nine hours as a full-timer. In fact, you should develop systems and routines for just about every single business activity. Small things such as creating a to-do list at the end of each business day, or for the week, will help keep you on top of important tasks to tackle. Creating a single calendar to work from, not multiple sets for individual tasks or jobs, will also ensure that jobs are completed on schedule and appointments kept. Incorporating family and personal activities into your work calendar is also critical so that you work and plan from a single calendar.

23. Take time off.

The temptation to work around the clock is very real for some home business owners. After all, you don’t have a manager telling you it’s time to go home because they can’t afford the overtime pay. Every person working from home must take time to establish a regular work schedule that includes time to stretch your legs and take lunch breaks, plus some days off and scheduled vacations. Create the schedule as soon as you have made the commitment to start a home business. Of course, your schedule will have to be flexible. You should, therefore, not fill every possible hour in the day. Give yourself a backup hour or two. All work and no play makes you burn out very fast and grumpy customer service is not what people want.

24. Limit the number of hats you wear.

It’s difficult for most business owners not to take a hands-on approach. They try to do as much as possible and tackle as many tasks as possible in their business. The ability to multitask, in fact, is a common trait shared by successful entrepreneurs. However, once in a while you have to stand back and look beyond today to determine what’s in the best interest of your business and yourself over the long run. Most highly successful entrepreneurs will tell you that from the time they started out, they knew what they were good at and what tasks to delegate to others.

25. Follow-up constantly.

Constant contact, follow-up, and follow-through with customers, prospects, and business alliances should be the mantra of every home business owner, new or established. Constant and consistent follow-up enables you to turn prospects into customers, increase the value of each sale and buying frequency from existing customers, and build stronger business relationships with suppliers and your core business team. Follow-up is especially important with your existing customer base, as the real work begins after the sale. It’s easy to sell one product or service, but it takes work to retain customers and keep them coming back.

James Stephenson is an experienced home based consultant with more than 15 years of business and marketing experience.

25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs


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