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Good Business Ideas For The Home Business Entrepreneur

The idea of making an income from home is very appealing, especially if you have the drive and ambition to start your own business. However small or large your entrepreneurial dreams, there are plenty of good business ideas to be explored.

Forget the “Get Rich Quick” schemes or the promises of steady income for very little time commitment and “all you have to do” is invest in an upfront program (when something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is), and focus on creating your own business doing something you love. While there are good business ideas that have made money for some you need to find a business that excites and energises you. With the right motivation and a sound business idea you’ll have the tools for success, and the ability to persist with your business over the long term.

Good business ideas for home business entrepreneurs fall into three broad categories:

1. Virtual Services

With the massive increase in outsourcing of certain tasks or jobs, there are many opportunities to offer your services virtually. This means you can work at home and provide services such as admin, writing, marketing, design, information technology or social media to companies. Either on a project basis or as their virtual PA (personal assistant), marketing officer or social media expert.

As a virtual PA you will handle all the tasks a PA would, logging expenses into a spreadsheet, booking trips, organising calendars, booking training, preparing materials for presentations and events, but based at your own home.

With systems and tools such as Google Docs, Dropbox and other online sharing tools, you can easily share information and provide documents, spreadsheets and reports remotely for your clients.

As a freelance writer you can offer to write articles, reports, edit content, post blog comments, handle forum marketing, provide blogging, tweeting or HubPages content, the options are limitless.

If you have knowledge of SEO (search engine optimisation) you can provide a service building backlinks for your clients’ websites and blogs.

Find clients by promoting your services on a Facebook fan page and by contributing to relevant discussions on Facebook, blogs and forums. Or you can find freelance work through sites such as Elance, Guru or PeoplePerHour.

2. Local Services

Use your skills and experience to offer services to local businesses. If you have even the most basic marketing, online or social media skills you can offer to be their marketing or social media expert. Charge on a per job, hourly or monthly retainer rate, depending on your local market and the expertise you’re offering.

Many local businesses are good at what they do but struggle to find new clients and promote their business effectively online. Stop in and chat with some local businesses and show them how you can help them get more customers, by improving their online marketing or social media.

A good tip is to get the local papers, school, church and parish newsletters and see which companies are advertising. Contact them and chat with them about how you can help them get more business, or save money.

3. Online Business

Online businesses are booming as demonstrated by the explosion in the numbers of people online and using Facebook. Home business entrepreneurs are finding opportunities online like never before. Start with a hobby, skill or something you feel passionate about and look at ways to make money from it.

Good business ideas include becoming an infopreneur. Create information products to share your ideas and experiences with others to help them solve a problem, or meet a need. This can be by way of a blog, community or forum website, membership site, ebooks, reports, newsletters or online training.

Information can be provided in instantly downloadable formats so customers get the information they want straight away, and you make money every time your product is downloaded.

An information business is easy to set-up, low risk and you can test your ideas on a small scale before creating more comprehensive products. Promote affiliate products to test your market or make money selling products on eBay or Amazon.

If you’re selling physical products you can use drop-shipping to automate the fulfilment and shipping of your products so you never have to handle products. The drop-ship company will handle the invoicing, payment and shipping of the product. All you do is promote the product to the customer.

The goal with an online business is to automate as much of it as possible, so you set the systems up and leave them to run. That way you’ll have a truly automated business that makes money even while you’re sleeping or away on holiday.

I’m a big fan of small niche sites that you set-up and forget. They won’t make you rich but you can create as many small niche sites as you like and multiply your income. A niche site will focus on solving one problem for a specific market, such as weight loss, caring for bearded dragons or betta fish, or getting rid of acne.

Good business ideas are all around. Start looking at the possibilities everywhere you go. See what the hot topics are in magazines and papers, listen to what people are talking about (or complaining that they are missing) and get started with your own home business today.

Inspiration For Direct Mail Advertising, Marketing and Promotional Ideas

With the recession biting deep, advertising and marketing budgets are being asked to produce more for less and creative professionals are wracking their brains to come up with new ideas to make business-to-business marketing efforts hit home. The $64,000 question is, “Where do we look for inspiration to produce a successful direct mail campaign on a reduced budget?”

The answer is not easy as there are so many different things to be considered but there are certain things that are given in this instance. The product or mailer that is chosen for the direct marketing campaign must be relatively inexpensive to produce. The product must be innovative to capture your customer’s attention. It must have impact to grab your customer’s attention. It must be versatile inasmuch as it can be made to fit your advertising or marketing message and it must be suitable for custom printing so that it is a totally unique, bespoke product.

With those guidelines firmly in place there is one product area that can offer inspiration, namely, pop-up and interactive mailers made in paper and card. There are specialist suppliers – mainly printers with specialist cardboard engineering skills – who offer many creative, innovative, new and fresh direct marketing ideas throughout their ranges of promotional pop-up products.

Direct Mail Ideas added to Paper Ideas make winning Direct Marketing Campaigns

Most manufacturers’ selections of promotional pop-up and interactive products will set a creative mind buzzing with exciting advertising ideas. The high impact characteristics and vitality of the automatic pop up products alone are enough to prompt the creative juices to flow. For instance, all automatic pop-up marketing products jump to life as soon as your customer opens the pack. The very action gives life to an abundance of creative advertising ideas and suggestions such as growth, life, fun, surprise, bounce, vitality, energy and action for example. A number of suppliers also suggest ways to add longevity and fun to automatic pop-ups by adding fun extras such as wobbly die-cuts or turning the automatic pop-up into a penholder.

Unique, Creative Marketing Ideas

Translating unique and innovative marketing ideas into a direct mail campaign is quite definitely an art and promotional pop up products will help to transform creative marketing ideas into reality. The marketing professional’s imaginative ideas and use of simple paper and cardboard engineering techniques is the key to making a unique marketing product. Coupling a creative idea to the movement in the pop up product can provide the key to the creation of a highly individual piece of promotional marketing. From there onwards, the road to a successful promotional marketing campaign is straightforward.

Whitney Woods is a leading manufacturer of pop-up and interactive products for advertising and marketing.

Promotional Products – Where to Get Them

Having a hard time looking for a right promotional products distributor? It’s not a secret that these vendors are available online to which they share information about the products and its description, imprint methods, production time, and shipment. Also on the website you can upload your logo or design, and the customer service team receives it. A toll free number is available for any inquiries, including the company email address. These vendors accept wish lists, especially if you don’t find the products that you are looking for on the website. Calling the customer service hotline can give you some promotional ideas and can work on with your promotional needs.

It is easy to place an order from any of these vendors, given the same products that they offer to their customers. A company can be classified either they are a large distributor or a small distributor. Large distributors are more complex, with existing departments leading to sales, marketing, order management, art department and accounting. Whereas small distributors can be a one man show, and may be operating as a simple home-based business.

Large distributors on the other hand, may consist of more sales people because of the customer orders that they are receiving every day and sales people can be busy at times due to multi-tasking from receiving customer inquiry, emails, products research, prices and quotes, follow up orders, client cold calls and calling new sales leads. In that way, this may cause some implications to their work loads, thus not able to respond immediately to customer’s needs, especially when some of these customers have an event or trade shows and need their orders to be rushed. In Large distributors, phones may be busy because of some new inquiries and customers might wait for a longer period of time. The tendency is that, these clients may go elsewhere, a vendor who could attend to their immediate promotional products needs.

Volume calls at times may have the inclination that they could lose some customers for their business. Some sales people cannot respond immediately due to their responsibilities abound for them for their customers order.

I have been in the advertising industries for the past five years, and to my experience, it doesn’t really matter to me whether a customer is ordering from a small distributor, given that they offer the same products and services. It is good to place an order with small distributors who need a break, because they are still building up their customer base. The drive to impress customer is there so that they will always come back for re-orders. Aside from that, organizational structure may not be complex because one person can do everything that large distributors are doing. They may have few customers and few calls, which is why they could attend to customer’s need immediately. Especially if it is a rush order, they can be more dedicated and more assertive, regardless of what products the customers are interested in.

Since most of the large distributors have the same products and services, they may differ from how customer service is delivered.