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How to Find Your Business Idea in a Weekend

How to Find Your Business Idea in a WeekendBy Olivia Angelescu

Just like Agatha Christie, one of my favorite fiction writers, once said, The secret of getting ahead is getting started”. In order to build a successful business, you first have to find that business idea which seems just perfect for you: one that would build up on all the things you enjoy doing while allowing you to reach and even exceed your financial goals.

Many people who want to have their own business, tend to allocate too much time to the choosing-the-business-idea phase, thinking that this stage is the most crucial one. Actually all the phases of setting up a business are equally important, but we will definitely gain a lot more clarity out of doing and implementing than out of mentally playing with ideas.

Sometimes, especially when preparing for adventures (like becoming a new entrepreneur), we can get stuck in the preparation phase, trying to reach the perfect starting point. While this is normal, it can also become inefficient, as it can easily postpone the launch of our business.

Now, I am not telling you that you shouldn’t be serious about choosing your business idea. But you should not allocate a lot of time (more than a few days) to this if you don’t really need to. Of course, it is easier said than done, but this is something you can achieve if you have a good system for it. And this is exactly what I will give you in this article. (more…)

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Scanning Photos can be a Great Home Business

Scanning Photos can be a Great Home BusinessBy Cathi Nelson

Converting old photographs into digital images by scanning them is a terrific small business opportunity that offers flexible hours and a minimum investment. In fact, in addition to managing APPO, I share a photo scanning business with my teenage children. It has been a great opportunity to teach them the fundamentals of running a business including taking responsibility for a project, the importance of customer service, estimating a job, collecting money and saving for the future. This past month my 17-year-old daughter earned $1,000 working for one client. She scanned hundreds of photos in the comfort of our home, under my supervision and has a new batch to start on this week.

Many people have a lifetime of printed photos that they consider priceless. We know the first thing many want to rescue from a burning building is their photo collection but they often languish in shoeboxes, basements, and attics. Why? That amount of time and effort to organize, sort, and collate a collection is often overwhelming. Many people assume they will get to it someday but someday often never comes, until there is a trigger such as an illness, retirement, funeral, wedding, milestone anniversary, or birthday. In addition, many people fear that their photos may be lost if they ship them to one of the offsite scanning companies. (more…)

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What to Say When a Prospect Says Your Rate is Too High: 9 Tips for Confident Freelancers

What to Say When a Prospect Says Your Rate is Too High: 9 Tips for Confident FreelancersBy Diana Schneidman

It happens to all of us freelancers.

You are talking to someone who may hire you as a freelancer and the subject gets to your pay rate. She asks, you answer. And she says it is “too high.”

It doesn’t matter if you quote a project rate or an hourly rate. Doesn’t matter how much you preface the number with enticing results from your past work. Doesn’t matter how well you understand her project or how many prestige names have loved your work.

Doesn’t matter if you play hard to get and give yourself a day or two to get comfortable with the higher figure you want to quote before responding. Doesn’t even matter if you give a low rate that makes you want to kick yourself.

It boils down to this: There are other people out there who will offer very low rates. As much as we’d like to comfort ourselves with assurances that these low-ball fees result in incompetent, late work, that may not be the case.

It’s not reasonable to compete on price because there is no telling how low some people will go. (more…)

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How and Why You Should Make Freelance Friends

How and Why You Should Make Freelance FriendsBy Anneke Steenkamp 

One of the things that leave me envious when talking to my 9-5 friends is the office antics and bonding with fellow colleagues. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time this is counter-productive and in my case, irritating – but in some way they all have ‘the office’ in common.

As freelancers we might be on first name basis with the local coffee shop owner, or that ‘guy’ that gives you the WiFi password – but we don’t have that sense of camaraderie. That’s why I feel that is important to find your ‘peeps’ within the freelance industry, even if they are on the other side of the world.

Here are some of my reasons for making freelance friends:

1. Support

I cannot begin to explain how many times I’ve had try and convey what it is that I do on a daily basis. Even though your friends and family are trying to be supportive it just doesn’t always sound that way. I’ve gathered that most people in my life think that I do ‘work’, but that I’m always available. This is a common misconception – and one which you can complain about with your freelance friends. (more…)

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Why Your Professional Image Is So Important

Why Your Professional Image Is So ImportantBy Danielle Buffardi

I know, you’re already thinking — ‘Professional Image? But I run an online business and no one sees me all day.’ Regardless if you don’t physically come into contact with another human life form throughout your workday, you still need to maintain and compile an online image that consumers can easily recognize and feel comfortable trusting.

Therefore, if you’re running a social media company let’s say, picking a teddy bear as your mascot probably isn’t going to convey what it is you do to your clients in the most clear way. Take the time from the beginning and design an image that reverberates your brand in the minds of your clients.

Headshot:

Which takes us to why having professional pictures of yourself is the way to go. If you are your brand, then please don’t lower everyone’s expectations right off the bat by offering us a picture you took yourself on your iPhone next to your shower. Just because you’re smiling in the picture doesn’t make it a professional image. Enlist the help of either a friend who can take professional quality pictures or find a professional photographer who can. The last thing your potential clients want to have representing them when they’re debating whether or not to hire you is a Polaroid your mom took when you were 25. Update yourself and your company by presenting professional photos along with a professionally designed logo and you’ll be halfway to hire-able. (more…)

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