Sunday, September 30, 2012

Investing in a Palm Oil Plantation Business

is native to West Africa. Nigeria used to be the world's largest producer of oil palm before the oil boom era, but Malaysia has now taken the leading position. Oil palm plantation and allied industries is now the main stay of the Malaysian economy. The palm tree can be used in various ways: the leaves are used in making brooms and for roofing materials (in the rural areas). The bark of the fond can be peeled and woven into baskets, the main trunk can be split like sawn timbers and used as part of building materials, while palm wine can also be obtained from the palm tree, as well as red palm oil, which is readily obtainable from the fresh fruit bunches.

When the fruit is processed, however, the residue obtained can be used as fuel (for cooking and fertilizer to improve soil nutrient).

Red palm oil is used in cooking, making soap, candle and margarine. Palm kernel oil can be extracted from the nut, while the residue obtainable in the process of palm kernel oil extraction, otherwise called palm kernel cake, is used as livestock feed.

Palm kernel oil is used in vegetable oil and soap making, and the shells are useful as energy source. The uses to which oil palm can be made seem non-exhaustive. This clearly indicates that investment made in the establishment of oil palm plantation is nothing but a wise one.

The market is guaranteed for all the products of oil palm plantation in this era of global food crisis.

Technical Information

To establish palm oil plantation, involves getting a good site where rich, well-drained acidic soils are abundant. The soil should have adequate quantities of potassium, magnesium and nitrogen. Soil tests should therefore be carried out to determine the nutrient status of the land. It is usually better to use the early maturing variety called 'tenera,' which bears fruits as from the fourth year.

Other requirements include seedlings procurement, which can be obtained from reputable nurseries. Prospective investors must engage the services of agricultural experts in the course of establishing this project.

Other cultural practices are planting, regular weeding, pruning and fertilizer application.

Financial Aspect

We are recommending 50 hectares for a start. 20 hectares oil palm plantation can conveniently service a palm oil mill that will be established by the owner when the plantation starts to bring fruit. To establish 50 hectares of plantation, the sum of N10, 500,000 will be required and this is broken down as follows:

Pre-investments: N300, 000
Land acquisition: N4, 000,000
Land clearing/preparation: N3, 000,000
Seedlings procurement: 120/ha(2400 @ N500): N1, 200,000
Other cultural practices @N100, 000/ha: N2, 000,000
Total N10, 500,000

Income Analysis

A mature plantation will start to give an investor five tons of red palm oil annually from the fourth year per hectare. 100 metric tons of oil can be obtained annually from 20 hectares of plantation.

A ton of red palm oil is a minimum of N150, 000, while gross revenue of N15 million is obtained from red palm oil.

We can also get three metric tons of palm kernels per hectare, which gives us 60 tons from 20 hectares. This translates to annual income of N4.2 million. Total income realisable is about N19.2 million, while the annual operating expense is put at N5.8 million.

This leaves us with net income of N13.4 million annually for the investor for the rest of his/her life. Serious-minded investors can be assisted in realising this worthwhile investment.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Surviving the Amazon Effect

a term for the change to the competitive landscape caused by the growth of Jim Tompkins recently posted a podcast about this topic and how its changing the business climate. Essentially, Amazon has grown to become a competitor with nearly every company - from Walmart to Apple, Home Depot to Netflix. Jim predicts that because of Amazon's growth, and several other tipping points, a perfect storm of bankruptcies will sweep through an unprecedented number of companies by 2014. The podcast also spends considerable time speculating on what the brick-and-mortar Amazon store will look like - a move that has many large retailers anxious as Amazon continues to expand its business models.

With Amazon competing with everyone, how can a small business endure this new wave of competition and survive the Amazon Effect? Three survival options are (1) differentiate your services to what Amazon does not yet offer, (2) leverage your business's flexibility to innovate, or (3) join forces with Amazon and become a supplier. Above all, remaining focused on your customers will help weather any challenge.

Differentiate Your Services
"In real estate, it's location, location, location. In business, it's differentiate, differentiate, differentiate." - Robert Goizueta

Obviously, in order to avoid direct competition with Amazon, your business needs to provide a product or service that is different. Though this may seem simple, the great challenge lies in staying ahead of how quickly Amazon's portfolio is expanding. Having not yet opened a brick-and-mortar location, Amazon's business model still relies fully on the Internet. Web hosting, software, and eBooks delivered electronically, as well as their enormous SKU count of products ordered electronically, all rely on their website and customers interacting with their system. Although their system is easy to use, that model leaves an opportunity for differentiation.

Highlight your Company's Service
A key asset that a small business can offer is expertise and service to its customers. Although I sometimes spend hours comparing customer reviews and creating my own analysis of a product, I greatly value the honest expertise and guidance that small businesses provide. The more we become accustomed to working with computers, the more we feel refreshed with positive human interactions. Human relationship building is often absent from the Amazon experience. Therefore, customer service and human interaction can be a key to differentiating.

In addition, you may want to change how you approach your customers. Several years ago, IBM, seeing the trouble ahead for its business if it focused on hardware, switched its business model. Instead, it became an executive consulting company that helps implement its hardware and software. This value-added service satisfies a demand that a 1-Click purchase and a box full of hardware cannot.

Leverage Your Business's Flexibility to Innovate
"The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage." - Arie de Gues

Being a small business has an inherent strength of flexibility that most large companies wish they still had. Alignment is much easier when you can fit all your employees into one room and share your vision. More importantly, it is much easier to test and implement innovations because implementation on a smaller scale is more feasible. Once you grow as Amazon has, you cannot implement innovations as quickly and easily as a startup.

A friend of mine who recently completed a summer internship at Amazon highlighted one of its weaknesses. My friend had spent the summer working at a distribution center and proposing various process improvements. However, because of the company's size and emphasis on short-term ROI, he was not able to implement his ideas. To be fair, I do not know any of the details or merits of his suggestions. Nevertheless, my friend did not want to work for them after the internship because of this experience. It highlights not only the lack of flexibility in operations, but also inefficiencies such as paying an MBA intern for a summer with little in return.

Instead, being able to integrate quickly the latest innovations in supply chain - or any other department - will help you withstand the waves of Amazon's competitive presence.

Join Forces with Amazon and Become a Supplier
If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative. - Author Unknown

For many businesses, the strength of Amazon is a boon rather than a burden. From my dad who sells books on Amazon's marketplace to consumer goods manufacturers that work through Amazon as a retail channel, more people visiting the site means more potential customers. Recognizing that Amazon will be one of the main retail channels for the next few years can help you prepare your company to fit into its network.

How can you become a supplier to Amazon and other online retailers? Listing your products online is quite easy - most online sites pride themselves on large SKU counts, especially if you are the one holding the inventory. Success depends more on your ability to process orders seamlessly and drop-ship to customers. Quickly shipping to consumers will keep your supplier scorecards high and customer reviews favorable. Many 3PLs can handle these services for you, which is an excellent option if order volumes justify the expense.

Customer Focused Philosophy
The Amazon Effect is certainly a threat to many companies unprepared for the new competitive landscape. I agree with Jim Tompkins that many companies will eventual shut their doors because of the increased competition. However, Amazon's devotion to its customers, more than their operations or business model, is what has made it so powerful. Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of has said,
"Do not be competitor focused, be customer focused."

That then is the key to surviving the Amazon effect. Recognize the increased competition, but then work on every part of your supply chain and business to serve the customer better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Invest in Moringa Beverage Production

Moringa cultivation is gaining popularity in Nigeria in recent times. Ghana has benefited immensely from cultivation and utilisation of this crop. Many Nigerians are now establishing Moringa plantations, and also witnessing the positive effects of consuming Moringa products.

The health benefits of Moringa are limitless. It is a strong antioxidant effective against prostrate and skin cancers. It is an anti-tumour and an anti-aging substance. It modulates anemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, high serum or blood cholesterol, thyroid, liver and kidney problems. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties ameliorating rheumatism, joint pains, arthritis, edema and Lupus.

It is effective against digestive disorders including colitis, diarrhea, flatulence - gas, ulcer or gastritis.

Moringa is an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral agent; it is effective against urinary tract infection, typhoid, syphilis, dental carries and toothaches, fungus, thrush, common cold, Epsetein-Barr virus, Herpes - simpex, HIV AIDS, warts parasites, worms, schistosomes and trypanosomes. It is a detoxifying agent, it is effective against snake and scorpion bites.

With all the health benefits listed above, a Moringa-based beverage produced in Nigeria, well packaged, well managed with aggressive marketing strategies will sell like hot cake. A Moringa-based beverage production factory is nothing but a goldmine that will definitely turn around the fortunes of the promoters. Nigeria being the largest market in the black world, any acceptable product will become goldmine for the business owners.

Technical information

Moringa plantations are springing up in Nigeria and it has been well established that Nigeria has the potential to grow millions of hectares of it; hence the raw materials supply can never pose any problem. Its leaves are plucked and soaked in hygienic water and heated up to get the Moringa extract. The extract is filtered and blended with natural sweeteners such as honey and glucose syrup.

The mixture can be flavoured with such flavours as strawberry, valina and ginger. Preservatives are added to increase the shelf live. Not only this, the product undergoes pasteurisation to eliminate pathogens and also to allow it to keep for a reasonable long time. A good packaging is a pre-requisite to market acceptability. Serious minded investors can be put through the technicality.

Financial implication

Monday, September 10, 2012

7 Best Business Ideas for 2012

Energy Efficiency Consultant

Cutting down the costs of energy bills is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners and businesses. However, reducing such bills is much more challenging than you may think. That's where energy efficient consultants can lend their expertise. If you have a background in utilities or construction, you'll be qualified to provide home or business owners with advice pertaining to insulation; smart meter installation; and water usage.


There are many people who have become obsessed with hoarding invaluable items. This obsession has given birth to the business of organizing. Since hoarders are unable to make resolute decisions, having an organizer will be a great asset. Although there isn't any rigid set of rules to qualify as an organizer, it is important that you possess organizing skills that will allow you to transform a space with junk into a clutter-free zone.


Many people are turning to the internet as a means of earning an income. The rise of online entrepreneurs has ushered in a new era of doing business. One of the best business ideas for 2012 has been in the area of copywriting. There is a vast array of website owners seeking to develop consistent content on their websites. Whether or not these website owners possess the skills to write such content, many prefer to place the work in the hands of professional copywriters. If you're well-versed in the areas of writing, English, or Journalism your services will be in constant demand.

Elder Assistant

Elder assistance has landed a spot on the best business ideas for 2012. Nursing qualifications are not required for this line of work. The elderly, in most cases, require minimal assistance around the house. If you pursue this course, you may find yourself grocery shopping; doing daily chores; and paying bills.

Vending Machine Business

The vending machine industry has caught onto the healthy trend. Foods such as soda and chips are no longer in par with the health-conscious lifestyle of many Americans. As a result, franchises such as Fresh Vending, has incorporated healthier choices into its vending machines. If you've mounted the health-conscious band wagon and you're seeking to get a message across to the masses of the importance of eating healthy, starting a vending machine business would be the ideal place to start.

Smartphone Repair

Smartphones are essential for both business and personal life. Oftentimes, you can find smartphone users seeking advice in forums to solve an issue with their mobile device. Your services will come in handy here. In some cases, fixing a smartphone can cost as much as buying one. However, smartphone repair is one of the best business ideas you can explore in 2012, since the demand is gradually rising.

Traveling Salon

Senior services will increase in accordance with people's lifespan. Besides health care, seniors may require beautician services. Instead of going to get such services, you'll travel in a mobile salon to their houses to perform hair, nails, or other beautician services.

Caroline Baxter Is a Serial Entrepreneur and Business Coach with over 15 years experience. The owner of multiple successful business enterprises, Caroline began her first business venture at the tender age of just 24, generating her first six-figure salary by the end of her first year.
Since then, Caroline has gone on to establish herself as a widely respected business coach, inspiring countless individuals to follow their passions, pursue their ambitions and get started in their own successful ventures.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Are You A Techno Dinosaur?

" Are you a techno dinosaur"? A what? I meet business owners face to face every day. While there are millions of people online, there are still business owners not using the internet to leverage their business. Millions are working with cloud computing, but the techno dinosaurs are doing business with their head in the cloud.

How to recognize a techno dinosaur?

They really don't use the computer as a tool to run the business. What, you're surprised, maybe you're not and you know someone like this. Let me paint a picture of a techno dinosaur. There is very little they can do over the web, never mind posting a picture to Facebook. Word, Microsoft Office just a not too familiar term. Techno dinosaurs are being hauled into the 21st century kicking and screaming. They can barely use spell check let alone operate the latest cell phone to access email. And email access, wow let's not go there!

Taking your business to the cloud!

I love showing a techno dinosaur how to operate technology savvy tools, scheduling, invoicing, and connecting to and creating an email list. There are so many ways a business can deliver, and capture value online successfully. One example is the recent invasion of bricks-and-clicks model, customers shop online and pick up their order at a local store. A brilliant use of the extending the function of the business model.

My favorite project to date was working with a client who had a product she was unable to make enough to keep up with the demand. Her desire was to teach others how to make the product. She created a DVD and hosted it for sale on her website. She really made a great production. She visually produced a tutorial to show others how to make the product. This was pre-YouTube mania and sold thousand of copies.

What I absolutely know is that the internet is here to stay, but the important thing is there's always room for improvement. No matter what your business model, I have learned and seen how businesses have leveraged the internet and technology to learn, grow and conduct business in creative ways. Maybe you're not up to date on all the techno savvy tools, and don't consider yourself a techno dinosaur.

The same rules apply to your business whether you are operating offline or online channels. Take a minute and review the systems and areas where you want your business to grow. Can you increase sales without overwhelming your distribution channels? Yes, everything can be controlled, solutions can be created to manage the business in many ways. Do you know a techno dinosaur? Give them my number, I'm a specialist at creating a step-by step map into the 21st century.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Are Vending Machines The Part Time Business You Have Been Looking For?

perhaps you've been hit hard by this economy and are searching for a new opportunity? Then consider getting into the vending business! Here's how you can turn the change that we all carry around with us every day into the sweet sound of success for you

Vending is a tried and true business that's been around for a very long time. In fact, the earliest known vending machine was invented in Ancient Greece back in 215 AD! It dispensed holy water by gravity when a coin was inserted into it. So we when we look at the vending business, we are talking about a well-established industry. But how does one get started in vending?

Well the first thing is to ask yourself if you have the free time necessary to build a route and to properly service your machines. Of course, if you are currently out of work due to the economy, the answer would be "yes". Then you need to decide what kind of vending machines you want to purchase. There are many different types. Candy, soda, snack, combo, ATM machines, coffee services, the list is long. Whatever way you go, your best bet will be to buy used equipment in good condition. Brand new machines look great. But they are very expensive and the markup is tremendous. You can pick up a "gently used" machine for less than half the price in many cases. Your budget will be the best determining factor here.

Then, what you need to decide is whether you are going to locate them yourself or would prefer to hire a professional locating company to do it for you. The reality is that most folks don't have the time, skill and patience required to locate good companies to place their machines in. Competition for prime spots can be fierce and many don't have the time required to make hundreds of phone calls or spend days walking down the boulevard talking to business people. That's where the expertise of a good and reputable locating company comes in. They can remove the headache of locating your machines on your own and free you up to devote yourself to other aspects of your business or to your fulltime job, if you have one currently.

So everything considered, the vending business can be a lucrative and rewarding business if you approach it the right way. And that would be with the right equipment in the right locations. Take some time to check it out on the Internet and you may just be listening soon to the sweet sound of success jingling in your pocket! All Vending Machine Locators Has Located All Types Of Vending Equipment For 19 Years.Thousands Of Machines successfully located for hundreds of vendor.Dozens of references available.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Renting a Virtual Office Space: What Good Can It Do for Your Business?

What good can it do for your business? Well, in these tough economic times when most businesses are looking to cut their operational costs in order to survive, the wisdom of using a virtual office becomes even more evident. By having a virtual office space, you can do away with renting an expensive office space, increase your productivity and spend less time on the road. Aren't these reasons enough for you to consider it?

Let's face it. Even while recent technological advances now allow people to start their own business from the comfort of their home provided they have an internet connection, having a virtual business address at a prestigious location can still work greatly in your favor. So, what are the benefits you stand to receive when you decide to rent a virtual office space? Here are some of them:

A virtual business office can help build your credibility. Having a bona fide business address at an exceptional business environment can help build your clients' trust and confidence in you and your business. Without it, you may have a hard time convincing them that you are running a legitimate business. Are you willing to put your credibility on the line just because you chose not to have your own virtual office? Think about it.

It offers a cost-effective solution to all your business needs. The beauty of renting a virtual office space is that you get to use the office facilities when you need it. You can use the meeting facilities to meet clients, get a prestigious business address to use for business correspondence and have your own virtual secretary to handle calls should you choose to - all for an affordable monthly fee.

It allows you to comply with the legal requirements in doing business. You will need a business address when applying for permits and when drawing contracts with clients. While your home address may prove to be sufficient in some cases, a legitimate business address will definitely give your business more credibility.

It can help reinforce your brand. What can an impressive and well-kept office do to your business? Well, a lot! It can help conjure an image of excellence, stability and commitment to quality. It can create a lasting positive impression that can help propel your business to the next level. Can anyone resist that?

It allows you operate instantly. The typical set-up time takes about one to two business days at the most so you can instantly be in operation the moment you decide to.

You can use the facility as long as it works for you. By choosing to rent a virtual office space, you are not obligated to sign a long-term lease. It basically works on a "land and expand" principle so you are free to go whenever you feel the need to move on.

Renting a virtual office space can be your ticket to running a more profitable business. Would you consider getting one?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Starting a Cleaning Service In a Metro Area - Mobile Power Washing Business Has Advantages

there was an interesting article online explaining how folks who are out of work might start their own business. It suggested some of the easiest types of businesses to start, along with some of the trendiest currently. Amongst them were personal coaches and service cleaning businesses. Now then, that caught my eye because as a former franchisor founder in the cleaning service sector, I know a thing or two about that, plus, a franchisor is a mentor to all his franchisees. Okay so, let's pick up where that last online advice left off shall we?

Now then, let's say you wanted to start a cleaning service type company? What type of cleaning would you wish to do, would you want to become a maid, janitorial for commercial businesses, clean windows, what? Well, I've been involved in a number of cleaning businesses from decks to windows and from cars to fleets of vehicles. Still, if you are in a metro area, the traffic and the cost of fuel can be a real killer on time, cost, and productivity. If you run a janitorial business you can work at night, no traffic, and that solves that problem.

However, if you want something different, and not run of the mill, might I suggest a power washing or pressure cleaning company where you go out and steam clean concrete, parking structures, fleets, and buildings. Most of that work must be done after hours when the traffic dies down and essentially you'll have the city all to yourself, which sure makes it nice, let me tell you.

Plus, power washing concrete at night is a job that can be done with only one helper, or even as a solo entrepreneur. The money is good, and the contracts are even better, while the cleaning process isn't all that dirty and the jobs always move along quite briskly. It is guaranteed money because dirt and filth keeps getting on the concrete, and it must be power washed to maintain its cleanliness, it's definitely a repeat business.

Are there any drawbacks you ask? Sure, there is a little bit of competition because the industry can be lucrative once you get it up and running and have a substantial clientele base. Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives because you don't have to deal with traffic in a Metro area, therefore you do not waste all your time and fuel parked in traffic when you could be making money cleaning something. If you are considering getting into this line of work I can highly recommend it. Please consider all this and think on it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Staying Connected to Your Purpose

You know, that feeling where you were totally disconnected from the purpose of the business and the goals you set for yourself? Did it feel like some grim combination of drudgery and running in quicksand, and that your business was in charge of you rather than the other way around? Me too. To say the least, it's not an inspired or creative state.

I have worked with small business people for a while and I am frequently amazed at how creative they are. The sheer volume of things created from nothing but an inspired idea is stupefying. It is the genius driving the economy and it is a pleasure to watch.

However, building and operating a small business is extremely difficult, given the number of tasks you have to take on. There are marketing activities, sales activities, online activities, providing the product or service, customer service, bookkeeping, strategic planning, normal administrative things, collections, payments, personnel issues, and learning to do all the things that you don't know how to do.

With this bewildering array of hats to wear, it's not surprising that business owners disconnect from the purpose of their business. Bookkeeping, paying vendors and learning how to do SEO are not necessarily inspiring, and may have little to do with the purpose of the business or why you went into business in the first place. And yet it all has to get done. The problem is that doing all of this can cause a form of burnout, robbing you of the inspiration and creativity necessary to be successful.

Here are three things that you can do to prevent this form of burnout and stay inspired about your business and connected to its purpose.

Connect with your purpose every morning
Prioritize and time block your activities
Eliminate, delegate and outsource

1. Connect with your purpose in the morning

I don't know about you, but my thoughts will go in any direction they wish if I don't tell my brain what to do. I am not a morning person and most days I do not wake up inspired to build my business. I don't wake inspired to do anything. That said, going out into my day with whatever random thoughts and emotions are running around in my head doesn't lead to inspired performance from me. Running my business with that lack of focus can feel like drudgery.

There are several cures for this. Some might include:

Writing out your primary vision and goals in the morning along with what you can do today to achieve them. Doing this will enhance your focus and sense of purpose.
Meditating about your vision for your life and your business first thing in the day.
Read an inspiring story every morning. There are several books that are compilations of inspirational short stories available.
Listen to audio programs that are inspiring on your way to work and throughout the day.

Connecting to my purpose in the morning helps me stay motivated to accomplish my vision and goals. Try it. It works!

2. Prioritize and time block your activities

Not everything you do is of equal importance, so in a day with a limited number of hours, doing the most important things first seems only logical. However, tasks don't present themselves in their order of importance. Further, there are a lot of unimportant things that seem urgent and will drain away your day if you allow them to. Then there are the easy, comfortable tasks that pass the time which are by no means the most important things we need to do but we do anyway, giving us the illusion we are accomplishing something.

Here are some tips to get more done in your business day.

Identify the most important things you need to accomplish today and this week. Do these items before doing anything else.
Time block important activities on your calendar as if they were an appointment with a client and keep the appointment as if it were an appointment with a client. During this time, do only the most important things in their order of importance.
If your business involves leaving the office and meeting with clients or prospects, try and group these out of office activities on the same days, where possible. Do the same for office work. Try and group office activities on the same days to give you a chance to build some momentum in your office work by being able to do the work for an extended period of time. By eliminating the time it takes for you to transition from out of office mode to office mode, you will be more productive.
Don't do some things at all. See point 3 below.

By deciding to do the most important things, you will be running your business instead of the other way around. Feeling the empowerment of being in control your business and minimizing the daily overwhelm will help keep you connected to your vision and goals.

3. Eliminate, delegate or outsource

How much is your revenue generating time worth? That is, the time you spend providing your product or service, finding new clients, staying in touch with old clients or creating effective marketing campaigns. Now compare the value of that time with what you could pay someone to do some of your non-core business functions like database management or bookkeeping. If your time doing revenue generating activities is worth more than what you could pay someone to do a non-core activity, delegate or outsource that activity making more time available for your core business activities.

Another thing to consider is whether a task is worth doing at all. Does it really need to be done? Why? Eliminate something that is non-core to your business and use the time to work on revenue generating activities.

By eliminating, delegating and outsourcing non-core business activities in favor of core revenue generating activities, you will accomplish two things:

You will make more money because you will be focusing your efforts on the things that make you money.
You will stay more connected with your vision and goals because you will be focusing on the core purpose and activities of your business.

Suffering from overwhelm and being stretched too thin, and finding yourself in the proverbial weeds is an occupational hazard if you run a small businesses. They can disconnect you from your vision and goals, make your work seem like drudgery and harm your ability to develop a successful business. Using the tools described in this article will keep you connected to your purpose, make your days seem more rewarding and eventually make you more money because you will have run your business in an inspired and creative way.

John Bulman, MBA is an author and a business coach focusing on small business. His latest book is "Profitability Thinking:: Simple Concepts, Strategies and Tools to Effectively Manage Cash Flow and Make More Profitable Business Decisions." He believes that if you can change thinking and skills at the same time, amazing results happen. John is committed to helping small businesses owners grow their businesses faster, make more money and make better decisions.

John's coaching practice is a combination of traditional coaching and mentoring of business skills. As a result of Profitability Thinking coaching, business owners are more empowered to run their businesses successfully.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Product Launches: The 7 Key Mistakes To Avoid When Planning Your Product Launch

my first online product I made some fundamental mistakes which gave me some of my biggest learning's. In this article I'll share them with you so that you can make it easier for your clients to engage with you. And you want to more clients' right?

Mistake #1: No Client Pathway: Leaving the customer confused about how they are going to navigate through your website will only leave them hanging with no place to go or they may just leave. What to do instead: Map out your customer journey. One of the keys to a successful online business is have a clear map of how you customer will engage with you and how your will manage them from being an uninterested visitor to a high revenue client.

Mistake #2: Unclear on the start point. Even if you have the customer journey defined it is important to have a clear view of the start point otherwise how will your prospect know how to get into your website? What to do instead: Define the points, and they could be many, where, and how your prospective customer will enter your website.

Mistake #3: No customer Engagement Events: I made the mistake of having people "optin2 to my mailing list and then didn't know what to do with them. What to do instead: Define the customer interaction events that will create value for your customer, keep them engaged with you and provide them with an enhanced journey.

Mistake #4: No Automation. My first foray into the online world left me tired and running on empty from the effort that was necessary to keep pace with multiple marketing channels. What to do instead: Create an automated funnel, to market your product, inform and educate your audience as well as keeping them engaged.

Mistake #5: No Product to sell. I made the mistake of attending networking meetings and "selling" Project Management to an uninterested audience. I realised that clients are reluctant to buy open-ended services from a website and selling a service is infinitely harder than a product. What to do instead: Create a product strategy for each area of your business with a clear process to move your customer up to your high-end programme.

Mistake #6: Perfection. My fear of launching my product led to procrastination and the pursuit of perfection followed. What to do instead: Take action and get your material out there and learn from it - you will learn more from the feedback that seeking perfection.

Mistake #7: Focus on the wrong end of the problem: Many online marketers focus on getting the customer to "optin" with little thought for what comes next. Imagine going on a journey and you haven't worked out what your destination is. What to do instead: Focus on the outcome, the destination is the most important aspect of the plan

If you're ready to transform your own achievement then take a copy of my FREE e-book "How To Get From 'Boom & Bust' Cash Flow To A Stream Of High Revenue Generating Clients" which contains more guidance on transforming your business.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Boat Education Course to Become Certified Boater

The license can be attained only after undergoing boat education. A boat can be run on the blue waters only by a person who has attained certification and it does not cost much too. It is very easy to acquire the license by undergoing boater education courses.

Safety Equipment: When you are operating a boat it should have some safety equipments along with operator who is certified professional. The boat should have life jackets, fire extinguishers, anchors, waste disposal, lights and a distress signal. These things should accompany you when you are going into the azure waters. If you don't have these equipments in your watercraft then it's illegal to take it out in the water.

Age Limitation: According to the law, the operator should be at least 16 years old or more. The boater should have a license which can be attained only by boat education course. No boat rental company can lend a boat to a boater who does not have a license or is underage. The operator needs to provide proof of certification before operating any watercraft.

Course: To do a boat education course is very easy. You need to get enrolled with a certified education operator who is entitled to give training. You can attain classroom courses as well as online courses. You can select either of the class according to your busy schedules and lifestyles. Any course can be completed in 72 hours and you are certified boater.

Process of Certification: To become a boater you need to complete a 72 hour course on boat education which will enlighten you with rules and safety laws. The operator will learn about the safety on board and laws before entering the water. The course will also teach you how to operate watercraft. You need to sit for a final exam after completing the entire course. If you have managed to pass the exam then you are given certification and license boater.

Safety: It's always very relaxing to be in the sapphire waters and you can have some extra fun if you are riding your own boat. For that you need to follow on board safety practices. It helps you to face any situation when and where it may arise. You are tempted to go into ocean when you see it but need to follow the rules before entering it to keep yourself safe. So boat education course have been designed to keep safe as it teaches you about boat safety and other things related to the boat.

Become an excellent boater by passing boat education courses and enjoy yourself in cobalt water of the oceans. The course helps to keep you and your loved one safe in the azure waters so learn it from a professional before it's too late.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Are You Asking Your Prospect to Marry You on the First Date?

I had a member of my community write in to tell me that his biggest frustration was that he feels that he is overwhelming his prospects a bit too early in the enrollment/sales process.

If you feel this way or you feel you're giving away your valuable advice for free, you might be trying too hard and too early to convert a prospect to a client. This happens frequently when you don't have your sales flow mapped out.

It's humbling to watch entrepreneurs make the same mistakes I used to when I got my business started. Asking someone to do business with you the very first time you meet them is like asking someone to marry you on the first date. Getting the "yes" answer to your proposal often requires more than just one touch point before someone decides to do business with you.

To get the "yes" answer, many consultants or coaches make the mistake of giving more information in their one-on-one meetings, often overwhelming their prospect. The problem isn't more information. The reason there is a lack of conversion is often attributed to:

• Prematurely setting up meetings with prospects
• Having no way to pre-educate your prospects, and
• Having no systematic way to keep in touch

One of my clients, who is a consultant, experienced the same problem. When she learned how to systematize her pre-qualification process, she immediately recognized a savings and converted more of her prospects to clients. Once we mapped out her sales flow, there were two important changes she implemented to her sales process:

First, she pre-qualified her prospects before scheduling a meeting with them. She discovered she wasn't using all of her marketing assets, including her website. Rather than waiting for a face-to-face meeting, she answered her prospects frequently asked questions on her website. She also offered her prospect a free downloadable eBook that gave her prospects the ability to assess their situation before meeting with her. When they scheduled their meeting with her, the information they worked through in the eBook would then be reviewed. Her prospects appreciated the framework to immediately sort through their main concerns and individual situation. Because she shifted the way she worked, she freed up her schedule so she could take on more clients.

Second, she automated her follow up process. With an automated follow up process, her prospects received messages that engaged them and continued to pre-educate them. If you're thinking that automation can't possibly nurture a relationship, think again. The magic happens in the way your messages are written. A carefully written message can make the best of automation, engage your prospect, and provide continuous value to your prospect when done right. Automation does the heavy lifting yet still provides the flexibility for you to respond directly with your prospect.

Not only did my client save approximately three hours per prospect by pre-educating them, she increased her conversions over 50% in just 30 days, and more than quadrupled her income in just one year just by making these adjustments.

If you feel like you're overwhelming your prospect, consider breaking apart the information you provide in smaller digestible pieces and giving value to your prospect over time. Remember to make their next step in doing business with you clear to them. A systematic approach might be just the ticket to simplify your sales process, making it super simple for your prospects to do business with you.

Lisa Mininni is the best-selling author of Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change and President of Excellerate Associates, home of the sought-after Entrepreneurial Edge System, which shows business owners how to automatically bring in pre-qualified prospects and turn them into invested clients 98% of the time. For her brand new eBook, Get More Clients Now! 3 Steps to More Clients, More Money, and A Business You Love, visit

Monday, July 16, 2012

Earn Higher Profits by Becoming a Ship Selling Agent

industries in this world which promise to be the highest profit earning sources, but the competition and market standards are unusually high in those domains. The competition is fierce and the rivals are equally big in every sense. So, as a newbie, it becomes difficult to strive for the top position without having any capital in your hand. On the contrary, there are many industries that do provide you with ample amount of profits and require an incredible amount of talent and skills. The skills can be developed with time and talent can come through knowledge. As a new entrant, such industries are the best to try your luck at.

By talking about industries that give you this much money for your talent and skills, one cannot do without mentioning the name of ships and boats industries. They are very costly, complex, involve higher profits and require very less investment as broker. Due to all the complexities that are often faced by the people dealing in them, many disregard it saying complex and highly overrated, but still it has maintained itself as multi-billion dollar industry. The brokers dealing in this arena are often found on the contact list of high profiled persons of the country and some of the known giants.

They will most likely choose the best and premium, so that they can ease down the process and both the parties profit eventually. A good broker will always have large number of contacts and knowledge about the best trends in market. They are always looking for long term relationship with the client because they are well aware with the future prospects of making many other deals with them. So, if you are also one of those who dream of making it big in this high profit market, then get employed as a trainee with some agency. It will be the best environment for you to learn all the tips and tricks of this trade.

For becoming a professional ship sales agent, you don't need to know every single detail about the ship or how to drive one. The one thing that you must be good at should be talking to the people and convincing them for buying your deal. You have to present yourself to them in such a way that they believe in the every word that comes out of your mouth. And it is not a very easy thing to do because people belonging to different regions behave in different way and like different things. A broker must have all round knowledge and experience of doing such things.

As of now, there are no strict rules of education for this industry and anybody who is a graduate with certain amount of ability can join in. However, it must be noted that it involves lots of complicated transactions every day and there are tough situations at times. So, a person needs to be fully prepared for tackling them and make them accomplish. For extra knowledge and more credibility in the market, one can take up certain examinations for certificates and degrees. People buying ships for sale will not go to just anybody and handover such a big amount of money, so it is better to be prepared and be at your best always.

The author of this article is associated with Ship Locator, which provides ships for sale and many other types of boats and ships. The company has gathered a huge database for all types

Monday, July 9, 2012

How International Moving Companies Can Help You

you are moving to another country, your move will be more complicated than if you are simply moving to the other side of town or another state. This is part of the reason it is so important to choose international moving companies. They will know exactly what needs to be done and in what order so you don't run into any problems as you make your move. If you fail to fill out something or to submit the papers on time, you could be in a new country with no belongings.

One of the most important parts of your international move is making sure all your paperwork is in order. While you need to get your own personal paperwork in order so you can live and work in another country, your belongings need to go through customs as well. A company that specializes in these types of moves will know exactly which papers you need, when to submit them and where to send them.

Some people like to take their cars with them when they are moving to another country. Even if you won't be able to drive it due to the way it is constructed, you may have a car that you just can't bear to part with. However, taking a car with you requires an entirely different set of regulations and paperwork. International moving companies are well aware of what needs to be done to transport a car.

As you consider your international move, you need to seriously consider how much stuff you need to take with you. While moving companies that specialize in international moves can take whatever you need them to, you need to remember that the more you send, the more expensive your move will be. Cutting back your belongings to the necessities will help keep your costs, as well as the paperwork required, low.

Going through an international move can become complicated if you don't have someone to help you through the process. International moving companies have the experience required to help you fill out and submit the proper paperwork for all your belongings, including a vehicle, so your move can go more smoothly. However, it is still important to cut back on the number of items you take with you. The fewer items you take, the cheaper and easier your move will be so you can start your new life for less.

Looking for an International moving companies have the experience required to help you fill out and submit the proper paperwork for all your belongings. For more information visit the Best Moving Van Lines.

Monday, July 2, 2012

How to Be Successful in an Internet Home Based Business: 6 Crucial Tips

90% of new internet home based businesses will fail in the first 2 years. You don't have to be a part of that statistic. If you want to learn how to be successful in an internet home based business, follow these guidelines and I guarantee and you will substantially increase your chances of being in that 10%!

1. Dedicate time

Dedicate time to your new business. This works both ways. Some may not put in enough time and some put in too much time. Dedicate a certain amount of hours per day to focus specifically on your business. Going over that can cause you to be exhausted and overwhelmed. Not putting in enough time can prevent you from being successful down the road.

2. Don't give up!

For most of us who have been in an internet home based business for a while, we know it takes time. Granted there are a few that are successful overnight but for the majority of us we need time to learn and prosper before we see the benefits. Many new sellers will quit too early. Don't give up. Learn your market, learn what works and keep trying. Success takes time.

3. Research and education

If I had to suggest which of all of these guides I would say research and education is the most important. Learn to work smarter, not harder. For example, let's say you would like to place an ad. Is it where you will find your target market? Is your ad effective (does it interest your potential buyer?). If not, you've just threw money away. Don't just dive in without knowing. This is where many business owners become discouraged and quit.

4. Business plan

This scares many new business owners and many times you may not know what is going to benefit you. When I began selling on eBay 7 years ago I started with Gymboree clothing and then moved on to designing and creating personalized little girl dresses. Since then I have found a better market for personalized pillows both for adults and children. Over time, it has changed. Don't think of a business plan as concrete. It will evolve over time. But you do this to set your plan in action. This helps you to be organized by knowing what you will sell, who your target market is, how you will market and sell, and what makes your internet home based business different from other sellers selling the same products. Some of this can only be done by utilizing education and learning first (tip 3).

5. Looking professional

Your website, whether it's your own personal website or on eBay, Etsy, Amazon etc., should look professional. This has a big impact on whether a buyer will purchase or not. If I were to buy a costume for my daughter, would I buy one on Party City or a new seller on Amazon? Granted price would be an issue. I can tell you the Amazon seller needs to have that item significantly less for me to take a chance of purchasing from him/her. I can't take a chance my daughter doesn't have her costume by Halloween or receive the wrong size. The more professional you are, the more likely the potential buyer will trust you.

6. Excellent Customer service

You want your clients to come back. Most importantly you want your clients so happy they tell others how wonderful your product is. Over time this will help you substantially, more than any advertisement. Potential buyers are more likely to buy a product if someone they trust has purchased and is satisfied. Not only do I provide a well crafted product, I go out of my way to personally thank my client when they purchase and again when I am ready to ship their item. I include their name in the email as well so they know I wrote the email specifically for them. I can't tell you how effective that has been in obtaining repeat clients. I treat each of my buyers the best I can.

Overall, if you follow these tips on how to be successful in an internet home based business and work effectively, you will succeed.

I've been in sales for approximately 20 years now with 8 of those years online. I can honestly say that education is the key to success in online marketing. Please feel free to visit my blog
for daily tips and resources in effective marketing. Please feel free to contact me with any questions anytime! Laura