I have just been pointed to an excellent free resource for those of you who use spreadsheets or even those who don’t yet but would like to learn how to use them – a brand new website about Microsoft Excel!..
Now I’ve been using spreadsheets for many years, I love them, I even use excel as my calculator because my arthritic fingers often hit the wrong button on a calculator but I don’t realize so get an incorrect total, but with a spreadsheet, I can see the figures I enter and I just have a formula at the bottom that works out the total for me..
In my work with bookkeeping clients, I’ve created a spreadsheet to work out the split for invoices with a mixture of tax and no tax items that have to be split into several cost centers – this was a real pain to do each time, but now it’s a breeze, all I need to do is enter invoice total, tax amount and % breakups and presto, the figures to enter are sitting there for me!
Spreadsheeto is all about depth. That means each topic get thoroughly explained, in an easy-to-understand manner. All of their content is free and up to date. So even though you’re not an “Excel-nerd” (like they are), you can learn to do some pretty amazing things.
Even if this is not for you, if you know someone who has to use a spreadsheet, maybe for a club or organisation they belong to, pass on this link to this excellent Excel training resource..
A lot of people avoid having a home based business for various reasons.
Some do not wish to have the responsibility associated with one and others are just simply clueless on how or where to start. This article focuses on some help in getting you started with a home based business and getting you on your way to success.
1) Advertising is always the most important aspect of any business. Even if your business is not home based, you still spend a significant amount of money on advertising. Since a home based business does not have a store front or a public office where they can advertise themselves, you must invest money in getting the word out to the world about your company. Consider internet marketing as a way for your business to expand in the world as well as advertising in local newspapers, billboards, and newsletters.
2) It takes time to develop clientele and make a significant amount of money through any business and this is not any different when it comes to a home based business. It is important to keep in mind not to get discouraged because your first few months are tough. Every business out there started somehow and many of them did not grow to be an overnight success. Keep at your business regardless how bleak it may seem at first, and you will eventually build your own trusted clientele and following.
3) Consider what types of equipment you need to purchase to run your business even if it is just a new printer or computer. It is important to shop around for the cheapest prices possible and opt to purchase what you can second hand. Make sure what you need is something that you have budgeted for.
4) It is important to understand the different tax laws and regulations associated with your business. Some businesses need permits as well as tax forms filed before even starting. You need to have a basic idea of how taxes work before starting your business so you ensure you will not lose any money when it comes to filing your taxes for the next year. Many items you purchase to start your business are considered tax deductible and it is in your best interest to research as much as possible to save money.
5) Come up with your own business plan. The most important thing that you can do for your home based business is to come up with a one year plan and what you hope to accomplish in that time frame. Make sure that you keep notes and ideas separate from your actual home information. Reserve a space for yourself within your house where you can work by yourself undisturbed. If you treat your business with dedication and as an actual business, you will more likely succeed.
Although starting up a home based business is a lot of responsibility and can be time consuming, you will find that the time will be worth it. Knowing what to do will provide you more success. It is important to take your time and plan things out and then take the plan and put it into action.
Membership sites are still going strong this year and for good reason – a good membership site can have all the tools and resources you need to get your internet business up and running and making money. The only reason that often they don’t is that you go flitting from one site or ptoject to another (like I used to) and don’t get on and follow the suggestions, plans or programs that these excellent sites offer.
Mind you, they are not all excellent sites, but most are run by people who with integrity and who want to do all they can to get you making money and living the same lifestyle of freedom that they themselves have. SO how do you know if a particular membership site will be one of the good ones?
Here are a few pointers to help you decide:
Does the site just seem to be a product with a download area and an optin box for your email?
Is there a whole lot of hype and trumpet blowing and very little factual information about what is included?
Does the advertising tell you up front that the “free” offering is just a lead in and once you sign up, you’ll have to pay a fee, perhaps a monthly fee, to have any real benefit?
Now, don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with a membership site that has a monthly fee and offers great value for that fee – I belong to a few of them myself – but they have always been open and honest up front about the pricing structure, letting you decide beforehand whether this is for you.
So, here are some clues that a membership site you are considering is good value:
Are you offered something that you deem to be good value before you are even asked for any cash? Especially important for those who are in their early stages and don’t have much to spare yet.
What sort of training is on offer?
Is it at a level appropriate for your stage of learning? Some sites will only offer basic stuff, while others will bamboozle a beginner, maybe putting them off forever.
What other resources are provided? Can you get products to sell, resell, brand or rewrite & make your own?
Do they help you get traffic to your sites? After all, the best website ever won’t make any money if nobody sees it!
OK, enough of my views – I want to tell you about a new membership site started by a guy I’ve learned to trust, Randy Smith and his partner Craig Dawber. It’s called Internet Marketing Apprentice (or IMA for short) and it incorporates all the elements I’ve told you to look out for in a good membership site. You can get free coaching newsletters sent every 7 days and you don’t need to pay anything for that.
However, for those who are ready for more, there many aspects to the membership.
There are many tips on how to create time for yourself and to manage your time in your business. Here are several items that may just help you remember the basics.
Learn to say “No”. Many people find it hard to turn someone down especially if it is a customer or a good friend. You more than likely have your day planned as to what needs to get done in your business and then along comes someone and wants you to “help” them in whatever problem they are having with something in their private life or in their own business. Much of the time, the reason they are having trouble is lack of planning on their part or lack of understanding of your work time. If you stop and interrupt what you are doing, it can impede your progress in your own business, so learn to just say “no” when the time is not right for you and schedule another time that suits you both. Of course, if you are free to help, then that is fine.
Thereâ€™s something undeniably entrepreneurial about selling on eBay. It is true that there are eBay millionaires and there are also successful backroom eBay stores run by people with no more skills than the desire to make money under their own steam and it is the nature of selling on eBay that makes it possible for them and also makes it possible for you. A ready-made audience, instant search engine listings, ready payment systems and the ability to get started with no more than a product, a computer and a desire to succeed all combine to make very low barriers to entry.
The more sophisticated a business selling on eBay becomes, the more opportunity it represents. The scale of the marketplace is immense, for example a pair of shoes is sold on average every 3 seconds. Billions and billions of dollars are transferred every year from buyers to sellers.
There are constantly new niches and opportunities to exploit. Part of selling on eBay is to understand the marketplace and identify exploitable niches within your area of expertise. While there are many bargains to be had on eBay for buyers, it is also possible to achieve a higher price than that paid in shops for some of the items you sell, especially when you start with a low initial price, as this encourages bidding. Everyone loves to get a bargain!
When starting out selling on eBay choose a single, low value product to work with. It makes the whole learning process easier and less painful. Conquer that product before exploring other avenues of revenue. The experience that comes from actually doing it, along with the adrenaline and excitement when you finally make some money from the process is exhilarating. This is normal and healthy, but don’t get carried away. Keep it simple until you feel confident in approaching another market. More competitive markets will be harder to break into, so go for something you know about and feel you can realistically compete in.
Selling on eBay may not require a payment system or a website, but it does require all the other elements of a regular business. You need to be seen to run a professional outfit and to provide a professional service or customers will not return for a repeat visit. Worse than this, one of the features of selling on eBay is that users will leave feedback after their purchase.
Negative feedback can be the kiss of death to your business. Buyers are cautious not to trust their money in the hands of merchants who have provided poor experience for previous buyers and once you have negative feedback it will be seen by all of your prospective customers. Often, with so little to differentiate yourself from your competitors it is vital that you have as good a seller rating as is humanly possible.
A core component to maintaining good feedback when selling on eBay is accurate item descriptions and prompt delivery. The most common reason for poor feedback is slow delivery, although stock control issues, slow customer response times and bad packaging are all very important in order to maintain a good seller rating.
So, give it a go. Have a bit of fun! You’ll never know until you try just how this opportunity might turn out for you.
I’m sure we have all complained that our PC is slowing down at some stage, so perhaps some of the tips here can help in your own particular case. They are all fairly simple, designed for beginners to implement if you follow the steps given.
1. Defrag Your Disks to Speed Up Access to Data
One of the factors that slow the performance of the computer is disk fragmentation. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. To speed up the response time, you should monthly run Disk Defragmenter, a Windows utility that defrags and consolidates fragmented files for quicker computer response.
* Follow Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
* Click the drives you want to defrag and click Analyze
* Click Defragment
This may take some time, so perhaps leave a defrag running overnight or while you do something away from your PC.
2. Detect and Repair Disk Errors
Over time, your hard disk develops bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing difficult or even impossible. To detect and repair disk errors, Windows has a built-in tool called the Error Checking utility. Itâ€™ll search the hard disk for bad sectors and system errors and repair them for faster performance.
* Follow Start > My Computer
* In My Computer right-click the hard disk you want to scan and click Properties
* Click the Tools tab
* Click Check Now
* Select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box
* Click Start
3. Disable Indexing Services
Indexing Services is a little application that uses a lot of CPU. By indexing and updating lists of all the files on the computer, it helps you to do a search for something faster as it scans the index list. But if you know where your files are, you can disable this system service. It wonâ€™t do any harm to you machine, whether you search often or not very often.
* Go to Start
* Click Settings
* Click Control Panel
* Double-click Add/Remove Programs
* Click the Add/Remove Window Components
* Uncheck the Indexing services
* Click Next
4. Optimize Display Settings
Windows XP has a nice visual appearance but it costs you system resources that are used to display all the visual items and effects. To customize your settings, right click My Computer, select Properties and then the Advanced tab and under Performance, click Settings. Windows looks fine if you disable most of the settings and leave the following:
* Show shadows under menus
* Show shadows under mouse pointer
* Show translucent selection rectangle
* Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop
* Use visual styles on windows and buttons
5. Speedup Folder Browsing
You may have noticed that every time you open My Computer to browse folders that there is a little delay. This is because Windows XP automatically searches for network files and printers every time you open Windows Explorer. To fix this and to increase browsing speed, you can disable the â€œAutomatically search for network folders and printersâ€ option as follows:
Click Start, and then click Control Panel, Double-click Folder Options and on the View tab, de-select the â€œAutomatically search for network folders and printersâ€ check box.
6. Optimize Your Pagefile
You can optimize your pagefile. Setting a fixed size to your pagefile saves the operating system from the need to resize the pagefile.
* Right click on My Computer and select Properties
* Select the Advanced tab
* Under Performance choose the Settings button
* Select the Advanced tab again and under Virtual Memory select Change
* Highlight the drive containing your page file and make the initial Size of the file the same as the Maximum Size of the file.
Windows XP sizes the page file to about 1.5X the amount of actual physical memory by default. While this is good for systems with smaller amounts of memory (under 512MB) it is unlikely that a typical XP desktop system will ever need 1.5 X 512MB or more of virtual memory. If you have less than 512MB of memory, leave the page file at its default size. If you have 512MB or more, change the ratio to 1:1 page file size to physical memory size.
7. Remove Fonts for Speed
Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use quite a bit of system resources. For optimal performance, trim your fonts down to just those that you need to use on a daily basis and fonts that applications may require.
* Open Control Panel
* Open Fonts folder
* Move fonts you donâ€™t need to a temporary directory (e.g. C:\FONTBKUP?) just in case you need or want to bring a few of them back. The more fonts you uninstall, the more system resources you will gain.
Hope you find these tips useful.
Yesterday I spoke about not getting things I want to achieve done. Since then I’ve been thinking about this and have written down the steps I’ve taken during periods when I have been very productive. These are not my original ideas, but those I’ve found from reading books & listening to the advice of successful people.
I guess most of us know what works, or would work for us if we put it into practice, but the knowing and the doing are not the same, are they? When we lead busy lives, it is easy to get caught up in just doing what comes up and we feel we don’t have time to sit down and plan anything. This is a reminder that if we plan, we achieve more.
Plan and take action
Make a list then mark the items in order of importance
Focus on one thing at a time.
Start with the most important/urgent thing on your list, complete it and cross it off
Continue working down the list, completing & crossing off – feels good, doesn’t it?
At the end of the day, put any unfinished items onto a new list along with tasks for the next day.
Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can eliminate or pass on to someone else.
Learn to say no to nonessential tasks. If you have work plans in place, youâ€™ll be more easily able to say â€œIâ€™m sorry, but I canâ€™t fit that in today â€¦ this weekâ€¦.â€
If you find yourself eagerly ‘administrating’ instead of ‘just getting on with it’, you’re probably procrastinating. Try some of these ways to stop â€œputting it offâ€.
Begin with a task you enjoy.
Avoid being a perfectionist.
Eliminate time wasting activities e.g. Housework (my favourite!)
Plan your time and stick to the plan where you can.
Break difficult or ‘boring’ work into sections. This allows you to approach a large task as a series of manageable parts.