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Friday, January 4, 2013

Should You Self-Publish Your Book?

The following are five reasons why small businesses should self-publish (open publish) a book:
1.      Marketing. Being able to hand someone a book is more powerful and memorable than giving them a brochure or business card.
Self-Publishing gets easier and easier each year for home-based entrepreneurs.
2.      Expertise. Having a book on a topic or niche is an effective way to establish a company or person as an expert in their field.
3.      Sales. Offering a book for sale adds another revenue stream for small businesses.
4.      Taxes. Small businesses have the advantage of being able to claim a tax deduction for any expenses related to preparing the book for publication.
5.      Extension. A book offers an extension of a person's business. It will give customers the opportunity to learn more., founded in 2002, is a company that specializes in open publishing, giving small business authors the ability to publish everything from print and eBooks, to calendars and cookbooks, to photo books and mini books.

Blind Drop Shipping to Grow a Home-Based Business

A Business Secret Seldom Discussed

By Brad Beiermann Ph.D., Hienote Inc.

The concept of drop shipping is not new, but has found itself in the midst of a growth curve fueled by Internet commerce.

As a retailer, you will put the product pictures on your site at retail pricing and wait for an order.
Drop shipping is a process used by a manufacturer, or authorized wholesale distributor to ship your single item orders directly to your customers. As a retailer, you will put the product pictures on your site at retail pricing and wait for an order. Once you receive an order, you will email or call the drop ship supplier with the customer's order information and they will in turn ship the product directly to your customer. Consider two things: Tracking and Returns.


Most customers want to get parcel tracking information about the products they order. If you are a new retailer, eBayer, or you are thinking about doing online retailing, you will have a customer who will ask for tracking information. If you give the tracking information, it will have your supplier's address information on it. What will you do if you are using a blind drop shipper for the order? The first option would be to give the tracking information, thus letting the customer know the identity of the supplier. If it is a no-repeat customer, this might work in your favor. The second option is to implement a policy of not giving out tracking information. It simplifies things and sets boundaries with your customers. A third option is offering the tracking information and describing the shipping origin differently when asked. You might describe the shipping origin as your "remote warehouse" or "distribution center" reserved for returns.


What happens when you get a customer who wants to return something for an exchange? If your policy is to not give out tracking information, then as far as they know, the package came from your location. Unlike a return address, the main label address will need a valid recipient name when they send the package back for exchange. In short, if you want to keep your supplier concealed, then you will need to have the packaged returned back to your location. Later on, you can return this back to your supplier. In this scenario, you will have paid twice for shipping, but it keeps your wholesale source concealed. HBM

Brad Beiermann Ph.D., is President of Hienote Inc., which specializes in product sourcing, exhibition marketing, and assisting small businesses locate wholesale drop shipping companies. Visit Get a FREE copy of "Starting Your Online Retail Niche With Drop Shipping"  at V19-3 Add: 7/12 Car: 7/19/12 HP:

How to Effectively Manage, Buy, and Sell Businesses

Franchisor Mike Schaack Successfully Provides Business Brokerage Services

By Priscilla Y. Huff

In 1999, based on the recommendations of a respected business friend and the positive results of his own research, Mike Schaack invested in Murphy Business & Financial, a premier franchise of business brokers located throughout the United States, Canada and parts of Europe. Presently, Schaack is Regional Director for the state of Colorado.

When considering a franchise opportunity, Schaack says ask about the company’s success and failure rate; and then ask their franchisees if the company provides them with value-added services that justify the initial franchise fees.

     He says a typical Murphy client is the original founder of a small or mid-sized business who wants to sell his business for retirement money, or expansion or for other reasons. The franchise’s brokers also guide and assist buyers in purchasing their ideal businesses.

While maintaining confidentiality, Schaack says his firm looks at the financial history of a client’s business and works with that owner to package it for sale. The firm markets its services through company web sites; mailings with telemarketing backup; and continual communications with potential customers.
He says the upside of having a home-based business is having the flexibility to meet clients when and where he wants; but the downside is that it is not a 9-to-5 job. “When working from home, you cannot ‘clock’ out and forget about it…because your business resides with you.”

When considering a franchise opportunity, Schaack says ask about the company’s success and failure rate; and then ask their franchisees if the company provides them with value-added services that justify the initial franchise fees. “To succeed as a franchisee, realize you are buying into the company’s ‘formula for success’ and be sure to follow it.”

    In addition to being potentially lucrative, Schaack says a Murphy franchise offers an exciting challenge to any entrepreneur’s business, financial, and people skills. “I also derive a great deal of personal satisfaction knowing I helped my clients go forward with their life’s goals.” For more information, visit HBM   V19-5 Add:10/12 Car: 10/31/12  HP: ?

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How to Start Your Own Online Used Book Store

A Fun, Profitable, and Low-Risk Home Business
By Steve Johnson
Running your own home book store is fun and profitable, and it is an ideal choice for many people who want to start a low-risk home business. You can start part-time, avoiding the high cost of storefront rent, yet at the same time you can sell used books, music CDs, and educational videos to anyone, anywhere across the country or around the world if you choose.
You can sell used books, music CDs, and educational videos to anyone, anywhere across the country or around the world if you choose.
    The actual number of books you need to get started with your own home-based book store varies by how fast you want to get going. You could start with 100 books — you'll probably sell 10%–15% of the books you list within the first month — so if you want to sell more and grow your business quicker, then it will be better to have 1,000 or more used books on hand before you start. Don't be afraid to start with the books you already own, but stay on the lookout for more quick sellers to expand your business.
Funding A Home-Based Used Bookstore

    Start-up funding will likely be a bootstrap venture in most cases. Two-thirds of all business start-ups like a home book store get funded by credit card cash advances, tapping into savings accounts, or borrowing from a rich uncle in the family.
Tip: Sell things you don't need any longer — furniture that's in the way, clothes you don't wear any longer, or maybe hold a garage sale one weekend and clear the clutter around your house — and reinvest the proceeds into building your home book store. You don't need much money to get started.
If you're starting out on a shoestring, start with whatever you have. List your books, CDs, or DVDs on the Amazon Marketplace, and begin learning what sells and what doesn't. You'll learn valuable experience in how this business works. You can then parlay that experience and profit into a larger business as you add more used book stock to your inventory.
Getting started selling is easy. Just log onto the Amazon website and get your seller account up and running in a matter of minutes.

Stock Up On Merchandise That Sells

    Next: Give yourself a goal. For instance, plan on spending two hours every weekend for the next three months, scouring yard sales and thrift stores to locate at least 25 books, while paying no more than 50 cents each. By month four, you will then have found 300 or more good books, and you'll only have invested about $150, some gas for driving around, and $50 for a couple sturdy bookshelves to hold your new inventory.
Tip: Use your cell phone with Internet access to pull up Amazon used book pricing when you are scouting out books for resale. If the pricing for like books is good — $7 or more — buy the book. You'll very often be able to list it and sell it for more than $10–$15.

    If you do come home with books that you want to get rid of that you can't use in your home bookstore, take them to a local used bookstore and ask the owner if they'll trade for books you can add to your inventory. Sometimes if you're lucky, the owner will buy your unwanted books by offering store credit for books he or she doesn't want to carry any longer.
Another goal: Show up for work! Get out your calendar. Write in daily goals. Set aside time early each morning or late at night when you get home from your job, log into your account to check orders and e-mail messages, and go to work listing or revising your listings.
Where to Start?

    Right now, start with the books you already own, and add to them by attending library book sales and fund-raisers, estate sales, and thrift stores, and even search for them online or through newspaper classified ads. You'll be surprised to find good used books are all around you.
Post your own free classified ad stating that you buy used books, and list the subjects you are most interested in, but don't be surprised if the people who contact you have an inflated value of their books' worth. Be in control. State that you can pay a flat fee for their entire lot of books — example, $25 for a lot of 50 books. Make sure those 50 books contain at least $500 in retail value.
Concentrate on buying trade paperbacks in the non-fiction arena. These sell well in almost all condition. If you specialize in certain fields like architecture, history, how-to, UFO's or the like, keep adding new titles to your stock at all times. Write newspaper and magazine articles related to your expertise. Publish press releases for local media about your new venture.
Post your finds to your Facebook friends or your Twitter followers. One cool feature of posting books in the Amazon Marketplace is that with one simple click of a button, it allows you to automatically post your new listing to Facebook or Twitter, saving you lots of time.
If you do wind up concentrating on buying and selling First Editions, do your homework first. Become an expert in the field. There's a lot to know and you should know that on Amazon, the typical used book seller is not even permitted to list collectible books, so that avenue is closed to you until you prove some authority or certification.

Learn These Basics of Bookselling
    To get started in your new venture, here are six simple tips to keep in mind:
1. Learn the book trade and terminology. Study everything you can and add to your knowledge each day.
2. Do make sure you have a sufficient number of titles. The more books you have to sell, the better. People want to buy now. They won't wait around until you find the title. They'll just move on to the next Internet seller.
3. Be thorough and accurate in your descriptions, revealing any and all flaws in the condition of the book. Don't be afraid to list your book one step down in condition to stay on the safe side (example: if you have a book in "Very Good" condition, consider listing it in "Good" condition so as to delight the average book buyer, and not disappoint the discriminating book buyer.
4. Do your homework. If you describe a book as a First Edition, be sure that it is one. If you don't know how to tell for certain, then don't add this detail.
5. Learn the basics of how publishers insert the bibliographical descriptions in the front section of books. These identify to collectors the year of copyright, the print edition, the publisher, the ISBN (10-digit ID number for books that you will use often to search up values and availability of books), and more.
6. Determine where to purchase used books. Negotiate for the best pricing.
    These are your keys to making maximum profits in your own home book store. With time and effort, you can learn how to make money in this simple home business. HBM
Steve Johnson's newest e-book "How To Make Easy Money Selling Your Old Used Books On Amazon" is now available in the Kindle E-Book Store at Amazon. You can read a free sample chapter here: V19-4 Add:10/12 HP:  Car: 10/11/12

When it's a True Network Marketing Company...

In regard to network marketing, people will sometimes ask, "Isn't this a pyramid scheme?" The answer is "no."
Here's the difference:
Pyramid Scheme:
- The company  does not have a legitimate product or service that people would buy if they weren't in the business.
- The company will pay people to recruit others into the deal.
True Network Marketing Company:
- People are paid strictly based on the sale of products/services.
Sue and Rod are network marketers with Yoli. To learn more about Rod or Yoli, visit his web sites

12 Home-Based Business Ideas for the Summer

Originally promoted as "Spring" home business ideas, these 12 can also apply to "Summer."
Professional Organizing – Work with business owners, homeowners, and professionals to “spring clean” and organize their living and work spaces.

1. Balloon Decorator – Use balloons to decorate clients’ homes, offices, wedding reception halls, retirement dinners, trade show events, and other venues for birthdays and other special events.
2. Catering – Offer general or specialized cuisine for graduation celebrations, picnics, weddings, and other celebratory events. National Assn. of Catering Executives:
3. Cleaning, Specialty – Rent or invest in specialized equipment, using environment-friendly methods to clean windows, dryers, carpets, gutters, antiques; or clean-up after fire, water, or wind events.
4. Educational Tutoring – Set up a tutoring office space to help remedial students; those preparing for college; or adults returning to school. National Tutoring Assn. -
5. Food Truck – With a food-prep-equipped vehicle and license, sell meals or ethnic foods or snacks on popular streets and at local sporting events and fairs. “How To Start a Home-based Food Truck Business” by Eric Thomas (ebook).
6. Handy-Person – Use your “fix-it” skills to do small and larger repairs, installations, or painting jobs for homeowners, the elderly, or landlords. Obtain required permits and licenses. The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals -
7. House-Sitting– While homeowners are away, bonded and insured professionals care, maintain, and secure clients’ houses, pets, and plants. Endless Holidays - A Guide to House and Pet Sitting Around the World by Lynne & Mike Edmonds
8. Pet Training – Using your experience and expertise, instruct owners how to care and train their cats, dogs, horses, and other domestic animals for appropriate behavior or for competition. World Animal Trainers’ Assn.
9. Pool Maintenance – Clean and repair (or subcontract work) the pools, fountains, and ornamental ponds of homeowners, apartments, condos, and community pools.
The Ultimate Pool Maintenance Manual: Spas, Pools, Hot Tubs, Rockscapes and Other Water Features, 2nd ed. by Terry Tamminen
10. Professional Organizing – Work with business owners, homeowners, and professionals to “spring clean” and organize their living and work spaces for better efficiency and improve workflow systems. National Association of Professional Organizers -
11. Sports Instruction – Skilled instructors use combinations of lectures and demonstrations to teach specific sports’ skills to individuals or groups for leisure or for competitive participation. *Teaching Lifetime Sports by Lawrence F. Butler
12. Taxi, Special – With a good driving record and a dependable, safe vehicle (could have a wheelchair lift), obtain a license to transport children, pets, and other passengers to appointments and activities. “Starting a Driving Service for Pleasure and Profit” by Dana Carter (Kindle e-book). HBM
Priscilla Y. Huff is a home-based, freelance writer and author of business idea and marketing articles, books, and blogs.

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