Setting Up Your Real Estate Investing Business – The Business Setup Checklist

Since I get over 1,000 real estate investors coming to my various real estate investor websites and registering with me each week, as you might expect, I get quite a few people asking me how to get started investing in real estate.

When my business was smaller and I was just running my own real estate investing business and our local real estate investor group meetings, I used to sit down and meet with investors that asked me this question individually. We’d go to lunch at my favorite burrito place and I’d ask them many questions.

I’d want to know about why they wanted to invest in real estate, what they expected to get from it, how they thought they’d be making money as a real estate investor, how much time and money they planned to invest in themselves and their real estate investing business, what their business and investing experiences had been so far, and so on and so forth. After a couple dozen of these meetings though, I noticed a pattern in what I suggested to each of them (and yes, it really took that many meetings for me to notice this pattern): I suggested that each one of them get started wholesaling real estate.

After I told them that they should wholesale real estate first, I’d then run down–very haphazardly–a list of the things they needed to do to get started in their real estate investing business. A few years have passed since those first meetings and the first time that I made a quick list of how to get set up investing in real estate. Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people get started in the business based on those meetings with me. So, in this article, I’d like to share with you my Business Setup Checklist for Real Estate Investors.

In the Business Setup Checklist, I am not going to have you spend tons of money at first to lease an office, purchase expensive computer equipment and otherwise commit to lots of expenses with no proven income from your business. Instead, I will share with you what I believe to be the most important things to do and to purchase to get started in your own real estate investing business.

First, I believe you need to take time to sit down and decide where you are going. Stephen Covey says, and I agree, that you should “Begin With The End In Mind.” It is much easier to accomplish a goal if you know what you are trying to accomplish. Please, do yourself a favor, and don’t skip this critically important step.

Second, setup, or at least figure out, the minimum telephone communication system you will be using. Many times, it will be using your cell phone (and changing the message from something unprofessional to something more business-like). Of course, there is a wide range of telephone services you can setup. Start very basic, spend very little and expand as revenue increases.

Next, I am a big believer in using 24 hour recorded information lines in my marketing and so I do recommend paying the money to get this set up. With these, you can spend less on marketing and then have people call in to get more information about buying, selling, renting or private money before talking directly to you. You’ll be tempted to bypass this step and use regular voice mail (remember I’ve helped lots of other people get started investing in real estate) and that would be a mistake.

The next step is the MOST IMPORTANT step of all: get your marketing and get it out. Nothing happens until you start talking to motivated sellers in this business, so you need to get them to call you (or start calling them). So, take some time to figure out your basic marketing. Depending on your budget, you may also consider getting a website and bandit signs at this point as well. If you are on a tight budget, use the free website route and skip the bandit signs until later.

Once you have your marketing and are starting to get it out, you should then be getting organized and ready for seller calls. Make your Seller Presentation and Credibility Pack. Setup your office files to track income and expenses, marketing files and property files. Also, make sure you have the files and forms you need stored in your car. You never know when you might need to write up a contract and better to have them with you in your car at all times, then to miss out on a deal.

And finally, set up your business entity. The reason I recommend this last is because most people will stall on this step and unless you have assets to protect, it is a mistake to get hung up on it to begin with. If you have significant assets to protect, you should meet with your personal attorney at the start of any new business to get personalized, professional advice relating to your unique situation.

Overworked, Overstressed, Too Busy to Get Organized – How to Transform a Growing Business

I can see it coming. Maybe I’m developing a sixth sense for it. I run an operations management business and I regularly get calls from business owners saying; “I need your help. My business is taking off and I feel like I’m losing control”. The first question I ask always seems to be the toughest for them… When can we get together to talk? I’ve learned to anticipate that they will cancel one or two appointments before we’re actually able to meet. I plan for our first meeting to be away from their office so I am able to get their full attention.

Their business has typically been operating for three to five years, which means their business model is working for them and has begun gaining traction. They’ve passed the infant mortality point where many new businesses fail and have had some taste of success. They’re now at the point where they’re starting to think about taking their business to the next growth plateau.

The business operates in a mostly ad hoc mode. Up to this point they’ve managed to keep things on track by shear force. They’re beginning to realize that they can’t do everything themselves and they continue to hold things close because they feel they have to maintain control by personally making every decision. They’re not willing to delegate anything but the most trivial tasks. “My entire life is tied up in this business and it’s succeeding because of the energy I put into it.” They have in fact become the operations infrastructure of their business and they’re beginning to realize that they have now become the primary constraint on the growth of their business. Take a vacation, a sick day, a coffee break… Not likely!

Transforming these businesses requires an objective look at two areas: their organization and their operations. I start slowly by trying to find some activities the owner is willing to offload to others.

Businesses at this point in their development are usually organized on the “Conestoga Model”, meaning their organization chart looks like a wagon wheel. It’s a person centric organization model where the owner has become the hub of the wheel with all of the other functions circling around the hub. They may have made some attempt to change things themselves but I often find they were unsuccessful because they delegated responsibility without being willing to also delegate the authority to do the job.

The next step I take with clients in these situations is to begin transforming their organization to a more traditional hierarchical model. This is a difficult step for them because it means they have to be willing to delegate the authority to complete tasks along with the responsibility for completing them.

Completing the organizational change requires more than simply creating an organization chart. The new organization has to be designed to meet the businesses needs and to make best use of the resources at hand. Each block on the organization chart should have a defined mission statement and a set of goals. Owners who are already over burdened often revolt at the thought of doing all of this “useless paperwork”. “We have real work to do.” This a great place to recommend they bring in their new first line managers or supervisors to help and it also lets these people take ownership of their new roles. This is the point where I usually have to expand my role from working with the owner to working with their staff. Including the first level managers and supervisors in these activities has an amazing effect on the culture of most businesses once the staff realizes that the owner is saying I trust you and am relying on you to help grow my business. Kicking off the new organization can be difficult. “You mean I work for her now? But I used to work for the owner.” You have to plan to hold a lot of hands and mend some hurt feelings as you go through this exercise.

After the organization is in place you need to define a sustaining operations infrastructure for the business. You do this by assessing the businesses operations, identifying weak areas needing definition or improvement. I begin this by formalizing the workflows of the business. Remember, the operations infrastructure has to be able to support the restructured business in the future. I divide the operations infrastructure into the nine areas described below. Each area controls a major workflow through the business so, by definition, each infrastructure area crosses organizational boundaries. Don’t, for instance, limit the sales and marketing infrastructure to the sales and marketing department.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: The customer satisfaction infrastructure has to be designed as an integral part of the business operations and not simply included like a facade over the front door. Every employee needs to learn their customer satisfaction role. The customer satisfaction infrastructure defines the role of functions such as product support, requirements definition, and quality assurance.

PRODUCTION/SERVICES: The production/services infrastructure defines the methods that will be used for the delivery of all products and services and ensure that this is being done in a safe, compliant, and consistent manner capable of bringing all products and services fully to market.

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT: It would be a tremendous understatement to say that all businesses today are information intensive. The information management infrastructure includes the IT systems but can be much wider in scope.The information management infrastructure defines the methods for protecting all business data, the electronic tools that form the backbone of the business, printed material and all media that is used to support the business. All personal privacy and security controls need to be addresses here.

SALES AND MARKETING: The sales and marketing infrastructure supports the businesses primary goal; to sell products and make a profit. It defines the methods used for everything from pricing and lead flow needed to support the sales pipeline to the methods used to develop new products and markets including the use of competitive and strategic analysis as assessment tools.

ORGANIZATIONAL: The definition of the organizational infrastructure includes the formal and informal structure of the business. It includes the organization chart that forms the command and control structure plus the informal structure that becomes the culture of the business.

PERSONNEL: The personnel infrastructure defines the working relationship between the business and its employees and between employees including the roles and authority of the management team. It defines the benefit strategy and compensation plan plus the procedures for hiring, firing and everything in between.

FINANCIAL OPERATIONS: The financial operations infrastructure forms the framework for all financial operations of the business. It defines all financial authority and controls including AP/AR, payroll, cost account and project management, plus the definition of methods to be used for budgeting and projections.

LEGAL OPERATIONS: The legal operations infrastructure forms the framework for all legal operations of the business. It defines all legal authority, professional licensing and controls needed to support the business on a continuing basis. It defines all activities used to protect the business from legal risk and liabilities and to ensure the compliant operation of the business.

INSTITUTIONALIZED PROCESSES: The institutionalized processes infrastructure includes the definition of all formalized policies, procedures and methods that guide the businesses operations. Methods such as ISO, CMMI, Six Sigma, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Lean or Quality Management Systems (QMS) where the business needs certification to qualify for a market driven process are defined.

It is important that the infrastructure areas be documented but this doesn’t mean it has to be a voluminous set of policies and procedures or that it has to be completed overnight. The infrastructure needs to be formalized to be effective and repeatable but applying the “Keep It Simple” approach works well here. Complex procedures don’t get read so plan to start light and build as needed in the future. After base lining each of the infrastructure areas (and training employees on their use) the final step is to establish a continuous process improvement program so that the infrastructure will continue to evolve along with the business.

The actions described in this article can be intense for a small business because it strikes at its culture. The cost of transitioning the business to support its next level of growth will be offset by the improved efficiency and through the resulting decrease in operations risk. It may not be an immediate goal of the owner but these steps are an excellent way to position the business for a future M&A event or to raise investment funds to support the additional growth.

Attending Fashion Design School Can Make All the Difference in Your Future

Success stories about people who accomplished their goals or achieved fame and fortune with only minimal education are few and far between. The more education you receive, the better your chances are for success – not only in the fashion world but in anything else you try to achieve.

What are some of the benefits of attending fashion design school? How can it make a big difference in your future?

You will receive the knowledge you need to help you reach your goal. Throughout your educational process, you will constantly be learning new things or reinforcing those things you have already learned. When you finally walk across the stage at your chosen fashion institute, it will be with the assurance that you now have a knowledge base that will serve you for as long as you are in the fashion design business.

While some things about fashion design can’t be learned, most aspects of the industry can be, and this is why you are attending. It’s true that a good eye for design and color, as well as overall taste, cannot be taught. However, taking courses in such things as Textile Design, Introduction to Color Theory, Design Sketching, and other subjects can help you expand on what you already know.

Having a degree in fashion design will give you an edge when you start applying for positions in the fashion industry. In fact, that degree may be the first thing that a prospective employer looks for. For some positions, having a degree will be a job requirement. While it might be possible to obtain a position in a company that does require this, it’s probably going to be a lot harder to do so than if you already have the degree.

And lets face it; you will learn more than just fashion design. A well-regarded fashion college teaches basic college courses, business courses, and other classes. As with any other career, you may have to start at the bottom level, working more in the business side than the fashion design side for instance. Because you have knowledge in other areas, you will be able to do that, something that will not go unnoticed when opportunities for advancement arise.

A good fashion school, such as those that can be found in Los Angeles, can make a big difference in your future. Providing you with the best fashion design education possible will be their highest priority.

5 Ways to Sell Your Real Estate Listing Properties Without Spending a Dime

Selling does not always mean making a sale. You sometimes have to sell yourself, your quality, your brand, or your trust. The way you treat an individual can go a long way. Embedding your company logo into the heads of your clients will grow your business. Having a honest and trustworthy presence will allow clients to do business with you. There are many ways to sell real estate properties which don’t involve making a direct sale.

The below tips are common ways to sell real estate properties without making a direct sale, these are the actions which commonly lead to a sale. Let’s go over the ways to sell real estate properties without making a direct sale:

  1. Personality. Personality is a great business tool. It makes you personable, approachable, and the right personality can charm anyone. Unfortunately, personality is rarely a characteristic which a person can develop or imitate, it is something a person is born with. However, most people have a personality, they just need a little help getting it to shine through. I have some tips for getting your personality to shine through.
    • Practice makes perfect, so attend social events and conferences to network with others. Continue this routinely until social atmospheres become a comfort zone for you
    • Always, smile inside. If you smile inside then it will appear you are always smiling outside. Think happy thoughts!
    • When speaking face to face look a person in the eyes, without it being an uncomfortable stare. Stand still if you are one on one with someone, but if you are in a full room or crowded conference center then use slide presentations and move from one side of the room to the other while projecting your voice and connecting with all sides of the room.
    • When talking over the phone, talk clear and pronounce your words. Take brief pauses and breathes between sentences and speak in a calm tone.
    • Don’t always be about real estate, unloosen your tie sometimes and talk about yourself, your hobbies, and your interest – show your personality.
    • Start a blog or newsletter which allows you to express your personality while promoting your real estate business
  2. Use Signatures. Placing your real estate property listing in your email signature can generate traffic for your listing. You should also place your real estate property listing in the signature of online forums and discussion boards, thus increasing the visibility of your real estate listing.
  3. Free Classifieds & Online Directories. There are an unlimited amount of free classified services and online directories. The most popular online classified service is Craigslist.org. Having a real estate property listing in Craigslist is known to yield results and deliver high traffic.
  4. Social Media & Bookmarking Networks. Social media and bookmarking networks are increasingly popular. These networks can deliver high levels of traffic, especially if you become popular and sociable within these type of networks. Submit your real estate listing to these networks. It is most beneficial to find social networks which are edicated specifically to real estate, such as Active Rain Real Estate Networks.
  5. Organic Referrals. Referrals are very important, because this comes as a trusted body of resource. Referrals increase the chances of a sale. If a homeowner has done business with you in the past and you have a new listing for sale, then you should send an email to your past clients to inform them of your new listing and to please refer you to any of their family or friends that may be in the market for a new home. Most homeowners no someone in the market for a new home and are more than happy to recommend a real estate agent who they have had a pleasant experience with.

The above are great places to start for promoting your real estate listings without ever spending a dime. Penny pinching and only free advertising should never be your core business model, but in many cases it is unavoidable and every business goes through times when they need to save, so using the tips above should help you get the most out of your free marketing campaign.

3 Reasons Why Your Small Home Business Needs Home Based Business Insurance

It’s estimated that more than half of all small businesses in the U.S. are home based businesses. The Census Bureau estimates that there are over 27 million home based businesses as of 2007. This has certainly risen since the down turn in the economy when many people lost their jobs. This shift has given way to the small, home based business of today and tomorrow.

As an Independent Insurance Agent I run my business out of my home. The benefits are tremendous and technology allows more efficiency and productivity. I’m able to spend more quality time with my family instead of dead time on a commute to an office. I’m able to react to customer requests more quickly. And, I found out that I’m not alone. I meet so many people who manage their small businesses from their home, it’s fantastic.

But, there is a problem. Most of these at-home small businesses don’t have home based business insurance. I find there are three common reasons these entrepreneurs don’t have business insurance. These are also the three reason’s you need a home based business insurance policy.

    1. My Home Insurance Policy will cover me. It’s logical to think, since they own a home, somehow their home insurance company is going to cover any loss they may have. Unfortunately this is not the case. Most home insurance policies have a minimal amount of coverage for Business Property. So, if you have product, equipment, or supplies related to your business, at your home, there will be little or no coverage and, if the product, equipment, or supplies is away from your home then you’ll have even less coverage. Generally, you can increase this coverage through a special endorsement but most insurance companies won’t go higher than $10,000.

      Besides limited Business Property coverage, there is minimal coverage for Business Liability under your home hazard insurance policy. Imagine a product you produce injures someone after purchase. Your home policy will not cover this type of liability claim. Or, say the UPS driver is delivering supplies and material and gets injured on your property due to a hazard. Will you have coverage for this loss? No. Are you a Realtor? You may have limited coverage if you’re out showing homes and your buyer is injured or you cause property damage. We live in a risk filled world, with people who are more inclined to sue than not. It’s in your best interest to protect yourself by having the right home based business insurance.

    1. I’ve had my business at home for a long time and nothing has happened so I don’t think I need it. This is a common excuse I hear from many home based business owners. They don’t believe they face any risk. I once went to the home business of a seamstress. She had a room where she did alterations for her clients and she had cats. One of the cats was wearing a diaper because it was marking its territory in the house. What if the cats damaged a wedding dress or a stack of high end jeans waiting to be altered? Just because nothing has happened before doesn’t mean something won’t happen in the future. Give your clients assurance and confidence that you are a legitimate business by have the proper insurance.

  1. Business insurance is expensive and I don’t think I can afford it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many home based businesses just need a basic home based business insurance policy. These can run as little as $159 annually depending on the type of business and the amount of coverage you may need. Also, you might be losing business because you don’t have any business insurance. To bid on contracts you usually need to show a Certificate of Insurance proving a minimum level of coverage. Having the right business policy can put significant dollars in your pocket, many times more than the cost of the policy.

There you have it. 3 reasons why you need business insurance for your home based business. If you’re in Arizona feel free to call my office to ask any questions. If you’re in any other state, call an Independent Agent in your area for the right advice for your particular situation.

Important Things to Consider When Opening a Fashion Boutique

When it comes to fashion labels, most women have their personal favourites. Wearable original designs, ranging from updated little black dresses, sexy sweaters, skinny jeans, chic blazers, gorgeous jackets and other statement pieces with a giant dollop of sex appeal may simply be hard for some women to resist.

Celebrities and regular individuals alike can look so chic and put together wearing clothes that are well-designed. A burning passion for fashion can be enough inspiration for some enterprising individuals to decide on opening a fashion boutique. It is also amazing to note that behind some of the really eye-catching fashion collections are designers who really toiled hard before succeeding in building a fashion empire. You would hear of some world-famous fashion designers recalling how they had to do extra design jobs to keep their companies afloat during their early years in the fashion business. Many of them worked with experienced designers and collaborated with talented people to learn the ropes and also to create attractive interiors and hassle-free shopping ambience for their own stores.

If you re among those looking forward to opening a fashion boutique someday, you would be inspired to know what famous designers such as Tory Burch, Anna Sui, Chloe Dao and several others went through to get their business off the ground. Some designers studied art and design and spent years as apprentices trailing after a mentor, while others stepped out of the shadows of a regular job and built their own fashion brand with the help of family, friends and business partners. The common thread running through most designers is hard work. Ingenuity is another plus factor. A handful of designers get a great reception by offering quality options at a reasonable price range. A few – including some high-profile Hollywood stars who have launched their own fashion labels – got off to a rocky start.

Successful fashion boutique owners share that one of the most important things to get cash registers ringing, or to make customers to stay loyal to their label is to offer quality products. Most customers gravitate to a particular brand for the lifestyle it offers. They go for something fresh, fun and nice to wear yet elegant. Aspiring fashion boutique operators should plan everything – from the product mix, to the store location and interiors, to the logistics aspect, to customer service and marketing campaign. Opening a fashion boutique, like other ventures (as running a restaurant), also requires monitoring the daily cash flow. A trustworthy manager may be delegated by the fashion boutique owner to handle this task. Ensuring a healthy financial bottomline is crucial. In addition, it is also important to continually be updated on evolving fashion tastes.

Real Estate Property Investing – Some Information For Prospective Buyers

Buying real estate property for investment in the U.K. isn’t as hard as you might think. Once you understand the basics of real estate investment, the process is straightforward. What is buy to let property? Simply put, it’s a real estate property that a real estate investor purchases with the intent of renting it out to either businesses or private citizens. In this article, we’ll present a few simple tips for those who are considering buy-to-let investment.

Do Your Homework First

Before you buy real estate for investment, you should thoroughly research the current market. If possible, try to find other people, either in your area or on the Internet who have experience in this type of investment. Seek their advice for real estate investing and consider it well. Also, check online and in bookstores for guides on the subject. You should be well aware of the disadvantages as well as of the advantages before you look at any buy to let property that’s offered for sale.

The Importance of Location

Next, choose a location. A successful real estate investor knows the hottest locations as well as those to avoid. You need to consider your market here. For example, if you want to rent to families, be sure to find real estate properties in neighborhoods with schools nearby. Urban families are also likely to need close access to public transportation. If you’re aiming for younger tenants, a neighborhood with trendy shops and proximity to nightclubs and other entertainment venues is ideal.

Don’t Underestimate the Competition

You should also consider whom you’ll be competing with when you buy investment property. Check out real estate prices on web sites like “Primelocation” or “Rightmove” to see what other investors are buying and what they’re charging their tenants. A property listing on these sites will also help you determine how long it will take to rent a property in a specific area.

Crunch the Numbers

Once you’ve determined the area, financial analysis is the next step in property investing. For example, you’ll need to determine whether your rental income will cover the mortgage payments. Also, note that mortgage lenders will likely require a deposit of between 15% and 30% of the property’s market value. Once you’re the owner of the property, it’s important to set aside some funds to cover any emergencies that might occur, such a having to make significant repairs to one of the property’s mechanical systems, like plumbing.

Invest for the Long Term

While working out the finances, be sure to ask yourself some tough questions, like “How long can I afford to pay the mortgage if for some reason the property isn’t rented for several months?” If your answer is less than 2 months, you probably aren’t ready to invest in rental property. A final piece of advice is that you should have reasonable expectations. Very few investors can “make a killing” by flipping houses. Remember that you’re in for the long term and that over time a well-chosen real estate property in the U.K. is highly likely to increase in value.

Top Tips On How to Start Your Own Home Based Internet Business and Work From Home

In the capitalist society we are today, nobody is comfortable being a mere employee who grabs only a percentage of what his/her employer earns. Everyone craves to start a lucrative business of their own. More and more management degree holders, and even novices, are raring to venture into the domain of independent business as the returns promise to be much higher. Today there are so many businesses which you can manage from the comforts of your home itself. Making money from home online is not difficult anymore. So, how to go about starting an easy work as a home business? Let us have a look on how this can be successfully accomplished.

First and foremost, we need to pen down a profound business plan as a blueprint to make things go around. Without that the very foundation of the business will not be proper as it involves the sensitive handling of money. If the monetary part goes wrong then nothing is going to be fruitful in the long run. Creating a proper legal structure and registering your organization with the respective authorities should be the next step. This aspect is very significant as it may land your company in shackles if not dealt with maturity. The next best thing is to launch an informative and engaging website for your business. In today’s socially networked world, everything goes around through the Internet. Without proper marketing and awareness creation strategies through the Internet, today’s businesses (especially legitimate work at home businesses) will not prosper at all. Therefore, as a business owner you need to hire a professional web developer to get it done for you as it requires the website to look professional, sassy, and attractive to the prospective clients.

In the initial stages of a business, the biggest challenge is to find investors. Who would be interested to fund a new business? Why should the potential investors consider you worth shelling money on, especially when you have your eyes set on work at home business opportunities? Obtaining a good amount of capital to kick-start the venture depends heavily on how clear you are about your business prospects. Try to pitch in your business plan in the edgiest way possible and this will essentially help you in impressing prospective investors. Hiring employees would be yet another concern. Which well-educated or experienced person would risk working with a company which is just starting up? Fresh graduates would not prefer that as they would not want to risk their career with something uncertain right in its beginning. As for experienced persons, they always look for better prospects, salaries, avenues, and stress-free work environments. A new company may not be able to ensure any of these as the capital would be less and work load might be concentrated on the small number of staff they must be having. Hence, it is quite an effort to convince potential employees to join your newly set up organization. One needs to put forward an impressive and alluring offer before the target individuals, in such a way that it tempts them to accept and take the ‘risk’. The offer should be couched in such a way that the employees should feel that there is something in it for them. Perhaps, impressive offers such as ‘work from home’ might attract them towards your online business.

One aspect of business which most of the newbie business men get wrong is the pricing. The right strategy needs to be chalked out for pricing the products accurately in such a way that your business does not end up in failure in the start-up stage itself. Choosing and appointing a skilled accountant to handle your finances is the best thing to do. As the owner, you may get involved with various other aspects of the business. This is when an accountant’s services would come into play. Conducting a market research prior to your plunge into the business is yet another thing that you must do. It will help you understand the market situation and what exactly the consumers desire.

Experts are of the opinion that marketing in today’s business environment is even more important than the business itself. Considering the returns that it brings about through the Internet in particular, one needs to set apart a lump sum amount for the marketing purpose in particular. Also, designing a precise marketing strategy with the help of experts will be beneficial for your company. An important aspect of promotions, publicity campaigns, etc. is to find a catchphrase or jingle that would catch the attention of customers. Slowly and steadily, the product will zoom itself to become a formidable brand in its own right, provided that the quality of the product is commendable. The catchphrase should sum up what exactly the product is all about; in a precise yet profound way.

Calculating a gross margin is significant in case of legitimate work at home businesses, or for that matter, any business. You should always make it a point to maintain a relatively high gross margin. Filing a patent should also be a consideration in case of a new business, be it home business through the internet or the conventional ones. It will reduce the chances of any possible accusations, allegations, and disputes in future. Also, introducing a new idea to the market is always a way to boom or find a place for your business in this busy world. Working from home policy is also an attractive factor for many of the new business as it can reduce considerable amount of costs in transportation. Setting up a formal office can create a big hole in your wallet. The best way to fetch easy work from home businesses is by setting up a home office. Also, the right insurance policy is essential for your company.

In today’s times, there are millions of ways to make money online. But, it is up to the budding entrepreneurs amongst us to capitalize on the right market, invest on the correct product and services, focus of the specific target customers and cajole investors who dare enough to shell out money on us. If you play the ‘getting it right’ game well, then it is certain that you and your business are going to be epic successes!

If you want more information and help on how to run a genuine home based business and you will find out how to get a free report and a free 7 day business boot camp.

Women’s Preference for High Fashion Clothing & Where To Find It

It is a common dream of every woman to have a wardrobe comprising the high fashion clothing lines. Every woman wants to have the high branded and designer fashion wear and accessories like that of Prada, Chanel, Dior etc. But then in many cases most women cannot fulfill their dreams because of the exorbitant price of these fashion wear.

Well, there is a misconception by many that designer clothes are affordable by only the well-known celebrities and stars. Of course there is no denying the fact that wearing branded clothes or designer ladies wear can positively uplift one’s body, spirit and mind. There is definitely something uplifting about wearing fashion clothing of designers. However, you need not necessarily spend huge amount of money on your clothes designed by the well-known names of the fashion industry in order keep up with the latest fashion trends. Instead, you can fulfill your dream of donning the best designer wear and put your best fashioned foot forward using a small amount of money.

Though it may not be possible for every one to buy the best fashion designer wear, it is possible to find these high fashion clothes in a very simple and easy, which we are discussing below. You can find one or recreate one to beep up with the trends.

How to Find High Fashion Wear?

Your best option to find high fashion clothing at cost-effective prices is using the Internet. Visit those sites which sale online wholesale designer clothing items. There are many sites which offer branded clothes at low prices. You can also visit auction sites where designer clothes are available at discount rates. There are many consignment stores which offer used or second-hand clothes. If you do not have any problem wearing used clothes, you will find a whole range of clothes at very cheap rates in such stores. In many cities you will find discount department stores as well. You will find high fashion garments at half of the original price. Another option to find trendy, fashionable clothes is to wait for seasonal discount sale.

A very easy way to go for high fashion clothing is to collect the latest designs of designers and try to copy their styles. You can also emulate the styles of celebrities. Identify the colors that are trendy in that particular season. Get a high quality fabric, a trained tailor and customize the dress according to your needs. In many cases this is very helpful because you can have fashion clothing for all sizes, from petite to plus size, from children to young girls. You can re-create the designs of top designers.

But always remember one thing: Style is something which you create on your own. It is easy to mimic the latest trends without spending much, it is affordable to get you own customized high fashion clothing but at the end of the day a popular style may not be suitable for you. Design your fashion wear as per your body shape and size and add your own style so that you can carry off the dress confidently.

Start-Up a Business by Buying a Business – ‘Real Life’ Practical Advice Shared

This is a quote from Ray Thomas who started his own business by buying an existing one. He chose to buy a franchise resale for reasons you are about to learn. These are his first wise words of advice and ones that are valuable to anyone thinking of buying a business as a way to start their own business, whether in the UK, North America or anywhere in the world.

“When buying a business, check and recheck your ‘due diligence’ there’s always something that you miss, something that’s not obviously apparent when you first start negotiations – don’t rush -take your time to understand the business you’re buying into”

Ray was very careful in his choice of business. He took the buying process step by step over a number of months. He would like to share this experience, captured in these key points with you.

• Choose a business that relates to your commercial experience and your own business skills
• Buying a franchise resale has a number of benefits. Two of these are the training and support you’ll receive from the franchisor; another is acquiring a going concern with an existing customer base
• Get the latest trading figures to see how the business is performing and whether any circumstances have changed since the business was valued for sale.
• Check the customer base to check the number of active and dormant accounts
• Examine the customer profile to see how the business is spread between accounts – if the business is reliant on one or two accounts, the loss of these accounts could dramatically damage your future income.
• If possible, agree a hand-over period in which the previous owner introduces you to the client base and explains the ‘back-office’ systems and day-to-day running of the business.
• Make a generous provision for working capital to cover running costs – and keep an extra financial contingency for the unexpected.

To understand Ray’s story here’s some interesting background. Ray trained as a mechanical engineer. This gave him a career long ability to discipline his thinking and develop his analytical and organisational abilities. His outgoing personality and communication skills came into play as he moved into sales. Over time, he became a regional manager with a multinational company, firstly looking after the South West then extended his territory responsibility across to Wales and up as far as Birmingham.

As demands increased without a commensurate increase in his salary package, Ray started to explore opportunities where he and his family would receive a greater return for his efforts by becoming his own boss. He investigated a number of different business avenues and narrowed the options down to franchising. The question was whether to start from scratch with a ‘virgin’ franchise territory or to buy an existing operation. The other question was which franchise to select

As Ray had experience of the motor trade, at one time being the sales manager of a chain of car dealerships, he examined a franchise involved with supplying garage workshops with tools and another specialising in bodywork repairs. He also explored franchises that were related to his more recent experience in the Health & Safety and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) sector. Finally he chose a business-to-business (B2B) franchise that specialises in the supply and servicing of cleaning and hygiene products.

The franchise head office volunteered two start-up territories within reach of his Swindon base, and one resale franchise in Swindon his home town. Buying a resale franchise meant a higher investment but gave him a fully functioning business with an established clientele and an established reputation.

The Purchase Negotiation

Ray contacted the existing franchisee and spent a day with him to find out more about his territory and customers. The franchisee wanted the business to be transferred to someone who would manage the business well and look after his existing customer base. He’d decided to emigrate to France as part of his own life plan.

On closer inspection Ray saw the business had been losing sales and turnover had slumped in the last year. Another worrying aspect came to light. One customer was responsible for 50% of sales. If that customer withdrew his business the whole financial picture would change dramatically. These important factors demanded a revaluation and price renegotiation.

A revised price was agreed and on 26th April 2010 at the age of 60, Ray Thomas became a business owner. A new, exciting but challenging chapter in his life had begun.

Looking back, Ray would like to share these thoughts with you:

• Put away those rose-tinted glasses when buying a business. They’re always things that are not immediately evident when first learning about a business, not because they’ve been deliberately hidden but more to do with your unfamiliarity with the business operation.

• Try to identify the pitfalls – get expert help to review the company’s trading record and customer base.

• Examine in fine detail the basis of any ‘goodwill’ attributed to the company. Remember that ‘people buy people’. It’s potentially dangerous to buy a business that has been built mainly on the ‘personality’ of the incumbent owner. When the business changes hands, customers may not want to keep their business with you.

• Never rest on your laurels. Look for new business every day. It is inevitable that for one reason or other you’ll lose customers. You need to bring in fresh business to compensate for business lost.

• Make sure you ‘over-deliver’ on the quality of service you provide. You may not be able to compete on price these days – but an attentive, professional service not only wins business but builds customer loyalty. You’ve heard the saying that some people ‘know the price of everything but the value of nothing’. Due to cost pressures customers do switch to get a better financial deal but often return when they realise they’ve forfeited quality, reliability and product performance.

• Create a financial buffer to fund unexpected costs. For us, the rise in diesel prices has hit our van delivery costs. Unexpected events are another reason why you should grow your sales from existing customers and put time aside to contact and win new customers.

‘Success before Start-Up’ is a book everyone should read before starting their own business. It contains valuable advice from 18 different small business covering many of the most popular business options, from franchising to opening a retail shop, to offering trade or professional services or buying an existing business. The helpful advice is designed to stop you making the mistakes that cripple a new business given by people who want to share their experiences. The advice is relevant to any business wherever you are in the world as the principles are the same. The book is written in an easy to understand style. Importantly, the author has experience of setting up and running his own small business and speaks from experience – rather than just academic theory. Success before Start-Up is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.