Is There An Age Limit To Being A Work From Home Entrepreneur?

Some people mistakenly believe that to be a work from home entrepreneur you have to be a young tech savvy individual or an experienced internet business person. But a work from home entrepreneur can be any age!

In the past, home business opportunities consisted of basic data entry work from home jobs or involved spending large amounts of money buying stock, sorting out payment systems and hours travelling around trying to find customers to buy your products or services. But now, the internet has made the process of starting a business from home easier, more cost effective and more rewarding.

Why Start An Online Business From Home?

An online business offers opportunities for everyone, not just those who are young and handy with technology. All you need is an internet connection and a computer. If you can send an email, you can start an online business. You do not need a actual building to sell from, so your financial investment is a lot a smaller than it would be for a conventional bricks-and-mortar business. There are no rent or rates, no employee costs or endless hours going to and from your place of work.

You don’t even need to buy any stock, set up payment systems or worry about product deliveries or distribution. There are legitimate home based business models, such as affiliate marketing, where you can sell other peoples’ products to a global online market of over two billion people 24/7, 365 days per year.

Are You Ready To Be A Work From Home Entrepreneur?

One reason that many people start a business from home is that they lose their regular job as a result of job cuts and redundancies. Many times, middle-age personnel get laid off because businesses can pay less to the younger, less experienced people. Some more mature people who have implemented a work from home business have done it because they experienced age discrimination when it came to keeping or getting work in the offline world. On the internet, you don’t have to prove your viability to generate an income.

Setting up a business from home can provide additional income to those who need to earn more than their offline job provides. Over four million ‘baby boomers’, (somebody who was born between 1946 to 1964) are turning 50 each year and many will not be able to afford to retire. While the conventional job gives them a regular salary, their online business boosts their income to help pay for everyday wants and needs.

Age Is Not A Barrier.

Or maybe you feel that life is too short to be stuck in a job that you do not like or you have just had enough of working for somebody else. There’s a lot of fulfillment in being able to pursue the niche and path you want as a work from home entrepreneur. Many people in the traditional offline workforce today report job dissatisfaction because they’re stuck in a job they don’t like.

The younger generation can also succeed as work from home entrepreneurs for many reasons. Some younger people have more responsibility than their friends and an online work at home job can help them save for college or university. Some even manage their education schedule while still earning money online.

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Entrepreneurship – Ways To Achieve Success In Your Personal Endeavor

I am not convinced when people say successful entrepreneurs are only those who are bristling with innovative ideas and usually ‘think out of the box’ (to use a cliché;).

I do not discount the fact that lateral thinking has led to some great accomplishments, but success comes with being able to implement brilliant concepts wisely.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?

One has to be truly passionate about what one is endeavoring to do. If you are a team, then the other team members should possess the same fervor for the enterprise you are dreaming to set up.

Successful entrepreneurs do not shift their focus away from the task on hand. They also do not take in more than they can chew. In a nutshell, their application is single-minded.

When one cuts corners while executing a task, the whole exercise of trying to be a success falls through. Successful entrepreneurs know that! That is why they strain their every sinew to achieve what they have set out for. So even if they fail, they take solace from the fact that they had put in their best efforts.

If the above point is taken into consideration, then you will also be prepared to accept that the road to achievement of your goal could be very long. Patience is the operative word. It is, therefore, important not to fret when hurdles crop up along the way. Later on, the attendant milestones will make you feel that it was worth it.

One should be flexible and nimble-footed throughout the journey to possible success. It will help you learn many things along the way and let you change your tactics when required. That way you will never feel down and out.

Select your team well at the outset. It is better to choose people with skill sets which are different from your own, although it may be natural to be drawn towards the ones who work in a fashion that is similar to yours.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you are being a pioneer. Few if not many might have already trodden the path that you are following.

A plan that you have drawn at the initial stages must go through various phases of tweaking. You will invariably realize that many things that you had envisioned during the drawing board stage are not viable after all.

Compensate generously those who have put in their best efforts on the route. This a key point to keep in mind as they will be encouraged to give you more in the future. It also does not hurt to look beyond your business when you exhibit a goodwill gesture. It does make you feel better about yourself!

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7 Tips to Help Create Your Residual Income From Home

Creating a residual income from home is very intriguing.  If you decide to get involved in a home business to create a residual income, here are 7 tips to get you jump started. 

1.  Make sure your decision is a firm one.  You see, making a decision vs making a firm decision contrast sharply.  The reason I say this is because there are thousands, if not millions, that wish to make more money from home.  Making the money is the easy part.  Deciding to stick it out to make the money is the hard part.

Why?  Statistics show that over 95% of new home based businesses fail within the first 90-120 days.  Why is this failure rate so high?  Great question.  In my opinion, the initial decision to get involved was not a firm decision.  That means you proceed forward no matter what. There will be obstacles, challenges, setbacks, etc. along the way.  But if you have a firm ‘no matter what’ mindset, you are on your way.

2.  Get the support of your loved ones.  Running a home based business is hard work.  Just like any other business, you must have the support of your spouse, partner, family, loved one, or the person that is closest to you and your life.  Without their support and the ‘no matter what’ attitude from step 1 above, you will fall into the 95% that quit, fail, or just move on to something easier.

3.  Set aside a home work space.  Setting up your home work environment is crucial.  It is important that your treat your work from home office area as your typical 9 to 5 office.  When you are in your work from home office you are there to work.  You are there to get things done.  You are there to further your business.  Removing distractions can be challenging when you work from home.  Try to limit them as much as possible.

4.  Manage your time.  It is very easy to become consumed with your laptop or your PC when working from home.  There is tons of information and education for an online marketer or work from home expert to process.  Take it day by day and be sure to balance your time for family, recreation, etc.  When you are balanced you are fresh.  Your business should be considered a marathon and not a sprint.

5.  Find a mentor.  Having a mentor is very important when working from home.  Hopefully, your mentor is a residual income expert and very successful.  After all, to be the best you need to learn from the best.  A mentor is someone that can help you when you need it.  A mentor is someone you respect.  A mentor is someone that has already accomplished something you wish to accomplish.  There are great mentors available online today.  Take the time a find yours.

6.  Be professional.  Regardless of  your business, make sure you carry yourself as a professional.  What is a professional?  Someone that respects others, treats his home business like any other business, and tries to help others along the way. 

7.  Automate your business as much as possible.  Remember that you are just one person.  But, having the automated marketing tools that work for you are vital.  The proper marketing tools can replace some of the human factor.  And, if setup properly are easy to manage (unlike some employees). 

Taking into consideration these 7 tips can help you to reach your residual income goal sooner when working from home.

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Buying Web Hosting Space From Your Web Designer? Watch Out

We all love to shirk responsibility and hand over some of our problems for people who are willing to handle them. Buying the right type of web hosting maybe quite an overwhelming process for a not so tech savvy business owner. The task of how muck disk space, how much bandwidth and all the technical jargon involved can get quite taxing to understand. This is a primary reason why web designers are more than happy to bundle a web hosting account along with their designing fees. But there are many ways in which such relationships can get sour if the terms of the bundling are not made clear initially. This article explains what could go wrong if you buy web hosting space from your web designer rather than buying it independently.

Price

Although you may feel that you’ve got a great package deal on your web hosting along with design fees, you should be aware that web hosting fees are recurring fees and usually payable monthly or annually. Don’t get carried away with the waiver of fees for the first year. Some website owners are in for a rude shock when the next year on the renewal anniversary, they receive a huge invoice for renewal of the web hosting account. Design firms are almost always resellers or affiliates of web hosting companies and never a web host themselves. This can be a positive thing as well as a negative thing. Sometimes they may be able to offer you a highly competitive pricing, while some of them may just exploit your ignorance or inability.

Lock In

Taking a package from your website developers may lock you in to their web hosting package as well as their design. More than a physical barrier, it creates a sort of psychological block which prevents you from switching services or choosing a different design for your website. This is precisely the reason why low cost packages are offered and customers are lured to them. Website owners fear that if they shift the design services, then the developers may not be too cooperative and not give them control of the hosting account. Similarly, even if the hosting account has limited features or provides bad service, you may be willing to stick to it if it is bundled with your development package. You should always have control of your hosting account and also have your design source code with you.

Support

If your web designer is knowledgeable, well equipped and efficient, you may get good technical support. Issues related to your website’s hosting will be solved quickly. But if your designers are new to the hosting world, they may not be of much help. Sometimes it maybe helpful to buy the hosting and design from the same company, so that all your services are under one roof. This way there can be no blame game as to which service is deficient, in case of a failure. However, this can also be a disadvantage if you have hired a nascent design firm. They maybe too raw to know the intricacies of hosting and may not be able to keep up with changing technologies or may not be competent to provide the right security or optimization measures. This should not be expected from them either, as designing is their primary business and all other things are side businesses.

Control

If you are taking a package deal, make things clear at the beginning. What happens if you decide to hire the services of another designer? Who keeps the control of the website? On whose name is the domain name and hosting registered? How do you login to control your website files? These are some of the basic questions that you should ask when you are offered such a deal. You don’t want to end up having a disagreement with your web designer, who turns off your website and takes control of your domain name, leaving you high and dry.

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How To Eliminate Your Competition Without Bloodshed

So how do you eliminate your competition without bloodshed? You must
create a niche for your business. A niche is something that makes your
business different from your competitors. To compete with other
businesses nowadays (especially online) you need something that nobody
else can copy. One of a kind!

First you must know who your competitors are. Is your business the only
one of its type? I doubt it. If so, it won’t be for long. Do you know your
exact target audience? If not, you will have to find out this information
before creating any kind of niche. Below are two ways to come up with a
competition eliminating niche.

1. Just Ask! The first way to come up with a niche is to think like your
target audience or customers. Know their exact needs, wants, goals,
problems and interests. There’re two ways to do this: The first way is to
put yourself in their shoes, think like them. The second way is to give them
polls and surveys to find out what they’re thinking. Pick a niche that none
of your competitors are using. If you can’t find one that your competitors
aren’t using pick one to improve.

2. Just Think! The second way to come up with a niche is to use
your brain power. Ask yourself questions like: How can I set myself
apart from my competition? What could I offer that they can’t? Imagine
or daydream that your business is on top of all your competitors. What
niche put your business at the top in your head? Now, if you keep asking
these questions your mind will eventually start shooting out more ideas
than you can handle. One of those ideas may be the niche you’re
searching for.

Now that you have your niche that’s just half the battle. You must test
it. Does your niche appeal to your target audience? Will it attract
people away from your competition? If it does, you’re done, until your
competition comes up with a better niche. If your niche doesn’t, than
repeat the process above and test a new niche until it works. If you
want to eliminate your competition and be successful you will use this
process several times in your business life.

Quote of the Day:

“Friendship is a union of spirits, a marriage of hearts,
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When Do We Need MySQL Databases With Our Web Hosting?

Whenever you buy web hosting, your hosting provider is sure to include an option called “Databases” in his price quotation or package details. But not many of us know what are databases and why we need them when setting up a website. This article aims to explain a couple of reasons why we use databases and when we need them for our website.

The database systems we usually get with our web hosting accounts are all relational database systems or RDBMS. If we take a Windows hosting server we usually get Microsoft SQL aka MSSQL and if we take a Unix based system we usually get MySQL. Both these systems put your website data into tabular layouts for fast and easy retrieval.

Databases are a collection of rows and columns, where each row or column is related to the others in some way. Due to this relation, information from this database can be retrieved quickly and efficiently as compared to if the data was stored in any other unstructured format. You can consider a database as a collection of multiple spreadsheets which are all related to each other in some way or the other.

Security

A major advantage of having your data stored in a database is the ability to protect the database from unauthorized access, or the ability to protect a database record from being tampered with. A simple example would be the storage of login credentials. In a simple way, login credentials can be stored in a simple text file and be read by your script which does the authentication. However, your file will always save the password stored in plan text, making it vulnerable to anyone who has access to it. Databases have the ability to encrypt the entries using a hashing algorithm to obscure them. Further, to read or write to the database, you need to specify login details, something which is not easily possible with an ordinary text file or spreadsheet.

Efficiency

Due to the manner in which data is stored in the database, retrieval and storage is most efficient. Unlike a spreadsheet, where anything and everything can be stored in any cell, SQL restricts the type of information stored in each row or column based on certain conditions. This validation is inherent in the properties of SQL and is an added advantage for a programmer or developer. Due to the various inbuilt mechanisms that are present in RDBMS systems, they are the most preferred method of storage and retrieval of data.

An article on the DatabaseJournal Blog explains this in a lucid way:

“…The problem with text files is during a read, if the text file is large, it can take quite a bite of time to open and scan the contents of the file looking for what we want. Also, if we wanted to see all the sales to a specific customer, the entire text file would have to be read, and every line occurrence of the customer name would need to be saved in some temporary place until we had them all. If we saved to a spreadsheet instead of a text file, we would have a Sort feature built in. So we may be able to find all the sales to a specific customer quicker, but again, if the file was large, opening the spreadsheet could take a great deal of time.”

Administrative Control

Database systems also have various control mechanisms which allow easy administration of the database and tables within it. The most important part is user management. Each user can be given specific rights to the database, thereby allowing limitation in access so as to secure the data from being tampered, modified or altered. Database Administrator’s can tweak many settings of the database thereby restricting the flow of data, the connection speeds, maximum number of connections to the server and even adjust what hardware resources should be allocated for performing a task.

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5 Things That Nobody Told You About Starting An Internet Business

Although many entrepreneurs enjoy success with their online business there are also a number who fail. One of the main reasons why people fail online is that they jump in head first thinking that it is an quick way to get rich. Here are 5 factors about setting up an internet business that you may not know.

1. You Need To Work Hard.

Starting an online business and turning it into a success does require time, effort and resources. It is a real business and if you treat it like a hobby, it will become a very costly and frustrating one. Be prepared to work hard to achieve your goals. It involves a lot more than pushing a couple of buttons on your laptop or computer for a few minutes each day.

2. It Takes Time To Get Results.

People who want to make loads of money as quickly as possible are normally the ones who get discouraged and give up when things don’t go their way. Developing a solid online reputation, getting your website noticed by the search engine and building a customer base generally takes a lot longer than people expect.

3. Some Folks Will Tell You You’re Wasting Your Time.

You will come across people who are cynical about setting up an internet business. They choose to ignore the fact that the internet is a flourishing business environment and that it is possible to generate a legitimate income online. Don’t let less people undermine your efforts. Become a member of an online community of similar entrepreneurs for your business advice and support.

4. You’ll Most Likely Have Information Overload At Some Point.

When starting an online business there can seem to be a never ending set of tasks to do. Once your website is set up, you have to find the right products and the right customers to buy them. There is a whole range of free and paid marketing strategies that you can use and sometimes it can become mind-boggling and you can have a total information overload. Take one step at a time, become proficient at one thing then move onto the next. You do not have to do everything at once.

5. Everything Will Not always Go To Plan.

You must never expect everything to be easy and recognize that sometimes things don’t go according to plan on the first try. But don’t look at these problems as failure. Look at them as a learning process. You now realize what went wrong so that you can avoid it happening again in the future. Every entrepreneur faces set backs at one stage or another with their online business and you have to be willing to accept these unexpected challenges as part of your ongoing business venture.

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Why Do Most Web Hosting Providers And Resellers Recommend WordPress?

If you ask most web hosting providers about what their recommendation would be for a blogging platform or Content Management System for a website you will most probably hear WordPress as the first option. Day by day, the patronage for WordPress is on the rise, and with good reason too. This article explains why most web hosting providers would encourage the use of WordPress and why it may be their number one choice for clients.

Updates and Community Support

WordPress is regularly updated by the community and is kept bug free and as secure as possible at all times. If there is a vulnerability or exploit detected, many people work hard to plug the vulnerability and fix the flaws in the system. Since it is open source, this is all a team effort of the community. No dependence on a dedicated team or on a profit-focused software company. This gives much assurance to web hosting providers that the software is safe to run on their servers without a hitch.

Auto Installer Support

Almost all auto-installer software support the WordPress system and enable quick setup and maintenance of WordPress. With auto-installer software like Softaculous, you can auto-update WordPress when a new version is released, you can update all themes and plugins when new versions are released and you can also configure automatic backups to take place through cron jobs. This eases the burden on the web hosting provider in monitoring outdated installations and asking users to keep updating their obsolete software. This also comes in use when the web host needs to step in to provide support or fire-fight a website compromise.

Useful Documentation and Helpful Tutorials.

WordPress is well documented and the documentation is easily accessible on their website. This is a major relief to most web hosts, especially when troubleshooting client issues. A web host would always like to know if there is some issue with his server or there is a misconfiguration with the user’s install of WordPress. Although providing support for WordPress may not be covered in the scope of work of the hosting provider, it would definitely give them brownie points for pointing a distressed client in the right direction.

WordPress also has a lot of tutorials for newbie users and private bloggers. Many websites offer Video and Audio Tutorials for free, while some charge for premium guidance. YouTube also offers numerous free videos on WordPress issues and how to solve them.

Turn Around Time

A primary reason why web hosts and web developers love WordPress is due to the miniscule turnaround time for setting up a website and actually getting content online. The coming of auto-installers has further improved the speed of setup and updates. When a client trusts a web host for all their IT advice and expertise, they are sure to ask about WordPress. Setting up WordPress for an elderly client or a loyal patron is super fast and easy.

We have seen many clients struggling for months on end just to pick a suitable web designer. When they do pick one, it is an endless process to get the final site up and running. Either the Web Designer dilly-dallies or the client has very little time to give inputs. This process goes on for a couple of months, till the client realizes that the web hosting space they have taken is being wasted. When the client sits up and wants a website done yesterday, it’s the development team’s turn to act fussy. You can’t setup a full website quicker than with WordPress.

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Google Tools That Every Website Owner Can Benefit From

Google is a word synonymous with the internet. It is almost as if you cannot start your internet journey without Google. Being out of sync with the trends from Google will prevent you in being successful online. This article discusses a few free tools which you can use to help Google better understand your business and website.

Google Webmaster Tools

This tool is a must for every webmaster, as it tells you Google’s perspective of your website and website visitors. Webmaster Tools is like a communication portal where you can customize and tweak certain aspects of your site, so that Google can understand it better. The Search Engine’s aim is to serve up relevant results to its viewers and searchers. This means that it must understand what every site has to offer and try and link it up to what the users need. GWT allows you to set certain important information for your website, so that the relevant aspects of it are highlighted in Google Searches. One of the options that you can set in GWT is what is the target country for your website. Selecting a specific country will prioritize your website in searches from that country, also taking into account the preferences of the person searching. You can also indicate old and broken links and direct Google to new pages which have replaced them. This tool also allows you to update your
sitemap on Google, allowing you to know when it was updated and how many links Google has indexed from it.

Local Business Listing

Google offers a Local business listing for your website which will allow you to put in all the important details of your business, so that when someone searches for your business or a place in your locality, Google will also show them your business. When someone searches for your locality in Google Maps, all the local businesses in that area, including yours will show up. Additionally, when someone searches your exact business name or address in Google, on the side a map and details of your business will appear, if you have set them in the local business listing. Google allows you to put in information like your shop or office timings, what payment methods you accept and also the facilities that you offer.

Google Ads

Whether you want to host ads on your website or you want to place ads on other people’s websites, Google’s Ad products will help your business. The Google Adsense product will allow you to earn revenue from your website, by allowing Google to place ads on your blog or website. These third party ads will allow you to earn money per click or everytime the ad is displayed to your visitors. You can do the same by subscribing to Google’s Adwords service, which allows you to place your ads on several related or relevant websites, without involving yourself in the intricacies of negotiating a deal or handling payments.

Google Analytics

Another highly recommended tool for every professional website is Google Analytics. Like the name suggests, it provides in depth website metrics which will allow you to determine how traffic is being channelized to your website, what is the feedback of your visitors, what are the popular sections of your website and how visitors are browsing your website pages. For a small or medium website it may not be very critical to track these features, but an ecommerce website has to have an in depth view of how and where the visitors are being drawn to their content. Analytics can provide a direct revenue increase in the amount of sales that a website is successfully able to churn from its shopping flow.

Google Alerts

Another useful tool provided by Google is the Alerts feature. Google Alerts will allow you to setup an alert for specific trigger keywords or key phrases which will allow you to monitor websites which are indexed by Google. Upon coming across those words or phrases, Google will send you an email and notify you of those search results. This tool can be especially useful for online reputation or brand management.

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Are Directory Listings Worth It? A Look At Yahoo, DMOZ And More

One of the most common tactics of the erstwhile “SEO experts” was directory submissions i.e. submitting your website and description to various websites which categorized or classified them based on region, category or interest. Numerous software has been sold which does nothing more that submitting your website to various online directories. Then came online directory submission services which did not require any downloads or install. Each service would boast about how many more directories they could post to. The game was of numbers, not of the quality given to an end user who is browsing those directories. We take a look at what the status of web directories are how directories are fading into the sunset.

Yahoo

The Yahoo Directory shut down in December 2014, after a successful 20 years of being around. Yahoo’s Directory service was a paid service which listed businesses after a thorough review by Yahoo Editors. Yahoo started its business as a Directory and held much of the market share until the concept of Google came about. The sudden closure of Yahoo’s Directory bring up more questions in the mind of SEO professionals about whether Directory submissions still work, even if premium directories filter out spam entries. The answer is that directories probably do not work any longer, which is why there are just a couple of reputed directory services available online.

DMOZ

It’s said that the best things in life are free. DMOZ is also a free directory, which is part of the open directory project. It is one of the most difficult directories to get listed in, especially due to its extremely stringent and also very vague guidelines. Over the years, DMOZ’s credibility has reduced, mainly due to invalid links and no concrete action on dead links, expired domain names or businesses that have wound up. DMOZ’s directory is moderated by volunteers from around the world. Even the volunteer picking process is very stringent and not at all predictable. However, till date DMOZ remains one of the most sought after directory service, which every webmaster wishes to be listed on. Many webmaster’s have given up on resubmitting websites once they have been rejected. The most common grouse about submitting a website is that the approval guidelines are very vague and there is lack of clarity in the process.

Best of the Web

Best of the Web is one of the few directory services which has been around for a while and is still going strong. Or atleast it seems so. BOTW has a list of paid editors who scan through fresh submissions and sift them according to their quality. Spammy content is removed and the list is constantly kept clean. The price that BOTW charges is $150 per submission. While this may sound steep, most other directories also charge this much. A newbie webmaster maybe quite put off by the pricing, especially because the value of the link is not easily quantifiable when compared to PPC / CPC advertising. But veteran SEO experts claim that the money is worth it and that it is a small price to pay for being listed in a PR 7 directory. However, many do not realise that all the pages will not have PR 7.

From the way things have been trending, it appears that Search Engines will no longer take directories very seriously and will give very little weightage to such links. This means that people who are visiting the directory are likely to find your services, but in the open market it maybe tough to be spotted. Although directories of repute can aid search engines in picking out relevant content, but then stricter and more transparent guidelines are needed.

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