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An often-neglected part of home business is the pricing of your services. You know what you can do, you know there's a market for it, but do you know how much you can get away with charging, without putting the customers off? Here are a few tips to maximise your profit margin.Find Out What Your Competitors Charge.Ring round some of your competitors (you might want to use a fake name), and find out what they're charging for the services you offer. You can then make a p...

The Secrets Of Pricing, Making It Your Advantage

The Secrets Of Pricing, Making It Your AdvantageAn often-neglected part of home business is the pricing of your services. You know what you can do, you know there's a market for it, but do you know how much you can get away with charging, without putting the customers off? Here are a few tips to maximise your profit margin.Find Out What Your Competitors Charge.Ring round some of your competitors (you might want to use a fake name), and find out what they're charging for the services you offer. You can then make a price comparison table. If you're working in an industry where price isn't a big thing customers look at, you might charge around the average of your competitors' prices. If price is a big factor in your industry, play aggressively -- put your table in your advertising materials, and price yourself so you beat everyone on the list (you might not be able to do this in some industries, however).Be aware, though, that you might not always want to be the cheapest out there. Somewhat strangely, you might find that you can take away a competitor's business in some industries simply by moving into that sector and charging a higher price than they do for similar products. One of the biggest secrets of pricing is that people assume price means quality, and purchase accordingly. There's jewellery out there, for example, that is priced at thousands of dollars but only really worth a few hundred -- what people pay for, oddly enough, is the status that comes with buying something with such a high price.An Easy Formula: Cost Plus Time Plus Margin.If you'd like to be more scientific about your pricing, here's a way to do it. First, work out your costs. This is any materials that you use for your work, as well as your overheads, such as electricity, advertising, lawyer's fees, and so on. Once you're done, you should have figured out how much each product you offer costs you, before you include the price of your work. You should overestimate this number, but not by too much.The next step is to factor in a charge for your time. Basically, work out how many hours it takes you to provide a product, and then work out the pricing so you're getting a satisfactory hourly rate. It's up to you what kind of rate to set for yourself -- start at minimum wage, and then work out how each increase would affect the price. A good guide is how much you would expect to pay an employee to do the job for you if you ever expanded to the point where employees were needed.This is also a good opportunity to see if there are any efficiency savings you could make: if there's a service that would take two hours off the time needed for one product, and it would only cost you one hour's pay to get that service, you should do it.Finally, once you've added cost and time, you need to add in a margin. This should typically be about 30-50% of the price you've come up with so far. This money will be good for investing in expansion, paying taxes, and covering yourself against anything else that comes up.Don't Get Emotional About It.If you're selling something that you've put a lot of work into -- especially something that you've worked hard to make -- you might feel that the market price doesn't represent the value you feel it has. This is a terrible trap to fall into, as you're very unlikely to ever be able to sell anything if you've priced it too highly out of emotional attachment. You need to accept ahead of time the kind of prices you're going to get for things, and think of them as being worth that much.Always Be Willing to Negotiate.You will get customers who want to negotiate with you over your prices. Play them at their own game. Make it look like you're making silly negotiating errors so that they feel like they're getting a really good deal. Just make sure that you know the minimum price you're willing to take before you meet with them, and don't take any less.

Building Efficient Horse Barns

Building Efficient Horse Barns

Future champions deserve royal treatment. Someone who helps you in your work needs must be treated the same as well. So why put your horses in barns that are not liveable? But before moving them from their makeshift barns to the most expensive and priciest horse barns you could find, there's a lot of things to consider. Well-structured, well-constructed "horse barns" are well-ventilated, light, roomy, comfortable to work and stay in. Top horseman and horse barn builder Champ Hough even suggests that horse barns should be as homey to your horses as your house feels like home to you. He shares several tips from over thirty horse barn building experience.Hough suggests that before deciding on your plan, an appropriate site must be first decided. By appropriate, it means a site that would give your horse barns the much-needed air circulation and proper drainage. This would prevent epidemics within your barn. A good site would also provide your barn easy access to utilities, your driveway, or the road. Hough recommends orienting barns with these in mind. For aesthetic purposes, keep useful but unsightly features like the manure bin or can far from roads and your house but near your barn. Delivery docks and ramps should also be situated in the same manner. He also reminds builders not to mix delivery and horse traffic for less inconvenience. In doing barn layouts, Hough shares his trick. He suggests minimizing steps or the distance between barn workstations literally. This means that water stations, feeding stations, and grooming stations must be within reach or near each other. He also recommends, confining or isolating potentially messy areas like stalls and bathing areas to reduce dirt in the general barn. Clustering stalls is a good option.Horse barns are usually built with 12 ft aisles but Hough insist that it is better if you give your barn aisles another couple of feet. This will enable machinery to enter the barn, and will give horses and caretakers ample room to maneuver inside. A wider doorway will also let in more light and improve air circulation. Installing screens on windows and sliding doors will reduce fly population while installing exhaust fans would let hot air out to be replaced by cooler air. Hough suggest the use of pavers and asphalt on horse barn floors for better drainage. Plus, these materials are easier on your horses' legs.In time, you'll get the benefit of having less vet bills, less upkeep and maintenance costs, and an increase in property value. With proper horse barns, your horses will be healthier, breed better, and have champion quality offsprings.

The Importance Of Preparing A Business Plan

The Importance Of Preparing A Business Plan

While employment is a surefire way of securing your future, there are always those who believe that entrepreneurship should be a priority not only among those who are already established in life but also for students who have just finished their studies. Other people believe that getting involved with a profitable business is still the way to go if one wants to be financially successful in the future.People who immediately go into business without any plan at all are the ones who end up with nothing at all, in terms of their capital or investment. This is because they have joined a war without carrying any weapon at all.Starting a business is not an easy task as it requires the proper motivation, preparation and research. You do not go into business just because you have thought of an idea that you believe will strike gold and you want to implement it immediately. Of course, some do this but the rate of failure will always be high.If you want to have a higher success rate in business, then you have to do it slowly and properly and with the proper business plan. A business plan will help you create a map of the business you want to go into plus it would help you pinpoint the difficulties that you would encounter along the way.A business plan will serve as your guide in starting and in implementing the business and in steering such business to success. When making a business plan, it is important to take note of your reasons in wanting to go into business, whether you are into it because you want to get rid of that bossy creature breathing over your head, or you want to be financially independent. It is also important to determine the proper business endeavor for you considering your hobbies and skills, time preferences and of course your experiences.Before doing your business plan, be able to identify the possible business area where you would like to go like if you want to go into the buy and sell business, what products would you sell? Is there a demand for the product you are planning to sell and are there other businesses in your locality which sells the same products? If there are, what would be your advantage over the existing enterprises selling the same products?Another important thing to consider is the legal structure that you would prefer, whether you would want to go into single proprietorship, partnership or a corporate type of business. Do you have an accountant who will manage your records? Also take note of your possible sources of capital and the amount you going to need to start and maintain the business.When you have answered these questions, then you are more or less prepared to write a business plan that will help you start your business. There are professionals who can help you make your business plan. You can also do some internet research and look for websites that are offering free business plans and guides.Once you have completed you business plan, then you can evaluate it whether it is at par with what you have in mind. A business plan is not rigid and it can be flexible depending on your business needs. However, a person who fails to make a business plan before starting a business venture can expect to have a rough time ahead.

Hot Franchise Opportunities

Hot Franchise Opportunities

A franchise is a license to use a trademark in exchange for payment of fees or royalties and involves some material assistance from the trademark owner. The typical business franchise provides the franchisee with a complete operating system that includes all of the systems, techniques, practices and sometimes equipment that the franchisee needs to get up and running and continue running. Usually, the franchisor also provides a marketing program and other support services. Franchise businesses account for about one third of total retail sales in the United States, 10% of all fulltime businesses with employees, and franchises provide employment to over 7 million Americans. The average investment, before real estate expenses in over 75% of franchises, is less than $250,000. For this reason alone, franchises are appealing to many entrepreneurs. There are a few franchises that are new, up-and-coming and are hot in the franchise offerings right now. Health Career Agents provides healthcare providers with unique employment placement services through independent channels. The capital requirement needed to invest is $27,900. Right at Home is a company that offers in home care and assistance and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for its clients. The capital requirement to invest is $50,000 - $60,000. FranNet is the worlds largest network of franchise consultants. Consultants at FranNet assist new franchisees with every step of setting up their own franchise business. The capital requirement needed to invest is $30,000. Altoids gum is being sold from designer candy machines. You can own these gum dispensers as a franchising opportunity. The capital requirement needed to invest is $16,000. Diet Center is advertising that it is ideal for the female entrepreneur population. They are a leader in the weight loss industry. The capital requirement to invest is $29,292 - $55,374. Mathnasium is a learning center that focuses purely on improving students math skills. The capital requirement to invest is $41,000 - $65,200. Vendstar vending machine sells to individuals who are interested in business opportunities. The capital requirement needed to invest is $2,500 - $25,000 depending on how many machines you want to own and operate. Ace Hardware has been in business for over eight decades and is still on the hot list of franchise opportunities. The capital requirement needed to invest is $150,000. Protect Painters provides painting services to residential and light commercial customers. The capital requirement needed to invest is $38,000 - $44,250. Discount Boxes, Inc. supplies moving supplies and boxes to people who are moving. The capital requirement needed to invest is $15,000. Clix is a unique retail portrait and on-location digital photography event company. Capital requirement needed to invest is $237,000 - $298-000. Ubuildit assists owner-builders to complete their self-managed new construction or significant remodel project. The capital requirement needed to invest is $100,000 - $225,000. SmartBox is a portable storage company similar to PODS. The capital requirement needed to invest is $350,000 and you must own 5 units. 360 Degree Solutions LLC provides workshops, leadership training and offers business development consulting. The capital requirement needed to invest is $10,000 $25,000. Of course there are franchise opportunities out there that will fit your skills, interests, passions and budget. Think of the success of McDonalds and Burger King and other restaurant franchises. If youre interested in becoming your own boss, and making money for yourself, then perhaps owning a franchise is for you.

Computer Monitor Accessories Top My Holiday Gift List

Although the PC has revolutionized the way we work, live, shop, and play, the promise of a "paperless office" has never materialized. Indeed, having been in the workforce for close to thirty years, it seems as though I had just as much clutter - if not more - in my office as I did before the widespread adoption of the personal computer. The truth is that papers, sticky notes, business cards, copy clips, and office accessories were strewn around on my desk, and even a desktop organizer or card holder didn't seem to help. Each work day, I found myself searching for a phone number I need, a business card I misplaced, or - worst of all - "sticky notes" that somehow fell off of my computer monitor and were lost in the detritus, resulting in my forgetting to attend a meeting or missing a deadline. What I really needed - and ultimately found - were computer accessories that actually helped me get and stay organized. I was overjoyed when I discovered a frame that fit around my PC monitor, and that held all the sticky notes, pictures, and business cards that I wanted or needed close at hand. Better than a desktop organizer, card holder, or any other number of home "office accessories" , this PC frame allowed me to streamline my workspace and get rid of much of the clutter. I use the frame around my monitor to slip in a variety of important information. Along one side, I'm able to slide in those annoying sticky notes that would always fall off when I tried to stick them to the my monitor frame or that left residue when I used tape to attach them. I use the sticky notes to remind me of meetings, deadlines, and other "to do's" - and I never have to worry about them falling off. Plus, once I complete a task, it's easy to just slide one out and toss it away. Along the top of my computer monitor, I use the frame to slip in photos of family members and friends, as well as a wallet-sized calendar. I can see the month at a glance, and every time I look up, the smiling face of my daughter looks back down at me. I love it! I use the right side of my PC frame for a variety of items, like a list of phone numbers I frequently call, an index card that lists the steps I need to take in order to complete a repetitive task I perform at my job, and business cards from people I recently met and with whom I have to follow up. Again, it's easy to slip the papers in and out of the frame, making it a dynamic tool to help me stay organized. Because so many of my colleagues have asked about my monitor frame, I've decided to give everyone in my office computer monitor accessories for the holidays. Several of my family members and friends have home businesses, so I'm planning to give computer gifts to them as well. Life is just so much less stressful when the clutter around your computer vanishes and you have everything you need to get the job done within plain sight.

Invoice Factoring What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

Are you a business owner who wants to increase monthly cash flow, working capitol, and improve your credit rating? Then invoice factoring could be right for you. Invoice factoring is the process by which businesses sell their invoices to a third party, called a factor. The factor buys the invoices for about 3 to 5 percent less than the invoice is actually worth. If your business produces any type of invoice, then your business can take advantage of invoice factoring. Once the factor purchases the invoice, then the factor owns it, and collects the debt from your client. As the business owner, you get to decide which invoices to factor, based on your customers credit and payment history with your business. Factoring your invoices means your cash flow does not suffer while you wait for your customers to pay. The factor buys the customers debt, improving your working capitol and the credit rating of your business. It works like this: You send an invoice to your customer. Then you inform your invoice factoring company that you have sent the invoice, and in what amount. Usually, that can be done by e-mail, so its quick and easy. The second step is the factor confirms the invoice with your client. Usually, this is done in such a way that the customer or client does not know that you have sold their invoice to a third party. The factor will identify itself as a billing department or company, rather than an invoice factor, and will simply call or send a letter to confirm the invoice. Some invoice factoring companies are willing to keep the factoring completely invisible to your customers. And after you develop a history and good relationship with the factor, they will usually stop confirming every single invoice. Once the factor has confirmed the invoice, they pay your business a percentage of the total amount of the invoice, usually around 70 to 85 percent. This is called the advance rate, and it is one of the primary points to look at when selecting a factoring company. When the factor collects the invoice from your customer, you will get the rest of the money you are owed. Factoring benefits businesses that have poor credit history, no credit history, or limited hard assets. Factoring also helps businesses when they are just starting out, because it can often take time to build up steady cash flow. Additionally, invoice factoring allows you to increase working capitol without taking liens against your other collateral, so there is little risk to you. As a business owner you know how frustrating it is when waiting for your customers to pay. Even if your invoices are not past due at all, it can still take weeks to collect the funds you need to put back into your business immediately. Invoice factoring can help your business grow and reduce your own stress level.

Summary

An often-neglected part of home business is the pricing of your services. You know what you can do, you know there's a market for it, but do you know how much you can get away with charging, without putting the customers off? Here are a few tips to maximise your profit margin.Find Out What Your Competitors Charge.Ring round some of your competitors (you might want to use a fake name), and find out what they're charging for the services you offer. You can then make a p...