A Home-Based Business Online
IN THIS ISSUE
Hello again and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers who
have joined us since the last issue!
In this week's issue I've included a new occasional section,
"AHBBO Recommends". It's at segment 4. In this segment,
I want to introduce you to a couple of genuine opportunities that
are well worth your investment of time and effort to check out.
I know how difficult it is to find the time to wade through all the
hype that hits your inbox each week looking for the occasional,
oh-so-rare gold nugget. Special thanks to Cathy Bryant at
HomeBizJunction () who
brought these opportunities to my attention.
This week's article is all about freelancing. What's the difference
between freelancing and a home-based business? Beats me.
So, if you're thinking about a home-based business and have a
particular talent or skill that you think you could make a living at
by freelancing, this article is for you.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's
Remember, this ezine is for YOU! If you have comments
or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed,
or would just like to share your experiences with other
subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments,
questions and stories to Contact By Email .
Rubber stamps are one of the necessities of a mail order business.
You need to have at least a rubber stamp with your name and
address on it, not only for envelopes, but also for commission
circulars and ad sheets that you co- publish. Other rubber stamps
you may want to have on hand are ones that say, in large block
letters, things like "SPECIAL!!!," "ORDER NOW!," etc. If you read
ad sheet and mail order publications, you may see dealers selling
rubber stamps. How are they doing this?
There are three ways to sell rubber stamps. The first, and easiest,
is to act as a broker for a rubber stamp producer. This is similar to
being a printing broker. Contact a stamp maker in your area, and
outline your plans for selling rubber stamps by mail. Explain that
this will add business for him that he wouldn't otherwise get. The
stamp maker should offer a commission to you (or free stamps)
for taking orders. Then, advertise your stamp-making business in
ad sheets and other publications that mail-order dealers regularly
read. When you receive an order, take your commission off the top
and forward the rest with the order to the stamp maker.
The second way is to produce the stamps yourself. This is
something you can set up in your basement or a spare room. Spread
the word around the printers in your area that you are looking for
used rubber stamp making equipment. If you can, find someone who
is currently in the business who is thinking of getting out. Learn the
process from them, and you can probably get good terms on the
The third way can be done if you have a computer and laser printer,
or access to one. Anything you can print on your laser printer can
be made into a stamp in 20 minutes by a special "Polly Stamp"
machine. It uses a light sensitive rubber -like liquid resin and is very
easy to use. You can get a good refurbished unit for under $500.
Rubber stamps are a vital tool for mail order dealers. If you offer this
service, you will greatly expand your customer base. Be sure to
send your latest and best offers with the customer's stamp, and
you'll get even more orders.
There are many more ideas like this at the AHBBO Home
Business Ideas page at free home based business ideas
with more being added all the time.
© 2017 Elena Fawkner
What's the difference between running your own home-based
business and freelancing? (tick, tick, tick ...) Give up? Me
too. If you want to work for yourself from home and have a
special talent or skill that you think others would be prepared
to pay for on an hourly or per-project basis, why not stop
thinking in terms of the traditional "home business" paradigm
and start thinking in terms of freelancing instead?
WHAT IS A FREELANCER?
Quite simply, a freelancer is an independent contractor who
earns his or her living by contracting for projects on a project
by project basis. A freelancer is not an employee of anyone
and so he or she must actively seek out work, negotiate the
terms and conditions of the project (the contract) and complete
the work to the satisfaction of the client. Once the project is
complete, the freelancer seeks out and enters into another
contract for another project.
Alternatively, the freelancer may have obligations under a
number of different contracts with different clients at the one
Another variation involves the freelancer producing work and then
seeking buyers for that work. A freelance writer of magazine
articles, for example, would fall into this category.
WHO HIRES A FREELANCER?
Those who hire freelancers are as diverse as freelancers
themselves. In some cases, companies will hire freelancers
to complete a short-term project as an alternative to hiring
a new employee. This is often the case where the work in
question is spasmodic or ad hoc and the company cannot
justify hiring an employee for such work. Companies also
hire freelancers to help smooth out the peaks and troughs
of workload. Again, where there is a temporary oversupply
of work, the company will hire the freelancer on a short-term
basis to help cope with the backlog.
In other cases, companies hire freelancers for their special
expertise in a certain area. A company may want to create
a new website, for example. Hiring a freelance website
designer for such a project makes more sense than hiring
a website designer as an employee since once the website
is complete, the function will no longer be required.
Magazine and newspaper editors also hire freelancers or,
more precisely, buy rights to freelancers' work. A freelancer
in this type of situation may write a piece and submit it to
a number of different editors in the hope that his or her work
will be "picked up" by that editor and published, in return for
which the freelancer receives payment. By its nature, such
an approach is speculative since the freelancer can't be sure
that anyone will actually buy the work. Of course, once the
freelancer has been published, it is relatively easier to get the
editor to buy the freelancer's work in the future and, as the
freelancer's reputation grows, so too do the opportunities for
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DOES A FREELANCER NEED?
To be financially successful, a freelancer obviously needs
marketable skills. A freelancer therefore needs the same
qualifications, skills and talents as someone who had been
hired as an employee to do the job would need. In other words,
if you are seeking work as a freelance website designer, you
must possess the same skills and qualifications that a full-time
employee website designer would possess.
IS A FREELANCER RUNNING A BUSINESS?
In short, yes. If you do not have an employer, if you have to
source your own work and negotiate your own terms, if you
have to chase payment, if you have to pay your own taxes
(i.e. no one is withholding them from your check), you are, in
essence, self-employed. Ergo, you are running your own
There are a number of consequences you need to think about.
The first is taxation. You need to set aside from every payment
you receive an amount sufficient to cover your state and federal
taxes on the income you receive. Likewise, you need to keep
proper books and records so you can claim the deductions and
expenses you are entitled to as a self-employed person.
As a freelancer, like any independent contractor, you will also
be expected to provide your own equipment and supplies. If
you are a website designer, you need to have your own computer,
software and other tools of the trade. The party hiring you will
not provide this stuff for you. Similarly, if you are a freelance
editor, you will be expected to have all the reference materials
and style books, word processing programs and other sundry
items any editor would need to do the job.
From a legal point of view, you should also give some thought
to the legal entity of your business. Will you be a sole
proprietor or will you incorporate? If you incorporate, will you
choose S-corporation status? There are important tax
consequences of each of these alternatives so be sure to get
advice from your accountant before starting.
Think also about what licenses you may need as well as
insurance (health, life and liability depending on the nature
of the work).
WHERE DOES A FREELANCER FIND WORK?
OK, onto the nitty gritty. You've decided to start work as a
freelance website designer. You have the appropriate
qualifications, training, experience and equipment and you've
consulted your accountant to determine the most tax-effective
business structure and your lawyer to set up your new company
and advise you in relation to issues such as business licenses
and fictitious business names. You're ready to hang out your
shingle. Now what?
=> Approach Your Warm Market
Start with who you know. Where did you get your website
design experience? If it was with an employer, consider
whether that employer may not be a source of business for
you. That will obviously depend on the circumstances under
which you parted company but if you left on good terms and
didn't burn any bridges on your way out, by all means contact
your former employer and let him or her know that you are now
in business for yourself and ready, willing and able to take on
new projects. If possible, get a reference or testimonial too.
That will come in handy when it comes to touting for new
business from strangers.
Next, turn to your network of business associates you developed
while working for your former employer. Note, we're NOT talking
about clients of your former employer, rather your own network
of colleagues. Contact them and let them know about your
new venture and your availability for project work.
Be extremely cautious about approaching clients of your
former employer if your current business puts you in even
indirect competition with that employer. You may be constrained
from approaching former clients if you signed a non-compete
covenant in your employment contract, for example.
=> Create Brochure/Resume
Go to the time and expense at this stage to prepare some
sort of resume of your experience and services. Get this
professionally printed as a brochure and send it, together with
your business card, to your former employer and colleagues
as a follow-up to your conversation. By giving them something
tangible about you, it is more likely that you will come to
mind when next they have a need for your services. If you've
already provided them with your brochure/resume, when the
time comes, the person concerned will think "hey, Joe's doing
this sort of thing now. Where's that information he sent? Oh,
here it is. I'll give him a call and see if it's something he
might be able to do for us."
=> Approach Your Cold Market
Once you've approached your so-called "warm market", it's
time to start on the cold. Start by gathering up a list of
businesses in your local area or industry that you think would
have use of your services. Prepare a letter of introduction and
send it, together with your business card, to your list of
prospects. Your letter of introduction should make if very
clear why you are writing. Identify yourself and the specific
skills that may appeal to the reader and why.
Follow up in a week with a telephone call to make sure the
materials arrived safely. If the other person is approachable,
try and strike up a conversation about what you could do for the
business. Otherwise, thank the person for their time, ask them
to keep you in mind for future work and calendar to contact them
again in 30 days' time.
Continue to work your market like this. Remember, persistence
pays off. Don't be discouraged if you receive little warmth or
interest in response to your approaches to your cold market.
It takes time and persistence. Just don't take it personally.
A good way to approach it is to tackle a fixed number per day.
Start out by making a list of, say, 300 businesses you want
to approach. Develop your list from the Yellow Pages, local library
and the web to start with. Calendar to approach 10 businesses
a day for the next 30 days. That means ten calls a day, followed
by 10 letters of introduction (together with a copy of your
brochure/resume and business card) and a follow up phone
call a week later.
Where there is interest, you may be able to schedule a
meeting. Where there is no interest, schedule for a further
follow up call in 30 days. If there is still no interest, schedule for a
further call in 90 days. Or maybe you would prefer to do something
else to stay in contact. A good way is to publish a newsletter for
your clients and colleagues. Make it relevant to the recipient and
it's a good way of keeping your name in front of your prospects. A
quarterly newsletter is probably frequent enough. Send it, with
another of your business cards, to your list and, over time, you will
see that it will start paying off in the form of business.
Another idea to think about is to produce a set of samples
of your work; a portfolio if you will. Make 8.5 x 11 copies
of your work and keep them in an artist's portfolio for
presentations when you're able to arrange face to face
meetings with potential clients.
=> Advertising and Promotion
Next comes advertising. If you're a website designer,
possibly your best advertisement is your own website. But
don't stop there. Advertise in the publications your target
Another good way to generate business is to join associations and
groups affiliated with your industry. Chambers of Commerce
are a good place to make handy contacts.
You will probably find that in the early stages of your freelance
career you spend more time marketing yourself and your
services than you spend actually working. There's a financial
cost to that, of course. How do you finance your marketing if
you don't have any money coming in? For this reason, the
early days will be lean and mean. Make sure you have the
financial wherewithall to survive this period.
HOW DOES A FREELANCER MAKE MONEY?
You will only make money as a freelancer if you charge more
that it costs you to do the work in terms of your time, expenses
and materials. Factor in a profit component to every job you quote
for and make sure that that profit component is in ADDITION to
an allowance for your time. For more on pricing your services,
see "Pricing Yourself To Get and Stay In Business", at
Some freelancers charge by the hour and others by the project.
In reality, you will probably use a combination of both methods
depending on the nature of the job and the client.
You can get an idea of current market rates by surveying your
competitors. Don't be obvious about it though; competitors are,
naturally enough, reluctant to divulge information about their
businesses to their competitors. So you'll probably need to
employ a bit of subterfuge here by posing as a potential
customer, for example. In fact, it's in your legal interests
that your competition doesn't give you pricing information if it
knows you're a competitor. Such conduct can be construed
as price fixing which can land both of you in extremely hot
water. So, keep it safe and use circuitous methods of
obtaining pricing information from competitors.
A question often asked by freelancers is "do I need a contract?".
Well, to start with, once you've negotiated a deal with a new
client you have a contract. The question is whether it's oral or
in writing. An oral contact is just as enforceable as a written one
but the problem becomes one of proof. How do you prove the
terms of your contract if all you have is one person's word against
another's? For this reason, a written contract is always a good
idea. It needn't be anything too elaborate. In fact, even an
exchange of letters will do. Just be sure to include the basic
=> Describe the job
What must you do to perform the contract? Be as specific as
possible here and try not to be open-ended. "Create a website
for client" is too vague. What would you do if the client came back
after you'd finished and said, "but there's no shopping cart, there's
no feedback form?" and you hadn't quoted your time for these
things in striking the price? Better to say, "Create website
at client's direction consisting of (a) home page; (b) products and
services page; (c) order page; (d) shopping cart and (e) feedback
form". By requiring the client to be very specific about what it is
they want from their website, how they want it to look etc. you
can go a long way to avoiding misunderstandings caused by
=> Set the price
State in unequivocal terms the price you are to receive for the
job. This can be either a project cost such as $5,000 or an
hourly rate such as "$150 hour or part thereof; minimum of
ten (10) hours" or whatever.
=> State time for performance
Performance means not only when you will complete your part
of the bargain (i.e. delivering the completed website to the client)
but when the client must complete his or hers (i.e. by paying you).
FROM THE COAL FACE
Here's what real-life freelancers have to say about the freelance
=> Once you leave the workforce and start freelancing, it can
be very difficult to get back in and the older you are the harder
it is. Once you've been out of corporate life for any length of
time, the more likely it is that employers, rightly or wrongly,
will see you as not "corporate" enough to fit back into the
traditional 9 to 5 routine.
=> Isolation and loneliness. No surprise there. It's the same
bugaboo that anyone working alone from home must face.
For ways of overcoming the isolation monster, see
"Overcoming Isolation In Your Home Business" at
Overcoming Isolation In Your Home Business .
=> Procrastination. Again, a common problem for many who
work from home without a boss to crack the whip. For ways
of overcoming procrastination, see "Overcoming Procrastination
In Your Home Business" at
Overcoming Procrastination In Your Home Business .
=> Hard times with no checks in sight.
=> Pay is usually better. A very good freelancer can generally
do much better than the average employee doing the same work
but it takes time to develop a reputation that people are prepared
to pay a premium for.
=> You have to chase payment. Not everyone is going to pay you
merely because you tender your invoice so be prepared to have to
spend precious time chasing payment from slow payers. For
more on getting paid see "Getting Paid ... Minimizing Bad Debts
In Your Home Business". It's at
Getting Paid .
=> If you don't like cold-calling, selling and marketing yourself,
freelancing is not for you. A good proportion of your time will
be spent doing exactly that.
When you think of all the things the freelancer must do to generate
business and income, it quickly becomes apparent that freelancing
is really just another term for working for oneself. It brings with
it the same challenges and opportunities as any home business
and really doesn't introduce anything new to the mix. Hopefully,
though, this article may have got you thinking about YOUR skills
and talents and how they could form the basis of a home business
of your own. For all you know, you may not need to go out and find
widgets to sell to start your own business. Start with what's already
in your own head and everything else will surely follow.
use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
and (2) you leave the resource box intact.
You should by now have received a special mailing from
me on this. I mention it again here to remind you to check
it out if you haven't yet. Costs US$88 to join and all you
have to do is refer four others within 72 hours and you will
receive A$10 for each and every member who is added to
your matrix (a forced 3 x 10). If it takes you 7 days to
refer your four, your commission drops down to A$5 per
member. If you can't refer 4 within 7 days, you'll have to
be content with A$1 for each member, or A$80,000.
This program gives you the potential to build a list of 80,000
email addresses (just think what YOU could do with a list of
that size!). Once you've referred your four, that's all you need
Brought to you by the creators of Links2U. Have to hand
it to Aussies, don't you? Such entrepreneurial spirits. :)
OK, here's a great business opportunity out there for those
of you who enjoy, or think you would enjoy, network
marketing. Thinking to yourself, "Not MLM!"? Think again.
If you have a negative stereotype of MLM (multi-level
marketing programs), at least take the time to learn about
both sides of the argument. Here's a link to an article
I wrote on MLM a while back, "Not MLM! ... Why Ever Not?":
MLM Businesses .
Here's the lowdown on the CCC program:
1. Costs $9.95 to join. For that, you get a start up
package which includes camera ready materials and a 1/4
pound candy sample.
2. You have to purchase products - this is MLM, NOT a
pyramid scheme, people! You have to spend $30 a month
on product in order to earn your commissions.
In the above MLM article, I wrote:
"More likely than not, you will have to commit to purchasing a
certain volume of product each month to remain eligible to
participate in the program. Be sure you understand your
monthly financial commitment going in. And, while you're at it,
make sure that what you'll be buying is a quality product that
you have a genuine interest in purchasing. If you're just going
to stash it away in a cupboard somewhere, look around until
you find a product that you actually want and will use."
The product, in this case, is candy. And very GOOD candy
too. So, decide for yourself, is this a product that you actually
want and will use? Hmmm ... I thought so. ;)
3. You have to WORK. If that puts you off, stop reading now.
If not, then you'll be happy to learn that as part of the system
you receive a 30 day training course, one instalment a day.
It leads you step by step through what you need to do to ramp
up your business and start marking money ... FAST. Although
a lot of the promotional and advertising resources are free, you
WILL need to spend money on advertising. That's the nature
of business ... any business.
4. Now, let's talk payout. Payout on the program is 70%
over three levels - 40%, 20% and 10% with up to an
additional 15% profit sharing bonus.
5. Other factors to take into consideration:
=> Products that people actually WANT, not that they are
forced to order.
=> An established, reputable business. These people have
been in business since 1983 and started network marketing
=> You get a free website to promote that includes a chat
room as well as a forum where you can obtain additional
help and support. This free website, along with the 30 day
marketing training course, provides a simple system that
has brought in more than 50,000 distributors.
=> Same financial rating as Nestle & Hershey (Dunn &
=> I will be developing a separate area of the AHBBO site
just for members of my CCC downline. Unlike many other
sponsors who leave you in the lurch when you join a
program under them, I will actively work with you to build
your business. After all, your success is my success!
If this sounds like an opportunity to you, you can find out more
by visiting my Cajun Country Candies website. Click here:
TIP #1: Tested on Windows 98 and above...
A cool way to switch between tasks is to hold down the Alt
button and press the tab key. A small box will appear
showing the various programs that are running on your
computer. You just keep hitting the tab key to move through
them, then release the Tab and Alt keys to move to that
This method allows you to keep your hands on the keyboard
instead of reaching for the mouse to switch between
programs. The stuff you see to the right of the taskbar is not
included in the list when you do the Alt-tab thing.
TIP #2: Create instant access to your favorite websites.
Using IE or Netscape, visit a web page. Once the page has
loaded in your browser, drag the blue "e" using IE out of the
address bar and drop it on your desktop. An icon will be
created with the title of the page in it. Using Netscape, drag
the 'Location' item to the left of the address (URL) and drop
it on the desktop. The same thing will happen: an icon will
be created with the name of the page as its title.
Tips by Tom Glander and Joe Robson of The Newbie
Club. The best Newbie Site ever to hit the Web.
Bina Omar writes:
"I've just finished creating my first proper website. I've been playing
around with designing websites since 1995. But I never really had
anything to create a website about. So, it was just a matter of playing
"As a stay at home mom, I sometimes have a lot of time in my hands.
I don't really have normal mom hobbies - cooking, sewing, gardening
etc. But I've always had a passion for computers. Ever since I was
eight. And later the internet.
"I'm one of those who loves to learn about stuff but have nothing to
apply the knowledge to. In the end, I just decided to create a site
where I collect all the things I've learnt and share with others like
myself. And along the way I discovered that affiliate programs can
actually be a comfortable income stream. Hee! Hee! An extra
If you want your site seen by thousands, write and tell me
about it! But make sure it's one you've created yourself
or have had created especially for you. No self-replicating affiliate
8. Subscription Management
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Elena Fawkner, Editor
Copyright 1998-2017, AHBBO.com. All rights are reserved. Tuesday, 20-Apr-2021 14:49:33 CDT