a home based business onlinehome business ideas

   A Home-Based Business Online


   April 7

    Sent to 4,135 subscribers

  Editor: Elena Fawkner
    Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
  Contact By Email



1. Welcome and Update from Elena
2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Contractor
 Referral Service
3.  Feature Article - Getting Paid ... Minimizing Bad Debts In
 Your Home Business
4.  Program Review - Make Your Knowledge Sell!
5.  Newsletter Publishing Tutorial - Part 11 - Beyond Critical
6.  Pro-motion Column - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
7.  Freebies
8.  Subscriber Q&A
10.  This Week's Web Site Pick
11.  Next Week in A Home-Based Business Online
13.  Subscription Management
15.  Contact Information

1. Welcome and Update from Elena

Hello again, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
who have joined us this week!

This week sees the final instalment of the AHBBO Newsletter
Publishing Tutorial. I'm delighted so many of you have taken
up the challenge and are now publishing your own newsletters!

One outstanding example deserves special mention. Florette
Anderson has created the delightful CSSCommunique.
Florette sent me her first issue for review before going to
press and I was so impressed I told her I'd recommend it to you.

In Florette's own words: "CSSCOmmunique is a resource for
information and education. It is a Marketing ezine with a "twist".
In addition to the usual marketing information common to ezines
of this type, you will also find articles on subjects not necessarily
related to business, but certainly of concern to all of us. I hope
you will find it interesting and informative."

In response to popular demand, yes, I will be making the
AHBBO Newsletter Publishing Tutorial available in ebook format.
I do want to take the opportunity to flesh it out a bit before I do so
though and update some of the resources so it will be a couple of
weeks yet before it's ready. When it's done, I'll include it in the
Freebies section.

Many of you have taken up my offer of free Cash Cow website
and autoresponder set-up and webhosting. This offer remains
open to anyone who signs up for the Cash Cow program through
the AHBBO website.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's issue.

Remember, this newsletter 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

2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Contractor
    Referral Service

I've been putting up with a leaking shower head for weeks
now because I just can't seem to find the time to get
someone in to fix it. Every time I decide to do something
about it I open up the Yellow Pages to find a local plumber
but am confronted by so many choices I really don't know
where to start.  So I put it aside until I "get around to it". If
truth be told, I can't be bothered with the hassle of finding
a contractor who can come out and fix my problem at a time
that actually suits ME!

I don't want to hire some expensive plumbing company that
requires appointments days in advance and have to hang
around the house for half a day because they can't give me
an exact time of arrival. All I really want is a local handyman
who can call around on Saturday morning before I head out
to do my grocery shopping. And there are plenty of people
like me out there.

Just think about the kinds of services the typical household
needs from time to time. There's plumbers, electricians,
gardeners, glaziers, carpet/furniture cleaners, appliance
repairs, cleaning services, painters and babysitters to name
just a few.

At the same time, local tradespeople are wanting the local
work that's currently going to the big companies. Many of
these tradespeople would be prepared to pay you a
commission or a booking fee for referring customers. You
may even offer an attendance service where you attend at
the customer's house while the work is done to avoid the
customer having to take time off work or lose a Saturday

So line up a group of reference-checked tradespeople and
then start advertising your referral service in the classified
ads of your local newspaper, by letterbox drop, flyers
in the local supermarket, even a Yellow Pages listing of
your own.


There are many more ideas like this in AHBBO's Home
Business Ideas page at Home Based Business Ideas

3. Feature Article - Getting Paid ... Minimizing Bad Debts In
   Your Home Business

By Elena Fawkner

As a general rule of thumb, any business can expect to
write off between 3-5% of debt as bad. That's if the
business's receivables are managed properly. If not, that
percentage will be much higher.

For any small business, especially one that's in its first
couple of years of operation, cashflow is a paramount
consideration. Many small businesses fail simply because
they run out of cash during this period.

So don't throw away money owed to your business just
because collecting money is unpleasant. The very
survival of your business may depend on it.

In this article we consider whether you should extend
credit and, if so, what processes you should implement
to maximize your chances of getting paid.


You may prefer to have a strict payment-up-front or on-delivery
payment policy but the realities of a competitive business
environment are such that, in order to be competitive, you
may have very little choice.

Assuming you have no real alternative in your line of business
other than to extend credit, you need to have a policy for
your business about who gets credit and who doesn't.

How rigorous your policy is depends on how much money
we're talking about for a particular job.  If you're performing
a service or selling products worth several thousands of
dollars, you're obviously going to be more concerned
about the creditworthiness of your customer than if you're
only talking about a $50 sale.

So what are the considerations you should take into account
for major orders?

1.  Character

When thinking about the character of your customer, what
you are concerned with is the willingness of the customer to
pay debts.What do you know about your customer?  What is
the history of the business and experience of its management?
Does it have a history of litigation for unpaid debts?  Does it
or any of its principals have a history of insolvency?

2.  Financial Capacity

Here we are concerned, not with the customer's willingness
to pay debts, but with its capacity to do so.  So find out
about the financial position of your customer before
deciding to extend credit.

How do you get the information you need to make a
determination about your customer's character (willingness
to pay) and financial capacity (ability to pay)?  You should
ask for this information in an Application for Credit form you
develop for this purpose.  Any prospective customer who
is reluctant to complete such a form should be treated with
caution.  Any reputable organization should understand
your concern to only extend credit to creditworthy

And don't just accept at face value the information that
you are provided with.  Carry out credit checks (use Equifax,
for example, in the case of individuals and Dun & Bradstreet
for corporate credit checks).  Also check with your
customer's bank and two or three customers.  You should
ask for credit referees such as these on the Application for

If the result of any of these enquiries is even slightly
negative be cautious.  If you're just not comfortable extending
credit to a particular customer, don't.  Don't be coy here.  This
is your business's livelihood you're dealing with.  So, in such
cases, require payment prior to shipment or prior to
performance of services.


Once you have decided to extend credit to a particular
customer, make sure your supply terms are crystal clear.

Your supply agreement should cover:

1.  In the case of provision of services, what services are you
to perform for the customer?  In the case of sale of products,
what are you selling?  In other words, what is the subject
matter of the contract?

2.  The fee for your services or price for your products.

3.  When delivery will be made.

4.  When ownership of goods passes.  If you're shipping
goods to your customer, consider including a retention of
title clause in your supply terms.  A retention of title clause
has the effect that ownership of the goods doesn't pass to
the customer until payment is made.  This means you can,
at least in theory, repossess the goods if you don't get paid.

Note this will usually only be effective if your goods can be
specifically identified.  If your goods can be sourced from
any number of sources and can't be identified as coming
specifically from you, a retention of title clause may offer
little real protection.  If you're selling goods that are
identified with serial numbers though, or if you're the only
vendor of a particular product, such clauses are effective.

5.  When payment is due.  In the case of major jobs,
consider requiring part payment up front with the balance
due on completion or in stages throughout the project.


You should issue your invoice upon delivery of the goods or
completed service (unless you are receiving payment in
instalments throughout the project in which case you issue an
invoice for each stage of the project at which payment is to be

Make sure your invoice is clearly laid out and easy to
understand.  Make sure payment terms are unambiguous.
There should be no doubt when payment is due.  For
example, "Payment is Due on Receipt", "Net 30 days" etc..
If you intend to impose a late payment penalty if the
invoice is not paid on time, make sure this appears on the
face of the invoice as well as details of any discount you
offer for early payment.


Most customers will simply pay you when due.  Others,
unfortunately, will not.  You need to have a process to
make sure you get paid.

To begin with, pay attention to your receivables
position.  Set aside time each week to review and take
action on outstanding accounts.  This will undoubtedly be
one of your least favorite activities.  No-one likes having
to call up debts.  Don't put this off though.  You have
the best chance of getting what's yours if you act
quickly and decisively, before a debt has the chance
to become doubtful, let alone bad.

So, monitor your receivables and be on the lookout
for danger signals which include habitual slow
payment, broken payment promises, unreturned calls
and postdated checks.  Keep an eye on accounts where
you know the customer is changing banks or refinancing
too.  This can be a symptom of cashflow problems.

When an account becomes overdue, take immediate
action.  Establish a debt collection routine and carry it
out.  Here's how to go about collecting overdue debts:

1.  Call customers whose invoices are overdue.

First off, find out the name of the person responsible for
accounts payable.  If that person is not available when you
call, try and find out when is the best time to reach them.
Make sure you get the name of the person taking the
message (this is an excellent way of increasing the chance
that your message will actually get passed on!) and ask
when the person you need to speak to will be available.
If the person you need to speak to uses voicemail, leave
a detailed, complete message and a clear request that
he or she returns your call as soon as possible.

Create a sense of urgency but be pleasant and courteous
at all times.  After all, there may be a problem you don't
know about.  The customer may not have received your
invoice, for example.  This sometimes happens if the delivery
address is different from the billing address.  If you enclose
your invoice in the delivery package that goes to the delivery
address, the billing address may never receive it!  Or there
may have been a problem with shipment.  At least you'll
find out if you make the call.

If there is no good reason why the account hasn't been
paid, get a commitment from the customer to pay you
today.  Expect payment and convey that expectation to
your customer.  After all, if you don't believe it, neither will
your customer.

2.  The Check Is In The Mail

If you're told the check is in the mail, ask when it was
mailed and also ask for the check number, the amount and
the address it was mailed to.  If the check hasn't been
mailed at all, you'll know.

3.  Don't be Fobbed Off

If you believe you're being fobbed off, it's time to escalate
things to the next level.  Remain courteous and polite but
start pushing for a resolution.   If the person you're dealing
with says they need to make enquiries and will get back to
you, establish a time to call back and follow through.  Make
sure the other person knows you're not going to just let this
go.  No one likes to be hounded so if it's within their power,
they'll get you paid and off their back.

Other ways to push for resolution are to make arrangements
to send a Comic Sans MS to collect the check, agree a new payment
date or even agree to payment in instalments if you believe
the problem is a genuine inability to pay as opposed to mere
unwillingness.  If, however, you conclude that your customer
has the ability to pay but, for whatever reason, is trying to
avoid payment, don't be offering any compromises.  That just
sets the scene for a repetition in the future.

4. If All Else Fails

In most cases, being persistent and firm in your insistence
that you be paid will result in exactly that.  In a very few
instances, however, despite your best efforts, a customer
will simply not pay you.

Your response to non-payment in these circumstances will
depend on your customer's capacity to pay and the amount
of the debt.  After all, there's little point going to the expense
of hiring a collection agency or a lawyer to recover a debt that
your customer is simply unable to pay.  Similarly, you have
to weigh these costs against the amount of the debt.

Sometimes the best business decision is to cut your losses
and write the debt off.  Naturally, you NEVER extend credit
to this customer again.

If, however, the debt is significant and you have reason to
believe the customer is capable of paying, then by all means
engage a collection agency or a lawyer to pursue recovery.
In these cases be sure to include your recovery expenses
in the amount to be recovered.

And don't forget your supply terms.  If these included a
retention of title clause and the goods can be specifically
identified as belonging to your shipment, by all means,


**Reprinting of this article is welcome!**

This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box;
and (2) you leave the resource box intact.

4. Program Review - Make Your Knowledge Sell!

You've heard it time and time again. Knowledge is power.
You've also heard time and time again that informational
products are THE hot properties on the internet today.

Make Your Knowledge Sell!, a collaborative effort by
Monique Harris of Sell Your Brain Food and Ken Evoy
of Make Your Site Sell! fame, takes these principles and
shows you how to take what's already in your head and
turn it into a profitable information product.

Those of you who already have Make Your Site Sell!
already know firsthand exactly what Ken Evoy is
capable of producing. For those of you who don't know
what I'm talking about, visit the MYSS! site at and see for

MYKS! is every bit as astonishing in its breadth and
scope as MYSS!. This book tells you everything you
need to know about:

* how to pull your knowledge out of your brain;
* how to publish it; and
* how to sell it on the internet.

This is a substantial information product of 337 pages.
Just look at this excerpt from the Table of Contents:

* Pulling Profitable Ideas from Thin Air - six detailed idea-
generating exercises for identifying subject matter in your
own knowledge and the world around you. Think you don't
have knowledge other people would pay you for? Think again.
What do you love to talk about? What are your hobbies,
what do you do for fun and games? What do you do,
day in and day out, without even thinking about it?

* How to Package Your Pearls - should you publish a
manual, booklet, e-book, video, audiotape, newsletter,
conduct seminars, what?

* Put Some Meat On Them Bones! - time-efficient ways
to research your topic, fill out your own knowledge and
become THE expert in your field.

* How to Turbo-Boost Your Output - methods and tools
to make you more productive.

* Name That Infoproduct - your title can make or break

* From First To Final Draft - how to polish it till it shines,
and important elements that are often overlooked.

* Fending Off the Info-Bandits - what you need to know
about copyright protection and handling competition.

* Preparing to Sell and Ship - distribution smarts
including how to process orders, clear credit cards and
ship automatically with zero effort and maximum sales.

For those of you who have been members of AHBBO for
some time, you'll know that I don't go out of my way to give
my personal endorsement to just anything. So hear me
when I tell you that this is a TRULY outstanding product
and one I recommend to each and every one of you without

And, if MYKS! itself wasn't enough, the authors have also
produced a FREE infoproduct course delivered by email over
5 days. Called the InfoProduct Masters Course, this is an
intensive course on creating, producing and online selling
your very own infoproduct and will give you a good idea
what to expect from MYKS!. You
may find it's just what you have been looking for.

5. Newsletter Publishing Tutorial - Part 11 - Beyond Critical

This is the final instalment of the AHBBO Newletter Publishing
Tutorial. Thank you to all who have participated and sent me
your comments. Look out the for e-book version in a couple
of weeks.

This week we focus on your options when you reach critical
mass with your newsletter.

Alternatively, visit the A Home-Based Business Online
website tutorial page at .


6. Pro-motion - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"

Q. How do you know where to advertise? Let's say I decided
that I wanted to do ezine advertising and my targeted market
is for people who are into affiliate programs, how do I know
which ezine to go through, which ones actually have as many
subscribers as they say, which ones to trust will not just
take my money and not post the ad and such? (Carol)

A. This is a good question - and not easy to answer. First of
all, it's important to use ezines that you are familiar with and
that have good reputations. It seems that everything online is
taking a chance since it's so easy not to tell the truth
regarding numbers of subscribers, etc.

If you use ezines that are sent out through services such as
OneList or Topica you can be sure that the number of
subscribers is correct. These list servers will also have a
small section which will tell you about the content of the ezine
itself. That helps a bit.

That's not to say that ezines who don't use these services are
not honest. I don't use them myself. And using an ezine sent
out through the services is still no guarantee that your ad will
actually be run.

Most of the online ezine directories will give you a description
of the material run in the different ezines. Your best bet is to
subscribe to the ones you feel will work for you. Read them for
several issues until you get a "feel" for their integrity. Then
place your ads in the ones you feel most secure in using.

Publishers should also provide you with an address - and phone
number - if they are taking your money for advertising. In fact,
I believe that needs to be in the ezine itself.

The word, "ezine" means electronic magazine. How many
off-line magazines or news publications have you ever seen that
don't publish full contact information? In my opinion, any online
publisher who is charging for ads has the same responsibility to
be available to advertisers.

jl scott, ph.d., Author
Copyright © 2017, All Rights Reserved
This article may be reprinted with permission by including the
following resource box:


dr. jl scott is the Director of the International Association for
Professionalism Online (IAPO) and also
the publisher of MONDAY MEMO! - the ezine dedicated to upgrading
Professionalism on the Web.

8. Subscriber Q&A

Still on the theme of non-US opportunities, here's some more
help for Canadians from Harmony Major of Home Based Heaven:

"This is in response to Maureena's questions about home based
businesses for Canadians. I answered exactly this question in a
recent issue of my Q&A ezine. Here's the answer I posted:

Hi, I am looking for a business to start up from home using
my computer. I have a new baby and want to be around for her.
Can you point in the right directions on what is hot on the
net? Preferably something in Canada?

Hi Jamie. There are any number of opportunities you could try,
but what works for you will depends the kinds of things YOU
are interested in. If you're not interested in the area you
choose, you won't do very well in it. And, what's "hot" ISN'T
always what's best for you, and what's going to make you money.
I suggest that you "shop around" and look for home businesses
that revolve around your interests -- not the other way around.
Here are two helpful websites that feature a searchable database
of home business opportunities, tax resources, articles, an
ezine, and more ... all specific to home-based work in Canada.

-> The Canadian Women's Business Network
http://www.cdnbizwomen.com/ (A NICE site!)

If you're not pointed in the right direction now, Jamie, I
think your home business "car" might need a realignment!

Have a good one. :)

Harmony Major, 'Miss h.'

P.S. Discover what it takes to become a full-time Netrepreneur
& SUCCEED at it! YOU can be in the 5% that actually MAKE
MONEY ONLINE, and not become another pitiful statistic.
Interested? It's FREE! "


And Neil Malcolm's written in again in response to my
comments last week about the transparency of geographical
boundaries on the internet. Neil correctly points out that since
many programs pay in US dollars, your country's exchange
rate can be a crucial factor in selecting which program to join:

"I think one of the biggest problems which you did not
mention is that payments are usually made in $US, and in
some countries it is extremely expensive to convert the
payment into local currency, and there can be a significant
time lag on funds clearing. It can be very frustrating when you
are starting out to find that you are receiving payments which
are effectively worthless.

I would suggest that international readers examine the
methods of them being paid as a major factor when
evaluating opportunities. Similarly, they should shop around
their local banks, as there can be large differences between
their facilities and charges. I can deposit a bundle of $US
checks (or cheques in our country [ed: UK]) for one small
nominal fee, whereas another bank would have charged me
twice as much for each and every one. I'm sure those outside
the USA look forward to the day when commissions are
deposited directly to credit cards.

An alternative may be to create an account with Chase
Manhattan who offer international account facilities, but again
the details of facilities for each country may vary. Go to
http://www.chase.com and select International Banking on
the dropdown menu.

Neil Malcolm

Thanks again Neil!

The other side of the coin is that if your country's currency is
weak compared to the $US, being paid in $US is exactly what
you want!  In Australia, for example, A$1 is equivalent to about
US$0.60 at present.  As you can imagine, being paid in $US
can add up to quite a windfall if your country has this "problem"!


10. This Week's Web Site Pick - Home Biz Tools

An impressive, comprehensive and professional site well
worth bookmarking.

Key sections include:
* home business resources
* starting a home business
* home jobs
* home business ideas
* articles and advice
* home business discussion board
* telecommuting.

11. Next Week in A Home-Based Business Online

-> Home Business Idea of the Week: Household Management
-> Feature Article:  The Return of the Barter Economy ... Life
    Online and How To Get What You Want Without Spending
    a Dime
-> Program Review: Get Paid to Surf with All Advantage

13. Subscription Management

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15. Contact Information

Elena Fawkner, Editor
A Home-Based Business Online
Contact By Email


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