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                                   A Home-Based Business Online
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                                                May 28

                                       Sent to 4,737 subscribers

                                          Editor: Elena Fawkner
                                    Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
                                       
                                      Contact By Email

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                                          IN THIS ISSUE
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1. Welcome and Update from Elena
2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Packing/
 Unpacking Service
3. Feature Article - Creating A Corporate Office Image
 From Your Spare Bedroom
4. Web Watch - Internet Privacy Laws and Children
5. Pro-motion Column - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
6. Free E-Book of the Week - Secrets of Business In
 the New Millennium
7. Subscriber Q&A - When You Don't Get Paid By
 Your Check/Credit Card Processor
11. Subscription Management
13. Contact Information
 

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1. Welcome and Update from Elena
============================================================

Hello again, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
who have joined us since the last issue!

This is the last of the catch-up issues to make up for the two
issues I couldn't get to you while I was travelling earlier this
month.  If you're thinking, "Why can't she just skip a couple of
weeks?", the reason is commitments to advertisers.

If you're new to AHBBO and feeling a little overwhelmed
by the volume and frequency of the AHBBO ezine, hang in
there.  They don't normally come so thick and fast so save
them until you have time to get to them.  From here on in
you'll only get one issue a week.

We're now only a week away from the launch of the AHBBO
Build Your Own Website tutorial.  For those of you planning
to participate, I hope you've given some thought to the subject
matter of your site so you will be able to get going right along
with us.  If you're still struggling with this, check out the recent
AHBBO article, "What's Your Niche?".  It's available by
autoresponder at .

You know, I was thinking this weekend that we haven't heard
any real-life success stories from AHBBO subscribers for a
while.  Come on guys and gals, someone out there must have
a home business success story to tell!  Share it with us and
get some free publicity while you're at it.  Just drop me a line
at .

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this
week's issue.

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 .
 

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2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Packing/
 Unpacking Service
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Are you an organizer by nature?  One of those "everything
has its place and everything in its place" types?  If so, have
you thought about offering a packing/unpacking service for
residential moves?  This is a service in high demand by
busy professionals who can't afford to take time off work
to move.

Here's how the business would work.  Plan to offer a 2 day
full service.  On day 1 you pack up, on day 2 you coordinate
the move and unpack.  The idea is that, on moving day, your
client comes home from work at the end of the day to find
everything unpacked, put away, plugged in and the house
generally ready to live in (including made beds).  Of course,
your client may not require a full service.  They may only
want you to unpack and put away and attend to the packing
and coordination of the move themselves.  So structure your
pricing based on the level of service required.

At the outset, you should schedule an in-home obligation-
free consultation with your potential client and discuss
the services you offer.  Once you have ascertained the
level of service required by the client clearly explain your
fee structure.

As a rough guide, plan to charge an unpacking fee of
$10-$15 per box.  For a 1-2 bedroom home, anticipate
30-50 boxes, for 3-4 bedrooms 50-100 boxes.  If you are
also going to be packing the boxes, strike a dollar rate
per box.  If you are also going to be coordinating the move
(greeting the removalists, ensuring furniture and boxes
are delivered to the correct rooms), your time for this
service should also be worked into your package price.
Alternatively, you may prefer to charge by the hour or
strike a price for the whole job upfront.

------

Useful resources:

SITE:

=> Busy Buddies, Inc. Moving Services
http://www.busybuddiesinc.com/
 

BOOK:

=> Relocation 101: Making the Most of Your Move
by Beverly D. Roman and Dalene R. Bickel (Editor)

Available online at Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com).

------

There are many more ideas like this in AHBBO's Home
Business Ideas page at
and Online Business Ideas page at
with more being added
all the time.
 

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3. Feature Article - Creating A Corporate Office Image
    From Your Spare Bedroom
============================================================

Copyright © 2013 by Elena Fawkner

Like it or not, there is still a segment of the population who
will erroneously conclude that you and your business are
less than professional and competent just because you run
your business out of your home.

Dumb?  Obviously!  Narrow-minded?  Yes!  Wrong?
Absolutely!  Unfair? No question!  Want their business?
Well ... yes.  OK, then you're going to have to play the
game and beat them at it.  Here's how to do it.  It's a little
sneaky, but hey, all's fair and they did start it.
 

INCORPORATE

First off, incorporate.  Nothing screams "CORPORATE!"
to our friend the dumb, narrow-minded, wrong, unfair
Potential Client as an LLC, Pty Ltd or PLC (depending
on where you conduct business) on your letterhead and
business card.

Not only does this appease Potential Client, there are
some very good tax and other advantages to incorporation
which are well worth the modest cost.  Talk to your
attorney or accountant about this.
 

OFFICE ADDRESS

The next problem you have with Potential Client is that
you don't want your home address to give you away.
What do you think looks more professional in Potential
Client's eyes:  123 Cherryblossom Way, Apt. 103, Suburbia
or 123 Major Blvd, Level 37, Big City?

The answer is a serviced office.  These don't have to
cost a lot of money if you use them pretty much as a post
office but they CAN give your business all the big-city
prestige your Potential Client is looking for.

An additional advantage is that you can use your serviced
office to meet with Potential Client.  After all, the last thing
you want is to have him coming to your REAL office!  Heaven
forbid!  Most serviced offices will make meeting rooms available
for a flat fee.
 

TELEPHONES

This is probably the trickiest part of all.  How do you know
it's safe to answer the phone in your home office even though
the sounds of your young children playing just outside your
office door will be heard by the caller?  You simply don't.

There is a simple way of dealing with this.  Only give your
home office number to existing clients.  They already know
you are professional and competent and should therefore
have no issue with the fact that you work from home.

For anyone else, give out the number of an answering service
that will answer the call in your company name and can tell
callers that you're in a meeting with another client and take
a message.  Your serviced office will offer this service as well.
You can then return the call at a time when you know
tell-tale background noise won't give you away.

In fact, a trick some people who work from home use when
returning calls is to run a tape of office background noise.
This both gives the impression you are working in a large
office AND it masks any slight tell-tale household noises that
may, despite your best efforts, give you away.

Once Potential Client becomes an actual client and you've
proved to his satisfaction that you are professional and
competent, you can tell him that you've decided to start
working out of your home to reduce unnecessary overheads
and give him your direct phone number.

No matter how enlightened your client-base is as a general
rule, it is imperative that the telephone be answered in
a businesslike manner.  I don't care how sympathetic,
supportive and admiring your clients are of your decision to
balance your work and family commitments by running a
successful business from home, there is nothing cute
about a five year old answering your business line.  It's
unprofessional, not to mention downright annoying.

Speaking for myself, I also find it annoying and unprofessional
for a spouse to answer the business line.  I'd much prefer to
leave a message with your answering service than your wife
or husband, thank you very much.  At least I can be sure
you'll get the message.  But that may just be me ... decide
for yourself.

So have a separate phone line for your business and
lay down the law to your household that no-one, NO-ONE,
is to answer it but you (unless, of course, you're employing
your teenage children in your business in which case they
should be instructed on how to answer the telephone in a
professional manner).  If you're away from your office,
divert your calls to your answering service.
 

EMAIL

Something else to think about is the image of your email
address.  Which is Potential Client to consider more
corporate/professional: maryann@isp.com or
m.entrepreneur@mycompanyllc.com?

It's worth spending $35 a year on your own domain name
just for the professional email address, even if you never
intend to create a website.  Mind you if you're going to have
your own domain why NOT create your own website?  But
that's another article ...
 

STATIONERY AND PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

It goes without saying that your stationery, business cards
and other promotional materials should reflect a
professional corporate image.  If you have incorporated
your business, this is a good start.  A company name on
letterhead and business cards can't fail to convey a
professional image provided they are professionally printed
on quality stationery stock.
 

OFFICE EQUIPMENT

There's no point having quality stationery if you're going
to use a cheap and cheerful inkjet printer for your
correspondence.  Invest in a medium quality laser printer
instead.  They don't cost a lot of money these days and
you can get a unit that triples as a fax machine and
photocopier for only a few hundred dollars.
 

So, what do you think?  You may be thinking "I wonder
whether it's really worth the effort to try and please just a small
number of potential clients".  Is it worth it?  Maybe.  But look
back over the suggestions I have made.  Are they really
anything more than basic, common sense, professional
business practices?  Regardless of what your potential and
existing clients may think about the concept of businesses
run out of their owners' homes, first impressions do count.
Wouldn't the above approach be a good one to take with ALL
your potential clients whatever their personal disposition?
Just something to think about.

-----

**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. To receive a copy
of this article by autoresponder, just send a blank email to
.

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THINK ALL THE GOOD .COM NAMES ARE TAKEN? THINK
AGAIN!!  Every week thousands of good .com names are
repossessed by Internic for non-payment.
Unclaimeddomains.com has the complete list of expired names!
To see a sample list, click here:

 

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4. Web Watch - Internet Privacy Laws and Children
============================================================

The (U.S.) Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule came into
effect on April 21.  If your site "targets" children under 13, or if
you have actual knowledge that someone providing personal
information at your site is under 13, this Rule applies to you.

It is not really clear what constitutes "targeting" in this context
but if you market your site to children, if it attracts them because
you have really nifty animated cartoons, really cool banners
that allow the site visitor to flush Britney Spears down a toilet
(http://www.clickz.com/cgi-bin/gt/na/mi/gt.052400/index.html),
or anything else that is reasonably foreseeable to attract children
under the age of 13, then be careful.

If you run such a website, to comply with the new regulations
you must:

=> prominently display a privacy policy which clearly explains
what information is collected, how personal information will be
used and the site's disclosure practices in relation to that
information;

=> make a reasonable effort to obtain parental consent prior
to the child handing over personal information.  For example,
a consent form that can be printed, signed by the parent and
faxed back;

=> allow parents a way to view any information their child
has submitted;

=> refrain from using games etc. as a way of eliciting
more personal information than reasonably necessary
to participate in such activities; and

=> protect the confidentiality and security of all information
collected.

States have standing to sue (for compliance) website owners
who fail to comply with the regulations.

For the full-text of the regulations, visit the Federal Trade
Commission's website at http://www.ftc.gov .  In particular,
it's worth taking a good look at the FTC's Kidz Privacy Page at
.
By the way, for a government bureaucracy, this is a pretty
excellent site!
 

============================================================
 

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put steady cash in your account every day and comes with
free personalized support from AHBBO. Get yours today!

============================================================
5. Pro-motion - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
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by jl scott, ph.d., Director, IAPO

Q. I'm the publisher of a free online ezine. The larger my
subscriber base gets the more I receive some very annoying
emails. It seems that some people subscribe to my ezine
then begin sending me ads for their products. As an online
publisher, am I giving them permission to do this?
(anonymous)

A. Absolutely not!

Sometimes we forget that, as publishers, we aren't the only ones
who need to present ourselves as professionals. Most of our
subscribers are also involved in an online business of one kind
or another. As professionals ourselves, we have a right to
expect our subscribers to act in a like manner.

Unfortunately some people think it's slick to subscribe to an
ezine then send their sales message back every time they receive
an issue. Receiving an issue of an ezine that you subscribed to
doesn't - I repeat, does NOT - give one the right to use that
as evidence of a request to receive your sales material.

Some publishers, like myself, send a welcome message to every
new subscriber. This welcome message is ALSO not a request to
receive a sales pitch in return. Those activities are still
considered "spam." Unacceptable! If reported - the sender can
still lose their ISP and/or web host.

I personally UNsubscribe anyone who does this. The minute I get
an autoresponder (other than a legitimate one informing me of
someone's unavailability) or any other kind of ad, I throw them
off my list. If I hear from them again - they are reported.

Subscribers are certainly welcome to write to me personally. If
they use a signature file, I'm going to see their offer anyway -
in a legitimate form. I will not, however, accept
advertisements just because someone is subscribed to my ezine.

My advice? Throw 'em off your list and/or report them! They're
just tire kickers anyway. And, not very honest ones at that.
 

* To read the answers from our readers to last week's
question, "How do I build traffic?" - send an email to
.  I have taken the best
answers and combined them into one great report.
 

* To submit questions to "Pro-motion"

jl scott, ph.d., Author
Copyright © 2013, 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. For your FREE subscription:
 

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============================================================
6. Free E-Book of the Week
============================================================

=> Secrets of Business In the New Millennium
by Merle Stinnett (712K)

A complete guide to running a business easily and
inexpensively using the 'net.  A stunner!

------

If you're new to A Home-Based Business Online, be sure to
visit for many more freebies like
this.

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7. Subscriber Q&A
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Diana Ratliff of BizBooklets.com writes:

"I've used a company, [name deleted, we'll call it NoPay.com],
to process online checks.  People didn't pay that way too
often, but still wanted to give people a choice.  Never had any
problem.  I'd get an email saying someone had paid me and a
few days later would get a check in the mail.

Anyway, on 5/10 I had a lady place a $310.00 order
through NoPay.  I was thrilled, of course, but wanted
to get the check before I mailed the booklets.

So I waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and every
time I checked, the status of her transaction at NoPay.com
read "In print que."

I tried e-mailing NoPay.  I faxed them.  (They don't have
a phone # on their website, just a fax number, 2 email
addresses, and a po box.  I tried Directory Assistance
but no phone # listed.)

Never have heard anything.

So I reluctantly tried to call the lady who placed the order
to tell her what was going on.  She wasn't home so I emailed
her.  Her answer was (and I quote):

"you took it from my checking account now give it back"

Got any ideas what I should do?  I emailed the lady back
and said I didn't have her money, NoPay did, and I tried
again to call her and speak to her personally but she
wasn't home.

How do I pursue this company?  I want to make things right
for this lady.  Even though I'm not out any merchandise, since
I hadn't mailed the booklets yet, I sure do LOOK bad right
now and NoPay.com is not treating either of us fairly."
 

Diana Ratliff, Your Business Card Consultant
DON'T HAND OUT another ineffective, money-wasting card!
http://www.bizbooklets.com
 

                                  ~*~*~*~*~*~
 

There are two issues here: (1) how to find out who is behind
a domain name so you can pursue them if necessary; and
(2) the contractual position as between Diana and her customer.

OK, first things first: how do you pursue a company
that doesn't have a phone number or street address on their
website?  Answer:  Do a "whois" search.  I do mine via the Here's what
you get back (personal information deleted):

Registrant:
[NoPay].com ([Business Name])
[Street Address]

Domain Name: [NOPAY].COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone
Contact, Billing Contact:
[Name] [Email Address]
[Street Address]
[Telephone Number] [Fax Number]

Record last updated on 06-Nov-1998.
Record expires on 08-Oct-2013.
Record created on 08-Oct-1998.
Database last updated on 25-May-2013 19:31:09 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

SERVER1.[WEBHOST] [IP ADDRESS]
SERVER2.[WEBHOST] [IP ADDRESS]

So that tells you who's behind a domain name and their
contact details.  For what that's worth.  If they've skipped
town or otherwise can't be located, you'd want to be owed
a significant amount of money before you even thought
about starting legal proceedings.  More likely than not
someone who pulls a stunt like this is going to be flat broke
anyway.

The second issue is: what are Diana's obligations to her
customer?  In her email, Diana takes comfort from the fact
that she's not "out any merchandise yet, because I hadn't
mailed the booklets yet".  Unfortunately for Diana, things
may not be that simple.

Now, obviously, if it's not too late to do so, Diana should
ask her customer to contact her bank and put a stop on
the check.  But if it's too late for that, and the check's
already been honored, Diana may have no choice but to fill
the order anyway even though she may never see a cent
of her money.

This will be the case if NoPay.com was acting as Diana's
agent in collecting funds from Diana's customer on her
behalf (which is almost certainly the case).   The customer
has paid Diana's agent for the products ordered and did so
because this was a payment option that Diana made available
to her customers.  Whether Diana ultimately gets paid is a
matter for her and NoPay.com.  The customer has paid Diana
via her agent (NoPay.com) and the fact that NoPay.com
has failed to pay Diana doesn't touch upon that.  If payment
by the customer was all she was required to do to fulfill her
side of the contract with Diana, then Diana has an
obligation to complete her side of the contract by forwarding
the merchandise paid for.

If you want to protect yourself from this sort of situation, a neat
lawyer's solution would be to include in your terms of supply a
clause to the effect that: (1) goods will only be shipped upon
receipt of payment and (2) payment will be deemed received
only when actually received from the check/credit card
processor.  This effectively throws the risk of non-payment
back onto the customer.

As is often the case, however, the neat lawyer's solution
may not be a neat solution at all for a small business
concerned more than anything with customer service and
customer relationships.  I would suggest that the better policy
is to accept that there is a business risk that a check or
credit card processor may fail, for whatever reason, to pay
you what you're owed and that if that happens, then it's a cost
of doing business.  The best you can do is try and minimize
your business risk by contracting only with established,
reputable companies.

------

If YOU have a question for the Q&A segment, send it along! .

============================================================
11. Subscription Management
============================================================
 

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13. Contact Information
============================================================

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

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Copyright © 1999-2013 AHBBO Publishing
All Rights Reserved

Copyright 1998-2014, AHBBO.com.  All rights are reserved. Friday, 24-Oct-2014 18:49:48 CDT