Business Network Versus Social Network

Choices, choices, choices…

There is a big problem when it comes to doing business online.

Every day another opportunity, another choice… What do you do?

The problem with Internet marketing is the mind-boggling scope of all the programs and choices for putting a small home business into a global market. It can be like throwing a lamb into a lion’s den. Many people lose their way just from the overwhelming number of choices available for finding effective online sales training.

As Todd Oldfield, a friend of mine, says, “Chase one rabbit at a time! If you attempt to chase two rabbits at the same time you will not capture any!”

So are there any best social networking sites for business?

Or is a first-rate business marketing platform the best choice?

Social networks are the buzz of the Internet. Ask anyone about the best social networking sites for business and they will say either Facebook or Google. But are they the best for your business?

Google and Facebook are currently in a sparring contest to see who can come out on top. While hundreds of smaller social networks scramble for a piece of the social networking pie. Does this work for your business?

First of all, let’s take a look at a business network. LinkedIn differentiates itself as one of the best business networking sites for businesses and professions. In fact, you would not join LinkedIn solely for socializing like you do social networks. LinkedIn has a free membership, as well as more features available with a paid membership. The paid memberships start at $29.95 per month and go up to $75.95 per month.

The paid memberships give you the ability to see more profiles, send messages to anyone on LinkedIn, find out who has viewed your profile, and see expanded profiles on anyone in LinkedIn.

You will still need to add other sites to round out your business platform. You will need a place to hold meetings, to host events, develop a business forum, and do video marketing.

What does Facebook have to offer the business person?

The recent changes to Facebook have made it more business friendly. Facebook is a good place to build relationships, find like-minded people, and join business groups. Facebook engages over a million people and is therefore a great place for finding customers and business associates.

Google offers similar features plus a “hang-out” room where you can meet up to ten people at a time. Also with Google you can create several email accounts and use each one for a different purpose.

In the offline world when you take a break from the office you head down to the local coffee shop and strike up conversations. Or you use the coffee shop to meet clients and discuss a business proposal. Well Facebook, for the online business person, is like the coffee shop. It is a place to increase your circle of friends and build trusting relationships.

What if you could take breaks at the coffee shop and then consolidate all your business sites into one online business community? This business community would be your office dedicated to doing business.

It would be a first-rate business marketing platform where you have everything you need at your finger tips. A global online business network that offers such things as:

  • Event hosting and scheduling
  • Meeting rooms for small and large groups
  • One on one chat rooms
  • Video conferencing
  • Video email
  • Business specific forums
  • Personal and business profiles
  • Internal networking like LinkedIn

Choosing between Facebook and a business community platform would no longer be necessary. You can use the best of both. Work at the office and take breaks at the coffee shop!!

Starting A Business: How Fit Are You? (3 Areas To Consider)!

Going into business? The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you are emotionally and medically fit for your intended venture. Also, you need to make sure that the products or services you seek to offer align with your emotional dispositions and can be accommodated by your health status.

Businesses, especially start-ups, usually experience ups and downs. Such experiences would certainly put a demand on the emotion, which in turn influences your decisions. Decisions taken in this chain pull could greatly make or mar your business. So, it is important that you’re emotionally stable and medically fit for your business type.

I have come to discover from personal experience that the ability to manage both crisis and success by engaging sound decision making apparatus or process is very important to business success. The reality is that good and bad times will always come. They either trigger the growth or herald the downfall of business start-ups or any other size of business at that. However, whether one survives the hard times or not is largely dependent on what one decides to do during such periods.

In ascertaining your emotional and medical fitness vis-à-vis your intended line of products or services, the rule here is ‘know thyself’. You need to carefully select what you want to offer in exchange for money. Your products/services should emanate from what you love to do. You need to have a strong passion for your work because your business is your life.

In growing a venture, a lot of time is usually spent on gathering resources, effecting personal re-engineering and empowering of the self. You will discover that two-thirds of your time may have to be invested in your business at the initial stage. I practically live out my business-24/7. If your products or services align with your passion and emotional make up; if what you intend to offer on a continuous basis is what you love to do, then the first step in the success chain has been achieved. You may now proceed to the next.

The next stage is acquiring detailed knowledge about your products/services. This should be on a continuous basis. At the initial stage, you must, at least, be able to clearly define what you want to do and how you intend to go about doing it. In your minds eye, you must see these.

Knowledgeable entrepreneurs are usually strong and seldom fail. As they acquire knowledge, they increase in required strength and stamina to sustain their business. Failure usually emanates from ignorance. You must know your products/services very well. It is also imperative that you understand all the elements that interplay in the provision of these. Are you importing your products? Is it locally sourced? Do you intend to manufacture? What are the manufacturing variables? Also, you will have to acquire knowledge about your market segments and relevant environmental /government regulations. This stage is a life long exercise and you will have to keep doing this.

Now, the third phase is when you have to draw up a business plan, having intelligently acquired all relevant information. The business plan offers a guide on how to navigate the business terrain. If your intended venture would be successful as planned, you will have a clear idea at this stage. The business plan helps you to organize your resources in a concise format such that factors like sources of finance, revenues, expenditures, competitions, management formats etc would be considered together to predict the future. At this point you may require the assistance of a seasoned entrepreneur or an experienced business person.

This stage will help you to adjust strategies and modify your expectations. A well completed business plan will create for you a guide into the future. It is advisable that your business plan/s should encourage starting small and gradually growing into the big league. Growth rate differs from business to business. It takes into account factors such as the line of business, the experience of management as well as their business acumen.

In summing it all up, a knowledge driven business with the virtues of persistence, integrity and discipline will succeed over time.

Protecting Your In-Home Business

Many businesses know they need to have business insurance, but if you are just starting out and you have an in-home business, do you know if you are insured. When having a business it is essential to get business insurance so you know your property is insured and you have liability insurance. You will also want to get insurance to protect the building and property that the business is on, this includes home businesses.

Many people with home businesses believe that their homeowner’s policy covers their business insurance. Yes, some homeowner insurance policies do cover some aspects of insuring a home business; it still is not enough protection. Most home insurance policies that cover home businesses are limited to about $2,500 for business equipment and property within the home, and only about $250 of it that is outside of the home. This means that if your computers, fax machines, printers, copiers, or anything for your business is damaged, insurance won’t cover all of it.

For business insurance, it is normally good to have property coverage, and liability coverage. Property coverage is just that, a policy that helps protect your building, property, equipment, and other business possessions from fires, floods, and thefts. Liability coverage means that if you have to owe money to someone for bodily injury, or property damage because of your business, then your insurance will help cover the cost as it is outlined in your policy. Double check before giving the OK on a business insurance policy that both coverage plans are there.

Some insurance companies have a specific type of insurance policy for in-home businesses. These normally put homeowners and business insurance into one policy. This policy should cover liability, loss of income replacement, and homeowner’s coverage for fires, theft, floods, and personal liabilities. Some policies will also cover the business car; certain policies may cover a personal car that is sometimes used for business. Some companies also offer identity restoration and data compromise coverage, which help in the event that someone hacks your system and you or your employees become victims of identity theft. Double check with the company which you plan to get your policy with to make sure they cover what exactly you need covered.

You may also want to consider getting health and life insurance if the in-home business is your full-time job. Having these insurance policies allows you to have benefits for you and any of your employees. You want to make sure your have these policies because anything can happen and you want to have the best insurance possible just in case.

Starting a business can be new and exciting, even if you have had the business for a while; it is still fun and interesting. You want to make sure you, your business, your employees, and of course your home is covered by your insurance policy. That may mean you have separate home insurance and business insurance, but you just want to have the best protection possible.