How to Start a Home Decor Business

The home decorating industry in America generates a solid 0 billion dollar market annually. People are choosing to spend more time at home, and more money on making that home what they want it to be. Home décor items are also becoming increasingly popular as gift items for family, friends, and office exchanges. If you look around you'll see a multitude of products to enhance and embellish the home; from small trinkets to large décor items, there's always something for everyone.

Knowing there is a market for these types of products is only the beginning of your decision to start a home décor business of your own.

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You'll need to decide exactly what facet of the business attracts you most; what do you like, what can you see yourself doing for many years. If you have training in design and decorating, you may be able to develop your own consulting firm, partnering with local businesses who will give you price reductions for the guaranteed orders you bring in. This is a type of career that takes dedication, and commitment to customer satisfaction. You will need to research the market for such services in your area, and decide whether the fees you can charge, will adequately compensate for the investment of your time and energy.

Alternately, you may choose to go strictly into a sales-oriented business, selling accessories for the home, which could range from figurines, to candles, fixtures, lamps, rugs, and small gift items. This option has the potential to be expensive to start-up as an individual, which is why many people decide to at least start out with an established company who offers good commissions, sales bonuses, and other incentives in return for selling the proprietary or specially selected items that they offer through home sales or parties.

How to Start a Home Decor Business

If you have a flare for decorating, and are interested in home d├ęcor as a business, visit http://www.homedecorbusiness.com for more information.

A Brief History of Business Cards

Business cards are a common form of advertising and of the exchange of contact information between businessmen and the public. They have a long history that dates as far back as the 15th century in China. The business card began as a "visiting card" or a calling card. It was a social convention that was bound by some very strict etiquette rules. The visiting card was introduced to Europe in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV who was known as the Sun King. In the same century the practice began to take hold in English society.

At around the same time, the card moved from its social beginnings to a business purpose with the introduction of the trade card. It was a period where newspapers were an undeveloped resource, and the media that is the center of today's advertising did not exist. The trade card was designed to direct the public to a merchant's location and usually contained a map and directions. This was at a time when the current system of street numbering did not exist. These early trade cards were printed by woodcut or letterpress methods of printing, and were generally monotones or contained a small amount of tint.

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In around 1830 lithography became the printing medium of choice and colors became more important. In the United States, the visiting card tradition caught on and became very popular. For a short period there was not much distinction between the business card and the visiting card. Gradually, the two types of cards began to separate. The rules of etiquette that came into being during this period began to make the idea of a card that stressed a business function unacceptable as a calling card. In fact, when a person left a business related card during a social visit to a home, it was seen as an attempt to collect a bill or debt.

As time has passed, it is the visiting card that has gradually vanished from the scene while the business card has gone on to become a business mainstay. With the introduction of new materials for the cards such as plastic and magnetic backed cards, and the wide spread use of color business cards, the business card industry has moved into the modern era in an exciting way. Business card templates exist now to make the design and mass production of cards inexpensive. A business card is a must for anyone who deals with the public today, and for many it is one of the most important advertisings tools.

A Brief History of Business Cards

Natalie Aranda writes about business. Business cards are a common form of advertising and of the exchange of contact information between businessmen and the public. They have a long history that dates as far back as the 15th century in China. The business cards began as a “visiting card” or a calling card. It was a social convention that was bound by some very strict etiquette rules. The visiting card was introduced to Europe in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV who was known as the Sun King. In the same century the practice began to take hold in English society.

How to Start an Errand Business in Your Spare Time!

You may not be interested in learning How to start an Errand Business right now but that is likely because you are not familiar with just how easy this business is to start up and operate. Simple things like grocery and gift shopping, waiting around for the cable guy, and even taking back movies are all things that we have to do anyway, so why not get paid for it? With more and more people busy with their careers and complaining about having more time than money, there is a growing market for people looking to learn how to start a errand business and real money to be made.

Estimated start up costs:
So long as you have reliable transportation, a cell phone, and some basic office supplies to fill out and create invoices for customers, you have all the essential supplies needed to own an errand business. There are starter kits available to you for less than that can set you up with all the materials you will need to prepare professional looking invoices and keep track of your expenses. Other than that, learning how to start an errand business might involve some "seed money" in the beginning to cover miscellaneous expenses required to complete errands.

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Pricing Guidelines:
Pricing guidelines are only limited by what your market can bear for the services you offer. Many professional errand services charge by the hour for their time while some prefer to set up monthly or even annual packages so that they get more money up front. On average and depending upon the service, someone learning how to start an errand business can expect anywhere from -35 per hour for their services for most residential customers. But, if you can break into the office support services market, then learning how to start an errand business can really turn into a profitable endeavor.

Recommended experience, skills, training:
Having the ability to prioritize tasks and organize your time are probably the most essential skills to this job. As with any business owner, however, you will need to market yourself and your company to people so any kind of sales or marketing background will be very useful. Some general business and accounting courses will prove handy when dealing with the financial and administrative tasks inherent to any business.

Marketing tips:
Success tends to breed more success and that is precisely the way your errand service will grow. As you network and build your reputation, so too will your ability to charge more. In the beginning, word-of-mouth advertising will be what makes or breaks your business. But, you may find it useful to advertise your services and company in the classified ads and be sure to print and distribute business cards every place you go.

Financing sources:
With relatively no start up costs to really speak of, securing financing is not really necessary when learning how to start an errand business. However, you may want to try starting out on a part-time basis as the going will be slow in the beginning and you may still need the income from another job to pay the bills until you get things rolling.

Income Potential:
The income potential for those owning an errand service really goes up if you can manage to break into the office support services market. There are people looking for workers with office skills to just come in and help them once a week or even once a month and they are willing to pay top dollar for this limited time. For people just looking to help others with their groceries and errands around the house, it is nothing for someone learning how to start an errand business to make -40,000 a year doing the things that they would normally do for free anyway!

How to Start an Errand Business in Your Spare Time!

© Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

Randy currently has a website dealing with Reviews of Coffee Related Products such as coffee makers, espresso makers, coffee, k-cups, and more plus articles on coffee enemas and other coffee and health related topics. He also has a website of Reviews of Small Appliances [http://www.smallappliancebuyerguides.com/] such as ice cream makers, vacuum cleaners, mixers, irons, toasters, food processors, and many other appliances.

1000 Ways to Improve Your Business

One of the best things you can do for your business is to give information away. Information empowers your customer and brings them back for more. There are many great ways to give information to current and potential customers, which will instill confidence in your business. Many send out newsletters or email online newsletters to keep customers in their minds. It is important to keep customers aware of what is going on and tell them you appreciate their patronage. Some businesses send out gift certificates and Christmas Cards. But there is an easier and better way. One I think you might be aware of.

I recommend writing articles about things in which you have lots of knowledge in, areas of expertise where you are either an expert or borderline expert. Many companies and professionals write articles or have columns in industry rags or trade journals. Some write articles in their newspapers. But the very best way I have found to get the word out is this fast growing really cool company called EzineArticles.com where you can post your articles for free and people from all over the world come to see them and often reprint them on their websites, their company newsletters, the ezines and even read them on the Radio. This is especially good for someone like me, who has the perfect face for radio as I was once told by a former girlfriend.

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Since it costs no money to post you can post as many articles as you would like. So I tried it at first by posting 2 articles and I was surprised when I searched "ME" on the Internet and found someone else liked my articles and posted them on their websites. So then, I thought; HA so I posted 10 more. Wow, again I saw three of my new articles on the Internet and people actually contacted my business within only 4 days. So, I posted some more. Then I got addicted, because it is so fun. So over the next 8 weeks, I posted 1000 articles. Today. I have searched and found at least one of my articles on about 45 websites, but I am sure it is much more, those are just the ones I could find. And in that time all my articles total have received 85,000 hits or views. I have had so many people contact my business, I had to take my website off the bottom my articles. But they still find me. I travel so much; I cannot call everyone back. HELP. It works too good.

As a writer I am not very good really, but each time I write an article I get better and actually some people like my articles even though my writing skills are not so great. I think everyone for their business should write one article per day at least so that they will have 30 articles per month and in no time they will be getting contacted by people all over the world who might like to do businesses with them. That is how it works you see, I know because they keep contacting ME.

I cannot believe the power of writing articles on the Internet. I wish I knew about this sooner. If I can do this and I am not even a writer really then you can too. I still don't believe it, you have to admit it is pretty cool. But each article brings me business and in 8-weeks I already have 85,000 hits and hundreds and hundreds of stars next to my articles on EzineArticles.com people actually like what I wrote? Cool. All these people are coming to my websites and my Internet traffic has went up a lot.

Each article brings me new contacts and since I have posted 1000 articles; that is 1000 ways I improved my business. I am averaging over 2700 article views per day now and that is almost 1 million article views per year; it works, 1 million people will read my articles in the coming year. Write more articles everyone, increase your business today, what would you do with one million potential new customers? I think I will write some more articles tomorrow. Think about it

1000 Ways to Improve Your Business

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/. Lance is an online writer in retirement.

5 Common Traits Of Successful Business Owners

In this article we will take a look at five common traits that successful business owners have. The reason why I want to explore this subject is simply because, by understanding what they are, your chances of success in business will greatly increase.

Let's get started.

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Common Business Trait Number 1 - Creativity

Although not all successful business owners are creative thinkers, many of the world's leading authorities in business are. From Richard Branson through to Walt Disney, these exceptionally creative entrepreneurs have achieved amazing levels of business success. In terms of being creative, you either are, or you are not. Whilst creativity can be taught, it is prevalent from birth in many leading business men and women.

Common Business Trait Number 2 - No Fear of Risk or Failure

I have spoken to many people who say that they want to start a business, but are worried about failure. I think this is such a shame because I strongly believe if you take the plunge, the safety net will always appear. We are extremely adaptable as human beings and generally always manage to find our way to safety. The same applies in business; if you have the entrepreneurial urge, don't fight it. I gave up a solid career in the Fire Service and a salary of £50,000 per year to follow my business dream, and it paid off.

Common Business Trait Number 3 - Perseverance

This has to be my favourite word. I always find that If I work hard and don't give in, success will always follow. Yes, I have to work hard and push myself in business, but if I do, I know I will be successful. Look at this way, if you throw lots of spaghetti at the wall, some will stick! The same rule applies in business; if you keep trying and don't give in, you will be successful.

Common Business Trait Number 4 - Shrewdness

The most successful business owners I know are tight with their money! I know one person (a friend) in particular who has made millions from business, but has yet to buy me a drink. Personally, I don;t like to operate like that, but there is certainly something in that way of operating that we can all learn from. The most successful business owners, no matter how wealthy they become, always watch the pennies.

Common Business Trait Number 5 - Stick to What You Are Good At

Again, the most successful business owners I have come across have excelled in an area that you know. Personally, I made my money through careers. I am good at careers and good at helping people to find work; therefore, that is the first business I chose. It worked for me and it will work for you - stick to what you are good at!

If you follow the above important business tips then you will always succeed.

5 Common Traits Of Successful Business Owners

How to start a business and business tips for new entrepreneurs.

Ten Speech Tips for Writing Powerful and Persuasive Presentation

Have you ever had to give a speech?

Do you remember that feeling? A knot in the stomach, sweaty palms and a panic attack!

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Not a very pleasant experience. And yet, I'm sure your speech was a success because 90 per cent of a typical audience want the speaker to succeed.

Yet according to The Book of Lists, speaking in public is one of our greatest fears.

Much of this anxiety is due to a lack of confidence in writing and preparing a speech rather than in the delivery.

Giving a presentation can be a great way to build your business, influence public opinion or kick-start your career.

It is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd and make a real difference in people's lives.

What are the secrets of writing a powerful and persuasive speech for any occasion?

Here are 10 tips for turning a good speech into a great one!

1. Have a plan and set some objectives & outcomes.

There is nothing worse than not knowing what you want to achieve. Do you want to educate the audience, inform, inspire, motivate or touch their emotions? Always work out what you want to achieve before beginning the speech process.

2. Have a formal structure - beginning, middle and end.

Audiences love structure and the best speeches stick to this tried and true rule. As they say: "tell them what you're going to say, tell them and then tell them again".

3. Avoid having too much content.

Hands up those that are guilty of this sin. I know I am. I have lost count the number of technical presentations given by CEO's, managers, scientists, engineers, geologists and other professionals who have just put too much content into their presentations. Far too much for an audience to absorb - remember even the best audiences face information overload after 20 minutes.
How do you overcome the content crisis? See Tip # 8.

4. Define who your audience is and use the most appropriate communication
channels to reach them.

Analyse how your audience likes to take in information - do they like to be visually stimulated or do they enjoy just sitting back and listening. Or do they like to get involved, to touch and feel in a kinaesthetic way. Work out the best mix of visual, audio and kinaesthetic and use this in your speechwriting.

5. Research your speech using a range of sources.

Be a keen observer of the trends your audience is likely to be interested in and keep a file of interesting articles and information. If you are time poor- a few quick questions when meeting an audience just prior to a speech, such as "what are the issues facing your business/industry/association at the moment?" can really help target your presentation and build rapport.

6. Use personal stories, examples and metaphors to make intangible concepts
tangible.

In many cases you are trying to sell ideas and concepts in a speech. These are intangible and often difficult for the audience to grasp. Personal stories, examples and metaphors make the invisible visible.

7. Have a strong opening and closing.

People remember the opening - first impressions count! The closing is important as it should reinforce the key message you want the audience to go away with in their head after they have heard the presentation. Ending with a 'call to action' can be a powerful way to get your audience to act on your message.

8. Add value and extra detail through a handout.

Here's a tip: if you want to provide detail - put it in a handout! You can get far more content across in the written form than in a speech. Always refer to this in your presentation but hand it out after your speech so the audience is not distracted reading through it while you talk. There is nothing more soul destroying for a presenter to see the audience leafing through written notes rather than looking at you!

9. Use short words and plain English.

The short words are always the best words. Avoid jargon. Use active words instead of passive. This has far more impact in the minds of your listeners.

10. Evaluate and review on a regular basis.

There's nothing more powerful than to hear back a speech you've written. If you are writing a speech for someone else always try and hear the speech or at least get some feedback. Recording and listening back to a presentation is the fastest way to improve your skills.

Ten Speech Tips for Writing Powerful and Persuasive Presentation

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries. You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com

How to Start a House Cleaning Business on a Tight Budget

"If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and your business, you will create Loyalty Beyond Reason. And I promise you, you will build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds beyond your wildest expectations"

First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure this kind of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.

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If you are planning on leaving your full time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full time job and start out part time.

Research all the aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonding, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally is totally different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a client pays for your services they expect to come home and find their home spotless.

Getting those first clients takes time, persistence and patience. You will not get a hundred clients overnight.

Obtaining Those First Clients The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quit capable of cleaning their home to their specifications. Be confident. I can't stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.

References: To get a few good references when starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discounted rate. The sound of working for free may not be appealing but it will be worth it to get some good testimonials.

When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you didn't miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.

Advertising Your company image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your advertising material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo be sure to use it on all your advertising materials. I think it is best to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, stick with the same logo and colors.

Advertise in Local Paper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to come up with an eye catching ad. Do not sell your services on low rates, sell your services on your quality of work and what you can do for the client that other companies don't. There is a lot of competition in the cleaning service. You have to stand out from the rest.

Magnetic Signs or Lettering for your Vehicle: Having your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. We use the vinyl lettering. The lettering looks much more professional than the magnetic signs.

Flyers: You can print nice flyers on your home computer, but I would suggest investing in some professional flyers. Hang flyers at Hair Dressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery Stores, etc. Put flyers on car windows at local groceries stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in neighborhoods you would like to work in. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them in the front door.

Door Hangers: Door hangers are a great way to get new clients. Pick the neighborhood you would like to work in and hang the door hangers on the doors. When people get flyers or ads in their mailbox they usually throw them away with the junk mail. But if there is a door hanger on the door they will take the time to look at it.

Business Cards: Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.

Referral Program: A great way to obtain new clients is through a referral program. Offer existing clients a discount when they refer a friend. You can give your existing clients a discount when the friend uses your services three times.

Website: These days people live very busy lives so they use the convenience of the internet to shop for the services they need. A lot of working women will shop for services while at work. Everyone that has a business should have a website. It shows clients that you are serious about your business and allows them research your business in their own time.

Cleaning Products: By using all natrual products, you can offer your clients a healthy cleaning experience and protect ourselves against harsh chemicals. Clients love the natural cleaning products with essential oils. They come home to a healthy clean home filled with the wonderful scents of aromatherapy essential oils.

Tip: Always carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands often while cleaning homes. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to a lot of different germs in clients homes.

Remember most customers prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they do not have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have these cleaners on hand for you to use. We almost always use the customers vacuum cleaner. That way you do not have to carry a heavy vacuum from house to house.

What to Charge I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services on your quality of work and not your low rates. If your rates are too low, clients will think that your work is sub-standard and that you are not experienced. Also you want to attract the clients that can afford your services. I made the mistake of pricing my work too low when I first started out. Cleaning is hard work, charge what you are worth. As the old saying goes "You get what you pay for."

Some companies charge by the hour, some charge by the room, some charge a flat rate per home and some charge by the square foot. I think it is better to charge by the home, not by the hour. If a client knows they have to pay one set fee, they don't care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know what they are paying up front and won't have to worry about added expenses.

No two houses are the same. And there is no set charge for all homes. You have to clean for awhile yourself to get some experience and to work out a system to clean efficiently. Only you know what you want and need to make. Decide what you need to make hourly to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.

A word of advise: Make sure when you start your company that you charge what you would charge if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of under charging when they start out just to get customers and then later on when they grow and need to hire help they aren't making enough money on their houses to pay help. Don't under price your work. Cleaning homes is very hard physical work and you didn't get into this business to work for nothing.

New Construction Cleaning If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning. You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you live in.

Insurance and Bonding. You need to be an honest person and somewhat personable. People will need to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance carrier and where you are located. Each person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It's well worth the cost. You can pay quarterly or yearly. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year. *Note: if you hire employees and cover them under your insurance, they must be an employee on payroll and not a sub-contractor. If you employ them as a sub-contractor your insurance will not cover them. If they are a sub-contractor they are required to carry their own insurance. You

Hiring Help If you start out cleaning the homes by yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start out with one part time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time that you need to market your business and obtain more clients. After you get more clients you will be able to hire more part time help. Eventually you will be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just run the business end, which is the only way you will be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always, either train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person on each and every cleaning job. Employees have a tendency to slack off when they are on their own.

Growing Your Business You will eventually get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you will be able to stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after awhile it will get to be too much trying to clean everyday and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, obtaining new clients, etc.

Remember one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable. Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up the cleaning.

How to Start a House Cleaning Business on a Tight Budget

You are free to use this article in part or full provided you include the bio below.

Patti Page is the owner of Page's Personal Cleaning in Cincinnati OH.
Website: http://www.pagespersonalcleaning.net/cleaningarticles.htm