How to Start a Legitimate Online Business From Home

Understanding how to start a legitimate online business starts by first understanding the way online marketing and sales works. Below I have outlined 5 different phases that you can use to help you prepare and successfully launch your online business Although following these phases will drastically increase your chances of success, ultimately the key to your online success will fall on your own unique ability to get things done! Your drive, determination, ability to set goals and follow through with them will determine your level of success with your online business. Most people tend to rush into things without doing their proper due diligence and research. You need to first know what it is you’re promoting or marketing. Is it a physical product or service? Who your target market is and what do they expect to gain from your company or business. Once you take a moment to figure this out then, you’ll move on to phase 2 of your initial set up.Phase 1 – Register your Business EntityThis is so Important but yet most people totally skip it. Getting your company registered with your state will save you a ton down the road. You can find tons of resources online to register your business name with your state. If you want to create a legitimate online business do yourself a favor and take care of the legal side of your business right from the beginning It will allow you to operate as a legally registered business, accept forms of payment under your business name, hire staff (if needed), write off business expenses, open up business accounts, open up a line of credit for your business, save you in instances when someone trying to sue you and you have the benefit of being able to write of business expenses using your company’s Tax ID number.Phase 2 – Choosing your nicheThis is the simplest step but, for some can take the most time to overcome. I suggest you choose a niche in which you know. Try to go into a niche that you’re comfortable with that you’re also interested in. Don’t let the products decide what niche you’re going to go into. You choose your niche and then you choose a product that fits your specific niche. Don’t try to spread yourself too thin either. If your business is structured around music & equipment, avoid complicating things right off the bat by introducing other non related products that don’t coincide with your main product. Get good at selling one thing before you move on to the next.Phase 3 – Selecting Your Base of OperationsThis is the phase where you decide what online platform you will use to base your initial campaign from. If its physical products then you might want to start off by creating a seller account in the marketplace where your targeted audience is known to be, that receives a good volume of traffic. If you plan on going the digital route or information marketing, you will most likely need to create a website of your own. Whichever you choose, keep in mind that this should be your central hub for all traffic and communications between you and your potential customers. Your online business needs to look as legitimate as possible right from the start. People base a lot of their buying & interaction of perception. The more authentic and legitimate your online business looks, the greater your chances of converting visitors into potential customers and traffic into leads which ultimately converts into a paid customer.Phase 4 – Preparing Your Home Base to Open ShopOnce Phase 2 is completed and you’ve found your central hub make sure that you’ve done everything cosmetic that you can possibly do. If you want to look like a legitimate online business right from the start then it would be beneficial to have a company logo created and a few different website banners designed that match your overall theme. You can have this created for cheap by going to a site like fiverr.com. You also want to decide on a color theme for your website that matches your logo. You’ll need to choose who or what will be presented as the face of your online business. People want to know who or what figure represents this company in the public eye.Phase 5 – Getting CustomersOnce you have went through the 4 phases and you have a product or service to promote your next step will be to drive customers or leads to your online business. What’s having the best product or service in the world if no one can find it? No good at all. There’s two forms of driving customers to your online business or as we online marketers refer to it as “driving traffic” and that’s the free way or the paid way. Paid ways include but are not limited to google ads, banner advertisements on other high traffic websites, TV advertising radio & newspaper ads. Some free ways to drive traffic and generate leads/customers consist of social media, word of mouth, youtube.com, blogging & article marketing or joining a network with other like-minded individuals The free ways could appear to be slower, results wise but in the log run can be the base source of stable traffic & leads for your business, if your marketing budget was to dry out. Consider your budget and map out your strategy wisely.

Why Yahoo Finance Is The Best Financial Website

Yahoo Finance is the best free solution for analytical Finance data on the internet. When I was a young Investment Banker, I used to use Yahoo Finance all the time to check on daily stock prices. It is absolutely great for young poor college professionals who don’t have much money and would like to learn more about Finance. If you cannot afford expensive data services like Bloomberg and still want to conduct basic financial analysis, then Yahoo Finance is for you.Yahoo Finance can totally help you with many different tasks. You can get all the latest news on companies that you are interested in. Simply punch in the company’s ticker and get all the latest information about that particular company. It even works for mutual and index funds. If you are looking to study macroeconomic data or country specific currency data, Yahoo Finance can provide you with exchange rate data as well.If you are looking to do financial modeling, you can get excellent historical data on Yahoo Finance about any company or mutual fund you choose. Then you can download the data in csv format to use with any spreadsheet program of your choice. This is a wonderful feature because it provides you with the very raw data you need to make a price graph. Then, you can use the graph to figure out future price movements, trends and shapes. This is incredible for any up and coming technical analyst.Because Yahoo is strong in a lot of different countries around the world, you can even access international data concerning many emerging economies. So, if you are studying Asian or South American economies, you can now get good reliable data about these countries as well. Also, get historical currency exchange rate data that can be of great help when charting forex graphs and predicting prices.The best feature in Yahoo Finance is the ability to create your own mock portfolios. You can now pick companies that you think will do well and create your own portfolio. Then, you can see if you would have made money using those decisions. You can buy and sell as many shares that you want depending on chosen price points.You even get customized news alerts for the companies in your portfolio. I would recommend that you create as many portfolios as possible to learn as much as you can about different types of investments. This is also an excellent learning tool for those people who are looking to learn more about the stock market.Yahoo Finance can be an absolute boon for anyone wanting to start out in Finance. If you are looking to learn how to go about conducting yourself in the market, then getting to learn the ropes is a breeze on Yahoo Finance. I would recommend the site to any newbie. It is truly an excellent offering from Yahoo and it comes at a great price: free. So go ahead and register yourself, get your own user name and password and you can be off on your own Finance adventure.

Social Entrepreneurship – Now is the Time

Social entrepreneurship is a major area of interest in many social and civic organizations and has a significant impact on many areas of society. During the past decade economic resources have become more difficult to acquire and society has continued to exhibit economic and cultural decline. Concurrently, communities are in need of initiatives that will enhance their financial viability and programs that will enhance the overall viability of the population.Social entrepreneurship initiatives are ventures that can serve as a method of increasing the social value of a community, organization or cause while enhancing the financial viability of a not-for-profit organization. With this being stated, social entrepreneurship has been defined in different ways by many different theorists. Gary McPherson, Executive Administrator of the Canada Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, states that social entrepreneurship involves various individuals working toward meeting social and economic goals simultaneously; while Bill Drayton, CEO of Ashoka, defines social entrepreneurship as a term coined to describe “individuals who combine the pragmatic and results oriented methods of a business entrepreneur with the goals of social reform.”A more basic definition of social entrepreneurship states that it is “the process of using entrepreneurial and business skills to create innovative approaches to social problems.” Therefore, it is a methodology that is presently being used to resolve community and societal concerns globally. Social entrepreneurship as an area of specialized entrepreneurship is not defined by the same titling in every culture. For example, in Latin America countries social entrepreneurship initiatives are referred to as “Micro Enterprise.” In India the same program would be identified as a “Social Mission.” Though termed differently in various regions, social entrepreneurship initiatives are being implemented to solve specific societal and community concerns by focusing on the needs and resource availability within specific geographic regions.Social Entrepreneurship in Education Throughout the United States, many top tertiary level academic institutions are enhancing their business programs by including a curriculum that caters to the study of social entrepreneurship. In 2003, the Center for Responsible Business was launched on the University of California Berkley Campus. This subsidiary of the Haas School of Business was implemented with the intent of training students to be more principled and socially responsible members of society through attending “the preeminent educational institution in area of Corporate Social Responsibility.” Stanford University also has established a Center for Social Innovation as a part of its graduate school of business. This center was founded with the mission to “build and strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations to develop innovative solutions to social problems for a more just, sustainable and healthy world.”In 1993, Harvard Business School started its social enterprise program with its mission of “generating and sharing knowledge to help individuals and organizations to create social value in the not-for-profit, private and public sectors,” and the University of Miami has refocused its business school curriculum to include coursework in the areas of ethical-decision making, social entrepreneurship and community engagement with the primary focus being to expose students to various areas of civic engagement while concurrently teaching them leadership and team building skills.Tertiary level institutions, including Duke, which has established a Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship as part of its Fuqua School of Business, and Columbia University where the research initiative on social entrepreneurship is embedded in its school of business, have also made strides to enhance the study and education of those seeking to venture into areas of social entrepreneurship and social venture implementation. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International (AACSB – International) has identified over twenty-four tertiary level institutions that have included social entrepreneurship as a part of their business college and or business curriculums.With social entrepreneurship being perceived by many as a new way of stimulating social change, Idee Winfield believes that the implementation of community-focused service learning projects is the first step in exposing youth to the various attributes associated with social entrepreneurship. Through community involvement, youth will begin to visualize and experience the various social issues within their community and envision ways to solve these problems. Winfield states that social entrepreneurship should be promoted in primary and secondary education, and coursework should be adjusted to allow students to “see how abstract socially focused concepts can have real world applicability.” Jeffrey Soderborg, a member of the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Clearinghouse on Entrepreneurship Education, is also an ardent proponent of social venture education who believes that social entrepreneurship would be more readily accepted if youth were exposed to information expounding the laurels of these initiatives during their primary and secondary academic years.As youth expand their horizons through the establishment of entrepreneurial efforts, knowledge and exposure to information about the process involved in the establishment of entrepreneurial business effectively plays a major role in the rate at which business entities are established. A study focusing on entrepreneurial interests among black youth ages 14 to 19 identified that 75% of the youth surveyed had interest in becoming entrepreneur. The study also found that these minority youth believed that more information about entrepreneurship should be presented through their schools. They also believed that entrepreneurs have a responsibility to reinvest in their community.Corporate Social ResponsibilityPersonal values often serve as the justification for entrepreneurs to focus organizational efforts on socially focused ventures. The organizational decision to forgo pursuing financial gain with the intent of using the corporations’ profit resources to enhance a community is often referred to corporate social entrepreneurship. Corporate Social Entrepreneur (CSE) is a term used to describe corporate initiatives whose primary focus is to enhance a social concern and whose secondary focus is financial gain. The corporate social entrepreneur differs from the financial profit seeking entrepreneur in the area of decisions made that affect the community and environment in which their organization functions. Research identified that in corporate social entrepreneurship business acumen serves as a factor in the success or failure of social venture initiative implementation. Research identifies that success factors associated with the implementation of social responsibility initiatives were linked to whether the entrepreneur exhibits behavior that is moral, amoral or immoral.The amoral entrepreneur would pursue initiatives only if they were deemed acceptable by the organization as a whole. The immoral entrepreneur implements initiatives based on what can be potentially gained for self as well as for the stakeholders, while the moral entrepreneur would pursue social responsibility initiatives based on what was in the best interest of the organization. Individuals identified as corporate social entrepreneurs are individuals who are more active in community activities and are actively involved in social responsibility efforts. Corporate social entrepreneurs also are more likely to implement social responsibility initiatives based on an organization’s long term objectives.While many corporations are looking for ways to increase their social responsibility efforts, in some regions corporate responsibility efforts are not progressing. A policy paper, “Corporate Social Responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean,” documented that corporate social responsibility activity in this region has “stalled.” The reason for stagnation in this region is “minimal government involvement” and the lack of “private sector involvement.” It was also identified that initiatives to implement programs focusing on social responsibility are often initiated outside of the market, and then subsequently not embraced by stakeholders who reside within this geographic region.Corporations are continually looking for ways to increase corporate advantage through their social responsibility efforts. While proponents of corporate social responsibility believe that corporations are obligated morally to engage in efforts to enhance social, community and environmental concerns, many stakeholders believe that social involvement should only be initiated if the efforts are going to strengthen the organization’s image, brand, moral or stock value. With this in mind, corporations have separated social issues into specific categories.These categories are social concerns that are general, social concerns that are value chain based and concerns that focus on social dimensions of competitive contrast. Generic social issues are identified as social concerns that do not directly affect the company’s operation and do not have an effect on a company’s competitive advantage. Corporations are least likely to get involved or invest in projects that focus in these areas because they will not receive a high value of return on their involvement. Value Chain Social Impact issues can significantly affect a company’s operation and can have an impact on the way a company conducts business. Corporations are more likely to be involved in value chain concerns, but only after conducting due diligence studies to ensure that a return on investment will be achieved over time.Social issues that affect a company’s financial profitability or serve to enhance or increase a company’s competitive edge are likely to be areas that a company will invest in because of the direct impact that these initiatives will have on the company’s overall viability and stability. An example of a social dimension projects is General Electric’s investment in under-performing high schools throughout the country. General Electric believes that through investing financial and professional resources in under-performing high schools in areas where they have substantial financial investment, they are investing in enhancing a community, as well as directly increasing their future employment prospects.Whole Foods Market is an organization that has taken control of its social value position through purchasing products from local farmers. Also, Whole Foods maintains strict controls over all of the products produced and sold in all of its locations. They even have extended their social and ecological efforts through offsetting the use of in-store electricity with the installation of wind conversion generators, converting their trucks to operate on bio-fuel and trucking spoiled produce to regionally located compost sites. Though the investments in these technologies may be costly at the onset, the long term financial, civic and market exposure benefits far exceed any initial costs incurred.In the area of corporate philanthropy many corporations are at a loss. They continue to be involved in the conflict between philanthropic giving and investor requests for increased profits. For this reason many corporations engage in context-giving programs. Context-giving programs are programs that are defined as allotting resources to specific projects that will enhance the community while simultaneously enhancing the corporation.Examples of context-giving initiatives include the Cisco System Networking Academy, which trains computer network administrators and provides job opportunities to those who complete the program; the DreamWorks SKG film production program that trains low-income individuals in occupations that are needed in the film and entertainment industry; and American Express Travel and Tourism Academy which trains high school youth for careers in the hospitality and tourism industry. Corporations that invest in corporate-giving social venture programs are concurrently gaining positive return on their social investment, improving the economic climate of the communities where they are located and gaining positive exposure for their organizations.At times social ventures do not have the intended impact on the community. A study focusing on the impact of community focused business ventures found that businesses started with the intent of enhancing a community often lose focus by becoming focused on profitability and competition. Competition and self-focused motivators were identified to be factors that played an additional role in the impact and economic role that entrepreneurial ventures have in community settings.While many foundations, trusts and philanthropic organizations, accumulate and distribute resources with the intent of providing services to enhance specific community or social causes, many of these organizations are looking for ways to gain public exposure for their efforts. Organizations also attempt to leverage their gifting efforts through seeking not-for-profit organizations that are willing match the funding received. The success of funded programs is evaluated through performance outcomes and indicators, and through promoting the organization’s work through success stories provided by program clients. These methods are viable ways for funding agencies to acquire value and exposure through their philanthropic efforts and simultaneously continue their efforts to enhance the communities in which they invest.With the social philanthropic efforts of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates gaining a high degree of attention, and many leaders engaging in activities to promote social advocacy, corporations are seeking ways to also gain exposure with social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship from the corporate perspective can be defined as corporate social initiatives used by a corporate entity as vehicle to show support for social causes. In recent years, many Fortune 500 companies have implemented social ventures with the intent of enhancing their corporate image through providing funding for various social causes.McDonald’s is one such company that has funded social causes for many years. McDonald’s primary social venture is the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Ronald McDonald House provides lodging for the families of adolescents, ranging in age from birth to 18, who are receiving critical care for illness in communities that are away from their community of residence. The Ronald McDonald House allows families to reside in these temporary living facilities throughout the child’s period of treatment at no charge.The Federal Express Corporation also funds programs focused on the implementation of socially responsible programs. FedEx is a supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and has been acknowledged by Reader’s Digest as one of “Americas Best Charity Minded Corporation.” Federal Express has also been recognized for providing funding for numerous community and civic organizations, including March of Dimes, Heart to Heart organization, an organization that focuses on delivering food and health resources globally, the United Way and the National Civil Rights Museum. These are just a few of the charitable initiatives that allow Federal Express to present itself as a socially conscious organization.Virgin Mobile has partnered with Youth Noise, a not-for-profit organization that brings youth together for networking and brainstorming opportunities, and Stand Up for Kids, the largest all volunteer not-for-profit organizations in the United States, to implement an initiative to expand its corporate social responsibility activities. The project involves recording artists donating ring tones to Virgin Mobile and through partnership agreements, 5% of the proceeds received through ring tone sales are donated to various “Virgin Mobile Charity Partners.” This initiative, established in June 2006, is being positioned to raise over $250,000 annually.For social ventures to gain global acceptance, corporations need to become involved in ventures that allow employees and consumers to see the social, community and external benefit of these ventures. This process is identified in countries south of the United States, where the concept of social responsibility is one that has been embraced by many but implemented by few. Many government organizations expect non-government, or private organizations to take responsibility for ensuring the stability and longevity of the resources throughout this region while the private sector is looking toward government agencies for intervention.
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