Signs

Signs That You Are Ready to Grow Your Home-Based Business

Signs That You Are Ready to Grow Your Home-Based Business

It is always exciting to start you own home-based business, and there will always be plenty to do to keep you busy. From start-up to a more mature business often takes time, but it can be really fun and satisfying.

However, sooner or later your business will start to plateau if you keep doing the same things over and over again without having a strategy for business growth.

How can you tell when it is time to grow your business? Here are ten suggestions.

1. You Have Regular Customers

Studies have shown that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. They will need an incentive to keep buying from you. Adding new products and services regularly can help them do just that.

2. Your Customers Are Asking for Specific Items

Get feedback from your customers regularly, through surveys and by having an open communication policy in which you listen to their suggestions and consider them. If more than a couple of customers are asking for a particular new product or service, survey your whole audience. If they agree, then follow through.

3. You Have a Good Team

You won’t be able to grow if you keep trying to do everything yourself. Put together a solid team of freelancers and perhaps part-time or full-time staff to help develop your new products.

4. You Have Good Systems in Place

A lot of small business owners have never been to business school and don’t always work in an organized and disciplined manner. Automate as much of your business as possible, such as email marketing. Systematize everything, such as what items will go into a new package. Make the systems so easy they will be “rinse and repeat” to help you grow steadily.

5. You Are Meeting Your Goals Consistently

If you are meeting each goal you set on a fairly regular basis, it’s time to stretch yourself with even more ambitious goals.

6. You Have a Predictable Income Each Month

A lot of businesses have lean months as well as fat ones. The trick is to have a consistent, reliable income. This may mean adopting different strategies for each month or season. It can also mean strategic launches of new products and services during lean months.

It could also mean setting up a monthly membership program or coaching program in order to automate your income. Monthly webinars can be great earners too if they are promoted well.

7. You Have More Ideas Than You Know What to Do With

If you have a long list of products you would love to work on, assess which would do best with your target audience and go for it.

8. You Have Cash in Hand

It’s a clear sign that you are ready to grow your business if you are able to set aside a budget to start new initiatives.

9. You Want to Compete Equally

It might be time to grow your business if you find a number of things that your competition offers that you don’t yet, which your current customers are asking for.

10. Opportunity Is Knocking

Other entrepreneurs might be contacting you with joint venture proposals or other requests to work together. This could be the ideal way to get more done without having to pay a lot of wages. Put the products together and market and split the revenue 50/50.

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Signs That an Email Is Fraudulent

Signs That an Email Is Fraudulent

In the modern world, we can’t live without email. But sadly, it has become a tool for cybercriminals that we need to be ever on our guard against.

There are a number of ways to spot a fraudulent email. Train yourself to not take emails for granted by looking at the points listed below.

1. The “From” Address

This should be from a site you recognize, and not a free site like Yahoo or Gmail. Hit reply to email the sender back and see what happens. If it bounces, it is in violation of CAN-SPAM email regulations that require each emailer to have a viable return email address.

2. Is the Greeting Strange?

Does it read as though it was written by a native speaker of English? Is it personalized, or just a hi? Most legitimate online marketers will use personalization.

3. Are There Obvious Misspellings?

Check the From field, subject line, greeting, and opening paragraph. If there are errors, chances are the email is from overseas and could be a scam.

4. Is There Contact Information at the Bottom of the Email?

A full, legitimate mailing address is also required under the CAN-SPAM laws.

5. Are Dates in the Email Recent?

Some scams will get run over and over again and may have an old back date.

6. Is the Brand or Company Name Spelled Correctly?

Misspellings of either of these are a strong sign that the email is a scam.

7. Does the Link URL Included in the Email Look Right?

Scam emails will want to send you over to a URL to get phished or infected with malware and so on. If it is not a URL you are familiar with or it is misspelled, don’t click.

8. Does the Link Take You to a Legitimate-Looking Page?

Spoof emails regarding banking and PayPal are all too common, as cyberthieves try to steal your security information and access your hard-earned cash. If the site looks odd in any way, click out. Also make sure the URL has https:// in front, which shows a higher level of security that most phishing sites won’t have.

9. Beware of Images

A lot of malicious code is snuck onto computers through images in emails. Set your email client such as Outlook to suppress the images in an email. Only view images from a trusted source.

10. Never Open an Attachment

This is another way cybercriminals try to sneak malicious items onto your computer.

11. Keep Your Antivirus Software Up to Date

Get a reliable program like Norton 360 or McAfee. If you have Kaspersky on your computer, delete it and get Norton or McAfee. Kaspersky is known for having multiple security issues. Once you have Norton or McAfee installed, take the time to upload all the updates and schedule the program to update itself automatically so you are always covered against the latest threats.

12. Asking for Too Much Information

No bank or financial institution like PayPal will ever ask for personal details such as your password, social security number, and so on.

13. Bad Presentation

If the email looks ragged and unprofessional, it is probably spam or a phishing email.

14. Phony “Official” Language

Some emails will try to make it seem as if they are important and come from some sort of official body in order to try to intimidate you into taking the action they are insisting upon in the email. Most legitimate government entities will not be sending you email.

15. Time-Sensitive Emails

Emails that try to push you into taking action quickly for fear of some consequences when the time runs out will also usually be scams to try to bully you into doing something foolish.

If you suspect you have a scam email, report it here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0003-phishing

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