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Organize yourself properly. decide how much money it's going to take for you to feel comfortably wealthy, and the reach it with your own Telephone Answering Service.

Starting a Telephone Answering Service

Starting a Telephone Answering ServiceOur research has turned up hundreds of husband and wife entrepreneurs who, beginning with just a couple of thousand dollars in borrowed funds, and a lot of ambition are grossing $250,000 or more after a couple of years in business. The exciting part is that the door is wide open for you to do the same! The demand for telephone answering services is growing!!! The advent of electronic answering devices in not even beginning to slow this demand! A great many people are completely "turned off" by the frustration of expecting to talk with a "live person," and having to listen to a recording that advises the caller to leave a message at the sound of the tone. Exasperation of this kind can sometimes cost a business person thousands of dollars in lost profit. Realizing this, today's successful business person wants the personal touch of a friendly, professional "secretary" answering their phones for them. The professional answering service operator can pass along the proper messages to the different callers, take messages, get clarifications and even set up meetings with special customers. In many instances, businessmen come to thick of the operators at their telephone answering service as vital to their success, and often reward them them with special favors or bonuses when a particularly lucrative deal is closed because of courteous and efficient service by the people at the answering service.To get started properly, you'll need an initial investment of about $10,000 for equipment and facilities, plus working capital. In the beginning, with a 2 person operation, you can have your operator selling by phone while you make in-person sales calls. You might also want to add a couple of "hungry" commission sales people to help line up a good list of accounts as fast as possible. These efforts will take planning and coordination because you won't want two different sales people calling on the same prospect. You can begin operating out of a spare bedroom or your garage--you'll need a leased switchboard from the telephone company--with plans to move your operation into more formal quarters at a later date. However, it's quite expensive and time-consuming to have a switchboard moved once it's been installed. Our suggestion would be to locate a "beginning" small office, and plan on being there at least 5 years from the start. Many operations begin in a small 200 to 300 square feet economy office location, and as their growth warrants, open a second location with space for eventual expansion to include 3 or more switchboards. Our research has found that you'll need an average of 85 regular customers per switchboard in order to realize a minimum profit after expenses. Just about anyone with a business card will be a good prospect for your services. People working out of their homes are a very good prospects, especially those holding down regular jobs while moonlighting with a part-time businesses of their own. Every salesmen is a prospect, people who work on a 24 hour "on-call" basis, repair service business owners such as plumers, electricians, locksmiths, and auto mechanics...There are other kinds of services that will be interested too, such as ambulance companies, towing services, volunteer fire departments, survey organizations, and customer complaint departments of virtually every business in your area..By all means don't forget the doctors, dentists and other professionals! A lot of beginners start by providing service only for these intermittent users. These people "put out the word" that if they can't be reached at their regular number after 4 or 5 rings, the caller should dial the number of the answering service. The answering service, which in this case is just a housewife answering her home phone, takes the caller's message and either relays it to the customer or holds it until he checks in with her. Very simple, very easy and very profitable! Usually after such a "shoestring" operation has 15 to 20 customers. it's necessary to install a phone with multiple incoming lines. The cost and questions of the phone company can be allayed by purchasing your own telephone and explaining that your have several teenagers in the family. However, once you have 35 to 50 customers it's time to expand into a commercial operation complete with switchboard and hired operators. The average rates to charge for your service should be about $35 per month for a specified number of calls--usually 70 to 75--with a surcharge of 25 cents for each call beyond that number. Other calls such as "wake-up" and reminder calls for appointments, are usually billed on a "per call" basis at about 50 cents per call. Most telephone answering services provide a variety of other services to keep their operators busy during the times when there are no incoming calls. These services range form typing, envelope addressing, computer input services, envelope stuffing, subscription soliciting and order fulfillment for mail order operators to reviewing books for publishing agents. In recent years, some have even included private post office, mail drop and forwarding services. The important thing is to keep your operators busy doing some kind of work that makes money for you. When you decide to lease an office get going, complete with switchboard--it's important that you try to get as close to the telephone company's switching or exchange station as possible. This is due to the mileage charges it'll cost you for landlines. Remember too that each exchange station handles prefixes limited to customers within a certain radius of that station. What all of this means is that if most of the businesses in your area have a 234 and 345 prefix, you'll want to locate your answering services offices as close to the station serving these prefixes as possible. Basic installation and set-up of one switchboard will cost you close to $4,000... Generally, a metro population of 35,000 people will support a telephone answering service hoping for $50,000 per year; 75,000 to 80,000 people will be needed for $100,000 and $150,000 people for $200,000 per year or more. For more help and further information, it would be wise to contact the Associated Telephone Answering Exchange, Inc. This organization the industry's watchdog group can up-date you on current practices and trends. Meanwhile, in setting up your own facilities keep your costs in line with a realistic view of your anticipated first year income. It should't be too difficult to find low-cost rental space in an older building not far from the telephone company's exchange building- the telephone company is usually just as reluctant to pay high rent as you are..Locating in an older, less than "beautiful" building should not detract from your business because few of your customers will ever actually see your offices. Most will sign up for your services either thru your in-person sales calls on them, or your telephone soliciting efforts, and send their payments in by mail. You'll need 125 square feet of space for each a small reception area which can also double as a rest area for your operators and general office area for bookkeeping, billing and other administrative functions. Be sure there are convenient restroom facilities as well. Before installation of your first switchboard, the phone company will require an inspection of your office, mainly to determine if the floor is strong enough to support the weight of the switchboard. Save yourself a lot of frustration by explaining this to the real estate agents or the building managers before they start showing you what's available. The best thing is to ask for certified copies of the original building blueprints or previous inspection reports, and have these in hand when you contact the phone company. Once you're ready to go, consider the attitudes and feelings of the people who'll be working long hours on the switchboards for you--invest in some cherry paint for the walls, non-glare lighting, carpeting for the floors and a few wall prints, pictures or other decorations. Look around for good used office furniture and buy or lease only what is absolutely essential. A pocket calculator and a used manual typewriter will work fine until you get the business running on a dependably profitable. When you order your first switchboard, listen to the telephone company's instruction, read the operating manual and attend their training sessions. The more you know about the equipment, the easier it's going to be to operate it, and the more you'll understand your profit potentials. The traditional telephone company switchboard is known as the model 557 or TAS-100. This board handles 100 incoming secretarial lines and 15 office trunk lines, with this board, you have the capabilities of receiving incoming calls and making outgoing calls at the same time. You also have a business answering line which can be used as your number for customers wanting to use your number as their business number and/or for special events such as a special number for survey replies or telephone orders such as advertised on television for one-time-only sales promotions.Even though you have the capabilities of 100 incoming lines, you shouldn't activate more than 5 or 10 more than your actual customer list. As you add to your customer list, it's then a simple matter for the phone company to activate or "tie-in" according to your needs. Your rental lease payments to the phone company for equipment includes maintenance, so whenever you have a problem or something isn't working properly to suit your needs, call and ask the phone company to send a repairmen. Some of the extras you can get with your board includes a "secrecy" switch. This feature prevents an operator from listening in if a customer has already picked up his phone and answered the call, but it does not prevent the customer from picking up his phone after the operator has answered. The customer could by request the operator to hang up and conduct whatever conversation he wants with the caller. Another feature is the "position-splitting" key. This involves plugging in a second headset and simply turning the key to enable two operators to work the same board during an especially busy period. When your customers want to call to check with you for any messages, you can have them call their own number if they're calling from a different number, or pre-designated trunk line. Most answering service owners equipment works both ways until they decide upon the system that works best for them. Whichever method is finally chosen should be decided upon with the efficiency of the operators in mind. In addition to your switchboard, you should install a time clock and message racks. These are ideally located above or on top of your switchboard. The operator the takes the call, jots down the message, punches the time clock and quickly slips it into the customer's message box. When the customer calls in for his messages the operator retrieves the messages from his message box, reads them to him, again punches the time clock with each message slip, and drops them into a "dead message" box. You should keep these message slips for totalling at billing time, so it's a good idea to have each operator file them in your customer folders as they finish their shifts on the board. retention of these message slips for at least 30 days is not required, but it is a good policy to practice. You may find a customer will want to check on a message received or double-check his billing against your records. Basically your message rack can be either pigeon hole compartments in a wooden box designed and built to fit your space, or a lazy Susan clips similar to what restaurants use for fast food orders. At any rate, you shouldn't have any problem in finding what you need on the open market. It isn't necessary that you have specially designed or printed message slips, but you should have a plentiful supply available and within easy access to your operators. Simple 4 x 5 inch pads should be all you'll need, and if you'll check with your local quick print shops, you'll find most of them willing to make a thousand or so pads of 50 to 100 pages each, from scrap paper, for almost next to nothing. Another essential to plan on--buy in wholesale lots and keep handy for your operators--is pens. It may be exasperating until the business is on a sound profitability basis, but in a busy month, one operator can easily go thru 100 or more pens. Don't fight the how's and why's just charge it up as a business expense and order more pens.You'll need some form of maintaining basic customer information such as address, name and number to contact during an emergency and any special answering instructions. For this, simply go with 3 x 5 or 4 x 5 index cards and place them in each customer's message slot for easy operator reference. Many services have these cards laminated in plastic to prevent them from getting dirty or deteriorating with constant use. Efficiency is the name of the road leading to profits in any small business, so when you begin one switchboard, make sure you have that position-splitting key, and that you balance the board. In other words, don't put all of your similar customers--such as plumers, electricians and doctors on one side of the board. Instead, divide them across your board--half on them on one side and half on the other side. This will enable you to put two operators on that board in times of emergency. Your customer lines must be distributed according to usage across the board for maximum efficiency of your operation.Each time a customer "signs" for your services you should have him sign a simple contract that specifies the name and address of the firm to be billed for the service, and typed name as well as signature of the person authorizing the service. There should also be space on this contract for alternate phone numbers, names and addresses as well as phone numbers of persons to contact in case of emergency, and any special answering instructions the client may want you to use. Don't forget to include a clause requiring 30-day notification of service cancellation by either party to the contract. It's also a good idea to state that a full month's payment must be made for any partial month's usage, in order to cover any disconnect charges. You'll probably want to stipulate that the last month's base charges are to be paid at the time of service approval, in order to enhance your working capital situation. Check with the phone company--find out if they or you are to bill the customer for hook-up charges, and the line into your switchboard. By all means, get everything written out and fully explained in the contract. You'll be money ahead by paying a good contract that not to put all that you want into a legal contract that not only protects yo

3 Ways to Create a Steady Cash Stream while You Work from Home

3 Ways to Create a Steady Cash Stream while You Work from Home

Working from home was once merely a dream for most people. Until the onslaught of the Internet and home PCs, it simply wasn't feasible for companies to hire employees to work from home. And starting a small business took special know-how, a large initial investment, and a lot of advertising and marketing. But now, working from home is a reality for thousands of people, and you too can realize this dream.The first goal for your home business should be to find ways to create steady cash flow. You'll need cash flow to operate and promote your home business, and to secure a lucrative income for yourself. There are many different ways to create a cash stream for your home business. Here are three ideas to get you started.1. Buy a Pre-Existing Profitable BusinessOne way to create an immediate cash flow is to buy a pre-existing home business that is already making a profit. Of course, you will not enjoy a profit immediately because you must invest initially. But once you are able to recover from the initial investment, you can continue receiving profits year after year. The key benefit of buying a pre-existing work-from-home business is you will gain knowledge from the previous owner about what works for the business and what doesn't work. The main disadvantage is you will have to follow in the footsteps of another instead of building your own home business from the ground up. There's a great sense of pride when you can truly call a business "your own!"2. Follow a Profitable Business ModelAnother way to create a "cash stream" for your work-from-home business is to follow the profitable business model of another. You can learn a lot from others who have already been successful with a home business. Many long-time entrepreneurs are creating e-books and global networks to help new home business owners become a success. They are revealing little-known secrets about work-from-home businesses that would likely take you years to discover on your own.Look for entrepreneurs who have owned work-from-home businesses in a field that interests you. Use their ideas and examples to create a "profitable business model" for your new home business.3. Internet and Network MarketingA third way to create a cash stream of income is to utilize the Internet and network marketing to your advantage. Find and join a team of individuals who have similar goals and work with them to build a successful online business. With the Internet and network marketing, many are realizing their financial goals faster than they ever imagined. Network marketing online can be accomplished through email and a website while working from home, and it can bring more people together with similar goals in a very short period of time. Many global network companies will promote your online business for you and take every initiative to help you become a success. There are even global resorts networks that enable you to travel to exotic places while earning a substantial income. Whatever method you choose to create a cash stream as you "work from home" , set some goals for your business and start realizing your dreams today!

Accounting and Accountancy

Accounting and Accountancy

Oftentimes when I meet someone for the second or third time, they say, arent you in accounting? While I am into accounting, which is the methodology and measuring aspect of my work, the profession as a whole is better labeled as accountancy.Accountancy is the profession and accounting it the methods by which accountants measure, track and report on financial information so that resource allocation decisions can be made by, well, whoever the decision makers are.For a small business owners personal finances, as an example, I may be measuring the finances of a few people (the family), and reporting the necessary information to the small business owner. In this situation, the decision maker is the small business owner and his decisions involve deciding how much money he has to put toward family necessities.Generally speaking, there are two main types of accounting. There is financial accounting and there is auditing. Financial accounting typically involves processing of financial information about a business operation where information is recorded, organized, summarized, interpreted and finally communicated.Auditing, on the other hand, is there process that an independent auditor examines accounting records and financial statements so that he or she can express a professional opinion about the financial records and answer questions about projections.At the heart of accountancy lies the need to take stock of the day to day state of various sales and expenses. In the modern world when many contracts are partially fulfilled at varying times, bookkeeping is the only way to know where you and your business stand in the greater scheme of things.If you operate your own small business, you may be able to do just fine with some accounting software. Take a look around for some flowchart templates. These can make monthly financial recording and reporting, dare I say it, fun. Simply enter in the various types of income and expenses, then each subsection updates the appropriate fields. Before you know it youve got proof that all bills have been allotted for and youve got your bottom line.If you find you can manage your business finances on your own, then, by all means, stick with the system that you know works for you. If, however, you start running into complications that make it hard for you to see where discrepancies are coming from, it may be time to enlist the services of a professional accountant.memory bus is also called an address bus or front side bus and both busses are high speed digital superhighways. Access methods and speed are two of the fundamental technical differences between memory and mass storage devices. All memory sizes and storage capacities will inevitably be exceeded with advances in technology over time. Cache memory is a special type of internal memory used by many central processing units to increase their performance or throughput. Some of the information in the main memory is duplicated in the cache memory, which is slightly slower but of much greater capacity than the processor registers, and faster but much smaller than main memory. Multi level cache memory is also commonly used. Primary cache is the smallest, fastest and closest to the processing device. Secondary cache is larger and slower, but still faster and much smaller than main memory.Semiconductor memory uses semiconductor based integrated circuits to store information. A semiconductor memory chip may contain millions of tiny transistors or capacitors. Both volatile and non volatile forms of semiconductor memory exist. In modern computers, primary storage almost exclusively consists of dynamic volatile semiconductor memory or dynamic random access memory. Since the turn of the century, a type of non volatile semiconductor memory known as flash memory has steadily gained share as offline storage for home computers. Non volatile semiconductor memory is also used for secondary storage in various advanced electronic devices and specialized computers.

Do You Have An Idea For A Niche?

Do You Have An Idea For A Niche?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to quit that 9 to 5 and work from home? Try, it may be easier than you think!Everybody has something that they are good at or know a lot about, this is called your niche.Niche - a position particularly well suited to the person who occupies it.(Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niche)So what could be your niche?Maybe you are a good organizer. Working parents are finding it increasingly difficult to spend time at home; let alone organize a party for their child. Become a children's party planner. Do some research in your area, the local children's indoor play areas, parks, leisure centers, anywhere that you can think of that would hold a party. Offer your services, perhaps leave flyers at schools, nurseries or even playgroups.Develop a Niche Product. In 1980, Mandy Haberman's daughter was born with a condition that made feeding difficult. So, she set about designing a feeder for children with sucking problems (The Haberman Feeder). She then went on to invent the Anyway Up Cup for toddlers. Read more about her amazing journey at her website. This is a classic example of sticking to what you know. This lady had a problem, which she understood fully. After researching the market for a product she found there wasn't one. So, after having to use some improvisation to feed her daughter, she went ahead and invented a product herself.The same is true of Internet Marketing, find a niche and stick to it. Develop products and ideas based on your knowledge. It gives your work greater credibility because you can write with true authority on the subject. Are you good at writing, reading or giving out advice. You could become a Writer, Editor or even a Consultant. Some people have a goal for the number of articles that they want to send out and may not have the time or ability to check them for typing mistakes, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. This is where you come in, you can write, edit or give advice on articles, writing books or even weblogs. They could even send you their handwritten version and you could copy type it and send the finished version back to them. Check out www.elance.com to see what services people are asking for to see if you can match them.Become a Reseller. Buy in bulk and sell on auction sites such as ebay, qxl, Amazon. A search on Google.com will find a whole list of them. Just make sure that you have the storage space if you're shipping physical products.Once you have decided on your niche you will need to do some:-Research. Do a search on Google.com to see what the competition is. Plan your time effectively. Don't spend too long deciding on what you want to do because somebody else will pip you to the post.Pick a Budget and stick to it. Decide on how much do you want to spend in advertising or development of the product. You don't want to be out of pocket before your business gets off the ground!To your successDawn RobertshawSources:-http://www.mandyhaberman.comhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niche

Alternative Venture Finance: Federal Grants and Loans

While most companies seeking venture capital initially think about angel investors and "venture capital" ists, a large alternative source of financing is federal grants and loans. The two largest federal grant programs are run by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and by Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs).An SBA loan, regardless of whether it is a direct loan from the SBA, or, as is more common, a bank loan guaranteed by the SBA, is essentially a bank loan. The benefit of it versus a traditional bank loan is the rate. SBA rates are typically much less than traditional business loan rates.In most cases, in a guaranteed SBA bank loan, the SBA guarantees 90 percent of the loan will be repaid to the bank. As such, banks are at much less risk than in most other loans, and are a bit more flexible with regards to who they offer these loans. However, the SBA usually requires the founders of the company to personally guarantee the loans, which makes them risky should the venture collapse.Alternatively, Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) are privately organized corporations that are licensed and regulated by the SBA. Small or emerging businesses which qualify for assistance from the SBIC program can receive equity capital and/or long-term loans from these companies. Essentially, these companies provide their own capital, which is supplemented by federal funds, to the companies they fund.Interestingly, U.S. taxpayers benefits from the SBIC program as tax revenues generated from successful SBIC investments have more than covered the cost of the program. Likewise the program has created hundreds of thousands of jobs.In summary, SBA and SBIC financing are viable alternatives to financing from angel investors and venture capitalists and should be considered in the capital raising process. Similarly to angel and VC financing, companies seeking SBA and SBIC financing need a strong management team and value proposition, and a highly professional and compelling business plan in order to raise the capital they need.

Paid surveys - What is Paid Surveys Review

You may have noticed that paid surveys have been around for many years and have been used by companies to gain knowledge and information about products and services. There are many paid survey reviews online however; we have taken the time to outline the pros and cons of paid surveys in general. There are many companies that remain creditable and profitable.The pros and positive points to note.There are many very good things about paid surveys and it is hard to list all of them. The most obvious is being paid money for your opinions. Paid surveys completion generally requires no physical work and consumes just a small fraction of your spare time. As this is a paid survey review we must say that most online survey programs are reputable and will deliver what they say in the time frame outlined. Security in recent years with online moneymaking has increased significantly and it is generally safe to sign up with these programs.The cons and negative points to note Well you have just finished reading a paid survey that outlined so many negative points on paid surveys. This paid survey review one is no different! There are always risks involved with any online company. You better go by reputation, word of mouth and most of the time your gut feeling when signing up for paid online surveys. It is always wise to follow the rule if it's too good to be true, it probably is!Choices of ProgramsThere are hundreds of paid online survey programs offering a wide variety of commissions and rewards. When you are considering a particular program, always search for the paid survey review for that product. This will allow you to see the feedback from other members and to gauge how stable and successful the online survey program is.Your Personal informationIt is important to be very careful giving out any personal information when it comes to paid "online surveys" . It is also important to be careful because many paid surveys have been know to ask for credit card details or other personal information. This personal information can be used for credit card fraud, identity theft or sold to marketing companies.Paid Survey ReviewsWhen reading a paid survey review it is important to ensure it was written by an independent party and not someone program associate. This will ensure the paid survey review is unbiased and honest.The best paid survey review should be written by someone who has been involved in the program. He should have experience and knowledge to answer your questions and would be able to tell you if the program has worked for him. Be careful and research everything before signing up for any program.Feel free to visit all of my sites Paid Surveys and Online Surveys

Summary

Organize yourself properly. decide how much money it's going to take for you to feel comfortably wealthy, and the reach it with your own Telephone Answering Service.