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A Mental Guide for Home Business Success

Back then, a “home-based business” is nothing, but a group of hobbyists making crafts and selling their products online, or a group of eBay junkies who are collecting things from their attic with hopes that someone will be willing to buy them online.

Now that the home-based population have evolved, and continues to evolve, more and more people are becoming interested in the perks and benefits one can enjoy from being their own boss, and working within the confines of their home.

If you’re interested in starting a home-based business, here’s a mental guide for home business success:

Tip 1: Be in a “Feel Good” Environment

This includes investing in professional office equipment, as well as the furniture of your choice. We’re all vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries from using office equipment. Thus, things that fit ergonomically are more preferable in a home office. This includes a comfortable computer chair and keyboard.

Tip 2: Control Overhead

How much you make isn’t as important as you think– it’s how much you can keep by the end of the day. It’s great to have a home-based business, but you ought to know that getting bankrupt can still happen, especially if you’ll overspend or buy useless stuff.

Tip 3: Take a Break

A lot of home-based entrepreneurs have a habit of working 24/7. That’s not ideal at all. Every now and then, you should take a break and sneak out to see a movie, or just spend the rest of the day with your family or friends. Working at home gives you the freedom and flexibility you need, but it can also be tempting to work all the time, especially when the business becomes successful.

Once you have established a smooth-sailing business, give yourself the privilege of relaxation, so that you don’t get too burned out during the process.

Tip 4: Honesty Is the Key

Not everyone has the ability of working from home. If you’re one of the few who can, be honest about your work habits and see what makes you happy before you even start exploring this field.

Tip 5: Don’t Let Isolation Rule You

One of the negative impacts of working from home is the isolation. Whenever you get this feeling, try to fight it back. Don’t let this negativity lead to depression, and horrible business decisions.

This holds true especially if you’re running a small business at home. There’s always the tendency that you’ll feel isolated, because you’ll only have a few interactions with other people during the day. Combat this feeling by joining various community groups during your free time. Not only will this make you feel better, it can also help you get inspired and stay motivated.

Tip 6: Work Space Is Different from Family Space

If it’s possible, create a room that will serve as your office, especially if there are children around the house. Know that whenever you walk in that room, you have to accomplish two things: Work until you are done, and don’t let other family members interrupt you when inside that room.

Tip 7: Work When You’re Most Productive

Think about the time of day when you feel active, inspired, and invigorated. For example, if you think that it’s easier to accomplish tasks in the morning, then work on your most difficult projects during this time of day. Save the easier tasks later– when you feel tired and less creative.

Tip 8: Motivate Yourself

Sit down and set some goals. You no longer need to comply with progress reports nor quarterly reviews. However, you should still keep track whether you’re making a progress or not. The best way to determine that is by setting small goals, such as completing your to-do list on time. Likewise, setting goals that will keep you motivated is also advisable.

By now, you should be making much, if not more, money at your home-based business than you were at your former job. If this isn’t the case, evaluate yourself and see what can be done in order to improve. Don’t forget to reward yourself after hitting the goal.

Tip 9: Have Family Time

After organizing your professional life, it’s also important to pay attention to the personal life as well. Don’t let your job dominate you, especially if you have children. Every now and then, try to spend some time with them. Not only will it help you relieve stress, it’s also a great way of showing that they’re important to you.

My name is Frans Bouckenooghe, born in Roeselare, Belgium.

In 1980, I immigrated with my Rarotongan (Cook Islands) wife Tangata and two children to New Zealand.

I am a self employed Registered Building Surveyor. I identify and report on building defects. I love my work.

Beside working, I enjoy company of family and friends, affiliate marketing, travelling, writing and photography.

I believe that little can be accomplished in life without some investment in yourself. Keep fit, consume right, practice kindness, remain positive, and keep your curiosity up. Treat these things as similarly important to love and friendship and I think you have a much better chance to lead a happy life.

Beginner’s Guide for Internet Business Success

Anybody that has lived more than a day knows that the internet is full of wonderful possibilities. It has its obvious uses for research as well as the popular social networking, but it can also be an easy and effective way to add a little extra boost to your income, or even become your income! This article will provide the basic help that any beginner will need when he or she starts an online business, and will get you on the fast track to making money. The main draw to an internet business is that you don’t necessarily need an office to run the business. Literally a computer and an internet connection are all the tools you need to start with, depending on what kind of business you are planning to run.

The first thing you need to do is decide what product or service you would like to promote, and then build your website around that idea. Work with designers to mold the website into a site that suits you and what you are trying to provide. Work with a quality content writer to make your website really stand out. It should be easy to read and attention grabbing. A good content writer is really the most important tool you will ever use in your quest for online business success. At this point, yes, you are technically an internet entrepreneur, but you can’t stop here! There is so much more to be done.

You will need to market your website next. The easiest and fastest way to do this is through the use of SEO, which will direct traffic to your site from internet search engines, and proper SEO will also raise your rank on Google or Yahoo. This guide is meant for beginners who are interested in the incredible streams of income the internet can provide without the necessity of acquiring a lot of start up capital. Young business men and women can really learn a lot about how income can be obtained through an online business. You may have some amazing new idea that the internet has never seen before, but unless you know how to implement that idea properly you are never going to see the shining light of success any closer than the distant horizon.

Most successful people started out with a handy guide for beginners, just like you are doing, and it really got them far. A great man once said that to become successful, you must study the lives of successful men. Following their footsteps is a great way of knowing that you too are on the right track.

Alfred hill is passionate about delving into new things online and learning something out of it. His new websites on foam packaging materials [http://foampackagingmaterials.org] and health and safety signs [http://healthandsafetysigns.org] are worth a visit. Don’t you wish to see what’s in there?

A Guide For the Entrepreneur in You

Hmmm, have you ever wondered what it would be like to start your own company? Taking that idea you have had in the back of your mind for some time now and making it a reality. Never having to work for someone else and actually get paid what your worth for your knowledge and experience and time you spent in educating yourself. To wake up each morning energized for the first time to go to work because you’re doing something you absolutely love, and it’s all yours.

Maybe your dream is to write a book, provide a service, create a home based business or turn your week-end hobby into a 5 day work week, whatever it is in life we all have to take a shot in favor of ourselves. For me, I did not want to reach 80, look back at my life and at all the things I wanted to do and didn’t, and have regrets. So what if I failed, would it have killed me? I could have succeeded, and now I’ll never know because I was too scared to take a chance on me. Who better than us knows what will make us happy, content and productive members of society.

If you truly have a burning desire eating away at you to open your own business then I say do it. Initially you may decide to do it on a part-time basis, fine, DON’T procrastinate!!!! I know that it can be quite overwhelming, there is a lot that you do not know or understand but I can tell you from experience that the risks are worth it. It’s a feeling of total liberation, joy, and expectation. Yes, there is that little thing called money, and you do lose a certain amount of security until the business is up and running and you will always have friends, family members and even current co-workers who will try to discourage you. Just remember one thing. You are the one that is living this life. No one else and you only get one shot.

That’s where I come in. I would like to help you get started. I want to see you realize your dream and to see your business succeed from the beginning with all the correct information. I would like to share that information with you through the following articles.

That is the first article in the series “BANKING ON MYSELF”, a guide for the entrepreneur in you.

So you finally made a decision as to the kind of business you would like to have. The next step is making sure that you create a separate identity for this business. By that I am referring to setting up a Corporation or an LLC. You may be saying to yourself why do I need to do that?

When you run your business as a sole proprietor you and your business are considered to be one and the same. There is no definite separation between the two. So if someone sues your company who are they suing? The answer is you! All of your personal assets are at risk. You could lose your home, your cars, your bank accounts, your investments and any other assets you personally own. Now turning that around if you are personally sued, you could lose not only your personal assets but you could lose your entire business and all of its assets that have taken years to acquire. If you are like the rest of us we all work too hard to get what we have and it would be devastating to lose it because someone see’s dollar signs when they look at your business or personal assets. So before you open your doors it is crucial that you form your Corporation or LLC first.

Your probably asking yourself what is the best entity for me to choose. Well, that all depends on what type of business you are going to have. For instance will you be issuing stock to raise capital? Will you have earnings in access of 250,000.00? Are health benefit deductions important to you? Will you have several employees? Do you want to file a separate tax return for your business? Although there are other considerations involved in your correct entity choice, if you answered yes to any of the above chances are a C-Corporation may be the best one for you.

Another example, if you are planning on purchasing real estate for investment purposes, fixing it up and selling it your entity choice should be a LLC. If you intend on having partners in real estate investing a LLC would also be appropriate.

If you are going to have a other type of business for instance a consulting business, or a business via the internet, and this is your only job and income, and you want to receive a salary from this business, then you may choose a S-corporation. When choosing this type of entity, there are other things to consider as well. For example there cannot be any foreign owners for S-Corporations and no more than 100 members. We will go into further detail in the second article.

Now that you have set up your Corporation or LLC you need to protect it and yourself. The whole reason to set-up an entity separate from yourself is to protect the share holders or the director from the debts or liabilities of the corporation.

You may have heard the term protecting your “Corporate Veil”. What does that mean exactly? Well there are certain things you need to comply with in order to run your business as its own separate entity and decrease the likelihood of anyone being able to pierce your “Corporate Veil” to obtain your personal assets or to take over controlling interest in your company. In order to do this you need to keep very accurate records. For instance, when the share holders, partners, or directors get together for scheduled meetings to decide on budget matters for the company, leasing agreements, personnel changes and other important day to day functions you need to keep very accurate (minutes) of these meetings, the meeting themselves and the resolutions agreed upon. A C-Corporation has to be very accurate and precise. It never use to be that important for LLC’s because they were less stringent in this category but for your own protection and that of all members you should do it as well.

Also, you need to be very careful about co-mingling your funds. In other words do not mix your business funds with your personal funds. Example, do not pay personal bills with corporate funds from your corporate checking account. That is strictly taboo.

Third, make sure that your business is properly capitalized. In other words you have enough money for expenses, payroll, inventory, liability insurance, and such before you open your doors.

For manufacturing there is a standard. If you have any questions regarding the capitalization for the type of business you have call your secretary of state and request information.

Lastly and also very important, make sure that you purchase enough liability insurance as well as Errors and Omissions insurance. Most people are familiar with liability, hardly anyone knows about Errors and Omissions. It is important protection in case you mess up on a job or do not have it ready on time as promised in a contract. Should one of your employees make a mistake or anyone else that represents your company, you will be protected. Also, please know that having a separate entity for your business does not omit the need to carry insurance. You need both!

I hope that this article has been helpful to all you aspiring entrepreneurs.

Online Learning Sites for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, professional development can be hard to come by. It can often feel like you’re going it alone simply because you don’t have the kind of automatic network in place that a larger company has. However, the Internet is full of resources for entrepreneurs, from improving your coding skills to building a better business plan. Here are some tools to check out.

Carnegie Mellon University’s “Entrepreneurship and Business Planning”: This course, hosted on the University’s “TalkShoe” community platform, includes 16 lectures, complete with PowerPoints, handouts, and a case study. The course originally came from a class in the Master in Informational Systems Management program. The course includes concepts like financing, marketing, team building, and sales.

· Stanford University’s “Two Generations of Entrepreneurship” and “Two Reasons Companies Can Fail”: Both of these classes come from Stanford’s “Entrepreneurship Corner,” which provides about 2,000 free videos and podcasts. The first of the two above is a 45-minute lecture by Sandra and Andy Kurtzig and focuses on company mission and venture funding. The second is an hour-long lecture by the CEO of Idealab and focuses on what can undermine a company’s success.

· University of California Irvine’s “Conducting a Thorough Market Assessment” and “The Elevator Pitch”: Both of these lectures are available as YouTube videos. Both give thoughts on customer development techniques.

· Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “Entrepreneurial Marketing”: This is a full course available through MIT’s OpenCourseWare platform, including print, audio, and video materials. The course focuses on communication, distribution, pricing, and customer relations.

· The Open University’s “Entrepreneurial Behavior”: The Open University offers over 600 free, web-based courses. This course focuses on entrepreneurs themselves and on qualities and leadership styles that have often been associated with successful entrepreneurs. It also explores the role that entrepreneurs play in the larger economy.

· The International Revenue Service’s “Starting a Business”: The IRS offers video and audio resources mainly focused on answering tax questions. “Starting a Business” includes videos of various lengths with transcripts. The videos focus on income reporting, recordkeeping, and retirement planning for the self-employed.

· The U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Encore Entrepreneurs: An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business” and “Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business”: These video courses, 30 minutes and 40 minute respectively, discuss non-profit resources, business models, financing, and ownership options.

· CodeAcademy: This is a free resource for learning how to code in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP.

· HubSpot Academy: This site offers a free certification program on website optimization, landing pages, and lead nurturing.

· Coursera: With 114 educational partners, Coursera provides an outstanding range of free online courses. There are both basic business and entrepreneurship courses and courses that fit more within certain small business niches.

· Khan Academy: This resource is mainly geared toward high school students, but it’s a great platform for refreshers on things everyone should know, and it makes even complex topics understandable.

· LearnVest: If you’re looking specifically for courses on budgeting and otherwise managing your money, LearnVest is a great option. It’s not specially geared toward entrepreneurs, but it offers some free and many affordable classes on money management, which every entrepreneur needs to understand.

· Moz: This is an excellent source for learning Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It includes the free Moz Academy as well as other resources like webinars and beginners’ guides to various topics.

Guides for Home Business

Do guides for home business really work? It all depends on how the merchant is approaching the concept. There are many sources that provide a level of assistance to entrepreneurs. The government might be able to provide information to entrepreneurs using the social schemes that are meant to get people to work. This sort of information is targeted towards low income families. The theory is that the information will be crucial in setting up those families into a system whereby they are productive members of the community. If such information is not readily available, then alternatives will have to be found in order to support the business model.

The guide is not supposed to be a template for how the business should be run. Each individual will have their own methods of dealing with the pressures of modern business. They will build an arsenal of tricks that ensures their success in all the ventures that are on offer. It takes a lot of time to reach the pinnacle of success in the business world. Likewise it also takes a lot of patience to overcome the challenges that affect the business models on offer. It is important that these businesses are developed in line with the expectations of the entrepreneur and the realistic prospects ahead.

The entrepreneur has to use the home business guides appropriately. They need to pick out the elements that might be useful and the ones that are not necessarily relevant to the task at hand. Above all, they need to understand the responsibilities that underpin the business model. It is imperative that there is a clear list of items that need to be accomplished in order for that business venture to be successful. Merchants have to also remain focused on the things that are essential for business success. They cannot afford to sit back and wait for the good old times to make their impact.

A business model can be the great start that a merchant needs. However the ultimate success of that business venture will rely on the effectiveness of the merchant in terms of turning a business idea into a workable model for success. If they are able to convert the major issues that affect the business then success will come of its own volition. In working with the different business ideas and guides, the entrepreneur will also be building up their general knowledge about the business world and the ways in which they can be successful regardless of the occasional difficulties that they face. The business model will respond to their overtures.

Top 10 Books for Entrepreneurs

Whether you are starting a business or have a business in need of a rebirth good advice from experts can improve your chances of success.

Good advice, however, doesn’t come cheap, nor should it for that matter. If you, like most aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners and are on a limited budget paying for that advice can be a bit of a problem.

Fortunately we CAN get quality advice from experts who can help us build our new or evolving businesses. The great thing about these experts is that you don’t have to set an appointment, be on their schedule, or pay hourly fees; instead they can work around you. These experts come to your house, your business, your car, or frankly pretty much wherever you feel is convenient.

These experts in the form of books, whether traditional or audio books, give you the opportunity to get expert advice, when you want it, how you want it, and at an amazingly low price.

What top 10 books would I recommend for you if you are starting a business, thinking about starting a business, or attempting to jump start your business? Here are my top 10 books for entrepreneurs with an explanation as to why I believe they are important to you and your business.

1. The Magic of Thinking Big. David J. Schwarz. When I started my first business ( a LONG time ago) this was the first book my mentor gave me to read. One of the most influential books on motivation and goal setting it comes highly recommended by such famous authors as Tim Ferriss of The 4-hour Workweek. Make this the FIRST book you read.

2. The Lean Startup. Eric Ries. If you are just starting a business this book can save you a ton of money and TIME! Dave Ries gives us the lean startup principles of build, measure, and learn with a MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT which allows new entrepreneurs to find out what customers REALLY want.

3. How to Make Millions with your Ideas. Dan S. Kennedy. Dan Kennedy has not only made millions but taught thousands of entrepreneurs how to make millions. While somewhat dated, this book is a valuable tool to help new entrepreneurs focus in on proven methods to turn ideas into riches.

4. The E-Myth Revisited. Michael E. Gerber. This book is without-a-doubt a MUST READ for ANY business owner. In this book you learn why being an expert at a business can actually be harmful to the business. His step-by-step analysis of the life of a small business will be invaluable to the aspiring business owner.

5. The $100 Startup. Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup was JUST published and has already hit 5-star status on Amazon. Chris gives us a simple six-step process to begin selling something online, NOW. If you’re familiar with Tim Ferris’ work and are looking for your muse this is a book to help you find it!

6. Likeable Social Media. Dave Kerpen. If you only purchase one book about how to use social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc.; by this one. If you have any doubts whether Dave Kerpen knows what he’s writing about just read the Introduction of the book (free in your local book store or at Amazon.com). Mr. Kerpen’s understanding of how social media plays into business is spot on and any entrepreneur will benefit from this book.

7. The 4-hour Work Week. Tim Ferriss. If you’ve been reading my blog recently you’ll know that this top 10 book has been a life-changing book for me. In my opinion Tim Ferriss completely revolutionizes the ideas of how to own and operate a business. Another early read for new and/or aspiring business owners.

8. One Simple Idea. Stephen Key. Stephen Key, like Dan S. Kennedy has not only made millions of dollars he’s also helped thousand earn millions as well. How do you take an idea from thought to actual product or service Stephen Key shows you how. As one reviewer put it, “An essential guide to get paid for your ideas!”

9. Ready Fire Aim. Michael Masterson. What’s the first priority in business? Read this top 10 book and find out. Designed to help those who are or want to be business owners, Michael Masterson’s book cuts to the chase on what a business owner needs to go from zero to millions of dollars.

10. Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Steve Jobs? One of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Walter Isaacson takes the readers behind the scenes to see how Steve went from a garage to building the most valuable company in the world. Love him or hate him you can learn a lot about how to build a business from Steve Jobs.

By-the-way, this list is NOT a prioritized list of top 10 books, BUT as I mentioned I would recommend reading the Magic of Thinking Big first.

Hopefully the explanations in my top 10 books for entrepreneurs will help you decide what to read and in what order. I’ve included hyperlinks to each book so you can read the book descriptions, editorial reviews, publisher’s notes, and customer reviews to help you make better decisions. It’s my hope that by reading these top 10 books and going to these “experts” you can build strong profitable businesses.

Keith Shafer has a passion for helping others become successful at business and life. He firmly believes that our future depends on the concepts of free enterprise, business ownership, and individual liberty. Keith believes that with every right comes a responsibility. A retired officer with over 20 years of active military service, he has been in the education industry for over twenty years. Mr. Shafer has owned a number of businesses, been involved in multi-level marketing, network marketing, as well as direct sales marketing. He knows the grind of a 9-5 existence on the 40-year plan and is keen to help others break out of their chains as well. Keith is an accomplished business owner, real estate entrepreneur and stock investor. Married to the same wonderful woman for nearly 37 years, he and his wife have two grown boys and were just blessed with their first grandchild

The Top 10 Sites For Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur can at times be challenging. You have a desire to help others via a product or service that you are selling. Your hope is that the public will want what you have and buy it. This will open more doors for you as an entrepreneur and you will in turn make money. It’s the dream of everyone starting a business; doing something that they love and making money at it.

For those just starting out, it may be difficult to know where to begin or what to do next. Plus with the internet there are so many other avenues that an entrepreneur must think about. Besides our beloved Rock The Post, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 websites that every entrepreneur will want to remember. These include:

1) The Funded – This is a great site for those seeking funding for their ventures. This site allows entrepreneurs to research venture capital sources as well as rate and review them. Getting the funds you need is important and finding the right capital sources to use in invaluable. This site allows you to do the research you need in order to get the money you need.

2) Bplans – This is a great site for those who are just starting their business. In the beginning when you’re planning your business and just opening your doors, there is so much that you need to know about. Consider this site your encyclopedia for starting your business. They offer numerous articles, expert advice, different business calculators as well as different business planning software. It’s a great resource when you’re the new kid on the block.

3) Start Up Journal – This is the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) section for small business and startups. Seeing as it is a section of the WSJ, you know it’s a valuable resource to bookmark and come back to often.

4) Entrepeneur.com – As one of the premier magazines for entrepreneurs, this site is a must have in your bookmarks. With so many articles, advice and resources for those starting a business, this is a gold mine of information to help you every step of the way.

5) Start Up Nation – This website features advice and information from people who have been where you are – others entrepreneurs. They know the ups and downs of what starting a business is all about. So they have plenty of advice and resources to share to help you make the most out of your business venture.

6) Inc.com – This is a great magazine that offers advice and resources to entrepreneurs. From funding your ventures to marketing and sales it’s all in here. You can learn from some of the industry’s best.

7) Small Business Administration – The Small Business Administration is the bible of business knowledge. It was created and designed to assist in giving small businesses the tools and resources they need to have a solid foundation to start on. Our society is built upon business and the more prosperous businesses are; the more prosperous our society is. It’s good for the economy.

8) Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) – This non-profit organization was created by retired executives to offer tips, workshops and more for entrepreneurs. They know where you’ve been and offer resources to help you succeed in your endeavors.

9) Home Business Journal – If you are looking to run a home-based business then this is the site for you. With information and resources to guide you this is a great place to start when you are doing the research to get your business started and up and running.

10) Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurs are a unique group within themselves. It makes sense to have a site that is created just for you to be sounding boards off of one another. This site gives you information that assists you in staying connected and up-to-date with what is going on in the world of entrepreneurs. It’s a great resource to have when you are looking for advice and education.

marketing company focusing on design and execution of integrated marketing

This is your ultimate guide for gift giving this season to entrepreneurs and small business owners. From a Chamber of Commerce Membership to a flip camera to advisory timeblocks.

1 – Chamber of Commerce Membership – Being a member in a Chamber of Commerce offers a lot of advantages including networking opportunities, membership advertising and business expos, but sometimes for an entrepreneur a membership just doesn’t work into their budget. It’s not the most glamorous gift in the world, but this is a great way to help them reach their goals.

2 – UPS, FedEx, or USPS Gift Card for shipping – Unless they don’t send anything out, any entrepreneur will appreciate not spending money on shipping!

3 – Gift Card to a Print Shop – I’m sure you’ve heard of VistaPrint, but in the spirit of entrepreneurship, buy a gift card to a print shop that is a small business. For example, NextDayFlyers, is on the West Coast and they have great service and an equally great product.

4 – Year Subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine – Entrepreneur Magazine seeks to inspire, inform and celebrate entrepreneurs with monthly issues. They offer real solutions to the challenges of entrepreneurs, including tips, tools and insider news to help build – and grow – their business.

5 – Flip Camera – Even though there are a ton of YouTube videos out there, a lot of entrepreneurs are not using it to their advantage. A flip camera is a quick way to make a video and upload it right to Youtube. These videos do not have to be professionally edited, they can be gritty and show the real business. It gives your company more credibility, if your CEO is involved too

6 – Constant Contact – Email marketing is an important way to keep customers informed and excited about a business. Constant Contact offers pre-made templates for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Buying credits for them to get out there is a great way to kick start the new year for businesses. It’s easy but it can also be customized

7 – Fiverr.com – Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anywhere that you can buy Fiverr credits but an American Express Gift Card will do. Fiverr is a website where people will help your business for $5 a gig. It can be anything from a voice-over to targeted websites, facebook, or twitter traffic. Personally, I recommend that you go with something tangible. As far as the gift card, somehow you have to get them to prove that they used it on Fiverr.com

8 – Timeblocks – Out of all of these, I think this is the best as far as money vs. ROI. This is a great idea for an entrepreneur or a small business owner looking to get ahead of competition. Timeblocks can be anything from a short email (deducting minutes from your balance) or an hour long conversation that acts as a sounding board or experienced advising.

Smart Marketing Group is a marketing company focusing on design and execution of integrated marketing and niche strategies for businesses large and small. Les Wolff, CEO of SMG, has 45+ years of sales, management and marketing experience ranging from sports marketing to small business management.

Five Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs

Books can give new ideas and solutions to problems we commonly encounter. A good book is a self-help guide. Books meant for entrepreneurs benefit the budding business owners personally as well as at the organization level.

1. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!Robert T. Kiyosaki

‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ is one of the best personal finance books of all times. It tells the story of the author, his two fathers – real dad and the father of his best friend, and the way things influenced the author’s thinking on money and investing it. The book points out the difference between having your money work for you and working for money.

2. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New RichTimothy Ferriss

This book will make you think different. The author explains the benefits of focusing on the most important things and not wasting time on social media, email and phone checking. Timothy explains how he outsourced the work to virtual assistants overseas as well as to employees. Minimizing distractions and outsourcing has enabled Timothy to become much more effective and efficient. The author gives a set of great advice that is helpful to all entrepreneurs.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale Carnegie

This book is a self-help book. It is necessary to know that it is essential to win people over to your way of thinking. For this, you need to know how to make good conversation and to get people to like you. In other words, the book explains what you need to do to succeed in your business.

4. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityDavid Allen

Getting things done is one of the best books on improving productivity. It is a guide on how to use your time efficiently. David Allen says that the more relaxed we are, the better the productivity is. This is because, when the mind is in a relaxed mode, thoughts get organized effectively, which leads to higher productivity. David Allen explains in the book the method of enhancing productivity.

5. Predictably Irrational the Hidden Forces that Shape our DecisionsDan Ariely

This book looks deep into consumer habits and human behavior. It focuses on the revelation that wired to be irrational of humans. Dan Ariely goes deeper using plenty of experiments to show fuzzier than economists would like it to be.

Investments For Entrepreneurs

When it comes to money management it seems like we all face issues. I have some experience in the banking and finances arena. Please think of this article as a simple investments for entrepreneurs guide.

Everyone needs at least a basic idea about how to manage their money. If you need to make real money in a legal and rapid way stick to this guide because I will try to explain why making the right investment decisions are the way to your future success.

This short article will help you to avoid some of the most common mistakes made by people like you or me; it will help you to find investments for entrepreneurs that will pay you with high dividends. Will you say that investments for entrepreneurs really exist? I say yes, I must confess to you that I learned the hard way. Some of the best investment options are in fact hidden from the general public, but this situation is about to change with you.

Scared of investing?

The basic idea of managing your own funds is scary, right? It is not a surprise that the majority of people lack the financial knowledge and skills to administrate their own portfolios, rest assured there is a better way to invest. Avoid making the wrong decisions and seeing the consequences in your bank statement are the key to your gains.

The right path for new investors!

Banks pay the lowest rates available, especially American and European banks. You need to see your money growing in a steady way month after month, year after year. The best investments for entrepreneurs are reliable financial companies, well established and with a proven record of successful trades and investments.

The right way to invest!

* Do not open a savings account: If you are like most people you probably will simply open a savings account and wait for the best to happen. Saving accounts are not for investing; keep that in your mind.

* Open an account with a broker: Find a reliable investment company and ask for an investment plan tiered to your needs and goals. They will be happy to assist you.

* Look nationwide for options: The internet is the tool for wide opening your investment possibilities, instead of choosing a local broker you could save money by opening an account with a big financial entity, my tip here is, find a big firm offering an attractive but viable package that fits your individual short and long term goals.

A money making plan!

You will need an investment plan prepared for you; the person to create this plan is a financial adviser, or lawyer. You need a plan based on your financial goals, both short term and long term. You need a money making plan created specifically for you before you start.

The path to real success!

After you have consulted with an investment strategist an know your economic position then it is time to start your research into a solid, recession proof, business opportunity for your investment. Here I will suggest looking into franchise opportunities. Franchising is the best kept secret of the 21st Century!