How To Find A Business for Sale

Are you looking for a business for sale? If so, then you have probably heard all sorts of outrageous claims on-line. Claims such as: “make money without lifting a finger,” “no investment required,” and “make money while you sleep.” While it is true that some businesses can practically run by themselves, this is only achieved after a lot of time and effort has been put into developing a solid base for the company. Do not be fooled by the snake oil salesman that claim that you can have a successful business without putting any time, effort, and money into it. The good news is, though there are many scams and get rich quick schemes out there, there are also many legitimate businesses for sale. The great thing about having so many companies and individuals that have a business for sale, is that you have many choices and options. On the other side of the coin there is a seemingly insurmountable amount of research to get through in order to make the right decision. I can’t tell you exactly which company is right for you because of the simple fact that everyone is different, and what works for me might not work for you. I can however, give you some good insights into what to look for when looking at a business for sale.One more great thing about having so many different businesses for sale out there is that you no longer have to write a business plan, rent a building, find something to sell, and hope that you can gain a client base before you run out of money. While a brick and mortar business is still an incredibly viable option, it is also not the only option for someone who wants to work for themselves. I am referring, of course, to the realm of multi level marketing, and network marketing. These business plans have not only opened up business ownership to ordinary people, but they have made it possible for a person, with no real business knowledge or experience, to take the reigns of their own business and make their own future.So, the number one thing I run into when talking to perspective clients about a business for sale is that many people have been burned by various other “opportunities” and thus they have a bitter taste in their mouths about jumping into something new. So how can you tell between a scam and the real deal? I have set some common sense steps to analysing a new prospective company.1. Make sure that you have what it takes to run your own business, everyone has fantasies of telling their boss to take a hike, but the reality is that running your own business requires a large amount of time management skill, as well as a will to succeed and a work ethic to back it up.2. Money, every business costs money to get started, even if you are promoting affiliate links, unless you are a marketing prodigy you will more than likely be buying some sort of training material to figure out what you are doing. In my personal opinion, a good target number to look for when looking at a business for sale, is 500 dollars or less to get started.3. Product, if a company sells a product nobody wants to buy then how will you sell it? I know this sounds simple and shouldn’t even be mentioned because it is so basic, but it amazes me how many companies ask you to sell something that would be nearly impossible to move. The best kind of company to get involved with is one that either has a corner on a market, or is more advanced than the competition. Again, I know this sounds like it should be the first thing you think of, but it is easy to get caught up in the sales hype of a well crafted landing page.4. Compensation plan, how does the company reimburse its affiliates or representatives? there are many types of compensation plans, as well as many other people who are more qualified to talk about them, so I won’t go in-depth on this.5. Team, what kind of teamwork is present in the company? A good business for sale will stress to its reps just how important teamwork is, to put it simply, a network marketing company will either live or die by how well it fosters a support system within its team. This means that there should be an efficient way for them to train you, preferably a website that has training calls and videos for you to go through rather than sitting on the phone for hours listening to training.6. Public Opinion, how well is the company doing at maintaining its public relations? What is the first thing people do when they hear about something new that they are curious about? Most people these days Google it, that is why, if you’re trying to sell something to someone and they Google it to find reviews, if all they see is negative then it will be very hard to sell regardless of whether or not the product is incredible. With information so easy to come by on the internet these days a company has to spend a lot of time and effort in order to maintain their image or else they might as well pack up their stuff and close their doors. There are two ways I check this, one is to Google it, the second, is to check the company out at bbb.com. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to find information on a business for sale.7. How does the company operate? Many Network marketing companies today focus mainly on internet sales, they utilize social networking heavily for their sales, while others focus more on person to person sales. It is very important that you decide which one you are more comfortable with and make sure that is what the company you are looking at utilizes. If you are computer illiterate and don’t get along with technology at all then person to person might be best for you. I would strongly recommend that anyone that wants to get into network marketing goes with a company that is fully web integrated, believe it or not, there are a lot of companies that still prohibit or make it very difficult to market on-line. This is very important, if you get into a company and get trained in it only to realize that they only allow you to market in certain ways, it can be very hard to be successful.These are just some pointers to help separate the bad from the good, but at the end of the day it all boils down to you. Are you the kind of person who can take charge, schedule, plan, execute that plan, call leads, and most importantly, close a sale? This is the most important part of the whole process, because at the end of the day, your success relies about 75 percent on you and 25 percent on the company you represent.

VO Marketing Tips – Part 1, The Basics

For the past few years, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of taking part in an exciting and wonderful career as a Voice Talent. Because I have such a passion for voice acting, it naturally drives me to want to succeed and see my business flourish. Most people, when I tell them what I do for a living, simply shake their heads in amazement and exclaim how cool it must be to get paid “just for using my voice”. I smile, shake my head vehemently, and agree. But, as all of us in the industry know, the fun part of using your voice is probably only 20% of the job! The rest is comprised of everything else that is required to operate and maintain a successful business. A large part of that is knowing how to market yourself to generate new business, as well as having an effective plan to nurture and sustain existing business relationships.

Along my journey, I have experienced many trials and tribulations, and have been truly blessed to have learned a few lessons along the way. I certainly do not claim to be a marketing expert to any degree, but I’d love to share some marketing tips that were effective for my business. I hope that they can, in some way, help you too, and allow you to truly flourish in this great industry!

Some basic tips that I have found to be really helpful in expanding my business include:

Get Your Demo Professionally Produced and Keep it Fresh!

This is your most important marketing tool and vital to your success as a voice over artist. If you are serious at all about your VO business, this should be your number one goal. As you grow as an artist and as a business, it will be necessary to keep your demos current and even add more to your current portfolio. Go to a professional studio and make it a priority to invest in your demo – it is your calling card!

Write a Great Bio

A foundation to marketing yourself – Even if you are just starting out in the business, you will need to provide people with information about who you are and your relevant experience. For many of us, this can be an immensely difficult task! Once your bio is developed, however, it can be used many times over – as part of your business introduction for new clients, a cover letter for auditions, Bid Response letters, as well as a section on your website.

Talk about what you do

All the time – to everyone! You never know who may be in need of your services. Even if they may not be in need of your services right now, they just might be later on down the road, or they may know someone who is. Don’t be shy! People always seem to be fascinated with the concept of voice overs as a business – and it’s a great ice breaker and conversation piece at parties!

Figure out your “Brand” and Develop a Strategy

This is a vital step in creating and establishing your identity as a voice over artist. Exactly “who” are you and what is your specialty? Your brand identity will be repeatedly communicated, in multiple ways with frequency and consistency throughout the life span of your business. Famous for his innovative branding,Doug Turkell, the “Unnoucer” has flourished by creating and marketing his unique brand of voice overs. Just do it already! Butdothink carefully about this one – changing your brand once established can be a bit difficult, though not impossible!

Take classes and workshops in your profession

It will allow you to network with your peers and even better, establish a relationship with an industry “expert”, who can provide you with even more valuable business leads. Taking classes will not only add educational/ training credits to your resume, but will also allow you to establish and assess your “competition”, and strengthen your vision for possible “niche” markets which may not be covered by your peer group.

Make yourself Accountable

Write down your business goals and establish a system of accountability for your business. This will help you develop a clear picture of how you can better market yourself. Spend an allotted time each day working on new contacts – this includes cold calling! Make it a goal to meet someone new in the business everyday!

It’s all about Customer Service!

Go above and beyond for your clients. Give more than they expect – and you will find that they will come back again and again. When I book a job, I usually give at least two finished takes for the client to choose from, even if they are not requested. Since I usually record more than two takes for each spot anyway, it doesn’t add a lot of time to the job on my end, and my clients really appreciate it!

Take care of your existing customers!

The word “Marketing” is often thought to describe advertising activities specific to gaining new business, but keep in mind that enriching and nurturing the relationship of your existing customers can be critical to your business survival. Contact them periodically and let them know you are available for them and keep them abreast of any new projects. Many times during a new business “low”, my repeat clients have come through with flying colors and kept my business booming!

Get Testimonials and Publish them!

When you complete a job, especially when you know the client loved your work, always ask for a testimonial, as well as a copy of the finished product for your demo reel. You can simplify this process by creating a generic “Thank You” template or form email that includes your request so you don’t forget. You’d surprised at how many clients are more than willing to do this for you if you just ask! Let your clients do the marketing for you!

I hope you have found these tips to be helpful and I welcome all comments! Upcoming articles in this series will discuss marketing options for building and marketing your VO business online.

Why Real Estate Investment?

Why should you invest in real estate? Well, investing in real estate for profit is one of the most popular approaches to generating additional income in the United States today. In fact, if you pay attention to recent press you will have seen numerous reports about the real estate investment craze that seems to be sweeping the Nation.When done carefully and intelligently, real estate can yield fantastic benefits that can not be achieved through any other type of investment. Here are just a few examples of why real estate investing can be such a powerful wealth generator.1. Real Estate Markets Are Slow to React – Although real estate, like everything else, has ups and downs, it is generally a lot slower to react than the stock market. For example, you won’t get up in the morning and discover that your real estate investment is worth ten or twenty percent less than it was yesterday.2. Leverage. You can borrow money to buy real estate, whereas, generally you can not borrow money to buy stocks. You can control a large dollar value of real estate with a small amount of your own money by using loans and mortgages. The stock market, by law, limits the amount of leverage (margin) you can use to buy stock. There are no such limits with real estate.3. You Can Purchase Real Estate For Less Than Its Market Value. In many cases you can purchase a property for as low as 60 to 70 percent of the market value. When buying stocks, you may be able to find a stock that is considered “under valued” but generally it’s tough to do that on a regular and consistent basis.4. Real Estate Offers A Tremendous Amount Of Tax Advantages Through Depreciation. Real estate basically has two values, the land and the building(s) on the land. For example, if a property is valued at $250,000 and the assessed value of the land is $75,000, the building would be worth $175,000.The government allows real estate investors to depreciate the value of the building in equal parts over its “useful life” which is defined as 27.5 years. So for example, based on the $175,000 building value above, the annual depreciation value would be $6,363.63 ($175,000 divided by 27.5). This means that for tax purposes, the investor would be able to reduce his/her annual income by $6,363.63!Many people find the notion of depreciation to be confusing since it’s not really a loss of money. I recommend you check with a qualified tax professional for more details and how this can benefit you.5. Real Estate Markets Are Insulated Local Markets. For instance, when the stock market falls, it takes down just about everybody and everything involved with it. When home values drop in one city such as New York, generally it does not affect property values in other cities like Boston or Chicago. To protect yourself, you can have a “geographically diversified” portfolio of real estate investments to hedge against these types events.6. You The Investor Can Control The Value. Another aspect of real estate investment is that unlike any other investment, this investment is controlled by the investor. For example, as an investor, you can increase the value of your investment property by making some modifications to the property such as adding a garage or replacing the carpet, etc. With stocks or any other investment, the investor can’t do anything to increase the value of the investment.7. The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). When a market has prices that always “fully reflect” available information, it is called “efficient”. The stock market for example is considered by most to be an efficient market. When you call your broker to purchase or sell a stock, you can be sure of one thing – the price you bought or sold the stock for was indeed the “correct” price for that stock on that day and at that time. Why? Because the existing price for the stock will already incorporate and reflect all relevant available information about the company such as earnings, and other metrics.With real estate, the market is very inefficient. Unlike the stock market, with real estate, the “correct” price discovery mechanism is left to each buyer and seller to figure out on their own. There is the almost always uncertainty as to whether the price offered by the seller is too high or too low. Moreover, there is typically little to no help available from analysts and research agencies (like when dealing with stocks) in this respect. This inefficiency is the very reason why real estate offers such a great investment opportunity to be smart and win! But it requires experience and a sharp eye for good deals and great negotiation skill. This expertise can be developed.If done correctly, real estate is probably one of the smartest investments you could ever make. Hopefully this short rambling has provided you with a fresh perspective of the many benefits of real estate investing. So be smart, continue to learn and above all don’t wait for some magic moment, just get started.To Your Success!Rik Foote
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