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Internet As a Business: You Must Follow Accepted Business Practices and Laws

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Ad: “Free Website Will Make You a Millionaire”

You have always had this dream to have your own business. More importantly, you want a business that gives you autonomy, only requires an hour or so a day, you have the freedom to do as you want, and the time to do it. So you got this email that offers you a free website that will run on autopilot and make you thousands of dollars a day. You have visions of doing web administration as a business that will bring you those riches and fulfill your dream.

OK. So there was some exaggeration in that free website statement, in fact, it was all hype. The hook is that word “free”. Yes, they are offering you something for free – a $14.95 domain name and a free website design. What they don’t tell you is that the “upsells” are what get you. This free website is yours for only $37. What part of free didn’t they understand: you cannot charge $37 for something that is free. (There are choice words for someone who makes statements like that, ENTER YOUR WORD HERE _________.)

A Domain Name is nothing but a name. A Domain Name does nothing unless it is associated with a website design, or a better way of describing a website design is a container in which the content of your website lives. The free website design is thrown together in minutes by an experienced web developer who already has several hundred templates in his back pocket that require only several minutes of customization to make it unique for your needs.

The website design needs to be installed somewhere, either on your own “server” or on a managed host. So, minutes after you signed up, you are hit with the first upsell. First, for the free domain name, you want privacy so that anybody with a browser cannot find out your home address, telephone number, and breed and color of your dog. That privacy will cost you $10 per month.

The next upsell is for Domain Hosting. Your website needs a computer connected to the internet on which to run. One option, only for the brave and not-so-bright techies that believe they can do this themselves, is to:

  • Take an old computer,
  • Throw a network card in it,
  • Load it up with every disk drive from every old computer you own,
  • Download a free image of some flavor of Linux,
  • Fire up a free Apache web server and
  • Download a free copy of WordPress.
  • Connect that puppy to your router,
  • Get the dedicated IP address assigned to you by your internet carrier, and

BOOM! You have a working website.

NOT!!! The reality of this scenario is that you will have a HUGE learning curve to do simple things in LINUX. Every time you install a new software package or change an option, there is a great likelihood that you will spend your weekend either trying to fix what it broke, or reloading LINUX to start from scratch. You should also be prepared to dedicate a great deal of all this spare time you have after quitting your job because this new website will make you rich, learning about system administration tasks such as backup, restore, firewalls, security… You get my drift.

WordPress is a very cool web framework that has LOTS of free templates and plug-ins. But WordPress also has a learning curve associated with it. So at this point in your DIY strategy, you are several months into this and still don’t have a working website, still trying to find good content to put on your website, and haven’t made a dime from this thing they call Affiliate Marketing, yep, the thing that was going to make you rich in the first place.

Strategy Two: Punt

You now decide to suck it up, and pay the piper for that hosted domain. Well, it is not good enough to pay month to month for this service, because they warn you that the “Search Engines”, around which everything on the internet is driven, do not look kindly on short timers: they want a website that promises to be around for at least the next several years, so the hosted domain marketing team has now sold you at least a two year hosting package, with add-ons that include backup and restore services, additional security, a package to get you free links, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) package, and free something or other that may as well be a partridge in a pear tree, which is only $1500 to renew after the first year.

The guy that charged you $37 for your free website, once you tell him the details of your new hosted domain, three days later is telling you that your website is now ready on your hosted domain using your domain name, “AnotherSucker.com”. When you bring up your website for the first time, there are three articles, or “posts” that look really good. The deeper you dig, you see that you bought a website loaded with posts that start out “Ipson Lorum… “. So where is this content you were promised? Well, that is another $97 for the magic tool that generates this wonderful free content from now into oblivion. Pretty good deal: $97 for the tool that generates free content.

So you sign up for the package, but before your mouse pointer trails even disappear from the screen, they are begging you to become a “Gold” Executive Member that gives you BETTER free content for only $495. And all the free content you paid $600 for so far needs to be noticed by the illusive Search Engines so that you get more Traffic, because as we all know, this is a NUMBERS GAME: of the total traffic, 5% will click on an affiliate ad; 2% of those that click on the ad will buy something; your commission on that something they buy is initially 3% of the purchase price, but the more you sell, they increase your commission.

Well, how do you get the most traffic? Easy, buy some “backlinks” to other sites (a $15000 value for $297), and create a mailing list from everybody that visits your site so you, too, can become a spammer for the ridiculously low price of $19 per month.

So, you do what you are told, sit through EVERY BLASTED HYPE VIDEO they offer as “training”, buy all the recommended packages, and even sign up for the “Platinum” Package for Personal Coaching that will guarantee your success, worth literally millions, but available to you for only $2,995.

You now need:

  • A graphics package to create your own “Viral” banners: $97
  • A Video Editing system that lets you create your own YouTube videos: $295 for 1 year
  • A free screen capture program that creates videos in XYZ video format. Of course, nothing on the web except Android phones and several desktops play XYZ video format, so you need a converter for XYZ to FLASH that is only $69. The add-on to make those videos so they can be viewed on an iPad is another $29, a one-time offer.
  • A mailing list program for $29 per month. Just for signing up, they too offer you another FREE WEBSITE.
  • A Webinar Recorder that allows you to teach others about your success in the weekly Webinars you conduct. $59 per month.
  • With all this stuff going on, you need to monitor this environment wherever you are, so you upgrade your smartphone to a 4H-capable phone (oh wait, that’s cows and sheep – I must mean 4G).
  • a $9.95 smartphone app that checks the status of your websites every 5 minutes, and allows you to automatically delete the 160 comments of spam you get every day on your new WEB EMPIRE.

A Pretty Dismal Picture, Right?

So, get out your calculator, and as they do with the annual “Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas” bits aired by the news channels each year, add all this up over a two year period, and create a baseline against which you can compare your actual costs for DOING THIS RIGHT.

There are several constants here: you still need a domain name and web hosting solution. You need to establish a NICHE, and PRODUCTS within that niche you are going to promote. You must get a source of content that describes the products you are trying to sell, discussions about the products, articles about how to use the products, feedback on how you can improve the products, and a business infrastructure to support the products and customer service issues.

What About, “Web Administration as a Business”?

By putting a website online, whether you know it or not, you have become a BUSINESS. You are spending money as expenses to a BUSINESS. Your income is considered BUSINESS INCOME. You may wear many hats, and must make business decisions as a principal, or proprietor of your business. You must keep records. This is a little more than you had planned. Your vision of just being a Web Administrator, that your only job is to perform the daily care and feeding of the technical issues and content has been smashed by all this BUSINESS STUFF.

These are the things the GURUS don’t tell you. Whether you have a legitimate product, or establish a website simply to do affiliate marketing or blogging, you need to establish yourself as a business. Simply hanging out a shingle is not enough. You need to protect your business and protect your new income (or account for your losses).

  • Decide on a company structure: Sole Proprietorship, LLC, Corporation, Partnership
  • Get a zoning permit and business license in your locality – required for most home-based businesses but blatantly ignored until other issues come up that require that business license.
  • Get a FEIN – it is like a social security number for a business entity
  • Get a state tax license and reseller certificate. Yes, Virginia, you are responsible for collecting sales and use taxes for items sold in your state. Some states require sales and use tax no matter where the buyer is located.
  • If you don’t have an accountant, GET ONE. Discuss your business structure, account structure, tax implications, filing requirements, and ongoing business bookkeeping requirements with a professional. Do this now to avoid last minute fire drills, penalties, and interest for ignoring these requirements or DOING THIS WRONG.
  • Be sure you are meeting state and federal requirements if you have employees. Paying someone “under the table” can put you, your business, and the employees in jeopardy with state agencies, Federal labor laws, the IRS, and open yourself to liability in civil and/or criminal litigation.
  • If you do not have an attorney, you may need one for establishing your corporate structure, researching regulatory compliance requirements, drawing up partnership papers, researching patent and copyright issues, etc.
  • Talk with your insurance advisers on whether business insurance is necessary. Some of the biggest causes of business failure within the first five years of starting a business are legal or criminal action, liability issues, and lawsuits regarding “ERRORS AND OMISSIONS”.

Talk with a BUSINESS CONSULTANT for help in navigating through these issues, and also guidance in creating the necessary BUSINESS DOCUMENTS:

  • Business Plan
  • Policy and Procedures Handbook
  • Employee Handbook
  • Corporate Documents: Minutes, Resolutions
  • Environmental Impact Statements
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Business Contacts and Mailing Lists
  • Advertising and Marketing Plan
  • Training and Certification

Talk with an IT CONSULTANT to ensure that the IT infrastructure is established, whether simply a PC and a website, the creation of a “Cloud Computing” environment, or building a datacenter.

  • System Documentation and Runbook
  • Backup and Recovery Plans
  • Disaster Recovery infrastructure and plans
  • System Hardware and Software
  • Network infrastructure, firewalls, and security
  • Application Software, installation, configuration, and training
  • IT infrastructure monitoring and reporting
  • IT Infrastructure, PC, and Application training
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Women’s Wisdom: Safe Dating – It’s Not Just For Teenagers Anymore

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As grown women, we come to rely on the fact that experience matters in many aspects of our lives. We have dated, maybe married and then divorced, and we think we know what we’re doing when it comes to first dates and new relationships. But do we really?

We may not meet men at frat parties and dance clubs anymore, but in this age of internet dating and online relationships, ALL women, regardless of age, need a new set of rules to keep themselves safe.

Whether you are an experienced dater or a woman getting back into the game we have the tips you need to make dating safe:

1) Get to know your date

  • If possible, Google him before the date and verify as much information as you can. The internet is a wonderful tool but people can easily misrepresent themselves. If he’s worth dating, he’s worth Googling.
  • Try to snap a picture of his licence plate: one of our dating Goddesses arranges to meet her date outside the front door of the bar or coffee house, using her phone to snap his license plate and sending it to a girlfriend’s phone.

2) Have an Escape plan

  • Text a friend and tell her/him where you’ll be and what time approximately you will be home; arrange an emergency code word but also let your friend know if you stay later than planned.
  • Bring some friends to the bar with you to discreetly sit off to the side and just be there if you might need back -up in that you feel concerned about your date’s behaviour.
  • Meeting in a public (and busy) place is always safest; it gives you the most security, the most opportunities to leave, and is the most likely to prevent an uncomfortable situation if things aren’t going well. Don’t rely on him for your transportation early on in a relationship.

3) Limit the amount of information you give out

  • Download an anonymous texting app, or use things like Google Voice or Vonage for blocking phone calls.
  • Initiate all the contact; make him give his number, always call or text him, not the other way around.
  • Use a nickname, and avoid using emails that can be connected to you. Make sure your email address and phone don’t publicize your complete full name – call block that feature on your mobile phone and use a secondary email addy that you can sign up with your nickname.
  • Beware: If he is tech-savvy he can find you through your IP address! Be careful!

4)Trust your instincts and watch for the signs

  • Look out for sudden and intense passion or aggressive sexual behaviour seemingly not in response to anything you’ve said or done.
  • Watch for “180°” flips in personality, from kind and loving, to accusatory and suspicious of your every move.
  • Be aware of aggressive actions or language, controlling behaviour, threats, unjust accusations or impulsivity
  • Be aware of repetitive or late night phone calls, drive-bys, or any unannounced drop-ins” at your workplace or home

A new relationship or even just a casual date can be exhilarating and exciting, but it is critical to remember to not get caught up in the moment. No matter how highly a man comes recommended from a friend or how often you may have chatted online, meeting face-to-face always means a certain level of vulnerability on your part. It is not paranoid or suspicious to play it safe and make sure that you have the best, most exciting dating experience possible. That said – there are thousands of great loving men just looking and hoping to meet a great women.

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Looking to Start Web Design As a Career? Where to Start As a Beginner

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There is a wide selection of web design courses in the market, so choosing one can be very hard. As a beginner it can be very daunting in choosing the right course for you. What matters is the kind of course you select. Advanced training courses may sound interesting and attention grabbing but could be a waste of time and money if you don’t understand the basics.

If you are considering web designing as a serious career option then a beginners course is what you need. The course should teach you the basics and help you understand how web sites work. Typically, a good course should include essential programming languages like HTML, XHTML and CSS coding. Apart from that a thorough course in Adobe Dreamweaver it is highly recommended if you intend to take up this career professionally. These are the first things I would suggest you learn before moving on to subjects like PHP and MySql. Also learning how to use image editing software like Adobe Photoshop will be essential in website design.

A popular way to study is distance learning. This method is more affordable then going to college or other training centres. Advantages are you can learn in your own time at a pace that suits you, and you’re not committed to classroom schedules. A lot of home learning courses come with tutor support to help you through. But not only that the internet has a huge amount of help and resources out there if you were to get stuck.

Online learning can be another popular method of studying website design. This is usually done on the internet where you log on to a training site to study your courses. This can be accessed 24/7 which obviously gives you great flexibility as to when you can study. These courses can be broken down into bite size courses. So instead of paying for a full course where you learn many different aspects you can just study a particular subject. Like PHP, Javascript, html etc.

These are very affordable and give you a chance to either try web design out first before committing to a full course. Or perfect if you already have a good knowledge of website design and you want to improve on a particular subject.

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Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship

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Owning a successful business is no longer reserved for a lucky few. It is because there are some rules followed by those successful business people in making the business people to climb the richness ladder with assurance and comfort ability although any business is about risking and that the higher the risk the higher the reward or profit.

When you want to startup a business you first must have an idea, example of business ideas are like opening up a hairdresser, opens a salon, a shop and much. Generally, people do make huge mistake. Just because they are thinking about the job and not the business. Only because you are a good chef does not mean you know how to run a restaurant. More important, it does not mean a restaurant would be successful in your market. So you have to clearly assess and evaluate your business idea before implementing it.

Business wise you have to make sure that what you are going to produce Is it a product or service they have fallen in love with. Again, just because you love something does not mean a profitable business will come of it. This is especially true for first-time entrepreneurs. Learning how to run a business is hard enough; you don’t need to make it any harder by doing something you love rather than something customers love paying you a good profit for or producing what you want instead of what they want.

There are some guidelines on how you are sure that your intriguing idea is also something from which you can truly make a profit? There are three essential considerations one has to bear in mind.

Make sure the product or service has a repeat buy. This is by far the most important aspect of long-term business success. You have to have a product or service that people will keep buying. It is better and more profitable, in my opinion, to have a pool cleaning company than a pool building company. Put another way, a business owner should focus on getting a customer once, but making a profit from that person for a very long time.
Be certain you have a high profit margin.

There are very few companies that can compete long term on a “we are cheaper” marketing platform. In any new business, you need to watch your cash flow–and if you are trying to work with low profit margins and make gains in volume, you will need to have a high level of working capital to keep you running through the lean profits early on. Having a higher margin is extremely important when you are growing a business so you can self-finance your growth.

Build a strong support team because a good idea is not enough. The idea counts most, yet a quality idea must still have a great team of people behind it to give it wings. Time after time, when people bring me a business investment proposal or an idea they want to take to market, I ask them who is on their team and they respond with something crazy like, “Oh, we have not hired anyone yet.” Get a board of advisers. Get a team of professional accountants, coaches, lawyers and bankers. A great team will greatly improve the chances for success of any business.

Now if I were going into business today, to be sure of the market what would I choose? I would start with one premise and some hot industries. Here the premise is, you do not make money panning for gold, and you make money selling pans. Get in the way of a buying frenzy, and you will be a success. Therefore the fastest way to make a restaurant profitable is not by having a great chef and great decor or big buildings it is by attracting a starving crowd with money so that they can eat the food in exchange for their money.

In other words look for an idea you can take national or, even better, global at some stage. Although it might be fun and a challenge to establish yourself locally right now, but eventually you’ll want to build something much bigger for the future and also expand you business.

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Organic Swing Tags Offer Amazing Benefits for Your Business

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Organic swing tags can be used to promote and enhance your items at competitive rates. These tags come in various sizes, styles, designs, shapes, and colors. You can print one side of the tags or both according to your needs and budget. Make sure you are using quality machines for printing. Let’s know more about the benefits of organic swing tags for your business.

Uses Of Organic Swing Tags

You can use these tags to promote products like clothing, luggage, and jewelry effortlessly and cost-effectively. Moreover, it is a sophisticated and chic tool that makes the items even more stylish and branded. You can get the organic type because they are available in different finishes, and stocks, to make exceptional branding and unique items.

Go for the Embossed type

This type can be recycled with time. Mostly, eco-friendly materials can be used to make them. They can be used in the clothing center to label different items. You can print the price, size, and name of clothes on your embossed swing tags to deliver information. This will help your customers to get an idea about your garment.

The Demand For Foiled Swing Tags Is High

In the market, a vast range of organic types is available to serve different purposes. Just like organic and embossed types, the demand to use the foiled tags is high. These are easy to print and design.

Consult a Professional

If you do not know what size and style you need to use, do not worry. You should consult with the experts because they have the knowledge and expertise to make these products. Besides, they always use quality material to make your orders.

See The Template

Before placing your order, you need to check the vast variety of these products on the internet. You should also check the customer reviews. In this way, you will get an idea of which ones are best for your business.

While looking for branded tags, do not forget to ask about the prices. At this time, we suggest that you buy in bulk. It’s hard for designers to make only one piece for you.

They make a bundle of organic swing tags in one second with the best tag-making machines. So, tell them the number you need. You can show the template of what you like and want for your need. In this way, the expert worker will incorporate their own expertise to make attractive and eye-catching products.

Importance Of Foiled Swing Tags

Foiled swing tags on a product assure the buyer that they are purchasing a high-quality item. They can convince the consumer that they have chosen the proper size. They can demonstrate quality by exhibiting accolades, approving seals, or confirming the product’s legitimacy.

Boost Your Revenue

Because a swing tag is often the same size as a business card, it may convince clients with a short promotional message to enhance sales. They can promote a special offer so that buyers place a bulk order. It may also promote limited-edition items, encouraging buyers to purchase them while supplies last.

So, this was an introduction to organic swing tags and the benefits that they offer for your business.

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Finance

The Consequences of Stealing – Theft and the Law

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Theft can include armed robbery, burglary, theft by check, forgery, unauthorized use of a vehicle, fraud, false statement to a credit agency, shoplifting and the list goes on. The consequences for stealing range from a Class C misdemeanor to felony charges, usually depending on the monetary value of what was taken. If the value of the stolen item is under $1,500 then the perpetrator will most likely be convicted of a misdemeanor. This can result in a simple fine and/or community service, but could also involve jail time, depending on the circumstances. If the item stolen was of great value, the accused will most likely be charged with a felony and will have to serve prison time. At the time of a hearing the court will be notified if there is more than one offense on the suspect’s record and this will also affect the sentencing. People who steal generally do not do it just one time.

It is important to note that in some states, stealing of any kind is considered a “crime of moral turpitude”. This means the act of stealing is not a favorable action in community standards of justice, honesty or good morals. Even if you are charged with a misdemeanor, you will have a permanent criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. This can have negative effects on the wrongdoer’s character personally, legally and with future employment opportunities.

One of the most common forms of stealing is shoplifting. Shoplifting is the deliberate act of taking an unpaid item from a place of business and it happens more than we are aware. A person can be convicted of shoplifting even if they don’t walk out of the store, but are found with hidden merchandise in their possession. In some states, there is even a “law of Parties” meaning that if you are with a friend who is caught stealing in a retail establishment, you can also be prosecuted even though you didn’t intend on stealing. An average of $10 billion dollars’ worth of goods is stolen from retail businesses each year. The numbers and statistics are staggering. We all pay the price for people who commit these acts by having to pay more for products when companies pad prices to recuperate losses from shoplifters. The law does not look kindly on people who shoplift.

Bottom line, stealing is never a good idea and can land you in a world of trouble. It will affect the offender in many negative ways for the rest of their lives. Stealing also affects everyone in the community, in one way or another, which is why the laws are harsh. Thieves may think that they can get away with stealing, but eventually they will get caught and will be forced to face severe consequences.

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Finance

The Multiple Uses Of A Backup Email

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A backup email has so many uses that it really is essential for anyone that has an email to have a backup. A backup email is basically known as a secondary email that is most likely linked to your primary email.

The first use of such a thing is for the password recovery system of your primary email. Most of the time your primary email will contain all the important messages from your contacts such as a memo from the boss, a greeting from your family and so much more; your primary email is also where your contacts will be stored.

With such important data you will of course protect it with a password that only you would know. But what if you accidentally forgot your password, what can you do? Well you can use a basic feature that virtually all email providers have: the secret question feature.

This feature is where you are asked a series of questions, mostly around 2, that you have previously chosen and that only you know the answer to. The problem with this is that most of the time if the email you’re using has been around for a few years there is a big chance that you might have forgotten what the answer is; this is where a backup email comes into play.

You can choose to have your password be sent to your backup email. This provides you with fewer problems because you only have to check your backup email as opposed to having to try and remember what the answers to your secret questions were.

Other uses of a backup email would be either as a spam receiver or as storage for important messages. If you’re into the habit of subscribing to a lot of newsletters you will most likely receive a lot of spam mail and no matter how you filter those emails there will still be some that will be able to make it to your inbox.

What you could do is you could use your secondary email as the email that you enter when you subscribe to anything, that way all the spam mail will go to that email and you could just check it when you have the time to.

If you don’t see your backup as a spam receiver then you could use it as a password recovery email and as a backup storage for important messages, contacts and files. Ideally, everything that is digitized is supposed to have a backup so that when the primary data is lost there is still something that can bring it back.

What you could do is you could forward all important emails, save all contacts as well as store files in your secondary email so that you have a backup just in case you delete those things in your primary email.

A backup email has a lot of uses to the point that having one is turning out to be a necessity; just remember to try and have your backup with a different provider so that you don’t get troubled by ID security measures.

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