Do I Need a Website For My Home Based Business?

Often we are faced with the question “do I need my own website to run a home based business?” The following 10 reasons outline the benefits you will have in owning your own website.

1. Establish A Presence – Fact is, millions of people access the internet everyday and this number is expected to double over the next couple of years. Having your own website for your home business will allow your internet business to achieve maximum exposure. It may also boost your image and improve your business’ credibility. Your website can contain a simple 1 page site with information about your home business (for example contact information, hours, etc) or a more complex website for you to share your expertise, experiences, education and enthusiasm to the great world wide web.

2. Creates a 24 hour service – A website is accessible 24 hours a day/7 days a week – Weekends, Holidays, Weekdays etc. It basically works for you even when you are not working. This ensures that you don’t miss a sale!

3. Expand your market to the global level – Your website allows you to tap into potential markets your probably would never have considered. These include the international market, where you can communicate with potential customers from all around the globe, specialised markets, where you can direct your website to attract specific customers of a particular expertise, age, interest etc and the local market, where you can meet up with people in person to talk about your business.

4. Inexpensive, flexible and simple – The average cost to get a domain name and reliable web hosting for a year can cost as little as $100. Most web hosting companies have access to website builders which will allow you to build a website with no technical knowledge. Even if you were to get a web designer to create your website this usually costs under a thousand dollars. Compare this to spending the same amount of money in putting a decent size ad in your local paper.  The difference is that the local ad you just spent money on expires after that edition is read whereas your website will be yours and advertising for you on the internet for as long as you like. You also have the flexibility of adding features such as forms, polls, surveys etc to collect visitors names and email addresses for future correspondence.

5. Improve customer service – you website can be a world of information to your browsers and available to them when they are ready to learn more. Your website can also contain a “Frequently Asked questions” page which will help potential customers understand and clear up any queries without taking up your time. This should reduce your support costs by about 20%. You website may also allow feedback from customers. This is a valuable tool to see what your customers think, how you can improve and what can you further provide to satisfy them.

6. Set up an online shop – With this added advantage a website will bring in more sales for you as many people like to research items of interest before buying it in today’s world. While they are excited and interested in your offer, this is the time you must “catch” that sale as they are more likely to purchase it if your offer is available at the e click of a button.

7. Readily updated information – Beauty of your website is that it can be green one day and red the next. You have the opportunity to change appearance, information and the words in just a few minutes. You can update information readily and you can update it as many times as you want. A website is easier, cheaper and more convenient to update than brochures, business cards, price lists, and inventory. This saves many dollars in printing and distribution.

8. Better ad tracking and marketing – Advertising, press releases, more advertising, more press releases – all this adds up to one word – expensive. One advantage of having a website is the ad tracking features available. You will know exactly where your customers come from and can repeat that particular strategy or advertisement. You cannot do this offline, it would not be practical to ask every customer that comes into your shop where they heard about you or which ad did they respond to. The internet allows you to do this and this in turn allows you to target the specific market you need.

9. Addition of blogs, pictures, videos – Posting to your blog on a regular basis or adding multimedia content to your site will not only improve the attractiveness and effectiveness of your offer but also improve your site’s exposure on the search engines.

10. personal satisfaction – lastly it doesn’t come without saying that having your own website will definitely give you some personal satisfaction. You have the chance to experiment with and learn about design, and the freedom to present and emphasize the information you want the way you want to. Creating and maintaining your own Website allows you to learn more about today’s technology and keep up with times.

Overall the advantages of having your own website for your home business is clear allowing you benefits in both time and money.  A small investment now in a website can lead to great profits in the future.

Developing Your House With a No Equity Home Improvement Loan

Developing your homes for better comfort and privacy are one of the things homeowners would love to do, but they tend to be deterred by the financial issues they would face should they proceed with their plans. Even though there are many ways that they can secure financial resources, the majority of homeowners can be hindered by a multitude of requirements that lending institutions ask for and thus they have second thoughts and in many cases give up on their development plans. Also for renovation plans the same issue arises and so having a no risk financial and development program is certainly something homeowners crave for.

A no equity home improvement loan is now being offered to homeowners who are interested in further developing their properties. This offer is ideal for those that want to improve or develop their properties such as the house, garage, gardens or other structures in the property to better the functionality and comfort. It is has a low risk factor, and this type of loan is a very effective solution for many.

Is This Real?

The characteristics of no equity home improvement loans financially and legal are commonly doubted by many people because of the obligatory situations and its profit issues. This said, what the homeowners should concentrate on with these kind of services is the interest of the home improvement contractors and organizations that offer this. The main is that no equity home improvement loans are specifically designed to address the interests of the homeowner by providing a solution for the financial problems encountered in their plans. This being the primary interest, no equity home improvement loans do offer an advantage to the aspiring homeowners in that they have a low risk investment opportunity.

Supposedly, the loans are in part directed toward the financial and profit interest with regards to the risk for money lending, thus the loan’s interest should then be directed on the payment scheme of the loan and not on the equity of the property. This is so that contracting and obligatory payment of these financial transactions will be encouraged. The business organizations that are involved in this industry can actually get more business and profit for themselves from debtors by offering no equity home improvement loans. This great potential thus offers the benefit of not needing to put interest on the property’s equity.

When you decide to look for a no equity home improvement loan [http://www.globalfinanceworld.com/category/finance/loans/home-equity], as aspiring and potential homeowners you need to actually consider from number of packages offered and then compare the benefits of the offers with each other so that you can determine which one provides the most advantages with your interest in mind.

The loan offerings will vary and some will even include additional benefits such as project materials, home improvement contractor and design plans which make them a complete package and thus could potentially mean less problems and cost. This aspect of no equity home improvement loans make it a very attractive financial solution in your favor as a homeowner wanting to develop your homes for better functionality, comfort or ambiance, and thus will make your homes more suitable to your needs.

What You Should Know Before You Hire A Home Improvement Contractor

Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) and Home Improvement Salesman (HIS) are required by law in almost every jurisdiction in the United States to be registered and licensed. Licensing procedures are generally done by Municipal or local agencies of the respective State. For example, HIC and HIS are licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York City.

As you might be aware, many of these Home Improvements Contractors and Salesmen are “fly by night” operators who misrepresent and fraudulently swindle millions of dollars from innocent home owners every year. Many of whom run and operate their scams out of their Vans, Trucks and SUV instead of a physical business address. Many years ago, the home improvement trade was referred to as the “Tin Men” industry where high powered salesmen sold aluminum sidings to homeowners with over 500-1000 per cent mark ups in many cases. Many of those same homeowners ended up with huge second mortgages, mechanic liens and foreclosures in many cases against their properties.

If you are a homeowner making plans to renovate or improve your properties, these are some tips on how to select or chose the right Home Improvement Contractor for your next project. First and foremost, ask HIC and HIS for proof of license, business card showing address, phone number, website, email addresses, etc. Their licenses should be imprinted on business cards. Next, ask for references or testimonials. Try to get at least 3-5 references and make sure not only to call them, but go over and look at the work that was done first hand. Visual inspection is always crucial in deciding on a project. Most importantly, get at least 3-5 written estimates from other HIC/HIS and compare prices. It is never recommended to sign a contract on the spot with any of these high powered salesmen. Take time out to think about the quote or estimate, compare prices and most importantly, call your local municipal or agency to verify that the HIC and HIS are legitimate. It is also a good idea to find out if the HIC you are contemplating to do business with carry what is called a Home Improvement Trust Fund. This is a fund that each HIC is required to pay into so if a homeowner gets scammed, he or she can seek restitution directly from the Agency that licensed the HIC or HIS. Last but not least, try not to give a deposit during the execution of contract. Give yourself that 3 days cancellation right that you are entitled to, so you can think about the transaction or offer. If in any case you are required to give a down payment or deposit, give a very small deposit (less than 10 per cent) if possible. Always keep in mind, never give more than you can afford to lose. If the HIC or HIS is legitimate, they will not ask or insist on getting a deposit up front. They should be credible enough to have accounts/credit with Suppliers such as Home Depot, Lowes, etc., to get materials delivered to your property. Beware of HIC or HIS who desperately seek huge deposits up front. Some of them will demand that you write the check in their names or give them cash. Do NOT do it. That is the first sign to detect an illegal operator. You should write the check to the Company or use a credit card. If they refuse, you should show them the door or call the Police.

In conclusion, let me recommend that you seek a progress payment plan with your Contractor. In other words, you pay them as they go along based on your approval, and most importantly, the Municipal Building Inspector’s approval. You do NOT want to pay a Contractor until or unless the Inspectors give a green light certifying that the work is done professionally and in accordance with local building codes. Ask your Contractor to allow you to hold back at least 10 per cent of the final payment, or better yet, the total contract price for at least 60-90 days after completion, so as to make sure that the work was done correctly. Just imagine getting a roof done for example, and only to find out after a heavy downpour that your roof leaks. Many Contractors do not come back to repair their shoddy workmanship when they get paid. Hold back some money! If you financed your project through a bank or third party lender, get that finance company involved. Make sure that they do a visual inspection of the job that was done and also sign off with the job before they release final payments to the Contractor.

Home Improvement Stores – An Overview

Thanks to the popularity of home improvement programming on television, the last boom in the housing market and an influx of home repair magazines and media, the home renovation retail business is absolutely thriving. After watching how-to design programs on television and reading how-to articles in design magazines, homeowners are rushing out for paint, lumber, wiring and anything else they need for their next weekend project.

Another factor contributing to the surging interest in DIY home improvement are the costs of labor and contractors. As the expense of hiring help goes up, homeowners are increasingly likely to take on a project themselves, thus sending them to their local hardware retailer to stock up on needed supplies.

These same local hardware stores have gone from small shops to major, national retailers with huge chain networks. Examples of some of the larger home improvement stores include Lowe’s Home Improvement, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, Ace Hardware, Do It Best and Fred Meyer. These retailers can be found almost all over the United States and continue to expand into Canada, Europe and Asia.

The Best and Biggest Home Improvement Stores

As the largest in the country, The Home Depot is the hardware retailer of choice for the United States. Headquartered in Georgia, The Home Depot employs over 350,000 people and operates over 2,100 stores all over the world, including China. Second only to Wal-Mart for retail power in the United States, The Home Depot is the giant of home hardware supplies.

Lowe’s is the second largest hardware and home renovation retailer in the United States. Focusing their business model on service, Lowe’s takes aim at retaining a local store feeling. The Lowe’s chain began in North Carolina in 1946 as a single store and now operates over 1400 stores in the U.S. The chain is looking to expand into Canada and Mexico.

Another competitor that focuses on customer service and local emphasis is The True Value Company. By concentrating on quality service and extensive how-to programs, True Value is attempting to win over customers from large competitors like Home Depot or Lowe’s. True Value is also unique because it operates as a cooperative, meaning it is owned by its members. Essentially, it is a member-owned wholesaler and therefore is often able to deliver lower prices.

Finally, there’s Ace Hardware. A leader in global sales, Ace Hardware is also a cooperative, meaning most of their stores are owned and operated by a local dealer who owns a financial stake in the larger company.