How To Entertain A Child While Working From A Home Office

There is no doubt that the benefits of being a work-at-home parent outweigh the drawbacks. However, some days can prove to be difficult when your two year-old is determined to climb on top of your filing cabinet while you’re trying to participate in an important conference call.

Here are ten tips that can help make your life easier, and your little ones happier, while you work at home.

Set up a little desk for your tiny assistant in your home office, close enough for you to keep an eye on him, but far enough away for you to focus on your work.

Tell your child that he is your personal assistant-in-training and emphasize what a big deal it is for him to have this title and his own work area.

Provide your child with some tools similar to those on your desk. Carefully select only the safest items that are virtually indestructible. Your child’s active imagination and natural curiosity can easily lead to disaster if he gets his hands on the wrong gadget.

Assign your new assistant with important job responsibilities. Young children love to imitate adults, especially their parents. Depending upon what type of business you operate from home, you can dream up duties that mirror what your child watches you do every day.

One duty that may delight your toddler is opening mail. Give the child junk mail, advertisements or anything else you don’t want to read. Provide a little trashcan or place for him to pitch the envelope if that’s what you usually do.

Another job that may thrill your child and can potentially occupy him for more than an hour is organizing your out-dated files, old business cards, duplicate copies, rough drafts and any other impertinent papers. The key to this little task is to place files to be organized in a basket or file bin and provide an empty desk drawer or old briefcase for your toddler to transfer the papers to and from – possibly repeatedly. If you can manage to concentrate on your work and coach your new assistant at the same time, you may stimulate their thinking by beginning to count the papers he or she is moving from the basket into the desk drawer.

A must-have for your new little employee is a notepad or notebook similar to the type you use for taking notes, and crayons (if he or she will accept such a “childish” writing implement.) Encourage your child to draw a picture for you and make sure you praise the final product. The more compliments he or she hears from you, the more your child will want to keep creating special drawings for you, or Grandma and Aunt Jeannie and Uncle Timmy etc. Either take a brief time out or make it a routine at the end of the day to hang your child’s masterpieces in your office. He will feel like he accomplished something that made you proud. Let your child help you tape his work on the side of your desk or up on the wall. You may be surprised by how intrigued your toddler is with tape!

A chalkboard is an easy, inexpensive addition to your home office that you may never need, but your assistant-in-training will probably use it every day. If you buy the big sidewalk chalk, your toddler will be less likely to decide to taste the bright colored sticks. If he or she does try to take a bite, the chances of choking are reduced with these fat pieces of chalk. Make a production out of adding this new item to your office. Pretend you need it to use it to record your daily business reminders. Your child will be more eager to get his little hands on something he sees you using. One little warning: Although this cheap addition to your office may offer a new outlet for your child’s creativity, it will usually lead to the need for a quick bath at the close of the business day!

There are a few items that are actually “toys,” but may be able to pass for “tools” (similar to the machines you use every day) to be added to your new assistant’s desktop. Various toy companies manufacture mini-versions of adult products, like little battery operated computers, designed to teach your child the alphabet or animal sounds; play telephones that ring by themselves and talk back to your child; and musical keyboards that perform tunes automatically and also allow your toddler to make his own melodies. Your toddler may be content to imitate you with toys, like these, that look similar or sound the same as your desktop devices.

Depending upon the location of your office, layout of your house, and your child’s level of independence, you may be able to designate duties that require him to leave your office to go find a phone book for you, or to locate that big envelope that came in the mail the other day. You can purposely forget to collect all the items you will need to complete your job that day or you can ask your little assistant to seek out objects that you don’t really have to have immediately. Toddlers usually like to look for things, especially when they think they are helping mommy or daddy. Be sure to thank your child and compliment him for being able to find exactly what you wanted!

Make Money Online Easily With This Method Working From Home

Do you want to learn how easily it is to make money online? If you are a newbie or even experience and actually looking for a real method to make some serious money online everyday 7 days a week working only 15 minutes a day then keep reading…

With this method I am about to reveal to you if you do the work and put in the effort you could reach a significant amount of daily income. The potential how much income can be limitless!

I’d recommend you do this and work at least 15 minutes twice a week on it just to be consistence and will see the money roll in.

This method includes having your own website that will get super targeted traffic that will come from all over the internet. Mostly traffic from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. That’s the trick… to use all the popular sites that the masses hangout on.

Anyways.. here it for those who want to actually make their first dollar with something that is guarantee to work. You will need the FOLLOWING:

1-You need a domain name,

2-You need a Hosting provider

3-You need to do keyword research

4-You need to create a website

5-You need to monetize pages with plugins and widgets

6-You need to add content with value

7-You need to add display advertisement and affiliate offer to pages

8-You need to generate free traffic

9-And last but not least, send PPC advertising (Optional, you will bank on free traffic either way)

Now I know what you are thinking.. seems like a lot! Not really… Most of the 9 steps takes less than 5-10 minutes the most to setup and once you’re done.. the only thing that matters is to keep sending traffic which is the easy part.

Most of you here will be able to understand the steps im sure. There is really detailed guide with step by step how to set everything up complete with illustrations and screen captures and tutorials showing you from scratch how to do it. It is available on the amazon kindle store which I will share at the end of this article so make sure you pick that up.

So basically, one you create your website all you have to do is use the traffic sources to get the visitors. Your site will be a blog basically. Each post you make should have an eye catching headline and well structured for search engines to pick it up.

I’ll start by beginning with step 5 since most people don’t need help with the domain and hosting part but if you do I highly suggest you get the full guide so you get the full tutorial from beginning to end.

SO here we go.. Step 5 is you need to monetize pages with plugins and widgets. The following plugins is what you’ll be using on your blog site.

A- Yoast SEO – lets you know if your SEO is good for posts

B- Popup Sync Facebook Page – Locks your homepage forcing visitors to click the “LIKE” button on your FB Page

C- Floating Social bar – Easy for your visitors to like and share your content

D- Social Comments – Makes it easy for visitors to comment under your comment from their Fb account

Now you need to do the following once you have a functioning website/blog.

1- You need to add display advertisement and affiliate offer to pages

2- Signup for networks that pay. I use AdSense and Amazon affiliate

Once you setup your display advertisement on pages play around with your ad placement to get the best CTR (click through rate)

Every post you use should sell something from amazon, in my case I sell mostly books related to my content. Amazon is great because most people have an amazon account with the credit card information already stored to make quick purchases so it’s a friendly experience to get people to buy easy. Plus it’s one of the most trusted marketplaces online.

Now here are ways to get free targeted traffic to your website.

Facebook – You will join popular FB groups only related to your niche and will share your post at least twice a week. Don’t share it everyday it will get remove and people will think you are a spammer and report you to the mods.

Instagram – You will also have an Instagram page for your niche market. You will be uploading images depending on the niche and using the correct hashtags to drive visitors to like them. I use “quotes” in my pictures I share and watermark each image with a link back to the post I wrote about.

YouTube – Use a video editing software and splice clips together based on my niche and the subject your blog posts are about. Without sharing the full information in the videos just make a little video teaser that way your visitors will check your site out after to get more information what they just watched. Redirect them with a link is in the description of every video.

Facebook Page – Yeah you need a Facebook page and group also based on your niche – This will eventually built up and when it does your traffic will increase dramatically. When a FB page has a lot of “LIKES” you are recognized as an authority in what you post.


To understand how this works you will need to set it up. It may look like a basic method but it’s really not once you see how effective it is when put to work. There are a lot of factors that makes this work as you will see in the full guide. Get the full guide today on your kindle which will only be available for a limited time only. This is value you won’t find anywhere else it’s a priceless method revealed in full.

How to Make a Great Living Working Mainly From Home As a Professional Voice Actor

The internet has completely changed the fortunes of professional voiceovers – for the better. These days, we can forget driving round radio stations and recording studios in the desperate hope of finding the odd suitable advert script in the production department’s “in-tray” to record; dismiss to the past a day lost travelling to the city to audition for a single line of a TV advert voiceover where you rarely hear back. Your client base can now be based in an area bigger than your region or even your country. In fact, there are clients all round the world who may feel your voice is perfect for their projects.

You don’t need to physically meet the clients, or even use their recording studios. You can record in your own “home studio” and send them broadcast quality audio files via a file transfer service such as Sometimes clients will want to direct you over your headphones while you record the script, using Skype, ipDTL, ISDN, or one of many other systems available that are quite inexpensive and reliant on just a decent internet connection. But usually, you’re left on your own to record the script sent to you with instructions as to timing, voice style, pauses etc., then you’re expected to edit out your mistakes, optimise the levels and to then simply send the file (s) in the technical format requested. You then wait for any retakes required, then you can send in your invoice; job done.

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of full time “staff” jobs in my time working for both the BBC and ITV as producer, director, and I even ran a TV channel once. (Granada Men and Motors if you’re interested, and I gave Richard Hammond his first TV job for my sins!) But for the last 10 years, I have been a full-time freelance voiceover, and apart from a handful of trips to London studios each month, I work from my little studio at home and have never earned so much money in my life, for doing such little “work”. I’m totally independent and I don’t have an agent, so regularly I have to work on the “Search Engine Optimisation ” of my websites, and email or call potential new customers and expand my client base, but if you don’t want to do that, then choose the agent route. They’ll do all this for a % of your fee. Both ways are valid. It’s just that I like to be in full control of my success, but, hey, we’re all different.

There are so many uses for voiceovers, and there is honestly plenty of work out there for voice styles of all types and ages. As well as the obvious TV and radio commercials, the easy low hanging fruit comes from recording corporate promo videos or museum narrations. They may be deadly boring to record, and you need to look up the odd Polish word or acronym, but it’s quite an art to sound enthused about a grommet manufacturing plant in Gdansk! Also, there are telephone prompts for various organisations that regularly need renewing, saying things like: “your call IS important to us… !” and so on.

Also, don’t forget awards ceremony voiceovers that are either recorded or you do them live, so you can adlib when a winner doesn’t tip up… or when a winner literally tips up on the edge of the stage. But the real fun to be had is acting in video games. My voice is now on many video games and trailers playing a wide variety of characters. The top-end games still insist on the voice actors being physically in the studio, and that’s after a rigorous auditioning process.

But for every high profile game, there are hundreds of projects lower down in the pecking order, that still pay decent money and once you record a few samples of your character(s), the games studio just ask you do 3 takes of each line and you just send them one big wav file for them to select the best takes and chop up into smaller files for the coding. It really is quite easy money, as many of the lower end games feature stereotypical character voices and accents that are not hard to manage to any actor worth their salt, and the recording can be much fun to do, especially if you have to do a barrel load of “non-vocal” takes of random mumbling or “dying” sounds and fight grunts.

You won’t just get clients from English-speaking countries. English is an international language, and every country has companies and organisations where videos would need an English soundtrack version as well as one recorded in the home language. You may just get sent a Word or PDF document and asked to record it in the style of one of your showreels. Or you may need to record the English version in the style of a video they provide to you with the original language. Don’t worry if you don’t speak the original language, you’ll be able to get the timing and mood required from watching this, and that’s all you need.

In the week of writing, I’ve recorded such sessions from Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy and UAE. You’ll get a link to view the “foreign” language version on Vimeo or YouTube, to ascertain the timings and the style of the VO. Then you’ll get a script which should sync approximately to the non-English version. If you can offer a full syncing service as well, where you’d chop up your VO on a video timeline to exactly match the non-English paragraphs, fine, but usually they do this detailed editing at their end.

It is perfectly possible to create a good business over about 6- 12 months from scratch. Life is very flexible, and you’d look to your email “in-box” for your daily income. You’d build up your client base to an extent that statistically you KNOW that each morning there’ll be a good day’s work in the offing, even if you have closed off all jobs the night before. The best thing about being a VO is the variety. Doing silly voices, characters for video games, audio books and training video scripts where you learn so much, plus commercials where every split-second counts, means no two days or indeed jobs are the same.

So are you already an actor or actress? Do you already “do” voices? That’s fine. Recording voiceovers is very similar in that you get into a character voice and stay in character. That character may be of a certain age from a certain part of the world with a certain social status, etc. etc. It’s your job to look at the script and think of the character in your head, even down to what they look like and what they would be wearing.

Many of the scripts may not really be characters as such, but “narrator” voices, but even here, you still need to create a type of person that you are playing. If you are given a script for, say, the tourist board of Romania aimed at future visitors, you imagine you are a professor at the University of Bucharest, proud of your country and its history. You have written many books about Romania and enjoy walking and cycling in the forests at weekends. There… have you a picture in your head?

You may have an industrial safety video to provide the voiceover for. So you imagine that you are the head of health and safety who has just taken to hospital a person seriously injured after ignoring the safety rules at the factory. You want to stop others having to go through the same trauma. You now have the passion and the fire in your belly and this will come across in the words that you read.

Yes – you are giving performances. A different one for every script that you are given, but they are still performances, and you need to be able to snap into one of many characters very quickly and sustain the feeling, the voice, the stance, the reason why you are speaking.

Of course, you could attend acting classes to understand all this much more fully, but you need to crack this technique yourself first. If you playback your recordings and it sounds like you are merely reading a script, then you must tackle this problem as soon as possible. Often I am asked to record TV or radio commercials where I need to sound enthusiastic. In real life, I may not care at all about the silly product that is being featured, but I would SOUND like I really genuinely cared!

So how do you learn this technique? Well, it’s all down to the melody of the “song” in the voice, the timing of the words, the words that are emphasised, the little gaps, the breathing, the slight imperfections that make speech sounds natural and not merely read off a script. The best way to “get” this performance technique is to find a recording of a professional experienced voiceover which you admire, ideally with a voice style similar to your own. Then transcribe the voiceover or find the script. Play a few words and pause. Now you read the script yourself – repeat the way the words are said, find the “tune” of the words, the way they go up and down, the pauses, the words that are emphasized – every little nuance. Now play the next section and repeat till the end. Go back to the start and do this again, mimicking the voiceover as closely as you can.

Now forget the recording and YOU read the script again and record yourself. Are you now communicating the energy, passion, the feeling, the character of the original voiceover? If not, try to picture the original voiceover – what would they be dressed in? Would they be holding the product they are enthusing about delivering to a TV camera, or musing out of an open window on a summer’s day? Get the picture.

The idea is that you “get inside the head” of the original voiceover; after all they got the lucrative gig to voice that national commercial and you didn’t. So, you’d copy them as best you can, do this for other voiceovers and actors that you admire and then with the knowledge in your head, and the ability to use “mental pre-sets” to snap into various characters, you then develop a personal style of your own and you’ll get to know your strengths and weaknesses in vocal acting.


Buy the best microphone you can afford – but it needs to be right for your voice. You need to go to a well stocked audio or music shop in a city, try some out in your price range and record your voice using a top of the range “pop” filter hoop on each… essential for every voice artist. Ask for playback through decent HiFi speakers in a quiet room. Don’t just listen through headphones live, that won’t give you any useful feedback to the quality of the microphones you are testing.

So what are you listening for on playback? Well, you need a microphone that picks out all the “nice” harmonics in your voice and diminishes the “bad” elements. I personally use a Neumann U87 and Neumann TLM 103, as they seem to suit my deep bass voice. It gives my voice resonance and authority while keeping top end (treble) clarity. Years ago, when testing microphones, I found Electovoice microphones made my voice muffled for some reason, and AKG ones were thin and lifeless when recording my voice. Yet I know VO people who love these and other microphones, so you have to see what is right for your own voice and the way you use the microphone.

You’ll find USB microphones at really good prices, (like the Rode NT or the Audio Technica AT2020) but I suggest you avoid these. For the best quality, you really need a traditional large condenser microphone with an XLR audio socket, not a USB digital socket. There are boring technical reasons why this is the case, feel free to Google if you really need to know! As a rule of thumb, you’d be looking to spend at least £500 / $650 on a microphone, and you may be lucky and find a cared for used one on the net for a big discount on the new price. In the microphone shop, you’d also buy a good quality pop filter (double filter ones are usually the best) and a quality anglepoise type mike stand so you can position the microphone exactly right, plus a cage or sprung mount for the microphone so it doesn’t pick up vibrations from the desk.

The microphone needs to plug in using a thick quality screened XLR cable into very good quality preamp such as a Focusrite Scarlett or Steinberg UR22 that then plugs into a USB port of a computer. (Note this is not the same as a “USB” microphone plugged in direct; this route just described gives better quality) Aim for total silence in both the microphone and recording chain and also the room or voice booth you are recording in. Unless you want to just record “shouty” hard-sell scripts, there will be occasions where the slightest small bit of interference or hum will ruin what is called the “noise floor” of your recording. Once you have found a quiet room, the walls and ceiling need to be treated with foam acoustic tiles. This has to done to create a “dead” recording zone with no acoustic reflections. Until you can afford professional acoustic tiles, it’s amazing how old duvets on the walls and ceiling plus thick carpet do the trick.

You may not want to record your audio directly on your computer. I don’t, apart from quick demos. I prefer to plug my microphone into a stand-alone solid-state recorder, one of my trusty old Marantz PMD 661 machines. It gives me more flexibility to pop the SD card out to edit the audio on train journeys, and I like the confidence that the stand-alone recorder with its whisper quiet and high-quality pre-amp is doing its job 100% of the time and that no computer programs are interfering.

So, what about the location where you are going to record your voiceovers? At home, ideally, you’d have a big room or even a garage with a professional voice booth built in, but they are very expensive, at least £3,000 / $4,000. These booths are very heavy, and they get delivered in a huge box in a kit form. They are basically a big box that you step inside via a door and there is usually a triple glazed window. Inside will be a desk and chair plus your screen microphone, keyboard and mouse.

If you can’t afford or have the space for a voice booth, you’d probably start with a small room that you’d adapt. Remember you want the nasty noisy computer with its fans OUTSIDE the room you are in, next door with wires and appropriate USB amplifiers leading to your keyboard, mouse and screen in front of your microphone set up. Or if you have a soundproofed cupboard that offers ventilation for the computer, that could work as well. If you can afford it, buy a “Silent PC” or one with SSD memory rather than spinning hard disks that make a pesky whirring noise. The audio output leads also need to come to your amp and loudspeakers and audio meters (ideally sensitive professional PPM meters) in your studio that will have a headphone socket for directed sessions by phone or Skype, or any of the systems like ipDTL that are very high quality “record at their end” set ups.

On the computer, you’ll need audio editing software, (I use Adobe Audition) Skype, Word, PDF reader and that’s about it, apart from the email system that you’ll use to receive jobs.


Then you’ll need a superb website with very good SEO built in. If you don’t know what you’re doing, hire a pro who does. It needs to look clean, professional and with lots of voice samples that can be downloaded as mp3 files. As well as a main “greatest hits” showreel, you’ll need showreels for subjects and voice styles, such as “Corporate”, “Training”, “Hard sell”, “Soft sell” etc. Look at my own site if you like for examples of the very many styles you’ll need. ( ) Variety is very important. If you are a client looking to record a medical script and you have showreels from two great quality voices, one is reading a medical script with complex medical terms and one a furniture store commercial, who would you choose? So, yes, do a “Medical showreel”. Good at a “forlorn, arty” sound? Record a showreel. Great at a Santa voice? Go for it.


No, you don’t really need an agent, unless you have a guaranteed excellent hard-working one who wants you and believes in you. For the last couple of years I have earned a healthy full-time income without one, unless you count freelance sites like,, Envato, etc. who take a cut; no, you just need to network. Email production companies, studios, ad agencies, make some calls, audition for everything that’s suitable and soon one great job leads to another and your empire will grow. For me, it was about a year to build up slowly a great client base which is at a size so I know it is statistically realistic to get some good jobs sent each and every day, 7 days a week. You’d create a “rate card” – usually longer scripts are charged more.

Broadcast use is charged more than non-broadcast. In an day, you may be sent a variety of small scripts, and they may be low budget projects, but still add up to $300 / $400 for the day. Other days, as well some small scripts will come some more lucrative projects with broadcast use. Last month I recorded a set of TV commercials for a $250 “session” or recording fee. Then I was contacted to be told they were to be used on air in Australia and was offered a further $2000 for the usage there. Yes, extra money for absolutely no extra work on my part, and I wouldn’t have known if they had been used elsewhere! Such is the crazy world of the voiceover.


The world of media is a fast moving one. Most of the people who will hire you will be production companies who have their own clients they want to look efficient to. So, you need to respond fast to any communication and ideally record speedily too. This is so very, very important. I know for a fact that many of my regular clients use me, not because I am the absolute best voice for the job or even the cheapest, but they KNOW that they will get a fast turnaround so they can add the voiceover to their video and impress their client.

You have got be absolutely dedicated in this. I personally make myself available 06:30 – 22:00 UK time, 7 days a week. No, that’s not working all the time, (in total, we’re talking 6 hours max of actual work) but that’s to catch all the countries working hours, that when you should be checking emails and texts. Ideally you’d be near or in your studio so as soon as an urgent job comes in, you’d fly in front of the microphone, scan the script and instructions and hit record. You’d get it recorded and uploaded right away. If you’re not near your studio, respond right away and give a realistic time when you CAN deliver. Make it sound that you’re in the middle of a big TV commercial session or something, not that you’re collecting the laundry… you get the picture! UNDER promise and OVER deliver, every time. Clients always love voiceovers going the extra mile. For short scripts I often give 3 takes in different styles so they can choose the best, unless they give strict instructions to the contrary.


You’ll get an email from a client who has found your website and likes your samples. If they haven’t given this detail with the script you need to ask them the following:

1) STYLE What voice style do you want… is there a showreel you like?

2) PACE What speed? Does it need to fit into 2m25s for example?

3) CHALLENGING WORDS How do you pronounce certain words or acronyms? Ideally they’d send you an audio file saying challenging words very slowly and also at normal speed. Don’t just rely on, or For non-English words, Google Translate gives you a good idea sometimes if you click the right language, but don’t rely on it! For unusual non-English company names, you may find a video on YouTube that mentioned how to say the word you are looking for.

4) FILE TYPE What file type do they need? WAV? AIF? mp3? What data and bit rate? For example, even though most modern digital recorders capture at 32bit 48KHz, San Francisco’s Voice Bunny insists on files that are WAV but 16 bit and 44.1KHz. ACX or Audible audio books need files that are mp3 files, 192Kb/sec and normalised to -3dB, plus with 0.5 second mute at the head (start).

After you have all the information, you’d record, peaking between “4” and “6” on your calibrated PPM meters or equivalent if you are using VU meters.


You can’t send the raw audio to the client, although some studios insist as they want to deal with waveforms without any processing. At the very least you need to delete your mistakes, after all you’re a professional that doesn’t make mistakes, aren’t you?! Here’s the order I personally process files. I can do this very quickly as I have keyboard presets on Adobe Audition, which saves so much time. (Use ALT + K if you have Audition!)

– Open the waveform

– Chop off the rubbish at the start and end

– Cut out mistakes. A good technique during recording is to leave a 5 second or so gap when you mess up. You won’t be wasting this time, you’d be re-reading the script to ensure you don’t flub, or you can sip some water. When you see the waveform later, you’ll instantly see the gaps that need attention. Don’t listen to people who say you need to play back up to the mistake and “punch in record”, this technique takes too long and is unreliable if you get the timing slightly wrong.

– Deal with “spikes” – these are nasty sounds that show up as high lines on the waveform. They can be treated with an electronic pop filter or if too bad, it may need a retake.

– Add 0.5 second of silence at the start of the file. Add 2 seconds at the end of the file.

– Deal with breaths. A natural sounding read will usually be fine with breaths left in, but for a fast reading commercial, you may need to spend time carefully cutting out breaths in a desperate attempt to save milliseconds!

– I normalise the waveform to 100%, then add light limiting – 9Db – to give the waveform a “haircut”, then “Normalise” the file to -3Db, before saving.

Never ever attach files to emails, even small ones add up to clog your send box. It’s far more professional to email a link from a file transfer service. If your client does not ask for specific file types, send a 32 bit wav and a small email copy which is useful in case the production company need to email it to their clients. If you use WeTransfer, for a small fee the “splash page” where the download link is can be an advert for your services!


I recommend that you offer “unlimited” retakes, like I do. In other words, if the client wants any changes, you don’t penalise them in any way. For no extra charge, you will re-record the sections required or even the whole lot if they want it. In my experience, unless you really haven’t understood the brief you’d been given, most people will be fully happy first time or just want a few retakes in the style and speed of the original that they can “patch” over the original recording.


It’s rude and desperate to send invoices right away; it’s usually good form to wait a few days at least! Unless you are happy with your own accounts system, I recommend Xero, the system that I use. It’s great because it’s a cloud-based system, no installation, so you can reconcile your accounts on your phone, tablet or any computer anywhere. You can set up multiple currencies in PayPal, a must for an international voiceover. My Xero is set up with GB Pounds, US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars and Euros. It works out currency conversions as well. But the killer application is that the system securely “sniffs” your bank and PayPal accounts once a day so you don’t have to enter anything. You just need to match your invoices with the payments that Xero has sniffed out and everything is fine. As Xero is cloud based, your accountant can log in as well, so you don’t need to waste time doing the yearly account submission with a carrier bag of invoices or receipts as you’ve already done it all!


Update your website once a month at least, keeping in mind SEO. Pepper your site with varieties of of words that are similar to “voiceover” or “voice actor”, such as commentator, audio recordings, audio studio, audio talent, etc. Don’t forget featuring keywords of your specialties such as “medical voiceovers, medical narration, pharmaceutical narration, etc. Ensure the “id” and “Alt tag” of your photos and illustrations isn’t some random number but something that search engines can read.

Each day do at least 20 minutes of marketing, even if you are busy. Find new production companies and look up their websites then email them with a short, professional message offering your services. Target a country per week if you like. have a superb international directory of production companies that is free to access. LinkedIn is great too if you use it properly. Ask these sorts of people to join your network: Production managers, Creative Directors, Producers, any video production company, audio production companies, etc. Don’t forget that when they accept your invite, you will be sent an email. Don’t ignore this as you’ll get a link (in small blue writing – don’t miss it!) saying “Send a message”. This is gold-dust as you can send a direct message including your contact details without buying any “in-mails” from LinkedIn.

Consider signing up to voiceover websites where clients post auditions and you send in your best shot. These so called “pay to play” sites have had loads of criticism, but usually from voiceovers who don’t use the sites properly, and therefore don’t get much work from them. Some sites you pay a subscription and then they also take a % of the fee, but they offer a voiceover access to some very high profile clients. The most professional and active sites are in my opinion:;, the then, and Don’t forget the general freelance sites where you can post your voiceover services… People Per Hour, UpWork etc. Fiverr is also a great money spinner, but don’t sell VO’s for just one $5 gig, that’s crazy… use the Fiverr package options to include loads of perceived “extras” that people will generally need anyway, such as fast delivery, wav file and so on. Using this technique my actual minimum fee on Fiverr is $50 which is worth reading something for!

Managing Your Working Day in Inside Sales

To CRM or not to CRM – that’s the question

Most organisations I work with have some form of customer database or CRM – customer relationship management – system in place. If you do, then you should learn every aspect of it and use it to run your working life. Simple.

A good CRM will allow you to track every contact with a customer, what you said, what they said and the progress you made along your company’s sales process. CRMs can be useful in curating data such as key performance indicators – KPIs and many of them have calendars and email management built in.

If you don’t have a CRM system either buy one, lease one that’s in the cloud such as Salesforce or use the latest version of Microsoft Outlook with the CRM add-on. Better still, obtain Office 365 for yourself and your team, add the CRM bolt on and you’re cooking on gas. If you’re familiar with Outlook and the Office suite of products then your learning curve for Office 365 will be negligible. I’m going to show you how you can do this and finally get to grips with time and email management.

Office 365 is an Inside Salesperson’s dream. Add on Dynamics CRM Online and you have the perfect intuitive solution. Your emails, tasks and appointments from Outlook can automatically be synchronised into the database. Your Word docs and Excel files can be stored there too. Your conversations will be noted and saved. And not just for you – but for your whole company.

There’s nothing worse for a customer than when he or she calls a company and they’re treated like a stranger. That doesn’t happen with a good CRM system. You and your employees are sharing all interactions with your community in the system. You have the system integrated with social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You have emails, activities, notes, conversations and documents linked to every contact and account. Let’s get into Office 365.

Use the Cloud

Office 365 sits in the cloud, in other words, it can be accessed from any device via the internet. It doesn’t sit on an old fashioned hard-drive. This means you can pull data from any device, so set them all up first. Your phone, laptop, PC, tablet. Whenever an entry is made on any device, the database is updated in the cloud in real time so anyone can see the information from their devices.

365 Contacts

The best feature here is the merge option where you can link your social media accounts to your contacts. So when you link in with a new contact, their details automatically transfer into your contacts, with a picture too.

If you get into the habit of photographing people you meet with your phone, incorporate this into the contact details. So when they phone your mobile, their name flashes up and a photograph too. A picture brings back memories far quicker than text.

Emails from new contacts can be dragged into the contacts box and a contact entry is automatically made with all the details harvested from the email.

365 Calendar

Firstly set the options so your calendar looks like you want it to. Decide you working week, which may include Saturday, mine does. Sort out the default view for your calendar.

Now decide colours for differing items. Here’s my suggestion:

  • Red – making money
  • Blue – marketing activities
  • Yellow – administration
  • Green – self development
  • Orange – personal activities

You can then see at a glance whether you’re being productive or not.

Microsoft provides an enterprise quality web meeting software platform called Skype for Business. It uses the Skype engine but it’s not connected to your personal Skype. It allows you to run a web meeting with anyone or any group at the click of a button. Make sure you obtain this and link it into Office 365. It’s far better than GoToWebinar and more cost effective too.

365 Tasks

Office 365 comes with a stable task management engine which is underused. Many people just list all their tasks into one giant “to do” list and this can be very bewildering.

There’s a couple of ways you can convert your tasks into something more digestible. The first manner is to put dates on each task – start and end dates – so they appear at the bottom of your calendar for the relevant day. Handy if they must be done on that day.

I do it differently. I categorise each task so I can group them on my calendar. I believe I’m more productive when I’m doing similar tasks in clusters rather than free-wheeling.

Firstly, I’m crystal clear as to my objectives, supporting projects and goals I need to achieve. I’m sure you are too. With that in mind you should be choosy whether you add an item into tasks. You should only do this if it moves you forward in your objectives. If it does, it’s known as a Tactical Next Action – an TNA.

I have TNAs for:

  • TNA: Calls
  • TNA: Online
  • TNA: Do
  • TNA: Write
  • TNA: Someday maybe

The last one is true; I have 35 items in that category at the moment but none are deal breakers, but the first four are what my calendar carries most.

When a new task comes into your task list, put it in as unassigned – it will automatically find its way to the top, so when you do your task management, you can allocate an TNA to it. Use your phone to add tasks whenever you think of something or someone gives you a job to do. Don’t rely on the brain to remember, it won’t, but the phone will. The task will whiz into the cloud and synchronise across all devices.

365 Email

The foundation of all communications and one of your collection points. I’ll talk about collection points shortly. But let’s tame your email once and for all; I’ve known salespeople to drown in it. Here’s how.

Before we go any further, turn off your email alert feature. This has to be one of the worst distractions known to the Inside Salesperson.

You are allowed to check email regularly for important items but it’s best to do this every couple of hours – say 9am, 12 noon, 3pm and 5pm. But only to deal with urgent ones, leave the rest till later when you clear your inbox. For a quick reminder of urgent versus important you won’t do worse than Stephen Covey’s Time Management Grid. You can see below that he creates four boxes which determine whether a task should be done or delayed or even ignored.

If you really do need to keep tabs of urgent email as they come in, buy yourself a smartwatch and Bluetooth your inbox. I have a Microsoft Band which does this for me, it vibrates and you glance at the tiny screen without accessing email.

And you must clear your inbox every day. Here’s how.

Choose a 60 minute window every day at some time, best before the close of play. Start with the first email. Can you handle it in less than 2 minutes? If so, handle it. If it’s going to take longer than 2 minutes, then put it into a task to be dealt with at another time. You can simply drag the email into the task area on Office 365 and it will automatically populate a task, which remains unassigned to be assigned an SNA later.

If it’s something you don’t want such as a subscription, see if you can unsubscribe. Be ruthless with these.

If it just needs filing somewhere, just drag it into the folder on your PC where it belongs.

Work your way through your emails in this manner and you will clear your inbox. And you must do this every day. Believe me, you’ll feel good when you do.

Collection Points

This is my term for where information and communications come into your business. Have a quick think about what collection points you have. Here’s mine when I first did this exercise:

  • Texts
  • Email
  • Post
  • In tray on my desk
  • Desk
  • Car dashboard
  • Post-it notes on my computer screen
  • Unassigned tasks on my phone
  • Mobile voicemail
  • Land-line voicemail
  • Social Media direct messaging
  • WhatsApp communications
  • Ideas stored in my brain

The aim is to reduce them, I was ruthless because the more collection points you have, the more difficult it all becomes to keep in control and you’ll soon be overwhelmed. Here’s my culled list:

  • Texts
  • Office 365 Email
  • Unassigned tasks for ideas etc.
  • In tray on my desk for all paperwork including post
  • Plastic folder in brief case for receipts etc.

Email is king for me, so I channel everything through to my email inbox and because I can access this on my phone, I don’t miss a thing. All social media messages come through to email, eBay notifications everything. It does mean I have a full inbox every day but I do clear this each day.

Do all these things and you too will manage your time really effectively so you can concentrate on selling. I do.

Working With Personnel Counselors and Recruiters

In the professional world, there are several basic ways you can get hired:

1. Personal initiative: You send your resume in response to an online job posting or newspaper ad or hand it to a corporate representative at a career fair.

2. Personal referral: A friend or relative alerts you to a job opening with their employer. Employers often reward the referring employee when you are hired so make certain that you fill in the application line, “Referred by____” completely.

3. Personnel Agency, Personnel Counselor or Staffing Services: A personnel counselor recruits a job order from a company and then either matches the job order to an existing candidate OR advertises online or in newspapers for that candidate. A personnel counselor does NOT call you at work to recruit you for a job-that is the principle difference between a personnel counselor and a recruiter. A counselor has to wait for you to make the first contact while a recruiter does not.

4. In most states, a personnel counselor is NOT allowed to take a fee from you (the candidate) but always verify that BEFORE you go on the interview. Until 1982 in California, a personnel agency could charge the candidate as well as the company a fee for the placement and thus split the fee between the two. That has changed. In 2009, many agencies state up front in their advertising and on their web sites that they are 100% employer paid.

5. Personnel agencies, such as Snelling Staffing, Abbott Staffing Group, and Apple One, usually have both a store front and an online corporate web site on which they post jobs. You can search for jobs next door or in the next state.

6. Recruiters and Headhunters: “Recruiter” and “headhunter” are interchangeable terms for a person who not only recruits job orders from companies but also actively recruits candidates through personal phone calls and e-mails. Recruiters are 95% paid by the corporate client, not by you, but it is always wise to verify.

The Ground Rules:

A personnel counselor waits for you to walk in the door. He or she matches you up with a job order that he or she already has or finds a job that fits your specifications. If the person does not understand what you do now or what you want to do in your next job, it will be very difficult to make a job match. Therefore, be willing to educate this personnel counselor on your career field, the intricacies of your job, and the type of company you would like to join.

A recruiter or headhunter is hired by a corporation to find exactly the person the company needs. Most recruiters are hired for their sales abilities. A few agencies hire someone with extensive experience in a field (e.g., electrical engineering) and teach him or her how to recruit and place candidates (like you). Because recruiters know the field, they can tell whether the candidate is “blowing sunshine up their skirts” or if the candidate actually knows the subject.

Rule 1: It is really OK to talk to a recruiter, even if he or she calls you at work — just don’t…

1. Exclaim joyfully that you are happy to be recruited.

2. Denigrate your current boss or organization in any way.


1. Give the headhunter your cell or pager number or your e-mail. If you have none of the above OR your only e-mail is corporate, then give your home phone number.

2. If you only have a work e-mail, get a personal e-mail at any of the free sites such as Yahoo. If your private e-mail address is not professional using a hotmail account with a funny name, then now is the time to register for an additional e-mail. Employers judge you on any number of levels and one is your e-mail address. Is it serious or flippant? Those who are perceived as flippant rarely get interviews.

3. The recruiter should ask for a good time to call you or may ask, “Is 7 PM a good time to call you?” You can answer by saying “earlier” or “later” until you agree on a time. The fact that this recruiter sought you out should be taken as a compliment.

4. A friend who has been placed by this recruiter may earn a referral fee of $200-1000 if they refer you to the recruiter and you are placed in a new job. If you like your recruiter, remember to ask after you are placed if there is a referral fee. If there is, refer your friends to the recruiter. Your friend will never know you referred them unless you give the recruiter permission to tell or you tell your friend.

Rule 2: Never assume that the recruiter actually knows what you do — let alone the nuances of what you do. Explain what you do in small words and slowly since this person is probably taking notes.

Here is an example of the process of informing the recruiter. In 1999 during an Internet-based job hunt, Jerry, who is a UNIX systems administrator posted his resume, responded to job postings, and investigated technical job hunting web sites (such as DICE) on weekends. During the weekdays, he had the glorious opportunity to return calls to headhunters. (Quick side note: While it’s cute having your 5-year-old twins tape the outgoing message on your home answering machine, that message is not what you want a recruiter or prospective new employer to hear first. Record a professional message on your home phone as well as your cell phone. Once you’re hired, the twins can come back and record another outgoing message.)

At least half of the recruiters presented jobs that had nothing to do with UNIX in any way, shape, or form. Another 48 percent assumed that a UNIX systems administrator with AIX working on an RS/6000 was also absolutely brilliant on Sun Solaris right now. He wasn’t.The last 2 percent were willing to actually listen to Jerry, find out what he knew and didn’t know, and then — lo and behold — actually present him to jobs for which he was qualified. However, Jerry had to spend time educating each interested recruiter. One way was to send an e-mail cover letter of Jerry’s career and education highlights. (Why? Recruiters and personnel counselors present you to the potential employer by using three bullet points of your accomplishments. If you give the recruiter this sales pitch, it makes it much easier to place you.) Jerry sent six bullet points and let the recruiter pick the three most applicable to that job posting. This effort paid off: the recruiter knew how to present Jerry to his best advantage, and Jerry eventually got the job at a 25 percent salary increase over his previous job.

Rule 3: The theory on what to put into the cover letter accompanying your Internet resume is:

1. Keep the cover letter as short as possible so that it fits on one screen of a computer monitor without having to scroll down.

2. Use bullets.

3. Care for your personnel counselor or headhunter by giving them short sentences about your education and accomplishments which they can use as a sales pitch when they present you to the company. The easier you make it for them, the more they will be willing to work for you!

Here’s an example:

My name is Jerry W——.

I am responding to your job posting for a UNIX Systems Administrator. Briefly my career includes, but is not limited to:

• M.S. Computer Information Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

• Ten years as a UNIX Systems Administrator in AIX, DG/UX, AT&T System.

• Rapid learning curve as demonstrated by becoming literate on AIX in one week based on my earlier experiences.

• Integrated an AIX UNIX system with an Ethernet TCP/IP Windows 95/NT network within 21 days of my hire.

• Converted to PCs, which emulated terminals, thereby eliminating dumb terminals and having two systems on each employee’s desk.

• Wrote and presented papers at international conferences on computer security issues.

Since I am employed, please call me at home at — — —- after 5 PM EDT or e-mail me at ———@—-. —–. My resume follows.


Jerry W——

Rule 4: Realize how recruiters work and work with them, if at all possible. Similar to real estate in which you have a buyer and a seller, any placement process consists of the job order and the candidate. In real estate, the agents for the buyer and the seller split the commission. If one person represents both the buyer and the seller, that one agent gets the entire commission because they are splitting the fee with no one.

In personnel placement, the rules are the same: if one recruiter produces both the job order (a contract with Corporation A to find and hire Person B) and the candidate (the erudite individual taking the job), the recruiter keeps the entire fee. (The owner of the recruiting firm is probably retaining a huge percentage of this fee.) If you are represented by Recruiter A in Atlanta and the company is represented by Recruiter C in Concord, then the two recruiters split the fee paid by the company.

In a very few cases, the placement office may try to charge you a fee. If the recruiting firm plans on charging you, it has to alert you before your interview with the client company. Suggestion: run for the hills! You should not pay anyone a fee when thousands of headhunters are out there eager to do work for you for free.

Recruiter A will brief you before the interview and debrief you afterwords. Recruiter C will present your qualifications to the company and debrief the firm after the interview. Then the two recruiters will share notes and try to convince you to take the job and the company to give it to you. That’s in the best of all possible worlds. What can go wrong? Recruiter C may turn up his or her own candidate and, in an effort to keep the entire fee, sabotage you. Is there anything you can do to prevent this sabotage? Not really.

How does a recruiter finds a candidate? First, the recruiter gets a job order and a detailed description of the perfect candidate. The recruiter will look for companies performing the same type of work. A recruiter in El Paso, Texas had a job order for a person with experience in wireless communications. Knowing that Motorola developed garage-door openers (which need wireless communications to operate) and that the company was a bit vulnerable to imminent layoffs, he located a Motorola division in Arizona and the man who designed the communication system for garage-door openers. Quick as a flash, he was able to contact the man, present the job opportunity, arrange an interview, and the placement (hire) was made.

P.S. It’s not unusual for the job order to change after you are presented with the opportunity. If the recruiter doesn’t understand what the job requires, you may be presented for a job that does not exist. If you don’t fit the new and improved job description, don’t worry about it: there is a better job waiting for you.

Rule 5: Never send your resume to more than one person within an office or chain of headhunters (e.g., Management Recruiters, Inc.) Why? See #4. If you send your resume to Dave and Karen in the same office, and they both present you to Terry, who holds the job order, guess what happens out of your line of sight? A huge fight! Dave and Karen both want to represent you, the candidate. A recruiting fee usually runs 33-50% of your first year’s salary. Therefore, on a $60,000 salary, the fee is a minimum of $18,000. Can you see why they are fighting? What usually happens? One of three things:

1. If the boss is a Gandhi of the recruitment world, then Karen and Dave may split half of the fee, each getting 25% of the fee.

2. A neutral fourth person will check the incoming e-mails to see to whom you sent your resume first. The person to whom you sent your resume first will collect the fee when you are placed.

3. Most likely, if you don’t get the job, no one in the office will work with you. Why? To avoid another fight. Recruiters often snub candidates who appear to be so unconscious that they send their resume twice to the same office.

Rule 6: Recruiters often trawl for resumes by placing job postings on web sites for very interesting jobs which may or may not be open at that moment. It could be that the recruiter already has someone lined up for the job and is taking this opportunity to collect qualified resumes. By law, a recruiter cannot post a job which does not exist, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Remember: the recruiter who presents the candidate gets half the fee when the placement is made so it behooves the recruiter to have as many resumes as possible. If this is the case, that is fine. Send your resume. You never know if this is an open job order or not. If it is, get in line. If it isn’t, then convince this recruiter of how exceptional you are and the recruiter will be motivated to find you a great job.

Rule 7: The recruiter or the personnel counselor may ask you where you have interviewed and/or sent your resume already OR where another placement professional has sent you to interview. Why?

1. The recruiter does not want to present you for jobs where your resume is already “in play.” For one thing, it makes the recruiter appear unprofessional to the hiring authority because they did not have enough candidate control that they garnered this piece of information ahead of time (or that the recruiter is greedily out to get a piece of the fee).

2. The recruiter seeks to contact those companies to which you have applied, obtain a job order, and make a placement.

What should you do? It is easier to tell the recruiter where you have interviewed than to have them embarrassed later on by the company. If the recruiter finds out that you are under consideration by the company, the recruiter is likely to stop working with you to prevent this from happening again. Keep an accurate, up-to-date list of where you have sent your resume and where you have interviewed, whether the initiating contact was by you or a recruiter. Even if it is to a different division of the same company, ONLY reapply if YOU sent your resume in the first place.

If a recruiter or personnel counselor presented you for IBM Finance, then you cannot apply for any other division of IBM anywhere in the world. The recruiter may have a vested interest in you (and in collecting a fee), even if you are hired by a division to which the recruiter did not present you. Recruiters have successfully collected a fee from an employer when the candidate was hired not for the job for which they were presented but for another job somewhere else in the company.

If Recruiter Z presents you for a job at KPMG but doesn’t tell you who the hiring authority is, you are not responsible later on if Recruiter Y presents you to the same company. In that case, tell Y that you did not know. Recruiters often do not say who the hiring authority is. In this case, you are not at fault and both recruiters should continue to work with you. If the recruiter contacts the companies you have interviewed with, that is fine. Even if the recruiter gets one job order out of this, it is not a problem. You will find the right job for you.

Rule 8: Keep in contact with the headhunter. If he or she thinks you want to work with him or her, the recruiter is more likely to make an effort to place you. E-mail any recruiter who contacts you at least once a week – unless the recruiter has an IQ less than 90.

Rule 9: Keep putting your resume out there. The right job is looking for you right now. You just have to be willing to look and keep looking until you find it.

If you care for your recruiter by feeding him or her easy bites of information (information that may be passed on by the recruiter to the client company with no modification, thus making the recruiter’s job that much easier), you have just increased your chances of getting hired.

Working From Home – The Online Business Reality

According to a recent Harris poll, 72% of American households are thinking about starting a home based business. This is quite frankly a staggering statistic. Almost three quarters of Americans are unsatisfied with their current employment situation for one reason or another. Many of these unsatisfied workers are turning to the Internet to fuel their work from home dream jobs.

Quitting the never ending rat race is a personal decision that many work from home entrepreneurs face. Their reasons for wanting to work from home vary. Some people find that they simply have no other choice but to work out of their home office. Perhaps they have to take care of their elderly parents or their children, or they themselves are house-bound. Some people are retired and find that finally having an opportunity to spend time in their own home is a huge comfort and joy. Even college kids, stay at home spouses, and those recently downsized are finding that the Internet is simply the best option for starting and running a profitable home based business.

Working from home is a serious commitment that all entrepreneurs should consider. However, they must be aware of the negatives and risks of the Internet. The Internet is fraught with get rich quick schemes. It is also overflowing with misleading business building hype and flat out work from home lies. Any program or opportunity that promises big bucks with little work is a fraud. Proper research and common sense should eliminate many frauds and scams. Developing a solid Internet business requires partnerships with strong and professional companies.

Building a real business, no matter what kind of business, requires hard work. That’s the bad news. The good news is there has never been a better time to start a business from home because the Internet makes it a low-cost and low-risk venture. Building an online business or work from home business does not require massive amounts of start up capital. With that said, it is possible to over spend on your business simply by neglecting the research.

Learning about web hosting companies and traffic building strategies in the beginning of your work from home business plan is a tremendous positive step. There are many web hosting companies that offer cheap domains and seemingly endless features. The problem many web entrepreneurs face is they invest in the wrong web hosting company at the start up phase of their business. They soon discover that they have not built an online business. They have simply built an online brochure that sits unvisited by the millions of web surfers. Now they must invest more and more money into building a bigger and better site, or paying a firm to optimize their web pages, or paying a search engine to display their ads.

A web business that sits unvisited is not a business at all. Online entrepreneurs know they need an income to be successful. They also realize that building an online business is a series of steps. They must rank well in the search engines by providing excellent content filled web pages. In return for ranking so well, the search engines send droves of targeted customers to the online business. Now that the online business has customers, it can begin to develop a relationship with them. It warms the customer by creating a welcoming and personal feel. All of the great information and the atmosphere of the website will build a trust between the business and its customer. It is this relationship of that leads to profitability.

Forget the long string of classic work at home dead-end jobs like envelope-stuffing and telemarketing. Use the Web to build something terrific that excites you, a business to be proud of, that you own, and that earns you substantial income. Working from home rewards entrepreneurs in so many ways. If you are interested in an online business or a work at home business, you must be smart enough to do the research. You may receive a free step-by-step guide to building your online and work at home business by visiting the author’s website.

Working Capital for Business

One of the greatest needs that small businesses have is the need for working capital. Working capital is the lifeblood of the business, the fuel that funds the daily operations and ability to pursue near-term growth opportunities for the business. Working capital is officially defined as “….”. The financial equation for determining working capital is as follows:

(Account receivables + inventory + cash on hand) – (Account payables + prepaids)

There are numerous sources of working capital for businesses. Looking at the equation, one way to obtain additional working capital is to increase account receivables (i.e., sell more) or convert the receivables to cash by getting customers to pay sooner. Continuing to examine the equation, another way is to increase inventory. When examining a company’s balance sheet for the purpose of acquiring that company, it is important to examine how these parameters fluctuate as part of the working capital. A company can increase inventory and receivables significantly, drastically increasing the amount of “working capital” denoted. However, those receivables could be essentially non-collectible and the inventory could be obsolete. Either of these would essentially nullify the advantages of a large “working capital”.

You can access cash by getting customers to prepay their orders by offering significant discounts for doing so. For example, if a customer buys a monthly service for $100, you can offer them a yearly pre-paid, discounted rate of $1,000. That’s roughly 20% off but when you factor in the time value of money, the discount drops by 5-8% (depending on your internal rate). If you sell much larger service contracts or products, the difference in actual cash can be profound with prepaids. On the other side of the equation, you can get your supplier(s) to extend terms. Instead of payment expected within 15-30 days you may be able to push payment out to 90 days. You never know unless you ask.

From the perspective of the company owner, the larger the proportion of working capital in cash, the better. Cash can be spent on anything – to pay suppliers, pay employees, pay rent, pay for geographic expansion or product line development. Receivables and inventory not quickly converted to cash through turnover must be converted to necessary cash via financing that uses either or both of these two as the collateral for loans.

Working capital for business is something many small business owners do not plan. They often do not think about it until they encounter a cash crunch. Or sometimes, not until they have encountered a number of cash crunches and are tired of the stress of not knowing how they’ll make payroll or pay irate suppliers.

Some of the myriad sources of financing working capital for business include short term asset-based lines of credit, term loans, equipment loans, signature credit lines, supplier financing or extended payment terms, economic development grants, and factoring. Typically loans against receivables and inventory are short-term lines of credit, renewable annually. Some banks and other financing institutions will extend a term loan for three to five years against high grade collateral. (i.e., Accounts receivables that typically pay within 30-45 days and are with highly credit worthy customers and inventory that is replaced within a similar time frame.)

The important thing is to continually keep in mind what “working capital” is and what goes into it. It is vitally important to track your business cash and how quickly your company converts its short-term assets to cash. Not doing so can result in a significant shortage in working capital and, in short order, a liquidity crisis. If your company qualifies for a line of credit, get one. You don’t have to use it but you should have it on hand to use in case of a crisis. I have had clients who have lost major customers to bankruptcy. That unfortunate scenario occurred more often in 2010 and 2009 than in previous years but it could happen anytime. If your customers have large outstanding receivables that are close to 90 days, your exposure to such a scenario is drastically high. Even if your risk is low, when a customer cannot or will not pay receivables in a timely manner, where will your cash to run the business come from while you deal with the problem? Plan for the future and track your working capital. Your business will thank you for it in the form of stronger financial health.

Ideas For a Home Based Business – Find Unclaimed Money Working From Home

The success or failure of a company would always depend on how competitive is its marketing program. Out in the business arena, the competition is really tough and you have to be aggressive when it comes to building your credibility. In reality, you can never really have a unique product. In one way or another, you would have business rivals that could either make your existence shaky or even more stable. This is why you have to come up with the finest ideas for a home based business so that you can get more profit from your investment.

The success of your offers would depend on the marketing tools that you utilize. You have to be aware that for each product, there would be different ideas for a home based business that could work. You have to evaluate which would be most appropriate in order to attract customers. The quality of your marketing campaign must be superior and advanced. It does not have to be expensive especially if you are just on the development stage of your business. However, you have to make sure that even if your small business marketing idea does not eat up a lot of your finances, it would still yield the desirable result that you are looking for.

Some of the most reliable tools that you can use to implement your small business marketing ideas are radio, print ads and television but these tools involve higher costs. Nonetheless, the high technological advancement provides all new tools that you can use for your ideas for a home based business. Below are top 5 of the most effective tools.

  1. Audio and Video CD’s of your Product

    If your prospective client is already interested in your product, you just need a little push so as to convert them into sale. To help them decide faster, it would be helpful to provide audio and video cd’s that will tell them everything that they need to know about the offer. You have to present it in a way that benefits are clearly stated so that they will realize the real worth of your products or services.

  2. Electronic Newsletters

    Sending an e-newsletter to your customers is an effective marketing tool. You will be able to entice them more and convince them to buy your products with the valuable information that you will provide. You have to make sure that the electronic newsletter that you will send is informative and entertaining. Remember to write your ideas with a personal voice. It would be more effective if you talk directly to the customers as if you are directly facing them.

  3. Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click or PPC is an advertising method that is widely used in the industry now. In this method, you will be allowed to bid a placement in the search engine result pages. The key is for you to get a high ranking so that if a surfer searches for certain keywords that match your keywords, your website will be pulled up. This will give you targeted and desirable traffic.

In order to effectively carry out your ideas for a home based business, it is important to have the best tools. The key is to maximize your resources and check out the most inexpensive and yet effective way of implementing your marketing strategies. By doing so, you will be able to make the most out of your finances and you can allocate your budget for other important expenses.

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