Category Archives: Business

A very broad and general look at all things related to the business world. From discussions on hot topics, articles and product reviews, you’ll find valuable and informative information here.

Amazing Selling Machine, Maybe

Lots of reasons why people choose to work from home

Sick Of Working For Someone Else

I just finished watching a video by Matt Clark about a new “Ultimate Promotion System” called the Amazon Money Machine (or Amazing Selling Machine in some spots) which claims to show you how to sell on Amazon and make a lot of money. There is no doubt that money can be made on Amazon, and the Selling Machine they are talking about might be quite amazing, but let’s face it, millions and millions of products are being sold on Amazon so there is tight competition in a very small space; searches from “within” Amazon itself.

Because of that I think that the best opportunities for making real money still rests in having your own blogs or websites, which can be set up in minutes if you have the right tools (mostly free). Here’s why I say that… if you are selling directly on Amazon, in their arena, you are limited to their rules and your efforts are all placed into their systems. That is, all the work you put in to the business resides on “their” websites which they can remove at any time. Not that they would, of course, but for the sake of argument it needs to be said. The Amazing Selling Machine bases its success on building an Amazon “store front” and then you compete for sales against all other Amazon sellers and products. And using the ultimate promotion system, which does look good, you are said to be able to drive traffic to your product page.

On the other hand. If you own your own blogs (which again, take literally a few hours to set up) then YOU control the content, you control where you market and which products to sell, you can market products outside of Amazon (though you may still choose to have an Amazon store front), and you own the real estate on which you build your business and your efforts are sewn into something you own, rather than putting everything into the hands of someone else, who could pull it at any time. Again, I’m not saying that these systems won’t work, maybe they do. But are YOU willing to fork out almost $1,000 to find out? That is a LOT of money. And frankly I question why anyone who is making SO much money would want SO much of YOUR money to show you the “secret.Awesome-Marketing-Engine

Instead, I think there is a MUCH easier path to finding success online and without mortgaging your house. Andrew Hansen (creator of Forever Affiliate) has not only talked success, he’s living it. He’s not selling you a dream for the cost of a car, but instead he’s sharing what many people believe is the true path to online success with proven techniques (not concepts, either, but step by step training) that the top performers use. So many times when people get the idea that they want to have a home business and work online, they start a directionless search to find out how to do it. What ends up happening is that they read pitch after pitch, different points of views from different experts, and end up much more confused than they were when they started out. Or worse, they buy in to every program they come across which promises to show them the “secrets.” In the end they have less money and no progress. Again, I’m not even hinting that the Ultimate Promotion System falls into this category, it doesn’t, I’m just making a general point. Paralysis by analysis really does kill the dreams of most people looking for success online.

Andrew does something different. He “teaches” you how to have success doing one thing well, selling online. When you look at the testimonials he has received, many of them are from the VERY BEST in the business, not from someone you’ve never heard of. Here’s the bottom line, whether you keep chasing the confusing trail of internet success pebbles or jump in with your whole heart and commit to stop the madness, is up to you. See what Andrew has to say. See how little he charges to train you (we’re talking about the price of dinner and a movie, not almost $1,000 like the Amazon Money Machine and most other “programs”). See what others have to say about him. You owe yourself that much.

Visit Andrew’s Forever Affiliate page.

Image by  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District

Chase Online – Chase and Citibank Fight European Crisis

Chase Online has become one of the most popular and trusted online banking service providers, competing solidly with the other major players like Citibank Online. Chase Bank has a very long and rich history, and reading the Wikipedia Chase Bank site gives you a lot of insight. For starters is worth noting that Chase National Bank was formed in 1877 and was “named after former United States Treasury Secretary and Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, although Chase did not have a connection with the bank.”

Chase Online began with somewhat humble beginnings however, as Chase Bank began to acquire a bunch of smaller banks during the 1920’s. Perhaps it’s most notable purchase back then was the acquisition of the Equitable Trust Company of New York in 1930, the largest stockholder of which was John D. Rockefeller, Jr., which made Chase Bank the largest bank in the world. Citibank online is also major powerhouse in the industry (as you can see from the data below), and Citibank is the consumer banking arm of the banking giant Citigroup.

Over the years Chase Bank has merged with or acquired such powerhouse banks as Bank One Corporation, Washington Mutual and others. Known as JPMorgan Chase, the bank is now the second wealthiest bank in the U.S.. The top four U.S. banks based on 2010 consolidated assets data:

Bank of America Corporation – $2,340,667,014

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. – $2,135,796,000

Citigroup Inc. – $2,002,213,000

Wells Fargo & Company – $1,223,630,000

Citibank online has one of the largest online customer bases, with over 15 million online customers. But regardless of the numbers it goes without question that both Chase Online and Citibank Online are major powerhouses in the online banking segment. However, according to a recent article in the Huffington Post, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase are the only U.S. banks which are significantly exposed to crisis in the European economy.

It’s safe to assume that with its rich history of enduring challenges that Chase Online will figure out a way to ensure that Chase Bank, like Citigroup Online, rebounds nicely from the crisis facing their European assets.

Printable Calendar Template

One of the most sought after items for search engines is a printable calendar template; everyone wants an up to date calendar and they want to personalize it. You have several options to make your own calendar template ranging from using the software you may already have on your computer to using one of the many free software services online. I have used and prefer to use the capabilities of MS Word, so I’ll do a walk-through of making your own template and printable calendar using MS Office, and also give you some links to good online sources.

Using Microsoft Word open a new document and when the window opens you’ll be given the choice of the type of document you want to create. You’ll see an option to either “search for” a template, or to go to “Templates on Office Online;” I prefer the latter, so selecting templates at office online you’ll be taken to their online site in a browser window. Once there, look on the left hand panel and you’ll see your options, simply select Calendar and on the next page select the version of MS Word you’re running and the category of calendar you want, and then look for a calendar template that you like.

Once you’ve found the template you like just select it, and then you’ll be taken to a page to download the template. If the file does not download automatically, no worries. Simply select the download button at the bottom of the page to download manually and then select how you want to open the file. In most cases select Windows Explorer, and then select Ok. Your download will begin and then open in Windows Explorer. From there you will double click on the template you just downloaded and then look at the top of the information bar and click on the EXTRACT button, select where to save the file, then OK.

Now simply browse to the save location, double click on the downloaded calendar template and it will open in MS Word. From there you’ll be able to add your preferences like colors, fonts, font sizes etc… You can add custom borders and titles, and of course add custom dates to the calendar template to mark special occasions. Once you have it the way you like you have a printable calendar template that you made yourself the way you like it. Now you have to decide if that’s good enough for you; if it’s what you were wanting, or maybe that it’s just too much work for what you need. If that’s the case, simply go with the next option- an online free calendar template printing service.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of online printable calendar sites that not only let you print a calendar, but they have hundreds and hundreds of calendar templates to choose from. Here’s one that I’ve used and which has a lot of those templates to choose from, so you’re sure to get a calendar you like. PrintFree.com is a good place to start, and of course if they don’t have a calendar template you like then try a Google search and you’ll surely find more sources than you’ll ever need to get a nice, printable calendar.

Business Jargon – Che Cosa?

I am always amazed when I hear some business person talking to another who is not from the same industry, and in the course of the conversation they use some jargon or lingo that is clearly foreign to the listener. It reminds me of Che Cosa Italian for “What?” While I can translate Che Cosa if I feel the need using any number of online translators, or I can find the meaning of a word by referring to Wikipedia about Italian Language, what I can’t do is in the middle of a conversation pull that feat off. So the speaker ends up alienating the other person and losing the potential personal value the conversation may have had for future business.

Che Cosa also reminds me that the meaning in one industry might be totally different to someone in another. For example, the word “bit” is a data component for someone in the technology field, but something you use to drill with to someone else. It could even be a piece of horse riding equipment to a trainer or cowboy. To translate Che Cosa for your business dealings you just need to remember that not everyone speaks your language. Maybe you speak Italian but the other person only speaks Mandarin.

Resist the urge to try and impress someone with your industry knowledge and instead impress them with your understanding of human differences and willingness to join the other at their level of competence on a subject matter. And do it without letting on that your “dumbing down” the conversation; just assume that everyone you talk to has no idea what a 100MHz data portal is and tell them that your servers offer some of the largest data transfer capabilities in the industry. If they want specifics they’ll ask for it.

Che Cosa? You don’t think people mind being talked to over their heads? In this article titled “I Hear You Talking But I Don’t Understand You,” about this specific subject, it is reiterated that the significance of talking over someone’s head can be very troubling to the listener. And just think about how you would feel if you were talking to your doctor and all he did was use the medical terminology without explaining your condition in terms you could understand. How would you feel? Why then would you risk alienating a business partner or client by doing the same thing. Far from impressing people, those who like to exercise their linguistic abilities only hurt themselves and their organization.

So the next time you’re in a business conversation just remember “translate Che Cosa” and you’ll instantly remember to bring it down a notch. Unless you’re Italian and talking to an Italian, keep Che Cosa for the discussions outside of the workplace.

Salary Calculator and Nurse Salary Comparisons

The salary for nurses has grown exponentially the past few years, driven by supply and demand; see the nurse salary page here to see how you compare to others in your field. Salary is important to everyone and for multiple reasons. And sites like this one, a Salary Calculator, have empowered people to compare their earnings to others and in many cases have helped them secure more for themselves.

How large or small a salary a person makes relates directly to how they feel about their position in the company and even in society in some cases. Specifically, however, employees often relate their salary to others within an organization; that’s why many companies disallow or at least frown upon sharing earnings information and discredit the information of salary comparisons. But going back to the salary calculator, and it’s prominence on the web and thus easy accessibility, more and more people are extracting misleading information. The case in point being nurse salary websites.

A nurse working in certain geographic regions will earn considerably more than one working in a mostly rural setting; this relates specifically to cost of living. As you can imagine a home in Los Angeles will be much more expensive than say, a house in suburban St. Louis. Also worth noting is that shift differentials will also skew the salary ranges often depicted at these nurse salary sites. As you know, a nurse working the midnight shift will have a shift premium as high as $5.00 per hour; that alone can account for a differential of over $10,000 compared to a day shift nurse. Overtime is another factor skewing the results and often causing confusion. In one case, a nurse earned $269,000 in overtime pay one year at the California Men’s Colony.

Also, and perhaps even more important to the notion of a salary calculator is the field of practice for which a nurse salary is compared. A trauma nurse assigned to a medical helicopter crew, for example, will again have a much higher earnings differential and this one can be unbelievably high in some markets, skewing the nurse salary calculator results by as much as $50,000. Other nursing fields, such as trauma medicine in an Emergency Room, Correctional Facility or Institution will also have a higher than average salary, further causing a disconnect between what one category of nurses make and another.

Instead, to be accurate and fair a nurse salary calculator needs to have the capability to be divided into nursing segments, so that a flight nurse, for example, can compare her salary to others in her specific field. And taking the principal of equitable comparison a step further, a nurse salary should be compared in a salary calculator to other nurses in the same geographical region.

This doesn’t take into consideration (aside from the flight nurse scenario) that some nursing segments have and require specialized certifications which will further add to the skew effect that we see in a salary calculator for a nurse salary. Intensive or Critical Care Nursing, in most states, have additional training or certifications for this department, as do neonatal and others. Finally, one has to wonder then, given this discrepancy, how accurate the information can possibly be if a salary calculator for a nurse salary fails to address such obvious flaws.

Does Your Business Use PayPal To Its Potential

Business owners will often think more about their Business Cards than the back-end of their business, like using a PayPal Account, where the transactions take place that fuel operations. And while it’s acceptable to consider things such as Business Card Size, we’re talking about the basic principals of business- prioritizing your time and energy to reflect those things which are of most importance and which drive revenue. Does your business even have a PayPal Account? If so, do you regularly go to your PayPal login to manage your account and business transactions like you would with your personal bank account?

The point of this discussion is to move you to think more about the important functions in your business, and offering your customers the opportunity to use a payment method they’ve come to know and trust is crucial; most of us ourselves wouldn’t buy an unknown product from an unknown company via a questionable payment portal. So why then, do I continually see sites that want you “click here” to make a payment and the link is to a payment portal I may never have heard of? If you don’t have a PayPal Account, sign up now, obtain your login and start utilizing the power of branding to your advantage. You can see a significant increase in your business volume, allowing you more time to think about your Business Card Size or whatever else suits you.

And speaking of Business Cards and PayPal- both represent a symbol of trust. Too many business owners try to capture too much personal information from customers and ultimately create a feeling of distrust or at the least uneasiness. Using PayPal as a primary means of customer payment alleviates some of the uneasiness associated with internet and online payments. Most consumers feel comfortable logging in to their PayPal Account to make a payment and therefore are much more likely to complete a transaction with you or a recommended vendor from your site.

Review your business practices and see if you’re asking for too much information, or if your payment portals are less than trustworthy (even if only by appearance).  If your sales are lower than expected then this is the first place I would look to make changes (of course your products and delivery may need attention as well). But studies show that while consumers are happy to shop online, they must have confidence in the notion that their personal and banking information will be secure, which is exactly why a PayPal Account has proven to be so hugely important to a business trying to maximize profits.

On your Business Card is their a slogan or quote that is designed to build customer trust? Sure there is (I hope). After all, you know that when you leave your card with a potential business client that they can buy your widget anywhere, but by building a level of trust they may do business with you instead. So review your online business card, your website, and see if you’re giving of a friendly and trustworthy feeling. Do you belong to organizations that have a seal of approval? Anything like that will help to show your potential customers that you’re a serious business partner. Treating your website like a Business Card is a crucial step on the road to success. Adding the confidence that a PayPal account can give is a first step you should take right now. PayPal is trustworthy, and if you’re a member or hold a PayPal account customers will associate that trustworthiness to your business and have confidence to login and make a purchase (if they like what you’re selling. PayPal for business is an absolute must.