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Article Contributed by Mark Palmer

Business ownership can be a rewarding and lucrative career path. However, the start up phase can be frustrating and challenging and requires a ton of commitment and risk. In fact, recent studies show that over 50 percent of startups fail within the first four years.

This daunting statistic can be attributed to a number of factors, but a lack of capital is often an issue for a new business. The entrepreneur must often balance personal needs with the ability to advance the business and it can be difficult to make ends meet. Luckily, there are a number of side jobs that can help fund your startup and move your business forward. Here are a few of the more popular gigs:

  1. Set Up an Etsy Shop

Etsy is one of the more popular online modules on the market these days. It’s relatively simple to set up a store online and begin selling your product. The site is geared towards handcrafted, unique products. If you’re exceptionally good at design or have a knack for something crafty, Etsy may be just the place for you. Etsy is a great option because you can work from home and determine your own supply costs.

  1. Freelance

Freelancing is a great way to make use of existing skills. Many companies look to contract with freelancers for skills like writing, graphic design, photography, SEO or social media management. Some companies are willing to pay a hefty price per assignment to avoid the costs associated with a full-time employee. You can find freelancing work on sites like Odesk and Elance which are specifically designed for freelance work. Overall, freelancing is a great income supplement because of its flexibility and high dollars. You won’t find many second jobs that allow you to set your own hours and income levels.

  1. Drive for Uber

If you have a car, Uber has transformed the public transit industry and is a great supplemental income option. You just need a valid driver’s license and the ability to pass a background screening. From there, you can pick up rides at your convenience. You can pick and choose your hours with Uber and will enjoy meeting new people along the way.

  1. Become a Distributor

One of the more popular business opportunities on the market includes serving as a distributor. A distributor sells products for a company and earns a cut of all products sold. Many beauty and skin care companies use this partnership model to expand their market and reach more consumers. A freelance lipsense distributor is one of many great examples of this business model. As a distributor, you can set your own sales goals and work at your own pace. Many distributor relationships will also give you a discount on the product, so you can save money on some of your favorite products along the way!

  1. Rent Your Space

Believe it or not, renting your space is one of the quickest and easiest ways to up your income. Sites like Airbnb and FlipKey are revolutionizing the travel industry and inviting local consumers to join in the fun. You can advertise your space online and offer it up for the weekend or extended stays. You can set your rate as well as cleaning and maintenance fees and enjoy entertaining your new guests!

These are just a few of the many options for additional income to fund your startup. Each of them offers a level of flexibility that is great for a rising entrepreneur. You’ll need to review the initial setup costs as you consider these options, but overall these income sources are steady and reliable.


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I have two good size dogs (both greater than 50 pounds.) I installed an invisible fence to give them some room to run without hurting themselves.

An invisible fence shocks (via the collar) the dogs when they get too close to the fence. It is not  a harmful shock, just enough to let them know the boundaries.

Yesterday, I wanted to take the dogs for a walk and removed their collars so they could leave the yard. Neither dog wanted to leave the yard for fear of shock. I had to carry both of them across the fence line. One on the other side both had a great time.

How does this apply to marketing?

When to comes marketing many of us wear our marketing collar. When our marketing does not work, the shock we experience is lack of results, spending money, and wasting time. The collar limits what we might try; we say to ourselves, “after all I tried that and it didn’t work” or “what if it doesn’t work and I waste all this money (time)?”

I once had a roofing client and we were planning some marketing tactics. Every  tactic I suggest his response was the same, “I tried that and it didn’t work!” After the 10th suggestion I finally said, “these tactics have worked for thousands of companies but they don’t work for you, what is the one thing they have in common?”

He thought for a moment and said, “me!”

This gentleman was never trained is marketing and he made several fundamental mistakes that, if corrected, could have a big impact on his business. But his invisible fence would not allow him to try something different. His yard was pretty small and his company was suffering.

What is your invisible fence? Is it spending money on marketing or on marketing coaching? Is it trying something you never tried before? Is it fear of failing or not knowing who to trust? What is the shock you feel: shame for failing, embarrassment for not knowing, fear of being taken advantage of or not being in control?

Marketing can be easy and fun when you know what you are doing. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money because you can do it yourself. It is not that hard.

Let’s remove your collar or at least provide you the opportunity to remove the collar and learn a proven  marketing system that works to generate more leads, convert more leads to customers, get customer to buy more, sell value – not price, make more money, learn how to build a website that generates leads, learn dozens of up sell, down sell and cross sell strategies that your competition does not know or use, learn how to put your follow-up on auto pilot and so much more – all at your own pace.

Ron Finklestein

About Our GE Network Expert - Ron Finklestein

After a successful consulting career, Ron Finklestein has spent the past 6 years building his business AKRIS Inc and helping entrepreneurs and business owners build their businesses by helping them solve the tough problems that hold them back. Ron is called The Small Business Success Expert by his clients because of his passion for their success and his knowledge of business. Visit Ron's website at

Article Contributed by Anand Srinivasan

A recent Gallup study found that nearly 43 percent of the American workforce has worked remotely at least once in the past year. This number is expected to go further up as more and more businesses realize the potential increase in productivity and the drop in operational expenses with a remote workforce. But although a virtual workforce offers great benefits to both organizations and its employees, it also has its fair share of challenges to overcome.

One of the biggest drawbacks of a remote workforce is the inability to arrive at a consensus. Unlike a traditional workplace setting where employees can talk and iron out differences quickly and efficiently, collaboration tools may not always make up for face-to-face interactions. It’s not surprising then that IBM, one of the pioneers of remote working culture, recently asked its employees to return to their cubicles. The ability to make decisions faster featured among the various reasons cited by the company for the move.

But moving employees to a physical workspace may not be feasible for all businesses. This is especially true for bootstrapped startups and enterprise businesses with a global workforce. Also, it doesn’t make sense to create physical workspaces when remote working has proven to be an extremely beneficial concept. For organizations that want to retain a virtual workspace, the solution lies somewhere in the middle – a platform where employees can continue to work remotely without impacting the decision making process.

Virtual platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello and Basecamp help remote workers efficiently and collaborate with colleagues on business projects. These tools serve as a discussion board where all project related correspondence is debated and deliberated on. In addition to this, add-on tools like are routinely used by users to conduct surveys among colleagues and stakeholders to arrive at strategic business decisions.

Old school project managers may deem it necessary to engage in a face-to-face conversation for decision making, at least over video conferencing tools like Skype. The idea here is that F2F conversations enable a free flow of ideas and discussions that is absolutely essential. However, one challenge with the legacy concept is that this can discourage shy and inexperienced colleagues from putting forward their ideas. Online survey tools for platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams can offer anonymous polling and the ability to send private messages which can enable a more democratic decision making process.

Remote working is a reality for the modern workforce and comes with terrific cost savings for the employer while also improving the work-life balance and productivity among employees. Given these factors, it may be nigh impossible to turn the clock back and go back to an era of physical offices and a local workforce. But while there may be challenges in some aspects of remote working (like decision making), the tools and technology available in the market today should make sure that workers do not miss the advantages that come with working from under the same roof.

Article Contributed by Elizabeth Lee

We’ve all been there. Either we bite off a lot more than we can chew, or life gets in the way. This is especially true for freelancers who have to make their own schedules and don’t have anyone to delegate the work to when things get busy. At one point or another, everyone will miss a deadline, or at least come terrifyingly close. What matters is knowing what to do in those situations. There’s a smart way to handle everything – and it’s possible to do it without losing the client.

When The Outlook is Bad

The best time to get in touch with your client is before you’ve actually missed the deadline. If you have ten days of work to do and three days to do it in, chances are slim that a miracle is going to swoop in and save you. You should still try your best to meet the deadline, but you should also have a realistic estimate on when your client can actually expect the completed work.

Let them know how far along you are in the process, and be honest about what happened. If you have a good relationship with the client and you don’t have a history of missing deadlines, they’ll understand. Workloads get heavy sometimes. Give a brief explanation.

When The Deadline Is Now

If you knew you weren’t going to make the deadline, you probably should have said something before this moment. If time slipped away from you, be forward about it. Tell the client that you understand that you missed the deadline, provide them with a timeline they can use to determine when you’ll have the work completed.

Offer to send what you’ve finished so far, if that’s possible. Allow them to look over the completed portion of the project while you’re finishing up the rest. They’ll be able to see at least some representation of what you’re working on, and by letting them in on the process, they’re less likely to feel left in the dark. Keep giving them daily updates with some notes about what you’ve done until the project is completed. Communication is important at this time – it’s your saving grace.

When The Deadline Passed a While Ago

You messed up pretty badly. If the deadline came and went and you haven’t talked to your client, that one is completely your fault. Unless something serious, such as a major emergency happened, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have informed your client.

If it was a major emergency, provide as much detail as you’re comfortable with. If you suffered something like a house fire or a major illness, your client may understand – especially if you already had a great working relationship before that.  Never lie about a disaster – if the client finds out, word will travel fast.

If you’ve already missed the deadline by a lot and you still have a lot of work to do, refund the client. Don’t ask if they want a refund – automatically refund them. Then, ask them whether or not they would still like you to complete the work (yes, for free.) If they don’t, that’s alright. The way you handle a client you’ve drastically messed up with can determine your fate as a professional. If you don’t accept full responsibility and volunteer to go above and beyond to make things right, you risk your entire reputation.

Author’s Bio:

Elizabeth Lee is an avid business blogger from Sydney, Australia, writing on behalf of PACK & SEND. Elizabeth is experienced in customer relations, marketing and logistics, and is often found sharing her tips with other professionals. Follow Elizabeth on @LElizabethLee86


The Future of Business Technologies

Posted by Pamela Swift in Technology

Nobody can predict the way the IT business will look like in the future. However, based on how things evolved in the recent years and the overall trend of developing breathtaking technologies, some predictions can be made.

There’s no denying that technology and good decisions are the most important factors when it comes to business development, however, what can we really expect in the following years? Here are some thoughts:

Data analysis

You might think this is not such a big thing of the future since this has helped businesses grow since the Internet came around. Well, it’s not the same data analysis as it was in the past. Today we have so many devices and things inter-connected and such a huge amount of data that needs to be analysed.

In fact, predictions are that we’re gathering too much data and we’ll end up drowning in it. We look forward to the future to bring advanced analytical solutions to be able to process the huge volume of data and learn how to use it properly.

Relevant info needs to be extracted from the data we possess and things are already moving in that direction. There’s a certain company that created a software which gives you data-driven suggestions to enhance the performance of your website or blog. Such a thing would cost several thousands of dollars just a few years ago.

Smart machines

Somehow connected with the first point in our discussion, analytics don’t just make businesses grow, they can make machines smarter at the same time. Recent times showed a big increase in artificial intelligence in the business sector and it’s clearly growing bigger and bigger. A very good example in this direction is the product developed by IPSoft that can handle emails, instant message conversations and even emails. This allows other employees to be more focused on creative tasks and develop better strategies for the future.

Another great example of smart tools that are being developed to make our office lives easier and businesses more intelligent is the chat program Slack. Well, it’s not only a chat program as it can do a lot of stuff, almost entirely replacing the email system. Also, it can be integrated with other programs which make it even more powerful. Predictions are that such smart tools along with machines will take 70% out of the workload of the employee.

Interconnected devices

Businesses do not exist only online so we also have to take into consideration how everything will affect the real-life merchants and businesses.  The already emerging technology of 3D printing is already changing the way small and big offline businesses develop. This comes to complete the array of sensors and beacons like RFID and NFC that already play a huge role.

Bottom line is that the speed with which technology evolves makes it very hard to accurately predict what is going to happen and what will be the next big developments when it comes to businesses. However, perhaps the biggest development and the game changer is exactly this increased pace that makes everything else possible.

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