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Most Common Mistakes New Freelancers make and How to Avoid Them

سب سے عام غلطیاں نئے فری لانسرز کرتے ہیں اور ان سے کیسے بچنا ہے۔

Are you a newbie in the world of freelancing and thriving hard to successfully establish your career in this field? If yes, then you have to know about the most common mistakes almost every new freelancer makes and how to avoid them. Mistakes are actually part of the learning curve and you would not be able to enjoy the success if mistakes aren’t there. Freelancing is not about getting bulk of money all at once nor it’s an easy job. Rather, it’s a continuous process to develop and polish your skills. I still remember the time when I used to be a layman but desperately wanted to make some achievements as a freelancer. Also, I had some substandard views regarding freelancing in Pakistan and its authenticity. The reason being that, I heard about so many people that they had to face scammers and fraudulent activities but not the potential buyers. There was also an insecurity about getting paid and payment methods. But thanks to Chief Minister’s e-Rozgaar program, after getting enrolled there, the hardworking trainers cleared all the misconceptions in my mind and helped me to kick start my career, by directing towards the right way to do these things. It’s Only because of their efforts that I was able to earn more than 600$ within 68 days and also achieved level one on Fiverr (a freelancing Platform). Now that I am not a new seller anymore, I feel that some new freelancers are not getting the desired results even if they are working hard. That is why I curated this guide to make them aware of the most common mistakes they are making and how to avoid them. So, let’s get started!

کیا آپ فری لانسنگ کی دنیا میں نئے ہیں اور اس شعبے میں کامیابی کے ساتھ اپنا کیریئر قائم کرنے کے لیے سخت محنت کر رہے ہیں؟ اگر ہاں، تو آپ کو ان سب سے عام غلطیوں کے بارے میں جاننا ہوگا جو تقریباً ہر نیا فری لانسر کرتا ہے اور ان سے کیسے بچنا ہے۔ غلطیاں دراصل سیکھنے کے منحنی خطوط کا حصہ ہیں اور اگر غلطیاں نہ ہوں تو آپ کامیابی سے لطف اندوز نہیں ہو پائیں گے۔ فری لانسنگ ایک ہی وقت میں زیادہ تر رقم حاصل کرنے کے بارے میں نہیں ہے اور نہ ہی یہ کوئی آسان کام ہے۔ بلکہ، یہ آپ کی صلاحیتوں کو فروغ دینے اور پالش کرنے کا ایک مسلسل عمل ہے۔ مجھے وہ وقت اب بھی یاد ہے جب میں ایک عام آدمی ہوا کرتا تھا لیکن ایک فری لانسر کے طور پر کچھ کامیابیاں حاصل کرنا چاہتا تھا۔ نیز، پاکستان میں فری لانسنگ اور اس کی صداقت کے حوالے سے میرے کچھ غیر معیاری خیالات تھے۔ اس کی وجہ یہ ہے کہ میں نے بہت سارے لوگوں کے بارے میں سنا ہے کہ انہیں دھوکہ دہی اور دھوکہ دہی کی سرگرمیوں کا سامنا کرنا پڑا لیکن ممکنہ خریداروں کا نہیں۔ ادائیگی حاصل کرنے اور ادائیگی کے طریقوں کے بارے میں بھی ایک عدم تحفظ تھا۔ لیکن چیف منسٹر کے ای-روزگار پروگرام کی بدولت، وہاں داخلہ لینے کے بعد، محنتی ٹرینرز نے میرے ذہن میں موجود تمام غلط فہمیوں کو دور کیا اور ان چیزوں کو کرنے کے صحیح طریقے کی طرف رہنمائی کرتے ہوئے، اپنے کیریئر کو شروع کرنے میں میری مدد کی۔ یہ صرف ان کی کوششوں کی وجہ سے ہے کہ میں 68 دنوں کے اندر 600$ سے زیادہ کمانے میں کامیاب ہوا اور Fiverr (ایک فری لانسنگ پلیٹ فارم) پر بھی پہلا درجہ حاصل کیا۔ اب جب کہ میں نیا سیلر نہیں ہوں، مجھے لگتا ہے کہ کچھ نئے فری لانسرز محنت کرنے کے باوجود مطلوبہ نتائج حاصل نہیں کر رہے ہیں۔ یہی وجہ ہے کہ میں نے اس گائیڈ کو تیار کیا تاکہ وہ ان سب سے عام غلطیوں سے آگاہ کر سکیں جو وہ کر رہے ہیں اور ان سے کیسے بچنا ہے۔ تو، آئیے شروع کریں!

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Start your online business first step is to make a website. You can earn money start business. Click here to start online business and to get free domain name with purchase of hosting. We will make your website free of cost اپنا آن لائن کاروبار شروع کریں پہلا قدم ایک ویب سائٹ بنانا ہے۔ آپ کاروبار شروع کر کے پیسے کما سکتے ہیں۔ آن لائن کاروبار شروع کرنے اور ہوسٹنگ کی خریداری کے ساتھ مفت ڈومین نام حاصل کرنے کے لیے یہاں کلک کریں۔ ہم آپ کی ویب سائٹ فری بنا کر دیں گے

THINKING THAT FREELANCING IS AN EASY JOB

It’s the biggest mistakes some of us do as a newbie. No doubt freelancing is a ‘work from home’ type of job but that doesn’t mean it’s that much easy. Taking it lightly will definitely lead to failure because you have to establish it like your new business by putting in a lot of effort. Your 24/7 availability is a MUST! It’s not like winning a lottery that you dived in, earned thousands of dollars and spending the rest of your life doing nothing. Things do not work that way, you have to be consistent and be ready to accept failures as Einstein said, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” So, always try to learn from the mistakes and do not repeat them.

یہ سوچتے ہوئے کہ فری لانسنگ ایک آسان کام ہے۔

یہ سب سے بڑی غلطیاں ہیں جو ہم میں سے کچھ لوگ بطور نوزائیدہ کرتے ہیں۔ اس میں کوئی شک نہیں کہ فری لانسنگ ایک ‘گھر سے کام’ قسم کی جاب ہے لیکن اس کا مطلب یہ نہیں کہ یہ اتنا آسان ہے۔ اسے ہلکے سے لینا یقینی طور پر ناکامی کا باعث بنے گا کیونکہ آپ کو بہت زیادہ محنت کرکے اسے اپنے نئے کاروبار کی طرح قائم کرنا ہوگا۔ آپ کی 24/7 دستیابی ضروری ہے! یہ ایسی لاٹری جیتنے کی طرح نہیں ہے جس میں آپ نے غوطہ لگایا، ہزاروں ڈالر کمائے اور اپنی باقی زندگی کچھ نہ کرتے ہوئے گزار دی۔ چیزیں اس طرح کام نہیں کرتیں، آپ کو مستقل مزاجی اور ناکامیوں کو قبول کرنے کے لیے تیار رہنا ہوگا جیسا کہ آئن سٹائن نے کہا تھا، “وہ شخص جس نے کبھی غلطی نہیں کی، کبھی کوئی نئی کوشش نہیں کی۔” لہذا، ہمیشہ غلطیوں سے سیکھنے کی کوشش کریں اور انہیں دوبارہ نہ کریں۔

SPENDING YOUR EARNINGS ALL AT ONCE

Unexpected things happen in the world of freelancing and there is a possibility that someday, you can earn more than usual but that doesn’t mean, you can immediately spend all of that money. Of course, you are free to do the things you like but its recommended to put a small amount aside every month just in case of need. Think of it as your retirement plan because there is uncertainty in this field and you cannot expect what will happen next. Same as a business, where people earn huge profits but the loses are also there. Remember that your habit of spending too much may lead you to quit this career. So, spend wisely and there must be some funds kept aside for those ‘rainy days’.

اپنی تمام کمائیوں کو ایک ساتھ خرچ کرنا

فری لانسنگ کی دنیا میں غیر متوقع چیزیں ہوتی ہیں اور اس بات کا امکان ہے کہ کسی دن، آپ معمول سے زیادہ کما سکتے ہیں لیکن اس کا مطلب یہ نہیں ہے کہ آپ فوری طور پر اس ساری رقم کو خرچ کر سکتے ہیں۔ بلاشبہ، آپ اپنی پسند کے کام کرنے کے لیے آزاد ہیں لیکن ضرورت پڑنے پر ہر ماہ تھوڑی سی رقم الگ کرنے کی سفارش کی جاتی ہے۔ اسے اپنا ریٹائرمنٹ پلان سمجھیں کیونکہ اس فیلڈ میں غیر یقینی صورتحال ہے اور آپ یہ توقع نہیں کر سکتے کہ آگے کیا ہوگا۔ کاروبار کی طرح، جہاں لوگ بہت زیادہ منافع کماتے ہیں لیکن نقصان بھی ہوتا ہے۔ یاد رکھیں کہ آپ کی بہت زیادہ خرچ کرنے کی عادت آپ کو اس کیرئیر کو چھوڑنے پر مجبور کر سکتی ہے۔ لہذا، سمجھداری سے خرچ کریں اور ان ‘بارش کے دنوں’ کے لیے کچھ فنڈز ضرور رکھے جائیں۔

LEARN WHEN TO SAY NO!

The best thing about freelancing is, you can set your own rates and working hours but problem arises when you fail to maintain a work-life balance. It’s really important not take too much work that you cannot handle. I had such an experience when I took an order to write 10 articles within a week while there were another two orders pending in the queue. I thought to test my capabilities and how far I can go. That wasn’t a good experienced at all because though I succeeded to deliver the work on time but had to work all day long and was extremely exhausted in the end by producing low quality work. So, always maintain a work-life balance and don’t let the work take over your life.

I know it sounds terrifying to refuse new buyers hence losing a client for a lifetime but it’s better to say NO rather than providing low quality work. Either way, the client will not come back so why to spoil your reputation as a freelancer by providing that service which is not up to the mark due to shortage of time?

سیکھیں کہ کب نہیں کہنا ہے!

فری لانسنگ کے بارے میں سب سے اچھی بات یہ ہے کہ، آپ اپنی شرحیں اور کام کے اوقات خود مقرر کر سکتے ہیں لیکن مسئلہ اس وقت پیدا ہوتا ہے جب آپ کام اور زندگی کا توازن برقرار رکھنے میں ناکام رہتے ہیں۔ یہ واقعی اہم ہے کہ بہت زیادہ کام نہ کریں جسے آپ سنبھال نہیں سکتے۔ مجھے ایسا تجربہ اس وقت ہوا جب میں نے ایک ہفتے کے اندر 10 آرٹیکلز لکھنے کا آرڈر لیا جبکہ مزید دو آرڈرز قطار میں پڑے تھے۔ میں نے سوچا کہ اپنی صلاحیتوں کو جانچوں کہ میں کہاں تک جا سکتا ہوں۔ یہ بالکل بھی اچھا تجربہ نہیں تھا کیونکہ اگرچہ میں کام کو وقت پر پہنچانے میں کامیاب ہو گیا لیکن دن بھر کام کرنا پڑا اور آخر کار کم معیار کا کام کر کے بہت تھک گیا۔ لہذا، ہمیشہ کام اور زندگی کا توازن برقرار رکھیں اور کام کو اپنی زندگی پر قبضہ نہ ہونے دیں۔

میں جانتا ہوں کہ نئے خریداروں سے انکار کرنا خوفناک لگتا ہے اس لیے ایک کلائنٹ کو زندگی بھر کے لیے کھونا پڑتا ہے لیکن کم معیار کا کام فراہم کرنے کے بجائے نہ کہنا بہتر ہے۔ کسی بھی صورت میں، کلائنٹ واپس نہیں آئے گا، اس لیے ایک فری لانسر کے طور پر اپنی ساکھ کو وہ سروس فراہم کرکے کیوں خراب کیا جائے جو وقت کی کمی کی وجہ سے درست نہیں ہے؟

UNDERVALUING YOUR SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES

This is another most common mistake made by new freelancers. They do not trust their skills and hence failed to charge enough. Do not let the buyers exploit you. As the main goal of every business is to maximize profit, so is the goal of freelancing. Don’t be shy in demanding what your right is, because you are not doing charity work rather making a living out of it. Don’t let the buyer set the price of your service, it is a thing that you need to do yourself. Another harm which you will be doing to this market is spoiling the standard rates. People who are already working for years will face difficulty which is not a good gift from your side to the people working in your industry.

So be confident in your capabilities and ask for the rate which is worthy of your service. Charging less will lead to the slower growth of your career and you may be left behind in this competitive industry!

اپنی صلاحیتوں اور صلاحیتوں کو کم کرنا

یہ نئے فری لانسرز کی طرف سے کی جانے والی ایک اور سب سے عام غلطی ہے۔ وہ اپنی صلاحیتوں پر بھروسہ نہیں کرتے اور اس وجہ سے کافی چارج کرنے میں ناکام رہے۔ خریداروں کو آپ کا استحصال نہ ہونے دیں۔ جیسا کہ ہر کاروبار کا بنیادی مقصد زیادہ سے زیادہ منافع حاصل کرنا ہوتا ہے، اسی طرح فری لانسنگ کا مقصد بھی ہے۔ آپ کا حق مانگنے میں شرم محسوس نہ کریں کیونکہ آپ فلاحی کام نہیں کر رہے ہیں بلکہ اس سے روزی کما رہے ہیں۔ خریدار کو اپنی سروس کی قیمت متعین نہ کرنے دیں، یہ ایک ایسی چیز ہے جو آپ کو خود کرنے کی ضرورت ہے۔ ایک اور نقصان جو آپ اس مارکیٹ کو کر رہے ہوں گے وہ ہے معیاری نرخوں کو خراب کرنا۔ جو لوگ پہلے ہی سالوں سے کام کر رہے ہیں انہیں مشکل کا سامنا کرنا پڑے گا جو آپ کی طرف سے آپ کی صنعت میں کام کرنے والے لوگوں کے لیے اچھا تحفہ نہیں ہے۔

اس لیے اپنی صلاحیتوں پر بھروسہ رکھیں اور وہ شرح مانگیں جو آپ کی خدمت کے لائق ہو۔ کم چارج کرنے سے آپ کے کیریئر کی ترقی سست ہوگی اور آپ اس مسابقتی صنعت میں پیچھے رہ سکتے ہیں!

NOT GROWING YOUR CAREER ORGANICALLY

This happens when there arises a communication gap between you and your buyer. Try to communicate well by letting them know about all of your skills. For example, if you are developing a WordPress website for a customer and you can also design a logo, then must try to encourage them to hire you for that job as well. This can be done by communicating in the right way. Don’t stop at a single static point because freelancing is all about change and learning something new each day. It will be a huge mistake if you leave the opportunity to grow organically due to poor communication.

اپنے کیریئر کو باضابطہ طور پر نہیں بڑھانا

ایسا تب ہوتا ہے جب آپ اور آپ کے خریدار کے درمیان مواصلاتی خلاء پیدا ہوتا ہے۔ انہیں اپنی تمام صلاحیتوں کے بارے میں بتا کر اچھی طرح سے بات چیت کرنے کی کوشش کریں۔ مثال کے طور پر، اگر آپ کسی گاہک کے لیے ایک ورڈپریس ویب سائٹ تیار کر رہے ہیں اور آپ لوگو بھی ڈیزائن کر سکتے ہیں، تو ان کی حوصلہ افزائی کرنے کی کوشش کرنی چاہیے کہ وہ آپ کو اس کام کے لیے بھی ملازمت دیں۔ یہ صحیح طریقے سے بات چیت کے ذریعے کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ کسی ایک سٹیٹک پوائنٹ پر مت رکیں کیونکہ فری لانسنگ ہر روز تبدیلی اور کچھ نیا سیکھنے کے بارے میں ہے۔ اگر آپ ناقص مواصلات کی وجہ سے نامیاتی طور پر بڑھنے کا موقع چھوڑ دیتے ہیں تو یہ ایک بہت بڑی غلطی ہوگی۔

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Freelancing in Pakistan

Maybe you’ve dreamed of going out on your own for years—no more saluting that boss or supervisor or working hours that someone else decides for you. But the idea of starting your own business can be scary. You don’t see yourself as a CEO, at least not yet. You just want to earn income on your own terms.

Freelancing might be the answer. A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers services to clients, and often to multiple clients at a time. Freelancing can be a fast and affordable way to get started working as your own boss, often from the comfort of home.

Set your own hours. Freelancing is flexible. You can often work full- or part-time on projects of your choice. If you’re a full-time freelancer, then you’re on your own for benefits. That means no getting a discounted group rate on your health insurance, or getting those premiums deducted from your paycheck. It also means not having an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

ہو سکتا ہے کہ آپ نے سالوں سے اپنے طور پر باہر جانے کا خواب دیکھا ہو — اس باس یا سپروائزر یا کام کے اوقات کو مزید سلام نہیں کرنا جو کوئی اور آپ کے لیے فیصلہ کرتا ہے۔ لیکن اپنا کاروبار شروع کرنے کا خیال خوفناک ہو سکتا ہے۔ آپ خود کو سی ای او کے طور پر نہیں دیکھتے، کم از کم ابھی تک نہیں۔ آپ صرف اپنی شرائط پر آمدنی حاصل کرنا چاہتے ہیں۔

فری لانسنگ کا جواب ہوسکتا ہے۔ ایک فری لانسر ایک خود ملازم شخص ہوتا ہے جو کلائنٹس کو اور اکثر ایک وقت میں متعدد کلائنٹس کو خدمات پیش کرتا ہے۔ فری لانسنگ آپ کے اپنے باس کے طور پر کام شروع کرنے کا ایک تیز اور سستا طریقہ ہو سکتا ہے، اکثر گھر کے آرام سے۔

اپنے اوقات خود طے کریں۔ فری لانسنگ لچکدار ہے۔ آپ اکثر اپنی پسند کے منصوبوں پر مکمل یا جز وقتی کام کر سکتے ہیں۔ اگر آپ کل وقتی فری لانسر ہیں، تو آپ فوائد کے لیے خود ہی ہیں۔ اس کا مطلب ہے کہ آپ کے ہیلتھ انشورنس پر رعایتی گروپ ریٹ حاصل نہیں کرنا، یا ان پریمیم کو آپ کے پے چیک سے کاٹنا نہیں ہے۔ اس کا مطلب یہ بھی ہے کہ آجر کے زیر کفالت ریٹائرمنٹ پلان نہ ہو۔

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Pakistan’s E-commerce Market Expected to Cross $7 Billion in 2022

Pakistan’s E-commerce Market Expected to Cross $7 Billion in 2022
Click here to get free domain name with purchase of hosting
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8 Easy Businesses to Start

8 Easy Businesses to Start
Sam Walton was an ex-retail employee who got the idea to buy a little five and dime store in a small town in Arkansas. That small beginning eventually became Walmart, a global giant that today has over 11, 000 stores.
Sam Walton was an ex-retail employee who got the idea to buy a little five and dime store in a small town in Arkansas. That small beginning eventually became Walmart, a global giant that today has over 11, 000 stores.

Sometimes entrepreneurs dream about an aha, world-changing tech business. They struggle to come up with a unique idea.

But the most enduring businesses often begin as simple ideas.

8 Easy Businesses to Start Today

As the Sam Walton example shows, even a simple retail store can hold huge promise if you work hard. Here are eight examples of businesses that are easy to start.

Logo Designer

If you have some basic design skills and access to a computer and graphic design software, one option is to start your own graphic design business. Focus on something simple like logo design.

Set up a website using a low cost platform like Wix, Weebly or GoDaddy to showcase samples of your work. You may also want to offer your services on freelance marketplace sites.

But you’re not limited to the online world. Target businesses in your local area through your local chamber of commerce and local listings. Then build repeat business through word of mouth.

House and Pet Sitter

If you’re seeking a business with virtually no upfront cost, then house sitting and pet sitting services are one option. You don’t need any training or equipment — just be responsible.

Offer your services through online classifieds or marketplaces like Care.com and Rover.com. Put out flyers and touch base with potential referral sources such as veterinarians and realtors.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants help businesses and individuals with online administrative work. Tasks include helping clients manage email correspondence, schedule calendar appointments and update social media accounts. For tools you need an internet connection and a computer.

Freelance platforms like Upwork and Freelancer can be a source of new clients. Create your own website and use social media for marketing, too.

Errand Service

Offer services ranging from grocery shopping to picking up dry cleaning. You don’t need any training or capital to get started. But unless you live in an area with reliable public transportation, you’ll probably need a vehicle.

You’ll also need a way to market your services. One option is to offer your services on errand marketplaces like TaskRabbit, Cheaver or ErrandTribe, or in local classifieds.

E-commerce Seller

Anyone can open a shop on e-commerce marketplaces like eBay, Meylah or Amazon. If you find a good wholesaler or other source for quality products, create your own niche business with an online store.

The cost can be under $50 a month for the selling platform, plus transaction fees. Then purchase the goods you plan on selling and some shipping materials. Since it’s online commerce, you don’t need to start with a lot of inventory, either.

Click here to get free domain name with purchase of hosting


Photographer

Have an artistic eye and like to take pictures? Consider starting a photography business.

There are several different niches including baby, wedding or event photographer. You can even take photos and sell them online as stock images.

A camera, a computer, good lighting and some editing software are the primary tools.

Tutor

If you have any expertise in an academic subject area, you could offer tutoring services.

As a tutor, you work one-on-one with clients to help them understand specific subject matter. You can even focus on things like SAT prep.

If you don’t have enough of a potential client base in your immediate area, offer your service to online clients. Use a free video platform such as Skype or Hangouts to hold tutoring sessions.

Video Creator

If you like to shoot video, YouTube and basic Vimeo accounts are free and easy to set up. And if you get enough regular viewers, you can build an entire business around the platform, earning advertising revenues.

There’s no shortage of video subject matter. Businesses have been built on everything from funny cat videos to DIY home improvement tutorials.

Once you start your channel and post content regularly, focus on building your network online.

Final Pointers

Finally, as with starting any new business, don’t forget to check your state and local authorities to see if your chosen business requires any special licenses. Be sure to also check regarding any sales tax implications. If you’re adopting a name for your business make sure it is legally available. After you do your legal homework, get started!

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What Is a POS and Why Does Your Business Need One?

What Is a POS and Why Does Your Business Need One?
The term Point of Sale (POS) describes the place where retail transactions are made. Think of it as the equivalent of a cash register.
The term Point of Sale (POS) describes the place where retail transactions are made. Think of it as the equivalent of a cash register. POS includes the hardware and software related to transactions, such as the cash drawer, credit card swipe bar, barcode scanners, receipt printers, and more.

POS is an important feature for all businesses that sell products, whether it’s in a store or online. But a good POS does more than just ring up the customer. Today’s POS systems are often integrated with other systems, streamlining operations. A POS can also automatically help with merchant transactions, and assist with analyzing data in your business for greater success.

Investing in a POS system is hailed as being one of the best things you can do for your business.

Here are six benefits of a good POS and why your business needs one.

1. Increase Functionality

POS systems are comprised of various hardware, software, and levels of sophistication and complexity. However, as Investopedia notes, even the most basic POS systems, which include an electronic cash register and software to coordinate sales data, allows businesses to increase their functionality.

With a modern POS system, businesses can improve their flow and function.

As Yamarie Grullon, of POS provider ShopKeep, explained “Modern POS systems do more than just offer flexibility when processing daily transactions. They improve a merchant’s chances of success by providing them with the tools to streamline business operations.”

2. Streamline Sales from Multiple Locations

A mobile POS system enables you to conduct business and sell products from multiple locations — and still be streamlined. By investing in a mobile POS system, you can expand the reach of your business and products, selling to consumers from locations other than a physical store.

Mobile POS software — together with a simple swipe device — can effectively turn your smartphone into a retail POS system, allowing you to accept transactions remotely, and consequently expanding business operations. Mobile POS systems can be useful for accepting credit cards and selling at fairs, craft shows, and farmers markets.

3. Track Real-Time Data About Sales Performance

POS systems simplify business data management related to sales. You can log, track, and access real-time data quickly, efficiently, and securely.

Rather than requiring you to transfer data from one system to another, a good POS will be integrated and offer real-time dashboards to see sales performance and metrics at any moment.

4. Improve Inventory Control

Modern POS systems are comprised of a database which enables merchants to keep track of the items they have in stock. With advanced inventory data stored within the POS software, retailers can use their POS to look up previous transactions, track their best-selling items, and reorder products when they get low in stock. Look for a POS that either integrates with your inventory system or offers its own centralized inventory management.

5. Get Greater Control of Employee Management

POS systems can be an effective way to track sales by individual employees. As well as the employer monitoring the performance of sales teams, employees can use such systems to track their own sales statistics. By tracking sales statistics, employees become more aware of their own personal sales targets and objectives.

As well as being a powerful motivator in achieving individual sales targets and objectives, a POS can act as an effective tool in identifying where sales can be improved, through means such as improving customer service.

6. Manage Taxes

Managing taxes can be time-consuming, complex, and confusing. An advanced POS system for retailers calculates the tax for you, including across states, providing simple tax management and therefore saving you time. It will help you reduce errors, too.

A modern POS system will help make your business more cost-focused, will save you time, can improve your relationships with customers, make your business more flexible and mobile, and record vital inventory and revenue data.

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20 Things You Can Sell Online

20 Things You Can Sell Online
From virtual services to physical products that use your own unique designs, check out these suggestions for things to sell online that you may not have considered before.
You already know that you can build a business selling collectibles on eBay or ebooks on Amazon, but those are just a couple of the options out there for selling products and services online. From virtual services to physical products that use your own unique designs, check out these suggestions for things to sell online that you may not have considered before.

Website Domain

When you purchase the domain for a website, you own it. That means you also have the right to sell it. Whether you’ve purchased a domain that you no longer use or want to build a business around this type of product, you can display a message on your home page listing the domain for sale and then use marketplaces like Flippa or Sedo to find potential buyers.

Click here to get free domain name with purchase of hosting



Website Templates

To help people create beautiful websites, anyone with some coding or programming knowledge can create customizable templates for WordPress or Squarespace and then offer them for sale. You can sell them on dedicated marketplaces like WP Shop or Etsy.

Apps

For those who can develop desktop or mobile apps, you can sell those in the Apple Store, Google Play, or specific platform marketplaces like Salesforce or Shopify.

Images

Photographers, turn your photos into passive income by making them available on sites like Shutterstock or 500px, where bloggers or online businesses can purchase your images for a small fee.

Music

People who create video or audio content could often use some music or sound effects to enhance their own content. So musicians or sound effect artists can sell the rights to songs or similar content on sites like Royalty Exchange or AudioJungle.

Video Content

Similarly, companies may need video footage for presentations or to enhance their own video marketing. Some stock photo sites like Shutterstock also offer a marketplace for video content, and there are also video-specific sites like VideoHive and Motion Array.

Courses

If you have expertise in a specific area, you can essentially sell your knowledge to others by creating a course using sites like Udemy or SkillShare. Teach anything from cross stitching to setting up a new computer.

Printable Workbooks

Another way to share your expertise is to create printable workbooks by designing downloadable PDF files. Then you can upload them to your own ecommerce site and deliver them to your customers via email or direct download on the sales page. You can also use marketplaces like PayLoads and SendOwl to sell digital downloads.

Consultations

If you prefer a more one-on-one approach, you can offer in-person or virtual consultations with clients on a variety of subjects. Use a scheduling tool like Acuity or Calendly so customers can book blocks of time with you. Then use that time to help them design their home, provide business advice, or provide whatever type of guidance falls within your niche.

Meal or Workout Plans

Especially when it comes to health and wellness, people can often use a general guide to help them create their own positive habits. If you have experience as a personal trainer or nutritionist, you could create customized meal or workout plans for people looking to make those changes. Real Plans and Trainerize are two sites that allow you to sell customized meal plans.

Access to Events

People are always looking to attend special events. Sell tickets to concerts or other in-person events on marketplaces like StubHub Vivd Seating, or sell access to your own virtual webinars or events using a virtual platform like AnyMeeting or Skype.

Memberships

If you create a part of your website that’s extra valuable, you can sell access to it on a membership basis. Podia and Memberful are a few options for selling memberships to customers.

T-Shirt Designs

You don’t need to physically sell t-shirts in order to make money. You can create designs and upload them to sites like Redbubble or Merch and they’ll create the actual products.

Printable Artwork

Another option for artists or designers: turn your artwork into downloadable PDF files and then list it for sale, either on your own site or marketplaces like Zazzle or Society6.

Access to Your Influence or Audience

If you’ve worked hard to cultivate a dedicated audience on your blog or social media channels, you can sell that influence to brands via influencer marketing campaigns. Intellifluence and Pepperjam are some platforms that allow you to market that opportunity to relevant brands.

Professional Services

If you’re a writer, editor, virtual assistant, graphic designer or any other type of online service provider, use platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to list your services and sell them online to other businesses on a freelance basis.

Templates

To help others on a more product based level, sell templates for blog posts, speeches or even website disclaimers. Offer them as printables or downloadable PDFs. Theme Forest and Template Cloud both offer a number of options for offering these types of products.

Research Reports

For those who are able to perform professional research, compile your findings into a report and then offer it as a downloadable ebook or guide. You can also gain visibility for your reports on sites like RnR Market Research or Savio.

Photo Filters

For those with photo editing experience, you can create Photoshop or Lightroom actions and then offer them for sale on FilterGrade or Etsy.

Graphic Elements

Similarly, you can sell stickers, fonts or other graphics that people can use in their own marketing or branding materials. Sites like Graphic River and Creative Market can help you get your graphics in front of potential customers.

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Startups and Franchises business

Startups and Franchises business
Whether you build your own business from the ground up or opt to buy a franchise, there are some key differences to consider.
Startups

If you’re entrepreneurial-minded, a pure startup business is the way to go. That’s because you can use 100% of your creative juices 24/7.

In a nutshell, you are the person who:

Comes up with a business idea
Puts together the business plan
Creates relationships with lenders
Tests and perfects your idea
Creates distribution channels
Puts together the marketing plan
Creates policies and procedures
Hires staff
Negotiates the commercial space
Opens the business
As you can see, your plate will be full. The hours needed to start your business will be long and hard. But if you believe in your business idea, and you’re willing to see where your idea will take you, those long hours will be good hours. After all, this is your “baby” we’re talking about here.

Pros and Cons of a Startup

If you’re thinking of starting your own business, based on your idea for a needed product or service, there are a few things you need to know before you dive into the pool.

The Pros

You own the idea
You’re the Creative Director
You retain all of the equity
You can run your business as you please
There are no rules
You keep 100% of the profits
The Cons

Your total upfront investment is unpredictable
You don’t have a clue as to when you’ll break-even
You can’t get a good handle on your expenses at first
Your risk is big, because you don’t know if your idea will work
You’ll be under tremendous pressure to make your business profitable
All in all, when it comes to a startup, the risks are high, but your potential financial rewards can make the risk worth it.

Franchises

Franchise businesses are quite popular.

When you stop to think about it, the idea that you can open a business up in a short period of time, using a proven business formula with an upfront cost that’s fully disclosed, is attractive. But as you’ll see, franchising is not for everyone.

Pros and Cons of Franchising

Over the years, franchising has enabled hundreds of thousands of people to go into business for themselves. There are many reasons why franchising works. Franchise businesses provide:

A proven business model
A business system that’s been tested and proven to work
Technology that helps you, as a franchisee, stay efficient and organized
Marketing programs you can use immediately
Support from headquarters
A network of fellow franchisees that you can quickly contact when you run into problems
On the flipside, as good as franchising is, it’s not perfect.

For instance, as a franchisee:

You’ll be required to follow the business system and represent the brand as specified in your franchise contract
You’ll be paying royalties to your franchisor for the life of your business
You may have to spend money on things like technology upgrades, re-branding, new store designs and/ the like that your franchisor requires
You’ll only be able to buy products from approved vendors
If the national brand experiences negative publicity, your local business may be affected
Given these points, if you’re thinking about going the franchise route to get into business, you need to make sure you’re comfortable with the restrictions placed on you as a franchisee.

That said, I’m going to answer the question you have running through your head. That question is: “What is a better way to go into business; a startup or a franchise?” My answer is that both ways can be good.

If you have an idea for a business, and you really believe in it, you need to seriously consider a startup.

If you would rather leverage someone else’s business idea to own what you do, and you’re comfortable with following rules, you need to investigate the franchise model.

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5 Ways to Start Selling Online

5 Ways to Start Selling Online
Today’s sellers have a ton of options to sell online. Take a look at the five most popular options.
more than 504 billion in revenue last year. And it’s expected to grow to more than 735 billion by 2023.

With so much potential in the market, it’s the perfect time for entrepreneurs to get started selling products online. Today’s sellers have a ton of options to make this happen. Here are five of the most popular.
Your Own Ecommerce Store
Building an ecommerce store from scratch is the most traditional option. It takes some work to get all of the pieces together. But it also gives you the most control.

With this option, you need to find your own website hosting and domain. Then you need to actually design the layout, add products and fill it with content. Of course, you can hire a designer or developer to do some of this for you.

When you’re done, you’ll have your very own site that you can control every aspect of. You have the freedom to add new products, change content and fiddle with the back end functionality.

Hosted Ecommerce Platforms
Hosted ecommerce platforms differ from dedicated ecommerce sites because the majority of the work that goes into creating the site is already done for you. Basically, this SaaS offering gives you all the functionality of your own ecommerce site. But you don’t have as much control over the details.

Shopify, BigCommerce and Big Cartel are all examples of this. Each one allows you to quickly set up a storefront from a select set of options. Often, you can choose from themes and templates. And some even offer further customization options. They also give you instructions for adding products, photos and other content to the site.

To your customers, this type of site might appear very similar to an ecommerce site that you set up on your own. But if you have very specific design or back-end preferences, they might not be available. Additionally, this type of site is often easier or less expensive to get up and running. But they usually charge monthly fees that may exceed basic hosting fees over time.

Marketplace Sites
Marketplace sites include things like Etsy, eBay and Amazon, where small businesses can sell their products alongside other sellers. On the back end, these work fairly similar to hosted ecommerce platforms. But there are usually fewer options for customization. Most of these sites also charge a listing fee or take a percentage of each sale.

However, these sites have one very clear benefit over other options — a built-in audience. Amazon gets nearly 59 million monthly unique visitors. EBay gets nearly 27 million. And Etsy gets nearly 16 million who are specifically looking for vintage or handmade products.

These sites are less personalized to your own products. In searches, your products will most likely show up alongside others from competing sellers. But the chances that you’d get all of those visitors to your own website are slim. So if you’re able to create attractive listings that set your products apart, this could be the option for you. Additionally, some sellers make their products available on these platforms, while still keeping their own dedicated sites for loyal shoppers.

Social Media
Today, about 72 percent of U.S. adults use at least one social media platform. So for businesses, it makes sense to meet customers where they already spend time.

The options for selling products on social media vary by platform. Facebook, for example, allows page owners to set up storefronts right on their business page. Instagram also has a feature that lets users create shoppable posts. Basically, users just click on a post to see the products pictured, then they can follow the links to complete a purchase right within the app.

The built-in audience is definitely the key benefit of this option. However, many of the people spending time on social media aren’t in the mindset of making purchases. So you may have to do more work to convert buyers than you would on a dedicated ecommerce site where people are already looking for products.

Ecommerce Add-Ons
Ecommerce add-ons give you an option that sits somewhere between building your own site and using a hosted platform. You create your own site and then use plug-ins or pre-made options to facilitate things like payments or buy buttons.



This makes the process of getting up and running easier and can save you money in the long run. However, there are a lot of moving parts to organize if you go this route. So it can get a bit complicated. And you may have to worry about certain components of your site experiencing glitches at differing times.

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Franchising A Business

Franchising A Business
If you’re thinking about buying a franchise, it doesn’t hurt to know what it takes to franchise a business.
Most of the articles I write here provide information on choosing, researching and buying franchises.

That’s because there are a lot more people looking to become franchise owners than there are looking to franchise their businesses.

That said, if you’re thinking about buying a franchise, it doesn’t hurt to know what it takes to franchise a business.

Because as you’ll soon see, a lot of hard work goes into turning an independent business into a franchise business. What follows is a basic overview of the process.



Validating the Idea

Before someone can turn their business into a franchise business, they need to make sure they have something. This “something” needs to be special.

A good example is Colonel Harland David Sanders, who started out selling fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in the 1930’s. His chicken sold so well, he perfected his “secret recipe” and along with his (eventually patented) method of using a pressure fryer to cook his chicken, started Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

What he had was obviously special, as he began franchising his business, and by 1964 he had opened more than 600 locations before selling it to a group of investors. As of this writing, there are over 21,000 locations worldwide. Amazing.



Duplication

It’s one thing to create and build a successful business. It’s quite another to successfully duplicate it.

For example, you can own and operate the busiest senior care operation in your local area, (and have a desire to franchise the business) but if you can’t duplicate it on the other side of town, you’re stuck.

Tip: Don’t attempt to franchise your business until you have a second location up and running. One that’s profitable.



Creating a System

One thing that all of today’s successful franchises share is a solid business system. One that can be easily followed.

The good news is since you were able to duplicate your business, you already have the makings of a business system.

But you need to make sure you document everything you did to open location #2. Including:

Square footage
Details of the items your contractors used to build-out the location
Technology needed to operate the business
Signage used
Types of employees needed
Marketing
And more.

Basically, by the time you’re done documenting everything you’ve done, along with everything needed to operate the business on a daily basis, you’ll be looking at the beginnings of a franchise operating manual. That said, you’ll want to find a franchise development firm that can help tighten it up and produce the final product.



Legalities

Now that you have two businesses up and running, along with the documentation needed to continue duplicating it, you must make your franchise legal.

From the Franchise Law Solutions website*:

“The franchise laws are a combination of federal and state laws that govern the registration, offer and sale of franchises, and the legal relationship between franchisors and franchisees.”

In a nutshell, your business needs to be registered as a franchise business. Doing so, along with having the proper documents, like the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) for instance, will enable you to sell franchises to others.

It goes without saying that you’ll need to hire an experienced franchise attorney to structure your business and draft the proper documents.

Marketing and Sales

Once you’re legally permitted to sell franchises, you’ll need to market your franchise. After all, would-be franchise owners (generally) aren’t going to show up at your door, check in hand.

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a marketing campaign. I recommend hiring an experienced franchise marketing firm to jump-start the process.

Next, you’ll need to create a step-by-step sales process that all interested franchise candidates will go through. And since you’ve never sold franchises, it would behoove you to hire people that know how to do it. You can hire franchise salespeople individually, or you can use a franchise sales firm.

From this point on, the market takes over.

And if you’ve done everything right, you’ll sell franchises.

And that means your idea worked.

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Working From Home Is Becoming More Possible

Working From Home Is Becoming More Possible
Thanks to technology, more and more people have opportunities to make a living working from home.
In contrast to the ever-present “Make Money Online” types of “opportunities” you can find on the web, there are hundreds of legitimate business and franchise opportunities available. You just have to know where to find them.

In this post, I’m going to tell you where to find businesses that may allow you to achieve your dream of being your own boss from the comfort of your own home.

Working From Home Sounds Great!

To a lot of people, the idea of working from home sounds fantastic.

Think about how great it would be if you could literally “walk to your office” (because it’s in the next room)? It’s pretty easy to visualize, right?

If that (and potentially working in your pajamas) sounds like something you’d like to do, there are a couple of things you need to know before you embark on a search for a home-based business.

Two Important Facts About Home-Based Businesses

Some facts:

1. It’s easy to get distracted.

Take it from me (I run my business from home), there are lots of things vying for my attention on a daily basis.

For instance, the lawn needs to get cut, our dog needs to exercise, the garage definitely needs to be reorganized, and the laundry is piling up, so there’s that. Notice I didn’t mention anything about my work needing to get done.

My point is this; if you want to work from home, you need to realize that there are always things to do around the house. Ask yourself if you’ll be disciplined enough to focus on your work and avoid the distractions that all home-based business owners face.

2. You may not be at home that much.

The fact is, there aren’t many home businesses (especially in the franchise world) that allow you to stay at home and do your work all day.

Sure, you’ll be in your home office to do paperwork, client follow up and the like.

But the fact is, you’re going to have to make sales. And most of the sales activity needs to be done face-to-face. Out of your office.

That said, there are lots of non-franchise businesses around where you don’t have to leave the comforts of your home office.

How To Find A Home-Based Business

The best way to find a home-based business to own is through internet search engines.

That said, be specific when you do a search.

For example, if you strictly want to work from home, and you need to find an opportunity that won’t cost you much, type this into your favorite search engine:

“Low cost work from home businesses.” See how specific that is? You can try being even more specific by adding in a dollar amount: “Home-based businesses under $25,000.”

If you’re looking for a home-based franchise business, type in search terms like:

“Home-based franchises for sale.” Another one to try; “Franchises from home.” You’ll be amazed by the number of home-based franchises being offered these days.

Beware Of Work From Home Scams

Unfortunately, the internet has made it pretty easy for less than honest people to sell their wares…in this case, work from home opportunities.

From The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

“If you’re thinking about following up on a work-at-home offer, do your homework.* The FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule has safeguards in place to make sure you have the information you need to tell whether a work-at-home opportunity is a risky business. Under the Rule, sellers have to give you a one-page disclosure document that offers key pieces of information about the opportunity. Use the information in the disclosure document to fact-check what the seller tells you.”

*I recommend reading the entire section on home businesses located at FTC.gov before you start searching for a business you can run from home.

Note: Like all types of franchise opportunities, home-based franchise opportunities have their own set of disclosure requirements. Read about them here. Get educated.

In conclusion, if you’re attracted to the idea of working from home, a plethora of opportunities exist.

If you want to make a go of it, make sure you do your homework before you invest.

Because there may be something out there that’s perfectly suited to you. So you can work from home.