10 Great E-Commerce Businesses You Can Start Now

If you’ve been thinking of starting a business on the web but you’re not sure what type of business to start then this article is for you. You could be wasting valuable time trying to make your first move. There are thousands of opportunities on the web and this article is meant to show you just a few great ideas that could help you get up and running with your very own e-commerce business.
The act of running a business over the Internet offers many rewards. For one, it dramatically reduces your startup and overhead costs while simultaneously expanding your target base. You literally have a global store when you operate an e-business.
Starting a business over the web isn’t free. However, the costs involved with starting these businesses don’t have to deter you. You could start an e-commerce business with as little as $500, possibly even less. Putting away a few dollars each week could get you at the $500 mark in no time. So let’s work from there. You can start any of the businesses I’ve mentioned below or you may even have some ideas of your own.

  1. Clothing retailer of all types
  2. Educational courses
  3. Diet and fitness information and products
  4. Web design templates
  5. DVDs and videos of all sorts
  6. Credit repair advisors
  7. Data entry services
  8. Web designers
  9. Telephone answering service
  10. Photography services, stock images

To reduce your start up costs with any of these businesses is really quite simple. It’s important to set up a strict budget and stick to it. That part may sound easy but many people make the mistake of spending money without accounting for it or continuously buying advertising without a set strategy.
If you don’t already have a computer, use a friend’s or visit your local library or Internet cafe. You can also buy used computers for less than $200. They will be outdated but you’ll still be able to log on to the Internet and create documents.
Some other suggestions on how to save money include using a web template until your business becomes more established. And remember, for your web development needs there are tons of free applications available. Check out http://sourceforge.net to get started adding more functionality to your site.
The above list is a great place to start if you’re thinking of starting a business over the web. They also are affordable and relatively simple to start. If you need additional information on any of these businesses a quick search on your favorite search engine will provide you with more information than you thought possible. Good luck!

10 Tips on Creating the Gift of Gab For Fun And Profit

Yeah! We all know them. Those disgusting people who can walk into any situation and seem to fit right into the conversation. They seem to feel at home with any crowd, and they can turn a bunch of strangers into friends in moments. In fact, they can do it in the time it takes you and me to munch a couple of dainty sandwiches, drink a glass of punch, and fade into the wall paper.

I guess it’s one of those things you are either born with, or brought up to do.

Or is it?

Like many things in life, being able to feel comfortable among strangers, make conversation on topics you know little about, and come out on the other end with new friends or business contacts is a skill that can be learned. While being born with certain genes or having been raised a certain way can surely help, you can learn how to get around those presumed limitations, and might even wind up being better at carrying it off than those who seem to have a head start on you.

While entire courses and training programs could be committed to turning the most insipid wallflower into a blossoming conversationalist and bon vivant, here are a few tips to help you ratchet up your “gift” of gab to a point where you too can join the crowd in the corner and discourse wittily on the subject at hand…usually.

1. Start with who you are. Don’t ever fake it. If you’re a gardener and the topic is rocket science, listen and learn. When the garden crowd drifts over, there’s YOUR chance to shine. You are simply not going to be the center of attention, or even a small fountain of wit and wisdom in every conversation.

2. Listen and learn. Since we mentioned it above, let’s explore this a little. First of all, you can often seem wiser than you are by keeping your mouth shut. While it’s shut, listen to that rocket scientist. Maybe the dry, technical details are over your head, but he may say something that makes sense to you and you can use the info in a conversation later. He may whet your interest in the topic, and what better source of reference than to ask the learned speaker what his, or her, advice would be on how to learn more.

3. Be patient. We have already established that you don’t want to jump in over your head and that you may benefit from the discourse anyway. However, no matter how elevated the topic, any conversation may often drift to other, more mundane topics, particularly if there are others, like yourself, who are in the dark on some highly technical issue.

4. Be curious. As mentioned above, asking a pertinent question or even professing to ignorance in hope of enlightenment will generate sparks of familiarity with the speakers. More than once, I have watched several experts practically compete with one another in their attempts to simplify and communicate a difficult subject to someone who seemed genuinely interested. Anyway, people like to have their egos stroked, and giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their command of the subject, or asking them for their opinion can really get the juices flowing. In the middle of all this, you learn more, create new friendships, and grow more comfortable within the group.

5. Admit mistakes and ignorance, take blame, laugh at yourself. One of the easiest ways to put others at ease is to admit your own ignorance. When you begin a statement or question by letting the others know that you might not know what you are talking about, they feel less “threatened” if that is a good word. It is a tension breaker in all directions when someone owns up to ignorance or error. Most people feel inclined to forgive those who can own up to their errors or lack of knowledge. They will also feel more comfortable if you can laugh at yourself.

6. Have a sense of humor. While many subjects are serious and do not allow a lot of leeway for humor, most people in a conversation are generally open to humor as long as it is not mocking or of the keystone cops variety. Of course, if the group is just cutting up, then cut up with them.

7. Educate yourself. The essence of feeling comfortable in a group is knowing that you are as knowledgeable as anybody else there. While you may regularly feel this way at work, where you are among peers, it may be quite different at a party or on a date where your counterpart may be from some other field or social group. Keeping up with the basics on current events in the fields of politics, economics, sports, science, health, and entertainment gives you toeholds on which to stand above the crowd in many conversational venues.

It also helps to keep up with popular books and movies of the moment. Even if you can only get around to actually reading or seeing one, and that one is NOT the one under discussion, you will at least have some concept of what many other popular books (or movies, or TV shows) of the moment are about, and you will possibly be able to ask rational questions which gives those who ARE familiar with the subject the opportunity to shine.

8. Prepare yourself. While education as mentioned above is a daily process, and might not have much depth, preparation can go much deeper. There are two ways that this can turn you into a conversational powerhouse.

** Become an expert on a particular subject or area. It could be a hobby, or you could just find something that interests you and might be of interest to others. For example, if you were an expert on precious stones, politics, antique coins, rare books, health, or physical fitness, there will be opportunities for you to discourse learnedly on your subject. If it is a subject that you feel deeply about, the depth of your feelings will often mold your presentation and manner of speech in such a way as to leave an impression on your listeners.

** Cram before the event if possible. If you are going to be among investors, learn some investing terminology. If as you read you have questions that the books or tapes don’t seem to answer, save those. You may have a chance to ask a genuine (or assumed) expert.

9. Encourage others to speak. If Jane is commenting on a subject and seems to reach an end, encourage her to go on. You can simply say, “tell me more”, or you can ask a question as mentioned above. If Jane is standing in the crowd and you know she is itching to say something, ask something like, “Jane! Didn’t I hear you talking about that earlier?” Of course, if you have no idea what Jane is thinking, shut up and leave her in peace.

10. Follow up. If the people are of interest to you, or you want to learn more about the subjects discussed, get names and numbers, ask for business cards, and carry some of your own. Call them up later to tell them how much you enjoyed the conversation, invite them to meet you for a lunch or cup of coffee, or send them a small gift that in some way relates to the experience.

A few months ago, I attended a presentation given by a local newspaper editorial writer. In the process of his presentation, I realized that many of his points were similar to, though not the same as, some points made in a book that I had enjoyed. I chatted with him after the presentation for just a couple of minutes, but managed to ask him if he had ever read the book. He admitted that he had not but seemed interested in it, even taking a moment to get a business card and write down the title of the book and the name of the author.

Later, when I was checking it out on Amazon, I realized that I could get a copy sent to him for a few dollars and did so. A few days later, he contacted me, thanking me for the book. He and I have communicated occasionally since then, and he has offered me encouragement and advice on my writing, and has even suggested I join a professional organization I had not even known existed.

One of the most important investments you can make in any “growth stock” is in the quantity and quality of your personal and business contacts AND your friends. Life is much easier for those who have invested wisely and widely in these. With a good list of friends and professional contacts, the next job is easier to find, the solution to the next problem is in your address book, the right contact is a phone call away, and life is a pleasant passage indeed.

Returnable Packaging Alert — The Top 10 Ways To Save Money On Heavy Gauge Thermoforming

While the most common type of thermoformed packaging for industrial applications is a heavy duty thermoformed tray, other options include clamshells, lids for returnable sleeve packs made from plastic corrugated, and pallets. Whichever you choose to use depends entirely upon what you want it to do. Choosing a method that conforms specifically to your needs can help save money in the long run, since your product will be packaged according to exact specifications. Here is a list of some other ways to save money using heavy gauge thermoforming:

1. Before placing an order, provide a sample of the product to be packaged to your supplier. This way, your supplier can design trays that meet the exact specifications of your product. You’ll also get a more accurate, better-designed initial quote.

2. Plan ahead. Because thermoformed trays are typically custom-made, it can take a bit longer to fill an order. If you wait until the last minute to order, you will incur a lot of charges that could be avoided if you planned ahead.

3. Determine whether or not you can stack additional weight on top of your product. If this is possible, your thermoformed trays will not need to be as deep. This means smaller trays made with less plastic, which means a substantial cost savings for you.

4. Order thermoformed trays that are stackable and nestable, so they will stack on top of each other when loaded with product, and nest inside each other when empty. These take up less space, are easier to store, and also can help save money on shipping costs.

5. Have trays marked with a one-inch stripe on their sides. This will help operators identify when a tray is fully loaded or empty, which can save time and labor costs.

6. Before production, ask for concept sketches and dimensions of your thermoformed trays. This way, everyone will be clear on what is required versus what is being ordered and produced. It there is an error, it is easier to fix during concept design rather than after the returnable packaging is already produced.

7. Make a production tool instead of a wood prototype tool for thermoformed trays. Prototype tooling is time consuming – it can take up to two weeks! Production tooling can be modified and adjusted, speeding up overall design and production time. This also saves from having to pay the additional cost of a wooden prototype, which is completely useless after the job is completed.

8. Once tooling is complete, evaluate plastic thicknesses by having thermoformed tray samples made. If your product can be supported by a thinner material, save money by ordering thinner plastic.

9. Stamp thermoformed trays with an identification mark with company name, address, phone number, and other important information. This will ensure the returnable packaging is returned to the correct address.

10. When you no longer need your thermoformed trays or they become obsolete, ask suppliers to buy them back for recycling. The price paid will be a scrap value, but anything is better than nothing!

In closing, heavy gauge thermoforming is a cost effective and efficient form of returnable packaging. These tips will help you communicate with your packaging producer and keep your costs to a minimum.