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Five New Product Ideas

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 654)
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Here are some new product ideas for things yet to be invented, or innovations yet to be tried. Why don't you be the inventor or innovator? Help yourself. There are no patents on the following ideas as far as I know - but do your patent research, of course.

1. A pavlovian dog calling device. The scientist Ivan Pavlov trained dogs to salivate when a bell rang - simply by ringing a bell whenever they ate. Imagine a small beeper on your dog's collar. Each time you feed him you first start the beeper with a radio-control device. Soon all you have to do to get him to come running for the kitchen is push that button and make the device beep.

A range of up to a mile would be nice for calling the dog home. The technology for this is already here, waiting to be put together, but would people buy it? I think so. It's interesting, useful, and new product ideas for pets are always in high demand lately.

2. The Innovation Game. This is a competitive innovation teaching-game, to help develop the players creative skills. Cards challenge players to invent something (on paper) based on certain criteria. For example, a card might require players to combine two concepts in the most innovative way. All the various problem solving techniques would be exercised using these cards.

One problem to overcome in developing this game is the competitive aspect. How would results be judged to determine a winner? Perhaps the game would have to have a volunteer sit out during each round, to function as a "judge" and award the points.

3. Better pedal boats. The pedal boats you see at many parks are designed so that two people can pedal them around a pond or lake. However, if you have ever tried one, you realize that they are less fun than they appear. This is mostly because they are slow.

A better pedal boat would be in the shape of a torpedo. The point is to create something that glides through the water more easily. Even if it is to hold more than one person, the users could be in a line, instead of next to each other, for better streamlining. Make one that can actually hydroplane and everyone at the beach will want to try it out.

4. Underwater treasure hunting camera. With all the new interest in metal detectors and treasure hunting, this is a natural. Years ago there was a treasure hunter who regularly found guns, money and more in murky rivers, using a tube with a plexiglass glued over one end, and a light strapped to the outside. He held the device near the bottom of the river and was able to see what was there.

What could be better than this? A small camera, especially now that the technology has developed smaller components. It could be lowered to great depths from any boat or dock. A motorized "claw" at the bottom might make it especially useful and interesting to those of us who like "toys."

5. Glue-on soles. (Some of you who don't hike might not relate to this one.) Blisters are caused by the friction of your feet sliding and rubbing on the inside of your shoes. A good non-heat-conducting sole, glued to your foot, could slide in that shoe all day while your feet were prevented from getting blisters, since the bottom of the foot itself wouldn't rub against anything. That is the essence of "New Soles," the newest in foot protection.

Before writing this new product idea off as too weird, remember that we glue fake teeth into our mouths. A similar glue might do the trick, and these glue-on soles would be for very specific markets - like long distance hikers and runners. Of course, there will have to be a simple way to remove them too.

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Wholesale Sterling Silver Jewelry Guide Determine Prices By Quality

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 617)
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It takes many years of experience in trading sterling silver jewelry to tell whether a piece of jewelry is of high quality or not. Especially when you are buying wholesale silver jewelry, a minor difference in the quality might affect your business reputation in the long run. This article summarizes the basic metrics for anyone who is beginning to trade silver jewelry to gauge the quality of silver jewelry.

Finishing

Most of the sterling silver jewelry has some sort of plating because silver itself turns yellow over time. There are several ways of finishing a piece of silver jewelry and they will affect the cost of the jewelry substantially.

1. High polished sterling silver jewelry has no plating on the jewelry at all and is particularly popular with engravable items or for people who are allergic to certain metals such as nickel. The jewelry is polished by machine without additional raw material cost.

2. Some silver jewelry has a black antique look to cater to certain consumers. These items are processed by putting the jewelry into chemical solution to oxide the silver before polishing and the pricing is similar to that of high polished ones.

3. Another common way of finishing sterling silver jewelry is nickel plating. Although nickel plating is illegal in some countries, most of the Italian silver jewelry sold in the market today is plated with nickel. However, since nickel is not considered as precious metal, the price is usually not affected by the cost of plating.

4. The most expensive way of finishing sterling silver jewelry is using Rhodium. Rhodium is a precious metal that is even more expensive than silver. Therefore, silver jewelry with Rhodium plating is usually at least five cent more expensive per gram. Since Rhodium has the property of being highly tarnish resistant and very expensive at the same time, some manufacturers would coat the sterling silver jewelry with a thin layer of copper before plating the Rhodium to reduce the cost. It might be a good idea to ask the vendors if the Rhodium is plated directly or not because some people have skin type that would turn the copper underneath green.

Stone cutting

Sterling silver jewelry usually has natural or synthetic stones set on it. The cutting of the stones, even with the same size, might affect the cost. For instance, the synthetic diamond cubic zirconia stones would cost more if they are in princess cut as suppose to round brilliant cut. Furthermore, emerald cut and baguette cut stones are even more expensive than princess cut ones.

Stone setting

1. The way that stones are set on a piece of jewelry also affects the cost. Many pendant and bracelet styles employ an economical setting method called wax setting. The stones are not really set one by one on the jewelry. Rather, they are fixed on the mold before the jewelry is cast out from the melted silver and come out of the mold together with the silver. This lowers the cost of the silver jewelry significantly. However, the quality of the setting is not consistent and the heat of the silver in liquid form might affect the quality of the stones.

2. Besides wax setting, there are several hand-setting methods that are widely adopted. The most common one is prong setting, where the stones are held in place by three to eight prongs, depending on the style. More advanced settings include channel setting, bezel setting, pave setting and invisible setting. Understanding the labor costs involved in different kinds of settings is one of the keys to getting merchandize with the best prices.

Stamping and Casting

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Factoring Basics

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 398)
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Most sales to commercial clients usually carry 30 to 60 day payment terms. This means that as a supplier, you must deliver your products or services now. However, your client has between 30 to 60 days to pay you.

This creates a significant challenge for owners of small and midsize businesses. The problem is simple. Your clients want to pay you in 30 to 60 days, but you must pay rent, payroll and your suppliers now. As you can see, the math does not work. Unless you have a substantial bank account, this leads to an almost impossible situation.

If you are in this situation, it is also very likely that the bank will not be able to help you. As you well know, banks only lend to businesses that have three years of profitable operations and significant hard collateral. If you do not qualify for bank financing, your best bet may be to consider factoring.

Factoring is a business financing tool that helps business owners who cannot afford to wait 30 to 60 days to get paid by their commercial customers. Factoring provides you with the necessary funds to meet payroll, make rent and pay your suppliers on time.

As opposed to bank financing, factoring is easy to qualify for. The main requirements are that you have a profitable business with a strong roster of commercial clients. For the factoring company, your best collateral is the invoices from your strong customers.

Factoring is also easy to use. It enables you receive a substantial portion of your billings within a day of invoicing. It reduces the time you wait to get paid from 60 days to 2 days. The transaction is usually structured as a two installment sale of an invoice. The first installment, called the advance, is paid to you immediately. The advance can be anywhere between 70% and 90% of the gross value of the invoice. The remaining portion (10% - 30%) is held as a reserve to cover disputes and charge backs. The reserve is rebated as soon as the invoice is paid in full. The factoring company will charge a small fee for this service.

Factoring financing is an ideal tool for companies that are growing and that cannot afford to wait to get paid by the clients. It helps you to stabilize your financial situation and positions you for growth.

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Business Name How To Pick One From A Legal Perspective

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 419)
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A business name can be a huge factor in the ultimate success or failure of the entity. Unfortunately, many people fail to give a lot of thought to it prior to moving forward. There are many factors to consider including something memorable, a name related to your area of work and, potentially, the availability of the domain name.

Married?

Picking a business name is like getting married. You are going to have to stick with it till the bitter end. It is estimated a prospect will need to see your advertisement and business name at least 22 times prior to doing business with you. Once they associate your business with a certain name, making a change will be disastrous. Once you pick something, stick with it.

Naming Your Business

If you are going to be married to your business name, you need to make sure the bride isn't already married to another suitor. There are four significant issues to consider.

Initially, you must determine whether the name is already being used in your state. The Secretary of State controls the names of all corporations, LLCs and partnerships. Most also have a web site where you can conduct name searches. Even if you are a sole proprietor, you should check the name against those already registered in the state database. If the name is being used, you will need to consider an alternative.

Assuming the name passed must with the Secretary of State, you should check it against existing trademarks file with the Patent and Trademark Office. The "PTO" maintains an online database. As with the Secretary of State, you can conduct an online search to make sure no other business is using it.

In this day and age, many businesses incorporate a web site as part of their business model. If you are in this boat, you need to check to see if the business name is available as a domain. If it is, you should register it immediately. If not, you can either change your business name again or focus on a domain name incorporating your service or product instead of the business name.

You business could be devastated if you do not take these precautionary steps. Imagine the negative impact on your business if the name has to be changed three years down the line. Take a breath before you select a business name. Like a spouse, it can be either a good or bad choice.

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Entrepreneurial Holiday Guilt For Creative Professionals

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 350)
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Guilt, guilt, guilt. Guilt is a terrible feeling and is often self-inflicted by creative entrepreneurs, especially during the holidays.

Most people who work for themselves say they chose to do so because they wanted to "control their time." People who value time over money, recognize that time is a precious commodity that cannot be created, bought, or borrowed. You have to use it wisely or else it is gone.

Having the luxury to control how, with whom, and where you spend your time is one of the bonuses of working for yourself. So, why is it that an overwhelming number of female entrepreneurs also say they feel guilty when they are not working on their businesses or with a client between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm?

To be truly happy and successful as an entrepreneur, you must break the corporate-created walls of time and learn how to set your day according to your needs and the needs of your clients. There is no law chaining you to your desk eight hours a day between 9 am and 5 pm.

Here's my advice: stop feeling guilty about when you are working and when you are not, and ditch the idea of playing by rules set up by other organizations. Make sure you benefit from the freedoms of entrepreneurship and maximize your time by performing regular activities such as food shopping at off times like 10 am on a Tuesday or having your teeth cleaned at 2pm on a Monday. You will spend less time waiting in line, you will be less stressed, and actually have more time to devote to your clients and other activities, then if you went on a weekend or during a busier time.

Of course, be sure to take a day or two off completely during the holidays to go gift shopping, ice-skating, or for decorating your home. Give yourself permission to enjoy your life and do something for yourself, even if it is on a week day between nine and five. You deserve it.

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How Save And Make Money

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 646)
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If you save money, the money will save you

The problem with most peoples finances today is that they are not getting enough income to satisfy their needs and wants. People are naturally going to buy things they want even if it means spending more than they have (credit cards), and they know in the back of their minds that they cant afford it, but they will get it anyway. I think people will develop their own budgeting scheme when their income meets their wants then they will be budgeting masters, all by their selves. But till then there will ALWAYS be people in debt no matter how much you preach!

I think a solution to some people money problem is to teach them how to make extra money first, and then teach them how to budget and save it. Americans really don't want that much; it is the hobbies that get people in trouble, bills, spending too much on golf clubs, car parts, computers, things around the house etc.

I don't know about you but this is how I feel about life. Right now, I am working a 9 to 5 job making $3200 monthly. I don't want to be stuck knowing that I will be 'working' for the rest of my life, taking orders from bosses, putting up with BS and other peoples attitude, having to get up in the morning when I want to sleep in and that fear of getting fired. Currently, I am in this situation but will not be soon. There are people right now making well over $20,000/monthly working for their selves and they are everyday people that you see walking their dog, in supermarkets or even that person arguing with the McDonalds cashier. If these people ever do go back to work for someone else they can do it "stress free" even if the job is stressful (think about that).

Before, you can work for yourself you have to decide one thing: If you really want that responsibility. If you said yes, you have gotten over the biggest hurdle and you will not be limited to the income your employer is giving you. I know what I am about to say will be over simplistic but I will save the details for you to research on your own. Here is a breakdown

1st: determine if you really want self-employment

2nd: decide what area of business you want or good at.

3rd: If step 2 requires money, their are program out there that can help you get started in internet business, selling or something else before you start in what you want to do. For example, "I want to own a photography shop but it costs $10,000 to get started. Well, if I sell product A for a year I can do it". You never know, whatever you get into before your dream business may make you $50,000 a month and you may forget all about that photography shop. I can help you here too.

4th Research, research and do more research. Find out what you competition is. Find out how much money they are making. Find out where they are advertising. Find out what it takes to get started. Find out where your customer are etc, etc, etc..research

5th EXECUTE!! I mean once you have confidence go do it.

They say that 90% of home businesses fail for the first time. And you may fail, but all you have to do is try and try again, please don't give up. Believe me, you will get it right and when you do, you will be very successful. The percentage of people who fail for the second and third time is much lower than the first timers. Well sorry to talk yall half to death, I can go on and on about this stuff.

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Become A Concession Vendor

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 525)
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People have been starting and running their own businesses for years. Some of the most successful people in business today are people who took a small idea and made it into something big. This was the chance they needed to make themselves into something big. There are many types of businesses out there from offering a service to make people's lives easier to selling a product such as with the food service industry. Recently popular in food service is purchasing a concession trailer as a mobile food kitchen. There are several positive aspects of owning a mobile concession trailer as opposed to a stationary restaurant at a static location.

One advantage to having a mobile kitchen is a word in its title "mobile." Rather than staying in one location, someone with a mobile kitchen can attend events and sit in places for business in areas all over. This allows for high-paying events to be in reach for the business owner. The traditional stationary restaurant does not have the luxury of moving from on place to another based on potential profit. This is definitely one advantage to having a mobile kitchen over a stationary restaurant.

Another reason being able to move a restaurant can be a great advantage over a stay-in-place restaurant is that, if business is bad in a certain area, a mobile kitchen can get up and move to a location that will provide more customers and therefore more cash flow. With a restaurant in a building in one location, if a restaurant is failing because of the location such as scarcely populated area, or food that does not go together with the area, the owner can not just get up and move his business. He must figure out another alternative to moving in order to save his business.

One final reason that purchasing a concession trailer can be advantageous over a restaurant in a building is the fact that it is very affordable compared to the cost of a stationary restaurant. Hundreds of thousands of dollars may be required to successfully get a traditional restaurant off the ground. For as relatively little as $25,000 - $30,000, you can purchase an almost new, spacious concession trailer equipped with a grill, deep fryers and other cooking equipment suitable for running a restaurant. This is a fraction of the cost a traditional restaurant would cost just to get it ready to run, much less order food and other miscellaneous supplies.

There are several reasons that a mobile kitchen could be more beneficial to purchase than a regular restaurant. Some of them include that mobility is a very advantageous thing to be able to do with a restaurant, particularly if you are not having any luck in the location you are currently at. Another reason is that concession trailers cost much less to purchase, supply, insure, and maintain than any traditional restaurant you can find. Having a concession trailer does not have to be the end of the business line for you. Purchasing a concession food trailer can be just the stepping stone you need to move on to purchasing a traditional restaurant.

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The Great M S Of Success

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 660)
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People who have studied successful people over the last 300 or more years have found certain traits that accounted to their achievements.

These success techniques not only helped them forward but also kept them there even in times of depression, recession or other personal disasters.

Four of them are The Great M's of Success in business and life.

Mentoring, Masterminding, Marketing & Motivation

I have heard it repeated over and over again, "Get Yourself a Mentor." Get help, advice and guidance by someone who has already been there and made it. A mentor can save you years to a lifetime of mistakes. They can excel you forward, in ways you never could on your own. You'll have a much greater ability to achieve your goals because you will have a blueprint to guide your way.

Surprisingly, many people if not most will go to a friend or relative for advice. People who have never succeeded and have no ambition to go anywhere, and then these same people are surprised when they too don't succeed or even get very far. Then they look for excuses and reasons outside them selves for the failures. Such as recession, location, or even competition muscling in.

Accomplished people also belonged to a Mastermind group. They are people like you, entrepreneurs working towards a better life.

The collective power of the group brings increased knowledge that can help you resolve challenges that you may have. They also keep you motivated and accountable. The power or synergy of the mastermind group has shown over and over its ability to help people overcome any problems.

Each week, each person in the group would state what they have accomplished, what they are doing next and ask for assistance with any matters. The group as a whole then works together to come up with solutions. Discover just how powerful this is in moving you forward and achieving your desires. It also gives you the very important ability to give back to the group by helping them.

A small sample of people in or were in masterminds are: Henry Ford, Firestone, Napoleon Hill, Andrew Carnegie, Anthony Robins, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale, Joel Christopher and so many more.

The third M is Marketing. No matter what your business is, if you don't market yourself or business, you won't get very far. You can't expect to hide under a blanket in the corner and hope that someone finds you.

Marketing is more than just advertising. It's understanding your target market and knowing how to promote to them and the benefits that your product or service will provide them. Without this knowledge, you will either not attract anyone to you or you can waste a lot of money with zero results.

It pays to find people who understand this and can help guide you. They can help you define your niche', explain copywriting and the magic of words. They can show you the difference between features and benefits and why they are so important. And they can teach you how to test everything for positive and increased results.

Finally, the fourth is motivation. Motivation is the juice that keeps you going, that allows ideas to progress and persevere when times are tuff. No matter how great your product or service is, if you don't stay motivated, you probably won't last through the hard times.

There are many ways to help you stay motivated. One is to be around others that are also moving forward. A second is to write down and post right in front of you, Why You Are Doing This. Get specific and detailed as possible. Then post it in front of your computer or where ever you work the most. Look at it often to remind your self why and what your motivation soar.

Grasp on the marvelous Ms and jumpstart your own goals dreams and desires.

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The Keys To Success In Business

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 631)
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Success in business has nothing whatsoever to do with salesmanship, little to do with a knowledge of your company's products or services.

It is owing to some far more basic fundamental principles which will determine your success or failure at anything you do in life.

They are your A,B,C's, Attitude, Belief and Consistency. Taking them in reverse order.

Consistency

We get up every morning, we brush our teeth wash, get dressed have breakfast. We are consistent in our actions. We do it every day. We need to do the same in being consistent with our tasks associated with our business for the days that we have chosen we are going to work, be it 1 or 7 days a week. We need the 6 marbles in our left pocket or left side of our bag and transfer 1 marble to the other side every time we have carried out a positive action i.e. seeing a customer, talking to someone about the business, etc. etc. We need to do it consistently. We need to have transferred all 6 marbles (better still 10) by the end of the day. We need to concentrate on the actions not on the result. I'll repeat that, we need to concentrate on the actions not on the results.

When we go mountain climbing, if we would continually look at the summit we would soon trip up and fall. We need to concentrate on every step at a time, one after the other and as surely as the sun goes down we will reach our summit.

Belief

An absolute and genuine belief in our business, it's products and services and what it can give it's customers.

Attitude

Possibly the most important of these three but useless on its own. It's no good having the best attitude in the world if one's sitting on one's own in a closed room not talking to anyone. So what is attitude apart from how one feels about oneself and others. I describe it like this.

Your face is transparent, totally transparent and your attitude shines through whether it's positive or negative. The first second that a prospective customer sees you maybe even before you see him, your attitude comes through. The customer sees it, maybe only subconsciously and will react accordingly. We all know that the first thing any salesperson has to sell is themselves even before they open their mouth. If they can't sell themselves they might as well turn round and go home and go back to bed. If they can't sell themselves they wouldn't be able to sell packet of peanuts or a Mars bar.

Another description of attitude, when I took my 14 year old daughter recently to Disneyland Paris we went one evening to an aquatic circus. Very unusual, people diving, dancing and somersaulting on water. It was a spectacular show. What made it even more enjoyable (we were sitting on the front row) was the fact that all the performers without exception were obviously really enjoying themselves. They were loving every minute of it and gave it their all. Their attitude really shone through like a beacon and this made our enjoyment total.

So when we get up in the morning and do our consistency things let's get a really big warm smile from within feeling good about ourselves and keep that all day. When we go about our business we need to keep out good attitude with us. If we can't also be in the place where we are physically there's no point being there in the first place. It's easier to ride a horse in the direction that it's going.

So those are my 3 all important ingredients that determine one's success or failure at anything in life.

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