Conducting Your Online Business Checkup

I recently spoke with an online business owner about the creation of her ideal service business. She wanted to establish a practice with a higher-end clientele who can easily afford to pay her fees. She said that she had a hard time visualizing what a high-end successful practice looked like, because she had never seen one. I responded by telling her that she knew exactly what that kind of business looked like because it was her ideal business — and the vision of that looks very different to each online business owner.For some online business owners, the ideal online business might be one in which the owner is spending much of her day working with 1:1 clients, interspersed with a few information product sales. For others, the ideal day might consist of implementing Internet marketing strategies to sell many information products, and only a small amount of time spent with high-fee 1:1 clients. The bigger vision to wrap your head around is how do you want to spend your day — your week — your year — your life? How much money do you want to make? How do you want to spend your time — with family, traveling, completing hobby projects, in relaxation, or working in your business?There are no right or wrong answers here. The great part about being a self-employed service professional is that you have the freedom and the tools to create the perfectly designed business for you — to become a lifestyle entrepreneur, or lifepreneur, in which your life and your business work together in harmony so that you have adequate time and energy to devote to both . And, if that vision changes at some point, you can make changes accordingly.For my business, that vision includes working many days in my bathrobe, spending time on the phone with hand-picked clients in 1:1 sessions where I get as energized as they do, writing content for additional information products, designing additional revenue streams for my business, enjoying a relaxed lunch while watching Samantha Brown’s travels on the Travel Channel, and spending time with my fiancee when his schedule allows. You won’t find me taking lots of exotic vacations or throwing wild parties or bragging about the new expensive car or house or clothing I just purchased –that’s not a part of who I am. I love the creative process I find through my work, and I find my work to be fun, so I treat my business as others might treat a treasured hobby. Flexibility is also important to me, as is being able to conduct ALL aspects of my business from my home office. I find myself becoming annoyed at even having to go to the Post Office to check my mail!If your business isn’t developing the way you initially thought, take a long, hard look at your business vision and check to see how close you are the picture of your ideal business. Syndicated columnist Maureen Dowd says it best: “If you settle for less than you deserve, you’ll get even less than you settled for.” So, If you hate the travel component of your business, brainstorm ideas of how to take your information to your target market from your home office. If you’re burned out from working with 1:1 clients, strategize the possibilities of working with them in a group setting. If you want to take more time off, assess some passive revenue possibilities for your business. If you hate in-person networking events, discover where your target market hangs out online and develop relationships there.Running a successful business isn’t easy — if it were, everyone would be doing it. And, it doesn’t happen overnight — many “overnight successes” have 5, 10, or more years of work that contributed to that “overnight success”. You deserve a full, thriving business — don’t settle for less! To make sure your online service business is on track, conduct a regular checkup of your online business, including:1. Your service fee structure. Begin with the end in mind here in terms of what amount of money you need to live on for the year in way you’d like to or are accustomed to living and determine what you need to charge to live your life in this fashion. In a service business, your time is precious and should not be squandered. What is the client value of working 1:1 with you? Are you charging adequately for that privilege?2. Your passive income strategy. What percentage of your business income do you want to derive from passive income streams? Have you devoted time during the course of your work week to develop these passive income streams?3. Your invoicing and payment policies. Are there multiple ways clients can pay you (check, cash, debit/credit card)? When do you expect payment for a contract? How do you deal with late payments?4. Your hours of operation. Are you working around the clock, or do you leave time for yourself to enjoy your life? What about vacation and family time? Are there procedures for dealing with clients who want you to work outside your scheduled work hours?5. Your ideal client profile. Include descriptive adjectives of the characteristics of your ideal clients as well as more statistically-oriented details, such as what industry they’re in, what do they read, where do they hang our on- and off-line, what professional associations do they belong to, how much money do they make each year, what are their most pressing business management concerns. Do your current clients fit this profile? If not, you need to clean house and find clients that are a better fit for you and your business.6. Kind of work you love to do. Don’t waste your time with tasks that aren’t fun or don’t tap into your special talents/gifts that come easily to you. Do what you do best, and delegate the rest.Once you’ve reviewed these checkpoints, create an action plan that helps you move forward toward your ideal business vision. The president of the college where I once worked had this motto he established for all the administrative staff, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” You are the creator of your destiny, of your business, of your quality of life. If you are to have a successful online business, it is up to you to do it in the way that works well for you, brings you joy, and permits you to make a decent living in the process.

Military Loans Can Provide Real Benefits to Borrowers

There can be no denying that military loans can make a real difference to the financial security of military members. Even if their jobs are secure, in so far as they are government paid, the realities of the economic climate means they feel the pinch too.The fact is that getting loans through the military is a great lending option for the people in the defence forces, for more than just one reason. In fact, there are four clear benefits associated with loans from certified military lenders rather. Ranging from lower interest rates to no need for collateral, the advantages are very real.Getting Lower InterestSince military loans are available to all those who have been part of the military, lenders generally offer a special rate which reflects that service. So those who are looking for loans through the military should not have a problem, because lenders usually understand the situation of the military working applicant.These loans are available as a kind of perk and are there for the benefit of military members. For that reason, borrowers are typically offered an interest rate below those available from regular, civilian banks, so as you find loans from certified military lenders.No Collateral NecessaryBeing deployed and reassigned is normal for most military members, but result is that they rarely have any collateral source at their disposal. Homes are usually military homes, and without items to use as security loan options are normally limited.In the case of military loans, however, collateral is not necessary. Secured loans do have better terms compared to unsecured loans, and both forms are there when applying for loans through the military, with the same benefits mentioned earlier.Loans from certified military lenders do not usually include repayment penalties. So repaying these loans should be easier if the financial status improves in the future.Application Made EasyAside from the benefits of military loans mentioned earlier, the most appreciated would be the simplicity of an application. Online lenders offer a variety of terms, repayment periods and interest rates that could be overlooked but when looking for loans through the military, the online lending market is very competitive.Filling out a simple application form is all that is needed, once 4 to 5 potential lenders have been identified. Then, compare loans from certified military lenders and see that offers are available from them.Once this is done, the best loan deal will become clear. And since the online application only need a day to be approved, the much needed funds can be lodged into a bank account within 24 hours.All Military Branches EntitledThough specific military loans are only available to veterans of the armed forces through the VA, a selection of general loans are also available to retired military members.In fact, for every branch of the armed forces, it is possible to get loans through the military, a fact that increases the market for lenders, and at the same time provides certainty to the military community.However, it is essential that members of the military only seek loans from certified military lenders, keeping unscrupulous lenders at bay and ensuring the full benefits are enjoyed.Of course, while military loans are great source of financial relief, they still require commitment. A poor credit history may not rule out loan approval, it will affect the loan terms. So, keeping a good strong credit score is an advantage.