What Needs to go Into a JV Contract?

Partnering with a business in a joint venture is exciting. You can see in your mind’s eye the potential growth of your business and the benefits to your customers. Before you do anything, be sure you have a written contract to protect yourself from anything unseen.

Partnerships are notorious for failing. This might be because contracts are drawn up or deals are made with a handshake or maybe it’s just poor communication. Whatever the reason one thing is for sure, you need a contract, even if you plan on partnering with your Aunt Susan.

1. Purpose – Be clear in the purpose of this partnership. How many years will this contract last? What are the goals and expected outcomes of the partnership?

2. Project Lead – Be very clear as to who will lead the project. Yes, you are partners but someone has to take the lead to make sure things are completed on time. You can both have equal say in what goes on but one person needs to have the extra one- percent of the vote. State clearly what will be done if a disagreement does come up.

3. Income Distribution – How will the income be distributed? Be extremely clear with this and make sure all parties know how this will be divided. You also want to mention who owns what percentage of the company.

4. Bank Account – You’ll need to have a joint bank account with equal access to both parties. You might need to register a ‘Doing Business As’ name for your partnership to keep it separate from your individual business.

5. Equipment, Resources, Cost & Value – What resources are shared? What resources does the individual partner own? Is there equipment and resources purchased that are a part of the partnership? What did they cost? What is the value?

6. Performance – This is where you get down to who does what. Will you split the work evenly or will one person take on a little more than the other will? What exactly will you be doing? What are the expected outcomes?

7. Ensured Performance – This states that the work that is promised to your customers must be completed even if one partner bails out on the contract. You are still required to perform the job hired to do.

8. Accounting and Administration – Who will take care of the books? Will you outsource this? To Whom? Be very detailed and exact making sure both partners agree.

9. Quarterly Taxes – When are quarterly taxes due? How will they be paid? Who will pay them? Be sure this is worked out before they are due so that stress and conflict is avoided.

10. Profit and Loss – When all is said and done how will you determine profit and loss? How will this be distributed? If the business partnership ends what will the split be?

11. Specific Work – This section you want to be very descriptive of each person’s job. You want to put details about hours to be worked, duties, and requirements.

12. Approval – How will changes be approved? Will there be a vote? Who has the last decision? If something comes up and needs to changed, how will the changes be implemented?

13. Changes to the Contract – Changes occur all the time and this contract will need to be changed from time to time. How will these happen? Who will make the changes? How will they be approved?

A well-developed contract will save both partners from ending the relationship on a bad note. It will clearly point out each person’s liability and responsibility. It also makes it very clear who will be doing what, when and what the expected outcome should be.

Product Reviews That Makes Sales

If you have a product review website you want it to make sales. You’re not going to create the reviews out of only the kindness of your heart. Of course, you want to create reviews for your readers because you care about whether they are being led to purchase effective products and services or not, but you also need to earn a living. It’s super important to present your reviews in such a way that makes readers want to buy the things you recommend.

Honesty First — You can’t promote or review products if you have no integrity. Well, I guess that isn’t exactly true, people do it all the time, and yes, they still make money. But, do they feel good about making that money? Maybe, but you know what, if you are first and foremost honest your business will last longer because you’ll have legions of people who can’t wait to read your next review because they trust you.

Use Different Mediums– Depending upon the product a video review, a podcast, or even a webinar might be the best way to review the product in question. Some products need a good person to demonstrate how it works and nothing can be better than a video with voice. This might be outside your comfort zone but the way that you become successful is to push through each new level.

Give the Good with the Bad — Every product has good and bad points therefore, it is imperative that you tell the audience that. A good formula is tell them the good, tell them the bad, and leave them with the good again. You don’t have to completely destroy a product with a bad review, unless you just need to, but you can be honest and mention the bad with the good. Your audience will appreciate it and the product creators may just change their product due to your honest assessment.

Know your Audience — You can’t find the right products if you don’t know who your audience is. Additionally, it is important to write a product review directed toward that audience. Knowing the audience will ensure that you know what buzz words to use that creates trust, and realization that they need the product you’re talking about.

Give All the Information — Your readers need to know who produces the product or service, where they can buy it, and that you make a percentage of sales or that you were given a free product or all of the above. It is important to tell the truth and in this case, not telling can be illegal. Readers must know whether you paid for the product to review it, or whether you were given a review copy, sample or example.

Practice Good SEO — If you want a lot of visitors to come to your product review website then you must practice good SEO. SEO is search engine optimization. This means that you work to optimize your website for the benefit of a search engine like Google so that visitors can find your website. Read everything you can about SEO, but the basics are that each page, or blog post, should have a unique title, and focus on specific researched keywords, to get the best results.

How To Make Direct Mail Pieces Stand Out From the Crowd

The average adult knows and understands how junk mail clutters up our lives. It’s stuffed into our mailboxes, it’s strewn across our tables and counters waiting to be sorted, and half the time we wonder how these advertisers even got our names and addresses in the first place.

From an advertiser’s perspective, however, this ‘junk mail’ is a way of advertising a product to a target market, creating awareness about an online business, or an effort to make a website name more recognizable. These goals should be present in every business owner’s marketing plan!

Experts say that the volume of direct mail delivered through the US Postal Service totals OVER 1 billion pieces each year, which totals over $71 billion in advertising revenue spent each year. Those are staggering numbers and yet other experts say the ROI is only about 1%.

With those kinds of numbers, it’s vitally important to strategize every direct mail marketing campaign, including how on earth will YOUR direct mail piece be seen amid all the other junk.

Tips For Creative Direct Mail Pieces

1. Use different colored card stock. Plain white postcards with black type may be cost efficient but they are boring and will blend in with everyone else’s postcards. Be unique and choose a neon-colored card stock to catch the reader’s eye.

2. Reduce clutter. Limit just one message per direct mail piece. Adding too much information to a piece will make it look like a Yellow Pages ad. Readers will be ‘blinded’ from the clutter and toss the piece right into the trash.

3. Personalize each envelope. By handwriting the recipient’s name and address, using a real stamp and not putting a company name in the return address, each envelope will appear to be coming from a friend instead of a corporation. Adding these personal touches will make them open the envelope to be sure they’re not missing something important.

4. Send a dimensional package. A box or other three dimensional shipping package will definitely raise the recipient’s curiosity, prompting them to open it immediately for their free gift.

5. Print a creative teaser or call to action on the envelope. Telling the recipient they have a free gift or giving them clear instructions to open the envelope often encourages action. Creative copywriters can improve their open rates even more by adding their unique flair.

Direct Mail Is Not A One-Shot Deal

Keep in mind that people are generally not swayed to make a purchase after their first exposure to a campaign and this is true when using direct mail marketing or online marketing tactics. Often it takes upwards of 6 or 7 viewings before people make the choice to buy and this means creating multiple direct mail pieces, each being unique and compelling. And this means increasing your advertising budget.

Direct mail can be an effective marketing strategy, even for online business owners wanting to improve their brand recognition or venture into local marketing. For the best ROI, plan each campaign carefully with experts.

Sound Quality in Video Marketing

Nothing can take the edge off a good marketing video and flip it into the realms of dismal amateur production or “deadly dud” faster than poor sound quality during recording. Yes, it’s true that candid videos do phenomenally well on YouTube, but you should never confuse “candid” with “low quality”.

When you’re actually planning to sell that video you’re making, it becomes even more crucial that the sound quality creates no “glitches” or rough spots to distract viewers from your message. Fortunately, today’s video editing software (and hardware) can go a long way towards helping your video present a polished and professional image.

Recording short segments, and putting them together after the fact in the editing process, also helps cut down on and minimize mistakes such as you stumbling over a word and getting tongue-tied – which happens more than even professionals care to admit. (Just look at all the “bloopers” shows there have been, over the years.)

One of the first components of sound editing you need to know about, however, is “layering”. You speaking on camera is the raw, unedited reality. Adding in that soft soundtrack behind your voice, fading out as you begin to speak, or setting a video entirely to music, is “layering”.

Throwing in sound effects is also “layering”.

In most video editing software, inserting a sound effect (such as a crowd cheering, or a bird tweeting) is as simple as dragging the sound clip and dropping it onto the second (or third) “track” in your software editor. The same applies for inserting music.

Most video editing software allows you to apply special effects to your sound clips, just as you do to your video clips. You can fade in or out, and adjust the volume at the basic level. With more sophisticated video editing software, you can do much more, including removing unnecessary background noises. This is done by using multiple “tracks”.

Your Hardware

Another key element, however, is the hardware you use. If your video making equipment consists of an old digital camera, you’re stuck with a lot of background noise (especially if you’re shooting outdoors) and “tinny” sound quality. If your aim is a “candid” video, these are faults that can be overlooked (in spite of what sound professionals would probably tell you): However, poor sound to the point where your viewers can’t really make out what you’re saying is not acceptable.

Investing in decent audio recording equipment, however, is something you might want to seriously consider – particularly if your video marketing is going to include teleseminars or interviews. You can get decent equipment and software for less than the price of a mobile phone nowadays – and one other advantage of modern sound recording software lies in the way it’s so easy to learn. (You’re likely to have more trouble programming your new TV remote, in the majority of cases!)

When should you invest in decent sound recording equipment and/or software? If you’re planning to specialize in any of these areas:

• Teleseminars
• Interviews
• Re-purposing content
• Updating existing videos with new material
• Archiving your material
• Video narrations or voice-overs

Sound is sometimes an overlooked element of video marketing. Keeping it real is one thing – but not being able to hear what’s being said is simply unacceptable. Decide for yourself whether your present equipment is not up to the job, or perfectly fine – but don’t leave it to chance. Know what you’re doing, and why.

Delegate Your Way to More Time

You can’t really get more time in a day. Time is one of those limited resources that you cannot create more of, or get back after you have wasted it. There are 8760 hours in a year, but we have to subtract out hours for sleeping, which we’ll make an average of 8 hours a night which leaves 5840 hours. Take out 48 hrs a week for family time, and you have 3344 hours left, take out a two week vacation and you have a total of 3004 hours remaining. Most yearly salaries are figured on working 2080 hours a year. We all know business owners tend to work double this at about 4160 hours a year. If you look at the numbers, it becomes clear something is suffering, and more than likely it’s you and your family and possibly even your business.

A great aspect of owning your own business is that you can always delegate tasks to others. Even if you don’t have employees it is possible to delegate some tasks virtually as well as delegate household tasks to other family members or hire some household help. If hiring someone, whether they come to your business, or whether they are virtual contractors, or whether they clean your house it automatically frees up your time.

One of the issues with delegating often ends up being an erroneous fear of the financial costs. But you have to look at this outside of the immediate financial cost and figure out how much your time is worth. Remember, you can’t get it back, and you need more of it because you need to be able to do all the things you dreamed of doing when you became a business owner. A good rule of thumb when outsourcing any type of task, is that if it costs less than you can earn in your core money making activity to outsource, then you’re better off outsourcing. If you can get it done free by family members, so much the better.

We all want to be a superhero, but if you try that route eventually something will end up not done, or not done well. This is not good for your business reputation, and when it comes to letting family fall through the cracks the consequences can be disastrous. Fortunately, one of the secret methods of time management that all kinds of business owners use is to outsource and delegate. Even if you can’t technically get more time in a day, you can feel like you have more time if you’re not doing everything alone.

Try making a list of some of the non-core business activities you do each day. Non-core activities are the tasks that you don’t make most of your money from. If you have a business store front, obviously you may need to be there, but do you need to be there from open to close, or can you hire someone to cover some of the less busy hours? If you work from home as a bookkeeper you don’t want to outsource the bookkeeping, but you may want to outsource some housework. Of course if you wanted to have an entire firm of bookkeepers, eventually you can hire other bookkeepers when your business is busy enough. Don’t forget to involve your family by delegating tasks at home. The sky is the limit when you start realizing how you can outsource and delegate.

Automate Your Review Website

Having a product review website can be very a profitable home business. But, don’t let anyone kid you, having a product review website or blog is not a make money over night with no work scheme. Reviewing products is work, as is creating the blog or website to house your reviews. Your website needs to have the right elements such as the ability to assign ratings to a product, the ability to insert your affiliate link so that you can make a profit and even the ability to collect emails so you can build a list.

But fortunately, it can be made simpler if you have the right theme and then add in applications, plugins and other software that helps to automate your product review website. This process is made simpler if you use an easy website builder such as self-hosted WordPress to build your product review website along with useful themes and plugins.

WPReviewSite,

MyReviewPlugin

WPReviewEngine

ReviewAzon

ProductReviewWordPressTheme

Creating Recurring Revenue Solutions

If you’re a service provider you may be looking for ways to increase your income without increasing your work load. Trading hours for dollars can be limited. Sure, you enjoy and love what you do every single day but eventually the amount of income you can make will be capped to the number of hours you have each day to work. By creating recurring revenue solutions you’ll end the problem with time scarcity and open up a whole new world of possibilities. You can think of recurring revenue as a way to add on to your existing services but it can also be a way to create passive income. Let’s take a look at both options.

Add on Services That Create Recurring Revenue

Priority Client Club — Charge clients a monthly fee to get priority service. If your normal return is 72 hours offer them 48 hours for the price of the monthly fee. Or, offer a set number of services / products / tasks for the monthly recurring charge.

Monthly Maintenance Program — If you perform technical services such as website security maintenance, updates, and backups, offer a monthly recurring program to your clients that they pay every month via auto pay or auto billing.

Long Term Discounted Contracts — Offer a big discount for clients who agree to sign a long term contract rather than work just month to month. They must give a notice to end the contract since you make it clear that you mark out this time for them. Sometimes you can include a cancelation fee equal to the discounted rate to avoid client cancelations or freebie seekers.

Client Coaching Program — Coaching can be accomplished via email, on membership sites, and by telephone. Offer a monthly client coaching program with recurring fees and a promise of a certain amount of your time.

Passive Income Models That Create Recurring Revenue

eBooks — Write the eBook once, then sell it in multiple ways. Via your own website and sales page, or via Amazon’s Kindle and /or Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Both offer a free and simple opportunity to sell your eBooks. Price point is imperative here, lower is better for larger sales volume.

eCourses — If your book is a how-to book, you can break it down into a course that you “teach” via email. Set up Aweber to auto deliver courses on a predetermined “drip” and clients pay you a monthly membership fee to keep getting the courses via their email membership.

Membership Website — Put your eBooks and eCourses and other “how to” information on one website and charge a monthly fee for access. In this case you may need to add to the site at least monthly to encourage members to stay.

Affiliate Programs — Both have an affiliate program and participate in affiliate programs for products and services that you like. Nothing is better than making money today on something you did a year or more ago.

Outsourcing Services — While service providers like to think they are irreplaceable, try to think long term and consider starting to outsource much of the work you do on a day to day basis. By outsourcing most of the hourly work, you will become a manager of your business, which can then be sold, or taken over by someone else.

The “Don’ts” of niche marketing

While there are many things you can do right with your niche marketing business, there are also many things you will want to avoid doing wrong.

Here are some classic “don’ts” of niche marketing that you should avoid:

Don’t #1: Don’t act without thinking.
Make sure not to invest time, money or other resources until you fully understand your niche, have a plan in place and know what it will take to go after it successfully.

Don’t #2: Don’t wait too long!
Once you decide on which niche to go after, and have taken the proper time and course of action to ensure it is a good one (namely profitable) then go for it! You don’t want to wait too long only to have someone else beat you to the punch.

Don’t #3: Don’t limit your opportunities.
You can sell your products online, but you can also use good, old-fashioned word of mouth. Tell everyone you meet and know about who you are, what you do and how you can help them.

Don’t #4: Don’t listen to naysayers!
There will always be critics and those who bring negativity to the table. But don’t let them rain on your niche marketing parade! Be confident in the work you have done to ensure this is a good idea, that this will work and that you do know what you are talking about!

Just like with anything else, you will want to avoid potential downfalls with your business. That being said, bring your common sense to the table and you will have a good chance at success. Remember, choose a niche that you enjoy, are knowledgeable in and can fulfill a need for. If you do, the rest will fall into place.

Three Common Tasks You Can Outsource

You can save a lot of time in your business by outsourcing some of the different parts of your online business. While you will always want to keep your finger on the pulse of every aspect of your business, certain tasks can easily be outsourced to talented freelancers, leaving you with more time and energy to focus on other things.

If you earn income on your website with Adsense ads, you know it can be a time consuming procedure tracking the ads and tweaking your site content to increase sales. You can outsource your entire Adsense campaign to a competent virtual assistant who can not only track your Adsense program, but can also write fresh content for your site to keep the search engine spiders happy and site visitors returning.

You can also outsource your sales processes by using affiliates to market your information products for you. When you create an affiliate program for your products, you agree to pay a percentage of the sales to others who publish sales pages and promote your products. By agreeing to pay your affiliates a healthy percentage of the profits, 50% for example, you can let them do the sales work for you while you collect a passive income. You can then spend your own time creating new products to put on the market.

A third task that lends itself well to outsourcing is the eBay auction portion of your sales funnel. If you use eBay to sell physical products, you know there is a great deal of time involved in processing orders and preparing them for shipping. This type of work, however, can be easily systemized, which makes it ideal for outsourcing. You can create a step-by-step process for fulfilling orders and maintaining customer service. All of your customers needs get met in the same way, assuring quality control, and you gain several hours back in your weekly schedule.

Common Mistakes In Upselling

Upselling is the sole purpose of making you more money after having already sold a product. With the right tools and training, anyone can learn how to upsell and make a decent profit. However, there some common mistakes that sales people make when trying to upsell a product and all of them mean a loss in revenue for your business if not addressed and corrected.

So what are the common mistakes?

Being To Pushy – This is definitely a turn off to a potential customer. All too often the salesperson is so eager to make the sale that they get way to ahead of themselves and push the customer into a corner. This can make the customer feel almost attacked or pressured to buy the product. You don’t want this to be the outcome of your sales tactic. You want the customer to be at ease when they are being pitched to and more importantly, receptive.

Offering the Wrong Type of Upsell – When offering an upsell to a customer it is important that the upsell is something that is in relation to the sale you just made on the bigger ticket item. This can be in the instance of person who just bought a digital camera, offering a memory card will fit perfectly in with the initial sale and is something they will need. You want them to want to have this service and be aware of all the reasons they need it. You don’t want to upsell something that has no relation to the product at all, it has to relate in some fashion.

Not Being Persistent – Yes there is a way to upsell and be persistent without being pushy. It all relies on the information you are relaying. It needs to be convincing and something the customer believes. If you go out and just start spouting off some sales pitch, it could seem unconvincing and forced. You want to have conviction in your speech so the customer believes what you are saying and ultimately wants the product.

All of the above mistakes can be avoided if the salesperson is properly trained. They need to practice their upselling techniques on someone before they are let loose on the public to ensure they have what it takes to be a proper sales person.