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Cheat Sheet

Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies

From Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies by Paul Mladjenovic

As a micro-entrepreneur, you’re searching for tips and tricks to maximize profits and minimize losses for your micro-business. No matter what you offer to your customers, whether it's a service or product, you want to be the source your customers look to when meeting their needs and wants. The following information can help you be a more successful micro-entrepreneur, no matter whether the economy is struggling or chugging along.

What You Need to Know before Launching Your Micro-Business

When you decide to be a micro-entrepreneur, such as a home-based or one-person business owner, make sure you pay special attention before taking the big step. If you recklessly choose to start your own business without thinking through all the ins and outs, the results could be devastating. Keep the following suggestions in mind before you make the final decision to start your own micro-business.

  • Analyze yourself first. Know yourself before you know your business. Figure out what excites you and know the types of products or services that you enjoy. Specialize where your passion and competence cross paths.

  • Know your target market. Determine who will best benefit from what you offer and identify what your target market (your real and prospective customers) want to buy. Analyze your prospective customers’ wants and needs. When you’re selling something that others want to buy, you have the seeds of success.

  • Plan to succeed. Do a business plan to give you a sound action plan in those areas of business activity that will keep you focused on what you need to do to be profitable and successful.

  • Rely on other people and resources. You don’t have to go it alone. You can tap into people and resources to help you with your business. Whether you’re looking for advice on marketing or accounting or just need some services performed for you, you can use the knowledge and skills of others without paying a fortune.

  • Keep learning. Excel at what you offer and keep finding out (and testing) new ways to market and to reach those folks that want or need what you have to offer. Stay informed about your industry, the economy, and your target market so that you can continue to offer products and services profitably.

Five Easy Ways to Have an Internet Presence without a Website

Being visible and present online is essential today for any micro-entrepreneur. Although a paid website is the best way to have an Internet presence, you may choose not to spend the (minimal) money to set up a website or to manage a website (perhaps because of the product or service you offer). If so, you can still have an Internet presence with the following:

  • Start a blog. You can get one for free on either www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.org. A blog has many advantages, such as ease of set-up and use. You can also make money from advertising, affiliate programs, or your own offerings. If you need help setting up one, plenty of free or cheap help is available online.

  • Go on Facebook. You can have both a personal and a business presence on Facebook at no cost. Plenty of big and small businesses are using Facebook to build awareness, gain customers, do market research, and sell more of their products and services.

  • Try Squidoo. Have a presence at this site with webpages called lenses at no cost. The lenses give you a chance to share content with others, and you can also add your profile with information on your products and services. The more lenses you create means the greater your opportunities to promote your business and what you offer.

  • Use LinkedIn. This social media site focuses on professionals, and you can build a profile page at no cost. You can also get involved with many groups that can either help you with information and guidance or you can go to groups to find customers or joint venture partners.

  • Work with Amazon. At Amazon, you can quickly create a Kindle ebook and sell it. You can then set up an author’s page where you can provide your profile and other information about you and what you offer as an author. This author’s page can also makes it easy for you to make money as an affiliate with Amazon’s products, ranging from physical products (such as books and consumer products) to digital products (such as Kindle books and software).

Six Easy Ways to Help You Make Money Fast

What may have started as a hobby has now blossomed into your own micro-entrepreneurial business. You’re now offering your product or service to customers with the goal of making money. These six options are proven ways to do so.

  • Write an article and sell it. Everyone has information and insights that others would pay for. You can get paid for your articles at places, such as Constant Content and Associated Content among others.

  • Make money from online advertising. You can set up a blog or website and allow advertising on it from programs such as Google’s AdSense program () or Adbrite. They do the advertising and share revenue with you as the blog or website publisher.

  • Offer your services through online services. Whether you have technical or administrative skills, you can be helpful to businesses with those tasks and make money. Take a look at sites, such as Elance, Odesk, and Freelancer.com.

  • Sell your stuff online. Most people have stuff they can sell and get cash. You can sell your stuff relatively quickly on sites, such as Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. Listing your item(s) is either free or very inexpensive, and many people have turned this option into a great part-time or even full-time business.

  • Write a Kindle ebook on Amazon. You can easily and relatively quickly write a Kindle book and upload it to Amazon. If your topic is trendy and your ebook has great content, it can become a form of passive income too because Amazon does everything else (processing, distribution, and so on) after you submit your book.

  • Use affiliate sites. Clickbank.com and Commission Junction are two of the easier ones to start with. Thousands of merchants are glad to pay you referral or affiliate fees for sending prospects their way. You can make referrals in a variety of ways, including writing articles (and including your affiliate link) or preparing a YouTube video (with an affiliate link in the video description).

Tapping into Five Free, Valuable Online Tools for Managing Your Business

No matter whether you’re just starting your own micro-business or you’ve been working for several years, you want everything to run smoothly and cost effectively. As a micro-entrepreneur, your focus is to meet your target market’s needs while staying ahead of your competition. These free resources can help you.

  • Get a free e-mail account for personal or business usage. E-mail is indispensable for communication, marketing, and other pursuits. You can get free e-mail at Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo.

  • Try Open Office Software Suite. This powerful suite of business productivity tools includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, and other software programs. The software is free and regularly upgraded and refined by open source software developers.

  • Network with LinkedIn. On this site, you can network with other businesses and professionals. You can make lots of valuable contacts, find prospects, and get answers to many of your questions from other professionals and specialists.

  • Market through e-mail. Mailchimp is a free e-mail service to do e-mail distribution and marketing. You can send an e-mail blast for up to 2,000 addresses on your list at no cost, which is perfect for businesses just starting out and needing a good way to manage a list of prospects, customers, or e-zine subscribers.

  • Use YouTube. This popular video platform gives you the ability not only to gain information and news (including lots of free how-to videos on a variety of business topics), but you have the ability to create your own videos (ranging from providing content to doing sales and marketing presentations) at no cost.

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