Into Every Life a Little Rain Must Fall - Part 1

Written by Elena Fawkner

Continued from page 1

You cannot be effective in developing your business unless you have mastered service knowledge. You need to knowrepparttar features of your products or services so that you can tailorrepparttar 117963 benefits torepparttar 117964 prospective customer's needs. Be sure you knowrepparttar 117965 difference between features and benefits. If you're selling bar stools, a feature ofrepparttar 117966 stool is that it has three legs. The benefit is that sitting on it will stop you hittingrepparttar 117967 floor. Remember: features tell, benefits sell.

Now, once you've identifiedrepparttar 117968 features and benefits of your product or service, develop a fifteen second commercial that you can trot out on cue whenever someone asks you, "So what do you do?". Most people are unprepared to answer a question like this effectively and so it is a golden opportunity to set yourself apart. Your fifteen second commercial will help you seizerepparttar 117969 moment and put your best foot forward. Use your fifteen second commercial to let each person you meet know exactly what you do and why you and your business are so special.

A fifteen second commercial for our web site optimization service might go something like this:

Prospect: "So, what do you do?"

You: "I run my own business, "Web Site Optimization". I tweak clients' web pages to optimize them forrepparttar 117970 various search engines. By creating a web page that appears inrepparttar 117971 first thirty search results for a particular search term,repparttar 117972 client gets a huge increase in traffic to their web site and their sales go throughrepparttar 117973 roof."

When should you use your fifteen second commercial? Each and every time you are introduced to someone new. Get inrepparttar 117974 habit of delivering your fifteen second commercial to as many people as possible. The more times you deliver itrepparttar 117975 more chances you have to create rain.

You also need to develop a uniqueness statement to respond torepparttar 117976 question, "What's different about your service compared to your competition?". Use a three step format for your uniqueness statement. Step one is to briefly overviewrepparttar 117977 three features and benefits that you will elaborate on in step two. Step two is to use three tailored features and benefits to explain your uniqueness torepparttar 117978 potential customer. Select one about your business's services/ products, one about something your business has accomplished, and one about you personally. In step three, summarize what you've just toldrepparttar 117979 prospect.

Here's an example of a uniqueness statement for our web site optimization service:

Prospect: "So what's different about your service compared to your competition?".

You: "I'm glad you asked. What's different about "Web Site Optimization" isrepparttar 117980 depth of our service, our results and our people.

"Unlike most of our competitors, we don't just create one web page for all ofrepparttar 117981 search engines. Each search engine has different criteria for pages to rank well. We create a different version of each page specifically designed for each main search engine. For example, one of our clients' rankings on Alta Vista increased fromrepparttar 117982 75th position to 15th in less than a month. He's experienced a 500% increase in traffic and sales as a result. I have a background in software engineering for Yahoo so I have access to inside information about howrepparttar 117983 search engines work that most of my competitors just can't get.

"So, in answer to your question, what's different about us isrepparttar 117984 depth of our service, our results andrepparttar 117985 unique experience of our people."

It will take many rehearsals until you have your fifteen second commercial and uniqueness statement down cold. At first it will feel unnatural to you to give people a rehearsed speech but over time it will feel less awkward and you'll be able to deliver it with an ease and assurance that will sound perfectly natural.


"A network is an organized collection of your personal contacts and your personal contacts' own networks. Networking is finding fast whom you need to get what you need in any given situation and helping others dorepparttar 117986 same." Harvey Mackay

=> Your Existing Network

Now that you know what to say, you have to find people to say it to. To establish your network, start with who you know. These are your existing personal and business contacts ...repparttar 117987 people who will always take your call and who can help you reach your goals. Consider people such as your attorney, accountant, doctor, agents, sales people, family, colleagues, friends and vendors.

Schedule a meeting with who you know forrepparttar 117988 express purpose of exploring ways you can help each other expand your respective networks. If there's a fit, create ways to support each other. You are not looking to sellrepparttar 117989 other person on your product or service. Instead, you are establishing a genuine relationship with this person. It doesn't matter that although you may be able to help this person directly, he or she may never be in a position to reciprocate. The reason it doesn't matter is that this person has a network of his or her own and may therefore be able to put you in contact with someone else who can help you.

Noticingrepparttar 117990 strengths in others and communicating them is one ofrepparttar 117991 greatest relationship-building skills a rainmaker can have. Much more than just paying idle, often shallow compliments, effective networkers focus on helping others focus on their strengths by using evidence to back what they're saying.

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas for the work-from-home entrepreneur.!FLM

Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors ... One of the Most Expensive Mistakes of Them All! Part 1

Written by Elena Fawkner

Continued from page 1


=> Cost

As mentioned above,repparttar main advantage of independent contractors versus employees is cost. You can getrepparttar 117962 same or better service from independent contractors for a lower hourly rate than you can from employees because you don't have to incur allrepparttar 117963 add-on expenses that go along with hiring employees.

=> Equipment and Materials

In addition, you don't have to provide office space or materials and equipment to independent contractors. As independent contractors (who may also go byrepparttar 117964 terms "freelancers", "consultants", "self-employed", "business owners" etc.) are self-employed business people, they have their own "tools ofrepparttar 117965 trade". If they're website designers, they have their own office space, computer and printing equipment. If they're gardeners, they have their own lawn mower, whipper-snipper, wheelbarrow and pruning shears.

=> Legal Liability

At law, an employer is vicariously liable forrepparttar 117966 torts of his or her employees. This means that if you hire an employee gardener who accidentally runs over your customer's pet cat inrepparttar 117967 driveway of her home whenrepparttar 117968 customer had made it clear that your employees are always to park inrepparttar 117969 street, in addition to suing your employee for negligence, she can also sue you,repparttar 117970 employer, as you are vicariously responsible forrepparttar 117971 acts of your employees. (And, byrepparttar 117972 way, this applies whenever your employee is acting withinrepparttar 117973 scope of employment, whether under your express instruction or not. If your employee has a car accident when traveling between jobs and his negligence at least partially causedrepparttar 117974 accident, you're responsible torepparttar 117975 same extent asrepparttar 117976 employee.)

This is generally notrepparttar 117977 case with an independent contractor unlessrepparttar 117978 independent contractor has been engaged to perform an inherently dangerous activity (such as blasting) or you have attempted to delegate to your independent contractor a non-delegable duty (such as keeping a rental property you own in good repair forrepparttar 117979 benefit ofrepparttar 117980 tenant).

In addition to minimizing legal liability for torts, hiring independent contractors also minimizes your liability for other types of lawsuits such as wrongful termination or job discrimination.


There are two main disadvantages to hiring independent contractors versus employees.

=> Misclassification

Far and awayrepparttar 117981 most serious disadvantage is if you misclassify employees as independent contractors. Merely labeling a worker as an independent contractor is not enough. They must actually be an independent contractor.

If you do misclassify an employee as an independent contractor, you must payrepparttar 117982 IRS all back-taxes owed, plus interest, plus penalty (12% - 35% ofrepparttar 117983 total tax bill).

Also, you expose yourself to an increased risk of state audits when your terminated independent contractor files for unemployment benefits. Never mind that you and your independent contractor intended that there be no employer/employee relationship, many'srepparttar 117984 disgruntled independent contractor who unilaterally decides to recategorizerepparttar 117985 relationship as one of employer/employee whenrepparttar 117986 spectre of unemployment benefits raises its pretty head. In such situations, you'd better be able to protect yourself by proving thatrepparttar 117987 arrangement was for an independent contractor and not an employee.

=> Legal Liability

Unlike an employee who is limited to workers' compensation benefits, an independent contractor can sue you for negligence if they're injured onrepparttar 117988 job. That's what liability insurance is for though.

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas for the work-from-home entrepreneur.

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