Archive | November, -0001
Before spending your money on anything, of course you want to be fully aware of what you are actually buying into. You need to know if you can afford it, and if it meets your requirements. You need to be sure that you will be able to use it effectively (does the program include training, instruction and support). You need to know how it works and what is included (the basics as well as any resources available to members). Very importantly for any affiliate program, you need to be aware of any special circumstances that may be part of the compensation plan.
There is usually a lot more to it than that you pay so much for the membership and you receive a percentage of the cost in commissions when you make a sale. The special circumstances could mean that you are ‘passing up’ a commission to your sponsor or giving them a percentage of each sale. In some really progressive companies, you could even be ‘spilling over’ your sales to your downline (those you sponsor) to help them build their organization ‘under’ you.
The compensation plan has to work in a way that you as a sponsor would get exactly the same compensation as your sponsor does. This of course may be dependent on you being able to reach the same ‘level’ as they have – usually the number of sales someone has made will dictate their level or grade in the program. This is fair and is the same as being promoted or given a raise in any corporation based on your performance.
With affiliate programs it may also be that you have purchased the products or services on the same level as you are able to earn commissions. This is a good idea because you should have a full understanding of what you are selling and to feel enough confidence in it to purchase it yourself. Likely you will be much more believable if you have direct experience.
Affiliate marketing is a very good way to break in to Internet marketing and having your own online business at home. Some people may not understand what they are paying for and feel that the membership fee in itself is a ripoff. When you look at it as a ‘job’, it is true you should never have to pay for a job. However with affiliate marketing you are actually part of the company – and you are working for yourself. The affiliate program is sharing their intellectual property with you and allowing you to legally profit from their business.
It is fair that you are charged for membership because the program has spent and is spending a lot of money to create a product or service, and to maintain the business. They perform customer service not only to you but on your behalf to your customers. They handle all the sales transactions for you as well as the accounting. They provide not only the product or service that you are able to earn commissions for selling, but also pay to maintain the website, member database, and the graphics and other advertising resources that are available to members. So you are saving maybe millions by spending a little each month on your membership fees.
To be especially diligent in researching the programs you should be wary of those that cost a lot of money to join, have contracts, and do not guarantee a refund. You really need to be careful with this and document everything carefully. Remember that using your credit card to purchase something gives you a little bit of a guarantee on your own, in that you can file a dispute if the company does not live up to their promises either to deliver or to refund. Your being able to do this does rely on you keeping solid documentation of everything between you and said company.There are time limits that you can dispute something as well as legitimate parameters for the term they guarantee a refund.
Unless you have been holed up in an igloo the past 20 years you must have heard the horror stories about people suddenly losing their jobs without cause and without notice, and many of them unable to replace their income. You must know that many of the industries that created employment here in the US have been moved to foreign countries where they can pay almost nothing for labor.
It is actually the position or even company that is being eliminated – so the position is not going to be available to someone else in many cases. In spite of selling the workforce down the river, the last recession has shown that the businesses themselves can go bankrupt and consequently go out of business. Bottom line is that many thousands of new jobs that would be created, are not. No more taking it for granted that you can always find another job.
This is hitting people at all skill and income levels and stages in their careers (all ages). The last recession also taught us investments are also vulnerable – many people lost their life savings, their real estate etc. Rather than retiring they are looking for part-time work as a result.
The point here being that we are vulnerable – more than ever before – our very survival and ‘lifestyle’ are not guaranteed. However you can take control of your finances by starting a business where you can earn an income from home. Ideally you could do this part-time while you still have a job and start saving money for an emergency – and God willing if that emergency never comes, you can always use it for retirement or something fun like a vacation or for something you always wanted but could never afford living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Although there are lots of things you can do at home to earn money, the easiest, least expensive way to do things is online. No matter what you decide to produce or sell, the Internet is the best way to promote it. There is just no comparison between virtual or online advertising vs. printing and mailing costs for example, just to name one aspect that is superior about Internet marketing. There is no way that you can reach millions of people all over the world if you are trying to call them on the phone either.
Not being a computer nerd is no excuse at all. There are ready-made services, software applications, consultants, etc that perform all of the technical tasks necessary. If you would like to have total control then maybe you can take some courses online from a community college (very inexpensive) to learn some technical things if that would make you more comfortable. The more you can do for yourself the least expenses you will incur as well.
The important thing here is that you take action – commit some time each week to researching ways you can take control of your own financial situation by creating a way to earn an income apart from your job or career – Best to start it before you are desperate so that you can land on your feet if something unexpected should happen.
Mindset is always important to anything in your life, from how you see things when you wake up, for example it’s ‘going to be a great day'(!) or ‘just another day’, (ho hum). Obviously it is much easier to go through life having a positive attitude and always expecting the best from others as well as from your own efforts.
However it seems we need a little extra help staying positive and realizing we are still part of the big picture when we work at home alone. Sometimes it does not come at all natural for people to be alone most of the time and it can get depressing if we let it. As well there may eventually manifest the smothering feeling of ‘cabin fever’ from staying home.
The extra help we may need could be anything as simple as setting a time each day to leave the house to go outside for fresh air and exercise – even just an hour will do wonders; Or it can involve maybe signing up at the local community college to take a course either for business or just for fun, if you really need to be around some people and get a change of atmosphere a few times a week.
Something we do need to realize and that is that rest and relaxation is not slacking. It is part of life and we will be much happier, healthier and more productive if we factor time in that is apart from our work. It used to be more simple when we had hours where we went to work and then we came home or went somewhere after work to relax and enjoy.
So like with many things you need to consider when starting a business working at home, we must replace some elements that we may have taken for granted all the years we worked at a job. An example of this would be self-discipline which would be like having regular hours that we know are time that we work.
While we are free to work whatever hours any time we want to, the fact remains we need to put in those hours as a matter of routine. It’s not optional if we actually want to make money from our business. So we can work a few hours in the morning and then take some time off to run errands or get some exercise or clean the house, or whatever we need to do; and then come back refreshed and ready to put in a few more hours to complete our work day.
Having just this much structure is important to keep on track and to help you to ‘keep your chin up’; especially when starting a business, there will be a curve where you may not be seeing results quite yet and it is very necessary that you are able to stay motivated during these periods. Even a not-so-new business has times when sales are slow and we should use that time for something positive – learning more about your industry, acquiring new skills, taking a self-improvement course of some kind to improve your mindset, or just getting some rest and relaxation.