Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

How to Work from Home as an Online Retail Consultant

How to Work from Home as an Online Retail ConsultantOnline shopping is the mainstream trend both for large companies and small entrepreneurs. Some online stores operate as independent websites, while others take advantage of platforms such as Etsy or Amazon, which offers them the support of a thriving community and an established brand name.

And many of these ecommerce websites need help to grow their sales, establish their own brand name and become more visible on search engines and the social media. All these entrepreneurs need an online retail consultant. And it could be you, working from home as a freelancer or home-based business owner.

What Does an Online Retail Consultant Do?
An online retail consultant or ecommerce consultant evaluates an online store and recommends strategies for:
⦁ Improving and upgrading the design
⦁ Scaling and improving the website functionality
⦁ Increasing the visibility of the website by a sound SEO strategy
⦁ Improving the user experience by making navigation more user friendly
⦁ Optimizing the entire shopping experience by simplifying the checkout process;
⦁ Improving the security of online payments by choosing reputable payment processors.

Online retail consultants work either on individual projects or as long-term consultants for clients who want to keep their website permanently optimized for the best shopping experience for their customers.

If this type of activity is exactly what you are good at and passionate about, this is what you need to know about working from home as an online ecommerce consultant:

1. Get Certified
A simple Google search will show you that you have lots and lots of competition in the niche of online consulting, both from companies and individual freelancers. So, any potential client will look for credentials before they decide to hire an online consultant.

Certification is important – even if it is in the form of a diploma from an online training organization. Look at the types of certifications held by other freelancers or home-based business owners in this niche, and try to obtain them too.

2. Build a Portfolio
Most certainly, you have past experience in optimizing ecommerce websites, or even running your own. List all the relevant projects you have worked on, either independently or as an employee. Discuss with your former employer before you list the clients you have worked for, because they may have included confidentiality clauses in the agreement with their clients. Do not post work references without this clearance, you may be taken to court for breach of your former employment agreement.

3. Determine the Price for Your Services
The majority of online retail consultants price their service on an hourly basis. Others will negotiate a price per project. As a beginner, you may not charge a lot per hour, plus your initial engagements will be short projects. Thus, you will probably make more money by negotiating a price per project.

As you gain more customers and more credibility as a freelance professional, you will get hired for longer term projects for customers, which you should price per hour.

4. Speak in Terms Understandable to Your Clients
Some of your clients will not be tech savvy – that is exactly why they need your services. When you work for these customers, try to explain to them what you advise them to do, or the actions you will take with respect to their websites, in simple words which they can understand. They do not need a magician with a wand or an obscure guru, but a full understanding of what you propose to do to improve their websites. This is their own business, after all, and they need to feel that they are still in control of it.

5. Ask for Testimonials and Credentials
Your happy clients will have no reserve to give public testimonials about your work. They may even post a credential in the footer of their web pages (“website optimized by…” with a link to your website). So, even if you have just started your activity as an online retail consultant, do not be afraid to ask for testimonials and credentials for your work. They will help you grow your reputation and find new customers.

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5 Lucrative Home-Based Business Ideas You Can Start in 2017

5 Lucrative Home-Based Business Ideas You Can Start in 2017The world of business is forever changing. Products and services in demand today may become obsolete tomorrow. At the same time, new and in-demand products and services appear, in line with people’s changing needs and interests. Knowing what is lucrative and in-demand ahead of time helps entrepreneurs adapt their business models and keep their companies relevant over time.

For home-based business owners, 2017 is a year in which both craft businesses and professional services are in great demand. There are no surprising changes from last year (so you can breathe out in relief) but there are some shifts in popularity among various niches.

This article is also aimed at potential entrepreneurs who are not sure if their skills and experience are a good fit for starting a home-based business. Without further delay, these are the most in-demand and lucrative home-based business ideas for 2017:

1. Affiliate Marketing

Most people failed to make money online because they don’t have a proven system that works for them…

Good news is, this system has helped many ordinary people, including newbies to make real money.

You can be one of them too:

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The best part is…

-You don’t need to write or produce any unique content

-You don’t need to create any products to sell

-You don’t need to write up any sales letters

-You don’t need to provide any customer service or follow up support

-You don’t even need to learn about internet marketing!

See how this can be done with real proof here:

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Don’t be left behind.

2. Crowdfunding Consulting
Crowdfunding websites such as Indiegogo, GoFundMe and Kickstarter feature hundreds of thousands of projects. Some of them succeed, but many fail. And, among the successful ones, some crowdfunding projects fall apart in a very public and unpleasant manner, with negative legal consequences.

To avoid this, many people hire a crowdfunding consultant to advise them on the best way to formulate their project and ensure transparency and a fair treatment of all contributors. At the same time, potential entrepreneurs want to make their project stand out, be visible and have an adequate promotion on the social media and other channels to attract more contributors. All these fall among the scope of work of a home-based crowdfunding consultant.

3. Woodworking
From abstract services, we move now to a craft home-based business, more specifically to woodworking. There is an increasing demand for unique, handmade furniture, toys and decorations made of wood. People want to add a personal note to their homes and are willing to pay more for a crafted item than for mass-produced items. If you love carving wood and are good at it, this is the moment to open a home-based business and start making money from your hobby.

4. Social Media Consulting
The social media has long exceeded the status of an online forum for people to meet, share photos, and build conversations. It is a thriving world where businesses find potential customers, build relationships with them and advertise their products and services.

There are many unwritten dos and don’ts in social media engagement, and small businesses need advice or even a manager for their social media pages. As a social media consultant or manager, you can build a thriving customer base and establish your authority as an expert. In time, you can expand your business to publishing eBooks and hosting webinars.

5. Candle Making
Candles have appeared over 2,000 years ago and it seems that they are here to stay. No longer used as a lighting source, candles (especially scented ones) are now popular in spas, for creating a romantic atmosphere and for scent therapy.

Handmade beeswax candles are very popular, especially if you craft them in creative shapes and colors, adequate for various celebrations (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, etc.).

If you didn’t find your skill or hobby in this list, do not despair: you still stand a great chance to open a successful home-based business.

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Top Tips on Working from Home as a Real Estate Agent

Top Tips on Working from Home as a Real Estate AgentWorking from home is a great way to create a balance between your professional and private life. Some jobs are now seen even by employers as ideal for telecommuting employees, after independent agents have proven for years that they needn’t be tied to an office.

The real estate business is such a sector, where there are more and more realtors working from home, either independently or as representatives of a company. Many people now choose to join this profession because they are attracted not just by the potential to earn significant commissions, but because they want to leave the corporate environment and work from home.

If you are one of these people, you need to understand that working from home as a real estate agent has some challenges. For one, you will not have the advantage of going through the incoming demands of assistance either from buyers or from sellers, but must go out and scout for those clients. For another, you will have to work harder to build your professional image and find creative ways to win your prospects’ trust.

These are the top tips we’ve obtained from other professionals in this business working from home:

1. Offer Your Customers a Personalized Experience
You cannot offer your prospects the image of a professional corporate office with leather chairs and a business suit. But you can offer them something more valuable: the human touch in dealing with them. You can achieve this by offering to meet them at their home or in a quiet café nearby and discuss everything in a casual and friendly manner.

In a world dominated by corporate policies which tend to create a uniform army of employees, it is great to be different and to treat your customers in a manner which does not feel like it originates from a company handbook.

2. Find a Niche Where You Can Be the Best
As a home-based real estate agent, you may not compete with the large companies downtown, but you can shine in a specific niche. For instance, some realtors specialize in identifying and negotiating lease conditions for clients with pets or small children. Others are really good at hunting down bargains in the market of foreclosed properties or youth studios.

It is important to identify the market you can serve best in your local community and to build your expertise in it.

3. In Numbers Lies the Strength: Collaborate with Other Independent Agents
In companies there is almost zero cooperation, because each agent is trying to be the star of monthly sales and get the highest commissions and bonuses. But independent real estate agents working from home know that they do not have a giant umbrella covering them and bringing customers and reputation by association. Their own chance of survival on the market is collaboration among each other. There are many local professional associations of independent realtors, clubs, business accelerator hubs and other public forums which you should attend and meet other professionals like you.

“But, aren’t they my competition?” Not directly. You will certainly find realtors operating in another area than yours or specializing in a different niche. On many occasions they will be able to refer to you customers they cannot serve and vice-versa.

4. Go Out and Prospect the Market
Working from home as a realtor does not mean staying at home. While you will get some business from online listings, email marketing and your website, as a home-based real estate agent you have the freedom to go out whenever you want, look at properties for sale and evaluate their potential to be on your list, and leave business cards in your local community at colleges and other businesses where people may inquire for housing options, etc.

Always bring a personal touch to your approaches, such as inviting prospects for coffee and delivering your card and presentation leaflet in handwritten envelopes.

5. Invest in the Best Internet and Mobile Phone Plans You Can Afford
Real estate agents have to be on the phone and checking their emails and real estate listings all the time. This is why you need to upgrade your current plans to business level ones, where you get as many minutes and internet traffic at high speed as you can. You need to be reachable by customers at all times during your business hours, so you should also invest in modern and reliable equipment (mobile phone, laptop, etc.).

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