Considering a Home-Based Business? What Are You Waiting For?

The home-based business industry which is often referred to as network or multi-level marketing is exploding as of late. There are millions joining home-based businesses every month and hundreds of thousands per week. What is so attractive about a home-based business you may ask? More time to spend with family, more money, and a low-end investment in most cases. You can start a legitimate home-based business for less that $500 and make as much if not more money than you would starting a franchise.Having said that, you get all the benefits of using a franchise business model as you are able to use the company’s support infrastructure, marketing tools, and are able to use their guidelines to make sure of legal compliance. The only thing that exists in a traditional franchise that is not present in a home-based business is the huge franchise fee. When you couple the power of the home-based business model with the meteoric rise of free marketing strategies on the internet such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube just to name a few, you will be in the right place at the right time.Considering the state of the U.S. economy, with people getting laid off every time you turn around and the stringent requirements of the banking system with respect to those looking to start a traditional business, a home-based business opportunity is the way to go. I hope that you will take a leap of faith and join the home-based business industry, we would love to have you.

Auction Listings Are Vital to the Success of Fundraising Auctions

Fundraising Auction Tip: You should always provide potential bidders with a printed Auction Listing of both your Live and Silent Auction items at any Fundraising Auction. A printed Auction Listing is vital for several reasons:

An Auction Listing informs bidders of the order of sale, and what is coming up next. If you keep your bidders guessing, they will simply not bid.

If bidders are not 100% certain of what they are bidding on, they will not bid. A printed Auction Listing should answer any and all questions about what is being sold in order to encourage bidders to bid as much as possible.

Bidders often need time to plan their bidding strategies, especially on multiple and/or larger value items. A printed Auction Listing helps them to do that.

Couples often need time to consult with each other about what they are willing to spend on something. A printed Auction Listing helps them to do that.

Potential bidders need to know the specifics, the benefits, and the restrictions on any item they are going to bid on, especially on travel and/or other higher value items. A printed Auction Listing should answer all of their questions, in writing.

After bidders see that they have lost an item to another bidder, a printed Auction Listing makes it easier for them to re-strategize on what else they can bid on.
Printed Auction Listings generally come in 3 forms:

Printed in the Event Program or Auction Catalog.

Printed on loose sheets of paper and hand-inserted into the Event Program or Auction Catalog.

Printed on loose sheets of paper and hand-delivered to all attendees, or left on each dinner table in the room.
Auction Listings cost practically nothing to produce and they can make the difference between the success and failure of a Live and Silent Auction. You should never conduct a Fundraising Auction without one.

A Case Study

Let me share a real-life experience with you. Once I was hired to conduct a Fundraising Auction for a nationally renowned organization. The event was held in a major hotel, in one of the country’s largest cities, with several hundred “black tie” participants attending. It was an extremely professional event, with the music, singing, lighting, speeches, and awards all perfectly timed and choreographed. Everything was done to perfection… exception the Fundraising Auction.

Although I had signed an agreement to serve as their Auctioneer nearly one year in advance of the event, no one bothered to contact me for any advice or help. Approximately one week prior to the Auction date, I contacted the group to see if they had replaced me with another Auctioneer. But they said that I was still their man.

Upon arriving at the event I asked for a copy of the Auction Listing. I was told that there were none. I’m not sure whether they felt that the Auction Listing wasn’t necessary, or whether someone forgot to have them printed. This was never made clear. When I asked what I was to use at the podium, I was told to copy the list of Live Auction items from a committee member’s computer. It took me about 30 minutes to copy three pages of hand-written notes in order to prepare for my role as their Auctioneer.

I knew that they had created a PowerPoint program showing the various Live Auction items. When I asked whether the PowerPoint slide order corresponded to the order of sale I had copied from the committee member’s computer, I was met with a blank stare. The committee member left to check the slide order, and returned to let me know that the slide order did not correspond my notes, and he provided me with the correct slide order… hand-written on a paper napkin. This forced me to re-arrange my three pages of hand-written notes before taking the podium.

There was a Live Auction Table with descriptions of the Live Auction items that were to be sold, but the table was not clearly marked, and it received significantly less attention than the Silent Auction Tables, which were clearly identified. Since the Live Auction Table was located adjacent to the “Raffle Table”, it appeared that most people thought it was part of the raffle and therefore paid very little attention to it.

According to the event program (which did not include an Auction Listing), I knew approximately when I was to begin the Live Auction. At the designated time the Master of Ceremonies announced the start of the Live Auction to the several hundred people in attendance, and introduced me as Auctioneer. As I approached the podium I realized that photographs of award winners were still being taken… directly in front of the podium where I was to stand… which required me to stand aside for several minutes until the photographers were done. Can we say “awkward moment”?

As the photographers cleared, I approached the podium and began my Live Auction introduction. Approximately one minute into my introduction, the “Raffle Committee” approached the podium and stopped my Live Auction Introduction in order to pull the 8 or 9 Raffle Winners. These drawings lasted about 5 minutes. Upon it’s conclusion I was allowed to resume the start of the Live Auction.

When standing at the podium two intense and extremely bright spotlights were pointed directly at the podium. The lights were so bright that I literally could not see the center 1/3 of the room. I could see the tables on the right, and on the left, but was totally blinded when looking straight ahead. It took perhaps five minutes before the spotlights were turned off.

While at the podium and describing Lot #1, I had to ask someone to start the Lot #1 PowerPoint Slide… because apparently no one was assigned that job.

So with only the Auctioneer’s verbal description, and a PowerPoint slide, it appeared that few people in the room had any idea about what we were selling… or when we were selling it… until it was announced by the Auctioneer. As a result, bidding was extremely light and the final results fell several thousands of dollars short of where they should have been
The learning experience is this:

The Live Auction is where you place your better items, and where the real money should be made at any Fundraising Auction. Let bidders know as far in advance as possible what you will be selling, and the order of sale, so they can get excited about the Auction, and plan their bidding strategy accordingly.

Auction Listings are absolutely vital to the success of both Live & Silent Auctions. In my opinion, revenues at this Auction fell thousands of dollars short of where they should have been, because no Auction Listing was provided to the guests.

If bidders are not perfectly clear on what is being sold, including both the item’s specifics, benefits, and restrictions, they will not bid.

When you have a committee of volunteers, especially volunteers having full time jobs and/or very busy schedules, the services of a professional Fundraising Auctioneer can help to keep the committee on track.

And once you retain the services of a professional Fundraising Auctioneer… use the services that you are paying for.

Things to Remember When Acquiring Small Business Loans

A business that is able to generate enough profit is worth venturing into. However, it is not usually easy to run a business and be able to generate the desired amount of profit within the desired period of time. There are many factors that can account for this. However, money is usually the underlying factor. For example, you may have dreams to propel your business to higher heights but you may not have enough funds to bring your dreams to fruition. In order to quail the negative effects of financial hurdles in running a business, it is always advisable to acquire a small business loan. Small business loans can be acquired from any financial lending institution. However, there are certain important factors that you have to bear in mind before acquiring a small business loan.First of all, you must try to carry out a viable and timely market analysis. This step is very important and should not be overlooked. Market analysis can enable you to know how to run a business without incurring too many losses or any losses at all. It is a sure way of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your business, learning more about the number of customers who may available to help you sustain your business and the estimated amount of money that you may have to pump into your business in order to see viable results. Without this step, any business is bound to fail.After carrying out market analysis, you have to found out the hurdles that will affect your business. It is important to always bear in mind the fact running a business is not a smooth ride. Sometimes there are losses which can be substantial enough to ruin your business. A good business person must know how to avoid the hurdles that are associated with running a particular business. If you want to be a successful business person, you have to remember to identify all your obstacles and how to overcome them. As a matter of fact, only small business finances that have been acquired by business persons who are aware of the obstacles awaiting them have been properly utilised.It is also important to identify all the risks that may be involved in the running of a particular small business. In this case, the business person involved will be responsible for deciding whether to take a particular risk or not. Some risks tend to yield desired results, while others tend to jeopardise the progress of a business. It is entirely up to you as a small business owner to decide whether to take a particular risk or not. The timing is usually important because it determines whether the risk is worth taking or not.If you have prospects of acquiring one of the small business loans, you must be able to use the funds accordingly. In this case, this means expanding your current small business so as to generate enough funds to repay the loan. Otherwise, acquiring a small business loan will be equivalent to digging your own grave.