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Due.com

 

“Freelancers need different ways for their clients to pay them, whether it is PayPal, credit card, Venmo, or other similar options. Due.com provides an easy to use invoicing system and a timekeeping ability allowing freelancers to separate projects, and invoice clients individually through many different means.”

 

Due.com online invoicing and billing software offers easy-to-use tools for creating invoices and basic project tracking. Due.com is trying to make both invoicing and receiving money seamless.  Due.com integrates with PayPal and Basecamp and invoices in multiple currencies.   It is currently only available online with an iPhone app in the works.  However, for those of you who are Android users, there has been no mention of an Android app.  I think that once they get the mobile versions running they will attract more users because for me, having things at the touch of my hands is very helpful.

 

Due.com has a freemium model and a premium model (which involves prices that I will talk about later).  The basic freemium model, as well as the paid version, includes widgets called The Dashboard Tab, The Invoice Tab, The Client Tab as well as The Projects Tab.  Each of these tabs have helpful tools in them that could help run your busy entrepreneurship life easy.

 

The Dashboard Tab includes a calendar and list of reports. It is something like a homepage where from here you are able to click to other pages and gives you a quick look at everything you’re working with at once.

The Invoice Tab gives a person a quick look at how many invoices are pending, paid, and the ID numbers all listed out neatly in a chart at the bottom of the page. They are also able to easily click to Recurring Invoices to make sure everything is set correctly. From here a person is also able to create a new invoices.

The Client Tab is a pretty straightforward feature that makes it easy to create an address book of your clients so that you can navigate to his/her contact information and find him/her easily when creating and invoice or a project. You may also notice that there is one Project associated with this client.  From here you can also go straight to The Projects Tab if wanted.

The Projects Tab has two different parts to it: Projects and Tasks.  Here a person is able to create a project and then add tasks to that project. They have the ability to add a budget, client name, due date, and can make edits and changes at any time.

 

To unlock the other tabs you have to pay a monthly fee anywhere from $10/ month, $25/ month, or $100/ month.  Looking into the paid version is something that a larger businesses would benefit because it opens up features like PayPal integration, Invoice Export Options, a Timeline of your Activity, and allows them to add other Staff members to your projects and activity. For smaller businesses or freelance work, the free version is more than enough.  Each paid version offers unlimited project, clients, tasks and invoices. The free version is enough to try some of the main features, but it only supports five clients and two invoices. Also, you cannot send quotes, run reports, create recurring invoices or use PayPal.

 

I have not tried this site myself, but after looking into it and reading lots of reviews, I would recommend looking into getting involved with due.com.  I read many positive comments from people who use it already, and I myself find this site to be very useful.  Definitely something a person who is an entrepreneur and just starting or even a big company that has been around for a while.  Whether you’re cutting grass or running a big business, Due.com could be very helpful for you.

 

“It’s so easy to use and straightforward that it actually does make things easier, which so many tool that try to do-it-all simply just can’t master. It’s intuitive, the navigation makes sense, and it automatically tracks everything for you so you know when something is completed and what’s coming up on your calendar.”

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Allow For Experimentation In Your Internet B-Plan

Every internet entrepreneur is use to experimentation, because that is the language of the web: ready, fire, aim. REPEAT. Well, I contend that this should be the same mentality/plan that you implement/have for your SEO plan on your website.

In the realm of search engine optimization you offer hear terms like Googlebot, spiders, indexing and other jargon referencing search engines. This can appear complicated, but the reality is that SEO is as much about science as it is plain old experimentation.

Let me explain.

Every business has a different method to marketing and sales. For instance, a consumer goods company may create and publish a 30 second advertisements on popular T.V. channels in order to broadcast their newest product. Whereas, a mid-size industrial company may go for a direct sales approach to push new product. Each company may try new marketing and sales methods to see what works and what does not, but they will not abandon their core strategy’s of T.V. commercials or direct sales.

SEO is similar.

SEO’s main tactic for increased traffic is consistently publishing engaging content for users, as well as linking with other influencers.  But an equally important strategy is experimentation. TRY NEW THINGS. Attempt to engage users in a different way in order to boost traffic. Be sure to record your experiments so that your process can be repeated

Let me list a few examples of ways you can experiment during your internet enterprise

1. Post content onto different social media platforms. (at different times of the day)

2. Contact and co-author posts with other influencers

3. Make your site responsive.

4. Create a 30 day interactive contest.

5. Have a friend use your site and give you advice.

6. Create a free open forum on your site

If you have other experiments, be sure to let me know in the comments below!

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Why Didn’t I Think of That?

6a0147e102ac3c970b019aff0dc0d4970b-800wiI keep having these moments where I discover a new internet businesses and I have to say to my self, “why didn’t I think of that.”  I think this is an all too common occurrence, even with non-internet based businesses.  I was just reading about several internet businesses and my reaction for these was pretty much what I just described above.  A lot of business models are very simple and have a pretty focused effort that when repeated over and over again creates value and generates revenue.  Sometimes I think I need to be spending less time focusing on the day to day things and spend more time just sitting and brainstorming about potential business Ideas.  I feel like the thing that stops me the most from attempting to implement any of the ideas I have had, is that I find one road block or hole in the idea and then I say to myself, “Oh, that won’t work.”   I need to adopt a different mind-set, the mind-set of an entrepreneur.  If all the people that have created great businesses, that are thriving today, stopped the moment they reached their first roadblock or inconsistency, we wouldn’t have any great businesses.

A couple of these internet businesses that gave me the “Oh, why didn’t I think of that,” moment, are as follows.  SantaMail is a business that was started in 2003 and it is exactly what it sounds like.  People pay around $10 so that a letter from “Santa” will be sent to their children.  The letter actually comes from North Pole, Alaska.  Another business is called The Something Store.  It’s really an interesting idea, where a company houses a ton of different items in a warehouse, you spend $10 and they will send you “Something” from their warehouse.  You have no idea what you are going to get, but it will be worth at least $10, and sometimes quite a bit more.  It could be a necklace, an electronic gadget, it could even be a windows tablet or something much more expensive.  More than anything it seems like a unique way to have some fun with $10 and then wait expectantly for your “something” new.  In fact I actually just ordered “Something.” I’ll have to comment and let you all know what it is when I get it, haha.  I hope it’s a rolex.

The point I guess i’m trying to make with this post, is that there are endless possibilities for new and innovative internet business Ideas.  I need to start thinking more about those possibilities and actually take steps toward actually creating the next internet phenomenon.  You too, should be encouraged to do the same.  Thanks for reading. Also, the article I read which touches on some of these unique businesses can be found here.

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Getting Inspiration – Part 2

If you read my first post on Getting Inspiration for an internet business then you know my first technique for getting great ideas: stay up to date with current internet business practices and trends.

I want to outline a second practice (when I really want an idea) that helps get the brain storm flowing. After taking Internet Content Marketing I really wanted to create a niche web site that was interesting and profitable. So I set out on a journey to find the perfect topic to build a website upon.

I opened up a OneNote tab and started listing out everything with which I am interested or knowledgeable. At the time I was about to study abroad, so I listed everything from home stay study abroad to bicycle commuting. I listed 35 topics. Without much success or interest in those first 35 topics I started listing out each family member and his/ her interests. That added 25 more ideas to the list.

I ended with 57 different topics that had multiple different avenues for an interesting website.

I highly recommend sitting down and brain dumping everything that interests you. After you complete that list ask yourself if it is possible to write 100 blog posts for the topic. If it passes that initial test you are ready to start doing some web research to determine if it is a viable internet business niche.

I hope this helps in your struggle to find a compelling and interesting internet business niche!

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Getting Inspiration – Part 1

Can’t think of a promising Internet Business?

Whether or not you are currently working on a web based business or not, you need to be constantly up to date with the latest internet business trends, news and people. I believe this is one of the most important techniques in generating great business ideas. You can learn about what is currently working well and apply the techniques to other business idea/models to make new pivots/modifications/improvements.

For example, this past summer I heard about a company called Birch Box. A subscription to Birch Box gets you a package in the mail each month with new and interesting beauty and grooming products. After hearing that business model I applied t to an activity that I was currently doing: making bowties. I thought sending a unique, handcrafted bowtie in the mail each quarter would be an incredible adaptation on a traditional retail model.

I didn’t end up executing the idea, but I put together two pieces of information, part my doing, part trend in the marketplace that lead me to a winning idea.

Here are some of the places I go to learn about internet business

 

Smart Passive Income Blog

Internet Business Mastery (podcast)

Entrepreneur On Fire (podcast)

Brandon Gaille Dot Com

Hope you these resources help you!

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Do you have the right business model?

I myself have struggled with the thought of coming up with an innovative product in which I can build a business around.  However, after reading the article 7 Steps for Establishing the Right Business Model by Martin Zwilling, I discovered that creating a business is not all about the discovery of an innovative product.  Instead it is equally important to develop a proper business model that focuses on pricing, messaging, and target audiences.  In some cases, new businesses focus so much on the product that when it comes time to follow through with the selling of the product, the company ends up failing.

In order to prevent your start-up from failing, realize it too takes time to establish a business plan for your product.  There are in fact seven steps which can be taken to formulate a proper business model.

  1. Determine your product’s value. It is important to strike a balance of price so that you are compensated for your work, but at a price in which is standard with your competition and demographic.  Part of this price includes estimating your costs.  Generally a 50% gross margin is a standard for the lower bound.
  2. Make sure your product solves a problem.  The best way to determine if your product solves a problem is to have people use the product first hand.  This in itself is risky, so it is recommended issuing the product in a test market.
  3. Build a channel and support system.  Most entrepreneurs are familiar with the concept of a pitch, but building your channel involves a little more depth.  Full in-depth knowledge of not only your product, but your marketing, pricing, maintenance, and distribution is required to successfully engage your focus group.
  4. Inquire from industry experts.  Going into a business can be intimidating and there can be many times where you are unsure of what to do.  The best thing to do in this situation is to ask an expert in you industry.  Some industries even offer advisory boards to help and even provide new opportunities.
  5. Have a soft launch or pilot.  Launching your product in a test environment limits the costs and allows for maximum recovery.  This gives you the opportunity to test out the product’s costs, quality, and pricing.
  6. Collect customer references.  One of the best ways of marketing is through word of mouth and customer references fall in this line.  Customer references are a great way of achieving new clients.
  7. Attends national trade shows.  National trade shows provide you as opportunity to market your product as well as catch up on ideas.  It also conveys a sense of credibility towards your business.

Starting a business is not all about the product, and at some points can be the main focus.  When thinking of a start-up, it is important to always keep in mind the overall plan or business model.  This model should be well thought out or even your beautifully designed product will fail.

 

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