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How the Recession Has Changed the Focus of Some Businesses

Internet and Businesses Online - Josephine - July 15, 2020

Entrepreneurs relying on their ability to change are emerging from the recession.

Since 2000, San Diego’s Milo Shapiro of PublicDynamics.com had been a speaker. In 2006, he added a coaching practice in public speaking, the use of Power Point presentations and speech writing. He began to emphasize it in 2009.

Although his market for motivational and keynote speches declined that same year, the telephone rang with requests for coaching. “In a competitive market,” he explains, “people need to be better at what they’re doing. Managers have to be able to explain a project. Speakers have to be top notch to keep getting hired.” He’s even helped sales reps with sales delivery.

While speaking pays more — $3,5000 to $5,000 per engagement — coaching services at $180 per hour to $400 per hour more than keep him in business. In addition, he loves it. His revenue was higher in 2010 than 2009.

“I’ve gotten several requests to speak about speaking,” he comments, “leading to speaking income, new coaching clients and more book sales.” He uses search engine optimization (SEO) and networking but obtains his largest clients from referrals.

GLOBALIZATION + INTERNET

Although Shapiro changed his focus, Adam Fridman of Idea2Result in Arlington Heights, Ill., restructured his business. He’d been a business development consultant for five years until his market of small- to medium-sized businesses suddenly evaporated in 2008. He noticed that these businesses, unable to pay his $75 per hour, had a heightened need to create revenue. “Recession doesn’t allow for a margin of error,” he says. “You no longer have the money and loans to withstand the mistakes.”

Fridman traded his company with more than 75 employees and high real estate expenses for virtuality. He created a lead generation and telemarketing services company for people in the United States and Canada, who select their consultants online. He has 30 professionals worldwide, none full-time in the United States. His site lists profiles of experienced (five years or more), degreed agents, trained by our country’s Fortune 500 companies and based in the Philippines. Fridman charges $14 per hour or $9 per hour plus $20 per appointment. Clients prefer the latter, because they’re paying for results.

Idea2Result, built on SEO, reached profitability in its first year. “No one cares where you are physically,” he comments from his home-office. “It’s what you can deliver.”

MONETIZATION

Rather than change company structure, John Boyd of Ridgefield, Conn., changed to monetization. He had a holding company for patents, TTB Technologies LLC, founded in 2005. Venture capital funding was drying up and the business for MeetingWave, his open platform, wasn’t producing sufficiently. In 2010 the company launched a software-as-a-service platform, a radical departure from software for free, or “freemium.” This year it launched mobile apps. All three, he says, “dramatically improve a user’s ability to arrange networking meetings with new real-world contacts.”

MeetingWave costs 99 cents throughout the platform but is optional for licensees in higher education. Licensing begins at $499 per month for education and, for conferences, expos and trade shows, $500 per event. Boyd anticipates profitability in the second quarter.

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“During the recession,” Boyd says, “if we hadn’t pivoted to monetization, we wouldn’t be expecting to be profitable.” He says that the shift has created a much better climate in which to do business.

With new patent applications pending, Boyd also did something that tugged at his heart. He sold his two groups of patents for more than $100,000 each. “It was difficult to do,” he remarks, “because they were something I’d created and they’d provided protection.”

The recession changed these three entrepreneurs, if only by inspiring or driving them to change their businesses. Doing so is enabling them to dig out.

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First Hand: Selling with Fulfillment by Amazon Vs. Independently

Internet and Businesses Online - Josephine - June 28, 2020

In addition to the lifestyle advantages that I mentioned in another FBA advantages article, there are also selling advantages to listing your inventory as a Fulfillment by Amazon seller opposed to going it alone by selling and shipping from your own location on the Amazon marketplace. If you are looking to make an income from selling on Amazon, consider these advantages for selling with FBA.

Selling Rank with Shipping Included Pricing

On the Amazon website, items are listed in order starting with the cheapest total price including shipping. For example, if a book were to be listed by seller X, an independent seller, for $0.01 plus shipping ($3.99 for books set by Amazon) and seller Y, an FBA seller listed that same item for $4.00, the seller Y item would be higher ranked on the list than seller X giving an advantage to the FBA seller. Any item on the website listed by an independent seller has to be listed as retail price plus shipping whereas FBA sellers can include that fixed shipping cost as a part of their retail price and still ranks higher.

You need to have everything mentioned in perfect order because the retail price and shipping cost will differ from product to product like Helium would differ from Helium 10 Software as they are interlinked but are at different sides of the spectrum.

Amazon Prime

A few years ago, Amazon rolled out a great program called Amazon Prime. This program enables any buyer to pay an annual fee (currently $79) and get any item shipped from any Amazon warehouse by any seller in two days for free. There are also other benefits to the Prime package that make no difference to us as sellers. With this great savings, there is no minimum for buyers to get the free shipping and buyers will choose to items from FBA sellers even at equal or higher prices because of the speed and savings associated to shipping.

Buyer Confidence

When a buyer looks at all of the options they have for a given item, they have several factors to consider. First is the price of the item among the many sellers. Then they look at the various conditions of the item related to the retail price. Finally they take into account how reliable the seller is and the likeliness that the item will arrive and if it would appear as it was described in the listing. If there was an issue and a need to return that item, would it be a hassle? When that buyer sees an item listed by a seller with the logo Shipped by Amazon under their name. They know that the item really is available and that Amazon will be shipping the item within hours of the order. They also know that should the need to return the item come, Amazon guarantees their right to return for a refund without hassles. Given these methods of support, buyers at all levels will more often choose FBA items over independent sellers.

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Private Profile Spy: Compromising Our Privacy on Social Networks

Internet and Businesses Online - Josephine - June 26, 2020

Cheating boyfriend? Unfaithful wife? Or maybe you’re just plain nosy. Whatever category you fit in the web has just sunk to all time low. While trying to access the myspace homepage, I accidentally made a typo and wound up on a rather interesting and at the same time disturbing page. A site entitled Private Profile Spy is what I landed on and suddenly I was bombarded with information that just plain creeped me out. According to this page there is a tool you can use to read Myspace profiles that the user has set to private.My first inclination was to feel violated and after that I was all out disgusted with the lengths people go to to retrieve information. What really got me was that there was a line or two about how great this service is if you believe your partner is “myspacing” behind your back. Now I don’t exactly know what that mean, but I have a pretty good idea. In the confines of a relationship I wonder if this type of behavior is considered an adulterous act. Are we really that sleazy of a society or has our boundaries of infidelity somehow changed?

Before computers if you wanted to be unfaithful you had to do it the old fashioned way. As in going out and finding another person to satisfy your needs and hoping you did not get caught. Surprisingly enough the old fashioned way seems a bit more innocent.. There’s some sort of extra level of deception lurking in the myths of an online affair. Maybe it’s the lure of anonymity or what we think is anonymity. Or maybe it is the fear of being caught. Or maybe there is an element of risk and that pushes people on to do the unthinkable, or what was unthinkable until now. Although I still think it may be hard to hide something like this since most people have virtually everyone they know in their network. Once again there is the risk factor. Maybe that’s what makes it so appealing. The terms and conditions should be cleared to find on TaketheCoupon for social media networks. The interaction of the people with different people will be excellent and entertaining. The appeal of the person should be goo d for the person available on social media network. 

I know if I want to say something to someone about someone else that they may find offensive I have to check all ends before making that comment. This can be an exhausting process and it makes it hardly seem worth it at times. Actually seeing what is on a page and breaking into a page are two different things. According to Private Profile Spy anyone with this tool can get into any profile. That makes the whole security bit seem a little, well, less secure. Which once again is on the level of disturbing. Why do we need to be snooping into other people’s business anyway? Are we so bored with our own lives that we must delve into others to fulfill some sort of need? Maybe so, but it seems that the cost is going to be higher than the thrill.

Sometimes when you go looking for information, you find something you really didn’t want to know. If you suspect your partner is cheating do you really want it spelled out in front of you? With details? Graphic details? Especially written all over Myspace. Maybe sometimes its best if we are left in the dark. It seems safer in the dark, as long as we aren’t booting up our computers and searching high and low for information that may just harm us in the end.

When we became a society obsessed with technology we gave up some of our rights and developed a set of rules. Then again, some rules are made to be broken. Break the ones that invade your privacy and respect the ones that respect others. If you break the wrong set of rules, well, just be ready for the consequences. If the stakes are too high and you can’t play by today’s standards then maybe you should get out of the game. Nobody likes a cheater but no one likes a tattle tale either. We must find a way to live without knowing details that have been deemed private. Or we could go back to dealing with infidelity the old fashioned way, with a shotgun.

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