Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve

I am betting that most people are not going to see this until next year. Today was a busy day, we worked on a motorcycle detailing in the morning, had lunch with some dear friends in the afternoon, stopped by to visit the family who purchased our Southwind Motor home, went to the Motor Vehicle Division to be sure the transfer of ownership took place, then finally found our way home. We also paid off as many old debts as possible before the end of the year so that 2010 will start off right. Hawgwash, LLC will be rocking and rolling in 2010!

As we sat watching the last sunset of 2009, we reviewed the year of 2009 as it pertained to us. This was not the best year for many financially as the economy has continued to tumble despite the occasional increases in stocks. Many people have a significantly reduced retirement plan, many have lost a lot in retirement and 401k savings and even more have lost jobs and homes. In the last month alone we lost two friends, one was a very close friend and his passing came as quite a shock. So, watching the sun set over the mountains, closing out the daylight hours of 2009, we reflected on what has passed and look hopefully to what will be.

We have great hopes for 2010. For one, it is more enjoyable to type 2010 instead of 2009 (personally...), as the economy has been so bad in 2009, we are hoping that we have hit bottom and the only way our economy can go now is up. The benefits of this poor economy is that we find people are starting to work together to help each other more. There is a stronger sense of community, neighbors are looking out for each other. Parents are not just handing their children money to spend, they are sending their children out into the neighborhood to do chores, just like in prior years (the 60's for me..). I truly believe that children now will better appreciate that work is involved to get money, money really doesn't grow on trees and if you want any of those cool things, you have to sacrifice time and /or talent in order to make some money to purchase that toy.

I believe that people who are in business now or are planning on being in business in the near future stand to do very well in 2010. For starters, since the economy has been so tough, people are not spending money frivolously. There is not a lot of "fat" left in many businesses, so they are poised to be lean and mean in the coming years. This may be a natural winnowing process, trim the fat so that you are more flexible and mobile for the upcoming years. We, as a country, had gotten very complacent and took many things for granted. In 2010, we will remember the pains we went through in 2009 and will learn from those lessons. Again, that will only make businesses better and more efficient.

Now it is dark, the sun has set on 2009, but we have half an evening to get through before we see the new year begin. The moon tonight (for those of you who do not have cloudy skies) is amazingly bright, casting a light of hope over the darkness. It is very brisk outside, but with that bright moon overhead, you can only look forward in hope and expectation. 2010 will be a good year, most of us have learned hard lessons in the last few years, with 2009 seeming to be one of the hardest years. Tonight is the time for hope and expectation. We start tomorrow morning with a clean slate, 2010 is brand spanking new and sparkly, ready for us to make what we can of it. We should wake up and greet this new start with a fresh, positive attitude.

We not only expect a great 2010, but are planning on it. We have agreed upon business and personal goals and have developed small steps to attain the personal and business goals. With luck we will all see an upswing in the economy, hopefully the housing market will improve and jobs will be more available. Home based businesses are thriving and should continue the trend in 2010.

Have a wonderful end to 2009, let us all have learned from our past mistakes and let's make 2010 a wonderful year for the record books.

Talk to you "Next Year"....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pre-New Years Jitters for 2010

How many of us said things would be better "next year"? Well, "Next Year" is only a day and a bit away. Are you getting nervous? I sure am. I have (as usual) great expectations of what 2010 will bring for us personally and for Hawgwash, LLC as a business. I am frustrated that I have yet to complete the two websites, we are still limping along with the original site, which isn't bad, but way too busy for my taste.

We always seem to get caught up this time of year, planning on how much better "next year" is going to be, but for me at least, we never have a specific plan in mind. This year (2009) we have a specific road map for building our business in 2010. This year, we have already tested the road map and found it to be good and very effective, which means there is a much higher likelihood that "Next Year" will actually be better and may even come up to our expectations.

Before you start getting depressed about what is or is not going to happen in 2010, focus on what you really want. But more importantly than that, once you decide on what you want, develop a step-by-step plan to get to what you want for 2010. I know everyone tells you to set goals that are achievable, but really, in this economy, what you plan today may be thrown out the window tomorrow. The steps I am referring to are actually very, VERY tiny baby steps that will slowly but surely get you to that goal you set for 2010.

The last few years we always set goals for where we want to be, and what we want to be doing, and we did kind of set up steps to get there. For 2010, we actually have a little book that has DAILY pages in it, measuring your DAILY progress toward your goal. The neat thing about this daily book is that even if life gets in the way of what you may have "planned" on doing that day, you sit down in the evening and review what you did accomplish for that day. Then you are already on the road to planning what you are going to do the next day.

The next morning, you get up and again look at your little daily book and re-review what your goals are for that day alone. That night, you go back to the book and see if you accomplished any of the tasks that you hoped to. This book does not do what many "TO DO" lists do which is move a task that went unfinished in Day 1 to Day 2. By the time you get to Day 7, you have a TO DO list that is impossible to manage. This book basically wipes the slate clean each day and you start fresh each day. This book has worked wonders for us, we have been testing it for almost 4 weeks and have had dramatic results.

Personally, I didn't believe that concept would work (clearing the table and starting fresh each day), but what really works is that you don't get that feeling of being overwhelmed with tasks you wanted to get completed. This provides a path of very tiny baby steps, but as you review your week, you discover that you went further than you had ever dreamed.

In summary, it is a good idea to develop your goals for next year, make sure they are achievable, but the most important part of making the goals, is to have a very simple and easy plan with very, very, very tiny steps that will lead you slowly, but steadily to that goal you set for 2010.

If you have any questions regarding the little book we have been using, please e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. This book has not been posted on our website, but we can tell you more about it if you are interested. Take care.

Until Tomorrow - New Year's Eve.......

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Weight maintenance update and General Topics

Hi all, this is going to be a very short blog since I have been nursing a migraine all day long, and it feels like it is getting worse. My head feels like a boil that is ready to just pop, and right now, I would love for that to happen, the pain would go away. My eyeballs are grating around in my head, so it is almost better to move the head instead of moving the eyeballs...

Anyway, after all week of eating really bad quality food (and not eating properly on top of that..) and minimal cardiac activity, I can happily report that I have yet to gain any weight. I have not lost any weight, but, I really thought there would be an increase in weight after all the bad things I did all week. Core4 products are still working. By all rights, I should be at least 2-3 pounds heavier than last week.

So if any of you are frustrated about your weight, the Core4 system is really something you should look at. If you want to lose weight and have a really "sticky" body (my body loves fat and won't let any of it go without a major fight) Core4 may be just the ticket for you.

That is all for today, my eyeballs want to pop out now too (this better NOT be the flu!!!). I will chat more with you tomorrow....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Marketing your Business Opportunity

Happy day after Christmas. Hopefully you all had a wonderful time with family and friends yesterday. Today we are going to cover some more simple marketing techniques to help promote your business opportunity. For the last several days we have been covering simple, but effective marketing techniques and are going to continue this trend for a few more days. To date we have discussed promoting the values and identity of your business. We also talked about how you need to show your customer how much happier (getting them emotionally involved) they would be if they used your product or service. Today we are going to continue the ideas of getting your customers emotionally involved with your products.

As you are talking to people about your business opportunity, you do not want to give them too much information up front. You want to briefly touch on the benefits of your product, but do not want to get into the nitty-gritty details of the benefits of the products. Usually this is the first time your customer has seen your products, and too much information will cause their eyes to glaze over. They end up with information overload. The best technique for promoting your business opportunity is to touch on the biggest benefits and then, at the end of your presentation, summarize the benefits.

Summarizing the benefits at the end will help to organize the prospect's thoughts. By giving an overview, you are helping them to think clearly again. If you have been able to get your customer excited about your product, they may not be thinking clearly, summarizing the benefits will help the to focus again and feel better about their decision. You want your customer excited, but you do not want them regretting their decision once the excitement wears off. Your customer will appreciate you all the more for summarizing the benefits and helping them to think clearly before they make a major decision.

There also may be situations where you encounter a customer who is angry or frustrated with someone else who offers similar products to you. They may come to you complaining about either the products or how they were treated. This can be turned into another great marketing technique by answering that customer's complaint without bad-mouthing your competition. You will be hard-pressed to find a businesses that doesn't at some point or another does something to annoy their customers. It is your job to find out what was done to anger the customer and focus on not making that same mistake. By not doing what your competitor does, you may win the respect of that customer.

Again, I cannot stress the importance of NOT bad-mouthing your competition. It may be tempting, but it will not pay in the long run. Remember, no matter how good you think you are, you will at some point do something to annoy your customers too. If you do not say anything bad about your competition, you are again reinforcing your business values and identity. Your customers may actually like your competitor, but may be angry just this one time. If you say something bad about your competition, you risk angering your customer even more. If you listen to what they are complaining about and if you can repair the damage, that person will remember your good deed down the road. Even if they usually go to your competitor, by giving them a good feeling after talking with you, they may opt to come to you with their next desire.

If you focus on doing the opposite of what the competition does that aggravates customers, you will end up getting more business. Again, you are not saying bad things about your competition, you are just saying that you DON'T do that particular thing your competition does.

In our waterless business, what we do is take out the product the customer is interested in and let them work with the product before they make the purchase. We also try to get them to use the products on their specific vehicle. That way, the customer knows exactly what our products are going to do on their vehicle. There is no worry that we may have prepped our vehicle so that the product works better than it would normally. Some of our competitors will pre-treat the items they are demonstrating on, so the results are more impressive than they would normally be. By us using the customer's vehicle, we show that our products really do work without special work and the customer is more confident that what we tell them is really what will occur.

In summary, it is important to listen to your customer. If they are angry, don't get on the bandwagon and help to say bad things about your competition, listen to the customer's frustration and focus on not doing what the competition has done to irritate the customer. And, before you have the customer walk away, be sure that you have summarized the benefits of your products so the customer has a clear picture in their mind of what you and your products can do for them.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Time


I know I said yesterday that we were going to cover some simple marketing techniques today to help your business to grow. I changed my mind, as simple as that. Tonight is Christmas Eve and it is more appropriate to not discuss business tonight. If you really want whatever business you enter into to thrive, you need to always remember to keep your priorities straight. Keeping your priorities in line will help to keep your integrity, values and identity (items we discussed a few days ago). Our priorities are: God, Family, Business.

Today we spent the morning finishing up on business that needed to be attended to. This afternoon we prepared to attend our Christmas Eve Church service and tonight we have spent together as a family. Tomorrow we will spend more family time together, and will make sure to contact all of our friends and family that couldn't be here to wish them the best of the season. If you do not take time to stay grounded and balanced in the other aspects of your life, you business may thrive for a while, but in the long run, you will not be successful. Success is not always defined as having lots of money. Many people have lots of money, but they are not necessarily happy, nor healthy. I am not saying people with money are not healthy or happy, but in order to be successful, money is just one portion of success, health and happiness round out the full meaning of success.

Do not fret if you do not have a "family". Family means many things to many people. Your traditional "American" style family usually consisted of a mother, father and children, but honestly, that is really a myth. There are stages in everyone's life where you may not be a mother or father, or even have children. You do not have to have all those elements to be a family. Your family can easily consist of yourself, and your dearest friends (if you do not have any living relatives). Christmas is the time of year where you are supposed to stop and take stock of who you are and what your true values are. If you do not like who you are or where you currently are, then it is time to assess what you have and what you can do to change those circumstances.

It is never too late to change where or who you are. If you are breathing, there is an opportunity for change. Looking at Ebeneezer Scrooge in "The Christmas Carol", by all accounts, he was old and VERY set in his ways, but after visits by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future, he was allowed to see what he had become and given an opportunity to change who he was into a different kind of person. By changing who he was, he was also able to change and improve his business relations. This is not discussed in the story, but you can only assume that once Ebeneezer Scrooge became a more successful person, it would follow that his business became even more successful. In order to get better, you need to learn to give more.

If you cannot give money, you do have talents and expertise and time that can be given. You will find that the more you give of yourself (in whatever circumstance you currently find yourself) there is an even greater return on that investment. You may not see the money rolling in immediately, but over time, you will find you are happier and that your business is thriving. It really does feel good to give to others without expecting anything in return. Helping others is what I believe we were put on this planet to do, so we should not be stingy with our time or abilities if we can assist others. The rewards will far outweigh the efforts and will reach much farther than you would ever expect.

So, take stock of who you are and what you and even your business stand for. If you are not happy with your current situation, review your strengths and weaknesses with a friend or family member you trust (like the Spirits of Christmas Past and Present) and draw up a plan to get to where you want to be this time next year....then follow that plan. Again, enlist that friend or family member to help keep you on track and offer support when you are feeling like you can't take another step. It is worth every step and like Scrooge, you will become a better person.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Marketing Techniques

Yesterday we reviewed two marketing techniques that will get you noticed, values and identity. People will remember your business more easily if they can identify with your values and what your business stands for. If the customers can identify with your values or identity, you have a higher likelihood of getting them to purchase from you.

Another marketing technique is to try to get the customer see themselves happier if they use your product or service. If you can get them to think about how much easier a portion of their life could be by using what you have to offer, they will be much more willing to make that purchase. To use our business as an example, think about washing your car with water in the cold weather. That doesn't make many people too excited. But...if you then have them picture cleaning their car in the comfort of their garage (which may be heated), they will definitely be more inspired to purchase your product. With our waterless technology, you don't get wet, you can clean your vehicle inside your garage, and you are a whole lot more comfortable. It was in the low 50's today, I would personally not be happy if I had to haul out a hose, spray the car with water (getting myself damp in the process) and then having to soap up the car and rinse. The chances of me staying dry are slim to none.

With UltraLuster Waterless wash, you can clean your car without a drop of water. You spray the product on the vehicle, wipe in, then buff off to a shine. You don't get wet, you don't make a puddle that could freeze in the colder night and the best part is that you can stop whenever you want. You do not have to wash the whole car if it really is too cold for you outside. You can clean portions of your car, which is something you can't do if you use soap and water.

So, you can see how much happier you would be by not using water on your car, especially in cold weather. We created a mental picture for your customers. These mental movies create an emotional response within the prospect, and could lead them to make a purchase of your product.

Tomorrow we will continue exploring other relatively simple but effective marketing techniques for your business.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Small Business Marketing Techniques

Today I would like to review some more marketing techniques for small business owners. Even if you are considering a new business opportunity or are looking into a second income opportunity, these are things you should keep in mind when assessing other income opportunities.

If you are looking at a new business opportunity, you need to be sure those products and services fit in with your values and identity. Your values and your personal identity are what is going to allow the customer to identify with you and ultimately your products. If the product you sell is not in sync with the values you hold dear, your customers will wonder why you are selling that particular item. They will be able to sense the discord, though they may not be able to put their finger on what is making them uncomfortable, and they will not be entirely comfortable purchasing that particular product. People respect your opinions, and if you are selling something that goes against your basic set of beliefs, then people are going to wonder if you are being honest with them. If you are someone who hates pollution and are an avid supporter of "green" products, it would not make sense to sell products that cause the environment harm. If you want to save trees, you are not necessarily going to be successful selling chain saws...

Your values are the beliefs that you hold dear, the products you sell should be somewhat in line with your beliefs. You cannot be convince your customers to purchase anything that you are personally not excited and feel comfortable about. The same thing follows regarding your business identity. Your business identity is basically how you see your business's role in the world. Again, if your business identity is that of ecology, selling gas powered chain saws may be a major stretch. Now, if you considered selling solar powered chain saws that only cut down sick trees...well, that is different...

So, when you are looking for another business opportunity, it is important to identify your personal values and what identity you want to portray. Once you are certain of your value system and what you want your business identity to basically be (understanding that over time, you will most likely be modifying both as the business develops) you can then find an income opportunity that is in line with what you believe in.

For instance, Hawgwash, LLC started purely as a Waterless Technology company. We cleaned vehicles without using water, which also helped the environment. We value our earth, and do not want to harm it. By using waterless technology products, we are not rinsing harsh chemicals back into the water table, and we are not wasting water by washing the vehicles. Clean water is becoming very hard to find, the resources are shrinking so anything we can do to reduce the wasting of good, clean drinking water is again good for the environment and for people. Our values are to not waste earth's precious resources, not to pollute and to help people. Our Waterless Technology products fit into this value system.

If you have questions about waterless technology products, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. The waterless company, UltraLuster is a great second income opportunity that can be worked very part time, or can be turned into a full time, profitable business. If you are interested in the products for personal use, they can be found on our website.

Tomorrow we will discuss other business friendly marketing techniques. Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Helping Others

Today we had a lot of fun first thing in the morning. I did get up relatively early (since I went to bed around 1 am) and made a cup of coffee to enjoy in the relative morning quiet. As I was sitting in the kitchen enjoying my cup of coffee, I noticed two hot air balloons drifting towards the house with the sun rising behind them. If I had a whole cup of coffee in my belly, and subsequently in my brain, I would have remembered to take a picture, but that thought didn't occur until hours later.

Well, as I was enjoying the beautiful sight of two hot air balloons and a sunrise over the mountains, I did go over and prod Steve to get up and also enjoy the view. He was none too thrilled about being prodded, he had gone to bed sometime around 4am (I think) so was more than a little groggy. After he did get up to see the balloons, he woke up completely. It was then that we noticed one started getting very low near the house. That was when Steve got the bright idea to see if we can go to where they would be landing and watch the landing. Well, with only a partially drunk cup of coffee in me, we started dashing around the house getting prepared to chase a balloon. I didn't realize how groggy I still was, but it took almost a minute to find socks and shoes. By the time we were ready to go (in about 2-3
minutes) we noticed that once of the balloons had already landed, and we had no idea where.

Luckily, the second balloon was still in the air, low, so we knew it was going to land somewhere relatively close. As we got the truck going, that darned balloon started going back up in the air. Now I figured that we were going to be chasing a balloon for miles, but Steve really wanted to see them land, so off we went, trying to guess where this balloon will wander. You really don't appreciate how much the balloons are pushed around by the breezes until you start trying to determine where they are going to land. We drove to two of the local parking lots we know balloons have landed in the past, only to look up and see that balloon drifting off in another direction.

After a bunch of driving, stopping, turning around, driving some more, (and me worrying about getting in an accident) we finally saw the gondola drop below the roof lines of the homes. It didn't look like they were going to land in any parking lot, it looked like they were landing in an open field. In Arizona, open fields consist of all kinds of prickly cactus, so we were really curious how they were going to land and pack the balloon without tearing it to bits. Once we finally found the open field they landed in (right next to the highway and residential homes) we then had to find a place to park the truck.

As we were driving around looking for a parking place (this residential neighborhood did not have roads wide enough to park) we almost bumped into the balloon. What the pilots of the balloon had done was to sort of land in the field, then keep the balloon hovering just above the ground. Two of the people in the gondola got out and started pulling the balloon along (like in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade), over a fence and down the street. That was where we came nose to nose with the balloon. I almost split my side laughing, Steve was not amused. He then rolled down the window and asked if they needed help hauling the balloon down the street, which they did. SO, STEVE LEAVES THE TRUCK and tells me to park it somewhere....great, now I have to find a parking spot...fun...while he happily lends a hand pulling this giant hot air balloon down the street.

By now, there is a large crowd of children out on Christmas holiday following the balloon. There is also car and truck traffic, since the balloon and gondola are being pulled down the center of this residential street. I manage to find a spot to stop the truck, and get out to watch the mini parade. It was quite a spectacle, and no camera to take a picture. There were people in bathrobes standing on their front porches watching the balloon go by, the kids were running all around, and the cars and trucks were slowly driving behind. After about a block or two, they were able to find a relatively cactus free spot to pull the gondola and balloon out of the street. It was here that they were able to deflate the balloon and safely pack it up.

Of course we all stayed around to help pack the balloon. How may times to you normally have the opportunity to really touch a hot air balloon, let alone assist in packing it? The packing took only about 30-45 minutes and it is amazing how small that whole thing got. The balloon was 105,000 cubic feet, I don't know how tall it was, and the gondola was made of wicker, over a steel frame. The gondola looked like it would hold a total of 4 people, and there was no place to sit. I guess if you are hot air ballooning, you really don't want to sit, you want to stand and see all that you are floating over.

Seeing the balloons, getting to watch one land, and helping pack the balloon was a great way to start our day. We had a lot of fun and got our exercise while we were at it. Someday we will also take a ride in the hot air balloon, it really looks like it would be a lot of fun.

Take care, talk to you tomorrow...

Weight Update prior to Christmas

Well, today is Sunday, time to fess up on my efforts at losing weight with the Core4 products. I have not gained nor lost any weight again this week. This is actually really good news. The way I have been eating over the last several weeks would make anyone who cared about their body cringe.

As you are all aware, we are bombarded over the holiday season with too many fun food options, and I have not been immune. My biggest problem has been the day old donuts that have been on sale too many times at the local grocery store. It appears that many people are eating properly, or the grocery's donut production has been very high. Either way, by the time I wander into the store later in the evening, the grocery store has boxes of donuts (these are a dozen donuts in each box) for the choosing. That wouldn't be so bad, but to buy a dozen donuts for $3.00, it is criminal to not pick up a box or two..

I have to admit, the donuts call me...constantly. When I come home with 2 dozen donuts, I have to try one now...just to be sure I made a good choice. Well, then it is dinner time, but I am not hungry, I had a donut and it killed my appetite. So, I don't eat dinner, but almost at bedtime, I am hungry again, don't feel like cooking, so grab another donut. You can see how fast that can get out of hand.

The good news is that as a general rule, I have been using Cheat on my donuts. I have not been diligent at taking the Accelerate each morning, but have been taking the Flush at night. I have not even touched the Lean (because I keep eating donuts...) during the day for the stupid reason that I don't want to wash the shaker bottle. I can easily come up with really dumb excuses when donuts are involved.

Not only have I been bad about what I eat, but we have been running around so much during the day, that I have absolutely zero energy to do any type of excercise (except pick up and consume donuts) for several weeks. Since we are not on the road anymore, I don't even go out to walk the dogs. I let them out in the backyard and watch them run around. I occasionally chase the dogs, but it is nothing like walking them a mile three times a day...

So, by my not gaining any weight after misbehaving so badly is a great testiment to the Core4 products, even if you don't take all of them religiously. The Core4 system is definitely something you may want to get involved in if you are really bad about consistently excercising and eating properly. I am not recommonding no excercise or eating badly, I am just stating that if you are as bad as I am, the Core4 system will save your butt from getting any bigger until you get yourself back under control and start taking better care of your body.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Marketplace at Gold Canyon

Today we had our Marketplace at Gold Canyon. Usually we hold this event every other Saturday, but since next Saturday is the day after Christmas, we opted to move the Marketplace to today so we can help any last-minute shoppers. The weather today was absolutely wonderful, it got up to the low 70's, with bright sunshine. If you were sitting in the sun, it felt like it was much warmer than 70 degrees.

The Marketplace at Gold Canyon is a collection of small business owners that come out and display their products and services for the local community. It is an awesome way to let others know that you are in business and to see first-hand what you have to offer. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to network with other small business owners. Once you start to learn who else is in business and what they have to offer, you are able to better serve your customer base. Sometimes a customer may come to you looking for an item that you don't have, but if you happen to know who does offer what the customer wants, you will find that customer will come back to you in the future. You not only become a source of products and services, but of information for the customer.

Today we had about 20 small businesses represented today at the Marketplace. The better aspect was all the people wandering around looking at what we had to offer. The people wandering around seemed to really enjoy the offerings, and it looked like quite a few sales were made. It is always difficult to have a consistently successful event that runs every other week, and it becomes even more difficult when the dates change due to the way some holidays fall. This time, we were extremely blessed to have such a positive turn-out on what would have been an "off" day for the Marketplace.

Next year (it sounds really bad, but Next Year is only 2 weeks away) we are not entirely sure when the Marketplace will take place, but we at Hawgwash have begun to schedule another event on the "off" weekends of the Marketplace so that the small businesses out there will have another venue in which to show people what they have to offer. We are not going to have any event occur on January 2nd ( which would be 2 weeks from today) mainly because we figure that the majority of people will be "shopped out" and not willing to go to any stores. We think we will hold the event on the next Saturday, January 9th, and will keep everyone posted at that time.

Tomorrow I will be providing you my weekly weight loss update. Until then...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Growing your Home Based Business

For the last several days we discussed several items that could cause your Home Based Business to not succeed. We talked about the need to understand what business you are getting involved in, that you have to be consistent in doing your business, that you have to take personal responsibility for making your business succeed and that you have to market your business.

Today we are going to briefly cover that fact that you need to focus on what value your business can provide customers instead of focusing on how much money you can make in your business. Making money will come naturally, but it is extremely important that you show the customers that your product has value to them. If people do not value what you have to offer, then there will be no desire on the customer's part to purchase your product or service. You need to focus on how to create value, the money will follow after that value is created.

There are several ways to create value for your business. One way to cause your products to become valuable is to show that your product will help others. Just having a great product will not get customers excited. If you have a product that will help someone with a problem, that will cause your customers to get excited and then desire your products. If you start focusing on customers needs, and show that your products and/or services will serve that need, you will most likely have people purchasing from you.

You need to focus on helping others, you and your business will do much better. Once people know that you truly want to help others to succeed, they will begin to trust you and what you have to offer. Once they trust you, they will be much more inclined to purchase from you. But more importantly, if you are truly helping others to succeed, your good deeds will get noticed. As we have talked about many times before, word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective forms of advertising. The thing is that you really have to be helping others. If you put on a show that you are helping, but in reality are not helping people, that will quickly be discovered and the advertising you will receive will be very negative, which will kill your business.

We believe that in order to have a successful business, you need to be willing to reach out and help others. A responsible business person should always be willing to help others in their community. If you start helping others, you will begin to notice that the people you helped, will at some point down the road help you one way or another. Do not help people with the expectation that they will return the favor. You should be helping because you choose to, not because you have to. You will find that by helping others, you will in turn help yourself. You will do better in business if you take the time to learn what others may need, and then strive to be of assistance.

If you have business questions, or would like to view our business offerings, please visit www.hawgwash.net. If you have a specific question you would like to ask us, but don't want to post it in the comment section, please e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. We would be more than willing to help guide you in the direction you wish to go.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Success with your Home Based Business

Yesterday we discussed how not to treat your home based business. You do not want to treat your home based (or Internet) business like your regular job, you want to take personal responsibility for your business and by doing so, will produce the results you desire.

Today we are going to cover three items that will make your home based business successful: Marketing, Products, and Relationships. We have talked about each of these items on other occasions in this blog, but it is good to bring them all together to show how they can make your business successful. First, you do need products for your business. These products can be physical inventory or services provided. Either way, you need to know what you are offering, and these products or services should be desired by others. Even if you think you have a product or service that does not appear desirable, there is a chance that either people don't know about the product (it may be the first time ever offered anywhere) or you have to find a reason for people to want your particular product or service.

Getting people to want what you have to sell has a lot to do with Marketing, the second of three items that will make your business successful. As discussed in the past, there are several types of marketing, and you should try to utilize several different marketing techniques so that you can hit a large and possibly diverse market. Marketing can be by word of mouth - one person purchases from you and then tells their friends about the great product that you are offering. This is usually the most reliable and consistent form of marketing, but it takes time to get momentum. You need to be out with people promoting and you need to keep your word so that when people talk about you, your business and your products, they give glowing reports for all areas. Another method of advertising is by going to different shows or marketplaces or flea markets that allow people to walk by your table and see what you have to offer. Then there is marketing using flyers and articles in newspapers, internet marketing, and the newest form of marketing - social marketing.

You should start marketing with the type that you are most comfortable with first, and as you develop your home based business, spread out into some of the other marketing venues so that you can get word of your business out faster and hit a broader audience. It is critical, based on the products you offer to be sure that you match the marketing technique with the products you are offering. For instance, you are probably not going to do well selling cooking utensils at a motorcycle rally. Be sure you understand your target market before you begin any marketing campaign. If you are not sure who your target market is, you may want to start by asking the person who got you started in your home based business. If they are successful, they should be more than able to assist you in that area.

The third most important item to the success of home based business is Relationships. We have discussed in many messages the importance of relationship building and maintaining relationships. If you do not build a rapport with your customers, they are not going to feel comfortable with you. By not feeling comfortable with you, they are not going to tell their friends about the wonderful experience they had working with you, and you will not get positive word-of-mouth advertising. Also, if your customers are not comfortable with you, when they need more of the products or services you have to offer, there is a good chance that they will look elsewhere to make the purchase instead of purchasing from you. If you have a good relationship with your customers, they will want to come back and do business with you and they will tell their friends about the wonderful experience of doing business with you. Building a strong relationship with your customers will give you customers for the length of your business.

Relationship building is not easy, and you may not reap immediate rewards, but the rewards that do pay out will pay many times over. We feel it is very important for your customers to trust and believe you. If there is no trust in what you have to offer, or in your business ethics, you will never have a consistent customer base and will always be on the search for customers. Each sale will be a fight to make, whereas if you had built a good relationship with the customers, then they almost sell themselves on your products or services.

Keep in mind if you are considering starting your own home based business or if you already have one, that you need to stay focused on these three items - Marketing, Products and Relationships - in order to continue to be successful. Without these three items you really don't have a business.

If you are considering starting a home based business, we may have something that is up your alley. Check out www.hawgwash.net for some of our business opportunities, there may be something that really tickles your fancy. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why some Home Based Businesses Fail

Late last week we started discussing some reasons why some Home Based businesses fail. The first two reasons we covered were that you need to understand the business you are entering into, and the second topic was that you can't just start and stop the business at will. Today we are going to discuss the thought that you really can't treat your Home Based Business like you may treat your job.

There are many people who get a job just to pay the bills. There is no excitement in going to work every day, there is no joy in doing the tasks at hand, and I am sure that you have met many who just come in at their prescribed time and then count the minutes until it is time to go home again. When you start your own business, perhaps Home Based, or Internet Based, you cannot get that to become successful if you treat it like "any other job". You chose this particular business because at the time you were emotionally motivated and could believe in the particular message this product or service offered. What you cannot do is become complacent about the work involved to take your Home Based Business from the infant stage to a new and exciting income stream. The learning curve will most likely be a bit hard in the beginning because, like with any new job, you are learning the ropes, learning what needs to be done, and learning how to let others know what you are doing.

Once you get over the initial learning process, you need to keep fresh and motivated. If you start becoming complacent and taking the work involved for granted, you may lose your edge to someone else who may offer a similar product or service. You need to keep learning, not just for your sake, but for your customers as well. You need to stay abreast of what is going on in the field of business you are in, and at least follow the events and any breakthroughs that may be occurring. This way, by keeping your knowledge cutting edge, you are providing your customers a great service, you can answer questions intelligently, and you know where to look if you do not have an answer to the question. It is OK to not have all the answers, again, you do not want to appear to be a "know-it-all", but you do want to have the ability to answer questions and possibly anticipate the direction of questions you will get from your customer base.

Another issue with your own business is that you are paid in your own business for results, not just for showing up every day. This is very important to keep in mind when going into business for yourself. There will be days that no matter how hard you work on your new business, you will not make immediate money. But, unlike a regular, hourly job, the time and effort you put into the business will reap rewards far beyond what you would ever earn at a job. You just have to stay focused on doing your best at all times, and understand that the results are where the money is. Most regular jobs will pay you to appear every day, you don't necessarily have to produce results.

The key here is that you have to create a system that works for you and that will successfully sell your product or service. There will be times where the system may not work. The advantage of being your own boss is that you have the power to modify the system so that you produce results that will generate an income. You start with one system that you may have developed or found that looks like it would theoretically work, then you modify it to suit your particular business needs. Once you develop the successful system, make sure it can be repeated so that when your business grows past what you can do by yourself, you can teach others to produce the same results with your particular system.

You need to take personal responsibility for making your business work. If you do not succeed, it may not just be the products you got involved with, you need to take an honest look at yourself personally to determine if there was something in the way you were working the business that may have caused it to flounder. If you take an honest look at what may have gone wrong, you can then go back to your system, modify it and perhaps cause the business to flourish.

Being in business for yourself is not easy, but the rewards are immense. You learn more about yourself, you learn new ways to be successful, you learn more about people in general. In a regular job, you probably don't have to continue to learn and develop. Once you learn the ropes and their system, you can go on, like a robot and complete the particular job you were hired for. By owning your own business, you are on the path for continuous growth and development.

Tomorrow we will discuss three items that will make your business successful.

If you are looking for a Home Based Business Opportunity, please review our website, www.hawgwash.net. We have several opportunitites that may meet your needs, we have opportunities in Legal Services, Waterless Technology, advertising and health and nutrition to name a few. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. (In the next few weeks, we will separate the hawgwash.net website into one that sells products only, and another site for the various income opportunities, so you won't have to plow through everything to find what you are looking for)

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weight Update and Dogs vs Cauliflower

Today being Sunday, I should be providing a weight update for the week. You wouldn't believe it, but I completely forgot to weigh myself this morning. I got up late, then started rushing around, drinking coffee, showering (not at the same time) and then getting dressed. After all of that I realized I forgot to weigh myself. Sooo... the weight update will have to take place tomorrow.

I would like to provide another humorous story today. As the title indicates, we are going to discuss what cauliflower does to dogs.... I bet you are giggling already. To backtrack a little, our two Yorkes have a tendency to want to eat anything we eat. That is most likely a trait of all dogs, but thankfully, we do not feed our dogs everything that we eat. What they seem to really like though is salad trimmings. I usually feed the bird pieces of vegetables and lettuce, but started (as a joke) to see if the dogs would eat the salad food too.

Apparently, the dogs figured that if we eat the salad, and the bird eats the salad, the dogs are supposed to eat the salad food too. As a consequence, as I have fresh fruit and vegetables and trim them, I will provide the bird and the dogs with some of the food. For the record, I do check with the vet before feeding the dogs any "people" food. We have discovered that both dogs really like carrots, only one likes celery, both dogs LOVE apples, and they both like lettuce. I do not feed the apple skins to the dogs, I think the enjoy the sweet part of the apple, but they do like the tart Granny Smiths... go figure...

Anyway, two days ago, as I was munching on fresh carrots, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower, the dogs were sitting at my feet, looking pathetic and the bird was pitching a fit that I was not sharing any food. I knew they all liked carrots, so broke off several pieces to feed everyone. I then had the bright idea to see if the dogs would eat broccoli, which to my surprise, they did. I thought that was pretty funny, so gave them some more broccoli. Then, in my infinite wisdom, I gave them cauliflower. Since cauliflower is not really sweet, I figured the dogs would not eat it. I was wrong, they LOVED the cauliflower. Since I thought that was pretty funny too, (Steve sometimes thinks my sense of humor is a tad warped) I gave the dogs several pieces of cauliflower which they chomped up quickly. I was happy, the dogs had fresh smelling breath, the dogs were happy, they got treats, and the bird was happy munching on her cauliflower, broccoli and carrot.

I was happy that is, until yesterday. In the morning I noticed some odd rumblings coming from our littlest Yorke's guts. I figured he was just a tad nervous, that happens sometimes,and forgot about the rumblings after I took them out for their morning romp. Later in the day though, when sitting quietly at the computer trying to work, I would all of a sudden get this blinding stench wafting up. I would look down to find both dogs quietly curled up under the chair. The bigger Yorkie, Gypsy can be gassy when she is nervous, so I figured it was just her being obnoxious and dismissed (with much hand waving) the one-time stench and continued working.

The problem was that later, as we were sitting on the couch watching TV, even the little guy, Hawg, would let one rip so bad that your eyes watered. The bad part is that you could hear noise when his gas escaped.... He never clears a room, heck he almost never farts, but yesterday, boy, we couldn't get out of the room fast enough. That was when I started worrying about what was causing their gastronomic distress. Again, I took them out in hopes that whatever was bothering them would be gone. Last night, as we were all comfortably curled up watching TV again, both dogs must have had another gas attack. I couldn't see for several minutes, Steve ran out of the room and was gasping for breath. We then started really reconstructing what the dogs ate to determine the cause of the really, REALLY bad gas. Guess what, we figured out cauliflower is a great gasser...what raw cauliflower does do people, it does ten-fold to dogs. Don't feed your dogs cauliflower, no matter how much they may want some. You will suffer the consequences the next day...TRUST ME!!!

Hopefully this made you chuckle a bit. Tomorrow we will get back to more serious topics.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Is Anybody Happier?

In this time before Christmas, there is a tremendous amount of hustle, bustle and stress. You may forget the reason for Christmas in the rush to find the right gifts for family and friends along with trying to balance all of the party invites with the food that you have to make for those parties. It can get quite stressful. Even for people who are not super busy, there are times around now where you may be feeling so stressed that you begin to feel depressed. You may start questioning why you are here. I ran across this poem from John Kendrick Bangs and thought it would be appropriate to put out there for people to remember...

By John Kendrick Bangs

"Is anybody happier
Because you passed his way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?
This day is almost over,
And its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now,
A friendly word for you?

"Can you say tonight in passing,
That you helped a single person,
Of the many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing,
Over what you did or said?

"Does one whose hopes were fading,
Now with courage look ahead?
Think not on yesterday, nor trouble borrow
On what may be in store for you tomorrow;
But let today be your incessant care -
The past is past, tomorrow's in the air.
Who gives today the best that in him lies
Will find the road that leads to clearer skies."

Unti tomorrow...

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Reasons Why Some Home Based Businesses Fail

Yesterday we reviewed one reason why some Home Based Businesses (or Internet businesses) may fail. We discussed how some may start and stop business without fully thinking through why they are stopping. One possible reason why someone who started a home based business and then stopped it could be that they did not fully understand the business they were getting into. As we have discussed in prior posts, sometimes people offering business opportunities (home based businesses) may talk the great talk, and get you talked into something that sounded good at the time, but once you got home and started to work the business, you really had no idea what you were getting into.

It is very important for you to understand the business you are going into. You need to understand the need to generate value with that business. If you let someone else talk you into a business opportunity that you don't fully understand, you need to stop and do research before getting involved. You need to find out for yourself (not the person trying to sell you the opportunity) what the market really is, what the demand is, is this item a viable and marketable item? and is this something that you can really get behind?

If this is a new product/opportunity that has not been introduced to the market before, and you can't find any other experts to ask, go ask your trusted friends to look into the opportunity and give you their advice. If you have real friends, they will let you know if it looks like you may not want to get involved. If they think you are off your rocker for this idea, take a look again at the opportunity. Again, if it is something you truly believe in, you may want to continue anyway. If you find it is something that you still can't get your arms around, you may want to back off and do some more homework. There is nothing worse than getting involved in an opportunity that after investing some good money and a lot of time to discover that you still don't understand it and that you still can't get fully behind the idea. You may find that you spent the last 6+ months struggling with this opportunity only to discover that it really doesn't fit into what you want to do or what you believe in.

If your friends don't understand the opportunity, find some experts in the field (try to find experts that are unbiased towards the opportunity). Depending on the opportunity, you may want to talk with professors or teachers. If it is cutting-edge technology, find others in the field and ask them. Be sure you understand what you are getting into.

You should be able to answer a few questions before getting into the particular business: What is your customer's biggest fear or frustration? What is their biggest desire? Is this a product where your customer can become emotionally motivated (they LOVE the item...).

Hopefully this was helpful if you are looking for a home based business opportunity. If you would like to discuss some of your questions, please feel free to e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. Otherwise you can see what we have to offer for second income opportunities or home based business opportunities at www.hawgwash.net. We would be more than willing to talk with you about what you are looking for and hopefully help you to find the business that suits your desires.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why Some Home-Based Businesses Fail

This is a very interesting topic, that can easily fill volumes. You might think that I don't want to cover a topic like this because I promote Home Based Businesses. In truth, it is very important before starting your own business to know all the pitfalls up front, this way, you can work to avoid many of the mistakes others have already made. In the next several nights we are going to cover some reasons why home based businesses may fail and what to do to try to avoid failure.

Having your own business, home based or otherwise, is fun, exciting, challenging, and many times, very stressful. There is a lot of work in the beginning, (no candy-coating here), but over time, once you have built customer goodwill and trust, you will find the business begins to take on a life of its own. We have covered several points already regarding advertising, building relationships, building trust and products. Tonight we are going to briefly cover some reasons why new home based businesses (or on-line businesses) may fail.

One of my favorite quotes is "There is no such thing as trying, you either do it or your don't". I got this from my clarinet teacher when I was in High School and never forgot it. This quote holds true for home based businesses. You can't "try" to build your business. You can't start and then stop. Your first customers may love the unique product you sell, but if you quit, then they will be disappointed because they won't have access to that product any more. If you start up on another product, those same customers may be less willing to purchase for fear that if they really like what you have to offer, you may not offer it in the long-term. You need to go into business for the long term.

Granted there are occasions where you may need to cut your losses and run, but be very careful about what you choose to stop doing and why. Be sure to analyse the reasons for why you will stop offering a particular product or service before you stop. Customers are very distrustful with new product offerings because so many products are started and then quickly go away. You want your customers to know that you are in business for the long run. If the product or service you offer becomes not cost effective, you will need to stop that, but be sure to have an alternative product or solution to offer your customer base. If you become know as a business that is constantly starting and stopping products and services, nobody is going to take you seriously and then any business you start will be met with resistance.

Remember that anything you get into can fail, but if you do your research and check the industry you are interested in before getting involved, you are limiting some of your chances of failure. If you are interested in some home based business opportunitites, or second income opportunities, check out www.hawgwash.net. We have several types of businesses you can get involved with and are more than willing to talk with you to help you find what will work for you..

Tomorrow we are going to cover understanding the business you are going into and the need to generate value.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

AdZoneSavings and UltraLuster Waterless Wash

Yesterday I promised to discuss combining AdZoneSavings with UltraLuster Waterless Wash. I bet you are very interested in how I am going to do that...perhaps clean the ads with the waterless wash products? Well, let me see...

AdZoneSavings is a new online advertising company that promotes companies - locally, regionally, nationally - through e-mail campaigns and networking with other advertisers. The difference with AdZoneSavings is that not only to you get twice monthly e-mail advertising with a full color ad, but you receive 500 flyers monthly, an online virtual office, your own website, AND the ability to generate income when you get others to sign up for advertising. The best part is that you don't have to sign any contract for any length of time. You can go for a month or for years, or turn the advertising on and off to coincide with the seasonality of your business.

You already know about UltraLuster and the series of Waterless Technology products that they carry. Now, to put the two together... As you are detailing vehicles, you encounter many people. You find that as you clean a vehicle without water, people will inevitably come by to see what you are doing and why. That opens a natural conversation between you and the person asking questions. You have now changed the dynamics, you are no longer "selling" products, but answering questions about what you are doing. The prospective customer is interested and has a desire to learn about what you are doing.

Once you have piqued the customer's interest, you talk to them, not just about what you are doing with the waterless wash, but you talk to them about what they do, what they want to do, and where they want to be in their life. It is always good to ask if they are happy with where they are (financially) right now. You don't need to talk numbers, but just to ask if they are satisfied with what they are doing and how business is treating them. In this conversation, you may discover that this person has a passion about raising money for their church or favorite charity (for instance), or that they have a personal business that may or may not be doing well.

At this point, you may want to consider introducing them to AdZoneSavings to advertise their business or interest. This is a great way to gently discuss another business opportunity without appearing to harass the person. We have found that a brief review of AdZoneSavings will get the perspective customer asking more questions and requesting more information. Again, once the customer starts asking questions, you are no longer "selling" but you are assisting and answering questions. You then become a resource for that person and not just another sales person with a sales pitch.
You will find that it is a lot easier to talk to people about advertising (and even getting paid to advertise is a very unique concept) without trying to specifically get them to sign up for advertising. Once you start the conversation with the person, let them ask the questions, you become the trusted resource. As mentioned before, it is more important to become a trusted resource rather than someone who is known to push people into purchasing something that they were not entirely on-board with.
If you have more than one product that you market or sell, try to find ways to logically link them together so that combined, both products or services enhance each other...like UltraLuster and AdZoneSavings. If you want to be in business for yourself instead of for someone else and want to use UltraLuster Worldwide to achieve that end, you should also consider advertising your business, hence AdZoneSavings would compliment your UltraLuster business.
So that is how we combine UltraLuster and AdZoneSavings. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding either UltraLuster Waterless Technology or AdZoneSavings or both items. You can also see what we do on our website www.hawgwash.net.
Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Waterless Car Wash and Detailing during the holidays




Hi all, today was a busy day. We spent the majority of the day detailing this awesome Chrysler 300 Touring Limo. This limo was in good condition when we got to it, but it looked awesome once we completed the Detail. During this holiday season, keep in mind, people may be worried about money, but when they attend events, they want their vehicles to look great. This is a great time to be a detailer using UltraLuster Waterless Technology.
We were contacted by the owner of the Limo to detail the vehicle with our waterless vehicle wash, UltraLuster. The owner has seen our work on other occasions, we even have their personal vehicle on a monthly detailing program. It was awesome to be asked to detail this limo, it was an absolutely beautiful vehicle.

We started the detail by cleaning and treating the interior of the Limo first. When doing a complete detail, it is always easier to detail the interior first and save the exterior paint for last. Steve worked on detailing the engine (special request by the owner) compartment while I started detailing the back part of the Limo. We vacuumed all the interior spaces and trunk before starting using any other waterless products. Since the interior was leather and mirrors (really classy) I used LeatherLuster for the seats and hand rails which made the interior smell like new leather. It also did a wonderful job of cleaning the white seats. UltraLuster Waterless Wash was used on the mirrors in the top and sides of the Limo and on the long interior glass. Since there was no staining in the carpets, we did not need to use the Fabric Cleaner this time.

Once we cleaned the interior of the Limo, we then focused on cleaning the white leather top of the vehicle. This was somewhat dirty, so we used LeatherLuster to clean and UV protect the top of the Limo. It was pretty amazing to see that white vinyl top of the limo turn from an off-white to a bright white. We then finished up the job by applying UltraLuster Waterless Wash to the paint, glass and chrome areas of the exterior of the Limo. As you can see by the pictures, this was a beautiful car.

All told, it took us about 3-4 hours to fully detail this Limo. We probably could have completed the job a bit faster, but as we were detailing, other people from neighboring businesses wandered by to see what we were doing and wanting to see a demo of our Waterless Cleaning products. The best part about using UltraLuster Waterless Cleaning products on vehicles is that you can detail a vehicle in the convenience of the owner's garage, without taking the vehicle outside in the elements at all. This Limo was garaged, and the owner was pleased to not have to move the vehicle outside so that we could detail it. The neighboring businesses were also pleased that we detailed the Limo in the garage, we didn't take up any additional parking spaces, and we did not have to worry about water over spray on other people's cars.

If you are interested in becoming a detailer, or would like more information on becoming an UltraLuster Distributor, please either e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com or look at our website, www.ultraluster.com/hawg1.

Tomorrow I will discuss how we also incorporated our AdZoneSavings business with our UltraLuster Detailing business.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shopping for the Holidays and your Home Based Business

There is a lot to be said for having a home based business during the holiday season. This is the time of year that it seems like everyone is out shopping for all kinds of gifts for people. Some of these people may be a little more than acquaintances (business associates, family you haven't seen in years, etc.) and finding an appropriate gift for them can become extremely difficult.

There has been a huge surge in gift cards (it used to be gift certificates), you can find gift cards almost everywhere, but with a gift card, you take away the surprise of the gift. Some people still want to give something tangible and meaningful, and some do not want the recipient to know how much was spent. So it goes back to the difficult task of trying to match an appropriate gift for someone you may not know well, or finding a gift for the person who has EVERYTHING.

This time of year is also the time when people are looking for 'different' gifts to give. You see a lot more craft shows popping up on the weekends prior to the end of the year, which definitely points to a strong surge in individualized and original gifts. Because of that strong desire for the personal touch gift, home based businesses can really grow.

Since the home based business is generally a smaller outfit, you can easily develop personalized or original gifts for people. Now is a great time to really promote your business, people may be starting to get desperate to find something different, not to give a gift card, and you may have the perfect solution. Remind your friends and family that you may have an original idea for gifts and may be able to solve their gift giving dilemma.

What we offer over the holidays, are gifts packaged in holiday decor, we also offer a certificate for vehicle detailing, where the recipient does not have to know how much was spent for the detail. We provide detailing gift certificates without prices on them, so that the giver does not need to feel embarrassed about how much was spent or not spent. What you can offer is some type of gift certificate for items, and provide the list of particular item package choices without prices. That way, the giver took time to pick basic items for the recipient, but the recipient has the final decision. This may sound convoluted, but we are trying to provide ideas on how to inspire people to purchase from you if they are not entirely sure what the recipient would want.

Please feel free to contact us if you have a great idea to share for generating holiday sales (hawgwash1@yahoo.com).

Until tomorrow....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekly Weight Loss Update

Today being Sunday, it is time again for me to fess up and provide an update on my weight loss. Since I have been sick off and on for the last week and a half (more sick than not), I have not lost any weight. I have gained a pound and a half of water weight. I am sure it is water weight because my finger rings have gotten tight, and that is ALWAYS due to an increase in water retention. Also, I have been weighing myself off and on all week, and the weight gain appeared in the last 24 hours.

I have higher than usual water retention today because I went out with friends for Mexican food last night. Since I don't cook with salt, and have been eating at home for several weeks, eating out usually increases my salt intake exponentially. The food was excellent, but since I have not been taking the Flush at all this week, I did retain all that salt and water today. Since I have been sick, the only items of the Core4 family I have been taking with any regularity has been the Cheat.

Cheat is easy to use, I keep it on the kitchen counter, so whenever food is prepared, I just grab the Cheat and sprinkle it on my food. Since that rotten cold, I did not feel like taking any pills at all, and really didn't want to look at the Lean as a meal replacement. When I get a bad cold, I have no desire to eat at all, so Lean did not float my boat. I tried taking the Accelerate a few days, more for the energy boost than anything else, but I was still tired. My thoughts were that since I was sick and drinking lots of herbal tea and water, I didn't want to take any of the Core4 products and basically flush them right out of my system. That was probably not the smartest thing I did, but if you don't feel good, logic goes out the window.

The good news is that even though I really didn't use all Core4 products in the last week and a half, I didn't gain any significant weight (that also includes that for the last week and a half I have done no exercising at all). I know that once I take the Flush, all the water retention will be removed and I will be back at the weight I was last week.

Hopefully this next week will be a healthy and busy week, so my slow and steady weight loss will continue. I will continue to provide weekly updates...

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another benefit of having a Home Based Business

There is another benefit to having a Home Based Business, other than earning an income and being your own boss. The other benefit is having the time to spend with friends and family. When you are working a regular job, you probably find that you do not always have the time or energy to spend quality time with your friends and family. Working for someone else tends to take a lot of your energy and if there is an occasion where you need to be with a friend or family member, you need to request that time off from your job.

With a Home Based Business, you do not need to request time off to go comfort a family member, or attend an important function with your friends. Since your time is your own, you can take off for what you would deem important issues and not have to explain that to anyone. As your own boss, you know what is important and what is not. Family is extremely important, and part of your family can very easily be your circle of close friends. By being your own boss, you are able to take time out of your day and be the support and comfort someone else so desperately needs. Because you are not worried about punching a time clock, you can really focus your attention to the person who is asking for your assistance. You are not distracted, you are able to spend quality time and offer quality assistance.

This ability to take time for people can also easily run into taking time for your customers. You will probably run into customers who may not necessarily need what you are selling right now, but if you offer them your time to listen to their needs, you are helping them in ways that you cannot quantify. By actively listening to your customer, you begin to develop a level of trust, and you may find that they will be more willing to come and ask you for advise if it is applicable. Even if you cannot offer the expertise they need, you can offer them support and perhaps help them to locate the help they really need. This will pay off in the long run again because that customer will learn that you can be trusted to take time out of your day to provide assistance.

I am not recommending taking time to talk to a constantly complaining customer or one that just likes to hear the sound of their own voice. I am referring to the customers who are really coming in with an issue and is truly looking for assistance. Once they trust that you are willing to provide assistance, even if it means directing them somewhere else, that customer will continue coming back to you, not necessarily for your advice, but because they trust you and your word. The fact that you take the time to really listen to what they say and then offer well thought-out suggestions will give them the comfort that you are not just interested in them as a money source.

Sometimes in our business, it is our business to help others without thought of lining our own pockets. We help our friends and family when we can, why shouldn't we also help customers the same way when they are looking for help? This way, even if you are unable to sell them one of your products or services today, you can be sure that the customer will remember your goodwill and will most likely return when they are in need of your particular products or services. Just because you help someone today and don't realize any monetary benefit doesn't mean that the person you assisted wasn't aware of what you were offering.

You may even find that customer returning at a later date, just to see what you do have to offer. They will be grateful that you were of assistance to them, and they will most likely tell others of your goodwill. Again, it is hard to quantify goodwill, but as word gets out that you are willing to be of assistance, you will find more people coming to you, not necessarily for help, but to see what you have to offer and see how well you do business. You may even become a model for other home based businesses. You never know how much good one good deed will do, but almost any good deed provides a ripple that then goes out and positively touches others.

Always be sure to take time to listen to your family and friends when they need you. Also take some time to help those customers that may come to you for help too. You never know how much your help will be remembered over the years.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Developing your Home based business

Yesterday I discussed building relationships in your business. Home based businesses can be difficult to grow because people are never sure if you will remain in business through the long-term. Building relationships in your business is an important way to assure your customer base that you are committed to remaining in business.

Another important aspect of relationship building is respecting your customer base. Not only do you need to earn and develop trust from your customers, but you need to respect them. The respect I am referring to is not just being polite to your customers, but in respecting what they need, what they are looking for, who they are and where they have come from. Your customers may like you for your ability to keep your promises and your products, but if you do not listen and respect what your customer's needs are, they will not stay around long.

It is critical to listen to your customers. You need to learn to more than just listen to the words that they are saying, you need to hear what they are trying to relay. Sometimes it is hard for a customer to explain what they really want or need. You need to learn to become an active listener and learn to "read between the lines". This is not an easy technique to learn, but it will pay dividends in the long run. You will learn to listen to your customer and understand what they need even before they fully realize what their need is. To be an active listener, you need to put your own thoughts on hold and really, really pay attention to what is being said to you.

I know that many times when a customer is talking, your mind is already leaping ahead in anticipation of answering the question, even before the question has been completely stated by your customer. If you are already formulating an answer before the customer is done talking, then you are not fully paying attention to what the customer is trying to tell you. To actively listen, you must put your thoughts aside, listen fully to the question or situation, and then when they are done talking, that is when you begin the formulation of your answer. The customer would more than likely appreciate the pause before you came out with a possible solution. The pause gives you time to formulate a complete answer and also as a secondary benefit, not appear that you are a "know-it-all". Haven't you ever felt that occasion when you asked a question and received an immediate response and thought that perhaps the person responding really didn't listen to what you were asking and that the quick answer you got was not fully appropriate for your particular situation?

That could be how your customers feel if you give a quick answer to their question. I am not referring to the questions about where a particular item can be found, or if you carry a specific product, but am referring to the questions that are a little more vague. You may have a customer ask for a type of product that you don't carry, but, if you wait and listen to the end of their question, there may be an opportunity to show the customer something that would better fit their needs. You don't know, if you don't listen actively to your customers. You may find it helpful to rephrase the customer's question before providing an answer to be sure that you have the full gist of the customer's need.

By actively listening to your customers, you are showing them respect. You are respecting their intelligence, their ability to communicate, and the time the customer is taking to talk with you. That type of respect will also be remembered by your customers and will be relayed to their friends. This is another great way to solidly develop your business.

Growing your business for the long term is time consuming, and fairly work intensive. But the advantage is that your business will continue to grow, maybe slowly, but solidly over the long term. In time you will be amazed at how you developed such a strong and reliable customer base and realise that the customer support is not just for the products that you supply, but the intangible items you provide: honesty, respect, and integrity.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Relationship building in your business

Sorry about the hiatus guys. I got sick, thought I was getting better, then got sicker again... When you are not feeling great it is hard to write much of anything interesting. I am not feeling great today, but am feeling remotely human again.

Today I would like to briefly review the importance of relationship building in your business. Having something to sell is important, but what will keep your business alive is the relationships you build with your customers.

In order to have people come to purchase from you they have to have a reason to buy. If you already have a product or family of products to offer, one hurdle has been cleared. By developing relationships with your customers, you are not only developing a version of brand loyalty, you are building trust within your customer base and that will do more for your business than almost any quality product you can carry. Unlike finding the right product to bring to customers, relationship building takes continued time and patience.

You have to discover what your customers are looking for in a business relationship, and then consistently provide that to them. Before you promise to do something, (make sure it is reasonable) be sure it is something that you have in your control to do. In this day and age, giving your word does not amount to much, it is our responsibility to keep our word. People will remember that you did what you promised to do, and they will remember that for a very long time. This is beneficial because your happy customers will tell their friends that you will do what you promise to do. You will be respected throughout the community as a business person who's word is binding. You will find customers coming to you because they trust that you will provide the services you advertise and not leave a dissatisfied customer.

That kind of trust can never be replaced and should never be taken advantage of. If you want your business to prosper, it is critical to keep the promises you make.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today was a wonderful day. Woke up to a beautiful morning, not too hot, not too cold. Managed to have fresh bread in the bread machine done by 9 am, so the house smelled like freshly baked bread.

Got the turkey in the oven by 10 am, anticipating that it would be done by 3 pm. The fully stuffed 11.5 pound turkey was fully cooked by 2 pm and all but the second loaf of bread was ready at the same time.

Have been gorging myself on turkey, yam casserole, green beans, fresh bread, stuffing, and all the other fixings since 2 pm today. Have had one heck of a time keeping my eyes open and my belly not stuffed.

Even sat outside this evening, right after sunset to watch both the space station and the space shuttle fly overhead. That was an awe-inspiring experience. Makes you realize exactly how lucky we all are.

All these things reminded me of how wonderful it is to be alive. Even in these tough economic times, we can still do things on our time and enjoy the food we cooked without fear of harassment. We can pray to our own God, we can talk to whomever we wish, we can even express our opinions without fear of retribution. It is a wonderful time to be alive. There is so much potential for what we can do, all you have to do is choose a path. Then, if you don't like the path, change. We can do that, it is wonderful.

Tomorrow I will get more serious again, but today I wanted to let you all know how thankful I have been and I really appreciate your friendship and guidance. Thank you all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving and the Holidays

Well, Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow and many have already started preparing for the meals. The anticipation of friends and family gathering around a table to share food is something we all look forward to.

Despite the dire economic times we are currently experiencing, we do have a lot to be thankful for. We have the ability to communicate with almost anyone around the world, and those people are willing to communicate back with us. We should each be thankful for what health we have, because there will be someone out there who does not have what we have.

We should truly be thankful for the friends and family we have. Family is very important, even if you don't necessarily get along with everyone. You can't pick your family, but when times get tough, you can always rely on your family to help out whatever way they can.

Friends are different, they entered your life possibly by chance, but became friends by choice. Friends will be there to advise, tease, help and support you. Not all friends do all things, but that is why you have different friends. Each friend has a strength that you admire or a trait that you wish to learn. They in turn see a strength or trait in you that they wish to be near. It is very important during this time of year to not forget your friends and family and remember to thank them for the guidance and assistance they have provided for you.

There may have been occasions that you not have thought their guidance or advice was what you needed, but whether it was good or bad, they tried to help because they were your friend. If they didn't care about you, they would not have tried to help or advise, so be forgiving and thankful to all of your friends, especially now. You may not know all that they are personally going through. The best way to have a friend is to be a friend. If you think someone may need help, ask, listen, be a friend, you may be surprised (pleasantly) by the response.

What I particularly love about this time of year is the true warmth that is given by complete strangers. Despite the stresses, you still find people who will take the time to give a warm "Hello" and really ask how you are doing. It is the time of year to reach out and see what you can do to help someone out of a jam, even if it just means helping them reach an item on the top shelf of the grocery store. The only regret I have about this time of year is that people do not treat each other warmly throughout the year. It is my wish someday that we all help each other throughout the year, not just between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Something for all of us to work on next year....

I would like to wish all of you a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Be safe, take care, spend time with the people you care about and really take the time to be thankful for what you have and the friendships you have developed.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More humor before the Holidays

Well, I was going to cover a relatively serious subject today, but felt that prior to the holidays, we all need a little more levity. Many of us are stressed about preparing for the holidays, stressed about the holidays, stressed about jobs, money, etc. Some of us stress about the stress we are under. Wow...

I think I was witness to some of that stress today in the grocery store. This year I got a wild hair and decided this was the year to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. Usually we are on the road to a rally, so we almost always eat out or eat at a friend's house while we are on our way to a rally. This time we are staying close to home, and it has been years since I cooked a turkey. Steve is understandably concerned, I don't usually like to cook, and my cooking isn't bad, it is just boring...

Well, in my effort to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, I wandered into the grocery store this morning, thinking that early in the morning would be less crowded. Boy, did I have that wrong. I didn't realize how many people also believe that Tuesday morning is the day to purchase the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner. It was elbow to elbow people in the store, many of them getting frustrated because they couldn't get to the foods they were looking for because there were so many people milling around with shopping carts. There were people three deep in the frozen turkey section.

The crowd around the frozen turkeys were so agitated that they actually almost came to blows over the frozen turkeys. Apparently most of the people there only wanted a turkey around 5-6 pounds and all that could be found were 11 pounds and up. As I was watching people frantically digging through the frozen turkeys (and there were at least 50 birds in the freezer section when I was there) if someone thought they found a small bird, people started pushing to get a grip on that bird. At one point the butcher came out with a 7 pound bird, and asked if anyone was interested in it. One minute you see the butcher with a frozen turkey in her hand, the next minute you see a bunch of older people grabbing for the bird and you can't see the butcher... I started worrying for her safety.

When one lady got the small bird, there was a general dejected sigh from the crowd as they turned their attention back to the frozen pile of turkeys. The butcher tried telling everyone that all the smaller turkeys were gone, but I believe the general hubbub kept her from being heard. By this time I had managed to wiggle my way towards the frozen birds, grabbed the closest one to me and quickly backed off. My bird was 11 pounds, which is fine, I will be eating turkey through the end of the year. I even considered using my turkey to go bowling and clear a path for me to the checkout counter. I think I could have easily knocked over 10 older people with my turkey...

As I was wandering the rest of the store, I saw another lady lecturing her husband to 'STAY PUT' and 'DO NOT LEAVE THIS SPOT'. The poor gentleman was in an electric wheelchair and had little choice but stay put, there were people all around him, pushing shopping carts all over and would not let him move even if he wanted to. I really felt that the store needed to install a traffic stop at that location so the poor man could navigate his chair away. I did not stay to see if he remained where his wife ordered him to stay, but odds are, he was stuck anyway.

There was another lady in another electric chair/scooter that got trapped in the fresh produce section. She was trying to get some celery but got boxed in by several people with shopping carts. The poor woman tried to back up, turn, go forward, anything just to move, but the people around her would not move their carts. I stepped back to allow her out, but as I moved out of the way to let her through, someone else with yet another cart pushed through the hole I created and dashed in front of this poor woman. The woman eventually got out of the produce section, and I just as quickly wandered off to the checkout stand.

The checkout line was just as entertaining with people jockeying for position in the quickest stand. There was no option for a short line as all the check out stands were open and they all had lines about 5 -7 people deep with shopping carts heavily loaded. The key was to find the fastest moving line. I didn't care, I was enjoying the show. After checking out, I was grateful to have gotten out of the grocery store unscathed and even happier to have pulled out of the parking lot. I could go on about the drivers in the parking lot, but we do not have all night...

Hopefully this brightened your day. Until tomorrow...