ARE SOME RULES ON HOW TO SUCCEED IN A BUSINESS:
knowledgeable in your business. This should
be obvious but people do not always do this. For
example, a friend of mine in the past several years
has become very successful in the restaurant business.
She opened a restaurant and now has several successful
branches. This level of success in the restaurant
business is very unusual. Although she had thoroughly
studied different recipes and had a clear plan,
she also worked in similar restaurants before starting
her own. That is very thorough research and preparation
that few people take the time to do!
2. Business Mission, Concept, and Vision. Whether
you are starting a new company or improving
an existing one, it is important to have a
business mission, concept, and vision. You
need to define the purpose or mission of your
Such As Budget, Physical Asset, Location, Etc. After
defining what your mission will be, you will realize
that there are additional things you need to fulfill
your specific mission. You may need to learn the
details of how to implement your mission. Gather
as much information as you can before you start.
In starting any business, you must have knowledge
and expertise before you get yourself into it.
The second thing to prepare is a list of the physical
assets that are required, such as a computer, office,
office equipment, telephone, web site, advertising
budget, etc. The third factor necessary to fulfilling
your specific mission is the location where are
you going to operate your business. Pick a location
that allows you to meet the professional standards
that are appropriate for your mission.
If you are an astrologer and are very good at
it, you may think of having an astrological counseling
business. You can visualize the kinds of clients
that will benefit from your services and the
setting in which they will be comfortable during
you have a full time job (other than astrology)
but love astrology, and you wish you could have
a business related to astrology, you might think
of selling computerized interpretations, astrology
books, software, etc. You may do this while at
the same time keeping your current full time
for a vision that you can attain comfortably.
Avoid getting a huge loan to start with. Most people
succeed by starting small and growing slowly. Be
resourceful and creative.
- NOTE: Make sure that you have whatever licenses
may be required in your area to conduct your business.
You may contact your city's business license office
for details before advertising your business. Different
towns have different rules, so it is best to find
the rules and regulations in your area. Business licenses are usually not very expensive.
A business license in Gainesville, FL, where
I live, for example, costs $50 to $100 a year.
You do not need a lawyer in order to start
a business. Simply ask the local officials
for details on how you can start your own business.
They will be more than happy to assist you
as long as you ask specific questions. Be pleasant
when you ask questions to get the answer that
you need. Be patient! You may need to make
repeated calls or visit the office in person.
Advertising. Once you have all of the above
planning done, then you can advertise to let people
know about your services. Advertising can be very
costly. Some of you may think that big, fancy advertisements
can catch people's attention and propel your business
to a high level. However, many businesses have
collapsed from over-optimistic and unrealistic
expectations from advertising. If you have very
limited financial resources to start with, it is
extremely unlikely that you want to invest in expensive
advertising. Many people succeed by starting with
small classified ads. Classified advertising can
be very powerful. Many people go to classified
advertising first before reading other ads. Business
recommend that about 15% of your income be devoted
to advertising. Word
of mouth advertising is often the best. In order
to become successful in word of mouth advertising,
you must prove that you have the best service or
that you are good at what you are doing.
may think you have no assets at all, but look
around carefully. You may, for example, have
the enthusiastic support of a few friends and
may be able to figure out a way to start your
business from your home.
be afraid to extend yourself a little to get
the business moving. For example, if you are
an astrologer and good at it and want to be successful
in helping people, then offer a free reading
to your friends or a free lecture to a community
group. If you are good, your friends will spread
the news. Starting this way does not cost anything
but your own time and energy. Some people who
are struggling to get their business to a successful
level become almost fanatically concerned about
getting paid for any services they perform. They
feel that "they are worth it" and that
they must be paid handsomely for others to appreciate
their service. While this is true in general,
most successful professionals also donate services
regularly in appropriate situations.
is not necessary to
keep records of everyone who expresses an interest
in your business. Doing this is optional and
can be helpful in some businesses. Keeping records
of clients is not optional to ensure success.
Make sure that you collect the name, address,
phone number and e-mail address of your clients
and save this in your database. It is best that
you know how to use a computer and a word processing
program. Once you have your database collected,
you can then notify clients of additional services
if they do not mind being contacted. Keeping
in contact will help you establish a good relationship
with your clients. You never know when contacting
a previous client can be helpful for one reason
Internet Exposure: It is good to have your
own web site to start with.
- Something to
be aware of about space advertising: Don't
think that you will get a response as soon
as you put an ad in a newspaper or magazine.
Space advertising does not usually have a positive
effect for six months to one year. Don't be
surprise if you do not get a call or any response
for a while.
don't have to hire anyone to create your own web site.
Hiring someone to create a web site can be quite costly.
If you don't know how to create a web site, but you
do know how to use a word processing program, it should
be easy for you to create one. Creating a web site
is similar to using a word processing program except it is more involve and complex. The
software that you will use to create a web site is
called a web development
tool or an html editor. Three commonly
used programs are Dreamweaver, FrontPage, and Adobe
GoLive. However, you do not need to purchase one
of these programs. This software can be quite costly
and you must be familiar with using a computer before
you can use it. You can start with free web site hosting service instead. You can later move it to a different ISP (Internet Service Provider). The ISP hosts your website for you, or, in other words, your website files are on the hard drive of a computer provided by the ISP and this computer is connected to the Internet so it can be accessed by anyone thorugh the website browser. .
- These two web site are currently offering free seb site hosting: http://www.wix.com/ and http://www.weebly.com/
- If you are using an html editor, you may also need to use You
may also need an FTP program.
There is only very few FTP programs out there that
are free. A good free FTP program that I recommend
is the "AceFTP" program.
This program is still free at the time this article
is written. If it is no longer free by the time
you read this article, simply search for "Free
FTP program" on your search engine. FTP
means "File Transfer Protocol". This program
is used to upload and download a file to your Internet
Service Provider's (ISP) host computer. In other
words, File Transfer Protocol is a way of transferring
files over the Internet from one computer to another.
Regardless of who you choose as your ISP , there is an advantage to starting your website at a website like wix.com or weebly.com in that you can create the website yourself without having to hire someone to create it for you.
There are many other tools for creating websites but you will need to learn how to use the software to create the website. A service like wix.com and web.com has the advantage that you can get a simple website up and running without having to go through a long learning process.
of the expensive html editor programs have a feature
for uploading and downloading a file to the host
With almost any software, start with reading the help file first before
you start using it.There are smpler and less expensive html editors than programs like Dreamweaver. They are not as powerful as the more expensive programs.Once
you know how to create your own web site, you will
need an ISP (Internet Service Provider) server that
will host your web site. There are large national
and international ISP's, like AOL and Earthlink.
There are also small companies in any large town
or city that provide the services you need. These
smaller ISP companies are sometimes referred to as
local ISP's. You can either contact a local ISP or
use the e-mail provider that you have now, as most
E-mail providers also host web sites. Most of the
e-mail providers give at least free 5 megabytes of
hard disk space to their customers to use for their
own web sites. Get the details from your e-mail service
provider about this service. The
advantage of using your e-mail service provider to
host your web site is that you don't have to pay
extra for them to host your web site. The disadvantage
of this, however, is that your web site address usually
is similar to this: "http://www.best.com/member/yourname/default.htm".
term for "web site address" is "URL".
URL is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator.
I strongly recommend having your own web site address,
such as http://www.SallySmith.com. If you want to
have your own URL name, you will have to purchase
a Domain name. A “Domain name” is the
name corresponding to the numeric IP (Internet Protocol)
address. The word “Domain” is basically
your own “empire,” so to speak, with
your own identity. Internet users access your website
using your domain name. To have your own domain name
however, you will need to purchase it from a domain
name host and pay a yearly fee to keep it. The fee
is ranging from $3.95 to $9.95 a year.
In other words, you will have one monthly and one yearly payment when you
have your own domain name and your own web site hosted: To have your own
domain name, you pay once a year, and to host your own web site, you pay
monthly. To host your own web site, you may pay somewhere in the range
of $20 - $50 per month. This fee includes your own e-mail address. For
most people, the additional cost of paying a monthly fee to host their
web site address and have their own domain name is well worth it. A
domain name can be, for example: alicesmith.com,
silver.com, etc. If possible, pick a name that reflects
the nature of your business. Most of the obvious
domain names are already taken. Instead of having
your domain name end with ".com," there
are a few other choices available. If you are an
astrological consultant and your main business is
your personal services, you may wish to use your
name as the website address, such as alicesmith.com.
Of course, you may need to use a middle initial or
other variation if your first choice is already taken.
I also recommend comparing local ISP services
with the national and international services.
Local ISP services are listed in your phone
book. You can also
search online for "ISP xxxx service" (where xxxx is the name
of the city and state of your residence. Once
you have selected an ISP, you can then get your own
Domain Name. To get your own domain name, you simply
go to a web site that provides the service of giving
domain names. There are many of these websites to
choose from and they all provide a similar service.
A web site that I have used to register a domain
name (that is "get" a domain name) is www.domainname.com.
You can also do a search on the Internet for other
websites that provide this service to see if you
can find a better price for registering your domain
Several years ago, the cost for a domain name is usually about $20 to $35
per year. Now, it is ranging from $3.95 to $9.95 a year. I will suggest
not to pay more than $10 a year for a domain name. You can also get a discount
if you pay for more than one year at one time. Feel free to ask about this
when you register your domain name. Once
you have your domain name, notify your ISP provider.
Your ISP server will then connect this domain name
with your web site that is being hosted on the ISP's
computer. You can then ask your ISP server to create
a unique e-mail address for you. For example, if
your domain is "silver.com", you can ask
to have an e-mail address of "firstname.lastname@example.org" or "email@example.com."
Business Ethics. As the business owner, you
must be honest and honorable for the company to
succeed. Ensure that your company displays good
character in dealing with your customers. An honorable
business will gain respect and loyalty from its
customers, and loyalty from workers. Every effort
should be made to maintain honesty, have integrity,
demonstrate reliability, and act responsibly. These
are the keys to success in running a good business.
The most successful businesses are consistent.
If you are going to have a positive, helpful, constructive
business, then you must strive very hard to operate
this way CONSISTENTLY.
me give you some guidelines on how you can do this:
Form of Payment: There are common forms of
payment: check, cash, and credit card. If possible,
you should accept all 3 methods. Credit card payment
is the most popular, and I highly recommend that
you accept credit cards. Before the Internet, the
only way to accept credit cards was to become a
credit card merchant. The requirements to become
a credit card merchant usually include a physical
store front, a large volume of credit card business
each month, or both. The alternative to being a
credit card merchant is to use one of the credit
card merchant services. Paypal is a popular service,
and Paypal will set up your account for free. Details
can be found at paypal.com.
Other credit card merchant services that are similar
to payal.com are authorize.net and securenetshop.com
Treat your customers well by making sure that
the service that you promise and advertise is
the service that you provide.
Usually you must apply the motto "the customer
is always right", even when this is not
true! It is best to listen attentively to your
customer even if the complaint or suggestion
does not at first seem reasonable. Feedback from
customers is very valuable. Sometimes, even the
most negative and obnoxious customer has a very
valuable suggestion hidden in his/her ugly rhetoric.
of Astrological Businesses:
are several kinds of astrology businesses. You can
be an astrological consultant or you can have a business
that provides astrological products or services. Some of the most
common astrological businesses are: (1) Astrological consultant,
(2) teacher of astrology classes, (3) writer of astrology
articles or books, (4) provider of computerized interpretations,
(5) reseller of books, (6) distributor of astrology software,
(7) reseller or maker of products with astrological motifs,
such as jewelry, t-shirts, calendars, etc., (8) provider of
facilities for astrology classes and astrological consultations,
typically as part of a metaphysical bookstore. Of these 8 kinds
of astrological businesses, the first 3 require that you are
a competent astrologer. The other 5 astrological businesses
require knowledge of astrology but not professional proficiency.
If you are not a professional astrologer, you can succeed
in one of these businesses. However, you must not give the
impression that you are an astrologer if you are not. Most
people who are successful in an astrological
business combine at least two of the
above kinds of services, and some also
combine astrology with non-astrological
an astrological business but you are not
an astrologer: You can have an astrology
business although you are not an astrologer
by providing the goods and services listed
below, either in a physical store or an
a) Sell Astrology Books: Consider
selling hard-to-find titles that astrologers
cannot locate elsewhere, or do research
to find out which books are most useful,
helpful, and interesting to both beginning
and advanced students, as well as to professional
astrologers. Usually books can be purchased
wholesale directly from the publisher or
through a book distributor. Some bookstores
prefer to order from the distributors because
it is convenient to order most products
from one or two sources. Other bookstores
order directly from the publisher. The
wholesale price of books is typically 40%
off the retail price. Your price, in other
words, is typically about 60% of the retail
b) Sell Astrology Software: Research
which software is the best in the industry.
You may discover that certain programs are
best suited to particular clients who have
particular needs. It is best to own a copy
of any software that you sell so that you
are familiar with it and can explain its
features and capabilities. You can then help
astrologers and students decide which software
to purchase, based on their needs.
Also, when you are familiar with the software that you are selling,
you can give customer support to your software customers. Customers
are often loyal to a software distributor who provides customer support
or gives good advice on which software is best suited to the customer's
needs. Call the software manufacturer and sign up for a dealership
agreement so you can purchase the software at a wholesale price. Some
companies may have limited availability of distributorships or special
requirements for you to become a distributor.
c) Computerized interpretations
and graphic information: Computerized
interpretations provide a very different
service from consultations. Consultations
are generally more expensive than computerized
interpretations and are designed to enable
the client to make important decisions. A
computerized interpretation provides an objective
assessment based solely on the birth data
and makes a nice gift that people often like
to give to a friend or family member without
the expense or requirement to schedule a
consultation. Low prices for computerized
interpretations work best for most astrologers
and astrology businesses. A price of $10
to $20 for a natal chart interpretation is
about average. High prices typically reduce
sales dramatically, so this lower price range
is recommended. There are exceptions to this
rule, however, and there are many variables
that affect what price can be charged. The
cost of producing a computerized report is
very low. The cost of paper, ink, time, cover,
etc. may total to only a few dollars. The
largest expense typically is the time to
produce the report and mailing costs. Do
not try to make a “killing” on
sales of each report. There are many providers
of computerized reports at low prices and
probably you want to be within the standard
range of prices.
In addition to computerized interpretations, most software companies
offer various kinds of graphic information printouts or artistically
rendered printouts that can be as useful as interpretations. A typical
example of this is an AstroMap printout, which is available from most
major software companies. Other kinds of graphic printouts are also
that if you are not an astrologer, do
not claim to be one. When you get astrology
questions, do not pretend that you know
the answer. Simply tell them that you
don't know the answer and that you will
ask someone who knows and that you will
let them know what you find out. You
can send them the correct answer when
you have it in hand. d) Develop
a relationship with professional astrologers: If
you own a bookstore, you can form a
partnership with professional astrologers
by having them provide consultations
and classes at your store. You can
either get a commission from the fees
that they collect or make some other
reasonable arrangement with the astrologers. e) Offer
other metaphysical products: necklaces,
bracelets, T-shirts, etc. Offering
small items can enhance your business.
Make sure that you don't overstock
these items. Keep track of how well
different items sell. Some manufacturers
will allow you to return the items
if you don't sell them within a month
of so, but most manufacturers will
not accept returns of unsold inventory.
Running an astrological business when
you are an astrologer: Some
consultants in astrology as well as other
fields offer flexible payments, depending
on the financial status of the client.
In general, any situation that involves
flexibility will leave some people feeling
maltreated because they did not receive
as good a "deal" as someone else
and can result in a lot of haggling over
fees. A simple fee structure for all is
best. If you want to help the needy, then
you can do this on a voluntary basis separate
from your normal consultation service.
Providing assistance to the needy can be
done in a way that makes it distinct from
your normal services. One way to accomplish
this is to provide it in a different location. Consider
adding other services to your consultation
service if you do not do so already!
Some astrologers find that giving the
client a computerized reading, an attractive
printout of their chart wheel, a tape
of the consultation, or other tangible "goodies" when
they leave the consultation gives the
client a feeling of tremendously increased
value. People who receive frequent astrological
consultations also tend to have at least
a mild interest in astrology. After finding
that you are an excellent astrologer
via their consultation, they will greatly
respect any recommendations you have
for learning astrology, astrology books,
and astrology software. You may find
that there is much more that you can
do to serve your clients in addition
to providing the consultation. Consider
the possibility of providing books, software,
or other services, or at least be able
to refer clients to a good source for
these items. Providing consultations
and classes as well as books and software
can be synergistic: each of these services
feeds the other services and enables
you to provide everything your astrological
clients want. From a financial point
of view, offering books and/or software
can be very profitable.
Another ingredient that you can add to consulting, teaching, and selling
books and software is writing. You can write articles, books and interpretive
reports for software companies. Royalty rates for sales of interpretive
reports paid by software companies are typically much higher than royalty
rates paid by publishers for books.
payment by check: Most businesses provide
their product or service after checks have cleared
when the check comes from an out-of-town bank
or from a customer that the business owners have
not met in person. Ask your bank how long it
takes for checks from your customers to clear;
most likely it will be in the range of 5 to 10
work days. Bounced
checks fee from your bank are now very costly however.
I will suggest requesting a money order or certified
check payment to avoid this issue.
signing up for a credit card merchant contract, find
out the details and perhaps hidden charges that may
be involved. Ask every possible question that you
have in mind, even if you think it is not relevant.
You will be surprised how much information you can
get when you ask all kinds of questions before signing
a contract. 9.
Dealing with customers: In
trying to please all customers, you may be inclined
to get yourself into some situations which are
better avoided. One situation to avoid as much
as possible is giving deals or specials and different
treatment to some of your customers. Always treat
everyone the same as you treat others. The temptation
to give special treatment to people is very strong,
but usually the special treatment will go unappreciated
and even cause greater problems. Here are some
guidelines for providing a good service to your
clients and customers:
Answer your phone during business hours. I do not
recommend an answering machine during normal business
hours because the time and cost of returning these
calls can be prohibitive. You can end up playing
telephone tag and talking about nonessentials when
you do reach the person. Having a person answer
the phone on the second ring is best; if the phone
rings 4 or 5 times before you answer it, the caller
may hang up before you answer or may feel that
you are not interested and motivated to respond
- • b)
Always answer the phone pleasantly. If the person
who is calling has a complaint, listen carefully
to the complaint. Try not to respond to anger or
hostility with hostility. This can be very difficult
Probably you will encounter angry customers very
rarely. When you do, it can catch you off guard
and you can be completely unprepared for it. If
callers are angry, do not become "infected" with
their anger. Listen attentively and do not get
embroiled in an argumentative dispute. Just listen
with understanding that they have the problem and
that you need to listen and give the best answer
to calm them down. If you do not involve yourself
with the caller’s current state of mind during
that bad phone call, you can more easily think
of the best way to answer the caller’s concerns.
Give your caller a chance to talk and express his/her
feelings before you respond. Make sure that the
caller finishes what he/she is saying so that you
do not interrupt. Take note of issues that he/she
is trying to convey while you are listening. This
way, you don't have to ask what he/she has said,
which can make him/her even more irritated. It
is best that you are ready with the response when
it is your turn to talk. Be prepared with pen and
paper handy when you answer a phone call.
Dealing with very difficult and unreasonable people in running a business
is the most upsetting customer contact that you will experience. They
will always try to make you feel that all of their problems are your
fault. They will often give unacceptable and irritating remarks. DO NOT
get into their current mood. Keep in mind that they are frustrated because
of a problem, and frustration is not their normal state of mind. Always
think that such customers may be having difficulty in their own daily
life. So listening and understanding where they are coming from is the
best tool to avoid getting embroiled with their current state of mind.
Always give your name and ask for the caller’s
name so you can address the person by name during
the conversation, thereby making your conversation
Thank them before you hang up the phone.
Answering letters or e-mails: Answer business e-mail
within one business day (24 hours or by Monday
if received after closing time on Friday). Always
answer questions directly and to the point. Read
the letter or e-mail several times if necessary
until you fully understand it before responding.
If you get a nasty e-mail that makes you feel angry
or upset, do not answer it immediately! Sudden
impulse can cause you to respond much more harshly
than you will at a later time. Let it sit for a
few hours and then read it again. If the content
still makes you feel angry after re-reading it,
do not respond yet. Let it sit for another day
then read it again until you don't feel angry while
reading. By doing this you can write a very clear,
helpful, and direct answer without becoming embroiled
in the negative emotions. Try to write friendly,
respectful, helpful letters. You will very often
be surprised that this "nutcase" becomes
much more reasonable and normal if you respond
in this way.
Respect your customers no matter what happened.
This way, you get the same treatment from them.
Make sure that you have enough savings every month
to pay all of your monthly bills. This savings
must come from your business profit. Do not get
a loan to pay your monthly bills.
If you have a full time job (not in astrology) and yet you want to have
an astrology business, you can start the astrology business part time.
Start small. You can still keep your full time job and at the same time
have a side astrology business. This way, you still have a permanent income
coming in your household. When your astrology business starts to grow,
you can slowly spend less time to your full time job until your own astrology
business can fully support your family. Many failures in businesses of
all kinds come from taking unnecessary risks. You must be willing to work
very hard if you want to be self-employed or the proprietor of a business.
You need to take some risks, but only ones that you can recover from if
you fail, not risks that will destroy your business entirely if you fail.
Taxes: This is very Important. Remember to
allocate funds to pay taxes! When first starting
a business, some people overlook the taxes that
must be paid. Social security tax in the USA for
employees is double the tax for self-employed people
because you pay both the employer share and employee
share that you have withheld from pay checks. Pay
all of the required taxes. Breaking the law is
NOT a good idea! By operating completely legally
and ethically you build a confidence and inner
power within your business that is more valuable
than the money saved by evading regulations.
Do not become disheartened by government regulations
and requirements. Tangible property taxes,
zoning requirements, restrictions on how you can
conduct your business, required paper work, perhaps
the need to hire an accountant or other professional
services, higher prices that businesses pay for
telephone services and other services, etc. can
feel overwhelming and unfair. Some people are surprised
to find out that there may be lots of obstacles
to starting or expanding a business. Some regulations
may not be fair or reasonable but it is better
to fulfill the requirements than waste energy trying
to change the system. In time you will find the
resources to manage all of these affairs..
Always ask the correct authority about the appropriate procedures to follow
when you are making changes to your business such as change of location,
change of ownership, change of status from sole proprietorship to a corporation,
etc. before making any changes.
hope that the above information is useful to you.
Feel free to e-mail me with questions that you might
have at firstname.lastname@example.org attention