Starting An Online Home Business? Work At Home Internet Tips And Ideas

Most people starting an online home business do so while working a full-time job and therefore being organized will help you make maximum use of the few hours a day that you have to dedicate to your work at home internet business.

Getting and keeping the contents of your computer organized will save you heaps of time and it is a great idea to set up a good filing system so that you do not waste time looking for web addresses, passwords, files, e-books, emails, images, etc.

If you are starting an online home business that involves joining a few affiliate programs you will have a lot of important information and emails coming in that you will need to refer to. There is nothing more frustrating knowing you have saved a certain file or bookmarked an important web address and not being able to find it.

Firstly, the initial information that you will receive will be in the form of emails and so it is strongly advised that you set up folders in your Outlook so that you can file the emails in the relevant folders. If you join a number of affiliate programs, open a folder for each program.

To setup a new folder in Outlook simply click on FILE in the Menu Bar (the top horizontal menu), in the drop down menu click NEW, then click on FOLDER. A little window will open entitled CREATE FOLDER and you then type in the box entitled FOLDER NAME, the name you would like to give this new folder. Then click OK.

This way you can set up sub-folders too. For example you may have a main folder called XYZ Affiliate Program and you could create subfolders under that for Admin emails and another for Sale Notifications and another for New Signups. In your Outlook main window, select XYZ Affiliate Program, right click and select New Folder and type in the title for your subfolder.

If you make an error or your subfolder appears in the wrong place, do not panic. Just right click on the folder and click delete and try again. Or if you want to rename the folder just right click and choose rename, and enter the correct name.

By setting up folders in Outlook will save you a huge amount of time when you need to locate a certain email and you will find that your Inbox is not full of emails that you have already dealt with or read. There is also the search function in Outlook, should you need it. File the emails in their respective folders as soon as you have dealt with them. Do not forget to file the emails in your Sent Box too into their respective folders. Often it is your reply to an email that you will be looking for.

Your Favorites in Internet Explorer, or whatever browser you are using, is another place that you need to keep well organized as this will save you so much time and frustration.

Again, set up folders and subfolders if necessary. Using Internet Explorer 7 in the Menu Bar, click on Favorites, then choose Organize Favorites from the drop down menu. In the small window that opens click on New Folder and a new folder will be highlighted where you type in the name. You can also move, rename and delete folders here as well. Or you can just select the Star Icon for Favorites so they open down the left hand side of your screen, right click on a folder and choose the option New Folder and type in the name.

By right clicking on a folder and selecting Sort By Name will organize the contents of that folder alphabetically.

Under My Documents be sure to start opening folders there as well to file all the information relating to your work at home internet business, for example your ebook downloads, articles and reviews you may write, Excel spreadsheets, etc.

Another idea is to open a Word document or Excel spreadsheet to keep a note of the affiliate programs you join, their web addresses, referral urls as well as your username and passwords for each program. I personally work with Notepad as I find it opens quicker and I save it to my desktop for easy reference.

A couple of computer protection and maintenance tips: Install good virus protection on your computer and keep your Firewall turned on.

To help keep your computer running well, delete your Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer regularly by clicking on Tools, then Internet Options from the drop down menu and under Browsing History select Delete and then under Temporary Internet Files click on Delete. You can also delete your Cookies here too.

Do not forget to use the disk defragmenter regularly (once a week), especially if you are downloading new software or have automatic software updates coming in from Microsoft. Just click your Start button, click on All Programs and select Accessories, then System Tools and Disk Defragmenter. It is advisable to shut down all programs including temporarily disengaging your Screensaver while using the disk defragmenter.

To disengage your screensaver click on Start, Control Panel, Display and in the Display Properties Box click on Screensaver and in the drop down menu under the computer icon select `none` and click Apply. Remember then to go back and reinstate your screensaver once the disk defragmenter has completed its task.

Just a word of warning here, if you do not defrag your hard drive regularly you will experience your computer slowing down and more frustrating is that the defrag process can take hours. If this happens it is advisable to leave the disk defragmenter running overnight while you catch up on some well earned sleep.

You will in time develop your own way of working, but initially when starting an online home business and everything is new and a little confusing you will find it really helpful if you get yourself organized early and get into the habit of filing items where you can find them as well as keeping your computer in peak condition thus avoiding slowdowns and downtime.

Choosing Modern Garden Furniture

If you are looking to purchase furniture for your garden but you want to veer away from more traditional styles, there is an extensive selection of modern garden furniture to choose from in stores and online. But with such a variety of options, it is important that you know what you’re looking for before you hand over the money.

When choosing your furniture, consider these key questions:

1. How much room do you have in your garden?
2. What pieces of furniture must you buy (e.g. four chairs, two side tables, two loungers etc.)?
3. How much time do you want to spend taking care of it?
4. What is going to fit in well with your outdoor space and your lifestyle?
5. What is your budget?
6. How many years do you want it to last and will the weather be a problem?

When you’ve decided what you are looking for, follow the following simple guidelines which are sure to make your furniture look as if it was made just for you and your garden:

1. Choose colors that compliment the foliage and design of your garden. For instance, if your plants are mostly green, choose a natural color like dark brown or cream; if you have a yard with year-round colorful flowers, choose bold colors for your furniture like yellows, oranges and blues.

2. Go for some modern materials (like dark wicker, bold plastics and chunky cut wood).

3. Choose a shape that fits in with the surroundings. If your greenery is rugged and has an overgrown look, the you should go with an organic, curved shape. For gardens with tidily maintained, sparse plants, choose angled, neat furniture to fit in naturally with the surroundings.

4. If your chairs have cushions and pillows, make sure the fabric suits the surroundings – for instance, don’t choose a feminine, floral design for a highly architectural, tidy garden as it will just look out of place.

Finally, enjoy your updated garden! Gardens are places to relax and make memories, so choose key accessories that will compliment your new fittings and your garden’s landscape. Whether it is some hidden lights in the foliage that give the garden a bigger, magical feel at night, or a water feature that gives a zen feeling to the space, or, even, a modern sculpture that draws the eye to a focal point near your new furniture. The art of accessorizing your space will compliment the modern feel you will create with your carefully chosen furnishings.

What Do I Need to Do Before Starting an Online Home Business?

Internet marketing and online home business opportunities are often wrongly represented to the hungry masses of people who wish to make money online. The idea of making money overnight and becoming rich is more or less a fantasy, a dream. In reality starting up your own online home business should be no different to an offline business. Here are some practical requirements you may need to look at once you have decided that the online home business world is for you.

The Product

First of all you need a product or service to sell on the Internet. This does not necessarily mean you need to own or create the product, it would be just as good for you to be an Amazon affiliate and sell their products. Bottom line is you need to know what you want your online business to be about. You need to do some research on the product you wish to promote. Is it a profitable product? Is the product or service in demand? Is there much competition? Make sure you learn these facts before diving into a business you know nothing about.

The equipment

A computer, Internet connection and basic software are the minimal requirements for your online business. Although it may sound obvious there are still some tips to be noted.

Your computer will contain everything you need for your online home business so it would be advisable for you to have a copy of everything on an external hard drive. Sometimes having a laptop would be more beneficial as this allows you to work and check your emails anywhere.

You should have a reasonable speed internet connection as you may need to download or upload large files as well as video files. If you tend to move around a lot you may consider wireless broadband as your internet connection.

The software that you should acquire before starting an online home business would include: antivirus (you may receive a lot of spam email so this will come in handy), a spreadsheet program, a word processing program, WinZip (to compress or uncompress files) and Roboform (to save your personal details and passwords so you don’t have to enter it in all the time).The last one is optional but does come in handy.

The Communication

With an online home business your number one form of communication would be through your email account, MSN or Skype. The last 2 forms of communication can sometimes be difficult due to time differences between the different countries in the world so emailing is probably a more popular option. With you email account it is probably best you have at least 2 email accounts. One for signing up to programs, ezines, newsletters and membership sites. Unfortunately these can sometimes clog up your email accounts and it is therefore useful to have a second email in which you can use for the actual business. If you are planning to have a website, you may opt to have an email account through your own domain name (eg name @ yourdomain. com) for all your business liaising.

The Money

Although there are many claims from others making money online for free, it is probably more optimistic to think that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If you start online with this prebuilt idea in mind then it would be hard for you do succeed and properly run your online home business. If budget is tight you can always start off with a small investment. Maybe you can sacrifice $1200 for the first year. Does this sound like a lot? Not if you break it down to $100/month or $25/week or $5/day excluding the weekends. That’s just cup of coffee you can give up on! Compare this to a franchise that would cost you at least 200k to set up.

In addition make sure you have access to a credit card and open a PayPal or Alertpay account. PayPal and Alertpay are online payment processors. They are free to use when you wish to buy items online. If you are planning to have an ecommerce website then there would be some merchant fees involved.

The Legalities

Next is the nitty gritty stuff of making sure you don’t break any rules. Consult an Internet lawyer if you are unsure of anything such as copyright laws, licensing, contracts and regulations in your country etc. You also need to think up a great business name and get your business registered. This is the time also to think up a great domain name and register your own domain if you are thinking of having your own website.

Once you have consulted all these aspects, give yourself a pat on the back and relax. You’ve already done most of the hard work. You can now start building your online home business empire and reach for success.