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Collecting receivables is an important step in ensuring a healthy cash flow for a business, and more so for a home-based business or solo entrepreneur. However, account receivables collection is a time-intensive process that most small businesses just don’t have the time, know-how and energy to pursue. Hence, many turn to third party collection agencies to collect the debts and amounts owed to them.But how do you choose the right collection agency to work for you?American Profit Recovery suggests making sure that the q
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ualities are factors when deciding to retain a third-party collection agency:
  • Member of ACA International; The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals. Make sure the collection agency you are talking to is a member and that they subscribe to and follow their Code of Ethics.
  • Personal Referrals: As with anyone looking for someone to do business with, always ask around. Talk with other business owners or members of your local Chamber of commerce to find an agency that others you know may have used.
  • Educated Workforce: When interviewing the representative from a collection agency, ask them their philosophy of who they hire. Do they hire college educated people or do they just bring in anyone to fill a position?
  • Different Approaches: Does the agency you are talking to have several methods of collecting on past due debt? The agency should offer a low cost flat-fee structure along with other proven methods.
  • Record of Community Service: make sure the collection agency you are hiring has a record of community service. The agency should have a track record of giving back to the community in some way.
  • Background Check: It is imperative that the agency you are dealing with and may be calling on your customers pursues background check as part of their normal hiring practices. Anything less is not acceptable. also recommends that:
  • Choose members of the American Collectors Association or the Commercial Law League of America., as both associations require that their members adhere to a code of ethics and are familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Both associations also provide ongoing education for their members.
  • Ask for proof of insurance. Most licensed collection agencies are required to carry bonds for their particular state and Errors and Omissions insurance, which protects both the agency and client for any errors made by the collection agency.
  • Ask about the recovery rate of an agency. Ask for references to verify the percentage.
  • Check to see how long it took the agency to collect and if they collected the whole debt or just a portion of what was owed
There’s also an article over at that discusses what to look for when hiring a collection agency and here are some of the recommended factors:
  • The best thing to do is to network within your community or within your profession to see who other creditors are using that they like.
  • Ask, "Out of every $1,000 that you collect exactly what will I receive?" Asking the question that way eliminates the possibility of additional fees that you did not know was going to be included.
  • Ask the agency for a list of references. Then call some of them to see if the agency is doing a good job for its existing clients.
  • Ask for a 10-day demand letter service. With that service, the first thing the agency will do before it takes over your accounts is send your debtors a letter. The letter will say that your debtor has ten days to pay you before the collection agency gets involved. If your debtor pays you within the ten day time period the collection agency will not get involved and the agency will either charge you nothing or charge you a nominal amount to send out the letter.
  • Ask the agency about what kind of regular reporting you can expect to receive from the agency. This way, you can get feedback from them on how the agency is progressing in collecting the debt.
  • Ask the agency when you can expect to get paid. Will it be on a certain date every month, or is it inconsistent?
  • Finally, with a new collection agency you have never worked with before, it's a good idea to give the agency a limited amount of time to work your accounts. Just say, "Let's try this on a trail basis and see how it goes." Two to three months is plenty of time to know if the agency is going to be able to do a good job for you.

Here are some tips to help make sure that your business is off to a good start1. Make sure that your family is 100% solidly behind your decision to start a home-based business.It is important to have your family's support when you start a home business. It may be that you will need to tighten your purse strings as you jumpstart the business, especially if you are leaving a job to launch the business and the family loses one steady income source. The family must believe in your vision for them to allow you to use the family's savings and assets for this business. Or it may be t
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hat you will need your spouse to continue employment to ensure that the family still has health insurance and benefits.I also interviewed an entrepreneur who had to get her famly's approval because her business required huge quantities of supplies and inventories. Her business took over one of her children's bedroom and garage, in addition to another room for her home office. She said it came to the point where her business supplies even spilled over to the family room, and it was a case of boxes here, there and everywhere. Luckily, the business took off and after a year she was able to move the business to a Main Street store, clearing her house with all the supplies and inventories.2. Make sure that this home business is what you really want to do. Starting a home business is NOT easy. For your home business to succeed, you need to invest significant amounts oftime, effort and resources. So you better make sure that this is what you really want: that this business is something you'd like to be doing for the next five years, and that you really want to work from home. Don't get carried away with the initial rush of excitement of this new home business. Instead, try to think of how you will feel about doing this business in the long term. Is this a business that you think you will still love to do a year or two from now -- even if your initial expectations are not met? Also make sure that you can actually work from home. I talked to an entrepreneur who started a business with his best friend. They worked in their respective homes during their startup phase, and kept in touch during the day to compare notes or plan their next activities. Unfortunately for him, he learned that he did not like working from home solo the whole day. He craved for human interaction, and being cooped the whole day in his basement while working on the business drove him nuts. After six months, and seeing the business start to show growth potential, he convinced his partner to rent an office downtown instead.3. Know what you are REALLY getting into.This seems very basic, right? In reality, however, there are many entrepreneurs who decide to start a business, but have absolutely no clue what they are getting into.Take for example the many Adsense publishers. With the popularity of Google's advertising program, many folks decided to launch online businesses by starting Web sites or blogs. They then applied to Google Adsense (or other ad programs) thinking that they will start seeing thousands of dollars per month, only to find that their sites could only earn pennies per month. So what went wrong? They went in and started their online businesses without really understanding what works best for Google Adsense. They made false assumptions with the program, and failed to take into account the responsiveness of their audience to ads, their topic, their topic, and placement of ads.Read books about the specific business. Visit forums to find what others are saying or experiencing with the business you want to start. The Web has also made it very easy to research competitors and how the strategies they are using. Be a sponge willing to absorb anything and everything about your business. Remember, research is your best friend!

Starting a home business part time is one option many entrepreneurs take in starting a business. Part-timers work on their businesses after getting home from their day jobs or working only on weekends.While keeping full time jobs, many opt to start a home business on the side for a number of reasons:
  • It enables the part-time entrepreneur to earn and save more money to be used as capital for their business.
  • It allows the part-time entrepreneur to save enough money to serve as financial cushion for themselves and their families when they decide to pursue the business full-time.
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  • There is uncertainty if the business will work, hence it is prudent to start more slowly
  • Balances out the uncertainty of starting a business. Even if the business proved to be a failure, the entrepreneur can still have the security of a regular paycheck from their jobs
  • But should you really start a business part-time? Here are the main reasons why a part-time business may not be the best option and that you need to jump into the business full-time.1. Less overall opportunities for your part-time business. Given that your day job occupies much of your time, there will be lots of opportunities that you will be unable to pursue for the business you run part-time. Missed revenue opportunities may result from your inability to take on more clients, develop better or more products, or even conduct a more expansive or aggressive marketing strategy.2. Growth of the business will be very slow. Because of missed opportunities, a part-time business is more likely to be slow-growing. The main disadvantage of a slow growing business is that it doesn't give you the chance to reap a larger reward for this experience. There will be slower return on your investments. If you have many ideas, enjoy taking chances, and are looking for faster return on your investment, then you might feel held back by a slow-growing part-time business.3. Difficulty to give 100% focus on the new business. To succeed in business, you need to make sure that your products or services are the best they can be, especially in a competitive market. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Given the demands of a new business and the pressure to make this business succeed, you need to focus daily on how to improve your business, how to reach your target market, and how you can be better than your competitors. Starting part-time means that you may not have enough energy and focus to dedicate to the business, as your daytime work competes for your attention. 4. Business may not lend itself to be done on a part-time basis. The type of business you will start will determine whether a full-time job mixed with a part time business can be doable. A 9-to-5 job mixed with an information web site (e.g blogging monetized by advertising) may be doable: you work during the day and write content for your blog at night. But an event planning business catering to corporate clients whose typical events and functions are done on weekdays will be extremely hard to do part-time.5. Competing priorities. When you have a full-time job and a part-time business, you will inevitably be faced with tasks that are equally important. You will have lots of competing priorities, and you need to determine which direction to pursue first. You will have to balance your planning efforts with day-to-day demands. This situation could be overwhelming, as you need to rearrange your list of tasks in terms of order of priority without missing deadlines. And depending on the type of full time job you have and the nature of your part-time business, missed deadlines may be part of your reality.6. Diluted effort. There is a huge risk of shortchanging yourself. Because your energies, focus and concentration are spread among different priorities, it will be tough to give 100% performance to both. The stress of doing many things at once may not allow you to give your best efforts to each one. Instead, your goal will be just to meet the deliverables at the minimum level of expectations. You will not have time to wow your clients and customers (and your boss in your full time job) as you need to rush off to complete the next assignment.7. Career prospects may be jeopardized. Your career prospects depend on your goals for your job: whether you want to keep working on that job, or you want to resign from it the moment your part-time business takes off.Depending on how broadminded the company you work for and your boss, having a business on the side may send out negative signals that can jeopardize your future in your full-time job. They may think that your focus is now split and you’re not 100% committed to the job anymore, possibly resulting in poor or mediocre performance. They will be closely watching your deliverables and your attendance at work. As a result, there is a risk that your promotion and overall career prospects will dim. They may also be concerned that you are using their company’s time to work on your business, or use the company resources (e.g. paper, photocopying, etc.) for your own business use. Worse, they may think there are ethical conflicts between your job and your business, especially if your business is in the same space and there is a huge risk of you stealing their clients. One option, of course, is to keep mum about your business and not letting your boss or coworkers know about your part-time business. But even then, you will have to be creative in explaining your absences or disappearances in the middle of the day when your business demands it.8. Lack of time. Fitting your job, a part-time business and family obligations into a 24-hour period will be your biggest challenge. If you only have a few hours in a day to focus on your business, it may not be sufficient to meet the demands of a newly launched business. At most, you will be flying by the seat of your pants. It will be hard to do a great job in creating products or services, marketing the business, and even running the day-to-day management of the business.Prepare yourself for sleepless nights (or all-nighters and non stop working. Expect to sacrifice a lot of your free time. If you work 9-to-5, you’ll only have a small window of opportunity to dedicate to your business. Unless you are insomniac and used to being awake at night, there will be lots of time when working at night is not enough to complete all the tasks you need to do. You will need to work very smart, and make sure that you are doing productive activities when you work (that means limited, or even none, recreational Web surfing for you!)9. A job and a business require loads of flexibility. In a perfect world, you can set your day as day job at 9-to-5 and part-time business in the evenings or weekends. But sometimes, you may be asked to work overtime or work during weekends in your job. This means that your window of opportunity to work for your business disappears.It could also be the other way around: there may be times when you will need to finish the rush job of your client and you will be unable to go to work for your full-time job.10. Your health can suffer. With a full-time job and a home business on the side, both of these priorities have its own attending stress and deadlines. Coping with the stress can put a strain on your health. The non-stop working can also make your body feel fatigued, making you more prone to sickness. Long working hours have been associated with health and safety risks, which unfortunately, you face when working on a full-time job and a part-time business on the side.

    Thanks to all, I actually made the sale because I post on a furum giving advice that relates to my topic. These women email me constantly wanting more advice and my signatures links are in my email. So I guess I am building a list as well slowly but surely. And thanks to all of you and your kind w...
    Wow Genius...I want to move to your country! LOL....I've been concerned about this too, but my earnings are so minimal right now. I do have a healthy fear of the IRS though so I'll be paying those taxes!
    Many people are scared of starting a business during a recession. Times are tough, and people are not spending -- which makes the idea of starting a business in a downturn even more daunting.But an economic downturn shouldn't stop you from pursuing your business endeavors. As they say, the right time to start business is when you have a great idea, recession or not. With the right business idea, where your product or service will benefit customers both in good and bad times, you can beat the odds and succeed even in an economic downturn.The key is to look long and hard at your business idea to
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    see if this is a business where a market truly exists. Afterall, with a recession comes the tightening of purse strings not just from customers but bankers and investors alike. That means starting the business lean, and well, possibly even with your own money.Here are some types of businesses that thrive and stand a better chance of survival during economic downturns:1. Must have products and services. Food is one business that remain strong during a recession. Afterall, people will still need to eat and drink no matter how bad the economy, though many will be cutting dining out and instead stay at home and cook!And guess what, demand for cosmetics remain strong even when times are tough! Demand for cosmetics seem recession proof as women continue to indulge themselves by buying lipsticks and powders. Ask any woman on the street if they will forego wearing a lipstick and you might get dagger stares everywhere. There's even an economic indicator for it: the lipstick indexOther necessity businesses include automotive repair, healthcare, web sites for small businesses, education and learning products.2. Sign of the Times-type businesses. These are businesses that are most needed during a recession, yet will still generate strong demand even when times get better. An example of this type of business is bargain hunting, helping people find deals, coupons and discounts. Whether good times or bad, people want to save and get the best deals, but more so when everything is tight.3. Any business with minimal startup costs. Now is not the time to risk your family's life savings into a business you are not sure will work. Home-based businesses are great during recession because of little to no overhead costs. You can start a blog at no cost working from home monetized by advertising, which can allow you to earn decent income. If you're lucky and your blog or website catches on, you can earn spectacular income workin from the comforts of your home without the headache of an office or retail space lease.4. Start a proven business. It is significantly riskier to start an unproven business from scratch as compared to starting a well known franchise. Franchises may sometimes feel that you are working for somebody else, but buying into a franchise allows you to start a business with a well established brand, fully developed operational systems, and with products or services that are proven winners.Once you've decided what business to start, follow the tips shared by experts in the article Recession Strategies for Small and Home Businesses

    Funny story, Years ago I had Marla Maples in my downline when she was married to Trump, so he has been aware of MLM Network Marketing for years, so I had asked Marla if he had ever considered it, and she laughed, so I wonder if she is laughing now, I know I am. LOL Ideal Health is a solid nutritio...
    eaglegene, Basically, to buy the 10 in One, or any of the other products, you click on the "Get Started Now" tab and order it. This will place you on the monthly auto-ship program for personal use. If you choose to share it with others, then you have the same free web site I have to hel...
    With the economy in doldrums, are you taking advantage of the opportunities this economic recession presents? Yes, even with all the layoffs and cost cuttings, there's some opportunities for the taking.Some examples:Purchase of vehicles for businesses -- with the car industry reeling from the slump, there's a lot of deals waiting in the car dealerships. Now is the best time to upgrade your business vehicle, or buy the vehicle you need for your business.Cheaper tech gadgets -- given the poor holiday season, sales are a plenty and prices of tech goodies have dr
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    opped significantly.Cheaper office supplies -- now's the time to stock up on all office supplies and office equipment you may need.Hiring great employees -- as other companies are issuing pink slips, you may be able to find the programmer or writer or assistant you've always needed. Find money making opportunities -- as people react to the recession, now is the time to look closely at where demand lies. A building contractor affected by the mortgage meltdown may want to look at the green movemet in construction and discover a whole new niche (e.g. think alternative energy systems such as solar energy installations). Or as recession results to layoffs, more and more people will be looking for cheaper health care such as alternative medicines.

    About a year ago at this time there was a full page thread in this forum by many members telling in detail how Rob had scammed them out of thousands of dollars. I had a large post there myself, how he had sold me a program and charged me twice.. and I still never got the program nor my money back,...
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