Entrepreneur Idea Guide ? Everything Starts with an Idea

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Are you still mystified with what an entrepreneur is doing in his everyday life? Well, according to some people, entrepreneurs are great thinkers and so they must be spending most of their time thinking of what new things they can offer to the world. This may be true and if you’re a beginner in the field of entrepreneurship, you have to get the best entrepreneur idea guide to get you started.

Entrepreneurs are generally business people. However, this is only half of who they really are. You see, entrepreneurs are also idea thinkers and deal makers. Through the available or existing circumstances, an entrepreneur can uncover new ideas and then turn them into a good deal.

Many entrepreneurs hardly ever concentrate on one business venture. THheir primary aim is to earn money so will try to venture into all kind of businesses as long as it provides a profit.

The business ideas created by a certain entrepreneur are often found in archives. This is because some business ideas may not be feasible at present and so they keep it for future use or reference. Those business ideas which have higher market feasibility are investigated further and if in case the entrepreneur decides to act on the idea immediately, he will put such ideas to work and earn money.

Feasibility studies are vital to every business venture. From the idea, the entrepreneur thinks of certain services or products and formulates questions. Oftentimes, the entrepreneur conducts surveys to potential customers and he meticulously records all the responses. The documentations made can be used by the entrepreneur once he secures capital from financial backers.

If the entrepreneur have the capital to finance the said business idea, then it will be good for him because he will reap all the profits. However, most entrepreneurs prefer to seek assistance from financial backers so that their decisions will not be affected by their own vested interest.

Different interest groups will look into the business ideas provided by the entrepreneur. If anyone from the group is willing to finance the business proposal, then they will have to contact the entrepreneur. The business deals are usually carried out together with a lawyer so that everything will be formal and documented. Once the ideas are backed, the entrepreneur will start earning money. If the business idea proves to be successful, more money will come rolling in for the entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur is hard especially for beginners. However, with diligence, hard work, patience, knowledge, and a whole lot of other qualities, even you can become a successful entrepreneur.

At present, many entrepreneurs are into internet business. One reason is that many internet businesses are potential money makers and are not hard to handle. If you want to become an internet entrepreneur, make sure that you conduct your own research about it and how it is done. As beginners, you have to have to gather as much information as you can for the success of your chosen field.

Now that you know everything starts with an idea, you can already determine if being an entrepreneur is what you really want in life. Some say that if you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you have to be born with the characteristics of one.

However, you can work things out as you grow older and learn new things. So don?t get discouraged and try really hard if you’re determined to become an entrepreneur.

The Different Kinds of Stress

The Many Faces of Stress

Stress affects each individual differently, according to the cause and its effects. Therefore, there are different kinds of stress as recognized by clinical and research studies. It is important for an individual to recognize the cause of stress in order to know how to deal with it, and hopefully reduce stress levels. Moreover, each type of stress have different approaches to treatment.

Basically, there are three known types of stress: acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress. However, a fourth kind ? psychological stress ? is also becoming more prevalent and is considered as a legitimate type of stress.

Acute Stress

This is the most common form of stress, which results from the pressures one is subjected to in their everyday life. In small doses of acute stress, it can actually be beneficial to an individual. Think of athletes that are about to compete in an event. They experience acute stress, which triggers the production of adrenaline and giving them a burst of energy needed to perform their best.

The symptoms for this type of stress are easily recognizable and mostly affects a person only in a short term. Common symptoms include back or neck pain, muscular tensions, headache, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, cold hands or feet.

Episodic Acute Stress

As mentioned above, acute stress is quite common to most people. However, there are a few others who experience it more often than others. These people are the ones who are so focused on achieving organization and yet always fail when it comes to performance. Therefore, it is not surprising that they often become irritable, if not with themselves then their initial environment. This also explains why they find the workplace quite a stressful environment.

Other forms of episodic acute stress are those people who keep worrying. They have become so pessimistic about the environment that they always project something wrong would happen. Hence, they end up feeling awful, tense, or anxious without having clear reasons for feeling that way.

Chronic Stress

This is the type of stress that wears one out. Plus, it builds up over time and can produce long-term effects on a person, whether emotionally or physically. Most forms of chronic stress are caused by trauma that they find difficult to let go and so it continues to disrupt their everyday lives.

One problem with chronic stress is that people often believe that it is something that is innate to them and that they cannot get rid of. Thus, it makes treating this condition difficult because it is often ignored by the person affected by it. It can, however, be treated through stress management procedures and behavioral treatment.

Psychological Stress

Stress has its own set of complexity. With the different types stated above, psychological stress concerns more of a person’s ability to respond to a given situation. To be specific, the loss of that ability. During dangerous situations, your body produces hormones known as adrenaline and cortisol that prompts the body to make a response.

Compare this to charging a battery that produces high voltage that must be discharged. In the case of a person suffering from psychological stress, the body fails to discharge that burst of energy that is produced. The continued raise in your heart rate and the production of adrenaline could result to fatal problems in your heart.

There are several reasons as to how one acquires psychological stress but it can include trauma suffered from an emotionally disturbing event in the past or other emotional anxiety. The problem with people suffering from psychological stress is that they tend to induce more stress in their lives by subjecting themselves to stressful situations. Today, several groups hold counseling to help those who suffer from this condition and regain control over their life.

Call Centers in Costa Rica Employ 16,000 People While Developing A Middle Class

Call centers are often linked to telemarketing, but this is just one of the many business functions performed by call centers. Call centers may focus on one of the following business functions, or operate campaigns that cover many different functions:
Inbound sales, where customers are responding to an advertisement.
Outbound sales using client provided call lists.
Lead generation through qualifying customers calling about a sales promotion.
Market research by conducting surveys.
Processing of product orders from customers.
Customer support through providing help desk functions.
Technical support for particular products.
Appointment setting.
Credit and billing problems, including collections.
Cellphone activation.
Fundraising for charities.
Cause related marketing.
Direct response to TV / Radio marketing.
Sports booking.

Call centers essentially perform any business function that involves person-to-person contact over a voice connection. Costa Rica is the home of a number of corporate call centers, including Bank of America, HP, IBM, Proctor & Gamble, and Western Union. Independent call centers range in size for super call centers, such as Sykes Costa Rica with 3200 employees, to operations run from a home with one or two employees. There are no statistics regarding the number of call centers in Costa Rica. Richard Blank (CEO of Costa Rica’s Call Center) estimates that there may be as many as 300 call centers operating in Costa Rica. With just over a 100 seats (employees actually making the calls), Costa Rica’s Call Center represents a mid-sized call center.

If the number of call centers is hard to estimate, the number of workers employed by call centers is even more difficult to determine. According to the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), the offshore service sector employs 1.4% of the Costa Rican labor force, with contact centers employing about 50% of this offshore service sector. With a total work force of 2.3 million in Costa Rica, this results in about 16,000 workers being employed by call centers. The CINDE report “Costa Rica Human Capital Cost – Services Sector” (PDF download) estimates the average wages for call center workers, as follows: Job Position Monthly
Average Monthly Average +
Mandatory Benefits
Call Center Clerk $533 $717
Contact Center Manager $4323 $5814
Contact Center Quality Inspector $1320 $1775
Contact Center Team Leader $1623 $2183
Intermediate Bilingual Agent $981 $1320
Junior Bilingual Agent $952 $1281
Spanish Agent $767 $1032
Senior Bilingual Agent $1019 $1370
Workforce Coordinator $2317 $3116

The above table reflects the average salaries for September 2011, when the exchange rate was 510 colones equaled one US Dollar. The Mandatory Benefits includes the Christmas Bonus, which is equal to one month of pay.

The A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index for 2011 ranks Costa Rica as #19 in the world for outsourcing, and #4 in Latin America. The GSLI report points out that cost competitiveness is becoming a major challenge for Costa Rica. Nearshore Americas, in their article “Latin America’s Ranking Reflects, ‘Intensifying’ of IT, BPO Skill,” points out that El Salvador and Honduras are leveraging their lower labor costs to attract nearshore business. While price competition presents a serious challenge, Costa Rica still holds an edge according to CR Technology Insight, which points out that Costa Rica is #1 for innovation in Latin America, #3 for network readiness, #3 for property rights index, and #4 for high technology exporter.

The recent article on smartphone growth statistics illustrates the growing importance of smartphones on purchase decisions by consumers. The smartphone shortens the time between seeing a product of interest and acting on the decision to purchase the product. Once the consumer fills out a request, or contacts an 800 number, the call center comes into play. The call center acts either as an order processing center, or qualifies the lead. The qualified lead is then passed to either the client, or another part of the call center operation. Marketing to a potential customer, who has expressed an interest in a product, generates far more sales than attempts at marketing using “cold call” lists.

Internet forums and discussions on social media services, such as Facebook, created a self-help culture. This phenomenon reflects the frustration of many consumers, whose contact at a help desk does not speak good English. Consumers want an answer, and want one that they can understand. In many cases, the self-help groups may solve the problems. Without the presence of an official company representative, these forums may also give misinformation. In these cases, the work for the help desk representative is more complicated, as they must correct the misinformation, and then provide the correct solution. Help desks will remain as a vital operation for call centers, as they are the official company representative, who can also take corrective actions, such as authorizations for return, or corrections to billings. In both quality of English language speakers and understanding of technology, Costa Rica has an advantage over call centers located in the Philippines and India.

In terms of outsourcing, call centers are part of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). BPO includes many other business process, such as accounting, back office operations, and payroll. BPO, itself, is part of services outsourcing. Other services outsourcing areas are Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), and the new area of Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO). There are Costa Rica businesses involved in all areas of service outsourcing.

I wish to thank Richard Blank of Costa Rica’s Call Centers for sharing his knowledge of call centers in Costa Rica, and for acting as a soundboard for my ideas on this article.

Direct Sales Wahm opportunities

There are hundreds of direct sales companies that offer Wahms the ability to make money and stay home with their children at the same time. When you work in direct sales you are an independent contractor for a company. You are in charge of selling their products or services, which you then get at a discount. Your income comes from the difference between the price you charge your customers and the price you pay for the items. You can also normally earn money from commissions off of the sales of your recruits.

Going with a direct sales company is a great way to start a work at home business. Direct sales companies offer stay at home moms an affordable way to start up their own business. There are very little costs involved. Normally a starter kit can be purchased for $100 to $200. Compare that with opening a regular store that will cost thousands. Some companies even offer the opportunity to earn a starter kit for free.

Working a direct sales business also means that you have flexibility in your work schedule and your income. You make all of the decisions on when you hold parties or demonstrations. Your income is directly proportionate to the efforts that you put into your business. The more demonstrations you book and the more new clients you meet, the more you will make. You?ll also receive support and encouragement from fellow consultants. Weekly sales meetings help keep you motivated and give you fresh ideas for your business. You will network with other consultants for support and praise. Your up line or recruiter will also provide you with lots of help as you get your business started.

To be successful in direct sales, you?ll need to have great people skills. The products are really second to your personality. Your presence and your customer service will be what sell your items. You?ll also need to be very organized. As an independent sales rep, you?ll be in charge of tracking your sales and paying the appropriate taxes. You?ll need to schedule your parties, shows or demonstrations and follow up with your customers in a timely manner.

Once you?ve decided that direct sales is right for you, its time to choose while direct sales company you want to work with. It?s recommended that you choose a company that offers product that you already like or have experience with. The best salespeople are those who are enthusiastic about their products. Trying to sell something that you don?t use yourself or that you aren?t that interested in will make you appear insincere to your customers.

Think about your direct sales company choice in the long term. This will be your business that you put your name on, and you will invest your time and money in. Research your options thoroughly and make sure that you sign up with a trusted company. Don?t feel pressured by a sponsor to sign right away. This is your decision and it is up to you whether or not you want to join.

Also, make sure to ask a lot of questions. Know everything that you can about the company before you sign up. Understand the commission structure, how products are sold and if there are any monthly minimums. Make sure you understand how much your starter pack will cost and what the kit includes. Will there be anything else you need to buy immediately? Will you need to buy inventory? Understand how ordering works and how the products get to the customers.

If you are really serious about an opportunity, jump online and see what other consultants have to say about the company. Find out what customers are saying about the company. If there is more bad than good being said about a company and its consultants, then that?s a huge red flag. Also, visit the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau websites. They can give you information about the trustworthiness of a company.

Improve Sales by Outsourcing Call Centers

Outsourcing call centers are excellent methods of
generating sales and help current customers with
technical support and customer support issues for
several small, medium and large businesses.

Some larger companies have the time, resources and
money to put in place their own call centers but most
smaller and medium-sized businesses opt for a
streamline approach to call centers and choose to
outsource the needs of their call centers.

Helpful Tips on Outsourcing Call Centers

First off, if you are searching on ways to outsource a
call center, the business have to first decide on what
they are trying to achieve in the course of action.

Most businesses are looking for low cost methods to
either sell goods or provide support for customers.
The reason why most businesses choose to outsource
call centers is generally due to the low cost.

On the business side, outsourcing call centers takes
careful decision making and analysis, as well as
discussion and result on the outsourcing side.

For example, even before a business makes a decision
to deal with a call center with an outsourcing firm,
it must first see its business needs and comprehend
how the new service will either generate sales or
enhance customer satisfaction, thus developing
customer retention and limiting customer churn.

In case the business realizes what kinds of services
it requires, the business normally bids from call
center outsource services. The bidding process removes
several of the contractors that cannot meet the
qualifications, labor and technological requirements
of the business.

Once a call center is contracted for services with a
business, a deeper consultation takes place wherein
the business and the outsource work together in order
to create a solution that can either generate sales
for services or products or provide customers with
support for technical or billing products.

There are several call center outsourcing companies
available and as a business seeking solutions, it is
your job to contract with one of them and choose the
one that can deliver results you desire.

Since each outsource call center company offer a
different product, the best option is to analyze the
specific needs and perform plenty of researches to
locate a match with a company that can fulfill the
business?s needs.

How to Reduce Turnovers and Retain Manpower

A turnover or churn normally reflects the percentage
of customer service representatives that leave a call
center in a specified period. This is the most common
problem of call centers.

Additionally, this factor plays a role in reducing the
quality, increasing recruitment and training costs,
and reducing the marketability of a call center
operation.

In order to reduce turnovers, appropriate planning and
tracking and figuring out the main cause of the event
is necessary. You can start by hiring the right
people. This can be done by developing a profile of
the team members that have been with the company for
some time and are happy and productive. Always look
for characteristics that can match that profile
whenever assessing new applicants.

Improving the line managers is also a good help. Train
line managers on how to supervise his or her team
members for attaining superior productivity. Teach
them that they can manage without being controlling or
critical. Honing their soft skills, monitoring
performance and rewarding them for enhanced
productivity can usually diminish high turnover rates.

We at Virtual Outsourcing Solutions are located in Costa
Rica.  You can hire and train work at home contractors through
us, or, if you have the need to hire a larger workforce in
a central location, we can consult with you to help you locate
a call center here that will fit your needs.

By consulting with us, you will not be talking to a call center
sales represetative trying to sell you on their call center,
but will be cotracting with a disinterested third party who
knows the local market, and can give you the pros and cons
of working with the various call centers here.

So, whether you are planning to hire just one work at home
contractor, or need to hire several dozen in a more traditional
environment, we are here to help you find the right fit for
your business.