Your Home Improvement Project and Internet Resources

The Internet is a great resource for home improvement ideas. Seemingly endless, there are thousands of sites with how-to information, contacts for local contractors, reviews of services in your area and web communities devoted to home improvement and renovation projects. Unfortunately, it can be an overwhelming amount of information to sort through. Keep reading to learn about different sources of home improvement information on the Internet as well as how to access them.

1. Business Finders

You can use mapping sites like GoogleMaps or MapQuest to find local contractors and hardware stores near you. From there, you can browse their web sites, get a feel for the business or also look for reviews. If you’re curious what other consumers had to say concerning a prospective plumber, try using a search engine to search for his name or business name along with the word “review.” For example, if his name is Bob Smith, try searching for “Bob +Smith +Plumber +Review” to get accurate results.

2. Online Quotations

Many providers offer online quoting services. This can be a great way to gain an idea of a project’s price along with an estimated cost of materials. Even if you’re just in the budget and drafting stage, online quotes are a great tool to provide you a fairly accurate idea about cost.

3. How-To’s and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Information

Many web sites offer expertise articles or step-by-step DIY instructions for everything from how to hang a picture to how to frame a house. Before investing in information from an online source, check a few different pages just to cross check their opinions and recommendations as well.

4. Product Reviews

If you’re thinking about buying new home improvement equipment -like a new set of power tools or a table saw – online product reviews are great. Written by customers like you, they tell you the pros and cons of each product while rating factors such as price, durability, power and ease of use. Before you purchase a new home improvement tool, check the online product reviews.

5. Web Communities

Message boards, forums and web communities are all great ways to connect with other home improvement enthusiasts. They’re also fantastic for getting a specific question answered. Think of posting a question on a forum as similar to walking into a busy hardware store and asking everybody there for advice. You’ll get a lot of answers from people with varying levels of home improvement experience, ranging from experts to home improvement DIY hobbyists.

Online Home Based Business Opportunity – How to Find the Right Making-Money Online Opportunity

You might be surprised to see people leaving their day jobs and earn tremendous amount of money from their newly established online home based business. Those skeptical ones think that those who make such a huge profit depend on sheer luck. Since you’re influenced by such assumption, you won’t have the initiative to leave the “comfort zone” and succumbing to the dissatisfaction of your working environment, in a ruthless rat-race.

In fact, those who have made thousands of dollars from their own business don’t solely depend on sheer luck – they have made it because they are capable to find the right making-money online opportunity!

How they actually find the right business opportunity? Follow these tips below:

Tip #1: Identify your passion – Hearing your own “inner-voice”

In the beginning, you have to be truthful to yourself and ask yourself – What is my passion? What am I capable of? For instance, if your main interest is selling your own product – probably setting an online store suits you most. If you prefer earning commission from sales of affiliate products – then, you should build affiliate marketing business. If you like sharing interesting information to internet users – thus, it’s appropriate to set up a web publishing business.

In short, focus on your strengths – not on improving your weaknesses.

Tip #2: Finding a “mentor”

At this point, it’s not having a real “mentor”, it’s actually searching for experienced people who have are willing to share their experiences, as well as comprehensive methods that help them to develop a profitable home based business. The best place is to follow such personal journal-like post threads in internet business forums – personally, I would recommend WarriorForum.com. You can ask related questions or send personal messages to them when they are ‘offline’.

Don’t be tempted by some internet marketers’ approach who is offering “Making-Money Online Fast” products – because building a successful internet business does not happen overnight, it requires the 4-key approach which is Learn, Test, Evaluate, and Improve.

Tip #3: Learn, Test, Evaluate, and Improve – the 4-key approach of starting a profitable business

Many successful entrepreneurs have something in common – the 4-key approach of building a money-making business. Here’s the elaboration of this 4-key approach:

Start with “Learn” – most important that you get related resources from internet forums, or from your competitors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to experienced internet forum users, and try to figure out ways to outsmart your competitors of your niche. Extract any important information from them and organize them into proper places. Make sure this information comes handy when you need them.

Then, “Test” – based on the information that you obtained, start applying those opportunities that tested by experienced home based business owners. Many newbies failed to initiate their new businesses because they were too hesitate to test any possible opportunities that work. Basically, a business can only become successful one if you’ve found the right opportunity.

Next is “Evaluate” – Not all opportunities work all the time and sometimes the results can be devastating. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate your progress, and develop any possible solutions – it’s like doing a math test, you need to figure out any possible ways to solve a problem, it can be a long or a short one – as long as it can fix the problem for good.

Lastly, “Improve” – it means finding solutions that can improve your online home business opportunities work. It requires hard work, persistent and faith – these values are essential of making your business work on the long term basis.

If you’re able to find your own online home based opportunities – work it out and strive for success!

6 Sure Fire Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off by a Home Improvement Contractor

Improving your home can be very rewarding. The return on investment is great in terms of both home value and the feeling you get from making your home a nice place to live. Some home improvement projects can easily be done on your own, but, some major projects, like getting a new roof, waterproofing your basement, or installing new windows, is best left to a professional contractor. But, this can be a scary prospect for many home owners. We all seem to know at least one person who hired a contractor then was ripped off. Here are 6 ways to avoid being scammed by a contractor and get the work done right.

1. Never, Ever Pay the Total Cost Up Front…Especially in Cash!

If the service provider is pushing you to pay for the whole job up front in cash, you can be sure that they’re scamming you.

Paying a deposit is one thing, after all, the contractor has to be sure that HE’S not getting scammed too. But, to pay for the entire job all at once in cash (even if they give you a written receipt) is a huge mistake. Checks and credit cards both provide a paper trail. This way, if you do get ripped off, you can get your money back. If you have to sue, you have proof that you paid for a service.

2. Don’t Fall for Door to Door Marketing

Local business rarely send someone door to door. It’s a cheap, easy way to market but it’s considered highly intrusive. So, most good local business avoid it like the plague.

Sure, sometimes a small business that’s bootstrapping it’s marketing may come knocking, but, it’s best to avoid this unless you know for sure that they have a good reputation in the town or city in which you live.

3. Contractor Offers Huge Savings Because They Have “Left Over Materials” From Another Job

Here is a classic move by rip off artists. They come to you, under bid everyone else by a huge margin and justify it because they have left over materials from “a job a few blocks away.” This is a clear warning sign of a fly-by-night operator. Sometimes savings that big really are too good to be true. Avoid this ploy at all costs!

4. They Won’t Give You The Necessary Permits & Documents

Failure to provide the necessary paperwork from the county or city office is another sign that the contractor does not deal locally and doesn’t plan on spending a lot of time in the area either. It indicates that the business is looking to avoid contact with the local brass and that they are looking to make a quick score before skipping town.

5. Push You Into Getting Financing with Their Lender

Here’s another big one. They sold you on the job and that they offer financing…but, the want you to ONLY use their lender. They’re really pushy about it…

Don’t fall for it. Many home owners have fallen for this trick and unknowingly signed off on home equity loans, and weird, costly monthly payment programs added on to the cost of the job. You should be free to seek out the best rate for your home improvement project’s financing.

6. Talk to Other Home Owners in the Neighborhood

This is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting scammed or ripped off by a home improvement contractor.

Simply go out and ask around. While there are sites like Angies’s List that rate service providers, nothing beats word of mouth from local home owners. Get out there and see what the word on the street is about the business. This is the best guide to quality you’ll find.

How To Prepare Yourself To Succeed In a Work From Home MLM Business

Have you just joined a work from home MLM business? Are you ready to take action? Would you go all out and do whatever it takes? Are you prepared for the challenges in the business?

Here are some advice.

Have The Right Attitude

Unlike traditional business, you do not need a large capital to set up a work from home MLM business. That is why many people go into MLM business thinking that they will just give it a try. How can they be successful if they are not committed to do whatever it takes. You need to be committed and have the determination to succeed. You need to have confidence in yourself. Your prospects will not join you if they see that you have no confidence. It’s also important to have a positive attitude at all time and stay around with positive people. Only people who are positive can succeed in achieving what they want. Don’t expect to see an immediate income in your work from home MLM business. You have to build it up slowly. You need to have patience. Give it some time.

Know why you are in MLM business and set your goals

Ask yourself “Why do you want to start a work from home MLM business and where are you going from here?” Create a compelling vision for yourself. Set your goals. Make sure they are specific, measurable and with a timeframe. Ask yourself “How different will your life be when you reach a certain level of success?” You will be able to come up with a list of answers. Write those down and revisit them every day. Visualize yourself enjoying the fruits of your achievement. You can also create some pictures of your dreams and hang it on the wall where you can see it everyday. These pictures will remind you of your dreams and keep you motivated. You will then have the magic power to overcome any obstacles and achieve success.

Have Passion To Help Others

In network marketing, you will only succeed when you help others succeed. You need to have the passion to help others achieve what they want in whatever way you can. With passion, you will enjoy what you are doing everyday. You will build good rapport with people around you and they will be attracted to you. Your business will grow as you help others achieve their dreams.

Improve Yourself

You need to constantly improve your knowledge and skills. Attend courses and read books that help you to improve your business and yourself. Make a note of the things you need to improve and focus on them. Avoid getting overwhelmed by the vast amount of information available to you on the internet.

Get Into Action

Your vision will remain just a vision without action. Stop procrastinating and take action. Plan a success strategy for your work from home MLM business. Work towards your goals. Bring your dreams to life!

Once you get into action, you are bound to encounter some obstacles. Keep telling yourself “Don’t give up!” Your perseverance will pay off. As you improve yourself and have passion to help others, you will attract more people to you. Keep yourself motivated everyday by setting your goals and constantly reminding yourself why you are in work from home MLM business. Overcome all obstacles and strive for success. With positive attitude and determination, you will be able to achieve success very soon.