Can American Idol Help You Become a Superstar in Your Home Based Business?

As the next season of American Idol gets under way, we can all learn some marketing lessons from the show. Marketing lessons that can be applied to your home based business, or any business. Here’s what I, and others, have picked up from watching the show:

*Talent wins out over outrageous showmanship without talent. Substance wins out over appearances without substance. In your business, your marketing should have an element of showmanship or entertainment. But, make sure the main product or service you offer also gives your customers real value and shares your talent, knowledge, and experience.

*The winners have lived the expression “Practice Makes Perfect”. They have practiced, practiced, and practiced some more until their performances are near perfect. Don’t expect your first attempt at starting a business to be wildly successful right off the bat. Be a little patient with yourself and your business. Even “failures” in your business should be viewed as “practice” that will get you to success faster.

*Many of the winners have found and used a mentor. Someone who encourages them and helps them be their best. Someone who has already succeeded in doing what they want to do, and is willing to share their wisdom and experience. Find a mentor who has already succeeded at the business you want to have and learn from them. Buy and read their books. Subscribe to their email newsletter. Read their blog. Join their membership site. Then, act on what you learn and apply it to your own business.

*The winners learn from being criticised. They listen to the criticism and improve their next performance. Improve your business by listening to your customers as they tell you what you may be doing wrong, or how your products could be made better. Don’t take their criticism personally. Listen, learn, and improve.

*Winners learn what doesn’t work, and are not afraid to ditch that and try something else in their next performance. Learn what doesn’t work in your business. Try another approach until you find something that does work. As I mentioned above, failures are not really failures. They are just part of “practice makes perfect” as you move toward your best business performance.

*Winners start in their niche, and then expand it to stretch their talent further. If you try to tackle multiple business models or niches at the same time, you may not succeed in any of them. Start with the one business you want to succeed in, and focus on one market niche. Make that a success. Then, duplicate that success in another niche. Soon, you will have multiple streams of income and will never look back.

*The winners usually have, or quickly develop, a fan base. People who will vote for them. You need to do the same in your business. Develop a list of prospects and customers who are likely to vote for you (buy your products). Get them on your list by offering them something valuable free if they sign up to your email list. Sell something valuable at a low price to develop a list of customers. Use email to follow up with prospects and customers to develop a long term relationship with them, and to turn them into real fans of you and your products.

*Winners share their personal stories. When did they first know they had their talent? How did they develop their talent? What are their dreams about sharing and succeeding with their talent? Share your personal stories with your prospects and customers. It will help them know, like, and trust you…three relationship factors that must be developed before they buy from you.

*And, finally, winners audition! As scared as they may be about going in front of the judges, they know that if they don’t audition, they will never get another chance to be on the show. You need to audition too! You have a business you want to start or grow. You have ideas, knowledge and experience you want to share. Get started now. Take action. If you don’t try out, you will never succeed. Be the next “American Idol” of home based business.

Popular Outdoor Furniture for Backyard Parties, Family Gatherings or Yard and Garden

It can be very accommodating and relaxing to have outdoor furniture in your yard. You can place furniture accessories in your front or back-yard depending on how much space you have. Outdoor furniture is useful for when you have outdoor parties, family gatherings or just a place for the family to hang out and spend time together. Some popular backyard furniture accessories to purchase include cedar bridges, picnic tables, cedar gliders or garden benches.

Picnic tables are great for gatherings with friends or families when you are hosting a barbeque or just a time to gather together and chat. When you have a few of them, children can sit at tables with each other to play games or eat and the adults can enjoy some cards and drinks together. Picnic tables can be especially cozy if you add a few umbrellas to keep out harmful sun rays too. To keep from getting splinters or to protect from hazardous weather conditions, you might think about purchasing a table cover your picnic table too.

If you have a talented carpenter in the family, you can build your own garden bridge or picnic table built to your requested customizations. Although, if you don’t have this luxury, you can still purchase noteworthy garden bridges, picnic tables or other quality outdoor furniture at home and garden centers and websites.

There are also a variety of picnic tables that you can buy as well. Some of these types include wooden picnic table with attached benches or moveable benches or with additional high back chairs. While you may not be able to buy them in one piece, some may require some assembly. Be sure you read the directions carefully!

Another relaxing piece of backyard furniture to own are cedar gliders. Cedar gliders can look almost rustic like or even have a country-type style. They are similar to a porch swing, but the main difference is that they sit on the ground. While you are relaxing in the glider, you simply glide back and forth just as you would in a swing. These are perfect for a lazy day of reading your favorite book in the yard. If you are looking for some quite privacy, you can also place on of these under a tree for some shade or in a place in your yard where you won’t be extremely close to the neighbors. After some time gliding away in one of these, in might even make a nice chatting place too. If you have multiple members in your family, you can always purchase a couple of these to sit in-one for the children and then the other for adults if you don’t want to buy one directly from a home and garden store, some specialized furniture stores might build one with custom sizes that you choose. You can have a large or small one-or perhaps even a combination of gliders built.

Garden benches are pretty accessories to place in a flower garden. These look beautiful sitting in a garden full of colorful flowers. Garden benches can be created just for decoration or they also can be an extra item to sit on in the yard. You can buy large or small garden benches, depending on what you will be using it for. If it will be used for relaxing, you might want to buy a larger one. For cute decorations, small garden benches will look lovely in any spring or summer flower garden. Garden benches can be made of cedar, bamboo, aluminum or even concrete. When you are buying a garden bench, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First you want to measure the area that you plan on placing the bench. This will help you decide on the size that you will need. Then you also need to keep your budget in mind so that you have an idea of how much money that you are willing to spend. Last of all, you can think of what type of material you want your garden bench to be made of. Once you have all of these questions answered, you can pick out the perfect bench for your garden.

All of these types of furniture make wonderful accessories to any front or back-yard. They are ideal for relaxing, family gathering or for just decoration. Whatever the cause for the purchase, all of them will look great, no matter where you place them.

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The Natural Benefits of Wooden Garden Furniture

Outdoor garden furniture made of wood are the most preferable outdoor furniture products. The large variety of woods given by nature provide a rich source for diversity: garden benches for instance can be found of many different materials but the natural variety wood presents can’t be reached by any other material. Favourite garden furniture sorts are Pine, Red Wood, Oak-wood, Maple and Teak. All of these have their particular preferences, for each of them there is a particular demand according to their versatile suitability.

Oak-wood, well known for it’s almost eternal durability, is highly estimated by the Amish artisans who fabricate not only everlasting but also the most beautiful furniture. It’s outstanding and pleasant appearance makes oak-wood one of the most liked materials for garden furniture. Uniqueness, that’s what the Amish fabricates stand for, relates also to the coloring of garden furniture. This is why each piece should keep it’s own natural color and therefore clear finish is not accepted by them.

Red Wood is great for patio furnishing and suits especially for garden benches, chairs and outdoor swings because of it’s beautiful color and lower weight. Some prefer Chinese red wood for it’s unique qualities. Wood grain and coloring in red or cherry wood are of particular beauty due to their natural variations. Not even two pieces of wood are identical and so are the furniture pieces made from those respective woods. Unique characteristic in wooden furniture can emerge just by giving prominence to the material they’re made from.

A very precious wood is Teak. If you choose teak furnishing your patio and outdoor area can become very expensive. However the durability and beauty makes teak pieces often be estimated as collectors items. Known by collectors of antiques as quite a finding teak furniture can last centuries.

The wood of the Maple tree for many people is the most attractive. Maple wood furniture pieces add a special touch to your patio. Because of the particular delicacy of this wood it is advisable to use it only on a porch, built in patio or deck. Maple is of unsurpassed beauty but naturally of low resistance to the elements so it is better not to put it in the open.

Most people who furnish their patio or garden like using some sort of wooden garden benches and furniture sets because they are economical to use. The beautiful ambiance wood brings about for your home and garden makes owning wood garden furniture highly recommended. Wrought iron garden furniture are very popular as well and some people prefer a combination of both wrought iron and wood to decorate their patio and garden.

Joiner’s workshops that fabricate handmade wooden furniture are mostly very specialized and produce their pieces with high quality handicraft art. They offer uniqueness as a special value that is well worth a higher price and many customers are willing to pay more for this reason. On the other hand big manufacturers today are able to produce very beautiful and high quality replications for astonishing low prices. This makes it possible that also the budget minded individual can afford an elegant and tasteful selection of garden benches, tables, seats and all those little things that give your home more quality of life.

How to Avoid Home Improvement Fraud

When it comes to home construction, there are thousands of general contractors to choose from. The best way to narrow down the reputable contractors from the not-so-reputable ones is to do your research, ask the right questions, demand proof of credentials, and choose a contractor that works specifically in the field you need. For example, if you need roof replacement, choose a licensed roofing contractor rather than a home remodeling contractor. A vague job description can mean they specialize in a wide array of construction projects. Instead, you want a contractor who operates their business with an acute focus on roof repair and replacement.

One of the biggest problems in the home construction industry are contractor scams. It is critical to always beware of sneaky home improvement scams because they are very common. They can easily cost a homeowner thousands of dollars if they fall victim to the dishonesties. Fortunately, anyone can avoid becoming a victim of home improvement scams with the proper knowledge and attitude. Continue reading to learn some important information about identifying these kinds of scams, protecting yourself from false loans, and who to turn to if you have a bad experience with an unethical contractor.

Signs That a Contractor is Trying to Swindle You:

– They knock door-to-door and offer their business.

– They come to your door and offer you discounts for referring other clients.

– They tell you they can give you a deal because they happen to have excess materials leftover from another job.

– They give ultimatums or pressure you into making an immediate decision.

– They only accept cash payments and/or request that you pay all fees upfront.

– They know a lender and recommend that you borrow money from them.

– They tell you to get the required building permits for the work.

– They tell you that your property’s work is going to be a “demonstration.”

– They offer a lifetime warranty or improbable long-term guarantee.

– You cannot find their business number or name listed in any local directories.

Even just one of these signs is an indication that you are not working with a responsible or experienced contractor. Furthermore, you must beware of a similar scam with loans. Home improvement loan cons are just as common and detrimental. This can lead to you unknowingly signing a home equity loan with incredibly high interest rates, points, and fees. And since the contractor has already been paid by this loan, they can lose interest in the work and fail to do a good job; or worse, not complete the work at all.

How to Report a Bad Experience

If you have a bad experience like this with a contractor, first try to work it out with them. After any phone conversations, mail a certified letter to them, and in it, request a receipt. Then keep copies of all records. This paper trail is your record that the company or contractor received your letter. If this does not work, you still have other options.

You can to report them to certain industry organizations, and possibly earn some sort of recompense. This includes the state attorney general, the local consumer protection office, the local home builders association, the local media’s “call for action” lines, and various dispute resolution programs in your town.