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Realtors in America’s Worst Housing Markets Share their Success Secrets

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Since the economic bubble burst in 2007, housing markets all over the country have taken a huge hit — particularly in once-booming places like Florida, California, and Arizona, where average home sale prices have dropped by more than 50 percent in some cases. Still, some real estate agents are turning the recession into a lucrative selling opportunity. Here are some of their innovative sales strategies.

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In the Trenches: To Train or Not To Train?

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Lately, I-ve been thinking a lot about how to fill a need in our company, and I-m having trouble finding the perfect solution. The problem is that we need someone with a specific piece of knowledge, and it-s not something that-s quick and easy to train someone how to do.

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How To Win Big by Giving Stuff Away

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In October 2009, a fledgling newbie in the world of social media decided to invest $4,000 into starting a new website called Social Media Examiner. Offering rich, pertinent, and always free-of-charge content related to social media and online marketing, the site resonated with audiences immediately.

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How to Engage Employees in Green Initiatives

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Making the choice to green your business is a significant step towards sustainability, but engaging your staff in the process is equally important for ensuring success with your goals. Employees that are committed to your initiatives will help to maintain momentum when going green, will give everyone at your business a sense of ownership and pride in your achievements, and will help with delegating tasks and distributing projects so everyone can contribute to your sustainability efforts.

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The -Queen of Condiments- Dishes About Being a Foodpreneur

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Global Industry Analysts predicts that overall sales of condiments, sauces, dressing, and seasonings will reach $72 billion by 2015. Twenty-three years ago, before America’s condiment craze really began, Lisa Lamme opened Le Saucier, the country’s first shop focused on hot sauces.

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How One Small Doctors- Office Uses Facebook

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Click through a collection of Facebook Pages and you-re likely to see a lot of retail, entertainment, and other consumer-focused small businesses trying to get the word out. But an OB-GYN? How does Facebook work for a medical practice?

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In the Trenches: When Should I Blog?

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It seems like an odd thing to think about, but honestly, I struggle a lot with deciding how often to blog about my business. Since the blog preceded the business, writing about the business too often runs the risk of pushing people away. On the flip side, nobody is paying to read my blog, so it-s a delicate dance to find the happy medium.

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How to Avoid Telemarketing Scams. SCAMS: SPECIAL INVESTIGATION SERIES

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By David McDonough

Monday, November 22, 2004; 7:40pm EST

How to Avoid Telemarketing Scams

Offers of amazing investments and too-good-to-be-true offers are warning signs of telephone fraud. According to the Federal Trade Commission, telemarketing fraud now costs Americans at least $40 billion a year.

Some of the most common scams include:

Prize offers: The National Fraud Information Center lists prize or sweepstakes offers as the number one telemarketing scam. Usually you have to do something to get your free prize, such as buy products you don't really want or give your credit card number, 'just for verification.'

Cross-border telephone calls:

You receive a message on your voice mail or answering machine urging you to call a number in the 809 or other unfamiliar area code. The call may claim to concern an overdue account or a sick relative. In reality, the call is a fraud. You're being asked to call a pay-per-call service in the Caribbean, similar to a 900 number, with charges that could exceed $25.

Travel packages:

Free or low cost vacations can end up costing you a bundle. Often the promoted travel deal requires you to pay hidden charges for either an expensive hotel room or for the full cost of travel for the second person.

Investments:

Consumers lose millions of dollars to telemarketed 'get rich quick' schemes that involve gemstones, rare coins, oil and gas leases, interactive TV licenses and other business opportunities.

Recovery room ploys:

If you've fallen prey to any of the above scams, you could get a call promising to get back or 'recover' the money you've already lost. Of course, this comes at a price.

How to identify telephone fraud

Beware, fraudulent telemarketers often feed their potential victims the same lines. If you hear one of the following messages the best thing to do is say 'no thank you' and end the call.

Act Now ' this offer is only good for a limited time

You must send money, offer a credit card or bank account number

He/she offers to have someone pick up the payment from your home

You've won a free prize or trip, all you need to do is take care of the 'postage and handling,' or other miscellaneous charges

How to avoid a telemarketing scam

Do not buy from an unfamiliar company ' If you are unfamiliar with the company or organization, ask that they send you information about the products or services it offers. The Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau are great resources to check a company's licensing and consumer complaint record.

Do not be pressured into a decision ' Even if the offer being presented to you has a time limit, don't give in to the high-pressure tactic unless you are comfortable with the company and the offer. If you accept an offer because it is a 'One time deal' or your 'Last chance,' you are most likely to be left holding a bill.

Do not give out your credit card, social security number, checking account number or other personal information to unfamiliar companies. You would be surprised how little information scam artists need to make unauthorized charges or alter your financial identity.

Do put your name on the 'do not call' list to prevent a telemarketer from calling you again. Go to this link http://www. donotcall. gov/ to add your number to the National do not call list.

Do keep a list of a company's name and the date you requested to be put on its 'do not call' list. Keep a list of those names and report telemarketers that continue to call you.

Do exercise your right to end a conversation with an individual representing an unfamiliar company or using pushy tactics to sell you a service or product.

Who to call for help:

If an offer sounds suspicious, or if you have been victimized by a fraudulent telemarketer, there are resources available to help you.

National Fraud Information Center 1-800-876-7060 (toll free)

Federal Communications Commission 1-888-225-5322 (toll free)

Federal Trade Commission 1-877-382-4357 (toll free)

About the Author

Webmaster and owner of TheLowestRates. Com, LLC Your residential long distance phone service internet and travel source.

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How Small Businesses Cash in on County Fairs

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The summer months are designed for community activities. Families escape the heat at the local pool, cheer on their local baseball team at the ballpark, and seek out entertainment and amusement at the county fair. The age-old tradition of the county fair encourages a -buy local- mentality with local businesses occupying many of the vendor booths. In this infographic, we look at how small businesses cash in on these timeless happenings. Click the infographic for an enlarged view.

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Sipping N- Painting Wins Intuit-s $50,000 Grand Prize

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Sipping N- Painting has won the $50,000 Grand Prize in Intuit-s Love A Local Business grant competition. Just last week, the company won our June grant and became one of three finalists to win an additional grant. Our judge, Shana Rawlings of Harmony in Hooves, says she had a very difficult time deciding. But, in the end, she decided that Sipping N- Painting would be the Grand Prize winner.

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Young Ambition: How a 13-Year-Old Thinks About Business

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Knowing how much passion and gusto it takes to be an entrepreneur, it doesn-t surprise me that a kid can channel the entrepreneurial spirit - after all, kids can be the most daring and energetic people. However, it-s surprising to see a young teenager actually execute on an entrepreneurial venture with the focus and determination of an adult whose livelihood depends on its success.

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Sustainability as a Core Business Value: PlayNetwork Goes Green

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Saving money is a great benefit of going green, but it’s only one of many reasons that companies choose to pursue sustainability initiatives. Some, like Green Business Bureau member PlayNetwork, are simply dedicated to green practices as a part of their company’s core values. PlayNetwork creates a wide range of creative and innovative media for clients, including programming for music, * - , web radio, artist promotions and events, A/V systems, advertising networks, and XM satellite radio. Though these materials don’t necessarily have an environmental focus, the company has considered the environmental impact of its actions since its founding in 1996.

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7 iPhone Games that Teach Business Skills

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Want to get a sense of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur before taking the plunge and starting your own business? There’s an app for that. Lots of them, in fact. While these games may not always be quite true to life — it’ll probably take more than a click to refinish your restaurant-s kitchen — they’ll help you gain an understanding of the juggling act that small business ownership requires. Here are seven of our iPhone favorites.

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Boosting Online Traffic without Google AdWords

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Google AdWords can provide great online exposure for some small businesses, but if you’re in an industry with a high cost per click (CPC), the tool may not be worth the money you’ll spend. Wired recently revealed the priciest 20 keyword categories on Google, based on CPC, and found that keywords like “insurance,” “loans,” “mortgage,- “attorneys,” and “credit” lead the pack on price, costing as much as $50 per click. While you might reason that these businesses typically involve a high lifetime customer value that justifies the cost, consider that arguably less profitable services like “classes” and “treatment” round out the top 20 most expensive words. And remember that with an AdWords campaign, nothing is guaranteed; you’ll pay Google for every click, whether any of them materialize into paying customers.

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How to Raise Prices without Raising Prices

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As I wrote this month’s check for my daughter’s art class, I didn’t blink twice about paying twice as much as I normally do. How’d they do that? They raised the price and I barely even noticed.

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Chris Guillebeau on the Art of Nonconformity

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Chris Guillebeau (@chrisguillebeau to his 60,000-plus Twitter followers) has the kind of lifestyle that many people only dream of. This globe-trotting entrepreneur is on a five-year personal quest to visit every country in the world and has been self-employed his entire adult life. He also penned the bestselling book, The Art of Nonconformity, and sells a variety of informational products through his website.

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How to Use Google+ for Business

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Google’s latest innovation, Google+ (indicated by a +1 icon on the web, or simply a + sign), has been released and is already making waves. At the core, Google+ is essentially a social network that allows you to “compartmentalize” your life and have more control over content you search for and share - which could change the future of small business marketing as we know it. Here’s a rundown on the +1 sign that-s changing the face of Google, and how to start using it.