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Finding Support For Your Home Based Business


By Peter Green

Business people often have what seems an insurmountable problem, but somehow with time and a little patients most issues seem to lessen or work themselves out in time.

Larger companies have experts in technical, marketing, PR and sales fields but for the one man or woman Internet business things seem to get beyond our knowledge level and outside our control.

As a one person business we often wear more than one hat. Simply put we are the secretary answering the phone, make appointments, write sales letters, build Web sites and do all the menial tasks like empting the rubbish bin, being the mail clerk to acting as a sales consultant and at the same time having the title of CEO.

How would you describe your duties if you operate a small Internet type Business.

Many people have a number of skills that lend themselves to operating a successful Business, but where do you turn for help in a difficult situation or you get out of your depth in removing an unwanted bug on your computers hard drive?

Depending on your field of knowledge and your problem there are indeed many places to look or to seek help.

Providing your computer hasn't totally died the Internet is one of, if not the biggest and best help resource you will ever find. You have the world (world wide web) at your finger tips.

There are literary hundreds of thousands of experts and tens of thousands of web pages written about your exact problem or the difficulty you are experiencing.

If you have money to throw at any problem that comes your way that's great, but for the average small business this is not always possible.

Properly approached, many experts will share their knowledge with you and will be glad to share, it knowing that they are helping a fellow Internet user in distress.

But first, before you ask for help it is always best practice to clearly work out the exact problem or symptoms even document them. If you want to perform a task involving your computer or something to do with a Web site, conduct a number of searches in different search engines and using different search phrases.

Just sometimes you will find the exact software you are looking for, but called something that you would not have thought to search for.

For example I have wanted to create a table containing a number of cells on a Web page with a 1 pixel boarder. Usually when you set a 1 pixel boarder in Dreamweaver for a layout table you end up with each cell having a boarder, thus having a 2 pixel wide boarder between cells.

Looking at the problem I found by accident by setting a background color for the layout table and setting a 1 pixel wide boarder and with a 1 pixel cell spacing. By not setting a boarder color, the background color showed through between the cell spacing providing the cell had a different color background to the layout table. Thus I have created a 1 pixel wide color boarder between cells.

My problem was that I was trying to change the boarder width which may or may not be able to be done, had I looked at other ways of achieving the same result. Now if I had sat down and wrote down my problem I may well have solved the problem, because it now looks so simple.

It's a bit like the monkey trying to get the apple out of a jar. The apple easily fits through the opening. The monkey has the mindset that he needs to use his hand to pull the apple out of the jar but when the monkey puts his hand in to grab the apple the opening in the top of the jar is not large enough for the monkeys fingers and the apple to come out together.

This was how some hunters used to catch monkeys as the monkey would not let the apple go, to his demise and capture.

Think outside the square, brain storm, analyze the problem. Once you have a clear picture of the problem you are then in a far better position to look for an answer.

By knowing exactly what you need the answer to is half the battle. Understanding how a search engine works, how it lists sites and how to best conduct a search is an art in itself and goes a long way to finding the answer.

If you are wanting the answer to anything relating to search engines, Web site building, software, computers and a whole range of other stuff, check if there is a forum on the subject. If there is, then all you need to do is join the forum and check to see if the subject is already covered or select the most likely forum heading to ask your question or to seek advice.

Many experts are happy to help others and remember at some stage in the past they probably asked the same question.

There are notice boards, Internet groups, networks and a range of interactive avenues where you can communicate with other Internet users with similar interests.

Here are a few to check out. Yahoo Groups, Ryze network, Google answers, Google Group,, ICQ Users, MSN users, AOL Groups.

If you belong to an Internet Company there will be FAQ or help pages and a contact email where you can seek support. Many companies now provide a forum for their members too.

When it comes to email and direct marketing there are so many so called experts who charge for their services or ebooks containing their new revelation on marketing. Much of this information is on the Internet and is free to access, the difficult part is discerning the gold nuggets of wisdom from the fools gold.

May your week be an enlightened one.