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For starters, mental preparation is key. Preparing your content, making it a priority and putting together a game plan will help jumpstart your marketing efforts. It's also important to create a calendar to keep track of content and posts and maintain consistency. Generating content ideas, automating them through websites such as Hootsuite and delegating tasks to various team members will help you run a smooth marketing operation.

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To start off, it's important to make sure your business is marketing heavily on a regular basis, whether times are good or bad. Deals and opportunities will continue to come your way if you are marketing consistently.

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Today, tens of thousands of people are considering starting a home based business, and for good reasons. On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being to their own home.

People who have been part of the traditional nine-to-five work force and are on the verge of retiring from that life are thinking of what to do next. The good news: Starting a homebased business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard.

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Your business plan is a blueprint for how your company is going to turn out. Write a solid, detailed business plan, and you’ll have a clear idea of how your first few years of operations will go -- you’ll even be able to use it as a tool to round up funding and attract new partners and hires.

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A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.

Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities. You want to get to a there, a point in the future (usually three to five years out) at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and increased assets. Your plan shows how you will get from here to there.

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If your content doesn’t provide readers with value, solve a problem, answer a question or entertain, then it doesn’t really serve a purpose. Have you ever had what you thought was a great post idea, but it failed to resonate or, more importantly, get shared? It’s frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Writing content that readers will love isn’t only about what you write, but how you write it. Here are four keys to help you unlock your creative juices and increase your chances for writing content that readers -- and Google -- will love.

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1. Focus “It’s been said that leadership is making important but unpopular decisions. That’s certainly a partial truth, but I think it underscores the importance of focus. To be a good leader, you cannot major in minor things, and you must be less distracted than your competition. To get the few critical things done, you must develop incredible selective ignorance. Otherwise, the trivial will drown you.” —Tim Ferriss, bestselling author, host of The Tim Ferriss Show

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We are creatures of habit. Everything we think, say and do is a result of deep-seated habits etched into our minds through years and years of repitious behavior. Those very same habits either help to propel us forward or to hinder our progress in life. In fact, the state and quality of our lives right now is a direct reflection of our daily habits.

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Now that you understand why you need a business plan and you've spent some time doing your homework gathering the information you need to create one, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get everything down on paper. The following pages will describe in detail the seven essential sections of a business plan: what you should include, what you shouldn't include, how to work the numbers and additional resources you can turn to for help. With that in mind, jump right in.

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Looking ahead to 2017, our picks for the most exciting franchise categories of the year include several that are going strong and show no signs of slowing, and a few that are beginning to ramp up to their true potential. You’ll find up-and-coming business opportunities such as computer coding for kids, trampoline parks and fusion hot dogs, as well as the tried-and-true: fitness studios, pet care,and disaster restoration. What do they all have in common?

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