One World Newsletter February 2005 Vol 2 No#1

Environmental, Social and Business Development Issues Facing Our World

Welcome back, once again to our 2005 edition of our newsletter "One World". This is a monthly publication dedicated to providing you with knowledge and information to raise your awareness about sustainable development issues facing us in the contemporary world.

Most of the issues discussed are from within Australia, however as the theme is "One World" we will be providing information from all over the world.

We know you are very busy, so want to thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. The information we provide you is comprehensive, concise and apposite.

We are a an independent consulting group and we are not affiliated with any religous or political organisations. Our religous and political irreverance is a fact we pride ourselves on.

Our mission is to raise your awareness on sustainablity issues throughout the World, through independent, factual information, helping you can make the right choices to empower yourself in the uncertain times ahead.

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With Regards

Tobi Nagy
Director of SDS Consulting

P.S. If you have any information regarding sustainable development issues that you would like to see published please forward it on or send it to us via email.

P.P.S. You feedback is also kindly appreciated.

Index _________________New? Would you like to subscribe now

1. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
What is IPM and how can it provide a healthier and safer food supply?

2. Importance of Mangroves Forests
Mangrove Forests around the world are dissappearing at an alarming rate

3. GM Food Crops- the issues and the facts
You make up your mind

4. U.S National Debt
How large is it and can it affect us?

5. Contemplating on starting an online business?
What does and doesn't sell online?

6. Six Signs of an Entrepreneur
How do you know if you have what it takes to start a business?

7. Previous editions of our newsletter

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1. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
What is IPM and how can it provide a healthier and safer food supply?

IPM is a range of methods used to control pest plants, animals and fungi. It is a management system that requires an integrated approach and emphasizes the use of natural alternatives wherever possible.

History of IPM
When chemical pesticides were first introduced in large quantities in the 1940s, they were seen as miracles of modern life. Now all the farmers had to do was spray their crops with DDT, or some other chemical, and they could achieve complete control. But within a couple of decades, problems began appearing. The most important of which is the environmental harm done by chemicals which are both toxic and persistent. Even 25 years after being almost totally banned in the U. S., DDT can still be found in the tissue of animals.

But even disregarding environmental concerns, there were a number of other factors that called into question the wisdom such uninhibited use of chemicals. First, when using an insecticide to control a pest, its natural predators are often killed off as well. This can have the unintended effect of actually causing an upswing in the pest population.

Second, many insects can very quickly develop populations resistant to a given chemical. Over time it was found that pests build resistance to pesticides through use, so larger concentrations were being used at more frequent intervals leading to more and more health and environmental problems.

And third, when one pest is eliminated the door is opened to others that were less apparent before their competition was killed off.

At first the solution to these problems seemed to be to just use more, or different, chemicals, but eventually it became obvious this was no more than a good way to line the pockets of chemical manufacturers.

IPM was developed and used where traditional methods of pest control have failed, become costly or have been detrimental to the environment or the health of people.

Key Features
· IPM anticipates and prevents pests from reaching damaging levels.
· It uses the most appropriate pest control measures for a given situation.
· It significantly reduces the need to use chemicals while providing the same, if not better, level of protection, however it does not completely eliminate their use.
· IPM works better when plantings and crops are viewed as an ecosystem and nature is used to help maintain a healthy balance in order to increase plant's resistance to pest attack.
· Decisions are made from scientific observations and statistical analysis.
· But more importantly, it involves deciding when to use IPM strategies as a good knowledge of the life cycle of the pest is required.
· IPM strategies cannot be implemented overnight (usually takes 2-3 years).

What methods are used?
There is a range of methods available and these include:
· Cultural management (e.g. canopy management and good sanitation practices in vineyards)
· Biological controls such as the trichogramma wasp
· Host resistance (e.g. planting varieties to withstand local conditions such as frost to increase their resistance)
· Biological pesticides (e.g. Mimic)
· Traditional pesticides

Components of IPM

1. Risk assessment
2. Scouting
3. Trapping
4. Identification
5. Reporting
6. Timing
7. Control

Where is it being used?
IPM is used in nearly all agricultural fields, but is especially effective for use in:
· Viticulture
· Cotton
· Wheat
· Fruit
· Vegetables
· Gardens

Key to success
· Constant monitoring, so that problems can be detected early
· Scouting of foliage both in "hot-spots" and randomly
· Trapping (e.g. pheromone traps) and monitoring
· Timing is critical for adequate control. All pests have lifecycle

What are the advantages of using IPM techniques

1. Reduced use of pesticides
2. Safer for use
3. Can lead to less resistance developed over time with traditional pesticides

What are the disadvantages of using IPM techniques

1. Expensive to set-up. It needs extensive observation of pests and a study of its life cycle
2. Often takes a long time to set-up (2-3 years)

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2. The Importance of Mangrove Forests
Mangroves around the world are disappearing.

Mangroves in Qamea Island Fiji Mangrove Forest in Beqa Island Fiji

Mangrove forests around the world have been disappearing at an alarming rate, as the world increases its appetite for fish and seafood. In the past, very little was understood about the complex ecosystem of the mangrove and the fish breeding habitiats it provides, and most have been cleared for farming, settlements, timber and even aesthetics.

Mangroves are a wide variety of plant species that are found in salty estuarine mudflats, all over the world. Mangroves are mainly found in the tropics with some 40 different species found there. However they can be found in temperate climates as far south as Southern Victoria (White Mangrove) in Australia.

Mangroves survive where most species of plants can't and are found in silty and salty soils that have low oxygen content. To survive in a low oxygen content envrionment, mangroves have an air uptake adaption called a "Pneumatophore". These are special protruding aerial root branches which are found sticking up out of the mudflats during low tide.

Mangroves have small yellow flowers and leathery leaves and play an especially important part in Pacific Islander's culture, providing food, medicines and timber for building and firewood.

Ecologically, Mangrove forests provide rich and complex breeding grounds and habitats for fish, which provides a major part of Pacific Islander's diet. Other species of animals include birds (such as egrets, kingfishers and sea-eagles), mammals such as "Flying Foxes", and other animals such as turtles, "mudskippers", crustaceans and crocodiles. Mangroves do not provide a habitat for mosquitos as is often thought, because mosquitos do not breed in salty water.

One major drawback of clearing mangroves is it has been discovered that it leads increased cyclone/hurricane damage because it provides a shelter break against wind and soil stabilisation, reducing the potentially devastating effect of cyclones upon coastal areas.

Luckily, people are now starting to understand the importance and benefits of mangrove forests and there are conservation and rehabilitation projects occuring around the world to protect the remaining mangroves and in some instances restore the mangroves, as the supply of fish stocks around the world start to decline through over fishing.

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3. Genetically Modified (GM) Crops- The issues and facts
You make up your own mind

Farmers throughout the world have a history of accepting and adopting new technology as fast as it becomes available. The massive rise in food production in the last century only came about after the widespread use of new chemicals, including herbicides, pesticides and artificial fertilisers.

When genetically modified (GM) technology emerged a couple of decades ago, once again many farmers saw this scientific advance as the way of the future, a method of producing more food with less chemicals.

Recently there has been a lot of controversy over the GM food, as a moratorium on GM crop production in some parts of Australia has been introduced in the short term, due to concerns regarding agricultural trade and the impact of not having GM free status.

What are the issues over GM food?
There are two main arguments over GM foods. Some scientists, backed by scientific study and trials, argue that GM crops are safe and should be used to develop more efficient agricultural systems to feed and relieve the hunger for the world, especially third world countries.

The other side of the argument is that we don't know what the GM crops are doing to the environment, over the long term. Once released into the environment, how can we stop the spread of plant drift and cross-pollination, which may lead to "super" plant hybrid species? For example, in canola, the drift of pollen can be over several kilometres, leading to possible cross-pollination with organic producers. How do we protect producers that wish to remain organic from these pollen drifts and "hybridisation" of plant species? Once released there is very little control and turning back.

Companies like Monsanto and Bayer cropscience are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on GM crops? It means that these companies have a patent on these GM crops, which virtually means the company owns that product and you have no right to replant that seed, leading to eventual monopolisation of the seed supply business, as other products are "bred out" or cross-pollinated.

Is this a wise thing to let the future of our food supply be handled by couple of corporations?

According to ABC TV Landline program (7/11/04) "Monsanto is responsible for the traits in 90% of the crops planted in American soil, and their cotton, corn and soybeans have made their way into millions of acres in more than a dozen countries, including Australia."

Monsanto also produces "Roundup" ready GM crops, which are tolerant to Monsanto's herbicide, Roundup (glyphosate), killing the weeds but not the crop plants. So Monsanto will be supplying the seed and the herbicide. Is this a conflict of interest, or very smart business practice?

The major result from monopolisation, is the loss of plant strains and varieties, as only the best, most efficient strains will be used for GM crop production. Over time, through natural selection and evolution, these limited strains and varieties will lead to decreased resistance and tolerance to pests, weeds and fungis, bringing in potentially more problems for food production. Doesn't this also mean just more herbicides, pesticides and fungicides sales for these companies?

What about the super weeds that have been produced? These are weeds that are already resistant to herbicides and may have natural genetic modification or mutation. Doesn't that just require larger doses of herbicide (i.e glyphosate), used more frequently to control the weeds? Glyphosate sales have been dramatically increasing over the past decade, as it gains more popularity. What does this indicate?

However, Monsanto's future no longer lies in chemicals. According to ABC TVs Landline program, 80% of Monsanto's business is now biotechnology and seeds.

Monsanto insists that farmers sign technological agreements that limit the reuse of seeds from one year to the next. And Monsanto takes the use and re-use of its seeds very seriously indeed, something Tennessee farmer, Kem Ralph is all too aware of.

Memphis farmer, Kem Ralph, spent three months in jail, as a result of Monsanto taking action against him for a "breach of conditions". What led to that jail sentence began six years ago. At the end of the 1998 planting season, having run out of his own saved seeds Kem Ralph went to his distributor to buy some more cotton and soy seeds.

And the distributor only had genetically modified seed. Not having a much of a choice, Mr Ralph went and bought the seed, which according to him, was "awfully expensive".

At the end of the season, Mr Ralph saved some of the seeds that came from his soy and cotton crops and planted them back the following year. "The next thing I knew this gentleman was knocking on my, was at my house here," he said. "He says that, 'You have been saving Monsanto seed'. "I said, 'How in the hell are they Monsanto seeds when they's the offsprings of mine after I plant them?'

Monsanto insists farmers sign a technology agreement when they purchase their GM seeds. Among other things, farmers agree "not to save any crop produced from this seed for planting and not to supply seed produced from this seed to anyone for planting."

Monsanto sued Mr Ralph for breaching that contract. With legal action in train, Mr Ralph burned some of his cottonseed and delivered some of the other cotton and soy seeds to friends and colleagues. He then lied to the court about what he had done with the stock.

In July 2003, he was jailed for three months for what was, in effect, perjury and destroying evidence. Mr Ralph did act improperly, there is no doubt about that, but there is one key issue here. A profit-making company is telling farmers they can't do what they have been doing for generations. That is, save seeds from their crops to plant out the following year. This is quite common for farmers to traditionally do this from generation to generation.

One thing complicates his case is Kem Ralph says he didn't sign the technology agreement that Monsanto says he breached. He says his signature was forged. It isn't unheard of for seed dealers to sign for customers. "Any idea who did sign the agreement?" Mr Ralph was asked. His reply: "Don't have any idea, it doesn't look anything like my signature." The writing Mr Ralph said: "looks like chicken mess. I mean I write, my hand's not that good but it ain't look nothing like my handwriting." However, he failed to convince the US Court of Appeals, who described his assertions of the signature being forged as "unpersuasive". Which comes down to the argument, do these companies wield too much power over agriculture?

There are some 380,000 growers in the United States that are licensed to use Monsanto's GM products

So why does Monsanto insist on farmers signing technology agreements? Kerry Preete is the vice-president of US crop production for Monsanto and is quick to defend his company's approach.

"There's several aspects to that technology agreement and one of those is to ensure that growers understand the stewardship and use standpoint and we ask the farmers to use the seed appropriately from an intellectual property standpoint and that's the purpose of the agreements," Mr Preete said.

He says it takes five to 10 years to get a small plant from one of these growth chambers through the breeding cycles and many regulatory hoops to the commercialisation stage. Tens of thousands of these experiments will not stack up to that. Only the best will see the light of day.

A single plant taken to commercialisation stage will have cost up to $100 million to get it there. Companies insist that they have to be able to recoup their investment. It does that by charging a technology fee when farmers purchase their seed, and claiming damages against farmers who re-use seed with the Monsanto GM traits.

In the U.S, there have been just under 100 cases where negotiation has broken down and Monsanto has taken legal action.

In Australia although we have moratoriums in most states regarding GM crops, however GM cotton has been grown for the past 6-7 years.

The fact that Australia this year will plant around a quarter of a million hectares to GM cotton this year, makes something of a mockery of the GM free status of particularly New South Wales, according to the University of California's Dr Rick Roush.
We don't eat cotton as such but we certainly do eat animals that have eaten cotton seed meal and we eat cotton seed oil. About 40 per cent of cooking oil comes from our cotton.

So does this mean we are already eating GM foods in Australia?
A report commissioned for Biotechnology Australia - found there has been a dramatic decline in the number of Australians who say they'd eat food derived from gene technology.
Just over half the respondents in 2003 believed they were already eating such foods and was also creating confusion in consumers due to our limited labelling laws.

In Australia our labelling laws allow the marketing of foods that were derived from genetically modified crops to go unlabelled if there is no detectable GM DNA in the final product.
What you probably didn't realise is that every time you get your fish and chips at the takeaway shop, or even if you purchase a bottle of vegetable oil, the chances are you a eating an oil made from genetically modified cotton. Until a couple of years ago, Australia produced more cottonseed oil than any other oil type. It's only just been overtaken by canola oil. Cotton seed oil is often used in fast foods and is also sold as vegetable oil in the supermarket.
It doesn't have to be labeled "gm" because it is highly refined and no longer contains any detectable GM DNA or protein.

So what are the benefits of using GM crops?

1. Companies can design a crop that is pest and disease resistant such as downy mildew resistant roses, gala apples that won't get black spot and corn that is resistant to rootworm

2. Beyond that is biopharmaceuticals - crops that produce vaccines for diseases like pneumonia. Currently there is no vaccine for this disease and there is an effort to get a vaccine for this viral pneumonia disease into a plant based product, like a tomato.

3. Scientists are now developing corn that can thrive in the cold and soybeans that can tolerate drought.

4. There's also a range of foods that can be made tastier and more nutritious.

5. Some products may have increased yields, however the main saving comes from the reduced use of hazardous herbicides and pesticides. Herbicides such as Trizine, (a known residual, aquatic pollutant and banned in the EU), as in the case of Canola, to non-residual herbicides, such as "Roundup" ready Canola.

Now that you have some facts, the choice is up to you to determine the real benefits and weigh them against the associated risks of GM products.

The argument for genetically modified crops is as varied as its end uses. However, what is certain is the more research needs to be carried out, about the long-term effects of these crops.

Who could have forseen that the internal combustion engine was going to change the world's climate, through global warming, when it was invented 150 years ago? How could we have possibly known at that time?

Source: ABC TV Landline program Oct/Nov 2004
For further information see: ABC TVs Landline website

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4. U.S National Debt
How large is it and can it effect us?

While the United States is spiralling out of debt, Robert Kiyosaki Author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" has stated in his book that the United States will be "broke by the year 2010", due to the massive debt levels encountered.

Morgan Stanley chief economist Stephen Roach at a meeting at Davos World Economic Forum, earlier this year, has warned "US consumers' debts are an accident waiting to happen". "This is an utterly insane way to run the world economy… You know that, we know that, but the [US] Federal Reserve is in denial about it" Roach said

Daniel Altman from the International Herald Tribune (February 12, 2005) has stated, "Some forecasters have said that the country [U.S] is heading for a credit crunch, brought on by doubts about its economic prospects and fears of ballooning federal deficits. But others see no reason for concern."

Figures released from the US treasury show that, since 1940, the U.S population has more than doubled yet the National debt has risen from $49 billion to over $7.6 trillion in January 2005.

Will Kiyosaki's, Altman's and Roach's predictions ring true and will it have repercussions for Australia, as it is burden with its own consumer-incurred credit card debt?

Credit card debt alone in Australia is AU$28 Billion, up 30% on last year. [source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, January 2005]. This is about $1,400 for man, woman and child. However this pales in comparison to the US National Debt.

Does this have implications for the world and capitalism in general? Is the US able to sustain this debt, or are we heading for one big mighty crunch in the near future? Are we unrealistic about the way we are living? Will we end up massively paying for it, or will everything sort itself out in the future?

Here is a snapshot of the U.S National Debt, with thanks to Ed Hall for providing all the following information.

U.S National Debt Clock
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 12 Feb 2005 at 2:28:21 AM GMT is estimated to be: $7,629,958,717,283.51

The estimated population of the United States is 295,565,727. so each citizen's share of this debt is $25,814.76.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $1.86 billion per day since September 30, 2004.

To whom is all this money owed? Who owns the Debt?
Here is a pie chart showing the makeup, or ownership, of the National Debt as of December 1998.

US National Debt Pie Chart, Source: US Treasury

The largest slice of the pie, over 40% (over $3 trillion), is owed to the Federal Reserve Bank and to other government accounts; that is, this part of the Debt is owed by one part of the government to another. The remaining 60% of the Debt, over $4.6 trillion, is privately held.

The above information is from the "Treasury Bulletin", a quarterly publication of the U.S. Treasury department's Financial Management Service. The Treasury Bulletin is the best place to find the latest information on this subject.

What is the difference between the Debt and the Deficit?
The National Debt is the total amount of money owed by the government; the federal budget deficit is the yearly amount by which spending exceeds revenue. Add up all the deficits (and subtract those few budget surpluses we've had) for the past 200+ years and you'll get the current National Debt.

Politicians love to crow "The deficit is down! The deficit is down!" like it's a great accomplishment. Don't be fooled. Reducing the deficit just means we're adding less to the Debt this year than we did last year. Big deal -- we're still adding to the Debt. When are we going to start seeing the Debt actually go down?

How has the US National Debt grown over time?
The National Debt on January 1st 1791 was just $75 million dollars. Today, it rises by that amount every hour or so.
The following graph shows how the National Debt has grown year by year since 1940 in actual dollar amounts, uncorrected for inflation:

Figure 2: US National  Debt by $ since 1940

This data was gathered from the U.S. Treasury department's web site.
From time to time, I've gotten e-mail saying that the above graph is flawed -- it's just showing normal inflation. Well, I took the Debt numbers from the above graph and converted them all to 2000 dollars. Picking a different year would not have changed the shape of the graph below, just its height:

Figure 3: US National Debt Corrected for Inflation (2000 dollars)

As you can see, except for a rise at the end of World War II, the Debt remained remarkably constant for nearly forty years when inflationary forces are taken into account. After 1983 however, with the notable exception of the Fiscal Years ending in September of 2000 and 2001, the trend has been upward even when inflation is taken into account.

For further details checkout:

Website: U.S National Debt Clock
Article: U.S. debt: Watch out for the domino effect, Daniel Altman, International Herald Tribune, February 12, 2005.
Article: Economists warn on US debt crisis, BBC News, January 26, 2005

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5. Contemplating on starting an online business?
What does and doesn't sell online?

If you are contemplating on starting an online business or just want to know what sells then read-on. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as merely offering your existing products and services on your website. As many "dotbomb" businesses discovered, not all products and services are attractive to the online consumer.

Your products have to be presented in a way that appeals to the customer, as well as providing a profit for you, of course. As a result, you have to consider:
· What doesn't sell well online
· What does sell successfully
· What selling strategies are required for a successful.

What doesn't sell online
Products that don't sell well over the Internet are frequently those requiring some interaction by the buyer before a purchase is made.
Additionally, buyers are reluctant to purchase online if they think this will inconvenience them in anyway. Consequently, products which don't sell are generally those that: Need to be touched, smelt, held, handled, tasted, etc in order to assess their worth.
Unless someone has seen a particular item in person, tested it out and knows exactly the style and model it is that they want, they're not as likely to go shopping online and buy it over the internet.

Also items that are not:
· Accompanied by sufficient information to reassure the customer about quality
· As convenient to purchase online as they are offline.
· Are not accompanied by a convenient way to return the product if it proves unsatisfactory.

Dress fabrics are a good example. A fabric purchaser usually goes through a process of touching, weighing, comparing colours, and assessing how the fabric hangs before making a final decision. They are unlikely to consider online fabric shopping.
However, this does not mean that all fabrics can't be sold online. Bulk quantities of fabric may well sell successfully if the buyer has used or previously had samples of the fabric.

What does sell online
On the other hand, the most successful products and services are those offering the consumer a benefit.
They want products that they are fairly familiar with or products that don't carry an element of surprise upon receiving them. In other words, they have a pretty good idea of what it is they are getting. Frequently, they are:
· Unique or usually difficult to locate products
· A known brand or product
· Are accompanied by considerable additional information to aid decision-making. (This is particularly true for more expensive items, such as electronic and other types of technology).
· Convenient to buy online.
· Shipping is generally fast and easy. (
This concept holds true for books, music, videos and CDs. They all sell very well).

For example, does very well because there's no more mystery to buying a book online than if they were in the book store purchasing the book. You can't feel or touch a book online but the internet might even be better because it offers reviews and ratings that you may not get in a bookstore.

Travel sells well online. Using the internet is easier than making a trip to the travel store and again, you know exactly what you are getting. The internet also makes it easy to comparison shop for the best ticket prices. Offering comparison shopping is a key factor to a successful business online and the internet has been a huge success in this area.

Items that are hard to find sell well online. If you offer a unique product that can't be found in stores people are more likely to purchase online. This is especially true for the more rural areas of the country where it's harder to find certain products. Here people will turn to the internet to find what they need.

For all other products there is virtually very little that does not sell online nowadays. Of course some things sell better than others.

Make buying convenient
Because today's pace of life is so hectic, people value anything which makes their lives easier. Most people will often take the easiest course of action when making a purchasing decision, even if this means the product ends up costing them slightly more than they would have paid elsewhere.
Convenience, therefore, is often the key as to why and where people choose to shop. It is unlikely consumers will change their existing shopping patterns unless they feel they will gain considerable benefit from doing so.

You should be able to analyse what will only sell if your customer can see, feel, touch, smell or taste, etc. On the other hand, some products, such as fruit and vegetables, are so common that the item can be chosen without any physical interaction. For instance, there has recently been an increase in grocery "stores" online because most shoppers are used to the different products available. They don't need to feel an orange to know what it is or check the labels on the back of health foods, and feel confident purchasing these items online.

Now that you have a better idea of what does or doesn't sell online, you should consider your own products and services. Analyse the products or services you want to offer online. See if there is any way in which you can add value to them so they'll be more attractive to your online customers.

Strategies for online sales success
Once you have an idea of how the online shopping experience works, there are steps you can take to help improve your chances for Web success.
Try and put yourself in the position of an online customer and see if you can work out what they will need to know in order to buy from you. Remember that convenience is an overriding factor. Online fruit and vegetable stores, for example, are successful if they make it convenient for their customers to shop through their website.

Identify any product that is likely to appeal to an online customer. You can then assess whether you need to go one step further such as offering your products cheaper than your competitors or guaranteeing next day delivery, etc.
Put yourself in the position of the customer and analyse how you, as this customer, would justify making a purchase. Perhaps you could offer free delivery to customers within a 20 km radius as an added incentive to buy.

A report presented by Cyber Dialogue shows that free freight and delivery is the third major reason why some online businesses attracted repeat customers. The first two factors were security of information and price.

Make a list of your current products and see if they could fill a "niche market". Try and work out if:
· They would usually require on-the-spot assessment
· They are a known quantity
· They are hard to find elsewhere
· Any of them would appeal to a select market who will go out of their way to purchase these products
· They can be "value added" to make them more attractive online.

Your site has to be set up so that the shopping experience and checkout aren't frustrating. If you've ever bought anything over the internet think about what it is you liked or didn't like about the experience. Certainly don't offer what you didn't like and make what you did like even better.

Clear information and quality pictures or photos. Always provide as much information about your products as possible and always post a clear picture or photo. If the photo isn't of good quality then your viewer won't consider you a quality site. Get them as close to touching, feeling and smelling the product as possible.

It makes sense that common products that you can buy at the local store don't sell well online, but if you can identify unique products and focus those products to their target markets you may have a winner. Anyone can experience healthy sales for any product sold online by following these guidelines that make sales a success.

However, this is just a preliminary process as a number of additional factors, such as market research, consumer trends, competition analysis amongst others, have to be taken into consideration. The aim is for you to consider what products are worthwhile offering to your internet customers, then do all the required analysis afterwards to understand your market and consumer needs before you proceed.

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6. Six signs of an entrepreneur
How do you know if you have what it takes to start a business?

It takes an entrepreneurial fire in your belly to start a business - and make it succeed - and not everyone has it. How do you know if you have what it takes to start a business? There's really no way to know for sure.

But I do find things in common among the emotional and family fabric of people ready to consider an entrepreneurial venture. Here are six signs that you have the entrepreneurial spirit.
You don't have to fit all six of these categories to be a good candidate for entrepreneurship. But it probably wouldn't hurt. In general, the more you have in common with these characteristics, the closer you probably are to being ready to try going out on your own.

1. You come from a line of people who couldn't work for someone else.
I don't mean that in a negative way. People who are successful at establishing their own business tend to have had parents who worked for themselves. It's usually easier to get a job with a company than to start your own business; people who strike out on their own often have the direct example of a parent to look to.

2. You're a lousy employee.
No need to sugar-coat this one. People who start their own businesses tend to have been fired from or quit more than one job. Perhaps you were asked to leave or you quit before they could fire you. Think of it as the marketplace telling you that the only person who can effectively motivate and manage you is yourself.

3. You see more than one definition of "job security."
I'm truly envious of the few people I know who've stayed with one employer for 25 or 30 years. They look incredibly secure. But how many people do you know who are able to stay with one company that long? In a rapidly-changing economy, job security can be frighteningly fleeting.

4. You've done the market research already.
Don't even talk to me about your great business idea if you haven't put the time into figuring out if there's a market for your product or service. As the people behind any number of failed Internet ventures will tell you, "cool" doesn't necessarily translate into "profitable." Don't bother building it if you haven't figured out whether there's a good chance the customers will come.

5. You've got the support of your family.
Starting a business is stressful under the best of circumstances. Trying to do it without the support of your partner or other significant family members or friends would probably be unbearable.

6. You know you cannot do it alone.

You might excel at promoting a business. Maybe you love running the financial end of the enterprise. You could be someone who starts a business because you have unique creative or technical know-how to create a product.
Any of the above is possible, but it's unlikely that you are going to excel at all of these tasks - or at all of the tasks involved in running any business. Forget all that "lone wolf" stuff. No matter how "go-it-alone" your philosophy is, you're going to need some help some time.
The willingness to get that help, having employees, partners or consultants for those areas in which you are not an expert, is one indicator of likely future success. "No successful entrepreneur has ever succeeded alone," development consultant Ernesto Sirolli writes in Ripples from the Zambezi. "The person who is most capable of enlisting the support of others is the most likely to succeed."

By Joseph Anthony. Provided by the Microsoft Australia Small Business Centre.

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7. Previous editions of our newsletters
For those of you who may have missed them, here are previous editions of our newsletters.

1. December 2004- Vol 1 #2

November 2004- Vol 1 #1

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Published by SDS Consulting 2005
Copyright SDS Consulting 2005 All rights reserved

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