Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where can I go to network with other small and home business owners?

There are a slew of forums that cater to the small and home based business person. My personal favorite is Business Owners Idea Cafe. I have had so many great responses to questions I've posted. It also feels good when I am able to help out a fellow member.

They're best attribute in my opinion is the "cyber Shmooze" section. Here they have specific forums to better guide you in your startup and growth phases. Some are:

Start Up Stew

Biz Ideas

Working From Home


Marketing Mix

And quite a few more. The people on this forum are real people with home and small based businesses and are eager and willing to take you into the fold and help in any way they can.

The also offer small business grants throughout the year. They grants are usually for $1,000 and the current grant is called the "Idea Cafe's Innovation and Originality Grant". You can also read about past winners and how they have put the grant money to use in their businesses.

You must be a member to ask or answer questions as well as to enter for the grants. It's easy and painless though.

So visit them over at Idea Cafe and start asking those questions you can't seem to find an answer for anywhere else.

Happy Business!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Win a free pendant and earring set!

Hey all,

As you know, I am working with my friend Theresa at her awesome Travel Guide Publishing House, Duffie Books, and this month is the 1st official free draw. You can enter to win a great 925 silver infused glass pendant and earring set, enter now and spead the word! Just visit the site and click on the link that says "FREE DRAW".

Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why should I have a set schedule for my internet/home business?

Schedules are our friends. I admit that up until recently I hadn't thought about a schedule in terms of my company.

Like you, one of the main gripes I have about working a Mon - Fri for someone else is "set hours". I want to be free, free to work when I'm in the mood, so that my work will be at it's best, not when I'm groggy and the end result will suck, blah!

But what I've learned after taking a look back at the last year was that NOT having a schedule has been detrimental to my business. I believe it's one of the main reasons that I have not officially launched my site yet.

On the other hand, I am not saying that I (or you) should continue with a daily grind of 8 - 5 or 9 - 5 either.

You should take an honest look at your personality traits, daily errands, children's schedules (sports, dance etc) and come up with a plan to fit your lifestyle and not the other way around.

Personally I am NOT a morning person and do my best, most creative thinking after 5 pm. So it's natural for me to use my nocturnal hours for projects like writing, creating publicity and marketing plans and networking.

Day hours for emailing, editing and sending out press releases (releases that I create the evening before of course :)

So when I take all of the above into consideration, my schedule (and remember that I am still at my day job until I launch my site officially) looks like this:

Email Authors

Answer Emails

Writing (articles and Blog entries – While dinner is cooking and 9 pm - 10 pm)

Input Blog Entries and submit articles (lunch hour)

Email authors
Family Nite

10 am – 1 pm and 10 pm to 11 pm
Editing for the wonderful women of Duffie Books

Writing 5 pm – 7 pm
Family Nite

I truly believe I will be a lot more productive this way, and I suggest you reign in your wild child and create a schedule as well :)

Happy Business to you all!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Should I spend money on a website designer for my new Business?


Well, unless you have buckets of cash to throw at your business, please don't make the same mistake I made. Now don't get me wrong, I like my site, I like it a lot actually. However it's been a money drain, it was $500 to get a designer to create it (though the process was fun!) and another total of almost $200 for the domain name and hosting for 2 years.

I was so excited after I made my decision to go into business for myself that I didn't do things in the proper order. I had no product for my site to sell, so really, it's been a pretty advertisement of nothingness. And it will continue to be just that until I find authors and publish their work.

So if you are starting your business on a shoe string budget, find a host that gives you pre-made choices for website designs and layouts. Choose one, you can then make it unique with your content and photos and products. Later on down the line should you decide to upgrade, feel free, but only if you can afford it.

I put the cart before the horse and I'm paying for it. Learn from my mistake, get everything else you need to have to launch your business in order BEFORE you create a website.

I will say this though, you should purchase your domain name as soon as possible, if it's available. Then wait on the site and hosting.

It's your best bet!

Good Luck All

Here Ye Here Ye!

I have changed my business focus which actually suits my blogs name to a tee. I will be building a business around myself, literally. I am shifting away from trying to start my ebook publishing business with other peoples work and instead I will be writing and publishing my own ebooks on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles etc. While I've been published on Yahoo's Associated Content, I am a newbie through and through when it comes to the new frontier of ebooks. I am so scared I wanna pee my pants, but I am going for it anyway!