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Date:2015-03-02 12:18
Subject:Business Journal - Formula For YOUR Success!
Mood: cheerful

Business Development - Finding your niche so you can concentrate. When you find out what your specialty is
then you can start to promote to the people that are working on the same type of things
you are. Are you just with a program to make money as an affiliate? Do you have your
own website that goes back to your affiliate site? Are you selling homemade products?
Are you someone that is selling from his/her own store or mall? There are so many
different things to promote and you want to reach your target audience to get the results
that you are seeking.

Outline your tasks daily using the day timer you will know what day and time you can
repost your ads or emails to Safelists. This is a great time saver. If you have multiple
email accounts a program called Thunderbird by Mozilla is tops, login one place and
check them all at once. A lot times for every task to get the most important done early
when you are full of energy. Take breaks so you can re-evaluate what you are doing and
be more receptive to tasks still to be done. Organization will set you above the crowd
because you will accomplish more.

Reach your crowd after finding your niche you need to advertise to your target. Go to
forums and post to the ones that fit your niche so you will be working your ads to people
with the same goals and targets you have. In the forums you will not be able to blatantly
set your ads out, post what you would like to add and then leave your signature with your
URL in it. If they enjoyed or learned from your post they might want to follow up by
visiting your site.

Mentors get you trained and help stimulate the learning process. They keep you fortified
with uplifting values and appeal to your excitement. With the right mentor you will go
farther because you are learning from them, this shortens your learning curve. When you
work with others listen and you will gain information from them from what they have been
doing in their promotion.

Using every avenue of promotion, traffic exchanges also use banner views for your credits.
They have blog exchanges, you view others blogs to get traffic to your blog. They also have
banner rotators you can post one url in the banner slot with 5 banners loaded to cycle
through. Just a few of the ways to make your time work better with tools online. Before you
purchase any software online check out and see what other people have to say about it at
Google. This is a way to find out before you have put out your money for software that will
not be used. Market wisely and then you will be in the profit zone.

Leave nothing to chance, ad trackers help you to find which promotion is working for you.
This also depends on titles and content when this has been checked and it still does
not pull people in, then leave the non-producers behind and find new ones. Traffic
Hoopla has the top promoters listed every week; this is a good resource to check. This
one costs but still a good resource- Traffic Testers.

Advertise, and advertise some more, you just have to get the word out. Even the big names
put their logos and advertising out there for millions of dollars. You can start with the free
ones and after making money move on and put your money out for paid advertising. Keep your
records so you know what you are spending and what is bringing the people to your site.

Business Development

(I have an idea!)

Date:2014-06-10 00:22
Subject:Questions Investors Will Likely Ask You

Getting your startup funded is not a small challenge. It's even harder when your startup is at an early stage when there is no "field" proof that could indicate the chances of its success, like a working product, happy customers, steady income etc. in the early stage of a startup, founders need to prove investors that the company doesn't only have a great product with a clear market fit, but they need to show as well they are capable of leading the company through the next stages and ultimately to success. As a preparation for the meetings with potential investors, it is not sufficient to only master the business plan and intimately understand the business model, but to also work hard and prepare for the conversation itself with the investors. What does it mean? First, you need to know and understand the potential questions that investors could ask, and be prepared to answer them thoroughly, to the point and impressively. Those will include personal questions on your resume, as well as technology, business and financing questions. Most likely it would be around 20 questions; here are some examples:

1. How complicated is your technology? How is it protected? Is it easy to copy it?

Especially in a technology venture, protection from theft and copy is very important and provides security with investors, who can ensure that this is significant technological innovation. In case the specified product requires heavy quality assurance tests, software validations, licensing authorization or regulatory approvals, it is recommended to start those at the very early stage of the project, since it is likely they will require time due their nature. Any kind of such an approval will increase the value and prestige of the company to the investors.

2. How many months are required for each stage of the development process?

Some of the ideas and projects have a short window of opportunity for market penetration. In such cases, in it important to show the startup can complete the development stages in a rather short amount of time (months), without contradicting that though the development is fairly quick, it will still be relatively difficult to copy the product.

3. Who are the competitors?

When the need/market size for a certain product exists, chances are there are already a few companies trying to fulfill it. Therefore, it is important to show that there is actuall competition out there, and do not try to avoid or hide this subject.

Show your advantages and unique value proposition compared to your competitors. Don't claim your product is perfect - it is highly unlikely.

It is important to show the founders know how to take advantage of their product or service unique values over the competitor's one, and take it to the right market - the market where the value of the product is higher and the disadvantages are less noticeable.

4. What is the addressable market size (AMS)? How did you reach those numbers?

Established researchers from leading companies such as IDC, Gartner etc. costs thousands of dollars. Usually, a new startup does not have the resources to invest in such market research.

It is recommended to invest a good amount of hours on search engines to find other researches, presentation slides, and other data that will help calculate the relevant market size for your startup. Even if the information you dug up does not match precisely to your target market, you can roughly evaluate your addressable market size.

There are many more questions, such: how do you plan to penetrate the market? What is the business model? What is the basis for it? What is the business model of your competition? How much cash do you need until operation balance? What are the ownership rates you are willing to give for the investment? And more.

Knowing these questions and being prepared for them significantly improves the impact you might leave on the investors and their ability to properly evaluate the chances of the founders to lead the company towards success.

Additionally, most founders come from a technological background (engineers, developers) and lack the business and financial understanding needed to build and scale a company. Terms such as operating profit, cash flow, fixed and variable costs, equity, and many more and rarely known and will make it hard to lead and steer the discussion in front of the investors. Such a thing could harm the investors’ enthusiasm and willingness to invest - even if the product is great, with no competition and a great market. After all, even the greatest ideas could fail without the proper business, marketing and strategic leadership.

(I have an idea!)

Date:2014-04-16 07:48

VillaS3ARCH is an advanced search engine desinged for making surfing the web easier. Not only is villa one of the top ranked search engines, but what is so unique about them is that they deliver. To get Villa to come to your city all you have to do is simply fill out the form which is located on the search engine website, www.villas3arch.com If your city gets above 10,000 request OR 10,000 people use the search engine in your town/city then Villa will be brought to your town and deliver from your favorite stores/restaurants. Any questions or concerns you can email at villasearch@gmail.com or follow on twitter @villaS3ARCH. Www.villas3arch.com

(I have an idea!)

Date:2013-02-16 18:01
Subject:3 failed businesses, need advice..
Mood: scared

I am not a proud owner of three failed business. I am a 32 year old woman and I live in Florida. I don't have a lot of money to invest in my own businesses. I sit at home and I wait for a phone call. It has been five months and I do not know how I can make any money.

I live with my parents and I pay off my debt that I owe them through my unemployment. It is messy. Do you have any advice on how I can at least improve my own job performance at my next full-time job?

I don't have a very good self-esteem either.

(I have an idea!)

Date:2011-01-30 06:24

I'm putting together some software that will place your voice and your subscription form on someone else's webpage.

I need a few alpha-testers. I'll give you the software for free, so that you could try it out for your own business(es), and in exchange, let me observe what sort of successes or problems that you encounter. You will also need to give me your honest opinion.

You need to already be blogging regularly, (here on LJ and/or elsewhere), and, in particular, at least some of your posts need to point to external sites, such as news articles or funny/provocative pages that catch your fancy. You should have a website for your online business and an autoresponder account. You also need to own a microphone and not be afraid to use it.

Thank you.

(I have an idea!)

Date:2009-11-17 15:15
Subject:Community-based organization (CBO)

Does anyone know how to get a CBO status?
Thank you!

(I have an idea!)

Date:2009-11-11 09:54
Subject:LJ novice looking for constructive advice and creative partnerships.

I have a alternative community network brand concept with assets I wish to share without my attempts being considered SPAM as was my prior post. I am not the most articulate so you may see my need to solicit help thus my intention in joining this community.

Ultimately I wish to develop partnerships with those who can mutually benefit. If there is another LJ community which my project is better suited, please advise. Your constructive input will be most appreciated.

Thank you.

Douglas aka: "theFreakinGuy"

(I have an idea!)

Date:2009-10-29 15:18
Subject:HF-Operator - idea

Hello. I'm looking for investors and business partners to implement the following idea. Write me, if you have anything to discuss.

On October 26, 2009, Ontario, Canada passed legislation that stipulates drivers can no longer use their handsets to call, email, SMS or chat. The penalties are around $500 per infraction beginning early next year. http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2099&detailPage=bills_detail_the_bill

There are a lot of iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm, and other types of smartphones users out there that like to send emails and SMS while driving. What should they do now? There are several companies that manufacture hands-free devices based on Bluetooth® technology. While these devices are very useful to handle a phone conversation, they are not helpful with taking an SMS, or email. Still, when the phone notifies user about new email or SMS arrival, it creates a huge temptation to quickly check who is there, and what do they want. Unfortunately, in today's world user have to give up the idea of touching the device while driving, and there is no alternative to that. No, you can't check your emails while keeping hands on a steering wheel!

You can't... if you don't have a magic software "HF-Operator" installed on your device. The only solution that helps you to do your business while driving, yet to obey the law.

Here is how it works.

Every time you've got an email, or SMS, or google talk message, or skype message, and such during your "hands free" time, your device will notify you about this with the sound or a lovely voice message that comes through your ear-set or a car-speaker (depends on the type of the hands-free device you are using). Here is exactly what you will hear: "Incoming email from Emma Ford. Subject - Meeting postponed. Message - Hello Team, Due to weather conditions today's meeting with the client has been rescheduled to 4pm. Emma." From here you could move to the next message simply saying "Next", or repeat notification by asking "Repeat", or reply to the message by commanding "Reply". Now system will prompt you to dictate a message, that will be sent to the addresser in a form of MP3 file attachment. Please note, you were able to stay in business without touching the phone while driving.

What is "HF-Operator" software?

It's a software that you have to install on your smart phone simply by downloading it from online store such as Apple Store, Blackberry AppWorld, or your cell phone service provider's web site, unless it's not pre-installed on your device at the time when you've purchased it. Very simple configuration dialog will integrate the software to your phone. At that point it's ready to use. All you need to do is to activate your hands-free Bluetooth® device, as system will automatically activate the "HF-Operator" software for you.

(I have an idea!)

Date:2009-10-28 14:07
Subject:Legal Bootcamp for Small Business (in Philadelphia)

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at Penn Law School and the Small Business Development Center at The Wharton School are offering free workshops to the public. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about legal issues that affect small businesses and meet and mingle with other entrepreneurs.

Non-Profit Enterprises: Navigating the Tax-Exempt Process
Thursday, October 29th, 6:30pm
RSVP by Monday, October 26th

Choosing the Right Business Entity: What is the Difference Between a LLC and a S-Corp?
Thursday, November 5th, 6:30pm
RSVP by Monday, November 2nd

Intellectual Property: Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, and Patents
Thursday, November 12th, 6:30pm
RSVP by Monday, November 9th

Staring a Food Business
Thursday, November 19th, 6:30pm
RSVP by Monday, November 16th

For more information, visit http://www.law.upenn.edu/clinic/elc/events.html

cross-posted to philadelphia

(I have an idea!)

Date:2009-02-20 14:41
Subject:Online faxing?

Can anyone recommend a good online fax service? Most of my clients are scanning/e-mail enabled, but I have this one client who insists upon faxing. Since it's not something I'm going to use very often, I'd prefer pay-per-page over a monthly flat rate.


(I have an idea!)

Date:2009-01-17 21:42
Subject:Just joined and created my journal

(1 great idea | I have an idea!)

Date:2009-01-11 18:45
Subject:for wedding vendors

I found this website- http:// - where wedding vendors can list for free... website links are included with no reciprocal link required!

Submit your business at

(I have an idea!)

Date:2008-12-24 23:52
Subject:Becoming a Landlord

   I'm interested in buying rental property. Is there anyone here who already does this kind of business who would not mind discussing the pros and cons with me?


(13 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-12-19 12:42
Subject:How to market my site?
Mood: curious

Dear Friends,

I have recently launched my website (www.phototee.com) live on the Internet. It is an online photo portal that allow people to share photos. As I stay in Asia, do you all have any great ideas how i can market my portal to UK or US users?


(6 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-12-12 19:41
Subject:payment structure!?
Mood: confused

Hi again!  I have a quandary in my latest receptionist search.  I own a spa in Northern VA and have really no good ideas for how to fairly structure paying my staff of practitioners (estheticians, massage therapists) for the time that I have them working the front desk and doing administrative tasks (above and beyond the normal, day-to-day responsibilities of simply being a staff member; like washing the cups and restocking the rooms, etc.)

I thought I'd pay them an hourly rate while they're manning the desk, when thery're NOT seeing clients.  What happens if, during that shift, they book a client...how do I pay them around that service?  I don't want it to become and issue of "I answered the phone between clients, so that means I was on the clock for my hourly rate", or something messy like that. 

I was once offered a position like this-  "be here for your whole shift, regardless of how many clients are on your schedule...we'll pay you $x per hour and at the end of the day, whichever way you made the most money, working with clients or your hourly rate, that's what you take home."  -the problem with that in this situation is that I really don't want to take advantage of my staff and possibly end up not owing them any money for hours at the desk.

idears?  help?  ugh. 


(3 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-12-06 12:55
Subject:Organization questions


I have a few questions regarding organization types and funding. Two friends and I are in the planning stage (as in Business Plan mostly written, and optimistic about actually making money) of starting a brick and mortar store. We intend to be organized as an LLC for a variety of reasons (yes, including not being personally liable if the company's sued). We've done the research of how to go about forming an LLC, and know all the licenses and permits we need in order to open. We have no money.

SO! Do we need to be registered as an LLC in order to go to, say, a bank and get a loan? What other paperwork should we have filed before seeking funders?

(I have an idea!)

Date:2008-11-30 21:20

Hi everyone, I’m posting here for some advice.

*post edited*

Some of you may remember me from the last time I asked advice here, I had the same business but at that time was focusing on free lance logo design and now that’s shifted to retail and freelance writing. It’s all going very well but I think I need to rearrange the site which represents that business and which expands it.

This time I am here for two reasons, the first is for advice on the best pathway to take to change and grow the business I have and the second is to look for someone to make me a new website next year.

Behind the cut I have a little bit more info and I hope that people could give me a few pointers. - In a nutshell I am asking where I should go from the point I am currently at which is earning a good income from my site but wanting to take things to the next level by having someone make me a much better site and finding some appropriate services to use to advertise the site.

I have also included a more specific question about on line advertising.

adviceCollapse )

(4 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-09-30 19:55
Subject:credit crunch

Hi everyone. I'm a reporter, working on coverage of the ongoing financial drama. My beat is smallbiz, and I'm always interested in hearing from business owners. Two topics I'm working on at the moment: 1) financing. I keep hearing that bank loans & lines of credit are extremely difficult to get right now. I'm looking for entrepreneurs who have turned to other means like credit cards to pay business expenses. 2) staffing. Has the economic downturn/credit crunch affected anyone's hiring or staffing, forcing layoffs or preventing hiring?

if you're up for chatting, I'm reachable at stacy.cowley[at]turner.com. Thanks.

(I have an idea!)

Date:2008-09-13 10:25

I'm new to this community, and am here because I have a dilemma.

I've recently been promoted within my company because my supervisor was fired
for negligence. I've never been a manager before, and now I have to manage in
the mess he left behind. Can you direct me to good resources for either new
managers or managing in a crisis? Are there any online management resources you
would recommend?

Thank you!


(4 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-08-06 19:39
Subject:Cost calculations?
Mood: excited

Hello all,

I have been working on a fair trade import business for a little over a year and it looks like things are finally picking up. (yay!)

I am a bit concerned though because while I am more than willing and eager to learn, I'm afraid I'm going to mess things up with my lack of knowledge!

I'm having trouble calculating wholesale costs. I sell retail and pretty much try to mark my items up 100% and calculate shipping. I generally make this as simplistic as possible, but I am not sure I'm doing it right. Now I have the opportunity to represent my business at a fashion wholesale affair in NYC next month and I honestly have no clue how to go about calculating wholesale prices. Is there some sort of equation to follow?

On another note, there is the possibility of being a distributor in the US for the artisan group I am working with. This is a whole different game I'm assuming than wholesale?

How can I educate myself more on these subjects so I don't blow it?

That said, I am super excited that I am progressing!

Thanks <3

(6 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-07-10 15:43

Hi everyone. I'm pretty new here, just joined the other day (I had an LJ Comm joining spree, heh). Just wanted to introduce myself and start by asking for some advice.

I'm 22 years old, and I'm not in college because until recently I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with my life. Currently I work for the YMCA as a senior counselor for a before-and-after school program where I work with kids every day. Its a great job, and I love it, but the hours aren't enough to be part time, I don't really get paid a huge amount, and since its working at a school, I only work when school is running. Since its summer right now, you see my dilemma. After a long story and some late-night discussions with the boyfriend, I decided what I really want to do is open my own store, sell my own things, and be my own boss. Its the American Dream, or something, right? I'm a hardcore crafter - I love making my own clothes, items, etc. I love creating things out of items other people would just throw away. I'm pretty handy with my hands and I'm constantly creating something, whether its physical or in writing (I'd also love to be a writer).

Since I'm young, have no collateral, no savings, and horrid credit, there's no possible way I can open my own store right now. So a couple months ago, I jumped online, made a website, and tried to start up a business that way. I bought some books and really jumped headfirst into it, but I really have no idea at all what I'm doing. I tried to do it all myself, and I was trying to do a lot: creating a catalogue and selling items (for example, spa products, organic tea, clothing and costumes, art and photographs, etc), developing new things all the time, offering services like custom items, freelance work, etc... I was working longer hours on my home business than I was at my then-fulltime job, and trying to start it up, plus advertise, and everything, I was just spreading myself too thin at the time.

I stepped back and took some time to gather myself again, and I want to give it a go again. I've read more, made my files more organized, and I have some better ideas this time.

My question, I guess, is directed to anyone who's started their own shop or store online. What did you do when you were getting started that worked for you? How did you handle it all? What steps did you take to ensure you didn't get in over your head too fast? How did you do it, if you were successful? Any tips people can give me are welcome. I'd love to hear what you have to say. I'm so passionate about this vision I have... its just the initial starting that's stressing me out.

Thanks, and again, its great to meet you all.

[x-posted a bit, so sorry if you see this more than once!]

(3 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-07-03 14:41
Subject:Finding the right partner

So I have a business idea, that is quite possible. I have some start up cap. but not nearly enough for my idea. I've been looking into SBA loans, but when the time comes I will need a investor or a partner with $.

So where is a good place to find investors, that are willing to take risk. Anyone have any helpful hints

(4 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-06-05 15:02
Subject:Entrepreneurs, Security and Loss Prevention


My name is Greg and I work in the CCTV industry at the distributor level.  My brand's focus is upon small business - all of our solutions are designed for small business owners who work on limited budgets but who still want to invest in a system.  A part of this is a simple desire to do some research.

So, I am looking for your experiences.  Do you lose things from your business?  Is this slippage/shoplifting a problem?  Have you considered installing a CCTV system?  Why or why not?  When you think CCTV, what do you think? 

Thank you for your help and I would appreciate it if you encouraged other people you know to answer these questions.  While I will never identify any of you, I plan to incorporate some of these findings into research that I will publish/send along to my clients/post in my blog/my community page.....


(1 great idea | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-05-20 10:44

Those of you who own small businesses:

How did you find (and as a result, choose) your business lawyer? Networking? The phone book? Recommendations? A matching service? Are there any particular criteria you had in mind? Any questions you wish you'd asked before-hand, but didn't?

I'd like to have someone available should the need arise, as well as someone to assist with polishing up some of my contracts, etc. in the near future. I've already done a little research on this, but would love to hear more personal accounts.


(2 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-05-12 12:33
Subject:Trying to help my mom.

Hello! After years of working the same job, my mom has finally opened up to the scary idea of starting something she wants to do, something for her, something new and interesting. Right now, she's working in an office for the city and has decided she would like to start her own business. However, she doesn't know what kind! So I thought I would check this community out and see if anyone could lend some form of relieving advice. How did you find out what you want to do? How can she? Or how can I help her? Any books we could check out or websites you can recommend?

It's taking a lot of encouraging, she has security in her current job and she'll have to go without as she jumps into this new, foreign thing. But I've known she's been tired of her office job and I've been trying to tell her to go for 'her dream' and it seems she's finally opened up to that idea!

Any help, any advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

(2 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-04-20 23:31

I am very interested in starting my own "pet" business--I haven't narrowed down exactly what I want to focus on first though. (pet sitting service, pet spa, pet walk, etc.)

Does anyone here run this type of business? Or might you know someone who does? Thanks!

(1 great idea | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-04-14 00:18
Subject:Community Healing Arts & the Circle of Life

I am working to open a family healing arts center in my community to provide a spectrum of care for infants to adults, including midwifery, craniosacral therapy, chiropractic, parent groups, childbirth ed, and workshops. My passion is craniosacral, doula care, teaching, and community organizing.

This will happen within the next year, and I am currently gathering resources, developing my business plan, and working with local community small business resources to create a solid plan and support system. I also have practitioners interested and a space lined up for 2009.

I am also a hoopdancer and teacher, and I am in a contest to win $10,000 for my hoopdance video: Gemini Hoops. http://www.clipstar.com/videopage.jsf?video=9_7002_159

Will you please vote for my video and help to fund the creation of my healing arts center? I am currently in 2nd place, and if I win this contest, it will go toward to creation of my family healing arts center and community healing project.

Thank you! I greatly appreciate your support! Your vote counts, please show your support!


Gratitude & Blessings, Kara

(I have an idea!)

Date:2008-04-02 10:47

What's the best way to find an entry-level marketing job, without having to cut through all the scams with a machete? Or, pay for all of the online services?

(13 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-03-25 02:02
Subject:an update on an old post and a couple of questions.

cut for size and picsCollapse )

(I have an idea!)

Date:2008-03-17 21:03
Subject:Free Credit Reports for Business?

I know at annualcreditreport.com, the govt allows you one free credit report a year.

What about for business? Are you also allowed one free credit report a year for a business and, if so, where do you go for it? The site above onyl allows you to input a first and last name, not a business name.....


(1 great idea | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-03-11 20:35
Mood: curious

Hi, newish to the community, just watching and getting helpful hints on start ups.

I am working on my business plan, and felt like researching a couple of thing before I pitch it to big money people.

So questions I have.
I have a law firm in mind that I feel fits my businesses needs, but since I am not 100% ready to start yet I wanted to know if I should still talk to them while I am working on my business plan.

and second question, I need a ton of vendor information, just price quotes and what the offer. Is there a website I can find this info.
ie. Soda Vendors, Beer and Liquor vendors, ect.


(1 great idea | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-03-03 18:02
Subject:Anyone else care to share their marketing/advertising approach?

(x-posted to webdesign, lj user="graphicdesign">)

I am wondering if there are any other freelancers and entrepreneurs out there who would care to share their thoughts on advertising as an individual/small business.

Here is a list I have been compiling. Does anyone care to add to it, or share their own suggestions on how to make anything on it stronger or more effective?

Printed Materials

  • display cards - out at places of business whose owners I know

  • fliers - on bulletin boards with tearoff contact/website info

  • local newspaper ads - (anyone have any suggestions on doing this effectively?)

  • Google AdWords

  • Craigslist

  • Myspace and Merchant Circle - regular bulletin posts, etc. on Myspace

  • Meaningful blog / forum discussion and comments.

Previous Customer Marketing
  • Regular contact, thank-you notes

  • mailers offering 10% off or referral discount to customers I have not heard from in a while


(7 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-03-03 10:21
Subject:new retail garden center in Seattle
Mood: optimistic

Hi gang,

I've been a member of this community for months but too busy setting up shop to post. Now I come to you in my hour of need.

I don't know if there are other posie panderers here but my business is, I would suspect, somewhat typical of small retailers. I built a mailing list, I did the social networking thing, I cajoled/threatened family and friends and it all added up to a somewhat brilliant opening weekend on March 1st and 2nd. Here it is Monday the 3rd and, though I've only been open 35 minutes as I type this, the crowds have long gone and no one has come in yet.

It's the nature of the business that we make more than half our weekly sales on the weekends but this does give me time to think and plan, and that's where I'd love your help. As a SMALL business my advertising budget is similarly size-challenged; it is very important that I spend those few $$ wisely. I've been a nurseryman for 26 years and I know my target audience quite well (80-85% middle-aged women) but this is my third day as a business owner and I'm a little shocked at how clueless I am when it comes to reaching new people. My past employers have been openly hostile to the whole concept of advertising so I don't even have role models in this regard.

If you have any sort of similar small retail shop, may I humbly ask: what has worked for YOU? Enquiring minds wanna know! :b I'm not a total idiot and I'm doing what I can but I need a fresh perspective and new ideas. Any thoughts you'd care to share are warmly appreciated.

There are good times ahead, I know it. This isn't the kind of business that gets badly injured by recessions and the like, and my region isn't all that bad off, anyway. Still, I've got some bills to pay and positive cash flow would make me AND my vendors happy. :) TIA!

(10 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-02-28 15:29
Subject:My small business is looking for others to partner with.

Hi all,

I am looking to expand my networking a little bit and help others do the same.

I own a small business called Luck for Laura -- we are based in Brooklyn, NY and primarily do web and graphic design (though we also have a strong background in writing/editing).

We are looking for other freelancers or businesses that offer complementary services and are interested in partnering with us. Basically, we are looking for someone who will throw us referrals when applicable, and we would do the same in return.

Our client base right now is largely made up of other small businesses, small-and-large companies in the entertainment/marketing field, not-for-profits in NY, and independent musicians and artists. So we would love to partner with: agents, booking agencies, publicists, event planners, et cetera.

We are also independent musicians and writers ourselves and need some of these services for our own reasons -- so if anyone who offers them also needs web/graphic design and is interested in extending a mutual discount or trading services, we are interested.

You can check out our portfolio at www.luckforlaura.com/portfolio.html .

Comment or shoot an email to info (at) luckforlaura (dot) com if you're interested. Please also feel free to repost this or forward it to friends and colleagues you know may be interested.

Thanks very much!

(I have an idea!)

Date:2008-02-23 18:52
Subject:Business Help


I'm not the entrepreneur but my boss is and he's not very internet savvy so I'll post for him.

He's been in business for awhile with a previous business, a hobby shop, but chose to close it last year in March to focus on another business (laser engraving).

So far business has not been very good. We've had a few customers but not enough to sustain the business. We do a number of things and most of the business consists of internet sales, namely that of laser cut short kits for radio control model airplanes (a box of wood with everything needed to put together the airplane).

My boss wants to expand into he local market and has put a lot of money into making an office area out of the former front part of the hobby shop.

We have a lot of competition in that there are three other shops in town but we know that customers have had bad experiences with them. They don't know how to use their equipment like he does and we do jobs a lot cheaper.

My question is...how do we drum up business? My boss has tried to do radio spots and put an ad in the phone book. What else can he do?

You have to spend money to make money, but what way would be the most effective?

Right now he's losing money and is already $9,000 in debt. This is his livelihood. He's been a business owner for about 17 years. He doesn't want to go back to working for someone else.

He has also not been able to sell the inventory from the old hobby shop. We've tried eBay a number of times but it hasn't worked. Does anyone know of anywhere that he could sell it or anyone who might want to buy it?

I've already for the most part been let go because he can't afford to pay me. I'm looking for a job but I want to be able to help him in any way I can to get him back on his feet to at least get the business going for himself.

Any help/advice you can give would be excellent.

Thank you!

(3 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-02-18 15:19
Subject:I am new, some questions.

Hello. I have a business. It is an LLC. I am so confused, but I will start with two questions.

1. How do I assign assets to my business?

Let's say I use company money to purchase equipment, such as a laptop. How do I designate that the physical item is property of the LLC? Is simply having a receipt and saying "this belongs to the company" good enough? Is there something else I should be doing? What if I purchase the equipment with my own credit card and then pay myself back with a check from the company account? Does that effect anything? It is a lot more convenient for me to do it that way, but I don't absolutely have to if that is a bad way to do it.

I don't want the business assets to ever be considered my personal assets and I'm not sure if there is something special I should be doing to insure that.

2. Paying myself.

In the past I have never paid myself. I have always taken any money and put it directly back into the business and spent it each year, usually making a small profit in order to not be considered a "hobby". However, I am starting a new service with my business and it is bringing in money. Normally I would just put it back into the business, but I would like to start paying myself for my work. What do I need to do to do that? There are 2 "employees". I will be the only one getting direct cash paid. We also employ the services of contractors, but that isn't quite the same. I send them checks and get a receipt. I haven't done anything for them tax wise, but this is 2008 stuff, so it's not pressing quite yet.

How do all of you pay yourselves if your business makes a profit? Is this a terrible idea? Any tips on the tax implications would be great as well.

(8 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-02-06 02:04
Subject:New Items for Sale--http://stores.ebay.com/Heather-Sky-Studio-Gallery

(I have an idea!)

Date:2008-02-03 08:50
Subject:imprint credit cards manually?
Mood: anxious

Not too difficult a question for you all:

If you must use the old "knuckle cruncher" machine to imprint credit cards manually onto carbon slips, how do you process that payment?  How do you turn that into money? 

I have a merchant acct. but no phone line yet in my new space to use a processing terminal.  Do I take the slips to the bank to use them like checks?  hmmmm. 


(3 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2008-01-27 00:12
Subject:Tax Preparation in Maryland?

I need a recommendation for an accountant, preferably in Montgomery County, who has experience with small business accounting.  Specifically, I have a sole proprietorship, no full time employees other than myself, but I have 3 independent contractors.  So, if anyone could please help me out, I would greatly appreciate it, thanks!


(1 great idea | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-12-25 19:54
Subject:Any young entrepreneur minded people here?

I'm 17 with a strong business sense. I was wondering if there were anyone else out there as young as me. Of course im not just looking to connect with a young entrepreneur, but everyone alike.

(2 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-12-19 13:58
Subject:Excerpt: Why Isn't Mom a Millionaire?

Women are launching businesses at twice the pace of their male counterparts, making female-owned businesses the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy. Yet only a paltry 3 percent of these businesses have annual sales of over a million dollars. Why?

I have permission from AMACOM, the publishing arm of the American Management Association, to distribute an excerpt from the new book, "The Girls' Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business," by Susan Wilson Solovic, CEO of Small Business Television (SBTV.com). Disturbed by the relative weakness of women-owned businesses, Solovic set out to uncover the strategic secrets and distinctive qualities of women entrepreneurs who have taken their businesses to the million-dollar level.

In her new book, Solovic looks at the barriers to business growth for women and finds many of them self-imposed, including the inability to delegate, hiring family and friends, and a lack of faith in the enterprise. Solovic shares proven tactics and inspiring triumphs for every woman who wants to grow her business into a million-dollar performer.

The excerpt I'm distributing is called "Four Keys to the Millionaire's Club" and briefly covers the factors in business success Solovic focuses on in her book. The excerpt is available at the following URL or I can send a text version to you upon request:


(3 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-12-14 09:31

When certain businesses are referred to as "private," what does that mean? Is it just that they do not sell their stocks on the open market? It seems like there is more involved in that title, but it is very difficult to find information.

(3 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-12-13 21:00

I'm in the early stages of planning to start a photography business. This is the research stage, where I gather word of mouth info.
My education involves a Writing and New Media Technologies diploma, where I first was introduced to the camera and photoshop. Since then, I've been creating all manner of art and I've excelled at my photoshopping skills enough that I think I might have a service to offer. This after looking around at a tremendous amount of crap that people actually pay for.
Until demand dictates that I limit my services, I thought about offering everything I can do, including:
Photo restoration
Family portraits
Personal portraits
Animal portraits.
Photoshop services that essentially equate to art, as I assume alot of people might want something different. This is, infact, where I thought I would drum up the most business.

I live around Edmonton Alberta, Canada, if that's of any consequence?

What I need are testimonials and advise from anyone that might have some. Is there anyone in the business that might shine a flashlight on this newcomers path?
How might I best advertise?
Should I stop dreaming until I get a business degree?
Should I limit my services?
Will I not be taken seriously without a diploma in photography on my wall?
What should I include in my portfolio?
Do you have advise on how I might individualize my business, or do you think trying to stand out is wrong?

ANY advise you have will be taken very seriously, provided it's intented that way.

Thanks in advance,

(3 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-12-07 12:45

How many of you use DHL as your primary small business shipping service?

Up until now I've been primarily UPS local / FedEx global with only about 30 orders of ~5lbs that require shipping per month. Not very much. No real complaints other than that UPS and FedEx are not quite as cost effective in my experience for smaller parcels and things under 5lbs, but screw it if I am ever using the USPS again. :)

However, DHL totally passed under my radar. So I've been sending a few trial shipments through them via their ground service: less cost than UPS, two days in transit across the board, and everything arriving in great condition and well-handled. In December, even. However, they charge a bit too much for pickups at my shipping volume and their only dropoff location anywhere near me is really rather inconvenient. I'm tossed up. Any good or bad experiences or recommendations either way?

(2 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-12-05 09:11
Subject:The Importance of a Small Business Credit Card

Small business plays a vital role in today's economy. It is now easier than ever to establish a new business. According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses pay over 45% of the US private payroll. Small businesses also employ over half of all private sector employees and provide 60-80 percent of new jobs over the past 10 years. With about 28.5 million small businesses in the US alone in 2005, virtually all financial institutions now offer small business loans to qualifiers for a percentage. So why apply for a small business credit card?

Keep Track of All Your Small Business Expenses

The first and most obvious reason for a small business credit card is to separate personal finances from business related purchases. With your small business credit card, you can make all your transactions by phone, internet or in person. Then get periodic statements detailing all of your business expenses.

Business credit cards are accepted virtually everywhere that you shop. Covering business purchases with employee's personal money can get very messy. So instead of relying on cash, use a business credit card. Most credit card issuers offer a credit limit for employee cards as well as different methods to monitor how the card is used.

You no longer have to dread the year-end nightmare of trying to track where and when you spent your money. It's like having all your book-keeping done automatically for you! In a digital world, why should your business have to collect every last printed receipt?

Establish Your Small Business

A credit card with your business name on it gives your business credibility. A business credit card looks a lot more professional than paying from your own wallet. It also gains the respect of financial institutions. Just by owning a business credit card, your business can build credit. So when you need that business loan, you will get the best interest rate and qualify for higher amounts. As your credit builds you might also qualify for a lower interest business credit card.

So even if your business doesn't have a 6 figure budget, a business credit card could help your business grow. You never know when your business might suddenly need extra money. Office equipment might need immediate replacement. Without a business credit card, financing could drastically interfere with your daily routine.

Earn Rewards with a Business Credit Card

You can also save money and earn rewards. Certain business credit cards give you cash back on all your purchases. Other cards give you varying cash back percentages depending on where you shop: gas stations, grocery stores, office supply stores, etc. A cash back business credit card is a great way to increase your profit margin.

Other cards give you airline travel rewards just for using your credit card. . For instance, if your company has frequent business plane trips, then small business credit cards that offer travel miles, hotel accommodations or travel insurance are most suitable. This type of credit card could give you travel discounts, free flights, free companion travel or upgraded flight seating.

Not only does a small business credit card provide convenience and rewards, it also helps to build business credit for the future of your company as you watch it grow! Research the business credit cards available and find the card that best suits your business needs. Finance your business for today and tomorrow.

(I have an idea!)

Date:2007-11-27 11:53
Subject:Is this community alive?

Quick question, I am looking into ways to gain start up capital for my business. Its not a small amount, ball pack is about 2mill *but that is an over estimate*
Since I a) don't have a friend rolling in cash that could loan me the money or b) haven't won the lottery

What is the best way for me to start gaining capital?

To give you an idea on where I am at with $, I have a small amount in a Mutual Fund which is my part of my start up, but I know it wont increase to where I want it by the time I'm ready to start my business.


(8 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-11-13 14:25
Subject:Furniture/home stuff import business

My family (back in Asia) are looking into exporting furniture/home accessories into the US. They have sourced the artisans/factories in Asia and there will be locals handling the QC/pricing/etc over there. What is needed on this end of the pond is a wholesale buyer (Costco/Target/Pier One...) and research on designs/trends.

My background is professional services, so I have no experience in the wholesale or export/import...in fact not in anything that has to do with tangible goods.

Has anybody dealt with furniture people or have a forum/resources they can recommend? What about events to check out (especially in the West Coast)? How do I contact buyers in this industry?

Before I leave, I wish you all good revenue in Q4!

(6 great ideas | I have an idea!)

Date:2007-11-07 19:57
Subject:Some finance/business questions.

A friend and I are working on raising $400,000.00 for a package consisting of two feature length HD documentaries. This is the first time that we've put together a business plan, and we'll soon be consulting with a lawyer as to what our next steps should be before we start securing investors.

We aren't business majors and don't have business experience. We have lots of experience in film production, but unfortunately there isn't a money person in our mix. I'm posting in a few business/accounting/finance communities in the hopes that some of you might be willing to have a look and offer advice.

The business plan PDF can be downloaded by following this link.

We particularly need the following questions answered (below the cut):

Questions.Collapse )

(I have an idea!)

Date:2007-10-20 13:13
Subject:Hello, fellow entrepreneurs...

My name is Ranjan Goswami. One of my sideprojects right now is starting a local rag-type magazine specific to the Pittsburgh, PA area.

It's going to be self-published and it's definitely going to wear that fact on it's sleeve.

more than a few of my friends originally intended to follow a creative career path, but for a lack of jobs in the pittsburgh area, and with no way to get their work out there, they ended up accepting clerical jobs and what not. There's a large, untapped pool of talent to draw from.

a vague, concise business plan-type thing

i'm hoping to appeal to those that are 18-27. those that didn't end up buying into the concept of college. they eschew school activities in favour of socialising on their own. this is where the self publishing part comes in. the anti-corporate themes coupled with the lo-fi production should really appeal to our target market. new: also, a big reason i'm starting this magazine is to hopefully help pittsburgh out. Since the fall of the steel industry, pittsburgh has been dying. attempts to reinvent itself in the wake of japanese steel have been only slightly successful at best. the biggest problem it faces is that the colleges are the main draw for money and people from outside the area. once they graduate, they and their money are gone. i'm hoping that educating people on obscure facts on pittsburgh and getting them together with social events that appeal to them but they might not know of may build some loyalty to the city.

anyway, our plan is to rush the first issue(a halloween issue) for distribution at a large (possibly record breaking) zombie walk next weekend.

who knows, maybe we can then find a few advertisers.

Here's what we have for layout so far. It's far from done and kind of blah, but it's definitely shaping up. Oct 07 Issue layout (56k warning)

Also, I just designed this logo:

Here is the logic behind the design:
a high recognition designs requires three things:

  1. moderately elaborate
  2. high in harmony
  3. high in natural

The overall shape forces the recall of an M. I also incorporated the feeling of motion between the peaks on the top and the stars curving upwards. Red is a colour of passion and change which also should appeal to our market demographic. the stripes and stars also recall the american flag as a symbol of liberty.

let me know what you guys think! any constructive criticism is welcome!

(4 great ideas | I have an idea!)

my journal