Viewing category ‘Biz Nuts & Bolts’

Entrepreneur Mom

with Aliza Sherman

If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.

To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.

It is OK to Divorce Your Bank

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts, Business Essentials, Infrastructure, Startup Tips, Uncategorized

6 Comments

BankI’m in the middle of a company crisis and have decided to do a series of blog posts about how I’m solving the situation. Don’t worry - my company is actually thriving. The crisis is…more complicated, and I’m probably not yet ready to talk about it at this time.

One small component of the crisis has led me to re-evaluate my business relationship with my current bank and to suck it up and leave this bank for another one. This move has been long overdue and has only been held back by my own personal (and unfounded) fears.

The bank I’m currently with has been a nightmare from Day 1. The problems started with the new bank employee who set up our company account in January 2005 and made a slew of errors including mispelling our names multiple times which continued to haunt us over time. I ended up with a 5-page, single spaced typed document outlining every egregious error that the bank made (almost every one of them that they admitted to doing) that cost us time, money and sanity. To this day, I still have not had my call returned when I left a customer service voicemail - per their instructions - asking for a supervisor to call me back to address my complaints. That was 2 plus years ago.


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10 Ways to Piss Off the Freelance Press

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts, Uncategorized

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ReporterAs a freelance writer and blogger, I get bombarded daily by PR folks and business people pitching me to write about them, their clients, their companies, fill-in-the-blank. I have hundreds of unread emails in my InBox, sorry to say, but am having my new personal assistant go through them and sort them based on urgency, topic and relevance to what I do.

Freelancers are juggling a million things and are always on deadline. For example, I compose at least 8 blog posts, release several podcasts, and write at least several articles EVERY WEEK.

For the record, I write specifically about:

1. Women business owners - This actually does mean women and not men (for those who pitch me male business owners all the time).

2. Women’s business issues - This means topics, themes, issues about business that have a female slant. Some examples? Women who have a baby while running their business. Women who hire their husband or boyfriend to work for their business.
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Working in the Clouds

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts, Books & Articles, Infrastructure, Tech & Net, Uncategorized

3 Comments

clouds on WikipediaA few weeks ago, I heard the phrase “working in the clouds” for the first time. The phrase refers to the way many people are starting to use online-based applications for their work processes and tasks rather than computer-based solutions. Even without thinking very much about it, I’ve been “working in the clouds” more and more often in the last six months. But after my big computer crash and near-loss of all 10-months worth of data, I’ve been thinking a lot more about “cloud computing” ever since.

There are definitely major pros but also major cons to cloud computing, and weighing them out is often too much for my overloaded brain to handle. But I thought I’d share my thoughts on the topic and then hear from you as well so we can share best practices on this revolutionary way of work.

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Gadget Schmadget: Paper vs. Tech

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts, Startup Tips, Tech & Net

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paper and penA client of mine teased me the other day when she saw me pull out my calendar book to write down an entry.

“I thought you were so tech, and here you are with a paper calendar,” she said by way of explanation.

“But I have a 30Boxes calendar as well!” I retorted. “And it sends me text message reminders to my cellphone!”

I don’t know why I felt that I needed to prove my tech savvy by rattling off how wired I really am and that the paper calendar is just my first line of defense against my progressively bad memory.

I just like the tangible feeling of a paper calendar. I like the feeling of pen on paper. I like seeing what I write on a page. Our words are so digitized these days with reading and writing emails, reading our news on Web sites, connecting with others through online social networks - that for me, writing things down on paper really grounds me.

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The Trouble with Spam

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts

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There is nothing more productivity-crippling than spam. Spam in your inbox, spam on your blog or forum, even spam on your cellphone. What’s a busy business owner to do about all this spam? Learn more about the legal side of spam.

Here are a few quick tips to help handle the spam overload.
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Starting an Online Business

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts, Tech & Net

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What does it take to start a business online? I’m talking about a solely online business, not the online component of your “bricks and mortar” business but a bonafide e-biz.

Starting a business online - an e-store, for example - does not mean instant success. Some things to consider before starting an online business are the same things you need to think about before starting a regular business.
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Biz 101 - Part 4: The New Entrepreneur’s Quick Startup Checklist

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts

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You have a business idea, you’ve tested it out a bit and done some market research, you have a business name and you are ready to get started. Here are some things to consider as you start a business:

1. Structure - Check with both your accountant and a lawyer about the best way to structure your business (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation).

2. Bookkeeping - Hire a bookkeeper or accountant to set up your company’s books.

3. Intellectual Property - Turn to a lawyer to help define and protect copyrights and trademarks, including your company name.


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Biz 101 - Part 3: Naming Your New Business

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts

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Struggling to find a name for your new business? You’re not the only one. Many major companies spend tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay someone else to come up with a name for their new business or product. Your business name essentially becomes a brand - something that is recognizable and infused with meaning over time.

Tips for Naming Your New Business

1. Don’t go overboard with cutesy or “original” spellings. Be as straightforward as you can with a name. With my first company, Cybergrrl Inc., I chose to spell cybergirl (easy to spell) as “cybergrrl” and spent years having to spell it out to people and losing valuable traffic to a porn site, cybergirl.com. Also see #5.


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Biz 101 - Part 2: Funding the Business Idea

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts

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If the answer to the question “How do I fund my business idea?” were simple, we’d all have businesses. There is no easy answer and almost no single correct answer. But here are the most common options you have - and maybe a few not so common ones.

1. YOP - Your Own Pockets. If you don’t have any money in the bank, you may want to think twice about starting a business until you have a little savings tucked away. That said, lots of people took the business plunge without a safety net. Not the most advisable approach, but if you’ve got a solid plan and unrelenting stick-to-it-edness, you just might make it to the next step.

2. Plastic. Also not a highly recommended approach, but credit cards have been used by many a new entrepreneur to finance their business in the early months or to fill in the gaps in spotty cash flow. Again, I repeat, this is NOT a recommended approach, but if you break out the plastic, be diligent about making payments and paying off the debt as soon as you possibly can to keep your credit rating in tact.


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Biz 101 - Part 1: Analyzing the Business Idea

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts, Uncategorized

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So you have a business idea? How do you know if it is feasible? Where do you begin? Ah, the age-old “starting a business dilemma.”

Here are some ways to test your idea.

1. Ask your friends and family for their opinions. This is really your first round of gut-instinct research but nothing more. In the business world, you can’t necessarily take the word of friends and family as gospel unless they know business or the industry you are looking to enter. Friends and family aren’t really your best gauge of a business idea - but they are usually the easiest group to approach, and by talking about your idea to them, you can hone your business pitch.


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