My husband has had his own business since 1996, and I sold on eBay for about four years. One of the most important things you learn when you are in business is marketing. You have to market your company in order to get others to know it exists. An important first step is coming up with a name that reflects what your company does and a name that is unique.
From 1991 to 1996, my husband was a freelance writer. At that time, he called his business Kreative Kreations. In 1996, when he started up his computer business, he began an S-corporation and called it Bedford Technology Group, Inc. It reflects where we live and what he does. When I began selling on eBay, I tried various ideas, but decided yesterdayshopes fit me. I wanted to sell things from yesteryear (collectibles, toys and books). I even had a ‘store front’ sign that I then placed on my invoices and business cards. When I branched out, I made up a new business card that had a smiley face with dollar signs for eyes, and a picture of a garage sale. My intent was to show people I could turn their unwanted items into cash.
But I am embarking on a new adventure. I don’t have the space to keep a large inventory at home and so I am looking into other things I can do. I have a knack for writing, I am learning html and web design and I like helping people. I found out about this cool website where I could create a logo design via a free demo. Then if I liked it, I could also create business cards. The site enables me to play around quite a bit until I find just the right logo for me.
I want to get my new business off on the right foot with a symbol that expresses my attitude and that logo will be with me as long as this business last. Below you can see the steps I went through to create a business logo for myself.
After going to LogoYes.com, I clicked on the free demo. First I got to choose what type of logo I wanted: High-tech, Bold, or flair. I chose flair because these symbols embody creativity and being customer-oriented.
Over Christmas we were watching A Christmas Story. One of our favorites! I always laugh at the parts where the dad is trying to find a place to plug in the leg lamp. We are so out of spaces to plug things in at our house, it isn’t funny! And I can’t help but wonder about the fire hazard we have created by the miles and miles of cable in our home. Electric cable, printer cables, computer cables, phone cables, earphone cables, recharging cables! It reminds me of another movie moment in Airplane when William Shatner starts losing it becaus of all the lights beeping and blinking! (Maybe I watch too many movies).
Then there are the cables we can’t see…the underground electric cable, the phone cable, the T1 cable (yes, we had T1 in the past) and a fiber optic cable. If ever anyone needed to be able to buy bulk cable, it is our family! When we wired our home so that all the computers here and in our office across the street to be connected, we bought cable on a big spool. No one would ever expect our little home in the rural area we live in to be as wired as an office building downtown, but we are. These are the kind of things you have to do when you run your own business a) from home and b) when your home is in the middle of nowhere!
For those of you who don’t know, my hubby, Daniel, has been working in Bloomington Illinois since the beginning of December. He travels back and forth each week so we can be together as a family on weekends. This is not an easy row to hoe under the best of conditions and during the winter, the weather conditions are not the best. I think he has only had maybe a half dozen flights since December that went smoothly. When you figure he is on a plane two times a week and has done that for about 10 weeks now, that’s 20 flights. Anyway, his adventures would put Steve Martin and John Candy (Planes, Trains and Automobiles) to shame…well, almost;)
Last Thursday, he went to the Bloomington airport at approximately 11:00, only to find the flight out of Bloomington was delayed by 4 hours due to weather in Bloomington. He was only a couple of hours by car from Chicago and Chicago was where he was supposed to be flying to. So, he and three other guys went in together and rented a car to go to Chicago. Daniel missed his flight by 10 minutes. Weather got worse and he ended up spending the night in Chicago. Friday morning he got on a flight to fly into Roanoke (about an hour from our house). The weather here was bad and icy and low clouds on Friday and he ended up getting rerouted to Charleston, WV for a few hours until the clouds lifted high enough for the planes to land. The drive home would have taken 11 hours. The flight home took about 36 from the time he started out in Bloomington to the time he walked in our front door.
Then yesterday evening we dropped him off at the Lynchburg airport (about 1/2 hour away – he flies from different airports depending on his schedule). We dropped him off around 3 and his flight left around 4:30. He flew to Atlanta, only to discover his flight leaving there was delayed due to dense fog in Illinois. It was eventually cancelled and he spent last night in Atlanta. His flight into Bloomington couldn’t be rescheduled until today at 4 pm. This afternoon and tonight, there is going to be an ice storm in Bloomington. Every day he misses from work is no pay, plus it doesn’t make the employer very happy when he isn’t there either, plus there is the added expense of unexpected hotel stays. So, instead of waiting for the 4 pm flight, he is going to try and see if he can get an earlier flight into Chicago and then drive from Chicago to Bloomington…what a mess! Be sure to stay tuned for more traveling adventures!
Owning your own business has its perks. When you own your own business you are your own boss. Theoretically you can set you own hours (but if you want to do business with the rest of the world, they better be compatible). Theoretically you can pick and choose which jobs to take (as long as you are paying the bills). You can decide where you want to live and work (if you have a business that allows you to commute or telecommute or ship your products wherever they need to go).
One of the things I like about our home business is the neat things we receive in the mail. There are companies whose business is to help us market our business. The best way to get your name out there and to keep it out there is to have gadgets that you can hand out to others with your name and contact information on them. Business cards are well and good, but if you really want to catch someone’s eye, hand them a pocket knife, pen, a magnet with your photo (or the photo of your product), a note pad or a stress ball. All of these are useful items and will hopefully keep your company’s name and product in the front of the mind of the person you gave it too. And people love getting freebies! Because we have a business we often receive samples of these marketing devices in the mail. My particular favorite is the marketing pens we get. They are useful and often very sharp looking.
Of course there are always downsides to owning your own business, but if you wish to be successful, it is best not to dwell on them or they will drag you down. If you own your own business, I would love to hear some of your marketing strategies and the perks that come to your mind when you think about owning your own business.
The number one asset of any company is the people who work in it. Without people, business go nowhere. People answer the phones, create the products, build, and make the businesses work. But we don’t always know how to make the best use of our assets. Perhaps you hire employee A for their wonderful way with organizing. But what you don’t realize about employee A is that they also speak three languages and have a way with design because that wasn’t the initial reason for hiring employee A. Maybe you noticed it and thought it was really cool at the time you hired the employee, but once you hired them for the specific position, it was no longer necessary to hold on to those extra facts.
Now your company has grown and you could use those skills of employee A, but you have forgotten about them. That’s where talent management comes in handy. By using Halogen software, you can do the following:
- Appraise employee performance
- Run 360 degree assessments
- Align and track employee and organizational goals
- Plan training and development
- Use talent pools for succession planning
- Make compensation adjustments based on performance
- Gain insight with dashboards and analytics
Make the most out of your number one asset! Don’t let talents remain unused and forgotten!
My husband’s uncle iw a wireless tower landlord. He allowed a cell phone tower to be erected on his property and each month he gets paid rent from cell phone companies for that. So far he hasn’t had any troubles, but he was glad when I told him that there is a Wireless Landlord Association(WLA) that can help protect his rights and provide him with information.
And you don’t have to be a current wireless landlord, if you are contemplating going that route, WLA can help you with that as well. WLA’s team of experienced industry experts and legal professionals serves as a powerful resource for individual landlords.
If you are having difficulties working out contracts with any of the cell phone tower companies, be sure to check with Wireless Land Association for tips and information. Associate membership is free. If you sign up for associate membership you will receive site promotion, the wireless industry newsletter, and a detailed blue book report.
If you opt for the premier membership (cost is 5% of your monthly rentals), then you will be able to access other benefits including wireless lease audit and appraisal, nad rent continuation. And there are other services they can assist you with for additional fees.
If you have a large company, keeping up with all of the ins and outs of it can be more than a bit demanding. Do you know if your personnel is placed in the most strategic job slot? Do you know if your budget is going to handle the overtime, or would it be cheaper to bring in more personnel? Would you like a detailed analysis of what your various departments are doing (from an objective standpoint?) Is your company organized in the most efficient way possible?
In the corporate world, it is often difficult to see the forest for the trees. My husband has worked for a variety of corporations over the years and time and time again, he has been amazed how little communication there is between different departments, even when they are working on the same project. Departments tend to get tied up in their own project and neglect how there component fits into the bigger picture.
If you need to evalutate your corporate performance management, you should consider PROPHIX. PROPHIX delivers budgeting, forecasting, reporting, consolidation, personnel planning and other financial functions in a single solution. PROPHIX’s ease of use and minimal IT involvement provide the benefit of rapid implementation and a lower total cost of ownership.
Figure out your company’s strengths and weaknesses today and lead it into a more profitable and efficient structure tomorrow. .
Are you a business owner? Are you in search of a fair market Business valuationthat will give you an idea of what your business is worth? Perhaps you want to sell, but you aren’t sure what your business is worth. Perhaps someone has contacted you and you aren’t sure if it is a good offer or not. Maybe you need to borrow money and one of the things you need to be able to tell your bank is an objective evaluation of how much your business is worth.
If you are interested in a Fair Market Business Valuation, you can simply click on the link above. Fill in the information about your name and business and then you will be contacted by a FairMarketValuations.com representative. The two of you will work together to determine what the current fair market value of your business is.
Technology changes every day. This fast paced, information based society that we live in means that you and your company have to stay on top of things in order to be competitive. But how does one keep up with rapidly changing technology and work at the same time?
Taking classes in night school used to be the way when I was a child. I remember my dad doing that a few times. But people have less time now than they did 20 years ago and a lot of times the colleges can’t even keep up with the changes in technology. Not fast enough to keep your company on the leading edge, anyway.