Considering Self Employment?

July 18, 2010

In another recent survey, potential work at home people were asked why they would consider self employment.  Below are some of their responses:

“Yes. Being my own boss is appealing.  On the other hand, the risk required is frightening to me”
“Yes, because I enjoy creating things.”
“Having been self employed for a number of years, I understand the opportunity and responsibilities.  At present stage, I need to have something that I can count on to move forward in my living situation.  As such, working a 100% commission or self employed status without a steady stream of income is not practical.  However, once that is achieved, I am convinced that we all need to be pursuing multiple streams of income as nothing, I repeat, nothing is guaranteed.”
“Yes…would love to work from home”
“Yes and no.  My current financial situation requires that I focus on a “”steady job,”” but I am looking at alternative streams down the road.”
“Yes, I’m registered disabled in the UK and have disabilities that prevent me going into a normal office environment. Rather than rely on benefits, I choose to be self employed.”
“Yes, I would like to start my own business, but I fear that I would not have the necessary skills to be successful.  I would actually consider self-employment on a part-time basis if that is at all possible.”
“yes because childcare is to expensive and I needed to be able to be my own boss and work when I can instead of a traditional schedule.”
“Yes.  Ownership opportunity. A home based business would allow me “”my time””, self management.  Tired of working for others.”
“Yes. Appealing for flexibility and potential income.”

The reasons  are common and not surprising.  A healthy mix of desire for flexibility and a need for additional or supplementary income.  These are offset however, by obvious concerns about risk.

Regarding risk, as one quote pointed out -  “..nothing is guaranteed…” – a lesson many of us learned during this prolonged recession.  Ask yourself one question: Which is riskier?  The probably of a layoff or controlling ones own destiny via self-employment?

At present, those unemployed are competing against many millions of other Americans for the same jobs.  Every opening has more or less 100 applicants.  This translates to a 1% chance of landing a traditional job now as opposed to 100% chance of starting one’s own business.

We’ll ask again:  Which option is riskier?


Hobby or Business? An IRS View.

July 16, 2010

One idea for home business is to turn a hobby into a money-making opportunity. Examples could include crafts, writing or graphic arts.  Naturally there are potential tax implications to consider if one intends to mix business and pleasure.  The following rules and regulations are found on the IRS small business site:

“In order to make this determination (hobby vs business), taxpayers should consider the following factors:

  • Does the time and effort put into the activity indicate an intention to make a profit?
  • Does the taxpayer depend on income from the activity?
  • If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?
  • Has the taxpayer changed methods of operation to improve profitability?
  • Does the taxpayer or his/her advisors have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?
  • Has the taxpayer made a profit in similar activities in the past?
  • Does the activity make a profit in some years?
  • Can the taxpayer expect to make a profit in the future from the appreciation of assets used in the activity?

The IRS presumes that an activity is carried on for profit if it makes a profit during at least three of the last five tax years,including the current year — at least two of the last seven years for activities that consist primarily of breeding, showing, training or racing horses.”

The entire IRS opinion is here: www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=169490,00.html


Simple Marketing Brochure

July 16, 2010

The example below is a marketing handout from Jody Nesva, a home-based entrepreneur that provides concierge like services to residents in the Chicago area.  Her business idea is simple, cost-effective and a very in-demand service today for many busy people with careers, families, and limited time.

Jody demonstrates with this handout that generating sales can involve easy to make and inexpensive marketing brochures.  Marketing doesn’t need to involve commercials, costly advertising or big budgets.  Sometimes simple is the best choice!

Your Left Hand


There are times in everyone’s life when it is just impossible to get everything completed on your or your family members ‘
“To-Do List”.  Let me help make your day more enjoyable and manageable by offering my Personal Assistant/Concierge Services providing the following services:

Grocery shopping, personal shopper and gift shopping
Organize your household, office, closets, personal needs, or just help  dispose of unnecessary items in your home
Run errands, banking deposits, pharmacy, library, video store, dry cleaners, or
Post Office to name a few
Make doctors’ appointments
Pay bills and file and track insurance claim forms
Personal and Business correspondence including tracking special occasions and sending cards out
Locate qualified repairmen and services
Wait for installers and deliveries
Make travel arrangements, assist with parties and help plan events
Holiday planning, gift wrapping and delivery
Any other services that may be desired

I am committed to assisting you in an efficient manner so you can focus on the more important things in life.

Jody Nesva,
847-208-1227


Why Did I Start a Business?

July 15, 2010

Recently, we conducted a survey that gave us valuable feedback on current homepreneurs and another on potential ones.  This post recaps a variety of reasons people gave for starting their own self-directed careers.

  • A business opportunity fell in my lap.  I was doing pro-bono website development work to gain experience.  Someone approached me about paying me to be their web developer and I jumped at the opportunity.
  • It seemed like the best alternative at the time, and I was tired of asking permission to grow as in a corporate setting.
  • Business started while working full time in the corporate world. Many hours in the evenings and week ends. Eventually switched to full time Financial Planning business as clients kept coming to me by God’s mercy.
  • To make a positive difference in society.
  • My first self-employment venture was actually as a limited partner in a family owned business.  However, the real draw for my consideration to be self-employed was the indendence of being my own boss with unlimited earning potential.
  • Cannot manage a normal job in office.
  • At my previous job with a Big Pharma the 14 hr days were expected and not appreciated.  So, I decided to pour all that time and energy into my own business.
  • Have better control over what I did and who I worked for.
  • To help people get healthy.

Perhaps one of the reasons above is something one can identify with or maybe another provides the spark.

Whichever the case or whatever the reason, what are you waiting for?  Start your own business today!


Choosing a Business Name

July 10, 2010
How 16 Great Companies Picked Their Unique Names

How 16 Great Companies Picked Their Unique Names

Jul 08, 2010 -

Anyone who’s ever had to form a company can sympathize with how difficult it can be to create a company name that is descriptive yet unique.

However, some companies have gone a less-traditional route and used some pretty unique naming conventions.

Here are some examples of interesting company names and the backstories behind them.

1. Google

The name started as a joke about the amount of information the search engine could search, or a “Googol” of information. (A googol is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.) When founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin gave a presentation to an angel investor, they received a check made out to “Google.”

2. Hotmail

Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith had the idea of checking their email via a web interface, and tried to find a name that ended in “mail.” They finally settled on hotmail because it had the letters “html,” referencing the HTML programming language used to help create the product.

3. Volkswagen

Volkswagen literally means “people’s car.” Adolf Hitler initially came up with the idea for “cars for the masses,” which would be a state-sponsored “Volkswagen” program. Hitler wanted to create a more affordable car that was able to transport two adults and three children at speeds of 62 mph. He choose the car manufacturer Porsche to carry out the project, and the rest, as they say, is history.

4. Yahoo

The word “yahoo” was coined by Jonathan Swift in the the book Gulliver’s Travels. The term represented a repulsive, filthy creatures that resembled humans (think: Neanderthal). Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo considered themselves yahoos, and thought the term would be appropriate for their joint venture.

5. Asus

The consumer electronic company is named after Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology. The founders dropped the first three letters for the high position in alphabetical listings. In 1998 Asus created a spinoff company named Pegatron, using the other unused letters of Pegasus.

6. Cisco

Contrary to popular belief and theories, Cisco is simply short for San Francisco. Their logo resembles the suspension cables found on the Golden Gate bridge.

7. Canon

When Canon was founded in 1933 under the name Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory. Two years later they adopted “Canon” after the company’s first camera, the Kwanon. Kwanon is the Japanese name of the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy.

8. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s name comes from the the coca leaves and kola nuts used as flavoring in the soft drink. Eventually Coca-Cola creator John S. Pemberton changed the ‘K’ of kola to ‘C’ to create a more fluid name.

9. FranklinCovey

The planning product line was named after Benjamin Franklin and Stephen Covey. The company was formed in 1997 from the combining of the two companies FranklinQuest and the Covey Leadership Center.

10. IKEA

IKEA is simply a random collection of letters, based from the first letters of founder Ingvar Kamprad’s name in addition to the first letters of the names of the Swedish property and the village in which he grew up: Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.

11. Lego

Lego is a combination of the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which translates to “play well.” Initially the company built wooden toys, and later switched to making plastic bricks. Lego also means “I put together” in Latin, but the Lego Group claims this merely coincidence and the origin of the word is strictly Danish.

12. Reebok

Reebok is simply an alternate spelling of “rhebok,” an African antelope. The company founders found the word in a South African edition of a dictionary won by the Joe Foster, son of the Reebok founder J.W. Foster.

13. Sharp

The Japanese consumer electronics company is named after its first product, an ever-sharp pencil that was created in 1915.

14. Six Apart

Six Apart’s name has one of the most interesting origins. The web company’s co-founders Ben and Mena Trott were born six days apart.

15. Skype

The original prototype of the company’s flagship product had the name “Sky-Peer-to-Peer,” which was shrunk down to Skyper, then finally Skype.

16. Verizon

Verizon is a combination of the words veritas, which is Latin for “truth,” and horizon.

Glen Stansberry is the co-founder of Howdy, a way for small business sites to improve site conversions. You can find more of Glen’s business insights on Wise Bread, the leading personal finance community dedicated to helping people get the most out of their money.

This article is a reprint found here: http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/how-16-great-companies-picked-their-unique-names-glen-stansberry


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