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


Brands and Logos

July 9, 2010

Brand Names

Brands and logos – often linked together – invoke an emotional response in individuals from the apathy to dislike to excitement.  Shakespeare famously penned “What’s in a name?” several hundred years ago.  The answer is simply – a whole lot!  When General Motors chose the name Nova® for a car many years ago, it planned on exporting the car but did not consider the impact of the name in Mexico.  In Spanish, the words “no va” literally mean “no go.”  No surprise that Nova® sales were terrible in Mexico.  Not only were GM’s sales hurt, but its ‘brand’ was damaged as well.  The lesson here is to consider carefully the company and product names chosen and the taglines associated with them.

Logos

Visual images (i.e. logos) are important factors in the human psyche and can yield positive or negative emotions.  Another issue to consider is how or if the logos and names will be combined in some manner.  Examples of successful combinations are IBM, BMW, and A&P.  The logo helps indentify your company; it can be classic, modern, glitzy or subdued.  If professionally done, a logo should be consistent with the overall branding strategy and work with colors, wording, layout, and names to communicate a comprehensive brand to your customer base.  If a logo is designed by an amateur, the result will tend more toward a work of art.  There is nothing wrong with this approach per se, just be aware of the company image you are trying to convey and how the logo will affect that image.  Cost is always a consideration for a small business and must be weighed against the value of professional development.

A quick word about color: choose a color not used by your competitors.  Every item used in your branding approach (mailers, logos, artwork) should be chosen from the same color palette to avoid confusion in your customer base.  Build a culture of familiarity and consistency with your brand to build trust and a comfort level with your clientele.

Taglines should reflect not only a corporate attitude, but a personal one as well.  This is your company, commitment, livelihood, and dream.  Be vested and honest in the values that your taglines state.  Whether you choose “jumpstart your heart” or “taste the smell” for your new coffeehouse, be sure the product and service follows that creed and you believe 100% in what your company expresses.


More Home Business Ideas

July 8, 2010

I spoke with a friend this afternoon and learned that her position will be eliminated in February, 2011.  This is a triple hit for her:  The job market is tough, she is a divorcee, and has younger children at home.   Sue’s story reinforced my determination to make Homepreneurs valuable and helpful to as many as possible.

Today’s work-at-home suggestions are dedicated to Sue, may she discover a career, job or calling that fits her life and needs.

1) Web Designer – this position may create, design and/or maintain Internet web pages for individuals or organizations, public or private.  Work experience is desirable and some training is often needed.  Community colleges offer web design classes at reasonable prices.  People interested in this career should maintain a portfolio of previous work.  Excellent information at SpeckyBoy.com – http://bit.ly/Bmtpt

2) Massage Therapist – an individual in this field may work as an independent contractor for companies, out of the home or at client sites, home or other.  Many states require licensing and training programs are offered various locations.  Hourly rates range in urban areas from $60 to $100.  See http://www.amtamassage.org/becometherapist/starting.html for more information.

3) Repair and Restoration Services – this field can include fixing everyday items such as lawnmowers and lamps to restoring antiques, homes or offices.  This position may involve working solely at home or on location at a client’s site.  More information about these positions at http://www.assoc-restorers.com

Please don’t get frustrated by the search – a position exists that fits your life and style.  We’ll keep posting new ideas and invite our readers to include some of their own.  Best wishes!


Helpful Resources for Start Up Business

July 7, 2010

In a word, the Internet is INCREDIBLE.  Never in history has information been so readily available, easily accessed, broad in scope, and much of it, free.  From a business owner’s perspective, we have access to free software:  Open Office suite, templates for a variety of business programs and processes, creative tools such as Gimp (an open source version of Photoshop), Picasa (Google’s photo editing software), and even computer operating systems, notably Linux.  Granted, the learning curve of some is a little steep, but the price – FREE – and compatibility with existing hardware and software easily outweighs the downsides.

Aside from the free and valuable information available, other tools such as Instant Messenger – AOL, Yahoo, Google, et al. – chatrooms, discussion boards, and various business oriented groups scattered across the cyber universe is wonderful.  Want opinions about a new product or service?  Try to conduct a free poll on www.SurveyMonkey.com.  Questions about writing a business plan?  Try the small business administration at www.sba.gov.  Need a helping hand with marketing or stuck in a rut?  The volunteers (retired business owners) at www.score.org are often willing to give an opinion.

The Internet has opened the global marketplace to all producers and providers.  Do business from anywhere, at any time, to people and other organizations across the planet.  Embrace the technology, learn the terms and trends, educate yourself, and discover the hidden wonders that lie in wait.


Work from Home Positions

July 6, 2010

We’d be negligent in our duties if we didn’t suggest possible work-at-home (WAH) positions on this blog.  This most relevant issue demands that we post ideas for WAH jobs on a regular basis.  As always, please feel free to comment with some ideas or jobs that fit into the Homepreneurs concept.

Even during difficult economic times, some positions are absolute.  Doctors, lawyers, police and fire are examples in the private and public sectors.  For the homepreneur, tight budget times and high-unemployment periods can actually provide opportunity!  Companies are more likely to outsource certain positions rather than keep or add to staff and individuals look for ways to save money.  In this spirit, here are three positions that a homepreneur might consider:

1) Collections Work – granted this is a touchy position for many, but home collectors with low overheard and without the pressure of corporate results can be more successful.  Those with second language skills also have an added advantage.  Be aware that some states require licenses for collection agencies.  Additional information can be found at www.michelledunn.com

2) Cleaning Services – an always in-demand field in the residential sector, economic downturns provide opportunity with companies wishing to outsource staff.  Additionally, look at office complex possibilities or a local real estate office (for sale properties need cleaning too!)  Some cleaning services are franchised: www.bonusbuildingcare.com and www.anagousa.com are two larger ones.

3) Tutoring and Adult Education – growth of the Internet has grown this industry in addition to the face-to-face aspect.  Two sites that can help develop a clientele are www.eprep.com and www.teachstreet.com.  Many others exist as well – search the Internet for opportunities.

The above three suggestions are but a sampling of ideas for the potential homepreneur.  As homepreneurs grows, so too will its content and listing of possibilities.  Check back with us on a regular basis for additional suggestions.


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