Staples Gift Card Winners

May 19, 2012

This post is a bit tardy and Homepreneurs apologizes for the delay.  We’d like to announce the winners of our Staples Gift Card contest run at the end of February in conjunction with our radio appearance on Kayrn Pettigrew’s Beyond Blind Spots radio show on UnityFM radio.

The winners, chosen by random.org from the dozens of entries:

John B. from Illinois

Aubrey F. from Oklahoma

Lala R. from Oregon

There is also a fourth winner – Marci H – that we need to hear from.  Marci, if you read this, please email us at Homepreneurs@gmail.com.  Thank you!

Thanks again to everyone for reading Homepreneurs blog, checking us out on Facebook and LinkedIn, and following us on Twitter!  We very much appreciate your readership and will continue to write about starting and running a home business.

Best regards,

Dion


Homepreneurs Interview with Karyn Pettigrew of Beyond Blind Spots

February 22, 2012

Homepreneurs was very fortunate to be interviewed on Unity FM radio today by Karyn Pettigrew for her program, Beyond Blind Spots.  The program’s topic: The Joys and Pitfalls of Homepreneurship is one very familiar to Homepreneurs and its readers.  Briefly, we discussed the trend toward home business, options for entrepreneurs, and the relatively low-cost of starting a basic home business.  We also covered some tips that I feel every small or home business owner should know before starting.  The audio interview is available for download to iTunes or in Interview – MP3 Format.  A summary of the tips discussed is below.

1) Emphasis on Planning

- Research the product.  The basic premise of a business: does the business idea solve an existing problem or provide additional value to an existing solution?

- The market niche.  Is the product or service viable in your geographic area?  If a service, do you have enough potential clients to turn a profit?

- Competition.  Who and where is your competition?  What can your offering provide that is better than your competitors?  How will you provide value that someone else isn’t?

- Start up Cost.  A home business can be started with a cell phone, email address, and home computer.  Even a home computer is not absolutely necessary; use the local library or community college computers if needed.  Business cards are free through Vista Print.  Social networking – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – are wonderful public relation tools.  All are free.

- Simple Business Plan.  A one page document for a basic home business is probably enough for starters.  A business plan will keep you focused  on the product or service you are selling.  Remember, that a plan is a living, breathing document that should change if conditions warrant.  If you intend to take a loan out, the lender will likely want a formalized document.

2) Professional Business Team.  Every good business needs a team to be successful.  Some of the team members may include:

- Lawyer to help with contracts, business structure, legal agreements, litigation

- Accountant to provide tips on taxes, deductions, IRS issues

- Mentors to answer questions, provide guidance, and give feedback. Good sources are SCORE, SBA, and industry peers.

- Clients!  Your customers are often the best resources available. Their buying habits, verbal feedback, and requests for product options will tell you more than any questionnaire or survey.

3) Consider starting a business part-time first.

- Is running a business the best idea for you?  Do you have the interest and aptitude?

- Test market your product and/or service and find out if people want to buy it!

- Determine income potential at this time.  Full-time business probably won’t turn a profit for 7-12 months.  Do you have the savings needed to cover expenses for this time?

- Work a part time job with benefits while working on your business part-time. Best of both worlds: chase your dream but still have health insurance and retirement benefits.

- By Dion D Shaw

Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs. New Day.  New Opportunity.


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