Start a Business for $50

November 18, 2015

Yes, you can start a business for $50.  The business can be product or service-oriented, full-time or part-time, from home or not.  Here is how the costs break down:

  1. Using Google, enter godaddy into the search box.  Click on the $0.99 domain name box.

start a business for $50


2. Go to 1 Dollar Hosting.  Buy 12 months of website hosting for $12.00

3. Go to and hire someone to design a logo for $5.00

4. Design a website on for free.

5. Host the website on 1 dollar hosting.

6. Figure out what you want to sell or a service to provide.  Candles to yard work.  Whatever you want to do

7. Partner with a friend and double your efforts.

8. Set up a PayPal account.  Integrate the PayPal account with the website.

9. Sign up for social media platforms, hopefully with the same domain name

10. Start blogging or put product on your site to sell.  Advertise your services.

You spent $18 and a little time.  Spend the rest on materials if you need them or buy a few pizzas.  Or save the $32.00 for a date.

Whichever way you choose, start a business for $50.00 or less.

You’re welcome.  Have a nice day.


2 Simple Concepts for Business Success

October 3, 2013

I was flying from Reno to Las Vegas a few months ago and had a great conversation with a man sitting next to me.  I don’t recall his name, only some key words of advice.  He was older – in his 60s probably – and had started many successful businesses.  I asked him for some tips.  His answer was so obvious, so simple, and so true.

Want or Need

He said that a successful business boils down to two concepts:

– Give people what they need to survive

What do people need?  The basics: food (his business), water, and shelter from the elements or predators.  Minor changes might include health care and related.  We really NEED nothing else to survive.  Not even love.

– Give people what they want

People want to be entertained, have contact with others, and a purpose in life.

Entertainment ranges from television to pornography, to sports and travel, music and art.  Why is a dumb little game like Candy Crush so addictive?  It is entertaining.  In fact, 30 percent of all data transferred across the Internet is porn.(1)  Why?  Entertainment.

Contact with others includes love, relationships, sex, the Internet, clubs, and similar.

Purpose is the hardest to define and very person-specific.  Some want money or work.  Others want to volunteer or teach or raise children.  People want a purpose in life.  A purpose to keep living.

Want to build and run a successful business?  Figure out how to satisfy either the want or the need. 

Starting a successful business really is that simple.


When to Kill an Idea and Move On

August 14, 2013

More valuable advice from David Cummings…

David Cummings on Startups

Not all startup ideas work. In fact, most don’t. One of the more difficult things to do is to quickly determine if an idea isn’t going to work and to kill it. Almost always, entrepreneurs wait too long to admit failure and give up. In my post mortem on a failed product, I share a number of mistakes that I made. Of course, I waited at least six months too long to shut down the product.

Here are a few indicators that it’s time to kill an idea and move on:

  • Repeated customer discovery interviews with no product interest
  • Prospect needs are too inconsistent resulting in no way to productize an offering
  • Personal passion and interest has seriously waned
  • Product value is treated too much as a nice-to-have instead of must-have

It’s never easy to admit an idea is no longer worth pursuing but each experience provides an opportunity…

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Buy Equity in Your Startup or Loan it Money?

July 18, 2013

David Cummings on Startups

Most information on bootstrapping and self-funding a startup revolves around capitalizing the business by buying equity (e.g. you and a cofounder each put in $5,000 to start it). I know one entrepreneur that insists on loaning his business money instead of buying equity in it (after an initial nominal amount).

Here are some ideas on loaning your startup money instead of buying equity:

  • Money loaned is easier to be reimbursed, assuming the business does well, compared to the effort of having the business buy back equity (e.g. it’s easier to get your money back)
  • If other shareholders are involved, it’s easier to decide on a loan interest rate rather than an equity valuation
  • If other shareholders are involved, and a loan is in place, interest on the loan takes precedence over dividends, thereby providing an income stream to the shareholder that loaned the money, in addition to being a more…

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Reasons Every Startup Should Blog

May 29, 2013

Are you a startup? Start with a blog!


start up blog

A blog is a great way to open up the dialogue between your startup and the online community.  It is something we (Cahoots) have been doing for a few months now while we refine our concept and product.  Our blog has been a fantastic tool, asset, and outlet for us.  We are attracting a growing audience to engage with on a regular basis. As it turns out the biggest advantage isn’t the traffic, it’s the thought, research, feedback, and encouragement that blogging gives us.  Therefore, we recommend blogging as a cornerstone to any startup.  Here’s why:

1.  The Edge: As of December 2012, there are over 634 million websites (Pingdom).  There are an average of 150,000 new websites and 7.3 million pages added to the internet everyday. A blog is just one more way to get an edge and stand out from the competition. Research has found…

View original post 513 more words

Seven Steps to Starting Your own Business

September 1, 2011

You’ve decided – or compelled – to start your own business. You have talent, experience, a good idea, and a desire to leave the corporate world behind. But a nagging question exists: How to start?

I ran across this article that provides seven steps from idea to implementation. It is a basic guide, written in plain language, and contains common-sense steps.

Still interested in starting a business?  Read and follow these steps.  It provides a wonderful primer for start ups.


Seven Steps to Starting Your own Business

By Palo Alto Software

I’d like a basic outline for the fundamentals of how to start my own business. Please include some insight on financial management, legalities, literature that may come in handy, etc. Thanks!

What is interesting about this question is that, while many businesses are indeed created after much thought and planning, probably just as many are started on the fly; the guy who has had the itch to go solo but gets fired from his day job before actually doing so is apt to just wing it and hope for the best.

By the same token, there are many companies that start out planning to be one thing and end up doing something quite different. This is not to say that forethought and planning are a waste of time when starting a business; that’s certainly not true. Rather, it points out one of the fundamental laws of successful entrepreneurship: be flexible. For example, a 15 years ago Microsoft had no Internet strategy at all. Seeing the folly of that, they shifted much of their focus almost overnight. That’s a good lesson for all of us.

That said, here are the seven steps to starting your own business:

Step 1: Personal evaluation.

Begin by taking stock of yourself and your situation. Why do you want to start a business? Is it money, freedom, creativity, or some other reason? What skills do you have? What industries do you know about? Would you want to provide a service or a product? What do you like to do? How much capital do you have to risk? Will it be a full-time or a part-time venture? Your answers to these types of questions will help you narrow your focus and pick a business.

Maybe you don’t know what kind of business fits your goals. If that’s the case, there are many places to get business ideas. Do some online research. Look through the Yellow Pages. Go to trade shows. Buy industry magazines. Check in with the Small Business Association. Read the business section of the newspaper.

Step 2: Analyze the industry.

Once you decide on a business that fits your goals and lifestyle, you need to evaluate your idea. Who will buy your product or service? Who would be your competitors? You also need to figure out at this stage how much money you will need to get started.

Step 3: Make it legal.

There are several ways to form your business ––  it could be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. As I have discussed several times previously, although incorporating can be expensive, it is well worth the money. A corporation becomes a separate entity that is legally responsible for the business. If something goes wrong, you cannot be held personally liable.

You also need to get the proper business licenses and permits. Depending upon the business, there may be city, county, or state regulations as well as permits and licenses to deal with. This is also the time to check into any insurance you may need for the business and to find a good accountant.

Step 4: Draft a business plan.

If you will be seeking outside financing, a business plan is a necessity. But even if you are going to finance the venture yourself, a business plan will help you figure out how much money you will need to get started, what needs to get done when, and where you are headed.

Step 5: Get financed.

Depending on the size of your venture, you may need to seek financing from an “angel” or from a venture capital firm. Most small businesses begin with private financing from credit cards, personal loans, help from the family, etc. As a rule of thumb, besides your start-up costs, you should also have at least three months’ worth of your family’s budget in the bank.

Step 6: Set up shop.

Find a location. Negotiate leases. Buy inventory. Get the phones installed. Have stationery printed. Hire staff. Set your prices. Throw a “Grand Opening” party.

Step 7: Trial and error.

It will take awhile to figure out what works and what does not. Follow your business plan, but be open and creative. Advertise! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. And above all, have a ball! Running your own business is one of the great joys in life!


An Incubator That Turns Laid Off Workers Into Entrepreneurs

February 17, 2011

January 26, 2011


Terri Maxwell uses the term “reluctant entrepreneurs” to describe the budding business owners she coaches through Succeed on Purpose, the business incubator she founded in Las Colinas, Tex. The incubator is intended for former employees, most of them forced from corporate jobs by layoffs, looking to recast themselves as entrepreneurs. The transition requires them to embrace a new mindset, said Ms. Maxwell, who has long enjoyed being her own boss.

Her introduction to the start-up world was rocky. She joined her first new venture, a systems integration company, as vice president of sales and marketing in 1995, invested $50,000 of her own money, and promptly lost it all. “I was broke and in debt, but bitten by the start-up bug,” she said.

Things improved in her next post as vice president of sales and marketing for an educational software start-up, Whole Village Technology. She said the company raised $500,000 in private equity funds, was sold, and broke even. Next, she joined the marketing subsidiary of a regional Internet service provider, Flashnet Communications, where she said she helped increase revenue to $35 million. Later, Prodigy acquired the company, an event that Ms. Maxwell said helped increase her net worth at the time to just over $500,000. “Given that I had no money in 1996,” she said, “I felt like I was rich.” When Prodigy made her a job offer, she declined.

Instead, she founded a one-woman marketing firm, Latimark, in 2002 and completed an M.B.A. program soon after. “By 2003, I realized I really wanted to build something,” she said. Her goal: a marketing consultancy with revenue of $50 million. She seemed on her way with Latimark, a 40-employee firm that had 2008 revenue of $6 million and worked with clients, including Nokia, handling their branding and go-to-market strategies. The firm developed a return-on-investment tool that sought to help clients measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts holistically. Instead of assessing the success of an individual program, it helped them measure increases in revenue, profits, or market share and divide them by the expense of a program, product, or channel.

In March 2008, Latimark was about to expand by acquiring an Atlanta marketing firm. But a market analysis showed it was a bad time to make the acquisition and that the months ahead could be precarious for Latimark. Ms. Maxwell and her board of advisers determined that the firm was likely to burn through all of its money trying to survive the recession. They decided to sell Latimark’s R.O.I. tool and intellectual property. The company was negotiating a term sheet with one buyer and a licensing agreement with another when both deals became casualties of the recession. Ms. Maxwell decided to shut her firm, hanging onto its assets and securing jobs for most of her employees with the firm’s customers.

In September, 2009, Ms. Maxwell introduced Succeed on Purpose with the goal of helping former employees  discover their purpose, which she defined as a combination of strengths and passions. Initially, the company offered services that included incubation, training, workshops, and coaching. By the end of 2009, Ms. Maxwell determined that the workshops and incubator had the most traction, and they became the company’s focus. The workshops continue to serve as recruiting tools for the incubator.

The goal for each Succeed on Purpose start-up is a business that will have annual revenue of at least $1 million in its first three to five years. Succeed on Purpose provides incubating businesses with a cash investment of up to $20,000, office space at its 7,000-square-foot incubation center, training, coaching, and mentoring. In exchange, the incubator takes an equity stake of 20 percent to 49 percent that gives it a corresponding percentage of the start-up’s net profits beginning in the second year of the five-year program.

Until recently, the incubator had been operating almost in stealth mode. In fact, the Succeed on Purpose Web site still makes no mention of it. Instead, the site highlights the company’s purpose workshop. Ms. Maxwell said she was reluctant to go public with the incubator before it was perfected. “We’re ready now,” she said.

Last year, Succeed on Purpose introduced seven companies. All but two are meeting their revenue goals. Of those two, Ms. Maxwell is helping one sell its assets.  She said the other had left the program. In situations where the interests of the entrepreneur and the incubator diverge, buyout clauses allow either party to exit the business at regular intervals throughout the program. This month, a new crop of seven owners entered the incubator.

Ms. Maxwell said Succeed on Purpose generated 2010 revenue of about $75,000, mostly through incubation distribution payments. In 2009 and 2010 she loaned the company a total of $400,000 of her own money to build out the incubation center on nearly a full floor of The Tower on Lake Carolyn, a 20-story office building. The incubator has space for 20 entrepreneurs and a four-year lease. Ms. Maxwell expects to break even in the second quarter of 2011. To make that possible, she said half the start-ups must hit their revenue projections. Succeed on Purpose will then begin repaying Ms. Maxwell’s $400,000 loan, a process she expects will take three to four years.

Our next post on Succeed on Purpose will explore the challenges that its reluctant entrepreneurs face as they work to shed their employee mindsets. These challenges include paralyzing perfectionism, fear of making a mistake, and a tendency to prioritize operations over sales.


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