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Starting a Small Business? Should You Keep Your Day Job?

To work or not to work during ‘s a tough question for many entrepreneurs. There are two primary pulls either way — a full-time startup gets your full attention and shortens the time to making money, but working during startup keeps the bills paid and provides a back-up plan for the risk of going out on your own. The best option for you depends on a number of factors, and with either method it is essential that you manage your time and money effectively.
Business Type
The type of business you are planning to start is the first consideration in whether to launch full-time or part-time. There are some ventures that require you to be available during the standard workweek — 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. If your current job includes these hours, it may be impossible to get your business off the ground. The best option in those cases is to develop a complete plan for your business while still employed, including a full marketing plan, budget, and beginning to network. The more developed your business idea, the more clear it will be when the best time to commit full-time will be.
Available Capital
The amount of capital you have for your startup is another critical factor. If you haven’t developed a full startup budget yet, do so before you quit your day job. Startup costs are easy to underestimate, especially without working through the details of the business idea. In addition to the actual startup costs, you will need enough cash to keep your personal bills covered. Often, entrepreneurs discover the hard way that the few thousand they thought would be sufficient disappears rapidly once work starts on the they end up going back to work anyway. Set a realistic budget based on a realistic time frame for getting the venture off the ground before you commit to full-time entrepreneur status.
If You Decide to Start Part Time
If you do decide to keep a job while working on your business, your first priority is to get organized. You will have to master time and task management in order to make reasonable progress on your business idea. The odds are that your work hours aren’t the only time consumers on your schedule, so it is critical to establish dedicated blocks of time to focus on your startup. Eliminate as many time killers as possible and consider getting up a few hours earlier or staying up a few hours later to get the venture going.
Do not even consider using your time on another job to work on your startup. In the first place, it is disrespectful and probably a terminable offense. You won’t want your employees working on outside interests on your time, so you shouldn’t either. In the second place, most professional jobs include provisions within the employment contract that deem all of your work product as owned by the company. Thus, if you create a new or innovative product or service using company assets (even your work computer), they may well have a legitimate lawsuit regarding the rights to your ideas.
If You Decide to Start Full Time
If you decide to quit your job and go after your startup full-time, you still need to take control of your time. Especially if you are working from home, it is very easy to be distracted from the business by daily chores, projects that have been awaiting your attention, even the television. Set yourself a clear work schedule and organize your time as you would if you were working for someone else. Your startup will have to be your priority if you are going to succeed, so expect to commit more hours to the venture than any other job. In fact, the average business owner works 65 or more hours per week, and that’s after the startup period!…

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Starting a Business With a Website – A Practical Outline

This article is meant as a practical outline for starting a web/world based business from someone in the process of doing so. I started to put a merchandising business together about a month ago and assumed that a presence on the internet was a necessity. The first thing I did was to research tax laws and file a DBA (“doing business as”) in the counties clerk’s offices where I anticipated doing “physical” business. The tax laws for an individual doing business “under an assumed (business) name are simpler than the more complicated corporate tax laws. Filing the DBA legally establishes you under the business name chosen. At each step from here you need to ensure compliance with manifold regulations, such as permits and licenses for your activities if you wish to sell things in various venues.
Next, you need to ensure the production of your product. This depends on what you produce. Keep record of all your business related expenditures and income. Do not do this in an electronic database only. Keep hard records!
When you have or are close to having a product, you need a website. You should look up “web hosting services” and compare reviews and rankings from those who have used them. Good customer service is essential with a web host. For a small business, you may want to use a shared server or a “VPS” (virtual private server), which costs a bit more. You need to either build the site yourself with software provided by the host or chosen from the marketplace (varied options) or hire it out. It depends on the scope of your site, but inquire about building it yourself as this can be cost effective and more fun. You will need to configure your e-commerce setup by providing online payment services. You can use Pay Pal, Checks, or Credit Cards as a few possibilities. Credit Card processing generally requires a merchant account with Visa/Mastercard. This can be an involved process. Once you are online, you need to promote your site. While there are tricks to web programming (search engine optimization) that make your site accessible, traditional real-life contact is indispensable where you share your name and website while building a rapport with the customer is just essential to a startup business. I am now at the point of marketing and advertising. Best of luck with your own start-up business.…

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Business Myths

Starting your own business can be an exciting investment. Whether your business is your passion, or just a genius plan that you developed, it is important to know the facts about starting a business before you invest. Many people have misconceptions about what starting a business entails. In order for your business to have a fair shot at success, you should be aware of what to expect. To help clarify things, we’ve compiled a list of myths and facts about opening a small business.
Myth: If all goes well, my business should start turning a profit in 6 months.
Fact: The sad truth is that even successful businesses do not start making a profit until several years after start-up. Because overhead costs for most businesses require large loans or investments that must be paid back, even a booming business will not make a true profit until all the initial start-up costs have been paid off. Typically, a successful business will begin generating pure profit after 2 to 3 years.
Myth: The government gives out special grants to small businesses.
Fact: This is just simply not true. There are no federal grants that go directly to small businesses. The best way to pursue financing your business is by contacting your local Economic Development Corp (EDC) office.
Myth: I can pay myself as much as I want!
Fact: Unfortunately, this isn’t part of the deal. While you theoretically could pocket large sums of money at the beginning, you will most likely only be hurting yourself in the long-run. Most of the money that comes in should be reinvested in the business, or used to pay off expenses. Even if your business has been booming for a decade and all expenses have been paid off, the IRS includes a clause that does not allow a business owner to pay themselves an “unreasonable compensation.”
Myth: My product/service will sell itself.
Fact: This is a very dangerous attitude to have when starting a business. Products do not sell themselves. Marketing is a crucial component to any business’ success, even if your product/service is the best thing to enter the market since sliced bread. Talk with a marketing professional who can assist you with building a website, creating a logo, printing business cards, and spreading the word about your business.
For more information about business law, consult the Texas business attorneys at the law office of Slater, Kennon & Jameson, LLP.…

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Top Tips And Advice For Hiring A Quality Locksmith

If you ask anyone in your life to name the best locksmith around, you will likely get a blank stare instead of an answer. Few people are truly prepared. Don’t be one of those left standing on the outside looking in at your nice, warm house. This guide will assist you in selecting the proper locksmith.

Even if you think you will never need the services of a locksmith, it is best to be prepared. Research and find a professional locksmith before you need one. You can save the locksmith’s phone number so you have it ready to go if there is an emergency.

Get a receipt. The majority of locksmiths are honest individuals, but a few out there do try to scam people. You will want to get quality service and have paperwork to back it up. Keep the receipt inside a secure place in case there are questions about payment in the future.

If a locksmith quotes you one price by phone, then tries to up the price upon arrival, tell them you will do business with someone else. It is best to hire a locksmith that is honest and upfront.

When you make an initial inquiry to a locksmith, ask about their business history. Additionally, ascertain they’ve always operated from the same location. If the company has been around for several years, that’s good news.

Be sure to check the identification of any locksmith you plan to hire. Tell them over the phone and ensure they agree. If they disagree, don’t hire them.

Ask any locksmith you are considering how long they’ve been in business. If it’s been a long time, then they are most likely trustworthy and reliable. Make sure that you do not trust a locksmith right off the bat.

Don’t hire the first locksmith you speak to. You should be calling at least three or more locksmiths before deciding on which one to hire. This will help you understand what the going rate is. Once you do figure this out, you are going to be able to make an informed decision about who is charging fairly.

Don’t hire a locksmith that charges for making an appearance. This is not common practice, so you’re most likely dealing with a scam artist. If you find out that he does not have a license and he still wants to pay, ask him to leave, then call the police.

Good locksmiths can do more than change door locks. They can help change your window locks if you’ve been burglarized before. Some might even reconfigure your alarm system.

Before allowing a locksmith to begin working, inspect their I.D. and professional license. Be sure to compare the two so that you know the person on the license is the person standing in front of you. A locksmith that is good will have a license, even if it isn’t required.

Until they need a locksmith, most people don’t think twice about finding someone reputable. Unfortunately, that leaves you open to a number of scams. Prepare yourself ahead of time by using this advice to find a great locksmith. You won’t be sorry you did!…

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Want To Learn More About Email Marketing? Read On

Your email marketing should contain relevant information presented in an attractive manner to encourage customers to purchase from you. Could it really be as simple as that? Of course! Your profits will increase if you make an email-based marketing campaign that fits these requirements. This article will provide you with all the advice you need, so read on!

Send out emails that correspond to your target audience. Encourage your subscribers to invite their friends to join your list too. At the end of every email, provide a “subscribe” button and a “share” button so readers can pass along your information to friends. By doing this, your viewer base will grow.

Don’t bombard customers with a message that says “Buy Now!” messages. This will make you look like you are spamming them, which will in turn affect your business. Your subscribers are savvy, and they know that your goal is to sell products, so focus on building a stable, professional reputation and relationship with them. Your customers will be thankful for this, and there’s a good chance they’ll make a purchase.

Use A/B testing to test subject line variations. Split the mailing list in half. Use a different subject line for each half of the list, while keeping the rest of the email the same. You will learn which subject lines have the best open rates and which ones people ignore.

Make sure you have permission to send emails to your subscribers. If you do not, you will risk losing trust of the customers and who they interact with, creating a bad name for your business. This could lead to you getting blacklisted by some of the ISPs; this could turn in to a major headache for your email marketing campaign, and in turn, your business.

Look at how spammers run their messages, for a lesson in what you should never do. Make an email account, display it around the Internet, and look at the spam come in. See what’s wrong with these emails and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. Make yourself stand out from spam to improve your reputation.

Passive and active feedback from your customers is an essential tool for enhancing your email marketing projects. To get active feedback, ask your readers for suggestions. However, passive feedback is much more subtle and can even be invisible to your readers. Utilize software programs or tools to evaluate what links are used most frequently.

Make sure your email marketing strategy makes use of “smart persistence.” Staying persistent with the proper type of customers is the key to success. Persistently emailing disinterested customers is obnoxious to them, and it wastes your time and effort.

You should utilize some type of call to action within your emails. Your readers need to understand what they need to do by you simply telling them in your emails. Make sure that any links you have are obvious and let it be known how to use them. These messages can be repeated at the beginning and the end of your messages.

Now that you have learned to market your business through email, come up with interesting, attractive layout and content. Consider your customer’s point of view and what you would be interested in if you were the customer. You’ll be amazed by the results you get and the time frame they arrive in!…

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The Best Compendium Of Knowledge About Woodworking Is Here

If you want to take on woodworking as a hobby or career, you are wondering how you can get started. It’s difficult without knowing exactly what you’re doing, but some of it is practice and unique creation. Keep reading to learn more about woodworking.

When doing any woodworking project, safety is a big concern. Use the tools correctly and wear the right equipment. Don’t ever remove the guards from your power tools; they are in place for your protection. Avoid doing a project and having to go to the hospital.

You can make your own reusable sanding blocks. For each sandpaper grit that you usually use, cut six blocks from a scrap of three-quarter inch plywood. Be certain the pieces are about two and a half inches by four and three quarter inches. Spray adhesive is what you use on both the blocks and cork tile square. Cut the sandpaper with a utility knife to better fit your block. Spray the back of a sheet of sandpaper with adhesive and adhere the cork side of the block to it. Lastly, put the sandpaper flush to the cork, labeling all blocks.

When you apply wood finishes and stains, make sure you stir, not shake them. Some of the ingredients in these stains and finishes tend to settle to the bottom over time. Shaking can cause bubbling and prevent it from mixing well. Stir it well and you shouldn’t have an issue.

Don’t guide your saw with your fingers when cutting narrow pieces of wood. Instead, use a piece of scrap wood to safely push the lumber through your table saw. This will prevent you from loosing a finger or two, which would make working with wood very difficult.

If the hinges to your interior door are loose, use a golf tee to fix the problem. Just take the door off the hinges and tap the golf tee into the offending screw hole. Cut the part of the tees that do not fit into the screw holes before putting the door back in its frame. A golf gee thus provides the screw with something it can grab.

Make sure that you have the proper ear protection. The machines and tools you use will be noisy. You could lose your hearing because of it. You can get throwaway ear plugs or you can buy expensive headphones. No matter the choice you make, make sure to wear them when machines are operating.

You can make cuts without a tape measure. Story sticks are useful, and you can always gradually work your way up to a cut. You can practice your cuts on scrap wood to perfect your technique. Planning your cuts in different ways helps you avoid getting bored.

Woodworking is an amazing art form. Let’s hope this article has provided some great information to take with you. Woodworking is worth your time, whether you’re upgrading furniture, making children’s toys or flat out building something. Make sure to put these skills to use as soon as possible.…

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Woodworking Information That You Cannot Work Without

It’s a lot of fun to start working with wood. Regardless of what you plan to create, woodworking is a craft that is highly revered. It’s not necessarily easy, but you can do it with the right knowledge. A bit of practice will make your skills better.

Were you aware that your workbench height makes a difference in your quality of work? It should hit at your midline. This will give you the optimum height for a perfect workbench.

Be realistic about your budget. Your eyes can get bigger than the amount of money you want to spend very quickly when it comes to woodworking projects. You begin a project only to realize that you are starting to run out of money. Do the math before you start, and you can avoid an unpleasant surprise.

When staining furniture, turn to gel products. Gels stains seem to hold onto the lumber better where liquid stains have the tendency to run when applied. Gel will also have a more consistent pigment upon application.

Don’t guide your saw with your fingers when cutting narrow pieces of wood. Instead you should use a thin and long strip of wood get push it through your saw. That way, you will keep your fingers safe and intact.

Tin snips are important accessories to use when you are woodworking. Tin snips let you cut laminate into usable sections easily. Purchasing a pair of tin snips that will only be used for cutting laminate will keep them sharp.

It’s important to know the wood’s characteristics before you start working with it. Some woods are only paint grade, while stain grade woods are much better for staining. Differentiate between veneer and particle board as veneer tends to resist stain, while particleboard can take on too much stain. Having the right wood will help ensure that your project goes as planned.

You should have a small ruler on you. To solve this problem, purchase a metal ruler and keep it next to a small telescoping magnet in your pocket. Keep the ruler and the magnet in the same pocket. The ruler will stay in place.

Be sure to use appropriate protection for your ears. Machinery causes a lot of noise, which can damage your ears. Too much exposure to these loud sounds can harm your hearing over time. Ear plugs or headphones are very beneficial in the workplace. Whatever you go with, be sure you’re wearing them when using the loud machinery.

Always be on the lookout for wood that you can get at no cost. Businesses sometimes give wood away, particularly if you are willing to load it up and carry it off. Look online and find ideas for using them.

After going through the tips above, you should start putting them into practice so you can do better with woodworking. You will make mistakes at first, like everyone does, but over time you will get better. Be sure to stay optimistic, woodworking will require you to be dedicated and patient.…