Real-Home Based Business

Overview

Whether you want to work at home on your computer, open a daycare, start a local service (like a plumber, computer consultant, pet sitter, etc), or anything else, then Start & Run a Real Home Based Business is what you?ve been waiting for. With his free-wheeling, entertaining style, serial entrepreneur Dan Furman talks about his past and current business successes (and failures), and brings together 50+ topics essential to home based business owners. Pulling no punches, Furman shows you exactly what makes a ...
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Start & Run a Real Home-Based Business

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Overview

Whether you want to work at home on your computer, open a daycare, start a local service (like a plumber, computer consultant, pet sitter, etc), or anything else, then Start & Run a Real Home Based Business is what you?ve been waiting for. With his free-wheeling, entertaining style, serial entrepreneur Dan Furman talks about his past and current business successes (and failures), and brings together 50+ topics essential to home based business owners. Pulling no punches, Furman shows you exactly what makes a home based business succeed or fail. In a blunt (yet fun), ?NO BS? manner. You?ll laugh, you?ll nod your head in agreement, and (most of all) you?ll learn what it takes to truly succeed in owning and operating a small business. If you?re looking for yet another useless, ?fluff-filled? book on home based businesses, then this book isn?t for you. Instead, this book is for real people who want to run a real business.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551808666
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/15/2009
  • Series: Start and Run A Series
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Furman runs a successful writing business from his home. He writes everything from web copy to business proposals to letters-just about anything any business or individual could need. He has tried several home businesses including a computer-repair business and has failed once or twice, giving him just the experience required to write this book.

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION xv
PART 1 — MIND 1
1 A LITTLE CREDIBILITY: HOME-BASED BUSINESSES I HAVE RUN 3
1992–1994: Intriguing Ideas 3
1995–1996: Night Owl Marketing 4
2001–2004: Night Owl e-Ventures 4
2004: Favorite Clubs (Under Night Owl e-Ventures) 4
2004–Present: Night Owl e-Ventures Inc. (“Inc.” Added in 2004) 4
2 THE NEW BUSINESS BLINDERS 5
3 STARTING AND NAMING YOUR BUSINESS 8
What Type of Business to Start? 8
Avoid Meaningless Roadblocks 9
Select a Business Name 9
Open a Business Bank Account 10
Contents iv Start & run a real home-based business
4 PARTNERSHIPS ARE USUALLY A BAD IDEA: HERE’S WHY 11
Unequal Roles/Limited Skills 11
One Partner Is Simply Better Than the Other 12
Friends and Family Members in Business 12
Partnerships That Can Work 13
5 FORGET THE BUSINESS PLAN … BUT PLAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS 14
Your Plan for Business 15
6 PSST — YOUR “BIG IDEA” IS COMPLETELY WORTHLESS 17
Somebody Else Has Likely Already Thought of Your Idea 17
Nobody Buys Ideas 17
But What about a Patent? 18
Nobody Is Going to Steal Your Idea 19
7 MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE A BUSINESS THAT IS REALLY FOR YOU 20
Consider Your Lifestyle 21
8 TEN REALLY GREAT THINGS ABOUT A HOME-BASED BUSINESS 22
1. You Are Paid What You Are Really Worth 22
2. You Call the Shots. All of Them 22
3. The Commute Is Usually Really Nice 22
4. More Time at Home 22
5. You Get to See More of Your Children’s Activities 23
6. You Get Out of Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do 23
7. No Coworkers 23
8. You Can Do Usual “Weekend” Things When You Wish 23
9. No Stupid, Arbitrary Rules 24
10. No Boss 24
9 COUNT ON THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENING 25
Things That Seem Simple Often Aren’t 26
10 NICHE MARKETS 28
Other Types of Niches 30
A Small Numbers Game 30
Contents v
11 THINK BIG, EVEN IF YOU ARE LOCAL 31
But What about True Local Businesses? 31
Types of Businesses That Should Be Thinking Big from Day One 32
How to Sell to the World 32
Why Does This Happen? 33
How to Overcome This “Local Only” Thinking 33
12 GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE 34
Take Some Advice — or Not 35
13 SOME THINGS ARE SIMPLY WORTH PAYING FOR 37
14 HOW HARD CAN IT BE? 39
15 STOP DREAMING AND START DOING 41
The Walking Test 42
To-Do Lists 43
Change How You Spend Your Time 43
16 YOU DO REALIZE YOU’RE THE ONE WHO MAKES THE WORK
APPEAR, RIGHT? 45
Lose the “Job Mentality” 46
17 DON’T IGNORE THE THINGS YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND 48
18 STOP WASTING TIME ON NONSENSE 50
19 BEING NEAT MEANS BUSINESS 52
Dress for Success — or Not 53
20 DO THINGS THE RIGHT WAY, OR DON’T DO THEM 54
21 SOME FINAL TIPS TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS MIND STAY SHARP 57
PART 2 — BODY 59
22 HOW MUCH MONEY YOU’LL NEED TO START YOUR BUSINESS 61
Immediate Income? Not Likely 61
Start-Up Expenses 62
vi Start & run a real home-based business
23 OUTSIDE MONEY AND FUNDING (DON’T EXPECT ANY) 65
Grants 65
SBA Loans 66
Venture Capital 67
So Where CAN You Get Money From? 67
24 ACCOUNTING AND TAXES 69
Hire an Accountant 69
Keep Good Records and Receipts 70
Pay Your Taxes 70
Two Last Things on Taxes 71
25 POLICIES AND FORMS (YES, YOU NEED THESE, AND THEY AREN’T
AS BORING AS YOU THINK) 73
The Forms You Need 73
The Proposal Form 73
The Client Sheet 75
The Invoice 76
About Legalese 76
Policies and Guarantees 77
26 ACCEPTING CREDIT CARDS (YOU MUST, AND IT’S EASIER THAN
YOU THINK) 78
Accepting Credit Cards Is Simple 79
Let Me Take a Moment to Dispel a Few Credit Card Myths 79
27 LAWYERS, ZONING, INSURANCE, AND OTHER BORING THINGS 81
Lawyers and Legal Issues 81
Zoning 81
Insurance 82
28 THE MAKINGS OF A FUNCTIONAL HOME OFFICE 83
The Basics 83
The Three Different Types of Home Offices 84
29 BUSINESS CARDS AND BROCHURES 86
Business Cards 86
Brochures 87
Contents vii
30 THE TELEPHONE 89
Answering the Phone 90
Messages 90
The Phone Itself 90
31 VEHICLES 91
32 COMPUTERS AND SOFTWARE 93
Learn about Them 93
Make Sure You Can Back Up Your Data 94
Keep the Kids Away from Your Work Computer 94
Get the Right Software 94
All Kinds of Useful Programs You Never Knew Existed 95
33 BUSINESS WRITING, LETTERS, AND SALES PROPOSALS 96
Business Writing 96
Business Letters 96
The Sales/Marketing Proposal 98
34 TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING AND YOUR HOME-BASED BUSINESS 103
Newspapers 104
Radio 104
Television 105
Yellow Pages 105
Direct Mail 106
Specialty Advertising 108
What to Say in an Ad 109
What to Expect from Your Advertising 109
35 THE INTERNET AND YOUR WEBSITE 111
Why You Need a Website 112
Here’s How You Get a Website 112
Working from Home, At Home 113
Scams 114
One Last Thing — Website Conversion 115
viii Start & run a real home-based business
36 EMAIL (IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK) 116
Email Marketing 117
Dan’s Email Rules 118
37 INTERNET ADVERTISING — SEARCH ENGINES, PAY-PER-CLICK, PRESS
RELEASES, AND OTHER THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT 120
Paid or Free Directory Listings 120
Search Engine Ranking 121
Press Releases 121
Pay-per-click 122
38 PERILS OF THE 80/20 RULE 123
Resistance Is Futile — or Is It? 124
39 MONEY TALKS (OR DOING BUSINESS ON A HANDSHAKE IS STUPID,
AND OTHER INVOICING ISSUES) 127
Invoicing Advice 128
Additional Invoicing Tips 129
Address Payment Issues Right Away 129
40 BARTERING 131
What Is Bartering? 131
41 SMOKING 133
PART 3 — SOUL 137
42 A SUREFIRE WAY TO GET YOUR SPOUSE OR PARTNER ON BOARD 139
43 CHARGE A FAIR PRICE — FOR BOTH YOUR CUSTOMER AND YOU 142
But What If I’m Charging a Low Rate to Build the Business? Is That Okay? 143
Don’t Work for Free 143
How to Bill — Hourly versus Other Methods 144
One Last Thing on Pricing 145
44 A HUGE MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE IN MARKETING AND ADVERTISING 146
45 ONCE OPENED, DOORS TEND TO STAY OPEN 148
Rush Jobs 148
Contents ix
Discounts 149
Introductory Rates 149
46 AN ASPECT OF WORKING AT HOME THAT YOU MAY FIND ANNOYING 150
47 DAYS OFF AND VACATIONS 152
48 KEEP YOUR MARKETING SIMPLE 155
But Wait — What Is Marketing? 155
Keeping Things Simple 156
49 YOUR COMPETITION 157
You Can Learn from Your Competition 157
Your Competition Can Refer Business to You 158
You Need Your Competition 158
Criticizing Your Competition Is Unprofessional 158
Dan Furman Has No Competition, and Neither Do You 158
How To Be Unique 159
No Competition 160
50 BE PATIENT, BUT BE READY FOR CHANGE, TOO 161
Now, Be Ready to Change 162
51 EVERYBODY SAYS THEY CARE ABOUT CUSTOMERS. BUT DO YOU?
REALLY? 163
52 CUTTING TIES: SOME CLIENTS JUST AREN’T WORTH IT 164
Cutting Ties 164
Stop the Madness Before It Even Starts 165
53 DEALING WITH BUSY AND NOT-SO-BUSY TIMES 166
Being Too Slow 166
Seasonal slowness (forced slow times) 167
Being Too Busy 167
Make Sure You Take Time To Work On Your Business 168
Putting Money Back 169
54 THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN — BEING A GOOD CUSTOMER 170
Be Someone People Want to Do Business With 170
x Start & run a real home-based business
55 SOME FINAL THOUGHTS 172
You Will Experience the Highest of Highs, and the Lowest of Lows 172
Spend Wisely 172
In Business, Money Means Everything 173
Just About All Business Relationships End 173
You Will Never, Ever Be Completely Comfortable — So Relax, It’s Normal 173
AFTERWORD — WHY I’M AN ENTREPRENEUR (OR, “WORK IS A
FOUR-LETTER WORD”) 175
Who Will Take Care of You? 179
SAMPLES
1 Proposal form 74
2 Closing statement on proposal 76
3 Client’s business card 87
4 Revised business card 88
5 Sales and marketing proposal 100
6 Percent of business — one dominant client 125
7 Percent of business — healthy mix 125
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