Tag Archives: small business help

11 Home Based Businesses for 2011

16 Jan

2011 is here and those of you looking for ideas on what types of businesses to start do not have to look very far.

Inc.com has put together a list of the hottest home businesses for 2011.

Etsy Craft Master
Dennis Anderson

Anderson Soap Company

When Dennis Anderson was asked if he considered himself more of an artist or an entrepreneur, he thought for a moment and replied, “Well, somewhere in between. I like creating things.” Anderson has achieved what so many Americans crave: he has turned his craft—organic soap making, or saponification—into a profitable business from his home. Anderson Soap Company launched in 2007 in his California apartment, and has since moved into a rented house in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his fiancée and children. Anderson, who started out as an accounting major in college, fell in love with soap making after taking a chemistry course that taught him the process. He has sold soaps to buyers in all 50 states and distributes internationally to Malaysia, Singapore, France, and Sweden.

Quirky Kid’s Clothing
Jenny Ford

Monkey Toes

The children’s clothing industry is a multi-billion dollar market, and a recent surge of interest for specialized kid’s gear has given companies like Monkey Toes, a Colorado-based venture run by Jenny Ford, a niche in this burgeoning market. Monkey Toes is a line of animal and insect-themed footwear for children. Ford started the company in 2002 after drawing designs on her daughter’s shoes. “I thought, ‘Oh, that’s cute,’” Ford recalls. “I fell in love with it.” She chose to keep her business at home to be able to spend more time with her two young daughters, but lack of an office hasn’t stymied the growth of the brand. Ford currently distributes in stores all over the world, and recently signed a new distribution deal that will take the product into the hands of 100 representatives around the country.

Building Better Communities
Kene Turner

EpiLife

Kene Turner understands the value of building a better business. After all, that’s his job. The mission of EpiLife is to help organizations achieve social responsibility by implementing special project-based initiatives within their communities. Before launching EpiLife, Kene worked for the YMCA of New York, where he taught youth entrepreneurial programs. EpiLife is based out of Turner’s home in New York City, and represents his desire to give back to the community that helped him in his own childhood. “When I was a teen I lost my mom to cancer,” he says. “I never knew my father. I was a child in transition. I had family, but not much. The ones that really helped me were members of the community…and it was that message that I want to implement into a venture or business.”

eBay Powerseller
Ann Whitley Wood

Willow-Wear

Ann Whitley Wood is an attorney-turned-entrepreneur who saw a market for designer goods and collectibles on eBay nearly 10 years ago. In what started out as a hobby, Wood now manages over 350 listings on eBay through her store Willow-Wear, and works with about 40 clients on any given day from her home in Texas. In 2010, Wood sold over 1,100 items for about $450,000—making her one of eBay’s true “powersellers.” Though she does not keep inventory in her house, working from home has been an integral part of her business. “I had to be able to sell on eBay from home, in between taking care of my children and managing the rest of life,” Wood says. To be successful as an eBay entrepreneur, Wood says you must have an acute understanding of your product, as well as your competition.

Online Wedding Resources
Emily Newman

OnceWed.com

Wedding dresses are bought (one hopes) only once, making them one of the most expensive purchases in a woman’s life. So Emily Newman thought, why not buy second-hand? “I saw a need where women my age were dealing with a lot of the same things,” says Newman, the founder of the Once Wed, an online wedding community, based in Atlanta. “They didn’t have a huge budget, but they still wanted to wear a beautiful dress.” So Newman and her husband, who works in online advertising, teamed up to launch Once Wed, a site for brides-to-be. The site has grown from a used dress listing service to the be-all resource for brides, similar to TheKnot.com. Once Wed puts together inspiration guides and a popular blog, which helps drives traffic to the site.

Social Media e-Commerce
Hakan Nizam

NetFoliage

NetFoliage is a web development company that creates web sites for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists. It’s also one of a growing number of web development companies that specialize in building e-commerce sites and online stores for social networking sites like Facebook. Nizam, who is originally from Istanbul, has been based out of his Brooklyn apartment since he launched the company in 2007—and plans to stay in his home, too. “Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me to rent an office,” he says. “I didn’t have the time or the need to think about. I would never do it—it’s becoming a lifestyle. I can go on vacation without worrying about anything. I turn off my phone and the business is closed.”

Mommy Blogger
Michelle Mitton

Scribbit.blogspot.com

You don’t need to attend a BlogHer Convention to realize that “mommy bloggers” are a force to be reckoned with. Michelle Mitton was one of the first “mommy bloggers” to make a name for herself and her blog Scribbit, almost six years ago. In 2008, she was selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten blogs about motherhood, and her site attracts nearly 60,000 page views every month and 2,300 daily subscribers. Mitton publishes recipes, household tips, product reviews, and has even written a book about blogging, all from her home in Alaska. “With so many blogs out there, you have to be the ‘purple cow’ as Seth Godin talks about. I try to diversify my topics a bit—I even have a few men [readers].”

Curated E-mail Newsletter
Chris McCann

StartupDigest.com

Chris McCann (pictured) and Brendan McManus launched StartupDigest.com as a resource for entrepreneurs looking to get involved in their community and connected with other entrepreneurs. The site has seen remarkable growth; in just a little over a year, the site has grown to 100,000 subscribers and has spread to over 50 cities. And though the content reaches people all over the world, McCann and McManus rarely have to leave their house in Palo Alto, California. “When you’re on a shoestring budget, and if the deciding factor is to spend money to get the office or spend money and do the marketing and get the product out there, do all that stuff first,” says McCann. “An office should not be high on your lists of priorities.”

Sports Content Aggregator
Ann Gaffigan

WomenTalkSports.com

Ann Gaffigan felt that there needed to be more mainstream media coverage of women’s sports. So, about two years ago, she teamed up with two co-founders to launch WomenTalkSports.com, an online network that has become one of the most thorough purveyors of women’s sports news. “We didn’t research the market for this,” Gaffigan says from her home in Kansas. “It just came from our belief that something like this really needed to happen, and we want the next generation to see positive female role models.” There are over 100 websites that link to WomenTalkSports.com, and about 70 bloggers on the site. While the site’s traffic varies depending on the season, the site swells when national competitions are brought to the spotlight. During the Vancouver Olympics, for example, the site had over a million visitors.

Custom Men’s Shirts
Danny Wong

Blank Label

Who said custom designed shirts had to be expensive? Blank Label is a Boston-based start-up that allows users to design custom dress shirts, choosing the fabric, pattern, buttons, and size, for a modest price under $100, depending on the extras. Blank Label was created by Danny Wong (center) and three co-founders (and classmates) in the summer of 2009. After a brief period of incubation by their college, Babson, the team chose not to take on an office lease. “It worked better for us,” says Wong. “We didn’t want to pay for office space.” The founders lived together in Shanghai for several months, developing relationships with suppliers and working out of their living room. At one point, they were operating with members based from home in three different time zones around the world, but Wong says it’s never been a problem.

Application Consulting
Stacy Blackman

Stacy Blackman Consulting

Stacy Blackman knows what it takes to get into one of the nation’s top MBA programs. Blackman, a who received her own MBA at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, turned her passion for helping students gain admission into MBA programs into her full-time job after years working in private equity. “When I first started my business, I wasn’t trying to start a business; I was just doing something I really enjoyed.” Now, Stacy Blackman Consulting has turned into one of the premier MBA international consulting firms, with clients and consultants based all over the world. Blackman has even graced the cover of Fortune, and published a book titled The MBA Application Roadmap.

Visit www.inc.com for more information.

Hey Rhode Island Entrepreneurs–there’s 150k in Prizes Up for Grabs!

12 Dec
Great seal of the state of Rhode Island

Image via Wikipedia

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition is the leading community-supported business plan competition in the Northeast, supported by private businesses, colleges and universities, public entities, and nonprofit organizations.

Established in 2000, the Competition aims to further develop the entrepreneurial spirit in Rhode Island and help create growth companies that will increase local employment.

The Competition encourages plans for new businesses, as well as from early stage companies. An early stage, or seed stage, company typically is at the inventor stage where there is an idea, a concept, or even a product, but little or no income has been generated yet.

Winners and finalists will share more than $150,000 in prizes.

Applications to the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition must be submitted online and may be submitted at any time, but no later than by 5 p.m. Eastern time on April 4, 2011.

For more information please visit http://www.ri-bizplan.com

Vistaprint wants you to make an impression-win $10,000 package!!!

13 Jun

Hi Ladies,
We have a new contest to announce, courtesy of Vistaprint.

“Vistaprint is a large online supplier of printed and promotional materials as well as marketing services to small businesses and consumers. In the 26th annual GAM 101 listing, the company is the 40th largest (by revenue) and the 4th fastest growing printing company in North America. It is also the 6th largest public printing company.” Data from Wikipedia.com.

The “Make an Impression Contest” is open to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.  The winner of the contest sponsored by Vistaprint will win a prize package valued at $10,000.  Four small businesses will be selected as winners of a grand prize that includes a $600 HP gift card, a Web commercial produced by Pixability and a full marketing package – including a targeted direct mail campaign – designed by Vistaprint’s creative design team.

To enter the contest, users can log onto http://www.1-800-Vistaprint.com/contest. Once on the site, entrants are asked to answer a number of questions that will let them tell their story and explain how they have made an impression on their own customer base. Small businesses will be judged by a Vistaprint panel and also by the general public. Entrants will have the ability to have their customers, friends, employees and fans vote for their entry in the contest, which will account for 10 percent of the final vote.  The contest is open to all legal residents of the United States of America located in the 50 US states or District of Columbia.

Visit :  http://www.1-800-vistaprint.com/contest/ for more information.

One man’s rags to riches story-inspiration for the ladies

3 May

Farrah Gray is  a philanthropist, best-selling author, syndicated columnist, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. Now in his twenties, he is one of the most sought after motivational speakers around.

Growing up in the projects on Chicago’s south side, Gray became a self-made millionaire by the age of 14. At six years of age, he started selling   home-made body lotion and hand-painted rocks (to be used as book-ends). At age 7, he was carrying business cards that said“21st Century CEO.” At 8, he became co-founder of Urban Neighborhood Enterprise Economic Club (U.N.E.E.C.) on Chicago’s Southside. He later founded another organization called the “New Early Entrepreneur Wonders (NE2W)” which was located on Wall Street. NE2W helped at educated and at risk youth by creating and developing legal ways for them to acquire additional income. Gray is the youngest person to have an office on Wall Street.

In his teens, Gray launched a new project seling KIDZTEL pre-paid phone cards, he also started a One Stop Mail Boxes & More franchise and developed The Teenscope “Youth AM/FM” interactive teen talk show. Gray also launched Farr-Out Foods, “Way-Out Food with a Twist,” aimed at youth familiar with the company’s first Strawberry-Vanilla syrup product. Farr-Out Foods “Foodfulooza” generated orders exceeding $1.5 million.

Gray is the author of “Reallionaire” which was nominated by NBC & Publishers Weekly Quill Awards in the category of “Health/Self-Improvement.” His book appeared on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s Bestseller List two weeks before its international release. “Reallionaire” was also named as the #1 Best selling Nonfiction Paperback Book in the August 2005 Issue of Essence Magazine. Gray’s book and his journey to succeed against the odds have become required reading and part of classroom study from elementary school to entrepreneurship departments on college campuses. “Reallionaire” has been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, Pierre Sutton, Stedman Graham, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Gray is also a Contributing Author to Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul.

The timeline of Gray’s accomplishments listed on http://www.drfarrahgray.com/ is as follows:

At Age 6,
* Farrah Gray sold body lotion for $1.50 from door to door

At Age 7,
* he carried a business card that read “21st Century CEO”

At Age 8,

* in Chicago, Farrah started UNEEC (Urban Neighborhood Economic Enterprise Club)

At Age 9,
* At 9, almost 10, Farrah co-hosted radio show “Backstage Live” in Las Vegas reaching 12 million listeners every Saturday night

At Age 12,
* Farrah had a lucrative nationwide speaking career commanding $5,000 – $10,000 per appearance

At Age 13,

* Farrah started Farr-Out Foods, a specialty foods company headquartered in New York, targeting young people

At Age 14,
* Farrah officially became a millionaire by hitting sales of $1.5 million for Farr-Out Foods
* Farrah started New Early Entrepreneur Wonders (NE2W) Student Venture Fund

At Age 15,
* Farrah negotiated selling of Farr-Out Foods for one million plus
* Farrah founded the Farrah Gray Foundation
* Farrah was sent a special invitation to consult and oversee an entrepreneurial institute for The Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce
* Farrah was elected by the United Way of Southern Nevada to sit on the Board of Directors for a three-year term as the youngest director ever to sit on any United Way board nationwide
* Farrah had the distinct honor of serving as the youngest Board of Advisor for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce

At Age 16,
* Farrah acquired INNERCITY Magazine from Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

At Age 17,
* Farrah financed a comedy show on the Las Vegas Strip, which gave him the distinct honor of being the second African-American after Red Foxx to own a show production on the Las Vegas strip

At Age 19,
* Farrah signed his “Reallionaire” book deal with HCI
* Farrah Gray became a Contributing Author to “Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul”. Both books were published by Health Communications Incorporated (HCI) publisher of the New York Times and USA Today Best-Seller Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

At Age 20,
* Farrah, as a real estate investor, was elected as youngest member to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. Region 15 (N.A.R.E.B.®), the oldest and largest minority trade association.
* Became an International best-seller with the book “Reallionaire”.

At Age 21,
* Became Spokesman for the National Coalition for the Homeless.
* First Premiere Bank released the “GoFarr” Farrah Gray Mastercard.
* Launched University of Business Futures (UBF), an entrepreneurship school, developed in a partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and graduated with 300 students.
* Became the youngest in HBCU history to receive an honorary doctorate from Allen University.

At Age 22,
* Co-founded Realty Pros a property asset management company.
* Became Spokesman for National Marrow Donor Program African-American Initiative
* Became a syndicated columnist through the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of 200 weekly newspapers, reaching over 15 million readers.
* Became an AOL Money Coach.

At Age 23,
* Released the “Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You from Success” (Dutton Hardcover) and Brilliance Audio Book on CD, Cassette, MP3 CD

At Age 24,
* Realty Pros reached over $30 million in total assets under management.
* Serving second term as Chairman of The National Coalition for the Homeless Bringing America Home Campaign
* Released “THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU RICH: The New Road Map to Radical Prosperity” (Plume Paperback)
Gray’s books have been translated into Russian, Korean, Indonesian and Vietnamese languages with book sales in Africa, Australia, and Europe and in Central and South America countries.

To find out more about Farrah Gray please visit www.farrahgray.com

Websites that help you name your business!

30 Apr

Okay Ladies!

You just made the decision to launch your very own venture, but you have no clue what to call it. You ask your family and close friends and they suggest names like “Wicked Good Enterprises”. You appreciate their efforts, but you know those names just won’t work.  What do you do?

You actually have quite a few options some are free, and some require a nominal fee.

FREE OPTIONS

There are a number of websites that assist you in finding the perfect name for your company. All you have to do is http://wordoid.com/plug in a keyword and these websites will help you come up with suggestions. If  your name is available, you can also check to see that the domain name is available so that you can grab it right away.

www.Dotomator.com Use Dot-o-mator to create domain name suggestions. Just enter a word (or words) in the left box, and choose some endings (or enter your own).

www.namestation.com The intelligent domain search workstation. Find available domains, generate unique name ideas. Bulk domain search, random name generator, keyword research,etc.

www.wordoid.com A cozy place to pick a short and catchy name for your product, company or domain . Great source of quirky ideas of available domain names that roll off the tongue.

PAID OPTION

www.Namingforce.com If you are looking for professional help in naming your business, and don’t mind paying a little money for hundreds of suggestions, you might want to check out Naming Force.

“Naming Force taps the power of the people to help businesses and individuals create names for new companies, websites, and products.If you need a name for a new company, product, or website, you can submit a naming assignment on Naming Force. Their “recruits”, who are creative members of the public (crowdsourcing), will submit name suggestions for your assignment. Your friends, colleagues, and the public can then vote on the submitted names, and you can choose a winning name”.

Prices start at $100

Side Note: I went undercover on namingforce.com in order to bring you an honest review, and I have to say I am a fan. It’s also a lot of fun. Check them out at www.namingforce.com

City Girl Business Club Launches Mega Business Directory

20 Apr

With over 345 pages of information, the City Girl Business Club’s Mega Directory is full of incredible contacts and resources to help you launch your business.

Save time by browsing through the Mega Directory, take notes and chose the best services for your business.

The Mega Directory was created to ease your search for information and contacts during your business launch.

The following is an example of some of the categories in the Mega Directory to assist you with your search. Use each one as a tool in your quest for information and contacts:

Angel Investors & Venture Capital Firms
Grants & Scholarships for Women
Free & Low Cost Business Counseling
Legal Help, Trademark, Copyright
Wholesalers & Manufacturers
Business Training & Seminars
Government Resources
Tradeshow Producers
Business Plan Writing Software & Services
Media Buying Agencies & Publicity
Packaging & Supplies
And much, much more!

She made Millions with Languages!!!!!

17 Apr

TransPerfect is one of the five largest language service companies in the world with estimated revenues at about $225 million. The company which also includes Translations employs 250 full-time staffers and 4,000 subcontractors, with 31 offices worldwide offering translation services.

Founder Elizabeth Elting explains how she got started in an interview with Pink Magazine.

“We basically started with zero money. We didn’t even have a computer. We rented one for $40 a month. We had no office space, no employees. We used a credit card for a few thousand dollars, but that was it. And the moment a check came in, we would run to the bank so we could pay our linguists. Our first goal was to be in an affordable office in six months – which we did. After a year and a half we hired our first employee, and two years later we moved into the office complex we’re in now. Then we started opening offices around the world. In the beginning we hired subcontractors and focused on quality control by hiring an outside translator, editor and proofreader for each project. In the beginning, we took a very aggressive approach to sales. Every day we made hundreds of phone calls and sent out hundreds of letters. We took it one client at a time and one project at a time. To grow at this point we still do the same thing, even though 97 percent of our projects come from repeat business and referrals”.

Elting has received numerous awards including Working Woman Magazine’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Customer Service, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Inc. 500 Award, and the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 Award four times. She was also named Woman of the Year by American Express and Entrepreneur Magazine. In 2006 and 2007, TransPerfect was named one of the largest privately-held companies by Crain’s New York Business.

You can read more about Elizabeth and her accomplishments at

http://www.transperfect.com/TLS/about/leadership.html

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