Friday, 12 May 2017

How to Organize Your Workstation Cables


If you have to do a lot of work on a computer, or even if you use one a lot at home, most likely there are cables and other “necessary evils” cluttering up your desk. You might not be able to eliminate the scourge of cables from your life completely, but you can at least keep them under control.
As a small business owner who focuses on writing about DIY and technology, I’m no stranger to desk clutter. In fact, in my former role as an engineer at a large manufacturing facility, a picture of my desk was plastered to the wall with the words “bad example” underneath. (Seriously.)
Though I could try to defend my formerly messy desk, there are a number of benefits to keeping things clean and organized, even if you’re not going to offend higher-ups. Being able to place papers next to your computer and find things can contribute to your efficiency, and keeping things clean can certainly contribute to a relaxing and healthy work environment.


Step One: Strip and Clean

How to Organize Your Workstation Cables
The desk now looks clean, though the rest of the room may not!
If you do decide to organize things, you could just loop a few cables together and call it a day. On the other hand, if you’re going to make an effort to get organized, you might as well go “all in” and clean up your desk entirely. In my case, my desk wasn’t at the “bad example” point, but it did need a good tidying and some general organization effort.

>> RELATED: Hiding the Tangle of Cords On Your Desk: 3 Containment Strategies

I decided to start from scratch. I took everything off my desk, making the rest of the room decidedly messier. This gave me a chance to dust everything off and consider where things should go. It seems that items build up in random desk spaces that don’t necessarily fit into your flow well but were simply placed in a space available at the time.

Step Two: Reassemble

How to Organize Your Workstation Cables
Reinstalling my USB hubs.
After cleaning things off, I replaced my homemade wooden computer stand on top of the various engineering books that I thought would be useful after engineering school (though not as a very expensive computer stand) and put my USB hubs back in place. This time, however, they would be kept in place with VELCRO® Brand industrial-strength tape.
I cut up two pieces to a size that would fit my hubs well, then attached them to the notebook stand and the USB hubs. I positioned things much as they were before. Now, however, I could plug in peripherals without worrying about my hubs sliding around.
I also secured my external hard drive in a similar manner, moving it off my desk and next to one of these hubs.

Step Three: Manage Cords

How to Organize Your Workstation Cables
Cord organization still a work in progress at this point.
In my computer setup, I have one USB cable going to my notebook computer, then into a hub, which is then connected to several peripherals that I almost never disconnect (like my keyboard and printer). I decided to re-position this first hub slightly under my computer to keep these never-disconnected cords from poking out too much. The second, which I use to plug in removable peripherals like my phone I kept near the front of my support box for easy access.
I fastened all the recessed cables together with a blue color-coded strap, then sent them on their way to do their electrical magic. A few other straps hold my wiring together as it makes sense, keeping it contained.
Besides USB, several other cables could be bundled together, such as my monitor’s HDMI cable along with its power cord, and a USB and power cable from my printer. Finally, I have my HDMI and USB connector that go into my computer attached closely together, eliminating much of my fumbling around for these connectors when I need to connect it.

Step Four: Clear Other Clutter

How to Organize Your Workstation Cables
How to Organize Your Workstation Cables
Power hub and other accessories now secured.
Though USB and other cables are a large source of clutter, they’re not the only electronics floating around on my desk. The next most obvious offender was my power hub, which could often be found lying on its side toward the back of my desk. This was easy enough to fix. I simply cut another strip of industrial strength tape to the length I needed, then attached it to the bottom of the hub. I attached the corresponding hook strip to the desk, and now it stays in place with its sockets facing the ceiling.

>> RELATED: Fire Safety Checklist: Preventing Fires in Your Home Office

My battery charger now has a home, fastened down with VELCRO® Brand coins in a similar manner to my USB hubs and hard drive. My laptop’s power connector is attached in the same way. The coins were quite easy to use since I didn’t have to cut them to size.
Tiny, but quite important, my micro SD cards now have a set resting place.
Finally, I have a small case for my tiny micro SD cards that could easily be lost. I attached this to the base of my monitor with another cut piece of industrial strength tape, making a permanent place for these guys when they’re not in use. This same type of attachment method could be used to hold other devices as needed—perhaps even in a discreet location behind a monitor, or on the top of a drawer to restrict access as needed.

Step Five: Success!

How to Organize Your Workstation Cables
After quite a bit of work, my cables look much neater.
Now that my desk was clean and organized, things felt and looked much better. Noticeably brighter, in fact. As I soon found out, that last observation was mostly due to me plugging in more lights to properly photograph my work. However, after going back to my normal meager lighting, things do look a bit brighter and more open. At least there aren’t as many wires and other items living on and around my desk!


 
Jeremy Cook
Jeremy Cook is an engineer and an avid maker and experimenter who writes for The Home Depot. He loves to tinker and build things, from a paint station in the garage to a home office organizational system using VELCRO® Brand hook and loop fasteners.

3 Great College Degrees for Entrepreneurs


Around ninety percent of millionaires are self-made, first-generation rich, a number that’s been stable in the US since the 1880s. And two-thirds of millionaires are the self-employed. This is the great hope of those becoming entrepreneurs. However, if you don’t know how to run a business as compared to owning your job, you won’t be able to scale up the business to provide a decent standard of living, much less grow the business to the point it can provide you with a steady stream of income while others manage it. If you don’t know what you are doing, your business is likely to become one of the fifty percent of businesses that fail in the first few years. So what degrees teach you what you need to know to become a successful entrepreneur?

Accounting

Accounting is a great college degree for entrepreneurs on several fronts. Around 80% of self-employed millionaires, according to the book “The Millionaire Next Door”, are entrepreneurs. The other quarter or so were professionals who owned their own business.

>> RELATED: When You Give an Entrepreneur an MBA…

By working on the business and harnessing the work of their employees, these entrepreneurs build the company and improve the founder’s net worth. And unlike many other types of businesses, accounting firms can be set up almost anywhere in the nation and serve everyone from the general public at tax time to small businesses that need bookkeeping help. You can even get help from a big brand name by opening a tax preparation firm franchise to skip the need to market yourself.

Finance Degrees

Finance degrees differ somewhat from accounting. While accounting literally involves counting the money and tracking the numbers, finance tends to involve managing the money. Those with finance degrees often become financial analysts, credit managers, and financial advisors. One road to wealth is through smart investing and someone with a finance degree is ideally suited to do exactly that using a portion of the high salaries they receive. Open a financial planning consulting business or rise up through the ranks of a small business as a manager, and you could end up self-employed and wealthy.

>> RELATED: How Important is College Education to Entrepreneurial Success?
 

Business Degree

Few degrees better prepare to you to run a business than a business degree. Many business degrees teach you how to market a product, design products per public feedback, sell something, or manage employees. There are many different specializations for business majors like finance, marketing or international relations. And if you earned a rather generic business degree, you can still specialize later by earning an online master’s degree in public administration, international business, innovation, and design, or another discipline.
Any business program you complete should teach you about how to lead a business, not just market and sell a product. This leadership experience is why some business majors start a career as a public administration and end up running their own consulting, design or engineering firms later on. Others start a career in public administration after earning an online public administration degree to gain management experience and then move into the private sector as managers. After all, it is all management.
If you want to become an entrepreneur, your top choices are to study accounting, economics, and finance to understand how to manage money and identify opportunities.

Royce Calvin
Royce is a writer for PowerHomeBiz.com. He is as passionate about Internet Marketing as he is with his ever-present cup of Starbucks coffee.

5 Best Home Business Ideas to Start While Working Full-Time


Many full-time jobs are rewarding. However, having a side business can be more meaningful as one gets extra income to boost his or her salary. Side jobs offer opportunities to think the extra mile. For such business ideas to go through, extra time and a little sacrifice are needed. Having a side business implies a good lifestyle because there is no outside pressure. One becomes his own boss. There are many home business ideas that already exist so coming up with the right idea is not simple as many people think. There are strategies and ideas that everyone needs to follow. Let us check on some of the best home business ideas in the market today.

Online Course Educating

Online course educating is one of the best home business ideas that one can possibly think of. If you happen to be an expert in regards to a certain tool or topic, then you should let the online audience access your expertise. Launching this business will cost the business owner only a few hundred dollars. He or she will then decide if the idea is profitable and if it will give more profit than loss. By doing this, one will discover that he has set a clear framework to launch an online business program. People earn easily through online course educating. It only takes a little sacrifice at the beginning to be successful.

Blogging

Blogging is a common way to earn money for many people. This practice is amongst best home business ideas in the market. It is a great idea of earning extra money apart from your full-time job. Writing gives one the ability to build himself in a certain industry. Blogging involves updating or advertising online courses, writing sponsored contents, eBooks, and personalized consulting services. Online contents should be simple, clear, easily understood and grammatically correct. Blogging is also a way of building a strong relationship with online readers. Always choose a simple topic and work on your content.

Graphic Designing

There are many jobs in graphic designing that are available through online means. This kind of jobs is suitable for people with high skills of creating high-quality design documents. If you want to try this you need to have a well-trained background in graphic design. Some of the tools needed in this field are Visme, Adobe creative software (photoshop or adobe page-maker) and Canvas. The use of these software requires commitment and desire to learn and earn. One can teach himself or herself to use them so there would be no cost but one’s time and patience.

Amazon Reselling

Amazon is a popular website that sells goods through online means. Users can buy goods at a low price and then resell them. Of course, before doing so, they have to check the quality of the products and think of a proper way to introduce them to the buyers. It takes some good communication skills to have success in this kind of business so amateurs should think twice before starting an Amazon reselling kind of business.

Web Developing

Web developers are a very important part of today’s competitive marketplace. Recognizable brands are working to distinguish themselves from others. This is where web designing comes in. Web developers can create interesting websites for business owners. By having a good website, brands can distinguish themselves from the rest. Skill Crush and General Assembly are only a few of the programs that can teach people in web designing.
These are five of the best home business ideas that people who want to earn extra can look at. These jobs help boost one’s salary and can improve one’s financial life. They need little commitment, effort, and sacrifice so people can get successful easy enough. As it can be seen, technology links them all. Internet and computers make our lives easier so make sure to meet your dreams through online means.

Adalynn Evans
Adalynn Evans is a freelance web developer. She has a passion for problem-solving and she appreciates to be a curious and inquisitive person. Adalynn thinks that understanding the users perspective is a huge part of her job. That is why she writes for loginwizard.com, where she gives the end user supplementary information about the process of login into a website.

Better Your Home Business: A Five-Step Process to Conduct Super Seminars


Enhance Your Expert Identity by Teaching Informative Classes 

Seminars, workshops, boot camps, and other educational programming are very popular, with the public and with savvy entrepreneurs. We’re in an age where information is the ultimate commodity: Our value is largely determined by how much we know and what we can do with that knowledge.
Anything a consumer can do to add to their knowledge base has real value and appeal. At the same time, an opportunity to showcase your specialized knowledge can enhance your Expert Identity and make your services more attractive to the buying public.
Seminars are excellent ways to diversify your existing business. You can incorporate products and services to market through seminars. You don’t actually make a sales pitch, of course, as that would cheapen a seminar presentation. But you could offer products and services that have a natural appeal or fit with the seminar audience.
In addition, conducting seminars adds to your “brand identity” and builds up that identify. Potential customers purchase for a wide variety of reasons, price being only a small factor. Brand identity and credibility are critical in a purchase decision, particularly when a special service is needed. That credibility is enhanced when you conduct and promote relevant seminars.
Here’s a five-step process to develop seminars that will appeal to your target audience:
Step One: Define Your Target Audience
Nichepreneurs™ have a range of potential audiences for educational material. Classes could be directed toward colleagues and peers, with an eye toward enriching the industry as a whole and generating referral business. Or you may wish to focus on educating the general public, creating a more educated consumer, and enjoying higher sales.
Realize the two groups have different needs and require different information. You need a clear vision of who you’re talking to before you worry about what you’re talking about!
Step Two: Identify Critical Information
Now that you know who your target audience is, you want to determine what is important to them. What crucial areas are your customers the most eager to learn about? Bear in mind that there is always a hunger for basic, introductory information.
Never assume you know what is of interest to your clientele. Ask them — either anecdotally, during the course of business, or as part of an outreach campaign. The topics you might think they can’t miss might leave them snoring, while something that you considered insignificant could have great appeal. Do your research!
Step Three: Select a Topic
Use the results of the research you conducted in step number two to select a topic. What are the most important points to cover? Create a presentation focusing on those points. Remember, you want to appeal to the wants and needs of your target audience.
Step Four: Select a Format
Consider the type of material you’ll be teaching and your own personal style. This is one time when you’ll really need to be brutally honest with yourself: If you’re an outgoing, dynamic person who thrives in a crowded room yet hates technology with a purple passion, why try to host a web-based event? Select a seminar instead, and let your people skills sell you! The reverse is even more true: Nichepreneurs™ who might be brilliant but pedantic will lose far more customers than they gain by boring a room full of people to tears.
Consider your material. Some information is better presented visually —financial or scientific data, for example. Other information, such as massage techniques, cry out for live demonstrations.
Step Five: Market Your Classes
Once you’ve designed your educational offerings, you need to market them. There are a number of ways to do this. If you’re trying to reach a purely local audience, then saturating local media with press releases and announcements, as well as fliers and direct mailings, is the route to go. For larger events, or web-based classes, you’ll want to adopt a broader strategy, taking in e-mail, web site and blog postings, and more.
The key to success of any seminar, boot camp, or educational offering is through marketing and promotion. Yet this is the area where more Nichepreneurs™ drop the ball. Don’t short-change yourself. Devote as much time and energy to promoting your classes as you did developing them!

Celebrating Fatherhood in This Home Business


Man Creates a Clothing Line for Dads and Brings Awareness to Family Issues
By Home Business Magazine
Fodada, a California cause-based apparel brand, began with one father’s dream of leaving a legacy for his sons. Bobby Barzi created Fodada to celebrate the importance of fatherhood while bringing awareness to issues that directly affect families.
The term “Fodada” stands for: a dad who lives his life around his kids; a dad who pretends to be a jungle animal one minute and a super hero the next; a dad that makes a millennium falcon out of a cardboard box and howls like Chewbacca; a dad who never misses a pitch or goal and don’t mind playing doll house tea party for hours. 
Previously an executive at a global technology firm, Barzi now creates a men’s basic clothing line for fathers who need some comfortable, cozy and hip clothes to relax, play or do whatever in. The Fodada line recently expanded to include options for women and children.
Fodada raises funding and recognition while creating or supporting programming by partnering with non-profit organizations, schools, and other philanthropic initiatives such as Autism Speaks and the American Heart Association. Barzi considers the Fodada brand’s ability to leverage a tangible product to support multiple causes his best business achievement thus far.
Working from home has allowed Barzi to spend more time with his wife and children (ages 4 and 12 months), but as the company continues to expand, so does his travel for trade shows and promotional events. Barzi has learned that working from home can be challenging — finding the balance between professional and family life. However, he believes a home office fosters an incomparable working environment that has allowed an equally unique business to thrive. Barzi is proof that the success of a home business is not limited by its humble beginnings. Although he continues to work from home, the expansion of Fodada has demanded that he seek additional space to fulfill his growing number of orders. It is Barzi’s hope that within the next three years, he can expand his partnerships with nationally recognized programs while simultaneously increasing his reach to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.fodadawear.com. HBM

6 Reasons Entrepreneurs Must Go Further Than Simply ‘Marketing to Millennials’


Trung Pham, CEO of AXIS, Explains Why Entrepreneurs Should Launch New Businesses Specifically Targeting Millennials
Upon the realization that the 83 million Millennials possess $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, and are set to inherit $30 trillion more from their Generation X and baby boomer parents, Fortune 500 companies have been investing heavily in ‘Marketing to Millennials.’ These companies are complementing their “core” business model and trying to tap into the now largest population in the U.S.
For example, fast food giants are adding healthy items to their menu, automobile companies are offering energy efficient cars, and traditional media outlets are transitioning into the 140 character world.
The only problem is that reaching the 83 million members of the “selfie” generation can be a difficult proposition. They are the first generation not following the script of education, marriage, house and then family, leaving advertisers perplexed.
They have a world of information at their fingertips allowing them to form their own opinions about brands, are the most educated generation in history and are highly diverse — white, black, brown, Asian, and on top of all that they like being ‘Green.’
While many of these big companies have been making significant gains, they may not be nimble enough or focused enough to fully adapt to the constantly changing needs of this market.
This creates an enormous opportunity for the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.  Those that can cultivate a business model from scratch that will specifically target Millennials and figure out their diverse needs, will have the opportunity to change the world.
Trung Pham, CEO of AXIS, a company that designs do-it-yourself (DIY) home products for a generation of Millennials that are tech-savvy but not handy, offers six reasons entrepreneurs should not simply ‘Market to Millennials,’ but should make it the primary focus of their business.
  • SOCIETY FOLLOWS THEIR LEAD: The entire world is following the lead of the current youth generation (See Facebook). While conventional wisdom suggests an entrepreneur should target the widest group of people possible, it is even more brilliant to focus on the trendsetting Millennials.  Those who can resonate with this group will then have the rest of the population following suit.
  • APPEAL TO THE TECH-SAVVY BUT NOT HANDY: The younger generation is between a rock and hard place when it comes to being handy. Our parents were able to build and fix things, where increasingly the current generation is not.   While young people prefer to do a lot of things virtually, there will always be a need to develop physical products that function as seamlessly as their Apps do.
  • BENEFIT FROM SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE: While entrepreneurs can be any age, the majority of entrepreneurs are young and hungry. In fact, many of them are Millennials.  The ability to speak the same language as their target market offers a huge competitive advantage and will yield impressive results.
  • ENJOY TWO TYPES OF ‘GREEN’: Targeting Millennials offers the opportunity to enjoy two types of green. The type that has a positive impact on society in addition to the type that lines pockets.  While often characterized as lazy and self-absorbed, the Generation Y truly element to it cares about going green.  Whether their concern is creating green jobs, global warming or getting away from foreign oil addiction, they will feel better about supporting you if there is a social responsibility.  This gives young CEO’s the chance to do good things for society.
  • CONSIDER THEIR LIFETIME VALUE: Baby boomers are certainly still a big market. However, they can be seen as getting a little long in the tooth.  If the Millennials develop brand affinity, they will stay with you for life.  It provides an opportunity to grow and evolve as they do and makes for a sound business model for the next 50 years or so.
  • BE GLOBAL, MOBILE AND SOCIAL: The key to doing good business is reaching consumers wherever, and whenever they are. Current and future generations will be increasingly global, mobile and social.  By creating something viral, a business in Boston can sell to a consumer in Beijing or Belgium.  This ability to overcome geographic barriers should excite entrepreneurs and give them license to think really big.

About AXIS:
AXIS designs unique do-it-yourself (DIY) home products for a generation of Millennials that are tech-savvy but not handy.  DIY has long been associated with a world of buy and build products, complicated manuals and uninspired design. With a set of products initially focused on window treatments, AXIS is redefining the DIY space around simplicity, convenience and design.
The company is in the process of launching the AXIS Gear, a smart motor designed to be easily installed on to existing window shades in a matter of minutes. It comes equipped with a host of sensors that brings intelligent automation to your window shades.
The company is also developing the AXIS Duo, the world’s first portable window shade designed for renters. It extends like a telescope to fit different window sizes, can be installed in seconds without screws, nails or tools, and moves with you when the lease is up.
CEO Trung Pham founded AXIS after encountering the common headaches of a young professional renter furnishing his apartment and found the DIY products on the market to be not so DIY friendly after all.
AXIS is committed to developing a wide-ranging line of products for the home.  The company’s mission is to help you live smarter, while ushering in the world of DIY 2.0.

Key Elements of a Successful Marketing Plan


In Organized and Effective Marketing Plan is the Backbone for Your Product or Service Life Cycle
By Renata L. Lerch
In addition to the numeric targets, it is important to establish parameters to measure the effectiveness of your marketing tactics and programs.
During my almost two-decade career in strategic marketing, I’ve seen numerous marketing cases involving different products and services. A common element in all successful marketing stories has been an organized and effective marketing plan, which serves as the backbone for the product or service life cycle.
A marketing plan should be a reference for everyone who works with your business, including employees, partners and contractors. It should contain the core elements that keep launch and implementation in synch with the strategy. Obviously, it is not a static document. Revisions should be made at a minimum on a quarterly basis to incorporate key learnings during the process.
Starting With OVERVIEW
The “OVERVIEW” of your plan should include trends and key changes in the macro environment, from the economic and social aspects affecting your audience to important industry information. Find useful estimates and forecasts that will help you make decisions. Next, compile key information about the audience you want to reach: gender, average age and income, geography, preferences, decision and purchasing process, etc. Your entire team should be familiar with the details of your target clients.
The analysis of the competitive environment, or “SWOT”, should be worked subsequently. At this time, investigate all public information available about your top competitors, and get a clear understanding of their Strengths and Weaknesses. With this information in hand, you will be able to compare and elaborate on your Opportunities and Threats. You want this section to be clear and objective, with straight bullet point lists.
TARGETS
The next step is your numeric “TARGETS”. Include in this page your target revenue and transaction volume for the year, and broken down by quarter, especially if your product involves seasonal variances. If possible, also break it down by distribution channel, such as online, in store, through intermediaries, etc. Make a comparative chart with columns for the previous year and the year in question.
KEY OBJECTIVES
After completing the research, you are ready to develop the “KEY OBJECTIVES”. Use this opportunity to think through the macro course of actions that will lead your company to reach your numeric targets. Maybe you want to nurture differentiation through superior services, increase online sales in the channel mix, or enlarge your geographic coverage. List a minimum of three but no more than six or seven key objectives for the year, which should be aggressive but achievable.
STRATEGIES AND ACTIVITIES IN SUPPORT
These are the means to realize your objectives. Start with the “communications message”, the sentiment you want associated with your brand. This should be reflected in all points of contact with customers such as brochures, advertising, website, call center, locations, press releases, etc. Brainstorm with your team and consolidate it in a single powerful message, related to your objectives.
Then, develop the “key strategies,” supported by tactics and programs to execute them. In essence, strategy is how resources are distributed and utilized to achieve your key objectives. Tactics and programs are important to make the strategies action-oriented.
Envision it as an umbrella:
• Main Objectives:
– Key Message related to the Objectives
– Key Strategy 1 to achieve the Objectives:
Tactics and Programs to execute Key Strategy 1
– Key Strategy 2 to achieve the Objectives:
Tactics and Programs to execute Key Strategy 2
As you work through your six or seven strategies, focus on delivering distinctive value to your customers through your programs. You don’t have to limit the number of programs and tactics under each strategy. Keep them focused and well organized, with implementation facts and time schedules. Bear in mind the resources and marketing funds available throughout the year.
BUDGET
Finish your plan with a detailed “BUDGET” chart, breaking it down by activities and costs. A year-over-year comparison is always helpful to evaluate the results and calculate return on investment.
MAKING PERIODIC REVISIONS
As the competitive environment evolves, so should your set of strategies. Revisions are necessary periodically. In addition to the numeric targets, it is important to establish parameters to measure the effectiveness of your tactics and programs. Determine what to evaluate, and establish standards of performance. That will allow you to take corrective action, adjusting your strategies along the year.
These are the basics of an effective marketing plan. Make sure you involve your team through the process; it is a very rewarding exercise! HBM

Why College Students Should Also Run a Business


These days, it seems as though Americans are spending more for college while getting less value in return – a trend research validates, says entrepreneur Matt Stewart.
“The average cost for an in-state public college is $22,261, and a moderate budget for a private college averaged $43,289 for the 2012–2013 academic year; for elite schools, we’re talking about three times the cost of your local state school,” says Stewart, a spokesperson for College Works Painting, which provides practical and life-changing business experience for college students who have shown potential for success. Interns operate their own house-painting business with hands-on guidance from mentors.
Making matters worse, adults in their 30s have 21 percent less net worth than 30-somethings 30 years ago, according to a new Urban Institute report.
“More students are being saddled with long-term debt while getting less value for their education,” Stewart says. “Because of the difficulty recent college grads are having finding jobs in today’s tough economy; today’s students may have even less worth in their 30s than 30-somethings today.”
To add value to their professional career, Stewart encourages students to seek outside-the-box avenues for increasing their career stock while in college. Running a business is a great way to do that; he explains why.
• Employers love ambition. A college degree is the minimum qualification employers are seeking. What hiring managers are looking for is that something extra when reviewing a stack of qualified resumes. At the heart of the economy is innovation; it’s the difference between simply existing in a market, and thriving in one. Employers know they need people with creativity and gumption for innovation.
• Real-world management of time and money. College is a time when young adults learn to live autonomously. It’s the rare student, however, who learns to manage his or her own affairs and  the most precious resources in the business world – time and money. Managing employees, driving sales, developing specific skills for a real market and building strong customer relationships are best learned with hands-on experience.
• Learn where they need help. What do you do well and where do you need help? The best way to know with any certainty is through experience. Running a business while attending college allows students to circle back to their education and focus on their trouble areas by adjusting their curriculum in future semester.
• Develop meaningful bonds. One of the most meaningful aspects of the college experience is the relationships students develop with each other, which often have professional consequences after college. Enlisting the help of fellow students for a common business purpose tends to have a powerful bonding effect.
• Immediate ROI – finding phenomenal success. Most students who run a business during college will not prove to be the next Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg or David Geffen, which is precisely why students should not drop out of college like those pioneers did. However, a student doesn’t have to be the next Zuckerburg to experience amazing success as an entrepreneur. College Hunks Moving Junk is just one recent example that began in an entrepreneurial student mind.

Just About Anyone Can Find Time to Operate a Business During the Work Day


Sneak a Start-Up Around Your Day Job!
As the economy tumbles further into recession, starting up a new home-based business presents more challenges. Jeopardizing a “day job” is something one cannot risk. But with average workplace earnings in decline, there has never been a greater demand to bolster one’s income with a part-time home business. Finally, if you aspire to operate your business full-time, it will require a more stable foundation before you exit the day job, than it would if economic times were better.
For many of us, this all adds up to a need to sneak a start-up business around other full-time, outside employment. With some forethought, planning, time management, and yes, stealthiness, almost anyone can operate a part-time home business around their day job. And nothing we talk about in the cover story is unethical or not legal. It simply pushes up against workplace boundaries. It’s all about using your time more productively, to look for ways to leverage yourself during the office work day.
In tough times, you must diversify. Running a part-time business already takes up most of your free time. But if you too leverage your time during the work day, you can find a little extra for business diversification.
A home-based business is a great financial hedge in uncertain times.  Things were bad last year, and the trends are only getting worse. “GET READY!” Get your financial house in order. One positive step is to start up a part-time home based business. If needed, sneak it around your “day job.” HBM

4 Tips for Starting Your Own Home-Based Business


Stay-at-Home Mom & Entrepreneur Shares How-to’s
By Renae Christine 
Dreaming of launching a business from your home? You’ll join an ever-growing number of entrepreneurs, according to a broad new report based on 6,000 surveys.
Sixty-nine percent of all U.S. businesses start in the home and half of them are still home-based long after they launch, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report.
“The median start-up cost was $15,000 but remember, that’s the median – it means plenty of people spend much less than that,” says Renae Christine, a serial entrepreneur who has created dozens of successful home-based businesses for herself and others. She shares practical how-to advice in her new book, “Home Business Startup Bible,” (www.richmombusiness.com).
“I started out helping other stay-at-home moms who wanted to create businesses, but there are men and women of all ages who want the freedom and independence you get from owning your own business and keeping it in the home.”
Christine says she learned a lot from early colossal failures and from her successes, too.
“A lot of people just starting out don’t think in terms of, ‘Will this choice still work in five years if the business is very successful?’ You need to consider that because it’s difficult and sometimes bad for business to go back and change things once you’ve become established,” she says.
If you’re thinking about starting a home-based business, she shares some tips for laying the groundwork.
•  It all starts with an idea – is yours a good one?
You need to be able to easily explain your idea (product or service) in one or two sentences because that’s all you’ll get to “sell” it to customers, investors and the media, including bloggers who you seek out for reviews. If you can’t explain it well in two sentences, either work on a simpler way to describe it or come up with a new idea.
•  Determine whether your idea has been done before or if it’s brand new.
There are generally three possibilities: It has been done but there’s still demand; it has been done and the market is saturated; or it has never been done. You can be successful in any of these scenarios, if you know where your idea falls and strategize appropriately. Search keyword phrases to see if what you have in mind already exists. If you come up empty, there’s either no demand or it’s never been done before. If it’s been done, search for competitors and see how many they are, what they’re doing, and how you might innovate to provide something even better, whether it’s product quality or service.
•  Create a list of all the things you need to plan for in your business.
The list might be a series of questions whose answers will be the basis for your business plan. They might include – but by no means are limited to: What are you going to sell and for how much? Will you make or buy the product? How will you package and ship it? Will you ship internationally? How will you communicate with customers? What will be your business colors? Will you hire a bookkeeper or explore software to do that yourself? The list may seem daunting, but take time to make each decision one at a time and soon, you’ll see your business taking shape.
•  Name your company after yourself or give it a made-up, easy-to-remember one-word name.
Naming the company after your product or service seriously limits future expansion (remember – it’s important to think ahead!) Naming it after yourself or giving it a one-word, made-up name allows you to expand into other products, services, and even industries. It also provides a common denominator that ties everything together. If you think you may eventually sell the company, go with a made-up name (think Zappos, Etsy, Google.) Doublecheck the U.S. Patent and Trademark website to ensure the name – even if it’s your own! — is not already trademarked.