Thursday, May 25, 2006

Starting a Business - Some Things to Consider

So you think you want to start a business and you're wondering if it will be worth your time. There are, of course, many factors to consider but we'll cover just a couple of them today. First, you get to work for yourself. No more boss telling you what to do and when. This can also be the downside of having your own business, so you need to know whether or not you are a self-motivator. If you think you are disciplined enough to get the work done that needs to be done when it needs to be done, then owning your own business may be right for you. It can be an enormous pleasure to wake up in the morning and know that you are in control of your day.

Next, you need to be sure you have a feasible business idea. This is such an enormous topic that it would be impossible to fully discuss it here but suffice it to say you have a lot of research to do. You need to determine how and where you will provide your goods or services. What are the start-up costs? Will you need employees or equipment? What is the market for your business? Do you have a lot of competition and is there room for another business in your field? Should you incorporate? You can read about reasons to incorporate and how to go about it at Do you have the time and talent needed to succeed or will you need training? This is a lot of questions but you can figure out many of the answers by preparing a business plan. This will help you get organized both for yourself and for any potential investors or loan services.

If you get organized and stay focused you can make it through the start-up phase, so don't be discouraged. Look for resources and ask others who have been through the process for advice. Then dig in and go for it! You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

In our next blog we'll discuss some of the financial benefits of owning a business.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rick & Karen
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Starting a Business - Why Are We Doing This??

We have started 2 new businesses over the past 3 years and are working on our third. Starting a new business is both exciting and nerve-wracking. There are times you feel very motivated and its seems you work around the clock. Other times you wonder "Why in the world am I doing this?" and feel like chucking the whole project. I have come to realize this is a normal part of the process. Although there are times I really want to quit and just have a "normal" life, I know the excitement and challenge of starting a new business will inevitably pull me back in.

If you have ever thought about starting a business but have been afraid to take the plunge, be sure to read our upcoming blogs. We'll talk about some of the challenges and frustrations along with the excitement and opportunities. We'll also provide some great links for various resources and information to help you in your new business quest.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment or send us an e-mail.

Stay tuned!

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Closet Organization - What Are Your Hang-Ups?

Closet organization can be a daunting task, particularly if it has been a few years since you have attempted a major reorganization. Before you invest in new shelving or a closet organization system, you will want to assess your needs. Start by removing everything from your closet (yes, everything!) and sort the items into piles. Put items you would like to keep in one pile. These items should be shoes or clothing that you have worn in the past 12 months and that are in good condition. Anything with holes, tears, snags, stains should be tossed. If you haven't worn it in the past 12 months, you are not going to wear it - get rid of it! Items that are in good condition but you do not wear any longer, consider donating to charity.

Once you have your items sorted, you can begin determining how you want to organize your closet. Take a look at your clothing and decide if you have more hanging or folded items. Do you need a lot of space for shoes? How about belts, purses, or ties. There are specialty hanging systems that can accommodate all of these items. There are shoe cubbies, shoe racks, shoe shelves and over the door shoe racks. There are some great belt and tie racks that can accommodate large numbers of these items in a small amount of space.

Next, you may want to check out sites that offer custom closet solutions. We have links to some of these below. Some of the sites even have a software program that you can use online to plan the layout of your closet and determine all of the parts you will need to install it. You can then order everything right from the site and not have to worry about running back to the store because you forgot a part or didn't plan correctly. It is a great service.

Once you have everything planned, give your closet a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. Install your new closet system and you will be organized for years to come.

Here are some of our favorite sites for closet and home organization:

Spring Organization 88x31
10% off all orders $35.00 or more (Coupon Code: A9849)
This sale is only good until May 15th, so check them out now!

Free shipping offer is valid until May 31st.

Now that you know what to do, the only hang-ups you should have are in your closet. Now go get organized!

Karen & Rick
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Web Hosting Companies - How to Choose the Right One For You

Here's an excerpt from our article "CHOOSING A WEB HOSTING COMPANY ". You can read the article in its entirety on our website

There are many web hosting companies available on the internet and it can be difficult to choose. You will first need to decide which features are important to you such as the number of e-mail accounts included and the type of site builder available with the program (especially if you have limited experience in building websites). Website builders often include templates of sites that you can customize. Some allow you to change colors and positions of text and graphics, others only allow you to add your text in specific locations on the preformatted site. This may or may not be a factor to you, but it is something you should decide before you sign on to a provider.

A major consideration is the availability of live support. Some sites only have FAQ pages or a searchable index. A site with at least e-mail support and preferably also phone support would certainly be more desirable. It is inevitable that you will need support at some point and there is nothing more frustrating than having no one to contact!

Watch for more information related to running a business, home businesses, and web development here and on our website. You'll also find some great sources for all these topics on our Home Office & Small Business page along with a listing of some of our favorite web hosting companies.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rick & Karen
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