Monday, November 29, 2004

Business Idea #041128 - Dreams?

I just got finishing answering yet another post about that "dream" Internet job and one of the things that I said was that first you have to define what your "dream" job is and then turn that into a business.  I also replied that I have seen successful and income-producing websites by people that are selling everything from candles to astrology and tarot readings.

So it got me to thinking if a business could be started using one's dreams?  Of course the answer is yes but the hard part is specifically how?  And it is hard to come up with something but one of the most obvious is writing.  How would one put dreams and writing together? I'll have to use one of my dreams as an example )-:

The first dream that I thought of was one that could be best described as not G rated - maybe R rated (-;

To make it clean I must have had a crush on a TV character (and a million dollars wouldn't even get me to tell you!) and it entered into my dreams.  Now if I was going to turn this into a business I would first start a website with a "guessing" game kind of thing so that people could guess who the character was?  That would be fun and it would keep visitors coming back to the page just to see the results.  It would spur others to talk about their similar dreams - this whole kind of thing could be turned into a newsletter and/or club/group sort of thing.  While charging for it might be an option I was thinking more along the lines of advertisings.  Again to keep it clean this particular dream best relates to Valentine's Day and romance - do you think that you could sell that to potential advertisers?  My specific dream can be related to the way a woman dresses, her hair, parties and social gatherings (although in my specific dream it was a professional gathering) and to put it quite frankly the "art of seduction" - which would be a good selling point and a good enough reason to give that subscription thing a try.  Do you think women (or men for that matter) would pay for a "seduction" newsletter kind of thing? What about advertisers?

I'll leave you to your own thoughts......................(-:

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Grants for Washington Artists?

I want to leave Florida and move toward Seattle. I'd like to open a small art gallery or share one with another artist. I do portraits of people and animals. I'd also like to teach art to children after school. Does anyone know who I'd have to contact in Washington to see if I can get a loan to get started........

There is an Artist's Trust in Washington that has provided over $2 Million in grants to Washington Artists which includes visual arts, film making and playwrights. It is a non-profit organization that was started to help support artists.

They offer fellowship programs as well.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Federal Grants to start a small business?

"Anyone know a free web site to find out about Federal Grants to start a Small Business?"

There's no better place to start looking than the Government's Website itself. But be ready to have to weed through a lot of information.

I have gotten email from people - most notably a grantwriter - that says there are grant possibilites for small businesses but that they just have to know where to look. Here is the excerpt:

"I am a grant writer and I was glad to see your post-there is so much money out here but people don't know where to go"

Thursday, November 18, 2004

How do I advertising my art?

I am a freelance artist and find it hard to advertise my paintings. Im not sure exactly how to go about it.


Well if you're talking about advertising your paintings on Ebay then my main concern is how you will ship your paintings. How big are they? Are you acquainted with the shipping process?

Ebay has community message boards and there's one relating to art specifically that includes tutorials by artists that have successfully sold their works on Ebay.

If you want to concentrate more on selling your paintings locally then you should use the resources that you have now. There are a lot of ways that you can start to sell your paintings locally but you're probably not even aware of them or just don't think that they will lead to anything.

Some of it will depend on the types of painting that you do but with anything you have to let people know that you are out there - regardless of whether you're doing it online, offline or both. All it takes to start is desire! There's this show that I listen to called "House Hunters" and you'd be surprise to know how many of the people that are the house hunters are artists that work out of their home - there are a lot of them. There are a lot of artists that are successfully selling their works as their business. There are a lot of resources available to you both online and off and if you're really serious about wanting to do this then you're going to have to start treating it seriously and start getting down to work - because as much as you will like the creative part of painting your paintings in order to sell them you're going to have to acquaint yourself with the "business" side of it. I'm not saying this to deter you. I'm saying this to say that it is not an impossible dream to want to be able to sell your paintings but it will require more than just painting.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I'm looking for typing work at home......

Rose - I am a retired AA - looking for typing work at home. I have typed manuscripts and would like to continue doing this but it seems with everyone proficient on the computer there is not a demand for typists. I understand, from some of the things posted on your site, that there are people out there who would like typing done - how do I contact them. Can you help me.

Thank you for your email.

As strange as it may seem there is still a demand for computer work like typing and graphic designs even though a lot of people have computers that come with very good word processing and graphics programs. So there is work out there.

So as a person that wants to work from home what you have to do is find them! I don't know whether or not you want to do this as a means for extra income or if you want to make a business from it but the process is still the same. Since I do work from home myself and do business consulting for others that want to start a business of their own it has given me the chance to see how many resources there are to help one start their own business - but they always seem to overlook them or don't think that anything can be done with it. A lot of people have started their own business starting with little money and what they lack in money they make up for with time and effort.

Relating specifically to you and your email you have to realize that while a lot of people have a computer they still don't want to "work", they don't have the time to do it and lastly some of them just don't want to do it. You'd be surprised at the number of people I know that have the latest computer but don't "work" it.

If typing is the area that you want to start making income from the first thing that you will have to do is to define your target market. Who is most likely to need and buy your services? Then you target to them. Is just straight typing the only kind of work that you want to do? There are many jobs that fall into the area of typing but let's target specifically the kind of typing you mentioned above. You talk about manuscripts - then what you would do is target to those dealing with manuscripts. Since delivery may be a major concern (at least at the start) you should first concentrate on your local area. There are at list 6 possible businesses/clients that I can think of in my own immediate area that would need typing services but I have to let them know that I'm "open" for business. This is the same thing that you will have to do - let them know that you are open for business. This is why a business plan is always recommended for those that want to start a business of their own. It is better to have a step by step plan and process as opposed to just "come what may". You're going to have to have some knowledge of the "business" side of business such as how you will bill them, what rates you will charge, what kind of form you will use to charge them with, supplies (accounts payable) plus you will want to have a plan for marketing, promoting and advertising your business which you have to do on a regular basis to keep your business going.

Since your primary main focus will be on getting clients you will want to concentrate most of your energies on this. And like I said above the best place to start would be in your local immediate area. One of my first regular clients was someone I knew at my local supermarket. I didn't pressure him or anything but when he asked what I did I told him and he had some work for me. Now he is a continuing client. This is but one example of letting people know that you're out there and open for business. Another resource that is often overlooked is one's own local newspaper! Hardly any of the people that have sent me mail about starting their own business have even thought of that! This is just one example of a common thing that should be used as a resource but isn't and buying one local paper is something that most people can afford. Even if they couldn't afford to buy a local paper there are just too many other resources that can be used but are for the most part ignored!

So to answer your question I'm assuming you are at the beginning of getting started looking for clients and the best place for you to start is to start with your immediate area. Once you follow the steps for that and start getting your first clients then you can branch out to potential clients that are farther away and even work your way up to using the Internet to reach more people. (Yes you can have Internet clients that need typing work - because its being done by others! - I'm talking about legitimate jobs that involve typing for businesses and individuals!)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Reviewing and critiquing websites? - How Did I Get Involved?


Just wanted to ask how you got involved in review/critiques?? Is this something you do totally online?? How would someone get into it?? I ask because it sounds very interesting doing research for different things. My daughter and I already do research for ourselves for different things. Your site is very interesting also. It's nice to meet you through JavaJane.

Take care,

Thank you for your email.

Getting involved with reviewing web sites just came about from my designing websites. It's just an example how one career can branch into another. It can be done both offline and online - meaning it can start as a local business but of course you will need a computer and Internet access.

The "research" thing came about because I was always doing it anyway so I decided to add that as part of my business services. It's something I have been doing for quite some time now.

(I also kind of get the feeling that you would be interested to know that I do have one of those programs that lets you talk while it types. It's a great program and I use it in my business. The program is a few years old and they have probably come up with more better programs but it still works for me just fine.

I just got a research job starting this month! The job really is a report-analysis kind of thing. I'll be watching and analyzing the TV series "Charmed". It's a show about three sisters that are witches and the research comes in in that how it compares to real witches and witchcraft. It really helps that I have already watched this program but I intend to go through all of the episodes up to season 3.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I took the afternoon off!

I will admit that I am quite the computer junkie. But sometimes it just becomes necessary to take some time off and do something else. It helps to clear your head and it also gives you a renewed interest when you get back to business.

I took the afternoon off and went out and did some yard work. And believe me there's a lot to be done. But if you do it slowly and in pieces it shouldn't be so bad! But it was a good thing to do to take a break from the computer every once in a while. (Although I could hardly wait to get back at the keyboard).

It's a good thing to remember! Take the afternoon off! (Every once in a while!)

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Reveiw-Movie-The Associate

I guess a lot of people would think this movie is kind of campy but I enjoyed it. It has a lot of similarities that a lot of people can relate to. I won't give away all the details - for those that may want to see the movie.

Whoppie Goldberg plays Laural who works for an investment type company and works her way up. The company then hires a younger man who she trains and he gets promoted and he is now her boss! That is just too much for her to take and she quits her job and decides to start her own business. (I love the part when as she tells her boss that she quits he tells her "it's cold out there" meaning that no matter how they treat her she should stay there).

Well, Laura decides to start her own company. She's built up a reputation so she thinks that will help her. Well, it doesn't. She calls and calls and tries to drum up some customers but as she puts it she is being "blown off". So she resigns herself and considers going back to her old job. However a lucky break helps her gets her first commission. This "lucky" break doesn't come easily though and she makes up a little lie. Well, after she gets her first commission its not too long before she is on her way successfully. But the "lie" has become more harder and harder to maintain and eventually she has to "face" it.

As I said before I liked this movie and could see some very real similarities in it for not just myself but for those that are also in the same kind of position. Usually in movies there's sort of a "miracle cure" solution or the kind of solution that isn't realistic but not so in this movie - in my honest opinion.

How would you feel if the person that you helped train was made your boss? How would you feel if you tried to make a go of it own your own only to get discouraged to the point where you seriously considered going back to the job you left?

There are many realistic aspects to this movie

  • her deciding to quit her job

  • her deciding to start a business of her own

  • her struggle to get that first client

  • the fact that she lies to get that first client - would you do the same?

For those of you that are considering starting your own business you may view this movie as only for entertainment purposes. Indeed there may be those of you that won't like the movie at all. But from the standpoint of it being a "business" movie it definitely qualifies and for those of you that are just curious about "striking out on your own" you may want to take a look at it.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Washing the dishes?

I posted on one of the AOL Work at Home message boards that one could start a business that had to do with washing the dishes. I thought that I would elaborate on this more because one of the people that read and replied to message didn't believe it.

Well believe it!

I came up with this idea when I was thinking about those that have emailed me and said that they wanted to start a business of their own but that they didn't know where to start. So I took an activity that someone does and used it as a business idea for one to start.

All right - Can I start a business that has to do with washing dishes? The answer is Yes! What if you hate washing dishes but you know it is a necessary evil and that it has to be done. So take the fact that you hate washing dishes and turn it into a business of your own!

Now one of the ways that this can be done is to start a newsletter! If you can't think of a name just call it the "I Hate Washing The Dishes! Newsletter. Do you know how many people hate washing the dishes! Why not turn it into a business? You may be able to even start your own "I Hate Washing The Dishes!" club. If you think that's a silly idea then you should take a look at the different kind of clubs that are already out there!

What would you need to start a business like this? Well you have to have a general hate of washing dishes! So far so good? What next? Well its going to be a newsletter right so you will need a computer so you can reach more people - which also means that you will also have to have Internet access. The next thing you need to do is have supplies so that you can write (or type) down your thoughts and what will go into your newsletter. I always think its best to just get some writing paper and sit down somewhere quiet and start writing. It's better to write it down and then type it after you have refined it. And what will you write? Start with "I hate washing dishes because....." and go from there! You might be surprised at what information will flow from you once you finish writing that first sentence!

Now you probably want to know where the "income" will come from right? Well let's just say (for the moment) that you don't think anyone will pay to subscribe to a newsletter about washing dishes. The next thing would be for you to have advertisers and/or sponsors for your newsletter. How do you get them? Well let's say you include in your newsletter what type of dishwashing liquid you use. Include why you use it! Is it your regular product or just something you got that was on sale? Invite others to send in their favorites and or the ones that they hate. How interested do you think that the makers of these products would be in knowing about how their customers feel about their products? Interested enough to advertise?

Once you start you can branch out into so many areas. You could even include an offline version of your newsletter so that those that don't have a computer would be able to read it. Computers come with enough word processing software that you can create an attractive looking newsletter. You don't need the most latest wordprocessing software with the most "bells and whistles" to start your newsletter. You just need DESIRE!