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Laptop Lifts Offer PC Protection; Inventor Gives a Lesson in New Business

Creativity, News & Reviews
August 14th, 2009 No Comments »

In the world of computing, seemingly simple mistakes can have devastating consequences.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

You’re sitting at your desk or a coffee shop table, and you spill your drink. Your laptop, netbook or Macbook computer – low and snug to the table – gets soaked and fried in a flood of fluid.

So how about a simple solution: A few small strips of adhesive-backed silicon stuck to the bottom of the computer, raising the device a mere quarter inch, allowing safe passage for an otherwise disastrous deluge.

Such is the premise of Laptop Lifts (www.laptoplifts.com). The product and its creator offer a plethora of PC protections — and lessons in entrepreneurship. Read More »

Learning From a Home Office Two Weeks on the Road

Productivity & Efficiency, The New Entrepreneur, The Road Warrior
August 2nd, 2009 No Comments »

After two weeks on the road, it’s the simple observations that bring clarity to the home office adventure. Like…

– The Verizon Mifi ‘personal hotspot’ won the day — hands down. It was a true fan favorite and winner of the HOH’09 Product of Choice. Hey, anything that keeps the hoards from beating me up for my Internet connection is worthy of praise. Teleworkers and road warriors alike will find this tool extremely useful.

– Open a bag of animal crackers, and a dog’s nose knows. “Food, food, food…”

– “Yes, Mom, Spaghetti-Ohs make a perfectly suitable breakfast.”

Belkin Clap On Surge Suppressor

Belkin Clap On Surge Suppressor

– Success is in the gadgets you choose. Like the Belkin Clamp On surge suppressor that, well, clamped on to the edge of the bunk and supplied power to all our gadgets (no small feat, given the number of gadgets we employed).

– When plugs aren’t available, old-fashioned cigarette lighters will work. Just the ticket for the Scosche reCoil retractable car charger for iPod and iPhone.

– Netbooks beget adaptors and accessories. And manufacturers are responding. The Targus Netbook Accessory Kit includes a nifty USB hub, a travel mouse and a slip case for netbooks with screens up to 10.1 inches. Read More »

Of Home Office Anniversaries and Small Business Celebrations

Commentary
May 28th, 2009 No Comments »

What’s it like to start a small or home-based business from scratch?

And to keep it going – year after year…?

And to suffer though recessions and recoveries and recessions anew?

Listen as Jim Blasingame and I discuss our shared experiences borne of this marathon called small business. Jim – the Small Business Advocate – celebrates 20 years in business this week. I celebrated 20 years working from my home office in February.

Amid it all, we’ve strived to succeed – and found challenges and personal rewards along the way.

Happy Anniversary, Jim.

Guest Post: Don’t Be Dumb. Eliminate Small Business Customer Barriers

Create & Run Your Biz, Guest Column
May 14th, 2009 No Comments »

By Jim Blasingame

A while back, I needed to reach an acquaintance who worked in a local branch of one of the national banks.

When I looked for the local number in the phone book, all I found was a toll-free number that connected me to a computer answering system. That’s right – a local business didn’t publish a local number in the phone book, and here’s the stupid part: The answering system didn’t offer an option to connect to any branch or person. I’m not making this up.

“Don’t be stupid! Lesson 1

Don’t create barriers to customers and prospects. If you have any, take them down. NOW! I know you think you don’t, but in the name of efficiency and the advent of new technology, you might.

Undaunted, I called a local board member of that bank who gave me the local number (yes, they had one). When I called, I was told that my acquaintance, a loan officer, had recently been laid off.

“Why was he laid off?” I asked. Read More »

Small & Home Business Stimulus Package Brings Money to Main Street

Create & Run Your Biz, Home Office Job Opps
March 24th, 2009 No Comments »

news-istock

THIS IS AN UPDATE to a previously published? post. Intuit has extended the deadline for its Small Business United grant competition to April 24

Looking for a new start after being laid off?

Some in Corporate America are looking to help you get started.

Franchise companies are reaching out with low-cost business opportunities for the home office set. And Intuit, the small business financial services company, has launched a list of services – and a competition – to award and reward go-getters looking to launch or sustain their small business in these dour economic times.

Called its small business “stimulus package,” the program will provide the 27 million small businesses around the country with a monetary boost totaling $1,000 per small business and more than $350,000 in grants and donations. Read More »

Devilish Details, Part III: Franklin’s Answer to Data Overload

Organization, Productivity & Efficiency
March 15th, 2009 No Comments »

Some use pixels and digital devices. Others use pen and pads.

And for some, organizing the flood of information that flows into the home office or small business each day is a matter of using… more paper.

In this final look at tools that help manage the dribs and drabs of data that flows into the workspace, we’ll review strategies that incorporate spiral notebooks and long appreciated systems.

Read More »

Devilish Details, Part II: The Home Office Trusted System

Organization, Productivity & Efficiency
March 13th, 2009 No Comments »

When those voicemails, e-mails, conversation notes, Twitter threads, or even grocery lists and other must-do to-dos get too burdensome, people find a way to handle the devilish details.

For entrepreneurs, teleworkers and employees alike — in home offices or traditional businesses, the assault of unrelenting and often unrelated data is enough to drive them to drink.

How can they all be handled — efficiently and correctly? In this recurring series, we’ll look at the “Trusted System.” Read More »

Pink Slipped? Transform Your Home Office into a Franchise

Create & Run Your Biz, Home Office Job Opps
January 28th, 2009 No Comments »

Been laid off, fired, furloughed or otherwise pink-slipped?

You’re obviously not alone. About 8% of the U.S. workforce are without work, with about 750,000 having joined PinkSlip Nation in the past month alone.

You’re in a place where you have to find a new gig (not too likely, given the throngs in your midst). OR you can make your own future by opening a home-based business from your home office.

So where do you want to steer the rest of your life? Some possibilities include multilevel or network marketing (been scammed lately?), launching your own gig by turning a passion or hobby into a career (but who’s got the money to buy your stuff?), or turning your corporate career into one as an independent consultant (most likely for most people).

Or you can open a franchise. Read More »


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