- A Book You Really Need to Read
- Cool Word Press Trick
- Raising Money for your School with Schoolpop
- Learn How to Write a Busiess Plan
- Cool new real estate investment forum and website
February 12th, 2008
I really love kids and even though I only choose to have one of my own I do what I can to help all kids especially when it comes to education. So when I was asked to look at a site called Schoolpop that offers simple elementary school fundraisers I was more then happy to do so. Now I have purchased things form kids that knock on my door or have parents bringing it to the office that range from candy to candles to popcorn and chocolate. They all have one thing in common, they are about 300% more expensive then buying the same thing from a store. Still we do it just to help out, right?
Schoolpop is totally different here is how it works strait from the Schoolpop website,
“Simply register with Schoolpop and start shopping. You don’t need to purchase anything you wouldn’t normally buy. Just shop with hundreds of Schoolpop merchants online, in stores, or through catalogs, and you’ll automatically earn contributions for your favorite school or nonprofit. All of our merchants are committed to helping your community by contributing a percentage of your purchases to the school or nonprofit of your choice.“
The beauty is you just buy things you would buy anyway and a percentage goes to your school of choice. To make this successful PTAs and Student Groups will need to be sure to advise the students and parents of the options but it is clear a decent sized school could do very well if each parent made even two-three purchases a year. All that and we don’t need to send our kids door to door giving people an excuse to overspend and break their diets. These guys definitely make my list of recommended sites.Filed under Personal & Home | Comment (0)
February 12th, 2008
Writing a business plan can be a daunting task the first time you do it. So many would be great entrepreneurs have a great idea and need funding for it, some even self fund or boot strap their business and they all have big plans. They will tell you how big their company will be some day or why you should invest your money but most do not have a formal business plan.
Just this last week I was presented with a new idea that I really thought was excellent and the entrepreneur was clearly working hard and committed to getting the product to market. She was excited, smart and full of enthusiasm and of course wanted me to invest in her idea.
Now here is the reality the venture could be huge or a huge flop and that risk is always present so the risk is not why I turned her down. Nope it was the lack of a business plan that did it. She even had great packaging and was lined up to do trade shows and meet some perspective buyers from major retail chains. The risk is still there so I must make a risk assessment as an investor.
How I make a risk assessment
This is pretty simple I know the results if the product totally flops that is a 100% loss right? Yet what a business plan will tell me is what I can expect to see in gross sales and return of investment at various levels of success. How can an entrepreneur expect investment if they can’t even tell me the return I will get and in how long if things go right, mostly right or moderately successful. I need the numbers for all those out comes to weigh the risk reward, without that I can’t even get started.
I also may not understand the market, the supply chain, the competition and the total market cap and opportunity in a new niche. I need it spelled out and I need to understand the marketing that the company will use to communicate its message to the world. Additionally if I am to put my money or even just partner with assistance/consulting with a company need to know their vision. More importantly I need to know they understand their own vision. All of these things are addressed with a proper business plan. Even if you don’t want investors you need a business plan to be sure you have your own vision right, your own risk/reward ratio strait and to help you make the right decisions.
How do you do it? Easy turn to one of my heroes in business, Donald Trump for some free assistance. Trump University offers a free How to Write a Business Plan course you can sign up for and lean a ton from. I also recommend the excellent free business templates available from Score. They have templates for business plans, financial work sheets and other needs.Filed under Business & Marketing | Comment (0)
February 11th, 2008
I picked this up from a blog I read about making money online called, MindValley Labs. The technique is pretty strait forward and should be really effective. All you do is create a “thank you” message so that anyone that comments on your blog is then immediately asked to join your email list. That is a nice passive add on form of email marketing isn’t it?
Now to me this is sort of the type of thing we should have all been doing a long time now. I mean when you get a comment that person is engaged with you there is no better time to ask them to take action then while they are in action.
When I figure out how to do this in Word Press I will post instructions but it may be next week. If you can figure this out and you blog about it I will post about your blog rather then just telling my readers how to do it. If you come up with a way to modify Word Press just comment about it below and link to your post on it. I will then do a full post linking to your post and telling my readers where they can learn how.
Otherwise it will be next week before I have time to get to it.Filed under Business & Marketing | Comment (0)
February 7th, 2008
I am first and foremost a believer on marking online for any and all services and products today. I have marketed everything you can think of online from 20 Dollar informational DVDs to multi million dollar pieces of heavy construction equipment to legal service and even how to make money online products.
That said there is still a ton of power in using “old media” like television advertising so when I was asked to have look at a website that produces and promotes TV Commericals and Infomercials I was happy to do it. The company is called Hawthorn Direct aka, DRTV.
What I really like about Hawthorn Direct is the fact that they are very good at integrating your marketing efforts and tracking the exact results from each campaign. Nothing is more important in marketing and advertising then knowing your exact ROI for every effort, so for that reason Hawthorn Direct makes my list of recommended sites for business owners.Filed under Business & Marketing | Comments (2)
February 6th, 2008
I talk a lot about mortgages, the US real estate market and investing in property in the US because it is something I know quite a bit about. I have really not said much about foreign real estate markets for the exact opposite reason, I just don’t have any real estate experience outside of the United States. So when I was asked to have a look at a UK based site that provides free financing advice and quotes on UK Mortgages I was happy to do it.
The site is called Money Magic and I found that it provides excellent advice for both investors and consumers alike. They even have information for international mortgages that was something that I haven’t seen on may mortgage sites.
Filed under Wealth & Investing | Comment (0)
February 5th, 2008
Look I am not for driving like a maniac or speeding in school zones but I also really feel that most traffic tickets are nothing but another revenue source for our bloated government. As my blog is about keeping money in your pockets rather then putting it into bad investments (is their a worse investment right now then our Government?) when I was asked to look at a new website called, Ticket Bust , that shows you how to fight a speeding ticket I was happy to do it.
Unfortunately these guys seem to only be available in California but if you live there I would have a look at their website. They are so confident that they can help you they offer a money back guarantee and that is one of the reasons they make my list of recommend sites. The reality is traffic tickets are one of the legal issues most of us have to deal with sooner or later (I have had to), so I am glad their are companies out there like this to help consumers.
So please comment below, have you ever used a service like this to handle a ticket? How did it work? Have you ever beaten or gotten a ticket reduced on your own? If so how?Filed under Personal & Home | Comment (1)
February 3rd, 2008Filed under Wealth & Investing | Enter your password to view comments