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    Free Essay
    8.7 of 10 on the basis of 1780 Review.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
    Bb 6

     

    Catering Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-up Investment Low - $1,000 (working from your own kitchen) High - $75,000 (outfitting a professional kitchen) ______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $200,000 - $2 million Profit (Pre-tax) - $50,000 - $1 million _______________________________________________________________________________ (G)astronomical Profit Potential Whether you plan to cater small, intimate affairs every day, or huge extravaganzas for %0,000 people once a year, the profit margin potential in the catering business is extremely high. Some caters manage to walk away with 66% of pre-tax profits. That figure may seem hard to believe, but when you stop and think about all the ways caterers can keep their overhead to practically nothing it becomes a more credible figure You can begin your catering service out of your own home, using a spare bedroom as your office. You can use your own kitchen (but be careful about Health Department regulations) or perhaps rent a kitchen in a restaurant, school, or church on an as-needed basis. You needn't employ any full-time waiters or bartenders etc.,there's a whole army of part-time people out there willing to work when you need them. There are very few items you may need to cater an affair that you can't rent for the day, these include china, flatware, glasses, tents... About the only immediate cash-outlay you'll encounter is what's needed to market your services. You will want to think carefully about what market you want to target and pick your advertising medium to reach that targeted population... If you are interested in catering for weddings, you may want to contact florists, department store heads, musicians, and people in charge of places that book weddings. If corporate entertainment is more to your liking you'll want to contact the corporations in your area (the chambers of commerce should be able to supply you with area names). Know Which Side Your Bread is Buttered On By far the most important marketing tool you will need to cultivate is word of mouth. Most brides, corporations, etc.,are not going to risk embarrassment by trying an unknown caterer. If you are fortunate enough to have a good reputation when you enter the catering business, i. e., were the chef at a successful restaurant on that in your advertising. If you are starting cold, you may need to be really creative in order to get your business going. Perhaps you will need to invest some capital in throwing a party of your own and invite the decision-makers from various corporations in your area, or the aforementioned florists, department store heads, etc. These people are not going to risk their equally valuable reputations by recommending an unknown entity -- so give them something to remember and to endorse. Also, especially in the beginning, add that little extra touch to the affairs you cater. DON'T CUT CORNERS! Remember, your compensation will not always come in the form of dollars and cents, reputation is equally as valuable, perhaps more so in the long run. Remember -- that little "extra touch" is often more effective and sometimes cheaper than advertising. Where Are You Going? In the catering business, you have an unlimited growth potential. You can buy your own facilities and accoutrements, hire full-time chefs and servers, use temperature-controlled holding cabinets and vans, or you can rent just about anything you need. You may decide you want to cut down on the middle-man's profits by owning the items you find yourself renting on a regular basis: china, flatware, tents. You may want to enhance your recognition factor by designing a "signature" for instant recognition, for example, painting your logo on the outside of your delivery van. People will see this logo as the van moves around the city and when it is at the site of an affair you are catering. Food for Thought While 70% of the restaurant is food oriented with the rest going for service, organization, etc.,this figure flip-flops to 30% in the catering business, the rest being delivery, transporting the food, lining up rental equipment, juggling personnel. Organization is what counts in the catering business. You also need to be a "salesman" with a magnetic personality in the catering business. You are going to deal with corporate executives, party planners and nervous brides. You will need to convince your prospective clients that you will not only provide a memorable feast, but it will be there on time, presented attractively, and served quickly and unobtrusively. There are a number of sidelines that naturally spring from the catering business. You can act as a coordinator for flowers, party locations, or themes. You can be caterer and party planner, caterer and florists, caterer and rental agent. Don't limit your options. Be creative! Remember, if people wanted to stick to a set menu, they could go to a restaurant, so be flexible. Make your menu suggestions, just suggestions ( a starting point, if you will). Le the client be your guide, but don't miss opportunities to turn a modest "do" into a major profit-making event. Don't hesitate when you see an opportunity to "bump-up the bottom line of an event. You may be able to turn a barbecue into a Hawaiian luau complete with roast pig. Make sure that every event is party to remember. Go that extra inch, sometimes it can be a mile -- and result in mile-high profits. The only restrictions placed on your catering business are those you place there yourself. Resources Industry Association National Association of Catering Executives, 2500 Wilshire Blvd.,Suite 603, Los Angeles, CA 90057 (213) 487-6223 National Institute for Off-Premise Catering, 1341 N. Sedgwick, Chicago, IL 60610 (800) OFF-PREM National Restaurant Association, 311 1st St.,N. W., Washington, DC 20001 (800( 424-5156 Publications Special Events Magazine, 20048 Cotner Ave.,Los Angeles, CA 90025 (213) 477-1033 Catering Today Magazine, P. O. Box 222, Santa Claus, IN 47579 (812) 937-4464 Consultant Jay Treadwell, Optimum Services, 5420 Grove St.,Chevy Chase, MD 20815 (301) 656-6389 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 7

     

    Grocery Shoppers Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-up Investment Low - $2000 (advertising costs) High - $20,000 (includes a van) ______________________________________________________________________________ Break-even time - Two week to one year _______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $15,000 - $1 million (solo at low end, with employees at high end) Profit (Pre-tax - $12,000 - $500,000 _______________________________________________________________________________ Food for Thought (and Profit) In this age of two-income families, it is a rarity to find a woman who has time to manage both her career and her home with the finesse she would like. As the number of frozen meals and fats food restaurants attest, when something has to give, it is often the time spent in the grocery store. Grocery shopping is one of the newest and potentially lucrative services now being offered to the American consumer. Who, What, Where... There are many different types of grocery-shopping services popping up all over the country. Some are attached to large supermarket chains; a division of the parent company or someone leasing space as a concession. At the other end of the spectrum are homemakers who can make an extra dollar or two while doing his or her own shopping (not reporting the income on their taxes). No matter what form the service takes, the opportunities can be mind-boggling. Even the single enterprising shopper can make a good living for the next dozen years or so,, until supermarket chains catch on.. At that time, it may be highly possible to present your existing service to the supermarket chain as an already in-place service and be able to realize a hefty profit from selling your business to the chain. In the meantime, if you're really ambitious and want to spread your wings, it may be profitable for you to computerize your record keeping and hire enough employees to fill several hundred orders a day. If you add a warehouse and more employees, you can increase your profits even more. Since there are so few grocery shopping companies around, you will have to decide for yourself what the market will bear when setting your prices. You will probably want to break down your prices to reflect the dollar amount of the order, the distance for delivery and whether you can handle several orders at the same time. (For example: $10 for a $50 order within a 5 mile radius). Keep in mind, the bottom line in this business is volume. The more orders you can fill at one time and the fewer miles you have to travel, the more lucrative your business will be. On Your Mark, Get Set, Go All you really need to start a shopping service is customers. Investing in flyers and peppering the neighborhoods you choose may be the place to start. You can design an eye-catching flyer and print several thousand copies. You will want to target your potential area carefully. Look for affluent neighborhoods where both spouses are working. Singles rarely frequent the service because they don't buy enough groceries at one time to make it worthwhile. You will also want to target women. Although men are sometimes patrons of this type of service, patrons of shopping services are predominantly women. You can either hire kids to hand deliver the flyers in the specified neighborhoods or utilize bulk mail to send your flyers to a particular zip code. Neighborhood newspapers and pennysavers are often an economical place to advertise. You might want to speak with the management at the supermarket you plan to utilize to see if you can post a notice in the store on the bulletin board or pass out brochures or flyers in the parking lot or at the door of the sore. But remember, referrals are a wonderful way to increase business and costs nothing.. So, do a good job at what you're doing and be courteous. Especially in a service as grocery shopping, you want to appeal to your customer's friends. Other than advertising costs, the only start-up cost you will really need is a vehicle (a roomy station wagon or van) that can accommodate your orders. If you don't have such a vehicle and money is tight, you can explore the possibility of leasing one. As business picks up, you may want to add coolers to keep perishables on ice so you can lengthen your delivery route. You may eventually want to consider turning your basement or extra bedroom into warehouse so you can stock high profit bulky items like sodas or disposable diapers. This way you can purchase in quantity from a wholesaler or food warehouse, increase your profits by increasing the price, and cut down on the time you have to spend in the stores. ...and How Some shopping services ask their customers to place orders on a regimented schedule; one a week, every ten days, and ask them to check off their items on a pre-printed shopping list. This method guarantees a minimum number of orders per week and allows for long range scheduling. Other services stay more flexible by allowing customers to call in to order on as-needed basis. This method maybe harder to schedule but could pull in more business because of increased frequency or impulse buying. Because it is not a very good idea to carry a lot of cash around with you, it may be a good idea for your company to pay for the order as you purchase them and then collect a check from your customers upon delivery. In order to save you and your employees time and effort and eliminate any confusion, you will probably want to create a standardized shopping list (complete with brand names). In order to fill out the shopping lists quickly, you may arrange them alphabetically by item or store layout. If you have a personal computer at home, you may be able to take the orders in alphabetical order and then rearrange the listing by store layout, producing a print-out in asile-by-asile order. This will definitely speed shopping. You will probably want to choose one particular supermarket in which to do all your shopping. Not only do you become familiar with the location of all the items you need, but you can become familiar with the store's personnel. A friendly "hello" how are you", may be the little boost you need to be able to get the best cuts of beef from the butcher or the best produce from the produce manager. Time Is Money If you are only shopping for prepackaged food, you can really move through the supermarket, but if you have to inspect produce or meats or fish, the time you spend is going to be greatly increased. remember this when you are putting together your pricing schedule but also remember, you won't have clients for long if they aren't receiving quality merchandise. You may also want to consider shopping in stores other than supermarkets. Customers may want you to stop by the liquor store, deli or carry-out. You may wish to increase your fees for this additional service or charge the same as for groceries. remember if you're basing your pricing on the dollar volume for the delivery, the more expensive price tags at those specialty stores will make it worthwhile to make the extra stops. Organizational ability is the key to a successful grocery shopping service. It is a challenge to keep orders straight since you will probably be shopping for several accounts at once. As time goes by, you will discover ways to make this easier, but you may wish to use two carts and put hand held baskets into the carts to create separations. Of course, the cashier must ring each order separately in order to provide receipts for each of your clients. Re, member, in any service organization, you are selling yourself, as much as you are selling your product. Courtesy, punctually, and a big smile can take you a long way down the road to success. For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 8

     

    Household Management Service Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-up Investment Low - $1000 (home based) High - $7000 (storefront in the city, with some advertising) ______________________________________________________________________________ Break - even time - One to six months ______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $20,000 - $500,000 (solo at low end, with ten employees at high end) Profit (Pre-tax) - $18,000 - $100,000 _______________________________________________________________________________ Superwomen Doesn't Live Here Anymore In this era of ever-increasing costs, most families can not exist without two incomes. Long gone are the days when the man brought home the bacon and the women cooked it. And since very few people can leap tall buildings in a single bound... or successfully run a household and hold down a career ... more and more often someone is needed to fill in the gaps. We know that Household Management is a service industry whose time has definitely come, but the need is so great and the industry so young, it is very difficult to define just exactly what "Household Management" is. Existing Household Management services vary greatly in scope and services provided. Some try to be all things to all people, others act primarily as employment agencies for household help. The Sky's the Limit The only absolute in this blossoming industry is that there are absolutely no pre-existing limitations to what a Household Management firm can be and how far it can grow. This in itself could cause you some problems when you begin. The first question you will want to answer is what exactly are you going to do for your clients? What are their needs? What are you willing and qualified to provide to them? Chores and More Perhaps the first thing you will want to is ask a sampling of people in your geographic and economic target area to fill out an informal questionnaire asking what type of services they would be most likely be willing to pay to have an "outsider" perform. * Picking up and dropping off clothes at the cleaners * Overseeing independent contractors: plumbers, house painters, renovation contractors * Going to the motor vehicle administration to get licenses renewed * Party planning (tent, dishes, and flatware rental, hiring the caterer, buying flowers, hiring a band) * Grocery shopping * Window washing * Supervising a complete house move * Providing a car-pool driver for children's activities When you have a good idea what people want, you will be able to decide what your Household Management firm will provide. You may want to start with just a few items and then let your clients lead you in other directions. Open for Business One of the most important aspects of getting started in your new business (after you've gotten an idea of exactly what that business will be) is deciding who your target customers will be. Lower income families probably can't afford to hire someone to do the type of tasks you are providing. Very affluent families can probably afford to have full-time or live-in help and also would not need to have your services.. Most undoubtedly your target market consist of middle-to-upper-income families where both spouses work. Other than that limitation, just about everyone and anyone who holds a job can be a potential client: young professionals, bachelors, and couples with children. Since you now have an idea what you will be providing to your clients, you will need to decide on potential staff needs. If you're going to be one-person operation in the beginning or plan to stay a solo operation, you may want to have some references on hand that you can provide to potential clients. If you are planning to act primarily as an employment agency for household help, you will need to have a good roster of qualified, well-screened, employees to send out on demand.. The capabilities of your employees will vary greatly depending on the type of services provided. If you are providing companionship and care to the elderly, your screening process will probably need to be more thorough than if you are primarily providing grocery shopping or someone to water the plants or walk the dog. Since you will probably be sending your employees into customer's homes, you will want to be very vigilant about the character of the people you hire. Check references and make sure the employees representing your company is going to enhance your reputation, not ruin it. Now that you have a fix on your target market and have an idea of how many employees you're going to need, or if this going to be a one-person operation to start, you can begin to advertise your services. Distributing flyers either by hand or through bulk mail, can be reactively inexpensive way to get your name out there. There are magnetic signs available that you can attach to the side of your vehicle which allow you to make your car a "rolling billboard". Most areas' local newspapers charge a reasonable rates for their advertising and local newspapers also mean that you're staying within your targeted locality. And of course, like all service industries, word of mouth will probably be your best advertising. You want your clients to tell their friends what a great service you have to offer, so be sure to keep your customers satisfied. Most Household Management firms charge on a hourly basis for the services provided. These rates can vary dramatically because the skill and effort expended can also be so broad. You could hire a student to sit in someone's home waiting for the washing machine repairman to come and because the student could study "on the job" and face very little in the way of responsibility, what you would need to pay the student would be relatively modest. If you are providing registered child care or supervising a move, you would need a responsible, realiable person and probably would need to charge (and pay) a higher fee. As you begin to more thoroughly define your services structure, you will be able to ascertain a more definitive fee schedule. This whole adventure will probably be "learn as you grow" and the bottom line for your success will most undoubtedly be flexibility. Most Household Management firms that their clients are repeaters. Once a client begins using the services of this type of firm, they begin to see the advantages of having someone who can prepare a meal, buy a gift, plan a party or screen child care providers, etc. If you provide your customers with an efficient and cost-effective way to simplify their lives, they will be beginning asking themselves, "Why am I doing this, that or the other thing myself when I can hire someone else to do it for me?" For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 9

     

    Maid Service Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-up Investment Low - $150 (liability insurance, ads or flyers) High _ $1000 (putting together a employee team) _______________________________________________________________________________ Break - even time - One week to three months _______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $15,000 - $500,00 (solo at low end, with twenty full-time employees at high end) Profit (Pre-tax) - $13,000 - $200,000 _______________________________________________________________________________ Not Just for the Rich Anymore The number of women working outside the home has now exceeded the 45 million mark and continue to grow. Is it any wonder that more and more women are finding it impossible to keep up with the responsibilities of a career and home? An off shoot of this phenomenon is an upsurge in the demand for good maid services. Starting a business in this industry requires very low initial expenses and, other that good organizational ability and not hating housework, not a great deal of experience. It is also an industry where you can work alone actually doing hands-on work or you can spend time managing a group of employees and rounding up jobs. There are really only three areas of overhead expenses you'll need to worry about: advertising, supplies and insurance. Cleaning Up Of course the service you'll be providing is house cleaning, and you probably know hoe to clean a house. But that doesn't mean you know how to run a house cleaning business. Even if you are running a solo enterprise, it will be necessary for you to advertise your service and set up your schedule to ensure that each client receives the services he or she is paying for. You will need to have liability insurance in case of breakage and have a good idea of who will furnish the equipment and supplies (you or your client). If you are intending to hire employees to do the cleaning, it is even more imperative to hone your organizational skills and keep on top of scheduling, marketing, purchasing of supplies, and all the work that goes along with hiring employees, i. e., advertising, interviewing, and checking references. You will want to formulate a plan for the way you want your employees to do the work at hand. You may want to design a training course or write a manual detailing the methods you would prefer your employees to use. Go over this information with your employees before you send them out on a job and it is probably a good idea to go with your new employees on their first assignment in order to teach them your methods by example, and to see if their techniques and standards meet with your own. Some Maid Services provide a checklist for the employee to take with them on each job so that you have a record of the time spent on the job and any extras such as laundry, oven cleaning and/or window washing for which you need to add additional charges. Many services use a team system, sending a group of maids (2 to 4) to visit the same houses each week. This allows them to become familiar wit the customer's needs to rotate chores to reduce the monotony. Some services don't like the team system cause clients may prefer to have their own personal housekeeper who will be in the house for a set period of time each week. Also, a team will probably not develop a loyal following that an individual maid might if he/she gives exemplary service. You may wish to furnish all your own supplies and equipment thereby ensuring that you will have quality tools of the trade to use and/or supply to your employees. Or you may wish to have the supplies and equipment with you, or having an employee riding the bus carrying a mop. Making a Name There are a number of advertising methods available which won't cost you an arm and leg. You can hand out or mail flyers via bulk mail. Most supermarkets have bulletin boards where you can put you name and number. In most areas, there are a number of neighborhood or pennysaver newspapers who charge very reasonable rates for advertising. And if your employees are driving to and from assignments, you can have magnetic signs made to attach to the car doors for mobile advertising. Spend some time thinking about the most lucrative geographic area at which to target your advertising. Maids are no longer an exclusive luxury for the very rich, but low income households can't afford their services either. Target professional neighborhoods where the average income in $40,000 or more and both spouse are working. Families with children probably have the greatest need for your services. The majority of your business will probably come from residential homes, but don't limit yourself. Be creative! Perhaps you could offer gift certificates for your clients to give to friends for pre-holiday clean-up or new mothers. You may not be looking for one-time cleaning jobs, but if a person wants you to clean their home for the holidays, and you do a bang-up job, you could turn them from one-timers into steady clients, or get good-as-gold referrals from them to their friends. There are plenty of real estate agents out there who might have apartment houses that need cleaning or could recommend you to their buyers to clean houses for sale. Newly built homes also need cleaning before or after a sale, so try contacting building/construction entrepreneurs who could use your services. Targeting offices may not be the best use of your advertising dollars. They frequently require a complicated bidding process and more heavy janitorial work than you are prepared to do. They can be lucrative but perhaps not fit within your parameters. How and What to Charge When you have been contacted by a potential client, it is a good idea to make a home visit (probably in the evening or on weekends to accommodate working people) in order to make a fair and equitable estimate of the charge for services. You can make an estimate over the phone, but if you haven't seen a client's home you won't know about extras and the scope of the work necessary to do the job. There are a number off actors to keep in mind when pricing a job. Of course the basic rate will be determined by the hourly fee you will be paying your employees and how long it will take to clean the house. But households with children, large collections of knick-knacks, or pets will require more time. If the family is always at home, it will take more time if you are dealing with a single person who is regularly out of town on business. You may need to charge a higher first-time-clean rate to put a house in order to be kept clean on a weekly basis or higher rate to those who wish only monthly or bi-weekly services. A house that has been thoroughly scrubbed the previous week will certainly not take as much time as one that is cleaned on a monthly basis. Most of the large maid service firms bond their employees to cover theft in additional to liability insurance but smaller firms can probably get along with blanket liability insurance. Thorough pre-screening of employees can eliminate the chances for theft so be careful. You are putting good name on the line every time you send a client into someone's home and one bad apple could spoil your business. It's Hard to Get Good Help These Days Finding and keeping good employees may well be the hardest and most frustrating aspect of this business. Employee turnover is extremely high in this industry and you will have to constantly be refilling your ranks. You will probably have to expend as much effort advertising for employees as you do for new clients. You may want to offer your employees some monetary incentive to recommend their friends or relatives who might want jobs. State employment agencies may also be a good source for employees. Be prepared! Getting an employee in this industry to stay committed is even tougher than finding employees. More often than you'll like, employees will simply not show up for the job. You may need to go in yourself and do the work, or have someback-up folks willing to take last minute assignments. Turn-over is a hard could fact in the Maid Services Industry, but there are ways to curtail the turn-over as much as possible. First of all, let them know they are important and doing a good job. You may want to issue uniforms to the employees in order to give them a sense of belonging and being part of a "team". Next, you Don't make money if you Can't get anyone to work for you, so pay your employees well. They know they do the lion's share of the work, and they deserve to get their fair share. Set up your unskilled labor jobs are offering. Remember the longer an employee stays with you, the more efficient they will become. Be flexible. Your employees will often have families and want to work part-time. If you need help at inconvenient times, pay bonuses. Make it attractive for them to work for you and to stay with you. An alternative to the type of Maid Service we've described above is to become more of a placement agency than a service agency. You may wish to continue recruiting employees but match them directly with the homeowner. The maid will actually be an employee of the homeowner instead of your employee and you can charge a fee for the placement service.. You could continue recruit and train the maids but wouldn't have to worry about the high turnover rate, supplies and equipment, or insurance. No matter which direction you choose to go in, you've picked and industry with infinite possibilities. Houses never stay clean and fewer and fewer professionals have the time to do their own homemaking. If you can keep good people and provide a dependable and satisfactory service, the possibilities are endless. Resources Cleaning Management Institute, 1550-D Rockfield Blvd.,Irvine, CA 92718 (714) 770-5008. National Maintenance Management Association, P. O. Box 3916, Texas City, TX 77592 (703) 871-8236 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your new business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 10

     

    Real Estate Agent Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-up Investment Low - $1000 (to become licensed) High - $30,000 (to open a brokerage firm) _______________________________________________________________________________ Break - even time - One month to two years _______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $300,000 - $10 million Profit (Pre-tax) - $18,000 - $300,000 _______________________________________________________________________________ Your Piece of the American Dream In 1986, the National Association of Realtors' census indicated there were 1.2 million real estate agents in the United States. Since most Americans dream of owning their own home, and 82% of all homes sold are sold via real estate agent, there is plenty of action to go around and you may be ideally suited to cash in on it. In view of the tax changes coming into effect in the next five years and the current economic slump, one would expect the number of homes changing hands to have decreased but with the drastically lower interest rates, the residential market is still going strong. No matter what is happening nationwide, households are still being formed and everyone of them needs a place to live. Two Years to Takeoff Because real estate is a regulated industry you can't just decide to become an agent one day and go into business the next. There are three steps you must follow before you can open your brokerage firm: 1. Licensing: You will need to spend, at a minimum a few weeks, perhaps a few months, preparing to take your state's real estate exam which leads to a license. Many community colleges and universities offer night or evening courses you can take in preparation. 2. Apprenticeship: Most states require a set apprenticeship period (2 years or so) with an established broker. Your apprenticeship will teach you the practical aspects of real estate brokering that you couldn't possibly have picked up in school. You will want to take your time and pick an established brokerage firm with abundant listings so you can earn a living while you learn the business, and don't forget to find out what benefits are available to you such as in-house training programs. Remember, agents get paid on commission, so put aside enough money for essentials such as groceries and rent to tide you over until you receive your first commission check. Most agencies pay an average of 6 percent commission on residential properties. 3. Brokerage: Many agents never opt to set up their own brokerage firms, but if you want to establish your own business, you'll probably be ready after you have completed your two year apprenticeship. You will have to be approved by your state's licensing board who will look at your performance record (listing, etc.) and the number of sales you've closed. You may be required to take some additional courses before you receive the go-ahead to hang out your own shingle. You have a few more questions to ask yourself before you begin your business. Do I want to hire other sales agents or do I want to maintain a one-person office? Shall I Become part of a franchise (about 15% of agencies are franchised)? You will also want to decide how dramatic and elaborate your campaign to bring in buyers will be. Do you want to use video-listings or television spots? You will want to factor these costs and any other advertising you are going to implement into your start-up budget. Three Keys to Success In order to be successful in the real estate industry, you will need to have an abundance of the following: product knowledge, a willingness to hustle and inborn sales ability. Product knowledge amounts to understanding your market, the particular types of homes you represent and perhaps most importantly, the financial capabilities of your area. Interest rates are the Achilles heel of every real estate agent and you will have to stay on top of the myriad of financing techniques available. And interest rates and financial packages change all the time. Staying on top these facts, taking classes in financial techniques and knowing where to look to get the facts you aren't familiar with will keep you from getting stuck with clients who can't afford to buy or alienating a good client by letting them walk into a bad deal. Part of the service you will be providing is to steer your clients into the appropriate financing package that will allow them to buy even when the market is soft and there isn't much money around. A good agent will be able to help a buyer decide whether they want a 15 year mortgage or 30 year mortgage. You will need to be able to talk "finance" as well as "real estate". Real estate agents don't just show a house and sign a contract. They must act as liaison between the buyer and the lender. The agent has to understand all aspects of the process in order to make the best deal for his client and steer them into the type of deal that will make them the happiest. Hustling: You must have a lot of energy and time to dedicate to your business. You will not only be constantly trying to bring in new clients, but also trying to sell your current listings. The location speaks well for your business and draws more customers than a storefront in an unsavory part of town. Be sure to check out the ration of real estate offices to houses before you establish your office location. You won't be in business long if you wait for buyers and sellers to come to you. You have to go out and get them. There are many different approaches you can take, for example, some real estate agencies sent a regular newsletter to all the homeowners in a particular zip code so that when the homeowner is ready to sell, the agency's name and capabilities will already be known to the homeowner. Other agencies send post cards to all the homes in a six block radius of any listing they get. Be creative and vigilant. You can get good ideas from watching what the competition is doing. Inborn sales ability: If you are an old hand at selling large ticket items such as cars or insurance you've got a leg-up in the real estate business. But even if you've never sold big items before, remember a sale is a sale is a sale. If you can sell thimbles, you can sell houses. Life as a real estate agent can often be a roller-coaster ride. Many factors influence the success or failure or real estate agents: interest rates, season, taxes. Housing fluctuates in tandem with the economic climate of the nation but no matter what is happening nationally, there is always a market, people are always buying homes. Real estates agents need to have a sure hand and a stout heart, but can be highly successful with perseverance, knowledge and concern for their clients. Resources Industry Associations: National Association of Realtors, 430 N Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 329-8200 National Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, P. O. Box 129, Centerville, UT 84014 (801) 531-8202 National Association of REal Estate Brokers, 1101 14th St.,NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005 (202) 289-6655 Publications: Real Estate Today, 430 N Michigan Ave.,Chicago, IL 60611 (302) 329-8200 Real Estate Business, Commercial Investment Real Estate Council, 430 N Michigan, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611 (800) 621-7035 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 11

     

    Real Estate Appraiser Vital Information ______________________________________________________________________________ Start-up Investment Low - $3000 (for word processor and camera, using the family car) High - $10,000 (includes an office, car lease, and some advertising) _______________________________________________________________________________ Break-even time - Two months to one year ______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $70,000 - $3 million (one person at low end; supervision a staff of appraisers at high end) Profit (Pre-tax) - $60,000 - $500,000 _______________________________________________________________________________ Real Estate Detectives The function of a real estate appraiser is to determine what a particular piece of property is worth. Clients for this industry can be found in a number of different areas: Government: every time the government condemns a property or reassesses taxes, they will need to know the value of the property. Attorneys: whether they are distributing an estate or representing clients in a business partnership break-up or marriage where couples or partners must divide real estate. Buyers and/or sellers: before listing or buying a home, individuals will want to know the value of their property. Insurance carriers: before making property damage settlements, insurance carriers will want to know the current value of the property they are insuring. Banks: loans are not made or a home foreclosed on without the value of the property being established. Appraisers can either specialize in one of the above or just handle residential or commercial properties, but many larger companies cover all the bases. Not all areas of real estate are moving at the same pace at the same time. If an appraiser is able to handle a cross-section of the market, he can stay busy dealing with residential when commercial is soft and vice versa. Method to the Madness Real estate appraisers don't just look over a property and make a well educated guess when evaluating the worth of a particular property. Appraisers are required by the two professional societies that represent the industry -- the Society of Real Estate Appraisers and the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers -- to apply the following approaches; Cost Approach: First you ascertain all the separate parts of a property -- what was originally paid for the property and the structure (s) on the property. You're not looking for construction flaws so you don't need to be an engineer, but you do have to have a basic knowledge of construction. Then you need to establish what the construction costs would be if you were building today. Then you deduct the depreciation on the existing property since its purchase and construction. The end result: the cost of the property. Market Data Approach: Comparing sales in the same community that compare with the property you are appraising. You must add any appreciation or deduct any depreciation and adjust for differences such as size or upgrades. Income Approach: This approach assumes that the owner might wish to retain the property and garner income by renting it out. You would need to compare the rentals charged for similar commercial or residential structures in the same community and calculate what your client may make as a net income prior to mortgage payments. Appraisers are expected to use all three approaches to arrive at the fair market value of the property they are appraising, unless there are no income-producing properties in the same area. Determining the value of a property involves a great deal more effort than just going to the courthouse and finding out what similar property has recently sold for. It is necessary to determine the reasons a property sold for what it sold for.. An appraiser needs to look beyond the bottom line on the deed. Perhaps the negotiations stretched over a long period of time -- the deed (and agreed upon price) could be dated a year or two earlier than it was actually finalized. Perhaps a seller was in a bind and sold below market because he/she was making an overnight move. All of these factors must be examined when determining the property's value. Here's where you really have to make like Sherlock Holmes. You will have to dig up clues through your detective work -- talk to the buyer and seller or the attorneys and real estate brokers involved in the sale. A good deal of an appraiser's fees are predicated upon their good judgement and their ability to get to the bottom of a real estate deal and find accurate and meaningful numbers. You can really capitalize on your leg work if you are able to appraise more than one similar property within a reasonable time period. Most lenders require residential property comparisons no more than 6 months apart although commercial properties may stay current for a much longer period of time. Nuts and Bolts Few appraisers charge strictly by the hour. The type of appraisal required varies dramatically from client to client. For example, a bank may supply much of the back-up information and provide a form for you to fill in, thus cutting down greatly on the amount of time required to make the assessment. On the other hand, a homeowner may want a written report which requires more extensive research and a lot more time. Typically appraisers for commercial real estate take much longer than for residential properties. So when structuring your fee schedule, you will have to consider all of the above factors and many more. Most successful appraisal firms fall under two categories: solo appraisers with no overhead and large firms with 15 to 30 employees. The in-between firms have problems meeting their overhead because they need the same data as a large firm and are not generating the income to meet the expenses. A solo operator can easily run his/her office from a spare room in his/her home and needs to have a minimum of equipment: a telephone, tape measure and camera. You can use your own car to travel from property to property, and if you can type, buy a typewriter (or preferably a word processor). You will also need to advertise, perhaps in professional banking or law journals or in the Yellow Pages. To grow -- Yes or No? Adding a partner will probably also mean adding office space and a full-time secretary. These two additions to your overhead can equate to 50% of your fees. And in supplies, car insurance, and taxes such as Social Security, and you're adding anywhere from 0% to 25% more your fees. Marketing will become more and more crucial as you grow because you will want to grow as fast as you can in order to keep fees increasing at the same rate as your overhead. As mentioned before, medium-sized firms are not cost effective because three appraisers need as much data as 100 appraisers. Networking will also help increase your deducting skills. If you have strong real estate contacts you may be able to go through their files instead of wading through stacks of information at the courthouse. A number of real estate appraisal firms join real estate organizations which provide updated sales prices and descriptions of properties. Another area which can become income producing is real estate brokering. Some appraisers consider this a conflict of interest but there is no law against putting some of your profits into investments or development of properties. If you're a skillful detective and have confidence in your own abilities, who would know a good deal better than you? Resources Industrial Associations American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, 430 N Michigan Ave.,Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 329-8559 Society of Real estate Appraisers, 645 N Michigan Ave.,Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 346-7422 American Association of Certified Appraisers, 7E. Swin Dr.,Cincinnati, OH 45218 (513) 825-1603 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, taxes, insurance, and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 12

     

    Mail-Order Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-Up Investment Low - $1,000 home-based. owner-operated with items dropshipped by supplier. High - $500,000 - catalog sales, several mailings, with items shipped from a company warehouse). _______________________________________________________________________________ Break-even time - Four months to four years _______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual revenue and Profit Revenue $50,000 - $1.5 million Profit (Pre-tax) - $5,000 - $450,000 _______________________________________________________________________________ The Time Has Come In seven out of ten households in America today, no adult has the time it takes to go shopping during the day. Consequently, junk mail isn't so "junky" anymore. People who used to hesitate before purchasing large ticket items via the mails are now ordering everything from artichokes to zip lock freezer bags and there is nothing to indicated that this trend is going to change. People are also beginning to realize that mail order can be the least expensive way to shop. The cost of merchandise purchased through the mails can be considerably lower because the mail order distributor isn't paying a high price tag for overhead items such as an expensive sales force or a fancy showroom. Stand out In The Crowd one of the ways to make a profit in the mail order business is to find a way to stand out -- to get a gimmick -- find a unique product to sell -- find a product that isn't being sold in every store or on every street corner. The question is not so much "What can be sold by mail" as it is, "What can I sell by mail?" After you've decided on a product (s) or particular line of products, do your homework. Make the rounds of stores, street fairs, flea markets and trade shows. Check out advertising in magazines and pay close attention to the "junk mail" you receive. If this product you're interested in seems to show up everywhere you look, you may want to rethink your choice. If you have a strong sense that this product will sell and there is a market for it, Then you can begin to consider how to market your product. Competing with the Big Boys Now that you've decided that every household in America really wants to own one of your pink furs and you are pretty sure that not many other folks are selling pink furs, you need to decide how to go about letting all these potential customers know that you have the best pink furs on the market. How? You could put together a beautiful catalog with gorgeous models wearing your pink furs. But keep in mind that the cost of shooting, printing, and distributing a catalog may be prohibitive and may require an investment of $100,000 or more... You will also have to have enough stock on hand to meet the demand inspired by your catalog and a place to warehouse all the pink furs you know you'll be selling. When deciding how much product to stock, remember that the Federal Trade Commission requires you to ship products within thirty days of an order so you don't want to advertise a product you can't readily supply. You may wish to pursue a slower and less expensive path as you begin your mail order business. Remember, the Tortoise Beat the Hare You may want to begin your mail order business as part-time venture. You could stock just enough pink furs so that you can store them easily in your garage or basement, set up a distribution area in your basement with boxes, wrapping paper, and shipping labels so you can do your own shipping. Or, you can even have your product dropshipped. In this way you can keep your overhead low and your initial investment to a minimum. This type of business often takes two years or more to really get going, so beginning in your spare time, while you continue to bring in money, may make you one of the winners. Putting Your Best Foot Forward Many consultants to the mail order industry suggest you begin with a small classified advertisement, strategically placed, in a publication with similar mail-order ads. This allows you to begin selling your product and tests the validity of your product choice. This is also the place you can start to collect the names necessary to begin compiling your mailing list. Those in the know say you need at least 10,000 to 12,000 names (people who have actually purchased products from you) before you begin putting together your catalog. Pick your advertising media on the basis of their value in reaching the type of inquiries that would be interested in your specific offer. Go over the classified advertising sections of the magazines or newspapers that seem suitable carefully. In short, explore any evidence to show that your ad has a good chance of producing results. Once you've decided where you are going to run your classified ad, the nest step is the ad itself.. It should be specific, direct and honest. It must ATTRACT ATTENTION, SECURE INTEREST, PRODUCE BELIEF OR CONVICTION, and finally GET THE PROSPECT TO ACT. When writing the copy imagine yourself talking personally to the person at whom your message is directed. The advertising must get read - get action. Make every bit of space count. Before placing your ad, compare it with those of your competitors, and make sure that yours is better, or at least just as good if you expect to get a good response from your advertising. Tracking Your Advertising You will want to be able to easily ascertain which of the advertising media you've chosen get the best results. The simplest way to track your advertising is to "key" your ads. Put an indicator in the name or address that will immediately alert you to the publication which elicited the positive response, i. e., Suite 1-A (1-A indicated which publication the response came from). By this means, you will be able to eliminate your advertisements from unproductive ad media, and reinvest the savings in more fertile publications. The Secret to Success There are six words that pack a terrific wallop in mail order copy. These words are "Free,"New," "Amazing," "Now," "How=To," "Easy." All successful classified advertisers use one or more of these words in almost every advertisement they write. The first few words in any advertisement are all-important. Give this matter Careful study. It your ad gets off to a good start, you are on your way to success. While the word "Free" has been greatly abused in the past, it still is mail order's biggest drawing card. Always remember to incorporate that magic word "guaranteed" into your sales literature. It gives the prospective buyer confidence to know that he can get his money back if he is dissatisfied with his purchase, and consequently makes the order much easier to obtain. Other Alternatives Mailing Lists or direct mail offer a convenient method of securing business quickly by reaching a concentrated audience within a very short time. This method features broad coverage at low cost, but like any form of promotion, it should be used smartly and the pit-falls must be avoided. Only when the campaign is well thought out, and when the selectivity of the prospects or "mailing list" is such that each name represents a potential customer, can direct mail be considered an economic form of promotion. The mail order industry considers a 1% response rate average, 2% to 5% is amazing. This equates out to just 500 orders from the first 50,000 names you contact via a mailing list. Newspapers: Although the most widely read publications in America are the local daily newspapers, this medium has decided limitations for mail order use, especially for the small operator. A newspaper is usually only kept for one day unlike a magazine which may be saved for months, possibly gone over carefully by other members of the family, loaned to friends, or is on file at the public library. And Sundries Find out about postal rates and services. You may be able to send your products via third class or bulk mail. A postage meter may be of use to you. Finding a good printer is another area where you should really watch your pennies and the quality of the service provided. The quality of your sales literature is a very important factor, and can easily determine the difference between success and failure. You can't very well expect poor quality literature printed on cheap paper to produce satisfactory results. And, not only will you need a printer for you catalog, but you will need to have brochures, business envelopes, letterhead and a number of other basic supplies. Shop around, get the best possible price. Don't Drop the Ball To build up a really successful mail order sales operation, it is smart to have a well organized and planned follow-up system. Once a customer has been established, you have a valuable asset that should be utilized to the fullest extent. The easiest person to get a sale from is someone who has already purchased your product. ...it's an Adventure Yes, it does take a while to get the ball rolling, but once a mail order business hits its stride, it can be much more lucrative than a retail store. It's not as labor or capital intensive as a retail store and should net 15% to 25% after taxes. While the mail order business is not a walk in the park, it is a great adventure calling for initiative, integrity, good judgement, lots of courage and determination. You probably have some or all of these qualities or you wouldn't even think about starting your own business. There will most undoubtedly be some ups and downs, but if you stick with it, you could find yourself with a truly lucrative enterprise. Resources Industry Associations Direct Marketing Associations, 6 E 43rd St.,New York, NY 10017 (212) 689-4977 National Mail Order Association, 5818 Venice Blvd.,Los Angeles, CA 90019 (213) 934-7986 Regional Associations (check with Direct Marketing Association, above for a group in your area. Publications Direct Marketing Magazine, 224 7th St.,Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 746-6700 NonStore Marketing Report, The Catalog Marketer, The Business to Business Catalog Marketer, all at 731 N Cascade Ave.,Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (303) 633-5566 Direct Response, The Digest of Direct Marketing, 25550 Hawthorne Blvd.,Ste 114, Torrance, CA 90505 (213) 373-9408 Consultants Michaelson Direct Marketing, 307 E Chapman Ave.,Orange, CA 92666 (714) 538-2368 J. Schmid & Assoc., 3209 W 68th St.,Shawnee Mission, KS 66208 (913) 236-6699 Richard Siedlecki, 2674 E Main St.,Ste C170, Ventura, CA 93003 (805) 658-7000 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 13

     

    Import Entrepreneur Vital Information ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Start-up Investment Low - $2000 (importing and inexpensive product in small quantities and selling to an agent) High - $200,000 (selling a costly product directly to retail or wholesale buyers) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Break - even time - Three months to three years ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $200,000 - $20 million Profit (Pre-tax) - $30,000 - $3 million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Shrinking Globe As our communication and transportation capabilities become more and more sophisticated, the marketplace ceases to be localized and becomes international. Whether we like it or not (and some lobbying groups expend a great deal of effort to keep foreign products out of the U. S. 0, our import/export revenues continue to grow. American import/export revenues exceed the Gross National Product of many of the countries who are our trading partners. While the giant corporations (Fortune 500 companies) export 80% of the goods going out of the country, internationally small businesses run the import side of the equation. And there appears to be no end in sight. The world economies are becoming more and more interindependent and as new markets open up, demand grows, and so will the opportunities for importing and exporting. Bi - Lingual Business Between regulatory changes and language barriers, importing and exporting is not a business for the faint of heart. Regulations can change without a word of warning and seem to have very little to do with logic. Tack on quotas and tariff breaks for undeveloped countries and you have a real potpourri of information required in order to do business. Before taking on this type of business, you will need to do your homework well. If you are lucky enough to fall onto a hot new item (i. e., Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pet Rocks), a fortune could be made almost over night. And if you choose wisely, you will have no domestic competition. So--- choosing your product is one key to success in the importing industry. A good place to start is by taking a good look at yourself and your background. If your expertise is in the apparel industry, you might want to consider textiles. Be very careful what you choose though, you must take transportation, breakage, and market saturation into consideration. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by importing items that are easy to transport and/or light weight. Once you've picked your product, finding a source is rarely a problem. Foreign governments are eager to expand their balance of trade and will help you find a supplier for your product. You can obtain a list of manufacturer by product and country by contacting the U. S. Foreign Commercial Service. Ready for Take Off Many importers begin their business on a part-time basis until it really takes off. You will find yourself with a number of decisions to make a lot of groundwork to lay before you can cut that first deal so before you begin your business, you may want to take courses in import - export at your local college university. The Government Printing Office has many publications available to help round out your education. You may wish to make contacts at brokerage or transportation companies and tap into their expertise. The more information you have, the better your chances for success. You will also want to determine the extent to which you plan to use the available support services. You may wish to use an import agent or broker to handle the foreign end of the transactions (for a percentage fee). Customs brokers and freight forwarders can grease the process too, but for another fee. Find out what transportation is available and which is the fastest and most economical. Check your Yellow Pages or contact local air - or seaports for lists of suppliers. But be careful, your name is on the deal and your reputation is a stake. Check them out! Before the goods you are importing shows up in this country, you will need to decide how you intend to distribute them. You can sell your goods to a U. S. agent who will then redistribute to retail or wholesale buyers or you can find buyers yourself. If you choose to sell directly, you will need to have a marketing staff to find buyers and go to trade shows in your industry. Although your initial costs will be higher if you market directly, assuming you can find a buyer for your product, your profit will also be much higher. Cover All Your Bases There are a lot of risks involved in the import/export industry. Since you're paying in advance for goods which are being manufactured across the globe and you are dealing with different cultures and attitudes, it extremely important to ask the right questions and get everything in writing. MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS In many instances foreign governments side with their own nations no matter what the circumstances. In some cases, U. Spanies can be prevented from modifying or terminating its relationship with foreign manufacturers no matter how good the reason, without it costing them an arm and a leg. Customs and trade attorneys make a good living trying to keep importers out of trouble -- so know your business -- and don't take chances. One of the items you will want to be very clear about is the currency of payment (some governments don't like payment in dollars), but as a hedge against inflation, it is imperative. Also keep in mind that if a price sounds too good to be true it probably is. If you import something that is selling under the price manufacturers receive in their country, this is "dumping" and the U. S. customs will embargo the goods. You may even be hit with a retroactive embargo. Be an Early Bird Flexibility is the name of the game in the import/export industry. With the flick of a wrist, the Department of Commerce can erase your exporting country off the General System of Preference list it publishes daily and you may have to hop a plane to find a new supplier over night. If you're really lucky you may stumble across the latest and greatest craze to hit this country since the Hula Hoop but most of the time, that is the exception, not the rule. If you can't find something new to import, you can take an existing product and upgrade or modify it. A change in design, style, or make-up of the product, can make it more attractive and cost effective to manufacturer and import. The more creative you can be, the better your chances are. The import/export industry can be challenging, frustrating, and highly profitable. But remember: to be forwarned is to be forearmed and when dealing with regulatory issues and foreign cultures, you will always have to be on your guard. Stay on top of your industry, and you have an opportunity to reap some juicy rewards. Resources Industry Associations: American Association of Exporters and Importers, 11 W 42nd St.,New York, NY 10036 (212) 944-2230 Council for Export Trading Companies, 225 Connecticut Ave.,#415, Washington, DC 20036 (202) 816-4705 Publications Import-Export Business, 93 Willets Dr.,Syossett, NY 11791 (516) 496-8740 International Trade Alert and International Trade Monthly, 11 W 42nd St.,New York, NY 10036 (212) 944-2230 The U. S. Dept. of Commerce & The U. S. Small Business Administration both have books available through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402 (202) 783-3228 The Exporter Executive, 401 N Broad St., Philadelphia. PA 19108 (215) 238-5300 Consultant Treico International Services, 93 Willets Dr.,Syossett, NY 11791 (516) 496-8740 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 14

     

    Party Planner Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-Up Investment Low - $1000 (pure planner functions) High - $50,000 (for props and warehouse space) _______________________________________________________________________________ Break-even time - Two weeks to one year _______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $100,000 - $1 million Profit (Pre-tax) - $50,000 - $2 million _______________________________________________________________________________ Infinite Possibilities Mardigras -- Chinese New Years -- Who Done Its -- Chuckles the Clown -- any theme, any time. The only restrictions are in your imagination and the client's budget. Party planners put together parties for newborns to seniors. Customers can be found in any arena: corporations, conventions and just plain folks. Magic, fantasy and entertainment are possible starting points and the sky's the limit! Blazing New Trails There are no-pre-set definitions for party planners and there are very few party planners companies in existence (perhaps as few as five hundred across the country). If you live in an area that lends itself to parties and/or conventions, there is probably room for you to join the fun. The background and experience needed to start a party planning business is as varied as the services it provides. The Whole Ball of Wax While some party planners simply provide their clients with the idea for their party, others plan and execute the "do". In addition to coming up with the basic party theme, they put together the entire party including creating the props, arranging the location, sending out invitations, hiring the caterers, picking the menu, and finding the entertainment, just mention a few. When you're first getting started you will probably utilize the services of all types of subcontractors such as florists, balloon decorators and caterers. You can lease props from rental stores and hire a caterer who can provide servers and bartenders. It is also possible to hire free-lancers of all kinds. Again use your imagination. Hire local actors to be Keystone Kops and gangsters at a "Roaring Twenties" party. Use celebrity look-a-likes to M. C. an awards banquet. When negotiating the fees for your services make sure to ask for a large enough deposit to cover the what-ever - up-front costs you incur when contracting-out for all these services. Keep in mind, you'll have to meet the costs of deposits for all your subcontractors. Broadening Your Horizons As your business takes off and if you feel you have the know-how, you may want to consider handling some of the standard party functions in-house. Many party planners also have catering capabilities or own and store props, tents, flatware, or coffee pots, etc., in order to reap the increased profits derived from the rental fees. Whether or not make a conscious decision to accumulate any of the above, during the course of operating your business, you will undoubtedly begin to acquire some props and miscellaneous equipment. Eventually you will probably have to have some storage space and you will need office space. Each facet of the operation you incorporate into your own business will increase profits because you will be keeping the profits you had been giving to your subcontractors. Of course you can begin operations out of your home, but eventually you may want to set up an office as your base of operations and a showcase for potential clients. If you can create an atmosphere of fun and fantasy, it can be a strong selling point for clients coming to your office and the setting may help them visualize some of your ideas. As you grow, you will undoubtedly need vans to transport props and other accountrements to the party sight. These vans can be rolling billboards. One catering company in Washington, DC uses purple step-vans with their names written in distinctive script on the back and sides. Very few people in the DC area fail to recognize these vans on the road or at a party and the catering company realizes a huge amount of advertising from their unique color and design. Having a purple van parked at the kitchen entrance for a Washington, DC party adds a great deal of prestige to any event. It's Not Always What You Know One of the best ways to get started in this type of business is by extensive networking. By calling the types of people in your area who make their living supplying services to parties, you can not only garner invaluable information, you can begin to make the contracts you will need as you begin operations. You may be able to formulate quid-pro-quo arrangements with photographers, caterers and florists. You use their services for your parties, they give your name to their clients, and everyone ends up with nicely scratched back. Many hotels have banquet managers so you can let these banquet managers know your available to enhance the services the hotel offers. Offer your assistance to convention planners or any of their exhibitors who may want to throw a party. Large corporations often hold private and office parties and may want to utilize your services. You will be able to do a more comprehensive job and get better prices for your clients if you get commitments for parties several months in advance. Obviously, the larger and more elaborate a party will be, the more time and effort it will take to set up. You will probably determine your fees by working backwards. First you will ascertain what each part of the event will cost, from catering to balloons. When you have determined that figure, then tack on the costs for your services and overhead (keeping in mind what the market will bear). Think small in the beginning, and do a really great job. You will need excellent references and samples of your work before you begin to receive assignments to plan huge, expensive, elaborate parties. Accumulate a portfolio of pictures, letters of recommendations and samples of your work to show to prospective clients. If you need more material for your portfolio, perhaps you could offer your services to a charity event or offer to plan an exemplifying your creativity and abilities. And if you are fortunate enough to be well capitalized when you start your business, you could plan a gala affair of your own and invite the types of business people mentioned above including caterers, florists, hotel banquet managers, convention planners, and affluent members of your community. Moments to Remember Fun is the name of the game and making sure your events aren't forgotten is the key to referral and repeat business. making your parties three dimensional and participatory will make your parties even more unforgettable -- having your servers dressed in the party theme -- serving drinks in coffee cups at a Roaring Twenties Party -- personalize the cups with the guests' names. Stir the guest's anticipation by soliciting their participation even before the event begins. Costume parties are one good way to build anticipation, but use your imagination and you will be able to think of others. Pick You Client's Brain The bottom line for any event is what your client hopes to achieve. Use their interests, hobbies, goals and even pet peeves as the foundation for the event. Intermingle ideas. Perhaps one client's most outrageous idea, while not suited for that client's party, would be perfect for the next client.. Keep records and don't discount any possibility. You want to mesh with your client's needs, be wild and crazy when the occasion calls for it, but quiet and discrete under other circumstances. A Juggling Act Since no event ever goes exactly as planned and there are always unexpected glitches, you'll have to be able to improvise and think on your feet. You'll be dealing with a myriad of details and many different organizations and personalities. It could rain on an outdoor wedding, and the souffle could fall when a delivery man slams the door, so you will have to be able to keep 100 balls in the air at the same time. So remember ... flexibility and creativity are absolutely essential for a successful party planning enterprise. if you break into a cold sweat when you are faced with planning your only child's fifth birthday party, then party planning probably isn't for you. But if you find the idea of planning a Golden Wedding Anniversary, a graduation, a daughter's wedding and the Democratic Convention all on the same day, challenging and exciting, you are probably destined to be a party planner. Relax, have fun, and let the good times roll. Resources Publications Special Events Magazine, 2048 Cotner Ave.,Los Angeles, CA 90025 (213) 477-3963 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 15

     

    Janitorial Services Vital Information _______________________________________________________________________________ Start-Up Investment Low - $4000 (solo operator) High - $75,000 (buying a small operation or starting with a half dozen employees) _______________________________________________________________________________ Break-even time - One month to two years _______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $50,000 - $15 million (one person operation at low end, regional contractor at high end) Profit (Pre-tax) - $35,000 - $1.5 million _______________________________________________________________________________ Cleaning Up The janitorial services industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, according to the Building Service Contractors Association International. With the ever-increasing number of buildings to clean, the U. S. Department of Labor predicts at 15.1% increase in janitors by 1995 when the total will hit 3.38 million. It is being predicted that outside contractors will cover 30% of the market. Most banks and insurance companies (and many other types of commercial accounts) don't want to spend their time hiring and supervising cleaning crews. They don't want to deal with the problems inherent to this industry, such as the extraordinarily high turn-over ratio. But a client's unwillingness to handle the problems is what makes this industry so potentially profitable and attractive as a start up business for you. Start-Up Costs Most janitorial service companies bill at the end of a month of service, so you will have enough capital to procure equipment and supplies for the first month to six weeks of service. If you are planning to start with more than one contract and you want to do it right, you'll probably need at least $50,000 in seed money and the same amount in a line-of-credit to help you grow. A lot of your start-up money will go for heavy-duty cleaning equipment. If you are willing to start smaller and grow more slowly, you can probably start for a lot less. If you do all the cleaning and marketing yourself and use your home as your office, you can get your business started on a wing and a prayer. Some individuals start out part time, holding on to their full time jobs and cleaning at night and expanding contract by contract. Profits will probably be higher percentage when you begin because your overhead will be so low, involving only supplies, equipment and lining up contracts. As you expand and add other cleaners, you cut your profits in half and once you have hired additional cleaners, you will need supervisors, office space, and a marketing staff to keep the whole megillah going. All of this can bring your profit margin down to as low as 10%. Branching Out Because of these low profit figures, many contractors add other services ranging from parking lot maintenance to window washing. Many clients prefer to use the services of an already tried and true service provider rather than have to shop around. Being the "supermarket" for building maintenance services will increase your profits and help keep your clients happy. Don't sit and wait for clients to come to you, be aggressive and don't be afraid to beat the bushes. As you move around your area, keep an eye out for real estate signs announcing new buildings and then call the landlords to find out the name of the building's tenants. When you find out who the new occupants are going to be, ask to bid on their cleaning contract. Be very professional and thorough when submitting a proposal. Find out what unusual challenges a new client may offer, extensive brass fittings, marble floors, a special wool blend of carpeting. If you can woo a potential customer with the breadth of your expertise, you stand a much better chance of landing a lucrative contract. You may want to staff specialists in particular areas, for example floor refinishing of sterile rooms (for computer rooms). Even if a potential client has an in-house cleaning staff, you may be able to provide specialty services they are in need of. Worker, Worker, Who's got the Worker Be prepared! The turnover ratio industry is 200 to 300 percent a year. Your staff will often consist of transients -- students or part-timers -- few people see janitorial work as a long-term career. They will quit working for you any time a better opportunity comes along. If you are able to accept this condition as a fact rather than a problem, and work within the parameters involved, you can make a success of your janitorial business. You will probably have to spend as much or more effort recruiting new employees as you do looking for new clients. You may want to offer your employees monetary incentives when they recommend friends or relatives who are hired and stay for a set period of time... State employment agencies may also be a good source for potential employees. You will probably acquire a number of your cleaning contracts because of this problem. Your clients couldn't deal with the high turnover ratio and decided to hire you to deal with this headache. Your ability to do so will be a large factor in your success. You may be able to retain some of your people for longer periods of time if you pay higher wages and train for advancement. Perhaps you can supply transportation to more remote locales or give travel allowances to employees commuting a long distances from their homes. Recognition and praise can also be a contributing factor for retaining handicapped and older workers. If you send your workers out in teams, you may be able to alleviate some of the monotony by rotating tasks and locations. But be prepared! Getting an employee in this industry to stay committed is even tougher than finding employees. Turn-over is a hard cold fact in the janitorial services industry. Due to advancements in technology, the cleaning industry may see some drastic changes some day. Japanese factories are already using robots to sweep floors and hospitals use steam jets to sterilize operating rooms (this technology could be used for scouring bathrooms). But these changes do not loom on the near horizon and there is plenty of time and space for new janitorial services. Roll up your sleeves and apply that elbow grease, there's a market out there for these services and it's growing all the time. Resources Industry Association Building Service Contractors Association International, 8315 Lee Highway, Suite 301, Fairfax, VA 22031 (800) 368-3414 Publications Services, 8315 Lee Highway, Suite 301, Fairfax, VA 22031 (800) 368-3414 Building Services Contractor, 10 W 31st St.,New York, NY 10001 (212) 279-4455 Sanitary Maintenance Magazine, 183 Madison Ave.,New York, NY 10016 (212) 685-6010 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 16

     

    Word Processing Vital Information ____________________________________________________________________________ Start-up Investment Low - $1500 (personal computer, good laser printer) High - $165,000 (several full-time employees, 3 months salaries, equipment and rent) _______________________________________________________________________________ Break-even time - Two to six months _______________________________________________________________________________ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $25,000 - $400,000 (solo at low end, with twenty full-time employees at high end) Profit (Pre-tax) - $15,000 - $200,000 ______________________________________________________________________________ The American Dream -- a Dilemma? Most American moms and dads still have the same dreams they had a few years ago; buy a home, provide for their children, and send the kids to college, but the price tag for fulfilling this dream climbs higher and higher every day. Long gone are the days when the husband went off to work in the mornings and the wife stayed home cleaning house, taking care of the kids, and baking cookies. Very few families can live on one income and that means that both parents have to go out and find work. Unless... he/she can find a way to stay home and still earn a living. And that is just what many enterprising moms and dads are choosing to do. Cottage industries are springing up all over the country. Word processing can be one of the most lucrative of these cottage industries. For the price of a computer, printer, software, a person with a background in word processing can create his/her own in-home business. One Step at a Time Before you begin your word processing business, do your homework. Find out what is the software program of choice in today's business community. You will want your computer system to be compatible with your clients. Next, look at the make-up of your industrial area, an arts community, a thriving business area? By checking out the demographics of your area, you can make a decision regarding the type of advertising you want to use. In the beginning, you will want to try all sorts of advertising: neighborhood newspapers are an inexpensive way to advertise, but they usually only publish on a weekly basis and that may not be enough to keep the clients rolling in. You can put your name on the bulletin board at your local supermarket and pass out flyers door-to-door in large office buildings or other business complexes. Although it may be more expensive than neighborhood newspapers, you may want to run an ad in your local daily newspaper (in the business services section). Church bulletins and university newspapers that sell advertising may also be a relatively inexpensive way to go. And get your business cards printed up right away. Don't let a client walk out the door without one or two business cards. repeat business and word-of-mouth may well be your best advertising tool. Whatever means you choose to employ in your advertising, do yourself a favor and track the responses. Put a check list nest to your telephone and whenever a call comes in (whether you get the job or not) ask the prospective client where he found out about you. It won't take long for you to discover where your most cost-effective advertising comes from and when you know that, you can punch it up and drop the ones that aren't doing anything for you. Be Prepared One telephone call will be the only opportunity you have to sell your service. If you hesitate when asked a price for a particular project, you'll probably lose the job so do your homework. Call the competition, ask what they are charging. If the competition is out of your immediate geographic area (and you are therefore not a threat to their livelihood), you may want to be straight with them and tell them you are starting a word processing business and ask for their input. You may be surprised to find them willing to help out with important information. A Potpourri of Projects Keep in mind that there are a myriad of documents that need to be typed: business letters, envelopes, forms, tables, screen plays, resumes, etc. It will be possible to set a basic rate -- a flat rate for double or single spaced pages -- but don't lock yourself in over the phone! Clients may not be accurately describing the type of work they want you to do, so remember the words "straight text". For example, a prospective client may call asking what you charge for 4 single spaced pages. You answer 45.00 per page, straight text. Then when the client comes, you discover that what he has is 4 pages of extremely complicated tables -- definitely NOT STRAIGHT TEXT. By not making firm pricing commitments over the phone, you will have the flexibility to up the ante when a client brings you something other than what you were expecting. Don't forget that many people don't know the difference between a single or doubled spaced pages. To some clients, a resume may be a single spaced page, but it takes a lot longer to type than a business letter and you will want to charge more for resumes. You will want to establish an hourly rate for tables, transcription and other more time-consuming jobs. Your pricing will change as you become more familiar with what your clients demand.. You may find yourself doing a lot of list maintenance and merge letters or you may be doing work primarily for doctors, or attorneys. Have a good basis for your pricing but be flexible. Control Your Growth As the demand for your services grows, you will have to make a number of difficult decisions.. Do you want to move out of your home and into an office? Do you have the work to warrant hiring a part or full-time employees or use subcontractors? there's an upside and downside to each of these options. If you opt to open an outside office, you lose the convenience of working at home. But staying in the home has it's own set of headaches. How convenient is your location for your clients? Is there plenty of parking? Where do you put your new employees as you grow? Do you have the capital to provide the additional equipment for the employees's use? And are you ready to be less available to the occasional client showing up on your doorstep after hours, on weekends, or even on a holiday? When you have an office at home, you may find yourself having a difficult time getting away from your work. You hear the telephone ring after hours, and if you're short of work, you may want to take the call even if it's midnight. An office outside the home will allow you to separate your work from your home-life, but means you aren't available when the kids come home from school, you have to commute to the office, and you will not have the flexibility to work at odd hours to finish outside a project that is coming due. Also, setting up an office outside the home will increase your overhead dramatically. One option that a number of word processor have taken is office-sharing, bartering typing services for office space. This will take a number of hours from your week but it will provide you with office space without a heavy cash-outlay. If you can find someone in need of list clerical assistance and room to share, this might be an efficient economical way to go. You may decide to stay at home and expand your business by using subcontractors. There are a lot of word processors who own their own computers who prefer to work strictly on a part-time basis, in their own homes.. they could be glad to take your excess work load on an as-needed basis.. As long as you can find an abundance of subcontractors, this may be the ideal way for you to increase your business. Using subcontractors eliminates the need to pay benefits and taxes, it keeps your overhead costs down, and essentially you will be garnering a profit from each page the subcontractor types. As with you are with any employee, you will want to be extremely vigilant as to the quality of work your subcontractor does and how reliably he/she meets the deadlines you set. Nothing will ruin your business quicker than not meeting your deadlines. And this business tends to be one where your clients need their work back "yesterday". Don't Rest on Your Laurels When you are typing your fingers to the bone and can't see over the stack of work in your in-basket, you will not be thinking about where your next job is coming from. Don't forget that eventually that stack of work is going to get done, and you may find yourself, twiddling your thumbs instead of using them to hit the spacebar. You should always continue to market. Don't stop advertising. You may find you need to allow yourself more time to get the work done, but let the prospective client decide if your turnaround time isn't fast enough for him/her. Keep your name out there, that's how you'll get a firm foundation laid for your business. It's Not Always Easy The turnover ratio in the word processing business is extremely high. Too many word processors think that owning a computer and knowing how to type is all it takes. Not so! Probably the primary characteristic found amongst successful word processors is a strong work ethic, flexibility and perseverance. You may find that in order to get a good job, you will have to work 14 straight days and put in 16 hour days. The next week, you may not have enough work to stay busy for 4 hours a day. It's a make it while you've got it business, very seasonal, and very unpredictable. After you've been in business for a while, you'll be able to predict the really busy times (i. e., the end of the semester if you're near a college); and the really slow times (i. e., the week between Christmas and New Years). In addition to doing the work involved, supervising subcontractors and continuing to market, it will be necessary to spend a certain amount of time keeping up with new innovations in the computer and software fields. If the fellow next door has a beautiful new laser printer and the most up-to-date software and you're still using the prior year's system, you may find yourself being passed over for the high-profit jobs. The computer and software industries are constantly upgrading their products and you'll have to keep up or risk being left behind. The Wave of the Future As business people, writers, and others become more familiar with the services provided by independent word processors, the demand for these services is bound to grow. This type of service is ideal for the small business person's use. Instead of hiring a part-time secretary and having to pay the attendant benefits and taxes, a small business person can utilize the services of an independent word processor and thus keep down their overhead. Larger organizations save big dollars also by farming their work out instead of using temporary employment agencies. Unless the project cannot be taken off the organization's premises, When they have an overflow of work. By using an independent, the organization gets the work done but doesn't have to pay for the additional equipment, benefits and the fees charged by temporary placement agencies. Although students aren't the cash cows they used to be, there is still work to be had in that area, especially at the end of the semester. Many students now have their own computers (they used to get typewriters for graduation presents, now they get computers), so during the semester they will do their own typing. Your best bet among students are either the professionals, going to school part time, who don't have time to type their own papers, and that rare student who doesn't type. Be creative. Perhaps you will want to offer comprehensive clerical support services to your clients in addition to word processing: do their mailings, keep their client lists up to date, or even do some light bookkeeping or accounting. If you feel comfortable writing, perhaps you can write resumes for your clients or do other free lance writing as the need arises. Don't limit yourself, be flexible and you'll find yourself branching out, perhaps in spite of yourself.

         
    Bb 17

     

    Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual Introduction America is coming home to work. Home-based offices are becoming the wave of the future. Tens of thousands of workers are opting for this way of life, a life in which they can make their own hours, commute to work in seconds, make their own choices and become their own bosses. For many the home office is becoming the location for a full-time job and the primary source of income. For others it is a part-time venture. Many start on a part-time basis and grow their business into a full-time operation. Current figures available indicate that during 1991 the percentage of self-employed working from home jumped by almost 6% to approximately 12 million. While working at home has an almost irresistible appeal to many, and many have some big misconceptions of what it is like, here is some very useful information that can help you get started successfully. Legalities of Working at Home Zoning Before setting up your new business it would be advisable to check on the legal status of your business. You need to check zoning laws for your community which may dictate if you can legally operate a business from home. We realize that many businesses never check on zoning for their home-based business and chances that they ever get into difficulties with the law are probably pretty slim. If there are no changes in structure and you do not have customers and or employees enter your home, regulations will tend to be far more easy. Laws and regulations change from community to community, but the following 5 factors will generally be regulated items: 1. Separate business and private entrances. 2. Square footage of the home which is taken up by commercial space. 3. Employees working in the home. 4. Certain occupations such as jewlry or clothing 5. Storage of commercial goods, especially any hazardous materials. Here is an important suggestion: keep relations with your neighbors on a friendly basis. Your neighbors will soon become aware that you are working at home. Some may even be envious, and yes, unfortunately zoning authorities will generall become aware of home office zoning infractions through a "friendly neighbor". Business License Most cities or counties require businesses to be licensed. Some home-operated businesses, however, are not required to have a business license. Check with your local City or County Clerks Office to obtain regulations for your locality. D. B.A. Registration If you are using your own name as your business name it will notneed to be registered, but if you use any other name, or even your abbreviated name, almost all localities require that you register the name. This is called a fictitiousname registration or D. B.A. "Doing Business As" registration. If your name is: Randy M Jones and youu name your business Randy Jones or Randy M Jones Enterprise you will not have to register it, but if you call it: RMJ Enterprises you will generally have to register the name. Most states have a name search bureau which is a part of the state government. You will generally be able to call this office to see if a given name has already been registered to someone else in the state. This is important to do, or it could be costly later. If you give your business a name which is already registered to anoher company, the other company may demand, and even take legal action to make sure you comply, that you cease to use the name. Your Company as a Legal Entity Businesses are most commonly set-up as one of the following entities: The Sole Proprietorship Incorporation Partnership Most new businesses choose the Sole Proprietorship. It is the least complicated. It requires no paperwork. The proprietor you, or you and your spouse as the owner, or owners, are taxed for all net profit from your business. You add the income of the business to other income, or deduct the business loss from other income. Your tax adviser can give you specific information. The disadavantage of the Sole Proprietorship is that as the owner you can be held fully liable in a lawsuit. An incorporation, on the other hand, will give you some protection. In this case the "INC" rather than you is the legal business entity. If you are starting a business that tends to have liability exposure the corporation may be the way to go. In this and other legal questions, only your attorney can give you competent legal advice. Partnerships are generally chosen when unrelated individuals own a business. A partnership should be set up by an attorney, or all kinds of problems can develop later. Designing Your Work-space First, you must determine how much space you need. Chances are what you may initially think is quite large may be crowed or not enough space. While many businesses are started from a corner of the bedroom or kitchen, if the space is available it wouldbe far better idea to take a spare area of the house and convert it it into your office. There may be space in the basement, garage, or a spare bedroom. Having a separate space is more efficient and will make for maximum efficiency. It is also psychologically important. You do not want home activities to interfere with your business, or vice versa. Friends and family will need to be told politely firmly that business hours mean business and dropping in, or calling to chit chat is not acceptable. Psychologists suggest that you work "from" home not just in your home. There is a danger of becoming isolated. Inasmuch as time allows, participate in seminars and local business activities and organizations. Financial Planning It is said and also my own personal experience that owners of new businesses never have enough time or money. The majority of small businesses which do not succeed will fail because they are not properly financed. n your financial planning carefully review all required start-up expenses as well as on-going expenses before revenue will be generated. Estimate your profit margins and all fixed and controlled expenses. Almost all entrepreneurs will tend to be much more optimistic about their estimate of the financial performance of a business taken what is necessarily realistic. There are always unforseen expenses. It is a good idea to only invest in absolutely necessary expenses. This applies to furnishings, supplies and all equipmentputer equipment in recent years has become outdated within a short period of time. So, if what you acquire will serve you well for 2-3 years will be able to upgrade your equipment later on. Your empasis should be on conserving capital. As your business develops, unexpected hurdles will come along and periods of low revenue. Your capital will make it possible to keep your business operating during these times. Why Should You Have A Business Plan? While writing a business plan can be made into a highly sophisticated undertaking especially by large coporations, its easy to do when done for a new or small owner operated-business. Essentially, you will be committing your plan to paper. As you do so your thought will become more formal and concrete and this will tremendously assist you in the development of your business. If you are considering to obtain financing for your new business either through a bank or the SBA, a formal business plan will be a necessity. Home-operated businesses will have a much more difficult time in obtaining financing. Don't Forget Uncle Sam As in all undertakings of life from birth to death and beyond, the IRS will be there to watch over you. Almost all small, home-based businesses will start out as "Sole Proprietorship." This legal status is best for ease of handling and for tax benefits. Your net business income or loss becomes an addition or deduction to other income ddeclare at the end of the year. Careful record-keeping of all business revenue and expenses is a must. Keep a separate business checking amount for your business. Do not intermingle business and personal expenses. Other special tax benefits and regulations apply to home-operated businesses. You should obtain professional advise from your tax adviser. Free Publications available: "Record-Keeping For A Small Business" IRS publication 583. Call the IRS 1-800-829-3676. "Business Use Of Your Home" can also be obtained free from the IRS. "Tax Guide For Small Business" is an annual IRS publication #334. It is also free. Insurance One disadvantage of being self-employed is not having health and disabilty insurance. You may also need liability insurance. Your homeowners insurance covers your belongings in your home, but itmay not cover all business inventory and equipment. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage. Factors that will Determine Your Success Do Your Homework The more you know about your business, the better your chances of success. Attend seminars and join trade associations. Read books and trade publications. If you do not have a business background a business introductory class at a local college would be advisable. Planning is Key to Your Success You and your family's future and livelihood is at stake. So your decision and planning to start a business are very serious matter. Establish a long range plan which encompasses your business and financial plans. You should obtain legal or financial advice from an attorney or accountant before committing to nay long range or major financial transactions. Agreements with suppliers or customers shoul;d be put into writing. You Must Wear Many Hats Small business owners over time can become experts on a variety of subjects. At the start the most important aspect is the mind-set. Your communication to the rest of the world through all available means will determine your success. here is an abbreviatedmarketing check list: Telephone equipment Promotional Material Advertising (Don't forge the Yellow Pages) Stationery Direct Mail Membership in Organizations Direct Sales Invest in Good Equipment The right equipment will make your work easier and your business more efficient. To conserve cash used equipment should also be considered. So What Are Your Chances The better you think they are the better they generally are, and don't forget that among thousands of others: Apple Computer, Domino's Pizza, and Walt Disney all started as home-based businesses. Resources/Associations There is a great deal of expert advice and resource material available to you. Much of it is free of charge. A variety of literature is avilable, both excellent books on all business subjects and various magazines. Your local Chamber of Commerce often sponsors classes. Banks can give you advice, or can be used as a sounding board. Local schools offer a variety of classes of interest to business owners. Don't forget the Public Library. Last, but not least, don't forget the U. S. Government. SBA (small Business Administration) offers a range of services such as loans, financial consulting, computer and technical consulting services and a variety of publications. Check your local telephone pages, or contact: Small Business Administration 1441 L Street NW Washington, DC 20416 (202) 659-6000 United States Chamber of Commerce provides literature, telephone referrals and other services to small businesses. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce or: United States Chambers of Commerce 1615 H Street NW Washington, DC 20062 (202) 659-6000 Internal Revenue Service offers a variety of services which includes workshops, films and publications to clarify tax matters for small businesses. Contact your local IRs office or: Education Branch, Taxpayer Service Division IRS, Department of the Treasury 1111 Constitution Ave.,NW Washington, DC 20274 1-800-424-1040 Better Business Bureau (BBB) The BBB can be an important ally in checking on potential suppliers and other businesses. Check for telephone listing in the city where the company you are checking on is located.

         
    Mis 1

     

    SIMPLE WAYS OF RAISING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN HOURS Your Lucky Break - But Can You Afford It? You've just seen the chance to put together a great deal for yourself - a "can't miss" new business, a chance to invest in someone else's, or you've found the ideal property on which to build your new home. But you need $10,000 cash, and right away! Could you raise it overnight? Could you raise it at all? Actually, it's easier than it sounds, and if you can't do it right now through the ways we'll show you, then you should start making preparations so that, when your chance does come, you will be able to raise the money overnight and take advantage of some terrific deal. Raise $10,000 in 24 Hours! As a person who believes in getting the most out of life, we assume you already have several national credit cards which enable you to buy things when you want them even if you're temporarily short of funds. But did you know that these same credit cards, nearly all of them, also allow you to "buy money!". The "cash advance" privilege that these cards extend is the best way to raise the cash you need, immediately, and with no questions asked! If you have reasonably good credit, your credit limit on each of your credit cards should be $500 to $1,000 at least, with American express often giving a $2,500 limit, and if you have ten cards with this cash advance privilege, each with a $1,000 credit limit, you can simply go to the banks involved, and draw out your $10,000! If you don't have them you may not realize that it's possible to have ten credit cards that offer cash advances, but you must remember that different banks sponsor different cards, and they all want you to use their card. For example, you can have a Visa from Chase Manhattan, and another, separate, Visa from Bankers Trust, plus a Master Charge card from Citibank, and a second Master Chargecard from Chemical Bank. The possibilities are numerous, and you should take advantage of them for this is certainly the easiest way of raising cash quickly. If you don't hold these cards now, then you should begin to establish the credit that will enable you to get them in the near future, so you will have the reserves available when you too need to raise cash quickly. Top of the Line - the T&E Cards Aside from the no-fee cards like Master Charge and Visa, there are also the travel and entertainment cards like American Express, Carte Blanche and Diners Club. These cards charge a yearly fee for holding them, and are more difficult to get (your annual income and your credit standing must be higher), but the amount of cash advances they allow you to draw on are higher, running as high as $2,000 or $2,500 each. American Express even offers a Golden American Express card, which many business men use, which allows them about $5,000 of instant cash immediately! Another Sure-Fire Way to Get Cash Fast! Most bank accounts today, and yours is very likely to be among them, come with automatic overdraft arrangements whereby you can write checks for more than the balance you have in the bank, and the bank will honor them merely automatically adding loan money to your account, and charging you the interest due for that loan. In effect, this is an immediate and automatic loan to you, without any current credit check - which is especially handy if, at the moment you need the money, you happen to be unemployed, and planning to start a new business, which banks sometimes look upon with disfavor, and refuse to loan upon until you're big and successful! So go ahead and write a check for the full amount that you're allowed to draw upon, which is seldom less than $1,000, and which, in some banks goes to $5,000 or more. If you're lucky enough, or provident enough, to have established two or three bank accounts while you were in the chips, each with its "ready-credit", "check-credit" or whatever-they-choose-to-call-it provisions, you can, of course, really cash in on this one, completely legally, and amass enough capital for your new business. Blood is Thicker Than Water! If you're stuck for sources for capital, or at least for sufficient capital for the business you have in mind, give some careful thought to whom you could ask to help you. Almost all of us have a favorite relative or two, and, if we're lucky, at least one of those may have money. Of course it's nice if he or she has loads of it, we all like to have a rich uncle, but even if the amount is not enormous, perhaps you'll succeed in persuading one or more of your relatives that they should help you, from whatever they've got put by for a rainy day. Mother, father, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, even cousins - try'em all where there's any chance at all they might have some bread stashed away, and might spring some loose for you. If your relatives are friendly to the idea, but they want to hold on to their funds, don't overlook another neat idea - one of them can co-sign with you on a bank loan, and this almost always ensures that your bank will go along with a loan that they might otherwise have refused, or give you a loan for a much larger amount than they would have granted you yourself on just your own personal credit. It's really no skin off their back, just so long as you keep up the payments on the loan. Of course, co-signers are not restricted to relatives. You can have your best buddy, or your girlfriend or a fellow employee co-sign for you. Don't Forget Your Friends! Sometimes we don't realize that we're lucky enough to have some good friends, who, in a case of this sort, might be willing to come through with a loan for us. Insurance Policies Can Do More Than Just Protect You! Depending on the type of life insurance policy you now hold, and especially if you've had it for a number of years, you may be eligible to borrow against its "cash value". In most cases, this money is available to you at a very low rate of interest, and also, generally, you can keep the money out, providing you pay the interest, without having to repay the principal at any set time. Another Hot Idea for Raising Cash! If you're buying the home you're living in, and have a conventional home mortgage, you may not realize that if you've been paying down the mortgage month by month for a number of years, you have a considerable equity built up. In addition, your house may now be worth more than you originally paid for it. Therefore, either your present bank or another may be willing to refinance your mortgage, which will provide you with a chunk of available cash with which you can capitalize your new business. One advantage of this scheme is that you will most likely not increase your monthly payment by very much, perhaps it will not increase at all (although payments may extend for additional years at the distant end). and thus you will not have a heavy loan repayment schedule added to your obligations early on in the beginning of your business. Besides the possibility of refinancing the original mortgage on your house, there is another way of using the equity you may have in your house - you can get a second mortgage, either from a bank or from professional lenders. One reason why you might go the second mortgage route would be if your first mortgage was written at a very favorable rate of interest (such as 5 1/2% or 6%) which you would not be able to match on your refinanced mortgage, and consequently you would not want to refinance the larger principal amount. A Windfall May Be In Your Attic! Have you considered, while you're looking around for sources of cash, what you have right in your own home? Some of those heirlooms, paintings or other antiques which you or your wife may not care for, and which you may have stashed in the spare room or the attic, may be worth a lot of money, far more than you have ever imagined. Get them appraised, show them to a knowledgeable dealer or a friend who's an antiques buff, and find out if you're sitting on a goldmine that you never even knew existed! Collect What's Due to You! Do you have some friends to whom you have loaned money in the past, and who have not yet paid you back? Or are you owed money for services rendered of one sort or another? Or does an ex-employer still owe you sick pay or vacation pay that he has not paid you? Don't let these things lie any longer unpaid - you need that money now! Put on the heat, make some urgent phone calls, write a few letters. For most collections, the Small Claims court can be a great help. For collecting from your employer, your best bet is the U. S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, which will almost certainly have an office in your city. If your claim has merit, they will make sure that you receive what's due you. Summary and Recommendations All of the many suggestions contained in this Report should certainly get you the capital you need to start your business. Of course, you can combine two or more of the methods if no one alone will provide what you're looking for. And although we've not specifically mentioned it, don't forget that regular commercial banks (not savings banks, they're not allowed to) will sometimes make loans for the establishment of new businesses if the know the borrower from past experience, and see a potential in the proposed business. Don't assume they will say no, and so don't ask them. You'd be surprised, they may just say "yes". They're particularly likely to lend you some of the money you need if you've already proved that you can raise money and that you have the majority of the money you need. For example, if you've raised $10,000 already by other methods, they may come through with an additional $3,000 for working capital. It's a fact that in raising money, the more you seen to have, the more people will be willing to lend you, so once you've begun to make money based on your initial $10,000, you will find it easier to borrow more to keep you business or other new venture going. While not all of the ideas in this Report can really be worked out overnight, once your foundations are laid, in credit, in relationships with relatives, friends, venture capital and government sources, it is easy to raise funds when you need them, from people who have learned from experience that you're a good businessman to lend to!

         
    Mis 2

     

    HOW TO STOP YOUR CREDITORS COLD! Wipe Out Your Debts! If you're afraid to answer the phone because your creditors have been calling every night; and you're worried that one of them is going to call your boss and tell him you're a deadbeat; and just trying to pay off your bills leaves you almost nothing for food - it time you thought about bankruptcy! With a small amount of money, a lawyer (and even he's not necessary a lot of the time), and a careful evaluation of your assets (what you own) and your liabilities (what you owe), you too can make a new start with the help of the Federal and State bankruptcy laws. But don't rush into this without carefully determining which is the right way for you, for there are several different ways to stop your creditors cold, and choosing the wrong way can result in your losing much more than you might otherwise have to. Straight Bankruptcy Usually Costs Less, and It's Quick! If you have very few assets, and lots of debt, and not enough income to pay the debts off, even on an extended plan (more about that later), then you will probably have to file straight bankruptcy. You must file the proper forms (or "schedules") which you can purchase from any really good office supply stationery store in your nearest city, especially one in a district where there are lawyers' offices. Bankruptcy is not a very complicated court action, so don't be too afraid of it. You will need to know which district you live in for Federal Court purposes; look in the telephone (white pages) under U. S. Government - Courts, and locate the U. S. District Court in your nearest city. Probably that court has jurisdiction; but check this out by phoning the Clerk of the Court and asking him, giving him you home address. You will have to fill out several "schedules" or lists of your creditors: creditors having priority, creditors having security, and creditors having unsecured claims without priority. You must list every creditor, for any one that is not listed can still sue you and collect, even after the bankruptcy! If you don't know if a debt is secured (backed up by a related asset, like refrigerator bought on an instalment loan) or unsecured (made only on your personal reputation, with no related asset), ask the creditor. Include as a creditor the name of anyone for whom you co-signed a loan or note, and anyone who co-signed for you. What Will You Have Left? Will you be put out in the cold without food, clothing and a house to live in after your creditors get paid? Not at all - because most State bankruptcy laws allow some of your assets to be "exempt" from being used to pay your creditors! You must check the specific laws of your State, but usually, the house you live in, the tools of your trade, your personal clothes (within reasonable limits) and certain specific basic home furnishings are all not taken away from you. In fact, in this totally absurd world we live in, many States now permit you to also keep your TV set(!), because, apparently, they regard it as a necessity for life! Where to File Once you have all the forms filled out and notarized, bring them to the Clerk of the U. S. District Court in your district, along with $50. You don't have to notify your creditors - the Clerk does that, while also reminding them that now that you have filed bankruptcy papers, they may not press you for any more money, but may come to your hearing. Usually your creditors don't show up, since by that time you have filed bankruptcy, you have very few nonexempt assets left that they are interested in. Whatever assets you do have that are not exempt (if any) must be sold under the Court's supervision. Any money thus realized is added to whatever cash you may have had at the time you filed (if any) and the total amount (which might be, and often is, as low as $50 or $750 is divided up by the trustee appointed at your hearing and your creditors get paid on a pro rata (proportional) basis to the amount you owe them. If your assets add up to an amount that, for example, only allows each creditor 3 1/2 cents for every dollar of debt you owed them, then that 3 1/2 cents is all he gets! About three months after you have filed, you adjudged "bankrupt". and you can start over again to incur, pay bills and establish a new credit record. Be careful, however, about talking to your old credits at this time. They may offer to help you out by extending new credit, and manoeuvre you into signing "reaffirmation" of your old debt! Ready anything you sign very closely, and don't agree to repay any debt that you have already discharged through your bankruptcy! Lawyers for Complications There are some people who should definitely hire a lawyer to help them through their bankruptcies, especially people who have assets like real estate that they want, somehow, to keep. Aside from real estate, if you have been accused by any creditor of fraud, you should also have a lawyer handle your case. If you decide you don't need a lawyer to handle your bankruptcy, you are still responsible for filling out all of the forms accurately and completely, and every bit as carefully as if a lawyer had done them. Leaving out a creditor's address from a schedule, or forgetting a loan you co-signed can bring lawsuits against you even after your bankruptcy. So be careful, and if you find the bankruptcy process is too complicated, do see a lawyer! Keeping Your Assets Instead If you've fallen behind in paying your bills, but you don't want to declare straight bankruptcy, you may want to clean up your financial mess instead through Chapter XIII of the Federal Bankruptcy Laws. Also known as the Wage Earner Plan, Chapter XIII differs from straight bankruptcy in two most important ways: you must pay off the entire amount of your debts (no 10 cents on a dollar here), and within a 3 year period. but the good part is you are not declared "bankrupt", so no one ever knows that you needed relief under any part of the Federal Bankruptcy Acts. The major advantage of the Wage Earner Plan, besides not being recorded permanently on your credit record, is that you get to keep all your assets, exempt and non-exempt alike (assuming you still have any left!). This is quite important, if, for example, you have a good paid-up car, or expensive household furnishings or a boat or other valuable assets that you want to keep. Under Chapter XIII, you can get your current debts "stretched out" to three years, which may well result in lower total monthly payments than you are currently paying, and as long as you pay off your debts in accordance with the agreement files with the Court, month by month, no creditor will be able to sue you to try to seize any other of your assets, and force their public sale at disadvantageous prices. Even if they have begin to sue you, once you file for relief under the Bankruptcy Act, either under Chapter XIII or under Chapter XI, straight voluntary bankruptcy, they can't touch you! They are immediately restricted to getting from you only what the referee or trustee will give them and that only after the court proceedings have been completed. Often, if the creditor threatens to sue you, the most effective thing you can do to stop him (besides paying the debt!) is to tell him frankly that, if he sues you, you have no other recourse than to declare bankruptcy. This will often make your creditor willing to negotiate the debt, and you may be able to satisfy him by paying the debt back, but over a longer period of time (with smaller monthly payments) than you originally contracted for. Creditors know well that if you file bankruptcy, the chance of their getting payment in full on their overdue account is very low, so it is in their interest to try to ease your credit burden at least for a while. Make Yourself "Judgment-Proof" If a creditor goes ahead and sues you, and gets a judgment against you, he can then get a court order directing the sheriff to seize your personal property, sell it and pay the creditor the amount of your debt. However, if you have no valuable assets, there is nothing for the sheriff to seize, and you are what is generally called "judgment proof", or in other words, can't be made to pay the debt. Because they know this is likely to happen, street-smart debtors often hide their possessions, or move them out-of-state, before the sheriff (or marshal) arrives. This is, of course, illegal. The creditor's next move is to try to "garnishee your wages, which he does by getting a court order directing your employer to set aside part of your wages or salary every pay period and turn the amount over to him. However, he can only do this if he knows, or can find out, where you work. But even if your wages are garnisheed, there are limits on what a creditor can take! Laws vary from State to State. In some states wages cannot be garnisheed at all while in others only small amounts are exempt from garnishment. If you have no job, and no visible assets, or you live in a State where your wages cannot be garnisheed, your creditors actually have very few ways of ever collecting on that judgment! Harassment and Other Creditor Tools Before your situation gets bad enough to need bankruptcy relief, and before your creditors actually sue you, they will try to make you pay up using informal techniques, rather than formal court orders, as this is far less expensive and time-consuming. First among these informal attempts may be turning their bills over to a collection agency which may then begin harassment, by calling you often and at odd hours by telephone, by trying to talk to your employer about your debts, and/or by threatening you with legal actions, etc. Many of these techniques that they use are illegal! Yes, a creditor or agency can write you letters, call once a day seeking payment, try to bring legal action against you, but he is forbidden by law to harass you or invade your privacy, or use deceptive means to get you to pay your bills. He may not use foul and abusive language over the telephone, tell anyone beside you the reason for his phone call, insist on payment for a product or service that you claim to have a legitimate grievance about, nor issue false threats (such as saying that he is going to drag you into court to collect $35, when in fact his agency's policy is not to file suit on accounts of less than $100, because of the high legal costs involved). He may not inconvenience you (by calling you at work when you are not easily able to receive calls), or invade your privacy (telling your employer or your neighbor that he is trying to collect a debt from you). There are books that provide detailed additional information on personal bankruptcy, and include sample letters with which you can try to arrange "stretch-outs" on your own with your creditors before bankruptcy is necessary. Some include sample bankruptcy forms filled out that you can use as a model. Since the accurate filing of all your debts and assets is so important, it's a good idea to follow their detailed instructions closely, with or without a lawyer, so that once you get your creditors off you back, they stay off!

         
    Mis 3

     

    THE SECRET OF GETTING CREDIT AND CREDIT CARDS What Is Your Credit Rating Now? If you have any charge accounts now, or have ever borrowed from the bank to buy a car, or if you ar paying on a mortgage, there is credit information on you. Up until a few years ago, you could only guess at what your credit rating was, because the credit bureaus who keep track of borrowers wouldn't tell the borrowers anything! But that's been changed through several laws, and now the bureaus have to send you your credit file when you request it. If you've been denied credit on the basis of their record, they will send you a copy of that record without charge, if you request it within 30 days of the credit denial. If you haven't been denied credit but just want to know what your file says, you must pay a small fee to find out. Why You Really Must Get Your Credit Report It is well worth your trouble to obtain your report. You may well find (because thousands do) that there is a piece of misinformation that is injuring you without your knowing it, which you can straighten out by submitting copies of documentary proof (never mail originals of anything important - it may get lost in the mail) of bills paid, payments made, etc. What To Do If You Are "Unlisted" If, for one reason or another, you are not listed, or they have insufficient information on you to "rate" your suitability for credit, you must take steps to correct this. What To Do If You're New in Town If you have no record because you hold no cards and have no charge accounts, or because you have just come in from out-of-town, then you'd better start assembling one. It may sound a little ridiculous, but nobody will lend money to someone's who's always paid cash! You have to have borrowed money or run up charges and paid them back to be able to borrow larger sums as time goes along. Start with the local merchants in your immediate area, the ones that already know you. Even if you don't need it right now, ask them if you can set up a charge account with them. In most cases they'll be glad to oblige you, they already know you're local, and that you patronize them regularly. when you get the credit, charge a few items each week, and pay your account promptly when presented. In this way, you'll build up a good credit record with these merchants in a short time. Get Your Bank In on the Act Go to the bank where you keep your checking account, and ask to borrow a nominal sum (say $500), which they are unlikely to refuse you. Do this even if you don't need the money, because you do need the repayment record on their books. Repay the loan on a regular basis when due. Do not accelerate, and pay it all back the next month. Strangely enough the banks do not like that, because to them that indicates a "feast or famine" situation, rather than a steady payer. The interest cost on this loan, even if you have no need for the money, will be well worth paying to build up your credit record. Besides, you can minimize this interest cost by depositing the money you have borrowed (assuming you do not immediately need it), in a savings account, and collecting the interest, which will defray a good part of the cost of the interest you are paying. Once these charge accounts and the loan have been operating for a while, proceed to stage two, and ask a large local department store for a charge account. Most likely they will be happy to give you their charge card. Build up your rating with them by occasional purchases and prompt payment, and then you proceed to stage three, and apply for the less selective national credit cards, Master Charge and Visa, which you should a this point be able to get without too much difficulty. On the Road Once you have national bank credit, it's easy to get credit from all the oil companies, which makes traveling around a cash-free pleasure. Some gas stations take national cards like Master Charge, but most only take their own credit cards, so you should not overlook these, just because you already have others. First Class With No Cash Once you have all the other cards, a paid-up loan or two, and a fine record of promptly paying your bills, you may be able to get the most selective cards of all, the "travel and entertainment" cards. These are American Express, Diners' Club and Carte Blanche. These cards operate on a different system than ordinary retail store cards, or the national bank cards, both of which are revolving credit plans on which you pay a small amount each month, until your balance is all paid up. The store or bank hopes you take a long time to pay, because they make their money on the 1 1/2% monthly (which is 18% yearly!) finance and, or interest charges. The T&E cards, however, expect you to pay your bills at the end of the month! Let your account get 60 days or more delinquent, and they'll cancel you out as fast as a flash of lightning. Although these cards do not charge interest, they do charge you a fee for membership. Let Me Entertain You So how do you get these marvelous bits of plastic that open up the doors of exotic nightspots in Tangiers as easily as your nearby Howard Johnson's? Your good credit record, that you have already established, will be the most help. Since the T&E people want you to pay your bills promptly each month, they want to know that you have a steady record of paying bills promptly to other people. So first American Express, or Carte Blanche, or Diners' Club, looks at your credit record. Then at your salary or other income. Most of them have cut-off points below which they will not grant their cards. But even if you earn more than their minimum requirements, they don't automatically okay you for their credit. They look at your stability! How do they measure stability? How long have you worked on your present job? If you don't have a minimum of two years of steady work in one place, they may not consider you at all. How long have you lived at your present address? At your previous address? And do you rent an apartment which means you could move tomorrow, or do you own your own house, which means you will probably still be in the same place next year. How stable is your livelihood? Do people in your field of work get laid off frequently? Now You Can Really Start to Live! Once you have all the major national credit cards in your wallet, you can live like the millionaires do, even though you haven't yet become one. You can go into a fancy store, or even call them on the telephone, and order those wonderful luxuries which make life so much more exciting, like furs and diamonds, for your loved one, or new furniture or appliances for your living room, bedroom or kitchen. All of this can come true in the wonderful world of credit. Now in today's world you can charge almost anything on a credit card, from admission to a nudist camp in Yugoslavia, to medical care at a hospital in Atlanta, university courses in New York City, funerals in Los Angeles, and even the services of legal prostitutes in Las Vegas. Erasing the Bad Marks But what do you do if you haven't been able to pay your bills promptly, or you've run up more than you can handle, or you don't have a very stable work history? Do you have to give up the dreams of credit-card living? Not entirely! Once you find out which credit conditions in your background are the most troublesome (from the credit report you have already sent for), you then start to create new conditions that you can then base your records on. If you were out of work, perhaps you can get a reference from someone you know who owns a business and is willing to say that you worked for him, if the credit card company checks your references. If your bills are too high, and you've missed a few payments, perhaps you should see one of the free consumer-counseling services that are springing up in the larger cities which will enable you to consolidate your debts into a manageable amount. Remember that credit card companies don't care very much about the amount you owe, but they care a lot about whether you pay steadily, every single month, even if the amount each month is small, and the entire debt will take years to pay off! Don't overlook ways to establish good credit without buying anything! For example, you have telephone service in your own name, you have a record of paying bills to them which is then part of your credit record. The same for your gas and electric supplies from you local public utilities. These services, when they are in your name, will show prospective merchants that you do have a record of paying bills, even if you haven't yet established retail store or bank credit. Using Your Credit to Save Cash! The world of credit has one more trick you should know about, this one that actually saves you money right on the spot. All you have to do is carry your credit cards with you when you go out shopping, even if you intend to pay by cash. Then you have to keep an eye open for the smaller, personal service-type shops, where the boss himself, or one of the partners, is always present (you'll see why in a minute). As you walk in, check out the decals on the door to see which credit cards they accept. Then select your purchase in the way you normally would - taking your usual care to be sure you're getting the right item at the right price. When the deal's all set, produce your credit card (one of those you know he takes), and say "I'd like to charge it, please!" At this, the merchant's face will probably drop about six feet, but he'll take your card and walk over to the imprinting machine (or maybe to the telephone to check your credit status). He hasn't got much choice, he has to take your card if he uses their decal in the window. But the point is, he hates to, because he has to pay the credit card company a percentage of the sale, usually somewhere between 6% and 10%. Now, while he's vulnerable, is the time to hit him with a casually dropped remark like "say, how about knocking 5% off the price, and I'll pay cash instead?" The chances are he'll accept your offer, because it saves him the other part of the credit card company percentage, and because it saves him bookkeeping chores, and waiting from 3 to 7 days for his money to be credited to him by the credit card company. The reason why this gimmick doesn't work in big stores is that the clerk doesn't give a damn what it costs the boss, and has no authority to take an additional percentage off the price, so he'll just go ahead and write up your credit card invoice.

         
     
         
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