Business Start Up 101

In talking with many different friends, colleagues, and various martial artists turned instructors on Facebook; I have come to find that there’s a lot of people that don’t have any idea how to begin their business.

I was talking with my wife the other day I really wanted to write some things down to help those starting a business get a good footing and a reference point to start from.

I am going to attempt to make this a multi part series to help all of you interested.

There are some things I mention that will be a little vague and you may have to do some more footwork on your own and somethings I will try to be more detailed.

I started my first business when I was 10 years old; did pretty good for myself too! My business was called Kidmarks: Bookmarks made by kids.

I had a website and a business phone line as well as employees. I had gone around and hired neighborhood kids to help in my endeavor and I would pay them up to 20% of the net profit.

We became large enough to even catch the eye of the local radio stations in San Diego.

We brought in a few thousand over the summer.

And over the past almost 20 years later I’m continuing in my business ventures and entrepreneur mindset.

Let me help you become successful!

If you want to start your own business I would like to help. As I mentioned I will make a multi part article series on ideas, tips & tricks that will help you in the early stages of your personal business.

To start off, let’s start with W5/H. Something you learned to do in elementary school and have probably glossed over the importance of it.

Who, what, where, when & why
Oh and how.

I recommend writing these down because you will need to reference this list as a map of your business.

You should rewrite this list about once a month as you may find that in growth and change your focus may shift.

Who:

Who is your target audience. With this means is what type of people will your product or service be beneficial to?

Are you looking for a specific age group? A specific genre of employment? Will you be looking at the location certain people may live or work or hang out at?

What:

What do you do or what type of product do you have? What makes your product or service better than someone else in a similar or identical field?

Where:

Where do you plan on providing your service or where do you plan on selling your product? How will your location affect your business or the ability to perform your service?

When:

When will you be doing business? Not just the time of day or days of week but you must focus on if there are times of year that your service or product may be in a higher or lower demand. When you may have to be doing more footwork or marketing or networking to try to promote yourself or your product.

Why:

Why this? Why this venture? Why do people need your product? Why should people choose you to perform your service? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you as you will find that many questions people ask of you will relate to “why.”

How:

How do you plan on doing this? How will you start? If it is a product that you are selling, will you pre purchase a certain amount and sell those and then use profits to increase your inventory?

Or will you take orders and purchase on demand and sell in that manner?

As far as your service goes, can you do it in a park in the summertime? Do you need to rent a room at a facility of individuals who have a similar business? Will you need to rent your own spot in a strip mall?

__________

Now that you have a map or framework of Who – what – where – when – why & how you will do business?
We need to create the image of your business.

Name:

You must really give time to the name of your business. You want it to show who you are and what you do in as few words as possible. Things you must consider is that people will be searching for you in search engines.

You also want the name of your business to be different, unique and applicable to the city or state in which you live.

Remember you can use all or parts of your name or product or service or even an inspirational thought.

Logo:

You will need a logo for all of your uniform, business card, website, letterhead etc.

You will need to be simple yet dynamic. What I mean by this is you do not want something that would be an entire cityscape with buildings and windows and cars and an entire scene. But you could do an outline of a skyline. To make it dynamic you can put a few other items in an alternate color or angle.

You want your logo to be easily recognizable from a distance. Something that is unique and different from other people in your field.

Uniform:

Make something that is similar to other professionals in your field but also unique and different. Make sure to put your logo on your uniform somewhere as well as your website and possibly a motto.

Business Cards:

Less is more (in regards to design.) Be unique & be different.

Make sure you have your name, what you do or a title, phone number, email address & website.

Sometimes a QR code is helpful as people can scan your business card and be taken directly to the website.

Marketing Material:

Remember that “who” question?

That is called your target market and “marketing” material is any type of medium that you use to bring attention of your target market toward yourself, your service or your product.

This is any type of advertising, fliers, posters, Brochures etc.

Don’t forget to take advantage of any free resources you can like Craigslist or other online ad listing websites.

Website:

This does sort of fall under marketing. But even more so, it gives you more credibility; more professionalism. A backed image. Web sites cost a decent amount of money. Even on the low-end we are still talking $100-200 just for the domain name. So showing that you are willing to put money into your business makes you vetted.

Email:

You know what?!

I hate e-mail! However, ALL business professionals rely on e-mail for communication. Now, you also should set up Facebook, Twitter or other social media for communication with younger generations and more popular social interactions but e-mail cannot be skipped.

Huge no-no: using a personal e-mail for business.

Free e-mail addresses (@gmail @hotmail @yahoo @live) are frowned upon but still better than using a personal e-mail address.

No one will take you seriously if they’re doing business with sk8erBoi12 or CheerleaderGurl35.

Go ahead and do businessname@ ___.com until you can get e-mail hosting with your website.

Phone Number:

This goes hand and hand with the web site. There are apps and companies that will give you call forwarding, message service and even a 24hr call answering system. If nothing else, CHANGE YOUR ANSWERING message.
Just like with the e-mail address, if someone calls and they hear “yo Y’all know who this is. Leave a message after the beep losers!” you will never get a second phone call.

Credit Card System:

Although cash is king, having the ability to accept card payments will greatly increase your ability to accept sales at any given time.

Before you can accept credit card payments however you must first set up a business account.
Now you do not need to set up a business account if you currently have a personal account but it sure will make things a lot easier to keep track as well as separated from any personal matters (and your tax agent will thank you.)

If you bring in less than $5000 per year you really do not need to incorporate your business which is to say getting a S-Corp or LLC etc. (although they do offer better liability and insurance protection.)

These cost a few hundred to thousand to set up and require legal aid as well.

Until you accrue enough business to require that sort of incorporation you should be fine doing business with a DBA.

You can apply for this at your local city hall and is usually under $75 dollars. DBA stands for “doing business as” and is literally just a paper recorded with the county recorders office that says that your name (you) is the same as (interchangeable with) your business name and if you want to accept checks in the name of your business. That’s pretty much it.

It literally means that you personally are doing business as your business name.

Let’s say your name is John Smith and you have a vacuum company called City Vacuums. Somebody writes a check to City Vacuums, then you on your DBA can cash that check.

__________

Don’t forget to keep all of your receipts. Create some kind of day sales ending ledger & track of all of your costs and profits.

I hope this helps any of you who may be struggling.

One love. Walk on & Choose Greatness!

Forex Education Tips – 5 Steps to Successful Forex Trading

Close to 95% of all Forex traders will lose money. We’re not just talking about novices, either. Whether you trade Forex for a living, as a hobby or just for fun, odds are against your success. That’s a simply astonishing fact. However, the remaining 5% of Forex traders somehow manage to break even and there are those lucky few that actually make money in the currency market – consistently!Like the TV show says … “How’d they do that, anyway?”That’s the million dollar questions, isn’t it? Countless books, seminars and expos have been hosted to answer this very question. That sad fact is that thousands of books have been written and countless seminars and interviews have been conducted in an attempt to answer the magic questions. The reality of the situation is that there is no magic formula; no one single Holy Grail of Forex trading.So what do the successful traders do that the rest of us have simple not comprehended. They have mastered a process of winning where they combine and customize several factor to produce consistent results. They have mastered the Process of Trading.The Process of Trading is:Strategy > Money Management > Self-MasteryHere are some simple Forex Education tips to help you master the process of forex trading:Success Tip #1 – You’ve Got To Have a PlanYou must have a written business plan that will detail all aspects of your trading. When are you going to trade, how much to risk, strategies for entries and exits are just o name a few. To become a consistent (profitable) Forex trader you have to plan your trade sand trade your plan.

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Simplicity rules! Don’t make this plan too complicated. One sheet of paper for you mission statement and another for your trading plan should suffice. Anything more is probably too complicated.Success Tip #2 – Focus on Your Personal PsychologyKnowing yourself will allow you to master the discipline necessary to execute high quality trades with solid money management techniques. Lack of discipline is fatal in Forex trading. Go on a personal journey to identify you attitudes towards risk and money. Get intimate with your strengths and weaknesses as a trader and build in to your trading plan strategies to minimize those weaknesses and maximize your strengths.Different personalities lend to different trading styles. Get familiar with all the different styles and over time you will begin to gravitate towards one particular style. Don’t fight the urge like I did. I insisted I was a day trader, but had only limited results. I found my winning percentages were much higher when I entered swing trades. Guess what’s my bread and butter strategy now!Success Tip #3 – Be Realistic About Your ExpectationsThis is a hard one, I know! I am on the internet every day and the amount of advertising is staggering. Brokers are offering free education (fox in the hen house if you ask me), forums of all different trading styles and points of view. Gurus pushing their system as “the one” that will make you the big bucks. How do you get through all that noise?Let me tell you loud and clear right now – everyone is right and everyone is wrong. You have to make a personal commitment to become a successful trader, find a trading style that works for you and expect a slow and steady approach to wealth building through Forex.What works for me may not work for you. Expect to go through an exploratory period where you are learning and at the same time exploring yourself as a trader. Keep an open mind and don’t pay attention to all the noise out there.Success Tip #4 – Exercise PatienceRome was not built in a day and neither will your trading account. In fact, I tell all of my students that while they are studying to become successful Forex traders they should not look solely at their account balance as an indication of success or failure.By tracking and increasing your percentage of high quality trades you execute is a far better barometer of your progress than your account balance. Cause and effect rule here. Over time when you increase your probabilities through the execution of high quality trades your account balance will respond accordingly.Keep the focus on the process and with time your results will blow your mind.Success Tip #5 – Money Management Is Top PriorityI would rather have a shaky strategy and excellent money management techniques than the other way around. This topic warrants its own blog post to do it justice. Limited your exposure (read “risk”) allows for you to stay in the game and allow the laws of probability to work.

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Let’s take a casino for example. They need gamblers to frequent their slot machines to make money. Why? They have a game that has a greater than 50% chance of making money for the house. The more people that play the slots, the greater the casino’s profits.The casino controls risk by payout tables (always favoring the house!) and increases their probabilities by keeping gamblers at the slot machines (read “free drinks”). As a trader you must limit your risk by committing only 1% – 3% of available capital to a single trade. When you execute enough trades with a high probability strategy you too can clean up like the casinos – but only by staying in the game long term.In conclusion, Forex trading is not easy. It’s hard work and will test the limits of your patience and perseverance. If anyone tells you otherwise .., buyers beware! It can be a very rewarding and profitable venture if done correctly. In the end it is a profession that requires a learning curve and practical experience, no different than an airline pilot or engineer. Understanding how to approach and learn this game will allow you to reap all the benefits advertised. It is your Forex Education that you will master the Process of Forex Trading.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!