Yesterday I was so focused on getting restarted here at Internet Marketing Boomer I totally forgot to tell you that I also started a new site a few weeks ago. Not that I was ever going to neglect this one but I felt the market focus of the new site was under represented and I really feel passionate about this new group of people that I’ll be working with.
The new site is 50+Success and is totally focused toward women who are over 50 and unhappy in their job because they are being passed over for promotions, interesting projects, and pay raises. I want to teach these women how to start their own online business and build it while continuing to work to the point where their online income meets or exceeds the salary of their current job. This will give them the freedom, if they so choose, to leave the job where they are undervalued and made to feel irrelevant.
I’m currently working on a series of courses that will move these women to a point where they can say “So long golden handcuffs and hello SWEET FREEDOM!” If you feel you could benefit from a program aimed specifically to the over 50 working woman, be sure to stop by and join the mailing list so I can keep you updated with information and let you know when my courses are ready.
If you join the mailing list right now, you’ll receive a copy of the Sweet Freedom Checklists for joining. The package includes 5 checklists to help you:
- Choose your domain name
- Know what to include on your website
- Set-up your email strategy
- Research your target market
- And start getting traffic to your site
Additionally, I’ve loaded a series of emails in the auto-responder that teach you how to get your mind ready for entrepreneurship. the series is called Sweet Freedom Success Mindset Series. It’s worth joining the mailing list just to get the email series, believe me, it’s good.
I’d also love for you to stop by the site and leave a comment on one of the blog posts. The poor site is so new it doesn’t have any traffic and no comments (aw, poor little site) but I know it won’t be long before it becomes a hub for all women over 50 who want to join me on the internet.
Oh – almost forgot – the website address is http://www.50PlusSuccess.com . Be sure to stop by and join the mailing list, see you over there!
Sometime in the last quarter of last year I had the pleasure of running across the Biz Starters website and ‘The Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide’ by Jeff Williams. I asked Jeff if I could promote his product on my website and he was kind enough to give me a review copy of his start-up guide. So that he wouldn’t have to mail me the physical product, I read a PDF copy on my computer.
I have read a lot of business start-up books in my lifetime and I have to say, this is the most complete one I’ve ever seen. And having actually started a ‘brick and mortar’ business myself, I feel qualified to judge whether or not a book on how to start a business is complete or not. Honestly, why Jeff named this 222-page guide a ‘Boomer’ guide is beyond me, as it is filled with comprehensive checklists and uses a ‘decision tree’ approach to help anyone (not just Boomers) get through the complicated steps of starting a business.
In reading this book I liked how the author led the readers through decisions and based on those decisions, he led them to do different steps. For instance, if it was decided that a rented office space was needed, then lease review, review of prices for comparable space, and even attorney review was suggested. If home office was the choice, regulations for home businesses, space consideration, what address to use for business, and whether or not the type of business was conducive to residential areas was considered. This level of deliberation and forethought was suggested for every decision discussed in the book.
The other thing I liked about the way the guide was written was that the author talked about his own personal experiences and how they related to the topic being discussed, however, he didn’t bore his audience with tons of personal dribble. He contained it in a section at the end of each Action Step so it was easy to skip if the reader wasn’t interested.
The first section of the book covers setting-up the organization of the business. Jeff helps aspiring new business owners through a vast sea of decisions, like whether to locate in a home or rented office, how to choose a name and identity for the business, how to handle the legal aspects of setting up a new business, and how to organize an office.
The second section of the book includes the Action Steps to take in preparing to market and sell a product or service. Preparing a marketing plan, how to set-up a website, and deciding how customer service will be handled is covered among other things. Again, the information is very thorough, and the full scope of every topic is covered.
It started to come to my attention in this section that throughout the book the author suggests lots of websites, products, and information about where to find tools and help needed to complete his action steps. I love that the information is given so the reader knows where to go, however, I also hope that Jeff plans to do continuous updating of the book in regard to that information. For example, Microsoft FrontPage is one of the recommended products to use for building a website and Microsoft no longer sells this product, it has been replaced by another product.
Section three of the book talks about money. In my opinion, next to sales and marketing, finances is the most important thing to know about in a business but is most neglected by small or solo business owners. The author covers this area very well, all the way from setting up the company bank account and what to look for in a bank to setting up the accounting software. One of the most important things covered in this section is how to estimate start-up costs and find the money for start-up, but even more importantly, how to prepare an estimate of the expenses, cash flow and profit/loss for the first year in business is covered. The book explains very well how to go through preparing this information and Jeff gives very good tips for cash management.
The book recommends using Quickbooks for the accounting and makes some very specific recommendations on how to set-up the office processes. These recommendations will work well for a very small start-up but if the business being considered is much larger than just a few people, I think other software and different processes should be considered. However, I feel the author was writing for the very small business and that’s why these recommendations were made.
The last section is about running the business operations. Here Jeff covers setting up the phone system, production system, and hiring employees. The telecommunications section is good. It covers things to consider in regard to mobile phones, land line, and fax. I know email is not considered telecommunications but I feel it needs to be discussed somewhere in the book and it never was. With more and more transactions being handled by email and the fax machine becoming a dinosaur, it seems the space allocated to how to handle fax communication would have been better used discussing how email will be handled. In today’s business world, this can make a huge difference in the perception a customer has about the level of customer service a business provides.
The book closes with more fantastic information for hiring employees and running a business. Again, thoroughness is foremost. There are tips for deciding whether to hire regular employees or contractors, tips for reducing personnel costs, information about government requirements for hiring personnel and much more. The very last section is about setting up your production processes and running your business with tons of information from a seasoned professional.
All in all the ‘The Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide‘ is the ultimate business guide and not just for Boomers. There were only a couple of things I saw in the book that could actually be improved. I do feel the 10-week timeline presented is a bit long, but since planning a business start-up can’t be done on a linear timeline, 10-weeks could be about average. I guess I’m an action person and would never take that long to get everything in place.
Oh and I don’t want to forget to mention that as the owner of the ‘The Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide‘ you’ll receive an exclusive offering of more than $150 of discounts for leading online start-up service providers including LogoWorks.com, VistaPrint.com, MyCorporation.com, StockLayouts.com and Intuit.com. And Jeff is continually working on adding new discounts that he sends to all purchasers of the guide.
The ‘The Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide‘ sells for only $99 and for that small amount of money there’s not a better guide. If a new entrepreneur messes up even one thing taught in this book it could cost the new business many, many, times that amount of money. It only makes sense to read the guide first. And if you use the discounts that come with it, you’ll get that money back and then some.
If you are considering starting your own business, you MUST consider using the The Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide as roadmap. It is available at the following link, click now to learn more:
EDITED TO ADD: A short time after this review was published Jeff contacted me with some exciting information about The Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide. Here’s what he had to say:
New, Improved Version of the Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide Debuts on February 1, 2009.
Members of the Bizstarters community have asked us to add several new features to Ultimate Boomer Guide, and we’re pleased to respond.
Debuting on February 1, 2009 we will expand the Ulitmate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide into a full-blown business start-up and management program, offering several new features:
1. An invitation to join Bizstarters CEO, Jeff Williams, for a monthly 60-minute TeleCoaching session during which you can ask any business start-up or management questions you have and get an immediate answer.
2. A DVD containing mp3 files for a series of podcast interviews conducted by Jeff Williams with a number of 50+ Boomer entrepreneurs who share their valuable insights into how their launched their particular kind of business.
3. A new binder workbook presenting a print worksheet version of our Business Blueprint planning outline (CD verision is also included in the new program), as well as our “mini-MBA” guides for managing the marketing and finances of your growing business.
The new, improved version of the Ultimate Boomer Business Start-Up Guide comes packaged in a convenient carrying case. The selling price of $249 is backed with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
Just recently I found a good website for the 50+ crowd called Eons. Basically, it’s a Facebook type site, where you sign-up and fill out a profile, maybe upload a picture of yourself, and make new friends by joining “groups”. In my opinion, the “groups” feature is the best thing about it as it’s where you meet people who have the same interest as you.
So after I joined I went about joining all the groups that had anything to do with online business. Within each group there is a place to post messages and members of the group can reply, which is great since it allows interaction, discussion, and debate. In one of the groups, the newest and most responded to messages was titled “Age Discrimination” and since it was the most recent, I started reading.
Oh my, was I taken aback. There was response after response with each person talking about how they had been discriminated against. I was aghast, if not stupefied, I actually had no idea that age discrimination was reality. I’ve heard the words, I understand why and how it can happen, I even know quite a few people who are horrified with the fact that they could be let go from their jobs because it would be so hard to find another job, but honestly, I’ve never seen it happen. The company I work for has recently hired quite a few people over 50 and upwards of 60 years old. I can’t imagine a company would actually pass on the opportunity to have people in their workforce who are so experienced. But then again, maybe I’m lucky to be working where I work.
Since reading those messages on Eons I’ve had some time to think and I’m quite sure age discrimination exists. However, you really can’t be sure. You have to consider that maybe those who cry age discrimination are truly not the best candidates for the job. Maybe their skills aren’t up to date for the job they’re applying for or maybe it shows that their ambition is languishing, you never know. If the applicant is now claiming age discrimination, maybe that person is prone to “playing the victim” and the interviewer picks up on that. After all, for every person that’s hired there are many job applicants and not only do the older ones get denied the position, right?
All I know is if you own your own business, you will never have to worry about age discrimination. There was one positive post on that message thread and it was by a person who does freelance writing. All her sales and correspondence occurs on the internet where people can’t see how she looks. In her experience, age has never been an issue, it never even comes up in discussions. So what does that tell you? Maybe, just maybe, as we age, owning an internet business is a good choice? And maybe, just maybe, we should start upgrading our computer and internet skills so we can start an internet business? What do you think? Could I be on to something?
If my grandfather who was taking computer classes in his EIGHTIES can do it, so can you. You can utilize the years while you’re still in the workforce to learn the skills you need and to start your business. Work that needs to be done to maintain a website can usually be done from your home computer in the evenings and weekends while you maintain your day job. If you still have time in the workforce, you could conceivably build a nice business that would provide you a nice income by your planned retirement date. Actually, building a profitable business on the internet in your spare time is not only possible but a very reasonable goal.
Internet marketing is a skill once learned can be used to promote and sell anything on the internet. What are your interests? What do you like to spend time doing? What are you good at? On the internet, you can find a niche for almost anything of interest. I’ve even heard talk of a website that sells tumbleweeds, and it’s VERY profitable. Can you believe that? You are blessed to be born in a time where doing business can be done from anywhere in the world with anyone in the world. Take a look at your blessings and don’t let them go to waste. If building a business on the internet is one of your goals, it’s one less “discrimination” you will have to deal with.
One of my favorite authors is Dan Miller. He has written a most wonderful book called “No More Mondays” that discusses work options for fulfilling your dreams. He also has a great newsletter, blog, and podcast at his website www.48days.com. Check it out for motivation about getting started on fulfilling your dream of working doing what you love.
Gary Vanderchuk. Who? I didn’t know until today, but I really like this guy. What do you think?
Watch his YouTube Video in the right-hand column, sorry, he uses some colorful language. Please don’t be offended by any of his references, he’s trying to get a point across. Then come back, read on and LEAVE ME A COMMENT ~ I want COMMENTS, you guys are TOO QUIET.
Go on, watch it. It’s only 15 minutes.
Gary took his parent’s small wine shop in New Jersey from $4 million a year to over $45 million in 5 years but got bored. So he decided to go in a different direction on the internet. He was featured on Nightline where they mentioned that sales are $60 million and a huge percentage is purchased over the internet.
It took Gary a while to get to where he is now and the aspect of the internet that got him there was social networking and he’s letting people know about it. By making the rounds on radio, tv, expositions, seminars, and anywhere else people will let him talk, he’s getting the message out about using social networking to build your business. And he’s getting the word out about his wine website while he’s at it.
One of the principals Gary advocates is “good ole’ fashion hard work” to get you to where you want to be. I think the reason I like him is because he’s so down to earth. Personally I’m not anything like him, I would almost be intimidated to be in a room with him even though I’m doing exactly what he’s talking about on that video. I’m working HARD. I go to my day job everyday, 8 to 5 (or 5:30 or 6:00), then I come home and work on this website. I work on this website on Saturday and this post as my proof, I work on this website on Sunday. I know, like Gary, that’s what it will take to make it successful.
And I’m here to say to you ~ you CAN make your dream of running your own business come true as well. You just need to have Patience and Passion (Gary’s words not mine). And I want to add Persistence and I want to call it the Triple P’s. Yep, that’s what you need to make it work. Just do something you’re passionate about and be patient and persistent in learning the skills you need to make it work and then patient and persistent in building the business. BUT, not too patient, you need to then get on with it. Put in the hours. Push yourself to your limits. In time, you’ll get there.
One other thing I want to say here since my audience is Baby Boomers, never, never, never, get in the mindset that your time has past or you’re too old. That’s bull hockey. Using the internet to make your dreams come true is within everyone’s reach if you have the Triple P’s, PATIENCE, PASSION, and PERSISTENCE.
Thanks Gary for telling us straight!
Have you considered writing a business plan for your new internet business? Many owners skip this vital step when setting up their small start-up companies. And why do you think a smart, energetic, excited and knowledgeable entrepreneur would skip this step? Precisely the reason they’re starting their business in the first place, because they’re excited and energetic and want to get things started. Writing a business plan slows down the process of getting started as it involves a lot of hard work, research, and introspective reasoning.
One of the most important things you will ever do for your business is to write a business plan. Those who take the time, do the research, and commit a plan to paper are 80% more likely to succeed with their venture. And that’s exactly the reason you need to take the time to write one. Doing the work to create a business plan will challenge any preconceived assumptions you may have and raise questions that will require you to find answers. The exercise of committing your plan to paper will highlight the strengths and weakness of your business idea and prove to you whether or not your plan is viable.
During the process of creating your business plan you will anticipate problems that may cause roadblocks for you in the future. You will learn to do research to collect information so you can make more informed decisions regarding your business. And after doing the legwork necessary to write a business plan, you will have an organized document to help you approach issues as they arise.
Since a business plan defines key areas of your business, it will become your “roadmap,” so to speak, to lead your business to a place in the future. Without this “roadmap”, it’s hard to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. It will also serve in the months and years to come as a measurement tool to tell you how well you’re doing against your original objectives.
In your business plan, you will articulate in narrative form the following key strategies:
- Executive Summary – a compelling overview of the entire plan
- Company Profile – what the business does and how it will make money
- Business History – only necessary if expanding an existing business
- Marketing Plan – how you will market your products including market trends, target market, competitive analysis, and distributions strategy
- Operational Strategy – how you plan to make your product including information about inventory, processes, risk management, facility, equipment
- Management Team – key personnel and their background
- Financial Plan – start-up costs, income statement (projected revenue, cost of goods sold and expenses for the first year of business), cash flow analysis, breakeven analysis, balance sheet (assets, liabilities, and equity), explanation for the use of funds, and expected outcome
- Conclusions/Actions – what are the actions needed to fulfill your plan
As you can see, there is a lot of information that needs to be analyzed and a lot of research will need to be done before you can even sit down to write your plan. If you’re feeling a little lost about where to start, don’t panic. Don’t expect to be able to just whip this out in one afternoon, and don’t skip the hard questions for if you ask and answer them now, before you commit your investment money to your new venture, you will be way ahead of your competitors.
I found two excellent resources to help you organize your business plan and all the information that needs to be considered. They are both free, the first is a business plan workbook that leads you through the exercises and asks the questions you need to answer. The second is a software program that takes you step by step in writing your plan. Using these two resources in conjunction with each other gives you everything you need to know about how a business plan is presented and what information needs to be included. All downloads offered at www.download.com have been tested and are certified virus and spyware free, so be sure to take the time to download these excellent resources and get started today writing the “roadmap” to your next new venture.