Perspectives: Are You Out In Your Business?

Get featured in an upcoming issue of Lespreneur.  Simply answer the following question: Are you out in your business? Why or why not?  Is it important for lespreneurs to be out? How much does it matter?  Simply reply to this post and you we will randomly select 2-3 responses for the next issue.  Be sure to leave your contact information!

Starting a New Business for Less Than $250

Starting a business for less than $250 is certainly doable, if you know what you are doing. I recommend any business owner to keep fixed costs as low as possible (that is your recurring monthly expenditures, i.e., rent, utilities, etc..). If your fixed costs are too high, you may not be able to weather downturns in your business which is the reason why so many businesses are closing their doors.

I am going to assume that if you are reading this, you have a computer. All businesses need a working computer with an internet connection, that is a given. A service business is usually the best to start on a dime. Why? Because with a service business, you don’t have any inventory or any goods to stock or purchase wholesale. Plus, with a physical product you may have to deal with patents, product insurance, costs of transporting and storage, etc…

So, here are a 3 main factors in starting a great business on a small budget:

1. Go with what you know. Intellecual capital is Queen! If you have a certain expertise, you can monetize it by sharing your knowledge to others who need it.

2. The days of the linear relationship between work and pay is over! Meaning, going to work for one hour to receive one hour worth of pay is an archaic way of making money. What you want to do is leverage that same hour of work and have one hour of work keep paying for itself over and over again. It’s the power of leverage! Let me put this is simple terms. Say a nail tech see’s 3 clients an hour and makes about $70. There is only but so much time in a day and only but so many people she can see. So her income, by default is limited. But, if that same nail tech taugh others how to break into the business and provided her intellectual capital (see point #1) to help others succeed then she can experience the power of leverage. How? Well, she could author an ebook that explains how to break into the beauty industry, she could hold seminars and workshops, she could become a consultant or coach. Really,the sky is the limit! I could go on and on with this one.

3. What do people contact you for? There is something that people always ask you about or seek your advice on. Clearly, this is something you possibly have a competitive advantage on. Make a list of your best attributes and weaknesses and seek a business that leans on your best points and seek strategic partnerships to enhance your weaknesses. Okay, so now that your wheels are turning on what type of business to start. Let’s get to the really good stuff. Minimizing start up costs and starting your biz for less than $250. A SOHO (small office home office) is what you want to start in order to get the most bang for your buck. All you need is a computer and some basic equipment. Your Presence This is actually one of my favorite things to talk about, but I will try to keep it short and sweet. Every business will need:

  • A Website
  • Business Cards
  • Communication Services (phone and fax)

Read the rest of this post here: http://thethriftylesbian.wordpress.co

Looking For A Few Good Women!

Are you a lespreneur?  Would you like to be featured in our first issue?  If so, we are looking for you!  Post a comment to this post if you would like information on how to be featured in our first issue and we will take it from there.  Be sure to leave your email address and website.  Only serious entrepreneurs  need apply!

When does our first issue launch?  Next Spring.  Make sure your business is represented!

Last Minute Appeal…Why Small Business Owners Should Vote Obama!

By now, we’ve heard all the rhetoric from the candidates. Barack, Joe, John and Sarah all claim to be pro-small business, each ticket has their own special sauce for the small businesses of America. How important is the small business vote? Extremely important to this election. So important that a plumber who no one knew about just a few weeks ago has been catapulted to stardom overnight. The McCain campaign claims that Obama’s policies will raise taxes and stifle business growth. Obama says that 90% of small businesses will get a tax cut under his plan and incentive to pay for employee health care. So who is right and who is wrong? Lespreneur did the research and this is what we found. If you want to know who stands in your corner as a small business owner, it’s Barack Obama. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Health Care

Obama clearly understands the burden of rising health care costs on the small business owner. Obama’s Small Business Health Tax Credit will work alongside other aspects of his health care plan to lower costs and improve competitiveness for America’s small businesses, including:

Access to a Low-cost National Health Exchange:

The Obama health care plan will provide small businesses with new opportunities to buy low-cost, high quality health plans for their employees through a national exchange similar that will allow small businesses to get the same benefits of spreading risk and administrative costs over a large pool that larger businesses currently enjoy.

Reduced Volatility and Lower Costs by Reimbursing Catastrophic Costs:

The Obama plan will reimburse employer health plans for a portion of the catastrophic costs they incur above a threshold if they guarantee such savings are used to reduce the cost of workers’ premiums. This reimbursement (often called reinsurance) is particularly important for small business plans, which can be overwhelmed by the costs of catastrophic expenditures for even a single employee.

Investment in Cost Reduction and Quality Improvement Strategies:

The Obama plan will aggressively lower health costs by facilitating broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, and other value-increasing innovations improving chronic care management, and increasing insurance market competition.

What McCain says: McCain simply wants us to shop for healthcare, he wants to provide a 5,000 tax credit for care which on average costs $12,000. The math is simple on this one.

2. Women & Minority Owned Businesses

To create greater opportunities for women business owners who would like to do business with the federal government, Obama and Biden will implement the Women Owned Business contracting program that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, but has yet to be implemented by the Bush Administration. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will strengthen Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms.

What McCain says: Nothing

3. Bridging the Digital Divide

Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we can get true broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation technologies, and new tax and loan incentives. As a key step to achieving full broadband access, Obama believes the Federal Communications Commission should provide an accurate map of broadband availability using a true definition of broadband instead of the current 200 kbs standard and an assessment of obstacles to fuller broadband penetration.

What McCain says: Nada

4. Business Incubators

Obama and Biden will invest $250 million per year to increase the number and size of incubators in disadvantaged communities throughout the country.

What McCain says: Zilch

5. Increased Funding and Access to Capital

Barack Obama cosponsored the bipartisan Small Business Lending Reauthorization and Improvements Act. This bill expands the Small Business Administration’s loan and micro-loan programs which provide startup and long-term financing that small firms cannot receive through normal channels. Obama and Biden will work to help more entrepreneurs get loans, expand the network of lenders, and simplify the loan approval process.

What McCain says: He wants to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. So who wins here? You guessed…big businesses. You know the Exxon’s, the JP Morgans, etc…


But don’t just take my word for it, do your own fact checking. Check out Obama’s complete plan here: http://obama.3cdn.net/18bdb8988efb99208a_vtt5mvfkt.pdf McCains not-so-complete plan is available here: http://www.johnmccain.com/Issues/JobsforAmerica/smallbusiness.htm

No matter who your candidate is (but I hope it’s Barack Obama) just be sure to cast your vote on November 4th!

Yours,
Lespreneur

Tammy Freeman is a small business expert, she loves entrepreneurship and finding ways to save a buck or two. Tammy’s latest venture, Lespreneur: A Magazine for Lesbian Entrepreneurs is coming soon (www.lespreneur.wordpress.com). Tammy resides with her partner and their children in the Washington, DC metro area, her personal musings, rants, thoughts and raves can be found on her blog at: http://www.pinkchocolatesunshine.wordpress.com.

It’s On!

Welcome to Lespreneur!  The only magazine catered to the lesbian entrepreneur.  Showcasing women all around the world who are undertaking great entrepreneurial endeavors.

Lespreneur is different from your typical business magazine.  While there are many great business magazines out there, none of them address the specific challenges and concerns lesbian entrepreneurs face. 

Should we hide our orientation so not to alienate anyone?  How can we locate vendors, partners, customers and suppliers who are GLBT friendly?  What can we do when faced with discrimination because of our sexuality?  Lespreneur is here to answer these questions and more!  We will also showcase successful lesbian entrepreneurs as well as offer tips and advice from women who know their stuff!  The latest and greatest information to help you grow a successful business will be included in each and every issue.

So, the best thing to do is to subscribe. But you’re a smart entrepreneur so I pretty sure you have come to this conclusion already!  Support us as we support you!  For information on becoming a charter subscriber to Lespreneur visit the “get it” page.

Wishing You Our Very Best,

The Lespreneur Team
passion. focus. pride
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