Creative Ways to Increase Personal Wealth

In today’s challenging economy, many professionals are turning to new sources of income to provide extra stability to their households. Even if you’ve always traditional help corporate jobs, taking up an entrepreneurial challenge can help enliven new aspects of your live. Successful entrepreneurs know that good ideas result from hard work, creative thinking and careful planning. By combining these elements you can ensure the complete success of your next project from beginning to end.

This guide provides you with some creative ways you can generate a second income, which can help you transition to a full time position as head of your own firm. By taking these principles and thinking about what you are truly passionate for, you can begin building wealth sooner than you think:

Utilize Creative Skills to Generate Income

There are countless businesses today that can benefit from creative thinking and work in your particular field. Whether you’re an artist, business professional, engineer or product manager, you can work on the side as a consultant for local firms. Starting by working with people you know well, you can translate your energy, ideas and hard work into real life success to help you create a bridge to a new career.      Create Your Own Brand Based Upon Your Interests

If you have creative talent and an idea, you can start attending local fairs and expos to sell works for your own brand. Whether your talent is in drawing, drafting, musical composition or creative work, creating a brand around your work can help bring your interests to life.      License Technical or Creative Work to Larger Firms

Take your ideas and consider applying for a copyright or patent so you can license them to professional firms. Inventors of all types do well by working with largest firms to license their ideas and use them to help improve products.

Recommended resources:

Business Access: Sprint Blackberry Curve vs. T-Mobile Blackberry Curve

As a reluctant business blackberry user, I have grown accustomed to it. In business, I just needed a phone at first. I initially used the blackberry pearl for business. Texting with the blackberry pearl was a pain. As I progressed to the Blackberry curve, I had a few choices. I considered the blackberry curve from sprint vs the blackberry curve from t-mobile. Here are three things I considered before making the final blackberry business choice.

Blackberry Sprint Curve Vs T-mobile curve: Trackball

This is somewhat of a trick statement for blackberry users. I would liken it to say how many people did Moses take on the ark? The answers, Moses was not on the ark; it was Noah. Blackberry Sprint’s curve has a trackball with issues while T-Mobile curve has no trackball. Sprint’s blackberry has a trackball that sticks and many times has to be fixed. The sprint blackberry trackball jumps around and more often than not and responded lethargically. T-Mobile’s track pad is vastly superior to Sprint’s latency issued trackball. In business time is money so the T-Mobile blackberry with a track pad is a clear winner here.


Blackberry Sprint Curve Vs T-mobile curve: Navigation

This Blackberry thought too is somewhat of a trick statement for navigation users. T-Mobile does not have a navigation on the phone. There are application you can get from the blackberry Apps world, but there is not natural navigation. Sprint has a natural navigation that comes standard with your blackberry. I used it many times when I got lost. I relied upon the Sprint blackberry navigation regularly and look forward to using it on T-Mobile. I was sad to find out there was not a similar application on T-Mobile. I instead used mapquest mobile on the phone. I ultimately needed to use the Internet to get access to mapquest mobile, but in a jam in the middle of nowhere on a rain cold night with little gas, T-Mobile got me exactly where i needed to go with Mapquest.


Blackberry Sprint Curve Vs T-mobile curve: Crash

While I had the blackberry pearl, I had a few crashes but the phone had solid battery life. When I worked with the Sprint Blackberry Curve, it too had a solid battery life though it crashed weekly. The crashes were primarily a result of too many e-mails coming to the blackberry. The T-mobile blackberry curve crashed daily. Sometimes the blackberry crashed two of 4 times daily. On occasion, the T-mobile blackberry crashed because it did not hold a charge. The first blackberry T-mobile I had crashed, frequently. I currently have the second one and expect my third Blackberry to arrive within the week. The blackberry currently holds a charge for roughly 2 hour max without frequent use. With frequent use, the blackberry holds a charge for roughly 45 minutes to an hour.


Blackberry Sprint Curve Vs T-mobile curve: Cost

While the service for both plans in my opinion are comparable. I will admit the cost of the T-mobile phone and plan was about $200 cheaper to start on an annual contract basis. The monthly cost was roughly the same with the data plan included. Honestly the cost of the T-mobile monthly plan might be roughly 10 more a month. So in short after 20 months of a 2 year contract you are paying more for the T-mobile Blackberry than the Sprint Blackberry. I personally like the T-mobile blackberry better than the sprint phone though the voice command navigation was a huge plus on the sprint plan. At this time with the sprint plan, I just use via the web when I get lost. While I miss the voice prompts giving me direction, I still get to the location when I need to get there.


With consideration of the Trackball, navigation, crashing, and cost I would say sprint blackberry slightly edges out the T-mobile phone. However, I went through 5 sprint phones and never got to one that quite worked properly. I am only on my 3rd T-mobile phone so technically the jury is still out on this debate. T-mobile had great customer service with their phone and I appreciate how they have responded to all my concerns without me having to be belligerent. On a pure like or dislike, I like the T-mobile phone just wish it was on the sprint plan with navigation.

Practical Guide Reveals How to Make Money in the Used Car Sales Business

Want to learn what it takes to make money in the used car sales business? This guide maybe just what you need.

Here are a few key points you need to know before you open a used car sales lot:


  1. Every state has a different set of rules and regulations, some states are tougher than others – some are more lenient. Either way, your state laws will affect your overall sales. So, it’s important to learn and keep a copy of the laws regarding car sales in your state.


  1. Each state is different in that there are limits to the amount of cars that can be sold legally before you have to apply to get a car dealers license from the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state. You need this before you open a used car sales business with a lot.


You’ll fill out an application and take a few tests, and the approval can take up to a week before you can move forward with buying/renting your car lot.

Once you’ve done 1 and 2 above, you need to look for commercial property to rent. Look for high drive by traffic areas in a moderate speed zone so your prospects can slow down enough and see what you have and can react fast enough to pull-in. Be sure the lot is flat and paved.

There’s unnecessary risk purchasing a lot you don’t know will produce, so I always recommend you lease it first with option to buy to know if it’s a profitable location before you make the decision to purchase the property outright.

At this point, you have your dealers license and found a good lot, next you need a surety bond worth at least $30,000 in coverage. This protects your customers from hidden problems and every state requires it.Once you’ve spent a few weeks taking care of legalities, you can start buying inventory for your new used car sales business. Wholesale car auctions in your state are great places to get your initial inventory. You’ll find all types of cars to showcase on your used car lot.

You can also find quality vehicles at police auctions, private auctions, garage sales, estate sales, Craig list, and eBay motors.

Also, decide if you want to deal with taking trade-ins. You’ll have plenty of inventory, but some of these cars could have hidden problems you don’t want to deal with. Because your taking on extra risk, you want to be sure you spend very little money acquiring trade-in’s and get routine inspections before you give cash.

When evaluating the trade-in value, keep a Kelly Blue Book on hand to help you determine the value of a vehicle and what it can be sold for at a reasonable price.

Now you know how you can start making money in the used car sales business with this useful and practical guide on making money in the used car sales business.

You have no excuse now but to get to work, and put this information into action for yourself so you can start living the life you want – on your terms.

Why Initial Cash Flow for Your Business is Critical to Your Success

As an entrepreneur who faces the effects of an economic downturn, initial cash flow is extremely important.

Why? Because money cost money.


Let’s put it in perspective:


Depending on the role you play , you pay for the cost of money not circulating in your business when it has no where to go. Because money, in it’s very nature, should always be moving – never sitting still. Like a child on a sugar rush, it must keep going to move your business forward – faster. That’s why the root word for money is “currency”. The ocean works because of it’s currents.


So, what does the money flowing into your business immediately have to do with generating cash flow?


It guarantees employees, suppliers, vendors and the government are paid on time. And being on time with your payments develops goodwill and reduces the odds of paying additional fee’s in terms of interest or penalties.


Goodwill is a rare commodity – more so in business. It’ll help expand and grow yours over several lifetimes and could be developed into a full-fledged corporation based on the trust you develop keeping your financial promises.


Respect is gained fast in the marketplace and will have vendors and suppliers fighting to work with you because of your reliability. It’s a sign of professionalism and a strong working foundation.


Let’s take a quick look at an example that vendors love and favor:


Cash-and-Carry stores offer big discounts to its customers over retail.


How so? Because goods are purchased cheaper since they make payments instantly or in a short period of time. The result being deep discounts offered to it’s customers. This is what often creates the edge over big box retail competition.


You don’t have to beat yourself up over not generating initial cash flow at the start (although for obvious reasons it’s a huge plus) because most businesses won’t produce for some time. Odds are, the money invested is locked up into the business until it’ starts selling as soon as possible.


Keep this in mind: It’s never a good idea to stretch your credit or defer payments in the initial few weeks of your business with your vendors and suppliers. You need to build enough trust and faith on your reliability before they allow you to extend credit for a period of time.


It’s pretty clear why cash flow is important to growing your business and the sooner you can sell your products or services to generate the cash, the faster you can use it grow your business quicker. After all, cash flow will make or break your business, and the sooner you work to get your employees and partners to generate money for you, the longer you’ll stay in business to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

The Reality vs. The Dream of Owning Your Own Business

So many of us dream of owning our own businesses. Even in an economic climate where small businesses are closing at such a rapid rate or even if we are not sure exactly what KIND of business we would like to own and operate, we dream. We might make notes of how we would do things differently if we owned the business or keep a file or notes of types of businesses we would like to own. The first challenge, of course, is to make that dream a reality and THEN comes the challenge of reconciling reality with all those dreams we carried around with us for years!

It can be extremely enlightening to sit down with a small business owner who is 1-2 years into a new business and ask them to share their experiences around “What the reality of owning the business has been like compared to the dream?” You might be surprised at the things they say are much more difficult or much easier than what they had anticipated. Many novice small business owners underestimate the amount of time, effort and resources that will go to initial licensing and getting the business set up and operational. They may think that is just a matter of getting the funding and opening the doors but there are often multiple government agencies and licenses and other details to tend to prior to the business ever making its first dollar.


Others find that the expenses of maintenance, upkeep and replacement of equipment and supplies far surpass what they anticipated. For example, a new small coffee business owner may anticipate the initial cost of acquiring all the equipment to operate but underestimate how much it will cost when things break down or need to be repaired or replaced.


There is a place for those lofty dreams of how fabulous life will be as you serve up plates of food in your own restaurant or build houses or whatever business you dream of owning, but there is also a place for getting down to the gritty details of reality. As you draw up your business plan and organize budgets and details for your future small business, be sure to allow for conversations and preparations for reality as well. Talk to other business owners, ready articles and books and try to anticipate where the challenges, surprise expenses and pitfalls might be in order to have a more realistic expectation of what being a small business owner will entail.

Cost Cutting Tips Yield Greater Profits in Small Business’ First Year

Starting a new business can be scary and many small business owners are challenged to overcome the obstacles of finance and pricing to ensure a profit is returned at the end of the year. If you are starting a new small business this year, it is important to consider some key aspects of pricing and cost cutting techniques to ensure your business finances are protected as much as possible in the first year.

In the first year of your small business, one of the most important aspects of your business structure should be your pricing. To ensure your branding and your business are presenting the best image possible, it should be important that you avoid underpricing your products or services at all cost. Being the least expensive service or product does not mean you will get the best possible customers or the best possible return on your business investment. Therefore, price your business services accordingly, even overpricing if you need to until you have a chance to test the waters in your business vertical.


Another area of concern for many small business in the first year involves the use of print mailers. Because print media is wasting and falling behind to online media advertising, it is recommended that you avoid spending valuable dollars on print mailing and, instead, consider investing your first year business dollars into expenses that are more driven toward a global online market.


Keep in mind that your first year of business will be challenging in terms of time management. Because referrals and loyalty are what will make or break your bsuiness, be sure that you are not spreading your time over too many projects or services and try to focus on the few valued clients you have secured, especially if they will make additional referrals to your business. In the long term, this is how you will build your buisness and prosper into the second year.


Starting a new business can be overwhelming and for many buisness owners many mistakes are made in the first year. Following these tips and advice, you can garner a far better outcome to your business gains or losses as the first year of your business comes to an end. In practicing these techniques, you can overcome your hurdles in the first year and make the second year of your business start off ahead of your strategic business plan development.


Sources: Business Connections, January 2010, p. 15.

How to Beat Recession with Cleaning Business

World recession has led us to realize that having a side business to supplement your income is definitely a good idea. You may sometimes need to supplement your income to get a better standard of living or maybe sometimes you may feel like changing your job. Whatever the situation may be, a cleaning business is just the right thing for you.

If you’re ready to start a cleaning business, here are some tips that can help you get customers even in uncertain and poor economic times. I have a prospering cleaning business that has been running for four years now. It was started during the time when people were keeping a tight hand on their pockets. Therefore, probably I am the best person to suggest tips on how to prosper your cleaning business in hard economic times.


The basic requirement, as in any other business, is to think outside the box. If you ask someone about cleaning business, the first thing that comes to mind is housecleaning. However, if you limit yourself to home cleaning only, you will never be able to go beyond that.


Home cleaning clients provide enough funds for your business, but if you’re willing your business to stay steady then you need to realize that others are failing because their focus is too very narrow. Therefore it is required that you explore other sides of cleaning business.


Some of the ideas you can implement in your cleaning business:

Office cleaning

Windows cleaning

Apartment cleaning

Cleaning when it is like cars, boats, etc

one-time jobs like cleaning of garages or basements

cleaning on certain occasions such as birthday parties or other parties


This list could go on and on and the limit is unknown. You can every time think of something new and supplement your business. I feel that one-time jobs can be quite lucrative. However it is not wise to count on them for your bread-and-butter.


It is also important that you make note of charges taken by your competitors. It may happen that you charge more than your competitors and end up in getting no jobs or lesser jobs than them. You must also take note of whether they charge cancellation fees or any hidden extras. It must also be found that whether they give any discount to their regular clients and whether they charge extra if they have to travel past a certain distance. Knowing the form of payments that they accept may also help you perform better than your competitor in the cleaning business.


The last thing that you should consider when starting a cleaning business is about its marketing. Word of mouth does work here. Another good way to market your cleaning business is by giving classified ads in newspapers and on internet.

The Hardest Part of Owning Your Own Business


The media will present to you a much skewed look at owning your own business because it is either trying to sell you on opening one and buying into that sales pitch or the horrible pitfalls of owning your own business and how their products can help you avoid all of their scare tactics. I have found that the problems as usual lie somewhere in the middle and can be managed if dealt with properly. And these issues are not the kind of exciting issues that make the headlines, so help is not easily found in the main stream venues.

Time Constraints: Ah, the allure of having your own time in your own business, hmmmm, I thought working for someone else was time consuming, until you have your own business, you really don’t get a good clue as to the 24/7 babysitting job you have signed up for. After a certain period of success and some good decisions and good management; you can cut back a bit. But as competitive as business is you do have to keep on your toes or you can become a dinosaur overnight.


Rules and Regulations: Depending on your business there can be so many governmental drawbacks you don’t even get out of the gate or you could have very few. Just know them, not what pertained 5 years ago; it’s up to you to be current.


Employees: Some people can have hundreds of employees and make tons of money with them; some have been sued and lost their entire businesses over 1 or 2 employees. I also know many people who just work by themselves in their business and thrive that way.


Management: If you are a super-duper-cooper manager already, then great; your business will only prosper from your expertise; but if you are not, this is not the playing field to find out, hire someone who can do a better job than you. No matter what widget you are selling or service you are pedaling; bad management will suck your business dry if you don’t keep an eye on it. If you are seeing that as a whole the business is not a well run entity it is time to regroup and find the holes.


Some people take to owning a business like a duck to water. It’s an inborn talent kind of skill, the born entrepreneurs and pioneers of our times. There are those who have worked for mismanaged companies and started their own business to make a better success of the business the way that they could see it could be. As long as you can come up with some formulas to keep your passion or your light shining through the dark times, you know in your heart of hearts whether it is a right decision for you to own your own business.

Take Your Time and Be Patient when Starting Your Own Business

It all starts with an idea. Remember, even though it will be your own business and you will be, in effect, working for nobody but yourself, it must be treated like a real business and taken very, very seriously in order to succeed. So keep in mind that this is your opportunity to actually do something you truly enjoy all day long. The idea can be a hobby, an interest, or even an area where you have just noticed a real need in your community. They possibilities are virtually endless, so focus only on the ones that you are passionate about and you feel you can dedicate yourself to turning into reality.

You will want to begin to build your own business slowly, ensuring that you have a written plan, complete with anticipated dates of achievement for each action step you lay out. It is important for you to go slow so that you can nurture your idea and avoid the frustration that comes with setting unattainable goals for yourself. Some companies fail because they grow too fast and then they can’t deal with the rapid change. Because you are so excited about the prospect of having your own business, the excitement will come through in your voice when you speak about it to potential customers. That is what will sell it initially, and later the reputation of your company and testimonials from satisfied customers will carry the business forward. But you must be cautious in the initial stages when you enjoy some success, as the inclination will be to spend the profits too quickly rather than reinvesting appropriately back to the business. Further, you may be ready to spend limited resources in the company but in places and ways that may be best, as you have failed to do your due diligence. Keep your feet firmly planted and remember that as quickly as you have managed to have these successes you can just as easily lose them and sour yourself for self-employment altogether.


When it comes to getting started, you don’t want to take on a lot of work at once before you are able to learn how to manage the workload. Sure, the excitement will carry you forward at the onset, but you can quickly burn out by taking on more than you can handle before your small business has properly gotten off the ground.


There is a certain element of supply and demand in every business, so be careful to try to balance this aspect of your company. If your community, for example, has no child care program and many working parents, you can consider providing a baby-sitting service. However, although 20 mothers may call you about potential openings, you cannot closely and safely provide care for 20 or more children every day, at least not if you are the sole owner with no employees. Although you will really want to make as much money as possible, you will want to make sure that you do not lower the quality standards of your work. Once you are able to have a good customer base you can then raise the prices and create your supply and demand curves. You will see that this scenario applies no matter what area of business you choose.


Most importantly, you will want to make sure that you have thought everything through before you open the doors to your small business. Do a lot of research on your perceived customers and even more research on your competition in order to ensure your business will run smoothly. What is it that makes these businesses successful? What provides the most satisfaction for customers that will keep them from shopping around for services or products from another company? You may feel rushed for time, but by building your ideas slowly and therefore more thoroughly, your business is more likely to succeed.


Contrary to what you may have heard, it does take money to make money. You will want to make sure that you pay close attention to all of the details of the business and products or services and speak to experts in the field to ensure you are truly spending each dollar wisely. Do not spend more money than you and your family are completely comfortable with spending. Putting additional pressure on yourself and your business to recoup extremely limited resources too quickly is a recipe for failure. Carefully consider all costs before you start the business. Once again, you should always begin small and then slowly build the business. You will find that you can create a strong foundation when you go slowly, and you will find it is just like building a house — it is less likely to crumble when the inevitable storms hit.


Built properly, a business of your own can be not only the ticket to financial freedom, but also the most generous form of inheritance for future generations.


Melissa Burton is a successful home business entrepreneur, owner of She currently mentors hundreds of affiliates in internet marketing and home business setup  amp; management. Sign up now for her free newsletter and join a winning team!

Airport Club Lounges – Your Office Away from the Office

For the business traveler, Frequent Flyer programs are much more than just First Class upgrades and ticket rewards. The largest perk by far in the Frequent Flyer game is the airline lounges located in most major airports.

While definitely a convenient respite from the bustle encountered at most airports, most are also fully equipped business centers ready to become your satellite office and turn that layover into constructive work time.


Meet Me at the Airport


While club lounges provide quiet areas to place business calls and work on projects, many hold private conference rooms.


Airport conference centers are convenient meeting locations, and use is not limited to traveling club members. Flying into an airport and using the on-site facilities can potentially reduce commuting travel time and costs and facilitate in/out trips, eliminating the need for an overnight stay.


Airline conference rooms usually require advance reservations and/or rental fees. Non-flying conference attendees may access the lounges for scheduled meetings, but arrangements must be made to obtain passes and/or escorts to get non-ticketed individuals through airport security. Additional business equipment, such as flip charts and overhead projectors; and services, such as conference calls and catering, may be available with conference room rental at an additional charge. Be sure to discuss your particular needs with the individual airline when making reservations.


Flyer Beware


As with all good things, there are usually caveats.


Some benefits come with stipulations, and all benefits are subject to change at the discretion of the individual airline.


If you are flying on one airline but are a member of another’s club program, inquire with both your airline of travel and your airline of membership to ensure that you will have access to a lounge. If you are flying with a spouse, family member or colleague who is not a club member, make sure that guest privileges are available.


Confirm that the lounge is available for your intended use. Rules for use of the lounges vary by airline. For example, Delta only allows business meetings and job interviews to take place in rented conference rooms, not in general public areas.


On a Personal Note


With business club memberships, personalized concierge services are available at most airports. Business club attendants can facilitate everything from ticketing and seat assignment to helping you find hotel accommodations and restaurants in unfamiliar cities. In many of the busiest airports, business club members may find private security lines available to facilitate boarding.


Families traveling with members are generally welcome in the lounges. American’s Admirals Club and Continental’s Presidents Club have family rooms available at several locations.


Amenities at the various lounges are similar. Most have complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, internet access, copiers, and fax machines. Many have food and alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Current newspapers and periodicals are usually on hand.


Delta Airlines, as the Official Airline of the PGA Tour, offers a unique perk. Putting greens have been installed at Sky Club locations in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Orlando, Salt Lake City, Washington DC (National), and West Palm Beach. No clubs? No problem. Members will find top-of-the-line Nike Golf equipment available for their use.

The Bottom Line


Initial club fees range from $300 annually to $4,200 for a lifetime membership in Continental’s Presidents Club. Rates are often dependent on the level attained with an airline’s Frequent Flyer membership program. Renewals may be discounted. Most programs allow for reduced priced spousal memberships, which can also include spousal equivalents and domestic partners.


American, Delta, and United allow members to pay fees with accumulated miles.


Try It Before You Buy It


Many airlines offer first class passengers a pass to their club lounges. If not readily offered one, ask – especially if your flight is delayed. In addition, one-day passes may be available for purchase, and the cost is usually credited against a full membership price if purchased within a specified time after the one-day use. They run from $30 for Alaskan Airlines to $50 for entrance to American Airlines Admirals Club or Delta’s Sky Club. Delta also offers a 30-day pass for $90, and US Airways offers a 90-day pass for $120.


Where are They?


If you are flying into a hub city on a major airline, you can be assured that there is a lounge available. Many smaller airports are now housing club lounges as well, so check before you fly. Alaska Airlines has six lounges but provides access to 51 other locations through its affiliate program. Continental’s President Club operates 25 facilities but passengers can enter any of 159 other clubs through its partnerships with other airlines. Delta’s Sky Club consists of 58 lounges, with affiliate access to another 55.


Sources: All information was compiled from airline websites (Fall ’09) and deemed to be accurate at the time of publication but is not guaranteed.