Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Your Teen Can Own A Micro Business

This is an article I thought might be of interest to my readers.  The authors' bio is below.  If you are interested in helping your teen start their own business, her website is below as well.

Carol Topp, CPA advises teenage business owners through her Micro Business for Teens book series. Carol’s day job is accountant to business owners, and she enjoys teaching teenagers to succeed beyond their dreams. Students appreciate how she shares what they need to know in clear and helpful lessons. Her website is
Your Teen Can Own a Micro Business
How to Launch It in Ten Simple Steps

“I want to walk dogs; what do I need to do to get started?” asked a teen boy. I had inspired him to think about starting a micro business and he was ready to get going!

I encourage teenagers to start very small businesses—micro businesses. A micro business is a one-person business that can be started easily, usually without any up-front cash, using what a teenager already owns. Micro businesses are usually home-based and very flexible so a busy student can keep up with homework, sports and a social life.

Teenagers can use their skills to develop businesses such as teaching guitar lessons, doing web design or caring for children. Other teenagers have started micro businesses by offering services such as house cleaning, pet care, and lawn mowing. One easy-to-start micro business is tutoring. Some students tutor math, Spanish or computer programs such as Photoshop.

After your teenager has an idea, he or she can launch a micro business in a short amount of time with very little start up money. Share these starting steps with your teen:

1. Conduct a mini market survey. Start by asking a few potential customers if they need your service and what price they are willing to pay.

2. Decide on a price. From the mini-market survey, you should be able to set a fair price. You may get your first customers by undercharging the competition. One teenager charged half what other piano teachers charged and quickly had eight students.

3. Volunteer a few jobs to practice your business skills and build a reputation. Use recommendations from these jobs in your future advertising. Sarah took senior pictures as a favor for a friend and received three other jobs from referrals.

4. Launch your first advertising campaign. Try to use free advertising such as emails, Facebook posts and handing out fliers to friends and neighbors.

5. Work your plan on a small scale. Start with one customer at first. Learn a lot from that experience and grow slowly.

6. Evaluate, adjust and change. As you grow in experience, you may be able to charge more. You will probably need to create a payment policy. Sarah discovered that she needed to be paid up front and have a cancellation policy when she scheduled photo shoots.

7. Pick a name and register it. Usually, you can use your own name, such as Cathy Smith's Babysitting Service, without needing a name registration. If you do want a business name, learn what your state or local government requires. This website is a good place to start:

8. Open a checking account. Accountants usually recommend a separate business checking account to keep from mixing personal and business expenses. A teenager can usually get by with one checking account, if you keep good records. Usually a parent must agree to be a co-signer on a checking account for minors.

9. Read up on taxes. You’ll need to file your own tax return, may owe federal or state income tax, and may be subject to self-employment tax also. Self-employment tax is Social Security and Medicare taxes for self-employed people.

10. Learn about customer service, marketing and record keeping. Become a student of business and seek to be continually learning more. Read books, take a business class, find a mentor and ask a lot of questions.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friendships - My Daily SoapBox

You know, its amazing how we can think we know someone, at least on one level, and find out there is so much more to the person, the more we interact with them. There are many people that I "know", but how well do I really know them? God creates us to be such complicated diverse creatures, all so different, yet with different qualities that endear us to each other.

That knowledge makes me want to go out there and get to know people on a much deeper level, but at the same time, I find myself wanting to stay in a safe place where I won't get hurt.

The fact is, the more we know people, and the more people know us, the more fulfilled we are as human beings. God created us to need each other and to need Him. When either of those needs aren't being met, we can't truly be fulfilled.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Drop some Love!

Love Drop is a micro-giving network of people who unite as a community to help one person or family a month. By subscribing to the team for as low as $1, they make it easy for their members to change lives in a fun and tangible way. Each month Love Drop delivers a unique combination of unexpected financial gifts, personal encouragement and the support of local and online communities.
For the very first Love Drop they will be helping Jill and her kids in Chicago, who’ve lost everything in a fire and are now homeless for a second time. They’ve been through a lot, but you’ll be amazed at how much they continue to give back.
The love will start at the Love Drop website and get spread across their network of blogs.

At the end of the month, the founders will show up in the town that the people live in and deliver goods and services to them, all on film,

You can help!
Join the Team  Become a member by paying whatever you want. Even $1.00.

Join the Blogger Network 
Blog about our Love Drops once a month! It’s easy, it’s rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps the families!). We’ll give you all the content you need.

Give a Gift Gift cards, clothes, a homemade scarf, a bike, whatever.

Provide a Service  Web design, tax help, legal services, etc

If you have an idea, email it to , they will do their best to make it happen!

Blogging: The Committment

I have been blogging for a while now, and have a dream and vision of being a consistent, successful blogger.  When I started out, I thought it would be a post a day about my kids, my hobbies, interest, and the like.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to carve out time out of my day,  come up with applicable, interesting topics, and get followers! 

Am I the only one with this challenge?  I am open to thoughts, tips, advice! I would love to hear your comments.  I downloaded the book 31 Days to Building a Better Blog by Darren Rowse, but even the commitment of spending 31 consistent days working on my blog is daunting, so I haven't started reading it yet.

Keep in mind, I have two children under 4, a cat and puppy, am going to school full time, part of a book club, running a day care, and volunteering consistently.  It's not like I'm exuding free time, but time isn't the most pressing issue to me.  I think it is prioritizing, and just doing it, succeed or fail.

I would appreciate any thoughts!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Play Your Way-Personal Fitness Twitter Party with GameStop — Mamavation

Play Your Way-Personal Fitness Twitter Party with GameStop — Mamavation

Here is a link to a great twitter party coming up on Wednesday. I love twitter parties. I really dont use twitter except for twitter parties. I have won a book, a diaper cake, and a bunch of girls toys through twitter parties, so I plan to continue "attending". This particular twitter party has a great grand prize of a Wii! Yes, you read correctly! The topic is on how to use your gaming device to help you get into shape. I love this, since I have a few Wii excercise games that I wish I used more!

Check it out, it just might be worth it!