August 2008

Manuals, Manuals, Manuals

Can’t find your user guide, owner’s manual, or instruction guide? Check out SafeManuals.com for more than 880,000 manuals representing over 3,600 brands for a free downloadable copy of the manual. Browse by category or brand, or search for your specific model and you can upload manuals you have for others to use.

Ultimate Homebased Business Handbook

Ultimate Homebased Business Handbook by Stephenson

If yesterday’s news item about the StartupNation contest inspired you and you have dreamed of starting your own business at home, James Stephenson’s new book, Ultimate Homebased Business Handbook: How to Start, Run and Grow Your Own Profitable Business [Entrpreneur Press, 2008], will help make your dream come true.

This book and the accompanying CD-ROM cover every aspect of starting a home business:

  • Why Start a Home Business?
  • What Type of Home Business Should You Start?
  • Financial Issues
  • Legal Issues
  • Home Business Insurance
  • Preparing a Business Plan
  • Establishing Your Home Workplace
  • Building Your Business Team
  • What Price Will You Charge?
  • Finding and Keeping Customers
  • Managing your Home Business
  • Creating a Marketing Plan
  • Advertising and Promotions
  • Public Relations and Networking
  • Sales
  • Event Marketing
  • Internet and E-Commerce
  • Home Business Startup Ideas and Home Franchise Opportunities

Check out this Business Week Magazine website for a special report on home-based business resources and our catalog for more on home-based businesses.

Enter the 2008 StartupNation Home-Based 100 Contest

If you have a home-based business and a website, take a look at the Second Annual 2008 StartupNation Home-Based 100 contest, that will once again “rank the best performing home-based businesses across America in ten distinct categories.

This year’s categories are:

  • Best Financial Performers
  • Most Innovative
  • Boomers Back in Business
  • Greenest
  • Yummiest
  • Wackiest
  • Grungiest
  • Recession Busters
  • Most Slacker Friendly
  • Most Glamorous

You can enter your business until midnight Pacific Time on September 30, 2008. Throughout October, winners will be judged by StartupNation and a panel of judges who are each passionate about home-based business and the Top Ten categories highlighted in this year’s competition. Winners will be announced in mid-November, 2008.”

Information & Entry Form

Take Your Business to the NxLevel™

From the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center, this course has it all: “An intensive 12-session training program designed to encourage business expansion and growth. The course focuses on teaching the art of better business practices while producing a comprehensive business plan to guide business expansion decisions and activities.”

There is a free orientation class (recommended, but not required):
September 8, 2008 • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm or
September 15, 2008 • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The course:
12 consecutive Wednesday night sessions, September 24 through December 10, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Redwood Empire SBDC Conference Room
421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
1-888-346-SBDC

Information & online reservations

If You Believe in Polls

You can browse the Gallup public opinion polls on business – very interesting reading!

Gallup Business & Economy Polls

Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends

Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, by BlackshawIf you own or manage a business, be sure to put this on your reading list – Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World, by Pete Blackshaw [Doubleday, 2008].

“In June 2006, a man named Vincent Ferrari had a shockingly combative conversation with an AOL sales rep; he recorded it and posted it on YouTube. More than 62,827 viewings later, AOL’s reputation was irretrievably damaged. In the digital age, disgruntled customers are now in the driver’s seat, argues Blackshaw in this thoughtful and engaging book. With the advent of Consumerist.com and other venues where customers can blow off steam about bad service or deficient products, consumer generated media is a force to be reckoned with. Since consumers trust other consumers above companies or brands, a company’s success depends on its credibility and its ability to gain the trust and support of Web-savvy, outspoken and influential customers. Through remarkable stories of mass consumer advocacy and the power of bloggers and ordinary Joes with an Internet connection and a bone to pick, Blackshaw advises executives on how to build credibility into their businesses through blogs, Web sites and video postings. Informative, energetic and entertaining, this is a marvelous argument for corporate responsibility and accountability, interesting to laypeople and instructive for executives.” Publisher’s Weekly, 2008

Impact Napa

Presented by the North Bay Business Journal, Impact Napa is a “a must-attend conference exploring the top issues shaping the future of business in Napa County. Local experts, including Joe Peatman, Pat Stotesbery, Nancy Watt, Jeri Hansen-Gill, and Keith Rogal, discuss the impact of key issues currently affecting Napa County’s major industries, including what these challenges and new developments mean for business in the years to come.”

Dr. Robert Eyler, Economics Department Chair, Sonoma State University and Director, Center for Regional Economic Analysis, will present “a look at the state of Napa County’s economy and how national and statewide economic issues are playing out at the local level.”

August 26, 2008 • 8-10:45 am
Napa Valley Marriott, 3425 Solano Avenue, Napa

Information and Reservations

Sonoma & Marin Moms in Business – CafeMom

Thank you to Tiffany Bronzan for alerting SCL Biz to this great support network for Sonoma and Marin Moms in business. With a free registration you can join this local ‘chapter’ of CafeMoms – a social networking site with over one million members for working mothers.

“Are you in Sonoma or Marin County and want to connect with other mothers in business for networking, business referrals, share ideas, or discuss local issues? Join us as we learn and grow our businesses together! Whether you are a brick and mortar store owner, an e-commerce pro, a party plan Mom or creative entrepreneur, let us know who you are and how we can help you!”

Sonoma Marin Moms in Business and visit the SCL Biz Guide to Women in Business

How Many Centimeters in a Foot? Measurement Conversion

With increasing globalization in product production and sales SCL Biz seems to be seeing more measurements in metric, clothing and shoes in European sizing, temperatures reported in centigrade, or maybe you are just trying to figure out how much data the 400GB hard drive on your new laptop will store.

There are many online measurement conversion sites, but ConvertWorld.com offers an extensive list of converters and it is easy to use. In addition to standard measurements, such as area, length, volume, weight, temperature, time, and currency, you’ll find the more esoteric: bandwidth, dynamic viscosity, electrical resistance, magnetic flux, radioactivity, and shoe size to name only a few.

If you sell products online or in a catalog, you might consider including metric measurements to make ordering easier for your overseas customers.

Bankable Business Plans

Bankable Business Plans by Rogoff Bankable Business Plans, by Edward G. Rogoff [Rowhouse, 2007] will help you to:

  • Understand what a bankable business plan is and how it can help you start a successful enterprise
  • Define your company and identify its initial needs
  • Choose a strategy that will distinguish you company form others
  • Analyze the market to determine who will want your product or service
  • Develop a strong marketing campaign
  • Build a dynamic sales effort
  • Target your funding sources
  • Create a time line
  • Present yourself in the best light!
Business Plans That Work by Janisch Business Plans That Work For Your Small Business, by Troy Janisch, John L. Duoba, Joel Handelsman, Alice H. Magos, and Catherine Gordon [Toolkit Media Group, 2008]. “The essential elements of a professional business plan have been updated in accordance with new laws and regulations in this revised guide that translates complicated marketing and financial concepts into down-to-earth, practical advice. Five updated sample business plans are included with instructions that provide a wealth of detailed information about the operation of a successful small business. Plans are presented for simple one-person operations, as well as for corporations with many employees. Aspiring business owners can learn how to create a professional plan, describe the mission and objectives, analyze the competition, target market, create sales and marketing plans, generate financial statements, and use the business plan as a management tool long after it is completed.”
Entrepreneur’s Guide to Writing Business Plans and Proposals, by Chambers The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Writing Business Plans and Proposals, by K. Dennis Chambers [Praeger Publications, 2007] “Chambers writes with the insightful clarity that he espouses and provides many practical examples of plans and letters, as well as exercises, templates, and cases. His advice provides a useful compendium and is somewhat an Elements of Style (the classic on good writing by William Strunk Jr., 4th ed., 1999) for business plan and proposal writers.” Choice Reviews 2008.
Business Plans - How to Prepare and Implement Them by Erfurt Business Plans – How to Prepare and Implement Them, by Joe Erfurt [AuthorHouse, 2008]. “On what basis do companies prepare their business plans? How do they know that they are maximizing their opportunities as well as limiting their risks with their existing or planned resource base? How can they plan revenue generation if the market mix does not have a foundation in relation to macro environmental factors? The book consists of a 10 stage marketing plan. Each stage has its own chapter that is both chronological and iterative in terms of its impact upon a company’s profit and loss (P and L) statement. The company’s P and L is that which states the revenue one can expect to generate by way of the business plans proposed by way of each marketing plan activity. Added to this is cash flow and the manner in which is corresponds directly with the P and L.”

More about business planning

Using Twitter For Business

Twitter is the latest in electronic social networking tools and John Jantsch, the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing system and Duct Tape Marketing Authorized Coach Network, has written a simple-to-understand guide to ‘Using Twitter for Business’. His Duct Tape Marketing Blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for small business and marketing and is a Harvard Business School featured marketing site. His “Hype” column can be found monthly in Entrepreneur magazine.

Using Twitter for Business

Duct Tape Marketing Blog

Online Marketing: How to Promote Your Business on the Internet – SRJC Workshop

Sorry, this workshop was canceled!

“Are you new to operating on the Internet or looking for ways to improve traffic to your website? This basic e-marketing class will teach you how to use your website as a marketing tool. Topics include:

  • how to create high impact, high response websites
  • how to increase popularity and average viewing time
  • how to work with the Internet as a whole in your marketing plan
  • how to achieve higher rankings in search engines
  • how to do online advertising with AdWords and Pay-per-Click
  • how to encourage viewers to return
  • how to determine how well your website strategy is working.”

August 16, 2008 • 10:00am – 2:00 pm
2704 Maggini Hall, SRJC

Information & Reservations

Lessons of a Lipstick Queen

Lessons of a Lipstick Queen by Poppy King Lessons of a Lipstick Queen: Finding and Developing the Great Idea That Can Change Your Life, by Poppy King [Atria Books, 2008], will inspire anyone starting a business or help you recharge if you have lost a business and you’re starting over. “This is the rise-and-fall-and-rise-again story of Poppy King, a young Australian entrepreneur who began a lipstick-only manufacturing company at age 18. It’s told in a series of more than 60 lessons (repeated at the end of each chapter), interspersed with “My Story” monologues, covering every conceivable business question from “Where do I start?” to “How do I find financial partners?” Learn about her successful cold call to a Barney’s cosmetics buyer, her commonsense approach to marketing and public relations, and her do-it-again attitude as she loses her company and starts another venture, Lipstick Queen. Don’t expect facts, figures, statistics, or even lists of resources. Do expect to get engaged, to laugh, and to be inspired by the ups and downs of Business Life 101.” Booklist, April 2008.

Visit the SCL Biz Guide to Women in Business and Guide to Managing a Business for more information.

Create PDF Files for Free

“PDF (Portable Document Format) files are an almost universally accessible way to make word processed documents, spreadsheets, graphics, html, PowerPoint, or other types of file available to anyone on almost any computer, with the free Adobe Reader application. Adobe Acrobat, an expensive application, is the usual way to create PDF files, but now you can try a free online program, PrimoOnline. It works with hundreds of file types – just enter your email address, upload the file, and a PDF will be emailed to you. Only limit seems to be 5MB/file. You can also download a free version to install on your computer.”

PrimoOnline – Free Online PDF Creator

Magical Marketing

Presented at a breakfast meeting of Connections — Business Women Networking in Sonoma and Marin Counties: “Keynote speaker Julia Stege, owner of www.graphicgirlz.com and www.lifeismagic.com, will present “Attract Your Perfect Customers with Magical Marketing.” Would you like to become a magical magnet for attracting your perfect customers and business partners? Does a thrifty self-marketing plan sound good to you? Do you desire to attract business easily and effortlessly while pursuing your dreams? Julia will share a simple 4-Part Strategic Attraction Plan that can help you to identify and attract your perfect customers.”

August 15, 2008 • 7:45am – 9:30a.m
Flamingo Hotel, 2777 4th Street, Santa Rosa

Information and reservations

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