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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Small Business Demographics

I attended a free business development meeting on 1/22/10. As I expected the information I obtained was invaluable. Particularly all of the services offered by the city of Hampton for start-up businesses (advertising, market research, etc). Since these services are offered by state agencies my state taxes pay for many of them.

The Virginia Department of Business Assistance facilitated the meeting. The attendees where made up mostly of 75% women which wasn't surprising because I read somewhere that women make up the largest entrepreneurial / small business demographic.

Virginia puts forth an effort to assist Small Women and Minority owned businesses (SWaM). SWaM offers state contract work set aside specifically for small businesses which can be a big help since the majority of start-ups fail within the first 5 years.

The old adage "you have to spend money to make money" holds true depending on the type of business you start. You may very well need a substantial amount of overhead to run your shop. Fortunately an Internet Home Based Business does not require much overhead but it does require time. That being said, I just vegged out during the Bankers presentation.

I must say I felt rather good about the fact that my business doesn't require a store front, physical inventory, etc. However, I do have fixed technology costs like software and computer equipment. My other expenses are for hosting and domain name registration which if you are familiar with these costs you know they are cheaper than a monthly cellphone bill.

I recently became a registered Notary with the state which I'll be specializing in loan closings (known as a Notary Signing Agent). This should become a very lucrative market that will allow me to offset any Internet Home Based Business expenses. I had to buy another printer, fax machine, notary stamps, notary license, background check and errors and omissions insurance. All total the notary expenses cost me $200. I made half of that back in the first week.

I'm still plugging away at but its not easy setting up a website specializing in:

  1. Web design
  2. Web development
  3. Web hosting
  4. Domain name registration
  5. Branding (Logo design, letterhead, business cards, brochures)
  6. Internet marketing
Since I'm transitioning into a content search engine optimization guru will offer these products while simultaneously being keyword optimized. So...yeah writing the content is the most time consuming part of finishing the site.

Anyway, I hope your enjoying your evening as I am. I'm going to watch a movie with my wife.

Best regards,

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