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March 22, 2009

New hottest business trends

Entrepreneurs might wish to build a new business to capitalize on these trends, or figure out ways to incorporate one or more of them into an established business. In either case, knowledge of business trends can help successful business owners continue to do what they’ve always done: evaluate and adapt.

1. Health and Wellness: quality of life trend shows no sign of slow down since it's early infancy during the 80's fitness movement. This trend is the convergence of rising health care costs in all developed countries, the aging of the baby boomer, the desire to keep our youth, and growing life expectancy.

2. Youth Market:
A quick, trend-spotting technique is to take a stroll to your local magazine rack.Computer & business magazines, Muscle Magazine and Muscle & Fitness as the teenage bodybuilding markets have grown, so has the advertising. Opportunities: Serving the teen auto aftermarket with customization should be hot. Youth sport supplements should continue growing but with fierce competition. Look for avenues in fitness mixed with extreme attitudes.

3. Green Power: The environment trend has been around and been a struggle for many companies, such as automakers with electric cars trying to capitalize on the green awareness.

4. Outsourcing
Most people are already familiar with the concept of business process outsourcing (BPO), such as the outsourcing of large company call centers overseas. As the outsourcing trend continues to grow, some companies are beginning to utilize the foreign workforce in higher-skilled trades though knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), according to an article in famous Time magazine published a couple of weeks ago.

5. Exporting
The dollar has weakened after a record trade deficit of $847 billion in 2007, according to the CIA World Factbook.As foreign economies capitalize on the lowered costs of U.S. exports, demand for American goods will likely be compounded by the rise of middle- and upper-classes in emergent economies, such as China and Russia.

6. Senior living
The first wave of baby boomers will begin to hit retirement age in 2011, opening a new generational chapter with tremendous impact on Canadians and global economies.
Baby boomers with “empty nests” are already making a significant dent in the housing market by moving into smaller residences, such as one-story homes or condominiums in Florida, Arizona. A significant portion of baby boomers are also inclined to move into seasonal or vacation properties as their primary residence upon retirement.

7. Global tourism
As a result of increased global awareness, travel to foreign countries has become a mainstream phenomenon. Although the cost of living in Canada has risen significantly with high fuel prices and a weakened dollar, Canadians are still taking vacations—on a budget. some travel has shifted to less expensive countries, such as Portugal, East Europe, Latinamerica where the dollar goes further.

8. Internet-related business
Purely web-based businesses have an unusual potential for profit by cutting back on traditional expenditures such as such as storefront leases, maintenance and round-the-clock staffing. Business owners who sell goods can avoid the costs of hosting their own website by posting items on known internet platforms such as eBay and Amazon, which garner hundreds of millions visits each month. For traditional business owners, selling products on the Internet can also provide a supplementary stream of income.

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Biblical Values in Business

Biblical Values in Business – How important is Integrity?

There are things we should not have to discuss, but today many things have to be said anyway. Character, honesty, integrity, and honor are words of the past and can no longer be taken for granted. Through technological and industrial ambition, Canadians has changed dramatically over the last hundred years. Once a country where most industry leaders were bent on greatness, today we find them lacking in character and integrity. Early last century, industry and business leaders would find a need, find a way to fill that need, and eventually capitalize on that need. Industry leaders of the past could not imagine the embarrassment of getting caught cheating even one customer.
There was a code of honor and character in business. Though not all of them were honest, the majority of them could be depended on for their fairness. Even though they competed fiercely for profits and market share, they created a system of fairness. Today that trait has all but diminished and has been replaced with greed and flawed systems. With the Enron’s of the world and others padding their books for Executive benefit, there exists a cycle of deceit and horrid corruption for the sake of competition and shareholder satisfaction. The corruption and competition happens internally and externally in almost every business in the world. Where the far majority of business owners acted honorable in years past, today the majority of business owners are deficient in character.

Biblical Values in Business – The biblical Distinction
Do you have biblical values in business that reflect to the outsider? One of the saddest facts today is that one often cannot tell a believer-run business from a business ran by an unbeliever. It seems that the Canadian bible-based business person compartmentalizes his faith, family, and business. Shouldn’t our faith resonate through all aspects of our lives?What areas do you make concessions in your life? Are they concessions of your integrity, your character, or do you even pay attention any more? The reality is that today most congregations are being watched closer than ever before because of our wanting believers brothers. As believers business men and women, we must stand firm in our faith and family more then ever. Not just because our Lord commands it, but because the world is watching, including our children. What kind of generation are we going to leave behind when everyone sees the believer business owner taking as many shortcuts as our non-believing competitor?

Biblical Values in Business – Consider Your Business
Have you established biblical values in business? Has your faith directly affected the way you do business? The truth is that most business owners who claim to be believers are probably not, however they make the world believe they are by wearing the title of "Christian". You and I need to allow the world to see a difference between those who say they are and those who live as they are as we don't want spiritual or personal embarrasment as believers, bible based believers, orthodox, conservatives, mennonites, buddas , bagel jew, cristians or whatever we call our faith.

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Kosher with one fridge

Kosher with one fridge

Even though I live in house with one and a half kitchen, this economy has me re-think and plan for many things including my own vegetables garden or growing my own veggies. I have always love and enjoy Space Planning & Design and now that Passover -- a People from Israel's holiday-- is around the corner, As sephardic jew a couple of things are done in a different ways but of course I'm in the kitchen! Below is my two general cents on the topic.

The Kosher Kitchen

A kosher home is an important element in the foundation of Jewish life. Whether you are embarking on the exciting step of setting up a newly kosher kitchen or have been keeping kosher for years, the following step-by-step guide will prove most helpful.The decision to make one’s home kosher is indeed a big one, but it need not be overwhelming. Help is available at all stages. Before long, “keeping kosher” will be second nature to you, an integral part of your life as a homemaker and as a Jew.

Becoming Kosher: Any kitchen can be made kosher. Whether your kitchen is up-to-the minute in fashionable design or a relic of the 1920’s, whether you have a spacious “great room” or a tiny galley kitchen, you can readily adapt it to kosher practices.Read the following guide and the preceding pages carefully. Then contact a qualified person to answer any questions you may have and help you take the next steps. The Chabad representative in your area will be happy to assist you in transforming your kitchen, as will most Orthodox Rabbis. Often it is the Rabbi’s wife or a knowledgeable woman with the practical, hands-on experience of keeping kosher who will provide the most help.How to Begin: Even before your kitchen is made kosher, begin preparing for the change. Buy only foods which are certified kosher. Begin to keep meat and dairy separate. Many people use disposable utensils just before going kosher. Remove all questionable foods. Before making the kitchen kosher, discard all foods prepared in the pre-kosher kitchen.Inventory of Kitchen Items: One of the first things that the person who is helping you to become kosher will do is divide all the items in your kitchen into two categories: those which can no longer be used in a kosher kitchen, and those which can be used after undergoing the various procedures of koshering (making kosher). Some new purchases will undoubtedly be necessary. New items may include dishes, some additional pots, plastic drain boards, and basins for the sink.Many dishes and utensils require immersion in a Mikvah before being used. Decide which cabinets you will use for the newly separated meat and dairy dishes. Labeling these storage areas is a good idea.Koshering Utensils: Many of the utensils in your kitchen will continue to be used after undergoing a process called koshering. There are several methods of koshering, including heating the item with a blowtorch or immersing in boiling water. The method used depends upon the type of utensil and how it has been used. After deciding with your Rabbi which utensils will be koshered, an appointment should be made for him to come and kasher your kitchen.To prepare for the procedure, clean all parts of the kitchen well. Counters, tables, ovens, stoves and refrigerator should be perfectly clean. Scrub utensils and set them aside. Twenty-four hours prior to koshering, the stove, oven and broilers should not be turned on, and hot water should not be poured into the sink.


While a kitchen remodeled or designed for kashrut observance with two sinks, two stoves, and separate working areas is certainly a great convenience, it is by no means a necessity.“Milchigs” and “Fleishigs:” In keeping with the total separation of meat and dairy required in the kosher kitchen, separate sets of dishes, pots, silverware, serving dishes, bread trays and salt shakers are needed. These different sets should be kept in separate cabinets. Also necessary are separate sets of draining boards, draining racks, dish sponges, scouring pads, dish towels, and tablecloths. Dish soap, cleanser, and scouring pads used for dishes and pots must have a hechsher (kashrut certification).

A very practical and widespread practice in Jewish homes is to plan the different sets of meat and dairy utensils around a color scheme. A traditional example is red for fleishig (meat) and blue for milchig (dairy). Draining racks, sponges and dish towers are key elements in this color system. Choose your own color scheme and use it as a reminder for yourself and anyone else who will be working in your kitchen. (The dishes themselves need not conform to a strict color scheme, but should be readily distinguishable.)One must be especially careful to mark utensils that look similar for both meat and dairy, such as knives, ladles or wooden spoons.

Distinguish between such utensils by having a different color or design, or paint a line on the handles according to the color scheme. Plastic tape, color-coordinated sings, or paint of the same color may be used to mark other items.The separation of meat and dairy must be maintained throughout the kitchen. Consult you Rabbi as how to clean and kasher surfaces or appliances that were non-kosher.

The Sink: Separate sinks for washing dishes and preparing foods are recommended. If the two sinks are adjoining, there should be an effective separation between them so that no water or food splashes from one sink to the other.If there is only one sink, it may be used after it has been completely cleaned, but the inside of the sink should be regarded as non-kosher. No food or dishes should be put directly into non-kosher sinks. There should be separate dish pans and slightly elevated racks under the dish pans for both meat and dairy. Similarly, two sinks which were used before the kitchen was kosher should also be regarded as non-kosher, unless they are stainless steel and were koshered. If the two sinks were koshered, one should be designated for meat and one for dairy.

Tables: A table can be used at different times for meat and dairy if one uses different tablecloths or placemats. A new table or a table surface that was koshered can be used for one category and a tablecloth or placemats used for the other.

Countertops: Designate separate countertops or work areas for meat and dairy. If one area must be used for both, separate coverings must be used.

Refrigerators and Freezers: These may be used for all food types. However, separate areas should be designated for meat and dairy foods. Sometimes a shelf or the door of the refrigerator or freezer is kept for dairy. If dairy is kept on a shelf inside the refrigerator, one should cover the shelf with aluminum foil or a plastic liner to prevent leakage onto other foods. If dairy drips on the foil, the foil must be carefully removed and replaced. Similar care must be taken with meat products inside the refrigerator.One should avoid placing hot meat or hot dairy foods in the refrigerator as this may affect the other foods in the refrigerator and cause kashrut problems.

The stove top: Where heat is involved, the laws concerning the accidental mixture of meat and dairy foods become much more complex. Therefore, strict precautions are taken concerning the use of the stove and oven for meat and dairy products.The ideal set-up in the kosher kitchen is to have two separate stoves. A practical alternative is to use the full size range for meat, and a portable gas or electric range or cook top for dairy. Where one stove is used, separate burners designated for milk or meat use are preferable if this is not possible, extra care must be taken to keep the burners very clean.It is best to avoid cooking both types of food at the same time since the steam or food in one pot might splatter or escape to another, creating serious kashrut problems regarding the food and pots involved.If it becomes necessary to cook both meat and dairy foods in separate pots at the same time, utmost care should be taken that the lids are secured tightly at all times and that an upright sheet of tin or other metal separates the pots. Be careful to avoid lifting lids of both meat and dairy pots at the same time. If the lids must be lifted to check the food or add any ingredients, raise the lid only slightly off the pots, tilted away from the opposite pots. It is best to have the meat and dairy pots well separated, to keep the steam or liquid from coming in contact with each other.

The Oven and Broiler: It is best to use the oven for only one type of food: meat, pareve or dairy. If only one oven is available, the use of portable broilers or toaster-ovens for other food types is advisable. Meat and dairy foods can never be baked or broiled in one oven at the same time, even in separate bake ware.If you wish to keep the oven pareve, then meat or dairy foods cooked in that oven (at separate times) must be tightly covered all around, including the bottom. It is advisable to place a piece of foil under the pan and to change it for meat or dairy use. The pan may be opened for testing only when it is completely removed from the oven.

Dairy foods should not be baked in a meaty over, and vice versa. Pareve foods baked in a meaty oven (or broiler) should not be served on dairy dishes or eaten with dairy foods, unless the following conditions are met:*The oven, racks, and broiler are thoroughly clean. (It is helpful to put a piece of foil under the bake ware to ensure the cleanliness of the oven racks.) This might be difficult to achieve without a self-cleaning oven.*24 hours have elapsed since the oven was used for meat. For example, if meat is baked in the oven, and then you wish to bake a cake which can be served with milk, first be sure the oven and racks are clean, then wait 24 hours before baking the cake.

The same conditions apply if one wishes to bake pareve in a dairy oven. It is advisable to have separate bake ware for pareve.If the oven is clean, the waiting periods between milk and meat is not required for pareve foods baked in a meat or dairy oven.To use an oven for both meat and dairy at separate times, consult an Orthodox Rabbi.All of the above also applies to broilers which are on the bottom of the oven. Regarding the use of self-cleaning and microwave ovens, consult and Orthodox Rabbi.

Portable Electric Broilers: These must be used for either meat or dairy exclusively because they cannot be properly koshered.

Small Appliances: An electric mixer, blender or grinder to not require a separate motor in order to be used for meat and dairy. However, one must buy separate attachments if the appliance is to be used for more than one food type (meat, dairy, or pareve). Even when using separate attachments, the machine should be cleaned well on all sides after each use.Dishwashers: These should preferable be designated for the exclusive use of either meat or dairy. If you have further questions, consult and Orthodox Rabbi, as there are many factors involved.

KASHRUT QUESTIONS IN THE KITCHENIn any kosher kitchen, it is only natural for questions to arise. What happens if you stir a pot of chicken soup with a dairy spoon? How are the spoon, pot and food affected? Can you kasher a particular type of pot, and if so , how must it be done? Whether one has just begun to keep kosher or has been doing so for years, it is important to ask a sha’alah (question in halachah or Jewish Law) of a Rabbi competent in halachic matters each time a situation in kashrut or any other area of Jewish life needs clarification.Until the question is answered, set aside the utensils and/or food in question. For example, if a dairy knife was used to cut meat, remove the knife from the meat and wipe off all traces of meat from the knife, then set aside both the meat which was cut and the knife which was used. When there is a question, use only cold water. Never rinse these utensils with hot water.Consulting A Rabbi: When a question regarding a utensil or food arises, consult an Orthodox Rabbi as soon as possible.Keep in mind the circumstances and details involved in the situation. The Rabbi will tell you whether the utensils need to be koshered, and how to do it. (See Kashering Utensils above.) He will also indicate if the food is permitted. Some of the circumstances to describe to the Rabbi are:*type(s) of food involved,*type(s) of utensils, dishes or pots involved,*the manner in which food was prepared (cooking, frying, broiling, etc.), *whether the mix-up occurred in dishes or in cookware, and before or after the cooking process,*the temperature of food or utensils: whether hot, cold, or room temperature,*when the utensil was last used prior to the mix-up, and for which foods it was used,*the amount of food involved.Another type of question that can arise is when a pareve utensil comes in contact with hot meat or dairy foods, in which case it may become fleishig or milchig. In this situation, a sha’alah should be asked.With each situation that arises, a new question should be asked, for the answer to each case is determined independently. One should not draw one’s own conclusion based on an answer to a previous sha’alah.

TEVILAT KAILIM – IMMERSION OF VESSELSThe Jewish table is likened to an altar, its holiness compared to that of the Beit Hamikdash. Before dishes and utensils can be used in the kosher kitchen, they must acquire an additional measure of holiness which is conferred through the ritual immersion in a pool of naturally-gathered water, or Mikvah. A Mikvah is a specially constructed ritual pool connected to a source of pure rainwater. Vessels may also be immersed in certain natural bodies of water such as the ocean. The procedure is known as toiveling (derived from the Hebrew tovel, to immerse).Immersion in a mikvah is required only for utensils that were manufactured or ever owned by a non-Jew. Even those that were previously used without having been immersed still require immersion, after thorough cleaning, and koshering if necessary.
Preparation for immersion consists of the removal of any substance that would intervene between the water of the Mikvah and the surface of the utensil, such as dirt, rust, stickers, glue from labels, and price markings. Steel wool and/or acetone (nail polish remover) are sometimes needed to remove all traces of surface markings.

Types of Vessels Requiring Immersion: A vessel made of metal or glass with which one eats, drinks, cooks, roasts, fries, or heats up water for drinking, requires immersion with a blessing.
Examples of vessels requiring immersion with a blessing include: Correll dishes, silverware, pots and pans, glazed china, kettle, and those parts of a mixer or blender which come into direct contact with food.When immersing several items at the same time, only one blessing is said. If one is unsure as to whether or not an item requires immersion with a blessing, it should preferable be toiveled together with utensils requiring a blessing is: BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NOI ELO-HAI-NU ME-LECH HA’O-LAM A-SHER KID-SHA-NU B’-MITZ-VO-TAV V’TZI-VA-NU AL TE-VI-LAT KE-LI (KAI-LIM).
Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the immersion of a vessel (vessels).Items Made of Two or More Materials: When a utensil is made of two different materials, only one of which requires immersion, immersion is usually required. (Examples include glazed earthenware, pans with a non-stick coating, wooden-handled utensils and Thermos containers.) However, the blessing is not always said. Consult an Orthodox Rabbi for information about immersing any of these types of utensils.Utensils Made From Plastic: As regards to plastic items, the need for immersion varies according to the type of plastic. Therefore, it is preferable to immerse plastic items without a blessing.Utensils that do not require tevilah are: (1) those made of wood, paper, bone, or unglazed earthenware; or (2) disposable utensils such as plastic cups or plates which are not fit for long-term use and which one normally discards after using.Immersion of vessels may be done by a man or a woman and during the day or night, but may not be done on Shabbat or Yom Tov.


A new dimension is added to kashrut observance during Pesach, when we may not eat, derive any benefit from, or possess any chametz, leavened food. Only kosher for Pesach foods may be eaten for the eight days of the holiday.The kitchen is extensively prepared before the holiday to conform with the Pesach laws. All leavened foods are removed from our possession, and all dishes and utensils used for chametz are stored away. Special Pesach dishes, cutlery, and cookware are used exclusively during the holiday and then stored separately until the following Pesach. The laws of Pesach are complex, requiring further study, and the guidance of an Orthodox Rabbi.

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March 11, 2009

Tiny Computing Startups

One of my favorite pastimes is scouring the Web to discover not only awesome start-ups, but also awesome start-up (and small business) resources. Here’s a few 6 if you have internet connection 24/7 and are interested in a computer , internet based business.

These six simple businesses that you can start today. The requirements: a computer and Internet connection.

Newsletter Writer: There’s never been a better time to get into the business of newsletter writing.

Professional Book Reviewer: If you love to read and have a knack for writing great book reviews, this just might be the business for you. Choose a niche (i.e. sci-fi, relationship’s, romance, etc.) or cater to a certain market (i.e. new authors).

Talent Scout: Spend a lot of your time social networking and hanging out in online communities?Pick a growing niche – and keep in mind that it doesn’t have to relate to sports or entertainment, the most populars.

Online Garage Sale Specialist: Okay. So you know how to use eBay, Craig’s List and Google Base to sell stuff you don’t want any more –

International Expansion Expert: Despite the economy, there are a lot of businesses looking to expand internationally – particularly those operating online. If you have experience in this area, start marketing your services.

Virtual Assistant: Consider marketing to general contracting and construction firms. Knowledgeable in accounting? Offer virtual bookkeeping service.

Touche, life begins with a 24/7 internet connection these days. As the saying goes, the internet changes everything and small guys can now play it big, however, most people are unaware of the extent of change it has brought. I can remember the surprise I felt the day I learnt Nokia, the popular phone maker consists of just 7 people. That particular year, they sold billions of dollars worth of handsets but made a profit of only 40million dollars; they were clearly not in for the profit, but rather the value of the brand, they know how and why they should dominate the world, using the same tools available to you and me today.

I also read about how the holding company of western union money transfer had just about 40+ employees. Now that shook me to my bones, (I kept asking myself one question day after day-how do they do that…, 7 people,nokia?) Being an undergraduate at university of Benin at that time, and knowing the fate of the typical Nigerian graduate, my only hope of satisfactory achievement in life was entrepreneurship. Not just entrepreneurship as the average man or woman might know it, but entrepreneurship in the way Nokia (and other idea savvy industry leaders) know it. That is what I often refer to as the “Nokia way”.

After plenty of self study and research, I began to recognize a pattern in the activities of these small but mighty companies. They all did what could be easily replicated by any body and easily transferred to any other industry or size of business, whether it’s a single website or a multi-national oil company.More than ever before, It has become extremely important for everyone to be able to achieve optimum impact with the minimal resources at our disposal. (If you’re born and bred in Nigeria, you’ll agree with me on this).It would interest you to know some of the phenomenal capabilities that exist in our world today and the opportunities created daily, especially for wealth and overall personal success. Most of us are already familiar with some of these opportunities (and even the technologies that make them possible, especially the internet) but to benefit from them, we all could use a little paradigm shift which of course is always pre-requisite to any major progress, yours and mine. Doesn’t it annoys me when I discuss the subject of e-business or internet business and people just only want to refer to selling egold, affiliate marketing, blogging, online Forex trading, e-books or some meager application of these systems as if that is all there is to it. Why make a cent when you can make a dollar at the same time? Why bring a cup to the stream when you can carry a bucket? I’d often ask them. Many of us may not have $20million to start a site like ‘2nd life’, or the financial and technical skills to configure virtual money like china’s ‘QQcent’. However with our little #20,000(twenty thousand naira) splendid opportunities abounds.In my humble opinion, the ultimate application of our present possibilities in term of global technology/human development is summed up in one word “e-minipreneuring”, which is a hybrid of e-enterpreneuring and e-micropreneuring.

Becoming an e-minipreneur is the modern day equivalent of learning to swim; i.e. it’s fun, it’s the best form of exercise, it’s chic and it’ll get you ahead when others are drowning in the sea (of information in this case) .Its not rocket science and you won’t find it being taught it in schools. E-Minipreneurs seek to monetize the modern day “manna from heaven” AKA “globalization”. They get their business up and running instantly usually on a small scale, relying on everything from rock-bottom priced laptops, printers and open source software, to broadband connections and free telephony (with tech giants battling it out who can bring the free-est of the free to savvy consumers- you and me).

They also take advantage of new business to business service modelsThey combine recent concepts and strategies such as business process outsourcing, information technology outsourcing, strategic alliances, on-demand/turnkey services, co-opetition (rather than competition), internationalization, automation, mass customization (rather than mass production),flexibility, click- to- brick and mortal strategies, along side digital opportunity, globalization, e-business /internet etc; which were once exclusive to major corporations are widely and increasingly available to the average Joe. Unfortunately, Mr. & Mrs. “Average Joe” may never consider using these strategies as they slap together yet another Website or blog in the name of internet business (hoping to become the next ebay or google). No wonder recent research show that most online business owners have at least 5 websites and make an average monthly income of $57.Yes, perhaps Mr. & Mrs. average Joe didn’t have enough money to market their sites like the big names do, but what about the likes of, the giant book seller that never became profitable even with their $2million a pop super bowl adverts? They got it wrong from the start by putting old wine in new bottle. According to Jesus Christ, you will lose both the bottle and that sweet mature wine, hmmm;pity!. So for some people who are nursing the possibility of starting a Nigerian site like ebay, be sure to do it the “Nokia way”, or prepare to pick the broken pieces.

Use your imagination, add a little of your creativity and innovation to all these new possibilities, and as you do, remember the fact that they are within our reach, and then you’d have discovered the “Nokia way” as I mentioned earlier (there is really no better way!). Before your imagination begins to run too wide, you’d agree with me on the fact that there’s no limit to what can be achieved. You may not end up discovering the eleventh planet, but you will definitely make global or regional impact in just about any area of human endeavor, especially in Business.Here’s a classic example. Have you ever dreamed about offering your own wireless phone service? “Wanna” be MTN (laugh), well just incase you might not know, it can easily be done these days, just by becoming a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). This is a mobile telephone operator that does not own its own spectrum and usually does not have its own network infrastructure. Instead, MVNO's have business arrangements with traditional mobile operators to buy minutes of use (MOU) for sale to their own customers Many of us are familiar with simple resellers of telecom services such as long distance, local exchange, and mobile network services and I read in a recent issue of success digest extra of a new arrangement by Nigerian mobile carriers to offer such large scale reseller plans. In contrast, MVNO's typically add value such as brand appeal, distribution channels, and other affinities to the resale of mobile services. What if I told you that starting today you, yes you can be your very own mobile carrier in the US? You might be tempted to doubt it because we all know the business of providing cell phone services has mostly been limited to companies with deep, fat pockets, but a start-up Sonopia Corp. now enables anyone to launch their own wireless service even without up front payments?. The Sonopia website launched in the beginning of April this year and allows organizations and individuals to create their own branded mobile phone service in just a few minutes online, a feat which took existing virtual operators such as Richard Branson's Virgin mobile (which pioneered the provision of a branded phone service on rented network space) six months to accomplish. Starting your own mobile carrier through Sonopia, you will be able to upload and send exclusive content to your subscribers. You will receive a portion of the monthly proceeds, which can range from 3% to 8% per month based on the number of subscribers. Sonopia will handle all support and billing for your wireless customers .This is a slick way to get people to sign up for mobile phone solutions. It’s kind of amazing that you can start up your own branded mobile service online in 30 minutesSonopia allows individuals to create their own calling plans and then sell them to others. Your wireless carrier is just like any other with unique calling plans and allows you to send out messages to your subscribers.Your wireless network will run on Verizon and Vodaphone infrastructure. Sonopia takes care of passing out handsets, sending out your customized monthly bills, and basic customer service. You take care of getting the customers and raking in the cash. A percentage of the monthly revenue generate from your mobile carrier goes directly to you or your organization. If you can pull in enough subscribers you could stand to make a bundle pretty easily. How is this opportunity open to non us citizens, you might ask. Well my answer to that question is a simple another question. How is the internet open to non US citizens? Remember, the internet changes everything.Perhaps we should have nairaland mobile for nairalanders living in the US, or maybe all the Yoruba people in the US can start their own service and call it ‘GBEDU wireless’(please oh I don’t mean to be tribalistic. LOL). Your guess is as good as mine; I already started my own network. I named it the emosquitonet. A percentage of my monthly revenue goes to malaria research so that each time my subscribers make a call; they are spreading a tele-mosquitonet over the one million children who die from malaria each year in Africa. I bet you want to know how you can start a small but mighty online business(what to do with your internet connection, website or blogs), which will grow fast and dominate in the entertainment, fashion, media, publishing, manufacturing, wholesale /retail and advertising industry. So you want to join the “baby global business bubble”- a rebirth of the dotcom bubble of the late 90s? –well then, be ready to go straight to ridiculous success according to Pierre Omidya, founder of ebay. Feel free to email or call me (ps:day time only) and in exchange for a bottle of GOOD wine (no beer pls. HEHE.) I’ll send you great resources where you’d find all you need to get started as an e-micropreneur, NEW WINE, NEW BOTTLE! Cheers

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Solo Entrepreneurs

I would consider a solo entrepreneur as someone who can make a business model and make it work for any number of situations and build an empire from his ideas.

My friend is a freelancer. She has all kinds of ideas with no way of building one into something that the public wants, let alone something they are willing to pay for. She can do odds and ends and make some nice cash for it, but nothing sustainable.

Entrepreneurs support families and manage health insurance and offer financial stability that freelance ‘duffers’ don’t. She is not supporting her family with her blogs, computer repairs, or computer security lock-downs, but they can buy some nice stuff with it.

but some One-person companies are earning upward of $1 million in revenue annually. How do they do it? With high-speed Internet connectivity, mobile apps, automation, and a little help from their customers?

There are situations where One can be one-person business for more than 10 years ! and then become an independent developer lifestyle ( in my field) like being part of a large organization, but continuing to work on your own creations -- just with more resources behind . "It's a lifestyle decision. Call them lifestyle business. Peopleless enterprises. Solo entrepreneurs, etc. We're seeing them everywhere -- they almost don't feel like businesses, because there's no there there -- these are people working from anywhere and in any time zone, and who are grossing from $250,000 up to $5 million or $6 million.

Workers like these are becoming increasingly common as the Internet matures, software as a service (SaaS) is more reliable, outsourcing becomes more commonplace, and customers and user communities begin to shoulder more of the work of keeping operations going.

These businesses have a number of things in common. First, all of them use the Web to leverage their limited financial and personnel resources for everything from marketing and sales to sourcing raw materials and products to customer service and support. Second, they depend on high-speed Internet connectivity and mobile applications to work from anywhere and create virtual teams and partnerships that can be either permanent or brought together on an ad hoc basis. Finally, they depend heavily on their customer bases/user communities to pitch in and help with essential operations.

What would you like to consider yourself? I found the following at (by Liz Strauss) very interesting

How to Tell a Freelancer from a Solo Entrepreneur ?

In my conversations with bloggers who work alone, I found some distinct differences in the way they approach their work, in the way they talk about it, in the way that they relate to every part of it. I’ve found that two groups seem to stand out. I call the groups freelancers and solo entrepreneurs. Here’s how to tell the two groups apart.

A freelancer is about the work. An entrepreneur is about the business.
A freelancer is a doer. A freelancer knows the tactics. An entrepreneur is a negotiator, a visionary and a thinker. An entrepreneur builds strategy and is constantly testing it.

A freelancer thinks the work is the business. An enterpreneur knows the business supports the work.
A freelancer is disinterested in “business controls and necessities” — including thinking, budgets, invoices, business plans — that gets in the way of the “real” work. An entrepreneur understands that without those “business controls and necessities,” it’s not a business. It’s a job.

A freelancer might want to grow a client base. An entrepreneur knows a business either grows or decays, and is constantly looking for ways to keep the growth managed and within reasonable risk parameters.

A freelancer lives in the now with an eye to long term client relationships that might afford some security. An entreprenuer is looking to a vision of the business, now is a reflection of what the business will be.

A freelancer often doesn’t invest in his or her own equipment, training, or help. Many freelancers don’t delegate low-level skills or tasks they don’t do well, because they think “poor,” rather than think investment. An entrepreneur knows that time is money, invests in future development and the business vision. An entrepreneur will pay for skills that he or she doesn’t have knowing that it is money well spent on quality and commitment.

A freelancer works from day to day. An entrepreneur has a business plan.

Whether you work alone or in an enterprise, you probably think like one or the other. Did you find yourself in the group that you thought you would be? What is your opinion of the other? Both groups are necessary to make a business work. Looking deeper, we also need managers to bridge the gap between these two groups.

So, develop your mantra. Focus it well as Guy says, but don’t stay on the surface of his guidance or mine. Go deep. Make sure you know where you are and what you’re going for.
If you’re out on your own, or before you go there, are you a freelancer or a solo entrepreneur?

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March 03, 2009

Self Sustaining Income on the Internet

All you need is good business idea for the Internet and you will be joining and working other businesses involved in the property, travel, holiday, tourism, marketing, advertising, dating and a myriad of other industries with a unique opportunity to advertise across a growing number of Internet sites.

Tools of the (e)TradeDepending on your site's purpose in life, you may need few or many tools in order to make your online business venture work. First, ask yourself these questions:

Are you going to design your site yourself? If so, you'll need:

experience and /or training in Web design (unless you go with the template or wizard-based tools that many all-inclusive services offer)
a good computer with plenty of RAM (128 Mb and up) and hard drive space (6 GB minimum)
web design software -- either WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) or a text editor (if you know html)
a scanner or digital camera -- for product or service photos
image editing software
illustration software to create graphics
FTP software for uploading files to your Web site
Are you going to sell products from your site? If so, you'll need:
a merchant account -- or some way to accept payments
shopping cart software -- or some other way for shoppers to enter and keep up with their orders
secure servers if you're accepting credit card payment or other personal payment information online
software (or other process) to keep track of inventory and orders
Do you have a large number of products or services that need listing on your Web site?If so, you'll need:
a database of product names, descriptions, pricing, and photos
a system for establishing product numbers
a system for inventory management
technical know-how in incorporating the database into your Web site
Does your product or service require sound, video or animations?If so, you'll need:
equipment to capture video and/or audio
software for editing your video and/or audio clips
software (and training) to create animations
a broad-band Internet connection (helpful, but not absolutely necessary)
or, a resource to whom you can farm these out Regardless of how you answered the above questions, you'll need a computer with a good Internet connection for e-mailing and maintaining your site.

original from you can continue here:

This too is good link to building a digital venture on the cheap

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A self sustaining business idea

There are endless ideas to start a home-based business or to work from home. However, for an idea to be successful, it has to meet certain objectives and requirements. Just because you love doing something is not just sufficient to build a business on it.

A lot of people think that the only way to start a home-based business is on the Internet. Of course, one can, and many are, running successful internet home-based businesses but a lot more of them are unsuccessful in their venture.

The truth however is that there are endless ways you can start a home-based business the traditional way but the key is to be systematic and practical in your approach to analyzing the potential of an idea.

Here's a small list of home-based businesses that you can start the traditional way:
Assembling ProductsBed and BreakfastBookkeeping ServiceBusiness Plan WriterCandle MakingCarpenterCleaning ServiceComputer CoachingDaycare CenterFreelance WriterGift BasketsHealthcare ConsultantInterior DecoratingPersonal ShopperPet BreedingRealtorSelf PublishingTailoringTyping ServiceWebsite DesignWedding Planner

Once you have decided on an idea, make it go through the following checklist to evaluate its potential:

a) There must be a need for your idea in the market. In other words, people must be willing to pay for your service/product.
b) The demand must be lasting. There must be need for your service throughout the year and must not be seasonal.
c) It must stand apart. This doesn't require you to do something totally out-of-the-box. However some aspect of your concept must stand out from the competition. It is therefore easy to succeed if you target a niche than a broad market.
d) Your target market shouldn't be saturated. It's simple to understand that the more the competition, the tougher it gets to succeed. Competition will be there in any business. Too little competition is also a forewarning that either there is no market for your concept or the market is dominated by few big players. What you need is some amount of competition where it's possible to stand out and make your mark.
e) You must be able to set up competitive pricing. In other words, you must be able to set a price that can compete with your competitors but at the same time should not hurt your bottom line.
f) It must match your way of life. If you are a family person and the primary reason for starting a business from home is to be able to spend more time with your family, then a real estate brokerage business, which requires you to be out most of the time, is not a sound idea.
In the same way, if you have naughty kids at home, you wouldn't want to choose business that would require frequent visits by your client to your home.
g) You must have adequate financial resources. The resources set aside for your business must last till the business becomes profitable or self-sustaining. A thorough planning is required as some business require lot of start-up capital than others.

In addition to the above, to make your home-based business journey pleasurable, you should enjoy pursuing the idea. There is no point in pursuing an idea just for monetary sake. If it does well, then the money can keep you going. But if it doesn't succeed or fails in between, there is no motivation for you to keep going and it becomes a torture to carry on with your business. However, when you love and enjoy what you do, going through difficult times becomes much easier.

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