29 Apr

How Doing Business Online Changes the Game

Guest post Provided by Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. Charge.com enables small businesses to do ecommerce credit card processing, while providing low costs and flexible options. Visit the Charge.com website for more information.

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Consider the nature of the home business, as ecommerce credit card processing is the simplest way for online merchants to interact with their customers. Our society is becoming increasingly more internet based. If you are a business owner operating from home, you are more likely to find that you will be interacting with customers online as opposed to face-to-face. While a credit card machine works well for brick and mortar enterprises, having a shopping cart for your website online is more compliant with the nature of home business and what customers will want from you.
Customers want two things: accessibility and convenience. That’s what drives the Forrester Research Inc. statistic that nation-wide online sales will increase by 62% in the next five years. With mobile devices, browsing and online shopping is more prevalent than ever. The more instant the gratification is, the more likely your customers will want to shop from your online store. Being able to do credit card online processing with things like a free shopping cart is something that few other merchant services can offer. Consider how credit card processing companies can save you money when you choose them. They should be working for you and not the other way around.

11 Feb

Organizing Your Home Office

This is a guest submission by Linda Chapin.

The main goal for organizing your home office is to keep the work flow smooth and efficient. An organized home office may help in saving hundreds of work hours and keeping the peace of mind. Setting a home office also lets you set your work schedule, the client base and a particular office style & decor. Piles of papers, entangled wires, lost scissors and pens can create a workplace of considerable stress. Even if you can keep track of all those items, still it takes a lot of your brain power, this affecting your productivity. A few simple tips can help creating an office space that is easy to maintain.

The first thing to keep in mind while setting up your home office is to keep distractions out. Alert your family members and friends that this is your office space and only you would be working there. You should not be disturbed for other home tasks during your work time. Also keep the phone out from your reach, so that you don’t have to attend unnecessary call during work hours. Whatever the business maybe, it needs a waste management system. For paper works, a waste basket and a shredder provides more space and safety of important documents. Another easy thing to do is to get an organizer for wires. With all the necessary electrical and electronic equipments in the room, it is easy that it may create a jungle of wires. To get rid of this chaos, use cable Managers, Raceways or some Electrical Ties. Keep the furniture and equipments along the wall so that the middle of the office remains clear. Positioning shelves in the right position can help save a lot of space. One of the most recommended positions is to place the shelves over the desk. This provides more space for other things as well as keeps important things handy.

These were just a few basic things to keep in mind while organizing your home office. This can save a lot of time and thus help increase your creativity and foster production.

3 Feb

Why Writing a Business Plan is Important

Article submitted by Andrew Erickson of  Business Planz
Starting a business is one of the most important investments one can make in their life. This is because should they lose their jobs, it is in business that they can earn a living. A business plan is therefore a formal statement that sets out the goals and objectives of the business. It is therefore very important for any business to flourish. This will help the business remain within the truck and carry out their initial plan. Writing business plan always helps people to think of the objectives of their businesses, this helps in deciding whether it is profitable investments.

In case one needs to take a loan from the bank or other financial institutions to boost their business, it is the business plan that these institutions will require for them to approve the loans. It may also be required when one needs to get apartment to carry out their business. It is during the initial stages of starting a business that one needs to draw business plan, this helps them identify the risks that this opportunity may present and possible solutions to such problems should they arise.

The processing of drafting ones business plan may also help them come up with new business ideas that they never thought of before. Should the business plan to merge with similar businesses for the purpose increasing its profit, its plan may become very important in determining the terms of this merger. This helps reduce the conflicts among business merging together. Retaining ones customers is one of the most important activities of any business, this is because it is the customers who buy goods and services for the continuation of the business. These customers may request to see the business plan so as to be sure that the business is a serious one. These factors may try to answer the question, why write a business plan.

1 Feb

50 Home Business Ideas

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You may want to start business at home, but lack ideas of what to do. In this article we showcase 50 Home business ideas you can explore for ideas.

1. Writing Resuming for clients
2. Designing Power Point Presentation
3. Typing
4. Graphic Design
5. Website Design
6. Logo Design
7. Voice Over
8. Online Reputation Management
9. Social Media Management
10. Data Entry
11. Ghost Writing
12. Motivation Speaking
13. Home Tutor
14. Party Rental
15. Event Planning
16. Personal Trainer
17. Cartoonist
18. Photography
19. Sell stuff on Ebay
20. Cake Decorating
21. Cup Cake Venture
22. Hot Dog Cart Ventures
23. Vending Ventures
24. Mobile Catering Ventures
25. Forex Trading
26. Mystery Shopping
27. Blogging
28. Book Editing
29. Use spare rooms in your house for Bread and Breakfast Business
30. Elder Care Ventures
31. Doggie Day Care
32. Dog Training
33. Dog Walking
34. Dog Training
35. Dog Breeding
36. Dog Grooming
37. Beekeeping. You must have a big compound to do this
38. Candle Making
39. Face Painting Ventures
40. Soap Making
41. Bounty Hunting
42. T-Shirt Printing
43. Life Coach
44. Lawn Care Ventures
45. iPhone Repair
46. Cell Phone Repair
47. iPhone App Development
48. Micro Brewery Business
49. Baby Day Care
50. Scrapbooking Ventures

None the above business ideas do not need huge investments to start. All what you need is your computer and internet connections and a little skill.

There are lot of advantages working from home. Firstly, you are not spending money on transportation any more. The cost of transportation, buying of fuel or bus fare could be saved for another use in the house.

Secondly, you are always with your family. The days of you spending hours away from your family would be gone when you work at home.

Finally, you save more time and eventually increase your productivity. The time to move one place to another will be saved to work more hours. If you spend thirty minutes to your work and 30 minutes back every day, then you can save the one hour to work more at home.

18 Sep

How Ice Cream Shops Can Incorporate Technology

Written by: Gelato Products

With the evolution of technology, nearly any business can incorporate various devices and apps in order to improve efficiency. Ice cream shops are no different as these establishments can use various technological wonders in order to create a stronger business platform. From the point-of-sale system to ice cream spoons, technology may reduce expenses providing for greater annual profits.

Digital Checkout

With the right Point-of-Sale system, you can keep customers moving at the register. Digital PoS systems are developed to swiftly accept the customer’s money whether it’s in cash or credit card. The faster you move the line, the more money the company makes per hour. If customers experience a quick transaction and spend less time waiting in line, they are less likely to become irritable and frustrated. Digital PoS systems also assist your bookkeeping efforts, with easy totals for the day that you can quickly record for future reference.

Inventory Control

Inventory control systems can come in a variety of styles. While some are still stuck in the 1900s with pencil and paper, others use Cloud-based apps that can keep track of every unit processed through the shop. This may include ice cream cups, spoons and various other supplies that are needed for the business. One of the benefits to Cloud-based apps is the ability to generate inventory reports regardless of where you are. As long as you have an Internet connection, you’re able to see exact numbers in real-time allowing you to order an accurate number of supplies even if you’re visiting family in another state. These applications are especially important to franchise owners who manage several locations across a particular state.

Proper Refrigerated Displays

The display is how many people make their choices when it comes to ice cream products. Having a well-developed cooling unit keeps treats frozen without eating into your power bill. This can be critical as the wasted materials and energy can directly impact a company’s bottom line. By using new and energy compliant cooling systems and displays, you may cut costs of ice cream shop supplies while reducing the money you spend on electricity.

By embracing the technology that is available, nearly any business could become more efficient. Try to view the transition with a holistic mind set. If you invest in upgrades now, will you be able to make your money back and see a decent return on that investment? As efficiency is linked to financial improvements, it may be worth your time to investigate how you could implement today’s innovations.

8 Sep


Written by Phin Upham

Bob Sheetz started his business in 1952 when he purchased a dairy store from his father. The store’s location was in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and Bob set out to work the store himself. He recruited his brother Steve for help in 1961, and built their brand.

Sheetz Qwik Stopper, the second store the two opened, began selling in 1963. Within five years, the brothers had expanded to a third store, and by 1972 that total had risen to fourteen stores. Sheetz also added a working gas station to his Central Pennsylvania store.

In 1983, the brothers opened their 100th store, and Bob retired soon after. He handed the reigns formally to Steve. Steve held onto the company until 1995, when he gave Bob’s son Stan the lead position and took on a position as chairman of the board. Sheetz is still a family-owned company, with at least five family members sitting on the board.

For a brief time during the 90s, Sheetz sold a popular brand of cola it made called “It!” The soda developed a huge cult following, but the company took it off the shelves for no particular reason. It then replaced all of its in-store soda taps with Pepsi products, with Coke and Diet Coke remaining the only options for cola.

Today, Sheetz manages 400 locations in six states in the Northeast. It has more than 13,000 employees, and prides itself on being company-owned and operated. The company, like In-N-Out, has no plans to franchise its operations or sell to third party interests.

Phin Upham

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.
28 Aug


This article was written by Phin Upham

Diane Greene founded VMWare in 1998 with her husband Mendel Rosenblum. The company’s first year was spent in “stealth mode,” meaning it operated as a very small company keeping only about 20 employees on its payroll. It used this time to focus on development, releasing the first VMware Workstation product in 1999.

By 2001, the company was ready to enter the server market. They supported 64-bit architecture by 2004, and after an acquisition the company went public. Its shares debuted at $29, closing the first day of trading with a high of $51.

Greene was fired from the board in a sudden move done in 2008. She was quickly replaced by Paul Maritz, who was previously an executive for Microsoft. VMWare also stated at the time, perhaps not coincidentally, that profits would be modest compared to 2007’s growth.

VMWare then began a collaboration with Cisco Systems to provide data centers to enterprise operations. It also manages an Open Source platform-as-a-service it calls Cloud Foundry.

VMWare’s core product is what is known as a “hypervisor,” or more commonly as a “virtual machine monitor.” A virtual machine allows one user to essentially tap into the computer of another user, which is useful for a variety of applications. It enables employees to work effectively from home. It helps tech support people repair customer computers remotely, in addition to a host of other applications. VMWare essentially uses the host machine to power the transmission of data over an Internet connection.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his LinkedIn page.

22 Aug

The Most Important Part of a Data Center

By Rack Alley

When our Los Angeles business gets to the point that it’s time to find an LA data center they can rely on, you’re going to have numerous things you need to look for. In many ways, no detail is too small either. If your company must have a certain aspect, keep shopping around until you find it. Now is not the time to rationalize no getting everything you need.

However, the most important thing to look for in a data center is definitely their redundancy. These days, with server hosting in Los Angeles being such big business, redundancy should go without saying. Any company worth their salt is going to have the kind you can trust. It’s as simple as that.

Yet, you still want to ask around, dig in and make sure that they have the best possible redundancy—second best means a huge risk. We’re not just talking about 99.9% uptime, we’re talking about backup plans if the electricity goes out in all of LA. Where will your information be? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask until you get answers that satisfy.


When your LA business needs a Los Angeles data center they can rely on, look no further than Rack Alley. They have all the data center services you need, including the all important customer support and redundancy, at a price you can afford. Don’t end up paying for more than what you need with this option so close by.

21 Aug

The History of Hewlett Packard

Written by Phin Upham

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard graduated Stanford University in 1935. Both came from the school of electrical engineering, and they decided to start a company after a fellowship they had with a past professor.

They decided to start their company in Packard’s garage in 1939. Their first capital investment was for a total of $538. It is said that they came up with Hewlett-Packard after having tossed a coin to determine whose name would appear first. HP formally incorporated in 1947 and debuted on the stock exchange in 1957.

HP first successfully built and marketed a precision oscillator for audio applications. They figured out how to use a small light bulb as a temperature dependent resistor, which allowed them to sell the unit for cheaper than their competitors.

Walt Disney was one of the company’s earliest customers, using the oscillator as a prime component in the Fantasound system that came to theaters when Fantasia debuted.

HP was an unfocused company in the early yuears. It worked on everything from agriculture to electronics, measuring everything from temperature to voltage. HP built a name for itself constructing extremely precision instruments, but it became known as the founder of Silicon Valley after its interest in semiconductors.

HP has positioned itself as a leader in corporate, and lately consumer computing products. It has entire product ranges including servers, printers, tablets and more. HP is a hardware and technology company more than anything else. It is also a consumer brand, modeling sleek looking home computers and tablets to the tune of $112 billion in revenue.

Phin Upham

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham.
21 Aug

Receive Packages Abroad

Written By USA2Me.com

Are you planning a trip abroad? Plan on being away for a bit longer than a normal vacation? There’s a lot to consider when you decide to take such a journey, but it’s far from impossible. One thing a lot of people in your shoes do is get a forwarding address to their mail will get sent overseas instead of collecting dust back home.

International mail forwarding makes a lot of sense when you think about it. For one thing, it’s far more affordable than most people imagine. This is especially true when you think about how much it would cost to miss out on important mail or packages. Do you run your own business, for example? If you’re the sole employee, it can be years between vacations because you’re afraid of missing out on important deliveries. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Instead, sign up for a mail forwarding plan and your work can follow you abroad wherever you go. Not only will this help you get work done while you’re away, it will help you enjoy the time on vacation even more because you won’t be stressed about what you’re forgetting.


Whether you’re on the go or travel a lot, you shouldn’t have to be without your mail. That’s why USA2Me makes it possible for you to receive your important messages no matter where you are in the world. Whether you need simple mail or full on order fulfillment services , they can help.

14 Aug

Porsche: Design Turned Manufacturing

Written by Phin Upham

Porsche was founded by the Hungarian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche. His first ventures were in the field of automotive work, usually in the form of consulting. Porsche didn’t build cars under his own name for several years.

One of Porsche’s earliest contracts was the design of a car that would be “for the people.” If this sounds familiar to you, then it will come as no surprise that Porsche had a hand in building the Volkswagen Beetle. The Beetle was one of the most successful cars of all time, with lines that continue today.

When production in Germany shifted toward wartime goods in World War II, Porsche designed several heavy tanks. Unfortunately, his designs lost out to Henschel & Son. Though they would go on to design the Tiger I and Tiger II tanks, it was Porsche’s chassis that powered the design. Porsche also had a hand in developing the Maus super tank.

Ferdinand was arrested for war crimes after the close of World War II, but never tried for those offenses. He was around to see Volkswagen fall into British hands, and the subsequent revival of the company, though he relinquished his position on the board.

At the same time, Ferdinand’s son Ferry was building a car for himself. He didn’t like the ones on the market and set out to design what would become the Porsche 356, which was the first Porsche to be sold under the brand.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham

14 Aug

Save Your Business Now

By Lyle Charles

Is your construction business floundering at the moment? Maybe you’ve had a few builds not go so well and now your reputation hurts for it. Perhaps some of your best people have left or retired. Or it might be that the build you’re currently looking at at the moment is enough to cause major heartburn. Whatever the thing we’re talking about here, the end result is important: your business needs saving.

Fortunately, there’s an easy resolution to any of these problems hurting your construction prospects. Just go with a construction consulting firm. You may not have heard of these before, but they are companies that specialize in helping construction companies just like yours get the help they need at times when they face major challenges.

Every other industry has consultants. Whether we’re talking about real estate, banking or even schools, consultants play a major role in helping keep things forward facing. So why shouldn’t the construction industry get the same?

If you’d like more from your company or just need help digging out of a hole, give some thought to hiring a consultant.


When you need a bit of extra help with your current build, look no further than Lyle Charles for support and insights where it matters. Through his firm, you can get everything from his skills as a construction claims expert to help with turnaround services, consultations on matters that may be holding you back and much more. Don’t try facing down big challenges on your own, get help from the best.

8 Aug

Virgin and Virgin Galactic

Written by Phin Upham

The history of Virgin Galactic begins with a single test flight in June of 2004. Mike Melville flew SpaceShipOne in the world’s first recorded private space flight. That September, Sir Richard Branson unveiled plans to build a commercial space craft he would use to travel off world.

Virgin Galactic has two standing contracts. The first is to build SpaceShipTwo, the second is for WhiteKnightTwo. Mojave Aerospace Ventures has the contract to build the crafts, and the state of New Mexico has a contract to supply a hangar for craft storage.

Work began earnestly in 2005, when the company announced plans to invest $250 million in what it called “the space tourism industry.” The first 100 passengers to sign up came before the close of 2005, with $31 million in deposits for passengers by 2008.

The company uses what’s called a “mothership” to help launch a smaller spacecraft. SpaceShipTwo is an unmanned vehicle with two hulls that are linked by a central wing.

Virgin was supposed to start flights by 2009, but suffered a major setback. An explosion that occurred during testing killed three technicians on the ground and caused injuries to three other workers. Commercial service has been a hard target to hit.

There have been several test flights, including glider flights and rocket tests. Most of these tests have been positive, with rockets reaching proper height and speed. Virgin also has a “memorandum of understanding” with NASA, which is like a standing agreement for cooperation between the two organizations.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.

30 Jul

Three Things You Didn’t Know About Gelato Supplies

Written by Gelato Products

Do you own a gelateria or an ice cream parlor? Then you need a reliable place to get all of your gelato supplies, from tasting spoons and to-go containers to serving cups. But unlike the products of yesterday, gelato supplies don’t have to be plain and white or harm the environment. Thought you knew everything there was to know about gelato supplies? Think again! Here are three things you probably don’t know about gelato supplies.

You don’t have to buy white supplies.  It’s time to bring color to your gelateria! Traditional ice cream shop supplies are white and plain. Some are clear. However, white and clear gelato supplies can get boring. Plus, it’s hard to distinguish your company from the competition when you offer the same type of supplies. But today it’s possible to find ice cream shop supplies in various colors, including neon hues. Instead of buying plain white or clear frozen yogurt supplies, consider going nuts with color. Purchase bright red, green, and yellow serving spoons. You can also buy colorful cups, spoons, to-go containers, and more. Colorful gelato supplies will add style and color to your store and help it stand out from the competition.

You can go green. Are you concerned about our planet? Do you run a company with green morals? Many companies today are concerned about the environment. And rightly so. The problem is that traditional paper and plastic cups are not only wasteful, but harmful to our planet. But what you might not know is that you can now find earth-friendly gelato supplies, ice cream supplies, and frozen yogurt supplies. The key is to find an online retailer that offers an eco-friendly line of supplies. Adding earth-friendly supplies to your store can not only help the environment, but also improve your reputation with your clients.

You can customize and purchase your supplies under one roof.  It’s time to get personal. In the past, it was hard to find a gelato supply retailer that also offered personalized logo printing services. For this reason, many companies had to purchase plain supplies from one retailer and then send the printing services to another. This process was time consuming and expensive. However, today’s business owners can now find gelato supply stores that offer more than just gelato supplies. It’s now possible to get your logo printed on the cups and spoons by the same company that sells the cups and spoons. Getting personalized supplies from the same company will save you time and money in the long run.
Gelato Products is an online retailer of gelato supplies for gelaterias, ice cream parlors, and frozen yogurt shops. Purchase frozen yogurt supplies for your store today.

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How to Conduct Market Research

How to Conduct Market Research

Market research gives a business an idea of what products and services in the market can give a profit. If [&hellip

Organizing Your Home Office

Organizing Your Home Office

This is a guest submission by Linda Chapin. The main goal for organizing your home office is to keep the [&hellip

Tip of the Day

Any business plan should start with the perspective of the audience. What is the purpose of the business plan?