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Home-Based Business & Opportunity Magazine

February 2017

Special Selling Issue

SUPER SALES Explode Your Income in 2017! - Pg. 14

20+ HOT Start-Ups for 2017 – Pg. 22

3 STEPS to a Profitable Start-Up OUT-PERFORM Competitors on Social Media FINANCING TIPS for your Home Biz DE-STRESS in a Home Office

SIX-FIGURES Marketing Non-Lethal Safety Products


Air Force Vet Flies High With The BBQ Cleaner

“Test Your Boundaries” – Pg. 20

- Pg. 27

E-BIZ SUCCESS: Student Invents Ergonomic Product & Sells It Online


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The BBQ Cleaner™ opportunity changed my life!


The BBQ Cleaner offers a proven, tested business for cleaning barbeque grills. THE BENEFITS: • You have little to no competition. • Keep 100% of what you make. No ongoing fees! • Use a proven system that has worked worldwide since 1994. • Be your own boss. Set your own schedule. • Complete trailer with all necessary equiment is provided. • Full training and support. Complete operations manual provided. “Simply Amazing! This business took off quicker than we could have ever dreamed. After just 6 months, we had to expand to multiple units to keep up with the demand. We have built a business that we will be doing for the next 40 years!” —Josh Yale, My Grill Guy Justin, TX



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Imagine if you could get paid monthly on these services that people already use!

ills B y l onth


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Home Business January/February 2017

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$73 hone P l l e Pay C 91 as - $ Pay G $118 ctric e l E y Pa 3 $30 V - $7 Pay T rity u c e S ome Pay H $35 rnet e t In y Pa


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JUST LAUNCHED! Earn Commissions on all Credit Card and Debit Card Purchases

When People Pay Their Monthly Bills

Shane Douglas, one of the home-based business industry’s top income earners and trainers is looking to mentor the right motivated individual this year to achieve success with his premier home based business model. Visit


t’s a fact that everyone has utility and monthly bills: Electric, gas, cell phone, TV, Internet, and the list goes on. And no matter how financially

challenged or wealthy someone may be, these essential services are needed and can never be paid off; everyone will have to pay for these services for the rest of their lives out of necessity.

So when a global company is open in 24 countries worldwide and endorsed by one of the wealthiest people in the world, who features this company on his hit primetime reality TV show not once but twice, says you should find out more, would you want to hear more about it?

The way Shane has grown to be one of the top income earners and trainers in this business is by following the system the company offers all of its independent business owners (IBOs). He says that he tells people they can get the same services from the same major service providers, but get paid. Then, according to Shane, all he does is direct them to his online store, which is included in the companies start up business package.

What if this same company said they’d pay you generously for helping others get paid when they pay their monthly essential bills, would you want to know even more? Shane Douglas did, and it’s paid off in an incredible way for him. It’s been 10 years since this Idaho native living in a town of just 1,500 people

“Our system can be 100% automated for you,” he explains. “Simply direct potential customers to your online store that the company provides for you, and they can sign up for any of these services with many of the major companies that are available in their area. When they sign up on your online store, you receive a residual commission every month when they pay their bills. It’s that simple.” The key to his success, he says, is that he doesn’t complicate his business; he just goes out and shares the company’s program and his personal story. ”Before you join some other company that makes pie in the sky promises,

started his home-based business helping people achieve their financial goals and showing them how they too can get paid every time they pay their own

ask yourself one simple question. Would people I know buy this product/ service even if I wasn’t involved with this company and making money? If the

monthly bills. “I was tired of all the promises from other companies that say you can

answer is NO then you should be prepared to be in sales and the team your going to build better be prepared to be sales people. Because no matter how

become wealthy over night only to find out you have to sell and teach others how to sell products that are either overpriced or only appeal to a small percentage of the population,” says Shane.

much money they say you can make it won’t matter if you or your team of business partners can’t sell. This is where we are different, as I said before we only provide essential services that people need, want and can’t be paid off. This is an incredible

“Our company is different: We only offer services that people pay on monthly basis like gas, electricity, TV, internet, cell phones, home security and more. And I don’t sell anything; I just simply show others how to get paid every month for services they were going to use anyway and teach others to do the same.” Shane explains that recent deregulation of Energy providers around the

business model with the right services behind it,” says Shane “It might not be sexy—it’s utilities after all—but it is simple to just share the story. Everyone can relate, because everyone pays these bills, because they have to,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to have had major success with this company by taking

country has opened up a significant opportunity for more people to choose who they get their service with, people like to know they have a choice, Shane says. This, in turn, creates more opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow their

action and so has my team. We’ve expanded all over the world by sharing this simple concept with others. Shane is looking to mentor the right motivated individual this year to the same level of success that he has accomplished,

business with our company.

would you like it to be you? ■

“In this declining economy, home-based businesses are on the rise. People want to supplement their income and possibly replace their incomes while working from home. So the opportunity to get paid every single month when

To see more information about this company go to Their proven leadership, who started out just like you, are here to

someone turns on their lights, heats their home, uses their cellphone watches

answer your questions and help you get started.

TV, logs onto the Internet or arms their security system is a no-brainer,” he says.

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January/February 2017 | Home Business



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Home-Based Business & Opportunity Magazine





3 Steps to a Profitable Startup. Launch


a profitable, sustainable, and successful startup.


Small Biz Ad Marketplace.


Classified Ads. Business Startup: Develop a

roadmap to generate revenue and maintain costs.


Super Sales: Selling a product, service, or idea requires

connecting with customers.




Interview with Jeremy Renner. His Little Girl, His Work Ethic, Filming with Directors, as Well as His Milestones, Boundaries, Image and Success over the Years.


20+ Red-Hot Start-Ups. Get Up and Running in 2017.

How Your Home Office Space Affects Your Mood. Quick tips to boost your morale at home.


Book/Product Reviews. Hot items to help increase your productivity.


45 © Reuters


Super Sales. Use the Latest Selling Tactics to Explode Your Sales in 2017.


Jeremy Renner: “… it could be canvas, a piece of clay, a piece of film, or a guitar and a song… let’s challenge it, let’s stretch it.”


Why Home-Based Businesses Should “Go Global.” Expand with international markets.


Financing Your Home Business. The 5 things every company must do when seeking capital.

Business Financing: “Sell” your company to a lender, angel investor, private equity company, or IPO underwriter.


10 12

Letter from the Publisher. Letters to the Editor & Notice to Readers.



Maximize Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Get your



Apparel for New Moms.


Cleaning and Repairing Grills.


Do You Know the Muffin Man?


Parents and Children Sleep Easier.


Makeup for All Personalities.


Leader in the Shade Industry.


Improving Lives with Gemstones.

customers talking about you.


How to Outperform Your Competitors on Social Media. Utilize the wealth that social media affords.

Social Media: Recognize how users engage and interact to maximize their interests.


Post-Pregnancy Undershirts: Amanda Barker and Noelle Nieporte are co-founders of Halftee.

January/February 2017 | Home Business

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Volume 24 Issue 1, January/February 2017

The Home Business Team ®

Publisher Richard Henderson United Marketing & Research Company, Inc. Editor-in-Chief Stacy Ann Henderson Managing Editor Sherilyn Colleen Experts Editor Shannah Carol Graphic Services Kara Primm, Slice, Inc. Production Manager Jon Crossley, Ultra Graphics Digital Ad Production Angel Macias, Ultra Graphics Art Direction Richard Rabil Advertising Phone: 800-734-7042 Shayla Christine Distribution Manager Richard Trummer, Curtis Specialized Circulation Bob Kennedy, Cavendish Media Circulation Manager Dennis Porti, Curtis Michelle Ingenito, Curtis Subscriptions Publication Fulfillment Services Int. Call 888-881-5861 - M - F 8am-4pm PST. For International, call 714-226-9782. Fax: 714-226-9733 Email: Print Manager Kris Hayner, LSC Communications Karen Hutchinson, LSC Communications Reprints Betsy White, The Reprint Outsource, Mailing Lists (Click on “Mailing Lists” to order) Mailing List Manager Paula Dazi, List File Manager Travis McMillian, Lee Coats Newton Digital Media Manager Jim Pappadeas, Epsilon Digital Media E-Readers Bob Mehta, Supremus Group Rachel Unclebach, Libre Digital Internet Manager Rob Thompson, Infoswell Media SEO Tim Schmidt, Search Engine Optimization Experts Social Media Sherilyn Colleen At Your Service Portal Lisa Schneegans, Buzz 360 I T/Computer Operations Jim Easton, Customer Service Email: Phone: (800) 734-7042 Fax: 714-388-3883

Editorial Ed McLaughlin, Wyn Lydecker, Stephen Creskoff, Bob Phibbs, Jordan Shapiro, and others.

Distribution Curtis Circulation Company 730 River Road New Milford, NJ 07646 Tel: (201) 634-7400 Fax: (201) 634-7499

Home Business® Magazine Home Business Magazine (ISSN 1092-4779) is published by United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., 20664 Jutland Place, Lakeville, MN 55044. 6-issue Subscription Rates: Domestic $19. Canadian $39. Foreign $59. For Subscriptions: 714-693-1866, M–F Periodicals Postage Paid at Lakeville, Minnesota, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Home Business® Magazine, 20664 Jutland Place, Lakeville, MN 55044.



Magazine M i

Let’s Get Sales Fired Up for 2017! New Dimensions in Your Most Critical Business Activity


s a home-based entrepreneur, nothing is more important than selling and sales. That’s why we devote a cover story each year to improving your sales. Because of the relatively smaller size of most homebased businesses, you must focus harder on sales than other business owners. Though you might operate a smaller business, you still have to cover the same bases of selling and marketing. You also cannot let up on sales. Unlike other elements of your business, like bookkeeping or IT, you have to wake up each day and strategize on improving sales. Selling cannot be an activity you look at a certain day of the week. In planning out daily sales activities, start by focusing on the best time each day for sales. It’s different for each market. I rarely engage in sales activities on Monday morning! I give prospects a chance to get organized for the week, and hack through all those emails that pile up over the weekend. Tuesday through Wednesday are even keel. I find Friday morning is a great time for heavy marketing.

cannot “beSelling an activity you look at a certain day of the week.

The biggest challenge I see for home-based biz marketing is simply the wide diversity of activities you have to cover. These include publicity and PR; website promotion; direct mail/email marketing; advertising; social media; and more. No matter what your business, your website is very critical as both an online sales brochure and back-end sales office. In particular, make sure you develop custom landing pages to capture sales leads.

Over the last year, social media has—I believe—become even more important than your website in sales. Use social media to make ongoing repeat connections with your clients and build up your reputation as an expert in your business. Social media used to be all about Facebook, but now its popularity thrives in many video and photo-sharing sites: YouTube/Vimeo, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Who knows what 2017 will bring in social media! But no matter what the high-tech gizmos, the most important part of your sales activities is customized communication. It’s all about communicating a custom message one-on-one to a sales prospect; some can be done in person or via phone, but most are by email. A lesson I’ve learned is that these communications must be BRIEF. Also, ask specifically in the subject line of your emails what you want him or her to do. A major success factor is how you link these emails together, so that your latest email builds upon past emails. Email repetition is also important, and the earlier in the day you can send emails the better. Another key sales subject we could devote an entire issue to is content marketing. It will become the next dimension to selling in 2017. In a nutshell, content marketing is where you push out content to your audience which “subtly” weaves in promotion for your business. You engage your audience with content on your industry (i.e. a newsletter), over the long term, that provides them with valuable information. Content marketing builds client relationships. You then capture that client when he or she is ready to purchase. Research this important subject. Good luck in your sales in 2017.

Printed in the United States

Publisher, Home Business® Magazine 10 Home Business | January/February 2017 ®

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Make the Most of Your Stakeholder World Businesses often consider it a top goal to provide value to their shareholders, but these days it may be just as important to concentrate on producing value for “stakeholders.” And businesses have a plethora of stakeholders, such as customers, employees, suppliers and local communities, among others; the sum total of which represents a business’s stakeholder world. How companies make use of those stakeholders — enlisting their aid in achieving the company’s goals — is a significant factor in determining whether the business will be a success. Business leaders can harness the power and resources of their stakeholder world by:

The 12 Factors That Build Phenomenal Leaders When you think of leadership, you are actually thinking about influence. At its core, leadership is really about the influences on the people around you, and the ability to move them in a certain direction to obtain certain goals or objectives. When looking for leadership in your business or organization — perhaps in yourself — there are several factors that are part of all great leaders.

Utilizing all of the capacities of your workforce.

Working with suppliers who look out for you.

Serving customers who are eager to help you deliver a better product or service.

Operating in communities where the difference you are making resonates with its leaders and they support your growth.

Having partners and alliances that anticipate your needs. Paul Ratoff, President of Strategy Development Group Inc. Author of Thriving in a Stakeholder World: Purpose as the New Competitive Advantage

1. Motivation 2. Tolerance 3. Trust 4. Purpose 5. Vision 6. Attitude 7. Awareness 8. Determination 9. Faith 10. Inspiration 11. Willpower 12. Patience Success and effective leadership happen over time and not overnight.

Turn People into Your Secret Weapon The American economy that once thrived on manufacturing is in transition, and it’s evolving into a digital services economy. That means companies must adapt — or risk withering away. Services have become the key to an enterprise’s success. You just have to look at Google, Twitter, and Uber and see how they’re extending their reach, growing their business through new services. But it’s crucial for businesses to understand that a services economy is about people, and the people who are key to making success happen are the managers and employees within the business itself. Employees are the true intellectual capital Kevin Coughlin, DMD, MBA, MAGD of the company and that means businesses must Dentist, author and speaker invest in their people. Four ways businesses can “turn people into your secret weapon” are:

We appreciate your feedback and work-from-home success stories for review and consideration. Please send both via e-mail to:, or via postal mail to: HOME BUSINESS® Magazine, 20664 Jutland Place, Lakeville, MN 55044. 12

Home Business January/February 2017

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• Aligning employees to a common goal. • Creating a nurturing environment. • Harnessing employees’ intellectual horsepower. • Driving exceptional thought leadership. Dushyant Sukhija, a former executive with Cisco Systems Author of The Cisco Way: Leadership Lessons Learned from One of the World’s Greatest Technology Services Companies

Notice to Readers HOME BUSINESS® Magazine is sold as information only. The publisher, United Marketing and Research, Inc., considers its sources reliable and verifies as much data as possible, although reporting inaccuracies can occur; consequently, readers using this information do so at their own risk. The publisher has not done a background check on listed companies (which includes advertisers), nor does it know people at all the companies. The publisher cannot assume any responsibility in any manner for the actions of any of the listed companies, and the publisher cannot guarantee the outcome of any correspondence, arrangements, or subsequent transactions the reader may make with any of the listed companies. HOME BUSINESS® Magazine is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering medical, legal, financial, accounting, tax, or other professional service. If medical, legal, or other expert advice and assistance are required, the services of a competent qualified professional person should be sought. The publisher, United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., assumes no responsibility for any changes of offers, nor for any companies/advertisers that may go out of business. All correspondence regarding questions or problems on a company’s (including advertisers) program, products, or services should be directed to the company, not to the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all contents of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. It is up to the user of this publication to investigate the product or service offered, and to make sure the company is reliable and that the product or service meets the user’s requirements. United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., is not responsible for the delivery of merchandise, starter kits, supplies, or other products and services ordered from advertisers. ©1993-2017. Reg. # 4180563 and 4145799. TRADEMARKS: Home Business, Serial Number 74/713646 and Home Business Magazine, Serial Number 75-086596, issued by the United States Department of Commerce, Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks. Mark Type(s): TRADEMARKS: Conform to the minimum requirements set forth in 37 C.F.R. Sec. 2.76 (e); and formal requirements set forth in 37 C.F.R. Sec. 2.76(b) and (c). All rights reserved. No part of HOME BUSINESS® Magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transcribed, in any form or by any means, photocopying, electronic, mechanical recording or otherwise, without prior permission in writing of the publisher, United Marketing and Research Company, Inc., Lakeville, MN 55044. Articles appearing in this publication express the opinions, experience, and research of its authors and not necessarily the opinion of HOME BUSINESS® Magazine.

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Super Sales Use the Latest Selling Tactics to Explode Your Sales in 2017


By a Panel of Home Business Experts


elling a product, service, or idea requires the ability to connect with customers on a genuine level, and establish a friendly rapport built on trust. Home business owners may find it difficult to successfully communicate and close sales due to the isolation of working from home, and with a new year ahead, it is the perfect time to sharpen up your selling strategies and motivate employees to improve as well. Read on to learn how to: get employees to sell through motivation; use key tools to increase sales productivity; embrace vulnerability in selling; increase sales with clear intent; identify personality types of customers; and continue customer relationships following the closing of a sale.

Time is our most precious “resource, and there is no sweeter way to reward one of your sales team than to give them a few hours of their time back.

Getting Employees to Sell Through Motivation By Bob Phibbs If your goal is to be the go-to name in your field or industry, you need to get your employees to engage with customers and create an exceptional experience for customers so they do business with you, instead of buying from a competitor. The big question is: How do you get your employees to focus on the customer? Here are three ideas to help motivate your sales associates that don’t involve paying them based on the number of units they move. 1. Give Them Luxury. For your high-performing associates, it is great to give them a little bit of something special. Maybe it’s a box of especially good chocolates at the end of a hard week. Maybe it’s a bottle of Scandinavian water they weren’t 14

expecting. Maybe it’s a 30-minute massage. Maybe it’s just a handwritten thank you note from you, the boss, who they No matter what business you own, as a home-based entrepreneur, look up to, mailed you must work sales each day. to their house. Ultimately, it only matters that you took the time to think of respond promptly to messages, questions, and them and thank them for their amazing work requests from customers and prospects. Make a habit of being the first responder. in an impromptu fashion. 2. Give Them Time. Time is our most precious resource, and there is no sweeter way to reward one of your sales team than to give them a few hours of their time back. So for your top performer this month, give them a half or full extra day off — with pay. When they come back, they will be refreshed and ready to work. 3. Give Them Space. A home office space embodies a home and business atmosphere. When you designate physical space to an employee, you are telling that person that they have a place here. A permanent place. They matter. The ultimate goal is to help employees feel at home in your home office, while they are at work. Bob Phibbs is the CEO of The Retail Doctor, a New York consultancy. As a speaker, sales consultant and author of The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business, Bob has helped thousands of businesses since 1994. With over thirty years’ experience beginning in the trenches of retail and extending to senior management positions, his presentations are designed to provide practical information in a fun and memorable format. For more information on Bob, please visit

Time-Maximizing Techniques & Tools That Will Increase Sales Productivity By Tim Brown and Dan Streeter Position yourself to pounce on an opportunity as soon as it arises. There is a finite amount of time to any deal before your chance of closing a sale diminishes significantly. It’s therefore imperative that you

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NEW TOOL: How do you find the waves happening in your industry and connect with those that are making movements happen? One of the best ways is to use your LinkedIn network and create a private online group. Your created group can be derived from a variety of industries. The group controls who to invite and who to allow for membership. From there, you can create topics of discussion and share videos blogs, articles, podcasts, or any other information you deem relevant.

The ultimate goal is to help employees feel at home in your home office, while they are at work.

Continued on page 16

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“ I ‘Retired Early’...

Then Made $27,000 Part-time in a Business of My Own.” “$2 000 P “$27,000 Part-time i iisn’t ’ b bad d ffor a guy who h quit i hi his job. I ‘retired early’ from the insurance and securities business, now I make good money part-time with Pace, and have as much work as I care to handle.”

— A true story by a very happy Pace distributor. I’m still amazed how things have “changed since I became a Pace Distributor! Let me tell you how it all started... When the national “economy wasn’t going

The first year I did 15 roof jobs. Almost too well, I decided to double that the second get out of the business year, and had a huge I was in. I had given backlog. Most of these some thought to were big jobs like the retiring, but was really county home, the too young for that. Chevy-Buick garage, Well, it so happened bank building, city my own commercial hall. Big jobs mean big building had a money! leaky roof. Roofing “The business I used to contractors prices be in had been pretty were literally sky high! good to me, but I had Then I remembered to work both nights an article about Pace and days. With Pace, Products and how business just seems with their exclusive to fall into your lap. Seamless Spray process I don’t really do any you could actually promoting or ‘selling’... bypass high priced most of my sales come contractors. I sent for from referrals, and my their literature, saw phone is ringing all the how easy it was to sell, time. and I wound up doing “What I like to tell the roof myself using people is that Pace Pace products and offers a fine income know how. opportunity. You can “Well, word got around start working as little about how much as two hours a week, money I had saved then go full time when and that opened a your income exceeds whole new world of your regular job. opportunity. Ever since What our successful then I’ve been like a Pace distributor is cat on a hot tin roof? too modest to say is

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that he actually did over $100,000 worth of roofing business last year, in spite of living in a depressed farming area! And that’s working less than half of the year, leaving the rest of the time for his family and other interests. What makes Pace such a good business is that it costs a fortune for schools, hospitals, plants and other commercial buildings to have roofing companies repair or re-do their roofs. Pace bypasses the roofer — lets the building owner apply Pace Seamless Spray right over the old roof... and the smallest Seamless Spray order earns you over $2,000 in commissions. Pace ships the Seamless Spray equipment on Free Loan. Your customer pays only for the roofing products. His own men apply it (or if you want to make even more money, you can handle the application too). It’s as simple as that.

For FREE Information Call Toll Free

1-800-656-0040 ask for Operator 

And as an added incentive on top of the generous commissions Pace pays we’ll include a BONUS CHECK for $100 when you close your very first roof coating order.

taking orders from somebody else. You can start out earning extra income part-time (with the option of going full time anytime you wish!) ... or go right into it full tilt! Pace No Investment! offers that kind of You, too, can enjoy the flexibility. There is no waiting, either. You can same success. Best of all, you don’t need any start making money from your very first special background day. You get your or experience. Of big commissions up course, if you have selling, construction or front. Paid in advance, application experience, weekly! you’ll benefit even FREE DETAILS – more so. No Obligation! Pace is a proven Call toll-free winner. That’s why it is used by such 1-800-656-0040 well known firms Please ask for Operator  as General Motors, and we’ll rush American Airlines, you all the details. Holiday Inns, and There’s no obligation. thousands more. No salesman will call.

Be Your Own Boss! You’ll like being your own boss and running a successful business. You can set your own hours, ease off whenever you want, make your own decisions and stop

4510 West 89th St, Suite 110 Dept. HB Prairie Village, KS 66207 Visit us on the web at email

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Super Sales Continued from page 14

in my new tools arsenal. For example, when a potential client requests a one-sheet, a blog article, a company video, a cost spreadsheet, or even a sample proposal, I can send it over while they are literally standing right in front of me.


Match or exceed your customer’s sense of urgency. Say a client sends you an email first thing in the morning, then follows that up immediately with a voicemail, requesting that you send specs and pricing for a product ASAP. You wait until the end of the day to respond, however, and when you do, the customer informs you they had to turn to another vendor for the product they’re seeking because you didn’t respond as quickly as they’d hoped. You didn’t just lose this sale; you lost a measure of trust, because that customer turned to you first, to no avail. NEW TOOL: If you are of the new tool generation, you probably struggle to check your voicemail. Enter Google Voice to help you solve this problem. With this free tool, you can manage your voicemails more effectively by saving them online and save time by receiving your voicemail transcribed into an email and/ or text message. Take it one step further and you can also set up custom voicemail greetings for different callers. Always have information at your fingertips, ready to package and send to clients/ prospects.


Be sure your devices have the digital folders and files you’re apt to need in order to respond to requests quickly — including and especially your sales presentations. Sales success relies on your ability to communicate effectively with your prospects.

To consistently be the first responder, it’s vital to have resources at your quick disposal. A customer needs pricing ASAP but you’re out in the field? Be sure you have the ability to access and send the info they’re seeking remotely. NEW TOOL: I love Dropbox to share large files, but when I want to share a simple PDF marketing piece from my phone, Dropbox is not the best tool because you cannot save a document to the home screen on your phone. So the next best thing I have found is iBooks, which has become one of my most-used items

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To meet a customer’s needs from anywhere, anytime means not only having ready access to your devices — smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc., — but having the right information on them. The great thing about the “new tools” of today is that you don’t even have to have everything downloaded onto your actual device. You can access those needed folders and files via the cloud, from any of your online devices. Remember, you’re not just a salesperson, you’re a resource broker! Keep your devices loaded with general presentations and marketing materials so you’ll have them ready for quick viewing if the need arises — you never know when it may!

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Tim Brown and Dan Streeter are the co-authors of Old School with New Tools: The Extra 5% That Takes You to the Top of Your Sales Game and Keeps You There. After carrying a sales bag throughout the world, Tim has grown to become one of the most sought after business leaders in the country. Dan is an award-winning educator and workshop designer with a pretty strong sales lineage of his own. To learn more, you can listen to Tim and Dan’s Old School with New Tools Podcast located oniTunes and Stitcher. Visit id1041656638?mt=2

To consistently be the “ first responder, it’s vital to have resources at your quick disposal.

Vulnerability in Sales Is Money in the Bank By Todd Cohen When people think of sales, the words “aggressive” and “pushy” can come to mind. It’s a product of many poor experiences dealing with sales staff. “Vulnerable” isn’t a word that you would often associate with sales — and that reason alone proves its importance. Vulnerability allows your clients and customers to view the entire sales industry through a new prism.

Consider these points: 1. Vulnerability Is Tough. Letting go is hard. But by holding on to all the responsibilities, or taking any business that comes your way, you increase the chances of becoming mediocre because you can’t do it all — and you don’t have to. Being vulnerable means that you are able to say “no” to the socalled opportunities and business that are not actually quality business. 2. Vulnerability Is Nobility. People want to deal with others who know what they do and know what they don’t do. You’ll find people will want to have you as part of their virtual team. When you are engaged to do what you do well, you increase your security, your role in the sales process, and the customer experience. Vulnerability is the desire to ask someone for feedback and be prepared to hear the answer and not be defensive. Vulnerability and defensiveness are diametrically opposed. 3. Vulnerability Is a Professional Skill. It takes a high degree of professionalism and maturity to know that you contribute in a certain way and in other ways you don’t. Knowing

where that line is and when not to cross it is the hallmark of a true professional and someone people want to buy from or someone people want to work with. 4. Vulnerability Is Cool. A sale is a complex series of interactions among people who all contribute some form of intellectual capital to the sales process. And it is through these interactions that clients or prospects get what they need to say “yes.” When you accept that staying focused on your own area of expertise is valuable, you’ll be at peace with being vulnerable. Most importantly, you’ll be confident and on your game. The sales team and the client will see this and they’ll say “yes!”

A sale is a complex “series of interactions among people who all contribute some form of intellectual capital to the sales process.

Continued on page 18

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Super Sales Continued from page 17


5. Vulnerability Is Attractive.

Increasing Sales with Clear Intent By Mark A. Vickers

Showing your authentic self and communicating plainly and directly is the key component here. People want to know that you can identify with them and that you understand them. Being truly vulnerable means that you are not afraid to show yourself. Allow yourself to let go and reap the rewards that vulnerability affords.

Sales success relies on your ability to communicate effectively with your prospects. The problem is, we often get in our own way by not being intentional about the intent of a meeting.

Customers want to know “ that business owners will be

What Is the Intent or Outcome I Want from This Meeting?

there for them whenever they need information, advice, or just someone who would go to bat for them.

As you consider the objective of the next interaction with your prospect, be very tactical. Your initial thought may be that you want them to:

Todd Cohen, CSP is an accomplished and sought after speaker, sales culture expert and author of Everyone’s in Sales and Everyone’s in Sales; STOP Apologizing. Todd’s dynamic and motivational presentations are based on the foundation that regardless of career path or position, everyone is a salesperson. Since 1984, Todd has led sales teams to deliver more than $850 million in revenue for leading companies including Xerox and Thomson-Reuters. For more information or to book Todd Cohen for your next meeting please visit

Taking the time to properly prepare is the key to successful sales communications. As you begin intentionally preparing for a client interaction, ask a simple question:

Treat your customers as you would a friend.

Buy if they are a prospect or

Believe and trust you and your value

Buy more or upgrade if they are already a customer

Believe they have a problem you can help with

However, your intent must be a next step, not the final step or goal. Your intent falls into one of two categories: “Believe” or “Do”.

Believe they can achieve something

Believe their life will be better if something changes

Depending on the situation and where you are in the client relationship, you may need them to:

As you are building rapport early in the relationship with your prospect, your intent is likely to be focused on “Believe”. Your ability to move from “Believe” intents to action-oriented “Do” intents will depend on creating strong and real connections, even friendships, with your prospects.

Every sale requires a “ decision, so understanding when to ask for commitment is crucial and you must consider the style of the prospect.

Once you have a relationship with the prospect, your intent will be more “Do” or action-oriented shifting to: ■

Get a next meeting to gather more information

Get an introduction to a decision maker

Gain agreement on details to be used in a proposal

Gain commitment on a decision date

Close the sale

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you don’t ask for the sale in a meeting if the opportunity presents itself (just don’t rush it). In the


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majority of cases, your sales process requires multiple steps. At each step along the way, the more intentional you are, the faster you will move through the process. It’s time for you to enjoy stronger sales through intentional presenting. Mark A. Vickers is a Certified Professional Coach, and Certified World Class Speaking Coach. Mark helps you and your sales team improve performance through improved presentation and speaking skills. Mark’s creative and engaging programs and coaching are designed to help your team become more effective quickly. For more information about Mark and his programs, please visit:

The Color Wheel of Relationship Selling By Stu Schlackman Customers want to know that business owners will be there for them whenever they need information, advice, or just someone who would go to bat for them. Unfortunately, sales professionals don’t get a second chance at a first impression. What does it take to establish a relationship with others? The first key to effectively building relationships is to identify the personality style of your prospect. Most personality models have four styles.

This one is based on colors, as it’s easy to remember a face with a name and with a color. It’s also easier to remember the characteristics of a color than an acronym or a name. Blue (the people person), Gold (the planning person), Green (the perfection person) and Orange (the performance person). Values of Colors One of the differentiators between the four personality styles is in what they value. As a sales professional, you must adjust how you present the value of your offering based on which personality style you believe they are. Blues will not make a commitment until they know you and trust you. For the Blue personality, relationships come first. Because trust is paramount, you must never pressure the Blue. They might view this as selfish on your part. Golds value commitment and follow-through. They expect detailed information on your company and its track record. Golds value timeliness and a tight process, and believe that you say what you’re going to do and do what say. Continued on page 52


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January/February 2017 | Home Business



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Interview with On His Little Girl, His Work Ethic, Filming with Directors, as Well as His Milestones, Boundaries, Image and Success Over the Years


By Lex Martin / The Interview Feed


wo-time Oscar nominee, Jeremy Renner, co-stars with Amy Adams in the new science fiction film Arrival. Renner plays mathematician Ian Donnelly, who is assigned the task to decipher codes from a UFO that landed on Earth. Now, with a 3-year-old back home, he chooses his movies wisely. He talks about his success over the years. Question (Q): How much research did you have to do to play a scientist in Arrival? When you were in college, you seemed to be kind of destined for a more scientific career? Jeremy Renner (JR): Yeah, computer science — it’s my only connection. I loved astrology and all of these things when I was a kid. I was good at science in school. In college, I did study Pascal, DOS, and other

CCou oouurtrteesy sy of o Re Reu euter te s

Jeremy Renner computer languages, which is the Per actor Jeremy Renner, “…it could be canvas, a piece only thing even close to what this of clay, a piece of film, or a guitar and a song, whatever guy knows. This guy I play, Ian, is it was, let’s challenge it, let’s stretch it. Let’s be wrong.” a mathematician physicist, and times knowing that the artist’s plight is very we referenced this giant fifteen volatile and fragile. All of my left brain stuff hundred-page book a lot using the theorems — my business mind and science mind — aland the ideas of language through mathematlows me to find practicality with all of these ics and physics. The real challenge was to take emotions. It balanced out well with getting these sorts of ideas and get to a point where I through difficult times as an artist. could understand them so that I could get the audience to understand them. Q: So when did you know it was going to Q: Was there ever a time where you thought, “I wished I would have become a stock broker using all my rational skills as opposed to becoming an actor,” because it would have been so much easier? JR: No, never once. I used all sorts of rational skills to get me through those difficult

work, that you were going to be able to make a go of it? JR: I feel like there were a lot of indications and milestones that personally gave me confidence and recognition to continue. I gave myself eleven years to get myself to a certain place. I laid out three specific things that

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in the way of me getting to whatever the heck that was.” – Jeremy Renner

I wanted in eleven years, and I got them in the first year and a half, so now I have to calibrate a new set of goals and things to strive for. Q: You’ve played characters that maybe more conscious actors wouldn’t play. Does that matter to you? Your image? JR: No, image has nothing to do with human emotion or human condition. It has very little to do with the exterior. It’s all about the interior and the output of how we think and feel, not about how we look. Q: So when I said image, I meant the fact that some are building an image of whom they are as an actor. You seem prepared to go to certain dark places. JR: Yeah, my first job was a silly lampoon comedy. Right? A lot of people don’t know that I did comedy for a long time. That was my deal, from commercials or whatever. It became sort

of part of me understanding myself, that I am courageous enough to go to any place that is required to speak the truth and to challenge myself to challenge material. I don’t care what people think, I don’t care what people want. I went to the truth of what it was that I was supposed to do. It’s a canvas, it’s time to go paint. It’s a piece of clay, it’s time to go sculpt — whatever the heck it was. I had no fears or obstacles in the way of me getting to whatever the heck that was. I am happy to be wrong. I am happy to be right. I just want to output something and challenge the material. Like I said, it could be canvas, a piece of clay, a piece of film, or a guitar and a song — whatever it was, let’s challenge it, let’s stretch it. Let’s be wrong.

“I am happy to be wrong. I am happy to be right. I just want to output something and challenge the material.” – Jeremy Renner

Q: Would you call your favorite directors and tell them that you would want to work with them?

Courte Cou urte teessyy of of Re Reuter te s

“I had no fears or obstacles

According to actor Jeremy Renner, “… image has nothing to do with human emotion or human condition.”

JR: No, I would say the exact opposite. I’d say it’s my relationships with the people I love that determine which directors I work with — that’s how I roll. I know I’m not calling a director going, “Hey when are we doing another movie?” But 99% of the filmmakers that I’ve worked with, I would work with again in two seconds. Q: So what are your limits and your boundaries? Continued on page 56

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January/February 2017 | Home Business



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Red-Hot Start-Ups to Launch in 2017


Chimney Sweeper: Launching a chimney sweeping company is easily accomplished by searching out a mentor who already has a successful business running, and attaining an apprenticeship to learn the skills of the trade. To maximize income potential, entrepreneurs can become a chimney expert and have a dual chimney sweep/inspection business, offering both assessments to make sure the chimney is functional, and a deep cleaning at the same time.


Dog Breeder: There is no denying the high demand for dogs with online sites catered to spotting adorable pooches, and frequent social media posts shared of cute puppy videos. Though society rightfully encourages adoption from animal shelters, many people still wish to track down a particular breed. Dog breeders must nurture the puppies bred, take great care of them, and make sure each and every puppy is sold into a loving, respectable home.




Electronic Repair Specialist: Along with computer/laptop repair, electronic repair specialists offer services to fix phones, televisions, video game platforms, microwaves, alarm clocks — the list is endless. Specialists can request customers to drive to them for smaller repair requests. Many local customers will be willing to make the effort for good service. To practice the trade, a search on Craigslist can drum up older electronic equipment to work on. Event Planner: To jump-start an event planning business, aspiring business owners can study the prime locations in their city and neighboring cities to determine quality venues. By creating a spreadsheet that has detailed notes on the layout, parking availability, spaciousness, maximum number of people allotted for the venue, furniture present (chairs and tables), and the aesthetic appeal, clients will feel reassured that the venue chosen will be sufficient for their special event. Flea Market Salesperson: Many people enjoy browsing through flea markets to peruse others’ tossed away items. Entrepreneurs can stop by thrift stores early every morning to snag quality finds and sell them at a slightly higher price. Switching it up every weekend and bringing out new items attracts repeat customers. A bowl of wrapped chocolates set on the display table draws people in, as well as a warm smile and a sociable personality.


Import/Export Specialist: Watching tutorials online can self-educate entrepreneurs on becoming an import/export specialist. Once confident in their knowledge and abilities, they can offer paid meetups to train others on the fundamentals of the industry. Traveling to nearby cities and leading helpful seminars can draw in loyal clients. Following each event, specialists are encouraged to reach out to attendees to solidify connections.


Solar Energy Consultant: This job is ideal for those who prefer an active and analytical job, as solar energy consultants offer inspections of clients’ homes and advise on the solar options homeowners can utilize. A great way people become solar energy consultants is by working directly in a solar products company or taking a part-time internship prior to launching the business, to have a greater knowledge of the solar energy field.


Upholstering Specialist: Sewing enthusiasts can start an upholstering business. Online videos and books can be studied to pick up the profession. Old upholstered furniture sold online or in thrift shops offer easy training — ripping the furniture apart and practicing the proper way to sew it up. Upholstering specialists have an additional income opportunity by making referrals to furniture repair specialists or personally taking care of minor repairs.


Used Book Salesperson: Many individuals wish to own books but cannot afford brand new copies. Successful book shop owners offer consistent hours, a clean location, organized racks, and a wide variety of genres. A locked donation box placed outside can encourage people to drop off their used books to re-sell. Investing in special first-edition copies, setting up a book exchange program, and selling snacks and beverages draws customers in to browse.

10. Herb Vendor: Aspiring business owners who have a garden and a knowledge and passion for the different types of herbs can market their products to everyday cooks, chefs, and gardeners. Herbs are sold in various forms: cut and placed in packages, as live plants, and dried for immediate use. Herb salespeople can set up a website for customers to order their own specific combination of herbs to be picked up at a later date or delivered. 11. Grant Writer: Professional writing skills are required for grand writers. The prime connection between a grant seeker (often nonprofit organizations) and a funder, the job can be accomplished as an independent contractor, as a full- or part-time development officer, and on a freelance basis. Various categories grant writers can apply for range from general operating grants, restricted grants, challenge grants, project grants, startup funding, and matching grants. Continued on page 24


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20+ Red-Hot Start-Ups to Launch in 2017 Continued from page 22

12. Online Course Teacher: Many people prefer to study in the comfort of their home to avoid a commute, and these individuals specifically search for online experts in their field of interest. Entrepreneurs proficient in a specific subject can educate the Internet community by setting up a webinar or online class, and charging a fee for admission. The course can include PowerPoint presentations, infographics, “how-to� videos, and live one-on-one discussions. 13. Instagram Marketer: It is possible to transform a photo-sharing app into a profitable income tool. Brands are always looking for the next hot Instagram star to be a spokesperson for their product, or include subtle product placements in their photos and videos. A major current popular category is health and fitness, with fit models making nutritious smoothies and wearing cute workout gear. Instagram marketers can charge companies thousands of dollars per post. 14. Podcaster: Becoming a podcaster is an ideal home business venture for opinionated people, as they are paid to speak at length about topics they most enjoy. Every podcaster starts off with few followers (unless they are a well-known figure) and persistence is key for success. Podcasters can charge $50-$300 or more per 30-second advertisement on their show, which adds up if there are even three ads per podcast. 15. Amazon Reseller: Sifting through old boxes stacked in a garage can lead to valuable discoveries. Hordes of people online are always searching for vintage items and the odd knickknack to display in their home. Garage sales are a source for locating sellable items. Researching the original value and offering a legitimate price for a used item, and including thorough details about the product, will set up Amazon resellers for success. 16. Landing Page Specialist: Writers with a skill for website design can target a specific niche market: designing landing pages for individuals, small businesses, or large companies. Landing page specialists can study search engine optimization tips to make it optimized and keyword friendly. This job has the potential for generating hundreds to thousands of dollars of revenue, depending on how complex the landing pages are. 17. Online Dating Consultant: Though online dating sites presumably ease the stresses of the dating game, many still have difficulties making strong conversation or presenting themselves successfully to lock down a date. Sociable entrepreneurs can get paid to match users together and coach individuals specifically on online dating etiquette. People with social anxiety will be happy to hire a consultant to lead them into a happy relationship.


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18. Website Copywriter: People with strong reading comprehension and writing skills, and an ability to put together information into readable content can become copywriters for websites. A way to gain clients and credibility is to build up a writing portfolio, and unpaid work for companies of authority is a good place to start. This position can offer a great supplemental income, and has the potential of becoming a full-time job over time. 19. Meditation/Yoga Instructor: Health-conscious people can turn their passion into profit, and teach others how to live a fulfilled and balanced life through the practices of yoga and meditation. Participating in a class with expert yogis will help develop skills, and there are specialized training courses available to gain certifications. 20. Customer Service Contractor: Computer-savvy individuals with customer service experience have the opportunity to work from home and assist companies with their clerical and customer service tasks. Having knowledge of QuickBooks, Excel, Word, and Outlook will help entrepreneurs get hired. The site Upwork offers many freelancing gigs for customer service contractors, and setting up a personal website is a solid way to get noticed by businesses. 21. Pet Groomer: Pet lovers with a passion for animal care can become freelance pet groomers. To become a credible pet groomer, a license may be necessary, general training is required, and he or she must invest in products. A pet groomer can make solid income on a part-time basis, and depending on the demand and ability to commute, can reach many customers and grow their business into a larger income. 22. Antique Refurbisher: There will always be a demand for antique products, and many people need their valuables fixed up after years of wear and tear. Thrift shops sometimes sell antiques for lower than their worth, and entrepreneurs can purchase them to sharpen up their refurbishing skills. The job will require a workshop, the proper treatments and tools, and a love for rare treasures. Start 2017 off with a bang and launch one of these freelancing gigs or home-based businesses, and become your own boss. Turn passions into profit, and find a career best suited for your personality and goals. For additional information on starting a home-based business, visit and http://

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Apparel for New Moms Two Passionate Entrepreneurs Launch Solution to Finding Quality PostPregnancy Undershirts with Halftee By Carly Hannon


lthough maintaining a successful business often results in lost hours of family time, two passionate moms of 11 children (when combining their two families) and entrepreneurs have taken a different approach to making their work and home life balance out harmoniously while continuing to grow their business. In 2010, Amanda Barker created the Halftee as a result of her post-pregnancy experience. Barker realized that there were not many options available for comfortable, hassle-free undershirts made for layering outfits. She came up with the idea of Halftee, an under tee designed to specifically show off the neckline and sleeves of a layered style without bundled fabric. Today, customers can get the unrivaled quality of Halftee to wear underneath tops, tunics, dresses and more. Self-motivated, driven and successful entrepreneurs, Barker and co-owner Noelle Nieporte have a strong sense of family, which has acted as the ultimate guide to their lives.


One of Barker and Nieporte’s main objectives for their brand is to help women feel comfortably confident, both in their skin and in their clothing. Over the past few years, Barker and Nieporte have learned to carefully manage their business and family time. Their synergetic relationship has been built off of the different talents and skills each brings to Halftee, which has helped to make the company a success. “In supporting each other, we chose a path that creates more opportunity than sacrifices for our family, and also for the millions of women who have discovered Halftee,” says Barker. Barker and Nieporte’s partnership clicked a year and a half after the start of Halftee. A customer at the time, Nieporte loved the product, and soon after meeting Barker, discussed what they could do together to make the Halftee brand even better. As fate would have it, Barker needed another set of hands to grow Halftee to become the 9th fastest-growing company in Utah two years in a row. The duo took Halftee

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Amanda Barker and Noelle Nieporte are the co-founders of Halftee.

worldwide, landing features on Evine, HSN, The Shopping Channel in Canada, QVCGermany and QVCItaly. The smart, sleek design of Halftee with its modest neckline and chic shape eliminates excess heat and tiresome tugging and pulling. The company offers a wide range of sleeve lengths, materials and stunning colors to fit the right outfit, mood and layering needs. Visit

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Cleaning and Repairing Grills United States Air Force Veteran Becomes Technician of The BBQ Cleaner By Sherilyn Colleen


hen you ask Josh Yale, Owner of My Grill Guy in Southlake, Texas, authorized Technician of The BBQ Cleaner, what his typical day is like, he stops and smiles as the answer still surprises him. After all, he’s of the rare breed of people who can’t wait for Monday morning to arrive every week. “The typical day consists of 3-4 different cleanings for my clients.” Yale says. “We hadn’t even opened yet and from running one advertisement, we were booked up for over a month.” Yale had spent 10 years in the United States Air Force previously. With his military career coming to a close, he knew he would have to do something else to provide for his growing family. While on deployment in the Middle East, he combed through a magazine and the opportunity hit him. When Yale returned, he contacted The BBQ Cleaner and began going through their candidacy process. “I was very impressed with their

business model,” Yale remembers. “The ability to keep 100% of what we make and pay no ongoing fees was very appealing to my wife and me.” The entrepreneurial duo were able to use The BBQ Cleaner’s cleaning system, which has been used around the world successfully since 1994. The company walked the couple through each step of the business, including how to market their business and do record keeping.

Josh Yale is the owner of My Grill Guy in Southlake, Texas.

One of Yale’s many customers, Michael Rippard, has been thrilled with the service Yale provides. “My Grill Guy did such a great job that we weren’t even sure if it was actually our grill when he completed the job,” Rippard says. Jeff Krentzman, Owner of The BBQ Cleaner, spoke about Yale’s quick progress. “Josh is the perfect example of following our proven blueprint that we give all of our operators,” Kretzman says. “There is a very strong correlation

of success with Josh and our other authorized technicians who follow our business model.” It took Yale less than one year to need to expand to keep up with his rapidly growing base. “With the amount of success we’ve seen in the first two years alone, I’m confident I’m going to be doing this until I retire.” Yale adds. The BBQ Cleaner has qualified over 150 authorized owner-operators across the United States. Visit

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3 Steps to a

Profitable Startup Launch a Profitable, Sustainable, and Successful Startup By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker


hy do some startups succeed, while others wind up in a death spiral? A quick summary here of the gutsy steps BloomThat executives took to save their business provides a backdrop and introduction to the three critical steps you should take to launch a profitable, sustainable, and successful startup.

BLOOMTHAT’S WAKE-UP CALL After graduating from Y Combinator’s incubator program and raising over $7 million in venture capital, BloomThat followed a business strategy that was fairly common for Y Combinator graduates: Grow like mad at all costs. Fortunately, the CEO and co-founder, David Bladow, got a wake-up call when he and his management team reviewed the company’s financials in the summer of 2015. They suddenly learned that they were burning through their cash far too fast. Until that point, the team had not kept a close account of up-todate financials because they had switched accounting firms several times. Bladow’s verbal reaction revealed their predicament: “We looked up, and we were like, ‘Oh s–, we’ve got a problem.’” PIVOTS THAT SAVED THE BUSINESS The executives decided to modify their operations with drastic reductions in personnel, a price increase that the market was fortunately able to sustain, and an overhaul of their entire flower delivery system. With these

changes, the company’s revenues more than doubled, and their gross margins moved from negative numBusinesses need to develop a roadmap that includes bers to as high as 30 to 40 steps to generate revenue and to maintain a percent. Bladow said, “We’ve stranglehold on costs. come through the valley of the shadow of death. I think To create a revenue model, quantify the a lot of companies aren’t going to make it following: through that.” The conundrum that BloomThat faced is quite common. They were under pressure from investors to grow as fast as possible with no care about whether they made a profit. The founders knew that operating in markets like Los Angeles and Silicon Valley and promising one-hour delivery with no delivery fee would rack up the losses. But they did it anyway. Once they realized that these practices did not make a viable business model, they started charging for delivery and raised their flower prices.

“How will you brand the business (business cards, brochures, letterhead, & signage)?” INVESTORS’ CHANGE OF FOCUS: PROFIT It’s not just founders who are beginning to see the light; investors are, too. More and more, venture capitalists want to know when and if a startup will become profitable before making an investment. That makes a lot of sense. According to CB Insight’s distillation of the top 20 reasons startups fail, the second most common reason is because the startup runs out of money.

(Simple estimates will suffice.) ■

How many customers are there?

How much product will each customer buy?

How will you price your product (share of value, cost-plus, market pricing)?

Calculate revenue by estimating monthly sales (customers x units x price)

Calculate revenue per quarter and revenue per year

To control expenses, understand how much it will cost to run your business: ■

How much will it cost to produce your product (manufacturing & distribution)?

Who will be on your management team, and how much will it cost to compensate them (equity and/or salary)?

How many employees will you need to start up, and what will it cost to compensate them (salary & medical)?

Where will you work and how much will it cost (rent per month/year, furniture costs, utilities, & supplies)?

How will you communicate with your customers and how much will it cost (computers, printers, mobile phones, internet access, website, & hosting)?

How will you brand the business (business cards, brochures, letterhead, & signage)?


Adding estimates of costs together will help you know how much funding you will need before you approach investors. 28


When you plan to make a profit from the get-go, you will need to have a roadmap that includes steps to generate revenue and to maintain a stranglehold on costs.

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Continued on page 30

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3 Steps to a Profitable Startup Continued from page 28 ■

How much will it cost to sell your product (marketing, travel, & entertainment)? How much will it cost for risk management and compliance (legal, accounting, & insurance)?

Then you can perform simple calculations to figure out how much money you’ll be losing or making. Revenue – expenses = profit. #2. UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH MONEY YOU’LL NEED TO REACH BREAKEVEN

Once you have an understanding of your revenues and expenses, you can make monthly estimates to figure out how much cash you will need to stay afloat until you can generate positive cash flow. You should also estimate any startup costs or capital expenditures you need to make in addition to your day-to-day operating costs. Adding these estimates together will help you know how much funding you will need before you approach investors or lenders or decide to use your own money to bootstrap your business. Make sure you raise enough capital that you can launch and operate until you reach breakeven. That way, you won’t have to scramble to raise more funding to stay in business when you could be out selling and making more money organically.

“When you have a clear understanding of the rhythm and flow of your revenues and expenses and their impact on your operating budget, you can hire a qualified financial officer you can trust to help you manage your business.” #3. TAKE CHARGE OF THE MONEY AND CONTROL IT

Don’t make the mistake BloomThat made of not paying attention to your money. After launch, don’t hand off your company’s financial statements until you have achieved breakeven. From day one, develop the discipline to generate and review simple financial reports and budgets on a daily and then on a weekly basis until you achieve ongoing profitability. If you know how much money is flowing in and out on a regular basis, you will know if your business model is working. Your numbers will keep you informed of the 30

How to Stand Out at Tech Startup Conferences

3. Treat Everyone as an Equal- Treating every conference attendee as an equal is an important lesson for tech conferences, and business encounters in general.

Tech startup conferences attract startups from all walks of life. Big and small, new and old, East and West Coast, VC funded, or still on the lookout for funding. If you’re anyone or anything on the tech scene, it is essential to put in the time and show up at the conference. While showing up is half the battle, it is also not enough. There are certain rules and protocols which may seem like common sense to some, but all too often are neglected by startups in all stages of the business.

4. Use Social Media- It is important to connect with a contact that you meet at a tech conference on Linkedin, and follow them on Twitter, which will ensure you remain on their radar, long after the conference is over. Some methods of using these to your benefit are taking pictures with your new contacts and tagging them, and retweeting quotes from the keynote speakers. This will often have a domino effect, which can put your social media pages in the eyes of the right people.

1. Relax and Loosen Up- Engaging your audience members, by talking with them, not at them, will leave a lasting impression. It will also help you relax. Participating in a conversation is always easier than giving a speech. Even when you are physically at the podium, use a conversational tone. 2. Don’t Drink Too Much- Tech conferences have liquor everywhere (at least the good ones do!). Drinking too much can impede you from making the proper impression, and from succeeding at these conferences. A drink here and there is alright, but getting wasted is a clear no.

“Have an understanding with

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AlexAnndra Ontra, Operations at, oversees Operations, including client services, sales and marketing. Alex applies her expertise in Presentation Management to service Shufflrr’s broad array of clients including Royal Caribbean, ADP, and Time Warner.

Have an understanding with your team from the beginning that you will keep a stranglehold on salaries and operating expenses until you meet a specified goal or timeframe.

your team from the beginning that you will keep a stranglehold on salaries and operating expenses until you meet a specified goal or DON’T HOPE FOR SUCCESS – timeframe.” health of your business. When you have a clear understanding of the rhythm and flow of your revenues and expenses and their impact on your operating budget, you can hire a qualified financial officer you can trust to help you manage your business. To put your business on the path to profitability, here are some practices to maintain as you launch and scale your startup: ■

Make a realistic budget and operate the business within it.

Have the person who does your books give you copies of your budget daily.

If you have variances from the budget, understand why.

Understand how the timing of revenues and expenses affects cash flow.

To help you stick to your budget, establish rules for yourself and your employees.

Home Business January/February 2017 ®

You would be surprised at how many individuals or companies with a great product neglect the tremendous opportunities that they have right in front of them. Keeping these notions in mind will ensure that the effort put into attending these conferences does not go to waste, and on y are maximized to their fullest the contrary potential.

PLAN FOR IT Even the best-laid plans cannot include the unforeseeable challenges ahead. But for the most part, the deal-breaking surprises — the ones that make a startup shut down before its time — can be avoided. The last people to be surprised about a startup that is headed into a death spiral should be its founders and investors. If you plan to generate a profit from the beginning, make reasonable financial projections, and stay close to the money, even the unpredictable challenges ahead are likely to be surmountable. Ed McLaughlin is the founder & CEO of Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and angel investment firm based in Darien, CT. Wyn Lydecker is the founder of Upstart Business Planning, where she works with entrepreneurs to develop plans that answer the questions investors ask most often. The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business is available on Amazon and other booksellers. Learn more at and connect via LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Do You Know the Muffin Man? How Michael Tierney Became the ‘Bread Winner’ with His Product Line By Frank Johnson


orn in Manhasset, NY, Michael Tierney, 26, didn’t grow up aspiring to become a doctor, lawyer or work on Wall Street like many of his peers. From before he can remember, Tierney always wanted to be at the helm of a three Michelin-starred restaurant. He was enamored by the world of fine dining and starting working in professional kitchens at the young age of thirteen as a stagiaire (volunteer).

Upon graduation from high school, Tierney sought a degree from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college. Prior to enrollment at the CIA, and bursting with ambition and drive, Tierney arranged a kitchen tour at the famous The French Laundry in Napa Valley, CA. After meeting Chef de Cuisine Corey Lee, Tierney landed an externship at the world-renowned restaurant, which he would complete over a six-month window between his freshmen and sophomore year. While most kids his age enjoyed the summer after their freshman year on a beach, Tierney was spending over one hundred hours a week honing his craft during his unpaid externship at the Laundry. Though grueling and difficult, the life lessons, the work ethic, and the pursuit of perfection instilled in Tierney that summer would set the stage for how he approached all ventures in his life. After his time at the Laundry, Tierney returned to New York to complete his bachelor’s degree at the CIA. Post-graduation, Tierney turned down six-figure corporate restaurant management jobs to return to fine dining, this time at Eleven Madison Park in New York, NY. Working the line at one of the best restaurants in the United States, Tierney had the incredible opportunity to be part of the team as EMP rose to gain its third Michelin star and make it to the Top 10 Restaurants in the World (according to the San Pellegrino 50 Best). Not being able to shake an entrepreneurial idea he had years earlier, Tierney hung up his


apron in 2012 and took his first stab in the world of consumer packaged goods. With no formal training in the space, Tierney developed a new confectionary manufacturing process and founded Creative Confectionary Corp in New York. While building CCC, Tierney simultaneously identified another white space in the packaged goods market when he was unable to find a high-quality tasting paleo bread product. Without fully knowing it yet, the Mikey’s brand was about to be born.

After a brief time supplying a local health food store in Long Island with a vast variety of healthy bakery options (hand-rolled gluten-free ice cones, scones, biscuits, breads, etc.), Tierney eventually developed the English muffin recipe that would transform into the flagship line for Mikey’s (originally called Mikey’s Muffins). Customers across Long Island flocked to buy his gluten-free, paleo, clean-ingredient-driven, low-calorie English muffins. Tierney knew he had something special on his hands and decided to shut down the other items he was making. As a one-man team, Tierney financed the business, developed the company’s initial products, sourced commercial co-packers to manufacture the product, and began selling the product to national retailers all within its first year. Now less than two years later, Mikey’s® is causing a major disruption in the frozen bakery section at thousands of stores across the U.S., including major retailers such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger and Walmart. At the end of 2015, Tierney secured a seven-figure investment from REI Capital and will be conducting a Series B round this fall. The capital infusion from REI is allowing Tierney to position his company for the launch of a variety

Home Business January/February 2017

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Michael Tierney is the founder of Mikey’s, a food brand that offers a variety of retail baked goods.

of new items in the back half of 2016 as well as hire Tim Siegel, CCO, the former Vice President of Sales for the West region at Boulder Brands (the owners of gluten-free competitors Udi’s and Glutino). Mikey’s® launched a Pizza Crust in July ‘16 and recently launched a line of sweet breakfast Muffin Tops and a sliced Sandwich Bread. A few additional line extensions will come in early 2017 to continue to build the brand’s portfolio. With every new item launched, the company’s mission will continue to be the same: create multi-attribute foods that taste great, have wholesome nutrition, and are made from as few ingredients as possible. Visit

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By Tessa Kohn


inding a budget for marketing can be challenging and overwhelming, especially as a small business owner with limited funds. That’s why, according to a study by Verizon and Small Business Trends, 85% of small businesses rely on their customers to spread the word for them — in other words, “word-of-mouth marketing.” Below are five ways to maximize word-of-mouth marketing to ensure that your customers are talking you up in all the right ways.

1. Identify a clear and simple value proposition.

A value proposition is a statement about your product or service that promises value to your customer in an effort to set you apart from the competition. It’s important that it’s as simple and clear as possible, so that customers will have no trouble re-stating it in their own words when they’re telling someone else about it. In order to craft your value prop, start by identifying the problem your customer has and how your product/service solves that problem. What benefits does the customer get by using your product/service instead of turning to the competition?

“ In order to craft your value prop, start by identifying the problem your customer has and how your product/ service solves that problem.

2. Encourage customer reviews.

Make sure it’s easy for customers to review your business and make sure to encourage it. Add a link to leave a review in your monthly newsletter and email communications, and consider even running promotions and contests for the reviews, such as a monthly raffle for reviewers. Keep an eye on the reviews that come in — it’s important to address any negative reviews quickly and thank positive reviewers for taking the time to leave their two cents. The reviews and your interaction with them will help build trust and loyalty for your brand. 3. Get involved in your industry.

One thing that will drive consistent

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word-of-mouth is becoming a go-to person in your industry or community on an on-going basis. Start by building your online presEncourage customers to leave a review for your business. ence. Find and follow other industry leaders on social testimonials that will help boost your image. media, connect with them, and learn from them. Think about what you 5. Identify and empower your super have to bring to the table in your industry, users to make them advocates for and start sharing your point of view in the your brand. following ways: Empower your die-hard customers to be ■ If you don’t already have a blog, start advocates for your brand. In a study by Harris one, and begin writing about your areas Poll Online, it was found that 82% of Ameriof expertise. cans seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase. Equip■ Make sure your content is new, noteworthy, and most importantly, your own ping your die-hard customers with the best tools to talk about your brand will undoubtedperspective. ly come in handy when influencing those 82% ■ Gain visibility by sharing your content as of people looking for recommendations. well as following, commenting on, and So how do you go about finding those sharing other blogs. customers and giving them the fuel for free ■ Try to produce content at least once per marketing? week. ■ Have you noticed any return customers? ■ Look for speaking opportunities at local Reach out to them for their feedback. events, even if they’re unpaid, to get your ■ Send out surveys to your customers. name out there. Becoming a thought leader of your field will help build your credentials and make you a goto person in your industry, giving your brand a platform to build on and gain visibility.

Leverage your die-hard customers for beta-testing and feedback.

Provide free samples, free trials, or early access to your die-hard customers.

4. Create and maintain engaging social communities.

Host events and open houses.

Write a newsletter for your customers. Share announcements, industry news, featured stories, etc. Capture the emails of your website visitors and send out your newsletter using a mailing service such as Gmail, Constant Contact, or MailChimp.

Start by creating a Facebook page for your business and updating it with a description, website, profile picture, banner image, and any other vital information you’d want prospective customers to know. After your page is set up, start asking people to “like” your page. Add a link to it on your website and in your email communications, and make sure to invite your existing customers to “like” it. Update your Facebook page regularly with important announcements, product information, interesting and relatable articles, and even some photos that give your community a glimpse into your company culture. You can run contests that encourage customers to post photos on your page, and encourage reviews or


Five Ways to Maximize Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing

All of the above methods of interacting with your customers and pinpointing your die-hard customers will increase the opportunities for them to spread the word for you in a positive way. Tessa Kohn is Marketing Manager at Alignable, a network for local business owners, engaged in marketing strategies, campaign management, social media, market research and customer relations. She has held marketing positions with Unii, Inc., Rosetta Stone (Lexia Learning) and PTC. Visit

January/February 2017 | Home Business



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How to Outperform Your Competitors on Social Media Utilize the Wealth That Social Media Affords By Liam Burke


ocial media is no longer a new thing. The channel is firmly cemented in everyday society and is here to stay. The innovators behind the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and many more have created platforms that have transformed both the social and business landscapes of the world, dramatically fast forwarding what we’ve come to call the digital revolution. For businesses, social media provides a wealth of powerful and influential marketing and advertising opportunities. While the offspring of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey’s ingenuity presents vast options for direct connection with consumers, all this power can mean diddly-squat if these digital channels aren’t leveraged suitably. Companies have to properly recognize the dynamic of how users engage and interact to maximize their interests. All businesses and their respective marketplaces are fiercely competitive. Staying up to date with market trends and taking calculated risks equips marketers with a cutting-edge advantage over their competitors. In the past, traditional forms of media have generally taken a longer time to adapt to social and cultural changes — social media marketing approaches and their effectiveness evolve at a much faster rate. Strategies employed five years ago are

“ By employing Facebook to filter targeted audiences, it also provides valuable insights and metrics into the success and influence of the content your business posts.

antiquated and more or less obsolete. So, in the current climate, how do you outperform your competitors by utilizing the wealth that social media affords? At Matter Solutions, in order for us to ensure the best ROI for our clients, and to effectively market


their brand and products, we actively search to idenStaying current with market trends and taking calculated tify and subsequently inrisks equips marketers with a cutting-edge advantage tegrate trends and insights over their competitors. into our social media marketing approach. Moving 2. The Element of Surprise forward, here are a few important progresPhil Bonanno, Client Partner at Facebook, sions we’ve come to learn when planning sorecently pointed out at a business conference cial media strategies. that paid advertising is most effective when The points outlined below will enable people least suspect it —a social media term your business with the tools to help propel dubbed ‘snacking’. It’s these times, where users you ahead of your competitors in the digital are switched off, that paid audience-specific market. media can have a great and wonderful effect. Advertising is disruptive. No one likes it. Sim1. Pay Facebook to Do the Grunt Work ple. Great and powerful advertising is where Facebook now offers a viable and incredibly content and brands slip through the cracks of easy extensive solution to a small marketing people’s instinctive anti-ad armour. . This is esbudget: paid advertising targeting. You can sentially the foundation of creative marketing, execute brand content via Facebook’s paid and utilizing Facebook’s powerful analytical advertising service that directly targets and tools equips your business with the approprireaches your ideal audience. It takes filtered ate weaponry to pierce said armour. considerations such as locations, demographics, interests, behaviors and even boasts cusGreat and powerful tom audience features that can go one step advertising is where further in engaging with your relevant target audience. Using other tools available with the content and brands slip service allows you to post and engage with usthrough the cracks of ers at specific times to optimize the reach and effectiveness of posts and media. In terms of people’s instinctive cost and budgeting, the paid platform guarananti-ad armour. tees audience-specific reach, of which is more likely to generate leads comparatively to more Now pair this with the strategic insights risk-related traditional approaches. Facebook media warrants, and advertising

By employing Facebook to filter targeted audiences, it also provides valuable insights and metrics into the success and influence of the content your business posts. Subsequently, you have access to valuable data that can help you strategize and examine where your approach needs to be improved. It may cost, but you can rest assured knowing that your business is getting in front of the right eyes. There are current trends which Facebook for businesses has strongly encouraged strategists to consider when executing marketing content on social media. Read on!

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your brand has never been in a better position to engage and connect with your targeted audiences. It’s now possible to effectively market to the right audience, at the right time, all in one place. Now that your brand has the spotlight, what content does it look to promote? Involve? What creative direction should it take? What should it encompass? 3. Create Content That Makes Your Ideal Audience Connect Continued on page 36

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How To Make Money With Non-Lethal Self Defense Products? For 29 years, 1000’s of people have made $5000, $10,000 a month and more by selling the 500+ much in demand, non-lethal, self-defense products provided by Safety Technology. Here are 7 WAYS you can make money with our products.

6. SELL TO BUSINESSES - Sell surveillance cameras to convenience stores; stun batons, Tasers or metal detectors to bars and nightclubs; pepper sprays or personal alarms to hospitals for their nurses, etc. All these things have been successfully done by other Authorized Dealers…plus more!

1. SELLING AT GUN SHOWS - There is no better way to sell anything, then face to face. Selling at gun shows allows you to put your products in front of people who are definitely interested in defending themselves, their families and their home.

7. SELLING ON THE INTERNET WITH YOUR OWN WEBSITE – Without a doubt, selling on the Internet is the best way to reach the largest number of customers. We can even build a money making website for you and teach you how to sell on the Internet.

2. HOME PARTY PLAN SELLING - Yes, just like Pampered Chef or Tupperware! Except you get to keep all the money. You don’t have to accept a paltry commission from the mother company…you are the company. All the profit is yours!

There are many other ways to sell these self-defense and surveillance products. How would you sell them?

3. SELL AT FLEA MARKETS AND SWAP MEETS - Another great way to get the products in front of people. The advantage here is costs less and can do it at the same spot every weekend. Some flea markets even allow you to set up permanent displays. 4. SET UP ROUTE OF GUN STORES, PAWN SHOPS, NAIL SALONS, BEAUTY SALONS - We suggest starting with our pepper spray displays as a way to get your foot in the door. Great way to receive residual on a regular basis because the stores reorder. 5. AUCTION SITES, SUCH AS EBAY AND AMAZON - One way to get your products exposed to a very large number of buyers is to sell on eBay and Amazon. Not only are the auction sites good for selling products, but also lead generation.

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Authorized Dealer at Gun Show

There is no fee to do business with us. Visit our website at to discover how you can help people defend themselves, their loved ones and their homes.

10/13/15 3/29/16 12/6/16 2:45 5:43 5:04 PM


How to Outperform Your Competitors on Social Media Continued from page 34

It’s all about creatively marketing the benefits and uniqueness of your brand and its products. If you’re a business who doesn’t offer engaging, stimulating and/or captivating content, then get off my timeline — as far as users are concerned, you’re wasting precious scrolling time that can otherwise be spent indulging in compelling media. Before posting content related to your business, it’s highly important to know that in the realm of engaging content, there’s a measure of calculated risqueness that needs to be incorporated to help you stand out from your competitors. Adhering to this notion can heavily benefit and propel the perception and authority of your business. While pulling off unique content that stands out isn’t easy, more or less the reasoning behind the existence of creative agencies, it’s what gets your business noticed. If you’re lacking in budget to outsource content, here are a few simple things to consider when generating media to market your business and products that can help outperform your competitors on social media: - Offer Value: provide a timely mix of content about your business of which includes tips, sales events, behind-the-scenes production footage and photos, and look to source third-party content in the form of industry blogs and forums. This helps establish the credibility of your business. Execute weekly or monthly discounts and offers and inform users that this will be an ongoing occurrence. - Strategically Publish Photos: Avoid posting singular, stand-alone photos of your business and its products. Show them in their finest, most applicable form, by brand champions or better yet — satisfied customers. Allow these to be interactive, let people tag each other in them and be sure to make them shareable — a great way to organically drive content circulation. - Avoid Lengthy Posts: You might be very passionate about your business, or the business you represent, however, not everyone shares the same sentiment. Subsequently, be economic in how much content you decide to publish. Keep it short, compelling and snappy. - Engagement Is Key: How can you creatively stimulate users to interact and engage with your business? What are the key, unique elements of your business that would appeal to your targeted audience? Find these out. Research. Try and identify trends in competitors


advertising on there. Finding the right platform can help tailor marketing to a specific audience. The great advantage with Facebook, however, is that nearly everyone who’s on any form of social media has an active Facebook account.

Facebook’s paid advertising targeting enables brands to better engage with target audiences.

and in the marketplace as a whole. Get your audience engaged. - Connect as a Friend, Not a Business: People don’t like sales-driven social media accounts that come across as insincere and hard to connect with. If you’re hoping to garner a following or generate leads via publishing content, make sure it’s void of a sales-driven tonality. It deters users as much as some used car salespeople do. Have a personality and character that your respective audience can relate to — like a friend. - Have a Schedule & Publish Constantly: Don’t spam people’s feeds. But if you have some quality content in the barriers ready to jump, make sure it’s backed up by another. Allow for your content to flow into another, allowing for adequate breathing space in between. Consistency is an important key. 4. Things to Consider Despite Facebook being the main outlet dominating this article, the majority of other social media platforms mentioned earlier also offer impressive business/advertising packages of which include detailed metrics and analytics. Presently, however, Facebook boasts the most extensive marketing capabilities and is home to the largest audience of active users. Contrarily, platforms like LinkedIn are home to a very specific socio/professional environment. Who doesn’t love a professional stalk of a colleague, competitor or employer’s profile? A business who deals in a trade that aligns with this audience dynamic, or even the tone of the platform’s conversation would more than likely attain greater ROI through

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Instagram, Facebook’s visual subsidiary, has recently released its business profile that allows advertising media and in-depth analysis tools to gauge the success of marketed media. This platform can help market a number of businesses and genres and is already a leading avenue for celebrity/influencer-based companies. Most major social media outlets that haven’t already will begin to slowly roll out advertising packages, and ones that already are will be gunning to refine and update to provide advertisers with more ways to reach audiences. Snapchat has recently announced updates to its advertising capacities, with developments in brand and product marketing within the application, as well as highly detailed metric tools. However, the king of filters is suited to a very specific genre and audience — reiterating the importance of understanding the crowd present on different social media channels.

“ People don’t like sales-driven social media accounts that come across as insincere and hard to connect with.

Where to from Here? Moving forward, these are a few important things that will help your business outperform competitors on social media. Invest in your business wisely and understand the landscape when it comes to social media, and the benefits can be extremely lucrative and beneficial for your business, and not so for your competitors. Article brought to you by Matter Solutions (www.mattersolutions., a social media marketing and digital strategy agency based in the Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Studying a Masters in Creative Advertising at the Queensland University of Technology, Liam Burke has always possessed a keen interest in creative solutions and strategies for businesses in the digital marketing arena. Although Liam works primarily as a content and copy writer, he has a strong passion for all things digital and is always looking for innovative and effective ways to market businesses online.

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12/6/16 5:08 PM


Parents and Children Sleep Easier 22-Year-Old Student Invents Ergonomic Crib to Promote Healthy Breathing for Newborns By Alicia McCarthy


ecessity is the mother of invention, and that was the case when James Spencer’s daughter was born. “Stella was the most amazing thing to happen to me, but with this miracle came the fear that all new parents feel,” Spencer shares.

my daughter like my hammock did, but be made out of a breathable material so she could sleep in it safely,” Spencer says. That thought lead to his first creation: a laundry basket with an elastic mesh stretched across the top, attached with clothespins.

Traditional crib design can contribute to the risk of SIDS and other hazards. Spencer’s first concern was finding a sleeper that was breathable so that no matter how Stella shifted during the night, she was safe from suffocating.

“Removing certain risks let me sleep easier as a new father, and as a 22-year-old student with a newborn, anything that helped me sleep better was a blessing,” Spencer says.

The entrepreneur needed a way for her to sleep safely and comfortably. “There are so many risks associated with early infancy and we deserve a way to prevent at least some of them,” he says. Spencer looked for a solution but found none. One afternoon, he laid Stella down in his hammock. Surprisingly, she quickly fell asleep. “I wanted to create something that supported

After designing a prototype slightly more functional than the laundry basket, he began showing it to everybody who would listen, and received amazing feedback. For two years, the inventor gathered suggestions and concerns from countless moms, and talked with medical professionals, and Crescent Womb is now ready to be shared with the public. By supporting the baby just like a mother’s womb, Crescent Womb creates the safest

James Spencer is the founder of Crescent Womb.

place outside of a parent’s arms. By using a breathable, flexible mesh and ergonomic design, the company has designed their Crescent Womb: Infant Safety Bed to promote healthy breathing regardless of a baby’s movement or positioning. “Please support our campaign by trying Crescent Womb for yourself or ordering it for a loved one,” Spencer says. “Every child deserves to sleep safely, and that’s why we’ve made it our goal to donate 10,000 units by the end of 2017.” Spencer won’t stop until the benefits of Crescent Womb are available to every mother and child. Visit







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Makeup for All Personalities Entrepreneur Recovers from Coma and Launches Non-Toxic Cosmetics Line By Sherilyn Colleen


orn and raised in Jersey, Peeks Cosmetics owner Latasha McRae always knew she would become her own boss. In 2001, she pursued her Associates in Science for Film and Video Production at Full Sail University. McRae always loved the behind-the-scenes aspects of video and film, including the makeup of it all. Shortly after obtaining her degree, McRae fell sick and faced a near-death experience. McRae was restricted to a coma for over 3 weeks. Once she awoke, McRae was on the road to recovery. She didn’t think twice; she knew she had to do this for herself and for her dreams. It took her two years for her to fully recover and redevelop speech and physical capabilities again. Instead of letting this experience hinder her, McRae used this as motivation for what will come next in her life. Curious as to what happens before the scenes of action take place in movies, McRae

sparked an interest in the area of personality and makeup. Once fully recovered, McRae enrolled at the University of Phoenix, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Management in 2007. She completed two degrees that would help her become the successful entrepreneur she always wanted to be. McRae picked up her things and decided to make a change in location. She moved to Orlando, Florida, and shortly after, launched Peeks Cosmetics in 2014. Taking her real-life experiences and using them to inspire her path, she made her dream a reality. She wanted to help people feel good about themselves and for them to enjoy non-toxic makeup. With the belief that everyone should look and feel beautiful and not limit themselves to one personality type, McRae felt that Peeks Cosmetics would help people do just that. Peeks Cosmetics offers a line of high-quality products that are infused with essential

Latasha McRae is the CEO and owner of Peeks Cosmetics.

vitamins that are cruelty-free and gluten-free. McRae is the epitome of hard work and perseverance. Even after falling sick and having to relearn the simple tasks of life, she never lost sight of the big picture. She pushed through all obstacles and went with her instincts to keep working at making her beauty dreams come true. With her own cosmetics line that continues to grow, McRae is the true definition of a woman in business. Visit


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12/7/16 1:59 PM

How Your


Home Office Space Affects Your Mood By Jordan Shapiro


o you ever feel tired, cranky, and wiped out at work? If you’re like many Americans, then the answer is yes. But did you know you can take action to improve your mood in your home office? To boost mood, morale, and productivity for your home business’s employees, consider these simple ways you can positively tweak your office space.

Improve Your Lighting As Biz Journals reports, “Lighting in the workplace affects employees emotionally, psychologically, and physically.” Optimal lighting can lift moods and lead to productive employees, but poor lighting — both over-lit and under-lit — can lead to stress, headaches, and eye strain. Forbes reports on one study by Mirjam Muench that found that employees who work in natural light were more alert and productive than those who worked in artificial light. So how do you let the right amount of light in? Start by promoting natural light. According to Northwestern University, natural light can improve health and quality of sleep, so don’t be afraid to open up the shades and get rid of workspace dividers that block sunlight from employees’ desk areas. Do not rely on natural light alone, especially if you have people working in the evening. Consider installing adjustable lights. This will allow you to tweak the lighting in the workplace depending on the time of day and the weather.

A layout option that is becoming more popular is the open-plan layout, compared to a cubicle or a private office solution. The open-plan layout allows for a more social environment. Not only does A home office layout can have a huge impact on your this enhance collaboration employees’ morale and enthusiasm. opportunities, but a social atmosphere can lead to happier employees. You may even want to experiment can have a direct impact on how you feel. with having employees’ desks facing each oth- Remember this when choosing home office er, too. Granted, open-plan layouts are not the décor. Start with a white neutral base for the right solution for every home office space, de- walls. This will help sunlight reflect to bring in more natural light while making the space feel pending on how your home is built. bigger.

“ A layout option that is becoming more popular is the open-plan layout, compared to a cubicle or a private office solution.

Accent with the Right Colors Although it may not seem like it makes a huge impact, color can greatly affect your mood. Chances are you’ve experienced this concept first-hand. For example, bright blue skies tend to make people happier than gloomy, cloudy skies. As reports, the colors you choose to remodel your home with

Adjust Your Layout When it comes to improving employees’ moods and productivity, an office layout is not the first solution you might think of. However, it can have a huge impact on how people feel. As touched upon, the first obvious layout solution is to arrange workstations to receive more natural light. Consider, for instance, eliminating cubicles or installing low-level workspace dividers so that employees working toward the middle of the room aren’t completely shaded from natural lighting.

Then, accent with a light shade of green, purple, or blue. Green will evoke feelings of comfort while relieving stress. Purple shades like lavender and lilac set a peaceful mood, while light blues literally help lower blood pressure and help people relax. Avoid accenting with harsh colors, such as bright red, which can elevate blood pressure, and bright yellow, which can cause people to become angry quickly. Place Plants Nearby The Guardian reports that workplace plants can help boost employee happiness. As they say, “Offices devoid of pictures, souvenirs or any other distractions are ‘the most toxic space’ you can put a human into.” So don’t be afraid to bring a bit of nature inside! Consider placing tall floor plants in corners of your house and then encouraging employees to bring in their own for their desks. How many plants should you have? The Guardian reports on a study that placed one plant per square meter. With this simple change, employee memory retention increased significantly.

Choose colors for your home office décor that evoke feelings of comfort.

Control Temperature and Humidity If you’ve ever tried working in a room that’s too hot or too cold, then you know how hard it Continued on page 42


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How Your Home Office Space Affects Your Mood Continued from page 40

can be when you’re either sweating or shivering. A comfortable temperate environment not only makes employees happier, but it makes them more productive! One study on office workers found that in colder, less comfortable temperatures, typing mistakes increased by 74 percent while overall productivity decreased by 46 percent.

“ One study on office workers found that in colder, less comfortable temperatures, typing mistakes increased by 74 percent while overall productivity decreased by 46 percent.

As Forbes tells us, low temperatures can increase feelings of loneliness and sadness. Try to keep your office temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees, but feel free to tweak these settings based on employee preferences. You’ll also want to keep the humidity level between 40 and 50 percent, which is best for health and comfort according to Regulate the Noise Level You’ve likely experienced the effects of a noisy room on your mood. Traffic, road work, or loud children outside the windows, for instance, can become distracting, and loud workplaces can even cause adrenaline spikes in workers. Noisy workplaces also affect posture, which can impact physical health and wellbeing. One way to regulate this noise is by installing noise absorption materials in your home.

“ When you know something needs to change in the office to boost employees’ moods and productivity, don’t just consider raising wages and providing more benefits.

But outside noises aren’t the only distractions. Even the buzz of computers in a quiet environment can irritate employees. But it’s not about creating a completely silent environment. That can drive people nuts as well. Instead, you might play music to drown out unpleasant noises. 42

5 Ways to Reduce Your Home Office Electricity Bill The point of setting up a home office is to reduce overall costs, but the opposite is likely to happen if you do not pay attention. From a myriad of reasons that can hike up your overall bills, an electricity payment is certainly one of the highest expenditures on the list and it can easily be the Goliath to your David. Apply these tactics to save on your next electricity bill. Turn off Electronics if Not Needed Leaving the electronic devices switched on pushes the bill up by leaps and bounds. If you are leaving your office room for some reason and even if you think you might be back real soon, turn off the lights, fans, the air conditioner, your computer or laptop, the television and whatever runs on electricity. And if you are working during the day, pull up the curtains and let the daylight in. Use Power-Saving Devices Purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of the incandescent bulbs which will save at least one quarter of your electricity consumption. Go for the Energy Star-rated computers and computer equipments which will save power and money. Consider getting a laptop instead of a computer. Laptops consume only one-third of the power than of a computer. Opt for an LCD monitor, which consumes 27 watts, in the place of a cathode-ray tube monitor, which takes 90 watts. Activate a Power Management Setting There are three power modes, outlined by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy — active or on, active standby (which consumes less than 100% electricity), and passive standby (A.K.A. off). Users can configure their computers to automatically shift to less power-consuming mode when they are not being

If there’s internal workplace noise from socializing employees, consider designating a separate area for socializing so that workers aren’t distracted by those on break. When you know something needs to change in the office to boost employees’ moods and productivity, don’t just consider raising wages and providing more benefits. While that may help to some extent, the real trick is building an environment where people feel safe, comfortable, and happy. You can start with the tips mentioned above, but don’t be afraid to get

Home Business January/February 2017

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used. Look into installing an Energy Star-rated power management setting in your home office. Use a Power Strip Use a power strip for your computer, printer, copier and other electronic devices. Power strips make it easy to switch the devices on and off with just the click of a button. What happens when you have individual switches for every device is that you do not turn off all of them, thus leaving them unused yet plugged in which consumes electricity. Using a power strip will completely turn them off, saving you the extra electricity consumption. Use an Energy Conservation Method In summer, instead of using the central cooling system, you can use a window air conditioning unit in the office and keep the doors shut for a maximum effect. One can switch to ceiling or portable fans as well or simply keep the windows open for fresh air. In winter, you can choose space heating with portable electric space heaters instead of heating the entire house. Insulate your humble abode properly for winter, using weather seals, which will lower your electricity cost. Think about all these tactics and use them to effectively reduce your electricity bill. You can even consult electricity suppliers such as Josco Energy NJ (https:// to assist you with reducing your electricity bill. A well-thought power usage plan is only going to make your home office experience all the more pleasant.

your employees’ input as well to truly design a home office space that will make the whole team happier. Jordan Shapiro founded ASI in 2003. With a strong emphasis in project management and process-driven solutions; All Solutions Inc. (ASI) is a full-service office furniture provider with an emphasis on creating unique, collaborative, and practical workplaces in which personnel are enabled to flourish and be more successful. Jordan has been in the commercial contract business for over 14 years and has worked with hundreds of different corporations. He has developed the expertise to provide solid and accurate advice in the areas of space planning, furniture procurement, decommissioning, ergonomic assessment, case studies and move management. By offering solutions which are both innovative and cost-effective, Jordan has established a strong following with companies such as, Thomson Reuters, Ametek, the City of San Diego, SDSU and Arrow Electronics. Visit

12/7/16 2:00 PM

AAJudgment JudgmentRecovery Recovery Business Business isis Hot and andininDemand. Demand.Here’s Here’show how to to start start your your own... own...


ave aveyou youever everwatched watchedJudge JudgeJudy Judy or or any any of of those those mid-afternoon mid-afternoon court courtTV TVshows showswhere wherepeople people sue sue each each other other for for unpaid unpaid rent rent or services? services?InInmany manycases, cases,Judge JudgeJudy Judyslams slamsdown down her her gavel gavel and and barks barks orders ordersatatthe thedefendant defendanttotopay payup, up, but but here's here's aa little little known known fact: fact: the the court courtdoes doesnot notenforce enforcethat thatjudgment. judgment.And And that that goes goes for for non-televised non-televised court courtcases casestoo. too. That's That'sright, right,just justbecause because aa judge judge orders orders someone someone to to pay pay aa debt debt doesn't doesn'tmean meanthat thatperson personisisgoing goingtoto do do Imagine Imagine ifif someone someone owed owed you youa afew fewthousand thousanddollars dollarsand anddecided decided not not to to pay pay you, you, regardless regardless of what whata acourt courtofoflaw lawordered. ordered.Would Wouldyou youknow knowwhat what to to do? do? Most Most people people don't, don't,sosothey theywait waitininfrustration frustrationfor forthe thedebt debtto tobe bepaid. paid. Christina ChristinaSmiley, Smiley,founder founder ofof Sierra Sierra Judgment Judgment Recovery Recovery and and selfselfproclaimed proclaimedopportunity opportunity junkie, junkie, learned learned how how to to profit profit from from this this little little known knownmarket marketofofunpaid unpaiddebt debtby byhelping helpingjudgment judgment holders holders collect. collect. She She explained explainedthere therewas wasvirtually virtuallyno no one one who who was was providing providing this this service. service. And And that that once once people people had had been been awarded awarded these these judgments... judgments... 80 80 percent percentofofthem themwere werenever neverpaid.” paid.” This Thisdiscovery discoverycouldn’t couldn’thave havecome come atata abetter bettertime; time; Christina Christina and and her her husband husbandTerry Terrywere werepart partowners ownersofofaa carpet carpet store store and and had had amassed amassed aa large largeamount amountofofdebt. debt. They Theyhad hadthree threesmall smallchildren childrenand and thought thoughtthat thatbybyowning owningaastore storethey'd they'd have havemore moremoney moneyand andtime timefor fortheir their family. family.Initially Initiallyit itwas wasan anexciting excitingtime time forfor them, them, but but that that dream dream quickly quickly turned turnedinto intoa anightmare nightmareofofdebt debt and and endless endlesshours hoursatatwork, work,as as Christina Christina remembers, remembers, "We "We accumulated accumulated monstrous monstrousdebt. debt.We Wewere weretruly trulyonly onlyaa few few paychecks paychecks away away from from being being homeless." homeless." And Andthen thenshe shelearned learned about about the the big bigmoney moneyininsmall smallclaims. claims.Christina Christina focused focusedononlearning learninghow how toto recover recover judgments judgmentsfor forpeople. people. She She says, says, "It "It was wastrial trialand anderror errorfor forsix sixmonths monthstotoaa year. year.I buried I buriedmy mynose noseinincivil civilcodes.” codes.” Christina Christinacontacted contacted aa number number ofof small smallbusinesses businessesininher herarea areatotosee seeifif they theycould coulduse useher herservices, services,and andas asitit turned turnedout, out,there therewas wasplenty plentyofofwork work forfor her. her. "These "These people people were were overjoyed overjoyedtotogive giveus usallallofoftheir theircases cases totocollect collectand andwere weremore morethan thanwilling willing toto letlet me me keep keep 50% 50% ofof what what I I collected collectedfor forthem," them,"she shesays. says. InInmost mostcases, cases,they theyhad hadfiled filedaway away their theirjudgments judgmentsaafew fewyears yearsprior priorwith with nonohope hopeofofever evercollecting collectingon on them. them. Christina's Christina's business, business, Sierra Sierra Judgment JudgmentRecovery, Recovery,gets getsthat thatmoney money back. back. These These people people figured figured they'd they'd never neversee seeany anyofofthat thatmoney moneyagain, again, sosothey're they'remore morethan than happy happy toto pay pay Christina's Christina'sfee. fee. Another Anotherattractive attractive aspect aspect ofof this this

service service isis there's there's no no up-front up-front cost to her her customers. customers. Any Any filing filing fees or costs costs incurred incurred by by Christina Christina are reimbursed reimbursed to to her her out out of the judgment judgment once once it's it's collected. collected. The customers customers don't don't have have to pay anything anythingout out of of their their own own pocket. pocket. From From what what she she says, says, this is primarily primarily behind-the-scenes behind-the-scenes work, which which makes makes itit an an entirely entirely nonconfrontational confrontational business. business. She She does everything everything through through the the court court system from from seizing seizing debtor debtor bank bank accounts, accounts, garnishing garnishing wages wages and and other other income, to toplacing placingliens liens on on property. property. One One year year after after starting starting the judgment judgment recovery recovery business, business, Christina Christina and and Terry Terry closed closed the carpet carpet store. store. Finally Finally they they could could work at at home home and and have have money money left over at at the the end end of of the the month. month. They've been been running running Sierra Sierra Judgment Judgment Recovery Recovery for for over over 10 10 years years and are bringing bringing in in aa five-figure five-figure paycheck paycheck each eachmonth. month. And And the the most most important important aspect aspect isis they've they've got got more more time for their their kids. kids. “I“I can can attend attend their their events and and my my husband husband gets gets to to go go on field trips trips now now -- he's he's usually usually the the only dad on onthem.” them.” But But the the story story doesn't doesn't end end there. Christina Christina wants wants to to share share her knowledge knowledge with with others others across across the country country as as aa home-based home-based business opportunity. opportunity. She She has has put put together together aa judgment judgment recovery recoverytraining training course. course. In In addition, students students have have access access to to aa National Network, Network, which which can can be be extremely extremely helpful helpful in in cases cases where where the the debtor has has moved moved out out of of state. state. Christina also alsoincludes includes unlimited unlimited support. support. The The training training course course is is on a home-study home-study basis basis and and itit teaches

Christina Smiley Smiley

contact judgment judgment holders holders how to contact their business, business, the the steps steps to to to get their down aa debtor debtor and andsorting sorting tracking down the paperwork paperwork from from the the through the court. Christina's motivation for Christina's motivation for this business business opportunity opportunity sharing this others isn’t isn’t to to get get money moneyfrom from with others the course course (a (a one-time one-time sales of the of $185.00, $185.00, she she only only flat fee of enough to to cover cover the thecost costof of makes enough producing course course materials): materials): she she producing continue to to develop develop the the wants to continue Network of of judgment judgment National Network specialists. recovery specialists. Anyone interested interested in in aa homehomeAnyone business who who really really likes likesto to based business research could could benefit benefit from from do research training course, course, according according to to this training Christina. "This "This business business isisfilling fillingaa Christina. niche. ItIt provides provides steady, steady, true niche. predictable home-based home-based income income predictable $5,000 -- $8,000 $8,000 per per month month on on of $5,000 There is is no no lack lack of of average. There customers and and no no foreseeable foreseeable customers decrease at at any any time time in in the the decrease says Christina. Christina. future," says you’d like like information information on on If you’d your own own home-based home-based starting your judgment recovery recovery business, business, judgment for their their free free guide guide at at register for You You also contact Sierra Sierra may also contact Judgment Recovery Recovery directly directly by by Judgment them at at (912) (912) 882-8190 882-8190 calling them email Customer Customer Support Support at at or email


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7/27/15 10:59 PM 3/29/16 12/6/16 2/1/16 1:54 2:59 5:46PM PM

How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online: The Essential Guide to Avoid Digital Damage, Lock Down Your Brand, and Defend Your Business By John P. David


Headlines today are filled with cell phone videos of bad behavior, verbal attacks in the Twitter-verse, and disturbing incidents of cyberbullying. Online reviews can make or break your small business. Do you engage a negative reviewer? Do you place pre-written positive reviews? What are the ins and outs of review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List? A seasoned reputation management expert, John P. David shares exactly how to do this in his new book, How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Reputation Online: The Essential Guide to Avoid Digital Damage, Lock Down Your Brand, and Defend Your Business (Career Press, 978-1-63265-0641 $16.99, Paperback).

Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur By Cara Alwill Leyba Women vs. women: it’s an age-old battle among females from the boardroom to the chat room. In fact, recent studies show that at work women bullies target other women 68% of the time, and even on Facebook jealousy occurs among 68% of women users. Now is the time for women to come together and celebrate each other. Now is the time for women to stop competing and start collaborating, because we are better together. Forget competition, it’s all about empowerment! Best-selling author, speaker, and master life coach Cara Alwill Leyba’s glamorous approach to self-help has attracted thousands of women to attend her workshops, buy her

The 10 Laws of Trust: Building the Bonds That Make a Business By Joel Peterson Over the course of more than four decades as a board chairman of JetBlue, Stanford professor, real-estate entrepreneur, growth-capital investor, manager, teacher, father, and husband, Joel Peterson has continually developed and depended on high-trust relationships to quietly emerge as a respected leader. In The 10 Laws of: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great (AMACOM; $15.95), Peterson shows leaders at all levels how to avoid or reverse a devastating trust shortfall. What is trust, exactly? Peterson distills this vital yet elusive quality — the essence of great leadership and sustainable business success — into simple laws:


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This indispensable guidebook is for individuals and businesses, offering in-depth information that details how you can deal with hate blogs, Google’s “right to be forgotten” in Europe, the business of online complaint sites, and even the covert ops of reputation management. In this book, you’ll learn specifics about: ■

How to remove negative content from search results,

Why not participating is not an option,

The difference between the deep web and the dark web — what it means to you,

How to react and respond to an online attack,

Understanding and managing online reviews, and

Using marketing strategies to both improve your online reputation and bolster your bottom line.

For more information, visit and

books, read her blog and follow her on social platforms. Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur, was recently named one of the top 9 books every female entrepreneur should read by Inc. magazine, and is currently the #1 best-selling book in the Women in Business category on Amazon. GIRL CODE is a roadmap for female entrepreneurs, professional women, “side hustlers” (those with a day job who are building a business on the side), and anyone in between who wants to become a better woman. This book will not teach you how to build a multimillion dollar business. It won’t teach you about systems or operational processes. But it will teach you how to build confidence in yourself, reconnect with your “why,” eradicate jealousy, and ultimately learn the power of connection. Because at the end of the day, that’s what life and business is all about. For more information, visit

LAW 1: Start with Personal Integrity

LAW 2: Invest in Respect

LAW 3: Empower Others

LAW 4: Measure What You Want to Achieve

LAW 5: Create a Common Dream

LAW 6: Keep Everyone Informed

LAW 7: Embrace Respectful Conflict

LAW 8: Show Humility

LAW 9: Strive for Win-Win Negotiations

LAW 10: Proceed with Care

For more information, visit

12/7/16 2:00 PM

Why Home-Based Businesses Should

“Go Global” By Stephen Creskoff


s a home-based business, the last thing likely on your mind is “going global” with your product or service. Why should you think about international when your business is very small and it’s so much easier to deal with local suppliers and customers? But this is a mistake. Today we live in a global economy and there are many international business opportunities for even the smallest home business. As one example, my wife Andrea, who is a textile artist, makes designer neckpieces, called “boas”, in her home studio that she sells to high-end boutiques. The materials that she uses are imported from Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan and China and some of her customers and potential customers are also international. I am another example of a home-based business that has “gone international”. I provide legal and consulting services to clients all over the world from my home office. Dean van Dijk, the webmaster for my website, www., is yet another example. He works on my website design and content from his home in Sydney, Australia, and we consult using Skype and email.

“For goods, cross-border e-commerce provides a great opportunity for even the smallest of businesses.” Now that you are convinced that you should check out the international possibilities for your home-based business, the first step is to evaluate your product or service’s suitability for the global market. Does it compete mainly based upon price or is it truly unique? If it is unique, there may be unlimited potential in foreign markets. On the other hand, if it competes based primarily upon price, the international opportunities may be less, because the U.S. tends to be a high-price market. You can evaluate potential foreign markets for your goods and services through Internet research and by using the resources of your state and  federal government export promotion agencies. If you have the time and money, meeting potential foreign customs and suppliers at industry trade shows is frequently

12-60_HBMJANFEB17_REV.indd 45

very productive. This has worked well for me and for my wife’s business. However, perhaps the most cost-effective approach for a homebased business is to use the Internet to leverage your product or services in international markets. For goods, cross-border e-commerce provides a great opportunity for even the smallest of businesses. You can have your products included on websites such as Amazon, Alibaba or eBay and have the website handle all payment and logistics arrangements, or you can maintain your own website and arrange logistics using an express courier company (FedEx, DHL, UPS) or the postal service and process payments using an Internet payment system such as PayPal. Internet platforms work well for both business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) transactions. If you plan to import consumer goods, a recent change in U.S. customs law permits consumer goods valued at up to $800 to be imported duty and tax-free. So if your homebased business involves importing watches from Switzerland or premium coffee from Honduras or any other product, you can use an express courier firm to handle all details of B2C transactions of individual shipments up to $800 in value. For services, creating and maintaining a website for your business is an excellent way to attract international customers. However, your website should specifically market to international clients by promoting foreign language capability (“we speak Spanish”) and include specific information to attract foreign business (“foreign travelers welcome!”). As an example, suppose you are a home-based seamstress/

A unique product can have unlimited potential in foreign markets.

Home-based business owners should check out international possibilities to increase their income. tailor who speaks English, Russian, French and Vietnamese, and lives in New York City. Your website could advertise to international travelers to New York whom speak those languages and whom need immediate assistance with their garments, and they would find you using an Internet search function.


Expand Your Business into International Markets and See Profits Soar

Global supply chains maintained by major multinational enterprises have become increasingly complex, opening up opportunities even for the smallest businesses to participate. There are challenges for homebased businesses to fulfill the various standards and other requirements imposed to become a recognized supplier of a multinational firm, but many multinationals are actively looking for small business suppliers and will assist home-based businesses to qualify. I wrote my recently published book, What You Need to Know to Go Global, to give detailed guidance to small businesses, including home-based businesses, participating in international trade. The book answers six key questions: how to source international customers or clients; how to make sure you are paid once you have the business; how to protect your intellectual property; how to arrange logistics; how to navigate government regulations; and how to incorporate business social responsibility into your product or service. I also included many illustrative stories from my experience as an international trade lawyer, businessman and consultant.  What You Need to Know to Go Global  can be ordered online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Stephen Creskoff is an international trade consultant and lawyer. His book, What You Need to Know to Go Global, was recently published. Visit

January/February 2017 | Home Business



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Leader in the Shade Industry Architect Uses His Marine Background to Design High-Quality Outdoor Furnishing Products By Alicia McCarthy


orn and raised in Coral Gables, Florida, Dougan Clarke spent most of his summers growing up in a boat shop where he rigged boats and worked with marine-grade materials such as fiberglass, teak, acrylic fibers, polymer, aluminum alloys, wood epoxy, and polyester resins. Clarke started his career as a day laborer in a custom boat yard in Miami. Under the tutelage of his mentor, renowned South Florida craftsman and engineer Fred Herman, Clarke learned applied materials, material sculpting, molding, canvas construction and manufacturing methods from the marine industry. In 1998, Clarke took his knowledge in marine design and founded The Ultimate Umbrella Company, Inc (TUUCI) in Miami. Clarke started out making a few samples of his new umbrella design, but didn’t have enough money to buy a stall at trade shows. So, he would walk around the shows with his umbrellas,


guaranteeing buyers that it would last 5-10 years. After showing his product to a few potential buyers, Dougan Clarke is the founder of The Ultimate Umbrella he received his first order Company, Inc. and the formation of his company. Little did he for today. TUUCI’s technology is meticulousknow, he was on his way to becoming a leader ly engineered to perform under the harshest in the outdoor shade category. conditions, without question. But they don’t Clarke started with a simple mission: to create the most stylish, durable and functionally superior shade systems in the world. To achieve this, he looked for different ways to design an umbrella. “We found that pure construction wasn’t enough to put us on the map as a unique shade manufacturer, so we started to look at different ways to construct a parasol,” he says. Through research and design, Clarke developed marine-grade shade systems equipped to withstand the elements that TUUCI is known

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just perform. They also turn heads with an unparalleled sense of style and design not seen anywhere else in the world. “I had a clear vision of creating visually attractive products that allow people to enjoy time outdoors without the risks of sun exposure,” says Clarke. “The vision took off and in the past 17 years, TUUCI has been transformative in blending purpose and design, and helping people find a cool place in the shade.” Since day one, Clarke has also made environmental sustainability a top priority for the

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TUUCI products are handcrafted in Miami, home of its corporate headquarters and manufacturing center, but the privately owned company’s business has spun out across the globe in recent years. In the past ten years, the company has doubled in size, creating more than 100 new jobs, growing from 102 employees to more than 250 today. TUUCI is one of the nation’s top job creators, and was the 2013 and 2014 recipient of Inc. Magazine’s “Hire Power” Award, celebrating privately held companies on the forefront of American job creation.

Plantation MAX Cantilever by TUUCI

manufacturing process. All TUUCI equipment is engineered in a calculated way, as energy conservation and extensive recycling are key steps taken that minimize the brand’s environmental footprint. Even product packaging keeps sustainability in mind. With many likeminded individuals at TUUCI, the brand supports dozens of environmental causes and non-profit community organizations such as The Coastal Conservation Association, The Miami Museum of Science, The Coral Gables Garden Club, The American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, among several others.

Also an avid musician, Clarke draws so much inspiration from playing music that he installed a dedicated recording and rehearsal studio in the TUUCI factory and his latest product, the Equinox Cabana, includes a music outlet, so that users can lounge in the Cabana while enjoying their favorite sounds. But it is his real love for the outdoors and nature that has inspired his design philosophy — to create a harmonious relationship between his shade products and the outdoor environments in which they exist, by delivering dynamic and inspiring designs which transform any outdoor space into comfortable settings that are both intimate and peaceful. Clarke’s durable designs have encouraged him to expand his brand globally throughout

Equinox Cabana by TUUCI

the US, Europe, Far East and South America, by complimenting the world’s wondrous beauty with shaded areas to be enjoyed by those spending time outdoors. Currently, products offered include parasols, pavilions, lounges, hammocks, shade sculptures, anchors and shade accessories. TUUCI can be found in luxury retailers, such as Restoration Hardware and DWR, while also having a prominent showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart and at high-profile properties such as The Ritz Carlton and The Four Seasons. Today, Clarke holds about 15 patents on the systems he designed. Visit

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FINANCING YOUR HOME BUSINESS The 5 Things Every Company Must Do When Seeking Capital By Murray D. Schwartz, Partner, Warshaw Burstein, LLP, New York


n my practice working with startup and growing companies, the first and most important question I am invariably asked is: How do we get financing and on what terms? Since being undercapitalized is the death knell for startups and not a good thing for any company, it is an issue which needs prompt solving. As any realtor will tell you, when selling a house it needs to be “dressed for sale.” Fix the leak in the bathroom, patch the roof, add two coats of paint, replace the dead azalea and be sure the pictures on the internet show off the home to its best advantage. Now you are ready for the market. When dealing with the financial markets, advice from onetime Giants football coach Bill Parcells comes to mind: “When you get to the end zone, look like you have been there before.” So how do we get ready to “sell” the company to a lender, angel investor, private equity company and even to an IPO underwriter? The principles are the same. You need to make sure your “house” is in top shape first, by examining and preparing the following:

1. Financial Statements. Have accountants or sophisticated financial professionals prepare them. Don’t try this at home kids. Always be sure the figures are mathematically accurate, based upon factually correct assumptions, cross foot, and contain a balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flow. Financial statements come in three varieties: Compilation, Review and Audit. “Compilation” is a gathering of financial information supplied by the company and put in a proper accounting format. It is not certified by an accountant and is the least reliable (and least expensive) variety. “Review” has critical evaluations of the clients’ numbers to confirm a level of accuracy more than compilations. “Audit” has the financial evaluations which provide for accuracy greater than reviews and confirms accounts with the outside world of customers, vendors and creditors. In financing, it is worth the investment to get a review or audit. With startups, compilations work only for so long, and with commercial lenders, as opposed to 48

angel investors, audit is required by Federal regulators. 2. Financial Projections. Please don’t come up with the notion that the industry Hire a competent corporate lawyer to do a soup-to-nuts is $4 billion so all you need legal review for your business. is 1/2 of 1% and you are home free to put $20 million equipment financing and purchase docuof revenue on your projection. I have seen it ments, vendor contracts, customer contracts, and worse yet I have seen potential investors employment agreements, tax filings with IRS react to such nonsense. Talking about getting and appropriate states, pension plans, ERISA to the end zone — here is a chance to either plans, any surveys, environmental studies, and look like a seasoned veteran or to embarall IP documents and correspondence relating rass yourself as a rookie. Detail is king. To to the company’s trademarks, copyrights, patdetermine revenue, make lists of customers ents and trade secrets. If the company has IP, and what they have purchased and assess the give counsel the freedom to consult with your likelihood of repeat business and improved IP counsel to fully understand the landscape. levels or losses for each one. Carefully provide the pipeline of future business, their potential Please don’t come up with contributions, estimated time of arrival and the pari-mutuel odds of success. Provide head the notion that the industry is counts, future hiring plans and the incremen$4 billion so all you need is 1/2 tal costs of new business. Also, no investor of 1% and you are home free to wants to pay for unnecessary expenditures that are not essential to the business. So now put $20 million of revenue on is the time to get spouses, children, cousins your projection. and the nanny off the payroll. If you are not a cruise line, get the boat off the books and have 4. Self-Assessment. Staging is everything. the business charter it at market rates when you are doing business entertaining. (a) Commercial Lending: Every commercial lender and every private equity player has stringent and inviolate rules of engagement. When you get to the end For the former, the rules are set primarily by zone, look like you have been the state or federal government in some form or fashion, the latter by the limited partners there before. investing in the fund. So, if you are a mature company with an audited financial statement 3. Legal Audit and Review. This is the time and five years of profitability, feel free to apto get rid of your old Legal Zoom purchase and proach either. Otherwise, they make no exto fire your brother-in-law even if he did sur- ceptions. With commercial lenders you need vive two years at The Spencer Business Insti- to know rates but also terms, including the tute. You need a competent corporate lawyer dreaded personal guaranties. Know too that to do a soup-to-nuts legal review, including all while they will be doing extensive diligence charter documents, articles of organization, on you, you should be doing extensive diliby-laws, stockholders or LLC operating agree- gence on them. How committed are they to

ments, all investor documents and correspondence, all deeds, leases, financing documents,

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Continued on page 50

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your industry? They may be heavily into your industry and are unlikely to pull out of their loans shortly down the road. If they are taking a shot with you and are dabbling, BEWARE. My adage is that in bad times banks call good loans. The bad loans won’t pay off. Check their track record on foreclosing on good companies (in bad times just about everyone is in technical default). Also read and get help analyzing your balance sheet. In exuberant times, banks may lend at six times cash flow and in bad times they may think (or the regulators may think for them) that three times is the better number. Plan for such occasion by lowering leverage with additional equity and do it before the banks tell you to. (b) Private Equity: It is time for private equity if you are looking for a good and well-heeled business partner to grow the company. In the best of circumstances, they provide internal growth capital to fund those critical projects. They are ideal too for those strategic acquisitions. Again, do as much diligence on them as they do on you. What have they done in the past, during economic downturns, missed projections and heightened competition? (c) Family, Friends and Angels: At the start stage you need to find folks who believe in you. Family, friends and angels. Put together the best operating team you can who show that you care about competence and depth, who can replace you if you are run over by a bus, and who can handle anything in you absence.

Title III Crowdfunding Regulation Most entrepreneurs have to spend money in order to raise money, and running a crowdfunding campaign can be both costly and timely. Companies can take advantage of the recently passed Title III crowdfunding regulation allowing them to raise capital from non-accredited investors. StartEngine ( is one platform that provides access to capital to small businesses and startups looking for alternative sources outside of traditional finance. StartEngine was selected to receive one of the first Title III approvals under the new legislation, and, was featured as an innovative platform on Crowdfunding Demo Day in Washington,

A smart, well-financed angel who believes in you is your best early stage investor. 5. Aligned Interests. Private equity players always make a fuss about interest alignment. Do the company and the equity prosper under the same circumstances? The principle is the same with the company’s internal operations. Are the salespeople compensated on a percentage of monies collected not just accrued? No employee that I have ever known has sought to be paid by an assignment of

DC on May 16th, 2016 when regulation crowdfunding officially launched. The StartEngine Marketing Fund was created to give numerous companies a leading advantage towards realizing their fundraising dreams. In fact, StartEngine has already helped Elio Motors to raise close to $17 million in capital, by first giving them $50,000 from the Marketing Fund to put towards the promotion of their campaign since they did not have enough capital upfront to market it.

accounts receivable. Are there incentives for proper inventory control? Is there a credit policy that allows for an acceptable degree of risk, which will maximize sales but at acceptable levels of write-offs? Are collections part of an established policy and regularly monitored? It sounds mundane but anyone entrusting money into your hands wants to know that you are adept at the little things which matter so much in the aggregate. To echo Bill Parcells, you need to be skillful at blocking and tackling.

“Every commercial lender and every private equity player has stringent and inviolate rules of engagement.” So whether you are looking for capital to start a company, to operate a company, to grow a company organically or to grow by acquisition or through your IPO, the principles are the same. Pay attention to details, be meticulous, be thoughtful and look like you have been in the end zone before!

Family, friends and angels can help fund your startup at the start stage.


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Corporate attorney Murray Schwartz of Warshaw Burstein, LLP in NYC worked for 15 years as COO of a major media company, giving him a unique perspective on business strategies. He serves several companies as their regular corporate counsel and provides advice on a variety of issues including real estate, employment, trademark and copyright licensing, contracts, patents and IP, product development, investor relations and much more. Mr. Schwartz works very closely with clients, typically becoming involved at the earliest states of transactions. Visit

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Super Sales Continued from page 19

Greens value details and facts. They will take their time to analyze every aspect of your company’s offerings and how the value equates to their future vision. Expect many questions from Greens since they are skeptical by nature. Oranges value winning and performing. They look for the immediate results and want to look good inside of their company. They also value relationships, but it’s based on convenience and easy access to the salesperson. Remember the key is to connect with their style, not yours. Color Communication Communication is the next key to connecting with prospects and customers. And, as you can guess by now, each style has a different preference. Blues ask questions about you so they can build trust. Small talk is very important and can focus on the personal side. Blues are also indirect in their communication which means they will elaborate on what they say. Don’t rush the communication with Blues. Golds are more methodical and direct in the approach. Golds are excellent listeners and will

balance the communication. They are structured and prefer an agenda and a reason to have a discussion and are more formal in their approach. Since Greens are the analytical type, they will ask questions on the details of your products and services. Understanding your offerings and how they might solve issues is their top priority. They are succinct in their approach but can be indirect as they expand on what they are looking for. You must have facts to prove your point of view to the Green. Oranges communicate by wanting to get the bottom line. They are big-picture thinkers and like to be the center of attention. Therefore, let the Orange do most of the talking. Oranges are also direct in their approach.

“Vulnerable” isn’t a “ word that you would often associate with sales — and that reason alone proves its importance.

Communication is about balancing the conversation. Blues and Greens tend to ask questions, while Golds and Oranges tend to tell or prefer to lead the conversation. As you converse with different styles, you need to be aware of what they prefer so you can adapt to their style. Selling Across the Spectrum Every sale requires a decision, so understanding when to ask for commitment is crucial and you must consider the style of the prospect. Blues and Greens tend to be slower in finalizing their decision. Give them space to make the decision and when you feel it’s time to help them ask: “What would you like to do for next steps? What else can I provide for you in moving forward?” Being too aggressive with these two will lose the sale. Golds and Oranges are more decisive. It’s fine to ask these colors for a decision. Ask the Gold when they plan to make their decision, and with the Orange, tell them you can get started today since they look for immediate benefits. People tend to sell from their point of view. The best thing you can ever do is ask yourself, “Who am I with?” Pay attention to their words and actions; keeping the focus on them will help you understand the approach you should


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take. Using their style will build trust, gain you credibility and will move you closer to the sale. Remember this: it’s not what customers buy, but why. Knowing their color will help you understand what they value, and how they prefer to communicate and make decisions. Stu Schlackman is a sales expert, accomplished speaker and the author of Four People You Should Know and Don’t Just Stand There, Sell Something. With over 25 years of success in the sales landscape, Stu provides his clients and audiences with the wisdom, techniques and practical advice to compete and win in business and in life. For more information about Stu, please visit www.

Closing the Sale – Now What? By John Montana You have closed that sale. Congratulations are in order! So you may be asking yourself, now what do I do? If the product is a one-time sale, you may be inclined to say thank you and move on to the next prospect. But if the product you have just sold is something that is more than just a single component to your business’s catalog, then you have a lot more work to do. Because you now have an enormous potential to make many more sales. In order to continue to make sales, you have to continue to keep that customer’s trust and build on the relationship. Even if the product is just the one, you should keep connecting with

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Good communication is about balancing the conversation with customers.

the customer. Because you never know about the future.

how to become better at selling…no matter what your product is. Visit

What’s the secret to long-term success? Treat your customers as you would a friend. In this world today where you are constantly being assaulted by scamsters and shysters all trying to get you to sign on the dotted line, or even worse to steal your identity, a little trust can go a long way.

Sell with Confidence Watch your profits skyrocket and customer base grow after utilizing these key selling tips and strategies. Remember to always speak to a customer with an easiness and charm that you would with a friend or neighbor. For additional information on starting a home-based business, visit and

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Improving Lives with Gemstones Self-Taught Jewelry Maker Designs Handmade Line to Encourage Positive Thinking By Alicia McCarthy


ristel Wang began creating jewelry for her friends and family by making meditation bracelets when her eldest brother passed away suddenly. Wang grew up in the Buddhism religion, and has found meditation to be a wonderful practice. In 2014, one of her girlfriends opened up a gift shop in Fairfield, California, and she asked her to make jewelry for her store. Without hesitation, she agreed, and they sell her jewelry there to this day. Prior to designing her jewelry line, Wang was self-employed, along with her husband. The entrepreneurial duo have been small business owners since 1998. A self-taught jewelry maker, Wang uses natural gemstones to encourage positive thinking and a calm life balance, and finds her handmade jewelry business to be a creative and relaxing outlet. “The amazing thing about being creative is that you have the quality or the power of creating, being imaginative and expressing

originality,” Wang shares. “Creativity can take you away from reality, and it’s a rush of excitement seeing your ideas come to life.” Wang wishes to refrain from mass producing her jewelry and accessories, so every piece remains unique and one of a kind. Her comprehensive line of jewelry features locally selected gemstones, healing crystals, semi-gemstones, gold-filled and sterling silver materials. Creations by Kristel pieces are a beautiful mix of bold colors and subtle dainty designs that are perfect for special occasions or everyday wear. Wang’s favorite thing about working from home is the flexibility; she considers it perfect for being a mother of 3 children and a wife. “You don’t have to meet any deadlines,” she says. “You complete things at your own pace.” By managing work and home life, she has a set routine. “I do my designing and prioritize my tasks between laundry, dinner, and cleaning the house, and determine when they need to be done.” She also tries to fit in designing

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Interview with Jeremy Renner Continued from page 21

JR: The limitations and boundaries are not ultimately because of a filmmaker or because of material. Now, because I have a child, it’s all about where it is shooting. For me, that’s what it is. First of all, it’s still got to be great, got to have a great filmmaker, got to have great content. I still have to be challenged by the material. Who am I going to work with and learn from? And now, where is it shooting? Because normally, I didn’t care. I was like, “Iceland, amazing! I get to go wherever.� Now, that’s the last place I want to go, because it’s far away from my child. Now, at forty-five years old with a child — the most important thing in my life — I’m like, “Where is it shooting?� This is so I can make sure that I can get to my child and my job can get to me in a reasonable flight time. Q: Going back to the film Arrival, has this production changed your alien life in some way? Do you believe in aliens? JR: Aliens? Yeah I always have to. Again, I’ve been looking at the stars for a very long time in my life. People should understand, that they are all potential suns. Some could have burned out a long time ago. There are a lot of opportunities. The odds are, I’m not saying 56



Answer Anytime “This is so I can make sure that I can get to my child and my job can get to me in a reasonable ight time.â€? – Jeremy Renner that there’s a big show, it can be what we define life to be. Is there life out there? In my mind, absolutely. It doesn’t mean it’s in this way, shape, or form. How human beings perceive aliens and the big guy — you know our own limitations. As humans, we need oxygen, we need water, and we need sun to exist. These are our limitations on our planet, right? If we don’t have those things, we are all dead. Somewhere else, maybe aliens exist with no light, and on poison, or who knows? That’s how their lives are with their limitations. Do I believe in other life out there? Absolutely. Q: How do you react to an unexpected challenge? For example, on the set of a new television series and the background went down and you go totally nuts and say, “Oh my God.â€? JR: Problem solve, problem solve, problem solve and problem solve. Instantly, everything. That’s all you got to do is problem solve. I don’t just react to one thing. If someone slaps me in the face, I’m like, “Okay,â€? I got decisions to

Home Business January/February 2017

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Courtesy of Reuters


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According to actor Jeremy Renner, “It’s all about the interior and the output of how we think and feel, not about how we look.�

make. You know what I mean? Alright, my zipper is down, I got a flat tire. Okay, what’s the solution? Otherwise, I can sit and be crying on the side of the street with my thumb in my mouth and cry. Okay, nothing gets done. What else? What’s the problem? How do you problem solve? That’s all that I think about. Q: Is the Bourne sequel still going on, now that Matt Damon is back? JR: I have no idea. I wish I had. It’s above my pay grade. Those aren’t decisions that I get to make.

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February 2017 Home Business  

Feature: Super Sales to soar to greater income! Use top selling tactics to explode your sales in 2017. *Interview with Jeremy Renner. Actor...

February 2017 Home Business  

Feature: Super Sales to soar to greater income! Use top selling tactics to explode your sales in 2017. *Interview with Jeremy Renner. Actor...