Grob1o61's Blog

December 10, 2009

Start a small business in Wisconsin.

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 1:26 pm

Verwelkom naar Sneeuwstorm Alice kinderen. Papa DonderVogel is back with a short outline of starting a small business in Wisconsin.  7:29am Jullie.

     Step 1  Think of an idea. You probably have already done this. Most people have at least had a daydream of owning their own small business, what’s yours?

     Step 2     Form a business plan. You need to plan how you will open your business, how you will market your business, who you will market to, whether there is a market for your business, and any other conceivable aspect to operating your small business. This is the most important step. Your plan will guide you through your company’s early childhood.

     Step 3     Determine how to finance your business. Consider how much money will be needed for the first 6 to 12 months of your business. Most people who start a small business finance it from their own savings, or through family and friends. You may also be able to take out a personal loan. This is the most difficult aspects of starting your business, but don’t let it discourage you. 

     Step 4     Determine how to structure your small business. Most small businesses are either a Sole Proprietorship or a General Partnership. Another option becoming very popular is a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Sole Proprietorship works well for any business that is owned an individual. General Partnership is for a small business with two or more owners. The advantage of an LLC over the previous two is lowered liability for the ownwer(s).

     Step 5     Register your business. In Wisconsin businesses are registered by the Secretary of State. You can fill out the paperwork at the local level, usually at the local Court House. For basic company structures, a simple form and filing fee, is all that is needed. Contact your local County Clerk’s office or Chamber of Commerce for information on how to register in Wisconsin.

     Step 6     Open a bank account for your small business. A business savings account is good to have since it will generate interest, although a business checking account is your main need, in order to pay expenses. Contact several banks in your area to check out the fees and requirements they have for a business account. Use this information to decide which bank is best for your business.

     Sounds too easy? Well maybe it is and maybe that is one of the reasons so many new businesses fail. Don’t let this discourage you though. If you really want to start a business and you really want to succeed, Spend a lot of time working out theses five steps on paper, especially the first three. If after all that work, you still want to start a business of your own, go for it and good luck.

Tot volgende week kinderen, Papa DonderVogel, signing off.

December 3, 2009

Saving for Retirement

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 1:27 am

Zeg aan hallo kinderen, Papa DonderVogel Is op de zeepdoos opnieuw.

Today I’m going to pass out my advice on one of the ways to start saving for retirement.  What’s that? Your only 18 and you have lots of more important financial needs?  Doesn’t matter because if this option is available to you, it is pain free.

If your employer offers a plan that you can invest in, with pre tax dollars, from your paycheck, you are in luck.  It is certain that you can invest at least 5% of your gross income, before Uncle Sam gets a bite out of it, and the best part is, you will still get your full take home pay because Uncle Sam will get less.

     For most people you can invest 6% or even 7% without affecting your take home pay. Let’s take a look at this, say you only make $100 per week, and therefor invest $20 per month and average 5% interest. If you start at age 20, you will have over $22,700 at age 55.  Doesn’t sound like much? Well, do you expect to spend the next 35 years at $100 per week?  Let’s up it only a little bit, say twice as much, $40 per month.  That equals $45,443 at age 55. At age 65 that comes to $81,057 and change.  Wait a minute, how did that happen?  The financial magic of compound interest.  Aren’t you glad you didn’t wait to start saving until you were 30?  Let’s say you graduate at 22 and make $30,000  per year in your new job.  For some reason, you never get a raise.  If you invest 5% of your income every month, and save until you are 65 years old, at 5% you will have $226,397 plus.  If you can’t get better than 5%, you aren’t looking.  Lets’s try that last one at 6% – $302,800, 7% – 409,500 and so on.  If you can’t get a raise in 43 years, you went into the wrong field.

     One more suggestion, when you get that raise / those raises, take a close look at how they compare to your previous pay.  If your budget isn’t running extremely tight, you probably can get by with only part of that raise in your takehome.  You received a 2% raise, how about increasing your pretax withdrawal and therefor your investment by another 1%?  If you increase by 1 or 2 percent every raise, you could easily end up with a million dollars by retirement.  Now that’s sounding like some fun.  If you would like to play with these numbers on your own, see last weeks blog and email me to get my free little financial program.  No strings attached!  However, I can already see making a few improvements to my programs.  When that happens, you’ll find out here.

     YES JULLIE, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT, I’LL PROBABLY KEEP ON BLOGGING. YUCK :-(                       PAPA DONDERVOGEL, signing off.

 

November 26, 2009

DonderVogel Finance Apps

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 3:54 pm

     Papa DonderVogel wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  In the spirit if giving and thanks, Papa is offering everyone out there a free program from the DonderVogel tool forge.  It is not a huge thing, a little, free standing, 152 Kb suite of financial applications. 

     There are three applets inside.  The first will calculate the result of regular investments. Just enter the amount of money invested monthly, the annual APR interest and the number of months you expect to invest.  Then hit calculate and it will tell you your base investment amount and the total with interest.

     The second little program will help you plan saving for a large purchase.  You simply enter the cost of the purchase, the amount you want to set aside for it each month and the interest you will recieve.  The program will then tell you how many months it will take to save up enough for the purchase.

     The third little program is my favorite.  You enter the total of your savings account, what the expected interest rate is and how much you want to withdraw each month.  The program will tell you how many months and years you can continue withdrawing at the entered rates.

     OK, how will you get this wonderful application?  Simply email PaPa DonderVogel and I will answer you with the program attached.  Then you simply place it on your desk top, or anywhere else and double click it.   No installation required.  Sorry, windows only. reach me at: PaPaDonderVogel@cottageworks.com

      So, until next time, Papa DonderVogel, signing off.

November 19, 2009

Accounting

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 12:17 am

Hello kids.  Papa DonderVogel here again.  We are starting a discussion on accounting soon so, that is the topic of the day.  I was checking out some resources and at http://www.moneyinstructor.com/, I found the following paragraph:

     “The whole purpose of accounting is to provide information that is useful and relevant for interested parities when making decisions regarding the company and its operations. In order to do that effectively, a specific language and subsequent rules have been developed for users of the information. By learning accounting you learn these rules and can then communicate financial information with others in a comprehensible and comparable manner.”

     Unfortunately, accounting is a language, a foriegn language.  The premise and purpose of language is a mutual agreement on verbal symbols allowing functional communication of ideas. When you study accounting, you are essentially learning this specialized foriegn language. You should be able to earn foriegn language credits. In theory, you can communicate and understand the financial operations of all types of organizations, but you can only discuss them with other accountants, because they are the only ones who will understand what your saying. Trying to explain this language to anyone who isn’t interested in or forced to learn the language will work just as well as talking to your dog. Many of the terms are so counter-intuitive, it may even be able to make Microsoft software look good in comparison.

     Alright, I’ve gotten that out of my system so I should be OK for a while.  Papa DonderVogel, signing off.

November 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 6:27 pm

     Ik vind het jammer mijn kinderen, Papa DonderVogel is late this week.  Jullie schopte mijn achter alle rond het blok voor te laat.       Let’s talk about marketing this week. I am currently taking classes in marketing, business ethics where BlogSkyBluwe’re talking about marketing, and introduction to business.  I was thinking this week about the marketing technique call detailing.  This is a marketing method utilised by pharmaceutical sales representatives to target and full court press individual doctors into writing prescriptions for their products.  They give free samples, provide a lot of other freebies, snacks and lunches for staff, gifts, dinners out and sporting event tickets for doctors.  They will pay high speaking fees for doctors who will tout their product.  They appear willing to do just about anything to get in with an individual and add them into an organisation that they build to market their preferred drugs. 

     I switched the term from pharmaceuticals to drugs on purpose.  Maybe I’m wrong but, doesn’t this practice look a lot like the marketing techniques used by street gangs to push illegal drugs?  The ethics of the pushers and dealers in both groups do not appear to have the public’s best interest at heart.

November 4, 2009

Diversity Factor

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 11:50 pm

Hello there, Papa DonderVogel back for this weeks blog to think on.

     I read an article the other day by Ben Terret called, The Diversity of Ideas. He feels that to be a successful brand or a creative agency, you need a healthy diversity of ideas.
     He went to a lecture where they talked about how their diversity policy had affected the bottom line. (By the way, diversity does not just mean ethnicity. It means class, ability, culture, background, education and about a million other things.) It’s had him thinking about diversity ever since.
     So by Diversity of Ideas he mean good ideas, bad ideas’ big ideas, tiny ideas, web ideas, paper ideas. Ideas from idea people and ideas from non idea people (users, consumers, children, anyone, etc). Expensive ideas and cheap ideas. Mainly it means doing lots of ideas and actually doing them, and doing them with out knowing for sure if they’re going to work or not.BlogWhtOnBlu
     You can this idea in action in people with a true entrepreneurial spirit. Small companies, to be successful, do this out of necessity. Small company may spend all it’s marketing budget on a trade show and then hold a small, annual picnic in the factory for suppliers. It’s selling, it’s building the brand. It’s the kind of thinking that brought in guerilla marketing.
     Think it, try it, if it wirks do it again, if it doesn’t, think something else or even better get someone elses thoughts, anyone elses, you never know until you try.

     I hope this got your idea wheels turning.  Until next week,

Papa DonderVogel, OVER / AND / OUT !!

October 28, 2009

DumpDiving vs SweatShops

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 12:28 am

Hello one and all.  Papa Dondervogel here. Todays topic? DumpsterDiving, Cambodian style.

Mine 34In January of this year, Nicholas Kristoff of Newsweek published a story about the people who live on and from the garbage dumps of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Children wandering barefoot over mountains of garbage searching for plastic cups which they can sell for five cents american per pound.  Families live in shacks, on top of, these mountains of garbage. Talk to these people and , to them, a job in a sweatshop is a cherished dream.  A 19 year old woman says that she would love to get a job, in what to them is just a factory, “At least that work is in the shade. Here is where it’s hot.”   Another woman dreams that her 10 year old son may get such a job.  He has never seen a dentist or a doctor and has not bathed since he was two.  A factory job is far more peasant and safer than living here and searching garbage for a living.  She has seen children run over by the dump trucks.

     It’s good that americans are repulsed by people working under sweat shop conditions, but sweat shops don’t cause poverty.  They are a symptom of poverty.  The best way to help the poor in third world countries isn’t to campaign against sweat shops.  Manufacturing needs to be promoted in these countries to raise their standard of living, thereby raising their views of themselves.

     Would I like to work in one of those factories?  Heck no.   I also wouldn’t want to make a living as a rickshaw driver or a garbage dump scavenger either.  But, if that is what was necessary to keep my family alive, you know I would do it and so would most parents.  Ask 13 year old Neuo Chanthou. She earns less than $1 per day scavenging in the dump.  She worries about her sister, who lost part of her hand when she was run over by a garbage truck.  Neuo wears a ‘playboy’ shirt and hat that she scavenged out of the garbage.

     I hope I’ve given you all a little to think about.  Why do you think that Walmart gets away with how they treat their employees in the U.S.?  Besides a little money slid here and there, and the fact that most people don’t care, those employees are doing what they have to, to feed themselves and their families as best as they can. If that means working two or three rotten jobs and getting no sleep, that’s what it takes.  If you’re concerned about worker treatment, look in your own back yard.  You don’t know enough about the world yet to judge anywhere else.

October 20, 2009

CottageWorks

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 10:39 pm

BlogPurpGoldHello Kiddies,

Papa DonderVogel here again with something new. Jullie asked us about a business we’ld like to start someday.

What Iwould like to do, and have started doing alittle bit, is provide internet services to artists and other home based entrepreneurs in my area. These people are busy enough producing valuable services and some of the most beautiful photagraphy and artwork in the world.

These people deserve world wide exposure and some world wide customers wouldn’t hurt either. They don’t have time to learn all this themselves and they don’t need the $1,000 a page services either. What they need and deserve is some simple excellence and I  hope to provide it for them. For those of you who are interested, go to http://www.cottageworks.com  and click on the buttons for Robin’s Nest or Anderson Art. While I’m in school, things have been a bit hectic. Robin’s Nest is a bit dated and Sharon Anderson’s Art site is incomplete (she’s been a little busy too and hasn’t gotten me the final information yet) but it’s a small start and with luck will grow from there.

Don’t bother clicking on the DonderVogel button, it will just bring you back here. Until next week, this is Papa Dondervogel signing off.

October 14, 2009

Entrepreneurship from Ben Franklin

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 1:12 am

Hello everybody, it’s that time. Papa DonderVogel is going to chat about business again. Today, the Great American Businessman, Benjamin Franklin. That’s right, not Billy Gates.    BlogGold

     Ben Franklin was the youngest son of fifteenth children. He had a working-class father and only attended school for two years. While educating himself, he was able to make enough money as a printer, to retire by the age of 42.This is the epitome of the American entrepreneur.

       So how did he do it? Everyone knows that Ben was a scientist and inventor. He must have patented an invention and grown rich off of the profits, right? Well, you know how I work, so no that’s probably wrong. Ben Franklin never patented anything. He didn’t believe in it. Old Ben felt that everyone should be able to freely profit from scientific advances. Wow, that sounds a little like Linux and the opensource movement. Sorry, but the geek is going to keep sneaking in here every once in a while.

     Ben started a printing business. In colonial times, as now, printing was a business with high capital startup costs and cut throat competitiveness. One of Ben’s greatest accomplishments was a book called “The Way to Wealth”. Amazingly, this book is still in print. It is basically a book of ‘wise sayings’, such as “A penny saved is a penny earned”. No, that isn’t Ben’s secret to getting rich. He was humble enough to admit that he was never able to cultivate a habit of thriftiness. However, he was wise enough to surround himself, in the persons of his friends, family and business contacts, with people who did have the habits he admired. He also knew the importance of not only working hard and doing things for yourself to cut corners, but making sure that others knew you were working hard and willing to do things for yourself to save costs and make sure that everything is done right.  By doing this, he put the existing competition out of business and started cleaning up.

   In other words, it may not be enough to know your business, work hard and long hours, be certain that everything your customer wants is exactly so and then some, cut costs and beat the competition’s prices. It is at least as important to promote yourself, make sure that everyone, your customers, suppliers, and anybody else you can reach knows that you are willing and able to do whatever it takes. Old Ben’s wisest moves were in promoting himself. One of his best tactics was to do something that people may admire him for, and then not ever admit that he had done so. Instead, the information just sort of leaked out until everyone knew that Ben was the good guy, and also that he was too humble ever to come out and say so. Very smart marketing indeed.

     So, in conclusion for this week, if you are thinking of starting your own business, take a few tips from Ben Franklin. It would be worth your while to read a few of the biographies out on Ben. He was a wily old dog and there’s a lot there that modern entrepreneurs can learn from. Come up with some ideas on marketing yourself without appearing to do so. Nobody seems to like the good guy who is always telling what a good guy he is. Learn to be subtle. That’s it, the whole secret. Say ‘Thank you Papa DonderVogel’ and I will try to find some more business wisdom for next week. So, until then, Dag!!

October 6, 2009

Limited Liability Corporations

Filed under: Uncategorized — grob1o61 @ 1:08 am

BlogPurpleHello Blogoholics, it’s that time again. Papa DonderVogel here to discuss business.

     Thinking of starting your own business? Have you heard of Limited Liability Corporations? You have? Well, like Purple People Eaters, they don’t exist. But, there are LLC’s or Limited Liability Companies. The reason for the confusion is the description of LLCs as the best qualities of a corporation without the cost and complexity.  A LLC, defined in each state by state law, is a legal form of business company that provides limited liability to its owners. It is a hybrid business entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietership (depending on how many owners there are). An LLC, although a business entity, is a type of unincorporated association and is not a corporation. The major advantage here is limiting the liability of the owner(s). How limited depends on the laws of each state and what kind of liabilities you want to be protected from. Fraud or other kinds of illegal activity? Not protected. For other details check with your state.

     The Federal government does not recognize a LLC as a classification for federal tax purposes. This allows check-the-box taxation. A LLC can elect to be taxed by the federal government as a sole proprietor, partnership, S corporation or C corporation (as long as they would otherwise qualify for such tax treatment), providing much flexibility. For further, and best, information take a click over to your Secretary of State’s homepage. That is where you’ll be most likely to find information for your area.

Until next week,

This is Papa DonderVogel signing off.

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