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EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial Parent
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
Volume 2, Issue 3
January 13, 1999


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The Funny Things EP Kids Say!
EP Times -- An Editorial
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
***Promotional Opp for EPs***
We Recommend
What's Happening at EP
New Membership Options

Note to New Subscribers: EPnews is published and distributed on the second
and fourth Wednesday of every month. The Entrepreneurial Parent at is updated every weekend; look for new content on


Submitted by EPnews Subscriber, Joyce Melton Pages of KidBibs International ( who also submitted a question for today's Q&A:
Even though we pack school backpacks and get clothes ready the night
before, there's still usually a lot of scrambling in the morning. With my
9-year-old daughter already eating breakfast, my 7 1/2-year-old son was
fumbling with his shoes. I told him to hurry and get his shoes on or he
wouldn't have time to eat. His sweet eyes looked up at me and asked,
"Mommy, are we late?" I said, "No, not yet. I'm just trying to keep you on
track." With more compliance than this typically spirited
attorney-in-training can usually muster he said, "That's what mommies are
for. To keep us on track."

As I directed him to the table, my daughter to the bathroom to brush her
teeth, and helped my husband load his late-night work materials in the car,
I thought my son was right on target. Now, if only I could do the same for

Share with the EP Community something your child said or did recently that
made you smirk, giggle, or LOL. Send your submission via e-mail to:
[email protected] with the subject heading "A Funny Thing My EP Kid
Said (or Did)". And if you need a stockpile of smiles to get you through
your EP day, pick up your own heartwarming copy of Grace Housholder's "The
Funny Things Kids Say" @ On those
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!


"A New Year, A New Light"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts

The above copyright has changed from 8 to 9 and I, for one, am glad of it.
For those of you who shared a wearisome 1998, either personally or
professionally, here's to turning the bend. And for those of you who
enjoyed a fun and prosperous 1998, here's to the thrill of another 365-day
ride on the EP roller coaster.

Of course, there's nothing like having a January baby to replenish the new
year with an even greater splash than the norm. Actually, my "baby" is
turning three (on the 21st), so this is probably the very last year I can
say "January baby." (I am allowing myself to say baby because he is still
in diapers and a crib, but only for the next 8 days...!) I can't say it
seems like only yesterday when I was pregnant with him because it seems

In three years, my then toddler has become a kindergartener, my then
kindergartener is gulping down Hardy Boy Books by the dozen, my then third-
grader is now dabbling a little perfume on before her "Neon Nights" (the
town's monthly teen gala event), and my then infant is now saying, "Mommy,
pewt your na'kin on your yap." In looking at photos of the pregnancy and
then glancing at the face in the mirror, I'm convinced all one hundred
years have shown up (think "Picture of Dorian Gray"). Gratefully, when I
look at the faces on my children I see only three more years on theirs.

As for the entrepreneurial end of things, a clip from my book echoes some
present sentiments:

"It has been a full year since I started writing the original draft of this
manuscript. My youngest was conceived alongside this book and the two have
grown within me like healthy twins, persistant and vibrant and unified.
While I have given birth to one I await the arrival of the other, the first
who offers me sweet peace while his "twin" competes for attention. It's as
if the past nine years of parenthood-tug-career-tug-parenthood-tug-career
has peaked in this moment as my family holds on, strong and steady. We are
challenged, but we unite. We hold on. And like my first, my last leads the
way with a sparkle and a faith only a gift from heaven can provide."

In reflecting on all that has happened since that writing, as my little
sparkle is about to turn three, I am struck by how bright and direct his
light has turned out to be. At the time of Thomas's birth, I felt torn
between being a parent and a professional as never before. The work-family
conflict was truly at its peak. Having a book published was the culmination
of a life dream, it was almost a validation of who I was and who I always
have been. At the same time, having a fourth child was the culmination of
another lifedream, one I shared with my husband and other family members.
To add pleasure and pressure onto pleasure and pressure, we were also
house-hunting back then.

And yet this past year was even more stressful than the one in which my
"baby" was born. As mentioned in the last EPnews issue, we lost a dear and
special family member in 1998, my father. But through his innocence, charm,
and here-and-now needs, Thomas has pulled my focus towards him through it
all, as only a baby could. Through the triumphs and let-downs of book
publishing, the good-byes and hellos of a family move, the excitement and
hard work of a new partnership and business start-up, the inexpressible
grief of a death in the family, my baby's light has been there to shine
steady and consistent for me.

As the youngest, Thomas has no one to pass the torch onto. He will enter
the stage of young boyhood and this time I will not be replenished by
newborn parenthood again. Yet something tells me my little sunbeam will
never be dulled. As we embark on a new year together as a strong community
of "entrepreneurial parents," may each of us keep our focus on the sparkles
in our lives. Their light is ever-ready, through the turbulence and the
calm, quick to shine and lead the way. All we have to do on our end is keep
the faith.

Lisa Roberts is the mother of four, Co-Founder of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and the author of "How to Raise A Family & A Career Under One Roof:
A Parent's Guide to Home Business." For more info on her book, go to

"New Year, New Ideas"
by deB Sechrist

You've started the new year right by noting your car's mileage, organizing
your desk and files, pulling together your receipts for the taxes and
updating your Rolodex, right? OK I'll admit it, I'm still in the process of
doing all that, hopefully I'll be caught up soon. But in looking at the end
result of the last year, I see that I still could use some help making the
most of our family's income. And frankly, I'm fresh out of ideas for the
moment! So I did a little surfing and came up with a list of some helpful
websites that will inspire even the most experienced frugal pros. Check
them out and you just might find some gems to help make those 1999
resolutions come true!

Sites with tips:
Tightwad Tidbits:
Tight-Wadding with Doris O'Connell:

Newsletters and Books:
Frugal Budget Booster Newsletter:
Frugal Family Network:
Tighwad Booklist:

Loads of Links to helpful frugal living sites:
F.E.M.A.L.E. 's Penny Pinching links: Pinching Budget Bargains.htm
Frugal Corner:
Miserly Moms - Frugal Links:
Nannie's Little Pages of Info: My Frugal Page:

Happy Surfing!

deBorah Sechrist is the mother of three, Co-Founder of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more about deB

Being available to your kids and managing a career under one roof sounds to
many like the best of both worlds, but without pulling in some kind of
income what's all the effort for? Making Money Matters!This week Cheryl
Sandberg of SBD Web Design shares her marketing tips with us. You can reach
Cheryl at [email protected].

If you'd like to share your money-making tips with the EP Community, email
"[email protected]" w/ the Subject: "Making $$," and we'll send you our

1. What is your home business?

I have a professional web site design business. We specialize in small
business introductions to the World Wide Web. I help business owners
broaden their base and advertise world wide.

2. What are the most popular products and/or services you sell? How much do
you sell them for, or what is your fee schedule, and how did you come up
with these rates?

On average, a new client hires me for about a $300 web site. This is
usually a 3-4 page web site with their own logo, pictures, and descriptions
of products, with possible credit card capability (of course, I have smaller
and large packages as well).

When I first started my business, I knew I wanted to stay more price
competitive than the average web designer so I could cater to small
businesses. I researched the market on the Internet to establish my prices
by comparing the prices of other web designers. I came up with fees of
approximately $75 per page and about $25 an hour for updates, which I feel
is a fairly competitive rate.

3. What are *your* favorite products and/or services? Why do you like to
sell them?

I really enjoy selling the larger web site packages. I know that when a
customer invests in a large web site, he or she is really serious about his
or her online possibilities. I know that I can create what they REALLY need
for their business without limiting them to one or two ideas. We can create
online credit card capability, an online catalog, or a comprehensive view
of their business. I enjoy larger sites because of the creative
possibilities. It makes designing more fun.

4. Tell us a bit about your marketing campaign. When did you start noticing
your first sales (after which marketing technique), what marketing efforts
have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how do your orders come in
(via online, phone, fax, mail, face-to-face)?

When starting my business, I was concerned about the cost of advertising. I
wanted to make extra money, not spend my way into oblivion! But I was ready
to do some advertising. I checked around with other web designers to see
what they thought was the greatest return on the advertisement dollar for
Internet web designers. The consensus was that in our business, no fancy
yellow page ads or costly newspaper ads would be as good as person to
person contact between the web designer and the owner of the small
business. To this day, 90% of my business comes as a result of entering a
store, possibly making a purchase, and then talking briefly with the owner
of the store about how important web sites can be to even small local
businesses. After this initial encounter, I'll wait a few days and send a
personal letter to the owner of the store, stating how much I enjoyed
talking with him or her and thanking them for their time. I'll then send my
package prices and my business card and let them know that I would enjoy
doing business with them.

It's all a numbers game. I know that some will and some won't; all I have
to do is find the ones that will.

5. Any additional comments are welcome.

I was talking to a friend the other day. She was discussing the possibility
of her going back to work outside the home. I have no desire to EVER go
back to work for an employer. I never again want to beg a boss for 'this
Thursday off' or apologize for an extra 3 minutes at lunch time. I want to
turn my business off and on when I want to. I love having full control over
how much I work. I make the decisions on how much to charge, what to give
away for free, and who to do web sites for. I can play with my kids
whenever I want. I can help in my first grader's class whenever they need
me. And I can spend the afternoon at the park with my 2 year old. I have
the best of both worlds as a work at home mom.

I also want to say thank you to Lisa and Deb at the Entrepreneurial Parent.
I love your web site and Lisa's book. It's the closest thing to a 'water
cooler' that I have in my sometimes solitary business.

Cheryl Sandberg
SBD Web Design
See me on PBS, Computer Chronicles -- the week of Jan 25!
Check your local listings for exact day and time.


Have a question? It may already be answered in 1 of the 16 EP Expert Q&A
pages now up and running! Check them out at (follow the "Q&A" links). If your question
isn't answered there, then send it to: [email protected]. We'll be glad
to help you out if we can!


Q. Dear EP,

Our web site,, is devoted to helping children become good
readers, writers and learners. I'm in my fifth month of operation on-line.
I'm just starting to move toward getting advertising but I don't know what
the advertising rates are for web sites. Could you give me a range of rates
for ads, so I'm not too low and not totally out-of-sight. FYI, my hit count
for last week was 17,857 -- how does hit count play into the calculation of
an ad rate? -- Joyce Melton Pages

A. Advertising rates are measured in cpm -- cost per thousand (the m comes
from the Roman numeral for 1,000, M). I like to think in terms of
advertising "units." If you could display 18,000 banners a week, then you
have eighteen1,000-banner units; multiply your cpm by 18 units to get your
total income. For instance, if you sell ads at a cpm of $30, multiply 30 x
18 to get the total income -- $540.

However, you only say that you have 17,857 "hits." What do you mean by
that? Strictly speaking a hit is a single transfer of information; each
time a page is transferred, that's a hit -- but each time an image is
transferred, or even an error message of some kind, that's a hit, too. So
do you mean you have 17,857 page views, or do you really mean hits. If you
do mean hits, then you have far fewer page views, and so you'll be able to
display far fewer ads.

Next, how do you intend to sell ads, and how do you determine a price? A
good way to start is by signing up with an ad network such as Flycast or
DoubleClick. Such companies can help you pick a price, and will sell the
advertising for you; you have to place the appropriate HTML tags into your
pages, and their software keeps track of it all.

Flycast provides a great way to get a feel for what other people are
charging. Sign up for an account to buy advertising, and install their
software. Then you can view information about scores of other advertisers
-- you can read their media kits, and view their prices.

As for coming up with ad rates if you have an electronic newsletter, the
best way to figure those out is to find out what other newsletters are
charging. Rates can vary from a buck or two per thousand (as low as around
50 cents, actually), to perhaps $35 or $45 per thousand. The more highly
targeted and the more valuable the readership, the higher the rates.

Peter Kent
Peter Kent is the author of 34 computer and business books, including the
best-selling "Complete Idiot's Guide to the Internet" and "Poor Richard's
Web Site: Geek-Free, Commonsense Advice on Building a Low-Cost Web Site."
To learn more about Peter's work or to ask him a question, go to


We recently updated our links page and suggest the following sites to check
out (some are the work of fellow EPs):

MarketSTART, a web/copywriting consulting firm that offers a free web-based
zine called "The WebSuccess Journal," at

PedagoNet, an innovative search engine that facilitates the exchange of
learning resources, at http://www.infowriter.com

Childproofing USA, Inc., an Internet business that sells child safety
products, at

A Family Thing, an upcoming web resource focused on family life -- one to
watch!, at

Telecommuting Safety & Health Benefits Institute, a non-profit organization
dedicated to saving lives, reducing injuries and improving health by
encouraging the increased use of telecommuting, at

Comedy Coach, for all of you EPs who secretly want to be stand-up's a coach for you!, at


What's truly unique about The Entrepreneurial Parent and the EP Community
is that we are all in the process of launching and growing our businesses
together. In the four short months that we have officially opened EP "for
business," we are learning as much or more from all of you as you may be
learning from us. While the two of us (Lisa and deB) have been sole
proprietors of various businesses for a number of years, this Internet
business is new for us. For instance, today's featured Q&A was a sharp
question and really hit home. What IS the value of our web site in terms of
advertising dollars? If what Peter answers is true (as I trust it is!),
then we're in pretty decent shape -- we're taking in between 162,000 and
240,000 page views (over a million "hits") per month!

So on our agenda in the first quarter of this new year, we plan to
concentrate on attracting advertisers and sponsors to our web site. Look
for banner ads on our site soon...(let's hope!)

Meanwhile, the taping of our featured "Making Money Matters" EP Member,
Cheryl Sandberg, by the camera crew of Computer Chronicles, is happening
RIGHT NOW (today, 1/13/99)! As mentioned in our last EPnews issue, Computer
Chronicles is a PBS program that airs in 300 stations around the world and
in over 80% of U.S. households. They have chosen to put the spotlight on
"Entrepreneurial Parents" in general and on our site in particular. The
segment is about how parents are using the Internet to become better
parents, and they want to chronicle the work-at-home trend as one way the
Internet is affecting everyday, mainstream family life. So again, let's
send Cheryl some positive vibes so she and her family can get through the
day in a fun and truly memorable way!

Go to: <<>> to check Station
Listings in your state for exact day and time. The show airs the week of
January 25th.


Many of you who have recently registered as a member of the EP Community
have told us that you are interested in meeting EPs in your local
community, that you would like to attend business seminars specifically
addressing EPs, and that you'd be happy to receive a print version of
EPnews in your snail mail box. After much deliberation, we have decided The
Entrepreneurial Parent is ready to make the leap into "real-time!"

We are very pleased to announce the formation of the Entrepreneurial
Parents Association, an Association of EPs who get to meet in "real-time"
and enjoy the membership benefits of a traditional business organization --
and for modest annual dues ($45 for the first year or $60 for two years,
$25 upon renewal thereafter).


Get in as an EPnews Charter Member of NAEP and you'll receive a 25%
discount off membership dues! That's just $33.75 for the first year, or $45
for a 2-year membership. (Orders must come in before May 1, 1999 to get the
discount, and you must already be an EPnews subscriber BEFORE ordering your
NAEP Charter Membership. Just add the line "I am an EPnews Subscriber"
under the question "What would you like EP to offer, both online and off"
on the application form <<>>, so we can
apply the discount when we process your order. Only those orders that
follow the above instructions will receive the EPnews Subscriber Discount

We are so sure that membership in the National Association of
Entrepreneurial Parents will meet (and hopefully exceed!) your needs that
we are even offering a 30-day money-back guarantee on your membership dues.
You have nothing to lose, so join today! Go to:

Meanwhile....whether you plan to join immediately or not, we could use your

Vote for your favorite Association Name ("EPA" is already taken by the
Environmental Protection Agency!):

GEPA - Global Entrepreneurial Parents Association
NEPA - National Entrepreneurial Parents Association
EPAA - Entrepreneurial Parents Association of America
Submit another name!!

(Copy your favorite name above, hit return, and submit your vote. Thank you!)

To learn more about what the EP Association will have to offer you, go to: In the meantime, many thanks for your
wonderful expressions of support for The Entrepreneurial Parent during
these past four months!


The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC is not engaged in rendering legal or
financial advice. If expert assistance is required, the services of a
licensed professional should be sought.

This newsletter may be redistributed freely via the Internet. Re-publishing
of separate articles for your print publication needs approval first; write
to: [email protected] for permission.

© 2000, The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC
Editor: Lisa M. Roberts
EP Webmaster: Deborah Sechrist
POB 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432;
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email: [email protected]

Community email addresses:
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Unsubscribe: [email protected]
List owner: [email protected]

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