- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
- Volume 2, Issue 4
January 27, 1999
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The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
EP Times -- An Editorial
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
- Volunteers in Action
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
is updated every weekend; look for new content on
THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY!
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber,
Teri Friedman ([email protected]):
We were on a family vacation this holiday season in Montreal.
We went to
see an ice-show, "The Wizard of Oz on Ice." Our 5-year
old daughter asked
if the person who plays the Wicked Witch of the West is mean
in real life.
I said I suppose not or she wouldn't be in an ice-show. Rebecca
this for a moment and said "You're right. Ice shows are
If she were really mean, she'd be in an opera."
Ah, the cultural subtleties our
kids are already picking up!
Share with the EP Community something your child said or did
made you smirk, giggle, or LOL. Send your submission via e-mail
[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
Funny Things Kids Say" @ http://en-parent.com/familybooks.htm.
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!
-- AN EDITORIAL
"Creating A Business Identity"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts
For the first time in over five
years, I am immersed in one of my all-time
favorite home business projects: designing a business identity.
I used to
offer this service to others on a regular basis, back when my
involved direct client contact. Typically, a prospective or regular
would meet with me to describe their entrepreneurial ideas and
all they brought with them was a business name. Turning that
name into an
"identity" was my job.
A good number of you who are
members of EP have "pending" listed as your
business name. To me this implies that you're still exploring
business options and have not settled on a type of business,
no less a
name, no less a "business identity." Yet focusing on
the end result -- the
"face" of your home career -- may help jog some ideas
in place for you.
While I no longer offer this service directly to clients, I would
to share some tips that can help you along your work-at-home
career path on
---> START FROM SCRATCH. Just
like individuals, businesses have
"identities" -- a name, a look, a direction, a history
and a future. In
business terms, they're called a company name, logo, mission
and vision statement. When developing a business identity, take
of blank paper and lay them out on a table, labeling each with
five components. If you are design-oriented, pick up the "logo"
and use it to start sketching out your business idea. Or, if
"I want to..."
pops into your mind, then first work on your mission statement
-- what your
business can offer unlike any other -- until you have two to
sentences that are sharp and clear. This entire process can take
session of a few hours, or it can go on for days. If possible,
work station out until each sheet is complete.
---> STAY CONSISTENT. Together,
the five sheets you worked on in the above
exercise will become the "face" of your business. While
each can be used
separately for certain marketing projects, the key to developing
recognizable company image is to use them together as a unit.
uniform and consistent when choosing your colors as well as your
graphics. Your company should be identifiable at a glance to
prospects, your clients, and the business community at large.
---> CONSIDER THE MEDIUM.
Consider how your "business identity" will be
used to spread the word about your business to the public. For
when deB and I moved The Entrepreneurial Parent to its own domain
turned it into an interactive online community this past fall,
"business identity" was entirely Web-based. There was
little need for print
material like brochures, rate sheets, etc. Even our letterhead
cards were of little import, since most of our interactions with
were online. However, presently deB and I are working on developing
"business identity" for the "National Association
Parents" (NAEP). Since NAEP will extend beyond the Internet
need to develop print communications that are standard in the
---> TEST MARKET YOUR IDENTITY.
Once you have a "look" that you're excited
about, find ways to test the whole concept. First share it with
friends and relatives to solicit feedback. Then introduce it
and other business contacts. Finally, bring it straight to the
itself and see how it flies...
NOTE: As EPnews Subscribers,
you are all invited to help deB and I with
that last benchmark -- testing the market. Please take a few
fill out our NAEP survey @ <<http://en-parent.com/NAEP-survey.htm>>
click on the text links above the title to get a feel for the
we're going in. While we are already accepting NAEP Charter Membership,
Association is scheduled to roll out formally this spring so
time to make changes. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Also, if you have a "business
identity" you would like to test out with the
EP Community, write to us and we'll include the info in our next
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
"Teaching our Kids How to
by deB Sechrist
A while back we mentioned that
it makes sense to involve the entire family
in living a frugal lifestyle. Many parents find it difficult
to talk with
their children about money, and many children grow up not knowing
manage their money efficiently when they get out on their own.
the Internet is a great place to earn! Here is a list of websites
teach kids how to handle money, compiled and described by EP
Katchmeric ([email protected]).
http:.//www.bonus.com - Test entrepreneurial skills by operating
stand or other business.
http://www.gazillionaire.com/gaz.html - Run a trading company from space
and learn concepts such as supply and demand.
http://tqd.advanced.org/3096/index.htm - Stock market simulation including
a stock investing primer.
http://www.mainxchange.com - Stock market game lets young people
$100,000 virtual dollars and win prizes.
http://www.younginvestor.com - Investing primers, trivia and memory
http://www.wa.gov/ago/youth - Consumer education for teens - designed
high school students.
- Money related kid's
software programs (and a
whole lot more)
http://www.plan.ml.com/family/index.html - Each Spring, a savings poster,
essay and video contest, with winners receiving up to $1000 in
bonds (Merril Lynch Family Saving Center)
http://www.hsx.com - The Hollywood Stock Exchange - a stock
simulation (not just for kids!)
We recommend surfing with your
kids to find the best site appropriate to
their age. You might find that many can fill in the gaps in your
money-handling education, I know I did! Thanks for the list,
deBorah Sechrist is the mother of three, Co-Founder of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more
MAKING MONEY MATTERS
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
income what's all the effort for? Making Money Matters!
This week we have a special "guest"
interview for this column with an "EP
Granddad." Nick Giorgis is a retired science teacher and
the developer of
an educational product for kids called "NerdKards."
Nick is an innovative
and enthusiastic marketer who has great fun trying to spread
the word about
his product. His marketing experiences may give you some perspective
The other day, Nick sent Lisa
a message saying, "Help Me Get on the David
Letterman Show!" His idea was to ask kids, parents and grandparents
the country who want to see the "Smartening Up of America"
(instead of the
"dumbing down") to send in a postcard marked "America
Needs NerdKards!" to
The Late Show. If any of you want to have some fun and help out
Granddad" in the process -- here's your chance! Send your
The Late Show
with Dave Letterman
New York, NY 10019
Maybe if they receive enough
1. What was your first home business experience?
My first attempt to start a business
from my home was in 1986 when I
invented a gadget to measure acceleration in a high school physics
With the help of a former student, I took an HP ink jet cartridge
modified the electronics so that a drop of ink would eject every
100th of a
second and attached it to a toy car so that the cartridge would
trail of ink drops on scrap paper on the floor. Each drop of
"exactly" .01 sec apart. The students could measure
that trail of ink drops
and calculate the acceleration of the toy car. It could also
acceleration due to gravity of freely falling objects on a ticker
moving at right angles to the accelerating object. For that I
Patent # 4,761,658 and I called it "IJIT", an acronym
for: Ink Jet
Impactless Timer and the start of my company, IJIT.
I quickly discovered that the
cost of the patent was about $3,000 and the
start up costs brought it to a sum of $20,000. I advertised in
Magazine, went to conventions, rented tables to "show my
device," etc. All
in all it took me 5 years to get my investment back. This device
to the computer and if anyone wants to buy my patent rights they
welcome to make an offer!
2. What is your present home
business, and how did the idea evolve?
I taught physics for 34 years
at Staples HS in Westport, CT and retired in
1992 to become an educational consultant for Wesleyan U in Middletown.
part of my duties I visited over 12 H.S.s all over the state
students trading cards, not only sports cards but serial killer
well! I decided that there had to be an *educational* card featuring
scientists and mathemeticians with valid biographical information
students could learn.
I spent the next three years
developing a set of "Science and Math Kards"
(sold by the IJIT company since I already had a CT State ID Number
3. Tell us a bit about your marketing
campaign. When did you start noticing
your first sales (after which marketing technique), what marketing
have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how do your
orders come in?
I went to San Francisco to a
Science Teachers Convention, set up a booth,
spent $3,000 and sold about $250 worth. Went to a similar convention
Reno the following month and spent $1,800 and sold $150 worth!
quickly going down the "Black Hole" of the entrepreneurial
I did my own marketing research
by "hanging out" at local fast food
resturants and discovered that grandparents liked the Kards.
So I bought an
ad with Modern Maturity Magazine, 20 million circulation for
insertion ad the size of a credit card (2" x 3"), for
a price of $10,000
cash six months in advance...I plunged and took a bath! (I received
orders -- so much for paid advertising.)
Then one day a reporter and photographer
from New Haven Register ran a
story on their front page. Nerdkards was coined and the story
hit the AP
wire services and the resulting publicity spread across the USA
TV and print. I am on my second printing and re-cooped my $45,000
5. Any additional comments are
If you want to produce a product,
you are on your own. I tried to get 60
Fortune 500 companies to buy my Kards and use them as a promotion.
IT! They will not take you on unless you are already successful.
to manufacture it yourself and multiply your cost by 4 in order
K- Mart wants a UPC code on my Kards and a $2.5,000,000 liability
paid for by ME! (UPC code will cost $1300.)
The media by way of feature stories
is the way to go. If you can get a
feature writer to tell your story you can get a lot of mileage.
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 Jodie:
I was reading through your profile
on the EP Showcase and was extremely
impressed with the comments under the phrase "degree."
I feel that I have
the hardest, most rewarding job in the world, being a full-time
mom to my 2
month old son. Through my current search to find my niche in
world, I have come to the realization that the two degrees I
hold, an A.S.
in Early Childhood Ed., and a B.S. in Psychology, have only provided
with a broad range of abilities. The skills and knowledge I am
a mom are far more educational. My struggle now is on how to
help my family
grow financially, without disrupting the foundation we are building.
interests and talents are only as limited as I allow them to
be. If you
have any suggestions for a work at home business, please take
a moment to
respond. I greatly appreciate your time. Thank You.
A. Thanks for the belief in children.
You are providing a wonderful
opportunity to your family by giving your personal time and concern
them. I really think many readers will appreciate your question
beliefs. We all want to be successful and make worthwhile contributions
our family as well as our careers. Many times we feel staying
at home isn't
enough, but believe me, it is! With your son being so young you
limited for a while, but if you're lucky and he's a good sleeper,
have time to get more done than you think. Here are some ideas
for new EPs:
1. Tutoring. Parents pay good
money for this. Reading and math are still
the best areas to go with. You set the age limit you'll accept,
adults pay to increase their skills as well.
2. Clipping Pets and/or Pet Setting.
Yes, it can get messy but people are
prepared to pay as much as $35.00 each pet to get them clipped
by a caring individual. Also, if you kept 1 or 2 pets for a week
at a time,
you could charge as much as $20 per pet per day (think a "B&B
4. Child Care or Nanny Position.
With your degrees in early childhood AND
psychology, you can charge a premium as a childcare provider,
getting a license for an in-home facility or as a daytime nanny
6. In Home Typing Service. Lots
of professionals need extra hands in the
typing end of their business. Going prices for your expertise
high. You may have to do a little cold calling, but you'll get
used to it!
7. Create A Need. The next time
you're at a doctor's office -- or anywhere
-- and you see something that could become better (and you can
do it at
home -- or take the baby with you) -- talk to them about it.
one time my dentist couldn't find my chart, so I asked him how
the folders filed. When he told me just alphabetically, I asked
if he would
like me to take the folders home on the weekend and color code
applying color labels to each folder by zip code. He liked the
asked for other suggestions as well. Create a need!
Good luck and remember, don't
be afraid to ask for what you want. They can
only say "No," but who knows...they may say "Yes!"
Jodie Lynn is the author of "Mommy - CEO (Constantly Evaluation
Golden Rules," and the nationally syndicated "Parent
to Parent" columnist.
To learn more about Jodie's work or to ask him a question, go
and to visit the
above-referenced EP Showcase profile, visit:
The Single Parent's Resource
a collection of resources,
tips, articles and references on surviving as a single working
mom or dad.
SmallBiz Search @ <<http://www.smallbizsearch.com>>,
a search site
specifically designed to produce results that are related to
VOLUNTEERS IN ACTION
With the high response to Carolyn
Campbell's call for "simplifying your
life" stories two weeks ago, we are pleased to announce
that we have a new
"Stress Management" columnist for EP!
Desiree Scales of Bella Web Design
presently developing a "Stress Management Center" for
Parents, and will be writing a monthly column for this new mini-site.
the meantime, her first column is available in our Info to Go!
If you have topic
suggestions for Desiree or would like to contact her for another
write: "[email protected]".
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
Having trouble balancing work
and childcare under one roof? Check out "Home
Office Harmony" in the February issue of Family PC Magazine
print at your local Barnes & Noble, or go to http://www.familypc.com).
was consulted for the article, and the excerpt "Childproofing
Office" from her book, "How to Raise A Family &
A Career Under One Roof" is
featured in a side bar...check it out!
AN UPDATE: In the last issue
of EPnews, we mentioned that we were taking in
between 162,000 and 240,000 page views (over a million "hits")
month...upon further analysis of our stats, it turns out that
this was only
the case for the first 2 of the 4 months we've been at en-parent.com.
November, our stats took a nosedive to 35,200 hits and in December,
While we thought this might be attributed to the problems our
company admitted to having with their stats program, we recently
a visitors counter that confirms about the same rate.
So... what happened?? Could be
it's true what they all say about submitting
your URL to the major search engines every couple of months.
doesn't seem like a realistic maintenance plan in the long run.
of you who have Internet-based businesses...stay tuned. We'll
you posted on our Web marketing progress and hope you will share
and experience with us too.
Meanwhile, has anyone caught
The Entrepreneurial Parent and Cheryl Sandberg
on Computer Chronicles this week yet? If so, how did it go??
Let us know
your reaction at: "[email protected]"
TO SEE CHERYL SANDBERG ON TV:
Go to: <<http://www.cmptv.com/computerchronicles/>>
to check Station
Listings in your state for exact day and time. The show airs
January 25 - 31.
NEW MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS
The vote is in! Many thanks to
those of you who sent in your input on
naming our new association and coming up with its logo. "NEPA"
the most votes and, because we wanted to continue putting the
emphasis on "EP", we switched it to "NAEP."
So the "National Association of
Entrepreneurial Parents" is it! And deB has developed a
smart-looking logo to go with it (view it at our site).
Special thanks go to Joi M. Lasnick
of ParenTime (www.myparentime.com),
came up with some wonderful NAEP logo designs at the request
of our EP
membership. deB got to use her designs as a springboard to develop
present version. To view Joi's work, go to:
Thank you Joi!
SPECIAL EPNEWS SUBSCRIBER DISCOUNT RATE:
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
NAEP Charter Membership. Just add the line "I am an EPnews
under the question "What would you like EP to offer, both
online and off"
on the application form <<http://en-parent.com/member2.htm>>,
so we can
apply the discount when we process your order. Only those orders
follow the above instructions will receive the EPnews Subscriber
We are so sure that membership
in the National Association of
Entrepreneurial Parents will meet (and hopefully exceed!) your
we are even offering a 30-day money-back guarantee on your membership
You have nothing to lose, so join today! Go to:
Meanwhile....whether you plan
to join immediately or not, voice your
opinion @ <<http://en-parent.com/NAEP-survey.htm>>
today. And to learn more
about what NAEP has to offer you, go to: <<http://en-parent.com/NAEP.htm>>
The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC
is not engaged in rendering legal or
financial advice. If expert assistance is required, the services
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
to: [email protected] for permission.
© 2000, The Entrepreneurial
Editor: Lisa M. Roberts
EP Webmaster: Deborah Sechrist
POB 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432; http://en-parent.com
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email: [email protected]
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