- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
- Volume 3, Issue 4
May 26, 1999
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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR:
For EPs, the Web is Working.
Thanks to the Internet, many thousands of
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The Funny Things EP Kids Say & Do!
- EP Home Office Clean-Up Event
EP Times -- An Editorial
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
What's Happening at EP (Summer publishing schedule)
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 & DO!
Submitted by EP Volunteer, Jeralynn
Burke ([email protected]):
My four year old daughter loves
the Land Before Time movies. Recently, I
was planting a rose bush under her watchful eye and told her
to watch out
for the thorns, they could hurt her. Several days later I was
in the yard,
smelling the roses, when she came up to me and said "Mom,
where are the
(FYI, in Land Before Time movies,
"horns" are a type of dinosaur!)
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
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!
EP HOME OFFICE CLEAN-UP DAY!
It's here.... our first "EP
Event".... the day all EP's are sent to their
rooms to clean-up their acts ;-) This issue has been completely
to organizing your home office, and we'd like to kick it off
with a poem
written especially for EP by EPnews Subscriber, Karen DeLuca
CONFESSIONS OF A MESSAHOLIC
My desk is a mess,
I cannot find a thing,
Elbows deep in piles,
Can't reach the phone when it rings.
File cabinets bulging,
With what I do not know,
No system of organization,
Just piles, high and low.
Searching for something takes,
Forever and a day,
I really need to change,
But I can't throw anything away.
Everything has a place,
I just do not know where,
I bump into clutter,
Just getting up from my chair.
I'm a messaholic,
But I really need to be neat,
Can anybody help me,
Accomplish such a feat?
We hope the answer to your question is Yes, Karen! We'll do our
best :-) ...
Now that the day is here for
all of us to take a serious look at what's
piled up on our desks over this past school year and start getting
on the transition into the summer months ahead, we'll get right
WHAT's ON YOUR TO-DO LIST TODAY?
EP suggests the following:
1. Take a snapshot of your Home
Office before you touch a thing!! (Details
follow -- look for "Photo Contest").
2. Checklist: Debbie Williams,
a professional organizer, owner of "Let's
Get It Together" (www.organizedtimes.com),
and coordinator of this event,
put together an excellent Checklist for you to monitor your progress
and motivate you for continued success in eliminating clutter
on an ongoing
basis. To print it out to use as today's guidelines, go to:
3. Email Chain: If you signed
up for the Email Chain, which was created to
serve as a friendly colleague support system, please DON'T FORGET
your email to your select EP today (preferably this morning!).
4. Essay Contest: We have extended
the deadline for the Essay Contest to
mark this event. Essays entitled "Why My Office Needs A
qualify you to win a FREE PERSONAL CONSULT (4 email consultations
at $70) with Debbie Williams, as well as a copy of her booklet,
Organizing 101" (a $5.50 value). Send essay in an email
with the subject heading "EP Essay Contest" --
deadline June 16, 1999
5. Photo Contest: Submit before
and after pictures of your home office --
the EP who worked the hardest <g!> on "EP Office Clean-Up
Day" will win a
free product at the EP Member Store. Join the fun and get your
Entrepreneurial Parent!" T-shirt, Tote Bag or book while
you're at it ;-)
Send photos via email ([email protected])
or postal mail to: The
Entrepreneurial Parent, PO Box 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432. Deadline:
6. If you have more to do today
than you want to think about, just print
this newsletter out and read it TOMORROW <g>!
7. For Further Information about
ongoing organizational support, contact:
Let's Get it Together
P.O. Box 590860
Houston, TX 77259
Or visit the EP Home Office Clean-Up
EP TIMES -- AN EDITORIAL
In keeping with our theme this
week of Home Office Organization, I've
skipped the editorial this time around and instead am pointing
a relevant excerpt from my book. Go to:
Hope it helps! ;-)
is the mother of four, Web Producer 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." To purchase your copy,
"Taking the Challenge"
by deB Sechrist
When Lisa announced the EP Home
Office Clean-Up Day, I took one look around
my surroundings and decided there was NO WAY I could participate.
office is part of my garage, and it is the dumping ground for
already-small house. It has a carpeted floor, the washer and
on all walls, two desks, and a disconnected garage door opener
overhead. But everything that needs a temporary place is stored
with many things that already "belong" in a garage,
and in an office. When
I read the details about the contests, I had just cleared a path
door to my desk chair, and laughed at the possibility that I'd
ever be able
to clean this mess up.
But I love a challenge, and as
the days passed I decided I would
participate, but would have to start a bit earlier. This kind
doesn't get fixed in just a day, so my plan is to be able to
project on the actual Clean-Up Day. One other factor is that
it can't cost
any additional money -- it's just not in the budget right now,
so I need to
improvise with what I already have here. I took some "before"
(http://www.en-parent.com/EPcenters/deboffice.htm), and although
to have them up there for anyone to see because it is such a
mess, if they
will inspire you to participate then it will be worth it! :-)
I did buy a few more bankers
boxes and magazine holders, but I still didn't
actually spend money since I unearthed an unused bicycle tire
wasn't just the right item for us to use, and returned it to
the store: I
was able to find the receipt since I had finally filed all the
from the past month. I also saved money by finding lots of stray
supplies and hardware that I would have had to buy if I hadn't
in this organizing blitz. I even found a few dollars in change
and a book I
The reality is that when I'm
finished, there will still be some stacks of
boxes here and there: I'm refinishing my kitchen so everything
that was on
the countertops is in boxes in one corner of the garage, the
are stacked behind a filing cabinet, yet another pile of boxes
with hand-me-downs to a single mother who isn't quite ready to
yet. But the boxes are clearly marked, I know what's in them,
I know where
everything else went. It's a great feeling!
Watch for my "after"
photos on Thursday, 5/27 (at the URL above). I'm
feeling much more productive in my clean garage/office. For me,
time for the EP Home Office Clean-Up Day has been well worth
Feel like taking the challenge? Don't forget to send your before
photos or your essays to EP...and good luck!
Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmanager 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 Amy Knapp
of Calendar Systems, U.S.A. shares her marketing tips with us.
Amy is the
creator of "The Family Organizer," a desk calendar
designed to organize
your family life. You can reach Amy at [email protected],
616-375-7250, Fax: 616-375-3930. Amy is also a new member of
Association of Entrepeneurial Parents (NAEP) -- look for her
at the EP Showcase soon! (For more info on NAEP, go to:
1. In a 2-3 sentence statement, explain what your home business
including your target market and "mission statement."
Calendar Systems, U.S.A. is a
small publisher that specializes in
functional calendars. The Family Organizer is a unique calendar
time management strategies used in business into a format design
home. Being a publisher entails much more that just printing
Bidding out the project and selecting a printer was the easy
part. I also
had to establish distribution channels in both the book and gift
and develop a marketing plan to sell the calendars once they
are on the
2. Briefly describe the product
you are selling, and how you came up with
The Family Organizer is a spiral-bound
desk calendar. Each week includes
appointment scheduling, to do list, perforated grocery list,
and personal journaling/goal tracking. In the back of the calendar
pages of color-coded stickers to help identify birthdays, school
car maintenance and bill payments. I developed this layout when
I became a
stay at home mom. I needed a calendar to coordinate my new
3. How much do you plan to sell
it for, and how did you come up with that
The calendar will retail for
$15.95. This price was set after determining
the cost to produce the calendar at various quantities. Once
cost was set, I had to determine the industry's standard mark
up. These two
elements combined with market research to determine competitors
produced the final price.
4. Tell us a bit about your marketing
campaign. Have you started
pre-selling your product, and if so, how? What marketing efforts
believe will yield the greatest results, and how do you plan
to make your
first contact and subsequent sales (via online, phone, fax, mail,
My past experience in advertising
and promotion has really paid off. For me
learning the distribution channels was the most difficult. Before
Family Organizer even hits the shelf of a single book or gift
500 review copies will be sent to parenting and child-related
Our website will provide access to an ordering link as well as
interactive format where families can share time/home management
Press Releases will be distributed to newspapers in major metropolitan
areas. Having an aggressive marketing plan has really helped
me get into
bookstores and thus increase my sales. I have found that it is
stores' responsibility to sell the book (calendar) to the public,
lies with the publisher. They are hesitant to purchase books
marketing support in fear that they will occupy valuable space
produce the revenues. This first year, I expect that the majority
sales will come either directly or indirectly from the Internet.
for this year is to sell enough calendars to break even on the
anything more will be frosting on the cake.
5. Any additional comments are
I think that having a realistic
goal is very important. Don't be greedy
when setting your goal. Greed tends to lead to unwise business
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&A FROM "GUEST"
EXPERT, DEBBIE WILLIAMS ([email protected]):
Q. From EPnews Subscriber, [email protected]:
Oh this clean up day is such
a good idea!!!! I have mountains of papers
that need processing/filing!! Along with clean up tips, it would
that day to post some *motivational* info for those of us who
discouraged. My biggest obstacles are: paralysis when an item
logically filed in more than one way (i.e. car insurance papers
"Car" or "Insurance" or "Business Expenses"
file?) and the vicious circle
of when I need info or space or some resource to complete a task
not available until I do another task, ad infinitum...
Thanks for initiating this clean
up day -- I'm looking forward to it.
A. Here are a few tips to help
your day go smoothly:
1. Before you begin, take a deep
breath, drink a tall glass of water, and
put on some music to help you relax. This may ward off some of
"paralysis" as you face your worse clutter hurdles.
Then take some time to
think through and plan your filing system and prioritize your
"To Do" list.
If you're concerned that some of your paperwork will get "lost"
filing system, make a list of where you filed those questionable
and keep the list in a front drawer of your filing cabinet. Also,
specific when prioritizing your "To Do" list...take
into account every
action that each task entails, and set realistic time goals.
2. Break down a big project into
small manageable tasks (i.e. desk drawers
rather than the entire office, email paper files rather than
business-related filing.) This allows for all those inevitable
3. Designate 10-15 minutes every
day for a large project (i.e. creating a
new filing system). So many of us try to put this off until we
have a whole
day or entire weekend to complete it, which we all know will
It'll be done before you know it if you just do a little bit
4. Sort before you even start
organizing. Paper Piles (magazines,
newsletters, bills, business cards, etc.) and Clutter (clothes,
magazines, books, knick-knacks, videos, craft supplies, etc.)
can all be
sorted into categories and placed in large tubs or cardboard
boxes to be
dealt with later. Be sure to start your sorting with TRASH so
takethat box out first. One down, a few more to go!
From our EP Home Office Design Expert:
I would like to turn a spare
bedroom that is used rarely for guests into an
office. Do you know of any designs that have a pull down bed
for the occasional guest, but can be put away when not used to
for a work station? Thank you for your time,
Mike and Dianne Dyer
Laguna Niguel, CA
A. Dear Mike and Dianne,
More than half of all homeowners
with home offices use a spare bedroom, so
you are not alone. The challenge is in fitting everything into
You've hit on a good idea: the Murphy bed. I've located one place
California that may be able to help you out: Room Maker Wallbeds
Cabinets, 949-588-1585, in Lake Forest, CA. Also, The Murphy
may be able to lead you to a dealer closer to your home. Call
800-845-2337 or visit their Web site: www.murphybedcompany.com.
Another idea is to contact a
furniture company called Sligh. Their
specialty is in helping home office users just like you. They
once had a
product that was a desk with a bed inside of it! It was quite
has been discontinued. Their phone number is 616-392-7101; ask
for a dealer
of Sligh Furniture in your area.
The easiest thing to do, however,
is to buy an open up sofa for a guest
bedroom/home office. That way, you can fit a sofa and a desk/chair
space. When you are working in the home office, you will have
executive-style couch on which to sit and work or read. This
take up the least amount of space, believe it or not, because
a Murphy Bed
requires a whole wall, plus, the bed is housed in a deep cabinet.
If you are intent on getting
a Murphy bed, the best thing to do is find
someone who can come out to your home and measure whether or
not one will
fit into the room.
Marilyn Zelinsky is the author of "Practical Home Office
"New Workplaces for New Workstyles" (both available
at the EP Bookstore,
To learn more about Marilyn and/or to
ask her a single question, go to
Let's Get It Together -- a site
produced by professional organizer, Debbie
EZ Pocket -- a wonderful alternative
HomeOrganization.com -- Discount
Storage and Organization Products:
Boston Business Journal, article,
"Out from Under" (Nov. 11, 19996) --
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
IN THE EP COMMUNITY:
Our EP Volunteers are doing great!!
Sandra Linville-Thomas, our Promotions
Director, has been making some interesting contacts with related
Producers; Jeralynn Burke, our Discussion Forum Monitor, has
been doing a
superb job managing the new EP listserv (which now has over 40
subscribers!); and Sue Piller, our Membership Development Leader,
to roll out her personal welcome letter to new members and also
in the works of a membership drive for NAEP.
Meanwhile, some interesting issues
have popped up on our discussion
listserv. Here's one we thought we'd share because it's on the
subject of "Summer Camps." If anyone has a suggestion
for Barb, please
email her directly and cc: "[email protected]"
so we can share it with
Please note: if you'd like to
subscribe to our discussion list, go to:
From: Barb Roeder <[email protected]>
Thought I'd see if anyone else
is going through the same conundrum I am. My
kids are school age, as of this past year, so I've had the luxury
days to devote to my business over the past year. In the EP spirit
"family first," I'm very torn between keeping up with
my work and spending
some extra time with them this summer.
I know I don't want to put them
in a 9-4 day camp 5 days a week, at least
not every week. Some half day options are really only 9-11 or
12, not a
good chunk of time to get much done, visit clients, etc.
I finally found one day camp
option that is willing to take them from 9-1
and I get to choose how many and what days they go. Extended
hours are also
available. Ideal, from my standpoint, but my son was less than
when we visited today, and it's really a pre-school type facility,
worried my daughter, who's 8, will be bored.
What's a good EP to do? I'm thinking
there may be a market for a new
business here! Seriously, I saw a deep dip in my business last
attributed it to the very laid back summer hours I had. Any ideas
else to do are welcome.
Multimedia Technology Consultant
-^--^-BarbWired-^--^-On the cutting
edge of digital video technology-^--^-
NEW SUMMER PUBLISHING SCHEDULE:
In the spirit of "spring
cleaning" our home offices and organizing our
workloads, Lisa and deB have decided to "lighten up"
this summer in
anticipation of the very subject Barb brings up -- that all of
will be home from school. So instead of publishing EPnews twice
we'll be publishing it once a month -- June 23, July 14 and August
We will continue to update the
EP Web site weekly, answer Q&As, monitor the
discussion forums, welcome and process new members, and forward
leads/promo opportunities to all subscribers as they come in.
If we have
the time & the inclination perhaps we'll also send an "EPnews
and again, but can't guarantee that (!).
Our regular publishing schedule
for EPnews will begin again on Wednesday,
Until then, we hope all of you
enjoy the onslaught of end-of-year school
events and festivities, a family vacation (or two!) to fill a
and at least a few lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer....Enjoy!
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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