Tip #1: Find a Mentor

April 16th, 2013

The best single tip I can pass along is to find someone knowledgeable to help you. No matter how much reading you do, when the bees come and you handle them and install them for the first time it helps to have a more experienced person there. I owe a lot to Medo Srndic, who is from Serbia and who brings a lot of Old World beekeeping experience. Medo is into organic and natural beekeeping, without man-made chemicals, which appeals to me. I found Medo and other helpful people at the Chicago Beekeeping Meetup Group/. Join a club and find your mentor! Marina Post at Christy Webber has been generous too. Notice that here we are installing by putting the box of bees in a deep without shaking them in. I will talk about this in the next post.

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Urban Beekeeping

April 16th, 2013

I have started on this new exciting endeavor and am finding beekeeping to be totally fascinating. From time to time I will post my progress and convey a few tips. There are lots and lots of blogs on beekeeping out there, and many are very helpful. I was trying to think what I can convey that new beekeepers can benefit from, and will focus on beekeeping in the city and what I’ve learned that’s helped me.

7th Edition Underway

January 27th, 2013

I am in the process of updating Starting an Online Business for Dummies for the sixth time. I am finding lots of changes due to the rising popularity of mobile devices. I found a web site where you can easily create a mobile version of your site called Strikingly, for instance.

Thank you for coming!

October 19th, 2012

I want to thank the approx. 80 individuals who came out on a rainy Thursday to hear about the Three-Part Profit Plan. Thanks for your questions and evaluation comments. Next time, I will definitely find time for questions during the program. And I will edit down the planning section so there isn’t a rush at the end.

After the talk some people asked what my own hosting service is. I use Hostgator. Packages start at $3.96 per month. When I was ready to find a new host for my website, I asked one of the sellers I had written about for what host she recommended, and she pointed me here. I do use GoDaddy but that is only to hold or renew my domain name. They do offer hosting but I’m frankly put off by the hard sell they do when you register a domain. And I’m happy with Hostgator.

Here are the Three-Step Profit Plan PowerPoint slides from my talk at Waubonsee Community College Oct. 18.

What’s a Storefront?

October 18th, 2012

What do I mean by “storefront”? Do I mean eBay, or Amazon.com, or something else?

I mean a presence on any marketplace that lets individuals or businesses set up shop and something. That could be eBay, but it could also be a small, free site like Storenvy, or a popular general merchandise site that’s an alternative to eBay such as Bonanza.

Once you set up one store, you can diversify your inventory and set up one more. And another, and another…all the stores target a different market segment. All contribute to your overall business.

I am currently preparing to give a public talk, “The Three-Step Profit Plan: How you can make money online using websites, social media and storefronts” at Waubonsee Community College Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. Find out more on the college’s website.

A discussion at the recent Shop.org conference brought together executives from Facebook, Google, and ShopRunner. The three gave their views on how merchants can keep up with new technological trends, while getting in a few barbs about their recent ups and downs. My ECommerceBytes article is here.

My most recent article on ECommerceBytes focuses on ChannelGrabber, a UK company that helps businesses manage multiple sales channels. One store, site, and venue is not enough. You need to make your sites, social media comments, and storefronts all work together to drive customers to your products and services.

Whatever you do online, you have to do wholeheartedly. Following something you are passionate about and know something about already gives you a good base from which to operate.

In the previous post, the budding entrepreneur, a former physician, wanted to start a website having to do with art. She hoped to learn more about art in the course of working on the site. It’s hard to sell art online. You have to have some kind of background or authority in the field already in order to succeed. How else will you compete with all the other sites selling reproductions or original art out there?

My advice to the writer: consider starting a blog about your experience as a physician. Invite basic questions about health issues from readers. Provide some “inside stories” about what it’s like to be a doctor. Perhaps describe things that need to be improved with the insurance or health care system in the U.S. This kind of blog could be really compelling. The blog could then link to an art site. Having developed a steady stream of visitors to the “Ask the M.D.” blog, the art site would have a chance of generating some traffic rather than starting from zero. One of the basic principles of e-commerce is to sell your knowledge and build on your background. That applies in this case, too.