For anyone starting up his or her own business, an understanding of business incorporation is must. While there are both pros and cons in taking this step for your business, you want to be sure that whichever side you fall down on, you are making an informed decision that will ultimately result in the flourishing of your endeavors.
The first stage in establishing any business entity is to decide the legal structure this will take. These structures range from sole proprietorship to several types of corporation, and the form you select will depend largely on your business intentions. A small business, owned by a single person, is generally run as a sole proprietorship, and though there are few tax benefits to operating in this way, there is also far less paperwork involved in establishing operations. Incorporation is most suited to larger operation, owned by two people or more, who wish to protect their personal assets, enjoy a multitude of tax benefits and find new ways to raise capital in the future.
When it comes to business, there are thousands of entities which would be happy to take your cash in order to provide you with consulting services, analytical services, informational services, etc. The alternative is finding free tools on the internet that you can use to your advantage. One such resource is del.icio.us.
del.icio.us is a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only between your own browsers and machines, but also with others. What makes del.icio.us a social system is its ability to let you see the links that others have collected, as well as showing you who else has bookmarked a specific site. You can also view the links collected by others, and subscribe to the links of people whose lists you find interesting.
So, basically del.icio.us is a collection of bookmarks which other users have saved to their profiles. All bookmarks are public, and organized by tag. This is the interesting part. Tags are one-word descriptors that one adds to their bookmarks. For example, if I found a website about buying Yahoo domains, I could save that in my del.icio.us profile and tag it with the word “domain”. Alternately, if I am really interested in Yahoo, I could tag it with both “yahoo” and “domain”. Aside from that link showing up in my personal profile under those tags, they are also now available to anyone who looks up the tag on del.icio.us.
Say I want to find out about marketing. I can hit Google and try typing in the word marketing with a bunch of other terms, and then dig through the results. It sounds like a reasonable way to do it, but I would much prefer using del.icio.us to look up the marketing tag. This is because I know that the links that del.icio.us gives me are those that others found useful. The formula for looking up a tag on del.icio.us is “del.icio.us/tag/PutTermHere”. So if I wanted to look up bookmarks that users put into the marketing tag, I would point my browser to http://del.icio.us/tag/marketing. Give the link a click and see what you come up with. If you want to look up AdSense resources, you would look at http://del.icio.us/tag/adsense.
This is a case where you have the community working together to find the cream of the crop on the internet. Check out del.icio.us the next time you want information on any subject at all. Let us know what gems you find.
A few weeks ago, we brought you the most expensive statements of success. Well, in order to gain enough cash to invest in a mansion or yacht, you need to handle your money wisely. CNN Money has come up with a list of “The 50 Smartest Thing To Do With Your Money”, looking at options for investing, saving, and buying real estate. It’s a good read to keep you grounded when you are staring a $5,000 affiliate check in the face, thinking of all the ways you can spend it on “fun”. When it comes to business, slow and steady wins the race.
Read More | CNN Money
I happened upon 24 Hour Laundry today after someone pointed me in their direction, and gave the blog a read. My first thought was “Why are they talking about something that they aren’t going to talk about yet?” What I mean is, 24 Hour Laundry’s latest post tells us what the service is not rather than what it actually is. Now, I know that is a way to build hype and keep the casuals coming back in anticipations - but why not just tell us what is going on? In all honesty, I think that this approach may actually deter folks. My approach is to keep quiet until I am ready to launch - but once I get to that point, I go full steam ahead. In talking to a colleague about this earlier, I was told to check out Mark Fletcher’s comments on 24 Hour Laundry. I was glad to see that someone agreed with my thought process. Give it a read to see what I mean. EDIT: Someone else agrees as well.
Read More | Winged Pig
So you are an in-the-know Internet entrepreneur, and have all the lingo down, right? Remember that major companies are starting to take notice as well. Large companies are being tuned in to the blogoshpere, and are dipping their toes into RSS. The thing is, their use and yours, for the most part, are very different. There is certainly room for everyone on the vast world of the interweb, but it’s always good to know the approach that the larger firms will likely be taking.
But corporations that want to use the web strategically to build corporate value will not just need to make radical cultural changes, they may also need to master a new vocabulary with terms such as Wikis (software that allows anyone to update and edit web pages instantly and democratically); Weblogs (online journals more commonly known as blogs); and RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, which distribute content from the Internet.
Read More | Wikis, Weblogs, and RSS
Did you know that while most startups fail, a major corporation is more likely to hire someone who pioneered a failed startup over someone who has had a successful corporate entry-level career? Starting your own company is obviously a huge risk, but with that risk comes the possibility of great reward. A large company could purchase your venture, making you a nice profit. It could tank, but you are now smarter and more marketable to companies - or it is a success and you reap the reward. Check out this article which takes a look at an excellent point of view as to why Internet startups are a fantastic idea, and how regardless of the outcome, you will come out better for it.
Read More | Hiring is Obsolete
When visitors hit your website, your hope is that they will do something. Whether that something is purchasing a product, clicking on an ad, or filling out a form, there is an action - or conversion - that you hope will take place. This is your bookmark for success. Many web publishers do not pay enough attention to their landing pages to ensure that they are optimized for whatever action they hope takes place.
Even after a customer has decided to accept your offer, the conversion can be lost. Any flaw in site functionality and usability can cause you to lose the conversion, so ensure your privacy information is posted and there are no hiccups in form processing.
The following article lists 11 things you can do to make sure that when your visitors hit your page, they have a higher chance of doing what you want them to do.
Read More | Digital Web
If you haven’t heard of GnomeDex, it is an annual meeting of influential minds on all things related to the Internet and making it profitable - software, hardware, technology, concepts, brainstorming, strategies, etc. This year I will be on hand to live blog GnomeDex 5.0, emanating from Seattle, WA. GnomeDex describes itself as:
What is Gnomedex…
- Business Models Brought to Life
- The People Aggregator
- A tap into the Conversation Economy
- Movers, Shakers, & Deal Makers
- Thought Leaders, Industry Influencers, Entrepreneurs
- Continuous online conversation and PR
- Important for new, existing company strategies
- Essential for the success of Internet businesses
The festivities begin on June 23, and go on through the end of the weekend on the 25th.
Read More | GnomeDex
This list notifies the reader of ten mistakes often made in web design. After giving it the once over, I can easily say that I agree with pretty much everything said here. The big one here, as far as I am concerned, is leaving the price off of a product page. I can’t tell you how many times I have been thoroughly frustrated with a product site not listing the price of something I was interested in, instead pointing me towards a sales representative phone number. At that moment, they lose my business. Check out the article, which also lists the top 10 web design mistakes for years past as well.
Read More | UseIt
While this isn’t directly related to online business, I think it’s always good to have goals to work towards, even if it’s an outlandishly priced yacht or home. Forbs has compiled several lists of 2005’s most expensive statements of success and a few other things to blow your hard earned money on:
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