In the past I have posted about starting a business. In some cases it simply boils down to following a dream.

I have recommended that people think about things that are of great interest to them personally.

Like….making items, changing items or developing services that have a public demand.

Then taking that basic foundation and building a business around that idea.


In simpler terms, if you are good at something, you have a business idea.


For many years, I was active in law enforcement. Having been a city police officer and an elected Florida sheriff.

I am currently a candidate for Sheriff of Volusia County, Florida.

You can view my campaign site at  .

Incidentally, I built that site. If you want a presence on the net, a site is almost a total necessity.


The point is this. Follow your dreams.

You might be surprised at the positive results.


Experience is the knowledge or mastery of an event or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.”



That seems simple enough to understand ….seems simple.

But there is more to that then meets the eye.

He has ten years experience.  Does that mean that he occupied space at one place for ten years? Or did he actually do something?

So….looking to the formal definition the person claiming to have experience, should really have had to do something that moved their project forward toward the goals that they set.

In some jobs people are not expected to progress “up” the step of the job. They do the same job year after year.

In other jobs or professions, they are expected to move forward in the business by attending schools, reading books,(remember reading books) or by actual hands on work.

When someone claims to have experience we should ask questions. Doing what or how did you get it?If the experience is expressed to add value to the product or service, it is important to determine that the value claimed is real.

On the other side of that picture, you, as a marketer and business person, absolutely  must be certain that when you claim to have experience, you should be able to support that claim.

If you hold yourself up to be something you are not and “get caught” at it, your business future is going to be limited.

In the years before the net, it took time for a bad reputation to spread around the marketplace. Today we are really protected by the ability to find information about most any business. However, we must be mindful that in some cases the “bad” information is placed by a person that has for some reason developed a grudge against another individual.

Common sense and due diligence are very important when you become involved in business.

Take the time to do the research.

Until next time,

Good business luck,

Jim Gillum

Is there a secret for success in your home based business?   Internet or off line, the secret is the same…

You must first…do something. Yes that‘s right.

Do something to move forward.

Don’t just sit there and wish. Because nothing will happen.


If you have done your research, worked out the demographics and developed a product or service.

Then you are ready to get off of the starting line.

Write a business plan to be sure that you have covered all the bases. It can be easy to forget some of the smaller details that could cause a failure.


One of the great aspects of working at home is the ease of getting to the jobsite.  The ease of getting a cup of coffee or a glass of something cold. The convenience of a controlled environment…that you control.

With all those problem areas solved, you now have time to finish that business plan.



Your good idea can not make any money for you until it is started. So get going. If some thing is stopping you, figure out how to work around it.

Because that is what business owners do.

Until next time,

Good luck

Jim Gillum





Your business fails before it ever starts….

Because you never got it going…..

You spend days, weeks or even months developing your dream business and it is gone in minutes.


How and why?

First….developing. That can mean any thing from hours of research and a written plan, to days of simply just day dreaming and “thinking” about your project.

When I have time, I like to think about my next project. Regardless of whether it is a business related project or the next fishing trip; I like to plan to try and avoid any problems. Sometime to the extent that I can’t sleep and sit at my computer in the early morning hours.

Maybe everyday on your daily drive to “your job”, you mentally work on your plan.

Sometime you take out that small notebook and jot down some ideas.


Now the great moment has arrived……..

You unveil your great idea to that person in your life that matters. Could be a spouse, parent, a significant other or a trusted friend.


Wham! The bomb drops.

“You can’t do that.”

The reason are numerous and varied. “You are not smart enough, you are too lazy, you don’t have time for that or you can’t afford that.”

Could be any number or combinations. But you take it to heart, your feelings are hurt and your dream is ….dead.


Now what?

Now it can get hard. You tell that important person that just crushed your dream to go to “somewhere bad” and move ahead with your project.

That is one solution but…it is a wise one. A new business can change your life.

Is that the direction you want to take? Your relationship with that person ends and you lose a friend or worse.

Or…you can pre-sell your idea.

What do you and that “other” person have in common? How can they benefit from your new business? What can you offer to reduce the perceived risk?

In fairness, many new businesses just plain do not survive. That is a fact. There are things that can be done to lessen the risk. (A subject for another post.)


If you are considering any business that is related to the internet, consider this. The average person knows nothing about the net and net businesses.  Most older people view internet business as dangerous (financially) to the user. They don’t trust internet transactions to be safe.


One alternative is to wait. Time can change attitudes and perceptions. Things that “look” bad today may look different in a few weeks or months.

You can try to educate that “other” person.


Consider this in your pre-sell. In the current economic climate, almost everyone can use a few extra dollars. A good reason to have a business on the side. That is a more saleable idea than “get rich over night”. It also offers less risk on the surface.



Case study…

Not really. Just a statement of fact. I am 70 years old. Over the years, natural changes have allowed me to do things that were discouraged many years ago.


Bottom Line…

If you really are smart enough and driven enough to move forward with your own business…..

You will find a way to make it work.


Best to you.

Jim Gillum




You are a new marketer… do you show creditability?………


This is one are that an off line marketer can gain some ground rather quickly. Depending of course, on the location of the offline business.


If your business allows for face to face contact with your prospects and customers….you have a leg up.


A neatly dressed smiling individual makes a better impression than a line of text.

We all have done business with the grumpy “clerk”….not much fun. But the pleasant, friendly helpful person is long remembered.


If they are providing a quality product or service to the customer.  And doing so at a reasonable price, that all adds to the creditability factor.


When your customers have the chance to see and touch a product that is well made the reputation is easier to establish.


Years ago, when I sold my furniture at craft shows, many sales were made after the prospect felt the smooth finish of my products. As time passed and I returned to the particular area, customers would return to by more pieces. In some cases they would refer friends………

The establishment of creditability……….

It takes a little time and pays off well…………



Online Creditability………


That is a little different….and can be more difficult……..


You lose the value of the face to face…….

But you do not lose the value of the quality product….as long as you continue to produce that way…

Service and quick response is also a very positive factor………

Response to a prospect’s question can be quick and easy when you consider the speed of the net…..


The internet provides a few things that will really help an online business…..


For example, social networking………If you use it….remember your business image……

Friendly and professional……


A blog can be very effective……. (like this one….lol)……..


And so can forums……..I my opinion….the gold mine of creditability……


Find the ones that match your business and participate… active….help people….

Do not sell…..


For an example…Google search my name…..Jim Gillum…….I usually have a large number of results, with most of them connected to forums……


For marketing information from a small growing forum try

And , which is one of the largest on the net. Both are very friendly and contain quite a bit of information.


Generally for new marketers, gaining a good reputation just takes a little time. It is something you should start building as soon as you decide to put together your own business…

Whether it is online or offline. Many of the basics are identical.

Good luck

Until next time

Jim Gillum

Which came first…..the chicken or the egg?


Build your site or…… do SEO?


I normally try to stick to work at home business without toomuch discussion about using the internet.
Not because I don’t know how, simply because I do not want to add to anyone’s information overload.


I have been building websites since the mid 90s and have been doing SEO since then too.


What is SEO? In simple terms, search engine optimization, which prepares a website to rank high in the search engine index. At least that
is what it is supposed to do.


How do you do it? And how do you learn it?

SEO is far more complicated than many folks realize, most are only familiar with the bare basics
and sadly believe they are experts. (I spend time in webmaster forum and see them.)


I would like to keep this discussion rather light and try to just touch some of the basics.


Building your site…can be mind bending. Can you write code? Or do you have site building software? Will you hire someone to build a
site for you?


Those are questions for you to consider and choose an option.


SEO is something that anyone who intends to operate a web business should understand. A site that simply serves as an ad for an offline
business, may…I said may not be as important.


But if your entire business is on the web… should really develop a better than average understanding. Hiring a good company to do
the optimization for you would be expensive and to work properly, it should be ongoing.


If you are new to web business and are learning, just add SEO to your learning list.


OK…The answer to the question……

My opinion is based on common sense, experience and research. Do them both at the same time.


Again, based on my time in the forums, most people publish their site and then worry that they have a low rating in the search engines and
no traffic. No traffic means no business and of course, no cash flow.


Another opinion based on research. The website builder, the graphics creator and the content provider are different people. The last to
arrive on the scene is the SEO expert.

That is like building a house upside down and expecting it to work.


Time for that second cup of….coffee….

Follow along with this.

The codes for the site, all the content and the graphics will impact the SEO of the site. As will the overall site design.

Therefore, they should all be done at the same time.


Some of the things done to the site are for the search engines and others are for humans. People spend money …search engines do not.
(We can talk about other forums of promotion later in the posts)


Currently, the number one engine is Google and will be the focus of our discussion. If you rank well in Google you should also do well in
the other most popular engines. Works that way for me….


The codes that people do not see, tell the browser how to display your site. Like the color of the background, the text, which font to
display and the size and color.  They also tell the engines what your site is about, mostly by using meta elements called meta tags.


The site content is the part that provides the information that your customers want to find. The engines use that as well to help rank
your site. In this area some of the factors include, placement of bold words, word usage relevant to the subject of the site.
The location of the words that are the key subjects of you site.  And also the number of words.

(Keyword usage and research would fill a book)


Graphics to attract people, and to make your site look professional. And graphic tags for the engines.


Now the ongoing SEO would submit your site to engines, place links throughout the web and do other forms of promotion that is intended to
help the site rank high in the engines. And also bring traffic to your site.


The finalreasoning…

If all of these factors (and many more) are taken into consideration from the very beginning of the project. The chances of success
are greatly improved.


The website is not disrupted by changes that might have to be made for the site to comply with SEO.


Can you do all this? Will you be overrun by new material?
Will you think you are going crazy?

Yes to all…..but you will have a much better handle on your own business and be less likely to get ripped off by some web slicker…..

No one was born with a business already in their head…itis all learned…


Until next time..

Jim Gillum


The work at home problem………..
Making the best use of your time…
Overcoming obstacles……
And…What the heck….It is work at home…..

Time….not enough or too much……..
You must control your use of time…….it is easy to watch the days slip away and weeks can be gone before you know it…….

And to make matters worse….if you are retired and not pushing to fund the normal daily expenses, it is easy to just let it happen…..

I left Florida to visit my lady friend in Michigan…ended up getting married…..
And doing a lot of sight seeing around the area…..

We live in an area that is mostly farmland and forests……beautiful…we watch the deer eating in the backyard…too easy to let time get away……

Don’t fall into that trap……….although in this case it is a good trap…..
None the less….business suffers…….followers lose patience and move on ….and it could leave your creditability at question……

But wait!….There’s more………I have been taking some great photos for my art site……(Need to get that finished)…
Been doing some Michigan fishing…..a little different from Florida…
And watching the deer eating in the back yard…..

It has been great for the mind and a real attitude boost…..

I am still active in several marketing forums and I think I am helping some folks..
I also do moderation in four of them now……also think I am helping the forums….
I always did like teaching…..

Well, I …I mean we will be heading back to Florida in a few weeks and I will get back to more regular posts…..

Until then. Take care and keep learning
Jim Gillum

Well you do have a product…don’t you?

Maybe yes maybe no…but it is the basis to move forward and develop your business.

There are many sorts of technical or scientific methods that can be used to determine the saleability of a product.

Then there are some tried and true “off the cuff” systems that can give you a good idea about your “stuff”.


A Case Study

Let me give you an example from past experience. We were working on a line of gift items for children. Home produced products. Some made of fabric some made of wood.

I took addresses from the yellow pages of gift shops in a reasonable driving range from home. Then I packed a fancy decorated cardboard container with an assortment of our products.

Since I was not familiar with the shops, I had to play it by ear, as to whether or not they handled children’s gift items.  


Anyway, I targeted the owners or managers and gave them my best sales pitch. Most of them bought. In a day and a half, I sold more than we could put together in a week. Some would become regular customers.

This strengthened the saleability status of our product line. The future reorders would also confirm that our products would continue to sell.


Pros and Cons

This has an advantage over direct sales because it shows that the products will sell when you are not there to make sure. They sell themselves.

On the other hand, if you can present your products in person to your prospects you can gather direct product feed back.


The most valuable are the non-buyers; you can tactfully ask why they don’t like it. That would give you the opportunity to consider any modifications.

And you can likewise determine the features that attracted the buyers and use that positive information in your marketing program.


You might try some test marketing by doing something similar with your product. Of course, that is going to depend on the product.

And……. finding the right location to do the test.

If you are thinking flea market, you might want to reconsider. Most people shop there looking to find bargains. But you can still get a feel for the public response to the product.

Just don’t expect to get your asking price.

And the whole point of the exercise……..

Think outside the box……many successful business people don’t follow the same road travelled by others………..that is one reason they became successful…….

I hope this helps to get you and your head pointed in the right direction…..

Until next time…………

Jim Gillum

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