C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Evaluating A Start-Up


Evaluating A Start-Up

For the last two weeks my gal pals and I have been evaluating the business models of 30 businesses for my column. We are trying to figure out which would be a great work at home job of the day to talk about. It's a bit tricky because some entail participating in surveys while others require participants bidding on jobs as a freelancer or independent contractor for small to major brand named firms.

My Guru.com conversations have been steering me in all sorts of interesting research directions. Employers need bloggers. They need writers. They need content creators. They need to relocate to larger/smaller offices... When I speak to people I never just have a conversation about the job advertised, I talk about everything. I ask lots of questions. "How long have you been at your present location?" always opens the door for a real estate conversation. Just because a contract is posted up for bid as a telecommute doesn't mean the firm does not have other possible issues that need to be addressed. :-)

Once you start chatting in social media about what a professional does and does not need they tend to tell you all kinds of stuff when you least expect it. Creating multiple streams of revenue is like mining for gold. Sometimes, in order to do a project you need to hook up with other Rainers like Inna and Josef while making your pitch. If the work is more suitable as a team effort rather than a solo effort don't be greedy. Form a virtual team when you pitch your presentation to land the job. Did you know that your profile pages are my electronic Rolodex? I use this place as a think tank. Cool think and do is my elevator pitch for being an illustrator. May have to post more pages from my sketch book so you can see what I've been doing between shows (LOL). Still painting like a lunatic for the gallery. I need to start framing stuff and buy more canvas... :-)

When I talk to people about what I can do for them as an independent contractor I also periodically include Rainers in my pitch because I have discovered when you show them your group forums and team blogs they can discover your associates and make up their minds about you through social media buzz.

Re-blogging and being re-blogged matters to them. Being shared and liked gives them a sense of what you can possibly bring to the table for their projects. Having a printer, virtual assistants or marketers to possibly share a project with and/or make referrals to means the client will weigh your collective skills as a virtual team which gives you an edge because more often than not they will discuss other project matters that are available but not advertised for bid in the professional forum you met at. That means if the Nevada company wants to move to Florida guess what I can do?

When you are running around writing while doing illustration, photography, digital video and editing film with your kids in tow like I am you can learn a lot about other people's business models and sometimes create referral opportunities. People enjoy talking about what they like, where they go and what they do. Ask open ended broad questions and if time permits they may share their interests. I like meeting people at Starbucks in virtual and brick and mortar life. The kids being in tow is always disarming and people can be twice as charming when your four year old starts flirting over snack-age (in virtual and brick and mortar life - LOL). Stephen tends to be shy when he first meets you. Shy and cute... However, once you are considered a "friend" it's a whole other story and level of interaction because when the Minion Blur gets comfy anything can happen and all things are possible (LOL).

You can also learn really cool tips while poking around in other people's business models over coffee or tea (LOL). For instance: "BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express allows businesses 75 employees and under to get the most out of their BlackBerry Smartphones, including connecting to business applications, synchronizing email Calendar entries, contacts and tasks..." (there's a really nifty list that actually makes me want to get a smart phone - LOL) I don't have a Blackberry so I found that very interesting because Skype (which is free) handles less (around 25 people).

BTW, BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is also a FREE download from the PC Mall Small Business Network (SBN) website. Nothing like social media to help you find interesting tools to use for your projects, eh? At SBN you can receive ongoing discounts, valuable IT solutions and business services, plus get access to discussion groups, blogs and expert advice specifically focused on the needs of small businesses. Membership is free so of course I joined: http://www.pcmallsbn.com/n/index

I like free. I like discounts. I like useful programs that work and discovering new "how to" webinars. They, SBN, are having a Blackberry webinar on June 29th that I just signed up for. Skype is my choice for hooking up on social media projects but I may have to get a crackberry this Fall if I like the webinar because I have lots of bay-bays I love talking to. The more on-line the merrier.

Gotta run. I am drawing. While I work on my children's book with the shorties you guys go play at SBN and peek at Guru. If you don't have a Skype account what are you waiting for? Go get it. Did I mention it is a free download? I think I did... ;-)

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Comment balloon 13 commentsC Tann-Starr • June 24 2010 07:00AM


Having worked for and help launch a start-up business (not RE related) I know that it takes a lot of work to pull it all together.  It is never about what YOU can do but always about putting together the right combination of people & technology to make it happen.  Can't wait to see what you come up with in you business model for successful at home jobs.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago

Thanks for the reminder. I have been thinking of downloading skype and have not yet done it.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 10 years ago

Cindy, this afternoon should be a blast. I think we are going to pick two to write drafts on. :-)

Gita, I was dragged kicking and screaming to Skype by Melody Botting. Now we laugh about my being skeptical, difficult and suspicious. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

C - Although I have a BB which I don't use to its fullest capabilities and need to upgrade, I'll need to investigate BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express to see how it may be useful.

Posted by FN LN over 10 years ago

Call me slow, but I read through Skype and don't see the benefits to me at this time. My cell phone calls are free to everyone. Skype calls to non Skype members are not free. How many Skype members are there to make free calls to. Why would I want to sit in my home office unshaven, hair messed up, t-shirt, and talk on the phone with someone looking at me.

Maybe I'll wake up one day, but for now video talking is not something I think I need.

Posted by Bill Travis, Broker/Owner (Captain Bill Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Marc, my gal pals are trying it out.

Val, you do not have to answer any call as a video call. You can answer them all as audio calls if you like. I can video conference 24 people in on a project and we can swap files in real time. I can IM people privately while we group chat. Might not be useful for everyone but it may be useful for someone. I am having fun with my builder and design peeps, my Activepeeps, my legal eagles, my friends and relatives.  You get out of social media what you want. I want a lot of things... The kids love skyping with their dad when he is out of town. Mikey shows them what toys he has brought for them and they show him whatever they want while chattering about their day. :-)


Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

If you have loved ones out of the country you will see the advantages of not using your home or cell phone to call London and Japan. Voice over Internet protocol is amazing. Why would you not want to use Skype to bring down your long distance bill? Seriously. You already pay for your Internet service (LOL). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

good morning Ms. C!  Just moseyed on over to see how thing are going in your world.  Busy as usual I can see from this great post.  Thanks for the info on BB enterprise.  I do use my BB and like it.  It's been pretty trouble free (much to the difference of my previous TREO's).  All the best to you on your journey's...


Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 10 years ago

Shoot, Wordy - thanks for the link love.  In the interest of full disclosure - I am a fanatical iPhone user:-)  and i LOVE it.  Am I still allowed in this club? :-)

Posted by Inna Hardison, Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group (ha media group) over 10 years ago

Lee and Pam, just got fiished telling m ygirlfriend in Facebook that I was busy, busy, busy (LOL). ;-)

Inna, you are welcome and I love the iPhone. It just wont pass muster with my four year old's ritual sacrifice of the electronics (LOL). I would be devestated if he floated it like a boat in my toilet. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Skype has been working for me for 4 years . . . it is really a killer tool. I just commented on another post that I don't plug in unless I have an 'appointment' otherwise I end up chit chatting away the day . . . :)

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) over 10 years ago

C, I just got my husband an IPhone for Father's Day (well, Luna did) :) and OMG the damn thing has a LEVEL app. Yeah, a carpenter's level. We needed a level to set up a pool and there was a freakin' level app on the phone.

AND DEN! There is a dog bark translator. You get the dog to bark into it and it TELLS YOU what they are saying. Can't get Luna to bark into it. She doesn't bark, she just bitches. And we know what that means. HA

I bet your kids wouldn't sacrifice it once they found out all it does.

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) over 10 years ago

CTS, Thanks for the shout out and it is my honor to be part of your virtual rolodex.  We need to meet up so I can show you the new "toy" that I think you will love.


Posted by Josef Katz, {Marketing Maestro} (Digital and Direct Response Marketing) over 10 years ago

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