Why I Am Not Anti-Boyfriend – And the President Is Not Anti-Business

My daughter just turned sixteen last week. And to make matters worse, she’s got The Boyfriend. The first serious Boyfriend. This is a tough thing to deal with when you’re a dad.And it’s not that I don’t like the young man. And no, I’m not nervous that she’s a 10th grader and he’s a senior. Or that he drives a convertible Mustang. Or that he has a tattoo of a dragon on his back. I’m not against my daughter going out with boys. It’s just that I’ve never had this experience before.Now I know how the President feels. Particularly when it comes to the economy. Is President Obama anti-business? Writing as a small business owner and (hold on to your hats) a Republican I say: of course not. No more than I’m anti-Boyfriend.The President’s no dummy. He’s smart enough to know the importance of this country’s business community. Just like I’m smart enough to know that my daughter is growing up and The Boyfriend is a completely natural part of a teenager’s life. He’s smart enough to know that without a good economy his Presidency will be in jeopardy. I’m smart enough to know never to leave two teenagers of the opposite sex alone in the house for more than five minutes at a time. He’s smart enough to realize that to have a good economy he needs to create an environment for businesses to grow, profit and hire more people. And I’m smart enough to not be fooled every time The Boyfriend calls me “Mr. Marks” and answers every question with “Yes sir.”President Obama is doing everything he feels he can to support the business community. And I’m doing everything I can to support my daughter’s relationship with The Boyfriend. Unfortunately, we both don’t really know what we’re doing. I’m not anti-Boyfriend. I just have no boyfriend experience. The President’s fault is not that he’s anti-business. It’s that he has had no experience running a business.There is one difference between us though. He’s had to take actions over the past couple of years. I still have a little time to figure things out. And I don’t want to make the mistakes he’s made.Take taxes, for example. Tax rates under this administration are as low as they’ve been under President Bush and even lower than they were under Clinton, where rates were as much as 34 percent. And although the President last year threatened to raise taxes to pay for the deficit he caved in the end, and extended the Bush tax cuts for another two years. I know how the guy feels. I also caved when I told my daughter and The Boyfriend to be back by 11PM and I didn’t yell when they strolled in 45 minutes late. An anti-Boyfriend dad would’ve put his foot down. And an anti-business President would have increased corporate taxes, levied more duties and raised tariffs to pay for the social programs that he enacted as part of 2009’s trillion dollar stimulus. Neither of us did this. I like The Boyfriend. And I believe the President likes the business community. Neither of us wants to rock the boat.But now the President has recently changed his rhetoric and is threatening tax increases in the next fiscal year to help pay down the deficit. “I refuse to renew the Bush tax cuts for the rich,” he said recently. From the standpoint of a small business owner, he’s not being irrational. He’s looking for sources of revenue. Many business people I know do the same thing when faced with budget shortfalls or lower profits. We sometimes raise our prices and turn to our existing customers for more cash flow. Obama is not “anti-business” for considering this. He’s just inexperienced.That’s because business owners always feel like their customers aren’t paying enough. But we don’t call them out in public. More importantly, if the President were running his own business (like I do) and handing over 40 percent of his profits to the federal, state and local authorities (like I am) in the form of taxes and other governmental “fees” he’d not only understand the frustration the business community feels when there’s talk of more tax increases, but the significant obstacles it creates for us to grow our businesses, invest in our own infrastructure and… hire more people. The President’s rhetoric isn’t anti-business. It’s just lack of business experience.I think President Obama has tried to do his best to help the business community over the past couple of years. His 2010 Small Business Jobs Act extended and doubled the size of Small Business Administration loans, created a huge lending fund for small companies, provided more support for state lending, and offered more tax cuts for businesses. He supported the initial Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Fed’s second round of Quantitative Easing to provide more liquidity to the economy. He brought together the CEOs of some of the country’s largest and most well known companies to form an initiative to help startups get financing and grow. These are not the actions of an “anti-business” President.
They are the actions of a President who’s never run a business before.Making capital available is great. But in an economy that’s currently growing at a 1.8 percent rate no one’s really asking for financing. We’re not expanding. We’re not buying more equipment. We’re not acquiring companies. We’re not hiring people. We don’t need more working capital to fund big purchases. Forming initiatives are nice. But small companies like mine never trust the intentions of the CEOs of big companies, no more than dads like me trust the intentions of eighteen year old boys when they’re alone in the dark with our sixteen year old daughters. We don’t care how nice they may appear. We know what’s going on in the dark recesses of their minds. Oh…we know.Many people I speak to on the right complain that the current “regulatory” environment “stifles” business. They complain about “big government” and the “takeover” of our country’s healthcare system. They use these claims to justify their position that Obama is anti-business. I agree with their issues, but not their conclusion. The President’s regulatory initiatives seriously concern me. But they have not been undertaken because he’s against business. Unfortunately, it just appears that way.Like healthcare. Can anyone really argue that healthcare reform is a bad thing? For years, we’ve all complained about rising healthcare costs and declining care. We hate the expense, burden and complexity of administering our healthcare plans. So the President says to us “Look, the government will deal with healthcare. We’ll do the administration. And we’ll fix your costs with a $2,000 per person penalty if you decide not to carry insurance. And by the way, you don’t have to pay any penalty if you have less than fifty employees.” These are not the actions of an anti-business President.They are the actions of a President who doesn’t know a whole lot about running a business. Which is why the business community is uneasy. No one really knows the true costs. No one did the reasonable return on investment spreadsheet. No one, not even the legislators, knows the details of the new legislation. No smart business person would have signed on to a plan, particularly one that’s so significant, with so little information. It’s like my daughter telling me she’s going out with The Boyfriend and not telling me where, who else is going, when she’s coming home and what the hell is she thinking wearing that short little skirt. Without an adequate explanation, no father I know would agree to that deal either.The President is not anti-business because he wants to fund education, infrastructure and Medicare. He is not anti-business because he grew up as a social activist and is a Democrat. Or that he supports regulations to make the banking industry more accountable. If he had run a business, however, he’d know he couldn’t fund all the things he wants to do because the money’s not there. His bankers wouldn’t allow him to run up enormous debt. And he wouldn’t allow himself to call the very partners he needs to grow his business names like “fat cats” (as much they deserve to be called that and more) because that kind of rhetoric could potentially harm future profits. He lacks business experience.And for the record, I am not anti-Boyfriend, either. I just lack Boyfriend experience. Really, I like the kid. Even when he’s sticking his tongue in my little girl’s ear and doesn’t think I can see it. Oh, I see it mister. I see it.

Tips On How To Start A Home Based Business

Sufficient help is important in any business, especially a home-based daycare. You will need help to keep the children doing what they are supposed to be doing.Keeping careful track of each and every one of your business expenses is a vital way to protect your pocketbook. Internet service and car mileage related to your business are a couple examples of business expenses. When you run a business, a lot of your expenses are tax deductible. Small amounts add up quickly, and there is no point in lining the governments pockets with your hard earned cash.Make sure the website of your home business is equipped to sell. Taking order by mail or over the phone is simply not enough. There are many websites that provide ready-made storefronts.When you have a home business, it is very helpful to have a supportive peer group. Search out other business owners and think about starting your own group. These people may come from completely different industries, but they, too, will be striving to run a profitable home business.You should set aside a percentage of all income earned towards your taxes. A typical tax rate for businesses is around 15-20%. It’s better to put that money aside as you make it rather than trying to come up with the money when it’s due.It is important to dress for success, even if you are just working out of your home. You might feel the need to work in pajamas in your home office. Getting dressed for work, just like in a normal business, can benefit you in the long run. Wearing real clothes affects not only your appearance, but your motivation to get down to business.Set aside an area in your residence that serves as your work area. Make sure you have the space in your house to keep all things organized. This helps keep your business better organized so that you can be successful.If you have a location outside of the home for your business, post your business address instead of a PO box. Potential customers place more trust in businesses that list their actual location. This makes your business appear trustworthy, earnest and more likely to respond to their inquiries in a timely fashion.A home business is a real business, so don’t go charging in without a business plan. You might change it as time passes, or it may redevelop completely based off your client needs. This plan will act like a to-do list so that you can see your business goals and a path to meeting them. Your business plan should be consistently evolving.Membership fees are one method of turning a profit. Your site could probably set up a membership subscription to increase your profits.By obtaining a checking account for your business, you will be able to see all of the outgoing expenses and also keep track of how much money is coming in. Use the account for all of your company’s financial transactions, including sales profits and expenses. It is the best way to record the money going in and out of the business. The credit card you use to make business purchases should be separate as well.You will find forums online which are dedicated to people like yourself, people running a home business. This will allow you to interact with others in the same position. Many home business owners have the same problems and it is good to have people to share concerns with.Ensure that your home business is safe and secure. You might have to pay for the security equipment, especially if you have children. Having a separate office space or area that is secured to store your product in will keep people from going in, and keep your family and business safe from unforeseen accidents. Inspections can occur, even for home businesses.Build a home business while you’re still employed. Getting your business to become profitable does not happen overnight, so if possible, you should stay at your current job. Having a source of income while waiting to build up profits from your new business is a good thing to do.Many people have considered the exciting possibilities of starting their own business from home. Unfortunately, the people who have this dream are mostly people who will never learn how to create their own successful home business. The tips relayed here are a great place to start to begin your home business journey.

Laser Engraving Business – Is It Right for You?

A laser engraving business is a very profitable business you can start from your home. Have you ever thought of it? If you are looking for a way of pulling out of formal employment, laser engraving offers a great opportunity for you to venture into business. If you are so creative, laser engraving business is right for you. Even if you are not naturally a creative person, the laser will enable you to develop your creativeness.What’s laser engraving?Laser engraving is simply the marking and cutting of materials using a laser system. A laser system works like a printer. A laser is a raw beam or heat energy directed to a specific area where an engraving is performed. It takes seconds for a laser beam to create a permanent engraving on any material.There are many companies that manufacture laser engraving machines worldwide. But the best laser systems I have known are made in the USA. That’s where the laser engraving technology started and spread in the rest of the world. If you need a laser engraving system that won’t frustrate you, I recommend buying one from the pioneers of this technology.What do you need to venture into a laser engraving business?To start a laser engraving business, you need the following:1. Business plan.A business plan is a great way of defining your business and identifying your goals. You should prepare a business plan. Success in any business requires good planning. It helps you to raise money. It also provides you with milestones to gauge your success. It should be the first step in your laser engraving business venture.2. Laser engraving system.To venture into an engraving business, you must buy a laser engraving system. Laser systems are costly. Good laser engraving machines range from $8,000 up to over $45,000, depending on the size and energy. That’s not little money at all. It could be a lifetime investment to most people. So you should invest in a system that won’t let you down. The good thing is that it’s a one-time investment. Good laser systems last long.3. A computer.You need a good computer in your laser engraving business. You may use a desktop or a laptop. Any Windows 2000 upwards, XP or Vista operating system is recommended.4. Graphic software.A designing software program is a must-have in your engraving business. Laser engraving systems are designed to run on most Windows-based graphic software programs like CorelDraw, Adobe and AutoCad. But CorelDraw is what most people use in laser engraving.The laser systems come with drivers that print images from any of these programs.5. Creativity.People who flourish most in a laser engraving business are those who are creative, sales-oriented and think outside the box. As an engraver, you must always be on the lookout for offering new products and services. The laser system is a versatile machine. With it, you can only be limited by your imagination.There are numerous products you can produce and put on the market. To do this effectively, perfecting your designing skill in the software program you are using is important.6. Marketing.There is no business that can prosper without effective marketing. You have to do a lot of marketing for your engraving business. Visual advertising is so important. People need to see your engraving and cutting examples to really appreciate them.You have to determine your signature samples, which you can mass produce and send to prospects. They should exhibit the great engraving and cutting capabilities of your laser engraving equipment. You may also customize them as necessary.Create strong personal relationships to establish a firm foundation for your laser engraving business. Networking is a very good cost-effective marketing technique. Spread the word about your business through networking.You may also use trade shows to exhibit your productsand services to your prospects. It’s good to target different types of trade shows with specific related products.Creating a website for your engraving business is a great way to get customers. By establishing your business online, you expand your client base from your immediate geographical area to the rest of the world.Using the word of mouth is so effective. It’s cost free. It’s easy. Everyone is capable of trying it out. Do it together with flyers and business cards. I like this marketing technique. It’s good to pick the contacts like a telephone number and email address of the people you talk to for business. You may ask them to send to them a newsletter which may eventually turn them into real customers.What engraving business opportunities can you tap?There are a number of laser engraving business opportunities. They include among others electronics engraving, marble and stone etching, wood engraving and cutting, logo engraving, medical part marking, photo engraving and barcode engraving. There are also other opportunities. They include laptop customization, signage, wedding memorabilia, corporate giveaways, glass etching, nameplates, toys and games, laser cut cards and invitations, photo frames and albums, wooden models, jewelry and much more.Engraving services are needed in various industries, markets or occupations. You can explore the following fields to get customers for your products:- Clothing designers- Automobile dealers- Carpenters- Churches and other religious organizations- Hospitals- Home builders- Jewelers- Gift shops- Manufacturing plants- Restaurants- Non-profit organizations- Zoos- Libraries- Recreational centres- Event centres like stadiums- Schools of all levels- Interior designers- Private businesses- Architectural design firms- Individuals… and much moreWhat materials can you use in your business? Ideally, the laser system can etch and cut on numerous materials. The commonest ones are acrylic, wood, rubber, stone, glass, paper, fabric, ceramic, plastic, marble, tile, press-board, slate, granite and leather. You can explore it’s capability to laser engrave on many other materials around you.Why should you start an engraving business?1. Profitability.It is very profitable. An engraved product costs more than twice the cost of its raw material. Products and services engraved on a laser system are on high demand. Most people pay back the money invested in the laser machine within a year.2. Creative freedom.A laser engraving business allows the freedom you will rarely find in any other business. You can create what you want. You are only limited by your imagination. Virtually, anything you can imagine and design can be turned into a real object with a laser system.3. Flexibility.You may choose to work part-time while maintaining your full-time job. You can also work the hours you want. If you have a full-time job, this is the time to save money. Invest it in a laser engraving business. You will be able to slowly grow your business right from your home. Finally, it becomes a full-time job4. Low running costs.Although laser systems cost much money, running an engraving business does not require high running costs like in other businesses. The laser machine can last a long time without making any repairs. And by the time it gets old, you will have made a lot of money.5. Small manufacturing plant.There are many people with laser systems. But very few of them know that it’s a small manufacturing plant. Most people limit themselves to engraving traditional items. These are items like plaques, awards, signage and photo frames. But the laser system can do much more than that. Just explore into its other capabilities. You will live to wonder throughout your life.ConclusionStarting a laser engraving business is very profitable. To effectively benefit from it, it’s advisable to invest in a very good laser system. Buy a system with a higher wattage. Speed and working area matter a lot in a laser engraving business. Have a plan to clearly understand your start-up costs, business line and profitability.What laser system would you recommend for starting a profitable laser engraving business?