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I have just been released from the hospital for an emergency surgery last Wednesday. Everything went well, and I am now back home recuperating.But I have not been able to post anything in my blogs, which brings me to the question: If you are hospitalized or get sick, do you have a back up plan for your business? Or will your business take a sick day as well?Lucky for me, I have several dependable folks helping out with and our other sites. But solo entrepreneurs may not have such luck. Imagine if you're a web designer who has committed to a client the completion of their proje
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ct at a certain date, only to find that you cannot do it because you're in the hospital. Or if you are running an ecommerce store and orders are pouring in, but you can't do anything with fulfillment as you are too sick to do so. Unfortunately, for many of us, no work means no pay.We don't want to think about getting sick or hospitalized, but it is important to create a back up plan for your business, especially if you are working solo and your family depends on you. Here are some things to consider:Run as many processes of your business on auto-pilot as much as possible. An information site or blog earning from Adsense can survive days without getting new content or being updated -- and yet income can still come in. But if you sell advertising or products or services and new orders are coming in, you must at least have an autoresponder telling customers that their order has been received and will be processed within the next two business days (or whatever duration you are comfortable with). That way, your customer can be assured that you have received the order and hopefully processing it.Invest in technology. Buy a laptop to allow you work wherever and whenever you need to work -- even in hospitals. More importantly, get a wireless broadband Internet access to allow you to be online anywhere. Verizon Wireless Internet costs about $49 per month -- and in the case of my hospitalization, this service is a definite life saver. These are business expenses so you can deduct these items from your tax bill. Or at least get a smartphone like Blackberry or Palm Treo with Internet and email access so you know what is happening to your business.Get a helper. Or at least someone you can rely on who can help things running in your business while you are unable to do so. It can be as simple as your wife or husband calling your clients that you may be a little delayed in fulfilling your obligations to them because you are sick. Or a back up person who can work on your projects for you until you get better (properly compensated, of course). Or even your family members to help pack and ship the items ordered by customers.Eat right and be healthy. Of course, the best advice is to make sure you avoid being sick by taking care of yourself. Find ways to release stress from your business. Relax and sleep right.

Blogs have become very popular nowadays. With its more casual and laid back approach, it seems that a lot of people have something to say and start a blog. Even the homeless man who took up residence in a sidewalk near Union Station in Washington DC has a blog!The next question of course is, how can you make money from your blog?If you look at some of the top blogs and the advertising rates they charge, you'd drool with envy. Well, they're the top and get lots of media play and significant traffic.One of my favorites, Duct Tape Marketing, which receives 160,000 pageviews per month, charges $36
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per CPM for leaderboards and skyscraper, while medium rectangle costs $40 per CPM. Assuming that the inventory for medium rectangle is sold out at $40 per CPM, then the blog stands to earn $6,400 for one ad format alone (umm ... ok, that's not much, but still, that's only for 1 ad format).Another favorite, TechCrunch, receives about 5,360,000 pageviews per month. Their medium rectangle is also priced at $40 per CPM, so assuming that this is sold out every month, the blog earns $214,400 for one ad format alone! Add to that the earnings from their full banner ($12 CPM), wide skyscraper ($36) and leaderboard ($36). Now, that's some serious dough!If you want to earn even a fraction of what TechCrunch and other top blogs are earning, read the article "How to Make Money from Blogs"

Having a home-based business is a great way for moms to earn money while staying at home. However, the reality is easier said than done. A home-based working mom must be adept in the tricky balancing act of caring for the kids, ensuring the house is in order, and running the business.I have 3 kids, ranging in age from 7 months to 5 years old -- all needing attention and care of their mom. It is hard to write when my baby wants to be carried, or the older siblings want to play. Harder still to conduct a decent phone conversation when my 3 and 5 year old boys start screaming at each other. Not t
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o mention taking care of the seemingly endless laundry, and other million and one things that needs to be done in the house.Here are what worked for me to retain my sanity (and actually work) as a home-based working mom:Scrunitize your schedule -- and stick to them. The best time for me to work are when my older two boys go to school. My 3-year old who is in pre-school, gets off from school at 11:45 while the eldest at kindergarten goes home at 3 pm. So the window of opportunity for me to work are the 2.5 hours I have after dropping them off to school and picking up my second son from school. That's when I make important calls when the household is quiet. When the two older boys are home, I make sure I have time for them so any work is put aside for later.Be prepared to work after everyone has gone off to bed. Thankfully for me, my household is asleep by 8 pm so I have ample time to work in the evenings. I work from 8:30 pm to midnight, while watching my favorite prime time shows. I know of other work at home moms who work from midnight to 3 pm, which I can never do as my brain cells are non-functional at that time.Get a babysitter. I survived without a nanny with the first 2 boys. But when my youngest was born, I found it extremely hard to take care of a baby and 2 toddler boys and manage the needs of the household. It was just too much. My nanny comes to our house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to take care of the baby. And she is such a godsend! I've always read tips about finding someone to take care of the kids so you can work properly, and now I realized how having someone to help you with the kids can allow you to do some work. Give your kids space in the office. We created our home office to allow the adults to work at the same time with the kids. The two boys have their own computers in the office, as well as their own table and chairs for their coloring and drawing works. The baby has a bouncer and playpen in the office. This set-up allows us to work together as a family, with the each kid busy with their own activities.Get the support of your spouse. This is incredibly important and cannot be underestimated. Your spouse's support can mean the two of you sharing household responsibilities to allow you to do work for your business.Take yourself seriously. You are a mom -- and a business owner. Life can be tough (it always is) but you are living a rich life that allows you to take care of your family while pursuing interests and passions as well as contributing to your family's finances. Give yourself a pat in the back sometimes. You deserve it.

Is it wise for an entrepreneur to start several new businesses at the same time?Someone asked if it is possible to start several ventures simultaneously -- in this person's case, two consulting businesses, an Internet project, and a construction company -- at the same time.I do run several businesses, but never started them at the same time. I suppose one can do it, but it depends on various factors, such as:Your work ethic Your level of productivityYour capacity to multi-taskYour resourcesYour knowledge in these businessesThere are people who can do it -- and succeed, but many fail. The quest
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ion is: can you do it?You need to ask yourself:Do you have money to hire someone and delegate some of the tasks that needs to be done to work on these projects?Do you have responsibilities outside of these four projects?Do you have a family who may want a portion of your time, as working on 4 different projects at once may mean you need 25 hour workdays?How focused are you?How well do you manage your time?How much are you willing to sacrifice to get these projects off the ground?It all depends on your willingness to commit and work hard at it. But working on all is EXTREMELY HARD. If you don't have laser like focus and operates on clockwork, or have a family who also wants your time and attention, then it will be hard to start these new businesses at the same time. In my opinion, it is better to stagger your various projects and focus on one. This way, you can make sure that the first project has started well and is now running smoothly BEFORE moving to another project.

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