Friday, August 22, 2008

Franchise Your Way To Freedom

Opening a franchise is probably one of the most effective methods of starting a business. The start up costs are fair, and everything needed to run the business is already in place.

Many entrepreneurs want something that will give them stability, but find the research and work needed to get started is so overwhelming, that they often abandon their ventures even before they’ve started.

One valuable resource for not only finding the franchise for you, but for helping you get the preliminary information you need to begin your venture is This site provides a near exhaustive list of franchises for every kind of entrepreneur.

In this vacillating economy, a franchise that has proven to be financially viable is the best bet. Finding the best investment for your money is a sure way to secure your financial future.

Start a franchise and allow those who came before you and worked hard to build the business make you successful. Step into financial freedom!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Interview With Black Social Networking Pioneer, William Moss

Social networking is one of the most popular activities online, next to emailing and blogging. It has the unique ability of allowing users to interact with others as if they were in the same room. Just how big is it? On a daily basis, an estimated 300 million people worldwide log into a social network.

African-Americans are heavy social networkers and possibly the fastest growing group in this segment. Many spend a lot of time on, and - as well as the Black social networks such as and

William Moss, the 34-year old CEO and founder of HBCU Connect, launched the first social network for African Americans in 1999 - just a few months before came along. To date, is the largest online destination for Black college students and alumni.

Q: William, what is your professional background?

A: I’m a graduate of Hampton University, where I earned my Bachelors degree in software development. I’ve been programming since I was 13 years old.

Q: Where is your company based, and how big is it?

A: We are based in Columbus, Ohio with a staff of 12 people. We are located in the same building as our strategic partner Diversity City Media.

Q: Is it true that you created the first social network for African Americans?

A: Well, in the late 90’s, the only mainstream social network that anyone knew of was There also was, the only ethnic-specific one - which was launched even earlier. There were no others until we officially launched (formerly in June of 1999. According to Community Connect's web site, they launched in September of 1999.

Q: How big is

A: We have 1.2 million registered members with over 15-20 million page views a month. This makes us the largest online destination for Black college students and alumni, hands down.

Q: What makes you the king of Black social networking?

A: Well, I’m modest – I don’t actually go around calling myself that. However, I’ve done several speaking engagements, and during a Q&A someone labeled me “a king of social networking” after I answered a series of technical questions and related my experience.

I do feel that I’m a leader in the industry because I’ve been developing and programming social networks for nearly 10 years. I’ve done the technical work, the marketing, and I was able to reach profitability to survive the dot com burst. I understand social networks inside out; I was into this stuff before the term “social networks” was even coined. They used to just be called community-based sites.

Q: So, what are you working on now?

A: Right now, I’m building a white label social networking platform that will be the best in the business. It’s called Connect Platform (, and for now we’re targeting Black entrepreneurs, organizations, and businesses to help them create their very revenue-generating social networks.

To prove that it works, we just recently launched several more social networks in-house.

Q: What other social networks have you launched?

A: In partnership with Diversity City Media, we’ve already launched over 15 different sites. The big ones are – an online encyclopedia and social network for African American history and culture, – the first ever social network for African American women, and – the first ever social network for socially-conscious African Americans. All of them are growing exponentially with thousands of active members signing up daily.

We’ve also been tapped to do social networks for TV One, Real Men Cook, October Gallery, Janet Jackson, Patti Labelle, Juanita Bynum, Pepa from Salt-N-Pepa, and other bigger brands that I’m not yet at liberty to discuss.

Q: Some say that social networking is a waste of time. Is this true?

A: Absolutely not. Every social network has a purpose. Professional social networks help people advance their careers, and build client relationships for their businesses. Other niche social networks allow people with similar mindsets and interests to connect and build relationships that make life online more fun. Social networking has the same benefits that offline networking has.

Q: What's the future for social networking?

A: The future includes a smaller number of super-large social networks like Facebook and Myspace. I believe there will be a major consolidation of these. However, I also believe that there will be an ever-growing number of smaller but powerful niche social networks. Users are more attracted to networks for individuals that share the same mind frame, background, and/or interests.

Q: There's a rumor that you and Dante Lee of Diversity City Media are getting ready to launch a Black dating site. Will this be a social network too?

A: This site, which I won’t name just yet, will be unlike any other dating site on the Internet period. Not only will it be one of the few that are Black-owned, but it will also be the first to include the functionality of a social network. Look for this site to launch in late 2008.

Q: Are you in discussions with bigger companies to get bought out?

A: Yes, we are approached all the time by major Black and non-Black owned companies. However, none have been smart enough to make a quick acquisition of our technology, experience, and brands. But we're not too excited about selling now because the best is yet to come.

Q: How can people contact you for business purposes?

A: They can contact my business partner and publicist Dante Lee at 614-595-6063 or

Monday, August 4, 2008

Top 20 Consulting Businesses To Start

Here are some interesting snippets I took from a recent article on

Everyone has an untapped reservoir of knowledge. Put yours to work for you as an independent consultant by teaching your skills to others. Just how big is consulting? In 1997 alone, U.S. businesses spent just over $12 billion on consulting.

A consultant's job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less. It's that simple. There's no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one. But what separates a good consultant from a bad consultant is a passion and drive for excellence. And--oh yes--a good consultant should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is consulting in. That does make a difference.

Here are the top 20 consulting businesses thriving today:

1. Accounting: Accounting is something that every business needs, no matter how large or small. Accounting consultants can help a business with all of its financial needs.

2. Advertising: This type of consultant is normally hired by a business to develop a good strategic advertising campaign.

3. Auditing: From consultants who audit utility bills for small businesses to consultants who handle major work for telecommunications firms, auditing consultants are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

4. Business: Know how to help a business turn a profit? If you have a good business sense, then you'll do well as a business consultant. After computer consulting, people in this field are the next most sought after.

5. Business writing: Everyone knows that most businesspeople have trouble when it comes to writing a report--or even a simple memo. Enter the business writing consultant, and everyone is happy!

6. Career counseling: With more and more people finding themselves victims of a corporate downsizing, career counselors will always be in demand. Career counselors guide their clients into a profession or job that will help them be both happy and productive as an employee.

7. Communications: Communications consultants specialize in helping employees in both large and small businesses better communicate with each other, which ultimately makes the business more efficient and operate smoothly.

8. Computer consulting: From software to hardware, and everything in between, if you know computers, your biggest problem will be not having enough hours in the day to meet your clients' demands!

9. Editorial services: From producing newsletters to corporate annual reports, consultants who are experts in the editorial field will always be appreciated.

10. Executive search/headhunter firms: While this is not for everyone, there are people who enjoy finding talent for employers.

11. Gardening: In the past decade the demand for gardening consultants has blossomed (pun intended) into a $1 million-a-year business. Not only are businesses hiring gardening consultants; so are people who are too busy to take care of their gardens at home.

12. Grantsmanship: Once you learn how to write a grant proposal, you can name your price.

13. Human resources: As long as businesses have people problems (and they always will), consultants in this field will enjoy a never-ending supply of corporate clients, both large and small. (People-problem prevention programs could include teaching employees to get along with others, respect and even violence prevention in the workplace.)

14. Insurance: Everyone needs insurance, and everyone needs an insurance consultant to help them find the best plan and pricing for them.

15. Marketing: Can you help a business write a marketing plan? Or do you have ideas that you feel will help promote a business? If so, why not try your hand as a marketing consultant?

16. Payroll management: Everyone needs to get paid. By using your knowledge and expertise in payroll management, you can provide this service to many businesses, both large and small.

17. Public relations: Getting good press coverage for any organization is a real art. When an organization finds a good PR consultant, they hang on to them for life!

18. Publishing: If you're interested in the publishing field, then learn everything you can and you, too, can be a publishing consultant. A publishing consultant usually helps new ventures when they are ready to launch a new newspaper, magazine, newsletter--and even websites and electronic newsletters.

19. Taxes: With the right marketing and business plan (and a sincere interest in taxes), your career as a tax consultant can be very lucrative. A tax consultant advises businesses on the legal methods to pay the least amount of tax possible.

20. Writing services: Anything related to the written word will always be in demand. Find your specialty in the writing field, and the sky will be the limit!

For the complete article, visit:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Use The Time You Have

Stop viewing time as something that you will never run out of. The reality is that you will not have forever to build your company. So stop procrastinating, and use the time you have in this life to create your legacy. Learn to be an aggressive entrepreneur.

Did you know that 150,000 people worldwide die every single day? This means that last year alone 5.5 million people died from heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, household accidents, violent acts, old age - you name it. If you're reading this blog, you are a survivor. You survived yesterday, last month, and last year. Every day, you should remind yourself of this and be inspired to become more productive.

Instead of laying around watching TV, use your free time to brainstorm, research, and plan. Instead of hanging out at bars, attend relevant networking functions to connect with the right people.

Instead of playing around on Myspace and BlackPlanet, visit the professional social networks like LinkedIn and Plaxo to find yourself some valuable contacts. Instead of putting money away for vacations and cruises, save your money and invest it into your company to take it to the next level.

Recreation has its place, but right now - it's time to build on those ideas that are in the back of your head. As an entrepreneur, you want to always be pursuing your business goals. Its not something you do every now and then; its something you do during every free moment you have.

Most entrepreneurs aren't money-driven. They do want to actually make money, but that's not their motivation. Their motivation is to have an impact on the world - to do something that would've never been done, had they not been born.

If this sounds like you, then my advice is to stop fooling around. Use the valuable time you have to act on what will make you successful in business. Time goes on with or without you. Successful entrepreneurs understand this point well, and they live by it.