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The Four Hour Body and You Like many of your Tim Ferriss fans out there, I've been very keen to try the Four Hour Body lifestyle change. I'm overweight by quite a few pounds, so I made a New Year's resolution to shed some pounds....

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Improvements and Fixes to WP E-CommerceImprovements and Fixes to WP E-Commerce Like many of you, I am a user of the WP E-Commerce plug-in for Wordpress as well as a Gold Cart upgrade customer. While WP E-Commerce has many excellent features and does wonders for the Wordpress-based...

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Credit cards: a lifeline for cash Hi all. It certainly has been a while since I've last posted. That's because in many ways the 4HWW concept has been shot given the urgency of making ends meet and scrambling to get whatever dollars are...

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Version 0.2 of Show User Level Content Plugin Now Available Making an update to the Show User Level Content Plugin ... finally on version 0.2 This version should allow multiple hide statements in the same post. This is a test of that functionality. The first...

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More on Banking... A while back I posted about business banking accounts, and asked the community what their thoughts were on the best ones for FHWW'ers. I never really did get a good response, but the post is out there,...

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Cool Tools: Rich Internet Applications

Category : business

In my day job, I spend a lot of time creating Internet applications. I guess that’s why I’ve taken to writing a blog like this one. But more importantly, I’m also trying to build my four-hour-a-week business / muse.

I have recently come across a company called Actuate that offers a platform for creating Rich Internet Applications. For folks that are building rich applications that want to get around the difficulties of working with traditional web applications, the company offers a portfolio of content- and application-specific business intelligence products. Business Intelligence offerings, for those that don’t know, are methods for extracting information from the various systems you have in your organization and analyzing and presenting it in a way that can be better understood.

The Actuate system provides a means to meet nformation and online channel application, performance Management and Java Reporting needs. It would probably read like an ad if I wrote more on this, so read here for more information about their business intelligence solution. Let me know what you think — what sort of muses are you working on?

Running a company like a campaign…

Category : business

Putting the issues of politics and the negative tone of campaign ads aside, political campaigns are amazing businesses. Think about it: in a short amount of time, a large group of people come together, generate significant volumes of money, spend significant volumes of money, create nationwide organizations that involve hundreds, if not thousands, of people, achieve their stated purpose, and then disband never to be reformed again.

What’s even more amazing is that such a short-term business can generate such huge amounts of capital (some campaigns generated over $6M or $7M in just 24 hours). Of course, the reasons why people contribute to campaigns differs considerably from the reasons why people buy products, but the magic of large numbers works equally well.

In an earlier post, I analyzed what it would take to generate $5M a year. You would need to sell 100,000 $50 products in a year or 50,000 $100 products in a year, for example. But these campaigns can generate $5m in a day by leveraging the same power of large numbers: 100,000 contributions of $50. Not bad for a day’s work.

What I’m most interested in is the mechanics of how political campaigns work. For example, are they considered to be non-profits? Do they incorporate in one state (as an LLC or C-Corp or S-Corp) and then register in all other states? Do they have to pay employment taxes, worker’s comp, and unemployment benefits for their campaign staff? Do they have to pax taxes on the campaign income? I wish I had answers to those questions, but that digresses a bit from the point of this post…

The point is that for a Four-hour-a-weeker, we are building an business that can sustain significant revenue without requiring a lot of time. One would think that would be in opposition to a political campaign which works 24-hour straight days for multiple months. But in actuality, my observation is that the person at the top of the campaign — the candidate himself — does not really spend that much time with the business of the campaign itself. In many ways, they are the product. The politician is the item that people are paying their hard-earned money for (the donation). But at the same time, the candidate is the reason for the campaign’s existence. At any time, the candidate can pull out of the race and poof the campaign ceases to exist.

The question is: can we run an organization that’s meant to exist for a short amount of time, generate a significant amount of revenue, and involve hundreds or thousands of people in an outsourced capacity reducing the involvement of the company founder to simply being the figurehead of the organization? I think so. I think it depends on the sort of company being built, but I don’t see that the concept of the political campaign as a business in opposition to the ideas of the 4HWW-style business I’ve been discussing here.

It’s hard to say if I have any specific conclusions about this in relevance to my own business or to yours, but it sparked this thought that I wanted to communicate in my blog. What are your thoughts with regards to campaigns as businesses? How do you think they relate to the business ideas put forth in the Four-Hour Work Week book?

What’s the best Small Business Bank Account?

Category : business, Getting Started, revenue

As like all you 4HWW-ers, I’m gearing up my muse and getting the funds rolling in. I started an LLC using the Company Corporation (my recommendation if you’re trying to keep it simple and cheap – no need for expensive lawyers), making it a Delaware-registered LLC and then possibly registering as a Foreign LLC in my state, if need be. I then went to the IRS website and got an employer Tax ID #, which only took 5 minutes, tops. Armed with both of these, I’m ready to

Now I need a place to put the incoming funds. As you all know, you need to use a business bank account for your revenue — no mixing personal and business revenue streams. I’ve recently been banking with Bank of America, but not out of pleasure — just convenience. Since my new muse doesn’t require me to be physically close to my bank account (almost all incoming funds are electronically deposited), I am open to better options. BofA fees you to death. And their service is sorely lacking. If it weren’t for their omni-present branches and ATMs, I wouldn’t have even bothered. But then again, I didn’t bother in the first place — they just kept buying all the banks I actually did do business with!

So, let’s leverage the power of the Internet and networking– have any of you had good experiences with a bank that caters well to the Small Business? One that is low in fees, high in service, makes it easy to do the odd in-person deposit (or allows you to do e-deposits like K-Bank does), has low or no balance minimums, allows you do to things like ACH Debits and Credits as well as online banking and has a decent online web experience? Would love your thoughts and help!

Updated: I just checked out the First National Bank of Nevada… While it’s no where near where I live, I’m intrigued by: * free business checking and *e-deposits that allow you to deposit physical checks without ever having to leave the office. A 4HWW-ers dream? I’m not sure if they’ll do business with me in my state, but I’m wondering if there’s anything similar somewhere else or if anyone has experience with something like that?