The most successful homebased businesses today are those that are built around a good idea backed by a lifetime of acquired skills, working experience and common-sense knowledge coupled, of course, with a commitment to the concepts of business and marketing.


Updated September 2016

National Surveys

SBA Office of Advocacy Reports

Home-Business Studies by Joanne Pratt-

Barbara Brabec's research on the history of both the crafts industry and the general home business industry.

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"IN A BUSINESS OF ANY KIND, the most essential discipline or skill is professionalism and the ability to do what has to be done, even when circumstances suggest it is impossible. Perseverance and a bounce-back ability are also essential because success rarely comes easily, and it's important to be able to go with the flow. If you're not succeeding, ask yourself which principles you've violated. In the long run, the things that will make or break you are integrity, discipline, and goals."
         ~ Dr. Gary North

"STOP TRYING TO GET RICH QUICK. That rarely happens, and that kind of mind set almost always leads to disappointment. Learn what you can from the things you buy and try, and the mistakes you make, for you will grow through both the positive and the negative experiences. Success usually comes one step at a time; rarely will it come in leaps and bounds. You'll find success sooner by going slow and steady than by trying for one big kill, and you'll experience a lot less doubt and disappointment along the way." ~ Dennis Gaskill

In the article, HACKED!, Dennis tells how his business was ruined by a hacker, and how other Web businesses can avoid his costly experience.



Barbara's thoughts on the importance of business networking:

"One secret to staying motivated and encouraged lies in communication with your peers and those you are selling to, working with, or otherwise trying to serve. No one ever does it all alone, and even when success is assured, we all have a constant need for positive feedback from our peers.

"A network is a system of supportive people who are interested in one another and willing to help each other succeed. This website site is but one example of how business owners can communicate with one another through the sharing of information for publication that includes their e-mail address or Web site URL.

"Business-to-business networking has become one of the most successful marketing strategies of homebased entrepreneurs, and your involvement in just ONE network could make the difference between success or failure in your particular endeavor. An involvement in SEVERAL could double, triple, or quadruple your chances for success! In the end, it's not WHAT you know, but WHO you know." ~ an excerpt from Homemade Money


Barbara's Office Environment

Barbara's Tiger Wall of Needlework

CLICK THIS LINK or the picture to see this wall of Barbara's office in detail. It features seven of her cross-stitch embroideries done over a period of several years, finally framed and hung (an expense, by the way, that is tax deductible).


Quick Stress
Management Tip

Communicating regularly with your peers is both relaxing and energizing. Change of any kind reduces stress, while an exchange of ideas through networking is always motivational.

As a business friend once told me, "My relationship with other women in business is very important to me and has, in fact, made a huge difference in my ability to stay motivated."





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Copyright 2000-2018
by Barbara Brabec.
All Rights Reserved.


Home Business Management
& Marketing Information

All articles are by Barbara unless otherwise noted.

"If you are self-employed now, you have a kind of insurance salaried job holders will never have. Now is a great time to move forward with new ideas, a time to try new things you have never considered before, a time to create new products and services that will meet the specific needs of today's hurting consumers and businesses. These articles will help you do that." ~ Barbara Brabec

"If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting."- Katharine Hepburn

Office/Business Management
Tax & Financial Matters
Legal Issues
Marketing & Publicity
Time & Stress Management
Cons & Scammers on the Web
General Home-Business Topics


Office/Business Management

Carbonite: The Best Little Computer Backup Program You'll Ever Find. This two-part article details Barbara's experience in using Carbonite to securely and effortlessly backup her hard drive (with special tips and how-to information you won't get from Carbonite).

Do You Really Need a Landline Phone (and the Expense That Goes With It)? How Barbara cut her monthly telephone expenses from $117 to just $25 by switching her local and long-distance service from AT&T to her cable Internet service provider.

Living in the Age of Electronic Friendships. A reminder of all the personal and business friends you have now that you never would have had if you hadn't begun to correspond by email, opened a website, started a blog, or got active on one or more social networking sites.

Tips and Strategies for Living and Working More Safely and Profitably in Today's Unsettling TimesA Special Edition of THE BRABEC BULLETIN on the Web, May, 2014: Discusses several important things Barbara learned from personal experience and diligent research.

Watch Your Mailbox—It's Ripe for Theft! A Reader's cautionary report, with Barbara's comments.

The Need for Change. "Most of us go to great lengths to resist change because it automatically takes us out of our comfort zone and makes extra work for us. But when we run our own business, we must either change or suffer financial loss. Each subtle shift in the way I've worked or managed my business over the years has automatically repositioned me for something else that wouldn't have come my way if I hadn't moved in the first place." - Barbara

The Need for Change as You and Your Business Grow Older. It's one thing to make changes in your business in order to meet new demands in the marketplace or stay up on the latest technology; quite another to be forced to make changes because you're simply getting older and can't do now what you used to do in your younger years.

Change is Part of the Picture. Everything in life, including business, is connected to something else, and whenever one thing changes, a lot of other things change, too. (An excerpt from Homemade Money.)

Is It Time for a Change? Each year, as things around us change, or we change, we may find it necessary to make subtle shifts in the way we're doing business.

How to Enrich and Empower Your Brain as You Age. As business owners, we all want to stay as mentally sharp as possible as we age, and one way to do this is to pay attention to our overall health, which directly affects the health of the brain.

Adapting to Changing Life and Business Circumstances.
Barbara explains changes she had to make in her homebased business due to aging, changing life circumstances, new technology, and changes in the self-publishing industry. (Ideas other writers and service providers might consider.)

Tax & Financial Matters

Analyzing Sales and Profits. Barbara explains how to use financial reports to study the overall profitability of your business and every product or service you sell.

Counterfeit Money Orders & Credit Cards that Seem to be Okay. Cautionary tips from Barbara and her readers.

How to Get a Handle on Your Schedule C Deductions and Work with an Accountant. Waiting until the last minute in April to think about your tax situation is a BIG mistake. Companion article to Barbara's tax strategies eBook.

Partnership Pitfalls: Look Before You Leap. Carol A. Thelen explains why she dissolved the partnership she had formed with a friend.

Paying Estimated Taxes: Tips for Home-Business Owners, Freelancers, and Other Self-Employed Individuals, by Julian Block.

Profit From Paying Your Kids. Tax attorney Julian Block explains how home-business owners can take care of their kids' allowances or spending money at the expense of the Internal Revenue Service.

Will You Be Still Working In Your Seventies? Here's a story about retirement planning with the simple financial exercise that changed Barbara's life and the way she was looking at work itself. It might change your retirement outlook too.

"If you've recently lost your job, or fear a pink slip is in the offing, don't just sit there worrying, and don't limit your options only to another job. Not everyone is suited to self-employment, of course, and I've never encouraged anyone to quit a job to become self-employed, but if you've ever considered the idea of starting a homebased business, now is a good time to consider it once again. This article offers motivation and tips for how to get started." ~ Barbara

Prescription for Economic and Financial Woes. Uplifting advice for those who suffered great financial loss during the 2008 "Black October" stock market crash and all that happened after that.

Legal Issues

A Beginner's Guide to Intellectual Property Law, by Attorney Richard E. Schell

About Common Law Trademarks. An excerpt from Homemade Money: Bringing in the Bucks that explains how the phrase, "Homemade Money," acquired trademark status and why it may not be used by others for profit.

Domain Names and Trademark Pitfalls. Barbara's tips on how to avoid a costly mistake, with several resources for more information on this topic.

Judge Rules "Entrepreneur" No Longer Part of Public Domain. A "David vs. Goliath" trademark story by Scott Smith, plus his later update: "BizStarz Alleges that EMI Defrauded the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office."

Marketing & Publicity

A Dozen Strategies for Growth and Financial Success in a Difficult Economy. Barbara's ten-point list developed one year when she found herself in a difficult marketing situation. 

Doing Business in a Recession. Now is the time to move forward with new ideas and try new things you've never considered before; also a good time to create new products and services that will meet the specific needs of today's hurting consumers and businesses.

How to Create and Use Audio CDs for Profit. Ten tips from pharmacist Dr. West Conner on how to use your voice and your computer to create audio CDs you can sell or use for publicity purposes.

How to Get Media Publicity. PR expert E. Braunstein offers suggestions for successful media publicity.

How to Give a Speech About Your Product or Service, by Silvana Clark

How a Small Business Can Generate Big Publicity, by Alan Caruba

Image Marketing: How to Develop a Successful Business "Persona," by Valerie Giles

Marketing in the "New Age of Skepticism"—Tips from Barbara and her readers on how to build customer trust and get new business.

Nine Simple Marketing Tips for New Business Owners, by Robin Vaccai-Yess

Six Steps to Success in a Mail Order Business, by John Schulte, NMOA

Using PR Web's News Release Distribution Services. Tips from Barbara and PR expert Traci Vanover.

Using Internet Discussion Boards to Advance Your Business, by Eileen Coale

The Value of Customer Opinions and Testimonials, by Val Dunlop

"The richest people in the world look for, and build, networks. Everybody else looks for work." - Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Networking: The Catalyst that Makes Things Happen. Barbara's tips on how and where to get the help and encouragement needed to achieve a new goal or realize a secret dream.

Networking Can Change Your Life ... if You Take it Seriously. A motivational PDF report by Barbara you can pass along to others by email, or post to your website or blog.

Time & Stress Management

A Perfect Formula for Getting Anything Done. Applicable to all business owners, this idea from a leading business consultant gave Barbara the motivational push she needed when she knew she had to change directions as a writer to retain her enthusiasm for her work.

Are You Pushing Yourself Too Hard? Barbara discusses the importance of making changes to adjust to changing life situations or business circumstances.

Business Deadlines Were Made to Be Broken. (Includes reader feedback.)

Carbonite: The Best Little Computer backup Program You'll Ever Find. Barbara reports on how to save time and stress by securely and effortlessly backing up ALL your valuable data for less than $60 a year.

Discover the Happiness Factor, by Mershon Neisner

What Time is it on Your Cell Phone? A little levity for time-challenged home-business owners. (Excerpts from the three September 4, 2009 issues of The Brabec Bulletin that gave Barbara and her readers quite a few chuckles.

Why Creative People are Sleep-Deprived—and What to Do About it. Barbara's experience coupled with that gained from her interviews with many creative people.

"If your blood pressure readings have been rising lately, maybe you don't need medication. Maybe you just need to stop doing that particular thing you wish you didn't have to do any more. It's not easy to make a major change in your personal or business life, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do it." - Barbara

Stress—What it Does to You and What You Can Do About It. To lower the stress in your life, you must first identify those things that stress you most.

The Many Faces of Stress, and Why Women Can Handle it Better Than Men. Barbara discusses how she dealt with the stress of being both a caregiver and home-business owner and how she did "ditsy things" when under great stress.

Cons & Scammers on the Web

Duped by a Pen Pal in Africa. A new kind of merchandise con game—a "remailing scam" that targets children looking for pen Pals on the Web. (This article links to a second report from a mother whose daughter was also caught up in the same scheme.)

Nigerian Scams on the Rise. This article by Barbara in 2005 continues to generate a lot of traffic because so many businesses on the Web are constantly being targeted. Includes several reader experiences Nigerian scammer.

More Reports from Readers Who Have Been Targeted by Nigerian Con Artists—edited by Barbara Brabec

Online Businesses at Risk. How Nigerian con artists are using the relay telephone service for the deaf to defraud online sellers.

Ship-to Names & Addresses Being Used by Nigerian Scammers—A handy reference list for merchandise sellers on the Web.

Caught in the Middle: The Plight of Relay Telephone Operators (regarding orders from Nigerian con artists) - by "Clear Conscience"

General Home-Business Topics

How to be a Fearless Dreamer and Reinvent Your Life at Any Age. Barbara's thoughts and research about the importance of dreaming and changing your life if it's not all you want it to be.

Are You a Self Employed Individual" or an "Entrepreneur?" An excerpt from Homemade Money

Are You Prepared for Disaster? Barbara's tips for Setting up a Grab-it-Quick Box

Capture Ideas When They Come! - An excerpt from Homemade Money: Starting Smart

Cashing in on Your Creativity: Two Ways to Look at It. "Cashing in on your creativity" is a phrase that fits our current economy and most everyone's need today to both make and SAVE money. Article includes links to several articles on bartering.

Doing Your Home-Biz Homework. Tips from author Robert Spiegel, with an unusual view of what a business owner's "homework" should be.

E-Fundraising: Using Your Website for Charitable Purposes. A report from BeautiControl Consultant, Martha Oskvig.

It's a Crazy World Out There. This special two-page Brabec Bulletin on the Web includes discussions of nine personal and business-related topics relevant to both consumers and self-employed individuals—things Barbara found interesting and sometimes alarming, astonishing, and in one case, ridiculous.

Looking at Your Life in an Exciting New Way. Barbara revisits a book she first read and reviewed twenty years ago, one that could cause today's readers to seriously rethink their whole life and career/job/business ambitions, especially if they are now unemployed or at risk for losing their job.

Yogi Berra's Business Wisdom. Humor from author Robert Spiegel

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