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Richard Thalheimer is a well respected business man and entrepreneur. This article describes how Richard Thalheimer broke into business and what endeavors he is now pursuing in order to improve the consumer online retail experience.

Taking a Page from Richard Thalheimer's Book

Taking a Page from Richard ThalheimerWhile large specialty retailers and department stores have the liberty of offering huge sales, discount items, and unbelievable warranties, there is something lost in the homogenous consumer experience. Employees are often unknowledgeable, un-invested and are willing to sell you anything, so long as it translates to a sizeable commission. The days of the corner store are over, but a former specialty retail mogul wants to bring them back. Richard Thalheimer, the creator and founder of The Sharper Image, founded RichardSolo.com in 2007 after his departure from the "specialty retailer" . RichardSolo.com is a new online store where you can find the latest gadgets, unique gifts and luxury items. This online boutique also specializes in unparalleled customer service with your every purchase. Thalheimer broke into merchandising in 1977 with a startup that began as a part-time office supply business. Soon, he began to sell more consumer-oriented items, including his breakthrough product a runners watch. In time, this small office supply business would become what The Sharper Image is today a 190-store, 2,600-employee giant. After his departure from the company in 2006, Thalheimer went to work on RichardSolo.com. He started the site with one goal in mind: to create an alternative to the electronic and gadget giants by offering his customers a more personal experience, as well as rekindling the relationship between vendor and consumer.The unique merchandise at RichardSolo.com is hand-selected by "Richard Thalheimer" himself. He visits consumer electronic shows around the world in search of the latest and greatest tools to make life easier. So far, the site has a wide range of products, including everything from celestial wristwatches to motorized scooters, working slot machines to GPS navigation devices, kitchen tools, emergency radios, language translators and many other unusual, specialty items. The site also offers a great selection of iPod speakers, and is even a leading seller of the VersTM, handcrafted, wood iPod sound system. For those of you with an iPhone, Thalheimer has pioneered the need for extended battery life with his self-branded RichardSolo Smart Backup Battery; a rechargeable lithium-ion battery made specifically for Apple iPhone and iPod players.Aside from its great selection of products, RichardSolo.com is known for its responsive and attentive customer service. The driving force behind the company is its offer of personal experience that larger electronics and gadget retailers lack. Consumer inquiries are answered almost immediately and problems are resolved quickly. A 30-day money back guarantee is applied to each of its products in order to make your satisfaction its number one priority, as it should be.For an experience unlike Brookstone, unlike Best Buy, and even unlike his first brainchild, The Sharper Image, visit Richard Thalheimers RichardSolo.com. The service is nothing short of amazing, and the product lineup is qualified by his years of experience in the gadget industry and a passion for merchandising quality products. Theres a greater sense of sincerity about boutique shops, whether theyre online or brick-and-mortar stores. Theres something to be said about high-quality products, but a memorable consumer experience is invaluable.- Ben Anton, 2008

Women Entrepreneurs Prove Its Not Just A Mans World

Women Entrepreneurs Prove Its Not Just A Mans World

I had the honor of speaking this week at a women's business association luncheon on the topic of entrepreneurship. When I mentioned to my wife the day before that I was speaking to group of women entrepreneurs she asked, "Why on earth would they ask you to speak?"In her defense, my dear wife has no idea what I do for a living. She's never read a single one of the several hundred columns I've written. She's never attended a function where I'm speaking or sat in the audience at any of my seminars.She just knows that we live a very comfortable lifestyle and believes me when I tell her our money doesn't come from the drug trade.Beyond that, she's incredibly happy in her ignorance of her husband's skills.When I feigned hurt feelings she waved a hand at me and said, "My point is, what in the world can a man tell a roomful of women that they don't already know?"Henny Youngman, Ralph Cramden, Rodney Dangerfield, Tim Knox. At least I'm in good company.But she had a point. What the heck did I know about women in business? So as not to look like a total idiot in front of this group of what I now call "womentrepreneurs" I decided to do a little research on the topic.Here's what I discovered: while some still believe it's a man's world, when it comes to business, women are catching up fast.According to the Center For Women's Business Research there are over 10 million women-owned businesses in the US, employing 18 million people and generating $2.32 trillion in sales.Women start businesses at two times the rate of men and women-owned businesses account for 28 percent of all businesses in the United States and represent about 775,000 new startups per year and account for 55% of new startups.One thing that I found particularly interesting was that the top growth industries for women-owned businesses in recent years were construction, wholesale trade, transportation/communications, agribusiness and manufacturing, industries traditionally dominated by men.In the past 25 years the number of women-owned firms in the US has doubled, employment has increased four-fold and their revenues have risen five-fold.Here is the question I sought particularly to answer: Do women approach business differently than men? I've been compared to a bull in a china shop when it comes to business. Would a female counterpart approach things differently? More gracefully, perhaps? As my lovely bride would say, "Duh."In her book, How to Run Your Business Like a Girl, Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin explored common female traits and how women entrepreneurs - and perhaps men, as well - can use those traits to their entrepreneurial advantage.Baskin reported that women tend to use three unique strengths more than their male counterparts: trusting their intuition, focusing on relationships, and putting more emphasis on keeping their life in balance.Trust Your GutWomen are much more likely to make a decision based on a gut feeling. Women may gather the facts and figures necessary to back up that feeling, but they generally know what they want to do based on intuition.Build Strong RelationshipsMen play the game of business like a sport. They are out to win and dominate. "Women," Baskin says, "are much more interested in establishing a connection."Find A Balance Between Work and Life.A number of women interviewed for this book cited on quality of life as their reason for starting a business, alluding to their desire to find a way to juggle family and work. "If having more time for your family is important to you, find a way to work that into your day. It's not so much how much work you do, but being able to decide when you'll do it."Baskin offers one more piece of advice to women in the early stages of their business:You Don't Have To Know Everything.My wife would argue this point because she really does know everything, but Baskin says when it comes to business, thinking you know everything is not the key to success."It's amazing how many women say they didn't know anything when they started their business," Baskin said. "Don't be afraid to ask for help - you don't have to be perfect at everything."Solid business advice: for guys and gals.Here's to your success!

Starting an IT Consulting Business: Establishing Partnerships

Starting an IT Consulting Business: Establishing Partnerships

When starting an IT consulting business, should you already have partnerships established with other companies to provide services that you dont? The whole problem with running an "IT consulting business" is that you need to be able to satisfy a lot of needs. However, dont let that hold you back from getting started.Know Where Your Expertise LiesIts really not that critical to have partnerships in place when youre getting your IT consulting business started. However, if you feel that you have substantial weaknesses and youre going to encounter a lot of prospects needing services your IT consulting business can't provide, you may want some good contractors lined up. Plan Ahead and Bring on Partners SlowlyIn the IT consulting business, you should generally wait until youre more established to form solid partnerships. Once you get your business up and running, try to meet up with one person every other month that could be a potential business partner or contractor. Youll meet prospective partners or contractors at chamber events and networking groups and other people will refer you to them. The best potential partners for your IT consulting business will be at your mutual clients place of business. The Bottom Line about the IT Consulting BusinessOnce again, dont let your lack of expertise in certain areas prevent you from getting your IT consulting business started. Youll have plenty of time to build up the partnerships later. Theres no reason to go overboard unless you feel you really need to have those skills backing your IT consulting business.Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Biz Tech Talk. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Easy Invention Ideas

Easy Invention Ideas

Easy invention ideas? Why easy? Sometimes it's just too intimidating to think about building a new type of car, television, or other complicated invention. So these are ideas for garage or basement tinkerers. Coming up with a prototype for most of these will cost no more than the money in your pocket. They are not patented yet, as far as I know.Wild Game CarrierDeer hunters regularly die of heart attacks while carrying their bucks out of the woods. The invention here would solve that problem. It would have an inflatable wheel, using coated nylon that won't puncture easily. Once you get your deer, blow up the wheel, and using the clamps on either side, you attach two poles or sticks that you cut on site. Attach the simple nylon sling between the sticks, and you have a wheel-barrow-like device that will carry a deer over even rough trails. Probably weighing no more than two pounds, it could be carried easily in a day pack.Helium KitesPerhaps its been done, but I haven't seen them sold yet. With some lift from the helium, these kites could be flown in any amount of wind. Properly designed, they would still fly something like a kite, and with some maneuverability if designed like a stunt kite. A first prototype could be a kite with a small helium balloon attached. That's an easy invention.Ad KitesThis is more of a marketing idea than an invention. Have advertisements on kites and get paid to fly them at the beach or during big outdoor events. In my former small-town home they paid for planes to drag ads around during festivals, so the market might be there.Disposable ClothingIf dollar stores can keep putting t-shirts on the shelves, we know they are getting cheap to make. So how about a line of shirts that are low-quality, but good enough to use, and cost very little to manufacture? You sell them in boxes of 12, as "disposable clothing." Where's the market? Maybe people who want less laundry to do on long trips. I set aside old clothes for just that purpose, which is where the idea came from. Also, some people might want to have some cheap things to wear for doing dirty jobs.Kayak ShoesImagine this: You are wearing two little "kayaks" on your feet. Two more smaller ones at the end of two ski-poles help you balance as you walk across the nearest lake. At 8 feet long and 8 inches around, they would hold about 170 pounds each, by the way. To try this one, remember that to figure the volume of a cylindrical object, you multiply pi (3.14) times the radius squared times the length. Oh, and each cubic foot of air will support about 64 pounds.Wind TentsAn easy invention idea from childhood. Me and my brothers spent summers at the beach, on Lake Michigan. Many nights, the wind blew steady off the water, and we discovered that we could make a "wind tent" out of an old blanket. With three sides pinned down, using rocks and sand, the wind held the "tent" open. We camped out in these tents, although when the wind died, the tent did. Maybe someone could make and market a plastic version. A colorful square of plastic - this is one of the easiest of the easy "invention ideas" .

The Best And Worst Months For Earning Money On Adsense

Do you have the google adsense code on some of your websites? Do you wonder why some months seem to make you a lot more money than others? Are you looking into ways of increasing your adsense earnings? In this article, I write about the type of events which can have a negative affect on your ability to earn money on adsense and what type of month for example you are likely to do better in.I was advised about the potential benefits of google adsense by a friend of mine, around a year ago. He suggested it could be an easy way to earn a little bit of extra cash each month without doing a great deal of work for it. I already had a couple of websites and decided to take him up on his advice. I was more than impressed with the results, the two domains in question were well established however and were quite well placed in the search engines. My friend warned me that it is not so easy to make as much money with a new site as it takes quite a long time for the "search engines" to trust each new site, this is where the sandbox comes in of course. I understood what he was saying but I still wanted many more sites, they would not be new forever was my attitude.A year later, I now have quite a large portfolio of websites which are mainly health related and are what are called information portals. Over the next couple of years I am planning to add a lot more sites to this portfolio as I have been very pleased with the results from adsense so far. I am not trying to say that I make enough money to retire on, but I am looking at the whole thing as a long term project, as the domains mature and with a lot more promotion of each site, I am confident that within a few years I will not only be making a lot more money on adsense but that I will have a portfolio worth thousands. It is like real estate in my eyes and there would be many people interested in taking the sites off my hands. It would give them a ready made income without having to start from scratch like I did. I have to say that there is no way that I would sell however, why would I? I suppose every man has his price though.What my friend has noticed is that in some months you earn a lot more money than in other months. There has just been a big football tournament taking place, the world cup. This is the type of event which has a negative affect on the adsense earnings. Any event or situation which is likely to resort to less people sitting in front of their computer is going to result in a drop in your adsense earnings. For these reasons August, July, June and December are likely to be the worst performing months. March, April, October and November are likely to be the best performing months.If you notice a drop in your adsense earnings over the summer months do not panic, keep promoting your site in the usual ways and just sit back and wait for the winter to begin. Enjoy the summer while it lasts of course.

Is Self-Employment Right For You?

Business ownership can be one of lifes most rewarding experiences under the right circumstances and at the right time! Its not necessarily better than having a job its just different. For some, self-employment is the ideal career solution. How about you?The exercises below are designed to help you ask the tough questions, and quickly discover whether self-employment would be right for you or not. So, take out paper and pen or get comfortable in front of your computer because youre about to do some important homework!If youre seriously considering the self-employment option, there are two main questions to ask yourself:1. Is self-employment potentially right for you? 2. If so, which of the four paths to business ownership would be most appropriate for you?Lets address both of these important questions.In the world of work, you have two main career paths: Self-Employment and Getting a Job. Youve probably already gone the getting a job route. If youre reading this article, chances are that youve found your jobs unsatisfying. So, now youre probably asking yourself, Could self-employment be right for me?The following three questions will provide some direction:1. Why are you exploring entrepreneurial alternatives at this time?2. Rate your desire/motivation/commitment to have your own business, 1 to 10 (10 being the highest)?3. If you could land the ideal job OR start your ideal business, which would you choose TODAY?Focus now on the first of these three questions, because you must first understand your core motivators:- Whats your WHY? (Lifestyle, income, image/prestige, leave a legacy, control, build equity, self-expression, independence, make a difference, passionate interest, etc.??) Unless you identify and hold onto your deepest need and desire, you will not have a strong likelihood of succeeding. So, spend some time writing about your WHY!----------------------------------There are Four Paths to Business Ownership:1. Become a Consultant2. Buy an Existing Business3. Start a New Business4. Buy a FranchiseBelow, you will see the unique considerations for each of these entrepreneurial pathways. Take some time to answer all the questions in the four categories.BECOME A CONSULTANT - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS- What markets will you serve?- What services will you offer?- Who will be your competition?- How will you price your services?- How will you market and sell your services?BUY AN EXISTING BUSINESS - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS- What type of business do you want to buy?- How do you envision your own role?- How will you finance the purchase?- What will you expect of the seller?START A NEW BUSINESS - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS- What markets will the business serve?- What products or services will you offer?- Who will be your competition?- How will you market and sell your products or services?- How will you finance the business?BUY A FRANCHISE - UNIQUE CONSIDERATIONS- What type of business do you want to be in?- How do you envision your own role?- What will you expect from the Franchisor?- How will you finance the purchase?Go back now, and review all your answers. Then address the questions below, as thoroughly as you can.What are your Pros and Cons for each entrepreneurial option?1. Become a ConsultantPros:Cons:2. Buy an Existing BusinessPros:Cons:3. Start a New BusinessPros:Cons:4. Buy a FranchisePros:Cons:In reviewing this brief list of Pros and Cons for each of the four business options, which choice seems best for you right now? Why?Another way to determine if self-employment could work for you is to consider your own qualifications and preferences. Many people THINK they could successfully own and manage a business but in reality, this takes a particular kind of person with a specific set of skills. This section will help you do an honest self-assessment.YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR OWNING A BUSINESSThe main categories of ability include:- Marketing and Sales- Financial Management- Operations and Administration- Human Resources- General ManagementFor each category above, answer these questions:- What results will the business require each year to become and remain successful?- What education, training or experience do you have to indicate that you will be capable of producing desired results?- Are you personally interested in, and willing to do, the required tasks?- If you do not plan to lead specific parts of the business, who will manage them, and how much will you need to pay those people?Every business has its challenges, but some of the biggest challenges of self-employment often come from the inside. Here are some of the most common personal issues faced by new entrepreneurs.PREDICTABLE CHALLENGES- Do you feel certain or doubtful about becoming self-employed?- What are the major challenges or obstacles you will face?- What are your biggest concerns or fears?- What questions or issues do you still have?There are definitely answers to your questions, and there is help to get you through the transition effectively!Here are five more questions for you to consider:1. Two years from now, the qualities that you want most in your work/career are:2. Will you have those qualities in your work if you continue doing what youve been doing?3. If not, what changes must you make in order to make these qualities a reality?4. Could "business owner" ship or franchising help you create these desired qualities in your work/career? How?5. If youre still interested in business ownership, what are the next steps you will take (include approximate dates for completion): If these exercises have made you decide that self-employment is NOT for you, thats actually a positive outcome. Think of all the time, frustration and money youll save by not going into business! On the other hand, if the questions above have crystallized and clarified your intention to own a business, then nothing should hold you back from the great entrepreneurial adventure.May you achieve success greater than your dreams!---------------------------------- Copyright 2006, Ford R. Myers. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright 2006, Ford R. Myers and The Franchise Alliance, LLC.

Summary

Richard Thalheimer is a well respected business man and entrepreneur. This article describes how Richard Thalheimer broke into business and what endeavors he is now pursuing in order to improve the consumer online retail experience.