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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Your 2012 Lead Generation To-Do List BY ALAN B0LUME NOVEMBER 29, 2011

Though every agency has time and budget constraints, you can make the most of your marketing and lead generation efforts with this simple to-do list. Make sure the following are true:
  1. Your website is updated and current (with SEO best practices).
  2. Your agency value proposition is clearly displayed and understood.
  3. You have a prominent call to action(above the fold) on your agency website.
  4. You have a professional and consistent e-marketing program.
  5. You have a quality prospect list with timelines.
  6. Your agency makes more than 500 outbound calls per producer per month to targeted prospects.
  7. You have a social media initiative in place.
  8. You’ve rehearsed your elevator, telephone and voice mail pitch.
  9. You have an efficient (and documented) lead-handling process.
  10. Your e-collateral is branded and updated.
Check off the items in this list for a simple marketing plan that’s bound to increase your book of business in 2012.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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Content Curation for Fun (and Profit) BY JEAN M0. GIANFAGNA NOVEMBER 28, 2011

The most successful social-mediamarketers create and publish a high volume of original content through blogs, videos, white papers and other vehicles, but they also share quality content produced by others.Gathering, sorting and republishing content from other authors that you believe your followers will value is called curation.
By being a great content curator, you help customers, prospects and colleagues find the “good stuff” online and know what to read. This not only makes you an informative and influential social-media contributor, but it also helps attract new followers.
There is a wealth of potential content online to share with your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitterfollowers. Follow these steps to curate information that will bring real value to the people you’re connected to:
  1. Use Google Alerts and similar tools to see who’s publishing what on the web about the main topics and keywords related to your business.
  2. Sign up for RSS feeds from websites in your field, such as trade associations, conference sponsors, competitors and industry media.
  3. Subscribe to the top blogs in your industry to hear what the most influential voices are saying.
  4. Follow key industry leaders and commentators on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  5. Sign up for email news briefs from news media specific to your industry to know the latest news and research.
  6. Follow reporters at major news outlets, such as The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journaland Bloomberg, who write articles related to your business.
  7. Apply your knowledge of your industry to separate the news wheat from the chaff. Focus on information that offers meaningful insights, a new perspective or new findings on a key topic.
  8. Look for patterns that could indicate potential trends. Follow top researchers and share findings that could indicate a shift in your industry or your market.
  9. Filter out content that’s obviously self-promotional or “research” that’s self-serving or otherwise suspect.
  10. Add your point of view so people know why you’ve selected content to share. Include comments such as “A great demonstration of…,” “Helpful tips about…,” “Important news…,” “A can’t-miss conference,” etc.
Content curation is an especially effective part of a smart marketing strategy. Being a content curator is an ideal way to demonstrate your expertise and position yourself and your company as thought leaders in your industry.

Monday, November 28, 2011

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Branding Yourself as an Expert in Your Niche November 25, 2011 By Warren

Branding Yourself as an Expert in Your NicheRegardless of what niche you’ve chosen, it’s important that you learn how to brand yourself online. Branding yourself in your niche can be as simple as creating a slogan or a tagline that allows others to easily recognize you. You want your ‘brand’ to be viewed as the top authority. You want to be the go to guru in your industry, so choose a brand wisely.
You can start by coming up with a few keywords that people already associate with your business. Look over what words are driving traffic to your site. Do visitors happen on your site after searching for words like ‘dog training’ or ‘caring for pets?’
If you don’t have sufficient website traffic to view the analytics yet, then try asking people familiar with your business what words they’d use to describe it. Once you’ve come up with words describing your online presence, look for an easy to remember tagline.
For instance, if you run a parenting website that also discusses frugal living, you could brand yourself as the frugal mom shopper. Once you’ve come up with a tagline that you like to describe yourself or your business, start sharing it with everyone.
Sign your blog posts with it. Use it on your website. Instead of having an about page, try having a page on your website ‘about the frugal mother.’ This provides you with one more way to brand yourself.
Add your slogan to your email and forum signatures. While you may have heard that no one likes a braggart, in the case of online marketing, it’s not only acceptable to brag about yourself, but it’s a way to rise to the top of your niche.
Businesses use this technique offline as well. For example, you’ve heard the phrase ‘Finger lickin’ good’ used by Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. They wouldn’t say, ‘passably good chicken.’ Who’d want to eat there?
Brand yourself by building an audience that views you as a helpful resource and they’ll help spread the word about you, too. Word of mouth is very powerful in branding, so treat every prospect well.
If you’re pursuing article marketing, make sure that you add a short biography that mentions your slogan and your website. This biography should be the same for all of the articles so that visitors begin to recognize your name and associate you with your brand.
Brand yourself by guest authoring to an already established audience. Find a blog that’s similar to yours and offer to write a guest post. You can use one of your articles as a forum topic as well. Forums often rank high in Google because like blogs, they are continually updated. If you brand yourself as an expert, people will begin to think of you as one.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

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Networking Made Easy BY ADRIAN MILLER NOVEMBER 27, 2011

Networking works. Or should I say that networking can work. We all know that it is time-consuming, often expensive and, occasionally, not at all productive.
Here are a few things that you should do in order to make yournetworking efforts more successful:
Have a goal. How many times have you attended a networking event and wandered around the room only to engage in just a few conversations before heading out the door. Or attended an event only to wind up spending the entire time talking to people that you already knew and walking away with nary a new contact or connection.
How can you ensure that this doesn’t happen? Before going to any event or meeting, take the time to investigate the group and the (potential) attendees. Is this the right place for you to go? Will it be worth your time? How many people would you like to meet? Do you expect to meet potential clients or referral sources? The more time you spend checking it out, the more beneficial your experience. If it doesn’t seem like it is the right place for you to network, don’t go. There are many other places to network.
You know this sorry story: You have scads of contacts, cards galore and all sorts of names in Outlook. Now, what to do with them? The truth is that if you don’t stay on the radar screen of your networking contacts, you will soon be “out of sight, out of mind.” Touch-point management is the key to getting a return on your networking time. How to stay on the grid?
Why, the 3 Is, of course: value-added information and email (links to articles and web sites of interest), cyber-introductions to other people that your contacts might find valuable andinvitations to events and meetings, (snail mail, newsletters and more). The most important thing is to stay visible and relevant, and that means being seen as a resource and not a stalker.
Patience is a virtue. Isn’t that what our moms taught us? The fact is that in networking, patience is the only card to play. Networking takes time. While doors can be opened at events and meetings, relationships must be built before business can be earned. Relationship-building takes time. Beware of the networker who wants to get your business before earning your respect and trust.
Don’t get caught up in a favor-matching contest. Sure, you might find yourself giving more leads than you receive. Give it time and you should see something coming back to you. But don’t get me wrong: If after a reasonable amount of time, there is nothing coming your way, it is perfectly OK to reach out to your connections and, in a more direct manner, ask for their help in making introductions for you. What goes around comes around. It just might take some time.
So there you have it: helpful tips to get the most out of your networking efforts. Now go out there and open some doors.

Stars Flock to Atlanta, Reshaping a Center of Black Culture



Fans cheered as celebrities arrived at the Soul Train Awards at Atlanta's Fox Theater last week.
ATLANTA — Cynthia Bailey, arguably the most glamorous of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” shivered in a sleeveless red shift, microphone in hand.
Rich Addicks for The New York Times
The TV star Cynthia Bailey, far left, at the Soul Train Awards, with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Brooke Baldwin.
It was oddly cold, but the intrepid model carried on. She had a job to do: interviewing the talent that swaggered down the red carpet for the Soul Train Awards.
All along the police barriers that closed down Peachtree Street, fans screamed and elbowed one another for a better view. Those lucky enough to have tickets slipped into the Fox Theater, all glittery and prepared to party.
This was celebrity black Atlanta at its best.
A few years ago, the city probably would not have been able to pull off such a show. But fueled by a generous entertainment tax credit, the migration of affluent African-Americans from the North and the surprising fact that even celebrities appreciate the lower cost of living here, this capital of the Deep South is emerging as an epicenter of the black glitterati.
“It’s so ripe with African-American flavor and talent,” said Stephen Hill, an executive vice president for Black Entertainment Television, which will show the awards Sunday night.
“Atlanta is home to our core audience,” he said. “I’m trying not to make it a racial thing, but Atlanta is our New York, our L.A.”
To be sure, Atlanta has long had a high concentration of well-connected, affluent blacks. But the Atlanta area is now home to such a critical mass of successful actors, rappers and entertainment executives that few would argue its position as the center of black culture. Tyler Perry and his movie and television empire are based here. Sean Combs has a house in a suburb north of the city. The musicians Cee Lo Green, Ludacris and members of OutKast call it home. So does the music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri.
Gladys Knight, an Atlanta native who was honored at the awards, which were taped Nov. 17, runs a chicken and waffle restaurant here. And it is not unusual to spot Usher at one of the city’s better restaurants.
“It seems like everything is happening here now,” said Dave Hollister, an R&B singer who spends a lot of time in Atlanta. “It feels like New York used to feel with a little more nicety.”
Atlanta’s A-list evolution was driven in part by the state’s 2008 Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which gives qualified productions a 20 percent tax break, said Warrington Hudlin, president of the Black Filmmaker Foundation, which is based in New York.
Producers who embed a Georgia promotional logo in the titles or credits can take another 10 percent off the tax bill. In the last fiscal year, $683.5 million worth of production — music videos, television shows and movies — was staged here.
“Atlanta is really becoming the black Hollywood,” Mr. Hudlin said. Because many black filmmakers are working on tighter budgets than white filmmakers, they need to save money and Georgia helps them do that, he said.
And producers of films and shows like the Soul Train Awards can find a variety of people to fill sets and seats. “This is one of our strengths, the diversity of people in Atlanta,” said Lee Thomas, director of the state’s Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office. “It’s something we have over, say, Canada.”
The growth has also been fed by a decade of migration of blacks from the North. Nearly a quarter of a million blacks moved to the greater Atlanta area from outside the South between 2005 and 2010, making it the metro area with the largest number of black residents after New York.
More than a third of the new migrant households made more than $50,000 a year. One of the newcomers is Jasmine Guy, the actress whose most famous role was Whitley Gilbert on the sitcom “A Different World.” She was raised in Atlanta but spent 30 years in New York and Los Angeles.
She moved back three years ago, largely because she finds Atlanta offers an easier, gentler life for her family.
“At first I thought, how am I going to work?” she said. “But I have not stopped working since.”
In addition to acting, she directs and teaches younger actors. Like others in Atlanta’s black elite, she likes the fact that she finds herself among the majority at art museums and sophisticated restaurants.
And an added bonus? Paparazzi activity is at a minimum, but stars still get to feel like stars.
“They get the love and attention here like they wouldn’t get in New York,” said Kelley Carter, a pop culture journalist who has worked her share of rope lines and writes for publications like Ebony and Jet. She recently moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles herself.
Rich Addicks for The New York Times
The singer Barbee at the awards show.
Rich Addicks for The New York Times
Wolf Blitzer is across from Bootsy Collins.
It also doesn’t hurt that real estate here costs much less than in New York or Los Angeles.
“You can stretch a dollar more here,” said Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Theo in “The Cosby Show” and has been in Atlanta shooting a new sitcom, “Reed Between the Lines,” for BET.
“Atlanta affords you a different kind of vibe,” he said. “A little more warmth.”
But like several people interviewed, he’s not ready to say that Atlanta can best New York or Los Angeles.
Lance Gross is a star in the Tyler Perry constellation who spends part of his time in Atlanta. “A lot of people come through here,” he said, “but I can’t give it to Atlanta yet.”
Ms. Bailey, the “Housewives” star, still takes monthly trips to New York for what she calls a culture fix.
But she is investing in Atlanta, and recently opened the Bailey Agency — School of Fashion to help connect Atlanta’s most promising models with power players in the fashion world.
“Atlanta in two or three years is going to be perfect,” she said.
Maybe. The comedian Cedric the Entertainer, who hosted the Soul Train Awards, said Atlanta had always been a black mecca and continues to be one. He used to travel to the city when he was growing up in St. Louis. The city just keeps improving, he said. The talent pool gets bigger every day, which makes it easy to stage shows here.
“You can make some quick calls and say, ‘I had a fall-out. Let’s see if Ludacris can stop by,’ ” he said. “You have the real down-home love and you have a lot of transplants who give it a real sexy, young progressive energy.”
But, he said, Georgia will always be Georgia.
“It’s serious business down here but at the same time they’re still country,” he said. “I mean, sweet tea don’t go with everything.”

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

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CRIME SCENE Last Chance, Visitor: Leave the Cake With the File in It Right Here By MICHAEL WILSON Published: November 25, 2011


The boxes are opened on Tuesdays. Inside this week: six cellphones, three canisters of pepper spray, eight blades of various sorts (including a steak knife). Also, two forks, two pairs of scissors, something wrapped in plastic, a hypodermic needle and — now here was something strange — a calculator.
Ángel Franco/The New York Times
A receptacle marked “Amnesty.”
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The boxes once held mail, but now are usually painted red and marked with the word “Amnesty” stenciled on the front, and there are several of them atRikers Island. They are last-chance invitations to visitors to anonymously relieve themselves of any contraband intended for an inmate. Call them tossed-and-found boxes. They are emptied every week.
“We find a whole host of stuff,” said the New York City Department of Corrections’ chief deputy, Carmine LaBruzzo. “Live ammunition. Cellphones, beepers, iPads, iPods.”
Sorry — iPads? Just one, and “we couldn’t get it to work,” Chief LaBruzzo said with a shrug.
Last year, there were 393,394 visits to Rikers to see inmates. No number of signs and posters warning against bringing forbidden items stops some of them from trying. And technology has yet to replace the sixth sense of the corrections officers who look them over. Is that person limping, or just struggling to hide something he is carrying? Is that couple kissing out of love, or to pass a condom filled with drugs from her mouth to his?
“Body language,” Officer Wendeline Olmo said. “I study people’s bodies. I can tell if they’re nervous or not.”
Officers are finding more and more prescription drugs being smuggled inside. “Just about every pill you’re seeing an ad for,” Chief LaBruzzo said.
A sample: On Oct. 27, a visitor was caught with $50 cash, believed to be intended for an inmate, and was arrested. On Nov. 3, an officer saw a visitor pass something to an inmate over their table. It was a green balloon with a “brown leafy substance” that turned out to be tobacco, which is forbidden, according to an incident report. An hour later, an officer searching a visitor found three balloons in the person’s pants waistband containing tobacco and crushed pills.
Two days later, a switchblade was found hidden in a visitor’s belt. On Nov. 10, officers found two razors in another visitor’s wallet and 24 grams of tobacco as it was passed to an inmate. On Nov. 17, a canine identified only as “12” alerted an officer to two visitors, ages 16 and 21, sitting with the same inmate. Both visitors were hiding latex gloves, one filled with tobacco and the other with marijuana.
Officers watch for squirming visitors who may have hidden drugs in a body cavity. “Once they’re on the visit floor, the staff will watch for not-normal movements,” Chief LaBruzzo said. Inmates have been known to tear a hole in the rear of their jumpsuits, to hide a balloon of drugs.
In all the above cases, the visitors were arrested. There were 37 arrests in October, and 32 in January. Just as most of the visitors at Rikers Island are women, so, too, are the majority of those arrested, outnumbering men, three to one, in September.
“They say, ‘Oh, I was stupid,’ or ‘They made me do it,’ ” said Officer Olmo, who conducts pat-down searches inside Rikers. “ ‘Can you throw it away?’ ”
The inmates are not charged with a crime if they are not in possession of contraband. Instead, they are marked I.C.R., for “intended contraband recipient.” Their beds are searched, and they are given a special jumpsuit to wear to set them apart during visits.
Sometimes, while shuttling visitors to housing units, the driver will announce a surprise inspection. “We find a lot of stuff on the floor of the bus,” Chief LaBruzzo said.
But there is one type of contraband that is almost impossible to detect: information. The department allows a visitor to see multiple inmates on the same day, a sort of human carrier pigeon flying from one prisoner to another. “It is as likely that they are conveying information concerning criminal enterprises as anything else,” Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said. Likewise, an inmate who is discharged can return to Rikers that very day to visit an inmate.
Thanksgiving is a busy day at Rikers. It is easy to imagine that one 21-year-old visitor, having already passed through two metal detectors and ignored two amnesty boxes, thought he was home free. It was almost 1 p.m. when an officer “observed a small plastic wrap inside the visitor’s shoe,” according to an incident report. “The wrap contained a white powdery substance” that tested positive as cocaine.
Many don’t get that close. On Friday afternoon, an 18-year-old woman was searched at the entrance to the jail, and her visit ended then and there. Inside her purse were 17 loose bullets.
E-mail: crimescene@nytimes.com
Twitter: @mwilsonnyt

How to Bootstrap Your Business BY MICHELLE GOODMAN | November 22, 2011|

How to Bootstrap Your Business

Zidel at her night gig's headquarters.
Erica Zidel knew trying to raise funds for her startup would be a full-time job. She worried that chasing after capital would distract her from building the best product she could. So, rather than sweat the investment game, she has spent two years holding down a day job while bootstrapping her new company on the side.
During business hours, the Boston resident works as a management consultant. Evenings and weekends, she puts on her startup hat.
"I've basically been working two full-time jobs," says Zidel, founder and CEO of Sitting Around, an online community that makes it easy for parents to find and coordinate babysitting co-ops in their neighborhoods. It's a hectic schedule--schizophrenic, even--but it's also thrilling. "When I woke up this morning, I realized that it was Monday, and I got excited," Zidel says.
What's perhaps more thrilling is that she's been able to self-fund Sitting Around with the money she earns from her consulting work. Besides not getting sidetracked with fundraising, Zidel and her business partner, CTO Ted Tieken, have been able to retain 100 percent ownership of the babysitting venture.
"Bootstrapping early on means I have complete control over the vision and the product at a time when even small changes can lead to big consequences down the road," Zidel says. "I wanted the flexibility to make the right decisions, free from a board or an investor's influence. When you have just the founders making decisions, you can innovate much faster."
That focus on innovation has paid off. Sitting Around serves families in 48 states, as well as in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and the U.K. Since the site launched in June, its user base has doubled every month; the company is on track to have 5,000 users by year's end. Sitting Around also was one of 125 finalists in this year's MassChallenge, a Boston-based startup competition and accelerator program. Perhaps most exciting of all? Shortly after launching the company, Zidel was honored at the White House as a champion of change for her contributions to child care.
Money vs. Time
The beauty of moonlighting with a startup is that it lets you test a business idea without jeopardizing your financial well-being, says Pamela Slim, business consultant and author ofEscape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur.
"When you don't know where your monthly income is coming from, it often sets up a fight-or-flight response in your brain," Slim says. "And that's not a good place to be when you're trying to be creative. So having that psychological cushion is often very important for the development ofbusiness ideas."
Juggling jobs: Erica Zidel of Stting Around works days as a management consultant.
Juggling jobs: Erica Zidel of Stting Around works days as a management consultant.
Zidel will attest to that. Thanks to her day job, she's been able to pour $15,000 to $20,000 of her own money into her business. Not having to take on debt or live like a monk has been a point of pride--but it has also been a necessity. "Since I'm a mother, I have to maintain an adequate standard of living for my son," Zidel explains. "While I'm definitely frugal and very conscious that a dollar spent on lifestyle is a dollar not spent on Sitting Around, I'd rather work two jobs than feed my son ramen."
But as anyone bootstrapping a business on top of a day job will tell you, seed capital isn't the only ingredient in the recipe.
"When I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I thought the most precious resource was money, but it's actually time," says Aaron Franklin, co-founder of LazyMeter.com, a web-based productivity tool that launched in August.
Franklin and LazyMeter co-founder Joshua Runge initially began "messing around" with their idea nights and weekends while working full time at Microsoft. After four months of brainstorming and development, the two felt they could no longer do their day jobs justice. With LazyMeter still in the product-development stage, they resigned from Microsoft at the end of 2009, trading in their steady paychecks for a more flexible web-consulting client.
"We needed a source of revenue to buy us the time to build the right product. Consulting was really the perfect way to ease this transition," says Franklin, who is based in San Francisco.
Taking project-based work did more than just allow Franklin and Runge to bootstrap the startup. Because they performed their consulting work under their business entity, they were able to stretch their income further by putting their pre-tax earnings back into their new company.
Today, LazyMeter has more than 10,000 users. Although currently a free service, the founders plan to introduce premium subscription features as soon as the first quarter of 2012.
Juggling Act
Bootstrapping a business is not without its challenges. Besides the long hours and the strain on personal relationships, it can be tricky to split one's creative juices between two professional pursuits.
"Being pulled in multiple directions is the hardest," says Sitting Around's Zidel. "It takes a while for your brain to switch gears. And when things start to collide, it can be hard to say [what] you should be working on."
To stay productive and sane, Zidel schedules her workdays down to the hour and sticks to a list of non-negotiable items to accomplish each day. Still, she admits, "it's hard to stop working. I really have to force myself to carve out some personal time."
Bootstrapping with income earned from not a single employer but a cadre of consulting clients comes with its own set of obstacles.
"Sometimes customers require a lot of attention, making it difficult to carve out time for your startup," LazyMeter's Franklin says. Likewise, he adds, "When you start consulting, it can be tempting to work as many hours as they can pay you."
Either way, your startup loses--which is why it's important to make an exit plan and stick to it. "If you make enough revenue to last another month but slow down your startup by a month, you're not getting ahead," Franklin says. "Make sure your efforts are moving you forward, not backward."
Knowing When to Leap
How will you know when to quit your day job? Author Slim advises that once you've tested your idea in the real world and know there's a market for it, you should set specific, tangible metrics.
"For some people, it can be getting a significant amount of traffic on their website or selling a certain number of units," she says. "For some people, it's when they have X dollars in their savings. For some people, it's a date--say, ‘Come hell or high water, Dec. 31, 2012, I'm quitting my job.'"
For Nick Cronin, co-founder and CEO of ExpertBids.com, which connects business owners with lawyers, CPAs and other consultants, the day came when his web startup began to bring in revenue. After spending 15 months growing his site to 10,000 users--7,000 of them experts--Cronin left his gig as a corporate attorney to work on his startup full time in November 2010. Now, he says, "We bring in enough money for a developer and myself to work on [the site] and to cover all expenses, including office space and advertising/marketing."
Before quitting his job, Cronin spent a year lining his savings account. "I knew that things were going to take time and that we were going to need a little bit of a runway before I could take a salary," says the Chicago-based entrepreneur. "My goal was to have nine months where, if we didn't make a dollar, I'd be totally fine."
The escape route looks completely different for Sitting Around's Zidel. "It's less the number of users and more the rate of growth. We've been testing different components of our business to see what works before we go out to raise money and turn the gas on," she says. "Now we have a lot of great data: what messages resonate, what products make money."
While she won't specify revenue, Zidel says her site is making money from its premium subscribers, who pay $15 per year, and from advertisers. In 2012, the company will launch discounted product offers to site members (such as backpacks for kids) and a pay-per-transaction scheduling tool for booking babysitters.
Until Sitting Around brings in enough to pay a comfortable salary, Zidel says she's content to juggle CEO duties with her consulting work. And to those who say you're not a true entrepreneur unless you quit your day job, she cries foul.
"A lot people think that to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be sleeping on an air mattress and working on your business 80 to 90 hours a week," she says. "But I think that definition of success is silly. I'm living proof that if you have a quality idea and you spend your time well and execute it well, you can wind up with something great."
Protecting Your Rep at Your Day JobYour boss may not be thrilled to learn that you're cultivating a side business. To avoid biting the hand that feeds you, follow this advice from Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur.
Check your employment agreement and employee handbook. Some companies have a no-moonlighting policy. Others have non-compete agreements that prohibit you from doing your own business with their clients. Others--particularly technology companies--have policies that nab the intellectual property rights of anything you create on your own time.
Keep quiet about your side project. Unless your employment agreement requires you to come clean about your after-hours venture, Slim recommends staying mum with managers and colleagues. Yes, some might be supportive of your side pursuit. But, Slim says, once the cat's out of the bag, "be prepared to be fired, as a worst-case scenario."
Don't work on your startup on company time. Just because you love your side project more than your job doesn't give you license to slack off. Resist the urge to use your work phone and e-mail to conduct startup business. "Take the calls on your cell on a break, and, if possible, use your own laptop or mobile device to check personal e-mail," Slim says. "Remember, everything is tracked and monitored in large corporations."
Don't burn bridges. Guard your professional reputation as though your life depends on it. "It's never a pleasant thing to be fired for performance," Slim says. "That's not the way you want to go out." Besides, your current employer might be a future customer or investor.
This article was originally published in the December 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Bootstrap Your Business.

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