Going Mobile (Part 2): How to Get In on the Wireless Revolution -- Without Credit Checks or 2-Year Commitments

Written by Donna Schwartz Mills


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Going Mobile (Part 2): How to Get In onrepparttar Wireless Revolution -- Without Credit Checks or 2-Year Commitments by Donna Schwartz Mills < http://ld.net/?americanglo >

In Part 1 of this series, we explored reasons why some home business owners choose wireless phones for their telephone needs, and how to find a carrier that works for you. (See Part 1 at < http://www.family-content.com/articles/data/20020924130604.shtml >

In that article, we focused on standard wireless service plans inrepparttar 117487 United States, whererepparttar 117488 customer agrees in advance to pay for a minimum amount of airtime monthly -- for a period of one or two years. Beforerepparttar 117489 customer signs a contract, he or she is subjected to a credit check and may be required to leave a hefty deposit to get started.

This could pose a problem forrepparttar 117490 new home-based entrepreneur who may be strapped for cash and credit poor, and making a one or two year commitment may not berepparttar 117491 wisest choice for someone inrepparttar 117492 start-up phase.

These individuals may want to check outrepparttar 117493 new prepaid plans springing up inrepparttar 117494 U.S. Most of these are using a model popular in Europe, which work like this:

* Customers buy a service package consisting of a telephone and a prepaid voucher for airtime (ranging from $10 to $25).

* Users are charged forrepparttar 117495 calls they make and receive up torepparttar 117496 amount of prepaid airtime.

* When a customer runs out of airtime, he or she can "top up"repparttar 117497 account, either by buying more time online or overrepparttar 117498 phone with a credit card or paying cash at a local store for another air time voucher.

This kind of service requires no credit checks or long-term commitments; customers may quit at any time.

Most ofrepparttar 117499 major U.S. wireless providers have introduced their own versions of this kind of system and have recently been joined by European and Australian players getting their feet wet inrepparttar 117500 American market. In fact, industry statistics indicate that this isrepparttar 117501 fastest growing segment ofrepparttar 117502 wireless market.

You should also note that evenrepparttar 117503 large national carriers may not be offering their prepaid plans in your area. Do check out their websites for more information.

Here's a rundown of some ofrepparttar 117504 prepaid plans currently offered inrepparttar 117505 U.S.:

AT&T Free2Go < http://www.attws.com/personal/prepaid/index.jhtml >

The nation's largest telecommunications company offers a dizzying array of services, including this one. When you purchase a Free2Go package at $99.99, you get a Nokia 3361 TDMA Digital multi-network phone, battery, charger & headset and a voucher worth $10 in airtime.

Once again, you need to carefully analyze your calling patterns. AT&T offers a choice of a "Home Calling Plan," which gives you one rate for local and long distance calls and another rate for roaming... and a "Nationwide Calling Plan," which gives you a higher, blanket rate (but does not charge extra for roaming).

AT&T's pricing has an additional wrinkle in that your per-minute rate will vary depending uponrepparttar 117506 amount of your prepaid vouchers. If you buy just a $10 Local Plan voucher, your airtime will cost you 50 cents per minute... but that decreases down to 12 cents per minute with a $100 voucher. Be sure you dorepparttar 117507 numbers very carefully before you buy!

One nice thing about AT&T's plan is that if you have an old phone lying around that is compatible with their network, you can just go down to one of their dealers and pick up a Free2Go Starter Kit at no cost - all you pay for is your airtime to get started!

BoostMobile < http://www.boostmobile.com/home.htm >

This Australian company is currently testing its new U.S. service in California, with plans to go national in 2003. Their youth-oriented advertising is targeted to teenagers, but that's no reason why their parents might not be interested, ifrepparttar 117508 service is good.

Boost offers a nice selection of Motorola phones onrepparttar 117509 Nextel network, which means that their service also includes Nextel's nifty Direct Connect "walkie talkie" type feature (renamed by Boost to Boost2Way). The downside of using Nextel's network isrepparttar 117510 coverage, which is not as wide as some ofrepparttar 117511 other major carriers. Boost's phones also feature some nifty games (as noted above, their target market isrepparttar 117512 teen segment).

Packages range from $99 to $399 (for a model with a color screen -repparttar 117513 better to play those games with).

Keeping It In the Family

Written by Elena Fawkner


Keeping It Inrepparttar Family

2002 Elena Fawkner

I'm sure you've heard this dreaded statistic before:repparttar 117486 failure rate of all start-up businesses is aroundrepparttar 117487 90% mark. Add to thatrepparttar 117488 further distinctly unpleasant fact that roughly 50% of all marriages end in divorce and you can quickly see that repparttar 117489 odds of your new small business succeeding, already slim, become positively anorexic if you run your business in partnership with your spouse.

So, what are some ofrepparttar 117490 key challenges faced by newly entrepreneurial couples and what can YOU do to reduce repparttar 117491 chances of becoming a statistic?

RELATIONSHIP

A structure is only as strong asrepparttar 117492 foundation upon which it's built. If you're in business with your spouse,repparttar 117493 foundation of your structure isrepparttar 117494 relationship. That needs to be like bedrock before you even *contemplate* starting a business together.

Make sure you honestly assess your commitment torepparttar 117495 business and to each other up front. Do you sharerepparttar 117496 same family values and desires? Do you plan to have (more) children? If so, how do you accommodate family responsibilities and build a business atrepparttar 117497 same time?

Discuss these issues before they arise. The last thing you, your business, your relationship or your family needs are nasty surprises. If you simply assume your spouse will cut back onrepparttar 117498 business and assumerepparttar 117499 lion's share ofrepparttar 117500 parenting responsibilities, think again. Your spouse may be makingrepparttar 117501 same assumption ... about you!

Preserve and nurture what's led you to where you are today: your relationship with each other. And that may not be as easy as it sounds.

At least inrepparttar 117502 early days ofrepparttar 117503 business, your relationship will need to thrive on a lack of quality 'couple' time or, indeed, any time at all! It is by no means unusual for new business owners to be working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week to get their businesses offrepparttar 117504 ground. That's one very important reason why your relationship needs to be in good shape before you go into business together. You don't want to be subjecting a relationship in trouble to that sort of pressure.

Look for ways to retain romantic intimacy. When you're working 16/7 that won't happen by itself. One good idea is to schedule 'dates' on a regular basis. Even once a week can make allrepparttar 117505 difference. Just make sure you don't userepparttar 117506 time to talk shop. This is supposed to be romantic time forrepparttar 117507 two of you as a couple. Tomorrow'srepparttar 117508 time to discuss business and it will be here soon enough!

You can, I'm sure, think of many other ways to keep romance alive. Start little rituals, such as candlelight dinner breaks, for example. The important thing is to always stay aware of this area of your relationship and don't let it slide, no matter how absorbed you both become in your new business.

You'll probably find you take it in turns being vigilant in this area.

DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY

It is absolutely crucial that each of you has your own clearly defined areas of sole responsibility. Any business needs one and only one person to make a final decision. This doesn't mean that one person makes allrepparttar 117509 decisions, it just means that one person makesrepparttar 117510 final decision in his or her area of sole responsibility.

Start by allocating business responsibilities between you and having a very clear understanding that each of you has final decision-making authority in your respective areas. Under no circumstances should you encroach on your partner's area of responsibility and/or override his or her decisions. Start doing that andrepparttar 117511 cracks WILL begin to appear, I kid you not! Sure, consult each other when making decisions. That's what business partners do, after all. Butrepparttar 117512 ultimate decision-making authority must rest withrepparttar 117513 one who has overall responsibility forrepparttar 117514 relevant area ofrepparttar 117515 business.

The business is notrepparttar 117516 only area where responsibility needs to be divided. Don't forget to allocate responsibility for household chores and parenting responsibilities. Who is to dorepparttar 117517 grocery shopping,repparttar 117518 laundry,repparttar 117519 cleaning and bill payments?

COMMUNICATION

Each of you should treatrepparttar 117520 other just as you would a respected colleague outsiderepparttar 117521 business. So show each otherrepparttar 117522 same respect, courtesy, appreciation and gratitude that you would show any valued co-worker.

No matter how well people get along, disagreements about certain aspects ofrepparttar 117523 business are inevitable. And just as in any other business, what is important is how those disagreements are resolved.

A clear agreement on division of responsibility is a very good start and having already agreed that one of you has final decision-making authority in your respective areas means that there is always a means for resolution ofrepparttar 117524 disagreement - a final decision. Otherwise you'd find yourselves going around in circles, unable to agree, until finally one of you would take matters into your own hands out of frustration or you'd simply do nothing. And that's bad forrepparttar 117525 business and bad for your relationship.

A good way of communicating about business issues is to hold regular business meetings together. Perhaps a Monday morning partners' meeting would work well for you, or lunch on Wednesdays, perhaps. Althoughrepparttar 117526 idea of a meeting may seem a little formal at first given your relationship outside ofrepparttar 117527 business, keep in mind thatrepparttar 117528 disciplines you find in an external business are there for a reason. They keeprepparttar 117529 business on track and keep everyone focused onrepparttar 117530 task at hand. So take time on a regular basis to regroup, take stock, stay up to date with whererepparttar 117531 business is, where it's headed and what each of you is working on and planning.

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