Maryland Business Property Tax: Some Key Items of Interest for Small Businesses

I had a meeting with an accountant and some financial business advisors. They were all quite informative as we prepared for the upcoming tax season. I’d heard recently from a friend in business that I must be sure to pay my Maryland Business Property Tax. I assured him that my rental property business taxes were paid. I informed him that my mortgage company paid it through my escrow account. He informed me that because you are a Maryland Business you must pay a Business Property Tax just to be in business. I could not believe it.

Annual Business Property Tax Grace Period

 

I started my business and never once paid this tax in two years. Honestly the first year I really didn’t do much with the business. I had the idea and just did nothing for about a year. I had basically no revenue and no expenses. My friend’s statement to me about the Business Property Tax put me in an awkward position. I thought surely this property tax did not apply to those in business without property. I was informed that the Maryland Property Tax was for all business with or without property. I wondered what would happen and what the penalty would be for not paying the tax for two years. I thought about it a few times after speaking with him later. However, I completely forgot about it in less than a month.

 

During the 2007 tax season, the Maryland Business Tax was mentioned again at my meeting with the accountants and others. In this case, I met with state officials during a meeting in Baltimore. We were discussing the MBE and DBE differences. The MBE (Minority Business Enterprise Program) and the DBE (Disadvantage Business Program) have a joint application process. We were going over the filling process with the sate. The MBE is a state program. The DBE is a federal program. As a whole, I was learning what is required to complete this lengthy application process. During this meeting I was informed of a 1 year grace period that every business gets from the Maryland Business Property Tax. When you start your business you do not have to pay the Business Property Tax until the following Tax year.

 

Reason for Maryland Business Property Tax

 

As we gathered information on getting our various certifications we were given and opportunity to see all the fees associated with starting a business. We were also tax planning with the consideration of the proper corporate structure. When we brought up taxes, a state official reminded us that we must be sure to pay our business property tax. From what I understood at the meeting, this is a tax that every business must pay just to stay in business. If you have a business you must pay the state of Maryland this annual tax on business property.

 

My question was “What if you don’t have any property”

Department of Labor License and Regulation officials’ response “You still must pay the Tax. This is a business tax levied for you to simply stay in business”

 

The Way the Maryland Business Property Tax Works

 

I was amazed that I had not heard of it before now. However, as I learned more about the tax, it appears that everyone that was in business more than 2 years appeared to know about it. The way the process works is that the first year you are in business you do not have to pay the tax. If you start your business in January you have the most benefit from this situation. However if you start your business in December, the very next year you must start paying this business tax.

 

From my meeting, I gathered that this tax is based upon the amount of business property the company owns. The property could include furniture computers and anything that is of value owned by the business. If there are not many assets owned by the business, the fee still remains roughly $300. So year one in business, you do not pay the tax. Year two in business and every year there after, you must pay the annual tax to the state.

 

What happens when you do not pay the Maryland Business Tax

 

If you do not pay the tax, the state will seize funds from your business to pay this tax. The state normally will seize these funds from any return your business will file. If a return is in order, the state will take its money from the return. If the return is not in order the state might have take a tax lien against the business. In the grand scheme of things, it is simply better to pay the business tax when it comes.

 

In addition, my friend in business let me know that the state in some cases informed the licensing agencies that you have not paid your taxes. This process would not allow you to renew the various licenses required for you to remain in business. He said that not paying the tax is more headache and costly than paying it regularly.

 

From my understanding, it comes in a colorful envelope. The state made it a colorful envelope to ensure that it gets notices. They also make it obvious to ensure that they get paid.

 

So be aware of the business property tax. Pay the tax on time and avoid any later trial and tribulation.

Another Way of Thinking Outside the Box in Today’s Economy

I had the privilege of talking with Cheryl Moore, owner of Our Place Bakery Cafe, a new bakery located in a historic suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Moore and I met recently when, upon passing through just looking for a place that served ice cream so I can treat my nephew, we unintentionally strolled into her store. Immediately, the look and atmosphere of this cafe made a positive impression on my nephew and I. After treating my nephew with two chocolate chip cookies, Ms. Moore and I began to talk about her store, entrepreneurship, and life in general. She has a very intriguing personality.

Upon leaving, I asked her for an interview. Without hesitation, she agreed.

 

A week later, I came to her cafe and here is our conversation:

 

How did you get started?

 

Our Place Bakery Cafe has been open for a year now. I’m a real estate developer. I bought the building….and rented it out. Tenants have put me through changes.

 

I decided to open a bakery because there’s not another bakery in College Park (Atlanta, GA). I just wanted to have a place where, from kids to old folks, can feel comfortable, relax and gab, like a melting pot. People can sit down and have a treat because we have treats in here from 75 cents on up. So everybody can take part in the experience.

 

What separates Our Place Bakery Cafe from the competition?

 

First of all, we bake everything on site in our open-air kitchen and use 100% butter with our salads. Our chicken is [cooked] in olive oil. Now we make and bake our own breads. Subway bakes their bread but doesn’t make it and the [bread] is frozen. We do the same with out pastries and pies. We also deal with a lot of local vendors and business’ around such as Arden’s Garden and Jake’s Ice Cream.

 

We’ve just added on two local roasters for our coffee, One thousand Faces, who is organically environmentally conscious, and Viazza’s, which is Italy’s finest coffee.

 

What really sets us apart, besides our treats, is our decorum and atmosphere. We have a down stairs (area) for live entertainment, spoken word (sessions), etc. It is equipped with audio, visual, and band. We’re really looking for that progressive type of people here.

 

We’re open everyday and have free Wi-Fi. We’re trying to bring back that same sense of “community-based” with different perspectives.

 

How long have you been an Entrepreneur?

 

All my life.

 

You were raised as an Entrepreneur?

 

Yep.

 

What do you say to people who are looking to go the entrepreneur route, especially in today’s economy?

 

Be willing to suffer. The more you suffer, the bigger the reward, you know, and never give up…With the way things are going now, conventional is out the door. So you might as well live your dreams, you only have one life. Do and be all that you can be.

 

Are you originally from around here?

 

No, I’m originally from Norfolk, Virginia and relocated here around 16 years ago. A local now, living in [nearby] East Point for over 8 years now.

 

The reason I gravitated to this particular area is because it’s going through a tremendous revitalization, with the urban sprawl. It’s near the airport and metropolitan (Atlanta) area. The store showcases the metropolitan [style] but still preserves the nostalgic with how I feel about College Park.

 

Where do you see Our Place Bakery Cafe in the next 5-10 years?

 

A couple more outlets with the same premise in mind: that no matter what, we will never get too big. Our slogan is “Serving A Piece of Home One Customer at a Time.” We want anybody that comes in here to feel like their at home.

 

What’s Your Signature Dish or Dessert?

 

Well our signature cake is our Caramel Cake. I actually got the recipe from Memphis (Tennessee).

 

I got to get a piece of that Cake!

 

You got to, I’m telling you right now! You got to get you some…. (I point to the cake) Exactly! That is our second [caramel] cake. We sold a whole one this morning.

 

Our Bread Pudding is a showstopper. In addition, we offer hummingbird,red velvet, and pound cakes. We also do custom cakes for weddings. We have a ‘Customer Design’ chef on duty here.

 

We also offer vegan, sugar free desserts and that has really brought a new dimension and kind of people into our place. This really enforces what we’re trying to do because it makes it more interesting to have different [types of] people.

 

Our Place Bakery Cafe is located close to the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, in the heart of downtown historic College Park, Georgia. The address is 3387 Main Street, College Park, Georgia 30337. Operating hours are Mondays, 8am to 7pm, Tuesdays to Fridays, 8am to 9pm, Saturdays, 10am to 9pm, and Sundays, noon to 7pm.

 

Wine tastings are every third Wednesday of each month. Live Entertainment happens first Thursday of each month. Spoken Word poetry readings are every fourth Wednesday of each month. Finally, Chicago-style stepping classes each Sunday.

 

Call (404) 767-3181 or email: ourplacebakery@comcast.net for more info.

 

Read more about Our Place Bakery Cafe in the recent article posting “Decadent Desserts: Bakery brings ‘sweet’ addition to historic College Park” on the website, www.neighbornewspaper.com, in the ‘South Fulton Neighbor’ section.

20 Influential Business Women and Women in Business

Business women and women in business are powerful, influential and inspirational, they may be in your country or even your place of work, wherever they be, they are everywhere – and a good job too!

Starting a business or being in business requires strength, determination, networking, risk taking and delegating to name but a few things.

 

Here is a list of 20 business women and business women in no particular order you may find interesting and want to find more out about.

 

  1. Michelle Obama
  2. Jacqueline Gold
  3. Kavita Oberoi
  4. Hillary Devey
  5. Condoleezza Rice
  6. Susan Chambers
  7. Ofra Strauss
  8. Deborah Meaden
  9. Kanya King
  10. Hillary Clinton
  11. Madonna
  12. Rachel Elnaugh
  13. Cathie Black
  14. Anne Lauverergeon
  15. HoChing
  16. Delphine Arnault-Hancia
  17. Martha Stewart
  18. Delia Smith
  19. Natalie Massenet
  20. Michelle Mone

 

These are just some of the inspirational women out there at the moment making a difference and you can do it to. Here are some top tips to help you be an even more successful women in business or business woman:

 

  1. Never give up on your dreams and ambitions – you are the only one holding yourself back.
  2. Remember that if you can dream it then you can achieve it.
  3. Always be confident. Confident in what you are doing and where you are going.
  4. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.
  5. Remember to delegate tasks and so on, this will free up more of your time to work on other things.
  6. Remember that you can have it all, a family, a career, a business and whatever else oyu desire.
  7. There will always be hurdles to jump over and mountains to climb but with determination you will be successful.
  8. Always remember that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail.
  9. Remember to set goals, targets and aims and to surpass them.
  10. Networking can help you meet new people, new suppliers and new contacts.
  11. Remember to take some time off.
  12. Always have a business plan for things you are doing or would like to do, a business plan will act as a guide and will help guide you to success.
  13. Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight it takes patience, effort, hard work and sometimes a bit of a struggle.

 

I hope you have found this article both useful and helpful, good luck with your businesses or in business

What You Need to Start Your Own Business

A successful entrepreneur can tell you that a good business owner plans every step in the creation of a business to avoid mistakes. According to a report entitled “The Small Business Economy: 2010” published on the Small Business Administration website, approximately 15.3 million Americans were self-employed in 2009. In order to join the millions of self-employed people in the United States, you need to understand how to start a personal business.

Idea A good personal business starts with an idea. Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down every kind of business you think that you would like to start. You can begin eliminating businesses that you do not feel confident about, or that you know you will not be able to apply the proper time and resources to. What you have left is a short list of businesses that you feel you could dedicate time and money into to get started.

 

Research You need to narrow your short list down to just one business idea, and you do that through research. Start reading books on the businesses you are considering starting. Find out how the businesses work, the kind of experience you need to be successful and the materials you will need to get started. Get out and visit companies that already exist so you can see first hand how it works. If you are able to, you should work for a couple of these companies just to get an intimate idea of whether or not you want to start that kind of business.

 

Experience and Education

 

When you were deciding on a businesses, part of your research dealt with determining the experience and educational needs of the industry you have chosen. If you are lacking in the necessary educational background, then take the time to fill in what you are missing. Take classes at the local community college, or go back to school full-time to get the degree you will need. When you’ve completed the research, you need to get experience in your field. You can start working for an existing company through a full-time job, or spend a summer as an intern learning the business.

 

Mentor Once you have decided on the kind of business you want to start, you need to find a mentor to help you get started. You may find a mentor working full-time for an existing company, or you may know someone already in the industry you want to work in. You are unlikely to find a mentor working in your industry of choice in your own geographic area. You will be seen as competition by those business people. But reach out to people that you would not be in direct competition over the phone or the Internet, and see if you can find someone that will help you to understand what is needed to start your business.

 

“Starting and Managing a Business,” SBA.gov

“How to Start Your Own Business and Keep Your Sanity,” USNews.com

“7 Tips for Part-Time Business Owners,” Entrepreneur.com

Process for Employee Participation

Employee participation is hugely important for business success. Success of the business requires that each employee work toward the greater good of the organization. One of the ways in which a business can help employees make a solid contribution is to develop formal processes that help foster increased participation, exposure, and accountability. Some strong ideas are as follows:

1.) Product Teams: Product teams should be designed to ponder improvements for any product or service. Improvements to products or services should not be conducted in a vacuum. Such improvement requires the input of marketing, customer services, operations, sales, and workers. In other words, simply improving a product that doesn’t increase its marketability or can’t profitably be produced doesn’t make sense. Without various input from multiple stakeholders the product might be a “flop”.

 

2.) Recognition Programs: Recognition programs should be designed to recognize exceptional work throughout the organization. It is not enough for a person to receive a thank you while some people in the organization are receiving much more. Strong employees that are an example to others should receive formal recognition. This formal recognition helps them feel proud of their accomplishments and sends a signal to others to follow their example.

 

3.) Formal Idea Submission: Great ideas for improvement to the organization should not be ignored even if they are coming from the most entry level employees. However, such programs should be given a formal structure and a formal review process. Simply ignoring these suggestions means you are not tapping your employees potential and knowledge. Thus submissions should be placed in a formal format, include documentation, a formal review, and a reward process. Such improvements could even be recorded and catalogued.

 

4.) Promoting From Within: Some companies hire all of their managers from outside of the organization. However, when this happens employees begin to believe they have no future outside of their current job within this organization. Therefore, it is necessary to occasionally promote and train exceptional employees to further the knowledge but also to send a positive impression that good work will be rewarded.

 

5.) Management Relationship Training: Something as subtle as poor management skills can change the dynamics by which people work. A bully in the workplace is likely to only receive compliance and workers aren’t going to share their great ideas for fear of chastisement or rejection. In addition, poor managers also do not produce any loyalty to the company and this can further problems with retention of strong talent.

Linkedin

A while back I was introduced to aLinkedin. I have been on Myspace for a while, but never really did anything with it. Linkedin on the other hand seemed a little more interesting to me as a business person. Linkedin is a social networking site for business people. After doing a little research about Linkedin and social networking I realized that I have been, as the saying goes, missing the boat on the social networking movement. This article about Linkedin was written to show what is possible by becoming actively involved in social networking.

The question that really piqued my curiosity was whether or not it would be possible to build a quality business network using Linkedin. It is one thing to connect with a lot of people on a site like Linkedin, quite another to get any use out of your efforts.

 

I started connecting with different people on Linkedin. Somehow after building my initial profile, a few people asked me to connect with them, which I did. Linkedin does not want a person to become Linkedin to people that they do not know. The idea is that you only connect to people that you already have a relationship with. Then, if you see that one of your connections have a connection you don’t know, but would like to. You ask for an introduction. In a way this makes sense. Utilizing this method a person could build a small networking group that could become a quality social network.

 

Another theory of social networking is open networking. In open networking a person is a little more liberal with whom they connect. The basic theory is, you never know who you might be able to help or who might be of help to you. I first became introduced to open networking by reading an article about Steven Burda in CIO Magazine. Steven Burda is considered the “Mother Theresa” of online social networking. I decided to see what it was all about, sent Steven an inmail, (Linkedin method of communication) and we ended up becoming connecting. After a few emails we decided to talk on the phone and become better acquainted. Steven Burda has a “pay it forward” attitude. He has a good job and really does not have an immediate “need” for thousands of connections, so spends his spare time helping others get what they want, asking for nothing in return. It did not take much convincing for me to see the benefit of having an attitude like Steven’s and becoming an open networker on Linkedin.

 

So began my journey at becoming an open networker. I started going through the list of the top networkers on the site Top Linked and asking for connections. My introduction is, “Hello, I am J. Michael Warner, Professional Blogger and writer. I would like to connect with you on Linkedin and hope that I can bring value to you and your group.” The idea being that I would let people know who I am, what I do, but not try to sell anything.

 

Many of the people that I have connected with have had no real communication with me yet. Obviously the bigger your social network is, the less time one has to socialize with each individual. I really don’t see that as a big deal, I will be here when they need me. One of the fist people I connected with is a marketing expert that used to teach marketing at the college level. She read my profile and then volunteered information about how I could make it better. We have communicated by email quite a few times and she has been a big help with me trying to find my niche market. Her volunteering to help me was very impressive and just what I needed. I don’t have anyone locally that I can talk to about projects like this.

 

One of the best ways to socialize on Linkedin is to join Groups. Linkedin has a group for just about every subject in business, from marketing to the media to politics and more. I joined quite a few of the groups. The different groups will send out an email that has the groups daily discussions. One of the best ways to get noticed and make solid connections with others is to participate in these discussions. Don’t try to sell, try to help. What I have noticed is that people that are blatantly trying to sell don’t get much traffic, those that try to be helpful, do. An example, if someone asks a question about blogging, I have learned to just try to be helpful with the question asked. In my profile it says that I am a professional blogger. If someone needs my services they will ask. I am not saying that you should never approach someone with an offer of doing business, just don’t spam, it is a social network after all. Think of Linkedin like a Chamber of Commerce social event. You would not attend the event, introduce yourself to everyone there and immediately go into your used car sales presentation. Would You?

 

As of this writing I now have 148 Linkedin connections and am adding probably 5 – 10 Linkedin contacts each day. Is it worth it? Daily I receive communications from Linkedin connections that inquire about what I do and seek to get to know me better. Linkedin is working for me and the more I study it, I can see how this one social network could easily become one of the most powerful tools a business person can have in his arsenal, most especially if that business person is expanding beyond the local level.

Nortel Bankruptcy Just the Tip of the 2009 Business Bankruptcy Iceberg

A Nortel Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing sent stocks into a tailspin. Bloomberg considers the Nortel news – and declining December retail sales in the US – to be signs that the recession is nowhere near the final low, but instead that economies are still sinking. With Nortel bankrupt, what 2009 business bankruptcy filings have you missed?

 

Those who thought that mining companies would be on the chopping block this year are correct. Apex Silver Mines Limited, a corporation headquartered in Denver, Colorado, also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Another Colorado firm filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is the Shane Company, known for the slogan “now you have a friend in the diamond business.” The Denver Post reported that the filing revealed a total of 6,000 creditors and assets as well as debts in excess of $100-500 million.

 

In an interesting twist, Tronox, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 for its, specifically excluding its operations situated in the Netherlands, Germany and also Australia. It appears that the company is trying to get out from under the liabilities it incurred while it was spun off by Kerr-McGee Corporation, among them environmental remediation.

 

In plain English, Tronox cannot or will not pay for the removal of pollutants its company released into the environment and thus hopes that a Chapter 11 will accommodate its use of fiscal resources elsewhere and leave someone else paying the bill. In a bizarre interpretation of the news, a spokesman for the state opined – as reported in the Review Journal – that “the remediation will go on as it has in the past. The state will not be on the hook for any additional costs.” Who will?

 

The Denver Business Journal suggests that companies filing for Chapter 11 “die 99 percent of the time. It used to be 85, but now it’s 99.” Not far behind in the doomsday prediction department is the Plain Dealer which quotes C. Britt Beemer, who is chairman of America’s Research Group Ltd, and who believes that “you’ll see more retail bankruptcies in the first six months of next year than in the last five years combined.” He is referencing 2009.

 

It would appear that the Nortel bankruptcy filing is simply the tip of the 2009 business bankruptcy filing iceberg.

 

Sources: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082 sid;=aSo0vp9_rZAY refer;=canada; http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=113158 p;=irol-newsArticle ID;=1244050 highlight;=; http://www.tronox.com/NewsReleaseFiles/news_20090111.htm; http://denver.bizjournals.com/denver/othercities/kansascity/stories/2008/12/29/story12.html?b=1230526800%5E1753504; http://www.lvrj.com/business/37491909.html; http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2008/12/retail_experts_predict_more_st.html

Starting Up Right: Legal Foresight for Small Business Owners

 

It is common to findĀ huge multinationals fighting over patents and copyright infringements, often settling for millions of dollars and we go on to thinkĀ as small business owners this does not apply to us. However, a closer look at what these giants are fighting about in big legal battles can usually be identified to the smallest of legal issues that were overlooked and that went along to cost them big money and embarrassment.

 

As a small business owner today, or if you plan on going into business for yourself, it may be easy to neglect legal issues because they are not enforced at inception and they may well become the proverbial snake that will mercilessly turn back to bite your heel if you don’t absolutely crush it today.

 

Taking time to learn in which you are operating in will go a long way to keep you secure and ensure that you follow the right processes in setting up and running your business. The time you put into learning the legal matters will help you navigate yourself safely in the normally confusing waters of day to day business.

 

How do you go About Learning the Legal issues that Concerns your Business?

 

There are a number of resources you can use to guide you on legal issues that might affect your business. The best approach is to engage in research using different sources, collecting, analyzing and keeping references for the best legal practices that will protect you from the start and form a base for the future.

 

Some resources will be to accessing legal information online, reading on current business practices and legal issues other firms are facing in the news, joining forums and discussion groups of small business owners.

 

Other important sources will be to attend functions and information sessions and conferences focused around legal matters and cooperation. You may well go out of your way to attend those that involve big businesses. The insights might apply to you as well and may well prepare you for expansion in the future.

 

If you have the financial resources, keeping a qualified legal advice on your payroll from the onset will enable legal knowledge to grow as your cooperation grows. You can be sure of the best legal advice for having someone work on your business full time with the aim of providing you with the best information on how you stand legally as a business.

Bright Ideas Are Worth Money: Creative and Innovative Ways to Earn Cash

CashSome of the most unlikely ideas can generate tremendous interest and earn their originators amazingly large sums of money, including an anatomically impossible drawing of a spider. In 2008, David Thorne of Adelaide, Australia, reportedly offered a drawing of a spider he had sketched as a substitute for payment of a utility bill for 233.95 dollars Australian.

The utility company refused the drawing, but the seven-legged sketch generated an extended email exchange between Thorne and the utility company. He ultimately offered the sketch on the online auction site eBay, where it fetched 18 bids from various countries worldwide and a winning offer of $10,000 U.S dollars, or 15,000 Australian dollars.**

Performance Art

The Chicago Bucket Boys are descended from a tradition of street performers dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years. The young men from the south side of Chicago create syncopated rhythms using a simple pair of drumsticks and plastic buckets. They are a frequent sight on Michigan Avenue during the summer months, and have performed during halftime at Chicago Bulls games.

Esmee Denters, a young woman from Oosterbeck in the Netherlands, has taken a more high tech approach, uploading videos of herself singing to the popular user driven channel YouTube. She has generated interest from promoters with major music labels. Fluent in English and Dutch, she has developed a fan base in Europe and the United States.

A Better Mousetrap

Until personal computers made typewriters nearly obsolete, the invention of Bette Nesmith Graham, Liquid Paper, originally called “Mistake Out,” was the savior of typists everywhere. The mother of Michael Nesmith, a member of the 1960’s pop group The Monkees, Bette Nesmith Graham began manufacturing the formula in her kitchen blender. Shortly before her death in 1980, she sold the company to Gillette for 47.5 million dollars.

Multiple inventor Joy Mangano’s inventions focus on household challenges such as hangers that preserve space in crowded closets or a mop that eliminates the need to wring out dirty water from a mop head with their hands. She began her company in 1991 with her first invention, the “Miracle Mop,” that allowed users to wring out the mop head without getting their hands wet. Since then, she has become a fixture on Home Shopping Network, promoting products like her popular “Huggable Hangers.”

Playing Doctor on TV

In a commercial for Vicks 44 cough syrup that aired during the 1980s, soap opera actor Peter Bergman spoke the now famous line “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Since that time, real doctors have taken positions as varied as medical correspondent for television news stations, to product endorsements for infomercials. Dr. Drew Pinsky, known as “Dr. Drew” and Dr. Mehmet Oz, known as “Dr. Oz” have each become bona fide television personalities with nationwide recognition.

Other doctors, while less famous, have also established careers on television. Dr. Stephanie Clements began her career in journalism and earned a medical degree in podiatry. She became the medical correspondent for KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Denver, Colorado and continued her medical practice. Dr. Dave David gave up a medical practice in the 1990s to become a product endorser for medical and fitness infomercials.

Put It In Writing

Web pages and weblogs, or blogs, have replaced newspapers and books for a large percentage of the reading public. As a result, bloggers such as Matt Drudge of the conservative “Drudge Report” and Markos Alberto Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of the left-leaning “Daily Kos” have become influential figures on the blogosphere, or the Internet information arena. Commercial services such as CreativeWeblogging and and Weblogs, Inc. offer would-be bloggers a turnkey platform and paid compensation for their prose.

The Worth of a Picture

Artist J.S.G. (“Just Some Guy”) Boggs has traveled around the world, using hand-drawn currency in place of actual legal tender. He is not a counterfeiter; his works of art recreate the look of money only on one side. The back contains his thumbprint and signature. In the Internet age, Boggs has turned from hand-drawing currency to computer generated works of art.

Both his hand drawn bills and his computer currency are worth much more than face value to collectors, who pay Boggs for receipts allowing them to trace the works of art. The collectors in turn contact the recipients of the “Boggs bills” with lucrative offers. Once the art has changed hands from its original recipient to the collector, Boggs considers his “performance art” to be complete. His art is on display in museums around the world.

** No money had actually changed hands concerning the spider drawing. Patrick Munoz, the winning bidder, reportedly refused to pay the winning bid. The spider artist had reportedly not paid the original utility bill as of that date, either. An extensive search yielded no further updates.

Sources

  • Ninemsn.com.au — Man Tries to Pay Bill With Spider Drawing
  • Telegraph.co.uk — Man Tries to Pay Overdue Bill With Spider Drawing
  • Ninemsn.com.au — Spider Minus Leg Sells for Thousands
  • News Ninemsn.com.au — “Spider Man” Refuses to Pay for Drawing
  • Bulls.com — Chicago Bulls Bucket Boys
  • Reuters.com — You Tube Stars Don’t Always Welcome Record Deals
  • YouTube — Esmee Denters’ Official Channel
  • JobTips.org — Moms as Successful Home-Based Entrepreneurs
  • Liquid Paper — About Us
  • CBS News — Mother of the Miracle Mop
  • HSN.com — Joy Mangano for the Home
  • IMDB — Peter Bergman
  • Dr. Drew Pinsky — Home
  • Mehmet Oz, M.D. — Home
  • CareerLab.com — Getting a New Gig
  • The New York Review of Books — The Library in the New Age
  • From Literacy to Electracy — Writing, Reading, and Learning in the Late Age of Print
  • Beat-Tuition.com — Make Money In College –33 Ideas and More
  • The Drudge Report — Home
  • NNDB — Matt Drudge
  • Daily Kos — Home
  • Daily Kos — FAQ
  • Creative Webblogging — Write for Us
  • Weblogs, Inc. — Home
  • Economic Expert — J.S.G. Boggs
  • Young Money.com — J.S.G. Boggs — The Value of Money
  • The Art Institute of Chicago — Search Result — J.S.G. Boggs

Free Sample Employee Evaluation Form: A Performance Evaluation Checklist for Entrepreneurs

ChecklistEmployees need to know how they are doing, and performance evaluations are an excellent way to provide the necessary feedback. Yet an employee evaluation isn’t a one-time or yearly process either; it begins the second an employee is hired and continues throughout their career with the organization.

What follows is a free sample evaluation form for entrepreneurs to use and cater to their specific human resource needs, so as to provide their staff with adequate feedback and review on a regular, measured basis.

Free Sample Performance Evaluation – Data Section

Start the evaluation form with the kind of data that can be filled in before the actual job evaluation takes place, such as:

  • Employee name, number (if applicable), job title, supervisor and department;
  • Hiring or start date and the time period for which the employee evaluation is being done;
  • Current salary, along with the last salary increase date;
  • Why the employee is receiving a performance evaluation (such as it was scheduled, for a promotion or to review a potential salary increase); and
  • The date of the employee’s last performance evaluation, as well as the date the current evaluation is being performed.

Free Sample Performance Evaluation – Technical Skills Section

The technical skills section of an employee evaluation is where the reviewer can comment upon the staff member’s:

  • Knowledge of the job, including the specific skills and information requirements needed;
  • Work quality, such as their accuracy, thoughtfulness, thoroughness, concision, ability to complete projects as requested and consistency;
  • Promptness in getting the work required finished on schedule;
  • Understanding of the job and all it entails, such as the employee’s ability to learn new skills and put them into practice and follow company rules and/or procedures; and
  • Organizational skills, such as their ability to juggle projects and time commitments, and how well they prioritize crucial job-related tasks.

Free Sample Performance Evaluation – Interpersonal Skills Section

Every job requires some level of interpersonal skills, whether or not the staff member has any contact with the public. With this in mind, some of the performance review talking points could include:

  • How well or often does the employee take the initiative to get thing done, and are they able to work without supervision most of the time?
  • Is the employee respected by his or her peers, subordinates, superiors and/or clients? Do they work well with others?
  • Does the employee demonstrate concern for the client’s needs consistently and regularly?
  • What kind of attitude does the staff member bring to the workplace?

Free Sample Performance Evaluation – Personal Skills Section

The smallest of the sections in a performance review, the personal skills category merely explains whether or not the employee is punctual, has good attendance, and is attentive to customer relations no matter what their position with the company.

Free Sample Performance Evaluation – Written Evaluation Section

The written evaluation is where the reviewer can write longer, more detailed comments about the employee’s job performance, such as any general comments or whether or not the staff member met the goals and recommendations from the previous performance review.

Free Sample Performance Evaluation – Recommendation Section

This is the portion of the employee evaluation form where the reviewer or human resources professional can give a brief outline of what is to happen based on the performance review. Information covered could include:

  • Whether or not the employee’s position will remain the same, receive a promotion, be transferred or changed in any other way;
  • What, if any, salary changes or training programs are being recommended; and
  • What date the performance review was shared with the employee.

Finish the performance evaluation with the reviewers signature, the employee’s signature, and the date, along with a disclaimer such as, “I have read this employee evaluation and have shared my thoughts and comments with the reviewer. My signature does not constitute agreement, but rather an understanding of the information presented within.”