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December 31 2011

20:18

Back in biz part 2…

The basic groundwork has been laid for the business. Right now it’s just me and the gear and my worksite, thinknews. But in order to make this viable I need an extended list of folks who have professional experience AND who I can work with. The latter is right up there with the experience because if I can’t work with someone…if I can’t trust them totally…they are useless.

This next week is dedicated to contacting old co-workers and friends to get their information, gear list, and rates. The purpose is threefold:

1. Want to be able to hand off jobs I cannot take due to scheduling or other constraints.
2. Want subcontractors for any jobs I get that require more than me and my gear.
3. Want folks who are lower and higher on the food chain than me – once again for referrals. Most of the folks I plan to work with are right in my range with rates and gear…a few have more/better gear and a few have less/more prosumer gear. If I get a client I feel I cannot serve due to their needs, I still want to make them happy by referring them to someone who can service their budget and needs.

So far…so good. Seems there is an overabundance of cameramen/editors but (wow) a shortage of talent/narrators. I’ve actually been eyeballing the husband (with his amazing shock of white hair) as talent. ??? Was that the sound of the door slamming and rapid retreat of footsteps???


December 30 2011

08:50

Back in biz…

I will confess – I am a videoholic. There’s no twelve step program for this ailment, so I have to feed it every day. And I’ve finally decided to both get serious and legal. Today I got my business license. And that, my friends, is a journey unto itself.

First stop was the county Registrar’s Office to file for a fictitious business name. Of course I could have used my own moniker at no cost, but hey – I’ve kind of grown to love the “thinknews” label. Twenty-six bucks. Step one of THAT process.

Then off to the Community Development department for the actual license. Had the paperwork all filled out and slapped it down on the counter and pulled out the checkbook. And casually mentioned I might in the future be hiring subcontractors for jobs if I got lucky. BIG mistake. Counter Lady very pointedly said, “Oh you can’t HAVE employees at a home business site.” “But they’re SUBCONTRACTORS” I pointed out to her. Well, you can see where this is heading. She stuck to her guns, so I asked – what’s the difference between a home business and real business license?

Home business. First off – conducted out of your HOME. Both you and the home owner (fortunately one and the same in my case) must sign off on the license. NO clients or employees allowed on site. Well – no employees AT ALL. Unless they are members of the family.

Business license. May have employees and MUST be located in a commercially zoned property. Loads more paperwork. All this for an additional seventy buckeroos. I have to PAY for an office that neither employees or clients will ever see? Hmmmmm…

I hesitated a moment and told her to continue with the home license. Honestly – it will be just me, my gear, and a lot of email and phone connections to clients I may never see. And the little matter of “employees”? Let’s just say that I spoke with a local video production business owner (retired) who said Counter Lady had it all wrong – subcontractors are NOT employees legally. Thank you. Doled out a check for $430 with a promise I’d have the paperwork in a few weeks and be legal.

Step two of Fictitious Name: visit my local newspaper office and pay over $85 to have the notice formally published.

Newspaper friends … understand that I love you dearly, but this is an archaic system. Wouldn’t a notice on a county website more than meet the need and probably for less than half the cost? So WHO reads these notices? (Guess I’m gonna be doing it for the next four weeks.)

Final step…which I’ve been working on all week…is insurance.

Liability to cover my a** should someone decide to get injured (physically or psychically) on whatever job I’m on…or should I inflict damage on persons or property. (Note to self: buy more gaffers tape and possibly a couple of rubber throw mats to go over cable runs.) Protection basically for stuff I have a bit of control over.
Gear – some solace in the event my gear gets heisted.
Errors and ommissions – protection from what is NOT in my control. A failed SDHC card. Acts of God or stuff I can’t foresee that might totally tick off the client, who either wants a reshoot or a piece of my hide.

Checked out a couple of agencies and am going with one recommended by a number of folks over on b-roll.net. Brad at Buell Insurance was helpful and direct. Waiting for the request to pay…and I’m covered as of 1/1/12. Cost? Well, you’re gonna hafta get your own quote. It all depends on YOUR gear, location, estimated income, travel expectations…let’s just say that it was a bit more than the biz license and let it go at that.

My little end-of-year adventure is (nearly) over. The loose ends?

1. Pay insurance
2. Wait for arrival of (approved) home business license
3. Fictitious business name/the final step. Once the legal publishing requirement is met, the paper will send me some official paperwork which I must then forward to the Recorder’s office along with a(nother) check for $7.00. THEN I’m finally and totally legal.

Is it worth all of this trouble? In my case, yes. While this is a part time retirement gig, I do want to bid on local and state contracts and other opportunities I can’t even consider without flying above the legal radar. Besides, when folks ask what I do, now I can say I’m businesswoman!


January 24 2010

13:49

Features Offered In X M Satellite Radio Equipment

There are many brands of satellite radios that will work well with the XM Satellite Radio systems. The Pioneer Inno and Samsung Helix XM radio receivers have features that will give XM users Live XM broadcasts that are portable and give them the option to store their MP3’s and play them when they want to. With more than 50 hours of storage, the Pioneer Inno is certainly capable of providing many hours of entertainment and access to sports and stock tickers.


Other radio receivers, like the Delphi XM MiFi and Pioneer AirWave have features such as a recording dock that will allow XM satellite customers to capture up to five hours of music. The Delphi XM MyFi and Pioneer AirWave are equipped with built-in FM transmitters that offer wireless connectivity and the ability to select up to 12 frequencies. There are 30 preset channels in the Delphi XM MyFi and it comes equipped with a rechargeable battery that can be used up to 5 hours per charge.


Some XM radio receivers are small in stature and price. The Samsung Nexus 50 is compatible with XM and Napster and will give XM satellite users more than 50 hours of storage capacity. This MP3 storage and play satellite radio receivers will allow a user to take their XM and any MP3’s they own anywhere they like.


For less storage and a lesser price, XM satellite users can select the Samsung Nexus 25 which provides room for 25 hours of storage.


If an XM user wants to access sports scores and use some handy 30 channel presets, they might enjoy the features of the Tao XM2Go radio receiver. The Tao is equipped with a wireless FM transmitter that gives access to 12 frequencies that can certainly make listening to it a very pleasurable experience. Tao XM2GO users have found that the recording dock makes it easy to capture up to five hours of music and other materials.


Some of the branded satellite radio receivers are compatible with the FM radio that is installed in an automobile. The Delphi XM SkyFi2 is the second generation model that also gives you 30 minutes of memory where XM users can pause the shows that they listen to and review what they just heard. When people find that the newer versions of these radio receivers can be used as a car radio and a boombox at the beach, they are truly inspired to learn more about these kinds of services and these kinds of radio receivers that can bring joy and music to their life.

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