Friday, June 27, 2008

Blast from the Past - Update!

Yes, that's right - Ari Bluestein is back on the SVE Blog! HA ... I wanted to give everyone a quick update on, my interactive online community for sports fans that I started while in the SVE program at Rider.

The site actually had to get shut down temporarily because it was hacked. But we refreshed the database, switched servers, and now it is back and up and running. Advertising revenue is still a little slow right now and I am still trying to get the deal with the Philadelphia 76ers going. I provided them with a sample page as to what we can give them and they replied with ‘thank you’ – So we’ll see what they say. If I get the 76ers deal, Sports Fan Base will be exactly where I want it to be.

Also, on another note, have been doing sports analysis on the radio with the Sports Journey Radio Network – I got that gig thru Sports Fan Base. Well now I host my own show Monday thru Friday from 10AM-12PM EST. Here is the link -

You can listen to it live, or you can listed to the archives. The show is called The Other Side (and of course is sponsored by, ha!) and after the first week of doing the show, I feel pretty comfortable hosting my own show.

Also, I will be co-hosting a live remote sports talk show with Philadelphia Eagles players at a bar in Bristol, PA every other Thursday. That starts in August.

Plus, there are a couple new developments with Sports Fan I am looking into developing an online sports magazine. So if that goes through, I will come back and write a Blog about that.

So please listen to my sports talk radio show if you can. Again, if it wasn't for Sports Fan Base (and hence, if it wasn't for Rider's SVE program), I would not have gotten the radio gig that I have now.

As I get more updated with the 76ers deal, my new radio career and the online magazine, I will post some more updates!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Final Update for Garden Artisans LLC

The past three months have definitely been interesting while running my business and taking the SVE course. Since Garden Artisans was formed in April of 2007 my project was done on the expansion of my business. At first I was a little disappointed in the progress we made over the past year, but then I started to look back at what we were doing this time last year. Some of our problems this time last year were as simple as creating an invoice, getting a corp code, and business insurance. This year our problems are much larger and more complex and I can only laugh at what I thought was a problem last year. Our most current problem is having too much work, which is a good problem to have in business. Right now we are booked into July and there are no signs of an economic recession in the landscaping industry. We still cannot find a truck driver, but we do have three prospects right now to fill the position, so hopefully one will work out. We are also starting to sell more of our technical services, which is leading to the need for a skilled foreman on our job sites. We just made our biggest sale ever, which consists of a raised terrace and patio with plantings to compliment it. Early in the year, back in January we were debating on how much to invest in new equipment and how many employees to hire because of the possible recession and not wanting to overextend ourselves financially. We ended up taking a conservative step this year, but are now starting to regret it with the amount of clients and work we have. That's what keeps running your business so interesting though is the unknown. The most exciting part for me is looking back at how much our business has grown while full time students. I can't wait to see what we can do when the business is our main focus.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Final Blog Update on Push-Start

This is the last post for the semester on Push-Start. This semester has been highly valuable in teaching me what is needed to start a venture and not to underestimate the amount of work and effort needed to get something off the ground. In this semester I started two blogs, Grab Your Controller and Push-Start. Between GYC and Push-Start they have developed into two different beings and mentalities. GYC represents the way too technical aspects I didn't want to get into and did anyway since I was working with a friend. Push-Start is my own controlled blog where I made all the decisions and decided to take a different stance then the one used with GYC. Unfortunately I will not be working on GYC as it is officially dead. Push-Start will be put on hold because I need to focus all my attention on my job as Marketing Manager for the comic book company, Dabel Brothers Publishing. I will be revisiting Push-Start in 6 months or more when I have a chance to really sit down and focus on getting it where I would like to be. That being having a team of people who will be working with me, being able to cover more games and be able to branch out into not only video games but comics, movies, etc. Its been a good semester and really valued one especially with this course. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Garden Artisans LLC

It has been a while since I posted, so I will try to bring everyone up to speed with that latest on Garden Artisans. My brother and I decided to hold off on the SBA loan and take more of a conservative step this year since we are both still in school. Two out of our three employees came back from last year, which was positive so we could avoid the whole training process. Our number one priority for this year was to hire a truck driver. Since our biggest flaw last year was my brother or I having to drive the crew around and not having time to do all of the other important business activities such as estimating and selling. We hired a driver for three days, but then our insurance broker ran his driving record and found that it was not good, so our insurance company would not cover him, so the search for a driver continues. We were able to secure about 90% of our maintenance and lawn contracts from last year, so that has given us a solid start to the year. We have also been getting many new leads on potential clients and have been able to lock in a good amount of new work. Our basic advertising approach of passing out flyer's in residential neighborhoods was very effective. We are starting to feel over whelmed with the amount of estimates and work we are securing. We are also starting to land some larger more technical projects that are taking taking much more time to estimate and finalize. We have been having conflicts with obtaining permits and working with other contractors. We have sold a design and installation for a pool area, pond & waterfall, blue stone patio, and seat walls, which is exciting, but stressful. Currently we have three employees, but still no truck driver. Our biggest problem is getting these larger projects complete while keeping up with our regular maintenance contracts. Running your own business is definitely not a 9 to 5 it is more like a 7A.M. to sometimes midnight.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Push-Start Update

Hey everyone, I officially launched Push-Start on April 1st. I have only been posting on there once a day at the end of the day so I can sum up the day of news. Last two weeks have been kind of hectic with graduation coming up and papers and planning for a convention with the company i work for. So its been hard to keep my site updated. I look forward to hopefully being able to do so once all the craziness dies down and I have time to breathe. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The New Move - Fashion At Its Best

The month of March proved to be and experimental month, yielding great rewards. In addition to selling my usual litany of couture items, I ventured into selling used items that were in mint condition. These items, are items of little to no sentimental value. The idea popped into my mind after searching throughout eBay looking for any new trends in the fashion market. I noticed that there were many items that were selling for large amounts that were marked as used. This gave me an idea. I figured that if I was able to find used items that I could sell, I could use the profits from these items to put back into my business. I happened to stumble across a few items in my wifes closet that I knew would sell for a pretty penny. Since she is now an avid collector of Coach bags, I noticed that she no longer used her Dooney & Bourke handbags, allowing them to collect dust on the shelves. After searching eBay to examine what used sales for this bag looked like, I saw some pretty intriguing figures. Thus, I quickly listed two of the bags. They both sold for about $90!!! In addition, I was able to utilize a promotional sale on eBay ( $.01 listing fees) to decrease my overhead. Thanks to the success of these items, I can now use these profits to got towards purchasing more inventory. Another experiment that I embarked upon came to me after doing research and a subsequent report on eBay Powersellers (Elite eBay sellers that have reputable reputations, yield high selling amounts, and behave exemplary within the eBay community). I noticed that eBay Powersellers who were selling similar items that I was, were selling these items for a lot more. I hypothesized that because of the highly esteemed Powerseller status, buyers felt more comfortable buying from sellers within the ranks of this exclusive tier. My hypothesis proved to be right on target. I purchased a pair of jeans (Rock & Republic) and gave them to a business aquaintance of mine that attends Rowan University. He recently attained powerseller status, and has subsequently saw an increase in his selling profits. These jeans, that I usually sell on average for about $85 sold for $124, a very significant increase. Because we frequently do business together, I received the cash from this transaction, only paying for the listing fees that he incurred in reference to the jeans. This strengthened my resolve to swiftly move into the Powerseller ranks!!! In other news, I have really started to see the effects of eBay raising their final value fee prices. The jump, from taking 5% of your final selling price to a wopping 8.75% has started to, cut into my profits. However, this months promotional penny listings helped to balance this inflation out a bit.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grab Your Controller No More

Hey everyone, so I ditched the Grab Your Controller idea since my friend who i was working on it with and i decided to go seperate ways. Instead i'm starting a new blog called Push-Start: A Video Game blog. Launch date is April 1st. I will be having daily updates about 1 to 2 a day summing up the day in its entirety. I feel this is a lot easier then constantly checking on news. i will also be putting in my own tidbits and thoughts on certain things. Be sure to check out on April 1st. Also you will find reviews from time to time and deals on where to buy games for cheap.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Grab Your Controller Post #3

I'm facing problems as my friend as not working on the site with me. I have to handle basically everything myself. I'm trying to work through it to find a balance. I'm also realizing going on different websites for information makes me no better than the sites with the original content. I'm giving credit on where the articles came from but it makes me question why would people come to my site when i can't get any news myself. Basically, i'm facing a lot of problems and working on getting through them.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The New Move Business Venture Update

So far, business has been good. All sales that I have made have yielded no less than 100% profits. In the month of February, I sold 1 high end travel bag, 1 Chrisitian Audigier shirt, 1 Pair of limited Edition Nike Air Force One's, 5 Pair of Rock and Republic Jeans, and 1 pair of True Religion Jeans. In the month of February, I wanted to explore what the market was like on eBay with items outside of my usual selling genre. Thus, I posted an auction for a high-end London Fog Travel Bag. While I did make a profit of the sale, I sold the bag for a lot less than what I wanted. So, as you can imagine, I won't be venturing into that market anymore. However, I was relatively pleased with the other host of items that I sold. The Christian Audigier shirt yielded the highest amount of total profit, yielding almost 150%! The Rock and Republic (R & R) and True Religion jeans also did quite well. On a whole R & R jeans sold considerably better than the True Religion jeans, explaining why I made the decision to buy and sell more of them. One of the secrets to my success has been offering incentives to purchase from me. On about 3 of the jean auctions, I have offered a coupon of $25 in Macy's money ($25 off of a purchase of $50), redeemable in any Macy's around the globe (I was given $300 in Macy's coupons as a bonus and have really had no desire to use them. However, that was short lived once my wife got a hold of them!). All in all, so far I have received 4 comments of positive feedback. But, as with all transactions in eBay, you always have different problems and issues. A buyer in New York alerted me to the fact that he had not received the Christian Audigier shirt that he paid for nearly a week and a half ago. Due to the fact that I always get insurance on my packages, I was able to go to the post office immediately, and locate this item. As it turns out, the package was delivered to the persons home, but no one was home to receive it. Thus, the package has been sitting at the post office for a couple days. Thankfully this situation worked out without any serious repercussions. Another issue that I am facing is that a buyer from Texas who won an auction for a pair of R & R jeans never paid. Th person told me that they were having problems with their Paypal account, and wanted to see if they could send a money order to pay for the jeans. Needless to say, I have still received no payment. As of now, I have alerted eBay to the situation and filled out a Non-Paying Bidder Alert. I have thus re-listed the jeans, and hope that the winner of the new auction will pay promptly!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Update on GYC

Its that time again for an update on Grab Your Controller. Still haven't launched officially but will be tomorrow Monday the 25th. Since my last post I have interviewed an up and coming video game company called Digital Embryo. They have a few games out for Nintendo DS and a game coming out for Wii. I interviewed the president of the company about the game for Wii called Summer Sports and about the company. My friend and I have also reviewed both Turok and Devil MAy Cry 4. Those reviews will be up tomorrow for launch. Currently working on another review for a game called Lost Odyssey. We have added some news to the blog so as not to be completely bare on launch day and have some back content. Thats all for know next update in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The New Move -Top Quality Fashion for Less

First and foremost I would like to express my extreme gratitude to have the opportunity to express and share business ideas with the entrepreneurs of tommorow. My name is Miguel S. Bain, and I started an eBay business just about a year ago in December of 2006. As i'm sure everyone is well aware of, eBay has created its own market for millions worldwide. A big part of this market is individuals who are looking for quality items for less. This introduces you to my target market. I sell high fashion clothing merchandise for much less than what these items retail for in stores. I typically sell high-end brand jeans, but I have also ventured into selling couture t-shirts as well as trendy sneakers. Some of the brand names include True Religion, Rock & Republic, Ed Hardy, Christian Audigier, and Nike. Typically, these brands are found in retail stores such as Saks, Neimen Marcus, AND Bloomingdales. Due to the fact that I am able to procure these clothing articles at wholesale prices, I can offer these top brands for much less than retail stores via eBay auctions. Since starting about a year ago, I have met with relative success. I have been able to gain on average at least 100% profit on each sale. My goal is to continue servicing my target market and providing high end fashion for less. In the future, I would like to eventually take this venture from just a side hobby to an actual business. I look forward to sharing more information with you over the next few months!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Garden Artisans LLC: Landscape Design, Build, Maintain

My name is Dan Jamet and this is the first blog posted for my company Garden Artisans LLC. My brother Peter Jamet and I formed the company in March of 2007 and are looking to expand the business in 2008. Before Garden Artisans I owned the company Blades Lawn and Landscape, which I started in 2005. Garden Artisan's primary services are landscape design, installation, maintenance, and lawn care. Our initial clients in 2007 came from my former business Blades. We were able to build upon that client base throughout the year and had a successful first year in business. Our services range anywhere from as simple as weekly lawn mowing to as complex as turning your back yard into your own personal resort with: patios, terraces, walkways, water features, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and plantings throughout. Some of my responsibilities for the business are estimating, bookkeeping, selling, supervising, and working with the crew. My brother being a landscape architecture student and with his 10 years of experience in the industry is responsible for our landscape design and installation services. Some of our goals for 2008 and during the Student Venture Experience are to secure financing for future equipment and marketing expenses. We are in the process of beginning the development of a website to help market our services. We also are planning on attending three seminars and trade shows in February that relate to our industry. I would advise anybody that owns a business to always be on the look out for seminars and trade shows that relate to their industry because you can always learn something new.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Neil Schwartz: Grab Your Controller

Hello to everyone in the Student Venture Experience. My name is Neil Schwartz and my and I will be starting our own video game related website called Grab Your Controller. Initially we will be launching as a blog and will focus on constantly updated news, deals for a number of sites and stores that can be found in the right places if you know where to look, and reviews. Unfortunately we don't have any ties in the video game industry and will have to rely on getting games when they come out in stores. Our reviews will be slightly different as they will be broken into three parts. Intial, Mid, and Final. We are hoping to change the way video game related websites run and be a new competitive alternative to all the more popular sites. We should be fully launched by Monday the 11th. Please come and check it out. The audience we hope to get are mostly video gamers as well as people who don't know much about video games and need help to figure out what games to buy kids. Basically anyone who plays video games. On the site I will be handling posting news, reviews, and doing majority of the marketing. The other owner Dom will be handling posting news, majority of the deals, and reviews.