If you have considered monetizing your blog, then you have considered becoming an entrepreneur. Starting a small business can seem daunting, even if it is with a blog, because there are some important things to consider:
- When do I have to claim income?
- Do I use a business name or just use my name?
- Should I form a corporation?
- When should I trademark my blog’s name?
- How do I use Quickbooks to keep track of my accounting?
- Should I charge tax for online sales?
- Could I be held liable for what I write?
- Do I have to claim trips that are sponsored by brands? What about free products?
Bloggers can make some serious money through their websites, and even if you only make a little, it would be wise to educate yourself about the business-end of blogging. And wouldn’t it be great if there was a real person you could talk with, who knew what they were doing? And better yet, what if this advice and coaching were affordable or even completely free?
Well, thanks to the National Entrepreneur Center, such free advice exists for bloggers living in Central Florida. Conveniently located in Fashion Square, free covered parking makes it an easy place to visit.
Founded in 2003, through the collaborative efforts of Walt Disney World, Orange County Government and The University of Central Florida, the National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) is a “shared facility” that provides a collaborative approach to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs. Now 11 different organizations, different chambers and associations, work aside the NEC giving an amazing array of connections for bloggers.
Here are some of the things offered at the NEC:
- Free One-on-One Business Coaching
- Low-Cost Business Seminars
- Networking Events
- Onsite Business Lab
- Access to Business Resources
- Certification Assistance for Minority/ Women-Owned Businesses
- Connections to Procurement Assistance
- Publicity Opportunities
- CEO & Advisory Board Programs
- Export Assistance
- Training and Conference Room Rentals
This innovative approach to helping small business owners is known as “Main Street Gardening,” and earned Central Florida recognition from Entrepreneur Magazine and Biz Journals newspapers, as one of the best places in America to start or grow a small business…and that includes a blog!
Last night I got to visit the NEC with a handful of bloggers to discover all it has to offer… and I will be going back! I recently incorporated and the corporate tax guidelines have intimidated me to the point of shutting all the papers in a drawer so I don’t have to deal with it! (Yeah, probably not the most sensible approach!) So, NEC, here I come!
And, I’m not the only blogger to use their services, either! Lou Mongello of WDWRadio.com has, too.
So, to help spread awareness about the NEC, they are giving away two free tickets on Southwest Airlines. (Thanks @SouthwestAir!)
And, just to give you an idea of some of the guidance you can find – and there’s a lot for free right on their website, too – take a look at this small business checklist. Maybe print it off and apply it to your blog! (I am.)