Category Archives: Apartment Living

Apartments for Rent in Dorchester, MA: Schoolhouse At Lower Mills

apartments for rent dorchester ma

Introducing a new approach to smart living, minutes from downtown Boston in the vibrant village of Lower Mills. The Schoolhouse at Lower Mills brings high style and urban inspired design to the head of the class, at an incredible price. Live here and enjoy a community alive with new friends, great restaurants, eclectic art galleries and a lively shopping scene. Schoolhouse offers an ideal location for an active lifestyle, with bike paths, kayaking and hiking just steps from your new home.


Meet the New Gypsies: Horses, Wagons, and Facebook

Meet the New Gypsies

-From Daily Mail (@DMAILnews)-

So your mom stops by your apartment—you know—”just to say hi,” and you clearly haven’t cleaned up anything. You know as soon as she walks in, she’s going to unleash the classic cliche, “Were you raised in a barn?!” Now likely weren’t raised in a barn, but if you were a 21st Century Gypsy, you could at least say you were raised in a horse-drawn caravan.

Like a group of vintage amish hippies, fashion photographer Iian McKell has captured the life of these new gypsies in a series of powerful images and published them in a new book.

The Daily Mail article shares a splendid collection of these bizarre and intriguing moments in the life of a modern-day gypsy. I don’t know how you gauge whether or not a photograph is great or not, but for me, it’s all about emotion. As I scrolled through and saw each photo, I got more and more sucked-in to this mysterious lifestyle I never really knew existed. The imagery is romanticizing. Every color, texture, and facial expression is like a question you may never get the answer to, but for some reason, that’s okay. It’s the idea of pure freedom and true living that feeds our envy.

I’m not sure if this adds to the intrigue or slightly deters from it, but these “tribes” of gypsies are also fully connected. They use laptops, internet, and even Facebook. I’m sure there’s more about this in McKell’s book, “The New Gypsies.”

What do you think of the photos? What kind of emotions do they give you? Does it surprise you to know that they travel like pioneers, but are as social media savvy as Apple fanboys?

As part of, our ultimate goal is to help you find an apartment for rent. Along the way, we’ll try and bring you cool stories of lifestyles, cultures, recipes, DIYs, and scholarships as often as we can find them. We hope you’ll enjoy our stuff, and we hope you’ll let us know what you want to see. Let us know in the comments, and check out our Facebook and Twitter profiles on the right side of our blog page.



writer, Mckay Stevens




Mckay Stevens is a writer for He loves the Utah Jazz and new TV Shows. Follow him on Twitter @smckays.

Apartment Painting Ideas

Are you living in an apartment where painting is allowed? If so, congratulations. You are part of the lucky few who have that freedom.
Now that you have that freedom, it’s time to figure out what to paint, and how. Here are some things to consider when getting ready to paint your apartment.

Some colors open up a room, while others make the room feel restricted and small. Bolder and darker colors will make the rooms look and feel smaller, while lighter colors open up the room. Use the bold colors on furniture and decor to accent the room. You can also save a large chunk of money by painting just one wall of a room, which makes itself the accent of the room. Then head to Target and buy some stylish looking art piece, hang it on that accent wall, and you’ll be the artsiest guy/gal around. The opposite gender will then consider you “mysterious” and/or “deep,” so you’ll become that much more interesting.

You could also throw caution to the wind and be totally creative. Take my friend for example. She’s a graphic designer and decided to apply her designing madness to their new apartment. This photo shows the result of her genius. Of course, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to do this, just make sure you have 4 or 5 opinions about your idea and your color scheme before you invest.

Here’s a list of colors and some words to describe what kinds of feelings or ideas they evoke: (summarized from Color Wheel Pro. Detailed descriptions through the link.)
Red: fire, blood, passion, intense, emotional
Orange: energy of red, happiness of yellow. Joy, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity
Yellow: sunshine, joy, energy, spontaneous
Green: nature, growth, harmony, freshness, safety, money
Blue: depth, stability, truth, wisdom, intelligence, faith, heaven
Purple: stability of blue, energy of red, royalty, mystery, magic, romance, most preferred color by children
White: light, goodness, innocence, purity, perfection, cleanliness
Black: power, elegance, death, evil, formality, mystery

So now maybe you’ve chosen your color scheme. That’s most of the battle. It’s time to choose which paint to buy, and how much of it.
If you’re trying to pinch pennies, your gut reaction to paint prices might be to just buy the cheapest brand and make it work. I’ve seen first hand the results of this type of choice. Cheaper brands of paint are more watery. They require much more paint to actually get the job done. More expensive brands will use less coats over the same area. You’ll be using at least twice as much paint by going with the cheap brands, so it may end up costing you the same in the long run anyway. My recommendation is to just take the hit right up front and pay the extra cash for the higher quality paint.

Here’s a nifty idea I heard about recently: it’s called Idea Paint. Idea Paint turns your wall into a dry erase board. It really is a great little product. And fortunately, the home paint prices are quite realistic. Jump on over there and check out their great idea.

The last and perhaps most important thing to reiterate here is the benefit of approaching friends and family and saying “I need some painting apartment ideas” or just show them the ideas you have. If you get several opinions, watch to see what everyone agrees on. That will usually indicate that it will be equally as common if you were to expand your survey. If they differ completely on some aspects, then it’s more than likely just a difference of opinion, so that doesn’t matter. You can do what you want, and you’ll be great.

So good luck, and happy painting. Let us know how it goes, and post some pics of your finished product to our Facebook page. Share your ingenuity with the world.

Making Your Apartment the Entertainment HQ

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always been the guy who doesn’t have it all. In fact, you typically have lived right next door to the guy who literally does have it all. Of course, this makes it easy on game days. You never have to prep your place for the masses or worry about buying excessive amounts of processed goodness, but sometimes you want to be the the guy who preps his place for the masses and buys excessive amounts of processed goodness. The true dilemma is that the other guy always has the sweet setup. He’s got the 3,000 inch flat screen on one wall, and the projector on the other. He’s got surround sound that always seems to be perfectly balanced to the noise created by the party-goers. He has the world’s largest bean bag that just happens to be the most comfortable thing on the planet. He has a steady attendance for Halo Night, and to top it all off, he’s probably trying to steal your girlfriend.

Today I want you to come with me on a journey to find the awesome. We’re going to create an addicting living room design that will make your apartment the entertainment hub of the neighborhood. Buckle up.



Wouldn’t it be great to have an entire wall dedicated to an entertainment center? This one is massive and it keeps the messy cubbies and shelves behind closed doors. It also is big enough to store all of your various game consoles and their unsightly power cords and cables. At $660, however, it might be a bit out of range.


I really like the idea of this entertainment center setup. You get space and style for just over $200. Besides, it can hold movies, games, and consoles.


Take advantage of the boxes of junk you likely have stowed away. Get a couple of these, move your stuff into those drawers, cover it with a solid color table cloth or curtain, and put your TV on top. You’ll have to be careful with this one though, as these stands can only hold so much. Try finding a board you can lay across the top, which will provide the central support you’ll need. You also might want to stack some boxes or other sturdy objects behind and around it just to keep it secure, and to give you a bit more real estate on top.



Nothing says audio like Bose. I doubt I’ll ever understand how they get so much boom out of such small space. So if I got to pick my own dream surround sound setup, it would likely be this. You’ll also notice that it’s got a little adapter to plug in your mobile iDevice and jam to your new favorite Kanye beat in full surround. Oh sweet goodness. Too bad I’m sooner to actually go to Narnia than afford this fancy fellow.


Getting a surround sound system will still put you back a modest chunk of change no matter what. This Sony 5.1 Channel Blu-Ray System might be a great mid-range option. And at $350, it’s much more in the realm of possibility, no Narnia trips necessary.


In this land of Cheapy Cheaperton, the phrase “factory refurbished” will likely become your best friend. If it’s factory refurbished, it should have some sort of guarantee from the factory itself that it won’t implode three days after you install it. Take this RCA setup for example. You will still get a significant boost of audio, but you don’t have to spend a silly amount of cash on it.



Xbox 360. with Kinect. Playstation 3. Wii. All three will give you a wide variety of entertainment. You can use your PS3 as your blu-ray player, your Xbox as your media center, and your Wii (and Kinect) as your party fun, outside of the regular Call of Duty and Halo usage you will normally have. Xbox: $300, w/ Kinect $450. PS3: $300. Wii: $150 (includes Mario Kart Wii w/ steering wheel) Total: $900 w/ no games or extra controllers.


1) Skip the Wii and get the Xbox 360 with Kinect. They’ve got some great games that are also fun for groups. $450 before games and controllers. 2) Get a PS3 for some great game titles and a blu-ray player. Then add Playstation Move for the social experience. $400 before games and controllers.


The great benefit to the Wii right now is that the original console is only $150. There’s still a whole lot of fun to be had with an original console, and it’s cheaper. It also has Netflix built in, so you can enjoy that as well. $150 before games and multiple controllers.



Sharp AQUOS 60 inch flat screen. $2069. In my dreams.


LG 42 inch. $800. Looks pretty.


RCA 46 inch. $500. Not a bad price for such a large tele.

If you’re curious, follow this link to do your own TV comparison at
So here you have some college apartment ideas for your best home entertainment setup. Dive into these things and in no time your apartment will be the center of all-things-awesome.

Need Help Finding an Apartment?

Any basic search will show that most people are very frustrated with their apartment-hunting experience. It’s difficult to find the right place, and it just feels so tedious and inconvenient much of the time. We at Vacancy would like to help ease your pain. Below are some thoughts that will help you find an apartment and lose the headache.

1. Be Prepared BEFORE You Start Your Search.

You need to know what you’re looking for before you begin your search. This will actually take some sit-down time with a pen and paper. You might think you’ll “just know” what you want when you are searching for an apartment, but you’ll surprise yourself once you start listing your needs and wants on paper.

2. Proximity to What You Want

Think about things that you would like that aren’t necessarily going to show up in search results, such as proximity to schools, parks, recreation centers, shopping malls, etc. Decide which of these things is most important to you, and write it down. This may require an extra search and a little extra time, but you’ll be able to narrow your search much more efficiently if you remember to include the uncommon criteria on your list.
Another thing that might not be immediately known is public transportation. If you are moving out to go to school, there’s a possibility that you won’t have a car, or you won’t want to drive a car if you’re going to the big city. You’ll need to do some extra searching and discover where the public transportation would pick you up, and how much it would be for a pass to ride the system. There is a strong likelihood that you can get a special student rate on a bus/train pass.

3. Dealbreakers

Another aspect of being prepared BEFORE you start is knowing what you absolutely will not do. Some will call those “dealbreakers.” Make sure you are absolutely clear in your own mind about what you will not do. Write it down. Then, if you see it, you can move past it knowing that it’s a dealbreaker. Of course, as you list your dealbreakers, you’ll need to identify why a certain thing is a dealbreaker and if it really should be. If you’re just being persnickety, you may want to take it off your dealbreaker list.

4. Go Beyond the Apartment Finder Website.

Using an apartment finder is a great idea. It can help you find apartments quickly. However, when it comes time to narrow your options, you’ll want to go beyond the search engine. Dig up some facts about the area you are considering. The internet is a wonderful resource; Don’t limit yourself to one simple search. Search multiple sites, then go find out more about the place. If you are looking at an apartment complex, you may be able to find some reviews on a Google or Google Maps search. That will give you more insight into the location you’re exploring. One big discovery you might be able to make is if people feel safe where they are. If there are no comments, take it as a good sign. People tend to get more passionate about things they disapprove of. They’ll make more of a point to share their piece if they’ve had a bad experience.

5. Go See the Apartment!

If at all possible, take a drive out to the neighborhood. Just cruise for a bit and get a feel for the place. Your gut will tell you more than a search engine ever could. Park by your potential place and walk around a bit. Don’t be a creeper, just take a brief stroll in the open. Trying to look inconspicuous has a funny way of making one look… conspicuous. If you can, meet up with the landlord or the management. Ask them a few questions. You don’t have to save that until you know that you want the place. They don’t like vacant apartments, so they’ll be extra nice to you. And maybe they have one of those “might-be-from-last-halloween” bowls of candy on their desk. Could be your Lucky Day.

You might also want to check out our other post, 3 Things to Know Before Signing an Apartment Contract.”
So, if you needed help finding apartments, these tips should help. And, as always, if you’ve got some other methods that have helped you in the past, post them in the comments below.

Your Outdoor and Indoor Apartment Garden

Apartment living is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Finding ways to make everything work just right for you is a unique and fun challenge. When we’re talking about apartment gardens, there’s an even greater potential for ingenuity. We’ll use today’s post as a chance to examine some of the best options you’ll have for creating some great gardens at your apartment.

Let’s start with compost. (How’s that for an attention-getter?) Planet Green has a list of 75 things you can compost, and you probably didn’t know it. The list they’ve compiled is amazing. Print that off and hang it up somewhere near the sink and/or garbage can. We’ve started collecting many of these things at home and I’ve learned that it gets easier to remember over time. So be patient, because soon enough you’ll be thinking about compost more than you ever wanted to. Having plenty of compost will be quite helpful in raising good apartment plants. It’s pretty amazing, all of the things you can hang onto. Just think of it as a coin collection, only gross.

Another important item to think about with apartment plants is what kind of space you have and how to best use it. If you’ve got a small yard area attached to your apartment, you might want to consider building a raised garden bed, which would be completely independent from your rental property.

The image on the right (from shows a raised garden bed on legs. This may be your best option. You can avoid a number of problems by having a raised bed garden on legs. No critters will be able to burrow into your strawberries, your back pain will be significantly lessened, and it will be quite a bit easier to handle when it comes time to move. You have all the benefits of a garden without the threat of permanent changes to your property that may end up coming out of your deposit.

The materials are listed through the above link. Make sure you use sturdy lumber, as your gardens will be subject to whatever your particular climate has to offer. The entire project should cost you less than $200, but will be well worth it if you can yield some hard-earned fruits (and veggies). Check out for more tips on your apartment garden.

What about all of you who don’t have any yard space to work with? Do not worry my friends, there is still hope for your little garden. The catch on this is that you won’t be able to have the same type of harvest that you might if you had some outdoor space.

The first thing to do is find the right location in your apartment for some plant life. It will need to be a spot that gets plenty of sunlight, and somewhere that gets regular foot traffic so you won’t forget to nourish the vulnerable little sprouts.

When it comes time to decide which seeds to get, you’ll want to consult the resident know-it-all (the internet) on what plants will be best suited for you. We’ll include some links to help you find what you’re looking for. You also may want to consult with the professionals at the garden shop.

Planet Green has a simple little intro to this process that should be helpful.
iVillage has also posted their top 10 indoor plants. And don’t worry if you can’t pronounce some of those names. Just jot down a few that you’re interested in and take the paper with you to the shop. It will be easier on you and the employee.

How Stuff Works from Discovery has posted a very convenient and useful “Vegetable Spacing Guide” so you can keep your greens out of each other’s personal bubble.

These tips and links should help you get your feet wet (and a bit dirty) as you begin this process of gardening in your apartment. And, as always, please share your insights below. We don’t pretend to know everything, and we know that many of you already have been doing things like this, so please, share what has worked for you.

Also, be a pal and use any of the several social media buttons here to share this goodness with your friends.


A Quick Overview of Renter’s Insurance

A quick word on Renter’s Insurance:

Talking and worrying about renter’s insurance is entirely uncommon. There are typically so many other things to worry about that renter’s insurance doesn’t even make a blip on the radar. In fact, it’s possible that many people don’t even know that renter’s insurance exists or is even a good idea.

What is renter’s insurance?

Renter’s insurance is just that, insurance for renters. Most insurance providers have renter’s options available. This insurance covers everything you have in your apartment.

Why should I get renter’s insurance?

Renter’s insurance is what protects your assets and yourself from liability. Your landlord or management may have insurance, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it covers you or anything you own.

What does renter’s insurance cover?

When you think of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, the first thing you think of is usually protection against natural disasters. While your insurance will probably cover you in case of these disasters, it is definitely not the only thing. Say your dog Fufu decides to gnaw on the delivery man. Say you get robbed. Renter’s insurance is going to be a mighty fine investment at that point.

Who offers renter’s insurance?

Most insurance companies will offer this insurance. You can even get online and toy with some insurance estimators, like this one from State Farm. You may also like to take a look at a relatively new program, called Resident Insure.

How do I get started?

Start by creating a list of your valuable assets. Then you’ll know how much coverage you’ll need to get. It will save you some time when it comes time to talk to the insurance agent.


3 Things to Know Before Signing a Contract

3 Things to Know Before Signing a Contract


We’ve all been there before, right? You do something, say something, sign something, only to beat yourself up about it later. That’s regret.
Regret is never a good thing, but it can be further compounded based on its scope. Below I have listed 3 things I wish I would have known before signing my rental contracts. Hopefully you will learn from these apartment renting tips.

1 Internet Connections: Last year I made the false assumption that everyone has high-speed internet and that it is readily available to all tenants. Soon after my wife and I moved into a new little place that seemed absolutely perfect for us, we realized that the Owner (who was Managing her own property) worked at a school and had no need for internet at home. She had never even considered putting internet in her home.
After a grueling week of living off of the 3G from my iPhone, we finally were able to negotiate the terms of an internet plan. Don’t overlook this small detail!

2 Parking Regulations: Now, I don’t necessarily blame many places for how strict their parking regulations can be, but it’s still a really good thing to know beforehand. If you live in or are considering a complex, take into consideration that your parking has been very carefully determined by management. If you are feeling at ease because there are other complexes or plenty of curbside parking, you’d be wise to double check. In many instances, curbside parking is restricted during many parts of the day and other lots have reserved parking that is heavily enforced by a seemingly ruthless and always punctual towing company. It may seem like an afterthought, but parking regulations in your area could have a huge impact on your living experience.

3 Management: Management quite easily turned out to be the most influential factor in my ultimate feelings towards my renting experience. I have had good experiences and bad experiences. For some places, I would have looked elsewhere had I known my experience would end up the way it did.
I was married in early 2009 and my wife and I moved into a basement apartment that was managed by a company just down the road. Things were rough right from the start. For several months, we were not getting our utility bills. I contacted them over and over again to request our balances, and I was ignored. Skipping those payments was nice at the time, but I knew that eventually we would get one large past-due bill. Eventually we got our bill, but we owed a few hundred dollars by that time, and the management so graciously offered to split it into a few payments over the next three months.

One time we accidentally locked ourselves out. We were relieved to know that Management was only a few blocks away, so it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to get them to come over and unlock the door for us. I called them and found out that it would cost more than $30 for them to take the 10 minute total trip to help us out. We found our own way back in.

Talk to Management. Prepare some questions beforehand that will help you get a feel for who they are and how they might respond to your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask them details about how they operate.

So add this to your apartment hunting checklist, and as you take the extra time to find out more about internet connections, parking regulations, and management, you will find that you will feel much more confident in your selection of a new apartment.

Happy Hunting!

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3 Major Tips for You and Your New Roommate

Roommates can be frustratingWith a new semester already in the works, you are probably already experiencing a lot of change. You have new professors, new classes, new homework assignments, and most importantly, new roommates.
Roommates can have a huge impact on your college experience. If you’ve had roommates before, you know that they are all very unique. You never know what a person will be like until after you’ve lived with them for awhile. It can be a little nerve-wracking at first. And let’s be honest, a roommate can be very easy to hate. They leave their stuff all over the apartment, they are probably the ones eating your food, and they keep opening your mail.
Your college experience doesn’t have to revolve around a miserable roommate. There are things you can do to keep yourself from getting too overwhelmed with a roomie who feels like he can trash everything he looks at. These tips and ideas should help you from hating college, hating your roommate, and getting the police called because you have beaten him senseless.

1. Establish Your Expectations

This might be a little awkward, but it’ll save you a headache or two during the semester. Your roommate will respect you for it. Sit down with him and say, “Look bro (cause that’s how we all talk, right?), I’m cool with just about everything, but let me lay down a couple of things that drive me crazy.” Then go ahead and tell him the top two or three things that make you go all sorts of nuts. If your list is 10 or 20 items long, you’re over-thinking it and you should probably relax a bit. Just pick the major things. If you aren’t willing to share anything at all, ever, the dorm life isn’t your scene. Move back in with Ma ‘n Pa.
You have to be willing to give a little if you plan on living with complete strangers. Lay down your law first. That will give him time to respond with his beefs, and you should be set. You might bug him as much as he bugs you.
If you didn’t establish things right up front, there’s still time to do that. It’s not too late. Just tell him you want to talk about a couple things and then address it. If you call him out right after you saw him funnel the rest of your Cap’n Crunch down his gullet, things might get heated and you probably won’t get around to what you wanted to bring up anyway. Take the emotion out of it early so that neither of you has to get defensive.

2. Find Some Common Ground

Say you’re a dedicated student. You are in the library or in class 75% of your week. You are a 4.0 student and you are living relatively comfortable with your fat scholarship. Congrats, you’ve earned it. Now the only thing standing between you and another successful semester is your crazy roommate. He doesn’t do his part around the apartment, so you have to spend less time on your studies and more time cleaning up after him. Of course, you aren’t just going to leave it there. A student like yourself will not be known as the grungy kid who can’t pass cleaning checks. So there you are, being responsible for just about everything. Your roommate seems to be in college only because mommy and daddy are making him go and paying every dime. He drives a spotless, lifted gas-guzzler and you know he never worked a minute to earn it. He dresses like a rodeo clown and leaves his energy drinks everywhere. It’s like with every passing day, you two become more and more driven apart.
So what do you do? Are you going to let this entitled rich kid ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for? No, you’re not. Find something you are both interested in. Maybe you both indulge in the occasional video game. Maybe you play online role-play games and he plays Battlefield. That’s a start. Maybe you both play an instrument. Perhaps even you both enjoy the same type of food or music. Any one of those things is a good starting point. If you can find some common ground, your itch you call a roommate soon becomes a friend who happens to be way different than me, but at least we have this one thing that we both like.

3. Don’t be a Doormat. That’s What Doormats are for.

If you have tried everything you can think of, including and especially the tactics listed above, don’t just throw in the towel. Respect his things and stand your ground. You don’t need to fight about anything, but if he knows he can take advantage of you and your stuff, it won’t make things any better. You will have essentially entered into an abusive relationship. You can’t back down after making a stand, or it’ll just get worse. Maintain your ground about the specific things bothering you. If he doesn’t change, then perhaps it’s time to remove that thing or event that’s causing the problems. If you decide to stand up and stick to your guns, make sure you stay that way. Nothing could be worse than pretending like you never said anything at all.

I’m confident that proper application of the first two points will help you a whole lot. But don’t underestimate the value of point #3. You’ve got to stick to your guns. Take these tips for roommates, stick them in a crockpot, and let them marinate for awhile. Mmmm, peace.

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Starting a Business in College – Part 2

starting a business in college has its challenges, but is possible

If you haven’t yet caught part 1 of this series, you can find it

right here.

Starting a Business in College

Today we’re going to move past thoughts and dreams and start getting into action. If you’ve found something you believe is marketable and is also something you could do for the next 30 years or so without going crazy or losing interest, then you are ready to move on. If you haven’t found those things, it might be a little more difficult to move on without them.

Ideas to Start a New Business

Now that you’ve got working ideas to start a business, you’ll need to develop a real concept. If you are serious about becoming an entrepreneur, consider taking a few business, design, and marketing classes. All of those will help you turn your idea into a reality. Apply the concepts you learn to your real idea, not just some hypothetical.

Developing a concept requires a significant amount of work, and a great amount of attention to detail. You need to know your business as though it were your best friend, a living, breathing entity you know everything about. Think about these questions to get you started:

What is your company philosophy?

A concise summary of who you are and why you do what you do will help keep your company grounded, regardless of success or failure.

What are the rules you will never break?

There are aspects of every industry that are never as popular as others, yet some people will do whatever, especially when money is tight. Decide now that you’ll never be the type of company that does “this thing” or “that thing.” This will reinforce and be reinforced by your philosophy.

How far can we stretch?

Do you want to specialize in one specific thing, or do you want to be the all-in-one that can be convenient for many clients? Remember, the more you stretch, the lower your average expertise in each area. For example, if your skill set for what you do equals 100, and you focus on just one thing, you get to input 100 into one thing and therefore get 100% of that out. If you decide you want to do 10 different things, you may spread yourself too thin and only get 10% output because you could only afford a 10% input. For a company started by an already busy college student, I recommend starting as simply as possible. As you grow, you can add more personnel to your staff with the ability to make your 100 turn into 500, 600, and more.

What hardware do I need?

You can’t bake without an oven. You can’t draw without a pencil. You will have to list out the essential things you’ll need to get started. Make sure that you keep your thinking to the beginnings of your company. Start with the bare essentials. Don’t spend more than you have to until the success of your business demands or allows for more investing. If you assume you are going to make a ton of money quickly and buy a bunch of extra hardware, you may have just lost out on a lot of cash.

What software do I need?

If your business doesn’t use a computer, then I might have a hard time believing that it’s a strong enough idea to invest in. Everything is run by some sort of software these days. Figure out what you need and create a list.

What is our name?

This might seem unimportant, but the sooner you decide on a name, the sooner you’ll be able to begin establishing an identity for your company. You’ve got to give your target market something to visually recognize you. A name and a logo will be essential to that. We’ll cover this more in a future post.

How will we market ourselves?

We’ll go over this more in depth in our next post, but think about the benefits of social media on your brand and how you’d like to implement social media into your company’s strategy. You’ll want to be extra careful with print media, because it’s a finite amount of attention. Online efforts are “easier” because you don’t have to worry about physical paper. While there are many other concerns, the biggest concern you will have with print media is that sooner or later you are going to run out of supplies, and then you’re going to have to spend more money to keep it going. If you include print media into your campaign, you’ll want to be extra deliberate in how you distribute it. In order to grasp the importance of this point, think about the companies you see advertised on TV, the internet, and in print media. Which ones do you like, respect, or forget about? Chances are you remember and like the ones who are visually established and well-marketed. You could offer free gold bars to the world, but if you don’t market yourself well, nobody will believe you, like you, or even know you exist. Again, there is so much here. We’ll cover it in its own section soon.

How will we pay for all this stuff?

For now, just start cutting back your personal expenses on things you don’t need. Start saving a small percentage of your income and keep it somewhere safe.

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