6 Steps to Starting a Lucrative Home-Based Business

Running a home-based business is the opportunity to work comfortably doing something you enjoy. As your own boss, you set the hours, make the rules, and keep all the profits. You can even make time to spend with the kids. That is why more and more people are considering starting a home business.

However, when starting any type of business, you have to prepare thoroughly: make a business plan, find investors and potential clients, appropriate workspace etc. A home-based business is no different – besides the workspace part, you’ve got that taken care of. In order to make it a successful one, there are steps you need to take before the opening day.

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Make a Wise Decision

There’s a difference between talents and skills. Talents are traits, like creativity. Skills are things you learn, such as coding apps or building fireplaces. It’s the combination of the two that translates to a business.

Use your skills as business ideas, but eliminate anything that’s wrong for your lifestyle, such as spot-welding in the living room. You can also disregard your corporate skills like “office manager” if you’re planning to work on your own.

You will need talents like initiative, innovation, discipline, and a sense of organization. If you can’t work efficiently and overcome obstacles, you won’t be in business for long.

Find the business concept that best fits your abilities. Whatever choice you make, it should be something you feel passionate about: you’ll have to invest a lot of time and energy into making your business a lucrative one, make sure you enjoy that time.

2. Legalize It

While you may have new-found freedom in your work, federal, state, and local authorities still require accountability. Find out what your business requires for proper licenses and permits.

Inquire about your tax obligations. As a sole proprietor, you’re responsible for your company’s taxes and debts. Compliance with tax law, licenses, insurance, and federal or state regulations can be complex. It’s always a good idea to consult with a business attorney to find the right solution for your business model and goals.

3. Set up the Office

Before setting up the home office, check if local ordinances allow you to conduct your business from home. Then, as you start planning, consider the surroundings. If you’ll meet clients there, both you and your house need to make a good impression: wearing clean clothes isn’t enough when you work at home. Your property must be well-maintained, clean and comfortable. A neat workspace tells clients that you will also take care of their business in an organized and dedicated way.

Even if your business is conducted mainly online, you’ll want a dedicated spot to work in. A separate room is best for minimizing distractions. If you don’t have one, set aside ample space in the living room, bedroom, or kitchen. You have to set boundaries with your family members to avoid distractions. A physical barrier is the easiest way to achieve that – if you don’t see each other, it will be easier to resist the need to hang out. In a separate room, you can be completely dedicated to work during working hours and give all your attention to your family when you close the office door.

4. Mind the Security

Don’t assume that homeowner’s insurance is enough to cover your business assets. You may need a separate policy rider for designated business assets.

To secure these assets, consider burglar alarms and surveillance cameras. You should always have a home-wired smoke alarm and fire extinguisher in your office. If you’re expecting to receive packages, a post office box might be a better idea to reduce the risk of theft.

Digital security measures should include firewalls, anti-malware, encrypted messaging and data storage, and strong passwords. Be sure to back up critical data regularly to devices like external hard drives or flash drives in the event of power outages or computer viruses.

5. Get Acquainted with Technology

In addition to security, you should become familiar with business technologies. Every task you can automate or streamline improves productivity. For example, stick to digital documents rather than paper ones to reduce office expenses, wasted effort, and clutter.

An effective technical strategy might include cloud services, business software and apps. You’ll find free online storage, but you can also invest in affordable paid apps that provide more features. Expense-tracking apps will help you keep organized records. Some include features like identity theft protection and data breach alerts.

You should also have a company website that serves your customers 24/7. Take the time to find the web hosting, site layout, and content that works best with your brand and your market. Consider using apps to track your social media efforts so you can determine which platforms and posts are working best for you.

Take advantage of VoIP (voice over internet protocol) solutions as a cheaper, higher-quality alternative to traditional phone exchanges. You should be able to add useful features like video chat, audio recordings, and automated menus to improve customer interaction.

6. Develop a Work-at-Home Attitude

In some ways running your own business is harder than working for someone else. It takes self-discipline. For instance, it’s harder to get up and start work each morning when you always have the option of sleeping late.

Regard running your home business as you would working for another company. Try to keep to a productive work schedule and ask family and friends to respect it. Establish priorities and keep a daily to-do list. But allow yourself some time to unwind or your stress levels will keep climbing.

In conclusion, a home-based business could be a great opportunity. Just be sure you have the right business idea to suit your particular skills and talents. It’s important that you can stay motivated and be productive. While there are a lot of elements required to start and manage a business, working profitably from home is possible through thoughtful planning and developing good work habits.

 

Author Bio:

michelle_lauryMichelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.

3 Ways the Internet Can Make Your Life Easier

Are you someone who uses the Internet in some capacity or another? If so, include yourself among many people nationwide doing the exact same thing.

That being the case, the amount of Internet usage of course varies from person to person.

Someone who meets a lot of people on a regular basis can use the worldwide web to get more information on them.

In conducting a background check, you learn more about each person you meet. So, are you ready to have the Internet play a role in making your life easier?

Put the Worldwide Web to Work

Remember these three ways to put the worldwide web to work for you:

  1. Searches before meeting people

As mentioned, doing online searches can benefit you in ways you might never have known before.

For instance, are you getting back into the dating world? If so, you want to make sure that the person you agree to go out on a date with is who they claim to be.

A fair number of people behind computers are not always honest with those on the other end of online dating. As a result, the latter can be victims in more ways than one.

When you do a background search of the person you are contemplating going out with, you are more informed. By knowing their name, you can plug that into the computer and start searching away.

Another example would be if you are considering rooming with someone.

As many Americans look to save money these days, the idea of having a roommate or two has picked up.

Once you have a potential roommate’s name, do a quick online search of them to make sure they check out. In doing so, you will feel better about your decision to go with them or move on to someone else.

  1. Securing your family

When you have a family to protect, you will do anything it takes to keep them safe and sound.

With that in mind, you can use the Internet in more ways than a background search to protect them. As valuable as that search is, it can’t help your child when he or she is sick or injured (see more below).

That said medical emergencies with kids do not always come at the best times of the day. As a result, you can’t always get in touch with your family doctor.

There are online medical sites offering basic tips to care for a child with various symptoms. As such, you can make them more comfortable until they can get in to see your doctor.

Such online information can also prove quite valuable in a medical emergency. Sites provide info on dealing with everything from the flu to if your child ingests poison.

By using the Internet at a moment’s notice, you could improve your child’s condition, even save their life.

  1. Knowing your rights following a vehicle accident

Unfortunately, many American families will be in vehicle accidents this year. With that being the case, it is important to know where to turn for both medical and legal help.

When it comes to the former, those injured in your family may need long-term physical rehab to recover. Countless medical facilities offering services in the rehab business are online with informative websites waiting to assist.

Once you have done some searches of those in your area, you can whittle them down. From there, decide which one best suits the needs of the person or persons requiring them.

With your legal rights, what happens if a family member is in a serious accident where the driver leaves?

With a hit-and-run accident, you could end up footing the bill. That is unless you get their license plate and/or have an eyewitness.

In a license plate lookup following a vehicle accident, you can pin down a responsible party.

When it comes to the Internet, these examples are but a smidgen of how the web can make your life easier.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business and technology topics on the web.

Keeping Your Business On The Right Side Of The Law

Any business that wants to stay in business for as long as possible needs to think about how to legally protect itself. If you are a business owner, this is something that you might want to learn about as early on as possible after you set up the business. Legally protecting your business ensures that no disaster can befall the business, and you would be surprised at just how common they can be for businesses which do not go out of their way to seek protection. There are a number of things that need considering here, and in many ways it is quite a complex issue, so we have put together this post to help you understand what you need to think about. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of protecting your business from legal issues.

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Protect The individual; Protect The Company

It is often all too easy to forget that a business is made up of individuals. In essence, much of what you need to do to protect your business is really more about protecting the individuals within that business. As long as you are doing that, there should be no problem. It is particularly important that you protect those individuals high up in the company, such as yourself and your fellow management staff. This helps to keep the image of the company positive, something which is important for all businesses. So if you or a colleague have trouble with the law, ensure they have a decent lawyer on their side. And don’t forget to look for a lawyer who will deal with their type of case. For example, Scheiner Law Group will defend against wrongful DWI, so they might be your option for that type of accusal.

Know The Regulations – And Stick To Them

There are all manner of legal regulations and red tape which a business needs to adhere to. Making sure that you do is bound to help in the long run, as a business which remains within the law at all times is always more safe in the eyes of the law. If you are unsure about whether or not your business is remaining legal, then it is always best to check. There are many ways to accidentally skirt the law, and it is definitely in your interest not to do that, so make sure you always check with the experts on all matters which might have legal restriction.

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Patenting & Other Methods

The other form of legal protection is in the protection of your business’ ideas and other assets. There are many ways that you can use the law to protect your intangible assets, and it is worth getting to know those methods as well as possible. The most popular and one of the most effective of these methods is patenting, for obvious reasons. Patenting an idea protects your business in that it stops other businesses and individuals from using that same idea for their own profit. Clearly, this is a vital thing for any business to engage in, so make sure that yours does.

Is Your Startup Making Any of These Huge Legal Mistakes?

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The last thing you need when you’re starting a business is legal trouble. And that’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the task of making sure you’re compliant with the law! Unfortunately, a lot of new business owners make these sorts of mistakes. We’re going to go through some of the most common.

Incorrect legal form

Before you operate as a business, you need to decide what kind of legal form you will be operating as. This is also known as deciding your legal entity type, or your business legal structure. It’s absolutely vital that you get this correct. This isn’t always a safeguard that prevents you from filing your company incorrectly. If you’ve filed as a partnership when you, in fact, operate as a corporation, for example? Then you could find yourself in big legal trouble. Make sure you pick the legal form that works best for your business and keeps you on the right side of the law!

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Dealing with diversity incorrectly

Okay, so you probably know that discriminating against job candidates is against the law. Unfortunately, what a lot of modern employers are doing is trading one form of discrimination for another. In an attempt to increase diversity, many employers are reducing the amount of white males they’re hiring. The end, of course, is a more diverse workplace. A good thing in theory, right? But hold on – what you just did was discrimination! You should be hiring people based on merit alone.

Not treating safety as a priority

You may be under the impression that there are a million other things to be more concerned about than employee safety. Wrong: employee health and safety is your top priority. After all, employees are basically compelled to work for you by their need to pay their bills. They have to spend hours in the building you’ve arranged to do business in. And if that workplace puts them at risk, then you’ve messed up pretty bad! Law firms such as Strom and Associates take special aim at those who violate employment law. So make sure your workplace is safe.

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Misclassifying workers

How do you misclassify a worker? Well, put broadly, there are two types of workers. There are employees. They work for you either part-time or full-time. They’re on your payroll and must be paid minimum wage. They have more laws protecting them. The other kind are contractors or freelancers. They don’t have to be paid minimum wage and don’t have as much legal protection. Some business owners may classify an employee as a contractor. Sometimes, this is a simple mistake. Other times, however, employers have done this in order to get away with paying someone less.

Neglecting data protection

Data is a pretty big thing in business these days. The average modern company has an absurd amount of data on both employees and customers. Of course, you need to make sure that data is protected. If your security negligence results in a data breach that releases private information to others? Then you could be in a world of legal hurt! Ensure that your business is properly secured from such threats.

Build Your Business Defenses One Step at a Time!

Building defenses for your business is hugely important. You have to come up with a way of looking after yourself and the company. And the way to do that is to look after the business as much as you possibly can. Here are a few ideas you can use to build your business defenses.

IT Support

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What’s the most important area of your business? Well, this is likely to be a subjective question, but for most people, it will be your IT network. This is the basis of how you run and grow a modern business. And that means you have to protect the digital platforms on which your company operates. The way to do that is through the likes of IT support. Bringing in people who are IT experts, and who will be able to take the time to sort out your computers is important. You have to look after your sensitive information, as well as ensuring that your company is always operational on a virtual level. And the only way to ensure that is to make sure you have a really strong IT support team working for you.

Secure Premises

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Your business premises matters just as much as any other part of your business. So you have to understand why it’s so important to protect the premises. There are a lot of things you need to get right if you want to look after your commercial property. First of all, think about the design and layout of the place. Does it suit your needs? Are there many inherent security risks? You might need to consider moving to alternative premises. But, it’s also important to look at how much you can make the property more secure. This is imperative for ensuring that you’re keeping your employees safe at work. Getting a security system installed is a wonderful way of doing this, but you also have to make sure you take more practical steps too. Get someone to examine the structure of the building and make sure there are no inherent safety risks to worry about. Defending your business from the outside world, as well as intruders, is very important.

Attorney

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Why is an attorney so important for protecting your business? Well, the reason is that there are so many things that pose a risk to your company these days. For instance, you may have a customer who received a personal injury while on your premises. And you’ll need a lawyer to protect the legal interests of the company. One of your trucks may have been involved in a road traffic accident. This will mean visiting http://queenerlaw.com/ and getting in touch with someone who can help. Lawyering up in a business sense is not only sensible, but it’s also necessary. So you have to make sure you do this now, and don’t put it off. Lawyers play a huge part in business, and they can ensure that you keep the company on the straight and narrow, and fulfill your legal obligations.

As you can imagine, keeping your business safe and protected is really important. The good news is that there are a lot of different things you can do to go about achieving this. That’s why so many companies these days are so we’ll run and looked after. You can use some of the ideas on this post to help make your business better defended and more secure.

 

Ease The Load – Don’t Take On These Business Tasks Yourself!

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Many solopreneurs and small business operators try to do far too much themselves. Handling business tasks without hiring someone can feel more practical sometimes. After all, it saves you money and can be convenient. But while it’s easy to handle things like cleaning and admin work, some jobs should be left to the experts.

There are certain daily business functions you should never try to take on yourself. Although it’s possible, it can cause you a lot of stress. It can also prevent your business from reaching its potential if you can’t handle them as well as an experienced professional. When it comes to these tasks, you should try and ease the load.

Accounting

Every business needs to keep track of their financial matters. Small business owners might find it easy at first to track all their incoming and outgoing funds. But as your company grows, you’ll find it much harder to manage finances on top of everything else.

It’s much wiser to have an accountant to help your business with these matters. Although you’ll need to pay, they can help identify financial patterns and bring in more money. It also eases the load for you a great deal- finances can be stressful!

Having a financial expert on hand is also invaluable when it comes to filing taxes. A mistake can cost you a lot.

Information Technology

IT is one of the most vital operations for every business. You need your computer and network to be up and running at all times. But these things are prone to error. While it’s easy to fix certain problems yourself, it’s much better to have an expert on hand in other cases.

Many businesses benefit from using managed IT services. Many companies can help with all your technology needs, such as ProviDyn. You can run your business with much more efficiency and have peace of mind you have computer experts to call on.

Having the help of IT professionals is ideal for keeping all your technology running smoothly. It’ll also help make your business fit for the 21st century. They can assist you in implementing technology such as cloud computing and disaster recovery. These things can improve your company’s performance massively.

Employment And Staffing

Small businesses need to take care of all their employees and staffing issues. It may be easy to recruit the right people and put them to work at first. But as your company develops, it’s something that you’ll want help with.

There are many professionals and services which can assist you. You may want to use a recruitment firm to fill important roles. Having an in-house HR manager can help with many things. Human resources staff can handle the whole hiring process as well as staffing issues. They can also assist with employee training and satisfaction.

Legal Matters

You might know the fundamental laws and legislations when it comes to business. But there’s so much more to consider. From health and safety to employment laws, accidentally breaking one of these can cripple your business.

Make sure you find a law firm specializing in business. Enlisting the help of a business lawyer can ease the load for you when it comes to legal matters. They can give you advice on handling everything in your business. They can also help prevent any costly legal battles for you.

Saving Your #Business Money On #Legal Costs

If your business is unfortunate enough to become the victim of a lawsuit or legal movement, then it could prove costly.

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This could spring from dozens of situations, including failure to pay taxes, poor staff treatment and breach of contract. However the case arises, reducing costs will prove tricky – but not impossible.

So, if you’re concerned about the legal status of your company or just want to prepare for a rainy day, look no further. This is how you save your business money on legal costs!

Control the working environment

The best time to prevent accidents is before they ever happen. So, perhaps the best way to cut legal costs is to simply… not get involved in any type of legal movement. If someone slips at work or if your health and safety isn’t up to par, it could be you who ends up being sued.

So make sure you take a basic set of steps to protect yourself from litigation. It’s not going to take thousands and thousands, though it could if things go to court. You could try the following:

  • Placing ‘wet floor’ signs above slippy patches.
  • Lighting dimly-lit areas.
  • Give staff regular breaks to prevent accidents
  • Run emergency drills frequently
  • Maintain and check equipment for faults
  • Place floor markings
  • Thoroughly train staff in health and safety

This way, you reduce the chance of an accident happening, which could lead to a lawsuit further down the line. A safer environment can also bump staff productivity and increase revenue.

Consulting law experts

Let’s look at an example. You have had a severe disagreement with one of your employees, which is resulting in legal action being taken. By enlisting the help of a company who offers employment tribunal services, the impact on your business is reduced.

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This tribunal could lead to a lengthy court case and could result in your company losing lots of cash. By seeking aid at this stage, your company is more likely to live to see another day!

Don’t pay with money

You may not think it, but yes, this is possible. In some cases, anyway. If your business has a valuable service to offer the lawyer, then perhaps they’ll take that instead of a cash payment.

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For example, you could be a marketing firm and offer these services to a lawyer in exchange for legal aid. Or, you could be a web designer and spruce up their website at no extra cost. It’s worth a go – if the lawyer needs those services anyway, then it makes sense to offer them for free.

Alternative payment arrangements

If you’ve ever haggled the price on a house or a car, you’ll know exactly what to do here. By attempting to negotiate the cost of your legal fees or trying to pay them in a different way, you can cut them substantially.

For example, some lawyers may lower their price if you pay in a cash lump sum, while others allow you to spread costs over many months. Not every lawyer will agree, but it can’t hurt to give it a try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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