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Archive for Running A Small Business

7 Ways to Sneak Exercise Into the Self-Employed Lifestyle

Woman stretchingWhen you’re self-employed, it’s easy to think that your schedule is totally  your own, and that you can pick and choose exactly how you want to spend your time. However, entrepreneurs work hard to please clients and build the perfect business — which means that personal time is often sacrificed for last minute projects, client meetings and tight deadlines.

The stress and long hours of the entrepreneurial lifestyle often come at the expense of physical and mental well-being. For most of us, trips to the gym take a back seat to the business.

If you’ve struggled to find a way to fit regular exercise into your unpredictable, self-employed schedule, here are a few tips for the new year.

1. Wake Up Earlier

Squeezing in an extra hour in the morning is one of the most effective ways to fit a workout into your day. Maybe you’re not a morning person, and the idea of waking up in the dark to swim laps or head to the gym sounds like pure insanity. If this is the case, ease yourself into a new schedule by setting your alarm half an hour earlier each week until you’re getting up a 6 a.m.

The best part about working out in the morning is that it sets the tone for the rest of the day, and there’s no chance a last-minute client request will get in the way. Continue reading “7 Ways to Sneak Exercise Into the Self-Employed Lifestyle” »

Does Your Age Affect Your Success as an Entrepreneur?

We hear a lot of buzz about young twentysomething entrepreneurs who have skyrocketed to financial success and fame. But does that mean that youth always brings the best results for entrepreneurs? Or are older business owners more likely to succeed, since they’ve got more work and life experience?

The Gen Ypreneur

Armed with a college degree — or not — young, exuberant entrepreneurs bring a certain joie de vivre to the startup community. They’re fresh-faced and ready to take on the world.

But despite the frenzy that Mark Zuckerberg put in the hearts of aspiring 24-35 year-olds when he launched Facebook, some say this generation is actually a bit less risk-averse than it was just five years ago. The recession played a large part in that statistic.   Continue reading “Does Your Age Affect Your Success as an Entrepreneur?” »

Balancing Life as a Mom and a Business Owner

Running your own business can be incredibly stressful on its own, and as soon as a mother has to balance the responsibilities of business ownership with being a mom, that stress can go through the roof almost immediately. While you may love both your family and your job, finding the balance is usually easier said than done.

However, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be stuck in limbo all the time, constantly running from work to home and juggling tasks. But it does mean, that you need a plan a way to make everything work together so you can really have your cake and eat it too.

Use these tips to balance your life as a mother and a business owner in a sane, reasonable fashion:

Set a Schedule, Stick With It

When you’re trying to run a business and care for your family, the most important thing you can do is come up with a set schedule that works for you. There are usually only a handful of moms that can easily work the 9-to-5 without interruptions, but we often call them “super-moms.” For the rest of us moms, especially if we’re doing our business from our own homes, working without interruptions would be a blessing.

Continue reading “Balancing Life as a Mom and a Business Owner” »

7 Tips for Finding Health Insurance for the First Time Entrepreneur

Starting and maintaining a small business requires a great deal of focus and energy. While concentrating on establishing a foothold in the marketplace, raising capital, and conducting a marketing campaign, it can be all too easy to let other important aspects of your venture fall by the wayside. One of the most common of these is health insurance. After all, when you’re just starting out, you are the single most important element of your operation, and that makes taking care of your own health a priority. Fortunately, you have a few options.

1. The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is designed to offer affordable health coverage to people like you. If you live in a state that has its own ACA website, start there. If not, go to Healthcare.gov. Yes, it’s had its issues, but it is functioning much better these days. Go through the application process and review your options. Depending on your income and other factors, you may qualify for a tax credit which can reduce the cost of your premium. Continue reading “7 Tips for Finding Health Insurance for the First Time Entrepreneur” »

3 Things Your Small Business Can’t Do Without In 2014

This is a sponsored post from Hiscox.

The end of January – a full month into 2014 – is a good time to see how you’ve progressed against goals and look into what your small business doesn’t currently have in place that it needs to.  Naturally the list of needs for small business owners is very long, so here are three tips that any and every entrepreneur should pay attention to this year.

Making your business accessible via mobile

According to a new eMarketer report, U.S. consumers were on track to spend more than $37 billion on retail purchases made via smartphone and tablet in 2013, up from nearly $24 billion in 2012.  If your small business sells to the public, it’s clear that you need to consider having a mobile presence.  But even service providers and consultants benefit from mobile-optimized websites that make it easier for people to find your business. Customers are spending more time online on phones and tablets than ever before – and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

If you don’t have any mobile functionality right now, don’t worry.  A relatively easy first step is to develop either a separate mobile website or make your existing website mobile optimized.  Both options are affordable and well worth the investment of time and resources.

Small business insurance

If your start-up or growing entrepreneurial venture doesn’t yet have small business insurance, 2014 is the year it should happen – and preferably in Q1.  Professional liability insurance and general liability coverage are the first insurances you should look into, as they are key to almost every small business.  Professional liability protects your business if you’re sued for your services,  even if you haven’t made a mistake, while general liability protects against third party claims for bodily injury, associated medical costs and damage to someone else’s property.  Both are in order for your business to be truly protected, and you may want to investigate a business owner’s policy and Worker’s Compensation coverage as well. Continue reading “3 Things Your Small Business Can’t Do Without In 2014” »

7 Tips To Keep From Going Crazy When You Work From Home

When you run a business from home, it can sometimes be difficult to shield yourself from the distractions your home provides. There’s laundry begging to be folded.  A DVR queue full of sitcoms to watch. Sometimes it seems like the cards are stacked against you for getting any real work done!

Here are some strategies that successful work-at-home entrepreneurs employ to ensure that they stay on task.

# 1. Carve out a work space

Sometimes it’s not possible to designate an entire room to your home office, but you should at least find a closet or partition off a room to create a space just for work. If you can manage to get a room with a door, it will be that much easier to close it off to distractions on the other side. Continue reading “7 Tips To Keep From Going Crazy When You Work From Home” »

10 Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2014

Now that the festivities of Christmas and New Year have died down, you can put more energy toward the strategies you’ll use to grow your business this year. Here’s a list of 10 things you can do to start the year off right.

1. Refocus on Your Business

if you’re like a lot of folks, you got a bit distracted with the merriment of the end of the year. No worries; now’s the time to recenter yourself and think about what you want to achieve this year.

2. Modernize your Emails

Mobile Internet usage is on the rise (50% of mobile phone users use their phones as their primary Internet device), and you need to ensure all your marketing is mobile friendly. Start with your emails for better readability and more clicks to your site. Continue reading “10 Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2014” »

What are Your Resolutions for 2014?

Yet another year draws to a close. This time of year, I just love setting resolutions for myself personally and professionally.

How did you fare with the resolutions you set a year ago?

Happy New Year! Colorful Bubbly for You! 

You may not have accomplished all of your resolutions, and that’s okay. You may not even have the same goals at year’s end. It’s just important to keep establishing goals and shooting for the stars. Continue reading “What are Your Resolutions for 2014?” »

Is Cloud Commuting All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Cloud commuting (telecommuting with the help of cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and VPNs) has grown in popularity recently. Telecommuting, up nearly 80% since 2005, is projected to grow another 60% in the next 5 years.  30 million Americans already work from home at least one day a week – and 79% say they would work from home part-time if their companies allowed it.

It’s clear that Americans are working from home more, and even more are open to the idea. Proponents of telecommuting say that it’s better for workers, better for companies and better for the environment. But is cloud commuting really all it’s cracked up to be? Maybe not, according to some.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made the news in early 2013 when she put a stop to the company’s liberal work-from-home policy.  Best Buy quickly followed suit. And recent research suggests that telecommuting may not be as beneficial to workers as we once thought.

So is telecommuting good or bad for the American workforce? Let’s take a look. Continue reading “Is Cloud Commuting All It’s Cracked Up To Be?” »

Six Ways to be a Better Entrepreneur

If you’re an entrepreneur, the good news is: no one else can tell you what to do. But the bad news is that no one else will tell you what to do: the fate of your business rests solely on your shoulders.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s more than possible to thrive as one. There’s no silver bullet or easy fix that will turn your business into an overnight success, but there are several easy things you can do to improve your chances:

1. Ditch the busy work

These days it’s very easy to spend your whole day doing “work,” but getting very little done. Cell phones, email, and Twitter constantly bombard your attention, making it easier than every to lose control of your schedule and long-term priorities. Successful entrepreneurs do what they can to stay focused on their key priorities in the face of all these distractions, such as unplugging from the phone and/or email to get some critical work done. For example, David Karp doesn’t check his email until 9:30 or 10 am.

You may want to conduct a time audit of an average day or week. Keep track of exactly how you’re spending your time, compared to what your goals were when you started the day. How well are you sticking to those initial plans? Remember – when you’re in charge, you’re going to need to make time for long-term strategic planning, no matter how many “fires” pop up on a given day.  Continue reading “Six Ways to be a Better Entrepreneur” »