/Tag:home-based business

Do these 3 Things First When Starting a Home-Based Business

609_3687663This is a sponsored post from Hiscox.

If you’re thinking about starting a home-based small business here are some quick tips to get you started. It’s a big step and you likely have many items on your to-do list.  Put the following three items at the top of that to-do list and you can make the transition a lot easier.

Make it Official

It may seem obvious, but one of the very first things a small business owner needs to do is registering your business name, establishing an EIN or tax ID number for the business, and securing any necessary licenses or permits.  Requirements vary by state and county and there are federal considerations when it comes to taxation.  Be sure to consult with a knowledgeable tax professional to ensure you’re operating by the book and creating the right type of corporate entity for your circumstances. Continue reading “Do these 3 Things First When Starting a Home-Based Business” »

By | May 16th, 2014|Starting a Business|Comments Off on Do these 3 Things First When Starting a Home-Based Business

6 of the Best Home Business Ideas for 2013

114_2825402If you’ve ever had the dream to start a home business, but didn’t know where to start, read on. Here, we cover the best home business ideas for 2013, and give you a nudge in the direction of getting started.

1. Ecommerce

This covers a lot of territory, but if you have a bit of cash to invest in inventory and a well-designed website that will help you process payments and orders, you can sell just about anything, from clothing to computers. And if you want to start a home business in ecommerce with a little help, consider an out-of-the-box solution like eBay or Amazon, which allows you to sell on the site while taking a cut of your revenues.

Cost and Tools to Get Started: Ecommerce businesses range greatly in the startup costs, but expect to pay a minimum of $1,000 just for inventory, depending on what you choose to sell. You’ll spend more like $10,000 if you invest in an ecommerce website, but starting on eBay or Amazon is free, and the transaction infrastructure is already built in.

Continue reading “6 of the Best Home Business Ideas for 2013” »

By | June 7th, 2013|Starting a Business|0 Comments

10 Tax Tips for Work-at-Homers

434_2996886If you just started your home-based business in the last year, you may be apprehensive about your first time filing and paying small business taxes. Never fear: these tips will make tax season easier for you.

1. Know Your Deductions. 

You might be surprised at all the expenses you can write off with your home-based business. Your office, for example, is a legitimate business deduction. A few others include:

  • Office supplies
  • Computers or printers
  • Business trip expenses
  • Advertising or marketing

So don’t be afraid to spend money on your business. It will help reduce your taxable income come April. Continue reading “10 Tax Tips for Work-at-Homers” »

By | May 10th, 2013|Starting a Business, Taxes|0 Comments

Don’t Leave Home Without These Items in Your Bag of Tricks

pixAs women we are notoriously

[in]famous for carrying big, huge stuffed purses & totes.  Just think about it…you know you are guilty!

This got me thinking – what do we really need (and NOT need) in our small biz bag-of-tricks?

I took a long hard look into the deep dark depths of my blue tote bag that I drag everything around in, and realized it was a total mess.  Upon noticing this, I made a deal with myself — I could NOT go for my afternoon cup of coffee until I cleaned that sucker out.  The goal was to clean out items that I did not need to carry around and determine my must-haves vs. the non-essentials.  Of course, while I did this, I decided to make a list of my very own startup women in biz essentials.

With many of us splitting for the holidays, you never know what can happen or who you will meet.  Beyond travel, just heading out of the house or office on errands or appointments can be surprisingly fruitful. Continue reading “Don’t Leave Home Without These Items in Your Bag of Tricks” »

By | December 12th, 2012|Women In Business|1 Comment

Keeping Your Small Business Safe During the Holidays


1010_4597064For small business owners who are parents, the last month and a half of the year are even busier than usual.  Not only is there work, the year to finish out and regular activities, but throw in holiday gatherings, holiday shopping, both work and neighborhood parties, present wrapping, cooking, baking, school plays, and often – traveling to see family.  Wait, I am forgetting something.  Oh right, let’s not forget winter break and/or day care closure or vacation time for nannies.

Stack the abundance of stuff to do and places to be during the holiday season with the least possible childcare options available thrown on top of end of the year responsibilities as small business owners, and I smell something burning in the kitchen…literally & figuratively.

During this time of year, it is even more important to have a plan in order to avoid an explosion (and I do not mean an explosion in sales or leads).

Here is a quick list of ways to keep both your business and apple pie from getting burned during the holiday season:

Make Sure Your Embers Burning Slowly.  Although your plate is extremely full with a million household items, keep your business spark alive.  Set aside very specific times to work and intersperse small chunks of time to check off holiday items.  Leave an hour at lunch to run holiday-related errands or wrap presents.  Scheduling the holiday stuff in allows you to put it in the back of your head on concentrate on work during work time with a peace of mind that everything will get done.

Have an Escape Plan.  With days off school around Thanksgiving and winter closures, have a place you can go to get some work accomplished when kids are home.  More than likely there are neighborhood kids home from college that want to make a little extra money babysitting or family visiting who want to spend some time with the kiddos.  Take advantage of a few hours of help and head to a local coffee shop or your office and knock a few work-related items out of the way. Continue reading “Keeping Your Small Business Safe During the Holidays” »

By | November 28th, 2012|Women In Business|0 Comments

Million Dollar Question: Do YOU Backup?


775_4681350Last week my laptop started making the most awful noise. A noise that even I could not argue indicated that I needed to turn my computer off and give it a break.  The noise reappeared the instant I turned my computer back on, so off to the Genius Bar at Apple Computer, my laptop and I went.  After a number of consults along with the fact that the computer ceased making the noise as soon as I wanted it to led the geniuses to agree to keep MY LAPTOP over night.   Taking a laptop away from a blogger/writer is like taking a toy from a toddler.  Although I did not scream, I may have shed a few tears. Did I mention, I have now been without my laptop for a week! Anyway, I digress.

The first question the Apple Genius asked me was: ‘do you back up?’ Duh – of course, I do….but, I didn’t always. We all hear the horror stories of colleagues and friends.  Their computers just freeze up and poof everything is gone.  They can’t get it back no matter what they do.  We THINK that can’t happen to us.  Often, I fondly recall the Sex and the City episode where Carrie Bradshaw’s trusty hard drive fries and no, she doesn’t back up either.  Yet, I did not back up for years. Well, thankfully, a little over a year ago I started backing-up.

Continue reading “Million Dollar Question: Do YOU Backup?” »

By | November 7th, 2012|Running A Small Business, Women In Business|0 Comments

FIVE Tips to Avoid a Small Business Natural Disaster


285_2833216…You may have noticed that I have been slightly absent lately.  Let me tell you why.  My absence is mainly due to the fact that I got twisted up in a Small Business Tornado.  In a thunderstorm of deadlines, work projects, writing assignments, and family obligations, I just simply tried to run my way out any way that I could.  Essentially, ‘I made a dash for it‘ without a plan.  Not a good choice.

I was not thinking clearly, and then I realized suddenly that I went through a similar natural disaster about a year ago and made the same mistake.  Not sure why?  

Was it the Indian Summer that led to the inferno?  All the ice-cream that I ate during the summer months?  The excitement of back-to-school and throwing too much on my plate?  I just don’t know.  I just faced the storm head on without a plan and it knocked me over.

Sometimes being in startup business can be as unpredictable as the weather, but just like carrying an umbrella or a hat, we can do a few steps to prevent catastrophe in business. Continue reading “FIVE Tips to Avoid a Small Business Natural Disaster” »

By | October 10th, 2012|Running A Small Business|1 Comment

Multiple Ventures? How to Best Structure your Multi-Brand Business

775_4297457I’m always in awe of the many talents of today’s entrepreneur…the wedding photographer who also writes children’s books, the copy editor who sells homemade soap, and the stay-at-home mom who doubles as a part-time caterer and jewelry designer. Today’s creative professionals often find themselves making income through a creative patchwork of diverse interests and talents.

Take Sue as an example. She recently called into the office with no fewer than five ventures. She has been selling children’s clothing, handbags, and craft supplies on Etsy. After a few solid years on Etsy, Sue was now ready to take the next step and launch her own websites outside of Etsy, as well as expand into handmade paper goods and home décor. Continue reading “Multiple Ventures? How to Best Structure your Multi-Brand Business” »

By | August 24th, 2012|Choosing A Business Structure|7 Comments

Home Office Rules for Smarties!

728_4610511Recently, I was chatting with a friend who was lamenting, wishing, and hoping that she worked from home rather than an office.  I assured her that she should be VERY careful for what she wished for….Home offices are not always what they are cracked up to be!

Home offices are sort of like out-of-town visitors who never seem to leave, an over-bearing mother-in-law with never-ending opinions, or that nagging zit that just will not seem to go away.

While it is very convenient when my kids are home sick or off school for conference day, when it is pouring rain, or I am having a bad hair day, a home office has its very own downfalls.  It can be like a black hole.

A place where you get sucked into and cannot seem to find your way out EVER.

First and foremost, it is extremely hard to set boundaries with a home office similar to an overbearing mother-in-law.  When you decide to venture into another part of the house, you may feel your home office pulling at you to come in its confines.

Second, you have to make and get your own coffee.  Now, I know most of you do that anyway in your ‘offices,’ but who doesn’t want someone to bring them coffee?  Forget the corner office with the view, I just want a hot, steaming cup of joe brought to my desk on request.  One can dream. Continue reading “Home Office Rules for Smarties!” »

Asset Protection 101: What is an LLC?

257_2701929In my previous post, I spoke of the potential risks involved in real estate investment – namely, the risk that your personal assets are vulnerable should you be sued by a tenant or property guest. There are measures you can take to prevent such a scenario from playing out. 

The LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a popular asset protection vehicle for real estate investors. It essentially forms a wall that shields individual owners from personal liability. In addition to this personal liability protection, the LLC can also offer tax advantages and other benefits.

So what is an LLC? It’s a hybrid of a partnership and corporation. It’s considered to be a “Separate Legal Entity.” In fact, a properly formed and maintained LLC will have both a state-certified filing date and an IRS-issued Tax ID Number (similar to an individual’s birth date and social security number).

The following example illustrates the LLC’s liability protection. Let’s say you have XYZ LLC that holds title to a vacation rental property. A guest falls from the balcony and the court awards a multi-million dollar judgment to the plaintiff. The defendant in this case is XYZ LLC, not you. And the judgment can be collected only from XYZ LLC’s assets, and not from your own personal assets. You may end up losing your investment in the property owned by XYZ LLC, but your other properties, your savings account, and any other investments are all safe.

Setting up an LLC is a relatively easy task. You can either contact your attorney or use a legal document filing service such as CorpNet.com(R) to file the necessary forms with your state’s Secretary of State. Continue reading “Asset Protection 101: What is an LLC?” »