Archive for category: Small Business Education – Home School

Things You Need to Do to Make Working from Home Successful When You Have a Baby

September 30, 2013

Many parents would like to work at home so that they can continue to support their family while also spending more time with their children. However, many people find that the reality of working from home when children are present is more difficult than they thought it would be. Juggling both work and caring for a child can be more than many people can handle.
There are many things you can do to make this balancing act work if you feel like you would like to work from home while caring for your baby (or other small children). Here are a few things you can do to make working from home successful while caring for children:

Create a Realistic Schedule

When you have a baby, you aren’t going to be able to get as much done as you would if you were working alone. You won’t be able to schedule yourself to work from 8 to 5 every day and then expect it to actually happen. You need to be more realistic with your schedule. Know that you won’t be able to work for long stretches of time uninterrupted. Plan for that.

Work around times that you know your baby will be occupied, such as during regular naps or during visits with family and friends. Try to schedule time that is dedicated to work, but be realistic when setting those times so that you’ll actually be able to work during those times.

Remain Flexible

Even the best schedules will be derailed when you have a baby. As much as you’d like them to eat and sleep on a schedule, they just don’t. Even if you’ve gotten your baby used to a schedule, teething, developmental spurts, and illness can derail that schedule – and your working plans. Develop a contingency plan for your work should your baby become sick or should have a day where he needs more of your attention and care. If possible, build time into your week for “make up” if such instances arise. Read more →

5 Ways You Can Improve Your Business In 5 Easy Steps

August 26, 2013

5 Ways You Can Improve Your Business In 5 Easy Steps

Improving your business is a way to maintain an income while also growing and expanding any brand you are representing. When you want to improve your business, there are various methods and techniques available for doing so to help get on the right path. Knowing how to improve your business regardless of what you are selling or have to offer is a way for you to truly experience the success you desire.

Reevaluate Your Company’s Direction

In order to make the changes you envision for your business, reevaluating your company and its direction may be necessary. Understanding where you want to take your company and where you see it financially in the years ahead is a way for you to create a plan and get focused. The more you know about where you are planning to take your business, the easier it is to complete tasks and objectives that are relevant and helpful.

Consider Your Audience

Consider the audience you want to reach with your products, content or the services you have to offer. Demographics help you to pinpoint how to specifically market towards those who are genuinely interested in your business. Knowing about your audience’s age group, gender and even hobbies or interests they have individually is another way to gain insight into properly forming marketing and advertising campaigns that work.

Reassess Finances

Take a look at your company’s finances and determine whether or not you can afford to cut back with your budget or additional expenses such as salaries. When you want to get ahead in business and continue to grow your enterprise, paying attention to the financial details of your company is vital.

Create the Right Marketing Campaigns

When you want your business to have an efficient marketing machine, it is essential to really pay attention to the type of advertising campaigns you are creating and promoting. Once you have an idea of the type of audience you have it is much easier to create a relevant and interesting marketing campaign.

Get Involved With Social Media

Getting involved in social media is a must for all businesses today, whether locally, online or even an international company. When you begin using social media you can instantly expand your audience to thousands of individuals from around the world. The more involved you get with your social media accounts, the easier it is to build and maintain a positive reputation whether you are selling merchandise locally or producing content online.

Article Written by:

Casey Haslem - I’m a 25 year old writer. My hobbies are reading, painting and pretending I know how to write a book (I don’t). I love meeting people and making new friends. Writing opens up a whole world of new ideas and possibilities for me. I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Improve Your Online Marketing with These 5 Search and Social Media Techniques

July 29, 2013

Improve Your Online Marketing with These 5 Search and Social Media Techniques

Online social media and search engine optimization (SEO) are the two main ways that brands are found online. The goal of both of these marketing strategies is to increase the number of people looking at a brand and its offerings. When properly used, they can ensure that visitors to a company’s website find the information that they need and keep coming back for more. The techniques that should be employed to provide those results include:

1. Publishing Quality Content

This step will help your brand with both social media and search engine performance. Recent Google updates have signaled the search engine company’s intent to weed out low-quality content. The fact is that for content to be successful in the modern era, it must have value. In the effort to put forth meaningful content, it is important that you look at the authoritative websites in your niche and publish content that is equally valuable. This type of content will not only rank well in search engine results, but is also often shared via social media sites.

2. Make Friends via Social Media

The point of using social media is to communicate directly with people. If you can engage with your customers on a personal level, this can inspire them to share your content and help to make your brand popular. It will be necessary for you to spend time talking with social media users and listening to them in order to get a feel for the market. Communicating with the influencers and authorities in your niche is an especially important part of social media marketing.

3. PPC

With pay per click advertising, you pay each time someone clicks on one of your ads. You will bid on certain keywords that are relevant to your niche. Your ads will be displayed when a search is conducted using those keywords. You will have to bid on the right keywords in order to get any benefit. PPC advertising can be tricky to maintain yourself and we recommend PPC with OrangeSoda.com or some other high quality online marketing firm for your PPC needs.

4. Build Links

This has been a staple for marketers since the early days of the Internet. It is important that your website get incoming links from quality, respected websites in its niche. Note: publishing quality content is one of the best ways to get backlinks from high-authority websites.

5. Provide a Mobile Option

In an age when growing numbers of people are switching to smartphones and tablets as their primary means of Internet usage, it is important that your content show up properly on smaller screens. Having a website that provides a solid user-experience on multiple screen sizes and operating systems is a key element of smart online marketing.

Article Written by:
Hayley
is a freelance financial and business blogger. She recommends Blue Tax, for tax debt help in Los Angeles.

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Financial Mistakes Made by Work at Home Entrepreneurs

July 15, 2013

Being a work at home entrepreneur is very difficult and many people make mistakes along the way. There can be a steep learning curve, but if you run out of money you can find yourself stopping before you have even started. It is wise to make sure that you do not make mistakes with money, or keep them to a minimum. Below are some examples of mistakes that can be made and therefore should be avoided.

Financial Optimism

It is good to be optimistic about how well your business will do. However being too optimistic about how much profit will come in from it can be a problem. You may see a rosy future and start spending as if that money was coming in now. Then there may be a delay or some bills come in and you get in to financial trouble. It is best to only spend money that you have and to not spend in the hope that money will appear.

Financial Pessimism

Being too gloomy about your earning prospects can be a big problem. If you have low expectations, then it is likely that you will get poor results. You need to be positive about how well your business will do and it will get you working hard to make sure that it is a success. If you think it will fail, then it will and you will have no profits.

Getting personal loans to help the business

Some people do get tempted to use a personal loan to pay business expenses. This can lead to trouble. A business loan is tied in with the business and so if the business collapses then the person will not lose any of their personal possessions. However, using a personal loan such as credit card, overdraft or payday loans will always make you personally liable and so whatever happens, you will be responsible for paying it back. If you struggle with this then the charges can be extremely high and so you will get yourself in to a lot of personal debt.

Thinking the lack of business expenditure gives them a licence to spend

If you are working from home, then your business expenditure will be lower. This is because you will not have to pay rent on a property and all the other expenses that go along with that. However, this is not a licence to spend lots of money on the business. You are saving money, but keep it saved, don’t feel you need to spend it on something. Just cover your necessary expenses and keep any savings by so that you can use them when you really need them.

Lowering Productivity by Putting in Too Many Hours

It can be really easy to put in far too many hours when you are working from home. You could be working all of your waking hours as your work is so close. This could lead to problems with productivity as you may not be doing such a quality job because you are burnt out. This will eventually lead to a reduction in quality and therefore fewer customers.

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Ultimate Tax Saving Tips for the Self-Employed

June 24, 2013

Ultimate Tax Saving Tips for the Self Employed

Being self-employed can be a pretty awesome gig; it essentially allows you not only to be your own boss and determine your own income, but being self-employed also gives you the freedom of working from home, on the road, or just about anywhere. In this sense, the work schedule of a self-employed individual is often a lot more flexible, which is great for those who have children or simply like being able to work on their own time. What many people do not realize upon beginning to earn income as a self-employed individual, however, is that they are often subjected to more taxes. This realization can be very stressful come tax time, especially if the unknowing individual realizes that he or she did not put enough money away throughout the year to make the tax payment.

Fortunately, there are some steps that can be taken to avoid stress and worry during tax time. For starters, all self-employed individuals should make themselves aware that they will be subject to what is referred to as a “self-employment tax.” This tax is charged around the rate of 13% of all income and cannot be offset by deductions or credits. At first, this may seem unfair, but there is solid justification for this tax, as it goes toward Medicare and Social Security that would typically be paid by a W2 employee.

For the most part, in order to ensure that self-employed individuals put enough money to pay taxes, it is generally recommended that one opens a savings account and sets at least 25% of all self-employment income aside with each payment received. Furthermore, it is required that all self-employed individuals who plan on owing $1,000 or more to the government at the end of the tax year file their taxes quarterly, which means making four smaller payments throughout the course of the year as opposed to just one. Failure to file quarterly can result in heavy fines and penalties, even if the total amount owed is paid once taxes are filed, so be sure to start paying quarterly as soon as possible.

Furthermore, it is recommended that all self-employed individuals keep careful track of all of their earnings and income. After all, every penny will need to be accurately reported to the government, and if you are inaccurate in your reporting, you risk being audited or charged penalties. By keeping these tips in mind, you will be better off when it comes time to file your taxes as a self-employed individual.

Article Written by:
Hayley
is a freelance financial and business blogger. She recommends Blue Tax, for tax debt help in Los Angeles.

Get your weekly HOME|WORK delivered to your inbox each Wednesday that keeps you up-to-date on ways you can grow your business.

The Basics of Co-location

May 6, 2013

Colocation is the utilization by businesses of professional datacenters in lieu of in-house servers. Such datacenters often provide improved server quality at a lower price by maintaining a single large facility serving multiple clients. Compared to maintaining proprietary datacenters, colocation typically offers improved infrastructure, bandwidth, latency, security, and cost efficiency.

Maintaining independent servers has become increasingly unfeasible and inefficient even for larger businesses, due to rapid changes in technology and the increased efficiency of colocation. Datacenters benefit greatly from economies of scale, meaning that colocation facilities such as the new PEER 1 Hosting datacenter in Portsmouth, UK, offer lower expense-per-server thanks to the benefits of a single large center in terms of cooling, land, and personnel. Read more →

5 Keys to Increasing the Success of Your Written Marketing

April 22, 2013

A company’s written marketing materials play a strategic role in promoting its products or services. Well-written brochures, product descriptions, and Web content can convince prospective customers to give the business a try. The following 5 keys can enhance the success of your marketing writing.

1. Write with the customer in mind.

It’s tempting to describe your business in terms that are important to you, such as its history, size, and annual revenues. But customers are more interested in the product or services that may be useful. They want to know about quality, cost, convenience, and guarantees or warranties. Develop written materials from a customer’s perspective, and try to get customer feedback and suggestions before finalizing the materials.

2. Keep it simple.

Short paragraphs, medium-length sentences, and factual information are what potential buyers are looking for. Long, detailed passages are boring and time-consuming. Use a snappy prose style, and hire a freelance copywriter for assistance, if necessary. Review the materials of your top competitors for ideas about how to develop your written marketing materials. Don’t be extravagant; most people want to be informed, not impressed. Read more →

What You Should Know About Using Your Own Car for Business Travel

April 15, 2013

One way of making money in the current economic climate, where jobs are scarce and often difficult to get, is to take a job as an independent contractor or to open a new home business. Many people are successfully doing this, and some of them use their own vehicles to operate these new ventures.

It is important for any budding entrepreneurs to make sure they are knowledgeable about the insurance premiums, tax write-offs, and mileage deductions that are related to this practice. The following information may prove helpful to those entering into any home-based business that requires the use of their personal vehicles:

Insuring a Vehicle Used for Business Purposes

All insurance companies handle this differently, and people who plan to use their personal vehicle for business purposes should begin by calling their current insurance agent to discuss this issue and get quotes. Most companies charge according to the amount of miles the vehicle will be driven and the safety record of the vehicle. The more time that a vehicle spends on the road, the more likely it is to be involved in an accident, so business people can expect to pay higher premiums for protection. However, this works both ways because this insurance provides greater liability limits to protect the assets of the business. Although bundling this type of commercial vehicle insurance with other personal insurance usually results in the best pricing, it is still a great idea to get several quotes from different insurance companies. Read more →

Five Tips On How to Prepare To Work for Yourself

April 11, 2013

work for yourselfAre you planning on working for yourself? You will find that even starting a business is work. If you are starting a business, then you should have already decided if there is a need for your product and/or service. You should have completed a market analysis, and decided where the business will be located.

Now that you have made the decision to start the business, there is more work to be done before the doors open. Here are five important tips to preparing to work for yourself.

1. Decide if you will be operating as a DBA or a corporation. DBA means you will be using a business name instead of your real name. Many small businesses start as DBA, and change to a corporation as they grow.

2. Register your business and get a business license. Requirements vary from state to state, so you need to check what your state requires. Do a Google search for “how to start up a business in (insert your state’s name here).” Follow your state’s instructions.

3. Check out your local banks to determine which bank works best for your business’s needs.  Banks often have special packages for start-up business. People often forget to open a saving account, but it is important as a subtle reminder that you need to be saving parts of the profits.

Read more →

Your First Day of Business: Three Things that Will Bring People in

April 1, 2013

Your First Day of Business Three Things that Will Bring People in

On opening day, you want to attract as many customers as you can. There are three different items that can help make your new business a success. These items will help you no matter what type of products or services you are going to be offering. Remember that the goal is to get people to notice your business and want what you to have to offer. You want to do everything possible to make your business look unique and appealing to potential shoppers.

Banners

To begin with, a custom vinyl sign can really help to draw in customers to your business. You should hang your vinyl sign up on opening day so that your customers will be able to find you quickly and easily. You can have your name printed on your vinyl sign along with a logo or picture. You want your customers to be able spot your sign from a distance away. A custom sign will help to get potential customers excited about stopping at your business. To learn more about custom vinyl banners, visit Signs.com. Read more →

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