Thursday, April 30, 2009
The problem is many of us are running out of ideas to blog about. Well, I came across a great way to help those who are having difficulty coming up with blogging ideas. Check out What should I blog about? 50 Ideas to You Started
There's also a Free e-course and Blogger's cheat sheet here
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
- Organize your finances
- Legalize your business
- Create a professional image
- Assign workspace and make boundaries
- Obtain and organize neccessary supplies and equipment
In this post, let's talk about organizing your finances. Depending on the type of home business you are running, the amount of financial assistance you require will vary. However, one thing that every home business needs is an operating bank account to manage sales and expenses. Even if you are a sole proprietor, it is recommended that you do not mix your personal funds with that of your home business. This way you can effectively keep track of the monies you are spending on your business and there is no ambiguity (there are clear lines separating the money you use and spend for your household vs. that of your home business). I chose to have two business checking accounts for my home business. The reason I chose two checking accounts is so that I could separate the money that I need to save, pay taxes and pay tithes with from the money I use to pay my home business expenses with. I have both accounts at the same bank so that I can easily transfer funds between the two accounts as well as see all of my transactions in one place.
As a Christian, I give 10% of everything I earn to the Lord. He has graciously blessed me with my own home business and I can't think of a better way to thank Him than to help finance the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone should have the opportunity to know Jesus. He is so good and faithful. Just when I feel like throwing in the towel, He sends someone to encourage me. Ok, so while I went a bit off topic for a moment, I thouht it important to mention why I tithe because I know some people were probably wondering about it. Back on track now...
My Personal Home Based Business Websites:
Dead Sea, Bath & Body Products, Aromatherapy Candles, Gift Baskets & Gift Sets
Stress Relief Products, Magnetic Therapy & Alternative Pain Relief
Another channel for obtaining finances is small business credit cards. Since you will not be mixing your personal finances with your home business finances, you will need a business credit card to easily facilitate paying for supplies, etc. An important thing to note however is that you should limit most of your credit card charges to items that will pay for themselves by generating income relatively quickly (ex: you sell hand gloves for $20 that you have the manufacturer ship directly to your customers. When a customer purchases a pair of gloves for $20 on your website, you then go to the manufacturer and purchase the gloves on your business credit card at your wholesale cost. Once your customer's payment clears, usually in 2-3 business days, you can then make a payment on your credit card to cover the charge.)
There are other types of loans such as personal loans you can apply for but I don't recommend theses for a home based business. A big perk of a home based business is the ability to have low start up costs. Some people choose network marketing home based businesses which have little to no start up costs. Others choose to sell homemade products and sell them on a website with very little to no fees such as e-bay, webs, etsy or artfire. Whatever your particular home based business, just make sure your finances are in order. I personally do a bit of both because I enjoy designing my own products as well as networking and promoting other products that I don't make but have the ability to improve people's health. Besides my personally managed websites, I'm a distributor for Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, I truly enjoy this home business. I personally experience a wealth of benefits with these oils. If you are interested in distributing or just being a customer of Young Living's products, visit the main website at http://www.youngliving.org/. You'll need distribitor # 1066504 to purchase or become a distributor.
In a few days I'll talk about the next thing on the list to organizing your business affairs...legalizing your business.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Every business should have a website. It doesn't matter if you are a large corporation or a small mom and pop shop. A website provides you with the ability to reach customers far beyond your local boundaries.
As a small business owner myself, I have found that most of my customers come from areas far beyond my local surroundings. I have customers from right here in the East and from way out West. Without a website I could not have accomplished that.
When considering the type of website you will have, keep the following in mind:
- Hosting - I would stay away from free hosting sites. You've heard the old saying, "you get what you pay for." Most free hosting sites only offer you limited bandwidth and their uptime of your website is not adequate. Your website's uptime needs to be at least 98% of the time. You lose potential customers if your website can not be accessed.
- Necessary pages of your website include: Privacy page, Terms and Conditions page, Shipping & Returns page, Links page, About Us page, Contact Us page, FAQ (frequently asked questions) page
- Consider your colors. While you may like certain colors, your potential customers may be turned off by them. Do your research based on the type of products you are selling. See what your competitors are doing and if you see a common thread. If everybody else is doing something, there must be success in that area.
- Your website should embody a part of your personality. Give your website personality by designing with a little flair based on who you are. Of course, keep it professional
Thursday, April 9, 2009
- File paid bills, canceled checks and other documentation in a safe place in an organized manner utilizing file folders, filing cabinets or filing boxes. Ensure each file is clearly labeled
- Categorize your receipts throughout the year so you don't have to go searching for them at tax time
- Consider using a small business program such as Quick Books to keep track of sales invoices, expenses and inventory.
While I don't personally utilize a program to track my expenses, I do keep an excel spreadsheet and I file all of my invoices and sales receipts in an orderly fashion. I also have a built in program for my websites to track all of my sales, customer information and profit margin. This greatly helps to keep things organized and easily accessible. Of course, I wasn't always this organized and I'm still a work in progress but now I have less papers everywhere! Being organized only leaves one with a feeling of being out of control. Once you have organized your business documents, you have taken a very important step to setting the stage for your business to be successful.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
When you first begin your business chances are you have very little money to move your business forward. The exception is that you already have a ton of money already at your disposal or you have taken out a loan. If that's the case you can still benefit from what I'm about to share to help you to save the money you already have.
There's a cool thing called bartering your services for that of another. There's no money exchanged but make sure to get a written contract drawn up so that there are no misunderstandings about the bartering services.
If you view the chart above you will see an example of bartering among different industries. To further explain bartering let's say for example you have started a website design business and you need advertising to give your business some exposure. You could reach out to an advertising business and "exchange" services with them. You would design or offer to enhance their website and in turn they would provide you with some free advertising on their website or other form of media.
The important thing to know about bartering is that while it can be a successful relationship with another business, make sure that the services they are offering you are of equal value to you. Once you have come to a mutual agreement on the type of services bartered, length of time etc, with the other company, bartering can be very successful for you both.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I don't have much to say in this post because not only are words precious and not to be wasted, so is time. So, I will wrap up today's Work From Home Success Tips with this:
Recognize your limitations but also your strengths. Share with others what you are learning and learn from what they have already learned. Be open to change and remember you were not put on this earth for business or any other purpose so you could be a lone ranger. You were put here to develop relationships. Do so in business and you'll find more success.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Any venture that is entered into should always begin with counting the cost. Now when I say counting the cost, I am not necessarily talking about the monetary cost. While ensuring that you have the proper financing in place is very important, BEFORE you even do that, you need to count the cost of how much time you are going to need to work on your business, how much time are you going to have to take away from your family and other things you need to and want to do. You also need to count the cost of how much sleep you may need to lose.
When starting your own business working from home or even outside of the home, you will need time to plan your business (create a business plan or have one done for you). What are your goals, short term and long term? You will need time to educate yourself and familiarize yourself with your market and your competitors.
The Bible says in Luke 14:28, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it" This is very wise advice that can be applied to anything you do in life but especially with respect to starting a business.
Until next time...