How To Start a Home Based Business

Are you looking to earn extra money from home? Considering your options for a home based business? If so, read on for some handy expert tips!

Assess your talent and skills: By assessing your talents you will be able to decide what kind of home business you would like to undertake.

Keep in mind, there is a difference between things that you enjoy doing and talents. Talents are your personality traits and should be the base for your business venture. It is also important to consider your skill in order to decide the home based business you would like to undertake.

Examples of skills are organizational and accounting skills. After you have assessed both your talents and skills, put them together and generate business ideas. You can list all the business ideas and later cross off choices and remain with the best idea.

Know your competitors: You are probably not the first one to venture in the business you have selected. Check for your business rivals in your area. If you live in an area where there are many competitors, your chance of being successful is very minimal, since your business has to take some time for it catch up with your competitors’ businesses.

Understand the needs of the area: Basically, any kind of business needs a thorough market research. Here you are able to ask and listen to what the peoples’ need and want. In case there is something they mention, is an interest of yours and you are good at it, you should start that business.

Figure the profits: To do this you must decide how much and how often people are going to purchase your goods or service. From this you can calculate the profit either weekly or monthly. It is also important to include the value of your efforts and cost of supplies in order to come up with real profit margin.

Research: You want to arm yourself with all the latest knowledge on how to run a home business. A useful resources for this is;

Check the legal barriers: In some countries there are laws and regulations that govern each and every home based business. Therefore, it is important to check in to that before starting the business. For instance, you cannot start some types of businesses without a health certificate from the authority of your area. In some areas business owners carry a business license and nothing else.

Check whether there is need of insurance cover: Home based business may expose you, your property and family to various risks. If this is the case, it is good to make sure that you are covered before anything worse happens.

Invest and launch your business: Before investing, you should create a business plan which would enable you determine the start up costs. Then you can market and advertise your business to get customers through radio or local newspaper. Keep in mind that you will learn more as you continue to run your business.

4 Ways to Boost Business Sales

If there is one thing every business craves, it is cash-flow. Focusing on improving sales is a key component to a healthy and profitable business, so let’s delve into some top tips for success.

Generate Sales Leads

But don’t dismiss possible new customers either when boosting sales. Start by generating sales leads using a few or all of the following techniques: (Carefully consider the merits and demerits of each method since a few may not be suitable for your business or may not generate the desired return on investment)

  • Cold calling is known as telemarketing without the call centre because you are making “blind contact” with potential customers.
  • Networking can involve attending business functions like trade shows, social functions like dinner invitations to the local chamber of commerce, and being active in the community, among others.
  • Developing champions of your products and/or services such as in a refer-a-friend campaign.
  • Engaging in affiliate marketing to expand your market base.
  • Leveraging your website via methods like SEO services from a reputable SEO company.
  • Maximizing your advertising program.

Set Up a Sales Incentive Program

Give your sales staff several reasons to sell, sell, and sell to your present and prospective customers. But always remember that every employee in your business is its representative so everybody must work toward customer satisfaction in every step of the sales transaction. A few examples of incentives are:

  • Cash bonus.
  • Hot merchandise like personal gadgets.
  • Experience such as trips to vacation spots.
  • Recognition like awards.
  • Workplace perks such as right to work from home once a week.

Upsell and Cross-sell Your Business

Upselling refers to the sales technique whereby the seller encourages customers to buy upgrades and/or add-ons (more on that here) like premium warranty and pricey items. Cross-selling refers to the sales technique wherein the seller will sell something else in addition to the main product or service but without posing direct competition between the two commodities; think complementary items. Examples include:

  • Accessorizing the main product or service.
  • Putting the items directly into the customers’ hands and extolling their virtues in relation to the main commodity.

Expand Your Market Coverage

Why be limited to your present market when you can expand on it? You can expand by:

  • Increasing your market share at the business’ present location by improving on customer service, adding more products, and offering complementary services, among others.
  • Relocating your business to a better area like one with heavy foot traffic.
  • Adding outlets.
  • Using methods in downward vertical integration or upward vertical integration, whichever will provide for the highest returns on investment.
  • Exporting goods and services.
  • Engaging in direct marketing, franchise agreements, or license agreements.

But be careful about plunging into these methods – research your business options, plan, monitor and evaluate each of these options first.

Requirements on Becoming a AICPA

This infographic is a fun way of showing what you need to do to become a CPA. These requirements are for the AICPA which is becoming popular worldwide.

Is Gold a Good Investment?

With the global economy still in turmoil investors and financial institutions are looking for a safe haven to invest in. Many people are looking towards gold as being the safe haven that everyone is looking for and so we decided to look at gold and weight the risks and possible benefits of investing in gold.

Unlike stocks, gold is not based on any company’s ability to perform well or on a business portfolio, gold performs strictly based on the strength of the global economy. The best time to purchase gold is when the economy worldwide is doing relatively well and especially when the American economy is doing well and their currency is strong and stable.

When it comes to investing in gold there are many different avenues that one can take, from purchasing gold certificated to gold coins, gold bars, gold stocks, etc. Gold coins are usually the starting point for new investors as they are mobile and they can be sold anywhere around the world without much effort.

The intermediate investors will usually invest in gold bullion, but investors in gold bullion will have to pay a premium. The premium should however be less than 10% of the total cost. The experienced investors will opt for investing in stocks that are based on gold as exchange traded funds are backed by actual gold bullion. Stocks present a lower investment cost but offer all the benefits of having gold within the portfolio. Although stocks have a lower investment cost they also carry a greater risk.

A way around everything mentioned so far would be investing in gold mining companies stocks. Although this is the riskiest investment of them all this also carries the greatest return as it has a 3 to 1 leverage over gold prices.

The most important aspect to look for in a gold mining company is their reserves. If the company is able to add to its reserves and they are seen as a high quality gold mining company than this lessens your risk when investing in the company. Of course these aren’t the only things to look at but they are a good rule of thumb.

One company that I would highly recommend that is currently traded both on the TSX and NYSE is Yamana Gold Inc. Yamana Gold Inc. is currently managed by Peter Marrone, CEO and Chairman for Yamana Gold Inc. The reason why I like this stock and I consider it a good and safe investment is because this is a company that has very good management with very good policies and safety measures in place that is currently expanding rapidly.

They are continuously adding reserves in South America and Central America and although their production is increasing significantly they are able to maintain the quality level of their production. I have been investing with this company for a few years now and I can only see them continuing to go up in value from here on.

Gold Vs Stocks, Shares & Currencies As Investments:

It is interesting to compare investment options and in today’s economic climate, the necessity for a diverse investment portfolio has never been more pronounced.

One form of investment that is truly worth considering further is currency trading. The two options for consideration are Forex and Binary Options. Without going into all of the absolute ins and outs of each, the main distinction between Gold, Forex and Binary Options in terms of length of investment is;

  • Gold is a longer-term investment (up to many years)
  • Forex is a medium-term game (months to years)
  • Binary options can be traded in weeks, days or less

The finer details are best kept for another day, but should your require further information, we can recommend this review of Banc De Binary for those interested in more about binary options or this article for more on Forex.


How to Avail of a Small Business Grant

How to Avail of a Small Business GrantThere are a lot of available options for business grants although some may come with heavy penalties such as high interest rates which can cut into your business revenue. You need to consider the amounts that you have to set aside for re-payments along with your general administrative expenses. A government grant is different from a subsidy, because the latter does not entail a down payment and you are not required to back it up with a collateral. 

Choose companies and organizations that support funding for small businesses because the interest charges are reasonable and the repayments schemes are easy to fulfill. The Small Business Administration (SBA) office can provide you with the means to start up your enterprise and assist you in expanding your network to usher in more business opportunities. Some large corporations also set up foundations to provide resources for small businesses. Their aim is to create funds and opportunities in terms of education, workforce development, and environmental sustainability.

There are also other forms of financial assistance that the government provides for struggling companies. The approval of a grant is based on several requirements that consider the potential of the entrepreneur as a manager and owner. It helps of course if a detailed business plan is submitted for the approving body’s evaluation. While federal grants for start up businesses differ from state to state, the government is trying to find ways to standardize the process and create a central database for all applications. This will help make the assessment phase so much easier and can provide the basic background of the applicants.

Find a grant that is relevant to the nature of your business so that you’ll have a bigger chance of success. What’s even better is if you can complement the grant with a subsidy which you can use to balance out your expenses.

Choosing the Right Form of Advertisement

Choosing the Right Form of AdvertisementWhatever type of business you are in, your success ultimately depends on your ability to provide the answers to consumers’ needs. And letting them know that what you offer will entail a serious advertising campaign. There are many ways to do this, from flyer distribution to the use of banner ads, it all becomes dependent on how much your budget is. You can do indirect marketing by supporting worthwhile causes in return for the prominent display of your company name in a vantage point where a lot of people are likely to see it. Hooking up with media personalities can also help increase your exposure in different formats like television or movie commercials.

Advertising is always an expensive effort so you need to pay attention to the specific time and venue where you’re likely to be viewed by a large volume of people. Make your ads short and simple but catchy so that potential clients can easily recall your products, or at the minimum, your label. The only way that advertising won’t work is if you don’t do it properly.

Online marketing operates in a similar manner. You can also do product launches, hold raffles for participants and ask for user testimonies to support a product. Posting ads online does not cost as much as it would using billboards or print ads. It is critical though to tap free resources that can give you good exposure. Craigslist is a perfect example of this, it hosts different communities and features free classified ads online. It is a site that people naturally check out when they are looking for a specific product or appliance. Another thing that will suffice as a marketing tool would be to invite people to your site.

The traditional modes for advertising include using signs, banners, billboards and posters to announce the latest products or innovations that a company has. For online businesses, using search engine optimization (SEO) methods in promoting their products is the proven manner to reach the most number of users. These come in the form of pay per click ads, blogs or using keywords to link to sites with relevant content

Getting Insurance Coverage for your Business

Getting Insurance Coverage for your BusinessInsurance coverage is often overlooked in the area of business. People make sure that they have comprehensive healthcare coverage and life insurance but applying for business coverage is not viewed in the same light as the other kinds. This is a wrong attitude to have because even if you won’t immediately require its application, having insurance can save your business in a lot of ways.

Small business owners often have the mindset that because they don’t make a lot of money, they will not be sued. Every business can have money rendered in the form of collected wages, seized equipment and office machines and bank accounts. All that’s required is an attorney’s determined effort to collect so nobody is really safe.

An insurance coverage is a good investment to consider for your family so that in the case of unforeseen circumstances like death or accidents, the survivors will be taken care of. In the case of small businesses, it makes good sense to create an alternative for the surviving partner or family members. In most cases, the children are not inclined to continue with the operations when their parent, who is the primary owner of the business, expires. As a business owner, you should treat it as a necessary business expense, one that will more than pay off for itself when the time comes to surrender it.

Home based entrepreneurs also mistakenly think that because their base of operations is their home, then they are adequately covered because they have insurance for their house. This is not the same thing because home insurance covers the physical structure on your property. It does not take any activity that’s held in the premises into account.

If you are operating a home-based business, then you need to apply for protection for your office and business equipment in case of damage or loss. This is referred to as content insurance and would be sufficient enough to allow you to replace the lost or damaged unit. You can also consider property insurance for items and gadgets that you bring with you during client calls or during field trips.