Tax Strategies for Home-Based Businesses

Why start a home-based business

Although the primary reason for starting a home-based business is to make money, there are a number of other reasons for starting your own business including:

Freedom

You have the ability to make your own schedule and not live by a time clock or be subjected to working hours that are not conducive to your family life.

No bosses

You never have to answer to anyone but yourself so no bosses will be hounding you or threatening you with your job if you don’t perform to their expectations.

Mobility

You’re never chained to a desk or stuck in some cramped cubicle.

Earnings potential

You get out of your business what you put into it, so your earnings potential is only limited by you – not the whim of the company or employer that you are working for.

Just be aware of the fact that owning your own business involves a great deal of discipline, maturity, and responsibility. The freedom involved with creating your own work schedule could also be a double-edged sword if you aren’t careful.

IRS and tax considerations

Despite the above advantages of having your own home-based business, there are other important aspects that need to be taken into consideration, namely tax planning. Taxation is a completely different animal when you own your own business because unlike having an employer that makes the deductions for you, you are accountable and responsible for handling this issue on your own. If you want to minimize your annual tax bill, tax planning is critical and needs to be an ongoing event.

Understanding the tax write-offs involved with home-based businesses The biggest mistake that many new home-based business owners make is that they focus on whether to start up that business inside or outside of the home. What they should be focusing on is the tax advantages involved. Surprisingly there are tax advantages when owning a home-based business that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy in a different endeavor. Learning more about your allowable deductions and the numerous write-offs you can take advantage of is the key. Here are a few aspects to consider:

To take or not to take the home office deduction – of all the allowable deductions and other numerous write-offs, this is probably the biggest decision that you will need to make. Even tax accountants debate over whether or not this is a smart idea. This deduction covers both the depreciation and the operating costs associated with maintaining your home office. The percentage of your home’s square footage that is dedicated to your office is normally deductible.

Maximizing the deductibility of your expenses – there are numerous legitimate expenses that may be considered for deduction over and above the ones mentioned in the prior paragraph. Home-based business overhead typically includes a variety of expenses such as advertising expenses, travel expenses, office supplies, equipment depreciation, etc. Chances are, you’re going to be surprised when you realized how many of your daily expenses are actually tax deductible.

Plan your errands with your taxes in mind – the first mile that you travel away from home is deductible so you want to incorporate a component of your home-based business into every trip you make away from home, even if you are running personal errands. For instance, if you have a PO Box set up for your business mailings, make sure that you fit in as many business cold calls as possible when travelling from your home to the post office and back.

Remember, the key to allowable home-based business deductions as well as any brick & mortar business deductions is thorough record keeping. I recommend consulting with your accountant.

The Four Key Advantages Of Buying A Business Rather Than Starting From Scratch

There are many advantages to buy an existing business. In this day and age, starting up a business from scratch is a lot trickier, due to an uncertain economy and also the presence of other competitors.

When it comes to buying a business, though, there are benefits. You have an established customer base, experienced employees, an established market position and operating systems that are all in place.

If you are worried about what the customers will think when the recognised leader has left, then don’t. There are many types of customers and clients who will still prove loyal even when there’s a new face at the helm. Providing that you handle the established customer/client base well, there is not a problem. You may find that customers buy on a cyclical basis, ranging from a month to a year or even a decade. If that’s the case, don’t throw away that 10-year-old customer list. Managing an existing customer/client base is certainly preferable to getting customers on board when starting a business from scratch – which can prove to be both expensive and time consuming.

You will also find that you have a valuable set of employees at your disposal. They are both experienced and skilled, and will often know the business inside out and backwards. However, with the prospect of new ownership, this can re-energise them and give them a new lease of life. Certainly, compare this to if you had to find new employees from scratch. Not only do you have to be sure that they are the right fit for the company, you also have to train them up and educate them about every single aspect of the business. Sure, one day, they will be well up to speed, but with a purchased business, the staff is already in place – meaning that they have the knowledge and skill to get on with the job – which in turn, means a greater level of productivity.

You also have an operating system in process. The benefit of this is that, depending on how long the business has been running for, you will have a tried and tested business system in place. It is difficult to judge what business system works and what system doesn’t. When you start a business from scratch, it will very much be a case of trial and error. You may find that you end up wasting time on trying to find the best system for you. With an established business, this system is already in place, and hopefully is one that provides the best results.

You will be entering a business that already has a market position. The best case scenario is that the business is widely respected and known, maybe in the local area or even all over the country. With that in mind, more people are going to want to buy from a business that is widely respected for top quality service and product. Even if the business only has a strong reputation locally, this is still a good starting point, since you can use this as a springboard for a broader profile. With a new business, you have to work hard to build up that level of respect, but with an established business, this is an easier process.

Providing that you have enough money at your disposal, buying a business is a shrewd investment. Even if you don’t, there are still ways around it, such as a loan made either from a bank or from the business owner which can be paid back over time. It is still has advantages over a franchise, because you can do whatever you want in a bought business, whereas in a franchise, you are still marching to someone else’s tune. Whatever your reasons and methods of buying a business, make the most of the advantages at your disposal and you will hopefully reap the rewards.

SaleHoo Tips For a Successful Online Business

Online business or eCommerce has slowly becoming a trend in the business scene. Many are now putting up virtual stores which they can run with just a small amount of money. With the use of the internet, one can be able to market and sell their products to many possible clients. This is actually the easiest way to let others know about your business since majority of people today are using the internet everyday.

One proof of success for these online sellers is the eBay. Now, there are millions of online sellers in this auction site. This just goes to show that there are also millions of online shoppers around today. You can actually buy everything you need over these online stores. However, there are also some guidelines that you must follow to make sure that your online business will succeed and grow.

First tip that SaleHoo gives to you is that you should give the right attention to your business. Do not just let it run and profit the same amount over and over again. Aim high. If you want to earn more, then do more. You can add more items to your store or research on products that are truly best sellers.

Another tip is to know the business inside and out. Know how to properly run an online business. Know the things that can make it prosper and fail. And through these, you would know what proper actions to do in running your business.

And choose the best products to sell. Do not just sell anything; be sure that it is a necessity and something that people use often. This will make sure that you will have repeat customers.

SaleHoo can help you in marketing your products. You can also talk to other members through the members’ forum to get views and opinions on a certain matter. SaleHoo will help you in all aspects of your business.

Start Your Own Business – 5 Positive Signs That Will Determine If a Business is Right For You

Starting any type of business is a serious undertaking. You want to make sure that any business that you start is the right one for you. However, the question is, ‘How do you know that a certain business is right for you?’ The best way to find out is to determine how it makes you feel. If a certain business makes you feel like you’re back in high school and you can’t get a date for the senior prom, then that business is not for you. On the other hand, if it makes you feel like dancing the night away (and the morning and afternoon, too), then not only is it a good fit, but may also be a lifesaver. However, there are also other factors to consider when deciding whether or not a business is the right one for you, and you must examine them very closely before choosing either way.

You’re an Expert
You know the business inside and out. In fact, you know it so well that if you were to appear on “Jeopardy” (the TV game show) as a contestant with your business expertise as the only category, you would not only be the big winner, but would also amaze the millions of TV viewers watching the program. As an expert, you are highly confident in your knowledge of the business, and therefore would be a big handful for your competitors.

It’s a Labor of Love
It’s something that you absolutely love, and could do all day long. You would love the business so much that you’d almost end up having a strange extra-marital affair with it. You would do the business every single minute of the day, if sleep wasn’t such an important health issue. Also, you would almost forget that it’s lunchtime, and persist in your work as the clock ticks pass the noon lunch hour. You would be love sick if you were away on vacation, and the business couldn’t go with you. You would talk about it, and drive others crazy as a result. It would be the love of your life; next to your spouse and children, of course.

You are the Best Salesperson for Your Products and Services
You could sell the products and services with ease. Your unique selling proposition would make you highly competitive in the marketplace, and potential customers would see you as the authority. In turn, they would know that they could trust you., and would therefore do business with you. You would neither need nor want to be pushy. However, you would be affectionately persuasive when it came to helping your customers, because you know the benefits of your products and services.

You Can Afford It
Whether you personally had the cash to purchase the business or not, you would get the startup funds through creative financing and clever negotiation. You would then tap into your labor of love for the business, and make it very profitable. This would ultimately ensure that you could afford it in the near future. The business would remain in the “black” throughout your period of ownership, because of your wise economic strategies in connection with expenditures, profits, losses, and investments. You would take care of it well enough for it to regularly increase its annual profit margin.

It Needs You
The business couldn’t do without you. It’s very survival would depend on your leadership and decision-making. In your presence, the business would operate smoothly. However, out of your presence, it would not do as well, because you know it better than those left to manage it. It could only exist, because you make smart decisions to ensure both its survival and growth. No one could run the business the way you could, and it wouldn’t want anyone at the helm but you anyway. It would allow you to spend how you saw fit, because you would do so sensibly. It needs you as its leader, ruler, and chief.