Monday, July 31, 2006

Saving Money: Possible Tax Deductions for Home Businesses

If you operate your own home business, then you are probably aware that there a few drawbacks to being self-employed. Working for yourself often means that you lose many workplace benefits, such as group insurance, sick leave, paid vacations, etc. However, the government does provide solace to those who have an entrepreneurial spirit, and this solace comes in the form of tax breaks. There are many possible tax deductions for home businesses; you simply have to be well-informed about them.

Why should you go through the trouble? Well, because you’ll earn more money that way. By knowing all the possible tax deductions that you can take, you’ll come away with more of the benefits that your business generates, instead of getting cleaned out by the government. When it comes to taxes, make no mistake about it – knowledge is power.

If you run a home business, some of the possible tax deductions for you are:

Home office costs, such as those that involve office repairs and maintenance. Expenses racked up through janitorial services, for example, when shown to be needed by the business, are deductible, as are waste management and garbage disposal services. Business furniture and equipment may also qualify for deductions in their year of purchase, as long as the amount does not exceed a certain limit.

Utility costs, such as electricity and water. The deduction applies to those areas that are used regularly and exclusively for business.

Telephone costs. This only applies if you have a separate line for use in business. A single line that is used for both business and personal calls does not qualify. However, if you make long distance calls and/or incur fax transmission fees, those expenses are deductible not matter which type of phone you use.

Rent or lease payments. A percentage of your rent, lease, or mortgage interest payments can be deductible provided that you are using the property regularly for business purposes.

Employee wages and employee benefits. If you are an employer of labor, you can deduct a portion of your salary and benefit expenses. Employee education and training costs are also deductible.

Education costs necessary in your line of work. This applies especially to professionals. Those who need continuing education to maintain their expertise may deduct the cost of this education from their tax returns.

Real estate taxes on business property. A portion of real estate taxes are considered deductible by the IRS.

Personal expenses. Some personal expenses, when conducted in conjunction with business affairs, are deductible. A portion of your automobile expenses, meal allocations, and travel and entertainment cots may qualify for deduction, as log as they are related to your business.

A final reminder: Try to maintain as accurate records as is possible. Document your deposits, income, expenses and deductions. This way, you will have proof validating your tax deductions. Because tax laws are complex and often change, it is often advisable to consult a professional. This will allow you to claim as many possible tax deductions for home businesses as you can.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Moneymaking Mothers: Business Opportunities for Stay at Home Moms

Moms Need Money Too

For centuries, mothers have been expected to accomplish many
things, at least on the realm of family and the home. Until
recently, however, moms have not been very welcome to the
marketplace. Many misconceptions abound about the working
mom, but with the growth of the internet, many of these
misconceptions are being dispelled, and new opportunities
are opening up for an important part of our society. Now,
more than ever before, there are business opportunities for
stay at home moms.

The traditional structure of the family has been something
like this: it was the father’s role to work and earn money,
while it was the mother’s role to take care of the children,
tend to the house, and accomplish various domestic chores.
This is still the dominant pattern of the family today, but
what has changed is that the mom, while still staying at
home, can earn a little bit of income for herself. With the
use of the internet, the millions of mothers now have the
chance to ply their skills and talents in the marketplace.

Business Opportunities

Before we get into the opportunities that exist online, we
must mention that business opportunities for stay at home
moms exist outside the worldwide web. Many mothers are
already interested in a great many things that they could
profit financially from. For example, a woman who loves
gardening might start her own plant nursery, and run that
business from her own backyard. Alternatively, a woman who
is an especially proficient baker might start selling her
wares to her neighbors. As long as you can offer something
of value at a reasonable price, there is no shortage of
opportunity for you. In fact, you will be creating your own
opportunities, by putting forth a superior product for an
excellent price!

That being said, it is probably the internet that offers the
most opportunity to stay at home moms, especially
opportunities that did not exist before. The vagaries of the
marketplace often make it hard for mothers to participate,
since they have so many tasks to attend to in the home.
Today, however, mothers can work from home, for a few hours
a day, and earn a tidy income from doing so.

Here are two business opportunities for stay at home moms:

Freelance Work. Freelance work is ideal for many mothers,
since they do not have to work on an ongoing basis, but
rather from project to project. This means that the mom need
only work when she wants to, has when she has the time to.
As a freelancer, the stay at home mom can choose the
projects that she is interested in, and be aware of
deadlines before taking on any assignment.

Affiliate Programs. Affiliate programs are excellent
business opportunities for stay at home moms. Affiliate
programs can produce a nice stream of residual income –
something that all mothers can definitely use. By setting up
a content site, a stay at home mother can earn money even
while going about her other activities. When she has a bit
of free time, she can tweak her site and make sure that it
is attractive to visitors.

As you can see, business opportunities for stay at home moms
exist. It is up to you to take advantage of what is
available, and to give it your best until you reap the
rewards for your efforts.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Making money with an eBay business

Making money online has never been easier than it is now.
One of the prime opportunities that exist today is with
eBay. EBay, of course, is the revolutionary auction site
that is now beginning to circle the globe.

As with all other business opportunities, conducting
research is essential. When you partner with eBay, you are
essentially becoming a merchant of sorts, using the site to
reach a larger market. As a merchant, the basic questions
you should be able to answer two questions: what will you
sell, and where will you buy? For all the obvious reasons,
you want to provide a unique product, hopefully filling a
market need. The key to success is to find a profitable
niche where you either can dominate the competitors or one
where you have no competitors at all.

Now, there are two main types of sellers on eBay. There are
business sellers and garage sellers. Garage sellers, as the
term implies, are those who sell various personal
knickknacks on the web, much like in a garage sale, albeit
to a larger customer base. The items are usually pre-owned.
More than earning a profit, garage sellers usually just want
to get rid of some of their older property.

Business sellers, on the other hand, are those who operate
on eBay for the primary purpose of earning a profit. While
still a minority, many people are being added to this
category everyday. Some have earned so much that they have
found keeping their day job unnecessary. To attain this
level however, you will have to keep a few things in mind.

First, treat your eBay venture like a legitimate business.
The trick to making money with an eBay business is to simply
treat it like one. It might start off as a hobby or a
sideline, but you should very quickly get serious if you
want to earn significant amounts. You may want to create a
business name, open separate bank accounts, and
accomplishing the necessary paperwork to establish your
venture. After that, give it your best shot. Offer great
products at low prices, back it up with excellent customer
service, and you have a recipe for success.

Second, specialize. You can’t be an expert in all the
categories in eBay; you can’t understand the value of all
products. To be successful, you should concentrate on just
one or two areas, and focus all your energy on those areas.
Become an expert in your chosen areas, and the chances of
making good trades (and therefore making more money)
exponentially increase.

Third, learn to communicate well. Napoleon used to tell his
secretaries, “Be clear, be clear, be clear!” You must follow
the same policy. Learn how to write auction listings that
accurately describe your product, and don’t neglect to
include all relevant details, such those involving shipping
and handling, return policies, etc. Not only must you
communicate well, you must communicate in a timely manner.
Try to respond to all questions promptly and courteously,
and try to be in touch with your winning bidders from the
start of the transaction to its close. This is the secret to
making money with an eBay business.

Insider Secrets Of An Ebay Millionare

Making Money Online: What You Need To Know

As long as you have something to offer, making money online
is not as tough as it may seem. For newcomers to the
internet, the challenge of learning to navigate this
entirely new world might seem daunting, but there’s really
nothing to it. With a willingness to learn and a desire to
make the most of your opportunities, making money online
will be a piece of cake.

For most people, the real challenge is where to begin. You
have to know what’s available to be able to make informed
decisions. This article will spell out a few of the
opportunities that exist online.

Before you get around to making money online, there are some
basic issues that you have to address. You have to be
realistic about what you intend to achieve, and you have to
be clear on the commitment that you are making.

First, understand the reasons why you want to make some
money online. This may seem really fundamental, but what do
you need the money for, and how important is it to you? Keep
in mind that you will have to work for the money that you
earn, so unless you have some important use for the money,
you’re better off not wasting your time.

Second, check out all the opportunities that exist for you
online. The set of opportunities that are open to you will
be largely dictated by what you can do, and the level of
expertise that you have. It is usually best to stick to what
you already know and love, since that area will probably be
most profitable to you, both in terms of money and

Third, be discriminating with regards to the projects that
you enter into. The internet is buzzing with scams and get-
rich-quick schemes. You have to exercise some intelligence
and discernment in choosing the projects that are right for
you, not to mention the employers that you enter contracts
with. The anonymity that the internet provides makes it very
easy for people to be dishonest – be sure to find someone
who you can trust and work with.

Fourth, do your best. Again, this is fundamental advice that
shouldn’t need to be given, but many often need to be
reminded from time to time. Making money online is pretty
much the same as making money offline – you provide
something of use to others, and you get compensated for what
you provide. If you are a service provider, strive to offer
superior service. If you sell products, sell those products
at the best price, and be sure of their quality. In the long
run, excellence is always rewarded, especially in an
essentially capitalist arena like the internet.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

So You Want To Work at Home? Read This First

The dream to work at home is a staple in most people’s
minds. What most people don’t know is that there can be
drawbacks to working at home as well. As someone who wants
to start your own home based business, you should be aware
of these pitfalls, so that you can prepare in advance for
whatever inconvenience they may pose.

Lack of financial security. Working at home and starting
your own home based business carries risk. Unlike a salary,
you will not be receiving a fixed amount each month. There’s
a large possibility that the compensation you receive will
be small in comparison to your regular job, especially at
the beginning. The upside, of course, is that you also stand
to gain much. Some of the biggest, most profitable
businesses today were first small home start-ups. Companies
like Microsoft, The Body Shop, and Coca-Cola are examples of
companies that were first run from the proverbial garage.

Having to take charge of your own time. Time can either be
put to good, profitable use, or it can be wasted. If you are
not a disciplined person, then you might have a tough time
making the venture work. After all, being at home means that
you are comfortable – perhaps too comfortable. You can surf
the net, watch TV, fix dinner, play with the kids, shoot
some hoops, talk with your friends, read a book, take a nap
– there are so many things that threaten to eat up your time
when you’re at home. If you really want to work at home, you
should first make sure that you can carve up a good amount
of time to spend on your business. You should have the
ability to set a schedule and stick with it; otherwise you
might be heading for financial ruin. However, if you are the
kind of person who is willing and able to set your goals and
work towards them, then having control of your own time is
an incredible advantage. You will be able to set your
priorities, manage your tasks, and minimize the waste of
your time – things that are difficult to accomplish when you
are in someone else’s employ.

Potential isolation. Because you are not forced to interact
with other people, you might fall into a tendency to cut
yourself off from most daily interactions. This is a danger
that those with more conservative or shy personalities face.
To counteract this, you simply have to allot a portion of
your time to meet friends and meet new people. Never get too
engrossed in your work to the detriment of your social life;
you’ll just suffer in the end.

Don’t let this little list discourage you from taking the
plunge! That’s exactly what most people do, which is why you
don’t see a whole bunch of truly rich people in your
neighborhood. Scan down this list and fix in your mind how
you intend to overcome these obstacles in your path to
riches. Knowing your weaknesses is strength – never forget

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Work at Home Opportunities: What Are Your Options?

With the internet growing at such a rapid pace, you can be
sure that more work at home opportunities now exist than
ever before. The boundaries of labor are now less defined;
the worldwide web allows employers to find workers of all
stripes and nationalities. No matter where you born and no
matter what you do, the internet holds much possibility for

Of course, if you’re just starting out, you’re simply not
sure where you can find those opportunities – you might not
even know what’s available. This article will give you a
brief survey of how you can earn some money through the

Freelance work. If you have a specialized skill and want to
cater to a wider market, then you might try offering your
services through the web. Finding an employer over the
internet can be tricky; but that’s the way it is in the
“real” world anyway. Your best bet would be to join a few
forums and message boards where you might be able to find
work. If you are a massage therapist, for instance, you
might want to join a forum that specializes on the field,
and try to find prospective customers there. Even better,
you can join a local trade association; they will most
likely have their own website, so make sure you sign up.

You should also be aware that there are sites that offer to
match contractors and service providers, as well as sites
that provide work at home opportunities. Most of these sites
require a small joining fee, but if you are a having a hard
time finding work by yourself, then this can be your best
option. These sites usually have a database of people who
are both seeking work, as well those who are providing it.

Affiliate programs. An affiliate program is simply a program
in which you earn commissions by selling someone else’s
product or service. Alternatively, you can also earn money
by simply advertising for their site. If you choose to join
an affiliate program on the internet, it would be best if
you had your own website, and ideally one that is conducive
to selling the goods and services of your merchant partner.
In other words, it must be a site that caters to a specific
group of people, or a niche market. If people buy your
partner’s products through your site, you will receive a
percentage of the sale price.

Writing. Writing is among the most excellent of work at home
opportunities, for all it requires is that you have literary
skill and access to the internet. Writing is a huge industry
online, for the obvious reasons. People mostly go online for
entertainment and for information. If you can provide one,
or both, then you can honestly expect to be paid for your
efforts. There are many ways to earn money as a writer
online. You can be a content provider, a website reviewer,
an e-book writer, etc. As long as you can provide something
that people will find useful or entertaining, you should be
able to find profitable employment along literary lines.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Advantages of Working at Home

For many people, working at home is the penultimate dream.
After all, many of us dislike our jobs; and perhaps we
dislike the amounts we receive for doing those jobs even
less. Some of us also have difficulty dealing with our
superiors, who may or may not be good people. Given all
these factors, working at home, in the peace and comfort of
your own abode, seems like an incredibly good idea.

If you are thinking of working at home, then you must first
consider all the variables that will be involved in your
potential decision. Working at home, like working outside,
carries its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It
would be good for you to scrutinize each argument, and
examine how much weight such arguments should have on your

Some of the advantages of working at home include:

Being your own boss. Most people resent having to work for
the benefit of someone else. We are all naturally selfish;
we want our work to primarily benefit us. As an employee,
your work primarily benefits the company that you work for,
and your boss. You receive a salary, but the amount you
receive does not correspond to the full value of the labor
that you rendered.

Being in charge of your own time. It is frustrating to have
your time subject to the caprices of others. How many
fathers have missed their son’s baseball or football games
because they had to attend an important meeting? Working at
home means that you are the only one who takes control of
your time. You can do what you want to do, when you want to
do it.

Possibility of large gains. As we’ve mentioned before, when
you work for a salary, you only receive a portion of the
value of the service you rendered. But if you own your own
venture and are working at home, you not only receive the
fruits of your own labor, you have the possibility of
receiving the fruits of another’s labor, such as when you
hire your own employees. If your business takes off, then
you have a chance to earn more money in a year than you
otherwise would’ve gotten throughout your entire lifetime,
had you stuck with your regular job.

Being able to choose your associations. Not being stuck in
an office means that you won’t have to put up with people
that you can’t stand. Instead, you can choose who you want
to do business with, and ignore those who aren’t as

Now, working at home is not a financial cure-all. In fact,
you can expect to have a rough time, especially at the
beginning. However, as long as you stay disciplined and do
the work that you have to do, you can expect your venture to
grow, and your profits to grow as well.

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