Finding New Customers is Great. Keeping Current Customers is Better

Find customers...keep customers
If you are self-employed or run a micro-business, you can easily become obsessed with finding new customers. It’s natural, particularly when starting your self-employment career, to brainstorm all the ways you can attract new clients. Clients, after all, are the life blood of your business. Without them, you’ll be shutting your doors and heading back to a day job. Read more

Starting a Home Business – Transitioning from Your Day Job to Working at Home

Starting a home business gradually

When people consider starting a home business, they may not realize that the first step in achieving their dream is to have explicitly stated goals (a plan) and then slowly working toward them. One goal in your list of home business goals, should be the date you want to begin working from home full time. If you think that you’ll just quit your job and start your new work at home life, you’re probably mistaken. Very few home-based workers have the means to cut the safety line of their day job income and jump into the deep end. You’d be well advised to touch your toes in the water first then wade in the shallow end for awhile before making a splash in the deep end. Read more

Starting a Home-Based Business: Survival Tips

Starting a home-based business

If you are considering starting a home-based business, the following tips will help your venture survive and thrive.

1) Start small

The mistake some home-based business owners make when they start out is trying to grow too fast. Growth costs money. At first, you may have to make-do with less. You may have to live with your less than perfect office setup, an older but perfectly good desktop and laptop and the like. Starting your business on a shoestring budget and having the willingness to make do with what you have takes discipline. If you start your business, buy the latest desktop and laptop, purchase all new office furnishings and pay for advertising, you’ll chew through profit. While many of these items will be deductible come tax time, if your income is variable (and it often is when starting a home business), you’ll have cash flow problems that can quickly escalate and make it impossible to make ends meet. Read more

Home-Based Business Security Tips

Home-based business security

The following home-based business security tips can help secure you, your home-office and your data while giving you some peace of mind. Read more

Elements of a Good Invoice Template for Freelance Services

Invoicing

An invoice template for freelance services seems simple enough, right? List services or products, tally the line items, calculate taxes and calculate a total. Done! Not quite. Simple or not, if you are new to freelancing, you may be tempted to make-do with an invoice you’ve created using a word processor, or downloaded for free from the Interwebs. While that “making-do” will work when you first start out, an invoice (like any document or written communication you send to prospective clients) makes an impression. Read more

Why Your Services Estimates Don’t Convert

Convert estimates

Creating services estimates for a potential client can cause a freelancer or micro-business owner a lot of anxiety. There are so many “what ifs”. What if I quote too high? What if I quote too low? What if it’s a waste of time? What if, what if, what if! Estimates are educated guesses. Sometimes they are accurate, sometimes not, but there are other reasons beyond the dollar figure of your estimate that can prevent a customer from following through and ordering your services. Following are a few reasons your estimates may not be converting to actual work and income. Read more

Managing Self-Employment Stress. Help Yourself and Your Business with These Tips

Managing self-employment stress

If you are freelancer, consultant, or run a home-based business, the art of managing self-employment stress is a skill that you must learn to maintain your health…and your business! Stress is a killer. A killer of health, relationships, and business. A multitude of physical and emotional health problems including heart disease, chronic headaches, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, high blood pressure and others are linked to stress. Read more

Documents for Tax Time for Freelancers & Home-Based Business Owners

Documents for tax time

As a freelancer, you may think that the shoe box method of accounting works well for you, but if you consider all that could be hidden in the shoebox, or worse…missing from the shoebox, you’d agree that using a system to efficiently and easily organize financial transactions is the better way to go.

Having accurate financial records, including income, expenses, asset purchases, taxes charged, income owed by customers and bills you owe to vendors, is vital all year round, but especially at tax time. Read more

Top 10 Skills Every Home-Based Business Owner Needs to Succeed: Part 1, Success Skills 1-5

Home-based business owner
You’ve probably read the statistics on home-based business growth in the U.S.A. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2012 data, about 50% of all small businesses in the U.S. are home-based businesses. Of those, 60.1% of firms without paid employees are home based, and, 23.3% of small employer firms are home based. According to the SBA, “The industries in which businesses are most likely to be home-based are information (70.0%), construction (68.2%), and professional, scientific, and technical services (65.3%).” Read more

6 Outsourcing Sites for Freelancers. Fiverr and Alternatives

Outsourcing for Freelancers
If you freelance (or run a micro or small business) you may find that you can’t fulfill all requests for work because you are either 1) short on time, or 2) don’t have the inclination to do some of the work. If this sounds like you, consider some of the outsourcing sites for freelancers listed in this article.

Flareapps.com small business tip #103 Use Outsourcing Websites. Get Workers! Get Work!

There are two sides to the outsourcing website coin: you can hire someone to perform work as a sub-contractor and you may find some work for yourself. Read more