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

Bank Reconciliation Made Easy for Freelancers and Micro-Businesses

Auto categorize bank transactions

If you’re a freelancer or run a micro-business, you probably wear many hats, including a bookkeeping hat from time to time. One aspect of double-entry bookkeeping that some people find confusing and painful is bank reconciliation. 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

Smart Expense Management for Small Business

Record multiple expenses for a vendor

In Flare, expense management for small business is easy and doesn’t require financial management knowledge. Flare Cloud Accounting has several features that allow you to record and track expenses.  You can record expenses by vendor one by one, or record expenses in bulk by vendor with Flare’s convenient expense input form. Once recorded, you can view overviews of expenses in the Profit & Loss Statement, or,  view expenses by chart of accounts category in the Transaction Details report (general ledger). For small businesses, two of Flare’s most powerful expense recording and tracking features are the expense form and the vendor module. Read more

Balancing a Cash Register the Easy Way!

If you run a small retail operation, you are all too familiar with the amount of work involved in balancing a cash register. For many retailers, this process is largely manual and sometimes full of duplicated effort. You must count cash sales, sales on credit, cash expenses and other cash outflows and manually balance each register at the end of a shift. Once that’s done, the information must be entered into a daily cash register summary and provided to an accountant or bookkeeper who then has to enter this information into your business’s accounting system. Phew! If you have several cash registers, the amount of time and effort performing daily cash register balancing can be significant. There is an easier way…Flare’s cash register report feature! 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 6-10

Home-based business owner

In part 1 of this article, we shared skills 1-5 of the top 10 skills that home-based business owners need to succeed. Now, we’ll complete the list.

6) Work-Life Balance

Balancing your personal life with your home-based business working life is vital to your mental and physical health. When you are starting out, you may find yourself working long hours (or odd hours) and not giving enough attention to friends, family, your mental state and physical well being. You may eat poorly, sleep poorly, and thus, think poorly. Read more