Power UP Your Business – 10 Resolutions for the New Year!

Resolution 1: Get a Handle on your Taxes

With the New Year fast approaching, it is important to get a firm handle on your taxes. To claim certain tax benefits, you need to act no later than Dec. 31. According to the IRS, here are “Six Year-End Tips to Reduce 2011 Taxes:”

Install Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
Make Charitable Contributions
Consider a Portfolio Adjustment
Contribute the Maximum to Retirement Accounts
Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution
Don’t Overlook the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Resolution 2: Understand your Finances

This is extremely important for the health of your business. As a new or growing business, you need to be diligent about your finances. The NUMBER ONE reason that businesses fail is due to lack of control over finances.

Some experts suggest reviewing your profit and loss statements, balance sheets and cash flow reports on a monthly basis. To manage this, there is accounting software such as QuickBooks specifically for small businesses. Also, hiring a CPA or bookkeeper can be a wise investment.

Resolution 3: Create a Monthly Budget

This is crucial to controlling your monthly expenses. By creating a budget, forces you to examine your income and expenditures to track how much money you make and spend. Of course your living expenses, i.e., mortgage, utilities, vehicles, insurance payments and food are a must, but additional payments should be allocated to pay off bad debt.

A few handy financial tools:

HomeBudget is an expense tracker designed to help you budget, track and control your monthly expenses at home.
Moneytrackin is a free online web application that allows you to track all your expenses and income easily and without effort, thus allowing you to have a clear view of your financial situation. It intends to be a simple yet powerful online budget management tool.
MySpendingPlan is an online tool that provides consumers with the latest tools to help them manage their personal finances track their budgets, save money and keep up on the latest information about managing money and leading a better financial life.

Resolution 4: Get Out of Debt

Easy to say, difficult to do! According to some experts, Americans charge over one trillion dollars per year using Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. For many, money is a big source of stress; and it doesn’t help that we’ve had to deal with economic issues over the past few years. This coming year, make it a priority to resolve your money woes.

Resolution 5: Set Specific Time Management Goals

Why do you want to set specific goals to manage your time effectively? Well, setting simple goals will force you to plan your time wisely, thus, allowing you to get a sense of achievement and reduce work and life stress. For example, if spending time with your family is important, try working fewer hours on Friday so that you can honor that goal.

By scheduling your time based on your goals, you can assess if your goals truly align with the core values, both professionally and personally. If you find that your goals are out of align, then you are able to identify key areas that need adjusting before they get out of control.

Resolution 6: Learn How to Delegate

As your business grows, so should your ‘tight grip’ on controlling every aspect of it. The worst thing that you can do is become a slave to your business. This attitude can cripple you! I know this first hand; as a former owner of a building maintenance company; I was president, HR generalist, payroll specialist, trainer, janitor, sales woman and more! It took me a while to realize that not only could I not effectively wear every hat, but in order to grow and regain my sanity, I had to trust others.

It is important that you delegate non-core business tasks to your staff or consider outsourcing. Play on the strengths of others. The lack of delegation will stifle your growth, or worse, cause you to run your business and yourself into a pit fall.

Resolution7: Prioritize your Day

It is essential that you start your day with a ‘to do’ list. It doesn’t matter if your business is small or if you run a large corporation, having a daily plan will keep you on track in effectively running your business. Start your day by scheduling uninterrupted time to plan and create your list of tasks for that day, and rank your list in order of priority. For example, if you have 10 tasks on your list, of those, how many do you need to complete? Can you save the least important tasks for another time?

If you don’t accomplish all the tasks from your ‘to do’ list, it doesn’t mean you are having problems managing your time. It simply means that you only have limited time per day to get everything done and you may be trying to accomplish more tasks than you have time in the day.

To manage and prioritize my time, I rely on Microsoft Outlook’s calendar and task manager to plan my personal and business schedule. I then sync Microsoft Outlook to my I Phone. This helps me to stay on task and set priorities for my daily activities. Find what works for you and make it a daily habit to have a productive and organized day!

Revolution 8: Network religiously

A successful way to promote your business is through networking. You are in business to grow, so make networking a key part of your marketing strategy so that you position yourself to connect with the right people.

Networking is a lifestyle in which you need to incorporate onto your “To Do” list. By networking, you are developing your social skills by engaging or interacting in an informal gathering to communicate with others for mutual assistance or support. By acquainting yourself with other business owners or executives, you are building meaningful relationships. There are many organizations that you can become involved in such as the Chamber of Commerce, Business Network International (BNI), online communities or a professional organization related to your industry.

Resolution 9: Know your Credit

Do you know how important it is to establish business credit profile? According to some industry experts, “fewer than 10 percent of all entrepreneurs know about or truly understand how business credit is established and tracked-and how it affects their lives and businesses.”

Make sure you contact the major business credit bureaus that compile and provide copies of your credit reports. For a list of business credit reporting agencies, here’s an informative article by Marco Carbajo, “Top 10 Business Credit Bureaus.”

Resolution 10: Make More time with Family & Friends

An important reason we go into business is the idea of being flexible with our time. So, the idea of having time for family and friends seems like it should be a no-brainer, right? According to recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year.

Scrapbooks Make for a Great Home Business

Scrapbook, Home Based Business Idea 1: Teaching Scrapbooking

If you’re already adept at scrapping, and you’ve been creating beautiful mementos for a while, you might be able to make money teaching new scrappers how to create their own albums or pages. Consider advertising in your community, include the cost of a set of basic materials in the cost of training, and teach people how to get started.

An alternative would be to create a series of training videos, have them put onto DVD’s (or sell them as a downloadable product) and sell them through mail order or on a website.

Scrapbook, Home Based Business Idea 2: Your Own Online Store

Another great idea that can help you to turn your love of scrapbooking into a money spinner is to start an online scrapbook materials store. Look for websites that offer wholesale or dropshipped scrapping materials and tools, and create a site where you sell them to other scrappers online. You don’t have to have an expensive retail store, you can sell globally, and thanks to super easy to use site builders, anyone can create a professional looking online store these days!

Scrapbook, Home Based Business Idea 3: Scrap for Profit

If you love creating beautiful, creative memories by scrapping, then you might just be able to create custom commissions for clients. Advertise in your local newspaper, online or anywhere else where people might be looking for this type of service. You can specialize in one type of scrapping (weddings, christenings and other special occasions for instance) or you can offer a general ‘scrap to order’ service.

Scrapbook, Home Based Business Idea 4: Write a Book!

These days, it’s easier than ever to create an e-book, or even a book that you publish on demand. You can sell your book through online stores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and if you can’t write very well, then there are plenty of freelancers out there who will take your ideas and put them in words. Self publishing costs very little to set up, and there are people who make a good living off of their self published books.

Whether you choose to start one of these types of scrapping businesses, or whether you have another idea up your sleeve, there are a few things you should do before you leap right in.

Scrapbook, Home Based Business Idea 5: Scrapping Kits

Another great idea is to make up scrapping kits for a variety of occasions, and for different skill levels. Sell them in your community, or by mail order. Include a variety of different scrapping safe papers, embellishments and other items, and include basic instructions for designing and making your own scrapping pages or albums.

Business Cash Flowing or Cash No Showing?

Do you have a blueprint for success for your business? Got cash? Cash is King in Business. When cash is flowing in a business, it gives the business an opportunity for expansion, such hiring new team members to take the business to the next level, or maybe expanding the business to an international market. Many first – time business owners fail at properly managing cash flow, instead of reinvesting back into their business they take the cash and spend on it on personal use. I have seen this happen many of times with people who make that transition from being an employee to an entrepreneur. They’re used to having a paycheck coming in on consistent basis that when their business starts to cash flow they eat the first fruits from the tree instead of planting the seeds to grow a bigger tree.

Cash flow management is essential for businesses that succeed. Cash flow is one of the key elements to taking your business to the next level. A business that does not cash flow can cause a great deal of stress to first time business owners. Now with some businesses it may take some time to start generating a cash flow, and this is okay. But you must determine how much time you are willing to invest in a business that is not cash flowing? Is your team willing to stick and stay? If you are interested in laying a foundation for a profitable business currently and into the future, you must inspect what you expect. Put it all in writing so you can have it before you. If you need help analyzing the number seek counsel from someone who has experience in running a successful business. The objective for your business is to track your income and expenses so that you put your business in a position to prosper. And you do want to prosper, correct?

You must realize that your business is an asset that will thrive when you analyze where your business is currently and then move into the mode of creating a cash flow projection, Savvy business owners know how to create and come within the constraints of a cash flow analysis based on a weekly, monthly, yearly and long-term (5 year, 10 year etc.) projections. This will help you to retain modes of doing your business that are lucrative. It will also empower you to take action in your business to create innovative solutions to needs for your products and services in the marketplace. When you have been in business for a few years a review of your company cash flow patterns will help you to evaluate any areas that need to be amplified so your business can go to the next level. For more knowledge in the area of taking the capital that your business gains seek the advice of leaders in your industry, business bankers, and business financial planners that have attained high levels of success and are willing to empower you to reach your goals.

Buying a Business Instead of Creating One

The idea of having a career as a business owner is something that many people really like. That is because of all of the advantages of owning your own business, especially if it is a very successful one. The most obvious of these advantages is the money that you will make from a successful business – even a small one. Your standard of living will increase when you own your own business.

And you will never have to work for someone else either, which is another thing that people really like. You will get the freedom of making your own decisions about your job and won’t have to answer to anyone else for them. That is a freedom that many people love.

There is a way to make being a business owner even better, though. Instead of going through the initial startup process of building a business it is possible to be a business owner by purchasing a business that is already established. You can buy instead of create and experience all of the perks of buying a business in addition to those of being a business owner, as were discussed.

There are many perks on buying a business instead of creating one. The biggest one is that you will miss the stressful time of a business when it starts to grow. You won’t have to go through any of this. Instead, you will jump in when the business is at the stage where it is running smoothly and just have to take on the role without nearly as much stress as you would experience if you were the one that had to build the business yourself.

Often, when you buy the right business, you will never even have to work that hard. Some businesses have hit a point where they are successful enough that the day to day things are run on their own by management and the owner rarely has to make any critical decisions. If you are lucky enough to find one of these companies to buy, then you will experience the perks of being a business owner without having to do much at all. You just get to enjoy being a business owner.

Business Ideas For You To Start Your Home Internet Business

There are many great home business ideas on the internet but it takes time and patience to do some good research for those ideas. Each day the internet opens up new opportunities for us to make money by providing solutions to other people’s problems. Take advantage of that to start your own home internet business.

Most of the great home online business ideas require you to be smart enough to make money online. You have to take action by acquiring knowledge and skills through self-help learning, trainings and support programs. Take action by spending some time to work on your business and at times some money to invest in your business. Before you start your home internet business, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I have the courage to start a home internet business? To succeed in online business, you have to be self-driven, hardworking, passionate about your business, persistent and able to take action.

2. Do I love reading? Most successful online marketers started their online businesses with scanty knowledge but through reading and learning from others, they became experts and are now earning good income. Like other newbies, you will have a lot of information to read before you become knowledgeable, skilled and conversant with doing online business.

3. Do I have the time? You have to allocate ample time everyday to work on your business. You need to create time. Remember 99% of the time is within your control.

4. Am I able to spend some little money? Although you can start a home internet business on a shoestring budget, you should bear in mind that business is all about investment. What are you investing in your online business for you to earn what you expect to get from it?

What do you need to start a home internet business?

The following are 10 great home business ideas on what is exactly needed for you to start your home internet business.

1. A computer and internet connection. It’s obvious that you cannot do any online business without having a computer and access to the internet.

2. A website. You can only start a home internet business if you have a website. There are mainly 2 ways of having your own website set up:

I. Designing your own website. You can learn the HTML (the web designing language) to design your websites. Look for web designing e-books on the internet and teach yourself. Learning to design your own websites is a great home business idea I strongly recommend to you.

If you find it difficult to learn, like most people do, then hire a web designer to design it for you at a cost.