Developing Your Own Home Business

Without doubt, most people can relate to the fact that, in the 21st-century money has become much tighter! Families and individuals are finding it much more difficult to make ends meet with ever-increasing demands upon their purse. The basic necessities of life including; food, housing, clothing, etc have all dramatically risen in price within these first two decades of the 21st-century. Many people are having to tighten their belts and are looking for alternative or additional ways to increase their income.

See this recent report from the Huffington Post about the increase of home businesses, their pros and cons;

Running Your Business From Home… Challenges and Solutions!
Huffington Post UK, on Fri, 17 Apr 2015 02:33:02 -0700
While it can certainly be tough at times to try to balance your home business with managing a young family – it’s also a hugely rewarding challenge! I run my own events business from the home I share with my husband, and three young children, aged

What has become increasingly popular in order to address this issue is the development of the home businesses that more and more people are embracing. More and more people are starting to do this either part-time or even full-time as an ever-increasing array of opportunities present themselves both online and off-line.

home-office-336378_640An increasing proportion of the population are starting to develop home businesses as their major source of income. What for some people started off as a hobby or interest soon grew and developed into a full-time occupation and income. The Internet has been a primary catalyst in this evolution as it has made it much easier for people to develop businesses from the comfort of their own home whilst reaching out to a global population. More and more companies have specialized in assisting people in the development of home businesses which has made the task much easier than it ever was before.

here is an excellent publication to read that explains the process in more depth – Setting Up and Running a Successful Home Business Kelvin Worthington, published 2006, 64 pages

Good examples of new businesses formats are mail order businesses and multilevel marketing which have become very popular but other people have focused on such outlets as Amazon and eBay and become highly successful.

Here are some publications describing some niche home business ideas which provide excellent examples of what is possible when developing a new home business –

How to Start a Home-Based Children’s Birthday Party Business
Amy Jean Peters, published 2008, 192 pages

How to Start a Home-Based Jewelry Making Business: *Turn your passion into …
Maire Loughran, published 2009, 224 pages

The 200 Best Home Businesses: Easy To Start, Fun To Run, Highly Profitable
Katina Z. Jones, published 2005, 272 pages

How to Start a Home-Based Online Retail Business
Jeremy Shepherd

Blog Your Way To The Top Of Your Home Business Organization

As more businesses develop, then more services required to support these businesses, which in itself leads to more home businesses developing as a result. Such services as ghost writing or typing are excellent examples of this. People are always looking for specialists and this has meant that specialists can now offer their services online and the premium. Once again, distance or geographical location is not an issue and as a result, businesses can expand very rapidly.

This has also spurred the development in online networking for businesses or individuals to pool their resources and offer their combine services as a package online. Again, all of this can be performed and coordinated from the comfort of home.

here is an excellent recent article about how people are using social media in their home businesses –

How social media is helping boost home business
THV 11, on Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:33:45 -0700
How social media is helping boost home business. “I was the one that was like I will never make any money with network marketing and I was blown away because it did happen,” Megan Hatcher explains. Loading… Post to Facebook. How social media is …

For anyone considering starting a home business, the first thing is to perform your research. Identify your interests and skills and look at the competition there is currently out there offering similar services to your potential customers. Once you have clearly defined your market, your then a much more powerful position to identify exactly where you are going to pitch yourself. Again, this is when networking is very powerful as it allows you to discuss your potential business ideas with other like-minded people.

Here is a brief presentation which offers some additional insights when researching for a home business idea;

How to Find the Perfect <strong>Home</strong> <strong>Business</strong> for YOU!How to Find the Perfect Home Business for YOU!
from JimEastman, undefined ago in News & Politics
Are you inquiring for a lucrative home based business?

The next logical step would be to create a business plan, as if you were presenting your business idea to a bank or an investor. This way you can clearly define exactly what your goals are and the manner in which you intend to achieve them and any obstacles that need to be addressed in order to achieve your goals. Your business plan should be as clear and as detailed as you can make it as it will prompt and encourage you to think about how you see your business developing and growing.

This guide shows you how to create a simple business plan for any type of business or enterprise;

The Business Plan for Home-Based Business – SCORE
T he Business Plan for Home-based Business. Management and. Planning. Series. Building … EVALUATING THE SITE FOR YOUR HOME-BASED BUSINESS.

You will soon discover that you are in a very powerful position to start offering your services to the world in less time than you thought. Once you put your toe in the water and give it a try you will soon receive valuable feedback and important data into how you should proceed next. You can soon find yourself developing your business very rapidly and receiving an income that you never thought possible!

In the following video you can see 50 ideas that can whet your appetite when considering which home business idea might be right for you –

Conduct your research diligently, set out your goals, set out your plan and start moving towards a greater degree of financial independence whilst having fun in the process.

 

Essential Considerations for a Happy Retirement

For anyone entering middle age, thoughts about retirement start to become an important feature of their future considerations. We all have different ideas about what retirement is and how it will unfold for us; some see it as the time when they will have an opportunity to do all the things they’ve been wanting to do throughout life, some see it as an opportunity to travel and many others relish the opportunity to have more leisure time to spend with their family and loved ones.

Here is an excellent USNews report about retirement and its major considerations –

Retirement – US News & World Report
http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement
Retirement planning advice and guides to help you plan for a successful retirement. Retirement news on investing, including articles on 401ks, simple IRAs, …

The fact of the matter is that, regardless of your dreams, the one single factor that will apply to everybody is to be in a position to be able to afford to retire comfortably. Nowadays, people are being actively encouraged to think ahead towards their retirement from an earlier age with the intention of trying to calculate how much money they will need and where that money will come from in order to be happy and safe.

State benefits will provide some security in terms of financial income but for most people who have been used to a high standard of living, additional financial planning will be necessary. With company and work related pensions being less secure and unpredictable, it is prudent to look at other ways of securing finance for the latter phase of our lives.

This is a useful calculator for assessing your retirement financial needs – Retirement Planning and Savings Plans – Retirement Calculator …
http://money.cnn.com/retirement/
Retirement planning strategies and retirement advice, including retirement calculators to help you retire faster, 401k tips and more.

… and this throws another issues to consider when assessing financial needs in retirement;

Why the ‘4% Rule’ for Retirement Only Works for the Wealthy …
http://www.nbcnews.com/business
For years, financial advisers have relied on a simple rule of thumb to guide people planning for retirement: withdraw 4 percent a year, and you have excellent…

RetirementLife expectancy is much greater now and retirement ages of being extended. This means that we work longer before we are eligible to start drawing upon our pensions. On the positive side, this gives us more opportunity to put money aside and to invest in our retirement years and so become more financially secure. At the same time, it is important that we look after our health and well-being so that we are in a fit and healthy condition to enjoy our retirement years.

So in order to plan effectively for retirement, we need to ask ourselves some critical questions in order to attain a clearer picture of what we consider our retirement years to look like.

the following book offers some interesting insights into planning for your retirement future – Retirement: A New Adventure
Christopher Borman, published 2009

The following publications offer some excellent strategies and tips to help you plan more effectively, in all aspects of your life towards securing the type of retirement that you ideally want;

50 Plus One Tips to Building a Retirement Nest Egg
Linda M. Magoon, Poonum Vasishth, published 2006, 216 pages

Retirement Planning
Ramiro A. Needham

The Everything Retirement Planning Book: A Complete Guide to Managing Your …
Judith R. Harrington, Stanley J. Steinberg, published 2007, 304 pages

With so much to consider, retirement planning can feel a little heavy at times and so to lighten the situation it sometimes helps to add a little humor. So indulge yourself for a few moments with this humorous quiz –

What You Don’t Know about Retirement: A Funny Retirement Quiz
Bill Dodds, published 2010, 132 pages

Also, we tend to consider retirements equally for male and females alike but this is not always the case. The following brief presentation offers a few additional insights from the woman’s perspective when planning retirement –

6 Mistakes Women Make When Planning for <strong>Retirement</strong>6 Mistakes Women Make When Planning for Retirement
from moneygal2020, undefined ago in Business
When preparing for retirement women face challenges that their male counterparts do not. Ladies, what mistakes are you making?

What is clear from all of the above, is that there are many considerations that need to be taken into account when planning our retirement.  Spend the time to invest in thinking through  these important issues so that you can  more effectively plan your retirement for a future which can bring security and happiness.

Finding the Best Insurance for Your Pet

We all want our pets to remain as healthy as possible as they are a major part of our lives. Unfortunately, in order to achieve this, we have to make regular visits to the local vet and this has become more and more expensive over recent years. To help us all meet these ongoing bills, pet insurance has got to be a major consideration. However, like all purchases nowadays, it can be very challenging finding the best cover for your particular pets’ needs.

Fortunately, we can do most of our research online now and we are able to find lots of testimonials from people who are relating their experience about all sorts of subjects. All of the larger insurance companies now have their own dedicated websites where we can review all of the services they are offering and to identify which one suits our individual needs.

Below are Some excellent references discussing the relative merits of pet insurance and addressing some key questions to be considered by anyone who owns a pet;

Pet insurance: Is it truly worth it? | FOX CT
http://foxct.com/
Homeowners insurance and pet insurance can both be affected by owning a dog that is considered ‘dangerous’. Many see this as discriminatory practice, but with up to a third of liability claims against homeowners caused by …

Shopping for Pet Insurance, a vet’s view – The Seattle Times
http://blogs.seattletimes.com/politicsnorthwest/
Dr. Jerald Gemar, a retired vet who chairs the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association’s finance and insurance committees, answers questions about pet insurance in the second of a four part series. Question: How …

Should You Buy Pet Insurance? – MintLife Blog
http://www.mint.com/blog

As with all purchases online, exercise your due diligence and ensure that the company you are considering is registered and fully legitimate and has excellent reviews on their website from previous customers.

dog-624952_640If you’re not sure where to start when looking for pet insurance, pet forums are an excellent source of information on all matters relating to animals and many people there are more than happy to offer advice based on their own experiences. Here you will find many recommendations for pet insurance companies, including which ones to avoid based on an individual’s experience.

Once we have a clear idea of which company we want to potentially use, it is best to first check out what they are offering online in terms of degree of cover and premiums ask to get an overall idea of what each you will receive for the money that you pay. Fortunately, most companies will offer a telephone helpline where you can discuss your individual needs in greater detail. You may have a pet with particular issues that need to be covered or you may have particular concerns for the future health and well-being of your pet and require a policy that is tailored more specifically for your situation. Speaking to a real person over the telephone line is something that would be a necessity in these cases.

Watch this video comparing different insurance companies –

Pet Health Insurance Comparison - MyVNN.comPet Health Insurance Comparison – MyVNN.com
The Veterinary News Network did a direct comparison of one test case using four popular insurance companies.

 

Below is a useful article about the relative merits of having pet insurance and discusses the reasoning behind why we would choose to spend that little bit extra on our beloved pets;

Pet insurance gives peace of mind, owners say – Utah Local …
http://www.sltrib.com/
“I think it’s heartbreaking to put an animal to sleep because of a financial decision,” she said. “[Pet insurance] allows pet owners to make medical decisions based on what they want instead of what they can afford. For those …

If you do have a pet with previous conditions, these need to be declared upfront as they may require extra premiums to be paid to take out cover with the company. Again, speaking to an individual from the company will help clarify this for you.

Another point that many people forget is, like car insurance, there is often an excess to be paid when it claims being made and social you should be fully aware of what your liabilities are before you sign on the dotted line and be clear about how much money you will have to pay in the event of your pet needing help.

The following article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of pet insurance and prompts some important factors to consider for anyone wishing to gain adequate cover for any potential medical costs for their pet;

Buying The Best Pet Insurance
Barbara R. Giles

By reading some of the articles referred to on this page, you will soon get a clear idea of what your options are when taking out your pet insurance. Dedicate a good amount of time for this process as it’s not something you want to rush into. Exercise the same degree of care attention that you would for your own family health cover and in so doing you should be able to find the right cover, from the right company to suit your pets requirements.

 

Be in Control with a Financial Budget

In these economically challenging times, we all need to keep on top our finances is an in order to do this effectively we should all be creating an effective financial budget.

Most people carry on day by day going to work, paying the bills, doing the shopping and hoping that at the end of the month they will have enough money left over before the next pay cheque is due. Going about life in this way means that we just can’t plan ahead effectively nor can we safely provide ourselves with those little extra treats not knowing if we’ll have enough money left over to pay the bills.

By following a simple plan and investing a little time in the process, we can soon become more fully aware of our financial situation and in doing so, take back more control of our lives and reduce the fear of lack and need.

The financial budget, put very simply, is a list of our expenses, i.e. the money that is going out, and the money that is coming in. Because we have very little control over the financial demands that are faced by all individuals and households just to keep going, by taking back greater control of our spending then we can more accurately determine what or precise financial situation is so that we can respond to additional financial needs as and when they arise.

Below is a link to an excellent free guide that will explain the process of personal budgets in more depth;

The Only Budgeting Book You’ll Ever Need: How to Save Money and Manage Your …
Tere Stouffer, published 2012, 240 pages

It is very simple to write down each day how much money we have spent. We can also write down all of our ongoing monthly expenditures and with this information we can see very quickly where all our money is going and in doing so, identify any areas where where wasting money or where we could be spending the money more effectively.

apple-589640_640Anyone that has a computer immediately has access to free software to produce a very simple spreadsheet. The Open Office software is probably the most popular and with this we can then accurately itemise all of our outgoings and income. Of course, we can still do this on a piece of paper, but the use of a spreadsheet allows us to see the immediate result on our total financial situation when small changes are made.

Since the introduction of the smart phone, there are now a good range of apps that can be used to assist with organizing personal budgets;

Top 10 Personal Budget Apps For Everyone
from Aliyahadora

The best way to structure our financial analysis is to break down our expenses into key categories. Most people would identify the categories of; household services, food & drink, car costs, children and family entertainment. Again, this will vary for each individual but these are certainly expenses that the vast majority of families can relate to.

This document provides useful formatted budgeting sheets that anyone can use for creating their personal budget assessment –

<strong>Budget</strong> WeeklyBudget Weekly

 

When looking at past expenditure figures, it is very useful to start with bank and credit card statements where you can clearly identify all the major expenditures and any one-off payments you have made over the past few months. Items such as; birthday gifts, auto expenses and Christmas all need to be taken into account when identifying the yearly expenditure.

This video covers many of the categories that you need to consider when creating your personal budget;

Some payments, we only make on a quarterly or six monthly basis and so it is important to go through a whole years past expenditure to clearly identify where we have spent money.

Once we have completed this very simple exercise, we will have a very clear understanding of what our expenditure have been for the whole year. Now we can compare this against our annual income figure and often be quite surprised in the process! If you discover that your expenditure far outweighs your income, you are now in an excellent position to clearly recognise why you have spent more than you have brought in. Are you living within your means? Have you spent too much on extras? Are you spending money in effectively? All of these questions can be answered with the data that is now presented before you and you’re in great position of power to rectify the situation.

The outcome of this exercise may be that you have to cut back on your expenditure or it could be that you need to earn a little bit extra money. It could equally be that you need to invest your money more wisely or you may need to reduce your debt or credit payments more effectively so that you’re not wasting money in the process. The most important outcome is that you now know exactly what your financial situation is and you can see quite clearly what you have to do in order to balance the books.

So gain greater financial freedom today and start producing a financial budget. You will feel empowered and relieved that you now know exactly what it is that you need to do in order to maintain a healthy and balanced financial situation and as a consequence of this, enjoy life more fully.

 

Simple House Selling Strategies

New Year's Day sale

In the 21st century, more people are moving home more frequently than ever before in our history. Gone are the days when families would stay in the same home for generations where local communities grew and evolved together. Homes were passed from generation to generation and there was an ongoing continuity. Nowadays, people and families move very frequently for a whole range of diverse reasons, sometimes financial considerations and sometimes social ones.

The fact is that selling a property can be considered an art in itself and it is vitally important to present your property in the most appealing light. This way, the property will sell much more quickly and the price that it can attract will be significantly higher.

First impressions are always very, very important and this is especially true for anyone viewing a new potential home. The property needs to appear to be well looked after, cared for and in excellent repair. The problem is that for many people, the visual aspect of their home is something that they have become so familiar with that they can’t see the defects. The marks, the scuffs, the little areas that needed tending to are just not seen and recognized by the brain. They tend to blend into the background and become the norm. For some of these defects, it can even just be an issue of laziness, that is, something you’ve been meaning to get round to fixing for a long time but never achieved it. Regardless of the cause, it is essential that your home is being presented at its most attractive as everything that is in and around your home will be seen in a completely new light by a prospective buyer.

real-estate-156502_640A good way of addressing the above concern is to have someone come and look at the property who has never seen it before and will view it with fresh eyes prior to it being put on the market. This way you can address all of the basic, fundamental issues that need to be addressed, and can be addressed very easily so as to make your property look at its best. Potential buyers come with great expectations, hoping to find their ideal property. Unfortunately, some very minor defects can completely destroy that image very quickly and put the potential buyer in a much less favorable mindset. This can be disastrous for the seller as it will leave them with less bargaining power when you come to negotiating the final price.

These concentrations of the visual aspects of the property apply not only to the inside of your home but also to the surrounding area. The first thing that a potential buyer will see will be the scene that they are presented with when sitting in their car having just pulled up outside your house. If your property is surrounded by clutter, waste, overgrown gardens, shabby paintwork, or any other unpleasant sight, they will enter into your property having already been influenced by that visual scene. All of these points can be addressed very, very easily and will have a huge impact on anyone coming to look at your property. Take the time to address these issues and to remove any possibility of you losing a sale on these minor points.

This book offers a wealth of information about what to consider when selling your house;

House Selling For Dummies
Eric Tyson, Ray Brown, published 2011, 384 pages

…and here is another one that will offer further insights into the whole process Which although has been around for a while, is still very relevant today;

Buying and Selling Your House
Adam Walker, published 2004, 324 pages

When selling your home it is also your legal responsibility to inform any potential buyers of any ongoing repairs that need to be completed. Sometimes these issues can’t be seen, like with damaged piping, leaking roofs, damaged services, etc but ‘out of sight’ is not ‘out of mind’ and if you do not come clean about these issues then they may well come back and bite you at a later date when it is discovered that you weren’t upfront about such defects.

When all of these points have been addressed it is then very important to find a selling agent that will work for you and in your best interests. A reputable and effective agent is worth their weight in gold if they know what they’re doing. They are the people who will draw potential buyers into your home, and in many cases they can perform the selling operation for you. They can describe and sell your property in the best light possible and so it is vital that they are efficient and effective and experienced. Ideally, they need to be local people who can relate not only to your home, but also to the surrounding area and advise and recommend the benefits of the area to potential buyers.

Read reviews and testimonials of past customers of the selling agents and speak to a few to get a feel of who they are and what they’re like before you employ the services. You need to be able to work with these people and for them to work with you and you will soon discover the right agent for you.

Below is a brief presentation covering some of the key points to consider when selling a home;

Best <strong>tips</strong> of <strong>selling</strong> a <strong>house</strong> fastBest tips of selling a house fast
Every single Realtor & Buyer that calls should be followed up with. Keeping sloppy records means potentially losing a sale or getting another listing. Be organized, diligent, kind, and smart at all times. Ask the person when they would like a follow up call. You might have to lower the listing price and this may be of interest to a Buyer who approached you 30 days before. Let them know. is this the price range you were looking for? (This is non-specific) If so, what are your conditions for purchase?

 One minor, but significant consideration is the aroma that visitors to your house experience when they first walk through the door. The old trick of roasting some coffee or the smell of freshly baked bread still works wonders and gives the impression of homeliness and comfort. What is most important is that you do not present potential buyers with an unpleasant smell, and this can include the smell of animals. If you have cats or dogs in your home is important that you do not allow that to become the dominant smell for new visitors as for some people it can be very offputting. Again, asking someone who’s never been in your home before to see what they smell is a good way of assessing the true aroma of your home. This is where you’re selling agent can help you.

Here is an excellent video about how to optimize your home for selling;

If you follow this very simple advice, you will be ensuring that your home will be as pleasant as possible to any potential buyer. Spend a little money and a little time on finishing jobs that need to be done to make your home as attractive as possible and this will reap many benefits when people come to your home with the intention of trying to see themselves living there. Often, the simple things can make all the difference and it could be the difference between you selling your home easily or struggling and having to reduce the price just to make a sale.