All Articles Tagged "home office"

Why You Should Spend More On Your Website & Less On Your Office

March 31st, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our new column “Mommy Mogul”! This weekly article will cover issues of importance to moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

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Shutterstock

Now before you go off the deep end thinking I am crazy for mentioning this, just know there is a reason behind what you might call madness.

The truth of the matter is many business owners (especially ones just starting out) spend way too much too fast on things they don’t need. Whether it’s stocking up on bulk supplies that will take you years to finish, or purchasing trendy office furniture, you can quickly use up hard-earned income without batting an eye. While it’s good to have a functional office, you do not want a ton of overhead when it comes to expenses. Instead you should consider putting more of your money into something that has the ability to make you money like a website.

Having a good business website these days can be one of the main determining factors for whether or not a person will click away, or become a potential client. In fact, it oftentimes can be considered a reflection of how you treat your business. Have you ever been turned off by a business website that was so vague and rickety you questioned the legitimacy of the company? Don’t let this happen to you.

This can be an expensive undertaking, but like most things there are affordable ways to make what you have work. There are way too many good resources out there for us entrepreneurs that teach the basics of building a website or offer simple templates you can use that will fit your budget (see “9 Budget-Friendly Website Builders for Your Business“). The point is you should do something that creates a professional looking online presence that will attract people to your company. You never know who is in need of your product or service.

Still not convinced? Here’s the breakdown on why you need to spend more on your website than office.

-Your office tends to be personal, your website is public. For the most part offices are kept behind closed doors. They are where the magic happens; our control room of thoughts. A website on the other hand is extremely public as it can be searched across the world.

-Your website is your virtual calling card. You want people to believe in your expertise and get excited about what you are trying to do which is why you need a good website. If you are going to spend money, put more towards creating a website that best reflects your brand. It will only make you look that much more professional.

-A website gives you access to people beyond your local reach. The name of the game when it comes to business is expansion — that is taking your empire to the next level by widening your reach. An online presence gives you the ability to attract a greater amounts of clientele and virtually sell your products.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to make your office place sparkle, but let’s save those affordable office styling tips for another day. Make sure the essentials are covered first.

The 10 People Most Likely To Be Audited. Are You One Of Them?

March 26th, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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AP Photo/Susan Walsh

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Tax season is a time of joy and pain. For some, Uncle Sam is a kind friend who drops a check in the mail just in time for spring. For others he’s a cruel collector, shaking money out of your pocket for the government to spend. But, some taxpayers are destined to meet a worse fate. One where a representative of the IRS looks through every receipt in their possession and decides how much they really owe your government. Getting audited is a real and present danger.

Should you be afraid? According to Michael Rozbruch, founder and CEO of Tax Resolution Services, only about 1.1  percent of people who file a 1040, the most common tax return, are audited. That rate increases to 12.5 percent for people earning $1 million or more. Most audits are triggered by the kind and amount of deductions taken. If you fit one of these profiles, watch yourself. Uncle Sam may turn his attention to you.

The 9 Most Frequently Overlooked Tax Deductions

February 14th, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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Shutterstock

The 2013 tax season is here, and with many close friends, family members and acquaintances offering their personal services and advice, they might overlook a few of the tax deductions you could possibly qualify for.

Filing your taxes may seem simple enough, but make sure you are getting all you deserve from the year and take note of these commonly overlooked tax deductions before filing and completing your taxes for the season.

A Room of Her Own: Crafting The Perfect Creative Nook

May 1st, 2012 - By Erica RivaFlowz Buddington
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I’m not picky. When I told my real estate agents what I wanted in my new apartment, nothing was too specific. City? I didn’t care, as long as I could get to work. Space? Small to large, I only needed enough room for two people. View? Brick wall or park, it didn’t matter. However, there was one preference I had when it came to anything my significant other and I viewed. It had to have some sort of space for my creativity.

I didn’t care where it was: A quiet alcove in the kitchen, a larger than life extra closet in the hallway and/or an extra bedroom; I had to have somewhere for me. For as long as I can remember, I had to have my own personal creative space. As a small child, my parents had an extra walk-in closet in their bedroom that would become my drawing office. During my pre-teen years, my father created a mini-studio where I’d live out my femcee stage. In college, I had a special isolated space in my dorm or apartment where I could craft to my heart’s desire. Now, I’ve moved into a space with an extra bedroom that is now my current writing office.

Every woman should have her own creative nook. However, you’ll need more than just your crafting materials:

1)   You’ll need inspiration. I’ve got Brianna McCarthy, Frida Kahlo artwork and profiles of Junot Diaz and Langston Hughes. These people and images spark my writing every time I look at them. What motivates you? Adorn your space with it in frames, statues or whatever material reflects your stimulations.

2)   Music, music, music. Whether it’s an iPod dock, CD player or old-school boom box; you’ll need something that will give you a surround sound of your favorite tunes.

3)   Timepiece(s). An outdated piece that will inspire your development. Have something in your space that symbolizes the innovation and progression of your trade. I have an old and rusty blue typewriter in the corner of my space. A friend of mine, a comic book artist, has her grandfather’s sketchbook on her desk. When you look at it, let it remind you that many people made strides across tribulations so you could create freely.

4)   Shelves and boxes. If you’re the extremely organized individual, grab some interesting shelving from the container store, label, and categorize your things. If you’re the avid reader, align your books in a way that’s easy to find them: by color, topic or Dewey decimal.

5)   Clean slate. After every work session, try to put things back into their place. Going back to your workspace should be a freeing experience. Your nook should be free from clutter and madness; two things we have to deal with incessantly on the outside.

6)   Silence. Unless you’re playing music, try and minimize distractions. Keep the TV off, the cellphone away and alert everyone that you live with; that you need your space and time alone.

7)   Your tools. Plan to slowly purchase things that will make your office life easier. It’s annoying to have to jump from place to place to complete your tasks. Artists, collect the paintbrushes that will make your Picasso priceless. Businesswomen, buy electronic devices that will make your work easier. Don’t make a mad dash to Kinkos to print the presentation that you have to present in a few hours. Writers, keep your tools in this one space. It’s the most annoying thing to have to grab things you need to refer to/use, from all over the house.

8)   A comfortable chair. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Sitting in something intolerable for several hours could lead to stress, painful back spasms and the avoidance of your office. Invest, invest, invest.

9)   Peace of mind. Make sure you leave your issues somewhere else, before you enter your sacred space. Bring only the things you’ll need for crafting. Most importantly, bring your solitude.

Do you have to have your own sacred space to create? How did you design it?

“RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.

More on Madame Noire!

8 Unexpected Things You Can Write Off Come Tax Time

April 9th, 2012 - By Julia Austin
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It’s just a blip in time—a line you do or do not fill out, or a question that you answer either yes or no to—but it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’m talking about missed deductions. Often, even if you have your taxes professionally done, your H&R (or what have you) expert doesn’t ask you questions that would save you tons of money. So, you’ve got to be prepared yourself. Be aware of these often over looked possible deductions. You probably qualify for more than you think.

Four Home-Based Businesses in Demand

November 26th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entrepreneur) — The small-business market has traditionally been populated by corner stores and family-owned businesses. For women with an entrepreneurial streak, small-business opportunities have always been abundant. It’s turning ideas into profitable enterprises that takes dedication and hard work. From stylists and bakers to bookkeepers and designers, women have played an important role in the small-business marketplace.  Today, women continue to influence their communities and the business world as a whole by launching successful, home-based companies. The economic downturn has been a catalyst for home-business growth. Take Indianapolis-based writer Emily Suess, for example. “In my case, my home writing business began because I simply needed the money to make ends meet,” she says. “In tough economic times, people become increasingly resourceful about how they market their talents and skills.”

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When Home Is Where the Office Is

November 22nd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Wall Street Journal) — Home is where the office is for more than half of U.S. entrepreneurs, according to the Small Business Administration. The arrangement is particularly popular among those just starting out since leasing a commercial space, outfitting it with furniture and keeping it clean can be costly.  Still, starting a business from home isn’t ideal — or even possible — for every entrepreneur. In addition to neighborhood noises, some would have to put up with chatty roommates, unwanted visitors or attention-seeking children or pets. Others may need to regularly meet with clients in person or hire several employees from the start. And some municipalities restrict certain types of businesses from being run out of a home, such as food manufacturers.

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Money Saving Ideas for Home Based Entrepreneurs

August 24th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entrepreneurs) — Being an entrepreneur means you’re independent and free to make your own decisions and set your own schedule. It also includes taking sole moneymanagement responsibility, even when there are little funds to manage. Many businesses operate on a tight budget, especially when starting. Watching expenses is something that can be done throughout the different stages of starting a business–not just when there is little money coming in. So how can you run a professional, productive company and still save money?

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The Home Office Is Humming

June 3rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entreprenuer) –For the office-bound, working from home sounds like a dream come true. After all, there are no demanding bosses, office politics or snooze-inducing meetings in your living room. You can wear your sweat pants, give the old Prius a rest and even hit that midday yoga class. Last year, 18.4 million Americans were living that fantasy. According to the market research firm Interactive Data Corp., that’s the number of homebased businesses, up from 16.5 million in 2008. In that same time frame, the number of home-based franchises also crept up–from 97,403 to 98,905 units, according to Entrepreneur‘s annual Franchise 500® survey. And Justin Jaffe, senior analyst for Interactive Data, says his firm expects 350,000 more home-based businesses every year for the next few years.

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How to Create a Productive Home Office

April 5th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entrepreneur.com) — Many entrepreneurs think working from a homeoffice will be a dream come true– until they give it a try. The reality of working from home, however exciting the prospect, can be a shock to the system.

It’s not all about fuzzy bunny slippers and skipping the day’s shave.

A disciplined and focused person can save valuable time and money using a home office. But for others, working from home can be a big time-waster.

“If you are not disciplined enough, you can be much more inefficient than if you were at work,” says Howard Hook, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Access Wealth Planning in Roseland, N.J.

Here’s what you need to know before you dive into a home office.

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