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Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Sweeney’

Tips for Maximizing Your Tax Deductions

Tips for Maximizing Your Tax DeductionsBy Deborah Sweeney

The deadline for filing your returns is a little under a month away. And, with around 20-25% of all returns filed within two-three weeks of that April 15th deadline, it’s probably safe to assume that a few of you are still working on those returns. A lot of small business owners depend on a solid refund to help get the year off to a good start. But to get that big refund, you have to claim every deduction and credit available.

Don’t overlook anything

Most people will know enough to claim a few, common deductions – mileage, office supplies, and other regular business expenses. But there are some tax deductions that you may be missing out on. If you started your business last year, you can claim start-up costs like market research or office repairs. Anything you had to pay, up to $5,000, before you opened your doors can be claimed. Fees paid to consultants, money spent on business-books, and your marketing can all be deducted as well. Some of these expenses may seem small compared to what you spend on, say, new equipment or software, but they really do add up.

Compare the ways to deduct your home office

The home office deduction is pretty well known. But did you know there are two ways you can calculate it? (more…)

Posted in Business

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Here’s What You Need to Know Going from Working at Home to Working in an Office

If you’re over working from home and want to get back into an office somewhere, heed these three tips! By Deborah Sweeney

Women work from home for a lot of reasons. To avoid the cost of babysitting, to take some time at home after pregnancy, or because they can run a business from home perfectly fine. As awesome as working from home is, it’s possible to miss the office life. Transitioning from working at home to working in an office can be tough, though. When working at home, you have the luxury of making up a lot of your schedule, but in an office things aren’t usually as flexible.

So if you’re over working from home and want to get back into an office somewhere, heed these three tips!

If flexibility’s what you want, look to small businesses.

Want to work in an office but don’t want to give up the flexibility of working from home? Depending on the industry, you’re most likely going to get a lot more flexibility and leeway with your schedule at a small business than you are in corporate America. There’s typically more of a familial atmosphere at a small business. You’re more than a replaceable cog in a wheel; your boss will, hopefully, listen to your schedule issues and needs as a person with value to the company. You’ll have a smoother transition leaving your home office to a work office if you seek out a small business.    (more…)

Posted in Work at Home

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How to Time Manage During the Holidays

The holidays are a wild time of year for every working individual, but especially for the work-at-home-woman. What’s an office by day may very well have to host a New Years Eve party by night. With all this intermingling of professional and personal life during the holiday season, it can be hard to keep things straight and manage your time wisely. Here’s how to stay organized during the holiday season: By Deborah Sweeney

The holidays are a wild time of year for every working individual, but especially for the work-at-home-woman. What’s an office by day may very well have to host a New Years Eve party by night. With all this intermingling of professional and personal life during the holiday season, it can be hard to keep things straight and manage your time wisely.

Here’s how to stay organized during the holiday season:

Share a holiday calendar with your partners.

We like to get pretty festive at our company. So much so that we like to partake in a different holiday activity or indulge in a different holiday treat each day of December and through part of January. This has proved to be a great way to get everyone excited to come to work during the holiday season. However, if not organized carefully, certain scheduling conflicts can arise.

If you have employees working in your home with you, or you plan on meeting up with your partners for festive reasons this holiday season, be sure to create a calendar for everyone well in advance. No one wants to miss out on the partner pot luck because they weren’t told about it ahead of time and scheduled a meeting.  (more…)

Posted in Time Management

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How to Market Your Small Business During the Holidays

How to Market Your Small Business During the HolidaysBy Deborah Sweeney 

Holiday marketing for a small or home-based business is a bit different than marketing a larger company. Wal-Mart or Target can slap some decorations up, offer thirty percent a good chunk of their inventory, and then just push their sales as hard as they can. But a smaller business has neither the stock nor the presence to market like that. And so a lot of small business owners aren’t too sure what to do, and then lose out when they just wind up blasting eCards out to everyone. Holiday-based marketing is one of the best opportunities for your business to end the year on a high note. You just have to know how to use the holidays to your advantage.

Get out into the community

Most cities and communities host a load of events around the holidays. And, more often than not, local businesses are invited to participate. The trouble I see from talking when small business owners is that they don’t feel as though their company is enough of a community-staple for them to go to these events. This is especially true for home-based business owners. But a small business, regardless of where it is run out of, is always vital to the community. And these holiday events are a great chance for you to get out and network. So check with your chamber of commerce, rent a booth, and start pushing. You are your business’s best evangelist – why waste an opportunity to really sell people on your company? (more…)

Posted in Marketing & PR

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Balancing Work and Life When Work is Your Life

Balancing Work and Life When Work is Your LifeBy Deborah Sweeney

Every working professional has been striving to find the perfect balance between work and life since the beginning of time. We need to work to sustain our lifestyles, and we need to indulge in our personal lives to have enough energy for work- it’s a tricky balance to maintain. But what about those of us that actually work from our own homes? It’s harder to draw a line between professional and personal when your “office” is mere feet from the play room that’s just begging to be picked up. If you find yourself constantly asking, “Where do I draw the line?”

Try out these four tips to separate your personal and professional lives, while maintaining a successful at-home business:

Schedule down time.

If you’re like me, you could go, go, go from sunrise to sundown without so much as taking five minutes to read the paper or enjoy a meal sitting down (so seems to be the case with most entrepreneurs). Though, I have found that if I keep up this schedule, within two weeks or so I’ll feel as if I’ve hit a brick wall. I become exhausted and scattered with little warning. (more…)

Posted in Time Management

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