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Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Sweeney’

Five Ways to Treat Your Blog Like the Small Business It Is

Five Ways to Treat Your Blog Like the Small Business It IsBy Deborah Sweeney

Blogging is a rapid growth industry, and plenty of people have found successful careers as bloggers. Still, few bloggers tend to describe their site as a small business. Only around 14% of bloggers claim a salary earned through blogging, so the vast majority of bloggers are hobbyists. Unfortunately, the makeup of the majority has meant that even those who monetize their blogs treat them as hobbies, rather than small businesses. But if you blog with a mind for earning an income, you are building a small business. It is important, then, to treat your fledgling blog like any other start-up.

1. Write a Business Plan

A blog, like a small business, is normally founded to fill a gap or niche. When a business owner writes out their plan, then, much of it has to do with meeting the demands and needs of that small group of consumers. You have to do the same thing – you may not be selling anything yet, but your audience is still your customer-base. Think beyond growing traffic. Traffic is going to be low for a bit and, with banner ads and Google AdSense boasting a dismal .1% CTR average, you won’t survive with ads as your sole plan. Instead, answer a few key questions:

(more…)

Posted in Blogging

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Funding Your At-Home Business

Funding Your At-Home BusinessBy Deborah Sweeney

Funding for any kind of small business is challenging. Though, it can be daunting to ask for money when you know you’ll be running the entire operation from your domicile. But I’m here to tell you to get that thinking out of your head! If you’re not spending money on office rent or paying a large number of employees, there’ll be less money to borrow, and, ultimately, less money to pay back.

Here are four ways to gain the funds you need to open up your at-home business:

Put a lot of thought into your business plan.

Just because you’re not in a formal office doesn’t mean you get to draft up a casual business plan. Investors will always feel more comfortable giving money to a strong, well thought out business plan. A good investor shouldn’t care about the type of office you’re in, they should be concerned with your short-term and long-term goals, and how you plan on meeting those goals. Simply do a quick Google search for “Business Plan Templates” and take your pick. Fill it out thoroughly, and give it the time it deserves. Not only is a good business plan a great tool for gaining investors, it’s a great tool for keeping you as the business owner on track and striving for your starting goals. (more…)

Posted in Business

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How to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

How to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring BudgetBy Deborah Sweeney

Marketing is something that’s changed drastically over the years. Gone are the days of paying the local newspaper to print up a press release. Though, nowadays, it seems that marketing tactics are changing faster and faster. Where there used to be only a couple of marketing options for small business owners, there are now countless, and all within a small business price range!

Here are three great low-budget marketing options for small business owners:

You need to have a Facebook and Twitter account.

Facebook and Twitter have great marketing benefits, but, more than that, to even be considered relevant, you need to get your business a Facebook and/or Twitter account. A website is where your customers go to find out what they need to know about your business, and social media is where customers go to find out about who you are as a business; what your voice sounds like. Facebook and Twitter are also great places to post any deals or new products you’d like to highlight. Just be sure to consistently update. You don’t have to go crazy posting multiple times a day – even once a day on each outlet is fine. Just show your customers that you’re there and ready to respond to them. (more…)

Posted in Work at Home

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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…)

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