If you have to take a client to lunch, be sure to deduct that cost as a business expense. The time that you spend with them is a business expense. Just be careful to limit these deductions to expenses incurred while entertaining clients or prospects, or else the entertainment expenses are not justifiably tax deductible.
Think of where you’d be if you didn’t have your home-based business. It is either your sole income, or a wonderful supplement to your other income. The following advice will help you make sure that your business remains successful.
Track your business-related mileage expenses, as you will be able to deduct all or a portion of them. Any business trip, even only a one-day trip, is a deductible business expense. You’ll have to be able to prove that it was necessary to drive for the business to thrive.
If you have to take a client to lunch, be sure to deduct that cost as a business expense. Any such costs are generally viewed as necessary and legitimate business expenses. Make sure that these business meetings are with potential clients or ones who have already paid, otherwise these expenses are not tax-deductible.
Make sure you put real efforts into making your current customers very happy. It takes less effort to get sales from pleased, repeat customers than to convince the new ones to buy for a first time. Keep your customer base happy and they’ll come back.
Find the best way to describe your business through a soundbite. Boiling your business’ offering down to a sentence or two will help you impress possible clients when you are out. These sentences should include the critical points of the business, giving you a starting point for a good slogan.
When working at home, office space is essential. It doesn’t have to be big, but it should be comfortable. An office must be quiet, organized and inspiring. Use the space that you have for your office as efficiently as possible.
You should set up a backup plan just in case something goes wrong with your home business enterprise. You need to have plans for every disaster which might befall you, such as your website going down or missing a shipment of product. This way, you can still have an income if something goes wrong.
You should reward the people who refer new customers to you. Word-of-mouth advertising is powerful since friends’ recommendations are more reliable than flyers. In addition, incentives encourage customer loyalty.
When you first start your business, send out an email or post about it to family and friends. You can get a few customers and let them know what you are doing. Make sure there is a freebie or some type of discount offered when you start your business. Tell people to speak about your business to their friends. Word of mouth advertising doesn’t cost you anything and it can be really effective.
The business name that you choose should be personally meaningful and important. If your business website is still just an idea, get your domain name registered. Most domains are fairly inexpensive, and it is a good idea to establish one as soon as possible. When you are still trying to decide whether you need a full website, post a page that has all of your business information on it.
If you aren’t sure what you would like to do, look online for home business ideas. However, be aware of the many online business scams advertised on the Internet. There are a lot of sites that will sell you guides that have “valuable” information that you could find elsewhere for free, or that is so obvious that you are wasting money to buy it. These are lots of complex scams that want you to pay for high paying work that doesn’t exist or pay some tuition for online classes that don’t help. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Figure out where you fit in the business world. Know ahead of time that the persons you are marketing to will benefit from your services. When you do that, it’s easier to sell. Getting input from different sources can really help your business to grow. Find out if they can refer you to customers, too. Go to trade shows in your industry to find out who is purchasing — and follow up.
Your business name should be strong and mean something to you. Even if a business website is not yet planned out, buy that domain name as soon as possible. There are a lot of domains that cost no more than $10 a year, and you need to grab them before someone gets to them. You may want to post a site with only one page until you decide if you want a complete website.
Keep an accurate accounting of all financial records of your business. If you are audited, you will want to make sure that everything is intact. When you have good records, you can also monitor how well you’re doing from month to month.
Finally, you need to keep your business going because the profit and your sense of accomplishment makes everything worth it. With any luck, this advice will help your business succeed well into the future.
Pick a business that is likely to be profitable. Seek out a market that isn’t saturated yet. It may be hard to get into a business with tons of competitors. Evaluate your business idea financially before you begin.