8 Home Business Tips That Will Help You Make More Money

home business tips

Starting your own home business may be the start of an exciting path toward self-employment. Not to mention, it’s a great way to test the waters to determine if being your own boss is actually right for you. But, starting a business, whether in the comfort of your own home or not, takes a lot of work and dedication, and generating a profit can take two to three years (or longer). When you need your ventures to pay your bills, though, that can seem like  lifetime. Lucky for you, as a fellow business owner, I’ve compiled these home business tips that will help you make more money.

8 Home Business Tips That Will Help You Make More Money

Dress for the job…no matter where you are

There is a popular saying that goes, “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.” When you start working for yourself at home, it can be easy to stay in your pajamas all day and avoid a hairbrush. However, you should still dress and groom yourself just as you would for work outside of your home in order to stay in a productive frame of mind at the start of each day. Plus, if you do need to go to an impromptu meeting, you’ll be ready to go at any time.

Become a member of your Chamber of Commerce

One of your first actions as a new business owner should be to become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. Chambers help businesses connect to other businesses with networking opportunities, and they also typically provide great platforms for advertising. Use your membership to tell other business owners what you do and sell, and build strong relationships to help encourage referrals. When you’re self-employed, you need all the help you can get to get your name out there. This is just one of the many ways to do so.

Never underestimate the power of great photos

Whether you like it or not, presentation is a large part of sales. Making your product or service look good through great photos can help attract more outside attention and give you the credibility your business needs to increase revenue. Make sure then to also display them appropriately on your website, marketing materials and other areas online when applicable. Take these photos in natural light for best results or consider investing in a nice camera. If you have a newer version of a smartphone, though, they do tend to also take quality photos.

Always bring your business cards with you

Opportunities exist in the strangest of places sometimes, so never leave your house without your business cards. If you don’t have any made, you should get them made immediately. Business cards are a great and convenient tool to use to share with people you meet about who you are, what you do, and how they can contact you.

Be quick to answer inquiries

This is one of the more crucial home business tips on which many miss the mark. Make it a point to answer inquiries as quickly as possible. Act like every request is a potential sale. Customers will appreciate your promptness and, even if they end up not buying from you, they will be more likely to refer you to friends, family, and colleagues. Excellent customer service is key to building your home business.

Use social media and other aspects of digital marketing to leverage your business further

If you aren’t using social media to grow your business, you’re missing out. Take some time to learn about the different platforms and how you can use them to showcase your product or services. Video marketing is bigger than ever, so you should definitely take advantage of this. Don’t be afraid of the internet when it comes to your business – embrace it, and use it to your advantage. Check out this quick guide on how to create a lucrative social media strategy.

Be organized and record all potential write-offs

A part of making more money is by saving money. Use a program like Quickbooks Online to track your expenses instead of doing it manually, which costs you more time that you could be using to grow your business. Plan for the future by recording your ongoing bills and seeing where you can make cuts. Any monthly subscriptions you aren’t using or causes more headaches than gains should go. That extra money can then be used to reinvest in things that will actually benefit your  business like advertising. Also, learn how to recognize what constitutes as a business write-off so that, come tax season, you are more than well prepared and don’t waste more time trying to figure this out.

Research the market and develop a plan

Before you dive into something new, make sure to do your research. Review the current market and see what the demand is for your product or service. Is the market over-saturated? Will your business be based on a trend, like fidget spinners, instead of something sustainable? Is there room for growth? In addition, when you start to determine your prices, make sure you price appropriately. Know what your profit margins and fixed costs will be and how much you need to make to break even as well as to make a profit. To know your break-even numbers, you’ll take your fixed costs divided by your gross profit margin percentage. When selling services, it may be harder to determine this, so you may want to start with how much you want to make in a year and how much time it takes you to do each service. Then, determine all your monthly expenses and come up with an hourly rate that will bring you to that goal. You may have to adjust this number over time. Keep in mind, too, that you may not be able to pay yourself this amount for a while.

Bonus Tip: Create multiple streams of revenue

Just as you would for your personal finances, you should find ways to create multiple streams of revenue for your business. This can be through blogging or even a YouTube channel. It should still be relevant to your business, but these passive income options will help you make more money and stay in business longer.

These home business tips will hopefully help you in your new venture. Just remember to stay consistent and find a great support system. Do you have any tips to add to the list?

Shipping Costs: 6 Tips to Reducing Your Business Transport Costs

portfolio-385530_640Providing high quality service to customers is one of the most important goals for any business. Having a proactive plan to optimize your transportation management will make a huge difference between giving your customers excellent customer services and your customers looking at your competitors to fulfill their needs. Streamlining the delivery of goods is based on saving money on transportation, faster delivery times to customers and an ability of efficiently using up available floor space in the warehouse.

In the current economic environment, businesses that make the most of their transportation options will stay at the top. Below are a few tips to help you get started.

Hire Third Party Logistics Companies

Hiring a third party logistics company to lead and execute an optimized transportation plan, gives you access to several quantifiable benefits. It becomes easier to review the costs associated with getting your products from the warehouse to their final destinations, including insurance costs (take a look at insurance.me), for example. Lower shipping and storage costs are some of the benefits you reap from having a logistics company streamline and study your entire process.

Another measurable benefit is the reduction in the number of products damaged due to improper packaging. With effective packaging systems as well as excellent quality control, your products are shipped in good shape to the final customer; fewer product damages result in a higher profit line.

Automate Transportation

If you are currently managing your scheduling and routing manually, consider putting in place an automated planning system. Route optimization systems quickly offer reliable and accurate routes based on the specific needs of your business and customer. In the short term, this may look like an expensive venture, but the return on investment in a few months will see you realize more freedom to expand due to increased efficiency savings.

Cross-Optimize for Maximum Efficiency

A while ago, it was the responsibility of the warehouse or transportation team to ensure that products are correctly stored and delivered to your customers in a cost-effective and efficient manner. New technology, like a transportation management system, integrates with a warehouse management system and procurement management, making the storage, packing and delivery process an effort that involves all the integrated parties. This translates to better communication between employees as well as an improved system of checking on the status of any job.

Review Company Fuel Usage

If you are constantly handling heavy items and know the weight of your collections or deliveries, consider putting in place a strategy for optimizing fuel costs reduction. The approach means looking into ways of dropping fuel usage by reducing the weight per mileage during transportation. Doing this will also help your business reduce its carbon footprint.

Consider All Shipping Costs Before Billing Your Customers

On average, carriers can bring in more than 75 charges into a bill, including fees for collecting a signature from recipients, delivery over the weekend or fuel surcharges. If your customer is paying for shipping, ensure that you factor in all the extra costs in their bill; this will help you avoid absorbing such costs yourself.

Use Warehouse Space Effectively

For many large businesses, warehouse space is a premium that should be used effectively through an optimized and strategic transportation management system. Keeping product flow in and out smoothly also ensures you save both money and time. The better flow system you have, the less warehouse floor space will be used.

Effective use of space and time means that your products get to customers faster. In addition, the less warehouse space you are using, the lower your overhead costs will be.

Should a Lawyer Review Your Contracts?

contract-1464917_640Dealing with contracts is something you do every day when running a business. Whether you’re getting raw materials, premises, or the skilled staff you need to make your business work, you need to lock it all into place with a series of contracts.

It’s important not to let all of this blur into one. If you take your eye off of the ball, and let the details of a contract slip past you, you could find yourself liable for far more than you’ve budgeted for.

A good business lawyer can check the contracts you sign and make sure not only that they are compliant with law, but also that they cover exactly what you want them to. This is too important a step to overlook: whatever you may have discussed previously, once you’ve signed a contract you are locked into that version of the agreement (unless you can prove you have actually been deceived, voiding the contract). Not putting your contracts before an expert’s eyes before signing them is the definition of a false economy.

A lawyer can review all kinds of contract for you, checking your rental agreements for premises won’t see you evicted for specious reasons and with little warning, that your customers giving you their data online are consenting properly, and even conducting an IR35 Contract Review to make sure your employees and consultants are correctly covered and compliant.

If you don’t have access to an in house legal team, you can consult high street lawyers, or you may opt for the increasing trend of using an online law firm. These offer greater flexibility. You can keep costs down by ensuring you only pay for the service you require, rather than an escalating series of billable meetings, and work via email and phone to make sure you get things done your schedule.

However you get it done, using the services of a lawyer is far superior to simply checking a contract yourself. Taking a lawyer’s advice means you are protected against problems you don’t have the expertise to predict. It has the secondary bonus of giving you something to fall back on if there is something unexpected in the contract the lawyer misses: you are no longer responsible for this lapse. Your lawyer is. This gives them an incentive to defend you from the consequences all the more vigorously and even possibly gives you an avenue for compensation when necessary.