he business of writing

Benefits of Starting a Home Business and Hacks for Making It a Success by guest contributor Lucy Reed

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If you want to start your own company, think about making it a home-based model. There are many advantages to home businesses, like lower startup costs, no commercial rent, and no commute. Saving time by ditching the commute can also improve your work-life balance, giving you more time to spend with your family. If you’re convinced that a home-based business is right for you, read on—the below guide explains how to get started, step by step.

Start by putting together a comprehensive business plan

A business plan details what your business will offer and how it will be run. It starts with a company description detailing your products and services. It should also include market research, explaining how your business is unique from the competition. Other components of the business plan include a marketing and sales strategy, overview of your business financials, and a description of the organizational and management structure.

Designate a specific space as your home office

If you’re going to work from home, don’t just slump on the couch or set up your laptop at the kitchen table. It’s better to have a designated space where you’re removed from household distractions, like dishes and laundry. If you have an extra room, convert it into an office. Otherwise, set up a desk in a quiet area, like your bedroom. Follow best practices for setting up a comfortable home office, like investing in an ergonomic chair.

Select a business structure and register your company

Registering your business as a legal entity offers various perks, from simplifying tax filing to alleviating administrative hassle. IncFile has a guide to the types of company structures you can choose from, like a limited liability company, s-corporation, and corporation. Instead of hiring an expensive attorney to set up your company, do it yourself using an online formation service.  Note that state rules regarding business formation vary, so check your local laws.

Determine what licenses, permits, or insurance you need

Depending on the type of business you start, you may need additional licenses and permits. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a guide to various types of permits, from agricultural permits to permits for selling alcoholic beverages. There are also state and municipal permits or licenses you may need. Your local SBA chapter can provide guidance. Finally, business insurance can help protect you financially in case of legal issues.

Invest in marketing to promote your business

Once you have the practical steps taken care of, promote your business. There are many ways to do this. For example, Ann Writes Inspiration can help by writing website content and marketing materials like blogs. An attractive website is a great way to raise your profile. Make it eye-catching with infographics that boost brand awareness. Instead of hiring a graphic designer, use a free template and personalize it with your own colors, text, and other design elements. By creating infographics, you can make your webpage more attractive.

Follow best practices for staying healthy while working from home

Working from home has its benefits. However, it’s not all good. You may find that you struggle with feelings of isolation if you’re cooped up at home all day, for example, which can take a toll on your mental health. You may also lead a more sedentary lifestyle when you don’t have to go to the office. Check out these pointers for maintaining health and happiness while working from home, such as taking an actual lunch break.

A home-based business offers perks, from eliminating commuting to saving costs. You can improve your odds of success by following best practices, like registering your business as a legal entity and investing in marketing. Trust the tips above to get you off on the right foot.

For more content to help your business thrive, visit the blog.

Lucy Reed created Gig Mine to help others dig up sharing economy opportunities in a user’s area, all in a single location, so users don’t have to jump between multiple sites. It’s the new and improved way to get a gig job!

he business of writing

5 ways to market your business on a shoestring budget by guest contributor Lucy Reed

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Whether you’re an author, professional writer, or a freelance editor, marketing your business is a necessary part of increasing brand awareness. Although this task can be challenging, if you have little or no budget, guest contributor Lucy Reed shows you how to market your business with little or no cost.

How to Market Your Business on a Shoestring Budget

Starting a business in Georgia is hard enough without having the added responsibility of being your own marketing department. The right marketing strategy can make a difference in whether you succeed or fail as an entrepreneur, even if you’re starting with no budget. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, it’s possible to get the word out about your business without spending a fortune. This article presented by Ann Harrison provides ideas on how to start marketing your business on a shoestring budget.

Why Your Business Needs Marketing

Marketing is no longer an option for businesses — it’s a necessity. In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, companies need to engage in marketing to survive. Marketing is essential for your business because it helps create awareness, generate leads, and build your brand.

Start With a Plan

A marketing plan is a roadmap that helps you achieve your marketing objectives. It outlines your business goals, budget, and strategies for reaching your target market. A well-crafted marketing plan can help you save time and money by focusing on the right things.

Use Free or Low-Cost Marketing Channels

If you’re on a tight budget, plenty of free or low-cost marketing channels are available. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Social media. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are perfect for promoting your business on a budget. Create a profile and start sharing your content. Using Instagram, you may need to utilize an online picture resizer to adjust and download your photos to the app to follow the posting guidelines.
  • Search engine optimization. By optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you can attract organic traffic from search engines, such as Google. It’s a long-term strategy, but it can pay off if done right.
  • Content marketing. Content marketing is a great way to attract new customers and build relationships with existing ones. You can create blog posts, articles, e-books, and infographics.
  • Direct mail. Direct mail can be a great way to reach your target market in Rochelle, Georgia, especially if you’re targeting businesses. You can send out coupons, postcards, or catalogs.
  • Networking. Meeting people in person and  online, and  building relationships is still one of the best ways to market your business. Attend local networking events, online workshops and conferences, or start your own networking group.

Align Your Message with Your Target Customers

Tailor your marketing message to your target customers. If you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one. Figure out your ideal customer, and craft your marketing messages around their needs and wants to speak directly to your customers.

Measure and Evaluate Your Marketing Efforts

It’s essential to track the results of your marketing efforts, so you can gauge their effectiveness. You can do this in several ways, such as monitoring website traffic, leads generated, and sales converted. By measuring your results, you can determine which marketing channels work best for you and focus your efforts there.

Achieve Your Goals

Marketing your business on a shoestring budget doesn’t have to be complicated. With creativity and planning, you can reach your target market and achieve your marketing goals. If you’re looking for a marketing writer in Rochelle, Georgia, contact Ann Harrison to take your business to the next level.

Share your tips and strategies for marketing your business and increasing brand awareness in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Lucy Reed created Gig Mine to help others dig up sharing economy opportunities in a user’s area, all in a single location, so users don’t have to jump between multiple sites. It’s the new and improved way to get a gig job!

he business of writing

6 Essential Tips for Home-Based Business Meetings During the Pandemic, by Guest Contributor Brittany Fisher

The picture shows a person working in a home office

Today I bring you another business related post from my special guest contributor, Brittany Fisher!

Working from home has become the new normal for many people, with the end of COVID nowhere in sight. But especially for entrepreneurs, figuring out how to create a safe, professional environment for business meetings has been frustrating. Whether your home office is too small to accommodate social distancing or your living room needs some design changes, it’s important to think about how to make meaningful changes to your space and prepare for both in-person and virtual meetings so that you can run your business while staying as safe as possible.

When you’re ready to create a safe meeting area in your home, follow these tips brought to you below by Ann Writes Inspiration.

Double-check the basics

Before you start planning your next meeting, now is a great time to take a quick step back and make sure you’ve taken care of all of the basics for your business. For example, if you’ve just recently started your small business, make sure you’ve reserved your business’s name through the office of the Secretary of State, formed an LLC so that you can set up a business bank account and protect your personal assets, and applied for an Employer Identification Number. Taking these steps will ensure your business is legit and allow you to fully focus on setting up and prepping for important meetings for your business.

Spruce things up

It can be difficult to truly see your furniture because you live with it every day, but our couches and chairs take a lot of wear and tear in a given year. If your furnishings are worn out or damaged by pets, it’s time for a change. You don’t have to give up a favorite piece, however; simply look for an upholstery service that can help you revive the frame with new fabric. Search online for local upholstery shops to see your options, and read reviews to help with your decision. As for the cost, it will vary according to the size of the piece you want changed and whether or not you have a custom job. This is a fast, easy way to refresh your furniture and give the space an update.

Make it safe

Fresh furniture will make an impact for both in-person and virtual meetings, but there are some other considerations you’ll need to make if you’re going to have a client in your home. While safety guidelines vary by state, there are some universal suggestions to keep in mind, such as wearing masks and social distancing. Seniors, in particular, may want to require anyone who’s meeting in-person show their vaccination record or a recent negative COVID test.

If your home office doesn’t have the space to allow for six feet of distance between you and your client, move the meeting to the living room. Open windows to keep the air circulating, and consider investing in an air purifier. You might even think about adding UV light to your HVAC system, which has been shown in studies to kill certain types of bacteria and has other advantages when it comes to airflow.

Keep in mind that if you make any changes to your home, they could make the home more attractive to buyers should you decide to sell. Always make notes of the changes you’ve made, and keep receipts as well. Doing so could help increase your property’s appraisal value.

Stage the area

Whether you’re going to hold meetings in a home office or in the living room, online or in-person, it’s essential to think about how you’ll set up the area. In-person meetings will benefit from a clean, uncluttered space with access to hand sanitizer and snacks or beverages that are in sealed containers. For virtual meetings, set up a small work area with great lighting and make sure the space that’s visible on-screen is simple and tastefully decorated to avoid distractions. You’ll also want to ensure that your family members and pets won’t interrupt during this time. And especially if you’re meeting in-person, certain upgrades and improvements are sure to impress, such as a freshly painted front door and walls, polished hardwoods, and well-manicured landscaping. Even better, by making these improvements for your home-based meetings, you can actually also potentially increase your home’s appraisal value.

Keep contact to a minimum

The beauty of online meetings is that everyone can remain separated and contact-free, but in-person appointments sometimes require things like signatures and payment arrangements. Look for an accounting service that handles invoicing and payments to make the process touch-free, and set up an account with a service such as DocuSign, which allows for digital signatures on important documents.

Set up an online space for your business

If you don’t already have a business website, now is a great time to set one up. Doing so will not only allow you to market your business, but it also gives your clients and potential clients an easy point of contact for setting up meetings, asking questions about products/services, making payments to you, and so on.

Making business arrangements can be tricky these days, but the good news is, there are several simple things you can do to ensure safety. Be sure to consult with your client before any in-person meeting to find out whether they have special health considerations that might necessitate a virtual encounter instead.

Remember, you can find more incredible content just like this by exploring the many different blog posts available on Ann Writes Inspiration!

Brittany Fisher has spent more than 20 years as a CPA. She runs her own site, Financiallywell.info where she shares her knowledge about taxes, personal finance and general financial literacy hoping to help anyone who may benefit from it

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he business of writing

Five Key Steps to Paying down Business Debt by guest contributor Brittany Fisher

paying down business debt

Building your author brand is a part of launching your author business. It’s all too easy to fall into debt when you’re getting your author business off the ground. After all, you have lots of startup costs to cover and very little revenue coming in. By implementing strategies to reduce your expenses while increasing your profits, you can pay off your debts and stay solvent. With contributions from Ann Writes Inspiration, you’ll be able to scale your business with your content strategy! Here’s how to start tackling your business debt.

Seek Professional Guidance

Don’t overlook the value of professional insight when it comes to paying off your business debts. New business owners have a lot to learn, so turning to an expert never hurts. Fundera recommends hiring a financial advisor who is a fiduciary, meaning they are legally obligated to put your interests first. You could also hire a business consultant for advice on new initiatives to grow sustainably.

Create a Strict Budget

Whether you’re paying down business or personal debt, sticking to a budget is a must. Create a budget outlining all of your expenses as well as your estimated profits for the upcoming months. Next, think about where you could cut down on your spending. Blogging Hub recommends going paperless, shifting to low-cost online marketing methods, and canceling subscriptions to any software programs you rarely use.

Consolidate Your Debts

It’s possible to consolidate business debts, and doing so can make it easier for you to pay what you owe. To start the process, you take out a new loan that accounts for all of the debt you’re hoping to consolidate. You then use this loan to pay off your other debts. Looking for a loan that offers a lower interest rate should be your top priority if you’re looking into debt consolidation.

In order to qualify for a debt consolidation loan, you will need to meet with an underwriting team, who will assess your credit score and your financial documents. This approach to paying down debt can actually help to boost your credit score and simplify your payments.

Focus on Scaling

Can you expand your business, even if you’re cutting back on your expenses and investing your profits into paying off debt? Yes! The key is focusing on scaling rather than simply growing. “Scaling” means increasing your sales without spending more money by focusing on budget-friendly sales and marketing tactics and increasing the efficiency of your internal operations.

Scaling doesn’t have to be complicated, either. By standardizing and automating key business processes, capitalizing on the unique qualities that make your company stand out, and focusing on customer retention strategies, you can begin to bring in higher profits while keeping your budget under control.

Sharpen Your Business Skills

Once you’ve paid down your debt, you might be wondering what you can do to ensure a better future for your business. Now that your company is financially stable, you may want to consider going back to school to further your education. For instance, in order to balance coursework with your responsibilities as a business owner and family commitments, you could enroll in an online MBA program. You’ll learn about everything from accounting and strategic planning to corporate finance and human capital management! With the right program, you’ll gain skills and tools that will allow your business to thrive.

If you’re struggling with business debt, you might be concerned about your company’s viability. By coming up with a concrete plan to pay off your debt, you’ll be able to keep your business afloat. Soon, you’ll be taking strides towards your other business goals!

In need of a writer to assist with your content strategy? Ann Writes Inspiration provides a range of writing services! Fill out the contact form on her website today to learn more.

Brittany Fisher has spent more than 20 years as a CPA. She runs her own site, Financiallywell.info where she shares her knowledge about taxes, personal finance and general financial literacy hoping to help anyone who may benefit from it

Photo via Pexels