Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stay at Home Moms Get to Eat Bon Bons All Day Long! GRRRR!

I just finished watching an episode of Dr. Phil (thanks to my TIVO,) and saw the craziest thing. A discussion was occurring about a recent study that had reported stay at home mothers have an extra 30-40 hours a week. Are you kidding? I would love to know how this is possible because whoever it is should write a book about multi-tasking and get it on the New York Times Best Sellers list. They have a secret weapon that others need to know about. Now, I consider myself a fairly good multi-tasker and I can get a fair amount accomplished daily, but I still feel there isn’t enough time to accomplish many things. That is in between researching for my articles, cooking, cleaning, writing, going back and forth to the elementary school, working the family budget, dealing with a sick child, the needs of a college age daughter, husband, aging parents, going to martial arts class (for my daughter,) getting some time in the gym (when I can squeeze it in,) and so many other things…Where are those free hours? I have to TIVO any shows I want to see, so I can save time by not having to watch commercials. Ladies give me your thoughts on this one.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Three Simple Steps to Grow Your Income

This is the time to take steps to ensure potential growth of ones business and earnings. With the economy in its current state that is often difficult. Opportunities that used to provide free flowing money have all but dried up, and many businesses have crumbled as a result of this. There are a few methods of raising your current income in a short amount of time.


Ask for the long overdue raise


Many individuals are hesitant to do this, but sometimes it is necessary. Regardless of what state the economy is in, never underestimate your worth. This doesn’t mean asking for a raise just because but ask for a raise because you deserve it. When you decide the time is right to put in this request ensure that you have documented details in place to support your statements. If you work for an employer examine your contributions to the organization over a period of time. What talents have you brought to the table? How have these tablets benefited the organization? Be prepared to list your accomplishments and explain how your ideas and techniques will benefit the company in the future. Speak with confidence because you cannot make en employer believe this if you appear not to yourself.


Let your Hobby Make you Money


Are you still putting off starting that side business you have been talking about for a while? Today is the day to get things moving in the right direction. Examine your talents and abilities because this is what can turn in to a new business venture and generate additional income. What about pet sitting, tutoring, virtual assistant, writing?…the possibilities are endless. We all have talents, take a closer look at what yours are and make sure you haven’t overlooked something that is fun and can prove to be financially rewarding.


Elevate your Rates


If you are running your own business examine when the last time you raised your rates was. Are your rates high enough to sustain the business and expenses associated with it? Never, just raise your rates to do it but we all need money and everyone is currently coping with a difficult economy. Make sure you are not selling yourself short but at the same time review your business and processes to make sure you are charging fair fees and providing a great value for your customers.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Is the IRS Looking for You? Not so Fast!

It is that time of year when people are rushing around to complete their taxes, trying to gather paper work to start on their taxes, or just plain stressed about what the outcome of their taxes for this year will be. Whatever your situation is, be careful to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of by a scam that is occurring. I have had a few readers inform me they have received emails from the IRS. Was it scary to them to receive letters from the IRS? Of course. Often that can mean trouble. This time what attracted their attention was the claim that a refund was owed to them. We often like the thought of that, but realistically how often does that happen? The email instructed them to click on a link that was attached. They did, and when they got to the next step they began to fill uneasy.

They were greeted by a form that required completion and requested personal information. Bank account numbers, credit card information, social security numbers etc. If you receive an email like this requesting private information do not respond. Check further before you do anything else! The IRS will not request personal information like this via email. This is a "phishing" scheme designed to obtain information about your financial accounts by identity thieves. Don't fall victim. Be careful what you pick, before you take that final click.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Name of the Game is B.U.D.G.E.T

How is your progress coming along with your business so far? What about the plans you have made to start a business this year? Made any recent changes to your business? Look at the impact these changes have made. Whatever your current plans are, or future plans they involve money. Many of you may be wondering where is the money coming from, because what you have now never seems to stretch enough. Sometimes you may find (as I have on many occasions,)that the extra pennies you toss in to that piggy bank or old jar in your bedroom may add up to a nice additional sum at the end of the year. I have a friend that made the decision to save her spare change throughout the year. At the end of the year she had $500! which she used to purchase some new clothing items. It is a personal choice, but taking this route prevented her from having to dip in to her current monies. Below you will find a few tips to help keep you on the budget track.

Make a commitment

Vow today that you are going to commit to yourself to reign in your personal as well as business spending. Don't just do it verbally, write it down. This can be on a sheet of paper or perhaps on an index card. Place it in a spot where you can review it daily. Tell yourself "I will remain committed to my budget." Before you know it you will find the additional funds you have been seeking to make the business changes you desire. Microsoft's Money or Intuit's Quicken are useful tools.

Know What You Are Bringing In

This is not your gross, but what remains after those wonderful taxes and additional deductions have been removed. What are you left with? If you are looking at how much your business is making monthly, is this amount consistent? If you are looking at a period of half a year, look at the income and divide by 6, so you can get an average. Do you receive rental income that can help with your business? Look at commissions etc. If it is not available all the time, don't count on it all the time.

Is it a Need Or a Want

It is a thought that can make you tremble. Cut those costs. How, when you are just barely making it? You are going to have to analyze your spending to see where costs can be reduced. Keep a journal of what you are spending. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you need it or is it a desire you have at the moment? Think of additional ways you can achieve the same satisfaction sans removing money from your wallet. Is that latte necessary? Ask yourself....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's Do Some Niche Brainstorming

It' Monday morning, and I am sure many of you are feeling tired from the weekend. I might also add, it is that time of year when we once again find our clocks springing forward an hour. But, this is not the time to slack off where business is concerned. Today we are going to begin brainstorming more about the future. Let's plan to carve out a little more space in the business world targeting a specific audience. How are we going to do that you might wonder? Go grab a nice, fresh, hot cup of coffee and let's get started.

Think about something you enjoy. It could be chocolate, books, tea, hats, clothing...whatever that might be. Write down your top three choices. If you had a choice to do something with one of those three things which one would it be? Which one makes you happiest? Think of something that you could do with this thought that is business related. If your passion were hats, how could you offer a trendy style of hat that was more difficult to obtain in you area? how would you receive the hats? how could they be delivered? why would people want them? What about chocolates? How could you make them different? Could you make them shaped like a particular object? Who could you get to make them? Who would your target audience be? I recently wrote an article about a Lice Removal Salon in Washington State and at their Grand Opening celebration they served cookies shaped like Lice. Now you may turn your nose up at the thought of Lice, but think about how memorable, and amusing those cookies were. It leaves visitors with something to talk about. How can you make people talk about your passion? Your goal for today, is to think of an answer to this question.

Take a little time, review your ideas and allow them to flow. Can you imagine getting up daily and working to make this niche even better? How can you make it wacky? fun? delightful? Think about it, jot it down and get your creative juices flowing today?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Have a Business Success Story?

Do you have a business success story that you would like to share with our readers? If so please email us your story. We are looking for stories involving the development of a business, the highs and the lows. Share your knowledge with others.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3 B's to Move Your Business Forward Daily

Boast: Have you exibited pride in your business today? If you feel great about what you have to offer share this news with someone on a daily basis.

Believe: Do you feel the same about your services as you did initially? If not, it may be time to brainstorm to create some new changes. Remember, small business changes initially, review, and examine how these changes have affected your business procedures. Failing to make changes will cause your business to become stagnate and lose potential clientele.

Better: Strive to make each day better and more successful than the day before.

Never stop trying

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Opportunity to Learn Comes When You Least Expect it

Today was a beautiful day in our suburb. The sun was shining brightly, birds were singing, and the sound of lawn mowers going could be heard outdoors. Sneeze, sneeze, sniffle... spring is coming and allergy season is in full bloom. I decided I wanted to spend extra time with my youngest daughter running a few errands and enjoying our time together. I strongly believe in daily business promotion, gratitude...but I just wanted to relax for a while after having been ill all week. We headed out with smiles on our faces.

The day ended up being enjoyable, but I knew later in the evening I still had to do some work research, and business promotion. But, I needed to call a family member before I could do just that. I intended to make the call earlier in the week but this was another thing illness had prevented me from doing on schedule. Once the call was made, our conversation turned in to hours of fun. Yes, I did say hours. We talked and laughed about so many things, and then the conversation turned to business. Unplanned networking, questionnaire session, and so much more... I came away from that conversation filled with another level of knowledge, it was amazing. It was then that I was reminded that often when we allow ourselves to just go with the flow, our business networking emerges at its best and it becomes fun not just work.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Earn Big Bucks Doing Medical Billing at Home? Get Out of Here!

A friend and I were talking recently as she explained to me with much excitement how she was going to earn a large weekly salary processing medical claims at her home. Of course this immediately caught my attention, because I worked in the medical insurance field for 20 years myself. This field requires specialized training. I knew processing stacks of medical claims from home with the current patient confidentiality concerns, need to potentially abstract information from medical records... there was much more to this than she had thought about.

She had purchased a package through a 1-800 number listed in the back of a magazine she had. This action sent my radar off immediately as well. Whenever money is involved, beware. I decided to give the company a call expressing interest to see what they would tell me. Here is what happened...

A sales rep went through an obviously well rehearsed speech asking me if I was eager to get started making big bucks from home. I felt like a student sitting in the stadium at the homecoming game, but I attempted to sound as cheerful as she did. For $35 dollars I was told, I could have instructions mailed to me on how to get started along with listings of physicians in my area currently hiring. Of course I didn't need the list because my girlfriend already had hers. After reassuring the representative I would think about it, as she continued to remind me this was the opportunity of a lifetime, I hung up. I began calling physician offices from the listing to inquire about work opportunities.

It turns out the list she had received was very outdated. Most of the medical offices were surprised to learn they were listed and said they were going to call the company directly, as well as file complaints with the Better Business Bureau. I gladly provided them with any information I could to help them do that. Imagine my shock when I called another office and learned the physician was deceased and had been for years!

After calling ten offices I could not find one that would hire anyone to work from home. As I already knew, most of the offices informed me they did their own in-house medical billing, while others used another well established firm to complete such tasks.

When seeking work from home opportunities if something sounds too good to be true, remember it usually is. Do not send money. If it is a genuine work at home opportunity, then let the company provide you with what you need to begin. My friend lost a little money on this business venture, but fortunately it wasn't more.

If you know about scams that are out there, warn others so they will not fall in to the same trap.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Looking for A Federal Job in 2010?

Th economy is forcing many individuals to take leaps they may not have done otherwise. While juggling ones business to find new angles of improvement, many individuals are crossing from the corporate into the public sector. Throughout the country federal agencies are still hiring for various positions. A few websites worth looking at are:

Office of Personnel Management

U.S. Census Bureau

Man Tech


Some federal jobs provide you the opportunity to work and attend school with their reimbursement programs. When looking for the best career path, consider all possibilities.