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For most Americans, the idea of owning a business and working from home would be a dream come true. They imagine a larger income stream, more free time with family, and more flexibility to work when it is most convenient. For those who do actually live this dream, however, it can quickly become a nightmare where work never ends, family time is never really there, and bills seem to grow with an ever shrinking income. So if you have recently started a business working from home, or are considering it, here are 4 tips to help put you on a path to financial freedom, rather than deeper constraints.


  1. Understand Your Taxes – Possibly the biggest surprise for new business owners is the change in taxes. You now have a world of deductions to take. Unfortunately, if you don’t meet with a CPA or do extensive research up front, you won’t know about all of the lost deductions until after you’ve missed them for a year (or two, or three). Meet with a CPA upfront, learn what you can deduct, and try to calculate what your tax bill will look like, so you can begin to save for it now.

When you’re first starting out, you sometimes feel you have to take what you can get. This can lead to needy clients, less-than-ideal employees, and bad contracts. With time, you can be choosier about your clients, you can find better talent, and you can also renegotiate contracts. And while it will be more apparent when to act with the first two, there are some sure signs that it is time to think about renegotiating contracts with your suppliers to get more favorable terms.

  1. Volume Increase – If you agreed to a price for a part three years ago when you were buying 10 a month, and you are now buying 100 a month at the same price, chances are you are overpaying. If you see a significant increase in how much you need of an item, make it known to your vendor and talk about a better price given the new volume.
  1. Competitors are Cheaper – This is probably the most obvious. If your supplier’s competition can offer you a better price, it’s probably time to talk about either coming to more agreeable terms or switching suppliers.
  1. Tenure – When you were a startup, you had no room to negotiate.

e-commerceBusiness is migrating online more and more every year. People can now sit at home and order just about anything they need; from a new wardrobe to tomorrow night’s dinner, everything is available online. As such, many new E-Commerce businesses are launching every day in the hopes of catching some of that revenue. Online stores are often extremely profitable, as there is no need for a physical sales location, and they often act as middlemen, meaning they do not have to store the goods, either.

Unfortunately, the sheer number of online stores and the amount of money going into E-Commerce also makes it extremely difficult to break into the industry. For current retail stores simply adding to their presence, there is a pre-built marketing channel and revenue stream. But for those starting a new business, there must be a carefully crafted plan in place to ensure the store is ever found.

But before you can even think about someone finding your site, you need to actually build it. And this is the first trap for many E-Commerce sites. Many business owners will spend big money on having a website built. They want top-of-the-line everything, to make a great website. Unfortunately, …

background-1260304_1920For the last decade and a half, we have seen retail sales steadily move online and out of the brick and mortar space. Nearly any retailer now, whether an independent hardware store, safety supply like or a multinational big box chain, has a website which gives customers the ability to buy online. And while we are seeing a stronger and stronger push to online, with many major online-only retailers becoming household names, e-commerce only actually accounts for about 7.5% of all retail sales in the United States.

So while the Amazon’s of the world are doing an incredible job in the e-commerce space, the vast majority of business is still being done in brick and mortar stores. So for independent retailers such, there still needs to be a strong brick and mortar experience for clients, because it can be a near impossibility to compete with the large online retailers in that space.

But the most successful locations are using e-commerce as a tool to drive traffic to physical stores. By ensuring inventory options are updated online, customers who need an item in a timely manner can find the local retailer. Similarly, e-commerce allows for an easy way to create …

job-interview-437026_1920When it comes to interviewing, most people are concerned with how to come across well to the person conducting the interview. We want to get the job. When on the other side of the table, it seems much easier. For most major companies, the questions are given to the interviewer in some form of an interview packet or guide, the basic qualifications are scrubbed by a recruited, and the job of the interviewer is to find the candidate who will best fit into the team while creating the most output.

Not much, it seems, is required than of the interviewer except to make a decision. Nobody is critiquing the interviewing skills, there are several layers of oversight to ensure the right candidate is selected, and the process is far more subjective. But the most successful interviewers understand this is the perception, but hardly the reality.

As stated earlier, most people are concerned with honing their interviewing skills as an interviewee. By looking online, there are literally thousands of guides available to help teach you how to get the job, even if you’re not qualified. So the job of an interviewer, aside from the obvious pieces mentioned, is to ensure he …

office-620822_1920Any business owner can point you to their budget. This document accounts for existing revenues and costs, sets targets for future growth and expenses, helps to forecast future profitability and is imperative to cash flow management. It is also a requirement for any lending institutions or venture capital firms, should that be on the table for the business. In essence, the business budget ensures long-term growth and profitability, while ensuring any major future costs will be accounted for.

Unfortunately, what most business owners can’t do is explain their budget. Today, most businesses will utilize budgeting software to create a physical document that is used for forecasting, cash management, and future expense management. This software will take all of a company’s raw data and create a nearly endless supply of projections, expectations, and assumptions which can be utilized for just about any budgeting need. And while this information is extremely useful and conveniently attained, it can often lead to issues long-term when factors change.

For this reason, it is important to truly understand the how and why behind a budget. Otherwise, when relevant variables change to the budget, the full implications may not be understood and accounted for. If you look …