home business http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12798/all en-US 10 Great Home-Based Side-Business Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-business-woman-ggnoads.jpg" alt="Woman using laptop" title="Business woman using laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>The following guest post by <a href="http://www.bykimberlypalmer.com/"><strong>Kimberly Palmer</strong></a> is based on her new book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Economy-You-Entrepreneur-Recession-Proof/dp/0814432735/">The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life</a>,&quot; which comes out this week.</em></p> <p>Most work-from-home schemes are scams, or pretty close to it. Anyone who asks you to invest $500 (or more) in inventory before you&#39;ve made a single sale does not have your best interests in mind. Any company that pays you $5 per online review that you write will not make you rich. And any online vendor that asks you to handle credit card processing is probably downright breaking the law.</p> <p>If you want to earn money from your home, here&#39;s a better idea: Launch a home-based business based on your own skills, creativity, and passions. You will not only increase your income, but you will also discover the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from creating a product or service that other people find useful.</p> <p>I&#39;m biased towards this approach because it&#39;s exactly what I did. When I found myself wanting to earn some extra money on top of my full-time job, I launched an <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/kspalmer">Etsy shop of money planners</a>, based around meeting various goals, from preparing for a baby to organizing finances for the year. Sales were slow at first, but once I caught the eye of some bloggers, the customers came. I started earning close to $200 a month from my shop &mdash; not enough to pay my mortgage, but just enough to prove to myself that I have something valuable to offer, and to know that I could ramp it up if I ever needed or wanted to.</p> <p>If you&#39;re considering launching your own home-based side-business, consider these 10 popular options, based on my interviews with entrepreneurs and career experts as well as data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale.com, Freelancer.com, and <a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a>. They give you the chance to share your own skills with the world, while also bringing in some extra cash:</p> <h2>1. Website Designer</h2> <p>If you have the ability to create functional and beautiful websites, then you probably already know it&#39;s a potentially lucrative skill, and also one that can be easily done from home. That&#39;s why it&#39;s the number one ranked home-based side-business on the list. Freelancer.com has singled out website design as one of the fastest growing jobs, with over 10,000 jobs in the field posted each quarter on the site. PayScale.com reports that part-time, freelance graphic web designers earn a median rate of around $30 an hour.</p> <h2>2. Marketing Consultant</h2> <p>If you enjoy reaching out to bloggers, social media friends, and reporters to help get word out about other people&#39;s projects and businesses, then you can earn a good living from it &ndash; around $50 an hour, according to PayScale.com. Since the work is done primarily by phone and email, you can also do it from the comfort of home.</p> <h2>3. Social Media Consultant</h2> <p>If you love playing around on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media sites, then this one might be for you. Lots of solopreneurs as well as companies are looking to hire freelance social media consultants, as evidenced by the growing number of postings on Freelancer.com and other websites. Create a profile for yourself and start picking up clients.</p> <h2>4. Writer</h2> <p>Writers include bloggers, authors of technical guides, publishers of ebooks, and everything in between. Technical writers are among the best paid in the bunch, with copyeditors and proofreaders falling further down the pay scale. Still, all types of writers can pretty much work from anywhere, including their kitchen table, and at any time.</p> <h2>5. Baker</h2> <p>This glamorized profession, thanks to TLC&#39;s DC Cupcakes and other baking-related shows, can also be a lucrative one. You can earn more if you find a way to stand out and put your own unique twist on the baked goods, as well as by layering in blogging, teaching, and perhaps even a related online store. Make sure you prepare for the start-up costs, though, which could include state-specific licenses.</p> <h2>6. Voice Actor</h2> <p>Voice actors are in hot demand, thanks largely to small business owners who want to create multimedia websites. You can get started on sites such as Upwork or <a href="http://tracking.fiverr.com/aff_c?offer_id=1441&aff_id=4437">Fiverr</a>, and you might already have all the supplies you need, like a microphone and headset. Upwork lists voice acting as one of the fastest growing fields, and it&#39;s one you can do from almost any (quiet) room.</p> <h2>7. Career Coach</h2> <p>If you find friends already ask you for tips on navigating the workplace and job market, then you might want to consider taking your free advice to a professional level. Career coaches typically work one-on-one with clients and they can do so over the phone, email, or video chat sessions. They also help with improving resumes and cover letters, tasks that are also easily accomplished from home. You don&#39;t need any special certification to get started, but it&#39;s an option.</p> <h2>8. Artist</h2> <p>Fine artists can earn a living by selling their work on an e-commerce site like Etsy, Zazzle, or RedBubble. Finding paying customers isn&#39;t always easy, but by spreading the word about your creations over social media and blogging networks, you can build towards a steady stream of income. Since art is typically a luxury purchase, the field tends to fluctuate with the economy.</p> <h2>9. Online Community Builder</h2> <p>This relatively new field involves connecting people online, typically through new websites or on social media. Examples include DailyMuse.com and dcurbanmom.com. Web design skills help, as do social media fluency &mdash; along with a great idea for a niche community hungry for a new way to connect online.</p> <h2>10. Tutor</h2> <p>Tutoring clients often want to stop by your house after school and in the evenings, which can make this the perfect gig for work-at-home parents with school-age children of their own. Tutors usually have education degrees and additional certifications or licenses, although for those working privately for families it&#39;s not required. They typically pick up local clients through word-of-mouth, and might specialize in specific areas such as college essay editing or college admissions coaching.</p> <p>By launching any of these home-based businesses, you&#39;ll end up improving the lives of your customers &ndash; and your own.</p> <p>Kimberly Palmer is the author of the new book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Economy-You-Entrepreneur-Recession-Proof/dp/0814432735/">The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life</a>,&quot; and senior money editor for <em>U.S. News &amp; World Report, </em>where she writes the popular Alpha Consumer blog. In addition, she is the creator of <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/kspalmer">Palmer&#39;s Planners</a>, her own line of digital financial guides and money organizers for major life events and goals. You can connect with her at <a href="http://www.bykimberlypalmer.com/">bykimberlypalmer.com</a>, where you can also download worksheets to help you build your own home-based business.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Economy-You-Entrepreneur-Recession-Proof/dp/0814432735/"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/economy-of-you-by-kim-palme.jpg" /></a></div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kimberly-palmer">Kimberly Palmer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online">Effortless Ways to Make Money Online That Don&#039;t Require Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-camp-as-a-side-business">Summer Camp as a Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams">6 Ways to Spot Work-at-Home Job Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-money-selling-to-the-educational-and-homeschool-markets">5 Ways to Make Money Selling to the Educational and Homeschool Markets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-everyone-needs-side-income">4 Reasons Why Everyone Needs Side Income</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income home business side business side income Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:36:09 +0000 Kimberly Palmer 1104833 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Money Selling to the Educational and Homeschool Markets http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-money-selling-to-the-educational-and-homeschool-markets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-make-money-selling-to-the-educational-and-homeschool-markets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid-5128025-small.jpg" alt="homeschooling" title="homeschooling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thought you had to be a major curriculum publisher or a licensed teacher to make money from students? As a homeschooling mom of five, I have seen so many ways ordinary, talented individuals are making a tidy profit selling to home educators, tutors, and daycares. Here are just a few from which you can possibly earn a little pocket cash &mdash; or even start your own full-time business! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-opportunity-online-tutoring" target="_blank">Extra Income Opportunity: Online Tutoring</a>)</p> <h2>1. Tutor</h2> <p>Even the best-educated homeschool parents need a helping hand. Whether it's someone to coach a student on an especially difficult topic or a child just needs a break from everyday sessions, tutors are utilized by many families for their students (not just those with learning difficulties). Tutoring can be done in your home, their home, at a library, or even online via a virtual communication tool like Skype.</p> <p><strong>Earning Potential:</strong> $10-40 hour, depending on experience and difficulty of subjects taught</p> <h2>2. Printables Creator</h2> <p>The printables business is booming, and stay-at-home parents are primarily the ones getting into the game with this low-overhead business. What is a printable? It's any learning aid that can be purchased as an electronic document (usually PDF) and can be printed in the home classroom for private use. Many printables creators are former teachers, but anyone with a knack for creating cute coloring pages, worksheets, themed activity lessons, or study tools can earn money with this business. (For an in-depth look at what it takes to start a full-time printable business, see this <a href="http://www.1099mom.com/2013/02/i-want-to-be-online-educational.html" target="_blank">interview at 1099Mom</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Earning Potential: </strong>A few cents to a few dollars per printable product</p> <h2>3. E-book Publisher</h2> <p>Do you have a unique perspective on a particular subject? Are you an &quot;expert&quot; in your field? If you have insight that could be shared with educators and students, and you have enough material for a short book, than publishing that book as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-package-and-sell-services-online" target="_blank">digital product may make you a little money</a>. Most e-books are done via online publishing sites and require very little initial investment. While you won't sell as many copies as a traditionally published book, your cut of the profit is much higher. Whether your book is an easy way to teach Spanish, a look at the newest trends in college applications, or an inspirational guide for new homeschool moms, you should make sure you research the market to make sure there is one before you write.</p> <p><strong>Earning Potential: </strong>$2-15 per book sold, on average</p> <h2>4. Music Teacher</h2> <p>Most kids I knew growing up took piano lessons; a few even took guitar lessons. But what about the child that would like to take a lesson for an instrument that's a little less common? For homeschoolers, there are programs available for them to take band and music programs via community or public education classes, but not everyone can make it work. Also, these classes rarely cover some of the more off-beat instruments (like the harmonica, ukulele, or instruments from other cultures.) If you are proficient in one of these areas and are good with showing others how to play, you could find yourself in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-music-lessons-worth-it-hidden-benefits-may-tip-the-scale" target="_blank">high demand as a music instructor</a>. Bonus points if you can develop your own curriculum via the printables or ebook options mentioned above.</p> <p><strong>Earning Potential:</strong> $8-35 per lesson (lessons are 30 minutes to an hour)</p> <h2>5. Book Bundler/Reseller</h2> <p>Many homeschoolers today prefer to use what's called a &quot;classical&quot; approach towards education; the <a href="http://simplycharlottemason.com/basics/what-is-the-charlotte-mason-method/" target="_blank">Charlotte Mason method</a> is also very popular. Both styles of teaching encourage the use of classic books and often out-of-print titles for all aspects of a child's learning career, making a parent's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-education-curriculum-on-the-cheap-10-ways-to-learn-for-less" target="_blank">literary &quot;wish list&quot; quite long</a>. Some of these books are easy to come by, but others are very difficult to find. Anyone who can use their book-searching talents to accumulate titles will find a market of buyers eager to pay. If you are able to bundle titles by suggested grade level, you will find parents will pay even more for the convenience. Book resellers can usually find a title list for high-demand books at sites like <a href="http://www.amblesideonline.org/curriculum.shtml#years" target="_blank">Ambleside Online</a>; books can be sold on Amazon, eBay, or a home education niche auction site.</p> <p><strong>Earning Potential:</strong> $1-20 per title</p> <p>The flexibility that many of the opportunities provide makes them attractive to the stay-at-home parent, and many have gone on to create full-time businesses from their education-focused start-up. The bottom line is that parents want the best for their kids; if you can assist in that goal, there is money to be made!</p> <p><em>Have you earned income via homeschooling or education? How? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-money-selling-to-the-educational-and-homeschool-markets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-home-based-side-business-ideas">10 Great Home-Based Side-Business Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams">6 Ways to Spot Work-at-Home Job Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund">A Simple Plan for Saving Up a $2000 Fun Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income education home business homeschooling Wed, 29 May 2013 09:48:33 +0000 Linsey Knerl 976225 at http://www.wisebread.com How Local Zoning Laws Affect Home-Based Businesses http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-local-zoning-laws-affect-home-based-businesses <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/how-local-zoning-laws-affect-home-based-businesses" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/how-local-zoning-laws...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/how-local-zoning-laws-affect-home-based-businesses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007261028Small_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many business owners, starting the company from a home office is the easiest &mdash; if not the only &mdash; option. Assuming you already have a place to live, choosing to use a few square feet in your home as an office is rarely a problem. But you should check <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sba.gov/content/zoning-laws-home-based-businesses">your local zoning laws</a> before you decide that your spare bedroom is the only home your business will ever need.</p> <p>Depending on where you live, the city or the county may set zoning laws. Where I live, the town is small enough that it doesn&rsquo;t have much in the way of zoning laws, but the county I live in has zoning regulations so precise that I know if I can run a Christmas tree sale from my front yard (I can, but only if the proceeds go to a non-profit). Some zoning laws are written to prohibit all businesses from operating in a residential area, but it's more common that zoning prohibits certain aspects of running a business. It's also worthwhile to check the other legally binding agreements that impact your home. For example, a lease can add more limitations, as can a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/home-businesses-zoning-30080.html">home owner's association</a>.</p> <p><strong>Customers and Employees</strong></p> <p>One of the biggest concerns you may face stems from where you ask your customers and employees to meet with you. After all, you and your neighbors probably moved in with the expectation that they'd be living in a primarily residential area and zoning laws are written to make sure those expectations are met.</p> <p>In order to avoid potential issues with your neighbors, consider these factors:</p> <ul> <li><strong>How many parking spaces are available?</strong> If you have customers or employees in your home, it's likely that they're taking up parking spaces in your neighborhood, parking spaces that your neighbors may rely on. When I lived in an apartment complex, there simply weren&rsquo;t any spaces available for visitors nearby.</li> <li><strong>Will visitors coming and going interfere with the normal traffic in your neighborhood?</strong> There&rsquo;s a reasonable expectation in most residential areas that there will be lower amounts of traffic than in commercial areas, especially in the evenings and on the weekends.</li> <li><strong>Your visitors may be adding to the noise level</strong>, too, increasing the likelihood that a neighbor will complain about the business operating out of your home.</li> <li><strong>What is your neighbors&rsquo; tolerance level for strangers in your neighborhood?</strong> If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of children who may play outside, you may find that your neighbors have a low tolerance for outsiders, such as your employees and clients, visiting the area.</li> </ul> <p>Many home-based businesses that are able to operate primarily online avoid the problem altogether by arranging client meetings <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/is-an-office-necessary-thursday-bram">offsite</a>, at local coffee shops, or office centers, or coworking spaces.</p> <p><strong>Noise and Noxious Chemicals</strong></p> <p>You may also need to look at if what you&rsquo;re selling may bother your neighbors. Dangerous chemicals and anything else that may put the people around you at risk are obviously off the table. So are less dangerous but more noxious items, like fertilizer. But there are other processes and products that may lead you into conflict with the zoning regulations, whether or not you're keeping everything entirely indoors and out of view.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Are you making a racket?</strong> If, for instance, you won't have any customers banging on your door, but you will be running a loud piece of equipment (such as a sculptor's power tools), you could wind up in hot water, even if you stick to reasonable hours of operation. Zoning laws usually include noise restrictions, making it important to consider what parts of your business can actually be carried out in your home (or your garage).</li> <li><strong>Are you storing anything on your property that might bother your neighbors?</strong> A lawn care company can easily operate out of the owner&rsquo;s home, except for storing fertilizer, gasoline, and the other supplies that are necessary to the job.</li> <li><strong>Does your business go beyond your home&rsquo;s borders?</strong> It&rsquo;s not uncommon for daycares to be based in homes and zoning laws in most areas support such a use. But if the children being cared for seem to have the run of the neighborhood, the owner could still be facing some problems. No matter what sort of business you run, it&rsquo;s important to keep it within your own property or rental.</li> </ul> <p><strong>The Appearance of Your Home</strong></p> <p>Many communities also regulate the appearance of residential structures. Certain neighborhoods, such as those that have been listed on historical registers, can have very strict regulations.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Do you need a sign for your business? </strong>Signage restrictions are usually strict. Commercial signage is almost certainly out of the question, but depending on the local zoning laws, you may even be prohibited from posting yard signs and other small notices of your business. Don&rsquo;t think that because political signs are okay that your business signs will be fine, either &mdash; non-profits operate under different rules, as do political campaigns.</li> <li><strong>Are you planning a remodel with your business in mind? </strong>Often zoning regulations limit the changes you can make to the overall structure of your home to make it more business-friendly. Don't plan on converting your front yard into a parking lot, at the very least. You may even be prevented from adding a separate door to use as a business entrance.</li> <li><strong>Do you have business vehicles that you park at your home?</strong> In many areas, the number of cars and trucks your business owns and parks at your home are limited. You may have the option of parking one or two commercial vehicles at your home, provided you have parking spaces available. And if your vehicle has a sign on the side, you may find that you can&rsquo;t park it on the street or anywhere else that signage will be visible.</li> </ul> <p><strong>The Legal Consequences</strong></p> <p>If you and your business consistently run afoul of the local zoning regulations, expect to pay fines, or worse. While many businesses can operate out of a home without a problem, there can be issues: a friend of mine who ran her accounting business from her business wound up facing a fine from her city&rsquo;s zoning agency right after she finished up tax season. One of her neighbors had complained about the number of visitors coming and going to her home office as clients dropped off and picked up tax materials.</p> <p>If your local zoning regulations are unreasonably restrictive &mdash; for instance, only permitting home-based businesses that are essentially one person sitting quietly with a computer &mdash; don't be afraid to try and get them changed. The process may be as simple as <a target="_blank" href="http://realestate.findlaw.com/zoning/zoning-changes.html">applying for a change of zoning</a>.</p> <p>As your business grows &mdash; and that's probably your goal &mdash; make moving out into proper offices a priority. You can't simply keep taking over rooms in your house or your apartment for your expanding business. If more than half of your home is actually used for your business, you will almost certainly be running up against zoning regulations. Worse, you'll be holding back the growth of your business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-local-zoning-laws-affect-home-based-businesses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility">Freelance Your Way to More Income and Flexibility</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business regulations home business home-based business residential zoning small business zoning regulations Fri, 22 Apr 2011 20:49:02 +0000 Thursday Bram 521742 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Spot Work-at-Home Job Scams http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5660288995_90a7370999_z.jpg" alt="caution deep water" title="caution deep water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve been working from home for over three years now. While I haven&rsquo;t paid a penny for online programs designed to teach you how to work from home (or that promise to help you get rich quick), I can smell them from a mile away. Many of the letters I get from Wise Bread readers inquire about specific work-from-home programs, and while I don&rsquo;t have experience with any of them, it&rsquo;s usually possible to tell at a glance if they are legitimate. Examples of programs that get asked about most often include those that promise money from being a billing processor, internet sales specialist, or blogger. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sources-for-freelance-work-at-home-jobs" title="3 Sources for Freelance Work at Home Jobs">3 Sources for Freelance Work at Home Jobs</a>)</p> <p>In addition to perusing this fantastic collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">tips for finding legitimate work at home opportunities</a>, here are my suggestions for spotting the scams.</p> <h3>You receive unsolicited information about the program</h3> <p>Whether you get it in your email box or as an invitation through your favorite social networking site, if you have never signed up for more information or didn&rsquo;t receive the offer from a friend you know, it&rsquo;s unlikely that the offer is &ldquo;real.&rdquo; Legitimate marketers usually get info from mailing lists that you have opted into or signed up for specifically, and emails should always follow <a href="http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-Compliance-Guide-for-Business">CAN-SPAM rules</a> that require their subscribers to opt-in to email newsletters. If something pops up in your email that doesn&rsquo;t ring a bell, you can most likely delete it.</p> <p>Common scams that come to you through email include scams like this <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_mule">payment processing job</a>. They usually have misspellings in the message of the email or have a subject line with random characters or capitalization to help get the message through email spam filters.</p> <h3>The program landing page has bold promises and even bolder highlighting</h3> <p>I know that many of my blogging friends offer legit programs, ebooks, and offers via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_page">landing pages</a>. In fact, much money has been made by teaching well-meaning business people how to create the perfect landing page. That being said, the scammers almost always show a landing page with red, blue, pink, or yellow highlighted text; photos of past customers holding up wads of cash; testimonials that seem too good to be true; and the like. If you see an offer with a <a href="http://www.homeincomeblack.net/">gaudy landing page</a> that just doesn&rsquo;t seem right, leave.</p> <p>Other warning signs that a program won't be worth the investment include:</p> <ul> <li>Images and logos of legitimate news sites that appear to convey they endorse the plan. Look carefully: The wording usually says &quot;ads seen on&quot; &mdash; not &quot;as seen on.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The photos of customers are stock photos or headshots of models purchased from a commercial site.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The low-cost trial period is very brief (often as short as three days). After that, the charge is high &mdash; $100 or more &mdash; giving you little time to cancel if you are not satisfied.</li> </ul> <h3>The offer is limited in the number of customers <em>and</em> time to act</h3> <p>&quot;Hurry now, this offer is going fast!&quot; How many times have you heard this in commercials, offering to only allow the special promotion to a select number of customers? While this is a common tactic designed to get people to buy &mdash; today &mdash; without giving them a chance to listen to their instincts, it can also be a sign of a subpar product (one that wouldn&rsquo;t pass the sniff test if given more time to be investigated).</p> <p>Many of the work-at-home job scams out there also rely on this type of predatory emotional manipulation. It will sometimes invoke a fake number of &quot;original&quot; available program spots, which is usually crossed out and replaced with a &quot;new&quot; number. It is designed to put pressure on buyers to make them feel like the product will not be available much longer. It is also a weak way to do business.</p> <h3>Google searches turn up bad news, again and again</h3> <p>Some programs are the same programs, cleverly disguised as something new. A quick Google search of a few of the programs a reader recently asked me about alerted me to the fact that the same scammer has been operating for years, changing the name of the program every so often to cleverly stay under the radar. As more and more work-at-home sites, bloggers, and forums got wind of how bad the opportunity was, the scammer would go into hiding again, only to pop up with a rebranded opportunity for a new batch of victims.</p> <p>If you can catch a work-at-home opportunity being discussed online, take the feedback with a grain of salt. It is possible that the program didn&rsquo;t work because the person wasn&rsquo;t qualified to take advantage of it (see the next section below). If you do hear about multiple or unauthorized credit card charges, sneaky sales tactics, or a complete lack of delivery on the promised product, however, run!</p> <h3>The opportunity requires no skills, knowledge, or effort</h3> <p>Common sense would tell you that if you don&rsquo;t have the skills or patience to complete a business task, you might not do well at that particular business. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many of the job scams appeal to people who wouldn&rsquo;t be qualified to run an at-home business &mdash; and they have little chance of succeeding in this (or any other) home business endeavor.</p> <p>I agree that most anyone can <em>learn</em> a task. Many can also perform that task, unsupervised, day after day until a profit comes in. A few can also take this money and reinvest it wisely into their business &mdash; all the while balancing family and other obligations to form a romantic work-at-home picture.</p> <p>In a typical sales pitch, these job scams place the romantic picture far before the work required to achieve results. That&rsquo;s why they are so appealing. If a home business program swears that it will be effortless, it&rsquo;s likely not legit. (Even larceny &mdash; the most lucrative career I know of &mdash; takes effort.)</p> <h3>No one else has succeeded</h3> <p>Most work-at-home opportunities pony up plenty of testimonials from what seem like real people. But do you know any of them personally? And could you track them down to ask them questions if you wanted to?</p> <p>Franchises and other ground-floor opportunities offer potential investors access to others in the business, because they understand that a significant amount of money and time will be put into the business. Online opportunities aren&rsquo;t so forthcoming, and the legit ones should point you in the direction of real customers who are willing to share their stories. (You wouldn&rsquo;t care about the rave reviews on the backs of new books if they were all from people you had never heard of, or worse yet, cartoon characters, would you?)</p> <p>It's also very important that consumers read the fine print at the bottom of these offers. Common legalese that you should be on alert for includes:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Earnings disclaimers</strong>: These should include warnings that the level of success will depend on time devoted to the program, your own ideas, techniques used to build business, your own financial situation, and skill level.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Income-claim warnings:</strong> These will convey that testimonial results are not likely to be your own. They should also tell you that the people and images are not of the actual people who have used the program, and there should be a note that some individuals who invest in the program will make little or no money at all.</li> </ul> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Working from home takes research, hard work, some capital, and the desire to see success. This may mean working at 2 a.m. when your newborn has colic, skipping that night out with friends to do inventory, and sending notice after notice to late-paying clients. It&rsquo;s not a glamorous life, but those who do it usually love it. Before you play into the next best thing, ask a home-worker what to expect, and avoid anything that seems counter to reality.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs">30 Great Side Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-terrible-work-from-home-jobs-you-should-avoid">8 Terrible Work-From-Home &quot;Jobs&quot; You Should Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-as-a-chat-or-forum-moderator">How to Make Money as a Chat or Forum Moderator</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income home business job scams stay at home jobs work at home work from home Wed, 08 Dec 2010 13:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 366048 at http://www.wisebread.com Things to Consider Before Uprooting Your Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/things-to-consider-before-uprooting-your-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/things-to-consider-before-uprooting-your-business-nora-dunn" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/things-to-consider-be...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/things-to-consider-before-uprooting-your-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007769257XSmall.jpg" alt="Vacation work" title="Vacation work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Deciding to uproot your business and go virtual can be very liberating. More lifestyle options become available to you once you structure your business to be run from anywhere in the country &mdash; or the world. But it's not quite as easy as picking up and leaving; there are a number of things to consider and account for before buying that plane ticket. Here are some things to consider before pulling the plug on your office space.</p> <p>To help sort through it all, I chatted with Marion Harrington, who has established a reputation as a &quot;maverick tax guru&quot; in the financial planning field as a result of authoring a detailed international tax research paper on International Private Pensions and her very laid-back style of doing business. She <a href="http://www.locationindependentservices.com/freedom-financials">works with Location Independent clients</a> and is developing a country-specific <a href="http://locationindependentguides.com/the-location-independent-tax-finance-guide-us">LIP Tax &amp; Finance Guide</a> to help people uproot their own businesses.</p> <p><strong>Benefits to Uprooting your Business</strong></p> <p><b>Lower Capital &amp; Operational Costs.</b> With no building premises to pay for and maintain, you see an instant <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;218395199;41474888;e?http://www.plumcard.com/?eep=17460">savings</a>. Other capital and operational expenses associated with having a physical office are also significantly reduced.</p> <p><b>Increased Profits.</b> There aren't really any additional costs to making your business virtual, so all the money you save in lowering your capital and operational expenses go directly into your pocket.</p> <p><b>Fluid Employee Base.</b> Depending on your employment needs, you may be able to <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/when-to-outsource-for-your-small-business-nora-dunn">outsource</a> your needs to freelance or <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/to-payroll-or-not-hiring-contract-vs-salary-employees-nora-dunn">contract employees</a> or virtual assistants. By engaging freelance employees only as required, you can also reduce your operational costs. Those <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/life-insurance-for-your-business-nora-dunn">key persons</a> to your business can remain on the payroll, and work as telecommuters.</p> <p><b>Work with Clients Internationally.</b> Depending on your market and product or service, you could get clients/customers from anywhere in the world, since you are set up to assist them virtually. This can open up your business to international markets, and be very rewarding.</p> <p><b>Psychological Freedom.</b> Even if you don't physically move from your home town and roam the world at large, uprooting your business can give you a great sense of freedom in knowing that you have options.</p> <p><strong>Pitfalls to Uprooting Your Business</strong></p> <p><b>Fluctuating Currency Rates.</b> If you decide to stay or live in another country, you could find that your personal income fluctuates even though it may not on paper. &quot;If your main target market is in the U.S. you would logically bill out in Dollars. However, if you live in the EU and the Euro dramatically weakens, all of a sudden your monthly cash-flow forecasts [decrease],&quot; says Harrington.</p> <p>To make your accounting life easier around this issue, Harrington recommends keeping accurate and timely records. &quot;Currency issues figure in IRS returns as well &mdash; all numbers have to be expressed in Dollars. Do your accountant favor &mdash; if you receive monies in any currency apart from Dollars, make a note of the exchange on the day you receive it.&quot;</p> <p><strong>International Tax Planning Considerations</strong></p> <p>Although you can structure your tax situation to minimize tax liabilities, it's very difficult (and usually illegal) to evade taxes entirely by playing the international tax dance. International tax planning is about how you organize your affairs to make the most sense for your business and cash flow, while minimizing taxes payable. Harrington says things like nationality, residency, and domicile become important. &quot;You can have a different tax residency from your physical residency. Each country has its own definition of what residency means. Sometimes you can have a complete hybrid.&quot;</p> <p><b>Claiming Worldwide Income.</b> Harrington warns that even if you live outside of the U.S. and earn money from other countries, you still have to claim it on a U.S. Return if you are a U.S. Citizen. &quot;Uncle Sam exercises his right to tax citizens on their worldwide income, wherever they live. Strictly speaking, even individuals who are born abroad but have a U.S. mother or father are supposed to file a return with the IRS.&quot;</p> <p><b>Foreign Earned Income Allowance.</b> If you run your business outside of the U.S., you could be eligible for a huge tax break called the Foreign Earned Income Allowance (FEIA). &quot;Providing you meet certain criteria, you are permitted to exclude $91,400 in earned income each year from your taxes ($182,800 for a married couple). This isn't a credit or deferral but a complete exclusion from your taxable gross amount. The FEIA could possibly nullify all tax liability depending on the rest of your circumstances,&quot; says Harrington.</p> <p><b>Travelling the World with Multiple Streams of Income.</b> &quot;Legislation on operating certain businesses in each country varies, virtual or otherwise,&quot; says Harrington. You have to pay attention to the nationality of your customers, the tax laws in the country in which you reside (or in some cases are just visiting if you continue to operate your business during your visit), as well as U.S. tax regulations. &quot;In the majority of instances a suitably worded disclaimer prominently situated on your website is usually sufficient to satisfy most jurisdictions.&quot;</p> <p><b>Visa Requirements.</b> Although some countries allow people on tourist visas to operate virtual businesses, others don't. Be sure to research the visa regulations and requirements of any country you visit.</p> <p><b>International Tax Regulations by Country.</b> Don't assume that each country has similar tax laws. For example, in France, you could unwittingly assume tax residency depending on your length of stay and bank account structure.</p> <p><b>Offshore Corporations.</b> When I asked Harrington about the benefits of setting up an offshore corporation, I learned there is no clear-cut answer. &quot;There are certain cases where an offshore corporation might result in a minimization of tax liability but detailing all the specifics would demand an eBook on that subject alone. I certainly wouldn't consider offshore unless I had already taken professional advice. So much depends on the unique set of circumstances in each case.&quot;</p> <p><b>U.S. Withholding Tax.</b> Your cash flow could be affected by U.S. Withholding tax regulations, which are complicated and were recently adjusted (in January 2010). You can read IRS Publication 519 to determine how your occupation and target market is affected.</p> <p><strong>Checklist of Things to Do and Questions to Ask Before Uprooting Your Business</strong></p> <p><b>1. Get organized.</b> Harrington cites getting your tax and financial house in order as a priority. &quot;Organizing your tax and finances should rate as an absolute priority both before launch and before you hit the road.&quot;</p> <p><b>2. Figure out where you're going.</b> How you structure your business will depend on where you're going and how you'll generate your income.</p> <p><b>3. Set financial goals and expectations.</b> How you structure your business and international residency depends on how far you're prepared to go to save tax.</p> <p><b>4. Educate yourself.</b> &quot;Familiarize yourself with key terminologies both domestic and international. If you're planning to travel, you need to carry out extensive research. Seek out country specific tax information and back-check with domestic law.&quot;</p> <p><b>5. Consult an expert.</b> Consult your accountant and financial planner to ensure you're on the right track. If you plan to travel, Harrington suggests consulting an international tax attorney or financial planner with international experience. Your team of experts can also help you stay on top of the ever-changing laws and legislations.</p> <p><b>6. If you want to live somewhere else, decide if you'll return to the U.S.</b> Whether or not you plan to return to the U.S. for residency purposes can have huge implications on your tax situation. Some tax and residency considerations include:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Income expectations.</li> <li>Whether you are prepared to break all ties with the U.S.</li> <li>Changing your passport/nationality.</li> </ul> <p>Lastly, take a look at <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/essential-services-for-the-road-nora-dunn">Essential Services for the Road</a> to help make your virtual business run smoothly from anywhere in the world, with nothing more than an internet connection.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "plum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/things-to-consider-before-uprooting-your-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-all-successful-freelancers-do">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-freelancers-and-telecommuters-can-make-friends-and-network">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center home business location independent small business telecommute work from home Sun, 13 Jun 2010 02:45:30 +0000 Nora Dunn 92376 at http://www.wisebread.com