Why Seniors Citizens are Thinking About Starting a Home Business

Most people think that senior citizens should continue to live a life of leisure as they’ve earned the right to take it easy. However, some people who are at an advanced age may not be inclined to do so as they prefer to find other ways to stay engaged with the world.

Extra Cash In Retirement 

Some active seniors who live at home, and even those who reside in assisted living communities, often find that the monotony of doing nothing at all can lead to boredom or loneliness. While a steady or part-time job may be out of the question at this point in their lives, some find that starting a small business is the perfect way to pass the time while making a bit of money in their golden years.

For seniors who have the entrepreneurial spirit, the desire to have a small home business or online business has nothing to do with accumulating more wealth. Cash may be an important determinant of a person’s life satisfaction, but its effect declines over the age of 75. For business-minded seniors, acquiring more money is not the purpose of any endeavor – it’s about doing something meaningful to fill their days.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs

Some seniors have even become so passionate about what they do that they became successful later in life. There’s Col. Harland David Sanders, who franchised his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 62. Then there’s 82-year-old Dorrie Jacobson, who started a very successful fashion blog to inspire women over 60 and has become the darling of the fashion world.  

If you’re a senior citizen and are thinking about starting a small home or online business, you’re in luck – there are lots of opportunities out there for you that aren’t physically demanding. Even if you’re in an assisted living facility and have impaired mobility of movement, there are other things that you can do that don’t require you to move around as much.

Here are a few business ideas if you’re planning to start a home or online business:

  • ·         Take a call center job. This is a great online job if you have low mobility as all you need to do is talk on the phone.
  • ·         Follow in Jacobson’s footsteps and start a blog where you can give expert advice. Pick a topic that you know and start writing. If you aren’t tech savvy, there are tons of tutorials out there to get you started.
  • ·         Do you love to sew? You can start an alteration business or take on small sewing jobs from your neighbors.
  • ·         If you’re into crafts or DIY projects, you can sell your wares at craft markets or at an online shop, such as Etsy. Many seniors earn a decent amount of money by selling handmade soaps, lotions, knitwear, and other items on this site.
  • ·         Got a winning cookie or pie recipe? You can sell baked goods at home or online. You can ask younger members of the family to scout for places where you can sell your food if you want to earn more.

There are many small businesses that you can launch from the comfort of home. All you have to do is to find one that you’d enjoy doing, and most importantly, one which will give you happiness and a sense of fulfillment.

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Planting the Seeds of Success: A Smart Start Miniguide for Home Businesses

It can be exciting and daunting in equal measure when you are setting up a new business but when you are first starting out, any mistakes you make could be costly.

Here is a look at how to try and set out on the right path to success. There is an overview of how e-commerce often needs to be an integral part of your plans, and why financial management is so vital, plus an insight into setting goals for you and your business.

The importance of an internet presence

Even if you are opening a store in your local area you need to support your bricks and mortar persona with a clicks and mortar profile if you want to improve your odds of success.

The vast majority of your potential customers will be just as used to searching out deals and information online as they are walking into your store to browse for what they want. You simply cannot underestimate the importance of having a website and if you don’t take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, it is almost like trying to run your business with one hand tied behind your back.

If you have a seed budget to work with you need to consider allocating some of this cash towards setting up an internet presence, as this will help people to find you and find out about you, plus you can boost sales by setting up an e-commerce store.

Keeping costs under control

On the subject of money and budgets, you will need to make every dollar count when you first start out in business.

It would be a good idea to have a cash flow projection and a business plan to work to and if you need to borrow any money to start the business, you will need to produce some facts and figures to support your request for funding support.

There are also some other strategies and ideas to consider that will help you to keep control over your finances in the early days and moving forward.

A business credit card with low annual fees could help you to keep track of your expenses, and if you pay off the balance by the due date you, it could prove to be a good way of helping your cash flow stay strong.

Dare to dream

Many people start a business with plenty of optimism to fire them up but don’t really have a specific game plan that they are working to.

Setting out in business and taking the view that you will just see how it goes is not recommended. It would be much better to set some clear personal and business goals so that you know where you want to be in near future and even further ahead.

If you have some clearly defined goals and aspirations this will give your business a sense of purpose and direction. It also gives you something to measure your progress against and drive you to reach new heights.

There are a lot of things to sort when you first set out in business but as long as you have a plan and a list of tasks to get through, there is no reason why you can’t turn the seed of an idea into a successful venture.

John Pearce is a business consultant who likes to believe that he keeps his clients on the right track when it comes to growing an maintaining their business. Read his articles online at business blogs.

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What Makes Your Home Business Attractive?

So that your home business can thrive, what are you doing to attractive new customers?

Some home business owners will turn to as much advertising and marketing as their budgets will allow. In doing so, they can demonstrate the lure of their products and/or services.

Others, meantime, opt for a heavy dose of stellar customer service to win new customers. Show a new customer how much better your service is than the competition’s, allowing you to win them over for years to come.

Knowing what makes your home business attractive is not something you can sleep on. In fact, it should be something you make a priority of.

That said take some time to re-evaluate what truly makes your home business attractive, allowing you to capitalize on that now and in the years to come.

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Truly Understanding Success

So that you can better understand what makes your home business tick, start by re-evaluating the entire process.

Okay, you may think that you do not have the time for such actions, but wouldn’t your business be better off if you did take the time and effort?

To start with, compare you revenue numbers from a year ago at this time.

Are they ahead of where they were last year? Are you essentially about where you were ago? The last and worst scenario, are you behind now from where you were a year ago at this time? Even if you are ahead of where you were at this point in 2015, don’t rest on your laurels. Complacency for any business, especially one that is typically a one-person show and operating with less financial capital than the big boys, can be a recipe for trouble.

In the event your numbers are down from a year ago, determining the reason or reasons for this is not a choice, it is a necessity.

While it could be any number of reasons, one could be your company’s overall organizational skills (or lack thereof them).

Don’t Lack for Website Skills

One area where you do not want to be lacking in organization is your website.

As a home business owner, stop and think for a moment where you would be without a top-notch website.

A solid website should be organized, informative, authoritative, well-promoted, and something that allows you to distance yourself from the immediate competition.

When it comes to organizing the site, how much of your time and effort goes into making sure it looks clean and gives customers (present or potential ones) everything they need at their fingertips.

Some customers may want to use your site to download and order purchase items, something a tradebit or other similar sites can easily provide.

Others may simply want to come to your site to gain more information on the industry with which you are a part of.

No matter the reason, you and your website can’t afford to drop the ball.

Another area of importance is properly promoting your site, especially on social networks.

If you do not already, make sure you display your respective social media icons (the sites you have accounts for) somewhere on the front page of your site. This allows you to demonstrate that you not only have a social media footprint as a home business owner, but that it is also important to you.

Also keep in mind that your website is essentially the best mouthpiece you have as a home business owner.

That said you should always look at your site as a money-making vehicle, along with being informative for consumers.

There are countless home businesses operating nationwide these days, so the opportunities are literally endless for the millions of people involved in these.

Taking the time to really get to know what separates your home business from the competition is more important than you might think.

Always devote some time and energy to making sure your business is not taking anything for granted, along with always looking to improve things.

As any smart home business owner can tell you, he or she didn’t strike it rich overnight.

In many cases, it takes hours and hours of hard work and dedication to turn a decent profit.

Will you be one of those successful home business stories?

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How To Use The Internet To Grow Your Local Business

Ensuring your business is successful no doubt takes up most of your time. Your business is your lifeline; its success affects your quality and way of life, on top of providing you the cash you need to pay the bills, put a roof over the family’s head and pay for food. Making sure your company survives and grows means having a great product or service on offer, offering high-value prices, boasting excellent customer service and standing out in the crowd.

In this increasingly competitive economy, marketing your business is arguably more important than ever. Small businesses may not be looking to get themselves on prime-time TV, but they should be looking to market their business effectively if they want the maximum potential return on investment. Even small, local operations can find themselves increasing profits through online trade and often find a great website can transform a small operation into a national one.

Local Internet Marketing

Utilising internet marketing, in all its forms, should be a top priority for local businesses in the UK. Customers are searching for all types of businesses and when they’re looking to buy, local searches are commonly used. By this, we mean people are searching for specific businesses in specific areas, and that’s why Thomson Local is the go-to place for local business advertising. This company is used by millions of customers in the UK, and they generate millions of online referrals and deliver millions of directories to households and businesses. Thomson’s goal is the same as what yours should be; to attract business from as many potential customers as possible.

Using the Internet to Get Found By Customers

Getting your business onto online directories is a no brainer, but to unlock online sales to the maximum potential and really watch your business boom, you should be utilising numerous channels of internet marketing. If you get to grips with what you need to do and, in time, master the art, internet marketing can be extremely cheap – oftentimes free – but you should always seek advice where you’re not sure to get the maximum return on your efforts.

  • Social Media Marketing – You might be a traditional family-run business that’s been operating just fine for decades, and you might not be an avid user of Facebook yourself, but these days everybody is using social media, including your customers. Many people spend hours browsing through the social media feeds and millions of people check their feeds periodically through the day. If you attract followers to your page, you can share news about products and promotions that will be read by potential customers. Plus, they may share this news to others. You can respond to queries and complaints instantly to bolster your customer service, and if your campaign is a success, you can watch your customer base grow.
  • Having a Good Website – When people are searching for your business online, it’s important that you have a website for them to find. Online directories can help your business get found by local customers, but nowadays, they’ll want to find more than just a phone number and a location on a map – though both of those are completely necessary. They’ll want to take a look at your website and get a first impression of how professional your business looks. They’ll likely want to be able to look at products or have a general read of what your business is about. It’s also extremely likely that many of them will want to buy products from you online. Most of your competitors will be doing it, so having a website nowadays is crucial to staying in the marketplace.
  • Search Engine Optimisation – Just making a website is like putting a drop into the ocean. The internet is flooded with existing websites and new ones are created in abundance on a daily basis. Standing out in the crowd is what will bring your website success, and this is achieved via good search engine optimisation. Google among other search engines have a very complex system of deciding which websites are most relevant to user searches, but you can help your website reach the first page and attract more viewers by publishing content regularly, bearing in mind keywords your customers may search for and making sure they are featured in your text, building relationships with other businesses who can help spread the word of your website, and –as aforementioned – being featured on online directories and running successful social media campaigns.
  • Content Marketing – Many people are now immune to the hard sell. People don’t want salesman knocking on their doors and they don’t want to read articles on a website that focus solely on attracting their custom. People browse the internet at their own leisure, and as such, would prefer to read a more engaging article with useful information. Guest blogging and placing blogs on your own website, which explain things or provide a solution to a problem, can help build trust with potential customers and lead to future sales. Many businesses find success attracting new followers to their social media profiles by sharing related industry news and not always focusing on advertising themselves.

All of the above may be hard to master for new or inexperienced users, which is the reason so many businesses are around to help you market your business locally using the internet. Investing in one of these companies could be a good idea, but getting your business on Thomson Local really is a must. This company’s purpose is to get you found and it works with many partners to do just that, but it’s still important to remember other vital ways to attract new business using the internet. Social media marketing, having a great website that is search engine optimised and producing high quality content will all help you take your business into the future.

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What Can Virtual Assistants Do For You?

Virtual Assistant

No, a virtual assistant is not something out of a science fiction movie. A virtual assistant is often a freelancer working from home (virtually) who can help you with your business. So what can virtual assistants do for you? Well, they can do just about anything a physical assistant could; often at a fraction of the cost. Here are some ideas:
Virtual Assistant
Presentations
Last minute meeting and you don’t have your presentation ready? Your virtual assistant can help you with this. Maybe you have all the content ready to go but you don’t have the time or expertise to put into a shareable format. This is a great task to assign to your virtual assistant, simply provide some instructions and wait for the results.

Research
Is your business set to expand into a new arena? Do you need to do some research on potential clients or competition? Give this job to your virtual assistants and let them loose. They will scour the world wide web and bring back a well written data driven document on the topic of your choice. This is not only time saving but can be crucial in making your next big move.

Emails
Out of control inboxes are far to common these days. This is something your virtual assistant could help with. Imagine waking up Monday morning to a single email from your assistant telling you the highlights and must does from the weekends messages. I couldn’t think of a better way to start your week.

Chasing Clients
Maybe you know there is business out there but you don’t have the time to chase up all those leads in your Rolodex (or digital equivalent.) Share these ideas with your digital assistant and have them send personalized email or physical mailers. Instead of using a mass email service you could be having your assistant write customized personal messages geared at each client. These emails could pay off big time and you will be thanking your virtual assistant.

Vacation Planning
Its not only business, you could also have your virtual assistant help with something more fun. A digital assistant is the perfect tool for planning your and your families next getaway. Your virtual assistant can look up the perfect hotels, restaurants and flights. They can also find unique things for you to do while on vacation. Imagine having your next trip all sorted out before you even leave home, so all you had to think about are the waves rolling up on the beach.

These are only a few of the possible things your virtual assistants can do for you. The sky is the limit on what tasks you can assign your virtual assistant. Once you get used to your virtual assistant you will be wondering how you ever lived without one.

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Ways To make Money From Home

Making money from home sounds too good to be true right? While you are right to be skeptical, there are plenty of legitimate ways you can make money from home. So have a look at this list for some tips of you want to make your living from the comfort of your home.
Make Money From Home

Choose Something You Are Good At
Do you know multiple languages? Maybe you would make a good translator. A sports nut? Maybe selling collectibles online would be a good way for you to make money from home. Do you have a history in the medical field? Maybe you could make a good living transcribing medical records from the comfort of your couch. The key is to isolate your skills, what sets you apart from others. With today’s global economy, the more niche your skill is, the more you are in demand and the more you can make.

Do Your Homework
Whether it is asking friends, family, or just about anyone; it is important to ask around to find a way to make money from home that will work for you. Web searches are a useful tool as well. Online forms are a good place to start. Try to find people that are doing what you want to do. Ask them how they got into the field and what advice they have. The more you know, the better. Make sure you have a good sense of the job markets, the salaries, and the required qualifications before you quit your day job.

Use Geography in Your Favor
Apartments cost more in Manhattan than they do in Idaho. This basic principle can be key to being successful making money from home. Just because your client or boss is based out of a city with a high cost of living, doesn’t mean you have to but it likely means the pay will be. So if you are living in a city with a low cost of a living and entry level position in a city with a high cost of living could be very lucrative. You can take this a step further and go the Digital Nomad route, earning an American salary while living a low-cost life abroad

Remember just because you may being working from you couch or in your favorite Sponge Bob pajamas, doesn’t mean you are not working. Don’t expect working from home to be any easier than your traditional day job, in fact it may be harder. When your boss (or clients) are not seeing you face to face, they will be more adamant about seeing your results, so be prepared to work. Keep that in my mind if you are planning to make money from home.

 

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How to Design the Ultimate Home Office

Ultimate Home Office

Are you lucky enough to have a job that lets you work from home? Then you know the importance of a home office. Whether you are remolding your current house or building out a new condo, here is a guide on how to design the ultimate home office.

Ultimate Home Office

Choose the Right Space
Depending on your unique situation you could have a large spare room, an attic, a basement, or maybe just the kitchen table in your studio apartment; no matter your situation once you choose a space you can start getting it ready for work. So pick a space that will have ideal privacy and ideal space. You don’t want to feel cramped and you also do not want constant distractions.

Make sure you pick a place with good wifi and plenty of power outlets if needed. You also want to pick a place that will feel cozy, while you can make an attic or basement work; chances are you will be spending a lot of time in your home office so you want to make it a place you’d like to stay. If you are going to be working from home long term, maybe it is a good opportunity to have AnyWeather Roofing inspect your attic and roofing system for a potential loft conversion. Loft spaces are all the rage nowadays and with adequate use of windows, they provide the perfect amount of natural light.
Get Inspiration
There are plenty of online publications to provide inspiration for your ultimate home office. Whether you are looking for a playful, hip, tech vibe or a classic leather, classy, madmen feel; you can’t find out unless you look. You can also head to furniture show rooms to get an idea for what trends are in and you may come home with plenty of fresh ideas. Also try searching online, once you have your furniture in mind, don’t forget about the decorations! Once you have an inspiration for your style, make it your own. Add a coat of paint and some framed art and your space will show your personal style and get you on the right track to coming up with creative ideas. You don’t wan’t to have a cookie cutter office, there is a reason you left the cubicle remember? So make some unique changes that reflect your style, needs, and your space.
Budget

So you have your space picked out and you have plenty of inspiration for furniture and style. Now it times to determine your budget. Take into account the amount you bring home from your home business and plan accordingly. Maybe the five-thousand dollar leather couch can wait until business is really booming. It is important stay to your budget once you fix it, remember to focus your budget on the most essential pieces, you can add more fun and secondary furniture pieces as you business grows.

What are you waiting for? Start walking around your place and deciding which area would make your ultimate home office. Once you have your space decided, get your inspiration on by searching online or heading out to your local furniture showroom. Don’t forgot the last step, plan your budget; while it it may not be the most fun, remember you are running a home business here. Next thing you know you will be working in the ultimate home office.

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Best Homebased Businesses To Get Into

Homebased Businesses

Tired of your morning commute? Sick of your boss or career?  Want to spend more time around the house with your family and pets? Maybe you want to be able to travel more? One solution to all this problems is to work from home. If you are not sure where to start here are some of the best homebased businesses to get into.

Translator
Knowing two or more languages can be a head start in many ways, and it is definitely a major advantage if you want to be a part of a homebased business that deals with translations. Working through an agency or as a freelancer there is plenty of money and flexibility provided through translating. So long as you can read and write or in some cases just speak more than one language you will likely be able to find a job in this lucrative industry.
Homebased Businesses

Jewelry Maker
Jewelry is something that can requires very little space, inventory, and start up cash; this makes it a very tempting idea for a homebased business. If you are a creative, hip, and business minded person, there is no reason you can’t start a business selling unique jewelry via the internet. Whether you sell through your own site or an online marketplace, if you have a product people want, you can make a good living selling unique earrings and necklaces form home.

Copywriter
Was language arts your favorite subject in school? Or do you have a natural gift with words? How about working as a freelance copyrighter. No, unique skill set is required just a good understanding of the english language and the knowledge of the subject the matter is helpful too. A copyrighter can make a good living writing for advert agencies or on a freelance basis. Though it is sometimes a difficult field to get your foot in the door, once you get going there is a plenty of lucrative work in this field. It is also a notoriously flexible position with the ability to work from home.

The primary trick to getting into a successful home based business is to utilize a skill you already have. If you have a knack for creativity or fashion, perhaps selling unique handmade clothes or jewelry is for you. Maybe you know multiple languages (including computer programming languages) you can utilize these skills to make a large profit from home.  You look through your previous work experiences, educational history, and personal passions and try to find an idea that utilizes two of them. Once you have that idea do the math and see if there is a way to make this economically feasible from your home. Remember life is short and the sooner you get your idea off the ground, the faster you can be relaxing and working from your couch.

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