If You Don't Have a Home-Based Business, Start One Today!

Written by Sandy Botkin

This may be a decade of tremendous corporate profits and economic growth, but forrepparttar vast majority of North Americans,repparttar 117606 90's have been a dismal, uphill climb. And many economists believe that this next, new millennium won't be getting better any time soon.


Changing business and government attitudes arerepparttar 117607 reason. There has seemingly been more anti-business legislation inrepparttar 117608 last decade than in any other this century. Stronger employment and labor laws,repparttar 117609 Age Discrimination in Employment Act,repparttar 117610 Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, which includes mandating health insurance for workers for a period of time after they leave employment), safety laws, much tougher laws for discharging workers, more liabilities for lawsuits, Family Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (which is creating immense numbers of lawsuits), along with higher minimum wages and fringe benefits.

Just reading this list is exhausting.

While these acts have beneficial and protective aspects, they have also encouraged businesses to move their facilities. That "sucking sound" popularized by Ross Perot is not just down to Mexico, but elsewhere as well. The result has been a dramatic loss of heavy industry inrepparttar 117611 U.S.

The young andrepparttar 117612 middle-aged alike are realizing that their dream of "having a job with a company forever" is an illusion. Companies have been downsizing, rightsizing, and capsizing for some time now, and they continue to do so - more now than ever before. Evenrepparttar 117613 federal and state governments are getting into repparttar 117614 act with layoffs and attrition of jobs.

In addition to all this uncertainty and mutual lack of loyalty between companies and employees, evenrepparttar 117615 workers who do not keep their jobs have no guarantee of promotions due torepparttar 117616 shrinking number of management positions. These circumstances aggravaterepparttar 117617 already tryingly long commutes in rush hour traffic and increasingly typical frustrated boss-spelled backwards, that double S-O-B.

Finally, if all this isn't bad enough, under recent tax laws employees are shafted more than ever with limits and thresholds for their employee deductions and higher social security tax limits. This results in more couples working than ever before and, on many occasions, working more than one job. It is now almost impossible to have only one job inrepparttar 117618 family and make ends meet! Today, many households need three incomes just to survive.

Sadly, even having more than one job does not produce any major positive effect on most people's bank accounts. Why? Because of tax laws. This was well illustrated in 1994 by Jane Bryant Quinn in her Woman's Day article on "How to Live on One Salary."

Where The Money Goes

Ms. Quinn's example assumed that a man was earning $40,000 per year. His wife (we will call her Lori) wasn't working. They had more month than money. (Sound familiar?) Lori subsequently got an administrative job for $15,000 per year. You would think this would improverepparttar 117619 family's financial situation, but when Ms. Quinn examinedrepparttar 117620 economics of getting this extra income, repparttar 117621 results were startling!

Lori had to pay federal and state taxes on her new income. Since they filed jointly,repparttar 117622 family's combined income was what established their tax bracket. She paid $4,500 in new taxes, most of which was non-deductible, for federal and state income tax.

Lori had social security withheld from her paycheck atrepparttar 117623 rate of 7.65 percent, which amounted to an additional nondeductible amount of $1,148 being extracted from her salary. She also had to commute to work 10 miles a day round trip, which is probably conservative for most people. This resulted (in 1995) in nondeductible commuting costs of $696.

Lori also had some child care expenses, which give a partial tax credit. Ms. Quinn figured thatrepparttar 117624 amount spent over and beyondrepparttar 117625 tax credit was $4,250 per year.

Lori also ate out each day with colleagues, spending an average of $5 per day, five days a week. This results in a nondeductible expense of $1,250 per year. (I would love to know where she ate fore only $5!)

Now that Lori has a job, she has to have professional clothing, this means a hefty dry cleaning bill. Ms. Quinn assumed that Lori's increased expenses here amounted to an extra $1,000 per year, nondeductible, of course.

Finally, with both spouses working, Lori wasn't inrepparttar 117626 mood to cook dinner every night. They bought more convenience foods and ate out more frequently. This resulted in increased food costs of a nondeductible $1,000 per year in minimum.

Add it all up and Lori's take home pay was a paltry $1,156 a year, for which she had to put up with a daily commute, an unpleasant boss, and corporate hassles. (Seerepparttar 117627 following summary of all of these numbers, so you can dorepparttar 117628 math for yourself.)

No wonder more and more people are starting home-based businesses. In fact, there are currently an estimated 30 million people working from their homes. This number is expected to more than triple, to 97 million, byrepparttar 117629 year 2000, and to keep on growing. This has become and will continue to be one ofrepparttar 117630 greatest mass movements inrepparttar 117631 U.S.

Why a Home-Based Business Makes So Much "Cents"

There are many reasons why so many people are favoring home-based over traditional business.

There is no commute (unless you have a really big home), no boss, little if any chance of lawsuits, must lower overhead, no employees, (or few), and far fewer government restrictions. In fact, many ofrepparttar 117632 laws previously cited don't apply to small firms with few or no employees. It is for these reasons, according to Entrepreneur magazine, that 95 percent of home-based businesses succeed in their first year and achieve an average income of $50,250 per year with many earning much more.

There are really two sets of tax laws in this country. One is for employees, and it allows deductions for individual retirement accounts, 401(k)s (if you have one set up by your company), interest and property taxes on your home (which some in Congress want to do away with ), and charity. Then there arerepparttar 117633 laws for home-based business people who conduct their business either full-time or part-time. They can deduct, with proper documentation ,their house, their spouse, and even children (by hiring them), their business vacations, their cars, and their food with colleagues. They can also set up a pension plan that makes any government plan seem paltry by comparison.

Exploit Your Very Own Gold Mine

Written by Dave Balch

I was in a store last night and they had a mailing list sign-up sheet onrepparttar counter. It said "Give us your address so we can let you know about specials, sales, and news about our store." Good idea!

Every business owner has a private gold mine just sitting there and very few seem to be taking advantage of it: their current customers. We all know how expensive it is to get a new customer, but how many of us are getting all we can fromrepparttar 117605 customers we already have? This isn't rocket science; you are providing a valuable product or service and your current customers already know and trust you. Be in a position to make special offers to them to getrepparttar 117606 biggest bang for your advertising buck. To do this, you must know who they are and how to reach them. To do that, create a database that is just for customers. Anyone who has ever bought anything from you or inquired should be in it. START NOW, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW YOU WILL USE IT; it takes time to accumulaterepparttar 117607 data and enter it. Then, when you decide how to use it you'll be ready to rock 'n roll!

Collectingrepparttar 117608 data may be easy or it may not, depending on your situation. The retail merchant I mentioned earlier only had walk-in traffic, so they had to ask forrepparttar 117609 information. There's nothing wrong with that. It's actually better, because their customers are ASKING to be sold to! If your business is mail order, you already have shipping information; be sure you have their mailing address as well. If you want, you can even keep track of what they buy, so you can send them specialized mailings. If you owned a pet store, for example, you could note whether they buy dog or cat products. Then you could send specialized mailings for each type of pet.

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