Get the party started sooner with workflow software

It’s an old saying in business that time is money.

For that reason, it is extremely fair to say that almost every business would be interested in software which could help them complete their day to day tasks as quickly as humanly possible.

Workflow software is an extremely popular investment for a lot of business for this exact reason. This software allows project managers to clearly and easily monitor projects so that each part of a task can flow neatly into the other without any delay. Many business owners may agree that it has become one of the most important features of any business process management scheme.

The way it does this is by via the automation of certain business processes which don’t need manual approval. This has become more key than ever in an era where the internet and digital software has become key to the running of most businesses. One key example of the usefulness of workflow software is when a product is ordered over the phone or through a business website.

When it comes to a product being ordered in these ways, there are lots of steps between the order being finalised and the product arriving at a customer’s doorstep. A lot of these steps can be made simpler and easier with the use of workflow software. Workflow software can allow approvals of an order to be transferred from department to department automatically. A notification of approval can also be sent automatically.

Some workflow software is designed to facilitate tasks such as routing, processing and integration between certain types of software and hardware. Business are advised to enquire which type of workflow software will be the most suitable for them.

The more research they do into the benefits of such an investment, the quicker they will be able to perform a variety of business processes and the sooner they can get the party started!

Best At Home Businesses For Stay At Home Moms

It’s tough these days to make all the ends meet in our financial lives. With everything becoming more and more expensive, and many employers actually offering pay cuts instead of pay raises, more and more families are requiring two incomes to stay above the financial waters. As a mother, however, you may desperately desire to stay at home with your children. Well, you can. Now, there are jobs for stay at home moms, but for the purposes of this article, I would like to focus a few home-based businesses that you can start with relative ease.

The first one is day care. Now, I’m not saying you need to do an overhaul of your house to convert it into a modern-day day-care facility. Simply watching a few children every day can easy bring in hundreds, even a few thousand dollars a month extra. Day care is very expensive, as you know, so if you’ve earned the trust of parents with young children, you can easily persuade them to allow you to take care of their children instead of some day care. You could charge dramatically less than the average day care, and still come out way ahead.

Another great opportunity that few moms consider is to be a freelance writer. You don’t need to be an experienced writer; you just need to have some knowledge in a given topic. Companies like About.com will allow you to write on topics at your leisure and pay you well for it. This is a great business to start because the work is provided for you, and you can do it whenever you like.

Now, as I mentioned, there are jobs for stay at home moms which you can certainly pursue as well, but being able to have your own business from home will allow you to have the maximum amount of flexibility to tend to the needs of your children and your home.

Start a Home-Based Business

Starting your own home-based business can be a fantastic opportunity. You have the chance to work for yourself, make all the decisions and major calls, and maybe even choose your own schedule to watch the kids while you’re working from home.

However, with the power and perks of a home-based business often comes responsibility. If this responsibility is not handled properly, it could land both you and your business in hot water. There are plenty of legal ramifications to consider with such an operation, and being prepared can help you avoid potential issues that could be costly both in time and money.

Legal Operation

One of the first things you’ll likely have to consider in a home-based business is whether your operation is indeed legal to operate. Many locales have a variety of zoning laws and restrictions. Even certain housing developments, apartment communities or condominiums may have guidelines governing the operation of a home-based business. Therefore, it is important that before you make any sort of sizeable investment to get your business up and running that you make sure you are in compliance with area zoning and business operation rules and requirements.

Insurance Needs

A home-based business can be convenient in that it allows you to work from the privacy and comfort of your own home. However, this also means that customers and clients may be coming onto or into your property on a regular basis. A simple trip and fall by a customer on your property could result in a lawsuit. By having the necessary business and liability insurance paid up and in proper coverage amounts, you could be better protecting yourself legally when it comes to the possibility of injuries or other issues that might occur upon your property.

Employees

Insurance can also be important if you are planning to have someone other than yourself working in and around your home. While many home-based businesses are sole-proprietorships and don’t have to worry about employees, should you have someone working for you on the premises, it can be critical that you take this into consideration when it comes to your policy.

It is also critical that you know and understand the state and federal laws governing employee/employer relationships in order to avoid lawsuits pertaining to discrimination, harassment, and other workplace violations. You can check with the SBA (Small Business Administration) or your state government to learn more about the rules that apply to your home-based business, ask questions or get advice.

Taxes

While you may have done your personal income taxes in the past, starting a home-based business may make tax season a bit more difficult. Not only might you have personal income taxes with which to deal, but you could have business taxes as well. If you have employees or are planning to delve into the realm of business deductions, property tax deductions for a home-based business, and similar tax areas, you may want to consider seeking the advice and assistance of a tax professional. Having your tax issues squared away can help keep you out of legal hot water when it comes to you and your home-based operation.

Billy enjoys informing his readers of their legal rights as US citizens.  He can help if you are looking for a criminal attorney in Houston that will fight for your legal rights as an individual. If you have been arrested for assault, then a Houston assault lawyer is available to protect you against any un-just accusations.

Insurance Coverage – Is Your Small Business Protected?

You know that you need insurance coverage for your home, car, and even your health, but did you know that your business needs protection, as well?

Many entrepreneurs find themselves starting a business by chance, stumbling into being an entrepreneur, and making it up as they go along. The thought that they might need to purchase a business insurance policy probably doesn’t cross their mind.

Even the smallest of companies should look at what type of insurance coverage they need. While many small businesses probably could get away with a basic business owners policy, many other companies need specialized coverage. Depending on what industry you are in, what your company does, and if you have employees, your business insurance needs may include specialized coverages not found in a basic policy.

Basic Protection

If you are in business, then you need business insurance, period. The simplest policy you can get will include basic liability insurance protection, and should also have coverage for business property. If your company owns a building, you will need a property policy that covers the structure, as well as all of your other business property including computers, office furniture, etc.

No matter the size of your company, you need liability insurance for small business coverage. After all, if you are in business dealing with the public, or other companies, your company will be liable for its actions, as well as the actions of its employees. Depending on your situation, there is other specialized liability coverage that may be applicable to your business.

Specialty Protection

Business liability insurance coverage comes in many different forms, depending on the needs of your company. Following are some examples of liability coverage you may need to consider:

  • Vehicle insurance – Any company operating vehicles in the normal course of business should have a commercial auto insurance policy. Also, if you use a personal vehicle for business use, you will need a commercial policy. Most personal auto policies don’t provide coverage for business use.
  • Workers compensation insurance – If you have employees, then you may need to purchase workers compensation coverage. Most states require you to purchase this coverage once you have a certain number of employees, such as 4 or more. Workers compensation is a no-fault coverage that protects employees that are injured on the job.
  • Other coverage – You may need to purchase other specialized coverage including product liability insurance, surety or fidelity bonds, and errors and omissions insurance coverage. Discuss your company’s specific needs with a licensed commercial insurance broker to see what insurance coverage is right for your business.

Correct Coverage Levels

Once you have determined what type of business insurance coverage you need, you want to determine what levels of coverage you require. Your insurance policy limits should reflect the amount of exposure your business has. It does your company no good having the right insurance policies if the coverage limits are set too low.

No matter what type of business you own, you will need one form, or another, of business insurance coverage. Unless you are in the insurance business yourself, you may be having a difficult time figuring out what coverages you should purchase. This is where seeking professional advice is a great idea. Talk to a business insurance broker about what insurance your company needs, and discuss with your accountant what your coverage limits should be.

It is cheaper in the long run to purchase the business insurance coverage that you need now, rather than waiting until it is too late and being found liable for amounts that have the potential to put your company out of business. If you don’t have business insurance coverage, then get it today!

About the Author: Marshall Davis started Talking Small Biz (TalkingSmallBiz.com) to provide a source for small business services and product reviews. His website features products and services that help the entrepreneur start, grow, and maintain a successful business.

Finding Money for Your New Business

If you are thinking about starting a new business, chances are you are looking for ways to finance your new venture; very few entrepreneurs have saved enough money to launch their businesses without outside funding. The number of choices available to entrepreneurs for business financing can be bewildering, but some of the most popular options are below:

Bank Loan

This is perhaps the most traditional route for entrepreneurs to obtain financing for their new businesses. Banks have a large source of funding available to them, even if they are less than eager to lend it out in this economic environment. However you will be hard-pressed to find a better interest rate on a business loan than from a bank. Of course, in order to get that prime interest rate, you will have to jump through a few hoops. Most banks have very strict lending standards, and they will want to see a detailed business plan that specifies your goals and profit projections. Although this is a time-consuming task, it is something you already should be doing.

Credit Cards

If you are unable to acquire a bank loan, it is always possible to finance your business with a credit card. The benefit of this approach is that it does not require approval, which greatly expedites the process. However you will pay for this speed with a very high interest rate on the borrowed money. This will put extra pressure on your business to become profitable quickly so that you can pay off the debt on your card. Generally speaking, credit cards should be considered just a short-term source of cash.

Family and Friends

Another way to finance your business may be to obtain money from family and friends through a personal loan or by selling shares of ownership in the business. Family and friends will tend to be far better partners than a bank, which may be quick to call in a loan if things go poorly at first. However tensions could easily arise if the new business eventually fails, which could lead to considerable tension within the family as everyone wonders where their money went. If you decide to go this route, it is very important that you clearly spell out the risks associated with a small business before asking for seed money.

Of course, there are many other options available to the budding entrepreneur, and you would be wise to investigate many of them. There is a lot of money available to finance new businesses, and if you have a good idea, there is a decent chance that you will be able to obtain some of that money for yourself.

Article provided by Touch Financial an online business finance service and solution company.

Make a Vending Machine Investment Work for You

A vending machine can be a wonderful investment. The initial investment is much smaller than most other retail opportunities, and the business requires minimal work and ongoing capital. Considering the around-the-clock earning potential without any staff on hand, there are plenty of chances to earn profits. With a little bit of planning, a little bit of work and a little bit of gumption, there’s no reason that this investment can’t work wonders for your pocketbook. Whether you want some extra cash on the side or a whole new career, the following information should help you achieve your investment goals and make a vending business work for you.

Choose products and locations wisely

Spend time researching which products will sell and where the most opportune locations are so that you can make ongoing investments work just as well as the initial investment. The right products can make impressive profits without any effort on your part, but the wrong products can sit there until they are outdated and have to be thrown out, taking up space that could have been used for something profitable. With the wrong location, no one could see your products in the first place.

vending machines
Vending machines

Keep your income passive

One of the best things about vending machines is that they don’t require any staff to continuously sell products. As long as you are able to perform all the primary functions of your vending business without any paid assistance, you will be earning passive income, which provides returns on your investment even when you’re not thinking about it. The work of maintaining your fleet of vending machines should never be more than you and your family can handle; that way, you can spend your time doing what you please as your machines are making money for you.

Never invest more than you can afford

As long as you only invest what you can afford to spend out of pocket, you will never have to worry about your vending machines becoming unprofitable. There will be times when your vending machines aren’t earning money, but with careful planning the slow times won’t put a dent in your financial plan. Vending machines have incredible potential to earn returns on your investment as long as you keep the investments minimal. Once you start borrowing more than you can afford to quickly pay back, though, you begin to go down a slippery slope.

Joseph is a great writer and he especially enjoys writing about business. To learn more about Vending Machine please visit http://www.1800vending.com/

Image: vincentsl / Flickr

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Have you ever wondered where all of the information on the internet comes from?  The information on the net is called internet content, and someone has to write it; that someone can even be you.  Freelance writing is a fun and interesting career or sideline, depending on how good you are at it and how much time you want to devote to it.  One of the biggest advantages to it is how few the tools are, and how small the investment is, that you need to get started.

Computer

This is a given, of course, but you do have to have a computer that is speedy and powerful enough to process your documents efficiently.  If you have to spend half of your time downloading and uploading documents, or getting “hung up” because of a sluggish computer, even as a part timer, you will not make enough money to make it worth while.

Word processing program

Almost any word processing program can be used to write, but if the one you are using is not compatible with the most popular programs, you may leave yourself out in the cold.  There is a lot of competition in the field, and if a site owner wants to buy your material, he will be quickly dissuaded if he has to go through too much trouble to do so.  There are plenty of other writers using Microsoft Word.

freelance writing
Freelance writing

Internet access

Slow dial up connections will not only slow you down when you need to transmit your texts, but navigating on the sites where you will find your writing assignments will also be slow and tedious.  Time is money, so you have to be prepared to quickly review and bid on interesting projects.

Decent writing skills

The first three ingredients to being a freelance writer can be bought, but writing is indeed a gift.  You must have a good command of the English language and a real desire to write and an enjoyment of the writing process.  Most good writers are avid readers and learn a lot through their reading.  You can improve your writing skills by studying some writing guides or even taking a writing course, and you should have a usage guide (Fowler’s is the bible for most writers) that you can refer to when you are unclear about how a sentence should be constructed.

Great imagination

Here is where the rubber meets the road.  Unless you intend to concentrate on technical writing (which can be a lucrative niche if you have a strong specialty), you have to let your imagination run free and be able to call upon all of your life experiences, shared histories with others, and perhaps even a bit of fantasy.  You may want to make sure you have the highly developed imagination before you invest in the computer and the high speed internet access.

Before hiring a freelance writer, or agreeing to work as a writer for a new employer, you may want a criminal background check. Both parties involved can save themselves time and problems by doing this one simple task.

Image: ElvertBarnes / Flickr

Some of the Best Small Business Ideas for 2012

Happy New Year 2012, everyone!

Entrepreneurs – let’s kick off this year strong… I feel that 2012 is the breakthrough year for many small businesses. That being said, entrepreneurs considering to start a business this year but still haven’t discover the right business ideas to pursue, you’d better start looking now. You don’t want to late in riding the wave!

To inspire you, here are some resources I recommend you to visit for small business ideas – check ’em out:

2012 top 10 small business ideas
Noobpreneur.com presents you with 10 small business ideas that we think lucrative for 2012.

17 Great Business Ideas for 2012
Here are a few great business ideas for 2012 that might get your entrepreneurial juices flowing.

Top Small Business Ideas for 2012
25 lucrative small business ideas – 90 percent of them are services.

Business Ideas for 2012: Top 20 Small Business Ideas for Small Towns
20 local small business ideas that can help your local community’s economy grow.

30 Big Ideas, Trends and Predictions for 2012
Here are what small-business owners nationwide think of small business trends and ideas for 2012.