Home Office Cash Flow: Staying in Pursuit of Foldin’ Money

Cost Cutting, Create & Run Your Biz, Legal & Accounting
January 27th, 2016 No Comments »

For any small business owner or home-based company, nothing brings slacking cash flow into sharp relief like the sagging bank balance. The numbers start to dwindle; meanwhile, bills on the desk or inbox start to pile up. For those who pay Uncle Sam monthly or quarterly, your (silent) business partner is always out there, uninterested in your excuses – just lookin’ for his payroll tax deposits in the form of real, foldin’ money.

Look, no one hung their home business or small business shingle way back when and said, “Man, I’m gonna really dig sportin’ that back-office hat!” But billing, invoicing and collecting on money owed your business is essential. It’s the fuel of your micro-economy.

What’s a small business bloke to do?

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New or Used: Buying a New Smart Phone to Power the Home-Based Business

Cost Cutting, Technology
November 9th, 2015 No Comments »

I bought a new iPhone recently. No big deal for most, I imagine. In the three days after Apple released its iPhone 6 line, 13 million people could make the same claim. As a home office owner who’s always trying to nip coin from my home business bottom line, my buy was different. Though off contract with my carrier, I refused to waltz into their shop and plunk down $700 up front or $25 a month for whatever “deal” they’re touting these days for the pleasure of having a ball-n-chain attached to my bankbook.

Instead, I decided to follow a new trend and buy “gently used.”

Through a process that was part realization (that I needed a phone with more capacity), and part resignation (that, alas, my old phone otherwise was fully functional and obedient), I launched an exercise of exhaustive research borne from my refusal to go the traditional route of buying from the shysters at the phone company.

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Home Office Hack: A Portable ‘Pocket Billboard’ Protector

Cost Cutting, innovation
December 12th, 2014 No Comments »

As a freelance journalist and corporate copywriter bitten by the Spartan bug infected with frugaluenza, I’m not one to invest in frilly or superfluous stuff. My favorite laptop bag is a 10-year-old Oakley knapsack I’d just as soon take to a four-day music festival as I would to a client meeting. I don’t carry a $1,000 Macbook, instead preferring my $249 Chromebook. And don’t get me started on my business suit (note the singular).

I’m also a lover of home office hacks that improve the workspace. I’ve written about designing the perfect desk and shot a video about using a shoe organizer to store all the electronics, cables and wires common to the home-based workspace.

So it’s no surprise that I’ve also eschewed at least one accessory common to the networker and events circuit – and hacked my way to a solution. I don’t own a traditional business card holder (heck, I don’t even know that many folk do these days). But I do hate when business cards stored loosely in the car get frayed and blemished around the edges.

So one day, while pulling the key card from its sleeve at a hotel, it dawned on me that the card is about the size if a business card. I could slip a few cards into the sleeve and slip the sleeve into my car, and these “pocket billboards” as they’ve been called would be protected from general abuse.

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Use Space Creatively — and Be Your Own Boss

Cost Cutting, Create & Run Your Biz
October 3rd, 2010 No Comments »

Today’s Guest Post reveals how the effective use of self-storage facilities can create small and home-based business opportunities. It’s also another example of “outside the box” thinking for entrepreneurs.

When I first started working in the self storage industry, I never imagined that I would run into so many idealists — men and women who had a dream and were determined to make that dream come true. I think the recession may also be bringing this drive out in a lot of people with the growing need to be resourceful in order to survive. The good news is that if you have an idea and a little ingenuity, the path is yours to make. Read More »

Picking the Perfect Home Office / Small Business Printer

Cost Cutting, Technology
August 12th, 2010 No Comments »

My trusted printer died recently. I got about three years out of it. A guy at a local ink and toner store said I was lucky to have it that long. I guess that’s like getting 25 months out of a cell phone’s two-year contract.

PrinterSo I went hunting for a new printer. We’ve all done this before – more times than we care to recall. The problem with consumer electronics is the built-in obsolescence and anticipation of failure. Constructed of chincy metals and flimsy plastics, we’ve been preprogrammed to expect failure.

Short-lived printers are only part of what keeps printer companies in business. What really puts black ink on their bottom line is the cost of replacement cartridges. Look up “Loss Leader” in the Consumer Electronics Dictionary and a picture of a printer will accompany a definition that reads, “The process of convincing consumers that an low-price printer is a good deal – but hook them on reallllly expensive ink.”

Ink, it seems, is the Achilles’ heel of owning a printer. So, finding the right printer and having good print strategies is important.

Having bought a few printers in my day, I have a few parameters and guidelines for the buying process. It starts with a summary of my expectations. For example, some of the things I want are… Read More »

Home Office or Small Business: Creatively Cut Costs & Overhead

Cost Cutting, Guest Column
May 8th, 2010 No Comments »

Ask a small business or home office worker about the most difficult operational tasks needed to be dealt with. The answer often is, “Staying on budget with monthly expenses.” In challenging economic times, or any competitive market, businesses face this recurring obstacle every month.?Guest Contributor Kevin Baker discusses ways to cut ongoing costs.

It seems every time you turn around, there is another expense, a delay in payment, or some other circumstance that has a negative effect on your cash flow.

Instead of putting something away for an even rainier day, you find yourself sweating it out until it’s time to flip to the next page of the monthly calendar for a fresh influx of cash.

Make the money and the month line up better by?rethinking some of your business assumptions — including what constitutes a must-have expense.?Following are a few ideas that can help improve your overall cash flow.

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