Smart Home Offices: Green, Open-Source & Stylish

design, Technology
September 29th, 2009 No Comments »

Ready to turn you your home office into a green, stylish and open-source workspace?

Go Green. Start by curbing paper use and cutting your energy consumption (dress down in summer, bundle up in winter), and buy green-certified home office supplies. This piece looks at ways to be green in the office. This can include recycled materials (like paper and ink / toner cartridges, for example), or even recycling your own. When I have paper to ditch, I cut it in quarters and use it as scrap paper.

Next, Go Open Source… Read More »

Economic Stimulus, Home Office, Whiners & Commitment

May 16th, 2009 No Comments »

The U.S. has 73 million home owners. And a large number of them work from a home office.

President Obama’s economic stimulus plan will help 9 million in over their heads in lousy mortgages — many of whom are whining about their lot.

Not me. This home officer will not complain.

(Nor will?Lisa Barone, in her post, “It’s Not the Recession, You Just Suck.”)

Read More »

In Brief: Home Office & Telework Tax Tips

Law / Tax & Zoning
May 12th, 2009 No Comments »

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean tax advantages ain’t yours for the taking (double negative notwithstanding [is notwithstanding a negative?])…

Some tax time brain food:

Commute from your home office? SmartMoney says get the home office deduction you’re due.

If you’re an independent contractor, a 1099er, a soloist or hold some other funky moniker to describe someone who works for him or herself, read Steven Fishman’s book(s) and get your due. Try MBO Partners for a bit of insights, too.

Home Office Prosperity Borne of the Cloud, Free Apps & Productivity Tools

Solo Business Strategies, Telework & Virtual Officing, The New Entrepreneur, The Responsible Home Office
April 20th, 2009 No Comments »

To run my home office and home-based business, I use a host of expensive applications and services.

I have a DSL line that runs me about $35 a month, a BlackBerry that’s significantly more, and a $750 PC. I have Microsoft Office, Intuit Quicken and various other programs whose “licenses” cost me money and keep me productive.

But I also use a host of free applications that improve productivity in ways and deliver level of “value” far beyond their price. I use Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts instead of Outlook, and sister app Picasa for photo management. I use Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, instead of Internet Explorer, and have OpenOffice installed on my laptop instead of Office.

I use WordPress as my Web / blog site engine, and of course Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and MySpace (as long as they’re free). I even use Skype to call a client in South Africa.

How much do I save? I don’t really know. But the improved functionality and power of performance (my PC run so much smoother without all those apps running locally from the hard drive) is a compelling argument at any price. Listen as I discuss the concept with Jim Blasingame of The Small Business Advocate.

Unemployed vs. UnderEmployed: Five Steps to Mastering a Slow Economy

January 3rd, 2009 2 Comments »

Some economists believe the U.S. unemployment rate will peak near nine percent in the first half of 2009 (Happy New Year – here’s your pink slip…).

Millions of Americans – without jobs.

But what about millions more who will be “under-employed” – like those who work in a home office?

As a long-time freelancer, I’ve seen the cycles. During the dotcom-phenom of the late 1990s, I had ample work and raked in healthy Form-1099s at year’s end.

Then the dot-bubble dot-burst. While I still was employed by Jeffery D. Zbar Inc., the more appropriate word was “under-employed.” As venture capital-drenched tech firms fell off, so, too, did their roster of independent contractors. Many still had other gigs, but they were fewer in number and most paid less. Hence, under-employment. Read More »

Home Business Price War: Getting Your Worth vs. Leaving Money on the Table

Legal & Accounting, Soloing
August 6th, 2008 No Comments »

I got a check from a client yesterday. It’s always a good day when a check comes in.

Yet this check’s arrival to my home office was bittersweet (and not just because of that issue I always jokingly bring up with my wife: “Good news, bad news. Good news: A check came in. Bad news, my receivables just dropped. Time to boost receivables again…”)

Sure, the check came in. So I had some money to spend. But from the moment I bid the project, I felt I underbid – big time. Or, as negotiators say, I “Left money on the table…” Read More »

‘Pest’ Defined: The CFO in the Home Office

Legal & Accounting
June 3rd, 2008 No Comments »

Scanning Quickbooks this morning (what else do I do at 5 am in the home office?) I made a rather disturbing discovery: A monthly column I’d written for a national magazine had gone uninvoiced. For more than a month.


There it was — a gaping void where a date of invoice should be. I immediately pulled up an old invoice,? typed in the correct information, saved it, resaved it as a PDF, and emailed it out. I even included a little humor about my tardiness — and asked that my editor expedite the payment as “beer’s running low” in the home office.

Daniel’ll get the humor, though I’m sure he’s a vodka guy.

But the exercise proved a few key points about F&A (finance and accounting) in the home office:

– Invoice. Fast. As my friend Jim Blasingame always says, as entrepreneurs, we eat what we kill. But if we don’t bring our kill to the kitchen, no one’s going to do it for us. In other words, a project’s undone until it’s been invoiced — and payment has been received.

– Watch those receivables. At least weekly, I try to remember to review my receivables to make sure they’re still current. That’s how I found this one.

– Don’t be shy. Use Read Receipts to receive notices that your invoice was read by your recipient. If you don’t receive a receipt in the next day or two, the recipient might have declined. Send an email asking if he or she received it. You’re not being a pest. It’s just good business housekeeping.

Since Daniel edits a magazine, and most magazines pay upon publication (as opposed to submission of the article), it might still be a few weeks before the invoice is paid. But my invoice is in the pipeline. I’m awaiting his Read Receipt. I won’t get it quite yet. It is 5 am after all…

Home Office & Small Business Finances: It’s the $$ You Get

Legal & Accounting
May 26th, 2008 No Comments »

Ask any accountant or tax planner about business or personal finances, and they have a mantra they seem to follow: It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

In the home office, I have a different code of financial wisdom: Before what you make becomes what you keep, it’s what converts from receivable to collection that’s important. In other words, it’s what you get that’s critical.

It’s been a solid first five months of the year. Billings are high, and my client load has been fairly agreeable in turning their AP (accounts payable) into my positive cash flow. But there always are those few who lapse, who get a bit behind, who “misplace” my invoice or are simply slow to pay.

In the home-based business, where corporate collections become the home officer’s salary, the two are inextricably linked. And the tardy are the ones who turn cash flow into a train wreck.

A few tips to keeping collections on track: 索莱尔注册开户送 游戏对战平台排行榜

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