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Don't Risk Financial Ruin: Have an Entry Plan
This money home business tips guide is intended to present 4 top home business ideas, and the first one is this: Depending on the nature of your business, it can take from six months to a year to get underway, one to three years to turn a profit, and three to five years to become self-sustaining. This means, in the context of money home business tips, you must have enough money to cover your costs of living and doing business during this start-up period. Consider these five entry plans as options:
* The Moonlighting Plan. Keep your full-time job and develop your business as a sideline until it takes off and you can rely on it entirely for your livelihood.
* The Part-time Plan. Work a part-time job to provide a base income while you're building up the operation.
* The Spin-off Plan. Turn your previous employer into your first major customer or, if ethically possible, take a major client from your previous job to help launch your fledgling venture.
* The Piggyback Plan. If you have a working spouse or partner, reduce expenses so you can live on one salary until your business gets underway.
* The Have-Your-Clients-Finance-You Plan. If you have sufficient stature or expertise in your field, obtain retainer contracts with a few clients for one year so you will have an assured source of revenue.
Don't Let Lack of Money Stop You: Arrange for Start-up Funds
Fortunately, most home businesses do not involve extensive start-up costs. As a result, most people can "bootstrap" their fledgling operation using money from the following sources:
* Credit cards. You can put many business expenses on a credit card. However, try to limit charges to items that will pay for themselves by generating income relatively quickly.
* Personal loans. If you or a spouse has an existing job and a good credit record, banks will usually give you a personal loan more readily than a business loan.
* Home equity loans. If you own your home, refinancing it is one way to obtain a reservoir of start-up capital.
* Character-based micro-loans. The U.S. Small Business Administration and a variety of private foundations offer micro-loan programs for very small businesses to handle loans ranging from less than $1000 to $25,000. These loans are not based on a person's assets but rather on good character and proven management ability.
Don't Leave Payment to Chance: Get Written Agreements
When you work from home, contracts are your most important safeguard against problems with customers and clients, and help ensure that you are taken seriously as a business. Whatever your endeavor, create a standard contract to use, spelling out specifics such as what you will provide, when you will provide it, what it will cost, and when customers or clients are obliged to pay you.
While contracts can be verbal or written, written ones are certainly preferable. The best way to develop contract agreements that are customized to your specific needs is to consult an attorney. You can also talk with colleagues about the contracts they use, ask your professional or trade association for information, or attend a workshop on contracting. Many pro forma contracts are also available on computer software.
Don't Get Caught Short of Funds: Keep Cash Flowing
If you are self-employed, having a system for managing your cash flow is essential to the survival of your business. To use an analogy, cash flow is to your livelihood what breath is to life. The following seven steps will help ensure that the money you're owed comes in as quickly as possible:
* Get deposits, retainers or partial progress payments as often as you can.
* Get payment up front for expenses or arrange to charge them to your client's account.
* Bill immediately upon delivery of a service or product, instead of waiting until the end of the month.
* Take bank cards instead of extending credit.
* Use a check guarantee service so you can accept checks safely.
* Offer discounts of two to five percent for receipt of payment within 20 days from the date of invoicing.
* Act promptly on overdue accounts. The longer the account is overdue, the less likely it is to be paid.
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