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Walla Walla, WA





Updated: 2018-03-06T15:24:25.284-08:00

 



Hit Your Home Business Potential With These Instructions

2012-04-19T20:01:01.558-07:00

Learn some tips that can help you learn how to start your own home business. They will help you figure out what you need for your business, how to get more customers, more sales and to make money. It's not so scary once you know the basics.

You must be sure to check into zoning laws for your area. They differ by location and you can find this information at your local City Hall. There may be restrictions in place for certain kinds of businesses and you are going to want to be sure what you are doing is legal.

Keep a receipt of every business related expense that you incur. This information is valuable when it is time to do your taxes. Create a folder to file the receipts so that you do not lose them. Periodically put the information into a spreadsheet so that it is not overwhelming to look through at the end of the year.

Invest in a smartphone for your business to ensure that you're reachable at all times. You can set the ring to vibrate so that it doesn't bother you while you're out with friends or family, but it's good to check to see what's happening in your email or on your answering machine, every hour or so.

Learn about what the signs of business trouble look like. You are going to want to know the warning signs of what could happen long before it actually happens. If you can see it coming, you may be able to make some changes to your business to keep bad times from happening.

When starting a home business, it is vital that you choose something that really plays into your interests. You want to work in something that you really love, and enjoy doing. If you don't like your work, and you are the boss, you will not succeed in any home business.

Remember that any driving you do related to your business can be written off on your taxes. Keep a detailed log of any driving you do to perform your home business duties, whether it is picking up raw materials for products or driving to drop off a shipment. You might be surprised at what you get back!

To have a successful home business, you need to set your personal wants and preferences firmly aside. While making your own hours and being your own boss are the obvious highlights of working from home, that does not mean that your clients do not still expect professionalism from you both in your work and in your delivery of that work.

You are ready to start your home business, selling through an online marketplace. Stop. Ask everyone you know about their experience with different marketplaces. Was the customer service good? Was the seller service good? Your business will depend on the answers to these questions. --Now you can go ahead.

As you can see, starting your own home business isn't as difficult as it may appear. It just requires doing research, getting equipment, asking questions, getting documents and working hard in order to start and maintain it. The work will pay off once you see how it can help your future.



Disaster Preparedness For Your Small Business: How To "Weather" Any Storm

2012-02-15T22:03:23.657-08:00

In the event of a potential disaster, do you have a business continuity plan for your employees and your business? Are you backing up files on a routine basis, and could you recover them in an emergency?

On average, nearly 60 percent of businesses damaged in a disaster close after a year, according to the Association of Small Business Development Centers.

Last year's devastating hurricanes heightened awareness of the importance of disaster planning for businesses, large and small. But destruction of your company's infrastructure is not limited to natural disasters-it can happen anytime. Daily misfortunes like computer crashes, network breakdowns, and power outages threaten your business each and every day.

Having weathered four major hurricanes last year alone at its corporate headquarters in South Florida and across nearly 100 stores in the Gulf region, Office Depot has real-world experience in disaster planning and recovery. To help businesses be more prepared, the retailer has compiled "Disaster Preparedness: Advice You Can Depend on to Weather Any Storm."

"A sound contingency plan can enable your small business to respond effectively to a crisis, and prevent that crisis from becoming a full-fledged disaster," said Tom Serio, Director of Business Continuity Management for Office Depot.

According to Serio, the overarching principle in disaster planning and recovery is to protect your most valuable and irreplaceable assets: your people and your data. Among the guide's other recommendations:

• Keep contact information for employees and local emergency services, as well as key vendor and supplier information, updated and easily accessible. Establish a clear process for communications and plan how you will contact one another in different scenarios.

• Protect your business from faltering after a disaster by backing up key data at least once a week. Copy data to removable media, including DVD-R or CD-R discs, or to removable drives such as the Ativa McAfee Flash Memory Drive with anti-virus software.

• Move back-up software to a secure off-site location. Store copies and documents you use in day-to-day operations in a secure and fire-proof location like the Sentry Fire-Safe Electronic safe.

• Periodically review the data being stored on any back-up systems to ensure that the right data is being copied and that it can be restored.



Marketing Secrets for Small Business Owners

2012-02-15T22:03:02.186-08:00

If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably wondering where you can get the biggest bang for the buck with your marketing dollars. As a veteran marketing professional and small business owner myself, I understand the importance of making the most from a limited marketing budget.

The good news for today’s small business owner is that the Internet and local advertising can provide targeted reach at a reasonable cost. In particular, email, Internet marketing, and classified advertising, can generate huge returns for your business.

• Email Marketing. Each year, nearly 20 billion emails are sent to consumers and businesses. As many as 60 percent of these emails are considered SPAM and about 20% are automatically tagged as such – making their way into the SPAM mailbox of your everyday email client.

However, what most email marketers fail to tell you is that the most productive email solicitations don’t come from businesses, they come from word-of-mouth or viral marketing. Viral marketing is the practice of telling others about a positive experience with a brand, product or service.

As a small business owner, you can take advantage of email marketing by simply encouraging those who receive your emails to forward them to a friend. Also, tag your web pages with a “tell a friend” button which allows for easy emailing of a web page, URL, PDF, or related document. These features cost little or nothing to implement and can generate impressive results.

• Internet Marketing. Often the topic of Internet marketing scares off small business owners. However, Internet marketing itself can be an effective tool if leveraged appropriately. There are a variety of Internet marketing mediums. These options include “pay-for” Internet marketing options such as Google AdSense, the Yahoo! Directory and so on as well as free or cost neutral options.

In Internet marketing, there are a couple of techniques that are highly effective and cost little or nothing to implement. The first and most popular is article marketing. Are you a subject matter expert? If you are, provide articles to other well known websites that can get your company name and URL out there. This can be done for free and provides the added benefit of having other sites link to your website, increasing your site’s link popularity scores.

The second Internet marketing strategy that can drive you business is an affiliate program. At its most basic level, an affiliate program allows other website or companies to sell your products and receive a commission. Explore affiliate programs that can help distribute your products or services.

• Classified Advertising. Still one of the best and most affordable ways to sell your product, classified advertising can be effective if you run your ad for multiple weeks. For as little as $30 per week or less, you can get your company name, product, website, or other unique identifier in front of a local audience.

Weekly papers are especially good if you are targeting a small area. These local papers are also well read – often cover to cover. So, if you want to advertise, forget the large display ads, magazine ads, or anything that costs more than $100. Spend your money on classified ads and measure the response.

Marketing doesn’t have to break the bank for the small business owner. In fact, it should be seen as an important way to drive revenue for your business. If you have little or no money to spend on marketing, be sure to take advantage of email marketing, Internet marketing, and classified ads to drive the success of your business. Also, make sure that everything you distribute (letters, invoices, business cards, and even your voicemail) mentions your company name and website.



Business Development In The Rural

2012-02-15T22:02:41.145-08:00

There is that lure in the city. Cities have in its arms the infrastructures and commerce which makes it busy but productive. In the USA, there are these rural areas which are experiencing problems due to the lack of businesses even small-scale ones.

The establishment of businesses is a start of economic growth. One problem of the rural areas is that people lack capital. A few ventures because they do not have that much amount to initiate a business. With this, the local governments decided to provide loans and other financial assistance for those who wish to start right. There are agencies which cater the needs of borrowers. Some are short-term loans and some are assisting people to find an organization or entity to borrow capital from.

However, another problem is really a huge one though these loans are available. It was discovered that most rural Americans do not have the necessary skills in planning for the business or marketing.

We suggest that before getting a loan, borrowers must consider some points:

First, learn what a business plan is.

A business plan helps entrepreneurs demonstrate they have fully researched their proposed business, that they know how to build their product line and provide excellent customer service, that they know how to sell their products and that they know how to manage financial risk.

Second, know how to develop a marketing plan.

To develop a detailed marketing plan you must thoroughly understand your business, your target audience, your industry and your company's position in that industry. At the conclusion of this class you will have a written, detailed plan for your business that covers the structure of business, your product, marketing and financing. You will have the opportunity to work with legal, marketing and finance experts so that at the end of the course you will know how to access resources to help you start and build your business.

Third, attend some symposium on business planning.
The course will include presentations on business planning, worksheets to develop the business plan, and guest speakers on core issues such as legal matters and financial risk. Even if you come from what sector, a background about business planning will really help you out meet your objectives. Business is a venture but not a suicide. So, equip your self with the necessary preparation.

Always bear in mind that the rural area is essential. Its progress is a big factor in the over-all development of the whole state or country. Building businesses in rural areas is building the strong niche of the whole place.