Home Office Tax Expenses
Self-employed individuals often work out of their own home. If this is the case with you, here’s a primer on home office tax expenses you can claim on your taxes.
Home Office Tax Expenses
America is a country built on small businesses. Yes, the big companies are the darlings of the media, but the guts of our economy are the little guys pursuing the American Dream from the extra bedroom. Fortunately, the tax code contains deductions tailored to help cut your tax bill.
When claiming home office tax expenses, it is important to keep a receipt for each and every amount you are claiming. When dealing with the IRS, receipts are your ammo. Keep them at all costs.
When maintaining a home office, taxpayers often wonder how they differentiate a business expense from a simply home expense. The key is the square footage. Simply divide the square footage of your office by the total square footage of the home. This number is typically represented by a percentage such as 20 percent. Put another way, the home office represents 20 percent of the square footage of the house. Once you have the above answer, you can multiply it by the total yearly amounts paid for rent or mortgage interest, insurance, maintenance, utilities, taxes, depreciation of the home and repairs. Each of these home office tax expenses figures can then be deducted.
In addition to the above, you can also deduct expenses completely related to the business. For instance, the purchase of a desk for the office is entirely attributable to the office and can be deducted in full.
Words of Caution
There are some limitations to home office tax expenses. If you are reimbursed by an employer for various home office expenses, you cannot also claim those expenses as a tax deduction. Sorry, no double dipping.
For some time, there has been an urban myth that the Internal Revenue Service keeps a close eye on home-based businesses. This may have been true ten years ago, but is clearly not the case today. To this end, the IRS has actually come out and issued clear statements to the contrary. Do not fail to claim home office tax expenses because of a fear of an audit. It is simply not a rational fear!
Running a small business can be both stressful and incredibly gratifying. Make sure you claim home office tax expenses to help your cash flow.
Business Owners: The Importance of Owning an Air Purifier
Are you a business owner? If so, what type of business do you own? Whether you run a small office, a retail store, or any other type of business, does your office have an air purifier? If not, you are advised to seriously think about purchasing one. After a close examination, you will likely find that you, your business, and your employees can benefit from the use of an air purifier.
Air purifiers, as you likely already know, are electronic machines that work to make the air clean, or pure. Air purifiers are designed to trap and sometimes even completely eliminate harmful air particles or bacteria. While air purifiers are most commonly used in the home, did you know that they can also be used in your place of business?
Air purifiers come in a wide variety of different makes and models. These makes and models include whole house or building air purifiers and individual room air purifiers. Essentially, this means that no matter how large or small your commercial space is, you should be able to find an air purifier that will work for you and your business.
Although it is important to understand how an air purifier works, it is also important to examine the benefits of using one. As a business owner, you will find a number of different benefits. Perhaps, the greatest benefit being clean air, as mentioned above. It is amazing what clean air can do, not only for you, but anyone else who may enter your business.
If you run a business that has an office setting, you will likely find that cleaner air helps to eliminate or prevent illness from occurring. This is due to the fact that many harmful air particles and bacteria becomes eliminated, or at least reduced, when an air purifier is used. This may not only help to improve the performance of your employees, but it may also help prevent the spread of office illnesses.
It has been said that air purifiers are ideal for those who have young children. This is because, at the early stages of life, children are more susceptible to illness. If you operate a doctor’s office or a daycare center, you may want to look into air purifiers and what they can do for you. Perhaps, a doctor’s office needs an air purifier more than anyone else, but as previously mentioned, all businesses could benefit from the use of an air purifier.
Air purifiers are also ideal for those who have pets. While you would associate pets with homeowners, there is a chance that you may own or operate a business with a focus on pets. In the United States, there a large number of pet stores, which allow their customers to bring their pets inside, vet offices, as well as pet grooming shops. If you are the owner of one of these businesses, you are advised to seriously consider purchasing an air purifier for your office. In many cases, you will find it makes it easier for you and your clients to breathe.
The above mentioned examples are just a few of the many ways that business owners can benefit from the use of an air purifier. Although the cost of an air purifier, especially one that cleans the air in your whole building, tends to be expensive, you want to remember the benefits. In many cases, they tend to make the cost worthwhile.
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5 Ways A Home Business Can Make One’s Life Easier
Home businesses come in many different shapes, sizes and forms. These types of businesses provide individuals with an alternative to the office job setting and provide various freedoms to the business owners as well. In fact, there are five often-cited ways in which a home business can make one’s life easier overall.
Child Care Issues
Perhaps one of the most often cited features of a home business which can make one’s life easier is that by owning a home business, individuals are able to work while staying at home with their children. This makes the need for daily child care a nonexistent factor. Although some individuals who work from home still opt for putting their kids in daycare, having a home business does make doing without child care a possibility.
Another way which home businesses can make a business owner’s life that much easier relates to transportation issues. When owning a home business, one can conduct their daily business affairs from the convenience of their home office. This gets rid of the need for commuting to an office each day and putting mileage on the car, not to mention paying costly gas bills. It is also a time saver with regard to not having to commute to and from work which is also a highly regarded trait of owning a home business.
One who has a home business is also able to reap the benefits of multiple tax deductions and incentives which may be available to them. Using a home office enables a business owner to save money in the long run by seeing deductions on their annual tax returns. Although this only happens once a year, the rewards are often quite good for home business owners who operate their business out of their home office.
Being Your Own Boss
An additional incentive for home business owners is that they are their own boss. This is a wonderful thing to consider. No more bossy employers enforcing strict, unyielding schedules. Being your own boss is a sure way to make one’s life easier. One can work when they want to, take a break if they like and pursue their occupation in the manner which they see fit.
Reduce Overhead This Way
Lastly, an individual who runs a business out of their home will often find that their life is made easier by saving themselves money in the end. As opposed to those individuals who own businesses which are run out of separate offices, home business owners will see large reductions in overhead. Making use of the home as a workspace is a great way to make life easier on the individual and their wallet.
Tax Deductions for Home Businesses
For most home business owners, tax deductions may be the key that can help put a little extra cash back into their pocket. Tax deductions vary from business to business but it is worth your time to familiarize yourself with some of these common tax deductions.
First, determine if you qualify for a home business tax deduction. A home office is generally defined as a place where you meet with clients, patients, or customers. Or if this part of the house is used exclusively for business purposes. Most people have a general image that comes to mind when they hear the words “home office”. In reality, tax deductions can apply to a variety of places. Your home office can be a garage, basement, or a studio. If you do qualify as a home business, it is crucial to keep all records, receipts, and paperwork that you have accumulated throughout the year.
It will make tax time a much less stressful experience for the home business owner. Do not overlook the small things. This can be as simple as keeping the receipts when you purchase paper, staples, or toner. Any item that is purchased for your home business is usually considered a tax deduction. This may seem tedious and unimportant but nothing could be further from the truth. You might be amazed when all these little things add up at the end of the year.
Home business deductions can be separated into two categories. The first is for Direct Expenses. These are expenses that are needed for your actual home office. Direct expenses include office furniture, decorating costs, or equipment. Indirect Expenses are the expenses that must be paid the entire house. This includes heating, electricity, or mortgage interest payments. You can deduct the percentage of your business expenses from your utility costs.
Another tax deduction to consider is telephone expenses. If you have one telephone line, the IRS is usually not going to believe that you use this only for your home business. The second phone line installed in your home is purely one hundred percent deductible. Another common deduction that is often missed is the lost distance charges incurred because of business calls.
An overlooked tax deduction for some home business owners are the meal expenses when they entertain an employee, a customer, or a client. Save all your receipts from these business dinners. It is possible to deduct fifty percent of meal expenses. Education expenses can also be a tax deduction if it is required by law to update your skills or if you are trying to enhance your skills for your current position.
Most home business owners use a vehicle as a means of transportation for their business. This vehicle can be used for running to the post office, or meeting with a client. Keep a log book in the vehicle to keep track of the mileage on these errands. Vehicles can be vital to run your home business, and overtime these kinds of charges can hurt your profits. There are many valuable tax deductions for vehicles, such as car repairs and car insurance. Airline fare can be another costly, but necessary aspect for home business owners. The IRS does allow your trip expense as another tax deduction.
As you can see, home business owners have a variety of options when it comes to tax deductions. Remember to keep records of all your home business activities and consult with a tax advisor to get the best deductions for your home business.
SAP Business One vs. Microsoft Dynamics GP – highlights for consultant
In this small article we will not make side-by-side technical specs comparison. We would rather like to give you opinions from both sides – Microsoft and SAP. Both products target mid-size businesses in the USA, Europe (however Microsoft Great Plains – Dynamics GP will be leaving continental Europe market starting with version 10.0 – somewhere in the year of 2008, where Microsoft Business Solutions will probably stake on Microsoft Dynamics NAV – again this is contingent to the progress with Project Green or now Microsoft Dynamics project). Let’s come to the topic:
• Microsoft Dynamics GP strong points. Microsoft, being leader in Operating Systems, Office Products, and also having such platforms as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server – can now capitalize on ERP technology infrastructure, which includes ERP integration: SQL heterogeneous queries, Sharepoint workflows, web portals. At the same time, long time presence on the market for such products as Microsoft Outlook gives Microsoft the option to count on Outlook user experience – Microsoft Dynamics products will not require user training (from the interface intuitiveness standpoint) – Microsoft Dynamics CRM has Outlook Client, Microsoft Dynamics GP will have tighter integration with Outlook in its version 9.0. Making some comments on another Microsoft product – Microsoft Small Business Accounting – it is integrated with MS Outlook, where you can create invoices and promote outlook contacts to your MS SBA customers.
• SAP Business One. This product was purchased by SAP from Israel software development company four years ago. The driven reason was probably the need to go down to mid-size and even small clientele, plus SAP needed such product to be easily adaptable to Multilanguage and complex international taxation rules. SAP Business One has CRM, ERP/Production modules and technically can serve as ERP/MRP/CRM for manufacturing or servicing subsidiary of large corporation. SAP Business One has modern architecture and design and this is what could be a strong point in decision making to select ERP platform. SAP Business One has integration to Microsoft Office – it could use email messaging through MS Outlook client / SMTP and in integrate with MS Office on the level of COM objects
• Microsoft Dynamics arguments. At the time when Microsoft Dynamics / Project Green are working to enable Microsoft ERP products to work with Microsoft Office technologies SAP is several years behind in this direction. SAP is currently contracting Microsoft to enable SAP mySAP integration with Microsoft Office. Microsoft has this strong argument against SAP Business One – SAP deploys industry Experts who are very strong in general ERP/MRP plus probably Business and Industry Vertical Consulting to implement ERP from midsize business, where technology consulting and expertise come first. The result is longer implementation cycle plus complexity with SAP Business One integration with technology innovative and legacy products
• SAP Business One Arguments. Microsoft is trying to trap you to its technical solutions and proprietary technologies. It is enough if we give you excellent ERP platform which has good integration tools to Microsoft Office plus enables some integration with Windows platform itself – you can use VB.Net or C#.Net (our commentary – you can have your SAP Business One to communicate with outside world with such non-Microsoft platforms as IBM Lotus Notes Domino and use Lotus Notes as Document workflow)
• Additional Microsoft Arguments. There are analytics out there on the ERP strategic research market who support Microsoft in the opinion that SAP Business One will need technology advances (such as developing its own Office platform or tighter cooperation with Microsoft Office products) to stay current with the ERP market I the year of 2010…
• Additional Considerations. Of course SAP has additional bells and whistles, such as language switch – you can switch from German, French or Brazilian Portuguese to US English by pressing Cnrtl key combination. Microsoft Dexterity was designed in earlier 1990th and doesn’t support such a nice functionality and Unicode – the question frequently asked by the prospect from China, India and Arabic World.
Please do not hesitate to call or email us: USA 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hot Spots And Office Work
Successful home business owners have incredible motivation, work ethic, and ingenuity. They have found a way to seemingly have it all, namely to make a living and spend time with their family at the same time. They understand the need to listen and learn from wise businessmen, to glean what they can, and most importantly, to be disciplined enough to stay organized. The last thing a customer wants to hear is, “we lost your invoice.” When was the last time Sears called you to apologize because they could not find your bill and needed to know how much you charged for that new washer and dryer in your entryway? It doesn’t happen in the corporate world, and it shouldn’t happen in the home business world. And yet the Bain of home business lies in poor organization skills. The single item lying between a successful home business owner and a failure of a home business owner lies in the office organization. So how does a business owner overcome the mess? What does he do?
Two kinds of people exist in this world: those naturally inclined towards organization and those that just couldn’t care less about formal organization. Psychologists use informal terms for these people: neat knicks; messies; slobs; OCDs. Regardless of the label, those who have found a way to keep their office clean and organized coincidentally have found a way to succeed with their home business. Those who lean towards the messy side of life need to follow only a few simple maintenance rules once they organize their office.
First and foremost, the messies need to keep clutter out of the office. They need to be vigilant, and attack clutter once it tries to creep in. Messies who succeed at this will find themselves able to identify clutter the second it steps into the office. They notice specific spots that clutter gravitates to. We call these hot spots. If a person can identify a hot spot, then he knows exactly where to look for clutter and exactly what to clean off.
Second, the messies must find a system of organization that works for them. Filing cabinets make the most sense, but shelves are an excellent tool. If a messy can see the floor, he has made major headway. However, the messy should not just move clutter from the floor to shelf. In the moving process, he should arrange the clutter into a logical order so that nearly anyone could find what he needs in that office.
Finally, the messy needs to understand that combating clutter will be a life-long process for him. Alcoholics forever struggle with the desire to take a drink. Smokers who stopped lighting up decades ago still feel the urge to light a cancer-stick on occasion. The smell of nicotine invigorates them, and once again they realize that they cannot go back because if they do, they will never return to their healthy world again. The same exists with the messies. It’s their inclination to be messy, to let the hot spots go, and thus they must discipline themselves daily to combat clutter in the home office.
If any place in the home needs to be clutter free, it’s the home office. The scariest thing that a home business owner will read is notice that the IRS will be conducting an audit. The messy might even go into a comatose state. However, if the messy has learned to organize his office and keep track of his documents, he should be fine. Not even an IRS audit will derail his success.
Should Your Business Use Office Management Software?
Are you an office manager who is looking to improve the functioning of your business, namely your office? Or, are you an office manager who is looking for easier ways to effectively do your job? If you are, you may have examined office management software. Although office management software is a great way to ease the use of many office management procedures, it is important to remember that this software isn’t right for all businesses.
When it comes to determining whether or not you should use office management software, it is advised that you take the time to examine office management software and its advantages and disadvantages. These advantages and disadvantages can help you make a well informed business decision. A few of the most influential office management software advantages and disadvantages are outlined below for your convenience.
One of the many advantages to using office management software to your advantage is the choices that you have. For example, you have a wide range of products to choose from. These products are not only made by different software developers, but they also tend to come in a number of different versions. These versions most commonly include deluxe and standard. You can also purchase office management software from a wide range of prices, from a number of different retailers, both on and offline.
Office management software is also known for its easy learning curve. With that in mind, it is important to focus on the software features available and their simplicity. Before purchasing office management software for your company, you will want to thoroughly examine each program that you are interested in. This can typically be done with the use of video tutorials, screenshots, or free trial periods. In addition to ensuring the software program in question has the features that you want and need, this also gives you the opportunity to make sure that the program in question is one that is easy to use. Ease of use enables you to get a larger return and a quicker return on your office management software investments.
Although there are a number of advantages to using software to help you or your office manager manage your office, it is also important to focus on the disadvantages to doing so as well. One of those disadvantages is the cost. Depending on the software program purchased, you could easily spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on office management software. With that in mind, it is important to remember that office management software will likely pay for itself overtime. This is because office management software is designed to simplify office management. This simplification often results in better communication, on time project completions, and an overall increase in productivity, which, in turn, can save you and your company a considerable amount of time and money.
Another disadvantage to office management software is implementation. Although easy to use and beneficial to most offices, office management software needs to be used and in the proper way. You cannot always guarantee that your office manager or other staff members are using office management software to the best of their ability, unless you verify for yourself. This verification may take time on your part, but it is important, especially when first getting started. You may want to start with your office manager, as they can later ensure that all office personal are properly using their own office management software programs. Once everyone is all on the same page, in terms of software use, you may start to see an improvement in the managing of your office almost immediately.
As previously stated, office management software should not be purchased without some form of examination first. The good news is that many office management software suppliers offer free trial periods, some of which last as long as sixty days. For that reason, you are urged to at least take a close look and see what a good office management software program can do for you, your business, or your current office manager.
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Creating A Home Office For Your Internet Business
Your home office plays an integral part in the development of your internet business. You will be spending a great deal of time in your office and it is important that you develop an atmosphere that will contribute to the success of your internet adventure. Your business plan, your product line, your marketing plan, your choices, your decisions and your achievements will develop within the walls of your home office. It is essential that you create the surroundings that will make your journey to online prosperity easier.
There are six areas that you need to consider before you design your home business office:
The perfect location for a work from home business office is a separate room. A spare bedroom, a den, a basement, a converted garage, or other empty space would be ideal. The goal is to limit your distractions by insulating yourself. Focus is what you are after. Don’t have a spare room? Choose an area that is quiet and isolated. Remember, you will be managing a home business and you need an environment that is conducive for success. Constant distractions and interruptions will not get your online venture to that level.
Choose a room or a location that has the proper conditions. You will need adequate lighting, good acoustics and a suitable temperature. You do not want to be straining your eyes, covering your ears while you are catching pneumonia. The setting for your internet business office must be comfortable enough for you to concentrate. Without concentration, you will make very little progress toward making money online.
Think desk and chair. Select a seat and backrest that are comfortable and adjustable. You will be spending large amounts of time in your chair and you don’t want to be suffering from back aches and neck aches. Test the chair and make sure it gives you the support that you need. The desk must have a large work area to occupy the papers, folders, books and tools that you will be using. If you have the space in your home and the leeway in your budget, invest in the largest desk you can. It helps when all of your home office tools are easily accessible. If your budget is small, invest in a desk that is large enough to accommodate your paper work, your computer and your monitor.
The most important equipment expenditure that you will make for your home business is your computer and your internet provider. Try to invest in your own computer. Again, if money is tight and you have to use the family computer, make sure that your files are protected.
You will be spending extended intervals on the internet. If you must use a dial-up connection, be prepared to stare at your monitor for long periods as you wait for information to upload or download. Go with cable, DSL or satellite as soon as you get the opportunity. You need to devote your time to better pursuits than watching how much longer it will take a file to download.
As your business grows, invest in a separate phone line for your work from home venture. Add an answering machine, copy/printer/fax machine, postal meter (depending on what you sell), scanner, calculator, notebook computer and a clock to your shopping list.
A word processor, spread sheet and accounting software will help get your work at home business organized. These are the basics but they will get your online enterprise pointed in the right direction. In addition, you will need to invest in a firewall, anti-virus software and anti-spyware to protect you while you are on the internet. As your internet venture develops, you will be introduced to software that will simplify the management of your home business. For now, these should get you started.
Invest in the basics but make sure that you have an adequate supply. You do not want to run out of printer ink at 10:00 P.M. on Sunday night. Consider these essentials for your home business office: stationery, envelopes, mailing labels, business cards, paper, file folders (Tip: have a separate folder for every aspect of your internet business), note pads, Post-Its, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, stapler, paper clips, rubber bands, scissors, tape, glue, printer ink, printer paper, file cabinet AND pictures of your loved ones for your desk (very important). Most of these are already in your home but you should plan on outfitting your office with the ones you don’t have as soon as you can. Remember to have extra!
Every aspect of your home business is a building block to your online success. If you put the time and the effort into creating an organized and functional home office, your internet enterprise will operate more smoothly. In addition, you will be developing the patterns that will propel you to making money online.
“Be always resolute with the present hour. Every moment is of infinite value.”
Setting Up A Home Office For Your Home-Based Business!
You home office should be set up and decorated to match your home-based business. Your office may have a reception area, if needed. Or it may contain just a single table, chair, computer, and Internet connection. In either case, you should know what items you need to make that business flourish.
Here are some tips to follow, so you can create a home office that is just right for your home-based business.
1. Know what you want.
First off, you should determine the condition you work under best. Do you need to be inside a confined cubicle, just like at work? Or do you need that coffee maker always near you? These are some of the questions you need to answer. You can make an outline of what you want. Make a list of what you need to work effectively.
2. Add more light.
A well-lighted room is better than a dark one. Light gives off energy. A poorly lit room, on the other hand, is conducive to rest and relaxation. You are going to need plenty light, especially if you are expecting walk-in clients.
3. Put a lot of organizational devices.
You may need file cabinets, book shelves and office tables, these are needed so you can cut on clutter, and stop papers strewn all over the place. Working in an orderly environment is less taxing, compared to working in a disorganized one. So if you intend to accomplish a lot today, try cleaning up and organize your business.
4. Consider comfort.
Of course, you are going to spend most the, day inside your home office. You should make sure that the furniture you have in place, are all ergonomic. It won’t be good if you are going to ache all over, and can’t work the next day. Investing on a set of quality furniture is wise.
5. Think privacy.
You are setting up your home office because you want to put a division between your home and work. Or, you can just do all the work in the guest room. So as much as possible, keep private. Make sure that you that the privacy inside your office is ensured. This is needed not only by you, but by your clients as well.
Working in your home-based business, may be difficult during the first few months. But with the proper attention and time management, quitting your day job and focusing on your home-based business, may be one of the best decisions you have ever made in your entire LIFE.
Your Home Based Business Can Be A Real Time Trap
By Kirk Bannerman
The reasons people express for wanting to work from home are
many and varied, but most home based business owners cite the
ability to set their own hours as a major factor in their
decision to work at home. However, many people that have work at
home businesses often fall into a trap that flies directly in the
face of their stated desire for time flexibility.
The strong growth in home based business activity continues and,
according to the Small Business Administration’s Office of
Advocacy, fifty-two percent of ALL small businesses are
Some home based business owners have been known to become
“workaholics” because their office is so accessible. Don’t
become a slave to your business…get out of your home office
regularly to renew and revitalize yourself.
Close the door to your office or otherwise remove yourself from
your designated “work area” and go into your “home” area to live
your personal life. If your business involves the use of the
telephone and you find it difficult to ignore a ringing
phone in the office, simply turn the ringer off and turn the
volume on the answering machine way down. If your business is
internet based, just turn off your computer (or at least get away
from the monitor and keyboard).
As a work at home business entrepreneur, you certainly aren’t
required to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just
because your business is located in your home. After all,
your office or workspace is just an area in your home…its not
your home itself!
Working and living under the same roof has a host of advantages,
but it can present some challenges (in addition to the workaholic
syndrome mentioned, above) and stress factors.
Here are four ways to create a less stressful home business
-Remember why you wanted to become involved with a home-based
business (i.e. more time for family, work schedule flexibility,
-Have discussions with your family members and get their input
about the working arrangements and the amount of time they want
-Use good time management techniques. Keep a list of tasks by
order of importance. There are many low cost and effective “day
planners” or “organizers” readily available today.
-ALWAYS take a little time to “smell the roses”.
While not experiencing the negatives common to a corporate office
working environment, the home-based business owner may
occasionally experience stresses and frustrations that are unique
to working at home.
Networking with other home-based and small business owners
provides an opportunity to connect with others who may be
experiencing the same stresses/frustrations that you are. Sharing
stressful and/or frustrating issues with someone else in the same
situation can relieve your stress and may bring you good advice
from a different point of view.
As a final note, remember to observe Home-Based Business Week
each year (it is always the week of October that includes the
How To Have Temporary Office Space All Over The World
Do you meet with prospects and customers in cities around the U.S. or even overseas? Wouldn’t it be nice to have temporary office space or a fully equipped meeting room available to you without any hassles? Just a quick call and the office space you need is yours.
Executive suites are a generic term for office space with flexible rental plans offering many features unavailable with conventional leasing of office space. For example, executive suites can be rented by the hour, a day, a month or however long you need the office space or a meeting room.
These executive suites can be found in cities all over the U.S. and overseas. They are all tied together in a network which means you have access to temporary office space or meeting rooms in over 500 cities.
How can your business have hundreds of facilities available around the globe?
First, you will need to contact an executive suites provider in your area. The fastest way is to do an internet search for the term ‘executive suites’ and type your zipcode to find a location closest to you. Explain to them your needs (which you may want to write down before calling) and they will provide a plan for you. After that, all you need to do is make one phone call and a distant office space or meeting room will be waiting for you in a prestigious office building. You will be amazed at how affordable and flexible the leasing options are.
Executive suites mean temporary office space which comes completely furnished, ready for you to conduct business with your prospects and customers. And as mentioned before, if you only need to lease a single conference room, you will be amazed at the tastefully appointed spaces you can lease that are both comfortable and modern.
If making a positive first impression to your business prospects locally and abroad is something that is important to you – then leasing temporary executive office suites is simply the best option out there for the business savvy professional.
Small Business, Big-Time Office
For small businesses in a never-ending fight for clients, first impressions mean a lot. So when a home-based financial planner wants to impress a millionaire CEO, talking stocks at the corner coffee shop just won’t do. Trouble is, a one-man shop can’t afford a well-appointed office at a prestigious business address. Or can he?
As National Small Business Week recognizes the more than 25 million entrepreneurs who form the backbone of the U.S. economy, it’s ironic that high-priced commercial real estate keeps many of them from realizing their true potential. But the rules are changing.
“More flexible workplace arrangements now give small businesses access to the same premium office space that Fortune 500 companies enjoy, but at a fraction of the cost,” said Mark Dixon, CEO of The Regus Group, the world’s largest provider of outsourced workplaces.
Here are three ways an increasing number of innovative entrepreneurs are leaving the coffee shop, and still staying in the black.
1. Outsourced Offices: Fully furnished, ready-to-use office space has become the perfect solution for small-business owners who need a professional place to spread out and get serious, even if it’s on a part-time basis. With the business center providing everything from furniture to IT support and a receptionist, start-up costs are minimal. And since the terms are month to month or even daily, there’s no risk of getting stuck in a long-term lease. Small-business owners can customize an office plan that meets their specific needs.
2. Facilities that Fit: What about small-business owners who already have an office but can’t afford the professional facilities that big companies take for granted? “A recruiting specialist who needs to conduct interviews across the country can skip the plane ride and book a videoconferencing room,” said Dixon. Similarly, consultants and trainers can hold sessions in fully stocked meeting rooms booked by the hour or the day.
3. Anywhere Access: The technical revolution has created legions of mobile professionals whose offices are airports and hotel rooms. But even the most gadget-heavy road warrior can long for a real desk, a full-size phone and a receptionist. From Hoboken to Hong Kong, some outsourced office providers have worldwide locations, so business nomads always have a productive place to plug in and meet with clients.
While the costs of long-term leases once kept small businesses looking small-time, today’s entrepreneurs are using creative office strategies to stake their claim alongside the biggest players in their industries.
Modular Office – Perfect Home Office
Who needs a Modular Office?
Are you a small business owner who is working out of your home? If so, then a modular office may be the answer to all of your business needs. Many people who operate home-based businesses find themselves running out of space in a short period of time. No matter the type of business you operate, you likely have a variety of office equipment that even though small in size can engulf a small space very quickly. This will leave feeling cramped and unable to concentrate on your work. The answer to all of your space problems may very well be a Modular Home Office.
A Modular Office Answers All of Your Home Office Needs
Often times, a home business owner will consider adding an additional room onto their home to add space to their office. You can save both time and money by investing in a modular office. In most cases, a modular office can be set up in as little as one to four hours and be completely operational. These offices can be equipped with electricity that will allow you to run all of your needed office equipment and can even be equipped with heat or air so you can be comfortable in the different climates of the seasons. Additionally, the materials that the walls are made of, are fireproof that provides added protection in the event of a fire.
If you have children or live in a busy household, a modular office has you covered. The walls of a modular office are built to drown out many sounds; therefore, you will be able to work without the constant interruption of noise. Furthermore, if later you decide you need more space, unlike a home addition, a modular office can be expanded, moved, or reconfigured whenever you feel necessary.
Conforming to your specifications
With a modular office, you will have the ability to specify the features you want within your office. For example, you will be able to determine the size of the office; this will allow you to determine how much space you need. Of course, remember that you will have the ability to expand the size later if you find it a requirement. Furthermore, you can choose the wall and roof color you want in most instances, making your modular office fit with the surroundings you desire for your home office.
Many modular office manufactures have a variety of different wall types and structures you can choose from as well. It is important that you fully convey the specifications you have within a modular office and investigate all options with the company you choose to go with. It is equally as important, to find a reputable and established Modular Office manufacturer or supplier. By doing so, you can ensure that you have the best quality and service for your time and money.
Opting for a modular office is a great investment for any person who is looking to expand their own home office, needs more space, or simply desires new surroundings.
Setting Up New Office Space? Forget About Needing Furniture!
How to move into a new office without moving hassles
Tom Hansen discovered a smart way to move. Six months after starting a new business in his home, success was forcing him to find some affordable office space for lease.
He began by searching through the classified ads under ‘office space for lease’. Most listings were for more space than he needed or were too expensive. But he did find one that seemed a good fit and was not too far away. But when he called, he found he’d have to sign a three-year lease. Tom knew that the way his business was growing, he could easily outgrow the space in less than a year.
He also had a rude awakening when he went shopping for office furniture. Even second hand furniture was beyond his budget. This was becoming a major problem. He needed a new office space but he couldn’t find anything affordable, particularly when he factored in furniture, business machines and a receptionist.
That evening he decided to see what the Internet had to offer. A search for ‘office space’ turned up something called an executive suite. It sounded expensive but the ad stressed economy so he checked it out.
He discovered that the term ‘executive suites’ applied to a type of office space that was far more flexible than conventional office space for lease. For one thing, there was no long-term contract. He could rent the office space he needed for a day, week, month or however long he wanted. And what particularly pleased him was the idea that when he outgrew that first office space, he could easily and seamlessly move into larger quarters in the same executive suites building.
Best of all, no furniture was needed!
Tom was particularly delighted with this executive suites option. He could have his new office space completely furnished. Furthermore, he had access to all the business machines he would need, such as a fax and a copier.
Something else that sold Tom on an executive suite was not having to staff. Unlike a conventional office space for lease, a receptionist would be provided to meet and greet his visitors and answer his phone…and it was all part of the rental plan.
Tom signed for his new office space and moved in, all in one morning.
It happened just that quickly. After signing the simple rental agreement, he went home collected his files and a short time later was sitting behind his new desk.
He couldn’t believe it. He was established in a prestige office building, didn’t have to buy a stick of furniture and he looked like a well-established success. All for about 70% less than what he figured he would have had to pay to setup and staff a conventional office space for lease.
At that moment, Tom considered himself one very smart business man.
Virtual Offices Give Some Companies Big-City Prestige
While the Internet is making the world a smaller place, some companies with offices in remote locations may need more than just a Web presence to attract more business.
As in real estate, the business mantra also seems to be “location, location, location.” When Entrepreneur magazine asked 340 fast-growth business leaders what their biggest challenges will be in 2006, 36 percent mentioned expansion to other U.S. markets. Yet for those who cannot afford to pay big-city rent, moving company headquarters or opening a branch in a city like New York is not always feasible.
To attract more clients in high-profile areas, some companies are embracing the concept of a “virtual office” – having a physical address in a major city while the company’s actual operations remain elsewhere in the country.
“The virtual office provides a business with a high-profile corporate address and the professional image of a full-time office at a fraction of its cost,” said Howard Watler of Rockefeller Group Business Centers, a provider of “instant office solutions” like virtual office space.
Through The Rockefeller Group, for example, companies get more than an address; they get a host of services including a dedicated phone number (answered by company name), fax, voice mail, shipping and professional receptionist greeting service.
Because the virtual office is actually a part of a business center, private offices and meeting facilities are made available for meeting clients or other company needs. The Rockefeller Group also provides a full-time business service center staff to assist with document design, media presentations, desktop publishing, spreadsheet design and production services as needed.
Home Base Business
Home-based businesses that become successful may end up having to leave the home eventually for expansion. This can be a very hard decision to make for the owner. The idea of now spending more money to expand can be scary. One does not have many of the money sucking problems as the business owners of yesteryears. The really long leases, huge security deposits, renovations, and equipment costs are not that bad anymore. There are many options today for the home business owner to get affordable and flexible space with out costing too much and having to sign a long-term agreement. When you go to a business center you will get that office with a desk but also can expect to have Internet and many other perks. So what are some of the benefits of a business office center?
* Convenient location in a high traffic areas
* Fully furnished offices and suites
* Individual Offices and/or Team Rooms
* Conference Rooms with services provided
* Business identity services or virtual offices
* Receptionist services
* Incredible phone and voice mail systems
* High speed Internet services
* Computer and networking support
* Copy, scanner, and fax systems
* LCD projectors
* Digital Camera
* Complementary coffee and water
* Convenient agreements that can range from 3 months to 5 years
There are top companies that specialize in these office centers all over the country. Corporations such as HQ Global Work Place, Corporate Suites, and SOS America offer these great services to those home business owners so they can broaden their horizons but not have to invest in more equipment or dismantle their home office space. This gives the owner the option of hiring others and still remaining at home if he or she so desires. There are even some companies that offer rental by the day or hour. Depending on what type of office space and the amenities you want you are looking at anywhere from a few hundred to few thousand per month. It truly depends on the location, services, and the office size you need.
The majority of these companies also offer virtual space as well. This is a low cost method of being able to provide a more business like atmosphere to your home office. You would be able to meet clients in a space a few times per week instead of in your living room. This gives your business a more professional look with out spending lots of money on an office space. There are mail programs offered that provide you with an address so you can receive and deliver business packages and mail. These virtual spaces also provide private offices and conference rooms. This will allow you to work from home primarily but meet with clients and get your mail at a business address to keep your home information private. Programs like this start at about per month, which is extremely reasonable. There are also the virtual office packages that give you the same perks as the mail program but also give you a phone number, voice mail, live receptionist during business hours plus call-screening, forwarding, and patching. This type of offer starts at about 0 per month and you get your business name listed in the lobby for free. This is great for small home business owners who want to keep their personal information private.
Al Gore’s Biggest Fault: Office Organization
Don’t be like Al Gore. Certainly the man has some endearing qualities. He’s charismatic, a strong speaker, and a knowledgeable man who has no problem sharing his intellect with the world. But have you seen his office? Go ahead. Google Al Gore, and you will see one of the scariest pictures you’ve ever witnessed on the internet. There Al sits, in the middle of his office, staring at the three computer screens panned across one side of his corner desk. But then again, maybe that’s not a desk. It’s hard to tell with the papers stacked up to Mr. Gore’s earlobes. Ironically, we can all relate. We’ve all seen offices juts like this, and many of them have a single-word label for them: ours.
If any office needs organizing, it’s the home office. Al Gore most likely has paid staff to keep him on track, and thus he can live with a disorganized office. But the typical home business owner does not have that option. He has no line item for “administrative assistant,” and rarely does his wife count as a staff member. She doesn’t want to deal with his mess either. Disorganized and messy offices reflect the mind of the individual working in them, and they represent the lack of discipline and poor business management of that individual as a whole. So how can we remedy the problem.
Home office organization begins with a three-decision process. The home business owner must start by taking everything out of the office, even the cricket that’s been chirping behind the copy machine for the past three years. Once he has everything out of the office, the home business owner should make a decision on every item in the business. It’s time to make piles. He should create a throw pile, a give away/sell pile, and a keep pile. At this point the home business owner may well need help from his unpaid administrative assistant, also known as his wife. She will help him make wise decisions. No, he does not need to keep the empty beer bottle that he and his buddy bought to celebrate their first dollar earned. Yes, he needs to keep the receipts for his most recent computer purchase.
Finally, the home business owner must invest in some quality home organization tools. This may include shelves, a set of filing cabinets, and a general organizer. The administrative assistant can help with the organizing of the random materials leftover after the office culling. The organization system should pass a two-prong test, however. It must make sense to the one who runs the business, and it must make sense in general, meaning that if anyone needed to find a file, should the business owner reach an untimely demise, then those who love him most should be able to find what they need to either continue business or close accounts and shut the business down properly.
We can learn a great deal from Al Gore. Greenhouse gases are bad. They destroy the environment. We need to do something to improve our carbon footprint. And if we can’t afford a paid administrative assistant for our home business, we need to keep our offices in order and not be like Al Gore.
Turning Your Home Business Into Home Office
In a troubled economic condition wherein many people are losing their jobs, many have opted for self-employment. This has become a reliable prospect knowing that many people have also experienced financial success with work from home businesses. There are several benefits and yet the earning potential is quite promising as well.
If you are one of these people, then you might want to consider making your home business legitimate with the establishment of your home office. Home business owners might fail to give this priority, especially if they start to enjoy the cost savings entailed with working from. However, creating a home office will offer added benefits for your business.
Your Professional Image
If you intend to make your home business grow, then it only makes sense to set up a home office. You will be able to establish a professional image behind your business that will convince your clients to do more business with you in the future.
Moreover, your home office will serve as the best place where you could hold professional meetings with your client if they wish to discuss business with you or entertain potential customers. Indeed, image plays such a vital role in every form of business as it increases the client’s confidence in your ability to deliver work. This is your first opportunity at impressing them.
Separation From Home Life
Most individuals who are self-employed or work from home are easily distracted in their work with activities at home. Therefore, several tasks are put off and you fail to deliver work on time. Setting up your home office will build that separation from your home life. Although at home, you can still attend to your work from your home office, free of any form of distraction. And yet, when emergencies come up, you’d still be easy to contact.
The idea here is not entirely to separate yourself from family. However, it helps to create a boundary and let the members of your family know that even though you are at home, you need to attend to work and must be freed off any distraction. Make sure you inform them of your working schedule so they won’t be disturbing you during those hours. This is also one reason why you should opt for a separate room in the house to convert as your home office. This creates the necessary separation from work and home life.
With a home office, you are able to open up opportunities for expanding your business and its reach. In a professional setting, there are people assigned to work for a certain aspect of your business. Hence, companies hire people to attend to human resource, technical support, finance, and some other important departments. But with home businesses, especially starting ones, deciding whether to hire employees is a tricky one. There are compensation and insurance coverage that you need to take care of. And yet, you cannot fail to consider the benefits of having employees working for your home business and its success.
This is probably the most obvious reason as to why you should legitimize your home business by setting up a home office. You can get savings in your time, energy, and effort. Moreover, you have one specific area in your house that is designed for the purpose of doing business. Here, you can have all the materials and furnitures you need to make doing work convenient. And if you want to step out of the pressure-filled world of your work life, then stepping out to your home life is literally a few steps away.
The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Office Management Duties
Outsourcing is defined as the relinquishing of certain duties and tasks to an outside company or individual. Outsourcing is becoming a common business practice in today’s society. Outsourcing enables many business owners to continue their operations, but at reduced costs. With that in mind, it is important to know that outsourcing is not right for all businesses. Before making the decision to outsource your office management tasks, it is advised that you examine the pros and cons of doing so.
As for the pros or plus sides to outsourcing your office management duties and tasks, you will find that there are a number of them. Perhaps, the biggest pro to outsourcing your office management is the money you are able to save money. Outsourcing a number of your needed tasks can actually save you a considerable amount of money, especially overtime. Business owners who make the decision to outsource to other countries, such as India, are able to save the most money, due to lower living wages. With that in mind, even if you use outsourced workers from the United States, the cost should be lower than hiring an in-house employee. This is because you can hire all workers as contract workers, instead of in-house workers. This should save you money on healthcare and other benefits.
Another pro or plus side to outsourcing your office management duties is one that is best for small to medium sized business owners. This is because outsourced work is often done offsite; either in a call center or at the home of a home based worker. This can work out to your advantage if you are interested in closing down your office. For example, if you run a dental office, but you are interested in taking a vacation or simply just leaving work early a few days a month, outsourcing enables you to do so without any complications. Having an offsite office manager enables you to leave your office without having to worry about who is left behind or if your office will be properly locked up. This comfort and peace of mind is nice for many.
Although there are a number of pros or plus sides to outsourcing your office management duties, it is also important to focus on the cons or downsides as well. One of those cons or downsides is what outsourcing can do to your local economy. Although one outsourced worker may not make a huge difference on your local economy and local residents searching for a job, it is important to remember that outsourcing is becoming a common practice for many business owners. This often leaves fewer jobs for local residents. These are the same local residents that likely support your business and bring you income. With that in mind, it is also important to examine your role as a business owner; your goal is to make money. Still, you may want to focus on this important fact, especially if you would layoff a full-time worker of yours to outsource their duties.
It is also important to remember that not all office management duties can be outsourced. As you likely already know, office managers perform a wide range of tasks. These tasks may include supervising other office personnel. This supervision may not be possible with an outsourced office manager. If your office manager would be responsible for overseeing other office staff members, it may be best for you to hire an in-house office manager, as opposed to outsourcing. If cost is a concern of yours, you may want to offer one of your secretaries or other staff members the chance to supervise, for a small increase in pay.
The pros and cons outlined above are just a few of the many that you will want to take into consideration, when determining if your office management tasks can be or should be outsourced. As a reminder, outsourcing can save many business owners money, but it may not be in your best interest or the best interest of your company.
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Should You Outsource Your Office Management Duties?
Are you a business owner who is looking to bring order to your office? If you are, do you currently have an office manager? If not, your first thought may be to hire one. Before deciding to hire an in-house office manager, you may want to consider outsourcing your office management duties. A large number of business owners, just like you, have used outsourcing as a way to limit their business expenses.
Although outsourcing is a way for many business owners to save money, it is important to remember that outsourcing isn’t right for every business. For that reason, there are a number of important factors to first take into consideration. Before examining those factors, it is important to ensure that you have a clear idea of exactly what outsourcing entails. Outsourcing involves having certain duties performed by an offsite worker. This worker is usually self-employed or employed by a company that specializes in outsourcing, such as a call center.
As previously stated, there are a number of factors that you will want to take into consideration, when deciding if outsourcing your office management duties is right for you and your business. One of those factors is the duties that will need to be performed. While a number of office management tasks, such as the answering of telephone calls, the scheduling of appointments, or the processing of payments, can be performed by an offsite, outsourced worker, not all tasks can be. If you are looking for an office manager to bring order to your office, in terms of supervision, this is not something that can effectively be done from an offsite location.
Pay is another important factor to take into consideration, when determining if you should outsource your office management tasks. How much are you willing to pay an outsourced office manager? Better yet, can you find an individual or company who is willing to work from the amount that you are willing to pay? If not, it may be best to simply hire an in-house office manager. If you are concerned with the cost of doing so, however, you may want to examine your current workforce. This is ideal if you employ a number of office workers. You could consider adding the title of supervisor to one of your employees for a small, but reasonable, increase in pay.
Location is another important factor to take into consideration, when examining outsourcing. Many business owners turn to other countries, outside of the United States, for outsourcing. India is a popular choice, as workers are willing to work for a lot less money. This approach is fine, but it is important to keep your clients in mind. Should you choose to hire an outsourced worker from another country, make sure that they have a clear understanding of the English language, both verbally and in print. This is important as you could put your business at risk if your customers cannot understand those that they are seeking assistance from.
Contracts are another one of the many factors that you should examine, when trying to determine if you should outsource some of your office management tasks and duties. After a close examination, you will find that many outsourcing companies require the signing of a contract. Although this is fine to do, it is important to know what you are getting. You should search for those who give you a trial period, even if you must pay for that period. You should never sign a long-term outsourcing contract without first making sure the company or individual in question is right for you and your business.
The above mentioned factors are just a few of the many factors that you will want to take into consideration, before officially making an office management decision. Whether you decide to outsource your office management tasks or hire an in-house office manager, you can take comfort in knowing that the decision you made was a well informed one.
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Office Management Software: What It Is and Should You Use It?
Are you in the field of office management? If you are, you likely know firsthand how demanding office management can be. With that in mind, there are tools that you can use to ease the process of office management. One of those tools is office management software.
Before going into the benefits of using office management software, it is first important to examine what it is. When it comes to office management software, you will find that it comes in a number of different formats. With that in mind, all office management software programs have the same goal. That goal is to ease the process of running an office related business.
Although there is likely to be some variations, with office management software, you will find that many integrate a number of programs all into one. For instance, many office management software programs have detailed tasks lists, easy to sort email programs, professional looking templates, including customer invoices, and much more. These are just a few of the many features that you may find on office management software programs.
As nice as it is to hear what office management software may be able to offer you, you may be curious as to why you should invest it in. For starters, it is important to focus on the saved time. Office management software not only enables you to save time, but it enables you to make the most out of the time that you do have. Office management software, if properly used, can enable you to monitor the performance of your employees or the tracking of clients and profits, all from the comfort of your own desk. Not having to constantly monitor all employees that are your responsibility makes performing your own tasks much easier.
Another one of the many reasons why you should use office management software to your advantage is because of product selection. As it was previously stated, office management software comes in a number of different formats. This enables you to get the largest software selection. Whether you are looking for a deluxe office management software program, such as one that enables you to network all office computer together or access important documents online, or even just a standard office management software version, you should be able to find it. Having a wide range of options, as well as prices, is ideal if this is your first attempt at incorporating this important software into your business’s structure.
An easy learning curve is another one of the many benefits to integrating office management software into your business. Office management software, as previously stated, comes in a number of different formats. Even the most deluxe versions are easy to use. In fact, many with standard computer skills and knowledge are able to use office management software without any complications. Many office management software programs come with detailed tutorials, as well as the ability to contact a costumer service representative for assistance or troubleshooting. An easy learning curve enables you or your office manager to not waste anytime and get right down to business.
As outlined above, there are a number of benefits to integrating office management software into your business, as well as a number of reasons as to why you should do so. Even if you are unsure as to whether or not office management software is right for your business or your office manager, you are still advised to take a close look at the software programs available for sale. You may be surprised with just how many features and services are included.
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How To Upgrade To Microsoft Office 2007?
Microsoft Office 2007 (previously known as Office 12) is Microsoft’s newest productivity suite and was made available to the public on 30th January 2007. Office 2007 contains numerous improvements over the previous Microsoft Office 2003, including new server-side tools, enhanced reliability and security, and an entirely different user interface called the “Ribbon” – replacing the aging menus and tools bars in previous Office versions.
Microsoft Office 2007 runs on either Windows XP (with Service Pack 2), Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista and has the following hardware requirements:
– 500MHz processor or higher
– 256MB memory or higher
– 2GB hard disk
– CD-ROM or DVD-ROM
– 1024×768 monitor
It pays to understand the options available for a smooth upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007. Essentially, you should know the different product editions, versions and corresponding retail prices.
There are 8 editions of Microsoft Office 2007 altogether but only 5 editions are available for retail purchase. The various editions differ by their bundled applications, i.e. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook (with Business Contact Manager), Accounting Express, Publisher, Access, Infopath, Groove, OneNote and Communicator.
The suggested retail prices and bundled applications for the 5 product editions are listed below:
a) Office 2007 Ultimate Edition
MSRP: 9 (Full), 9 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Accounting Express, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, Groove, OneNote, Content Management, Intergrated Forms and Rights Management.
b) Office 2007 Professional Edition
MSRP: 9 (Full), 9 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Accounting Express, Publisher and Access.
c) Office 2007 Small Business Edition
MSRP: 9 (Full), 9 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Accounting Express and Publisher.
d) Office 2007 Standard Edition
MSRP: 9 (Full), 9 (Upgrade)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.
e) Office 2007 Home & Student Edition
MSRP: 9 (Full)
Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.
Besides understanding the different product editions, you should know the different versions available and their limitations:
a) OEM Version – you need to purchase new hardware to qualify for this version. However, the license lives and dies with that specific system and is non-transferable.
b) Upgrade Version – more expensive than OEM but cheaper than a Full version. The license is transferable but you need to be upgrading from a previous Office suite to qualify, i.e. Microsoft Works Suite 2000, Office 2003 or Office XP.
c) Full Version – the most expensive version and hence, has the least limitation.
Business Owners: Moneysaving Office Management Tips
Not all businesses are able to see success and profits right away. This includes businesses such as law offices, medical offices, or even retail stores. If you are looking to improve or expand your business, but while on a budget, you may be unsure as to how you should proceed. The good news is that there are a number of moneysaving steps that you can take to effectively have your office managed, even while on a budget.
One of the many ways that you can go about achieving perfect office management, but without having to spend a lot of money, involves promoting from within. This is ideal if you are looking to hire an office manager or an office supervisor. There is a good chance that you already employ a number of office workers, such as secretaries. For a reasonable pay increase, you may be able to give one of your qualified workers additional tasks, such as the task of managing the office as a whole.
Outsourcing some of your office management duties is another moneysaving approach that you may want to examine. With that in mind, it is important to remember that office management encompasses a wide range of tasks. If you are a small business owner or active in the day-to-day operations of your business, your office manager may not necessarily need to oversee or manage other workers. If that is the case, outsourcing may be easy for you. You can hire an outsourcing company or an outsourced worker to handle all incoming telephone calls, process payments, make appointments or reservations, and so froth. This may be cheaper for you to do than hiring an in-house office manager, especially if he or she would have limited job duties.
Investing in office management software is another moneysaving way to effectively manage your office or your business as a whole. Yes, you will need to pay for office management software and the cost can be quite high. With that in mind, it is important to consider the purchase an investment. In fact, the buying of office management software is actually an investment that you can easily see a return on, as it can pay for itself if used properly. Office management software combines a number of business programs all into one. These programs can be web based or shared on a network. This allows you and other office employees to create and share project tasks lists, and do so much more. Office management is known for its ability to save time, speed up productivity, and improve performance levels.
Another option that you have involves hiring temporary workers. Temporary workers are nice, as you can use them as needed. If you are interested in employing temporary workers, it is important to make their work status known up front. Many job seekers would prefer permanent employment, but there are others out there who can benefit from temporary employment. When hiring temporary employees, you can use the assistance of temporary staffing firms, the internet, or local newspaper employment sections.
The above mentioned approaches are just a few of the moneysaving approaches that you can take to bring effective office management into your business, but without having to incur large debts doing so. Additional moneysaving office management techniques can be found with a little bit of research, as well as through trial and error.
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Real Office Versus Home Office
Real Office Setup
Every company or business establishment have their own office space where customers or potential clients visit them to conduct business. The office is a place where all professional matters are handled and any business transaction are conducted.
Many people find working at an office quite stressful. There are a lot of source of stress and pressure in the life of an office employee, whether from having to deal with problem co-workers, or nagging boss, or standards of work that one has to constantly meet. Hence, several workers have decided to quit their job at the office and turn home-based instead. Thus, home office are quite common nowadays.
Working at Home
Home-based workers or self-employed individuals setup their home office where they handle all work-related tasks. In fact, most setup their own home office where they can entertain clients and business associates at home. Many find this a convenient setup since they can attend to their work while being able to still spend time with their family.
However, the accessibility of the comforts available within your home, it is easy to fall into the wrong idea that you are not working. Hence, you need to develop a sound level of self-discipline in order to separate business from pleasure and focus on what you need to do at work.
Which is Better?
There are several considerations that one has to make before deciding whether to opt for a home office or real office instead. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that one is the better option over the other. The best way for you to decide is to come up with a checklist of these pro’s and con’s. Then, determine whether the pro’s outweigh the con’s, or vice versa.
Also, you need to consider your own attitude towards work. If you are the type of person who had to be constantly reminded and lack the initiative to work on their own, then setting up a home office could be a devastating idea. Below are a list of pro’s and con’s that would help you come up with a decision.
Home Office: Pro’s and Con’s
*You have more freedom to explore your options in terms how the direction to which you want your business to take. Moreover, you can be your own boss and do what you feel is right for your home business.
*You can achieve more financial success since you earn whatever your business produces. If you explore the ways in which you can increase earnings, you can maximize the business’ potential. Also, you can reduce other costs such as office rental, fuel usage (from driving to and from the office), and tax deductions.
*It is convenient since you won’t have to dress up just to get to work. You can have your breakfast or spend time with your family and then conveniently check your email.
*If you’re the type who needs to get motivated to work, home office might not be conducive for you.
*There are lot of potential interruptions at home.
*There are lot of home office considerations to make such as securing all office equipments you need at home, office furnitures, and some other operational needs.
Real Office: Pro’s and Con’s
*The level of pressure and urgency motivates you to produce quality work.
*The working environment is ideally designed to make working easier for you.
*You have access to all of the equipments or tools you need to conduct your work.
*You have to commute from and to work daily. It becomes more difficult for those who live far from the office.
*Dealing with co-workers can be difficult for some, especially with clashing interests and personalities.
*Some people find it difficult having to be nagged by their bosses constantly.
H-f-l-team: Renting Your Office Space Can Be Wise
When you have a business, there are several things that you want to think about. When you are first starting out, you might decide that you want your business to be at your home, which means that your office would be at home and you’d be dealing with all of your customers through home. Sometimes this makes sense, because you really can get a lot done and you can really take the time to be at home, which means that you can also take the time to do other things that you have always wanted to do. However, there might come a point when your business has grown, or when you are ready to move further forward with your business, and when this happens you might decide that renting out office space is your best option when it comes to where your business is.
There are many reasons that you might want to think about renting out your office space. First of all, this is something that can be done that is not permanent. If you can find the right kind of lease, you can pretty much determine when you have your office there and when you are done. If you are on a month to month lease, it will mean that if you ever decide you want to move your business back to your home, or change locations, it is fairly easy to do so and doesn’t require a lot of work. This is only one of the advantages to renting your office space.
Another thing that can be great about renting your office space is that this is relatively cheap and can usually be written off as a business expense. This means that you will find there is little to no worry about what you are doing and where the money to do it is coming from. You can find office space quite cheap, and it can be a good way to get your business farther along. Shop around; remember to check for important amenities such as high-speed internet service. Shared receptionist with others in the office.
There is another good thing to having your home business located in an office that you are renting. It is often too easy to work too much if you have a home business, because you can always go to your home office and work. This might be good for some jobs, but if you find that you are taking time away from your family, and working too often, moving your office to a rented space is a great way to make sure that your home business hours don’t take over your whole life. If you find that you are having trouble not working for 24 hours straight, moving to a rented office is a great way to stop this and to allow you to have better control over when you work and when you don’t work.
How Contemporary Office Furniture Can Help Your Business
Are you a business owner? Whether you are a small business owner or a large business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your business is running to its fullest extent. This includes the monitoring of all employees. For your business to reach its fullest potential, you will need to make sure that all of your employees are productive and working on task. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Poor work behavior may be the sign of a bad employee, but it isn’t always. You might not necessarily have thought of this before, but have you examined your office furniture? If not, you are advised to do so.
When it comes to employees, particularly those who work an office setting, one of the biggest complaints is poor quality office furniture or uncomfortable office furniture. If you are noticing that a number of your employees are having a difficult time staying focused on their tasks, it may be because of your office furniture. That is why it is advised that you examine contemporary office furniture, if you haven’t already done so.
If you weren’t already aware, contemporary office furniture is furniture that is considered modern. It tends to sway away from the traditional thinking of cheap office furniture is best. Instead, contemporary office furniture places a focus on innovative designs; innovative designs that take comfort and productivity into consideration. In fact, those new designs are just a few of many benefits to buying contemporary office furniture for your business.
As it was previously mentioned, contemporary office furniture is designed with comfort in mind. This comfort is what helps to increase productivity. When your employees are comfortable, like when at sitting at their desks in their office chairs, they are more like to produce better results and in a more timely matter. This is due to the factor that an employee doesn’t have to keep on shifting their positions or get up and take a break because their office chair is so uncomfortable. With contemporary office furniture, your employees shouldn’t have to do this, as most pieces of furniture are comfortable to sit in, sometimes all day long.
In conjunction with increasing productivity, contemporary office furniture may also be able to reduce the amount of time that your employees spend looking for items. This is most beneficial when paper records are still used. For instance, a large number of contemporary office desks now come with built in filing cabinets or bookshelves. Many times, you don’t even have to get up from your office chair to reach a desk’s filing cabinet or bookshelf. Having all necessary office supplies and paperwork right at the fingertips of your employees is also likely to improve production. There shouldn’t be any fumbling around for lost or misplaced paperwork, as it is all kept within a short distance way.
It is also important to mention appearance or the environment created. Contemporary office furniture is innovate and comfortable, but it is also professional in nature. An example of this is leather office chairs. By having contemporary office furniture in your office, your workplace will literally scream professionalism. As a business owner, that is what you want. A professional look and feel may be the extra push needed to keep your employees in line or on task. Plus, if you run a business where your customers may have to come into your office, contemporary office furniture may also help to create a positive public perception for you and your business.
As you can see, there are a number of different benefits to purchasing contemporary office furniture for your workplace. If you are concerned with the cost of providing all of your employees with contemporary office future, you may want to perform a trail first. Give a few of your workers new, contemporary office furniture and see if their productivity increases. While the results may vary, there is a good chance that you will see an increase in performance. For a large selection of office furniture, you are advised to examine OfficeDR.com.
Guide To Setting Up Your Home Office
Home Office Setup Essentials
Establishing your own home business have its own set of challenges but it can be an exciting prospect for the most part. However, you must not neglect the need for setting up a home office where you take care of most your business needs. This will enable you to treat your home business as you normally think of business.
To set up a home office that makes working convenient and efficient for you, there are some essential factors that you need to put the home office together. Therefore, you have to secure all the necessary equipments and furnitures that help to keep your business running smoothly.
Starting Your Home Office Setup
Before you look into the tinier details of your home office setup stage, you need to work on the basics first. Taking care of these basic items will help you in working out the specifics later.
• On which part of the house do you set up your home office? Consider the year-round conditions of that particular area in the house. Make sure that it provides a convenient place for you to attend to business and work essentials.
• Find a quiet place in the house. Setting up your home office away from areas that offer a lot of distraction will help you increase productivity. This is an important consideration if you have young children at home.
• Create a home office business plan. As with anything, it is always best to have a plan so you are able to organize the steps you need to take to get to your goals.
Here is where you should decide which area of the house you will be setting up your home office. The source of potential distraction is definitely one of the biggest factors that could influence your decision. Some of your other considerations must ensure that that particular room get enough light and air, as well as being away from the source of noise. This will enable you to provide a professional environment dedicated for work.
Since you will be spending a maximum amount of your time each day in your home office, make sure it is a place you are comfortable with. If not, then you can spend a substantial amount of time in decorating your home office to make it suitable for working.
Home Office Equipments
Equipments are an essential in your home office in order to operate effectively. Therefore, you need to identify what equipments you need to have in your home office for your particular type of business after you have decided on an area in your house to setup your home office.
Communication tools such as a telephone line and fax machine are essential. When you are doing business, having contact with other business people are vital. One important reminder with your home office is to have a separate phone dedicated for business use, which is separate from your home use. In this modern world, several business professionals also utilize email communication for a more efficient communication system. Hence, you can try creating an email account if you do not already have one. The idea of having more than one medium of communication is to be able to provide the most convenient communication method for your business associates as possible.
Other equipments that will be useful in your home office includes functional computers (either laptop or desktop), printers, scanners, internet access, fax machine, among others.
How To Choose Your Temporary Office Space
If you need office space, but you don’t want to pay for a year or more lease, then you should look into renting temporary office space. For what ever reason you need temporary office space for, maybe your office is being painted, or your looking for a new location, there are many places that will offer you just what you need to get your business started or to keep your business going. If you are looking for an individual office or several individual offices, many dealers offer the flexibility, value and image your looking for your business. You want to look for someone who can provide your business with professionally staffed office if necessary on a full or part time basis. Many companies will have lease terms that will allow you to lease for the week, month or year. Often temporary office space services offer secretarial services, high speed internet access, phone service, furniture if needed, and conference rooms. If you want to create a professional appearance for your business, then take advantage of the many services that can be provided for you.
You want to choose a service that can provide a full office environment and all the things your business needs to be successful, even if you only need temporary office space for a few months. Here are some things you should look for.
• Suitable and prominent locations
• Flexible lease terms
• Personalized telephone answering services with voicemail
• Information about the local businesses
• Mail receipt and distribution
• On site administrative or secretarial support if needed
• A fully equipped kitchen if needed
Look for services that can offer various configurations to suit your needs that will not acquire any of the costly setup fees involved in traditional office space for rent. Choose from a single-person office, a large executive office, a team office or an open floor plan that can be fully furnished and equipped if you choose. You want a temporary office space service to support all of your business needs. In order to make your business a success, is location, location, location. There is no sense in leasing temporary office space to run a printing and copy business in an area surrounded by other printing and copy businesses. Too much competition will sink start up businesses before one even gets the door open. Instead you need to find your temporary office space in an area that has a need for the type of business you have. If one can’t seem to be found right away, it may be worth your while to wait a couple weeks and then go hunting again. In most large cities and even not so large cities, seem to have builders and contractors building new sites of office spaces all the time. Timing is also a very important factor when searching for good temporary offices space. You don’t want to open a new business during the slowest time of the year and expect things to take off.
Home Office Tax Advantage
Cost of Setting Up Home Office
Setting up your own home office has its own entailing costs that you have to shoulder. With that said, you really need to invest on the equipments you need to run a business from home. After all, this investment has the potential of bringing in profits, depending on how well you run your business.
Financial handling and management is vital in every business. Therefore, many are looking at ways in which to possibly reduce expenses of having to put up your own home office. Here are some tips:
• When shopping for basic office supplies, look for possible rebates. You can get major savings from this.
• Sign up for customer loyalty programs so you can qualify for discounts when shopping at a particular office supply store.
• Ask your family or friends if they have any office equipment that they no longer use.
• Join garage sales. You can get useful equipments in good working condition at a bargain price.
Tax Benefits of Running a Home Office
With the many expenditures to shoulder in setting up and running your home office, finding a reliable means to create savings would really boost your financial situation. Self-employed individuals who run their own home office can exploit a few tax benefits they can avail of. This is done to help alleviate all the expenses that a self-employed individuals had to shoulder in order to get the business running. This tax code was done in an effort to encourage entrepreneurship and for individuals who are jobless to engage in home businesses.
Your tax benefits begin with the recognition that your home office is a form of business expense. However, you can qualify only from the tax deduction if you were able to show government officials that you spend a substantial amount of your time working at home in order for it to be recognized as a working space. Then, a given percentage is deducted from costs incurred with running business at your home.
Requirements for Tax Deduction
There are two basic tax requirements that a self-employed individual must meet in order to qualify for the tax benefits of running a home office.
1. A given space within your house, known as your home office, solely for business purposes.
2. You must be able to establish the fact that you use your home office as the principal place where you conduct business. You must use your home office for either one of two things: meeting clients or customers, or you produce a separate structure in your house for business and work.
Taking Advantage of your Benefits
Since the savings potential for having your home office tax deduction approved offers you major financial benefits, it is important that you need to meet the following factors. These are essential in providing your home office’s validity as a business operation.
• Identify the exact measurements of your entire home office space. This is taken into account by tax officials in determining exactly how much of your tax percentage is deducted.
• Make sure to have your business licensed by registering a business name and ID. It certifies that your business operates legally and is recognized by law.
• Secure home office equipments. If you have transactions within your home office, make sure you have receipts as proof for that.
• If possible, have a separate phone line you use at your home office strictly for business purposes.
Office Management Tips for Small Business Owners
Are you a small business owner who is looking to bring order to your establishment? If you are, you may be in the process of examining all of your office management options. As a small business owner, it is critical to your success that you make the right decisions. For tips on how to make those right decisions, you will want to continue reading on.
One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make is assuming that they need to hire an office manager. Yes, office managers are one of the best ways to bring management and order into your company, but it is important to first examine your company. If you are small in size, you may be able to do all office monitoring yourself. This may eliminate the need for hiring an office manager. Office managers typically receive more pay than secretaries or other office workers. That is why it is advised that you first determine whether or not you really need to hire an office manager. If your company employs less than five office workers, you may not need an office manager, at least right now.
Speaking of your current employees, it is advised that you first utilize the ones that you have, before hiring a new office manager. If your business is small in size, you may want to consider promoting one of your current secretaries or other office workers. If your office is small in size, you may be able to do this promotion without hiring any replacements. For a reasonable pay increase, you may find that a number of your office workers are willing to add the title of supervisor to their name. This may be a nice, cheap way for you to bring order to your business.
If you are interested in running your business without the use of an office manager, you will want to make sure that you are clear on what is expected of all of your employees. It may actually be a good idea to terminate those who are unprofessional or known for their missed deadlines. It is more than possible for business owners, especially small business owners, to operate without employing office managers, but it can be difficult to do. Those without office managers need to rely heavily on their employees. Even if you do decide to hire an office manager, it is important that you are clear as to what is expected of him or her.
Another option that you have, when looking to bring office management into your small business, involves using office management software. Office management software is software that combines a number of programs all into one. It is common for office management software to have task lists with important dates highlighted, easy to use email programs, form and document templates, payment tracking programs, and so forth. Whether your business employs an office manager or not, office management software can be of great assistance to you.
Staying up to date in the latest in business and office management is another easy way for small business owners, such as yourself, to bring order and management into your office. You can easily use the internet, business magazines and journals, or office management seminars, to your advantage. These resources may provide you with updated information and successful tips and tricks that you can use to bring order into your office, whether you officially employ an office manager or not. Staying up-to-date on the latest in business and office management is important for all small business owners, as many do not have the resources and budgets needed to compete with larger business any other way.
The above mentioned tips are just a few of the many that you and other small business owners can benefit from using. As a reminder, small business office management is important, but it can come in a number of different formats, including the format of a hired office manager.
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