Tips for Choosing A Legitimate Home Based Business Opportunity

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to work from home, a home-based business opportunity can be a great option. Business opportunities provide you with a turnkey system and support so that you can be in business “for yourself, not by yourself”.

Unfortunately, a multitude of unscrupulous companies have cropped up on the internet over the past several years, making the search for a legitimate home based business a bit of a challenge. The good news is that there are legitimate and profitable home based business opportunities out there and if you’re able to identify certain “red flags”, it won’t be that difficult to eliminate the “scams” and spot the opportunity that’s right for you:

Red Flag #1: You visit a business opportunity website and there are pages of copy promising financial freedom and personal wealth but it doesn’t tell you anything about what the company does. If a company doesn’t clearly state their product and/or service, be wary.

Red Flag #2: The company website states that you’ll make unrealistic amounts of money, with minimal effort, in a very short period of time. This is simply not true. Businesses take time to grow. If any business opportunity website promises that you’ll be a millionaire in 3 months or less, ask yourself, “If there was a way to get rich overnight, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?”

Red Flag #3: While there may be several testimonials of successful business owners listed on a business opportunity’s website, you still need to ask for references and contact them by phone or e-mail. And, if a company isn’t willing to provide references, they’re not legit.

Red Flag #4: Once you’ve found a business that interests you, request additional information. If the company asks you to provide a credit card number or to pay a fee-no matter how small-it’s a scam.

Red Flag #5: Ask how your business will make money. If your ability to make money relies on you recruiting other people to sell a product or service, the company is most likely a multi-level marketing business and, in most cases, the only people who make legitimate money with MLM’s are the people at the top!

Finally, keep in mind that when you do find a business opportunity that feels like the right fit for you, don’t fall in love too quickly. Take the time to research your market for competition to be sure that your area isn’t saturated with a similar product or service. And most importantly, make sure that the business capitalizes on your strengths and talents and allows you to do something you love each day. It’s a well-known fact that entrepreneurs who love what they do are much more likely to succeed!

Business And Advertising Are Connected In Many Ways

We all as business owners want to have more and more customers in our contacts for encountering a huge profit in exchange of the services and products offered by us. But not all customers come to the business just by wandering around, they have to be called and attracted by the products. This is when advertising plays its role by making sure that the product reaches the hands of the person who needs it.

Advertising is the marketing communication that is used for the promotion and selling of a product or service that is offered by a business. Many people access Fresno advertising to accomplish varied goals and companies use these ads in diverse media for their benefit through many means. In case of a new product launch, it can serve as the pathway towards a larger market, making more and more people aware of the product. The advertisement should be focused on a common problem encountered by people and how your product or service serves as a solution to that particular problem.

One can use this effective means to inform the market about the product and illustrate how the product looks like. Commercial ads seek to generate increased consumption of their product or service by showing the pros inherited with it. Fresno advertising is frequently used for the purpose to show the dramatic product breakthroughs by aggressively highlighting their products. Virtually any medium can be used for the purpose of advertisement and the choice of medium is based basically on the type of product, target audience, popularity of the medium and etc.

The market is analyzed by the advertising agency to understand whether the product or service offered is fit and has all the credentials that will help it to stand in the competition. Customers will never get to know about the product if there is no promotion and advertisement, he/she will not include the product in the decision making process due to this advertising can be both powerful and magical, selling the dreams to the people of the society. The economy also prospers with advertising and allows the people to be aware of the several choices present as well as available to them.

In present market scenario, advertising is crucial and is needed to invite more and more people to use the product in order to quench their thirst. It works as a guide book telling what to buy and what not.

7 Small Business Tax Deductions That You Don’t Want To Miss

Are you neglecting to deduct business expenses on your tax return?

You could be leaving money on the table. Whether you’re an established entrepreneur or just setting up shop, you can save thousands of dollars in tax deductions. So which expenses qualify? To receive a tax deduction, business expenses must be necessary and typical for the type of business you run.

There are exceptions to the rule. You can’t write off speeding or parking tickets. But don’t let this stop you from saving serious money on your tax return. Place those dollar bills back into your wallet by adding these commonly overlooked business expenses to the list.

1. Costs to Keep Your Business Running

As you maintain your business, you’re bound to purchase office supplies and advertising. But did you know that you can also write off equipment repair, business calls, and office furniture payments?

There are limits though.

  • If your business goes under, you can’t deduct costs for exploring a business opportunity. But you can deduct costs for products, materials, and supplies in your inventory.
  • You also can’t completely deduct costs from starting your business. Instead, you can deduct up to $5,000 the first year and write off any remaining startup costs periodically over the course of 15 years.
  • Every cent you invest into your business is referred to as either a capital expense or a current expense.

Capital expenses are your business asset purchases, long-lasting equipment that will continually improve your business in subsequent years. Because capital expenses normally don’t wear out after the first year, these expenses are depreciated and deducted over a period of time.

Current expenses are charges for equipment or services used every day to maintain a profitable business. They’re normally used up in the first year, so you can deduct the total cost of current expenses on your tax return.

  • Repairs that add value to equipment, prolong the lifespan, or adapt an item to a different use can be deducted on your tax return.
  • Advertising fees to create promotional materials like business cards and print, radio, yellow pages, and banner advertisements are completely deductible.
  • If you regularly use the phone to call clients or customers, you can deduct charges relevant to your business.

Be forewarned though: if you try to mask personal purchases by claiming them as business expenses, you might be in deep waters when your tax return triggers an audit.

2. Home Office Fees and Rent

Do you work from home? Deduct a portion of rent, insurance, and utility payments if you have an office that is dedicated to business.

There is one drawback. Your office has to be exclusively for business use.

It’s fine to work in your slippers, but you can’t take a home office deduction if your bed is in the room unless your office is sectioned off. You also can’t let your children play Legos in your workspace. And you most certainly can’t watch TV in your office during downtime.If you do, your office won’t be considered exclusively for business.

You also have to use your office consistently to take advantage of the home office deduction. Feel free to call clients, bill customers, take notes, set appointments, meet with clients, order materials, or write reports in your office. But an office that you only use occasionally doesn’t count.

There are exceptions to the rule. If you run a daycare business or you have a room set up for inventory storage, you can still take the deduction even if the room isn’t used 100% for business.

3. Auto Payments

Did you know that you can deduct the cost of gas consumed while driving to and from client meetings?

Whether you own a real estate business, regularly meet with clients, or rent an office away from home, you can save hundreds of dollars on your tax return.

Use your car for business? You can calculate your deduction one of two ways.

  • Deduct based on the standard mileage rate. If your regular business routine requires that you constantly be on the road, you might be able to save more by deducting a certain amount of money after every mile driven, along with toll and parking costs.
  • Deduct actual expenses. If you occasionally meet with clients or your car consumes more gas than average, you can save a great deal more by deducting a portion of expenses for gas, replacement tires, oil changes, insurance, and car registration.

Always keep an organized record of your car usage, and filing your federal and state income taxes will be as simple as doing a few math calculations.

4. Travel and Entertainment Costs

Do you remember that vacation deal you purchased right before your last business trip?

Write off a portion of your plane fare, depending on how you spent your vacation. Part of your transportation costs is qualified as a deduction if over half of your trip was spent on business. The more time you devoted to your business, the higher the deduction.

Needed to pay for clean clothes while you were away? You can deduct laundry and dry cleaning expenses. You can also deduct commuting costs, lodging fees, tips, fax charges, and costs to ship product samples and display materials.

Moreover, if you’ve ever hosted an event for your business at your office, restaurant, or another location, you can deduct entertainment expenses that helped promote business growth or well-being. Keep in mind that only 50% of meals are deductible.

You can even deduct moving costs if you had to relocate your home because of work. If the move wasn’t directly related to your business though, you can’t claim the deduction.

5. Educational Materials and Professional Fees

Have you purchased a book to learn a skill that would directly impact your business? How about that copywriter you hired to craft a sales page that would later transform a product launch into a massive success?

Business-related books, legal fees, and professional services are all fully deductible on your tax return.

You’re not just limited to books and independent contractors though. If you pay an accountant or purchase a tax program every year, you can deduct tax preparation fees.

Own a business with hired staff? You can reduce taxes by deducting salaries, bonuses, and fringe benefits like health insurance and sick leave.

6. Bad Debts

If you sell your own services, you’ve likely stumbled across an occasional troublesome client. Your client might refuse to pay you for work performed, lowering your profit margin for the month. Maybe you’ve even loaned money to customers or suppliers, but the loan was never paid off.

Luckily, this income loss is completely deductible as long as you provide written documentation stating the amount of the debt, interest rate if applicable, and the steps you took to collect the debt. If you can prove that you’ve made several attempts to receive payment and the debt is impossible to collect, you can write it off on your tax return.

Save your hard-earned cash at the end of the year by keeping a detailed record of business-related purchases and activities. You can use financial software to help with this, but simply opening an excel spreadsheet to jot down expenses as they pop up works as well.

Separate payments into clearly marked categories and you’ll save both time and money the next time you file taxes.

7. The Hummer Deduction

Has your business purchased a car or a large machine recently? This can be converted into a large tax benefit using “The Hummer Deduction”, also know as section 179 of the tax code. Learn More

Disclaimer: You should consult with your tax advisor before following any of the ideas in this article. This article is a starting point for discussion with your advisor. I am not a tax professional and while I believe that what is contained in this article is generally true, it may not be true in your particular case.

Avoiding a False Start – Marketing Tips For the Successful Commercialization of Novel Medical Device

The successful launch of a novel medical device technology requires a coordinated effort between several functional groups within the company. The coalescence of these group’s activities in line with a predetermined project timeline are essential to timely and successful product commercialization. Marketing team members play a vital role in this process beginning with providing market insight during the initial concept development phase through conducting a post-commercialization assessment of launch planning activities and marketing tactics.

A failed product launch can be disastrous from a financial perspective and to the reputation of the product’s brand in the marketplace. Since companies only have one chance to launch a product, it is vital that launch planning and preparedness activities cover the entire scope of known and potentially unknown roadblocks which could affect successful product introduction into the marketplace. As a result of its integral role as a part of the commercialization process, marketing has the primary responsibility for many of these activities.

While providing insight on the full range of marketing activities required for a successful product launch is beyond the scope of this article, the following are four key areas, based on the author’s experience, where good marketing planning and execution can help get the product successfully out the blocks without stumbling.

Obtaining Customer Feedback

From initial concept development through post-launch assessment, customer input into the design and positioning of new medical devices is essential. Attempting to bring a product to market without adequate customer feedback, or even worse, disregarding customer feedback, will ultimately limit product acceptance in the marketplace.

Examples of customer feedback parameters which are commonly obtained as a part of this process include validating market assumptions, assessment of the competitive environment, input on product specifications, determining the product’s value proposition, developing and testing product positioning, and obtaining feedback on the product’s ease of use. It is important to develop a decision making process which can be followed when heeding customer feedback would results in an increase in product development or manufacturing costs, or if implementing changes based on the customer input significantly changes the timeline for product launch.

Developing a Targeting Strategy

Identifying and targeting market segments which will result in a steeper adoption curve is vital to getting a strong start out of the blocks with a new medical device technology. Assessing differing market segments should not only be solely based upon the market potential, but also on the potential barriers to entry which may exist within these segments.

Market segments with the highest number of patients or procedural volumes may not always represent the best “first” markets to approach. These segments are often associated with greater competitive pressures due to the market opportunities they represent, or may be associated with higher visibility within a hospital setting from either a product approval or cost-cutting perspective. Segmenting customers by technology adoption characteristics is also important. Focusing initial launch activities towards early adopters who are quick to understand the potential benefits of the technology and limiting efforts directed at late adopters who require substantial clinical experience and more scientific evidence will maximize resources and drive initial sales growth.

Creating Economic Value

Most hospitals now have policies and procedures in place which require the review of new products prior to their use or purchase by the hospital. This has resulted in an expanded number of individuals who are involved in the decision making process and a greater focus on the cost impact of the technology to the hospital. Having evidence that a new medical technology provides a clinical benefit to patients is often not sufficient to gain entry into the hospital and many hospitals are now requesting cost justification analyses which demonstrate the economic impact of the adoption of the technology at their institution.

In order to demonstrate the economic value associated with a new technology, marketing must provide both the background training and the appropriate tools to empower the sales organization to communicate this type of information to customers. A typical tool is a pro-forma economic model where variables can be inputted based on clinical results associated with the products use and either standardized or customer specific cost data.

Developing a Publication Strategy

A successful product launch necessitates a meticulous plan for effectively communicating the value of a new medical technology along with developing a strategy for addressing anticipated objections from the marketplace. A key component of this strategy is the development and execution of a comprehensive publication plan. The timely execution of an effective publication strategy can accelerate the adoption of a new medical technology.

The sequential development and submission of manuscripts to key journals which target specific customer segments is needed to insure they receive continuous and pertinent information about the product. The overall objective for a publication strategy should be to disseminate clinical and economic information which supports the benefits and the positioning of the Company’s technology.

Conclusion

The development and timely execution of a comprehensive strategic launch plan is a requirement for the successful commercialization of a new medical technology. Proactive marketing leadership as a part of a product development and commercialization team can help to insure that potential hurdles in the marketplace are identified and addressed in advance of a product launch resulting in a greater potential for initial market success.