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  A Home-Based Business Online

    
     
    

   October 22

   Sent to 6,267 subscribers

  Editor: Elena Fawkner
  Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
   http://www.ahbbo.com
     Contact By Email



IN THIS ISSUE

1. Welcome and Update from Elena 
2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Leadlighting
3. Feature Article - Flying Without A Net
4. Pro-motion Column
5. This Week's Subscriber Web Site Pick
8. Subscription Management 
10. Contact Information
 


1. Welcome and Update from Elena

Hello again, and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers 
who have joined us since the last issue!

Sorry about the problems getting last week's issue to you.
My webhost's servers apparently went on strike just as 
AHBBO was on its way to you and, as a result, the mailing
was not sent to the full list and was resent.  If you received
a duplicate mailing, this is why and I apologize for any
inconvenience.  Hopefully this week's issue will reach you
without mishap.

In this week's feature article, we look at a few of those
areas of home-based businesses that are often overlooked
until things go wrong by which time, it's just too late.  In
"Flying Without A Net" we look at the ways you can create
a safety net for your business before you go "splatt"!.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this 
week's issue. 

Remember, this ezine is for YOU! If you have comments 
or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed, 
or would just like to share your experiences with other 
subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments, 
questions and stories to Contact By Email.


2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Leadlighting

"I really didn't know much about stained glass, only what 
I'd seen in gift shops," said Hal Williams, owner of Eagle 
Mountain Stained Glass Studio in Ridgecrest, California. So 
it was back in 1976, with "zero artistic background" that 
Williams and his wife Mary decided to take a class on stained 
glass at the community college. At that time they were both 
working as paramedics in Las Vegas, Nevada, and had extra 
time between shifts on the job. 

Soon they became good friends with their instructor who 
owned a stained glass studio. By the end of the year, 
Williams was hired on at the studio as an apprentice. He 
stayed there for the next two years, learning most of what 
he would need to know to start his own business. 

Then Williams moved to Houston, Texas, and started to work 
in his own studio part-time while holding a full-time job in 
the steel business. when Williams was laid off, however, he 
and his wife decided to move back to their hometown 
Ridgecrest, California and start a stained glass business 
full-time. "Mary knew people here, but I didn't know a soul," 
says Williams. "But since I'd had some sales experience, I 
just started knocking on doors. 

Williams started a large studio at his home and worked out 
of it for quite some time. He gained more experience and 
training by attending various seminars and workshops around 
the country. 

STARTING OUT SMALL 

"All I had was the bare necessities - my hand tools and a 
bench," says Williams. Eventually, for about $100 Williams 
purchased a glass grinder used to grind glass down for 
precision fitting. Next, he bought a diamond band saw for 
about $700. This he used for tricky cutting such as 90 
degree angles and cutting that cannot be done by hand - it 
gives the glass worker a professional cut. To round out his 
studio, Williams bought a glass kiln for $2,000. The kiln is 
used for glass painting and fusing. It is a necessity when 
one is restoring the windows of old churches, which Williams 
has done. "Most of these tools are not necessary when just 
starting out, but they do save a lot of time for the 
professional," says Williams. 

Initially, Williams made a large purchase of glass, lead, 
solder and other supplies because he felt it was necessary 
to keep these supplies on hand and ready. Since Williams was 
making so many time-consuming trips to Los Angeles for his 
materials, he decided to purchase a month's supply at a time. 
A month's worth of supplies costs him between $1,000 and 
$1,500. 

Other essentials for Williams office include a work table 
(which he built himself for under $100) and a bench equipped 
with a built-in light. He uses this bench to trace patterns 
onto the stained glass pieces. 

WHAT IT COSTS TO START 

"Taking everything into consideration, if you are really 
creative, you can start up for about $2,000," says Williams. 
"That is if you start with a home studio." When you are 
building the stained glass business from scratch, one of the 
first things you should do is check your competition. This 
will tell you exactly what supplies to carry. It is obvious 
that if you don't have a wide pallet of colored glass to 
choose from, you will lose your business to the guy that 
does. 

If you do have competition, be sure there's enough consumer 
interest to justify your new business. To attract customers 
to your shop and widen your customer base, offer to teach 
what you know. Williams went to the local college to offer 
to teach his skills in stained glass, which they cordially 
accepted. He is licensed and now teaches twenty-five 
students a semester. 

He also approached local housing contractors and explained 
that not only could he provide excellently crafted stained 
glass, but he could also install it and do any necessary 
repairs on the job. This appealed to them because it would 
save a considerable amount of money. Their first contract 
was for stained glass work on twenty-five new houses. 

Williams created stained glass for front doors and side- 
lights. Popular colors are various hues of blue, mauve, and 
desert shades for floral, animal, or desert scenes. 
Williams has a regular business license to do stained glass 
work, but if you also do the installation, work yourself you 
must have a contractors license. 

GETTING THE JOB 

"Proper bidding, I think is very important in stained 
glass," said Williams. "If you underbid, you are going to 
eat it, and if you overbid you are going to lose the job." 
Williams started out bidding very low so he could get the 
jobs and prove himself. As time went on he raised his prices, 
but he is still lower than his competitors. Now he is well 
known in his area, and gets a lot of good jobs. 

Williams makes approximately $3,000 a month on custom work 
and the sales of supplies, a figure which does not include 
his contract work and teaching. Williams also has a gift 
shop in his downtown studio. "To make a decent wage you have 
to charge a decent price," says Williams. 

SPREADING THE WORD 

Although he gets excellent exposure at his street-front 
location.. Williams still advertises. He has tried radio and 
newspapers, but finds that he gets the best results from the 
local swap sheet. He also carries a large ad in the Yellow 
Pages. Word of mouth has also been a very important 
advertising factor. 

"We listen to what the customer wants, show him what we can 
do, and do the job right," says Williams. The Williams may 
expand even further someday, if they ever get the time, but 
right now their prosperous stained glass studio is keeping 
them very busy. 

------

There are many more ideas like this at the AHBBO website.
http://www.ahbbo.com


3.  Feature Article - Flying Without A Net

© 2017 Elena Fawkner

One of the most exciting and daunting things about 
starting your own home-based business as your sole 
means of income is the reality that no one is responsible 
for your success or failure but you.  The lure of the
home-based business is undeniable.  But before joining
the revolution, take the time to think about the real
implications of self-responsibility.  In the past, you've
always had the security of knowing that your employer
was taking care of the background details ... you know,
those little things like retirement plans, health insurance
and capital investment.  And making enough money to 
cover your salary and vacation time.  Now it's all down 
to you.

So, let's take a look at four of the biggies: health and
safety, insurance, tax issues and zoning.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

No matter how much you've invested in setting up your
business, nothing is more valuable to your business or
to you as your good health and safety.

Apart from obvious measures such as ensuring you have
adequate health insurance, keep the following basics in
mind.

=> You Are Not A Machine

Take regular breaks.  These are important for your 
physical and mental health, not to mention your
productivity.  Breaks can be particularly important if your
livelihood requires you to spend hours on end in front of
a computer.  The last thing you or your business needs
is for you to develop carpal tunnel syndrome!

Avoid the temptation to do household chores or errands on
your break time.  That's not a break.  Do something that
breaks the mental spell, something that gets you out of 
your work environment for fifteen minutes every couple of 
hours.  Go wander around outside and take some deep 
breaths to cleanse your lungs.  Lift weights.  Call a friend.  
Go sit in the backyard with a cup of cocoa and enjoy the 
sunshine.  It doesn't matter what you do, but make yourself 
do it.  Set an alarm to remind yourself if you must.

=> Use the Correct Equipment the Right Way

Make sure you use the correct equipment for the task at
hand.  If your work requires long hours in front of a computer,
make sure that your desk and chair are properly aligned and
your work area is well lit.  Ensure you maintain good posture.

=> Nap when sleepy

Many home-based business owners work odd hours.  That,
after all, is one of the advantages!  But if you start working
very early or work very late into the night, your sleep patterns
need to adjust accordingly.  Therefore, if you find yourself
feeling sleepy mid-afternoon, take an hour's nap.  Any longer
though and you'll risk waking sluggish and tired.  Set an alarm 
to wake you if think you'll go longer than an hour or 45 minutes.

Don't tell yourself you can't afford the time to take a nap.  A 
nap will do wonders for your productivity and you will be
refreshed and ready to get back to work.  You'll find you'll
accomplish much more by the end of the day than you would
have if you forced yourself to keep ploughing ahead even 
though you were so sleepy you couldn't think straight.

=> Home Alone Security

Security is an issue for any home-based worker.  Apart from
personal security which is always an issue for everyone
wherever they work, the home-based office with its usual
array of expensive computer and other office equipment, and
heaven knows whatever else electronic gadgetry is a prime
target for thieves.  So take these basic precautions:

* Don't expose your expensive office equipment to the
view of casual passersby.  Obscure the view with foliage
(but not so much that you provide a place for would-be
intruders to hide) and draw the blinds when you're away
from home.

* Keep your doors deadbolted when you're home as well
as when you're away.

* Think twice about inviting new clients to your home office.
Try and meet at the client's office wherever possible or, if
not, at a neutral location.

* Ensure your property is well lit at night to deter intruders.

* Don't advertise the fact that you work from home.

* Consider using a post office box for your office address.  
This is particularly useful if you run an online business and
are concerned about revealing your residential address to
all and sundry.

* Get an alarm system installed and display the alarm 
company's sign prominently on your property.

* A dog can be a great security device, not to mention
company for the solo worker!

INSURANCE

Don't rely on your homeowner's insurance to cover your
business.  Most policies limit loss of business property
to $2,500 and don't cover losses away from the home.
And you can just forget about claiming on your homeowner's
policy for injury sustained by a client visiting your home
office.

So ensure you obtain business insurance separate from
your homeowner's policy or, if your insurance company
offers it, an endorsement to your existing policies.  This
type of extension, where available, can be as low as an
additional $200 or so annually.

The kinds of risks to consider, depending of course on
the nature of your business, include:

=> Health and Disability

Check with any trade or professional associations of 
which you are a member for health insurance packages.  
Many such associations will have negotiated insurance 
packages for their members and this can be a good way 
of getting good cover for a cost-effective price.

Other types of insurance to consider are disability
insurance in case you can't work due to illness or
disability and workers' compensation (remember, you may
be an employee of your business).  Depending on your
personal situation, you may also want to consider key 
man insurance which protects your business in the event 
of your death.  The business becomes the beneficiary 
under this type of policy and this cover is intended to enable 
the business to replace you.

=> Property

This covers your physical assets - furniture and
equipment, inventory and supplies including, where
required, cover for equipment taken away from the
premises such as laptop computers.

=> Liability

There are three main types of liability insurance.
Depending on your business you may need only
one or two or all three.  The three types are (a) general
liability which covers you for accidental injuries sustained 
by business visitors; (b) professional liability if you are a
member of a professional occupation such as a lawyer
or an accountant; and (c) product liability which protects
you against damage caused to a third party as a result
of a defective product.

=> Business Interruption

This type of insurance covers your lost profits as a 
result of some insured event which makes it impossible for 
you to carry on your business such as a fire or flood.

TAX ISSUES

One expenditure you should definitely not try and avoid
is an accountant to prepare your taxes.  There are many
home office tax deductions available but they are scrutinized
carefully by the IRS so make sure you get professional
help in this area.

The types of deductions available to the home business
owner include a proportion of your housing costs and
expenses if you use a part of your home exclusively for
your business; use of your car for business purposes;
health insurance; postage; trade magazines and other 
business-related publications; and capital equipment.

The best way to save money on accountant's fees is to
keep accurate, organized and complete records.  Keep 
your receipts organized so that when tax time comes you 
can hand everything over to your accountant in a nice 
neat package.

In addition, do not hestitate to contact your accountant
for advice if and when you intend to take on employees.
A whole slew of responsibilities goes along with 
employing others in your business including withholding
tax and social security benefits and workers' compensation
to name just a couple.

ZONING

Finally, a word about zoning.  Zoning laws can be
inconsistent so just because your friend Dave can run
a business out of his garage in town X doesn't mean you
can do the same thing here in town Y.  Some municipalities
will give you a hard time if you're receiving clients on the
premises but will turn a blind eye if you're not.  Others
focus on the detriment your business causes to the 
amenity of your neighbors.  If your neighbors find they
can't park their car in their own street because of the
flood of traffic to your door, expect problems.  Also, don't
expect to be able to erect a sign in front of your house
or, possibly, anywhere visible from the street, advertising
your business.   Still other municipalities will restrict
the numbers of employees that can be employed in the
home business.  In these municipalities you often won't
have a problem if you're a solo worker but once you start
hiring employees to work on the premises you may have
trouble.

So, before you start your business and invest a lot of
capital in getting set up, check with your local authorities
what, if any, zoning restrictions you need to be aware of.

These are just a few of the major headache areas when
you cut the ties and set out on your own.  By taking the
time to get these things in order before you get underway,
you'll create a safety net for yourself and your business so
that when things go wrong, as they inevitably will, your 
dream of a home-based business of your own will continue
to be a happy reality and not a nightmare.

------

 

This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you 
use the autoresponder copy which contains a resource box; 
and (2) you leave the resource box intact.



4.  Pro-Motion - Answers for the Pro in Motion

jl Scott's popular Pro-motion column is no longer in ezine 
syndication.  Instead, you can read this week's column at 
the AHBBO website at http://www.ahbbo.com, right 
under the iCOPô seal!


5.  This Week's Subscriber Web Site Pick - HerIdeas.com

Patty Lee writes:

"Hi Elena, 

"I would like my site considered for the Website Pick. It is called 
HerIdeas and it is mainly about crafts and hobbies. What I have tried 
to do is give visitors lots of interesting information as well as some 
very unique ways to advertise their crafts and/or craft business. 

"Thanks for considering my site.

Patty Lee 

I went to visit Patty's site an hour ago intending to do a quick
review but instead found myself wandering around, visiting this and
that link.  (And spent $100 on a knitting kit).  That's what it's all 
about, of course.  For a good example of a really "sticky" site, go 
visit Patty's.

------

If you want your site seen by thousands, write and tell me 
about it!  But make sure it's one you've created yourself 
or have had created especially for you.  No self-replicating affiliate 
sites please.  



8. Subscription Management 

 

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If you find this newsletter valuable, please forward it 
in its entirety to your friends, family and associates!



10. Contact Information 

Elena Fawkner, Editor 
A Home-Based Business Online 
Contact By Email
http://www.ahbbo.com


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