Setting the small tasks aside, there are five main bases that every small business hopeful should be sure to cover when planning a trip though the exciting, and sometimes stormy, startup waters.
Read along as we explore the various first-steps every small business owner needs to take, from business plans and administration, to branding and reputation management.
That feeling of first having an idea, the lightbulb moment that sparks passion and interest in your mind, is one that every entrepreneur knows well.
A Business Plan is a document that covers a variety of aspects of a business or even just an idea. By thinking ahead and looking into future staffing requirements, how much it will cost to produce your product, what you want your management structure to be, and how you plan to market your product or service you can decide whether or not your idea is actually viable.
Once you have a plan laid out, you can figure out how you want to proceed: are you ready to use this plan to get funding, or is this idea better left behind? While these might seem like very specific questions, the more that you know about your potential customers, the more likely you are to reach them.
Aside from creating a customer profile, you need to figure out where you can best reach them based on what their preferred medium is. To find out who your target is and where to reach them, you’ll need to invest some time, and probably some money, into market research. Use this information to find out where to target your market, but also to learn how to improve your product or service for them. Now that you have an idea of who you should target, you can start thinking about what kind of a brand would appeal to your market. Aside from the obvious, one of the most important factors in branding your business is your marketing copy—that’s the content that speaks to your audience.
Whatever you choose will affect your branding and reputation, so make sure that you use the same tone throughout your content—from emails and onsite copy to social media pages and advertisements. Another great way to focus on branding and really build up your business is to start thinking about potential partnerships and cooperative marketing opportunities that may exist with other more established businesses.
Be strategic about building up your social media pages and your advertisements so that you can become recognizable in a potential sea of competitors.
Initially, you are going to have costs associated with research, prototypes, potential patents, and more. In order to figure out where you should start you first need to know your costs, and that doesn’t just mean how much it will cost to get started. If you plan to hire employees, or start working on your business full-time, where will you get the money for salaries?
If you’ve finally decided that you want to go ahead with your business, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of it all. Most of these tasks are fairly standard and won’t take a lot of effort to complete, but before going ahead with any you should be certain that you are ready to take on full responsibility for your business.
If you’re interested in becoming a small business owner, or you have an idea, take it step-by-step. Enter your email address below to receive email notifications every time we make a new blog post!
Leasing a property provides the benefits of income to cover mortgage payments, additional cash flow to supplement your salary, and tax advantages if you calculate your deductions correctly. Home or property insurance refers to the financial coverage you pay monthly or yearly to protect your property in the event of fire, theft or other damage.
Mortgage interest is a percentage of your full mortgage amount that is added onto your mortgage payments. If you hire an independent contractor to repair damage, these labor costs can also be deducted from your annual income. While repairs occur out of necessity, improvements (capital expenses) are made to increase the value of a property. The IRS has certain requirements for property depreciation, where you can review the proper depreciation calculation methods and other components of depreciation. There are exceptions to deducting improvements that are made to accommodate an illness or disability, such as wheel chair ramp, lifts or wider doorways.
They go on to note that you cannot deduct these travel expenses if the primary purpose of the trip is for the improvement of your rental property. The wages you pay property managers, landscapers, or office staff to run your rental property can be deducted from your rental income. If you lease a property in which you do not own, but pay a rental cost, this amount can be deducted from your income. Office supplies used for invoices, leases, applications or other rental property paperwork can be written off as a tax deduction. Money you spend on general outdoor maintenance, including fertilizing the lawn or snow removal, is deductible.
The fees you incur from hiring a professional accountant to do your rental taxes or any consulting fees relating to your property, such as a lawyer, can be included in your deductions.
Before completing your tax return and identifying your deductions, you should always consult with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to help better understand the tax specifics for your property.
To help you see the most tax benefit from your rental property, keep accurate and organized records.
You might think that after you’ve bought a home, you’ll never have to rent again, but there are all kinds of reasons you may need to explore a temporary rental down the road. You have many more options than you might think, so follow along as we explore the different types of temporary housing, and who they suit best.
Whether you’re taking a family vacation, or heading out solo, you’re probably going to want to both fill your home while you’re gone, and find somewhere to stay during your travels. A vacation exchange is when you temporarily trade your home with someone else for a short period of time, generally a week or more. For example, Merry and Sam own a house in Nova Scotia, Canada and they want to spend some time in Texas. Via an online home exchange group, the two couples find each other, come to an agreement, and swap houses for a month during the summer. This is a great option for those who want to make sure that their home isn’t empty during their holiday, and that they don’t have to pay extra for a hotel or other accommodations while away.

Although there are certainly many other temporary rental sites for travellers, Airbnb is by far the most popular. Airbnb is made up of individuals offering their homes for certain periods of time for a fee in a variety of places. Alternatively, Airbnb is also a smart option for homeowners looking to make a little extra cash by renting out a room without having to buckle down with a long-term tenant. Of course, you also have the regular options of staying in a hotel, motel, an inn, or a hostel while on your trip. Business trips are one of the most common reasons that you may require temporary housing, and what type works best for you, or the company you work for, can depend on a variety of factors. Often, businesses whose employees tend to travel to the same places on a regular basis, say a head office in another state, offer what is called corporate housing. These spaces are often part of larger buildings designated for corporate rentals specifically, and do not allow for residential tenants. Dorms may be full during the school year, but many students return home or take trips during the summer, leaving the on-campus housing empty. Often, these are available for group rentals as opposed to single room rentals, but it can vary depending on the campus. Serviced apartments can be used by individuals and businesses, but are more popular in the business world since they can be a bit pricier.
Traveling doesn’t have to be for pleasure or for business, sometimes it can be due to a number of other things, such as renovations, school, or a temporary move during a relocation.
Although more popular 40+ years ago, there are still homeowners who will offer room and board for a small fee on a nightly, weekly, or bi-weekly basis. Boarding is great for those who are on a strict budget as they are often much cheaper than hotels, but offer many of the same benefits. Subletting is when a renter still has time left on their lease, but needs someone to take it over for the remainder of the term. This can work well for people who are need an in-between home during a relocation or who need to stay in the area for an extended period of time. Though most property managers and landlords do prefer leases of at least a year, some may still consider a shorter lease in certain circumstances.
Reasons for needing one could be that you are waiting on a home purchase approval, renovations or a new build to be completed, or that you are trying out a new job or town and want to get a feel for your new situation before committing long-term. Temporary rentals, whether for a night or a couple of months, can save you money and offer you a more comfortable and homey space than other options, like hotels. Summer Vacation Ideas for the Budget-Conscious FamilyPlanning a summer vacation with your family?
Must-Have Upgrades for Your Vacation PropertyWhat vacation property upgrades should you do this year? Long-Term Travel: A Guide to Getting Organized Before Your TripIt’s easy to overlook the important tasks you need to take care of when planning your trip. Experienced freelancers will tell you that it’s a question of when, not if, your intellectual property rights will be infringed upon. Between student loan debt and high living expenses, millennials are faced with unique financial challenges.
Every small business needs to exercise fluidity when it comes to making changes to meet market demands and changing industry standards. To celebrate Small Business Week, we asked small business owners and entrepreneurs what they love most about what they do. The 2013-2014 winter season has delivered wind storms, drought and a polar vortex cold wave within the country, causing many adults and children to become ill as a result of fluctuating temperatures. In the United States alone, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented over 700 cases of influenza viruses since October 1st, including H1N1, H3N2 and B Viruses.
The purpose of prepared consent is to eliminate any discrepancies in your child’s care. There should be no doubt surrounding your child’s health, particularly during flu season. From picking a name to making sure that your finances are in order, every entrepreneur is in for a long journey when it comes to bringing an idea to life. But entrepreneurs also know the difference between a quick spark and something that could turn into a long-burning ember. For example, a younger audience may be best reached online through social media or organic marketing, and an older audience may prefer radio, television, or even print ads.
That means conducting user testing, surveys, focus groups, interviews, and anything else you can think of.
By finding out what their needs are, and fulfilling them, your product or service becomes something that they rely on and that they see as not just a want but an asset. This is where you can allow your creative juices to flow and have some fun adding personality to your business. It’s one of the first steps in nurturing brand loyalty and it will pay off in the long run.
Figuring out your total costs, coupled with your projected profits can be a stressful process, but it’s necessary if you are serious about turning your idea into a reality. You should try to figure out your costs for the first year so that you can plan how much you will scale in the early months.
You don’t only need capital to get the business off the ground, you need it to pay the bills until it can support itself. Scale slowly, grow with your profit, and make informed decisions when it comes to spending to maintain control of your costs.
Although it can seem like an overwhelming undertaking, it’s a popular choice for many because the end result can be so fulfilling and rewarding.
Although it can be stressful getting your expenses in order in time to file a return, it can also be valuable to reflect over the last year as a property owner and evaluate your investment’s profitability. You can deduct this entire figure if you use a property solely for the purposes of tenancy. Therefore, landlords cannot deduct an improvement in the year it was made, but rather recover these improvement costs over the useful life of the rental property by reporting depreciation.

You can deduct the rental fee for leasing equipment, such as a steam cleaner or pressure washer to clean the unit. For example, if you send a past tenant their mail because it is still being directed to their old address (your rental), you can deduct the cost of stamps or sending expenses. An accountant will be able to calculate the portion of deduction you can include in your return and advise you on depreciation and other tax information.
US real estate investors should review the IRA residential rental property policy and Canadian investors should refer to the Canada Revenue Agency for insight into their property deductions.
It can take a few years to learn the ropes, and familiarize yourself with tax laws and deductions before you see the true value of your investment.
Maybe you need to travel for work, or you’re finally taking that extended backpacking trip you’ve been planning for years—whatever the cause, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to lay your head at night while you’re away.
Vacation housing can accommodate those in need of very short-term rentals, such as a night or two, to longer rentals of a month or more. It just so happens that another couple in Texas, Harry and Brienne, wants to vacation in Nova Scotia. The benefit of Airbnb is that you can find rentals for just a night or two, so if you are heading to a wedding out of town, or just passing through Rome on trip through Italy, you can find multiple options to suit a variety of budgets. Not all of them are the best options for those who are sticking to a tight budget, but they can be the most reliable and easy to arrange if you need something quick and hassle free. In order to make up for this profit loss, many universities offer dorm rentals specifically for events or corporate use.
The downside of this option is that dorms are usually only available for temporary rental outside of the standard school year, meaning they’re only up for grabs from May-August. They provide a large, furnished space (usually a full apartment), and also some services, like cleaning, laundry, and so on. These options vary in lease length, but are, for the most part, available for longer than other temporary living arrangements and offer a larger variety of choices.
These usually come in the form of one furnished bedroom and shared living space, and include TV, internet, utilities, and sometimes even food in the price. These rentals are best for someone looking for a place to stay for a month or more, and who has their own furniture to fill the space with. If you do need a shorter lease, say 3-6 months, try talking to a property manager in the area to see if there are any homes available and explain why you need one.
By exploring all of your options you can choose a rental that suits your situation, budget, and personal preferences, making your short-term housing your home away from home.
Take a look at this post to see the answers to some of the most commonly asked passport questions to make sure that your trip goes smoothly. To stay competitive and bring a sizable return on investment, here are the best kitchen, bathroom, and porch renovations for your vacation rental.
In this post, we’ll help you through the process by answering some common questions about property inheritance and exploring the main options for what to with your inherited home. See what options you have when it comes to moving your business to the next level in this post. With flu activity reaching its peak in January and February, parents should be prepared if their child catches a bug. This data does not include the thousands of others who fell sick with flu symptoms in the past four months.
It assigns a temporary caregiver with the authorization to consent to your child’s medical treatment in the case of an emergency.
According to the CDC, children under the age of five or with preexisting conditions are at higher risk for hospitalization due to flu related symptoms.
You can authorize specific treatments or tests, such as x-rays, anesthesia and medication, or choose to withhold consent on any procedures until you are present. Deliver copies of the consent form to your child’s babysitter or guardian, school, camp and local hospital.
By having a consent form in place, all treatments you agree to can be administered without hesitation.
To figure out which of those your idea is, you can start by working your way through a Business Plan. It’s better to start out slow and steady than to become successful as a trend and be left forgotten soon after. It funds the maintenance of streets, parks, schools, libraries, as well as many more public services and infrastructure. Phone bills for a separate rental phone line could also be included in this category, as would pest control costs. Orderly records will make your tax experience less stressful and save you from rushing to compile all your documents right before tax day. This is when apartments, condos, or other housing options are rented by the company on a long-term basis, and are used by traveling employees when needed. Consent forms allow doctors and nurses to immediately evaluate and treat your child in your absence. Parents of children with existing conditions especially need to have consent forms in place, as their child may be more prone to illness or hospitalization.
This rule is guided by the assumption that reasonable persons (or parents) would consent to medical care if the guardian knew the severity of the emergency. In addition to consent, this form provides details about your child’s health insurance, allergies, medications, medical history and contact information.
This amount, along with your mortgage interest, will count as a large portion of your rental property deductions.
The representative may only move forward if the child’s life is in danger, the guardian is unavailable for consent and treatment cannot be delayed to obtain consent. Prepare a medical consent form and feel peace of mind knowing you have covered all your bases for your child’s health and well being.

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