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06/01/16 Minimalism , Work # ,

Addition Through Subtraction: Dropping a Side Gig

Addition Through Subtraction: Dropping a Side Gig

Not every aspect of my media empire — as I half-jokingly like to call it — is working to perfection and making money. So, I’m taking a step and dropping a side gig by selling one of my websites.

The site — FamousParenting.com — was outside of my personal finance niche but was in an area I’m passionate about. The site wasn’t making nearly as much money as I thought it would a year ago when I bought it, though reader engagement was high and I put up posts every weekday in an effort to improve it.

I recently sold the site for about a third less than I paid for it, proving that my efforts didn’t work in the year I owned it. I look at it as a lesson learned in working for myself as a freelancer that not every financial move I make is going to work out.

Why I’m dropping a side gig

Dropping a side gig wasn’t my first thought when FamousParenting didn’t work out, but my options were to either increase the amount of work I put into the site or to sell it. I didn’t want to continue doing the same thing with it, which was to spend a few hours a week reading parenting blogs and posting the best of them daily.

As a father, I’m interested in writing about parenting and thought FamousParenting would be a good site to own because its daily goal was to highlight the best parenting blogs. Continue reading

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05/23/16 Travel , Work # ,

Doing Work on Vacation is a Horrible Idea

Doing Work on Vacation is a Horrible Idea

Doing work on vacation can sound like the best of both worlds: You’re relaxing at a beach, for example, while getting some work done on your laptop so that you can afford the vacation you’re on.

It’s also a way to let the boss — if you have one — know that you’re a serious worker who goes above and beyond the call of duty to get work done whenever needed.

If you’re doing some work on vacation you’re not alone. A survey found that 61 percent of people do some work while on vacation. Another survey found that 35 percent of millennials worked every day of their vacation.

As a freelance writer who works for myself, I’ve found other entrepreneurs who take pride in cramming in some work while on vacation. I know a freelancer who is traveling in Europe now with his family while setting aside a few hours each day to work.

There’s always some work to be done, whether you work for yourself or someone else, and time off from work is more time to get work done. Continue reading

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04/26/16 Work #

Ways Outsourcing Can Make Your Business More Successful

Ways Outsourcing Can Make Your Business More Successful

When it comes to thinking of ways that you can improve your business to be more successful, outsourcing is one of the main ideas that come up every time.

But it can be hard for businesses to establish which bits they should outsource in order to be more successful. Here are a few ideas which could really help to improve your business:

Shipping and deliveries

Managing all of your shipping and deliveries is not only stressful, it can be really time consuming and has big consequences if you get it wrong.

Outsourcing your shipping and deliveries to an experienced and knowledgeable company like TNT can be really beneficial to your business and give you much more opportunities to offer a variety of services including things like same and next day delivery which can be hard to organize when you’re trying to juggle running a business at the same time.

Advertising and marketing

Advertising and marketing your business is crucial to your overall success and one of the best ways to attract new clients and customers. A lot of the time companies that do their own advertising and marketing run the risk of getting it wrong as they don’t know all the new strategies and techniques that professional marketing companies use to make their campaigns work.

Investing in the services of a professional advertising and marketing company could really help to boost your profits and attract new clients that your existing campaigns weren’t reaching.

Outsourcing this area can help to make your business give off a more professional image and lead to an influx of new custom, making you instantly more successful.

Finance and accounts

One aspect of owning a business that can be really time consuming and stressful if you have no expertise in this area is managing the finances and accounts. Outsourcing these parts of your business to a professional accountant gives you piece of mind, knowing that you’ve paid all the right taxes and that your electricity bills won’t be cut off!

Working out the accounts can be really stressful, especially at the end of the month when wages and bills need to be paid too. By outsourcing this area of your business you’ll be able to spend more time developing your business ideas and managing the running of day to day events, making your business more successful overall.

By following these tips and outsourcing these areas of your business which can be time consuming and stressful, you’ll be able to spend your time doing what you do best, growing and developing your business.

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03/01/16 Work # ,

Paying for Websites With Tax Breaks

Paying for Websites With Tax Breaks

Tax time is a forced chance to look back at the year and how well you did financially.

For many people, the barometer of whether they did well or not is a tax refund. If they’re getting one, then it was a good year for their finances. If they broke even on their taxes, or owe the government money, then it wasn’t so great.

The 2015 tax year was a relatively good one for my family and my business as far as taxes go. While I would have preferred that my business income was higher, my federal and state income taxes were low enough that we’re getting tax refunds.

A lot of that is because I bought four websites last year and spent money improving them — all business expenses that lowered my income. In essence, the tax breaks from running my own business allowed me to buy the websites and spend money improving them.

Before I get into some of the details of how this worked, I have two caveats to alert readers to:

  1. I’m not a tax professional, so don’t take anything I say here as tax advice.
  2. I’m not going to reveal the exact numbers. I’m keeping the figures private.

Passive income is the main goal

As I wrote in January, the ultimate goal for owning four websites is to earn passive income to pay our only debt: the monthly mortgage on our house.

Almost all of the income in 2015 from the sites — three personal finance sites CashSmarter.com, BeforeYouInvest.com, and Add-Vodka.com; and a parenting site FamousParenting.com — went to paying back our savings account for the money we used to buy and improve the sites.  Continue reading

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02/25/16 Work # ,

Why a Virtual Office is Essential for Any Start-Up Business in 2016

write-593333_1280The office environment is changing. There has been a worldwide increase in the number of start-up companies forming, especially after the global economic crash, which has impacted the ways people work, with many more people telecommuting than 10 years ago.

This has led to a rise in the number of businesses using virtual offices. There are many benefits they provide, especially for new start-ups, but they can also be useful for existing small companies. If you’re still unsure, check out these reasons your start-up should make the most of virtual offices in 2016. 

Cost-Effective Choice

Running a business is no cheap endeavor. Aside from the largest expense of renting office space there are all the overheads and other hidden costs such as employee benefits, insurance and more to consider.

If your company doesn’t need office space all the time or can’t afford it in the business area desired, then using a virtual office from Landmark PLC is a cost-effective option. All the overheads are included and you only need to pay for the space when you use it as well.    

Creates a Professional Appearance

Having a professional business address in a prestigious area instantly adds a lot of credibility to your company. Virtual offices usually include reception services too, so all incoming calls will be put through a secretary on the front desk, and allows you to have a corporate mailing address.

This all combines to form a professional image even though your business may still be mainly run from home.

Increases Productivity

A lot less time has to be spent doing essential admin jobs, such as cleaning and looking after the office. This allows more time to be spent getting on with trying to grow your business.

Human resources management is also mostly taken care of too, as the company that owns the virtual offices will employ staff for the front desk, cleaners and in some cases even for dealing with taxes and other legal issues.

Includes all Required Amenities

Everything your company could need will be included with a virtual office. Along with the actual space and essentials like chairs and desks there will normally be meeting rooms available, catering services for entertaining clients, video conferencing equipment and much more.

Lower costs that include everything your business will need mean virtual offices are a must for all new start-ups entering the world of business in 2016.

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Hi, I'm Aaron Crowe. Welcome to CashSmarter. I'm a personal finance freelance writer who enjoys spending my money wisely and using minimalism to make my money last longer while increasing income.