How are most small business owners losing thousands of dollars every year? Eva Rosenberg, author of Small Business Taxes Made Easy notes, “Many small businesses are cheating themselves out of at least $2,000 to $3,000 worth of tax benefits a year by not knowing the deductions and credits available to them.”For travel agents, travel is a tax write-off — whether to an industrial center or an island resort! If a purpose is to discuss business with other travelers, have business appointments, or to attend a business-related seminar, you go tax free. Travel agents may also deduct their travel if it is simply for the purpose of familiarizing themselves with a resort, ship, tour, etc. This means that almost any travel an agent does can be a tax write-off! It is helpful if prior to the trip you can substantiate prior planning for familiarization or for making business contacts. Your spouse’s travel can even be deductible if the individual is part of your business or his or her presence is helpful in conducting your business.Transportation expenses include all those costs incurred getting to and from your destination: airfare, vehicle, on-the-road expenses such as lodging, meals, laundry, dry cleaning, and others. For fees under $75 it is not necessary to keep receipts. For example, if while traveling you pay $20 for dry cleaning, the IRS does not demand a receipt. The only exception is for lodging. If you stay overnight, you must get a receipt for your payment. If you drive your car, 300 miles per day is allowable tax free.For foreign travel, you can deduct all weekends and holidays that fall between business days and you can deduct on-the-road expenses for days in transit. In the case of cruise ships, you can claim it as a deduction if you can substantiate that you used the trip to familiarize yourself with this cruise package/ship.First and foremost, whether you’re in the travel business or some other, the IRS’s primary requirement is that you legitimately treat your home business as a business — not a hobby. That means regularly working your business. Hand out your business card, talk to people, all the time, everywhere you go about travel. Let them know you are a travel agent and would appreciate their business.When you’re out to lunch or dinner with other travel agents, prospects, or friends and you discuss “business”, your meal is 50 percent tax deductible. Some try to also write off trips to the theater, opera, or sports events because they’re “entertaining a possible client.” Be careful with this one. Entertainment expenses are generally non-deductible. If you try to claim deductions for sporting events, gala or social nights, concerts or other similar functions you’d better be able to substantiate that you were dealing with possible customers. If you definitely discuss business matters with a client or possible client while at the event, this does open the door to a possible deduction.Home to work travel is deductible in limited circumstances – for example, if you are engaged in itinerant work, but many independent travel agents have a home office. A home office deduction is available if a portion of your home is used as a principal place of business, you meet or deal with clients or customers, you use it to conduct administrative or management functions, or you store some sort of inventory or product samples. You should use your office at least three to four days per week or 10 to 12 hours per week. In regard to indirect business expenses, you can receive a deduction of approximately 12 to 16 percent based on the square footage or the number of rooms in your home. Home computers, fax machines, telephones, office supplies, and office furniture are tax deductible. But it’s important to have your home office on business cards, have business visitors sign a logbook, keep a work-activity log for time spent, or be able to demonstrate work you have accomplished online from your home office.It is wise to keep a separate “tax diary” of appointments, general transportation, meals, trips, business appointments, contacts. If the IRS ever questions your claims and you don’t have receipts for everything, this tax diary will be of great assistance.So what in heaven’s name are you waiting for? If you love travel and have some time to travel, becoming a travel agent is a no-brainer. It is easy and inexpensive to become an agent and between hugely discounted trips and the tax write-offs, the savings can be almost unlimited.
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The Best Travel Accessories That A Backpacker Needs!
As a backpacker, you will need a few travel accessories that will make your life so much easier and pleasant while on the road. Read our tips and advice on the Top 5 Travel Accessories that backpackers need!5. Sleep Sheet
When staying in dorm rooms at hostels sometimes the bedding (linen, mattress and pillow) can be too disgusting to sleep on. What you need is a sleep sheet to keep you clean.A sleep sheet is also known as a travel sheet, sleeping bag liner or silk liner. They can be made from silk or cotton and their main purpose is to keep you clean from dirty linen or keep you from making your sleeping bag dirty. Some may include a pillow case section for your pillow or a folded up jumper.A sleep sheet is perfect for staying in dorm rooms, camping, or even to cover yourself when sleeping out in an airport or train station. Once you have used one, you will never go back.4. Travel Towel
Who wants to use a towel that has been used by hundreds of other backpackers before you? Most hostels will make you hire towels when you arrive if you do not have your own travel towel.Travel towels come in all different shapes and sizes, but remember the smaller the towel the tougher the backpacker you are! They are basically made from a quick dry material that will wick moisture away from your skin. Remember to let it dry before putting it back into your backpack, otherwise they will start to stink and or grow mould.Travel towels are perfect for use at hostels, camping or even as towels for the beach.3. Backpack Cover
A backpack rain cover is what all backpackers will wish they had when it starts to rain while you are lost trying to find your hostel. A backpack cover will protect your backpack and belongings from the elements. Some backpackers even use them to protect their backpacks when they are own public transport.Most backpacks should come with their own backpack cover, or you can buy them from most outdoor shops. Make sure you get the right size to match the size of your backpack. If your backpack is made from canvas, you won’t need a cover, as your pack should be waterproof.2. Travel Cutlery and Bowl
The easiest way to save money when you are backpacking is to self-cater. Sure, it is good to try the local cuisine and culture, but not every meal should be eaten at a restaurant.You should use a bowl, preferably a collapsible bowl, and lightweight travel cutlery when you are on the road. They are perfect for having a picnic in a park or just to use something clean when eating in a hostel kitchen. Make sure you pack your cutlery into your checked-in luggage when catching a plane, otherwise you may lose it when you go through customs.Ask at the hostel where the local supermarket or a local produce market is and make sure you buy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.1. International Travel Adapter
Last but not least is the travel adapter. It is the most important travel accessory for any backpacker or any traveller. Backpackers are taking more and more electronics with them when they go overseas, we have even seen backpackers with power-boards!Make sure you buy the right adapter for the countries you will be travelling to, otherwise you will find yourself with a flat battery. You could always purchase a universal travel adapter, which has a number of connections on the one adapter.There are many other travel accessories that will help you along the way, but these are the ones that the team at Trusty Travel Tips have found the most helpful!
Best Small Business Tips and Ideas
Deciding to start a business can be one of the most exhilarating decisions you make in your life. We are living in a world wherever everyone wants to make extra money and add to his income. Most people have achieved this by acquiring great business ideas. When one starts up a company, he must be ready to meet competition. It is important to note that you would not need to become rich or popular to succeed in business but have to think smartly. But there are a lot of moving parts and many different elements to consider.
10 basic tips essential to start a business successfully.
Tip 1: Get inspired and Love your idea
Every business begins with an idea you may have imagined of opening your own business for years, or motivation may have hit you suddenly. Nevertheless of the source, the first step of starting your own business is coming up with a business idea. And as important as your idea, you must in love with the idea.
Tip 2: Do Your Research / learn everything about the business
You’ve recognized your big idea, now it’s time to balance it with the reality. Are you truly ready to start a business? Answer the questions below and see what you need to prepare yourself for business. For a small business succeed it must fulfill a need, solve a problem or offer something the market wants.
You can identify this need in many ways by doing research, focus groups, and even trial and error.
As you search the market, some of the questions can be:
• Is there a need for your anticipated services or products?
• Who needs it? (Target Costumers)
• Are there other companies offering similar services or products right now?
• How is the competition?
• Can or how will your business fit into the market?
Tip 3: Make a Business Plan
You need a business plan in order to make your business idea a reality. If you expect to seek monetary support from an investor or financial organization, a formal written business plan is a must.
Even if you don’t need monetary support, a simple business plan can give you precision about what you hope to accomplish and how you plan to do it.
In overall, your business plan should summary your business goals and the inspiration behind them, as well as your plan for realization of your goals in terms of marketing and funding.
Tip 4: Planning Finances
Opening a small business doesn’t have to involve a lot of money, but it will involve some investment.
There are a number of methods you can fund your small business:
• With Small business grants
• By Financing
• With Small business loans
• Or Angel investors
You can also attempt to get your business off the ground by bootstrapping, using as little capital as necessary to start your business.
Tip 5: Business Structure
Your small business can be an individual ownership, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business structure you might choose will impact in many factors from your business name, to liability, and how you file your taxes.
You can choose an initial business structure, and with time re-evaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs to be changed.
Tip 6: The Business Name
The name you choose plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Make sure you think through all of the possible consequences as you explore your options and select your business name.
Once you have selected a name, there is the need to check if it’s trademarked, currently in use and if stills free you will need to register it. A individual proprietor must register their business name with either their state or county clerk. Corporations, LLC, or limited corporations usually register their business name when the creation paperwork is filed.
These days you need to have a website, so please don’t forget to register your domain name once you have selected your business name. The best domains and more valuable online are the ones ending with .com.
Tip 7: Licenses and Permits
There are a range of small business licenses and permits that may apply to your situation, depending on the type of business you are starting and where you are placed. You will need to inquiry what licenses and permits apply to your business during the initial process.
Tip 8: The Business Location
Setting up your place to work is essential for the operation of your business, whether you will have a home office, a shared or private office space, or a retail location. You will need to reflect about your place, equipment, and overall setup, and make sure your business place works for the kind of business you will be doing.
Tip 9: Accounting System
One of the most essential systems for a small business is an accounting system. Your accounting system is essential in order to build and manage your budget, set your charges, conduct business with others, and file your taxes. You can set up your accounting system by your own, or hire an accountant to take away some of the work.
Tip 10: Promote Your Small Business
As soon your business is up and running, you need to start attracting customers. You’ll want to initiate with the essentials by writing a single selling offer and building a marketing plan. Explore as many small business marketing ideas as you can so you to choose how to promote your business most successfully. Completed these business start-up actions, you will have all of the most important small business bases protected, and be prepared for small business success.
15 Business Ideas to Generate Extra Income
If you want or need to start a side job because you still need to wait a little bit longer to start your own business, here are 15 suggestions for you.
1. Make money Blogging
If you enjoy writing, find a theme you’re passionate about and start a blog dedicated to covering that theme and anything else interesting you enjoy to talk about. All you need is a laptop, some time, and inspiration to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. Creating a blog is free, but if you want to look professional it can cost less than $ 12 per month.
2. Buying or selling on eBay
Thanks to internet there are more opportunities to make money than ever to buy and resell products for extra money. There are lots of people buy at a discount and resell them on eBay for profit.
3. Freelance writing
If you’re great with words, you might be capable to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of product, stories, service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and ability, you could easily be the one to create them. Luckily, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started. You can start here freelancer.com
4. Social media expert
Now a day almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but did you know that many companies are willing to compensate people to support them managing their social media accounts and sometimes you can do it part-time from home. If this appeals you, to find social media jobs you can start by writing companies with a social media presence and visiting sites like Elance.com for opportunities.
5. Proofreading and editing
Do you have strong English skills and outstanding grammar? You may have chances to work as a proof-reader from home. Marketing for this can be hard; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.
6. Virtual assistant
Many companies and individual professionals like having someone who can check and answer their email, organize task lists for them, someone who can update their calendars, and perform other administrative tasks, with minimal communication. The best of being a virtual assistant is that you can offer this service from home with a good Internet connection.
7. Website design
If you know a little bit about web design you can approach small businesses in your community, as they could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. These businesses usually don’t have a large budget for websites and create a great yet simple website is for you, get a bunch of clients from your local community, create sites for them, and maintains them for a small fee. You can easily get enough businesses to have a nice side business of your own with a low investment.
8. Affiliate marketing
Certain types of online businesses will pay you to promote their products and encourage sales. If you’re interested in learning more, check out affiliate marketing programs such as Click-bank, Commission Junction, and these websites are trustworthy and you can earn money by posting their products in your blog, website or Facebook. The secret of online business is all knowing targeting the right public and marketing efficiently. It can be overwhelming with all the information available online as more than 50% of the information is just a waste of time.
9. Become a business or life coach
If you are a good speaker and passionate about the business world and able to inspire and encourage others in a unique way, you could marketing your services as a business or even a life coach. Take your passion and expertise to the next level giving advice and suggest actionable steps people can take to progress their professional and private lives.
10. Start a resume writing service
If you’re excellent at writing remarkable resumes that in the end result in people getting the job, contemplate advertising those services. Most of your work will spin around writing, editing, designing, and proofreading, so you will only need few supplies outside of your computer and basic software to get started.
11. App Developer
Web app development is the creation of application programs that reside on remote servers and are delivered to the user’s device over the Internet. Now a day you can do apps with software’s you don’t really need to be a weirdo to do it, you can be an app developer for Facebook for instance and of course you can do it part-time and home based.
12. Business Consultant
If you are high organized and skilled being a good problem solver this job is for you. Companies bring Business Consultant to identify their problems, provide solutions and optimize companies. The only investments are your skills.
13. Data Entry Service
Many companies and online businesses require some type of manual information tracking, creating a vast amount of data entry work. Although there are many work-at-home scams related with data entry work, there are a lot of genuine chances available for genuine data entry businesses. If you are an excellent typist with an eye for detail, a data entry business is a great idea for you.
14. Freelance Writer
If you have the skill to write and inform people in a certain area, you can write small books or guides and sell them online, the biggest books platform is Amazon.com, where you can display your books for free and when they are sold, you will receive a percentage from the selling. Payments are made every month depending on your sales. Investment is only your time to write and imagination.
15. Internet Researcher
The Internet provides a vast amount of information. If you can quickly and efficiently navigate through that wealth of information, and essentially find a needle in a haystack, you can create a very successful business as an Internet researcher. Search for this kind of job online or about a company which is looking for this of service.
I give you only a glimpse what you could do, and these are just a few ideas, but many ideas were left behind.
First of all I advise you to think what you like to do as a hobby or in your free time, why don’t you make profit from what you are doing already?
You have the world as your disposal, but for a business to work out the first thing from all things is, it doesn’t matter what you intent to do, but you have to love it. If you love what you do it doesn’t feel like a job, you will be doing it with joy and this way you will be successful.
There are some side business opportunities that have grown more common in the past few years. And thanks to internet you have much more opportunities, ideas and help to develop your business.