Searching for a Place to Live in Atlanta About Did Me in

I have a hard time making decisions. I’m one of those guys that wants to see every option. Then, if that is not bad enough, I want to wait to see if any other options will soon become available. My wife says she is surprised we got married. I told her I recognize perfection when I find it or it finds me, and that she is the perfect one for me. She wanted me to be able to be like that when we were looking at midtown Atlanta apartments to move to. I admit that I poured over every real estate offering for apartments in the Atlanta, Georgia area, and I was having a hard time picking finalists.

She helped me by eliminating the ones even one dollar outside of our maximum housing budget. I was reserving them just in case. Then we eliminated all apartments that did not have a gated access control. We wanted privacy in an access-controlled environment. (more…)

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Tax Tips for New Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

New ecommerce entrepreneurs can find them confused and confounded by the tax and accounting requirements of their venture. And thats a shame: If someones spotted a great new category and successfully built a web presence, heck, that someone shouldnt find themselves bogged down with the accounting minutia. The entrepreneur should focus on increasing traffic, expanding margins, and growing cash profits.

With that in mind, I offer up the following tax and accounting tips:

Tip #1: Dont Incorporate

A true corporationwhether a C corporation or an S corporationsaddles your business with more complicated tax accounting and a bunch of state filing requirements. You dont want to deal with this redtapeor at least not until youre profitable.

Instead, operate your business as a sole proprietorship. If youre concerned about legal liability protection, note that you can setup a one-owner limited liability company, or LLC. A one owner LLC is treated as a sole proprietorship for income tax purposes.

Tip #2: Start Your Business Before Making Investments

Expenditures you make before youre actually in business-in other words, before youve got a business license and before youre selling or trying to sell your stuffarent very deductible.

Specifically, you can probably deduct the first $5,000 of these expenses. But any amounts in excess of the $5,000 must be amortized over the next fifteen years.

What this means is that you want to start your business before you start spending money on advertising, training, web development, accountants and lawyers and so on.

Tip #3: Automate Your Bookkeeping & Accounting

By lawand some people dont know thisyoure required to maintain an accounting system that lets you clearly measure your income. As a practical matter, this means you need to use a product like Quicken or QuickBooks.

But you ought to go one better than simply using desktop accounting software. Make sure that youre taking advantage of online banking and bill payment features which integrate your accounting system with your banking. As much as is possible, for example, you want to be able to move money from PayPal to your bank to QuickBooks simply by typing a few keys or clicking your mouse a few times.

Tip #4: Hire a Payroll Service Before Hiring Employees

Many successful ecommerce business owners can run their operations without employees. And if thats true for you, hey, congratulations. If and when you do need employees, however, dont try to handle the payroll yourself. Oursource the payroll to one of the large payroll service bureaus like ADP, Payroll, or QuickBooks.

These services are expensive. Figure $1000 to $2000 per year. But the services let you avoid the bookkeeping nightmare called payroll and prevent you from getting into payroll tax trouble.

Tip #5: Consider S Corporation Status After Youre Profitable

Ive written and talked much about how S corporations save taxpayers money and how the right way to set up an S corporation is first create a limited liability company and then ask the IRS to treat the LLC as an S corporation for tax purposes.

Three simple and affordable advertising ideas for your small business

When running a small business, marketing your products and services is an important aspect your must consider and plan for. No matter what industry you play in you will no doubt have competition. Even if you provide a better service or product you still need to stand out so consumers know. Marketing can be a big cost but there are also many affordable alternative to advertise your business.

Here are three simple advertising ideas and suggestions to give you high visility.

Vehicle back windows

A rear car window covererd with a sticker of your business is an affordable option to promote your business. Whenever your car is being driven around your business is being seen. For as little as one hundred and fifty dollars this is a small investment. Depending on how many years your sticker last, the breakdown cost of purchasing you rear window sticker works out to be even less.

Don’t overload the sticker with too much details. Keep the sticker bright and colorful. Avoid a cluttered look with too much details. Keep it simple. Don’t put more than three items of information. Your logo with business name, phone and tagline is all you need.

Car magnets

Large car magnets are another cheap alternative. These magnets are strong enough to withstand high speeds. To repeat – keep the design simple. Order many at a time and hand them out to your friends for their cars. You can purchase four magnets for as little as fifty dollars.

An alternative to magnets is use multiple smaller sized ones. A stack of twenty five magnets can be bought for about thirty dollars. Get people to take notice by scattering you car with these. When people take your magnets you know they’re working.

Outdoor banners

Ask your signwriter to print you a large banner. The cost of a small banner can be as little as one hundred dollars. We’ve even seen banners from as low as six dollars.

Use the small banners effectively by parking at the front of a busy event or location. Hang the banner from the side of your car. Your car and banner can’t be missed.

These are three simple advertising ideas to kick start your marketing on a budget.

Click Here to see Ryan Johns working these advertising ideas

Making Informed Investment Decisions

Making an investment is an extremely important decision, not just for business houses but also for individuals. It is crucial that investors consider a few things before they make their investment decision for certain. Market factors are very important and they should be given prime consideration, as they define the future of your investments.

As the global markets are still recovering from the hard-hitting subprime crisis of 2008, taking market factors into consideration have never been so important ever before. It is also necessary that investors consider their long-term goals and not just short-term interests before making an investment. This helps with avoiding a bad or rash investment decision. Let us have a look at some of the important points that demand consideration at the time of an investment:

1. Having an emergency repository of funds: It is a given that all investors must compulsorily have an emergency fund of sorts to help them cope with future exigencies, such as sudden falls in the market, unemployment, and so on. This emergency fund can be built using a portion of the monthly salary over a considerable period of time or alternatively, channeling a large part of the same towards building the fund over a lesser period of time. This would depend on personal choices and financial ability, etc.

2. Assessing ones financial position: Before entering the world of investing, it is extremely important that potential investors take time and conduct an assessment of their financial position. This step is mainly to help potential investors understand their financial risk-taking capacity and also their plan-goal compatibility, while taking the market conditions into consideration.

3. Pre-caution from fraud: Given that the markets are still only just recovering, it is not rare to find fraudulent practitioners in the world of finance and investment. Therefore, it is always advisable to be on the alert for fraud. One way to avoid entering into deals with fraudulent companies is by investigating their authenticity through research, and also checking with friends and family who are also aware of and are engaged in investment.

4. Types of assets and spreading investment risk: Out of stocks, bonds and cash, seldom does one see the simultaneous rise of all three types of assets at the same time. Therefore, it is best if the investor spreads his or her risk and decides to invest in more than one type. That way, in the event that the value of your investment in one type falls, the investment in the other is still available to compensate or fall back on.

Entrepreneur Success…What Does It Take

An entrepreneur does many wonderful things. In fact, many people are amazed with how the entrepreneur’s mind works. But for some who have not taken the plunge, there is some wonderment….some real curiosity….and for some of us, even some questions about successful entrepreneurs morals and integrity….But for most onlookers there are two important questions to ask. How does an entrepreneur become successful? And most importantly, do you want to be a successful entrepreneur too?

First of all, an effective entrepreneur should have great ideas. And then you need to test those ideas…You have to research to be able to make an informed judgement about whether your business idea is feasible. It really is critical to do this investigation, and in many cases its not necessarily a tedious task…Once you have gathered all the needed information, you can decide whether to pursue the business idea now, or simply file it and do it in the future.

Sound Research

The projects undertaken by successful entrepreneurs are normally done in a very careful manner. Research about Demand is a very important aspect to help determine business feasibility. Saturated and established markets can be a big no for entrepreneurs because their aim is to earn more money. Entering a saturated market can be suicidal (unless you have a very unique selling proposition), because of the extreme competition.

If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you have to work on some concepts such as ROI or return on investment, compounding capital, economy of scale, speed of business returns, and many others. You can’t work your way to success if you dont know these concepts. So you have to study and continue your learning. If you have the opportunity to study a business related course, do so. Gaining knowledge, skill and education, can only help you to succeed in the business world.

According to many expert entrepreneurs, education is not enough. As an entrepreneur, you must have the right attitude and qualities. Now what are these attitudes and qualities? Firstly, you have to be hard working. You have to be willing to work many hours of the day or night especially if you’re a beginner. Almost eighty percent of your time will be allotted for encouraging customers or subscribers. In the case of an internet business, you have to attract a lot of traffic to your site otherwise, your business will fail.

Secondly, you need to be a risk taker. Most entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks. This does not mean that entrepreneurs enter the market with their eyes closed hoping for success. Entrepreneurs are willing to take risks especially if after a careful study they can see high chances of success. Not many individuals are willing to take risks because they are afraid to fail. But you see, an entrepreneur learns a lot from past failures. It’s all part of life and so you should not be scared. Its also important to be organized.

Is A Car Wash Franchise A ‘cash Flow’ Machine

The best answer to that question about a car wash franchise depends on your comfort level with taking risks. Every business has risks involved and car wash franchises are no different, however they do offer a unique opportunity in a cash business.

There are a few things you must consider before diving into the car wash franchise industry. The first decision is to decide what type of car wash franchise system you want to own. You have the option of a fully automated system that does all the work for you or you can choose to have a partially automated system that will require employees to finish the work. At first glance the fully automated one seems like the most logical choice but having more running equipment can mean more expensive things that break down and need fixing. Don’t forget that if your machines are down, cars aren’t getting washed and no money is coming in.

Choosing the right location for a car wash franchise is practically the most important thing you can do, and I’m talking more about cities than specific locations. Seattle rains about 300 days per year and people aren’t really interested in washing their cars there. On the flip side, sunny southern california barely has rain and people in socal really want to keep their car looking clean.

In talking about cash flow for a car wash franchise, one immediate hurdle is the initial franchise start up fee which ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000. Typically they are in the $20,000 – $30,000 range. Some franchise fees are even non-refundable even if you decide to not buy the franchise. Make sure you find that out before you put any money down.

Another major cost of owning a car wash franchise is the royalty payments. They typically range from 3% – 6% of gross sales, not net profits. Some franchises have minimum monthly revenues no matter what happens in your business. So if you have some slow times or it rains 14 straight weekends in a row, you still gotta pay the minimum requirements.

Don’t forget that other typical car wash franchise expenses include equipment, signs, working capital, advertising fees, etc. Equipment could be anything from chemicals to car accessories to cash registers.

Bottom line is that owning a car wash franchise for cash flow is a proven business system as long as all factors are taken into consideration and smart business choices are made.