Thursday, April 12, 2007

What 90% of Home Based Business Don't Know That You Should Know

What types of protection does your online or offline home-based business have...or need? More than you expect!

The types of coverage you need depends on several factors: The size of your business, how your business is organized (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC), number of employees, type of compensation you're receiving (salary, fees, commissions), nature of business (service, product), where it is located, and your exposure to liability.

Things to ponder:

Do you have enough life insurance to protect your family, should you die prematurely? If you have a service business, your business is worth Zero when you die. For example, the spouse of a deceased doctor or lawyer can only sell the tools of the trade, not the clients (the true bread and butter of any service business). You can sell your service business prior to your death, if you can predict when that may occur. Otherwise, all service business owners should protect their families with a minimum coverage of 7X gross income.

If your goal is to have a member of your family take over your homr business at your demise, are they capable (and licensed) to do so?

Do you have disability insurance, in case you're incapable of running your enterprise because of illness or injury? This type of coverage will usually give you approximately 60% of your income, for a stipulated period of time. The benefit may be taxable or non-taxable (depending on whether or not you deducted the premium as a business expense).

More important...do you have Business Overhead Insurance? Who will cover the costs of running your online or offline home business (utilities, insurance, salaries) while you're out of commission? Disability Insurance will not cover your business overhead expenses, unless it is an add-on.

If you have partners, do you have a Buy-Sell Agreement? This will protect your interest in the business, should your partner suddenly die. Example: your partner dies...his wife claims her share of the business. Do you really want your deceased partner's relatives to take over their share of the business? This type of coverage would allow you to buy out your deceased partner's share of the business, avoiding any conflicts or interference by outside parties.

Do you have Disability Buy-Out Coverage? What would you do if a partner becomes severely disabled? Do you want to keep paying him (or her) for work he cannot do, possibly for years? After a period of time, this type of coverage would force your disabled partner to sell you his share of the business, based on a previously signed equitable agreement.

Of course, many of these situations may not occur, but it's your home business. Decide which types of coverage you deem most important...then speak to a professional who can give you the types of coverage you need to protect your enterprise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Home Based Business Opportunity-Business Building Tips From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

What can you learn about business, including a home business, from a children's movie? You can learn some great entrepreneurial lessons from the  film "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" starring Johnny Depp.

WARNING -Spoiler Alert- If you have not seen the movie (or the older version) yet, this article may give away a few elements of the story that could reduce your enjoyment of the film. You can always come back and read it after you have seen the picture.

Marketing

"Find 1 of 5 Golden Tickets in a Willy Wonka product and be one of the first people in a long time to visit the magical chocolate factory. Also, one kid will win a special prize that will exceed your wildest imagination."

This is an excellent promotion. It sparks interest in Willy Wonka products, builds brand awareness, and most importantly; it significantly increases sales. The media picks up on the promotion and generates a tremendous amount of free publicity. Word of mouth referrals help spread the promotion to areas that were untouched by newspapers and television.

Positive Thinking

There are many "naysayers" who discourage the main character, Charlie, from getting his hopes up about finding one of the lucky Golden tickets. Negative thinking can be devastating, especially to a child. However, Charlie does not take heed of the negativity. Supported by his Grandmother's constant reassurance, Charlie keeps a positive outlook and believes that he has as good a chance as any other kid to find one of the five tickets.

Don't Quit

Charlie refuses to give up on his dream of finding a ticket. After he doesn't find one on his first, and probably only, attempt - he doesn't quit. Charlie believes that he will get one of those tickets. Providence provides two more opportunities and amazingly, Charlie finds the last ticket! This is especially significant because it had been falsely reported that all of the tickets had been found.

A Good Support Network

Charlie has an excellent support network. Although very poor in financial terms, Charlie is very rich in family. He lives in a loving environment and appreciates every member of his household. He selflessly offers to sell his ticket to provide some much needed cash for his family, instead of taking the special chocolate factory tour. His family will have nothing of it and encourages him to pursue this once in a lifetime opportunity.

When Willy Wonka offers to make Charlie his heir, Charlie refuses because accepting the offer would mean that he probably would never see his family again. Willy Wonka later makes the offer again, but allows Charlie to bring his family this time. Charlie's family then extends its hospitality to Mr. Wonka and he ends up gaining the positive and supporting network that he had needed as well.

Four Good Lessons

If you are an entrepreneur or are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and starting a home business on or offline, remember these lessons from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". It takes good marketing, positive thinking, and a good support network to get started. Most importantly, don't quit - your success may be only one candy bar away.