Nine Sources to Locate Qualified Contractors for Your Home-Based Business

Nine Sources to Locate Qualified Contractors for Your Home-Based Business

9 Places to Find Contractors

“I learned the value of hard work by working hard.”

–Margaret Mead

As a retiree operating your home-based businesses, you should consider hiring contractors who have the expertise to help you operate your business. It is cost effective and will save you time. After all, we want to limit our work time so we can enjoy our retirement

Where Do You Find Qualified Contractors?

It is not difficult to find contractors and there are many places on the Web that link employers with freelance contractors. There are thousands of people who want to work from home performing just about any business service you need for your online or off-line business.

Here are nine websites to find freelance contractors:U

  1. Upwork.com:

Upwork.com has been updating and organizing its platform to make it simple to find and screen qualified workers. You simply list the type of work you require and request bids for the job. Each contractor will submit a bid describing their fees and their experience. You can check the ratings that other employers posted for that particular bidder.

To protect you even further, you pay the contractor through the website’s platform, which holds the money until you release it when the job is completed. That allows you to ensure the job was actually accomplished to your satisfaction.

No Freedom Allowed

Angry Time Clock Controls Your Freedom

The site also developed a way to log hourly workers, much like a time clock. Contractors working from their computer log into the site, which then tracks their actual time on the computer. The site also can show a video of the person sitting in front of the computer! The video camera operates on a random basis, which is a good way to monitor the work.

This mechanism ensures honesty and minimizes risk of scams, while allowing   Virtual Assistants to charge an hourly rate for their services. Other contractors may prefer to charge by the hour as well.

In addition, Upwork.com will mediate any payment issues.

Contractors who are listed as “Professional” pay to be listed on the site and then pay a commission on their earnings. Remember, their bidding is based on this expense.

  1. Guru.com:

This service is similar to Upwork.com, and it works the same way. You find people by posting your listing, and freelancers will submit bids for jobs. Again, you can check the ratings and the previous work history of the bidder. Guru.com holds the money until released by the employer, therefore protecting both parties from fraudulent activity.

Freelancers pay a yearly fee to use Guru.com’s bidding system. They also pay a commission to Guru on their earnings. In return, Guru tries to ensure the employer is legitimate. I got stung once because I didn’t insist on payment to Guru.com. Lesson learned!

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  1. TaskArmy. com:

This site is a little different because outsourcers don’t bid on jobs, but you’ll likely find a more competent and experienced bidder on this type of site. Freelancers pay a higher premium to be listed and must demonstrate proficiency with test ratings.

This is not a site for “cheap” rates. This site attempts to provide quality service providers who earn their higher fees.

  1. Rent-a-Coder.com:

This is one of the oldest job sites on the Internet. Mostly you’re going to find offshore help in the technology area. If you want someone to build you an app, this is a great place to find that person.

    1. TaskRabbit.com:

This platform prides itself on having outsourcers who have been properly vetted, so you know you can trust them. You’ll first sign up for an account, then list your task, wait for responses and then choose someone.

  1. WriterHelpWantedcom:

This is a membership website for writers, and they also accept listings for free from people who are searching for writers. You should list your price range, and as much information as you can for the position. Freelance writers use this site, especially during their “slow” periods or if they are starting out building their client list.

woman working from home

7.  VANetwork.com

This is a membership community for virtual assistants who provide high quality service. If you need a VA to do any manner of tasks, from technical to basic, you can find them here.

Click here for a post on what services a VA can provide online for employers.

  1. Newspaper Ads:

You can actually post for a contractor to do various projects right in your local newspaper. Today there are many virtual workers in all cities in all states and countries who would be thrilled to apply for local work. Believe it or not, a classified ad in a newspaper is still a viable means of communication.

  1. Online Job Boards:

You can even list your opening for a contractor on any online job board that exists. The trick is to ensure that you write up the listing clearly and concisely, and are specific about what you want and what you’re willing to pay.

Bonus Tip: Look in Your Own Backyard

You can find people who want to work from home as a contractor right in your backyard. Here in The Villages, there are literally thousands of retired administrative assistants, teachers, office workers, and administrators who would love to work from home and serve you online. Ask your neighbors if they know someone and check them out. I hired an administrative assistant two years ago and her performance was impressive.

Do you have a favorite way to recruit contractors? Send me a message using the contact form above and I will develop a follow up report to share your experience.

 

 

 

 

Five Summer Businesses You Can Start From Home

Five Summer Businesses You Can Start From Home

Home Businesses in the News, an article review service from Home Biz for Retirees

Dateline: Manila Bulletin reports on five summer jobs students in the Philippines can use to earn money while on their summer break from school. The ideas shared in this report could serve to trigger inspiration for starting a home-based business after retirement.

Baking Treats 

The article reports several ideas that could be used by retirees seeking to supplement their income. They include baking treats such as cupcakes and selling them to customers in your location. Neighbors, businesses and office parks are all areas that will buy treats to eat during their coffee breaks.

Online Business

Selling products on-line is a favorite business start-up as reported here on the Home Biz for Retirees blog. Click here for a book review on “Making Money from Home.”

Lemonade Stand

The article also covers starting a business in a park or popular shopping area selling “iced juice.” I know my nieces and nephews worked during the summer working for Orange Julius and this could be a good franchise to investigate. Smoothies are popular now with all age groups. Don’t forget to check with your local government what you need to do to be in compliance with State and Local laws.

Here is a snapshot of the article:

Screenshot 2016-04-20 12.56.56

Click here to read the full article.

There you have it. An article from the Philippines encouraging young people to start a business to earn money during the summer is certainly worth reading. The ideas suggested could develop into a full time business for them. Maybe you will get some ideas to develop your own home-based business.

That’s not news, but it is reality.

 

 

 

Many Home-Based Businesses May be Missing Out on the Home Office Deduction

Many Home-Based Businesses May be Missing Out on the Home Office Deduction

Home Businesses in the News, an article review service from Home Biz for Retirees

Fox News published “Home Office can be a great tax deduction, if done right,” by Katie Jackson. She reports that many home-based business owners are not using this tax deduction for fear of triggering an audit.

Sherry Jackson, a former IRS agent, is the author of “Stick it to the IRS.” She advises home business owners to follow the rules with receipts to back up your expenses. She coaches people setting up their home-based business. “Everyone needs to check with his or her local government to find out if you need a license to operate your business from home.” The article provides more details with interviews from several experts.

Here is a snapshot of the article:

Screenshot 2016-04-20 12.39.08

 

Click here to read the entire article

The article also explains that the home office tax deduction is a high-risk option, even when you have the tax records to back it up. I put this in because Fox likes to be “Fair and Balanced.”

As reported on this blog previously, the new home office deduction recommended by the IRS is a safer method to use. Click here to review that article.

There you have it. A complete report you can read online with interviews from several experts on taking the home office deduction. The main point to remember is you should work with your tax professional to ensure the proper legal business set up is in compliance with the law. Then you must file the proper tax forms with the IRS. Seeking advice from your tax expert is strongly recommended.

Yes, taxes can be a swamp that sucks you into a morass of legal troubles. But the IRS itself encourages you to take the deductions to which you are entitled. You just need to follow the rules and seek counsel from experts in this area.

That’s not news, but it is reality.

 

 

 

How Retirees Can Develop Non-Traditional Passive Income Streams

How Retirees Can Develop Non-Traditional Passive Income Streams

 What Is Passive Income?

“Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive, that even a mediocre sale gives good results.”   –Warren Buffet

 When people see the term “passive” income, they often think of earning money with no work. However, nothing can be further from the truth. It requires work to make passive income.

However, the work you do is done once, and then you make money in the future, such as royalties from a book.

Writing14

It’s different from service-based work where you must do the work each time to produce income. With passive income, you create something today that keeps earning money later.

Examples of Passive Income

Retirees are familiar with these examples of passive income:

  • Savings accounts
  • Investments (including IRA, 401k, pensions, etc.)
  • Real estate

Retirees know that the above examples enable you to spend money one time and keep earning income until you tap into the principal. These are traditional vehicles to fund retirement.

But, you can also earn passive income with a web-based business. Here are some examples:

  • Information products
  • Membership websites
  • eCourses
  • eBook sales
  • eCommerce sales
  • Affiliate commissions

 

The Benefits of Online Passive Income

When you are an employee, you earn money with an hourly wage. While this is a quick way to generate cash, it is limiting and certainly not feasible for employees who must stop working due to health and other reasons.

No Freedom Allowed

Angry Time Clock Controls Your Freedom

 

For example, insurance sales people develop passive income by earning a little commission from each person who buys the product. Then when the customer keeps paying for that product, the salesperson gains a recurring commission.

In this way, they earn a good income because as more people buy insurance, the commission continues to grow. This method requires the salesperson to do a lot of work to get sales, but eventually the reward is through “passive” income.

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The Two Types of Passive Income

  • Promote Other People’s Products:

This is one of the fastest ways to get started. Use the following six simple steps:

  1. Figure out who is your ideal customer
  2. Know the audience well
  3. Find quality products and solutions
  4. Sign up as an affiliate or develop your own eCommerce website
  5. Promote the product or service
  6. Ask for the order to generate sales

 

  • Create Your Own Products:

The advantage of this method is you keep 100% of your profits. At first, creating the product is labor intensive. The product can then be sold through a variety of sales channels. They include:

  1. Blogs
  2. eCommerce
  3. Kindle
  4. Amazon products
  5. Affiliate promotion

Affiliate promotion is paying a commission for other people to sell your product. Two examples of websites selling products to affiliates are ClickBank and JVzoo.com.

They provide, literally, hundreds of people who want to sell your product. By paying them a commission for each sale, your income will grow, month after month and year after year.

business man

Key to Success

Know your audience. Then develop your action plan. Do you like to write? Develop a blog to attract your audience and promote products and services to your readers.

fast-content

When you develop a good relationship with your readers, they will try the products you recommend. Once you have a reliable list of buyers, a viable passive income will result.

Key Resource: Affiliate Marketing, A Step-by-Step Approach to Online Marketing, by Sandeep Sharma. This is a primer on developing your online affiliate marketing business. There are seven steps to help you make money online. It is a good book if you are new to marketing online and will guide you through the sales process. Click here for the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRS Reminds Home Business Owners of Simplified Home Office Deduction

 

The Illinois Business Daily filed a report on the Internal Revenue Service’s advice that home business owners should use the simplified method of claiming home office deduction for the business use of a home.

Since 2013, the optional simple deduction method for home office expenses will reduce the paperwork and record-keeping burden on small business owners. This deduction is capped at $1,500, and is based on $5 per square foot, for up to 300 square feet of home office space. All that is required is for the taxpayer to fill out a simple, short, worksheet to claim the deduction. It is a quick alternative to filing IRS Form 8829.

Business expenses such as advertising and supplies are still fully deductible with the simplified deduction method. Since the majority of home-based businesses do not file depreciation expenses, this simple method will reduce the tax burden on the taxpayer.

Here is a snapshot of the article:

 

Screenshot 2016-04-13 12.44.35

 

Click here for the link to the story.

There you have it. The IRS is reporting on a legitimate method to take the home-office deduction for the business use of your home. Reducing the record keeping requirements saves time by not having to process the lengthy IRS Form 8829. Therefore, you spend more time working your business and less time processing tax forms.

Now that is news Home Biz for Retirees can use.

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