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Leslie Truex

Leslie Truex Home Business Blog


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Help! My Computer Crashed!

Friday May 30, 2014
Even if you don't run an online business, computers are an essential piece of equipment in managing a home business. It's needed for email, preparing and sending invoices, managing money, creating marketing materials, social media and more. So when your computer stops working, life gets stressful. The same thing happens if your website goes down.

The challenge in dealing with dead computers and downed websites is that getting technical help can take a long time and be expensive. However, many problems can be troubleshooted and fixed without advanced tech knowledge. In Be Your Own Tech Support, I provide tips on how to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it when your computer or website crash. It can help you avoid spending all day and a fortune on tech help.

Have you ever woken up to find your computer won't turn on or your website is down? What did you do?

Home Office Checklist

Friday May 30, 2014
Success working from home depends on many factors including having the right setup, tools and equipment. Home Office Checklist for Home Business Owners provides you a list of everything you need to have consider when setting up your home office for productivity and profitability. It covers everything from selecting a work area, furnishing the space, and putting together the technology and other tools needed to run a home business.

What home office features can't you live without? (For me, it's natural light!)


Wednesday May 28, 2014
Building a website or blog is easier than ever. You no longer need to learn coding or programming to create a full-featured online presence. However, knowing some of the most common HTML codes can help you identify fixes when problems occur and improve the look of your site. In HTML Code Website Owners Should Know, you'll learn the basics of coding and some easy, commonly used codes. Whether you're just starting out or have a few web pages and blog posts under your belt, it doesn't hurt to know a little bit about how webpages work.

Are there other HTML codes you find a necessity in your website/blog?

Take a Break

Monday May 26, 2014
Today is Memorial Day. Are you working? Summer is nearly upon us. Are you planning a vacation? The reality is that business owners (home based or not) take fewer vacations and days off than their job-working counterparts. Working because you love it is great, but taking a break is important for mental health, maintaining family relationships and refueling your energy reserves. In How to Take a Vacation from Your Home Business, I give ideas and tips on how to leave your business behind without losing money or falling behind in work. Check it out and then make time to get away from your business even if it's just for a few days.

What tips do you have for taking a break from your home business?

How to Form a Single-Owner LLC

Tuesday May 20, 2014
When I started my home business I got overwhelmed by all the business and legal jargon. All I wanted to do was sell my service and make a few bucks. I've since discovered that sometimes things aren't as complex or challenging as I originally thought (or experts who want you to hire them will make you think). One such example is forming a limited liability company.

Back in the 1970s when LLCs were first developed, many states didn't recognize them so to have one you had to form it in another state, which had all sorts of costs and paperwork making it an expensive hassle. Today though, LLCs are everywhere. While they cost more and involve more paperwork than a sole proprietorship, it's not as scary and difficult as it once was. In fact, I just formed a new LLC in 10 minutes through my state's corporation commission.

There are several advantages to forming an LLC, the biggest of which is protecting your personal assets from a business lawsuit. As a single-owner LLC, the IRS views the business the same as a sole proprietorship, which means your taxes aren't any more complicated. In LLCs Made Simple, I outline what's involved in forming an LLC. The eight steps are straight forward and include resources to learn more and get started.

Build Buzz for Your Business

Tuesday May 13, 2014
In today's noisy, busy world, consumers are listening to their peers about what to buy more than advertisers. They're doing research and getting referrals. And with information overload at every turn, they're tuning out a lot of information in favor of items that are interesting or entertaining. As a result, buzz marketing, creating content that your market shares with it's sphere of influence, is a top marketing trend by large and small businesses. The good news for home business owners is that cutting through the noise and building buzz isn't expensive. All it takes is creativity and planning.

Buzz or viral marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach people because it's cheap and information from peers is more likely to be looked at than basic ads. However, it's also a challenge because it's difficult to predict and therefore create content that will pique interest and have people passing it along to others. You need to study other successful viral campaigns and track the success of your own to get a better feel of what spreads and what doesn't.

In Viral Marketing - Tips to Getting People to Talk About You, I cover nine ways you can create online content that consumers share, thereby helping you spread your message.

What content have you created that created a buzz?

Flexible Home Business Ideas

Friday May 9, 2014
There's an idea that working from home offers a lot of flexibility, but that isn't necessarily true. Depending on the type of business you start, you may need to have set, regular hours to meet client and customer needs. But if you need complete flexibility over your schedule, perhaps to take care of kids or because you suffer from an illness that makes it difficult to work regular hours, there are home businesses that allow you to work any time, day or night. In Flexible Home Business Ideas, I share four home businesses that can be done on any schedule.

Is your business totally flexible or do you need to work set hours to meed client needs?

Start a Home Business This Summer

Tuesday May 6, 2014
There is no one best time to start a business, but the summer months offer a few unique opportunities. During the summer, the weather is nicer, allowing for outdoor businesses such as landscaping. Plus, many families use the summer to take vacations and visit family, providing opportunities for house and pet sitters, reunion planners and caterers. If you're thinking of starting a business this summer, check out these Six Summer Home Business Ideas.

Here are some other articles on summer and seasonal business ideas:

8 Outdoor or Seasonal Home Based Business Ideas
10 Best Small Business Ideas for Students
6 Fall Small Business Ideas for Making Quick Bucks

Road Map to Home Business Success

Wednesday April 30, 2014
When I first started my home business, I set out to write a business plan because that's what all the books said to do. But it didn't long for me to get lost in the jargon and details. Many business plan outlines are so involved that you can't work through them, which means you never get your business off the ground. And other times, the information is so cumbersome, you can't figure out how it's going to help you. Business plans are important, but they don't have to require an MBA or ream of paper to create.

Basically, a business plan is designed to help you figure out where you are, what you want to offer, to whom you want to offer it and how you're going to make it happen. It's a road map. I've met many people who don't have a business plan, probably because they got overwhelmed. But business plans are helpful in identifying what you need to do to achieve your goal. It provides focus and guidance.

Once created, a business plan doesn't go into a drawer. Instead, it's a living document that will grow and change with the needs of your business. And when you're feeling lost, as will happen sometimes, it will help you focus and get back to the basics.

For an easy to understand and create business plan, read Business Plans Made Simple, which gives you the questions you need to answer and why in creating a usable business plan. You won't find complicated SWOT analysis or graphs. Simply answer the questions in a few words or sentences, and you'll be on your way to a successful home business.

Passive Income: Work Now, Earn On and On

Tuesday April 29, 2014

Before the Internet, the only way to generate passive income was through residual options such as writing a book, making music or investments. The Internet changed that. Now you can build passive income using web-based systems day after day, while you sleep, play with the kids or travel the world. Creating passive income involves work to create and set up the system, but once it's up and running, your efforts greatly decrease.

That's not to say you don't do any work once your passive income stream is set up. Instead, your work involves maintaining the system and marketing. In Earn Passive Income Through an Email Course, I outline what it takes to write a course, build a sales and thank you page, set up course delivery through an email system, and adding payment processing. All this takes a fair amount of effort, but once it's in place, all you need to do is market your course. The website will sell it, the payment processor will collect the money and send the buyer to the course, and the email system will deliver the course. I've created 9 email courses, all running on their own. All I do is tell people about them. If you're looking for ways to add to your income stream without trading hours for dollars, you should check out passive income options such as email courses.

Have you ever taken an email course?

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