*Sponsored by Amex*
The opinions and advice expressed are brought to you by WhoseYourLandlord
With technology dominating many industries today, it’s no surprise that the idea of working from home has become expansive and, in many cases, the expected norm. Large corporations even allow for their employees to work from home on Fridays, versus coming to the office and utilizing company resources. Now, one can argue whether the production, in that case, wains or remains consistent, but, it does go to show how real this trend is.
Understanding that many of our WYL community members may, in fact, be solopreneurs or even early-stage business juggernauts who are just getting their start at home, we wanted to work with our friends at American Express to devise a list of some of the essential things you should know when deciding to get your future empire off the ground from the comfort (or discomfort) or your bedroom.
1. Write off EVERYTHING
Now, realize: we’re not tax professionals, AND it’s imperative you remain truthful. But, with all that said, you have more advantages at your disposal than folks often know. For example, you can write off/record the following items as deductions at the end of each business year:
- Cellular bill
- Home utilities – electric, gas, etc.
Just remember, you need to record the actual percent of the time you use the items mentioned above. You can’t (or at least shouldn’t) wholly write them off because in reality you still use these items for general home usage too. So, be mindful.
2. Although you’re little, wear some big shoes
In the early stages of your company, you may be creating, boxing, and shipping things from your living room. You may be making corporate partnership calls from your bedroom. Hell, you may even be interviewing new hires, through Skype, while still wearing your draws (it’s half screen, they don’t gotta know that)…This is how businesses start, and it’s ok. Although there all small market/unscalable things you must do in the beginning, you still must show the utmost professionalism from day one. Here are tips you can use to create a bigger footprint than your children size shoes would actually leave in the beginning stages.
- Host meetings at a decent, trendy café in your neighborhood. Don’t nobody wanna see your laundry piles or smell last night’s dinner when coming to interview with you.
- Register your home address as your company’s address on Facebook. By doing this, people (and you, primarily) can tag your company’s headquarters on the Instagram app. This is great because as you host events or encourage people to tag your address, the name of your company will appear in the search results.
- When writing your address down for people to contact you, remove “Apt #5” and replace it with Suite or “Ste #5.”
3. Begin building your financial profile early
As a young business, this is the opportunity to build credit early so that you can actualize and secure major loans, once necessary. Also, make sure you open your bank account and maintain a relatively close relationship with your banker. We’re not saying hang out with them 24/7, but know their name, email them updates occasionally, or visit the institution in person from time to time to really feel like you’re a part of their community.
When it comes to building credit, look to utilize a company that is favorable to small businesses. For example, (otherwise known as a shameless plug, we admit) – our partners at Amex provide the following with their Blue Business Plus credit card:
I.Enables you to strategize more efficiently: BBP lets you make quick decisions today that are in line with your future aspirations as a brand and company.
II. Allows you to game plan for the future: Amex is there for small businesses. Want to get to know other entrepreneurs at live events? Need helpful biz resources? Maybe you’d like to meet with other biz professionals for coffee, just to learn…This can all be done because the American Express team assists you in making it happen.
III. Scale up quick, fast, and in a hurry: There’s no annual fee. You can go over your credit limit with no issues and receive Membership Rewards points on normal day-to-day expenditures. The rewards can help out in stylizing your office, hosting business lunches, or even allowing you to buy small gifts for your team members.
Understanding these perks, WYL has applied for a card and is looking forward to strategizing with and benefiting from the helpful nature of the program.
Hopefully, this list above helps you to get that young startup off the ground. Realize, the name of the game is staying nimble, flexible, and economically lean for as long as possible. You do that, and you’re chances of winning have just increased tenfold. Keep grindin'. Keep building. And, keep winning.