Entrepreneur Archives

Home-Based Business and Taxes

Today my husband and I made our annual trek to our accountant’s office to bring our tax papers. What a good feeling to have that project completed. In a couple of weeks or so, we’ll get the news … good or bad … but for us, it would be a lot worse without a home-based business.

Did you know that Hewlett-Packard started as a  home-based business? They set up shop in a one-car garage behind David Packard’s Palo Alto house. They flipped a coin to decide the company name and because William Hewlett won, the company was named Hewlett-Packard.

Coca-Cola was created by pharmacist Dr. John Styth Pemberton in his back yard on May 8, 1886. In 1976, Martha Stewart started a catering business with a friend in her basement. A decade later, Michael Dell started to build Dell Inc. from his dormitory.

Your 401(k), pension, IRA or whatever you were depending on for retirement may be smaller than expected. Even Social Security may run into problems if the number of retirees drawing benefits outnumber workers paying the Social Security tax. Today’s Washington Post reported that in my tri-state area of Maryland, Virginia, and DC, pension plans for local and state workers have lost more than $28 billion since last summer.

What’s the biggest benefit of a home-based business? It allows you to take the same kinds of deductions available to big corporations. The deductions will then allow you to decrease the amount of taxes that you pay. If you would like to read more about the tax benefits of a home-based business, I offer to my United States senior readers above 55 years old, a small paper called, “The Tax Times.” I have only a limited number of copies, so it will be mailed to the first 25 that request it. You need to e-mail me at nora@noranagatani.com. Please include your name and mailing address.

Happy filing!

Grandmother Starts a Business

Sonia and her date-nut bars

Sonia and her date-nut bars

Since the start of this blog late last year, I have been “hammering” the need to start a part-time home-based business. Recently, I met a woman who practically lives in my back yard and is putting her passion to work. We met when she attended the networking luncheon I host monthly for professional women in business.

Sonia Sidhwaney has a passion for dates (the fruit) and creates date-nut bars. By day, she’s a programmer with many initials after her name including an MS degree in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University. But at night and on weekends, she’s busy making her date-nut bars. She’s pictured on the left with her bars before they are cut. She was on a quest for healthy snacks for her family and now she has the recipe perfected.  As a businesswoman, she’s now working on the marketing aspect of her business.

Her energy bars are vegan, soy free, dairy free, gluten free, and no sugar has been added. Additionally, no chemicals and preservatives have been added, but they have a long shelf life. Her company is called Nuts About Dates and more information is available at her website, www.date-nut.com. Most importantly, the date-nut bars are delicious and her granddaughter would concur!

Personally, I prefer the network marketing business model because the income is residual. For an explanation of the difference between residual and linear income, please view my video explanation. But in these tough economic times, it’s getting started on something of importance to you that is foremost.

First Video and Smallest Camcorder

We are slowly thawing out of our first major snowstorm in the Washington, DC area. Malia and Sasha Obama were surprised that schools were closed. Their father, our President of the United States, thought it was humorous; DC officials did not. In this area, we actually have some hilly terrain in the suburbs and school busses have a difficult time. This time, though, we were not only dealing with snow, but freezing rain that had fallen overnight causing a lot of problems. Today, however, we welcome the sun and above freezing temperatures.

So what happened when I chose to stay off the streets? I uploaded my first video to YouTube! I purchased a Flip Mino HD (the commercial tells you it’s the world’s smallest camcorder) which is about the size of an iPod. I love it! It’s something every grandparent should own not only to capture those Kodak moments, but to video those everyday scenes like I did when I was visiting my then 4-month old granddaughter. As she awakened every morning, she’d coo and smile and I was able to video those precious moments. Parents are generally too busy and forget, but I think that we as grandparents have more time and because my husband and I don’t live close to our granddaughter, every moment was valuable.

As most of us seniors know, our bodies begin to ache as we age and carrying a camcorder could be a problem. But the Flip camera is so small, grandpa can pop it in his shirt pocket and it will not add much weight to grandma’s purse.

So please visit me at www.youtube.com/noranagatani and enjoy. I share with you why I have a home-based business that I can pass on to future generations.

Giving Part I

Happy New Year!

‘Tis the season to be giving. But what if you’re retired and on a limited budget. What if you’re ready to retire and your stocks have plummeted? Your mailbox is full of organizations asking for your money; your phone is ringing with organizations also asking for your monetary help. Now that I’m retired from a J.O.B. and no longer need my suits, I’ve donated many of them to an organization called Suited for Change, which helps low-income women with their wardrobe and professional skills, but even they are now saying that their boutique is full and they need money.

If you need ideas as to how you can make more money (like I did), I’m offering my United States readers a gift, How to Get Rich without Winning the Lottery. Simply send an e-mail to me – nora@noranagatani.com — with your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number and I will mail you the booklet. Please put “Booklet” in the subject line. This booklet may help you decide how to supplement your income.

Next, I will discuss other ways you can give.

Breathe After the Shock

December is here. It’s a time of joy and merriment, but this year in particular, it is also a time of chaos and shock. What with all of the dismal news of the economy and millions getting laid off … half a million just last month … and commercials and advertisements bombarding the air waves and traditional print publications telling us to buy this or buy that and holiday decorations everywhere, it’s hard to escape all of the hustle and bustle. I was laid off twice when I was younger. Both times it was with builders and because of the cyclical nature of real estate. When it happened, it was a total shock.

When you get closer to retirement and you receive the dreaded pink slip, you become less employable. Companies are no longer willing to pay for all of your years of experience when they can hire someone younger at a lower salary. Although it’s difficult and you’re upset, stop. Clear your mind. Here’s a breathing exercise you can do. I learned this in one of my yoga classes, but since then, I’ve seen it several times in print publications. As you get better, you can increase the numbers. This is also a good exercise to lower your blood pressure, something that seems to rise in many people as we get older. Do this several times a day. Anywhere.

1. Inhale slowly to the count of 4.
2. Exhale slowly to the count of 8.

Getting laid off turns out to be a blessing in disguise for many people. I would not be where I am today had that not happened. Some people say they will never have someone else write their check; they will become their own boss.

Check out this free report. You, too, might decide to go into business for yourself.

Have you ever gotten laid off? Tell us what worked for you after the initial shock.