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Start: From Home to Business Zone
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Working from Home and Making it Work

Many entrepreneurs dream of the flexibility that having one’s own business can provide. Working from home—all the time or occasionally—is often part of that dream. The reality is that it takes planning and realistic expectations to successfully work from home.

Space
You need an adequate work area. A dedicated area—a spare bedroom—is ideal. Make sure there’s good light and space to store work supplies within reach.

Family
Working from home is a family decision. It’s helpful to train children and pets to stay away if possible while work is in progress and to keep hands off work projects.

Zoning
If you’re a freelancer, consultant, or engaged in other work that’s solitary and quiet, you probably have no concerns about town or city rules on operating a business from home. But if you have employees or your business entails noise or odors, check to see whether it’s legal to operate in a home office. If you live in a community or cooperative apartment, review your homeowner’s association rules on working from home.

Connections
To avoid isolation, make sure your work incorporates regular meetings, luncheons and appointments with people on the outside. Joining network local groups not only provides this type of outlet but can also help you market your business. more…

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Grow: Will Lower Prices Increase Sales?
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How Do You Boost Profits in a Recession?

In this recession we are all thinking that if we lower prices we will get more business…but guess what?  Price is a losing battle because when you discount your products or services you are driving your revenues down and your profit margins. Always remember, we are in business to make a profit.

Price cutting is NOT the answer:

Leverage the benefits of your products and services.

  • Give guarantees
  • Build sales with value
  • Gauge sales by phone calls, are customers calling you?
  • Gauge sales by clicks, is your website getting visitors?
  • Consider cause marketing; can a percentage of all sales be donated to your favorite charity or your customer’s favorite charity?
  • Be a better corporate citizen: publicize how you are going green by saving resources and preserving the environment.
  • Become more relevant to your customers educate them and help them this builds trust, credibility and loyalty.
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Create value for customers and value is not just price.  Drive sales with the benefits you can offer.  Listen to your customers and stimulate sales through loyalty.  These are a few ideas that I learned when I attended Advertising Week in NYC.  Are there other ideas that you can share on how to keep your customers coming back.

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business.
www.scorenewhaven.com | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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