Insurance on Home Improvement Projects

When talking about having insurance on home improvement projects, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to purchase insurance. Although, it’s not a bad idea. Especially, when you are going to be doing the home improvement yourself.

But, what if you are going to be hiring someone else? How do you protect yourself from damages that could happen in the course of them or their crew doing work? There are plenty of ways to insure yourself. But, this might seem like a play on words.

Know Your Contractor

First of all, make sure you know the person who is going to be doing work on your home. That’s probably the best first step you could ever make. That doesn’t mean they have to be a reference or you have to know them personally.

But, there are ways to check them out and make sure they are legitimate. The courthouse is a great place to start when you are researching a contractor. Look up their name and business name. Find any legal history about them. Remember though that a lawsuit doesn’t necessarily mean a contractor isn’t legitimate. Don’t be afraid to ask about any lawsuits that raise a flag. But, a handful of lawsuits should definitely be alarming.

Ask Questions

When interviewing a contractor, look at it as a job interview. Ask them questions. The rule of thumb is that a legitimate contractor won’t have a problem answering tough questions. A substandard contractor will try to dodge bullets.

Ask how long they have been in business. Ask about lawsuits and complaints. Ask for references. Also, ask if they have ever done any business under any other name. Then, start asking the tough questions.

Ask them if they are licensed and bonded. Ask them what their insurance covers. Make sure it is very clear who is responsible for any damages to your own home or your neighbor’s. If it’s a job I’m having done on my home, I would make sure that they were responsible for any damages. Also, make sure they provide a clean up when they are finished.

Some of the even more important questions concern whether there are hidden fees. Who is going to secure the permits? It’s best if the contractor is responsible for securing any permits you need. Will the job be complete when all the work the contractor promises is finished? Might seem to be an odd concern, but sometimes a contractor will slip out of a job and leave you hanging with a good bit left to do. Then, you find out that the contractor did all they promised and the job isn’t even close to what you imagined when it was done.

Put Insurance in Place

Get everything in writing. If the contractor says they have insurance, make sure you know exactly what their insurance covers. Try to think of all the contingencies. Maybe even talk to your neighbors about all the contingencies. Consult with others who have had the same job done on their home. Then, talk to your insurance company about the kinds of temporary insurance you can get while a home improvement project is being completed.

You might think that a temporary insurance contract looks expensive. But, imagine the damages if any should happen. It could end up being a disaster for you if you are not covered. But, make sure you check your current policy first. You might already have the insurance you need to cover any damages that you could sustain during any home improvement projects.

Ask your insurance agent. But, don’t let them sell you anything new if in fact you do have insurance that will cover everything. It’s a bad thing to have to say, but a savvy insurance agent will sell you insurance you don’t need and it’s virtually impossible to get money back from an insurance company if you find out that you have been duped.

Your Home Based Business Ideas – Personal Development Needs

Home based business ideas require that you choose the right one among thousands that you may have in order for you to achieve internet success. Apart from choosing the right idea, your personal improvement will also contribute heavily towards your success with any of your home based business ideas.

Most of the emerging entrepreneurs do not understand the significance of personal improvement which forms the basic essence of any successful businessperson.

Some of the smart entrepreneurs learn very quickly the importance of their personal development for the success of their business. However, many do not which lessens their chance of survival in the business. This is the basic reason for such high failure rates of home based businesses.

It is always a wise plan to improve you first before taking on any particular task. You might need to emotionally strengthen yourself along with updating your knowledge, skills and physical health in order to achieve any level of success in your business.

Here, is a basic view of the relationship between home based business ideas and personal development.

Sources of personal development:

You will find numerous resources on Google and Yahoo that will help you to obtain nearly any personal development requirements that you may have. There are also many text books and magazine articles that you can get from your local library or book store to help you in this endeavor as well. You will be wise to study those resources which are authored by people with real life experiences in the subject matter rather than a ghost writer who has no real life experience with the subject matter.

DVD’s and CD’s are other excellent resources which can help you with your personal development. The Internet is also a giant resource. Internet online courses and live webinars are very helpful for home based businesses and generally the training is free.

Physical and spiritual personal development:

o It is also important to keep yourself physically fit, healthy with good personal hygiene. You should have an exercise at least three times per week depending upon your age and health condition. A good dietary program is also important.
o You should also consult your Doctor and/or your Health Consultant to find out if there is any medication that you should be taking to manage any potential stress that you may be experiencing now or that you perceive could affect you in managing your business in the future.

Personal development also includes attending seminars and other training events to give you more exposure to new knowledge, techniques, and technical skills needed to manage your business. This type of training not only helps to expand your personal qualities but it also gives you exposure to other people who may later become your mentors.

Ratio of personal development training:

Ideally people should allot or dedicate at least 20% of their time from their daily routine towards personality development. For instance, if people spend five hours for their home business they should allot at least one hour for personal development. That ideal rate should be 5:1. Basically opening up your mind for new learning towards improving your personality will reflect on your business results.

General points to consider for personal development training:

o Focus on your most important needs first. Don’t shotgun a wide variety of subjects at the same time. Lock in on your most important needs first and follow up with others later.
o Start slow and expand gradually according to your needs and necessities.
o Focus on the specific needs of your home based business. Not all businesses need the same knowledge and skill sets. Find out what your needs are and stick to that subject matter.
o Don’t try to learn it all right now. Too much of information will bring chaos, frustration, lack of self confidence and most likely depression causing both your health and your business to suffer accordingly.
o Some home businesses even offer their distributors free personal development training. If so, then this is an excellent way for you to obtain some of the training that you may not already possess.

As a closing note, remember that your personal development is critical to your success in developing your home based business ideas.

Home Improvement Service – How to Secure the Best Deal

In the recent past, home improvement service has been quite on the rise with many people coming up to start selling home improvement products as well as these services. This has turned out to be a very lucrative business with good returns. If you happen to be looking out for a good and cheap provider of home improvement service, there are several sites which you can look at in the internet. Once you get to the search engine of your choice, you cannot miss to see all the organizations and companies offering home improvement service. Similarly, you can also get this information from advertisements and the press.

Any business owner who runs a home improvement service should also run a store to sell home products. This is irrespective of whether you are offering your services online or offline. A person who sells construction supplies should make sure that he or she achieves great sales turnover by observing the following rules. You should first check out for construction companies which will buy from you. You must treat them kindly so that they become your regular customers. The other group of people to check out for is the construction workers who do the actual work at the site. Thirdly, the most important group is the homeowners who require most home improvement service.

However, any improvement service provider should conduct a research to verify all the potential customers. A good example of home improvement service is offering advice on home restructuring and remodeling designs. To ensure that you give quality services, you have to narrow down to a specific group of customers. Put all your focus on individuals who want to sell their houses, the ones who are looking for good houses to buy, and those ones who want an expert to remodel their homes. These are very potential customers who can help you earn more than you expect.

After you have identified what improvement service you ought to be looking for, you should now proceed to determine how much you should pay for the service. If your desktop has a leads generator, then it will be quite simple for you to access the best home improvement service provider. This will save you a lot of time and the amount that you would have paid a professional to do the work for you. With such programs installed on your computer, you are assured of quick results with a single click of your mouse. For a faster research, make sure you know the keyword phrase, e.g. remodeling, home improvement, construction repair and others.

Use of related keywords helps you to see all the entire posts on the internet. It is upon you to determine whether the sales leads are worthy or not. After you get the best, you can send the provider an email before logging out of the program. At the end of the entire program, you should have secured yourself a good and cheap deal. Take some time and learn all these tricks through the internet.

The Home Based Business Explosion Is Upon Us!

INTRODUCTION

Perhaps I should start by asking the question “What is a Home Based Business? This is any business operated from the comfort of the residential home of the owner.

The next question is who is a Home Based Business owner? This refers to an Entrepreneur who decides to run his business from the comfort of his home.

I decided to clarify these terms because there is a huge difference between a Home Based Business owner and a Home worker who might be working with a government/private organization but decides to be working from home once or twice during the week.

Evolution of Home based Business

Many businesses operated from home usually start as a Micro or Small Enterprise. Some eventually metamorphose into Medium Scale Enterprise and others eventually grow into quite large companies.

The desire by Entrepreneurs to start operating businesses from home actually started in the 1980s. During this period, a lot of things combined to precipitate this massive desire by people to own Home based businesses.

In the main, the combination of many factors like socio- economic change, improved technology and new management thinking resulted in the loss of otherwise permanent paid employment and this encouraged people to attempt to revalidate their freedom by opting to set up a business at home.

The advent of new management thinking and theories like downsizing to make an organization Lean and more agile and efficient created fears in the mind of the average worker

So mass lay- offs helped create the right environment for some workers to go it alone and set up a Home based business.

The period of late 1990 to 2010 can be appropriately described as the period of massive explosion in the establishment of businesses at home. The use of Computer, Internet and Mobile Technology helped in the growth of this idea.

I strongly believe the idea of setting up business at home will continue to be positive and will remain so for a long time.

The continued upsurge in the desire of people to own businesses has attracted the attention of Universities and other higher institutions. They have responded by introducing different courses and programs on Entrepreneurial studies to cater for these needs.

Unlike earlier belief that businesses run from home are not well managed and don’t make good money, the present situation is that many Entrepreneurs motivated to set up business at home now have college degrees including a lot of high level professionals with business exposure.

The entrepreneurial spirit is innate in all of us and we only need to be adequately motivated to take the necessary action.

It’s really an exciting world out there.

THE HOME BASED BUSINESS EXPLOSION

As stated earlier, though the crave for running businesses from home started way back in the 1980s, what can be termed the explosion of this way of doing business was between the late 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium.(2010+)

This coincided with the time when the setting up of a Home based business became a Fad. According to Mr Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, Home based business in the United States grew from about 6 million in 1984 to 23 million by 2007.

With the help of modern technology like computers, mobile phones, printers and the huge power of the internet, more work is being done virtually than ever before and more global businesses are routinely being run from home.

According to the 2012 GEM report, 69 percent of American entrepreneurs start their business at home from either a spare room in the house, the dining table or from the garage. The report further revealed that more than 50 percent of entrepreneurs continue to operate from home even after the business has taken off successfully and stabilized.

Again according to Mr. Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, his own companies do training in 20 countries, import eyeglass frames from China and also develop condominiums.

Mr. Nuyten of the Home Based Business Statistics in America quoted the following statistics as at 2012:

38 million Businesses were operating from residential homes in America

A new business is started from home every 12 seconds in the United States

The Home Based Business sector in the United States earned Four Hundred and Twenty Seven billion dollars.

It revealed that 70 percent of Americans would like to be self- employed.

Entrepreneurship has become entrenched in the psyche of the average person. The Baylor University study of 2005 revealed then that more than 5 million jobs had been lost in Fortune 500 companies since 1980 while 34 million were created in small businesses.

The United States Census Bureau data of October 2012, also revealed that the number of businesses being operated from home have been on the rise since 1999.

The United Kingdom Experience

The continued growth in the Home based business sector appears to be a global phenomenon as the report from the United Kingdom will show shortly.

The United Kingdom department of Business, Innovation and Skills released a report titled ” Backing for Home Business” which revealed that 2.9 million home based businesses in the United Kingdom contributed 300 billion pounds sterling to the UK economy. The report also stated that 70 percent of all new businesses in the United Kingdom started from home.

According to Home Business report compiled by Enterprise Nation, 1,400 new businesses are started from home each week.

This report also confirmed that out of a total of 4.5 million small and medium enterprises, 2.1 million are Home based businesses.

Factors contributing to the growth of Home Based Businesses

There are many factors motivating people to set up Home based businesses such as:

  • Losing one’s job

Being laid off in a time of economic downturn could be very devastating. With difficulty in getting new job offers, the next best thing would be to start a Home based business.

  • Flexible lifestyle

You are your own Boss. Literally, you can come and go as you please. You maintain better work/family balance. There are no set opening and closing times. You go for lunch and vacation when you feel like

  • Reduction in Stress level

The daily commuting, especially with the present heavy fuel costs is avoided. Also those train/bus rides to and from work with all sorts of characters is avoided.

  • No corporate office politics

You are not thinking of how to always please the boss and climb the corporate ladder. You don’t have to engage with difficult colleagues. Best of all, there are no dress codes.

  • Cheaper start up and running costs

It’s cheaper to set up a Home based business. A serious entrepreneur can get started with just $5,000. The main requirements could just be a computer, mobile phone, printer and a good internet connection. No rent of physical store space.

  • Secondary Income

Some entrepreneurs set up business at home to bring in extra income to support a day job. Some people start the business as a part time hobby. Eventually the business may become very successful and the entrepreneur will now take the decision to resign from the day job.

  • Be your own boss

You are your own boss. You have the freedom to do things the way you want. There is nobody breathing down your neck reminding you of targets.

  • Job dissatisfaction

An otherwise loyal employee may become unhappy with the company for lack of promotion and motivation. The next thought is to set up a Home based business.

  • Opportunity to achieve Self actualization

Having your own business gives you the opportunity to make as much money as you desire. This of course depends on how much money you want to make and the amount of time and effort you decide to invest in the business.

Advantages of running a business from home

The desire to get out of the rat race, avoid the daily grind coupled with the power of modern technology make telecommuting more productive.

Together with some of the factors already mentioned above, listed below are more advantages:

  • Tax advantages

You can deduct some of your expenses as business expenses. These could be utility bills, insurance, mortgage and property tax.

  • Opportunities for Professional improvement

It is safe to assume that with the day to day running of your business, you will develop more business management skills.

  • Multiple streams of Income

With more time to yourself and the freedom to follow your lead, you can decide to explore other areas of interest and create multiple streams of income.

Disadvantages of running a business from home.

In spite of the almost glamorous attraction of Entrepreneurship, there are some disadvantages which must be effectively managed in order to improve the chances of success.

  • Irregular Income

For some one that had been used to regular pay checks, having to go through some weeks without income could be a huge challenge.

  • Lack of adequate space

This could arise where work sometimes spills into the home space

  • Nearness of Family and Friends

The nearness of family and friends could become a distraction if not properly managed.

  • Lack of Fringe benefits

Fringe benefits like health and dental insurance and paid vacations which were hitherto being enjoyed in paid employment are no longer available.

  • Friction with neighbors

The type of business you are involved in could create friction with neighbors due to noise pollution and lack of packing space

  • Health Issues

Staying glued to the computer screen and in a small space may affect health and fitness. So try and create time for exercise and recreation.

CONCLUSION

So as the French would say Voila! There you are! The idea of starting a business at home has become engraved in the mind of people. Every day, people are starting thousands of businesses in their residences all over the world.

Though there are disadvantages in running a business from home, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Some industry watchers believe that crave for setting up businesses at home is waning and the general trend could be heading downwards.

However, I personally believe that the trend can only continue northwards. Why? Because I see all the indices still pointing positive. The factors that motivate people to set up Home based business are still very much around. There are still massive lay- offs going on in many companies and workers are still feeling short changed by employers.

To crown it all, the technological tools like Computers, Mobile Phones, Printers and the Internet which assist Home Based Business owners to work smarter and achieve more with lesser effort are still evolving.

Therefore I’m of the view that the trend of setting up businesses at home is still on the upward swing.

So, how about you? What do you think? Is the trend moving up or going down.

Let’s have your thoughts.