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7 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Internet Business

7 Reasons Why You Should Start Your Own Internet Business

    Too many people view Internet business through an extremely narrow lens – either you’re pawning off your personal possessions on eBay or you’re trying to be Mark Zuckerberg with the next big Internet thing. The reality, of course, is that there are as many different ways to do business online as there are people making this lifestyle work for them.  For example, as an Internet business owner, you could:

    • Sell your handmade arts and crafts on Etsy
    • Run an informative site that generates revenue through advertisements
    • Provide professional services to clients around the world
    • Generate client leads for offline businesses
    • Sell other peoples’ products and earn a commission for each referral

    But the “how” of Internet business isn’t important – there are enough different Internet business models out there to suit any particular combination of strengths and weaknesses.  What really matters is the “why” – that is, why you should consider pursuing online business in the first place.

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    The following are just a few of the benefits of owning your own Internet enterprise to help encourage you to make the leap:

    Reason #1 – Find the ultimate job security

    Ask a handful of people what they think about the idea of pursuing Internet business, and you should hear at least one person respond with, “It’s too risky!” I have to disagree. When you learn how to do business online, you’re actually training yourself to create ultimate job security. If you learn how to sell products online, chances are you’ll be able to repeat this process – even if your original idea doesn’t pan out.

    The same goes for finding freelance service clients, sending traffic to ad-based sites and successfully re-launching every other Internet business model out there. Now, contrast the ability to generate income online over and over again with a steady day job held at a single employer. Considering how many companies go under these days, putting all your eggs in that single basket ultimately sounds much riskier to me than learning how to make money online!

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    Reason #2 – Work on projects you’re passionate about

    As someone else’s employee, you aren’t working on the projects you’re passionate about – you’re completing tasks in order to increase somebody else’s bottom line. And while this arrangement works for some people, most chronic employees don’t know what they’re missing when they trade the passion of working for yourself on projects you care about for the “security” of the daily grind.

    If you aren’t personally satisfied by your current day job, you owe it to yourself to at least investigate the potential fulfillment that comes from running your own online enterprise.

    Reason #3 – Access a wider network of clients and buyers

    If you already operate an offline business that either sells products or takes on freelance clients (for example, as a freelance writer, web designer, programmer or accountant), transitioning your business online will give you access to a much wider pool of clients and buyers. No longer are you competing against other agencies in your area for the same small network of customers – instead, as an Internet business owner, you’re free to think as big as you want. This could mean accessing buyers a few towns away from your own or even “going global” in order to expand your business’s reach dramatically.

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    Reason #4 – Cut your child care expenses

    With childcare costs rising steadily and often topping thousands of dollars a month for the full-time care of infants and toddlers, you may find that running an Internet business allows you to both cut your costs substantially and spend more time with your children. For most dual-income families working today, that’s a pretty big win-win!

    Reason #5 – Explore your interests

    One of the greatest advantages of running your own Internet business is the flexibility this arrangement provides. When you work a day job, you’re tied in to a set schedule that in no way corresponds to the amount of work you have or the hours in which you’re most productive. Unless you have a very understanding boss, you aren’t able to drop everything for a two-hour hike when the weather’s nice or start your day at noon because you aren’t a morning person.

    Running an online business gives you the flexibility to set your own working arrangements based on your particular needs. It allows you to travel more (as most Internet businesses can be operated from anywhere in the world), to work when you’re most productive and to pursue the hobbies and interests you care about alongside your business pursuits.

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    Reason #6 – Enjoy low startup costs

    If you’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent, know that business owners who choose to launch their ventures online enjoy substantially lower startup costs than those in the real world. Think about it – the “real world” business owner must pay for commercial space, physical inventory, printed stationery and more.

    As an Internet business owner, your only real expenses will be a domain name and hosting account. Even if you do decide to purchase inventory outright or invest in tools that will make running your Internet business easier, your overall investment will still be much less expensive than maintaining a physical presence offline.

    Reason #7 – Increase your earning potential

    If you’re employed in a full-time day job, your earning power is limited by your field and your experience. If you work as a teacher, for instance, you can accrue all the experience and certifications you want – you’re still never going to hit the same million dollar salaries that investment bankers or lawyers will. But with online business, the sky’s the limit.

    If you sell one product online, you can train yourself to sell fifty. If you decide to expand your service offerings significantly, you can always take on additional employees to help manage the workload. Instead of negotiating a pithy 3% raise with your boss, you’re essentially creating this increase (and much, much more) for yourself – a truly empowering experience that makes all the risk and uncertainty of Internet business worth it.

    (Photo credit: Close-up of male hand over black keyboard via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

    Types of Personal Finance Software

    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

    When to Use Personal Finance Software

    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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    How to Get Started

    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

    Final Thoughts

    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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