Keeping Up With Online Business Reading

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Keeping Up With Online Business Reading

By: Soni Pitts

It can be a major source of frustration trying to keep up with all of the business-related information, newsletters, updates, offers and so on that land in your email box. And although there may be no perfect way to ensure that you can read everything you want to and need to in order to stay current, while at the same time preserving enough time to do the work you need to do to keep your business functioning., I have found a way that cuts down on the worst of the time wasters and streamlines the remaining reading. It's a three-step process that works for me, and may work for you.

1.) Weed it out. Anytime I find that I am not getting full value for my time from a newsletter, ezine or other informational email source, even though I may be getting some good stuff, out it goes. Chances are that I am either getting or can get the same info through another, more ROI-positive source.

2.) Save it for a specific time. I used to waste hours a day reading business-related newsletters and ezines. Now, I put aside one day to read it all. This day is set aside solely for reading informational business mail (not client mail) and for a few other business activities that need focused attention. I don't schedule other business on this day, unless it is unavoidable. This way, I can get caught up and handle all necessary responses without feeling like I'm neglecting my "real" work.

3.) Scan, cram and scram. This is the biggie for saving time. Learn to read for overall content and not for word-by-word absorption. This isn't deathless prose, folks, so there's no need to suck it in like some unearthed lost work of Hemingway. Scan any headings or sub-titles, ignoring completely what you don't need to know, and then scan-read the content of what you do need quickly to get the gist of the message. Only spend time on intense focused reading if the concept/content is difficult (yet vital) or supremely interesting and important. If it's just interesting, but not important, you can always read it some other time when you have a few minutes free. Once you've gotten what you need, save only the emails that you absolutely need for reference in an email folder and delete all the rest.

A secondary aspect of this step is to copy, paste and save content that you know you will need eventually, but just not right now, instead of giving it a thorough read right this second. Such information includes things like a link/resource list for later reference or a great idea that you know you'll need next month when you begin that new marketing campaign - or just general interest stuff that doesn't need immediate attention but would be helpful, useful or just plain enjoyable to read at some point. Paste this copy into a Word document (don't forget to leave the attribution and copyright info in case you ever need to cite the work for any reason, or want to see more stuff by the same author) and put it into the appropriate folder on your hard drive. I have several folders in my business files for things such as marketing, client-related info, industry-related info, and so on. Every so often, on a slow day or when I have to wait around in the office for a client or some such reason, I go through them to read what's there and weed out what I no longer need.

Using this 3-step process, I find that I can whip through the average newsletter/ezine in about 5-10 minutes or less, depending on the amount of content and that content's importance/interest to me. Since I am able to keep my ezine load down to a manageable number and my list is constantly tweaked for the greatest value-to-time ratio, I get well-read in a reasonable period of time without feeling like I am eating up valuable work time that should have been spent doing other activities.

About The Author

(c) 2000-2004 Soni Pitts

Soni Pitts is the Chief Visionary Butt-Kicker of Soni Pitts Visionary Life Coaching/Restless Spirits, She specializes in creating global change through personal evolution - helping others create the lives God always intended them to live, so that they in turn can pass that change on to the world around them.

She is the creator of the e-book "50 Ways To Reach Your Goals" and many other products, services and resources designed to assist others in this process of change, growth and enrichment.


Babytots 27.03.2011. 15:10

How can I start an online business? I wanna start an online business, but how. I wanna sell things girls (like myself) would like, kinda like makeup bags, cell phone cases ect. but how please give me some steps to start.


Admin 27.03.2011. 15:10

If you plan to incorporate then you need to register with the federal,state and city government. If you plan to run the business as a sole proprietor then all you need is a business license from your local city government. Some cities do not require you to get a business license until the business makes $3,000 to $4,000 so see what your local government requires for an e-commerce business.

Steps for getting started:
First and foremost write up a business plan.
1. Forming the business either through incorporating or as a sole proprietor. If you plan to incorporate then you need to get with your states Secretary of State to do this.
2. Find your SIC and NAICS code you will need either one or both for your business formation with the government entities.
3. Getting an EIN if required
4. Setting up a Franchise and Excise Tax and Sales and Use Tax account with the Dept of Revenue in the state you are in. You need to determine if you need one or both of these accounts. Just call the Dept of Revenue in your state and they are usually pretty helpful in answering all your questions.
5. Set up a business bank account or bank account with a DBA attached to it if you plan to do the business as a sole proprietor if you incorporate then a business bank account is what you need.
6. Set up a merchant and or paypal account. The merchant account you can set up through your bank and this allows you to take all major credit cards.
7. Build a website and get a domain name and hosting. You can either build your own website or have one built for you, some start out with a blog because it's free and you can make it look like a standard website so take a look at this option and see if it will work for you. Just keep in mind if you use a blog you need relevant content in the body of the blog if it's just full of product links then you will eventually get shut down. As far as building your own you can either buy software or use the online website builders. Using the software allows you to create your site how you want it just make sure the hosting provider you use will support the software, with the online website builders you will be limited to their templates and I believe you have to use their hosting but you can buy your domain name from anywhere and just direct to their server.
Research SEO for your website, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and you can read about this at any article directory. Once in the directory put in a search for what you are wanting to read about and you should get some articles to read up on. If your search comes up empty or not what you are looking for just reword the search until you do. The info is there you just need to use the right phrasing. If you are on a tight budget you may also look into free ways to market your site.
8. Get inventory.
9. Figure out how you plan to ship product. This all comes down to how you plan to handle inventory. Some people have their own and some get involved with companies that have the product and you sell it and they drop ship the product for you. This saves on you having to carry the product yourself and having unsold inventory in your possession. If you plan to do affiliate marketing then you need to sign up to the affiliate programs and get your code specific links to post on your site.
10. Marketing your website. Just because you publish a website doesn't mean it's visible to the search engines and the public at large so you need to submit the site to the 3 top search engines at the least and start marketing the site.

This is a basic order and some of these may overlap each other during the process but I hope this helps out. I've been through the routine and had to figure it all out myself. Just ask a lot of questions with the people you are dealing with to get things in order.


Ken 19.06.2007. 22:29

Opening a business and wondering what types of expenses I can write off? I am opening an online business for website design. (set up as a LLC, I'm the sole owner) Should I start keeping receipts of all business related expenses? Or would my business qualify as a hobby if I don't make a certain amount of money in the year that I'm filing.

What types of things can I write off onto my business? (dinners, gasoline, etc.) Do I need a seperate business credit card/bank account for the expenses?

Do I have to accept payments towards the business's services through a corporate account, or can they make the check/payment directly to me?


Admin 19.06.2007. 22:29

You need to keep accurate records when running a business. This will be your best defense if you ever get audited.

For IRS purposes, you need to make a profit every 3 out of 5 years to have the IRS prove that you are not running a business. Otherwise, it is up to you to prove that you are running a business and not doing a hobby. You can prove that you are running a business by keeping your business accounts and personal accounts separate.

You can write off any legitimate business expense including dinners with clients, car expenses, equipment, etc.

Having a separate checking account and credit card is a good idea. However, it isn't necessary. You can comingle your business and personal expenses using your personal accounts. But, if you do this, then it will be harder for you to prove that you are running a business.

For your revenues, you don't need a corporate account to make you deposits. You just need to make the deposits in your separate account that you use for business.

You can read Publication 334 for more information.


Mike 14.04.2012. 01:00

What are the requirements to be a Process Server in the State of Illinois? I already have my PERC card because I work Security now, but I am looking to become a Process Server or start my own process serving business. I keep reading online that I need a detective license. Is that detective license my PERC card or is it something totally different? How would I go about being a Process Server by just working by myself instead of working for a firm?


Admin 14.04.2012. 01:00

A Permanent Employee Registration Card (PERC) only allows one to work for a licensed Private Detective Agency, Private Security Contractor Agency, Private Alarm Agency, or Locksmith Agency. The key word in the name of that card is "Employee". The law is very clear on this:

    (225 ILCS 447/35-32)
    Sec. 35-32. Employment requirement. The holder of a permanent employee registration card is prohibited from performing the activities of a fingerprint vendor, locksmith, private alarm contractor, private detective, or private security contractor without being employed by an agency licensed under this Act.

If you believe your PERC is a Private Detective license, you are just very wrong. If you want to work on your own, you must obtain a Private Detective license.


LH 17.11.2012. 18:35

Would I have to pay quarterly taxes if I had my own online business? I'm thinking about starting my own online business, of which I will be the sole owner operator. I estimate this business will never gross more than 36K per year. What classification would afford me the easiest way to pay taxes, both state and federal, keeping in mind I do not like the idea of paying quarterly estimated taxes (If at risk for penalty/fine, I would pay quarterly). By classification I mean 'LLC, Corporation, etc.".

I just want to keep in simple, legal, the less hassle the better.


Admin 17.11.2012. 18:35

And any taxes that you owe for the 2012 tax year are due to be paid quarterly during the year with the last payment voucher number 4 due by January 15 2013 for this purpose.

Very good daily detailed written records and receipts of all of the ordinary and necessary expense of this business operation is one of the NEEDED requirements for any one that is involved in any type of self employed independent contractor business operation.
You would be a self employed independent contractor with your own business operation and your ORDINARY and NECESSARY business expenses that you NEED to have GOOD very good detailed daily written records of for this purpose will HAVE to be reported on each separate LINE of the schedule C of the 1040 tax form for this purpose and it is would be called your itemized business expenses if that is what you want to call the business expense.
And here you go using the below information should help you get started for your first year as a self employed independent contractor and as you progress and your business starts to grow you may even need some good professional assistance with it for your future.
Schedule C and the SE of the 1040 federal income tax return read each line when you start at the top of the page on the schedule C for your self employed independent contractor business operation your name is fine your social security number is fine and your present home address can all be used for this purpose just do NOT try to make it complicated and read each line and word and understand what it says and do what it says and then you should NOT have any problem.
You can also find the line by line instructions for the schedule C by using the website and using the search box for the schedule C 2011 Instructions for Schedule C (2011) 2011 Table of Contents Profit or Loss from Business

Specific Instructions

BUT GOOD detailed records are really necessary for your business operation to succeed.
For your 1040 Federal income tax reporting you would use the below enclosed information for this purpose.
Use the search box at for Publications and Forms for the Self-Employed

All of your gross income from all sources of worldwide income will be reported on your correctly completed 1040 federal income tax return.
Using a receipt book to make a receipt for each time that any one pays you in any way or item or trade for the amount of $$ value that is received at that time and totaling the gross self employed income for the tax year with any other 1099-MISC income that is received after the end of the tax year and entering the total gross $$$ value amount on the schedule C line 1 GROSS receipts from your trade or business
In general, taxpayers may deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses for conducting a trade or business. An ordinary expense is an expense that is common and accepted in the taxpayer?s trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for the business. Generally, an activity qualifies as a business if it is carried on with the reasonable expectation of earning a profit.
You would have to be sure that you handle your business deductions correctly for your business operation.
For instructions and forms go to the website and use the search box for publication 334 a very good place to start with examples.
Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses
Use the search box at the website for Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
Filing Season Central is your one stop assistance center for filing your business returns. This includes Highlights of Tax Law Changes, Tax Tips, and more.
Go to the IRS gov website and use the search box for the below referenced material
*Publication 4591, Small Business Federal Tax Responsibilities (PDF 470.1K)

Hope that you find the above enclosed information useful for your situation and good luck to you. 11/17/2012


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