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Posts for Momprenuer Balancing Act Category

Being a 1099 contractor is not a free ride

Momprenuer Balancing Act - Jenna - January 5, 2011

As both a small business owner, and an independent contractor I fully understand the benefits, and responsibility of working for yourself. Yes, it provides countless benefits of flexibility, and the opportunity for setting your own limits both with your schedule, and your bottom line. To sum it up working for yourself means only you define your success in business. This can be a double edge sword but  for many of us it is a factor we are willing to deal into our hand when we sit down at the card game of owning your own business.

However there are some out there today that think that they want just the benefits and none of the responsibility of working for yourself. These would be Independent contractors are popping up every where. I am not talking about those of us that have taken on a 1099 contract, and have an agreement with our clients to preform a service for them in exchange for a set rate. We legit contractors are out to take advantage of the many opportunities for contract employment that offer the flexibility to the employer to have  a facet of business preformed with out all the strings of a conventional employee. While this works great for us to be more flexible, and work when and how much or little we want. It’s not without its faults. There is no security for the most part, it can be inconstant at best, and of course there is the matter that you have to keep track of and pay your own taxes.

The thing that sets us legit contractors, and the phonies apart is that last American duty part..Taxes! There is a growing trend of people who are getting federal or unemployment benefits in one hand and wanting contract jobs in the other. So they have one hand on the table and one under it , and it is wrong!

Being a 1099 contractor is not a way to skirt the piper on tax day. I understand that unemployment is not enough and jobs are scarce but this is not the answer and it is unfair to the employers you are asking to do it.

As a business owner I cannot imagine why you would knowingly take on the liability of paying someone under the table??? You realize that it is no skin off your back to fill out a 1099, and file at the end of the year? You still get the same deduction but you are fallowing the letter of the law. Also if you get caught for your miss handling YOU get the fines and penalties, and you are forced to report what you should have in the first place.The good deed you thought you were doing for your brothers wife’s out of work cousin will come back to haunt him even more if he didn’t report his income. I wont even go into the $$$ you could have to spend when your liability and workman’s comp insurance audits come about. If you are in an industry that regulates licensed and insured subs and you have Mr. Freeloader on the books you are gonna pay out the nose for years to come.

As a contractor I cannot imagine asking a fellow business owner to do such a thing. If you are on unemployment or some sort of government assistance you better go thank a small business owner because they are gonna have to pony up more money each month for unemployment tax so you can stay on unemployment fr another six months to a year. Not to mention they are employing the people that are paying the taxes along with them to give you all those perks of being an American in the system. So think about that next time you try to take the money and run.

Not to go all Sarah Palin on you, but there are several things the former Governor of Alaska and I  agree on. One of them being that there are some things that you must do just because they are right and American! Do you think for one second that your forefathers would think this is ok? Really People these government programs were instituted to help not enable some while hindering others. If you enjoy the programs that feed your family and rent your home then for God sakes you better get your hands dirty pitching in to the pot.

Ok, I know the system is broken and that is a whole nother post, but there are some basics here at play that some people are missing! The great post depression programs  only work,  and set our country apart if people don’t get greedy and do their part. Not take and never give back.So if you are going to work as a 1099 contractor be prepared  to also assume to responsibility of paying up at the end of the year. If you have to set a % aside to do so each check or payment then do it. Start a savings account or a fund just for that. With any luck you will have enough write offs to combat the income but you have to keep good records and don’t fluff that either! The extra money might be inticeing ,and you may even need it every month..I get it! But you better report it now than getting caught later and paying even more.

The bottom line is, it’s just a practice that gets my goat. It’s wrong! Is this really how we want to define being an American? The land of opportunity with out accountability? I think not! There are plenty of opportunities to get ahead with out being dishonest. Whether you agree with all the politics at play today  or not I bet you would agree that you don’t want to be known as the land of the free loaders instead of the free!

Work hard and pay your taxes! If you don’t like how they spend your tax money then vote and pray! Remember you have the right to do both! There are men & women that are dying to protect your right to do both and guess where their salaries come from?

Still think 1099 skirting is the answer?

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Clean home office in 2011

Someone once told me you can judge a mans head space by looking at his work space. I have no idea why this particular quoteof my mentor stuck with me, but I use it as a type of gauge these days to help me stay on track.

However even the most well organized working mom can just get overwhelmed, and find herself in a mess of an office from time to time. As I write this post I am surrounded by well maintained files, sorted office supplies, and freshly organized to do bins.

I only sit among such calm organization because two days ago I could not stand the mess my end of year Holiday induced chaos any longer. So  I  finally had to do something about it! It isn’t that the madness doesn’t try me mad, but I am just plain busy and need help staying on track!

Here are some tips for beating the clutter and stay on top of the papers in 2011 so you don’t look like a messy minded manager!

Create files that coincide with the way your software works for easy access

store old files the same manner you store current files but in a different place. When you have to go back 2 years to find a receipt you will thank me!

Use fun funky items to store pens, and other office supplies so that you will want to put things where they belong.

Create usable boards out of recycled goods and fabric that are pretty to look at. Things that are appealing to the eye are easier to keep cleaned up than old boring cork. You will want to organize it! trust me!

use down time to sync info and then keep it in one place. Having three roladex and a daytimer is to 1994! keep your info sorted on a laptop or smart phone so you are always ready to get connected.

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Family Entrepruneral Spirit

Kids & Family, Momprenuer Balancing Act - Jenna - December 30, 2010

It finally snowed a good enough amount in our neck of the woods to allow for shoveling today. My boys were all over it, and had their snow cloths and boots on faster than you could say hot cocoa.

As I tooled around the house, and watched my little guys out the window play in the white fluff I was so happy it had snowed finally. I went in the other room for something and returned to see only one boy in the window. I bundled up and went out side to investigate. My little mans location was quickly reviled in the neighbors drive way.

My guy was shoveling away and happy as a lark. I returned to my post at the sink only to be interrupted moments later by my snow covered rosy cheeked boy holding a whopping $1o.00!

” Mom I was shoveling away and Mr. D paid me 10 bucks can you believe that!?”  He was sooo excited. You could immediately see the wheels turning as he added up the neighbors and calculated his per driveway rate. Of course I interjected with a wise motherly word about neighborly service and explained that we should do it for nothing out of a kind heart . However the inner entrepreneur in me also explained that a business of your own was a fine idea and I planned to help him in his new endevore if he was willing to commit to the work and service that he contracted with our neighbors.

Until the official snow removal contracts were drawn up though we decided to give our potential customers a gratis removal . My mini Titan bounced off our the door agreeing to ask before he shoveled and not demand payment.

30 Min later my man came back with a wad of cash. ” Mom I said they didn’t have to pay me but they did anyway! ”  Wow! ” I exclaimed! We agreed to continue to clear the neighbors walks the rest of the snowy weekend for free and maybe consider his negotiations for snow removal for the rest of the season after a nice hot chocolate.

I have to say to see his desire to work hard for a dollar and for free was pleasing to me on several levels. I was happy that we have instilled a sense of responsibility, and community that  inspired him to get out and clear snow in the first place. I was just as pleased to see the sense alive that if you want to you can work hard and earn the money you want to buy things you desire.

Here’s to the future of business! For now it is just the removal of 4 houses on our street tomorrow solving the deficit!

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Today I Worked In My Jamiez

Momprenuer Balancing Act, Things I wish I'd known - Jenna - December 14, 2010

Ok, so scratch the visions of a self made millionaire with money to burn who makes money in her sleep, lounging in her designers PJ set while the pool boys skims the pool. NO!

My jammie work day is more of a rare occasion that is birthed from an over tired over worked mom who has way to much on her plate to get dressed even! Yeah not so romantic. In fact I try not to let it happen but sometimes I just have to cut myself some slack. Today for instance I had a daycare child I had taken on when work was slow and am now keeping until her mom has a baby even though my work has picked up and I am busier than ever! She arrived at 7am and I was going on 5 hours sleep at that point, so I decided that a brush of the teeth, clipa in the hair and a quick face wash would be put together enough for my favorite AE hoodie & sweats that I had slept in the night before. “Just to answer the door” I thought to myself! So at 8:15v when I was rushing to get my oldest out the door and everyone fed I decided that I would just change my under garments and slip back into my comfies to finish out the morning routine!

Well here I sit…. two batches of fudge, one batch of cookies, 43 e-mails, three articles, two blog posts, 53 Christmas cards , lunch, coloring, a cardboard house, snack, nap time, back yard time, school time, and three Clients calls later…..In my Jamiez!

Yes, today kind of got away from me and I am still only half way but just don’t think that the rest of the days events are worth dirtying a clean pair of jeans. Today I will finish my day in the exact same outfit as I went to sleep in. I wish I had a more glamours tale of my work day in my Jamiez for you but this is all I got. Just a busy mom, trying to work, take care of her family, and get all the year end done before the actual end of the year. All I have to say is thank God I crunch numbers and am not in fashion:)

No this doesn’t happen very often, but I am not going to beat myself up today about it. I swear I just saw Miley Cirus in jamies on a magazine cover some where, so it must me ok…right?

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Small Business not feeling the love this Christmas

While the Holiday season ramps up full steam ahead. The small business gal is still wondering where her piece of the Christmas Pie is. With dilemmas such as an excess of online shopping, and vendors demanding upfront payment in excess many of the small business are not feeling the Holiday Love.

It is very hard for anyone in business that does not have a huge online presence or a wad of cash to keep up. Despite the shinny reports of black Friday and Cyber Monday most all of the 6% increase in sales went to box stores that had made huge deals with suppliers in order to bring you deep savings on big ticket items which inspired you to shop while you were there. Unfortunately the discounts on the other items you purchased were minuscule and the retailers were able to score big. They took the strategy to Cyber Monday and badda bing big money! Genius!

So where does that leave us in small biz? Since there is no way we can keep up we have to create a new way. I tend to look for ways to save money on everyday expenses and admin coast so that more of my profit goes to me.  I stopped looking at the month of December  as a make or break it month and rather focus on the year at large.  Also I try to not compete with the big guys rather offer something they can’t. If you have a small shop or qauint coffee house you probably have loyal customers so offer them discounts or an open house to get them in the door, then charm them with food, wine, and your great fair!

I know it is hard not to focus on the $$$ this month but try to look at the bottom line. If you are in the black then you are better off than most. Just stay tried and true and keep on chugging. It really is a marathon owning your own business not a sprint . You have to be realistc and remember why you got into business for yourself in the first place. The freedoms & perks sometimes have to replace the big bucks.

Merry Christmas  heres’ to nice profits and open doors in 2011 what else could we ask for in this economy!

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Best Jobs for Working Mothers

Momprenuer Balancing Act - Jenna - December 12, 2010

Most moms find out very quickly how hard it is to work a conventional 9-5 when you are raising young children. I myself have struggled with finding just the right combination of paycheck and flexibility. So  I decided to do some research and figure out the best careers for moms with little ones are!

Each of these had to  have the right mix of Financial gain and flexibility, however not all of them are for everyone! As someone who has done most of them I can speak from experience in telling you, you have to find what works for you and makes you happy, no matter how much money or flexibly it offers.

Your own business: Finding a niche and using to bring in income for your family is a tried and true way to be fulfilled and set your own hours. Don’t get me wrong it can be very difficult but if you can manage the  rewards are huge.

Writing jobs: these can be flexible but you have to hunt for the ones that pay out. However if you work it like a job and find good clients you can really make some good money while the kids sleep!

Childcare; This one is not for the faint of heart and takes the special kind of person! However it got me through my kids baby stages when i couldn’t bare the thought of leaving them with anyone else. And it pays great !

Commercial Cleaning: This job may not pay all that great if you work for some one else but if you can get into some contract work you can make some good money. The thing I like about it, is that you can go in late at night or early in the morning when your spouse is home and minus the day care cost right out of it!

Teaching: you work when they have school and your off when they are off! however these jobs are decreasing by the day and we all know they don’t pay all that great.

Home Party Biz: if you can work these you can make good money! Don’t be fooled into the “only a few hours a week line” though! You have to treat them like a career to see the big bucks.

Health Care : I picked these jobs because the moms I know that work in Health Care really are some of the most fulfilled women I know. Not only do they love their jobs, but the often do shift work so that they can be with their kids more, and it seems to be a very nice mix. Plus these job will be around for years to come, not to mention the benefits of being on with one of the hospitals.

So there you have it :) You know they say if you love what you do you wont work a day in your life!

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Mompreneuers Unite!

Momprenuer Balancing Act - Jenna - December 11, 2010

This was the post from Momprenuers face book page today! I love the fact that we as moms can come together and support each others business’s ! Never underestimate the power of moms on a mission!

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send more Mompreneuers right over! lol! Invite your friends and family who run their own business to come over and join us promote our businesses!
Buy from A person this holiday season instead of large corporations. Let’s support each other and our businesses! :)

http://www.facebook.com/#!/themompreneurs

More and more moms are turning to other moms who are in the same boat for advise, strategy, tips, and support when it comes to their business as well as diaper rash!

Only other moms that have tried to balance work, family, and financial independence all before the baby wakes up at 5am , can appreciate what we as mompreneuers go through!

I have found some great communities lately that embrace and appreciate all that comes with this powerful word. I have found some great tips, and support on these sites , even a few new ideas!

Here are my top five-Join me today!

http://www.mompreneursonline.com/

http://www.mombloggersclub.com/

http://northerncolorado.momslikeme.com/members/exploregroups.aspx?p=152

www.shesconnected.com

www.twittermoms.com


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Is it important to send your Clients holiday Cards?

Momprenuer Balancing Act - Jenna - December 9, 2010

Whether you are a big or small company, this time of year you have to decide if you should sent some small token of Holiday cheer to your clients to say hi, thank you, and happy new year, or in my case “don’t forget about year end & time to start thinking about tax season!”

But whatever your motivation, Holiday cards seem to be an office standard. Well at least I thought they did, until I ran into a college of mine who informed me that the Holiday cards were just one of the many things on the year end list that were getting axed. I guess alot of people just don’t see the value in a personal touch. I understand not wanting to absorber the extra cost when budgets are tight, but come on people it is just a drop in the bucket that I feel goes a long way.

Research shows that returning customers are usually 85% of a companies business, so why not give a token to that 85% to remind them why they chose you? I run a small business which allows me to be more personal and go a bit farther with my Christmas gift giving. I have always seen a good return in my investment of home baked thank yous, and would encourage anyone on the fence this year to go ahead, and spread the love!

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The 5 tips to balancing work and life

Work is hard there is no doubt, but when you are the one holding the company in your hands it can be all consuming. Most business owners will admit that they feel their lives are not their own. They are in one way or another tied constantly to their company.

Here are a few tips to help center and focus your view, so you don’t let this part of your life define who you are entirely. Take them in stride and implement them as you see fit. It couldn’t hurt and at the very least maybe you will gain some in site or get a good laugh!

1. Laugh

Very rarely is is so serious someone somewhere can’t find humor in even the biggest mess

2. Focus your compass on a greater north

I won’t get preachy here, but whatever source of spiritual guidance you prefer, now would be a great time to focus in on it. If you think you are gonna be able to run a business with out drawing from an inner well of some kind you are nuts! Get out now !

3. Divide your time

As a momprenouer I have the hardest time with this one! But really to survive , you have to be with your family when you are with them and at work when you are at work. I don’t need to say anymore if this spoke to you, you already know what I mean, and what you need to do about it!

4. Cut yourself some slack

Yes, we all want financial freedom and success, but at the end of the day we are only human. If you miss a deal, or blow presentation it doesn’t have to define you. There will always be another chance.

5. Change

last but not least be easily adaptable to change.  It is a fast world out there and you have to be able to change with it as you go, or you will spend at least half your life beating your head against a wall and that will do nothing for your wrinkles

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How to plan a company Christmas Party

Momprenuer Balancing Act - Jenna - December 1, 2010

I do the budgets for my clients along with compiling these wonderful little spread sheets, I have often times have to help my clients define and trim the fat.  Unfortunately over the past few years one of the number one things I have seen get thrown out is the annual company Christmas party.

For many years these parties were a highlight, a bit of a perk of working for a mainstream company.  Through the 90’s  the shin digs rose to  a competition type status between business owners, of who could do what for their employees. Well much like the rest of the excess that padded company budgets these parties started to see a bit of a decline about 3 years ago, and have now all but become extinct much like their counter part the Christmas Bonus.

Now companies hand out a nice stiff glass of “at least you are lucky enough to have a job, and if you don’t like it their is about 11% of our nation that would love to have it, so see you on Monday” I personally understand more than anyone what companies have and don’t have money for. That being said I am all for the Christmas Party! It doesn’t have to be huge. We understand that companies cannot shell out the big buck for prime rib at the 5 star anymore ,but a token of appreciation for their employees  should go with out saying.

I have seen the clients that value and respect and show admiration for their employees and those that don’t and I am hear to preach business owners….At least have some coffee and cake during a paid lunch.  You and I both know that paying them for one hour extra is not going to make a big deal to you or them financially, but the thought counts.+

Of course your specific financial situation as a business owner varies, but I ask you to really look at it more carefully this year, before you toss the annual gathering aside. If you really look I bet you can find a way to pull something off and show your employees how much you appreciate them.  Your bottom lime will see a return down the line when you have happy employees willing to go the extra mile.

Here are some links to help you get started!

Merry Christmas

www.howtodothings.com/…/a4067-how-to-plan-a-companychristmas-party.html

sbinfocanada.about.com/od/management/…/christmasparty.htm

ezinearticles.com/?Office-ChristmasParties:-How-to-Plan-a..



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