Category: Thrifty Business Tips

This Idea Prints Money, Literally: How to Start a Print on Demand Business

The print industry doesn’t sleep.

If you’re thinking of starting a home-based print business, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Namely, how the print industry works. It’s an on-demand industry that won’t tolerate long waits and low quality. There are hundreds of good online print companies that can easily take the place of another.

So, how do you set your print on demand business apart from all the others?

In this post, we’ll tell you how to get your print business off the ground and do it from the comfort of your home on a limited budget. There are steps you need to take and investments you need to make, but keep reading and you’ll learn how to turn a profit in no time.

Figure Out Your Niche

If you try to do too much, it’ll be harder for you to get your business off the ground. If you’re working from home, you’ll be limited to one or two kinds of printing.

Besides, narrowing your focus is always helpful when you’re starting a new business. It makes it easier to appeal to a specific market and master one thing instead of doing multiple things satisfactorily, but not great.

There are many subsets of the print industry; t-shirts, custom logo stickers, brochures, and art printing, to name a few. Choose one that you think you can do well and that you’ll be passionate about, then you can start setting up your web store and buying equipment.

Research and Buy Equipment (Or Don’t)

Once you’ve made a decision on the type of print on demand business to move forward with, you can look into your equipment options.

Large-scale print shops have heavy-duty printers, cutters, and other machinery that streamline things and allow them to produce a lot of product quickly. Since you’ll be working from home, you don’t need the same level of equipment.

Look into the types of equipment that smaller operations recommend and shop around to find the right machinery for your business. Another option is to act more as a middle-man and outsource all of your printing to larger print companies.

Set Up Your Print On Demand Web Store

Once you know how you’re going to produce your materials, you can start to set up your web store. Find a good web host and start building your website.

There are lots of great website builders out there; most people use WordPress because it’s free and easy to use, but there are lots of them that will offer hosting and site building services.

Promote!

When you’ve got a site that you’re happy with, go live and start promoting your business. There are so many ways to promote a printing business online. Learning about SEO, social media marketing, and offline marketing tactics will help you get ahead in the beginning.

A lot of small businesses use blogs to bring new users to their page. Drawing people in with SEO and keeping them there with creative and interesting content is how business is done nowadays. Once you’ve got them hooked, use a good call to action to bring them to your products page. It’s as simple as that!

Why Wait Any Longer?

Now that you know the first steps in starting a print on demand business at home, you can get started with finding your niche. There are a lot of small and big-time printing businesses out there so you’ll have to find a way to stick out of the crowd.

If you focus on marketing and quick production, you’ll be able to put yourself on the map and grow your business from your bedroom to wherever you want to take it. There are no limits.

To read more great articles with helpful DIY tips and work from home advice, check out our blog.

5 Life-Changing Health Habits to Help You Stay on Track When You Work From Home

Do your friends all think you’re living the dream?

“You, work from home?”, they exclaim. “That must be amazing!”.

Approximately 8 million Americans work from home, and the numbers are continuing to rise. While working remotely comes with a ton of perks, it also comes with a world of distractions. 

Family members, adorable pets, and the internet are always there, waiting to pull you away. In order to be successful, you have to become a master at staying on task.

Unfortunately, in the process of staying in the zone, many health habits go out the window. Do you want to find the perfect healthy balance between work and life?

Read on to learn 5 life-changing tips for working at home, healthy style.

1. Nutritional Health Habits

Does this sound like you? You wake up, don’t feel hungry, and get right to work. Lunch rolls around, and you eat a small snack. Finally by dinner time you’re famished, ready to eat everything in sight?

Prevent overeating by doing a meal prep the night before. Make sure your diet still includes the foods you like to eat. If you love cheese, or other fatty foods, allow yourself to include them in moderation.

2. Posture Yourself

Maintaining proper posture helps prevent your body from any strains or overuse issues. Here are a few tips for how to sit correctly.

  • Sit up with a straight back
  • Shoulders back
  • Buttocks are able to touch the chair’s back

Finally, move your body around in your chair every 30 minutes. Slightly repositions how you’re sitting so you don’t fatigue the muscles.

3. Create Zones

Ever have trouble turning your brain off after a long day of work? How about trouble turning it on? Your mind works best when it has designated zones for certain activities.

The American Sleep Association, or ASA, states you shouldn’t read or eat in bed. Your brain creates associations to the activity of eating, or reading, and decides beds aren’t for sleeping anymore.

If your bedroom is your home office, make sure you’re working somewhere away from the bed. Even if you’re facing away from the bed, it’ll help your brain associate the designated area with work time.

4. Schedule Some You Time

Create a morning routine where you’ll have some you time. Ladies, if you like putting on makeup, take the time to put on the things you like.

Guys, if you enjoy wearing a business casual attire, go ahead and put it on. Just because you’re not going into the office, doesn’t mean you can’t dress the part.

5. Learn to Microbreak

As counterintuitive as it may sound, planned distractions can help you focus. Set an alarm to take a micro break every hour.

The micro break only has to be a couple of minutes long. Create motion, move your body around, and step away from the computer screen. When you return to work you’ll have an enhanced level of focus.

Work-Life Balance

Try to think of some health habits that only pertain to you personally. Do you want to find ways to be happier throughout the day? One of the healthy habits you incorporate could be saying positive affirmations.

Also, make sure you’re investing in your relationships outside of work. If you have a family, find time during the week to do fun things with them. Don’t worry, you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a good time.

Thrifty Momma Ramblings loves to help our readers find the best deals out there. We have coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, and more!

Feel like treating yourself to something free? Check out our delicious freebie for an entree at Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Ready to Try Your Hand at Passive Income? Here’s How to Find Great Real Estate Deals

“Money for nothin’ and chicks for free.” 

We’re not too sure about free chicks, but most people are pretty excited about getting money without working for it. “Passive income” sounds like earning money for little to no effort. The reality, however, is that you put in the work up front. 

Real estate investing is a common way to build up assets that can pay you over time. Buying property has always been a solid investment.

When you talk to owners or realtors, remember that you aren’t the only one in your area looking for a good deal. You will have to have a few tricks to get in on those extra special properties before anyone else.

How will you find the real estate deals of your dreams?

Like this.

Drive Around

Knowing an area well will help you with your investment strategy. You also don’t want to drive three hours away if something happens with your property. 

When you drive around, look for houses that could use a little love. Look for the telltale signs.

  • Overgrown grass
  • Tarps on the roof
  • Old mail in the mailbox
  • Worsening condition over time

These signs indicate that the place could be empty or that the owner cannot afford to fix the place up. 

Write down the address, do some digging, and reach out to the owner. See if they want to sell.

Check Eviction Records

Most counties will have some public record of evictions that are being processed. Evictions are terrible for landlords. If you can be the answer to their property woes, you could get a great deal.

Once you find out where evictions are happening, you can find the landlord’s information. Then it is a matter of calling or sending a letter to show your interest.

Search Craigslist

Look at the rentals. Keep an eye out for landlords that seem like they could be your average Joe/Jane. They will typically have their phone number in the ad.

Your expressed interest to buy may not be right for them, but hold on. Landlords may have another property they are looking to sell. Being the first offer puts you in the winner’s position.

Collect a Lot of Real Estate Deals

You want to look at a lot of potential deals. Don’t jump at the first property that seems nice.

There are many types of properties to consider. Your next deal could be a single family home, small storefront, or multi-family real estate. You can be smart by creating a funnel for finding bargains.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Search properties with the three tips above (you can also get listings from wholesalers and real estate agents)
  2. Collect 50-100 properties (Not so passive anymore, is it?)
  3. Get down to 10-30 properties to go look at
  4. Make offers on 5-20 of those listings

Get Ready for Business

Once you show up, get ready to pitch your deal and negotiate. Be considerate and honest. Remember that you are dealing with people who also need to feed their families.

Knowing about the many areas involved in real estate will help you be confident in your dealings. If you are not that savvy, bring along someone who is. 

It’s Getting Good for Buyers

After coming through the housing bubble of 2008, the market has become increasingly competitive. More buyers are confident enough to make an offer.

Now, things are looking good for buyers in the future. Signs suggest we’re entering a buyer’s market. Real estate deals will be easier to find. Let’s hope you find one of these gems in your area. 

Want to learn more to help you in your real estate investing? We’ve got more for you here!

Should You Pay by Check or Direct Deposit? What Employees Prefer

pay by check

With many companies paying as much as $50 per employee per month, payroll costs are through the roof in just about every industry. If you’re trying to decide whether to pay by check or to give your employees direct deposit, you could be talking about a big difference in fees. Deciding between the two requires balancing your own pay sheets as well as considering what would be good for your employees.

Here is everything you need to know about how you should be paying your employees.

Why Use Direct Deposit

Thanks to contemporary banking technology, direct deposit has become safer than ever. When you use direct deposit, your employees will benefit from quick payment at the same time every week. You’ll also benefit from being able to save on costs to print up checks on a regular basis.

Employees love the ability to never worry about a stolen check ever again. Even one that gets misplaced or goes through the laundry can be a serious headache that no one wants to deal with.

Trips to the bank can be cut way down for both you and your employees when their money is deposited directly into their account. And without having to wait in long lines or go way out of their way to find an ATM, they’ll have more time free to relax after work. Even if they were to normally get paid on a holiday, direct deposit will usually allow employees to get paid on time or even early.

If payday falls on their day off, your employees won’t have to worry about whether or not they can have access to their money. It’ll arrive overnight and be ready to pay bills or go on vacation the next day.

Direct deposit also allows for split deposits, so money can be automatically put into a savings account or paid to a bill, like a department store credit cards. Rather than having to make all kinds of complex transactions or having to shift money around online or over the phone, it can all be done automatically.

Why Direct Deposit Might Not Be Right

In order to get direct deposit, your employees will need to give you their banking information. Some people don’t like giving that much personal information to their employer without being able to keep track of it. Additionally, many people might not qualify for a bank account, which could keep them from using direct deposit.

If employees have a complicated immigration status, they will be required to pay state and federal taxes on their income, even if they can’t get a bank account. Rather than limit your payment only to direct deposit, if you anticipate employing people who might have hurdles, direct deposit might hurt their ability to get paid.

In recent years, banks have created payroll cards that automatically fill up once paychecks are sent. The downside to these is that there is usually a fee attached that can come down hard on people with limited means. Rather than dealing with bank charges that could cut into paychecks in a big way, employees might want another option.

People who struggle to manage their funds or work part-time might also have trouble with direct deposit. If an employee miscalculates their funds, they could get hit will fee after fee until they spend their whole next check just to get back to zero.

What’s Good About Paper Checks

Paper checks might seem outdated but they have their upsides. They allow employees to keep their banking information private, which is valuable to people with privacy concerns. When they have their paychecks in their hand, they can manage when they’ll have money in their pocket.

Without a bank account, there’s never any worry about surprise bank fees.

If your employees don’t want friends or family knowing how much they are earning, having a paper check leaves no trail behind. Checks can be cashed before going to a bank and no receipts will be found.

If an employee has a joint checking account with a loved one, they won’t have to deposit their entire check. Since they are the only person who can manage their check or cash it, they have 100% control over who knows about their finances.

Downsides of a Paper Check

WIth a paper check, you might have to worry about having it stolen or it getting damaged. Paper checks that are difficult to read or hard for bank machines to scan due to age or wear could give your employees issues.

Replacing a paper check is a pain and could take weeks, if not months.

If a holiday comes up, paper checks can be a headache. Finding a place to cash one on a Sunday could be hard enough, let alone during the holidays when you need money the most.

If you’re sick or out of town during payday, employees will struggle with a tight budget until they get back into town to cash their checks. Multiple trips to work and to the bank mean a loss of time and a loss of money.

On top of everything, employees might only be able to cash their checks at the financial institution they’re issued from. If there isn’t one nearby, the other option is a currency exchange, which can take a massive bite out of their earnings.

Whether You Pay By Check or Not, Always Pay On Time

Even if you choose not to pay by check, you need to give your employees a hard date for when they’ll be paid and stick to it. When you break up your payroll schedule, you can break up their spirit and make it hard for employees to have faith in their workplace. When they lose their morale, they won’t perform as well and could mistrust you as an employer.

If you need help calculating your payroll each month, check out the tools that we have to offer.

5 Tips for Starting a Clothing Line with Very Little Money

starting a clothing line

Do you have a ton of ideas for clothing designs but can’t spend a lot of money to start up a business? Well, you don’t have to. Spending money is a necessity to open a clothing line, but you don’t have to be rich to make it happen. With the right business sense and a love for the industry, you can be successful.

Here are five tips for starting a clothing line with very little money in your pocket.

1. You Don’t Have to be Rich to Do it

Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to be a millionaire to start your own clothing business. Shopify is one cost-effective way to go.

Photoshoots can cost a bit of money but you can do even that cheaply if you don’t need models or an expensive photographer.

If you want to sell t-shirts, get quotes from several different printers to make sure you’re getting the best deal you can.

2. Be Experienced In Business

It can be helpful to have a business background. You need to be able to see things from a customer perspective so you can better serve your target audience.

You also need to be able to look at your numbers every day to see what is selling well and what isn’t so you can adjust accordingly.

One important aspect to any business is making your brand known, you can do this by making yourself experienced in business.

If you need a guideline for branding, check out Super Saucy Brand for a few examples.

3. Find a Factory You Can Trust, and Visit

Start with a manufacturer that is near you that way you can visit it on a regular basis. This is an important step because sometimes fabric might not come as you expect it, or when they do the grading they could mess up the size.

If the size gets messed up, that could affect a lot of your pieces which is a loss of time supplies, and money. It pays to keep up with the factory you go through.

4. Identify A Market Need

If you create a product without a market need, then you won’t be able to create a demand for it.

Check different clothing blogs before you get started and pay attention to the comments. Make a list of products that pop up often, look for trending needs.

This will be the best way to make sure that you’re able to sell your products and don’t end up with a room full of backstock merchandise.

5. Love What You Do

When you’re passionate about what you do, that will reflect on your business. If you’re only doing it to make money, that will also show.

The more fun you have, the more it will make your brand image shine.

Starting a Clothing Line

Using these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to starting a clothing line. You can promote your brand and start up your clothing line for less than you think. Go into it with passion, and determination in your heart and that 20,000 that you have to work with will turn into a million.

With clothes comes accessories. If you’re crafty and want to start a jewelry business to go along with your clothing line we have a few tips for you to follow.

How to Take the Stress Out of Your Next Work Trip

work tripAs more than 1 billion workers are virtual, dispersed, or non-traditional, the average employee spends more time in transit than ever before. Even while you’re on the go, your employer might expect that you get some work done or be prepared to hit the ground running. By preparing for your work trip the right way, you can be sure that it doesn’t disrupt your productivity or comfort.

Depending on how often you travel, the 3-5 days you spend recovering from jet lag might not be an option. You might need to be alert and aware every step of the way. That’s why you need a strategy for your next trip.

If you want to be happy, comfortable, productive, and well-rested before, during, and after your next work trip, follow these 3 tips.

1. Disrupt Your Sleep Schedule Now

As you move from one time zone to the next, your body will be stuck in the place you most recently slept. Even if the clock reads 1 AM, if your body thinks it’s only 4 PM, you could be in for a rough night of sleep.

Get to know the time difference you’ll be facing when you take your trip. Start adjusting your sleep little by little now. If you’re going from the US to Europe, stay up as late as you can so that you’ll be exhausted once you get on your flight.

If you can remain asleep during a flight, you should be good. If you have trouble sleeping, try a little bit of liquid melatonin to help you get to sleep.

2. Book Everything Now

Take the time to start sending out emails to the people you want to meet with. Book a full schedule so that you know what you’re doing at what time each day. This can prepare you in multiple ways.

You can be aware of when your hardest days are, so you’ll be well rested. You’ll know who you’re meeting for cocktails and who you’re meeting for business and know what to pack. You can also prepare mentally for the flow of events to come.

Try out http://www.contracthire.tv/ for booking your car from the airport in advance.

3. Take Some Vitamins

It’s important to load up on Vitamin C before you head to the airport. The number of doorknobs, armrests, and recycled air that you’ll encounter will contain lots of opportunities for you to get sick. Eat as healthy as possible for 3 days before your trip.

Make sure you’ve also packed your bag with plenty of medication. If you’re heading to a foreign country, you might have trouble getting what you need. You’re better off carrying extra.

Prepping For Your Work Trip Will Relax You

If you don’t know what you’re expecting from day to day, you could be on edge during your entire trip. This could lead to poor work output and leaves open the potential for making lots of mistakes. Taking the time to prepare will allow you to give your best performance while on your work trip.

If your work trip has you itching to take a vacation, check out our guide to choosing your next family destination.

How To Start A Home Jewelry Business

home jewelry business

If you want to start your own home jewelry business, knowing how to make beautiful and original jewelry is not enough to be successful, but it’s a great start. While creating jewelry is an art form few people have the ability or passion to master, starting your own business is something anyone is capable of doing.

However, simply wanting to be your own boss is not easy. Keep reading to find out what you need to do to start a successful home jewelry business.

1. Build Your Brand

You might not think that a small home jewelry business would need to build a brand. But nowadays, branding is an important part of any successful business big and small.

A large part of branding is choosing a name for your business. This needs to be memorable, unique and reflective of your jewelry.

Remember the brand name needs to be able to be used on business cards, online as well as on any official documents.

You’ll also need a logo to promote your brand online and in your marketing materials. For more information on how to design a dazzling jewelry company logo, view here.

2. Become Legit

The next part of your journey towards becoming a home jewelry business is registering your LLC with your state. This makes you an official business recognized under the law.

It might be that you want to have your jewelry trademarked. This can be achieved through the United States’ Patent and Trademark Office.

It’s essential to carry out all of the bureaucratic and legal procedures to make sure you set yourself up as a legal business.

3. Get a Business Plan

Of course, the business plan might be as simple as – making jewelry. But without a clear and detailed business plan, you could find yourself in trouble.

After all, the finances of your business are really important. You need to consider various outgoings, such as the costs of registering your LLC and sourcing the raw materials to create your jewelry.

But also, it’s important to set business goals for your business. This includes – how many pieces of jewelry do you hope to sell this year? How much profit do you hope to make in your first year?

4. Set Up Your Workshop

You might have been making jewelry for many years as a hobby. If this is the case, you might have a workshop already.

But if you’ve been making jewelry at the kitchen table until now. It might be time to invest in setting yourself up with a quiet workshop so you can concentrate and store your materials and products.

5. Websites and Social Media

Nowadays even the smallest businesses have a website and social media accounts. These are essential and cost-effective media and marketing tools.

Make sure you at least have a Facebook and Twitter account. But because jewelry is so well-suited to Instagram, you should also have an account on this social network. Make sure you include contact details and many sample pictures of your jewelry.

You can also use your website to sell your products. Other online platforms to sell your jewelry include Etsy, Artfire, Amazon, and eBay.

On your website, you should also include a blog. This will not only help you become an influencer within your niche of home-made jewelry but also boost your SEO (search engine optimization). SEO helps you rank highly on search engines such as Google.

6. Set Your Prices

Setting your prices is one of the most difficult steps in setting up your own home jewelry business.

There certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule for pricing your jewelry. But you have to consider the material and labor costs of producing the products. While you need to make sure you’re making a profit on your jewelry, don’t overcharge or you’ll struggle to sell anything.

If you’re selling your jewelry through a variety of mediums and markets, then it’s important to keep your prices consistent. This means it should cost the same whether it’s at a arts and craft market in a local town or on your website.

7. Be Patient

Many people who set up their own businesses from home are impatient for success. This is especially the case if you’ve risked everything and give up the stability of a 9-5 grind.

However, the trick to a successful business is to be patient. There are lots of new things to learn about running your own business. It can take many years to really build your home jewelry business.

If you’re struggling to make a profit or find new customers for your product, adjust what you’re doing. This might involve making a different kind of jewelry or driving your social media strategy in a different direction.

8. Do What You Love

What makes you different to someone else making jewelry? It’s not price or the quality of your jewelry, it’s that you love doing what you do.

Making jewelry is a creative process that requires a lot of time, effort and passion.

That’s why if you’re making jewelry you believe is beautiful and wonderful, the chances are, other people will too. There’s always a market for it.

Starting Your Own Home Jewelry Business

Whether you’re taking your first steps into the world of entrepreneurship, or you’re an experienced player in business, starting your own home jewelry business can be daunting.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to success with your passion project! If you’ve set up your own home jewelry business, we’d love to hear from you. Let’s us know in the comments.

Otherwise, if you want to know more about becoming your own boss, explore our blog or get in touch.