As we plow through these difficult economic times, the financial horizon still looks cloudy. Jobs can be tough to find and companies are folding in every state. The economy is not at its strongest, but this does not mean your business will fail. The advice you find below will give you the way to make money in good times and bad.

If you need to “wine and dine” your clients, make sure that you deduct the cost of these meetings during tax time. A dinner business meeting is a legitimate cost of doing business. Make sure that the people you meet with are either already clients or potential clients, as the IRS doesn’t look too favorably on claiming pleasure as business.

Starting home businesses can be fun but challenging as well. Starting a home business requires finding your niche market. Try to find something that you are good at and have knowledge in already. Do a lot of research before deciding what kind of business you want to launch. Be sure to network with other successful home business owners and get valuable advice from them as well.

Wear apparel that is appropriate for your status as a business owner. It is easy when you work from home to just stay in your pajamas all day. Dress up for work like you would for any other business. This will make you more productive and put you in a better frame of mind.

Send out email messages to everyone you know when you are launching your home business. To get your business rolling, offer a discount on services, or perhaps a free gift. Encourage these people to share your name. You’d be surprised at how effective this type of word of mouth advertising is.

If you’re artistic, you may start a graphic design business that caters to local businesses. Most small businesses prefer independent contractors because of their flexibility and lower prices. This gives you a significant advantage as a small, local design company.

Decide on the selling price for your merchandise. If you plan to manufacture the items that you sell, you’ll first need to research and compute what your cost will be to produce them. The usual price is the cost of creating your product, multiplied by two. This should match the price you charge when other people buy wholesale. Multiply the cost by three to get retail price.

Set a schedule to work. If you lack a solid office schedule, your work may spill into the evening hours. Give yourself some free time and create a schedule like you would working for a large company. By doing this you will manage to maintain a social life.

You should be honest and realistic about your expectations with your home business. Is there a market for your product, and can it stand the test of time? Is it possible for you to run your business without compromising your work ethics?

When you are trying to come up with a product for your home business, pick something that fills a need you have. In most cases, people are drawn towards products that satisfy common, everyday needs. By coming up with an answer for a dilemma you have personally experienced, it is likely that your idea will be easily marketable to others as well.

Visit with a CPA to discuss business expenses which could be eligible write-offs. Discuss these things prior to your business opening to better track the expenses for those write offs. Things like mileage or office equipment are able to be written off so be sure you’re keeping track.

Investigate your competition while your are planning your business. Use that information to establish your own rates. Always charge the price that your service is worth.

An insurance policy that covers you for liability is a must when your business is based at home. This is even more crucial if people will visit your home business. It will protect you and your assets.

You can build a strong mailing list by adding an option for visitors to enter their email addresses. Include this link liberally throughout your pages, so that visitors don’t have to go looking for it if they decide to join later in their visit to your site.

As stated earlier, another recession threatens us, and the country seems headed toward depression. Be careful, and do your homework, but do not be afraid to take a chance. Keep the information shared here in mind, and you will make it.