Today I'm going to be talking about three things I've learned from having an online business.
I think I've mentioned this before, but I've had several websites and still have websites now that bring an income, and I've been doing that since about 2007, or 2006 maybe. And as I've gone through the years, the income has gone up, gone from just being something that's kind of nice, kind of neat, to actual really substantial income, and actually more than my full time job at certain times.
I've learned a few things along the way, and I've had some pretty big mess-ups. I thought I might just share some of the things I've learned, and hopefully help some of you who are interested in making money online
I've learned a few things along the way, and I've had some pretty big mess-ups. I thought I might just share some of the things I've learned, and hopefully help some of you who are interested in making money online, or having a business.
Set Aside Money for Taxes
The first thing, and probably one of the most important things that you can do is no matter how much or how little you're making, you should always be setting aside 20% of any income you earn for taxes. Now, this one sounds like something you probably heard before I'm sure, but once you start actually making money, it's a lot of times hard to keep track, and it's really easy to not set aside that money right at the beginning.
In my case, a lot of the times I would be making enough money that I could not save the money, and just save up that money in a couple of months to be able to pay that bill, but that was actually getting lucky. And what's happened in other times is I haven't been able to pay it for months, so it's something that I end up having to pay over a long time. That's never a good idea. It's kind of hard to do, but that's a really important one. Just make sure to set aside that 20%.
Keep Track of All Spending/ Expenses
The second thing that you should do is keep track of any spending or expenses that you have. That's another one that's really easy just to not do, because it's kind of a pain.
What I found to be the most useful thing to do is to actually just keep track of things using my credit card. I have a credit card that I got, and I only use it for business things. So I pay all my hosting, any advertising, any sort of supplies, computers. Everything goes on that one credit card, and I don't spend anything else on that card except business. And that really helps to keep track of all the spending, because as things have gone on, a lot of the banking has gotten really sophisticated and if you're not banking online you probably should be. But when you are banking online, you get to keep a record, and you can export all the data.
The reason it's really important to keep track of that is because the expenses you spend are going to make your taxes a lot lower. Any spending or any amounts of money that you spend, that ends up being deducted from the total amount of money that you made in a year, and that really reduces the amount of money you have to pay for taxes significantly. Really keep track of every nickel and dime that you spend for your business.
Hire an Expert
The third thing I'm going to share is probably the most important thing, and I think everyone should do this. That is that you should hire an accountant. Don't try to do taxes yourself.
In the beginning I was doing taxes myself. I used TurboTax, things like that. And I thought it was fine, and good, and dandy, until one time I was doing my taxes and it was like, I was going to owe 30,000 and I was just like, this is insane. Someone should be able to do this better and save some money. And if they can then it will be worth it.
I went to an accountant. This was when I was living actually in New York. I went, just found an accountant, and I went to her office. And I talked to her for about two hours, gave her all the information I had and she just said she'd get back to me. And when she got back to me, it was like a miracle. She had been able to reduce my taxes by more than half, so that was just so well worth it. So if you're making a decent amount of money, it's deffinitely a really good idea to find an accountant.
All right. That's going to do it for this episode. If you have any questions about what I talked about, of if you've got a question you'd like me to answer on an upcoming podcast, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure to get back to you right away.
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