4 Year End Money Moves - For Work at Home Moms

If you make money as a work at home mom, now is the time to add “taxes” to your endless list of things to do. While you should always consult a qualified tax professional to guide you in your self-employed tax obligations, there are four critical money-moves you should make before year-end, to maximize your work at home mom tax benefits.

Invest in your golden years. When you are a stay at home working mom, retirement is one area where Uncle Sam is on your side, so use the benefit to your advantage. Self-employed individuals can establish either a simplified employee pension plan (called a SEP-IRA), to make retirement contributions up to 25% of self-employment net earnings, or a SIMPLE IRA Plan, which allows for contributions up to $11,500 of your 2011 self-employed net earnings. Research plans thoroughly to determine which will suit your needs best, but compared to a traditional IRA (which has a maximum contribution of $5,000 or $6,000 depending on your age), the tax benefits are worth the research. You should also confirm when you can contribute for the 2011 tax year; many IRA plans allow for contributions until April of 2012, while 401K and 403(b) plans usually require that eligible funds be invested by December 31st of this year.

Wholesale Pricing Is Laying Your Foundation

This is the first of a three-part series on how to determine pricing for your bath and body products. This first post will discuss wholesale pricing, while the second and third posts will discuss retail pricing and craft show pricing, respectively.

Correct wholesale pricing is essential when selling to stores. Retailers depend on wholesalers to know their margins and bottom line. Wholesale pricing really is like laying your foundation.

Debbie May's Update from DC

I am back from Washington DC and wanted to provide you with an update.

Anne-Marie Faiola and I met with many members of Congress. We took pictures of how our customers make products as well as product samples. People we met with were very impressed to see how easy it was to make soap. When we presented them with industry demographics there were surprised to hear that there over 70,000 artisans/people/businesses making handmade cosmetics and over 50 suppliers serving the industry.

One high level staff person said:

“I am so appreciative that you have taken the time to travel to DC to educate members of Congress about your industry. I had no idea you existed and it is important we hear from you before it is too late and your industry is unintentionally hurt by legislation aimed at totally different issues. I can tell you that no one wants to put your customers out of business. We want them to be able to keep doing what they are doing. They are employing real Americans and helping their own lives.  It is industries like this that are holding this country together. Your customers are living or trying to live the American Dream.  We don't want to hurt that.”

Conquering the Fear of Rejection

For many small business owners getting their products and services into the hands of future customers is a challenge. Oftentimes, the number one reason for their struggle is the fear of rejection, which keeps them from stepping out to market their wares. 

If you are representing a product you probably use it yourself and believe in it with all your heart. It’s difficult to understand why everyone wouldn’t feel the same way. And inventors have poured blood, sweat and tears into developing their products, not to mention their life savings!  In both cases it’s natural to embrace your business as an extension of your very being. But to realize your dream of success, a separation of self and product is necessary.  A simple shift in mindset will give you the courage and commitment to step boldly into the world of sales and marketing and move your product into the hands of the many customers who await your goods!

Updated Industry Survey & Debbie May's Trip to DC

There are updated Handmade Cosmetic Industry Survey Results.

Click Here to view updated results

Click Here to take the survey (if you haven't already)

To date over 1900 respondents have completed the survey!

While I suspect this is a significant sampling of the industry, I will continue to update the results weekly for any changes.

I am happy to announce that Debbie May and Anne-Marie Faiola are together spending a very busy three days in Washington, DC next week. The purpose of the trip is:
  1. To conduct face to face meetings with legislators. We want to hear what they have to say, where new cosmetic bills are going and explain the potential impact on our industry. From preliminary talks, it is clear that no legislator wants to hurt our industry….frankly many don’t know we exist and don’t understand what we do. They want to help us but do not understand how they can help. This is where we plan to help the industry.
  2. To meet with influential members of congress that can help communicate and influence our position with legislators seeking direction.
  3. To network with organizations that may be of help to our industry. 
I want to personally thank you for participating in the survey. It helps us tremendously in providing insight into our industry.

In addition to the survey, Anne-Marie and I have agreed to pool our unique customer and sales data to help provide those in DC with an indication of industry size and economic impact. As you are aware, it is unusual for two competitors to share confidential business information. I hope it shows you how committed we both are to this industry.

If you have questions to comments, please feel free to email me at Debbie@WholesaleSuppliesPlus.com

Working Hard for Your Success!

Debbie May