Author: Samoon A

Have guests staying at your short term rental apartment? You need to prepare adequately for their arrival. After all, you want them to get the best possible first impression and an even better stay. Below is a checklist for how to prepare apartment for Airbnb.

  1. Clean Your Home
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You should start cleaning a few days before your guests are scheduled to check in. You need to clean every nook and cranny of the house so you might need quite some time especially if you have a big home. Clean the kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, dining room and any other area that the guests will be using. An unclean house is a bad first impression that you might never recover from. Your guests would actually be justified to leave a bad review on Airbnb, and this could just spell the end your hosting career on the platform.

For a sparkling clean home that’s welcoming to your guests, sweep, vacuum, and mop the floors. Wipe all the countertops using a Clorox wipe making sure to remove any sticky spots and stains. Take some time tidying up the bedroom and scrubbing the toilet, sink, and bathtub.

  1. Fresh Sheets
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This might seem obvious but a lot of hosts seem to forget to put fresh sheets on the bed. Your guests certainly won’t take it kindly if they find dirty sheets when going to bed. You should have several sets of bedsheets so that you’re always ready for your guests even on short notice. Good quality bed sheets should only cost you about $50. This is a worthwhile investment that you definitely shouldn’t be skimping out on.

  1. Clean the Refrigerator
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Make sure the fridge is well organized and clean. Throw away leftovers and anything else that’s unsightly. Stock up on fresh fruit juice, bottled water, and sodas. If meals are included in the package, you can go all out an include meat, eggs, and other basic foods.

  1. Stock Up on Bathroom Supplies
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Most guests will come with their own shampoo, toilet tissue, soap, and conditioner. However, it would be a nice touch if you provided these items. They won’t cost much and will do a lot for your reputation with your guests. You could also add a measly $10 to the cleaning cost to cover these essential items.

  1. Secure Your Valuables
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You really do not know your guest so it’s best to take precaution and protect your property. You might need to keep your valuables under lock and key especially if you will be renting out the whole house. Have a safe or lockable closet for your jewelry, iPads, computers, important documents, money and any other thing you consider valuable. This will give you peace of mind whenever you are not around.

  1. Prepare the Guest Key
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You should have a spare key ready for your guests before they arrive. If you don’t have one, go to your local hardware store and have one made. Never give your guests your only key, God forbid should they lose it.

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Having an e-commerce site is an excellent business idea. Shopping has gone online and it’s only catching steam with millions of more people coming online every year. You want a site that’s visually appealing and easy to use so that your customers enjoy the shopping experience. You have a wide variety of options on how to go about building the website. You can use WYSIWYG site builder such as Wix and Shopify or go with a more custom-made solution.

As you ponder of the best way to go about building your ecommerce site, here are some tips on what to do before starting an ecommerce business.

  1. Choose a Business Structure and Register Your Business
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For your business structure, you can go with a sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation or partnership. The IRS will consider your business a sole proprietorship or partnership if you do not register it as a LLC or corporation. With a sole proprietorship, your personal assets are usually at risk if you ever got sued or you got into debt. You can register your business structure paperwork with the IRS yourself or hire a company to do it for you. There’s also the option of a lawyer, but this may be an overkill for your small business.

  1. Employer ID Number (EIN)
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You will need an EIN to file your taxes and open a bank account. This is basically the social security number of your business. It is mandatory for you to get one.

  1. Apply for Business Permits and Licenses
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You will still need licenses and permits to operate your eCommerce business. Check with your state, county and city to determine what is required to operate your business. Make sure everything is approved before getting started.

  1. Find Vendors
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You need to sell good quality products at a good price so you can be competitive in your niche. If you’re making whatever it is you want to sell, then you need good quality raw material and excellent workmanship. If you’re reselling a finished product then go for the best quality products.

  1. Start Marketing
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Set up the social media profiles of your company and start writing content for your blog even before your product is ready for sale. Doing this gives you a head start such that you’re not starting from scratch on day one.

  1. Use Software to Improve Productivity
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Using technology can make your work much easier. Look into using customer relationship management, project management, email marketing and accounting software.

  1. Inventory
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Ensure you have enough inventory for the launch. You can have it stored in a warehouse or somewhere in your garage if it’s not too much. It is usually better to start with more inventory than you need instead of having a shortfall. Pay attention to the sales so you know when to reorder.

  1. Make Plans for Shipping
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Your business depends a lot on efficient shipping. If your shipping costs are too high, there is a high chance that your customers will abandon cart just before making a payment. Get the most efficient shipping methods available and give your customers options such that they can choose a more expensive option that delivers faster.

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