|Small Business Information|
Starting a Virtual Assistant Business
If you're organized, smart, capable and willing to work with deadlines, you could start a virtual assistance business and cash in on your skills without having to commit to an employer (you'd be your own boss instead) or the "cube life". A VA (virtual assistant) is basically like an administrative assistant (or whatever duties need to be filled, such as writing, link building etc) that serves in a virtual capacity. What this means is that they are independent contractors, and not employees of individual companies.
VA's get to set their own rates, their own hours and most importantly, get to pick and choose as to who they will and won't take as clients. They can choose what duties they are willing to perform and what duties are not in the repertoire. They can start their own VA firms or gain business through those already established. And with the boom of the Internet, virtual assistants are in becoming more and more utilized by companies around the globe.
According to the Virtual Business Alliance, virtual assisting (of whom most are female) will be a 130 billion dollar industry before the year 2008. In fact, many women see the trend and are entering the field with high hopes of where they can be a few years from now.
Christina Cole is the owner of www.virtualcontentandmore.com ? a virtual assisting business who caters primarily to webmasters looking for content and link development services ? and has found being a VA to be very rewarding. "I started my business by doing odd services for friends of mine who owned multiple websites and became overwhelmed due to too many things needing to be done and not enough time. I liked the work and before I knew it, those friends had referred me to friends and I had a full time booming business."
While not all VA's have "formal" training, some of them elect to by attending VA courses like those offered through VirtualAssistanceU and AssistU.But, if a person has good business sense, marketing skills and a passion, like all entrepreneurs, it is doable with or without "formal training".
But, beware of some pitfalls ? many virtual assistants end up working long hours (as with any start up business) in the first few years and some continue to work odd and/or long hours well after their practice becomes successful. Be sure you are willing to put in the time to make your VA service a success.
Try to find a niche to focus on ? a way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Have a proper home office in place and figure out what your rates will be ? and remember to advertise, advertise, advertise ? be it via paid efforts or by making a "brand" out of your name. Christina advises, "Don't think that because you've hung out your shingle or built your website that clients will begin to bang down your door. Contribute to the business communities, brand yourself, brand your agency and let people know what you can do for them. The ability to market your business and yourself is extremely important in this business."
Audrey Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur who owns several businesses ? including http://www.speedy-incorporation.com ? a site that offers information about incorporating a business online as well as simple LLC formation in all 50 states.
Why Small Businesses Need Both A Logo And An Identity System
Experts urge small business owners to "brand" their business ? to use a logo and a set of consistent marketing materials. But, they rarely go into the reasons behind this advice. Here's a list of some of the benefits to having a professionally designed logo and marketing package:
The Key to a Successful Business
Where would a business be without a business plan? A business plan sets the course for the future of the business. It gives the business owner or manager a sense of direction, listing the objectives and goals of the business from the outset.
Small Business Pricing Strategies
TACTIC #1 -- Never simply slash your prices, unless you're trying to empty obsolete inventory. Instead, try repackaging your prices so they're more affordable in the short-run so more prospects can afford them. For example, rather than pricing your service for the year, "Our monthly newsletter is only $39 for the year." Instead, try "Our monthly newsletter is only $3.25 per month." If you accept credit cards, it's very easy to set up reoccurring monthly charges that are billed to your subscribers without having to intervene every month beyond the initial account set up. The upside to offering your subscription on a monthly basis is that you can now market a $3.25 headline versus a more expensive $39 headline, i.e. you're able to offer services at a more affordable rate without slashing prices.
Small Business Success: Thriving During Change (And Landing On Your Feet!)
If I had $1.00 every time I heard someone say " I don't like change or, change makes me uncomfortable" I'd be a millionaire. Some people thrive on change ? they love it and even create more of it. Others view change with anxiety and resistance. So often, we don't associate potential, excitement and wonder with change. Instead, we react to it; we try to control it; we create situations and problems to avoid dealing with it. We experience change daily in many forms ? the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the conversations we have, traffic patterns, the WEATHER.
Your Business and the Story of a Tree; Part One
This morning, I went to take a short walk outside. I've been feeling a little more flexible since this weekend, and I figured a stroll would help me keep that liquid feeling in my bones that I've missed so much.
How to be Annoyed and Make Money
When do annoyances in a relationship become too much to bear?
Going Public: The Process for Small and Mid-size Companies to Go Public
It's the dream of every person who starts a business to some day see it trading in one of the stock exchanges even after they are no longer associated with the company. The first step (#1) is simple since most small company are already incorporated and have a board of directors, so we will start with #2.
Your Babys Ugly..and Youve Got Bad Breath
I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that 98% of businesses are small businesses. That bodes well for the entrepreneurial spirit that has made our nation great. The bad news is that 80%, that's right, four out of five new businesses will fail in their first five years.
Janitorial Cleaning Service: Getting Started
A janitorial cleaning service is one of the best businesses for a hardworking, blue collar person to start from scratch. Every business and every building needs to be cleaned once in a while - in some cases, many times each day. With the overhead involved with hiring employees to provide janitorial services, it is convenient for a company to outsource to a commercial janitorial service provider.
How to Compete with the Big Guns?!
Many small business startups fail within the first 2 years of existence. There are several different factors reason for the failure. One reason many entrepreneurs often under estimate the need to find a niche market and to serve it well. Instead of finding the niche market they attack the big guys head on. If you have enough money to throw at 'this problem' you might succeed, but in reality almost every small business doing this will fail and eventually shutdown operations.
Top 7 Small Business Tax Tips
Here are seven ways for owners of small businesses to save money on their taxes.
A Key to Success: Be Consistent
Over the years I heard the best way to learn something is to to teach it. Well, this week's topic, practicing consistent behavior, is definitely something I need to learn and practice more effectively.
Grab Your Consumers Attention in a Cluttered World of Marketing Communications
A cluttered world of marketing communications diminishes the ordinary. The consumer can no longer be bother with the dull, trite and a boring hodgepodge of marketing communications that are pandered in front of them every day. They simply haven't the time, nor are they willing to figure out what irrelevant messages warmed over with pseudo-showmanship the marketer is selling them.
Franchisor Prospect Checklist Sample Form
Due to the over regulation in the Franchising Industry and the litigation it is important to keep impeccable records. From the first phone call, email to the signing of the franchise agreement everything should be documented. Below is a checklist we created for our franchise company and one I wish you would consider when creating your own. I recommend you copy this article and then modify it to fit your business model.
Starting a Tractor Washing Business
In the heavy equipment cleaning business you can make good money and provide an important service for your clientele. You can save them man-hours, chemical costs and free up time for more important needs such as preventative maintenance and repairs. The client also has a better looking fleet which makes community public relations easier and also helps in operator retention. Heavy off road equipment needs to be clean, especially radiators and ventilation to prevent over heating. It is best to charge per unit rather than per hour and then work very hard and efficiently to increase your income.
Small Business 101: Deadly Ignorance
American small business is again in transition. Many employees, now working from home, are no longer tied to a geographic office and the woes of commuting. This is a relatively new phenomenon with hints of explosive sector growth in the days ahead. As this turbulent economy has forced downsizing, offshore restructuring and closures in large companies, many new entrepreneurs have been born. These are people, who instead of tirelessly attempting to find new employment and possibly enduring the same fate as previously experienced, are now starting small businesses and enjoying the benefits and perils of self-employment.
7 Essentinal Resources for Small Business
So you want to start a business but you don't have a lot of money? Start your business online, and it won't be a problem.
If You Want Business - Be Consistent
Why does consistency in the message have an effect on how the business relationship is formed?
There Is Security in Change... But Use Caution
It has been said that the only constant is change. That statement, while true for everyone, it is especially true for those engaged in business activities.
10 Ways to Start a Business on a Budget
If you've been thinking about starting a business, but are held back due to cash-flow issues, there are plenty of ways you can get your plans off the ground. Though your vision may be to own a big store, restaurant, warehouse, or office, consider starting on a smaller scale.
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