Thursday, May 23, 2013

Start Your Virtual Assistant Home Based Business

Internet as opened the doors for many people to start their home based business and offer various services online. The number of services you can offer online and monetize your expertise is huge. You can use internet to monetize your skills of transcribing audio files, typing manuscripts, your knowledge of word processors, web design, marketing, sales, customer service, office administration and similar  by working as a virtual assistant. If you enjoy helping people, know how to use computers and internet an ready to work hard then starting a virtual assistant home based business maybe and the right for you.

You can offer your services to individuals or companies and start your lucrative career as a  virtual assistant.

What is a virtual assistant?

Virtual Assistant is someone who provides support services to his clients working virtually which means you will be using means of communication such as internet, fax, email, telephone. Your clients can be individuals, executives, businesses, companies or everyone else who has work to be done and has a need for assistance from someone with your skills and knowledge. 

What services do virtual assistants provide to their clients?

You can offer services depending on your skills. Many virtual assistants offer variety of service while some specialize in particular niche. Virtual assistants need to be proficient in basic services like typing and using internet. Services like word processing, spreadsheet applications,  sending emails,  legal transcription, technical writing, web design, desktop publishing, online research and many others you can offer to your clients when you work as a virtual assistant.  Virtual asistants  can offer the services in which they are proficient and later when they learn new skills they can expand their offering of services. It is also an advantage if you have knowledge in advertising, business management and  public relations.

How to get clients for your virtual assistant home based business?

You can start posting ads in local newspapers and  online ads.  You can also promote your home based business with brochures and fliers. Another great way to get clients is by starting a blog and write useful articles and use the blog to offer your services to potential clients. Freelance sites like Odesk and Elance are also places where you can find potential clients.

How much can you make as a virtual assistant?

Virtual assistants are usually paid by hour and the pay is somewhere between $20 and $45 per hour. They can also be paid by page or by a project completed. Some virtual assistants negotiate a monthly retainer option. With retainer option you can negotiate a minimum number of working hours per month. If you work less than the minimum hours you will be paid the agreed amount and if you work more you will be paid for  the extra hours.

Working as a virtual assistant is a legitimate home based business opportunity.  The hardest part about being virtual assistant is get started in the first place. If you have any of the skills required than being a virtual assistant maybe the right home based business opportunity for you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Simplest Way To Start Home Based Business

Make a living online from the comfort of your own home is what most 9 to 5 paid employees dream about. Just think about it, waking every morning when the clock rings and get dressed up. Then comes the travel to the place where you work through the horrible traffic and then when you get there you actually start working and making a living.  Now imagine waking up when you feel like it, pour yourself a coffee and sit in front of your computer and start working. Most people would agree that it sounds like a dream come true.

Making a living online working from home is not a dream but a reality for many people. Majority of people believe that making a living working from home is nearly impossible and because of this belief they don’t even try to do it. The truth is it is not easy and requires hard work to be successful in your home based business, but it’s absolutely possible.

The hardest thing about starting your home based business is getting started in the first. There are some simple ways to start your home based business.

Probably the simplest way to start working from home is  freelancing. Freelancing is a simple way to earn extra money by monetizing your skills. If you have knowledge and experience about writing, web design, word processors, logo designing, copywriting, translation, sales, marketing, business administration, software development you can use and make an extra profit from them.

How  to get started with your freelance home based business?

You can start by posting ads in the local newspaper or online offering your services to potential clients. You can even start your own blog where you will write useful articles and offer your services. But the simplest way to get started your freelancing career is by joining one or more online freelance sites.

Two of the best freelance websites are Odesk and Elance.  To start working on this sites all you have to do is open a free account. Just simply fill in your details and create your profile. When creating your profile list all your skills and experience and give samples of your past work.  Now that you are a member of freelance sites you can increase your chances of being by taking tests. If you pass these tests you chances of being hired are greatly increased, so it’s highly recommended to take them.

Another thing that will increase your chances of being hired  and provide a constant flow of freelance work is your reputation. If you finish your freelance work on time and according to your clients demands they will give you good rating and that will improve your reputation. If you are always late and your work lacks quality than your clients will give you negative review, and that will damage your reputation and  you changes of being hired.

Freelancing is the easiest and most simple way to start a home based business. The perfect way to start is by offering your services on freelancing websites and expand later on by creating your own website when you are more experienced.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Reasons Why You Should Start Online Home Based Business

Today there is a surge in the number of home based businesses being started.  Many of these home based businesses are started and run online. The reason for this is the fact that doing your business online has many advantages over traditional. When you run your business online you can have more free time, lower investment than traditional business, scalability of profit, ability to reach more customers compared to the traditional ways of doing business. Here are many home based business opportunities that can be run online. Knowing the benefits of online based business is a great motivation for the entrepreneur  to start their business venture.

Online home based business offers more flexibility of your time than the traditional way of doing business. Since you will be working at home in front of your computer  you will be able to get more things done in your house in your break time.  This flexibility of time is the main motivation that drives many people to start home based business.

Online business requires less investment than traditional home based business.  You will be doing your work and communicating client over internet, so your basic necessities will be a computer connected to internet and a web camera. All those things are cheap and most of people already have them at home.  Traditional way of doing business will at least require more investments in furniture for your office, fax telephone and other office equipment .

One of the main reason why choose to start online home based business is free time.  You don’t need an to be at home all the time to run your business. You can go on vacation anywhere on the world and still keep an eye on your business affairs All you need to do is to go online with your laptop. At home or anywhere on the world, it really makes no difference when your business is online based.

Another great advantage of online home based business is the ability to reach much more customers than you would with traditional business. When you are doing your business online the whole world is your market. The competition is a also great but if you offer quality service you don’t need to worry about that. Thanks to internet you can work for an employer from another country, or you can travel to another country and work for client from your own town. You can build your website yourself of hire a good web designer from  another country that will build a quality website for a a very acceptable price. You can start a Pay per Click advertising campaign to drive potential clients to your website.

All these are the advantages of online home based business.  It’s much easier today to become a business owner than ever before. Today the internet has opened the door to financial independence for  the people who are ready to work hard to get it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bringing Your Home Based Business Idea To Life

Successful  home based businesses start from an idea in the mind of an entrepreneur who believes that  it can be a great success. But having a great idea by itself is not all there is to be successful home based business owner. There are many great home based business ideas that don’t see the light of the day, and many that do. So, what separates the successful home based business ideas from those that are not. The answer is simple. Taking action is what transforms great home based business ideas to successful business venture.

To bring a home based business idea to life requires writing down your idea and your thoughts, preparing and writing your business plan, seeking professional help  and finding financing for your venture.

Good ideas come and go. It happens to everyone that they have an idea they think it’s great and has a potential for success and after a while they forget what was the idea about. Because of this it is recommended that you always have a notebook and write down all your ideas and thoughts so they will not be forgotten. When the time is right you can open you notebook and there will be all the thoughts and details about your home based business idea when you need them.

In order to bring your home based business idea to life you will need to have a business plan in place. Business plans are also important for presentation purposes when you apply for  loan or look for investors in your start up business venture. If you don’t have  a business plan in place potential money lenders and investors will simply not take you seriously.  If you are not sure what your plan should contain, you can start by creating a table of contents. There are many things you can include in your business plan, but the most common are : objective, profiles of key decision makers, description of your product or service your business will offer on the market, analysis of the competition, your target market, your marketing strategies, financial analysis.

 It is a good idea if you seek advice of professional when writing your business plan. Hiring an attorney will help you make sure your business venture is legal and has no conflicts with the existing laws. This will help you avoid the risk of your plan having some conflicts with the law and you having to do it all over again. Accountant can help you with the financial side of the business plan. An experienced accountant can help you with valuating profit potential establishing budget, and setting reasonable financial target.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reasons Why You Should Start A Home Based Business.

Starting your own home based business is a decision which requires serious consideration because of it’s long term consequences on your life and the lives of you immediate family members.  Those considering starting their own home bases business should be aware of the  consequences this decision will have on their financial and personal life.

There are many advantages of starting your own home based business. One of the main reason why people become entrepreneurs is  the potential of financial freedom.  However hardly can anyone see financial benefits of their business venture from the very beginning.  It will usually take few months before anyone can see money earned from the business. The first months you will probably not make enough money to cover the living expenses.  The nature of business that in the beginning it requires the  most work while not showing significant profit, if any. When the business finally takes off it will require less work than in the beginning but will bring in more profit. It’s different than the usual 9 to 5 paid job where you are paid by the hour and receive your regular paychecks. When you are starting your home based business you can either chose to work part time in the beginning or save enough money that will be sufficient for six months to a year  to cover your expenses before your  business takes off and quit your job.  If you choose to work part time on growing your business you will keep your paid job and preserve the financial security. Since you will be working two jobs it will take more time for your business to take off. If you choose to save enough money for  expenses before you quit your day job, you will have more time dedicate on growing your business. Your business will grow faster but you will have to quit your paid job.  If you decide to quit day job to work full time on your home based business you will also save money and time on commuting to work.

Personal reasons are the  second thing that is most important motive for some people to start home based business.  When people are working a regular job they don’t get to spend much time with their family. Apart from their working hours away from their home and their family, most people spend about 1 or 2 hours every day commuting to their workplace and back.  This is something they want to change when they start their business venture. When working at home there certainly are some disadvantages like losing a room in your home which now you use for office, less social contacts when compared to regular job, and frequent distractions from your family members, but also friends and relatives coming to visit, but in the end you will get used to working at home.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Importance Of Time Management Skills For Home Based Business Owners

Many people start home based business because of the promise of financial independence, being your own boss. Successful home based business owners do enjoy  life  of financial independence through their successful home based business. Success is possible but does not come easy and  requires hard work, knowledge and certain set of skills.

One of the most important skills successful home based business owners must have are time management skills. If someone lacks time management skills will see their business suffer, lots of work left not completed at the end of the day which will lead to feeling of non-accomplishment, stressed out and being burned out. When someone lacks the time management skills it’s not only his business that suffers but also his personal life as well. It’s not uncommon to hear personal horror stories among home based business owners such as divorce and shattered families.

Business owners with a lack of time management skills are the one that are always late for appointments, they always say they are very busy and have many things to do before the day is over, never have enough time to spent with their family or for personal activities and relaxation.

These are all consequences of poor time management. To avoid wasting their time and increase their productivity home based business owners should take following measures:

-    Plan for every activity during the day. If they don’t plan for every activity and set a time frame in which every planed activity should be finished they may end up spending too much time on some activities and too little time on others. Successful business owners strive to complete all task within a certain amount of time. Spending much time of some activities and  avoiding some activities will lead to feeling of non accomplishment.

-    Avoid being distracted quite often. There are many things that can be distracting during the working day. A friend or a member of the family could drop by for a visit. Personal phone calls and personal activities are also a distraction that can ruin the schedule. All this things can not be completely avoided, but they must be kept at a minimum. Home based business should be looked upon as any other type of employment and separated from your working hours from your personal time.

-   Having a business owner mindset. Being a business owner requires a different type of mindset which is different than a mindset of paid employee. Home based business owners must be motivated to finish their daily work without the need of a boss to stand over him to see that the things for the day are done. For a business venture to succeed having a proper mindset is crucial.

The life of entrepreneur is different from the life of  paid employee and usually requires more hard work. When you have more things do to than paid workers with the same amount of time then the time management skills are essential for all starting a home based business. Successful business owners find time for both their business and their personal life. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Protect Your Business from Non Paying Customers

For home based business owners customer satisfaction is the most important. That is nothing strange because if the customers is unsatisfied with the product and service he received for his money, he will go someplace else. This is why all business owners pay much attention to things such as customer service, secure payment processors and offering guaranties. These are all measures to help them keep their customers.

Worrying for the interests of their customers is the main concern for most home based business owners, but they also need to devote time  worrying about their own interests. The customers are not only ones that can be a subject of fraud, the business owners are also many times subject of fraud done by their customers. There are certain measures home based business owners can take to ensure they are not scammed by fraudulent customers.

They can for instance have everything in writing. By having everything in writing they help that both them and their customers have clear understanding of each sides rights and responsibilities. Written contracts help avoid any misunderstanding on what product or service customer can expect to receive in exchange for his money. The interest of both the home based business owners and their customers are protected with written contract.

Another way for home based business owners to protect themselves from being scammed by fraudulent customers is by requesting a deposit for the products and services or using a payment system like Paypal for their financial transactions. One of the common mistakes that home business owners make is having too much trust in their customers. As it happens they ship a product or completed some kind of service to the customer before a payment from the customer is cleared, and guess what, they never receive their money. This is especially true if they do their business and handle their financial transactions online. For online payment it is recommended you use payment system like Paypal which protects both the business owner from non-paying customers and the customers from damaged or lost product.

Home based business owners that familiar with the local laws are on a right track to protect themselves for problematic customers. If you leave an impression on customer that you have knowledge about legal things might discourage him to attempt some kind of fraud. You will know how to protect your legal rights in case you was not paid for product delivered or work finished, such as filling a lawsuit against a non-paying customer.

Protecting your interests is as much as important as protecting the interests of your customers.
By applying these measures you will stay protected from non-paying customers, as well as establish a long lasting and mutually satisfactory business relationship with your customers.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Will You Be Successful As a Franchisee

Owning a franchise business has many benefits. Franchises give you an established and tested system and structure. Also non franchised businesses are three times more likely to fail.  Because of this if you are planning on starting your own home based business you should seriously consider buying a franchise and take any advantage you can get in fulfilling your dream of being your own boss.

What does it take to be a successful franchisee?

Just owning a franchise is not all there is to be successful. The success of a franchise business depends first and foremost on the franchisee. If you want to start your own business you need to assess yourself are you cut out to be a franchise owner. Since franchises offer systems and structure you need to consider are you comfortable working within those constraints. Think about yourself , are you prepared to work with the direction and the concept of the franchise. If you can work under these conditions than owning a franchise may be the best bet for you. If not, then reconsider if the franchise is best for you.

What are the risks of franchise business?

Franchises are not without faults. Some people may think all they need to do is own one and they are on their way of being business owners but that is not the truth. There are things that can go wrong and you must consider before starting your own home based business. Although you may do everything right, there are things that can go wrong with the franchiser which may ultimately cause you out of business.

What are the things that can go wrong with the franchiser?

One of the reasons is that the franchisor may encounter financial problems and then the company that owns all the franchises will not be able to avoid to cease their operations. The reasons for this can be a flaw in their structure. The franchisor may have decided to start the franchise without proper testing or very short track record. These are mistakes than can be very costly in the long run and cause problems which may lead to closing the operation. Franchises are interested in selecting the right people to run the franchises. Because of these many franchises have their selection process to ensure that the people they select to run their franchises are competent enough. Look for a franchise that is not too easy to become a franchisee. If there is not a certain set of criteria and qualifications that are in place to help avoid the risk of bad franchisees than you should think again before joining that franchise.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Importance of PR For Your Home Based Business

It is clear to all business owners that their relations with their outside target audiences is of huge importance to the success of their home based business. They are taking action to reach their target public and influence in a way to have positive impact on their business.

There are number of reasons why  someone should follow the footsteps of successful home based business owners and make the public relations work for him. There is an effort that needs to be put into it, but the advantages of public relations are many and they can be the difference between success and failure of the home based business.

You should make a list of audiences that are important for the success of your business. The most important groups which perception can benefit or hurt your business are customers and prospects. They are the ones which  have the highest priority in your public relations efforts, and the most effort should be directed on them.

First step you will need to take is talk to the target audiences. Your most important concern will be to find out what they think about your home based business. If you don’t know anything about  what your target audience thinks of your products and services you are at great disadvantage. The most attention should be given to wrong beliefs, misconceptions, inaccurate information,  negative opinions and rumors.  On top of talking to these important audiences you should pay attention to the media such as radio and newspapers for negative comments and reviews about your business.

After analyzing all the responses, the goal of your public relations campaign will be clear.  You will select the proper strategy to achieve this objective. Your strategy will be to alter negative opinion that exist, reinforce a positive opinion or create new opinion if such does not exist. Your goal will be to repair all the negativities such as correcting wrong beliefs and misconceptions and to inform the target audience properly about the subjects of their interest in order to fix the  inaccuracies and deal with negative rumors.

The most important part of a PR campaign is the message you send to your target audiences. Writing a message that is aimed at altering all the negativity is not an easy task. The message must be clear and present facts truthfully and credibly about the concerns at hand. You can use various means of communication available to deliver this message to the target audiences. You can choose to deliver your message through one or many means of communication such as radio, press release, newsletter, brochures, speech, internet.

After the job of communicating the message to the target groups comes measuring the effect it had on them. It usually takes several weeks before your effort have some effect. After this time has passed you should get back to the target audiences and ask questions again to see if the message has helped fix the negativities from earlier.  If there is a positive change in the perception and opinion then the your PR campaign has been successful.

PR is the key to success for all business owners. Everyone thinking of starting home based business should have at least basic knowledge of the benefits and importance of good PR campaign.