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Office design to increase productivity

When you first set out to design your office, you probably were thinking about setting it up to be visually appealing. That’s a valid concern because you want your staff to enjoy the presence of where they work and you definitely want you customers and clients to enjoy the ambiance.

However, as time has gone by a bit, you’ve realized that something that is equally as important is to create a space that encourages productivity. The thing is, you’re not sure how to incorporate that into the workplace in ways that are appealing and relatively subtle.

Below, we have five great ways for you to apply some office design tips that will definitely make people want to work more without necessarily feeling like they are:

Consider carpet. Hardwood and tile floors can be pretty to look at, but they aren’t always “easy on the ears” when people with heels are walking up and down them all day long. For this reason, you might want to consider having some carpet installed; if not in the entire office, at least in the places where there tends to be the most traffic.

Increase natural lighting. Did you know that people who “let the sun shine in” tend to be better at their job than those who work in artificial light all day long? For this reason, it’s good to keep the curtains and/or blinds open throughout the day.

Bring in some greenery. A lot of times, people end up catching the flu at work because they are sitting next to people for hours on end and that’s a lot of germs to contend with. Aside from having drinking water available, fruits and veggies instead of candy and chips available in the break room and anti-bacterial gel on the desks, why not bring in a potted plant for each desk as well? It’s cheap, it’s attractive and it’s a highly-effective way to aid in keeping toxins out of the air. Some really good natural air purifiers include the Spider plant, the Boston fern and the English Ivy.

Purchase some ergonomically-correct furniture. There are a lot of people who have to sit for hours on end at their desk. So, for this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure that you select furniture that is both comfortable and supportive to their body structure. HumanScale is one website that specializes in “all things ergonomic” including chairs, tables and other tools like a computer mouse and monitor.

Ask your staff. It’s basically human nature to make assumptions that we know what’s best for other people, but we don’t always hit the mark. For that reason, if you’d really like to know what would make your staff more productive, why not ask them? Sure, one might say a cappuccino machine, while another may suggest some outdoor water fountains, while another may want an 1 ½ lunch hour, but the point here is that you are making a concerted effort to put their desires on record. Just by asking alone, you will make them more at ease, which will make them more confident, and, inevitably, probably more productive too.

 

How to Use Business Editing to Create a Flawless Business Plan

To make the best impression, it is important to have your business plan checked over by a professional who has experience editing business documents. Business editing can make your plan sound professional, which is important if you will be showing it to potential investors. You can also use a business editing service to make sure your business plan is reviewed properly. Here is information about writing a business plan and working with an editor to polish it.

  1. Download a business plan template. Although parts of the template may not apply to your business, it can provide a good starting point in the process. Business plan templates can be found in numerous places online including the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
  2. Decide on your business plan’s objective. The purpose of your business plan will determine what type of information needs to be included. If you are using your business plan to raise capital, for example, then you will need to include financial information about your business.

There are approximately nine parts of a business plan:

  • Executive Summary – This is the first page of your business plan and serves to summarize the entire document. It is the most important part of your business plan because it needs to capture the attention of your target audience and convince them to keep reading.
  • Market Analysis – Information about your company’s industry, your competition, your target market, and any conclusions you draw from your analysis of the market goes in this section.
  • Company Description – In this section, give a detailed analysis of your business and how all parts of the company will work together to achieve the company’s objective.
  • Organization and Management – Information about the company’s organizational structure and top-level managers goes in this section.
  • Marketing and Sales Management – It is important for you and your investors to know how you will attract and keep customers. Provide a detailed marketing strategy in this section of the plan.
  • Service or Product Line – Write about the products and services the company offers. Emphasize the benefits of those products and services to potential customers and how they are better than the competition.
  • Funding Request – If you are looking for funding, this is the part of the business plan where you detail the amount of money you need and how it will be used to build your business.
  • Financial Information – This section should detail the amount of money you are expecting to make based on your analysis of the industry. If your business is already established, then you will need to provide historical data about your company’s performance. New companies will need to provide forecasts about their expected performance over the next five years.
  • Appendix – This section is for supplementary information that may be given on an as-needed basis. Items that may go in this section include a credit report, resumes of key personnel, letters of reference, market studies, licenses and permits, contracts, and product pictures.

After you complete your business plan, hire someone with experience editing business documents to look it over. Be certain to communicate your objective to the editor, so they can mold the plan to support your goal. When you receive your business plan back from the person, read it over carefully to make sure it meets your needs. It may be helpful to have a neutral party read the business plan and provide feedback about whether it does the job you want it to do or needs to go back for more business editing.

Home Business – If You Can’t Find A Job, Create Your Own

With the economy the way it is today, its the perfect time for you to create your own job by setting up a home business. Few companies are hiring, but there are still ways to make money. Take advantage of the situation and work in the comfort of your own home. Use the information provided in this article to help you find a way to make an income. 

  • Find A Niche 

A niche is a defined portion of a market. It is a term more commonly used in relation to affiliate and internet marketing. For the purposes of this article, we are going to talk about a niche in general terms.When deciding what type of home business you want to start, you need to take inventory of your likes and dislikes. The reason behind this is, if you are going to embark on a home business, you have to know what you’re passionate about.Once you have decided on a niche, you need to work on cornering the specific portion of the market that interests you. 

  • Stick With What You Know Or Find Something New 

If you want to stick with your current career, start doing business from home. Provided of course, what you do for a living can be done from home. If you love what you do, your job is your niche.In 2008, the beginning of my working from home career, I started as a virtual legal assistant. For 12 years prior to that, I was a litigation legal assistant/paralegal. I started a job in a very laid back office where everyone worked pretty much remotely, with no set office hours. I eventually set up my computer system, so I could work practically full-time from home. 

  • Find Something New 

If it is not feasible to do what you do from home, find something that you can do. Think about your passions, talents and skills. Write them down and take some time to explore and research yourself. Once you have a grasp on your niche, research home business ideas. 

  • Write Up A Plan

 Research your niche and see what other home businesses are out there. Write out a detailed plan that includes all aspects of the start up tasks. Break down your plan into projects, then set goals to accomplish them. 

  • Dedicate The Necessary Time

 A business takes time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brick and mortar business, or a home business. You will have to designate specific time slots to work on your business. You will have to work hard when you’re the boss. You can’t expect to be successful without a little elbow grease. 

  • Communicate With Potential Customers Or Clients 

Talk to your potential customers or clients. Find out what they need to make their lives easier. Then give them what they are looking for. You can do this in person, or on the internet. There are forums on almost every topic. Find out where your potential customers and clients hang out. Twitter and Facebook are other great resources. 

  • Keep Up With The Work

 Keep on top of your work load. Set short and long-term goals. Always keep in mind that even though you are the boss, the work still has to be done. 

  • Don’t Expect Large Profits Overnight

 Don’t expect that clients will be banging down your door, or you will make product or service sales overnight. It will take time for your home business to be known. You also have to consider trust issues. Before people do business with you, they have to trust you. 

  • Enjoy!

 Enjoy yourself! It may sound like running a home business is all work and no play but actually, this is not the case. Your own business gives you personal power and freedom, because you are in command of your destiny.You have to be dedicated to be successful. Once your home business is making you money, you will have the freedom to spend time with your family. You no longer have to miss important afternoon school plays. You can juggle your work around your life.Koralee Phillips-Er is a freelance writer and legal virtual assistant, who works out of her home. She maintains an informational website on everything you need to know about working from home writing and other home-based businesses.If you are looking for ways to make a living from the comfort of your own home please visit http://workfromhomewritinginfo.com

 

Work From Home Ideas

Virtual Assistant 

You could start a virtual assistant service using the camera on your computer to be a business professional’s personal planner and set appointments. Be someone’s personal secretary. If you have any particular skills or expertise in a certain area such as Human Recourses you could offer services on that level also. Begin by contacting previous employers, and past coworkers and tell them about your service. Post your ad in papers, Craigslist or job boards.

At Home Call Center

Many companies these days have all of their customer service and support calls routed overseas. A growing number of these companies are now hiring people to work from their homes responding to those calls. A lot of companies require you to have a college education, good problem solving skills and a quiet workspace. Usually you would take care of some sales, taking orders, and solving minor problems for people. This is a great work from home idea for the right person.

Online Auctions

Begin your own online store or personal auction using eBay tutorials to help you get up and running. You need an inexpensive digital camera to take photos of the items you want to sell and a clean, professional looking staging area with a backdrop that will enhance your product and make it easy to distinguish. There are many wholesale companies that you can purchase the latest trending merchandise from to sell on your auction. With a little experience many people enjoy a lucrative income from these types of work from home ideas.

Flea Markets

If you are one of those fortunate people who is artistically inclined and enjoy making craft items, pastry, candy or even cosmetic products you may want to get a table or booth at a craft fair or flea market. Try not to crowd your merchandise together. Merchandise your items by category and separation. It is easier for people to make a simple choice between two or three items than be overwhelmed by too many choices and not be able to decide at all.

Online Affiliate Programs

Out of the majority of work from home ideas, affiliate marketing should be at the top of the list. There are some decent companies out there offering a wide range of different programs, products and methods. Try to avoid the hype by researching the reviews of a specific company before you sign up or give them any money. Internet affiliate marketing can be very personally and financially rewarding. I recommend companies that have a proven track record, a turnkey operation that provides you with your own website with products or income streams ready to go. These kinds of programs do not require you to do any selling but only that you bring traffic to the site. They also should provide concise educational tutorials and mentorship to guide you step by step along the way.

Note: If you are looking for an honest, ethical, and legitimate opportunity to generate a full time income from home, click here.

For free training, free education, and a free income generating website, visit http://www.YourLifeOnCruiseControl.com today.

How to Be Successful As a Freelancer

Freelancing is the best job for many people who want to stay at home, out of the traffic and avoid the strict and stringent rules of the office. Instead of doing what others tell them, they can do their job according to their own rules and regulations. It is also the perfect job for moms who want to earn some extra cash without leaving their little ones.

There are many benefits of going freelance and working from home, which is the reason why there are so many freelancers around which makes it difficult to fight the competition. Many people start off their freelancing career but they find themselves in the middle of nowhere as they can’t make a place for themselves on a platform where there are many other freelancers around.

To get a freelancing job, you usually have to sign up on freelancing websites like Freelancer.com or oDesk.com. These websites are secure and most of the employers there are genuine who really pay you for your work. Also, these websites run on a system of reviews in which both the employer and the freelancer leaves feedback for each other, which is publicly visible. To know if an employer is genuine, you just have to look at his reviews. The same is for freelancers.

If you are a newbie, you will have no reviews for the employers to see whether you are reliable and provide good service or not. This is where you have to do some extra effort to make you stand differently from all the other freelancers out there.

Use the theory of cost leadership: to beat the competition and make the employers notice you, you should offer low rates for your work. Offer a bit lower than the usual standard rate, so the employer notices you.

Show your work and your credentials: send a sample of your work to the employer to show him your skills and your talent. Only your good work can help you make a place for yourself in the industry.

Accept any kind of work you get in the beginning: in the beginning, do any kind of work you get even if it is for very low rates. Consider it an investment of time for your freelancing business and do it to secure some good reviews from the employers. When you secure a place for yourself and people recognize you for your good work, then you can always select the work you want to do.

Be good and work well and hard: all the above tips are only useful when you are good and hardworking yourself, when you are ready to accept the work employers give you, make any amendments to your work if required, be communicative and always there to answer employer’s queries and update them on the status of work and deliver high quality work on time.

This will make you renowned for your good work and in a few months, you will not have to apply for jobs but employers will approach you yourself and will invite you to work on their projects.

Maria Ilyas is a freelance writer and writes high quality of articles. Writing is her career as well as passion.

Baby Boomers: Are You Prepared to Restructure Your Life?

Are you a baby boomer who’s ready to retire, and if so, are you ready for retirement? That’s the big question. If you are like me, a baby boomer in the latter stages getting near retirement age, do you have enough money or investments set aside to carry you through your retirement? Will you be able to continue your current standard of living (or better) based on the money you have saved?

Let’s take a minute to analyze this thinking. For example, let’s say you’re a 50 year old baby boomer earning $50K a year. For whatever reason, our culture has arbitrarily chosen the age of 65 as the ideal age to retire. Based on this, you have fifteen more years before the so called “golden handshake.”

Let’s also assume that you want to live at the same comfort level that you’re currently accustomed to, and you don’t have plans to switch to ramen noodles and prunes as your staple diet.

How long will you live? In today’s age of modern medicine, a healthy adult could definitely make it to ninety or even a hundred years old.

In terms of your retirement and savings, let’s also assume that your company executives pulled an Enron scam, and stole your entire pension fund. You can also assume (rightly so) that social security will be a thing of the past. That leaves 25 years of retirement supported solely by your savings and investments.

CNN has this nifty little retirement calculator that predicts that you will need $850,019 in the bank in order to just maintain your current standard of living. The question is, do you have that much?

Times are a ‘changing as the saying goes, and baby boomers, unfortunately, are bearing the worst of those changes as they approach retirement age. Many of us have worked our whole lives to scrimp and save thinking that there would pensions and social security to supplement our income during retirement. If you face the scary truth, and realize that these additions for retirees may soon be a thing of the past, where does that leave you? The reality is that it leaves us with a potential mess. However, it also leaves us with an opportunity.

No matter what, life is going to continue on no matter what you do. You will not be able to impact the inevitable demise of social security or the loss of your pensions and retirements. You can however, make a difference in your own life. It will all depend on how you respond to these changes, and the possibly tumultuous future.

Instead of sitting back and letting the world steam roll over you, you need to be willing to get up and do something about your future. Quit worrying about things you cannot change. Instead, start doing something about the things that you can control.

Retirement is a dirty word in my book. Old books, old cars and things that no longer work are retired. Are you so old that you can no longer work or be useful? I’m not! I’m still very active and useful.

So, what should you do? Where should you turn? You should start by reinventing yourself. Find something that you are passionate about, good at and that brings you joy and start doing it. The one requirement – make sure you get paid for it. Home-base business opportunities abound. They give you the freedom to do what you want, when you want. And, more importantly, they allow you to write your own paycheck. You just need to find one that is the right fit for you.

As you reach that certain age where others think you are no longer useful, don’t retire (at least don’t call it that). Instead, rejuvenate, reinvent, revitalize, and restructure your life. Take control of your life and do something that keeps you alive and earning. Remember, life goes on (sometimes like a freight train) but know and be secure in the thinking that you will be fine no matter what comes your way.

Don’t wait another minute, get started now!

Eager to start and master a successful home-based internet marketing business? Join Susan Friedmann, niche marketing expert, and her team of online marketing professionals who will teach you how to eliminate the learning curve to become a master online marketer. Visit http://JoinSusanToday.com and download a free copy “The Controversial Book That Stunned The Home Business Industry” (Value $97)

2 Tips for Finally Starting that Business

Tip #1: Avoid The Bank and Take Care of the Customer

We see it time and time again. A talented entrepreneur gets a fantastic idea that will change the world – one that is so revolutionary that, given a little funding, will alter human existence as we know it. These are the kind of entrepreneurs that we love. They have passion, intelligence, and drive that push them far beyond most people’s wildest dreams. Because we love these kinds of people so much, we hate to see them fail. When they do, it’s because they let the bank pay for their growth instead of the customer.

If you truly want more profit and cash flow in the bank, the first and dare we say golden rule, is to stop asking for money from banks, family, and the dentist next door. Instead, ask for money from your current or potential customers by providing more and better services or products. Ah ha! This is where you say, “Yeah but how can I sell anything if I don’t have enough money to start or to carry on?” That’s a very good question and the answer is that you have to become creative – you have to “create” your cash flow instead of ask for it.

For example, if you want to start a clothing store for women that will cost $500,000 – the bank probably won’t give you the money. Instead, you should open an Ebay store to sell your clothes, create a strong following in the social media circles, and use the money from those sales to increase your inventory, marketing, and operations as a whole.

This works if you’re an existing business as well. Instead of asking the bank for more money, thereby getting deeper and deeper into debt, ask your customers for more money, but give them something valuable in return. Your customers will fund the growth of your business. If you’re lazy and take the easy way out by asking for another loan, you’ll be a lazy entrepreneur down the road and when disaster strikes (which it will), you will not have a strong customer base helping to fund you through it. You’ll just have to ask for another loan which means more debt and despair.

Tip #2: Know Your Burn Rate and Runway

Imagine sitting by a barrel that has a fire burning inside of it. Next to you, you’ve brought a large wheelbarrow full of cash. In fact, that cash represents everything you’ve accumulated up to this point in your life. It may be $10,000 or it may by a million dollars. However much is in your wheelbarrow, image taking huge handfuls and duping it into the fire. That doesn’t sound like much fun to us, but it happens every day in almost every business and here’s why. Many business owners don’t know what their “burn rate” is.

Definition: Your burn rate is a measure of how much money you toss into the fire (your business) before your business starts generating a positive cash flow. Essentially, we’re measuring your negative cash flow. We know, it sounds morbid. An investor, lender, and you yourself should all ask your accountant what the burn rate for the business is if more money is to be put in. Your accountant may say $50,000. In essence, that means that you burn $50,000 a month trying to get to profitability.

Another term to understand is “runway”. It is a measure of how long you can burn money for before you go broke. Once the runway ends, you better have your plane in the air or else we’re going to need to call the paramedics. If you have $200,000 to start your business and your burn rate is $50,000, then it stands to reason that your “runway” is four months ($200,000 / $50,000 = 4 months). As a business owner, if you’re going to generate more cash and increase profits in your company, you’ll want to extend your runway as long as possible.

Small businesses need to understand the difference between profitability and cash flow. The problem here is that most accountants make it so darn hard to figure out for the entrepreneur. If you have a good accountant, sit down with him or her and have them walk your through it.

As an outsourced accounting service, we see so many people searching for more debt instead of applying the principles above. If you start your business, make sure to apply the above principles to come out on the right foot.

How to Become a Freelance Article Writer

You only have to look as far as your favorite to find work as a freelance article writer. But, there are some ways to find the jobs that pay the best. Here are some ways to become a freelance article writer.

Nearly all industries have a need for articles. But, you need to target a specific industry. Regardless if you market to advertising agencies, Internet marketing companies, public relations agencies, or web design businesses, if you target a specific industry will make it easier for you to get a job.

All industries have their own customs and language. It makes it easier to concentrate on one industry when you make contact. The reason for this is because you can customize your marketing message to one business rather that the industry as a whole. The best way to determine which industry to target is to consider the volume of their accounts. Their marketing base needs to be sufficiently large o that you won’t run out of prospects.

In order to have a consistent schedule you should create a marketing calendar. When you market for a freelance writing job, you are playing a numbers game. When you have an unlimited number of prospects to contact, it is easy to get too busy and too disorganized to market properly. Having a marketing calendar will help with both of these problems. All that is required is a document that has the date you contacted the company, the email address, the URL, and the name of the company.

You should create a standard sales message. Article marketing is a marketing strategy on the Internet and you contacts to potential clients will be by means of email. All that’s required is a short note introducing your service to the clients.

Once you have created a standard sales message and determined which industry that you’re targeting, you can begin track your marketing efforts and start looking for prospects. Type in your browser the keywords for your targeted industry, such as web design firm and a list of prospects will come up. Locate the contact information. You may only find a name but you may only find an email address with a contact form that will have to be filled out. Place all of the pertinent information into your contact file. You can either find all of the contact information first or contact the companies as you find them.

Use your marketing calendar to track the number of companies that you’ve contacted. Continually contact potential companies until your roster of clients is full. You will also begin to see a pattern develop with regard to the number of companies that you have to contact prior to you getting a writing job.

By Rod Bradley. Click here to learn more about being an Article Writer

Retirement Income – Earn More With a Job Or a Business

The two most important things a person needs when he retires are good health and enough money. Without either one of these, retired life becomes more of a waiting game than a pleasure to enjoy. We have all hear the old saying the “money cannot buy happiness”, but it is a fact that not having enough money can buy a lot of unhappiness. almost a hundred years ago, Wallace Wattles said in his book “The science of Getting Rich” that having enough money is essential to enjoying life. A lot of people have been forced into retirement by a sour economy without enough money to enjoy a retired life. Many have to continue to work or look for other ways to create more income just to enjoy the standard of living that they once had. We all end up with several options, and what we do to supplement our income will mean the difference between success and just getting by.

Being out of work for a long time erodes our confidence. Sending out hundreds of resumes, going on job interview after job interview and still coming up short can make us doubt our abilities and worthiness as an employee. Believe me, if you are an older unemployed worker, not finding another job probably has nothing to do with your abilities, but a lot to do with your knowledge and experience. Knowledge and experience are values that a lot of companies want, but are unwilling to pay for. As an older worker, you are competing with people who have less experience and knowledge, but may be able to do the job at a lower cost. It is a sad fact, but that is just the way it is. So what are your other options? Get a job, or start a business. I have been exploring other options for a long time and I would like to share what I have learned.

One of the benefits of being a retired person is having the freedom to do other things. But the freedom to do other things depends upon having enough income to support your lifestyle. A lot of us end up retired without having enough income to support the lifestyle we want. Our options are to get a job or start a business. The ideal situation would be to find a job or start a business that still gives us the freedom to do the other things we want to do. Getting a job is much easier than starting a business and this is the option that most retirees will take and there are many companies that will hire seniors. This becomes evident every time you go to any shopping center or large merchandizer. Most of these jobs are minimum wage, just over part-time and usually help you to just get by. You can even put in an application at some of the larger stores on the internet and just wait for them to call you. The big advantages of getting a job is that it is easier and allows you to stay close to home.

Starting a new job or business can be intimidating. Many of us have become comfortable after working in our profession for many years. Getting out of our comfort zones causes a lot of stress and makes it difficult to even start looking for a new job. There is also some embarrassment about getting a job that pays a lot less than you used to earn. It is a lot easier not to make the effort, but we still need the extra money to keep from just getting by.

Economics will have a large influence on what you decide to do. If you want to stay at home and supplement your income, Walmart or McDonald’s might be a workable solution. It may even be possible to start a home based business, such as non-emergency medical transportation, a home cleaning/detailing business (think about all the foreclosures in your area), or a part time office cleaning business without much cash out of your pocket.

On the other hand, if you want to do other things, (traveling comes to mind), then you may have to pursue other options that will allow you to “take the job on the road”. This might change your options just a little. It may take more effort to find such a job, but it is possible. An internet search for “retirement jobs for seniors” returns millions of websites that have information. Some of it is useful, but a lot of job ads are for professional services that force you to stay in one place. If mobility is a key wish, then you could sell advertising or repair windshields. A lot of people supplement their income with an online business or work as carpenters, electricians, freelance writers, computer consultants, tour bus drivers and traveling nurses. The difficulty is finding these jobs and taking action needed to get them.

Many people have opted to start an online business. This is one of the easiest things to do, but the failure rate is astronomical. There is a lot of written material about online business opportunities and many experts available who will gladly show you how to make money online (usually for a small nominal fee). Most of the information people are selling is available for free, if you have the time to find it and learn how to apply it. But, the devil is in the details and it is a lot easier if you follow a model that someone else has proven.

Other way to supplement your income might be to sell the information you already have. Writing articles, such as this one, and submitting them to various magazines is one way. If you have knowledge in a specialized field, it might be possible to write niche articles or provide training that has commercial value. Many of us fail to look at our own experience when we look ways to make extra money.

The key ingredients to successfully supplementing your income are desire, opportunity and motivation. Look for opportunities to make extra money, take the plunge for financial freedom and do not be afraid to fail and above all do not give up. Failure gives its own opportunities to learn how to do things better.

By Marshall Crum: Whether you get a job, or start an online or offline business, motivation is a necessary key to success. You may have to fight to keep motivated in the face of the doubt and insecurity that comes from competing for a new job or starting a new venture. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to stay motivated. You can get more information about online jobs here. A lot of free information is available from marshallcrum.com.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Virtual Assistant?

One of the most common questions I get asked by aspiring Virtual Assistants is: “What skills do I need to start my own business?”

Organisation

As a VA, you will be working with a range of clients providing different types of support to each client. It is therefore imperative that you are an organised person who is able to switch between different tasks and work within different situations regularly.

Self Motivation

You are now your own boss. This brings a whole host of positive points, but also means that you no longer have a boss to issue instructions, motivate and encourage you… or breathe down your neck! You need to consider if you will be able to motivate yourself each day to get the job done, even if you are yet to secure your first client.

Relevant Work Experience

As a Virtual Assistant, you are charging for the experience and skills that you have gained and honed during your career. As you are charging for your skills, these need to be of an exceptionally high standard.

High Ethics

Again, you are charging for your time, so high ethics and honesty are essential. Your clients have to trust you to do their work and believe what you report back to them. You need to be completely honest with clients and work to high standards.

Task Orientation

The work of a Virtual Assistant is very task-oriented – but for other people. It is a juggling act and you need to make sure that all your work is accurate and on time. If you don’t like doing some mundane tasks, then the role of a Virtual Assistant is probably not for you.

Software Skills

Virtual Assistants are renowned for their excellent software skills. Some VAs even offer software training as part of their services to clients. Make sure that you are experienced in a particular software package if you are going to offer it as a service to paying clients. For example, it wouldn’t be right to offer to produce high-quality presentations if you don’t know PowerPoint.

Emma Walker is a co-founder of VA Success Group, a company devoted to helping Virtual Assistants build and grow successful VA businesses. If you’d like to receive invaluable tips and advice on creating your perfect VA business, visit http://vasuccessgroup.co.uk/virtual-assistant-freebies/

Over 50? Find a Job Fast by Creating One

The dismal stats from the American Association of Retired Persons Public Policy suggests workers over age 55 have seen an increase of

331.4% in unemployment. Americas News Online states workers over the age of 55 are 17% more likely to remain unemployed longer. They suggest it’s because they’re less likely to accept an entry level position. It’s hard to accept an entry level position but for some it’s their only temporary option to avoid financial ruin. If you’re over 55 and you’re facing unemployment threatening to last for more than 12 months, what are your options? Monster.com reports 89% of half of all job seekers said they’d consider a career change if it will help them find work.

If you’re over 55 and unemployed, you’re too young to retire. You still have lots of energy, productivity and good ideas to offer. But what are you going to do for money? Want to know a secret? You can re-invent yourself in a new career today. What the Best Career Choice for you?

    Create your own job by turning your passions and interests into income by re-inventing yourself in a new career.

    If you’ve decided you want to stay in an organization for now, here are 8 steps to facilitate your change:

    If you’ve decided you want to stay in an organization for now, here are 8 steps to facilitate your change:

    Change your perspective about yourself. Don’t see yourself as the job description of your former job. Consider the skills you’ve acquired throughout your life.

    Now pick your new career based on your interests or passions and evaluate it’s potential for growth. At this stage of your life, it should be something you have a knack for and are genuinely interested in.

    Identify your strongest skills either through self evaluation or assessments.

    Now re-engineer your skills to match your future employer’s needs.

    Perform Informational Interviews with professionals in the field you’re interested in. Use the information you gather to refine your resume and build your network of contacts.

    Get aggressive about Networking. I mean tell everyone, you’ve decided what you want to be when you grow up and let them know you’re looking for a job in your new field. By the way, Harvey MacKay believes this is the best way to get ahead in today’s economy.

    If you need new skills (i.e. education) to plug gaps in the mandatory skill sets for your new career, research the multiple low to no-cost options available to you through your city or state sponsored programs.

    Take Action.

By Charlene Nora : If you enjoyed this article, I would like to invite you to grab a free copy of my e-book:Dull to Fiery Career in 5 Steps when you visit http://www.naturalcareer.com. With these steps you identify which career path best suits your career and life goals. As a career change expert I am devoted to helping you find income generating opportunities so you can balance doing what you love and getting paid to do it. You could always learn more about me by visiting my blog: http://www.naturalcareer.com/blog

Self-Employment and Working From Home Legal Facts

Working from home can be a lot of fun and quite lucrative but there are a lot of things that you need to know from a legal standpoint that will help keep you out of trouble. Things such as managing finances, paying appropriate taxes, and following laws that the IRS has created are all important things that you’ve got to learn.

One of the first things that you need to understand is whether you’re truly self employed or not. You can work from home and make all the decisions but still be associated with a company. Usually from the start you’ll be told whether you’re an independent contractor or business owner and you’ll have to sign some sort of form proving that you’re aware of your status. If you’re unsure whether you’re an independent contractor or not you can go on the IRS website where you’ll be able to find a worksheet that help determine if you’re self employed or not.

If you’re self employed you need to understand that you have to pay an income tax which is also known a self employment tax. Most people make these payments quarterly which is smart because you don’t want to have to pay a lump sum of money every March or April when you’re handling your annual taxes. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to set up a corporate entity such as a LLC, S Corp, or C Corp. You should seek out an accountant who is familiar with small business rules and taxes.

Now most likely you’ll hire someone to take care of your taxes each year, but you still need to do a good job managing your finances throughout the year. The number one rule that you need to remember is that you’ve got to separate your personal finances with your business finances; this will be very important come tax time. Keep track of all business expenses and receipts.

If you have any further questions about laws and regulations surrounding small businesses I would suggest that you visit the IRS website. http://www.irs.gov

By Michael Sanofsky: I’ve been trained and mentored by some of the best online marketers on the web today. Our team is one of the best in the business. I would love to help you make a change in your life, and help you learn how to make money online. Take a look at http://www.todaysbiz.org and make a change in your life today!