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    Work from home with a virtual office

     

    Increasing workloads are forcing people to spend more time in the office, even when the office is at home. This means that many parents are unable to stay involved in their children's lives as they develop, and are becoming mere spectators instead of loving role models. The result is an undermining of their relationships, higher stress levels, a lack of balance and a generally unfulfilled life. However, this should not be the case. Working at home allows greater freedom and independence and should result in less time being wasted. Yet many of us fail to successfully make this transition. Discipline is a key factor when running a business from home using a virtual office. Here ways you can successfully work from home and enjoy the benefits using a Virtual Office... Establish a routine - Structure your day so that it is both purposeful and productive. Decide on a starting and finishing time for your day; allow for breaks so that you work smarter, not harder. Doing this will also allow you to better differentiate between work and home, and will encourage you to be more professional. Focus on your strengths, outsource your weaknesses - Spend the maximum amount of time working on the parts of your business that you are best at. If your billable time is worth $200 an hour, then make sure you spend most of your time on the activities that will produce that for you. Investing in a virtual office is key (see Virtual Offices. Avoid filling up your day with non-productive activities. Invest your time and money into the right areas of your business; don't just keep yourself busy. Organise your environment - Have the right tools and systems to work with - an appropriate chair, desk, computer, filing system. In addition, using a Virtual Office, meeting clients in an executive boardroom in a sky rise office building, will show your professionalism and will inspire confidence in you. Declutter the clutter - A messy working environment which forces you to be continuously spending valuable time searching for things, whether files and emails on the computer or documents in filing cabinets and cupboards, cumulatively wastes hours a day. In fact The Wall Street Journal found that the average white collar worker spends 6 weeks a year looking for things around the office! Clutter is distracting and causes stress, and it is the primary enemy of productivity. Learn to say 'no' - Inform your family and friends of your working hours and that because you're working from home doesn't mean you're 'available'. If you were in a corporate office, you would not allow your friends to drop by. Enforce these same rules at your office at home. Network to expand your business and your mind - Join local networking groups to meet other like-minded business people. Share knowledge and discover new ways of doing things. Check out your local council and chamber of commerce. Enquire about active small business networks. Join your own trade association and share ideas. An organised business referral group can also be of enormous benefit to the home based business owner. Take time out for you - It can be easy to lose yourself in your work. Take time to 'smell the roses' and to make human contact. Go for a walk every day. Have a weekly or fortnightly massage. Visit the gym more often. It's generally the simple ideas when acted upon consistently that will make a dramatic impact overall in your business and your life. You'll feel happier and more fulfilled. You'll also discover extra time in the day that you never had before. Working from home couldn't be easier with the use of a Virtual Office. For more information see (Servcorp Virtual Offices) servcorp. au or servcorp. net

         
    Work toward financial freedom with a home business

     

    When you start a home business, the first question that probably comes to mind is "how will I ever build my business to earn money and become financially free?" With any home business, financial freedom doesn't just happen overnight. Whether you're selling products from your own warehouse or factory, selling e-books (written by you or reselling), or offering a valuable service, there are some home business "musts" for success. Research, Research, Research! If you don't have a product or service to offer, you can always opt for a ready-made home business. A ready-made home business is one that is set up by another individual or company in which you are trained to sell their products to others. Before delving into a ready-made home business, research many opportunities to find out what types of products and services you'll be able to offer to your clients. Don't jump on every bandwagon you see. Read what each business opportunity has to offer and compare value-added services with the investment required. Find out what's involved to join, promote, and continue with the business. Try to find a home business opportunity that you feel comfortable with and will enjoy doing for a long time. If you enjoy your business, you're more likely to succeed and realize financial freedom. Choose a Home Business that Fits Your Personality Not every home business type will be right for you. Choose one that fits your personality. If you enjoy sales and are very good at it, then choose a home business that allows you to interact with others by phone, e-mail, or face to face. The business might include direct sales to the end consumer, business-to-business sales, or networking to help others realize financial freedom. If you would rather promote online and do your own thing without much interaction, then start a home business that allows you to do this. If you prefer to sign on with another company to promote their products or services, find out if they will close the sales for you. If they will do this, you can have freedom to promote and build the business doing what you love the most. Work Diligently from Home Once you decide on the type of business, it's time to work! Put your best foot forward when starting a home business. Don't assume that working from home will be easy. To have a real business, you must really work at it. Create a business plan and set realistic goals to earn money and achieve financial freedom over a period of time. Then spend much time finding ways to promote your business for real results. Beware of promotional companies that sound too good to be true. There are some very dependable promotional companies, but there are also many scams. Research a company before paying into their programs. Look for companies that have been around a while and have a good reputation. Ask around in discussion forums (related to your type of business) for advice and resources on promotion. Create a Steady Cash System Once you promote your home business a while and start getting sales, determine what you'll need to do to create a steady cash system for the future. Find ways to maximize your efforts. Create more content for your website that will attract additional search engine traffic. Start an e-zine (electronic newsletter) to gain repeat visitors to your website. Add more products or services to get repeat business. These will help you continue in success for the long run. Your income will be steady and you'll be able to make money from home on a full-time basis. Continuing Education Learn all you can about your business and products. If you're selling e-books that were written by others, read as many of them as you can so you'll know the quality and details of the items you are selling. If offering a service, learn how to offer the best service possible. You can easily order home study courses to help you learn new trades or improve on your skills. The more you know about your business and products, the better you'll be able to promote them and assist your customers when they have questions. If you follow these simple steps, you'll be able to start a home business that brings you satisfaction each day. Financial freedom is sure to follow!

         
    Working a lead what you should and should not do

     

    Five Keys to Selling Insurance Products Selling insurance is not easy. It’s a highly competitive business filled with a confusing array of products. Consumers don’t like to think about insurance, and they usually believe the price is too high. Many people believe that they don’t need it, or they’re simply willing to put off purchasing a policy until they have more time and/or money. Additionally, buying a policy can be confusing for the uninitiated consumer. You’ve rustled up five insurance leads from a topnotch online service. Ready to sell each and every one of them. At least, you think you’re ready. Here are some tips to help you prepare to go 5 for 5. 1) Be Organized Prior to calling anyone, you must be organized. Being organized refers to both the product you’re selling and the method by which you sell it. First, you must know your product inside out and be able to talk about it easily. If a potential client has a question about term life insurance and his or her choices regarding length and amount of coverage, you need to be able to give them an accurate answer. When calling leads, be sure you have everything you need with you. It’s preferable to call with your computer in front of you, enabling you to easily access any information you might require. You won’t lose a sale if you’re asked a question and you say, “Let me just double-check my computer,” but you may lose it if you say, “I don’t have that information right now, I’ll have to get back to you on that.” You must also be prepared in the manner in which you go about pursuing your leads. It will take numerous phone calls before you connect with a lead. You’ll need a system for tracking calls, taking notes after you speak with the lead and for determining the next action to be taken regarding that lead. It’s very important that you take time to keep careful notes regarding a lead. Missing a follow-up call, forgetting to send requested materials or losing information essential to that lead will all have the same result—no sale. 2) Be Educated Being educated means that you understand the marketplace, your products as well as your potential and existing clients. How do you know if you’re properly educated? Ask yourself this simple question—what makes my service and product more valuable than any of the other services and products that crowd the insurance market? What is the value of what you are trying to sell and what separates it from all of the rest? Is it your commitment to service? Are you a full service agency, offering a broad range of products? Do your products carry great value—are they priced competitively but does the consumer get more for their money than from any other company? Perhaps you provide additional services free of charge—a monthly newsletter, portfolio planning or a yearly insurance review? To define what gives your service and product value, you’ll need to know what your competitors offer, understand what consumers want and determine the significant attributes of your products. 3) Be Quick When you receive a fresh lead, you must act quickly. If someone has requested information, there’s a small window of opportunity for you to make contact. Working against you is the fact that people are busy and it will usually take 5 calls or more for you to connect with a lead. If you have the opportunity to leave a message, do so each time you’re given the chance. Hanging up on someone’s voicemail is equivalent to never having made the call at all. 4) Be Polite and Professional When contacting someone via the phone always remember that you are, in essence, in his or her home or territory. In other words, you’re talking to someone because they are willing to listen to you. Always be polite and professional, even if the lead’s behavior is not reciprocal. Ask if you’ve called at a good time and, if not, if there is a better time to call. Don’t try to keep someone on the telephone if they’ve said they’re busy. Always offer to contact the lead at another time or to send them information via e-mail or the post office. Try to keep the contact alive, and if they say they are not interested, ask if you might call them again in three months to see if they may be interested in your product. Even if you sell that lead nothing, you may still realize a sale due to your phone decorum. That lead that does not work out may know someone who’s looking for insurance and your professional behavior may have impressed him or her enough to mention your company. One thing is for certain, if you’re rude or non-professional, that person will definitely talk about your company to friends and family, and those conversations won’t help you one bit. 5) Be Willing to Go the Extra Mile Consumers constantly complain about bad service. Remember, you’re working to earn the business of that lead and once you’ve done that; you’re working to keep their business and possibly expand upon it. If you develop a reputation for good service and for going beyond the norm when it comes to service, your enterprise will be held in high regard and good word-of-mouth will provide you with more clients. Leads do not sell themselves. Yes, there will be those rare times when you get that easy sale, but more often than not it will take persistence, effort, and knowledge for you to convert an insurance lead into a client. In order to succeed, you’ll need to be at the top of your game day-in and day-out. Can you go 5 for 5 in converting those new leads? If you do, you’ll be batting 1.000.

         
    Working at home is great but requires discipline

     

    Choosing to have a home business is a great step towards achieving self-reliance and financial independence. But often times when people start working from home their level of productivity drops. Why is this and what can be done to change it? Most people's productivity at work is a direct reflection of their peer group there. At work you had many people on which to compare your level of productivity against. Now that you are working from your house you often have no measure of how productive you are, so most people's activity levels drop. Also, while at home there are many distractions during the day, which can lead you astray. Television, newspapers, internet, phone calls, and laundry all lead you astray from your good intentions to get work done. On key thing you can do to increase your productivity is to plan your day out, and write what you want to achieve for that day and stick to your plan. Some activities require a certain amount of time to be put into it, while for other activities you need to achieve a specific outcome. Often times it is better to set daily goals as specific outcomes, otherwise if you just set time limits, the level of importance for that activity swells to fit the time you gave it when instead you might have been finished earlier with better results if you had focused on the outcome rather than the time put in. Another tip to feel more productive at home is to dress like you are going to the office. Every morning, get up, shower, and put on office clothes. Wearing your work clothes will put you into a different state of mind and will make you more productive. This will be a clue to your mind that now it is time to work. Having a designated office area is another important thing. If you can have a room that doesn't have a bed in it that would be great. Also, make sure your office is clean neat and try to work with the door closed. Also, many people who work from home feel shut in. It is important to get out of the house a couple of times during the day and go for a walk or drive. Going to the mall is great for a quick walk and seeing people. If you decide you really can't work from home; look into renting cheap office space somewhere. In many office buildings you can find a room to rent somewhere, which is much cheaper than renting a whole office. Working from home is great if you have the discipline to keep at it. It takes consistency and drive just like any other job, but it can be a great experience. Start by making your to do list for tomorrow today.

         
    Working at home with an uncooperative spouse

     

    When we first decide to make the transition from an outside job to a home-based job or business, some of us might face a dilemma -- a spouse who suddenly seems uncooperative and difficult. Even if our spouse is usually good-natured, we might find ourselves enmeshed in arguments and battles for control over our own careers. While this can be frustrating, it is important to understand that our spouses are probably not trying to be difficult without reason. More likely, they have concerns that are being expressed in erratic ways. If you suspect this is the case in your own household, you might want to open the lines of communication and encourage your spouse to share his or her reasons for not wanting you to work at home. Following are some of the most common concerns, and ideas for dealing with them: Decreased Income. Your spouse may be worried that your salary will be less than what it is in a traditional job. Unfortunately, this is true in most cases. Telecommuting jobs usually pay far less than jobs in an office would. Even if you start your own business, it can take time to build up a decent income. If your spouse earns enough money to cover the household expenses, he or she might be agreeable to a reduced income from you temporarily, but if your spouse's income isn't enough to cover everything, you might need to compromise on your wish to work at home so you don't get into debt and cause financial difficulty for the family. Possible compromises might include keeping your regular job and working to build your own business after work hours, or working a regular part-time job, while working a part-time telecommuting job from home. You can also focus on building up enough savings to carry your loss of income for the first several months of working at home. Aim for at least 6 months of your normal salary, perhaps even a year, depending on the type of business or job you are working toward. Sacrificing Luxuries. Your spouse might also be concerned that less income means he or she will have to give up extras that your salary makes possible, like entertainment, dinner out, more expensive vehicles, etc. This is also a valid concern. While most of us spend much more than we really need to on recreational activities, it's also not fair to expect our spouses to give up the smaller pleasures in life either. If your spouse is willing to work together with you on your desire to work at home, you might be able to agree on some smaller sacrifices that you can both make temporarily. You and your spouse will need to go over where your money goes, and see what you are both willing to do without. You can also find creative ways to replace the things you have sacrificied. For example, instead of going out to dinner 3 times a week, cut down to once a week, and then make more creative family dinners at home, trying new recipes to keep things interesting. You can rent movies to watch at home rather than going to the theater, or spend the day at a local park instead of visiting an expensive amusment park. It's Not Really Work. One of the most maddening experiences is having our spouses believe that we sit home all day doing nothing when we "work at home". They might believe that we just want to sit home with the kids all day, watching television or chatting on the phone. If you are not yet working at home, it can be a major challenge to convince your spouse that you do indeed plan to work, but you might try explaining the type of work you plan to do, how many hours a day you plan to work, and how much income you are planning to earn. This can help them put it into perspective in measurable terms. If you already work at home and your spouse treats it like fun and games, it might be helpful to have him or her sit down with you for a short time one day and demonstrate exactly what you do. In my experience, the paychecks were the turning point. Once my husand saw that I was indeed bringing in an income, he began to take my work more seriously. It's All a Scam. Unfortunately, many of our spouses are cynical about work at home jobs, because they see so many scams. Even worse is if they know someone who got burned by a scam or shady business opportunity. They might have the skewed idea that all work at home opportunities are like that. In situations like this, you can show your spouse the websites of legitimate companies that hire telecommuters, or have him or her read postings on a work at home community. Again, once you begin bringing in the paychecks, this fear will vanish. Jealousy. Believe it or not, your spouse's concerns might be caused by a veiled sense of jealousy. Why should you get to sit home in your comfy sweatpants and earn an income when he or she has to trudge off to a lousy job every day? Especially if your spouse doesn't particularly like his or her job, they might resist the idea of you working at home while he or she deals with arrogant bosses and office politics. This is completely understandable, and many of us would feel the same way, wouldn't we? This is a tricky objection to overcome, but it is possible. Perhaps you can talk to your spouse about helping him or her transition to a home-based career too, and you would both eventually be working from home. Your spouse might be willing to compromise by allowing you to build up your business to the point where it could support the family and then he or she would be free to pursue their own business venture. You can also start a business together and work on it in alternating shifts. For example, you can work on the business for a few hours during the day while your spouse is at work, and he or she could do a little work on it in the evenings, and you can both work together on it Saturday mornings. Once the business begins bringing in enough profit, your spouse can come home permanently. Ultimately, I believe that our spouses want us to be happy in our work, just like we wish the same for them. We just might need to work on them a little to convince them working at home is not only possible, but beneficial for everyone. If the above suggestions haven't convinced your spouse, you might need to put some figures down in black and white and show your spouse how much it costs to work outside the home. You might need to list the benefits of having one parent at home, or ask them to give you the benefit of the doubt and let you prove your ability to make it work. I would love to say to you, "Your career is YOUR business; no one else's," because that is what I truly believe. However, that's easy for me to say because I'm not the one living in your household, facing the hostility from your spouse! The truth is, everyone in your home will be happier if you and your spouse can come to an agreement, rather than stubbornly butting heads. If your spouse refuses to work with you at all on your desire to work at home, you may face some tough decisions. The best advice I can give you is to consider your options fully, and make the choices that you feel would benefit everyone the most, including your spouse.

         
    Working capital is paramount to a businesses livelihood

     

    All of the planning in the world is an exercise in futility without the working capital to successfully carry out the plan. If a business sells to customers on terms, then working capital availability is dependent on cash flow timing. In most instances a business will incur a cash flow gap between the time cash is required for inventory, payroll and operating expenses, and the time cash is received from customers paying on terms. Let’s explore a simple example of this timing difference that makes up the cash flow gap: Day 1: Your business orders materials from suppliers on N/30 terms; Day 3: Your business receives materials and begins production (which takes 5 days); Day 8: Your business ships product to customers on N/30 terms; Day 14: Mid month Payroll is due; Day 30: Month-end Payroll and supplier invoice are due; Day 48: Your customer remits payment to you. In this scenario the cash gap is 34 days, which is from day 14 when payroll is due, to day 48 when customer remits payment. The cash gap encompasses two pay periods and a payment to your supplier, whereas the gap normally includes multiple payments to suppliers for ongoing customer orders. If your business is mature and growing conservatively, or less than 10% per year, then you probably have sufficient cash reserves or a bank line of credit to cover the cash gap. But, if you are a growing business with opportunity, how do you cover the cash gap? Oftentimes a bank line of credit is not sufficient to cover the cash gap for growing businesses because bankers look historically to your company’s past to determine how much debt they will lend to your business in the future. Many growing businesses have found themselves caught short on working capital as their cash flow stretched during a period of growth. Cash flow funding through account receivable factoring may be just the tool needed during periods of rapid growth. Factoring is not a loan or debt, but the selling of frozen assets (invoices) at a discount to obtain the cash in a more timely fashion (typically within 24 hours of invoicing your customer). Your business sends invoices to your customers and a copy of the invoice to the factoring company. The factoring company purchases the invoice from your company advancing 80% of the face amount of the invoice. When your customers pay the invoice, the factoring company remits to you the 20% reserved, less their fee (normally 1-5%). In the cash gap scenario discussed above, working capital would be enhanced by providing your company with cash (80% of the invoice amount) on day 9! Your company would have cash flow to make payroll on day 14, and pay suppliers and make payroll on day 30. When your customer pays on day 48, the factoring company remits to you the 20% held less their fee. When planning for growth in your business it is important that you assess the working capital needs and cash flow gap in order to ensure that your plans can be met. Utilizing an accounts receivable factoring program can assist in your successful growth. But, be sure to assess the cost of the accounts receivable program as a percentage of sales. And, make sure that you do not have a term contract with the factoring company so that you may exit the program whenever your business has grown to the next plateau.

         
    Working capital solutions with factoring

     

    Ideal Candidates for Accounts Receivable Factoring: Any business that provides a product or service to other creditworthy businesses and is constrained by their day-to-day cash flow situation. Does your business need: • Cash to Cover Payroll? • Working Capital to Fuel Growth? • Help with Cash Flow Problems? • Help because of Bank Turn Downs or refusal to extend current lines? • New Equipment to Grow? What is factoring? In a traditional factoring arrangement, a company actually sells its receivables to another company (a “factor”) at a discount. After the sale, the receivables balances are carried on the factor’s balance sheet since title has passed. Because the factor then owns the receivables, it generally provides all the required credit, collection and accounting services necessary to collect the receivables, including assumption of the ultimate loss exposure from the client debtor. The important difference between factoring and asset-based lending is ownership. In factoring, the receivables are purchased and owned by the factor. In asset-based lending arrangements, accounts receivable are pledged to the lender as security for the loan, but the borrower retains ownership and complete control of the receivables and the value of the receivables remains on the borrower’s financial statement. Keeping the cash flowing is a challenge for all businesses. Does your company face cash flow challenges because of slow paying customers? Have you been forced to decline new opportunities because of cash flow issues? As every business owner knows, sales alone do not measure the profitability of a company. For example, sales may be increasing, but a company may have to wait weeks or even months for payment. During that time, your company cannot purchase materials for more orders, meet payroll, or other basic operating expenses. The solutions may be Accounts Receivable Funding provided through Diversified Funding Services, Inc. Accounts Receivable Funding is quickly becoming a popular choice for its flexibility and rapid injection of needed capital. Why Accounts Receivable Funding is a Popular Choice in Today’s Business World Accounts Receivable Funding or “factoring” has been in existence for several decades. Today, virtually any-sized business that extends credit to other businesses for goods or services can enjoy the many benefits of Accounts Receivable Funding. Simply stated, Account Receivable Funding is the exchange of creditworthy commercial accounts receivable for an immediate injection of working capital. When an invoice is generated, it may be purchased with an advance of anywhere between 75 to 90% of the net invoice amount. When your customer pays the invoice, you will receive the reserve portion minus a nominal servicing fee. Why Accounts Receivable Funding Makes Financial Sense Accounts Receivable Funding offers many Advantages: • Initial funding is typically available between 5-7 business days upon receipt of completed formal agreements, and then all future advances are funded within 24 hours. • Accounts Receivable Funding does not create a financial liability on your company’s balance sheet and generally no other collateral (outside of the receivables) is required. • The amount of funding available to you is only limited by the creditworthiness of your customers. • Accounts Receivable Funding focus on the creditworthiness of your clients instead of your financial history. • Accounts Receivable Funding allows quick access to working capital, instead of waiting 30, 60 or 90 days to receive payment from your customers, money is immediately available on demand. Accounts Receivable Funding Programs have been “generally” designed with the following criteria in mind. • Your company must be providing a product or service to other credit worthy businesses (no consumer sales) • Your company must be selling on terms • Your company must be billing in arrears (no pre-billing) • Your company must have minimum monthly sales of at least $10,000 or annual sales of $120,000 • Your company is not required to be in business for any length of time • Your company should have the capability to generate financial reports (A/R and A/P aging reports, etc.) • Your company may have current and/or historical losses or a deficit net worth position Ideal Candidates • Start-ups • Companies suffering financial setbacks • Service Companies • Companies with seasonal orders • Mature companies seeking cash flow support • Companies seeking credit assistance • Businesses experiencing rapid growth • Non-bankable businesses An example of the application process: 1plete the application 2. Provide your most recent and detailed accounts receivable aging report 3. Provide your most recent and detailed accounts payable aging report 4. Provide an actual sample invoice 5. Provide a copy of your Articles of Incorporation/d. b.a. filing 6. Provide a copy of your customer list 7. Some factoring companies require financial statements, others do not. Preferred Industries • Service • Temporary Staffing • Security companies • Manufacturing • Transportation • Textile/Apparel • Computer Consulting • Distribution Companies • Printers • Sub-Contractors • All other Industries • Any company that provides a business to business product or service to another credit worthy business! Thanks for reading!

         
    Working from home plan ahead for when disaster or tragedy occurs

     

    Disasters or family tragedies can strike families in many forms – Mother Nature, sickness and even computer problems can cause major difficulties for your business. Do you have a plan of action on how you will handle your home-based business if disaster were to strike? If not, you absolutely need to. Having a plan ensures that you can not only keep your business running, but decrease stress because you have already prepared for the unexpected. Below are four tips to help you handle the unexpected. 1. Work around the events – Your customers will understand as long as you communicate with them. Be honest that things may take a little longer than usual, but keep your customers updated as often as possiblemunication is the key. Most people will understand the delay as long as they are aware of it. If you get to the point where you cannot work or cannot finish a project, but sure to be clear and honest about the situation and try to make an arrangement that will be acceptable. Also, let them know as soon as possible so they can prepare. Don’t wait until the last minute to advise them of a potential problem. If you’re struggling because of a child being sick, try to work when the child is sleeping and don’t stress yourself out to work at other times. Make a schedule of what needs to be done, so that you can accomplish as much as possible during these times. 2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – As moms, we tend to feel that we should be able to handle everything that is thrown at us. Unfortunately, this just isn’t always the case. There are times when we need to allow ourselves to ask for help. When a tragedy occurs and you are simply overwhelmed, find someone who you trust and ask them for help. Many times, just having someone reply to customers on your behalf can take the pressure off your shoulders. Allowing someone to help you when necessary can also be uplifting to them as they feel they can be a part of helping in a difficult situation. So don’t’ shy away from letting others know. We all benefit when we work together and help one another. When our one-year old had surgery he didn’t handle the pain medication well. He was wide awake for the better part of two days. In this case, I knew ahead of time when the surgery would occur, but I had no idea what his recovery would entail. It was impossible to work while he slept, because he wasn’t sleeping. I realized that I not only needed help business-wise, but I needed help with him as well so that I could get some rest. While it was humbling to admit that I needed help, that I couldn’t do it all, it turned out as a great time spent with family that we would not have had if I hadn’t asked for help. 3. Prepare for the worst – Because we never know what the future holds, it is always better to be prepared. As the old saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.” One of the best resources to help you prepare is the Home Office Recovery Plan: Disaster Preparedness for Your Home Office by authors Diana Ennen and Patty Gale. This e-book covers all the bases of getting a Disaster Recovery Plan in place now so that if disaster strikes your home business or an emergency arises, you are able to get your business back up and running quickly and smoothly. Ennen states, “In my case, this guide has been a lifesaver as a resident of South Florida. I have prepared for eight major hurricanes in the past two years with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma taking a direct hit on Broward County where I live. I was without power for two weeks with Hurricane Wilma. Had I not prepared, my clients would have suffered as would my business.” Gale also knows the importance of this book having lived in New York after 9/11 and had the task of preparing a similar guideline for a company she was working with at the time. Both know the importance in ensuring your business will withstand whatever this hurricane or any disaster (including a theft in the office or fire) has to offer. 4. Get a Plan - There are times when life becomes overwhelming and you simply aren’t able to accomplish everything on your own. It’s for these times that you need to have some type of log of what you do and what needs to be done. Keep a spreadsheet of tasks that you do, how often they are done and mark them completed as you are able. Keep a list of passwords in a safe, secure place. Make sure that your family (or whoever may be helping you during this time) is able to carry on even in the event that you are away from home. If possible, train someone that you trust to do the things that you do each day (at least the key things), so that when the unexpected arises you won’t be caught off-guard. Tragedy comes in many shapes and forms, but if you are prepared much of the unnecessary stress can be avoided. When tragedy strikes, you want to be focused on the important things in life, your family and you. By advance planning you are able to do so.

         
    Working from home with a flexible schedule

     

    Get Rich Quick Scams Revealed Read this article before you consider paying for a "get rich quick" program. From: swasdm. elyonline. hop. clickbank. net Everybody would love to make lots of money quickly, working from home, and only doing a few hours of work per week. I've spent the past two years trying to find a great way of doing this. Only over the course of the past few months have I found any "get rich quick" programs worth buying. I've been trying to make money online for a long time. I had a few small websites, but they never made much more than a few hundred per month. It was easy money and didn't require much work on my part, but I knew there were people out there doing better than I was and I knew I could do as well as them. Now, I've seen a lot of "get rich quick" programs. Most of these people make claims about earning $2000/day with Google or something similarly insane. Almost all of these people are complete liars. Even if they were making $2000/day with Google AdSense, it'd be because they had high - traffic websites with a lot of quality content. I'd know, because in one whole month, I never even made half of what they promised I'd make daily with their programs. Maybe you've already been scammed by one of these fraudsters. Anyway, I finally got sick of what was being offered. I decided I'd look through the all of the "get rich quick" programs I could find and see if there were any that were actually legitimate. I found that there were owners selling their programs for well over $100, but the information in them could be found almost anywhere online for free. Additionally, they all contained out-of-date information, had no e-mail support, no money back guarantees, and broken links in the downloads section. In conclusion, almost all of the programs I found were completely useless. The owners knew it, but they couldn't care less about their customers since they didn't offer refund policies! Amazingly, while looking through all of the programs, I actually did find a few legitimate programs. They were run by ordinary people like you and me, and they had found some great methods of making money from their home by doing very little work. I spent some time working with those programs, and my income is now ten times what it used to be. These programs provided a large amount of great information on how to make extra money on your computer doing very little work. Numerous customers had provided great feedback and reviews for their products. Many of them have started to make money just days after buying! Their programs have excellent prices, and the authors have a group of paid staff who are dedicating to helping you or providing assistance if you need any. I must say I was amazed! If you do decide to purchase any of the programs listed below, I recommend you join quickly. Most of the owners tell me they are getting an overwhelming number of sales and plan on raising prices in the near future, so order while prices are still low! 1. To Your Online Success, swasdm. elyonline. hop. clickbank. net

         
    Working green

     

    These days everyone is talking about going green: green building, green recycling, and green commuting, green EVERYTHING! And with good reason; all reports indicate that global warming is on the increase; various animal species are on the decrease and near extinction. Much of this is due to the way we, and generations before us, have treated the planet. As I read a recent copy of Backpacker magazine, the Global Warming issue, I thought about how truly “green” working and hiring virtually really is. I’ve always had it in the back of my mind, of course, but until I read more in-depth how we’re destroying our planet and what’s being done about it, I had a hard time relating the greenness of it all. So what do we do to help the planet when we work and hire virtually? • Assuming you own a vehicle with a whopping 30mpg and your daily commute is 30 miles each way and you worked at a bricks-and-mortar office (or forced your administrative assistant to drive to a bricks-and mortar office each day) 5 days a week, you (or your assistant) would emit 9,860 pounds of carbon each into the atmosphere per year! So if you hire a virtual assistant, as well as work virtually yourself, you would SAVE an amazing 19,720 pounds of carbon emissions per year. Source: Stanford University’s emissions calculator: transportation. stanford. edu/alt_transportation/calculator. shtml. Be sure to stop by the website and calculate your carbon emissions. • While it’s hard to gauge exactly how much paper is used in a bricks-and-mortar office, what I can tell you is that our use of paper has gone down significantly since starting Team Double-ClickSM, a 100% virtual business. In the old days it was nothing to order as many as 10 cases (yes 50,000+ sheets of paper) in any given month. With a virtual business and by utilizing virtual assistants for 100% of the company’s work, we’re pushing a lot of paper if we use more than 2 reams (1,000) sheets a month. So again, working virtually wins: save on trees, save on carbon emissions caused by the processing and shipping of all those trees, which make all that paper. • If we’re using less paper; we’re using fewer ink toners and cartridges • What about the carbon footprint we leave when we eat all of that fast food when we eat out while working at a bricks-and-mortar office? One article openthefuture/cheeseburger_CF. html suggests that each of us, by eating three fast-food hamburgers per week, contributes to the emission of 1,188 to 2,013 pounds of carbon per year (this includes the energy used in the cooking of the burger as well as the commute to the burger joint). When you’re working virtually, you usually greatly reduce the number of times per week you eat out, thus reducing your carbon footprint once again. And you tend to use reusable containers instead of all those throw-aways. • Most of us who work virtually also utilize virtual fax and phone systems, which again reduce our carbon footprint through reduced electrical carbon costs as well as reduced paper usage. • If you have kids and you work in a bricks-and-mortar office (or if your assistant is forced to work in a bricks-and-mortar office) you’re contributing to greater emissions with all of those trips to pick up and drop off the kids at daycare. • While I couldn’t find any figures on the carbon footprint left from dry cleaning, we can safely assume it’s considerable. Working virtually significantly reduces the need for carbon-costly dry cleaning. • Think about the “green” space we save by reducing the number of office buildings being put up. • We hear about green building (the use of reclaimed or recycled building materials) often, but what about totally eliminating the need for that new building. This act alone reduces the carbon footprint in materials-savings. • Let’s talk about the carbon-cost of powering a huge office space. Working virtually, you only have to power the room that you are working in • Working virtually, you have the ability to choose green desks, packaging and materials • And the most fun “green” feature of working virtually is the envy of all of your bricks-and-mortar friends, family, and associates! As you can see, working and hiring virtually makes a significant impact on the reduction of ozone-depleting greenhouse gasses and reduces your carbon footprint. Team Double-Click and its staff (both internal and outsourced) have worked virtually since 2000 and are proud to contribute to a better planet for our children. If you’re interested in hiring or working virtually and helping the planet, be sure to visit us at teamdoubleclick. For more information on working green, please visit treehugger/files/2006/12/how_to_green_your_work. php#top10.

         
    Working in ireland

     

    For the past few years Ireland has seen an influx of Eastern Europeans coming to the country to find better paid work than they will find in their home country. Many are disappointed and go home fairly soon after arriving, having spent a large part of their savings finding out that the Green Isle is not quite as inviting as they thought it would be. It is still easy to find a job in Ireland. For new immigrants finding work is only the first problem and quite often it is one of the simplest problems to solve. There are a multitude of recruitment agencies in Dublin and around the rest of the country; they are well versed in finding jobs and lowering the expectations of the newly arrived. The salaries on offer for Eastern European are not as high as many are lead to believe before they come here. The biggest demand for workers is in three specific areas: 1 Low skilled factory and shop workers; there is still a huge demand in this area as most Irish citizens don’t want to work in these companies due to the low salaries. Wages are at or just above the minimum wage of 8.65 euro per hour. Unfortunately when viewed from Eastern Europe that amount can still seem attractive, it is not when it comes to paying for any goods or services in Ireland. 2 Semi-skilled administration staff. Examples of this type of work include call centers, banking staff, insurance administration, and contract security. Employees will have much better pay and benefits; however they will still only be earning between 20,000 and 25,000 euro. These employees are often employed below their skill level and therefore suffer a great amount of frustration at work. However they are able to live in reasonable comfort and save or send money home. 3 High-skilled. The new entrants who fall into this category are doctors, skilled tradesmen, computer engineers, anyone who has a highly sought after skill and good education. The lucky few in this category will earn very high salaries in the +50,000 bracket. It is worth bearing in mind that the average wage in Ireland is 38,000 and half of the population earn less than this. Housing, food, travel, and entertainment; all of these are very expensive and among the highest prices in Europe. Work in Ireland provides all the information for new entrants to Ireland, how to find a job, how to find good living accommodation, opening a bank account, and all the necessary small details required when first living in Ireland.

         
    Working safely in cold weather

     

    Winter is the time of year that a lot of us look forward to but it can be a dangerous time to work if we don’t take precautions. In the winter our bodies are working hard already just to keep us warm so any activity added to that increases the stress on our system. We have all heard the stories of the guy who goes out to shovel his walk and has a heart attack. We want to give you some tips to help prevent an event like this. First let’s look at just a little basic physiology as temperatures drop your blood will be a little thicker as well, just like oil gets thicker almost like syrup. To counteract this make sure you stay plenty hydrated and consult your doctor to see if it would be appropriate to take an aspirin a day. That is what I do; the aspirin helps to thin your blood. Make sure to layer your clothes. We want to be warm, but you need to be able to shed clothes as you warm up and as the day warms up. You must have enough warm clothes to protect you from the cold but you need to be able to make adjustments. Also remember that your extremities and your head are particularly vulnerable to the cold. Make sure that you have good insulated gloves and be sure to have thick insulated socks. Sometimes I have found when it is really cold that wearing two pairs of socks with a layer of saran wrap between them helps to keep my feet warm. Now, when you begin to work take it slow. It is crucial that you not push yourself hard since your body is already stressed from the cold. Take the time to warm up and do some stretching as well. Pulled muscles and ligaments and back injuries are far more common in the winter due to the muscles and supporting tissues being stiff from the cold. Don’t let yourself become a statistic, take time to stretch and warm up properly and monitor your heart. If your heart is beating rapidly, you are overworking and you need to take a break and slow down.

         
    Working with information

     

    It’s not a secret any more that our century is a very rapid and changing era. People own huge amounts of data, which sometimes have to be transported. And here some difficulties emerge. First of all, there is a problem of large files that cannot be saved on a removable flash drive because of their size. Another complication comes when you need to share a large amount of information that cannot be sent by e-mail. Who can encounter such difficulties? First of all, people who need to carry a lot of data with them. For example, travelers, who cannot do without their favorite movies and music and don’t want to carry a lot of discs. Businessmen who spend a lot of time in business trips need to have a lot of information close at a hand to succeed in negotiations or presentations. People, who make a lot of video, want much place to keep their records. The simplest way out is to upload all your files to some file-hosting site and just put down your link. Sometimes you have to make urgent changes in a huge report or presentation and send it to your boss immediately. Or, being a member or a fan of some sports team, which played some out match, you want the video from the game to appear in the video section of you home University news as soon as possible. The only appropriate decision is to upload your file and send a link. It saves a lot of time. People don’t have to wait till your arrival. And you don’t waste precious days, hours or even minutes and seconds. So now it is obvious that working with information requires data storage, transportation and sharing. And the easiest, safest and most reliable way out is using file-hosting resources.

         
    Working with the disabled

     

    Since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, people who previously had limited or no access to public places now move about with a degree of ease in the workplace. While these people have their challenges with sight, hearing or movement, those who work with them are often confused about how to interact them with sensitivity and understanding. Here are some of the issues to keep in mind. When it is necessary to mention the disability, language should emphasize the person first, the disability second. Rather than referring to someone as an epileptic, say "person with epilepsy" or "John, who has epilepsy...." Avoid words that have a negative tone. People who use wheelchairs are not "bound" or "confined" to their chairs. A person may have spastic muscles but should not be described as spastic. Preferred language is simple. Instead of saying that a person is "crippled with arthritis," "suffering from MS," "afflicted with ALS," say, "John has epilepsy" or "Mary has MS." Use the following terms: "Congenital disability" rather than "birth defect." "Non-disabled" rather than "normal," "healthy" or "able-bodied." "Condition" rather than "disease" or "defect." "Visually impaired" rather than "blind" unless a person is totally sightless. "Deaf" or "hard of hearing" rather than "hearing impaired." "Little person" or "dwarf" rather than "midget." Words or phrases like "victim," "cripple," "unfortunate," "dumb," "deaf mute," "deformed" and "pitiful" are offensive. Ask people with disabilities if they need or want help before trying to assist them. If they want assistance, ask for specific instructions on how you can be helpful. Look directly at any person with a disability when talking even if the person has an interpreter or companion present. Don't assume a speech impairment indicates that a person also has a hearing impairment or intellectual limitations. Allow people with speech impairments to finish their own sentences. Don't talk for them or interrupt. Ask questions that permit short answers or a nod of the head. The other person always has the option of giving a longer response. Speak calmly, slowly, and distinctly to a person who has a hearing problem or other difficulty understanding. Stand in front of the person and use gestures to aid communication. When walking with a person who is visually impaired, allow that person to set the pace. If the person asks for or accepts your offer of help, don't grab his arm. It is easier for him to hold onto you. Never start to push someone's wheelchair without first asking the occupant's permission. Leaning on a wheelchair when talking to the person is inconsiderate. If you will be having a long conversation with someone using a wheelchair, get a chair and sit at eye level with the person. You will both feel more comfortable. Keep in mind that people with disabilities are just like everyone else with the exception of certain physical conditions. Treat them as the capable competent co-workers or colleagues they are. (c) 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.

         
    Working with the new generation

     

    I've heard them called by many names as of late: Generation Y, Gen Y, The Plug-and-Play Generation, The Gotta-Feel-Good Generation. What they're all referring to is the new young generation - our current 20-somethings. Every generation "deals" with the generation who comes after them. Their different views, their different ways of doing things, and so on; this generation is no exception. Why is everyone talking about this new generation now though? They've been coming along for years. They're in their 20's now, after all! Because now they're starting to impact the workforce and because we couldn't predict their group characteristics until we saw them in action. In some ways they're changing the landscape for the better, in some ways we oldies would say for the worse. Regardless of the nostalgia we feel for the "old days" this generation is plunging headlong into the workforce and will impact you and your business at some point. There's really no sense fighting it. No generation has ever changed the generation which came after it; not once that generation reached its 20's anyway. These are the kids we raised and we did raise them this way, so let's figure out how to work with them. To work with them we first need to understand them. What makes this generation tick (or turn off) and what is the impact on businesses looking to hire them? Problem: They're not called The Plug-and-Play Generation for nothing. This generation grew up on video games and television while their parents were out working and making (what they viewed as) better lives for their families. This led to a whole generation of children, now entering the workforce, who need instant gratification in whatever it is they do. Whether its work or play, the satisfaction must be immediate. Solution: What this means to the business owner looking to hire qualified workers is that you need to be diligent in assigning tasks to (or rather asking the worker if they'd be happy to do the tasks) that they enjoy doing. You must challenge this generation to the capacity in which they want to be challenged. Problem: This generation waits for nothing and no one. If they don't like the game, they find a new game to play and new people to play it with - now - not tomorrow or next week. Simple as that. Think pulling the PS2 game out of the player and inserting one they think they may like better. Solution: This goes back to speed again. They're used to moving at the speed of the internet, not the speed of the horseless carriage. You're going to have to give this generation what it's looking for or prepare to lose them. Regular check-ins individually to gauge their interest and excitement is critical to keeping this generation happy and working for you. Problem: The Generation Y's demand that they feel good about what they're doing. If they don't feel good about it, they're not going to do it. Again, simple as that and no amount of money will convince them otherwise. Remember: they watched their parents work and work and work to earn a few extra bucks and what did it get them? Absentee parents who were rich. This generation wants quality, not necessarily quantity. Solution: Sometimes the work just isn't all that gratifying. However, you can combat that by showing your gratitude in the work being done. Often the sheer pleasure of helping someone else and that person being grateful is enough for the worker to receive the gratification they need. Problem: The generation of ADD. Oh yes, this is where ADD became popular. The Gen Y's are not going to pay attention for long. They want their information fast and to the point. Solution: Don't waste time with long drawn out memos and information. Just shoot it straight and fast! Problem: A recent study suggested that the average tenure in a job for Generation Y's is 18 months. Wow, what happened to life, or even a few years? Unfortunately those days are but a memory. As older workers retire and leave the workforce, we're left with the generation we raised and we need to count on them to fill the open positions within our companies. Remember again that this generation watched their parents stick in jobs for life, only to be spat out by the very corporations and unions who claimed they'd protect them - when they were juuuuuusssst about to collect that pension. The Generation Y's aren't going to hang around to let that happen to them. Solution: There's no changing this generation's stick ability. So as a business owner you have two options: 1) Make the work enjoyable or 2) Prepare in advance for every single worker's eventual departure. If you opt with number 1, you need to figure out what it is that makes each and every one of your workers happy. They must be regarded as the individuals they are and with their own set of needs and instructions. Prepare to meet those needs or move on to number 2: The most crucial thing any business owner can do is to have instructions written for every task that is performed within their company. Put all those instructions in a safe place and hang on to them so you can pass them on to the worker's successor. In staffing, one of the biggest complaints we hear from clients is the need to retrain the next person. I'm sorry - that's the way it is nowadays. We train and we retrain and we need to be ready for it. Problem: Lack of office etiquette. Check out this recent article on Yahoo! News about modern office etiquette (and lack of it) finance. yahoo/expert/article/careerist/40342. Unfortunately, as the article suggests, the new generation may not even know they're breaking the rules! Etiquette in their world is far different than that of other generations. Solution: As my husband and business partner says, "But wrong is still wrong and right is still right". However, with the internet and a new generation, is this perhaps the new "right". Maybe, maybe not. If most families are dysfunctional, doesn't dysfunction become the new "normal"? Unfortunately I think the new generation has us beat in sheer numbers folks. In this writer's opinion there's not much we can do but learn to deal. Problem: As another article finance. yahoo/expert/article/careerist/38889 on Gen Y's by Penelope Trunk suggests: "They won't play the face-time game." That means they're not going to sit in the office just to make you happy. They know that work can be done from home (or from the beach) just as well as it can be done sitting in the office. Solution: Let 'em work from home! Why not!? Working from home offers the ultimate in flexibility (something this generation demands) and helps keep this generation of workers happy and working for you. As a virtual staffing agency, we deal with the same things as you do day in and day out. We're not immune to the caveats of Generation Y. We deal with the unique issues of this generation through increased back end staff which checks in with and coaches our virtual assistants regularly. We also take great pains to make good matches between clients and virtual assistants and quickly offer to change assignments if it doesn't "feel right" for the virtual assistant. Yes, this (generation's issues) results in a higher turnover of virtual assistants but no higher than what you'd experience in the bricks and mortar world. In many respects we shield our clients from the impacts of turnover by quickly locating new help, interviewing and screening for the right skills and attitude. But even as a virtual staffing agency, we still can't change a generation or their attitudes so we can't stop the turnover - we can help our clients get through the turnover. Even with a high-turnover generation, companies can still benefit from all of the pluses of virtual assistance and virtual staffing. The cost savings over hourly in-office staff still exist; office politics is still absent; the speed of bringing in additional help is still present; the benefits of not having someone sitting in your office holds ground; start up capitol needed (desks, computers, phone lines) of hiring help is not a concern; and ultimate flexibility still exists. In many ways, hiring virtually is a great way to deal with the issues businesses must face with this generation. This generation wants flexibility. Working virtually offers the ultimate in flexibility, which helps keep the generation happy. Virtual staffing fits this generation like a glove and is one of the best ways to put them to work for you. If you'd like more information on how to set up a virtual office, please check our article at teamdoubleclick/news/free_articles/SetupYourVirtOffice. html.

         
     
         
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