End of Year Clean Up

Tis the season to start making sure my records are up to date, all is well in the business department and to see how much my revenue increase from previous year. I know each year I love seeing how much more I made than previous years. I am still not at my goal income and I still live pretty much broke, but I enjoy everything I do for work and looking at end of year to see even the smallest increase in revenue is what keeps me moving forward!

This year, I had given up the Virtual Assistant business, only recently did I start taking on clients, and I was making similar to what I was making last couple of years running my blogs and virtual assistant business but with less work. My goals for the New Year are to simply be a freelance writer and blogger a majority of the time.

I certainly would like to be a social media person for a couple of brands if they would have me, so I am keeping my eyes out for that perfect social media position that I can do from home.

Taxes end of Year

I was really good this year about keeping my Excel worksheet up to date with products I received, only falling behind on updating it this month so that shouldn’t be too hard to compile.  Yes, I have to pay taxes/report as income any of the fair market values of products sent to me for free this year, like every year before. It’s sort of frustrating as I feel it gives a false sense of what you actually make on that Schedule C, but it is what it is. One of the downfalls of completing product reviews.

I am already at a profit without taking into account product values, so that is a huge plus. I am feeling confident about my decision to do all that I do from home and will continue on in 2013 proud and strong. End of year doesn’t stress me out, it’s real simple for the most part because I keep good records all year round.

How is end of year hitting you all? Have you kept yourself organized?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Creative Business Signs

I am all about being professional yet creative when it comes to presenting your business to the public, of course most business signs are pretty plain and basic. After all we are professionals and a business sign is what makes or breaks that first impression.

Since I am not a brick and mortar sort of business having an actual business sign set up out front isn’t important, I take take walk in clients with my virtual assistant business but I do like to ensure my online website is up to par with professional standards while still being unique to me.

Have you ever been to a business and seen the bronze plaques signs? These are signs I see around town usually notifying me of a historical landmark, however, such plaques can be used to share your business name with consumers.

Think about the first time you went to a business, was the presentation of their business sign important to you or not?

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Being a Virtual Assistant Requires Skills

Obviously when I started my virtual assistant business I was backing it with my years of experience in the office field. From a bank teller to an administrative assistant and office clerk I have the experience required to offer my skills virtually. Some of the skills I offer or projects I have completed were not based on my out of home work experience. Something like a screen capture isn’t anything I had to do before I became a virtual assistant and blogger. Taking a screen capture is actually convenient for the blogger side of me because it means I can capture just about any image I need for reviews, but as a virtual assistant it works great for creating tutorial e-books.

When I worked in an office we had a file cabinet, many of them, which held our documents and imporant information but when you work remotely then you require document management software to not only keep attract of items you need to organize but also create documents as needed. Needless to say there is a lot of thinking to do before jumping into creating a business virtually.

I have attended many web conferences which never had been part of my life working in an office outside of my home. If you are going to be a virtual assistant who hosts such web conferences then you will have to start looking into web conferencing solutions to ensure you have the best up to date connection available to host a web conference.

Whether you are starting out fresh or already been in the virtual business for years, it’s always nice to freshen up on the latest software out there to ensure you are meeting the demand of your current clients!

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Creating Professional Forms and Surveys

Creating professional forms or surveys from scratch using HTML is a great skill to have but you wouldn’t have that skill without a great program, unless you are an awesome tech savvy person, of which I am not. When you wish to create form for your readers to fill out you will want to ensure you are using the best program possible to create a professional, high quality form.

Using a form generator is an awesome tool because you can insert all of the information and create a beautiful HTML form for your website.  I know that I am simply a blogger here, but I also have a virtual assistant business and creating professional forms for online events or local workshops I may host would be a great asset for my business. I am often looking for ways to track who is interested in my services as well as the demographics of those who are seeking my assistance.

For me, a virtual assistant and blogger, who is looking into hosting workshops locally having a registration form created is something I foresee needing in my future. I know that I will have to start researching various options for me to create such forms for these upcoming events.

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Looking for Writing Jobs

 

Back in the day before I started my virtual assistant business and really dove deep into blogging for personal & money making reasons I started looking on Craigslist for jobs. You would be amazed to hear some of the jobs I actually did and some I didn’t do but found. I was making really good money between part time work I found on Craigslist and direct sales from home. I never went door to door nor handled any sales in person. I strictly worked from home without ever having to pick up a telephone, except for maybe the occasional team call for the direct sales down line members of my team.

I am now in a position where I look to my family budget to see that we need a bit more income into the house, already living within our means there is no choice but to find a way to increase income. Most of my virtual assistant work is on a “per project” basis. I love taking on various projects for people, but as it stands right now the projects have been completed and so I have some openings for new clients at Brandy Ellen’s Business Solutions.

I decided to hop on Craigslist in my state of New Hampshire to see what writing gigs may be on there and editing/writing positions are listed in that section too. The problem with most of the writing/editing positions are two things:

  • They want you to write articles on an ad revenue shared website.
  • They want you to write large articles for just pennies on the word.

My time is money and I will tell you that I get quite a good junk of change just for writing on article with 2-3 links within it. I am not about to start getting low balled when my skill is technically there to be offered to someone who will appreciate it!

While I wait to find more clients, as I know they will eventually come based on word of mouth marketing alone, I need to focus on some more writing positions. My ideal work right now would be to take on some business blogs; writing, editing, scheduling blog posts. I would also love to take on someone’s social media accounts just to make sure they have an active timeline while they head off to vacation this Summer or need to outsource that area of their business.

Whatever extra income I find, I know that I will truly be able to bring on something, because I am a firm believer that being positive and thinking that all will work out truly has proved successful to me!

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