A "Cyber" Staffing Solution for Small BusinessesWritten by Christina Morfeld
Consultants, entrepreneurs, and other independent professionals often find themselves performing a juggling act: providing their products and services while also carrying out tasks related to marketing, customer service, and day-to-day operations. As important as these activities are to business survival, they don't directly contribute to bottom line and, more importantly, they divert attention away from those that do.
While that can be said for a company of any size, small office/home office businesses (SOHOs) typically have fewer options than larger firms for addressing these concerns. A SOHO's needs are likely to be varied and ongoing, but traditional temps and contractors are usually best-suited for assignments of limited scope and duration. Additionally, workload fluctuations might prohibit hiring of a permanent employee, even on a part-time basis, and many SOHOs don't have space or equipment to accommodate on-site workers.
Fortunately, advancements in technology have spawned a new industry, called "Virtual Assistance," that provides SOHOs with relief that they need.
Virtual Assistants (VAs) are experienced office professionals who provide administrative and other support services remotely. Because these activities can be handled effectively via telephone, fax, email, and Internet, physical location is irrelevant. A skilled VA can benefit your business whether he or she lives across street or across globe.
Typical VA tasks include word processing, database management, customer contact and follow-up, bookkeeping, and event and travel planning.
While most VAs are generalists, some provide niche services as well. Bonnie Jo Davis, for example, also designs and manages websites, handles search engine submissions, and contributes articles to online directories and databases. In other words, she uses her advanced Internet skills to create and sustain a powerful Web presence for Davis Virtual Assistance ( http://www.davisvirtualassistance.com ) clients who desire it.
Are You a Biz-Op Junkie?Written by Angela Wu
Once upon a time -- and I'm just a touch embarassed to admit it -- I threw common-sense out window and went searching for an "easy" way to make my fortune on Internet. I found what I *thought* was a perfect opportunity... but in reality was nothing more than a pack of lies. Fortunately, I was one of lucky ones who quickly came to her senses and successfully fought for and received a full refund.
This isn't always case. Business opportunities, or "biz ops" as they're commonly called, often prey on people who are desperate to start making money from home. The ridiculous claims of easy money can *seem* so real, so achievable -- but let's face facts: there's no such thing as easy money when it comes to starting a business.
You won't make $5000 every month with 30 minutes of work a day. You won't receive $100,000 in your mailbox just by sending $5 to first address on a list. Your "automated business-in-a-box" will not magically produce $1000/day while you sit on beach sipping a cool drink.
The lure of easy money is hard to resist. There is certainly no shortage of biz ops, and no shortage of people who are willing to try them. That's a *good* thing in many ways, to be open to trying new things... but it can also be dangerous: you could end up in situation where you jump from one biz op to another, in an endless quest for something easier, faster, or potentially more rewarding.
I once "spoke" through email with a very bright guy who has been operating his own successful offline business for over 10 years. He wanted a change, and so he came onto Internet looking for perfect opportunity.