Top 5 Tips to Become a Virtual Worker – Part III – 2010 Virtual Workforce Series

It stands to reason that in order for companies to move from traditional corporate structures to a partial or full virtual workforce, there needs to be qualified, professional virtual workers available to fill this growing demand. I believe the next generation of virtual workers (Generation V?) will be found in our Generation Z graduates, innovative entrepreneurs representing Generations X & Y, and Baby Boomers not yet ready to fully retire.

The economic struggles that began in 2009 and continue into 2010 are driving entrepreneurial desires to new heights. However, traditional entrepreneurial ventures usually involve moderate to high capital start up costs, inventory, aggressive (and expensive) advertising to establish a foothold and may require leasing a store front, office or industrial space. One of the benefits about the virtual workforce industry is the generally low cost and risk involved in getting started.

Another benefit for those currently employed is that becoming a virtual worker doesn’t have to be an ‘all or nothing’ venture. Gradual transition from a job into the virtual workforce industry is easily accommodated. However, I strongly caution virtual workers to keep their new venture outside of the office. Sending and replying to emails or competing on RFPs while working for your current employer would be highly unethical and could cost you your job along with your reputation. Solid time management skills are also necessary to balance the multiple demands on your time; these often include family and other non-work related commitments. If you’re transitioning gradually to this industry, you’re going to find yourself with limited ‘free’ time until you’re ready to make the final leap to full time virtual work.

In my previous post titled, Class of 2010 – Where Did All the Jobs Go? I addressed the growing challenge facing college and university graduates to find jobs. One comment asked how educated–but inexperienced–graduates (both young and seasoned) can break into this industry. So, for students paying their way through school, those graduating with little to no work experience, or anyone else interested in this challenging industry, I’ve compiled a list of five important considerations.

Top 5 Tips to Become a Virtual Worker:

#1 – Determine the services you can offer – my advice is to choose business services in which you excel and that you L-O-V-E to do; you’ll find that your work enjoyment will increase and your clients will benefit from a greater focus and dedication to quality work. Also, be clear on what the benefits are to your potential clients – both for the services you offer and the method of delivery.

#2 – Establish your business model – make a plan for how you are going to provide those services. Decide when and where you can work – it may be set days and times or it may be completely flexible and strictly deadline driven. Choose how you’re going to be paid – cheque, PayPal, bank transfer – and if you’re going to work strictly pre-paid or on deposit. I recommend getting at least some payment before starting any work…just my ‘two bits’ worth from experience.

#3 – Join relevant associations – some associations are free to join (or at least have free membership levels) and others have yearly rates as a low as $35/year. My personal recommendations are: the Canadian Virtual Assistant Connection, the Canadian Virtual Assistant Network and the VA Networking Association. These associations give you access to: valuable industry information; membership forums and lists for phenomenal peer support; business templates (contracts, invoices, etc.); discounted group insurance; training; and a long list of special offers.

#4 -Offer your services as a sub-contractor – you’ll earn a lower rate than you would if you provided your services directly to a client, but as a sub-contractor you can build experience while having work delegated to you from a reputable company.

#5 – Remember that you are a business – check into the regulations for your own region or country about self-employment, taxes and other related guidelines. Find out whether you can operate as a sole proprietorship and if you need to register a company name. You likely need a business license to operate out of your home or dorm room. As a new business owner, it is your responsibility to check into your local regulations and adhere to them.

So, if you’re ready to enter the virtual workforce industry, set your goals, make your plan and put it in action. Good luck and have fun!

I have no secret. There are no rules to follow in business. I just work hard and, as I always have done, believe I can do it. Most of all, though, I try to have fun.” ~Richard Branson

Contact us to book a seminar presentation at your high school, college or university about The Virtual Workforce Industry.

Benefits of Taking Home-Business Insurance Policy

Home-based business is the popular choice for entrepreneurs who want to do business with small investments. According to National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey, there are 2.43 million people (Q4 2011) in UK who run a business from home. These self-employed home-workers are the fastest growing part of UK workforce, whose number rose by 28.16% over the last decade.

Since home-businesses have small capital, they do not involve huge or costly business assets or workforce. However, like any other large or medium sized businesses, home-businesses too are prone to wide range of risks. Regardless of the size, every home-based business needs to get insured to protect the assets and revenues of the business owner. Let us see why and how insuring a home-based business is profitable.

Importance of home-business insurance:
Many business owners assume that they do not require a separate insurance for their home-businesses, as they already have a home insurance policy. But, many renters’ or home owners’ insurance policies do not automatically cover a home-business. Even though your home insurance covers contents in the home, it may not extend to your home-office equipment. Similarly, personal auto insurance policy does not cover vehicles used for business purposes.

This clearly means that your home-business is lacking protection. Thus, in order to secure it from any unexpected losses, it has to be protected by taking sufficient insurance policy.

Benefits of taking home-business insurance:
Now that we know the importance of home-based business insurance, let us look at the benefits one can get by insuring his business.

•Claims of negligence: As most of the home-based businesses include companies that offer professional services, such as consultancy advice, design or financial planning, medical or legal advice, a typical home-based insurance policy definitely includes professional indemnity, which protects business owners from the claims of negligence. May it be a piece of flawed advice or a wrong service, it could result in serious legal claims from the clients. In such scenarios having home-business insurance helps the business owner to meet the expenses incurred in defending himself against the claims.

•Revenues and assets: Business property such as contents, stock, equipment, vehicles, furniture, electronics, etc., is very important for any company. Any loss or damage to them significantly affects the profits of the business. Hence, by taking home-business insurance, which offers cover against all minor and catastrophic losses, you can safeguard your business assets and revenues from all unforeseeable risks.

•Coverage for third party injuries/damages: Another advantage of home-business insurance is the protection it offers against third party injuries/damages because of your business activity. Anything like a bodily injury, property damage or a manufacturing error could result in hefty compensation claims from the injured. Thus, having insurance policy enables you to run your business without the fear of a lawsuit or losing the business in a legal battle. Besides providing compensation costs, the policy also covers legal fees helping you to continue your business without any interruption.

•Medical aid and paid leaves for injured employees: This kind of coverage is optional. If your home-business has workers/employees working for your business, then you can include this cover in your policy, which provides employees with medical care and paid leaves if they are hurt on the job. Thus, this policy relieves you from the burden of taking care of employees’ medical expenses and hospital bills.

With many home-based businesses showing interest to take insurance policy, insurance companies have come up with various policies. But, in order to get a tailor made policy which suits your needs and business requirements, you need to approach a reliable and reputed insurance brokerage firm. These firms suggest you with the best policy that covers all the risks associated with your home-business, thus allowing you to make a worthy purchase.

People Should Look For Affordable Auto Insurance Online

These days, a number of people are looking to shop online to purchase products that are financial in nature. Not only do people conduct transactions over the Internet, but also look to buy insurance, which is available at cheaper prices online. A number of people have confirmed that they have been able to purchase affordable auto insurance by making on-line applications with insurance companies and having the policy delivered to their homes without any difficulties. Why is it that insurance providers look to offer vehicle insurance policies at cheaper prices to people that make applications online?

Insurance companies indulge in a great deal of expenditure in infrastructure, workforce and a marketing campaign in order to corner a large share of the market. These companies could face a number of difficulties if they chose to deal off-line and have people come over to their offices on a regular basis. Not only would they have to invest in a larger workforce, but would also have to spend money on infrastructural requirements. By making vehicle insurance policies available online, these companies are cutting down on infrastructural costs and looking to pass on the benefits to the end consumer.

When people find a requirement to buy insurance for their vehicles, they can just browse along on the Internet and try to find a reliable insurance provider to pick up the policy from. Insurers have ensured that all types of insurance policies are available and can be purchased online without any difficulties. Ladies looking to get their vehicles insured can make applications for women auto insurance from the comfort of their homes and rest assured with the knowledge that their request for the policy will soon be attended to.

Just because insurance companies are trying to self affordable auto insurance policies cheaper over the Internet, people should not be under the impression that the insurer will give them any concessions as far as the terms and conditions of the policy are concerned. People should never be looking to deal with a single insurance company when they look to purchase insurance for their vehicles. They should rather look to contact multiple agencies and ask quotes from them to conduct comparisons. Some insurance providers are known to offer cheap prices on the policies, but include charges in the fine print of the agreement that is signed. Therefore, people are strongly advised to exercise caution when trying to purchase any financial products over the Internet. They will definitely save some time and money, if they are able to find the right type of insurance provider for their requirement.