Learning the Basics in Small Business

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Running a business is an engaging and rewarding career in life, but there are different factors to think about prior to investing in a business. Having business capital isn’t enough because there’s also the need to know the basics of starting a business whether it’s small or any of the home based business opportunities.  

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, most likely you can start a successful business. However, it is not enough just to have that spirit because you will need some skills and knowledge to deal with the challenges of starting a business. Keep in mind that starting up a small business is risky, and having no experience can add more risks. That is why before you start any business make sure that you have the ability to minimize the risks.

The Basics in Starting a Small Business

If you don’t have any idea about starting a business or income opportunity home based business, the best thing to do is to know and study first the basics. It’s said that having experience is a big thing so that you can learn the ropes in getting into the business industry.

 

  • Do your research

 

In starting a small business, it’s important to identify your purpose and goal. This means that you need to do a research that can help in measuring your readiness, and at the same time in determining what you need to prepare. It’s also important to know the start-up process. Through research, you’ll also know the perfect niche to target.

 

  • Business plan

 

The next step in starting a small business is the creation of a business plan. It’s particularly essential if you need a financial support from a financial institution or investor. It will also serve as your guide on how you’ll run the business. In creating a business plan, you should include your business goals in terms of funding and marketing.

Keep in mind that the business plan is useful from starting the business all throughout the course of the business. It will also help you in forecasting the risks so that you can have plans in solving the possible problems. A comprehensive business plan is the key to raising a capital that you’ll use to get on the road. You should also ensure that you’re financially responsible so that you can convince investors, banks, and other lending companies to lend you the fund.

 

  • Planning the finances

 

Small business startup doesn’t need huge amount of money, but you should have enough funds for initial investment. Small business can be funded through small business loans, small business grants, and angel investors.

 

  • Choose business structure

 

There are different business structures to choose from such as partnership, sole proprietorship, corporation, or limited liability company. It’s important to select the business structure because it’s necessary in creating the business name, in liability, and in filing taxes.

 

  • Business name registration

 

The business name is significant in every facet of a business that’s why it’s important to pick the best one. In choosing a business name, it shouldn’t be currently used or trademarked. It should also be registered depending on the business structure of your choice. Aside from the business name, it’s also essential to register the domain name.

 

  • Obtain permits and licenses

 

Permits and licenses are important in the daily operation of the business, and to ensure that it is legal. Thus, you should inquire about the different business permits and licenses that are needed in running your business.

 

  • Business location

 

The location has great impact to the success of your business. Whether you’re planning to start a small business or income opportunity home based business, it makes sense finding the best location. See to it that the location suits best to your business.  

 

Starting a small business or home based business opportunities requires knowledge about entrepreneurship and management. You can also seek advice from the people who can be your mentors in starting the business. Look for people who have been running a business for a long time as they can give useful tips that would be helpful to you. Likewise, you can do a research in the internet for a website, which is composed of retired entrepreneurs, that boosts mentor network. Make sure to seek advice from mentors who were in the same business that you desire.


Christa Maxwell, understands the essence of making excellent content that suits the needs of every business especially when it comes to home-based business opportunities. She can spice up your marketing campaign with the content and then incorporate High Achievers Lifestyle services.

How “The Happy WAHM” Became a Successful Work-at-Home Mom and Virtual Assistant Biz Owner

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Marge Aberasturi, a.k.a, “The Happy WAHM”, our expert speaker and mentor this February 28 for the #SuccessfulWAHM WAHMderful Workshop. Want to learn her success secrets? Register here.

As momentum builds up for our WAHMderful Workshop this February, we’d like for you to get to know your WAHM mentor and instructor for the #SuccessfulWAHM event on the 28th! Meet Marge Aberasturi, an established owner of a virtual assistance business, VA Support Pro, a full-time work-at-home mom and homeschooler. What’s more, she has been able to build up her brand in the work-at-home niche and really capture a market that values her skills and expertise. Get to know more about our #SuccessfulWAHM, in this exclusive interview!

Who is Marge Aberasturi, the virtual assistant and entrepreneur? Please let our WAHMs get to know you better.

Everytime an interview questionnaire is sent my way, the most difficult to answer is always this question. Who am I? However much I want to give a profound answer, I simply can’t. Because I’m a Lotus123. Plain WYSIWYG.

My online brand, however, aptly describes me. I’m The Happy WAHM. I’m living my brand. I have built a career on my chosen niche, which is virtual assistance, and I have fully embraced the WAHM lifestyle, with homeschooling thrown in, too. This is my happiness. This is the niche that I want to build my tribe in.

Marge, the Virtual Assistant, is best described here. That’s who I am. That’s what I do.

Please tell me briefly about your VA business, VA Support Pro? What prompted you to start it and make it a WAH biz? 

VASupportPro is a product of my diligent research when I first decided that I need a domain name to create my online resume. From the early days, I have understood right on the need to have an online presence, so I wanted to get a domain name that 1) will successfully encompass who I am and what I do, and 2) can compete in the searches.

VASupportPro means Virtual Administrative Support Professional. Virtual assistant and virtual assistance keywords were already returning millions of result, so I wanted a keyword that would have a chance to compete, and at the same time, be totally descriptive of my niche. So after a long study, I bought this domain name.

Then in 2009, three years into WAHMing, I felt that I wanted to make it a legitimate business so I could hire people, or subcontract my spillover projects, so I went ahead and registered the business. My WAHM venture was supposed to be just for two years, the period that my son would be declared out of the woods, but I immensely enjoyed the new-found career, so on the third year, my husband and I decided that I would register the business and start to take on project management gigs, on top of my regular retainer account.

What kind of character qualities must a WAHM have, if she wants to move on from being a hired service provider to being her own boss, like you have done?

The can-do attitude for one. Acting on ideas. Acting on your passion. You have to find the source of your happiness. Your purpose. I’m admittedly ambitious. When I was in corporate, my goal was to be Vice President for Credit Management. But that was cut short when I had to resign in favor of motherhood. Did my dream end there? No. I moved on. I started a new career that welcomes hands-on mothering. I started out as a transcriptionist. I trained for it. I got certification for medical transcription. But I did not sense growth in that niche. I could think of a dozen ways I could have made it grow, but I didn’t see myself being happy with any one of them. So I explored some more, finding my core. Discovering possibilities. Creating opportunities.

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I tried out to be a virtual assistant. And I set out to learn new skills. I enjoyed learning, and I enjoyed being exposed to the nuances of foreign businesses. So I studied other online businesses. What do they do? How do they grow? Where do they go? I learned that growth can stretch my processes, my time and my resources. So I decided to just expand my reach without having to add anything to what I already have. So I re-assessed myself. Realizing my strengths, acknowledging my weaknesses. That’s important. The willingness to acknowledge that you don’t have it all, don’t know it all. And I found me a partner, who has my weaknesses, and lacks my strengths. Collaboration. It’s a gem to be in. It allows you to do what you are great at, and let others do what you don’t know

Virtual assistance has one of the broadest job descriptions in the WAH marketplace. How can a WAHM make her offerings stand out in such a big pool of service providers?

Your value proposition, which in my case is the entrepreneurial mindset. Because you work alone, and you work unsupervised, there is always that danger of being complacent and lazy. And that will mean lower productivity and sloppy output, which can result to loss of credibility and loss of projects. Client feedback is king. Regardless of your skills and credentials, if one unsatisfied client decides to spread a bad feedback, you’re done. You can only hope that you can recover.

Another thing about being entrepreneurial is when you put yourself in your client’s position, think of the client’s business as your own, then you start to think outside the box. You start to think from the business owner’s perspective, not from the VA’s. So you examine the processes, you examine the effects of your productivity to expense and revenue, you think about growth. You don’t sit in front of your computer thinking about accomplishing your tasks. You sit there and work thinking of how your tasks affect your client’s business. And with that in mind, you do your best, you deliver more than what is expected. You are asked to create a document, and you add relevant images, or add clickable links, without being told. That is showing initiative, and that is your value proposition.

In our upcoming WAHMderful Workshop, you will be sharing your own “blueprint” for work at home success. Could give us some teasers on what we can look forward to?

I’ll be talking about the steps I took to get to where I am now. From a transcriptionist queueing for a project, to operations manager of a limited liability company thousands of miles away, and an entrepreneur. I’ve been a VA for almost nine years. I’ll be celebrating my 9th WAHM anniversary on May 26. And in all those years, I only had three major clients. So I’ll be talking about how in my almost nine years, I only had to apply for a position twice. Yes, that’s three clients, two applications. The one in the middle found my site, and inquired for my services. This is a funny experience, one that I will talk about lengthily during the workshop. It’s a good example of value proposition and at the same time creating opportunities.

You can sign up for Marge’s #SuccessfulWAHM Workshop on February 28: Real Ways to Be a WAHM: Set Up Your Virtual Assistance for Success!

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Marge’s workspace and “work-at-home central” in her home office.

I’ll talk about my source for long term engagements; how I managed to invest in a school just from my WAHM salary; how I stayed sane with all the pressure of online work and homeschooling; how to survive nine years without househelp. It’s going to be a long day, I believe. I’ll also do a demo of some of the tools I use daily as a VA. WordPress, Trello, Hootsuite, IFTTT, all things Google. How to set up your home office and manage to keep it separate from your household. How to create other income streams from your chosen niche. I’ve mentioned that I invested in a Science high school, so I think I’m also going to share how to invest your hard-earned money. Or how to manage your finances to have some left for investment.

Our vision for 2015 in the WAHMderful Life Community is #SuccessfulWAHM. Please tell us, in your own words, what this “success” means for you?

Success is being able to truly enjoy WAHM life, and when I say truly enjoy, it means not having to rant about how difficult WAHMing is, because in truth, it IS difficult. When you are spiritually at peace with where you are, emotionally stable to openly and warmly embrace all the difficulties and celebrate the small things, financially comfortable that you go to bed at night without worrying where the next rent money will be coming from, professionally confident that you can survive the stiff competition, and be completely present for your family, that’s when I say, I have succeeded.

To know more about Marge, visit www.thehappywahm.com and margeaberasturi.com. “Like” her updates on Facebook at Facebook.com/HelpforWAHMs. Sign up for the #SuccessfulWAHM Workshop on February 28, 2015: Real Ways to Be a WAHM: Set Up Your Virtual Assistance for Success!

WAHM Tips: 6 Branding Ideas That May Have Slipped Under Your Radar

Marketing DIY- 6 Branding Ideas That Slipped Under Your RadarIt can often seem very difficult for mom-trepreneur businesses to get the word out about their company. Not only is there plenty of competition from other companies with what seems like limitless funds, but it’s also difficult to find customers who will solely rely on your products when they are in need. However, in today’s age of technology, this isn’t as impossible as it may seem. And with the value that marketing can bring to your company, it should certainly be a priority. Here are six branding ideas that you may not have considered but will likely be helpful for your at home business.

Social Media

Each day, more and more people join social media sites. While some of them may do so to keep up with friends or post pictures, many people do it to find out information about companies and businesses that offer products or services that they need. If you are still undervaluing the impact of social media, your company will benefit from establishing and maintaining social media accounts that will help you with marketing. [Read more...]

10 Tips to Help You Transition from Corporate to Work-At-Home

9119039841_86f6cc5d01This is a guest post by contributor Marge Aberasturi of VA Support Pro.

I’ve been a WAHM for 7 years, and I’d be the first to admit that the journey has not been easy.  I didn’t get much time to prepare myself for the transition.  The shift was so sudden, it was like driving on a highway on cruise, confident that you’ll be reaching your destination in the next exit, and then, whoa, another vehicle comes out of nowhere and threatens to hit you head-on that you have to swerve as quickly as you can or you’ll be dead meat.

Twelve years of slacks, blazers and high heels, and all of a sudden I was wearing torn shorts and tees to work.  Twelve years of working in air-conditioned rooms, meeting with guys in ties, and all of a sudden I was working with a baby on my lap, and the burp cloth, my scarf.

Switching careers, like resigning from one job in one company and securing another position in another company, can be difficult enough.  Imagine how harder it is to be leaving a 15th and 30th of the month payroll, for something that you are not even sure will pay.

But it can be done.

I did it, and you definitely can, too.

As a WAHMeo who has gone through the transition without much ado, I’d like to share with you a few tips that I’m sure will take you off a lot of the stress I had to go through.

1. Take care of your financials first.  

While still gainfully employed, start building your nest egg.  You should [Read more...]

Shifting from a Freelancing to a WAHMeo Mindset

I’m currently a part-time employee, part-time freelancing WAHM. I have a part-time job as an editor of a small magazine, and at the same time, I have a freelance creative media sideline that serves a roster of clients who regularly tap me for copy and consulting. I’m loving it, but this year, I feel the need to really step up for a big change.

What kind of change exactly?

That of establishing a full-time business, doing these things that I enjoy doing for my clients on a full time basis.

I began working this way out of necessity. I was coming from a job where I lacked a sense of purpose and direction (ergo, it was destined to be a dead-end job); no one was investing in me (the company directors had no intention of supporting my continuing education); and, the compensation for what I was doing was just, well… you know.

Yeah, I was ready for a change.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucious  — This was my adage.

I left my former full-time teaching job and secured part-time employment at a media company that lets me keep my own schedule, work via a telecommuting/home-based arrangement, and leverage my creative writing skills towards editorial projects. I also began freelancing, mostly through my mommy blog, Dainty Mom.

From one client that I “met” through Craigslist, I progressed to several other clients, all of whom I “met” through my blog or in freelancing platforms online. I’ve been doing a mix of social media work, content creation, and editorial management. I enjoyed the fact that I could “switch on” work whenever I wanted to, and work in a way that could help me have more time for my family. [Read more...]

5 Key Features That Every WAHM Website Needs

5 key features WAHM websites

We’ve talked before about the importance of WAHMs having their own websites in order to grow their businesses or online careers. Indeed, one of the key components of your success as a work-at-home mompreneur or WAHM freelancer is your personal website. It’s like your corner office, your desk, your war room, your portfolio all-in-one. Most importantly, it’s your online business card.

But more than all that, your website should be about your customers.

Remember: You need clients and customers in order for your freelance business or work at home venture to thrive. Therefore, it’s key to have a website that your target customers can navigate with ease. Your design and website functionality must lead your visitors to either subscribe to your mailing list, or better, hire you for your services.

Here are 5 key features of a customer-oriented website, one that’ll help you get the right kind of customers for your business or freelance services. [Read more...]

Studiopress’s Mompreneur Child Theme, Great for WAHMeos!

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There’s just no excuse for mompreneurs and WAHMeos to not have their own website. I wrote about the importance of WAHMs having their own websites, and I just can’t stress it enough, especially in this day and age of the “she-conomy,” as Natalie MacNeil says (of She Takes on the World fame). Too many mom businessowners are depending on platforms like Facebook or Multiply to sell their wares, without giving much thought on building their online presence through a custom domain and self-hosted website.

Remember: Having your own website allows you to have complete control over your business, both online and offline.

Now, thanks to Studiopress, mom-business owners have a good option to consider, if they are ready to set up shop on their own home online. Mompreneurs, you can now buy a ready-to-use blog & shop theme for your online business, with MomPreneur, a child theme. This theme integrates two key elements of a mom-owned business: A blog and an e-commerce platform! Because really, these two components are all you need to establish a professional website that sells your products 24/7. [Read more...]

How to Benefit from a Work at Home Moms Mastermind

The first batch of WAHMs, during the planning stages of the very first WAHMderful Life Workshop: (L-R) Marge, me, Toni, and Michelle.

The first batch of WAHMs, during the planning stages of the very first WAHMderful Life Workshop: (L-R) Marge, me, Toni, and Michelle.

One of the reasons why I thought of starting the WAHMderful Life workshops was so that I could connect with other women who, like me, wanted a lifestyle that allowed them to “make a living while making a home.” I’m passionate about creating an inspiring, nurturing home and about women making a living from doing what they love. And so, I connected with other women who had the same passion, the same intentions. These women now collaborate with me on the workshops, and have become kindred spirits in the WAHMderful lifestyle.

It makes a difference when you connect with other women who, like you, have a goal they want to reach. This is what I’m talking about today over at The Work at Home Woman. I go into the benefits of masterminds, of connecting with other work-at-home moms towards a purpose, a goal. Head on over there now to get the goods. (And, if you like, leave a comment, too! I’d love to know your thoughts!)

Read “How to Benefit from a Work at Home Moms Mastermind” on the Work at Home Woman. 

Why You Need a Website if You’re a Work at Home Mom

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I notice that a growing number of mompreneurs have been relying on Facebook for their online stores or other mom-biz related marketing, promotions, and the like.  Some even use the platform to run their online sales, thanks to the available apps that can be used on your business or fan pages. This is all good, of course: Facebook still is the best way to share information and engage others, according to experts.

However, it stops there. While Facebook is good for info-sharing and engagement, it is not the best way to market your services as a work at home mom or mompreneur. In fact, experts warn us small business owners and freelancers from depending too much on the Facebook platform. Why? Simply because we have no control over what might happen to our Facebook accounts, the next time a big change comes along. The same goes for any other social networks we use: Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.

According to Small Business Search Marketing, having your own website is the key to the success of your business. Your website essentially is your online hub: It is your virtual business card, your office, and your primary marketing platform all rolled into one. Social media networks are merely the “roads” to your online home: They are where you go to “meet” people, to connect with potential clients, all of whom you can go up to and say, “Hey, there! Would you like to come over to my place? It’s awesome.” [Read more...]

Enthuse.Me: Showcase your work, knowledge or passion!


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PRESS RELEASE: enthuse.me launches beta to help working mothers build up & show off their ‘personal brand’

- Showcase your work, knowledge or passion -

enthuse.me (www.enthuse.me) is a new online tool for creating elegant one-page profiles to show off the best examples of working or self-employed mothers’ work or expertise. Released in beta, enthuse.me has been developed to support the growing number of working and self-employed mothers.

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 367,000 more people were self-employed in 2012 compared with 2008. This trend, together with a growing desire and need of self-employed working mothers to stand out more in their knowledge domains, is creating a demand for a new class of social network which allows people to showcase their own personal brand.  [Read more...]