Tag Archives: business

Glimpse

For the past two weeks, I have faltered somewhat with posting. Two weeks ago, I didn’t publish a Lite Fare Fridays at all, last week, Lite Fare Fridays was posted on Saturday and this week, I didn’t post the Techy Tuesdays post that I had indicated in the schedule.

The only excuse I can provide is that my schedule has been pretty topsy turvy in the past couple of weeks and I don’t expect it to improve near term. Two weeks ago, I was in party-planning mode and this past week I was preparing to have a friend stay for the weekend. I’d like to say that I am back on track, but truthfully, I am not.

Over the next month or so, I will need to ask you to bear with me and slight changes to my schedule as I prepare to move myself and my office down to Gulfport, MS. I will do my best to provide information to my readers if my schedule changes, but sometimes it will be unforeseen. I want to assure you that if I fail to post on a day that is scheduled, I will pick up the schedule for that day on the following week. In other words, except for Tough Life Thursdays, posts for other days will not stop indefinitely. Thanks in advance for your patience.

Glimpse

Now, without further ado, here is a Glimpse from next week’s schedule:

Make Money Mondays: Home Office Series: For my transition, I have made a list of the things that I anticipate needing in my new home office. I will discuss these and other items that will be useful to supply in your home office.

Techy Tuesdays: Home Office Series: I continue the discussion about finding the right Internet service for your home office. I will discuss appropriate speeds and whether you should purchase separate Internet plans for your residence and your home office.

Wedded Bliss Wednesdays: TBD

Tough Life Thursdays: Discontinued Until Further Notice

LITE FARE FRIDAYS is anything thing that I feel like discussing on that day. I will try to keep it light just in time for the weekend! . If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.

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From Commuting to Telecommuting

In a couple of months, I will be going from auto commuting to telecommuting.  Once I move to Mississippi, I will be doing my consulting job from a home office that I will need to set up to run independently of my firm’s home office in the Washington, DC area.  Establishing a remote work environment outside of our headquarters is a big step that will require a lot of preparation from both a professional and logistical standpoint.

The professional work that goes into transitioning from commuting to telecommuting is ongoing and includes relationship-building and strengthening, establishment and clarification of objectives and goals, and the demonstration of value and enhanced performance. 

I will discuss some of the logistical work that goes into transitioning to a home office at the time that I am setting up my home office.  I think the discussion on logistics should be captured at the time that I am implementing them.

The Professional Work  

During a recent summit at my firm, the subject of billable hours was raised and a discussion ensued about ways to attract more business, including upselling services existing clients. For me, this discussion is timely. Once I move to a home office, away from the main office, it will be more important than ever to maintain a continuous workload, while being less reliant on the home office resources.  

At the same time, there is still other work that I will do to preserve the existing relationship with my employer. If you will be transitioning to a home office at sometime in the future, I would recommend considering the following.   

Building and Strengthening Relationships

Prior to transitioning to a home office, it should be a priority to build and strengthen professional relationships, as well as relationships with clients.  You may already be doing this, but this will become even more important when you are no longer in the office. 

Consider the colleagues that you are currently working with on a routine basis.  Inform them of your impending transition and provide a plan of action.  How do you intend to communicate with them?  How often?  How will you utilize them and their areas of expertise to support yourself in business from your remote location? 

Will you need additional administrative support to assist with tasks that you will no longer be able to achieve because you are not in the office.  These tasks might include large print jobs, or research utilizing resources only available at your office.

 Inform support staff that you will rely on them for such items.  It is better to let them know before you leave.  Sometimes in large offices, we take for granted the support we receive from administrative staff.  It will be important to establish a rapport with such staff in person prior leaving since, after relocating, you are likely to only be dealing with them by email or phone.

If you will manage client accounts, it is important to strengthen your existing relationships with clients.  Let your clients know of your impending transition.  You may want to reassure your clients that your relationship will not change. 

If you be able to offer additional value to your clients because of your transition, let them know this as well.  Perhaps you will be in a better position to do client visits or will be able to be more flexible with time, be sure to communicate these things beforehand. 

Establishment and Clarification of Objectives and Goals

What are the objectives and goals set out for you in your position now?  Get clarification on objectives that are not clear or that have not been articulated.  It is easier to have a clear understanding of your employer’s expectation.  This should be used as your minimum basis for accomplishment. 

What are your personal business goals?  On top of your existing objectives, what other things do you intend to accomplish above the minimum? 

I would suggest writing down all objectives and goals.  Sometimes having such items in list form in a visible location will help you to implement and achieve the items on the list. 

Your goals should also incorporate an agenda to promote the building and strengthening of relationships and the demonstration of value to your employer.

Demonstrating Value: Maintain Your Presence/Flaunt Your Relevance

Once you transition to a remote office, you must aim to avoid an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality setting in as far as you are concerned.  To maintain your presence with your employer, you may have to flaunt your relevance in a number of areas.

How will you stay fresh in the minds of those that matter in your office?  You must demonstrate the value to your employer in keeping you around as an employee, even remotely. 

Think about the things that you are already bringing to the table.  You may be a prominent rainmaker, able to attract new business or provide valuable contacts, or you may be a team leader or have specialized skills making you an important asset to your employer.  Whatever it is that you are bringing to the table, it will be very important to maintain the value in these things while offering additional things on top of these such that you are offering increasing value over a period of time.

If you were making a transition from commuting to telecommuting, what kind of preparations would you make?

MAKE MONEY MONDAYS is a forum to discuss ways in which you can create additional sources of income.  I try to focus on particular ideas and steps you can take to create alternative income and passive income sources.  I have also begun a series of posts called “Rental Property Conversion.”  This series follows my husband and I as we turn our property into a rental property.  I will also research and post other useful information in this category. If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive my content updates by email or RSS reader. 

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Lite Fare: Glimpse and Roundup

GLIMPSE

Make Money Monday:  From Auto Commuting to Telecommuting – As I prepare to make the transition from reporting to an office everyday to telecommuting from a home office everyday, I will discuss some of the changes that I will need to make in the way I do my job.  When telecommuting, it is important to maintain a strong and permeating presence with employers and with your clients. 

Techy Tuesday: Building A Blog Series: Is it time for me to start paying for a hosting service?  I want to look at this question a little closer and decide whether now’s the time to go at it alone. I will examine the question of when is the right time to leave the safety of free host services and host your own website.

Wedded Bliss Wednesday: TBD

Tough Life Thursday: TBD

ROUND UP

  • Every once in a while, it is good to have a reminder to Stop Reading, Start Doing.  Here, Kevin Muldoon from Time to Tweet reminds us not to spend all of our time reading other people’s blogs at the expense of updating our own.  Scheduling is key and although reading others’ blogs may help us with our own writing, he suggests not spending more than 25% of your allotted blogging time reading other blogs. 

LITE FARE FRIDAYS is anything thing that I feel like discussing on that day.  I will try to keep it light just in time for the weekend! .  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.  

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Quicken Rental Property Manager – Discounts, Cash Back and Additional Value

This past weekend, I finally got around to purchasing Quicken Rental Property Manager.  Late last year, I decided to purchase the software since my husband would be taking our PC laptop on his deployment, along with my trial version of Microsoft Money.  But, after I bought my MacBook Pro, I discovered that Quicken did not make a Mac-compatible version of Rental Property Manager.   It seems that I’ve been burned one too many times by this scenario this year already, but that is a discussion for another day.  Since I think mild inconvenience is worth having the superior personal finance management software, I decided to do what I did for TaxAct and put the Quicken software on my work PC laptop.  

I saved $60 on my purchase of Quicken Rental Property.

Right now, Quicken is offering Rental Property Manager on its website at a $50 discount.  So the software, which normally sells for $149.99, is now $99.99 on the Quicken website.  I also got an additional $10 off the purchase price with a cash back offer at Fat Wallet, a website offering coupons and cash back for purchases at many online retailers, including Quicken. 

Through these deals, I purchased the software for only $89.99.   

Quicken also offers additional value to your purchase by including with your purchase the Quicken WillMaker Plus 2009 estate planning software and Quicken Legal Business Pro.

The Software

 I chose Quicken Rental Property Manager as opposed to other Quicken products because with Rental Property Manager I can track finances in three areas of interest for me:

·      Personal Finance

·      Rental Property

·      Business

The Personal Finance component helps you track your various personal accounts, including banking, credit cards and other debt and income sources.  I found set up to be very simple.  If you are comfortable entering your financial institution information to enable Quicken to download account information, the tracking and updating of this information is automated.  Otherwise, you can manually enter and update account information.

In setting up my accounts, I found that most of my financial institutions were recognized by Quicken, except FNBO Direct online bank.  Nor did Quicken recognize its brick- and-mortar branch, First National Bank of Omaha.  So, I had to enter the information from my FNBO Direct account manually.  The downside is that I will also have to update transactions to this account manually.

Quicken tracks Rental Property and Business functions.  For rental property, you can track such items as rents due and overdue, lease dates, and vacant units.   This function also tracks profits and losses, as well as income and expenses derived from your rental property.  In addition, you can track other business profits, losses, income and expenses in general. 

I expect these functions to help me stay organized through our rental property conversion and with Aspire to Grace, my sole proprietorship.  However, I don’t expect to use these functions right away.

One other feature, which adds additional value to this software is the Quicken Picks.  This feature provides access to online coupons, free offers, cash back and discount offers.  Quicken indicates that once $10 has accumulated in your account from cash back offers, it automatically sends you a check.

Are you looking for finance management software?  Have you tried Quicken?  Please share your comments in the comments section.    

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.  

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Building a Home Office

As I prepare for my move to Mississippi to join my husband at our next duty station, I sought and have now obtained the opportunity to stay on with my firm and will be working remotely from home in Mississippi.  I am a business consultant in telecommunications and the nature of my business will make it relatively easy for me to make a transition to Mississippi and continue to perform the duties of my work.  I am eager to make this transition and will be making preparations for this change over the next few months.  Although I will maintain employment with my firm in one form or another, I will need to set up a home office and manage my consulting practice out of that office the same way that I have done out of our headquarters for the past five years.  Except now, I will be conducting my own branch of our offices and will need to govern the business of my office with same professionalism that I would apply if I were in business for myself.  

As I make this transition, I will discuss my experiences with setting up a remote home office.  I will discuss the resources I use and the process of establishing a functional home office environment.

In the meantime, you can find additional information about setting up a home office from these links:

Seven Rules in Setting Up Your Home Office

How Setting Up a Home Office Works

Setting Up an IRS Compliant Home Office

Setting Up Your Home Office – YouTube Video

If you have ever set up a remote home office, I’d like to hear your stories.  What did you do to set up your office?  What has been your experience with working remotely?  Please share your comments in the comment section.   

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Make Money Monday: Why Not Franchise a golfTEC?

 

 

By Chispita_666

By Chispita_666

 

For Make Money Monday this week, I thought I’d discuss a business concept that I have never considered before – franchising.  I recently attended an instruction session at a golfTEC, courtesy of the Ladies Dinner Club.  golfTEC offered our group complimentary golf swing analyses via Professional Golfers Association (PGA) professionals and computer graphics technology.  They use a camera and biotech feedback to record and provide comparisons of your swing to professional averages.  They even have video shorts recorded of PGA professionals such as Tiger Woods taking swings at the ball and provide a video close-up of you in split screen with the professional.  This was a very valuable tool used to provide a side-by-side comparison.  Using a graphics pen, the professional instructor could draw lines to show one’s own body angles when hitting a golf ball as compared with a PGA professional.  This method of instruction was very beneficial. 

golfTEC Franchises

golfTECs are owned by investors, including PGA and Ladies PGA (LPGA) professionals.  According to the company’s website, golfTEC is a brand recognized by the PGA of America as certified indoor teaching centers and almost all of the instructors are PGA or LPGA professionals.  All instructors are golfTEC certified instructors.

According to entrepreneur.com golfTEC is ranked #43 in the top home based franchises and #1 in its category of franchises.  Entrepreneur.com also lists a total investment in golfTEC between $111.5k and $427.7k with a franchise fee of between  $17.5k and $35k.

Benefits of Business

Golf enthusiasts that value the game of golf may find pursuing a golfTEC franchise as a way to connect with industry players while teaching others how to improve their golf game.   Just as with any business venture, there are certainly risks, but also many potential rewards.  Why not franchise a golfTEC?

Have you ever considered franchising a business?  What’s your take?

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