Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting a Consulting Business

Have you worked in the office drudgery long enough and want to branch out on your own? Consulting is becoming a more popular option, especially since the internet has made long-distance communication and working from home so much easier. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages or starting a consulting business to help you make your decision.

Advantages

1. You are your own boss. Even if you have the greatest boss in the world, you’ve probably had issues with them at one point or another. It’s inevitable that everyone will disagree eventually. If you start your own business, you get to be your own boss and make your own rules.

2. No office politics. In addition to not having a boss, you also don’t have co-workers. While this means you have to do a wider variety of work, you also don’t have to rely on other people or deal with their problems.

3. Higher pay. While you may have to settle for low prices to bring business in when you first get started, once your name is out there and you have an established customer base, you can set your own prices and generally make more money than you would working for someone else.

4. Working with what you know. The beauty about being a consultant is that the term is so ambiguous. A consultant is simply someone who gives advice. This means that you give advice on what you decide. You get to teach people about what you already know.

5. Pick your own work. If your boss gives you a project you don’t want to do or disagree with morally or for some other reason, you have to suck it up and do it. When you run your own consulting business, you get to decide which jobs you want to work on.

Disadvantages

1. Unsteady income. Most jobs provide a pretty steady income, but when you run your own business, you have no guarantees. Even if you have steady clients, there’s always a chance they’re going to have to cut their budget permanently or temporarily.

2. You’re responsible for your own benefits. Most employers provide benefits like health insurance and reduced rates on other insurance. They also pay a chunk of money into taxes out directly from your paycheck. If you own your own business, you are responsible for taking care of these expenses on your own.

3. You have to do the unfun part of business as well. If you run your own business, you are responsible for keeping the books, running your schedule, answering phones and emails, and a whole slew of undesirable tasks. You can always hire someone else to do that, but you’ll have to be making enough money to support their salary.

4. No work, no pay. It’s simple. There’s no sick leave, no vacation time, no personal time. If you want to take a break, you’re not going to get paid so you have to have enough extra income to compensate. (There are ways to compensate for this, but on it’s own it’s a pay as you go world)

5. You must be self-motivated. Not having a boss breathing down your neck may leave you less stress, but often it means you’ll get less work done. Plus, if you’re working from home, you’ll find there’s a lot more distractions there than at an office. To be successful, you have to learn how to keep yourself on task.

Writing Content for Websites

Are you a creative person? If that creativity extends to the written word, you could have a future in writing. Websites are always on the lookout for good writing.

Websites are used to sell products and services. And good content is the key to that sales process. Writing online tends to fall into two categories, the hard-sell sale page writing and the writing of informative content that positions the sale.

How many websites can you think of that are full of informative articles and snippets of expert advice? You don’t think that the website owners write all of those interesting articles do you? Writing is not a requirement to being a successful website business owner, but good web content is needed to help the business make money.

This is where you could come in. Writing content for websites is a lucrative business, when well managed and geared towards excellence. If you have a grasp of basic grammar and spelling, and also like to write, you could be just the person that a website business owner needs to partner with.

Most websites post content that is around 400-500 words in length. You read articles at least that long in newspapers and magazines. Website content does have slightly different structural guidelines than typical print writing, but you can learn those with a good style book or a solid course in content writing.

Writing content can be done at home in front of your home computer. This can be an incredibly appealing proposition for stay-at-home moms and people looking to make some extra money. (I know it was for me! I spent many years happily writing from home as my children grew.) You can operate a full-time or part-time writing business, like any business – you control your own growth and success.

To operate a content writing business from home, you will need a few basic tools:

* Computer (desktop or laptop)
* High speed Internet connection
* Printer/copier/fax/scanner (you can get an all-in-one printer)
* Telephone
* Software (accounting, time management, Microsoft Office, etc.)

Most people have these items in their home already. Your computer will need to be mostly dedicated to business since you need it to write.

The trick to any business is to get your feet wet. There are web-based businesses that deal in supplying good content to websites that need it. They may be willing to give you a shot as a freelancer to see how you work out.

But, before you hire yourself out, try working with websites that publish popular content and pay for your work. Sites of this type give you the opportunity to write what you like and get paid for it. You won’t get rich but you will gain the experience of writing for the Internet. These sites will have writer forums as well. Interact with other writers to learn writing tips and also how to promote your writing.

Join writing websites. Signing up is usually free and you can talk to other writers about the craft and their experiences writing website content. You’ll find a friend or two and maybe some leads on writing work.

Also, write every day. There is no other way to hone your skills except to write. If you have trouble coming up with topics, enroll in an online writing course that teaches about writing for the Internet.

Writing content is a good way for a writer to get their feet wet in the writing world and provides a valuable commodity.

If you want to learn more about how to start a content writing business (or any other business, for that matter) in the Yellowhead East – please sign up for the Biz Talk Bulletin or give us a call at 780 706 3500 (Out of Whitecourt call Toll-free at 877-706-3500)

Women Making Money

The Internet offers many opportunities to make money for both men and women. Anyone can make extra spending money by selling unused items, blogging part-time or doing affiliate marketing. Alternatively, one can start a fully-fledged business online with limited funds and a little bit of knowledge. Despite having been an online entrepreneur for years, I find new ways to make money online are cropping up every day.

Women are especially attracted to the possibilities the Internet offers. The allure of staying at home has increased over the years and it’s become somewhat mainstream to have a home-based business venture. In the past, many stuck to the direct sales and network marketing options, but that’s changing as more opportunities emerge. Some are entrepreneurial spirits who recognize the benefits that doing business online has to offer. Others are moms who need a flexible schedule so they can better care for their children. Still others have health issues that make it difficult or impossible to get a traditional job. Whatever the reason, more women are making money online than ever before.

There are numerous ways that one can earn money online. Here are a few options from the many possibilities that exist today:

* Ecommerce – Whether you sell at online auction sites or set up your own ecommerce store, selling online provides great income potential. With proper promotion of your site and/or products, you can sell almost anything online. Everyone with an Internet connection and a credit or debit card is a potential customer (that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know about finding and reaching a specific target market!!), so if you get the word out, you’re bound to find someone who needs or wants what you have to offer.

* Blogging – Many Internet users maintain blogs as a hobby, but did you know that you can make money blogging? You can sell advertising or promote affiliate products on your blog, and if you have a substantial amount of traffic, you can make good money with sponsorships, advertising and other monetizing tactics.

* Internet marketing – Selling ebooks, software, and other downloadable products online is a great way to make money. It doesn’t require a large investment or much overhead, and you can get paid over and over again for one piece of work. Delivery can be completely automated, leaving you to handle little more than marketing and creating new products.

* Services – Selling services online has become a popular way for talented women to make money. Those with secretarial backgrounds often excel in virtual assistance. Other talents that could make you money online include graphic design, proof-reading, photography and writing.

* Domaining – Buying and selling domains can be a very lucrative online business. The best domains have sold for millions of dollars. This is a rather tricky business these days, but if you can master it, the income potential is tremendous.

Starting a business online has proven to be an effective way for women to be their own bosses and make a steady income. With all of the opportunities that are available today, almost any woman can find something to do online that she enjoys. There’s no time like right now to jump on the Internet’s moneymaking bandwagon.

To learn more about how to choose an online career that’s right for you, connect with our business advisor to book an appointment to explore the possibilities – and be sure to sign up for the Biz Talk Newsletter for more tips and hints on how to start, grow or expand your business in the Yellowhead East region.

What Is a Professional Blogger?

This is a blog.

This is an article about blogs.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, this is not an article about lifting heavy logs. A blogger is someone who blogs. Now, if you don’t know what a blog is, it’s an online journal of sorts where people can write about anything they desire.

Let’s begin at the beginning. A blog is an online journal. It is similar to a website. In fact, it really is no different than a website. In the beginning, when blogs began – there was a difference – but now there is close to no difference adn people call blogs websites and websites blogs. In many cases, blogs have web addresses but usually the address contains the name of the blog host in the extension.

People blog about all sorts of things. Some read just like a journal entry. Blog posts or blog content are dated depending on when they were posted. Most blog posts are short and anyone reading them can post comments for the blogger.

A blogger, in case you haven’t guessed, is the name for the person who blogs. Many start out with a blog instead of a website to get the feel for being online. Blogs, at the beginner level, are usually free to sign up and have features that you can choose from to create your blog pages. It is quick and easy and you can have your blog up and running in no time. You will have to move off of free blogs if you expect to turn it into a profession in most cases. There are few cases of massive success that have come from exclusively free blog services.

If you want to drive traffic to your blog (which you do), your topics are current and filled with useful information. Optimizing your blog content makes your content easier to find in the search engines.

Blogging can make you money. Some blog sites allow you to post ads or use programs like Google AdSense to make some revenue. You can use your blog to talk about and promote products for other website or your own.

A professional blogger is someone who blogs for a living. This is a term used by bloggers to describe themselves. Usually a professional blogger will write and submit posts for several hours a day. They also answer questions from people who comment on posts. It is not uncommon for a professional blogger to have several blogs that they check every day.

The primary concern of the blogger is not just blogging, but also getting noticed. A professional blogger might belong to several social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Squidoo (not anymore) and MySpace (back in the dark ages, but not so much now). (More modern platforms include Pinterest, Instagram and Snap ChatMeeting other bloggers and setting up profiles increases your online presence. You can invite friends and those on your buddy list to visit your blogs and make comments.

If a professional blogger is lucky, his or her “following” could be noticed by a bigger company. Some blogs can be bought by companies to do work for them. Associating with a notable website or offline company adds credibility to the blogger.

Bloggers who can market themselves well can become very good at what they do. Professional bloggers are those who have taken their skill to another level. Blogging on a full-time basis is not for everyone but it can make you good money if you are the right person.

To learn more about blogging, either as a profession or as a marketing tool, be sure to sign up for the Biz Talk Bulletin  and sign up for the workshops or webinars that can get you where you want to be.