Career

home-office-569153_640Running a business from home is an ambition many people share. Setting up a business doesn't need to be difficult with these simple ideas.

Ebook

Having a book published is no where near as difficult as it used to be. The difficult part of this is the actual writing. A great deal of ebooks are badly written, terribly edited and inadequately structured. If you are able to avoid these pitfalls and have a great idea, then it is relatively simple after that. It's a good idea to spend time on the design of the front cover as the thumbnail image of the cover will be all your potential readers will see. Promote your book through social media and your own friends and family. With a bit of luck you will have a book that sells without you having to do too much more work.

Social Media Consultant

If you are a whizz on social media, then perhaps you can advise other businesses on promoting themselves. It's a great idea to build your confidence by offering a local business with little or no social media presence some free guidance. Build your own presence online and remember that the key to social media is supporting others. Creating a blog about social media will help people searching for advice to find you. Most of the old fashioned legwork will be done online and this makes advising others on social media a great business to run from home.

Virtual Personal Assistant

Setting yourself up as a virtual PA is a really simple way to run a business from home. If you have experience in administration, you are really organized and you like organizing others, then this is the online business for you. There are lots of sites like Upwork.com and Peopleperhour.com that allow you to sell your administrative skills by the hour or by the task. Some of these sites have businesses advertising for help by the single job like organizing data bases and mail shots. Don't forget about offline businesses. By promoting yourself to local businesses you might find someone in need of tasks doing that you can do easily online.

Ecommerce

Setting up a shop selling lots of your favorite things is a dream lots of people have. This is easy and simple to do from home. Whether its homeware or padded envelopes, Finding a specialist niche is the most important part. With an online community based around this niche finding your customers is much easier than a bricks and mortar store. It's really important to search out any and all of your competition. Make sure that there isn't anyone occupying your niche if it's a small one. There are plenty of websites such as Shopify.com that make it very easy to set up a sleek and professional shop front. Finding a loyal following on social media will really help to promote your store and get those all important customers.

Setting up a business can be an exciting and difficult process. With a little thought and the right business it can be easy to set up and simple to run from home.

restaurant-842342_640Ditch the whiteboard and the spreadsheets and invite your colleagues—or prospective clients—out to lunch. Networking is a key ingredient to success at every level, whether you’re an intern or an executive, and while social media and sites like LinkedIn have made virtual networking as simple as the push of a button, there’s much to be said for good old-fashioned conversation. One of the most reliable and effective methods of relationship-building is to share a meal, whether you’re meeting with prospective clients or partners, or looking to strengthen the bond among your colleagues or staff. Aside from being a more personable approach, it’s also strategic in that everyone is a little more receptive to new ideas with a sandwich—or martini—in hand.

Three Martini Lunch

This one isn’t just swanky, it’s scientific. Conventional wisdom—and experience—tells us that alcohol is more conducive to memory-making than it is to helping us remember a particularly tipsy evening. Aside from worsening memory, alcohol also impedes the brain’s executive processes. But it’s this same property that enhances our creative aptitude.

Various studies, including one conducted by the University of Illinois entitled “Uncorking the Muse: Alcohol Intoxication Facilitates Creative Problem Solving,” have found that imbibing a moderate amount of alcohol can help to knock down the barriers to free thought, i.e. “writer’s block” and the like. It may be one of the reasons so many famed creatives (Ernest Hemingway and Truman Capote, for example) so coveted their alcohol.

In addition to being a fount of creativity, alcohol can help relieve the tension and stress that so often underlies such meetings. Just be sure to drink in moderation, and never imbibe more than your drinking partner.

Brunch

Brunch (or second breakfast, for some of us) is a perfect medley of two of the best parts of any day: breakfast and lunch. It also comes complete with its own delicious drink option: the mimosa, a bubbly sweet mixture ideal for starting off a day of casual conversation and relationship-building.

If you’ve watched “Parks and Rec,” you’ll recall Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson had some of their most earnest heart-to-hearts and most stellar brainstorming sessions over a warm plateful of breakfast foods. If it works for those two, it’s worth a shot, at least.

Brunch is also a break from the conventional lunch option, and has recently become one of the most popular options for social gatherings of all sorts. It’s an especially great option if your brunch partner is one who starts their day earlier than most, or if you’re inviting them for a casual weekend midday meeting.

Two Cider Lunch

The offspring of the three martini lunch, the two-cider lunch is a modern twist that takes the essence of its traditional counterpart with a lower overall alcohol content. The majority of ciders have a lower ABV than most wines, and certainly one lower than a martini, making it easy to sip one or a couple without concern about losing your composure.

Ciders also come in a variety of flavors suitable to just about any palette. Though some beverages—wine and hard liquor included—are preferred by some and largely avoided by others, cider is a time-tested classic just about anyone can enjoy.

As an added touch, enjoy a local cider in a local pub or cafe to enhance your amicability and share with your drinking partner your familiarity and appreciation for the city (and subsequently the larger population with whom you work).

Of course, there are many other ways to spice up a business meeting. Have some tried-and-true concepts of your own? Share them in the comments below!

office-820390_640Online video chat apps are not only a great social tool, but they are becoming increasingly useful for businesses too. If you have been using them in your daily work or for important meetings, you have probably discovered this already. But there may be additional ways that your chosen piece of software can help both your work and personal life further in ways you haven’t realized. Here are just a few things you can begin to try out today:

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