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5 Smart Tips to Run Your Business While Travelling

5 Smart Tips to Run Your Business While TravellingOne of the key benefits of being your own boss is that you are free to move around the country and – why not – the globe as you please. Many entrepreneurs and lifestyle business owners are highly mobile and enjoy the freedom they afford to the maximum. And while they travel and explore new places and cultures, they also continue to run their businesses.

Modern technology makes it very easy to work from anywhere around the world. These days, entrepreneurs can host video conferences, manage their daily schedule, and create and send email documents using their smartphone. Various other apps help you automate your online marketing and social media activities, manage your time, keep track of payments from clients and communicate with anyone from any corner of the world at affordable prices.

At a glance, it seems that it is no big deal to manage a business on the go. However, it takes lots of planning and discipline to keep yourself focused on your work, when there are so many temptations and exciting things to do along your travel. Here are some helpful tips for you:

1. Set Specific Days Just for Work
Whether you explore a city or a country, you will have full days when you visit tourist attractions, museums or go on nature trails. However, you should fit at least two full work days per week in which you will stay in your leased apartment or hotel room and focus entirely on work.

These distraction-free days must be a staple in your schedule, no matter how long the journey may be. During these days, you will have the time to catch up with business issues, respond to emails, have video conferences with clients, and cover any other topics which require time and full attention.

2. Keep Track of the Time Zones
It may be 1 p.m. in Athens, Greece, but it is only 6 a.m. in New York, USA – not a great time to make a business phone call. In order to avoid unpleasant and embarrassing situations, always keep track of time zones and set your smartphone and laptop to display the time in your locations of interest, apart for the current time in your location.

3. Always Buy Local SIM Cards
If you use your US-based mobile phone, you will incur huge roaming fees, both on the voice and data plans. The simple and smart solution is to buy a prepaid SIM card from every country you are visiting and recharge it according to your needs. If you are a frequent visitor to certain countries, it may be worthwhile considering a subscription-based mobile plan.

4. Learn about Different Local Business Practices and Customs
Each culture has its particularities even when it comes to conducting business affairs. You will certainly get to do some business with local customers and other businesses (this is the whole point of traveling and doing business after all). For example, in Japan it is considered rude to say “no” directly during negotiations, you should seek a milder formula of rejection. In South American countries it is customary to open the discussion by talking about non-business issues, such as weather, sports, current events, etc.

5. Use Cloud Storage Facilities
Your computer or smartphone should not be the only storage solution for important documents. They could malfunction or be stolen from you, and you would lose lots and lots of valuable data. Cloud storage is the best way of keeping documents secure and always available to you wherever you may be located.

Last but not least, do not forget to input in your accounting software the location from each place where you are doing business. This is very important for the calculation of the taxes you owe, because you can take advantage of the double taxation avoidance treaties signed by the USA with various countries.

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How to Grow Your Home-Based Business by Outsourcing

how-to-grow-your-home-based-business-by-outsourcingEvery great business has to go through the growing pains, and the ability to withstand and overcome them makes the difference between success and failure. As a beginner entrepreneur, one of the most difficult issues you have to deal with is being a one-man-show. You have to cover all the bases and fulfill all the roles in a company. Even though you run a simple activity and you are just building your customer base, it is still a lot of work taking up most of your time.

“But what other options do I have? I am only a small home-based business owner!” Yes, it is true, at the very beginning you have to make it on your own. But as soon as your business has taken off, it is time to look for ways to clear up your daily schedule and have time to focus on the strategic growth of your business. The most affordable and effective solution is called outsourcing.

Why Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the most cost effective way for companies to delegate various activities, such as human resources management, accounting, and legal counseling to professional service providers. The main benefits of outsourcing is that you pay exactly for the quantity of services or amount of time spent working on your tasks. The people who perform the work will not become your employees thus, apart for the fee, you do not have to pay any other benefits (pension, health insurance, unemployment, etc.).

The Reason Small Business Owners Overlook Outsourcing
Even after careful calculations show them that they can outsource a part of their activities, many home-based business owners still refuse to do it. In truth, even you may seem a little wary of our recommendation, but read on. The number one reason that small business owners and top-level managers refuse to outsource or delegate is the fear of losing control.

“I know best how this should be done!” is a phrase more common than you would imagine among entrepreneurs faced with this possibility. Once you let someone else take a task from you, you may feel that you are no longer under full control of your business, that it may be taken away from you or that it is a sign of weakness.

On the contrary, outsourcing is what smart entrepreneurs do to grow their business: they leave time consuming and non-core tasks to people who are skilled at them, and can do them fast and accurately.

What to Outsource
Once you become comfortable with the idea, you will soon find a lot of tasks which can and should be outsourced to others:

1. Secretarial Activities
Virtual assistants can help you with everything from answering emails, preparing documents, proofreading, keeping your agenda and keeping track of bills, tax returns and other important documents.

2. Graphic and Web Design
Free tools will help you design a lot of things, but it is the talent that makes the true difference. You want your website and visual marketing materials to look great and professional, so you should leave them to a professional.

3. Content Writing
Even if you are skilled at writing, it takes time to prepare all the content you need for your online marketing and lead nurturing campaigns. It does not mean that you should stop writing altogether, when you want to add a blog post or article with a more personal touch, but leave the largest part of content writing to a freelance writer.

4. SEO and Marketing Automation
These tasks are not to be done in a hurry – it takes time to identify the perfect keywords to rank for, to set up and monitor Facebook ad campaigns and so on. Outsourcing these activities will free up your schedule and ensure that you get measurable results for the money you invest in them.

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4 Ways To Do Forum Marketing Better

Marketing in discussion forums can be an excellent source of targeted traffic if you do it right.  Many people understand that they should be doing forum marketing, but are unclear on how to go about it.  Here are four ways you can do for marketing better than you may currently be doing it.

1. Find a handful of forums to join in and become active in them. You want to hang out where people have common interests that relate to the theme of your business.

It may take a little while for you to become comfortable with a small list of forums, but eventually you will settle in on ones that work best for you. This is a much better approach than trying to join a high number of discussion forums and not participating on a regular basis in any of them.

2. Create a signature file that contains products not everybody else is selling. Also don’t include products in your signature file for a product that everyone else already has.

For example if you are in a membership site, there is no sense putting a link to that membership site in your sig file. It is amazing how many people do that.

One other thing is do not overcrowd your signature file. You will get better results if you target a couple of your favorite websites or products and refer people to those.

3. Work at creating credibility within the forum. You do this by being helpful and providing quality information.

Many people think that the number of posts they make is more important than the quality of them. You will find that people respect you, and will go to your signature file more often, if you are providing quality responses to the questions they have.

This is known as adding value to the discussion and is extremely important if you want to do forum better.

4. Do not spam in any forum post. This is the quickest way to lose your credibility and to get banned by the forum itself. Spamming a forum post is where your answer is written in the form of a sales pitch as opposed to being a helpful answer.

In summary this is four ways to do forum marketing better. Many people make a full time living on the Internet today doing nothing more than marketing their business in forums. They get more quality traffic, sell more products, and make more friends for future business, just through this excellent form of Internet marketing.

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