The Amazing Benefits of Self-Employment
self-employment

I don’t believe that I am alone in saying that I’m shocked at how quickly the winter season has come and gone. Where did the time go? 13 years from my legal retirement age, I realise that even these years will also be gone in a flash. I can’t also imagine how I ever dreamed that I could continue to bury my head in the sand about how I would be able to afford to live when this time came.

It has taken a personal tragedy to make me address reality and be proactive in taking some control over my financial future. I’ve realised that I know hardly anyone who is still in employment at retirement age. Besides, two thirds of the final Salary Pension to which I signed up 26 years ago, is but a distant dream. In addition to all that, with the news that for those of us in employment, the increase in technology means that we are all working 5 times harder than we did in the 70’s. This situation will only worsen and, for the vast majority of us, we are running harder and going backwards. Furthermore, no longer can we depend on our parents leaving us their property. Their increasing longevity and changes in the law means that this inheritance is now being gobbled up by Nursing Home fees. Added to this, our children’s inability to secure employment or housing could possibly result in a very bleak future if we do not act now.

So how can we keep up?

 I used to think of self-employment as a dirty word, but after having experienced it, I’m wondering why I didn’t try it before. For me, it’s about tapping into skills and talents that are lying dormant and using them to starting new businesses. This could possibly secure a reasonable lifestyle with which to retire comfortably; it may even be our only means of support in retirement. This is where OM really delivers the tools because it allows you to make multiple income streams by advertising your skills, as well as testing and selling your products. You can use the time left in employment to test and build up a business.

The good thing about this site is that you can find other people with complementary skills and work alongside them to share ideas, projects, etc. In this way, you can achieve things that you couldn’t have done on your own. With an online OM shop, you could start making money now. The best thing about this is that the OM team will actually do your digital promotion for you so you don’t even have to create your own website!

I have been able to start my own business and until it begins to bring in an income, I can get some revenue from my other skills. I might even be required for mentoring because of my own business knowledge. All my skills can potentially earn me income. As most people tend to drift into areas they are good at, for the first time in my life I can say that although I am working, hard it doesn’t feel like work.

Debbie Davis
Opus Matrix

Find Your Business Network and Grow
business network

Twenty-five years ago, before computers became mainstream for ordinary people like me, I learned a very valuable lesson. Funny, I’m applying it only now, but with big leaps forward in technology, I am able to take this learning experience to another level. For a short time in the 90’s, I explored self-employment as a Financial Advisor. During my training, my colleagues and I were told to draw up a list of all our friends and people we knew and target them as our first clients. The people I targeted became my very first customers and as they recommended me to others and my business rapidly increased. I later learned that some people in the office had been growing their businesses in this way for 25 years!

Fast forward to today. I found myself heading down the self-employment route again very recently. It’s been four years and through trial and error, I’ve realised that those same principles apply and work today. Connecting with other people in a meaningful way, such as through a purpose-built business platform like LinkedIn, Opus Matrix is definitely the way forward. The recession has meant that many more people are subscribing to networks and business communities like this. So why go it alone?

The most important thing is to find the business network that suits your personality and your needs and which offers your business the best chance to grow. There are several sites around from which to choose, but like many people, I have found that they don’t all offer the same degree of return for the effort I’ve put in. Being a social medium, as well as a business network site, opusmatrix.com enabled me to easily identify other professionals’ skills and connect with them. It started with me inviting my friends, and they inviting theirs. In this way, we have created a pool of skills, resources and even people to work with and support one another.

This is what the network has offered me:

1   The Ability to Form Working Relationships

During my journey, I realized that I did not possess all the knowledge and strengths I needed in order to make my business a reality. By connecting with others, I am now able to create a business that I never could have made on my own.

2   The Ability to Have Multiple Income Streams

Yes, this has been a great discovery. Through ‘putting my skills out there’, I have found that people are willing to pay me for some skills that I considered a hobby, because others needed my expertise to further their business project.

  1. More Customers

Being in a dedicated Business Network has provided me with both working partners and customers. Inviting my friends to join and encouraging them to ask their own friends, has greatly increased all our opportunities. This has meant that by increasing our skills mix, we are providing more potential customers for all of us.

4   A New Social Life

Through the links I’ve made, I have dramatically improved my social life. YES! Meeting others with different skills who I might not otherwise have met, has meant countless invitations and networking with others through their connections. I’ve made some great new friends whom I might never have met before. In fact, I’ve never been so popular.

This is what I’ve learned:

  • Find a business network platform that works for you.
  • Work your network. You get out only what you put in.
  • Grow your business.

Debbie Davis

Opus Matrix

The Four Secrets Steps to Identifying your Very Best Clients
number 4

• Are you struggling to identify the people you really want to do business with?
• Are you looking for more clients to grow your business but don’t know where to find them?
• Do you know which of your clients are worthy of your efforts?
• Do you know which of your clients are costing you more than their worth?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, this Business Masterclass is for you.

Jane Quinn, an expert in helping businesses grow successfully, invites you to come and join her in this informative and interactive masterclass where you will have the opportunity to face your current business reality and unravel the opportunities vital to making your business the success you deserve.

Here’s what we’ll cover on the day:
• Why selling to ‘anybody and everybody’ isn’t the best sales strategy
• Discovering who your product or service is perfect for
• Learning a simple method of finding those you want to work with
• Crafting a step by step plan to create your super successful business
Because of the nature of this event, we have restricted places so book now to make sure you get a seat and take that first step to not only a bigger, brighter business but also a great future.

Where: Desk Union, 36 St Andrew Square
When:25th June 2015 10an till 3pm
Investment: £25.85 (inc vat)
Follow the link here to register

Till the next time,

Kind Regards,

Jane Quinn
Director

P.S. One more thing.....don't keep us a secret, please share this.

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Email: [email protected]
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What Do a Roundabout and a Police Person Have in Common?
July 20, 2015
0

Source: Jane Quinn

I indulged in an amazing hour and a half of deep belly breathing at my meditation class last Tuesday, and afterwards was feeling a little ‘light headed’. I probably should have given myself a little while to regain my equilibrium, but since all I had inhaled was oxygen, I felt safe to drive home.

Unfortunately, I had a “wobble” in my difficulty to select the correct exit off a roundabout and was sadly mistakenly taken for a drunk driver by a policeman! I always feel like I’ve done something wrong when I’m stopped by the police, even when I’m totally innocent, as in this case! But the test quickly proved I had no alcohol in my breath and I was free to go.

We strive in life to keep our home and ourselves in order.
Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we encounter hiccups!

In business, we look to get our business and our work organised, so that we can enjoy our home life. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we encounter hiccups! My point is that regardless of our journey, there will always be hiccups, (hopefully not caused by an alcoholic beverage while in the close proximity of a police person in charge of a breath alysing kit!)

Sometimes, things present show up and seem to only exist to slow us down. However, later reflection proves they have often presented us with a great opportunity. They made us stop, focus and think about what to do next. So when we want to learn and grow and move forward, where better to learn than from the people who have done it before, people who have mastered the art of overcoming obstacles and moving forward.

Tony Robbins once shared how he liked to learn; he doesn’t go to a training course, he seeks out a Master, someone who has expertise in a particular area and spends time with them. He does this to discover the secrets of mastery; the pitfalls, the common mistakes made and of course, the shortcuts past adversity and hardship to success in that field. When business, like life brings its’ challenges, we at miworld are ready for them. We have prepared by learning the secrets of successful business owners: what they do and how to copy them. Learning from their experience so their mistakes aren’t repeated.

We have taken a good look at how successful people think and plan their future, setting clear outcomes and planning a strategy to get there. It’s what our seven stage program covers, derived from the experience and learnings of my journey with my clients.

It’s the one shared in our one to one sessions, which has helped so many people to organise their business in a way that frees up their time to enjoy life. That one!

Jane

Setting goals that WORK for you and your business
business goals

Setting goals and objectives is a practice that has been around for some time.

We’ve all heard of SMART goals which were first introduced in 1981, but do they really work? Why do objectives fail to motivate in so many instances? The answer is simple - they are not compelling for the individual. For goals to work, they need to be more than Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely….they need to be attractive to the person trying to achieve them.

High achievers and really successful people don’t ponder over whether their goals are SMART….they believe in them even when others think they are unbelievable.

Setting Compelling Outcomes:
Invariably we often find ourselves setting goals that reflect what others want, not what we as individuals want. This is not only true of the objectives given to us by our employers, which are driven by what the company wants or needs, but can be true within our personal lives as well. Family and peer pressure often drive the goals we set ourselves, as does the fear of what we don’t want to lose. Consequently, we often fail to really understand or believe in the goal, setting ourselves up for failure before we even start.

Compelling outcomes work at all levels, in large organisations, small businesses and for individual goal setting. Whether it is achieving a personal goal such as losing weight or starting your own business, without a compelling outcome your chance of success is severely limited.

So what’s the difference between a SMART outcome and a compelling one? A compelling outcome needs to appeal psychologically and emotionally to the recipient and must be robust enough to remain in place even during times of continuous change.

Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the creators of Neuro Linguistic Programming, studied and modelled numerous individuals who were known as high achievers and excellent in their chosen field. From their work they identified nine key steps to achieving a compelling outcome.

You’re only nine steps away from making your goals real and achievable – read more to find out what these simple but effective steps are.

More info: http://www.nlptherapyedinburgh.co.uk/articles/how-to-create-compelling-goals-outcomes.php

Employing a member of staff for the first time…What should I do?
staff

If your business is expanding and extra support is required, important points to consider are ‘What am I prepared to delegate?’ and ‘What will I trust someone else to do in my business?’ Once you have answered these questions you are prepared to move forward.

The role...
Preparation is key, before you advertise; prepare a job specification (a list of all day to day responsibilities, tasks and objectives). This information will determine whether full time or part time support is needed.

In addition, set a budget for salary and overheads, this may include work space, furniture, tools or technology.
Consider...
You need to register as an employer with the HMRC. You will need to pay tax and NI on behalf of your new employee
How will they be paid? PAYE or cash? A payroll facility must be set up before the employee starts, this will generate itemised pay notes, P60’s (year end document) and P11d’s (benefits) if required. You can receive support from your bank or your accountants.

Employer’s liability insurance must be taken with an authorised insurer; it must cover £5 million as a minimum.
Salary and benefits – what will you offer? Remember to check out the minimum wage rates, they can change annually.
Advertising and interviewing...
With a clear idea of what the job entails and how your business operates you will think about the best form of advertising for the role. This may include use of local press, radio, social media, or verbal.
I would always recommend carrying out the interview yourself. Do this in an environment similar to where they would work; it will create the right image for you and your business.
Decide on a short list of questions to ensure consistency with the interviews, responses from candidates will be easier to compare.
Very important from my perspective, if someone has taken the time to come for an interview, always inform them of the outcome of the interview and if the answer is no give them constructive feedback as to where they could improve their skills.
Once you have identified the person for the role...
Ensure your potential new employee has a legal right to work in the UK, anyone subject to immigration control must have a work permit prior to commencing work. Passports are a must to ensure you comply with UK law on immigration.
Contracts of employment are a legal obligation to give to your employee. This must be done within 2 months of commencing employment. Contracts must include, salary, hours, holiday entitlement (28 days a year, including statutory bank holidays), notice period and other terms and conditions you feel are applicable to the role. I would highly recommend a probationary period, this protects you as an employer, you can terminate the employment with a week’s notice if the arrangement does not work out.
Health and safety....
It is essential to carry out risk assessments on the tasks your employees will be undertaking. This will help to protect you and any claims that may be made against you or your business, ensure you check out your terms of employer’s liability insurance.
Remember throughout the process you are demonstrating your company image it is important to get it right with a positive experience. It will help set the culture of your business and your employer - employee relationship.

The Art of Business
success

I always find it strange when I look at what people really have a passion for and the sacrifices they are willing to make in order to achieve some goal. It maybe reaching a certain grade for a musical instrument, a certain golf handicap, running a marathon, competing in any sport and so on...

We all recognise that in order to achieve anything worthwhile it takes Focused Effort. If you don't run many miles you won't complete a marathon in the time you want. If you don't practice the piano regularly you won't reach grade 6.

So why is it when people go into business that they get so focused on making their product or providing their service that they think they can succeed without learning and practising the Art Of Business?
I believe there is an Art of Business.

Sun Tzu, the acknowledged ancient master of strategy and author of the classic Art of War, would definitely say “Yes”! He outlined five strategic arts that can be applied to any situation to create mutually beneficial solutions-possibility, timing, leverage, mastery, and leadership.

I genuinely believe that to master your business and be successful you need to Master The Art of Business. You need to stop seeing business skills as necessary evils that you must do occasionally - when you have some time. You must come to see them as amazing tools that can help you make your dreams come true. Make them part of you everyday thinking and doing.

Your business is a reflection of who you are. It is a blend of your passions, your ideas, your beliefs, how innovative you can be, you ability to constantly learn and apply new knowledge, how you build relationships with people, and so much more.

You are an artist creating your own future - the canvas that you paint is entirely up to you. How good that canvas will be is directly proportional to your talent, the effort that you put in, and the sacrifices you are willing to make. The Art of Business is a crucial concept that runs through all my work - and you will be hearing more about it this year.

So - how good an artist are you?

Network Marketing
network marketing

Source: http://momwifesistervicki.blogspot.ca/

Network Marketing - The hard work begins - (hopefully to be followed by “the hard work pays off”)
3 weeks have passed and I have gone from nervous and excited to driven and passionate. I have a million ideas racing around my head and I have download the app “Any do” (http://www.any.do/) to keep track of all the things that I want to put on my “to do list”. I’ve come up with a list of people that I would love to work with, people who can guide me, people who would love the product and people that will HATE the idea that I am doing network marketing and will be certain that it’s a scam…

Now my head is spinning. I want to share this with my friends and family, but my concern comes when I try to figure out how to do this without them feeling like I am “pitching” them. Do I believe in the product and want them to try it? Absolutely! Am I going to shove it down their throat during every conversation? NO! …but there is a fear on both sides that this will happen. We have all met that person who would literally sell their grandmother if it meant a commission and they have given everyone in the sales industry a terrible name. I want to be sure that I notify people without scaring any of them off. This could prove to be difficult!

So once I send a few emails, make a few Facebook posts to ensure that all my friends and family (my warm market) knows what I am selling, I start to think about my “cold market”. I have to figure out who that is, who it could be and of course how to approach them!

It’s at this time where it’s no longer about the product; the real product now is me! I now need to perfect my approach and my ability to intrigue. It’s important now for me to think about building a team of other “me’s”, as well as a team of clients and preferred clients and then to build it…and build it strong! I need to set aside time not only to build my strategy but also time to implement it. From the research I have done, I know that this is really where the network marketing companies pass or fail. In a great company, your upline (the person who asked you to join their team) will teach you about strategy. I know I am not alone in worrying about how to go after my lofty goals. I know where I want to go and I know I won’t stop until I get there… but now I need the road map!

Luckily for me, my upline is a very successful and driven person who is only too happy to meet with me one on one to help me develop my strengths and even flag my weaknesses so that I don’t get in my own way. For me, this is a scary process. As someone who always likes to win, always likes to come out on top and usually only counts on myself to do it, this kind of helping hand is very foreign to me, but I would be stupid not to utilize this support. The key to network marketing is DUPLICATION. All successful network marketing companies have 1 thing in common – a proven approach. So I will learn it, I will follow it and I will learn to execute it to perfection!

Email is part of SME business life.
April 25, 2015
0
email

As this imaginative, witty and informative article points out “Email is one of those things that's just a part of your life, period."
http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/12/11-awkward-things-about-email.html

Given the importance we all attach to e-mails, underpinning most SME's businesses, it's surprising how little we do to ensure its ongoing availability - i.e. that we don't lose it.
There are many email backup programs available but in the companies we visit I don't think any of them use one. Many small companies with perhaps 1 - 5 PCs still use POP3 email accounts where the incoming email ends up only on the user's PC - and there it often remains until they purchase a new PC - unless of course there is a disaster, corruption, theft etc...when unfortunately all the email might be lost.

For some people that is not too much of a problem, but for others, who perhaps often search through and refer to old emails, this can be business-threatening.
We believe one of the most attractive e-mail solutions for the smaller SME, providing an alternative to basic POP3 email, is a "Hosted e-mail service that replicates".
What does this mean?

a) Your domain's email (e.g. mygreatcompany.com) is hosted in the cloud by a specialist provider. This does not have to be the same place that hosts your website.They will backup your email automatically and often allow you to restore old email in case you accidentally delete some.
b) The email client on your PC synchronizes with the cloud and your PC receives a copy of all e-mail. You can install the email client for each email account on multiple PCs/laptops (e.g. home and office) at no extra charge and each one will get a physical copy of the email – thus each one is automatically acting as a separate backup in a different location. A copy of each email also remains hosted in the cloud.
c) Everything synchronizes everywhere. If you send an e-mail from your IPhone when you get to the office and open your email client that email also automatically appears in the PC’s ‘sent mail’.
d) Since your email is hosted centrally in the cloud you will often also get facilities such as shared calendars.... no need for servers in your office running Microsoft Exchange for example.
If you are not sure where to start try www.zimbra.com .
And remember too that even if you are a sole proprietor it’s a good idea to have your own domain. If you still use an account such as [email protected] then if you choose to move from AOL as your internet service provider (ISP) you will eventually lose your email address too. If instead you have a domain and create email addresses at that domain e.g. [email protected] your email address need never change, even if or when you move from one ISP to another.

Thinking to Grow Your Business
business growth

by Angela De Souza

Business owners are usually busy, very busy! In fact, they are so busy that they seldom have time to think.

Each morning presents a long to do list and at the end of each day they exhale, feeling satisfied by all the ticks they have placed next to the many items that were on the list. However, what they often fail to realise is that they are happily running in the hamster wheel of the never ending to do list.

Eventually they will exhaust themselves and never get free from it UNLESS they stop and think. Women are predominantly guilty of feeling guilty. They feel guilty for most things. Women even feel guilty for not working and can even feel guilty for feeling guilty. Taking time to think is classified as work, so business owners don’t need to feel guilty. Thinking time is what separates the self employed from business owners. The self employed will only ever be able to exchange time for money and since they only have twenty four hours in each day like the rest of us, their earning potential is limited to what they can do within these twenty four hours.

Hard Work is Not Enough

Hard work and saving money could earn you a living but smart work and financial investments will build you a legacy. To get ahead start with not filling every minute of every day with only hard work. Stop and THINK – relax and then formulate a plan to work smarter. One hour of thinking each day could turn your business from a small business into a large, successful company. Even one hour of thinking a week could turn things around significantly.

Think about what you are currently doing with your time. Think about where you plan to go with your business. Think about a smarter way to get there. Are you satisfied with exchanging time for money or would you rather that your money worked for you even when you are not even working on your business? Think carefully about ways to achieve that. Take time to ponder on what you really want out of every day of your business and life in general. Dream about what your ideal day, week, month and year can look like. Create a plan that will allow you to begin to live the dream.

Smart Working Principles

Multiply Energy – Piggy Back
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. What is there that already exists that you can use or who do you know that can help you get where you want to be? If you take time to think you will be amazed at what you will discover. Are you using the trending hash tags on Twitter to get your status and posts seen? That is a very basic way to piggy back. Do you network and connect with people in high places? For example, if you are a painter you might be going door to door to offer your services. Why not rather find an established business that does plastering and then collaborate with them - piggy back on the established company and save yourself hours of knocking on doors. Piggy backing could also mean volunteering your services to a larger organisation. You may not directly make any money by volunteering but you could benefit a great deal from the publicity that would result.

Piggy Backing Etiquette
• You must not be competing with them
• You can be aiming for the same target audience but should not get in their way
• You should piggy backing but not be a parasite, give something back

Multiply Time – Other People’s Time
Yes, you can actually make time too by using other people’s time. It doesn’t have to be as selfish as it sounds, you can use other people’s time and still benefit them as well as yourself. For example, ask five really good friends to share your Facebook status – it won’t take them more than a few seconds but you will reach hundreds more people that way, saving you loads of time that you would have spent trying to find and communicate with those new people.

This is the most basic example of other people’s time, but another important key to using other people’s time is to outsource. What can someone else do better or quicker than you? A common cause of businesses failing is when the business owner insists on doing everything all of the time! The problem is that you can only do so much in a day.
Outsourcing is the next step to your business growth. Use other people’s time to get certain jobs done while you focus in what you enjoy and do best. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap of faith either, start by outsourcing one or two hours a week and increase it as your business grows.
Think about what you can outsource and who you should outsource to. Perhaps take on an intern or student. The possibilities are endless, but you will need to put in some thinking time to come up with the right thing that works for you.

Multiply Money – 1 + 1 = 3
The saying, “It takes money to make money” is not entirely true. Well it is and it isn’t. You see, how you get the money to make more money is where most people are tripped up. Most people envisage a huge pot of money that will then guarantee business success. Most businesses that start this way will fail anyway. The reason they fail is because they haven’t had to put in the hard thinking time. When money is easily available, little effort is put into important decisions. Once the money runs out, the business naturally fails. However, those who start with little money are forced to think and be creative with it. It is these habits that are forged in the early days that ensure later success when their money pot has grown. Take time to think about what you have right now and how you can make it grow. Don’t make the excuse that you don’t have any money, you do, and it is enough. Richard Branson didn’t even have money to make a phone call when he started out but that didn’t stop him.

Money Multiplying
• Sell your knowledge – seminars, webinars, workshops.
• Take payment up front – create instant cash flow.
• Collaborate – offer swaps.
• Think, think, think!

There is so much that you are capable of doing and achieving and all it takes is a little thinking time that will prevent you from remaining chained to your never ending to do list.