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Cheap and Affordable Ways To Create A Virtual Office For Your Small Home Business

Cheap and Affordable Ways To Create A Virtual Office For Your Small Home Business

Published 1/2/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

If you run a small home business on the side like I do, it's not always easy to project a professional image without breaking the bank. If your business is new, it's unlikely you have the financial means or even the budget to afford a commercial office space, a secretary, a furnished meeting room, or any of the usual business amenities. However, depending on your budget and needs, there are affordable options out there.

Rent A Shared Office For Meeting Room Or Virtual Office Needs

More established small businesses might be able to look into renting a shared or serviced office space through a workplace solution company like Regus. These business office rental locations are usually fully furnished with desks, meeting rooms, functional kitchens, and business amenities like secretarial service and a professional front desk to handle clients, mail delivery, and customized call answering. They provide a professional working environment without the long term commitment. I would know - I'm currently working a contract project at such a location.

Rental offices are a good alternative for small but growing businesses looking to expand but don't want to deal with the hassle of property ownership or long term commercial leases. However, many small business owners run things from their own homes. For them, there are virtual office solutions available:

1) Telephone Service

Sharing business phone calls with your personal home line isn't a good idea, especially if you get a lot of incoming business calls. Dialing out is fine, but for incoming business calls how does one line

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Get Organized and More Efficient By Going Paperless

Published 11/28/07  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

We're in the new millennium people! The internet age is already in full swing and I think it's time for everyone to start embracing the advantages of new technology. For important document archiving and preservation purposes, it's time to migrate from dinosaur paper technology and move into an all digital and electronic format.

If you don't know how to access all of your bank and credit card accounts online, now is a good time to start learning how to. There are so many benefits to going fully electronic. Storing and accessing your account information online gives you instant and accurate data at your finger tips without having to wait for them to arrive through snail mail. The information you can get online is always more accurate and precise, as they are frequently updated on the spot as transactions occur.

By going paperless you can also reduce clutter. Before I went electronic, my postal mailbox was always being jammed with bills, statements, and all sorts of financial junk mail. My desk frequently had stacks of papers that just seemed to grow higher and higher. Going digital helped to cut down on the chances of losing something important in the mail or accidentally misplacing it somewhere at home or at the office. However, embracing paperless storage does require a reasonable amount of trust and faith in the reliability of technology.

I Organize My Paperless Financial Accounts Using An Online Aggregation Service

For all of my credit cards, bank statements, utility bills, and miscellaneous payment obligations, I no longer receive any

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Life Comes At You Fast - Be Organized and Financially Prepared

Published 10/26/07  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

You never know what life will chuck your way, so you should always be prepared for anything. If you keep your finances and paperwork in order, you'll be in better shape to handle anything unexpected.

A few nights ago I received a sudden flurry of phone calls and e-mails from family members with sad news. My ailing grandfather, who had been bedridden in the hospital for more than a year due to a stroke, suddenly took a turn for the worse and was nearing his end. As the oldest grandson, I had a familial duty to be there. But since my grandfather lived overseas, getting to him at a moment's notice wasn't going to be easy. Things started to get hectic immediately as I began to make plans to fly overseas to join my parents at my grandfather's side as soon as possible. I wish I had anticipated earlier and made better preparation for the unexpected.

Here is how you can stay ready and avoid the chaos that follows an emergency situation:

Keep Important Documentation Up To Date And At the Ready

If you have family in another country, including Canada and Mexico, make sure your passport is valid and ready for travel at all times.

In my case, I had one major problem. My U.S. passport had only one more month before it expired. Since most countries require that your passport be valid at least 6 months beyond the date of your trip, I would not be able to travel internationally unless I got it renewed as soon

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Password and Security Concerns Regarding Usage of Yodlee

Published 9/28/07  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Yodlee is a terrific online account consolidator and aggregator tool. But whenever I try to explain to some people the many benefits of using a service like Yodlee to aggregate their bank, credit card, and reward account information into one easy to access source, I encounter the skeptics. The skeptics are quite the interesting techno-phobic bunch. They generally fear losing control of their accounts and fear putting all of their account login and password information into one basket. The skeptics fear account aggregation technology because they worry that it will somehow make their lives more complicated and they worry that it will allow hackers and identity thieves easier access to their private accounts. Well I'm here to put those worries to rest. Account aggregation tools like Yodlee will make your life much easier and will help to make your other accounts more secure.

How Does Yodlee Keep My Account Information Secure?

Yodlee has indicated that their service operates under a very secure network infrastructure that combines sophisticated intrusion detection methods with firewall and physical protections. Yodlee has partnered with many large and established companies such as Citibank, Fidelity, Bank of America, and Wachovia. I think we can be assured that Yodlee has passed the initial basic credibility test of ensuring customer privacy and confidential information.

However, although Yodlee will do its part to ensure that your account login and password information is completely secure, it is your own duty to make certain that you keep your master Yodlee login and password information in a secure location and

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Yodlee Account Aggregation and Fidelity Full View

Published 9/27/07  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Over the years, I've accumulated an assortment of bank accounts and investment brokerages that store my money, and a wide array of credit cards that handle my transactions. I also have this money saving habit of signing up for every frequent flyer, hotel, and shopping reward portal options available to me. With so many accounts, I found it cumbersome and difficult to keep track of all of my account login and password variations.

Thankfully, someone had the ingenuity and brilliance to create a tool to manage this mess. To organizing my finances and accounts, my preferred tool is Yodlee (very cool name). It's a popular online account aggregation tool that allows users to combine all of their bank, investment, loans, bills, and even reward accounts in one place. You give them all of your logins and passwords to your financial accounts, and it logs into all the sites for you. It lists all of your assets and liabilities, and computes your net worth. In the end you have a real-time view of all your balances and recent transactions, all neatly on one page. Yodlee offers its aggregation service through its own website, but I found their original version to be rather ugly and disorganized. Ironically, you're better off using a Yodlee powered version through another company.

Fidelity Investment Full View

You can access Yodlee's technology through its clients and partners. I currently receive my Yodlee powered account aggregation service through Fidelity Investments' Full View and I find

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