Your Virtual Success: Finding Profitability in an Online World

The New American Business

The way we work in America is changing dramatically.  Virtual business, remote work, telework, distributed work, virtual staff like executive assistants, and leading virtual teams are all the rage for a variety of reasons.  Economics of lower-priced overseas competition, renewed US focus on quality of life, and simply the improved effectiveness of a virtual business model drive the shift.

Author of Your Virtual Success: Finding Profitability in an Online World Alan Blume believes that virtual work is transforming the very nature of cities and urban centers.  As more business is done from remote locations, cities are rapidly becoming cultural centers steeped more in entertainment that business.  There is simply little need to be “at the office” like we used to.  Take a look at the downward spiral in commercial office space real estate in recent years and you’ll see what I mean.  Companies who don’t adapt won’t be able to attract the best talent, maintain a financial edge, and may soon end up like Blockbuster Video as Alan describes it.

Executive Video Interview

Enjoy the two videos below where I interview Alan Blume about the changing nature of business today, the benefits of the Virtual Lifestyle, and the best ways to locate and hire virtual, outsourced staff to help operate your virtual business.

Read on to the bottom of this post to learn about a book giveaway that the author has agreed to for Smart Blog readers and viewers!

What’s so cool about a virtual business?

More on talent management, finding and qualifying virtual employees…

Authors, Executives and Job Seekers, click here to learn more about getting your own Executive Video Interview.

Book Review

If you operate a virtual business like I do, or are thinking about one, Your Virtual Success is a reference manual you should pick up.  It provides an easy to read, yet content-filled set of actions for you to take to…

  • Transition to a virtual business from your day job
  • Establish a virtual business quickly
  • Develop niche branding and image
  • Sell and market your business virtually
  • Qualify and hire virtual talent–from anywhere!
  • Test and expand your business

The author Alan Blume “eats his own dog food” as he told me once, in that all the recipes in this book he uses for his own business, StartUpSelling, Inc. I was most intrigued by some of the unconventional sources to find freelance talent; specifically, Craig’s List. Frankly I thought Craig’s List was a haven for rip-off artists, criminals and even murderers.  Since reading this book, I have found my graphic designer for this business’ logo and my current web designer via carefully specified postings on Craig’sList. There are diamonds in the rough amongst the bad actors in cyberspace, and the instructions in the staffing chapter of how to separate the wheat from the chafe are alone worth the price of admission.

This book provides the leverage to begin thinking about work differently, starting with the Tale of Two Nephews on through various stories of how the author runs his own business, making the rest of us eat our hearts out in the process.  It has the same motivational qualities as the similar Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, without the focus on world travel and zoomed in a little more on creating your own virtual venture from a practical standpoint.

Readers can get through this book in one sitting, but you should circle back with a highlighter or ball point pen to some of the key sections and references Alan gives.  Dogear the appendix Roling Pipeline Report, Prospect Scorecard and Sample Order Confirmations as documents that can form a basis for tracking and operating your virtual business.

Order your copy of Your Virtual Success: Finding Profitability in an Online World or click below on the cover.

book cover, virtual business startup and success
Book Giveaway – Win a Book for Best Post!

Alan is giving away a signed copy of Your Virtual Success to Smart Blog readers.  Post your best virtual business success story below, whether it is about your entire business model, a tip or trick you learned and have used with success, or a resource (book, website, etc.) that has motivated you or moved you toward launching or succeeding with your own virtual business.

Winner will be announced in a future blog and tweet!

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4 Comments

  1. Phil Montero April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Karl and Alan – great interview and discussion. I really enjoyed hearing your perspectives on virtual work.

    Being you put it out there I am throwing my hat in the ring for the book contest! Alan’s book looks great and full of useful information and stories.

    It is no surprise that as founder of TheAnywhereOffice.com I obviously believe in the power of virtual business and run mine that way. As an eBusiness consultant I’ve been preaching it’s virtues for many years!

    I find most people stumble into doing business virtually but the smart ones take a planned approach. It’s important to take a step back and look at the work you do you. Then you can make smart decisions about the best tools to use and how to tie them together.

    By taking a planned approach and knowing I wanted a mobile office I’m able to do all of my work regardless of location. Using a combination of tools that include webmail, online calendars, autoresponders, instant messaging, video chat, file sharing, and online meetings I can pretty much work from anywhere with my laptop or smartphone.

    I’m able to run my business lean thanks to the low overhead of not having to rent a physical office space and using an array of quality free and low-cost tools to handle all my information, communication, and collaboration needs.

    The flexibility of workshifting has improved my personal and family life as I get to spend lots of time with my 4 year old boy. I get to drop him off at preschool in the morning and pick him up at noon discussing his day and what he learned. That is something that unfortunately too many parents miss out on due to commutes and traditional office jobs.

    I applaud you Alan for helping spread the word about workshifting and look forward to reading your book (whether I win it or not). We’ll have to connect some time as we obviously have a lot in common!

    Phil

    • Karl April 15, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      Phil-
      Thanks for the great response. Clearly a big reason to engage in a virtual home-office based business is the family benefit. It doesn’t mean you don’t work late nights sometimes, but you have the control as to the when and the where. Last night I was at my son’s baseball practice and got a chance to help out in the field. Caught my first pop fly in 20 years. Wouldn’t have been able to do that working my former job commuting an hour plus every night. Then I came home and wrote an article.

      Your planned approach is great and there is a ton of great information and training on TheAnywhereOffice.com.

  2. Karl July 16, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    Phil:
    Congratulations on the book victory! Sorry it took so long for me to get around to it. I think the idea of virtual business is still a bit unknown when used in a title (people think space age or Iron Man designing his suit). Enjoy!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Thrive in Virtual Business | SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources - November 16, 2011

    [...] I spoke with Alan Blume, author of Your Virtual Success: Finding Profitability in an Online World. Alan’s opinion is that virtual work is altering the very nature of cities and urban centers, how we live and aggregate as people. As more business is done from remote locations, cities are rapidly becoming cultural centers where you find more entertainment than business. We just don’t need to be “at our desks” like we used to. Look no further than the commercial office space real estate ordeal in recent years and you’ll get the point. Companies who don’t adjust won’t be able to entice the best employees or thrive economically, and may soon end up like the newspaper industry. Alan brings out more points and subtleties in his video interview here. [...]

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