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Rebecca Quinn

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About Rebecca Quinn

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    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    Systems & Procedures. Planning & Project Mgt. Organization. Events.

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  1. Hi Stacy B and welcome! Freelance work = Self-employed = You do own a business! I suggest getting a EIN (Employer Identification Number) even if you will never have employees. This is the number you will give out to clients so they can pay you and file tax paperwork and 1099s. You never know where your clients keep their paperwork and you don't want your social security number all over the place! I work with some small home-based businesses, very creative people, who don't always see the necessity of locking up all their files - no matter how often I tell them! And look at all the huge corporations who expose people's social security numbers. Better to be safe and use an EIN. Someone already posted the link - you can even call and get the EIN over the phone. Research your local city and county, as the requrements vary depending on where you live. Where I live there is a City Tax Permit, which is like a business license. Then there is a County DBA (Doing Business As) or FBN (Ficticious Business Name) if you do business under a name that is not or doesn't include your actual name. Just a few hoops to jump through but I've seen people get caught not doing them and owe back penalties so best to start off on the right foot! Best of luck, Rebecca Quinn
  2. Does anyone here know anything about AutoResponse Plus autoresponder? There is a one-time charge and no monthly fees. You install it on your server or website. Looks like they've recently joined forces with Mark Joyner. I have a client who is interested in using it. She thinks it looks easy to use compared to others. Has anyone used it? Heard anything about it? Pros and cons? I'm especially concerned about spam reports and/or sending large amounts of email from your website. Appreciate any and all comments! --Rebecca Quinn
  3. Hi everyone, My understanding is this: If you use your vehicle for both business and personal, it doesn't matter whether you choose to claim the IRS mileage rate OR the actual vehicle expenses, you still have to track your business miles. You need to write down your year end/year starting mileage so you know the total miles driven that year. If you claim the IRS rate then you multiply the IRS mileage rate by the number of business miles you drove. If you claim actual expenses you need to know your what percentage of your total miles driven that year were for business purposes. Then you multiply that percentage times your vehicle expenses. Although I am virtual I do a fair amount of on-site work and errands and attend lots of business events. It still only comes out to around twenty percent of my total mileage for the year. There is no way I could justify a vehicle for business use only as a virtual professional. Wish I could though - I'd love to have a second vehicle just for fun! --Rebecca Quinn
  4. I have multiple degrees, including a Master's in Management. I am thinking about a PhD or law school because I want to learn, not because I need the degrees. Because my degrees are in business, communications and technology they are useful to what I do today. I offer management services and my degrees give me credibility. Some of the skills I gained during my education - project management, time management, research, analysis, discipline - are probably more useful than any subject matter I studied. I got my formal education later in life, while raising 6 kids mostly as a single mom and I worked full-time throughout. That achievement means most anything I do from now on should be easy! Most of what I've learned about small business, entrepreneurs, starting and running my own business and supporting other small business owners has been learned through community college, adult ed, entrepreneurial training programs, reading, and learning online. You can probably learn most everything you need right here! Anyone can do this - it is totally not necessary to have a degree to be a VA. Just start with the basics and offer what you do know, what you can do and what you like doing. Then continue learning. Identify the gaps and the services you would like to offer and learn those skills. Always keep learning but I'd say only get the degrees if that's something you've always wanted to do. --Rebecca Quinn
  5. Hi! I suggest you order (or read online) the IRS Publication 535, Business Expenses, as you may be able to deduct your health insurance premiums on your federal business tax return. http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/ch06.html#d0e3845 The IRS has all kinds of info for the self-employed: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html As far as I know it's usually quite a bit more expensive to get your own individual policy compared to getting insurance through an employer, like your husbands. I've also heard ehealthinsurance.com is a good place to do your research and get quotes. Best of luck! Rebecca Quinn
  6. Yay Rebecka! Congratulations and know it will be so worth it! Every day gets easier, each month is better than the one before. Then you lose count! For me it has been 15 years this summer. I look back now and can't believe I ever smoked...and I smoked a lot for many years. Plus both my parents did so I was always breathing smoke or smoking myself. When I decided to quit I (pre-Internet days!) I went to the Lung Assn and picked up some tips. I told everyone what I was going to do. I planned a date ahead of time and got rid of all cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays the night before. Everything I read told me to stay busy but I had the habit of lighting a cigarette before starting EVERYTHING. I used to, as my mom did, light a cigarette when I went to wash the dishes! Like I could smoke with my hands wet. Anyway, I just had to break all my old patterns. The main thing I did, to which I attribute my success, was a promise I made to my kids. I promised them I would quit on that date and never pick up another cigarette. Can you imagine having six kids never trust you again because you broke your word to them? I wasn't about to find out and I've never smoked since. I'm happy for you Rebecka and good luck to everyone else who wants to quit. You can do it!!! Rebecca Quinn
  7. Hi! Actually, the IRS has lots of info on their website: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/articl...=115045,00.html You can order free publications and DVDs from them also: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/articl...=101169,00.html Rebecca Quinn
  8. Good morning everyone! The September 1 edition of Woman's Day Magazine includes an article called "How to Make Money At Home" by Mary Hunt. One of suggestions is to become a VA! To read the article online, go to http://www.womansday.com/money/12019/your-money.html Rebecca Quinn
  9. To Sandra, In the US anyone paying you more than $600 per year must send you a 1099-MISC and report the payment to the IRS. You have to fill out the W-9 which gives them your name, address and tax id number so they know how to report the payment. Your taxpayer identification number will be either your Social Security Number or your Employer Identification Number. You can request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) even if you have no employees. You can even request it by phone and they will give it to you right then. You then use that number instead of your Social Security Number on W-9s. I think this is an excellent idea so you don't have to give out your SSN. This IRS link explains more and includes the various ways to apply, including the phone number: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/articl...d=98350,00.html There is no requirement to issue 1099s to corporations so you may choose to incorporate your business, although some companies still send 1099s to corporations anyway. I don't have an answer for the Canada question though I'm interested to see where this will lead with all the globalization. I have never had a client in another country. Rebecca Quinn
  10. Hi Harriet, While I can't answer your specific question about Cincinnati, I do believe there is plenty of work out there for lots of VAs, no matter how many live in any given area. The more people learn about the virtual assistant field, the more work there will be for all of us. Because you work virtually you can work for people all over the country or world. The good thing about other VAs in your area is that you can get to know them and maybe get together and subcontract work to each other. I have to say how impressed I am with your background and experience! I'm sure many aspiring VAs would love to have all of that. I am so sorry to hear of your recent loss and your health situation.You have a great motivation to do this type of work and, with your experience and attitude, I'm sure you will be very successful in it. As far as specializing, that seems to be the way to go. That said, I don't market to a particular niche - my clients are mostly all in entertainment and most are local, but that's due partly to coincidence and partly to word of mouth referrals. It seems you have the experience to choose from several industries and to offer the services you enjoy the most and are the best at! As far as the lack of web design skills, don't even worry about it. Although some virtual assistants do offer it, it is a career in itself. If a client ever requires web design services you can let them know you don't offer it but you have a network of people (VANA!) who do. Best wishes! Rebecca Quinn
  11. Yea Sarah! I'm sure it took some courage to give notice. I'm proud of you! Congratulations! Rebecca Quinn
  12. Hi all, I'm not an hr expert. Although I've handled hr work at several small companies (J-O-B-S) I never had the "hr" title. I did take several hr classes as part of my business degrees but don't have an hr certification. Still, since I've been doing VA work,I've written policies and procedures, employee handbooks and designed all the hr forms for a couple of very small companies. I found I had much of the knowledge I needed, then I researched to make sure I complied with the most current federal and state laws. The part I liked best was creating the policies with the employer (your client.) I put together a questionaire for them to answer. Questions like "how much vacation time do you want to give?" because paid vacation is optional in the US. Other benefits had to be included as required by law. It was kind of like a negotiation. Then I had to educate clients on the law. I actually included a training for the client where I presented the deliverables and trained them on what they needed to know. Things like what they could or could not ask in an interview, when to give the employee handbook and make sure the employee signs that they received and read it. This became part of a package deal. I was also concerned about the legal issue. I requested them -in writing- to have their attorney review it and had the client sign off on it. I don't know if they complied. Maybe the lawyer part could be built in where you would have it reviewed and include the cost in the project but I didn't do that. I'd guess there would be a huge demand for this type of expertise. There are so many companies too small for an hr dept yet they need the help. Not to mention on-going human resource work like placing ads to hire employees, screening the responses, scheduling and possibly doing preliminary interviews, employee paperwork and more. I set up a whole hr program for one client, a friend of a friend. He absolutely didn't see the need for any kind of hr. He started small and hired friends and paid them cash. He was doing over a million dollars in business the year I stepped in and did his program. He just had no idea about running a business or the laws he was breaking until I "educated" him on how much trouble he could get in. He didn't know he needed me until I showed him why. Anyway, he let me keep a copy of everything I did for him and I've gotten several other clients by showing them the manuals and forms I designed. I think it's a great niche and I believe you can sell it by concentrating on your expertise and let them know you stay current with the laws so they don't have to. Rebecca Quinn
  13. I'm also using google calendar with a client. It's so fast and easy, to set up and to use. The color coding is great. My client actually has three different but related businesses, so we set it up with 4 different calendars/colors all in one so you can tell at a glance what's going on. I love it because I can schedule things wherever I am by logging in to google on my phone - I'm not tied to staying home at a computer. Rebecca Quinn
  14. Hi Janetta, Here is the link you wanted: http://www.onebox.com Rebecca Quinn
  15. Your clients in California need a break so continue charging them what you charge! I'm just kidding. I have never though of changing rates based on where people live. Most of my clients have been in CA anyway. That said I charge different rates based on number of hours (retainer) and I have a family and friends discount! And one for poor, single-moms. And whoever else I feel like helping out when I have the time. I really wish I could charge based on what the cost of housing is here. I could really use the extra money for my over-half-million-dollar fixer-upper! Yeah, I live in LA. Rebecca Quinn
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