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Why are more people than ever choosing to work for themselves? We know why!

It has been predicted that freelancers and those working for themselves will outnumber traditional nine to five employees within the next decade. The freedom and control gained from a freelance lifestyle are major factors that motivate people to leave traditional employment to start their own business.

Red Desk Virtual has now been operating for over 10 years, started in 2008 as a solo venture and now a team of four, with Lindsay and Mel as Company Directors. Our company has changed and developed over the last 10 years, with the advancement of technology and the digital world the needs of small business owners has changed dramatically. We now spend the bulk of our time managing our clients’ online presence from their websites and social media to their digital marketing campaigns.

This transition in our business has been one of the joys of working for ourselves, we have naturally diversified our skills and experience, as a freelancer you are constantly learning and widening your skill-set and never governed by a job description.

For us the control over our time and energy has a direct impact on our quality of life and the quality of our working day. Being your own boss means exactly that; you don’t have a boss, you have clients and therefore you can concentration on the types of clients and work that interests you.

working for themselvesAlthough many would think becoming a freelancer means your income is likely to be more precarious, actually if you build up a number of clients, as we have, then if you lose one contract you will still have the several more, meaning you only lose a small portion of your income rather than the possibility of redundancy in a larger company.

Starting your own business may seem like a giant step, but think about taking small steps to begin with, building your own business while still working full-time can be a smart move. It means an increased work load but the long-term gains are worth the added hours.

With the wealth of online tools available to help you, a business can be set up on a very small amount of budget. Many aspects of building a business can be achieved for free, for example Google Sites allows you to create a website for free, a brilliant option for a start-up. The traditional risk associated with creating a business really is a thing of the past.

Yes the reality of starting your own business is you will have to fulfil a lot of roles and learn fast, perhaps working long hours when you first start, but for us the rewards have far exceeded the negatives and we’ve enjoyed the steep learning curve.

If you need any help with your start-up do get in touch.

Should Membership be Charged for Facebook Groups?

Ever since Facebook changed their algorithm, small businesses have found it increasingly difficult to reach their customer base organically. Facebook’s aim was to share more, stay in touch and engage in meaningful interactions with friends, family and Facebook Groups we are a member of. However, it now seems that Facebook is allowing the monetisation of some Facebook groups. Should membership be charged for Facebook Groups?

Initial Reaction
At first we were outraged that yet another free marketing opportunity was being taken away from us. Small businesses in their very nature have limited funds for Digital Marketing and this was one.

For us, using Facebook groups is a great, free way to promote your business or events. You do need to check the group allows business promotion but by doing the research and finding the most relevant groups, you can build up a relationship with the members.

Facebook Changes the Rules
In June 2018, Facebook announced that they were testing out membership subscription services with some parenting and cooking groups, reported The Verge.

Group administrators can charge between $4.99 to $29.99 for new subscription only groups so that they can deepen the engagement with members and continue to support their communities. Many admins will be running these paid-for groups alongside the free groups. The subscription groups will have exclusive content to make them value for money.

Facebook GroupsIn the Facebook announcement, Sarah Mueller set up a subscription group Organize My Home to sit alongside her original group Declutter My Home. Declutter My Home still continues to inspire and motivate others to tidy their home whereas Organize My Home gives access to checklists, tutorials and other tools that would be available to her clients.

The Flip Side
As part of our on-going local community efforts, we have set up and administer a number of Facebook groups. Whilst they are still on the small side, checking them regularly for requests to join, reviewing posts and dealing with membership disputes could take a chunk out of someone’s working day. Therefore, why not make a little money on the side? As they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and this is still a really cost-effective advertising strategy.

If you were considering to monetise your Facebook group then take read of this article “11 Ways to Make Money with Facebook Groups” for some ideas.

We’d love to hear what you think: should Facebook group administrators charge membership? Let us know by tweeting @RedDeskVirtual

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