What’s better than working your dream job? Working your dream job from the comfort of your own home! As an independent or home-based travel agent with Outside Agent Link, working from home is always an option. Whether you want to be able to work while watching your kids, enjoying the companionship of your pet, or just don’t want to commute to an office every day, there are a plethora of travel agents who run their business from home! If you’re thinking about making the switch to a career as an independent travel agent or already work as a home-based travel agent, check out these wanderlust-inspiring home office designs:
We absolutely love the neutral, earthy tones of this home office of a Texas-based interior designer. The shelving behind the desk is perfect for travel keepsakes and photos, and the hanging world map is the perfect way to decorate an empty wall. The only unrealistic part of this image? No travel agents desk would ever be this empty!
Meeting with clients on a regular basis at the house? This guest-friendly home office is perfectly set up for productive meetings and focused alone time. The bookshelves behind the desk can hold your many books on favorite destinations and photos from past travels. And we love how much space there is the spread out and work on that farmhouse table!
This home office channels some serious jungle explorer vibes. We’re big fans of the dark green walls and abundance of indoor plants livening this home office up. The vintage wood filing cabinet in the corner looks like the perfect location to store client paperwork, too! While this is smaller home office may require more coffee shop meetings with clients, it has all the aspects of a perfect spot to sit down and plan out some travel.
Yes, we know this isn’t an entire home office, but we still think this decor would fit right into any travel agents home workspace. With a cute little drink station for clients, this retro decor would make any travel agent jealous. Hit a few antique and thrift shops and start building your own suitcase shelves to feature in your home workspace!
Which home office design is your favorite? What does your home office look like? Share your comments with us on our Facebook page!
Working from home is the dream for many people, and it’s easy to see why. No commute, more time with your children, your pet sleeping at your feet. Many of our travel agents love our home-based program for these reasons among many others. However, there are challenges that come along with working from home, such as keeping your personal and business life separate. How can a home-based travel agent maintain healthy work/life boundaries and a successful career? Follow these tips:
The temptation to roll out of bed and begin work in your pajamas is real. However, it actually can severely hinder your productivity on top of blurring the boundaries between work and personal life. You don’t have to but on formal business attire, just put on clothes you would normally wear to head out of the house. This will help your mind click on work mode instead of sleep mode. Also, it means you’ll be dressed and ready for any surprise meetings that may come up.
One of the most difficult parts of working from home for some is the lack of in-person communication with coworkers or clients. Having professional conversations throughout your day can help you focus. If you have the option of emailing a client or calling them, opt to give them a call. If you’ve been chatting back and forth with a fellow travel agent through text or email, ask them if they want to have a video call where you two can swap ideas and tips.
Set a daily, weekly and monthly schedule for yourself. What are the key tasks that need to be done each day? Give each task a place on your daily schedule and stick to it. This schedule isn’t just to keep you focused, either. Share it with your spouse or roommates so they know not to disturb you at certain times.
You may be working from home, but that doesn’t mean your entire home should be your workspace. Instead of setting up shop in your living room or kitchen, find a closed off spot away from the busiest areas in your home. Make sure there isn’t a television near your workspace that could distract you. Keeping your workspace separate from the rest of your home also makes it easier to feel like you’ve left work at the end of the day.
Working from home doesn’t mean you don’t get to take any breaks. In fact, logging off for an hour in the afternoon to get lunch with a friend or take a long walk can improve your productivity the rest of the day. Studies have shown that taking a full lunch break actually increases creativity and focus.
As an independent travel agent, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your workload. Here are some apps to organize work from home life.
Avoid the distraction of the internet.
Today’s world is infatuated with all things internet related. Because of this, everything from recipes to motivational videos to funny memes can be found at the click of a button making concentration a novelty. But, for those days when the internet is getting the best of you, the Freedom app is a necessity. The locks you out of the internet for as long as you need which lets you focus on tasks relevant to your business!
Pro tip: create a strict work hour schedule and use the Freedom app to help you stick to it.
Keep a digital list.
A digital list like Wunderlist will allow you to keep track of all of your tasks in one neat package on your phone, computer or tablet. From groceries to client meetings, you’ll easily be able to reference your to-do list and in turn, never forget those important tasks again.
Pro tip: use Wunderlist’s reminder option to alert you of major weekly tasks.
Organize your thoughts.
When putting together a trip for a client, it’s important to keep track of any notes, excursion ideas or questions you may have. With Evernote, you can easily jot down your thoughts and ideas in one concise location. Once written in the app, you can access your notes across any platform.
Pro tip: if you’ve made a hand written list, snap a picture of it in the Evernote app and you’ll be able to keep track of it easily on your phone.
Stay on top of your finances.
Being your own boss means keeping track of your own finances. Concur is an app that helps you keep track of expenses, invoices, and travel, monitoring how much money you are spending on work and on yourself.
Apps are great ways to make your work from home life easier and help you stay on top of your tasks. What are your favorite tricks for staying on top of your work?
As an independent travel agent, your livelihood relies on your ability to sell your services while working from home which means it’s imperative that your work from home space suits your sales goals. Here are our top tips for how to create a selling environment in your home office.
Find the right space.
A chef doesn’t cook in a bathroom, so don’t try to force yourself to work in a space that isn’t conducive for your work. Your home office should be in a space that allows you to work freely for hours at a time.
Think of your home as an office. If a top client or an employee came into the office that day they wouldn’t want to be in a room that has the T.V. on and dirty laundry laying around.
Implement a schedule and checklist.
This is to keep yourself organized and on track at all times. Start your morning by making a schedule for the day. This way you know what needs to get done and when. We recommend apps like Evernote or buying a detailed planner from your local office supply store.
Stick to set hours.
Having your office at home, means you can work at anytime, but this doesn’t mean you should work all of the time. You’ll quickly wear yourself and make your home office a place you dread being. So, make hours like any other business and stick to them. Once the clock it’s the time you’ve designated for closing, exit your home office and enjoy the rest of your day.
Implement an organization system.
An organized space is an effective space. If you have a specific storage space or filing system for things like for potential client info or current client info, you’ll avoid wasting time fumbling through papers. If you’re not a paper person, Google Drive is a great tool for storing information online.
Adding your personality to a space helps you truly feel like it’s your space. A poster, motivation quote picture or just simple decor are great ways to make your home office an inspiring space.
Your home office is an important asset in your independent travel agent business. Ensure that it’s the perfect space for your and watch the success of your business grow!
Part of what sets the best travel agents from the rest is industry knowledge and expertise. The best travel agents stay up-to-date on the latest travel news, trends, and popular hotspots to offer the best information and customer service to their clients.
This is a list of some of our must-read publications that we believe all travel agents should check on a regular basis.
Travel Agent Magazine offers lots of industry insider knowledge, entrepreneurship advice, travel spotlights, and other great information that travel agents can use to benefit their clients. Best of all, you can view the most recent edition online for free!
Travel Weekly is a highly respected source of travel news and resources for travel agents. They aggregate all the most recent travel information that you might need when researching and making recommendations to clients.
Travel and Leisure is great for more aesthetic aspects of travel, like recommendations for attractions, restaurants, and other fun activities that your clients might enjoy during their trip.
Skift is a great meld of both industry news and more touchy-feely topics. Their website also features a forum page for you to discuss travel questions with other industry professionals, and a podcast that features insight from executives and entrepreneurs.
What are some of your favorite travel publications? Let us know in the comments!
When starting out in a new venture or entrepreneurial undertaking, the whole process might seem overwhelming at first. The best thing you can do is to learn from the success (and mistakes) of others to make the process easier and more effective.
Our advice: surround yourself with people who are more experienced and excel in aspects and industries that you struggle in. Being a good leader and a successful entrepreneur doesn’t mean being the smartest person in the room, but rather surrounding yourself with people who can help you make the best, most effective decisions (like our experienced team who can help your business thrive!).
But don’t just take our works for it! Here’s some great advice from successful entrepreneurs to help you stay motivated and help you and your new enterprise find success!
What’s the best piece of advice you've been given about business? We’d love to hear them in the comments!
There’s no denying that in today’s day and age, social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools available to small- and medium-sized businesses. As a travel agent, establishing a strong social media presence can be a game changer for your business. Here are a few tips to ensure that you’re making the most of your social media strategy.
Questions about starting your own travel agency? Contact Outside Agent Link to find out more.
Online and in real life, we’ve often heard people exclaim, “I wish I could get paid to travel the world,” as if such a job was a white whale of a career choice, available only to the likes of Anthony Bourdain. But in fact, you can get paid to travel, and for helping other people travel, as well by becoming a travel agent.
If you answered “yes” to these questions, a travel agent career would be perfect for you!
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys traveling the world and has a lot of experience in different travel cities, then a career as a travel agent is right up your alley! Clients look to you to be an expert in the travel industry and that means having a wealth of personal knowledge for restaurant and lodging recommendations in both quality and value. You should also be very organized and a self-starter, as being an at-home travel agent has a unique set of benefits and challenges.
When you sign up to be a travel agent with Outside Agent Link, you get access to our seasoned network of travel resources, including discounts, expertise, training, and support—everything you need to get the job done and do it well! You also have the flexibility of working from home, meaning you can treat being a travel agent as a full-time or part-time gig. The more you sell, the more you earn, so it’s really up to you!
Interested in getting started with your travel agent career? Explore our programs to find out more.
When someone says that they work from home, most people imagine that they spend all day watching HGTV in their PJs and browsing Facebook all day. They think of it as one long extended vacation. And while there is a lot of freedom that comes from working from home (working in your PJs, for example), this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.
Because you work from home, many of your clients will assume that that means that you’re available 24 hours a day. After all, your house is your office, so they should be able to call whenever you’re at home, right? Wrong. Set boundaries with your clients. Ensure they know what your working hours are. Consider getting a second phone line just for your business and turn your work phone off or on silent during non-business hours.
While you do have the freedom to have HGTV playing in the background of your work day, you’ll soon discover that background noise and TV is distracting and keeps you from being as efficient as you might otherwise be. Consider limiting distractions the same way you would in an office (consider keeping TV time just for your lunch break), and treat your home office as just that—an office. As tempting as it is, try not to get swayed by household distractions like laundry, dishes, or other chores.
While you do have the ability to browse Facebook during the day since you don’t have any limits on your internet, keep in mind that socializing is a lot harder to do when you work alone. No coworkers has its advantages—no drama, no doing other people’s work for them—but also its disadvantages—no one to socialize with, no one to vent to. So consider Facebook your social treat for the day. Make plans to meet friends for lunch or consider working from a coworking space or coffee shop a couple of days a week.
Interested in a job as a work-from-home travel agent? Contact Outside Agent Link to get started!
For many years, there was a stigma against working from home, as employers thought it was a sign of inefficiency or even laziness. However, with technology advances in recent years, working from home has gotten easier than ever. Recent studies have also shown that working from home can be just as much of an advantage for employers as for their employees. Here are a few facts that showcase the benefits of working from home:
What’s even better than working from home? Being your own boss! Learn more with Outside Agent Link.
Working from home is a great luxury of the Internet age. As many as 1 in 5 Americans work from a home office at least once a week and that number continues to grow year after year. Benefits of working from home include increased productivity and efficiency, lower stress, and decreases costs. Working from home can take a little getting used to, so we’ve curated this list of tips for getting the most out of working from home:
Many people think of working from home as sitting in bed or on the couch with a laptop. And while that might be okay every now and then, you really will be more efficient with an actual workspace. Setup your desk in a room with a lot of light and stock it the same way you would if you were at an office.
It’s important to be consistently available. Setting hours is helpful for both your coworkers, family, clients, and yourself. If you know you need to be working from 9 – 5 it’s easier for you to not be distracted by things around the house, like laundry or dishes. Those can all wait until the end of the day.
Working from home can be as much of a transition for your friends and family as it is for you. Make sure they know that during work hours, you are unavailable in the same way you would be if you were at the office (emergencies only!).
The key to a successful work from home experience is constant communication with your clients and coworkers. In fact, overcommunication is the rule of thumb here. Let your coworkers know when you plan to step out for lunch, when you’re available for conference calls, and what progress you’ve made on projects. Make sure the expectations are clear and that you’re delivering on what you’re supposed to be accomplishing.
Working from home means you’re going to be spending a lot of time at your abode from now on. Take advantage of the day to get up and go for a walk around the block to clear your head; meet friends or colleagues for lunch, or pack a lunch and eat it in a nearby park; consider working from the library or a coffee shop to mix things up a bit. It’s important for you to have some human interaction instead of just communicating over text and email all day, or else you’ll start to go stir crazy.
Working from home shouldn’t turn into working at home all the time. At the end of the day, shut down your computer and log your brain off of work time. Maintaining a harmonious work-life balance is still important!
What are your best work from home success tips?
One of the biggest benefits to being an independent travel agent with Travel Leaders is the ability for you to work from home. Working from home can be a convenient and cost-efficient way to run your travel business. If you’ve never worked from home before, the first step is setting up a home office that will allow you to be focused and efficient and reduce distractions. Here are 4 tips for setting up a home office:
Make it Your Happy Place
You should be excited to start working every day, and your space should reflect that. Choose a space that has a lot of natural light, is relatively free of distractions, and is separate (if possible) from the rest of your living space. Pick colors and artwork that reflect you and the personality of your brand. Consider adding the following elements to your work space:
Furniture = Fun + Function
Many people make the mistake of choosing furniture items that are either solely for function or looks. It’s important that you choose pieces that are a happy medium. Choose ergonomic office chair so that you don’t develop bad posture. Find a desk that suits your needs, whether that be lots of storage space, or enough real estate to fit all of your technology.
As we said earlier, choose a chair that you will be comfortable sitting in for hours at a time. Ensure that your computer is placed so that the top of the screen is at eye level, which will help you avoid eye and neck strain. Your keyboard should be placed so that your arms are parallel to the floor while you’re typing.
Think of Your Clients
Much of your work is likely going to be conducted over the phone or online, but on the off chance you want to have clients come see you, be sure to think about where they will be sitting when they come into your office.
Keep everything you’re going to need on a daily basis in your office. You don’t want to have to get up and run to another room every half an hour to find supplies. You’ll be more efficient if your most commonly-used items were within close reach. Consider adding lots of storage space so that you can keep everything you need handy.
Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of working at home as an independent travel agent.
We've all been there: the gridlocked traffic jams, the awful vegan-themed potlucks and passive aggressive emails. They all seem like rites of passage for anyone whose has the pleasure of working in a traditional office setting.
When you do decide to take the plunge, though, and start telecommuting, you quickly notice that all those little nuisances become an afterthought.
So here's a list of annoying, ingratiating and downright irritating things you'll never have to hear when you start working from home:
Nope. That's because your work day didn't require you to even leave your driveway, let alone sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic forever and a day. The average telecommuter saves about an hour and a half in commuting time, so that means more time is allotted to be productive.
With nearly half of work-from-home employees stating that they tend to eat much healthier than their counterparts, it'll be rare that you forego a nutritious meal for something from the dollar menu.
The office gossip buck stops with you the moment you decide to work from home. A lot of the infighting and catty backtalk tends to come most in an environment that has so many different personalities, belief and value systems. There's bound to be some contention eventually.
NO MORE SPOILER ALERTS!
Gone will be the days of meetings, syncs, face-to-faces and other unnecessary meetings that could keep you from getting actual work done for the people who need your services most.
There are a great deal of blogs and articles that lean one way or the other in regards to how they see telecommuting and the virtual workforce.
So, to gain a better perspective on how both sides see the issue, here's an infographic from MySammy.com that outlines both the pros and cons that can come with working from home.
(click image to view infographic)
Not too long ago, we covered a few of the more important tips for effectively spring cleaning your home office. But we felt it necessary to point out that there's far more than just three things that lead to a more organized office space. With that said, here are a few more items to add to your spring cleaning checklist:
Bookshelves and cases are perfect for holding, well, books. It's too bad most of us use them to hold practically everything else but the aforementioned. Rule of thumb: if you're still holding onto books that you haven't cracked open since high school, it's probably time to toss them out or donate them to someone else who'll actually use them.
We're quick to throw everything but the kitchen sink into our work drawers. Condiment packets, old receipts and other unidentifiable pieces of paper have all found their way into our drawers at one point of another, so make sure you're taking a moment to determine whether or not you really need to keep those soy sauce packets before tossing them in the drawer.
Your physical desktop can serve as an extension of just how organized you really are about your overall work space. Chances are, if it's disorganized, you probably are, too. Keeping knick knacks and other sundries to a minimum will help to keep your mind clear as well as you desk top.
For more tips or to learn how you can change you career path by becoming a work-from-home agent, visit our Contact Us page.
Spring cleaning your home office may not seem like one of those high-priority tasks when you compare to the important work you accomplish in that office, day after day.
But the cleanliness of your work space can greatly affect just how much work you actually get done. So here are some ways to de-clutter as we move into the spring months:
Start by streamlining all those old Christmas cards, end-of-the-year bills and whatever else may have accumulated on your desk over the past few weeks or months. Anything that you know isn't that important to this year's business needs to be disposed of or at least stored somewhere that's not your immediate work space.
Even though your physical desk may be tidy, your digital desk needs some attention, too. Old files and folders should be zipped up and stored in a separate space. We suggest investing in an external hard drive or flash drive, because the longer you keep data on your desktop, to slower your computer will run.
Plants help to liven up any home office, but they, too, can fall victim to a lack of upkeep and maintenance. Everything from a lack of water and sunlight, kids and animals, and even dust accumulation can all wreak havoc on poor plants. Keeping plants clean and well watered will help maintain the overall look and feel of your home office.
To learn more about how you can get your home office ready as a work-from-home travel agent, visit our Contact Us page.
Mashable published an infographic in 2012 that we wanted to revisit to show that, even three years later, there are still plenty of perks that come with choosing to telecommute for your job. Below is the graphic in full:
Essentially, working from home has far more perks than setbacks. Many of the myths once associated with telecommuting have since been debunked and replaced with hardened facts that paint it in a much better light. And that's a good thing for everyone.
If you would like to know more about the work-from-home perks that can come with being a part of Outside Agent Link, visit our Contact Us page or call us directly at (866) 318-0391.
With the digital age in full swing, it only makes sense that more and more companies around the world are starting to embrace the idea of remote and telecommute opportunities for current and potential employees.
This change is the business infrastructure, though, has also bred a collection of myths and apprehensions about working from home.So, naturally, we took the time to examine five of the most heard myths and set the record straight, once and for all.
1. "Dress as if you were going to an actual office building.”
Not so much. That’s really the beauty of working from home. If you want to keep your most comfortable sweatpants on while catching up with morning emails, that’s is your prerogative. The only exceptions would be on the rare occasion you have to meet with a client or coworker in person, or give a presentation to a live audience.
2. "Anybody can work from home, really.”
It depends. The reasons why most of us despise the idea of a supervisor, project manager or some other higher-up breathing down our necks during the day is the same reason why we sort of need them: to provide direction, focus and structure to an otherwise free-for-all workday. You have to be diligent about keeping a schedule, adhering to office hours and maintaining a staunch work ethic in order to be successful working from home, so it may not be cut out for everyone.
3. "’Work from home’ means exactly that. Nothing else. Period.”
That’s just absurd. In a time when reliable Wi-Fi signals are as abundant as the air we breathe, there’s no reason why you can hold office hours at your favorite coffee shop, local museum or even at the top of the Eiffel Tower, if you feel so inclined.
4. "Working from home allows you to make your own hours.”
Quite the contrary. Although you may work for a company that’s based in a different time zone than you, that doesn't take away from the fact that there are deadlines, and everyone must adhere to them to the best of their abilities. Albeit, it is kind of convenient if you work on the east coast and your employer is on a two or three-hour delay.
5. "Working from home makes you anti-social; a shut-in.”
There are plenty of ways to stay connected with the people you work with via social networking, video conferencing, instant messaging and more. Really, we have more ways to stay connected to one another than at any other point in world history. Ultimately, the only thing that would ever keep people from being social is internal.
Think of any telecommute myths that we didn't cover in this post? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. And to learn more about how Outside Agent Link can put you on the fast track to obtaining the freedom that can come with working from home, visit our Contact Us page or email our offices directly at email@example.com.
Being a travel consultant who works from home comes with its fair share of pros and cons, but one thing will always remain true; like the old adage says, "A man is only as good as the tools he uses." A truly successful telecommuter knows that being organized and productive requires having applications and resources to help get the job done.
Here, we compiled a list of some of the best web tools out there to keep any home-based travel agent ahead of the curve:
1. Google Drive
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people out there are still using file cabinets, wall calendars and Rolodex to keep up with everyday tasks and important documents.
Drive allows you to keep any and all documents in one place. So itineraries, agendas and even ticket stubs and confirmation pages can be copied and placed in cloud-based storage for easy access. Drive also has both iOS and Android apps for an added level of convenience while on the go.
As much as most of us hate the idea of being micro-managed, there comes a time when we must compartmentalize both high and low-level task so we don't forget them. Trello is a system that keeps track of your project overviews and keeps them in order. You can create to-do lists or entire project maps with due dates and assign certain tasks to people.
Communicate with clients, fellow colleagues and complete strangers, if you feel so inclined. Skype's solid video chatting and IM capabilities make it a standout service compared to services like Join Me or Go To Meeting.
If you don't feel like having to download extra software on your computer, though, there's also Google Hangouts, which allows you to video chat with up to 100 people around the world for free.
What new (or older) apps or tools did we leave out? Be sure to mention in the comments below. For more information about putting these tools to use and becoming your own boss, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Contact page.
2015 is a year when the idea of traditional travel will be turned on its head a little. With embargo and border restrictions becoming relaxed and increased popularity of the lower-budgeted and domestic travel, agents will constantly have to stay current on ever-changing travel trends.
We've got you covered, though. Below is a list of some of the best, boldest and brightest travel bloggers out there that you need to keep an eye on this year if you plan on staying ahead of the competition:
Working for yourself means that now, more than ever, extra attention must be paid to the way potential customers see you. Your online brand is not only an extension of who you are in real life, but it also gives people a glimpse of what you can offer and moreover, how you can offer it to them.
Luckily, you don't have to be a social media guru to create an effective strategy. Here's how:
There's a wide array of social media networks out there that allow you to check in here, pin and tweet there, and post, snap, ping and chat almost anything at any given time throughout the day. The trick comes with focusing your preferred networks to suit your brand's particular needs. For example, being a travel agent means a great deal of your time is spent disseminating relevant travel news and updates, highlighting locations around the world, using visuals to accentuate the experience and answering any questions that past, present and potential clients may have. With that in mind, networks like Instagram, Foursquare and Twitter are ideal for accomplishing your specific set of goals effectively.
Nothing translates into a positive community view of your brand faster than establishing a sense of reliability. Posting regularly on a schedule gives your customers something to look forward to. Whether it’s once every Wednesday or three times a week, being consistent will put you on the fast track to social media success.
Everything from answering questions to troubleshooting customer concerns will help to establish a rapport with your audience that will both strengthen your brand and increase your authority as a though leader in your respective industry.
Being knee-deep in the digital age means that in order to stay a step ahead of the competition, you have to be able to leverage online resources intelligently and effectively. And with a little due diligence on your part, it’ll only be a matter of time before you’re reaping the benefits of having a fantastic social media presence.To learn more or speak to one of our experienced travel team visit our Contact Us page or email email@example.com.
Picture this. You're about halfway through your cross-country trip when you land in Denver only to find bad weather greeting you. Planes have been grounded, flights have been canceled, and you are now stuck in the sea of grumpy travelers and airline representatives. You take your spot in line and listen to the passive aggression wage on for hours at the counter.
At a time like this, you could have someone on your side. You could have a travel representative just a phone call away, ready to help; someone who knows you and who wants to work to salvage your day.
Many of our independent travel consultants have been in situations just like this. They've stood in the line, in the sea of angriness, at the center of a storm. But they, like you, realized that there is something those Internet sites just can't do: carry out customer service. Sure, you can find a great deal on those faceless sites, but they're not going to be there for you in times like these.
That's why being a travel agent isn't dead, and why the industry is coming back swinging. In addition to customer service during troubling times, there is also the experience and expertise they bring to the table. For example, you might think leaving on a Sunday morning at 9am after your wedding is a good idea. However, your independent travel agent might advise you to leave on Monday instead and save you a literal headache. You might think a hotel looks great online, but your agent will know people who have stayed there and representatives from that place or somewhere like it. They'll know everything from if travel insurance is a smart investment and what kinds of baggage you should take with you.
They know the tricks of the trade and are willing to share those with their customers to make their traveling easier and vacations more blissful. They take the time to get to know your preferences and needs and work to put you in a place you will love and will be convenient. No more surprises!
So why should you be an independent travel agent? Helping people, of course!
Among the things that our agents enjoy about working from home, tax deductions are at the top of the list. According to H&R Block, over 4 million people don't claim the tax deductions for which they're eligible.
You are able to save a lot of money by effectively writing off services and products you utilize for work at home. Here are some common examples of itemized deductions you can use as a home business owner:
If you’re going to work from home and you need furniture that is exclusively for work (and not something the kids occasionally use) such as a filing cabinet, desk and office chair, you may be able to write them off, or deduct them from your taxable income.
Additionally, if you need a computer, printer, fax machine, etc., these items may also be eligible for a tax write-off.
If you use your home Internet service for work, and the Internet is a necessity for you to complete your work, then it is possible you could write off part or most of your monthly service fee.
If you are renting your home and utilizing a portion of it exclusively for business (say, a spare bedroom or above-garage office), you may be able to write-off a portion of this as well.
You may be eligible to deduct up to half of your self-employment tax, which can be very helpful come tax time.Of course, you want to be honest with all of the uses for all of these examples. It is possible to get audited, and you will have to answer for everything that you have claimed on your taxes. It is important to keep records as well, such as receipts, to protect yourself in the event of an audit.
It’s not always a popular notion to "quit.” But the fact is, there are many people who could be happier in a less restrictive work environment; there are many people who want to work for themselves and stop answering to four tiers of superiors. That’s why we think that you should quit. There’s never a better time than now, and here are five reasons why:
The days of the screaming boss are over. People want to work in companies that have a harmonious environment with a collaborative mission. Employers like Google and Facebook know that it takes more than a good service or idea to keep top talent. You need to offer culture. If your boss is disrespectful or dismissive of your ideas and your job, it’s time to move on. You won’t miss it; we promise.
As the back to school season kicks into high gear, countless parents are helping their kids locate that perfect first-day outfit, track down the last of their town’s "Book Sox,” and decide which unlucky parent gets to drive little Tommy from school to his friend’s houses after classes are over. No matter how stressful this time of year can be for families of school-age children, it’s often a welcome change for parents who have to make huge sacrifices by cutting back on work hours over the summer to care for their children. If you’re one of the thousands of American parents whose children are younger than school age, however, you don’t have the luxury of sending them back to school and returning to normal hours at your job. But what if, instead of having to find a way to get to work, you could let work come to you?
If you’ve got young kids, you know how tough it can be to negotiate a job while caring for them. Maybe you’ve tried to cut back on hours at work; perhaps you’ve looked into getting a nanny. Well, we’re here to tell you that the answer might just lie in working from home. It’s not an easy gig to find, but if you can land it, working from home will not only allow you to spend more time with your kids, but it will improve their lives as well.
Here are 5 reasons why working from home is important to your young kids:
1. Your kids aren’t sure who they are yet
Heidi Brennan, a member of the Board of Directors for the Family and Home Network, says, "Research has demonstrated that the early relationship between infants and preschoolers is the foundation of all subsequent personality development.”
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t miss it either
Stuff liked scraped knees and the sniffles might not seem like a big deal, but when your kids are all grown up, it’s oftentimes the small stuff that we miss the most. Be there for your children when they’re young and they’ll return the favor down the road.
3. Be a provider
Joan K. Peters, a working mother and author of When Mothers Work, says that "One of the aspects of mothering that's terribly important is making sure that you can provide for your children financially.” Not only will you make good money with a quality work from home opportunity, but you’ll be able to save money on daycare!
4. Never Say Never
If you currently have a job, going from the working life to the non-working life overnight is not the best idea. Not only will it suddenly become tougher to make ends meet, but it doesn’t set a great example for your kids.
5. Sister Act (Up)
If you have more than one young child to tend to, you can play a crucial role in how they view one another during the impressionable years of early youth. A caregiver might not be able to teach your children how to cooperate with, learn from, and support one another quite like their parent can.
If you’re ready to give working from home a chance so that you can spend more time at home with your kids during their formative years, contact Outside Agent Link today! We’ve hired hundreds of mothers who wanted a professional option that would afford them more time with their young children.