Virtually every small business needs help running their day-to-day administrative tasks, but they may not particularly want to pay a full-time in-house employee to do it. Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks that a traditional assistant or secretary would normally do, including making travel arrangements, paying bills, or managing expense reimbursements.

The entrepreneur is a factor in and the study of entrepreneurship reaches back to the work of Richard Cantillon and Adam Smith in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. However, entrepreneurship was largely ignored theoretically until the late 19th and early 20th centuries and empirically until a profound resurgence in business and economics since the late 1970s. In the 20th century, the understanding of entrepreneurship owes much to the work of economist Joseph Schumpeter in the 1930s and other Austrian economists such as Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek. According to Schumpeter, an entrepreneur is a person who is willing and able to convert a new idea or invention into a successful innovation. Entrepreneurship employs what Schumpeter called "the gale of creative destruction" to replace in whole or in part inferior innovations across markets and industries, simultaneously creating new products including new business models. In this way, creative destruction is largely responsible for the dynamism of industries and long-run economic growth. The supposition that entrepreneurship leads to economic growth is an interpretation of the residual in endogenous growth theory and as such is hotly debated in academic economics. An alternative description posited by Israel Kirzner suggests that the majority of innovations may be much more incremental improvements such as the replacement of paper with plastic in the making of drinking straws.
Former Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz initially thought playing Italian opera music over store speakers would accentuate the Italian coffeehouse experience he was attempting to replicate. But customers saw things differently and didn’t seem to like arias with their espressos. As a result, Schultz jettisoned the opera and introduced comfortable chairs instead.
"Entrepreneurs and business owners definitely need to get used to taking risks … You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Trying to grow a company or execute on an idea is difficult. It's not always going to be roses and unicorns. At some point, you're going to run into issues, lose customers and have financial constraints. It's at this point you need to get back on the horse and take another risk, whether it's in the form of a new product, new marketing campaign or a new customer recruitment strategy." – Mathew Ross, co-founder and COO of Slumber Yard
Stanford University economist Edward Lazear found in a 2005 study that variety in education and work experience was the most important trait that distinguished entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs[105] A 2013 study by Uschi Backes-Gellner of the University of Zurich and Petra Moog of the University of Siegen in Germany found that a diverse social network was also important in distinguishing students that would go on to become entrepreneurs.[106][107]
Project entrepreneurs are individuals who are engaged in the repeated assembly or creation of temporary organizations.[71] These are organizations that have limited lifespans which are devoted to producing a singular objective or goal and get disbanded rapidly when the project ends. Industries where project-based enterprises are widespread include: sound recording, film production, software development, television production, new media and construction.[72] What makes project-entrepreneurs distinctive from a theoretical standpoint is that they have to "rewire" these temporary ventures and modify them to suit the needs of new project opportunities that emerge. A project entrepreneur who used a certain approach and team for one project may have to modify the business model or team for a subsequent project.
Although the "self-made man" (or woman) has always been a popular figure in American society, entrepreneurship has gotten greatly romanticized in the last few decades. In the 21st century, the example of internet companies like Alphabet, fka Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) – both of which have made their founders wildly wealthy – people are enamored with the idea of becoming entrepreneurs.
Stanford University economist Edward Lazear found in a 2005 study that variety in education and work experience was the most important trait that distinguished entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs[105] A 2013 study by Uschi Backes-Gellner of the University of Zurich and Petra Moog of the University of Siegen in Germany found that a diverse social network was also important in distinguishing students that would go on to become entrepreneurs.[106][107]
Innovative entrepreneurs may be more likely to experience what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls "flow". "Flow" occurs when an individual forgets about the outside world due to being thoroughly engaged in a process or activity. Csikszentmihalyi suggested that breakthrough innovations tend to occur at the hands of individuals in that state.[113] Other research has concluded that a strong internal motivation is a vital ingredient for breakthrough innovation.[114] Flow can be compared to Maria Montessori's concept of normalization, a state that includes a child's capacity for joyful and lengthy periods of intense concentration.[115] Csikszentmihalyi acknowledged that Montessori's prepared environment offers children opportunities to achieve flow.[116] Thus quality and type of early education may influence entrepreneurial capability.
^ Ebbena, Jay; Johnson, Alec (2006). "Bootstrapping in small firms: An empirical analysis of change over time". Journal of Business Venturing (published November 2006). 21 (6): 851–865. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2005.06.007. Bootstrapping has taken on many definitions in the literature, but there has been some recent consensus that it is a collection of methods used to minimize the amount of outside debt and equity financing needed from banks and investors (Winborg and Landstrom, 2001 and Harrison and Mason, 1997).
Differences in entrepreneurial organizations often partially reflect their founders' heterogenous identities. Fauchart and Gruber have classified entrepreneurs into three main types: Darwinians, communitarians and missionaries. These types of entrepreneurs diverge in fundamental ways in their self-views, social motivations and patterns of new firm creation.[92]
Larger enterprises can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their social media accounts, but small businesses often have to handle their own social media marketing. With so many responsibilities, business owners are often too busy, overwhelmed or undereducated about the importance of a social media presence to spend time developing and implementing a great social media strategy. As a social media consultant, you can help small businesses determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower count grows, so will your business.
If managing a blog seems a bit overwhelming but you still desire to indulge your writing passion, you can write for other sites or blogs like PayPerPost, Textbroker, or Helium. Also, writing an interesting e-book may also be an option for you as well. E-books do not have any printing or shipping fees, which makes them a viable investment. If you’re someone who possesses strong language skills, you could potentially become an expert copy editor that webmasters will gladly pay to read and edit articles and also correct any overlooked grammatical errors concerning web copy.

Some of these promotion techniques may include article marketing, social bookmarking, forum posting, writing press releases, submitting your site to a number of search engines and directories, and blog posting; just to name a few. Most businesses don’t pay their own staff to perform these tasks and choose to outsource all their SEO and SEM tasks instead.

Mary & Martha has a career plan listing on their website that allows you to see the different bonus structures as you move up in the consulting ranks. To start, you make 25% of the profit and once you sell $1200 a month, you earn a 5% bonus. The bonus structure makes it more difficult for those at the bottom to make money so. To make a good income, it appears that you would need to advance higher in the ranks at Mary & Martha.
When one of your customers makes a purchase, you purchase the product from a third-party company (the drop shipper, usually a manufacturer or wholesaler) for a lower price. This process is as simple as forwarding the order from your customer, a process that can actually be completely automated. (Remember you don't have any risk here of buying inventory because the sale has already been made).
×