Tag Archives: business

Are Business Trips Obsolete?

“I’m going out of town for a business trip next week,” one of my friends told me as we attempted to schedule a much-needed guys’ night out. “So those days are out.”

I wasn’t as put off by his inability to find a spot for me in his schedule as I was shocked that he still went on business trips. During the Great Recession, a lot of my friends who used to travel a lot for business started using teleconferencing technology instead; even as the economy has picked back up in recent years, their employers have been slow to go back to the old model of routine business trips for all but the most crucial face-to-face meetings.

Benefits of Business Trips

The benefits of business trips have been debated for years. One of the more seminal studies on travelling for business came from Oxford Economics USA in 2009. The organization reported that companies that bailed on business travel stood to lose 17% of profits in the first year alone. On the surface, it’s hard to understand how using new technology instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on an overnight business trip could cost a company so dearly; however, it just goes to show the importance of in-person meetings.

Are Business Trips Necessary?

But the facts show, business trips also have their downfalls. It keeps employees out of the office – sometimes for several days – for a short meeting. Case in point: I have a friend gave a 45-minute presentation in New York City a few months back, but spent 12 hours traveling to and from the meeting. Traveling for business also keeps parents away from their children, has negative health affects, and employees who travel a lot for business tend to burn out at a faster rate than those who travel infrequently or not at all.

Technology Makes Business Trips Obsolete

Today, new technology makes it easier – and cheaper – than ever for employees to avoid business travel without giving up on the best aspects of in-person interaction. Companies like AT&T and Cisco manufacture and market large-scale teleconferencing systems that include phones, cameras, and touch-screen presentation boards that can be used by individuals in multiple locations. If you don’t want to invest in infrastructure, you can use web-based software to connect virtually. I’ve used GoToMeeting multiple times, and find it very straightforward. I also have friends who have use free software – like that offered by iVisit – for one-on-one teleconferences. There are also software programs that charge you per minute, per teleconference, and per month. The website Top Ten Reviews has a great list of teleconferencing and virtual presentation software programs, if you’re interested.

How often do you travel for business? Has the frequency of your business trips declined since this type of new technology has become more prevalent?

2012 Goals: 3rd Quarter Update

In order to stay on top of my goals and remind myself where I’m going, I am revisiting my 2012 goals and taking a look at my progress so far.

After getting married in Q2, things have slowed down significantly. Our home has come together a bit, there have been fewer unexpected expenses, and I’m getting a slightly clearer pictures of where I’ll be at the end of the year.

Here are my goals and my progress.

1. Start Two New Side Ventures

Last quarter, I reported that I had 1/2 of a side venture built, but was still looking to fine-tune it to see if it would be sustainable.

Well, this has had some ups and downs. I was able to make several hundred from it, but then it fell flat on it’s face. I could envision it ramping back up again, but I do not think it’s sustainable. Still, there’s nothing wrong with a side venture that pulls in a couple hundred dollars every couple of months! It’s out of my control in the short-term, I simply don’t have the time to do all the testing I need. Maybe I should hire someone to do it for me?

Definitely going to fail this one. But it was probably a lot to ask for, I’m glad that I keep trying things with little investment.

2. Double My Side Income from 2011

This was totally crazy. No complaints, but there’s no way this is going to happen. If I’m lucky I’ll reach where I was last year, but it seems like things have slowed down a lot over the past few months and the opportunities I counted on earlier in the year simply aren’t there. There are many external factors, but the last week or two have shown promise, so maybe the fourth quarter will be kinder to me.

3. Save 60% of My Post-Tax Income

Things started to even out, for the quarter I saved 48% of post-tax income, which isn’t bad, and I think can reach our goal if we try hard. We paid off a lot of our student loans, but I don’t consider that spending, really it’s just savings with a different name. The money was either going to sit in our checking account or be used to pay off the debt.

In the 4th quarter, we’ll be going on our honeymoon, so that’s a big expense that’s easily foreseeable. There’s not much else we have planned, so I think we have a chance of hitting that 60% number for the quarter, and possibly overall, which would be great!

4. Double My Net Worth

I added a ton of student debt (Lauren is now included in these calculations) in the 2nd Quarter, all the way down to -75% from where I was at the beginning of the year.

The good news is that we’re up 26% over the past few months. The bad news is we’re still down 42% overall. So a long long ways to go before we reach the goal, but at the same time, we seem to be making great progress.

Looking forward, the only goal that I may actually hit is saving 60% of our post-tax income. I’m not upset about the prospect of missing the others, I think some of them were not realistic at all and there’s not much that I could have done to control the others, so we’ll just keep plugging away at it!

Readers, How are you doing on your yearly goals? What do you think of mine?

What I Learned in 3 Years of Blogging

Wow, I cannot believe I’ve been blogging for so long. When I started my site 3 years ago on Blogger.com, I just wanted to express my views and weigh in on some personal finance issues. I had no idea it would spiral into something much bigger. I had no idea I could make money from it, and I had no idea I had this entrepreneurial spirit in me.

I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I’ve learned even more about blogging. Here’s what I’ve learned:

I Love Money

Sure, everyone wants to have more cash, but I think more than having it, I like making it. Whether it’s negotiating with advertisers or thinking of new ways to monetize, I like the chase way more than I like it sitting in my bank. Constantly working to build a second or third income stream is exhilarating.

Personal Finance Bloggers Are The Best

There are some awesome bloggers out there, and I’m really glad I get to interact with them on a daily basis. I also am really lucky to have found a ballin’ business partner, and thinking back to our first business conversation about how we were going to make money, it’s hilarious how bad we were at actually doing it back then. Having people to bounce ideas off of is a great thing.

You Can Learn Anything

I was never a writer until I started blogging. I had never been much of a reader, either, excluding the 3rd grade book-a-thon. But I now do a ton of reading and clearly a bunch of writing, too. I also learned more than I care to admit about blogging and wordpress. If you care enough and put the time in, it doesn’t feel like learning because you’re working toward a goal.

I’m Crazy Lucky

This blogging thing sort of fell into my lap. I happened to have a lot of free time at my first job. Then, I met someone who offered to help monitize my site. Then, I started making money from my site. That was never the goal, and it took me about a year to realize that you could earn a decent side income just from writing. I didn’t know that all the time spent blogging and networking would pay off, so it was very lucky that this adventure turned into what it did.