As Christian work at home parents, we have a unique opportunity to bring Christ into our businesses. For me, it’s the ultimate reason why I am in business in the first place. I look at my company, AngelArts, as a Business As Mission.
Think about this: we have an opportunity to share more about Christ than most pastors! You and I will rub shoulders with people that will never talk to a church professional.
None of us is exempted from the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations. And He ends this commandment with a promise: He will be with us!
But how can we practically bring Christ into our businesses?
Every month, my husband and I attend a meeting at Glen Eyrie Conference Center (owned by The Navigators) to discuss this very question over breakfast. Business owners give their testimonies to share their stories of how they brought Christ into the workplace, or how they discovered Christ in the workplace.
It can be as simple as taking an interest in someone; in developing a friendship and guiding them to the path that leads to eternal life.
That was the particular story of a gentleman, Rob, who was involved in the banking industry, that I recently heard. A colleague invited Rob to a Christian networking meeting and demonstrated he cared. When times got tough, this man was there for Rob. Today, Rob is a successful mortgage banker and Christian business leader actively engaged in bringing Christ into his workplace.
Integrity matters. It demonstrates Christ in the workplace most of all.
A story by a man named Charles was especially encouraging. Throughout his life, he acted with integrity. He would make very tough decisions with the desire to please Jesus. Sometimes he had to say no to opportunities. While this hurt at the time, he found that God used him in unexpected areas, even sharing the gospel at the World Cup in Brazil! Read More→
On the face of things, starting any kind of business at home is a simple process. You have an idea for selling a product or service, and you get started right away. However, like everything in life, nothing is that simple. There are a few things you need to tick off on the legal checklist, and if you fail to do so, you could end up in some hot water. Let’s take a look at the legal nuts and bolts behind starting a home business.
As a rule, if you are planning to start a consultancy or freelance writing business, nothing should stand in your way. However, it’s important to check out your industry’s trading regulations before you even start making a plan of activities. For example, let’s say you launch a cupcake business at home, selling from a market stall at a local farmer’s market. As a catering business, you’ll need to contact your local authority and ensure you are complying with the main General Food Law Requirements.
The next big decision is how you set up your business. Many freelancers set up as sole traders, for example, but as yourcompanyformations.co.uk point out, you might be better off in tax terms establishing as a limited company. Either way, you need to choose a name that is not in use by any other company to ensure your business isn’t treading on someone else’s toes.
Trademarks, patents, and intellectual property
It’s vital to set up protections for your business ideas, as well as your physical property. Your trademark will ensure that you, your products and company names are protected by law, and no one else can use them. Filing for a patent protects the workings of your product and ensures no other business can steal them. Make sure you see a lawyer and ensure you have the right protections in place, as, sadly, intellectual property theft and industrial espionage is a genuine threat to more businesses than you might think.
In particular cases, it is a legal requirement to have insurance when starting a business. However, regardless of the law, insurance is there to make sure you don’t end up in serious financial trouble if you, your employees or your clients ends up having an accident, for example. As a bare minimum, we would recommend taking out insurance for employer’s liability, vehicles, and contracts, as well as any policies that cover you for working with specialist equipment.
Last – but by no means least – we have taxes. Do not underestimate how important this will be for the long-term health of your business. If you don’t track all your expenses and keep accurate records, you can expect action from HMRC. VAT is another big issue, and many small business owners will worry about a VAT inspection happening – which is more common than you might think. The trick is to keep your financial accounts in great order if you want to avoid any issues – hiring an accountant or bookkeeper will help.
As big as my ears are, you would think I would be able to hear everything I am listening to.
I like to think I am hearing what I am listening to but I have so many illustrations that prove otherwise. I’m not sure what it is, but I am working on it with the help of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
It was on a Friday and I was very busy trying to get things done for the weekend. Some in our domicile can multitask and then the other can hardly do one thing at a time.
I’m not quite sure how my wife does it, but she can do half a dozen things at the same time and get them all done perfectly. It is like one of those jugglers at the circus who can keep half a dozen balls in the air at the same time.
Not me. I can’t even keep one ball in the air at the same time, let alone half a dozen.
I was busy trying to get ready for the weekend when the wife came in and said, “Can we borrow your truck on Monday?”
I grunted and nodded my head in the affirmative.
“We need to move some furniture to a storage unit.”
Now, in those two sentences she used the word “we” but I heard the word “I.”
I am okay with her borrowing my truck and doing whatever kind of business she needs to do. A marriage works that way. One has a truck and the other borrows said truck.
I should have thought something was up, but you know how it is with us men. We do not think unless backed into a corner and we cannot do anything else. All through the weekend when I saw my wife, she would look at me and smile and nod her head. I smiled and nodded my head back at her. After all, isn’t that what a good relationship is all about? Smiling and nodding your head at each other.
As I recall, it was a rather pleasant weekend and then it was over.
Early on Monday morning my wife came into the living room where I was watching TV and drinking my morning cup of coffee. I can’t start any day without my coffee. Whoever invented coffee should actually get a Nobel Peace prize.
My wife came in and looked at me and said, “Are we ready to go?” Then she smiled and nodded her head in my direction. Read More→
This past January my grandfather passed away. He was older and I knew over the past few years he had been showing his age, though he still seemed spry for 87. The day before Christmas Eve we received the phone call that he was very ill and in the hospital. Something about the gravity of my aunt’s voice made me realize it was probably the beginning of the end. I went to bed that evening unable to sleep.
The following day my husband’s family was coming for Christmas Eve dinner and I was doing the cooking. Three kids underfoot, the in-laws for a holiday gathering and my heart screaming, “How can my grandfather be dying?”
The following weekend I made the 6 hour trip with my five year old daughter for company. With each passing highway mile I found the lump in my throat getting bigger. Only two months earlier I had seen Grampa at a family gathering. He had still been active, living at home, though walking with a little assistance from a walker. Was I prepared to see him feebly lying in a nursing home bed?
Two things made my grief over his illness run deep. My dad passed away when I was only seven and this was his father who now lay gravely ill. Growing up Grampa had paid special attention to my brother and I, taking us on yearly trips to places like Disney, Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and Quebec City. He wanted to keep the family connection, doing for us what my father couldn’t do. It was like Grampa was my connection to my late father – the bond I had with him helped me feel I knew my Dad. I felt this slipping through my fingers, as if I was losing all I had left of my father.
Secondly Grampa and I never saw eye to eye on issues of faith. I wrestled with not knowing his eternal destiny. This also weighed heavily on me.
I spent that New Year’s Eve day visiting with Grampa, while my daughter enjoyed the day with her aunts. We spoke of faith and God, for which I am thankful. As I left I hugged him, told him we loved him, and felt him tightly grip my hand. I didn’t want to go. I knew deep down it was the last time I would see him alive.
As I hit the highway again I couldn’t contain the tears. Pulling into a rest stop I called my husband bawling. I was losing Grampa and I knew it.
Less than two weeks later the phone call came. It was expected. But still the finality of death was hard to bare.
Death and dying are all part of life. I don’t want to lose the people I love. Growing up I never grieved my father’s death – I just buried the pain, saying I was ok. Over the last few years I’ve been healing. I’ve had to grieve the loss of my Dad that occurred more than two decades ago. What I found is that God’s healing doesn’t mean the pain hurts less. Healing means I can feel again. I can feel great joy and great sorrow. While my pain was buried I couldn’t feel either of these. Read More→
Making the decision to educate your children at home is a big commitment and shows that creating an individual and tailored approach to your child’s education. It requires a lot of work and life balance since it requires such an amount of attention and detail. Preparing your child for getting a college education is the main goal.
It can be extra challenging when you also work from home. Even though the convenience is undeniable of not having to drive your child to a school every day or having to get yourself to an office, there are certainly challenges that come with working and teaching your children in the same place.
Here are some of the best tips for being able to balance work and your homeschooling without feeling overwhelmed.
Create A Schedule
Without a schedule, your day runs the risk of everything happening at once. Studies show that people are more productive when they focus on one thing at a time rather than double tasking. Try to sit down and create a schedule which separates each activity throughout the day in order to simulate a traditional school setting as much as possible.
It is crucial to set timeframes for each activity in your day in order to be as productive as possible. Since flexibility is definitely required of you when you have kids, it is important to not stay too rigid in your scheduling, but still having a sense of structure in order to avoid chaos.
Kids can start to get bored and distracted if they are in the same setting for too long of a period of time. They need a change of atmosphere and activities every now and then to keep them stimulated. Not to mention you need time to be able to get your work done without having to entertain them constantly.
Consider signing them up for an extracurricular activity which is outside of the house. This way you know that they are still getting something beneficial out of their time while you step away from your teaching role to get your work done. Read More→
Working from home can be challenging. You must be a self-starter and willing to really push yourself, set deadlines for yourself, and make things happen. Here are some ideas on making the best use of your time:
Get A Plan
Planning is my favorite stage of organization. I get to brainstorm and dream about what God may have for me in the coming weeks and months. One of the ways that I plan best is in talking things over with someone – a friend of colleague who is willing to listen and give ideas.
I know other business owners who keep a whiteboard in their office. On the board, they list dreams that they have for their business, action steps they can take to get there and even sometimes a timeframe of when each step needs to be completed.
Write It Down
I’ve learned over the years that my plans never get anywhere unless I write them down and give them a timeline. This can be done online with tools like Google Calendar, Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) or collaborative tools like PBWorks.
While I do use these tools, I’ve found that what works best for me is the good old paper planner. I pick one up in the dollar section at Target at the start of each year and use it to keep appointments straight. I use a Monthly Planner because I can see the whole month at a glance, which keeps me from overbooking myself. It also has a place in the sidebar to keep notes, which comes in handy if there are specific things that I need to remember throughout the month. The planner fits in my purse so I can easily pull it out and add new appointments wherever I am.
Keep a List
I love lists. I have stacks of tiny pieces of paper and notebooks full of lists I’ve made to track projects that I want to complete and things I need to do. Unfortunately, a mound of paper doesn’t help me stay on top of tasks.
I’ve found that having one big notebook – the kind that has dividers – is the simplest way to keep track of my lists. I have a section for each major project I’m working on. Then, I can keep a list of regular tasks (sometimes a daily list, sometimes weekly) stuck to the front page of each project’s section. Once those tasks are done, I simply remove the sticky note, make up a new list of tasks and stick in where the other was. This keeps me focused and I get the satisfaction of crossing each task off the list. Read More→
You’ve probably seen them. Sponsored ads in Facebook. And you have probably noticed this creepy phenomena where you go to a Website (like Amazon), then when you go to Facebook, that same product shows up!
You might think it’s strange, but it really is no mystery. It’s called retargeting or pixeling. It’s all done by grabbing a pixel and inserting it into your website.
It’s an extremely effective and cheap way to get the word out about your brand. After all, it’s repetition of seeing your offer that makes a difference in sales.
So how can you take advantage of retargeting ads in Facebook?
First of all, be specific in your offer and who you are offering it to. This will give you the best results.
Facebook Website Custom Audiences lets you make the right offer to the right audience who already knows you! Now that will really help you increase brand awareness!
Facebook Website Creation lets you create a list and run ads to audiences who have visited your website.
This is powerful because they have shown interest in your website and they have shown interest in you. They showed that by visiting your site.
How? Use your content to build focused lists and offer them what they want.
Here are the steps to take:
1. Segment your website content based on your audience and niche
2. Create keywords that will go into every URL that you produce in the future
3. Organize your existing content into a spreadsheet
4. Go into Facebook
5. Log into ‘Create Audience” button
6. Choose “Custom Audience from Your Website”
7. Accept Facebook’s TOS and click “Create Audience.”
8. Set up your website custom audiences.
9. Insert Custom Audience Pixel into your Website’s code (do this only one time).
10. After you click submit, the custom audience will display in the audiences tab in ads manager.
11. Create ads that target this category. That could be a blog or a lead magnet (freebie).
12. Do this over and over again! Test and test! Learn from your failures and build on your successes! Read More→