CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Feb
07

3 Ways to Grow Your Ecommerce Business

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You didn’t start your ecommerce business to see it struggle and flounder in its market. You took the plunge and embarked on this money-making venture because you were sure that it would prove successful in the long-run. If you’re to reach your goals as a business owner and ensure that your online store turns over massive amounts of profit, you must seek to improve it at all times.

To find out what you must do to grow your ecommerce business, be sure to read on.

 

Track your analytics and leverage your data

Tracking your ecommerce analytics is the first thing that you must do in your bid to grow your business. This will allow you to gauge and leverage your data, which in turn will help you to pinpoint and subsequently fix any pain points that you have.

By successfully managing to track your analytics and leverage your data, you will stand to reap the following key benefits:

  • You will find it easier to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest consumer trends
  • You will be able to maintain a keen eye on which of your channels are helping you to grow your business, and which are holding your site back from reaching its full potential.
  • You will be able to track the sales approach of your internal team as well as the daily engagement of your users and vendors

 

Make it personal

Your audience members want to be made to feel like individuals every time they access your site. To ensure that you are able to capture the interests and imagination of these unique shoppers, you must strive to personalize your ecommerce business.

This can be achieved by:

  • Individualizing your promotions and product selection to ensure that is tailored for each unique shopper that accesses your site
  • Collect cookies so that you can remember customers preferences and create personalized homepages for them
  • Offer guides, on-site assistance, and size and style guides that are unique
  • Display recently viewed items
  • Take location into account
  • Base your ad campaigns on previous user behavior
  • Get personal when it comes to email marketing (personalize subject lines, email subscribers on their birthdays, re-engage inactive leads, etc.)
  • Provide your users with personalized recommendations to suit their style

 

Go mobile

If your ecommerce site isn’t accessible on mobile devices, you’re going to leave a lot of money on the table and, even worse, you’re going to ruin your reputation. If you want to prove that you are capable of providing a service that is befitting of today, it’s essential that your mobile users are able to access your site at all times.

To ensure that this is the case, you need to invest in a robust m-commerce platform. This will help you to remain competitive in the mobile computing industry and it will even allow you to offer mobile-specific services.

If you want to grow your ecommerce business and truly take it to the next level, it’s essential that you put all of the above advice into practice.

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Jan
14

Marketing Offline Can Increase Your Online Business

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jill-new14The Internet can be a scary place for those looking for a home-based business opportunity. The fear of not connecting personally with others is one concern and many people have been “taken” by online scams in their search for a legitimate business and are fearful to take any more risks. One way to overcome fears such as these is to market your online business locally. By simply offering the person a contact that they can speak to and possibly even meet face to face you will making the statement that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.

It is effective to market your online business locally primarily because potential customers and business recruits prefer to have the option of speaking with the business owner face to face. By attracting customers locally, you can maximize the opportunities to meet with them. You will no longer be that “someone they found online,” but someone that they will be able to relate to and feel confident doing business with.

But how do you market locally? Here are some excellent tips:

Besides the common local advertising routes, such as Newspaper Ads, Yellow Pages, Etc., another effective (and inexpensive) way to advertise locally is to post business related flyers around your community. Many grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, and office supply stores offer bulletin boards for this purpose. Make yours stand out and be recognized, yet professional enough to warrant someone trusting you with their business. Also, if possibly have a tear-off section on your flyer so they can take your number and leave your flyer.

Look for events geared toward small businesses. There are organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, that hold events across the nation to help promote the small business owners. At events such as these, you can purchase a booth and make hundreds of local contacts, as well as sales, all in one day. Read More→

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Jan
02

Organizing Your New Year

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jill-new14
new year new startThe New Year is here!

I look forward this new beginning each year with a great deal of anticipation. It’s time to shake off the things of last year and look to the days of head and all of the opportunites they hold.

To help you start your year off right, here are a few thoughts for organizing your business and household for the upcoming year.

BUSINESS 

1. Files – Now is a great time to go through your files and make sure all is in order – labeled and put in a place where they are easily accessible. Take the time to throw out anything that can go and put old tax and business files into storage.

2. Desk –  A clean desk is a great way to kick off the new year. Find a place for everything and put everything in it’s place. It will help motivate you to sit down and get to work – no distractions.

3. Calendar –  Buy yourself a new calendar and/or planner and start filling that baby up. Make sure to mark in the days when there is no school (or early out days), and other items that you’ll need to keep you organized in both business and family tasks.

HOUSEHOLD 

1. Drawers and Closets – With the cold weather keeping you indoors, this is a great time to clean out those drawers and closets that need your attention. It’s also a great time to donate your gently used items.

2. Books – Just like clothing and other household goods, books can be donated to your local homeless shelter. Our local shelter has a library available to all of it’s residents. So, take time this new year to go through your books and donate those that you can part with.

3. Storage Spots –  Now that it’s time to put the Christmas decorations away, you might as well tidy up those storage areas as well. I’ve found that adding shelving to our small storage room makes it much easier to keep things organized and accessible. Also, nowadays you can buy colored totes to make separating out holiday decorations – or other items – easy.

SPIRITUAL LIFE

1. Hello/Goodbye Workbook and in this new decade, they are offering The Last 10, The Next 10, (by Jo Saxton and Stephanie O’Brien – “The ‘Hello Goodbye’ process is a tool in response to New Year’s resolutions – it is not about fixing yourself, but intentionally, prayerfully turning away from certain things, whether good or bad, and turning towards other things.  Those things might be fun (like working out!) or they may be uncomfortable, such as embracing  grief or forgiveness, but the focus is finding ways to be healthier emotionally, spiritually and physically.”

2. Joanna Weaver’s 2018 Utmost for His Highest Bible Reading Plan  –  Joanna Weaver is the author of several books, most notably Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Joanna explains a little about her 2018 reading challenge: “Each day, after reading an assigned chapter from the Bible, you’ll be encouraged to also consider that day’s entry from Oswald Chambers’ devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest .” Joanna will be sharing updates every weekday on her blog (and I’ll be contributing in April!). You can download the free workbook when you sign up (also free) on her website: JoannaWeaverBooks.com.

 

I hope you’re as excited about this new year as I am! I’d love to hear your tips for getting organized – post them in the comments below!

Read More→

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Dec
28

The Timbuktu Question

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Today’s blog article is for exhorting and empowering us dads and thereby setting an example for health and balance for our kids.

I’m going to use another one of the Great Counseling Analogies — I should do a series (three-armed man, Christmas Bicycle, the Playground, . . – actually I did one on the Playground — it was great and you can read it here http://cwahm.com/2016/articles/series-interruption-for-the-playground/ )

 The analogy involves Timbuktu; a city in Mali . . . which is a country . . . um, in Africa.  I’m not so good at geography — especially geography for different continents.  Which is the point:  Timbuktu used to be the city people would mention when they were talking about somewhere very remote on the ‘other side of the world.’*

 Plus, Timbuktu (Tim – Buck–Too) is fun to say.

 Timbuktu, Timbuktu, Timbuktu.

 But the idea of the analogy is that you consider the question: What you would do if you were starting over with a new life after moving to Timbuktu – the farthest reaches of the world where no one would know you?.

 My wife typically ruins analogies at this early point by asking too many detail questions.  “Why would I move to Timbuktu?”  “Do you get there by boat or did I fly?”

 She’s like that.  The point is – you are starting over.

  • No one would know you there
  • You wouldn’t have easy access to all your old habits
  • You’d have to focus on the basics to start over
  • All your old social connections would be gone

 . . .  You could start fresh

What would you do?

Many people have a desire to make a change, but they think that their current circumstances hold them down; their habits, their job, their feelings, their responsibilities are hurdles to their goals and desires.  A transfer to Timbuktu would thrust you out of all your current excuses for life change.  You may not be able to pick up and move to Timbuktu, but you can give your mind a fresh perspective by thinking this way.

Ask yourself some related questions:

  • If I had to form all new friendships, what would be important to me?  Are these attributes reflected in the friends I have now?

  • What disciplines would I like to include in my life if life didn’t get in the way?  How could I eliminate commitments so that life doesn’t get in the way?

  • I don’t really need much to survive, what could I cut out of my life to make it simpler?

  • What’s my schedule like in Timbuktu – do I sleep in every day or work long hours?

When you start to answer these questions, you can get a new perspective on your current life-state.  Thinking and considering the Timbuktu question is the first step.  Then you need to take action.

In all honesty, having to move to Timbuktu would be easy.  You’d HAVE to do all the things that change your life.  You’d be FORCED, by external circumstances, to make changes.

But, if you’re like me, you don’t like to be forced.  It’s also really hard to imagine how a move to Timbuktu would even be feasible in ‘real life:’

Boss:  Well, we are opening up our Mali office next month and we want you to helm the initiative of the company there.  So pack your bags, you’re moving to Timbuktu!

Rather than wait around for an external stimulus to galvanize you into some Timbuktu changes, you’ll have to do it yourself.

One option is to create an external circumstance of sorts.  You can create a change event.  Pick a date on the calendar and designate it as ‘Timbuktu Day” – the day you make changes.  I always encourage people to plan for a Timbuktu Day in many of the same ways they’d plan for a trip to Mali; tell your friends that you are having a life change, cut out all the unnecessary commitments and downsize stuff you own.  Maybe have a ‘going away’ party to start a new life.

By the way, a Timbuktu Day is a great time to incorporate some of those disciplines that are hard to maintain with a hectic life:  meditate, take some margin, enjoy a Sabbath, and take some of the extra time to read the Bible.

Joshua 1:8

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

I didn’t add that “prosperous and successful” part – that’s 100% Bible

Plan your Timbuktu Day with enough time to start planning for the trip.  Try some new schedules and disciplines now.  And, let me know if you do Timbuktu – either as a real, physical move to Mali (you would be one of my first Dads to actually do it), or as a life change in your current location.

  _________________

Very geeky addendum that I couldn’t resist because of the recent Star Wars movie:  Luke Skywalker needed the Timbuktu Question.  He needed a good reason to be assertive to his Aunt/Uncle and stop whining about Tosche Station and go join the Rebel Alliance.  Don’t wait for a bounty hunter to roast your relatives before following your dreams!

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Dec
10

4 Considerations to Make When Deciding to Work from Home

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With the rise in popularity of working from home, many workers view it as a beneficial opportunity and would jump at the chance to make their comfortable home their workstation, too. Avoiding a tough commute and being able to work to your own schedule are just some of the bonuses of working from home. However, a lot of people easily neglect the negative aspects of working from home, or at the very least, they don’t realize the extent to which their home has to be prepared for this new routine. 

Below are 4 important considerations to take into account before you decide on a home-based work routine. 

  1. Do You Need to Move Property? 

This may seem like a huge leap, but it’s an important decision to make if you’re serious about working from home for a significant period of time – or even the rest of your working career. If you currently live in a property that is simply too small or doesn’t provide the environment you need to work from home successfully, then a new property is a relevant consideration. 

You should consider the following: 

  • What kind of working space you need, whether it’s a home office or a workshop, and whether your current property can be changed to accommodate that 
  • How much privacy you need, such as living with a family and needing a quiet space to fulfill your work. If your current property only has one main living area, then you may need a new property that provides a separate room to work in

As with any new property, be sure to have a home inspection from a qualified individual using home inspection tools before you make any final decisions.

2. Are You Organized Enough? 

Some individuals are naturally organized, and others are not. Making the decision to work from home doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re equipped with the skills needed to make it work effectively. Working from home requires a huge amount of preparation and self-discipline to get the job done, especially if you are going to be alone for the majority of the time and are prone to distractions

If you’re an individual who has always thrived in a busy work environment with other employees and are used to being delegated tasks and told precisely how to manage your time, that will all change when you decide to work from home. You need to be able to understand how to manage your time effectively and organize a professional routine that works for you. 

If you don’t already have these skills in place, you will need to look to hone them before you begin your home-based work, in order to get the best out of your arrangement.

3. If You Live with Others, How Will Your New Schedule Affect Them? 

Working from home is easier to adapt to when you only have yourself to think about – but what if you live with others? Whether it’s a partner, a small family, or a huge family, your new home-based working routine will affect everybody. If you share your home with others, they need to understand the changes which have to be made. 

You don’t want to compromise on the happy and healthy home life you have, but at the same time, your home needs to be treated as a working environment when applicable. This isn’t so much a problem if your working hours are going to be set when the other residents will be absent from the property, whether they’re at their own jobs or attending school. However, if you intend to work during hours when other individuals will be at home, then you all need to come to an agreement regarding your work schedule being respected and not being disturbed. 

Additionally, you should also ensure that your work doesn’t intrude on any downtime your family needs to have at home – which is why a separate working office is much better than working in the living room, for example.

4. Can You Handle the New Financial Demands?

Working from home as a self-employed worker means that you are completely in charge of your personal finances. More importantly, this includes the tax amount you need to set aside in order to file your own taxes. If you find it very difficult to manage your finances effectively in general, then you need to make sure extra care and attention is taken, so you fully understand the amount of tax you need to be setting aside every time you get paid. 

 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Dec
06

4 Ways to Grow Your Business

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Whatever stage you reach with your business, it’s never easy to take it to the next level. While you often hear about incredible rags-to-riches success stories from businesses that came from nothing, the majority of business success is earned over time through sheer hard work. Nevertheless, there are several ways that you can develop your business and propel it to the next level. All business success is born out of good planning, so it’s important to always have your goals in mind and a clear idea of how you’re going to achieve them. 

Here are four ideas you can incorporate into your plan to help grow your business.

Boost Your Capital 

If your aspirations are being held back by your budget, you need to find new ways to get more capital. Either you can look to build your capital through investors, or you can get a business loan. By opting for a small business loan from a company like biz2credit.com, you can get the extra capital you need to turn your business plans into a reality. Money makes money, and if you’ve got a strong growth plan, a loan can help you take the next steps in successfully expanding your business. 

Invest in Your Website 

The internet is playing an ever more important part in peoples’ lives, and your website needs to reflect this reality. People make big assumptions about your company based on your website; in fact, 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on its website’s design. Whatever line of business you operate in, your website says everything a consumer needs to know about you, and that’s before we even factor in its ability to generate leads and create sales. If your business is going places, then your website needs to show people that you’re going places, and they should come along for the ride. 

Be Specialized

When you’re looking to grow your business, you naturally look for areas you can develop. What if you can expand by cutting back on some of your operations and focusing on the things you do best, though? We tend to get carried away doing all we can for everyone in search of greater revenues, but sometimes, it pays to stick to the things you do best. It’s easy to outsource the things you’re not so good at in modern business, which gives you more time to focus on maximizing the things you are good at. 

Create a Positive Customer Experience

Modern technology gives consumers the ability to have a greater say in the experience they get from your company, and they expect to be able to take full advantage of this opportunity. You’re always looking to improve your products, but you’ve got to continue to make improvements in your customer experience. You have many ways to get detailed feedback from your customers, so use it to create the experience they are looking for. You can’t just rely on good products; the customer experience has to be high-quality too. 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Dec
05

How to Run a Successful Home-Based Business

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If you’re tired of the traditional 9-to-5 working environment, then you should branch out and start your own home-based business venture. If you’ve got a profitable business idea and you have the ability to remain productive despite not having a boss looming over your shoulder throughout the working day, this could very well prove to be both a fruitful and fulfilling route for you to take in your career.

To find out what you need to do to run a successful home-based business, be sure to read on:

 

Go above and beyond to prove your worth

No matter how big your company grows or how successful your venture turns out to be, your home-based business will always be labeled with the stigma of operating from a residential address. Most consumers will openly admit to the fact that they would much prefer to bring their business to companies that operate from traditional workspace environments, and that’s something that your organization simply cannot provide. This is just the way the world of business is, and you’re never going to change that.

What you can change, however, is the perception that people have about your business. You can prove to them that you are a viable option in your market despite the fact that you do not work out of a commercial property. To show that you are a bonafide competitor in your field in this instance, you must go above and beyond to prove your worth. To do this, you should:

  • Communicate with customers, partners, and clients in an effective manner that they expect from business owners — if your communication skills could do with a little improvement, have no qualms in enlisting yourself on a Speaking Training Toni Vans course
  • Have all the right equipment at hand to ensure that you are able to take on all orders no matter how big they are or the time at which they come in
  • Keep your company website up and running at all times to ensure that your business is always accessible

 

Write out a business plan

Writing out a business plan is one of the best things that you can do to ensure your home-based company’s long-term success.

Here are a few of the things that you need to incorporate into your plan if it is to be as effective and targeted as it can possibly be:

Executive summary — a professional overview of your plan

Company description — a brief history pertaining to the inception of your business

Products and/or services — information regarding what it is you actually plan to offer to customers going forward

Market analysis — proof that you have studied your market, that you understand your niche, and that you know who your competitors are

Marketing and sales — a documentation of all the ways you plan on promoting your business

There’s nothing stopping you from taking your home-based business to the very pinnacle of its industry. To reach those lofty heights, you just have to be willing to put the move advice into practice.

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