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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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40 Days to a Better Business

There came a time in my business when I simply couldn’t do it all. There too many tasks, too many emails and too many children that needed my attention for me to be able to do it all well. And as hard as it was for me to admit to myself that I needed help back then, I’m SO glad I did.

As work-at-home business owners, many of us with kids underfoot, we tend to think that we have to do it all. I remember thinking to myself that I had ASKED for this life, so it was out of the question to ask for help.  Thankfully, it was right around this time that a godly friend pointed out to me that even Moses had to be told when he needed help. And God provided that help when he asked. (See Exodus 18)

So, how do we know when it’s time to get help?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1. Are there enough hours in the day for me to accomplish what’s on my list (without losing my sanity)?

2. Are there tasks on my list that only I can do that are getting pushed aside by general tasks that someone else can do?

3. Can I find a volunteer/intern to train or afford to pay someone to help me? Read More→

40 Days to a Better Business

One of the most stressful parts of being in business is handling the difficult situations that arise from time to time. Hopefully writing your business plan has helped you identify some of the weak areas in your business.  Sometimes, though, you simply can’t see the potential problems that are looming ahead and so there is just no way to prepare for them.

To aid you in handling the tough situations that will crop up when you’re in business, it’s important that you write up policies and procedures. It’s especially important if you will be hiring employees. Your policies and procedures will help to make sure that all of your business contacts – clients and employees alike – are on the same page. They will also give you the foundation to stand on if some type of dispute arises.

Let’s get started:

Begin outlining your policies and procedures by pinpointing weak areas. Some of these can only be learned over time by dealing with them as they occur. However, you can look through your business plan and pick out any weak areas that you can address in your Policies and Procedures. Also, ask trusted colleagues for ideas and suggestions.  Try to think through what parts of your business may cause confusion for customers, especially if you do things differently than other companies of your type.

Over the years, it became clear that one area of confusion at CWAHM was the types of ads that we will (or won’t) post. After answering the same questions time and time again, I realized it made much more sense to simply post our advertising policies and procedures on the website. I still get questions once in a while, but I can simply give them the link. There’s rarely an argument since the policies are spelled out in black and white for all to see.

Define how you will address each area. Now it’s time to think through not only what questions need to be answered, but how you will lay the answers out for your clients and employees. If your business is primarily online, you may want to choose some policies to post online. You can also have a document with all of your policies and procedures that you can email if necessary. Read More→

40 Days to a Better Business

There are many ways to write a business plan. If you had the time, you could write up a 100 page document outlining nearly every idea that you have for making your business profitable. However, if you’re anything like me you’re looking for something a bit more simple and straightforward. (Actually, if you’re like me, you are completely overwhelmed by the thought of writing ANY business plan, let alone a 100-pager.)

Thankfully, you don’t need anything near 100 pages to create a solid business plan. In fact, you can summarize the necessities of a good business plan with these 6 basic components:

1. Executive Summary

Experts recommend that this be around two pages in length. It should be a synopsis of your business plan; an overview of what readers will find in the rest of the document. This section is overtimes written last so that it can summarize everything you include in your business plan.

2. Operating Plan

This section contains details of what products or services you’ll be selling and how precisely you’ll be them. It also lays out how your company will operate on a daily basis. You’ll want to include information about kinds of employees needed, inventory necessities, suppliers, and any other operating facts, such as a description of your manufacturing process. This section will vary for different types of businesses, so just include whatever information is applicable for your business. Read More→

40 Days to a Better Business

Before digging into your business plan, let’s begin by writing your business mission statement. We want it to clearly reflect WHY you’re in business and WHAT your business is all about.  Begin by making a list of things that you might want to include in your mission statement. Take a look at the mission statements of other companies or ministries to give you an idea of what might work for you.

Below are a couple of things to think through as you start jotting down ideas for your mission statement.

Short and Sweet

You want your mission statement to be concise, so keep it short and simple. There’s no need for big words or fancy language. You want it to give an overview of your business in words that anyone can understand.

Personal Is Good

You want your mission statement to connect with your customers and clients. It should give them the sense that your business is more about THEM then it is about YOU. Think through questions like:

“What have I been called by God to do?”

“Who have I been called to serve?”

“Why am I starting this business?” Read More→

3 business womenMany companies know the importance of a collaborative environment, but some still do not actively encourage it due to factors such as cost and access to suitable training. Keeping a healthy balance for employees and working relationships is key to driving business success and reducing negative effects on a working environment. Team-building or bonding sessions have traditionally been focused corporate events with a sense of forced fun and uncomfortable activities. This type of session does not have the necessary benefits for any business and can make employees feel uncomfortable in group situations. Team building should be an informative yet fun experience, which brings people together in different ways. It doesn’t have to focus on business goals or how it will directly affect the workplace as soon as your return to work but should highlight everyone’s skills and strengths when working together on tasks. Team building should look beyond what the company can get out of it, and value sessions as an opportunity to build relationships with co-workers and give everyone the chance to relax.

Efficient team building can have a host of benefits for companies and provides a great way to bring a team together in a variety of ways. Take a look at some of the reasons why team bonding should be a significant investment for business success.


Promoting positive relationships

For many people, co-workers are just the people that you know because of work, and the fact that you all possess skills necessary for the job. On a basic level this is correct, but looking further into this, when people are hired, they are often tested on their personality, and how well they can fit into a team. This important factor is determined by a brief interview and meeting process and is sometimes flawed, but in general, businesses want to work with people that will gel with other members of the team. After this process, the individual takes over and although you may not get along with everyone you work with, the majority of people you will enjoy to be around on a daily basis.

Team building is known to help strengthen a working relationship. When employees see past the fact that they merely work together, this gives everyone an opportunity to open up and communicate better. Encouraging conversation and co-working spaces so employees can bounce ideas off each other ensures people start to interact on a deeper level. This promoting of positive working environments and better relationships also helps everyone to relax, and not feel embarrassed or scared to have an opinion or thoughts about specific projects.


Improves communication

Sometimes teams can become fragmented due to project pressures and departmental segmentation. This type of working environment is not healthy and ultimately results in the different teams working toward different goals. Promoting communication in these instances has benefits, not only team relationships but also productivity. Team building can help push people together in a natural way and get sections of people working together that may not have regularly communicated in a work environment. When all teams know what the end goal is, and stop thinking about just doing their job, this, in turn, can have enormous benefits for companies and the efficiency of projects. Team building can also encourage co-workers to become more confident in constructively expressing their thoughts and feelings and breaks down barriers that may have been previously present.

Read More→

Categories : Jill's Blog
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40 Days to a Better Business: Day 7 – Why You Need a Business Plan

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40 Days to a Better Business


Over the next few days we’ll be talking about how to put together a business plan. Before you tune out (or nod off to sleep), let’s talk a bit about WHY it’s important to bother with a business plan.

Testing Out Your Business Idea or Product
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to know whether or not your idea is truly feasible. You need to spend time doing market research – figuring out who your target market (those your product or service is aimed at) is as well as who your competitors are.

This is a chance for you to give your idea a test-run. Consider doing a survey online or via email. Make up some samples of your product or offer your service for free or at a reduced to rate to a couple select clients. This will give you an idea what what works about your business … and what needs to change.

Organization and Clarity
Being organized as a business owner is very important, but so is the organization OF the business; how your business is structured. A business plan helps you lay out exactly who will be involved in each aspect of the business as well as what the specific necessary components of your business will be.

Seeing it all laid out on paper can help clarify business strengths and weaknesses. It will help you see where improvements need to be made. Read More→

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40 Days to a Better Business: Days 5 & 6 – Homework

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40 Days to a Better Business

This week we’ve covered the true basics of business that will help you to be effective and efficient:

* Scheduling

* Office Organization

* Prioritizing

* Budgeting


What have you learned? What do you need to put into action?


Your homework over the weekend (next 2 days) is:

1. Assess what needs to change in your business in the above areas.

2. Put together an action plan for each item to get you started.

3. Start taking the steps that you’ve laid out on your action plan.


Now, don’t get overwhelmed. These changes don’t have to happen overnight – this will be a process. Just take one step at a time and eventually you’ll find yourself having completed them all!


Read the entire series here.

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Tips for Working from Home as a Realtor

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Do you have a love of real estate that you want to translate into a lucrative career? But do you also want to be able to work from home, on your own time and on your own terms, while taking care of yourself and your family? Then consider a job working from home as a real estate agent. Check out the tips below so that you can prepare to dive into this exciting career with the right expectations.

Find a Location That You Are Passionate About

Like any other job, when it comes to working as a real estate agent, knowing your niche is key. So find a geographical area that you want to sell homes in and really get to know the properties in the area and what they have to offer. Whether you are a real estate agent in a small town in California or you are a Carrollwood real estate agent in Florida will be entirely up to you, but if you are passionate about the houses in a particular area, your clients will see that and they will value your expertise, allowing you to become even more competitive.

Be Disciplined

If you are hoping to work from home as a real estate agent, it might be because you want the freedom to be a great parent and attend every school event, sporting event, and talent show that your kids will be involved in. Plus, you get to be home to drop your kids off at school and pick them up from school every day, and you can be there when they aren’t feeling well. But even though working from home comes with all of this flexibility and all of these perks, it is important that you be a disciplined realtor. Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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40 Days to a Better Business: Day 4 – Budgeting

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40 Days to a Better Business

Budget. That word has always made me cringe. It’s comical that God called me to run a ministry like CWAHM because to be honest with you, I am pretty horrible with money. I’ve made a lot of financial mistakes over the years and am still cleaning up the consequences of some of those bad decisions.

The beauty of it is we serve a forgiving, redeeming God who can take our mess and turn it into something beautiful. If we’re willing to follow His principles, we too can learn to be good stewards of our money. It’s never too late for us! So, if you are like me and even the thought of a budget make you run screaming in the other direction – read on.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be scary, but it will be hard. God calls us to do many hard things in life and for some of us managing our money is simply one of those things. But, the longer we run away from it and try to handle things on our own, the bigger our mess will become.

When it comes right down to it, what we must learn is to live within our means and be good stewards of the money that God gives us.

The good news is we can learn to do this – live within our means – no matter our income level. In fact, it makes sense that if we can spend less than we earn living on a small salary, we can certainly learn to do so with a large salary as well.

There are several ways to get started with a budget:

* Put all your money into one big “pot” and take money out for each need. You’ll want to make a list of expenses such as groceries, etc, to be sure that you have enough in the pot to cover those items before you go spending money from the pot on things that are more wants than needs. Read More→

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Running Your Business from Home

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Many entrepreneurs and freelance workers long for the chance to run their businesses from their own homes, without the stress and expense of commuting and renting office space. If you are wondering about the possibility of doing this yourself, you need to look behind the dream and get a realistic assessment of how this would work for you. There are several key requirements for working from home, plus considerations about whether this is a model that would be appropriate for your business.

Your home

Before you start planning your wonderful new life, you need to look at your house and decide whether there is somewhere suitable from you to work from – ideally a spare room that you can close off from the rest of the house. If you are running a business, you can’t work productively with interruptions and distractions. You might have a beautiful office area set up in your living room, but if your family is constantly walking through or wanting to watch TV in there, you are going to find it hard to concentrate. One alternative would be a loft conversion or extension, or even an outside office; a dedicated building in the backyard with all the facilities you need to run your business in comfort and seclusion.

Your business

If you run a retail business and are tired of going to the store every day, you need to ask yourself why; is the business failing to perform? Does it not interest you anymore? Maybe you need a new challenge? Whatever the cause, if it’s not something you wish to tackle, you could consider transferring to an online business model, where you sell via a website with no retail outlet. It could then be run from home, providing you have sufficient storage for your stock or can drop ship your orders. Losing the convenience of working in town might also be a concern, for example, you might be used to popping out to a local supplier for sundries and marketing materials. There are very few requirements you’ll have that can’t be dealt with online though. For example, if you always get your business brochures from the local print shop, when you work at home you can use a brochure maker to design your marketing materials, which you can then use online or email out to have professionally printed.


Working from home requires self-discipline; you need to be able to apply yourself to complete a full working week. Your partner can’t expect you to help with chores or go out shopping during those working hours, and you need to be able to resist the temptation to do something else when you should be working. Having said that, if you work from home you can make your own schedule. You don’t have to work 8 am to 5 pm; you could work whatever hours suited you, providing they added up to the equivalent of your office-based job.

There are significant advantages regarding time and costs savings, flexibility and comfort associated with working from home, and with the interconnectedness of technology, you can communicate with suppliers, employees, and clients with ease. If you want to make the transition but don’t have the facilities in your current home, it might be time to consider relocation to a property with the accommodation you need to make your dream a reality.

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