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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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Over and over again, I see the same story with business owners. They create a product or service and then as an afterthought put up a logo. Or they have somebody from Fiverr design the logo. And there is no analysis, no strategy. Just something that looks “cool” or “pretty.” I end up having to correct the work and the client has wasted time and effort with cheap and free services.

So how do you create an effective logo? What do you need before the design is even attempted?

Here’s seven questions to get you started in the right direction:

1. What does your business and you personally do well? Not do well?

2. What is the attitude you have toward your target market?

3. What is your target market? Who are you in business for? Who is your audience?

4. How do you want your business to be seen/perceived? How is it perceived by your audience or your target market? Read More→

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Some people never find that one career which will take them all the way through life, while others land the perfect job fresh out of school and stay there 40+ years until they retire. If you have been searching for a career that will interest you enough to keep you on the job without losing interest after the first few months, here are 3 keys to a long and successful career. This is serious food for thought.

A Career You Are Passionate About

The first step in finding a career that will take you through life is to find something you are passionate about. Some people explore careers in music because that is where their talents and passion lie. Other people find that they need to work at something that is more physical in nature and why some men go into building while others make a career of engineering or designing. Find something you love and then research how to qualify for a job within that field.

A Career That Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

One of the biggest detriments to longevity is how you feel about yourself after a long day at work. Some jobs just don’t give you that sense of satisfaction like you’ve actually accomplished something. For example, a career as an occupational therapist most often leaves you feeling good about yourself because you are helping others through the rehabilitation process if they’ve been injured to a degree that keeps them from living a normal lifestyle. Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerThis is Smile Post-itnot my first rodeo when it comes to New Years. I have ridden this Bronco so many times I cannot remember how many. Well, I can remember, but I am not going to let that slip. Something to do with a New Year’s Resolution.

Back in the days of youth, I used to stay up to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop. Now, I see so many people drop the ball during the year that I don’t want to see another one on New Year’s Eve. I’ve seen enough of that.

At my stage in life, health is more important than watching something I have seen a thousand times before.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage agrees with me on this issue. It is one of the few issues that we agree on so why should I mess with it.

One thing about starting over again is trying not to make the same mistakes you made last year. It is good to sit down and think about all the mistakes you have made last year and mine came to one.

When I got to that issue, I proudly shared it with my spouse. I was so excited that I could only think of one mistake I made last year and I really wanted to share it with her.

“What do you mean,” she said rather suspiciously, “you only made one mistake last year?”

With a great deal of excitement, I nodded enthusiastically and said, “Yes, I only made one mistake last year and my resolution is not to make the same mistake this year.”

“What was that mistake?”

“My biggest mistake last year was that I forgot to give you a birthday card.” Read More→

In today’s mobile economy, having an effective e-commerce website has become more important than ever for companies to stay competitive. E-commerce made up 11.7 percent of total U.S. sales in 2016, bringing in $394.9 billion, Commerce Department data shows, an increase of over 15 percent over 2015. This increase reflects a steady trend that has held since, and today’s e-commerce share is on track to continue to grow.

If you want to attract your share of this growing e-commerce market, your website must have certain key features. Here are three things you should be sure to include in your sites e-commerce ecosystem.

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

The majority of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, and mobile traffic is driving all new growth in U.S. web traffic, with a 68 percent increase in mobile browsing since 2015 as Internet usage in general stays flat, Adobe Analytics data reports. This makes it essential to have a mobile-friendly site.

A mobile-friendly site should have a mobile-first, responsive web design that is geared toward the screen sizes used by smartphone and tablet viewers, but can adjust to PC sizes as well. Mobile-friendly sites should have large graphics, text and navigational features that are easily visible and usable on smaller screens. Your site should also load quickly on mobile devices, so you should minimize image file size by using strategies such as content delivery networks, compression, caching and minified JavaScript and CSS. Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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calendar-agendaAt the beginning of a new year we tend to contemplate our lives and try to find a way to improve our situation. We set goals and make a promise to ourselves to achieve these goals.

The same should be done with our business. We need to take some time to look over the last year to see how we can improve our business performance. What goals can we set for our business that will result in growth and improved results?

Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas for your online business growth and success.

1. Refine Your Social Media – Social media is a very important marketing tactic for today’s online business but it can be very time consuming. You need to set a schedule for your social media participation. Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and TweetDeck.

They can help you free up time that is needed for other tasks. Allow so much time per day for your social media activity. These sites can become addictive and can cause us to neglect other areas of our marketing and business management.

2. Learn New Skills – The many areas and facets of owning and running an online business can be very overwhelming. The techniques, tools and formats are constantly evolving. We need to always be learning and never settle into a routine with our online business. There are tons of resources online that can help you keep up with the ever-changing internet business world. HubSpot Academy is a great place to start. You can also try Moz for search engine optimization, LearnVest to help you manage your business finds and countless quality blogs to help teach you the newest and most productive marketing trends.

3. Get a Grip on Your Finances – If you do your own money management and record keeping for your business, be sure to analyze and plan accordingly. There are some great software programs to help you keep meticulous records of your business funds. A good example would be Quickbooks or Quicken. You need to know where your funds  are going and if you should keep them going in that direction. Go over your advertising budget. Are you getting the results needed? Should you go down other avenues with your advertising budget? What are your regular expenses and are all of these expenses necessary or productive to your business? You need to go over all these questions and more to see if you are delegating your funds for maximum results.

4. Analyze Your Marketing Tactics – As above with your finances, you need to analyze all aspects of your marketing plan. Are your methods yielding the results you expected or needed? What tactics are working and which ones are not? Some techniques might need to be upgraded or even terminated. Read More→

Jan
07

Managing Remote-Working Employees

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The world is well and truly in the midst of a freelance revolution. As the internet has grown, people have found new ways to sell their skills and work from the comfort of their own home, and this trend is taking off. Of course, being part of this shift, you already know the pleasure of a role like this. Your business is running smoothly, you have loads of customers coming to you, and you might need to start looking towards growing. At this point, it’s time for you to start taking true advantage of working from home, and this post is going to show you how.

Hiring people willing to work remotely comes with a host of benefits. It’s important to consider these against your business, while also comparing what you might get from having a brick and mortar company to the workers find online. Below, you can find some of the positive sides of keeping your business home-based as it grows.

 

  • Money: The very first benefit to consider is the money you can save from this, as it’s the one which will draw most people in. When you don’t have an office or shop, you never have to pay utility bills, rent, or the other expenses related to a building. Along with this, you won’t need to have dedicated employees simply to look after the people working for you, as they will be working on a freelance basis. You may even save some money on payroll by taking invoices instead of giving salaries.

 

  • Time: Running an office will take a huge amount of time and effort, even if you have some professionals to help you with it. This is all energy which could be going into your work if you had people using their own spaces. Along with this, the employment process for someone like this is usually a lot faster, taking away the need for a recruitment agent to help you with it.

 

  • Expansion: One of the biggest challenges for a business looking for skilled employees is finding people good enough to do your work. In fields like science, technology, and medicine, having the right people on your team can make a real difference, but it’s unlikely that you’ll have access to the cream of the crop in your home location. By using online workers, you enable your business to work with people anywhere in the world, vastly widening your scope to find the best people.

Of course, even with all of the benefits and time saving you’ll get from this, you’ll still have to do some work to get it off the ground. There are several different stages when it comes to this sort of job. Below, you can find some examples of these stages, along with some of the work you’ll have to do at each one. Read More→

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Jan
05

Bible Verses For Small Business Owners

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Money makes the world spin, and it’s hard to argue with that logic in 2018. However, faith still plays a massive role in the lives of entrepreneurs around the world. And, the great thing is that a small business owner doesn’t have to mix and match when it comes to God and success. As with all things in life, the Creator is a guiding hand who will lead you from the dark and into the light. Businessmen and women may feel like there is a conflict of interests, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Remember that He is everywhere and plays a part in all things that are good in the world. If you are a Doubting Thomas, below is a selection of bible verses which should ease your conscious.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.”

Focusing on the business as a whole is easy. After all, if it doesn’t grow, then it isn’t much of a success. However, expanding into a successful establishment is more than numbers and facts and figures. There is a personal element because the men or women in charge have to develop too if the business is going to make a mark. When your hands are on the wheel, you are the one who is driving. With that in mind, use God to learn something new each and every day that will come in handy in the future. Lots of entrepreneurs enroll in JCU online courses to boost their resumes and gain vital postgraduate tricks of the trade. Others simply look, listen and learn from the people in the industry they trust and respect.

 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Although you are the boss, the true boss is the big man upstairs. Through His will, He will lead the company through both the rough and the smooth times. And, there is no better captain to have in charge. Of course, His help requires prayer to make it happen as you have to succumb to God fully. So, praying for the company on a daily basis is an industry standard for you just like a monthly meeting is for other organizations. People might say it’s wrong to pray for materialistic things, yet it’s never wrong to ask God for guidance.

 

“Faith without works is dead.”

Still, prayer alone won’t transform a home-based business into a market leader. He might love us deeply, but He is a parent, and like all good ones He lets us make decisions and mistakes. Therefore, you can’t rely on the hand of God to do the heavy lifting – you have to take responsibility. As a rule, that means coming up with a viable plan which covers the burning questions. Also, it represents working smarter rather than working harder. Spending hours on a laptop is pointless if the time is unproductive. Sometimes, sending emails for half a day can result in solid leads.

 

“As I think in my heart, so am I.”

Everyone has thoughts and feelings, and they can come back to bite you on the backside. Business owners that operate from home are especially vulnerable to attack as there is a lot of time for introspection. “Am I doing the right thing?” “Should I try a different route?” These are questions which plague entrepreneurs yet God is on hand to help. Just understand that whatever mistakes you make are a learning curve when He is by your side. Once you realize you have faith, it’s much easier to stay positive and have the courage of your convictions.

Read More→

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerBusiness Plan by Dana BeasleyThe New Year is an excellent time to make a business plan for your home business. If you want to succeed in branding, writing a business plan is essential!

If you already have a business plan, now is a great time to update it.

Why create a business plan? Because if you don’t have some measurable goals, how do you know what to aim for? As the Bible says, without vision, people perish.

And without a plan, your business could fail!

So if you want to take your business seriously and really experience branding success, here are seven must-have items in your business plan to skyrocket your revenue!

1) Mission, Vision, Goals
If you are going to succeed in your home business, you need to understand why you exist. Having clarity on this one issue will help you grow more and more, as a business owner and as a person.

Your vision is where you want to be in the future, what you want to accomplish through your mission. This takes imagination and wisdom.

Goals need to be measurable and time-based, specific and directly related to your mission and vision.

2) USP
Your Unique Selling Proposition is what makes you stand out above the competition. It’s the reason why your customers will be drawn to you rather than another company. It’s your particular strength that you do better than anyone else out there. USPs are often used for slogans and taglines.

For instance, when my husband was planning his architectural business, we came up with the slogan, “Safeguarding lives through strong and robust building design.” This is based on his unique strength of designing quality buildings made from reinforced concrete, not studs.

3) Marketing Objectives/Analysis
You need to understand what problems your market has and what solutions you offer. You need to know who your target market is and where they are. You also need to strategize on how you are going to reach them. These objectives and analysis can be fleshed out in greater detail in a marketing plan.

4) Competition
It’s important to understand who your competition is, both directly and indirectly. You need to understand how saturated your market is. If it is saturated, how are you going to provide a needed product or service that people want and desire, and are in fact desperate for? What is different about you that people want to purchase through you?

Let me give you another example: I have a client in the essential oil business. Now, as of late I have noticed that oils are a very popular business. Many work at home moms especially are selling these. But my client found a passion of hers related to the oils to help a specific target market. That is how she is branding herself. That is how she is distinguishing herself above the competition. As she works out her plan, she is tremendously excited and motivated. Her business holds much promise and I know that her team is growing.

5) Financial projections
You will want to do cash flow projections, revenue and sales projects, expenses, etc. If you are looking for investors, this is especially important.

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jillThe jumpbeginning of a new year can be a great time for your home-based business. There are many ways that you can use this time of year to begin new growth and continue the rush from the holiday season.

For many people, this is the time of year that they reflect upon their lives. New Year’s resolutions are made and goals for the New Year are set. Many women in our society are unhappy in the corporate world and seeking to make a change and enter the home-based working world. What better time of year to be presenting your home-based business opportunity as often as possible?

There are many ways to go about the task of increasing your business and recruiting. Take time before the New Year begins to make a list of strategies that you can implement to get your name out there. Also, think about what small changes you can make to increase customer loyalty, repeat business and other business aspects like these.

If your goal is to increase recruitment for business partners, consider finding a Leads program in which to take part. Many times these programs can provide you with interested home-based business seekers with which to share your business opportunities. Look for a program that is suited to your particular business or beliefs. There are many different types of Leads programs available on the internet – take the time to find the one that suits you, your business and your budget best.

A great recruiting tool is to sponsor contests. You can do this both online and in your local area. This can create a “buzz” about your business and provide you with names of people who might be interested in your business opportunity. One “out of the box” way that I have heard of the contest sponsorship idea being done is to put contest entry boxes in local women’s fitness clubs or places that would fit your particular business. Use “Customer Care Cards” as the entry forms so that you can collect the name, address, phone number and email address of the person entering your contest. Follow up with a phone call to each and every entry. Some may be interested in hosting a party for you or in hearing about your business opportunity.

Maybe your goal this New Year isn’t recruitment, but sales growth. Make a list of creative ways that you can encourage customers to consider your products. You can jumpstart this year’s sales by offering “After Christmas” specials, after-purchase freebies, contests and more.

One way that many home-based business owners online neglect to take advantage of is the signature line in emails and when posting in forums. This can be a great tool to advertise your business, specials and contests. I receive many emails from business owners who do not include a signature line with their business name, and sometimes they fail to even put their name at the end of the email! This is not only unprofessional, but makes it much more difficult to find out more about their business. Every email sent this way is a potential sale lost.

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Ivette Muller - Direct Sales SuccessCongratulations on your new business!!!

Now what?  🙂

Deciding on a direct sales business was the easy part…now it’s time to market your new business and find customers.  But where do you start?  Finding new customers can be a daunting task if you start telling everybody you know and anyone you meet.  Trying to tell everyone about your business can be exhausting.

Finding Customers

Why you ask?

Everybody is not a potential customer – contrary to popular belief, you should not try to market your business to anyone that’s breathing or has a checkbook.  In order to be successful and manage your time and marketing expenses efficiently, you really need to find a “niche” of potential customers.

Finding out who really needs or can use your product is the key to finding customers quickly.  By targeting your marketing efforts to find the people who are best suited to use your products, you maximize your chances of them needing the product and therefore, buying the product or hosting a party.

For example:  let’s say you sell jewelry, what kind of jewelry do you sell?  Does it appeal to a younger generation or the successful business woman?  Is it reasonably priced or is it high fashion and it costs a little more?

Now that you have identified what kind of product you sell, who could use it?  Or a better question to ask is who doesn’t need it?  When you ask yourself “who” needs your product, you are identifying a group of people who could benefit from your products and services.

Once you’ve identified who can use your product, it’s time to start making a list of people to contact.  This will get you started on finding customers quickly.

You can start with the F.R.A.N.K. list:  friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors and kids associations.  Now that you have a list of the people you know, prioritize them based on who needs your product – think about how you can make things easier for them.  Identify what problem your product solves so that you can create a targeted conversation piece to introduce your new business.

Example: “Hi Sally, this is Julie.  How are you doing?   How are the kids?  I was thinking about you today because Spring Break is coming up and I know you are going to California for your brother’s wedding.  When we talked last week, you mentioned that you didn’t have any nice jewelry to wear with your dress for the dance.  I thought you might still need some jewelry to finish off your wardrobe for the different events and I just started selling xxx jewelry and we’ve got some great pieces for day wear and evening wear.  When would be a good day to stop by and drop off a catalog with some recommendations?”

Using this type of script helps you to introduce your new product in a way that will help the person you talked to.  By offering personal shopping services to help your friend get what they need, you are offering more of a service rather than just trying to sell something.

People want to do business with people they know, like and trust.  So if someone already knows you and realizes that you have taken time to listen to their needs, they will be more receptive to what you have to offer.  The key to that script is personalizing it to your style of conversation and tailoring it to each person’s needs.   Here are the 3 components you need:

  1. Introduction – if the person sounds busy, ask if it’s a good time to chat
  2. Reference – mention a previous conversation that triggered you to call, why they need your service/product
  3. Ask when you can get together – try to avoid a question with a yes or no answer because it makes it difficult to follow up.  If you ask, “Can I stop by to drop off a catalog?” and the person says , “No”, then what?  You can’t ask why not or if another day would be better.  It stops the conversation.

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