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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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Archive for Home Business Articles

Jun
22

More Reasons to Pursue a Master’s Degree When You’re Working from Home

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coffee and computerThe majority of people pursuing a master’s degree do so to push their careers forward. The lure of a better position and a higher paycheck are indeed very appealing, and a master’s degree in the right field can be the perfect way to achieve those goals. The presence of online courses designed to help students pursue master’s degrees in various fields makes getting one even more rewarding.

For those who are working from home, however, the paycheck is not the only reason to consider a master’s degree. Pursuing a master’s degree can be highly rewarding, especially with the benefits we are going to cover in this article waiting for you at the end of the experience.

Boost of Credibility

If you’re a professional running a home office or a home business, credibility is one of the most important things to maintain. Your clients and customers use the services you offer – or decide to buy your products – because they find you credible. There are even more elaborate ways to maintain a strong credibility online.

A master’s degree in a specific field is the perfect ingredient to add to that credibility. Let’s say you’re running a business consultancy. An online masters in business administration degree from reputable names such as Washington State University is the perfect degree to have. The online MBA will give clients that extra confidence, knowing that you have the skills and expertise needed to advise for their businesses.

A master’s degree is also the perfect way to acquire new skills that can help you as a professional. A lot of today’s best courses, especially online programs, are designed to be up-to-date and in sync with market demands, so you can easily acquire the skills you need to succeed by enrolling in a suitable program.

Extra Safety Net

One of the challenges of working from home or running an online business is the risk of failure you constantly face. For many, failure can be catastrophic. This is why a lot of business owners set safety nets in the forms of emergency savings, additional sources of income, and the potential of a career should the business fails.

The later can be established with the help of a master’s degree. The job market is actually very lucrative for those with graduate degrees. You will be able to apply for a mid- to a top-level management position without a problem if you have to.

New Fields to Explore

Last but certainly not least, a graduate program is the perfect way to step into new fields, particularly specific fields you’ve been wanting to explore. If you’re interested in IT, you can pursue a degree in information technology or data management and study a specific part of the industry.

Entering new fields bring a wide range of opportunities to your doorstep. You can expand parts of your business, use the skills you get from the course to offer new services, or even make the jump to the new field you’re studying completely. Either way, the opportunity to explore an entirely different industry – and the previous benefits we covered in this article – are more than enough reasons to start your pursuit for a master’s degree.

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Jun
22

How to Start the Perfect E-Commerce Business from Home

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Starting a new e-commerce business today doesn’t come without its problems. Not only do you need to come up with a unique idea for a product but you will also need to spend lots of time and money in getting your business out there. Once you do get the basics out the way, you’ll then need to provide support to existing and potential customers, which is going to take further time and effort. If you still want to proceed in starting an e-commerce business from the comfort of your own home, follow the below steps to make sure you do it perfectly.

Choose a Low Competition Product Niche

The niche of the products you want to sell is important to the success of any e-commerce business. Many new online stores don’t realize this and later regret it because the market they are serving is highly competitive. Do some research before spending money on inventory to try and come up with a product niche that isn’t competitive – it will give you a much better chance of becoming a top competitor in the future.

Make Room for an Office

It’s important you have a spare room in the house that you can convert into an office so you have your own space to operate your business in. If you have a small enough room to fit in a desk and chair that will usually suffice, but as your business grows, you may need to consider other options.

Invest in the Right Accessories

For the office, you will need a host of accessories to ensure the business runs smoothly. These are generally cheap accessories such as folders, staplers, and pens, but as your business grows, you’ll want to invest in a printer and a label printing machine to make work more efficient. You may also want to consider investing in a tape dispenser and some branded packaging to make your business look more professional when you are dispatching goods.

Keep Your Office Clean and Organized

A clean and organized office will only make your job much easier, so always spend an hour or two every week making sure everything you need is in arms reach and there isn’t any paperwork or rubbish floating around. Shred paperwork you don’t need and file everything that’s important, and label folders so you know where to find paperwork in the future.

Use Your Garage for Storage

A small room in the house is usually only good enough for an office, and that means you’re going to need to find storage to house your inventory. In the initial stages of business, paying for storage facilities isn’t going to be a viable option, so you will have to turn to your own garage to help you out. Make sure the garage is clear of personal items, clean, and isn’t going to damage any of your products because of a leaky roof.

Keep Your Accounts in Excellent Shape

Keeping your records and accounts in an organized fashion will give you an advantage in the future. Decide whether it’s more viable to hire an accountant or get an online accounting degree (online MACC) via the UAB Collat School of Business.

The points to consider when starting an online e-commerce business are practically endless, and while the initial costs of starting one are small, the costs of running the business as it develops can grow considerably. Always make sure you have a detailed business plan in place so you know what to expect in the future.  

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Jun
12

June Featured CWAHM

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For the next few months, we’ll be featuring CWAHMs from some of the best work-at-home businesses available. This month’s CWAHM spotlight introduces you to Lynnae Bussell, Fashion Coach and
Mary Kay Consultant:

Lynnae Bussell
Fashion Coach & Mary Kay Consultant
www.lynnaebussell.com
www.marykay.com/lynnae.bussell

“I am a wife, mom, friend, employee, and entrepreneur. I began my business out of a desire to provide income for our family while being available to my two beautiful daughters.  I worked for several years after marrying my husband and best friend of almost 25 years. I worked for several types of businesses. The jobs varied from retail sales to lease administration. I enjoyed all of the positions, but I’ve always had a passion to help women create a unique style of beauty. In 2011 I took a HUGE step of faith and went through a training program to become a certified Christian Image Consultant through Fashion Meets Faith and I opened my business in 2012.

I call myself a Fashion Coach because I coach women through a process of finding the best colors to wear, how to dress their body type in the most flattering way, and how to accessorize clothing so that they can create a finished look to their appearance.

I serve my clients from home by providing great content on social media, blogging about relevant fashion tips and ideas, and networking online and in person at a local level. I offer virtual fashion coaching and in personal shopping for my clients. I am a professional speaker and trainer. I love doing workshops about fashion and sharing my Christian testimony. I enjoy being a keynote speaker for weekend retreats and one day events. I would love to serve your customers by helping each person create a unique style of beauty from the inside out. My passion is help women realize that they are beautifully create for a God given purpose.”

You can learn more about Lynnae here:

www.lynnaebussell.com
www.marykay.com/lynnae.bussell

 

* If you’d like to apply to be a Featured CWAHM, you can do so here! 🙂

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Jun
08

5 Tips for Choosing the Right SEO Company

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It’s never been easier to start your own business from home. Bloggers, affiliate marketers, retailers, and service providers can start companies with plenty of earning potential, from the comfort of their own home and often with little start-up capital.

However, if you are considering starting or have already started your own home business, then the main thing that you will need to consider is how you’re going to market it to your potential customers and gain exposure in front of your target audience. Creating a business is the easy part; now you have your work cut out for you and must ensure that you find the right professionals and companies to help you take your company to the top and gain the results that you need.

For many businesses today, whether they are mainly run online or offline, having a strong online presence is an absolute essential. To do this, you will need to focus on search engine optimization (SEO), which will help your business website get a better ranking in search engine results, leading to more users finding it when they search for keywords specific to your business, brand or industry.

However, many small business owners today don’t have the time or expertise to carry out their own SEO. So, they must find and hire a reputable company that can take on this mammoth task for them. We’ve listed some top tips to help you find the perfect SEO agency to help you successfully market your brand.

Tip #1. Consider Their Past Work:

If you’re looking for an SEO expert or company, then you’ll surely have no issue finding some suggestions. However, it’s important to bear in mind that not all SEO agencies are created equal; some will brand themselves as experts, but in reality have little experience in actually getting great results for their clients.

So, before you make a final decision, it’s important to consider their past work, and look at the kind of results that they have gotten for their clients previously. No good SEO company will withhold this kind of information; it will be readily available for potential clients to see, so that they can prove just how good they are in their areas of expertise.

Tip #2. Look at Their Services:

Although there are several reputable SEO companies out there who will offer a range of services, such as the HOTH, don’t assume that all will. For example, if you’re hoping for a company that will be able to help you with things such as on-page SEO and optimizing your website content, then it’s probably not a good idea to opt for an agency that mainly specializes in blogger relations and guest posts, for example.

The best way to determine which SEO company to choose is by first creating a list of the kind of services that you will need from them. For example, if you’re able to handle your own guest posting, but need a company to help you with the technical side of things, then you may also be able to save money since you won’t require a full package. Read More→

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May
29

Don’t Hide From What You’re Passionate About

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WOvercoming Fearhen I was in college one of the requirements to graduate was to take a speech class. I was a fairly quiet girl who tried to blend in the crowd as much as possible. So, the thought of getting up in front of the crowd was terrifying to me.  Every time I thought about having to speak in front of my friends and classmates my heart would start racing, my palms would sweat and I would quickly distract myself by doing something else.

Eventually, though, I had to find a way to conquer speech class. So, one semester I had the brilliant idea to take speech class during the summer term at the local community college. This way, I could make a fool out of myself in front of strangers instead of my friends. So, that summer I hid out at the community college and suffered through speech class.

But, the joke was on me. I wouldn’t have believed you had you told me in college, but God would eventually give me opportunities to speak before audiences…and I would learn to enjoy it. I might possibly even say I developed a passion for speaking (and writing). I now take the opportunities God provides to share about working from home and how we can incorporate our faith into our business lives.

The Bible gives us a great example of someone else who – literally – tried to hide from his calling. In 1 Samuel chapter 10 we meet Saul. Saul has just been informed by the prophet Samuel he is to be Israel’s first king.

Samuel gathers the people of Israel together to announce God’s decision, but when he calls for Saul to step forward, guess what? Saul is nowhere to be found.

Samuel had them pass by in family groups, and Matri’s family was picked. Then he had each man of Matri’s family pass by, and Saul son of Kish was picked. But when they looked for Saul, they could not find him. (1 Samuel 10:21, NCV)

And where do you think Saul was? Read More→

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May
24

The Top Four Do’s of Successful Virtual Assistants

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lightbulbIn building my company from the ground up my skills and services went through tons of refining. From my experiences and education I have a lot to share which may help with your own virtual assistant business. These top “do’s” are a must in my book and should be in yours, too, especially as you push and plan for virtual assistant success!

Do Communicate With Your Clients: Communication ensures you and your client are on the same page, tracking with the same line of thinking. This goes a long way in building a rapport with clients which will have them coming back for more. Repeat clients are additional revenue that all too often is overlooked. In communicating with my clients the door was opened several times to other services I offer. In communicating with your clients you will learn of upcoming direction changes and opportunities.

Do the Social Media Marketing and Networking Dance:  Social media marketing, in the words of Diana Ennen, “is here to stay.” For the most part social media marketing is a free method of marketing and getting the word out about your virtual assistant services. When done correctly it also is a way of establishing your expertise in your field. Be sure to stay up to date on the social media platforms to get the most interaction from your efforts.

Do Schedule Your Time: Believe it or not, scheduling your time in regards to clients and tasks will not only reveals hidden pockets of time, but also help you stay on target. This will serve you well as the more on target you stay, the more productive and the more money you can make. Don’t forget to schedule time to complete administrative tasks in daily and weekly intervals to keep things from piling up in your office.

Do Continue Your Education: This can be in the form of classes, whether locally or online, webinars, online courses and more. Personally, there are a number of small business and virtual assistant blogs I visit regularly and keep my eye out for articles in which I might further my knowledge. Every little bit counts. Read More→

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May
23

How to Minister to Others with Your Blog

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Blogging is so popular nowadays that you may already be contemplating using this platform to spread the gospel or simply help other people. Can you use the tool for outreach? Perhaps we need to review the reasons people blog.  For some people, blogging is a full time job, while others do it for fun.  For Christian, the motivation should be the urge to say something.

There is a lot to say on the blogosphere. Many ills are happening in the world and taking the fight online is the best strategy. Assuming you have a blog ready, we have some ideas on how to use it for ministry.  If you do not have an idea what a Christian blog is, here is an example of one. Now let us look at the ideas.

Build a Niche

There are millions of blogs already, so you must occupy a distinctive niche to garner significant readership. Unless your skills match those of Garrison Keillor or Peter Ustinov, you must avoid a broad view of issues. Have you determined who your target readers are?  You could be targeting the youth, unbelievers, or young believers and so on. Have their mental picture and probably do an assessment before doing your first post.

Be Transparent

It is very difficult to minister to others when you are not transparent. When it comes to blogging, it should not be lost to you that humans thrive on connection with others. Write posts that demonstrate how one can overcome tests, adversity and so on. Share your struggles, outlining how you won the battles. I once shared to readers how I used to focus entirely on how to amass wealth and overlooked God. I explained how God did not place too much value on my worldly successes. He valued me with or without money, cars and apartments. From the feedback I got, it is apparent this is something many people encounter. Share your testimony on your blog; you never know how many people you will touch.

Be Diverse In Your Posts

It is very surprising that some people think Christians live abnormal lives. In your blog posts, do not strive to promote this misconception by writing about bible verses 24/7. Let people see you are also a human being so that they can be ready to connect. When people visit your blog, they should see that you love football, pets, road trips, and you are a firm believer of the Word. Let your topics elicit a sense of reality even as you give your audience a regular dose of the Gospel.

Use Blogging Tools Maximally

As enthusiastic as you are about blogging, you will agree or eventually find out that updating your blog regularly is a tough call. Your ministry can suffer if bad habits set in, but we do not want to go into that topic for now. It does not have to get to that point where blogging for ministry is no longer fun. You need tools to make blogging easier and more fun. An added advantage is that you are guaranteed of good results. Read More→

May
22

Summer Sanity Tips For Work-at-Home Moms

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As we’re moving from spring into summer, we all have a moment or two where we look forward to summer because of its slower pace.  When summer arrives, in all its glory, we then recognize the lie that we had been telling ourselves. Summer is crazy busy.

Between pool parties, summer sports and sleepovers, how will we ever fit working in to our schedule? Here are a few tips on how to make it work.

Plan Your Work Times

I know it seems impossible, but planning work times into your schedule is something we must learn to do. Each day holds something different during the summer it seems, so we may have to do things like get up early and work, plan out work during naptimes or stay up late and burn the midnight oil.

Know Your Priorities

Knowing when you’re going to work is only half the battle. It can be easy to say to ourselves that we’ll work during naptime, but then we sit down to get to work and don’t know where to start. So, one simple technique is to keep a running list of projects and tasks, ordered by priority. If I know exactly what I need to work on when I sit down, I’m much more likely to get it accomplished.

Be Flexible

It’s easy to say we’ll follow a schedule in the summer, but it’s a much harder task to actually stick to it. Kids throw a lot of variables into the mix, so we must keep ourselves in the attitude of adjusting as necessary. We’ll also have those days when we sense God calling us to rest or to visit someone specific or whatever it might be. We need to be sensitive to His leading and flexible with our schedules. Read More→

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May
15

Avoiding Distractions

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emailDo you find yourself checking your email every five minutes? Or chatting on the phone when you are supposed to be working? Distractions are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to control your days. Here are a few ideas to help you keep on task.

Close your email and get off social media

This may seem simple, but, at least for me, it can be hard not only to close my email, but also to STAY out of my email program. When a task needs to be done, the best way to focus is to shut your email program, turn your phone off (or mute it) and distance yourself from any other distracting technology items. You’ll be amazed at how much more you will accomplish – and how much more efficiently you work.

Find Time Alone

As a work-at-home mom, this is by far the hardest distraction-buster to accomplish. As my kids have gotten older, I’ve found that I can get most of my work done while my kids are at school. However, when they were still small and home with me all day, I tended to work in small chunks. Twenty minutes here while they watched a little T.V. or half and hour here while they played outside (and many times I sat outside with my laptop so I could keep an eye on them.

Another tactic I used was to trade babysitting time with a friend who also needed some “alone time” or to ask family members for help. Be creative!

Make a List

This is my go-to tip when people ask me how to become more productive. I couldn’t get nearly as much done without my lists. If plan out tasks with lists of steps that need to be accomplished. I make an outline out of an idea to see if it is feasible. And when I’m writing I outline what I want to say. I find that if I have an outline, I’m much more likely to take on the task and actually complete it. Read More→

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May
08

Prepping Your Business For Summer

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beach playI can hardly believe it, but another school year is coming to a close. As I stumble through this month of end-of-school parties (not to mention my own graduation from Grad School-yay!), I find myself left with very little time in which I can actually get “work” done. Which leads me to wonder – what will the summer look like if I’m already in such a jumble?

So, I’ve decided that in order to start the summer off right, I need to take some time NOW to get my mind and heart ready.  Here are some things I’ve decided to do to get ready for the new season God has for my business – maybe they’ll help you, too.

Set Aside Time

It’s easy to forget the importance of setting aside time to work on our business in and of itself. We are commonly focused on our customers, daily tasks and the like that we don’t take time to think solely about what the future holds for our business.

As we near the end of this school year, let’s dedicate a couple of solid hours to sit down and dream a little, plan a little. If you have a team of people that you work with, consider pulling them all together (provide some Starbucks, of course) and have a brainstorming session.

Set Goals

During the time that you set aside to “think business,” make it a point to set goals for the summer and fall. I generally make a list – 3 months goals, 6 month goals, etc – to help aid me as I plan out where I see my business heading for the upcoming months.

Try to stretch yourself in your goal-setting. Be specific and make some of your goals measurable so that when you look back next year, you can truly see the growth your business has experienced. And then cover each goal in prayer throughout the year. Read More→

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