Archive for Home Business Articles
Making the decision to educate your children at home is a big commitment and shows that creating an individual and tailored approach to your child’s education. It requires a lot of work and life balance since it requires such an amount of attention and detail. Preparing your child for getting a college education is the main goal.
It can be extra challenging when you also work from home. Even though the convenience is undeniable of not having to drive your child to a school every day or having to get yourself to an office, there are certainly challenges that come with working and teaching your children in the same place.
Here are some of the best tips for being able to balance work and your homeschooling without feeling overwhelmed.
Create A Schedule
Without a schedule, your day runs the risk of everything happening at once. Studies show that people are more productive when they focus on one thing at a time rather than double tasking. Try to sit down and create a schedule which separates each activity throughout the day in order to simulate a traditional school setting as much as possible.
It is crucial to set timeframes for each activity in your day in order to be as productive as possible. Since flexibility is definitely required of you when you have kids, it is important to not stay too rigid in your scheduling, but still having a sense of structure in order to avoid chaos.
Kids can start to get bored and distracted if they are in the same setting for too long of a period of time. They need a change of atmosphere and activities every now and then to keep them stimulated. Not to mention you need time to be able to get your work done without having to entertain them constantly.
Consider signing them up for an extracurricular activity which is outside of the house. This way you know that they are still getting something beneficial out of their time while you step away from your teaching role to get your work done. Read More→
Working from home can be challenging. You must be a self-starter and willing to really push yourself, set deadlines for yourself, and make things happen. Here are some ideas on making the best use of your time:
Get A Plan
Planning is my favorite stage of organization. I get to brainstorm and dream about what God may have for me in the coming weeks and months. One of the ways that I plan best is in talking things over with someone – a friend of colleague who is willing to listen and give ideas.
I know other business owners who keep a whiteboard in their office. On the board, they list dreams that they have for their business, action steps they can take to get there and even sometimes a timeframe of when each step needs to be completed.
Write It Down
I’ve learned over the years that my plans never get anywhere unless I write them down and give them a timeline. This can be done online with tools like Google Calendar, Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) or collaborative tools like PBWorks.
While I do use these tools, I’ve found that what works best for me is the good old paper planner. I pick one up in the dollar section at Target at the start of each year and use it to keep appointments straight. I use a Monthly Planner because I can see the whole month at a glance, which keeps me from overbooking myself. It also has a place in the sidebar to keep notes, which comes in handy if there are specific things that I need to remember throughout the month. The planner fits in my purse so I can easily pull it out and add new appointments wherever I am.
Keep a List
I love lists. I have stacks of tiny pieces of paper and notebooks full of lists I’ve made to track projects that I want to complete and things I need to do. Unfortunately, a mound of paper doesn’t help me stay on top of tasks.
I’ve found that having one big notebook – the kind that has dividers – is the simplest way to keep track of my lists. I have a section for each major project I’m working on. Then, I can keep a list of regular tasks (sometimes a daily list, sometimes weekly) stuck to the front page of each project’s section. Once those tasks are done, I simply remove the sticky note, make up a new list of tasks and stick in where the other was. This keeps me focused and I get the satisfaction of crossing each task off the list. Read More→
You’ve probably seen them. Sponsored ads in Facebook. And you have probably noticed this creepy phenomena where you go to a Website (like Amazon), then when you go to Facebook, that same product shows up!
You might think it’s strange, but it really is no mystery. It’s called retargeting or pixeling. It’s all done by grabbing a pixel and inserting it into your website.
It’s an extremely effective and cheap way to get the word out about your brand. After all, it’s repetition of seeing your offer that makes a difference in sales.
So how can you take advantage of retargeting ads in Facebook?
First of all, be specific in your offer and who you are offering it to. This will give you the best results.
Facebook Website Custom Audiences lets you make the right offer to the right audience who already knows you! Now that will really help you increase brand awareness!
Facebook Website Creation lets you create a list and run ads to audiences who have visited your website.
This is powerful because they have shown interest in your website and they have shown interest in you. They showed that by visiting your site.
How? Use your content to build focused lists and offer them what they want.
Here are the steps to take:
1. Segment your website content based on your audience and niche
2. Create keywords that will go into every URL that you produce in the future
3. Organize your existing content into a spreadsheet
4. Go into Facebook
5. Log into ‘Create Audience” button
6. Choose “Custom Audience from Your Website”
7. Accept Facebook’s TOS and click “Create Audience.”
8. Set up your website custom audiences.
9. Insert Custom Audience Pixel into your Website’s code (do this only one time).
10. After you click submit, the custom audience will display in the audiences tab in ads manager.
11. Create ads that target this category. That could be a blog or a lead magnet (freebie).
12. Do this over and over again! Test and test! Learn from your failures and build on your successes! Read More→
Not long ago I was talking with a coaching client about her fears and doubts in regards to leaving the corporate world and working from home. She was sharing with me her concerns about bringing in enough money, making the right contacts and how just getting her new business off the ground was causing her to feel completely overwhelmed.
As we talked, a verse that I had read earlier in the week, 1 Corinthians 16:13, came to mind and I realized that it can be applied to our work-at-home fears and doubts as well as our spiritual ones.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be On Your Guard
I think it’s imperative that we remember that we must be on guard. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the concerns of this world – our business, our family, etc – and take for granted that we are in a spiritual battle. If we’re doing what God has called us to do, our enemy does NOT want us to succeed. We must be aware of the lies he feeds us, the worry he works to create in our lives and the utter hopelessness that he tries to convince us is reality.
When we’re aware of the battle raging around us, we can cling to God’s truths and stand firm in our faith. There are days I find myself repeating hope-giving verses out loud to help me stand firm. Verses like these:
I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
When I have God’s truth on my lips and in my heart, I’m filled with courage. The key here is that being courageous is a choice. We can choose to sink into the defeated mindset that the enemy tries to create. Or we can choose to rely upon the Holy Spirit and be courageous even in the face of overwhelming odds.
There will be times in business when it seems like no matter what you do, you can’t succeed. But, we know that isn’t the truth. We must be courageous and walk through these times, trusting that God will provide and that He has our best in mind – even when we can’t see it. Read More→
If you’re a Mom with reservations about going back to the office and leaving your kids with child-care providers, you’re not alone! It can be hard to be confident and productive on the job, knowing that you’re away from home for eight or more hours a day while someone else largely raises your kids.
Mental and physical health varies for children brought up by stay-at-home parents versus kids sent to child care for at least several hours per day. Generally, children will be healthy in both situations, but kids raised at home with their mother are statistically more likely to perform well in school, graduate, avoid serious problems with drug and alcohol abuse, and feel self-confident.
About 60 percent of people agree that it’s better for kids when their mother stays at home. On the other hand, there is solid evidence that working mothers also contribute to raising healthy kids. They set an example of a positive work ethic and provide a more comfortable level of existence for their children.
So this is the great news: If you’re a mom, you can provide the best of both worlds for your kids by working from home. There are hundreds of opportunities to make money and personally show your kids what hard work looks like.
Here are some of the many options.
1. Customer Service Representative
Many companies turn to remote workers to do their customer service. Amazon and Apple, for example, have a fleet of employees around the world who answer queries and assist with online transactions from their homes.
It’s a pretty flexible position, since you can work while the kids are at school or after they’ve gone to bed. You can make between $8 and $18 per hour, depending on the firm, your geographical location, and your experience level.
Being a landlord is a viable stay-at-home-mom job. Office tasks and addressing tenant requests involves flexible hours. You’ll rarely have to leave the office or your home; and if you do, your kids can come along. You can also subcontract property managers, which takes a lot of the work off your hands and lets you stay home more.
3. Medical Transcriptionist
Doctors vocally record their notes about a patient, and those notes must be typed up to make permanent records. This job is often outsourced to a transcription company that has a workforce of fast, knowledgeable typists who work from home.
If you fit that description and don’t mind taking a few classes to master the medical terminology, it’s a great job with the potential to earn $20+ per hour.
Mommy blogging is a popular stay-at-home job if you can manage to get yours to take off. You could make more than $10,000 a month mostly writing about things you love. This job is extremely flexible, and you’ll be your own boss.
Writing a blog isn’t for everyone, though. It demands constant new ideas and material, and it’s not easy to attract the following you need to attain financial success.
But if you’re not prepared to launch and maintain your own blog, you could do ghost writing for others. If you have a knack for writing and grammar, you can make up to $50 per 500-word article.
5. Virtual Assistant
Many entrepreneurs don’t have the time to clear their inboxes, update social media, monitor client queries, and so on, so they outsource to a virtual assistant. It’s more affordable than hiring a secretary in house, and it means you can work at home in your spare time.
6. Teach English Online
Organizations such as VIP Kid and Toshuo hire native English speakers to teach English to kids in overseas countries such as China. A background in teaching is useful but not required, and you can usually learn everything you need to know about doing the job with a few hours’ training.
Because of the time difference, your working hours could be unconventional. Most start their day at about 3 a.m. and finish at 7 a.m., but if you can adapt to working in those early hours, it can be great for working around kids’ schedules, and you’ll receive $15 to $20 per hour in compensation.
7. Direct Sales
Some people can sell anything. If that’s you, find a company that pays its sales people on commission through direct sales. You can choose your hours and appointments thanks to the flexibility.
Your compensation varies with the product, but you’ll usually see between 25 and 50 percent commission on all sales. Avon, MayKay, LulaRoe, Jamberry, Lipsense, and The Pampered Chef are all examples of direct selling associations.
8. Tele Nurse
You can get your nursing degree from home through online medical degree programs. There are dozens of reputable institutions. Upon graduation, look into tele nursing.
There are hotlines and online clinics where nurses from all over the country get paid to answer questions and give medical advice. The compensation is great ($50,000 + for full-time work), and you can often set your hours to complement your mom schedule.
What is a craftsman without the tools of their trade? What is a carpenter without his saw? What is a chef without good food and the proper utensils, pots and pans? As virtual assistants our box of tools and bag of tricks are seemingly endless. I have found the following tools to be the most valuable, no matter what you specialize in as a virtual assistant. Okay, so they are more ‘skills’ than tools, but hey, they’re still in my toolbox and they still get the job done!
Problem Solving. No matter your position as a virtual assistant, be it a business owner, mentor, partner or subcontractor, your ability to problem solve and find solutions, in my view, the mightiest tool in your toolbox. I don’t know about you but my VA business basically got its start by helping clients work through various issues and finding viable solutions. Even today, problem solving remains my bread and butter. Clients want to implement something new but don’t know where to start. That’s where the virtual assistant comes in. Your client doesn’t have the time to sift through research and how-to’s, that’s why they hired you! Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, work through the issue or problem at hand, do a little (or a lot) of research and then make things happen. Your ability to problem solve and implement workable solutions will have your clients coming back for more, time and time again.
Organization. There’s more to organization than just putting the blocks in one tub and the pyramids in another tub. You can organize a client’s calendar for better usage of their time. You can organize their website for a better flow of information. I’ve even done this for a client’s devotional to ensure her devotions flowed in a specific manner. Sometimes it’s just a manner of organizing information in a spreadsheet for a better grasp of the overall picture.
Follow Through. This one can be a toughie but is important. First of all, think of contacts you have made. Just because your new contact CURRENTLY needs your services as a virtual assistant doesn’t mean that down the line they won’t need your services. In fact, I was at an event just this week in which I made multiple contacts. It wasn’t for the purpose of growing my business, but regardless, still follow through with your initial meeting of them with a quick email or note within a day or two of meeting. My services have been referred by clients and contacts alike, meaning they don’t have to use your services to know someone else who needs your services.
Secondly, the same goes for proposals, projects and tasks. When you submit a proposal to someone, be sure to follow that up by contacting them within a week if you don’t hear back from them. They could have been busy or just somehow missed your email. (I’ve actually had emails VANISH in the great vastness of the internet and never make it to its destination, so it does happen.) Don’t assume just because you have not heard back that it’s a no-go. Follow through and confirm before making assumptions.
Boundaries. Oy! So many of us struggle with the issue of not knowing where to set boundaries, I know I do. It’s hard to say ‘no’ when your bank account is low, but what good will it do if you work yourself into the ground? Decide on how many hours you can realistically work AND STILL HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK. Nobody expects you to work 24/7 just because you work from home. Okay, maybe some clients are out of their head and not always realistic, but those are the clients to step away from anyway. You are allowed to take a day off – even a weekend – so do it and do it regularly. Read More→
According to the latest American Community Survey data, there are approximately 2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers, who consider home their primary place of work. The current American economy has created the need for companies to cut back as much as possible. This has created growth in the work-at-home industry as it allows companies to save on expenses like office space, equipment, and insurance costs.
However, the telecommuting world can be a hard place to get your foot in the door. Linda Dickerhoof, Public Relations Director at VIPDesk, one of the leading virtual concierge and virtual customer service providers in the United States, reports that they receive as many as two hundred resumes a day. With that kind of competition, it’s imperative that you stand out from the crowd.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when applying for telecommuting employment.
Do Your Research – This is, by far, the most crucial aspect of your work-at-home job search. There are many legitimate companies that hire at-home employees. However, in order to weed out at-home job scams, you need to know what “red flags” to look for. A legitimate work-at-home opportunity won’t ask you for any sort of “affiliation fee,” nor will they send you any type of list of employers to contact.
A legitimate opportunity will also not offer an unrealistic salary. The ads that you see offering $5k/wk with no experience usually are just what they sound – too good to be true. Avoid work-at-home opportunities advertised via infomercials, signs taped to a lamp-post, stop signs or via spam e-mail. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to see what type of reputation the company you are considering has, then follow up with an Internet search to see what is being said about the company in blogs, on twitter, and in the mainstream media.
Tailor Your Resume – Applying for a working-at-home position should be treated just like any other job application process. The company may allow you to work from home, but they will not tolerate an unprofessional attitude. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that your resume will be selected if it’s anything less than top-notch.
In order to get ahead, put together a professional resume outlining your job experience and highlighting any special skills or training applicable to the position you’re applying for. Keep your resume to one page, if possible.
Interviews Are Important – The interview process is more critical than usual in the work-at-home world because the interviewer will not be meeting you face to face. Most at-home employers have a strenuous screening process to filter out applicants who do not fit the professional standards required.
Prepare ahead of time for questions not only about your employment background, but also about what your home work environment will be like (they do not want to hear animals or children in the background). Interviewers will be listening intently to how you present yourself over the phone, so be as prepared and professional as possible. Read More→
Creating a bestselling book on Amazon. A laudable goal that many business owners aspire to. It’s perfect as a Christian work at home mom or dad to publish a book because it brings credibility. But what’s the number one factor when self-publishing a book?
Yet many business owners skimp on this by doing it themselves or outsourcing it out to someone who is sub professional. This results in less sales and less exposure, which does damage to your brand.
Let’s face it: a prospect will take seconds to decide whether or not to click on your link, and that is highly dependent on the quality and relevance of the graphic of your book cover.
So how can you create a book cover that not only stands out, but helps you skyrocket sales? Here are five graphic design secrets that will help you!
1. Think of the book cover as an art poster
As a graphic artist, I have always approached designing book and magazine covers this way. Would you want to hang up your book cover as art?
When I was in college, one of my favorite magazines was The New Yorker. They always had such intriguing art! I saved many of them and one of these days I am going to put them up on my office wall!
What about your book cover? Would you want to hang it up on your wall or are you embarrassed by it?
If you don’t know what constitutes a good art poster, check out some art galleries or go to your local library and peruse through the periodical section. Get inspired by some ideas (but don’t steal them), and your cover design will improve!
2. Make the title readable
This is the first and primary rule of graphic design. Your font selection needs to be readable! It’s amazing how many people overlook this essential principle.
After all, if your audience can’t read the text on your cover, what’s the point? Read More→
It’s partly my nature. I’ve never been “officially” diagnosed, but the evidence is just too clear to ignore: I have ADD. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a short attention span and an inherent impatience when things seem to be taking too long to materialize. Finally, as an adult, I figured out there’s a name for it!
But it’s more than that. As a work-at-home mom, I find that I’m always trying to navigate the tricky balance between pursuing work goals and being flexible and available for the needs of my family.
I’ve had to be very deliberate about focused and realistic goal setting. Over the years, I’ve learned some strategies that help me to break down those goals into simple, manageable steps that don’t bore or overwhelm me.
Whether you’re a super-focused mom (bless you!) or one who struggles to keep from going down rabbit trails (like me!), I believe these methods will help you as you formulate your goals:
- Go to the Boss. I’ve learned the hard way that when I pursue goals without consulting the Holy Spirit, I just spin my wheels. I make it a habit to go to Him and ask for clear direction. And He never disappoints. He either gives me a peace or a sense of uneasiness that serves as my guide.
Years ago, I found this verse and have been using it as inspiration as I seek His will in my work and ministry: “Whether your turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it. ‘” Isaiah 30:21 Read More→
Every business owner has times of frustration. When nothing seems to go right and every customer seems to be displeased. So, how do we find inspiration to move forward during these times? Here are a few ideas:
1. Talk To Someone
Sometimes the best way to get the frustration out is to simply talk about it. That may mean coffee with a close friend or it may mean making an appointment with a counselor. Either way, find a trusted person to talk with and who will give you godly advice.
2. Listen To Inspiring Music
There are certain songs that lift my spirits when I find myself “in a funk.” For me, tunes from Christian artists like Toby Mac, Britt Nicole and Lecrae are what get my foot tappin’. Find what works for you and make a point to really listen to the words and enjoy the music. Let it lift you out of the doldrums.
3. Do Something For Yourself
I know this goes against the grain for many of us, but there really does come a time when it’s okay to do something for yourself that you enjoy. It may be getting a pedicure, going out to lunch with a friend, or even grocery shopping by yourself (you moms out there know what I mean by this one).
4. Do Something For Someone Else
This one seems counter-productive. How can do something for someone else help ME? But it’s amazing how helping someone really does bless the giver as much as the recipient. If you enjoy cooking, make a meal for someone who is struggling. If you like to clean, help a new mom get some of her household chores under control.
5. Take Yourself To The Movies
This one seems almost silly, but movies truly can inspire. We recently watched Here Comes The Boom, a great movie with Christian undertones (see Kevin James’ interview about his faith in The Christian Post). It’s an inspirational movie that made me want to go out and live boldly. Find a movie that inspires you and allow yourself to soak it in. Read More→