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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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Archive for Home Business Articles


Successfully Growing a Family and a Business Under One Roof

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Identify the highest and best use of your time. If you’re in direct sales, the highest and best use of your time is probably when you are setting appointments or actually selling. If you’re a tutor, you make money tutoring. If you teach piano lessons, your teaching time is most profitable. Identifying the highest and best use of your time is essential so that you know which actions create income for you—and which actions don’t. This is essential for profiting from the next tip.

Hire help when possible. Early in my work-at-home career, I asked a successful Realtor® this question, “If you had one piece of advice to give someone who works for herself, what would it be? She was so certain of her answer she didn’t even pause to think. “Never do yourself what you can pay someone else to do,” she responded. Read More→

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Let God Invade Your Business

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A few years ago I had one of those “lightning bolt” moments. Each year I sit down to write out goals and dreams for my business. This particular year, as I sat and thought through what I hoped to accomplish in the upcoming year, how I hoped to help people, it hit me. Where does God fit in to all of this? Does He fit comfortably in the “Spiritual” categories or is He a part of everything that CWAHM is and does?

Whoa. Talk about a challenging question.

As I wrestled with this I came to realization that God wants to invade our lives – and that means our businesses, too. In the gospels we see Jesus meeting people right where they were. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and taught the seeking. He met their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.

He wanted to be a part of their everyday lives, not just the days they went to the temple (the Old Testament equivalent of church). He wasn’t afraid to hang out with the sick, the hurting, the “sinners.”

He wants to be a part of our everyday life, too. He wants to invade our families, our marriages, our businesses. He wants to show us that there is a different way of doing things. A better way. A way that points to the divine even in the midst of most basic business task.

He wants to be in:

* The decision to be kind to the difficult customer.

* The decision to give a sale price when we could charge full price to someone who isn’t aware of the sale.

* The decision to give a product away to someone we know is struggling or hurting.

It’s our choice.  We can choose to do business with Jesus. Or we can choose to do things our own way…usually the way we’ve been taught by people who seem to know how to “do” business, how to make money. And yet, in the end … is really about making money?

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work…” Ecclesiastes 3:22, NCV

Where does God fit in your business?

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Why Mission Statements Matter

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerMission statements. Nonprofits use them frequently. Churches use them all the time. Corporations use them as well.

But what about you? Have you created your mission statement? And why is it important?

A mission statement helps to make sure you stay on target with your business. It answers the question, “Why do you exist and whom do you serve?”

Mission statements are part of your brand. In fact, they are the foundation of your brand. A well thought-out mission statement will give you visual clues as to what your brand image should look like.

A well written one will also help you discover your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What is it that distinguishes you from your competition? What makes you different? What benefit do your customers get when they purchase from you?

Jesus gave us a mission statement to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Corporations and organizations know that mission statements are part of their branding. They make sure that every employee knows the company mission statement. In addition, corporations and organizations will often write vision and values statements, too.

I experienced this when I worked for a Christian para-ministry in Colorado. It was drilled into my head. I often designed the mission, vision, and values statements.

In fact, it was drilled into my head so much that I decided to create my own mission, vision, and values statements! I designed it into a chart which also included my callings. Read More→

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54 Marketing Mediums: Where Do Your Customers Expect You to Be?

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Ruth Martin, Life as a Virtual Assistant bloggerruth-marketingMarketing, or advertising, may feel awkward or like some obscure creature that’s hard to understand or tame but I promise it’s not. With so many various mediums to use, the decision often boils down to which to use that connects with your customers plus testing what is working.

I suggest selecting between one to three methods to begin with and track those results. Tracking the results can be as easy as asking readers to “mention this ad,” “respond by a specific date,” “use this code,” or “use a specific page URL” and noting the unique hits to that URL. Put something in your advertising that can be measurable and tracked. Your overall message can be similar but vary the tracking element.

For my clients I recommend that if using three mediums for a specific marketing focus that each contains something uniquely identifiable. For example: on Twitter or Facebook we would use a hashtag (#). For article marketing we would include a URL link to a free download that has a counter to record the number of times it’s been downloaded. And for the third medium we’d ask readers to reply with a code word in the subject line or to mention seeing this ad to track how many saw the message.

Run your marketing for a minimum of three months, review the results you’ve collected during that time, and make some slight tweaks to enhance the results you received during this time. Marketing is all about testing, tracking, and tweaking. If you’re not tracking your marketing efforts then you won’t know with certainty what’s working.

Online Marketing Options

1. Press Releases

2. Article Marketing

3. Article/Blog Commenting

4. Guest Blogging

5. Video Marketing/Blogging

6. Blogging

7. Podcasts

8. Online Radio Show

9. eCourse

10. Workshop

11. Email Marketing

12. Social Media: Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+/Pinterest, etc.

13. Forums / Online Chats

14. Networking Groups

15. eZine/Digital Newsletter

16. Pink Spoon Marketing

17. Affiliate Marketing

18. Joint Partnership Marketing

19. Social Bookmarking

20. Word of Mouth Marketing

21. Referral Marketing

22. Infographic Sharing

23. eBooks

24. Paperback/Hardback Book

25. Pay Per Click Ads

26. Facebook Ads

27. Google Adwords

28. Host an Online Contest

29. QR Codes

30. Website

31. Customized Email Signature Block

32. Free Reports/White Papers/Checklists

Offline Marketing Options

1. Newsletter

2. Postcards

3. Brochures

4. Business Cards

5. Newspaper Ads

6. Radio Ads

7. Television Ads

8. Sponsorship Ads or a Team Sponsorship or Sponsor Gift Bags

9. Auction Donations

10. Conference Attendee

11. Conference Vendor

12. Trade Show

13. Note Cards/Greeting & Holiday Cards/Thank You Cards

14. Public Speaking

15. On-Site Training Workshops

16. Handouts/Flyers

17. Premium Marketing (pens, tote bags, t-shirts, etc.)

18. Marketing Wrapped Vehicle or Vehicle Magnets

19. Cold Calling

20. Coffee/Dessert Meetings

21. Provide a Prize for a Local Contest

22. In-Person Networking Events (Chamber Meetings, Business Mixers, etc.)

It’s not mandatory to market in each of these mediums. It IS crucial for you to know who your customers are, what their interests are regarding their business, and where these customers would anticipate seeing your advertising.

While it is a good community gesture to sponsor an ad in the local high school yearbook, the reality is that you probably won’t get a customer from someone reading that ad. So do you say no to a yearbook ad? It’s entirely up to you. The parent who is co-chairing the yearbook committee may be a business owner you’ve been trying to reach. This may be a way to strike up a conversation over a common interest point that over time, and relationship building, could lead to bigger business. But the reality is that it most likely is a feel-good type ad that won’t have strong conversion possibilities. Only you will know if you should spend part of your marketing budget here. Apply this same type of consideration to each medium.

Try a using a combination of these 4 core fundamentals to marketing:

Advertising: you are calling attention to your own products, services, and needs your business answers for others.

Publicity: securing public notice to your business offerings by being in the news, by word of mouth or other communications. The key is others talking positively about your business on your behalf.

Sales Promotions: giving your current and potential customers advance notice of a service, product, or need that your business provides that they can use, buy, recommend, or share with others. You are encouraging others to take action during a specific time period.

Personal Selling: having 1-on-1 contact with a prospective buyer where you can personally address their specific needs and offer tailored responses, services, and answers via your product offerings.

Before venturing into any marketing medium determine if your preferred customer would typically be seeing this type of advertisement. Let who your end customer is, determine where you place your marketing efforts and marketing dollars. Your customers will drive your marketing presence, and in turn, your marketing frequency will drive your customers [to you]. Read More→

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Thanksgiving Perspective

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jill-new14Do you feel like a success? As work-at-home moms it’s easy to get caught up in the “look what she has accomplished” mindset and fail to see all that God has done in our own lives and businesses. We need to shift our perspectives from  “what I want to accomplish” to “WOW! Look what God has done!”

Thanksgiving is upon us and this seems like the perfect time of year to think about how God sees you and your success. Do you believe that He wants you to succeed?

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Believe it or not, the sentence above is a quote directly from Scripture – Psalm 20:4. If our hearts are right with God, we are on track for success in life. Now, this may not mean that each of us can be a millionaire, but it does mean that God wants to lead us down the path to success.

We must, however, keep in mind that God’s idea of success in our lives may not look exactly like the version we see in our heads. God first and foremost wants us to be the person that He created us to be; to live a life of sacrifice, obedience and love. We can’t simply hoard our money and resources for ourselves, living in fear that we won’t have enough,  hoping that God will bless that. God calls us to a much bigger belief than that!He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.

This proverb (see Proverbs 2:7) is a powerful reminder that our God is a God of justice. He “holds success” for the upright. Does that mean wicked people can’t be successful? No. We must look at the sentence following and be reminded that God is our shield – if we trust in Jesus. Only by trusting in the person and power of Jesus can we be seen as “blameless in God’s sight.” (1 Corinthians 1:8)

You see, God looks at us much differently than we look at ourselves. We see our sins, failures and shortcomings. However, when we believe in Jesus as our salvation, God sees us as blameless. What freedom there is in that truth!

There are other areas of life where we need a perspective change as well. You see, many of us, especially Americans see ourselves as poor.  We makes comments like, “I’m so broke.”  I’ve been guilty of this more times than I can count. But I recently had a wake-up call as to how God sees my financial status.

In his book Weird, pastor and author Craig Groeschel shares:

If you earn $37,000 a year, you are in the top 4 percent of all wage earners alive today – certifiably rich by anyone’s definition. If you make $45,000 a year or more, you are in the top 1 percent of wage earners in the world.

How many of us can say our family income is $37,000 or more a year? Many of us easily fit into even the TOP 1 PERCENT of wage earners worldwide. That is a staggering truth. That makes us not poor, but RICH in the world’s eyes….and in God’s eyes. Sadly, we believe we are poor because we do not manage our finances responsibly, nor do we share much of what we have with those in true need.

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

Ephesians 4:28 reminds us that have a God-given responsibility to share. This Thanksgiving, let’s change our perspective. Let’s see ourselves for who we truly are – children of the King, co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), people who have been given much and who need to look outside of ourselves and see the need that exists around us.

Let’s make this Thanksgiving a time of not only thanking God for what He’s given us, but going a step further and changing our lives to reflect our gratefulness.

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Not Where You Want to Be? Maybe You’re Out of Alignment!

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DanaFeeling stuck? Like nothing you try is working in your business? It may be that you are out of alignment.

What do you I mean?

Let me tell you a personal story. In my married life, there were some misplaced priorities that prevented me from reaching the goals I had set for myself. Because our marriage was out of balance and we had stopped putting Christ in the midst of it, this spun off into our businesses. Everything was dried up. We experienced failure after failure.

At the core, when you peel away the layer of this onion, it’s because we trusted in money, not God. We believed we were slaves, not heirs, and we took on burdens that were not ours to hold. In addition, we did not ask for help but instead tried to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.

Our lives were spinning out of control, all because the foundation was sinking. We were building our household on a lie.

So God, being the loving Father He is, would not bless us. Since we were stingy with each other, others were stingy with us.

Being a work at home mom or dad is a journey of faith. When we replace that faith with trying to do it all on our own or working out of desperation, joy is sucked out of us. We burn out quickly. Frustration ensues and we can’t seem to make those breakthroughs that we so keenly need.

But when we are in alignment, with Christ, in our marriage and in our family, we have joy, energy, love, and confidence. We stop swimming against the tide, but instead wait for God as He tells us what the next step is and how to complete it.

It’s so easy to put off happiness until we get that perfect pot of gold we are seeking. For instance, saying you will be happy when you lose 50 pounds, or you will be happy when you make a certain quota in your business. In our case, we put off getaways and dates because we had to work and we couldn’t “afford” it. In effect, we put off loving each other and as a result we almost lost everything we had, including our marriage.

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10 Ways to Make Blogging Work for Your Business

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jill-new14blogBlogging is a favorite for small business marketers, mainly because of the amazing results they received when they blog consistently. And publicity isn’t the only benefit to blogging. There are many ways that blogging can add merit to your business. In fact, The Wall Street Journal once featured CWAHM in an article on how blogging can help small businesses create a buzz for their products and services. The results from this were amazing and prove that blogging truly works.

Here are ten ways to use blogs to increase your business revenue:

1. Ad Revenue — Offering paid advertising on your blog is one of the easiest ways to see tangible evidence of the benefits of blogging.

2. Link Swaps – Swapping links with other like-minded bloggers increases your standing with search engines. One of the biggest blogs available,, recently completed a survey in an attempt to find where bloggers get the most traffic. The overwhelming response? Google at 46%. This shows us how important search engine rankings are. Link swaps are just one way to improve yours.

3. Reviews — Another growing trend online is that of the customer review. People appreciate reading the thoughts of others before they purchase a product. It doesn’t seem to matter how big or small the product, either. Posting reviews of books you’ve read, CDs you love, etc, is a great way to generate traffic for your blog.

4. Free Offers — Who doesn’t love a freebie? There are many ways of using freebies to your advantage.You can offer a free e-book when someone signs up for your newsletter is an easy way to build your subscriber base. Many blogs also offer contests for those who post comments or interact in other ways on the blog.

5. Social Media — Having a strong social media presence is one of the best ways to promote your business. You can make this a bit easier on yourself by connecting your blog to automatically feed posts to just about every major social media site out there. You can also add links to easily allow your blog readers to share you content, making this a great free way to gain visibility.

6. Networking — It goes without saying that building relationships with people is one of the oldest ways of gaining long-time, loyal customers (or in this case, readers). Taking part in the comments discussion on blogs and social media sites is a great way to do this. The key, though, is to be authentic. Don’t simply blast places with the link to your blog; take part in the discussion and provide useful information — not just your business pitch.

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10 Business Faux Pas to Avoid When Using Pinterest

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Terri Seymour - Making Marketing Work bloggerSince 2004 social media has been booming and there is no indication of any lapse in its strength. If for some reason you are not yet taking advantage of the intense growth and popularity of social media for your business, now is the time to get started.

10 Faux Pas to Avoid When Using Pinterest by Terri SeymourOver 72 million people use Pinterest and many of them can become your customers. Businesses make money from Pinterest users and you can too. But learning and building an effective social media network takes time and a lot of work. As much as you should learn what to do, you need to learn what NOT to do. Below are 10 mistakes you might be making on Pinterest.

1. Dead or Broken Links – Be sure to check all of your posts to make sure the links are working and actually lead to the intended information. Sending your followers to dead or non-existent pages is a good way to lose them.

2. Ineffective Images – Images are everything on Pinterest. Images without human faces get liked and repined much more than images with faces. You also want to have multiple colors in your images. Images with red, orange and brown get repined many more times than blue. You do not want a lot of background or whitespace in your image. The less background, the more repins. Less than 30% will get the most repins. Smooth texture gets repinned much more often than a rough texture. Medium lightness does the best as opposed to very light or very dark images. Details matter and paying attention to your image details could make all the difference.

3. Unorganized Boards – Pinterest has a very good format for organizing your pins and information. Take advantage of that. Separate your pins into categories and create more boards for easier navigation. But do try to keep the number of boards you have under control. If your boards are too specific and only have a few posts, consider merging them with similar categories to make fewer user-friendly boards. Place your most interesting sand intriguing boards on top to get more followers. You need to get their attention immediately especially if you have a lot of boards to scroll through.

4. Not Commenting on Other People’s Posts – Look for popular posts and share your thoughts, opinions or ideas. Get involved. Don’t just say “Nice pin” or “Love it”. Also, mention others in your comments, when it is appropriate. Be on guard on how much you comment, however, as Pinterest strict spam rules. Keep your commenting down to a few times a day.


5. Not Using Buttons – Pinterest has all kinds of buttons and widgets you can use to help get people to your boards. Use a Pin It button on your website to make it easy for people to share your pages. Use widgets that show your pins to get people to follow you. Sprinkle these tools all over your website and if you use WordPress, look over all the best widgets available to you. Show off your pins and get more followers.

6. Incomplete Profile – Make sure you have a completed profile with all needed information available. Be sure to add your business info as well. An incomplete profile might give people the impression you are trying to hide something, making you untrustworthy.

7. Not Customizing the Description –Although the image does most of the talking, you need a good description included with your post as well. Add searchable terms and keywords. Add your call to action. Like, share, comment, repin – what do you want them to do. Be clear, straightforward and appealing to the senses. You could also use quotes from testimonials or reviews you have. Adding prices when appropriate could increase the response to the pin. Link back to your website when possible. Be sure to use Rich Pins which will include extra information on the pin itself. Find out more about Rich Pins at Pinterest for Business. Read More→

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5 Tips For Choosing the Right Home Business

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jill-new14mgyUUaeStarting down a new career path can be both exciting and terrifying, especially if your chosen “career path” is being an entrepreneur and running a home-based business. Below are five questions to ask yourself to help you determine what type of business might be right for you.

1. What is your passion?

Answer this question with the first thing that comes to mind: If money were no object and you could do anything, what would you do? You might have answered “be a writer”, “speak at conferences,” “bring my product idea to life” or any number of things. Whatever your answer, this most likely is your passion. I challenge you to take the time to ponder this and see if there is a way to bring your dream to fruition.

2. What types of things did you like to do as a child?

Many times the toys and games we loved as children give us a glimpse into who we have become as adults. If you loved climbing trees, you may now be an “outdoorsy” type of person. Think about how this might be incorporated into your business. For instance, you might enjoy setting up outdoor birthday parties for children or selling herbs from your backyard garden.

3. What type of products would you be interested in representing?

If you’re looking in the direction of direct sales, whether that be your own product or an established home-based business option, you need to think through what types of products you’d be comfortable presenting to your customers. Take the time to do some research and find a product that truly excites you. Your customers will see your sincerity and that can sell a product just as easily as a fancy presentation.

4. What skills and experience do you bring to the table?

If you’ve left the corporate world in favor of working at home, you’ve undoubtedly brought with you a set of skills. There may be a way to market those skills in a new way and turn them into a profitable business. For instance, if you were an executive assistant you may be able to type 80 words or more per minute. You could set up shop as a Virtual Assistant and help other business owners in processing orders, transcribing documents and much more.

5. Are you thinking outside of the box?

Most of us have a fear of the unknown. We many times assume that if we haven’t done something before it is simply out of reach. This carries over to the business world as well. We take our products or services and market them in the same way that we see other business owners using. However, it can be much more effective to find new and innovative ways to market. One home-based business owner I know sells stuffable toy kits. Instead of using the usual home parties and birthday party events, she works almost exclusively with children’s hospitals doing fundraisers. She makes a great living and helps not only the hospitals, but the children as well. She is a great example of unique marketing and overcoming the mundane marketing methods that so many business owners resign themselves to.

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Respect: the One Attitude that Can Make Your Brand Stand Out

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerThese days, it seems that more and more companies do not care about their product or service and they are apathetic toward their customers. But as a work at home Mom or Dad, you have an excellent opportunity to stand out. And as a Christian, by striving for excellence in all you do you can be a shining light in the business world.I see people promising way too much and not coming through. This hurts a brand.

Have you noticed this trend toward mediocrity? Have you ever had lackluster customer service? I wouldn’t doubt it! I know that my husband, Travis, and I have been fighting our former mortgage company for months. My husband practically had to tell the customer service agents how to do their jobs and it was only until we threatened legal action did they come through with our request, which was by the way what they had to do by law.

This lackluster customer service reflects badly on a brand. In fact, companies can become “branded” in a negative way.

But as a work at home business owner, you can choose to be different. From your marketing to your identity collateral to your product and/or service to your customer service, you can strive for excellence.

So how does that practically look? Here are some ideas:

1) Look out for your customer’s interests, not your own.Does that sound slightly biblical? It certainly is! I think of my husband’s potential client, a restaurant owner. My husband could tell this client that he needs this and he needs that done and it would bring us a lot more money. But we know that the client wants to keep this project simple, so Travis is going to bat for him with the city. It’s not about how much we can get from him, it’s about providing excellent service at the level he needs it.

2) When you say you’re going to be somewhere, be there! So this seems really simple, right? Yet more and more I see people promising way too much and not coming through. This hurts a brand. It’s called over promising and under delivering. You always want to be careful about your commitments and make sure you can be counted on. This is a huge way you can stand out. Under promise and over deliver.

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