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Archive for Home Business Articles


Computer Paper and Other Things Kids Waste

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerOnce upon a time, my seven-year-old daughter planned to write and draw the best princess story that ever existed. She grabbed a handful of white printer paper and stapled them together. The title on the first page was in pink with a sloppy princess with long flowing blond hair. The second page was filled with… nothing. Same with every other piece of paper she stapled together and left on my husbands desk… three weeks ago. She wasted all that paper as if I haven’t told her one hundred times computer paper costs $2.50 at Walmart and shouldn’t be wasted. She replied she thought was cheap, and I responded it is until you have to buy six packs of paper every month. 

Kids waste stuff. Computer paper, food, soda, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, the list goes on and on. Why do children waste everything? Because they are unaware the item has value and guess who’s job it is to teach kiddos value? Yep! Yours, mama. Let’s add one more thing to our to-do list. But this one is important as your kids will take this lesson into the future with them. Don’t make that scared face. I have another list for you.

Computer paper, crayons, paint, and other art supplies – do not put these items out of reach, trust me, your child will climb up on anything if they are feeling creative. Put limits instead. My three cannot get computer paper without both permission from me and from my husband. That cut down computer paper usage in thirds. Take that you wasting wasters. They also have to ask before they use other art supplies end of discussion. Well, not quite if they leave art supplies out they lose them for a week. 

Food, drinks, milk, cereal – the worst is leaving boxes of food open to go stale. Nothing drives me more nuts than wasted food. I stopped throwing away or replacing stale food. The kids have to eat it and I won’t buy more of that snack until the old one is gone. Now they use those handy little clips I got from Ikea’s checkout aisle. Other methods are to give clear guidelines for snacks. Only three cookies, only one small glass of juice. If they don’t listen don’t buy that item again. My kids eventually ask why I stopped buying the item and I say because they were wasteful. The promise until their eyes turn purple they won’t waste anymore and that lasts about a week. 

Read More→

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Overcoming Challenges in Business

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Diana has owned her own home-based business since 1985! In this month’s video she addresses some the challenges she’s faced and how she has overcome.


About the Author:  Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing,, where she offers PR and Marketing, book marketing, PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching, VA services, writing and editing, ghost writing, and so much more.   She has been featured in all major media including Forbes, Fox, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. Radio, Woman’s World Magazine, and too many to mention and gets her clients in these publications as well. Email her for more information at

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Moses and Jethro—A Lesson in Branding

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Moses. A busy general of a brand-new nation numbering a million people. You think he was slightly busy? Oh yeah! He was the one man at that time that had a face-to-face relationship with God. Important, definitely.

But in Exodus 18, we learn some key lessons that I believe can be applied to our businesses and branding.

Here’s the background. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, comes to visit from Midian. Jethro observes Moses engaged in judging disputes all day long and realizes that what Moses was doing was not wise. Jethro suggests another way, Moses listens, and the advice is effective. Jethro goes back to Midian.

Here are the various lessons learned from this passage:

1) Be humble enough to listen to advice from an unlikely or unexpected source. Do you have the humility to realize you need help and counsel or do you think you can “go it on your own?” Moses respected his father-in-law and immediately saw the wisdom that was presented to him.

Remember that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” We always have something to learn, whether we are 15 or 85! Learning is a lifelong process and never ends! And there is wisdom and safety in many counselors.

2) Doing things all on your own is going to cause burnout. This is what was happening to Moses. Jethro anticipated what was going to happen if Moses didn’t change his approach.

I was caught up in this myself for years. I thought that I could do everything. We stay at home moms seem especially prone to this. We think we have to do and be it all. I’m telling you, it is not possible! We are not islands unto ourselves! God created us for relationship and we need each other!

3) Delegate! Moses had to let go of some of his work and authorize others to do what was simple. Read More→

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Work at Home? Five Ways to entertain your kids

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ChildcareDepending on the type of home-based work that you do, having your children around to be a part of things can be a wonderful part of the experience. However, there are going to be times that you must simply have peace and quiet – whether it be to make an important phone call, to finish work for deadline or a myriad of other reasons.

There are many ways to entertain your children while you work. Finding productive ways to entertain them with can be more difficult. Outlined below are five constructive things that your kids can do to give you a quiet moment.

1. Naptime

Working while your child is taking a nap is an easy way to have the quiet that you’ll need for phone calls and other important tasks. If you have more than one child, try setting a specific time for them to take a nap each day, so that they will come to expect it. Even a half hour a day can make a difference in your workload.

If you have older children that are home during the day, they too need quiet time even if they don’t necessarily sleep. It is good for children to have some time to themselves. They can play quietly in their room, read or do another quiet activity.

2. Playtime

If your children are 4 years old or more, you can many times help them start an activity that they can complete. Put a small table near your desk and allow them to play with play dough, do a puzzle or a simple craft project. Take a break every so often to check their progress and help them if needed.

With older kids, you can have them sit at the kitchen table or somewhere else out of hearing range to do an activity or craft suitable for their age and interests.

3. Outdoor Time

When the weather cooperates, send the kids outside for some fresh air. Be sure that your children are old enough and mature enough to handle time outside by themselves. If possible, have a next door neighbor keep an eye on them. If you have a fenced in back yard, that is often the safest possibility. Another option is to buy outdoor activities that can keep your children occupied.

4. Computer Time

Allowing your children time on the computer can be a fun way for them to pass time quietly if you are on the phone or doing other tasks. There are many educational websites and games that they play online, such as, and

Many smaller children will also enjoy “typing.” Open a blank document in your Word Processor and make the font large. As they get older, they will become familiar with the letters and even learn to type their name and other words.

5. TV time

On the days when your child is sick or it is too cold to play outside, consider allowing them to watch a movie or an allotted amount of TV time. Most children’s movies are kept short to keep their attention and are also educational. Find movies and TV programs that meet your approval and adhere to your morals and beliefs.

Working from home and being there for your children is one of the best gifts that you can give them. However, there are always times when you will need the little ones quite while complete necessary tasks. Use these five ideas to take the stress out of finding quiet time.



Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, This site is dedicated to providing work at home moms with opportunities to promote their businesses while at the same time providing them spiritual encouragement and articles. Visit for additional information.

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Entrepreneurs – Master These 9 Top Business Tips for Success

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerHaving a successful business takes time and effort and a blueprint that works.  It differs for all businesses, but many key factors remain the same.  As an entrepreneur for 33 years (celebrating this month), I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.  You know what I mean. The thrilling excitement of a month that exceeds all your expectations not only monetarily, but with the work you do and the clients raving about your services.  To those devastating lows when mistakes happen or clients leave unexpectedly and you’re left with a smaller bank account and a little hole inside missing not only the work but the clients themselves.  It can be a roller coaster for sure.  But just like the thrill of a roller coaster, the absolute joy in owning your own business makes this one ride, most are happy to take, year after year.

But with most things, doing it right makes all the difference. Here are some tips entrepreneurs need to know to grow their business, but more importantly to love it as well.

Entrepreneurs – Master These 9 Top Business Tips for Success:

Be Exceptional at What You Do – No matter what services you provide, do it so well clients can’t do without you. And not only that, but they rave about you to their friends and business associates. You always want to provide that “wow” factor.  Wow, that is exactly what I needed.  Or wow you make me look awesome. Always go above and beyond and make exceptional your everyday practice.  This isn’t to say you need to work 24/7 and not set boundaries.  Quite the opposite.  You succeed best with boundaries.  But by being exceptional at what you do, your clients will feel the love.

Training & Learning – Continually learn new things in your craft and apply it to what you do.  So many learn new things, but then stop short of actually doing them. That’s like going to Target and walking out with just what you came for.  Impossible!  You are missing out on all the goodies.  Same with training.  Often times you learn things, but don’t get to the action step of doing it.  Make it happen! Also, be an avid reader.  Not only of business books, but memoirs and fiction too.  You can see styles you like and tips for success.  Books just motivate you and sometimes provide the escape you need to reboot.

Know Your Numbers – Boring!  I know it can be, but once you get doing it, it rocks.  You find yourself competing with yourself to get those numbers up.  Track social media and  how many followers/fans/friends, etc. on each network.  Track website views.  Track clients and hours you spend on each client.  Track the services or products you provide. Track your own marketing and how much time you spend on it and what you are doing as well as the results.  If you have a team, track those stats too.  Again, this will differ for each business, but just get started.

Now here’s the fun part.  Highlight your results. On the times your numbers go up highlight those in a fun color like purple or blue, or your very favorite color.  For the weeks they go down, highlight in brown (of course that is unless your favorite color is brown.)  It’s a mental thing, but boy is it fun to see those fun colors on those good weeks.  You’ll find yourself wanting to do more to increase your stats and you’ll feel rewarded.  Also, treat yourself with wins. On weeks that your numbers rock, get that extra Starbucks or something special you like and know that it’s because of the good results.  It’s a mindset thing, but it works!

Work Your Business –So many entrepreneurs get so caught up in their client work (which rocks don’t get me wrong!) that they have little or no time for their own business.  That means their newsletter doesn’t go out on time.  Their last blog was 2010.  Their social media is still wishing everyone a Happy New Year!  You get the drift.  It’s so important to work your business.  That means scheduling in time for your business.  Write it in your calendar and schedule it the same as client work. You wouldn’t NOT do your client work would you?  Of course not, so don’t skip out on your own business.

Know and Understand Your Clients – Truly listen to your clients and respond accordingly.  Many are so afraid to hear negative things that they simply don’t ask.  Big mistake!  Yes, it might be uncomfortable at times, but when clients know they can come to you with ways to improve their relationship, they will.  And often times it can be something really simple to change.  Also, it can be as simple as when sending your invoices each month, you say, “Do you have any recommendations?  Please let me know.”  I have made this a practice for years and I’m always glad when clients come to me with recommendations.  I want them coming back year after year so when I can do something better, I will. Read More→

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Why a Brand Audit is Necessary and How to Do One

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3 business womenVisual and brand audits. It’s one of those fancy words graphic designers use. Why do you need one and how do you do it?

A brand audit is a careful analysis of every marketing material you have, from signage to business cards to your Website.

I like to call it an Identity Hunt. That’s what I call it in my branding courses and curriculum. This is a quest and you are trying to find what’s missing, what’s confusing, and what’s inconsistent so you can refine and define your identity.

Why is this important? Because the key to successful branding is perception meeting reality. Because perception IS reality. If there is a disconnect between what you think you are offering and what you’re prospect thinks you’re offering, than you are most likely losing clients. And that costs you money.

So here is how to conduct a visual audit:

Imagine you are a prospect that never heard of your company. What do they see when they go to your Website? If you have an office or a brick and mortar store, is your signage recognizable to them? When you give them a business card, is it consistent with your signage, Website, brochures, etc.

And here’s an often overlooked point-of-contact—when your customer calls your phone, what voice mail greets them? Have you clearly identified your name and business?

You want to notice inconsistencies. Are you confusing your audience? Are you telling them one thing but providing another?

You might use Facebook to get some objective opinions. Ask in a Facebook group what a certain logo or marketing piece is communicating.

Is it the same as what you intend on communicating? Read More→

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How do we run?

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Stress - business woman running lateAlways running. My mom tells me that since I was a girl I have woken up everyday ready to go 100 miles an hour. Focused. Driven. Feeling the need to accomplish. To move forward. To run through each day.

Success from the world’s point of view is based on how much we accomplish. Vast accomplishments bring praise and accolade. In business success means financial gain, good references and return clients. As mothers success mean well-behaved children, food on the table for super, and laundry put away each night. When we appear successful people look on us with admiration.

But are we successful or are we driven? Is business or motherhood driving us? Are we constantly striving for perfection, trying to get just a little more done every day, pushing our limits and never finding rest for our weary hearts?

And does this focused inner drive carry over into our spiritual lives as well. After all we are told to run the race set before us. With our natural eyes we see this race as that of works: how much we accomplish in the church, how many good deeds we do, or how frequently we read the Bible. But is this what Scripture meant in Hebrews 12:1?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,(NIV)

I want to run my race and run well. I’m sure you do as well. We want to reach the end and hear our master say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

It reminds me of my years of jogging and cross country races. I was never good; never the fastest. I just ran for the fun of it. I am not an award winning runner. But I run, not giving up.

Reflecting on my spiritual race I don’t think God cares about the speed, or our accomplishments. He cares about our faithfulness and our fellowship with Him.

Run to Jesus not parallel to Him

Run to Him not for Him

To Him for strength

To Him for grace

To Him for direction

Desperate for Him. Running.

To Him for the peace my heart so desperately needs

To Him to hear His voice calm my anxious thoughts

To Him for all that I need

Run to Jesus.


Is not this the epitome of our Christian race? Running to Jesus.

How can you change the focus of your days to run to Him rather than for Him? When we run to Him He fills our hearts with peace and strength to accomplish His purposes, when we try to run for Him all that we achieve is a lot of inner stress, and high expectations of ourselves.

With problems of business, family and Christian service….Run to Jesus. Don’t try your best to put on a good front, to make it look like you have this Christian life altogether. Just run to Him.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Naomi Fata is a small business owner, operating a sewing business, Love Stitches by Naomi, out of her home. She is passionate about encouraging other moms who are looking for home based employment. Naomi is also the author of Beyond Head Knowledge; Knowing Christ who Satisfies our Hearts. In all things, whether through writing, business or homemaking, her vision is that God’s love would shine through. She is married with three children, and will begin her homeschooling journey in the fall of 2015 as her oldest begins kindergarten. You can connect with Naomi at her blogfacebook, and twitter.

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40 Days to a Better Business: Day 40 – Putting It All Together

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40 Days to a Better Business

Over the last forty days we’ve found lots of new and exciting ways to improve our businesses. Now it’s time to pick out what we need to work on to make our businesses stronger and get to work.

For our last assignment:

1. Make a list of what you’re working on (or need to work on) in the coming days.

2. Set a goal date for each item

3. Create an action plan for each item. Remember, goals can get overwhelming so let’s break them down and tackle them one step at a time.

4. Mark your calendar at 6 months or a year from now to revisit your action plan. You can see where you’ve come and adjust anything that needs it at that time.


I hope I’ll hear from you on how this 40 Day journey has impacted you and your business! You can reach me directly at I’d love to know what you’ve learned, what you’ve put into action and how your business has changed!

Miss any posts from 40 Days To a Better Business? Read the entire series here.

Learn more about starting your own business HERE!

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40 Days to a Better Business: Day 39 – Your Marketing Plan: Blogging and Social Media

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40 Days to a Better Business


No matter what type of business you’re in, there will be some writing involved. (Don’t panic. You can do this!) There will be copywriting – writing of ads, product descriptions, etc. There will be most likely be blogging in one form or another, whether it’s traditional blogging or micro-blogger on a platform such as Twitter. And there will be post writing, on social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. So, if you’re in business for yourself, get used to the thought of writing … or of hiring someone to do some writing for you.

For each of these needs, you will want to put together at least a loose strategy. Here are some ideas on how to do this in the least-painful way.


* When you’re blogging for business, you want to be sure that you have a clear end-goal in mind.  Business blogging isn’t meant to entertain, although hopefully it will do that as well, it’s meant to connect with customers in such a way that they then desire to buy your product or work with your service. Know what you want your customer to do after reading your post and give a clear call-to-action at the end.

* Be clear in your blog writing. Choose topics that relate to your business and then share the expertise that you’ve gained during your time in business. If there are still things that you’re unsure of, do some research and don’t be afraid to quote sources.

* Don’t be afraid to branch out and guest post for other blogs once you’re comfortable writing for your own. Offer them fresh content in your area of expertise, but geared for their particular audience. If possible, offer to swap posts with bloggers and business owners that you admire. This creates a win-win situation.


Social Media

* In both blogging and social media, you want to be sure to keep things positive. Don’t knock the competition. Instead, focus on what your business does best and how you can help your customers. No complaining allowed in your social media interactions. Customers should leave thinking how positive and encouraging you are (think “KLOVE”), not frustrated by your rants.

* Another key to social media success it to automate the process when possible. Consider setting up the “Twitter” app on Facebook that will send all of your Facebook posts through to Twitter as well. The same can be done for LinkedIn and other social media channels.

* Last but not least, make it fun for your customers. Run contests, share pictures, share outtakes of your day. The more you connect with your clients on a personal basis, the more loyal followers you’ll have.


Miss any posts from 40 Days To a Better Business? Read the entire series here.

Learn more about starting your own business HERE!

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40 Days to a Better Business: Day 38 – Your Marketing Plan: Advertising – What, Where and How

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40 Days to a Better Business


Advertising is one of the most traditional – and most used – ways of spreading the word about your business. However, in today’s world there are so many options for advertising that it can be hard to know not only where to advertise, but how to make your ad stand out from all the rest. Here are some ideas to help you determine what will work best for your business and your budget.

Knowing Your Options

In this day and age there are so many advertising options available that it almost makes your head spin. You can advertise online, on TV, on the radio and in print. When you advertise online, you can pay a flat rate, per online click or even per impression.  TV, radio and print ad pricing will vary depending on the geographical location, time of day and size of the ad.

Choosing What’s Best

In order to determine what type of advertising will be right for your business, you first need to establish where your target market is. If your target market is made up of stay-at-home moms, think about where they might spend time – the grocery store, the park, in front of the TV, and online places like Facebook and possibly Twitter, depending on what type of mom you’re gearing towards (which is why it’s so important to be as specific as possible when deciding who your target market truly is).

Once you’ve come up with a list of places – both online and offline – where your target market is likely to be, it’s time to figure out how to reach them where they are. Decide on what where you want to place your ads and then think through what words or phrases might catch their attention. Also, look up keywords (using Google’s Keyword Tool) to see how people are searching online for your type of product or service and use the highest ranking keywords in your ad copy.

Budgeting For Your Business

Now it’s time to decide how much you can spend each month on your advertising campaign. Typically, a start-up will spend around  5% of it’s revenue on advertising. However, experts like those on recommend that you begin by spending closer to 7-8% of revenue on advertising, splitting this between “1) brand development costs (which includes all the channels you use to promote your brand such as your website, blogs, sales collateral, etc.), and 2) the costs of promoting your business (campaigns, advertising, events, etc.).”

Advertising is a necessity to grow your business. Take the time to lay out exactly where your target market can be found and then come up with a plan to reach them where they are. Budget a portion of your monthly revenue to go towards your advertising expenses and then be sure to do your best to create ads that will get your message across and attract buyers.


** Interested in advertising on CWAHM? As a thank you for being a part of our 40 Days To a Better Business Series, we would like to offer your $20 off any advertising order of $50 or more. Email to take advantage of this offer!

Read More→

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