Putting together your home business plan is still important. It doesn’t matter that you’re not planning on starting a multi-million dollar business that takes over the world. You still need to have your business outline written on paper. Why? Many reasons. It can help to keep you focused when you’re lacking in clarity. It can help you secure funding if you need investments. It can help you see what direction you should go in if things don’t go as planned. There are just so many reasons to create a business plan!
Here, we will talk about creating your home business plan in quick and simple terms. Enjoy!
Find A Template Online
Most people felt overwhelmed when creating their business plan and don’t know where to start. This is normal, so you shouldn’t worry. However, finding a template online can be a brilliant place to start if you’re feeling a little like this. A template can help you include all the relevant information, guide you on what to include and where to put it, and more. You can find both free and paid templates to help you create a plan that suits you.
Just remember, although you’re using a template, this doesn’t mean you can compromise on the quality of your business plan. You should still set time aside to create a quality plan. You might end up regretting it later on down the line if you don’t.
Do The Math
Make sure you do the math accurately. You need to know your numbers. Just look at Dragon’s Den and even the Apprentice, and how they get a huge dressing down when they don’t know their numbers properly, or their numbers make little sense. You need to know how much money you will need, your projections for the future, and more. Not only will this help you see if you’re on track, but it’ll also help you attract investors later on down the line. You can even look for small loans with resources like https://smallbusinessloans.co/, but you must know how much you need and what you will use it for.
Include All Relevant Information
Although you need to include all relevant information in your business plan, you need to make sure you find a balance between making it too detailed and not detailed enough. Too detailed and nobody will read it, not detailed enough and it won’t be taken seriously.
Make Sure The Lay Out Makes Sense
Your plan not only needs to read well, but the layout also needs to make sense too. Make sure you use headings and that it’s nice to look at – this isn’t the most important point, but it matters.
Hopefully, these simple tips help you put together a plan that really makes sense and helps you to grow your business. A business with a plan succeeds on purpose, not by accident. Leave your own thoughts and ideas below. Thanks for reading!
No one likes a rash. Left unchecked, these pesky skin irritations can soon turn nasty. Either through itching or severity, a rash can leave a nasty mark and even a lifelong scar. Admittedly, it’s unlikely your business is going to get red and itchy anytime soon. But, rashes come into play here, too, especially when it comes to big decisions. Making rash choices with a business you’ve worked hard to build is the worst thing you can do. In fact, far from slight irritation, rashness in business could see your dreams crumbling.
As such, it’s crucial you take your time over every decision. And, never is that more important than when it comes to employment. Given employees are largely responsible for success, you could say taking time here is most important of all.
Yet, a shocking amount of employers rush this. After all, employment is a sideline rather than a real focus. Yet, rash decisions here could leave the nastiest mark imaginable. So, we’re going to look at two times when speed definitely shouldn’t be the name of this game.
Hiring in haste is always a mistake. We get it; this is a pain in your backside, and it’s taking you away from your work. Hence, you don’t bother with background checks or questions. Instead, you ensure candidates meet the minimum requirements before offering them the job. The trouble is, this is both damaging and, ultimately, more time-consuming. After all, how can you expect to retain your employees if you don’t even take time to discover their long-term goals? If you hire staff who intend to leave, you’ll need to start again, and thus spend even more time on this. Even if staff stick around, there’s no guarantee they’ll be right for you. As can be seen from sites like www.inc.com, there are certain questions you should always take time to ask during interviews. These are essential for determining how a candidate acts. They alone can tell you whether they’re a good fit. Rather than making a mark on your company, measures like these make sure staff fit seamlessly.
Fast firing is also a risk. You have a legal obligation to staff, and that works when it comes to firing, too. Even in the case of gross misconduct, the correct procedures should be put in place. Rather than rashly telling a staff member they’re fired, you need to suspend and investigate. You should also hold disciplinary meetings. If you’re unsure of the legality, you could work with companies like http://gbirnlaw.com/services/offer-letters-and-employment-agreements who can help you get this right. Either way, you can’t fire someone without taking time over it. Failure to follow the necessary avenues could leave you open to reputation-damaging lawsuits. As well as giving the impression you’re a bad employer; this could see the staff member reinstated. The last thing you want is a team member who has a grudge against you. And, all you need to do stop is it take your time!
You care deeply about your employees. While you may be the driving force and the vision behind your enterprise, you’re always sure to give your employees their due. Quite simply, you don’t know where your business would be without them. Your ideas, passion and sheer strength of will may have caused your business to rise up from out of nowhere to become the successful enterprise that it is today but it’s their inventiveness, creativity, hard work, passion, people skills and wholehearted willingness to invest themselves in your brand have been what’s helped it to go from strength to strength. As such, you want the best for them. You don’t want to be the kind of boss who’s an appalling micromanager, taking their responsibilities out of their hands and leaving their skills to atrophy. Likewise, you don’t want to be the kind of boss who sends their employees into potentially worrying situations unprepared.
A good entrepreneur understands the value of nurturing and supporting their employees. But while this is easy on the premises, it’s a little harder when sending employees out on the road. Even confident drivers can get skittish when it comes to using their vehicles for professional purposes. Fear not, here are some ways in which you can ensure that they feel safe and protected and thus are able to give you their all on the road.
Give them the very best training
Training is the single most way of driving professional standards and maintaining the quality you associate with your brand. But if you treat training as a “one and done” exercise, don’t be surprised if your employees’ skills start to erode over time or they lapse into bad habits.
The right ongoing training can ensure that your employees know exactly how to conduct themselves on the road and what to do in the event of an incident or an issue with their vehicle.
Show them that you have their back when incidents arise
Many roadbound employees worry that their employer will through them under the proverbial bus if they are involved in a collision, even if they are not at fault. You can demonstrate your commitment to them in instances like this by ensuring that they have proper legal representation to help them pursue justice. See more from Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis. This will empower them and give them confidence without compromising their driving standards.
Let tech be their shield
Technology can be enormously helpful in empowering employees on the road. Telematics and GPS solutions can allow them to calculate safe routes and manage their time effectively while dash cams can help them to demonstrate that they are using the skills with which you imbue them and help them to defend themselves when involved in an incident.
Give them a direct line to you
If you have the trust and respect of your employees, it may simply be empowering and helpful for them to have a direct line to you personally should they need your help, advice or counsel. Needless to say, if you offer them this, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you can be reached on that number at all times.
Hello Mamas, how are ya? Are you running around, making sure the kiddos are sorted, the laundry is done, the dinner cooked? Oh, and don’t forget about sorting your partner’s lunch and dry cleaning, all while building your business and having life generally under control? Yikes, I am tired just writing that.
What about YOU? Have you asked yourself how YOU are doing lately? You are important. This is where self-care comes in. You know, making sure your glass is full. If you aren’t feeling like YOUR best self, how can you perform your best in your business?
You’re not alone!
You are not alone if you are scratching your head thinking, ‘What self-care? When am I supposed to fit THAT in?!’ Well, let me tell you how.
Sometimes self-care can get muddled up with long, lush baths, facials, massages, etc. Sometimes it can be a super sweaty session at the gym or a long run. That is SO not my definition of self-care, but it could be yours and that is the beauty of self-care.
Some people’s self-care is just having quiet time while their little ones are still asleep, reading or meditating. Or perhaps your self-care is sitting in a cafe with a good coffee or eating a good, nourishing meal. The point is, self-care is whatever gets YOU back in that alignment and fills your cup up.
So how do I do this self-care thing?
So how do you figure out what the heck fills your cup up? Well, it is pretty simple-what lights you up? What makes you feel good, like really good? The best version of yourself? No rules, everything goes here. Some examples are:
Having a bubble bath with essential oils and Epsom salts
Get a back massage
Go to a sweaty OR relaxing yoga class
Dance around your kitchen-Impromptu dance party with your kids
Make a super lush meal and eat it with reverence
Now, how the heck do I fit it in? If it works for you, invite a friend to do it with you. Perhaps you want to start a new morning routine and waking up early works-do that! Schedule it. As a Mumpreneur, we tend to be ALL about the schedule. So do that-schedule your self-care in. That gets it done, right? Finally, skip lunch. I know, I know, sounds counterproductive. However, if you work or freelance in an office, see if they offer fitness classes during your lunch break. You get up, you get to move. If they don’t or you don’t work in that environment, go for a walk. Getting out in nature can really help fill your cup up if that’s your bag.
The point of this article is that YOU matter. You can’t be your best self if you are tired, cranky, annoyed, anxious. You can’t be the best mumpreneur, mum, partner, friend if you are all of those things. How can you expect to grow your business in that situation?
Let me know how you have decided to take care of yourself with your self-care!
Guest post was written by Sarah
I am a Mama and a Mrs, a yogi and an essential oils junkie, as well as a Holistic Wellness Coach. I have been leading Mamas on their unique wellness journeys for the past 5 years, starting with yoga, moving on to essential oils, and now incorporating it all in Holistic Wellness Coaching. My motto is to have fun and to laugh our way through the education-if you aren’t having fun, then we aren’t doing it right!
As much as we might wish, no magic spell can bloom our businesses overnight. Startups demand motivation, dedication, and lots of time to trek to progress. There’s one element that can boost growth though and it’s called blogging. It can help drive more audience to your business site and boost your conversion rates. At the same time, it can craft a personality for your venture and increase your engagement with potential clients.
53% of the digital marketers commend the role that blogging plays in growing a business. Hard to swallow? Check out Hubspot that offers sales, marketing, CRM, and customer services software. It runs an incredible blog that provides informative posts and gets 4.5 million average views every month.
Let’s walk you through some significant benefits of business blogging:
Shapes your business’s personality
In the present times, nobody wants to do business with lifeless scarecrows. Customers want to learn more about the people at the helm of things. The CEO of Modify Watches, Aaron Schwartz explains, “We work hard to make sure people think of our business as comprised of a group of real individuals, and not some soulless enterprise.”
To this end, the company uses blogging to express its personality. As you write blog posts for your business, you develop a slow but significant voice for your startup. Plus, blogs mirror your business values. Have a look at Gap Inc.’s blog. Their blog reflects the brand’s personality by showing its vision and values.
Takes your SEO game up a notch
The content that you write for your blogs gives you an ample opportunity to insert a keyword into it. Keywords are the phrases or queries that people type into the search bar. These are the fundamental pillars of search engine optimization (SEO), as they bait clients for you.
With the use of a keyword, there are increased chances that the search engine will rank your business blog high. Consequently, more people can find your initiative. Research reveals that brands with blogs tend to 434% higher indexed pages. Therefore, blogging is a cost-effective approach to driving organic traffic to your business. Plus, keyword-enriched blogs enhance your search engine visibility.
Provides content for your social media networks
You can share your blog posts on your social media channels too. These posts can multiply your exposure as well, as people love sharing informative blog content. 94% of the folks share blog posts on numerous social media platforms. Hence, blogging helps you with your initiative’s social media marketing.
Helps you educate your potential customers
Customers just don’t make a beeline to a business unless they have worked with it before and are fully satisfied. Instead, before shopping for something or availing a service, customers conduct thorough research. Reports confirm that 81% of the people research online before purchasing something.
You can use this pre-shopping behavior to your use. Update your blog with long posts that solve customers’ problems. For instance, if you sell accessories online, you can always write blogs about hot accessory trends or how-to styling guides.
Increases engagement with customers
Blogging gives you a chance to engage with potential and existing customers. You can leave questions at the end of the post and interact with people as they leave comments under your post. These also serve as an excellent means to get feedback from your customers.
What’s more is that you can provide a call to action (CTA) button at the end of each post. A CTA delivers clients a simple and direct path to connect with you to get your product or service. Therefore, blogging assists in generating more leads.
Summing up, blogging is a useful tool to boost your business. Regular blogging drives more audience to your website, works wonders for your SEO, increases your leads and conversion rate, and allows you to interact with your clients. It gives your initiative a voice and establishes you as an authority in your niche too.
Blog success, or as we like to call it, the Garden of E-Blog-den, Blog-adise, Shangri-blog-la or even Blog-topia. But those titles wouldn’t exactly be the best for SEO now would they?
There are so many blog posts across the wide, wide web that explain how to start and build a blog all the way to success-ville. I’m sure you’ve heard a million times: don’t compare yourself to anyone, find a niche, engage with the audience and be consistent. All of those are very true but we know this by now. Let’s step outside of the box together and unveil some magic tricks of the trade.
We’ve broken it down to seven ways to snag a one-way ticket to fulfilling the American success dream in the US of B. (United States of Blog-merica).
1. Just another Manic Business
Make a schedule from the very beginning. Or at least try.
Why? Because otherwise, you and your blog will deteriorate like Britney Spears’ career in the 2000s. We just implemented a schedule a few weeks ago with Google Calendar and it’s been a godsend. Before that, we did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. It worked for a while and before we knew it weeks had gone by and our blog was as dry as the Mojave.
Then, opportunities started flooding in with no Noah’s Ark in sight. We were missing deadlines, blogging all over the place and playing catch up.
Keeping a schedule will make it easier to organize tasks efficiently, set goals, and track progress. To top it off, there’s still time for all your Netflix binge-watching needs because you’ll be working smart in addition to working hard.
I would recommend Google Calendar because you can access from anywhere. Whether you’re at your in-laws for dinner or sitting in a space station. All I need to do is log in to my Gmail account and I’m good to go.
2. Why be a patchwork quilt when you could be melting pot?
There’s nothing wrong with looking at other blogs for inspiration but don’t try to be them. If all your time is spent trying to make your blog look like everygenericblog.com’s, any personality or authentic voice will get lost. I’ve seen so many blogs where I recognize the exact theme and stock photos. It gets boring!
Instead, take bits and pieces, tweak them, and turn them into your own. For example, we loved the idea of a heinously large landscape header like the Nomadic Boys but it just wasn’t working on our blog. It made our blog look like a big ol’ slab of cold lasagna. Instead, we discovered sticky headers and that’s been the best thing since pre-sliced cake because it gave us a happy medium.
Take the time to surf around different blogs, do some trial and error with ideas and find what fits your personality. make your blog stand out! What’s going to make more headlines: a naked streaker running across the field or another shirtless Joe-schmo wearing a cowboy hat in the crowd?
3. Drake’s right – you’ve gotta start from the bottom
Your first posts and ideas are probably going to suck. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Just look at these heinous logos we designed on Canva before realizing we needed a pro like Miranda to create one for us. Why? Because even though we saw ourselves improving we got tired of waiting for our strengths to grow to where we wanted them to be.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing what your strengths and weaknesses are and using them to your advantage. The main thing to keep in mind is that even if your first blog post is the worst thing since smooth peanut butter, it’s something you did to the best of your ability. That’s fine because everything you do after is only going to improve.
So embrace what you’ve accomplished, put it out there, be open to feedback, and grow from the advice and criticism you get. If you don’t share your masterpiece with the world, how can it improve?
4. Mirror, mirror on the web
The blog is a reflection of you and you alone. think of it like a first job interview.
Would you hire someone who walked into an interview wearing a chimp suit, munching on tree bark, wearing a banana peel necklace, and grooming their dry patches? Or would you hire someone who came in looking fresh with their hair brushed, clothes pressed, and black coffee with one milk and no sugar in tow? (People who drink coffee with one milk and no sugar mean business.)
Probably the second one.
In an interview, first impressions matter and the same goes for your blog. Display any aspirations, skills, and talents right off the bat.
Good at scheduling? Be known as the reigning king of consistency in the blog jungle.
Genius at drawing? Design all your icons yourself.
Got a knack for organizing? Have an epic, easy-to-navigate blog layout.
We spent hours doing colour contrast tests for our logo to make sure the blog readability was the best it could be. The original colour was yellow, which looked great on the logo but if used for writing no one was going to be able to read anything!
Paying attention to those details matter because it makes all the difference in showing your dedication, work ethic, and eye for detail.
5. Join the Proud Family
Be proud of what you’re sharing with the troops and don’t just settle for good enough.
If you’re not your biggest fan, who’s going to be? The more effort put into the blog, the happier you’ll be with it and the more you’ll want to promote it and put it out there. People will recognize the pride and hard work. Here’s another imaginary scenario.
“Hey everyone. I started a blog about mops. It’s kind of boring but the mop industry is lacking information. Check it out if you want.”
If there’s one thing people know about me, it’s that I’m a mop queen. Nothing gets me going like a fresh Pinesol soaked mop: they clean, make my floors shiny, and keep those diseases at bay. I started this blog to share all my mopping tips and tricks over on lordofmops.com. Mop on over and check it out!
Which one are you more likely to click on? The second one of course.
People will only care if you care. So care.
6. Give people an experience
People don’t want spammy BuzzFeed posts like “Five Things I Wish I Knew About Squeegees” or “How to Build a Raft with Cotton”. People also don’t want just another basic lifestyle blog about OOTDs, beach-grams, and DIY didgeridoos.
Think of your blog as a counsellor. Are you more likely to go to a blog with the same information as every other blog in the world? Or are you more likely to go to a blog with new information conveyed with a unique voice?
Even if it’s something people already know about, like hammers, make it seem like it’s the most valuable and novel information. When people are on the Internet, they’re either looking for answers or entertainment. So why not combine both.
Here’s another thing. Make people feel like they’re being heard!
When we picked a blog layout, we had no idea that you couldn’t click on the picture to read the post. We never noticed that but other people did and complained about it so we’re going to change it!
Listen to people’s feedback and use it to improve. It shows you care what the audience thinks and they feel heard. At the end of the day, give people an experience that they can’t stay away from. That’s what will keep them coming back over and over again.
7. Prioritize your stacks
Try everything for free before deciding to toss stacks at things.
As a beginner, it doesn’t matter whether you have Canva, Tailwind, an email provider, a hosting site, a site designer, and a logo all rolled up into one gourmet sandwich. Blogging is all about building online relationships. Having all this will give a boost but if the writing isn’t engaging and you don’t form connections, all that money for the gourmet sandwich has gone to waste!
Prioritize what you spend your money on. As a lifestyle blogger, Pinterest might be perfect. As a news blogger, having a good email service provider might be more important. Or if you’re a burger enthusiast, a top-notch mallet magazine subscription could be vital to your success.
We decided to spend money on getting a logo designed because we wanted something to reflect our personality and our blog’s brand. The last thing we wanted was a pixelated, planet-shaped hot-dog logo designed on Canva.
So $ave Dat Money and spend it carefully.
Blogging isn’t going to be easy. There are going to be a ton of setbacks and bumps in the road. Like breaking your website or not getting that one affiliate.
It’s going to be more of a bumpy bus ride than a smooth Tesla autopilot journey. But there are things you can do to march your way up the ladder of success:
Make a schedule
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you will improve
Put your best face forward
Be proud! You’ve worked hard to get where you are
Spend your money where it matters.
Be open to feedback! Listen to what people are saying and use it to improve.
What’s one piece of advice you’d add to this list? Or would you rather just have a pile of dogs around you while you work? Comment below or email at email@example.com
Being in business can be very hard, especially on days when you have a list of tasks you need to do but no motivation or willpower to do them. Unfortunately, it’s these tasks that will keep your business moving along the track to success. Today I’ll share my tips to get you completing those niggling tasks that you really don’t want to be doing!
1. Outsource Tasks!
If you really don’t want to do the task then take a look at what options are available. Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant or freelancer is a great option. They can complete tasks you do not wish to do yourself or don’t have time for.
Virtual Assistants vary in price and quality so do some research first, you never know you could find a good one that will do more of the tasks you hate.
2. To Do Lists!
We all know that to do lists are really helpful, but they can also be a real pain and never get touched as other things pop up during the day. One thing a business mentor taught me was to make a list of 10 things you must complete by the end of the day (non-negotiable things).
If they do not get done that day, add them onto the list for tomorrow’s 10 things, but never carry them over onto a new week. This way each week you have covered the tasks you needed to do that week and you feel like you have accomplished something.
3. Make a done list!
This is like a to-do list but in reverse. Once you complete a task write it down! This way it is making you feel more productive and you are able to feel proud at the end of the day even if it was just one thing it was one thing that you did.
4. Get Motivated!
If you are not in the right frame of mind you may struggle to get motivated. We all have that one thing that motivates us to be creative and get down to those tasks. Read a motivational book, listen to a Ted Talk, put on some tunes, get that energy high and you will find yourself in a better place ready to tackle that list.
5. Look at why you don’t want to do it!
There comes a time when there is something on your list that you really do not want to do, like making a phone call, doing a live training, doing a podcast, completing your tax return whatever it is you need to look at why you do not want to do it. Are you scared? worried? Find the reason and address it.
Once you have got over your fear you will feel so much better when you have achieved it.
6. Get rid of distraction!
If you find you’re trying to get tasks done, but not getting anywhere, then it could be time to remove distractions, switch the TV off, turn off the phone, step away from social media. These will just suck you in and stop you from getting anywhere. You know it’s true!
7. Plan your work!
Being organised in the first place will set you up for success and help you achieve your goals. I sit and plan everything on a Sunday ready for when Monday comes around, I know what I need to achieve in the week and I make room in my plan for when something pops up unplanned so I don’t feel overwhelmed.
This helps my productivity no end.
8. Reward yourself!
If you get through your jobs then give yourself a little reward. Celebrate your success!! If you have a list of 20 things to do by 6pm and complete it on time, then reward yourself. Have a glass of wine, do a face mask, take a bath, order a takeaway, watch a movie! Whatever it is you enjoy make sure you do more if it to reward yourself!
To wrap up…
I use to be someone who feared the to-do list, but once you implement a few simple strategies, you will find it more enjoyable and easier to get through.
Do you have any tips that have helped you? Drop them in the comments below or contact us!
As I hovered over the publish button, my overthinking mind got into gear.
“What would people think of me?”
“Who the hell am I to post something on YouTube?”
“What if my school friends see it and laugh at my expense?”
If only I’d have acted in courage immediately and hit submit straight off, my overthinking brain wouldn’t have been fed.
But that’s how I roll.It only takes 5 seconds of hesitation and I start to doubt my initial enthusiasm and my overthinking mind goes into overdrive.Hello self-sabotage.
However, I did hit publish and the world didn’t stop turning. I didn’t hear any distant giggles of ridicule either.Instead, I felt empowered. But I had wasted precious energy on overthinking the what if’s again. It’s not my best healthy habit.
And it’s not just for my online business, it’s life in general.Have you ever overthought and overanalysed a simple text message?
The text after a first date.Sent with love and then when an immediate reply doesn’t transpire, we analyse our “Hi”…should’ve put “Hey” He’s only put x1 kiss at the end of his text and last time it was x4.This is the beginning of the end of our blossoming relationship. And on and on our minds’ go…
The amount of times my overthinking brain has conjured up the most intricate stories and STOP!
STOP overthinking and overanalysing.It’s done, it’s dusted, move on.
How then can we deal with the overthinking habit?
1. Chunk it down
Confucius says “The man who moves mountains begins with carrying small stones.”
So strive for regular baby steps as opposed to huge daily goals and you’ll find your overthinking muscle gets weaker.
2. Get cool with failing forward
Often we stop ourselves because of the risk of failure. Yet making mistakes are our greatest lessons, so if we prevent this experience we prolong our path to success.
3. Bust out overthinking
When you start to play out all the negative scenarios of what could happen, acknowledge this, be kind to yourself, pack away your crystal ball and switch your thoughts to action and just make it happen.
4. Congratulate yourself for inspired action
Hi-5 yourself for actually DOING something. Making a decision.Moving yourself forward towards your goal.As soon as you feel yourself going over and over your decision, switch off and look at the positive.
Now, without overthinking this, what is the one thing in your business that you want to achieve one year from now?We’d love to hear your work goals! Let us know in the comments below or contact us here.
And remember small steps towards your goal, quit overthinking, make a decision and just go for it! You’ve got this.
Guest post was written by Dawn Barnes.
I’m getting my shine back after having children, helping other mothers on my way. I’m on a big mission to help and inspire ambitious women to feel fabulous again and get more out of their life.
WordPress is an efficient platform for managing content for your business. It powers around 14.7% of the world’s top 100 websites with 17 new posts published every second. It has a market share of about 60%. On top of it, WordPress is the fastest growing content management system (CMS).
If you’re a WordPress user, you’re probably beaming with pride right now for deciding to use this tool for your e-business. There’s more to this tool though. You can easily empower your platform with the help of plugins that drive up its efficiency.
In this regard, here are some of the best WordPress plugins that you can use to ante up your business’s game:
This is an exclusive plugin for WordPress users. Running a business without the numbers is like building a house on a weak foundation. You need to know the statistics which give a picture of the customers visiting your site. JetPack does the math for you. It keeps track of your visitors, daily users, traffic, tools, and the like.
The plugin allows you to customize your website as per your taste. It also provides security features for your site. It is an excellent tool for image optimization, traffic growth, website appearance, performance, and security. JetPack creates sitemaps too so that your website can be indexed easily by search engines.
Your business will never make it to the right audience without the help of search engine optimization (SEO). It’s the key to bringing your website into other people’s attention. Companies spent $65 billion on SEO in 2016. So, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. To this end, Yoast SEO is an all-important tool to add to your business arsenal.
The plugin aligns all the SEO-related actions under the post that you write. With this plugin installed, you can add keywords, fix your URL for better browser visibility, craft a catchy meta description, and so on. It is also useful in helping you determine your content’s readability, which further strengthens your search engine ranking.
A Google report highlights that business websites that provide sufficient contact information are considered trustworthy. The takeaway is that you need to provide your visitors and users with a substantial amount of contact information.
A good means to this end is the WPForms plugin. It is beginner-friendly content form tool for your website. The tool allows you to create contact forms, order forms, email subscription forms, payment forms, and other online forms with only a few clicks.
It’s common knowledge that cybercrime is on the rise. The damages that it costs are estimated to reach a pointer of $6 trillion by the year 2021. Save yourself from the trouble of security infringement with the help of Sucuri.
This WordPress plugin is dedicated to shielding your website from hackers and blackmailers. It gives you complete control of your site. The plugin allows you to augment your existing security measures too. With Sucuri, your site will be protected against brute force attacks, DDoS, malware threats, and XXS attacks. You can also take post-hack security action with this tool.
BackupBuddy is your partner in times of distress. It is a crucial crisis prevention weapon, which protects you in the case of data loss. The fact of the matter is that data loss, server malfunction, hardware failure, data breach, and hackers are not mythical matters. These are very real, which is where this tool comes into the picture.
BackupBuddy is easy to use. It backs up your business site on numerous remote locations like cloud storage, your computer, FTP server, and the like. You can preserve significant customer data with the help of this plugin. Furthermore, you can schedule backups, so you don’t have to worry about running the backup operations by memory.
There are tons of WordPress plugins that you can use to harness the full potential of this CMS for your business. In this context, these listed tools help you with some of the most basic functions that form the backbone of an online business.
Productivity – that endless quest to get more done!!
“I set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than the kids wake up.”
“Are you crazy? I mean… WHO really does that?”
I understand that a sleep-deprived, exhausted Mum loves her sleep.Who doesn’t? But I can hand on heart say when I rise before the house wakes up – my day just goes better.
And that 30 minutes of calm in the morning is like gold dust. My heaven time. My time. I love it.
I’m not saying it’s easy to get up before the house stirs but it 1 million per cent gets me and my day started in the right way.
It’s my secret on how I get my stuff done and how I can remain sane for…well, at least the first hour of the day!
Whether it’s to tick off a couple of important daily tasks, reconnect with myself or simply enjoy a hot cuppa tea in peace, it’s absolutely worth getting up when the alarm goes.
So, how can breaking the snooze habit of a lifetime really help you?
1. Wake up when YOU decide
Up until now, is it when the kids come bounding into your bedroom that breaks you from your deep sleep?You get an arm in your face and the volume is turned to LOUD and before you know it, your groundhog day has started again.
Imagine a time when you were the captain of your dream ship and you actually got up in your time, in your own way and you had time to breathe.
…and back in the room.
Set your alarm 30 minutes before they typically wake up. Don’t hit snooze.
2. Get time to yourself
Any mother will vouch that a little time to herself is her sanctuary. Chance would be a fine thing!
Well, make that chance.Get up earlier! You know what you can accomplish in 10 minutes without the little ones.Imagine what you could achieve in half an hour ALL BY YOURSELF!
It might be some peaceful moments of calm and stillness that is most needed or focus time to really check-in on your business plan.Whatever serves you best, getting this done and dusted first thing before the day runs away with you, is good planning in my book.
3. Get on top of the important things for increased productivity
Chances are if you’re running the house, running a business or running a full-on job, no doubt, your schedule will be packed and your priority list hefty.
Although we incessantly pray for more hours in the day, with all the will in the world that just ain’t gonna happen.We need to carve out more time and it’s there if you truly look.You may prefer to stay up late to get your shiz done but there’s something to be said about waking up when the day breaks and ticking off a few vitals before the chaos begins.
4.Gain back control for more productivity in your day
Arguably, how you wake up is as important as when you wake up.
By getting up earlier you are in control of how your day begins and as the late Louise Hay says:
“how you start your day, is how you live your day, and how you live your day is how you live your life.”
Although it may seem madness to deprive yourself of an extra 20 mins in bed once you get into the habit of getting up earlier your sleep cycle will thank you for it. You’ll find productivity just comes naturally when you do this!
5. Reduce the Mum guilt
Do you promise that tomorrow you’ll give yourself more time to get ready, that you will be more productive?
Many a time, I’d underestimate how long it takes for me and the little ones to simply get out the door on time.I swore someone robbed me of those last 10 minutes!Stress levels rising, I’d end up screaming and shouting at the kids to hurry up!!! Seconds later, I’d feel the Mum guilt as I hadn’t wanted to lose my cool. Again.
This wasn’t the best start to our day.
If only I could get up earlier and prep the morning better, I could be one of those, you know, organised ON Time mothers.I like that!
Do it. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and just GET UP!
6. Improve your wellbeing
Whatever the studies show that morning people lead happier more productive lives, what I know for sure is, the days I get up earlier I feel happier, more positive and calmer.
If your fitness excuses ramp up, use this early time to get your daily workout done and not only will you feel smug as you like but you’ll be well on your way to feeling better thanks to exercise-induced endorphins.
You may not always feel like jumping out of bed with a happy smile on your face at early o’clock but it’s absolutely worth a go to see how getting up earlier shakes up your day.
We’d love to hear what your morning routine looks like. How do you try to keep up productivity? Drop a comment below or contact us here and let us know!
Guest post was written by Dawn Barnes.
I’m getting my shine back after having children, helping other mothers on my way. I’m on a big mission to help and inspire ambitious women to feel fabulous again and get more out of their life.
On some days blogging is a dream filled with positivity.
Life is glorious – you win an award, get a house-sized million dollar check, a thousand retweets, a Nobel Peace Prize, and become World Dominator of Blog-nation.
On other days, the world comes crashing down. The house is on fire, the dogs are throwing up in the kitchen, the Internet isn’t working, Yoast is broken, and your entire blog closely resembles Gotham City. Except with no handsome husky-voiced Batman to save it. All that comes to mind is chucking the computer out the window and joining “The Quitters Family”.
No matter what, it seems impossible to stay positive and you’re on a full-speed, Nascar-level overworked blogger train non-stop to “I’m gonna delete my blog”-ville.
I’ve heard pretty bad things about that place so here are a few tips to get you off the Highway to Hell and back on the Stairway to Blogging Heaven.
1. Just let it out.
Let’s be real. Sometimes, we all need a good ol’ cry-fest. There’s nothing like a cathartic session of crying à la red face and wheezing at the computer. So sit on your chair, bed, the roof, an elephant, the Kennedy Space Center, the moon – wherever your little heart desires and just cry. Go ahead and unzip those tear pockets and let it all out.
Trust me, it works.
My co-blogger and I work out of a PC room in Korea and we’ve bawled our eyes out with 30,000 boys around us playing PubG. I’m talking loud crying that leaves you gasping and wheezing so loud it wakes up the Sleeping Buddha. Tears that flood like Hurricane Katrina and short circuit the building with a horde of enraged teens after me.
I hate public crying as much as the next person and would rather face a locust plague and The Purge but bottling it up is much, much worse.
It sets you up for failure when everything from that point on is done with a negative mindset and a heart full of frustration and confusion.
Remember people, bottles are for juices and other beverages. Not tears.
If crying isn’t your cup of relaxing chamomile tea, do whatever it takes to get those emotions out.
Punch a brick wall? Sure. Hospital trip guaranteed.
Bash your head into the computer? Go for it.
Take a baseball bat to a car windshield? Yeah, I guess if a jail cell brings you relief…
Get some fresh air, grab a snack, and do some quilting.
Basically, it’s important to remember that as bloggers, we’re creatives. Positivity equals productivity and doing anything in a negative manner ends up with a catastrophe worse than a Level 9 earthquake.
Is it MailChimp? Google Analytics? Writer’s block? Your dog’s incessant barking? A zombie outbreak?
Dig deep down with a bulldozer to figure out what’s causing the frustration and anger and take a step back. That in itself will help stop that Burnt-out Blogging Rocket. If you focus ten hours on one tiny little “Vienna sausage sized” problem, it becomes difficult to look at the delicious “Costco-style Polish dog” big picture.
Identify the problem, address it, and come back later to solve it. Take a step back and reset the positivity switch. Do another less mind-numbing blogging task like catching up on emails or joining a Twitter hashtag thread. Anything to get you away from the gas can and back on the money-making train.
So many people think building an empire is this easy-breezy-Cover Girl journey. In reality, it’s time-consuming, exhausting, and most of us are working other jobs until the business turns into a money bagger. It isn’t a first-class Caribbean cruise with Michelin-star food and live Ed Sheeran every day. It’s more like building a raft with twigs and twine with a small branch for an oar for a trip from the Panama Canal to Greenland.
Remind yourself why you started the business. The independence, being the boss, or the control over every single aspect of it. Visualize your success and think it into existence. Whether it’s being in Forbes 30 under 30 or standing next to Marie Curie reincarnated. Casting out a line of positivity energy out will only reel it back in.
4. Don’t overwork yourself.
It doesn’t end well when you’re burnt out and left feeling like a wilted head of lettuce.
When I first started blogging a few months ago, the first thing I did every morning was:
Join a Twitter thread
Check my email
Reply to emails
Respond to blog comments
Start a new blog post
Add another guest post to my list of “Guest Posts To Write”
Check stats, views, and 404 errors
Try to fix said 404 errors
Basically, have an all-nighter work session before even wiping out those eye-crusties.
Don’t do that. Don’t be that chump. All this does is leave you in a mood that rivals Regina George. Take at least half an hour in the morning as “me-time”. Drink some coffee, listen to music, pet some silky dogs, go for a run, or climb Mount Everest.
If you wake up in the morning to face a work avalanche, everything from then on will be done with a negative mindset and a heavy heart. Instead, start the day off right by taking time to yourself so that every challenge and setback can be faced with a positive attitude.
5. Give yourself a “Best Participant” trophy
While having a hustle mindset is great, it’s equally as important to take some time to reflect on how far you’ve come, think about any tiny victories, and pat yourself on the back. Things as small as having one more view than last month to things as huge as landing a guest post on your favourite blogger’s site, She Hustles Inc of course. Go down the street to your local Sports Authority and buy the biggest, 7-tiered cheerleader trophy available, make them engrave a personalized message for you, place it in a glass box and put it on your mantle. Be proud of yourself!
Starting a business is a huge endeavour that most people wouldn’t even attempt. Have a drink, make yourself some fancy smoked salmon canapes, stare at your trophy’s and reflect. Get that positivity running back through your veins so you can get back to work stronger than ever.
6. Take a day hiatus.
Sometimes being positive is really hard and nothing works. The only thing that comes to mind is how starting this business is the worst decision since the Big Bang happened and the blog-universe was created. No matter how much you b**ch or cry or stare into the clouds or take some me time, everything leaves a sour taste.
At that point, take a step back from the giant red “delete” button and take a damn break. So many people think of taking a break as being synonymous with weakness. Blasphemy! Taking time to take care of yourself, your kids, your dogs or polishing your snow-globe collection is just as important as making those money moves. Refreshing the mind for new ideas, clear thoughts, and progress will get you farther and in the end, you’re only human. Not Moses parting the Red Sea.
80% of businesses and 99% of blogs fail within the first year for a lot of different reasons. People get bored, lose motivation, realize it’s more of an investment both financially and let’s be honest, emotionally. Negative thoughts begin to seep in and eventually take over so much that it seems you’ve actually grown horns and your drivers license says Lucifer McSatan age 1,007. Shut that entire scenario down real quick.
Have a cry
Find the root of the problem,
Remind yourself of the opportunities that having your own business is going to lead to
Take some “me time” every day
Celebrate the successes no matter how small
Take an entire day off
At the end of the day, remind yourself what you’ve built – whether it’s two months in or ten years in. Bring the positivity back and make the best business the world has ever seen. Besides Crocs. Crocs will always be number one.
What are you doing to build an empire? Have you found the perfect spot for a cry-fest yet? Leave a comment or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever wished you could pinpoint exactly who your ideal customers were? That you could understand what they really want, how to help them solve their most pressing problems, and market your business to appeal to them? Well, that’s exactly what buyer personas can help you do! Follow She Hustles Inc’s guide to improve your marketing today!
What are buyer personas?
A buyer persona is basically a fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on real data and educated speculation. Personas generally include information about who your target customer types are, where they tend to be located, what they’re looking for, challenges they face, solutions they seek, other brands they like, and more. Knowing your target customers is a vital first step in marketing your brand and getting sales. And that’s where buyer personas come in.
In fact, a whopping 71% of companies with documented buyer personas beat their revenue and lead goals.
Not bad, right?
The process of gathering the information needed to make a buyer persona is an excellent way to get familiar with your customer base. As a result, you’ll be able to create content that your customers actually want to see, reach them on the social media sites they spend the most time on, and even improve your products/services to meet their needs.
How do I create buyer personas for my business?
Don’t let the marketing jargon put you off. Creating buyer personas is actually a pretty simple process. You’re basically just looking at your existing customers/ideal customers and making a list of important common traits they share. Who are they? What do they do for a living? What do they need? -List their common challenges and needs. What do they want? -List out the goals they tend to have and how your product/service can help them.
Maybe your online nutrition planning service can help them get healthy despite a busy schedule?
Or your social media management business could help them expand their audience without forcing them to learn the ins and outs of new platforms.
Remember, every customer segment values different things when buying, so make sure you’re not marketing your product’s low cost to a customer who cares more about quality or prestige (or vice versa).
Write out the common objections you hear when they’re deciding whether or not to purchase your product/service. Doing this will help you create content and marketing that overcomes those objections.
What do they look for in a brand? List similar brands your customer base tends to trust and buy from.
This information will eventually help you highlight what your brand can offer.
When gathering answers to these questions, the specific path you take will depend on whether you have existing customers or not.
Gathering persona information from your existing customers:
To better understand your target customer, dig into Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights. These two tools can help you uncover:
Age, education, gender, relationship status
Devices used online
Your target audience’s favourite pages
Don’t worry about segmenting this information into similar types yet. For now, just focus on gathering as much relevant data as possible.
Try a survey; get persona information directly from your customers by creating a short survey with a service like Qualaroo or a free alternative like SurveyMonkey. You can email opted-in customers a link to your survey or simply host it on your site via a pop-up. Offer giveaways for participation and keep the questions brief to ensure more people follow through.
Don’t have a ton of customers to gather insights from yet?
No worries! You can still get the persona information you need, even if your business is brand new.
Two ideas you can try right now:
Do competitor research
Competitor research tools like Alexa or Quantcast can help you get an in-depth view of the types of customers you should be targeting. Just type in the URL of your main competitor’s site to see visitor information like browsing location, sites visited before that site, visitor gender, education level, keywords used, and more.
Follow your completion on social media
Finding out what kind of audience your competitors have on social media is a great way to determine who your ideal customers are and what they’re looking for. Look at their followers’ pages for background on age, location, and profession.
Pay attention to the kinds of posts they respond to most from your competitors, as well as their comments and questions. You’ll find plenty of psychographic information here to fill out your personas with.
Creating your personas:
Now that you’ve done the research, it’s time to start fleshing out your personas.
Give your personas names and make educated guesses based on the data you’ve gathered. If the majority of your target customers have kids and high pressure jobs, you can guess that one of your persona types is pressed for time.
If they follow certain fashion influencers on social media, you can guess that on-trend brands and products will appeal to them. Obviously, you don’t want to get carried away and make stuff up. But it’s very important that you use the data to make informed assumptions about who your customer is.
Remember those social media comments you looked at earlier? Well, take a couple of the most common ones and add them to your persona template under the “quote” section. This will remind you of what your target customers are saying online.
Keep in mind that as you interact with your customers/audience, you’ll learn more about them. Maybe some of the assumptions you made will turn out to be false. That’s absolutely fine. Buyer personas are meant to change over time to reflect your understanding of your customer base.
And finally, keep your finished personas in mind as you create content and marketing for your business.
You’ll be surprised by how much more focused and effective your content is when you’re trying to reach certain types of people rather than just a nameless “audience” out there.
Now, more than ever, customers want to feel that the brands they buy from “get them”. Generic content and broad marketing simply won’t do the trick any longer. Luckily, buyer personas are an easy-to-create but powerful tool to help you identify and truly understand your primary customers. Try creating a few of your own to start seeing the benefits to your business now.
Have you created personas for your business yet? If not, what’s holding you back? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Author Bio: Hulua Seyoum
I’m a digital marketer and business writer. Entrepreneurship is my jam.
HubSpot Inbound and Content Marketing certified and borderline obsessed with helping businesses grow.
Also obsessed with: travelling and finding the ever-elusive perfect cup of coffee.
Follow me on Instagram @inboundmarketinglounge for more marketing tips to boost your business.
Are you a mumpreneur. Mumpreneurs are on the rise and there’s a good reason why. Let’s face it as mothers we have a tough job. I don’t care what anyway says it’s tough, once you’ve made it through the first 3 months of being a zombie, the real fun begins!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a mum. It’s literally the best thing that’s ever happened to me and once I became a mum I felt I’d found my purpose in this world. But good god I’ve been tired for 11 years!! But my career is important to me and I want to show my children what hard work looks like. This is why I’ve become a Mumpreneur!
We learn skills that are essential for business as a mum. If you’ve ever negotiated with a toddler then you will fully appreciate that your negotiation skills need to be on point. You will develop more patience than you realised was possible. You have seen your child struggling to learn something and adapted your technique to teach them another way.
We do our best to assert leadership skills…. eye rolls and a sigh!
You now understand responsibility and assertiveness, the need to adapt and learn to raise your child to be the best version of themselves.
And it’s my belief that this is why many mums make excellent businesswomen. There are so many valuable skills that translate into running your own business.
I know first-hand mums are often discriminated against in the workplace. Often we’re seen as a lesser species not as a capable as the menfolk or people that aren’t parents. Actually, it’s my belief we’re just as capable, if not more. If you’ve ever negotiated a difficult meeting on 2 hours sleep and not just two hours sleep but pacing up and down with an angry baby that’s refusing to sleep and you’ve still made a success out of that meeting, in my eyes you rule!!
If you’ve had time off to raise your babies, it’s seen as a negative on your CV. How? How is this? It’s our main purpose in life to bring in the next generation, was that person viewing your CV not raised by someone? Maternity leave can set your career back years. It doesn’t seem right to me.
Doing what’s right for you and your family
You have to consider what’s right for you and your family. For me personally, I needed a few different things. I like freedom over my schedule as I like to make all the various assemblies, concerts and events at school. I like to drop them off and collect them from school. This also reduces the childcare needs of course.
For me personally, I like to work from home ideally, but one step further, I like the ability to work remotely. I like to be able to pack up my laptop and work from anywhere with WiFi. More often than not this is just my sister’s house or my nans. But to me, dropping the kids off, then going sitting with my grandparents for the day until the kids need collecting is great. I get to do my work but keep them company at the same time.
Obviously, for others, remote work means travelling the world, which is simply amazing, but with my two bambinos, travelling long-term isn’t an option really.
You need to consider what business would work for you. If you have clients that require your services in person, you will have a degree of control over your schedule, but it may be dictated by the busy times in your industry and your client’s needs. For example, Personal Trainers tend to be busier in evenings and weekends. This isn’t ideal for me around the kids.
How to get your mumpreneur business completely online
As a mumpreneur, you may prefer to work with people. It might be for sociable reasons. But having run businesses that serviced clients in person, I knew when I started She Hustles Inc I needed a business that was entirely online.
You may think your skills mean you need to offer services in person, but more often than not you can turn this around. In the example of personal trainers, you could offer online services. If this isn’t an option could you offer courses in your area of expertise? For example, if you can sew, often a course that teaches people these skills, how to make a particular design for example.
There are so many options for mums to start their own business and grow it to support their family. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done! Work out your options and don’t look back. If you need ongoing tips check out our social media channels – Facebook and Instagram.
If you want more focused support for growing your business you could consider our membership which gives you monthly support to grow your business.
You can also drop a comment below if you need help or want to tell us about your experiences!
There it is. Sitting and staring at a blinding white screen with a little black line screaming at you to “Get your head in the game, Troy”. High school musical fans? No? Nice. Moving on.
Nothing comes to mind besides crickets and the sound of chicken cooking in hot oil. Maybe that last one is just me. Either way, we all experience it. That’s right. I’m talking about writer’s block, baby. This happens to everyone and it’s okay!
Occasionally, our creative juices get clogged up in the massive brain drain. You gotta turn on that garbage disposal, slice up all those stale thoughts and get some new inspiration so you can come back and create something bangin’.
However, we’re going to stay away from the usual “take a break” tips because I do that and five days later I’m still “taking a break” sipping margaritas on the porch. So, let’s get some fresh ideas out there.
1. Look elsewhere
This is one of the first things I always do and it’s the most helpful tip here.
For some reason, I attempt to write in a comedic style so when I’m in a slump, I like to sit down and watch stand-up comedy to get myself in that state of mind. I’ll read funny bloggers (looking at youfattymccupcakes), re-read some of the best Twitter beef, listen to funny podcasts, or watch Gypsy Sisters. Sifting through Pinterest or even looking through camera rolls can jog your thoughts as well. Read, watch or listen to anything that’s inspiring and gets you into a writing mindset that matches your style.
Secondly,don’t underestimate the power of a good Google search. “Funny Instagram bios” “most boring conversation topics” “words that rhyme with dingus” and “jokes about travellers diarrhoea” are all things I’ve Googled looking for inspiration and information to jog my thoughts.
Use the results, add your own flair and create something better.
2. Feel something for once!
Hopefully, you’re writing about something you’re passionate about. Otherwise…what? Whatever the topic is, tap into your emotional connections to it and try to recreate them. Think about how easy it is to write a creepy love letter to a celebrity or a rage text to a roommate. Channel those feelings!
“But Morgan, I don’t have any specific feelings towards the rise and fall of gasoline prices in middle America”. Well for one, I’m not sure why you’re writing about something you don’t care about but if you are, forge some emotion! Pretend you’re a wealthy oil salesman who really does care about the rise and fall of gasoline prices in middle America!
Try to connect the topic to some emotions. Like having to write about sports and being reminded of that rage-inducing ex of yours that would always ditch you to ‘watch the game with his buddies’.
See? Inspiration! Try to make a connection between the topic and an emotionally-evoking memory of it and write about it.
Curse away that writer’s block.
3. Make writing an event
If I’m not feeling up to writing, I’ll psych myself up to have the best possible writing day ever.
Now, I’m annoying as hell and do this with almost everything in life but it makes all the things I do so much more enticing.
Schedule a day and wear the comfiest clothes – mine is a huge t-shirt with holes and milkshake stains but it feels like butter all over me. Or if you wanna feel cute, look cute!
Gather the most top-tier drinks and snacks – preferably not alcoholic drinks. No one really wants drunken thoughts written down to savour as archaic memories forever and ever.
Change location. Take the computer to a spot that makes you feel happiest, even if it’s the bed. I work out of PC rooms in South Korea and even going to a new one can spark ideas. Other days, I want to be comfy and in my favourite one. Know your style. Are you more inspired when you’re comfortable or when you’re in a new environment? Play with that!
If you’re someone that works well with music, bop on a new album or your favourite throwback. Nothing to evoke new ideas and thoughts like a hot new banger. If you don’t work well with music maybe try listening to instrumentals. There’s this super unique mix on YouTube called LoFi hip-hop beats to study and relax to. It’s pretty underground but I swear by it. It has a constant live stream on and it’s great for keeping your mind on track.
(If you didn’t catch the sarcasm there, LoFi hip-hop beats to study and relax to is notorious for being everyone’s go-to study music.)
4. Give up…for a bit
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. If none of this works, maybe it just isn’t the day to write and that’s okay. I always have a list of 20 general blog post ideas and about 4-5 posts I want to write about within the next month or so. If I can’t get out of a block for one topic, I’ll draft it and start a new one.
Frying your brain over one post isn’t worth it and it’ll cause a burnout. Taking a break and revisiting posts is a-okay!
However, if it’s a time-dependent post, try to just write. Just open up your brain and dump all the junk out.
Dump. The. Junk.
Make bullet points of idea fragments and try to piece them together later. For me, starting a post could look like:
Why you should move abroad
Tons of people ask “Wow you travel so much. How do you do it?”
I see so many expats move abroad and then move home within months because it’s so different from what they imagined. People don’t always move abroad prepared, they think it’s going to be some adventure skipping through central park drinking Thai tea and doing yoga in Goa the next day. It’s more like ______________ (joke about what it’s like to really live abroad)
People see “travel” as synonymous with “vacation” – lots of work, just has a very unique reward
Later I’ll go through, fill in the blanks and meld all the ideas together. Find synonyms for simple words, reorder all the ideas, write, edit and re-write. It seems a little chaotic but it can be really good to see all the thoughts written down and sift through the garbage hole that is your mind. From dust to diamonds, here’s thefinished product!
Writer’s block is the worst and getting through it is a process that takes practice but it’s possible. Even if it seems like you’re lost in a haunted forest with nothing to eat but beetles for five days straight. Get comfortable, relax, find new inspiration, cut yourself some slack and get through that swamp! It’s part of the learning process and it’ll only make you a better writer in the end. Go forth little drain clogs and be phenomenal!
What are your tips for getting through the Saw trap that is writer’s block? Have you ever done anything crazy for content? Let us know in the comments below or shoot an email at email@example.com
Stephanie, 40’s, Indian Trail, NC – My Sewing Needle
What kind of business do you run?
“I own and operate a memorial sewing product company that specializes in custom, personalized items made from the clothing or blankets of a loved one that passed away or items from fabric that memorializes your loved one.
My Sewing Needle is my business name and I offer custom, personalized memorial sewing products and business coaching for those who want to start or grow their own memorial sewing business.
Memorial Sewing Products include:
When did you set up the business?
“I re-opened in 2016. I have been sewing and an entrepreneur since 7 years old. From 2006-2016 I owned and operated a marketing and publicity virtual assistant business while offering sewing services privately.”
How do you work the business around any commitments like family and friends, hobbies, other jobs?
“I schedule my family and friends first, then I schedule my daily exercise, time with God, and my business. I work 9-12 hours per day, 7 days a week. By planning my month out in advance (my sales goals, my speaking gigs, my vacation days, etc) I can take a few days off in a row without having to play “catch up”.”
Did you have any money to start the business?
“No, however, my husband purchased me a new sewing machine from WalMart because my last one was worked to its death. So, I could say yes, I needed the money for a new sewing machine.”
Was it difficult to start? What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome this?
“No, this business was not difficult to start. The biggest challenge was sharing pictures of the completed items because most have been made and ordered for Christmas gifts which means my customers do not want to share the products with their family and friends open them. I overcame this by making a few as gifts for my family members and they began to share and show with others.”
Is it difficult to run now? What is the biggest challenge? How do you overcome this?
“No, this business is not difficult to run once you know what you ‘don’t know’. There are many things that must be in place before jumping into the memorial sewing business, which is why I now offering coaching.”
Any future plans for the business?
“Yes, I am expanding into a nonprofit and also publishing a book.”
Would you do anything differently?
Do you ever struggle with self-doubt?
“No, I’ve been a business owner for over 30 years, I have since conquered the ‘evil voice of doubt’.”
Any Advice for others wanting to start a business?
“Yes, seek advice from an experienced business coach that already ‘walks the walk, and talks the talk’ when it comes to this very specific business. Do not think you know everything about everything, because rules, laws, regulations, and technology change on a daily basis. It’s helpful to have a few business owners on your side as you start or grow your memorial sewing business.”
Despite starting the day in good spirits, we often end up plummeting down a hole of lessening productivity as the day progresses. A survey reveals that around 75% of the employers report that two plus hours of efficient work are lost daily. Procrastination tends to work hard to tip the balance in its favour, making it difficult to complete work.
The signboard that reads productivity tends to lead to two roads. One includes dedicating more hours to your work schedule and the second entails efficient working. Since all that work and no play make Jack a dull boy, it’s safer to stick to the second option. We believe at She Hustles Inc that you have to attain a balance between work and personal life. Therefore, making the most of your precious work hours with a boost in productiveness is a good option.
Here is an in-depth look at some simple yet useful tips and tricks to enhance your productivity:
1. Set realistic goals
Crafting goals is an essential step to ante up your productivity game. The chief aspect concerning making and pursuing goals, however, pertains to setting realistic goals. Drafting unrealistic goals puts excess pressure on you. In a frenzy to achieve more, you tend to achieve less in the light of exceptionally high expectations from yourself. Moreover, unrealistic goals negatively impact your mental health. Therefore, start with spelling out achievable aims.
2. Give yourself deadlines
There is no denying that stress is a culprit that you don’t want in your progress picture. But setting up self-imposed deadlines and chasing them can help you focus more. In the other way around case, we tend to become lazy by assuming that there’s lots of time at our disposal. This wastes a lot of time. You will be pleased to see how productive you can be by competing with the ticking arms of the clock.
3. Track your time for increased productivity
Keep track of your time as a means to accomplishing deadlines and goals. Most of us think that we have an accurate idea of the time being spent on a particular task. However, research indicates that only 17% of people can keep a precise estimate of time. Therefore, you can try to keep a better eye on the clock, set alarms for yourself if you work solo or seek assistance from tools such as Rescue Time.
4. Take regular breaks
Productivity does not equate to consistent, round the clock work. It translates into more work done in a short period. Constant work tends to drain your energy, which sips your productivity levels. Regular breaks are antidotes that refresh your energy levels as well as prevent your productiveness from derailing. A study backs this too. It confirms that the key to maintaining performance throughout long tasks is to punctuate them with short breaks. It highlights that the flip side declines performance and focus.
5. Plan each day beforehand
Planning each day the night before is a game changer. Take out 15 minutes before heading to bed and jot down your work plans for the next day. It is critical to write down your plans and ideas. Such a tip can also be taken from Richard Branson’s book. The founder of the Virgin Group says, “Write down every single idea you have. No idea is too small, and no idea is too big.” He further adds, “Make a list of small, manageable tasks to complete every day. Cut your day up into chunks, and you’ll get lots more done.”
Wrap up thoughts
Summing up, these tips can help you stay on a productive track and accomplish more. Making goals, pre-planning your day, tracking your time, and setting deadlines can assist you to reach your optimal potential. Include regular breaks into this equation, and you’ll have complete tasks under your belt in no time.
Let us know in the comments if you have any great tips for productivity! You can contact us here!
How do you work the business around any commitments like family and friends, hobbies, other jobs?
“I schedule everything in my appointment book, down to office hours, girls nights, family time, grocery shopping, etc. I set my business hours for me personally and stick to them. I take every Tuesday and every other Saturday off. It’s all about organization for me :)”
Did you have any money to start the business?
” I took out a small loan that I could pay back very quickly and did everything else as I had the income, instead of doing everything right off the bat. “
Was it difficult to start? What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome this?
“Not at all. The scariest part is the risk you’re taking! You just have to make your plan and go for it! And then put in the work it takes to be successful. It’s not easy and I think that’s where a lot of small business owners go wrong. Be ready to work more hours than you’re paid for! But in the end, it’s all definitely worth it!”
Is it difficult to run now? What is the biggest challenge? How do you overcome this?
“For me, it’s difficult not to get overwhelmed. I work behind the chair, write paychecks, pay bills, run all of the social media and marketing for the salon, run the girls schedules, and dealing with that in itself when someone calls in etc, there’s a lot that I didn’t think about before opening a business. As far as overcoming this, I am just now to the point (5 years in) to be able to delegate some things. I am paying someone a few hours a week (someone, I trust, just wanting some extra fun money) to pay bills, run the email marketing, write checks, etc. I can then work more behind the chair making more money After paying someone else to do it, than if I did it myself “
Any future plans for the business?
“I am currently in the process of rebranding and remodelling which was my goal from the beginning. We have expanded our building as well so once that is done my main focus is to keep my girls busy and help them continue to build their clientele!”
Would you do anything differently?
“I could come up with a million things if I would have known what I know now, but I have a successful business with multiple stylists, a massage therapist, and nail technician and we are all like a big family. I would maybe interview a little differently but I have learned a lot since opening my business at 23 years old and it wouldn’t be what it is now if I changed anything :)”
Do you ever struggle with self-doubt?
“Absolutely! I think it’s human of us to worry that we may fail. Especially in a small town with multiple other competing salons, I Worry about my other stylists and keeping their books full, but that’s where the hard work part comes in. You have to keep up with your social media platforms and market your business to stay on top. “
Any Advice for others wanting to start a business?
“Make sure you have a solid business plan and have the time and will to put in the work it will take. Talk to other business owners in your area and pick their brain! And lastly, have fun! This is your baby and you’re the boss! You have to enjoy what you do to be successful! “
Arranging to collaborate with other businesses is a really good idea because you have your products exposed to each other audiences, this means you expand your reach. Often it can be more than that, with you sharing and supporting their normal posts and vice versa, it can really increase your brand reputation.
So how do you go about collaborating as a small business? You may feel unconfident about approaching other businesses or just unsure where to start.
1. LOCATE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER TO COLLABORATE WITH
Find another business that your customers would shop with, but that sells different items to you. Their items should be complementary to yours. For example, if you sell handmade baby clothes, collaborating with a handmade teether business is perfect. If you are a mummy blogger, collaborating with anything child related could work from clothes through to food through to household products and items.
It is certainly easier if you have a product you can swap with them. Bloggers and service providers will need to show what they can bring to the table. Bloggers will need to show that they have a good sized captive audience that makes it worth the other business giving you free stuff.
Once you’ve located a business you’d like to collaborate with, message them and say you would like to work with them. You could suggest doing a product swap so you have their product in your pictures and vice versa.
2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE
If you are not having much luck with option one, then you may need to invest a little. So you could look at items you already own or you could buy new items. Then when you post tag them in and refer to them. Hint – go with the type of item you want to receive for free! Let’s say you go on a lot of holidays as a family, and you’re a mum blogger. You want to be posting amazing pictures from your hotel, tagging them in and raving about them in the post. Or you could tag a fashion label you always wear or always put your children in. You could tag your favourite place on a day out, your favourite cafe or restaurant. Once your feed is big enough, you should find by tagging the right people you get freebies also!!
If you don’t have existing material then buy it. If you wanted to collaborate with a teether company, then buy a teether or two from them and regularly use them in your pictures. Tag them and give a little review in your post in a natural way.
“Little Sandra is loving the sunshine today and thank God for these teethers from @teethercompany keeping us sane whilst she’s teething. I’m passionate about shopping handmade and natural products and I love these! Anyone else’s little ones teething?”
You’ll notice there’s more to my caption that meets the eye! It’s telling a story, giving a review, working a collab and encouraging engagement! Boom! Read more about captions here!
Post like this a few times and the teething company will be happy to work with you. Try to select a company that’s roughly the same as you in terms of stats for the most success. Shooting for a bigger business would seem better, but they’re less likely to collaborate so it can be a waste of time.
3. FIND OTHER BUSINESSES ACTIVELY LOOKING TO COLLABORATE
Search out brands and businesses looking for collaborations. There are a few easy ways to do this. You can search on Facebook just using terms like “collaborators needed”. Or try searching for “brand rep required”.
Brand repping is a good way to go on Instagram also. You can put yourself forward a rep in return for free or discounted goods. You need to make sure your feed is good and you post pictures already that they would easily slot into, so start thinking about this now if you don’t already so you have an established feed.
On Instagram, you can search collaborators, brand reps, or have a good look at hashtags used in your niche. There tends to be certain hashtags dependant on your niche that indicates people are up for a collab. You can also use sites like Collabfinder to locate businesses. But my best advice is to get lost in Insta or the book of Face and have a good look round your niche at who’s offering what.
The benefits of collaborations are huge, you will find you always have support from the other business and the benefit of their audience and marketing efforts!
You’ve probably heard it tons of times – the money’s in your email list. And it’s totally true. From getting loyal followers and increasing sales to up-selling and keeping current customers happy, building a strong email list can help your business grow and thrive like nothing else. But strict new EU regulations (called GDPR) are seriously changing up the rules of the email marketing game.
If any of your subscribers are EU citizens (no matter where your business is actually located), you’ll need to ensure your email marketing is GDPR-compliant before May 25, 2018, or risk stiff fines. Yikes, right?
But don’t panic! Even if you’ve never heard of GDPR before, this post will help you get up to speed and protect your business in a couple of simple steps.
What is GDPR and how does it affect me?
GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It’s basically a new set of EU rules that govern how businesses can gather and use personal data such as subscribers’ email addresses.
But what about if your business isn’t located in the EU?
But just what is so challenging about this new regulation?
It all comes down to a major shift in the concept of “consent”. The new standards for what constitutes consent are much stricter than what was acceptable pre-GDPR. Under GDPR, a simple email opt-in doesn’t cut it anymore.
Instead, you now have to be able to prove that you’ve received “clear and affirmative” consent before you can collect someone’s email address and send them messages. This rules out previously acceptable forms of opting in, like pre-ticked consent boxes and failure to definitively opt out of receiving marketing communications.
What constitutes consent under GDPR?
In the past, consent only required you to receive confirmation from people that they were willing to get marketing communications from your business.
With GDPR though, both the way in which consent was asked for and the way in which it was given matter. (For a more in-depth view, check out this GDPR review)
Here are some important changes you need to know about:
Consent must be clear and affirmative, as well as “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous”:
It can’t be bundled together with other terms and conditions. In keeping with the requirement that it be specific and freely given, consent must be independent and granular. If you’re like most businesses, you currently offer value-packed content like guides, checklists or eBooks to people in exchange for an opt-in to receive newsletters or other email marketing. From a marketing standpoint, this is an awesome way to draw in potential subscribers and provide them with more content, based on the offer they downloaded.
Unfortunately, under GDPR, this is no longer considered freely given consent.
In other words, subscribers must consent to receive your newsletter because they actually want it, not because it’s a pre-requisite to getting the checklist or eBook they really do want.
Let’s check out two examples of the right and wrong way to receive independent consent:
Note that on this sign-up form, an individual isn’t forced to download additional marketing communications if they don’t want to. They can simply download the checklist without opting into anything else if they wish. This helps to fulfil the requirement for freely given consent.
In the example above, the subscriber has to sign up to receive a newsletter they may NOT want in order to get the checklist they DO want. This makes the consent given invalid under GDPR.
Always provide granular options for people, allowing them to download or sign up for only what they want.
The (very) rare exception is in cases where it’s necessary to receive email consent in order for you to render a certain service. It’s best to always clarify that this is the case before proceeding.
This also applies to any form of passive consent, including inactivity, silence, or failure to actively opt out.
Let’s look at examples of active (correct) and passive (incorrect) consent below:
In the example above, the individual has to check the sign-up box themselves, meaning that they actively consent to receive the communications offered.
Here, you can see that the sign-up form has a pre-checked box. This puts the onus on the individual to stop and uncheck the box if they don’t agree.
Under GDPR this is considered passive opting in and is not an acceptable form of consent. For this reason, steer clear of pre-ticked forms, opt-ins through silence or inactivity, and any other form of consent by default.
While double opt-ins were once the gold standard of consent, they’re not enough under GDPR:
But GDPR goes one step further:
You’ll also need to be able to prove that you’ve told people how you’ll use their personal data and that they’ve agreed to your terms. This proof will need to be stored and presented in case any question of non-compliance comes up. Using a CRM that automatically saves a copy of all opt-in forms for you can make this step a little easier.
Past consent is not exempt:
This news is the source of most businesses’ GDPR-related headaches.
GDPR comes into effect on May 25, 2018 but that doesn’t mean that you can continue to market to contacts previously gathered before that date in a non-compliant way. Its regulations apply to both existing and new data, so past data gathered in a non-compliant manner can still land you in hot water.
Legitimate interest may not be enough:
Many businesses agree with the need to receive explicit consent but feel that, in some cases, proof of legitimate interest may be enough.
For example: If your e-commerce business’s subscribers gave their original consent in a non-compliant manner but then proceeded to open and engage with your messages, wouldn’t that serve as proof they are legitimately interested?
And wouldn’t your business then be justified in continuing to market to them?
The short answer is “not really”. Unfortunately, GDPR doesn’t allow using legitimate interest when marketing to individuals, so I would err on the side of caution. While this could represent a major cut to your existing contacts list, it’s well-worth it to avoid falling foul of the regulation.
Send out re-permission emails
Of all marketing operations, the new rules hit email marketing particularly hard. In the face of GDPR, you might be tempted to just delete your contacts and data altogether.
All isn’t lost, however. While these new requirements are certainly challenging, you can turn GDPR into an opportunity.
Savvy marketers are already going through their databases and working to salvage contacts through re-permissioning.
Re-permissioning is the process of getting a definite opt-in from your database. By sending out re-permission emails that seek clear affirmative consent from your existing contacts, you can move forward with a clean and engaged list.
Benefits of re-permission:
Will you lose some contacts after sending re-permission emails?
Almost definitely. There’s no sugarcoating that fact. Industry statistics show that re-permission opt-ins range anywhere from only 10% to 50%. But while you’ll likely end up with a lower number of contacts, getting opt-ins from contacts who do want to continue hearing from you will allow to market more confidently in the wake of GDPR. And sending re-permission emails offers your business benefits beyond GDPR compliance, including:
Contacts who are willing to opt in again are more likely to open and engage with your emails. This will give your deliverability and sender score reputation a major boost. Don’t worry about losing a couple of names on your list.
Higher conversion rates:
Your smaller list may actually be way more powerful, as every contact on it actually wants to hear from you and is actively interested in your business’s offerings.
You probably have a much better chance at turning a subscriber who has taken the trouble to opt-in again into a customer than you do with someone who may originally have passively opted in.
You’ll also spend less time and valuable resources marketing to people who just aren’t that into your content.
A clearer analytics picture:
Your current list may be larger but it probably includes a number of subscribers who aren’t genuinely interested in receiving your messages.
As a result, their lack of engagement with your emails can artificially drag down your analytics, giving you a false impression of your content’s effectiveness. While you may be doing great at converting those who are interested in your emails, you’ll still end up with a cloudy idea of your strategy’s effects.
Cleaning up your list with re-permission emails helps you gain analytics clarity.
An enhanced reputation:
Asking current contacts whether or not they want to keep receiving your emails is a fantastic way to gain trust. If you stress the fact that you want to provide real value, not just clutter up recipient’s inboxes, your brand’s reputation will definitely benefit.
Tips to keep in mind when sending re-permission emails
Start sending now:
Keep in mind that there’s going to be rush of re-permission emails from other brands in the lead up to May 2018. Many businesses are probably waiting until the last minute, still unsure of how to deal with GDPR. This gives you a head start. Staying ahead of the pack means you can get your emails sent before recipients get tired of the flood of eleventh hour re-permission messages in their inboxes.
Only contact those who have given consent:
But be sure no to send re-permission emails to those who’ve already opted out before. Current regulations require you to ensure you’re only contacting those who’ve given you consent. The alternative could mean major fines, as organizations like Honda and Flybe have learned to their cost.
Don’t use a blanket approach:
While a general template will work well for most subscribers, single out your best customers for special treatment. In select cases, try a highly personalized email. Go for relevant, targeted messaging that reminds contacts why they like hearing from you. Use first names, thank them for being subscribers, and be genuine.
Acknowledging valued customers is the best way to ensure they stay on board after GDPR.
Be clear and direct:
While GDPR is an important issue to businesses, your audience is likely less interested. Sending a clear, to-the-point email will go a long way towards ensuring your message actually gets read. A long-winded email that sounds like marketing, on the other hand, is a surefire way to get opt-outs.
Instead, focus on grabbing attention with punchy subject lines and keeping it with purposeful keywords in the brief body copy.
Remember, silence equals an opt-out:
If a recipient doesn’t open your email, (or opens it and doesn’t definitively opt-in) take them off your list. GDPR is very clear that anything less than clear and affirmative consent is not valid, so resist the temptation to reach out again.
Clarify which organizations will be relying on the consent received:
Make sure that your business and any third party organizations gaining this consent are clearly named. So for instance, if your organization “Bella Trading” and a partner company called “The Beauty Group” will be relying on the consent, both must be named.
Provide a clear opt-out:
Your message should state clearly that people have the right to opt out or withdraw their consent at any time. Include clear information about how to withdraw consent. Focus on making it as easy to opt out as it is to opt in.
Bonus: Your subscribers will appreciate it and will be less likely to opt-out if they feel like they have a choice.
I can’t stress this enough. Going forward, it will be super-vital that you protect your business by maintaining records of consent received.
Your records should also demonstrate how consent was asked for and given. If you haven’t already done so, start re-vamping processes now to prioritize the maintenance of thorough records. Everything from automatic screenshots to copies can help.
There’s no doubt that email marketing can help you take your business to the next level. Customers absolutely love hearing from their favourite brands via email, as it’s a more personalized experience.
But with GDPR right around the corner, you’ll have to make changes now to make sure that your email list is 100%GDPR-proof. Businesses everywhere are rushing to deal with this change but instead of worrying, keep your focus on getting ahead and being prepared.
Making a few important adjustments can help you protect and grow your email list, so you can actually turn GDPR into a business opportunity.
With that said, however, these regulations and the repercussions of non-compliance aren’t to be taken lightly.
If you have any questions about compliance, I’d highly recommend consulting a legal professional. Clarity about your business’s specific situation will allow you to craft long-term strategies that make the best of these new email marketing rules.
Have any questions or comments about making sure your email marketing is GDPR compliant? Share with us below!
As you may have seen we’ve been running the #maymarketingchallenge, which has been getting some great results for businesses and blogs. Every day is a different challenge so you can still take part – see this page on the website.
In fact, I’ve had so much good feedback from it, I’ve decided to launch a more in-depth monthly service where I lay down a marketing strategy for your business or blog, and all you have to do is follow the plan.
Maybe your blog is amazing with content that is simply a must read, or your handmade products are crafted to perfection. Maybe your services have been practised and honed so clients refuse to ever leave you!!
BUT… marketing… in particular social media marketing…what do you post? And when? What hashtags should you use? What kind of image? How do you keep on brand? How do you even brand?
No matter how amazing your blog, product or services are, if you aren’t putting it in front of your perfect audience your business won’t reach its true potential!
The monthly subscription will do two things, first, it’ll teach strategies that actually work that I have refined and practised over and over. Secondly, it’ll give you a full plan and tools to manage that month which gives you back valuable time to do more of what you love and takes the stress out of marketing for you!
It launches 1st June 2018 and will cost £20 per month, and you have a chance to get 6 months for free!!
I promise I’ve not had too much wine! I’m giving away £120 of marketing, that will take care of your marketing for 6 months!!
All you need to do to enter is come up with a name for the monthly subscription service! The best name I receive wins 6 months free marketing!