Sunday, September 27, 2009

Plug Your Business!

I love tennis! Growing up it was one of the few sports my mother enjoyed watching on television. Of course, like most things she enjoyed, I love them too as an adult.

Venus and Serena Williams are my all time favorite players and I rarely miss an opportunity to watch them play. I was pleasantly, surprised to catch Serena on Good Morning America doing a short interview. During her interview I noticed she plugged her book repeatedly. Not only did she keep referring to her book, but she also mentioned it by name. The title of the book is On The Line. I will not forget the title and it sticks in my mind because she plugged it so much during her brief interview.

My question is, do you plug your business? I mean, when you meet new people or are in a situation that you can possibly network, do you seize the opportunity?

At one point during Serena's interview I thought 'well this is beginning to get ridiculous', but as of today I remember the title of her book (which is a miracle since I cannot seem to remember much with my post-pregnancy brain).

So next time you are out with a crowd or meet a new person or find yourself in a position to network and plug your business, do not hesitate to do so. Its another cost effective way to make your business more visible!

Many Blessings,


Monday, September 21, 2009

Is Your Home Based Business Visible?

So many of us are just starting out with our small, home based businesses and have limited finances. There are a few important things I think one should have for their business and most can be obtained with little to no revenue.

1 - Business Cards - They are a quick way to put your business out there to the masses. So often when I met people and we decide to exchange contact information, I simply hand them a business card. I have one for my photography business and one for Polly & Meek. Everything is right, phone number and most of all your company name. People remember that and will turn to you when they need a service that you provide. I like this site for purchasing reasonably price business cards or you can use Avery templates to make your own!

2 - A Company Website- I know what you are thinking...I am on a shoe string budget right now and cannot afford a company website. Ever thought of using the free blogs as your website until you can get one up and going? When I first launched my photography business, I used blogspot to advertise. When I saved enough funds, I found a reasonable priced website and went with them. There are sites such as Yahoo Small Business that offer very affordable website hosting and domain names that can fit into your company's budget. Heck, even Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent free sources for networking!

3 - Payment Options - Once you get your website up and running, it is imperative that you have a few payment options. I started out with the cash only option, and that worked fine for a while as most of my work was face to face anyway. But once I decided to do weddings, it became important for me to be able to accept down payments over the internet if a customer opted to do so. I did this through Paypal by opening a personal paypal account. That way I could accept credit card payments. Polly & I use Business Paypal to accept credit card payments online and it has worked wonderfully without a hitch. It did not cost us a dime and we have gained a whole new customer base by using it.

These are just a few things to get your started and provide you with a professional start to your small business. It costs little but pays off alot! I hope you feel encouraged to go forth and use your gift.

"The blessings of the Lord maketh it rich and addeth no sorrow to it" ~ Proverbs 10:22

Many Blessings,


Monday, September 14, 2009

Cutting Costs While Running a Home-Based Business

Running a business from home can be a great solution to the time and money issues that families with preschool or school-aged children face. Being available to your children provides comfort and well-being for them along with a strong bond between the parent and child. During time at home children can be taught educational concepts that will prepare them for life long learning and give them a head start. Another major bonus is that daycare costs are eliminated, as are commuting costs and expenses associated with going to work.

The savings and benefits don't have to end there. Finding more ways to cut costs can help boost your business and keep you working for yourself, even when the economy looks grim.

Follow these tips to save even more money while managing a successful home-based business:

1.Conserve energy- unplug appliances while not in use or use a power strip with a reset button. Keep the power strip turned off until needed. Switch to energy saving bulbs and turn off lights in unoccupied spaces if you'll be gone for longer than 1 minute.

2.Buy in bulk - if you have the storage for extra food or office supplies, then great! The unit cost of the bulk products will be much lower. So take advantage of warehouses and superstores. Just be sure you'll actually use whatever you buy.

3.Plan meals- use the circulars that stores send out to comparison shop and remember to clip coupons. Meals that can be prepared in your kitchen are normally a fraction of the cost of eating out.

4. Borrow - when your business requires research or self help books turn to the public library for resources that can be checked out for free. If you must buy, then remember Amazon, and other online bookstores offer used products at discounted prices.

5. Get a Membership -join a club for the things you purchase frequently and watch the rewards add up. Office Depot has one such program called WorkLife. Who doesn't need office supplies from time to time?

6. Just say no - delay any large purchases that aren't completely necessary and try to stretch the time before giving in to spend huge sums of money. When you are finally ready to buy, always ask yourself if it's a need or a want. Let the needs prevail.

May your home and family prosper and your business expand!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Preparation: Important at Every Age

My oldest child starts Kindergarten tomorrow and I'm so excited for her that I can barely contain myself. She's academically ready, but understandably, says she's a little nervous. We talked about her anxiety again this morning and I told her not to worry because she's going to have fun. She looked at me perplexed, as to say, "Well it's not the fun part that's causing the problem." She isn't concerned about that, she's unsure just what tasks she'll be given and whether she can handle them or not.

Then, the light bulb turned on for me. A child is just like anyone else and preparation for the road ahead is extremely important. As adults, we like to know what we're going to do and have a plan to accomplish those things so that we feel confident that we're ready. This is certainly true for some more than others, but for me it's paramount. Whether I'm going to the grocery store or reading books to children at a book festival, life has taught me not to underestimate the power of thinking ahead. In fact, Meek and I practice this religiously by setting up frequent face-to-face business meetings with each other, and keeping constant communication so that we have lists and steps for all our retail events. Our pregame warm-up is serious and we don't take it for granted.

Years from now my daughter will know that she was fully prepared for school and worrying wasn't necessary at all, at least not with an education obsessed mother like hers! But for now, her early learning of these intergral life lessons let's me know I'm doing something right.