Tip #2 – Home Business Entrepreneurs Have an Office

Hoping you are enjoying our home business tips series for individuals looking at starting a home business or the entrepreneurs actively operating one. In the first article, it was mentioned how we can use hardware that enables us to work our business from anywhere in the house and even tools that allow us to work when we’re away, but by no means should that undermine the importance of having an office (or work designated space) in our home. A home based business does imply having a home office. To the same extent we have specific rooms in our homes for eating, cooking and sleeping, a space does need to be delimited for working. Even if we may not choose to work from there all the time, it’s important to have an anchor point for your business; you may want to view it as “Corporate Head Office”. You may decide to work from remote offices such as the patio, the hammock, the gazebo, the hotel room or the pool chair at your favorite Waikiki beach resort but in the end you will always need to come back and re-group in the home office – Corporate Headquarters.

While it is quite possible to have a paperless home office should you choose to, there’s always going to be some sort of paper even if you’re not the one generating it. You will have to start maintaining a filing system so piles of notes, advertising sketches, financial statements and the likes do not start piling on your desk.

The home office is also the area you can revert to when you need peace and quiet when other areas of your home are busy with sounds of playful youngsters, teen music, TV sports games or barking dogs. While those sounds are very natural to the home environment, they are also distracting to the work at hand. There are times when you need to focus your attention on a specific matter, think strategically or carry out a phone conversation and you need a place that will allow you to do so.

For that reason, you are best advised to tailor that area so it reflects your personality. You want to feel comfortable, well equipped and productive. Keep an organized and clean desk. Have all your office supplies placed for quick access. A desk can clutter easily so always remind yourself frequently that a desk is not a storage area but a work area. Your work area should feel spacious and not cramped. When you sit at your desk you should not have to move or remove piles of paper in order to find a place to work. Do not allow piles to form and when the day is over, clean up your desk so it’s ready and fresh for the next use.

If at all possible, choose a room that has a window so you can have daylight and fresh air come into your office. Fresh air will oxygenate your office so your brain can think clearly and you don’t feel sluggish. The sunlight brings you vitamins, brightens your day and makes the room alive. Add to that some favorite colors to accent your room and you’re set. While some may go as far as painting the walls to their liking, there are other alternatives. Put up colorful pictures on the walls, post your life vision, print your favorite quotes on colored paper and stick them to the walls at random angles, post your life goals and you might also want to frame some pictures of the important people in your life. All these will quickly fill up your wall space and pretty soon the color of your walls won’t even matter. It will make your work environment vibrant, warm, comfortable and conducive to the empowering thoughts you need when you revert to your work alcove.

Plants and animal life are also a good idea. Plants will create oxygen during daytime while their color and appearance will make the place alive. A fish tank is another source of light, it brings busy aquatic life to your room and creates a soothing effect.

Another area of your office should be devoted to your personal and business development library. A considerable amount of time need to be devoted to your development and if you do not have a library in the works already, it’s time you start one. But that will be for another article. In the mean time, put your construction hat and work boots on, you have an office to design; an anchor to set, a Corporate Headquarters to establish. See you in the boardroom!

Helpful Marketing Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

Like most business owners, you’re a busy person and at times it’s downright impossible to wear all the hats you need to wear in order to make your business successful. We’re here to make your life simpler and this article is going to offer some tips on areas that are no doubt time consuming for you.

Internet Marketing:

What are you trying to accomplish with your online presence? What do you want to do with your website? The answer here is to drive more traffic, but how? When you have developed your marketing plan and begin implementing it, start with one goal. Maybe it’s to get your phone ringing more then make your marketing efforts around reaching that goal.

Set goals – Setting goals for your business is important – but how do you know if you’ve reached them? Set goals are only as good as the plan you have in place to measure them. How are you measuring your business goals?

Competition – Know what your competition is doing. Visit their website and online forums. What are others saying about them?

Blogging – If you aren’t blogging yet – start! A blog is a simple and quick way to begin establishing yourself as an expert in your field, driving traffic to your site and increasing your bottom line.

Social Media in Your Business

There is no question that social media has forever changed the business of doing business. It has changed the way we operate on a daily basis and how we deal with clients, customers and prospects.

Social media reminds us that our grandpa’s way of marketing is no longer a viable way to get your business noticed. Today’s consumers no longer fall for (or even want any part of) the “hard sell”, they want to know that the business they are dealing with – big or small – has a human side that they can learn to know, like and trust.

The best way to establish that “know, like and trust” factor is to reach your customers, clients and prospects on their level. Establish your online presence, reach out and be social!

Email Marketing

If you’re doing it the right way, email marketing can allow you to build a list of interested and responsive readers who look forward to getting your email every time.

But email marketing is more than just throwing together an email and sending it out haphazardly. The process, while simple, once on a set schedule, does take a little effort to put together. You will need to first choose a third-party provider that will help you reach your readers on a schedule. You will also need to know the “rules” of email marketing – no profanity, making sure your message is supported by multiple email clients and that your readers have opted in to receive your emails and that you aren’t sending spam.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to these marketing tips and your marketing efforts as a whole is to be consistent. Marketing is a marathon not a sprint – take your time, do it right and you will come out on top!

Two Important Secrets for Successful Business Women Who Want to Grow and Advance

The current business climate is making it tough on everyone. The state of affairs is compounded for successful business women who still feel impacted by lack of opportunities based upon their gender. But the reality is that we have limited control over the business conditions or these gender disparities. Female leaders alone can’t grow the economy alone or fix diversity problems.

They can complain and get side-tracked or maybe take a different look at the problems. To start turning these concerns into opportunities for success. The challenges are real but we wonder if sometimes our reactions to such events tend to be more significant and do more to hold us back than anything else.

Even in the best of times, corporate women or women CEOs in particular face many common obstacles such as poor work-life integration, lower self-confidence to advance themselves and limited organizational help and support to help them be more successful.

Strengths

Female leaders tend to be much more restrained than men when it comes to self-promotion. But the reality is to be successful, the right amount and type of self-promotion is critical. And who will do it if they don’t do it for themselves? You certainly do not want to (and should not) go unnoticed for your efforts. And while you can’t change overnight, there are a few ways for women leaders to develop the self-confidence to push through this challenge.

The first step is an honest evaluation of what you do well and what you don’t do well. If you are like most successful business women the evidence is there that you have done some things well to get you to where you are. Why did your successes occur? What did you do well? How could you replicate them? Take a look at your curriculum vitae to determine how your experiences helped created who you are. Once you have a better understanding of your background in the right context, you may start to view your experiences in a better light.

By focusing on your successes you’ll begin to approach each day in a position of strength and view challenges as a new opportunity to learn. Your work will improve, your confidence is likely to grow and your ability to self-promote yourself in the right way will grow too. Not something that will happen overnight, but with a daily commitment, perhaps a verbal affirmation recited daily, the changes will become apparent to you and everyone that you work with.

Work-life integration

Most successful business women (and men) struggle with work-life integration. We’ve given up calling it work-life balance because there is no such thing. It’s in truth how can you successfully mix all the various aspects of your life – work, family and leisure to feel successful and achieve your goals and aspirations. The first step we recommend for female leaders is just to sit down and rank your priorities. Look at how you typically spend most of your days. What do you enjoy the most? The least? These questions and their answers will offer some important clues as to what your priorities have been and could be going forward.

Then ask yourself – Do I feel energized most of the time. If so, your priorities are likely right on. If you don’t feel energized than you may not have the right priorities. Your lack of effective integration of your work, life, family and leisure is not positively impacting your life.

Once you have answered these questions, you should spend some time to lay out a realistic plan for yourself. You may not like the answers or wish that they were different, but you may not have any other choice. Living in this situation is not an effective long-term outline for anyone. Unchecked it could lead to split up, health issues, poor relations, lack of advancement and even termination.

The barriers are there and significant. Things are changing but at a glacial rate. You can sit back and wait or take matters into your own hands. Developing the self-confidence to promote yourself and having positive energy from a workable and supportive work-life integration can propel to you to career heights and business success that you never dreamed about. Good luck getting there and joining the ranks of the growing number of women CEOs and corporate women who are getting there.

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