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How to Start Bringing Your Kids Into the Office

Mother and daughter working on computer at home in the backyardBy Deborah Sweeney

Owning a business means you get a bit more freedom. As a mom and an entrepreneur, I’ll be the first to admit that I really love the fact I can usually take off a little early to catch my kids soccer games, or pick them up from school. But the decorum of mompreneurs is surprisingly controversial. For example, I never realized how touchy the subject of bringing your kids to work could be.

Now I’ve been bringing my sons into the office for years, and thankfully my team is great with them – there have never been any serious complaints. But I’ve talked to other mompreneurs who run their own small businesses, and usually their pretty apprehensive about bringing in their own children. The mompreneur is, after all, a relatively recent phenomenon, so this part of company culture hasn’t really been explored. I can, however, draw from my own experience, and advise other parents/entrepreneurs to think of the following before bringing in their kids.

Keep it age appropriate

Nearly everyone loves babies. Bring in your newborn and the entire office will dote over them – trust me. But bring your baby in every day, and they may not be as patient with the crying baby as you are. Your children should probably have some level of self-control before you start bringing them in with any regularity. Babies cry and toddlers throw tantrums, so the earlier years should probably be spent out of the office. But, as they get older, you can begin trying to bring them in. (more…)

Peeps on Your Team: Getting Awesome Support People in Place

Peeps on your Team: Getting Awesome Support People in PlaceBy Rebecca Flansburg

I love the poem from Maya Angelou called Every Woman Should.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE

one friend who always makes her laugh … and one who lets her cry …

Time is a precious commodity and part of being a business owner is knowing when it’s time to call in the troops for help. When you open up to the notion of reaching out for assistance, you are not admitting defeat or showing signs of weakness, you are using sage wisdom. Though some of us are rumored to hang a Superwoman cape in the closet every night, most of us know there are times in life that we need to just throw up our hands, scream “UNCLE!” and reach out to our Inner Circle for love, help and guidance. The notion of continuing to struggle with a problem, project, concern or issue is kind of like the definition of insanity:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Instead of stubbornly pounding your head against the wall …

I. WILL. Get. This. Right. Even. If. It. KILLS. ME!

Just know it’s not a faux paus to ask for help, it is an act of supreme leadership. Passing off daunting tasks to those to who have the expertise that we lack frees us to focus on true income-producing activities like lining up speaking opportunities or new lead generation. (more…)

7 Fall Business Ideas To Start Today

7 Fall Business Ideas to Start TodayBy Angie Nelson

There is a generous amount of information online regarding summer businesses on a local level, but what happens come fall? Surely people in your area still need assistance. And more than likely, you still need an income. How can you provide for yourself and your family while waiting for warmer months to return?

Here are a few fall business ideas to keep your bank account in the black during cooler weather.

Weatherproofing:

If there are older homes in your area, their owners may benefit from weatherproofing services before the cold weather hits. Offer to caulk drafty windows and doors. Apply plastic sheeting or weather stripping to older windows. Reinstall storm windows that were removed in the warmer months.

Closet Clean Up:

As colder weather approaches, many people need to take inventory for seasonal clothing shopping. Offer closet organizing services to those in need. Help the client set up a well-organized wardrobe. Box up and take outdated or ill-fitting items to your local donation center. If you have a strong fashion sense, make suggestions for must-have pieces that should be purchased for the upcoming season and beyond. If things go well in the closet, offer your assistance in the garage or attic as well. (more…)

Thinking of Starting a Business, Avoid these Costly Mistakes

Thinking of Starting a Business, Avoid these Costly MistakesBy Cathi Nelson

Six years ago I had an idea for a business. I was excited, nervous, scared and determined to make it work. I was also inexperienced and very naïve.

Here is a quick story of one of the many costly mistakes I made and a few tips, so you don’t make the same errors.

As I told family and friends about my idea, they were excited, but they cautioned me as well.  What if someone “steals” your idea, you should call an attorney. A friend recommended a large law firm; I called, asked for an intellectual property attorney and scheduled an appointment.

The day came and I had a wonderful conversation with not one, but two attorneys. They strongly suggested I consider franchising my idea along with lots of additional advice. I left with my head spinning, but excited!

A few days later, I got the invoice $2,750! I was shocked; I had no idea that I was paying an hourly fee of $550 for each attorney that day. I can tell a similar story when I hired an accountant to manage my books but instead, (more…)

When Things Get a Little Quiet: Navigating the Hills and Valleys of Business

When Things Get a Little Quiet Navigating the Hills and Valleys of BusinessBy Rebecca Flansburg

I once heard another work at home professional refer to business ownership as a “series of hills and valleys.” The “hills” being the times when things are somewhat quiet and for a brief moment you feel like you might actually get caught up. The “valleys” happen when things pick up speed and momentum, we are slammed with work and all we can do hang on tightly and race towards the finish line. Basically it’s not a ton different from riding a rollercoaster with varying degrees of pitch, speed and tummy quakes.

I too have felt the hills and valleys of business ownership these last three years and, though there are some variables, I’ve gotten used to these lulls and hectic times to the point I could almost set my watch by them. I know now that the summer months of June, July and August tend to be slower (for me) while months like January – March and September – November make me a little insanium-in-the-cranium. This may not be the case with your work at home biz, but I would venture to guess that you do in fact know your peak times and slow times. I also have a feeling that sometimes those slow times give you cause for worry-filled pacing, teeth gnashing, imaginations running wild and jumping to conclusions.

It’s such a bummer we can’t burn calories for those activities. (more…)

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