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Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Sweeney’

How to Market Your Small Business During the Holidays

How to Market Your Small Business During the HolidaysBy Deborah Sweeney 

Holiday marketing for a small or home-based business is a bit different than marketing a larger company. Wal-Mart or Target can slap some decorations up, offer thirty percent a good chunk of their inventory, and then just push their sales as hard as they can. But a smaller business has neither the stock nor the presence to market like that. And so a lot of small business owners aren’t too sure what to do, and then lose out when they just wind up blasting eCards out to everyone. Holiday-based marketing is one of the best opportunities for your business to end the year on a high note. You just have to know how to use the holidays to your advantage.

Get out into the community

Most cities and communities host a load of events around the holidays. And, more often than not, local businesses are invited to participate. The trouble I see from talking when small business owners is that they don’t feel as though their company is enough of a community-staple for them to go to these events. This is especially true for home-based business owners. But a small business, regardless of where it is run out of, is always vital to the community. And these holiday events are a great chance for you to get out and network. So check with your chamber of commerce, rent a booth, and start pushing. You are your business’s best evangelist – why waste an opportunity to really sell people on your company? (more…)

Posted in Marketing & PR

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Balancing Work and Life When Work is Your Life

Balancing Work and Life When Work is Your LifeBy Deborah Sweeney

Every working professional has been striving to find the perfect balance between work and life since the beginning of time. We need to work to sustain our lifestyles, and we need to indulge in our personal lives to have enough energy for work- it’s a tricky balance to maintain. But what about those of us that actually work from our own homes? It’s harder to draw a line between professional and personal when your “office” is mere feet from the play room that’s just begging to be picked up. If you find yourself constantly asking, “Where do I draw the line?”

Try out these four tips to separate your personal and professional lives, while maintaining a successful at-home business:

Schedule down time.

If you’re like me, you could go, go, go from sunrise to sundown without so much as taking five minutes to read the paper or enjoy a meal sitting down (so seems to be the case with most entrepreneurs). Though, I have found that if I keep up this schedule, within two weeks or so I’ll feel as if I’ve hit a brick wall. I become exhausted and scattered with little warning. (more…)

Posted in Time Management

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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…)

Posted in Business

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The Biggest Killers of Business Growth When Working From Home

The Biggest Killers of Business Growth When Working From HomeBy Deborah Sweeney

Whether you’re in an office or working from your domicile, getting stuck in a routine is common for just about anyone who works! When you’re working at home, though, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just getting by. So often things feel rushed at home. You’re rushing to wake up kids, make sure they’re getting ready, preparing breakfasts and lunches, and playing taxi driver for what feels like the rest of the day. Before you know it, it’s 10:00 am, and you haven’t gotten any business work in.

The next time you feel like the day is getting away from you, be sure you’re not getting bogged down by any of these three business growth killers!

Starting your day after 10:00 am.

Though it’s easy to do, getting a handle on any work mid-morning instead of early morning can cut you out of some of the bigger business opportunities. Especially if you’re a west-coaster who works with a lot of east-coasters, you’re constantly battling that time zone to finish assignments earlier and earlier. If you plan on releasing a press release, posting a company blog, or getting in touch with a client or partner you know you need to speak to earlier in the day, try and wake up a little earlier than the kids to get a jump start on your day. Even if you just get up an hour earlier to tackle some emails, you won’t feel so behind once the rest of the morning’s duties are taken care of.   (more…)

Posted in Work at Home

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5 Ways You Can Revitalize Your Business’s Instagram Account

5 Ways You Can Revitalize Your Business’s Instagram AccountBy Deborah Sweeney

When Instagram first hit the scene in 2010, it was considered an app that entrepreneur needed to establish a presence on to add to the ever-growing pile already in place of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. But it was also an app that seemed easy to dismiss too, in terms of content. If one didn’t do anything special that day, they’d snap a picture of their Starbucks cup. And again, and again, until most of their photo album contained whatever they had drunk or ate that day rather than conveying news about their brand or product.

If you’re worried that your brand’s Instagram account is one of the ones currently buried in coffee cups or that you haven’t updated in awhile, now’s the time to revamp it and give your customers an up and personal, stylishly filtered, look at your business.

1) Know your #hashtags.

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all offer methods to pay to promote what you post and to expand your reach and engagement. Instagram had yet to offer anything like this, but it holds a very strong promotional symbol in its court: hashtags. Consider the keywords that work for what you’re promoting and also look at successful Instagram accounts in your industry to see how they’re approaching hashtags. Try to make sure you have some unique hashtags in the mix, but don’t make up so many that your audience has no clue how to look you up! Always include the name of your business as a hashtag and add in five or six other relevant keywords to go along with the picture. (more…)

Posted in Social Networking

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