Category: work from home

There are 54 posts published under work from home.

Trade Show Planning for Mompreneurs

Today Charles Dugan is my guest blogger with some information that will expand your thinking about marketing your home-based business. Thanks Charles!

 

Many – if not most – successful business women are also moms; some are even WAHMs (work at home moms). That doesn’t mean they can’t also have successful careers in the corporate world. If their career path takes them into marketing and sales, they will at some point attend or possibly exhibit at trade shows – the key B2B marketing tool. Trade shows offer the opportunity for one-on-one networking and sales, with face-to-face discussion that phones and virtual networking can supplement, but not totally replace.

 

If you have been given the responsibility of marketing your organization’s products and/or services at a trade show, and you’re a novice at the task, it may not take long before you feel overwhelmed by the prospect. Where should you go? What kind of events should you attend?

 

There are several basic types of trade shows:

1) The smallest and least expensive show, often called a table top expo, is typically very local in nature. Often sponsored by a community organization or chamber of commerce, it is normally possible to exhibit at a table top expo for a few hundred dollars. You won’t get a targeted audience for your organization at these expos, but you will gain additional local exposure with the members of the chamber or the association sponsoring the event. These smaller expos are sometimes also organized around educational seminars or roundtable discussions. If the discussion topic fits your organization and you can become part of the seminar or discussion, you may see increased interest in your organization as a result of your participation.

 

2) The next step up from the table top expo is the regional trade show. These shows are budget-conscious, smaller versions of national trade shows. Regional shows are often part a nationwide trade show tour. Although regional trade shows offer seminars, very few offer networking events. If seminars are important to your organization, regional trade shows may be right for you. But, if you’re looking for networking opportunities, regional trade shows are probably not a good fit. You will find that the attendee net stretches farther out than it does for a table top expo, but most attendees at a regional trade show will be coming from within driving distance of the event.

 

3) If you are looking for a multitude of activities and high-level, business-to-business opportunities, then your company is probably in the market for a national trade show. Organizations from across the country travel to these events to participate and exhibit their products and services. At national trade shows you will find many educational seminars and networking events, presentations of industry awards, and keynote speeches given by business leaders, celebrities and comedians. These shows can be very large, with hundreds or more exhibitors, and thousands of attendees.

 

4) For businesses looking to expand outside the U.S., international trade shows may be a viable marketing option. Attending an international trade show is more about building relationships with other businesses or organizations than it is about individual sales. If you are looking for help with regional distribution or marketing in another country, then attending (not exhibiting!) an international trade show is a good first step.

 

As you can see, there are a variety of different types of trade shows out there. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface as to what makes each different from the other, but hopefully this article helps to provide a starting point for your research. The first step is to clearly identify your needs, and which level of trade show best satisfies the requirements. Next step is to identify the right shows for your market, make a plan for exhibiting at the show of your choice, etc – all good subjects for future articles.

 

Charles and his wife Terri own and operate American Image Displays, a 25 yr old trade show display firm located in Redmond, WA. Their bookkeeper is their daughter Megan – a working mom with a 9 month old baby boy. The business focuses on providing fast and friendly service, helping clients to filter through the thousands of display choices to find the best solution for their specific requirement. Their blog mixes trade show planning and B2B marketing tips with new product reviews; you can visit it here – American-Image.com/banners

My Feng Shui Home Office COMPLETED!!

AWWWW! A sigh of relief! I started this feng shui project back in April of 2010. If you go back you can read and see pics of my home office through out the process.
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Well the last week of December 2010 I decided enough was enough. I wanted my home office completed. I still had 3 more walls to peel 4 layers of wall paper off of; however someone told my son about their mother renting a steamer from Home Depot.
Why didn’t the Home Depot people mention that to me when I was going in to by BOTTLES of non-effective, cough-inducing chemical spray?

So I went off and rented 1 for $50 a day. 2 girlfriends came all the way from GA and we stood around and steamed and talked and talked and steamed for 2 days and (almost) 2 nights straight! I have no pics of that because we looked like women who had been steaming walls for 2 days and 2 nights! I would step away and fix breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and to do a couple of radio interviews; but other than that I sat in the room with them and keep them throughly entertained with delightful conversation.

When they left it was on me to plaster the wall from top to bottom. I’ve never done this before and didn’t even know that it was an activity let alone an art, but I tried my hand and did quite well. No pics. I was working too hard.

Then I had to prime the walls.

Then I painted.
During this week long process I continued to school the children, coached clients, do teleseminars, facilitate my women’s power networking meeting, cook the meals and “take care” of the husband. WHEW!
Here are the pictures of my feng shui home office.

I saw these $50 curtains in Target but made them myself w/material from Walmart $14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving to the left:

I put the bookcase together w/my own wittle hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving left:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

moving left:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the door are my books, Mom Entrepreneur Extraordinaire, ready for me to autograph & send to you. Above is a map of the world as I intend to travel the globe speaking to mom entrepreneurs.

my books ready for sell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above the door is a plaque that reads:

The earth is full of His glory. Isisah 6:3. What a reminder!

The water fountain sits to the left of the rocking chair. The chair is fitted with my custom designed covering that matches the curtains that I made. This is where I sit in the mornings to read my Bible and meditate.

I decided to keep the chandelair instead of replacing it with a ceiling fan. I think the brass and crystal adds a touch of class!

To the left of the books and directly in front of the window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just realized that the wall where my desk sits is missing. Well it’s too messy to snap picks now…maybe I’ll insert it later.

At night when my baby girl gets sleepy I sit and hold her while typing at the computer. But some nights she will allow me to make her a pallet, and lay on the exercise mate under the treadmill. With the lights low, a candle burning and her soft breathing sounds in the background it makes me feel sooo grateful to be able to work from home.

The best part about creating my home office

Ideas for Home Business

Today’s guest blogger is Debbie Russell. I’m grateful that she was able to provide us with ideas for our home business during this crazy economy. Thank you Debbie!

 

The economy continues to limp along its rollercoaster ride of ups and downs but doesn’t offer any real hope to the millions of people who remain unemployed. In March of lastyear, the national unemployment rate sat at a whopping 9.7%. As of September 2010 that number only dropped half a percent to 9.2%.

The group most affected by the lack of jobs is the over fifty crowd. Although at 7.2% (the highest since WWII) the unemployment rate for baby boomers is lower than the average, it is a fact that people in this group remain out of work for longer. The average length of time between jobs is 22 weeks. For over fifty unemployed workers, the average is 35 weeks.   Personally, I am in this group, having lost my job due to corporate downsizing. over a year ago.

Baby boomers like me are sitting down and taking stock of their current situation. Some are choosing to retire early. Others are going back to school for retraining in other careers. While these are both good options, possibly the best thing you can do for yourself is to start a home business.

As a boomer, you have decades of knowledge and experience that other people need. While it is true that it is harder for someone of our generation to get a job, there is no reason why you cannot approach the company from a different angle and sell your expertise as a consultant, which is perfect for a home business.

In fact, selling your knowledge can be worth millions. You can certainly charge much more for it than the salary you would receive as an employee. Both individuals and businesses are struggling to get ahead in this poor economy. What you know can provide them with the edge they need to compete effectively and they are more than willing to pay people who can help them get results.   You also have the flexibility in your life and schedule.

As a freelancer, some ideas for home business include:

* Starting a consulting business providing advice to companies in your industry. For example, if you have been in sales and marketing for the last three or four decades, you can help businesses form and execute marketing strategies that drive sales.

* Develop a training course that teaches people specific skills or provides highly prized knowledge. For instance, you could teach human resource managers how to meet the needs of this new global workforce.

* Venture into the internet with a blog that provides insight into your industry. For example, former health care professionals can teach people how to get the most out of their medical care and save money on health care costs.

The list of home business ideas goes on and you are only limited by your creativity. Anyone in any industry can get on the freelance bandwagon including dieticians, human resource managers, lawyers, doctors, healthcare administrators, teachers, and many others.   All of these professions can easily translate into a home business that can be used for developing business with new and former clients.

Tips on Getting Started With your Home Business

As is the case with most home business ideas, the trick is to get started.

* Start by evaluating where you currently are. What can you do? What are you willing to do? What do you like to do? Don’t let not knowing how to do something put you off from pursuing a home based business idea. You can always get training to fill in the gaps in your knowledge.

* When you are first starting out you want to focus on one thing at a time. Focus on starting your consulting firm and then work on writing and selling a business book, for example.

* Eventually, though, you will want to develop multiple streams of income. In our business, my husband and I make money providing boating services, a chain of retail online stores and social media services that help home based businesses.

* Spend a lot of time on developing and executing marketing strategies. Your greatest challenge will be getting your name in front of interested buyers and this is where you want to make sure you are investing in tools and techniques that will get the job done.

Getting Your Home Business Online

There are various ways you can market your new freelance home business, but one tool I want to recommend is  this Branding System that I used to develop my website/blog.. In a world connected by routers and cables, you must have an internet presence. This system will help you establish your business brand quickly and easily so you can focus on what matters most; helping your customers.

Experts predict that it will be several years before the economy recovers fully. You really can’t afford to wait that long for a job that matches your skills and experience. Take a chance on yourself and start your own home based business today.

Debbie Russell is a marketing veteran who loves to train people on the best way to build their businesses. For more tips on how to brand your business for success, visit her website.  For a turnkey branding system that puts your name on the Google map quickly and easily, visit MyBrandingSystem .

Kick The Guilt Habit

Today Steph of Be Postive Mom is my guest blogger! You can check her out at Be Postive Mom.com

 

Most working moms will tell you they have felt guilty at one time or another about managing their home as well as a career. Some moms navigate more demanding jobs while others may have a flexible work environment. Either way, time at work is time away from home.

Have you ever found yourself in an endless guilt whirlwind? For example, you are commuting along after dropping off your precious little one at daycare and you can’t help but think of all the things you are doing wrong as a working mom.

The “guilt habit” is a tough one to break, isn’t it?

We often find ourselves in a cycle of negative thoughts and feelings about our careers and our choices made as working moms. Many times we are left frazzled and stressed. Guilt can bring a mom down mentally, physically and emotionally.

With a bit of deliberate thinking and a twist to that negative thought pattern, any working mom can embrace the positive aspects of being a career mom. Nurture yourself by kicking the guilt habit and gain some perspective with a few easy steps.

1) Acknowledge It

Guilt is there and we know it. The key is to squash the cycle of guilt by acknowledging what makes us feel guilty. Pull out a piece of paper and write down the things that make you feel guilt.

Get it out by acknowledging it!

2) Turn That Guilt Around

Using your list, think about the positive aspects of working and the benefits to your family as a result.

Some examples:

  • My son is in daycare. What’s great about it is that he loves his preschool and happily runs into the school each day (which is a statement in and of itself). He is learning in a safe, positive environment.
  • I am demonstrating to my children that women and men work contributing to their financial well-being.
  • I am nurturing my career as well as my family.
  • I am confident in the choices I have made for my family.

 

3) Talk About It

Chat with fellow working moms at work, friends who work outside of your office or your partner. You may receive great tips from a co-worker experiencing the same thoughts.

Talking about your guilt will help you better understand it and then allow you to acknowledge the positive aspects of your choices. Stepping back from an issue may help you gain some valuable perspective and give you an opportunity to kick the guilt habit.

 

Networking 101 for Writers

Today Alice Osborn is guest posting with valuable information on how to network to sell your (future) book! Thanks Alice!

 

In today’s competitive publication climate networking can make all of the difference between your books sitting a cold box in storage or in customers’ warm hands. And even before you publish, networking can help you connect you to editors, agents and to your readership.

Perhaps in the old days writers didn’t have to be so “out there,” as today, but now we don’t have any choice but to learn how to network effectively to build our platform and to catch the eye of a potential publisher.

Why Network?

Because you need a strong, dynamic network of over 260+ people to sell your future book, find venues for your book launch, discover readers, gain referrals to book clubs and to engage in writing opportunities. You’re now building your “sphere of influence.”

It’s a good idea for writers to network with both writers and non-writers. Networking is about connecting to people and letting them know how you can help them. Networking will build your reputation and grow your readership since most people want to do be associated with those they know, like and trust. But where do you start if you don’t have any sales or marketing training? The good news is that it doesn’t matter what kind of training or background you have, as long as you’re willing to learn and take a few stumbles along the way.

The most effective networkers succeed through practice, patience and skill since they know that effective networking involves asking smart questions, giving information and not pitching your goods and services to everyone you meet. Effective networkers also know that givers gain, and even if the person they are generous with their time and resources doesn’t reciprocate, they’ll gain in the future because of their efforts.

 

Get Started By

  • Preparing a 30-sec commercial that tells those around you what makes you different and tells them what you’re passionate about. Why do you write what you write? Who or what are your influences?

 

  • Perfecting the art of making introductions for others. For instance, when you meet someone who could help someone you know, like an editor or a graphic designer, offer to send an email, cc’ing your new networking friend in the email. And if you can, try setting up a meeting that will involve you and your two mutual contacts. Introduce them to each other and then back off a little so they can get to know each other. If a meeting is too hard to set up, invite your potential networking colleague to an event/program and talk with him/her at the venue.

 

  • Be willing to volunteer your time if you see that the group you’re volunteering for can help you in the future. For example, if you don’t have a book out yet and you volunteer to give a talk to the local library, keep ties with that library so you can be invited back when you do have a book in hand.

 

  • Showing up at open mics and other authors’ readings in your community. Join your local writing association and attend conferences. You never know when your teacher from three summers past will pass your name onto her agent or her friend who runs a small press.

 

  • Scheduling a one-on-one (a meeting with one other person) and at the meeting take good notes. Always carry your business cards and your referral partners’ business cards as well so you can pass out a name if you need to. Use a binder/business card sheet system that is arranged up alphabetically by first name so you can quickly find your contacts. It’s also a good idea to carry multiples of your writing colleagues’ cards so you don’t run out.

In the one-on-one, ask your networking partner these smart questions so you can better know them and their business:

Who is your ideal reader?

Who are your best referral partners?

What are your professional writing goals over the next 90 days?

What challenges are you faced with right now?

What is your passion behind your writing? (WHY you do what you do?)

Also remember that a one-on-one is never a sales pitch.

Always follow up with potential referrals and give them the links and contact information they requested in your one-on-one meeting.

Use the people you know right now in your network even if you share different careers because you never know who can help you land your next assignment or big publishing break. And remember, strong networks don’t happen overnight, so start growing yours now!

 

Alice Osborn, M.A. is the author of two books of poetry, Unfinished Projects (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Right Lane Ends (Catawba, 2006); she is a manuscript editor, freelance writer and storyteller. A former Raleigh Charter High School English teacher, Alice has served as a Writer-in-Residence in the Artists in the Schools program since 2009. Her work appears in Raleigh’s News and Observer, The Pedestal Magazine, and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Website: www.aliceosborn.com.