Category Archives: Main

7 Cost-Savings Tips for Work-at-Home Moms

Working at home can afford you the unique opportunity to save money from your monthly budget. Here are some quick tips that will save you thousands each year and make working from home even more worth it.

Plan a Weekly Menu

Getting your grocery bill under control is one way to curb excess expenses and also makes trips to the store easier. Make a menu for each day of the week you will be eating at home and create a shopping list to make it easier while you’re at the store. It helps to know exactly what you need so you don’t end up buying things you won’t use.

Use Coupon Apps

No need to clip coupons anymore, there are smartphone apps that you can use to get deals all over town and everything is handled by the app. You can even look for deals on prescriptions to save money on those each month.

Rearrange Your Car Situation

Now that you’re working from home you may need to switch some things around with the cars. You won’t be my driving as much, a cost savings all by itself, so make sure you are left at home with the car that makes the most sense, in most cases the one that gets the worse gas mileage.

It could even be the case that you can get by with one less car now that you are not commuting back and forth to work. This can make a huge difference not only in the amount of car payments made per month, but also the amount of car insurance you pay over the year.

Assess Your Cable Needs

One way to cut back on monthly expenses is to determine exactly how much you are using your cable TV and decide if it’s time to cut the cord. With streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well as on demand DIY videos on YouTube you could find that you don’t even need cable anymore.

Of course, as a work-at-home mom you’ll won’t be able to get rid of the high speed internet, but paying an extra $50 to $80 per month for a basic cable package, and even more for a premium package adds up to a sizable annual cost.

Get Into Gardening

Growing your own vegetables is a healthy way to go, and also is a way to save money on produce. It doesn’t have to be anything expansive, even a small herb garden will come in handy when you are making dinner and will take the place of dried spices. You can start off with just a few different plants and expand things as you get better at it.

Try DIY Household Cleaners

You can get most anything clean these days with natural household cleaners you make by yourself. Vinegar and baking soda can clean up just about anything when mixed properly, and vinegar itself has many uses around the home and is very cheap.

One side benefit of cleaning things naturally is that you won’t be using any harsh chemicals that can cause allergic reactions. Switching to an all-natural laundry detergent is often much cheaper per load, and can leave your clothes looking and smelling better than before.

Incorporate Home Automation Features

You can have it set up so that certain lights in your house go on and off at certain times, and everything can be controlled from your smartphone. That way you won’t leave lights on in the house all day. Now rather than walking all through your house discovering lights that have been left on, you can command everything from your home office and save money in the long run.

 

 

 

 

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The power of data for businesses

We already know that big companies such as Amazon use a lot of their resources in big data in order to increase their efficiency. If this is the case, you might be wondering how small businesses can benefit from big data services such as www.ibds.com. Here are five reasons for small and medium-sized companies to get involved in big data too:

1. Being data-oriented is a smart move in this digital age. You might not have the budget of Amazon in order to analyse the data the way they do, but the least you can do is to use tools such as Google analytics to get you the goals you want to achieve. In fact, this is almost the only way to make your operations better.

2. Getting engaged in big data will allow you to understand the target market. In other words, you need to find out about the preferences of your customers even before you release any product. This way can you be certain that what you deliver is exactly what they need.

3.Big data can help you fight with competition. It is especially useful if in your industry your competitors do not take advantage of big data yet. This way you can outsmart them on every corner.

4. Big data helps small businesses understand trends. Very often, people can be very predictable. they shop following certain trends, their economic status, or even the general way the world is changing. You have to admit that the world today is a lot different from even 20 years ago and it’s best to embrace those changes by making sure that you fully utilise them to your advantage.

5.Finally, get the best staff members using the power of big data. Yes, big data can be used to get the best of the best using various big data channels. Lots of information is available for you to interpret such as productivity of a person, absenteeism, etc., which makes things a lot easier when it comes to your staffing choices.

Below you find an infographic that tells you a lot of interesting things about big data. Feel free to familiarise yourself with it so that you can tell your friends or family members all those facts you have learned from it:

Working from Home: Income-Generating Ideas for Entrepreneurial Moms

A lot of stay-at-home moms love the idea of starting their own business but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Offering a wonderful work-life balance, being your own boss is an attractive prospect. But what business idea will provide you with the success you need to start generating some cash?

Well, thankfully, all it takes is some hard work, commitment, a good attitude, and the drive to succeed. With all of these key features, most people will be able to turn any idea into a business.

Here are some great ideas to get you started:

Be a Consultant in Your Area of Expertise

Before you had kids, what job did you do? This area of expertise might be something you can help other businesses and/or people with. You’ve already got all of this knowledge (not to mention that great list of contacts), so why not put it to good use?

Take a look at your experience and knowledge. How can this be useful to others? How can you add value? Could you save someone money or make someone’s life/business much better or easier?

Answering these questions will allow you to pinpoint an area of expertise you could turn into a consultancy business.

Sell Your Products Online

Thanks to the Internet, it’s now possible to sell almost anything online – even the kitchen sink! So, why not turn your hobby or idea into a money-spinning business?

This doesn’t have to involve creating the next Amazon or being a savvy digital entrepreneur. Instead, it’s all about putting your skills to good use before selling them on all of the available channels there are online.

For example, have you always enjoyed making your own cards or are you a budding artist? Then get your pen to paper and start creating some key pieces you can sell online (through Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and so on). The best bit? You can buy everything you need to get started online (click here for great stationery ranges), so you don’t even need to leave the house to get your business idea off the ground!

Write Your Own Blog

If you enjoy writing or you feel as though you have a lot of advice/stories to share with people, you might like to create your own blog.

Granted, you will want to earn some money from this blog, which means you will have to write frequently and consistently, but this will mean you’re getting paid for something you love.

You don’t have to look far to find some mommy blogger success stories, providing you with plenty of inspiration for your own blog. Furthermore, as you start to drive traffic to your blog and you start to get noticed, you may even find yourself being snapped up by other companies, magazines, or publishers to write more.

To make it a success you just need to find a topic that’ll work for you and is something people are searching for. Thankfully, there’s plenty of information online about how you can get a blog started, so a quick Google search will provide you with a plethora of handy how-to guides.

Setting up your own business doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money. Instead, it’s all about finding your own niche that you’ll enjoy working within. Then, making money becomes a welcome bonus for doing something you love!

Splurge the Right Way to Maximize Your Satisfaction

So you’ve been doing a good job of saving up money and not blowing your entire paycheck on frivolous buys. Great job! But before you decide to treat yourself, make sure you know how to splurge in a way that doesn’t completely demolish all the hard work you’ve put into your financial house. Just like with car insurance, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about spending your hard-earned cash. Make sure you know where a particular path leads before you head down it.

Know Where Your Every Penny Goes

Before you buy something nice for yourself, know how and where you’re spending every penny of your income. By conducting a money audit, you might find you’re spending a bit too much on eating out or ordering delivery. There might also be services such as music and video streaming you can either do without or reduce to a less expensive plan. The money left over can go into savings or be used to pay off other bills.

Lower Your Other Expenses as Much as You Can

Something else to do to feel better about the money you splurge is to reduce necessary expenses as much as possible. For instance, you actually might be better off not making extra principal payments on your mortgage or car payment every month. You should also take excellent care of your car and drive it for as many years and miles as possible to avoid the costs associated with a car payment. There might also be areas in your life where you can save money, such as buying used products rather than new. See if your favorite grocery store has a discount card, if you can bundle your insurance policies to save on the overall cost and cook more at home rather than eating out all the time.

Automate the Savings Process

Rather than manually put money back into a savings account every time you get paid, something you might forget to do, you can automate the process instead. There are special programs and apps that automatically put a specified amount of money into your savings accounts whenever you wish. If you find you aren’t strapped for cash when your savings is automated, it’s a good indication you’re doing a good job of handling your finances, which often makes it easier to splurge whenever you wish.

Set Up a Reward System

If you truly want to earn the money you splurge, set up a reward system. For instance, if you give your house a thorough scrub-down, you can put back $15 into your mad money account. Manage to eat healthier this week or this month? Kick back another $15. When you reward yourself for being more responsible, it’ll feel that much better to be a bit irresponsible with your splurge. Just make sure you don’t cheat when it comes to this reward system. Otherwise, you likely won’t feel as good about going on a little shopping spree.

Top Off Your Emergency Fund

To better ensure you don’t feel guilty about past surges when financial hardships hit, do everything you can to build up your emergency fund before you do something nice for yourself. Once you put money into your emergency fund, it’s best you do everything in your power to not touch a penny of that money if it’s not for an actual emergency. Such emergencies should be ones that threaten to put you and your family out on the street, empty all your other accounts or endanger either your health or future income. Because it can be hard to gauge just how much such emergencies can cost, you’ll want to save more than you actually think you’ll need.

To get the most out of splurging, you’ve got to take steps to eliminate some of the guilt that can come with splurging. Put these tips to good use, and take care of your financial needs before tending to your financial wants.

 

Building a positive relationship with a customer


Lots of businesses run cold calling schemes and various other outbound sales techniques to build their customer base. This form of marketing is very reliant on the relationship you are able between yourself and the prospect. The more you work on the relationship, the more you should be able to earn from that prospect. There are many different ways that you can work on the relationship and in this article we are going to discuss various different ways that you can build the relationship up to earn the most money you can!

Regular calls that are pleasant and not too frequent

As stated, cold calling is a very popular method of building sales as it is the employees actively calling up prospects to hopefully drive sales. This can be very effective and can really boost business however it needs to be done carefully as to not get annoying. Calling too often would begin to annoy them which will reduce their chance of working with you. Call them once a month, unless they say otherwise just to check in, see how they are doing and ask how they are on stock and if they want more.

Getting special offers that they couldn’t get anywhere else

If you want their business, you could incentivise them to come with you buy offering them special deals and services that aren’t available on your site, in your shop or anywhere else. This will lead them to believe that they are being treated specially and cared for which will make them want to deal with you more due to the special service. Not only that but it can act as an incentive for people to purchase with you when they may be a little sceptical beforehand.

Free promotional gifts

Giving promotional items away is a very popular marketing technique with inbound and outbound sales alike. This involves printing useful items with your company’s logo and artwork and then giving them to your prospects and clients. This is a great way to build your relationship as if they receive a genuinely useful item like a printed tote bags they will instantly look at your brand in a more positive light. The second benefit is that they will now see your logo whenever they use the item, subtly reminding them of your brand and keeping that connection strong in their brain. Find out more about printed tote bags

Not all business

The last thing you want your prospect to do is dread answering the phone to you. This happens when your ring them and only talk about business. It makes them not want to talk with you and thus leaves them with a negative impression of your brand. Don’t be afraid to talk with them about other things like weather, TV, films, their hobbies or what it is like in the office as this will relax them and opens them up to be more talkative with you when you do go on to discuss work. This doesn’t only relate to cold calling. Arrange to meet up with the client out of work for lunch to discuss work but not only work. If they enjoy talking with you they will be more open with you about the work aspects and happier to spend money with you.

Bend to their needs within reason

Another way to make the client feel special is that when they make special requests, go out of your way to ensure that they get what they want. It shows that you are attentive and want to work with them which makes them feel special again and happy to work with you. It is also important that you bend a little to what they want as they may not want to work with you otherwise. They may feel like they can be picky due to the fact that you are contacting them. They may not purchase with you otherwise so it is important to bend if only a little.

Leveraging Technology As A Real Estate Franchisee

Although realty firms have been around for hundreds of years, the notion of taking the actual business of house sales and making it into a more automated process is something that has really only come into its own over the past 15 years.

As most brokers know, the addition of the MLS on the Internet at the end of the 90’s coupled with private online listings helped increase home prices and the number of sales over time.

In the here and now, the emphasis over the past few years has been to find a way to replicate the success of firms like Uber. The idea is that with one simple application and one simple process, it will allow the customer to focus on the aspects of the sale that they really enjoy, like planning ahead for the things that they want to do to their new home.

A couple of years ago, a new insurance firm managed to automate the process of insuring customers online. They also have shown themselves able to process claims without involving staff. Because this type of optimization can save millions of dollars in costs each year, it can be looked upon as somewhat of a ‘grail’ for the real estate industry. If a real estate franchising partner can create a system that allows you to sell without incurring as much overhead, it will make your business a stronger part of the community.

Currently, the company that comes the closest to fulfilling this type of automation dream is actually homesmart.com. The fact that their franchisees consistently see rapid agent growth is testament to the faith that they have in the system.

Here are some other technology areas that quality franchisors should be offering their prospective customers:

Mobility:

Real estate is all about organizing your resources so that you can communicate and sell effectively in many locations. You can accomplish this type of effectiveness without computers, although you will certainly be more efficient when you do leverage technology.

As a potential franchisee, finding a firm that has a stellar CRM or customer relationship management application can actually make a difference in your agents’ performance. One key feature of a good CRM is allowing you to work across form factors and locations with easy-to-use processes. Being able to communicate to your prospects in a way that mirrors the way that you work when you are not online is another feature that is worth trying to get for your employees.

Presentation:

One trick that contractors have in new neighborhoods that have homes that are selling for more than an entry-level price is to add features that are not apartment-grade and then allow realtors to show those features off. When it comes to presentation, a good franchisor will create the same type of capability. To market a high end home, for example, you typically use better designers and software that has more features. If your regular agents have access to the same tools and use them with most their houses, they will automatically be doing more than the rest of the market is with regards to presentation- something that can help them close more sales.

Overall, buying a franchise often comes down to its potential for the market that you serve. When you find one that has learned to leverage technology so that you can increase revenue, it may provide you with a long and fruitful career.

PayPal vs Merchant Accounts: What is right for your online business

As a young online entrepreneur, choosing the best payment processing system can be a headache. Ask around, and you will hear all sorts of reasons why one solution is better than the other. However, the thoroughly experienced Internet-based retailer will tell you the truth: competition is stiff, and relying on only one means of processing payment is not enough.

How PayPal differs from traditional merchant accounts.

PayPal uses what is called an “aggregator” account, which theoretically accommodates all retailers, as opposed to traditional providers, who offer each client an individual, “dedicated” account. The idea of PayPal’s aggregate method is to balance the risk of all honest retailers against fraudsters.

Consequently, PayPal doesn’t have to vet new retailers to determine if they are potentially fraudulent before signing them up for its service. Instead, it waits to catch a whiff of fraud from a registered user and quickly shut them down.

As a result, setting up an account is quick and easy, and PayPal can start collecting payment fees from clients almost immediately. Moreover, unlike with dedicated merchant accounts, you don’t have to wait hours for an application to be approved, to start accepting credit cards.

Where PayPal falls short.

Having one large account for everyone has the advantage of fast approval processes and quick card transactions, but there is one major problem: PayPal doesn’t know anything about you or your business, and, therefore, doesn’t understand the level of risk. If something unusual happens such as an increase in chargebacks, or suspicion of fraud, PayPal’s only recourse is to freeze the account.

On the other hand, a dedicated merchant accounts provider like eMerchantBroker will conduct a proper vetting process when a merchant applies for an account, and approve applications based on the information presented. These companies, therefore, know your business and understand the risk. If something happens, they have other ways to mitigate the issue, rather than freezing the account.

When to use PayPal.

PayPal accounts have a much higher likelihood of getting shut down than traditional merchant accounts, but they are quick and easy to start and manage.

You should consider a PayPal account if:

  • You have a business idea that you are still trying to prove as a viable concept, and are thus not assured of its success. Because an unsubstantiated idea might not be around tomorrow, it wouldn’t be wise to have a contract with a merchant accounts provider.
  • Your sales are too low to warrant the need for a traditional merchant account. An account with low sales is also less likely to be flagged down by PayPal.
  • You are thinking of an aggregator account as a supplement to your traditional merchant account. Some established businesses can use PayPal to reach customers who won’t buy unless they can use a PayPal account.

PayPal is a great payment option for an entry-level business, but if you want more protection or are in the high-risk business, you will want to have a traditional merchant account set up. Afterwards, you can use PayPal as an added payment option for customers.

Questions to Ask before Selecting a PPC Provider

For some time now various companies around the world have been using the strategy known as pay per click. I myself have been familiar with the term for over a decade and I know that the popularity of this particular marketing strategy is not going to fade any time soon. In order to be efficient at this sort of strategy, using the services of a PPC company might be beneficial.

Since we have already established that using the services of an PPC Agency such as Clicteq is a good idea and can immensely benefit your business, let me here mention a few questions you might want to ask yourself before you buy such services. Of course, if you are still not convinced because your budget is rather tight, let me tell you why outsourcing this part of running your business to a PPC management company is a good step that will take you in the right direction.

1.Hiring a PPC management company takes the whole burden of your marketing campaign off your shoulders. Why spend hundreds of hours learning something that others feel proficient at? There are some good reputable PPC management companies on the market that have been specialising in PPC campaigns for over a decade and they know what they are doing.

2.A PPC management company is a lot less likely to commit the mistakes that many beginner or even veteran business owners are likely to make. After all, you cannot specliaise in everything. If your focus is to manufacture a product, you should not be responsible for advertising it on the Internet.

3. Hiring a PPC company for the job comes with everything they have to offer such as their expertise, experience, knowledge, as well as industry exposure. This is definitely something that should not be underestimated. If somebody has been in an industry for a long time, you can expect them to be able to offer the services you can trust. In order to be able to do it, you need to first make yourself familiar with their reputation. the best way to do it is to read what others have to say on the topic. The Internet is usually enough to find the reviews of some of the most reputable PPC management companies on the market.

What to Know About Becoming a Digital Nomad with a Family

The concept of being a digital nomad is one that a lot of moms and dads are embracing right now, and that’s for good reason. There are plenty of potential benefits that come with this lifestyle, particularly if you’ve already figured out how to make working at home something that is a sustainable career for yourself.

Being a digital nomad takes the idea of working at home a few steps further and gives you the opportunity not just to enjoy a flexible work environment, but also travel at the same time. However, if you’re a single person or even part of just a couple, being a digital nomad can seem a lot easier than it does when you’re a family.

There are ways to become a digital nomad with kids, but it requires some planning and strategy, instead of just having a “let’s wing it” attitude.

Create a Sense of Home

Kids need some sort of routine and structure, and also a place they feel like they can land, so even if you’re traveling the world, having some feeling of home is always good. One way some families create this sensibility is by buying or renting an RV. If buying an RV isn’t an option, there are companies like Outdoorsy that specialize in connecting RV owners with potential renters.

You can often rent them for extended periods, and they’re fully insured. It’s a good way to make your kids feel more comfortable and natural when you start your lives as digital nomads, as opposed to staying somewhere different all the time.

Home Schooling

If you’re going to be working remotely, you’re probably also going to be making sure you have an internet connection most days, so while parents tend to stress most about how they’ll educate their kids, there are excellent online options.

You can choose to homeschool them yourself based on the materials and programs you find online, or you can even enroll them in a free online public school like Connections Education.

Of course, if you’re going to be staying in the same area for an extended time, you can always enroll your kids in a local school.

Double Check Those Internet Connections

As was touched on above, the only thing you really need more than anything else is an Internet connection if you’re going to be working and traveling.

It needs not just to be available, but it needs to be reliable. When you’re first in a location or planning a trip somewhere, make sure that you have thoroughly vetted what’s available and what you need to do to ensure you don’t have outages that impact your work and your kid’s school.

Build Connections

Finally, it’s important for kids (and parents) to feel like they have a social network when they’re living this unique lifestyle. Check out a site like Nomad Together, which offers a podcast hosted by a couple with four kids who work as digital nomads, plenty of informative resources, and a Facebook group that can help people connect with one another both remotely, and maybe even in a shared location.

 

 

 

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When Your Car is Your Office: Must Have Tools for Mobile Businesses

With the rise of mobile technology, many people find themselves working out of their car as often as they are working from their home or office. This is great for productivity and can really help you manage all of your responsibilities.

If you do work out of your vehicle frequently, then there are a few gadgets that may make your life a little easier. Many tech companies have people just like you in mind when they are designing new products, and most of them are cheap enough to make you wonder why you never had them in the first place. Here are a few essential gadgets for those who work on the road.

Of course, it should go without saying that you should never drive while distracted, so exercise caution when using any device in your car!

Power Supply

The one thing you can never have enough of when you’re working on the road is a power supply. There are so many different things you can plug in and charge that by not having a reliable supply,  you are doing yourself a great disservice.

Most new cars come equipped with USB ports for charging, but finding an accessory is even better. There are power supplies that have one or two extra USB ports and plug directly into the power supply in your car. Many of these accessories also have the standard three-prong outlets built into them as well, so you can easily plug your computer directly into the car’s power.

Portable Printers

Whether you need to print something off quickly on your way to work or if you travel for business frequently and need a reliable printer, finding the right portable printer is a must.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great options out there through websites like RS Online. There are plenty of options, from full-color printing to quick printers that focus on output rather than quality. The printers range in cost as well, so you’ll be able to find the right one for the right price, letting you print out anything you need wherever you may find yourself working.

Device Mounts

There may be times that you find yourself typing out an email or working on a document while you are sitting in a parking lot. If this happens to you often, then you may want to look into buying a device mount.

These mounts are made specifically for laptops, but there are also mounts for tablets and smartphones as well. Each one will help you use the device more comfortably so you can get your work finished quickly.

Again, for safety’s sake, you should never use a laptop device mount while driving. Using one for your smartphone is fine, especially if you are consulting it for navigation because it allows you to drive hands free.

Just because you work out of your car frequently doesn’t mean you can’t do it with comfort. Try some of these gadgets and see how much more you like working from your vehicle!