Tuesday April 22, 2014
At least once a year (probably more like 6 times a year), I get the business blahs. I've lost the spark and excitement. I feel like I'm just going through the motions. It's hard to work when you don't have the energy to run and build your business. After 16 years of working for myself, I've developed some strategies to pick myself up when my business is bringing me down. In Beat Home Business Blues
, I give tips on how to get out a slump. It covers everything from a change of scenery, re-igniting your goals and even dancing.
How have you dealt with business blues? I'd love to hear you ideas and tips!
Wednesday April 16, 2014
There are no shortage of wishes in the world. Everyone wishes for something. "I wish I was rich." "I wish I was famous." "I wish I was my own boss." The problem with wishes is that they don't come true without a plan. Wishes stay wishes unless you take action. It's the action step that usually stops people from making their wishes a reality.
How long have you been wanting to start a business? What has stopped you? Fear of not making enough money? Concerns about getting health coverage? The reality is that many of the things that are holding you back might not be the huge challenges as you think they are. In Home Business Myths Debunked
, I discuss beliefs that hold many would-be home business owners back.
What about you? What misconceptions about home business are holding you back? If you're a home business owner, how did you overcome these misconceptions to achieve success?
Tuesday April 15, 2014
It's that day again... Tax Day. If you're a home business owner, not only is your 2013 tax return due to today, but your first quarterly 2014 estimated tax as well. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stuck or unsure, check out the links below for everything you need to know to get your taxes done.
Get Ready for Tax Season!
15 FAQ About Self-Employment Taxes
Business Use of Your Home
How Do I File for a Tax Extension?
When in doubt, don't be afraid to check out the IRS's information on Small Business and Self-Employment
Photo Credit: C. Sherburne/PhotoLink/Getty Images
Monday April 14, 2014
I'll admit that I probably haven't been as diligent about security as I should have been. Yes, I had long passwords with caps, letters and characters, but in this day and age, I think hackers are more clever than I am. So when the Heartbleed scare came last week, I did get a little paranoid. I updated my passwords using a generator to create them so they'd be unique and difficult to crack. I went through my web host server and deleted old accounts I wasn't using (and accidentally brought down a site I was using).
So what is the big deal about Heartbleed? After all, this isn't the first time we've heard about security vulnerabilities. What made this different was that it focused a vulnerability of OpenSSL, which is used by major companies, governments and other sites needing this type of security. Many companies were quick to update security, while others haven't been so quick. For example, according to an article at Mashable
, you should probably change the password at most of you social media networks, Google and Yahoo.
There is a mad rush now to change passwords and protect the Internet from hackers who seem bent on using their skills for evil instead of good. But even if you're just a casual web user, you should take steps to make sure your online activities are protected. Here are some resources you should check out:
What You Need to Know About Heartbleed
Keep Your Computer and Website Safe from Hacking
Here's Why You Should Consider Changing Your Online Passwords
Tuesday April 8, 2014
I don't spend any money on marketing anymore. With the exception of paying for an email list service and web hosting, I don't buy advertising. Instead I use content marketing and free publicity. I love free publicity because not only do I get in front of lots of people, but I get more credibility. When I'm interviewed for Redbook
or appear on a radio show, it's as an expert guest. Consumers are more likely to listen to an expert guest than an advertisement. So along with keeping my website up-to-date, participating in social media and emailing my list, I spend time contacting media outlets, pitching stories their market might want to hear about.
In Write Press Releases that Get Noticed
, I outline how to write and contact media outlets to interview you. It's not hard, but it does take knowing how and what to pitch, and a willingness to keep at it until you get a response. The effort is worth it. Through pitching media I've been featured in Redbook, Woman's World, Today's Parent and a host of other media outlets.
Have you used a press release or pitched the media successfully?
Thursday April 3, 2014
You've heard about branding. You know you need to build it. But what is branding how is it built? Branding is one of those business concepts that often is misunderstood. Some people think of a brand as a name, logo or tagline, but in fact those are just symbols of the brand. Others believe brand building is marketing, but that's only one aspect. In Branding 101
, I cover all the basics to brand building including defining what branding is, how to build it, and how to care for and protect it once it's established.
Branding your home business is important as it allows you to control the images and feelings you want customers and clients to have and helps you create your business tools and policies that will support your brand imagine. You don't want to leave your home business image to chance.
Sunday March 30, 2014
No one likes rejection. Unfortunately, rejection and even getting fired are a part of building a home business. It's difficult to hear "no" or "not anymore" from a client or customer. There is a tendency to take it personally and question your abilities. Other times, you might get angry and want to lash back. Since rejection is part of home business, it helps to have tips and tools for dealing with it. In "You're Fired!": What To Do When a Client Rejects You
, I give tips on how to handle your feelings, turn rejection into a positive and continuing to build your business even after losing a client.
Have you ever been let go by a client? How did you deal with it?
Friday March 28, 2014
Starting a business takes time and effort, but once you've developed systems and a routine, it's time to think about how you can expand your business to make more. In Making More From Your Business
, I talk about four ways to you can earn more through market reach and added products or services.
You might also want to check out the articles about increasing profits in your business:
Earning Multiple Streams of Income
Three Ways to Grow Your Business
What have you done to expand your business?
Wednesday March 26, 2014
Many people who decide to start a home business know exactly what they want to do. They turn a job, hobby or passion into home-based income. But not everyone who wants a home business, knows what they want to do. I'm a firm believer in tapping into skills, experiences, talents and passions to find a home business idea, yet at the same time, it's important to pick an idea that has the possibility of making money. In 6 Home Business Trends for 2014
, I identify six areas that are good industries to start a business, plus give ideas on the types of businesses you can start.
Below are other posts you may want to check out to get ideas.
75+ Home Business Ideas
8 Outdoor Seasonal Ideas for Home Business
8 Internet Business Ideas
All the Different Ways to Work From Home
How did you choose your home business idea?
Monday March 24, 2014
Rumor has it, it's going to snow again this week (March 24), which makes it seem like spring will never come. Nevertheless, when it does come, spring is a great time to review, evaluate and clean out the junk in your home business. It can help you identify what's working and not working from your New Year's plan and get reorganized so you can work efficiently. Here are some tips to help you clean up home business clutter.
Spring Clean to Boost Business Profits
What's Wrong With A Messy Desk?
Tame the Desktop Monster