Nov 4, 2016

10 Tips on How to Boost Your Home Office Productivity

10 Tips on How to Boost Your Home Office Productivity

Just because we work from home does not mean we shouldn't be productive. Some of the same office skills required when working for an employer should be incorporated when you're working from your home office as well. Some of my best skills I currently possess is due to my experiences in corporate America. I learned the basics like customer service, administrative paperwork, setting up meetings, writing, etc. that I still use today.

The following article will help you with the top 10 Tips on How to Boost Your Home Office Productivity:

 

1. Check your email first


Productivity experts agree that checking your email account first thing in the morning, allows you to get a jump start on your day.  Create folders labeled 'now' and 'later'  so that you can concentrate on the needs to be taken care of now as oppose to what you can tackle at a later time.

 

2. Take care of your least favorite task


Taking care of your most tedious and least desirable tasks right away will give you a more positive outlook on the rest of the day. One of my least favorite tasks is checking my voice mail but doing so will allow me to decide what is a priority call and who can wait for a call back later in the day.

 

3. Create a to-do list and a master list


Your to-do list should include the following:

        
  • check e-mail

  •     
  • check calendar

  •     
  • check voicemail...things you want to get done today.

Your master list should include the following:

        
  • meetings

  •     
  • appointments

  •     
  • interviews...things you want to confirm and plan.

Put your lists in the order of priority and of time.

 

4. Separate personal and business


Working from home can get in the way of personal tasks too. It can be tough to be self-disciplined when working from home. There can be many distractions that can take you away from your business.

Personally, I like to remind myself of the reasons why I chose to go into business for myself. Knowing when to separate business with family life is a challenge but can be easily obtained. Setting strict rules for my business is the key which my family understands and vice versa.

 

5. Wake up early


Early to bed and early to rise (makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise) have you heard of that expression? I couldn't agree more! Waking up early allows you to get so much done so that you can concentrate on other tasks. Plus, you don't feel rushed and can at least make yourself a hearty breakfast before allowing distractions to take over your day.

 

6. Dress for success


It can be tempting to work in  pjs. I've done it myself. That is the beauty of working from home. The freedom to wear what you want when you want. However, I believe that when we dress up it can mentally give us a boost in confidence for success. When I dress up (even in a typical jean and shirt) I feel like I'm ready to tackle the task at hand and if I need to step outside very quickly, I'm ready to do so.

 

7. Time management


We are and become what we do and think. Give yourself time to start each morning and time when to stop. Time management is key to avoiding burnout.

Identify things which waste your time. Do you take a long coffee break or have a customer that takes just a bit too much of your time? Figure these out and shorten them from your day to be productive.

Just because you work from home does not mean you need to work all day, even if we do have that privilege. Each day, plan who you will network with. Contact and surround yourself with energetic and positive people.

 

8. Financial management


Along with time management, financial management is very important. Know your books. For example, whenever you make a sale, log it into your ledger. When you meet a client, keep track of your car mileage, etc. Accurate financial management is key to productivity and makes it easier to track your profits/expenses for the upcoming tax season.

 

9. Action


Nothing replaces the knowledge we gain from putting our ideas into action. Applying an action toward your day's activity makes for a productive outcome. No matter what your schedule, stick to implementing an action to update your business goals.

 

10. Don't' feel overwhelmed


Feeling overwhelmed is a frequent reason why people are not productive. Most people see how much work needs to be done to boost home office productivity and then despair about getting it all done. One way to deal with this is to break the task up into bite sized pieces. Break down large projects into smaller parts and focus on completing each individual task until the work is done. Check out the power of a focused business.

Now it's your turn. Are the top 10 Tips on How to Boost Your Home Office Productivity helpful? Please share your comments below. Thank you!

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at Books About Me. Sign up for the newsletter and never miss a powerful business marketing article plus receive a FREE eBook on ‘How to Rock Your Business with A Blog’.

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Oct 23, 2016

What Are The 7 Basic Rules to Internet Marketing

What Are The 7 Basic Rules to Internet Marketing

What Are The 7 Basic Rules to Internet Marketing? I get asked that question all the time and I thought why not write an article about the 7 basic rules I believe work:


Internet marketing strategies consist of driving targeted (people who are interested in what you have to offer) traffic to your website, blog, and/or sales page. In return, that traffic then has to be converted into sales for your business. The following formula illustrates this process:

Traffic + Conversions = Sales

Simple right? Learning this formula will help you in your Internet marketing efforts. This formula lets you realize that you not only have to generate traffic, but also convert those visitors into buyers (sales).

With that being said, below are the 7 basic rules to keep in mind:

What does it take?

1. All marketing involves risk taking

Whether you are trying something new or "copying" a strategy that has brought good results for others, there is still an element of risk.

For internet marketing, we try to reduce the risk and swing the odds in our favor by doing keyword research, learning skills like ad writing, article marketing, pay per click, and other general marketing activities such as knowing who your target market is.

Risk taking is critical for any business to succeed. You can’t win without risking something. For example, you could be risking time, inventory, money, performance, etc. Either way, risk taking goes along with building a business. When you take risks, it shows you care enough to go the extra mile for growth and business success.

2. Small scale testing

In addition to risk taking, you want to be careful by first testing your marketing approach on a small scale. If it works, then increase the scale and create momentum. Testing in small increments will allow you to focus on different sections of your marketing plan so that you can implement your findings and create success for your business.

3. Be consistent

Successful marketers do something to propel themselves to move forward everyday. A good practice is to create a to-do list featuring 5 actions that you must complete each and every day. Engaging your subconscious mind with a daily habit of what needs to be done, can help you keep track and  target those actions by completing the tasks at hand. This is a very powerful process. Try to do this at least once a day, until it becomes second nature.

4. Set a budget

Determine what you can afford to spend in advertising on a monthly basis. A monthly budget can help you manage your business expectations and prevent you from trying things you cannot afford.

5. Diversify

Diversifying your efforts as much as you can over many different sources can help reduce your risk by discovering what works. Remember that if one Internet marketing method does not produce results, you haven't failed. It only means that you are one step closer to finding something that WILL work. Keep your options open to bigger and better things.

6. Learn how to write effectively

The one skill that will make or break you in Internet marketing is copy-writing.

It is especially important to learn how to write headlines. There are many books and online websites that teach you how to write headlines and copy-writing.

7. Take action, test, and track

Tracking, taking action and testing  are all essential methods you must incorporate into your business. It is important to know the results of your marketing efforts. Once you start getting results, you can employ simple tests to see if you can improve.

One such strategy is split testing. You can do this for free, and it can provide you with incredible returns. Split testing involves making slight changes to a landing page,  an ad-words ad, and/or a Facebook/Twitter ad. Often times, just the wording of a headline and testing it against different versions, can give you answers into what does and doesn't work.

Simple and effective changes can double the productivity of an ad. Internet marketing takes dedicated hard work. With the right action, testing and tracking, you can create massive results.

Do you agree with the above 7 Basic Rules to Internet Marketing? Please share by leaving your comments below.

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter below.
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Aug 14, 2016

How Do You Promote Your Business

Tell us how do you promote your business?

How-Do-You-Promote-Your-Business-683x1024
There are many effective methods to promote your business without having to spend a lot of money. The most successful businesses are those that are promoted through a combination of media advertising, networking, word of mouth, online and offline advertising and one-on-one promotional venues. Consistent exposure to your community online and offline are the best forms of promotion. Tackle these methods and you'll be on your way to business success.

1. Networking

Many people do not know what networking is. Networking is meeting people and having the ability to introduce yourself and tell them what you do. It is also referring people to a specific need to other reliable people and businesses. Networking is unselfishly helping others while you actively promote and meet new potential contacts and clients for your own business. The key to building relationships is to give the other person a chance to tell you about themselves and in return, they will want to know about you. Networking can be done everywhere, at meetings, trade shows, social occasions, bank lineups, anywhere! Ideally, you should join networking groups that will lead to contacts. Networking group members usually turn to each other when they require information or products.

2. Evaluations & testimonials

Evaluations and testimonials are under-utilized by many businesses. If you are new in business or have a new product or service, ask satisfied clients if they wouldn't mind writing a testimonial. It’s a great marketing tool for your business. Start by asking your social media followers and/or your current customers to leave a testimonial of your service/product. Others will see the testimonials about your business which can provide that extra confidence in their purchasing decisions. Thank your clients with a little gift for providing their testimonials.

3. Press releases

A press release is a powerful tool that once again, is not used often enough. Your local paper is always looking for new items of interest to print. Don't go without this powerful tool. Check out the following press release buyers guide for details.

4. Personal appearances

As your confidence continues to grow, think about increasing your skills as an expert speaker. Build your reputation with these skills and your name will become well-known over time. Check out Crisis of Confidence (Kelly & Faydra) coaching session that teaches you had to blast through whatever barriers you’re facing!

5. Internet

Use your blog/website as a marketing tool. Mention your URL address on every piece of paper, advertising, business card, stationary, and brochure. These are just a few chips off the advertising block so to speak to use for your business. Most of the above are suggestions that involve little or no cash outlay but that do take some of your time. There are much more ways to promote your business and you should read some marketing books for some fresh and innovative ideas. Tell us how do you promote your business? 

Please share by leaving your comments below. Thank you! About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter below. The power of a focused business. _________________ If you liked this powerful business marketing article, please share it with a friend or two by clicking on the social media icons below. Thank you!

Aug 7, 2016

How to Build Credibility With Your Followers

What is credibility? According to the dictionary, it means; "The quality, capability, or power to elicit belief." In short, it is the ability to convey to your followers that you're a truthful and honest person. Below, you will learn how to build credibility with your followers:

 

1. Verify the information on your site is current and accurate


Research is key when you are providing information on your site. The accurate and resourceful material is important. This allows you to build confidence and trust within your network of followers.

 

2. Show everyone you're a real person


In this age of scams, inaccuracies, and lies, showing your photo, physical address, products or offices, and a legitimate website for your organization should boost your credibility and show others that you are indeed a real person.

 

3. Be the expert in your field


Be sure to be the expert in your chosen field. Being an expert allow your followers to learn from you. You want your followers to get to know more about you and your business. This will help increase awareness and bring traffic to your site.

 

4. Be honest and trustworthy


Show who you are via videos, images, and/or webinars. Let people see and hear that your leadership and training of your business is solid and true. Don't be afraid to show the value of your business and help your followers know they can come to you for trustworthy information.

 

5. Provide easy access to your contact information


So many people are timid and shy about providing contact information. When you're running a business, let people know how to get in contact with you via email, phone number, or some other way. Don't hide it. You can add this important piece of information on a contact section of your site and on your Facebook business page.

 

6. Make your site professional


Your site should look professional and easy to the eyes. It should play a big creative part on the type of image you are trying to portray. You have just seconds to gain the attention of someone who is surfing the net and you want to lock them in when they come across your website.

 

7. Make your site easy to navigate


Research shows that if it's hard for someone to maneuver around and see all there is to see, they won't stay long and they won't come back. You want to make your site as easy as possible to navigate. Make sure there is a systematic approach to everything you want your followers to find. Create menus, tabs, categories, etc. to make navigation simple. Check out the following article Important Elements to A Successful Blog Structure.

 

8. Update your content often


Fresh and new content is great for search engine ranking which will keep traffic lines flowing. Your followers will appreciate content that will help them solve a problem. Updated content can help you stay on top of the game while creating credibility for your business.

 

9. Use promotional ads sparingly


Your first concern should be in branding yourself. Don't bombard your followers with too many promotional ads. You want to keep it to a minimum. Provide lots of quality and valuable content and people will come back for more.

 

10. Try and avoid mistakes


We all make mistakes from time to time. However, when you're running a business, mistakes should not be plentiful. Typical things like typographical errors and broken links hurt a site's credibility. It's also important to keep your site up and running. You can loose a lot if your site is down for any length of time. Check out the following article 6 Business Mistakes to Avoid for additional tips. If you learn how to build credibility with your followers on a consistent basis, then your site will be visited frequently and your search engine rankings will start to rise.  

Now it's your turn. Do you think the above is doable? Please share by leaving your comments below. Thank you!  

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter below. Manage your social media like a pro.

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Jul 31, 2016

Are You Getting Subscribers to Your Business Mailing List

Are You Getting Subscribers to Your Business Mailing List

Are you getting subscribers to your business mailing list? Hopefully, the answer is YES!

Build your mailing list from the get go

When you have a business,  it is important to start building your business mailing list as soon as possible. Start with creating an opt-in form on your blog/site to capture your visitors emails. Don't wait too long to do this important task for your business. In fact, I recommend you start as soon as you have a blog/website set up. I have kicked myself plenty of times for not creating my list when I first went into business for myself.

 

Stay in contact

A business mailing list will allow you stay in contact with your customers. Always provide a double opt-in for your subscriptions. For instance, after they sign-up, an email will be sent to them to give them a chance to confirm their subscription. This will protect your subscribers from being added to unwanted lists and it will also protect you from being reported as a spammer.

 

Offer an incentive

Always offer a "freebie" in exchange for their email address. Your freebie can be anything from an eBook, a tutorial and/or a coaching session. Put the "freebie" download link in the welcome subscriber email you send out so they can access their free gift immediately. Don’t make them contact you or wait for it. When they sign up, provide updated beneficial information about your business on a weekly and/or monthly basis.

 

Place opt-in above the fold

Place your email list sign-up form prominently above the fold of your blog/site. Whatever you do, don't hide it! Make it easy for your site visitors to find and join your email list. Don’t make the mistake of just putting one sign-up form on your site. Be sure it shows up on every page. Not everyone will land on your homepage. A great place to also put your opt-in form is below your post. Also, be sure to add subscription forms to your Facebook page as well.
There are many opt-in email marketing subscription websites that are either free or have a reasonable monthly fee. Check out the following:

*Aweber - $1 dollar Trail offer. You will be charged $1 for your first month, and $19 on a recurring monthly basis after your trial. Aweber offers many templates you can customize to fit your blog/site theme.
*Constant Contact (free)
*iContact (free)
*email-list (starting from $79.00) check site for pricing structure.
These are just a few and may fit your business needs.

Simplicity is key

Make it quick and painless for your opt-in subscribers. Keep it simple! Only ask for limited information; for example, first name, last name, email address. Many people are more likely to complete a short form rather than a longer form at the beginning of building relationships. The key is to build that foundation of trust which in turn will bring you much more business success!

 

Privacy

Make your privacy policy clear up front. Let your subscribers understand how you will be using their email address and let them know what kind of emails to expect from you and how often.
Finally, confirm that their personal information will NEVER be sold, traded or shared. Explain to your subscribers they can decide to "opt-out" of further communications at any time.
How are you getting subscribers to your business mailing list? Please share your comments below. Thank you!


About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business, subscribe to her newsletter below. Powered by Aweber.
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Jul 24, 2016

7 Effective Business Planning Tips

7 Effective Business Planning Tips

We all know that running a business is a challenge. When I first started my business, I was all over the place. I needed a blueprint so to speak to keep me balanced. So, I came up with the following 7 effective business planning tips:

1. Business plan

Don't put off writing a business plan. The time is NOW! Having a plan helps me stay focused and aim for the things that I would otherwise overlook. Check out the following article on the 5 Simple Goals for Business Planning.

2. Don't confuse expenses with profits

Expenses are your bills and profits are what is left over. It is important to familiarize yourself with these two concepts.

3. Don't undervalue your business idea

I believe in the power of passion. If you love what you do then perhaps someone else will too. Do some soul searching and make sure that the business you are about to start is your true passion in life. It shouldn't take long to find out what makes you happy? Doing something “just because” is not the answer. What do you enjoy doing. An idea alone does not make for a great business. Be passionate about your business so that others can see your passion as well. Check out 10 Tips to Start a New Business and Make It Work.

4. Work at your plan

It's one thing to write a business plan but it's another story to work at it. You need to take action or your business will stall. There is always something new and changes occur all the time. Make sure you're just writing down your plan but also working toward achieving your goals.

5. Don't cheat on the details in the first 12 months

The first year of business is always tough. Make sure you are up to date with the following:

  • Financials- cash flow is the most important element
  • Milestones
  • Important dates
  • Responsibilities
  • Important deadlines

6. Remain focused

It's important to remain focused on your main business priorities. Stick to what is necessary and what is not. Only you know your business. Highlight those successful areas where you can concentrate to continue to make it better. Use surveys and ask your customers for their opinions. This tactic will help you stay on top of the game while at the same time, provide the best updated product and/or service your business can offer.

7. Focus on substance and marketing

There are many opportunities of improving and marketing your small business online. Social media marketing, article marketing, offline marketing and word of mouth are all tools you should learn to do. Check out the following articles:

Powerful Social Media Marketing Tools for Business Success and 5 Marketing Tips to Spotlight On Your Business for additional ideas.

Do you agree with the above 7 Effective Business Planning Tips? Please share by leaving your comments below. Thank you!

About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog & The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom Blog. She is also owner at Books About Me. Sign up for the newsletter below and never miss a powerful business marketing article plus receive a FREE ebook on ‘How to Rock Your Business with A Blog.’ Business 2 Blogger.

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