Category Archives: - Get Motivated

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Summer Business Tips for Mums

Summertime – that time of the year when everything slows down and moves out of doors. “Less work, more play” is often the motto found in the minds of many. It’s a time when you spend a day at the beach or lake, or take an afternoon off work just to be outside. Kids are out of school for the summer and holidays are on the schedule. Outdoor activities take front seat.

But how do mumpreneurs deal with juggling their business commitments in the holidays? Here are some summer business tips for mums.

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Running Your Business While on Holiday

It’s been reported that at least 60 percent of all small business owners don’t take a holiday in any given year. And of those who do, 75 percent still do some sort of work every day during their holiday,  These numbers are higher for home-based business solopreneurs who have no one to toss the reins to while they take a break. It’s a challenge to take time away from your business when you know that if you aren’t working, you aren’t earning money.

But taking time off allows you to recharge your energy levels so that you don’t burn out. The summer slow-down time is the perfect time to do this.

Here are some tips to manage your work and time while you take time to have some fun.

  • Plan ahead. This means setting up a schedule on your calendar for when you will be away, so you can get projects done ahead of that time. Let clients know when you’ll be away and have them schedule what they need prior to or after this time.For example, if you are going to be gone for a week in July, have all your projects finished the week before you leave. Don’t try to fit 3 days’ work into the day before you leave. Give yourself time to fit in all the activities you need to get done.
  • Set up systems and tools. Almost all businesses have tasks they can automate. Marketing efforts can be maintained with various tools. For example, social media posts can be scheduled with tools like HootSuite. Blog posts can be written in advance and scheduled to post later in WordPress.Autoresponder systems like Aweber.com allow you to schedule your email message updates, so set up one that answers common questions you receive.Be sure to add a note that questions will be responded to personally after you return (unless you have a virtual assistant who can take care of them).
  • Virtual Assistant/Online Manager. Hire a virtual assistant to take the reins while you’re away. They can take care of your emails, update posts or whatever you need them to do while you’re away. They can work as your project manager as well, keeping your projects moving forward. They can even help you in planning and setting up tools and systems.
  • Outsource. Even if you have a virtual assistant to manage your business, you can outsource many other individual tasks, such as writing, graphic work or blog maintenance.
  • Take care of maintenance only. While on holiday, make it a point to only check in once in a while. Do the very minimum to keep your business going, such as checking your email once a day and quickly checking in with your virtual assistant a couple of times.
  • Inform clients. Let clients know you will be away from the business. Be upfront with them so they can get work to you ahead of time if they need to. Letting them know your schedule demonstrates that you value them and respect their business. But don’t forget, many of them will be on holiday too

If you need help with setting up any of the above or running it over the summer, check out Mum’s Little Helper

Just because you own a business doesn’t mean you can’t take time off for relaxation and rejuvenation.

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Using the tools and systems available online can help you keep your business from falling into a slump while you are away. You can continue to market your business with help from a virtual assistant or concierge company. And you can keep your relationship with clients on good terms by informing them of your plans well in advance.

Managing Your Time While Having Fun

Summertime can find many online business owners focusing more on where they could be instead of the work that’s actually in front of them. We see images of boats on the lake, beaches and swimming pools and tall cool drinks instead of our computer monitor and the tasks at hand.

Working? Or staring at the sky?

Working? Or staring at the sky?

Often, we are constantly checking the clock or the weather outside or even our Facebook accounts.

The summer slow-down steals your motivation to work and kills your productivity, making you feel like you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle to get work done. You try to work but the outside air is calling you…. You can beat this slowdown and still have time for fun by managing your time better.

These tips will help you manage your time so you can get work done more quickly.

  • Switch your working hours. Change your normal working hours so that you have enough outside time to keep you satisfied. For instance, you could work early mornings and late evenings, leaving the afternoons free to enjoy outside activities. Or take certain days off during the week.
  • Delegate work to others. Outsource more than you normally do in order to free up some time. Hire a virtual assistant or online manager to take care of the big projects, giving you more time to do what you want.
  • Take advantage of technology. Use your smartphone to keep up with email and social media while you’re having fun. Wi-fi is available almost everywhere, making it easier than ever to keep in contact with customers and clients. Just be sure to set time limits for yourself so you don’t end up answering emails instead of catching waves at the beach.computer
  • Use to-do lists. A daily to-do list during the summer can keep you organized and on task. Ticking off ‘done’ items from your list keeps you motivated to finish, instead of checking your social media accounts or daydreaming.
  • Prioritise work. Plan out your days with work that has to be done. Do your money making tasks first. Also, don’t take on a lot of new projects if you are more interested in going out in the boat. Keep your work load lighter if possible so you can enjoy time on the water.
  • Break up big projects into small micro-tasks you can do throughout the day or week. This works for projects such as a new product launch, and for client work as well.
  • Take your work outside. There’s no reason you can’t take your laptop to the park or your back deck to work. Even without a wi-fi connection, you can write documents or work on graphics.
  • Take advantage of systems. You can create a bunch of blog posts ahead of time, and schedule them for publication at a later date using WordPress. The same is true for your autoresponder messages. And social media posts can be pre-scheduled to appear at a later time using software like HootSuite.

Managing your time and taking advantage of tools and outsourcing can help you do more than just dream of being outside during the summer. Breaking down projects into smaller tasks can help you get more done in less time.  Mum’s Little Helper can assist with any of your outsourcing requirements

If You Have Children at Home – How Do You Manage To Get Work Done?

Many online business owners work from home. And just as many may have kids at home with them during the summer holidays. It doesn’t matter whether they are young children or teens, working at home with kids can be challenging. Not only do you have to find time to work your business you have to keep the kids entertained as well.

Here are 10 tricks for working at home with children:

  1. Be flexible. Get up early and work before the kids wake up, or stay up a little later at night to finish projects and jump online throughout the day when you need to. Send emails while kids are napping. Don’t worry so much about how many hours you are working, and instead focus on getting your work done whenever you can.
  2. Get the kids involved. Hire them to do some of the housework while you work. If they are old enough, hire them to do some of the cooking or taking care of younger siblings. Older kids can even be hired to do small tasks in your business, like packaging orders or uploading photos to your website.
  3. Schedule playdates with other mums who have kids the same age. You can alternate between your homes so that one parent isn’t watching the kids more often than the other.
  4. Take advantage of technology. Use your smartphone or tablet when you’re out. Check your email or make notes while you’re at the park or take conference calls on the way to an outing.
  5. Outsource more of your work. Giving work to a virtual assistant or ghostwriter can free up time to let you spend time with your kids doing fun things this summer.
  6. Go on field trips. Take the kids with you when you need to pick up supplies or pick up a gift for a client. Along the way, stop at places your kids might enjoy, like a new ice cream shop.
  7. Go to the library. Or even a local bookstore. Check out new books or DVDs the kids can watch and read while you work. Or get some work done while older kids browse the library for their own books or DVDs.
  8. Send the kids to day camps. There are many local authorities that offer reasonably-priced camps your kids would want to attend. Everything from sports to music to adventures is available in almost every town.day-camp
  9. Schedule work ahead of time so you know when something has to get done, and can make arrangements for the kids to be entertained elsewhere (either outside the home or with their own activities).
  10. Don’t schedule any big projects to be due during the summer. Work more on maintenance and keeping things updated.

If you have children at home during the summer, finding ways to work with them underfoot can be a challenge. Make it a priority to spend time with them doing fun activities while fitting your work into their schedule.

Other Tips and things to consider during the summer: 

Even if your business sees downtime and you are staying in town, there are some things you can do to get your business ready for the latter part of the year.

  • Spend time looking for ways to add passive income. Create that program or eBook you don’t have time to work on during peak times of the year. Check out affiliate programs that fit your audience.
  • Back up and tidy up your files. Consider an online backup programor an external storage device These can be used in addition to external backup systems. Summertime means many areas are prone to summer storms and power loss. Print out copies of important business information like client contact information and passwords.
  • Jump into a training program for something you’ve wanted or needed to learn. Or attend networking events that can help you grow your business. Print out some relevant reading material or download some audio files to listen to while you are at the beach
  • Plan marketing for the rest of the year. Do market research to see what your customers think about your business or services.
  • Update your website if it needs a makeover. Improve navigation structures, remove or update old content, update the design and more.
  • Look for ways to incorporate summer type themes or information into your email newsletter and your website. For example, send out newsletters that focus on summer specials, mixed with summer recipes or tips for pet care during the heat. Just make sure it relates to your niche.

Even if business slows down during this time of year, you can still make progress with your business. Take the time to make plans for growth, update your website and network with others.

What Happens Next

In this report we’ve looked at ways to keep your business thriving while taking time to enjoy the season. We’ve gone over some tips on getting work done if there are kids underfoot and how you can spend time doing activities with them while still having time for work. I hope that you have found something that you can take away and use in your own business.

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Now it’s time to start implementing some of the tips you’ve found here so that you can enjoy the summer. Start planning and scheduling your projects. Get help from a virtual assistant or outsource work you are going to need done while you enjoy the season!

If you would like to hire a virtual assistant over the summer, or if you would like a few hours of hands on help to implement some of the projects covered in this report, then check out Mum’s Little Helper, a joint venture between Motivating Mum and Sooqini.  You can pay somebody to take care of your business projects for a few hours, or for the whole summer, so you can get on with the things that are important to you and have some serious fun.

Want more support and advice for your biz? Sign up here

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Mumpreneur Profile – Louise Sims of Stampin Up

Louise Sims Stampin' Up

Louise Sims was eight months pregnant with her first daughter when she joined Stampin Up. Now, with another baby on the way, Louise is determined to remain fully productive through pregnancy in order to further grow her business.

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Living your Dream: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

When you were a child did you have big ambitions as to what you were going to be?  Did you have big amazing dreams of being a sports superstar, or an astronaut, a pilot, or the doctor that discovered the cure for cancer?  Did you have places you wanted to go and things you wanted to do before real life took over?

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Take my daughter to work day

Well I am here now to tell you to never give up on all those dreams no matter how far fetched.  Yes you may be a suburban mum of two, running a small business and doing your daily grind to make ends meet (well I am anyway!) But amazing things can still happen if you keep your dreams alive. Continue reading

How to use Evernote to get you and your Business finally Organised

I’ve had Evernote on my PC and on my phone for quite a while.  I’ve been using it here and there  - mainly to take text notes when I’m out and about for projects, blog ideas etc.

How to use Evernote

But I have recently been looking at all the other things that you can do on Evernote and now I realise that it is just the most useful app I possess, bar none.  Here are some of the things i have done with my Evernote set up just recently. Continue reading

Win 1 month of Social Media management from Social Exposure

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Today on Motivating Mum, I am giving away one month’s free social media management from Social Exposure, the social media experts.

Here is what they have to say about themselves:

Here at Social Exposure, we have a fabulous team of qualified social media professionals who will create, manage and develop your social presence to give your business a constant return on investment.

Our ambition was always to redefine the way companies promote themselves online. With so many agencies out there talking about brand awareness and search engine optimisation, we wanted to create something that was much more focused on that all important return on investment and not just creating a big hola!

It wasn’t easy, though it did work, we started the service with 5 test clients and within the first 12 months we were helping over 50 businesses to make a return from social media.

This number has continued to increase every month since the launch yet our founding principles of not tying clients into contracts, not charging setup fees and never setting minimum terms have remained exactly the same.

We are an ever growing business that prides itself on delivering value for money, continually pushing ourselves through training and internal investment, along with a clear understanding that if our clients are successful then so too will we be.

If you would like to see what Social Exposure could do for your business in a month, then please enter the Rafflecopter below:

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Motivating Mum Conference: 14th May Bishops Stortford – Win a Free Ticket

I am delighted to announce that the first Motivating Mum Conference will take place on Wednesday 14th May, between 10am and 2pm at the Great Hadham Golf Club, near Bishop’s Stortford.

A dedicated information and networking day for women in business and those who are starting up or thinking about it: 

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  • Speakers on topics including: social media, free marketing resources and practical techniques to maximise your time
  • Dedicated times for informal networking during morning refreshments and a light buffet lunch
  • An information and product area to browse
  • A conference guide and information pack to take awayacheivment41

Click here to visit the Conference website for more details and to book.

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The Motivating Mum Conference 2014 speakers

  1. Keynote speech from Saira Hamilton, MasterChef 2013 semi-finalist and owner of her companysmall aubergine
  2. Practical tips on how to develop a social media strategy from Debbie O’Connor, Master Franchisee for Motivating Mum UK
  3. A brief overview on support for local businesses from Liza Armstrong, My Incubator Ware Business Advisor
  4. Free marketing resources for small business from Dawn Southgate,  Head of Knowledge, The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
  5. Practical techniques to maximise your time across business and personal life from Sanchia AronbergAronberg Trainingsuccessquote19

Thank you to the sponsors and supporters of this event:

Prontaprint
My Incubator
Shine Salon Ware
Liberty Wills and Trusts Ltd

Don’t miss out!  Click here to visit the Conference website. 

If you live anywhere near Bishops Stortford (or if you have friends that are interested in business that do) – then please let them know about this event – we would love to see you there.  In order to maximise the publicity for this event, I am offering one free ticket to a lucky reader who promotes the event for us – please enter via the Rafflecopter below.

If you are the winner of the competition below and you don’t need a ticket (because you have already bought yours or because you cannot go to the event personally) then there is the option of a £40 Amazon voucher instead.  So please go ahead and book your ticket and then tell the rest of the world about it.

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Get your Business Idea off the Ground with the Fast Start Up Course

The Fast Start Up Course is a new video course which will give you everything you need to launch your home business successfully. Sign up using my link, and get some extra freebies from Motivating Mum and Mum’s the Boss (see below)…

The Fast Start Up Course and Community

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British & International Franchise Exhibition: 14 & 15 March at Olympia, London

The British & International Franchise Exhibition is taking place on 14 & 15 March at Olympia, London

  • Set up a family-friendly career in a franchised business
  • Free entry to exhibition – save up to £10

Franchised businesses are often a family affair, with many husbands and wives or siblings teaming up together to run a them. Multi-generational partnerships in particular are on the rise.

They are ideal for professionals who want to integrate work life with family life. Running your own franchised business allows those with children the flexibility and the chance to spend quality time with their families.

Becoming a franchisee offers the ideal solution. It provides the flexibility and freedom needed to make time for loved ones. At the same time, operating it under the umbrella of an already established brand and business model with the security of franchisor and franchisees’ support increases the likelihood of success.

Aspiring franchisees can find out more about the franchising industry and the exciting opportunities available to them at The British & International Franchise Exhibition, taking place at Olympia, London on 14 & 15 March 2014.

The exhibition will cover a wide range of sectors including food and drink, finance, property and travel. Some of the major exhibitors who will be at the exhibition include: McDonalds, Kare Plus and Anytime Fitness,  while overseas based companies present include Llao Llao, Mobalpa Kitchens, Fibrenew, Sanoserv, Shawarma Xpress and Crestcom International.

The British & International Franchise Exhibition is the only franchise exhibition in London this spring that is supported by the British Franchise Association (bfa). Only companies adhering to the bfa’s strict code of ethics can exhibit. Visitors can therefore have full confidence in all of the franchise opportunities on offer.

Visitors will be able to attend informative seminars throughout both days on a range of aspects of franchising including ‘An introduction to franchising’, ‘Executives in franchising’ and ‘Hands-on franchising.’ In these, expert consultants, solicitors, bankers and franchisors will cover all the essential aspects to be considered while planning a new career as a franchisee.

The Children’s Activity Centre, once again provided by the award winning Creation Station, is another popular feature of the exhibition. It aims to support families and mums who want to investigate the work-life balance opportunities that running your own franchise can bring. Visitors to the exhibition can explore everything on offer, safe in the knowledge that their children, accompanied by a family member or friend will be able to play with imaginative arts and crafts for the duration of the exhibition.

The Children’s Activity Centre is free, and children and parents can drop in throughout the day. Parents will also have the chance to speak with The Creation Station about its own franchise packages.

To register for The British & International Franchise Exhibition, please visit www.franchiseinfo.co.uk. Visitors can gain free admission by using the promotional code BFEFAM for when booking tickets at www.franchiseinfo.co.uk saving up to £10 on the door.

The British & International Franchise Exhibition is open from 10am each day, closing at 5pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday.

For the latest news and updates about The British & International Franchise Exhibition, follow the exhibition on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/ukfranchising, join The Franchise Exhibitions Group on LinkedIn or become a fan of the FranchiseInfo group on Facebook.

Why should you write out your your Goals and Resolutions?

So here we are just over half way through January, and half way through my monthly focus on goals and New Year’s Resolutions.  How are your resolutions going?  Have you managed to keep them all intact or are you slipping with some of them?

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This is the time of the year when most resolutions and goals fail. So why is this and what can you do about it? Continue reading

Make it Happen in 2014 – and Win an iPad Air

Following on from my monthly topic of Goals and Resolutions comes this great opportunity from Lloyds Bank.  They would like you to visit their facebook page and make a pledge  of your goals for 2014.  One lucky Motivating Mum reader who pledges on the site and fills in the Rafflecopter below, will win an iPad air, and you also stand a chance of featuring in the Lloyds Bank advertising (and of course of achieving your goal!) Continue reading