Work at Home Disruptions — How to Keep Them From Derailing Your Business

Working from home has several advantages, such as allowing you to be your own boss, having a flexible time schedule and being able to spend more quality time with your family. There is, however, one disadvantage and that is that there are some things (and people) that can often become disruptions, making it hard for you to concentrate on doing your job.

Home business disruptionsThe main disruptions you may have will probably come from those closest to you- your family

Kids running around the house, arguing, talking loud and interrupting you can cause you to lose your focus.   If you have toddlers, you may want to see if you can get a trustworthy adult to come sit with them during your work hours, to prevent them from disrupting you. If you have school-age children, plan your working hours for when they are in school, so you’ll have free time to spend with them once they get home. Another option may be to get up in the wee hours, when everybody is still asleep and everything is quiet, to work. That way you can stop or take a break in the mornings to eat breakfast with your kids, fix lunch or handle any household chores that need to be done.

Your husband or wife may think it’s perfectly okay to just walk in your home office at any time and start a discussion, launch a complaint or demand attention when you are at your busiest with your work-at-home job. Explain to him or her that you are working now, but that you want to be able to fully focus on what they have to say. It’s probably a good thing to set aside a specific time of day to spend with your spouse and let him or her address any issues they have, so that they don’t feel ignored or slighted.

Friends can be a big disruption as well. If they are used to telephoning you whenever the mood strikes, it may be a difficult habit for them to break. They may even be insulted when you won’t make the time to talk to them when they call. Like your family, your friends also may not understand that what you are doing is as legitimate a job as if you were going to work in an outside office. Share with them what you’re doing and give them your work schedule, so they will know when you will have time open to talk.
Working from home can be a good experience, once you help those you care about adjust to your new situation.

It’s really just a matter of using diplomacy, setting the appropriate boundaries and standing your ground.

Getting Started with a Home Business – New Series

  • Home BusinessEarlier this year I talked about creating a small business website. Those posts are helpful provided you already have a business. But given the economy, there are a considerable number of new people who may be looking for business ideas they can run from home.

Running a business from home has its blessings, but it also has some negatives. As part of this series you will want to read Monday’s post: “Beating Work at Home Disruptions”. Not everyone is good at the solitary life working at home can mean, so before you decide, it’s good to know as much as you can about what to expect.

Before you decide what business you want to run from home, you should take an assessment of your skills, personality traits and think about the things you like to do. One of the toughest challenges you can face as a home entrepreneur may be staying motivated when sales are slow and the money isn’t flowing as fast as you would like. You need to enjoy your business enough to continue even when it’s not profitable yet. It also helps to have a plan – a type of road map to follow – so you don’t get off-track. We’ll talk more about this later.

To help you consider ideas, we’ll talk about “The Best Work At Home Jobs for Parents”  on Tuesday. If you have young toddlers running around or only a few hours to devote to your home enterprise, you’ll want to carefully consider businesses that can help you capitalize on the time you have available.

If you have never run a business before, you should know it’s a lot harder than earning a paycheck. For that reason, you may want to consider fairly simple businesses to start while you learn the ropes. To help you, we’ll suggest several “Easy Home Businesses to Start” on Wednesday.

There are about five specific business models that are ideally suited as Internet businesses you can run from home in your spare time. You may want to grab a copy of Yanik Silver’s Moonlighting on the Internet, where he described those five business models:

  1. Information Marketing – creating digitally delivered information products.
  2. Selling products on eBay
  3. Affiliate Marketing – promoting other people’s products online for a commission.
  4. Setting up shop online via Yahoo Stores or an e-Commerce Store.
  5. Blogging

We’ll tell you more about information marketing and affiliate marketing in future posts. On Thursday, we’ll share  “Three Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms to Make Money on eBay“. 

And we’ll conclude this series with “Ways to Monetize Your Blog” on Friday. So bookmark this blog, join our email list or sign up for our blog feed.

Don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know how this series helped you narrow down your ideas. We’d also like to hear what other topics you would like to read about on this blog. Thanks for visiting.

Avon Reps – Help for Marketing Your Business on the Net

Internet Marketing for Avon Reps

Avon Reps,  you’ve exhausted your list of 250 friends and family.  And your well-honed strategy for finding all of the people in your area who are looking for an Avon rep is sputtering. So what next?

Grab a copy of Internet Marketing for Avon Representatives.

If you are not a technical person — which chances are high because you are selling Avon — you may find internet marketing a bit daunting. But here is a great little guide you can read and implement in an hour or two that will help you reach potential Avon customers anywhere in the world.

This simple guide covers the technical stuff:

  • How to set up a blog using blogger
  • How to announce your blog to search engines
  • How to link your blog to Google Analytics to provide you with great stats and information about your visitors

And it briefly suggests some effective marketing ideas for driving traffic to your blog once you’ve set it up. You’ll find information on:

  • How to promote your blog on other sites and forums
  • How to get other sites to link to your blog
  • How to write articles and what to write about to promote your blog
  • How to avoid breaking Avon’s guidelines while you promote your business online.
  • In short, almost everything you need to know to keep growing your Avon business.

You can get more information about Internet Marketing for Avon Representatives here:

http://savvymarketingsecrets.com/blog/go/internet-marketing-for-avon-reps/

People selling other network marketing products may find this guide helpful too because it addresses some of the issues all network marketers face when they take their products online. Give it a try and leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

Attend International Freelancers Day to improve your freelance business

Freelancers are hanging out  online today as part of International Freelancers Day, an event created by the authors of  “The Wealthy Freelancer,” Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia. These three guys are successful copywriters whose book and other training courses is helping others succeed as solopreneurs.

Right now, I am listening to Pam Slim describe how to “Create a killer network to build and boost your business.” She is describing the three types of people you should add to your network to succeed in your freelance business. You can learn more from Pam Slim at www.escapefromcubiclenation.com.

This online event will continue into tomorrow, Saturday, and it promises to offer a lot of great tips for solopreneurs. If you have the opportunity, use this link to join in. If your schedule won’t allow, check back here and I will share some of the highlights.

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=OADc_&m=JP8oSAee.XxV1r&b=FAOXDklUEu2jmsNkZ_NtzA

I hope you will join me for the event and please share your comments about this event below.

    Here is some of what I learned from Pam. In order to succeed in your freelance business you need to build a network of different types of people.Your network should include:

  • Connectors – She is one – These are people who know a lot of people and are willing to introduce you to some of them.
  • Mavens – These are people with a lot of specific knowledge or information that they are happy to share. These are your deep information experts who really know what they are talking about.
  • Salesmen –  These people love to serve. They can really help you to see how you can position your product. They will tell you, this is the hook. This is how you want to talk to your customer. They also have an extensive network and may enjoy talking about your product or service  to others because they really believe in it. 
  • Pam Slim

    Pam Slim

    This network can provide you with encouragement and support to keep you strong and hold you accountable as you build your business.

    Pam says you will want your network to include:

  •  Peer mentors – people who are moving and developing in their own businesses, and roughly in the same stage as you. These should not be primarily be people who are still employed; but people who are transitioning from employee to entrepreneur.
    • You need to identify places where these types of people hangout online and in person. Pam mentioned Cubicle Nation, Biznik.com and Meetups, as places where you might find others at this stage. You may want to join a Mastermind group of 6 to 8 people on a paid basis, or by creating one yourself. A mastermind group meets regularly, and holds members accountable.
  •  Your second circle of influence should include technical experts — people you  can turn to for specific information, such as her friends who are WordPress experts, who can help any time she has a problem.
     
  • And every network should include a High Council of Jedi Knights, Pam says. These are people who have accomplished a high level of success. They really inspire you. They may be people you follow from afar, by hearing them speak at conferences, reading their blogs and books. You may send them an email to gain their insights. They could be younger than you, but have accomplished a great deal and people you want to be like.
  •  Often these are people you could come to when you are facing great personal challenge. This tends to be a temporary relationship that you outgrow as you achieve your own success.

    Pam says it is important to think strategically about creating this network, to identify these people, name them and put a priority on connecting with them.

    “If I were a betting woman, I would bet that the people who take the time to build these networks (will succeed faster and at a higher level) than the people who try to go it alone” Pam says. “If you are not leveraging these networks, you’re working too hard.”

Creating a Facebook Fan Page for Savvy Marketing Fans

 We’ve talked a bit about social media marketing, but now it’s time to get serious.

Nothing is hotter right now than Facebook which has about 500 million members and is beginning to give Google a run for its money in both the search and advertising arenas. This is something no small business owner can afford to ignore.

Proposed Savvy Fan Page Logo box

Proposed Savvy Fan Page Logo box

But what is the best way to capitalize on all those raving Facebook fans. My sources say the best way is to create a Fan Page on Facebook. So that is what I am planning to do but I need input from my current fans. I created a graphic to put on my Fan Page which I haven’t published yet? Please tell me what you think.

Also leave a comment of the type of information you would like to see on my Facebook Fan Page.

  1. What information would help you develop and promote your blog?
  2. What would help you with your small business marketing?
  3. What hot buttons are you struggling with right now that I could help you research?
  4. Tell me if you have already setup a Facebook Fan Page? What’s on your page?

Facebook Marketing Secrets complimentary reportI have a brand new special report on “Facebook Marketing Secrets” which I will share with anyone who comments. I also will be giving this report away to anyone who joins my new social marketing club. So leave a comment below or add your name and email address in the box on the right to get your copy of Facebook Marketing Secrets.

Thanks for your help and tell me when you create a Facebook Fan Page for your business.

Marcia Ming

Organized Parent Meets Franklin Covey, a Savvy Marketing Case Study

In a recent blog post I talked about savvy marketing and what it is. While browsing my email today I found a great example of savvy marketing.

Organized Parent's products

Last year, I interviewed Stephanie Vozza, creator of a website called The Organized Parent.com. You can read my original article, Home Business Mom. I was perusing an email from Franklin Covey.com – you know the time-management people. I love their email and their website. They always have really cool planners and totes to help you stay organized.   Franklin Covey promotes continuously to anyone who has ever bought anything from them, or to any email in their database.

This time it was a “Back to Busy” sales flyer and there were some really cute new items I had never seen there before, so I clicked through to take a closer look. One of the links was The Organized Parent. How neat, I thought as I clicked the link.

There was a whole page of items from the Organized Parent with neat colors and totally different products from the sort of stuff the corporate-oriented Franklin Covey site normally carries. That made me totally curious.   How did Stephanie get Franklin Covey to carry and promote her products – after all, she is somewhat of a competitor?

I shot off an email and here is Stephanie Vozza’s response.

I’m happy to tell you the rest of the story regarding FranklinCovey!

Stephanie Vozza

Stephanie Vozza

You’ll notice that FranklinCovey has several partners on their site. I was fortunate enough to be their first. The CEO Sarah Merz contacted me in February 2009 to see if I’d like to form a partnership.

Being the global leader in time management, FranklinCovey wanted to expand their website offerings with a wider variety of organizational products. Understanding the power of partnerships, they decided to find leaders in different organizing niches and I was tapped to be the family organizing tool supplier.

I sell a selection of my products on their site and I blog for them as the FranklinCovey Busy Mom Guru at their Get Organized Community. In return, I get a broader platform and increased brand awareness.

You mentioned that we’re competitors. I think this is where business owners need to define and develop a strong expertise in their niche. Like I mentioned, FranklinCovey is the global leader in time management. The Organized Parent is a leader in organization as it pertains to moms. Similar but different. I would encourage small business owners to seek out similar relationships with large companies. As Stephen Covey himself would say, look for the win/win.

I believe we’re all in this together and the companies that survive and thrive are the companies that put the needs of their customers first. This year, I have become the Organizing Guru for giggle.com, a great store for new parents. And I will continue to seek out new partnerships that expose The Organized Parent brand to a new segment of moms.

Well, we at Savvy Marketing Secrets applaud Stephanie Vozza’s success. We’re also grateful that she took the time to bring us this update. We invite our readers to share their own savvy marketing success stories. Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.