Ways to Avoid Distractions When Growing Your Home-Based Business

Ways to Avoid Distractions When Growing Your Home-Based Business

Working from home can be either a blessing or curse depending on how organized you are and what family circumstances you are dealing with.

If you have young children, for example, you may find it tough to try to get it all done each day unless you have a great support network. If your children are older, they need to understand that just because you are home does not mean you have “free time”. The same is true of neighbors and family members who try to load tasks on your plate because they don’t understand that work has to be your priority.

Here are nine ways to avoid distractions so you can grow your home-based business successfully.

1. Have Your Own Dedicated Workspace

Hopefully it should have a door you can close. But no matter how large or small, it should be the place where all your business-related items are.

2. Make the Most of the Space You Have

Make the most of the space you have by going up to the ceiling with shelving units. Get a multipurpose printer that also faxes and so on. Get a tall filing cabinet for your important papers, supplies, etc.

3. Be Sure to Have Fast Connectivity

If your computer is old and clunky or your internet connection is always buffering, update them.

4. Keep Your Phone Nearby but on Vibrate

Vibrate will let you know calls are coming in but without a distracting sound or ringtone that will break your concentration.

5. Keep a To-Do List

Pen and paper is fine for this, or you can create a digital one. There is nothing quite as satisfying as crossing something off the list once you have done it.

6. Keep a Calendar and Timetable

Keep a calendar with all of your most important dates, such as project deadlines. Try to work something that resembles 9 to 5 or a reasonably regular number of hours per day if you can, by setting a timetable of what needs to be done each day.

For example, pencil in 30 minutes at 9, 12, and 4 to take care of email, phone calls, and social media marketing. Create a time slot for marketing your services regularly and looking for work on the freelance websites so you can pick up more clients. Set aside time for breaks and also exercise.

7. Keep Media to a Minimum

Turn off social media notifications. Don’t try to listen to the news, TV, or music with vocals while you work, as they are all too distracting. Don’t keep checking your email and don’t answer the phone if you are really in the middle of something.

8. Don’t Fall for the Myth of Multitasking

There is no such thing as multitasking. It is actually the brain switching back and forth rapidly between two or more tasks. It can be very stressful and above all, it is inefficient. If you have two tasks that will take an hour each but try to do them at the same time, it will take you at least two hours to get them done – compared to working on the first one for an hour and the second one for an hour without having to worry about where you left off.

9. Be Organized and Have Systems

Have a place for everything, and everything in its place. You should also create systems whereby you do the same task the same way each time. In this way, if you ever want to delegate it to someone else, you can easily do so and free up your time to accomplish less menial tasks.

Use these tips to minimize distractions when working from home.

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Tips on How to Advertise Effectively When Growing Your Business

Tips on How to Advertise Effectively When Growing Your Business

When most new small business owners are first starting out, they probably don’t have much of a budget to spend on advertising. However, as your business grows, investing some of your profits in ads can really help boost your business and bring in even more profits.

The main thing to consider is whether or not your ads are getting the best return on investment (ROI). Fortunately, online ads can give you a big bang for your buck if you plan ahead and watch your metrics carefully. Here are some tips on how to advertise effectively when growing your business.

Set a Goal for Each Campaign

Do you want more:
* Traffic
* Subscribers
* Sales
* Brand recognition

This will affect the wording of your ads and which type you will use. It will also determine your call to action (CTA) for your target audience to take the next step now that they have seen your ad.

Niche Ads

One of the reasons online marketing is so successful is that it allows you to target a niche using keywords. Whenever someone searches online at Google, for example, if you have an ad running in their AdWords system, your ad will be shown.

In terms of social media ads, you can choose keywords or interests, age groups and more. Smart niche marketers create what is called a marketing persona – a profile of the ideal customer they wish to target. They might be a woman, married with children, aged between 31 and 40, who has pets, and so on. Social media ads such as those at Facebook would actually allow you to choose every single one of those if you wished to ensure that your ad was not being shown to people who would probably not be interested.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

The other key feature of online marketing is the PPC ads. You only pay if a person clicks on the ad to obey your call to action. The percentage of people who complete the CTA are referred to as the click-through rate. A good click-through rate means your ad is effective. However, a poor completion rate of subscribers or sales would mean the page you are sending them to is not converting well for some reason.

Create a New Landing Page for Every New Campaign

An easy way to track click-throughs and conversions is to set up a unique landing page for each campaign so you can track the ROI on your ad. If you see your visitors are not converting, you can edit, test and track alternate versions of the page until you come up with a winner. For example, you might change the headline, add more reviews and testimonials, or create a stronger call to action. Tracking and testing does take time, but the higher your conversion rate from the same amount of traffic, the better.

Doing the Math

An average conversion rate would be 1%. That means one out of every 100 people would buy. If you are selling a product for $20, you would need to make sure you were spending less than that on your ads.

But what if you could boost your conversion rate to 5%? Then you would get $100 per 100 visitors. If your ad has a high click-through rate, then you can keep repeating this process over and over again – in which case, the ads will more than pay for themselves.

Know Your Niche

Focus on what your niche needs most, and you should have no trouble coming up with winning products to sell, and effective ads.

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The Best Work to Outsource When Growing Your Business

The Best Work to Outsource When Growing Your Business

Many small business owners get nervous at the idea of letting go of certain tasks in their business and outsourcing them. The truth is that it’s really the only way to grow your business effectively. It’s impossible to do everything yourself, so it is a case of strategically choosing what to outsource.

There are a number of factors to consider:

* Things you don’t do well
* Things you don’t like doing
* Tasks you don’t have the skills for
* Things that eat up a lot of your time but don’t contribute directly to earning income

Here are seven suggestions for the best tasks to outsource.

1. Bookkeeping

Unless you are an accountant yourself, it is probably best to outsource this task to the professionals. Keep good records to make their job easier and keep costs down. Don’t hand them shoeboxes of paperwork a couple of days before your taxes are due.

2. Customer Service

Once you have been in business for a while, you should have a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from customers. Outsource your customer service to one or more workers so you have good coverage. Consider using a ticketing portal to help keep everything organized.

3. Content Creation

If you are a slow writer, hire ghostwriters to help you keep your blog fresh, or to create information products like eBooks that you can sell to your target audience.

4. Updating Your Blog

Whether you write the content yourself or get help, the content will still need to be uploaded to your blog or website. This is an easy task for a virtual assistant or freelancer who knows WordPress or similar blogging software well.

5. Logos, Artwork and Images

Unless you are a professional artist who has mastered Photoshop, chances are you would be better off hiring a freelancer who already owns this rather expensive software and is skilled at using all of its impressive features.

People do judge a book by its cover, so if you are publishing eBooks or multimedia courses, take the time and money to find a good designer who can make your product look like a high-quality one worth buying.

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is an essential tool for all successful businesses. You need to create offers, new lists, and a “funnel” to get subscribers. Once a person is on your email marketing list, you need to send them content and interesting promotional offers so they will buy from you regularly.

Email marketing isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming. Your lists need to hear from you on a regular basis and you need to track the success of what you are sending out, such as your holiday promotions.

An email marketing specialist can track your success, test different creatives, and more. They can also upload the content you wish to provide, and set up new promotions each time you wish to target another topic within your niche.

7. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is another essential chore for modern businesses which business owners just don’t have enough time or inclination for. It can be a fine art to marketing well on Facebook or LinkedIn. There are many freelancers skilled at certain networks who could help take your business to the next level.

Don’t be afraid to let go of these tasks, unless you are already an expert on them. You’ll end up with more time to do high-earning activities that no one else can do, as well as tasks that you enjoy.

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Seven Important Considerations When Growing a Product-Based Business

Seven Important Considerations When Growing a Product-Based Business

There are several important considerations when it comes to starting and growing a product-based business. Here are some to keep in mind.

1. Digital versus Physical

A lot will depend on the kinds of products you sell, digital versus physical. Digital is far easier because there isn’t any warehousing, inventory, picking, packing and shipping, and so on. On the other hand, physical products are often extremely popular.

2. Knowing Your Niche

Choosing the right topic or niche is essential if you are to make money and hopefully not start to get bored with what you are doing. You need to determine whether or not you have found a paying market, and if so, what kinds of products those interested in your niche are buying.

3. Going Head to Head with the Competition

Some new business owners make the mistake of thinking they need to come up with something completely unique. The truth is, if it is not already sitting on store shelves, or you can’t find similar eBooks and multimedia courses, there’s probably little demand for it. You can go head to head with your competition by offering similar products at the same or a slightly lower price to start gaining a market share. It’s easier than you think because you will simply be offering things you know people are already buying.

4. Price versus Value

As a new business owner, you may be tempted to price yourself lower than your competition in order to get some sales, but don’t drop your price so low that your target audience might wonder if there’s something wrong with your product.

Price is also not the only consideration when it comes to your prospects making purchasing decisions. There is value as well. Compare two digital products side by side, for example. Your product might be similar to others on the market, but offering great bonus items plus various extras like checklists, templates and other items your audience can really use will create a higher perceived value.

5. Positioning Yourself as an Expert

Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to starting your own business. Make the most of whatever past experience you have in that niche or industry, and knowledge you possess, to position yourself as an expert worth paying attention to. It will make it easier over time for prospects to recognize your brand and come to respect it.

6. Understanding the Logistics of Selling Physical Products

Perhaps you have invented a product you feel sure people will love. You’ve done your market research, surveyed your target audience, and are confident it is going to be a winner. Now you have to transform your idea into reality. There are many steps involved before your first unit is ever sold and arrives in the mail at the customer’s home. This process can take months or even years depending on what mistakes you make or blind alleys you go down.

Fortunately, there are examples you can follow of successful entrepreneurs who have gone before you and outlined a general formula for success. Books and eCourses can help you follow that formula.

7. Having a Frugal Mindset

You need to be frugal so you can minimize costs and maximize profits. Know what everything costs, down to the last cushioned back and roll of tape used to send out your orders, or what your warehouse/fulfillment house is charging for them to be sure you are getting the best deal.

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