Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't Quit

Running and screaming children is a norm for every parents. As WAHM, this will get tougher. You will be in the middle of trying to get the little one dress up for school when the customer called up. You need to meet deadlines in a messy house. I am sure these sounds familiar. The big questions is "How are you doing to keep yourself sane in the crazy environment?" Well, you don't have to. You are already crazy but you are not alone.

There is no guideline on how to be a better WAHM because you are already the best. I can feel that sometimes you tend to break down not knowing what to do. Hang in there ok? I am quoting a little poem that teaches us not to give up no matter what our circumstances is.

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit...
Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems to far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit.
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit!

Author Unknown

p/s: Do share your story about the time you are almost give up with us.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I am back!

Sorry to all my follower for missing in action for the past months. I had been busy with my work and had not been discipline enough to update this blog. Now I am back with more news, events and information. Stay tune.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Twitter: A Viral Marketing Tool

Twitter tweety, it the the tool for you? Well, whether you like it or not, the question posed by Twitter " What are you doing?" has become almost popular as AOL's  “You’ve got mail.” So what is twitter and how can you use it to make people hear you?

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Many people use this for fun to meet new people, some use Twitter to get traffic to their blogs or websites and some use Twitter to gain more knowledge from well known experts in a certain field. Here are some Twitter tips that I implement that brings me new followers and customers every day.

1. Post Some Interesting Things that you can offer to your follower - people are interested in how you can help them or what they can learn from you.

2. Target your market by searching for your niche area - find and follow people of interest where you can grow your  niche market.
3. Join Professional Social Networking Sites - find the Twitter groups and write a about your services. People that are interested will follow you.
4. Post a question with a poll - of course your poll will be on your website or blog but announce on Twitter that you have a poll.
5. Ask for help or direction in an area where you need clarification - people love to share their experience and knowledge to help others.
6. Don't just post tweets, get involved with conversations - it may seem awkward at times but join in and respond to tweets. The more involved you are, the more friends that you will establish.
7. Sign up for TweetLater for automation 
8. Post your Twitter link in your social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook (has an application that automatically shows all of your Twitter updates) etc.
9. Search for a big name/successful person in your niche market - go to their followers list and start following them. Most of these people can be potential customers that are looking for more information.
10. Fun fun fun With Twitter

Lastly follow me in Twitter to get more tips about building your home business.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Recession: Real or Virtual Mind?

I received this story about what recession mean. It is about a man who once upon a time was selling hotdog by the roadside.
He was illiterate, so he never read newspapers. He was hard of hearing, so he never listened to the radio. His eyes were weak, so he never watched television. But enthusiastically, he sold lots of hotdog. He was smart enough to offer some attractive schemes to increase his sales. His sales and profit went up. He ordered more and more raw material and buns and use to sale more.

He recruited few more supporting staff to serve more customers. He started offering home deliveries. Eventually he got himself a bigger and better stove. As his business was growing, the son, who had recently graduated from College, joined his father.

Then something strange happened.
The son asked, "Dad, aren't you aware of the great recession that is coming our way?"
The father replied, "No, but tell me about it." The son said, "The international situation is terrible.
The domestic situation is even worse.. We should be prepared for the coming bad times."

The man thought that since his son had been to college, read the papers, listened to the radio and watched TV. He ought to know and his advice should not be taken lightly. So the next day onwards, the father cut down his raw material order and buns, took down the colourful signboard, removed all the special schemes he was offering to the customers and was no longer as enthusiastic...

He reduced his staff strength by giving layoffs. Very soon, fewer and fewer people bothered to stop at his hotdog stand. And his sales started coming down rapidly, same is the profit.

The father said to his son, "Son, you were right". "We are in the middle of a recession and crisis. I am glad you warned me ahead of time."

Moral of The Story:It's all in your MIND! And we actually FUEL this recession much more than we think we do! What can we take away from this story ?

1. How many times we confuse intelligence with good judgment?
2. Choose your advisers carefully but use your own judgment
3. A person or an organization will survive forever, if they have the 5 Cs
    * Character
    * Commitment
    * Conviction
    * Courtesy
    * Courage

The tragedy today is that there are many walking encyclopedias that are living failures. The more practical and appropriate views on this economic recession is:
"This is the time to reunite together for any small or a big organization,
this is the time to motivate and retain people which are the biggest asset,
this is the time to show more commitments to the customers,
this is the time show values of our company to the world,
and this is the time to stand by our Nation".

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

5 Areas You Should Focus On During This Recession

Everywhere I go, everyone will be talking about the current economic situation. Some of my friends who are business owner are getting mad on how the bailout is going to help them, others see the opportunity that is ahead of them. For working professional, most are worrying whether their company is going to cut down more people. Personally I believe that this is the time for us to stay focus and answer the question of the year “What should I be doing, NOW!”
Five basic areas to focus on first.

Examine your Mindset

Do you believe in your ability to survive and be successful? Are you prepared and open to the new opportunities that exist. This no time for Chicken Little thinking, invest wisely, but first on yourself and our mindset.

Back to School

The best investment you can now make is to increase your knowledge: read, attend a class or seminar, gain new knowledge and learn new skills. If you are temporary layoff professional, consider a postgraduate degree to brush up your skills so that you can prepare yourself to new challenge when the economy picks up. If you are an entrepreneur, evaluate whether there is any training that will improve there performance, customer service, sales, communication and team building are great areas to examine.

Financial Analysis

Analyze your company growth, revenue data and cash flow thoroughly. This is the time where numbers are the language of business, by knowing your key indicators and what drives the indicators. From there, drive your company strategy on ways to overcome downturn.

Market, Market and Market

This is not the time to trim your marketing budget; you should have solid data that allows to pin point the marketing that targets the best results. You cannot afford to “spray and pay”. You have to know what works and what does not work, measure the results of all marketing campaigns and repeat the successful programs. Do not highlight discounts or reduced prices, showcase value and unique product/service offerings. Take advantage of low cost, no cost marketing techniques.

Protect your existing customer

Build a loyalty fence around your existing customer. Give them no reason to consider about your competitor at this point of time. Value them as they are the most important part of your business. (Which they are) if you don’t know how they feel about you and your business, ask and listen.

We have many choices with the directions that we take our businesses and the choice is always ours. Some say it will get worse before the economy rebounds, will you be prepared? How are you going to come out the other side of this current situation? And if you are “all in” can you afford to not do things differently than before? The choice is all yours, what will you do first, what will you change?

Do share your thought here.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guilford Editor Telecommutes to San Francisco


Tech publishing editor Mike Loukides found the gain in efficiency in productivity as a telecommuter has allowed him to manage more authors for his company, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

From his home office in Guilford, Loukides works with 20 authors located all over the country, each with manuscripts in different stages of development. "I've generally done more than most of the other editors," said Loukides. "Part of that is because I've worked from home and have less interruptions."

"For my particular job there's a lot of freedom for organizing how my job goes and with telecommuting you spend a lot less time in meetings," Loukides added. "Although I do find that despite having a lot of freedom to control my time, it definitely helps to set a business-hour schedule. I try to work close to an 8:30 to 5:30 day.

O' Reilly & Associates, with its worldwide headquarters in San Francisco, California, publishes 70 to 100 computing books a year for the professional and corporate market. Loukides began telecommuting for O'Reilly ten years ago when his former employer, Multiform Computer Systems went out of business (O'Reilly was a documentation vendor for the company). Loukides was then equipped with a three-computer network and a DSL service.

There are about 40 telecommuters working for O' Reilly according to Loukides, including half of the editorial staff. He said they do a lot of teleconferencing with each other and with the office (group meetings once a week). "For books with multiple authors we'll set up a regular meeting time and use teleconferencing centers available on the Internet."
"In addition, if my child is sick and needs to stay home my work doesn't stop," Loukides said. "I know people who if their child is sick they're just home with them and no work is getting done. As for myself I don't generally take very much sick time. I am still able to do some work and already being set up with a home office I am able to do it."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mompreneur: A Day in the Life

By Lisa Druxman

As you'll learn, becoming an entrepreneur while being a full-time mom is not only entirely possible, it's desirable for many women. If you've ever wondered whether you could hack it as a mompreneur, here's your chance to find out a day in the life as a mompreneur.

Name: Gretchen VogelzangGretchenVogelzangphoto1

Name of Company: KDCP Productions, MommyCast Weekly podcast that focuses on topics of interest to mothers.

Founded: 2005

What's an average day in your life, starting with waking up? Because my business partner and I are moms, we fit everything around kids and family. I usually have time between getting my 15-year-old off to school and getting my 10-year-old up. That's when I check e-mail, check up on the site, do work on our social networking site (Facebook), etc. We talk a lot about current events, so I always have one ear to Good Morning America listening for potential topics. Our schedule is such that we podcast once a week--usually recording three or four shows. Then twice a week I sit down to edit the shows, do show notes and links, and post them to our website. I usually do this later at night when the kids are in bed. With our new video show, we go into the studio once every four to six weeks and do a blitz of shows. Sometimes we can record 20 to 30 shows per production stretch.

What's your biggest challenge in being a mom entrepreneur? Probably not becoming all-consumed by it. I think it's hard when you work out of your home to sometimes shut it off. I try hard to resist sitting at my computer while my kids are around doing homework or other evening activities. And on the weekend, I try to keep my focus on family. Besides, it's all potential story material for our shows. It's great when your job is your family, and even better when your other job is your family.

What's your best tip for success as a mom entrepreneur? Be passionate about what you do. You need to really love it or it'll become drudgery. A lot of people start businesses because they think they can make money. That ambition will only sustain you so far. And I think you're less likely to be successful if you don't have a fire in you that allows you to really believe in what you're doing. People gravitate toward sincerity and enthusiasm.

Do you make time for yourself? How? Yes. That's another perk when you work for yourself. Because my kids are older, I have a substantial part of my day when they're at school. I try to exercise or play tennis at least five times each week, because sitting at the computer for extended periods of time, I really need it.

If you could start over in your business, what would you do differently? Nothing. Our business has been one pleasant surprise after another. We've enjoyed every step, and I can't really think of anything I would do differently.

What's your favorite book? The last book I read that really touched me was 'Water for Elephantsby' Sara Gruen. It's rare that I get to read for pleasure.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Top 10 Home Based Business Ideas

In the past, I have covered starter guide for WAHM. If you want to start earning well by staying at home, here are top 10 home based business ideas which might come in handy:

1) Medical and legal transcription. If you have transcription skills and the necessary equipment, you can easily work from home for a variety of different companies. Check out Job Listings for list of medical and legal transcription opening

2) Virtual Accountant. There are many opportunities available for certified accountants or account assistance. Take a look at American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for information on specific state requirements and Virtual Accountants for any job opening.

3) Web Design. If you can design quality Web sites, consider turning your skills into a home-based business. Good designers tend to be well-compensated for their efforts. You can invest in professional Site Builder software.

4) Crafting. Handmade crafts are popular and creative home-based business. There are websites such as and that allow you to market your product online

5) Child-care services. Turn your expertise with children into one of the most popular home-based business opportunities. Check out Starting a Daycare for free help on how to start your own child-care center

6) Cleaning service. If you are good at cleaning, consider offering your services to others. One way to go is with a franchise. CleanNet-USA and JaniKing are two of the largest franchisers in the cleaning market.

7) Computer Repair. If you are a computer geeks, turn this into a business and start getting paid for fixing fatal errors. Check out Geeks on Call America and Rescuecom if you are interested in franchise opportunities.

8) Wedding Planner. Turn your organizing skills into creating a 'Happily Ever After' story for others in a wedding. There are numerous online certification courses online, including one from Weddings Beautiful.

9) Virtual Assistant. There are great demand for virtual assistants so sets the stage for starting, operating and growing a successful business. If you need help on setting a virtual assistant business, check out Virtual Assistant - The Series

10) Tutoring. You can start a business tutoring students by advertising at schools, the local YMCA, and other places frequented by families. If you have children, talk to their teachers and determine the needs of your school district.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Selling Online: Consider This before You Decide What to Sell

With the opportunities in online business growing more and more every day, it’s almost time to ask the question, “What CAN’T be sold online?” However, there are some things that fair better than others when it comes to selling on the Internet. Let’s talk about a few of the more popular (and profitable) ways to make money as an online business owner.

Sell Your Own or Wholesale Products

If you manufacture your own product, you can sell it online. Or you can save yourself manufacturing costs and hassle by purchasing ready-made products at wholesale prices. Just take into consideration the extra work and storage space involved with carrying a product line. You can always purchase dropshipped wholesale products (the wholesaler ships only when you make a sale), but that usually carries a low profit margin.

The other suggestions in this article don’t carry the require of inventory and extra workload…

Direct Sales Products

Direct sales companies offer great support and a proven product in many cases which makes starting your business with them a nice idea. That being said, remember to check with any company you are considering joining with to be sure they allow sales online. If so, set up your own website and start selling. You must be willing to promote your website in order for the online side of sales to work, however so learning the ins and outs of marketing online, just as with any other type of business, is important.

Information Products

Also known as info products, these include ebooks, audio or video recordings, guides, reports, etc. that teach someone how to do something or explain something in detail.  Most times, info products are sold in a form that allows the buyer to immediately receive their purchase by means of downloading them from your website. You can also sell info products in the form of physical products such as CDs, hard cover books, manuals, etc. that can be shipped to the buyer. It’s easy to make an info product business 100 percent online by offering everything in a downloadable format.

Affiliate Sales

Do you have a blog or informational website already? If so, have you considered selling other people’s products on your site? Many business owners have affiliate programs that allow other you to refer their products or services to others. In return they will pay you a commission when someone uses your referral and makes a purchase.  This carries the benefit of not having to fulfill orders or having to offer customer service. You just focus on promoting.

Just search for the type of product you want to sell + “affiliate program” on a search engine – you’ll see plenty of options.


Whether it is administrative services, bookkeeping, web design, copywriting, or some other service you perform, the chances that you can sell it online is a good one. By creating a professional website that explains your services and marketing it to your potential clients, you’ll be one step ahead of others who are looking to offer their talents online as well.

Need to Build Your Internet Based Family Website?

Looking for an even easier option to build your web pages? Take the comprehensive website builder at XSitepro

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

20 Essential Tips for Telecommuting Success

By Leo Babauta

Telecommuting is a regular employee’s dream, for many obvious reasons. It’s also a great way to combine a day job with a freelancing career, if you can manage to juggle two jobs at once.

However, telecommuting often turns out to be less of a dream job for many people who are not prepared for the hazards of working at home, and many people will see a drop in productivity if they don’t take steps to ensure that they firewall home from work.

It’s not impossible to be a success as a telecommuter, but it takes a bit of commitment. But think of it this way: it’s worth the effort to make telecommuting work, because your worst day working from home is pretty much better than any day at the office.

What follows are some of the best tips I’ve found that work for me, and have worked for many others. Your mileage may vary, so choose those that will work best for you.

Create a ritual. One of the main problems with working from home is that home and work become so blurred that there’s no distinction. That’s dangerous, and a surefire way to fail. So start your work day with a pre-work ritual. This will be different for each person — you might take a shower, dress for work, eat breakfast, and plan your day, for example. But the main thing is to give yourself a signal that you’re beginning work, and leaving home behind.

Simplify. Work can become complicated if we let it, leaving our days filled with a million tasks and stretching on forever. Don’t let this happen. Simplify your work day by focusing only on those tasks that really matter, that must be done, that you want to accomplish for the day. Try to eliminate as much of the rest, the distractions, the little things that can fill up your day, or at least batch them together and do them all at once. Simplify your day, and you will be much more productive from home.

Set limits for work. Set a starting time and ending time for work, or for several blocks of work if that’s better for you. However you structure it, always have a finish time. Otherwise, you’ll work way longer than you would at the office, because there’s no home to go to. When it’s quitting time, wrap everything up, shut down, and go spend some time with the family or some “me” time.

Make a plan. When you start your work day, don’t just start working. Plan out what you want to do, picking out a few important tasks or projects, and structure your day efficiently, broken down into hour-long blocks. This will allow you to make the most of your work day, and ensure that everything necessary is taken care of.

Schedule chores, family, breaks, meals. In your schedule, don’t just put work tasks — get the other stuff in there too, or you will forget about it. Have time for your family, for eating, for taking breaks, for doing chores, for all the other things you want to accomplish by working from home.

Find quiet. If you work with family in the house, or roommates, you’ll want to find a quiet place to work. You can’t get stuff done with the television blazing or babies screaming. If possible, put your computer and desk in a separate room, away from the living room or family room.

Have a good work space. Your working area should not only be quiet, but also spacious enough for you to have room to work, with a place to put your files, your supplies, etc. Make it a place you enjoy working in, and that puts you in a productive mood.

Find your zone. Most people have a time of day when they’re most productive, when they can really crank out the work. Find your zone, and make the most of it. Don’t schedule trivial tasks during this time, but the most important tasks of your day.

Communicate. Whether you’re a regular employee working from home, or a freelancer working on a contract basis, you need to communicate with those you’re working with. That includes communicating what you’re working on, the progress you’re making, what you’ve achieved, any issues that need to be resolved, and anything that needs to be followed up on. Keep that communication regular, so you can’t be accused of not doing your work.

Groom yourself. Many people make the mistake of working in their pajamas, unwashed and loving it. However, as comfortable as that may seem, I know from experience that you will feel more productive, more energetic, and more on top of your game if you take a shower, get fully (but comfortably) dressed, and otherwise groom yourself as if you were going to work.

Log your time and work. As you have no time clock and no one to watch over you, you need to account for your time, if not for your employer or your client, then for yourself. It’s important that you not have a day go by without knowing what you’ve really accomplished, so log what you do, and how long it takes. It may seem like extra work, but really it just takes a few seconds after every task.

Use a timer to stay focused. Working from home can make it difficult to stay focused. To combat that problem, use a timer to help keep you on task and productive.

Limit calls, keep them short. If possible, schedule short blocks of time (30 minutes, perhaps twice a day) for phone calls, otherwise you may be doing them throughout the day, and never get actual work done. When making calls, keep them short and stay on topic. Calls can be one of the worst time drains if you aren’t careful.

Do only work emails, infrequently. The problem with doing email from home is that people tend to mix work with pleasure, and can spend all day in their email client. Instead, schedule time for email, and while you’re working, only do work emails. And, as with phone calls, keep them short and on topic. Do the personal emails later, when you’re off.

Set limits for a task. If you’re going to work on a task, set a time limit for it. Say, 30 minutes or an hour. And then stick to it, or you’ll end up taking forever on a certain task. If you don’t finish within that time limit, try scheduling more time for it later.

Disconnect. If you have problems staying focused, and tend to surf the web or check email or whatever, try disconnecting when you really need to concentrate on a task. Close your browser, and even disconnect the Internet if necessary. You’ll see a huge productivity boost.

Pace yourself. People tend to work hard and fast, and not realize how much they’re working. But if you telecommute for any length of time, you can burn out. Instead, keep an even pace, take breaks, stretch, walk around.

Minimize interruptions. If you can, turn off the phone and your email notification and IM, and ask anyone else in the home not to interrupt you when you’re doing an important task. Interruptions can kill your productivity.

Don’t watch kids and work. Many people make the mistake of substituting telecommuting for child care. You can’t actually do both at the same time. Telecommuting is great for the flexibility you’ll need if you have kids, but when you need to work, you need to have other people watching your kids.

Don’t go to the couch. It’s tempting to move from your desk to your couch, and take a nap or watch TV. After all, why are you working from home, right? Wrong. The couch is a trap from which many a telecommuter has never returned. It’s hard to go back to work after relaxing on the couch (or the bed), so try to avoid the temptation.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Virtual Assistant Specialist

lauriebizsml1 Retrenchment, financial uncertainty. With all the financial and economic dramas around the world, you will be thinking twice on hiring an assistant to do your office work. Don't look far because Halo Secretarial Services is on the way.

Laurie has a long history as an in-office legal assistant/paralegal. She began her career working as legal secretary soon after receiving her honours diploma in paralegal studies in 1993. She worked for a sole practitioner for a few years then worked as legal assistant in a large lawfirm and finally as both a legal assistance and then paralegal for a governmental legal department. Soon after the birth of her third child, she founded Halo Secretarial Services.

"Really it is about making the best use of your time. If you delegate tasks appropriately, your business will function better. Success is not only about working hard but working smart." her response on why people should hire a virtual assistant. Very true indeed since Laurie has helped her clients to save on the cost of hiring full time employee by using her professional services.

With her extensive legal assistance background, Laurie is perfectly suited to help lawfirms get more work done. Halo Secretarial Services is an independent contractor to business without paying direct wages. Halo Secretarial also offers general virtual assistance to small business owners, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs and freelancers.

On a personal note, she has three wonderful sons and a life always lived on the go. She shares her life with an amazing and supportive husband who keeps her on track.

Do check out all the great services at Halo Secretarial Services

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Customer Service Jobs Require More Than A Smile


In the world of customer service, there are no strangers, just friends you haven't met yet. And unfortunately, some of those new friends are mean, rude and just weird. But no matter the disposition of your customer de jour, your demeanor should always be poised and professional.

You"ve probably heard the expression, "The customer is always right." No one is always right, not even customers, so we've slightly amended this phrase to read as follows, "The customer is always right...if you want to keep your job." And you do want to keep your job, right? In this economy, jobs are precious resources.

So if you want to excel in the customer service field, there are a few things to remember. A smile goes a long way, but attentive, professional service goes even further. Not every customer is going to leave your business happy, but by treating people with the same respect you expect from them, you can at least minimize the damage a miserable customer can do to you and your company.

Here are a few customer service tips broken down by the most popular customer service industries:

"Counter" culture and retail jobs
When people think about customer service jobs, they often think about the cash register jockeys breaking change, and the sales floor employees folding sweaters and stocking shelves. These retail jobs can be stressful, especially during the holiday shopping season. (And if you haven't already started your seasonal job search, this is a great place to look). One way to ease the stress of these retail gigs is to embrace the diversity they offer. Ask your manager if you can move departments, or see if you can cross-train to learn a new skill set. For example, if you're a store greeter charged with making a positive first impression with customers, see if you can be a changing room attendant.

Manners are on the menu at restaurant jobs
Restaurant jobs may be the most demanding of customer service jobs. You're always on your feet, hungry people aren't always the most polite, and the late-night and weekend hours can be demanding. But these jobs can be especially rewarding because they're one of the few gigs where your effort and positive attitude are directly linked to your earning potential. That's right; tips represent the bulk of the pay for servers, bartenders and even bussers. So remember: Grabbing that extra serving of blue cheese dressing or bringing the undercooked steak back to the kitchen after a sincere apology can reap you big rewards on the flip side.

Dialing in call center jobs
Taking a steady stream of calls from angry and confused customers would be tough to do for 30 minutes. But imagine doing it for eight hours at a time. Many customer services jobs involve never seeing actual customers, but instead talking over headsets while typing up a storm. If you don't have an onsite ergonomic expert at your telemarketing camp, here are a few basic guidelines to make sure that you won't get carpal tunnel syndrome your first week on the job. Be sure to keep your eyes at least 20 inches from your computer screen, adjust the monitor to your eye level and keep your feet positioned firm on the ground. And don't slouch. Working at a desk or cube all day can make you feel cramped and restless.

There are, of course, customer service jobs in a number of additional industries we can't fit here. Just remember: When conducting your next job search, make sure to find out how you'll be interacting with customers - and whether or not that fits your personality.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How To Get More Sales With Less Effort

As a business owner, sales results is one of the most important parameter to determine a business's success. Thus you need to have a positive mindset. Negative statements like "That won't work", " We can't achieve that" shut down the creative part of the brain. This is seen as a way out of the fear of selling.

You need to be a risk taker with courage to overcome the fear for success. To get massive results, always "Think outside the square". Be creative and ask yourself positive questions:

1) What is the target you would like to achieve?

2) What could you do if you want to double up the business revenue?

3) What are the strategies (don't worry about being outrages)?

4) What are the obstacles that you need to overcome?

5) How can you determine if the idea would work?

6) Is there any assistance you need to achieve the goal?

Understanding your customer need is crucial as well. You need to know what your customer are looking for and what you can do to fulfill customer's need are essentials. Do a customer satisfaction survey to understand what they thought about your competitor, pricing and product relevancy.

Always remember that your limitations are based on your current thinking. Use your creativity to grow your business and always remember that no idea is a bad idea.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Shana's Shop: Handmade Magnets With Love

IMG_3238Shana’s Shop was created in August, 2008 by Debbie. The creative process started many years before when she received an opened dollhouse kit missing some pieces. Wanting to put the kit together proved to be a challenge and sparked her interest in creating and designing. The first dollhouse led to a second dollhouse, and soon Debbie was building furniture.

After moving into her own place, Debbie found that it was difficult to find exactly what she wanted in order to furnish her home. Frustrated with her options, she started building her own furniture.

Her passion for building and creating things led Debbie to become an architect by profession. When she is not working, she enjoys creating new items and custom orders in her home studio for Shana’s Shop.

Shana’s Shop has evolved greatly since it was created. Wanting to share her travels around the world, Debbie started making square plastic magnets with her own photographs. These have evolved into round glass magnets with her photographs.IMG_3532

"A few people told me about Etsy and when I looked at the site, I thought I could do this. It took me a while to actually set up a shop,” said Debbie when asked about creating Shana’s Shop. Then she added, “I think it is important to buy handmade items and give them as gifts. I have always enjoyed making handmade gifts because there is more meaning associated with them. My favorite and most meaningful gifts that I have received have been handmade just for me. There is something so special about handmade items that you cannot find in store bought items." 

For Debbie, the biggest challenge so far has been advertising. She is still trying to figure out how to reach people that would be interested in the items that she is selling. With her creativity and lovely work finding the right place to sell her work is probably just a matter of time.

Meanwhile, do check out all her lovely magnets, photographs, and cards at Shana's Shop.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's in the Network


You probably found out as soon as you had children that a secret society of moms exists, eager to share insider tips on motherhood. Thankfully, that network is just as present when it comes to mompreneurs helping other moms start businesses. From sharing marketing ideas and advice, to seeking other stay-at-home moms to work in your business, to sharing war stories about balancing work life and home life, women are supporting women all over.

The network is vast--and there's something for everyone. "One of the things that makes mom entrepreneurs different [from other entrepreneurs] is that they're already there--they understand what it's like to be a mom who's trying to start a business," says Shannon Cherry, founder of, a mom business blog. "You have your children and your other baby--your business. They understand that and how hard it can be to balance."

Finding the right network for you may take some time. There are mom business groups, direct-sales networks, stay-at-home mom (SAHM) or work-at-home mom (WAHM) groups, and even ones that share social or religious values as part of their businesses. The point, says Cherry, is to find the specific networks that fit your particular needs. Also consider groups where you are one of the only members in your industry, so you can seek not only mentoring and advice, but also referrals and customers.

After finding a network of supporters online, Heather Ledeboer, 28, founded, an online retailer for baby products. This Redlands, California, mother of two started her e-tailing business in 2003 after she went searching online for specialty mom-centric products and found there wasn't a whole lot to choose from. She decided to create a one-stop shop for items such as baby slings and nursing accessories. Not only did she find a community of mom customers, but her late-night forays onto the internet (after the kids were asleep) also brought her to a network of mom entrepreneurs who were often online at the same time. "It created an open arena for us to instant message, call or e-mail each other," says Ledeboer, who sought advice about finding employees, building a website and advertising. "[It was] basically a brainstorming session anytime it was needed."

Some of the networks Ledeboer looks to for mompreneur support are, and You may want to check out these other sites as well: www.clubmomcom,, and Wild Women Entrepreneurs.

Ledeboer, who has built her company to annual sales of more than $600,000, notes that one of the best things about mompreneur support networks is the feeling that you're not alone. "Find people who can support and encourage you and be your cheerleaders, so that when you're feeling discouraged you can go to them," she says. "Find a resource of other moms in business that you can network and share ideas with. It's amazing how, once you get started, you start inspiring others, too."

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Recession Proof Your Telecommuting Job

With today's uncertainty, you might feel as if your telecommute job is now in jeopardy. In rough times, fears about your jobs become increased and this is natural whether you are full time office employee or telecommute worker. Don't feel vulnerable because telecommuting can be positive thing for tough economic times. Here are a few pointers to help you recession proof your job.

Telecommuting Saves Company's Money

Just imagine that you don't have to take up the working space, utilities bills and office supplies. This is a plus point that you need to emphasis to your boss because now is the time to cut cost and your boss can save money without jeopardizing the productivity. 

More Dependable Employee

Telecommuters don't have to call in sick as often or being late to work. Show your employer twice the productivity with less money or company benefit. As a telecommuter, you need to work odd hours which will be beneficial to your employer.

Your Company Can Be Part of a Growing Trend

Rather than talking about your need to be at home with kids or for personal time, make sure your boss knows why telecommuting is a good arrangement for the company.  Arm yourself with statistics, check with competitors to see what their telecommuting arrangements are, and read as much about the benefits as possible.

Show Positive Value

Show your company professional value even when you are telecommuting. Rather than attending conference call with your pajamas, show them that you mean business when you work from home. Let them know about the success of telecommuting in your company. Always stays motivated and lead others who are working from office. If you are able to show how professional you are, you can make your company see the benefits of telecommuting.

Good luck

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

How Hard Times Can Drive Innovation

The Wall Street Journal:

Sure, the economy's bad. But it's a good time to innovate, according to Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor who focuses on innovation.

Prof. Christensen, tell us a little bit about what you think the effects of the financial crisis and economic downturn will be on the environment for innovation.

I think it will have an unmitigated positive effect on innovation.

That's counterintuitive.

Well, it will force innovators to not waste nearly so much money.

One of the banes of successful innovation is that companies may be so committed to innovation that they will give the innovators a lot of money to spend. And, statistically, 93% of all innovations that ultimately become successful started off in the wrong direction; the probability that you'll get it right the first time out of the gate is very low.

So, if you give people a lot of money, it gives them the privilege of pursuing the wrong strategy for a very long time. In an environment where you've got to push innovations out the door fast and keep the cost of innovation low, the probability that you'll be successful is actually much higher.

In other words, what you're saying is that prosperity tends to insulate innovators from market realities and allow them to pursue their vision -- a vision which is probably wrong, statistically speaking.

That's a perfect summary of how I think the world works. The breakthrough innovations come when the tension is greatest and the resources are most limited. That's when people are actually a lot more open to rethinking the fundamental way they do business.

How long will it take for that to take effect? Do you think we will see the fruits from the current lean period, say, five years from now, or three years from now?

Five years from now, we'll see some home runs have emerged. But I bet even two years from now, you'll see a difference.

I'm sure many people will be glad to hear that in this environment. There must be, though, cases where concerns about the market cause companies to abandon their plans for new products or really retrench. Or do you see that happening less these days as companies realize the importance of keeping up with changing markets?

In the next two years, I think the answer will hinge quite a bit on the role that hedge funds play in driving stock prices. By now, 95% of all trades on the stock exchange are executed by hedge funds, mutual funds or pension funds that you could not call shareholders. They're share owners, but they don't even hold the shares long enough, on average, to vote the proxy. And long-term shareholders are always better for innovation than the short-term people are.

So we might see innovation more from private companies?

Absolutely right. And there's another business model toward which more and more companies need to move. It's a business model you see with Li & Fung in Hong Kong, Tata Sons in India, and Cox Enterprises in Atlanta. In this model, the holding company is privately held, and then certain of the subsidiary companies that have the right characteristics take their shares public on the market.

What that allows those companies to do is, when they have a disruptive innovation that they need to launch, they can just do it under the private umbrella of the holding company, and not have it reduce the near-term performance of the publicly held subsidiaries.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Dedicated to Creating the Cleanest Diapers on the Planet

Margarita McClure found that when her first baby was born, she had a lot of extra time on her hands. "For those first few months, the baby doesn't do much," she recalls.

So she filled the hours with a project that eventually became a business earning 2008 sales of more than $1.4 million. In 2005, while her baby slept, she created Swaddlebees.

McClure, 34, began designing and manufacturing organic cloth diapers because she couldn't fathom all the waste created by disposable diapers. "We don't generate much waste from my house, and the thought that I'd need an extra bag or two or three for diapers seemed wasteful," she explains. Plus, "They're hypo-allergenic, and a lot of parents feel better knowing they're putting natural fibers next to their babies' most sensitive areas."

The mompreneur made her first sales on eBay. "I made a dozen orders, put them on the site and sold the first one for $26. At that point, it was an unknown brand. It got me thinking that this had potential," she remembers. Soon after, she found a fabric supplier and developed a website.

Today, Swaddlebees, along with McClure's second diaper company, Blueberry Diapers, sell at nearly 100 boutiques and online stores, many of which are run by other mothers. "Last year, we had almost 200 retailers, but I found that many of them weren't serious about their businesses," she says. "So we set standards that our retailers need to hit certain volumes to work with us." By cutting the number of stores she works with, she has doubled her own volume because she's been able to concentrate on her better-performing customers.

McClure, a former restaurateur, attributes much of her early success to luck. "When I first started out, I didn't advertise. Our customers are always on the lookout for new brands, and somehow they found me."

And while she never had plans to start her own diaper company, now she can't imagine doing anything else. "I'm proud of myself," she says. "We're all having fun here."


Photo: Swaddlebees

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Unleashed Your Writing Skills

Have you ever wonder how you can maximized your blog content? If you are writing a business material, what is the strategy to ensure a winning proposal? Think about these two questions and see what you come up with.

In both situation, you need to put your fingers to the keyboard and get your creativity flowing in. Without it, you will be stuck with a blank screen. Just imagine how much time you can save or the amount of money you can earn if you are able to write without hitting the brick wall.

When I just started,  I am never a writer. I don't have any idea of words that you will help you sell, tools that will get you on top of the search engine. Today, I am earning decently from my online business. Much of writing is thinking and much of thinking plus practical makes you a success.

If you have fear in writing, below are tips on getting started:

1) Find a suitable place to squeeze your brain. Some people prefer noise while others prefer Mozart. Whatever it is, make it a place to your ease.

2) Are you clear of what you want to write or sell? Do this before thinking about monetizing your product. Talk to friends or family and map our your idea. Put it into a draft.

3) Write as if you are speaking to a friend. Don't worry too much about including big words. Focus more on selling words and phrases.

4) Always revise your draft and get a friend to comment about it. Be open towards constructive feedback.

5) Don't be too hard on yourself. Always remember that writing is an enjoying process to pen down your thoughts and the first step towards your success.

To help you up further, you can go through basic copywriting course. Copywriting course is not just for a copywriter but rather it is a tool that cover all aspect of your business from offline to online marketing. Take a peek here and Happy Writing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Telecommuting Isolation

This is the most common negative in telecommuting world. Let me share how one of my close friend who has been telecommuting since graduated from university adjust to this atmosphere.

Stay energetic

Every morning I will wake up at 7am no matter whether I have any conference call or not later in the morning. If I don't do that, I will not be able to get into the momentum of working and this is very crucial if you work from home.


I always make sure that I won't take my time in vacuuming or washing the dishes during workday. I always imagine myself in a real office even when I am working from my bedroom.

Field time

I don't isolate myself in the house. Once a while, I will go for on site meeting rather than conference call. Meeting up with co-worker makes me feel more satisfied work. At the same time, I can build stronger relationships with my clients when we meet up in the office.

Professional Community

As an IT professional, I join a professional community near my place so that I can myself updated with what is happening around the industry. I treat this as seriously as I could because they become my professional lifeline on a daily basis.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stay Focused On Your Home Business Goals

Which WAHMs haver never ever get distracted? I never know of any. It is so easy to get distracted!

When I go to the kitchen to get a drink, the sink is so full that I have to stop my work and wash the dishes. If I go to the bathroom, it is so dirty that I want to scrub the sink and wipe the counters down. If I am on a call, Little C, my 2 years old daughter will come screaming so loud that I feel so embarrassed on the phone. And this happen ALL THE TIME!!! You will find endless distractions that vie for your time, energy and focus.

Here are a few tips that I use to help me stay focus.

TIP #1: Realistic Expectation
What is your reason to become a WAHM? Is it to have freedom to work while it is convenient for you? Is it to make tons of money working for yourself? Is it to work and be at home with your children at the same time?

Whatever your reason for going out on your own, you must keep your reason in the forefront of your mind and be realistic about your expectation. In order to be a successful WAHM, you have to make compromises and let go of perfectionism.

TIP #2: Time Management

Your own business is like a real job minus the boss plus children at home. It is important to schedule your activities at much as possible. Setting work hours is a prime to control business at home without it control you. You need to forgo bedtime in order to get your work done. You just have to find time to work in the nooks and crannies of life.

TIP #3: Family Support

Don't permit your family and friends run over you. You must stand firm and make sure that your family understands that being a businesswoman and full-time mother at home is a great challenge and they need to stand by your side. If your spouse don't understand the challenge, I should suggest baptism by fire where you let your spouse take over your role for a day.

Always remember that you are the only one who can stand up for yourself. Unless you make the effort to get their fullest support and respect, they will not be able to appreciate your dedication as WAHM.

TIP #4: Don't procrastination

Procrastination is a huge problem for everyone. When you are your own boss, you can take awfully long lunch, delaying your work as there won't be a boss looking over your shoulder. However when you are not motivated to do your work and stay in schedule, your work will show a under delivered result as well. Trying to stay focused and being self motivated is your biggest challenge that you need to overcome.

TIP #5: Outsourcing
If you find yourself doing too much non-productive activities, then you should seriously consider finding a third-party service provider who will assist you in those non-profitable business activities. Example, you can hire a part time babysitter when you are overload with work. If you are spending too much time learning about book-keeping for your business, outsource it to an account assistance.


Always remember that your sacrifice is worth it. In the end, you will all the valuable time you spent with your kids. No matter how hard the journey is, hang on there and drop me a note if you want to ask for assistance. Success is within your reach, if only you can stay focused on your goals.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Virtual Assistant Guru

Diana Ennen is a woman with many hats. She is an expert on publicity, PR, book promotions, starting a virtual assistant business, business startups and home-based businesses.

Florida-based Ennen brings together 23 years in business as President of Virtual Word Publishing. She is the publisher of two books (a children's book and a science fiction book), publicist to numerous authors, business owners and actors, and author of numerous books on starting a business including Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA.

One of her main passions is helping others start their own home-based business. She offers online consulting and mentoring and is extremely active on groups such as etc.Ennen has successfully been able to get her clients featured in magazines such as Woman's World, Good Housekeeping, Reader Digest, Entrepreneur and numerous newspapers, radio, TV segments.

With the downturn in the economy and pink slips a way of life today, more and more are turning to working at home. In fact, CBS4 News recently did a segment entitled “Working From Home Can Rake in Big Bucks” in which it features the thriving virtual assistant industry and how becoming a virtual assistant can be the solution so many are looking for today.

Ennen who was featured in the segment and states that after it aired she received a tremendous response from those who have been out of work and looking to supplement their income. Ennen states, "It has been fabulous to be able to help those in my community get back on their feet. One benefit of being a virtual assistant is that you can work globally so your local economy doesn’t affect you as much as you can secure clients from around the world. Also, in addition to the services CBS mentioned, you can also do publicity and marketing, bookkeeping, database management, etc. "

Virtual Assistant Business is truly one of the best ways you can survive in this gloomy economy. Virtual Assistants are independent contractors and their rates start at approximately $35 dollars an hour but can increase to $95 dollars an hour depending on the services you offer. Ennen says for those who want it, there's more work than you can handle.

Ennen is the mother of three great kids Jeremy, Amanda and Amber and the wife of a very supportive husband Greg. Her greatest accomplishment is raising such wonderful kids and having the opportunity to work at home with them. She is a leader in the Virtual Assistance Industry and extremely proud to be among those who have been instrumental in its success.

Source from Virtual Word Publishing

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WAHM Network

Welcome back to ProWAHM. After being down with series of sickness, I am fully up and running with new features in ProWAHM. If you can see, new year always brings new beginning. In previous blogs, I have posted series of information about starting up, telecommuter and entrepreneurship.

In 2009, with the current economy situation, I am sure more stay-at-home-mom will want to monetize their home earning. I DO! For that to provide further help and support to WAHM, I have make a weekly schedule for my posting so that you can keep track of it easily.

Monday: Telecommuter guide and job update

Wednesday: WAHM Support and Network

Friday: WAHM - Features

You must be wondering how I come out with this list. As I mentioned before, WAHM is more than just a mompreneur  or telecommuter. WAHM covers from work to home life and it is always challenging to find a balance point between the two of them. Thus ProWAHM will provide all the support that you need either as telecommuter or entrepreneur.

During my path as WAHM, people connection is very crucial. Here, I would like to connect all WAHM and provide marketing as well as business support to as many WAHM as possible.

Do subscribe to my RSS and let's get connected for your success!

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