5 articles Tag business

Make Your Life Easier as a Mumpreneur

With childcare costs at an all-time high and earnings not really falling into line, it’s little wonder that so many women are turning to the idea of running their own businesses from home. The advantages of working in your own home are numerous, allowing you to set your own hours, work around school times and school holidays, and ultimately save a lot of money on childcare. It’s not for everyone, and some people struggle with the challenges of running a business in their home, but if you’ve got the drive and the patience, it can be a great alternative to a traditional 9-5 career.

If you’re thinking about becoming a work-at-home-mum, or even if you already are and are looking to make your life a bit easier, we’ve got some tips on how you can delegate certain tasks.

Get an Assistant

If you’re not keen on the idea of having someone coming to work alongside you in your home office every day, virtual receptionist services could be a great solution. For as little as 30p per day, you could have an automated service to handle all of the calls you don’t have time to deal with. It also means that you’re not tied to a desk and have the freedom to work from absolutely anywhere without the risk of missing important calls or losing business – far cheaper than a human assistant!

Outsource the Cleaning

Having a cleaner may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but when you think about how much time you spend cleaning in a week, and then consider the fact that you could spend that time working on your business instead, can you afford NOT to have a cleaner?! Taking the domestic chores off of your plate can free you up for more important things and increase your earning potential.

Co-Parenting

As we mentioned above, childcare is a massive expense for many families, which is why homeworking is good for parents of younger kids. However, when you’ve got a deadline or an important meeting to deal with, having kids around isn’t always doable. Teaming up with another Mumpreneur could be the answer – arrange to cover each other’s childcare during important times and the reciprocal arrangement means your childcare won’t cost anything and you both have the opportunity to develop your businesses when you need to. This can also work when you have to start doing school runs – take it in turns each day to take the kids to school while the other works.

Do Everything Online

The world is set up so that most things can now be one online, so set aside a couple of hours each week to get as much done online as you can. From your weekly shop to paying bills and even booking appointments, doing things in a set time slot each week can save you lots of time and give you a clearer head for dealing with work-related tasks. You can even use services which will not only remind you that someone’s birthday is coming up but will also send a card out to them without you even needing to go near a post box!

Get Your Beauty On!

If you’re the kind of person who likes to look ‘put together’ but struggle for time, there are a few things you can do to help you feel good without spending hours in the bathroom each morning. A Brazillian blow dry will cut down on hair styling time and keep your mane sleek without too much heat. Having your eyelashes permed and tinted could help give you the confidence to go out without mascara and having your eyebrows micro-bladed could save you loads of time each day, too. Think about your beauty priorities and see if there’s a permanent or semi-permanent solution.

Dressing for Success: What Are 5 Essential Components of a Women’s Business Outfit?

I know; morphing from a beauty diva whose closet has dozens and dozens of casual attire to a smart and decent business lady isn’t easy. You possibly can’t even fathom the prospect of looking stylish on an official outfit, different from your usual casual, attire!

Looking chic on a business outfit

You only have to discern which clothes match with which other one and the mojo to navigate vaguer social rules and dress to kill. And you don’t even have to do a complete overhaul of your current collection or even spend a fortune, shopping for an entirely new set.

Just a little new set of selected types of official women’s attire and you are fully ready to start “slaying” again on your new outfit. There are over five main components that make up an ideal women’s business attire.

1. Start with a well-knitted blazer

Out of all women’s official wear, you will need, a blazer shouldn’t miss. And whether you are new to the world of office wear or not, spotting a nice, cute and quality blazer isn’t hard. Go for something that’s nicely cut and knitted to perfection, slim and fitting, especially on your arms.
The good thing with a blazer – bold colours are cool, is that it goes with pretty much any other attire. It goes well with your dress, that skirt or even that only black pant you love wearing to official gatherings.

2. Accessorize well

Nothing completes a killer look of a smart, focused professional businesswoman more than a nice watch, a beautiful necklace, and a matching earring. Coordinating jewelry with your office attire isn’t hard, provided you learn more about which fashionable brands are good for you. The same is true for a watch.

But for someone who probably has never shopped for a timepiece before, I’d suggest that you don’t splurge on one of those super-expensive brands. Just go for something that will look nice on your wrist and still match with a majority of what’s in your wardrobe.

3. A Beautiful To-The-Knee Dress

Once in a while, you will need to remind everyone that the chic, fashionista in you isn’t dead yet. While doing this, however, choose a well-cut dress that’s thick and flattering, but comfortable when put on.

Naturally, dresses are fantastic for business meetings for they ooze elegance and sheer sophistication. But it’s also an instant choice that doesn’t disappoint during one of those days when you can’t decide what to wear. Just make sure you go for solid coloured dresses – sleeveless or not.

4. IMPORTANT: roomy, high-quality handbag

Don’t forget to tag along with a cute handbag. Work bags that are a little bit of everything; professional, but not too roomy, and not too bulky, will accentuate the calm and organized business woman in you. Ideally, your handbag should be able to comfortably carry all your essentials and still feel comfortable to walk with.

5. Cute, comfortable heels

I’ll not talk about flats and ankle strap (or sneakers) official shoes for women because they are part of everyone’s staples. When it comes to heels, however, it’s okay to have at least a pair – just in case. Pointy or not; super-high or not, your choice should, however, feel comfortable to put on and trendy with your overall office wear.

Going through this list, you should feel confident investing in them, especially if you are considering buying a couple for a start. Other outfits to consider are a beautiful, bold-coloured blouse and a beautiful pencil skirt. The best thing is to have a perfect blend of them so that, choosing what to pair with which another one becomes a breeze!

Ways To Save Money if You Run Your Own Business

Running a Small BusinessWith rising living and childcare costs, more people than ever seem to be looking at ways that they can work from home so that they can limit their expenditure and maximise their income. Starting a business and becoming self employed may seem daunting but there are a lot of advantages to flexible working and many people have huge success. Although it may seem like you’re spending more than you make when you first start, it’s all part of getting started, and we’ve got some tips on how you can save money as a small business owner.

Do Your Own Accounts

Unless your accounts are really complicated (which is unlikely in your first years as a small business) it’s actually really easy to do your accounts yourself online these days, which cuts the need for accountancy fees or an external payroll service. This could save you a lot of money in the long run and is also a great skill to have under your belt for the future.

Online Printing

If you need to use flyers or posters for promoting your business, using an online printing service like https://www.helloprint.co.uk/ could save you a small fortune. Their service is really easy to use, they offer free delivery on all products and they print on an incredibly diverse range of media – you could even print your company logo on a load of umbrellas!

Negotiate

Here in England, so many of us seem uncomfortable with the idea of bartering on prices but it’s common practice throughout almost the whole rest of the world! If you’re doing business with other people, never accept their first price as bartering could save you a lot of money. Many small businesses offer services as part payment for things too, so if you have a valuable skill you could offer this instead of cash.

Check Your Tarrifs

If you use your home as a place of business, check to see if there are better tariffs available for your energy costs, broadband supplier or telephone contract. Many companies offer special business rates, or even if there’s no money off, some companies will prioritise repairs if they’re for business users, so it could be worth a call to find out if it makes a difference.

Learn New Skills

If you’re looking to save money then taking a few courses could be an investment which saves you money in the long run and give you even more autonomy over how you want your business to run. Need to keep marketing costs low? Take a course in social media marketing and run your campaigns yourself. Need to save on accounting costs? Some companies like Sage offer day courses in small business accounts and payroll which will be a lot cheaper than years of services from an accountant or payroll person.

Luke from Caelum Communications said: “Having a quick and reliable internet connection is a basic essential for a running a business. Failover services and other installations are also great considerations for small and large businesses.”

How to Make a Success of Your Online Business

Having an online business, be it for selling something or some other service, can give you the flexibility of working from home, dictating your own hours, reducing the need for childcare and saving you money on commuting or additional premises. However, while is may sound like jacking your job in and going it alone is the solution to a perfect life, there are a LOT of things which can go wrong with a new business, not least of all being the lack of security.

We’ve got five tips for you which anyone thinking of starting a new business should think about before taking a leap of faith.

Know Your Niche

Knowing your niche is hugely important, especially if it’s a market which is already flooded. If you plan to start a business which is just like another, already established one, what is going to make people shop with you rather than going to the on they already know? It’s a fact that most new businesses fail within the first year, so planning ahead and making sure you really know your market is hugely important.

Build Your Audience

Online shops are NOTHING without customers. You can have the best products advertised on the sleekest website but if no-one is buying your stuff, it’s all pointless. Social media is one of the best allies that a new business can have because it allows you to build your audience and give your business a personal touch. Remain professional but personable and engaging when you speak to people and your shop will be memorable to them.

Proper marketing

As with the point about social media above, people will only shop with you if they know about your shop! Using some of your start-up budget on proper marketing from a service like Innovation Company will ensure that you spread your message as optimally as possible for your budget, with professionals who really know marketing on your side.

Good Customer Service

Anyone who does a customer facing job knows that “the customer is always right”, and although we all know that sometimes the customer is ACTUALLY a frustrating ass, dealing with people in the right way will really win you support from people. Obviously we aren’t suggesting that you allow yourself to be fleeced by chancers who are trying to get something for free, but being accomodating with your customers will go a LONG way towards making them loyal to you.

Cheapest Isn’t Always Best

When you first start a business, there’s a massive instinct that you need to undercut the competition in order to win customers, which isn’t always the case. Many people are still suspicious of the cheapest shops because they feel that they must be ‘too good to be true’ and will opt for something slightly more expensive for a sense of reassurance. Also, pricing yourself so low that your business cannot afford to continue won’t help anyone!

Do you have any tips of how to make the bets of a new business? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Best Payment Gateway for International E-Commerce

e-commerceLaunching and maintaining your own business can be a confusing and somewhat overwhelming prospect. This is perhaps especially true in today’s world, where you could be selling to someone across the world just as easily as you could someone next door. In order to take advantage of the larger market and help use it to our advantage, it is important to have the right tools at your disposal. The best payment gateway for international e-commerce, for example, is important to help all of your transactions, no matter where they originate, run smoothly. To do this, you should look into a great merchant processor that can offer you other benefits, like a free credit card machine.

Merchant Account Processor

One of the main tools at your disposal when it comes to running your international business is your merchant account processor. You need a service that can help provide your customers with a seamless purchasing experience whether they are local, or located across the globe. To do this, take your time and look for a well-established merchant account processor that understands how to provide you the services you need. They might also offer extras, like a free credit card machine, to further help make your experience a good one.

Beware the Fees

Something else to keep in mind is that you will end up paying a processing fee on every credit card payment you receive. That means that you naturally want to find the merchant account processor with the lowest credit card processing fees you can find. This will help ensure that you retain as much of your money as possible rather than losing it to simple transaction fees.

Merchant Account Solutions offers experienced and comprehensive service to all of their customers. Take a look at how they can help you!