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5 Things You Need to Know Before Deciding to Work at Home

admin Posted in Work at Home, Work at Home Tips 10 Comments »

If you have the desire to work from home, like millions of others do, there are a few things you need to realize before making your final decision on whether you decide to move forward in your entrepreneurial endeavor.

1. Working at home is NOT for everyone. Don’t fall into believing the myth that “anyone” can work at home. Working from home and running a business of your own takes a lot of work, dedication, focus, determination and patience. Not everyone has the personality to be able to run a business out of their home. Make sure you take a good look as to the type of work ethic and level of tenacity you have before making a decision to run a home based business.

2. You need to be in it for the long haul. Work at home success will not happen overnight. To be honest, it most likely won’t even happen in the first 6 — 12 months — depending on the type of business. Most businesses take up to 3 years or more to start seeing a true profit. During this time, you need to be able to continue your focus and keep your eye on the prize, so to speak.

3. Friends and family may not be supportive. When you decide that you want to start a career working at home, those closest to you may not be ready to jump on the bandwagon with you. Without realizing it, they may actually work against you in your success by their actions and words. Expect that you will need to win them over, which will take time. Many times, a spouse will need to see the fiscal success first in order to be your cheerleader.

4. Running a business is hard work. While many people dream of being able to work from home — mainly for the freedom from a “real” job that it offers — they fail to realize that to gain that sort of freedom, they will need to work hard. With most home-based businesses, you will need to wear many hats for your business to operate successfully. You will be the one who is selling, marketing, purchasing, billing, fulfilling orders, etc. Most times, you will put in more hours than you do at your regular job in order to build up to the type of success that offers you that true freedom.

5. Expect to spend money. No matter what business you choose, there will be some sort of costs involved — more than your initial investment, no matter how big or small that amount may be. These costs can include; office supplies, marketing materials, advertising costs, website and technical fees, phone and internet costs — just to name a few. Don’t be blind by jumping in without first finding out what your cost of running your business will be.

The majority of individuals, who are looking to work at home, desire to spend more time with their family, to be their own boss, and to be in charge of their own future. Working at home can be very rewarding and tens of thousands of people are living the life they were hoping for. Unfortunately, there are many more who venture out, rush forward, and don’t have all the facts they need before making a decision to run their own business. If you are on the road to seeking that work at home adventure — do it wisely — take your time, make a game plan, and most importantly, be realistic about what you are about to endeavor upon.


Cyndi Webb is the Founder and President of Moms Network – an organization dedicated to the promotion and success of Moms in business. Since 1997 she has promoted and worked with thousands of work at home moms in coaching and guiding them in how to help grow their businesses. Over the years Moms Network has evolved to include more than 20 websites offering free resources to moms from all walks of life, the Connecting @ Home print magazine and the annual Celebrating Moms Expo which attracts thousands of moms in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Cyndi makes her home in Minnesota with her husband and two children.

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Business and Friendships: Keeping the Lines Divided

admin Posted in Work at Home, Work at Home Tips 1 Comment »

Can business and friendships happily co-exist? Certainly, if the lines are not crossed and respect is given from both sides. Much too often ill feelings can arise when friends attempt to do business with each other. One person crosses the line with their expectations of what they feel should be acceptable behavior because of their friendship with the business owner. I hear time and time again how this has happened to many business owners, especially women in business.

It can become a vicious cycle if you are not careful. What can happen is people become accustomed to the discounts or free offerings and when you put a stop to them, they can become bitter and distant. All of a sudden, in their eyes, you are not the wonderful, supportive, business owner you used to be. You are no longer the person who gives out discounts and “freebies”. Unfortunately, some people consider a business owner as being supportive only when they can benefit from that business. They look at how their business can grow from the special services and products offered to them at a discount or free. There are others who feel they deserve the special treatment because they are a family member, friend, or associate of the business owner.

I receive many emails and phone calls from women in business who don’t know what to do about their situation. They have family and friends taking advantage of their services or products they sell and feel defeated because their income is not what it needs to be. What started out as a one time favor has turned into an expectation from them.

Awhile back I witnessed a conversation where one person was complaining that she had approached a business about purchasing product from them at a discount, and the company said “no”. The business owner had responded in honesty and stated that she could not do that as she was trying to earn an income and build a business. This makes perfect sense. How can a business grow or create any sort of income if they are undercutting what they need to make? What I heard next from the individual who had approached the company for a discount surprised me even more. This person stated their frustration that they couldn’t receive a discount, then went on to say to their associates, “But I know that I could ask any of you for this and you would do it.” I thought this was such an unfair assumption and expectation to put on people.

Could your business survive if you gave away your product and services or if you gave everyone a discount? Not likely. Do not expect others to offer what you are not willing to offer yourself. And do not expect others to offer what you may already be offering. Each business is different. Each has different budgets, expenses and goals.

Ask yourself the following questions: Are you expecting special treatment and rewards? Do you put your friends on the spot to extend favors to you?

Do you judge other business owners by what you think they should be doing for you? Do you get angry when you don’t receive perks from your friends in business? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to step back and look closely at your motives and the way you conduct yourself in business.

When I resigned from my outside job to be a work at home mom, I needed to replace the income I was making. This was the understanding that I made with my husband, for our family. For almost the entire first year I found myself continually giving free services, time, and even product to people. I felt bad and even guilty every time I would hear of someone who didn’t have enough money or didn’t have the proper skills/software to do what they wanted in order to help their business grow. What ended up happening is that I felt I couldn’t say “no”, and because of this, I put my family’s finances at risk. This was unfair to myself, my family and my business. I have had to learn to say “no”, and have had to learn to draw that line between business and friendship. It is a struggle, and something that is still not fully resolved.

Am I saying that you should never help others by offering discounts and free services? No, definitely not. What I am saying is that you need to be careful and not fall into the trap of attempting to make everyone happy and of taking care of everyone else’s problems. If you run your business this way, you will run it right into the ground. Pick and choose what you can do for others.

Help others when you can – when you and your business can afford to. You will find both you and your business will run more smoothly when putting limits on your generosity.

Doing business with friends can work wonderfully and be beneficial if done properly. By setting up some guidelines and having candid conversations up front, you can have a business relationship with respect and understanding.

Guidelines to Follow:

1. When becoming a customer or client of a friend, don’t expect any special discounts or treatment. This is unfair to the business owner and directly affects their livelihood. If you each want to extend a discount or other perks to each other, be open and up front about whether it is feasible. Remember, if your friend gave a discount to every friend/associate they had, they wouldn’t be able to make the income they need. You are not the one to judge what another person needs to earn or should be earning.

2. Pay your bills on time. Do not treat your friend’s business any different than other companies you deal with. Put yourself in their position. What if all of your customers/clients did not pay you when their bills are due? Paying on time not only shows respect but is the right thing to do.

3. Don’t take “no” personally. If your friend cannot offer you a free or discounted service, respect that. She/he is attempting to run a business and not only has their business expenses to pay, but an income to earn. It has nothing to do with the type of person they are. Do not judge someone by what you can receive for free from them. You do not know what their situation is or all the free services/products that they already provide to others.

4. Do not over-extend yourself. Many times people allow themselves to be taken advantage of out of guilt. They feel they need to help and offer their services for free or at a discount to everyone. Unfortunately, some friends, family members or acquaintances will try to make an individual feel guilty.

You know what you can and cannot do in the area of helping others. Do not put yourself in a bind so that your business or family suffers – financially or time wise. This is unfair to your family. You cannot be everything to everybody. Be true to yourself, your values and your needs. This does not mean you are being selfish. It means you are being realistic and will help where and when you can.

Cyndi Webb is the Founder and President of Moms Network – an organization dedicated to the promotion and success of Moms in business. Since 1997 she has promoted and worked with thousands of work at home moms in coaching and guiding them in how to help grow their businesses. Over the years Moms Network has evolved to include more than 20 websites offering free resources to moms from all walks of life, the Connecting @ Home print magazine and the annual Celebrating Moms Expo which attracts thousands of moms in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Cyndi makes her home in Minnesota with her husband and two children.

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Golden Nuggets

admin Posted in I'm Just Sayin, Snippets of Success, Work at Home Tips 1 Comment »

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite and most powerful quotes that I’ve come across for women. I have found many of these to either give me the extra encouragement I needed, a gentle push in the right direction or the ever necessary "reality check". I hope you will find some of these helpful for your life and your business.

"Our job is not to straighten each other out, but to help each other up." Neva Coyle

"Your example is much more powerful than anything you can ever say." Elisabeth Elliot

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." Dolly Parton

 


"It is easy to love those who are far away. It isn’t always easy to love those who are right next to us. It is easier to offer a dish of rice to satisfy the hunger of a poor person, than to fill up the loneliness and suffering of someone lacking love in our own family." Mother Teresa

"One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar". Helen Keller

"It is not how many years we live, but what we do with them." Evangeline Booth

"When we are away from God, He misses us far more than we miss Him." Ruth Bell Graham

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." Anne Bradstreet

"Whatever our situation in life…we can and should surround ourselves with friends who not only understand us, but also inspire us to make the most of our current calling." Beverly LaHaye

"Originality is not doing something no one else has ever done, but doing what has been done countless times with new life, new breath." Marie Chapian

"I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances." Martha Washington

"Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it." Ann
Landers

"A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make all women beautiful." Jacqueline Bisset

"Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them: but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight. When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." Helen Keller

"It’s never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise." Nancy Thayer

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Cyndi Webb is the Founder and President of Moms Network – an organization dedicated to the promotion and success of Moms in business. Since 1997 she has promoted and worked with thousands of work at home moms in coaching and guiding them in how to help grow their businesses. Over the years Moms Network has evolved to include more than 20 websites offering free resources to moms from all walks of life.  Cyndi makes her home in Minnesota with her husband and two children.

 

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