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Don’t be Taken Advantage of Because you Work at Home

admin Posted in Work at Home No Comments »

When working at home, one of the hard things to do is to make it clear to others that you are actually working. They seem to think that since you are at home, you can come and go as you please or worse yet, as THEY please. This can be extremely frustrating while you are attempting to keep on task and get work done.

I know many work at home moms and dads who let themselves get taken advantage of by people wanting them to drop what they are doing and come to the need of their problem or come join them in what they want to do that day just on a whim. Whether it is someone wanting to chat endlessly on the phone, needing someone to watch their kids, drive them to a destination or simply just wanting the home business owner to run out to go shopping or have lunch. This is when a work at home mom or dad needs to put their foot down, if they are serious about trying to take care of their business.


Don’t get me wrong, working at home DOES give you flexibility, and that is one of the perks. But you also need to have the discipline to be able to follow through and commit to your own goals and have the commitment to your business. Some people have a really hard time being able to stay focused and keeping on top of the deadlines they have created for themselves. And when friends or family call on them during their specific work time they have set in place for themselves, it is hard for them to say no. But if you want to truly succeed in running a home based business, you need to build a backbone, stand up for yourself and your business, and put your own work guidelines into full action.

If you are a work at home mom or dad who is serious about working at home and needing that income flow, you need to speak up and let people know, in a gentle but firm way, that you do work during the day and that your business is important to you. You need to let the people in your life know that you need them to understand that you are "at your job" during certain hours of the day and that while you’d love to be able to drop and run, sometimes you just can’t. There have been many times that I have had to do this with people, and over a period of time, they have "gotten" it. If someone calls and wants to take 3 hours to go shopping that day, most likely I can’t. But that doesn’t mean I can’t the following week. Being able to plan ahead with people, and getting them to understand that you NEED to plan ahead, causes less stress and misunderstandings.

Just think of it, if you were working in a regular job, would these same people call you there and expect you can just leave or come to their aid anytime you wanted to? No, they wouldn’t think that, and home based business owners sometimes need to retrain their own thought process along with gently retraining those in their lives and letting them know that they have a schedule that they need to stick to.


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Now You See Me, Now You Don’t – Mistakes of a Home Business Owner

admin Posted in Work at Home No Comments »

Over the last few years I have witnessed home business owners go about advertising their products and services in the wrong way or not at all. Not only are mistakes made in the ways that ads are written but, also, many people have unrealistic expectations of their advertising, especially when an ad campaign has not been put together properly in the first place.

Advertising is a natural part of growing and expanding your business. You cannot expect your business to grow to its utmost potential without some sort of advertising involved. This does not mean you need to break the bank to advertise.


You don’t need to use expensive advertising to promote your business and see results. But you do need to be smart in how you advertise and need to be realistic in what you are expecting for results. Most importantly, you need to be consistent and repetitive.

Many businesses fall into what I call the "now you see me, now you don’t" syndrome. This is a scenario I see which happens over and over with home business owners. They pull their ad after a one time or very short run in a newsletter, magazine, newspaper, direct mail, radio or website.

This is one of the largest mistakes a business owner can make; a mistake that happens with many new business owners and even some veterans. Studies show that a consumer needs to see your ad (product or service) anywhere from 6 to 12 times before making a purchasing decision. Not only does the repeat of your ad and company information give your company recognition with the consumer, it also gives your company creditability. All you need to do is put yourself in the consumer’s seat. If you saw an ad only once, from a company you have never heard of before, for a product that you might be interested in, would you make that purchase right then and there? Probably not. But when you see a product/ad over and over, you begin to recognize that company AND begin to subconsciously trust that company as one who is legitimate and who is successful.

Think about this: You are a subscriber to a magazine. You are reading through the current issue and notice a variety of ads. You spot one that perks your interest. You read it, and you go on to read the rest of the magazine. The following month you receive the next issue of the magazine. You read it and then you remember an of the company or all the information about the product. You assume it will be in this magazine as that is where you saw it in the first place. You can’t find it. You don’t have a copy of last month’s issue, so you forget about that ad and the company and the product you were a bit interested in. What does this mean? It means a lost sale to the company that only advertised in that one issue. A potential customer may not be ready to make that purchase when they first discover your product, but two or three months down the road, they ARE ready to purchase. If they can’t find you, there is no sale.

Learn from the example of one company’s very expensive mistake. An internet company decided to throw all their money into a one-time advertising shot during the Super Bowl. They hired extra people to man the phone center, expecting huge results. C’mon – this was the Super Bowl with millions upon millions of viewers! Guess what happened? The phone barely rang. They sat dumbfounded AND now broke. You cannot expect great results with a onetime shot at getting your word out, even when it is to millions of people.

Think of the big companies. How do you think they GOT to be big companies? Almost every company starts out as an idea of just one person or a handful of people. They grow and become successful from advertising and getting the word out about their products and services. Why do you think you know the names 3M, Fischer Price, Old Navy and so many more? It’s because you consistently and repetitively see their name and ads everywhere. No, not everyone wants to be the next 3M, but a company WILL not grow if you don’t advertise it. Word of mouth is great, but can and will only get you so much business. Networking is great, but again will get you limited business. You cannot solely depend on word of mouth and networking.

Advertising is essential for your business to grow, but it doesn’t have to make you go broke to do it. If you aren’t doing so already, you need to allow yourself an advertising budget. No matter how big or small, each month there should be money allotted for advertising. If you haven’t been including advertising in your budget up to now, it is best to save up for a few months to run a good campaign. While you are saving and putting money aside, you can do your research as to where you will be spending your advertising dollars. Always find your target market for your product or service. It makes no sense to advertise the baby products you sell to a readership of auto mechanics. Find advertising options that are affordable for the exposure you will get. While advertising in a large magazine sounds tempting for the exposure, if your ad is tucked away in the back, in very small print, it might not be that beneficial. While you could spend $1000 a month to have an ad in that large publication, you could find better exposure in a smaller publication for a lot less money and therefore reap better results. That $1000 could last for 6 to 10 issues in a smaller publication as opposed to just one issue in the large publication. Make your exposure last so you can gain the recognition and credibility that your company needs.

Do your research and plan ahead. If you are going to contact other advertisers from a publication you are interested in advertising in, be sure to ask them the following questions: How long did you run your ad? How large was your ad? (Size IS important as ads that are too small can be lost and if someone has a lot of information to put in a small ad, it may not bring good results) What type of product or service did you advertise? What kind of results were you looking for? (Again, an important question, and listen to their answer. They may have had unrealistic results themselves, hoping for quite a bit of sales from only one or two ads.) How were you tracking the ads from this publication? (Many people, in all reality, have no way of knowing HOW their ad has succeeded with certain places because the ad it too generic or does not have special coding for them to track where a sale is coming from.)

While the thought of paid advertising may frighten you, don’t let it. Yes, it is something that you do need to include in your business plan to grow your business but, if researched, planned, and executed properly, you will see results that you wouldn’t have dreamed to be possible. Maybe, and probably not immediately, but in the long run, your business will prevail and grow.


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Nice vs. Honest – A Woman’s Struggle

admin Posted in Work at Home No Comments »

Why is it that so many women have a hard time being "honest"? Honest in the sense that when a colleague or peer asks for advice on a task that they’ve done, an article they’ve written, or a new project they’ve created…. women will
tend to be "nice" as opposed to honest. Instead of giving them an honest response and critique, women many times will just say, "It’s wonderful", "It’s perfect’, or "I think you did a great job", when in reality they may think it needs a lot of improvement.

This is not to say that by giving your honest opinion you are being rude and putting down another person’s work. But if you are asked an opinion and you know that what has been created is something that will not enhance that person’s business or has mistakes – be honest in a caring and encouraging way. Point out the good ideas and qualities that you can see in their work and then make the suggestions as to how it can be better. If you are able or willing, offer to help them with the redesign of their project and idea.

We owe it to each other to be honest in the feedback we give. And we owe it to ourselves to not take critiques and constructive criticism personally but to be grateful that our friends and associates care enough for us to put our best foot forward. In the long run, this type of honesty helps all women business owners, as we all create better and more efficient businesses.

I have a very close friend in that neither of us holds back anything on our opinions of each other’s work and ideas. I thank God I have someone like that because she has been so helpful with her pair of eyes and providing a springboard for me. We both know and trust each other and would expect nothing but an honest opinion, even if it means throwing out an entire concept or project we had spent hours on creating.

So – keep asking for those opinions of others, and when asked for yours, tell the truth, in a way that you would want to hear it from others.


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