What to do when business is slow as a parent entrepreneur


What to do when business is slow as a parent entrepreneur

So, you’ve got a business. That’s fantastic. You’ve got something which you worked hard to build, juggling family life with everything else along the way. However, it’s not always a paradise.

In a lot of instances, you’ll find that business doesn’t move as quickly as you would like. This often is not your fault, but instead the industry you find yourself in. There are peak points of demand for any service, and then there are moments when it all goes wrong. We’re going to be taking a look at what you can do if you do find yourself in a moment where things aren’t going according to plan.

Don’t Panic

When you’re in an unfamiliar situation, it can seem like panic is going to set in at any moment. After all, you rely on a business to make money and keep your family looked after, so it’s almost expected that you would panic when the business is slowing down.

However, we advise that you don’t do that. Please, try not to allow feelings of fear and frustration overwhelm you. When people panic, they’re more likely to make snap decisions. While this can be useful in some situations, it isn’t going to help you as a business.

Identify Alternative And Temporary Work 

When business is slow, we won’t argue that you shouldn’t sit around despairing. In a lot of instances, you need to find something which will provide you with a temporary source of income.

For example, people providing administrative services might find that writing letters for people online is a good supplement. Learning a new skill for yourself is never a bad thing when you consider the scale of the internet and just how easy it can be to make money on it. Not only have you found a source of work you can put down when business picks back up, but you also have a contingency plan for if business slows down again.

 Promote Your Products In A Wider Location 

If a business is slow, it might be because the places you’ve promoted in have had so many of your products or services that they just don’t need them right now. When this happens, it’s a case of making sure that you are taking the time to stop and promote in a brand new environment. Not only do you have the support of your existing audience, but you also have the much-needed testimonial from happy customers!

Overall, these are just a few of the different things that you can do as a parent entrepreneur for your business. While it’s not always easy to try and stay positive when business is slow, it’s vital that you try and keep a level head while you’re working to provide for a family. It can be scary when your business doesn’t provide for you, but it is not the end. There are other things that you can do to make sure that you have a good income stream, and it’s often a matter of taking the time to slow and down and focus.

 

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5 Simple Ways To Practice Self-Care As A Parent Entrepreneur


5 Simple Ways To Practice Self-Care As A Parent Entrepreneur

Self-care is vital when you’re a parent entrepreneur. It can be so challenging to try and make sense of things when you’re always dealing with all the trials and tribulations which come from having both a business to run and kids to bring up.

Thankfully, there are a lot of simple things that you can do as a parent entrepreneur that aren’t that difficult and will help your self-care. To make sure that you’re not neglecting your self-care, we’re going to be taking a look at just a few of the different things that you can do here.

Make Time For Fitness

While it may seem like something of a novelty, you do actually need to make time for fitness. We know that a lot of parents can lose weight or get fit just from the time they spend rushing around, but this isn’t the way to practice self-care. It’s worth making time to go for a walk by yourself or with your partner, even if it is just once a week. Making time for fitness also boosts your energy levels.

Meditate

Meditation has a range of benefits for the human body. However, what’s important is that you’re using this time to rejuvenate your spirit and care for yourself. If you don’t have time to meditate during the day, perhaps you could get up earlier or do it before you go to bed. However, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Clean Up Your Space

There’s a school of thought which suggests that the space we have is a representation of our mind. If your space is cluttered and untidy, then it’s an indicator that perhaps you’re not doing as well as you could be in self-care. Try cleaning up and reorganising and seeing the difference it’ll make.

Say What You Feel

Reaffirming your connections and bonds to people is an essential part of the self-care process. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it can be crucial for making yourself and your partner feel good again. As a parent entrepreneur, you don’t want to take anyone for granted, so make sure you always say when someone’s essential or valued.

Express Gratitude

A large part of self-care is understanding what you have to be grateful for and expressing it. If you are thankful for something or someone, make sure you acknowledge it as much as you can. Tell that person or write it down, and you’ll see it makes you feel good too.

Overall, these are just a few of the different things that you can do as part of self-care as a parent entrepreneur. It’s never easy to manage your business, your family and your spirit all at once, but it’s worth doing. Otherwise, you can’t enjoy as rich and full a life if you’re not looking after you while looking after everyone else.

#PIB86 We have lift off


#PIB86 We have lift off

The podcast is back and with exciting news tune in.

Links mentioned:
Parents in Business Magazine
Create Launch Grow a start-up course for parents
7 Day self-care challenge 
Productivity challenge

Thanks for listening!

10 Side Hustle Ideas


10 Side Hustle Ideas

Whether you are working and looking for the way into building your own business and being able to leave work, or whether you are an entrepreneur looking for some extra gigs, side hustles are a great way of generating additional income streams, and not keeping all your eggs in one basket so to speak. Side hustles are so called as they fit neatly around other commitments, like the day job, but can offer a valuable financial boost, so here are ten ideas to get you started.

1. Sell on eBay

Nice and simple, you can either sell your unwanted items on eBay, or you can build a shop, buying wholesale and selling at a profit. The key to getting sales are quality descriptions, keywords in the title and high-quality photographs. Keep backgrounds white and only show the item, not other random things that happen to be in the shot. Be sure to look at commission structures and the cost of post and packaging and these can drain your profits, but the upside is you can sell pretty much anything as there is a category for most things.

2. Online Tutoring

If you have a degree or equivalent level of education, you will find there is a demand for online tutors. There are several sites that will help you match with potential pupils but remember that they will want a commission in return. You can set this up on your own if you are confident, and there are a range of platforms available that let you live chat, with video. You can either teach your subject or look into English as a foreign language, as this is always in demand.

3. Be a Domestic Goddess

If you have some spare hours and are looking to fill them, why not consider domestic duties. Whether you offer a collection and return service for ironing, or are happy to visit people and clean for them, there is money to be made in taking away these hated chores from other stressed workers. If you have green fingers, this could equally apply to gardening. A great way to get your exercise and make some extra money is to offer a dog walking service. Be sure to look into insurances for public liability.

4. Airbnb

Another favourite way to bring in an extra income stream, if you have a spare room, is to register on airbnb.com. Here you will find travellers passing through that are looking for a place for the night or a few nights. It is up to you to set the rules of who you are happy to host, but savvy folk have managed to get their whole mortgage paid each month thanks to this website. There are other sites that run in a similar way so consider registering on all of them.

5. Rent Your Driveway

If you live near a big hospital or near a busy town your driveway could be a potential goldmine. If you have the space, consider renting out your driveway, even better still if you can offer unsociable hours, as places like hospitals often do not have enough staff parking provision, and night workers and shift workers are always on the lookout for places to park. Just remember to make visitors aware, as you cannot charge and then have the space in use when they turn up.

6. Become a Landlord

A tale as old as time, being a landlord is an easy way to boost your annual income. If you can afford to have a second property, you have the basis of a great side hustle. Hand the day to day running to an agency and sit back and watch the passive income roll in. If you are in the market for a property to start this off, student lets are always in demand if you live in a university town or city.

7. Be an Extra

This one is a little bit location dependent, as you do not want to negate your fee by travelling for hours. However, bigger cities are almost certainly going to have various films and television shows being shot, and there are a number of websites that help you find these opportunities. Extras are needed in all age groups, male and female, so do not be put off looking.

8. Write for Money

Writing for money is another great idea. Businesses, large and small, often outsource writing, and freelancers tend to be cheaper than using another company. Blogging is perhaps the most popular job that gets outsourced, but people also look for book writing and web content. Again there are freelance sites like Fiverr and Freelancer that can help you get started.

9. MLM Sales

You will be aware of several MLM companies operating at the moment, if you are not sure then we are talking about things like JuicePlus, Avon, Aloe Vera and many others. You are basically a sales rep for another company and earn a commission on the items that you sell. Often bad mouthed as pyramid schemes, as long as you are aware of how they operate you should be fine. Some will push you to create teams of your own, which in turn earns you more money so might be of interest. Alternatively many will let you sit as a sales rep and just make your own commission. You will need to be outgoing and bold and not afraid of repeating your message over and over, but there is money to be made.

10. Create an App

So this probably requires some upskilling for most people, but mobile apps are huge and do not show any signs of becoming less popular. In fact, this is a growth market. Being an app developer means you get paid even if the app is not a big seller. The person who came up with the idea will make payment on completion of their app. If you have the skill to create apps, then you can also use it to make your own and hope you hit a really popular niche.

Online business startup course

How to improve your product sales


How to improve your product sales

Whether you have days where you feel that your order page is seeing tumbleweed and nothing else, or whether sales are trickling in nicely but you are not overly busy, increasing sales is something we all long to achieve. However, running a business is also costly, so naturally, we try and avoid spending loads of money on advertising we cannot afford or professional coaches to tell us what we are doing wrong.  But can you actually achieve better product sales without jeopardising your profit? We think you can, so here are some great ideas to boost sales.

Be Proactive on Social Media

While many social media platforms play down the organic reach because they want customers to use paid advertising, do not write it off as futile.  Remember that social media is all about brand awareness and getting people interested in your message.  Don’t just post product after product, try and get some interaction going, ask customers to leave reviews, start conversations by posting industry-related news, and then sprinkle in some offers and product placements.

Run a Giveaway or Promotion

People love something for free and failing that a discount works really well.  Consumers can sometimes feel like they are bombarded by product after product, so they don’t bother to look unless something catches the eye.  On social media, a giveaway is often a great way to boost likes and get your page shared for free.  Once people like your page, anything you post appears in their newsfeed, so generating new likes creates a whole new potential customer base.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive item or a significant discount, so don’t overstretch yourself.

Create Multi-buys

Again, people are more interested when they think they are saving money, so considered offering a group of related products at a slight discount, you sell 3 or 4 items where you might have only sold one so, 10% off is a price worth paying.  Many retailers offer these multi-buys on a flexible basis, as it is essential that customers feel they are choosing what they actually want not having something they are too struck on forced into the deal, maybe by a necklace and, if you add any set of earring, and any ring, the 10% discount will be applied.

Ask and Listen

Be sure to offer a feedback system when you make a sale.  Your current customers shopped with you for a reason; you want to know what that was as it helps you understand who your customer base is.  You also want to find out if they would shop with you again, and importantly if not, why not. This helps you effectively target any advertising you do, and if needs be make changes to the way you run your business.

Be Competition Aware

Check your prices against other similar retailers. You want to sit in line with them, and not be massively cheaper or significantly more expensive.  Being too cheap, which is something we are all tempted to do, suggests to the customer that your product is inferior or in some way not as good. Pricing yourself out of the market is another glaring problem. Find the right balance and sales should increase.

How to balance freelancing and family life


How to balance freelancing and family life

Freelancing can be the most rewarding way to work, which is of course why so many of us choose to be an entrepreneur and build a business. However, it can also seem like we are continually chasing ourselves and finding it hard to create a happy medium between family and work. So just how do we balance freelancing and family life.

Build a Schedule

If you want to make sure that you have the right balance you need to do some planning. Decide what hours you can realistically work and block those out, the rest of the time is family time, and you need to try and stick to the separation between the two. For some people one block of work a day is the best solution, for others work gets scattered into chunks that fit neatly between things like school runs, bedtimes and meal times. It is all about assessing your day and deciding what you can fit where.

Have a Back-up

So, while a schedule seems fine in principle, we all know how easy it is for things to change. A child off school sick, an appointment with the doctor, there is any number of things that can upset the balance. The way many people overcome this is to have a contingency plan. Whether that means giving up a night off to catch up or having to message clients to ask for more time, having a plan in place means you will be less stressed if the worst happens.

Be Realistic

There is no point cramming your schedule so full you become a screaming wreck in the corner. It is essential that you set realistic targets when it comes to working. Many clients will happily wait for work as long as you keep them in the loop. Asking for a realistic deadline, not enforcing your own ideas makes more sense. Naturally, clients will want their work doing promptly, but if you have set a 24-hour goal when a client would be happy to wait three days, you will be able to better plan and prioritise work. Sometimes you will have to say no, but that is ok.

Ditch the Small Stuff

Hands up who has a cleaner? Domestic tasks are something that many parent entrepreneurs end up outsourcing. The simple fact is work and kids are your priority, and you can earn more in an hour than you would pay the lovely lady who pops in three times a week to help with the housework.
She does a better job than you do and you can rest easy knowing that it will all be done. Consider creating carpools with other parents if after-school activities are taking up chunks of time each week. That way you can do one a month rather than one a week and save yourself some time. Anything that you want to get rid of to free your time is a consideration. Far from feeling guilty, you should feel proud of yourself for finding a more efficient and effective way to get these things done.

6 Business ideas for parents


Business ideas for parents

If you have always wanted to start a business from home, or you are looking to develop an income stream while the children are younger, so that you can expand on as they grow, but don’t know where to start then have a look at these. We have six business ideas for parents that can either be started from home or worked around school and nursery to help you get your entrepreneurial streak kick into action.

1. Cleaning Business

Whether you find a gig cleaning offices or you find a niche working for people in their homes, cleaners are in high demand. If you feel that going out of the house is not for you, then you can always employ people to do the actual cleaning while you run the office. Lots of working professionals have a cleaner to help make life easier, so check out whether there is any provision in your area and if not maybe this could be your route to success.

2. Mobile Hair and Nails

If you already have skills or are happy to do a spot of retraining, then mobile hairdressers and beauty technicians are also popular. Older people often struggle to get out of the house so having someone to come and cut their hair is invaluable and helps them feel less isolated. Another trend is to have clients in your home but offering the facility to have their children with them. Check out health and safety issues but as the parent remains with the child the whole time you shouldn’t have too many considerations.

3. Freelance Writing

If you really feel that you need to be based at home and have a good grasp of the English language, freelance writers are always in demand. You can write anything from newspaper articles to blog posts, as long as you can write accurately and quickly then you can earn a decent amount of money. It is also something that can be done exclusively online, so if you would rather not have people in your home or have to find childcare to go to work, this could be an option.

4. Web Design

Web design is always a popular skill; many small businesses do not want to pay the extortionate prices that large agencies charge, so having a small freelancer that can help them set up their website is a bonus. Check out the latest platforms as you may need to look at up-skilling before you can get going but the demand is there if you have the skill.

5. Dog Walking and Sitting

Pet sitting is always something that people look for. Whether a client is looking for someone to walk and visit their dogs while they work long days, or whether they have to go away for a few nights and would prefer to avoid kennels. You will need to check out insurance and local authority requirements for boarding dogs in your home.

6. Sales

Whether you have room to keep stock to resell or whether you look at some of the million MLM companies on offer, a lot of people find that selling is the way to go. You need to be sociable, but a lot of interaction is done via social media. Be sure to work with a reputable MLM if that is the route you choose.

Online business startup course

How to Stop Anxiety Telling Yourself That You’re Not Good Enough


How to Stop Anxiety Telling Yourself That You’re Not Good Enough

Being a freelancer or entrepreneur can be tough, if you are a small business, it might just be you, and that can be pretty isolating. Add to that the pressure of trying to work and bring up your family and you can sometimes find the anxiety voice in the back of your head challenging everything you do.  Often we worry that we are not good enough, perhaps you feel torn between the need to earn a living and the urge to be with your children more often or maybe you feel you cannot compete with other businesses in the area.  Whatever your fears are they can become genuine and leave us feeling second rate.  So just how do you stop anxiety telling you that you’re not good enough?

Don’t Sweat the Size Difference

Ok, you are a one man (or woman) band, so what?  Just because you know of other larger companies in your area that do the same as you, doesn’t mean your business is not valid. Some clients actively prefer the personal touch that comes with dealing with the same person consistently; they seek out the small business.  You need to remember that you have your own set of unique selling points and that is your advantage.  You need to focus on your services and offering them to the best of your ability, and you will find there is a massive amount of customer loyalty out there.

Bad Days Happen

However, with that in mind, even doing your best can lead to a bad day.  Bad days happen to everyone. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in, whether you work for yourself or are a faceless soul in a sea of thousands in a giant corporation, it happens.  People make mistakes; customers are foul, this is just life.  Try not to beat yourself up if you screw up.  Try and remember that a problematic client might actually be dealing with something awful at home.  Bad days are not a reason to throw in the towel, so try and shrug it off with that old adage that ‘tomorrow is another day’.  On the subject of making mistakes, the best tactic is to own up, apologise, correct and move on.  People generally understand that things sometimes go wrong so just be brave and move on.

Find Support

The third tip is to ensure that you have support.  It can be a lonely world, so whether you find other freelancers and working parents in a similar boat and create a networking group, or whether you have friends and family happy to step in, use your support.  It can make all the difference in the world if you can voice your concerns to another person. They will be able to help you see why the anxiety voice is wrong and why you are doing an excellent job, but that is something we struggle to do for ourselves, so be sure to build in support somehow.

Parents in Biz online community

 

The benefits of setting better goals


The benefits of setting better goals

If you are running your own business and juggling this with bringing up children and family life, you will not be alone in having days where you feel a bit like you are standing in quicksand while the world floats past your head. Parent entrepreneurs have a unique life that means they can often spend more time with their children than if they had to go off to the office every day, but they can also feel like the business will never thrive because there are just not enough hours in the day. This is where the benefits of setting better goals come in.

Goals Bring Focus

When you are setting goals, you are effectively making a list of what is essential and stating your intention of getting these things to reality. So set goals for both work and home in order to create that fantastic balance you have read that parentpreneurs can have. Be sure to think through the goals so that you make them realistic and achievable and be clear in what you are setting about doing.

Goals Bring Decision Making

If you have defined a better set of goals that are well thought out and robust, they also act as a decision-making tool. Knowing where you are going and what you want to achieve means that when unexpected situations and opportunities arise you will be in a strong place to know instantly if you’re going to move forward with them or shelve them. It will be easy to see if they fit into your goal-oriented plan or if they are going to take you off on a distracting tangent that means your original targets will not be met.

Goals Offer Direction

While we may not want to consider a final destination having goals helps move you through the phases of life and makes it easier to plan for the future. Some working parents actually prefer to have long, long-term goals as this offers them a focus and helps them stay on track. Whether it is home ownership, a specific retirement date or just the knowledge that you have created a strong business that can support your family, goals give you the direction you need to stay on track.

Goals Provide Balance

When you are working and looking after children, it can be easy to flounder and never entirely be sure whether you supposed to be having a parent day or an entrepreneur day. Having clearly defined goals that are better than a vague list of things that might be nice helps you find balance. You will be more readily able to see what needs doing and how you can get the home work-life harmony you are looking for. It makes planning for events with the children more manageable, and you can schedule appointments, paediatrician visits and more around your goals and account for this downtime more effectively. By using goal setting, you should feel less like you are sinking and more like you are flying high.

Top tips for parent entrepreneurs and parent freelancers


Top tips for parent entrepreneurs and parent freelancers

There is something quite magical that comes with the freedom of running your own business. As a parent, it offers another level of convenience that you cannot get when you work for someone else. However, if you are not organised and create yourself some rules you can feel like all you do is work and throw your children at nurseries and relatives, so how do you create a balance? Here are some great tips for parent entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Balancing is a Skill

What you have to remember is that while you may be at home while you work, you are neither a full-time worker or a full-time parent. In order to make this situation work, you are going to have to learn to balance the two. Whether that is grabbing an hour of work while your baby sleeps, or whether realistically you need to have a couple of half days childcare scheduled, finding the pattern that works for you is paramount. Some parent entrepreneurs make it look so easy, their darling little one plays happily on the floor by their desk for hours, while your darlings seem to have one volume and leave you wanting to tear your hair out. It is about finding the balance that works for you.

Stay Organised

There is a myriad of apps that help with organisation, from to do lists to full-on task management software. Many offer a free trial period or cut down version so have a look before spending any money and see what works for you. We are fans of Trello and Todoist, both of which are mobile, so work not only on your home based computer but on your phone and tablet too. This means you can stay organised on the go and never miss a trick. Be realising with your time scheduling; there is no point in trying to schedule a meeting for dinner time if the family need you to be in parent mode then.

Communicate Well

Clients are just people, and the chances are many of them have families of their own. If you are expecting a new arrival make clients aware of this happy event as it may impact your ability to meet deadlines. Most people respect honesty and will have no problem waiting a little bit for work, especially if you are laying in a hospital bed having given birth or at home looking after the older children while your partner is delivering the new arrival. It is easier for people to feel positive about a delay if they can understand the proper reason behind it. Struggling stoically onwards while missing deadlines left right and centre is not suitable for your business reputation. Clear communication is the key to making sure you maintain a great relationship with your clients. Many parents often state from the start that they will not be at their desk during school run times, but can offer work after the kids are in bed for an hour or so. This flexibility is often what swings a contract for many people.

The Parents in Biz Hub is a supportive community of entrepreneurial parents. It’s an inclusive network where you can share ideas, seek advice, and use your experience and expertise to help others. Find out more here. 

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