How to Stay Focused and Productive


How to Stay Focused and Productive

As a parent business owner, there’s a lot of responsibility in your hands. You have to make sure that you are efficiently running the business and raising your children all at the same time. Understandably, this can take a lot of focus.

Staying productive and focused can take effort sometimes, but there are things you can do to make sure that you are maintaining the best mindset possible, and we’ll be taking a look at them here and now.

Make a To-Do List

The first thing that you can do is to make a to-do list — having a series of tasks to complete and a specific mission to accomplish means that you are more likely to retain a level of focus and motivation. The list of things will slowly go down over the day so that you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

Take Regular Breaks

Something else that you can do to make sure that you are maintaining focus and motivation is to take regular breaks. The mind needs a few moments every so often to recharge and gather itself. Take a break, get up and do something else, and then come back to your desk with a fresh take.

Love Yourself

When you are trying to stay motivated and focused, you have to love yourself. We’re all our own worst critics. There’s a lot that we know we could have done, or should have done, and it can absolutely wreck your confidence to try and cope with the different thoughts. You need to be kind to yourself and accept that in a lot of instances, you’re doing what you can.

Lean On Your Partner

If you’re in business with someone, or you just have a partner who you raise your kids with, you should lean on them to help you stay focused and motivated. Talk about your day and your struggles, and make sure that they know you’re going through what can potentially be a tough time. They can help to provide crucial support, so lean on them where you need to.

Remind Yourself Why

When you are struggling to remember why you bother to keep this business going, you need to make sure that you are remembering the reason you do this. Perhaps it’s your kids that inspire you, or a desire to make something incredible with your bare hands. Whatever your motivation, hold onto it.

Overall, these are just some of the different things that you can do to make sure that you remain focused and motivated when you need to. It’s not always easy, but it can be doable during the critical moments of business. Remember to split your time evenly between your business and your home life – one should not cause you to be unable to make time for the other. Both should be equally important, and it is up to you to make sure that you are remaining focused, motivated, and ready to make a difference.

5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Time

Some Of The Secrets Behind Business Growth


Some Of The Secrets Behind Business Growth

Whatever kind of business you might be looking after, one of the main things you are always going to want for it is for it to grow as fast and as smoothly as possible. When you have a lot of healthy growth in a business, it is a sure sign that things are moving in the right direction, so this is something that you can always look to as a kind of marker against which to check your business. Of course, it’s one thing to know how important and central growth is for a business, and quite another to actually be able to grow the business as effectively and smoothly as possible. As it happens, there are many things to learn about this, and in this article, we are going to take a brief tour through some of the most important. Here are some secrets behind business growth that all entrepreneurs should know.

Know The Trajectory

A lot of this has to do with how you personally approach the business itself and the running of it. If you can at least get your psychological approach right, you will find that this alone makes an enormous difference to the kind of results that you are going to see. One of the most important parts of this is that you need to understand what the best trajectory is going to be for your business at this specific time. This is not something that anyone else can answer for you, and as such, it is something you are going to have to do on your own. But as long as you are keen to get to the bottom of it, you should find that it really makes a difference in how much growth you are likely to see.

By the trajectory of the business, we simply mean that you are aware of what kind of growth you are expecting and aiming for in what kind of period of time. That is something which will really help you to keep moving forward, as you will understand more intuitively what it is that you need to do in order to make sure that your business continues to grow properly. Besides, having any kind of goal is always an important way to make sure that you are going to keep on track, so it’s something that you will want to consider for that reason as much as anything else. By keeping in mind what trajectory you hope for and expect, you can make sure that business growth is going to come around much more easily than you might have even thought possible.

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Set Up A Website

In many ways, a website is one of the best tools that you can possibly have, as it is something which does so much for your business in so many different ways. By setting up a website, you are ensuring that the future of your business looks much brighter indeed, and one of the ways in which this will certainly be true is the way in which it will contribute to your business growth. You might be surprised at quite how profoundly it will do this, in fact, and it’s something that a lot of people find particularly interesting to look into. So how is it that a website can help you to grow your business?

There are many ways in which this happens. One of the most essential and, perhaps, obvious is that having a site will increase your visibility online, and online is one place where marketing is really important for any business. The more of an online presence you have, the more that people are aware of your business in the first place, and that means that you can expect higher numbers of customers as a result of this. You will want to make sure that your website design is as professional as possible for this effect to really be powerful, so look into finding help with that if you need to.

Beyond that, a website can also act as an e-store, which will mean that you can sell products online as well as wherever else you might sell them. Clearly, just having that channel open will mean that you can expect your business to grow much faster than if it wasn’t there. As you can see, a website is an important part of ensuring business growth, so be sure not to overlook it or downplay its importance.

Budget Well

Growth is a lot to do with sales, but it is probably, even more, to do with ensuring that the finances are in place at all times. If there is anything outwardly very wrong with the financial position of the business, then it is unlikely that you are going to see much healthy growth in your business. Because of this, you need to do anything you can to make sure that you are budgeting your business as successfully as possible, no matter what it might take to do so. The more of a strong grip you have on this, the more likely it is that your business will continue to grow, as you won’t be holding it back by having poor financial control. If you struggle with this, you might want to think about having someone on hand to help you, either an accountant or a financial advisor. That alone can make a huge difference.

Competition

Competition is part of the lifeblood of business. Without it, you would probably not do quite so well in your business, and you certainly wouldn’t have quite the same impetus to grow as much as possible. You should do whatever you can to be and remain competitive in business, as it really is one of the best ways to ensure that you are going to keep the business growing as much as possible. Focus on what your competitors are doing as much as what you are doing, and learn from their successes and failures. That will ensure that you are going to be much more out of your own venture.

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Staying Absolutely Clear About Your Business Potential


Staying Absolutely Clear About Your Business Potential

Unfortunately, those with illusory beliefs start businesses all the time. They may think that they have the best financial foothold to do so, or that they have a winning idea despite no testing in the marketplace. This wouldn’t be so terrible if it wasn’t for the true financial risk that some of these folks inflict on themselves, their employees and their families back at home.

This is why it’s important to have absolutely zero self-deception waiting for you when opening a business. In fact, the only self-deception you should believe in completely is that despite your challenges, you can overcome and you can make a success of things. This is the only permissible quality you can have here. For everything else, you need to have a crystal clear view of reality and to be completely impartial to the facts, no matter how good your intentions are starting out.

With this in mind, the following advice will help anyone launch their business with complete clarity:

Understand The Costs

Understanding the costs that you may face when starting your business is an essential part of being clear about your financial situation, and how to use the investment you are starting off with. But remember, it’s not just equipping your office, investing in the best branding or hiring experts to come and staff your ranks that are expenses you should consider. Instead, the cost of setting up a limited company is also something you need to consider, how to best ensure your operation, and also what applications you may need for a patent to keep your unique business idea out of the hands of other companies.

Understanding Your Place In The Market

Understanding your place in the market is essential. For some, it may simply be that there are no other Italian restaurants in a ten-mile radius, which is unusual, but likely a great opportunity. However, how long is this competitive edge likely to stay here? Might it be that next year another business comes to the same area, undercutting you with similar-quality food? A place in the market needs to be a solid foothold, not a quick place to grasp with one hand precariously.

Staying Wise About Your Potential Growth

Are you confident regarding your growth? Are you overestimating not only how many people may order a product, but how many you can produce? Even small, humble businesses can mistake how this might feel. For example, an Etsy business selling hand-embroidered baseball caps might open their business for a maximum amount of orders, only to realise that only a select amount can be satiated in the right time frame due to this being a simple home business. Staying wise about your capacity and potential growth can help you avoid overstepping the mark, and sometimes, under stepping it.

With this advice, you will be much more clear and consistent regarding your business potential, in all directions that matter.

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Being a details-oriented person is great for running a small business


Being a details-oriented person is great for running a small business

If you find that you are a detail-oriented person, then you can often apply yourself to many excellent efforts in life. However, perhaps the most promising use of this state of mind is when running your own business. There are many reasons as to why this is. To start with, it’s important to note that any small business is commonly surrounded by competition on all sides, meaning that applying your best talent is essential for even getting your foot in the door.

Additionally,  consumers are becoming more and more demanding than ever, meaning that it’s not enough to simply be good enough, you have to be great. Not only can your natural ability become a worthwhile assistant when running said operation, but considering how you may have been treated or serviced by small businesses in the past can also go a little way in helping you develop as a business operation. With that in mind, it’s essential to know how to carry on in the best context imaginable.

With this in mind, let us offer the following advice:

Consistency Is King

The thing to remember about details is that often, it’s the smaller considerations that can be the most variable. For example, if you’re not careful when considering your polystyrene packaging, you may not have the most cohesive and custom options for the products you hope to house within it. Paying attention to specific dimensions, working with excellent suppliers, and ensuring that you are careful to make those results as repeatable as possible can help your firm seem more dependable, and that’s because you will be acting in this light.

The Customer Experience

The customer experience matters. For example, differences in how the regular product they order is received is an important point to consider, because the ebbs and flow of customer life dictate the necessary need for a reliable result. In other words, if you are not the person to exercise attention to detail, your customers will be, and they will report on this in a public setting. To some extent, this can be useful for you to make yourself aware of issues, but additionally, it can look bad in regards to your product offering. Ensure that the quality assurance you are able to keep the best results as regular as can be.

Adhering To Your Vision

Businesses often lose their charm and ability when they find that they veer from their stated business positions and especially the vision they adhere to in their marketing campaigns. Adhering to that vision means continually fact-checking your previous claims, being referential to your business narrative and making decisions that line up with this or considering how you might subvert that for a better result. However, it’s true that with the best creative vision and attention to detail, you can keep these disparate elements under careful control.

With this advice, you’re certain to use your natural ability to view details in more beneficial ways than one.

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How your office design can impact your productivity


How your office design can impact your productivity

Productivity, like efficiency, is one of the most important words in your vocabulary as an entrepreneur. If you want to make sure that you use your time wisely, you have to have the systems in place to do it. And that means that your office has to be designed in a way that benefits your style of working.

Office design is about 3 things: function, style and organisation. It’s only when you balance these things that you create the perfect workspace.

But what does that look like for you?

A Clearly Defined Workspace

One of the most important things you need when you work from home is a clearly defined workspace. But this is also the same in a corporate space. Though you might only have room for a desk and chair at home, in a corporate office, there is often room to create different zones for different styles of working.

Zoning is a good way to change your perspective and encourage you to work in a particular way. For example, a wide space filled with squashy beanbags, a load of games and art materials would be much more likely to trigger a creative process than an empty boardroom. Creating a space for each type of work you do is a good way to put on the different ‘working hats’ you have and change your methods accordingly. In other words, spaces influence your behaviour.

How your office design can impact your productivity

Furniture that Helps You Work Well

Everyone likes to work in a different way. For some, sitting at a desk is preferable but for others, chilling out on a sofa with a laptop is more productive. Understanding that most people actually like to have a choice is a good way to start choosing the right furniture.

Every office should have a space for more relaxed work and meetings as well as spaces for people to work individually and together. Some of the coolest offices in the world have found all kinds of ways to create defined spaces or zones. Some use quirky furniture like picnic tables and swing chairs to create more fun, creative spaces. Others use smaller pods to introduce private and quiet spaces to work. But the thing that links them all together is that each space is carefully designed for a particular purpose and the furniture guides that purpose.

Organisation Techniques for a Tidy Space

If you want to be productive, you need to be able to access your work easily and reduce the number of distractions around you. That’s why the organisation is so crucial in offices. If your desk is piled up with stuff, you’re going to spend far more time looking for the relevant things than you need. And, you’ll probably have a cleanliness issue to deal with sooner or later too.

While work zones will really help your organisation overall, you should also purge the office of things that are no longer needed on a regular basis. You should also encourage everyone in the office to spend 5-10 minutes on a Friday clearing their desk and getting ready for the following week.

Once you start finding ways to improve your productivity, it’s just a case of refining your ideas and making the most of your time.

How your office design can impact your productivity

Are Your Family Crying Out For Work-Free Evenings?


Are Your Family Crying Out For Work-Free Evenings?

Many parents who begin businesses do so because they want to take charge of their time. They want to know that they can take time out for the kids when they need and that they’re able to guarantee free evenings. The trouble is that it doesn’t always work out.

Far from leaving you free to enjoy evenings with the kids, the chances are that you struggle to even make one free night a week. Instead, you find that there’s always something to do. Worse, it won’t get done if you don’t do it.

This can be frustrating, and it could even lead to disruption and resentment at home. No one likes to sit at the table with someone who spends the whole time on their phone, after all! The good news is that those early dreams of free evenings aren’t as outlandish as they seem right now. All you need to do is put the following plans in place to ensure you can enjoy that time with your kids without distraction.

#1 – Automate where you can

Given that your business rests solely on your shoulders, the chances are that you can’t resist but check-up even when you’re out with the family. Sadly, as soon as you check-in, you find a whole load of stuff that needs doing. From admin to processing online orders, a ‘quick check’ could turn into a whole night of work. Luckily, automation could save you from ever needing to check again.

Something like the web applications offered by software development agency Xibis can automate virtually any business requirements so that you can rest easy your online processes run like clockwork without you. Automating out of office email replies could also save you worrying about admin during your evenings. Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy family time at last.

#2 – Separate the business from the personal

If you use the same phone number for business and personal, there’s a high chance you’ll answer business calls out of hours. Equally, using a personal email for business purposes means emails will come straight to your private phone no matter the time of day. By keeping a divide here, you can make sure you’re able to switch off when you leave the office once and for all.

#3 – Get strict about business hours

It also pays to be strict about business hours both with yourself and your customers. No one expects the owner of a small business to work 24/7. As such, simply being clear about operating hours ensures that you won’t lose custom by not replying during your evenings. Again, sending automated out of office emails is a fantastic option here. Even just adding a note on your website of when you’re back in the office can let you off without losing your custom.

Each of these simple steps can smooth the divide between your working and personal life. And that, in turn, can lead you to work-free evenings for whole family enjoyment at long last.

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Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Confidence


Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Confidence

To have a lack of confidence is not uncommon – many of us deal with insecurities and doubts about how good we are. As a parent business owner, you often have double the concerns – are you good at either part of your life?

However, there are some bad habits which can knock your confidence that we are all guilty of from time to time. We thought that we would list some of them for you, to try and help you identify them and get rid of them.

Drawing Comparisons

One bad habit you can have, which will ruin your confidence, is to compare yourself to someone else all the time. It’s natural to want to measure yourself up against a rival to try and find out how good you are, but doing it when it isn’t necessary will damage the way you look at yourself. To try and avoid this, you need to break the cycle of making comparisons which aren’t relevant to the situation or which have no use to you. Remember that you have your own set of unique talents and skills to bring to a business that no one else can offer.

Second-Guessing Yourself

If we asked everyone to say whether or not they second-guessed their actions all the time, a lot of people would probably say that they do. However, this type of activity is dangerous. It becomes easy to doubt yourself and second-guess everything that you do and say. Once that happens, you start to lose confidence in even the most basic of tasks. To resolve this, you need to make sure that you are avoiding second-guessing yourself where possible. Trust your gut, and remember that there is a lot you can do without having to question it.

Trying to Prove Something

Okay, so while it is natural to want to compete with people, some take it a step too far. They see everything as a constant battle and set out to prove themselves superior in every instance. All that happens is that eventually, they find that they do not match up in some areas, and this destroys their confidence. Part of running a successful business, especially as a patent, is realising that you have nothing to prove to anyone. You do not have to attempt to showcase your skills to the world continually – the right people will come along in good time because you are what they need.

Overall, it is easy to find yourself engaging in bad habits that damage your confidence. You should try and break these wherever you can because they have such a massive impact on you and your life. Remember that when it comes to businesses and raising children, there is no preset formula for success. It is down to the individual, and their ideas about what makes something worthwhile. You need to judge yourself according to your beliefs and ideals, and no one else’s, because their opinions do not matter as much as you think.

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How to Know if You’re Ready to Outsource


How to Know if You’re Ready to Outsource

Outsourcing sounds excellent. As a parent entrepreneur, it seems like a dream – you get to sort out your business and have some of the more complex tasks taken care of, leaving you time to work on other projects or spend time with the kids.

However, knowing that you’re ready for outsourcing? That’s not so easy. Every business has to decide at what point they feel confident in taking on the demands of outsourcing. So, we’ll be taking a look at some of the questions you should ask yourself here and now. 

Are You Seeing Financial Success? 

How’s your business doing? Would you say that you’re turning a good profit every year? If you are, then you might be ready to start outsourcing. If you’re not, then you should probably stop and think a little bit more about whether you need this resource.

See, a lot of people use outsourcing as a way to solve the issues they have within their business. They think that it will help them in the long run, whereas this is far from reality. Outsourcing is not a temporary solution, nor should you ever use it as one. Treat it like the evolution to your business, not the foundation.

Do You Need Outsourcing? 

You see, here is the thing. A lot of people don’t need to outsource. They might think that they do, and it would be very appealing to have all that extra time on your hands, but if you don’t need outsourcing, you’re wasting expenses.

The first and best thing that you can do for your business is to ask yourself whether or not you need to outsource, or whether you’re doing it simply because you can. You’d be surprised how often it is less of the first and more of the second. If it’s not something that will radically impact your life, it’s not a justifiable expense.

Are You Overwhelmed by Work?

 As a parent business owner, you need to ask yourself whether you are overwhelmed by work. Is there so much of it available that you can not keep up with the demands placed on you by your customers? If so, then you’re probably ready to outsource. If you find that there is a seriously high amount of work coming in and you can’t keep up, it’s good to bring in that extra help.

To summarise, there are a lot of instances where introducing outsourcing into your business is a good thing. However, there are many situations where it will be more of a hindrance than a help. You need to identify as a business owner whether you need to open up your company to other people. It might be challenging to figure out, but at the same time, an important concept to sit down and deliberate. When the business benefits, then you should introduce outsourcing. If it suffers, then leave it alone for now. It can be as simple as that.

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5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Time


5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Time

When you are a parent business owner, it can sometimes be challenging to take charge of your time effectively. We all have things that we want to do – whether they are spending time with the kids, or improving the business, they are essential. However, when the time is not effectively managed, it comes trying to put aside the hours that are needed.

To try and help remedy this situation, we are going to be taking a look at five ways that you can take charge of your time.

No More Excuses

How many times have you looked at the task you didn’t tickly want to do, but had to do, and then thought “Eh, I’ll do it another day “.

Well, you would be forgiven if you did that. We all do it, and it may not be the best habit. If you want to take charge of your time, you have to stop making excuses as to why you can’t do things. You have to commit to sitting down and doing them, no matter how long they take because it’s something that needs to be done.

Identify Your Goals

Typically, people are managing their time to try and achieve a goal. So, it stands to reason that you need to identify what your goals are before you can begin managing time to accomplish them.

This is not a difficult task. It can be as easy as writing down a list of things you want to achieve. It might be time to go into the gym or more time to spend with the kids, but having a list gives you focus.

5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Time

Have a Support Network 

If you’re going to try and take charge of your time, then you need to make sure you have a support network that can help you. People who can hold you accountable for your time and push you to accomplish even more are wonderful influences.

Eliminate Distractions 

If you’ve got a distraction in your life which is stopping you from getting the most out of your time, remove it from the picture. It’s easy to do, and you’ll feel so much better for having done it. Cut out the distractions, and focus on that one thing where possible.

Be Patient With Yourself 

Retraining your mind to try and take advantage of your time in new ways isn’t always easy. You’re going to struggle at first to break old habits and the most important thing that you can do in this period is to be easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re struggling, instead just try and patient. It’ll work out in the end.

So, to summarise, these are just a few of the different things that you can do when you want to get the most out of your time and take charge of it. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it when you figure out how to start maximising the hours in the day you have to make time for what matters.

5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Time

5 Benefits of Outsourcing


5 Benefits of Outsourcing

As a business owner, you have a constant need to deliver the best to your customers. It’s an instinct to give the ultimate version of your product or service, and this doesn’t change when you’re a parent entrepreneur.

Whether it’s the world of e-commerce or creating trinkets for people, outsourcing can sometimes be the wisest option possible. We’re going to be taking a look at five benefits of outsourcing for you here and now, to help you understand precisely why it’s such a good idea.

The Benefit of Someone Else’s Expertise 

As a parent who runs a business, you’re going to be incredibly busy. So it stands to reason that there will be some areas of what you do which you don’t have time to perfect. When this happens, it’s a good idea to outsource to another company or individual.

You get a superb quality without compromising on anything else. Your customers don’t get let down because you can’t give them what they want, you don’t have to struggle with it, and the costs are often minimal in the grand scheme of things.

Improving Your Efficiency

A beneficial benefit for anyone who is looking to outsource is that your efficiency can increase. Because you’ve shifted your attention away from the tasks which you don’t enjoy doing, you can focus your efforts on those chores which you do. It helps to crank up your efficiency or give you the time to focus on your family.

Flexibility 

Running a business can be very demanding, and so you need to make sure you are doing your best to look after yourself and your family while trying to provide a suitable level of quality for the customer. This can be made easier with outsourcing. You have an increased level of flexibility for doing new tasks, or looking after a sick child, or whatever needs doing at the time.

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Cutting Costs 

When you provide a service, be it e-commerce or a brick and mortar store, you have to consider that there’s a lot of costs to factor into the prices you charge. Materials and labour times can make what you’re doing incredibly inefficient, which is why outsourcing can be helpful. All those costs disappear, and you pay for the final product.

Longer Business Hours 

There are only so many hours that you can work in a day. When you’ve got kids, then it’s especially difficult for people to run a business and work until 8:00 at night. Outsourcing means that you don’t have to worry so much. You can easily hire someone who can keep working long after you’ve had to make dinner for the family and come away from the office – this means that you can continue providing a service for longer.

Overall, there’s a lot of benefits to outsourcing as a parent business owner. Your schedule needs to be a little more fluid than other entrepreneurs because when you’ve got small kids, you never know what will happen. It’s so crucial that you take the time to outsource because it does help in a big way.

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