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Home Biz Notes

June 20th, 2008

Working at Home Not Always Convenient


Working at home, although it’s your dream, does have some drawbacks.  Consider them and how you can overcome them.

*Friends and family often don’t take you seriously.

*Children frequently  interrupt.

*You’re considered the “on-call” classroom mother for parties, reading stories, and volunteering.

*You find it easy to get distracted by work around the house or simply take too many breaks.

*There is no boss to keep you on a schedule.

*Your work area often is confiscated for family projects.

These need not detract you from your desire to work at or from home, whether it’s working online, offline, or both.  Be aware that distractions and demands will occur.  Set up a plan to overcome them.

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Tags: business distractions, , , , , , ,

By Mary Emma Allen -- 1 comment

June 20th, 2008

Fun Friday: Home Businesses & Charity


FUN FRIDAY at the Business Channel

Many businesses become involved in charitable causes, either by donating outright or participating in events. Often community businesses band together to hold an event that’s fun and raises money. Sometimes a business donates an item or items. Or you might provide your time.

* I‘ve donated my books to auctions that raised money for the arts organization in town or the town library.

*When I had a quiltmaking business, I’d contribute a quilted item for this auction.

*Other artisans might provide some of their wares for an auction or a drawing or a sale.

*If a dinner is held to raise funds, anyone with a business selling food might contribute.  Perhaps you’ll do some cooking, serve, or wait on tables.

*If there are chances being sold, businesses might donate services and products for the prizes.

*One PTA, to raise money for school needs, auctions off baskets filled with theme items…fruit, bath and beauty, kitchenware, baked goods, school supplies. These are attractively decorated and displayed during the school event.

*Give a portion of your proceeds from a particular item, or day’s sales, for a charity.

*Participate in a blogathon, such as the Great Blog Off here at b5 media.

*Become involved in a walkathon, marathon, phonathon, etc.

These are just a few ideas of ways a business can become involved with charities in their area. You could organize a fund raising event yourself, as Kelly Erb, CE of b5media’s Business Channel has with the Great Blog Off going on today.

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

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By Mary Emma Allen -- 2 comments

June 20th, 2008

Avoiding Burnout In Your Home Business


Even though you’re excited about your home business, you still may get bogged down by the routine, some boring tasks, dealing with disappointments (yes, no business is entirely a positive experience), satisfying difficult customers, and juggling family and business. There are times when you may feel like giving up.

Susan Martin, in her article, 12 Simple Steps Business Owners Can Take to Avoid Burnout, at Business Know-How, will give you some tips that could help you.

Do you have any handy tips that you use that keeps you going and refreshed?

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

Tags: avoiding burnout, business burnout, Business Know-How, , , , , , , Susan Martin

By Mary Emma Allen -- 1 comment

June 20th, 2008

Many Business Channel Blogs Participating in Great Blog Off


Many of the b5media Business Channel blogs are participating in the 24-hour Great Blog Off, today, June 20…the first day of summer.

To locate them, scroll down the page until you come to the list of Business Channel blogs.  Click on the various ones to see if they’re participating.  You’ll find numerous interesting, informative, and sometimes humorous posts.

Why don’t you let us know which ones you think are outstanding or “tickle your funny bone.”

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen 

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By Mary Emma Allen -- 1 comment

June 19th, 2008

The Great 24 Hour Fundraising Blog Off Helps Charity

For 24 hours on June 20th many b5 bloggers will blog on the hour every hour to raise money for charity.

Home Biz Notes will participate in the blog off as we can but may not have posts for you every hour. However, stop by and see what we do have in store.

Blog on! Read all about it as Kelly Phillips Erb at Taxgirl.com reports

The Great Blog Off is a 24 hour blogathon to raise awareness and money for charity. The Business Channel at b5media has paired up with Accion International, Inc., (www.accion.org) a charitable organization that provides micro-loans and business advice to impoverished business owners all over the world. Charity Navigator gives Accion its highest rating for, among other things, a low admin expenses to revenue ratio.

On the day of The Great Blog Off, bloggers will post fresh content throughout the day - the goal is to post at least once per hour all day long. Business Channel bloggers will also encourage readers to support Accion. Donations can be made directly to Accion.

Read the official b5media Press Release about the event.

Tags: Accion International, blogathon, , , , , , ,

By Yvonne Russell -- 0 comments

June 19th, 2008

Still Great Advice One Year On - Promote Your Home Business Every Single Day!

Blast From The Past - Home Biz Notes Gold
The vaults at Home Biz Notes have some great information. One year on to the day, this post is still gold. The best advice seems always seems to be simple, straightforward and evergreen.

For more great posts from the Home Biz Notes vaults, check the archives in the sidebar or use our search field.
————————————————————————————————————————— Promote your Home Business Every Single Day
With all that’s needed to keep one’s business going (producing products, maintaining inventory, bookkeeping, providing services, maintaining your production or office space) how do we find time for promotion? Yet promotion is vital if we’re to have customers/clients!

“Do something to market yourself every single day,” recommends Jennifer Mattern, of JH Mattern Communications, in an interview , “Punk Rock Public Relations,” at Freelance Switch. “I don’t care how big or how small it is.”

Then she gives some suggestions, which include: post to your blog, get yourself interviewed, send out a press release, call a potential client, make a forum post, exchange links with other sites in your industry…to name a few. We’ve discussed some of these ideas already at Home Biz Notes, so it’s refreshing to see them reinforced by someone with Jennifer’s experience.

So, ask yourself, “Am I doing something everyday to promote/market my business?”

If you do something, even something small, each day, you’ll soon find yourself doing more and more, fitting it in between the production aspect of your business. You’ll begin to find your personal name and business name more visible on the web and in your neighborhood.

How about sharing with us some of the promotional techniques you’re applying?

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By Mary Emma Allen -- 2 comments

June 18th, 2008

Spare Room Startup - Book Review

Emma Jones is a Home Biz Notes reader and the founder of Enterprise Nation, the UK’s largest home business site. So when I heard Emma had written a book I was definitely interested… and I think you will be too.

Spare Room Startup: How To Start A Business From Home
I review plenty of business books, but as soon as I opened the first page of Spare Room Startup, I knew I was in for something a little different… a real treat. This is a book not just to be read, but to be enjoyed. And it’s chock full of useful information.

The first thing you notice is the stylish design of the book. Color photos of the author, her family and friends in work settings in and around her home, Redbrick House are dotted throughout. There are mini case studies of home business owners complemented by easy to read at a glance sidebars and diagrams.

Spare Room Startup - Overview

Written in a conversational tone, the book is divided into three main sections which reflect the content of the website - Business, Lifestyle and Technology. Areas covered include finding your home business niche to planning, sales and marketing and managing your home business right through to work life balance and planning your website.

Home Business Case Studies
I especially enjoyed the case studies. Web links and contact details are included in the back of the book for all the profiled businesses. My only quibble is I would have liked to have seen the web links with the actual case study as well, rather than needing to cross check. But that is minor. There is also a comprehensive index, aglossary and a useful websites section. Checklists and templates for planning and press releases are a great addition.

The Home Business Start Up Journey
If you’re thinking about starting a home business or are new to home business, Spare Room Startup is a great partner on your journey for practical tips, insights and inspiration. And speaking of journeys… Emma tells us that

The average commuter will travel two and a half times around the world during the course of their working life.

Want to enjoy the outdoors while you work at home? You’ll be interested in the growing trend towards garden studios and shedworking. It is so popular in the UK that it has “spurred an industry in grden office manufacture.”

A home business lifestyle sounds good, doesn’t it?

Spare Room Startup:How To Start A Business From Home can be purchased from Amazon or from the UK publisher, Harriman House.

Tags: , , , , , spare room startup book review,

By Yvonne Russell -- 0 comments

June 17th, 2008

Become The Go To Person In Your Field & Boost Your Business

One of our b5 bloggers, Rico Mossesgeld from Contract Worker has scored a free trip to Singapore. No, it’s more than luck. He has become recognized as an authority in his field, and you can too.

Being seen as the go to person in your field gives you an amazing advantage over your competitors.

How Can You Become The Go To Person In Your Field?

  • Write a business blog
  • Get to know the reporters at your local paper
  • Let them know you are available for comment
  • Send press releases when you have something newsworthy
  • Build a business profile in the community
  • Write articles for your local newspaper
  • Are there opportunities for radio interviews?
  • TV?
  • Run a workshop
  • Take advantage of guest speaking spots for local groups
  • Any others?

Offer Newsworthy Information
When contacting the media, you need to have something newsworthy. It can’t just be a sales pitch. Once you build a profile and are approached for comment, you’ll find this happens more often, especially if you provide value - informative, insightful or helpful information or perspectives.

I am currently reading an excellent book on this topic which I’ll review in a future post - Become A Recognized Authority In Your Field In 60 Days Or Less by the master copywriter, Robert Bly.

Become A Recognized Authority In Your Field In 60 Days Or Less image courtesy of Amazon.

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By Yvonne Russell -- 5 comments

June 16th, 2008

Spare Room Startup - Sneak Peek Video Of The Book

Emma Jones of the UK’s premier home business site tells us about her new book - Spare Room Startup:How To Start A Business From Home” in this very brief video.

It’s definitely worth a look as is the book. The video gives a good insight into the visual qualities, content and layout of the book, often helpful in making your choice when you buy a book online sight unseen.

Keep an eye out for my review of Spare Room Startup on June 18th.

Spare Room Startup:How To Start A Business From Home can be purchased from Amazon or from the UK publisher, Harriman House.

Tags: , , , , spare room startup video,

By Yvonne Russell -- 0 comments

June 15th, 2008

Happy Father’s Day To Home Business Owner Dads!



Whether you’re a home business owner dad, a supportive dad, anyone’s dad in the business world and elsewhere…I wish you a Happy Father’s Day!

This is a time to celebrate dads and remember our dad. Even though my dad is no longer living, this day brings memories of him. It’s a time for memories, for getting together, for making phone calls and sending cards, and even for forgiveness.

(Amazon image: click on picture for details)

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

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By Mary Emma Allen -- 0 comments