Category Archives: The Tools

The tools and resources you need to live out your purpose and passion

Choosing the Right Home Business

Why do you want your own business?

Beyond the expected – “to make more money, why else, silly?” I’m asking you to think about what lifestyle you want. There are plenty of ways to make money. Some take 50+ hours a week, some take 5-10 hours. Some require you to go to others homes and some allow you to work from your laptop wherever you are. To help you really think through why you are pursuing a business I offer the 5 Why Method.
The 5 Why method originated with the Toyota manufacturing company. When faced with a decision, the management was taught to ask “why” 5 times. For you it might work like this:
“Why do I want to have my own business” – to make money from home
“Why do I want to make money from home” – I hate my job and I want to be home with my kids
“Why do I hate my job” – it doesn’t pay enough, the hours are long, the boss is a @$%^, and I have to miss the kid’s soccer games.
“Why do you have to miss the games?” – because I can’t get the time off
“Why can’t you get the time off?” – I have to be in the office every hour it is open.

From this process, you could gather that while the obvious answer to “Why do I want my own business?” is: to make more money, the deeper answer is “I want the flexibility to be there for my children.”

Now we can start to narrow down the options for business choices:
*You could start a retail scrapbook store, but that really wouldn’t help the problem as brick and mortar stores take 50 to 100 hours a week to get up and running.
*If you decide to sell custom made wedding albums and get into partnership with a photographer, what if she sends you 5 orders a month during the peak wedding season, are you prepared to put in that much time for a short period? Would that time conflict with soccer season?
*You might come to realize selling custom made baby albums to retail baby stores is a good fit. This gives you more control over your time, somewhat easier marketing (one customer to supply over and over rather than getting new customers for each product,) and a little less profit.

If you are truly serious about starting and succeeding in business, you’ll want to take the time to really think through these types of questions. Having a better understanding of yourself and what your objectives are will put you well ahead of the pack. You’ve heard that 4 out of 5 businesses fail within the first 5 years. You know there are millions of abandoned blogs and web sites out there. Most of those folks had a dream to start a business but they didn’t have a realistic idea of what they could do and how much time they could put into it.
You’re going to start your business off on a much better foundation because you’re taking the time to get a good idea of what business will realistically fit your lifestyle.

Choosing a Web Host

Thanks to Nicole Dean of Mom Webs hosting for this great article on what to look for when choosing a web host:

Web Hosting Checklist for Moms: This Decision Can Make or Break your Business

If you’re a work at home mom like me, you may also have struggled with finding reliable web hosting. Well, over the years (and many headaches later), I’ve come up with a checklist of essentials that your web host must have before you even consider working with them.

1. Excellent Reliability.
There is nothing more frustrating than finding out your website is down, and has been for hours. Although no time is a good time to have your site down, the timing can be just terrible. That sinking feeling when you’ve purchased advertising and you know the ad is about to be sent out and
you go to your website for last minute touches and … it’s down.

That is not cool. That is not acceptable. You must make sure that the web host you select not only has good reliability, but superior reliability. This is your business on the line, not some hobby site. Treat it as such and get hosting that works for you when you need it. But, you can’t just trust a website that says they are reliable. Make sure they can prove it.

2. Superior Customer Support.
When you do need help, make sure that your hosting will provide it. One thing I recommend is to contact support to ask a simple question about the hosting, before buying. That will give you an idea of what the customer service is like before you make a commitment. Yes, customer service has a difficult job – making sure they do not confuse less-experienced customers, yet, at the same time, also making sure not
to talk down to the geek types. However, you should never feel like you are a “bother” or that your question is not as important as anyone else’s.. or worse, dumb. You should find a web host with superior customer support.

3. The Stats You Need.
Several of the most popular hosts do not offer the web stats that every online business needs. You may not think that you need stats, but, how else are you going to know what is working – and what is not? You need stats that tell you where your visitors are coming from, how long they are staying, and which pages they are coming in and going from. Does your web host offer that? If they have a CPanel as their control panel, they do. Find a web host that uses a standard CPanel.

4. Affordable.
Why spend more if you don’t have to? When looking for a web host, price is always a factor. So, shop around and make sure that the web host you decide upon offers a great price.

5. Room to Grow.
The web host you choose should offer unlimited hosting. This means, that, if you add more websites to your package down the road, the price does not increase drastically for each one. Many online businesses start with one site and grow over time. Can your host grow with you?

6. Bandwidth and Disk Space.
Also, make sure that the host you choose is in the ballpark for bandwidth and disk space. Most programs offer approximately the same amount, but, especially if you plan to add a lot of audio or video, be sure to look into this, as well.

7. A History of Happy Customers.
New hosting companies are popping up daily. Some are being run by a couple of teenagers in their garage. Obviously, that’s not who I want to entrust my business to. Do you? I want to know that the company I’m choosing has been around a few years, and has a history of happy customers to show for it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, and you shouldn’t either.

Those are the key features that any web host should offer before you consider doing business with them. Choosing a web host can be more important than any other decision you make in your online business – if you choose wrong. So, take the time and find a web host that will work with you, and help you to succeed.

Nicole Dean is co-owner of Mom Webs Hosting – where you’ll find the host that offers everything a work at home mom needs – reliability, unlimited hosting, and customer service that never makes you feel intimidated — all at a price you can afford.

Adding a blog to your website

You need a blog! Whether for business or for pleasure, blogs have come a long way from the original intent as a way to post your daily diary online. Blogs come in all shapes and sizes with the ability to provide an incredible variety of functions. The most well know name in blogs – WordPress has evolved into a world wide collaboration as more and more people are adding their own creative bits of coding (called plug-ins) to an ever expanding library.
If you thought about a blog but didn’t know where to begin, here are a few tips: Continue reading Adding a blog to your website

Why Scrapbook for Others?

I just read a very touching story about a  man whose wife died suddenly of cancer, leaving him to care for two young daughters, hold down his job, and do all the funeral planning. He was distraught over his desire to create a photo montage of his beloved wife before the funeral but had no idea where to begin.  “I want people to see her as she really was,” was his distressed cry to his friends. Continue reading Why Scrapbook for Others?

What is your Business Personality?

What is your business personality, and why should you care?
You may be familiar with the study of personality types. We’ll discuss the four most common ones in a moment. You know everyone is different, we see the world differently, we have different likes and dislikes, different preferences and ways we interact with the world. Continue reading What is your Business Personality?