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Monday
Jul152019

Big News from our Founder!

Ten years ago I embarked on an amazing journey. I launched Market Mommy with the hopes of giving mom entrepreneurs a place to go to learn, network and promote themselves and their businesses. It has been a decade {holy sh*t, that sounds like a long time!} full of wonderful successes, great friendships, and of course some challenges.

But, without the challenges there wouldn’t have been the successes and I’m extremely grateful for everything that Market Mommy has put in my path over the past 10 years. I’ve made some great friends. Holly Hanna and Abbey Fatica have been around since the very beginning :-) And, I’ve worked with some phenomenal business owners …. like Mindee, Kristi, Prerna and Theresa just to name a few.

All of this has made my decision very difficult, but I think it’s finally time for Market Mommy and me to part ways. I’ve decided to sell the site so that I can free up my time to pursue other opportunities.

Ten years ago when I started, I was working full-time in a traditional role as a marketing and communications specialist and I had two pre-schoolers. Now, I work from home full-time and have added another child to the mix. To say that life has changed would be a gigantic understatement.

One thing, however, that hasn’t changed is my love for moms, mom-owned businesses and my genuine desire for you all to succeed. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to be on a fun ride with all of you and I wish you nothing but continued and unending success. I will always be in your corner!

So, what now? I’m excited about the possibilities and what the future holds for myself and my family. And, I want to find the perfect person to handoff Market Mommy to. {Do you know her?} I’ve struggled in recent years giving the site the attention and time it deserves. There is so much potential here and I can’t wait to see what the future owner does with it. I’ll be cheering her {and all of you} on from the sidelines!

If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more about MM and what the site has to offer, you can check out my listing on Flippa.com. Thanks for your continued support; you guys are the best! XoXo!

Monday
Jul152019

Modern Meals - The 5 Most Innovative Tech-Upgrades for Modern Kitchens

 When you see the sheer number of products in the average kitchen that require a power source, you wonder how your ancestors coped. Who knew there was a way you could make bread without a bread maker or rice without a rice cooker?

Technology is making cooking and baking far easier than ever before, and it’s only getting better. If you want your kitchen to be at the cutting edge of advancements, then read on. Here are some of the most innovative tech upgrades for modern kitchens:

Induction Technology

Induction technology involves the use of electricity to produce magnetic fields that induce currents in a cooking vessel’s atoms. Moving atoms heat the induction cookware which, in turn, cooks your food.

Induction technology, as opposed to regular electric or gas hobs, has the benefit of cooking your food faster, offering more control, and making clean-up a breeze. Induction cookers also work with steel and cast iron, rather than glass, ceramic, aluminum, and copper.

Smart Refrigerators

Most people still prefer to visit the grocery store to buy their weekly supplies, but wouldn’t it be nice if your fridge could order your food for you? Thanks to smart refrigerators, it can.  Smart fridges link with all your phone’s apps and connect to the internet.

The display screen helps you to find what’s inside, and it can also let you know when you need to stock up on particular ingredients. When you’re low on anything, you can add it to the digital list then order it using your fridge. You’ll never have to step foot in a grocery store again!  

WiFi-Connected Ranges and Ovens

Nearly 90 percent of all cooking-related deaths are as a result of unattended cooking. What if your oven could tell you when something was ready? Or when something was burning? While you’re sitting on your sofa, you can be controlling your cooking processes from your phone.

Your oven or range connects to your WiFi, works with your app, and offers the same functionality as if you were standing by the appliance. Having an alert directly on your phone can make you less likely to forget you’re preparing something for dinner.

Weighing Chopping Boards

Recipes can be confusing. Depending on their origins, the measurement type can be easy to get wrong or challenging to convert. If you want to make sure your next cooking venture is successful, then invest in a weighing chopping board.

Weighing chopping boards are digital. They let you cut on them as you would any other board, but then you can move your chopped ingredients into a central point that automatically weighs them. If your recipe calls for 1kg of chopped carrots, you can use one appliance for both tasks.

Smart Appliances

Almost all appliance stores now sell smart appliances. If it doesn’t connect to your phone, it’s not worth having! From dishwashers to blenders, toaster ovens to slow cookers – almost anything can be entirely controlled from the comfort of your armchair.

Most of these appliances can also link to assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Imagine being able to tell your slow cooker to turn off by using your voice?

Everything from the humble wooden spoon to the toaster has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. Almost every kitchen appliance also comes with a thick instruction book outlining how many uses a single appliance can have. If you’re yet to jump aboard the technology train, then there’s no time better than now. You can shave hours off the time you spend in the kitchen.

 

 

Tuesday
Jul092019

Five Tips to Ease Employee Scheduling

Do you have a business that employs multiple people and requires work and effort to manage their weekly schedules? It can be challenging to balance your business needs with the availablilty of your employees. We've put together five tips to help you manage this tricky task.

1. Hire Smart. Scheduling your employees will be easier down the road if you start with strong, reliable employees. Make sure that when you are recruiting and hiring you are looking for individuals that fit into the culture of your business. Don't be afraid to ask about scheduling and availability right up front. There are plenty of excellent, qualified candidates out there, but not every one of them is a good fit for your team. Get to know your candidates and their personalities from the very beginning and you'll be ahead of the game.

2. Communicate. I think communication is always key to all business operations. Scheduling is no different! You'll need to communicate with your employees about changes in business needs, products, strategies, etc. They'll need to communicate with you about changes in their lives, strengths, goals, etc. Keeping the lines of communication open will help facilitate a better working relationship between your entire team.

3. Be a Leader. Typically, employees don't like to be micromanaged. They appreciate the freedom to complete their work on their own terms with their manager's trust. Keep that in mind as you are leading your team. Schedule them in ways that can enhance their skills and help them utilize their strengths. Encourage them but don't limit them.

4. Tools. In order for your team to be successful, you need to provide them with the tools and technology in order to be able to do so. There are so many options out there when it comes to business solutions. If there are ways you can help your team work smarter instead of harder you should entertain them.

5. Be flexible, yet predictable. Life happens. While it's very important to give your employees advance notice as to when they are scheduled to work (two weeks ideally); it is also important to remember that things come up, people get sick, transportation difficulties arise. So it's important to encourage a culture that is flexilble and encourages teammates to cover for one another when necessary. Always understand that things can come up and have a back up plan for coverage.

Do you have more to add? How do you handle scheduling your employees along with all of your other important business tasks? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!

 

Tuesday
Jul092019

Scale Your Business Massively Using Outsourcing

The defining trait of any budding entrepreneur is the ability to juggle multiple tasks at once. By taking on multiple jobs it is a way to start generating consistent streams of income and revenue. 

Although as many veteran business owners know, multitasking is never as easy as it looks at it can drastically hurt you in the long run. From decreasing productivity, damaging your mental and physical health, taking on too much at once can actually cause more harm than good. Studies claim that is is actually impossible for the human brain to successfully take on more than the task at a time. So by multitasking, you are damaging your brain and wasting your precious time. But there has to be a solution? There are things within your business that need or have to be done. There just isn't time to run your business at a snail's pace hoping to not burn out. The simple solution that many, many businesses take on is to outsource, their work. Here are a few ways to get started and get your business flying in no time. 

Customer support

It can take years and years of work for a new business owner to fine-tune their message and get a steady stream of clientele. By providing substandard or no customer service could be the downfall of your company. With the onset of social media, a few choice tweets from one disgruntled customer could see your hard-earned clients leaving you in droves. Take a look online and look at hiring a Virtual Assistant. A V.A will be able to help you with any customer queries and complaints and keep your operation looking professional. Check websites like Fivver where you can find specialist customer service freelancers that can help your customers via live chat, email or telephone. 

Recruitment 

While not strictly outsourcing- taking on new employees can be a time consuming, tiring and expensive task. When the time comes to get some team members on board to consider investing in recruitment software that automates the whole process to ensure you only end up with the right candidates for the job and employees that will be with you for life. 

Content marketing

If you don't have a background in marketing it can take quite a bit of work to figure out how to connect with your right customers and audience. Optimising that particular market for growth may need the keen eye of someone used to working in marketing. They can generate leads while establishing you as a brand authority. A great content marketer can help you create copy that sells you as a business and directly correlates to cash.

Inventory

Dropshipping is taking off exponentially for a reason. Many entrepreneurs don't have the time, space or inclination to be dealing with thousands and thousands of units of stock a day. Consider hiring an inventory and fulfilment centre to take it all off of your hands. Its a cheap and easy way to streamline the whole process so you can concentrate on more important things like scaling your business.

Saturday
Jul062019

How To Use Email Marketing To Generate Sales

Photo by Krsto Jevtic on UnsplashAs a business owner, you have probably been told time and time again about the various ways in which you can market your company: social media, direct marketing and traditional print marketing being the main ones. In this article, we are going to be focusing on one in particular, and how you can best capitalize on it to help you make more money: email marketing.

Email marketing can be pretty challenging. Every day, peoples email inboxes are rammed full of newsletters, special offers, pitches and all sorts of things that more often they not, they will delete without looking. To be successful at email marketing, you really have to grab your readers attention and build up the trust fo your customers. This is done by telling your story and helping them to get to know the people behind the brand - all fo which can take some time. However, here, we aren't going to focus on that. We are going to assume that you have spent the time building up your list and establishing a relationship with your customers through other methods, such as social media. We are assuming that the people who are on your email list are there because they want to be on there, and are interested in you as a business, so now we need to encourage them to open, read and take some action (other than delete!) once they have read your email. Read on to find out more!

Look at the tone in your email messages.

Your job is to help your potential customers know, like and trust you. They need to feel that you are on their side and that you empathize with them and their situation, which is why you want to incorporate more of a conversational tone in your emails, regardless of the industry you are in. Take a look at your email subject line - does it grab attention in a punchy, friendly way? Assuming you are using your email for sales, you need to make sure they want to open it in the first place!

Check The User Experience

Have you gone through your own email marketing funnel and checked that the process is seamless and engaging for your potential customers? Do you know how you are hoping to change a cold lead into a sale? If you don't, you are missing a vital opportunity which is going to cost you in both subscribers and sales. 

First of all, you need to make sure that it works smoothly on both desktop and mobile devices - remember, more people than not access their emails on a mobile device now, and if they can't see half of the screen or it's too complicated, they're going to click away and forget about it. Look at how your cart abandonment process works as well.  Put yourself in the consumer's shoes and see what they see, so you can make it a better experience for them.

Check that your email service the right one for you

Finding the right email service that fits your requirements is absolutely crucial.  To begin with, a free option is probably more than adequate, but at some point, you will need to make some decisions about where to go next. You could stick with the free option, but they are usually limited in terms of what you can do on there and how many subscribers or emails you can send out, so it is generally worth investing some of your company's marketing budget into something that, if done correctly, will drive sales and make you money. Some features that you may want to check you have access to include:

Abandoned cart: can you send your customers a reminder about the product or products they have added to their cart but have not finished the checkout process? Perhaps you can offer them a small discount for finalizing the purchase?

After purchase email: it is a nice touch to send your customers a 'thank you' email after the purchase. You could ask them to leave a review or offer a discount on future purchases.

Registration: Welcome the customer after they have registered on your website. Tell them about the advantages of your company.

By putting these things into practice, you will begin to build up a relationship with your customers and encourage them to not only open your emails but to click through and carry out some sort of action, which will hopefully convert to sales!