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5 Tips To Avoid Small Business Bankruptcy

Running is a business is expensive, even if you're operating as small as is possible. If you've found yourself struggling with finances when running your self-started business, you're not alone. Bankruptcies in the U.S. increased to 25,227 companies in the second quarter of 2016, from 24,797 companies in the first quarter of 2016. Thousands of companies struggle to stay afloat, especially those that are run by independent business owners. Use these tips to help you make ends meet and keep your doors open.

Watch Your Credit Limit

While it can be tempting to put business expenses on a card and say "I'll pay it off later," this can be one of the most devastating habits for your business. Debts add up surprisingly fast, and putting it on a credit card just puts off the stress until later. A maxed-out credit card uses 100% credit ratio, but FICO recommends that your credit utilization ratio should not be higher than 30% of your original credit limit.

Slim Down Spending

Take a good long look at what you're spending on every aspect of your business, from leasing your space to paying for advertising. Some of your expenses likely can be cut down on, if not eliminated entirely. For example, you might be able to manage your online presence yourself, especially since 96% of consumers cite design over content as the main reason they trust a site.

Review Your Business Plan

Just because your business is struggling doesn't mean it's time to scrap the plan entirely. Go back to your original business plan and compare where you are now to what your goals were. If you find that you've strayed from the plan, see what changes you need to make to get back to where you wanted to be. If you're on track, but things don't seem to be working, it might be time to revise your original strategy.

Sell What You Can

Who doesn't love a yard sale? Chances are, you've got a few spare items sitting around your workplace that are taking up space without being used. Set up a yard sale for your business, or post listings online for items you no longer use. This will free up space in your workplace while also giving you a bit more capital to work with.

Come Up With A Strategy

Arguably the worst thing you can do for your business when you find yourself drowning in financial problems is nothing. Ignoring the problem or acting like it's going to get better on its own is a one-way ticket to bankruptcy. As soon as you notice your business struggling to make ends meet, it's time to come up with a plan of action. Don't wait until it's too late to address your financial issues; get a head start whenever you can.

Managing your finances when you own and operate a small business can be a struggle. However, when debts start to catch up with you and you're struggling to keep the lights on in your business, it's good to have a few tips you can rely on to stay afloat.


10 Tips For Forex Trading Success

There are plenty of ways to make money, but it’s true that, in some instances, the chances of being successful are against you if you’re not already in a fortunate position. Take property, for example, which can be a fantastic money spinner. If you’re not already rich, then how can you afford to buy a house to rent out or sell on? Similarly, if you have limited capital, then it can be difficult to get a company up and running. Fortunately, there are options that have a low barrier of entry, like Forex trading. You can begin with as little money as you like, though it’s better if you have $500 or so to play with (in order to make the potential profits worth your time).

If you’re new to the game, then it’s important that you’re following some essential rules to improve your chances of becoming successful, which, of course, is never guaranteed. Below, we've outlined ten tips that are important to keep in mind.

What’s Your Goal?

When it comes to any type of trading, including Forex trading, it’s important that you have in your mind a target that you’re trying to reach. Some people begin trading just out of interest or because they think it’ll lead to profits -- yet, while this approach might help in the short-term, it’s not getting to lead to effective long-term practices. You may be putting money away for your retirement. You may want to boost your income. Whatever it is, a realistic target will give you something to aim for, something that’ll keep you on track.

Start Slow

The world of Forex is complicated, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling the truth. While it’s tempting to get lost in a daydream of possibility when it comes to profits, it’s important to remember that this is a field that can take years to master. Once you’ve had the initial thought, keep it there for a while -- the more you read and understand what’s entailed, the closer you’ll step towards being able to trade this way. You’re not going to gain anything by rushing into it, but you might lose your initial investment. Stay smart.

Currencies You Understand

The beauty of Forex trading is that you can trade in currencies from all over the world. This is why the market is so appealing -- there’s some $5 trillion floating around there! But actually, the portion of that market that you should be focusing on should be much smaller. While you might be tempted by, say, the New Zealand dollar, if you’ve never held one of them in your hand and have limited (or no) understanding about the value, then it’s better if you don’t trade it. Instead, focus on currencies that you already know. The US dollar is, of course, a popular option, as are large currencies such as the euro. You may eventually gain a pretty solid understanding of other options as you progress, but in the early days, keep things simple.

Control Your Impulses

The downfall of most people, when it comes to trading, in fact when it comes to most things, is their greed. They get carried away by the possibilities, and leave their logic at the door. It’s never a good idea to make a financial decision that’s based on emotion, for the simple reason that emotions usually betray us! As such, it’s worthwhile learning how to separate your emotions from your decision making. An excellent tool is meditation. A lot of the world’s best investors and minds rely on it to make better decisions. It’s easy enough to begin, and can help in other areas of your life too!

Get the Right Tools

As we’ve already said, forex trading can be complicated, even to someone who has plenty of experience. As such, it’s important that you have the right tools that’ll help to demystify the processes, and allow you to make informed decisions. One such is Metatrader 4 from FP Markets -- it’s a platform that’s designed to give traders a subtle advantage when it comes to Forex. With real-time quotes, news, and market insights, it’s an essential tool for traders. Elsewhere, it’ll be beneficial to have software that allows you to keep tabs on your finances -- those profit margins will be a valuable insight into your level of success.

Get Studying

There’s plenty of potential for making money when it comes to trading, but it won’t just come your way. This is a complicated field that demands that the people who succeed have done their homework. Before you begin trading and during, make sure you’re reading as much as you can about the various approaches one can take. A good idea is to add the best books about forex trading to your bookshelf -- there are some essential reads that cover everything from getting your career underway to advanced approaches.

Track Your Results

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of trading, but don’t forget that this is a results business. At the end of the day, it’s that final number -- your profit number -- that counts, nothing else. As such, it’s important that you’re closely tracking your results. As well as giving you an insight as to how well you’re doing, over time you’ll begin to get insights about the trades that worked for you.

Join A Community

As you might expect from a market that’s so large, there are plenty of communities, forums, websites, and more available that’ll connect you with other forex traders -- these exist in the real world as well as online. All throughout your trading career, though especially in the early days, they’ll provide invaluable advice, tips, and insights that’ll help you move forward. Remember to contribute -- you’ll get out what you put in.

Play the Long Game

If you were thinking that forex might be a path towards wealth, then we’ve got some bad news -- it won’t be. There are no fast money-making options in this world! If you’re going to trade in currencies, then you’ll need to be patient. It’s all about playing the long game. Moving slowly allows you to understand, inch by inch, what’s involved in becoming successful. The focus, when it comes to forex trading, should be to make small profits -- it’s about trying to catch multiple small fish, rather than one heavyweight. If you’re willing to sit out there with your rod for long enough, you’ll return home with your fair share!

When To Step Back

There are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. Everything else is unpredictable. Though you may do everything by the book, there’s always a chance that it won’t work out, or that you make one critical error that sets you back. Indeed, if you’re trading forex for any significant period of time, you’re going to make mistakes -- no one gets every step they make correct. That’s not what’s important. What matters is that you know when to step back. If you’ve had a few losses, go back to the drawing board, read some more, and go back with a more robust approach.


With so much money spinning around the market, it’s little wonder that forex has proven to be a popular option for traders. If you’ve been convinced to enter the great game, then start taking our advice. Get reading, figure out the amount of money you can afford to lose, and get investing. It might just take you on a journey that you had never expected.


What You Might Have Sidelined Within Your Business Could Help Move Your Business Forward 

When you start up your business, you can often wonder exactly what it is you need to do to ensure that you move your business forward. It can often feel like you are just sailing at a level, and it can be frustrating at times, but often even during these stages you are making waves in your business and doing what you can to move it forward.

There are, however, sometimes things that you can forget about when it comes to moving your business forward, and by doing so, you can be causing more harm than good. So how do you do that? Here are some of the ways that you can move your business forward by taking advantage of the things you could have sidelined.

Is your cash flow working out for you?

When it comes to your business, the way you project your profits and forecast how well your going to do can have a big impact on your business. Not just that, but it can also be very difficult to ensure that you get this right. That is because if you don’t make the most of your cash flow, it can often have a negative impact on your projections. This is when predicting what is coming into the business in terms of your invoices can make a big difference. You may want to ensure that you always keep a track of the payment windows that you give to clients and customers, and also take advantage of them yourself. Making sure you do what you can to be as transparent as possible.

Do you value your time appropriately?

The next thing you might want to think about is whether or not your value your time appropriately. The truth is, when it comes to your business you can often be tempted to do every aspect of the role. But as your business gets bigger, you may be causing more harm than good when it comes to your business. So ensure that you value your time and do what you can to make sure you know where your skills lie best. Then outsourcing could be the answer in other aspects of your business, and could make a big difference to where you focus your energy to drive your business forward.

Is your business protected?

The one thing that can often be sidelined is the protection of your business, and this can be both digitally and physically. So when was the last time that you took this side of your business seriously? Is your security up to par? You could look at increasing the level of security you have in terms of alarms or fire protection. A threat that is often forgotten about is the cyber element. Is your business protected digitally?It can often be overlooked, but this is when getting software in place can help you ensure that your customers and clients are protected. This is when you might want to find out why fraudsters hate Jumio's Netverify as it could be a great way to ensure that you protect your business digitally as well.

Have you got the right staff?

One of the biggest issues you might find when it comes to your business is the staff. Getting great employees is hard to come by, so it might be that you need to ensure that you do all you can to keep the good ones. This might mean regularly communicating with them, ensuring that the working environment is up to scratch, and being an approachable leader. If you have good team members behind you then that can often be half the battle.

Are you making the most of your digital presence?

A big faux pas that businesses make today is not seeing the value there is when it comes to your digital presence. So much is done online these days, that if you side line your social media content, you may end up wishing you hadn’t. Instead it is always going to be a good idea to really focus on the content you share and how often you share content. This is when a content strategy can come in handy.

Is your website doing what it can to build your brand?

Finally, just as you would focus on your social media, your website is also just as important, and so have you ensured that you have used your website and built your brand in the right way? Your website is your online shop front, so you will want to ensure that it does what you set out for it to do.

Let’s hope these things help you to move your business forward.


How To Add Personal Touches To Your Business 

If you have your own business and want to start adding personal touches to the way in which you run it, you have come to the right place. Personalisation is a great way to make your customers feel valued and special and for those that have a business that relies mainly on good customer service, it should be one of your top priorities. With that in mind, here are a number of different ways to add personal touches to your business:

Make Sure Your Personalising Emails When You Send Them

If you use email marketing as part of your strategy, you need to ensure you are personalising any emails you send by using your customer's first names. Whether that means using email software that automatically fills in the blanks, or individually emailing your customer's clients based on the products they received, the more personal you can be the better. If you want to learn more about email marketing as a business, you can visit this site here.

Individually Thank People For Purchasing Your Products Or Services

Whilst this may not be possible for large multinational companies, for those that have a smaller customer base this is perfect. Every time someone buys a product or service from the, personally thank them. Whether that means sending out an email to say thank you or replying to a tweet or comment where they have shared their purchase - you want your customers to know that you care.

Send Out Thank You Notes And Cards Using Automated Services

If you want to take it a step further, you can also send out thank you cards and notes. Whether that's popping a personalised message into every single order you ship or sending a card out to customers who have paid for your service, they will appreciate the effort that you have gone to. For those that are sending cards without products, there are lots of services that will do this for you.

Include Customised Products As A Freebie With Large Orders

If you have people purchasing a large number of products with you, you may want to consider sending out a customised product with their order. Whilst it will cost you money, your customers will be thrilled and most likely share your generosity on social media. For more information about custom printing, you can visit this site here.

Show Your Face On Your Social Media Platforms

Finally, another great way to get personal within your business is to show your face on your social media platforms. People love to see the person behind a business and if you can, showing this on social media is a great way to let people in. Whether it's using chatty Instagram stories or posting photos on your Facebook, you'll be surprised at the incredible difference it can make to your business.

Are you looking for ways to add a more personal touch to your business? What changes can you make? Let me know in the comments section below.



5 Reasons Why Your Small Business Is Losing Money

As a small business owner, your budget is everything. Even the slightest deviation can have a major impact on your other finances. So when you find yourself losing more money than you're bringing in, it's time to get down to business and figure out what's wrong.

There are many reasons why you could be losing money and not all of them may be under your control such as changes the government trade policy. But it's important to put a stop to the ones you do have control of.

Here are five reasons why your business could be losing profits and how you can stop it from happening before it's too late.

  1. The business model is flawed. Your business model is the backbone of your company. If there's a flaw in the model, it could cause your business to fail. It's difficult to tell whether a business model is sound until you see it in action. But to keep your business from falling apart once you notice those problems, you need to take steps to fix them ASAP.
  2. You're not targeting the right audience. This is a problem many businesses have, both big and small. Marketing campaigns that are too generalized and don't advertise to the right people can keep your product from selling on the market. Rethink your marketing strategy so you're investing in a developing, loyal group of customers. Have a brainstorming session dedicated to your target audience. What do they look like? What's their age bracket? Do they have kids? These are the questions you need to ask yourself so you know how to market your product correctly to the people who will buy it.
  3. You're not utilizing free marketing opportunities. When you're trying to get the message of your brand out there, it's easy to forget about the free marketing opportunities you have at your disposal. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr are great ways to market your business and interact with your target audience without draining your budget. Use your marketing budget only when necessary to boost brand visibility.
  4. You're investing in the wrong property. You might have big dreams when it comes to your business. But it's important that you're not taking strides before you take your first steps. For instance, construction companies may be using 3D printers to print concrete materials and maintain their 6% annual growth, but that doesn't mean it's cheaper to build your business than it is to rent an existing property. Unless your business requires a customized layout, stick to renting until you've grown enough as a company to expand.
  5. You're not investing properly in yourself. Many small businesses owners go into debt when they're first starting out, so it's important that you get your spending and saving under control now while you're ahead. Debt can drag your business down if you're not careful. Spend money on the things that are necessary such as a patent for your product (patents have a term of 20 years from the application filing date) and the right employees for your business. Don't invest in things like overly-expensive websites and unnecessary advertising when you don't have the budget.

It's vital for any business to stay on top of their finances, but especially for small businesses. Without the proper tools, you can easily sink instead of swim. The good news is that, by following the tips above, you can keep your head above water and stop losing money where you shouldn't be.

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