By Chelsea Duggan

As the Holiday time warp begins, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with what you have coming down the pipeline. Business needs to move forward amidst the chaos. Prioritize your hit list while keeping these key tips in mind.

What do you NEED versus what do you WANT?

You WANT more Facebook likes but you really NEED more customers.

Break this down over a few steps and see if you can’t find a win-win situation. Consider offering your current customers a special holiday deal where their friends join and like you on Facebook. You might also find Facebook ads to be more effective in channeling new customers down the pipeline. Don’t get caught up in things that aren’t converting well and instead try a different tack.

You WANT to relax and enjoy the season but you NEED to work

Try and set manageable goals for yourself that allow you extra time where you need it most. For example, I get up early before the kids so that I can get one task done before the howling for pancakes begins. I also multitask where I can and while I’m flipping those pancakes I’m stirring up some chili for dinner. This way I’ve cleared another thirty minutes at the end of the day to follow up on phone calls, help with homework, or *gasp relax by singing my favorite song.

You WANT things to be easy but you NEED them to be manageable

This is where you need to take things one step at a time and have a plan. Just like dinner doesn’t magically appear except on pizza night your business won’t succeed unless you can get after the next piece of the puzzle. What one thing can you do today that will bring you closer to your goals? The endless to-do list isn’t the answer here, rather a few small steps each day to reach the next starting line. Yeah, there isn’t a finish line.

You WANT to reach X but you NEED to finish Y

Use your resources and don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Places like Market Mommy and their umbrella of friends can guide you through difficult times and even take some of the work off of your shoulders. See what you can outsource to help package your success.

As your schedule tightens up and all you WANT is to relax. Be sure you meet your NEEDS first by making the time to strive towards a few goals. Keep in mind you can always push things to next year but in the meantime you want to enjoy the ride.

Chelsea Duggan:: An entrepreneur, parent and advocate for early childhood development through creative education, Chelsea Duggan is the Founder and Director of Milestar Babies. This innovative online resource enables busy parents to have an influential impact on newborn children, up to three years in age. Chelsea’s background in education – a passion she shares with her two children, so they themselves can enjoy a lifelong interest in learning – is at the center of Milestar Babies. That commitment to excellence starts with shared moments and teacher-designed lessons, which parents can further customize, so children can discover, synthesize and pursue their own discoveries. Chelsea believes that every child is an amazing individual, who deserves to learn at his or her own pace. This kid-tested, parent-approved philosophy is Chelsea’s distinctive concept, complemented by the convenience of the Internet and her dynamic site. A graduate of Northwestern and a member of the Chicago Women Entrepreneurs Network, Chelsea welcomes the opportunity to interact with parents and children throughout the nation and the world.

Do fresh flowers make you feel happy? Refreshed? Ready to conquer the day? Fresh flowers are a great thing to have in your home office. They not only add beauty and sophistication, they can add a splash of color to an otherwise drab office setting.

There are studies that show a definite link between flowers and life happiness. So, if that’s the case, we believe they can make you happy in your business life too. (For more flower tips, visit Fresh Flowers Adelaide.)

According to a behavioral research study at Rutgers in New Jersey, flowers improve emotional health. They relieve stress; have an immediate effect on happiness and long-term effects as well. One of the most compelling reasons to keep flowers in your home office is the calm that they bring. I don’t know many business owners who couldn’t use a little calming, stress-reducing beauty in their office.

If you are planning to host clients or business associates in your home office, flowers are a great touch. They make your space more inviting, less intimidating and just overall more pleasant. They are a symbol for sharing and create a sharing atmosphere. They also relay a message of hospitality and friendliness. This is perfect if you’re looking to collaborate on a new project or strike a deal with a colleague.

If you have trouble getting motivated in the morning, maybe some flowers would help. Another similar study was done at Harvard and that study concluded that people feel more happy and energetic in the morning when they see flowers. With flowers in your home office, you just might complete a day’s work before lunch!

What type of flowers do you prefer? There really aren’t a lot of specifications when it comes to making people happier overall. Everyone has their favorites and if you choose some of your personal favorites it can only enhance the effects, I would think.

Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Today’s mom entrepreneur is Bonnie Hessler.

What is your business?
My Kool Kidz  Books

When did you start your business?
April 2012

What services/products do you offer?
Personalized Children’s Books

How do you balance family and business?
Do most of my business while the kids are in school.

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?
Read lots of business books, attend networking events if possible and ask lots of questions.

How do your market your business?
I do it mainly online. I have lots of luck with social media.

Where can we find you?

facebook:  www.facebook.com/mykoolkidzbooks

What a lot of people don’t know about the Direct Sales Industry is how deep the relationships run within the organizations.

From early on in my career the meetings and conferences provided a much needed break from my daily routine as a young mother. I looked forward to the annual conference and the fun we would have!!

Now as a Senior Director I host bi-monthly meetings and I love watching people come together to share ideas, celebrate each other and motivate each other.

A common phrase with my company is ‘it’s more than a bag’! This is so true. Last night after our regular meeting a few of my team members remained for a brainstorm session and a few things happened!

•    One of the girls shared something very personal happening in her life and we all supported and listened!
•    We all discussed our lack of time to devote to EVERYTHING we want including exercise and opted to make a plan so we can motivate each other

I left the meeting feeling fulfilled and blessed!

I also decided we all have seasons in our lives…….The young, newly married and engaged girls are in the SPRING! An exciting time for them! Creating their home environment, starting a family, just being a couple and starting their career paths! A beautiful season!

SUMMER falls with those having children in elementary school and in the busy season! Some days are perfect others are hot and some stormy!

Myself, well I decided I fall into the FALL of the year as I am in my 40’s (eek) but with that comes beauty, wisdom and an inner peace I didn’t’ have during the other seasons of my life! I love the fall, the harvest and the changing of colors all around me! I am liking this season of my life best too!!! I have come to realize how short life is and making decisions about what I really want and hope to accomplish! I am learning not to stress over little things and appreciating every moment I have on earth with those close to me.

I dislike WINTER very much and as it approaches on the calendar I believe I will dislike the winter season of my life as well! Although, I hope to be blessed with grandchildren and lots of time with my husband……..Only God knows what my future holds and throughout all my seasons I will value every relationship I have!!!

More than the money I make, the discounts on products, the recognition or the free stuff……..what I value most on this journey in Direct Sales are definitely the relationships. There is definitely a sisterhood among the women!!! I love it!

Old friends who I shared hotel rooms with while I grind my teeth during sleep, New friends who call me Mom, my pacing partner in VA who I know works for the CIA but won’t admit it! She keeps me grounded, focused and listens to whatever problems I am having!!! Plus all those other ladies I have admired, learned from and know all over this country because of my career in Direct Sales!

Looking for a group that will understand you? Support you? Love and encourage you? Find yourself a DS company and go for it!!!!

Whatever season your in……keep your relationships in check!
Amber J
www.latticeandivy.com/amberjdavis
www.mythirtyone.com/amberjdavis

Amber Davis is a 17 year direct sales associate and currently director for at Thirty One Gifts.  Holding a degree in business administration and marketing, she previously worked in the business industry. After the birth of her second child; family took priority over work and she left her full time position. Now a mother of four, she believes firmly in direct Sales and the endless opportunity it provides! “I can’t imagine ever returning to a traditional 9-5 job,” she said. She firmly believes in doing what works for your family. She often helps her husband on the family farm. Her Facebook page can be found here. In her free time she loves to travel and enjoys volunteering.

A home office is first and foremost somewhere that has to be designed to provide the best working environment for you. This environment has to be one that will make you most productive which means you have to feel comfortable and happy in the area. Plants are a great way of achieving this vibe.

House plants have been proven to improve a person’s state of mind and to make them feel more relaxed and happy. It follows that they make a home office a far more pleasant place to work in. It makes sense to invest in a few plants if this is the case, so what do you need to think about before you buy?

The practicalities of having a house plant in a home office

If the office is your domain, and no-one else who lives in the house goes in there, any plants that you get are your responsibility. You have to make sure that they are a reasonability you are willing to take on. This is more likely to be the case if the plants you choose are easy to care for. Of course you also need to think about the size of a plant, and that’s not just the size when you buy it but the size that it’s likely to grow to. Home offices are very rarely huge spaces that could easily house a very large plant.

What plants should you choose?

If you’re decorating your home office that’s a very good time to decide what type of plant you want. Is the plant you choose going to be a feature of the office? If this is the case then you may want to consider a peace lily. They are attractive and elegant plants and their ornate white blooms should serve to create a calm atmosphere conducive to a good working environment. Peace lilies are also very easy to maintain as long as you remember to keep their soil evenly moist.

They exist quite happily in normal room temperature and without an excessive amount of light. From a practical point of view they are very good at cleansing the air in a room, you can click here for plant hire.

If you want a few plants to place around the room to provide a splash of color then why not opt for various colored African violets. They are available in a variety of shades including pink, blue and variegated. These compact plants will provide a good amount of blooms and they don’t require excessive heat or light.

If you do choose to have African violets in your home office the one thing you need to remember is that you should never water them from the top; water causes damage when it comes into contact with the leaves of an African violet. You should always place the plant in a saucer of water and leave it there for no longer than half an hour.

Whatever plant you choose for your home office you are going to benefit from its beauty and its ability to induce a good mood.

Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Today’s mom entrepreneur is Tracy Czech.

What is your business?
Sourcing Handmade, LLC

When did you start your business?
2012

What services/products do you offer?
We offer an online wholesale ordering platform strictly for handmade products from small and micro businesses.  We bring together handmade artisans, indie designers, & professional crafters with wholesale boutique buyers.  Our aim is to help turn the focus to handmade and buying local, and away from mass manufactured products from overseas.

How do you balance family and business?
My youngest just started full day Kindergarten, so this has given me the time I need to focus on our e-commerce upgrade to a new online wholesale ordering platform.  I get the core of my work done while the kids are in school, but am always reasonably available after hours as needed.

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?
You can do it! Don’t be afraid of failure, because learning from mistakes is part of the path to success.  Stay focused, reach out to like-minded people, get out of your comfort zone.  Keep learning.   Share your entrepreneurial endeavors with others, don’t hide them.  Balance work and family the best you can.  At the end of the day, family comes first so make sure they know it and can feel it.

How do your market your business?
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest), some print ad campaigns, some online blogs.

Where can we find you?

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SourcingHandmade

twitter: https://twitter.com/SourcingHandmad

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sourcinghandmad/

Does the thought of trading internationally scare you? Or, are you already there? If not, it could be a very viable option for expanding your business. It can mean almost endless opportunity for your small business.

Selling globally can do a couple key things for your business. First of all, it can dramatically increase the sales life of your existing products and services because you’re finding new markets to sell them in. It can also decrease your dependence on the current markets you sell in, this is especially important if you see a lot of fluctuation in sales due to season changes or something similar.

Are you ready to take on the world’s markets? Here are some things you should consider before you do.

First, have you done your research? Will your products or services sell in a different culture? Are you, yourself comfortable in that culture? Does this new audience already have some knowledge of your product, or will you have to undergo a large education component to introduce it? Can the info structure of the country physically support the needs of your business and products?

Going into the unknown can be detrimental to your business and its success. Research and educate yourself on as many potential scenarios as you can. Preparation is key.

As the old adage goes, don’t assume. Don’t assume that what is popular here in the U.S. will be popular in a foreign country. Don’t assume that everyone will speak English. You must be willing to familiarize yourself with a country’s needs and their language and customs.

Next, how will you logistically get your product there? What are your shipping options and what are the costs involved? Are you familiar with their currency, postage, etc.? Will you use agents and distributers? Also, be sure that your packaging will meet international requirements.

There really are a multitude of things you need to consider before taking the steps to grow your business internationally. We suggest finding a consultant with experience in the area and go from there. It can mean unforeseen growth for your business, but you certainly do not want to set yourself up for failure.

Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Today’s mom entrepreneur is Karen Shamey.

What is your business?
Fashions For Your Little Ones

When did you start your business?
I left my full-time job 10 years ago when I became a mom but I wanted to do something from home to help support my family. I adore baby clothing and I have always dabbled in photography. An online children’s clothing store was a perfect fit for me. I am able to work around my children’s schedule which is very important to me.

What services/products do you offer?
My online store carries special occasion clothing and accessories for babies and children including smocked dresses, Christening attire and delicate knit sets.

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?
I would tell other mom entrepreneurs that networking is a must. Get your company’s name out there. Pass out business cards, start a Facebook Page. Maybe look into joining a small business group. There are organizations and clubs for every field of interest out there.

It’s important also to know who your customer is. If you are trying to reach other moms then put yourself in front of them. An example: In my community there’s a week-long semi-annual kids consignment sale. They offer table space to mom owned businesses for a reasonable price.
For someone looking to start a business I recommend trying to find a good match for yourself. I do believe people can do anything they put their minds to but it’s not always fun trying to put a square peg in a round hole. I love baby clothing but I am not good at sewing and crafting. Making baby clothes was never a good option for me. I have a friend who is a homeschooling mom. She loves to crochet. She and her oldest daughter started a small business together, selling the things they make on Etsy.

 

How do your market your business?
Since my business is online, I promote my business via Facebook networking and advertising. I also, periodically, do a little niche magazine advertising. You will also find me on Pinterest.

Where can we find you?

facebook: www.facebook/fashionsforyourlittleones.co

pinterest:http://www.pinterest.com/4URlittleones/

 

Hello! Happy Monday! Welcome to our Mommy Monday feature for this week! Each week, we interview a mom business owner and get to know her a little better! We like to find out how she balances life with children and a business! We also like to hear about the marketing strategies that are working for her! Hopefully, this provides a little bit of inspiration to all of the other hard working moms out there! If you’d like to be considered for this feature, send us an e-mail! We’d love to learn about your business, too!

Today’s mom entrepreneur is Kim Delgado.

What is your business?
KD Novelties Personalized Children’s Books

When did you start your business?
2001

What services/products do you offer?
We publish personalized children’s books, music and gifts.

How do you balance family and business?
Take it one day at a time.  Create a daily schedule and task list and keep myself organized with the business and family life.  I basically project manage myself with business duties and family duties.  I give each task a priority number so if I don’t get to the low priorities that day it will then become high for the next day.

What advice do you have for other mom entrepreneurs?
Be patient with your business and don’t rush into anything.  Know that with time everything falls into place you can’t be a success overnight.  It takes time to market your business and gain brand awareness and as long as you understand this and accept it, it won’t drive you crazy.  Family comes first then the business but it is very possible to keep them both balanced daily.  I recommend getting another person to help (maybe a family member since funds can be low) keep you accountable.  It can get overwhelming if you do it all yourself, you need to pace yourself.  It can be small tasks for the other person such as helping you pack your products or entering your transactions into your system so you can focus on other things.

How do your market your business?
I currently market my business via search engine marketing (google adwords), social media, blog posts and reviews, some magazine features and local events. We also do some online advertising via selected websites.

Where can we find you?

facebook:  www.facebook.com/KDNovelties

twitter: www.twitter.com/KDNovelties

pinterest: www.Pinterest.com/KDNovelties

The International Christian Mompreneur Network, headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, is hosting a training and networking event for moms who are ready to start or grow a business so they can spend more time with family, share their gifts with the community and make money too! The moms who attend this workshop run a wide range of home businesses as photographers, consultants, artists, writers, speakers, crafters, graphic designers, educators, counselors, virtual assistants, wellness coaches, personal trainers and more. Some of them have been in business for many years, while others are just getting started!
 
She Builds A Business is a 2-day small group workshop event that teaches moms how to run a successful business that supports their values of faith and family. It’s led by Theresa Ceniccola, founder of the ICM Network. Theresa has run a profitable home-based business for more than 20 years. She is a mother to three children (ages 10, 12 and 14) and is very involved in community, school and church activities including Girls on the Run South Hampton Roads, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and Tidewater Destination Imagination. She knows what it’s like to balance business and family and she loves helping other moms prosper.
 
Theresa extends an invitation for entrepreneurial moms, self-employed business owners, bloggers, freelancers, authors or ministry leaders to learn and grow in business — and to connect with other creative and talented women who share similar values.  
 
Event Details:
She Builds a Business: The Premiere Training and Networking Event for Christian Moms
October 27-28, 2014
Oceanaire Resort Hotel
Virginia Beach Oceanfront 
 
To register: www.SheBuildsABusinessEvent.com