Dealing with guilt as a business mum

As business owners and mums we have the best of both worlds. We get the satisfaction and mental stimulation of running a business and we get to see more of our kids than we would if we had a traditional job.  Well, that’s the theory anyway! 🙂

That said, it can be very difficult to juggle all of our commitments.  We want to be able to have everything and do everything and often that just isn’t possible. Then something gets pushed to the back burner and we feel guilty about it.

Guilt usually happens when you don’t feel you are giving one aspect of your life or work the attention it deserves. It’s probably one of a mum’s most difficult emotions to manage. It can feel overwhelming and it really can hold you back from achieving what you want.

The good news is that you do have certain qualities that can help you manage or overcome your guilty feelings. Here are some things to think about… Continue reading “Dealing with guilt as a business mum”

So what is PR… exactly?

Introducing my latest guest blogger here at Business Plus Baby….Julie Sherwood of www.getinthepress.com. Welcome Julie!

PR is all about getting the press to talk about you and effectively gaining ‘free advertising’ for your business. PR – or public relations – is the art of getting news about your business in the press. It’s an area that is often overlooked in small businesses, but can reap fantastic rewards if taken the time to understand.

Understanding how PR works is the first step in generating press coverage for your business. Continue reading “So what is PR… exactly?”

Does WordPress drive you nuts?

Here’s the problem. Just about everyone recommends WordPress as the best way to run a blog (me included). I’d also recommend it to you if you’re setting up a business website that isn’t a blog.

It really is that good.

But anything this powerful does, of course, have a downside.

WordPress is so flexible because you can adapt it in virtually any way you want. You can add themes and plug ins to give you any look or feature you could possibly want – and many of these are cheap or even free. But that does mean a lot of fiddling around. Not a major problem if you’re a techy, but most of us aren’t.

So you end up doing one of three things: Continue reading “Does WordPress drive you nuts?”

How to boost sales in your online shop

Is it time your online shop had a revamp?

A makeover could make a huge difference to your conversions. After all, you put a lot of effort into getting people to your shop, it makes sense to encourage people to buy once they arrive.

So what are the most important things to revamp? Read on…

What’s above the fold?

‘Above the fold’ is the part of a webpage that the visitor sees without having to scroll down. It’s the first screen someone sees when they land on your website, which is why it’s crucial to get it right.

Everything that’s above the fold is what will determine whether or not someone will decide to stay on your site, so what should go above the fold?

Most successful e-commerce stores put their most popular products on the front page, as well as any particularly good deals.

Make sure your USP (unique selling point) is clearly visible on the front page as well. (You can find out more about USPs in this post)

If you have a user login system, another strategy is to use their recent purchases to determine what else they might be interested in.

Reduce the number of steps to checkout

The fewer steps someone needs to take to get to the checkout process, the better.

Instead of making someone fill out a lengthy registration process, make it as short as possible. Make it optional. Some of the most successful websites only have a two-field registration process: the email and the password. Everything else is just pulled from the credit card entry process.

Make sure your ‘Add to Cart’ buttons are clearly visible on every page. On every step of the purchase process, it should be crystal clear to the reader exactly what the next step is.

Increase trust

Trust is often the most important factor for determining whether or not someone buys. Certain colours like blue tend to work best to increase trust. It does make a difference what industry you’re targeting and what the visitors’ age range is, however.

If your site’s design and branding looks professional, visitors will be more likely to buy.

Adding features and products

Ask your customers what they want to see more of. Is there a product line they want you to carry? Is there an improvement or a feature they want added to your site?

Although website owners are often very intuitively aware of what their users want, they can’t always come up with the perfect solutions for their customers on their own. User feedback is critical to building a great business.

In short, start your design with the above the fold impression. Make sure it creates a sense of safety and trust, as well as conveys why your site is special. Put your best products up front. Reduce the steps to checkout and make the process as streamlined as possible. Finally, continually ask your users for feedback, feature suggestions and product requests.

If you’re just about to start your own  online shop (rather than being ready for a revamp!) you might like to get yourself a copy of my e-book, Start Your Own Online Shop.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Using your entrepreneurial skills to inspire your kids

As entrepreneurs we recognise that working for ourselves means independence and financial freedom. And because we know it makes sense to live and work in this way many of us want to instil entrepreneurial values in our kids.

What’s great for children of entrepreneurs is that they get to observe their parents working and supporting the family and as the child gets older they can also get involved in small ways.

That’s why I love school holidays. It’s a chance to have my children be around our work environment and get a sense of the focus and the energy of the business and it gives them a few little chores to do that teach them a little about what working means.

Even a young child can place a stamp on an envelope or add a sticky label. It doesn’t take much training to fold a letter, to bring the working team drinks or to file and before you know it they can be filling in a spread-sheet with marketing data or dropping off the mail. Continue reading “Using your entrepreneurial skills to inspire your kids”