10 Mistakes NOT to make when launching your business online

10 Mistakes NOT to make when launching your business online

I’ve worked with many businesses who want to develop online. Sometimes they’re complete newbies and all the tech stuff just makes them ill, or they might know exactly how to do it all, but perhaps don’t have the time, or they don’t have the interest in doing it. They just want it done.

Sometimes, they’re in between and come to me for advice and guidance on the best way forward.

Knowing how to start your business online without headaches is really important to the long term success of your venture, so I’ve come up with my top 10 things that people do a LOT, and how to avoid them.

1 – Waiting too long to launch/ Product service

Yep, number 1 on my list is waiting too long to actually launch! Just get it done already. You don’t need to have everything perfect. You don’t even need a website. Just start gathering your audience and get seen.

2 – Launching the wrong type of product/Service

You might think the product or service you’re offering is perfect. But does your audience? Knowing exactly what they need and want is THE most crucial element of your business. The last thing you don’t want to happen is spend hours, weeks, months on making everything perfect only to find out that no one buys. Gather your audience and ask them!

3 – Not knowing your audience well enough

Before you can ask your audience what they need and want, you need to be super clear on who they are. Their age, sex, are they male/female, both? what they like, dislike, what their problems are, what do they struggle with, where do they hang out?

You might have a few, but think about THE PERFECT customer, the ones that make your heart sing, the ones that make you want to jump out of bed in the morning.

Be as clear as possible. Once you’ve nailed that, then you’re laughing.

4 – Not listening to what they want

So you know who they are, you’ve asked them what they really want, listen to them! Like I said before, you might think what you’re offering is perfect, on your head be it if you still continue to launch your product/service if it’s no what they are asking for.

5 – Not being unique – What makes you stand out from the rest?

What makes you different? What makes you stand out from the other business who does the same as you? Why should people buy from you and not them?

Make this clear in your marketing.

6 – Lacking in passion – you need to love what you do

Maybe the initial concept is not what you clients need, so you’ve had to change your plan slightly. Whatever you decide to do, you need to LOVE IT! Lacking in passion for the business you have, the flame will soon die out, along with your business.

7 – Thinking it’s going to be easy

I always get the ‘oh you’re so lucky working for yourself’ I don’t see it as lucky. I see it as bloody hard work! Always marketing myself, always making sure I’m visible, answering emails at 11pm at night when I’m lying in bed. Always working, never being able to switch off.

Running a business online is tough BUT worth it! I LOVE what I do, I know my customers love what I do,  and I know the NEED and WANT the services I provide.

8 – Trying to do everything yourself

It’s the easiest thing in the world to do, think you’re superwoman, trying to do everything yourself. Trust me, the only want to grow you business is by building a team. Get people on your side who knows what they’re doing, find someone who is good at building websites, you might be able to do it, but an expert can do it twice as fast… (that’s just an example) Stick to what you know, stick to what you’re good at.

9 – Wasting time and money on the wrong tools

Gosh, I’m guilty of this one. Wasting money on the tools I don’t really need, or thought I did but never used them, or maybe not sure how! I’ve wasted endless of hours I will never get back on online platforms that promised the world, and just never got to see the time of day.

I now use a handful of platforms, know them inside out and use them with all of my clients too.

10 – Not believing in yourself

Mindset is a biggie, You need to know you’re blinking good at what you do! It’s true what they say, a positive mindset will attract positive things.

It’s easy to feel disheartened when a product launch goes flop, just do it again. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win big, but it’s how you handle it and yourself that matters most. Like I said before, running an online business isn’t as easy game. But it is worth the effort.

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Check your Licence!

Check your Licence!

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Today I’ve had to sort out yet another client who’s had her membership plugin revoked because she wasn’t using the correct licence.

 

She had a web developer install and set it up for her, and the developers of the plugin realised that the web designer had been using a single licence on multiple sites… This meant that unless she purchased the whole licence her membership site wouldn’t work and can’t access any of the members details. Which is really inconvenient, plus she thought she had already paid for this! Why should she pay again?

 

So this is just a quick message to everyone, make sure you have the correct licence on any product/plugin you’re using. Double check with your web developer to make sure they have the correct licence purchased if they’re using it for multiple clients.

 

This is your money you’re spending, and your money you’re losing when things go wrong….

 

We’ve now decided that it would be cheaper for me to delete the plugin and go ahead and use WP Emember (which as you know is my fave). Why? Because it’s cheaper for me to set it up that it would for her to buy the licence fee. Plus, there’s no ongoing re-occuring fees with WPEmember like there is with the plugin she’s using (no names mentioned…)

 

If you would like to know more about your membership options, please feel free to send me an email, or sign up for my freebie at www.membershipmoneymaker.co.uk

 

Five Easy Steps to Staying Motivated

Five Easy Steps to Staying Motivated

When you’re self employed and working from home, staying motivated can be tough. There’s no one cracking the whip and telling you how and when to do things, so the pressure is completely on you to make sure you meet those important deadlines.

How do you do that?  Follow the 5 tips that follow, and watch the changes.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Let’s realize that life is only 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.  We’re responsible for our own actions and attitudes, and changing them when appropriate.  When you’re around people/things that are uplifting and positive, you feel that way.  You have more confidence in yourself, and know you can change whatever needs changing. If you can make your workplace such a place you’ll find happier workers and higher production.

Leave Personal Troubles Home

Everyone has problems, but they don’t belong at work. Turn your attention and energy entirely to your on-the-job tasks.  This will actually be good for you because you’ll get a mental break from your troubles. Try and move your office away from the main area of the house. My office is at the back of the house in the conservatory, so I can move away from any drama and close myself off to work without disruption.

Create Positive Affirmations

The reason for writing goals for your business is the same as creating positive affirmations on paper.  What your eyes see and ears hear, your mind will believe.  Try it!  After you’ve written them down, read them aloud to yourself – and do it every morning when you get into work.  You’ll be amazed at what happens.  Come up with a set of new ones every month.  Statements such as, “I’m an important and valuable person,” or “I know I’ll make good use of my time today.”  Repeating them out loud everyday at a set time will help reinforce positive actions.

You can even write them on sticky notes and put them up around the office or on your computer screen, so when you start to wander you have those positive reminders to keep you on track.

Make Sure Break Times Are Really Break Times

This is an area where most people fall down.  You become so intense about the project or situation you’re working on that you don’t ease up.  Thinking that it’ll be solved in the next few seconds, and then you’ll get a cup of coffee can lead you right up to quitting time.  Regularly adhering to a specified break schedule,  releases the tension.  If you work on a computer this is even a greater problem because before you realise it – you’ve been working in that same position for hours.  The best answer to this is to set yourself a reminder on your appointment calendar for every 2 hours, and let the computer reminder chime send you the alert to move around.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

I know that lately it seems that “exercise” is the cure-all to every physical ailment or your love life, but despite that there is some truth to that ugly word.  By “exercise” I don’t mean that you should go out and join a gym and spend your lunch-time, 3-days-a-week there working out.  What is really beneficial and workable is that at those chiming alerts from your computer, get up and walk around your desk or room.  Maybe go outside and get the mail and enjoy the sunlight, or just get up and do a few stretches.  Concentrated, tense thinking – typing – plotting plans – or whatever your work, makes all those muscles tighten up and knot up.  Then when we move we “ooh” and “ouch” because we’ve knotted up into a ball of tension. Periodic stretching, even at our desk, or just getting up and walking over to the window and getting a different view can help.  One of the greatest disservice modern business décor has done to us, is making our offices pristine, sleek, unencumbered spaces.  There is nothing more relaxing than getting up from your desk and walking over to a peaceful, serene, seascape or pastoral painting and just drinking it in visually.  Momentarily transporting your mind out of work and into that place does wonders.  A few good paintings and less shiny chrome in offices would benefit us all.

It only takes a little concentrated effort on our part to keep motivated and productive, which leads to success.  I know you’re going to hate hearing this, but it’s true anyway – and that is, “WHEN LIFE GIVES YOUR LEMONS – MAKE LEMONADE!”

Personality test your time management

Personality test your time management

All of us have heard quite a lot about time management. Thousands of books have appeared on this subject. The objective of time management is – how to set priorities, how to allocate time, how to effectively use it and how to get the best of the given time.

After learning all this and implementing, most of the people manage to implement only a part over long term. Write down today’s work, and give it priority ranks. Nothing more is done by a large majority. How is your time management? What skills have you developed in this and can you measure the increase in effectiveness?

Do you assign time to every work? If yes, is that allocation on the higher side or lower side? With higher allocation of time, you will waste it and with lower allocation, you will undergo stress. How do you do that? I have a small suggestion. Estimate fair time and give a tolerance of about twenty five percent to that. For example, if you allocate one hour to write a report, take fifteen minutes as tolerance. So you will not undergo stress at least till one and quarter hours.

Are you assigning time to unexpected developments? You might be working on an assignment and suddenly your client calls you with a complaint that needs immediate attention. What will happen to your schedule? It will all go haywire. To avoid time management problems here, separate the most important tasks that must be done in the given time and draw another list of tasks that can be safely postponed. This will help you avoid stress.

Time management is both an art and a science. Don’t become its slave. Make it your tool to work efficiently. Avoid getting pressurized by your own goals.

By the way, I’m still learning…..

Clear Your Desk in Time For Christmas – Again

I’ve written this before, but since were there again I thought I would revise it once more.

If you think it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas, you’re wrong! Yesterday on Facebook someone said they get annoyed when people start talking about Christmas too early. How can you get annoyed when you talk about Christmas? (unless you hate it or haven’t got kids) and if you have a business, can you really afford NOT to talk about it? You have to plan for the holidays right?

So perhaps people are feeling the pressure more than normal? is your diary full for the rest of the year? and for the beginning of the new year? thinking how on earth are you going to take time off over the Christmas period to spend with your family?

Why not consider outsourcing? Below are tasks that you could outsource to ensure the lead up to Christmas and beyond is stress free:

1 – Custom Holiday promotions

You know you should be doing this but you just don’t have the time to implement your ideas. Hire someone to send out your Christmas cards or broadcasts to promote your Christmas offers, create Christmas themed promotions. Some of my clients are already doing this, sending out special offers for christmas and into the new year.

2 – Organising and maintaining your mailing list
Do you have your contacts written on bits of paper, note pads, or business cards scattered all over your desk or shoved in a drawer or box?
Why don’t you get someone to collate all of this information, input them into a spreadsheet or contact management system (CMS). Not only for the holiday period but to keep you organised for life! A clear desk = a clear mind.

3 – Sending out Christmas Promotions
Now you have your branded custom promotions, do you have the time to send them out?
Once you have your mailing list sorted, a Virtual Assistant can save you the time and hassle by sending them out for you. This might be by newsletters or even a physical card, even creating and print the labels, saving you the bother.

4 – Planning your christmas party
Thinking of hosting a christmas party or a christmas themed workshop or webinar?
A Virtual Asssitant can organise and plan the party, design and send out invitations, collate RSVPs, producing literature and even sourcing the venue. All you have to do is turn up!

5 – Virtual Assistant for life – not just for Christmas
So now we have Christmas sorted, what about the new year and beyond?

You should also be thinking about the new year and not take it for granted. Try to stay in control and thinking about getting the support off someone who loves doing all the finer detailed tasks you hate.

Think of the relief you’ll have when you know your New Year is organised even before Christmas begins!

 

Increasing Productivity To Make More Money At Home

Running a business from home is a tricky thing because, on one hand, you have decided to work from home for the flexibility; while on the other hand, everyone (including you, sometimes) seems to think working from home means a holiday with a computer. Taking advantage of the flexibility of working at home does not mean that you must answer to everyone’s beck and call, or be distracted by each little thing. This is easy to say, but hard to do when you are in the moment. At the moment, if the phone rings and you must choose between finishing a business-related email or answering the phone, the phone may seem more pressing. In order to increase your productivity, it is important to run your business like a business, and not like a hobby that you do after rolling out of bed.

First of all, do away with wearing pyjamas to work. Whoever said that what you wear doesn’t matter is a lie. What you wear reflects the way you are feeling, to a large extent. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should wear a suit around your house, unless, of course, your clients are coming to your home office for appointments. It just means that, by wearing your pyjamas and joggers all the time you will not feel as though you are really in the mood to put forward your most productive self. Shower in the morning, put on some clothes that do not have jumping sheep on them, and sit down at your desk feeling like a professional.

Next, think about the time you do your work as a schedule that you need to plan out. If you find that you are planning your work around doing everyone else’s dirty work (or washing!), then you are not dedicating yourself to your job. Your schedule should include the time you get up, when you will start working, and when you will take your breaks. Make sure that the time scheduled for work is fairly uninterrupted. This may mean investing in a second phone line, and moving your home office away from the television or other parts of the house where you may be distracted.

Make sure that the people you are committed to understand that you are on a schedule. If someone calls to ask you out to lunch, think first about whether or not you would be able to do this if you were working a regular job. Scheduling leisure time on schedule days off means that you are putting time and effort into your work, and this will be reflected in your income.

For me, the biggest challenge of working from home is actually getting my family to understand that I am actually working in a job! Because I am ‘at home’ they don’t get that I’m working sometimes, so I have to gently remind them that I’m working from home and not just being at home for the fun of it 😉

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