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Category: Business: Work from Home, Freelancing, Self-Employment, Home Business, Marketing, Etc

  1. Choosing office furniture for productivity and health

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    Whether you work from home or a workplace office, it’s important to have the correct furniture that is not just practical, but also enhances productivity and keeps your health in mind.  So whether you’re looking for new furniture to spruce up a home office or you’re specifically looking for London office furniture, here are some tips and advice to ensure you pick the right items:

    Choosing office furniture for productivity and health

    Photo by Samule Sun

    A flexible desk

    One thing that is on my wish list this year for my home office is a convertible desk.  These are standing desks with an adjustable height, so they can also be sat at too.  It’s no secret that sitting is the new smoking and many of us spend far too long sitting down, slumped at our computers all day.  It’s having a detrimental effect on our health which is why it is so important to choose the correct office furniture, or to upgrade yours as soon as you can. 

    Choose height adjustable office desks so you can alternate through the day between sitting and standing.  Alternatively you can keep your existing desk and choose a converter platform which will sit on top of your desk transforming it into a standing desk at a fraction of the cost compared to an entire purpose built desk.

    It’s even possible to get a treadmill desk or to buy an under-desk treadmill for your existing workspace.  Whilst working you can walk slowly and burn off some extra calories whilst, more importantly, keeping your body active and moving.

    Ergonomic seating

    When we do have to sit down, it’s vital that we are supporting our bodies in the best way possible by sitting in a correct position.  When we sit in a normal chair without ergonomic support then we are putting pressure on the bottom of our spine and creating a bad posture for ourselves.  To combat this and ensure the spine is correctly aligned then a kneeling chair should be purchased.  These clever chairs ensure the spine is balanced properly over the pelvis giving you instantly good posture when seated.  The back goes from slouching and slumped, to upright and in correct alignment.

    I have upgraded my office chair to a kneeling chair and being sat correctly also enhances my focus and productivity.  I chose a posture kneeling chair which is suitable for short periods of sitting.  I like to move around the house to work, so in order to sit comfortably and correctly on other seats I also purchased a wedge cushion.

    A wedge cushion is a cheaper option that can be placed on any other regular chair or also in a car seat.  A seat wedge brings the back into the correct posture and is great as it’s portable.  It can be moved from office to office and taken with you wherever you need to go.

     

    Whilst working at a computer all day long can have negative health effects, there are lots of ways to combat this today with clever ergonomic chair designs and working spaces.  You could even get a workout whilst you work!

     

    More work and office related blog posts

    How to set up the perfect home office

    Office Yoga: Poses you can do at your desk

    Is Your Home Business Missing an Excellent Home Office?

    Decorate Your Home Office for Fresh Blogs and Inspiration

     

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    Choosing office furniture for productivity and health (1)

     

    Collaboration

  2. Blog and Home Income Report July 2018

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    If you’ve been here before then scroll down to see the income breakdown, if not then start at this introduction for why I share my income online.

    Welcome to my monthly income report where I share exactly how much money I have made from my blog and at home.  It’s great for me to see where I’m earning the money and also to inspire others who want to earn from home.  There’s a lot of debate of whether people should share income reports, but personally I love them!  When I wanted to monetise my blog I read them and they inspired me to push forward and go for it.  Without reading an income report of another blogger I wouldn’t have even known it was possible to make money from my own blog.

    To read more on this with an in depth reason behind sharing my income reports start with this blog post:  Why I publish income reports

    Making money from blogging is totally possible if you’re prepared to treat it like a business and put the hard work in.  As well as blogging, I make money from mystery tasks, website testing, matched betting, online selling and cashback. 

    The top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017 is a great blog post to see my most profitable home money making methods in one whole year.

    July 2018 Income Breakdown

    Blog and Home Income Report july 2018

    The below are my totals before any expenses, income tax, national insurance or anything else, so my total turnover for the month.  My yearly business expenses last year were approximately £4000.  I also save £500 per month to cover my annual tax, national insurance, student loan repayments and pension.  So my total monthly outgoings and savings to cover all this are approximately £830.

    Last month you may remember me saying I wanted to smash my previous best month and hoped I would, but lots of people didn’t pay quickly so I didn’t make it.  Well…

    I’m pleased to report that probably thanks to some of those late payments and also starting to monetise two more blogs of mine, July was my best home income month so far!  Woohoo!

    I had my best blog income month ever and best overall home income month!

    A personal target of mine is to beat my husband’s wage each month and I’d only managed it once before.  This time I totally smashed it and beat his wage three quarters of the way into the month!  A little personal win for me!

    Ben’s just hoping I can make double his wage so he can quit his job!  I think I’d have to work 24 hours a day for that to happen so not sure it ever will, but he can dream!

    Read on for the breakdown of how much money I earned from home in July:

    Blogging - £3405.13

    This includes running giveaways, collaborative blog posts and reviews.  I charge for all of them.  The only time I don’t charge is if a review item is really high value and I really want it, or sometimes if I can do social shares only such as on Instagram.  Though I am considering changing this now as I spend so much time on Instagram building it up that I should begin to value this time now, just like I decided to with my blog one day.  Blog reviews can take around 2 hours of my time so I have to value this time.  Any free time I have is spent with my children, husband, or blogging just for me. 

    If there was no compensation for blogging for companies then I wouldn’t do it – my blog would be 100% for me.  It’s still amazing how many emails I get every day asking me to share business links for free, write content for free and review products on my blog and social channels for free.  The worst are the ones who tell me I should be so grateful for their high quality content for free… though it’s stuffed with links to help their clients SEO who are paying them thousands, probably… 

    If I accepted them all then I would actually work for free and have no income and no time for anything else.   If someone wants my time and access to my resources then it’s got to be worth something.

    For more blogging tips and advice on ways to make money from home and online read my blog post how I made £26000 from home in 2017

    Some recent income reports if you fancy a peek
    March 2018
    April 2018
    May 2018
    June 2018

    It’s not all about stats, but they can help, so here are this month’s website and social stats for reference:

    Page Views

    13118

    Sessions

    8451

    New Users

    5668

    Total Users

    6161

    Twitter @lyliarose

    56338

    Instagram @lyliarose

    12315

    Pinterest @lyliarose

    1609

    DA

    38

    Newsletter subscribers

    3952

     

    Referrals - £80.36

    My referral payments were from Profit Accumulator and Awin.  Both of whom I use myself and am happy to refer people to.

    Read how to make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing

    Matched betting - £197.35

    Not too shabby a month for matched betting!  My aim is only ever £100 and so I’m always pleasantly surprised when I go over this.  I expect August will be a quieter month as there’s no football for the first couple of weeks.

    I recommend using Profit Accumulator for matched betting as a beginner.  They have so many guides and walk you through the whole process in the first few offers.  If you are stuck you can ask a question in the forum and someone will get back to you.  They also have a 30 day money back guarantee on their memberships, plus you can try the first couple of offers without even signing up to anything to see that it really does work and is so simple once you get the hang of the free bet offers! 

    Read my One Year Review: How I earn up to £50 per hour matched betting from home for more information.

    WhatUsersDo - £15

    I do website testing at WhatUsersDo and it’s so easy!  I get paid £5 per test and some of them are only a question or two.  Read my blog post easily make money from home by testing websites and sign up yourself!

    Streetbees - £5

    A few quick and easy questionnaires completed and photos snapped on my phone to make some pocket money.

    Read get paid doing simple tasks from your phone with Streetbees to do it yourself.

    Lylia Rose Fashion Boutique - £9.50

    This is the total sales from my online fashion boutique where I sell printed scarves very affordably! It used to be my main focus, but now it’s a small side hustle that I’ve not spent time on recently and I’m not sure if I’ll continue when the stock is gone.  I give away items from my store almost weekly in my giveaways.

    Personal eBay and Facebook Marketplace selling - £168.86

    Selling some of our outgrown toys, clothes and belongings is a great way to top up my home income each month.  I’m obsessed with minimal living and having clear outs so I always have things for sale.  I always imagine I’ll run out, but the kids grow so quickly they are always going up in clothes sizes or outgrowing toys!  I donate a proportion to charity and then sell the rest to boost my earnings.

    Click here to see some of the strange and weird things I’ve sold on eBay

    Top Cashback - £6.85

    We’ve now had over £800 cashback as a household since starting April 2016.  You’re crazy if you’re not doing it.

    Learn how to earn cashback on things you already buy and be amazed with amount of extra cash you have back in your pocket! 

    Read my latest blog post about it here: Over £800 cashback in 2 years with Top Cashback

     

    July 2018 grand total: £3888.05

    Blog posts

    £3,405.13

    Matched betting

    £197.35

    Personal eBay

    £168.86

    Referrals

    £80.36

    Side hustles: Streetbees & Whatusersdo

    £20.00

    LR shop sales

    £9.50

    Top Cashback

    £6.85

    TOTAL

    £3,888.05

     

     

    So close to £4000!  It’s been a great month and also came at a great time as we have some very expensive car repairs (possibly over £1000) so won’t be able to enjoy this extra cash unfortunately.  Isn’t it typical when that happens?!

    I’d love to beat Ben’s wage again, but I’m not sure it will happen in August.  August was a very quiet month last year for blogging as I expect many people are on holiday.  That could be why July has been so brilliant as people want work completed before they are off.

    I am super chuffed with this month and hope I’ll be able to match it again or come close in the future.

     

    If you want to read more then check out the 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018

     

    Blog and Home Income Report July 2018 (1)

     

  3. Lil Packaging goes eco-friendly with their ecommerce packaging range (and I review three products)

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    If you run an online shop like I do then you’ll understand the importance of appropriate packaging.  Since selling goods online as a small home business I’ve sold items from handmade cards and trinkets to jewellery, scarves and clothes.  Needless the say the bendable items such as cards need sufficient board backed packaging to protect them in the post, photo frames and the like need even more protection to prevent breakage and even the jewellery is easily broken if the postal wrap is not suitable.

    Clothes and scarves have been easier to sell as they are quite happy in a light mailing bag.  This usually provides me the most affordable option when it comes to packaging, but I’ve started to question whether it is the most environmentally friendly.  I switched to biodegradable bags only a year or so ago, but since watching several documentaries highlighting the plastic pollution problem, I’m no longer sure these are even an ideal solution. 

    Yes, the product may biodegrade into tiny little pieces, but these little micro plastics may never ever fully decompose back into their original elements.  Micro plastics are those which are less than 5mm in length and are harmful to our oceans, sea life and even those of us who eat fish.  Tiny fish unwillingly consume these plastics, larger fish eat those and larger fish eat those and so on, meaning the amount of plastic inside the fish is accumulating.  Then who catches those fish to eat them along with all the plastic?  That’s right, us.  Well, those of us who eat fish.  It’s kind of like karma in a way; we pollute the planet and now it is polluting us back.

    Lil Packaging goes eco-friendly with their ecommerce packaging range (and I

    Lil Packaging have realised how devastating single use packaging that contains plastic is upon our environment and so they have committed to being more sustainable by the end of 2018 by removing all their plastic lines.

    They say ‘By the end of 2018 we will have removed all plastic packaging from our stock product line up. This includes removing all mailbags, bubble mailers, plastic ecommerce tape and reformulating inks and glues to be more eco-friendly and sustainable going forwards. We want our brand Lil Packaging to become synonymous with plastic free packaging by the end of 2018.  As a packaging company that makes products with a short lifespan, we realise just how important it is that we do our bit to protect our environment.’

    Of course, I hope most of us don’t just receive a package and bin it!  I always keep mailing bags, cardboard sleeves and bubble wrap envelopes that I receive my online orders in, to reuse to post items to friends, family or for personal eBay orders.  Not only does this save money on personal packaging, but it reduces waste and the single use of these items.

    Lil Packaging Recyclable Cardboard Packaging Review

    With all this in mind I may move away from plastic mailing bags altogether and start using sustainably sourced cardboard packaging that can be reused and recycled (as well as compostable bags made from vegetable sources which Lil Packaging will be looking into).  Not only is this beneficial to the environment, but the cardboard is both sturdy and stiff so it will protect my goods in transit.

    Lil Packaging kindly sent me three of their products to review and they’ve arrived today.  I am bit of a stationery and organisation geek, so I do get excited by deliveries like these.  I love seeing the neatly stacked boxes and trying them out!  Having sent well over 3000 orders I am very used to packaging deliveries, but I still remember the excitement of setting up shop and receiving my very first packaging delivery that made me one step closer to being in business!

    Lil Packaging goes eco-friendly with their ecommerce packaging range (and I

    The first thing I noticed when I ordered from Lil Packaging was the competitive prices.  I usually order from eBay and assumed it was the cheapest, but Lil Packaging are very comparable.  Plus you know exactly who you are ordering from and their packaging has some extra touches which make it even more small business friendly.  Delivery is free if you spend over £25 and you can place orders with a minimum of only one quantity, but the price per item will obviously get cheaper the more you bulk buy.

    I’ve noticed the three items I ordered all have ‘Thank you for shopping with us’ printed on them which is a perfect touch for the customer to see when receiving their goods.  They also have strong glue strips which will save me getting in a sticky tangled mess with a roll of Selotape!  The boxes have fold lines which makes packing orders even quicker and easier.

    Lil Packaging goes eco-friendly with their ecommerce packaging range (and I

    Here’s what I ordered:

    Cardboard envelopes – These are strong envelopes made from FSC certified environmentally sustainable materials.  They are so quick and easy to use for my scarves and I can easily slot one inside, but I can also squeeze up to five in for a larger order.

    Twistwrap – Now these are promoted at use with toys and items such as board games that are in boxes that need great protection, but I was intrigued to see how they work.  I often receive goods in the post in these clever boxes and now I can use them to dispatch my scarves too.  They are much quicker than building a flat packed box and offer protection if you do have a boxed item that needs to arrive in perfect condition.  They are so quick and easy to use.

    Letterbox – The final item I ordered was a letterbox that is the maximum size of the Royal Mail large letter dimensions.  This is often the size of one or two of my scarves in one package, so it’s handy to know if they fit in this box without bulging out then that’s exactly the right size postage I need.  Again, it will save time having to measure the packages or test them with my Royal Mail size guide as Lil Packaging have made them to the specified size already.

    Why it’s so important to package your online orders correctly

    • High quality packaging will prevent customer complaints
    • The number of broken item returns from damage in transit will reduce
    • Good packaging gives a good impression of your brand
    • It keeps the products safe and protected during transit
    • It shows you care about the products inside and how they reach the customer
    • The packaging is the first impression of your brand once the goods are received for an ecommerce business
    • Professional looking packaging implies a professional brand (ever received something wrapped in a bin bag and far too much brown tape?...)

    For small business owners like myself it is vital to use appropriate packaging that ensures the goods arrive to the customer in perfect condition.  Lil Packaging definitely offer a wide range of competitively priced, high quality, responsibly sourced and eco-friendly packaging options for small online stores as well as large retail giants.

     

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    Lil Packaging goes eco-friendly with their ecommerce packaging range (and I

    I was sent some packaging in exchange for my honest review.