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

  1. 6 Things Your Home Business Should Outsource Today

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    If you’ve ever read advice on how to limit your business expenses, then you’ve no doubt hear about outsourcing. It’s an idea that’s very useful for home businesses, as you pay companies to handle specific tasks. The alternative to this is hiring your own employees, which is both impractical and too costly for most home business moguls.

    I’m not going to say you should outsource absolutely everything in your business. No, I think there’s a time and a place where outsourcing becomes beneficial, or else it ends up being a massive expense. There are certain things you can definitely handle on your own, and there are certain things you can’t. Bearing that in mind, here are the best things your home business should start outsourcing today: 

    Pexels

    Search Engine Marketing

    A lot of home business owners choose to outsource all their marketing services. They look for an agency to handle everything, and it takes a weight off their shoulders. While I don’t think this is a particularly bad idea, I do think you might be wasting money on services you don’t need. Instead of finding a company to cover everything, find one to deal with one aspect; search engine marketing. SEM is probably the most complicated part of a marketing strategy, which is why it benefits you to get some help. Trust the experts, and you’ll soon have a website that ranks highly in Google searches and brings in a lot of traffic. But, you’re free to handle other parts of your marketing strategy by yourself. This includes social media marketing, spreading news through word of mouth; and anything else you can think of. Many parts of marketing & advertising are simple. So, why pay an agency to do them for you? Save money, and only get help for something complicated like SEM.

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    Financial Services

    I had a long hard debate with myself before putting this on the outsourcing list. Financial services cover all aspects of business finance. We’re talking about expenses, income, tax, and so on. Some of you may believe you can handle this yourself. If you have a small business with very few expenses, then it may be straightforward for you to take care of things. However, the one main thing that made me put it in here is tax. It’s so important that your business does its taxes properly and effectively. You may know how to fill in a tax form, but do you know all the different things you can claim back as business expenses? More to the point, how long does it take you to do all of this, and how much time are you devoting to it? You may do it yourself, but this can cause you to miss out on other opportunities as you’re focusing on taxes. Plus, this is before we even bring the other financial things into the equation. Realistically, it will help your business is you outsource a financial expert to handle these jobs. Find an account that knows business finance, and you’re good to go.

    Software Development

    Think your home business doesn’t need software development services? Think again. It’s something that will help contribute to various different things. You can use software development to create a mobile app that brings your business into the modern era. You can use it to build your own web applications of business software to help you do certain things. There are many reasons that outsourcing software development is a great idea, and the main one is that you haven’t got these skills at all. Developing software is so complicated and requires loads of hands on deck. If you were to do it yourself, you’d need to hire a full team, which would be so expensive. So, if you have any type of software that your business needs, then make sure you outsource this service.

    Graphic Design

    Again, this is one of those things you think your business doesn’t have to concern itself with. On the contrary, graphic design plays a huge role in modern organizations. Even a home business needs a proper logo for its website. The only way to achieve this is with a high-quality graphic design. Outsource an artist that can create the perfect logo for you, and then you can use it everywhere to spread brand awareness. They can also help draw up posters or pamphlets to use as marketing material too. It’s cheaper to outsource than it is to hire one full-time, and I’m sure most of you aren’t skilled enough to design your own logos.

    Virtual Assistant

    I’m going to start by saying; this might not apply to all home business owners. If you run a small business where you don’t really take any calls, and most of your communication is done online or via instant messaging, then you can ignore this and move onto the next one!

    However, if you run a home business that often gets calls from existing and potential clients, then it’s definitely something to think about. A virtual assistant is someone that answers your calls for you. They make a note of what anyone says and will email you the transcript so you can take action - if needed. They’re ‘virtual’ in the sense that they don’t work in your home office, and they could be on the other side of the world for all you know. Why should you outsource a virtual assistant? Well, think of the alternatives. You either have no assistance and end up wasting time going through loads of missed calls, or you have to hire someone to work in your home. The first alternative isn’t a good idea as clients can become annoyed when you miss their calls, and a prospective client can lose interest in your services if you don’t pick up. The second alternative is far too expensive for a home business. So, a virtual assistant becomes the ideal solution! You won’t miss any calls, no one gets upset, and you save a lot of money.

     

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    Conversion Optimization

    Remember when I spoke about marketing earlier on? That’s just one stage in the process of taking someone from a consumer to a customer. SEM, social media, and all your other marketing material can help generate leads, but you’ve still got to convert them. This is where conversion optimization comes into play, as it enables you to take as many leads as possible and turn them into paying customers. It’s harder than it sounds, which is why so many small businesses outsource their conversion optimization these days. An excellent way to tell if you should do this or not is to ask yourself; do I even know what conversion optimization is? If you don’t, then that probably means you aren’t up to the task of taking care of it. Another good way to tell is to try and look at your current conversion rates. If they’re poor, then it could be time to outsource this job to a company with experience and expertise.

    Home business owners are in a unique position in that you get to work from home. This has its pros and cons, but problems often arise when you think about growing your business and hiring help. It’s often far too expensive to bring in full-time employees - not to mention impractical as you don’t have a proper office! Outsourcing can be the best option, but only in instances where it’s necessary.

    The best thing to do is have a look at business processes and figure out whether or not you can do them yourself, and do them well. If you can’t perform tasks to a high standard - without other areas of your business suffering - then it’s time to outsource!


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  2. Easy Ways to Find Out if Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy is Working

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    Brands really are competing with other publishers so that they can try and get more page views. For this reason, it can be incredibly tempting to try and follow their lead and just look at your website traffic when measuring your marketing strategy. The main thing that you have to remember here is that your incoming leads aren’t the only measurement of your marketing success, and there really are things that you can do to try and stand out from the crowd.

    Bounce Rate

    It can be tempting to try and ignore the bounce rate that you have, but it really does represent something very important. It doesn’t matter how many new leads you get every month, because if they aren’t staying on your site then this can be a clear sign that something is wrong. Your bounce rate can give you a very valuable insight into your business and it can help to show you what can be done to try and make your site more efficient as well. If you want a good rule of thumb then a bounce rate of 45% or under is fantastic, but if you have a number that is over this then you may need to try and work around this to try and get that number down.

    https://www.pexels.com/photo/blur-business-coffee-commerce-273222/

    Create a Web of Links

    When you go on a digital marketing course from Google, you will know how important it is to have links throughout all of your content. When creating your pages, try and make sure that you have links that go to all of your eCommerce pages. For example, every page that you have on your site should have a link to one of your products. You can even have a featured products section on your homepage as well and if you know that you are getting a lot of leads here then this is a clear sign that you are doing something right. For example, if your customers are not contacting you at every opportunity or if they are not going through all of your pages then this may look like a bad thing, but if they are visiting your product pages from the home page then this shows that they intend to buy, which is a fantastic measurement for your business.

    https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-woman-and-one-man-looking-at-the-laptop-1036641/

    Blogging

    If your site has a blog then you will know how great this can be for driving traffic to your site. The main thing that you have to remember about your blog is that it is there to drive sales and if it is doing this then that’s great. You need to work out how much money you are making from each blog post that you have, and whether this is giving you a good ROI. If it is, then your marketing efforts are working perfectly. Sure, you might not be making much from each blog but if you are profiting then this means that you are absolutely doing something right and this can make a world of difference to your campaign.

    Related blog posts
    Why digital marketing skills are essential today
    How small businesses can use the internet effectively
    7 tips for a successful small business
    Why your small business needs an online presence
    The Ultimate Marketing Strategy to Give Your Business a Boost

    Easy Ways to Find Out if Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy is Working

    Collab

  3. How to deal with overwhelm as a work at home parent

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    Being a work at home parent, trying to keep on top of the household chores, do parenting duties and run a business singlehandedly can certainly prove challenging and there are plenty of days when I am struck by overwhelm.  For me this usually results in having so much to do that I can’t clear my head to focus on the task in hand – fuzzy head overwhelmed syndrome!  Having worked full time from home for over one year now I have learnt to recognise when I am becoming overwhelmed and have found a few things that work.

    Here are my suggestions for tackling overwhelm as a work at home parent:

    How to deal with overwhelm as a work at home parent

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    Take a break

    While it may seem counterproductive to take a break if work is stacked, it could be all you need.  If you have so much to do that you can’t think straight or focus on the task at hand, then your brain could just need a rest.  Do some housework, prep your evening dinner or go for a walk.  Heck, even turn on the TV and watch an episode of your favourite show.  Let your brain rest and then return to the task feeling refreshed and motivated again.

    Have a green tea

    Coffee or tea may be your thing and choose those if they work for you, but I love green tea.  A cup of the green stuff is sometimes all I need to have a quick break, refocus and to also perk me up.  Sometimes I feel more overwhelmed when I’m tired or had broken sleep and the stack of work to do and chores around the house seem never-ending.  Everything always seems so much worse when tired, so a dose of caffeine can really help on these days.

    Have set working hours

    It can be really hard to distinguish between work and household chores when you are working at home all day long.  Plus you may feel as though the other half expects the house to be tiptop as you are there all day.  I often find this is an expectation I put on myself though and hubby does not expect this at all.  If they do then you need to make clear you have a job and are working too – you’re not at home all day to do the chores.  I tackle this by having set working hours as much as possible.  I work 9am-3pm when the children are at school and nursery.  Housework is only to be done outside of these hours.  This way I can focus my mind on work and not the huge pile of laundry that needs doing.  Though if I do get work overwhelm then I can take a break and do some of the housework if I want to, but it’s not an expected part of my working hours.  I usually do housework before the school run and after which leaves the school day as my working day.

    Be realistic

    You can only do as much as you can do.  Sometimes there is just too much to do in one day so things will have to be left for tomorrow. This is something I really need to teach myself to do and I do struggle with it, particularly with work.  If I have emails in my inbox then I find it hard to switch off as I know I have work to do or people to respond to.  It’s always there in my mind and I’m never at peace until everything is complete and my inbox is empty once more.  The problem is it’s rarely empty anymore so I struggle to switch off.  This is where having set working hours also helps.  I also set myself working hours of 7.30-9.30pm when the children are in bed.  That way, if something feels unfinished by 3pm, I know I can pick it up again later and not be glued to my phone or laptop once I have picked the children up.  If I feel overwhelmed then I can take a big deep breath and tell myself I can respond to it later or tomorrow if need be.  I really must stop pressuring myself to respond to everything instantly.

    Working at home as well as running a busy family household can certainly prove challenging and overwhelming, but I’ve been learning ways to get the best work-family life balance to prevent that dreaded fuzzy brain that can stop me from reaching my full potential each day.  Regular breaks, set working hours, a healthy dose of caffeine and learning to not put too much pressure on myself are all great ways to tackle the overwhelm.

    What to read next

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    How to earn cashback on things you already buy

    How to deal with overwhelm as a work at home parent

     

  4. 10 careers you can do from home

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    The ability to work from home is a dream for many.  Since having my children I have been able to work from home by building a business that fits perfectly into a busy family lifestyle.  I’m able to work when the children are at school and again in the evenings when they are in bed.  I can do all the school runs and be there for special events like sports day.  Though there are also plenty of drawbacks to working at home, the positives far outweigh the negatives at this point in my life.  If you have been considering a career from home, but you’re not sure what to do, here are ten careers you can do from the comfort of your own home:

    10 careers you can do from home

     

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    Tutor

    If you are an expert in a subject and love to teach others about it, then tutoring could be for you.  Though you don’t formally need a qualification it’s in your best interest to have a degree in the subject matter or vast experience.  If you have teaching experience, then even better and it can be the perfect post teaching job.  There are many tutors in demand such as 11 plus tutors, maths tuition, A-level and GCSE guidance and so on.

    Masseuse

    If you love wellbeing and relaxation then why not consider training as a masseuse?  I can’t think of anything more relaxing than giving massages all day!  You’ll need to be qualified and a quiet dedicated space such as a spare room is an advantage.

    Virtual Assistant

    If you’re highly organised and enjoy being so, then a virtual assistant could be the dream career for you.  It can involve admin duties or even expand into managing a company’s social media profiles.  You’ll be able to choose your clients and the work can be varied so no two days are ever the same.

    Copywriter

    If you love writing then writing ‘copy’ for businesses could be for you.  This can be as content for their blog, promotional emails, leaflets, menus – basically anything that needs the written word.  You could set up your own website to promote your services or join gig sites such as People Per Hour or Upwork to find clients.

    Nutritionist

    If healthy living and nutrition is your thing, then becoming a nutritionist could be the next logical step.  Not only will a qualification mean your knowledge is improved and verified, but you can also inspire and help others on their own personal health journeys.

    Air BnB Host

    If you love meeting new people and have a spare room, annexe or even an airship in your back garden, then becoming an Air BnB host is the perfect way to make extra cash from your space. 

    Childminder

    Quite possibly the perfect role for mums with young children, allowing them to be with their own children, but to also look after other children and make a living at the same time.  Some county councils will even pay for the training and it can only take a few months to become qualified and registered.

    Beautician

    If you’ve a passion for beauty then offering pampering treatments from your own home is ideal.  If you can undercut the more expensive local salons then you’re onto a winner.  Spray tanning, waxing, manicures and pedicures are all suitable to do from a dedicated space in your home.

    Hairdresser

    Hairdressing is also a perfect work at home job if you are already qualified or are prepared to be.  It is best to gain experience in a salon, but once confident in your own skills then becoming an at-home hairdresser and being your own boss could be the dream situation.

    Blogger

    Of course I could not complete this list without including blogging!  Blogging is now my full time work from home job and it really has provided me with so much flexibility as a work at home parent.  In my experience it takes time to build up content and an authoritative website, but if it’s your dream job then you can start this around your current commitments.

    According to the Office for National Statistics there are 4.75 million people who are self-employed in the UK in 2018.  Are you ready to join them?

    As you can begin to see, the possibilities of an at-home career are really endless.  Have a good think of what skills and experience you already have and whether this can be transformed into a home working job.  If not, you may have to think outside the box or retrain.  If you’re serious about working from home then it’s entirely possible with some hard work and commitment.

     

    What to read next

    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum

    Is Your Website Truly Monetizable?

    Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing

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    10 careers you can do from home

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  5. 5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum

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    As soon as I had my first daughter I knew I didn’t really want to return to my manager role after maternity.  I’d been with the company for nine years and had assumed I’d be there forever.  Having my first child totally changed my opinion though.  After one year’s maternity I didn’t want to return to full time work in a demanding role that often required last minute overtime.  I wouldn’t be able to commit to the role as I had pre-children.  I also wasn’t ready to put my daughter in full time childcare from 8am to 6pm, only seeing her for one hour or so per evening before it was her bedtime.  The thought really upset me.  It was time to find a new job or way of working from home where I could be there for my daughter in the day times and see her do new things and reach milestones for myself.  In this article I will share five tried and tested ways to make money as a stay at home mum in the UK.  Who knows, it could even become a full time occupation for you!

    Originally I trained to be a childminder which seemed the perfect job whilst my daughter was little.  I completed the training, but our current home didn’t have enough space.  We were in the process of selling our existing home, but it took a lot longer than anticipated – around eight months!  We ended up buying a home that needed totally redoing so this took all our time and four years on we’re still not finished!  We then fell pregnant with our second child so I decided not to pursue the childminding.  We just had too much to do in our new home and a new baby on the way.  I also wasn’t as passionate about it anymore as I’d already started my Lylia Rose business.  I do always wonder what would have happened if we had managed to sell quicker and moved into a house that needed no or little work.  Perhaps I’d be a full time childminder today!

    After my first maternity leave I did get a part time evening job.  I’ve worked three part time jobs in total, up until last May when I made the decision to go full time with my blogging and home earnings.  I’d earned more than my part time wage for six months straight by this point, so I knew it was the right decision.  Luckily I have managed to make a consistent full time wage being self-employed from home for an entire year now and will share the ways below.

    Here are my tried and tested ways of making money from home as a UK stay at home mum:

    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum

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    Blogging

    If you love to write then blogging is the perfect stay at home career.  It can fit in around parent duties and is also location independent.  You just need a laptop and internet connection.  Don’t expect to start a blog and earn money instantly though.  I started mine in spring 2013 and didn’t start to make any money from it until spring 2016.  To be fair, it wasn’t my original intention to make money from it, but if I’d realised the potential sooner I am sure I could have made money after a year or two instead.  It takes time to build up content, stats, readership and an authoritative website.  Don’t let that put you off though.  If you are serious about blogging and perhaps one day making an income from it, then you simply need to get started.

    Helpful articles if you want to monetise your blog:
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    4 ways to find paid blog opportunities
    How I save hours every week scheduling tweets with Social Oomph
    How to improve your domain authority (DA)

    Matched Betting

    Matched betting is quite a controversial way to make money from home, but personally I love it.  Many people who aren’t matched bettors simply assume it’s gambling, but those of us who do it know it’s not gambling and the aim is to make a profit!  I wouldn’t do it at all if I was gambling with my money.  There is obviously risk involved as you can make a mistake, but if you follow the instructions you will make a profit.  I’ve made a couple of silly mistakes and lost £10 here and there, perhaps only three or so times, but I’ve learned from those mistakes.  In the one year and three months I’ve been a matched bettor I’ve made almost £4300 in profit.  I now only spend 30 minutes to 1.5 hours per week matched betting, so it’s very part time for me.  I make £100-£300 per month with a £100 target.  This is tax free cash too as the tax office do class it as gambling winnings!

    The company I use who have enabled me to learn the process and make so much money is Profit Accumulator who I still use and highly recommend.  It’s possible to make more and it’s possible to make less.  It depends how much time you can devote and which methods you continue to use after the sign up offers.

    Here are some great posts if you’re thinking of starting:
    I made over £3000 matched betting in 2017
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    Website testing

    I’m so pleased I discovered website testing as it’s a quick and easy way to top up my other home earnings.  Tests can take as little as 5 minutes to complete and the longest has taken me approximately 20 minutes.  Each test is for a different website or app.  Just make sure you read the instructions carefully as the tests can be rejected.  I’ve only had one test rejected as I accidently used my iPhone instead of an Android.  Oops!

    Find out how you can test websites here:  Easily make money from home by testing websites

    Selling online

    Selling items online is a great side hustle or could even be a full time job.  You can sell your old unwanted belongings on eBay or Facebook Marketplace to declutter and make cash in the process.  You can also become an ecommerce retailer by buying stock and selling it on your own website or eBay or Amazon.  If you’re crafty then try Etsy to sell your unique wares.  If you’ve a keen eye for a bargain in stores then reselling on eBay for a profit could be for you.  I’ve tried all of these methods and today I still sell all our outgrown and unwanted items on Ebay and Facebook as well as selling some new fashion scarves on this very website in my own Scarf Boutique.

    Related blog posts:
    11 tips for eBay selling
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    Mystery tasks

    There are lots of ‘mystery shopping’ type apps out there.  Some aren’t really shopping at all, but simply short surveys or photos you can take at home.  Many are secret short audits you carry out in store.  My favourite apps are Streetbees, Roamler, BeMyEye and Task360.  You could make a few pounds each time you visit the supermarket to do your shopping if there’s a task whilst you’re there.

    Related:
    Get paid doing simple tasks from your phone with Streetbees
    9 iPhone apps to make money

    There are so many ways to make money from home nowadays.  It really does give us mums the flexibility to make a part time or full time wage around parenting duties.  There’s no need to return to a full time job and have to use full time childcare if that’s not right for you.  Simply start exploring some at home options and get the ball rolling to a happier career today!

    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum