Running a Business

Need help to grow your business? Browse our articles for tips and ideas on how you can become more successful.

Sarah Rugg - My VA BusinessSarah Rugg took the leap from successful corporate banking career to freelance VA after the birth of her second child, and admits to having made every mistake possible. More than a decade on she explains how to avoid the pitfalls of starting up your own freelance business.

There’s little doubt that stepping off the corporate career ladder is scary. As a mum, finding your feet as a freelancer may remind you of your own toddler, a few faltering steps followed by a stumble. But as any toddler learns, keep getting back on your feet and you will soon be unstoppable!

When I decided to stand on my own two feet as a freelancer, I stumbled more times than you can imagine, despite spending months preparing for my exit from the corporate world.

I was consumed with questions like: what’s the best business to get into; how much should I charge; what do I do to market my business and – more often than not – can I really do this? The trouble is that every question generated multiple possibilities, and the only way I could find out if it would work was to take the first step and be prepared to fall on my bum! And fall I did – so many times.

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Working Mum The flexibility, freedom and satisfaction of a home business are well known; with low overheads, no commute and less risk, it is a viable option for many aspiring entrepreneurs.

Whether you want to start baking up a storm from your kitchen, dream of dog walking, pet sitting, or becoming a freelance writer, there are many options for a home-based business.

However, there are many things to consider, including legal implications, permissions and insurances. Not to mention personal obligations to acknowledge before jumping head first into your new business venture.

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Working MumWhen you return to work after having kids you may decide to reduce the hours of your previous role, find a new part-time role or work for yourself; these can all be very successful routes but can also pose challenges if you don’t have a clear plan and set strict boundaries for yourself and/or your employer and clients.

Here are some tips and useful technologies that have helped me as well as friends and colleagues in my position to take control, reduce stress levels and achieve the success you deserve…

Set clear expectations with your employer, colleagues and clients

Whether you are working for yourself, employed or have your own clients, make sure from the very start that you are clear on your working hours so that everyone has realistic expectations of your availability. Failure to do this causes frustration on their part and guilt on yours if you have to start saying no to things out of hours.

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Business BloggingYour idol has been there and you’ll get there too.

Once your blog is up and you’ve already published a few posts, you’ll realize that setting up a blog isn’t the hardest part. In fact, it’s one of the easiest.

Getting traffic – especially for a new blog – is probably one of the hardest thing you’ll have to do.

You’ll go online and every article you read will insist on how content is king. There’s no denying that. But I’m guessing that, as a new blogger, you want to know what other methods you can use as you continue writing great content.

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Marketing DashboardA marketing dashboard is a great way to get the best return on investment on your marketing budget. At the end of the day, it comes down to results; leads and sales. You must be able to show value for money and get value for every dollar spent on marketing. The only way to get value for money is to ensure marketing dollars are being spent in the right way.

For example, on the marketing channels providing the best results.

But, how do you know what’s works and what doesn’t? How do you tell which elements of your campaign are the cash cows and which are the dogs? The best way to keep track of every element of your marketing strategy is with a marketing dashboard.

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Untitled design (10)Working with someone who doesn’t pull their weight at the office can create stress. You may be stuck putting in extra hours to cover for them. Even if you go home on time, you may feel resentful watching them text their friends and shop online while you’re toiling away.

Whether you’re a coworker or a manager, you can start a constructive conversation to discourage slacking. Consider these tips for holding onto your peace of mind while promoting greater efficiency and teamwork.

How to Deal with Slackers When You’re a Coworker

  1. Focus on productivity. Start out by putting your emotions aside and figuring out whether your colleague’s behavior really affects your ability to do your job. Otherwise, it’s probably not worthwhile to pursue the issue.

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Untitled designThe most successful people have mentors guiding their progress. It’s difficult to overestimate the positive influence a mentor can have on your success.

Finding a great mentor is a challenge, but it’s worth the work. A mentor can take you places you’ve never been and do so at breakneck speed. Consider finding a mentor to assist with your aspirations.

A mentor is invaluable for several reasons:

  1. A mentor has walked the path. A mentor has already accomplished your long-term goals. If your dream is to become a Wall Street tycoon, professional baseball coach, or a successful artist, it only makes sense to find someone that has accomplished that same goal. They know the reality of the situation. Everyone else is speculating.

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Broadband SMEBusinesses today need the Internet just as much as they need staff. It provides them with connections to customers, clients and suppliers – the centrepiece of any business.  

Small to medium sized companies (SMEs) need to choose wisely, ensuring they are offered everything they need and more from a broadband supplier, so they not only have what they need now but as the business grows, their broadband limit does not hold them back.

What do you need?

That really is the first question you should ask yourself – what do you need from your broadband supplier? The obvious answer is a fast Internet connection, but you should also consider the bandwidth because if your systems cannot cope with large quantities of data flying around then the speed will mean nothing. Approaching a business broadband provider is also the best place to start as they are specialists in the kind of systems you need which in turn will make it cheaper for your business, and tailored to your specific needs.

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Untitled designHere at WFM, we’re really excited to tell you about Leonie Dawson’s new business and life planners which we recommend to take your business to the next level in 2016.

Take a look at Leonie on social media; we love her amazing insight, creativity and quirkiness (plus she’s an uber successful millionaire business woman so is definitely someone to aspire to).

The 2016 Create Your Shining Year Biz & Life workbooks and brand spankin’ new weekly planner are incredibly popular & useful tools to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year in life or business (or both!).

Over the last seven years, thousands of women have used these goals workbooks with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year your most exceptional yet!

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Untitled designEven with a great business idea and a lot of common sense, sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of guidance from someone who’s been there and done that when it comes to growing a small business.

Most business start-ups like the idea of having a mentor on side in principle; they just aren’t sure how to find a decent one. Here are a few tips to finding someone who’s perfect for your business.

Find a business mentor you know

It sounds obvious but the best way to find someone you trust is to look around your contacts for someone you already know, or at least know of. Ask around your friends and family, approach old workmates or managers and search your business networks to see if anyone comes up. See if there’s anyone who you’d consider a role model and approach them; they would more than likely be very flattered and happy to help where they can.

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