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Five Gift Ideas for Your Clients

Written by Karen Bivand

cuhristimas gift giving for clients

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your key clients.  Whether you go for a classic or something more unique will depend on both your client and on your relationship.  Here are five gift ideas that’ll show your clients how much you appreciate their business:

Wine

It’s a classic because people love it.  Don’t get too fancy, just find something that most people will enjoy.

Tea or Coffee

You could either pick up a gift card to a favourite coffee shop or a basket filled with goodies.  Pair it with a mug and it’s sure to be a hit! Continue reading Five Gift Ideas for Your Clients

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Business Mailboxes – Thinking Big for Your SMB

Written by Grace Moores

mailboxes at The UPS Store for small business owners and female entrepreneurs

This September brought lots of change for us as a family, including my son switching schools and starting middle school. Another year older means more responsibility; he now has his own key and lets himself into the house while I’m picking up his sister in Grade 4.

Though I have been running my home-based business for several years, I registered and opened a private mailbox for my business only 6 months ago, and I’m so glad I did. Yes, it was a small inconvenience to redirect my mail over to a new address, but it has given me such peace of mind during all the changes we have been experiencing in our home dynamic.

Having all of my business mail now go to a mailbox means I don’t always have to be home. Delivery people are not knocking on my door when my son is home alone either.  Of course, we have taught him not to open the door to strangers, and reviewed all the things he can and can’t do when he’s home alone, but knowing my business isn’t exposing him to unnecessary risk is such a relief. On top of it all, I’m not missing deliveries, which means there’s less for me to worry about, all the while making my business look bigger than it actually is.

Some amazing discoveries I’ve found since having a business mailbox: Continue reading Business Mailboxes – Thinking Big for Your SMB

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7 Tips to Create a Follow-Up Strategy

Written by Grace Moores

entrepreneur tips for follow up, from mompreneur Grace Moores

If you don’t have a follow-up strategy, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Most of my clients never returned my initial calls or emails, but they did with follow-up, which in turn has brought in revenue and resources over the years.

Follow-up is not hard to do and doesn’t take up a lot of time. For most of us it is the fear of rejection and coming across as too pushy. Not everyone is going to be your customer, and that is ok because realistically, you don’t want everyone to be your customer.

Here are 7 steps for overcoming the above, and developing a follow-up strategy that brings you revenue.

Keep a Call Log

You can do this in a CRM program or on an Excel spreadsheet. You only need 3 columns:

  1. Date – the date you called
  2. Who – who you spoke with
  3. Next Steps – do you need to follow up? If so, when, or are you taking them to the next step of your sales process?

The Right Person

Make your first call about identifying the right person. There is nothing worse than spending weeks following up with someone only to find out they are not the right person. Argh! Such a waste of time.

Schedule Follow-Up

Expect to follow-up. People are busy, and in case your email doesn’t jump straight to the top of their to-do list, schedule a date in your calendar or call log to follow up, just in case you forget! Follow-up calls or emails should be between 3 – 5 working days. If you are following up after an in-person meeting, try to aim for 1 – 3 days. Continue reading 7 Tips to Create a Follow-Up Strategy

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Confident Mompreneur or Imposter Superhero? Take This Quiz…

Written by: Lisa Van Reeuwyk

mompreneur superhero quiz

A woman’s role in 2017 is full of contradictions. On one hand, women have made incredible advancements socially, economically and politically. In my opinion, it truly is the best time in all of history to be alive. We have more choice, more freedom and in many parts of the world, equality; and we have incredible appliances like washing machines and dishwashers that I personally express deep gratitude for in a way that makes my children think I am a bit odd, which I am… but that is another blog entirely.

To borrow a line from Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. Mompreneurs and emerging entrepreneurs have taken on all sorts of new and exciting roles with massive success, yet we often don’t ask for help with the traditional ones leaving us burdened, exhausted and frustrated. So let’s take a quiz to find out where you land on the scope of mompreneur as confidant communicative #bosslady or as an imposter superhero headed for burnout — it will depend on how many Y or N you answer with. Continue reading Confident Mompreneur or Imposter Superhero? Take This Quiz…

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The Most Important Thing You Need in Order to Succeed

Written by Andrea ArEsse

This morning I was once again able to meet with an incredible group of women. This group truly supports with an open heart. Moms empowering moms. Women empowering women. While many of our avenues are different, the common ground is the same : be our best, and work damn hard to turn those lucrative goals (or promises) into realities.

Where I am today is not where I’m going, it’s just a pit stop on a long journey that will be filled with challenges to overcome, and mountains to move. Where I am today is not the end, it’s the beginning; however, my version of today almost didn’t happen because for too long I allowed myself to be not only stuck at the beginning of the race, but afraid to even register for it.

The fear was crippling. I am not an expert. This was not the box I checked off in high school. The crystal ball did not foretell this future. In this new world, I am a round peg to a square hole, so how could I possibly find success? Each day I would wake up, and within minutes I would flatten myself. I would put myself back into the preconceived box, and I would tell myself that I wasn’t good enough.

So what changed?

I actually found something where the excitement outweighed the fear. I found something that fuelled my flame instead of snuffing it. I found something that, for the first time in a long time, made me believe in myself.

Now, of course you need to work damn hard day in and day out to attain it, but at the end of the day, if you don’t believe in yourself, that you are the best person for the job, that you are capable of achieving those goals, and that come hell or high water you’ve got this, then success will never be in reach.

I can. I will. I am.

“I Statements” command attention. They tell not only the world, but yourself that you ARE a force. That you DO have this. That you WILL attain your goals. I statements hold more accountability because in making them, you are actually telling yourself you CAN achieve them. Continue reading The Most Important Thing You Need in Order to Succeed

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Don’t Let an Overactive Bladder Interrupt Your Work

Written by Madelaine Golec

tips to avoid overactive bladder issues from mompreneur Madelaine Golec of ECO Physio

As a busy entrepreneur or business owner, the last thing you want stealing your attention is your bladder, and yet that is exactly with an overactive bladder does.

The International Continence Society defines Overactive Bladder (OAB) as urgency, with or without incontinence and increased daytime/nighttime urinating (1, 2). So basically it feels like you have to pee all the time and in some cases you may not make it. Who wants to be looking for a toilet all the time or stopping in the middle of a project just to pee?

In the US, it is estimated that 16% of men and 17% of women older than 18 years old are affected (1). There can be many reasons why someone develops an overactive bladder. I highly encourage you to seek help from a pelvic floor physiotherapist to explore those reasons, so they may provide you with a direct treatment plan to address it.

The purpose of this article is to give you some immediate tips that will help reduce the risk and symptoms of OAB.

Tip #1 — Eliminating Bladder Irritants

Cut back on, and if possible, completely eliminate irritants like coffee, artificial sweetners/aspartame, spicy foods, citris, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and tomato based products (1, 3).

Tip #2 — Nighttime Frequency

Try reducing fluid intake after 6 pm, or approximately 3-4 hours prior to bed. If the air is dry in your home, this can make you drink throughout the night. To avoid this, try using a humidifier.

Tip #3 — Manage Bowel Regularity

Constipation or straining on the toilet have negative consequences for OAB and the pelvic floor (1). Ensure you are drinking enough water and getting a fiber intake of at least 35 grams daily. To reduce straining on the toilet, check out our video for positions and exercises. Continue reading Don’t Let an Overactive Bladder Interrupt Your Work

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Attract the Right Candidates With Your Job Advertisements

When you have a vacancy to fill in your business, finding and hiring the right candidate is no easy task, and can be a daunting one at that. The hours that you will need to invest in training a new hire are ones you cannot get back, so finding the right person (and ensuring they’re in it for the long haul!) is paramount.

You can make the screening process a lot more efficient by creating job advertisements that allow candidates to screen themselves, in order to ensure you are getting the right person for the job.

Here are five tips that will help you write job posts that’ll do some of the work for you:

attracting the right candidates for jobs

Put it in the right place

Find out which sites your target audience is using to find a job and post it there. If possible, talk with other employers in your industry to get a sense of where they have also found good candidates.

 

Choose your keywords carefully

Job search sites rely on keywords to match candidates to jobs. Make sure that you are using commonly used search terms that are relative to your company and to the position you are hiring for. Be realistic when it comes to the terms you are using for the job description, in order to guarantee an accurate screening.

 

Include detailed information

By providing key details about both the company and the position, you allow candidates to determine whether or not they would be a good fit. It may go without saying, but ensure that your website and company profile is up to date, which will further inform potential candidates about who they may be potentially working for.

 

Think carefully about the job title

Most job seekers focus on the job title when identifying positions to target. Make sure that the job title you use will attract the right type of candidates.

 

Be clear about the requirements

If you make candidates aware of the minimum requirements for the position, you will receive a higher percentage of applications from people who are actually qualified for the job.

 


 

featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com

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5 Sources of Inspiration

Sometimes you need inspiration and it is nowhere to be found. On those days, the savvy mompreneur just has to look a little harder. Here are five sources of inspiration that can help you get back on track when you’ve fallen into a bit of a rut.

Your Network.

The people in your network may be aware of opportunities that you’ve never even considered. When you’re talking to your contacts, always keep both your ears and your mind open. Get out and meet up with some fellow women and entrepreneurs in your network, it will lift your spirits!

Other Entrepreneurs’ Stories.

Only another entrepreneur can truly appreciate the challenges and triumphs of starting your own business. When you hear the stories of entrepreneurs who have overcome tough obstacles and built a successful business, it makes you wonder what you might be able to accomplish if you put your mind to it. You can read up on fellow Mompreneur member Success Stories right here on our blog!

Your Customers.

The success of your business will always depend on how well you understand your customers. Take some time to talk to them and get to know them – send out a survey, post a poll on Facebook, or record a Facebook Live video to interact directly! They will likely be able to provide you with a perspective that will help you make improvements to your business.

Your Children.

Nothing is as inspiring as envisioning your child’s little face looking up at you, no matter how much older they now are from that moment in time. Hold on to that image and bring it out on the days when you need to climb a little higher. It will remind you of how much you’ve accomplished as a parent, and how far you’ve come from those early days in your entrepreneurial journey.

 

Featured image via shutterstock.com

 

 

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Time vs. Money-When is it time to Outsource?

Sometimes business demands can over-run your schedule, no matter how diligent you are with creating a killer time map. So what is a busy mompreneur to do? Outsource!

when is it time to outsource?

Simply put, but not so easily done for those of us who like to be in control of every aspect of our businesses.  It really boils down to three questions:

1.   Where is my time better served?  

Are you better at selling than the mundane task of bookkeeping and paperwork?  Or are you internet savvy enough to rock your social media world and website, but not so good at the selling? Figure out what you are best at and do it well. Then hire someone else to take on and master the things that aren’t at the top of your ‘love to do’ list. Continue reading Time vs. Money-When is it time to Outsource?

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Brainstorming Sessions that Work

brainstorming ideas - sessions that work for mompreneurs and women entrepreneurs

What do you do when you have to solve a problem or you need a killer new idea for your business?  Many business owners spend thousands of dollars on consultants when the perfect solution is right in front of them tucked away in one of their employee’s brain.  How can you access your employees’ great ideas?  Why not try a brainstorming session?  Here are some techniques that will help you hold a brainstorming session that is actually effective:

Don’t allow criticism.

The fear of criticism stifles creativity and makes people unwilling to suggest unconventional ideas, which is the whole point of the exercise.  Focus on quantity instead of quality.  Make it a team goal to come up with 75 new ideas.

Invite the right people.

Ideally, you would want to have between four and eight people at your brainstorming meeting.  When the group gets too big, people start to get intimidated.  Include a mix of people from different levels and departments.  You want to invite people who are willing to think big.

Make it a comfortable experience.

The space that you are working in matters.  Try to find a different room than the one that you use for your regular meetings.  Make sure that the chairs are comfortable and that people have room to walk around.  Select a time for the meeting when your employees won’t be too distracted by other tasks, and don’t forget to provide food and coffee.

Have an official facilitator.

You need someone to keep everyone on track and make sure that there is no judgment or criticism of ideas.  It is best if the facilitator is someone other than the manager so that the team members don’t become intimidated.

Plan next steps.

Clearly communicate what the next steps will be.  After investing their time and energy into this meeting, it will annoy your employees if all their ideas lead to nothing.

When handled properly, brainstorming meetings can be an effective team building experience.  It can get people talking in the lunch room, which is where the best ideas will come from anyway.  Your real goal as a business owner is to create a culture of brainstorming at your company.  If your employees are always thinking and are motivated to develop and share their ideas, it will take your business to some amazing (and interesting) places.

 


Written by Karen Bivand

Featured image via shutterstock.com