Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Afloat This Summer

Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Afloat This SummerTravel, visitors and camp, oh my! I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it difficult to do anything more than absolutely necessary in the office these days. It seems there is always something more enticing than my computer. And the motivation I was filled with in January has fizzled to a desperate attempt to do as much work as possible before noon so I can hit the beach or the pool with the kids.

After I’m finished beating myself up for feeling like a slacker, I remind myself that this is what I signed up for. This is what I wanted when I decided to go into business for myself and work from home. I wanted the flexibility to work my schedule around other things in my life – like my family. I wanted to call my own shots and control my own workload. So instead of feeling guilty for not accomplishing extraordinary feats in my business this summer or crossing a thousand things off my “to do” list, I’ve decided to embrace the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being a mompreneur.

But that doesn’t mean I’m putting business on hold until September. I’m just finding ways to be more efficient and prioritize better. Here are a few strategies I’m employing this summer to ensure smooth sailing for my business while I’m focusing on family a little bit more:

Five Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Afloat This Summer

1. Put first things first. I’m on a mission to become a Time Management Ninja! I ask myself, “What are the things I absolutely, positively have to keep doing in my business?” Then I carve out time – even if it’s early in the morning – to make sure those get done first. I feel a sense of relief once the necessities are finished and then I can decide to move on to additional work – or take the rest of the day off to play!   

2. Give each goal a deadline. It’s easy to put off larger projects in the summer when my calendar is a little more open and the temptations and distractions are a little more alluring. The only way I know to combat this situation is to give myself a specific deadline. If it’s a big enough project, I give myself smaller deadlines along the way. This helps me prevent procrastination and overwhelm. [Read more...]

Do You Belong Here? A Peek Inside the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs

Survey Results IGOne of the things I love most about what I do is getting to know some pretty fabulous women. When I stepped out in faith to create the International Christian Mompreneur Network, I was placing a call for help. I was reaching out to other moms just like me who were feeling overwhelmed and isolated as they juggled the challenges and joys of running a business while raising a family. These ladies answered my call for help and formed an extraordinary circle of support and encouragement for me and for one another. They’ve developed friendships as they’ve grown their businesses.

But lots of women wonder if they will fit in. They send me emails saying:

“My children are all grown and out of the house. Am I too old to join?”

Or…

“I don’t really have a business…it’s more of an idea right now. Can I still belong?”

Or…

“I’ve got a J-O-B but I hope to start my business soon. Is this the place for me?”

My answer is YES! Of course, you belong here! But sometimes it’s good to see the data – so you can really learn about the women God has placed in our lives. So, here’s a peek inside our circle.

The ladies in the Sisterhood of Christian Mompreneurs:

  • Live in 21 different states in the United States and one Canadian city.
  • Are older than you might think, with 57% of us in our 40s.
  • Have 2 or 3 children living at home – some more, some less.
  • Want to learn about a variety of different topics to help grow their business or ministry.
  • Take advantage of our private Facebook group for networking and support as well as our monthly group calls, opportunities to promote their businesses, training webinars and more.

(Keep in mind, these are just the ladies in our Sisterhood group. The full membership of the International Christian Mompreneur Network is even more diverse – with members from all over the world including Australia, United Kingdom, India, Philippines, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Nigeria and more!) [Read more...]

If You Treasure It, Then Measure It: Five Simple Ways to Track Your Business Success

Treasure It Measure ItWhat do dieticians encourage people to do when they want to improve their nutrition? Write down everything they eat. What do personal trainers ask people to do when they want to improve their fitness? Keep an exercise log. What do financial advisors tell people to do when they want to improve their money management skills? Create a written budget. No matter what you want to improve, the first step is to identify your current position so you can measure your progress.

The same concept holds true in business. You can’t grow your business if you don’t really have an understanding of where you are now. And you can’t maintain momentum if the only time you ever look at your stats is when someone asks you about them. So I tell the mompreneurs I work with “If you treasure it, then measure it.”

As a marketer, I’m a bit of a data geek, but some of this doesn’t come naturally to me so I have to remind myself of the value of monitoring the numbers. While this may not be the fun part of owning a business, it’s an important one.  Here are some simple tools to get you started:

1. Website Traffic. The best tool for most small businesses to measure website traffic is Google Analytics. It’s free, easy to install and packed with valuable insight. The only problem I have with Google Analytics is that I can easily fall down the rabbit hole and spend way too much time exploring and researching data I don’t need. I’m no expert so I’m sure there’s a lot that I’m missing, but the data I find valuable to monitor in Google Analytics includes:

  • Unique Monthly Visitors – how many people visit my site?
  • Page Views – how many of my pages are people visiting?
  • Average Visit Duration – how long are readers spending on my site?
  • Referrals – where is my traffic coming from?
  • Keywords – what words are people using when they search for my site?

I also take a look at demographic information such as age, gender and country; the use of mobile devices; and the most popular pages.  I don’t necessarily track those categories every month but I know how to find the information when I need it. You can also use Google Analytics to track your conversion rate and determine how successful a specific page is. 

2. Subscriber List Building. If you’re building a business or ministry then you are probably communicating with your clients, customers, readers, listeners, members, patients, students, fans, donors, etc. in some way.  If you’re using an email marketing solution such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, Direct Pay or one of the many other platforms, you should have a wealth of insight available to you. I typically monitor the following: [Read more...]