Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Weather Book

I believe that taking time out of your busy day to do a craft with your child is very rewarding. Making a spring weather book is an excellent craft time/learning time activity to do with your little one, especially introducing the spring season. Have your child make a weather book to represent the variety of weather throughout the spring season. Use cardstock paper to place all the craft items for each weather. Write the type of weather (i.e. rain, sun) on the bottom card stock.

Rain: Glue silver sequence to a piece of cardstock paper. Scatter the sequence around the paper. Allow your child to place the sequence on the paper for improving hand dexterity.

Clouds: Pull cotton balls to make them look like clouds and glude them onto card stock paper.

Sun: Trace a circle on yellow paper (use a yogurt cotainer), cut it out, and place it on a different color card stock paper. Gather some yellow feathers (available at local craft store) and glue them around the sun to represent the sun's rays. This is make a great effect to show the strong rays of the sun.

Fog: Find some grey paint to represent the color of fog. On very light color paper, have your child use a paint brush, and color the whole paper grey.

Breakthrough Technology from Nu Skin Enterprises

Breakthrough Technology from Nu Skin Enterprises

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Simplify

Recent events have lead me to look and my life look for ways to simplify things both personally and for my business. Personally I have decided that we need to look at all the things we have and try and down size again. Give away those things we are not using and are just sitting in storage as well my Son just had a birthday and was given many new toys so I think we need to go through his toys again and give away the ones we are not playing with. I am also looking at my life personally and realizing that I need to keep it simple and eliminate things that are tying me down and causing unnecessary stress.

For my business I have been looking at my product lines and what is selling and what is not selling and there are two lines I want to get rid of but am not really sure what the quickest way to do said thing would be? I have tried putting one on sale but it hasn't worked so my next thought is maybe ebay or kijji? I would like to free up space in my office and my bank account. I have also been trying to consider what to do next product wise to try and draw people to my site and I am very intrigued by Waldorf toys I love imaginative play and toys that encourage that. I am bringing some play silks as I have customers requesting those and I am also looking at some wooden toys that are very much like Haba toys but less expensive and handmade. I really want to look for things that are well made, simple and encourage children to use their imaginations. I am also thinking I want to get out of my cloth diapers and clothing to focus on Handmade and play things.

So I guess the plan for now is to work on developing a plan to simplify and declutter!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Calgary Photography [Simply Connected Photography]



Hi there! My story starts with a little ol' mom that has always had an interest in photography. I took some classes in college, on-line, through U of C and the City of Calgary. After years of taking "pictures" of my kids I branched out to friends and family. November 2007 two sets of friends finally convinced me to step out of my "safe zone" and capture images for "REAL". For real....no way, I totally thought I couldn't....what if I do it and no one like it, what if my passion (oh it's a HUGE passion) starts to feel like a real job and I hate it...what if, what if....what if I absolutely fall in love with it and become successful:)

One year after launching Simply Connected Photography we are offering professional grade products and creating priceless art for your walls!

Stepping off that cliff to the unknown was hard....telling people out loud what I do was even harder. The 'what ifs" kept me up at night, but slowly as time passed and my confidence grew those drowning thoughts lightened their grip and have faded away.

[Goals]

...to create a "want" and "need" ( as archiving your heritage IS important!).

Step "outside the box" with my own blog and help educate the public about custom portraiture.

To learn successful business tactics and inspiration by my other fellow bloggers!

Two things of interest...

I am looking to interview someone with particular knowledge about scrapbooking or any business relations to image archiving. I will blog this interview about the importance of capturing images of our children and families for future generations. Please contact me through e-mail or phone if you have any interest in participating. On my blog post you can submit written information about your business along with your contact info. I will also provide a link from my blog directly to your website/blog. Contact simplyconnected@shaw.ca or 403.829.6783 Thanks!

You are all the first to know....I am thinking of offering a grand studio opening special of "mini photo sessions"! Mini sessions are short but very sweet...they come packed full of products to enhance your custom art! Freshen your image (capture your child as they are now) with a 1/2 hour studio session, approximately 7- 10 images in gallery, a 5 x 5 hand-made professional grade album of all gallery images, and one desk print (8 x 10) for $300!

Take care,

Brandi

www.simplyconnectedphotography.ca

Praise Moves

As you know, I'm HUGE on walking. I love to walk. It's the only exercise I can actually get myself to do consistently, and I absolutely LOVE the way I feel when I'm walking, and after I'm done. I am invigorated, stimulated, energized, and focused. Woohoo!

What I like best is that you can use walking as a spiritual meditation - it's not always easy to do that with other kinds of exercise.

However, for some reason, not all of us like walking. I can hardly believe it, but there was a time when even I didn't like to walk.

So, what can you do then?

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Official

Hi there. My name is Noreen, and I am a SAHM. It became official last week when I received a letter granting me a parenting leave from my job with my school board. It was exhilarating as well as terrifying. Since graduating from University I have never been unemployed. I have always had my own money and been able to make my own decisions. I owned two homes before my husband and I met, and we still maintain separate bank accounts for daily use. But now, for the first time since living at home with my parents, I will be dependent on someone else for money. Yikes.

My hubbie has no issue with this...I am blessed that he works hard, owns his own business and makes a good enough salary that I can stay home with our two boys. He willingly gives me money each month to run the house and purchase whatever we need. I am the one who (to borrow from and mangle a phrase by author Virginia Wolf) needs to have a little money of her own.

I need it so I don’t feel I have to ask hubbie if I can buy that magazine or this blouse. I need it so I can blow it or save it as I see fit. I need it so I can feel like I am still contributing, even if it’s only in a small way. So, I needed to figure out a way to get that little money of my own.

Now over the years I have been involved with a few different direct sales companies – some profitable, some not so much. But I don't love hounding friends and family to do parties or making high pressure sales pitches. My background is teaching, not sales. But when my love of teaching combined with my love of scrapbooking, it seemed like a good fit to start a direct sales business with Creative Memories. I have been a CM consultant for 4 years now and I have really enjoyed being able to use my teaching and visual arts background to help ladies learn how to create simple scrapbook albums that celebrate and preserve their personal stories. But since I am not a high pressure sales gal, the monetary gains have not been stellar.

So, when hubbie and I decided I would stay home for a while, I thought long and hard about what I could do to work from home. I researched a lot of different WAHM websites and opportunities, but none of them seemed to fit me. I decided my best bet would be to take my love of teaching people to scrapbook and expand my business. So after a lot of thought, Sharing Memories Scrapbooking was born just a few months after my second son was.

It is really a hybrid business with multiple streams of income. I continue to sell Creative Memories scrapbooking products, but I also organize workshops, classes and retreats, design custom digital photocards, scrapbook for hire (completing albums for those who are not interested in scrapbooking themselves, but would like to have albums for their family) and maintain a content based SBI website that produces Adsense and affiliate income streams, and I plan on selling page and project kits on the site sometime later in 2009. While the income from each individual aspect of the business at this time is not huge, there is lots of potential for growth. And most importantly, I can do something I am passionate about from home while being there for my two little boys.

So my posts on this great new WAHMsPage blog will chronicle my adventures as I work at building up this business. I look forward to sharing with you and learning from the other WAHM’s posting here as well.

Calling all Moms Businesses!

I am organizing a local Kids Stuff sale in Okotoks for April. -Like I dont have enough to do!, but last years show was a lot of fun and demand was for another!
It will feature any businesses that cater to kids thru services or products.
Contact myself at envirolife@shaw.ca if you are interested in exhibiting.

More Important Than A Business Plan

Ah, I love all the great resources posted about business plans. I've referred them and used them myself. Even though I'm a marketing professional, I'm not about to reinvent the wheel unnecessarily, nor recommend my clients do it.

But what is a business plan for? In my opinion, it IS to get financing. Now, you absolutely must write down your goals and have a plan in writing. You must research and understand your business today, your potential customers, your opportunities, your challenges, etcetera, and the business planning PROCESS can do all that for you. But there are more useful documents for YOU to use for your business once the business planning process is complete.


I personally adopt a very visual approach and create maps of my entire business, and I do the same for every project I undertake. From goal setting to strategic plan to execution to evaluation... it's all diagrammed in a one page picture that is a snapshot of what I'm doing, why and how I'm going to determine the success. For most small business owners, who probably are not seeking capital, anything that they will ACTUALLY look at again once the planning done is what they need for themselves. Why? Because a plan is your map, it is your GPS. Without it, you might know where you are and you might know where you want to get, but you will not know how to get there without getting lost.

So, when it comes to planning... OH YES you need a plan. And I hope you have more than instincts and your doodles to rely on to help your business grow. But between napkin notes and business plans, I hope you also adopt something more highly functional for your day to day planning. Something that gets you motivated everytime you read it, everytime you feel overwhelmed, everytime you feel lost and confused about why you started your business in the first place. Your map shows you a clear picture of sanity amongst the challenges of the rest of your life.


I'm excited to meet a client tomorrow and show my map diagram approach. From diagrams I leap into concise, three page documents. Three pages for my entire marketing plan overview. Then three pages for each tactical element of my planning efforts. I love my pictures and three page plans.

If you'd like to learn more about my approach, feel free to complete my online survey (the purpose of it is to help me guide my own business direction... my company is new and I'm still sorting out some aspects to serve my women small business community the best way I can... the survey is guiding some key decisions). By completing the survey, you earn a free half hour, absolutely NO obligation consultation to learn more about my services and to discover my unique and fun approach to what would otherwise be the 'dreaded' planning. Hey, I'm creative too... in my own "I can't sew or knit to save my life" kind of way.

Click Here to take survey

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Handmade Therapy



I just thought I'd start out with introducing myself. My name is Hilda and I stay at home with my two boys Kaed and Brayer. They are two and 8 months old so I'm pretty busy with them.

I found after staying home for the first year that I was starting to get a little bit bored so I wanted to find ways to keep myself both occupied and possibly bring in some cash for myself so I started sewing. I never really thought I would learn to love it so much but I do! Now I am definately never bored and instead am always wishing for more hours in the day.

I mostly make baby slings and handbags but I hope to start branching out in clothes and more things this year. I do a lot of my business just by word of mouth but I also have an Etsy shop here. I also love to blog and find that it's a great way to motivate me to try new projects, as then I have something to blog about! Feel free to check out my blog, entitled Handmade Therapy . I have a couple of tutorials on there and just recently finished my 100th post! Time sure flies.

I look forward to being a part of the blog as well and reading about all your WAHM business.

Spirit of Poverty - Part 6

So, let me start today's post with a bit of humour.

I'm trying so hard to not let the weather discourage me from getting out and walking. And I'm also doing this whole new training process with my "funky feet". Yes, it's cold and wet, but the shoes dry so quickly, and it's absolutely wonderful to walk and feel all the bumps and texture of the road under my feet - sort of like a reflexology massage as I walk.

Anyway, I had to smile this morning - I've left what appear to be "barefoot" tracks in the snow where I walked. I'm sure that's going to turn a few heads as people head out of doors this morning! I wish I could see their faces!

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Dreaded Business Plan

Do you have one? After 5 years in business and knowing that they are the single most important thing you can do for your business I hang my head as I answer no, I do not have one. I've always had the intentions but you know how it goes; excitement at starting a business, getting it going, filling orders, having babies, filling orders, taking care of babies, filling orders......Ok, really it just sucks to write a business plan. It really, really sucks!

I'm a creative person! I love to create, dream, market, network. I don't want to talk financials! I don't want to talk about statistics and market shares. I don't want to talk lawyers and accountants! So, here I sit. Five years in and major growth happening. I've hit that point where I'm making more money, but I need more money to grow. What to do? Up until this point I've always followed the law of bootstrapping. Growing out of my profits. But that only takes you so far when you want to grow faster!

One thing venture capitalists and bank loan officers have in common is the question "Do you have a Business Plan?"
Your business plan is your company's calling card. It allows you to see your business through your investor's eyes. As the name suggests it is a plan of your business; your communication tool; selling your marketing, sales and operations. Every time you have a meeting with a potential lender/investor it is your business plan that will do most of the talking.
A business plan is the key to long term success for new and old businesses. Your business must have a foundation to start from and you have to give your business time as success will take longer then merely weeks.

Your reason forwriting a plan will be different for each situation:

  • If you are starting a new business you will require a plan to clearly assess every aspect of the business and show how it will succeed.
  • If you are buying an already established business you will need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business to decide if you will be able to make it a success.
  • If you are already up and running and in need of extra finance you will need a plan to convince those putting capital into your business that you can and will succeed.
  • If you are applying for one of the many grants available.
  • (In my case) If you need to sit back and reasses your business and figure out just where it is you want to go and what you need to do to get there.
I am currently "trying" to work on my plan. It's not fun, but it is necessary so I am making myself do as much as I can on my own then I am getting help with the areas that I'm weak in. There are a lot of resources out there for free where you can go for help with your business plan. There are even good templates you can find online that you can print off to help you on your way. I recommend checking them out and I definitely recommend getting help with your plan if you can. But most of all I recommend writing one in the first place. Those with an clear end goal are more likely to succeed then those who aren't sure where they are going.

Here are some great places you can go for help with your plan:

Business Development Bank Of Canada

Canada Business
Small Business Finance Centre
The Business Link
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Bottom line if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This old saying has great merit and I encourage all business owners to write a business plan. It is an invaluable tool and usually directly relates to the success of your business.

If you don't hear from me for awhile...that's what I'll be doing!

Kristina
Bouncing Off The Walls



An intro to me....

Hi all... I'm relatively new to blogging... but have been a WAHM for 3 years now :) I started out by opening my own home business in July 2006... a cloth diaper store with a home showroom and an online webstore. It took a lot of get go, work and fun to actually become something but it certainly DID! 2 years of meeting Moms & Dads to be, new parents, new babies and more was really a mind boggling experience. But after almost 2 years of biz it was taking over our home. Family time wasn't family time anymore, it was time for me to work. Even with a helper I couldn't keep up... it was crazy and exciting all at once. So I took the leap and I sold to a local Mama. What a relief! You can't imagine the stress relief when the store was gone. Don't get me wrong... I LOVED having my own store... but it was just too much. I'm staying home to be with the kids and I wasn't doing that. Now I *can* and we're all loving it!

So why do you ask... am I posting on a WAHM blog? Well I'm still a WAHM. A few months before I sold I got a job working for a Web Designer and I'm loving it! Now don't get me wrong, I don't do the design work... I suck at that. But I do shopping cart support and it's great! Keeps me in the loup when we do Baby Boutiques and I learn lots of different things. I'm well versed in quite a few e-commerce shopping carts and am learning new things all the time. What an awesome job! I do plan on taking some design courses when the kids are a bit older tho... see if I'm cut out for design. But in the mean time, I'm really really lovin my job! I also work for 2 cloth diaper manufacturers doing various things. One is Canadian Monkey Doodlez and the other is Drybees/Wahmies in the US. I've made great friends with the owners and am quite happy to help them out. Again, I'm in the loup and yet working on my own terms when I have time.

Being a WAHM is so wonderful & you don't have to own your own business to do it!

Checking in Week 7 (Sorry I'm Late!)

Well, the combination of messed up Internet and the shift to a laptop from my desktop have caused me to be late with this post. So sorry.

However, I'm quite excited about the results:








I'm also down one inch overall.

Ok, so these are not mind-blowing results, but let me tell you about my week!

Read more here: www.PraiseWalker.com

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009


I came across this today... It's from the "5 minutes for mom" site in the US and runs until March 27. Some great stories. Here's the link: Ultimate Blog Party. They call it the "mom blogging event of the year" so I couldn't pass it by!

I loved this article on blogging moms...

I think they hit the nail on the head with this one. Quoted from: http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/2009/03/7-things-mom-bloggers-want-to-say-to-pr-people.html

7 Things Mom Bloggers Want To Say To PR People

When the digital moms segment aired on the Today Show, I had over a dozen colleagues and clients email me to ask if I had seen it. It is clear that Mom bloggers have certainly reached the public mind in a way that excites many marketers. Over SXSW, I had several opportunities to sit down and learn from mom bloggers what their experience has been of working with marketers. Dinner with the Walmart 11 moms, long conversations with Stacy and Rebecca from MomCentral and hallway conversations with people who are only indirectly connected with mom bloggers like Laura Mayes from Kirtsy - as well as experience in working on a few programs focused on mom bloggers for clients have all led to this post.

So, here are the top 7 things gleaned from conversations with mom bloggers that most of them really wanted PR people to know. At the end of the list is an 8th that I didn't actually hear from anyone, but still think is valid enough to include on this list:

  1. "Get to know me." Mom bloggers are often sharing extremely personal things about their lives on their blogs, from helping a family member deal with a difficult illness to their own stories of juggling everything. Take the cues from their writing about whether your product or service is a good fit and when is a good time to contact them about it.
  2. "Stop asking for free coverage." Most mom bloggers aren't like journalists and don't really "cover" products or news. They do write about things they find personally interesting, and often accept products to try, so invite trial and if you want to reach a mom bloggers audience, consider actually paying for a sponsorship or advertising as a way of supporting her instead.
  3. "Tell me who else is involved." Often a mom blogger you are talking to may know other moms who would be interested in your efforts or could suggest even better people for your effort from their personal network. Share your list early and be flexible enough to change it.
  4. "Remember I have kids." It's ironic how many marketers forget that Mom bloggers are moms first and foremost. So they can't do that conference call with your team at 8:30am, or pick up and head off for a 3 day weekend next week to take a tour of your factory. Don't be surprised to get a response to your email at 2am or it sometimes takes several days. Just because you're surgically attached to your Blackberry doesn't mean that they are too. Remember their schedule and family obligations and you'll be much more likely to get them involved.
  5. "Kids come in different ages." Again, this falls into the "duh" category of marketing knowledge, but moms have kids that are different ages and often your product's usefulness relates directly to how old a mom's kids are. Last time I checked, toddlers don't really eat beef jerky - so your free samples are probably not too useful.
  6. "Don't try to tell me what to write." This should be obvious, but surprisingly easy to forget for some marketers. Mom bloggers, like any other bloggers, want to have their own opinions and share them. If this makes you uncomfortable, a mom blogger program may not be the best option for your product.
  7. "Keep a relationship after your campaign." Nothing is worse than a campaign ending and all of a sudden everyone disappears off the face of the earth. Great blogger engagement is about the relationship. Don't let it die when your campaign ends.
  8. BONUS TIP NOT OVERHEARD (but still valid) - "Don't assume we want your stuff." Some mom bloggers are just blogging for personal reasons and are not interested in marketing. Others are very specific about who they would consider working with and you may not be on the short list. Don't assume just because you have a great new laundry detergent and moms often have to do laundry that they would love to sample your product.

For the love of Spork!




















So these past few days have been filled with troubles with my site and the shopping cart not functioning right, it has been very stressful! During this time I gave my Son one of my new products to try it's called a Spork made by Bambu( http://www.smallstepsecostore.com/product_details.php?pid=75&cname=Meal%20Time&id=0 ) It's a spoon at one end and a fork at the other end. This little utensil is prefect for preschoolers learning to use a fork as they can flip it to the spoon side when the fork just isn't working and the wider base I find makes it easier to hold on to for them. All and all this has become our favourite utensil. Spencer highly reccomends it! I am also going to be getting in a line of tableware made from corn as an alternative to the bambu. So other than my website stress things are progressing nicely. As well my store is going to be featured on CanadianBabiesBabble ( http://www.canadianbabies.ca/ ) on April 6, 2009 so if you have signed up for that newsletter you can look for my interview.

Logo design on the cheap

Let’s face it, custom logos can be expensive. I know, because I have been involved in numerous branding projects and logos can be extremely challenging, hence the big price tag. Having worked with Calgary and Vancouver graphic designers, I can safely say that most small start-up businesses would be shocked to know what a great logo costs. Freelance designers are a great option and will charge less, however you are working with one person vs. a team of people that can come at the project from different points of view. This is fine if their style is what you are looking for and sets the stage for an ongoing relationship with someone that you can trust and knows your brand. Read the full article here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Marketing Training for Only $25 on Tuesday: Calgary

Hello ladies,
This is a reminder of the second event in a wonderful six event series. The series is a marketing training and practical networking event that includes a success story from a local entrepreneur. I am the marketing expert providing the training session and I also plan and facilitate the events. This week our topic is Score! The Recession Opportunity for Small Businesses. The marketing training topic is going to teach ideology and practical steps to help make great decisions to get results on tight budgets. This is a lean, mean marketing session. Amy Perzan Merrill is our guest speaker. She is an established graphic designer who is going to tell her own story and talk about branding. She is also donating a wonderful prize package of a logotype or business card design (valued $399) to one lucky event attendee. Remember, I also offer marketing training services for groups (your MLM team or regional meetings) or individuals. You can learn about it all, or register for Tuesday's event at http://www.mpoweredmarketing.com

Feel free to contact me for more information.

A Pampered Chef ... The Life!

Ooohh.... this is exciting, this is the first time I have ever "Blogged"!



I have a husband, and 2 kids. My Son is 12 and just started Jr. high this year, and my Daughter is 9 going on 19 and is under the impression that my husband and I are her "Staff" rather than her parents. I would love to hear from others who have this same issue with their little "Diva"..LOL.

I also have a cat that eats us out of house and home. He is old and senile and thinks we never feed him.... even if we just did.



So over the years with TPC, I have always considered it my way to get out and meet people while having fun and making money as well. I guess it isn't really like working, if it was, there is no way I could do it since I also work 9am to 3pm every day in an office. And not just any office, I am the Admin assistant at my Father in laws company for the last 4 1/2 years. If any of you out there work for your parents or inlaws, I am sure that you can relate when i say that if they weren't my family and If I didn't love them, i would NEVER put up with what i put up with there. LOL.



BUT I am always happy to have a cooking show booked and it just brings me back to one of my happy places after a hard, annoying, stressful day at the office.

I only do a max of 2 cooking shows a week, but that is all it took to earn trips to Mexico, Paris, Aruba, now I am working for a trip for 4 to Disneyworld next year.... my kids are VERY excited. And what a way to get complete family support for my biz!!



This last week, I had the kids and the husband working at a trade show for me (I was the organizer) hubby claimed that he couldn;t find his "Pampered chef" shirt before he came to help.... LIAR. I found it exactly where I told him it was. I will get him on the logo wear bandwagon soon enough...



BUT I am really happy that they are all with me on this. I think it is the prospect of Disney world that has them hooked. The 2 cooking shows I did this week were easier to prepare for than ever since my kids stamp my catalogues for me, and stuff them with order forms before I leave.... its awesome.



I have a theme show that is called "kids in the Kitchen" that my daighter loves to come to. These are the only times i really let her tag along because she would then be the "mini consultant " who the other kids can relate to. It is funny to see, she gets all proud and acting like a consultant. When she was a toddler, she used to say " I wanna be a hampered sef, nike Mommy"...LOLOLOL. I still think of that when I see her at shows, so cute, my little Diva.



I try to have one day a week when i go to my favorite Coffee place (second cup on 13th ave and Centre street N) to get some work done without all the noise and craziness of my house. I make host coaching calls or call consultants on my team to coach them and I usually send out an open invitation to all of my contact who have ever expressed an interest in joining my business to just show up there between 7 & 8pm if they want to learn a little more. Every once in a while I will have someone show up and we will "Interview" eachother about the biz.

This week when I did that, my Husband and Daughter showed up there to sit with me, promising not to make any noise if I am on the phone or talking to someone (My son had just been dropped off at his drama class). I had someone show up who wanted to become a Pampered Chef consultant and we started talking and i was in complete disbelief that my Daughter sat there so quietly and never interupted even once. It helped that she was apparently so enthralled (is that how you spell that?) with what we were talking about that she just sat there watching us and listening.... I think I may have recruited my daughter that night..LOL.
And of course the nice lady who came to se us as well!

I love this business, and I am happy to be able to share my life working a day job and running my home based business at the same time, with all of you!
I don;t know if anyone will find ANY of this intersting, but I will continue to update you with my life.

e-mail me if you want any info about TPC or if you just want to chat about other stuff... I love making new friends.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Does a WAHM ever get a break?

After 3 very busy weeks I told my husband I would be taking this week off to catch up on some household items and spend a little extra time with the boys(and on me). It figures that this week both the boys would come down with a cold as well as my husband felt run down/tired and I would be left to care for everyone 24 hours a day. I've felt tired all week as well but my policy is life still has to go on or no one would have clean clothes or food on the table while Mommy is sick.

Monday the boys both woke up with runny noses and I was exhasted by 1 pm. My husband took the next day off work and relaxed in bed all day while I took both boys to an eye appointment downtown (at 9am) and then he had a nap with our youngest while I took the older one for a hair cut and at 5:30 I ran out for a Chiro visit that I have been waiting weeks for. He was still tired Wednesday, Thursday and today but guess what he still kept his weekend plans dispite being tired. Where did he go you ask? Off to Golden to enjoy some time on the mountian with some work associates and spend a night in a hotel and have meals catered to him.

I know I choose to be a WAHM but is it really that hard for a husband to understand what we go through in a week? Our work is like working two jobs (non stop if you have children who still get up at night) and would it kill them to help without being asked once and a while?

Some days I wish we could switch for a week just so he could see what I really go through on a daily basis. I don't think one day would cut it for him.

WOW Its hard work

Maan it hard work getting all this work done and trying to watch my kids and keep them out of stuff.
So I managed to get into one of the local towns small trade show, just some 20 local businesses, but happens to be when the Pee Wee provincals are going on so we can get our names out there.
So much to do in so little time, and the kids keep getting into stuff. Its crazy!!

I laughed so hard alst night when my husband came home and asked what was for supper, I said chicken nuggets and fries, his reponse was wow thats really gourmet!!
I was on the go all day and finally have just finished. But I accomplished a lot, got my display all set up, everything organized in totes, I even made a catalog to leave out on the table!

The Pampered Chef

I have my little chef's busy helping me in the kitchen today:) They love to cook...we are doing brownies in square stoneware baking pan. It makes the best moist brownies ever!
I'm tring to get some office time...so they are having a TV moment, while things are baking and I'm getting reconfirming with my hosts for my weekend shows. I find host coaching is very important...find out what they want from their show...and give them pointers as to how to achieve that goal:)
Leanne Esau
The Pampered Chef
www.pamperedchef.biz/leanneesau

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Latest Creations

Here are 2 of my latest creations available in my etsy shop.

This is a doll blanket and basket. It is mostly made out of upcycled clothing. The basket is made with cloth from some wool pants and the blanket is made from some yellow linen-like cloth (not upcycled). They are both lined with an old yellow receiving blanket with white rabbits and pink dots. There is a hand embroidered sun on the hood of the blanket.

This is a doll mei tei. It is made out of cloth from the same wool pants, and the straps are made from old blank jeans. The face of the sun is hand embroidered, then the sun was machine sewn onto the wool.

Reminder Series Posters



A very common concern I receive from parents who attend my baby signing classes is that they find it hard to keep consistent with signing with your little one throughout the day. To become successful at teaching your baby or toddler to sign, is that you sign to them at least 20-30 times a day. It is important to perform the signs at important daily routines such as meal times, diaper changes, and bath times.
A useful solution I have found with my children and in my dayhome is to put posters that illustrate that particular activity signs throughout my home. For example, at the diaper change table I have a poster of the various signs that can be used to teach your little one about this activity. There are products in the market such as "Sign2me Reminder Series Posters" with colorful illustrations of the signs for daily activities such as:
Aggression Intervention Signs.
Animal Signs. Health & Safety Signs.
Meal and Snack Time.
Music Activities.
Play Time Signs.
Toileting & Diaper Changing Signs. &
Transition Signs.
These poster also come with teaching strategies that are ideal for a classroom setting.
For more information about ordering these reminder series posters, please visit our on-line store:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Owning your own business is tough!

I have owned my own business for over 5 yrs. It is funny when people pass along compliments/ envy over being fortunate to have one (as many people always complain about how they wish they could find a business to do of their own). But I kow it is not as easy as people think it may be!. Especially when you have kids and a household to run!
How does everyone manage to balance family life and a business under the same roof?.
I find I lack serious motivation most of the time. My kids take up alot of my days (even between naps and pre-school) to which it doesnt leave much room to think of my business. I typically only focus on the business when orders come in, but I know I could be expanding it so much more if I spent the time on it.

Spirit of Poverty - Part 5

Are you struggling financially? Want to break out for good? There are principles for living that are found in the Bible that will allow you to do just that. I've been posting these on my blog for several weeks now. Here's the one I'm posting this week, and you can follow the links to get any back posts.

Ok, so we're picking up our theme again, on the Spirit of Poverty. This is part 5 and we're looking at a few related areas today that Bill Axtell shared with me. Here they are - Enjoy!

Start living below your means. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you have to spend it!

  • Proverbs 22:7--"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

Don’t always be looking for "greener pastures". Be satisfied with what you have now. Don’t fall prey to envy and covetousness. Remember that everything is God’s. When you buy frivolously on credit you are not giving away your money, but God’s money! But consider the cost, and whether it is worth the cost of carrying the credit into the future and whether you have the income to not only make the payments but also listen to God and do His Will first? Follow the example of Paul who was satisfied with where he was no matter what the circumstances.

  • Philippians 4:12-13--12 "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Break the yoke of selfishness. This is how Satan plants the spirit of poverty in our lives. Self-centeredness is all about what you want, or what your children want, not what God wants. We must confess selfishness and turn away from it in order to break its hold on us.

  • Galatians 5:1 -- "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."

Get into God’s Word, pray for wisdom and knowledge and He will give it to you. Walking in Godly wisdom has promises.

  • James 1:5-- "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all lliberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
  • Proverbs 3:1-2-- "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.".

Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first-fruits of all your increase;

  • Joel 2:24 "So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine."

There you have it. I hope it's been as helpful to you as it has been to me! Join me next Wednesday for another installment!

Darlene

Newsletter Advertising Swap

I put out a monthly newsletter through Constant Contact and I was just wondering if anyone else who does a monthly newsletter would be interested in swapping a small advertising space? I currently have over a hundred newsletter subscribers with the numbers going up regularly (I only just started doing a newsletter this way about 3 months ago.) and thought it would be a good, free way to help get each others names out there and get some website hits.

If you don't currently do a newsletter I would also be interested in selling some advertising space for cheap! Email me and let me know if you are interested. kristina@bouncingoffthewalls.ca

I highly recommend Constant Contact for all your newsletter, survey and promotional email needs. You can try Constant Contact's products FREE for 60 days. You don't even need to give them a credit card. I did the free trial and then signed up. If you do decide to do it, let me know because we can both get credit towards our accounts for referrals!

Oh, and get on my mailing list! Bouncing Off The Walls
My name is Josie Moccia I am a stay at home mom to two beautiful girls. Recently I was introduced to this new anti-aging technology that is completely and utterly amazing! You can

literally remove lines, wrinkles and have fresh and radiant skin in 10 minutes.... I know it is hard to believe but its true!!! I have been an independant distributor for the Galvanic Spa

developed by Nuskin Enterprises since the beginning of the year and am having a blast helping women feel better and look better in minutes. This has been great because I can be home

with my kids and also be working with great people and promoting a fabulous new product. I do one on one demo or small launch parties which basically is a way for people to be

introduced to the products and the business opportunity that exists for those who may be of the entrepreneurial mind. Feel free to contact me at aphrodite@nsedreams.com or checkout my website at http://aphrodite@nsedreams.com.

Best of Luck to all those work at home moms!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Effectively Marketing your Franchise

Attracting customers is a little easier when owning a franchise as a business thanks to marketing materials and brand awareness that head office often has already established. This competitive advantage also saves owners time and money on marketing, but it doesn’t mean that marketing ends with head office initiatives. The wise franchisee will go beyond head office marketing materials and campaigns to expand their local customer base and increase their chances of success.

What head office offers
A franchise head office will usually develop a number of high quality marketing materials for brand identity, including the corporate logo, store design, company website, ad layouts, and point-of-sale materials. To develop marketing materials and campaigns, franchise owners are typically required to contribute two per cent of their gross projected revenue to head office as part of an “advertising fund”. In return, marketing materials may be offered at a fraction of the cost to each store. By contrast, independent businesses have creative freedom to create their own marketing materials, but they absorb the entire development cost and don’t always end up with high quality or effective tools.

A franchise head office may also have created brand awareness within the target market. Brand awareness is like “warming the door” so that when customers are approached with a promotion, they already know how the franchise can benefit them. An independent store might skip developing their brand and jump straight into offer-based advertising, such as a product discount. Skipping over brand awareness can result in missed opportunities to help new customers identify with the store and learn how the store can meet their needs.

Numbers count: Supplement head office marketing


Marketing a franchise effectively means doing more than just contributing to head office’s advertising fund: the two per cent required payment may only go towards a seasonal campaign, but a franchise typically requires customers over the entire year. Industry standards recommend that an established franchise with a good track record increase it’s marketing budget to at least five per cent of the gross projected revenue, and a new business with limited awareness should budget 20 per cent to fund additional marketing efforts.

Individual marketing efforts can dovetail with head office initiatives. One example is a franchise owner taking a brand campaign that head office is advertising on billboards and applying the same image and message in a direct mail flyer or community newsletter advertisement. The idea is to increase the amount of times potential customers consistently see and hear the message to move them to action.

Franchise owners will benefit from knowing what head office’s plan is for marketing and then supplement those initiatives with their own. Creating an annual plan empowers franchise owners by ensuring that critical selling seasons aren’t missed.

Localize franchise marketing


While owning a franchise usually means having a corporate brand and materials readily available, basic marketing principles still apply, including the importance of knowing and reaching the local market which is critical for success.

Franchise owners need to ask the same questions that an independent business asks: who are my customers? Where do they live and what do they like to do? What other business are they likely to frequent and what media are they regularly exposed to? How are they likely to find my business – through the Yellow pages, a friend, driving by the store, seeing community newsletter advertisements, or searching the Internet? Profiling local customers helps determine how to effectively market to them.

Trying new marketing initiatives tailored to local customers also helps to ensure success. For example, a franchise dog grooming owner could visit a dog park and hand out dog treats with franchise information to dog owners. That same franchise owner could partner with a complimentary service or company, such as a pet store, to provide a preferred rate to the store’s customers, resulting in a win-win situation for both businesses. Another idea may be for the franchise owner to sponsor a fundraiser for the local Humane Society.

The Internet is another forum for localizing marketing efforts. The “world wide web” can be reigned in through search engines which many customers use to research products and services. Google Ad Words can put a business front and centre in a local market. Additionally, Google can place advertisements on well-known websites that only appear to viewers in the local market. Placing advertisements on related websites, such as a local car dealership promotion on a car enthusiast website, is another way to target customers.

Consistency pays off

Attracting new customers is important, but keeping existing customers happy is vital. Existing customers influence new customers through word-of-mouth referrals, so consistency in the customer experience is crucial. For example, if a spa offers herbal tea and fresh fruit, they need to always do this, regardless of how busy they are. Customers feel let down when there is a deviation in their experience and can communicate this to potential customers or decide to abandon the business themselves.

Consistency in marketing is also important, including times of trying out new and different initiatives. New initiatives need time to grow and be used frequently. A potential customer may be exposed to a marketing message five times but be too busy and forget the message or tune it out. However, it may be the sixth time that that potential customer receives the message and decides to become a new customer.

Calculating marketing’s worth

Finally, tracking marketing efforts determines which marketing initiatives attract new customers. Marketing is an investment that takes time and can have a delayed, but lasting, effect. This means that marketing initiatives and their costs won’t necessarily correlate with monthly or direct sales. The math doesn’t add up – the amount of a sale doesn’t equal the value of a new customer. Calculate the long term worth of a customer, and the investment in marketing can be exponential.

Sharole is President of Glow Marketing, Western Canada’s leading marketing consultancy specializing in marketing to Moms. Glow Marketing is currently working with franchises such as Beaners Fun Cuts for Kids, Marble Slab Creamery and Milkface Nursingwear.

www.GlowMarketing.ca

Goodbye Slump!

It has seemed to me, over the last few weeks that almost EVERYONE I have encountered is in a bit of a slump. Maybe it is the last, lingering days of winter, the longing for spring to arrive, the economic negativity, or a combination of many things. This dreaded "slump" also crept up on me, and climbed onto me like a monkey on my back. I was feeling cranky & downright blue, so everything in my life began to appear that way too. I knew it, those around me knew it & I felt powerless to stop it. And being a usually positive, upbeat person, when I was down I was draggin' everyone in my immediate world with me.

Well, what better day than St.Patrick's day, when there is luck to be had by those savvy enough to find it, to drop that slump like a bad habit & turn things around! It was as simple as smiling at the world when I got up this morning & making the decision that I was TIRED of being grumpy. So I smiled at the first people I see every morning, & the most important part of my world, my beautiful children. They smiled back. And so began the day, of smiling at everyone I have passed. May sound cheesy, but it works. Like a mirror reflection, you get back what you put out there.

And you know what? This afternoon, I got confirmation that a HUGE project I have been working out, has panned out. Maybe it has nothing to do with my choice to be positive today, but I like to think that it does!
I am sending you all the positive energy & smiles today....I hope it makes your day a little better! ~~~~~~~~~

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown

There Are Moments...

I absolutely LOVE being a Work-At-Home-Mom. I wouldn't change it for the world. I am doing something I enjoy while spending lots of time with my children, and staying involved in their lives. I can't imagine a better situation.

But there are moments, like the one a few minutes ago when I my 1 year old son was throwing his toys, flailing about on the floor and screaming at the top of his lungs for what seemed to me to be no reason at all. Or like the moment, right now, when I am trying to type this and he is reaching his tiny fingers over to push random keys on the keyboard. Or like the moment when I wonder if I am going to make enough to get by this month.

In moments like these, I wonder, what was I thinking??? Giving up a perfectly stable, regular paycheck, not very stressful job? A place where I could finish a cup of coffee before it was cold, and eat lunch at lunch time. A place where I could type in peace.

But then, just when I am thinking about checking the job postings, there are moments, like when my one year old brings me his favourite book and grabs my hand to put the book in it. Or like the moment when my 7 year old boys come out of school and run over to meet me with smiles on their faces. Or the moment when a friend calls in need of some adult conversation, and I am able to re-arrange my schedule to meet her for coffee and playtime.

Every mother makes the most difficult decision when she decides what to do with her life after having children. And we don't always know what is going to work out best for us, or how its all going to turn out. We weigh all the costs and benefits, and make the best choices we can.

As for me, I am going to forget about those job postings, and work on my marketing plan. For me, for now, I am a WAHM, and the good moments far outweigh the bad.

Rambling

So the last couple of days I have been nursing a sick child who isn't sleeping well. I did manage however to get most of the store out of my bedroom and my office some what organized I have two boxes of paper to sort through. I am quickly realizing that our personal papers and such need to be moved out of my office there is just no space for them. My office is really small and I have the inventory, the desk, filing cabinet, and also my sewing table and fabric. I am also suddenly overwhelmed with advertising and product opportunities that I must decide on prioritize which to do first. I was wondering if any of you have been approached by other bloggers about reviewing your site and or products, if so how do you decide which ones to work with and which to wait on. My finances are quickly becoming limited so I am feeling the pressure to make the right decisions. We have been through a tough year financially we are going through infertility treatments which is very financially draining. Well I will end this now if you have any wisdom to share with me about deciding on advertising and marketing what to do and what not to do I welcome it.

Girls Just Wanna Have FUN!

Cyndi Lauper certainly had the right idea. I suspect she also realized that having fun could be lucrative. I certainly realized it, and that’s why I knew I was sitting on a goldmine of opportunity when I was first asked if I’d be interested in having parties for women’s intimate products.

My husband laughed and said I was far too much of a prude to succeed with it. He knew me as a human resources professional. Little did he suspect just how much of an extrovert I really am and how motivated I was to find a way to help with family expenses while being at home to raise our children.

I did well with the original venture and often ran as many as ten to twelve parties a month, with my earning potential exceeding what she made in the her field of Human Resources. For 5 years I worked with a Company based out of the US, with our Canadian CEO, Della Dennocourt. We had many discussions surrounding our company and agreed that there were many things that could be improved in the company we were working with.

Management wasn’t interested in listening, so Della took matters into her own hands and approached myself and two others to form Victorian Pleasure Parties. All four of us have extensive business backgrounds and knew our business plan had legs, style, and success written all over it.

We also understood that many folks have a few stereotypes regarding sex toys. So, we reasoned, why not throw in a little history lesson as an ice-breaker at the parties. We aren’t named after the capital city of British Columbia. Did you know that the original sex toys were called anything but, and were invented in the Victorian era as a way to deal with female hysteria!

When I joined the direct selling industry I have discovered that I has absolutely no fear of public speaking. In fact I have found my inner stand-up comic and even learned how to deal with the (very) occasional heckler. It’s all in the name of good fun.

We don’t want to become known as the Sex Ed 101 company, but we do use proper body-part names. There is no need to get coy. After all, our focus is women who are interested in enhancing their sensual side. We hope they know they aren’t at another home party!”

Victorian Pleasure Parties is doing well that we are continually introducing new products to our line-up. As one satisfied customer said, “I had no idea there were so many items out there to do the same thing!”

With Victorian Pleasure Parties we realize that there are various comfort levels with intimacy products so we are careful to stock items that will appeal to the spectrum. Products range from gold-dust powder and scented oils, to sexy lingerie and costumes that’ll quickly get you in the mood to try out his and hers toys. Take a look at the website and you might decide you’ve been missing out on way too much fun.

Our company began in Whitecourt, Alberta, but have representatives in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Newfoundland. We are currently working on an exciting expansion program to go nationwide.

All of our Pleasure Specialists are discovering the same thing I did when I began my career change – it’s possible to have fun and make a great income if you’re part of a business model that makes sense to you and your needs.

Naturally, our Pleasure Specialists need to be 18 and older to be part of the company, but other than that there are no age restrictions. My 60-year-old mother has begun supplementing her retirement as a Pleasure Specialist and is enjoying great success.

The important thing with VPP is that by the end of the evening everyone trusts us and they open up with questions and anecdotes. That’s why it’s important that we have the right people on our team. If someone is interested in joining us we invite them to a Sponsoring Coffee. That way we can get to know them and find out if it will be a good fit. We want to know that the women who attend one of our parties will be treated intelligently and kindly.

Here's to adding spice to your life!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day From The Signing Mom



Hello Everyone! I am so excited to be contributing to this blog. I am a certified WeeHands and Sign2Me Baby Sign Language Instructor. I have been teaching WeeHands baby sign language classes for almost 2 years. I feel it is such a wonderful thing to communicate with your little one having signed with my babies.


I recently started a new on-line business venture called "The Signing Mom Store". I will be retailing sign language products for the family as well as sensory stimulation, speech motor, and baby sleep products.

Fun St. Patty's Activity with your Little One: Catch the Leprechaun
This was a tradition with my family when I was little. We would set up a trap to catch the leprechaun because if you caught him, you would be extremely lucky. It makes St. Patrick's Day more kid-friendly, like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Let your children get involved with the whole trap making process.


Gather some materials to make a trap for the leprechaun. I would recommend: a large bowl, large stick/marker, string, and a tasty treat (ie. mint oreo cookie).


Tie a piece of string around the cookie as well as the large stick.


Place the large stick upright while balancing the bowl on top, with the cookie below the middle of the bowl. It should resemble something like a trap.


When the children go to sleep, remove the stick holding the bowl and place chocolate gold coins underneath (you may also want to eat the cookie!).


In the morning when your children are up, have them look under the bowl to see if they caught the leprechaun. When they find the gold coins, tell them that they did not catch the leprechaun but he left some of his lucky treasure behind.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!

My life in a bucket of buttercream

I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and my business. I am a WAHM to two beautiful boys, ages 6 1/2 month and 2 years, and I have a full bakery in my basement. We bought our house with every intention of developing the basement into my second kitchen and a playroom for the kids to hang out on the days I had to work. We've been open for a year and a half and the word is spreading about us with little advertising.

My bakery, Simply Sweet Ltd., specializes in custom cakes for all occasions. I make everything from scratch and I also try to accomidate to those with special diets whenever the request comes in. I also do classes for Mom's and children several time during the year including gingerbread house and decorating sugar cookies.

Check us out at www.simplysweetltd.com.

Krista

The Pampered Chef

Hello,
I've been with The Pampered Chef for over 2 years...AND I LOVE IT.
I'm a stay at home Mom of 2 kids...and live in rural area of NorthEast BC.
I love my kids and being home with them but found I was looking for a little something else to do...needed some adult time and perhaps a way to support my scrapbooking habit.
With the Pampered Chef I discovered how I could work from home and have one night out a week that brought home the monthy paycheque I was looking for.
The Pampered Chef offers high quality kitchen products and recipes that make cooking and meal planning more convenient and affordable.
We provided REAL SOLUTIONS to cooking and entertaining at home more.
The Pampered Chef is a great company to be involved with as they have lots of consultant incentives of FREE product, a great commissions stucture, and the opportunity to earn FREE Trips. I just earned my 1st trip and have just returned from a 5 day vacation in ARUBA...courtesy of The Pampered Chef.
If you are even the slightest bit curious...please feel free to contact me as I love to share this opportunity with people. Email me at esaubaby@hotmail.com and I will email you back or call you back so you don't have to pay the long distance charge to call me:)
The Pampered Chef is currently a member of the Canadian Direct Selling Association.
FYI Here is the nuts N bolts of getting started...
$195 investment to start, includes everything you need...catalogs, kitchen products and a tote to carry it all (over a $600 value, if you were to purchase the kitchen products themselves)
For a limited time recieve a 50%rebate on the New Consultant Kit...expires March 31/09
EG. In your first 30 days...submit 4 shows equalling $1500 in sales and you would recieve,
a 50% rebate on your kit costs, earn $330 commission plus recieve $200 to spend on Pampered Chef products.
It is truly a wonderful home based business opportunity.
I look forward to hearing from you and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Also check out my website www.pamperedchef.biz/leanneesau
Also call our business opportunity line 416-763-9167

Change of business

I recently chose to resign my position as Director from a home based business I had. I had been with this company for 2 years, and it was a tough decision. Too many negatives, and not enough positives is what led me to my decision.
So I found another company, that I am very excited about! I mean VERY excited about! All the things I was hoping for with the previous company, I found with the new. Better quality, better customer plan, better hostess plan, better consultant plan! BUT the waiting to sign in is killing me! LOL! I am hoping this week, I will be able to sign in! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!
I haven't done a home party since January and boy do I need to get back doing it! Getting back to making money!!

Twitter

Part of having a successful online business is to stay on top of all the newest online trends. There are so many ways to promote your business online to the right target audience WITHOUT spending money! I've recently jumped on to the Twitter bandwagon. At first I wasn't sure what it was all about but now that I've had a few weeks to see I've realized what a valuable promotional tool it can be! I've already made some great business connections and found other businesses related to mine that I had no idea existed! I've also had a lot of website views from Twitter!

What is Twitter? Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? On Twitter you simply update your status as often and as regular as you like. The catch is you need people to follow you. And you need to follow people! If no one is following you - no one is reading your updates!

So how do you GET people to follow you? There are a couple of ways. Put a link on your website, blog or shop that tells people to follow you on Twitter. Twitter offers various codes you can copy and paste right onto your site if you like. Find out who you already know that's already on there and follow them. However, to promote your business you obviously need to reach people other than those in your life who already know what you do! So...get nosy! See who your friends are following. Do searches. Try and find people or business that sound like they'd be a great fit and follow them. Chances are they'll follow you back. Find people of businesses that you admire or would look up to as a mentor. But don't forget - if someone follows you it's polite to follow them back! Your follower to follow ratio should be close. Follow?

Now, there are some do's and don'ts of Twitter. You don't want to sign up and ONLY talk about your business or you'll come across as spam and people will unfollow you as fast as they can click the unfollow button! This is a great place for people to see the personal side of you as well and it plays into your customer service and how people see you.

Here's a great article by Amber - Watson Tardiff from Sparkplugging a work at home resource blog and community for web entrepreneurs.

Do's and Don'ts of Promoting Your Business On Twitter

Great article that makes some great points. So Twitter away! And if you sign up - don't forget to follow me and I'll follow you back!

@bncngoffthwlls

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Whoops!! my bad...

OMG! I am sorry if your security program alarms were going off. *blush*

I added a referral link to the page and it wasn't liked.. so I removed it.. it's all fixed now.

B

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It Works! Get Slim, Trim & Have More Energy!



Brand New to Canada! Launch January 5th, 2009!

It Works! Marketing, founded in 2001 and headquartered out of Grand Rapids, MI, is a visionary company at the forefront of the ever-growing health and wellness distribution industry.

It Works! not only offers first-to-market, anti-aging products, they also have superior companion products which meet customer expectations to look younger and to live longer.

The It Works! opportunity and product line are cutting edge in dealing with everyday concerns including—money, appearance, stress, pain, health and weight loss.

It Works! top-selling product—the Ultimate Body Applicator, is a body wrap that tightens and tones the skin, reduces wrinkles, fades stretch marks and shrinks spongy, cellulite prone parts of the body.

The Applicator is used on the abdomen, back, legs, arms, facial and chin areas.

The Applicator is a special, non-woven lotion cloth which is easily applied to the skin in a simple one-step process. There are four Applicators per package.

The Applicator is the signature line of product for It Works! and is exclusively designed and distributed by It Works!

It Works! has received national media attention including an appearance on Comcast Newsmakers news program “Alternatives to Surgery” which aired on CNN South for several weeks. It Works! was also recently featured in Opportunity World Magazine and at the EMMY Swag Gift Suite.

“We are extremely pleased with our new product line and we are looking forward to long-term growth in the ever-expanding health and wellness industry,” states Mark Pentecost, CEO, It Works! Marketing.

In January of 2008, It Works! introduced FITworks and the FITstart interactive online line weight-loss program. The FITworks premise for weight loss is based on the principle of Food Induced Thermogenics.

The idea of thermogenics is not new. The theory has been researched for years. Many of the answers are buried in heaps of research papers but using food to create energy isn't theoretical. It is a tested and proven science that certain foods create more heat than others.

“Food is energy and energy cannot be destroyed, energy can only change form. Every bite of food we eat, every thought we think, every stress we experience, and every toxin we ingest or inhale either directly or indirectly, through hormone imbalance, can create weight loss or weight gain, health or disease,” said FITworks creator Carla Burns.

The FITstart! program is based on the top-ten thermogenic foods that help users lose up to 10 pounds in the first 12 days. Based on the science of thermogenics, FITworks educates users on what, when and how often to eat for maximum fat loss.

It Works! also has introduced along with the FITworks program a new whole food replacement meal bar—It’s Essential. The It’s Essential Bar is incorporated into FITworks as a healthy alternative for busy people on the go. The bar is a combination of health fats, low glycemic carbs and gluten-free protein.

“Using FITworks and the It’s Essential bar is the beginning of a process to re-program your body and mind. Once users learn how to work with their body instead of against it, they can maintain weight loss and good health for life,” said Burns.


It Works! has distributors and customers all over the U.S. and has since launched in Canada, January 2009!


Visit my personal website TrimInchesCanada.com - It Works!.

To go shopping or join Visit my distributor website 34466.itworks.net

Hi Everyone!



Just wanted to take a minute and say hello to everyone! I am have recently opened an online store for babies and kids Small Steps Eco Store, featuring Organic, Natural and Handmade Items with a focus on items made in Canada and also made by my fellow WAHMs! I am based in Saskatoon, SK and work mostly out of my house although I do help out at my Son's dayhome two days a week. I love being able to be at home with him and watch him grow up, he will turn three next weekend (OMG)! Along with running the site I also create some of my products and work in collaboration with Anna from Immogens Garden (on Etsy). I am so thankful to work with Anna she is an amazing Artisan and I am very privileged to work with her and carry her products on my site. As well I carry the Bare Organics bodycare line which are truly amazing products for your children especially those with any skin troubles. Another great line that I carry is the Bambu line of Organic bamboo bowls and utensils for your little ones a great alternative to plastic! I am very passionate about researching for the latest, safest and modern products for your children and I spend a great deal of time doing that in the hopes to provide you with products that are unique and of an exceptional quality. I have some new exciting things coming up in the next few months and can't wait to share them with you! I am also in the process of moving my store out of my bedroom and into the office we have just finished renovating for my store. So on that note I must get back to work have a great day!

Marketing Training in Calgary Just for You Women Entrepreneurs!

Helping women in their own small businesses, women just like me, has become my career passion. I have just opened for business with my new marketing training and events company called MPowered Marketing. M is for marketing, mentoring, and motivation of course! Unlike traditional marketing services, my focus really is on training women in business to be better marketers. This is for two reasons. The first is that women entrepreneurs need to be practical, they need to save money, and they need to do the most for themselves they can when they are first building their business. Thus, I want to use my career experience in a positive way to train women to be the best marketers they can be for their own businesses. The second is that women in business WANT to know how to be better marketers. Training is through services and events. The first event was just last week. It was so well received with 16 women in attendance who were excited, sharing and told me they all learned something new to apply to their business. I can hardly wait for the second event and participate in another motivating session. Seats are limited to 30 people, and you are all invited!

Tuesday, March 24th
SE Calgary, Copperfield Community Hall
Score! The Recession Opportunity for Small Businesses
- Find the full event listing and registration information on my website. It's only $25, includes 30-45 minutes training by me on the things you HAVE to do to set your business apart to make it grow during this particular recession year; useful networking session; and guest speaker Amy Perzan Merrill of Meringue 3.14 Graphic Design.

Event details: www.mpoweredmarketing.com
More about me: www.marketingmomblog.ca
Email: kim@mpoweredmarketing.com

If you are in Calgary and area, please consider coming to our events or contact me if you are interested in my business. If you are a like-minded marketer anywhere in the west, I want to expand and need mom marketing professionals to help! I need speakers for the next series, so if you are in Calgary area and wish to share your story at an upcoming event, please let me know! I need speakers for the next series.

Wholesale Fabric?

Does anyone know where to buy great fabric cheaper? Preferably in the Calgary area but I would purchase a larger quantity online in Canada too. I'm fairly new to the serious sewing world :) and Fabricland places seem abit pricey... I am wanting Minkys, Amy butler fabric etc.. to make soft baby items Anyone have suggestions or average prices per Metre for these types of fabric etc that would be great!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What's in a Name?

My name is Paula, and I am just switching into WAHM mode. I have been home for 3.5 years, since the birth of my son, and now also have a one year old daughter. Prior to being a mother, I worked in advertising and had worked my way up to an Account Director in charge of the major accounts at an advertising agency.

Motherhood changed those plans, however, and I love being a stay-at-home mom. A few things are pushing me back into the workforce, though. First, I sometimes feel that my brain is just not as sharp as it once was, and I want to keep challenging myself in new ways. Second, with the current economy, our usual standby of my husband's bonus and raise have gone out the window, so additional income would be welcome.

As such, I want to start an at-home business of proofreading and editing, both of which I did at the advertising agency. I will be posting the challenges and tidbits of starting a business, and will hope for some encouragement and criticism where needed.

First things first. I am currently trying to think of a name, and could use some help. I originally thought of "Miss Takefree Communications", but none of my friends got the "Mistake Free" connection. Any other opinions?

Hello from Little Traveller

I'm Kara and I own Little Traveller (www.littletraveller.ca) -- a baby equipment rental company in Calgary. I run the business from home while taking care of my 4 year old and 1 year old daughters. I rent out car seats, highchairs, playpens, strollers... just about anything a family might need for their baby or toddler. I'm also selling and renting the CARES airplane harness for kids that has the same safety rating as a car seat but fits in a tiny stuff sack (sooo convenient!). That's been a big chunk of my business since it was approved by Air Canada and WestJet last summer.

While I'm not over the moon about the accounting side of business, I'm loving the marketing side, especially writing articles on travelling with kids and forging new partnerships and all that fun stuff. I just LOVED designing my business cards -- it's so refreshing to have the final say! Being an entrepreneur is a constant learning curve for me but that's what I love about it -- it keeps my mind sharp(ish) and gives me something interesting to think about while clearing away the dishes and doing the pre-school run. It's amazing what great ideas pop into my head while I'm changing diapers :o)

Next time you travel with your young family, check out baby rental companies in your destination. There's one in every major city across North America.

Kara Turner

My first trade show!!

Yikes I am booked for my first trade show, and by luck happened to find a awesome deal!
I emailed this lady after I found a posting online. She later emailed me back saying this is awesome they have been looking for someone to sponsor the baby crawling contest. So instead of a booth payment I am giving them the prizes (which is the cost of the booth) BUT I also get my own advertisment in the paper for the next 3 weeks, and they will be running ads on the radio, with my business name in it for the 2 weeks prior.

Here's my problem, I don't have a booth! My sister is going to get me a few grid walls so I can display some stuff on them, but what else should I have out???
I was going to have our Logo printed up on a large poster, but the pdi is to low so I can't blow it up that large (u get what u pay for hey!) So I may have to resort to my Cricut...... I can hear the money just flowing out of the account now. But I have atleast 2 other ones to go to after!!

Small Wonder: Cherished Moments on Video

I used to scrapbook. I did! When my oldest (8 years old!) boys were babies I made page after page documenting their growth and development. I have 2 large albums that take us up to their 3rd Birthday. That's when it all came to a screeching halt. What happened? My husband bought our very first DIGITAL CAMERA.

I tried and tried to wrap my scrapbooking brain around the idea of choosing from the now thousands of photos stored on our hard drives, uploading them to somewhere, printing them and then creating scrapbook pages with them. It should not have seemed impossible, but it did. It was the birth of a third child that forced me to face my scrapbooking fears and search for the solution.

My name is Shawna, and I create Video Scrapbooks. I have actually been editing videos of my children since they were babies. In their first year we recorded 17 hours of video on mini-VHS tapes which I watched and edited down to a 5 minute vignette. Oh, how times have changed.

Now, every minute of video recorded is digital, loaded directly into my hard-drive, and I not only create videos of my family, but I do it for a living. Photos, video, music and mementos edited together to capture memories.


I look forward to sharing WAHM experiences with all of you.

Hello, Everyone!

My name is Kristina and my business is Bouncing Off The Walls. I specialize in custom, hand-painted room decor for children's rooms and nurseries. Everything from wall letters, growth charts, drawer knobs and switch plate covers to canvas art and more!



I am mom to my almost 2 1/2 year old son Reid and 10 month old daughter Devyn. Two kids under two and a business! It's been a challenge to say the least and I hope that we can all share great ideas to help each other out!

My business is not a hobby. To me it is a part of our income as well as a way for me to feel pride as I make it a success and strangely it's a way for me to feel a little bit of sanity in my hectic, child-run days!

I have two kids, home all day long…I have a home based business for which I'm not only painting, but also cutting the products for; plus household responsibilities. The only and I have to stress ONLY time that is quiet enough to do any sort of business is at the kid's nap time or at night and naps are hit and miss around here! Last I checked, there is only one of me and not any one around that I can ask to paint, cut letters, make phone calls, answer 25 different emails a day, go grocery shopping for me, clean my house, watch my kids, run my errands, etc…

Could it be different, sure, however I don’t have the financial stability yet to delegate responsibilities to other people such as hiring contract artists, maid services, employees, or even a baby sitter for that matter, but I am willing to make these sacrifices now to reap the rewards later. So, I am up late. Always staying up late. I’d rather stay up till 1 and work than get up at 5 knowing I'll just be interrupted in an hour or so. That is just me. Yet, even during all of this, I still get up with my kids, feed them, wash them, take care of them, run errands, make dinners, clean the best I can, go out to lunches, go shopping, take kids to play dates and out to movies. I can even make time to spend with my husband and the kids on the weekends for our family time which is usually spent going swimming or for walks and just being together as a family.

Is it all worth it you ask? Heck yeah! I get to stay home with my kids and enjoy their younger years even though at some point through out the course of the day I am ready to pull my hair out with my youngest for being constantly cranky and into everything; my son whining, whining and whining because apparently that's what two-year-olds do and the dog constantly underfoot because she hasn't been paid attention to since 2005! I also hope to show my children first hand how hard work and dedication can pay off and hopefully they will see that one day.

Quiet time is night time for me. The kids are in bed, my husband is sleeping and the house is a peaceful place once again. I catch up on orders, catch up on forums or blogs, catch up on emails.....a lot of catching up!

So yeah, there may be a things that don't sound too appealing to being a WAHM, but those do not out weigh the good things. I am doing what I love with my kids, and doing it in my pajamas!

Rugrats Gear

Hello everyone,
Just inviting u all to see my new business. As a mom who has moved from the large city of Calgary to a tiny town about 45 mins away from any large town or city, it was hard finding those little items for my kids or for gifts. So I decided to live up my dream of having my own online store. My husband and I had been looking at this for a few years, and decided that its time to do it. So here we are!
We are carrying some really cool stuff right now, stainless steel bottles, cloth diapers, cool hair stuff, nursing covers, bibs and SO Much more!
Soon we will have licensed NHL gear for the little ones, and Bumbos are on their way as well!!
So excited!!
Check out the site at www.rugratsgear.com

Please keep in mind we are just getting things up and running, BUT would love suggestions and feedback!

Wiiiiiiiiii!

My family is not health conscious by nature. My husband was involved with sports like soccer and rugby in school, and loves to hike, but I’m much more of a couch potato as far as my lifestyle habits are concerned. My kids follow my example! Sigh.

As I began training for my marathon last year - going from couch potato to marathoner in about 3 months! - I discovered the joy of a fit lifestyle. Alas, my teenaged kids weren’t buying it.

I tried to get them to do a quick walk around the block with me and the dog. I tried different fitness DVD’s with them. I tried having them design their own fitness programs - all to no avail.

And then it happened. A friend began sharing her excitement with me about the Nintendo Wii Fit

Now, we had the Wii already, and the Wii Sports game, but I found that it got boring very quickly once the initial “buzz” had worn off. I assumed the same would happen to the Wii Fit.

Wii FitWe decided as a family to go on over to my friend’s house and try it out. We had a BLAST! I was impressed with the quality of the exercises offered, the variety, and the combination of fun and difficulty. I could see that this was something that would last a long time. I was also pleased that you could track your weight, BMI, fitness goals, and other fitness exercises (DVD’s, time in the gym, walking, etc.) as well as just work out. It is a total fitness solution.

My family is quite competitive, and we have a riot trying to beat each other’s scores. We aim for the equivalent of 30 minutes a day (the Wii Fit program clocks your time for you), 6 days a week. We have good days and bad days (remember the Diligence post from Wednesday? - We’re getting better!) but I can assure you I have NO trouble getting my kids to work out when I suggest they go play with the Wii Fit. The game is also designed in such a way that it’s constantly correcting your posture, your balance and your skill, so we are all learning to do the exercises correctly. Very cool. Very clever.

This is a totally impressive piece of equipment, and a huge amount of fun for the whole family. I HIGHLY recommend it - if you can get your hands on it!

Darlene, the PraiseWalker