If you’re a mom who owns her own business, and runs it from her home, you’re both one of the most blessed, and most stressed, moms in the workforce. On the one hand, you get to set your own hours, save on daycare costs, and do all of your work in PJs if you choose. On the other, there’s no employer helping to cover your healthcare costs, any vacation time you give yourself is time you’re not growing your business, and you have to balance spending time with your little ones against getting the work done.
Every mom, regardless of whether you’re a business owner or a salaried employee, wants a career that allows her to both do what she loves, while also spending time with family. We can all benefit from learning to be more efficient with our work habits, but this is particularly true for the stay-at-home moms who run a one-stop shop of efficiency.
To help you get the most out of your business, and allow you to focus on work when necessary and switch to mommy mode, with no regrets, consider the following tips to help you maximize your business and balance your time.
Ignore Your Inbox
You probably think I’m crazy or living in a dream world by starting off with a suggestion like that. Don’t get me wrong: I know that most businesses run the majority of their workload through email, and you can’t just pray that those 250 new emails will resolve themselves, but you need to be smart about how you approach it.
Emails are killing productivity for businesses large and small, and though you ry your best (and often succeed!) at being a super entrepreneur and a super mom, if you’re going to maximize your working time, so you can turn it off when it’s time for a tea party with your daughter, you’ve got to manage your email habits.
My suggestion to you is to schedule times in your workday that you address your emails, and otherwise ignore it completely. Spend about 30 to 45 minutes in the morning, before lunch, and approximately an hour to two hours before your work day ends to sort your inbox and reply to critical emails. That way, it becomes a recurring task that you manage, just like filling out a business proposal or preparing your online orders for shipping. That way, you still address your critical emails, but it is managed through time. Once you’re done for your email period, leave it alone.
If there is a critical email you’re expecting, or you have to immediately reply to certain individuals, setup notifications for those senders only, and turn all others off.
Improve Your Landing Page
In a world where online business is quickly outpacing the rate of traditional retail stores, businesses of all types are having to adjust and adapt to the digital frontier, and your business is no exception.
Your landing page, or call it a home page if you like, is the first impression that new and potential customers will get from you, and it needs to be a great one. If your page is confusing to navigate, rife with misspellings or poor grammar, and filled with broken links, your potential customers will scatter like leaves to the four winds.
Invest some time if you are competent in design, or invest some of your revenue in a web developer if you’re not, to improve the functionality, look and feel of your website. The better a user’s experience, and the better you answer their questions, the more likely you’ll be able to both retain them and convert them into buyers.
You should also consider registering a new domain if you’re serious about improving your website. When you started your business, saffyssmexysocks.com may have sounded charming and cute, and there’s nothing wrong with bringing a fun personality to your business (in fact, it’s essential!), but you’re a professional businesswoman. Many shoppers will be turned off by your brand if it sounds juvenile or overly silly.
Invest In Marketing
If no one knows you exist, they’re not going to be able to buy from you. It’s a simple concept, and every business claims that they want to reach as many people as possible, but business constantly waste money and time through advertising and marketing campaigns that try to speak to everyone, and end up reaching no one.
If you want to grow your business, and make enough revenue to justify the work and hours you’re not spending with your family, you focus on your marketing. When I say focus, I mean two primary things:
- Analyze your buyer market, and buyers you want to reach, and understand what they want and how they find it. A 45-year-old mum is going to shop for different things, and search for them in a different way, than an 20-year-old, single girl at university. Know how to speak to one or both, depending on what your business entails. It will save you time investing in customers who will never shop with you anyway.
- Analyze what’s working for you, and what’s wasting money. Traditional ads and flyers have their place, but they’re quickly becoming outpaced by online marketing. We already touched on improving your landing page, but also pay attention to how your site is ranking in search engine results. Gather client feedback to see how they found you, and put more of your marketing budget into those venues.
By taking a hard look at your marketing endeavors, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t, you’ll find that you’ll not only save time retooling yet another ad for radio, you’ll make more money, have a much happier customer base, and can focus more of your attention on the rest of your business, and especially, your adorable babies!
Mommy’s the Boss
There’s nothing easy about being a mother or a business owner, and the fact that you’ve chosen to do both speaks oodles about your strength and commitment. You go girl! I hope that these suggestions help take you to the next level of awesome, and make you even more successful as an independent business owner and a super mom!