Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Your work at home success for next year

One a scale from 1 – 10 (10 being the best) how satisfied were you with the way you handled your business operations this year. As we head into a new year, it’s a good idea to see what you managed to attain the prior year.

This helps us realize what skills we are heading into the New Year with and what areas we’re still struggling with. Perhaps you nailed the art of social marketing, but still struggle with copy writing. Or maybe while you managed to get your hands on some great tools you never really put any of them to use ie, buying an ebook and not reading it through to master the techniques.

For some, last year was their year. They either got the ball rolling or managed to maintain a satisfying profit level. For others, it was a stressful time; some may have seen their traffic and sales decrease or they had to close up shop completely.

Whatever happened in that time period, you’re entering another year and you have another chance to make your work at home business successful. If you started out by learning what you’re good at, what niches you want to cut a pie in, and how to properly operate your business, good for you. Next year will most likely be an awesome one. If you struggled, give yourself a pat on the back anyway; you’re still alive to try again.

For me 2009 was not bad. There were some personal setbacks (and those always leak into one’s work life no matter how much you try to block it) but I laid some strong foundations that I can build on in 2010. I’m proud of myself and you should be too, regardless of how your year went.

It’s not easy working from home. If you have done it, you know. The competition is fierce, the constant need to be on top of your game is tiring, and the multiple roles you have to play each day can get confusing. So, simply trying is sometimes enough to merit a reward. But you’re not average and trying isn’t enough. You want to succeed, and if you keep focused, next year will let you do that.

Even if you never make New Year’s resolutions, make one, just one.

Perhaps you want to learn how to article market better, or increase your list of contacts. Maybe you want to get organized and clear up clutter that is slowing down your business, or you want to increase your income by 12%. Whatever it is, pick one thing you need to do in order to be successful next year and seriously focus on it.

Now find one skill you know you have, and make sure you apply it next year. I find so many are so busy looking at what they do wrong they forget to examine what they do right. All of us have a natural talent.

If you come up with ideas easily, put that towards building content for your site or for marketing. If you communicate briefly and effectively, create videos that will send traffic. If you’re good with your hands, start making things to sell. You may need help, but as long as you tap into a least one natural talent you’re more likely to do well in the upcoming year. Because the focus is now on what can you do well, and how you can apply it to something you struggle with.

It’s going to be a great year for a lot of us, I can feel it. We just have to remember what we gained last year and let go of what we lost.

All the best

Monday, December 7, 2009

Work at home: Creating out of season sales

Yesterday, I bought myself a digital camera for Christmas. I don’t usually buy myself a present during the holidays because to be honest, everyone else comes first and then I may manage to scrounge up enough couch change for boxing week, when things are a little cheaper. This year, I was a little kinder to myself and wiser too. Instead of waiting, I started shopping during summer. If I saw something a friend might like I just picked it up; this helped me save a bit for myself to buy myself a nice expensive gift.

It’s great if you’re a site that sells general items, things that people can use all year long. It makes it great for people like me who like to shop earlier, but what if you are a seasonal shop? How do you promote yourself once your season has passed?

Here are three examples and possible ideas

1. Swimsuit website: Suppose you sell swimsuits and other fun-in-the-sun merchandise. You’re loved when April comes around but no one wants to hop on summer site when they have snow falling out their window right?

Wrong. If you own a website that focuses on summer goods, you can still sell a bundle when the weather gets cool, because holiday travelers need your wear. You can spin your promotion to target people who are going to warmer climates for the holidays. Surely, they can’t be caught in last year’s bathing suit. You can also offer great deals and even run contests.

Another target is people who shop out of season. Someone like myself, waits till the season is over to buy, because things are usually cheaper. By targeting your ads to hit us cheapos you can continue to make profits throughout the year.

2. Winter gear: During the winter months, you can drive traffic like crazy, but what happens when the snow melts?

You keep driving traffic. People may not want to think about winter when they are laying in their hammock, but it will return.

By publishing an ezine, to remind people of how to get ready for winter you can keep your traffic from ceasing all together. So let’s say you wrote an ebook on snowboarding tips, you can publish another about how to care for the equipment during summer, best places to store it during out of season months, as well as selling merchandise at great deals.

3. Holiday website: When everybody has Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even Easter on the brain, you’re their go-to site. But just because the holiday ends doesn’t mean your sales have to.

Find the root meaning of the holiday, so for Christmas it’s family. Don’t people celebrate families various times of the year? There are birthdays, anniversaries, and appreciation parties people throw and need stuff for.

If you’re going to pick a seasonal niche, create a strong list by publishing an ezine. This way you have people to send out offers to even when you are not in the lime light. Also, try looking for as many complimenting products and services as possible. So a summer site can include travel affiliate programs, weight loss programs ect. And a holiday site can pair up with event planning and stress reduction sites.