Party Planning and Working Grandmother – 12 Home Business Tips and More

This article is tailored to fit a good friend of mine. I met her at the tender age of 7 out on a curb. Nice, pleasant memories throughout my childhood and beyond when I think of her! 🙂

gailandme

She’s been my best friend ever since that summer day out on the curb and I’m now given the chance to offer her my best tips to starting a home business. How extraordinary!

When you’ve got talent and creativeness, what else do you need to start a business? A LOT! lol

SEE THE 12 BASIC TIPS BELOW TO FIND OUT WHAT ALL IS REQUIRED AFTER THE MARKETING SECTION

Pics Are Included After The End Of The Article That Showcase My Friend’s Talent

The niche I will be covering is party planning and decorating for large events. From what I’ve seen on Facebook, this lady, (my friend and a grandmother too) has unique talents. The pics at the end will certainly sell themselves. No expressions required! Although she will tell you that her grandbabies was and IS a huge portion of her inspiration.

However, inspiration, talent and creativeness is only the beginning. Those elements to starting a home business doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.

Well let’s rephrase

Those unique gifts DO get your feet in the door! And, that speaks volumes for success

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Marketing: It’s all about HOW you market!

Social Medias: Where is everyone on the Internet today? Ahh yes, Facebook and Twitter! These are the two most popular of all the social media platforms. However, there is also Google+, Linkedin and Pinterest. I definitely suggest both Facebook and Twitter. The others are in general a personal preference. The two platforms (I use) are Facebook and Twitter. For me, FB started out mainly for family. However, as you can see, I use it for business as well. 🙂

Always be courteous and polite on social media sites and never ignore any conversations. You must follow up with all your contacts! Be professional, be friendly, and post daily.

Please Note: There is a neat little freebie and organizer for using social media platforms. See the #12 tip below (toward the end of this article). When you start using it, you will absolutely love it! Simple and easy. Hootsuite

Youtube – Vlogging: This is video marketing. It has become quite the handy marketing method if you’re into video promotion. And like anything else, it’s a personal preference. If you have a bubbly personality and very outgoing, this may be something for you to experience with.

I was inspired by this gal, a friend and business associate … Lynn Terry – http://www.lynnterry.tv/. I suggest you watch a few of her videos. She’s an inspiration!

Message Boards/Forums: I used to not let a day go by without networking and marketing on a select few of message boards. However, they are not as popular as they used to be since all the new social medias came on board. A lot of these boards will let you include a link or two (only in your signature). It’s unethical and also considered spamming if you include your website links in the body of your posts. Your account will also more than likely, be deleted for doing this.

As with the social medias above, you will need to be courteous and polite and also, engage in friendly conversation. Answer questions, (if you have them), and offer your best tips. Please don’t join a message board ONLY to post your site/blog links and leave! You are there to be professional, read and learn, network and get to know other home business associates. By doing this, you are more inclined to pick up new clients.

Use Google to search for message boards that will relate to party planning, hosting, decorating and home business.

3 Quick Tips About Joining Boards:

1. Get in the habit of using the same username and password for all of them. It’s best to use your real name as your username. By using the same password, you will of course remember it when logging in each time you visit them.

2. Also, look for active boards with active members. Scan through all the latest topics covered. If you see that the last topic covered was back in 2008, move on! You get the idea?! 😉

3. It’s professional to use a photo of yourself (if the forum owner approves of photos).

Simple Marketing – Word Of Mouth: Finally, we come to the last marketing method that should be mentioned here. However, it’s definitely NOT the least effective! Word of mouth … a big personality and a warm smile go far when you’ve got a business to get off the ground. It also helps a great deal if you get creative with some business cards that you can freely hand out. If you know a lot of people and have plenty of friends, the odds are in your favor. You see the domino effect?

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Ahh so now, if you’re probably thinking, “Wow, this is information OVERLOAD!” And yes, it really is. I’m just giving you my best tips and advice. You certainly don’t have to use all four of these marketing methods. If you wanted to pick between them,…definitely use social media sites and word of mouth. Then, later on (if you have the time) by all means, use them all.

Always keep in mind, you can certainly use your evening hours to conduct business. Or any given day that your boss lets you work from home. And you know, the parties themselves are usually on weekends or evenings.

Below are the basic tips I was referring to, some of them definitely goes without saying. However, I have to list them. 😉

One Dozen Basic Tips For Starting a Home Business While Still Working Outside The Home

#1 Make sure the type of home business you desire to establish is evergreen, (forever high in demand). The niche being discussed here is for sure! There will always be a necessity for celebrating, hosting and making events memorable.

#2 Please don’t leave your day job BEFORE your own business is established! I so negligently say this and we’ve all heard it a million times, but the fact of the matter is, a shocking population of people do exactly that. And of course it’s these people that end up doing the belly-up dance. Given the state of the American government, just don’t do it! lol You can work a brick and mortar job and also start and run a home business on the side. It depends on how bad you want a (100 % home business) as to how hard you work at it and promote a home business.

#3 Your number one desire is of course pleasing customers. (One that goes without saying), however, I still needed to include it so that I wasn’t leaving any pertinent details out of this article.

Yes, it’s still “The customer is always right!”

#4 You’ll want to study current designs when it comes to decor and designing for your clients. I love victorian things and my son calls MY THINGS “So 80s!” Believe it or not, there are still some people that like the 80s themes. Be prepared for anything from client to client and study up on current designs.

#5 You will of course need to do a heap of research on the pricing online and also your neighborhood. What you charge is totally your call, however, you must stay updated on pricing in order to remain competitive. Pricing will vary, as to pleasing your customers and the specific theme and type of event.

#6 Create a blog or website. The majority of people online go with a blog. Blogs get indexed in the search engines much faster. Always make new content KING! Google will indeed love you whenever you create new content on your blog or website. This can be recent party details, photos and also articles. The more content you create for your blog or website, the better the search engines will be able to find you.

One last tip about Google…

Google likes text in regard to new content on your site rather than photos/graphics. In fact, Google doesn’t even recognize graphics unless you include the “alt” tags.

Of course, when starting a party planning and decorating business site, you WILL be using your best photos, just use them sparingly. You will need to use them on a “portfolio” page. This will be a page where you list all your best clients, and then attach a photo with each one.

The two most popular blog platforms are Blogger.com and WordPress. Blogger.com has always been free of charge and you can place anything on your blog that you want. You can display affiliate links, Adsense ads, etc.

Important About WordPress: It’s important to know the difference from wordpress.com and wordpress.org. With WordPress.com, you cannot place affiliate links or ads. However, it’s free, no hosting fees required. When you purchase hosting for a domain name (yoursite.com), you can freely install WordPress.org onto your website/blog. With WordPress.org, you can place ads and pretty much anything you like.

Domain Registras: Namecheap.com or GoDaddy are both great for purchasing domain names. There are yearly fees. However, most of these prices are at minimum low.

Hosting: When it comes to monthly hosting, Hostgator is by far the most user and customer care friendly that I’ve found. I’ve always heard back from them on the same day that I’ve contacted them over any issues I’ve had regarding my websites. Also, with Hostgator, you get unlimited websites for one low price. You can also choose to pay yearly instead of monthly.

Of course if you go with Blogger.com, you won’t have to worry about fees, unless you decide to transfer a domain name onto Blogger.com. There are several people that do this. Again, personal preference.

#7 When it comes to creating a title for your blog or website, don’t use Jane Doe’s (your name) Party Planning Services! If someone is searching for party planning or decorating tips on Google, they certainly won’t be typing in any specific names. They will search generic, for example: party planning ideas, party planning tips, decorating and party planning or party plan designing. Just so you get the idea. You want to be found on search engines, and using your name in the title would not be feasible.

#8 No matter how much experience you have, it is suggested that you take a decorating or party planning class. You will definitely learn new things and skills that follow all the trends. Now some people say, “Don’t pay attention to trends, go full speed ahead with what you’re passionate about.” This is a personal preference, and always go with your gut instincts.

#9 Taxes: Save every last (no matter how small) receipt you acquire from creating your business. Everything from computers, phone bills, paper, ink, to web hosting bills and auto gas bills. You can write off a percentage of your home office space, electric bill, and business supplies as well. Even if you purchase a new or used car for your business, yes, you can write that off too. Everything counts; don’t leave anything out that you think you can write off. If in doubt, (it’s suggested you do anyway), make an appointment with your tax advisor and talk.

#10 You will definitely need a Paypal account, (if you don’t have one already). I’ve used Paypal for years and have never had an issue. It’s easy, secure and the only electronic transaction payment form I’ve ever used.

Do read all policies and spam issues to keep your Paypal account safe. I suggest changing your password at least once per month. Or, you can do this as often as you see fit. Another small tip about Paypal: When logging into your account, please make sure you use this page https://www.paypal.com Instead of http://www.paypal.com Always use the (S) to prevent account hacking!

#11 Computer mobility: My favorite Internet item is by far my Ipad! You can pick up free Wifi in quite a few places (other than your home). The mini Ipads are fairly new on the market. Smart phones are also an excellent choice when you’re out and about away from your home-base computer. Laptops, I personally don’t like so much. Mine crashed frequently. Others swear by them. So, there is a personal decision with web mobility.

#12 Some FREE resources for your home business

Hootsuite.com: This free social media management service has been a life saver for me! When I discovered I could post to Twitter and Facebook all from one easy window and with ONE SINGLE POST, I certainly thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Pardon the idiom! lol And on top of that, your posts can be scheduled. For example, if you wanted to take off a whole week, or go on a vacation, you can schedule your posts. How cool is that??

Evernote: This free little program is excellent for organizing your documents. It’s a life saver for project management. Evernote is also phone friendly.

Freshbooks.com: Free invoicing software

Filezilla: This is a free FTP (file transfer protocol) for transferring, downloading and saving files from your website. It’s excellent for doing website backups. Note: This is for (paid version) websites. For a paid version, you pay for hosting and obtain a domain name. (yoursite.com).

There are also all kinds of free tutorials you can access just by doing a careful search on Google for your business. Make Google.com your best friend! There is not a day that goes by where I don’t use it. It’s by far the best search engine on the net!

BONUS TIP:

At the end of each year, carefully access all your paper work/electronic details and ask yourself, “Am I at a point where I can actually quit my brick and mortar job?” OR…you can do this every six months, or however often you think is best.

Also, you can have a serious talk with your boss about letting you work at home more often. The extra mobility will of course let you have more time for your new home business adventure.

I certainly hope this article was helpful, (not only for the person I tailored it for), but ANYONE that is interested in beginning a home business while working outside the home.

Much success to you! 🙂

Now To Those Pics I Promised

Gailathome

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Gailbabyshower

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Gailnewyearcupcakes

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You can find out more about Gail at Her Facebook Page

Copyright © All Rights Reserved – Tammy Embrich – Grandma’s Home Blogger Place

The Chipped Mug

 

 

 

 

 

M&M Cookies Mug Pic From http://www.etsy.com/listing/101772878/mm-cookies

 

This is an inspiring true story and an awesome article about a Call Center Rep and Prayer Partner @ Joyce Meyer Ministries. I thought maybe you all would enjoy! 🙂

By: Shirley Green

Meet William J. Howell and family of Red Bud, IL who has a vision so big and beautiful that it warms the heart. Will wears many hats these days as a husband, father, entrepreneur and prayer partner at Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, Missouri.

First, the initial step to opening the “The Chipped Mug” (TCM) in Red Bud, Illinois is the website where everyone can visit and make purchases to help fund the future site of “TCM”. The Chipped Mug was first conceived in the mind and heart of William J. Howell when he was still single and a college student and saw a coffee shop called the “Ugly Mug”. He noticed how people loved to hang out at “The Ugly Mug” which consequently became the local gathering place, a kind of piazza where people can mingle and socialize.

Next, Will relocated to St. Louis, MO to get a job and a month later, he visited the popular website called E harmony.com where he found his wife, Sara. Meeting Sara was one of the best things that happened to Will because Sara is extremely supportive and upbeat; let’s just say meeting Sara was a “good thing” for him. The two married in less than a year of their courtship and remain committed to each other and to the vision of TCM. Now, they have 3 beautiful girls whose names are: Maleah, 4 years old; Joanna, 3 years old & Olivia who is their 1 year old. Periodically over the years, Will’s aspirations to open TCM coffee house repeatedly resurfaced in his heart and mind.

Actually, Will isn’t one who likes change nor easily yields to the propensity to change; change is not a normal part of his character, however, his dream to open the coffee house in Red Bud, IL continues to be at the forefront of his heart. He is pursuing the dream strategically and wholeheartedly which will bring about a great change for his family as well as their community.

At this present time, Will travels about 100 miles per day from his home in Red Bud, IL to Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, MO where he is employed as a Call Center Representative and Prayer Partner. It’s very important and innate for Will to help make a difference in the lives of people; by working at the Ministry, the difference he makes touches and changes lives worldwide every day.

Moreover, Will and Sara believe in living a debt-free lifestyle and currently, every business transaction on behalf of TCM is done through their online web store (TheChippedMug.Net) with no overhead dollars to pay; in a few years, their home will be paid off too.

The concept behind opening TCM has already been branded and includes their quote, “Changing the world 1 cup of coffee at a time.” The atmosphere at TCM will be one of excitement and the endeavor for the ambiance of the business will be a loving and family oriented social gathering place, the same ambiance Will remembers about The Ugly Mug. Furthermore, this will be a great tourist attraction for the City of Red Bud, IL to help generate more revenue and to gain national notoriety for the town, which means more jobs, which is a good thing, especially in our present economy. TCM plans to incorporate live entertainment, serve tasty desserts and breads from the in-house bakery while at the same time, starting and maintaining a family business that can be handed down to their children and their grandchildren.

From an early age, entrepreneurism was always in Will’s heart like his grandpa who also owned his own business. The name “The Chipped Mug” comes from a passage of Scripture in Jeremiah 18:4-6 where it talks about “I have declared thee as the potter, he made our imperfections as perfect.” This means even with our imperfections, we can still be very useful.

Are Will and Sara trying to get rich from “The Chipped Mug”? In fact, their philosophy and concept is that any excess proceeds generated by TCM are given away to help others. TCM is a “for-profit” family business but operates as a not-for-profit company undertaking many philanthropic projects. Their plans are to purchase an in-town building in Red Bud, IL where their family lives close and owns the coffee house and bakery. Sara and her mom will run the day-to-day tasks of the bakery which will be located inside TCM coffee house. The location the couple has chosen will be in close proximity to their home, the local college, hospital, park and area bank.

Red Bud, IL City Hall c/o City Data

Currently Will and Sara willingly support other organizations that are like minded and maintain a core value to reach out to help others. Some of these organizations the family supports include organizations like “Chocolate and the Red Shoe” which empowers women to dream big and teaches them practical ways to accomplish their goals; “Restoration A.S.A.P.” provides relief to those in need of health care through a “Doc On The Block” program offered to those who cannot afford health care & a “Humanitarian Outreach” called Project58.org which helps the people in Haiti & Guatemala build homes and fund other local needs. Also, Will looks forward to the days when he can also support other organizations like the YMCA who regularly goes out into the community to help others.

Mark Batterson, who has become one of the most important people to Will and Sara is a well-known Pastor and author who owns a coffeehouse based in Washington, DC which coins itself as the modern “well” which was a common meeting place in Jewish history. In addition, The National Community Church pastored by Mark Batterson is one of the fastest growing, influential churches in the DC area. Pastor Mark Batterson is also the author of book titles like “The Circle Maker” and “In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day”. Since 2009, Pastor Mark Batterson has offered support and information about owning a coffee shop to Will and Sara and always welcomes their inquiries. As you can see, Will & Sara surrounds themselves with a company of shakers and movers who are touching lives locally, nationally and internationally.

In addition, William J. Howell is the Author of his own book entitled “Visual Impairment” and it speaks to those who need help finding their purpose and encourages them to never giving up on their dreams. “Visual Impairment” can be purchased on Amazon.com for $12 and most likely, the book may soon become available to Kindle readers. Still, this isn’t the only title that will hit the shelves; there are more titles by Will in the making yet to be published.

Will’s greatest inspiration of course is his beautiful wife, Sara. “She gives me the encouragement to accomplish whatever needs to be done”; “Sara believes in me completely and she is beside me 100%.” On the other hand, Sara says, “I can’t wait until the day when work for Will is right around the corner from our home rather than 100 miles away.” Sara is definitely a constant motivation to Will and to the dream they have to begin their lives together working side-by-side in their very own family business. Meanwhile, they continue to pour love and support into each other as the dream comes closer to becoming a reality.

ADVICE from Will and Sara: “NEVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAM!” “Listen to those who embrace your dream who will pray for you and support the dream with encouragement as well as offer donations to see the cause come to pass. Sometimes you may have to face opposition or experience trying times with finances to fund the dream but God’s grace is amazing, so never give up.”

In closing, to donate to “The Chipped Mug” coffee house, please visit TheChippedMug.Net where they offer over 100 unique variations of coffee mugs to be purchased individually or to be included in the gift basket of your choice to help generate revenue. Coffee mugs can be purchased for as little as $5 each plus the costs for shipping and handling. Moreover, gift baskets may be purchased in every season for every reason starting at $15 and includes an easy, do-it-yourself kit with the recipe for a basic brownie or cookie mix that may require a stick of butter or vanilla extract, (something we already have in our kitchens) depending on the recipe in the kit chosen. Next, bake the delicious dessert mix from the kit in the oven then pull out a fresh, delicious dessert your family and friends will enjoy! All the jars, coffee mugs & baskets are reusable and all the proceeds generated from the website will help to build “The Chipped Mug” coffee house.

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About The Author: Shirley Green enjoys writing articles on Interesting Articles

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