A Quick Word about Virtual Word Publishing

Just wanted to take a few moments to share a little about Virtual Word Publishing with you and let you know about the different services we offer for your publishing and marketing needs! Contact me at Diana@VirtualWordPublishing.com today to get started tackling YOUR PR needs right away!

5 Common Mistakes VAs Make in Doing PR

Check out our latest video on 5 Common Mistakes Virtual Assistants Make in Doing PR.   

Also, isn’t this the greatest way to do an article.  You can take your article and have it made into a video.  Amazing!  If you are interested, contact Andrea Kali – www.amazingsalesvideos.com.   This is the new way to do article marketing.  Enjoy!

So You Want to Start a Business – Six Steps to Help You Succeed

When starting a business the first step is easy. Before we do anything else we must simply decide to begin. Every decision following that one tends to be more difficult. However, we have a few tips to help get your started down the path to starting your dream business.

1. Choose the right business.
If you know you want to start a business, but aren’t sure what business is a good fit for you, don’t lose heart. Take stock of what types of things you love to do, skills that you bring to table and things you would do in life even when you aren’t paid (volunteer work, for example).  Make a list using all of these things and then look for a theme running through them all.  If you can find the theme, chances are you’re on the right path to fin ding a business that’s a good fit for you.

2. Set a timeline.
Once you’ve made a decision as to what business you’ll start, you need to start setting goals. Begin with the end – pick a date for when you’d like to be up and running. Then make a list of what needs to be done to make that happen and set goal dates for each item on the list.

3. Get a plan.
A business plan may sound like a whole lot of work for minimal rewards, but in actuality it will save you a good deal of time and effort later. Putting a plan together helps you keep focused and allows you to cut out things that aren’t a fit for where you’re headed. Search online for business plan examples and ideas and create one unique to you.

4. Get help.
None of us is a one-woman show. We may run our businesses on our own, yet all of us have people that mentor us (either formally or informally), people that we can turn to with questions. Make a list of people you can call on for different areas of expertise. Having these people in your rolodex now will save you stress when trouble comes – and it will eventually.

5. Outsource
One thing new business owners often make a mistake doing is trying to do everything themselves. Yes, it may cost to bring in help, but even a few hours a week can make a huge difference in the time you will have as a business owner to do the actual business of growing your business. There are other possibilities, too, such as swapping and bartering for Virtual Assistant services. Be creative and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

6. Make it happen.
Once you have a plan in place, you must take the plunge. Dreaming, planning and list-making are all great things, but without action nothing will come of them. What needs to be done to get your business off the ground? Do it!

You can see how easy it is to start your own business.  We also recommend that you read as much as you can to learn all you can.

Jill Hart, Founder of Christian Work-at-Home Moms http://www.cwahm.com/ and Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com/ have teamed up to write So You Want to Be a Work at Home Mom: A Christian’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business http://www.soyouwanttobeawahm.com/.  Start or expand your business today with their help.  Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

Prepare Your Home Based Business Now – Disaster Preparedness 101

Here are a few tips that I find very beneficial:

1.   Back-up your system regularly.  Set it for automatic, and hopefully during the night so that your computer isn’t slowed down while it backs up.  Make this as much a part of running your business as answering e-mails to clients.

2.   Test that back-up.  Just as important as backing up your system is knowing how to retrieve that information. It does differ on the type of back-up you perform.  Test this out, before you need it.  Also, write out complete instructions on how to restore backed up data and include this in your Disaster Plan. When you are stressed during a crisis, you need things as step-by-step and easy as possible.  If you’ve already written complete instructions, you’ll be amazed how easy this can be.

3.   Save a back-up copy offsite.  It’s as easy as having a family member take your back-up CDs to work, or having a flash drive. I just feel better knowing that my hard work is going to be there when I get back, even if the unthinkable happened while I was away. I also use Carbonite so that I have a virtual back-up.  It’s only $50 a year and so worth it!

4.    Do regular virus scans.  Many feel that because they have a virus program that will alert them if a virus comes in via e-mail, they are safe.  That could well be.  However, I feel so much better after doing a virus scan and it telling me I’m AOK.  Also, set this for automatic as well.

5.    For important e-mails, copy and paste them into your word processing program.  It takes a little extra effort, but can be easily done.  Also, download files as soon as they arrive.

It’s also important to have a disaster recovery plan.  It’s easier than you think and should be done the same as your marketing and business plans.

Here are some tips for that:

1.    Business Continuity Plan – Plan ahead for all aspects of your business.  It’s important to write down all your client contact information, where back-ups are stored, who your subcontractors are, the work normally done, etc.  When you think about it, if something were to happen tomorrow, how good would you feel if you knew your clients, subcontractors, and business operations would be taken care of.  It just provides the peace of mind you need.

2.    While you’re writing, include a breakdown of family members, phone contacts, close relatives with complete contact information.   We recommend additionally putting this on a 3 x 5 card for your younger children.  And honestly, this isn’t just for us Floridians who experience hurricanes.  The unexpected weather over the past months should tell you of the importance of this.

3.    Keep an inventory of all your business furnishings, business equipment, software programs, passwords, etc.  Also, keep receipts and photos. You’ll be amazed how once you do this and have it set up, it’s automatic when you get something new.  You simply add it to your recovery plan.  I make copies of all receipts and simply add it to an envelope in my plan.

4.    Insurance information. Write down all your policies and coverage.  In addition to having this information if you did need to file a claim, it also helps to see if you have enough coverage.

5.    Medical information.  The well being of yourself and family is of utmost importance.  You need to write down all of you and your family’s medicines, doctors, medical conditions, etc.  This section can literally save your life. Don’t forget to include drug dosages.  Now you’re wondering why this is part of a business disaster recovery plan.  But when you think about it, aren’t you the most important part of your business.  That’s why this is so critical.

I hope you have found these tips helpful.  Prepare now and have peace and security for years to come.

Diana Ennen is President of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com, specializing in publicity and marketing.  Ennen is also the co-author of The Home Office Recovery Plan:  Disaster Preparedness for Your Home-Based Business.  Article is fr ee to be reprinted as long as author’s bio remains.

If you’d like a sample copy of the Home Office Recovery Plan … email me at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com

Extreme Couponing: Stores Change Their Policies!

diana ennen extreme coupon tips for christian work at home momsHere’s more coupon tips for this week.

 

Have you noticed that now the Extreme Coupon show has aired how many stores are changing their policies.  At first I thought “Oh no, now we can’t get our great sales.”  However, this actually has a more positive effect.  It cuts down on all those couponers who took advantage and bought up everything before anyone else had a chance. This means less going to the store and seeing that blank row where your special was supposed to be.

 

What are some of the changes? Some of the changes we are seeing is that some stores aren’t offering savings for competitor coupons.  You need to check if that changed for you.  Also, they are cutting back on the amounts you can purchase with each transaction.  (No more buying 200 of one item! YES)  I found it had very little effect on me.  Hopefully you feel the same.

 

Another thing I want to mention this month is how being a super saver can help you prepare for disasters and not have to go out and spend a fortune if something were to happen.  Last week we were possibly in the path of Irene.  Now normally that would be a $300 to $400 event so we could prepare.  However, since I’ve been stocking up all along, I had can foods, batteries, water, flashlights, etc., everything I needed and none of it did I pay full price.  What a way to SAVE!  And also what a way not to have to go out with all the crazies in those long lines.

 

 

Happy couponing!

Book Review from Diana Ennen: AlphaWAHM

AlphaWAHMWhat an awesome book, AlphaWAHM BluePrint by Karri Flatla. This is one of those books that the more you do what’s inside, the more you will benefit. The goal of the book isn’t to read it and move on. The goal is to read it, take notes, take action steps, and then come back to the book and repeat the steps above. As the title suggests, it’s a blueprint for business success.

One of the things I really enjoyed was the “Words to Live by” section. Here’s just one example. Empowerment is not to have power over others. It’s to know thyself and consciously manage your actions and reactions to the world around you! – Karri Flatla.

Get your copy today. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Diana Ennen / President Virtual Word Publishing / www.virtualwordpublishing.com

Work from Home: Excuses, Excuses

Just how badly do you want this? What’s holding you back? People present all kinds of excuses for why they shouldn’t start a home-based business. Fear is the most common. Fear of failure, fear of financial insecurity, fear of responsibility, and fear of change are the most frequently stated. Let’s look at these for a moment and see if they apply to you.

Fear of Failure: Most of us fear failure. It’s natural. Who wants to fail at anything? Besides, if you don’t try, you can’t fail, and you will not have to deal with those negative emotions. Successful entrepreneurs see failure as an opportunity. They believe that there is no such thing as failure, only lessons. You need to be able to learn from your past failures, or as I call them, “tries.” I consider it this way: “I tried it; it didn’t work, so I’ll try something else.” I give failure no power. One of our favorite clichés is, “I would rather regret something I did over something I didn’t do.”

You should learn valuable lessons from each of your mistakes. What did you do wrong that could be corrected next time? Never dwell on your mistakes. Solve the problem and plan a new course of action.

You can also prevent the risk of failure by being aware of why most home-based or small businesses fail and then guard against these things. The following are several reasons many businesses fail:

1. Lack of enthusiasm, motivation, dedication and drive
2. Lack of self-confidence
3. Lack of knowledge and expertise
4. Lack of management skills necessary to run a successful business
5. Lack of providing clients with quality and professional services
6. Lack of a professional attitude
7. Lack of a market for services

Remember that success takes time. Very few businesses are overnight successes. It takes work, rethinking of ideas and carrying out your plans. Think of success as a marathon, not a sprint.

Fear of Financial Insecurity: This is a valid concern for those leaving the security of a full-time job with a regular paycheck every week. There is no guarantee that every week you will make a certain amount of money. However, you can take steps that will enable you to make it through the slow times until your business is up and running. Don’t let your paycheck addiction seriously interfere with your dream of entrepreneurship. Keep in mind that you could be downsized, fired, laid off, let go, given the pink slip (you get my point) tomorrow, so take control of your future now!

Have two or three months of money in reserve to help you through the first few months. This alleviates the stress of having to make money NOW! Many start this business on a part-time basis and continue working their full-time jobs to keep money coming in and to build their client base.

However, lack of savings shouldn’t stop you from starting a business. After being in business for 20 years and seeing so many businesses succeed, I know many who have made it without this extra money.

Fear of Responsibility: Many are frightened by the role of sole responsibility. They like the option of going to someone else when a crisis hits and having that person solve the problem. With everything falling on their shoulders, they fear they can’t handle the stress. Advance planning is the key here. When you start your business, have a good back-up plan in effect. Then when a crisis hits, you immediately know what to do. After the first few crisis situations, you learn to remain calm and solve problems with little effort.