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Category Archives: owning an internet business

5 Tips to Increase Your Productivity and Improve Your Online Business

As an online business owner you can be more productive with these 5 helpful tips and ultimately improve your business!

By: Catherine Perry

At Pure-Ecommerce we know there are many perks and advantages to Working from home! You may have dreamed of having your own business and a home office for years. However, you may be finding that working from home has more challenges than you anticipated. There are lots of distractions–everything from your own procrastination, your family needs, and just general “stuff” at home that can make your days less than productive. For example, you may feel that you absolutely have to do that laundry, play with the kids or take a nap and then you’ve lost productive time for your business!
So, let’s address the reality of working from home.  When you have an office at home, you have a mixed bag of benefits and hurdles. On the one hand there are benefits: no daily commute and no office mates stealing your time with chit-chat visits. On the other hand, there are hurdles as well: keeping distractions to a minimum, feeling isolated, and being fully productive each day without burning out.  This work-at-home situation can be a challenge and an adjustment even for the most disciplined of us.
How can you be as productive as possible in running your online business when working from home? We wanted to share some tips that will help you in this endeavor. These 5 tips will increase your productivity and, as a result, improve your online business.

Tip #1: Have a Plan

You should set out a plan for each day and each week. Before you begin your work each day, have a plan laid out and follow it. You can create the plan that morning, the night before, or at the beginning of the week; and, your plan can be in the form of written to-do lists or actual scheduled time using a productivity tool. Regardless of how you keep it, the plan will insure you are completing the tasks that need to get done.
In the www.inc.com article “30 Experts Share Their Best Productivity Tips,” marketing strategist John Stokman says he takes 15 minutes at the end of every workday and creates a checklist of to-do’s for the next day in order to stay focused and on track. “Plugging in everything I know I need to get done the next day saves me tons of time and directs me to the most important tasks right away the next morning.” We agree – this is a great idea!

 

Tip #2: Prioritize Your Activities

Each day you will know what needs to be done and when to do it, whether it is processing orders or marketing through social media. Be sure you prioritize the most important activities so you know what is most important, and get those done during your most productive period of the day. Don’t let yourself be lured into doing the easiest tasks and neglecting the more difficult ones that may bring revenue.

 

Tip #3: Have a Separate Office Space

Be sure you have a separate space to call your “office” in your home. In the article “Top 30 Tips for Staying Productive and Sane While Working from Home” on zenhabits.net, the author polled readers for their best advice on being productive, and this was tip #1. “Set aside some space, preferably a room (it doesn’t have to be big) to be your workspace. That way, when you enter it, you know consciously what you’re there to do: go to work. It changes the state of mind from “I’m at home” to “I’m at work”.
This space should set boundaries for children and family that tell them you are working when you are in it. Again, your space signifies to you that work is to be accomplished when you are in it. And, always maintain a level of order and cleanliness in your office space, which in turn de-clutters and focuses your mind when you are sitting down to work.

 

Tip #4: Take Breaks

It’s so easy to start working long hours with no breaks when you have a home office. You may find that you are involved in work to the extent that you skip lunches and stay at your desk for extended periods of time. Be aware that you really need to take breaks approximately every hour-and-a-half and you will be much more productive. Get up and walk around to get blood circulating throughout your body and brain. This helps in maintaining your focus and mental acuity. And, as we know, exercise is a key to everything!

 

Tip #5: Have a Morning Routine

Whether you consider yourself a “morning” person or not, having a routine each morning is like an anchor for your day that helps your productivity and focus. Regardless of when you may get up, 5 a.m. or 9 a.m., having a routine can make a difference in the productivity of your day.
Claire Diaz Ortiz, one of the early-on employees at Twitter, in “Surprising Things from 100 Interviews with Top Productivity Experts” says the best thing for your productivity is to find your ideal morning routine. “Following a calm, consistent morning routine that works for you is key in order to achieve your highest level of productivity.”
We hope these 5 tips have been helpful to you as an online business owner. By increasing your own productivity, you will improve your online business. Incorporate these tips in your business and see the rewards they can bring!

4 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Online Business

By: Catherine Perry

It’s Spring Cleaning time – 4 tips To help you “clean”, update and organize your online business this Spring!

Spring is here! For many of us, this past winter wasn’t so bad…there was less snow and fewer days of bitter cold than “normal.” And, even though there were many spring-like days this year in January and February, we are still delighted spring has arrived because the days are getting longer, there’s more daylight in the late afternoon hours (thanks to Daylight Saving Time), birds are returning with their songs, and the grass is getting greener!
OK, now that the excitement of the spring season has been expressed, what else happens this time of year that may or may not excite you, well, you’ve got it…..it’s time for “Spring Cleaning”. According to an article in Martha Stewart Living written in 2007, “There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Your spring cleaning may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable–and even enjoyable.”
In the same way we think of cleaning our homes in the spring, as internet business owners we can take this time of year to focus on cleaning our websites. And, just like with spring cleaning your house, taking the time to clean up your website may seem like the last thing you want to do, but we promise that you will feel SO MUCH better after it’s done!
Here are 4 tips to help you when spring cleaning your online business.


Tip #1: Make a Plan

As with so many things we need or want to do, if we don’t make a plan it just won’t happen. Plan several days on your calendar to do your spring cleaning. It will take more time than you think, so plan for it. If you block out more time than you need, you’ll feel satisfied that it took less. Keep in mind you need to set up a seasonal plan for updating your website by working on your SEO,  updating and adding new vendors/products, as well as, your creating a marketing/sales plan for the new season. It may sound like a lot now – If you sit down, make a plan and set a timeline to implement it, it will all be done before you know it!

Tip #2: Work on Your Home Page

Just as you might clean the windows of your home to let more sunshine in, or you might clean the windows and the window display of a brick-and-mortar business, you need to clean up your home page too.
Your home page is the “window” for your online business. By spending some time to clean up the home page of your site, you give visitors and customers a refreshed look at what you are offering. Sometimes things just get stale when they stay the same. So, even though you may not want to change things to the extent that your faithful customers have to learn a totally new way to navigate, giving the home page a fresh look keeps people interested.
Here are some things you can do to get a fresh new look on the home page:
  • Update the Colors and Design for the Layout: You will want to keep your brand colors while incorporating the colors of the season. This brings a fresh new look to your website, which is pleasing to current and new customers.
  • Change the Featured Products: Highlight new products that reflect the season. Whether it is colors or styles, show off the products that are great to be used in the current season.
  • Update the Banner Ads: Use wording that calls attention to that particular time of year or upcoming holiday. For instance, “Spring to it…”, “Hop on in for….”, “New Products are Blooming here at….” and so on. It’s fun to play with new wording to see what your customers respond to!
  • Launch a New Spring Sale: Of course, offering a new sale gets your customers excited. It is fun to incorporate a theme sale based on the season. Again, mix it up and include exciting words that will entice your customers to shop.
  • Update the Slideshow to Reflect the New Season: This is always a great idea as it brings a freshness to your home page. Be creative and always use images that combine the current season with your target market.
  • Create “Buzz” with your Home Page Wording: It’s always a great idea to give your home page wording an update at least with the change of the seasons, if not more often. This is not only good for your SEO, but it can help draw your customers in by using new buzzwords that correlate with the current season.

Tip #3: Work on the Administration/Backend

Again, not to change things too much, but now is a great time to work on the backend of your site. Customers like to see that things are being updated. Assess your site from an administrative point of view. See if there are areas you can clean up that will add some newness to the business. Here are some areas you might look at:
  • Updating Inventory: Are there new products your vendors are offering, but you haven’t loaded?
  • Organizing categories: Are they still logical? Do they still flow well? Are there new products in which you can create a category to reflect the current season?
  • Research New Vendors: Are there other great vendors you aren’t using? You should be doing new vendor research each quarter. This will help you continue to offer your customers more of a variety of products.
  • Implementing a Customer Loyalty Program: Do you have one? Customer Loyalty Programs are very important marketing tools as well as great customer service provisions.

Tip #4: Clean Up Your Office Space

Many times you can neglect your physical work space causing it to become cluttered and overrun, which ends up in you spending much longer to do tasks because you’re constantly digging through papers and looking for stuff. If this is your situation, take a breath, and then take some time to get your work space clean and organized!
Decluttering is a huge trend. Marie Kondo, in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” has brought decluttering and minimalism to the mainstream. And, while we aren’t talking about minimizing per se, we do tout the many benefits of decluttering. At the same time, we recognize that it’s easier said than done. Trust us–you will work more efficiently, be less stressed, and have an overall sense of happiness when you declutter your space!
  • Organize Your Filing System: Do you have files for important paperwork like orders, accounts payable, learning systems, passwords etc.? Are your files easily accessible?
  • Assess Your Computer Setup, Desk, and Chair for your Work Space – Are they working for you to promote efficiency? Is your desk organized in a way that facilitates your work? Are they comfortable?
  • Review Printer and Internet Tools – Is your printer doing the job? Should you look at upgrading your internet speed?
  • Change Your Passwords: Remember, security first! It is a great idea to update your passwords with each changing season. Just don’t forget to write them down and keep them organized!
We hope these four tips have inspired you to do your spring cleaning. There aren’t many guarantees in life, but we guarantee that you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and feel a huge weight off your shoulders! The hardest thing is to start—don’t procrastinate–get it done and then get on with business!

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