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Published by MumsClub admin@mumsclub.co.uk www.mumsclub.co.uk Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Neither MumsClub nor The Business guide officially endorses any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without prior permission of the publisher.

The MumsClub Start-up Business Guide FOREWORD BY JANE HOPKINS MBE I was a struggling single mum when I started MumsClub back in 2007, I had no idea about how I was going to make ends meet but time spent searching on the internet for an idea of a business I could run from home revealed a gap. I realized that although online support was in place for allsorts of groups of people, there was absolutely nothing in place for women who, like me, wanted to start a business from home. To me, this was a vital need—I was a mum foremost with responsibilities that had to come first. My son was my priority and although I needed an income he was just a baby so his needs came before anything. I couldn’t possibly run a business in the normal way. So I researched for months, took various free courses and learned everything I needed to set up and grow a business—filling the gap I’d uncovered. If I’m honest I didn't know how it would generate an income, but I had uncovered a niche market—the mumpreneur which, looking back was all I needed. Seven years on and I’ve experienced both high’s and low’s of being in business, all of which I’ve taken lessons from. But the one thing I do know inside and out, is what it takes to become a mum in business. And with this, MumsClub has developed a collection of essential benefits and services that will help a new business grow. Many are for free, for some there is a fee—but you can often DIY. And through our online resource centre, magazines, regional events and connecting your to our network, we’ll help you do just that. This guide is not going to give you all the answers, but it will guide you through the best tips, how-to’s and other services we’ve found and will answer the questions we often come across; in our forum, through social networking, and in emails that come direct to us. I hope you find this guide informative and helpful, I would love your feedback. Please let me know of anything you’d like to see in the next issue. As always, wishing you every business success, Jane JANE HOPKINS MBE Honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for Services to Entrepreneurship 2012.

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CONTENTS Contents

05 Attracting Media Attention 06 How to be a Business Mum 09 The Power of Networking 10 Blogging and Making Money 12 How NOT to Start a Business 14 How to Build Your Own Website 16 Facebook - Basics for Business 18 Inventing Mums 20 Introduction to Law 22 Twitter - Basics for Business 25 The Work/Life Balance 27 Introduction to Accounting 28 How to guide: Power of video

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Attracting Media Attention! Want to see you and your business mentioned in the press? Want to be a media star? Follow these tips to get the media attention you clearly deserve... The cardinal rule - get the right contact on the publication You can have a brilliant story or press release, but if it doesn’t reach the relevant person, you’ve fallen at the first fence and it may end up in the bin. Research the publications you’re aiming at and PHONE to get the name of the relevant person – this might be ‘the news editor’ or ‘the features editor’. The editorial assistant is often the best point of contact initially as they will generally know who’s who and be able to point you in the right direction. These days, it’s probably more efficient to email the relevant person in the first instance – maybe with a short introduction and a synopsis. Make sure you include a phone number – if it’s a news page, the news editor may want to run the story NOW, and will want to get in touch with you immediately. all. Preparing your pitch and making imagination. All of these elements may end up being used Create short and punchy copy your story interesting One side is ample. If the separately, maximising the Find out the reader profile journalist needs more, they’ll call. impact of your story. Research the reader profile. Include a picture of your product What sex? What age? What type Source a range of case studies if relevant Offer different case studies to of job? What level of Many writers and editors are each publication, making sure communication? How do they looking for photographic material vote-or do they? Copy the house they’re the right sex and age. If style, ensuring the tone and angle you’re pitching a case study as a to illustrate their pages, so this can be useful. As can be stand-alone feature, summarise are right for the reader. INCLUDING A DIRECT LINK to Send it in at the right time their story with a punchy headline and strong angle. your website so the writer or Find out how far ahead the editor can take a look. publication schedules are - glossy Is there a Celebrity angle? Build a relationship with the This can be useful for some monthlies may work six months popular publications & news journalist ahead. Find out the date of the Call to check they’re the right features conference for the issue stories. contact. If appropriate, call later you want to target and pitch your Sell the story to follow up. Remember there’s a Come up with a great headline idea at least a few days before. fine line between friendly and Stats, surveys & quirky facts The headline is the most annoying but if you follow the important part of your press Stats and surveys are news and tips above, you’ll be ahead of immediately make your story release. If it’s dull, most editors most of the competition. more likely to be picked up. won’t read on. Editors tend to Quirky facts capture the think in headlines, so if you can’t Thanks to Elaine Griffiths, editor of sell your feature on the headline Prima Baby for providing these alone, you’ll be lucky to sell it at insider tips on getting to editors. • You can read more tips along with a guide on how to write Press Release on www.mumsclub.co.uk. • MumsClub Premium Membership provides (free) regular leads direct to journalists looking for specific products and case studies. • Super Savvy members use Premium to build their own media database.

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Starting a Business

So you want to be a Mumpreneur...Business Mum... ...Entrepreneur? Women are generally multi-tasking machines and therefore perfectly capable of raising a family while generating a second income. It might be a cliché but the sky really is the limit; all you need is a good idea, and the motivation to turn it into a viable business. Here’s some top tips to get you started.

Be realistic about your IDEA – Light bulb moments are often ideas that come from a need. As parents we identify so many potential products that would help our busy lives, but what we see as the next best thing, in reality...may not be. It may be a great idea, but think about how much it will cost to bring it to market, research production and marketing costs thoroughly, how much will you have to sell a single product for to cover its costs, and how much do you think people would pay in comparison to the benefit it will bring. Always look at the bigger picture and be realistic.

Be realistic about your TIME – Especially with family life to consider, time is rarely on our side. As business owners we have tons of plans and have every best intention of seeing them through, but think about how many hours you actually have in a day and what you can realistically do in that time. 3pm comes round oh so quickly and if you have the school run every day, you’ll soon be tired, exhausted and running on empty. You cannot run a full time business on part time hours so know your limitations and plan accordingly.

you’ve even started. Talk to people you don’t know - join online business forums to ask for opinions – you may need a thick skin but the truth is what you need. How many times have we seen people on Dragons Den thinking they have the next greatest thing, where both the dragons and we, watching at home can see the failings of the product but the entrepreneur in the den simply can’t? They are too close and too enthusiastic to see it’s not going to work... Is there a need? Is your price right? What are your competitors doing?

What is unique about your product or service? In a competitive world, a new business doing the same as its competitors will struggle. Find a way to be different, make your product or service stand out from the rest...find your USP (unique selling point) – it is essential to any new business. It doesn’t have to be an invention, you could sell a product that’s been around for years – just make sure you do it differently.

Research your idea effectively – Manufacturing – you’ll need to find the right Is there a genuine need for your product? Don’t just ask friends & family! Those close to you won’t want to upset you; you need constructive criticism to get the product or service right otherwise you could waste a fortune before

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supplier and at the right price. Shop around, get referrals. You’ll find people will talk about their suppliers, maybe not if you are competing with them but in general other people (especially other mums!) will pass on their

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Starting a Business experience. You can use Alibaba to source overseas manufacturers, but again referrals will help no end. Online networking and Google will be your best friends!

Be realistic

Research

Be Unique

Find a niche

Network

Branding

Distinguishing who to sell to, and who not to sell to! Aggressive sales Don’t forget your companies teach their new sales reps to go Marketing momentum. after friends and family first, although it’s a great tactic for the company to get the friends & family of every employee signed up, it’s not so great for a newly self employed person to constantly sell to those closest to them. You could end up a business bore and potentially alienate any referrals you stand to gain from your own personal network. There’s a fine line between networking and self promotion...get it right by making sure everyone knows what you do (networking) and you’ll be laughing.

Cash Flow

Make a decision!

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You’re launching a new business, you have your USP (unique sales point) so get a press release out and shout about it. Learn not to be modest about your success; believe in yourself and your product/service and get the word out. Build up a database of contacts from day one and keep in touch with them. Send out a regular email newsletter with extra tips about using your product/service, and get feedback and testimonials from customers.

You need to identify Get your branding right. A professional website will not just say potential quality sales something; it will say everything about you and and time wasters. It’s not just in your business. Put across a professional image the car sales world; you get the tyre kickers in business too! If you have a skill, some people may want to pick your brains rather than actually pay you to do the job. You need to identify this soon on and only spend your time where an income is coming from.

Don’t give freebies to friends & family. In the early Planning

have to make changes later on when you realise that your kids are growing up too quickly. It will happen on occasion, but look for signs that it’s becoming commonplace – you may not realise until it becomes a problem! Don’t miss a moment.

at all times and never ever have homemade business cards. Websites and business cards are inexpensive these days so the investment can be minimal so there is no excuse for handing out cheap cards!

Don’t get distracted!

If you work from home, be careful of any distractions – the fridge, the kettle, the TV, and surfing on the internet. You are your own boss days you could be all excited about being in now and have no one to answer to; this in business and the freedom you now have; you itself can be a problem. You need to regiment tell your friends and family what you’re doing...’if you want my service you know where yourself every day – get up at the same time, I am!’...Without realising the effect it’ll have on focus on the day’s task and get it done. No surfing, limit your snacks and be careful of you, such people may expect discounts, if not daytime TV! for free. Set a ‘friends & family rate’ early on and offer a great discount if they supply a Never underestimate the testimonial and refer you to their friends.

Get the Work life balance ...to balance! Don’t forget about your family time. In the early days you’ll be so into your new business (and quite right too!) those early days are intrinsic to your success but you need to build in time for family. Get the work life routine under control early on so you don’t

power of networking...

But get it right! Networking is the key to success, both online and offline networking is incredibly effective, make time everyday to post on twitter/ facebook/online forums. Like minded people provide fantastic networking and potential for referrals. Cont...

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Starting a Business But at face to face networking don’t ever deal out your business cards like playing cards. You need to be interested in others as much as you want them to be interested in you. But if you feel you’re being sold to by someone else, you need to know when to move on to the next person, subtly!

rewarded. For instance someone may set up a children’s clothing website. The owner works from home, has their spare room as a stock room, no overheads, no staff but still think they can set prices to compete with a high street stores. Keep your prices realistic, whilst making a fair profit for yourself.

Write a business plan ...and stick to it.

Do you have enough money? These days the cost of

Too many people start out in business without a proper business plan. Yes, it’s in your head but remember your goal is to make money so before investing your own money and time, a plan will help you see exactly how (and when) you will see a return on your investment. It will keep you on track so be sure not to deviate from it. Of course, you’ll adapt the plan as you go, but it will be based on your experiences, so the changes will be positive and will lead to the development of a strong business model. But do not let ‘new opportunities’ cloud your judgement. New opportunities will pop up all the time, just be careful how they could affect your original vision of your business.

setting up a website is minimal, especially if you’re prepared to do it yourself online. But there are other costs – stock, marketing, advertising, leaflets, business cards, brochures, etc. Make sure your business plan does indeed plan correctly.

Do not procrastinate! Learn to make a decision and quickly. If an opportunity comes your way, decide straight away whether it’s worth pursuing. If it is, go for it, if not, disregard it and carry on without delay. Not making a decision can be worse than making the wrong choice, so evaluate everything carefully but quickly.

Don’t focus too hard on the profit. You are in

Create a lean mean business machine!

investors. The latter however will take time to secure, and you will need a strong business plan to impress any The early days are critical to business, investor. Alternatively you could ease the first sale is wonderful and into your new business on a part-time indicates you’re on the right track but basis until you know that it will make you need to build on that success, enough money to support you…and don’t allow yourself to become your family. Funding can also be complacent after a success. Keep the available through local business momentum going, think about how grants and sponsorship. Google will that lead was generated and turned be your best friend here, but also look into a sale and repeat it, straight for local networking groups, Business away. Link and chamber of commerce as good starting points. New business can

fail because they run Always enjoy what out of money. Cash flow is you do – the moment your critical to a startup business, don’t spend too much on items that are not essential to your business and once the customers start rolling in don’t let them take too long to pay you. Do you really need a new desk, phone system…an iphone… new car…?

Access to Funding:

You can either plan thoroughly to business to make money of course, ensure your own investment will see but you need to be value led to get more business. Provide a good service you through the early stages, look for a bank to support you or seek outside at a fair price and you will be

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business becomes a chore you need to re-evaluate. Don’t forget the reasons you decided to go into business in the first place. It’s for more freedom, to improve your life and enjoy being your own boss. Your job as the business owner is to develop the business so aim to reach a point where you have a team to take care of the more mundane tasks leaving you to work on the growth of your business.

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The Power of Networking MumsClub founder, Jane Hopkins MBE takes us through her top tips. And when you’re ready, you can practice at your local MumsClub group: find yours at www.mumsbusinessclub.com I always say Networking is the key to business success. Back when I started MumsClub, I had a budget of nil, which meant networking was all I had at my disposal to market the fledgling business. Five years later MumsClub has 3,000 members, a subscriber list of 6,000 and approaching 20,000 social networking followers and we’ve worked with some top brands such as Mothercare, Prima Baby, and The Baby Show. The business is growing and I firmly believe the success is down to effective relationship building. Here are a few of my top tips of must-do’s when networking, (these work both online and face to face). know everything, asking questions Know who you are. What is the Be clear, concise and bottom line of what you do? Ensure different! When meeting someone increases our knowledge, so ask away! You’ll also make others feel you have your elevator pitch to know new use interesting facts about you how to explain you and your business or your business or industry to ensure more important by asking their advice too. in less than a minute. they remember you. Make yourself memorable (in a positive way!). Learn lessons. Duncan Be confident. The chances are Bannatyne says it’s better to make a lots of people in the room will be Be dependable. If you’ve mistake than to not make a decision nervous so be the confident one and promised to contact someone, do it introduce yourself first. If you’re soon after the event – follow up your in the first place. There is feedback to nervous – pretend you’re not (no one new contacts to see where they lead. be taken from every failure so don’t will notice!) Share and share alike. Invite be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t sell. Networking is not Be proud.. of what your business new contacts to other networking about selling. Always remember It’s stands for, what you have achieved so events – sharing information and about relationship building - getting far and what you are planning to resources is an endearing quality to achieve. Your confidence in yourself have and will make you popular; they you and your business known. Don’t regard the person in front of you as will make others confident in you too. are likely to return the favour. Ask advice. It’s ok that you don’t your next sale, if you sell to them, you risk alienating them.

Love in an elevator...

Imagine this, you’re at a networking event at a swanky hotel, you step into the lift only to be greeted by no other than Sir Richard Branson who asks you about your business. You have his attention but less than a minute to tell him. What do you say? Your "Elevator Pitch" is your short, well planned and practiced straight-to-the-point description of your business that even your hubby should be able to understand in the time it would take to get to the top floor... Include the following descriptions:

The product or service you sell; keep detail to a minimum covering the main features and how it helps those who buy. Who you are selling to; the industry and the size of the market your customers represent. The people; (you) behind the business. Your background & relevant achievements. Your Unique Selling Point; What makes your business different? End with anything you’re looking for. What do you need most in your business? Do you want his business card, a referral, investment..? Rather than close the ‘pitch’, aim to start a conversation. Show your passion, commitment, dedication in what you do and above all be confident in what you say. And you’ll have yourself a new BBF (Best Business Friend)!

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Blogging & Making Money

Making money from a blog

Having a blog means you have, at your fingertips a convenient means to air your opinions, gripes, experiences, advice, or general ideas on a variety of different subjects..to the world. It’s incredibly rewarding to blog about the matters that mean a lot to you. And now it seems you can make money from it too. Cheap to set up, cheap to maintain, and easy to use.. All you need to pay for is your domain name and web hosting fees; for just a few pounds a year you can have your blog up and running. There are even websites that provide free hosting and domain names, however in the long run, to own your own domain outright and being in control of your hosting will be far more beneficial. Blogging software is very easy to set up and is often very user friendly. We often recommend WordPress see MumsClub.co.uk business services as it is free to download (once your hosting and domain are in place) and offers many ‘widgets’ and ‘plug-ins’ to help maximise your blogs potential. But of course, there are other platforms to choose from. 10

Whichever one you choose, there are many forums and free guides available to help you through it, so even the newest blogger stands a chance! A blog can be an easy way to generate income. There are several ways to earn money from advertising, using affiliate programmes, going for sponsorship, to simply selling

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your own products. Many people successfully earn healthy incomes from blogging, either in conjunction with a sales website or a standalone blog which attracts many visitors or subscribers. So what are the main points you need to consider?

Choosing Content: So how will you choose your content? Just as with any other 10


Blogging & Making Money business, you need to choose your niche. Targeting a particular subject that is already generating a lot of interest is a great strategy. Writing specific product reviews will help the search engines find your blog and therefore generate traffic. You can then earn money through affiliate marketing by sending interested readers to the websites selling the products. Having a blog can increase your credibility in your chosen marketplace. Your content and style of writing will allow readers to get a sense of who you are as a person, a successful business is built upon building relationships; being honest and revealing your personality will go a long way to achieving this. The most honest accounts make for interesting writing, humour often comes out in real life too so don’t be afraid to be honest, although not too much either!

Donna, owner of online boutique Little Lilypad Co (www.littlelilypad.co.uk) originally started her blog as a way to generate new content on her boutique site (which helps towards improving your Google rankings) but has now successfully become a recognised “face” in the blogging world. Donna advises; “Blogging can’t be forced, if you have to force yourself to do it, it doesn’t flow. Blogging is like a modern day diary and allows you to share your ideas and vent your frustrations. If you can find your niche and blog regularly, you will see your followers and income potential grow and grow.” need to interact with other bloggers. The best way to do this is comment on other people’s blogs. Bloggers naturally reciprocate and read blogs from people who have interacted with them. Also if one blogger is unable to act on an opportunity, they always recommend other bloggers.

companies ask for statistics so the best thing to do is compile a media pack which includes your statistics for unique visitors to your site, your page views and your social media following. PR companies want to know how much exposure their clients are going to get!

Join Communities.

Sponsored or Guest Posts. Accepting sponsored

There are lots of blogging communities around but the best ones are free and nonposts are essentially allowing Content is King! To other companies to advertise on judgemental. Remember that you are still dealing with people and maximise the success of your your blog and Google doesn’t personal opinions, so be blog means driving traffic to it. To take too kindly to companies prepared for honest and personal do this you need content to hold paying for advertising links, responses! Joining these your readers interest. Run rather than natural communities also has the competitions, giveaways, recommendations. When celebrity sells! So find some accepting any sponsored or guest potential to improve the relevant celeb stories. Make it posts, ensure that you are happy opportunities for PR contact! interesting and you’ll get results. with the content and remember THEY want YOU to promote their Above all, ever hear that saying Compliment your like no one is watching”? blog. Use social networking to products or website, so don’t be “dance blogging is very much the same. afraid to put your price up! link to your latest blog post. Be Write like no one is reading. social; talk to people you follow, Statistics. With any new Write what matters, write for follow and engage similar people project, projecting statistics is yourself, not your bank balance … difficult so blogging regularly, to you. although if you take heed of the promoting and sharing the Interact. Blogging can above, your bank manager content is essential to build up sometimes be a lonely task, with maybe pleasantly surprised! your site’s visitors. Many PR just you and a computer so you 11

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How NOT to start a business!

taken a step back and returned to the months and 9 weeks,” Eve says. “My daughter was sleeping more than she planning stage to make sure I get it Carol is a blogger was awake at the time, so I managed right this time.” (newmummystips.blogspot.com) and quite well in the beginning. But then Don’t sacrifice your she was awake more than asleep at Virtual Assistant (www.professional blogservices.co.uk) who lives in around the time that my business was sanity... Spalding with her partner and their taking off. I had little or no childcare Eve lives in Manchester with her three year old daughter. Her top tip and it was just ridiculously hard to for how not to start a business? Don’t husband, Paul, and their two children keep up with everything and I was aged two and three. She runs rush in to it. struggling to stay sane! I didn’t think Baba+Boo (www.babaandboo.com), of it as a job in the beginning and “Think it through, research and plan,” an online baby boutique which sells, should have done. Also not getting Carol says. “Trust me! Last year I had among other things, reusable cloth some kind of regular childcare was a a great idea and was so impatient to nappies, bibs, and shoes. She’s been bad idea. Sometimes I wonder how I get it going that I set it up really running the business for just over two got through those early days. To quickly and it failed to make an years and says however you start other mums who are starting out I’d impact. I still think it’s a good idea - I your business, don’t expect to stay say do think of your business as a job want to set up a job board where sane if you juggle it with very young from the outset, otherwise something bloggers, web designers and social children. is going to give and you don’t want it media experts can find work and to be your sanity.” upload their freelance profiles - and I “I started my business when my children were really small – 16 still want to launch it, but I have

Don’t rush in...

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How NOT to start a business! Don’t get stung... Mel is a blogger (www.hermelness.com) and has four children aged 24, 21, 16 and 13. Based in Norwich, she launched her business, The Gift of Words (www.thegiftofwords.co.uk), at the end of last year. It’s an online service that allows customers to give words of thanks, love, appreciation or encouragement as gifts. “Before The Gift of Words I was a corporate animal who turned her back on that life and went to teach special needs children and teenagers who had been put on the ‘won’t achieve much’ pile,” Mel explains. “It was one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done. I used words to change some young lives; to give them the confidence to be themselves and to take the negative labels and turn them into positives. One young girl, for instance, was always labelled ‘Stubborn’. We changed that to ‘Determined’! It was from this job I took courage to use my gift with words and start the company.” Mel offers this hard-won lesson in how not to get swindled when starting your business: “Since many businesses now require an online presence there are a surfeit of 'web design' companies out there touting websites as a black art that they and they alone can deliver - and usually at a hefty price. Don’t be fooled by graphic artists who do not understand the techniques needed to get a website seen by, say Google. Pretty pictures do not a website make, and a lot of these companies will throw some sample pages at you

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to represent in outline how your website will look, but you may end up with a beautiful website that does not exist as far as the search engines are concerned. This is where SEO comes in and is the means by which your website sends out the keywords of your business into the universe keywords that potential customers are looking for. Even as a little bit of a techie myself I got completely stung, but the upside is that I ended up writing my website myself and am now in complete control of my online business. I am happy to speak to anyone who is facing this struggle, coupled with no budget, to make sure they do not end up in the hands of the web design wide boys.”

Don’t apologise... Janine is a blogger (www.janmary.com) and jewellery designer (www.janmarydesigns.com) who believes taking yourself or your business too seriously is up there on the ultimate list of things not to do when starting a business. “Equally, don't apologise and put yourself down,” she says. “Don't say ‘I

just bake cupcakes’ or ‘I just make jewellery’.” Janine also advises against getting too sucked into the time waste that can be social networking. “Embrace social media, but don't spread yourself too thin so you don't do any of them well,” she says. “Focus on a few social networking opportunities that work well for you and your business. For me that is blogging and Facebook. But whatever social media you use, use it regularly and post often with images of your work in progress if appropriate for your business. I often share photos of items of jewellery I am creating and regularly have a request to purchase it even before I have completed the item! And network as much as possible. Support other mums in business - whether by recommending them to others or by sharing useful contacts who have provided you with good service.”

So come on, your turn. What pearls of wisdom can you share on how not to start a business?

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Build your own Website

How to: WordPress The Free DIY platform that could enable even a novice to produce a professional looking website in a day...

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms out there. It is easy to use, yet still it is incredibly powerful. It is known as a Content Management System (CMS) and it is predominately used for blogs, but it can be used for much more. CMS is a system that will help you create a website and keep it up to date. Did you know using WordPress to create a website is FREE, the only things required to get you started are a Domain name (e.g. www.mydomain.co.uk) and its own Web Hosting package. WordPress was originally created to be a platform for blogs, but with a few easy alterations it can be used to run your businesses own website. Of course you can still manage a blog on your website as these are invaluable to your online presence.

A quick guide to getting started Installation is simple, from your control panel simply click on the WordPress icon and follow the one-click instructions to set it up which is basically adding your email address, password, and pressing install now. When asked - a single blog will be sufficient for most people’s use.

terms or any of the tick boxes. Many themes are customisable so you can easily change the colours and backgrounds to suit your own branding.

You can have a play here and install the ones you like. Once installed you activate your favourite – you can change this later if you wish, even after It will then take you to your dashboard. In adding content. As long as your plug-ins are WordPress, this is where you access everything... compatible you shouldn’t lose any information.

Make it your own - The first thing to do is Your first post - Try posting something to see choose a theme, so on the left hand side you’ll see how easy it is. Posts are where you publish your the ‘appearance’ tab, go to here and open articles, simply click on the posts tab and ‘add new’. ‘themes’. You’ll see where to enter your text and title. You Click on the install themes tab at the top and you’ll can set headings – header 1, header 2 etc. Use be able to search for ones you like, either by search these – they are good for search engine optimisation. 14

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Build your own Website Reasons to build a WordPress website: 1. SEO – WordPress provides good search engine optimization (SEO) straight off the shelf. There is little you will have to do, a few small edits here and there, but there are many SEO benefits that WordPress provides for free. 2. Content – Does the idea of HTML scare the living day lights out of you? Maybe you have a website and have to ask your web designer to edit your website every time you need to update it? Once WordPress is set up for you, you can easily create new pages or edit existing pages using a simple rich text editor (similar to typing on a word document) you don’t need to know any HTML. 3. Extensions – There are plenty of free extras for WordPress, such as themes and plug-ins. Maybe you need a directory, a gallery or a contact us form? Would you know how to do that? With WordPress you just pick a plug-in, upload it with a click of a button and its done. You did it all by your self and not had to pay for a web designer.

4. Support – If you do have problems, it is easy to find support and developers who can help you. Just a quick search into Google, and you will find pages of help. Also Mumsclub have a team that is happy to help with any aspect of WordPress and setting up the hosting for you.

form, photo gallery, testimonials, an online directory, a sign up form, advertising banners. You name it there will be a plug in for it. You will see the plug-in tab under appearance from where you’ll be able to search the directory for what you want. Each developer will have a website with help should you get stuck.

Widgets - Widgets add components to your site, such as drop down menu’s, a calendar, a clock. Often this works with the plugins, so once you’ve installed a plugin you may need a widget with it – but not always.

The Next Step After you have created your website, you have to think about search engine rankings because people need to find you. Due to WordPress being designed as a blogging platform it gives massive advantages to your website.

Content is King! - To get good search engine ranking, your up, just log in with the details provided in your welcome email. website should be regularly Select WordPress, and within a few easy sets your website will be updated. This is where the live and online. blogging platform comes into it, it is very easy to submit new blog posts, articles or newsletters visitor looking for a product Categories - To make the every day; keeping it up to date. review, you know where to look site user friendly, set categories So aim to post something daily, so visitors know where to find on our site! what they want. For example on Add-ons - You can install a and enjoy your site! the MumsClub Blog, two of our number of ‘plug-ins’ to help you Thanks to Elaine Croft, WordPress categories are for Business further, such as a contact us Expert for providing these tips. www.vividstar.co.uk Mum’s Q&A’s and Reviews. As a

5. One-click-installation – Once your hosting is set

MumsClub provides low cost hosting that includes a variety of free software choices, including the incredibly easy to use WordPress one-click system. We can also provide low cost solutions to web building - for when DIY isn’t your preference! Go to www.mumsclub.co.uk for more information. Domain names start at around £6 for two years for a .co.uk. A .com will be around £9.99 per year.

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Facebook For Business

- A Beginners Guide You have your personal page so you have an idea about how Facebook works. It’s a social network; you have a list of friends, and your friends have friends. You see an interesting post or page, you ‘like’ it, comment on it, or share it. But Facebook can be a highly effective business tool too; so learn to use it well. There are an average of 3.2 billion daily conversations on Facebook. It is simply a vast network of people at your fingertips. And by carefully encouraging ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ you have access to it.

help with this. You can also personalise your buttons and choose which to place on show.

Your Control Panel -

You will be able to do a number of things from your control panel; view Page insights, edit your Page Create Your Business content, keep track of new activity and respond to Page - Where prompted; comments . You’ll see a choose a category, a relevant notification of new comments name, add your logo and a and messages here, it is business description. Filling out important to keep track of all the information will build trust. Be sure to set a memorable anything new and respond to “Vanity URL” for your Page (you’ll them to let potential customers need 25 fans first) which you will know that you’re on the ball. If then be able to promote in your you are too busy running your business, social media help is marketing, ours is simply available! facebook.com/mumsclub. You can add various pages such A First Impression as for running competitions Upload a cover image that (although please check up on instantly represents your brand facebook competition rules) fan and what you sell. It's the first of the month, twitter page which thing people will see when they posts a feed from your tweeting. visit your Page so ensure it is Explore your control panel and fabulous. To design a cover photo take a look at other business is ideal; see our quick guide for 16

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pages you like – see what plug-ins they have that would work for you. We add more as we find them, so take a look or share with our network any new ones you find...we’ll share you!

The News Feed - You can post updates, photos, videos and questions on your business page, the people who ‘like’ your Page will be able to see your posts in

According to

Facebook, successful posts are: Short: between 100 and 250 characters get about 60% more likes, comments and shares Visual: Photo albums, pictures, and videos get 180%, 120%, and 100% more engagement respectively Optimized: Page Insights help you learn things such as what times people engage most with your content so you can post during those hours.

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Facebook For Business their news feed. Statistically people spend 40% of their time here and it’s where you, as a business can engage them in conversation.

Grow and Engage Your Audience - If you have a personal page, ask your facebook friends to like your page, it will help to grow your network by recommendation. You can do this, and invite your email contacts via your control panel. The ability to post and engage with your network is your opportunity to build loyalty and create referral opportunities to ultimately generate sales. Trial and error will teach you what your network responds to. What engages them? What content encourages them to respond? As with your website, content is king, but with facebook you have the additional opportunity to engage in real time and receive feedback so use it. Share things that will interest them; photos and video are naturally more engaging. Ask for their response – ask opinions, ask for feedback. Designing a new advert – ask them what appeals to them. Reward your likers with exclusive information and specials. Ask them to claim special offers that they might share with their friends. Think about the marketing campaigns you can run around

Create your own facebook cover Things you should Do: They say the secret to a crystal clear facebook cover is its size. Ensure the size of your image is 851 x 315 pixels and save it as high quality. Use a unique image to represent your Page and use it to showcase your products or services. Make cupcakes? Show us your brightest most beautiful mouth-watering cupcakes! Changing your cover photo regularly. The change will show on your timeline therefore your liker’s news feed and will encourage likes and comments. Ask them what they think of the new design.

Facebook rules for state you must not include: • Price or purchase information, such as '40% off' or 'Download it on our website'. • Contact information or details that should go in your About section. • Calls to action or references to other things on Facebook such as the Like button.

the year – special Christmas advertising so when someone offers? New Halloween products? interacts with your business on Scheduling Posts - new Facebook it creates a story. Regard a ‘like’ as an endorsement to facebook is the ability to set as it will be seen by others. times of when you want your Ask questions and create posts post to appear. This can be that encourage engagement. incredibly time saving! Share exclusive information Address People and offers that people are likely Directly - If many people to want to pass along to their have commented on a post, to friends. address one specific person, you can tag them in your response by In Conclusion, facebook is about engaging with those who typing @ before their name. have chosen to like you. Keep Influence Friends of your posts interesting, topical Friends and relevant to both your business and your audiences. Be When people interact with your Page, their friends can see it in conversational and, fun and you their news feed as a story so really can’t go wrong. Get stuck in encourage interaction. Word of and talk to your people, and like mouth is the strongest form of them back. Enjoy!

To enhance your own Facebook Profile, you can now order your own cover design from our MumsClub designers. Go to www.facebook.com/mumsclub for more information. 17

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Inventing Mums Inventing

Mums

It’s been said time and time before that necessity is the mother of invention. And it’s never been more true. Throughout history people in general have had moments when they’ve though ‘I wish someone would invent a....’ but because of work, family commitments, and life in general getting in the way, being able to consider and actually do something about it does not always seem an option. But what’s great about mums who invent is that after a woman has taken maternity leave these light bulb moments look more and more promising because it offers her a way to stay at home with the children, not worry about childcare issues AND mean that she’s working towards a future for her children. Mums have been coming up with ideas for years, but more recently, with the internet in particular, relevant information and resources are readily available. Free business advice is out there, which makes it less daunting Google’s marvellous, and the likes of Business Link provide free services to get businesses of the ground. And with all the networking opportunities there are now, support is out there and you’ll never feel alone.

So why is it happening? The best products come from a need for something, and there is nothing like being a mum to spot a gap in a market - and then what better idea than to make her own? Mums use their own experiences to develop their products/ideas which make them not only practical but appealing to other parents, therefore saleable. There are products on the market now which wouldn’t exist if a mum hadn’t come up with the idea in the first place – and in many cases, that mum has been the driving force behind the product – researching thoroughly and actually bringing it to market.

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They may have spotted a gap in a market, realised a product they already use isn’t quite right, they may have figured out a way to produce cheaper or eco-friendly alternatives to products that are already available.

Gayle McCrorie www.Giftelope.com

“In my old life I used to be a But also, post maternity leave, we teacher. As a busy working mum, I can't always rely on our partner’s found that there were never enough income and because of the high cost hours in the day! (I bet you know of childcare we can't afford to go back that feeling!). After having trailed my to work either. Being a Mum Inventor one year old around the shops for a means that you can juggle family gift suitable for posting to a friend’s commitments with working from daughter, I sighed at the thought of home. It's not perfect with children having to wrap it. You see, the being poorly from time to time but problem is wrapping. I am of the when you strike the balance it works - belief that some people can wrap and most of the time! others… well, they simply can’t. Unfortunately for everyone I know, I We asked a few inventor mums to fall into the latter group. My motto is give us their story...

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Inventing Mums can’t wrap, won’t wrap! Last Christmas I had attempted to simply ‘giftbag’ everything, but I did feel rather guilty as the presents in the giftbags did look rather bare and I spent longer trying to seal the giftbags in order to disguise the unwrapped gifts inside! Anyway, back to this story… I was staring at the gift I had purchased and thinking to myself, I would rather wash my windows than attempt to wrap it, when suddenly out of nowhere I had my ‘lightbulb moment’. I thought to myself, I wish someone would invent a boutique gift envelope which mimics a traditionally wrapped present quickly and easily. And so, giftelope was born! And as they say, the rest is history! As I said I used to be a teacher. I am now happier than ever running my own business and spending quality time with my family. Also, my product is proving not only to be a hit with other busy mums but also with people with osteoarthritis.

times down on pieces of paper, I realised what a useful idea this would be for new parents. After two months of design, research and sourcing suppliers I secured a design patent and commissioned the first print run of Baby Feed Wheels. Although I'd initially planned to sell online through my own website, I had designed the Baby Feed Wheel in blue, pink and lemon with “to” and “from” printed on the reverse; so as well as being a thoroughly useful product for parents, it could also be sent as a congratulations card or ‘new baby’ gift, just as I had made for my friend. This opened up the possibility of wholesale sales, so I started by approaching local baby, card and gift shops and received an excellent response.

The Baby Medicine Wheel followed a couple of months later. Whilst on a short break with friends, their little boy started teething and needed medicine. Our friends used a Baby Elizabeth Geldart Feed Wheel to record the time of each dose so that they knew when www.chiggs.co.uk the next medicine would be due. My business, Chiggs Ltd, based in Shortly after the holiday I contacted Harrogate, retails and wholesales my the Patent Office with my second own inventions- the Baby Feed product! The Get Well Wheel Wheel, Baby Medicine Wheel and the completes the Chiggs range, (which Get Well Wheel. These are parenting are all printed in the UK and hand products, cards and gifts with finished in Harrogate), and came numbered dials to keep track of about when my husband's Gran asked baby’s feed and everyone’s medicine for a Baby Medicine Wheel to keep times. track of her daily medicines! With The inspiration for my first invention, ‘time of last medicine’ printed on the the Baby Feed Wheel, came in front, older children and adults of all October 2005 when I was visiting a ages can monitor their medicine friend who’d just had a baby. In the times whether recovering from midst of sleep deprivation, she illness, or taking regular medication. couldn’t remember her little boy’s I’ve found developing my own last feed time, so I jokingly suggested inventions into a business incredibly she used a car parking disc to set the rewarding. time whenever he had a feed. It’s a long way from my previous A couple of days later I took round a career as an Air Stewardess, and has little ‘homemade’ version (covered in been an incredible learning curve! blue paper with a little picture stuck Chiggs Wheels are now sold in shops on the front!) Remembering my own throughout Yorkshire, all over the UK, ‘hazy days’ after my daughter Holly’s and abroad, and by a wide variety of birth, when I would write all her feed online retailers. Along the way I’ve

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had great support from my husband Andrew, and my daughter Holly, now 6, is an important part of the business. She’s handed leaflets out at trade fairs, licked stamps, stuck stickers and if she had her way she would be allowed to answer the ‘phone, too!

Helen Wesson www.CheekyWipes.com “I developed Cheeky Wipes myself when looking for an alternative to costly disposable wipes which irritated my sensitive skin and added to landfill. However I think that the upsurge in Mum Inventions is also caused by other factors. Most Mums, like myself, had decent jobs prechildren. Post children, we can't rely solely on our partners income, but can't afford to go back to work either because of the high cost of childcare. I know it would cost me £1500 a month for my 2 little ones to be in full time childcare, by the time, I pay tax and travelling expenses it's hardly worth it! Being a Mum Inventor means that I can juggle my family commitments with working from home. It's not perfect but it works most of the time – childrens illnesses etc (like today when my eldest woke up with 'non-specific virus' rash all over his lovely face and needs to be off school for a couple of days)” So there you have it. Clearly, a great deal of the products you see today simply wouldn't exist without a Mother spotting the necessity behind the invention. Can you imagine marketers and employees of big nursery product companies coming up with them? There are so many resources for mum inventors; MumsClub, free courses from Business Gateway, and the She's Ingenious forum. All in all it’s a great deal easier these days to start up. So if you have a seed of an idea, what are you waiting for?

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An Introduction to Law The Law you need to know: Your business will run efficiently if you start as you mean to go on, and you will need to understand what you’re getting yourself into. So we asked Karen Holden, owner of A City Law Firm, to give us this introduction to what you need to know, to get your business started.

What should you think about? Legal Structure: Your first big choice will be whether to run your business as a sole trader, operate in a partnership, or become a limited company, which forces you to abide by certain rules and regulations but also grants you a greater degree of protection should something go wrong. Whatever you decide, make sure you plan well before starting a business. Franchises: If you decide to take on a franchise, you will need to understand: What are the legal stages of a usual transaction, what documents should I be signing? What is the agreement likely to include and to what extent can you amend or seek to negotiate the terms? What if you want to sell it on? What can go wrong and then what happens? Business names: Choosing a name for your business is important from a legal perspective. Ensure that your business’s name is not the same as any others (or confusingly similar), and that it does not infringe the registered or unregistered trade marks of any third parties.

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Intellectual Property: Your intellectual property (often referred to as ‘IP’) comprises not only your business name, but also your confidential information (trademarks, copyright, patents, goodwill, design rights, domain names etc). You will need to consider how your IP will be protected and who will own it. Key Legal Agreements: Putting the right legal agreements in place to govern the arrangements between you and others and ensuring that these are tailored to your needs, is essential to keeping your business running as smoothly as possible. Be it a partnership or shareholders agreement this agrees who does what, and what happens if there is a disagreement and terms and conditions, with clients, protects you by including indemnities and the like…these are just some of the documents you will need. Employing staff: getting the right Employment Contract or Contract For Services (for contractors) can be the reason for harmony between you and your staff, and can also save the day when it comes to disputes later on. Generally, there are much fewer obligations when taking on selfemployed individuals, but you still

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need to be careful that they aren’t ‘deemed’ to be employed. Make sure you understand your obligations and their rights. Ensure you are contracting with the right person: due diligence about who you are contracting with is important. If contracting with a company, check they are registered at Companies House, and confirm their registered number – a company can change its name several times, whereas the number always remains the same. Confidentiality Agreements: don’t give up your ideas and information to a third party for them to copy make sure you have third parties sign an agreement if it’s a unique product, invention or innovation Do you need insurance, should you be VAT registered, do you understand your consumer or provision of goods rights/obligations. We wish you all the best of luck with new business venture but if you need our help, please do not hesitate to contact Alia Ali for a free consultation contact: A City Law Firm LLP at alia@acitylawfirm.com

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Business Opportunity Q&A

Are you musical? Would you like to work for yourself with our support? …and are you great with children and adults? If so, this is the perfect opportunity for you. Teach music classes to babies & toddlers and their parents, and enjoy the benefits of an excellent income, flexible hours and work that is always fun!

The Business Opportunity: Our Licensed Teacher Programme is a flexible, affordable alternative to a franchise. Receive quality training, full ongoing support and all the teaching materials you need without large up-front franchise fees, and without being tied-in.

Flexibility: You can choose your own hours to suit your lifestyle. For example, if you have school-aged children, then you can work within school hours and round the school holidays. You can also decide how many hours a week you wish to work. Choose your own teaching locations. We don’t operate geographical restrictions, so you can find the areas that work best for you, as long as you don’t compete with an existing Musical Steps teacher. If you move house or even abroad, you can take your business with you.

Amount of Investment & Earning Potential: Training costs £575 + VAT, then you can choose from a range of equipment packages to suit your budget. Once you start teaching, your monthly licence fee is £60, and for that you can teach an unlimited number of baby/toddler classes and nursery/playgroup sessions, and provide Musical Steps entertainment at children’s parties. The amount you earn depends on how much you teach, and you can expect to make approximately £30 profit per half-hour class. You can also add to your income by selling Musical Steps CDs and other items.

Training & Support: Our comprehensive training covers all aspect of setting up, running and teaching Musical Steps baby and toddler classes. As you launch your business you get support from head office, and you will be teamed up with an experienced Musical Steps teacher – your ‘mentor’ – so you get help, advice and support from someone who has been there and done it all, and is making a success of their business. We also have a supportive online community of Musical Steps teachers, and an on-going professional development programme with training from head office.

Experience Required: We look for energy and enthusiasm, musical experience (not necessarily qualifications), experience with children, good communication skills, a sense of fun and a commitment to making a success of your business.

For More Information: We’d love to hear from you! Please contact Cathy McCallum on 0845 838 2354 or email

info@musicalsteps.co.uk | www.musicalsteps.co.uk 21

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Twitter for Business The

Beginner’s Guide

to… TWITTER

Lots of people ‘don’t get’ Twitter, and upon first glance it is easy to wonder what it’s all about. But once you start tweeting and building your followers, and start receiving tweets and mentions, you’ll begin to realise its power. Twitter can be a great platform for business, because it allows you to communicate with your customers and promote your brand, in real time.

The bottom line of Twitter is to find other like minded people to follow and get them to follow you back. But when you start off with no friends, no followers and realising that a tweet must be no more than 140 characters, you may feel confused!

The Basics - So the first step; let’s get your bio filled out. It will be your shop window to the twitter world so is valuable. Add an image; go for something bright and eye catching so yours will stand out in your followers twitter feed. Next, you need people to follow. Like minded people are the way to go, so feel free to tweet @mumsclub, we will happily introduce your to our network and start you off. Also use your current business network – post on facebook to see who you know who already uses twitter. You can always personally invite people to join you on twitter.

Who to follow - You can follow anyone you like (unless they have protected their tweets); the chances are if you follow someone else, they will follow you back, especially if you tweet (talk to) them. Celebrities however do not follow this train of thought, you may get a re22

tweet but they tend to tweet more than engage. But the celebrity route can be a marketing strategy to employ, especially if you have a suitable product and you’d like an endorsement. Instead of going through their PR – you can go direct to the source and hope for a reply! The advantage of Twitter is that being followed by strangers is how it works. You will be able to read all of the posts from those you follow – even if they don’t know who you are. And those who follow you will be able to read everything you post. From a security point of view it is therefore important not to tweet any personal information.

@name are displayed, and finally your direct messages so you can see the private messages you have been sent. You can also put those you follow into categories; friends, colleagues, customers, etc. Networking kicks in when you have followers interested in you, and you’re following people who interest you. You can reply to people’s tweets by simply hitting the reply button, whenever you mention somebody by using their @name, it will show up in their ‘mentions’. Omit the @ and they may not see it. So always remember the @.

Private messaging - You are able to send private messages

Your Twitter Feed - Your to those who follow you; those

twitter experience is based who do not follow you are unable around your timeline and its feed. to receive your private messages. To get the most out of it, you may find downloading tweetdeck or hootsuite will help you tremendously, especially when you get to having 100 or more people to follow. For instance in Tweetdeck, you will have 3 columns: 1. your main twitter feed where you will see all the tweets of those who you have chosen to follow, 2. Your ‘mentions’ column where all the tweets that mention you by your

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Twitter for Business Sometimes this is useful to discuss things in private but it is generally only suitable for people you really do know, unless it is a thank you for following, this is a common private message to receive.

Re-tweeting (The hallowed RT) - Retweeting is the twitter equivalent of the facebook share. When you see a tweet with RT at the beginning, it means that the person tweeting is repeating a tweet from someone else. It means they approve, or like it and want to share it. Likewise if you see a tweet you like or feel it would be beneficial to your followers, then RT it to tell them about it.

for business and learn to market yourself. You can use the Twitter Search function to find tweets about your industry or your product, and are able to respond to relevant tweets if you wish. Twitter is great for customer services as it is real time. You are able to tweet BT customer services for instance and receive immediate help. Virgin Trains tweet real time travel information which can be essential when travelling. Take a leaf out of this book and see how you can enhance your customer’s experience of your business.

have built some followers who are your potential customer, you need to study their habits – when do they tweet, are their certain times of day they are on twitter? Similarly to TV or radio advertising, if you can identify the ideal time bands, you will know the best time for you to be tweeting. For example, as mums, we are generally on the school run from 3pm, so to tweet at this time is reducing the opportunity to see. Choose your times carefully.

In networking, people can often come across as being too salesy which can put people off. In social networking, especially twitter, you must be careful not to do this in your tweets as you may lose followers if you fill up their twitter feed with sales copy.

Scheduling tweets - The ability to set times of when to tweet can be a huge time saver. If You will need to put effort and time into twitter to be able to use you have several messages to send out, you can schedule them it to its full advantage. You need to go out at various times of the to find worthwhile things to say that will engage your followers, or day, rather than all at once. This will increase the you run the risk of the opportunity for your dreaded unfollow. By messages to be seen, following someone and save you lots of you are giving them time as you can do all the opportunity to scheduling at once. impress you – so Also If you run a impress your twitter campaign followers! If (announce they don’t like something popular) what you post, if you have lots of you’ll lose them. RT’s, you can schedule Be conversational in your thanks so they are your tweets to build relationships, again showing you all spread out throughout the day. are a real person, not a robot. Try Some people RT, saying thank you to add value to your tweets – give for the RT. This shows your followers that lots of people have something away – a free guide, tips on how to get the most out of been RTing you...therefore they your product. Reward them with may be nosey enough to want to see what they’ve missed out on! offers if you can. Give people a reason to read and RT your Mentioning Someone tweets. This is something often

Let’s look at how to make it work

When to tweet - When you overlooked. If you reply to

Twitter Etiquette - There are no rules as such in twitter, but there is a certain amount of etiquette that has evolved. Thanking someone for a Retweet is one. If someone RT’s your post – you should say thanks. Thank you for following is becoming more popular but don’t be offended if you don’t always receive a thank you for following, some popular businesses have to turn off new follower notifications because of sheer volume of emails they receive!

So what do you tweet? -

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...Twitter for Business someone, the tweet will start with their twitter ID (@theirtwittername). This means that your reply is meant for only them but will also be seen by the followers that you both share. So if you want ALL of your followers to see your reply (which can be useful), ensure there is something before the @.

@MumsClub runs the biz mum follow. It’s our way of helping to connect mums in business. Simply tweet who you are including the hashtag and follow and be followed. And TALK to your new contacts!

Jacqueline Gold (@Jacqueline_Gold) runs her #wow (Women on Wednesday) . She invites women in business to Hashtags - We love a good hashtag! Using a search term with tweet a brief description of their businesses to her a “#” in front of it means there hashtag. She then picks are potentially lots of people talking about a particular word or her favourite three to phrase. In Tweetdeck you can set Retweet. Jacqueline has a huge amount of up a new column to see what is followers and has built being said by others about your chosen term. You can see what is up great interest in this feature so trending in the world of hashtags we recommend getting involved. You’ll also receive a winners too. At the time of the royal badge! wedding #royalwedding was trending a great deal – this means Theo Paphitis (@theopaphitis) there were thousands of people runs his #SBS (Small Business tweeting with #royalwedding in Sunday). You can tweet him a their tweets. Some people selling description and he will pick his 5 memorabilia may choose to favourite to Retweet and again it include #royalweeding in a is very popular and cheeky promotional post! But you’ll receive a don’t make a habit of this or winners badge for you’ll lose people. your website. Due to its popularity, Theo If you have a competition, you now holds an annual could choose a hashtag of your #SBS winners day own and get people using it to win prizes, their tweets with your also to provide a networking and photo opportunity with him. hashtag will be seen by their followers who may want to join in These two hashtags are superb so you get a followers with new ways to increase your followers networks to tap into. and gain extra credibility – and if #bizmumfollow you issue a press release you’ll - every Monday get some local exposure too.

Using links - If you want to share an article or blog post (to attract people to your blog), then you have the option to add a link into your tweet so that your followers can link direct to what you want them to see. Make sure your tweet makes them want to look, remember your 140 characters will include the link! But fear not, twitter can reduce the link for you, so don’t be alarmed if it changes. Go with it – you’ll soon pick it up. Etiquette alert – do not post too many links, this will make you look like a robot. Make sure people know there is a person behind your tweeting. Plus if they are links to advertising, people will soon learn not to click and simply ignore your future tweets.

Twitter on the go Thanks to the smartphone revolution you can tweet wherever you are, and have multiple twitter accounts set up too should you need or want to.

In Conclusion There you have it, twitter although slightly scary and bewildering to start with, can become your business friend. Because it is a relatively new, unique concept, it will evolve over time. So don’t be put off, use it and grow with it. Who knows where it may lead.

To support your twitter activity, MumsClub provides an effective Tweeting service. We can help you to build your twitter following with relevant followers. After then, it’s over to you to engage and keep them! But we can certainly build your network. www.mumsclub.co.uk 24

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Achieving the work/life balance by Lisa Baker - “Queen of Balance” Accredited Life Coach Lisa Baker is regularly asked for tips to achieve the (elusive) work life balance. Here are her top tips, as told by Lisa after successfully working through this issue with a client. In order to be the mum she wanted to be, Karen chose to leave her career in HR after having her second child. She was setting up her own business in HR coaching; a job that she loved but she was finding it hard; had been struggling for a while but couldn’t pinpoint the reason: “I don’t know how to prioritise my time. The children are driving me mad, not doing as I ask. My hubby and I always seem to be arguing, I don’t see my friends anymore. I’ve started to wonder if it’s really all worth it.” I completely understood where she was coming from. Not only had I heard the same thing from many women before her, but she was describing me, back when I started my own business. The transition from employed to stay at home mum, to self-employed was very much a challenge for me too.

children and husband was fast disappearing, leaving her feeling lonely and overwhelmed. It was clear that Karen was lacking in self-esteem, lost vision of her family values and was spending more time ‘hassled than happy’. These are the 3 keys skills we worked on to get her back on track.

Communication Stress, guilt, resentment and being overwhelmed were the top 4 emotions we were dealing with. Do you remember the saying ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’? Our behaviour of those emotions is our communication out to the world. Put yourself in your children or partners shoes, are you truly showing them that you both love and have time for them?

decisions, yet how come it feels so hard? Karen knew what she had to do, yet still didn’t do it. Setting boundaries of work and home time is the key to living in balance. Karen had to divorce her computer to get her prioritizes back on track... Her family come first!

Be Organised Being disorganised has a direct link to stress. Constantly reacting and chasing your tail leads to ill health. Many mums use a diary to run their business, but what they omit to allow time for, is spending time with their children/partner and most important time for themselves. Once Karen started to use her diary for all areas of her life (not just her business), she found herself back in control, living with less guilt and regrets.

Karen stopped shouting and started to In Conclusion really listen by looking them in the So, I took Karen through a ‘SelfRemember; your business doesn’t eyes, making them feel cared for, in Awareness’ session which helped her return she received that love back. create your perfect lifestyle; your realise that she had lost sight of who perfect lifestyle creates your business. Self-Discipline she was, and why she wanted to work Always make time for herself in the first place. The loving Self-employment gives you the control for the people you and flexibility to make your own connection that she’d had with her love! As a mum in business herself, Life Coach Lisa Baker knows only too well how the stress of juggling a family whilst growing a successful business, can impact the happiness of the family home. For a free consultation, you can contact Lisa at 07794381122, lisa@hassledtohappycoaching.co.uk or visit www.hassledtohappycoaching.co.uk

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How To Profit & Thrive in Business 3 Common Mistakes Women Make When Running A Business (And How To Avoid Making Them Too!)

It’s not enough to love your idea. A lot of women start their business convinced it’s the

best idea in the world and their passion alone will make it a success. Unfortunately that’s just not true; you need a powerful combination of your passion AND savvy business skills to make your enterprise successful. Make sure you have both. •

Don’t run your business like a hobby. Successful companies have a very structured and focused approach to how it makes money and you need to do the same. If you want to make £100,000; have a clear idea as to how you will make it. If you have a product selling at £1 and you want to make £100,000, that’s a lot to sell but you now have a starting point. When you run your business like a hobby, it can be too easy to take a “wait and see” approach and run it day-by-day, whereas if you run it like a business, you will always be looking to see what works, what doesn’t and change course where necessary to meet your goals.

Having no plan or support. It can be tempting to write a business plan at the start, file it and never look at it again! Your business plan is your blueprint (it doesn’t have to stay in the same format as the plan you start with) but it needs to be a living, breathing and adaptable document that guides your strategy and decision-making. When you have no plan, it can also be very easy to forget you need support. As your business grows, it’s even more critical to make sure you have the right support in place whether that is in the form of home arrangements, childcare or business support.

Free Repor t!

Find out more: Join me at www.yasminvorajee.com and get instant access to a special report on how you can PROFIT AND THRIVE in your business. You’ll also get regular updates on fantastic skills & strategies you can use immediately... plus all the latest news on free virtual training sessions, events and offers!

About Yasmin Yasmin Vorajee is from Preston, Lancashire and is based in Ireland with her husband, Colm, and their 2 year old son, Fionn Hamza. Her background is in training, developing and coaching business leaders in Fortune 500 companies for over 12 years. Yasmin is the creator of the Inner CEO Academy, specializing in working with women in business. The Inner CEO Academy is for you if you are a big thinking entrepreneur with a big idea but you know you need help to make your business work like a business.

In the Inner CEO Academy, you can work with Yasmin one-on-one (face-toface and virtually), in a group environment or online. It has to work for you – you have enough to do with growing your business and raising your family so there’s something to suit everyone!

w w w. y a s m i n v o r a j e e . c o m 26

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Death or Taxes Have you ever heard that “nothing is certain, except death and taxes”? The taxman will catch up with you sooner or later. Follow this simple advice from Georgi Rollings to put you ahead of the game.

1. Understand it

than you are.

The first thing you need to do is understand what you have to do! Read books, blogs, the MumsClub online library, online training, ask for advice, and but make sure you know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it by. Try talking to an accountant up front, many offer free no-obligation consultations. Making sure your accounts and tax affairs are up to date is your responsibility, ignorance of what you have to do won’t be accepted as an excuse by HM Revenue & Customs. Nobody is in a better position to understand your business

2. Stay on top of it There is nothing worse than trying to work through a backlog of old receipts and bank statements. Build up a routine to help you stay on top of your books, that way you will invoice promptly, collect your money sooner, and you won’t forget to claim any of your expenses. Ideally you need to review them once a week, that way it will never build up into an unmanageable chore.

3. Be organised If you are organised then you are 90% of the way there:

• As soon as you make a sale, raise an invoice and file it; • Whenever you buy something, get a receipt, make a note on it how you paid, and file it. A folder or envelope for each month isn’t a bad starting point; •

Make sure you regularly

review any outstanding debts to make sure that your customers pay – and chase them if they haven’t;

• Every time you do some business mileage, write it down. Keep a notebook in the car to make it even easier; • Have a separate bank account, credit card and PayPal account for your business so you are not wading through irrelevant transactions; Whenever you get your bank statement make sure you know what all the items are, then either put them in a spreadsheet, or make notes on your bank statement. Even if the thought of tackling your own tax return is less appealing than working in the sewers you should be able to do the above. If the information you give to your accountant at the end of the year is organised it will speed the process up, and keep the fees low!

As a qualified Chartered Accountant with 16 years accounting experience, Georgi Rollings has worked for companies including Deloitte & Touche, Visa, and HP. She now specialises in providing tax and accounting support to small and early stage businesses. To see what Georgi can do for your business visit www.starfishaccounting.co.uk

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The power of video on your website Produce your own DIY simply awesome video creation A video on your website is becoming a very popular way to get your story across to potential customers in a way that means they don’t have to think about what they’re doing. The chances are they’ll be nosey enough to click on play (aren’t we all) and it will help to hold their interest for a little while, and give your video chance to convey your core messages and keep them even longer. And while it’s relatively new, it makes your site more interesting than the next.

most of your product or service. Is there any insider knowledge you can divulge? A how-to guide perhaps?

Videos aren’t as difficult to produce as you may think. With some planning by its owner, any website can boast a video without going over budget. Here are some tips to help you go DIY:

Create a Storyboard - Just

Your Goals - Before firing up your video camera, think about what you want your video to achieve, what are the key messages you need to convey to your site visitors? Driving more traffic to your site, adding to your marketing arsenal, developing brand image, introducing new products, building relationships with potential customers. Decide your style - Imagine you are your customer, what are they interested in? What style will appeal to them? What, about your product/ service, will be beneficial to them? Stress those benefits and why your potential customers need it. Consider... Testimonials – using your customers to talk for you, giving a personal demonstration to show off your new products, re-living your events, can you create an event to highlight your business? Talk about the team behind the business – show you have a real, and likeable team. Give something away – how about some extra tips or hints to making the

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like any article it is important that your video has structure; a beginning, a middle, and an end. Consider the experience you want to give your audience and how you can best create that. Don’t forget the purpose of your video and what you are aiming to achieve.

well!) or bounce a harsh light off a light coloured wall. Natural sunlight is always ideal so when indoors, find large windows to provide your light. If shooting outside, an overcast day can often work better than sunshine because the clouds act as a diffuser. Always keep your subject facing the light source to eliminate shadows over the face.

Always do a test and play back to check, you may find you need to Your beginning: (opening shot/slide): adjust standing positions because of the light. Time of day (and year) will a testimonial, a customer in their impact too, midday sun creates home/office/using the product? shadows but late afternoon in the Your middle: The product or service in summer can create a different light use – how can you best portray this – altogether. Play to your advantages. not forgetting its benefits? What Background: Always take a look then questions might your audience be another look the background of your thinking...address and answer them. shot. Simple is better to keep your Your end: (closing shot): Just like on a viewers focus on the product. Plus, website or promotional literature – especially if outdoors, you never know remember your call to action, tell what might walk into view... your potential customers what to do: Keep very still: Use a tripod if “click here”, “buy here”, sign up necessary – you must, must, must, here”. Make it clear what you want keep the camera still so don’t attempt from them; an air of urgency can panning or walking with your subject. prompt action, perhaps give a time Don’t zoom, instead shoot a clip, stop limit in which to claim an offer. recording and move in closer to shoot Shooting Your Video another. Lighting: same as with taking stills; Create footage: Before launching into lighting is essential to maximise the details of your product, shoot the professionalism. Avoid direct light, try setting to give your audience a feel for to use a diffuser (baking paper works

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where you are. If your shoot is office or home based, shoot some of the outside of the building, and then move inside, include signage close ups.

Submitting your video sitemap to Google will also be beneficial to seeing your videos listed within the search engines. This also means viewers can watch directly from Google. You can learn more about Google video sitemaps...on Google! They make a huge difference in how well you get found on all search engines.

Sound: When shooting footage, natural sounds are fine but when indoors and your subject is speaking, you need to take a test recording and listen carefully. Machinery, cars, any Get it Published! mechanical or computer humming will So your video is ready and you’re be noticeable so find a quiet spot. ready to announce the latest addition Position your subject and ask them to to your marketing toolkit. You should speak loudly but naturally, ask a few publish in as many places as possible, simple questions, avoiding those as well as on your own home page. which lead to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Use your video for SEO (Search Don’t worry about your voice being Engine Optimisation) - We all want there, or making mistakes as you’ll be our websites to be found on search editing later. engines, and you can use your video Editing to help achieve this. Firstly in the same manner as images are used, you At this point you could hire a should give your video descriptive, professional to edit your work but clear and relevant titles, descriptions there are tools available for you to and tags, using your keywords. This DIY. Be prepared, as you will need to will help your site to be found, thus wear your ‘creative hat’ for this job! driving traffic your way. Aim to edit it down to less than 2 Let’s go Viral! minutes. Throwing too much information at your audience will If you’ve seen the share button on result in it being flung over their heads facebook – this is what we’re talking so keep it short and sweet. about. If your video is fabulous, people will share it with their social Windows Movie Maker is probably the most widely accessible as it comes networks. Have you heard the term, viral marketing? Post something free with Windows. amazing and people will share...and iMovie is the Apple product that share and share. This is a great way to comes free with Mac computers. increase brand awareness for your In the same way as new, fresh content business. is great for your website, new video Get a YouTube account – this is content works the same way. So if you essential, and simple. Add a can, try to add more video regularly. descriptive title and your website Perhaps come up with a set of how-to address at the beginning of the video guides. This will also keep your description. Use your keywords to tag audience interested. it and compose a few sentences that describe your video, again with keywords.

often share it for you... Go direct to the world..Twitter: Post a tweet to your followers, including just the title and link to your video, keeping it under the 140 characters maximum of course. There are more social networking options out there so use them all to your advantage. Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ are also very worthwhile.

Evaluating your work So you’ve shot, edited, published, optimised and promoted your new video. Which worked best for you? Look at your website stats to monitor changes in traffic, where did your hits come from? Facebook, twitter, YouTube? Identify the top traffic drivers and aim to build on this success next time. What could you do to gain more shares? Did you get more likers? More subscribers? What can you do to get more? Did more web hits convert to sales? Perhaps next time you run a marketing campaign, split it and promote two landing pages. One with just images and one with your video, and see which page converts more sales. What you can tweak for the future?

Conclusion Video is a great way to engage with your past, current and potential customers. You are sharing with them – your passion for what you do, and building relationships by showing them who you are. People buy from people so be sure to get this across.

If you find success in creating and publishing videos, this could develop into the main focus of your marketing activity. Find what works for you and build on it, see how you can look at building a series to support your marketing activity, create an annual Use your business Facebook page to plan to launch them at relevant times post your video and encourage those throughout the year to coincide with who have already “liked” your page to national activities and holidays. And view and share the link. They will above all enjoy it!

MC:tv is the MumsClub way of producing your clip based videos. This is one of the most cost effective ways to have someone else produce your video using your video clips and stills. You get background music and special effects too, and we can even produce impressive videos using solely still images and captions. www.mumsclub.co.uk

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Business Opportunity Fact File

The Business Opportunity: The Business mum’s Journal is a magazine developed to provide options, solutions, advice and support to women (like you) looking to set up their own business from home. As well as plenty of inspiration by promoting other mum-owned businesses in the Mumpreneur directory. Produced by business mums, it is freely available through our distribution outlets across the UK.

Work Description: A solution for you to be the editor of your own magazine. Your responsibility will be to fill the magazine with advertising and manage local distribution.

Work/Life Balance: Once set up you will find this is a very part time business, you will build your reputation and contacts and will find it easier once you establish your own work/life balance. It has great earning potential with the flexibility to continue being there for your children.

Amount of Investment: There are various affordable options available, please contact us for an information pack. editor@businessmumsjournal.com

Experience Required: No actual experience is necessary but an eye for detail will help you. Having confidence in your own ability will take you and your business a long way.

Training & Support: We will provide editorial content and arrange for printing, your responsibility will be to fill the magazine with advertising, some leads of which can be centrally generated through us. You will also benefit from our national distribution deals.

For More Information: www.businessmumsjournal.com editor@businessmumsjournal.com

Additional Information: This is a great part time business that could earn you a full time income. You will be incredibly proud to be the editor of your own magazine, especially when you see the very first issue in print! The original Journal was first distributed in 2008 at the NEC Baby Show and has since won distribution through the Midlands Mothercare stores. Backed by MumsClub; the UK’s leading mumpreneur support network, there no better time than to join our exciting, and spreading network. 30

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Start up Business Guide