Category: Thrifty Business Tips

5 Tips for Hosting a Live Conference Call

live conference callHosting a live conference call with your team?

Unsure if you’re fully prepared?

Hosting a conference call is an excellent way to connect with your team and discuss important topics. However, it can take a little practice to get the most out of your meetings.

If you’re preparing to host a live conference call, these 5 crucial tips will help you make sure you’re ready for a successful and productive meeting.

1. Know the Tech

It’s important to prepare for the technical side of your live conference call. You should also know what features are offered by your conference call service.

Be sure to find a service provider you can rely on for your business conference calls. A service provider such as VoiceOnyx will offer reliability while also providing excellent customer service and any support that you may need.

If possible, you should also perform a practice run with the software to test out any features you’ll be using before you go live.

2. Set an Agenda

Having an agenda and set schedule for the conference call is important, but it’s just as important to stick to it. Be sure to start the conference call on time and to stay on task.

15 minutes is an ideal meeting length which can help you to stay on task without testing the limits of your team’s attention spans.

Make sure to only discuss pertinent information during a meeting, and you’ll be sure to stay on track, increase engagement, and have a more productive business in the long run.

3. Encourage Engagement

The truth is, few people give their full attention during a conference call. It’s important to emphasize the importance of your team’s attention to foster engagement.

At the beginning of the call, remind your team to limit distractions and participate fully. Encourage participation by asking your team questions during the call.

Instead of an audio only conference call, consider using visual aids. You will need a reliable internet connection and a computer with web conferencing abilities.

4. Give Your Full Attention

It’s important to give the conference call your undivided attention as well.

Some bosses have their conference calls while in a busy airport, a crowded bar, or while walking down the street. This may send the wrong message to your team and encourage similar behavior from them during future calls.

Make sure you’re in a quiet space during your conference call and avoid working on other tasks, like monitoring your email.

5. Record the Live Conference Call

It is an excellent idea to record your conference call if you have the capability.

An archived recording of the call can allow you and your team members to go back in and review important information that was discussed.

Final Thoughts

Used correctly, a live conference call can be an excellent and comfortable way to communicate with your team. Just make sure to follow the steps above and you’ll be sure that you’re getting everything you can out of the call.

Did you enjoy the article? Contact me if you have any questions about Thrifty Momma Ramblings or have suggestions for future business tips.

5 Unique Ways to Make Your E-Retail Business Stand Out

fotolia 168882516 subscription monthly m If you’re ready to start your own e-retail business, then get ready to have some fun. Internet sales last year reached a whopping $394.86 billion!

With sales figures in the billions, you’re bound to come across a healthy dose of competition as you set up your e-retail business.

Have no fear. There are plenty of ways you can make yourself stand out. Let’s have a look.

Understand Your E-Retail Business’ Unique Selling Point (USP)

This will be the cornerstone of your e-retail business. Ask yourself if the product you’re selling solves a problem for customers. Is there anything out there like it? What makes your product unique?

Can you sum up your USP in one graphic? That’s the goal when designing your e-retail business’ logo.

You must create the most eye-catching logo this side of the moon. This is easier than it seems.

Let’s consider one of the most notable logos in the world – the golden arch at McDonald’s. Incredibly, it’s simple and has no special effects.

Understand the Trends in Your Industry

If your business relates to the fashion industry, follow the current trends and produce something with a unique twist.

For example, you’ll find woven patches on a lot of outerwear this fall. What can you do to capitalize on this movement?

One smart company is out there selling embroidered clothing labels.This is a great example of someone who thought outside the box.

Create Exciting Content

While your website is your storefront, your blog is your shop clerk.

Create a blog that expresses your voice and inspires customers to not only purchase your products but improve their lives.

Stay active on social media. Send out fun, informative, and stylish Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts every.single.day.

Always Be Available

This is worth repeating. Always be available.

One of the first things you should check every morning – and all throughout the day – is customer inquiries that have come through the “Contact Us” form your site. If you’re able, set up a Live Chat feature as well.

When customers feel they have your attention as they spend their hard-earned money, you’re already standing out from the crowd.

Make Your Website Shine

Similar to your logo design, you actually want to follow the “less is more” practice on your website. Limit your content, keeping each page clean, simple, and easy to read.

Pay special attention to your images. A picture’s worth a thousand words for a reason. They tell as much of the story as our words – if not more.

Your images simply cannot be blurry, outdated, or irrelevant. They must work for you – helping to sell your products.

If you have any friends in the industry, see if you can work out a deal with them to take some professional photos for you.

Thrifty Momma is always seeking out new ways to earn a living right from the comfort of our homes. If you want to chat about innovative ways to create the e-retail business of your dreams, we’re only a click away.

3 Tips to Help You Work From Home With Your Own Business

work from homeAre you trying to juggle raising kids and running a business from home?

Do you constantly want to tear your hair out because there’s not enough time in the day for completing all your tasks?

If so, don’t worry!

This article will give you tips on how to effectively work from home while raising kids. Read on for our top three tips:

1. Designate a Space For a Work From Home Office

We understand that you might not have an entire room to dedicate to your work from home business. However, it’s important you have a designated work space.

Make this space a kid-free zone. Emphasize to your kids that they shouldn’t bother your work space under any circumstances.

Keep this space clean and organized at all cost. Even when the rest of your house is in disarray, make sure your office area is clean so you can always hop into work mode.

Keeping your workspace clean will ensure you have a clear mind when you have those precious moments to wsit down and crank out some work.

2. Set a Schedule For Yourself

Buy a desk calendar and plan out a weekly schedule for yourself if you can.

First write down your motherly obligations such as soccer games, doctor’s appointments, and carpools. Then plan your work time around those engagements.

Write in scheduled work hours in pen and view them as a commitment to yourself.

As a mother, you too often get caught up in the needs of your children and forget to tend to your own needs and aspirations.

Don’t let that happen with your work at home business.

Schedule out time every day – even just an hour or two – to get work done.

Only you know your family’s schedule. If your kids are in bed by 8pm, then 8pm might be the best time to get some work done.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Running your own business from home while raising kids is hard work.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help whether that help is in the form of child care or financial need.

You may need to hire a nanny or babysitter for your children in order to get work done, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If your business needs help financially, consider looking into short term business loans, and other forms of start-up capital.

Seek out help from your friends, family, and community. People will understand how hard it is to try to raise children and conduct business at the same time.

To Wrap Things Up…

You’re a rockstar for chasing your dreams while raising kids.

Remember to designate room for yourself to work, set a concrete work schedule, and don’t hesitate to ask for help.

If you follow these tips you’ll be on your way to a thriving work from home business and kids who are happy because their mother’s happy.

If you have any questions or tips on how to work from home with your own business please let us know!

How to Choose the Perfect Dress Shoes for Work

dress shoesWomen and our shoes. Thanks to the Internet, the possibilities are nearly endless. That doesn’t mean we can wear whatever we want, whenever we want.

Every day you open the closet and every day you ask yourself the same question: “What shoes do I wear to the office today?”

For the not-so-fashion-conscious lady out there, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Today, we’re talking about how to pick out the perfect dress shoes for work, so that your boss notices your killer pitch and not your worn-out soles.

The Best Dress Shoes for Work

Classic Black Pumps

When in doubt, throw on these dress shoes to wear to the office. They go with nearly every possible ensemble, from skirts to suits.

Just like the lady wearing them, they’re sophisticated and business-like, but can still be sexy when they need or want to be.

If you like having the illusion of longer legs, have a backup pair of neutral colored pumps. To keep it as professional as possible, go with a two-inch heel or shorter.

Flats

As long as the style is business-like, these shoes are great, especially if you’re in a busy office where you find yourself getting up and walking around. These shoes are the best for having style without sacrificing comfort or mobility.

Boots

Keep a pair of boots around. If a rainy day hits, you don’t want to ruin your pumps or flats.

It’s not hard to find a pair of these shoes for pretty much any occasion — not just a thunderstorm. Plus, they’re great for helping ladies who wear small sizes shoes look like they have more proportionate and balanced feet.

Shoes You Should Never Wear to the Office

Open-Toe Shoes

If your office attire is business formal, business professional, or business casual – and let’s face it, if you’re working in an office, it’s likely one of these three — open-toed shoes should not be considered dress shoes.

Crazy Colors

Pinks, yellows, and oranges. You love them and every lady has a pair or two in her closet. Unfortunately, they aren’t appropriate for work so Monday through Friday, leave them at home.

This rule includes shoes that have polka dots, zebra or leopard prints, and any other trendy patterns or designs.

Stilettos

You know what they say, “The taller the heel, the less appropriate it is for work.”

Who says that? We do.

These shoes are great for a girl’s night out or clubbing, but for business attire, they really aren’t doing it for us as dress shoes.

Flip Flops

If you’re looking to get canned, one great way to do so is to wear flip flops to work and see how many times you can walk by the CEO’s office before being reprimanded.

It won’t take long.

Wrapping it Up

So now you know what to wear and what not to wear. You can’t go wrong with a classy pair of pumps or even some nice Mary Jane’s.

A lot of your attire possibilities depend on your office’s dress code. To next level your outfit, match your shoes with your bag and any other accessories you’re rocking that day.

What do you think about today’s post? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

Why You Need Data Backup For Your Home Business

backup dataShould you cut corners when it comes to protecting your precious information?

We don’t think so, and nor should you!

Starting a home business already comes with its challenges.

From an array of possible cyber attacks, natural disasters, and human error, it’s definitely important to consider the best data backup system for your home business.

Are you prepared?

What Is Data Backup?

Data backup is a virtual necessity when running any sort of business with a technological backbone.

By storing files and folders away in a data backup, your information is protected from any outside source that could damage or destroy your hard work. The main purpose of the service is to give you the ability to restore any lost data.

Great data backup is protected and encrypted, keeping any hackers out of your business (literally).

Not only that, using a data backup provides you with more space on your hard drive, sending documents into a cloud network to lighten the load.

A Home Business Essential

As mentioned before, every business needs a data backup, and with storsimple prices honing in on the right service for you, it’s simple.

However, if you’re still unsure why you should own a data backup for your home business, here are three good reasons:

1. Your Hardware Isn’t Indestructible

Everything is capable of failure, and if Amazon is disposed to system wide shut downs (losing nearly 2 million dollars in 30 minutes!), so are you.

Anything and everything is possible.

From natural disasters to even spilling some water on the keyboard, without a proper data backup you’re risking irreparable damage to your reputation, security, and revenue lost. Why take the risk?

2. You’re Human

And accidents happen.

Face the facts, hard drives fail, emails have viruses, and your butter fingers might happen to delete some important information. Oops!

With a data backup, there’s always a second, third, and thirtieth chance.

These sorts of opportunities alone can’t be missed, and with storsimple prices, you’re given a variety of estimates for many different price ranges.

The systems have interfaces which frequently take snapshots of your system, reducing your chances of making a mistake with its ability to restore information at any moment.

3. You Need to Secure Your Data

This is not open to debate.

The most significant force against your home business is a cyber attack.

A recent study shows that 9 out 10 breaches are designed for smaller businesses, putting your home business facing the odds of being hacked.

A great data backup provides you with the peace of mind with innovative data encryption.

This is important for new and already existing home businesses on the market. With you’re information free to grab, you could lose tons of revenue.

What Do You Think?

A good data backup isn’t just obligatory to have, it’s your friend. It can save you hours of your precious time.

Protecting your business needs to come first if you want to continue participating in the eCommerce market, and it doesn’t have to be scary.

Do you have any experiences with data backup systems?

Be sure to leave a comment below to tell us about your story!

15 Tips to Create a Logo Like a Pro (for Free!)

create a logo

Let me let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to pay a professional to create a logo that’s amazing and embodies your company. Honestly, you don’t even have to be a solid artist!

There are tools that make this incredibly easy, but there are still some things that you need to keep in mind when you start to create a logo for your personal brand.

We’ve got 15 tips straight from professionals to help you on your logo creation journey. Keep these in mind, and you’ll have an eye-catching, sleek logo before you know it!

Create a Logo with These 15 Protips:

Know your goals

If you don’t know your goals, how can you expect to create a logo that’s compelling and effective for them?

Keep in mind that this goes deeper than a base level. Just because you know what your business is, doesn’t mean that you’ve got everything you need to create a sleek logo.

Make sure you know what you want to accomplish. Research it. Thoroughly. If you’ve been around the block with your business, take account of that. Know your history. You want something that embodies you – all of you.

Keep it simple

The cardinal rule when it comes to how to create a logo is simplicity. You don’t want a logo that’s too complex. While that may be eye-catching, it draws people in for all the wrong reasons.

Think about it: where do you see most logos? When do you see them? Is it while you’ve got time to sit around and ponder what that complicated logo may represent, or what it might say?

Absolutely not. You want something quick that can be identified while people are busy or in motion. You want something that screams out your product, even if people aren’t stopping.

Ask questions

This ties back to our first point, and it just makes it all the more important: know your goals and your business!

If you don’t, you’re going to have to ask questions. Even if you do know them, you need to be asking questions – the right ones.

You need to know what your company stands for if you’re going to create a logo that embodies it. You need to tap into what’s going on in the market so you can meet the mark. This will also give you valuable insight into a strategy, and help you develop what you have in mind for your band.

Know your market

Unless you’re involved in a very, very specific niche, you’re going to have competition. That means there’s going to be a market for your product.

Before you even make your first initial sketch or vector design, take a look at what your competition is doing.

This can both help inspire you and give you a direction to go with your logo. You’ll be able to identify what’s conventional with that brand, what typography is used, color schemes, and so on.

Resize it

Remember what we said about keeping your logo simple? This is one of the reasons why.

Regardless of what your business is, it’s almost a sure bet that the logo you design isn’t going to remain at a static size. How would a large logo intended strictly for billboard advertising look scaled down for a print magazine?

If you’ve created something intricate and complex, it probably won’t look good. It will lose details and become muddled.

However, if you keep your design simple while you create a logo, you can ensure that it will look good and remain identifiable across all mediums, regardless of what size it comes out to.

Colors!

There’s so much you can do with color. As an artist, you have a veritable mood-creator at your disposal.

Colors can be used to elicit feelings, whether it’s intentional or not. Be smart: make it intentional.

Additionally, your color pallet should be something that both fits the company and its history while remaining easy on the eyes. Clashing colors make for an unattractive logo that will turn your customers off.

Be aware of trends

While you don’t want to be a sheep that follows the pack in every way, making yourself aware of design trends while you create a logo. This works in a similar way to making yourself aware of competition: you’ll know what’s out there.

When you think of trends, try not to attach a negative connotation to it. Yes, trends come and go, but it’s important to make sure that the logo you create for your client looks fresh, up to date, and modern.

Be descriptive

This probably seems like an impossible conundrum, right? How do you create a logo that’s descriptive while remaining simple and sleek?

It’s difficult, but it’s necessary. Your simple design needs to describe what the company’s about. It needs to be eye-catching, and at the same time, it needs to speak to your heritage and where the company’s been.

Show your logo drafts to someone completely unrelated. Ask them what they think your business is about. If none of your logos speak to that idea accurately, it’s literally time to go back to the drawing board.

Typography

Don’t underestimate the power of typography in logos! There are thousands upon thousands of fonts out there – and several of them for free.

You’ve probably already got a decent idea of what makes for good and bad typography. You want your words to flow, and there are some fonts you know not to touch, except maybe to drop-kick them away from you (Comic Sans, anyone?).

Choose a font that looks both modern and suits your business well. That doesn’t mean you can shy away from weird fonts with personality, but you need to keep it legible and identifiable as well. And, if possible, don’t be afraid to make the typeface a part of the artwork itself!

Shape

There are design ideas out there that have become downright cliches at this point. Light bulbs referring to ideas, globes referring to travel – things like this and anything else need to be nixed from your repertoire immediately.

Instead, stick to basic shapes: triangles, squares, and circles. Come up with designs that fit into those shapes, and you’ll have an easier – and more creative – time.

Structure

If a logo is supposed to be simple, there’s no point in getting heavily into structure, is there?

Wrong.

When you create a logo, you still need to stick to basic structures and ratios. A great way to do this is to see if your logo fits into the golden ratio specifications.

Work with negatives

You may think that the logo you create is too small to use negative space effectively, but you may be making a grave mistake.

Negative space can add a unique touch to any logo, and can even elevate it to a higher, more refined place.

Symbolism

Remember in high school, when you had to figure out what an author in a book was really trying to say when he wrote about “blue curtains,” or anything else?

When you create a logo, you need to tap into that same part of your brain. In popular culture, different shapes and objects mean different things. By incorporating those shapes or objects – or at least referring to their shape – you can invoke those meanings in the public consciousness.

Be funny!

You can say a lot in a logo, so don’t be afraid to be funny when it counts. As an artist, you know how to depict things in subtle ways – utilize that!

Wit doesn’t have to be complicated or highbrow. People can understand jokes even as they pass by a logo. If you’ve got the mindset and the opportunity to throw in a (literal or metaphorical!) wink to your audience, I encourage you to take it!

Remain flexible

Our final, biggest expert protip when learning how to create a logo is that flexibility matters.

Climates change, and so do businesses. When you create a logo, it’s a process. You constantly have to be keeping up.

If the climate changes while you’re at the drawing board, you have to maintain the flexibility to go back in and make tweaks and updates. Don’t expect the business climate to remain static because the only guarantee is that it won’t.

Represent Your Company Well

As you can see, there’s a lot more that goes into a logo than just drawing a cute picture and writing your company’s name under it.

You need to take into account things like symbolism and color theory. You don’t want your audience feeling the wrong thing at the wrong time, and you want to give an accurate representation of your company.

Because of this, I encourage you to develop a design that evokes your company’s heritage and speaks to where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’d like to go in the future.

At the same time, don’t overthink it! Nothing in the business world is static, and that includes logos.

If you have questions regarding logo design and how to create your own, feel free to give us a shout!