Retail Dreams: 8 Tips for Moms Running a Great Retail Business

retail businessDespite what they say, you can have it all.

Around 57% of moms have started their own business or at least thought about it. That goes to show how strong the entrepreneur spirit is among moms. But striking the balance between running a retail business and being a mom can be tough.

Below, we’ve put together 8 tips to help moms run a great retail business.

1. Focus on What You Do Best

When you’re running a business and a family at the same time, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details.

On the business side, try to limit the time you spend wrapped up in the minutiae. That’s a good way to burn out your passion and lose sight of what drew you into your retail business in the first place.

Try making a list of the key features you enjoy about running your business and try to focus on those. You might have to wear some different hats occasionally, but you can get a lot done without getting caught up in the details.

2. Accept When You Need Help

If it comes to it, consider hiring people to tackle the minutiae while you focus on the parts that inspire you.

Being a mom means you also have a family to lean on. If you feel like you’re the one supporting everyone else, it might be time to flip that on its head. It may surprise you to discover how much your family can pick up the slack when you need them to.

3. Build a Community

One of the fantastic things about owning a small business is the connection you can build with your local community when you start out.

You’ll usually find friends either in your local area or in an online community who will help you out with advice and support. This can be invaluable throughout your whole business journey as it means there’s someone extra to help you out.

Social media makes it easier than ever to find fellow business moms or businesses of a similar size. Banding together can even help you with marketing and cross-promotion.

4. Consider Your Growth

When owning your own business, you have some major choices to make concerning the future of your business.

In general, most businesses seek constant growth and new opportunities. But if you began your small business with love and passion, you may not want it to grow out of control Рparticularly if you want to keep playing a day to day role in it.

That might mean turning down opportunities for growth. But if you’ll be happier for it in the long run, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The beauty of owning your own business is that you get to call these shots.

5. Protect Yourself

Running a business can often involve facing some difficult situations. Those situations may include threats to your personal or business security.

Take precautions to stay safe when you’re doing business. Shoplifting, break-ins, and threats of violence can all result in heartbreak, as can trouble with the people you hire.

With a few preventative steps, you can reduce the risk to yourself and your business. You can read more here about shoplifting prevention.

Staying on good terms with your local community can also help you stay safe as you do business.

6. Be Strong, Be Bold

This one’s a twofer, but they’re related skills.

In business, remember to be strong. Assertiveness is important for many reasons, from dealing with staff to saying “no” to excessive requests for freebies or your precious time. Carrying your business with strength will also show you won’t let other businesses bully you.

Being bold is another key business skill. By this, we mean don’t be afraid to strike out for new opportunities. That might mean handing out business cards without shame or being the first one to tout your business. Being bold is one of the best ways to unlock new business, so throw out the fear and get out there.

7. Don’t Forget Your Family

In all the excitement of running a business, it can be a struggle to strike the right work-life balance.

While you’re unlikely to forget your family altogether, it’s easy to get swept along in the current of doing day-to-day business and fail to make enough time for family.

Try to ensure you balance work time with family life by putting strict limits on the number of hours you work and ensuring you take days off. Making time around public holidays and family celebrations are also vital.

If someone in your immediate family expresses concerns about how much you see each other, be sure to listen. While you might not be able to accommodate them, it’s important not to turn defensive and lose sight of your own feelings.

8. Stop and Breathe

Being a mom is a full-time job in itself, nevermind running a retail business on top of it. With your head buried so deep in work, it’s important to sometimes stop and take a step back.

Try to get a look at the bigger picture. You may discover things you could be doing differently, or you might discover some misaligned priorities. It’s a great chance to think about your work-life balance and spend time with the people who matter most to you.

It’s also a brilliant opportunity to take a look at your business. You might spot opportunities for growth or promotion you hadn’t considered before, for example. Or you can take the time to come up with your plan for the next year to take advantage of a trend.

Mom’s Retail Business Dreams

With these 8 fantastic tips, you should be able to have it all and achieve mom’s retail business dreams. Business and family life both share one thing in common: you never stop learning. So learn and grow as you work, and you’re sure to find the balance that works for you.

Looking for more business tips for moms? Make sure to follow our blog.

5 Essential Makeup Brushes for Building Your Kit

essential makeup brushesWhether you’re a total makeup junkie or if you’re just now getting into the beauty world for the first time, to truly beat your face, you need the right tools.

Of course, that means reading reviews, watching makeup tutorials, and even asking local makeup artists their preferences when it comes to brands, shades, and lip kits. But the most important makeup tools of all aren’t the actual products you use.

Instead, it’s the makeup brushes you use to apply them.

Making an investment in the right essential makeup brushes can seriously upgrade your application skills, and help you to avoid a patchy or caked-on look.

In other words? They’re a smart investment, especially because they often allow you to use less product.

Keep on reading our makeup brushes guide to learn which brushes you absolutely need to buy.

Choosing High-Quality Basic Makeup Brushes

Before we get into the essential makeup brushes that beauty enthusiasts of every level have to own?

Let’s first discuss how to find quality brushes. We know that you’re always looking for a great deal, but making a larger investment in your makeup brushes upfront will save you in the long run.

Plus, it will prevent you from running back to your fave makeup store every month, and buying even more makeup just because you’re there.

While these brushes might be great for commercial use, that’s not the kind of texture you want on your face! To ensure the brush is soft enough, gently rub it against your inner arm before you buy. Check out the texture, and see if it feels soft as opposed to scratchy.

Finally, make sure the brush didn’t leave any fibers behind. Those tiny black and brown hairs are a pain to pull off your face, and you’ll risk ruining your makeup.

The Essential Makeup Brushes

Now that you know how to pick the best types of makeup brushes, let’s get into the essentials.

No kit is complete without these fluffy additions. Brushes are a much better alternative to applying with your hands, because you don’t want to risk transferring the millions of bacteria on your hands to your face.

Just make sure that you wash your brushes, at minimum, once a week. This will keep them germ-free, and can even extend their lifespan.

1. A Foundation Brush

This small, flat brush for liquid foundation looks almost like a paintbrush — and for good reason.

It will help you to get an even coat of your foundation, and allows you to create buildable coverage for areas that might need more makeup than others.

To use it, put a small amount of your liquid foundation on the back of your hand, and use the same grip that you would for a pencil. Pick up a small amount of foundation, and start applying foundation all the way up to your hairline.

We know that you’re likely curious about the Beautyblender, a spongey foundation tool that’s certainly a cult item in the makeup world. And while your foundation tool is matter of personal preference, the truth is that a traditional brush doesn’t require you to use as much makeup as a sponge.

2. A Powder Brush

You’ve worked hard to apply your foundation, your concealer, and even your bronzer and highlighter.

Now, it’s time to lock it all into place for the day using a powder brush. Apply tinted or translucent powder by sweeping the brush over the product in a circular motion.

Tap off the excess, and apply in large, circular motions across your face and neck.

3. A Blush Brush

Blush helps you to look more awake, and gives your face dimension and definition.

However, you don’t want it to look like a giant streak across your face. A blush brush helps you to get the perfect application every time.

Also, if you’re a fan of highlighter, you can use your blush brush to add a little golden shimmer to your upper cheekbones and the area above your lip.

It will give your skin a serious glow!

4. An Eyeshadow Blending Brush

This brush is a must-have if you want to prevent your eyeshadow from looking streaky and choppy.

The goal with proper eyeshadow application is to have one shade seamlessly transition into another. After you finish applying the colors of your choice (pro tip: medium on the lid, dark in the crease, and light on the browbone) grab your blending brush.

Using windshield wiper motions, slowly blend the shades into each other.

5. An Eyebrow Comb

It’s no secret that eyebrows are all the rage in the beauty world. So, it goes without saying that you have to add an eyebrow comb to your basic makeup brushes.

Brush your brows upward, using a little clear brow gel for especially unruly brows. This will help you to make your arches more pronounced, and will make it much easier to apply color.

Add These Different Makeup Brushes to Your Kit

We hope you’ve enjoyed — and learned from — our list of the top five most essential makeup brushes.

Remember to do your research online before making an investment, and whenever possible, buy them in person.

There are all kinds of super-cute and themed makeup brush kits out there, as well.

In addition to helping you to feel a little more festive every time you put your face on, investing in a brush kit will also help you to save money.

Looking for more ways to save on the products you use every day? Ready to score some serious deals on your favorite makeup? Want to learn how to get glowing skin?

Keep checking back with us to get access to the latest deals on a wide variety of brands and products.

Save on Floral Arrangements: 3 Tips to Get Flowers for Less

flowers for lessDid you know there are over 400,000 types of flowers in the world?

And if you’re looking to snag a few for yourself, you know how expensive they can be. But not having flowers at your next event would be a disappointment.

So how do you find flowers for less while still getting quality flowers?

Read on to learn how!

1. Buying Early Gets You Flowers for Less

We’ve all been there.

It’s the day of the big event, and you need flowers. You spring to the florist only to find out that they sold out of everything but the most expensive flowers. Now, you’re spending way too much on your arrangement.

For most people, a romantic or corporate flower arrangement is the hardest to get the day of the event. A corporate flower arrangement may be a large order, and it’s difficult for a florist to do these with no forewarning.

On Valentine’s Day, almost 200 million flowers get sold, and this means it’s a busy day for a florist. They may have expensive flowers alone on the holiday.

But if you call ahead, they will have more options with lower prices. Plus, your florist will appreciate this as well. Who knows? They might even charge you less.

2. Use a Vase Alternative

If you can avoid it, don’t spend money on a vase. Vases are nice to have, but they can get expensive.

For one, you may already have a vase. There’s no need to buy another when you can reuse one. This saves you money and also helps the environment.

If you don’t have a vase yet, consider using a different container. You could try using a classic mason jar or large bottle to give it a rustic feel.

Let’s say you’re not feeling like doing either of these but still don’t want to waste money. Instead, you might want to think about getting rid of the vase altogether. There’s nothing more natural than feeling the stems of flowers in your hand.

3. Avoid Buying Extra

The previous point should have taken you away from vases, but you should also avoid buying extra items at the floral shop.

Teddy bears are sweet, but they can cost way too much. The same goes for chocolate.

Instead of spending your money this way, think about a handwritten letter or adding nothing extra. Flowers are beautiful enough after all.

If you can’t fathom not buying chocolate or a teddy bear, make sure not to buy it from the florist. Often, the florist will mark up these prices, and it would be cheaper to buy them from a grocery store.

Or you might get a better bang for your buck at a chocolate store. They might be more expensive, but chances are they would be better quality than what your florist might have.

Looking for More Ways to Save a Buck?

Now that you know how to get flowers for less, finding your next arrangement should be a breeze. Remember to enjoy the beauty of flowers even if they cause you stress.

Did you like reading through this article? Don’t miss our frugal living section for more tips like these. And if you have any questions, feel free to connect.

10 Things Furniture Stores Won’t Tell You on How to Save Money on Furniture

buying furnitureWant to save money when buying furniture?

Of course, you do!

Read on for 10 ways to get great deals when buying furniture!

10 Tips to Save Money When Buying Furniture

You can’t expect furniture stores to let you in on the best money-saving secrets. But, not to worry. We’ve got you covered.

Furniture can be expensive. But, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are tips to get the furniture you love at a price you can afford.

1. Hit Your Local Thrift Stores

Don’t count out local thrift stores just because their furniture is used. After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right?

When shopping secondhand stores, look for quality name brands and durable materials. If it’s high-quality furniture, chances are it still has a lot of life left.

2. Check Out Yard Sales

You’re bound to find a bounty of great finds just by scoping your neighborhood’s yard sales. And, if you wait until the last few hours of a sale, you can usually save even more. As the clock begins to run out, hosts often will slash their already-low prices.

3. Compare Prices

Look for stores that offer a low-price guarantee. One discount furniture store Sydney even promises to beat others prices by at least 5%.

4. Money Saving Apps

There are tons of great money-saving apps available for penny pinchers. Download a few before your next shopping spree and watch the savings add up.

5. Cut Coupons

Often, you can save a bundle just by browsing online or looking through store ads for best buys before making a purchase.

Many retailers offer money-saving coupons online or in their sales paper ads that are yours for the taking. Just print or clip to save wads of cash.

6. Look for Markdowns & Discounts

Many stores have an open-box or bargain area filled with perfectly good merchandise. Sometimes, retailers may mark down returns or last season’s favorites, resulting in drastic savings for you.

7. Trade in Your Old for New

Some furniture dealers, like IKEA, will let you trade in your unwanted furniture collection to earn cash towards a new purchase.

8. Do It Yourself

Popular craft sites have made it possible for anyone to learn how to build their own custom furniture. Just check out the Pinterest site for tons of ways to create a do-it-yourself piece using practical items that you probably already have lying around the house.

9. Negotiate Prices

No matter where you score your next furniture find, you should always attempt to negotiate the price with the seller.

Negotiation skills will go far when haggling with yard sale hosts and resale shops. But, it’s a little-known secret that you can also often negotiate prices with many top-brand retailers.

10. Browse Online Resale Sites

In recent years, resale sites have taken off. Now, hundreds of resale communities have joined the likes of eBay to offer you limitless options when buying everything from kitchenware to coffee tables.

Want More Money-Saving Tips?

Once you see how much money you can save buying furniture that you love, you’ll be hooked. And, luckily, we’ve found lots of ways to save on practically everything you purchase.

Want to learn how to score even more great buys?

Check out these hot deals to save big bucks on all of your favorite brands!

How to Wash Workout Clothes to Make Them Last Longer

how to wash workout clothesThere’s nothing quite like hitting the gym for an intense CrossFit session, getting your sweat on in a bikram yoga class, or just crushing leg day. You know that working out is great for both your physical and emotional health, and you love the adrenaline rush you get from a great gym sesh. The only downside to your daily workout? Dealing with your stinky, sweaty gear.

Is Workout Gear Worth It?

Before we discuss how to wash workout clothes, let’s talk about whether or not they’re worth spending your hard-earned money on. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from wearing a ratty pair of sweats and a neon-green t-shirt from a Turkey Trot 5K as workout gear. But there are some benefits to choosing dedicated gym wear.

First, it gives you a psychological boost. Putting on your yoga pants or hi-vis tank top signals to the brain that it’s time to start torching calories. Performance gear could actually make your workout more productive, as well. And it never hurts to look your best when you stop for that post-gym protein smoothie or cold pressed juice.

More importantly, the performance fabrics used in athletic wear will be breathable, and will help wick moisture away from your skin. This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of chafing — and of course, breathable fabrics are simply more comfortable when you’re working up a sweat.

Snug-fitting workout wear can also help keep you safe, since there are no ties, strings, or loose fabric to get caught up in the moving parts of machines like elliptical trainers or spin bikes.

How To Wash Workout Clothes

Unless you are able to come right home from the gym and immediately do a load of laundry, make sure to air out your sweaty duds ASAP. Hanging them up until they are dry will prevent them from moldering in your hamper — or, worse, your gym bag.

Turn Everything Inside Out

Turning your athletic wear inside out before washing will help keep those beautifully patterned Lululemon leggings nice and bright. There’s a more practical reason, too: the majority of odor-causing bacteria from sweat and dead skin cells is on the garments’ inside.

A Pre-Wash Soak Does Wonders

Soak your stinky gear in a solution of four parts water to one part white vinegar. Doing so can prevent detergent buildup, which actually causes even recently laundered items to smell sour and funky.

Turn the Temperature Down

Hot water is the enemy of elastic and stretchy fabrics like Lycra, so only wash your workout duds in cool or cold water. Wash them separately from other clothes, too, to avoid pilling.

The same goes for your dryer. It’s best to hang athletic clothing — its moisture-wicking quality means that it will hang dry in record time — or tumble dry on the lowest possible setting.

Just Say No To Fabric Softener

Fabric softener will interfere with absorbency and wicking, so keep it far away from your workout wear (and your towels). Felted wool dryer balls are a great, natural alternative to softeners.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to wash workout clothes, you’ve got no excuses to skip leg day! Just treat your performance clothing with a little tenderness, and you can stay stylish even while you sweat!

Do you have dedicated gym clothes, or do you just throw on any old t-shirt and leggings when you exercise? Let us know in the comments, and if you have any tips for laundering your gear, we’d love to hear them too!

Top 5 Thrifty Tips to Save Money on Workout Clothes

workout clothesWorkout clothes have become a trendy (and profitable) lifestyle statement. Women everywhere are forgoing their usual clothes in favor of snazzy gym styles. From bootcamp to the boardroom, workout clothes are the style revolution.

But what do you do if you don’t have the budget for the variety of luxury styles that could make you stand out in a sea of yoga pants?

Keep reading for five thrifty tips on how to save money on workout clothes, so you look fierce and fit every day.

Workout Clothes: The Secrets to Get What You Want

You’re a thrift diva. Cool.

But first, there are some things you should not try to save $$ on…because when it comes to your actual workouts, being stingy could hurt your health. One of those things is appropriate footwear.

While it’s much easier to justify a quick spend on sneakers that fit your size at a discount store, you could pay the price later. Especially if your usual training schedule includes high impact moves, or long sessions. That doesn’t just include cardio workouts, either.

Strength training workouts need to be properly supported, too. Now, with that word of advice, on to your saving tips.

Think Outside the Box

Amazing clothes aren’t always where you think they’ll be. Sure, you can go into a high end store and find all the newest styles. But you’ll also find steep price tags. You might not have thought about stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for your next pair of form-fitting tights.

And, if you work with a personal trainer, ask them if they get clothing discounts. They often do!

Go Online

You’re in a store and find your next workout clothes ensemble, but wait. You can probably search online and comparison shop for something similar. In fact, just a few of the right keywords can pull up a whole panel of alternate choices.

Its the generic brands that try hard to match the high end stuff. So even though the clothes aren’t luxe, they’ll still look awesome.

Mix N Match

Don’t throw away, donate, or re-purpose your old workout clothes just yet! It’s possible you can mix and match them with your newer pieces. You could always splurge on a few new, top quality items. Then, rotate in your older stuff.

And if you’re handy with needles, thread, or scissors, you could always make some adjustments to older items.

Rethink Clothing Care

Workout clothes tend to hold up better and longer with less frequent washings. Also, stick to cold water and hanging your clothes on a line to dry. You’ll not only extend their lifespan, but you’ll also be helping the environment.

Subscribe to Email Lists and Apps

You know those annoying email blitzes that offer coupon discounts? Yeah, you’ll want to actually use those. Find stores you like, and sign up for their promotional offers.

You can also download a few apps that are focused on thrift shopping, and opt to receive alerts from them as well.

Thrifty Shopping for Gym Rats

It just takes a few, common sense ideas to cut back on your workout clothes budget. Follow these tips and see the savings! If you’re looking to become a real budget babe, check out our other resources, like our health and fitness blog!

9 Simple Ways to Cut Down on Your Motorbike Insurance Cost

motorbike insurance costRiding a motorbike is a great sport and hobby. But, owning the best bike is half the game. In the last few years, motorcycles have played a role in 84,000 injury-causing crashes.

Getting motorcycle insurance is a must to protect yourself and your investment in case of an accident. The insurance cost can put a dent in your expenses and stop you from buying the motorbike you dream about. Don’t let this stop you from riding into the sunset.

Don’t think you can get cheap motorcycle insurance? We have you covered.

Here are 9 tips to lower your motorbike insurance cost and ride into the sunset.

1. Do Your Research and Compare Coverages

When it comes to insurance, the best way to get the cheapest premium is by shopping around. Before contacting insurance carriers, you should learn about the types of insurance policies available. What is your best option?

It’s recommended to learn about your state requirements and the right insurance coverage. Every state has its own requirements and minimum insurance limits.

When choosing your coverage, you must take into consideration the common causes of motorcycle accidents. Check this article to read more about these causes.

Don’t be fooled into getting full coverage. When you contact your insurance broker, focus on telling them the type of coverage and limits you want.

Today, it’s easier than ever. Consider requesting online quotes from several carriers to compare prices and coverages.

2. Get Membership Discounts

Are you a member of an organization? Many organizations such as the American Automobile Association, fraternities, and others offer member discounts on insurance coverage. Also, you should consider joining motorcycle clubs.

Some of these clubs are the American Motorcyclist Association, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Motorcycle Touring Association, among others. Besides discounts, these clubs can offer advice on anything motorcycle related.

3. Take Safe Driving or Other Training Courses

You may have heard about safe driving courses before but many think these are limited to automobiles. That’s far from the truth. There are many motorcycle driving courses you may take.

Most insurers offer discounts for taking these courses. However, they may limit when you are eligible for this discount. Most of the time, insurance carriers will allow you to take the course every 3 to 5 years.

4. Buy the Right Motorcycle

All insurance carriers assess the risk of your activity. They consider certain motorbikes riskier than others. When you buy your motorcycle make sure to buy the right one.

Shy away from modified motorbikes that may look cool but, an insurance carrier might not insure. Carriers consider supersport and sport bikes riskier. Try to stick to cruising motorcycles or other similar models to keep your insurance cost low.

5. Consider a Higher Deductible

Your insurance deductible is what you will pay the insurance company in case of an accident. If you consider a higher deductible, your premium cost will decrease. Your insurance carrier will assume less risk when an insured has a high deductible.

Before increasing your deductible, it’s recommended you contact your insurance company to see if it’s worth it. Sometimes the discount may not be as much as we expect.

6. Tailor the Coverage to Your Needs

Most insurance brokers might try to sell you the most complete coverage. But, you may not need all that extra coverage. Will you drive your motorcycle all the time?

How much did your motorbike cost you? These questions are a great starting point to choose the best coverage.

It’s important to consider your experience driving motorbikes and where you will be driving it. Choose a coverage that offers the best price, coverage, and limits for your intended use.

7. Ask If You Qualify for a Clean Driver Discount

If you have a clean driving record, your insurance carrier may offer you a discount. A clean record driver is someone who has none or few accidents, violations or tickets. Every insurance carrier has its own requirements.

Your eligibility and discount may vary from provider to provider. It’s important to discuss your eligibility during the quoting process. Your insurance broker should be able to provide insight into their requirements and discount.

8. Consider Seasonal Insurance

Are you planning on driving your motorcycle during the summer or all year long? If you are planning on using the motorbike seasonally, you may consider getting a seasonal insurance. At the end of the day, you only need coverage while you are driving it.

Some providers may try to sell you an annual policy. But, you have every right to decide the length of your coverage.

Before asking for seasonal coverage, you should check your state requirements. Don’t forget your insurance coverage must meet the minimum requirements in your state.

9. Take Advantage of Your Age Discounts Eligibility

Insurance carriers prefer seasoned drivers. If you have been driving for a while, you might be eligible for an age discount. You may get a bigger discount if you have a safe driving record.

Don’t hesitate in asking for it if you are in your 20s. Some insurance carriers offer age discounts at that age for drivers with an excellent record. The requirements and age eligibility may vary from carrier to carrier.

Can You Lower Your Motorbike Insurance Cost?

Yes, you can lower your motorbike insurance cost and get the right coverage. Before contacting any insurance carrier, you should focus on the basics. What coverage do you need?

What are your state’s minimum requirements? Are you going to drive your motorcycle every day? These are some of the questions that can provide some insight into what’s the right coverage for you.

Once you figure out the coverage you want, it’s recommended to contact several insurance carriers and request quotes for your coverage. You should ask your insurance broker about your eligibility for discounts due to a¬†clean driving record, age, organizations, among others.

If you still want to lower your rate, you may consider changing your coverage or increasing your deductible. There isn’t a one size fits all formula to getting cheap motorcycle insurance. But, we’re confident that if you apply our tips you’ll get the right insurance at the best price in no time.

Want to learn more ways to get the right insurance? Check out our Personal Finance and Budgeting Section for more helpful articles.