Wednesday, December 30, 2020

3 Ways To Cut Back Spending And Bump Up Family Income

 Extra money in any family's pocket or piggy bank is always a blessing. It allows parents to save for important events in their kids' future, such as funding driving lessons or paying for college. And it also gives them more room in the budget to spend on vacations and experiences to spend to build lasting memories.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels - CC0 Licence 


Money has a whole host of benefits for you and your family. But if you feel like there's not much room in your budget right now, don't worry; there are three ways below, you can either cut back on spending or bump up your income. 

Benefit Entitlement

Many people in America are unaware that they are entitled to some benefit to help with living expenses. 


There is a range of circumstances that could qualify you for a bump in your income from the government. For instance, if you're on a low income, if you've recently lost a job or if you or someone you live with has a disability. You could be eligible for extra financial support.


And there's help on hand to help with your claims too. For example, if you're struggling to file a disability claim for benefits. The San Diego Disability Law Group can guide you through the process and help you get the funds you are entitled to.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

My Life as a Homeschooling Door Dasher

Hi, I'm Kerrie, a Door Dash delivery driver. If you want to give Door Dashing a try after reading my post, just click on the words Door Dash in the previous sentence and sign up! (side note: if you happen to have a remote car starter for your vehicle, it'll make your Dashing career a bit easier.)

I'm 49 years old, have five kids, and I usually have one or more of them with me helping out. We split the money we make 50/50 since they help grab the food and deliver it to the customers, and I just like the time spent driving around with my kids, teaching them the geography of our large city, math, economics, manners, reading, and more.

I'm also a wife, blogger, self-published author on Amazon (check out The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook: Over 45 Yummy Recipes!), writer of parenting magazine articles, and proofreader. Basically I see myself as a queen of the side hustle and I take each one very seriously. 

The excitement of Door Dashing

Let's say you take a Walmart Grocery Pickup order. You might be able to pick it up quickly or you might sit there waiting for 20 minutes. It might be a small order or it might fill your trunk. After you do the delivery, you might end up with the $5 or $8 or however much you agreed to accept as payment, but then I have had several experiences where hours later I got a $20 tip from the customer in the Door Dash app. 

We love the excitement and surprise of not knowing where we will be asked to go next to pick up food and what the challenges might be. We always advocate for the customer, so if a bag is not sealed and I can tell that something is missing, I make it right at the restaurant. I used to be a waitress, and I used to be a magazine delivery driver, so this is like combining the two 😂

Our first Door Dash experience

The first Door Dash experience was with Samuel, my 11-year-old son, on June 29, 2020, and here's my talk-to-text journal post from that night:

Left the house at 6:40 PM headed for Raymore.

Sam said it would be funny if someone did Door Dashing in a semi-truck. We also think it would be funny to do a movie like Dodgeball but it’s Door Dashing and so it’s like Julia versus the Mcloughlins and we are rivals trying to see who will make the most money that night and get the highest ratings. We picture a lot of high-speed chases and sliding into restaurant parking lots sideways to make good time.

Our first Dash was a pickup at McDonald's (just a McFlurry and a mocha), which we dropped off at a bar and grill to a guy who had been sitting outside on the patio. We got paid $3 from DD and were tipped $2 on the app.

Then we immediately accepted one for Hawaiian Brothers for $5.25 total. They didn't have the drink the customer wanted, so I was able to text the customer directly to ask what he wanted instead, which was convenient. Headed to Lee’s Summit about 20 minutes away with that order.

Got to the house and a teenage girl came out and gave Sam $20 cash for the tip! She said she tried to order from the one in Lee's Summit and didn’t realize I was coming from Belton and I said that’s fine because this is our time together we love doing it. 

Next top was China Star, and I texted the customer to let them know the order was taking a little longer than expected. The delivery location was pretty close in a run-down trailer park. It was a great chance to talk to Sam about not judging people by what they look like, what they drive, or where they live. A tech millionaire could live in that trailer, while we are driving a fancy Buick tonight that we are borrowing from my step-dad because we can't afford to pay for our car repairs just yet.

Hawaiian Bros. again was our 4th Dash and $7 tip probably because we came so far. 

Dash #5 was to SONIC off Red Bridge Road. Such a great way for my kids to learn the city for when they start driving on their own!

$45 for two hours of work sounds pretty good, but then we also have to consider gas and wear and tear on the car. I drive so much anyway that I hardly notice plus gas prices are amazing right now.

Got home at 9:45 p.m. since our Dashes kept taking us farther from home. We'll learn for next time that we can decline orders or pause Dashing until we get back to Belton.



My Experience on ADHD Medication as an Adult

 


I was officially diagnosed ADD at the age of 49 back in August of 2020. Everybody already knew it; I just wanted the confirmation. 

Here's a quote that sums ADD/ADHD up from the book Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.:

"Having ADHD makes life paradoxical. You can super-focus sometimes, but also space out when you least mean to. You can radiate confidence and also feel as insecure as a cat in a kennel. You can perform at the highest level, feeling incompetent as you do so. You can be loved by many, but feel as if no one really likes you. You can absolutely, totally intend to do something, then forget to do it. You can have the greatest ideas in the world, but feel as if you can't accomplish a thing."

I wanted to share some posts and helps I found on the web when I first started taking Ritalin at the start of December 2020 because being ADD does not mean you can't be successful in life and in business. These are not things you're going to find on that insert your pharmacist gives you with the bottle of pills; this is information from real people who have taken it. Real experiences.  

How to Stock Your Freezer With Meals

 

Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

Stocking up on meals takes me to a happy place in my own mind and saves me frustration, money, and time. If you have meals already prepared and frozen, ready to pop in the oven, you won’t be seeing the pizza guy on a weekly basis or going out for fast food when you’ve resolved to feed your family more healthy meals. 

The reward comes when you can pull something out of the freezer in the morning to thaw, knowing dinner will be ready to slip in the oven as you rush off to after-school ball practice or swim lessons.

I don't think we've ever had to call appliance repair on this commercial freezer in over 15 years (but we have had plenty of other appliances that didn't even last a year before needing some work).

Are You a Vampire? Sink Your Teeth Into These Jobs

 

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Most mainstream career blogs talk to everyone as if they are regular human beings. 


But what if you’re not a regular person? What if you’re a vampire looking for some honest work? 


What can you do? What about your rights? Vampires have to make a living too!


The good news is that vampires no longer have to operate on the fringes of society, terrifying villagers and sucking blood by moonlight. There are plenty of quite reasonable (and legal) lines of work available to suit our long-fanged friends. 

Monday, December 28, 2020

7 Things You Can do When You're in a Funk

Photo by Inzmam Khan from Pexels


So, let's talk for a moment about what you do on those days that you are either (A) in a funk for no reason or (B) in a funk because nothing is going right; for example, you need to call someone for appliance repair because the dishwasher STILL is not working and a funky smell is also coming from it PLUS you can't seem to get anything in your life working correctly on a certain day. (I'm not talking about full-blown depression here.) 

Some people might call a friend, call a parent or sibling, take a nice bath. One of my favorite ways to get out of a funk is to go for a drive and put on some loud music. The music depends on the mood. Sometimes I'll put on a Spotify playlist, sometimes head straight for some Beatles and classic rock, sometimes current stuff. 

Below are more ideas to help you get out of a funk. One of them is bound to work, and if you pair a couple of them up, you're going to be in a better mood in no time!

Home Invaders to Avoid This Winter

 

Image Credit


If you think you can let your guard down now it's winter then think again. Home invaders such as ants, rats, and spiders don't only infest your home in the summer months. In some ways it's more likely they will be a problem in the winter months because of the cold. Many critters like to seek shelter in your basement or loft. See below for the creatures you should look out for this winter. 

Tips for Hiring a Babysitter for the First Time

Whether your child is a tiny baby or an older tween, hiring a babysitter for the first time can feel daunting. You’ll be excited to need a babysitter because it means you’re going somewhere by yourself, or as a couple, and it might have been many months (even years) since that last happened, but you’ll also be nervous. After all, hiring someone to take care of your kids while you’re not there isn’t something that you should take lightly, and you’ll need to think carefully about exactly who you’re going to employ for the role. 

So that you can enjoy your evening or day without feeling the need to check in with your babysitter every few minutes, you’re going to want to put a good deal of preparation into picking the right person to help you out. If you can do this, even if it takes some time, then you can be more relaxed and enjoy yourself more, and that is priceless. If that sounds like a good idea to you, read on to discover some useful tips when it comes to hiring a babysitter for the first time. 

How Can Your Home Be Unsafe For Your Family?

 photo of spiral white stairs

(Image Source)


It can be all too easy to neglect the threats that are posed by your home when you are raising children. With so many risks and worries in the outside world, it makes sense that you wouldn’t necessarily give your home the same thought. Of course, though, without the right steps being taken, any home can present threats to those living inside it. To help you out with this, this article will be exploring five of the most common household safety issues that will impact kids.

How to Enjoy a Museum With Kids

 

January 2020 Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

Let's say it's been one of those days. Everybody is either laying around on screens bored or bouncing off the walls. Or maybe you're having a washer repair situation and need to be out of the house while the other parent stays home and deals with it. 

You're dying to head to the local art museum, but you're eyeing your kids and picturing them running wild through the place, screaming and touching priceless artifacts while a guard yells after you and patrons glare at your family.

Yes, children’s museums have been popping up all over the country, and they are great fun for everyone. But sometimes you want to go to a grown-up museum with your child … for your sanity and for their art education. So how do you pull it off? The secret to a good day at an art museum with a child is preparation.

How to Make a Simple Chore Chart for Kids

 Some parents teach their children to do chores so the kids can earn an allowance.  Some teach for the responsibility aspect.  Some are at their wit’s end and need some serious help around the house. After all, there are things you can only do yourself and things you should delegate (like oven repair!). No matter what your reasons, setting up a simple chore chart need not be a chore for you.

There are several ways you can do this on the cheap since you might need a chore chart for just one kid or maybe for multiple family members. You can write it out on paper, type it up on a computer, or use a dry erase, paper, or board chore chart you can purchase. Check out how below!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Making Your Home More COVID-Safe: 4 Top Tips for Homeowners

 

Photo by Burst from Pexels

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-washing-his-hand-545014/


This year’s festivities will be so different from those we have been planning over the past months. Of course, this is to keep our families and loved ones safe. However, now that the vaccine is becoming much more than just a distant mirage, we all started thinking about the gatherings we will organize once things calm down. 


However, some of the pandemic consequences are not bound to leave us anytime soon, so it is crucial to get your home ready to minimize the chance of contagion in the future. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Choosing an Alternative Style of Education: 3 Styles to Help Get Your Student Ahead

 


As a parent you are always looking for the best learning environment for your little one. Picking the right school can be a challenge, especially when navigating alternative education choices. Follow this guide to help you better understand Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio-Emilia education styles.  

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Three Ways to Kick of 2021 in a Positive Way

2020 has been a year that has been tough for many people, and tough for a whole host of reasons. There has been financial struggle, there has been loss, there has been illness, and there has been a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. So although there is still a lot that is up in the air for many of us, being able to plan a few more things for the new year, and get things off to a good start can be a positive way to kick things off. So if you are looking for some things to help you to get your new year off in a positive and productive way, then here are some things that you could do.


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Declutter

Having a clean home is one thing, but a home that isn’t full of junk and clutter is another thing. When you have a clear home, it helps to have a clear mind, which is a good way to start the year with. There can be a lot of extra ‘stuff’ in your home from around the holidays, so once they are all over, packing them away, and getting rid of the things that you no longer need is a good idea. You could look for junk removal to help you, as well as thinking about selling some things, or giving away to goodwill. A good rule of thumb to go with, is if you haven’t used it for six months, and there isn’t any real sentimental value to it, is to declutter it.

Five Typical Signs of Getting Older That You Will Notice

Getting older is something that you want to be conscious of when it comes to your body because there’s likely to be a lot that changes over time. It’s a good idea to practice looking after your health more and to spot when the body is aging so that you can do everything you can to help age gracefully and to hold onto your youth for as long as possible. Here are five typical signs of getting older that you will notice.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

4 Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter

Winter is just around the corner, and depending on where you live, you could be in for everything from freezing temperatures to long, frigid snowstorms. While winter can be beautiful and peaceful, it’s incredibly important to keep yourself safe and healthy all season long. 

This year, it’s especially important to focus on your health. With the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering in different parts of the world, keeping your body strong and healthy will make it easier for you to fight off anything from the common cold to more serious viruses. 


Most people know the basics of taking care of themselves and doing what’s right for their body. But, it never hurts to be reminded of some tips you may have forgotten about. 


With that in mind, let’s go over four ways to stay healthy this winter that you should start putting into practice right away. 

The Entertaining Disasters To Avoid This Season

 

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At this time of the year, stresses can be high. Even without a pandemic on our hands, Christmas and the holiday season can be busy and quite chaotic. When you’re trying to get everything done and make it perfect, please everyone, and enjoy yourself, tensions always run high. But that’s not really what you want to happen. Because the more stressed you are, the more likely it is that things are going to go wrong. And when you want to be able to make sure that things run seamlessly, it’s also a great idea for you to be aware of some of the disasters that could potentially take place so you can avoid them. If ever you’re able to stop anything stressful from happening, it’s a great idea, right? So let’s take a look at what you should avoid and how.


Running Out Of Food


Now, one of the very first blunders that you’ll want to avoid is most certainly going to be centred around food. When you have plans with others and you know that you have a set amount of meals to make for a range of people, you’ll always want there to be enough food. So this is when you need to be able to plan ahead and work out exactly how much you need to buy.


Unexpected Guests


From there, you may also then find that you end up having unexpected guests. Of course, you can find that this is less likely to happen this year compared to others. But, should that happen, you’ll then want to make sure that you have nibbles and drinks ready to go – even if it’s something in the freezer.


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Spillages


As much as you’d like to hope that your home is going to be able to stay safe, you may also be at risk of spillage, stains, and broken pieces of crockery or glassware. Ideally, this isn’t going to happen – but are you prepared if it does? If one of your guests’ skills wine around the house, you’ll want to know your upholstery cleaning options to save things pretty quickly. It’s best to be prepared, just in case.


Guests Clashing


When you have a range of people over for dinner, it could be that they won’t always get along. This can be fine in some circumstances, but if you are worried that they might clash and it causes an atmosphere, strategic seating has to happen. That way, you can avoid any unwanted awkwardness.


Messed-Up Meals

 

Finally, it could be that you’re worried about some of the meals being a little bit messed up. Do you worry about ruining Christmas dinner? Are you afraid of burning something or overcooking something? It could be that you’ve never made something in particular before and you’re a bit worried about that? When that’s the case, it could be that you want to do a trial run or really allow yourself enough time to do all of the prep work so that you’re not in a rush and the risk of things getting messed up is low.


How to Make Christmas This Year Easier on Your Finances



Christmas is around the corner and spirits are getting high, especially for those who love the season. For others, however, anxiety could be increasing when they think about the cost implications. This doesn’t have to be the case if you come up with a tangible plan and not overwhelm yourself with more than you can handle. There are ways to enjoy Christmas with your loved ones without overspending and starting the new year on a financial low. When it comes to preparing for Christmas this year, here are a few ways that you can make it easier on your finances.

Get Your Finances in Order
When it comes to Christmas, one of the most stressful aspects of it is how much it’s going to cost you. There are so many things to pay for, especially if you’re someone who enjoys doing things on a larger scale. To begin with, make sure that you create a budget and you incorporate these expenses into any existing one you may have. If you’ve got lingering debts or are in the process of trying to improve your credit, use platforms like https://www.crediful.com to help you and ensure that you’re on track. Once your finances are in order, decide on an amount that you can afford to spend after all of your core expenses have been accounted for. You’ve then got to resolve to make sure that anything you buy doesn’t exceed this amount.

Create a Budget
Budgets are important when planning for Christmas, so make sure you create one as suggested earlier. You should break it down into different categories listing out all of the things that you need. Some categories that you may want to include are food for Christmas dinner, gifts, decorations, and any outings you may embark on. You can then create an allocated amount for each category so that you can keep that figure in mind while you shop. You can break it down even further by deciding how much you’re going to spend on each person and item.

Start Early
It may seem like you have time to go until Christmas finally arrives, but as you probably already know, time flies. This means that you should try and start getting your plans started as soon as you can to avoid impulse buying as well as overspending. You can begin by signing up for newsletters at some of your favorite stores. You may find that they send discounts and Christmas related promos that you can use while you shop. Also, see if there are general special offers you can make use of when buying gifts and items for the house.

Use Old Decorations
There are certain things that you don’t have to buy brand new for Christmas, and one is decorations. If you’ve managed to tuck away decorations from previous years, then why not bring them back out and use them again? If you want to add a new touch this time around, you could DIY a few decorations as a way of saving money. One idea is to take old toys and turn them into Christmas decorations for the tree. Also, why not try making lanterns or creating your own ornament wreath? The goal should be to use what you’ve got laying around to make your home look more festive.

Buy Food in Bulk
Grocery stores often have promos and sales, so making the most of them during the Christmas period could go a long way. Try buying non-perishable goods that you’re likely to consume like water, juices, snacks, and canned foods in bulk. You may find that they’re a lot cheaper when you buy them that way and you save yourself the hassle of going back and forth to the store.

Do Activities at Home
While going out during Christmas can be fun, one too many outings could be expensive. Think about doing activities at home as this could work out cheaper and just as fun. There are endless ideas you can try such as baking Christmas cakes, having a Christmas themed games night or bingeing on your favorite movies. The idea should be to spend time enjoying each other’s company and appreciating the season of giving. Check out this Holiday Movie Streaming Guide, complete with movies for the entire year!

Make Christmas cookies!

For many people, Christmas is a special time of the year as it’s a time to celebrate and spend time with loved ones. Making it as special as possible and a Christmas to remember is a goal for families in light of this. The above tips should go a long way in helping you achieve this without breaking the bank.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Riding Out Those Winter Storms

 The winter is well and truly here and while the cold is hard enough to handle, it's even harder when you know the weather reports show storms are on the way. From rain storms to snowstorms, storms have a huge impact on the home you're living in and you need to do what you can to protect your house from them. You would winter-proof your home so that you can stay warm, but what about staying safe? How do you prepare yourself then?


You need a plan in place before a storm hits, so it's important that you keep an eye on the weather ahead of you. You need to have a disaster plan for the whole family, and they need to be aware of it, too. If you know that you will be having heavy snowstorms, keep plumbers and electricians, a Storm Damage Repair Company and insurance people on speed dial. Once you have these phone numbers to hand at all times, you can feel a little safer in your efforts to protect yourself. So, what else could you do?

Brown House Near Pine Trees Covered With Snow

Image Source: Pexels

  • Weatherproof The House. A storm damage company can do wonders after the fact, but before a storm hits you need to be weatherproof where you can. Water lines along the exterior walls will prevent them from freezing nd breaking and you can weatherstrip your doors and windows, too. Adding insulation to the attic and the walls will help you to keep the heat in the home. You can add thermal doors and window covers, too, on the inside so that they don't blow off in the wind. If your roof has any leaks, you need to get these fixed and plugged as soon as possible!

  • Disaster Plan The Interior. Installing smoke alarms - or checking the ones that you already have - will ensure that you are alerted to any possible fires started by lightning. Any fireplaces and wood stoves should be tested monthly and have a carbon monoxide alarm nearby, too. Equip your home with fire extinguishers and fire blankets, too, so that you are in control should something spark. You have to ensure that your home isn't going to be a fire hazard in the event of a thunderstorm taking out the nearby electrics. While you check all of the heaters, have an expert come in and check the furnace over.

  • Car Emergency Care. If you have a car, create a kit and have it in the boot of the car for an easy getaway. Storms can be unpredictable and flash flooding and blizzards are a huge risk. If you have a bag in the car with water, flashlights, batteries and food, including blankets and spare clothes, you're going to be equipped when you need to stay somewhere else. Don't forget to include chargers for your phone and spare change - just in case! You should ensure that your car is in good working order before the storms set in, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on the weather. 

4 Ways You Can Make Your Household Comfy For Your Elderly Relative

 

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When we fix up our homes, we often think about the aesthetics and the function, of course. We often think solely about ourselves, too. It’s understandable because we’re going to be the ones who inhabit the home for the majority of the time. We need to make sure that we’re happy with the place we’re staying in. We’ll also think about people who walk past or friends we’ll be welcoming into the place. Wanting to impress others with the things we possess is a totally natural desire. 


Something we don’t really take into account, however, is what happens when our older friends and family members are invited over. Perhaps our parents or grandparents need to stay over a few times and we need to accommodate their stay. Sometimes, households are not in any way suited to their situation and the needs that they have. We’ll take their health very seriously and worry about what happens after their health screenings, but we don’t often consider our own actions and how we can contribute. Fortunately, however, making sure you can accommodate them or switch things up is actually pretty simple. Not much overthinking is required. Here are some ideas if you’re wondering: 


Provide Enough Space  


This is relating to one’s mentality and physicality. They’ll need space to maneuver if they’re not exactly at their most mobile anymore. They’ll also need to be able to have space to breathe – especially when they first enter your home. Nobody likes to be bombarded with walls and decorations as soon as they enter a new area. Think of ways you could create space and allow them to navigate through safely. 


Make Sure The Lighting Is Good


They may not have lost their vision and other senses greatly just yet, but they’ll certainly not want to enter a place that has awful lighting. They’re going to want to see clearly and not be put off by the gloomy, dreary atmosphere. Make sure you have natural light gleaming in from wherever you can. Artificial lights will also help later on in the day, of course, so you can utilize your creativity somewhat in this department. 


Watch The Noise


There is a time and a place for loud noises. We like to go to concerts, parties, and sports venues from time to time, but your home should be for relaxing – especially when you have elderly relatives over. You’ll want to ensure that they enjoy their stay, so don’t be loud and intimidating while they’re in your domain. Think about keeping the significant housework down to a minimum if you have lots of jobs to do. Asking neighbors to keep noises down if they’re not being too helpful wouldn’t be too much to ask – as awkward as it can be sometimes.  


Think Of The Access  


They’re not going to be as mobile as perhaps you are – if you are, indeed, able to get around quickly! You might have to think about installing a few ramps if you have an elevated home that is only accessible by steps. Think also about the stairs in your home if you have more than one floor. This may be some effort to handle as you’ll need to have new things installed onto your home, but it would be worth it in the end.


Preparing Your Online Business For The Inevitable New Year Boost

 

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Let’s face it; 2020 has been an immensely difficult year for businesses across the board. However, the silver lining is that the festive period has sparked an economic boost that looks likely to last into the new year. 


Nevertheless, with social distancing in place, the battle for online success will be greater than ever. Now is the time to put the preparations in place ahead of the January flurry. Here are five steps that will lead you to success.


Work Out How You’ll Gain Visibility


The first challenge facing any business is to gain awareness. After all, it will be impossible to sell anything if clients don’t know of your existence. The battle for online customers is fiercer than ever, but many will let themselves down by focusing solely on organic methods. If you want fast results, partnering with an effective PPC ad agency is vital. Effective display ads that get your brand in front of the right people within a matter of hours will send traffic through the roof.


Understand Consumer Intent


In an ideal world, all customers you reach would be ready to complete a purchase there and then. In reality, the majority won’t be at that phase of the consumer journey. The average person requires seven interactions with a brand before buying your products. Building a sales funnel that can collect new leads at every stage of intent is vital. When you do this, it will be far easier to answer their pain points and lead them to a sale.


Pixabay CC0 License


Check Out Your Hosting Packages


The last thing you need in January is to miss out on sales due to a lack of web bandwidth. Therefore, an understanding of your current package is vital. On a similar note, you must connect with a payment processing partner that will allow you to gain sales from the biggest audience. This could also include using credit plan firms that allow your customers to use monthly repayments. Sadly, obstacles with traffic and transactions would be the equivalent of shutting your shop doors.


Let Visuals Count


Shopping is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Sadly, reading through pages of unnecessary info won’t go down well with many consumers. Therefore, it’s vital that you use visual content to your advantage. In addition to the graphics used in display ads and social posts, you should consider testimonials. Seeing a verified five-star rating instantly inspires trust. Likewise, stills and videos that give an insight into the brand will work wonders.


Look For Long-Term Success


Whether we regain control over the pandemic in the coming months or not, online business is now king. Consumers that had previously resisted it are now huge advocates, leading to a permanent shift in shopping habits. Therefore, a strong SEO strategy and content marketing plan are vital. The results won’t necessarily show in the early parts of the year, but it will keep you on the right track into Q2 and beyond. When supported by the insights you can gain through social media, your future will look far brighter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Challenges Faced by Female Entrepreneurs

 

Image Credit


There is a perception these days that the world has changed for the better and that women now have an equal stake in society. This perception is wrong. The pay gap still exists and women face a stack of challenges that men simply don't have to consider. There are the social expectations, funding issues, networking issues, and family issues to overcome. Despite this, more women are stepping into the world of entrepreneurship and successfully growing their businesses. 


Defying Social Expectations

In general female entrepreneurs are fewer in number than their male counterparts, this can lead to stereotyping and social expectations placed on women that can be detrimental to their reputation and to grow their business. Of course, this situation exists in society at large, but in the world of entrepreneurship, where there is a need to carve out a niche, the stakes are higher.


Let's say you walk into a room for a networking event. You look around and the first thing you notice is the lack of female entrepreneurs. There are some, but they are seriously outnumbered. This creates an issue. If you want to network effectively should you adopt a male standpoint and interact with them as they might expect, or do you embrace your own personality and confidence? 


The answer is the latter. While adopting a male attitude to business might help to influence some men in the room, owning your gender and presenting an authentic image is far more powerful and will make more of an impact. In a challenging situation like this, you need to remind yourself that you have come this far on your own and you can go further by being yourself. 


Accessing Funding

It's true that female investors have a harder time accessing funding than their male counterparts. There are some reasons for this. Typically, those with venture capital tend to invest in entrepreneurs who are part of their own tribe. That means a University investor is more likely to fund a startup with links to that university. Since most VC companies are run by men, female partners are less common. 


There are ways around this challenging situation. Female entrepreneurs are not just up against the nepotism of the industry but also the male-dominated world of entrepreneurship. The first step is to build confidence in your team by getting the right people involved and developing an excellent business plan. Investors generally look for businesses that can grow in valuation so consult the experts and ensure you have a good market fit. 


Another way to confront this challenge is to encourage more female investors to support one another and send money to Vietnam. Female VC company owners and managers need to make more effort to inspire and support female-led ventures with funding and educational workshops. 


The Struggle to be Taken Seriously 

Many women entrepreneurs struggle to be taken seriously in the industry, it is partly due to outdated attitudes that suggest they don't have what it takes to be top dog, but the struggle is also an internal one. Many women are affected by wider attitudes about their capabilities that create negative self-talk and make things harder.


The reality is those female entrepreneurs are just as capable and worthy of praise, but they have to fight harder for their place at the top table. In a male-dominated industry where reputation counts for a lot, women have to overcome the psychological barriers to entry and believe in themselves more strongly. 


The good news is that this form of social conditioning can be a powerful motivator and catalyst for success, not that it should be. As more women stand up to these challenges and face them down, the idea of a male-dominated business world will eventually be a thing of the past. What is needed is for more women to break through and lead the way. 


Owning Your Accomplishments 

In the same way, confidence and negative self-talk are major factors in the success of female entrepreneurs, owning our accomplishments is also vitally important. There is a tendency in women to be self-deprecating when it comes to what they've achieved in life and business. It's a not-worthy attitude that feels like modesty but looks like failure. 


The idea of blowing your own trumpet, however, can seem counterintuitive to women who have been raised to embody consensus-building qualities that downplay their own position and self-worth. In the business world, the qualities of individualism are praised and good ideas to build and sustain reputations. 


There are many situations in the business world when you have to blow your trumpet and praise what you do. Situations where you have to stand apart from your team and use the "I" pronoun instead of "we". There are times when you need to stand up and claim the praise for an idea because it was you who was behind it and that matters. 


Building a Support Network 

An excellent social and commercial network is vitally important to the success of women working as entrepreneurs. The distinct lack of these networks, however, is a stark reminder that women have a long way to go to find parity in the business world. The trouble is that most of the influential networks are also male-dominated. 


This goes back to the old adage that it's not what you know but who, and this still rings true in the world of entrepreneurial business. It isn't easy to forge a path for yourself when so many doors seem to be closed to you, simply on the basis of nepotism and in-group mentalities. But like other challenges in entrepreneurial life, this one too can be overcome. 


The way to do it is to get involved in female-focused networks and support groups that are not only lively and informative forums but also hubs where connection can be established. You might also attend women-focused networking events and online forums. These are spaces where you can interact with women on the same journey as you, it's a place to learn, to grow, and to succeed. 


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