Tanya Abdul Jalil – Copywriter

Tanya Abdul Jalil – Copywriter

As a writer, telling other people’s stories is easy.  Writing your own can be the hardest, but here’s mine, and a little bit of my journey to becoming a Copywriter.

The year was 2016. I entered a perfect storm of having three children under 4, moving to a new house, a much longer commute and a drastically different workplace to the one I had left before maternity leave. 

Going back to my day job, I quickly ran out of sick leave (three kids in childcare!) and started to wonder, what if there’s more to life than this?
This wasn’t my first ride on the career change train, having left teaching 10 years before, I knew the path ahead would be rocky, but exhilarating.

What was a girl to do? Of course, I turned to Google, and started looking at flexible work from home options that would let me use my skills in writing, training and communications.

After blowing my savings on a 3rd rate website that had promised the world but failed to deliver, I decided to never get ripped off again, and took on the challenge of learning how to make websites, SEO, and the power of social media.

As a natural teacher, I found myself helping other businesses in my network. Planning content, coming up with lead magnet ideas, working out how to actually sell stuff online without spending your entire life on Facebook.
I found myself sharing my learning with my networks, and kept being told ‘you should make a business from this’. After the 50th time of hearing this, I actually started to listen. And then promptly fell into a hole of self doubt and insecurity.

How could I, with three kids, working part time from home, make my business work?
What do I actually want to sell and how can I do that?
How can I bridge the gap between what I know and love (training and development), and what I’ve learned about (SEO, writing, websites)?
And all the while, people were telling me – I love those ideas you’ve given me, can you write my website/blog/social media posts too?

It wasn’t so much a bolt of lightning that struck me, but a hundred tiny pushes from the universe saying – go here, try this, now this, keep going and eventually finding momentum.

Just like that, the fog cleared. And an idea emerged. I could do Copywriting. I knew a few amazing copywriters that I admired. And writing has always been my first love.

I realised the common thread in all my work has been communications. In fact, not just being a communicator, but being a connector. Connecting people, ideas, products and services with the right people, at the right time.

Everything changed the day I took the plunge and started calling myself a Copywriter. Suddenly, people knew exactly what I did and how I could help them. I was getting amazing clients through word of mouth and referrals from different industries and loving the variety.

Then, I attended CopyCon19. Australia’s only dedicated Copywriting Conference. As a newbie Copywriter, I had no idea what to expect. The last thing I thought I would find there was my niche, but I did. After talking to some smart fellow copywriters, I realised I had come a full circle, and the work I loved to write for the most is in education, training and development.
In running away from my former career, and trying to do something ‘new’, I still loved the industry, and feel like I have so much more to give to this area.

And so, here I am. Education, Training and Development Copywriter. Red pen in hand and SEO hat on, ready to help trainers, institutions and learning and development companies connect with their ideal students through their websites.

If this sounds like you, let’s connect and see how I can help you find the words to get your future students excited to learn with you.

Education, training, copywriting – the perfect mix. Where the words flow freely, and the coffee is always strong.

  

 

 

5 little habits that help me work from home more productively

5 little habits that help me work from home more productively

and still get time to put the washing out.

In late 2017, I started working from home full time.   For anyone who has made the journey from commute/office days/lunch breaks to working for yourself, you’ll know the struggle to actually get anything done.

There are dishes to be done, washing to hang out, school committee meetings you get invited to once they know you’re at home. Not to mention the things you can do in the peace and quiet of the day, like grocery shopping, lunch in a cafe, or just a nap in peace.

So, how do you make it all happen? Without the peer pressure of colleagues watching your every move, you need to cultivate the habits that get you at your desk and working.

  1. Get up early.

It’s been said a million times before and is seen as a sign of success in entrepreneurs the world over. I had always dismissed it as being for the same type of people that run marathons for fun (not for me). But it bloody works. There’s something about the quiet of the morning, the peaceful house, no disruptions that makes waking up for work somewhat enjoyable. I’ve been trying to get up at 5am (sometimes more like 6am), and start my day with a cup of tea, and writing three pages freehand in a journal (as inspired by The Artists Way). It doesn’t matter what I write, but it switches off the negative, critical part of your brain and allows for better writing.

2. Give your to-do list a time frame.

For every job on your list, write how long you allocate yourself to do that task. If it’s too long, break it down into subtasks. Then set yourself times to do a bunch of small tasks (10 x 6 minutes = 1 hour of work, and 10 things off your to-do list). This is even more important when you calculate how much you’re being paid to finish work — taking double the time you charge means being paid half the rate, and you miss out on another potential job you could be working on.

3. On the topic of time — if you don’t already — use the Pomodoro technique.

The basic premise of this is that humans can only focus solidly for short blocks of time. So working on 25 minutes on-5 minutes off schedule means you’ll be more productive and power through your tasks. I’ve just invested $3.00 in a small kitchen timer, because it’s on my desk as a visual reminder to set it, and makes a loud beep. I’ve tried the online versions, but they are a bit glitchy, or I just forget to set them. Strict workflow is a great online version with chrome plugin that blocks selected pages so you aren’t tempted to distract yourself while you should be working.

4. Delight your senses.

Habits are sensual, and if you trigger the five senses with your habits, you’ll soon be ready to work. For me, this is

Sound — music — my Spotify playlist (I’m a huge fan of movie classics and light opera/theatre hits — especially Peter Hollens). This also helps drown out the household sounds that would otherwise disturb me.

Taste — I always sit down with a cup of tea to work — but I’m alternating black tea with herbals such as licorice, peppermint and green tea.

Sight — Keeping some sense of organisation in my office means less time thinking I should be cleaning.

Smell — I’m a huge essential oil fan. I have orange and peppermint in my diffuser for when I need to focus, bergamot when I need to talk to someone about a job, lavender when the stress builds up. I also have a spray bottle with lemon, frankincense, orange, grapefruit, and clary sage that I use to clear the air when I find I’m losing focus, or need to centre myself for the next task.

Touch — Having an ergonomic setup is important, I like to switch between sitting and standing (with a stylish cardboard box under my laptop). When my back gets sore, I add a heat pack to my shoulders or lower back to help push through the deadlines.

5. Treat yourself.

Not every day, but all CEO’s take a day off sometimes. If your schedule is packed, block out an afternoon a week away to catch up on chores, do the banking, go out for a nice lunch, or go have that nap. You’ll feel better for it, and knowing a reward is coming up, you’ll be motivated to push through those last few hard tasks.

By making these few small changes to my habits, I’ve been able to get more done than ever before. The biggest change I noticed is in my stress levels and anxiety, because I know I can go back to these at any time and reset my workday.

The next challenge for me will be to create space in my work from home schedule for more exercise — I’m thinking a lunchtime walk might be this years productivity booster.

 

This article was originally published on Medium. If you like it, why not click on the link and give me a clap on Medium, and help support my writing, I’d be forever grateful and promise not to spend it on more stationery that I don’t really need.

Reflections on my first two years in business

Reflections on my first two years in business

How following my heart led to the business of my dreams

Your Business Wife copywriting Melbourne

It feels strange to say, but it’s been two years since that fateful day when I took the leap and decided to start my own business.

It came at a time when I was vulnerable.  Very vulnerable.  My son had just turned one, I had gone back to work recently so we could buy a house.  I had three kids in childcare (I can’t even bear to think how much money THAT cost me!).  And we’d moved house, giving me a 2-hour commute every morning.  Even though I was only working part-time, it was a huge drain mentally.  All our money had been poured into the house deposit and our new (huge) mortgage.  It was a pretty dumb time to make changes to my work.

But, being a typical headstrong Aries, I don’t let little things like money and practicalities stand in my way.  So, I made the leap.  A very costly leap to start my own business.  That’s a story for another day, but let’s just say I got burned badly.

The first year as a business owner

So, my first year was a mixture of work, appointments, juggling three kids, husband and household, while doing bits of business stuff at night and whenever I could.  The first year was really a steep learning curve, trying to work out what I needed to know, what I needed to master and what on earth I was supposed to be doing.  One thing I wasn’t doing was making money.  In fact, by the time I paid for endless courses, coaching, even psychic advice, I had burnt through a lot of our savings and had nothing to show for it.

The website was good once I fixed it up.  The idea was potentially great (helping mums make a career change after having kids? Yes please!).  I had loads of content and ideas, my audience was growing.  But no money.  Because what I didn’t really comprehend at the start was just how long it would take to build up the business to a point where people would invest in advertising on my site.

And I was beginning to see that the business model I was looking at required:

  1. A huge following on social media – which meant time, effort and advertising
  2. Something to actually sell – Not only did I need to sell something that my advertisers weren’t selling, but I also didn’t want to write resumes or LinkedIn profiles, and job applications.
  3. Businesses needed to sign up to the directory and pay for it. The biggest issue here was that I was looking to other startups and small businesses to advertise with me, and their budgets were as limited as mine.
  4. Someone who was passionate, informed and ready to grow it into the business it deserved.

After a while, I began to see that I’d been charging head-on down the road, blindly forging ahead with all the passion and zeal of a first timer.  It was only when I stopped to take a breath, I realised that this wasn’t what I wanted.  And it certainly wasn’t sustainable to keep throwing money at it when it wasn’t making any.  And poof, like that, my passion was drained.

It all changed when I took a step back to assess where I was going

Throughout my first year, I met loads of beautiful people in business.  As we connected and shared, I began helping them with their businesses, planning their content and helping them grow their audiences.  That was the fun bit of the first year.

The six months or so that followed were nothing more than deep soul searching, heart seeking times, looking for my passion and drive.

And I found it, finally.  For most of those six months, I felt like I was wandering through the desert, with the answers always just over the next mountain, I could feel them, but they were just out of reach.  Who was I? what did my business do? What can I offer of value to people?

Just take a bite of the elephant

Finally, enough people told me that the only way I would know the answers was to just start.  Literally, do something, and then another little something and another, until the ball starts rolling and you’ll end up at the new place.  It was like I wanted to know what it would be like when I was on holiday in a new place I’d never been to.  I wanted to be there, I wanted to start planning my days and adventures and know who I would meet and where I’d be, but I wasn’t even packing my bags yet.

And then we get to the last six months.  After I took action, everything did indeed start to snowball from there.  I took a huge leap first of all, and put out an offer.  I priced myself cheaply, over-delivered and gave people amazing value.  And many of those initial clients keep coming back for more every time I put something up.  I made sure I got feedback from my clients and used that to make improvements along the way.

And now, it feels so surreal to say I’m sitting here planning for my third year in business.  And hoping that this will be the year that it all falls into place.  Like a kid, I’ve spent the first year just getting my head around this whole new world of business, and online media.  The second year, I’ve found my feet and I’m starting to explore.  The third year will be the one where I find my voice, and my place and stand up to be counted.  This year will be the one that really kicks off the future for Your Business Wife.  I don’t know where it will lead me, but I’m excited about the journey.  Like any two year old, I’m still having some tantrums and working it out as I grow and change into who I want to be.  But that’s all part of the fun.

And one day, when I’m running a proper, grown-up business, I know I’ll look back on these days and wish again for the simplicity of my home office, with my trusty laptop, messy desk and chaos all around.  And I’ll be glad that the journey I took was the path less travelled.

 

Tanya Abdul Jalil is the brains behind Your Business Wife. After starting her career as a teacher, she moved into the world of Skilled Migration. Although not a field that is usually associated with excitement, Tanya gets her thrills through getting things sorted and systematised so people could actually find what they need and use it. After starting a Career Change website for mums, Tanya realised there were also mums wanting to make a change into small business, that needed her support and so started Your Business Wife. Your Business Wife lets her combine her skills in helping other people, being creative and supporting new ideas and putting things together in logical ways that work. Tanya combines her passion for creative ideas with simple and practical solutions for small businesses. Specialising in content planning, copywriting and getting started, Tanya provides a range of support options from one off sessions, training and full content management services.

 

 

 

What are Pinterest Communities?

What are Pinterest Communities?

Pinterest Communities – and why you should start using them today.

Pinterest Training Your Business Wife

Pinterest is one of my favourite marketing tools, and I’m yet to find a business that it doesn’t work for.  When working with clients on their Pinterest Audits and training them on how to use Pinterest for their business, the first thing they ask is whether it can work for their business.

Pinterest is (was) a visual search engine that your clients use to create virtual pinboards of things they want to buy, use or learn.  Who wouldn’t want to be on that?  Even better, now they’ve added a social aspect too – so it’s even easier than ever to connect, communicate and collaborate with your networks and audience.

Recently, Pinterest has quietly announced the arrival of Pinterest Communities.  Set to change the way pinners communicate with each other, it’s a brand new way to promote your content, pins, and blogs with other people in your niche and grow your audience.

Communities allow you to post comments, have conversations and post links to your content!

Right now, Pinterest Communities are brand new, and they are only allowing one group with each unique name – so you’ve got a chance to get in and grab the community name for your niche/brand and business.

Before you can access communities, you need to join one.  If you’d like to join some to get you started here’s a few

Your Business Wife

Business Strategy Coaches

Marketing for Small Businesses

If these links send you back to the Pinterest homepage, you might need to try from the Pinterest App the first time.  It’s still a bit glitchy, so keep trying and log in and out if it doesn’t work and it might reset itself.

So far, these already some interesting communities popping up – and people are already interacting with each other.  Why not give it a try and see how it can work for your business.

What can Pinterest Communities do for your business?

Communities are very, very new. So at the moment, they are free and growing rapidly, and no one really knows what they might become.  But the potential to access new audiences, collaborate and share more widely than ever before and be one of the first adaptors is very tempting.

I’m going to start using Pinterest Communities myself, and will keep you updated on how I’m using them and growing my audience with them.

Top tips (so far!)

  • Give your community a keyword rich name – Digital Marketing for Bloggers is more searchable than Tanya’s top tips for growing your audience.
  • Keep it simple – 3 – 4 words is perfect
  • Try them out – invite your followers, see what you can do, have a go.
  • Get in quick to secure your niche/name
  • Use your community description to add in keywords and long-tail SEO statements that describe who you are and what you do

Pinterest Training small business your business wife

What do you think – are Pinterest Communities going to make Group Boards redundant?  What features would you like to see them add to communities?

 

Have no idea where to start with Pinterest for your business?  Or maybe you’ve been thinking of changing your wedding/baby pins account over to something for your business.  I can help with my Pinterest Training – whether you need a one off session, or a series of 4-6 sessions to get you completely up and running – get in touch and see what I can help with.  You can book a session today at https://YourBusinessWife.as.me/Pinterestauditandideassession

 

99 Days of Content Planning Made Simple

99 Days of Content Planning Made Simple

Content Planning to end blank pages and get your audience engaged.

Content Planning session with Tanya at Your Business Wife

It seems like we’re always on the countdown – almost Christmas, starting school, Easter, tax time…  And while that’s great, because we can measure our successes, and drive our goals forwards, it is also a challenge, because it passes all too soon when you count it.

So, people keep telling me how fast this year has gone – and here we are with almost 99 days till 2019.

So, in celebration, and to get my act together on content planning, I’m working towards planning 99 days of content.  I’m actually going to plan a bit more than that because I really want to do minimal thinking about day to day content stuff over January.

You’re probably sitting there wondering how on earth you can even plan one or two days ahead right now, let alone 3 months’ worth.

That’s where I step in and hold your hand.

Step 1 – Think of a theme for each of the next three months.

Just a rough theme – it might be something like

  • October – Springtime/new season/
  • November – Pre-Christmas sales push
  • December – Summer/January/School Holidays

 

For me, I’m working on my customer journey and upgrading my content, so I’m going with

  • October – Content Planning
  • November – Pinterest
  • December – Planning and tools/2019 planning
  • January – tools and tips

Step 2 – Think of four topics you could write about for each of those content areas:

So for me:

Content Planning

  • Who/what/why – picking your audience
  • When to plan and what to plan
  • Making it easy – repurposing/scheduling/work with your strengths
  • My tips and calendar I use

Pinterest

  • Pins and and how to create engaging pins
  • Why you need a business account
  • Basic Pinterest setup
  • How to drive more website traffic using Pinterest (specific examples for different types of shops/services
  • Using SEO to increase traffic with Pinterest

2019 Planning

  • My Planner and how I use it
  • Using Intuitive Planning
  • How to plan when you don’t even know where you’re going
  • Paper tools – pros and cons and how I use it vs. tech tools and how I use them
  • Setting intuitive goals, not smart goals

January

  • Three levels of audience and how to write for each
  • What your audience wants to know about you
  • How to share more of yourself when you’re scared to be visable
  • Get your year on track (if the wheels have already fallen off
  • Back to school – back to work – motivator.

 

Each of those topics in step 2 might become a blog piece, a video, a short picture/text movie, a slideshow, a webinar, a podcast, a Facebook post, a LinkedIn post, or just a series of weekly tips.

It doesn’t need to be a 1000 word essay each week with beautiful stock photos, H1 headers, and beginning, middle, conclusion.  If trying to work to that method is keeping you stuck each week – CHANGE IT!  You never know which method you’ll fall in love with, so try them all.  Mix it up and see what your audience loves.

 

Step 3 – For each of the subtopics brainstormed in Step 2

  • Think of two hints/tips/hacks you can share
  • Think of a teaching/quote you would tell someone if they asked you about that topic
  • Find one article online relevant to the topic
  • Write one snippet/except of how you use that thing in your life
  • Once you’ve got your content piece – that becomes one post to promote it, plus take out some quotes and snippets to share as well
  • Create a throwback schedule to promote older pieces of content too, especially if they link to the current piece.

When you’ve got all those together, it’s time to start batching!

I love to use Canva, but there are heaps of programs out there.  Put aside some time each day for a week or so, and create all your tips at once, then all your quotes etc.

 

Once you’ve got all your content bits, you can start putting it all together.  I like to use formulas like

  • Monday – Motivation/inspiration/behind the scenes
  • Tuesday – Tips
  • Wednesday – share from other people
  • Thursday – From the blog  – new or re-hashed content
  • Friday – Funny/light stuff
  • Sat/Sunday – longer/consumable content

 

Think about your audience and when they’re online the most – what type of things they like to do/read and when and then create a schedule for them.

 

If you’re not sure what content areas might be relevant for your business, or you’d like to spend some time brainstorming your content plan  – why not book in a Content Planning Session?

We’ll go through what you sell, who to and how to best get your message out to the world.  Best of all, you’ll create a 3-month content plan that means you’ll always have ideas for content and can get creating.

 

 

 

 

10 things a Directory Model Business needs to be successful

In the latest of the 10 ideas series, I’m exploring 10 things a directory based business needs to be successful.

If you’ve been around some of the business groups on Facebook recently, you’ve no doubt come across someone with a directory site (even if they don’t necessarily advertise themselves as such). For those who haven’t come across them, a directory model is basically a catalogue of related businesses that pay for listing on your website.  Like the old Yellow Pages, or trade directories, businesses pay a fee to be listed, and then higher fees for priority placed listings that will get more attention from buyers. This may include basic static listings for a minimal fee, and then various packages which include upgrades, such as social media posts, blog posts, newsletter mentions, paid adverts on the site, and affiliate programs. Directory businesses will help other related businesses (often called vendors) get more traffic by having a targeted and engaged audience that are interested in the products the vendors are selling. Having started my first business initially using a directory model, I am particularly passionate about helping other directory owners to actually make money from their businesses and making sure that the countless hours of effort, costs, and passion actually add up to a successful business. The tips below are by no means all there is to know, and given that this is a topic I am especially passionate about, I will no doubt return to this in various forms in the future.

So – 10 things a Directory Model Business needs to be successful

  1. A niche area that isn’t overdone.  The golden rule of marketing is to know your market.  In this case, trying to be all things to all people won’t work.  You need to have a targeted niche, without hundreds of competing directories in the same field.  Before buying a pre-packaged business, ask lots of questions – have they made any other related business directory sites you can see?  How many business packages have they sold and in what areas?  Chances are, if they have sold lots of directory sites, there will be multiple sites in your area already and they’ll just repackage the same templates, images, and posts and give it a different spin for you.
  2.  A niche that will actually be profitable.    How can you tell this?  Have a look at the businesses that would be likely to be signing up with you – are they established? what marketing channels do they already use (and how much are they spending on these).  If there are lots of mum-start ups in your area, then chances are they won’t have huge marketing budgets to spend, and will be social media savvy anyway, and will probably DIY over paying you for your services.  If there are a lot of larger corporate type businesses – they’ll probably have established marketing channels that are working for them, so you’ll have an uphill battle to get a wide enough audience to get their attention.
  3. A business owner with skills and knowledge in the areas that matter.  And no, this doesn’t mean a love of organic swaddles, wedding photography, kitchen tools, funky shoes or wooden kids toys.  This means that you know social media and how it works.  You’ve done online marketing or blogging before and you know what it takes to make it work and to connect with your audience. You have a love of selling and sales and convincing people to buy stuff.  And you have skills in developing a business strategy for growth and marketing that you can start implementing straight away.   I see so many directory owners (myself included!) spending years just getting their head around the whole concept of the directory, learning how to manage a website, social media, who their market is and what they need.
  4. Research on your idea.  I cannot emphasise this one enough.  Don’t just research your customers and whether they would use a directory, but would businesses sign up?  Spend some time in as many business mums groups and look up the directories that already exist in your target market.  Start making notes of the businesses that are listed on them. Chances are pretty high that a) the businesses will also be active in the groups, and b) the business will be listed on multiple sites.  For you to have a chance of adding that business to your site, you either need to be more competitive on price (hard with so many free trials) or more competitive on service (consider how much time/energy you can devote to each vendor for the income they’ll bring in.   For example – if you are setting up a local mums and bubs directory – do some research on how many mums and bubs related businesses are in the area already.  How many other directories already exist in the local and wider area – what are their fees, how long have they been around, what can you offer that they don’t?
  5. A well-designed website.  Having a website that uses the same images, templates, and wording as other directory businesses won’t set you apart, and won’t encourage vendors to sign up for your site.  Do your research, ask a million questions, and EDUCATE YOURSELF on what makes a ‘good’ website, what is SEO, what should be included and what questions you need to ask before buying a directory package.
  6. A backup plan – If you’re offering free trials, it can be six months or more before you even see a dollar in income for your site.  Build in other income streams from the beginning that will help you with some cash flow while you grow the directory side (I’ll do another post on this soon).  Don’t throw in your day job just yet, or make plans that will rely on your directory income magically appearing on a certain date.
  7. SUPPORT  – You are the product of the five people you surround yourself with.  Make sure the 5 people you hang out with the most are positive, supportive, knowledgeable, generous and believe in your dream as much as you.
  8. Money to invest.  While many people will try and sell you the dream, and that your investment is ‘only’ the price of the website, the reality can be quite different.  Having a slush fund to invest in top quality copywriting, Facebook advertising, subscriptions to social media management programs, as well as your own professional development will help ensure your directory site can reach a bigger audience much quicker, meaning you can convert more vendors to signing up for a listing.
  9. In an area that you absolutely love.  And will love in 5 years time.  My advice is to choose an area that you could literally talk about all day long because if your business is successful and becomes a full-time job, that’s what you’ll be doing.  Whilst you may have just got married, or had a baby, or taken your kids on an awesome holiday, or love making hand knitted jumpers, or gardening, chances are, there are a lot of mums out there that have had the same thoughts.  And some of them will also be setting up a directory business.
  10. The right mindset.   For me, changing my mindset to even considering running my own business took a huge mental overhaul.  It meant breaking free from the expectations that I had placed on myself, and that society has placed on me as well.  Did I really spend 6 years of my life studying, and a further 15 years working my way up the corporate ladder to just jump ship the minute my kids came along?    Whilst starting a business initially came from a place of needing an option that allowed me to work from home, it was only when I began to take it seriously, as a business, that the big changes came in my mindset.   If you treat your business as a hobby, and a bit of fun, then that’s all it will be.  You need to get real on your mindset, take all the leaps of faith and set yourself up for success with the right mindset before anything else can fall into place.

I know that a lot of the tips above are negative.  And with good reason.  I hate to see people get ripped off.  And I hate to see businesses target a very vulnerable group of people, mums with young children, who don’t want to return to their day jobs and are looking for a way out.  These businesses take thousands of dollars from families who have most likely come out of a period of maternity leave and surviving on one income.  They invest their savings (or worse, borrow the money) to be sold a dream that turns out to be a fiction.  They’re given examples of other successful businesses that have done it.  They have testimonials that are given under duress, and the threat of business ruin if they complain.  They take advantage of the desperation and dreams of mums, and in many cases, shatter them to pieces.  Only the strongest (or most independently wealthy) will survive more than one year.   Statistics show 75% of businesses fail within 5 years, and the major causes are the skills of the business owner and their ability to strategically run and manage a business.

 

Got an idea you want me to brainstorm for you?

If you're feeling stuck for an idea - whether it's a new business, a decision you need to make, or a content plan you're after - let me know and I'll add it to the list.  Be sure to leave your details so I can let you know when it's done.

What is the 10 Ideas Project? 

Inspired by a TEDx talk given by James Altucher, I am on a mission to make myself an ideas machine.

Every day, I will write down 10 ideas for different things.  These might be business tips, inspiration, content ideas, strategy ideas, things I love, things I hate, and all the millions of ways that I can think of to inspire, motivate and encourage mothers who want to change their lives, by either getting a new job, a new career, start a business, or grow their existing business.   They’re quick, flow-of-thought pieces that map out the 10 first things that come to my mind on a particular topic.  Some days, I’ll expand on them.  Other days, I’ll keep them short.  Some days they’ll be great and some days not so much.  Other days, I’ll make them pretty and use lots of pictures and headings and lovely things.

But I’m making it my mission to keep writing and keep on getting better at them. If you’ve got a topic or idea you’d like me to brainstorm ideas on, please let me know.

I’m always on the hunt for new inspiration.  I’ll be posting them here, and on my other site, Employment Avenues.

If you love my ideas, please tell me (and the whole world), I love to hear your thoughts.  If you think my ideas are terrible, please tell me that too, and I’ll keep trying to get better.

.

Just what does Your Business Wife do?

Talking to a business friend, we lamented the fact that we needed more than a VA or business coach, we wanted another one of us.    In essence, someone who knew what we did and how it all worked intimately and could intuitively know what needed to be done.  We needed a Business Wife.  And so, Your Business Wife was born.

I had been struggling to build my first business, Employment Avenues while working and looking after my three young children.  Business bits were squeezed into the late nights and snatched moments of naptimes.  It would have been easy to give up and walk away, throwing away a year of work.  Instead, I started building in systems, automations, and learning how I could build my business by working smarter and making technology work for me.

As Employment Avenues grew, I began to realise that I was putting more and more time into servicing directory clients and not growing the business itself.  As I found myself resisting doing the work, I realised that the thing that makes me happiest about my business is helping others.  The training, giving them a million ideas and possibilities for growth, and listening to their struggles and helping them find a way forward using their own gifts and talents.

So, who am I to help other business owners? Well, my main qualification is that I’ve done the hard yards in my first year.  I invested in the training, learnt as much as I could and put it into practice.  I tested and tried and went back to the drawing board a million times.  And it all eventually starts to fall into place.  I certainly don’t know it all.  I haven’t been running my own business for the last 20 years and won any major business awards (yet!).  There are many days that make me want to throw it all in and run to find a cushy office job.

But I had been doing this work for more than 15 years already.  Firstly, as a teacher, I made it my purpose to help my colleagues to plan, organise and resource their classrooms, and shared my ideas and strategies with them.  Then, I went on to build a successful corporate career over more than ten years by making myself indispensable.  I carved a pathway for myself by being dependable, knowledgeable and one step ahead of whatever needed to be done.  I was the right-hand woman, steering the ship from behind (and maybe a bit of a backseat driver) and allowed managers to get on with the business of doing business while I scouted ahead looking for obstacles and making sure we were on track.

I did the practical work too – I’ve been an Internal Auditor, developed quality and compliance systems and processes and became known for being a whiz with an Excel spreadsheet and my ability to create planning tools, policies and processes that are user-friendly, easy to follow and will actually get used.

Throughout these jobs, training was a constant.  I found myself analysing the needs of the teams, and creating solutions for them, and training them in how to save time and stress by getting the technology to work for them.

Now in my business, I find the same patterns emerging.   As my business networks have grown, I started helping others with their business systems too.  Training them step by step in how to set up their Pinterest sites, giving them ideas for winning blogs and content plans, sharing my own tips on growing your audience.  I started trialling and testing all the different programs out there, and shared this so that others don’t waste their time and money doing the same.

I’ve got a secret sauce, and that is that I am ideas machine.  I can tap into what your audience wants and needs and get to the heart of what makes each and every business stand out and help them grow from that.

Your Business Wife is the culmination of almost three years of soul searching for a business that lights me up.  A business that allows me to give back while I grow and learn myself.  I’ve found a way to share my love of learning, teaching, of systems, strategy and idea generation with the world.  Your Business Wife is going to grow along with your business.  As your needs emerge, as technology changes, as you grow your business, I’ll be one step ahead learning how to help you to manage that change.  Building systems, automation, getting you the sustainable processes so that you can have a life outside of your business as well.

Your Business Wife will help your business to:

  • Free up your time by building systems that will let you stop the endless cycle of never catching up and getting ahead.
  • Implement strategies as you grow, no matter what stage you’re at – we can move it to the next phase.
  • Upskill yourself, or help you outsource your administrative and managerial tasks
  • Create amazing SEO friendly content that your audience will love, that reflects your brand story
  • Work together in a way that is unique for each business, touching on what you need to learn, do and change to grow your brand.

 

If you need someone to teach you how to do it, organise it, plan it, write it or get it done and out there, Tanya at YBW can help.

Schedule Appointment

10 questions that you should ask yourself before buying a dog washing business.

10 questions that you should ask yourself before buying a dog washing business.

I’m setting myself a challenge to come up with 10 ideas per day.

So, for this first post, I’m brainstorming 10 questions that you should ask yourself before buying a dog washing business.

A lovely friend of mine recently told me she’d seen a fantastic idea for a dog washing business franchise that’s for sale. It was a very convincing sales prospect, and they made the offer sound fantastic. They were opening up a new region for this franchise and it’s going to be awesome and they would make all this lovely money just washing dogs.

So I started thinking about is what makes someone good at dog washing? And what would make someone successful in purchasing a dog washing business?

10 things to consider before buying (or starting up) a dog washing business
1. EXPERIENCE
What experience have you had with dogs? have you ever washed a dog before and what sort of dogs have you washed? If you’ve only ever washed your family pet, who knows you, I imagine it’s very different washing big dogs and small dogs in a cramped and unfamiliar environment. And the experience would be very different to washing your family’s small terrier out in the backyard, hosing them down with a bucket and some shampoo. Then there’s how much experience you’ve had with doggy skin conditions, clippering a dog, or nail and ear care that would go along with the job.

2. TIME
How much time do you have, and how much flexibility do you have for appointments? Depending on the clientele, they may prefer late nights, weekends or middle of the day. There would be a period of time when you would probably not be able to take extended holidays without getting staff in, so you don’t lose regular clients.

3. RESEARCH THE MARKET
Your local council should be able to provide some information on pet ownership in the area – or the ABS. Or look up your local dog parks and pay them a visit on the weekends – take note of the types of dogs, are they big/small, are they generally well groomed?
Consider the socio-economics and culture of the area you’ll be working in – are there lots of apartments (meaning smaller dogs and maybe less room for washing) or bigger backyards (bigger dogs and families who will do the washing themselves).

4. COMPETITION
How many dog washing companies are already in your area? How established are they? What sort of marketing are they using? What prices are they charging? How would your business be different to what dog owners are currently using?
Give some of them a call and check out their availability – are they free any day, or can’t squeeze you in for a month? If you call three places and they all have lots of available spots, then maybe there isn’t enough work for everyone.

5. MONEY
Don’t get caught up in the magic turnover figures presented. Consider the expenses of the business, how much you personally need to make to survive and how much time you have free.
If you know you can only work x hours per week, then you can work out how much you need to be charging per dog to make your desired income.
Consider all the possible expenses – insurance, advertising, council registrations, business registrations, consumables (shampoos), tools, water, electricity, signage, uniforms, promotional materials, freebies and promotions. If it’s a franchise, you’ll have additional costs from the franchiser too. Once you have added all these up, divide that by 52. That will give you an idea of how much you need to make per week to cover your costs. Divide that figure by how many possible dog washing hours you can do.
For example – $1000 per week expenses/40 hours dog washing @ 1 hour per dog = each dog costs you $25 to wash. If you only get to wash 20 dogs, then each dog is going to cost you $50.

Once you’ve worked out your costs, then consider how long it will take you to make a return on your investment, so to have paid off the business start up costs. If you’ve paid $50,000 for the business, you would need to be making at least $1,000 additional to your costs per week to get to a point where you’ve paid off the costs and are making a profit.

6. MONEY 2 – Costs and clients
Consider what your ideal client looks like – wealthy, time poor, pampered pets. Does that describe the majority of pet owners in your area?

Building on from how much the service cost you to run, you then need to start thinking about how much is the market willing to pay. This is also part of your competitor research – what are other companies charging? How often do these clients return? How many regular clients would I reasonably get.

7. PRICING
What pricing structures are other services using? Do they account for the size of dogs? Extras like clippering? How could you structure a package to maximise your value to customers, while making a profit?
When you consider how much people are charging – consider how often they getting their customers back, so for someone just getting their dog washed – how often would they get their dog washed? is it a weekly thing? Or a monthly thing? Or a seasonal clippering? Or more often during winter if the dogs like to go and play in the mud, or less in summer if they go swimming a lot.

8. When buying a franchise in particular – Look at the statistics and case studies provided – Consider
What area were they working in? Is this area similar to the one you’ll be setting up in?
What’s the culture of that area like – a lot of older people who might have money and less physically able to wash their dogs? Or a lot of young families who may be willing to wash the dog themselves?

9. QUESTIONS
You can’t ask too many questions – Go to the council and ask what their regulations are – can you put the water in the storm water drain? Can you park on the kerb? Can you use certain types of shampoos? Can you run your generator any time of day? What insurances and licences do you need?
Go to the state government and find out their regulations and registering a business. Find out about advertising in the local area – what are the best ways, what are the costs?

10. YOU
One of the most important things before all of this is to consider why you want to start a dog washing business.
What is it about you about the washing that lights you up that excites you that motivates you?
Is it that you’ve seen a gap in the market and you seen that you can do this dog washing business better than anyone else that is out there?
What will make people come and use your services is you and your point of difference and your passion for the industry.
I imagine someone starting a dog washing business would be the person who has a beautiful dog for themselves, no matter what size, but that they love to groom that dog. They love to put ribbons in her hair and putting little jackets on it and clipping her toenails and tying bows in it.

You would be doing all the dog grooming activities that you’ll be doing in your everyday work and you love doing that so much that you offer to do that for your friends and it excites you. You make time out of your busy day to groom your dog and to wash your dog, and take care of your dog. You do all this because you love it and you can see the benefits of doing that for your dog.
Having that natural passion, skill and interest is what would make you a successful dog washer.
If you’ve never held a dog in your life, if you’ve rarely touched dogs, and don’t pat every dog you see on the street, if you’ve never held a pair of clippers, and rarely even do your children’s hair, or offer to walk the family dog, then I would suggest you reconsider 100 million times before going out and purchasing a dog washing business.

Stay tuned for 10 ideas of different businesses that dog lovers can start that aren’t dog washing.

What is the 10 Ideas Project?  Inspired by a TEDx talk given by James Altucher, I am on a mission to make myself an ideas machine.  Every day, I will write down 10 ideas for different things.  These might be business tips, inspiration, content ideas, strategy ideas, things I love, things I hate, and all the millions of ways that I can think of to inspire, motivate and encourage mothers who want to change their lives, by either getting a new job, a new career, start a business, or grow their existing business.   They’re quick, flow of thought pieces that map out the 10 first things that come to my mind on a particular topic.  Some days, I’ll expand on them.  Other days, I’ll keep them short.  Some days they’ll be great and some days not so much.  Other days, I’ll make them pretty and use lots of pictures and headings and lovely things.  But I’m making it my mission to keep writing and keep on getting better at them.

If you’ve got a topic or idea you’d like me to brainstorm ideas on, please let me know.  I’m always on the hunt for new inspiration.  I’ll be posting them here, and on my other site, Employment Avenues. If you love my ideas, please tell me (and the whole world), I love to hear what you have to say.  If you think my ideas are terrible, please tell me that too, and I’ll keep trying to get better.

 

10 ideas a day

10 ideas a day

Every new thing begins with just a spark of an idea…

I recently saw a TEDx talk, and the speaker mentioned an idea that really struck me.  If you want to be known for your unique ideas and insights, you need to exercise your ‘ideas muscle’.

One of the ways they suggest doing this is by simply writing down 10 new ideas a day.

Something about this challenge has sparked an idea within me.  I love ideas, I love writing, and I love helping people.  So here I am, starting with my ideas.

I’m going to try, if not every day, most days, to post 10 ideas for something.

To start with, I’ve come up with 10 ideas I can write ideas about.

1. Business Ideas for different personality types

2. Business tips that can help you get your systems in order

3. Narrowing down your niche and offerings

4. Questions to ask yourself before starting different types of ventures

5. Unique business ideas

6.  Things you can do to help your work/life balance

7.  Funny stuff

8.  Things I love/hate

9. Awesome content ideas for businesses – blog ideas, headline inspiration, freebies and lead magnets

10. Get shit done tips.

As you can see from the list above, I need some practice, and this is going to take some time to maybe get the method down pat, but I’m taking a deep breath and just starting.  I’m not sure just yet where this will lead me, or what it’ll end up looking like.

If you have a topic you’d like me to give you 10 ideas for – drop me a line below and let me know and I’ll add it to my list.

Have you started a new challenge? what do you think of this one?

What is the 10 Ideas Project?

Inspired by a TEDx talk given by James Altucher, I am on a mission to make myself an ideas machine.  Every day, I will write down 10 ideas for different things.  These might be business tips, inspiration, content ideas, strategy ideas, things I love, things I hate, and all the millions of ways that I can think of to inspire, motivate and encourage mothers who want to change their lives, by either getting a new job, a new career, start a business, or grow their existing business.   They’re quick, flow of thought pieces that map out the 10 first things that come to my mind on a particular topic.  Some days, I’ll expand on them.  Other days, I’ll keep them short.  Some days they’ll be great and some days not so much.  Other days, I’ll make them pretty and use lots of pictures and headings and lovely things.  But I’m making it my mission to keep writing and keep on getting better at them.

If you’ve got a topic or idea you’d like me to brainstorm ideas on, please let me know.  I’m always on the hunt for new inspiration.  I’ll be posting them here, and on my other site, Employment Avenues. If you love my ideas, please tell me (and the whole world), I love to hear what you have to say.  If you think my ideas are terrible, please tell me that too, and I’ll keep trying to get better.

Want to be part of our 10 Ideas Project? Submit your topic below and we'll be in touch when it's published.

12 + 3 =