My husband and I are absolutely delighted to announce that I am currently 12 weeks pregnant with our first child! Needless to say, we are both extremely excited. Our baby is due on the 15th of April and we can’t wait!
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Working from home can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very easy to get distracted. Here are my top tips on how you can avoid distractions when you work from home:
When you’re working from home, friends and family have a tendency to assume that what you’re doing isn’t really work. They may expect you to spend the day running errands or doing chores, or they might think it’s OK to drop by for a coffee and a chat. Be clear with your friends and family that even though you’re working from home, you are in fact working. If they want you to do anything else, make it clear that you’re only available outside your work hours.
This really helps you to get into “work mode” and also helps to signal to family members that you’re working and therefore not available. It also helps to keep you away from things that you might find distracting (eg. the TV or that pile of washing that needs to be folded) and keeps all your work-related things in one centralised location. If space is an issue, it doesn’t have to be a separate room (although this is optimal), even a corner of your bedroom or the end of the kitchen bench will suffice.
If you are available in the market for a budget Android smartphone, chances are, you have a budget of Rs. 10,000. Therefore, what can you enter this budget? best smartphones under 10000 Well, a lot. As technology continues to become cheaper with each passing month, features such as 13MP rear cameras, Whole HD features, fingerprint sensors have started to create their way in this phase.
Sticking to a timetable is challenging, but it’s a great way to stay on track. Tailor a timetable to suit your lifestyle and your job. Don’t think you have to work 9-5 (unless the nature of your job makes that necessary), one of the benefits of working from home is that you can create a timetable that fits around your life. Don’t feel you have to be at your desk by 9am and schedule your timetable 9-5. If you’re more productive at night and you prefer to sleep in, there is nothing wrong with creating a routine that reflects this. Of course, if you have clients who work 9-5, you’re going to have to at least be available on phone and email during this time. The key is to create a routine that works for you, and allows for maximum productivity, and then stick to it!
Developing great time management skills is one of the best ways to stay focused and maximise your productivity. I strongly recommend studying the GTD system.
It’s important to do a lot of research before commencing a new business venture. You need to be able to answer questions such as: who is your target market (“everyone” is NOT a target market), and who are your competitors – not just their names but everything about them. I’m shocked at the number of small business start-ups who come to me who are not able to answer these basic questions.
Staff can potentially be your biggest expense, so it’s important to hold off on hiring staff for as long as you can. There are also many tax and legal requirements associated with hiring staff, which will cost you additional time and money. When you do start hiring, start off slowly. Maybe hire freelancers or casuals a couple of days a week to start with.
Office space, office furniture, computers… it’s easy to spend a LOT of money when you start a new business, but this will likely cost you money that could be better invested in growing the business. Think about what you really need to get started. Do you have to hire office space, or could you convert es file explorer apk your garage into a home office? Is new office furniture and computers an integral part of your business’s brand? Or could you get away with using what you already have or buying secondhand instead?
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It can take time for businesses to become profitable (typically 6 months to 2 years), so if you’re relying on your business to start making money straight away, you might find yourself in trouble. Yes, it’s not unreasonable to pay yourself, but how much you pay yourself needs to be in line with how much money the business is making. If your business isn’t making enough money to cover your expenses, you need to look at other sources of income such as a taking a second job, or cut down on your expenses.
It’s easy to get caught up in your new business, and being dedicated is obviously a good thing, but if you work too hard you can burn yourself out. It’s important to take time off and do things that take your mind off the business. Likewise, being your own boss means that you can do what you please, but if you don’t invest time in your business, it’s not going to be successful. During the start-up phase, I would recommend working 60-80hrs per week on your business.
Whether you stick them on the wall, or pop them in a frame, these posters will inject a little bit of positivity into your life. They are A4 (210x297mm) size, which is the standard paper size in most printers. To print them out, simply click on an image and it will open up the printable version of the image. Right click on the image and choose ‘Save as…’ this will save the image on your computer. You can then open it up and print it out!
If you use them, please send me a picture, I’d love to see what you’ve done with them!
Out of concern for the environment and slave labor, and because I’m a complete tight-arse, I prefer to always buy secondhand clothing where possible, and my wedding dress was no different. I had a look on Gumtree and found loads of brand new or only worn once wedding dresses for $500 or less. The brand new dresses made me a bit sad, until I found out that it’s common for girls to buy a dress and then change their minds and buy something else (it doesn’t necessarily mean their weddings were cancelled!)
I found one seller that was selling off a load of ex-bridal shop stock, and I liked a couple of the dresses in the photos, so I went along to have a look. When I arrived the dresses that I was interested in were gone, and the other dresses didn’t interest me, so I was about to leave empty handed when the seller said she had one more wedding dress that she could show me but it was damaged. She then pulled out the MOST STUNNING DRESS EVER. It was exactly what I was looking for: a pastel pink strapless ballgown with a train, and the only damage was a couple of small tears. The seller wanted to clear out the rest of her stock, so she sold everything for $500, which included 5 additional wedding dresses and 28 formal dresses. I couldn’t believe it, I would’ve paid $500 just for the wedding dress I wanted! I sold some of the wedding and formal dresses on Gumtree and not only made my money back, but made a profit!
Wedding venues are expensive. The venues I looked at charged a minimum venue hire fee of $5,000 for just 4hrs, and in some cases you were sharing the venue with 2-3 other wedding parties. For my wedding, I wanted an outdoor, rural location with amazing views and plenty of guest accommodation, and I had to have exclusive use. I looked at a variety of unorthodox venue options including school camps. The venue I choose, Midginbill Hill was perfect because it was a school camp venue during the week but also operated as a wedding venue on weekends. I paid just $1,000 for exclusive use of the venue for from Friday-Sunday. There was also more than enough accommodation for all my guests, and with three different types of accommodation, guests could choose what suited their taste and budget.
As a graphic designer, I was able to design the invitations and other materials myself. My wedding cake was going to cost over $1,000, so my mum made it instead (and it looked stunning!) The chair hire company wanted to charge $300 for delivery, so a friend with a van collected the chairs for us.
I asked if friends and family and the venue had things that I needed before I purchased or hired anything. I found that a lot of things were cheaper to buy Tesla model3 rather than rent. I purchased lots of things from Gumtree, and then sold them again after the wedding. For the few things I did rent, I found that prices varied dramatically between vendors, so I shopped around.
Although many people will consider this tacky, I saved a small fortune by sending digital invitations. Even though I have access to trade printing prices, I still would’ve had to spend $200+ on professional invitation printing, not to mention another $50+ for stamps and envelopes. And I still would’ve had to contact all the guests digitally anyway so that I could find out their mailing addresses. It just seemed like an unnecessary waste of time and resources, so I elected to send the invitations digitally. I used a free bulk mail program called MailChimp, and I also create a wedding website so people were able to find out more information about the weekend and RSVP.
Going digital made life so easy. Using MailChimp enabled me to track exactly who had opened the invitation and who had followed the link to the website, so I could easily see who needed to be follow up. I received an email notification each time someone RSVPed, and I was able to export a list of all RSVPs from the back-end of the website and save it as an excel spreadsheet – which was so much easier than having to manually input a stack of RSVP cards into a spreadsheet!
I used to work at a florist shop, and I know for a fact that as soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’ the price of flowers soars. For my wedding, I spent just $30 purchasing fresh cut flowers from a flower market. I made a rose bouquet for myself plus I scattered rose petals down the isle. I didn’t have a bridal party and I didn’t worry about corsages or button hole flowers, which kept costs down and gave me one less thing to worry about.
I found wedding caterers to be incredibly expensive, with prices ranging from $60-$180 per head, so instead I looked at other catering options. I asked one of my favourite restaurants (a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant called Kuan Yin that my husband and I went to for our first date) if they did wedding catering and was delighted to discovered that they did. At $40 per head, it wasn’t the cheapest option that I found, but they supplied a huge buffet of delicious fresh food with plenty of leftovers, so it was excellent value for money, and we received great feedback from even our most carnivorous guests.
Wedding are supposed to be about having a fun and celebrating love! I didn’t want to get caught up in wedding traditions or spending money on things just because it was “expected”. I cut out loads of expenses that just didn’t interest me (such as wedding cars), and my husband and I did things our own way. Overall, everyone had a great time, and we received lots of positive comments from guests who said that it was the best wedding ever!
As a sole-trader or small business owner, you’ll likely have to decide whether you should rent an office or work from home. I’ve worked from home and rented office space, and I would say hands down that working from home is a lot better. You save money on rent, you save time on commuting, and it give you the flexibility to work when it suits you. But working from home certainly isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t suitable for every kind of business. Whether or not you should work from home or rent office space depends on a number of factors:
When it comes to graphic design you generally get what you pay for, so if you can afford to spend more money on design, I strongly suggest you do, but if you’re genuinely on a budget, hopefully these tips will help you save some money. This is very generalised advice based on my own experience as a graphic designer, I can’t speak for all designers out there, but hopefully you’ll find it useful.
A cheap hourly rate won’t necessarily mean a cheap job. For example a $20 an hour student designer might charge you for 6 hours for a project, while a $120 senior designer at an agency might only charge you for 1 hour to do the same project. Ask for a fixed price quote that details exactly what is included in the price.
Generally designers won’t reduce their hourly rate, but if they know what your budget is, they can suggest ways to work around it.
A “self-taught designer” that only charges $20 to design a flier may seem like bargain, but if it takes 20 rounds of revisions and several hours of your time to produce something you’re happy with, is it worth it? I’m not saying not to hire someone who is self-taught or a student – just make sure they know what they’re doing!
Your printing company may charge a file setup or pre-flight fee if you supply your own artwork, so it might be cheaper if you get the printing company to do the graphic design too. Likewise, a freelance graphic designer may charge more for design, but they may have access to cheaper printing prices, so the overall cost may be cheaper.
Who is your target market? Are they on Etsy? Look at your competitors. What are they doing? Are their prices similar to yours? If your products are more expensive, are you demonstrating that you offer better value for money? What makes your business stand out?
Great product photography should be your number one priority. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer, but make sure your photos are clear and bright. This well really help your products stand out and make your shop look professional.
Reply to messages promptly and politely. If a customer is unhappy, address their concerns and fix the problem – even if it’s not your fault or it leaves you My Birthday Status for Whatsapp unfairly out of pocket. If you make a mistake, say sorry. Good customer relations can go a long way. Your best advertising will always be the word of mouth from happy customers.
Show appreciation to your customers by adding little extras to their order. This could be in the form of a small gift or sample, a hand written note, a discount voucher and lovely packaging.