Top 5 tips for Writing Simple Blogs

5 top tips for writing simple blogs

During our last networking meeting last week. A few of the Mumpreneurs were interested in how to do simple blogs to help their SEO on their website but didn’t know where to start. You only need short blogs to help your website be active, about 300 words recommends Andie Noon from Scruffy Dog Studio’s.

Here are my Top 5 tips for Writing simple Blogs to help keep your website active.

1. Choose Easy Topics about your products or services.

You have a wealth of knowledge about your business area. Whether your sell a product or a service. Share what you know about it. If you are selling make up write a blog on best ways to apply foundation.

2. Come up with a list of topics you can choose from.

Sit down and create a list of topics you could blog on. Each week keep adding to the topics and then choose one to write on. Makes it easy to pick from a list then feeling like you have nothing to write on.

3. Choose 3 links.

In your blog have at least three links out to other websites. If you are mentioning anyone else at all pop a link in to them. Build relationships between your websites.

4. Only 300 words

You only need 300 words to keep have activity. This blog only 353 words. It’s very short and it’s only a bit longer than some of the post we do on Facebook.

5. If you can talk you can write.

I have never been any good at writing but I do it anyway. The more you write the better you become. I struggle with grammar, spelling and flow. Write like you talk, use the conversation in your head and pop it down on the computer.

To throw out 300 words only takes around half and hour to do over a coffee. Don’t be scared to write as you have a wealth of knowledge all there inside you. Do a few bullet points and you are on your way.

What scares or stops you from blogging?

Julie Signature

What's wrong with the label Mumpreneur?

What's wrong with the label Mumpreneur

When I first started my little MLM business I wasn’t even aware of the term Mumpreneur and now I have a business called Mumpreneurs WA.  Recently I saw a snippet of an interview on 60 minutes Jessica Rudd and she rolled her eyes at being called a Mumpreneur. I felt quite offended by her eye rolling. Jessica Rudd is doing extremely well in China with her business selling baby and mother products and hats off to her, it’s hard work running your own business. Well done Jessica on your success. But please don’t sit there are roll your eyes at all the Mumpreneurs out there doing it tough. Or roll your eye’s with the word “Mum” in it.   Jessica is not in the real world of Mumpreneurship. She is blessed to be the daughter of Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and ultra successful entrepreneur Thérèse Rein. I am sure she has a truck load of help and she has grown up in a very prestigious family and they have connections. Some of us and not quite that lucky to have that backing, that help or connection.

What’s wrong with the label Mumpreneur?  Nothing I think the word Mumpreneur is a true celebration.

There are so many terms for an entrepreneur why do people get the boots into Mumpreneurs. No one is writing or talking passionately about the solopreneur, kidprepreneur, studentpreneur, my friend even calls herself Enjopreneur, got to love that one. Seriously who cares what sort of “preneur” you are. But don’t be rolling your eyes at women who have less little support and trying to make a good crack at being an entrepreneur on their own. Some of us are doing it bloody tough. I’d love to be in China with my house cleaner, driver and cook to help me so I could be an “entrepreneur”. I am sure there would be all this help as I know teachers who have worked in China and they have had this help with their salary packages. I mean bring it on.  Instead I am in Perth in the “burbs” bashing it out.

Why is Jessica not embracing herself as a Mumpreneur, it’s like me saying I am not a feminist. Every single person who believes in the philosophy of equal pay and right for women (which we are still not there yet) is a feminist. I will shout it from the roof tops, as business women and mothers we are Mumpreneurs.  Why? Since 1992 women have increased their time at the workplace but they have not reduced their domestic work load. Women still do twice as much domestic work as men. Although men have increased their time with the care for the children this increase is is made up with play time whereas women make up the majority emotional and physical care of the children (Trends in Domestic Work – Australia Bureau of Statistic ) If you are working or have a small business you are doing just as much as we did in 1992 but you have more workload than mothers in 1992. No wonder we are burning out. That is why we are different to Dadpreneurs. It’s in the statistics.

Labels do help us define who we are and help us on our road in life. People really need to get over being a label, we label ourselves as mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, best friends, fashionistas, foodies, cafe goers, active wearers, etc It gives us the ability to identify ourselves, to belong to a group or a tribe. Being a Mumpreneur is not a bad label it’s a label of empowerment, we work bloody hard as Mumpreneurs because being a mum is a tough job and throw a business on to top of it and it can push you to breaking point. You need to have guts, determination, strong boundaries and support. Some of us do this on our own. Embrace being a Mumpreneur, for being a “Mum” and a “Preneur” are two of the proudest achievements I have done in life.

I think I am so offended with Jessica’s eye rolling is that I support a huge network of Mumpreneurs (and you don’t even need to be a Mum to be with Mumpreneurs WA as we are totally inclusive, it just gives Mum’s the opportunity to network with kids).  I love small business and love supporting women in business. Not only do I support my paying members but I support non-member who don’t support me. I do this because I believe from the bottom of my soul of what I do and Mumpreneurs WA. I try to support women in business in every way I can to help their businesses be successful and more forward. I see how hard they work, I see how they need support, I see the connections they create with each other and I do this for very little.  I tag, I share, I blog, I run meetings, I connect people and share knowledge. I do all that I can for women in business and Mumpreneurs this is why I am so offended as I am on the ground supporting the women that make a real difference to our economy. Let me give you the heads up women play a huge part in driving our economy.

Please Jessica don’t roll your eyes at what I do or any Mum in business.  It’s not a term to be put down or sneered at. Seriously get over yourself, of course we are ENTREPRENEURS but we are also proud MUMPRENEURS!!

What are your thoughts do you like or dislike the term Mumpreneur?

If you like or even dislike this article please share as I would be very interested in your opinions.

Julie Signature

3 Ways to Deal with Small Business Burn Out

3 ways to deal with small business burn out - Mumpreneurs WA

It’s all getting to much for you. You’re suffering with stress overload, your children are not getting the attention they need and you know it, the house looks like a bomb and has been hit by a nuclear bomb and you can’t get on top of your small business tasks. You are bending under the pressure of your small business. Here are 3 Ways to Deal with Small Business Burn Out.

You have three options.

Outsource

People talk about outsourcing and if you can afford it in your budget do it! Your time is also money and this will free up more time for you to do what you need to be doing. I am only just getting to the stage to outsource a little bit of my website work and I am really exciting to be passing some work off to Kirsty Morton from Kristy Morton Consultancy for some of the tasks that need fixing on my WordPress. I can’t tell you how much of a relief I feel to pass some of this work off. I could do it myself but I actually value the time more at the moment than the money. Time is also of great value when you are a stress out maniac. You don’t need to do everything all the time yourself.  This has taken me a long time to learn. There are lots of excellent virtual assistants that can also help you with some of your tasks to free up time.  I never really knew what a VA did but Sharon Pegrum wrote an awesome article on how they can help your small business – Why you should hire a small business? Give it a read and see if you need a VA and you can go local rather then overseas.

Pull back

Yes I said it. As entrepreneurs we don’t want to hear it and we get messages on Facebook all the time about struggle through the tough times, you can do it, bust through the hardships, break down walls etc etc. I am getting a bit tired of it. Sometimes this is a crock of shit when you have small children. Your kids are small only a very short time and they they are the top of the list. You can work your guts out when they get a bit older and off doing their own thing. Small children are hard work and time demanding. Pull back on the work. It can wait, your children can’t. It’s ok to pull back.

Stay the Same

Don’t change a thing. Continue to do what you have been doing and you will burn out. At my worst I was so tired and trying to processes stuff on my wordpress at night my thinking was delaying and I had to concentrate so hard to keep focused on simple tasks. This is not a good thing. Not only can you not do task efficiently but the stress from the house and children is too much as well. You feel overwhelmed by the piling housework and tasks you need to do. This doesn’t make for a happy life now and the now is very important in life too. There is something to be said for being grateful for now and living in the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying give up your entrepreneurial goals or close your small business. You have only so much time and we all have the same amount of time. I am very good with my time management and always have been. But I have struggled with doing everything and I can’t. I pulled back and it was the best thing I ever did. I am now having weekends off except for a bit of writing which I love to do. I am having nights off and watching The Block or Masterchef. Plus I am having movie night on Fridays, it’s awesome. I feel happier and my house is cleaner and my kids are happier as I am not so grumpy and overwhelmed with everything.

Think about what is really important to you in the big scheme of things. It’s easier to do than what you think. Remember it’s your business and it’s on your terms.

Have a great week.

Julie Signature

If you want more support and networking with like minded business women, join us today and don’t be alone.

http://www.mumpreneurswa.com.au/join-us-today/

Release your inner Writer

release your inner writer

I am not sure what it is about wanting to write books. Does everyone have the desire to be a published author? Or is it just some of us? I have always wanted to publish books despite not having the best grasp of the English language.  Growing up I struggled with English and still do, I miss words out or add in words that aren’t suppose to be there. When I finished year 12 I didn’t even pass English and in fact on my TEE results it actually classed me as “illiterate”. Which I wasn’t but I certainly didn’t have the skills to head on down to Uni-town. Which is where I wanted to be for all the wrong reason, mostly living out of home and partying. But I still have this urge to write and I have a few books inside of me wanting to get out.

I thought if I put it out there that I want to write another book and get some other like minded people on board then I will have to stop procrastinating and actually do it. If I set the tasks up that I want to do that are achievable I can share this with others easily and it makes me accountable. I am certainly no expert when it comes to writing or publishing. I have published one book called A Baby for Mummy on Amazon. After publishing that I felt more confident about going the full hog and getting my cyber safety books up and running again after writing them back in 2012.  I really feel it can be done and if I can do it anyone can.

Getting an online product going for your business is great for your business. Whether you want to write a mini ebook to give away free to clients or subscribers, a book of all your tips and insider knowledge which people can buy on your website or on Amazon. This is an awesome start to getting your online products going.

For me the main thing that stops me is time and then it gets put to the back burner. If you are like me and want to make a start and get that book going. Join my 4 week kick start book challenge. It’s simple and easy motivation to get you going and on the road to writing that book that is burning inside you. It can be a fiction or non fiction book. As we all know it’s a case of blocking out a bit of time and doing it anyway.

Join here. We are starting on Monday the 17th of October and every Monday you will receive an email with a few tips and task to do for the week.  It will only run for 4 weeks and we can move on to other challenges with our books as required.  But for now —-

Let’s get our inner writers writing.

Julie Signature

Top 7 mistakes from my first year of Business

top 7 mistakes from my first year of business

What a year.  I first ventured into business February last year.  I have been in business a little over a year.  I have stressed heaps, I have learnt heaps and I have not made a lot of money.  Whoa!!!  You say, you have not made a lot of money!  What are you doing wrong you ask?  You must be terrible at business.  Ha ha this may be true, I’m certainly no Richard Branson yet but I am determined and I am still learning and going to get there.  I am not ready to give up.

“You can only go forward by making mistakes” Alexander McQueen

Here are my top 7 mistakes from my first year in business.

Not having the right Business Model

Now this seems like a no brainer.  If you have never been in business before and you are like me I had no idea about business models, what they were and how they operated, how do you know which ones are good.  I had heard of them but because I started with a MLM company I didn’t even think about business models.  I liked the product so I went in with all gun’s blazing to tell everyone about it. This is not a business model.  Being an excited maniac about something good you found doesn’t make the foundations for a successful business.  You need to find a good business model that works for you.  There are many different business considerations when looking at starting business are you going to be a company, sole traders,  MLM, direct sales, partner, franchise etc.  What is the business model you are going with run with? 

Over the past year I have been running around all over town trying to learn and do business. This is hard work.  If you are thinking about going into business, look at the business model that you are going to use so you are clear, focused, can maximise your income and your time.  Most of all have a business model to work with.  I would highly recommend meeting with Business Station which is a free government funded organisation that can give you advice. Or here is a list of all the organisations that you can help you with your business or getting your business off the ground.

Not having a Business Plan and Business Budget

It doesn’t matter what business you are going to do you need a business plan. Before you sign on the dotted line, before you buy your stock, before you start making those dresses or necklaces. Get yourself a business plan and fill it in. It doesn’t need to be a huge document.  You can get a good easy business plan here to fill in. It gives you focus, it allows you to flesh out what your business will be about.  I didn’t have any business plan or business budget until I was about 7 months into my business.  I had lots of to do list and I been logging my sales but I didn’t have any business plans or budgets.  I wish I had started with a business plan before I started anything. 

Secondly,  you need to have an understanding of your business budget. Many people over spend on their businesses when they first start.  I was so excited I ran around Officeworks buying stuff and stationary I didn’t really need, it looked lovely and I got to play with my new “stuff”.  This is mild spending compared to some who buy new cars and phones. Ha ha I still have a shocking phone as many of you know. Really look at your budget. How much will it cost you to run your business?  Have you got the market for it?  Not all business ideas are financially viable.  The idea might be great but it might be a lot of paper work for not much profit and is it really worth being in business with that idea. Be realistic. Get your Business Budget Planner here. 

Facebook Trap

Firstly, we all do it and we all know it, we spend to much time on Facebook. Some days you can get on Facebook and it’s the biggest time gobbler for you. We all know this.  Have I got any advice on this one…..mmmm no not really you can try and only go on twice a day, at the beginning of the working day and at the end. I don’t do that but it sounds like a good idea.

I think my biggest mistake on Facebook when starting in business was dumping my “advertisements” in Facebook groups then running off and dumping another “ad” in another group.  Facebook is people orientated.  It’s like running up to people at an event are shoving your flyers in people faces without even getting to know them.  If you are in a group and you are dumping in the group and not genuinely interacting with the people in the group, let me give you the heads up they don’t care at all for your advertisements and they won’t buy off you.  It’s really a waste of time.  If you do post around in groups at the very least put a “Hi (name the group) and something personal with your ad’s.  The best advice for Facebook Etiquette comes from one of Perth Etiquette guru’s Sharon Attwood from Brand Etiquette. If you get a change to see Sharon talk or attend any of her workshops she is great and knows her stuff on branding and etiquette.

Impatient

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” I wish it had been as it would make it so much easier.  I want it all and I want it now.  When I first started I was starting with no business experience and I had no professional development in it.  I had to start slowly as I didn’t have much time with small children. I had to juggle all the balls and I had to learn a lot (and still do).  You hear stories of overnight success but true overnight successes are rare.  Most overnight success stories might be people on their third business, they might have been working at it for a few years and juggling a full time job until it becomes a viable and successful business.  Business takes time and so does all the professional development courses that you need to do. 

Running around with my head cut off

The old say of work ‘on’ your business not ‘in’ it is so true. This one is a hard one and I only now feel like getting my head around it.  It’s so easy to get caught up making pretty things for your business on Vistaprint. I can spend hours pottering along making flyers and business cards, I can spend hours making my website look good (sometimes you will need to do this if you have no budget like myself), I can spend hours making up special spreadsheets,  I can spend hours pretending to work but really checking Facebook or making stunning Canva posts.  These are all fun to do but these things don’t make money. Yes these are important and you do need to do these. If you are pumped for time, do these in front of the TV at night. When you have your business time during the day, make those hours worthwhile and use them for follow up, lead generation, servicing your clients and finding more clients.  I have spent way to much time on the fun no business generating jobs.

Business does not appear out of nowhere

Just because you have a great product doesn’t mean your customers are going to appear out of thin air.  Doing Facebook alone is not going to grow your business.  You have to get out there and find your customers.  There are many opportunities to network,  be a part business groups, work at co-working spaces and get your business out there.  (Phew at this point I am just going to pop over and check my Facebook for a break). 

Being a Magpie and getting distracted by Shiny things

Back to business after my Facebook check and I also made a pretty picture post for this blog.  As I was saying I am a bit of magpie and can get easily distracted by shiny things.  I suppose this is related to running around with my heads cut off paragraph but it’s a little different. I have started two business ventures in the last year and now I am gearing up to do a third (this doesn’t count all the other side projects I have going on). Firstly, my Nucerity business which got me into doing businesses I am putting the back burner for now.   Secondly, Mumpreneurs WA will continue as a community organisation and a hobby business rather than developing that as a money making business model. Although I will still be taking donations at networking events and you are always welcome to buy me a bottle of wine on the side bar for running it.  This makes me feel like I am running after shiny things but I have been told that I am not looking for new shiny things as finding my feet in business and getting on to the right business model for me. Which is lucky because I would hate to feel like I was starting all the way at the beginning again. 

Now my big news,  low and behold I am starting a new business. I am going to continue with skin care but will move into offering beautiful facials for women and mum’s with my Beautiful Skin Solutions page.  Even though I have adjusted and now re-adjusting my business I feel the last year has given me so much and served me with great skills to pick up and give it another crack.  If you are looking for a gorgeous 30 minute facial I am your lady with the magic hands.   Taking bookings now. Go on treat yourself – 0400 716 532

In conclusion – “She who leaps towards the sky may fall, it’s true. But she may also fly”. I truly believe that I will fly.  I am stilling leaping and falling at the moment and quite honestly sometimes the falls are hard and I cry. I always get up, try again, move direction and keep going.  Sometimes you need to stop what you are doing and take a different path and that’s ok to change.  I feel I am turning a corner and taking a different path I hope this is the right one, if it’s not I will turn again until I find it. 

What are your big mistakes when you started off in business? I would love to know. 

Julie Signature

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10 Ways to Thank your Customers

10 Ways to thank your customers

Following up with customer service can be hard.  Why is it so hard?  Why do we fear picking up the phone and calling someone who trusted us enough to buy our service or product?  Customer service is an important part of your business.  It can lead to repeat business, it builds relationships and can lead to referrals. What are you doing for your customer service?

We get so busy with working “on” our business we forget to work “in” out business. In fact the “in”/”on” theory I am now only really starting to get after a year of being in business.  Its the “in” part we need to be working on 80% of the time. Once again the old 80 – 20 rules crops up.  We know it works but it’s like being healthy, we know what to do to be healthy but we don’t always do it.

Let’s look at our following up.  Why aren’t you picking up the phone?  Number one reason we don’t follow up is we are scared to be rejected. Is that it? I am thinking a big fat yes.  We are scared the customer is going to complain about our product or service,  we are scared they won’t have time to talk, we are scared they will think we are being a nuisance and this is all related to our fear of rejection.  In reality, deep down we all care about this.   Are these fears real? Yes they are.  Will they come true? Probably not, although sometimes you will have people not happy but wouldn’t you rather try and solve the problem for them and turn them into a loyal customer because you fixed the problem or you tried to.

Mostly when you ring a customer to follow up they will be happy to talk.  Today when I rang a lovely customer of mine to apologised I hadn’t called her in a while she apologised to me saying she hadn’t ordered anything lately as she had been getting some things fixed on her skin and wasn’t using anything.  It was great to touch base with her again and re-establish the relationship.  There was no reason to feel scared ringing her and I loved catching up as we have had similar situations. It was good for both of us to talk about.

If you are feeling a bit scared to pick up the phone and follow up with your customer service. Here are 10 Ways to Thank your Customers and get the ball rolling to get back into the swing and make it good habit.

Thank you Customer Service Follow Up

  1. Send a thank you to the first person who bought off you.
  2. Send a thank you to a friend that has been supportive of your business.
  3. Ring and apologise to a customer who you haven’t spoke to for a long time and ask them if they have any questions.
  4. Send a thank you to someone who placed an order with you that was under $50.
  5. Send a thank you to someone who has placed an order with you that was over $100.
  6. Send a thank you to someone on your email list.
  7. Send a thank you to some who is a fan of your Facebook page.
  8. Send a thank you to local follower on your Instagram.
  9. Send a family member a thank you for supporting your business.
  10. The next person who likes your next post send a thank you.

It can be hard to make time to do your follow up.  If you are sending a thank you or seeing if they have any questions then maybe it won’t be so hard.

Get going and send a thank you.

Julie Signature

Other articles you might be interested on our blog are:

I Quit

Blocking it out in a weekly Calendar

Follow your passion Mad Max

 

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

Today I am thrilled to have one of our lovely Mumpreneurs do a guest blog for us,  Sharon Pegrum.  Sharon has a wealth on knowledge on easy activities for the work at home Mumpreneur.  She home schools her children and was a family day care educator for 5 years.  Sharon home is strewn with glitter, paint, books and more to make a wonderfully full and engaging environment for her children. Sharon runs her own Executive Virtual Assistant Business called Black Cockatoo Business.

Thank you so much Sharon for all your wonderful ideas.

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

It seems being a Mumpreneur is a constant balancing act of meeting your kid’s needs and meeting your business needs. I discovered long ago that I need to be well prepared to avoid either failing to complete my work or whinging kids all day. Luckily those 5 years I did in family daycare gave me a knowledge bank of activities to engage the kids in, and free up my time. I want to share with you my favourite 5 types of activities that give me a solid period of work time.

  1.  Messy/ Sensory Play
  • Includes Playdough, Magic Sand (check out Red Dot for the cheap stuff!), Gloop (purely cornflour and water) and Cloud Dough. You will find heaps of recipes on the internet
  • Preparation Required: High – requires you to have made it or bought it in advance
  • Mess factor: High – I usually include a bucket of soapy water and explain how to use it to clean hands and a towel
  • Supervision: High – you really need to be nearby for this one
  • Additional Materials: rollers and playdough toys are great but you can totally get away with raiding the utensil drawer
  • Fun factor: High – probably one of the activities that I have seen children engage with for the longest time. You need to weigh up the mess/ supervision/ preparation requirements against the fun factor!5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur2. Water Play
  • Includes Outdoor Kitchen play, soaker hoses/ paddle pools in summer, water beads, small world play with water (ie fish, animals with watering holes), baby or doll bathing and water walls
  • Preparation Required: Low – water play is probably one of the quickest activities to set up
  • Mess factor: Medium – keep some towels nearby, make sure you are outside and be prepared for very wet kids
  • Supervision: High – children can drown in a very small amount of water, anytime there is a container of water children should be supervised at all times
  • Additional Materials: containers for pouring, filling and tipping. Small toys that they can get wet
  • Fun factor: High – I have never met a child that didn’t like playing with water5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur3. Large Loose Parts Play
  • Includes any open-ended, large objects that children can use their gross motor skills to carry, stack and create with – logs, planks, pvc pipe, rocks, branches, tyres. Remida (http://www.remidawa.com/wordpress/) is a great place for materials in Perth and once you have a membership you can take anything for free
  • Preparation Required: Medium – you will need a collection of parts but it’s a one off job and you can then leave in one area of the yard
  • Mess factor: Low – Due to the nature of large, loose parts it’s really an easy clean up, it’s even better to have the children create in an area where they can create a WIP that they can go back to
  • Supervision: Low – gauge it by the age of your children but you should be able to observe from afar and leave them for some time
  • Additional Materials: you could add smaller objects to the area or materials to assist ie cable ties, small rocks to roll down planks, decoration pieces ie feathers, fabric
  • Fun factor: High – this is a fantastic activity for engaging children in an experience that involves gross motor skills but more importantly executive function, social skills and problem-solving

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur4.  Imaginative Play

  • Includes Dress Ups, Cubby/ Den Building, Props, Storytelling
  • Preparation Required: Low – it’s easy to whip up a cubby with an old sheet or create a den by pulling out a couch, a box of dress ups can be easily sourced from an op shop
  • Mess factor: Low – they may be a tidy up at the end
  • Supervision: Low – this should be one the kids can be left to
  • Additional Materials: the sky is the limit with this one, my boys use all kinds of random things for Imaginative play. We have had a fallen tree branch as a “bird hide”, an old cymbal made into a shield. Imaginative Play is….well imaginative
  • Fun factor: High – find your child’s area of interest and this will engage them for hours

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur5.Outdoor Play

  • Includes Sandpits, Trampolines, Swings but also parks and playgrounds
  • Preparation Required: Low – if you don’t have a great backyard setup just grab your laptop and hit the local park if you can find a fenced in one even better
  • Mess factor: Low – other than sand it’s pretty non-existent and it’s all outside anyway
  • Supervision: Medium – at home you should be setup in a pretty safe environment, a public park will require more supervision
  • Additional Materials: nothing though I am a fan of 2 sandpits to allow children to explore the schema of transporting
  • Fun factor: High – not only is outdoor play really beneficial and fun but it’s great as an adult to get out in the sun and fresh air as well.

Using these 5 areas to put some new ideas in your “I have to get some work done” magic kit will help you ensure your kids are exploring, learning and having fun while you work on your other passion in life – your business!

5 Easy Kids Activities for the Work at Home Mumpreneur

sharonprfileSharon Pegrum operates a successful Exective VA Business in Toodyay, WA.  She supports Heart Led Women in Business with a commitment to business growth and a connected interest in the goals and vision of their unique business. Sharon provides a professional service that meets the needs and creates space in her client’s business’ so they can share their important work more extensively with the world. A passionate writers she publishes 2 blogs – Black Cockatoo Business (www.blackcockatoobusiness.com/blog) and Natural Living with Sharon (sharonpegrum.wordpress.com)

Flying with Children in your own

flying with children on your own - Mumpreneurs WA

When I book a trip to Singapore and then onto the United Kingdom with my toddler, 20 months and my 4 years old everyone told me I was brave, some thought I was completely bonkers. I must a admit I was a bit nervous about flying with children on my own but not freak out like some people when I told them.  I wasn’t worried about the flight what I was worried about was customs.  Big lines, grumpy passengers and tired kids that were melting into a puddle and you know what? I was right. The flights were fine but customs was the worse of the trip but that was only a short amount of time it wasn’t a worry even though a bit stressful in the moment.  I mean I could of stayed home and had the same situation at Target, long line, tired kids, toddlers doing the running and a grumpy Mum.  I might as well do the same in Target as I do waiting in line at customs.  Yell at my kids to come back, run after them and then turn and apologise to the people behind me.  At least we get a holiday out of it.  

My top tips for flying with children on your own.

Don’t Stress

Don’t spend months stressing about the trip before had. There is nothing you can do about the trip from hell. If it’s the trip from hell, remember the trip will eventually come to an end. Nothing last forever and you will get there even if you are tired and bedraggled.  I am sure there has been other times with your children it have been harder like 3 days with gastro or stomach flu when both you and the kids are that sick.

Don’t Take Much Hand Luggage

Take as little hand luggage as possible. You only need a few little toys. I wrapped up some little toys they could unwrap and then play with.  I wrapped you muesli bars, a few packs of chips and popcorn and a couple of lollipops. Best item I wrapped up was bubbles.  The kids were thrilled and we blew bubbles in the our seats. This kept them amused for a while. If you are on a cheap flight take your iPad and load up the movies. The snacks are great on the cheap flights.  If you are going on a flight that gives you food like Qatar you won’t need many snack. On Qatar we got a toy bag you won’t need heap of toys either.

Paperwork

As soon as you get your visa or entering papers fill them out.  I did mine straight away so as the trip goes on and kids fall asleep on you or get ratty you won’t need to be trying to fill these in while trying to land or at customs. I did up a small piece of paper in my purse with all our passport numbers and flight numbers. Then I wasn’t having to open all the passports to find numbers this made it so much easier. 

Change of Clothes

Take a change of clothes for each of you.  This was my biggest item in my hand held luggage.  I rolled up a small change of clothes for each of us. You need a change for yourself as if they vomit on you you have a change for yourself.  This took up most of one back pack.   We didn’t need them in the end.  

Airport Strollers or Ask for a Buggy

If you have a baby or toddler ask when checking in if the ground crew in transit or at the other end can have a stroller ready.  In transit at Doha there was a stroller and this was fantastic and fast to walk across the terminal to catch our next flight. But when we got to London I had to struggle with tired children, my two back packs and no stroller. We had to walk from ages top get to customers with not a stroller anywhere and unhelpful airport staff.  On the way back from London in Doha I couldn’t see any strollers and it was the middle of the night.  I walked passed a buggy and asked if they could give a us lift.  They were so helpful and speed us across the other side of the airport. It was a lifesaver.  Ask if you need help and staff are always willing to help when you are carrying children.  

Baby Bottles and Lollypops

I had water in baby bottles for both my toddler and 4 year old. Sucking on a baby bottle was fun for the 4 year old and helped with her ear pressure. If you have ever sucked on a bottle you’ll know what I mean. It’s very hard to suck. The lollipops were good and more of a fun thing and distraction for them.  I didn’t take any lollies except the lollipops as I didn’t want them having too much sugar on the plane. 

Pillows and Blankets

I didn’t worry about taking our own pillows or blankets the plane had them except on our cheap first flight and it was easier not no be loaded down with more stuff.

Customs

Once again try and get a stroller to help you manage customs and toddlers doing the running.

Baggage Pick Up

Getting through this part on your own can be hard. The only advise have is grit your teeth, load up your bags and get out of there. You have nearly made it. 

Mindset

A plane trip is an opportunity to stop and do nothing in our busy lives. You get to watch a movie, someone else serves you food and when all else fails buzz the airline host and get a wine with a vodka chaser.  Enjoyed the flights and have some time out. 

Frequently asked questions about traveling long haul flight on your own with children

Will it be stressful at times? yes

Will your children be tired? Yes

Will your children have fun? Yes

Will you get a break from the the dishes? Yes

Will your kids get sick or hurt themselves? Yes

Will you wish you had brought less in your hand luggage? Yes

Will your child cry? Yes

Will your children have a melt down? Yes

Will you have a melt down? Yes

Will your kids love the little presents? Yes

Will people be kind and help you? Yes

Will you do it all again? Yes

Do all of these things happen at home? Yes

Would you do a long haul flight again on my own? Absolutely

We have gotten our holidays and had a great time, this is what life is all about. Remember your kids get tired at home, they can get sick or hurt at home, you get tired and grumpy at home, all you have to do on the plane is look after them , no cooking or housework required. For me it can’t get any better than that.

 Looking for checklist and more information on traveling with children on flights. Check out these great websites for more information.

Nicole Avery Planning with Children – Travelling with Children

Corrine McDermott Have Baby will Travel – Checklists

Travel Mamas – Packing List

Kidspot – 7 must know to make flying a cynch

All the best with flying with your children whether it’s on your own or with someone. Enjoy and don’t stress about it.

Julie Signature

10 Security Tips to keep your family safe.

10 security tips to keep your family safe - Mumpreneurs WA

Today we are featuring Nathan Hughes as a guest post. He’s a locksmith and in the business of keeping families safe. He has some great tips for keeping our homes safe. Thank you Nathan.

10 security tips to keep your family safe - Mumpreneurs WA

In my line of work, I see a lot of break-ins. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a family who has recently had their valuables stolen and their sense of safety rattled.

Particularly, for those of us who work from home, it can have a major impact if a computer or essential business equipment is taken. My whole business is on my laptop. Heaven forbid that it gets stolen!

Business Tip: Keep all important documents backed up on the Cloud using Google Drive or similar. This has saved my life countless times!

Often I can see that these tragic incidents can be easily avoided with some tweaking of their home security. Here are my top tips for keeping your home and family safe and secure.

Check Your Front And Back Door

The main entrances to your home are your first line of defence against unwanted intruders, so make sure they are up to the challenge!

Your front and back door should be made of solid wood or metal construction. Windows can easily be smashed in, and flimsy wooden doors can be kicked in. By having solid doors, this will greatly reduce the chance of forced entry.

Support your solid door with a high-quality lock. A double cylinder deadbolt is an excellent option. Don’t go with a cheap lock from your local hardware store. A quality lock will start at around $100 and should be installed by a professional.

For an added level of security, install a screen door. A screen door also has the added benefit of allowing fresh air into the house and still maintain the security of your home.

Make sure you teach your children not to answer the door without an adult nearby. Install a peephole on your front door, so you and the kids can see who is on the other side.

And lastly, lock the door! This may seem obvious, however, this is one of the biggest causes of break-ins. Make sure you lock all doors and windows before you leave home. You may have the security of Fort Knox, but it’s useless if you leave the front door open.

Check Your Alarm Is Working

When was the last time you checked your alarm? If you don’t have an alarm, get one installed immediately. A security alarm is one of the best deterrents against break-ins.

If you do have an alarm, make sure that everything is working correctly. Is the battery charging? Are all the sensors working? Are the sensors clear and not impeded by anything?

If you kids are old enough, teach them how to use the alarm system. Have a simple security passcode that can be remembered by the children.

Make sure you turn your alarm on every time you leave home. Add a last minute check of window locks, doors locks and the security alarm to your routine every time you leave.

Get Security Lighting Installed

The last thing a criminal wants is to be seen caught in the act.

Security lighting is excellent at keeping criminals away from your property. When a sensor detects movement, it activates a light which illuminates an area.

As a minimum, security lighting should be installed at the main entrances to your house and property. If your budget allows, I also recommend installing security lighting near potential hiding places around your property.

Advertise Your Home Is Secure

If your house is secure, make sure you let criminals know. They will think twice about breaking in.

Post up security signs in obvious places around your property. This can include your front door and near your mailbox.

Keep the signs generic. Don’t mention the make, model or manufacturer. This information can be used by more experienced burglars to bypass you security system.

Remove Potential Hiding Places

Objects and bushes near windows or doors provide the perfect cover for someone trying to break in. Make it harder for criminals and remove any potential hiding places from doors, windows and other areas around your property.

If you have large shrubs near your house that you don’t want to remove, make sure you keep them trimmed and tidy.

Have a bit of fun with this, and take the kids for a walk around the yard and see if they can find some good hiding places. A game of hide-and-seek with the kids may open your eyes to hiding places you didn’t even think of.

Know Your Neighbours

How well do you know your neighbours? Your neighbours can often be the best security for you home. They can keep an eye out and raise the alarm with the authorities if there is any suspicious behaviour around your home.

Do you have a habit of leaving a spare key hidden around your yard? Most criminals are aware of this and will often look in the most obvious places. Don’t give thieves easy access to your home. If you have a bad habit of locking yourself out, consider giving a spare key to a trusted neighbour instead of risking it to the pot plant or front door mat.

If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, keep their number on a list of emergency numbers your kids can call if you are not available. They can help the kids need help and you are not home.

Also, consider joining your local neighbourhood watch.

Don’t Attach Personal Details To Your Keys

A lot of people put details such as their name, address or telephone number on their keys in the case they lose them. However, would be thieves can use this information to find out where you live and easily enter your home.

Don’t include these details on your keys. It is cheaper to get a new key cut than to replace stolen goods.

Don’t Show Off Things Of Value

Burglars often check out a property to see if there is anything worth breaking in for.

Make it hard for criminals and keep curtains and blinds closed, particularly at night and when you leave home. If they can’t see in, they will likely not risk it and move onto the next person.

If you have recently bought something, such a new plasma tv, make sure you keep the box hidden. A box on the side of the road awaiting pickup is a clear indicator that you have something of value in your home.

Also, keep valuables such as jewelry, cash and car keys out of plain sight of the window.

Get A Safe

A safe can add an extra level of security to your home. It is an excellent last line of defence against someone who has broken into your home.

Keep smaller valuables and documents such as jewellery, cash, passports and birth certificates in a quality fireproof safe.

Get A Professional Home Security Check

Depending on which suburb you live in, some police may offer a home security check service. If not, ask your local locksmith.

Police and locksmiths are kept up to date with local patterns in crime. They know the best way to secure your home against intruders.

They can provide a home security assessment and give you tailored advice to securing your home.

About The Author

Nathan Hughes is a founder of Locksmiths In Sydney. They help families and business owners feel safe and secure. Check out his simple free home security checklist to securing your home against intruders.