April 7, 2015

F is for Friday

A to Z of being a mom in business: a daily blog series

F is for FridayF is for Friday

Or should I say, “Friday Afternoon Marketing.” Years ago, I started a tradition of setting aside specific time on Fridays for marketing my business. After having a child and realizing my time had become more limited, “Friday Afternoon Marketing” evolved into “10-Minute Marketing” (follow along with that blog series here). But the concept is still the same: setting aside dedicated time to focus on marketing.

When do you set aside time to focus on marketing?

April 6, 2015

E is for energy

Filed under: Mompreneur,Time Management — lidia @ 1:36 pm

A to Z of being a mom in business: a daily blog series

E is for energyE is for energy

Energy can be a tricky thing for the mom in business—especially for moms of babies. It can be tough to keep your energy levels up when you are sleep-deprived or dealing with other parenting stresses. I find one of the keys to keeping energy levels somewhat stable is to keep a close eye on your schedule. Overbooking yourself is a sure way to kill your energy.  Sometimes, you just have to say “no” to events or projects that are not beneficial to your business.

What can you cut out of your schedule this week?

April 4, 2015

D is for disconnected

Filed under: Mompreneur,Time Management — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of being a mom in business: a daily blog series

D is for disconnectedD is for disconnected

On the heels of my C is for connected post, I was inspired to talk about being disconnected. When you run a business, it’s hard to step away from work. That’s why I like to get disconnected on the weekends. Now before I get called out, I admit to posting Instagram pics and texting. But in general, I avoid work email/social media and other work-related distractions. I find the break from “trying to keep up with everything” refreshing.

How and when do you get disconnected?

January 26, 2015

Structure is your friend (not fiend)

Filed under: Time Management — lidia @ 10:00 am
Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago

Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago

I had a “brainstorming playdate” with a fellow mom who had recently left her full-time job. She mentioned how much more productive she was when she was working in an office. I had to agree. Though I mainly work from my studio, sometimes I work onsite at a client’s office and those can be my most productive days: I manage to work an 8-hour day, plus visit the post office, bank, and Target

Why is that? Structure. The strict structure of the day, with a specified start, end and lunch time makes it easier to get things done

Admittedly, I’m not much for structure. My days tend to be pretty fluid—which I think is quite common for us creative folks. But being a working mom, structure is a necessity: I have a specific number of hours to get my work done before I pickup my son from daycare.

The main way I’ve added structure to my day is in my marketing: I’ve assigned a specific marketing task to each day, rather than doing it when inspiration strikes. I must admit it’s been a difficult transition, but I feel more productive at the end of the day.

So, maybe structure isn’t so bad after all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a toddler to pickup for his soccer class…

 

How do you structure your day—or not?

January 23, 2015

Keep track of your days in style—and make your mailbox happy! [freebie]

Filed under: Featured Design Project,Time Management — lidia @ 11:57 am

2015 calendar freebie

Every year, I design a mini-calendar to send with my New Year greeting to clients. Well, this year I seem to have over-ordered…and would love to share the extra calendars. This handy calendar is small enough to tuck in your bag or post on your office wall.

Email me your mailing address and I will drop one in the mail.

Happy 2015!

January 16, 2014

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

Filed under: Time Management — lidia @ 10:00 am

BM_Quote_Allen_anything-but-not-everything

January 8, 2014

Know when to say no—to yourself.

Filed under: Small Business,Time Management — lidia @ 10:00 am

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 9.29.29 PM

When you are an entrepreneur or creative-minded person, it can be hard to say “no” to new ideas or opportunities—to the point where you feel overwhelmed. As a mom and owner of two businesses, I know the feeling. I recently shared my tips for saying “no” to yourself on the Entreprenista.com blog. Read the Entreprenista post here.

See all of my posts on Entreprenista.com here.

September 18, 2013

How I launched a new business…with a little help from Evernote

Filed under: Small Business,Time Management — Tags: , , , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

typebaby loves evernote

Earlier this year, I launched typebaby, a line of typographic baby & kids apparel. Starting a new business (with an existing business and a 1-year old, no less) is no easy task, but using the productivity app Evernote made it much easier.

I was already using Evernote in my graphic design business to keep track of projects, design inspiration, small business and marketing resources, and small business events (the new Evernote reminders feature is perfect for this). I also found Evernote helpful when I was searching for office space. I used it to track leasing agents and spaces I’d visited (adding photos to notes made it easy to remember places I visited).

But when I started typebaby, my usage of Evernote grew tenfold. Being a mom in addition to a small business owner, I do a lot of work during off-hours, so being able to add to and update my Evernote Notebooks and Notes from multiple devices (Mac, iPad, phone) turned out to be a lifesaver.

How did I do it?

I started out by creating Notebooks for categories relating to my new business, such as sales, marketing & PR, manufacturing, new product development, packaging, and social media. Then I started filing notes, documents and spreadsheets, articles clipped from the web, and photos.

Here are some specific ways I use Evernote.

Research and reference

Because this was my first foray into product development, I did a lot of research before I launched and saved useful articles and posts in Evernote.

Spreadsheets

Having a product business, I maintain a lot of spreadsheets with information regarding inventory, sales, retail customers, blogger outreach and public relations, so being able to save and view Excel files in Evernote is a great perk.

Inventory tracking

Inevitably, I get requests from retail stores in the evening when I’m away from my office, so having copies of my inventory spreadsheets in Evernote is very useful.

Manufacturing details

I keep track of manufacturing details, such as vendors, online catalogs, invoices, and cost analysis.

Social media marketing

typebaby is very active on social media, so I keep a copy of my social media marketing plan in Evernote for easy reference. I add notes for potential blog posts or other social media engagement ideas.

Trade shows & events

I create Notebooks for trunk shows or special events that I’m participating in to keep track of correspondence and details. I also create a list of monthly tasks (with reminders) to make sure I’m on track.

New product development

Being a creative person, I’m always coming up with new ideas. Now, instead of scribbling them onto sticky notes, I file my new product ideas in Evernote and refine or develop them in a more focused way.

In short, Evernote can make launching and running a new business much easier—especially if you’re a busy Biz Mama like me.

New to Evernote?

Check out these useful webinars from Evernote. I also find the best way to learn about Evernote is to learn from other users, so feel free to reach out to me with your questions.

Editor’s note: I was not paid by Evernote to write this. I truly love and appreciate this app. But if you use my referral link to sign up for a free or paid plan, I will get a little bonus. Woohoo!

Stay tuned to the blog this week for a book review of another resource that helped me launch typebaby…

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September 6, 2013

A day in the life of a mom in business

Filed under: Biz Mama,Time Management — Tags: , , , , , , , — lidia @ 2:10 pm
My assistant, overseeing the office

My assistant, overseeing the office

A day in the life of a small business owner can be unpredictable. Throw a baby into the mix and…anything goes. It’s definitely not your typical 9-to-5 routine.

For me, some days are jam-packed with nothing else but client and in-house project work—while others involve early daycare pickups and pediatrician appointments (or if I’m lucky, playing hooky at a playdate!) Some evenings are spent playing catch-up on work after Little One is in bed or reading business magazines or articles. Fellow biz mamas, can you relate?

Here’s a snippet of one of my recent days:

7:30 am: Breakfast and morning routine

8:30 am: Drop off Little One at daycare

9 am: Check email, check to-do list for daily priorities

10 am: Impromptu meeting with client to discuss branding and packaging design project

12 pm: Lunch and errands (deposit checks, mail invoices)

1:30 pm: Work on client and typebaby projects

5:30 pm: Pick-up Little One at daycare

6–9 pm: Home stuff

9 pm: Work catch-up, scan social media and reading list for content to read and share

Moms in business: what’s a typical day like for you?

March 23, 2013

Productivity must-haves for the working mom on-the-go

Filed under: Small Business,Time Management — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 12:16 pm

Productivity must-haves for working moms

Now that I have a child, I’ve realized that spending 8 hours straight in my office rarely happens anymore. But with these tools, I’m able to stay productive by managing my projects and marketing tasks on-the-go.

My productivity must-haves:

  • Remote access app: I use Team Viewer, but any application that allows you to connect remotely from your laptop to your office computer is a lifesaver.
  • Evernote: I use Evernote religiously. I keep track of projects I’m working on when I’m not in the office by updating my documents and spreadhseets, collecting references from the web, and emailing notes and reminders. It also syncs beautifully with my iPhone and iPad.
  • Smart phone: Being able to check email or follow-up with clients when I’m out of the office is a must.
  • Tablet: Makes writing blog posts or updating a website easy—especially if you have a little one napping in the car.

What are your must-have apps or tools for managing your business on the run?

 

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