Creating a Small Business Website: Why WordPress Works for Small Businesses

If you’re undertaking the task of creating a new website for your business, you’ll see there are lots of options out there for doing so. You can work with a designer or developer who will develop a custom website for you, or you can build your site yourself using one of the prepackaged Website builders like Weebly or SiteKreator, or you can go with WordPress.

Wp photoNo doubt, you’ve heard of WordPress. There’s a reason for that, WordPress is the most popular web content management system in the world. If you’re weighing your options here are a few features of  self-hosted WordPress (, not that make it an ideal Website solution for small business owners.


Themes could be understood as the look and feel of your Website, or the design template. There are literally thousands to choose from. If you think WordPress has only one look, think again. WordPress can be configured to look anyway you’d like it to, either through custom design or through the use of a WordPress theme – premium options will cost you a one-time fee of about $50 – $80, and many others are free.

To give you an idea of what your WordPress website could possibly look like, Google “best responsive WordPress themes” and see what comes up. “Responsive” by the way means that your design will re-size to fit mobile devices. You can also Google “best WordPress theme for [then fill in the blank] doctors, lawyers, consultants, photographers, fitness studios, you name it. There’s a theme for just about everyone. In fact, the hardest thing is picking one out of so very many.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

No matter what your business if you’re marketing online, search engine marketing and search engine optimization also known as SEO will factor into your plans. Keep in mind most of your web traffic will come from search engines. That means, getting your site to the first page of Google is a priority for most small businesses. Getting to the first page of Google isn’t the easiest of tasks. Doing so depends on many different factors, including your ability to generate a fair amount of quality content on behalf of your business. But publishing content alone isn’t enough to get you to the top of Google. There are lots of little persnickety technical considerations too, like making sure your site performs quickly, that your permalinks are clean and your meta tags are filled in; in other words, your Website has to be built specifically with SEO in mind, and WordPress is already pretty well optimized for search engines. In addition, to take it that little extra bit further that actually matters in SEO, WordPress also offers several SEO plugins – to help your site perform even better. This brings us to our final point about why WordPress is a great option. Plugins.


Plugins. What are those? To be able to explain it I had to look it up. The Wikipedia definition of plugins is “a set of software components that adds specific capabilities to a larger software application.” This means you can continuously add new functionality to your website, as new functionality comes into favor. In today’s world of rapid technological advancements, it doesn’t take  too long for a website to become outdated. You’ll likely want to add the newest bells and whistles as they become available, and WordPress provides you with the flexibility to do that, specifically because there are thousands of plugins and new ones are constantly being developed.

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Inbound Marketing 101 for Small Business Owners: How it Works & Is it Right for You?

Small business owners are constantly looking for the most effective ways to market their businesses. Without the benefit of a dedicated marketing department, owners are sometimes at a loss when it comes to understanding all of the different marketing approaches and which are the best. One popular marketing method these days that can prove to be helpful is “Inbound Marketing.” It’s an effective approach to marketing. It’s not quite for everyone, as it requires a that the business produce a fair amount of original content in order to work. But if you  are able to create content (i.e. blogging, email newsletters) or pay for someone to create content, Inbound Marketing may be right for you.

 What is Inbound Marketing?

MagnetInbound marketing has been something of a buzz term that has gained a lot of momentum over the past several years. In essence, Inbound Marketing is an online marketing method designed to pull strangers to your business and then later convert those strangers into promoters of your brand. It is unlike outbound marketing – such as cold-calling and direct mail marketing – where you push a marketing message out to a defined audience; with inbound marketing you pull people to you. You do this primarily by publishing content to your blog, your website and your social media profiles. This is also called “content marketing” another buzz term and popular marketing approach.

If you are a small business owner, before you run one more ad, or send one more cold-email, consider inbound marketing and how it can work for you.

How Inbound Marketing Works

Inbound marketing requires that you have content on your website or blog, content that answers people’s questions. Here’s how it works:

  • People search for topics online through Google or another search engine.
  • These people find your website and now become site visitors.
  • These site visitors, in theory, become engaged with the content on your website. Once they are there and engaged, you encourage them to provide their contact details via a call to action such as “sign up for our newsletter” or through contact forms.
  • You then market to these leads (or nurture these leads) as you see fit, email marketing will factor in strongly here.
  • Some of these people whom you now are in regular communication with will become customers.
  • But it doesn’t stop there! Some of these customers will like you so much they will become promoters. These people you will connect with on Facebook and your other social media profiles so that they can share your content with their friends.

To get started with Inbound Marketing, become familiar with HubSpot. HubSpot is a leader in inbound marketing solutions. While you may or may not want to use their paid-for products, they have lots of valuable information so that you can learn about this marketing method.

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Organizing a Project from Day One

As a small business owner, it’s important to launch your business successfully from the beginning; one of the greatest ways to do that is by ensuring organization and collaboration is efficient and effective across projects—this is especially important if your team members work from home or don’t share an office.


Fortunately, there are a many tools that can help you create a collaborative and organized environment. Here we’ve listed our top favorites.

1. Evernote

If you ever find yourself scrambling for a notepad and pen, then Evernote can help you stay organized and track all your notes and interesting tidbits. The popular notetaking application is designed to help you “remember everything.”

Organize your thoughts and projects via a series of “notes” – that can be anything from web-clippings, images, text, audio or attachments. The notes are editable, shareable and searchable for future retrieval. Evernote is supported on most operating systems including the mobile iOS, Android and Windows Phone, the web-interface allows access from anywhere and handwriting recognition allows you to jot notes via a tablet or mobile device.

This will allow you to keep track of all notes and inspiration you need for whatever project you’re working on. The days of looking for lost sticky notes are long gone.

2. Google Drive

Many businesses and organizations are already using Gmail for their email client. Why not integrate that with Google Drive and create, edit, store, share and synch files across the cloud, multiple devices, and multiple users? Commenting, real-time editing and revision history makes sure everything is captured and nothing is lost. Multiple Google Apps have been integrated into Drive, including the full suite of office applications available in Google Docs.

Drive is vital for keeping projects on track when you have multiple team members working on them at the same time. You can all effectively edit or alter projects in real time, so you don’t waste valuable time emailing drafts back and forth.

3. Expensify

Of course no project management advice would be complete without tips on how to keep a project’s budget on track. If you’ve ever talked to your accountant or bookkeeping department, you know that projects that go way over budget can create a headache and a complicated client-relationship.

If your team is constantly off track with a project’s budget, consider using Expensify, which lets you track hours and scan receipts form your phone (if you need to bill a product or plane tickets as client spend).

You can integrate it with QuickBooks and other accounting tools, categorize and automate expenses, and even pay employees through PayPal or direct deposit. Expensify is free for individual users, but small business with 3+ users will be charged a fee—which is probably worth it considering you can keep your projects’ budgets on track.

4. Dropbox

Dropbox is absolutely necessary if you have team members accessing project files from different locations or devices. Dropbox is a cloud storage service, which allows you to access any project files at any time, from any device. This means your team members can upload and download whichever files they need to work on, and they can edit files in real time.

As with any cloud storage service, Dropbox makes it unnecessary to email clunky files back and forth—allowing your team to work efficiently and effectively from the start of each project.

5. Trello

Trello is a project management and organizational tool that uses a system of “boards” and “cards” you can use to organize and assign tasks to specific projects. For example, you can write up the task “preform blog content audit,” assign it your client’s project, and then assign the task to one of your team members.

When you create a new board on Trello, there are three “lists” that are automatically set up that you can add tasks to: To Do, Doing, Done—but you can create as many categories as you want and label them however you need. The drag-and-drop interface lets you move a card from one list to another within your board.

Organizing a project and making sure all team members are communicating and collaborating effectively can be tricky, but it’s completely necessary for the success of your project and business. Research shows that business processes are one of the most valuable intangible assets in a company. Use the tools above to start a project’s organization from day one, and don’t be afraid to ditch a tool or adopt a new one as necessary.

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Basic psychology suggests that a happy, motivated workforce will result in better performances and an increase in production. It is a pretty obvious fact that employees who enjoy the job work harder and strive for better results than those who do not want to be there. But how do we go about motivating our staff and how can we ensure they stay that way?

Team MeetingChoosing staff

The first step towards building an effective team is to choose the right people for the job. It is important to hire staff that have the right skills and are capable of fulfilling the role that you require. Set realistic targets for them to achieve and provide them with the right tools for the job that needs doing. Following these basic starting points will influence heavily on how far you can motivate a workforce.


In this  challenging economic climate it can be difficult to remain positive and encourage staff to make advancements. The key here is to lead by example. After setting achievable targets, stay positive and encourage staff, highlighting whenever possible how these targets can be reached.


Whether you see your staff every day or meet with them once a week, it is important to make some form of regular personal contact. You do not need to break the bank to make feel people valued. Often a telephone call or a quiet word at the end of the day is enough to ensure that they realize that you appreciate their efforts. Give staff feedback, tell them which task they performed well on and how it has helped the company and often this hard work will be repeated. It is not necessary to hand out compliments every five minutes, but choose when staff have performed well or excelled themselves and deserve the praise.

Remember that over praising will not motivate staff, as the compliments will soon lose their meaning. Of course, prize giving and incentives also work well to improve staff morale. Again, they do not have to be expensive, a simple gift voucher or box of chocolates can provide enough encouragement. However, make sure you are careful about choosing whether to show your appreciation publicly or during a one-to-one. It is a manager’s job to get to know staff well enough to recognize if a team member would be easily embarrassed or if they would relish a roaring round of applause.

Building a ‘team’

It can be fairly easy to create a positive environment, but maintaining it is slightly more challenging. You should aim to build a culture where gratitude, acknowledgement and respect are common features. This requires regular interaction with and between all staff. All members of the team should be encouraged to praise each other regularly, for example a wall of recognition can be used where staff can note down colleagues’ hard work. In a team-oriented setting, staff will work alongside each other to produce better results. They will become united in trying to achieve the overall or common objectives. Effective team building that creates productive, motivated workforces also requires awareness of the following points:

  • It is essential that clear expectations are communicated effectively
  • Ensure individual team members know exactly why they are involved in the team –provide a context
  • Commitment from team members is crucial, make sure they are excited and challenged by the opportunity to participate
  • Competence should be a mutual feeling among team members
  • Certain freedom should be given for team members to take ownership
  • Ascertain as to whether or not the team understands how you want the business to progress
  • Ensure there is creative innovation taking part within the team

The way that you go about setting up team building activities is your own choice. You may choose to take a day out to see how team members are capable of working together on another task, such as a treasure hunt, completing puzzles or team quizzes. These can all boost staff morale, providing they are in agreement on the task that you have chosen –try to involve them in this choice. Mutual respect, care and compassion begins at the top and works its way down!

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4 Keys to Perfecting the Virtual Office

You’ve started a business and you recognize that it doesn’t make sense to shell out big bucks for a traditional office space. Maybe you’re the only employee or maybe all of your processes can be done over services like Skype. Maybe your top programmer is cemented in Boston and your writer works from the beach in San Diego.

virtual office

No matter the reason, you’ve decided to build a business in a virtual space, using today’s awesome technology to stay connected and get work done. Virtual offices offer big benefits, especially in the form of cash savings, but it’s hard to know where to start out.

Four keys to perfecting the virtual office

Get yourself an official address

If the place where you work is steps away from the room where you sleep, you should probably get an official office address. It not only protects your privacy, but it provides a professional appearance and a natural boundary between work and home. Don’t think a PO Box at the local post office will solve the problem? Companies now offer professional business addresses to suit your needs. Regus’ MailBox Plus package or HQ’s Business Addresses will do the trick.

Get a virtual phone system (and number!)

Just because you’re working from a coffee shop or from the beach doesn’t mean you’re exempt from having a phone system. Today’s virtual phone systems can direct all calls to your cell phone. Not only can you answer calls from your iPhone, but they’ll provide you with an auto-attendant and multiple extensions. Need tollfree numbers? You can get those, too.

Find the right communication tools

You’re going to need to talk to employees, partners, clients, and others while running your business from a virtual office. Sure, things like a virtual phone system and email are crucial, but you’ll also have to leverage other tools. Google Apps for Business is a great option because it’s in the cloud. DropBox for storage, Asana for project management, and Skype for internal communications are all worth a try.

Figure out where you actually work

In order to be productive from your home office, you’ll need to figure out exactly where you’ll work. If you’re working from home, make sure that your office has everything you need. If you plan to work from the local library, ensure that you have a routine in place so that you can be productive each day. Set up a schedule so that you’re not wandering from coffee shop to coffee shop.

Working from a virtual office has so many perks—it’s inexpensive, allows you to hire workers no matter where they are, and gives you more flexibility and freedom than a traditional arrangement. If you follow these tips for perfecting yours, you’ll be well on your way to productivity and booming business.

EmmaEmma Siemasko is a Boston-based writer and entrepreneur specializing in small business tricks and online dating. Emma works as a content marketing specialist for Grasshopper and is the founder of Frog2Prince. For more about Emma, visit her website or follow her on Twitter @EmmaFayeS.

SimplifyThis helps small businesses to grow with our online appointment scheduling software. Take appointments through your website and invoice online, try it for FREE by visiting

Your small business has the research, the inventory and the consumer interest to take off. To make enough profit to bring your business to the next level, you are looking into one of the most tried and true methods of online marketing, email. You’ve got to feed the email marketing process to fuel your company’s growth. Successful email marketing on a large scale is possible for small businesses. In this post, we’ll show you how.

email concept

Let’s break this up into 3 pieces: collecting new emails, sending emails, and measuring success.

Collecting new emails for email marketing

Before you can promote your goods, you need someone to promote to. Acquire emails through giveaway promotions, referrals, or inquiry-based contacts. Do whatever it takes to build your base of emails. You’re not asking for much at this stage, just some noncommittal contact info. Be mindful that customers may be protective of their information. Give them a reason to want to be in your database, like:

Facebook fan app (2)Giveaways

From the “business card in a fishbowl” method to a fan-gated Facebook app ( is great), there are popular and rewarding reasons for potential customers to willingly give you their contact info without hating you for it. Use your own inventory or discounts for prizes on Twitter contests or offer free downloadable content/advice in exchange for email addresses.


Remember when you had a crush on that girl in 8th grade and it was much easier to ask your friend to talk to her instead of approaching her yourself? It’s basically the same thing with referrals. From simple social posts encouraging happy customers to share your business or incentivizing the deal with discounts, a “good word” from a friend is invaluable in email marketing. You can manage these incentives on sites like

Contact inquiries

When someone creates an account, buys or gets that free downloadable content, you should be collecting his or her contact info. Use opt-in boxes or guest books to ensure anyone you are in contact with is added to your list.

What to send to whom: three types of emails

You have the ammunition. Now it’s time to start firing away with your emails. But it’s not all “Buy Now!” The three types of emails you should be sending are mass, segmented, and behavioral.

Mass marketing

I’m sure you’re very proud of your products and inventory, but try to only contact your customers in mass when you have something exciting to tell them. Sales, new products, limited offers or time appropriate messaging (Father’s Day gifts!) are all attention-grabbing reasons to email.


Use the info that your contacts gave you. Segment your list by events, location and interests. If you collected a group of emails when they took a yoga class at your gym, they would be a prime audience to notify about upcoming classes. When a new camera lens comes out in your electronics store, notify the people who bought that camera! The information is distinctive enough that it pertains to the customer’s needs and wants.


Sending out automated follow ups for actions like purchasing (Thank you!) signing up (Welcome!) leaving items in a shopping cart (Don’t forget!) or a simple holiday greeting are all human reactions in email form. You can also make suggestions and up-sell off of other purchases. Give your brand a personality (hopefully a likeable one).

Email marketing: measuring your success

Unique coupons

Differentiate your codes so when customers input them, you know which part of your customer base is using them and how they got the coupon. Asking your customer to print out or bring in the email is another way to collect data on which sales are working.


Using your email service provider’s analytics (we’ll discuss which ones you should use in a minute), check your CTR and unique opens. 10-20% opens per email is great. Anything below that and you should consider altering the frequency of emails or modifying the campaigns you’re running. Check which links are being clicked. Remember, if the email contains a digital task (Shop now!) or is just providing directions (Yoga this Friday at 9AM!) it has different implications for the number of clicks.

MailChimp Report (2)

Google Analytics

Try to have enough information on your site that customers may be looking for. Simple pages like Directions, Contact, and About could improve your page rank just by being available. That type of organic search is invaluable in Google’s quality ranking system. Google is your friend. Use its tools to set goals and help your business grow.

Email service providers

The larger your email marketing becomes, the more work is involved. The tools and analytics available through ESP are extremely helpful to a small business marketer. ESP will help you with delivery to make sure your emails are not accepted as spam and comply with the CAN-SPAM act.

MailChimp/Constant Contact

There are many ESP options, and these two are pretty popular. (plus MC is free up to 2,000 subscribers). Keep track of your campaigns’ performance, CTR, subscriptions and more. They provide email templates you can use to drop in images and copy, or they can support your own custom designs.

If you have already have a sales and customer service department, look on your CRM’s website or contact them to see if they have an integrated email service provider. If not, choose your own and be sure to use it for all email marketing. Remember, you can’t send mass emails on Outlook or you’re gonna have a bad time.

About the author:

Dave Rekuc is the Marketing Director at Ripen eCommerce.  He specializes in digital marketing channels and has worked with companies ranging from small start ups to multi-million dollar eCommerce sites.  Check out their eCommerce solutions or tweet them @Ripen_eCommerce.

About SimplifyThis:

SimplifyThis helps small business owners to grow their businesses with our online appointment scheduling and online invoicing software. Take appointments online and convert more website visitors into customers. Invoice clients automatically and skip the paperwork. Try it now for FREE!






A Guide to Email Marketing for Your Small Business

With so much energy focused on social campaigns and content marketing, it can often be easy to overlook on of the most successful and widely used platform – email. While it may not seem like the most up-to-date approach, the reality is that email marketing still finds great success among the noise of tweets, likes and g+ threads continually bombarding our lives. In the midst of so many public and mass produced social campaigns, there is still something, need I say, personal about receiving an email. For all these reasons, it’s important not to overlook the potential of a strong mailing list within your marketing strategy.

Small Business Email Marketing Infographic

But here’s the deal, email marketing can be tough to get off the ground. However, thanks to the our friends over at Simply Business, there’s an email marketing guide to help you kick your campaign in motion. With everything from legal-tips, to checklists, to responsive testing techniques, you’ll have your bases covered for when it’s time to click that shiny “send” button.

Click image to open interactive version (via Simply Business).

Grow Your Small Business

SimplifyThis helps small businesses to grow with our two-in-one online appointment scheduling and online invoicing software. Read more about how online appointment scheduling can help your independent business. Or try it now for FREE.


How to Maintain a Healthy Body while Running a Healthy Business

For many people who run their own business, the 9-5 workday pretty much goes out the window. There is a lot you have to handle, and long hours are common. Depending on the nature of your business, you may not have much of a daily routine, which can interfere with other elements of your life, such as eating right and exercising. It is all too easy to get consumed with the myriad responsibilities and it is often a handy excuse for neglecting your health.  But, as they say, where there is a will, there is a way.

Healthy Living

If your business pursuits have been getting in the way of you taking proper care of yourself, it is time to make a change. Here are some tips that helped me get in gear when I discovered my professional life was getting in the way of my health.

Realize the True Importance of Health in Business Success

It can be easy to forget how important health is when you are working on your own; a lot goes into running your own business, and if you are not up to snuff physically, you can compromise all you are working to build. How mad would you be at yourself if you could no longer live your dream life because of poor health choices? Pretty mad I am sure. If you have been neglecting your health at the expense of your business, there is a good chance that you have not thought too much about this, so you better start now.  When you can truly grasp the importance of this, it will be that much easier to implement the changes necessary to turn your habits around.

How to Commit to Better Eating Habits

Eating right is one thing that can quickly go out the window when you are busy with your business. You may opt for lots of take-out or chemical-laden prepared foods. This is a big no-no. Not only will these foods cause a bunch of health problems down the line, it can impact your business in the immediate moment. Poor diets lead to fatigue, lethargy and a sluggish mind—all of which can spell disaster when trying to do all the things you need to do each day.

There was a time when I noticed that I was letting my professional ‘’busyness’’ get in the way of my diet and I knew I had to make a change and I would like to share some tips that worked for me. In order to integrate more home-cooked food into your life:

  • Make a grocery list at the beginning of the week and plan out meals and then go buy said items at the grocery store. You’ll be more likely to want to eat a healthy meal if everything is already in the house to prepare.
  • Set aside a few hours on a specific day to batch food preparation tasks, such as cooking the rice, making the soup, preparing the casserole, cutting all the vegetables. Then, when the time comes to eat, you have to do very little to actually pull the meal together.
  • Also stock your house with long-lasting foods that you can always call on to put something together.
  • Finally, buy plenty of healthy snacks so that you have something to nosh on that is not laden with sugar, fat or processed carbohydrates.

Getting in Your Exercise

Countless people point to their busy work lives as an excuse not to exercise, and it is a pretty poor one in my opinion. No doubt running your own business can require you to sit in front of the computer for hours on end, but the idea that people truly do not have even 20 minutes free to work out is pretty hard to believe.

First, you need to adjust your definition of what it means to exercise. In our culture, we tend to think of it as formal exercise classes or going to a gym—we really do not have time to go there and we convince ourselves we truly cannot exercise that day; but it can be anything that gets you moving. I lived in Asia for two years, and I was the skinniest I had been in years, simply because I made the commitment to walk places instead of always relying on transportation. Not once did I join a gym.

If the place you usually get your lunch from is only a 15-minute walk, use your feet instead of your car. On the way there and back, you just got in your recommended 30 minutes. If you truly cannot spare that much time, working out in increments of at least 10 minutes each can help you achieve the same benefits as continuous exercise, and I have employed that strategy a lot when I am busy with work.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing tips on how to be healthy with a busy lifestyle; if you are in need of some inspiration for healthy, home-cooked meals, she recommends you check out Hamilton Beach recipes .

Additional Reading:

Healthy Mind and Healthy Business


Zen Living for Entrepreneurs

How to Deal With the Pressures of Being a Founder

Ways to Simplify Your Small Business

Social Media for the Self Employed

For the self-employed, effective networking is essential to planning a successful career. From management consultants to piano teachers, building and sustaining relationships is the key to success.


Who You Know Relates to What You Know

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

The two ideas of “who” and “what” are not mutually exclusive, there is a clear positive correlation between the two. For most of us, we learn from our associates, then as our knowledge grows, so does our network. The power to maintain an open channel of communication with customers, experts and peers allows you to learn new skills, build strong relationships and grow your business.

Tips to Maximize Social Media

If social media is not producing the results you expected, think, are you covering these three bases?

Build Credibility

In an age where anyone with a laptop can wrongly call themselves a writer, musician or graphic designer, it is important to earn people’s trust. The internet has turned us into bunch of cynics, while this has protected us from the jokers out there, it does make it difficult for the genuine talent to shine through.

Don’t be selfish with your posts, you cannot build credibility by only promoting yourself. If you only share your own work, it has an essence of hard sell about it. If you share insight and other’s work, people will start to regard you as an expert in your field.

Build Relationships

Constant talking is not communicating is it? It needs to be a two way process, and social media is great for listening. Engage with your network, don’t just post generic, spammy nonsense. Pretend you’re a fitness instructor on Twitter, which of these posts looks most familiar to you?

Bad: I offer a wide range of personal fitness solutions, get in touch for more info.

Better: Congratulations to ***** for losing five pounds this month, keep up the good work!

Not only is the second option more sociable, it will have a far greater reach. The first post will be read an ignored by the majority of your followers, the second is likely to be retweeted by the subject, receive further praise from their followers, and increase interest in you.

This is just one example of how genuine relationships grow with your skills and success.

Offer Help

You’ve started to establish your credentials, now use them to help others. People are always posting their problems on social media, so see if you can help out where you can. Someone has just come home from the gym and is complaining about cramp, time for you to step in and share your know-how.

This is a great way of building on your existing contacts, dedicated social media monitoring software works wonders for this, but comes at a price. A more cost effective technique will be using Facebook groups or Twitter hashtags that are relevant you your industry.

Remember though, play it cool, you are offering help not selling your services.

Joe Errington is a marketing and social media executive for MITIE, the strategic outsourcing company who supply business services in the UK and abroad.

About SimplifyThis: Simplifythis helps busy entrepreneurs streamline administrative tasks, while helping convert site visitors to paying customers with our web-based appointment scheduling and online invoicing system.


Healthy Mind and a Healthy Business: Perfect Together

If you have taken the plunge and work for yourself, whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a freelance writer, your success is dependent on many elements that someone who functions as the employee of someone else does not have to concern themselves with. They go to work, get their paycheck and this cycle repeats so long as they do not get themselves fired. For those of us in the other camp, no one is giving us a salary—we have to find clients and customers on our own to bring in an income on a steady basis. It can be stressful, and it can take a lot of work, work we may not sometimes feel like doing. If we want to run a healthy business, we need to have a healthy mind. We need to take care of ourselves and develop a mindset that supports success. Here are some tips for making this happen.



While for some, meditation may have a hippy, crunchy granola type-vibe, it is a practice that is increasingly being adopted by a host of people, especially business people, to help improve their lives. While it is surely a core component of many spiritual practices, the benefits of meditation are largely practical and have nothing to do with spirituality or religion.

It helps tame a wild mind, change perspective and reduce stress—something that is crucial to someone who works for themselves. Meditation has improved my life more than any other tool I have tried, and its effects on my working life are immense. It helps me tackle the day with a clear mind; that morning rush of anxiety that comes with thinking of all the tasks that lie ahead is greatly diminished. I respond to problems with greater ease and do not get as caught up in the emotions. When we feel a large amount of stress, it is easy to shut down and do nothing; while this may be the perfect solution at times, doing it frequently can seriously jeopardize your business  because you will fall behind in doing what you need to do to grow your success.

Nourish the Mind with Empowering Thoughts

How we think determines every aspect of our lives; it is no accident that people who have forged success striking out on their own all seem to share a similar mindset that emphasizes positive thinking, personal responsibility, conquering fear, and persevering through obstacles with your end goal always in mind—read up on the Steve Jobs and the Oprah Winfreys of the world and you will quickly see this pattern emerge.

I worked in an office just like anyone else years ago, thinking that was just how it was. But, once I started ingesting materials that offered a different perspective, I began to see a whole new world of possibilities; to live my dream life no longer seemed like something that would always be relegated to the world of fantasy. I managed to forge a successful freelance writing career, and I am typing this post from beautiful Costa Rica. Striking out on your own can be scary-that is why so many people never even attempt it. You will face challenges from all sides—doubts and fears will emerge, people who are too scared to ever do what you do will project their own fears onto you, you will think you are not cut out for this. None of it is true, and keeping a steady mind diet of empowering information will help you get through these more difficult times.

Nourish the Body

Too many of us still do not see the strong connection between the state of the body and the state of the mind. One of the first things I noticed about adopting healthier eating habits is the effect it had on my mental state—this is not surprising because all sorts of nutrients contribute to our mental health in various ways. If you take care of your body, you will feel more energy and a more energetic body lends itself to a more energetic mind. When you work for yourself, your physical health is paramount; remember, no paid sick days. You might also consider supplements that can support your mental and physical health.


The road you have taken is traveled by far fewer people and there is a reason for this—many people simply are not willing to do the work necessary to achieve success. Your mind can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy—the choice is yours. Creating a strong mind and reining in stress should be a vital part of anyone’s business plan.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about natural health, the importance of mindset and related topics; she recommends visiting Solstice Med for more information on natural remedies that can promote mental and physical health.

Additional Reading

Zen Living for Entrepreneurs

How to Deal With the Pressures of Being a Founder

Ways to Simplify Your Small Business

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