Don’t Get Overwhelmed

When working on a big project, it’s easy to look at it and think “there’s just no way I can do that”. But a big project becomes a lot more manageable if you break it down into smaller pieces – you just have to know how to divide it up.

Before you dive into breaking up your project and making a plan, you need to figure out exactly what needs to be done and when the project needs to be done by. This may be very easy if your client has a clear idea of what they want and a solid deadline, but they may be more flexible and want you to fill in the blanks, it which case this might take a bit longer.

Either during or after figuring out your full goal and deadline, break the job down into exactly what needs to be done. Break the job into small pieces. Don’t worry about the order yet, just make sure you have a list of all the tasks involved. Also, make sure to put next to each task who needs to be involved and what tools and equipment will be needed to complete it.
The next step is to organize all the pieces into an order. You can do this based on several criteria including:

  • Client needs. No matter what your preferences, to run a successful business, you need to put the client first. If your client needs certain parts by certain dates, then that’s going to be the first determinant of your schedule. Once that is decided, you can fill in the other blanks from there.
  • Chronological considerations. While certain parts of projects can be done in any order, some activities require other portions to be done before they can be finished, or sometimes even started. Once you are done organizing things by firm deadlines, they can be ordered in this way.
  •  Availability of people and tools. Generally, you’re going to need certain employees, outside contractors or VA, specific equipment, and other items. These are likely going to be different for each part of the project. Organize your timeline based on who is needed for each part. For example, if you need a certain contractor or VA for several steps, it’s easier to do those steps one after the other instead of spreading them apart. And if a person is working on a part of the project that will take up all their time, they obviously can’t work on another project at the same time.

Once you have a general order set up, you’re ready to set up a more specific timeline with dates that specific parts of the project need to be done. Unlike the previous step, this one may be more difficult (and you may have to redo the last step). For your timeline, you need to take into account not only when things are due, but when people and equipment you need will be available.

Once you have your final plan, you’re ready to get started. But, don’t let you’re planning to be done there. We all know that nothing goes exactly as planned. Re-evaluate your plan every so often to make sure it still lines up with client expectations and how things are going. That way there won’t be any surprises later on.

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The Importance of Basic Website Maintenance

Web maintenance isn’t something a lot of online entrepreneurs think about. In fact, it can be quite a mundane task for most. However, it is important to keep your website ticking over smoothly.

Here are a few reasons why maintaining your website is important:

1. Attracting the search engines

Search engines are important to the livelihood of your online business, but they don’t like “dead” websites. Websites which have been left static without updates or fresh content are a no-no in the online world. Another thing search engines don’t like is broken links.

As you build your web pages it’s easy to miss broken links. A good strategy is to double check every link you add to your website. Inevitably you may miss some or some may become broken with time (as web addresses change and so on). Regular maintenance and “check-ups” for your website will help you spot these broken links and keep your customers and search engines happy in the process.

2. Updating information may increase your sales

Regularly looking over your website will also help you make changes and adjustments as necessary. For example, you may have started promoting what was a great product two years ago but now that product may be outdated and not so great anymore. By updating your website you may find products and promotions which are a better match for your visitors. This means more money in your pocket and more satisfied visitors.

Look through your old web pages to see if there are any promotions which can be updated or given a little extra “oomph.” Times change and on the internet, time moves at a faster speed – keeping up with the times is important and you can do this by simply looking over your pages and tweaking as you go along.

3. Keeping track of your stats is important

Another part of your basic web maintenance is keeping on top of all your visitor statistics. It makes sense to regularly go through your website and check how many visitors you have on a monthly basis, where they’re coming from, how they’re finding you, what pages they’re accessing and so on.

A running log of these statistics will help you quickly identify any potential problems such as loss of traffic or reduced income from sources such as Google AdSense and so on.

Regular web maintenance for your website is important. It can help you keep up with changing times, help to attract more visitors and ultimately make you more sales. If you find this task difficult to squeeze in, try scheduling it in for a set time each month or every few weeks. It shouldn’t take long and the time investment may make all the difference to your business. And finally, if you don’t have time to do the web maintenance yourself you can always think about hiring a virtual assistant to help you with this task.


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Goal Setting 101

If you want to be successful, one of the most important steps is setting goals. If you just work to get things done, you end up going through the motions with no real purpose or drive. Setting goals gives you something to strive for, and skyrockets your chances of actually being successful, no matter what you set out to do.

To make the most out of setting your goals, there are a few rules to always follow:

* Aim high. While it may seem logical to set goals you know you can reach, that’s really not going to make you any more successful than what you are now. To be able to achieve, you need to reach for something just beyond your grasp. Something that will motivate you to do more. Otherwise, you’ll just end up where you started.

* Be realistic. So, at first glance, this seems to be totally opposite from the last tip. The problem with aiming high is that, if you constantly set goals you can’t reach, you’re going to fail over and over again. If you keep failing, you’re eventually going to give up with goal setting and settle for less than you’re capable of achieving.

If your goals are unrealistic, you also run the risk of putting yourself in danger. If you are 100% set on reaching a goal that is simply out of reach, you’re going to raise your stress levels. High-stress levels can keep you from getting sleep, affect your emotional and mental health, and increase your risk of all kinds of diseases and illnesses.

* Make a plan. Having a goal is great, but you also need to know how to get to your goal. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting sidetracked with things that distract you from your goals. Once you set your goals, make a plan of exactly how to get there. Most importantly, after you make your plan, follow through. To keep yourself on track, check your plan every so often. This will not only help you make sure you’re following the plan but will also give you a chance to revise your plan if it’s no longer the best course of action.

* Tell someone. Having your goals in mind is great, but if you get distracted or reach a setback, you only really have yourself to be accountable to, and you only have yourself to provide you with encouragement. If you tell someone, they can help remind you of what you’re working for and push you to keep going. Make sure this is someone you trust, so you don’t worry about being embarrassed by what you really want.

* Keep objectives in mind. When running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about your ultimate goals. That’s why it’s good to make sure you have reminders in your office of what you’re working for. If you’re working to provide a better life for your family, keep pictures of your family succeeding. Maybe you have an idol that you want to be like. Post clippings of them and their various successes around the office. These will help keep you focused on your goals and motivated to do the job at hand.

One key in being successful is knowing that even if you fail, you can build and learn from what you did wrong. If you set a goal and fail to meet it, don’t give up. Keep trying to reach for the stars.