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Best wishes to you all for the festive season and may 2013 bring you love, peace and happiness.

 I have talked about the delightful animated cards from Ojolie.com in  another post this month so I thought I would send one to you all to see why I find them so appealing. Here is my favorite for this year for you all to enjoy.

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Nearly Christmas time again and the end of another year – it's amazing how fast the time goes by.

Christmas is a time for family and friends, for catching up with those you haven't seen for a while and for telling others you appreciate them and how much they mean to you. What better way than to send them a greeting whether as a phone call, a letter, a card in the post or an e-card or perhaps a personal video greeting. 

 

Do not be daunted by some of these ideas as they can be fun to make and your sentiments are appreciated by the receiver. Let's start by examining the options: 

If you want to make your own greeting cards, or just want some festive icons to add to emails or web pages, you can get these great Xmas icons free from Mighty Deals – just click on their "Free Stuff" tab. They come in 3 sizes, 64 x 64, 128 x 128 &  256 x 256 so come in very handy for a variety of projects. Mighty Deals also have Xmas stickers free just now – they are on currently on page 2 of the Free Stuff. There's heaps of other graphics in the free stuff as well, so check them out.  

 

Xmas Icons For e-cards with a unique touch, you can't go past Ojolie.com  –  I first heard about Frederikke's cards way back in 2008 (see my earlier blog post for more information) and have renewed my very low priced membership ever since ($12 for one year and $18 for 2 years). I've lost count of how many cards there are available, but there's a wide selection for all sorts of occasions and the great thing is that the membership area keeps track of that cards you have previously sent to the people on your email list there. They have a nice selection of free cards as well for you to try for yourself. Many of my friends have commented on the delightful cards I've sent them, so check them out at Ojolie.com or on facebook.

 

If you'd like a video to share this Christmas, try Animoto – they make it easy to use your own photos, text & even videos to produce a professional looking video message.  You can make a free one of 30 seconds or less with some limitations on the number of your own photos you upload but the cost is reasonable if you want to a bigger project. The free one below was made in about 4 minutes just as a demo.

The compliments of the season to you all. Trish

Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

Use the same marketing tools as a standard brick and mortar business, to promote your at home venture.

Advertising your service or product, is just as important, if not more, when you work from the home. It is important that the public knows how to find you and that your business exists. In order to find success in running your own home business, you must be totally comfortable promoting yourself.

As the owner of a home business, you will need to talk up your business to a large number of potential customers. You have to be able to make your customers feel that your business and products are of the highest quality. Learning to successfully self-promote, is one of the keys to making big time profits.

Participate in trade shows that focus on your particular product or service. Trade shows provide a great way to network with others in your industry. It is also an effective way to promote your business to many potential customers by providing you with a setting to demonstrate your product or service.

Create a mailing list for your home business. This can either be through snail mail or the internet. Let others know about any special deals you are offering or just promote your business.

You can also send out small updates or newsletters to your customers to let them know what has been going on. This will increase traffic to your web site.

Examine all of the ways your home business appears in the marketplace and be sure you have a consistent message and presentation.

Whether it is your business cards, web site or social media business page, keeping your messaging professional and synchronized helps you promote your business appropriately and clearly across multiple channels.

Having a home business does not mean you have to stay home.

Get out of the house to network and promote your home business.

Promoting your business will help make your business grow and in turn make you more money.

Being active in the community will help to spread the word of your business. Business cards are a great way to promote your home based business and get your name out to the community.

Search for free business cards online and then distribute them wherever you go, including grocery stores, dentist offices and your children's schools.

Set up an advertising and promotional item budget for your home business and make sure you stick to it.

Advertising, free products, printing and more can add up quickly.

When you stick within your allotted budget, you help your business stay on track. Your budget will grow over time and you will be able to spend more money to promote your business down the line.

Promote your home business by offering a coupon for a free sample or a discount for your services. People are attracted to free offers, so this is a good way to bring in new customers. People are more willing to try a new business if they do not have to risk their own money to try it.

If you are caught by what is being called the "latest recession" and you are  wondering, "How is my family going to get by?", see if some of these ideas and helpful tips can help you survive and improve your financial situation.

Christmas Holly

It's Christmas once again, and all around there's lights, food, song and cheer. Yet somehow the hustle and bustle only makes you more depressed and lonely. Do not fear; you are not alone! The holiday blues isn't uncommon, and there are lots of ways you can beat them and have more than a merry Christmas.

1. Know why you are sad.

Is it because of work, family, or the weather? Many people often find themselves feeling low for no apparent reason, but believe it or not, there is always a reason – you only need to find out what it is. Take time to reflect; stay in a quiet corner and allow yourself to think about what's really bothering you. Make a list of everything that's been troubling you for the past few days, the past year, or even your whole life. Understanding the "little details" can actually help to make you see things in perspective, and give you an idea how serious your melancholy is.


2. Accept, forgive, move on.

They say it's never easy to forgive (and forget), but the one reason it's so difficult to do is because we haven't first learned to accept that the thing happened at all. Whatever is making you unhappy is done and cannot be undone, and the only thing you can do now is to move on. However, before you can get to that stage, you must try and forgive yourself – for being weak and getting hurt; for letting another person make a fool of you; for not being able to stop something on time, when you felt you could.

Once you've learned to forgive yourself, it is only then that you can learn to forgive whoever or whatever has caused the pain. By this time, it will be easier to move on.

3. Practice empathy.

Now that you know the reason behind your blues and what to do about it, practice spreading cheer to others whom you think are in the same situation as you. Visit an orphanage; do a good deed for a total stranger; share a listening ear with a hapless neighbor. Or spare some time with the people close to you – send Christmas cards and letters to friends, or save one night where you can watch a Christmas movie with the family.

Christmas should be a happy time for everyone, so even with the blues you can still enjoy the season. All it takes is a little love and patience – especially on yourself.

Best wishes to you all for happy time with families
Trish

There are a lot of things to consider when you work from home. If you need help getting through the do's and don'ts of a business you run out of your home, then this article will give you the help you need to understanding how to make it successful.

Commit yourself not to decisions but to action. Starting and growing a home business does not follow a linear path. It zigs and zags and requires constant flexibility. There is no way to make all the right decisions up front; you just have to jump in and start doing. Commit to action everyday, and have faith that you will be able to make the right decisions each time choices come up. 

There is no one product or service that everyone is going to need, want or be happy with. Do not try to morph your business to make everyone in the area happy. Concentrate your energy on the consumers that are interested in the things that you have to offer to them.

Provide transcripts of any video or audio you post about your home business products or services so that search engines can index it and customers who can't see or hear can read it. Making your content accessible to the widest possible audience will open you up to getting leads from any demographic.

A great tip for your home business is to try to include a gift or surprise with every order that you send out. This will speak volumes for you and your company and give customers a reason to come back to you. The personal touch is critical with your success.

Another great tip for your home business is to pay your takes throughout the year instead of waiting until tax time. This will keep you from being hit with an unexpected amount of money during tax season which might potentially hamper your business. Check with the Tax Office for specifics on how to properly submit your taxes quarterly.

Take advantage of new technology that allows you to charge credit cards from home. Most people want to pay with a credit card, so invest in a product that will easily let you do this. Many companies have figured out how to make this very affordable for home businesses.

To help promote your home business, consider joining forums that are related to home business generally and your own niche in particular. This is a great idea because you will be able to get free advice and many tips or tricks that you might not have been exposed to otherwise. Do your research on which forums benefit you the most.

People can't be bothered clicking through a hundred pages on a website to find out what your home business is about, so feed it all to them on the front page. Include what you do, who you are, quick testimonials, a photo of yourself or your product, and how to contact you, and your leads will skyrocket.

As was stated at the beginning of this article, having a home business requires a lot of work and follow up in many different areas. The tips and suggestions here should help anyone who has or is hoping to start a home based business make it more successful.

Free Monthly Websites

Every month John & Dave give away a free website you can use to start your online business. They have all the help you need to get started right there on the site for free.

Patricia Findlay, EzineArticles Platinum Author

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