As a mom of a one year old it is incredibly important that when I am working I know exactly what needs to be accomplished and I have a framework for completing the tasks at hand. I’ve always been fairly good at not procrastinating, but I won’t say excellent, at prioritizing the things I need to get done. However, working from home with my daughter has proven to be quite challenging over the course of the year! For one, you never know if the nap is going to go longer or shorter than expected. Then there is the constant distraction of her learning new skills and growing to be more independent. Many of our clients, may second guess our decision to have Mary Catherine home while I work, however one of our big goals was that she would not have to be in daycare for the first year. Trust me, now that she is 12.5 months old, we are now looking at other options!

I have found the following steps to be essential to getting high caliber work done on time.

Tip one: First prioritize your day.

The night before I always create a list of the things that need to be accomplished the following day. From this list I know what are the top priority tasks. This helps me figure out those top three things that my business would not function without and what I could potentially hand off to one of our contractors. One way to prioritize your tasks is through the Bullet Journal technique. While I haven’t implemented this, folks I know who have found it to be incredibly helpful!

Tip two: Keep track of filler tasks.

In addition to the tasks that I know need to get done on a specific day, I also know the tasks that are outstanding but don’t need to be tackled immediately. There are additionally things that need to be done every week, but the day doesn’t really matter quite as much. These items I call my filler tasks. Filler tasks work wonderfully if Mary Catherine sleeps later than expected or is happy playing by herself, but still needs me to check in on her every once in a while.

Tip three: Structure around naps.

This next tip is combining the tasks above. My day is structured where my goal during Mary Catherine’s nap  is to complete as many of the top priorities as possible. When she sleeps longer I can fill the time with filler tasks. Additionally, during other parts of the day when I can concentrate on multiple items at once, I do these filler tasks, as well.

However, at times if Mary Catherine’s naps are much shorter than usual, I’ll need to tackle my list once my husband gets home from work and finish up the top priorities from the day. The worst, as I’m sure many of you have experience, is when you have multiple days of short naps and it feels like nothing ever gets done! During these days I put away my computer and just focus on Mary Catherine and the dog – hello work on weekends!

3 tips to increase productivity as a working mom

We are often chatting with new business owners about their pricing. No, this doesn’t necessarily relate directly to marketing, however, it is important to make sure that your business aligns with the market rates and what you’re worth.

In business school we learned about various models to formulate your pricing, however in real life this can be a lot simpler then how the large corporations do it.

There are three, techniques that we often see businesses use. These include using your cost plus a margin, setting prices at the competitive rate, and just choosing a random value. Let’s look at each of these more closely to see how your business can benefit from utilizing them.

Your cost plus a margin

The process here is to figure out the costs of all components of your product or service and add a percent margin over this cost. if you are a dropship store or retail store this is often figured out for you. The wholesale business will often tell you a MAP pricing or minimal pricing that you can sell the product at or the typical MRSP.

If you have a product take a look at the sourcing costs, packaging costs, shipping costs, and admin costs. Add these all up and then increase the price to have a margin of between 30% and 50%.

For a service-based business, you can use a similar frame of thought. Except, rather than adding up the cost of the product, you’ll be adding up the time that it takes to complete all of the different requirements with in a proposal and multiply by your hourly rate. The first step here is to write a list of everything, and I mean everything, that you do for a given client with in that package. When we double checked our calculations for packages this way, we include things ranging from adding the SEO to a blog post, to adding Twitter followers, and costs that we incur with advertising expenses. Our team even built a tool that we utilize that takes into consideration the other pricing models, as well. For any new client, we build the proposal off at this template.

We are currently in the process of building this tool for other service based businesses as well! Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.

The next obvious question here is how do you figure out your hourly rate. You will want to calculate this a few ways. First is figuring out how much you’d like to make every year and how many “billable” hours you expect (or would like) to work each week. How does that hourly rate look? A little high? What about all the other hours you will work prospecting, marketing, and in business development?

If the hourly rate number is within your industry standards or low, rethink the assumptions that you made. Do you really want to set your goal that low? We also always recommend brainstorming other ways that you can bring income into your business that doesn’t require your time and energy.

Competitive pricing

Competitive pricing is taking the same prices that your competitors use for their business. It’s often an easy way to get started, however, it can also tie you down. Before you simply choose the same price as your competitor, think about your brand. Do you want to be the lowest cost alternative and maybe get more volume? Or do you want to be seen as a luxury good or service?

The same product can be sold at many very different price points depending on how you position your marketing and your brand. Being mindful of this when you first roll out a service will help you with optimizing your marketing strategy and type of client.

Before simply researching what rate the others are charging, first decide if you want to position yourself as low-end or high-end.

Choosing a Random Number

You know your industry, so you may have a gut reaction or sense of what you should charge for your product or service. While I don’t recommend choosing a random number without doing research to back up your decision, often times you will be in the right ballpark. Just work your way back through to make sure you won’t be losing money in the long run!

What’s Missing?

None of these methods include the value You bring to the table. Sure you can build that into any of the techniques, but it often is overlooked. We once were hired to fill out keywords, meta titles, and meta descriptions for a site with over 40,000 listings that needed to be cataloged. I was to create the initial batch and teach their intern how to complete the remaining 39,900. The page content was all in a spreadsheet, so I created a variety of IF functions and a legend to combine different characteristics of the page to automatically create the SEO information directly on the sheet. An hour getting the formulas working properly and teaching the intern how to replicate the functions saved the company an estimated 100+ hours. In hindsight, I should have learned more about their project and charged based on the value I was bringing to the table.

How did you decide to set your pricing structure?

setting your pricing for business

1. Avada | Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme by ThemeFusion
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avada theme for photography

Sometimes it is overwhelming having so many different ways to customize this theme! WooCommerce, as expected, works great with the Avada theme and offers many different ways to view products and collections.

2. X | The Theme by THEMECO
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X Theme for Photographers

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3. Enfold – Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme by Kriesi
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Enfold theme for photography

We’ve been in love with Enfold for a while now, and for eCommerce, this theme continues to outperform others. The new layout editor offers demo designs you can upload and it is incredibly simple to update specific elements in the theme options. I don’t think we will ever grow tired of how easily Enfold integrates with WooCommerce.

4. uDesign – Responsive WordPress Theme by AndonDesign
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uDesign WordPress Theme

uDesign offers WooCommerce integration for easy eCommerce set up. It’s a wonderful theme for high-end SEO, mobile friendly design, and over 2,000 fonts to choose from for extreme branding and customization!

5. Flatsome | Multi-Purpose Responsive WooCommerce Theme by UX-themes
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Flastsome WordPress theme ecommerce

Like the other themes listed for eCommerce, Flatsome allows for incredible customizations, is responsive, and offers fast page-load speeds. If there is a demo your like, you can copy these page layouts to customize in one click, which make it easy to get up and running quickly.

What about other CMS platforms?

And, of course, please take a look at Shopify. Shopify truly is an incredible interface built with eCommerce in mind. The back end is structured a little differently from WordPress, but you will quickly learn to love the interface! Unlike using WordPress and WooCommerce, Shopify can handle payments on your behalf or run through PayPal, Amazon, or other merchant accounts. It is a breeze to keep your store running with Shopify.