Tag Archives: freedom

Want More Happiness and Less Stress? Start Your Own Small Business

The post Want More Happiness and Less Stress? Start Your Own Small Business appeared first on HostGator Blog . A full 90% of small business owners say they’re happier now than when they worked for someone else, according to survey by Recruit Ventures. Another study found that 60 percent of self-employed people say their health improved after they started their own business . That’s remarkable because starting a business can be pretty stressful. 6 Ways Self-Employment Makes You Happier and Less Stressed Here are some of the reasons self-employment can make you happier despite the hard work it requires.   1. More control over your time You may find yourself working longer hours for yourself than you did for your old boss, at least for the first couple of years while you ramp things up. The trade-off is more flexibility if you need a sick day or a long lunch to run an errand. Setting your own work schedule can also boost your productivity. Some of us do our best work after dinner or at the crack of dawn, when the traditional office or shop isn’t open for business.   2. No commute You can use the time you would have spent in the car to build your business. In Austin, the average commuter spends a bit more than a full workweek—43 hours—stuck in traffic each year. Leaving my last job to freelance full time allowed me to reclaim 90 minutes a day for writing and landing new clients. Canceling your commute does more than save time. Eliminating your commute can benefit your health by reducing stress and your risk of a car crash. And of course, you’ll save a small fortune on gas, tolls, and parking or public transit passes.   3. A sense of purpose Most of us like to know there’s a reason for what we’re doing. If your job feels pointless or goes against your values, it’s easy to feel frustrated, depressed, or simply numb. When you run your own business, you’re not going to feel fulfilled by every small business task you undertake, but it’s easier to stay motivated because you know how those chores can help you reach the big goals that matter to you.   4. Stronger professional connections Being an employee can feel like being a schoolkid stuck with a group assignment. You don’t always get to choose who you work with, and you may not always like or trust the people you work alongside. When you work for yourself, you still work with other people – clients, customers, vendors, and eventually maybe even your own employees. The difference is that you can be more selective about who you work with. Working with people you like, trust, and respect makes the day-to-day a lot more pleasant, and it can help you build a great referral network .   5. A workaround for workplace discrimination Seventy percent of small business owners in the US are women and/or members of a minority group. Many older adults are starting new businesses after retirement—or after layoffs that effectively ended their previous careers. One reason for the growth in self-employment among these groups is the freedom to earn a living without the stress of harassment, glass ceilings, and other bias-induced career pitfalls.   6. Going with the flow When you’re doing challenging work you love, you can achieve something called “ flow state .” Flow happens when you’re totally absorbed in what you’re doing, you have a goal in mind, and you make progress toward your goal but it doesn’t feel like work . Psychologists say the experience of flow is elemental to human happiness . It’s possible to experience flow when you’re working for someone else, but it’s more likely to happen when you’re working on your own goals, at your own pace, at the time of day and in the space where you’re most productive. For example, an article that takes me 5 hours to research and write in daytime worker-bee mode at a café or co-working space can take as little as three hours (and feel like just minutes) if I work on it in my home office in the evening, when my creative energy and attention span peak.   Making Self-Employment Work for You Starting a business does come with some real risks and stressors. You’ll be spending a lot of time working, especially when you’re learning how to do everything and growing your client base. If you’re starting your business on a tiny budget, you also get to be your own HR, IT, accounting, and payroll departments, so you’ll need to figure out how you’ll handle things like insurance , computer repair, tax preparation, and other small business essentials . Before you start your business, you need to do thorough prep work to give yourself the best chance of success. Start by spending a few weeks on market research to make sure there’s a big enough market for your idea and to learn how you can set your business apart you’re your competitors. Once you verify that there are people who’ll pay for what you want to offer, it’s time to write your business plan . This doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be clear: Include your planned products or services, pricing, costs, and overall goals. Hang onto your business plan and update it at least once a year as your business evolves. You need some money to get your new business off the ground, either from savings or a small business loan. Even if your planned business won’t require a huge outlay upfront, you need to make sure you can pay your bills until your business is profitable. Before you leave your current job, figure out how much money you’ll need to cover your expenses for a few months and how long it will take you to save that much. You also need to create a marketing plan that includes a website for your new business. A small business website is a must for doing well in search results, establishing a sense of trustworthiness, and developing a strong marketing plan over the long term. Ready to get started? Explore your business web hosting options now. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How to Sell Products Online in 6 Easy Steps

The post How to Sell Products Online in 6 Easy Steps appeared first on HostGator Blog . Deciding to start an online business and begin selling products online can be an exciting experience. However, this excitement can soon be replaced with overwhelm if the proper process isn’t followed. There are a lot of considerations and research to be done if you want to learn to sell products online the right way. Below you’ll learn the proper steps to take before you launch, during launch, and how to set your online store up for long-term success.   1. Decide What to Sell Choosing the right products to sell will make or break your success online. As a result, you should spend a lot of time during the research phase. It can be helpful to choose a product or market that you actually care about. With more and more competition every single day, choosing a market you have passion about will give you a leg up, as you’ll be willing to go the extra mile. Ask yourself: What kind of products would I love to sell? What would be my dream niche to serve? What industries do I have experience and knowledge in? What pain points currently exist in the market? Do my products provide a practical solution? This should give you a list of products or markets that you’d love to serve. With this in mind it’s time to get a better picture of the existing market, so you can decide how to compete and position yourself.   2. Research Your Market You probably already have an idea of some of the competitors in your space, but now it’s time to take a deeper dive. You’ll be looking for companies that sell similar products, what makes their approach unique, the methods they use to market themselves, and how they speak to your target market. Find your top competitors and make a list with the above elements in mind. This will not only help you better understand how to market and sell your products, but you might be able to uncover an underserved portion of the market hungry for your products. Beyond having a deep understanding of your market, you’ll also want to thoroughly understand your customers . This will make the sales and marketing process much easier. Ask yourself the following questions: How old is my customer? Where do they live? What’s their gender? How much money do they make? What’s their occupation? What other interests do they have? How do they spend their time? What are their beliefs about the world? Why do they buy products like yours?   3. Decide How to Ship Your Products With an idea of what you’re going to sell, the existing market, and your buyer preferences, it’s time to think about how you’re going to ship your products to them. The first is hiring a manufacturer to create your products for you. This can lead to a more custom product, higher quality control, and less cost per unit. But, you’ll have to spend more time creating your product, working out manufacturing issues, and figuring out shipping. The second approach is relying on dropshipping . With this approach, you’ll be purchasing other people’s products and selling them through your online store. The drop shipper will also fulfill and ship orders on your behalf. This approach will have lower overhead costs, and less work overall. However, you may have to operate on slimmer margins and will have less quality control over the final product.   4. Build Your Online Store Now it’s time to start building your online store. You’ll have a few different approaches to take. You can build your own online store through WordPress and a tool like WooCommerce. You can sell products through an existing platform like Etsy, or Amazon. Or you can use an eCommerce website builder to easily build your store and manage your products. For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to assume you’re using a website builder. This approach will give you the freedom of customizing your own site while helping manage all of the technical details for you. With an eCommerce website builder all you have to do is select a theme, customize it to your liking with the drag and drop builder, upload your products, and press publish. You’ll also be able to manage your inventory, handle tax, and shipping rates, and even integrate a payment processor.   5. Craft a Marketing Strategy Simply publishing your site online isn’t enough; you need to craft a marketing strategy to help get the word out. It would be impossible to cover every single aspect of marketing your online store in this post, but here are a few questions and considerations to get you moving in the right direction: What marketing approaches will you take? Social media? Content marketing? Paid advertising? Influencer outreach? Guest blogging? How will you get customers to buy from you again? A royalty program? Subscriber discounts? How will you convert traffic to buyers? Regular promotions? Product and upsell suggestions? What will make your strategy successful? Rising traffic? Conversions? Email list growth? As you can see you have a lot to think about when it comes to marketing your store and ensuring it’s success over the long run.   6. Launch and Execute The day has come to finally launch your online store and start sharing your products with the world. Even though it probably feels like your work is finished it’s actually only just begun. All of the preparation work, research, and website building has been leading you up to this point. Continue to execute and experiment with your marketing strategy and optimize your site based on user feedback, analytics data, and the kinds of products they’re actually buying. Selling products online is a journey and you’ve just taken your first steps. Hopefully, you’re now better equipped to create and launch a successful online store. Get your store up and running quickly with the GATOR website builder. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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What Is a Managed WordPress Site?

The post What Is a Managed WordPress Site? appeared first on HostGator Blog . What Is a Managed WordPress Site? A managed WordPress site is one that’s hosted on a managed WordPress host. Essentially, you’ll be outsourcing the hosting of your site to a team of WordPress experts. If you run a high-traffic WordPress site, then going with a WordPress managed host could be a great option for you. Below we explore what managed WordPress hosting is, and the benefits it can offer your site, so you can determine if it’s time for you to switch up to WordPress managed hosting. What Is Managed WordPress Hosting? Managed WordPress hosting is a streamlined hosting environment that’s optimized to help you build and run WordPress websites. The goal of this style of hosting is to ensure your site is running at peak performance, with high levels of security. A managed host will also take care of general administrative tasks like updating your site, maintaining security, and monitoring traffic levels. By hosting your site on a managed WordPress host you’re effectively outsourcing your hosting to a third-party of experts, so you can focus on growing your site instead.   The Benefits of WordPress Managed Hosting Having a managed WordPress site just requires a switch to managed WordPress hosting. Below we explore the main benefits your site will receive when you make the jump to a managed hosting environment.   1. Improved Speed and Performance When you utilize a WordPress managed server everything to do with the server environment will be optimized to get the most out of WordPress. That includes the server configuration, the hardware, the software, and the databases. Your WordPress site can become slow for a variety of reasons, whether onsite or having to do with your server environment. With regular monitoring, the team behind your site will be able to diagnose and solve any performance issues before they become a problem.   2. Easier to Scale Your Site If your site prepared for when an post goes viral, or you get featured by a major media outlet? Most sites will fail when they receive a large spike in traffic. Instead of visitors seeing the article or homepage, they’ll get nothing more than an error message . Managed WordPress hosts are built to scale. With traffic monitoring features the team behind your site will be able to scale your site’s resources at a moments notice to handle the flood of traffic.   3. Greater Levels of Security Most people don’t want to admit it, but there’s a chance your site could be hacked. Security is typically the farthest thing from people’s minds. Why would somebody want to hack my site? The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and realize your site’s been hacked. Then, you have to go through the process of fixing your site, which can be a real headache if you don’t have solid technical skills. With a managed WordPress host your server environment will be much more secure. Plus, since they’re WordPress experts they’ll be well aware of any common security holes and vulnerabilities and be able to patch the issues effectively.   4. An Expert Support Team Behind You A lot of support teams will only be able to help you with the actual server hardware when something goes wrong. So, if the issue is with your site, then you’re left on your own, having to search through Google looking for the magic fix . A managed WordPress host will not only be able to diagnose and solve server and hardware issues for you. But, they’re also staffed by a team of WordPress experts that will be able to help you troubleshoot any issues that might arise. And of course, the goal of a solid managed WordPress host is to help you avoid experiencing any site issues in the first place.   5. Automated Website Backups and Updates Backing up your website is incredibly important , but usually, it falls by the wayside if you have to figure it out yourself. However, with a WordPress managed host your site will be backed up automatically. The frequency of the backup will depend upon your host, but usually, it’s on a daily or weekly basis. Beyond backups the other task you’ll have to take care of yourself is updating your WordPress core, themes, and plugins. Failing to update these in a timely manner will make your site more vulnerable to attacks. Luckily, with WordPress managed hosting all of your updates will be handled automatically. Whether or not your plugins will be updated as well depends on the host.   Is Managed WordPress Hosting Right For Your Site? Managed WordPress hosting gives you the freedom and time to focus on growing your site, not managing your hosting. If you’re running a high traffic WordPress site and you want to improve its performance and security without any added work on your end, then WordPress managed hosting is an option worth considering. Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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Working From Anywhere: Getting Started

The post Working From Anywhere: Getting Started appeared first on HostGator Blog . Enjoy a Successful Workcation by Answering These 5 Questions Part of the appeal of running an online business is the freedom from being anchored to a particular location. Another plus is that your online business can help fund your travel. Before you strike out for a working vacation, there are a few things to plan […] Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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How To Set Pricing for Your Online Store

The post How To Set Pricing for Your Online Store appeared first on HostGator Blog . So many parts of starting a new business are exciting. You have dreams of wild success and enjoying the freedom of working for yourself. But every business owner has to deal with one especially tricky problem: figuring out pricing. Setting the pricing for items in your online store is one of the hardest parts of […] Find the post on the HostGator Blog Continue reading

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