Taking a break for personal reasons, especially if at the peak of your career breakthrough, is difficult. The hardest part is making the decision to take the break at all: it almost seems as if you have to choose between your career and tending to a loved one or taking care of your child. After a long break, it is normal that reentering the workforce seems daunting and pretty scary. That said, it is important not to lose hope and instead approach this new life season with a positive mindset.

In this article, we will discuss how to get back into the workplace after a long break. Read on.

Research your industry and catch up

Researching the companies, you’re interested in and what is new or in demand on the market is the right way to go about it. You can enquire about such details also from ex colleagues or read from your former company journals, blogs and article, this will keep you updated with all that is going on and it will make the process easier.

Acquire new skills

You can develop a new specialism. Through this, you can learn something new or update your existing knowledge. You can take online courses, on platforms with affordable prices like EPICODE for example, and boost your resume and update your skillset with what’s in demand right now. Researching about it before making any final decisions is highly recommended. And remember, it is never too late to learn new things.

It’s never too late to try something new and there is so much out there nowadays. If you love working with children for example, why not take a look at childcare courses & apprenticeships?

Be honest about your break

When approaching a potential employer, it is highly advisable to be honest, but brief about the reasons behind your long break. This includes interviews and resumes as well. In most companies, honesty is a highly regarded virtue and briefly talking about it shows how determined you are with what you used to do before.

Spruce up your CV and Cover Letter

After a long break or once you have expanded on your knowledge, it important to update your CV and cover letter to date. Add all the skills you have learned and remember to highlight all your most valuable qualities. Make sure the CV matches the job you are applying for. This will enhance your chances of getting the job you are aiming for.

Reach out to your network

Informing your network on LinkedIn that you will be returning to the workforce is a smart move because it can lead to potential job opportunities they know about and can also put in a good word for you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask former colleagues or friends tips and advice on how to get back into the workforce.

Last but certainly not least, do not lose hope, keep a positive mindset and never give up.

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Events can be a highly effective way of reaching new audiences and increasing brand awareness. They also offer an excellent opportunity for businesses to increase their sales and generate positive PR. It’s no surprise that events are becoming more and more common – in fact, there are now more than 3,000 event-based businesses operating in the UK alone. With the right strategy, however, your event need not be a risk but an opportunity to make your business stand out from the crowd. To help you get started, this post has some top tips on how to run a successful event. Read on to find out how!

Know your audience

One of the most critical aspects of event planning is understanding your audience – what do they like, what do they need, and what will motivate them? With this information, you can tailor your event to their needs and make it a more engaging and enjoyable experience for all involved. It’s essential to segment your audience as accurately as possible. Take note of who you’re trying to reach and what their needs are so that you can tailor your event to their specific interests. For example, if you’re hosting a conference for IT professionals, you’re likely to have a very different target audience from a pop-up gadget store aimed at children. One way to gain insight into your audience is to conduct customer surveys, polls and interviews. These can be very helpful in gathering information about your customers and what they are looking for.

Find your “why.”

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of planning your event, it’s essential to consider your “why”. In other words, what is the purpose of the event? Why are you hosting this event? What do you hope to achieve from it? What are the long-term goals and objectives of your company? What do you want your customers to walk away with? What do you want them to remember? What are you trying to convey? It can also be helpful to consider how the event came to be in the first place. What were the steps that led up to this event?

Don’t overlook the planning stage.

Before the actual event is even underway, there is a lot of preparation to be done. Ensure you secure the date so you know everything is taken care of. Depending on the scale of your event, you may need to hire event planners or a caterer. You may also consider hiring security (particularly if you’re hosting an open event). Once you’ve taken care of the logistical aspects of planning your event, you can focus on more creative elements, such as choosing your venue, your guest list, and your marketing strategy. You should leave yourself enough time to allow you to book all of the required elements, venue, speakers, and catering and find out more about branding and promotional items too.

Define your budget

Before you even begin planning your event, you must understand your budget and do everything you can to stick to it. You don’t want to go over your budget and put your company in a difficult financial position. Once you have a clear idea of how much revenue you’re expecting to generate from the event, you can work backwards and create a budget based on those figures. It’s important to remember that there are many ways to decrease your overall event costs. For example, you may be able to negotiate lower rates with your venue or vendors. You may also be able to enlist volunteers to help out with certain aspects of the event or reduce your marketing expenses by promoting your event in a low-key way.

Identify the best location, speakers and vendors.

When choosing the location for your event, make sure to consider your clientele. Think about where your customers are most likely to be and make that location work for your event. For example, if you’re hosting a conference for dental professionals, you might want to host it at a nearby university or dental school. This way, you’re catering to your customers’ needs (students studying for their degree in dentistry) and making the event accessible for them. You should also consider the venue’s layout and how you want your event to be structured. 

Choose your speakers and vendors wisely.

Regarding speakers and vendors, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You can often find speakers and vendors that can provide their services at a reduced rate or for free in exchange for brand exposure. You can also provide them with a free ticket to the event as compensation. When choosing your speakers and vendors, keep an eye out for quality. You want to be sure that they are providing high-quality services and products. You also want to make sure that they are someone that your customers and brand admirers will enjoy and respect. You should also consider the image that your speakers and vendors are projecting. Are they a good fit for your brand and your vision? Do they align with your values as a company?

Don’t overlook the small details.

The small details matter, from the layout of the seating (which can affect the flow of the event) to the colour of the napkins at the tables. The small details can often make or break an event. You should also pay attention to the branding at your event. This can include your company name and colours, the materials you hand out to attendees, and the name of your event. You want to ensure that your events are consistent to build brand recognition over time.

Start marketing to your audience.

Once you’ve planned and executed your event, it’s time to let people know it’s happening. You should have started marketing your event as soon as you started planning it. You can often save on costs by marketing your event in a low-key way. You could, for example, use social media to promote the event and ask guests to RSVP. You can also send an email newsletter highlighting the event, location, and speakers. You can place advertisements in newspapers and radio stations or host an event of the same nature as in the past and invite people to attend. You should also consider hosting an online event. Hosting a webinar or webcast can be a great way to reach a large audience and generate interest in your event.

Allocate responsibilities

To run a successful event, you must ensure that all your team members are on the same page and meeting their responsibilities. Creating a clear event timeline and assigning each team member a task can mitigate the risk of miscommunications and ensure that everyone contributes to the best of their ability. This can include everything from the order of the speakers to the layout of the tables at the venue to coordinating food and drink vendors in between sessions or ensuring each guest is greeted upon arrival and everything is signposted.

Final words

Event planning is an immense task that requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a lot of hard work. However, suppose you follow these tips and consider these factors. In that case, you’re sure to have a successful event that will increase brand recognition, drive revenue, and boost positive PR for your business. When marketing your event, don’t be afraid to get creative. You can often stand out from the crowd by hosting unusual events or incorporating unique themes or elements into your formal events. Whatever event you choose to host, do so with confidence and ensure that you’ve done everything in your power to ensure it’s a success.

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As a parent, you want nothing more than for your child to succeed in school. But between homework, projects, standardised tests, and extracurricular activities, it can be hard to know how to best support your child without going crazy yourself. Let’s take a look at what you can do.

1. Get Organised

A big part of success in school is simply being organised and keeping track of assignments, upcoming tests, and extracurricular commitments. Help your child create a system (a simple notebook or Google Calendar will do) where they can write down everything they need to do and when it’s due. Check in with them regularly to help them stay on top of things, but resist the urge to micromanage; part of growing up is learning how to handle these responsibilities on their own.

2. Encourage Them to Ask Questions

Chances are, your child’s school day is very different from your own. Make sure they know that it’s okay to ask questions if they don’t understand something; not only will this help them learn the material, but it will also show their teachers that they’re engaged and interested in what’s going on. Likewise, listen attentively when they tell you about their day—even if it seems like all they did was play with their friends at recess. This is how they form bonds and learn social skills, both of which are important for success both in and out of the classroom.

3. Be Available for Help

As a parent, you obviously want to help your kids succeed in school. But try not to do their work for them; instead, offer guidance and support when needed. If they’re having trouble understanding a concept, sit down with them and explain it in terms they can understand. You can also look for support with things like 11 plus mock tests online too. Finally, help them brainstorm ideas for an upcoming project or paper. But resist the urge to do the work for them; ultimately, it’s up to them to learn the material and complete the assignments.

4. Encourage Breaks and Downtime

While it’s important for your kids to stay on top of their schoolwork, it’s also important that they take breaks throughout the day. Encourage them to step away from their work every few hours to move around, relax, or do something they enjoy. This will help them recharge both mentally and physically so they can come back to their work refreshed and ready to learn.

5. Find a Balance Between School and Play.

It’s important for kids to have some time after school to relax and play; this is how they blow off steam and release the pent-up energy that can make it hard for them to focus during class hours. But don’t let them turn screen time into a free-for-all; set limits on electronics use and make sure they’re still getting some physical activity every day. An hour or two of active play will do wonders for their concentration levels once it’s time to sit back down and hit the books again.

 

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Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

We’ve just come back from a few days in Looe on the Cornish coast, and honestly, it was just beautiful. You could see the sea from our AirBnB garden, and what better way to spend an evening than looking at the waves, listening to the seagulls, and drinking a glass of wine?

We had the dog with us, so we spent a lot of the time on walks (or eating – like here at the River Shack), and many of our walks were on the beaches or coastal paths. I must admit that before I got a dog, I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to do a coastal walk, which is surprising given the stunning and diverse coastline we have in the UK.

So why are coastal walks so underrated? One reason could be that people just aren’t sure which are the best coastal walks to choose, or perhaps they’re worried that it will involve climbing or don’t know what to expect in terms of difficulty. With the internet, though, there are plenty of opportunities to research precisely what a walk involves, and as long as you have a good pair of walking boots, a decent coat, and a well-thought-out tech survival kit, you shouldn’t have any problems.

To get you feeling inspired about the potential of coastal walks in the UK, I’ve picked out a few ideas to get you started:

The South West Coast Path

Living in the South West I am biassed, but I think the coastal walks around Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset are some of the most spectacular in the UK. The South West Coast Path is the longest waymarked footpath in the UK and stretches for 630 miles. You can dip in and out along the path wherever it takes your fancy. I recommend walking around Lyme Regis on the Jurassic Coast – one of my favourite coastal spots.

Burg on the Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides, just off Scotland’s west coast. This walk isn’t for beginners, but if you like a hike that rewards you with spectacular views and a real sense of perspective, then this is well worth a go.

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

It’s hard to conjure up a coastal walk quite as unique as the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. The National Trust looks after this stunning stretch of coastline and manages several walking trails of varying difficulty levels, or you can take part in a five-mile guided cliff hike.

Formby Point in Merseyside

When we think of Liverpool, your first thought probably isn’t coastal walks. Yet not far from Liverpool sits Formby point, part of the Liverpool Bay area. Formby Point is a glorious expanse of open beaches and dunes – as much fresh air as you could wish for and all within reach of the city.

Whitehaven in Cumbria

Cumbria is famous for its lakes, but would you consider exploring the coast of Cumbria? One of the most stunning stretches of the Cumbrian coastline is the walk between Whitehaven and St Bees, both beautiful places in their own right. Look out for wildlife – you may be lucky enough to see puffins!

If these coastal walk ideas have excited you about your next holiday, why not take a look at them in more detail and start planning your next break now?

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Being a single mom is hard enough, but running a small business on top of that can seem like an impossible feat. However, taking your small business online can make things easier for you and provide much-needed benefits. Here are tips to help you get started:

Define Your Niche

The first step to taking your small business online is to define your niche. What are you passionate about? What do you have experience in? What would you like to learn more about? Once you understand what it is you want to offer, you can start to build your website and market your products or services more effectively.

Research Your Competition

Next, you’ll need to research your competition. Check out their websites and social media accounts to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Then, take what you’ve learned and create a website and marketing strategy to set you apart.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when researching your competition:

-What kind of products or services are they offering?

-How does their pricing compare to your own?

-What is their website design like? Is it user-friendly?

-What social media platforms are they active on, and how often do they post?

-What kind of content do they share? Is it engaging, informative, or both?

Once you have a good understanding of your competition, you can start to create a website and marketing strategy that will help you get ahead.

Create a Professional Website

Your website is often the first impression potential customers will have of your business, so it’s essential to make sure it looks professional and trustworthy. Use high-quality images, easy-to-navigate menus, and well-written content to give visitors the best possible experience. You may also want to consider hiring a web designer if you don’t feel confident in your ability to create a beautiful website on your own.

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly since more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse the internet. Mobile-friendly websites are easy to read and navigate on small screens, so potential customers won’t get frustrated and click away. In addition, you can use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see if your website passes muster.

Get Listed in Online Directories

In addition to your website, there are other ways to get your business online and in front of potential customers. One way is to list your business in online directories like Google My Business, Yelp, and Foursquare. These free listings can help improve your visibility in search engine results.

To get started, create a profile for your business on each site and include as much information as possible, such as your hours of operation, address, and contact information. You should also add photos and videos to help potential customers learn more about your business. In addition, take advantage of any opportunities to add special offers or deals to your listings.

Use Social Media Wisely

Social media can be a great way to promote your small business online, but it’s essential to use it wisely. Post engaging content regularly, but don’t overcrowd people’s feeds with ads for your products or services. Instead, focus on building relationships and providing value so that people will want to buy from you when they’re ready. 

And, of course, include links to your website and online store so that people can easily find you. You can also use hashtags to reach a broader audience on sites like Twitter and Instagram.

Invest in Paid Advertising 

Don’t be afraid to invest in paid advertising such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. While organic reach is great, sometimes you need a little boost to get in front of potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer. Just be sure to track your results to know which ads are performing well and adjust accordingly. 

Build Relationships With Customers

One way to make your small business stand out is to add live online chat software to your website. This will allow potential and current customers to chat with you in real time, which can help build trust and relationships.

You can also use chat software to upsell products and services and provide customer support.

Another way to build customer relationships is to offer incentives for them to shop with you. This could include discounts, free shipping, or loyalty rewards. You can also create a VIP program for your best customers. By showing your customers that you value their business, you’ll be more likely to build long-lasting relationships.

Use Blog Posts To Create Traffic To Your Website

As a business owner, you understand the importance of traffic to your website. You also understand that, as a single mom, time is precious. So how do you increase traffic without sacrificing time with your kids? The answer is blog posts.

By writing blog posts related to your business, you can attract new visitors to your website who may not have found you otherwise. Plus, blogging is a great way to show potential customers your expertise in your industry.

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips:

  1. Brainstorm topics that would be of interest to your target audience.
  2. Write catchy headlines that make people want to click through to your blog post.
  3. Write engaging and informative content that will keep people reading.
  4. Use images, infographics, and videos to break up your text and add visual interest.
  5. Include calls to action at the end of your blog post to encourage people to visit your website or sign up for your newsletter.

By following these tips, you can start generating traffic to your website through blog posts – without sacrificing time with your kids.

Use SEO To Ensure Your Website Is Seen By Potential Customers

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a technique that helps improve the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing the website for relevant keywords and phrases, businesses can attract more visitors to their site and generate more leads and sales.

As a single mom, you may not have the time or resources to invest in a full-scale SEO campaign. However, you can do some simple things to improve your website’s visibility and attract more traffic.

Make sure your website is updated regularly with fresh content.

Search engines love websites that are constantly updated with new content. If your website hasn’t been updated in a while, it’s not being crawled by search engines as often as it should be.

Fresh content can be blog posts, articles, new product descriptions, or even simple information about your business. Whatever you choose to add, ensure it is well-written and relevant to your target audience.

Use relevant keywords and phrases on your website.

When people search for businesses like yours online, they typically use keywords or phrases that describe what they are looking for. For example, someone searching for a local bakery may use the keyword “bakery” or “cake shop.”

Pay Attention To Detail

You’re a busy mom, and letting little things fall through the cracks is easy. But when you’re running a business, even the most minor details matter. Paying attention to detail can help you avoid mistakes, keep your customers happy, and make your business run more smoothly.

Small details like packaging, labeling, and invoicing can make a big impression on customers. If your packaging is sloppy or your labels are incorrect labels, it’ll reflect poorly on your business. And if you make mistakes on customer invoices, they may not be inclined to do business with you again. So take the time to double-check your work and ensure everything is perfect.

It’s also essential to be detail-oriented when communicating with customers. Respond promptly to their emails and phone calls, and ensure you understand their needs before promising anything. If you take the time to listen to your customers and give them the individual attention they deserve, they’ll appreciate it–and they’re more likely to keep doing business with you.

Take An Online Business Course

One of the best ways to learn how to take your small business online as a single mom is to take an online business course. This can help you learn about all the different aspects of running an online business, from building a website to marketing your products or services. There are plenty of courses available online, so you should be able to find one that fits your budget and schedule.

Learn From Fellow Business Women

If you want to learn how to take your business online as a single mom, there’s no better way than to learn from those who have already done it. So look for podcasts or interviews with women business owners who have successfully moved their businesses online. Not only will you glean some great tips and advice, but you’ll also get inspired by their stories.

There are also plenty of Facebook groups and forums dedicated to women entrepreneurs. These can be excellent resources for asking questions, getting advice, and connecting with other like-minded business owners.

Several podcasts can help you with this research, such as The Momtrepreneur Podcast and The Boss Babe Podcast. Both podcasts feature interviews with successful female entrepreneurs who share their stories and advice.

There are many benefits of taking your small business online as a single mom—including more flexibility, increased exposure, and the ability to reach a wider audience. While it takes effort to get started, the rewards are well worth it! So follow the tips above to begin taking your small business online today!

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When you have children the first thing you want to do is keep them safe. When they are in the womb, they are in the literal bubble where they are going to be safe from any kind of harm, but when you bring them home from the hospital you have to make sure that your home is as child friendly as possible. 

Your home is your castle but it’s also the safe space your family will grow into, so whether you are looking at selling your flat with an estate agents advice to find a bigger house, or you are looking at buying a house and you need to make sure that it’s going to be good for the new baby, you need to know how to make your home child friendly. There are 10 ways you can do exactly that.

  • Avoid being too plain. Safety aside for a moment, if you want your home to be child friendly it has to look like a child actually lives there. One of the biggest trends you will find on social media is to make a house white, grey, and beige. There’s actually nothing fun about any of those colours, and while babies only see in black and white, do you really want your house to look monochrome? Make sure that you realise that life is far too short to be too serious so add a little bit of a silly to your home. Look up for arty prints or small wallpaper feature walls to help you to embrace the silliness that comes with parenting.
  • Get the kids involved. If you’re going to redecorate your home and get the children involved in those decorative decisions. If you’re bringing home a baby and you’re looking to decorate a nursery, consider how long you want the nursery to last. It’s all lovely to put Mickey Mouse on the walls, but if you want them to have a bedroom that will grow with them, choosing stickers or pastel colours can help. When we say pastels, we mean greens and blues and theme the nursery a certain way.
  • Create chill spaces. Children are always on the go and if you want to make your home child friendly you need to look at what you need from your house and apply it to your children. For example if you need somewhere to sit, relax and chill out, the chances are very high that your children want the same thing. Creating a separate space or a zone for them to be able to do this can involve something as simple as buying a couple of beanbags and placing them in an unused nook or corner. Add a bookshelf and you have a reading nook.
  • Carve out safety zones. Giving children their own space such as a playroom or a rumpus area where they can build, craft, paint or draw is a win for everybody. It keeps all of that creativity contained in one space and the key to creating a successful child only space is storage. A tiny unit with separate boxes for craft products or toys can really make tidying up a breeze. 
  • Add nature throughout the house. If you have plants in your home, not only will you be providing a great source of oxygen, you’ll have a positive effect on your children’s minds. Nobody can help smile when they see large flowers or brightly coloured tulips around the house, so create that colour for display and your children will feel happy and welcome in their own home.

  •  Build out the backyard. You need to create somewhere that you can encourage outdoor play and that means considering the elements that you could introduce to the backyard to make it a fun place to be. If you have the space, you can access things such as a Wendy house or a treehouse, a sandpit and a paddling pool – safely contained – a swing or even a climbing wall. Even if you only have a small garden, you can make it bright and inviting with the help of a blank fence and some paint. Add some chalkboard paint and some treated timber and you can have that very own up wall outside.
  • Childproof it. You don’t need to put covers on the sockets on the walls because that can activate the electricity flows, but you do need to childproof the area so that if any children trip over there not going to do themselves any long-term damage. Make sure that you have furniture elements that children can use, such as smaller beds and easy to reach storage, and at steps and the correct toilet seat for each bathroom so they can wash their hands and feel safe on the toilet and confident when they go.
  • Build a fort. Children love to hide away and a makeshift tent with sheets, pegs and soft Chezz can be set up very quickly in the corner of a room. If you have cushions, beanbags and soft blankets for them to play with, you might find your children playing with their toys there or even taking a nap. Children need to feel safe and the containment of a fort can do that.
  • Give them their own bedroom. If you have the room, give your children their own bedroom so that they can build into it themselves and feel like they own their own space. When you put your children in their own bedrooms, they can create a sanctuary that’s their own. If you don’t have the space or you can’t upgrade your home, consider making sure that your children are in a space where while they share a room, they still have their own space within it.
  • Add their art. Children often come home from childcare centres or school with a project that they have worked very hard on. Adding that to the bedroom walls or a special wall in the home gives you something wonderful to look at and it could give them the encouragement that they need to continue to bring those things home to you.
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If you’ve ever watched Death in Paradise, chances are you’ve longed to spend a tropical evening on the edge of the water at Catherine’s Bar, gazing out over the sands and sipping a cold beer. Sure, if you were in Death in Paradise you’d also be looking over the case files from a baffling murder in a locked room but let’s be honest, that’s only going to add to it isn’t it?

Well, without wanting to make you too jealous, take a look at me, just this week…

The River Shack

Right?? It’s basically Guadeloupe. Except that it’s actually the River Shack at Stoke Gabriel, near Totnes, in Devon. I know, isn’t it gorgeous? We were even sat on a shack style patio. I just needed Catherine to saunter over in one of her long dresses and big hoop earrings and offer me a rum and I could have been there, about to crack the case.

I’d never been to Stoke Gabriel before but I’d been doing some research into dog friendly restaurants in Devon and was lured by the River Shack photos and also the promise of an ancient tree in the village churchyard that can grant wishes if you walk backwards around it seven times. View Post

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how to add space to a home

With house prices increasing at an annual rate of 11% and average rent hitting record highs across the UK, this is probably the worst time to consider moving to a larger space. If your current home is cramped, you surely must do something about it, but this doesn’t necessarily mean moving.

Whether your family has outgrown the house or you’re feeling squeezed in the current space, there are changes that can provide extra storage and free up some room for your expanding life.

Convert the loft

Renovating your loft can add both storage and value to your property. You can turn it into a home office, an extra bedroom, or a playroom – there is a whole host of loft conversion ideas to try.

You might simply wish to fit extra storage by adding wardrobes and dressers for out-of-season clothing, bookshelves for books you’re hoarding, and a buffet for glassware you don’t often use.

Is your credit score holding back your plans? Consider a bad credit loan alternative if you need to increase the budget. Just remember to factor in the repayments.

Shake up the garage

Not only is the garage great for storing seasonal decorations, but you can turn it into an entirely new room. Build your home gym or a recreational chamber where you can keep all the noisy equipment, such as gaming consoles, a cool sound system, TVs and a treadmill.

If you’re hoping to turn the garage into an investment, transform it into an Airbnb with its own entrance. You can also make it your home office to be able to focus better. Whatever your family needs, your garage can be used for a plethora of purposes.

Multifunctional furniture

If you’re unable to create new rooms, invest in a few pieces of multifunctional furniture. Think coffee tables with drawers, daybeds or futons, modular sofas, storage ottomans, and bunkbeds with storage.

You can browse online or go shopping for creative multifunctional pieces – from convertible chairs and stackable beds to floating desks and mirrors with shelving.

Hidden storage

Organising the spaces available in your house can help get the most out of your wardrobes, drawers and cupboards. Use dividers in your drawers, add hooks and hangers to your wardrobe’s doors, use hanging shelves inside the closet, and keep shoes in plastic stackable crates.

As kitchens are full of things, it might be easier for it to get messy, and you don’t want to waste cooking time looking for a spice or a utensil.  Arranging your kitchen cupboard can make it easier to find things and tidy up after preparing food.

Boxes and bags can be put away under the bed or over the wardrobe, and why not use that awkward space under the stairs to store cleaning tools? Hidden storage can help manage clutter and clear up some space for movement.

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If you’re looking to turn your passion and hobby into a business, then there are certainly worse fields to go into than photography. There are many different types of photography businesses to make your way in. Whether you work as a wedding photographer, portrait photographer, product photographer, or you sell photos to online websites and publications, you need to make sure that you’re equipped to run it like a business and not like a hobby. Here is how you can start making that evolution.

How to set up a photography business

Ensure you have enough to invest in the setup that you need

As a photography business, you have to ensure that you’re able to produce professional quality photos. Aside from your own skills, this might also mean ensuring that you’re working with the best equipment. Investing in a good camera setup, lenses, and the other photography equipment you need is a must. So, too, is working with high-quality image editing software such as Photoshop. As such, you might need to think about how you’re going to acquire the funding necessary to create the business that you operate, which might involve saving up enough money or applying for a loan. Make sure that you have a set budget to get the business up and running as well as a business plan to outline how you’re going to make it profitable.

Find your niche

We’ve already looked at some of the different specialties you can find your role in as a professional photographer. There’s nothing to stop you from adopting more than one specialty either, but it’s a good idea to have a main genre to serve as your niche. A unique selling point can be very helpful in reaching specific sets of customers, so offering your services as a more general photographer is not always the right path to take. Advertise yourself as a specific kind of photographer, whether it’s a sports photographer, property photographer, landscape photographer, or otherwise.

Bolster your niche with special services

Depending on the type of services that you’re offering, you can also make sure that you’re able to offer services that others do not, with services and equipment that might be specific to your business. For instance, if you’re providing landscape or scenic photography services, then equipping yourself with a drone (and getting a license to use it commercially) can help you take photos that ground-bound photographers simply wouldn’t be able to. Similarly, if you offer product photography, then having your own studio space and props that you can use to stage your photoshoots can help you offer a lot of convenience to your customers. Think about your main niches and what you can invest in to make sure that the client is more likely to choose you than others.

Protect the tools of your trade

Anyone who invests any amount of time or money into photography can tell you that it’s an expensive path to follow. The camera and lenses themselves cost a pretty penny and, as a professional, you may rely on lighting and staging equipment which costs money as well. Losing that equipment even temporarily is going to hurt, but if you have no financial protection for it, it’s going to hurt a lot more as you will need to buy replacements. Making use of services like photography insurance can at least make sure you’re not left in the lurch. You don’t want to be left having to pay immediately for replacements and, indeed, you might not be able to afford to, so insurance can ensure your business doesn’t have to halt while you get together the money you need.

Ensure a high-quality website

Of course, regardless of the quality of photography that you offer, you’re going to need a way to show your clients what, exactly, you can do. Your website is going to be one of the main tools when it comes to marketing online. You should consider working with industry specialist website designers, choosing those who have experience in creating websites specifically to showcase your photography. It’s important that your website accurately explains the services that you provide, as well. A lot of your clients aren’t going to have any experience of working with a photographer before getting in touch with you, so it’s a good idea to outline what, exactly, they can expect.

Build a portfolio worth showing

If you’re looking to seriously start running a business that’s built on your photography skills, then it should go without saying that you should be able to demonstrate those skills with a wide range of photos that you have shown before. Make sure that you carefully put together a portfolio that shows off the relevant skills to the services that you’re offering. For instance, if you’re offering wedding photo services, then you should try to make the most of your portfolio relevant to weddings. As you get more work, you can use your past photoshoots as the main convincing factor of your skills, but you should already have a full portfolio before you’re trying to sell your services to anyone.

Don’t be idle in promoting your business

One of the best things about a photography business is that you produce a product that is inherently easy to look at and attention-grabbing, providing that you are good at your job. For that reason, you should be taking advantage of the visual draw of your business and use social media as one of your main promotion tools. Aside from allowing you to share your work directly with your community, social media also enables those who like your work to share it, expanding your reach significantly if you’re able to hit the nail on the head with your photography. Of course, social media should not be the only promotional tool you make use of, but it can be one of the most important ones nowadays.

Keep it safe

The photos that you take are more than just a product that you sell, they are the lifeblood of the business. Not to mention, they are the property of both you and the client, which you can’t share without their permission. As such, it’s essential to make sure that you invest in any security measures necessary to stop anyone from accessing the photos you take without your permission. Keeping your photos on Cloud servers that can only be accessed by password can ensure that not anyone can reach them, while also making it more convenient for you to access them when you’re out and about.

Foster good word-of-mouth

While you are hopefully going to be finding plenty of business through effective marketing and advertising, one of the best branding tools that a professional photographer can have is good word-of-mouth. If you have a client that is especially happy with your services, you should encourage them to share their feelings about your business on social media or with friends. You can even incentivize this with things like discounts on future photography services if they can successfully introduce their friends or family to the business. It’s not just the photos that matter, for that reason. Your level of personal service and professionalism when handling clients are important skills to work on, as well. A rude photographer can be more of a hassle to work with than a bad one.

The tips above aren’t going to guarantee you immediate success as a professional photographer, but they can certainly ensure that you don’t make many of the mistakes that can hobble others that have tried to make it before you. Start implementing the tips above today.

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One cost that many of us deal with, often without even thinking much about it, is that of the mobile phones that we carry with us each and every day. However, with the recent costs of living, many of us have had to go back to create a budget for the family, and no costs can be left out, including our phones. So, what can you do if you’re worried you’re paying too much for your phone? Here are a few examples of ways you can cut your costs.

Save money on mobile phone

Do you need a contract at all?

Of course, the first thing you should ask yourself if you’re looking at getting a new phone contract, is asking yourself if you should be on a contract phone in the first place. Contract phones tend to lock you into certain payment plans which might not suit everyone. You should make sure to compare them with getting a Pay-as-you-Go SIM, which can be a little bit more flexible. If you use your phone’s data and calls frequently enough that you would be topping up more than £20 a month, however, there is a good chance that you could get a better deal on contract than sticking to Pay-As-You-Go, but it doesn’t hurt to try it out, at the very least.

Shop around instead of sticking with just one

One of the biggest issues in the phone contract market is that people tend to believe that their loyalty is going to be rewarded by sticking with certain phone providers. There’s no denying that you can occasionally get exclusive deals or offers from a smartphone provider that you have been with for a long while. However, the honest truth is that you can tend to get better or at least equivalent deals from new providers who offer incentives for customers to switch with them. What’s more, the rewards they give are never going to outweigh the economic benefits of getting a better contract for yourself. As such, you shouldn’t stick too closely to the idea of being a loyal customer. Shop around and shop using your head and the numbers, not your heart.

Be careful with data

One of the aspects of phone use that people tend to get upsold on, a lot, is the inclusion of data in your contracts. It’s a lot easier to see and understand how many minutes we take up through calls than it is to understand how much data we use. As such, a lot of phone contract suppliers will tend to offer much more data than you’re making use of. If you do things like listening to podcasts online, posting Snaps, or other travelling web activities on a regular basis, you’re not likely to need more than 2GB of data. You can even check your past data use in your phone’s settings, so make sure that you’re not paying for way more data than you tend to use on any given month.

Mobile phone money saving tips

If you got a good phone, keep it

A lot of people do look at the moment when you switch or upgrade contracts as an opportunity to get a new phone, as well. Sometimes, this can be an economically sound decision, if your older phone is beginning to become a lot less efficient, you can upgrade to make sure that your device stays useful. However, even if you do upgrade, it shouldn’t always be to the newest generation of phones. You can get significant savings by hanging back a generation or two. Of course, you can save a lot more with a no credit check sim only contract. You can keep your old phone, but make sure that you’re getting a better deal on how you use it.

Don’t automatically buy insurance

One of the biggest conundrums when trying to save money on your phone is the question of whether or not it’s worth shelling out to buy insurance for your phone, which is typically upsold by the phone contract provider. The truth is that the answer is not always a clear cut “yes.” You want to make sure that it’s affordable, yes, but you also want to make sure that you are aware of any exclusions the policy has, meaning reasons they can say no to giving a payout on a claim, as well as how much you might have to pay in excess if you use the insurance to claim a new phone. Sometimes, the excess can cost more than opening up a new contract with a new phone.

Avoid upselling in general

It’s not just insurance that a phone salesperson can try to encourage you to spend further on. Most of them are going to try and upsell you one way or another, whether it’s with some kind of ongoing deal or with accessories that come with the phone. If there are any that truly sounds interesting to you, don’t be rushed into it, take the time to look up the prices online to see if you can get them for cheaper. Otherwise, be firm in saying no, even if the salesperson is being very friendly and polite.

cheap mobile phone deals

Bill when it best suits you

It’s not just about the costs of the phone bills that you should be thinking about, but how you manage them as part of your greater finances, as well. If you have had trouble paying your phone bill in the past, then when and how you pay it might make as much of a difference as how much you are paying. For instance, it might help you to schedule your phone bills to come out at the same day of the month as some of your other bills so that you’re able to get it all out of the way at once. Direct debiting your bills can also ensure that you don’t forget to pay them.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

Whether you’re hoping to stick with your current provider or you’re making the switch to another one, you should always keep in mind that they’re a lot more likely to be able to offer some wiggle room in their contracts than they tell you upfront. You’re not always going to be able to haggle them from a higher price, but you should at least make the effort. This is especially true if you’re negotiating with your current provider, since phone companies tend to make the most effort when they’re trying to retain a customer that’s likely to leave them. If you’re doing so, then you should try to negotiate closer to when your contract is ending, as well, so that the threat of you leaving is a lot more imminent.

Mind your overseas tariffs

Just like with your data, you should think about how you really use your phone and how your usage contributes to the costs of your phone tariffs. If you practically never use your phone overseas, then it might not make a lot of sense to take a more expensive deal that, in turn, offers lower overseas tariffs. However, if you travel regularly, then you should pay a little more to make sure that you’re saving on your future tariffs. Given that there’s no legal guarantee in the future that more phones aren’t going to introduce roaming charges for people leaving the UK to visit the EU, you have to think about how and where you travel a lot more, as well.

You need to figure out how you make use of your phone and ensure you get a contract that allows you to meet your needs cost-effectively. Hopefully, the tips above help with that.

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Organizing a maternity trade show can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and execution, it can be a successful and rewarding experience. 

Here Are Some Tips To Help You Get Started:

1. Define your goals and objectives. 

What are you hoping to achieve by hosting a trade show? Do you want to promote new products or services, generate leads, or build brand awareness? Once you know what your goals are, you can start planning how to best achieve them.

2. Choose the right venue. 

The venue you select will play a big role in the success of your event, so choose carefully. Consider factors such as location, accessibility, size, and amenities when making your decision.

3. Set a budget.

Once you have chosen a venue, set a budget for the event. This will help you determine how many exhibitors you can afford to have and what type of marketing and advertising you can do.

4. Create a marketing plan. 

A well-executed marketing plan is essential for generating interest and attracting attendees to your trade show. Use a mix of traditional and digital marketing tactics to reach your target audience.

5. Secure sponsorships. 

Sponsorships can help offset the cost of hosting a trade show and also provide valuable exposure for your sponsors. Identify companies that align with your brand and reach out to them about sponsorship opportunities.

6. Plan your exhibit space. 

Once you have secured a venue, it’s time to start planning your exhibit space. Map out the layout of your booth, taking into consideration traffic flow and sightlines. Make sure you leave enough space for storage, signage, and displays.

7. Choose the right trade show displays. 

The right trade show displays can make a big impact on your overall success. Choose high-quality, eye-catching displays that accurately reflect your brand.

8. Advertise in advance. 

Start promoting your trade show as early as possible to generate interest and excitement. Use a mix of traditional and digital marketing tactics to reach your target audience.

9. Stay organized.

Keeping track of all the details associated with your trade show can be overwhelming. Instead, create a master list of tasks that need to be completed and delegate them to various team members. Use a project management tool to help keep everyone on track.

10. Offer incentives.

Having a Spin Wheel for Trade Shows or offering incentives, such as discounts or freebies, can help attract attendees to your booth. However, make sure the incentives you offer are relevant to your target audience and align with your overall goals for the event.

11. Staff your booth properly. 

Your booth staff plays a vital role in the success of your trade show experience, so choose them carefully. Look for individuals who are outgoing, knowledgeable, and passionate about your brand.

12. Follow up with attendees. 

After the trade show is over, take the time to follow up with attendees. Send them a thank-you note or email and invite them to stay in touch for future updates.

In Conclusion

By following these tips, you can ensure that your maternity trade show is a success. With careful planning and execution, you can achieve your goals and create a positive experience for all involved.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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As a young adult, buying your own apartment is a very exciting and freeing step. You are stepping out of the nest and stepping into the real world. However, we understand that it is not exactly an easy-on-the-pocket thing to do. Especially as a young adult, it is extremely difficult to afford just buying an apartment and paying the utility bills. In this case, you would have to cut down other expenses; furniture being the first one. 

The best thing to do is to get furniture items step by step. Buying loads of furniture at once may not be suitable as it is a big expense and will leave your savings account empty. It is advisable that you buy furniture items one by one, as you save money. This way, your finances will not be that affected. 

Furniture Items That Should That Should Be On Top Of Your List.

However, furniture is something you need for a comfortable living. You can always buy home décor and the things you wish to have with time, but some furniture items are a necessity more than a wish. Hence, if you have decided to buy furniture items one by one, here is what needs to be on top of your list. 

Bed 

First things first, you need a bed. This is something you just can not negotiate or compromise on since a comfortable bed is something you need when you are studying and working to make ends meet. Comfortable sleep is what you need to give you an energy boost for the next day. 

To save money, you can buy a double bed frame from Vidaxl to get premium quality frames in a vast variety at a good price. Get a bed frame that matches the theme you have decided for your room as your bed plays a vital role in deciding the aesthetic of the room. 

Sofa Or Couch 

Second on your list should be a couch or a sofa. A sofa or a couch is essential for your living room. After a long day, you would want to crash on a fluffy and comfortable couch and have your dinner while you watch TV. It is a significant contributing factor in your living room so, make sure you get a durable couch that matches with the colour scheme of the living room. 

Coffee Table 

A coffee table is a must-have for a living room. Your living room is just incomplete without a coffee table. It is a need that adds up to the aesthetic of the room and makes the room more lively and vibrant. A little glass vase on the coffee table, and there you go. 

Dining Table And Chairs 

Next, a dining table and chairs are something you should get your hands on as soon as possible. The good thing about it is you can choose the seating arrangement by choosing the dimensions of the dining table. Get comfortable dining chairs from Vidaxl at an affordable price. You will find a vast variety of them which will allow you to be creative with the aesthetic you choose. 

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