WordPress How To – An Easy Recipe to Follow

RecipeWordPress .org is the main ingredient for your new website. Once you have that, you are in business. Well, perhaps I should stay you have taken the first step in starting a business. You can start your website before you ever bake a cookie that you want to sell. You can start right away, now is a great time to just do it. Don’t worry, I am going to help you. I told you we are in this together.

I am going to give you the directions, make videos for you, make simple recordings, make screen shots, and whatever else I can think of. It will really help me if you have questions to post them in the comment section. That way I can help you understand the things that are confusing. I am not going to go into coding, I am not a coder, and you don’t have to be either.

Hosting

I mentioned before that I recommend Bluehost. I use it myself, and have been happy with their product and service. Above all, I value the cPanel it uses. All the screenshots and videos I am making will be based on Bluehost. You can choose another hosting [Read more…]

WordPress Administaton Panel is Key to Building YourWebsite

WordPress requires you be able to click a mouse, learn a few things about the toolbar, and be able to write about the things you know a lot about. Sure you have to learn how to use it, and it can be very advanced for those who are techies. That is what I love about it. I belong to a WordPress Meetup. I have attended “WordCamp” two years in a row. I am learning a lot, but in comparison with the developers and coders, what I know about fills a thimble in comparison to them.

But, it doesn’t matter. I do the basics and learn along the way. The great thing is, that is what a lot of people just like you and I are doing. In the meantime, they are connecting with the world and looking professional to boot. Better yet, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. So, last time I showed you how to navigate the basics of using a cPanel with Bluehost to download WordPress. We left off with the administration panel after you downloaded WordPress.  I know you may have been frustrated with that. After all, I got you all excited, you were able to download WordPress and you automatically had a website-boom. [Read more…]

Cottage Food Laws are Making Bakers Dreams Come True

Cottage food laws are taking the nation by storm. They are long overdue, and could help many people get the small business of their dreams get started. Recently South Carolina has joined the ranks of the states with Cottage food laws on the books. Watch this video to hear from one excited baker who is seeing the beginning of a life long dream come true.

If your state has cottage food laws you could be able to get your business started too. These are exciting times for bakers, but I really want to encourage you not to just fire up your ovens, but your computers as well. You have to do more than just bake if you are going to run a business. You need a solid business plan. Now I know that might make your eyes glaze over, I know mine did. [Read more…]

Making Money Online is Hard – Until You Learn the Fundamentals

Online marketing often promises quick riches with little effort. I have not found that to be true. I don’t usually do a lot of promotion or advertising for others, but when a good deal comes along, I like to share it with others. One of the best resources of trustworthy information about how to market online is NAMS. That stands for Niche Affiliate Marketing System. They have two large training sessions in Georgia every year, but also have a huge library of information and weekly training for a reasonable price. I just want to introduce you to who they are.

The real reason I am adding this post is that today I got an offer that I wanted to pass along to anyone that is interested. It is offering a huge discount to anyone who orders by July 2 and uses the code : Celebrate. It is not the NAMS semi annual seminar, but  ten separate classes from people who really do make money online and know their stuff. And they are really good at over delivering. That is one of the things I appreciate about NAMS. I know most of you want to make your money centered around baking. Having another way to make money just makes it much easier to achieve your goals. You are right, this is sort of like a short commercial. 😉

This is just a quick post. When I saw this deal, I just wanted to share it with my readers in case anyone is interested and can benefit from it. If this is not for you that is great too. Please feel free to read the other posts about baking and business.

When Starting a Business…….

Danger signs for your businessBusiness advice is crucial, but be careful. I would be the last person to tell you to just go it on you own. You definitely want to learn as much as you can from the experts. That said, understand that sometimes the experts have an agenda that is different from yours. This sounds jaded, but believe me, sadly it is the voice of experience.

I took all the classes, educated myself as much as possible. Unfortunately, I was so eager to get started, that I neglected to pay attention to what the advisers had to gain. Of course you should expect that you need to pay people for consulting with you, but you should make sure that once you have paid their fee, they have no other motivation to steer you down a certain path.

In my case, I was in a program with other women in the start-up phase of  business. After you completed the classwork, you were assigned mentors to help you continue down the road of business start-up. One of my mentors was a bank employee (are you seeing the bright red flag) and the other was an accountant.  I just saw them as nice people who were kind enough to help me.  The truth of the matter was they were looking for new customers, and the advice they gave was much more concerned with what they had to gain then what I had to loose.

Starting a Small Business is Risky

One of the things you need to understand is that when you  sign a lease or take out a business loan, you are personally guaranteeing that the loan will be repaid. It may seem that that is an insult to your intelligence, but lots of people think that the business stands on it’s own to win or loose. That is not usually the case, if your name is on the contract, you and your assets are on the line. Yep, that could mean that you are using your home as collateral. Do you see what I mean about risk?

I am not trying to scare you out of starting your dream business, instead, I want you to possibly re-evaluate how you might get started. Start small, don’t quit your day job until you are already replacing your income, or you can at least cover all your bills with the income you are generating with your business. I know that is not what you want to hear, I didn’t either. I paid dearly for that mistake.

Because I have been in business, people wanting to start a baking business frequently ask me questions. I don’t mind that at all, [Read more…]

Growing a Business – Is It a Good Choice for You?

Growing a Business is Hard WorkGrowing a business is hard work. It is the goal of most people who start a business
in the first place. Many entrepreneurs have lofty goals of a wildly successful business
resulting in bulging bank accounts. Does that sound familiar?

I have to admit that I fell into the trap. I prided myself in the fact that I took classes from before the very beginning on how to run a business. I mentally convinced myself that just about anyone knew more than me. I was regularly attending classes at the women’s business center and the class was focused on this very question.When do you decide to grow.

The philosophy of the teachers was that a business is an independent entity and must be allowed to expand as demand grows. I suppose in some ways that is true, but if you are the owner, I personally think there are some decisions you need to make very early on. Sure, everyone dreams of the possibility of being the next Mrs. Fields, but is that really what you want? Do you want to run a mega business with multitudes of employes, buildings, equipment and liability?

It’s is your business, keep your priorities in mind.

Well, in those classes, people are encouraged to shoot for the moon. The problem for a lot of people is that we simply want to be [Read more…]

How to Start a Business Baking from Home

Start a BusinessStarting a baking business from home is a dream a lot of us who love to bake, share. As a result, the dream of starting a business using those passions is something we hold as a “someday” dream. At least that is the way it started for me. It took years of prompting and encouraging from others who wanted more ready access to the breads and rolls I made.

When I finally decided to “go for it” I took some classes, wrote a business plan, filled out the appropriate paperwork for the state and local officials, and headed to the bank. Now I recommend most of the above, except for the last one. I really  don’t recommend heading to the bank, but starting really small instead. Let your business finance itself, believe me, having a huge loan on your shoulders is a heavy burden to carry. It takes a lot of the fun out of business ownership.

Back to the ready to go for it part. The passage of Cottage Food Laws is making it easier for the start up of home based baking business. To get started, you need to find out what the laws of your state dictate. First you have to determine if you can bake at home. Then you need to see if you need a DBA which is a “Doing Business As” which basically assures that no one else is using the name you have chosen for your business. Next you want to consider the type of business you want to be, meaning are you going to be a sole proprietor, an LLC, an S Corp, or a C Corp. There is liability involved with most businesses, and you want to protect yourself. That said, don’t go overboard with this, because it is expensive and involved to set up a C Corp. Get good advice from a qualified professional.

Smart Businesses Protect Themselves

I know that in the beginning resources are limited, believe me, I understand. The thing is, ask questions like how much real risk are you taking with a small micro business, and can you change your legal structure as you grow? Can you cover yourself with an umbrella insurance policy and be okay? I don’t know the correct answers, because it depends on your situation, and the laws of your state. I will tell you that we went way overboard, and paid way too much.

You also have to find out what the rules about collecting sales tax are required by your state. You may need to get a tax id. I know it is a pain, but sales tax is a reality in many states. The good news is that a tax id allows you to purchase from vendors the general public does not have access to.

Set up a business checking account that only is used for the business. Give your business a start up loan to open the account. From that time forward, only use the business money to pay for the expenses, and don’t withdraw from that account for personal stuff. Then what is left in that account is profit after all the expenses are paid, and remember, your salary is an expense that has to be paid. That is the way business works.

Uncle Sam Wants His Share

Set aside a percentage for taxes from the beginning. (You might want a separate sales tax account to make sure that does not disappear, Uncle Sam does not look kindly at waiting for his money). You will have sales tax and income tax liability. As far as income tax, a rule of thumb is to set aside 25%. Check with your accountant to get accurate advice on that.

I know that just the mention of all the business set up is a hurtle for many of us. The reality of it is that if you truly want to be a business owner, you have to put on your business owner pants and get with the program. No one likes it, but it should not be significant enough to be a deal killer. If it is, then maybe it is a sign that business ownership is not a good fit.

I know, that all sounds really complicated, intimidating, and harsh. It is paperwork, you need to understand the basics to protect yourself, but search out good professionals who can help you/ Find a good entrepreneur class to walk you through the basics. You computer can find most of the information you need to get started, but don’t forget the power of asking questions for the departments you need to work with. Taxpayers pay the salaries of the various government departments, and they are willing to help you if you just ask.

Another great resource is SCORE

Those people have been in the trenches and know what they are doing. The best part is that it is free and can really help you get started on the right path. I can help you with day to day running your small baking business, but my advice is to get started on the right foot by setting your structure up correctly. As you walk this path, I am here to encourage you and help you in any way I can, so please leave comments and questions and we can have a conversation.

 

photo credit : fivequidexpert

Lynn Terry Started A Buzz About WAHM’s

Bake at HomeBoy, there is sure a controversy going on about groups that are gender specific, and work at home moms groups in general. Lynn is a guest blogger on their site and she stirred the pot for sure.The basic recap is that many have the perception that many of the WAHM sites lack professionalism. The common complaint is that frequently it is a gripe and gossip fest. In addition to that, many seem to have an abundance of ads touting  work at home opportunities that are real scams.

I have to admit that I know what they are talking about. I am not quick to jump on the band wagon with many of them. I just don’t have the patience to sift through so much useless information in search of a needle in a haystack. I am not a fan of contests and coupons, you follow me and I’ll follow you offers, and tons of information about retweets that have been retweeted a bunch of times.

I am a mom who has worked from home for a lot of years, and when you are doing that, your time is at a premium. You have your family who needs your time and attention, but at the same time, you have a business that also needs your time and attention. For me, my in home licensed commercial kitchen was the perfect solution. I worked while my family slept and while the kids were at school, I made and delivered breakfast and lunch to corporations. By the time the kids were home from school, I was done for the day and available to my family.

It was hard work, but it was so worth it. You see, my primary focus was my family. I was not looking for professional accolades, or a generous paycheck. I worked to supplement my families income, and that is why I did not need to grow the business a lot. If I had done that, it would have demanded more of my time than I wanted to devote to it. As the kids grew, so did my business because I could afford to dedicate more time to the business, and our household expenses increased. My business was perfect for our family needs. When we needed more income, I worked more.

One of the temptations that stay at home moms struggle with, is determining what amount is enough for the time being. Getting caught up chasing money so you can buy more useless stuff seems attractive, but in the end, time with your family is like sand in the hourglass, and you don’t get a do-over when it comes to time with your family.

You can set the perimeters for what your family needs by working on a budget. I personally love Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey is able to put using a budget in such a sensible and usable format. That way, you can determine what your financial needs are at the time, work hard to achieve those goals, and then enjoy the rest of the time with your family. Then when your needs change, you can readjust your budget.

Do WAHM groups help you?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the benefits of sites or groups that just focus on WAHM’s. I talk a lot about working at home, and I am a mom. I do hope however that everyone feels welcome here, because my primary objective here is to talk about some alternatives that people who would like to generate income from home have. I talk a lot about baking, because I have done that for a long time.

But as I have gone along, I have added to my repertoire. You can do that too. You are here reading my blog, well, I have worked hard to understand how managing the website works, and specifically  how to use WordPress. We can all learn to do new things, so what you decide to do at this time in your life does not have to be forever. That is not to say you should hop from opportunity to opportunity. Building a business is hard work and takes time. Work hard and persevere. In a few years you may transition into a different career and that is great, just don’t be seen as a business hopper, people won’t take your business seriously if you do that.You can determine what your specialty is, how much money your family needs, and then go for it.

You can read the article here.

Even Small Businesses Need a Website

WordPRessWebsites and the use of Social Media are a must have for any business, no matter how small. The fact of the matter is that having a
websites gives your business credibility. It lets your customers to get to know you, and it provides a place for your to strut your stuff. You are good at what you do, let the world witness it when you educate the world about what you do.

You may be thinking that as a startup, you have no need for a site, but I would encourage you to think about it again. Today, everyone is online, and if you neglect to create your presence there, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities. Now if you are not a big fan of technology, you may cringe at the thought of having to have a website, afterall, learning HTML & CSS is a whole new language to learn, and for some of us, one language is plenty.

I have great news for all of you tech lovers and those of you who are brand new to the the world of technology. You don’t have to be able to use HTML to build a website, and it is so simple, you can do it yourself . For the newbies, you may need to use some tutorials, but there are plenty out there to watch. I have learned so much of what I know simply by searching for tutorials online. In additon, there are great courses you can pay a fee for to help you with a website buildout.

Build Your Website in a Day

That may sound impossible to you, but I promise you that you can do the basic website in a few hours. Heck, installing a site takes only a matter of minutes if you have the right web host. I have two that I use and like both of them. The first one is Bluehost and the second is MomWebs . Both of those hosts use what is called a Cpanel, and that makes installing your website really easy. I guess I am getting ahead of myself, because I did not mention that I recommend you use WordPress.org

WordPress is what I am using for this site, and the other sites that I own. I have to tell you that a couple of years ago, I could never have believed that I would be building and managing my own website, to  say nothing of several sites. I hope you will believe me when I tell you that installing WordPress is done with just a couple of clicks of your mouse.

Once you upload WordPress to your hosting company, you are up and running immediately . Here are the basic steps you follow when you want to create your site. The first thing you have to do is decide the name of your business. Then you purchase your hosting, it is usually sold by the year or multiple years. After you have purchased the hosting, I recommend that you purchase you domain form them. So first you buy your hosting, then your domain name.

The reason I am recommending that order is that if you purchase your domain name from your hosting company you can install WordPress immediately. If you purchase it elsewhere, it takes a couple of days for your website to become active. Domain names are competitively priced, so it really doesn’t matter much.

Once WordPress is installed, you will be given a user name and password along with the link to login. As soon as you do that, you are  visiting your site for the first time. Then you can get about the business of actually building it. I know that can be intimidating, if you feel your are technologically challenged. Because of that, I will offer a webinar that you are welcome to sign up for. In it I am going to walk you through how you can start to build your website.

If you have installed WordPress, you can follow my example and build your site right along with me. If you have not set up your site yet, you can just watch and see how simple it is to use WordPress. If you are not comfortable installing WordPress, no worries, I can help you with that. Just send me an email and I will help you so that you can participate in the website webinar.

 

Recipe for Frozen White Bread

The mention of homemade bread gets everyone excited. Serving it  hot out of the oven will delight your family and win you accolades. . That’s great, but we all know baking bread takes time. With this recipe,you can spend some time making the dough and freeze it to bake later.

I had a question about whether you can freeze bread dough? The second part of the question was if you can, how do you do that. If one person asked the question, I decided that there are others who would like to know about how to make frozen bread as well.

Make Bread the Easy Way

If you want freeze your bread dough you mix the dough as usual and then after a  short rest, form it into loaves, and pop it into the freezer covered with saran wrap just until it freezes hard. Then you take each loaf out of the pan and put it into a plastic freezer bag and keep up to four weeks.

When you are read to use it, put it in a greased bread pan, let it rise, it may take several hours to rise and thaw. Once it has risen, put it in a preheated oven  (350 degrees) and bake about a half an hour. When light brown, brush with melted butter and bake about another five minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

I want to let you know that not all recipes freeze well. I will post other freezer recipes for you to try. I would love to hear what you think. I also want to let you know that I welcome your questions and comments. If you have a favorite recipe you would like to share, please let me know that and I will share yours here too. Enjoy

Recipe for Frozen White Bread

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