You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2009.

Increasingly, more and more people are working from home.  Many small business owners operate from home, and employers are encouraging staff to do the same.  There’s no doubt there are huge benefits: no more sitting in traffic jams wasting hours every day … a cup of coffee when you fancy one … and of course no expensive office rent to pay.

But working from home doesn’t suit everyone.  If you’re not disciplined, there’s a danger you won’t get any work done and, if you’re used to being in a busy work environment, it can be a very solitary existence.  So what can you do to make sure working from home is a positive experience?

1. A dedicated place of work

If you’re going to work from home, the first thing you’ll need is a dedicated office space.  You might already have a study, or a spare bedroom you can convert.  Perhaps you can create some space in the attic or even a home office in the garden.  The important thing is to have somewhere you actually ‘go to work’.

OK, some people can be disciplined working at the kitchen table or in the sitting room with the TV on, but they are in the minority.  Even if it’s just walking up the stairs or up the garden path, physically going to your place of work will help your mindset.

2.  Don’t paper-shuffle!

There are hundreds of distractions for anyone working from home.  Allowing them to take over your day is the home worker’s equivalent of paper shuffling.

There’s no problem with hanging your washing out if it’s a fine day.  But if you then decide to mow the lawn, clean the car, or watch the golf on TV, you could be on a slippery slope!

3.  Educate your family and friends

Not everyone understands the home working concept.  If your friends and family are guilty of just popping in because they ‘were just passing’, nip it in the bud!  They wouldn’t be able to visit if you were working in a formal environment, so don’t encourage day-time social visits.  And, no matter how much pressure you’re subjected to, make sure all your family and friends know you’re not the unofficial babysitter, dog walker, or personal shopper, simply because you’re at home during the day.

4.  Plan your days

Working from home isn’t an excuse to sleep late, take 3-hour lunch breaks, or knock off early!  If you do that, you’ll never be a successful home worker.  On the other hand, you have to know when to stop too.  Working from home can mean you’re ‘on call’ 18 hours a day, but like everyone else you need to take time out.

The answer is to plan your days.  Set your working hours and keep to them.  If you take an extra long lunch break one day, make up the time by working another half hour in the evening.  If you burn the midnight oil one night, take some time out the next morning.

Sit down each morning and write yourself a list of things to do that day.  Prioritise them, and tick them off the list as they’re completed.

If you’re a workaholic, you’ll need to plan in some leisure time too.  There are always going to be times when you need to work in the evening or early morning, but don’t overdo it.  If your phone always rings when you’re having dinner, let the ansaphone pick it up – that’s what its there for!

5.  Overcoming loneliness

If you’re used to working in a busy environment, the home worker’s solitary life-style can be a bit of a shock.

While social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can help and allow you to communicate with others from your desk, they do have their drawbacks.  If you spend too much time on these sites, your work will suffer.  You can overcome this by planning the time you spend on social networking each day, so you reap the benefits but don’t damage your business.

Business networking events are great for home workers.  Obviously the objective is to meet other people and ultimately increase sales, but they are also a good social opportunity and will get you out of the house on a regular basis.

If you are working alone at home, it’s important to engage in some out-of-hours social activities.  This might be a visit to the local pub or going to the gym for a workout, joining some social groups, or perhaps attending evening classes.

Get it right, and working from home can be a fulfilling experience.

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

Team Attitude at Altitude (www.twin-peaks.co.uk), the four women who are aiming to raise £20,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer by trekking up Kilimanjaro, have received more pledges of support from local Oxfordshire businesses.

Kidlington-based Cherwell Graphics will be printing the Team’s promotional 2010 calendar: Chaps for Baps.  The calendars will be printed in October and will be available for sale online through the Team’s website http://www.twin-peaks.co.uk.

In the current economic climate, Deb Hunt and her fellow team members recognise businesses need to benefit from supporting good causes.  As one of the benefits to business sponsors, Bloxham Mill Business Centre near Banbury has offered to host a networking event in September 2010 before the trek.  This will give all the business supporters an opportunity to see the Team off and network with other sponsors.

In addition, businesses sponsoring Team Attitude at Altitude will be given a listing on the ‘Corporate Sponsors’ page on the Twin-Peaks website.   Sponsors pledging £1,000 or more will also be listed on the other four main pages of the website.  Cash donations can be made online, and anyone wishing to support the Team with gifts in kind can download a ‘wish list’ from the website.

Team Attitude at Altitude’s website, which is sponsored by Chipping Norton Internet marketing company WEB-right, went live on 13th August.  The site has attracted nearly 350 visitors from across the world in its first 5 days.

Deb Hunt commented, “The website has made a huge difference to our appeal.  It is particularly good to be attracting support from the business community and we’re working hard to give our supporters something back.  We’d have a lot of emails from well-wishers and potential supporters.  A company in Florida has even offered to help with some of our trekking kit!  I feel confident we’re going to achieve our £20,000 target.”

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Notes to Editors

Team Attitude at Altitude is the name given to four women supporting the work of Breakthrough Breast Cancer: Deb Hunt, Annemarie Smith, Helen Taylor and Audra Selley.

The Team will be taking part in a 9-day trek up Mount Kilimanjaro on the Rongai Route, the hardest ascent, to raise £20,000.  To date, the total raised is £4,711: 24% of target.

Team Attitude at Altitude’s website (www.twin-peaks.co.uk) is sponsored by Chipping Norton company:  WEB-right.

For more information, please contact:

Joy McCarthy
Tel: 01608 642845
enquiries@word-right.co.uk
http://www.word-right.co.uk

Deb Hunt
Team Attitude at Altitude
Tel: 01869 340850
Mob: 07527 229739
Email: debs@twin-peaks.co.uk
http://www.twin-peaks.co.uk

No matter what your business, there is a good chance you’ve been asked to sponsor a good cause.  I’m not talking about the odd £10 to sponsor a marathon runner, or your PA’s five-year old doing a sponsored silence at school.  I’m talking about the requests for serious money, goods or services.  Next time you’re asked for support, don’t dismiss it out of hand.  Stop and think … what’s in this for me and my business?

A powerful marketing tool

Sponsorship of a good cause can be a powerful marketing tool.  It puts you in touch with prospective customers who might not have heard of you otherwise.  You are perceived as a ‘good egg’ and someone who is prepared to ‘give something back’.  If the good cause is well organised, you can reap other rewards … listings and links on websites, and on promotional materials and advertising.

As a company, WORD-right is very much in favour of sponsoring good causes.  I take the view that, while a cash donation might help, offering our copywriting, Internet, and marketing skills can bring far greater benefits.

Chippy Lido Auction website a success

WORD-right and WEB-right recently created the Chipping Norton Lido Auction of Promises website, which was very successful.  The auction, with Jeremy Clarkson as auctioneer, was held in July.  Although the site is still live, our input won’t be needed for a year.  This meant our ‘sponsorship time’ was free and we were looking for another good cause.

Climbing Kili for breast cancer

Team Attitude at Altitude raising money to fight breast cancer

Team Attitude at Altitude raising money to fight breast cancer

We recently heard of four women, based in Middle Barton in Oxfordshire – Team Attitude at Altitude – who are planning a trek up Kilimanjaro in September 2010.  They were selling advertising space on the back of a promotional calendar and had some good newspaper coverage.  Their goal is to raise £20,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.  One of the team, Deb Hunt, was successfully treated for breast cancer in 2008.  Since then she has become a very pro-active fundraiser.

Sponsors of Twin-Peaks website

WORD-right and WEB-right offered to build Team Attitude at Altitude’s website FOC, and help raise their profile in the community with Internet marketing support and PR. We pulled out the stops and the website (www.twin-peaks.co.uk) went live in just a week.  In that time we also set up their blog and the template for an email newsletter.  In just the first day, the site attracted 120 visitors and more offers of help and support.  Within a few hours, the girls’ appeal had prompted a blog posting from the ‘other side of the pond’.  You can read the post here.

Does sponsorship work?

So the big question … does sponsorship increase business?  WORD-right’s answer is a resounding ‘YES’.  Not only does it generate enquiries, you are perceived to be active in the community, and it increases your business network.  But apart from all that, it’s fun!  We’ve had a very busy but hugely enjoyable week so far and already made a lot of new friends along the way.

If you’d like to get involved and use sponsorship as a marketing tool, pop along to the Twin Peaks website and take a look at their wish list … there’s still plenty more you can help with.

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

The Banbury Guardian article about Team Attitude at Altitude’s trek to Kilimanjaro in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, moved Chipping Norton Internet marketing specialists, WEB-right (www.web-right.co.uk) to offer its support.  The company has pledged to create a 7-page website, complete with professional copywriting, to help spearhead the Team’s fundraising efforts.  The website, www.twin-peaks.co.uk is expected to be live by Friday 14th August. 

The Twin-Peaks website will provide information about the Team’s fundraising and training, the work of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and sponsors’ details.  In addition, the site will contain a live link to the Just Giving online donation page, and visitors will be able to sign-up to receive regular newsletters from the Attitude at Altitude team. 

The site is being created by WEB-right’s director, David McCarthy.  He describes the website as being “very pink, fun and funky”.  All the copy is being written by fellow director, Joy McCarthy, who heads the company’s copywriting team.  The website will encourage people to organise fundraising events by providing PDF downloads of fundraising ideas, sponsorship forms, and Gift Aid forms for UK tax-payers. 

Joy McCarthy of WEB-right was employed in the charity sector for several years in the 1990s.  She has given the Team some advice on fundraising and marketing themselves, as well as helping promote their appeal online.   She is also using her networking contacts to help generate support for Team Attitude at Altitude amongst local businesses.   

Joy McCarthy comments, “When we saw the article in the Banbury Guardian, we had to help.  In recent years 4 friends of mine have died of breast cancer – all of them in their 30s and 40s.  It is a devastating disease.  Our skills lie in helping companies market themselves on the Internet, and exactly the same methods can be used to help Deb Hunt and her team’s fundraising appeal.  We’re enjoying working on the Twin-Peaks website and it’s great to be involved in fundraising again, especially for such an important cause.”

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Notes to Editors

WEB-right (www.web-right.co.uk) is based in Chipping Norton and provides websites and internet marketing services for small and medium-sized businesses. 

WEB-right is a trading name of IDEAS-right Ltd.  The company also trades under the name WORD-right: the company’s professional copywriting division.  Director Joy McCarthy is a qualified copywriter and is a tutor with the Institute of Copywriting

WEB-right recently sponsored the website for the Chipping Norton Lido Auction of Promises held in July this year.  The site attracted nearly 2,000 visitors in the 2 month run-up to the auction. 

Team Attitude at Altitude’s website will comprise of 8 main pages:

Home
About the Team
About Breakthrough Breast Cancer
A Corporate sponsor page
Fundraising events
News
A picture gallery 
Blog

PDF downloads will be available to help supporters raise money for the cause.  A ‘holding page’ is currently showing at www.twin-peaks.co.uk

The website URL, www.twin-peaks.co.uk was selected as a play on the subject of breasts.  It also represents the two challenges faced by Deb Hunt and her team: the raising of £20,000, and the training and endurance needed to undertake the trek up Kilimanjaro. 

For more information, please contact:

Joy McCarthy – Director, WEB-right
Tel: 01608 642845
Mob: 07880 980095
Email: joy.mccarthy@web-right.co.uk
www.web-right.co.uk

Deb Hunt
Team Attitude at Altitude
Tel: 01869 340850
Mob: 07527 229739
Email: debs@twin-peaks.co.uk
www.twin-peaks.co.uk

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