Category Archives: Tutorials
My 3 steps to getting unstuck:
1. BRAIN DUMP
- First clear your mind of mental clutter in order to be able to function correctly
- Set timer & complete NCD Brainstorming Worksheet
2.DECIDE & ACT
- Sift through your list and decide on up to 3 tasks.
- Set timer and work for 33 minutes, Take a 6 minute break
- Rinse & Repeat
3. REWARD & CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
- What’s something you could reward yourself with today ?
- This doesn’t have to be elaborate – could be a COFFEE or a new book /stationary, Longer Hot Shower, To go somewhere nice to have lunch. Sit out in the sun for half an hour for lunch break. Take the dog for a walk or the kids to the park after work etc. Simple things.
– Create mental space to process:
Brainstorming Exercise / Brain Dump – Clear the mental clutter:
Things you’ll need:
- Timer – You can use your phone or actual timer
- Either our NCD Brainstorming Worksheet or just a piece of paper
- Pen / writing apparatus
Let’s do this! BRAIN DUMP
Print out a few of your worksheets or grab a few pieces of paper and write 1 to 10 down the side.
Set your timer to 5, 10 or 15 minutes and once you turn on the time proceed to write out as many ideas as possible until that time stops – DO NOT STOP WRITING until the timer goes off.
The purpose of the activity to to write down ANYTHING that comes up in that timeframe. It doesn’t have to be solely business. Your ideas DO NOT have to be thought out or coherent. Just get them down on paper.
It could be :
- Must order stock,
- Book an appointment,
- Do the dishes,
- Call Cynthia about XYZ,
- Feed the cat.
- Ideas for content for your blog
- Business ideas..
ANYTHING that’s holding space in your mind.
Once the time goes off – take a minute catch your breath, and check out all of the notes you’ve put down. Even if you completed this for several days; you could potentially come up with 100s of ideas to work through. Granted not all of them are going to be usable or practical but it’s now clear space in your mind.
– Decide & Take Action:
What can you start working towards today?
Things you’ll need:
- Timer – You can use your phone or actual timer
- Your completed NCD Brainstorming Worksheet or notes from step 1.
Let’s do this! DECIDE & ACT
Take a look down your list. What 3 TASKS can you start working on today?
Note – If there is nothing on that list that’s worthwhile working on. Rinse and Repeat Step 1 – Brainstorming “What can I work on today?”
Write down your 3 TASKS so you’re clear on what it is.
33 Minutes On and 6 Minutes OFF
Your brain works in funny ways and we’re wanting to harness it’s capacity. You focus better when you’re on a timer and you know that you’re working towards a goal.
Our goal today “How much can I get done of Task 1 / 2/ 3 in 33 minutes.
Obviously you can repeat this process multiple times for each task. But it’s having a structure to follow that delivers results.
WORK TIME – 33 Minutes GO GO GO!
- Set your timer to 33 minutes.
- Leave your timer where you can see it.
- Get stuck into the work you need to do for that task.
When the timer goes off its BREAK TIME!! Well done for sticking to your agreement.
BREAK TIME – 6 Minutes GO GO GO!
Now reset your time to 6 minutes .
Go do something physical:
- Go get a coffee.
- Go to the bathroom.
- Walk outside.
- Take a breather.
When the timer for the 6 minutes is up. Head back to the office. Start again.
RINSE AND REPEAT :
- WORK TIME – 33 Minutes GO GO GO!
- BREAK TIME – 6 Minutes GO GO GO!
– Reward yourself / Acknowledge your efforts:
Celebrate your wins! Be proud of yourself – Enjoy your reward.
Even if you DIDN’T get everything finished today. Even if you only worked through 1 or 2 task on your list. The mere fact that you showed up and followed through with your decision and took action is AMAZING. You totally deserve your chosen reward and you should definitely celebrate your wins!!
If you did take action today we’d love to hear about it. We have dedicated FACEBOOK GROUP for like minded business owners and we’d LOVE for you to share your news!
Natalie Crowe Designs Business Support Group on Facebook
If you’d be interested in discussing your options for Business Mentoring or getting some assistance with your website and online presence please feel free to pop us a message via the CONTACT US page, add us to skype: NatalieCroweDesigns OR instant message our Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/nataliecrowedesigns
Your website is one of the primary tools your prospects use to connect with you.
So you want to ensure that it is running at it’s best.
We all go over our content to make sure the text is well written and engaging, however we often don’t consider the SPEED and how long it takes for a user to actually load your page. Speed is super important in this instant gratification world.
With Google being the most popular search engine, we tend to primarily look to google as a basis of testing.
And Google offers a range of neat tools to help you test your website. One of these tools Google Page Speed Insights allows you to key in your website address and it will come back with either Low, Medium or High ranking for Page Speed Optimisation along with a list of improvements needed in order to meet Googles requirements.
We encourage our clients and prospects to run their website through this test in order to know where to improve.
To do this:
1) Visit : https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
2) Type in your website address
3) Review your results.
If your website isn’t in the Green chances are your website is in need of improvements.
If you’d like to discuss these improvements feel free to contact us
Wix is a great starting platform for any business. However WordPress offers a better a long term solution for business owners wanting to grow and improve their presence online.
In order to migrate from WIX to new WordPress setup you’re going to need to do some ground work to prepare yourself. There isn’t an actual conversion tool that does this migration for you cost effectively. Most often it’s like going to be a case of recreating the foundations in WordPress and whole lot of copy and pasting.
Setting Up Your Development Platform:
Whilst you’re rebuilding your site you’re going to want to have a domain name or website address to build your website with. Domain names are cheap in the grand scheme of things, you can pick up a basic domain for under $25 a year. Once your site is developed and you’re ready to go live, you can move your actual business website address over to the new platform. – I emphasise here you’re not going to lose it . We just need to get the process started so you can start building and the most efficient way to do that is to just purchase another domain name.
Second to your development domain name, we’re going to need to setup website hosting. Your website hosting is a purchased online storage space for the files and resources related to your new website. With your WIX website the hosting was included in the free or purchased account you had there.
So now the decision maker:
- What domain name will you choose?
- What hosting package will you choose?
- Which domain and hosting provider will you choose?
Many of our clients have SITEGROUND.com accounts setup. Siteground is a domain and hosting service you can buy products through. For this walk through I am going to use my links for specific siteground products however you’re free to choose whichever platforms you feel comfortable using.
Choosing a domain and hosting package:
1) Register a Domain
Go to https://www.siteground.com/go/ncddomains and type in the domain name you’d like to purchase for the development. You’ll see a heap of different options and prices so pick and choose which one will be the best for you and then click “add to cart”.
2) Next we’ll choose a hosting package.
If you click on the direct link is here: https://www.siteground.com/go/ncdhosting it’ll load recommended WordPress hosting packages. You can then click Add to Cart on the relevant package you’d like to purchase.
3) Lastly for this component, we’ll process the cart and configure your account.
Follow the prompts to complete your purchase. You’ll likely get an email in regards to your new account and how to login to your control panel to manage your new SITEGROUND account.
4) Login & Install WordPress
Login to your new hosting environment. If you’re using SITEGROUND there is a free installer for wordpress, however if you’ve used another hosting platform you’ll need to locate the installer inside your hosting control panel. Once you’ve found the installer. Install WordPress on the ROOT level directly so just on “/” not in a folder. We don’t want to make our links any longer. You can pick whatever theme you want – if it gives you the option to choose a theme here, as we can always change the theme later on.
5) Configure WordPress:
Once installed – You can configure the overall wordpress installation.
Some important Tips:
Go to SETTINGS > Permalinks and set to use “Post Names” and click SAVE
Go to SETTINGS > Reading and tick the ” Discourage search engines from indexing this site” so that your development site doesn’t come up on the search engines straight away. We’ll untick this when we go live.
6) Next you’ll choose and configure a theme.
Go to APPEARANCE > Themes and explore the range of “free” themes from the theme options, or you can purchase / install other things from external locations. You can configure the theme as you like.
7) Add your page structure-
Initially these will just be the place holders you’ll populate the content later.
Go to Pages> Add New Page and add the name of the page and leave it empty pages. Click Publish.
Go to the “Add New” button now located at the top of the page or go back to the side menu and click Add New under pages and repeat the process for each of your page.
7.1) Tell wordpress which is the homepage and which is your blog page.
Go to SETTINGS > Reading and select “the homepage displays as STATIC” set the Homepage to you new homepage and the posts page to your blog page.
8) Create the primary menu – now you’ve created the basic pages we’ll construct a menu.
Go to Appearances > Menus and create your primary menu
Tick the page names on the left and add them to your menu.
Tick the “Primary Menu” box often found on the bottom righthand side. of the screen – to tel the theme to use this menu as the primary menu.
9) Install / Activate / Configure Relevant Plugins:
Go to Plugins and you’ll want to go through and install any relevant plugins you’ll need for your website. In most cases there will be very similar plugins needed. We’ve included some samples you may consider installing if relevant these include:
♦ Woocommerce – Online Store plugin,
♦ Updraft to enable to you to make backups off the site.
♦ Yoast plugin for optimisation .
♦ WP Maintenance Mode – Creates Maintenance Mode page so the public can’t see your development.
Depending on the plugins you’ve chosen to install there is often some sort of configuration for each of the plugins required. Configure these the best you can and then we move onto migrating the content.
10) Copying your content:
Work your way through each page copying and pasting the content from your old site to the new site.
To do this go to Pages > Open the page you’re working on. You’ll need to copy over the content from WIX.
Photo TIP :
I’d suggest going through and saving copies of your images to directly from your WIX site and re-uploading them to your new site. To add photos to your page you’ll need to go to the “Add Media” button and upload files .
If you have blog posts, you’ll need to complete this process for those posts on separate blog posts.
There are plenty of other things you could do with your website configuration but this should give you a solid foundation moving forward.
Transferring your domain name from Wix:
The WIX website actually has step by step instructions here on how to transfer your domain name from their services. However the basic steps include:
- Login to the WIX website.
- Go to the “My Domains” page.
Note: If you have more than one domain in your account, select the relevant domain.
- Click the Advanced tab.
- Click Transfer away from Wix.
- Click Send Code.
This will trigger an EPP code which you’ll use to transfer your domain name over to another domain provider.
Best of luck and we’ll post further instructions and step by step resources moving forward.
Take a professional product photo from home using your phone!
As someone who completely values the work and efforts and talent a professional photographer has in order to create the masterpieces that they produce, it’s also beneficial to try and keep costings down when you’re just starting out in business. Professional product photography can often be expensive and is something we often don’t have the needed budget to have every product we create professional photographed.
Although we don’t have tangible products so-to-speak, we do have ample clients who do, and who struggle with getting crisp professional images without the need to book in a photographer each time they release a new product. It’s not practical. Being able to take professional looking photos of your products at home would not only be a great skill to have but it will improve the enticement levels of clients to want to purchase your product – simply on how it looks!
This is where, the wonderful “youtube”, can play a major part in the learning process. By simply going to youtube and typing in what you want to know you will literally find hundreds of video tutorials, keying in “DIY product photography” or “Product Photography Tutorials” will bring up ample videos to get started.
Below you’ll find one of the many I’ve watched that seemed to have the most relevant information and for businesses with small scale products this would be fantastic! All of those soaps and candles, jewellery and more.
IPhone Product Photography Tutorial At Home:
Check out the video; it uses:
►a white box,
►3 desk lamps,
►and a piece paper.
How easy is this!!
Webinar: Sell More Online with Great Product
Photography (eBay and Etsy)
10 Product Photography Tips
This video contains more complex tips… for those who have camera with fancy features
Visit our facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/nataliecrowedesigns
I found this great video on Rapid Planning Method (RPM)
One of our wonderful facebook fans (TONI) has just brought this to our attention. For those who may be interested. The link below is a webinar looking at the fundamental principles of income tax deductions that apply to all businesses and the tax treatment of different deductions, including depreciation of assets.
1. Start off simple.
Utilise the FREE tools available
List your business on free listing sites, – (From memory) yellow pages has a free listing option, truelocal has a free listing option.
2. Start a Facebook page – If you’re not sure how. Seek someone who can.
3. Get yourself a Business Card.
Most business use Vistaprint as a foundation – they have starter cards for as little as $30 for 250 cards delivered (may change since time of post) using one of their designs populated with your details – (Although, if you’re an established business – I’d recommend steering away from Vistaprint designs and creating your own identity – having a card designed , as there are thousands of businesses using the same designs. This is ideal as a starting point.
If you’re crafty enough, you could also make your cards. You can create business cards in some of the Microsoft Office Programs and make some yourself. Print them, decorate, if you can get hold of a laminator this may be another option. They are not as professional – but an option.
4.Hand out business cards when meeting people.One for them and one for them to pass on.
5.Leave cards at local establishments – Business Enterprise Centres, Preschool,Sports groups, Pin them on the notice board at the shopping centre.
6.Make a brochure – Make a list of what you offer, if you can help it put photographs or samples of your work and leave tear off strips for people to take, leaving these on notice boards in the local community.
7.Pass your brochure around often!
8.Sponsor your local school.
Donate your services or products, or ask what’s involved to get in their newsletter
9.Do a mailbox drop
I found a DL sie (1/3 A4 Page) brochure or even 1/2 A4 page works well.
For a little ink, time on the computer, and a bit of persperation to walk the neighbourhood you could find your next big client.
10.Setup a website – as a web business we know that having a website is important, there are freebie sites you can setup, To read about the Benefits of having your own website and Free or Cost effective places to get one
11.Start a blog. – A blog is an abbreviation for “Web Log” – Almost like an online Journal for your business – Although you don’t have to keep it so personal that you’re telling everyone what you’re having to eat for breakfast every morning ( may be appropriate if you’re a personal trainer or health guru – but otherwise)
12.Volunteer your time/skills services in exchange for Testimonial/Reviews or Service
13.Talk about your business, your passion and your interests.
14.Send out a mailing list
15.Attend a market and talk to prospective customers
16.Go to events where similar businesses are or prospective customers are likely to be and interact with them, see how things run, get a feel for what it’s like.
17Ask some in your industry for advice, support or mentorship
18.Sponsor events that your target market are likely to be at – Enquire how much it would cost to be a sponsor and what’s involved. If it’s not do-able right now put it in the – possibilities in the future box.
19.Create signs and place them locally. – Trip to hardware store for Corflute Boards, Poster paint – Permanent Markets and some patience to write a quick message.
20.Add your business contact details to your email footer.
After being approached by several clients in the last few weeks we’ve been researching the best way to solve the following situation:
“Hi Nat, I have an existing website that I setup with vistaprint. I’ve got and email address using the website address (domain) in addition having the website address on all of my business cards and advertising material, so I really don’t want to lose the website address, but I am not happy with my website. What other options do I have? is it easier just to start a new website? Thanks Mel ”
There are a few options:
Starting from Scratch.
You can get a brand new 5 page information website for $600 including:
– Purchase and Setup of a new website address (Domain),
– Website Hosting & Editing Software for 12 months (Online Storage for files related to your website and an interface to edit your website)
– Custom designed layout to suit your business (overall appearance of your website)
– 5 webpages e.g Homepage, About Us, [Custom page 1], [Custom page 2], Contact Us
– basic contact form (your prospective customers can fill in online for that send enquiries directly to your designated email address)
– basic search engine optimisation (help your business get found on the search engines)
– and the ability to edit your site yourself
– and a how to Tutorial on using the system
We also offer email hosting for $60 a year ($5 a month)
you’ll get a
webmail access and ability to set your email on your phone, or computer
via most common email programs.
Requesting VISTA PRINT release your domain name (website address).
We recently contact vista print with the following email:
” How would I go about transferring my domain to another service provider? I have branded my business including my cards with the domain registered with Vista Print but would like to use my domain with an alternative service Kind Regards Nat ”
Vista Print Reply today:
We have received your request
to transfer your domain name you have registered with Vistaprint to another
registrar. Vistaprint can release the domain to you, but you must transfer the
domain to a new registrar. The transfer deadline is the anniversary date of when
you signed up for it on.
Please read the information below. If you would like to release the domain to
you, please send a confirmation email and we will add your Domain Transfer
Package to your Shopping Cart. Releasing the domain will not cancel your current
website or business email address. To cancel go to My Services, then Account
Information and follow the self-cancellation path.
The domain registry requires that your domain name has been registered for at
least 60 days before you can transfer it to another registrar. This is industry
protocol, not a Vistaprint requirement.
The general process is as follows:
- Release Payment: Pay an administrative fee to release the domain name from
Vistaprint. The cost is $29.99. You are purchasing the right to the name, not
- Email Instructions: Once we process your payment for the release, you will
receive an email with a user name and password for OpenSRS and transfer
instructions. The following are the two main steps to transfer the domain.
- Contact Information: Go to https://manage.opensrs.net and update your
contact records using the user name and password in the email you received from
Vistaprint. Make sure to update all contact types (Administrative, Technical,
and Billing). Vistaprint will remain the Organization Contact until the domain
is completely transferred. All email communication from Opensrs will be sent to
the person listed as the Administrative Contact.
- Unlock Domain: Go to Domain Locking and make sure domain locking is
- Authorization Code / EPP code: For com, .net, .org, .info, and .us domain
names, you will need a code for the new registrar. It can be found under Domain
Additional Instructions: Follow any other instructions sent to you
by email from OpenSRS.
- Contact Information: Go to https://manage.opensrs.net and update your
- Transfer to New Registrar:
- Contact Information: If you haven’t done so already, sign up for a new
registrar and domain transfer at the registrar’s website.
- Nameserver Information: Get the nameserver information for the new registrar
and go back to OpenSRS and enter it under Manage Name Servers.
- Additional Instructions: Follow any additional instructions they send by
- Contact Information: If you haven’t done so already, sign up for a new
Transfer the domain to your new registrar as soon as possible. If you don’t
transfer before the domain expires on the anniversary date when you signed up
for it on , your domain will become inactive and you’ll have 30 days after the
expiration to complete the transfer process before your domain name goes back
into the pool where another person can take it.
We hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to contact us if
you have any further questions.