Happy New Years All! Another 365 days to make our dreams and goals
come true. Time to get clear on what you want to achieve and how you’d
like 2019 to look for you.
Write it down…. setting that intent or a general direction – even just for right now… will aid in finding your next steps and guide you to your next right step for you.
So many of my mentor clients get stuck on “not getting it right” or “not seeing how they could possible get to their big goals from where they are today…” the main thing is to get started. What do you want? How can you move closer to that.. even if it’s baby steps, your next right move will appear just in the nick of time.
You’re not locked in!! You can choose and choose again!! So by all means, through-out the year, change direction, grow and evolve, YOU ALWAYS HAVE CHOICE but at least make a start to moving yourself from where you are to where you want to be today…
I too, am on this journey with you, I’ve got some massive goals I’d like to reach and I’ve set milestones to hit to move me towards that this year. Things I’ll be focusing on include:
- producing more websites,
- working with more of you through business mentoring to support and grow your business
- and being more present in our online and offline communities.
As always, I LOVE to hear what you guys are up to and I can’t wait to hear about your plans and progress through-out the year. So feel free to jump onto our Natalie Crowe Designs Facebook Page or visit our Contact Us page for more ways to get in touch.
2019 is going to be another amazing opportunity to move you in the direction you want to be. I plan on making 2019 my best year yet!
If you’re in need of any assistance with your websites or perhaps you’re wanting some additional business mentoring or support feel free to contact us Natalie Crowe Designs via our facebook page or website to book in a Skype Session in regards to your goals and plans for your business.
Have a great week everyone!!!
Whilst we’ve only been in the office since the 3rd of January, we’ve been working with a number of clients to get their websites ready for launch. This month we’ve just launched three new websites. These include:
- Rebrand and migration of the 2019 website for Andrie Designs
- New development for Richmond Vale Railway Museum
- New development launch for NSW Street Rod Committee
Screenshots of the homepages of those sites below:
Andrie Designs – Detailed sewing patters for professional results:
NSW Street Rod Committee – Supporting Rodding for 40 Years:
Richmond Vale Railway Museum – Preserving the railway & mining heritage J & A Brown and the Hunter Valley
Contributions to the community:
$1000 Donation to Richmond Vale Railway Museum – coming February 2019
Each year Natalie Crowe Designs supports a number of worthy local causes with donations of time and funds. Much like the past 10 years, we’ve shared our skillset and contributed to supporting the Hunter Valley. This year 2019 we’ve jumped right in and put our money where our mouth is. We ARE here to help!
We’ve contributed $1000 donation to Richmond Vale Railway Museum with the cheque for $1000 being drawn at the end of January and to be presented to the Railway Museum expected in early February.
Aspect Paver Sponsorship:
Whilst Natalie Crowe Designs is already a Strive For Autism Committee member, Natalie Crowe Designs has jumped on the bandwagon to help support the Autism Spectrum Australia – with paver sponsorship going towards Hunter First Autism Specific High School. We’re proud to have been a part of this process and provided contribution to a much needed resource in our community.
We’re your friends in the business who genuinely want to see you succeed! Contact Us Today to discuss your options or to request a FREE Quote.
BACK TO SCHOOL – MEANS YAY!!!!
We’re back to work full time!
With the end of January coming to a close, we’ve been tying off the loose ends of what has been an exceptionally busy January developing website for clients in the Hunter Valley, Australia.
Although much humor came from conversations through-out social media – with many of our clients and members of the Facebook groups we’re a part of – calling for January to be dubbed “Free Trial Month” for 2019.
It seems there are quite a few of our fellow work at home parents; particularly here in Australia with the 6 weeks Christmas Holidays, feeling the pinch of change of routine, others just haven’t quite managed to get started or build moment.
Natalie Crowe Designs on the other hand – has been quite the opposite! With NSW School Holidays finishing up tomorrow; 30th of January, and our not so little bundle of joy heading back to school, we step into an another amazing opportunity to help as many clients as possible with their websites and strengthen the support and presence our clients have, and Natalie Crowe Designs is returning to fulltime work in the office.
So with that in mind we’re letting everyone know we’re taking new clients in as of 1st of February!
- Do you need help with your website?
- Perhaps your website needs a little TLC?
- Natalie Crowe Designs offers affordable website help & mentoring
- Contact Us Today for a FREE quote
We’re your friends in the business who genuinely want to see you succeed! Contact Us Today to discuss your options or to request a FREE Quote.
Improving a new client’s existing website:
In September this year we had the pleasure of communicating with the lovely Ruth from Ruth Crawley Beauty.
Ruth had contacted us in regards to her existing website wasn’t performing well on the search engines. We took some time to review her situation and see how best we were able to assist her.
We noted that although her site did have some optimisations in place it wasn’t drawing enough attention on the search such as Google & Bing.
Evidence of this was shown when you couldn’t type in any of her service names followed by broader area locations for example the “Hunter Valley” or “Maitland” opposed to her actual suburb of her Beauty Studio Heddon Greta, Heddon Greta is only a short drive from Maitland or the Hunter Valley and Ruth’s business wasn’t coming up.
We started working out the best way to improve the situation. We need to add more content connected to Ruth’s site that the search engines could explore that details more in regards to her services and also helped her strengthen her presence online.
Web Design & Content Strategy:
We decided to implement A BLOG, DEDICATED SERVICE pages and implement some SKYPE MENTORING & TRAINING.
- BLOG – short for Web Log – it’s like an online diary for your business.
Whilst you don’t necessarily have to write your content from a personal “Dear Diary” type scenario. However due to the competitive nature of the beauty industry and the ability to add new content in the form of a blog post, targeted to the type of information that your prospective clients are going to want to read – answering questions they have and demonstrating your wealth of knowledge is truly valuable.
- Some of Ruth’s recent blog posts include:
- Dedicated Service Information Pages – Individual pages with dynamic content added
Clients could then easily share that particular service around via the link or even just key in the search engine the name of a product or service and the service area for example if they were looking for Micro Skin Needling Hunter Valley or Microdermabrasion Maitland chances are these dedicated pages are more likely to show up.
- Business Mentoring & Training via SKYPE
Although Ruth is only a short drive away from my office in Abermain, the convenient of being able to jump on an program on our computers or phones and have a quick chat, video call, share files and my favourite feature – share screen we’re able to do so much more. Share Screen allows you to connect with a Skype user and they allow you to view their screen or you can share yours. We used this amazing tool during training or to walk you through how to address an issue – ie completing a tasks you’ve not done before or solving problems that are coming up for you. It makes it 100% easier, more cost effective and the turn around time is cut down to a 1/4.
Ie Ruth needed to know how to do a particular task or reiterate something we’d discussed in our last mentoring session, we quickly connected via Skype and I was able to walk her through the process. It’s pure genius! And I LOVE the feature.
Ruth Crawley Beauty Studio provides professional beauty services for the Hunter Valley including Heddon Greta, Maitland, Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.
These services include: Micro Skin Needling, Microdermabrasion, IPL Hair Removal, LED Skin Healing, Manicure & Pedicure, Oxygen Therapy, Spray Tans Services, Facial Therapy, Waxing Services & Peel Treatments
By appointment only.
Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
Late appointments are available Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
EFTPOS is available.
For appointments phone:
0438 279 099.
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
Hello there lovely,
Nat here, I just thought I’d stop by the blog and do a little heart to heart post.
It’s 1:52am on Thursday morning.
I’m writing this whilst the thought is fresh in my mind. Armed with an Ovaltine Hot Chocolate embracing the early hours of the morning – some find it strange, but it’s my optimum working time and most uninterrupted creative period and to be honest when you work with clients all over the world. You adapt to difference in timing.
I’ve actually been busily working through my ideas on how best I could help others…
Whilst I am working with a heap of clients at the moment… I want to help more… I want to do more… I want to support more people…
I’ve been in business for 10 years and I’ve worked with 100s of business owners to improve and grow their businesses over this time.
I have worked with all types of businesses, all types of business owners and all types knowledge and experience.
From business owners who have absolutely no tech experience, through to those who are competent, and all the way back to the experts who just don’t have time to work on their websites and grow their presence.
I spend a great deal of my time working with and mentoring / training individuals on how to get the most out of their websites. How to get their target market’s attention and to cope with those changes.
Change is inevitable but accepting it is another story… I help my clients cope with change.
I honestly LOVE the diversity that my business brings…
Some days I’ll work with corporate clients… it’s very structured and formal in how we operate.. Whilst my style of support doesn’t change, it’s shaped more specifically around collared shirts, procedures and structure.
Other days I’ll have Skype mentoring with clients who grab a cuppa and have chat around what’s happening for them… what goals are they trying to achieve and how we can use the technology in front of them to grow and strengthen their business.
My line of work is SO diverse… Websites are great… I love being able to build infrastructure behind a business. The ins and outs of how it all comes together and how much of an impact it makes… not only for the client, for their family, their clients and the community.
However more often than not, those clients who are regular clients, come to me with the obstacle of needing a website or having a website they’re not happy with… and are looking for more in their website designer – more support… more guidance and more connectivity than just being a number to some big corporation…
I LOVE the fact that I AM able to offer that Down To Earth connection and support myself and my family whilst I do something I love..
I LOVE the diversity, I LOVE how I’m able to work with so many varied experiences. That looking past all of the stereotypical focus on presentation and “this is what business looks like”… You must talk this way, look this way, act this way to be socially accepted. Which is WRONG….
When it boils down to it… Most home based businesses or business start-ups began from humble beginnings..
Each business owner at one point or another said ENOUGH is ENOUGH…. taking their own story, their own experiences and their own gifts to impart in the own hands and doing something about it.
I can tell you right now… That’s NOT how it works.. diversity and difference is a wonderful thing and I find my clients become very comfortable with the factor, I’m honest, realistic and no frills…
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the corporate ladder and still can “kick it” with the formal business… but I know damn well that my super customers or customers who generally mesh well; with me and my personality, are business owners – who aren’t fixated on what stereotypical business looks like…
However they ARE wanting genuine support, guidance and someone to hear them out, hold the space and help them work through their obstacles..
I get it… I started my business too from that place. I know what it’s like to have to find means to support your family, keep food on the table and roof over your head. I too got to the point where I said ENOUGH is ENOUGH….
I get it that you’ve got big dreams, I understand you have a whole lot of responsibility and I’m all to familiar with the idea that you have very little time carved out to dedicate to you and your goals….
Whether your challenges consist of any one or more of the following – then I hear you:
- You’re a Stay at home parent – with desires to improve your lifestyle.
- You’ve got a business idea but not sure how to implement it.
- You’ve got heavy responsibilities from family, child wrangling &/or love ones.
- You’re currently only on a single income stream and struggling.
- You’re starting from scratch and wanting help to lay solid foundations.
- You’re unhappy with the way things currently are in your life and want some help moving forward. .
- You’re feeling stuck, you’ve got solid ideas of what you want but not sure how to get there.
- You keep getting in your own way. Knowing what you “need” however get stuck instead of “doing”
- Struggling to make ends meet day in and day out.
- Have an established business but want more from that business.
- Have ideas and goals for growing your business but need someone to support you and provide accountability
- Not supported by those around you and need a sounding board.
- Goals and ambitions for your business and not sure where to start.
At some point or another in the last decade of being in business I’ve been there too, as have many of my existing clients. We’ve together, overcome many of those obstacles and moved towards a much happier, healthier and abundance outcome and I couldn’t imagine my life and my work any other way.
Paws Up… Who needs help with their website or business?
If you think you’d like to discuss your options with regards to your websites and how best to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Please feel free to send Natalie Crowe Designs a message via our Contact Us Page or connect with me us through the various mediums available:
- Skype: NatalieCroweDesigns
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nataliecrowedesigns
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 0423 285 233
Website Migrations Complete & we’re back in business.
Well Hello there!
We hope you’re all well, we’ve been in the office working our way through a wealth of website migrations since our announcement in March earlier this year about our now previous service provider announcing the end of life of their services. Read more about that here.
August 30th we celebrated as we not only finished up all of those migrations and have just completed the migration of our own website over to WordPress as well.
There’s still a few niggles with our own site but we’re working on that inbetween building up a few new ventures.
Natalie Crowe Designs Business Support Group – Find Us On Facebook
This FREE support group has been created by Natalie Crowe Designs to enable members to ask questions and get support in regards to their businesses.
Natalie Crowe Designs is a website design and business mentoring business based in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales Australia. We work with businesses all over the world to build strong online presence and grow their businesses.
The group is a “Closed” group -which means the group can be found on Facebook however the contents of the group conversations is limited to members only. Members are FREE to join and participate.
The aim of the group is to bring together an online community that not only empowers it’s members but acts as a powerful tool and supportive environment.
In addition to member contributions we’ll also be offering our own insight, knowledge and resources, motivational content, tips and tricks that will be supportive of those in our community.
We look forward to hearing from you and sharing as we grow the group. If you know someone who is looking to get a website or needs help with their websites. Please feel free to share this group.
Lochinvar Pet Motel Hunter Valley – New website & Video
Natalie Crowe Designs Pet Boarding Pick – Best Pet Motel Hunter Valley
So it’s no secret that Natalie Crowe Designs has a number of furbabies – 4 dogs and a cat to name a few. However, when it comes time for our Furkids to have a holiday, there’s only one pet motel in the hunter valley we’d take them… You guessed it.. the one the only – Lochinvar Pet Motel.
After the Adobe Announcement which we wrote about a few months ago in an earlier post (Learn more about that here) , Natalie Crowe Designs has been working closely with a 30 odd Hunter Valley businesses to convert their websites from the old Adobe Business Catalyst websites to a new and improved WordPress website. One of those many clients includes our very own Lochinvar Pet Motel.
Along with a fresh new look and feel for the website, we wanted to give LPM’s clients more to interact with. We updated the blog functionality, added in slideshow and changed up the menu structure a little to make things clearer for prospective customers. Whilst the normal right hand menu is still down the side of the page, we’ve included a few new menu items to make finding relevant information as easy as possible:
Lochinvar Pet Motel New Video:
Lochinvar Pet Motel Hunter Valley has just released a brand new video on their Pet Boarding Facilities:
- Finding the right place to board your precious pet is easy when you choose the Lochinvar Pet Motel. Located just 52 kilometres northwest of Newcastle.
- We board dogs of all sizes, cats and kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds.
- Our kennels are of the highest standard and have been designed to ensure your dog is safe and well cared for.
- Our large dog kennel block accommodation has private kennels with heated flooring and ceiling fans and roomy individual runs, which your dog has access to all day long, so they can have lots of exercise and fun as they play with their newfound friends.
- For dogs that need extra space large glass runs are available.
- All dogs are fed a light breakfast and meal in the evening as they would be at home.
- Meals are prepared in our Pet Motel kitchen and served on disposable plates for hygiene purposes. Water bowls are cleaned and refilled daily with fresh water.
- Medication and special foods provided by you can be administered.
- All our guests receive individual attention and handling during their play times to reassure them they are special and loved.
- Cats enjoy floor to ceiling spaces and can be housed in single or double Suites if required and are fed high quality food.
- The staff at the Lochinvar Pet Motel have years of experience in pet care and are dedicated to the welfare of your precious friend.
- Call now to make your booking. 0249307612
You can visit the new website by going to https://www.lochinvarpetmotel.com.au or click any of the links below:
FOREWORD: Business Catalyst IS being discontinued and is scheduled for deletion as of 26th of March 2020. Whilst this DOESN’T affect the majority of our clients, there are a small number of clients in our database who will be impacted and we’ll be working with each of those businesses to complete their migration. Below you’ll find a run down of what we know and your options should you as a business owner be faced with Migrating Business Catalyst to WordPress
Over the last 3-4 years, Natalie Crowe Designs had already moved the majority of our client base over to WordPress or other platforms with the needs for more customised functionality and with our love for WordPress, the development freedom and in general the robust and diverse system, meant that we were able to deliver more for our amazing client base.
Here’s what we know about Business Catalyst “End of Life”
In the early hours of this morning 27/3/2018; Australian Eastern Standard time, Natalie Crowe Designs, like the Hundreds of Thousands of other Business Catalyst users and Business Catalyst partners, received word that Adobe has decided to discontinue Business Catalyst and would be phasing out the solution without offering an real alternative – other then to encourage it’s users find means of migrating to other systems.
This news has sent ripples through the BC community and caused much outrage at Adobe abandoning their partners, their clients and the many businesses that are solely Business Catalyst focused.
Whilst we too feel this process is unjust, as there had been other alternative options for Adobe, “We” as a community have been graced with a “generous” two year window between March 26th 2018 – March 26th 2020 before they will delete all site data related to their systems including any remaining websites / systems who haven’t migrated out of the system.
Below a screenshot of the email:
Much like many of the Partners who allocated thousands of dollars to come on board as a Lifetime Partner, who bought into this system as it was practical and meant users had everything they needs within one interface, with the general consensus that partners are feeling as if they have been left high and dry in this circumstance.
Moving forward, we will be working closely with our current client database as well as implementing measures to migrate / rebuild our own website and future proof our own business, and then reaching out to the BC community to offer services to migrate business catalyst to wordpress.
I will post more on this process later and would encourage everyone to take time to consider their options and work out the best plan of action for their business.
2018 is flying by! We’ve made some massive changes to our business of late in terms of the website packages we’re now offering and we’ve just implemented a new blogging strategy to make our primary website blog – “NCD Corkboard” more enjoyable for readers as well as still offering a heap of information and resources to continue to support business owners. Explore more about this below.
March Already?! Let’s Change things up a bit!
Hey wonderful people!
I can’t believe it’s March already, I know I’ve probably said this a few times in previous posts but I feel like time has flown at a rapid rate.. There are so many things I want to birth forth in 2018 through this amazing little web designer and mentoring business I’ve built over the last 10 years..
Thus far in March, I’ve spent a great deal of time, focusing on identifying my own direction for this year, with my eye on the big things I want to achieve:
- Growth in my business,
- Clarity in my offering,
- Ability to serve more business owners
- and in general be of service.
- To increase my annual revenue ahead of the financial year,
- To fund the lifestyle and renovation budget for my family and for my personal life.
- To growth my knowledge and experience as a business owner.
Whilst working IN my business for my website design and mentoring client, this time spent working ON my business is equally as valuable. Giving me that clarity and insight to move forward in my business. It’s almost as if I’ve spent most of the past 3 months just getting into the flow of business again after new year, and finding our feet for 2018.
So? Why I am changing the way I share content on my Web Design Business Blog?
Over the last few years we’ve written 100s of blog posts whether that be in regards to:
- Website or Business tips and tricks,
- the amazing clients we’ve worked with,
- the various events or work we’ve completed
- and happenings within our business and community since we started blogging in 2011…
However not all of this information is going to be ideal for every user and it’s not always going to be super helpful to have a heap of blog posts that are around solving website problems, or specifically just on WordPress or Search Engine Optimisation etc as the first thing you see when you read my blog.
This goes for all clients, but particularly for new clients – or clients who aren’t quite at that point where this type of content is relevant for them.
It goes without saying, the search engines love the volume of information I share, nevertheless, I’m NOT writing for the search engines… I am writing for YOU… My beautiful business following.
I want you to be able to check in every month and see content you can relate to… I want you to be able to delve deeper into my resources but also not be weighed down by the volume at any one topic as I do tend to craft multiple posts around topics I recognise as more challenging for my clients…
*super hero voice over*
NEVER FEAR!! A SOLUTION IS HERE….!
Instead, as of the time of this blog post, I’ve created a new section of our website which will help provide all of this knowledge and resources I’ve wanted to share with all of you in a way that is not going to clog up the main Natalie Crowe Designs Business Blog. This will result in more enjoyable viewing and give users more freedom to explore our website and enjoy our main blog sharing.
So for the remainder of 2018, I’ll be posting at the end of each month a summary of the month that was, the insights I’ve learned and more… This will come to you via the NCD-Corkbard also known as my regular blog page.
Under the FAQs tab however, you’ll find a second blog, which will contain articles on how to do various tasks, Tips and tricks and more.
I’ll answer commonly asked questions and share insight on functionality, as well as on topics like Search Engine Optimisation, Content writing, Managing your business and marketing your business as well as technical tutorials and any other resources I create that could help others.
This will eventually create a library of information to help you and other business owners make the most of their resources and grow and support their businesses.
I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
If you’ve got any topics or questions you’d like asked feel free to ask them via our contact us page.
Thanks in advance Everyone.