Is A Home Made Business What You’ve Been Looking For?

A Home Made Business might also be called a Lifestyle business. It’s a business that you start from scratch, usually at home. A home made business allows you to work around your kids and family at times that suit you.Why start your own home made business?A home made business might be a way to supplement your income, replace a full-time salary so you can spend more time with your kids, or just to give you more freedom and flexibility in your life. We sometimes reach a stage in our life where we want to work for ourselves and be our own boss.What is the best home made business for you?Think about what you enjoy doing. What do you spend your time on when you’re not working? What do you talk about? What are you good at and what do others compliment you on? If you’re not sure, ask! Ask your friends and family what your skills and strengths are. Their answers might surprise you. You might have a formal education or a senior executive position in a company, but you could be the most amazing party organiser or extremely organised. Use these skills to consider what you enjoy and how you could leverage them for a business. For example, if you’re a great party organiser, think about organising corporate events, children’s parties, or other events or activities locally. If you’re supremely efficient and organised, show others how to organise themselves. Set yourself up as an office or home organiser or show women how to organise their wardrobes.Consider whether you want to work locally. For example, dog walking, party planning, cake making, or other “localised” services. Or are you comfortable working online as a virtual assistant or personal assistant. Online opportunities are endless – you could organise people’s diaries, travel, admin or a myriad of business services depending on your unique skills.Perhaps you’re a great photographer, cook, good with children or animals, event planner, graphic designer, have a great eye for interior design, love sewing and making your own clothes… don’t let your beliefs or limitations stop you from dreaming big.What are the steps in involved in start your own home made business?Start Small. Put aside thoughts that starting a business has to be an expensive or risky venture. Focus on starting a small business from home that you work on a few hours a week and build up slowly. To start with you won’t need a shopfront, offices, staff or expensive machinery or a lot of stock.Test out your market and your ideas. Research your market and your ideas. Find out who else is doing what you do and how they do it. Can you find a gap in the market, or do it better than someone else?Perhaps you can find a specialist niche in your skill set. For example, if you’re a hair-dresser, beautician or aromatherapist, could you offer a mobile service and bring hair, beauty, tanning, nail or massage services to people in their homes?Another huge area is diet, health and nutrition. Have you lost weight or successfully found a way to live with Crohns, diabetes, or enjoy a low salt, low sugar diet that works? Share that with others and start a local group. People will pay for expert advice that will help them meet their needs and solve their problems. If you can help someone lose weight, gain confidence or make money, you’ll be on to a winner.Plan, plan, plan. This doesn’t mean spending weeks (or money) on a 30-page business plan. Keep it simple and plan for success.Firstly, write down your goals and what you will achieve with your home business. Then use the four P’s of marketing to write a simple one-page plan:Product – what do customers want? What need does it satisfy?Price – what is the value of your product to the customer? What are your competitors charging?Place – where do your potential customers look for your product or service? Where do they congregate?Promotion – Where, when and how will you get your marketing message across to your target market?Promote your idea before your spend a lot of time developing products and services. This might sound counterintuitive but you want to ensure you have a hungry market and a clear niche before you invest a lot of time and money in creating products and services that might not sell.Tell everyone you meet about your idea and your business and solicit their feedback and ideas. Search out others in your niche and see if you can work with them, or learn from them. Perhaps you offer complimentary services and can share your marketing costs or joint venture together.Last, but not least, just get started. Take one small step every day towards your goals and don’t let anything stand in your way. Good luck!

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Engaging Research-Focused Staff in Higher Education in a Course in Teaching and Learning

There are some broad strategies that are already in place aimed at attracting research-focused staff to various formal and informal teaching and learning courses in many Higher Education institutions. For example, potential participants are exempted from a course module based on existing qualifications they possess; using a diploma course in teaching and learning as a prerequisite to a Master’s degree and/or linking the certification received by staff after completing a course in teaching and learning to professional status and a qualification such as fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).While these are pitched at the programme level and help to make the course attractive, the main strategy for keeping staff engaged in a course of study is to create a climate conducive to learning and their needs. Firstly, creating a climate conducive to learning and participants’ needs involves a number of things. However, critical to this process is attending to the interests of the participants. As much as possible, gather information on past and present participants’ perceptions of the course and their research concerns and interests. This is important for a number of reasons. Engaging in this activity allows the teacher to

Get to know each participant and facilitate the building of relationship between teacher and participants.

Plan activities and utilise materials that are culturally and contextually relevant which makes it easier for participants to visualize learning transference in their respective contexts.

Present information on which there is some interest.
The insight participants will leave with from this data gathering exercises is that adults always appreciate being a part of their own development.Secondly, creating a climate conducive to learning and the needs of the participant also includes finding out what they hope to gain by participating in each module and /or the entire course. This is best done during the first session of each module and via open discussion where appropriate questions could be asked. A variation on this approach is to ask them what they already know about the module or topic to be explored and what they would like to know.Having gained their responses incorporate these in the lesson plans. During subsequent lessons prepare for, and discuss the areas or concerns raised by participants. What you will find is that ascertaining what participants’ would like to know and addressing these will allow them to become more attentive during the presentation. This is especially so, when their area of concern is being addressed. Also critical is involving them in developing and evaluating the curriculum by getting their feedback via feedback sheets given at the end of each module.Finally, actively involve participants during lessons. This is very important because adult learners love to participate in the learning process (Jarvis, 1996). There are a variety of methods to be used such as: Reflection-on-practice and Reflective Journaling. These allow participants the opportunity to think critically and question their goals and values which guide their work, the context in which they teach, and assumptions they make about teaching (Zeichner and Liston, 1996). Action research. Participants could design and implement potential case studies/projects/research based on their teaching situation and publish the findings in relevant reputable journals. This contributes to the development of a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).Problem base learning. Participants collaborate in the learning process using problem-based techniques to address issues/problems. Project based learning. Participants work in groups using multi-source information and creating authentic products or solutions. Professional Portfolio development. This allows participants to examine and articulate their personal instructional theory, and can be useful in accessing fellow status such as fellow of the Higher Education, Research Development Society of Australasia (FHERDSA) or fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).ReferencesJarvis. P, (1996). Adult & Continuing Education Theory and Practice 2nd ed. London: Routledge.Zeichner, K. & Liston, D. (1996). Reflective Teaching: an introduction. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates