Small Business Diva

November 30, 2007

The value of giving clear instructions

Filed under: Communication,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 4:43 pm
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I recently outsourced a particular business task and when the work was returned to me – and perfectly done, I might add – the contractor commented on how easy the job was given the clear, detailed instructions I provided her with.

Personally, I know how much easier it is for me to do a client’s work well when they have given me clear outlines of what they are looking for. In the example of writing an article for someone, it’s much easier to do when they outline the length of the article, the specific target market (i.e. who they want to read the article), the style, keywords, spelling (e.g. Australian, US or UK), article’s purpose, their image… the list goes on). It makes it so much easier to write – and write well – than when someone doesn’t have a clear picture of what they’re after.

So whenever you outsource or sub-contract work, aim to provide a clear, detailed brief. In most cases, a good service provider will ask you appropriate questions to gather this information but if they don’t, make sure you provide the details and ask them if there’s anything else they need to know to make their job easier.

You’d be surprised at the difference it can make to the quality of the work that is done for you.

Here’s to your business success…

November 29, 2007

Business Mums Conference

I have to say, this year’s Business Mums Conference in Melbourne, Australia, was fantastic and the date has now been set for the 2008 conference. So, mark the date in your calendar now – July 12th-13th. If, like me, you’re not based in Melbourne this gives you plenty of time to plan your trip and get yourself organised.

The keynote speaker for the weekend is Kathie Thomas, Founder of A Clayton’s Secretary, Author of Worth More Than Rubies, an inspiration and one of the pioneers of the VA industry.

Meanwhile the theme for the 2008 conference is Better Business and Beyond. Sounds good to me  🙂

November 28, 2007

An overwhelmed life

Here’s another video by Juliet Funt who presents great information with a humorous twist. This is her impression of a typical day… one I can certainly relate to!

November 26, 2007

The Power of Samples

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Small Business,Tips & Tricks,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 4:09 pm
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Another great, low-cost marketing strategy is to give away or show samples of your products or services.

In one of my recent posts I mentioned the divine promotional chocolate bites I bought from Moments in Chocolate, individually wrapped with my logo and contact details on them. When I saw the website for these I thought they looked good; I might be interested in ordering some… one day. But when I received some free samples, that was it! I was hooked and ordered straight away.

If you want to increase your marketing efforts, think about ways you can offer samples of your products/services.

Sometimes it’s not possible to give a sample of your work. For example, Etched in Memories (a business that creates exquisite pieces of jewellery, keyrings and name tags with your special photos, words or design expertly engraved) recently posted about their samples. It’s not practical for them to send free samples of their creations but they do offer a samples page on their website. Perhaps this is something you can do?

Etched in Memories Sample

You could also consider offering a 30-minute consultation for free or a report, guide or booklet.

November 23, 2007

7 ways to get the most from your advertising dollar

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Small Business,Tips & Tricks,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 5:21 pm
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Let’s face it, most traditional advertising doesn’t come cheap. So how can you make sure you get value for your money?

Here’s a few tips:

  1. Know who you are marketing to and where you will find them – what publications do they read? Where do they shop? What TV shows do they watch?
  2. Follow the AIDA formula – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action… that’s what you’re trying to create in your ads.
  3. Know the purpose of your ad. Do you want to educate people about your product/service, sell products, attract people to your website? Know what the aim is before you design your ad.
  4. Your headline should include your main selling point.
  5. Where possible, include your USP – Unique Selling Point; what is it that makes you different from your competitors?
  6. Sell the BENEFITS of your products/services, not the FEATURES.
  7. Make it easy for people to respond to your ad – include clear contact information.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating advertisements that sell. For some more ideas, have a look at the articles on my website.

November 21, 2007

A great place to visit

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:26 am
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I’ve just been looking at the blog for My New Shiny Shoes and wanted to share with you what a great place this is!

The site shares tips and information about various online shopping sites for men, women, gifts, jewellery, babies… they’ve pretty much got it covered. There are a few unusual items and quirky gift ideas to be found too.

November 19, 2007

A great idea for a promotional gift

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Recommendations,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 6:24 pm
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In the mail today I received a wonderful package from Moments in Chocolate… a package containing some of their samples.

Any chocolate-lovers will know that there’s a huge difference between cheap, compound chocolate and the smooth, rich taste of high quality Belgian chocolate. Well, to my delight, Moments in Chocolate use the good stuff!

I can honestly report that the samples were DELICIOUS! Not that I ate them all, of course! (I gave one to my son)  🙂

I’m about to place an order for a box of the miniature after dinner mint chocolates that come complete with a custom made label of your choice. I’m customising the label with my business name, logo and contact info and will give them out as promotional treats… if I don’t eat them all first! 

November 16, 2007

Getting free publicity for your business

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Recommendations,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:57 pm
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For anyone who will is in Brisbane, Australia, we have a fantastic guest speaker lined up for our November 27th Business Growth Session. The Publicity Queen herself, Sally Romano, will be speaking about her tried and tested formula for getting publicity for your business. It’s from 9.30-11.30am so write the date in your diary now then click here for the full details and to register. 

November 15, 2007

Dealing with criticism

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”

Zig Ziglar, Author and Speaker

Next time someone criticises you, think about their reasons. Are you over-reacting to their well-intentioned feedback? Is the criticism warranted? Are they just trying to make themselves feel better by attempting to bring you down? When people ‘take a bite out of your success,’ perhaps just send them some good wishes… wishes that they one day find their own success!

November 14, 2007

How do you send large files over the Internet?

I am often asked how to send large files over the Internet as quite often there is a size limit or timeout limit on general email accounts, particularly if you are using a standard home-usage account.

I love two companies – Send This File and You Send It for this type of thing. Please note: I don’t get any commission for recommending these companies, I just do so because I love the service they provide.

They work much the same way. Basically, you select the file you want to send, click a couple of buttons, then your file is uploaded to a private area on their site and they will email a message with a download link to your selected recipient/s. The recipient of the file will receive this email saying that their file is ready for download; they click on the link and download the file. Easy!

This is fantastic when you have a file containing lots of high quality graphics, audios or videos.

You can sign up for a free account to trial both these companies and for many, the free account is all you’ll need. However if you find yourself wanting to use the service more and more, there are various upgrades that may be more suitable.

Check them out now… once you’ve tried them, you’ll use them wherever possible!

November 13, 2007

Cross Gender Communication

Filed under: Communication,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 8:01 am
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I’m all for equality between the genders but at the same time, generally speaking, there are some clear differences in the way males and females think and act.

When I came across this clip on You Tube I just had to share it with you. Juliet Funt is giving some tips on cross gender communication. As funny as it is when she says it, she actually makes a lot of sense. I hope you enjoy it.

November 12, 2007

National Awards Register

Filed under: Recommendations,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 9:16 pm
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Australia’s premiere women’s networking association, Women’s Network Australia, has led the way in establishing a National Awards Register so business owners can stay up to date with what awards are available across the country.

What about other countries? Does anyone know of similar sites in any other countries? If so, I’d love to know about them.

November 9, 2007

Looking for a good article bank?

Anyone who knows the benefits of article banks – either as a place to submit your articles, somewhere to find good quality content or both – knows that there are literally 1000s to choose from.

But what if you’re specifically after articles relating to Australia? Until recently your only option was to go through seemingly endless articles to try to find something Australian based. Well, now there’s a simple solution… The RepOZitory.

The RepOZitory specialises in Australian articles. People in other countries can still use these articles, so long as they’re aware that they will have Aussie spelling and grammar.

There are plenty of great articles there on topics such as business, marketing, finance, families, health, time management… including a few written by yours truly.  🙂

November 6, 2007

Walk for PND

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 2:21 pm

I want to share this information with you about an event being held in Melbourne, Australia, on November 18th. Okay, it’s not business related, but it is for a very important cause – Post Natal Depression. I’m sure most people know someone who has been affected by PND in some form – either because they or a loved one have suffered with it, or a friend or relative.

So I’d like to share this message from Amanda Cox, organiser of walk4pnd: 

“I’m organising a walk to raise awareness of post natal depression. The walk is being held on Sunday the 18th of November around the Maribyrnong River in Aberfeldie.
 
I’m hoping to get as many people to the walk as possible, to really make an impact and get people to take notice of the issue.
 
Firstly, I’d like to invite you all to come along and join in the walk and the family picnic which will be taking place afterwards.
 
I’m also requesting your assistance in promoting the walk. 
 
If you are in a position to blog about the walk, post it on forums, events calendars or include it in newsletters it would be greatly appreciated. Better still, if you can organise a group to come along, that would be great.
 
Details of the walk can be found at www.walk4pnd.com – the walk is free and the first 200 women to sign up will receive a walk4pnd t-shirt.
 
If anyone is interested in sponsoring the walk, or providing a prize for the walk4pnd Dinner (18 November, 6.30pm) to assist in raising funds to help cover my costs for the walk, please email me and I’ll send you some information.
 
Thanking you in advance for your fabulous assistance, and for supporting a great cause. It is very much appreciated.
 
Please feel free to contact me should you have any further questions or queries.
 
Warmest regards,
Amanda Cox
(aka Mad Cow)”
www.realmums.com.au
madcow@realmums.com.au

November 1, 2007

Today’s words of wisdom

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 2:15 pm
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I read an interesting quote the other day:

“Rather than climb over the fence into greener pastures, why not just water the grass on your side?” (Anonymous)

How sensible is that? It’s such common sense, yet how many people actually think of improving what they already have instead of throwing it away for what they perceive is something better?

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