Small Business Diva

December 31, 2007

Don’t let temporary setbacks defeat you

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 5:32 pm
Tags: ,

“One of the secrets of success is to refuse to let temporary setbacks defeat us,” Mary Kay (1915-2001) Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Imagine where we’d be if everyone gave up when faced with a setback? The only way to succeed is to keep trying 🙂

Here’s to your business success…

December 29, 2007

The secret to getting the media to come running to you

How many times have you heard people comment on how difficult it is to get a press release read by the right media representatives, or how hard it is to get good editorial and TV coverage? I don’t know about you, but I hear it all the time.

It’s true… media outlets receive so many press releases each day that many go unread. Many more don’t even make it past the headline. Would you like to know how to get your press release read or better still, how to get the media to come to you, wanting to give you coverage and promotion?

I’ll let you in on the secret…

Simply give the media what they want.

“Yeah, simple,” I hear you say. “How do I know what they want?”

In all honesty, most areas of the media – print, radio, television, Internet – are always looking for good content to give their readers, viewers and listeners. Start by listing your target market and what publications they read; what shows they watch; what radio stations they listen to.

Next, read those publications, watch those shows and listen to those stations. Get a clear idea of what their style is and what they might be looking for. Now, how can you provide what they are looking for?

Most publications aren’t really interested in a new business because there are new businesses every day. But if you can show them HOW your business can BENEFIT their readers/listeners/viewers, you’re in with a chance. You need to find a unique story angle. What problems might their readers/listeners/viewers have that your product or service can solve? For example, there has a lot of talk around here recently about how easy it is for children to go missing. Let’s say you specialize in a product that can reduce the incidence of a child going missing, or that can help track them quickly. Write a press release that highlights the issues surrounding missing children, focusing on the emotions involved, rather than adjectives about how fabulous your product is. Then go on to state that there is a product available that can help minimize these incidents and give information about your product and its benefits.

Do not use your press release as a chance to advertise your product. That simply won’t work. You need to demonstrate a solution to a problem.

Next, make the journalist’s job as easy as possible. Journalists are very busy people. The easier you can make their job, the more inclined they are to cover your story. Give them good quality information; include a quote or two (journalists LOVE quotes); make sure you provide clear contact information for yourself, or whoever they should contact for further information; let them know that you’re available for an interview.

Once your story has been published or aired, send a brief note or email to the journalist involved to thank them, and let them know that you’re happy to help them next time they need information regarding your area of expertise. Once the journalist knows of your expertise and experiences how easy it is for them to work with you, they’ll come looking for you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg but I hope it helps you. Good luck – please send me the details of all the media coverage you get!

Here’s to your business success…

December 27, 2007

All women blogging carnival

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Tips & Tricks — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:31 pm
Tags: ,

Anne at My Day Off is this week hosting a fantastic All Women Blogging Carnival, with lots of great posts about pets, health and beauty, money, shopping, family and heaps more.

Blogging carnivals can be a fantastic way of ‘meeting’ more bloggers, attracting visitors to your site and building worthwhile relationships, not to mention learning about all manner of things! Best of all, there are carnivals to suit everyone – business, craft, women, pets, various hobbies and special interests.

So what are you waiting for? Start searching the blogosphere to find carnivals that you can participate in.

Here’s to your business success…

December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Filed under: Bits & Pieces — smallbusinessdiva @ 12:01 pm
Tags:

Just a quick post today… no matter what your Christmas plans are, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas spent sharing happy moments with loved ones.

December 23, 2007

Wise words from Abe

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 12:01 pm
Tags: , ,

“I’ve noticed that folks are generally about as happy as they make up their minds to be,” Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, Sixteenth President of the United States.

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be constantly happy and smiling? Perhaps they just made up their mind to be happy.  🙂

 Here’s to your business success…

December 21, 2007

The things we do for our clients

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:45 pm
Tags: ,

If you’re like me, you often go out of your way to help your clients, particularly those who have been loyal to you over the years.

One of my friends and business associates, Ingrid Cliff from Heart Harmony, certainly goes the extra mile for her clients and this Christmas was no exception. When one of Ingrid’s clients asked her to help them out “with a little job” for the local Christmas parade she willingly agreed… then she found out what this little job entailed!

Here is a photo of Ingrid aka Christmas Bon Bon. Good on you Ingrid, that truly is going the extra mile for your client  🙂

Ingrid Cliff aka Christmas Bon Bon

 Here’s to your business success…

December 19, 2007

What do you wish you knew before you started your business?

It’s almost Christmas and as a special thank you for everyone who reads and posts comments on my blog I’d like to give you a gift.

For the last couple of months I have worked alongside 15 talented business owners to write an eBook full of handy tips, ideas and guidance for successfully running a business. Each business owner has contributed their own article about what they wish they had known before they started their business. Hopefully these articles will give you some ideas and help prevent you from making those same mistakes.

We’re giving this to you for free… nada… zip… zilch. Plus, you’re welcome to give it away to anyone else you think would benefit from reading it. The only stipulation is that you cannot alter it in any way and you cannot sell it.

For tips on time management, marketing ideas, balancing work/family, business ethics, niche marketing and lots more download your gift – What I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Business.

Happy reading!

Here’s to your business success…

December 16, 2007

Mothers in Business Carnival

For some great posts specifically about mothers in business, head over to the Mothers in Business carnival at My Day Off.

Some of the posts include:

Oh, and you’ll find one there by Yours Truly… Should WAHMs pretend they don’t work from home? 🙂

Here’s to your business success…

December 14, 2007

Which do you find – ways or excuses?

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 4:18 pm
Tags: , ,

“Where the heart is willing it will find a thousand ways, but where it is unwilling it will find a thousand excuses,” Anonymous.

Next time you have an excuse for not doing something (or doing something perhaps), stop and think about why you’re really making excuses. Is it because you don’t want to do something and you’re trying to get out of it? If you really want something, you’ll find a way.

Here’s to your business success…

December 10, 2007

Time for a coffee break

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:58 pm
Tags: , ,

Okay, time for a break…

I’ve just been reading Jenni’s Papercraft Designs’ blog and found her post about Maukie – the Virtual Cat. This is just gorgeous!

It’s not at all business-related… but lots of fun.

December 8, 2007

What do you use to build firm foundations?

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:38 pm
Tags: ,

Here’s another quote I love:

“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him,” David Brinkley.

 Here’s to your business success…

December 6, 2007

Should WAHMs pretend they don’t work from home?

I’ve recently been part of several discussions regarding Work At Home Mums – and in fact, Work At Home Parents in general as there were a couple of Dads in on the conversation.

Some people are extremely open with the fact that they are parents who work from their home, blending work and family. Others disagree with their methods, believing that this image is unprofessional and therefore Work At Home Parents (WAHP) should portray the image of working in a ‘more professional’ setting.

These conversations usually digressed into various related topics, but supporters of each view were adament in their beliefs.

So what do I think? I don’t think there is a right or a wrong. I admit it… I work from a home-based office and I have a child (albeit he’s now in his mid-teens).

My business IS A REAL business. My office is real and is set up just as it would be were I renting premises outside of the home. I believe I am no less professional because it’s at my home. I work virtually – via the Internet, emails, fax – so I don’t have people visiting my office. In fact, I did have an office in a business district a couple of years ago and hated it. I was much less productive, wasting time driving there and back, plus there was too much noise and too many distractions around (including the tantalising aroma coming from the coffee shop next door!)

I believe that in order to run a professional, successful business and still be available for their children, WAHP need to have firm boundaries and systems in place. Children should be made aware of what is and isn’t acceptable and in times when your attention is distracted by family matters, don’t attempt to make business phone calls. Diverting your phone to a Virtual Assistant or Telephone Answering Service is not that expensive and ensures that your customers are still attended to without them feeling like they’re not important, or that your focus isn’t on their needs.

There’s no need to go shouting, “I’m a Work At Home Parent!” from the rooftops, but there’s no reason to hide the fact either.

Many WAHP I know don’t work standard hours. They may take time out during the day to spend with their children, but then they usually make up for this after hours. Some clients may not like the fact that you’re not necessarily always available from 9-5 Monday to Friday (but then who is?), yet I’m sure they won’t complain when you are there to help them with some urgent task after hours.

In summing up, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here. The main thing is to find what works for you and your customers.

What are your views? I’d love to hear your comments on this topic.

Here’s to your business success…

December 3, 2007

Free worldwide shipping – part of great customer service

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:04 am
Tags: , ,

Recently I helped one of my clients write their company’s Customer Service Policy from scratch. They sort of had an idea of their customer service policies in their minds, but nothing was formal and nothing was written down.

I really enjoy writing policies like this because my clients have to sit down and think about their overall aims and objectives, their image, their customers. As we progress, they gradually come up with innovative ideas and form clear guidelines as to how they look after their customers, loyalty programs, how they can add value for thier customers, etc.

So when I was reading a blog post at Annette Piper Jewellery yesterday, her post about free worldwide shipping really caught my attention. Annette explained that she recieves so many lovely comments from international would-be customers however the cost of shipping her exquisite jewellery overseas prevented many of them from buying. So… she introduced free shipping. What a great idea!

What do your customers want that you don’t already provide? Can you offer that to them? Let me know what unique ideas you come up with.

Here’s to your business success…

Blog at WordPress.com.