Small Business Diva

February 27, 2008

Accept Only the Best

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 5:27 pm
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Here are some ‘short and sweet’ words of wisdom for today:

“It is a very funny thing about life – if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.”
W. Somerset Maugham
1874-1965, Novelist and Playwright

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February 25, 2008

Who Owns the E-Mails?

Filed under: Communication,Employment,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:32 pm
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Have you ever wondered who owns e-mails that are sent to employees while they are at work?

Ingrid’s Heart Harmony blog has a great post that’s worth reading – Legal Technology: Who Wins the Fight Over E-Mail Ownership?

This post refers to recent US case laws regarding the use of private e-mails in a business setting.  Ingrid goes on to outline some good, basic policies that make a firm foundation for company email policies.

If you employ staff or are considering employing staff in the future, this is definitely worth the read.

Here’s to your business success…

February 23, 2008

Comparing Yourself with Your Competition

Filed under: Juggling Work and Family,Recommendations,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:00 am
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Yesterday I read a great tip for small business owners on the Thinking Home Business blog.

It’s all about how we compare ourselves with our competitors and suggests that we start looking at our competitors and ourselves as choices – after all, that’s how we are viewed by prospective clients, aren’t we? They will look at all possible service providers – or choices – and choose the one they feel is best suited to their particular needs. 

Please go and read this post. It’s a great concept and one that I will endeavour to keep in mind from now on.

Here’s to your business success…

February 21, 2008

A MUST Read Article – 1943 Guide to Hiring Women

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Employment — smallbusinessdiva @ 5:18 pm
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I know many of you are going to love this – whether you’re male or female, it makes for very interesting reading.

This article, the 1943 Guide to Hiring Women, was printed in the September/October 2007 edition of Savvy & Sage. I am so glad we’ve come a long way since then!

Here’s to your business success…

February 18, 2008

Using the ‘net to Improve Your Business

Those of you who are in Brisbane may like to come along to the next Business Growth Session where Heart Harmony’s Ingrid Cliff and myself will be running a practical workshop on just a couple of the many online techniques you can use to improve your business.

You’ve probably heard about SEO, affiliates, etc… Ingrid and I will focus on two of the lesser known methods that can have dramatic results on your visitor numbers and page rank. Best of all, they’re really simple – almost anyone can do them!

The Business Growth Session is on Monday 3rd March, 2008 in the meeting room at Chermside Library. BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL! Full details are available on the website.

Here’s to your business success…

February 15, 2008

Be Happy!

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:28 pm
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Can I share some exciting news with you? It’s got absolutely nothing to do with running a business but I’m just busting to tell someone…

One of my sister’s had a baby this afternoon – her 4th girl. Zara Belle arrived 4 days late just so she could share her birthday with her Grandma (my Mum), so Mum’s birthday dinner has been postponed until tomorrow night.

It’s days like today, when I get a 3.30pm phone call asking me to pick up my other nieces from daycare and school, that I truly appreciate working for myself and having flexible working conditions.  

So, after a week full of surprises, challenges and where absolutely nothing went to plan, here’s a short quote that seems to fit just right:

“When you’re happy for no reason, you’re unconditionally happy. It’s not that your life always looks perfect – it’s just that however it looks, you’ll still be happy.”

Marci Shimoff, Author of Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out

Here’s to your business success…

February 13, 2008

Making Travelling with Kids Easier While Coming up with a Viable Business Idea

I am often asked by people how they can come up with a viable business idea. Well, there are several ways to help you think of ideas and one of those methods is to look for common problems, then find a way to solve them. It may be that this solution can be turned into a business idea – possibly a viable idea and one that you can manage.

Here’s a perfect case study:

I can clearly remember my varied attempts at travelling when my son was a baby & toddler. It was bad enough lugging around enough stuff for a day trip, but the thought of staying away from home overnight was… rather challenging to say the least.

On top of all our clothes, toiletries and his food necessities (bowls, bottles, sippy cup, spoons) there was the car seat, pram, porta-cot – and that was just for starters.

I was amazed to see an Australian business that was recently started by another Mum who knew those same challenges only too well. Travel Bubs hire all manner of quality baby equipment for travellers, plus they offer a pick up and delivery service. For example, if you’re staying in a Melbourne hotel for a week, you can arrange for Travel Bubs to deliver whatever baby goods you need to your hotel and pick them up again when you leave.

Imagine how much easier that would make travelling with littlies!

If you have young children, I urge you to check out the Travel Bubs website (they have the most beautiful music playing on their home page).

And if you’re looking for a business idea, perhaps start by looking around you for problems, then work on finding solutions for them.

Here’s to your business success…

February 11, 2008

Finding Time to Achieve Those Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

Filed under: Small Business,Time Management,Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 11:11 am
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Reading Jenni’s blog at Papercraft Designs I came across this great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson – US essayist & poet (1803 – 1882):

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.”

I really love that quote. It is perfectly in line with one of my theories in life, that if you want to be the best at something – or at least up there with the best – you should practise it or learn about it daily.

One of my mentors many years ago told me that if I wanted to be good at something I should learn or practise it for at least 15 minutes every day. Even just 15 minutes a day, over time, will greatly build your knowledge or abilities.

In my last post I mentioned that “small deeds done are better than big deeds planned.” Sometimes we think of big deeds, or goals, but just can’t find the time to take action – often because it’s going to take a lot of time. However, if you commit to focusing just 15 minutes each day on your ‘big hairy audacious goal’, you’ll be amazed at how soon that time, and those small achievements, will add up.

Now there’s no excuses!

Here’s to your business success…

February 8, 2008

Big Deeds or Little Deeds? Friday’s words of wisdom

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 2:23 pm
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Sometimes we make great plans for these huge, wonderful things we are going to do. Then, for one reason or another, we never quite ‘do’ them. Or we may start, but never actually complete them.

Here’s a great quote from Peter Marshall, Clergyman (1902-1949)

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m all for setting those ‘big hairy audacious goals’, but don’t forget the little things you can do too.

Who knows, over time those little things – the small deeds – may well grow into ‘great deeds’.

Here’s to your business success…

February 6, 2008

Doing Business in Your Bathrobe

Filed under: Juggling Work and Family,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:52 am
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Believe it or not, February is Doing Business in Your Bathrobe month.

I must admit, I don’t wear a bathrobe or pyjamas while I’m working – I am fully dressed before going into the office each morning. However I realise that the theme of Doing Business in Your Bathrobe is simply a fun slant on the fact that those of us who work from home often have the freedom to choose what we wear while working – along with other freedoms.

Doing Business in Your Bathrobe was begun in the US in 2002 by WebMomz. It has since grown to be an international event to celebrate being able to work from home.

To join in these celebrations, we’re taking part in the Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Scavenger Hunt being hosted by Business Mums Network and guess what… you get the prizes!

To take part, visit my YourSmallBizExpert site and look for this logo/button in the right hand sidebar:

Business Mums Network Scavenger Hunt

You will see a question there. Have a look on that site for the answer then click on the logo which will take you to the Business Mums Network site for full details, a list of prizes to be won and entry details.

Good luck!

Here’s to your business success…

February 4, 2008

Does Your Working Environment Inspire You?

I was just reading a post at Annette Piper’s Under the Loupe blog where she proudly displays the picturesque view from her front verandah. While some may find it tempting to sit and admire this view all day, Annette says that she finds this setting inspirational.

This got me thinking… does your work environment inspire you? I must admit, I’ve moved around a lot – from the bush to the beach and now to the suburbs – and I can honestly say, my work setting does affect my motivation levels and inspiration.

For some of my work, particularly planning and some writing, I find I work better by the beach so I make an effort to get to the beach with my laptop on a regular basis. (No, I don’t take my laptop onto the sand, but I do sit near the beach or somewhere where I can see and hear the waves crashing). 

Unfortunately we can’t always work in the setting that works best for us as individuals, but there are things you can do that will help:

  • If you work from home and have a choice of which room to work from, make sure you choose the one that makes you feel the most motivated, productive and inspired. One where you’re truly comfortable coming to work all day. For some, this may be a room with a view, while others may be distracted by the view and be better off somewhere else.
  • Is there a lot of noise around your house, or noisy neighbours or traffic? If so, try to choose a room that’s quieter than the rest.
  • Make an effort to fit your main workroom in a way that inspires you to be there. Clear the clutter, decorate it appropriately for you… if you work best with soft music playing in the background make sure you’ve got music in there; if you like fresh flowers around, add flowers; if you like a stylish, colour co-ordinated office with no personal items around, visit your local stationer and invest in the products that make you feel good.
  • Make sure you have enough room to move and do what needs to be done. Working in too small a workspace can be incredibly stifling to productivitiy.
  • Ensure you have enough lighting and if not, do something about it. Lack of light can be another factor that discourages us from spending time in a room.
  • If you love working in a particular setting – such as the beach or the country – but this isn’t possible right now, consider adourning your walls with some quality pictures/prints of the settings you like and look at them often.

Those are just a selection of ideas. If anyone else has some ideas you’d like to share, please let us know.

Here’s to your business success…

February 2, 2008

Support for Volunteer Treasurers

Filed under: Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 3:03 pm
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As someone who has held many volunteer positions on boards – as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Publicity Officer at various stages – I know how difficult it can be at times, particularly during the hand-over phase.

Last year I was fortunate enough to meet Nerida Gill while she was in Brisbane for a conference. Nerida’s company, Admin Bandit, provides award-winning software and support for volunteer treasurers of community organisations. What a fantastic idea!

Here’s a short video from Admin Bandit with some tips to help treasurers of community organisations:

 

Here’s to your business success…

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