Small Business Diva

March 31, 2008

What Do You Trademark?

Filed under: Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 11:38 am
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I just read a post on the Tonic Gifts blog about how their trademark application for their logo was recently approved, prompting me to write about the topic.

Did you know that it’s not only names and logos that can be protected by trademarks, but you can also trademark things such as colours?

There has been a huge landmark case in Australia in recent years where two different chocolate companies use the same shade of purple in their marketing. One company successfully trademarked this shade as apparently, it is distinctively used by them. The other smaller company, who had also been using this shade of purple for some years, was required to change to another colour.

Trademarks can be words, images, colours, shapes, sounds or a combination of these.

Here’s to your success in small business…

March 28, 2008

Do You Set Your Boundaries?

No matter what type of business you run, it’s vitally important to define clear boundaries – things such as your hours of operation, how you provide your service… there are even boundaries between your work and family life or perhaps issues with employees.

On the Tilda Virtual Services blog, Kylie talks about setting her boundaries when it comes to clients and their expectations.

This is a topic a lot of people don’t give a lot of thought to when new to the business-world. Often, new business owners are eager to please everyone and in the end, they run themselves ragged and that doesn’t help anybody. I know – I used to do it too!

If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to give consideration to where your boundaries lie. What are your hours of operation? What do you do if a client wants work done urgently of an evening or weekend? What if two clients what your attention at the same time? What about potential clients who try to negotiate a lower hourly rate or project fee – do you negotiate?

Then, once you’ve set your boundaries, it’s important to stick to them!

Here’s to your success in small business …

March 26, 2008

Interesting Statistics for Small Business

Did you ever wonder how much of a contribution small businesses (incorporating micro buisnesses) make to the economy?

There is an interesting post at Modern Goddess Online Women in Business – that includes some statistics on small businesses across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Guys, don’t let the name of the post deter you – I believe the figures are interesting for all small business owners.

This post goes on to say that no matter what type of business you operate, the key factors to success are:

  • your suitability as a small business owner
  • your business idea or concept
  • preparation of a feasibility study
  • development of a business plan, including a marketing plan, financial plan and operational plan
  • seek outside help
  • develop basic management skills
  • develop entepreneurial skills

By being aware of these factors you can hopefully see where you might be lacking and learn the necessary skills or employ/contract others with these skills.

Here’s to your business success…

March 24, 2008

When You Are Looking For Inspiration

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 8:43 pm
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Here’s a short, inspirational and uplifting video that I thought you might like:

 

I find this uplifting both professionally and personally, with many good philosophies for living a life to be proud of.

Here’s to your business success…

March 21, 2008

Truth of Fiction?

Almost every day I receive some sort of email from a well-meaning relative, friend or colleague, warning me about the latest ‘shocking danger’. These warnings range from health issues, scams, computer viruses, safety issues… I’m sure you know the ones I am referring to. What’s more, these emails almost always ask you to forward the warning to everyone in your address book to make sure they’re aware of the potential dangers too.

Do you automatically forward on these warnings?

I don’t.

I go to a fantastic website – Truth or Fiction. You can look up the general topic of the warning email you’ve been sent and nine times out of ten, it will have the exact email in its files. It will tell you a little bit about the email and whether it’s true, fiction or a combination.

Before you automatically forward those ‘urgent warnings’, have a quick look on Truth or Fiction.

Here’s to your business success…

March 19, 2008

How Do You Get Motivated?

When it comes to getting motivated, particularly when you have a business to run, some people recommend starting your day by doing a few quick and easy jobs from your ‘to do’ list. This helps to get you started and hopefully the momentum will keep you motivated to continue working through your list.

Meanwhile others, such as Dale Carnegie, suggest that you “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”

So who’s right?

The easy answer is… whichever works for you!

Personally, I find a mixture of the two methods helps me. I usually begin the day by getting stuck into a few quick, simple tasks, then hit the biggest, most challenging job for the day. The quick tasks get me into the flow of the day, then by getting the most difficult task on my list for that day completed it’s such a huge relief, leaving me feeling like I’ve really achieved something. Then it’s easy for me to keep going through the rest of the list.

What works best for you? I’d love to hear your ideas, or any other methods and suggestions you can offer.

Here’s to your business success… 

March 17, 2008

Taking Time Out

Filed under: Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:45 am

My Day Off

Often when we are busy running a business it’s easy to get caught up working long hours… working evenings and weekends. I know this is one of my greatest challenges – having a home office, if I’m home, I tend to work.

I really like visiting My Day Off as it gives me some ideas of little things I can do to relax. If this is a challenge you have (or you just like to check out what others are doing to rest) check out My Day Off’s suggestions for taking Monday Off (or Saturday, or Sunday or…)

Here’s to your business success…

March 12, 2008

Succeeding in Sales and in Life

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 2:49 pm
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Here’s a quote that I really like:

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important’. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”
Mary Kay Ash

That reminded me of something my father told me when I was about 10 years old. We were at a restaurant having dinner when this man, a client of my Dad’s, walked over and began talking. My older sister and I thought the conversation was so boring and hoped he would soon leave so we could continue chatting about our day. This man stayed for about 15 minutes (although when you’re 10 years old, that seems like hours!)

Once he had left and was out of ear-shot, Dad apologised to us for having spent so long talking with this very boring person. My father went on to explain that the man was a bit of a loner, and just liked to talk for the company. He then said that no matter who we are speaking with, we must remember that every person we meet knows something that we don’t. EVERY BODY is worth listening to.

Throughout life, I’ve met several people who haven’t appeared very interesting on the surface but whom, with time and ‘listening’, I have learnt a lot and sometimes have become good friends with them.

Here’s to making everyone feel important, and to your business success…

March 10, 2008

Demystifying the Use of Flickr Images

Filed under: Recommendations,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 4:20 pm
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Have you ever wondered whether using photos from Flickr was possible for your personal situation? Do you have trouble wading through all the so-so pictures to find the good quality ones?

This post, How to Use and Understand Flickr Images, on the Working Solo blog is sure to help. Leah goes into great detail to explain not only how to find the best photos, but also the various licenses available and what they mean.

If you are looking for quality pics to include on your website, blog, newsletter or elsewhere, read this post before you head over to Flickr.

Here’s to your business success…

March 5, 2008

Being Grateful

Here’s a great article I thought you might like – Being Grateful. This was written by Sharon Clark for her Dreaming Miracles website. When you read this, keep in mind that Sharon’s husband was recently diagnosed with Cancer so they’re facing a pretty rough time. Yet Sharon & Colin, most days, still share a positive energy, love and optimism with everyone around them.

I know sometimes, when my day doesn’t seem to be going that well, I can turn it around just by changing my attitude. This often begins by being grateful for the little things… the good things. This helps take the focus off the not-so-good things.

Next time you’re having a bad day at work, think about the good things related to your work – perhaps the flexibility, the pay, the benefits or the fact that you get to go home soon! If you’re having trouble balancing work and family responsibilities, start by being grateful that you have a family and that you have work. If you’re really stuck for ideas, be thankful that you’re breathing – that’s always a good start!

Right now, I am grateful to you for reading this post  🙂

Thank you Sharon, for reminding us to appreciate the little things; the things we often overlook.

Here’s to your business success…

5 Tips for Online Article Submission

Filed under: Communication,Marketing Tips,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:32 am
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This post on Melissa Khalinsky’s blog has some useful tips about online article submission.

If you submit articles online, this is definitely worth reading as Melissa knows what she’s talking about – she manages The RepOZitory – an Australian article submission website. I believe these tips are based on the most common mistakes she sees in articles that are submitted to them.

Here’s to your business success…

March 3, 2008

Online Trade Magazines

Filed under: Recommendations,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 6:11 pm
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I just came across this post on the Beauty Banquet blog, where Anne shares with us details of where we can obtain FREE trade magazines.

The magazines and white papers cover a wide range of industries, including Agriculture, Business, Engineering and IT, just for starters. To see the full range of free trade publications on offer, go to http://associates.tradepub.com/

Here’s to your business success…

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