Small Business Diva

May 30, 2008

It’s All In The Location

Filed under: Juggling Work and Family,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:52 am
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In business, it’s often said that the ‘location is everything’… and in many cases, that can be true.

However with the wonderful technology we have available to us today, working from home is becoming more and more popular… and practical.

For many, working from home is the ideal choice. While this sounds great at first, it’s not always practical and not everyone is disciplined enough to do this successfully.

To decide if this is a suitable option for you, first consider:

  • The age of your children, if you have them (this may work for or against a home-based business)
  • How disciplined you are
  • Whether you have enough space
  • How your family feels about this
  • What the Council regulations are
  • If you will be employing staff and if so, if you are prepared for them to be in your home
  • Whether you will have customers visiting and if so, can you suitably maintain your home? Do you have enough parking available?
  • Whether you will affect your neighbours
  • Whether you will have any hazardous chemicals on the property or excessive noise
  • Whether you will be creating extra waste and if so, how you will deal with that
  • What implications this will bring regarding security issues, insurance, clients visiting after-hours
  • If you’re renting your home, will your landlord allow you to run this business from home?
  • Do you need to be easily seen by customers or can you operate ‘virtually’ – over the internet/mail?

Mind you, just because things don’t look 100% rosy once you’ve been through this list doesn’t mean working from home is not an option for you. If you can’t have customers visiting for some reason, you may choose to offer a free delivery service, making sure you factor this cost into your pricing. Cafés are also great place to arrange meetings.

If you decide that working from home isn’t for you, make sure you read more information on how to choose the right location for your business, including things you should be sure of before signing any lease or contracts!

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

May 26, 2008

You Too Can Be The Change

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:58 pm
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I love to hear stories of how average, ordinary people do the most amazing things. You know… the rags to riches stories or the singer who becomes an overnight success (after 10 years of struggling to be heard!). To me, they are inspiration that any of us can achieve our dreams.

Here’s a really encouraging video I’d like to share with you… a video that shows how the efforts of just one small person can make a huge difference. 

Quoting from The Modern Goddess’ blog post, Be The Change:

“In celebration of India’s 60th year of independence, the Times of India launched an initiative to inspire the search for hidden talents in everyday people. Among the results is this two-minute video, “Tree,” which has become an anthem for India–and is a must-see for all of us.”

I encourage you to visit this post and watch the video.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

May 23, 2008

A Way With Words

Filed under: Book Reviews,Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:45 am
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A dear friend of mine, Leonie Featherstone, has just published a fantastic book, A Way With Words… Release the Genie Within.

If you’ve ever found yourself staring blankly at the inside of a card, wondering how to put your thoughts and feelings into words… then this is the book for you.

Leonie has filled this book with verses for us to use when we’re writing inside cards… from birthday wishes to christening; moving house to bereavement; even words to say ‘thank you’ for friendship or guidance. Plus, there are lists of verbs and adjectives at the back of the book to help you to change some of the words in the suggested verses to something that seems more appropriate for the person you are writing for. Leonie’s thought of everything here!

The best thing about it for me is that they’re the type of words that I can see myself using.

A Way With Words

If you’re interested in this book, please email Leonie. It’s only $19.95 (AUD) + $2.50 for postage and packaging of one book in Australia. It makes a great gift idea too.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie 

May 21, 2008

What Environment and Friends do You Choose?

Filed under: Small Business,Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:17 pm
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“Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” 
W. Clement Stone, 1902-2002, Author and Businessman

Keeping these words in mind, what sort of business environment will you associate with? What business associates will you ‘hang out’ with? I’ve chosen to associate myself with other inspired, motivated, happy business people (and friends) who are not afraid to dream big, put in some hard work, take risks and make things happen!

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

May 19, 2008

Attitudes of Different Industries

Filed under: Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:42 pm
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There’s an interesting post on the Beauty Banquet blog about Bitchy Fashion, where Anne shares examples of fashion snobs. And apparently, the way that the fashion industry is portrayed in the movie The Devil Wears Prada isn’t far from the truth.

I’ve never really been involved in the fashion industry so I can’t comment on that. However I have come across other industries or specific companies where the general attitude of workers within that industry/company was not something I felt comfortable around.

In one instance, I was writing freelance articles for a popular women’s magazine. When speaking with an editor one day, I told her about the bad day I’d been having. It was one of those days where one thing after another goes unbelievably wrong… like something out of a comedy show. I wasn’t telling her because I wanted to whinge… I was telling her because in hindsight (late that afternoon), it was hilarious! So funny in fact that she wanted me to write about it.

However, she wanted me to add this and change that… but it was still to be portrayed as a ‘real-life, true story’. Some of the things she wanted me to say I’d done were things I would never, ever do. When I mentioned that, her response was that “…you should never let the truth get in the way of a good article.”

Well, that sort of summed up my experience with them. I was trying to report ‘the facts’, yet they were constantly asking me to exaggerate and push the boundaries of ‘truth’. I never wrote that story… and I never wrote anything else for them. I decided that I couldn’t lie for the sake of readership. Creative writing would be a different story (pardon the pun), but when reporting facts, I want to stick to the facts.

Although writing for this magazine would look good on my resume, I wasn’t prepared to fit in with the general mentality of the staff that I dealt with. I sometimes wonder… if I had kept writing for them, would I have begun to adopt their attitudes? I think probably not. Knowing me, I suspect that I would have been the quiet rebel… the one who tried to show everyone else at that company that integrity and honesty will work wonders too.

Whatever industry you’re in… here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

May 15, 2008

How to Make Money While You Sleep Seminar

Filed under: Recommendations,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:03 am
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Last weekend I attended a fantastic 2-day seminar on the Gold Coast. It was the How to Make Money While You Sleep seminar organised by Brett McFall, as part of his promotional tour for his new book of the same name.

Me meeting Brett McFall

Brett has an amazing gift for teaching what he knows and always shares practical, useful information. Plus, he always over-delivers on content… and always lives up to his promises.

I know a lot of regular readers here are based in Melbourne… and guess what? Brett’s just announced that he’s heading to Melbourne soon. He’ll be there on 21-22 June and there is only a small fee, which is donated to a worthwhile charity. You can get the full details at Brett’s How to Make Money While You Sleep site.

For those who can’t make it to the Melbourne seminar, check out his book here – you can even get a free sample chapter.

May 12, 2008

Ethical Dilemma

Filed under: Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 6:54 pm
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My dear friend, Ingrid Cliff, posted an interesting question on her Heart Harmony Blog.

Ingrid lays the setting for a hypothetical business dilemma and asks for feedback on what her readers would do – whether they would make the choice to look after their customer’s best interests or the option that suited themselves best financially.

What I found interesting is that Ingrid mentions that the feedback to this post has been one-sided – most readers would do what they felt was in their customer’s best interests. Yet when she posed this very same scenario to a group a few years ago, the answers were fairly evenly split 50/50.

So… have people become more ethical over the last few years or does the difference in responses lie elsewhere?

If you have a minute to spare, visit Heart Harmony’s Business Ethical Dilemmas post and leave your feedback.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

May 8, 2008

May Madness

It’s May Madness at the Business Mums Network.

Every year, Business Mums Network run a special promotion for the entire month of May. These offers – some products heavily discounted, others with great bonuses – are not just from Business Mums. There are a whole series of businesses who have joined in the promotions.

Business Mums are offering a huge saving on subscriptions to The Business Mums Magazine (a fantastic magazine, full of practical information for parents running a business, and edited by Yours Truly).

Plus, there’s plenty more offers such as:

Here’s to your success in small business…

Donna-Marie

May 5, 2008

Telstra Business Award

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 9:46 am
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I recently found out that one of my long-term clients nominated me for Australia’s prestigious 2008 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards.

When I look back over some of the amazing women who have won this award in previous years, I can’t begin to imagine that I would win it. However I am over the moon by the fact that someone else thinks I deserve it.

I am truly  honoured to be nominated. This, to me, is a reassurance that I’m doing things right and an encouragement for me to continue helping others to successfully establish and manage their own business.

Thank you.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

May 2, 2008

Don’t Let the Dreamtakers Steal from You

Filed under: Small Business,Words of Wisdom & Inspiration,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:55 am
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Throughout life, and particularly when you’re starting out in business, there will be numerous people who try to steal your dreams. I call these people Dreamtakers. Sometimes they are cleverly disguised as people who love you and care about you. Well, maybe they’re not disguised… they really do care about you and are often only acting out of concern.

These are the people who try to tell you why you can’t do something, or they only see all the problems you may encounter.

When I was writing my first book, Ready, Set, Go For It! (the complete women’s guide to operating a small business in Australia), there was one day that I remember so clearly. I was visiting one of my relatives and one of her friends was visiting too. My relative was telling her about the book I was writing and this friend then went on to tell me how hard it is to get a book published… how everybody has that dream and most people never succeed… and how there was no way I would get mine published. She carried on for nearly an hour, asking me questions then telling me why that wouldn’t work.

I went home quite disappointed and had almost given up. My son, then aged 11, came home from school and wondered why I wasn’t tapping away on the keyboard writing the next chapter, like every other day! When I explained why, his reply was: “So how many books has this woman written?” (None). “And how long has she worked in the publishing industry?” (She doesn’t). “So why on Earth would you listen to her?” He then pointed to my desk and demanded that I get back to work. (Yeah, I sometimes wonder who the parent is too).

The Dreamtakers tried to tell me I couldn’t run a successful small business… my business is almost 10 years old and has supported us this whole time.

The Dreamtakers tried to tell me I couldn’t publish a book… my first book came out in 2004 and that was just the beginning!

Now the Dreamtakers are telling me another project I’m working on won’t work… and I thank them for their words – that’s just the incentive I need to prove them wrong, yet again.

So, next time the Dreamtakers try to steal your dreams, hold on tight. If you’re truly passionate about something, by all means listen to their advice as there may be something useful in it… but do what you believe is right for you. And if your idea doesn’t work, at least you know you tried.

Here’s an inspirational video that I thought you might like, all about dreams.

So dream on… and here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

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