Small Business Diva

June 30, 2008

The Power Of Samples II – Blue Zamboo Sample Boxes

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:08 am
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I have previously written here about the Power of Samples as part of a business’ marketing plan. While reading the My Day Off blog I recently came across a great idea – the Blue Zamboo Sample Boxes.

For just $19.99 + postage, you can purchase a Blue Zamboo Sample Box with a selection of samples from companies such as Beauty Banquet, Dream Candles, Cool Things, Princess Chic and more!

This is a great way to trial products (and it would make for a nice gift for someone too).

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

June 27, 2008

Should You Hire Friends Or Relatives?

As you enjoy more success in small business, or you look for trustworthy and reliable partners for your venture, it might seem logical to look to those you rely on the most in your private life; often it seems that that the right thing to do is to help those who’ve been with your throughout the ups and downs of life, or to help those who’ve helped you.  However hiring friends and family is not always a good move for you—either for you personally or for your business.  Before you commit to it, you should consider some very important aspects of working with family and friends.

Strong Personal Relationships Are Not Guarantees Of Compatible Working Relationships

Just because you get along well at home and in your personal life does not mean that you will get along equally as well with friends and family once you enter into a working relationship with them.  Often the additional time spent together becomes a strain, even for married couples who’ve been together for years.  There is definitely something to be said for time apart and individual interests for friends and family.

New roles also cause tension between friends and family that start working together. It can be very difficult for your sibling, parent, relative, friend, or spouse to respect you as a boss, and even difficult for you to feel comfortable “bossing” them, regardless of how equitable an employer you may be.

Choosing The Right Person For The Job

Something else that is crucial to consider is how well suited or qualified your friend or family member is for the position he or she will hold.  Being a nice person or a deserving person does not make you qualified for a job—experience and expertise do that.  And putting an under-qualified person in a position could be detrimental to your company; it could be a liability, too.

Ultimately success in small business will depend on the abilities of qualified staff.  If you place the wrong person in a job that they do not perform well, you could very well have no business left to support any one of you!

Preventing And Managing Disagreements And Difficulties

Managing disagreements starts with prevention.  And that starts from the very beginning of the partnership or employment arrangement.

If you are entering into a business partnership with friends or family, you must clearly define the relationship, roles, and responsibilities ahead of time.  You should draft an agreement (preferably with the help of a solicitor or legal representative) that outlines who is responsible for what, who gets what percentages of profits, what happens in the event of a disagreement or business failure, and what the rights of each of you are.

If you are employing family and friends you will need to clearly define roles and responsibilities as well as the structure and hierarchy of the business.  Construct clear policies and expectations, and hold each person accountable as you would any other employee.  Be clear from the beginning that respect is a must, and that you will expect to be treated as any other employer would be and that in return you will be a respectful and fair employer.

At its best working with family and friends can be a very rewarding experience.  At its worst it can be detrimental to business and personal relationships.  Give strong thought to whether the arrangement is workable for you, and maximise the situation by being clear and open from the start.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

June 20, 2008

The Difference Between Winners And Losers

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 12:07 pm
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“How we deal with adversity shapes our lives more than almost anything else.  Achievers usually see problems as transitory, while those who fail usually see even the smallest problem as everlasting.”

Anthony Robbins, Speaker and Author  

Everyone has their problems – I truly believe that we are never given any challenge that we can’t handle. I also believe that it is how we handle these challenges that defines who we are.

Next time you are faced with some sort of problem, try to see it as an opportunity to improve… a chance to see what you’re really made of.

Someone once told me that winners actually fail more often than losers… because winners pick themselves up and try again, then keep trying. Losers just give up.

Here’s to your success in business,
Donna-Marie

 

June 17, 2008

Helpful Ways To Remember User IDs And Passwords

Filed under: Office Organisation,Small Business,Tips & Tricks,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 7:44 pm
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Do you get sick of trying to remember all those passwords and user ids? I think I add a new one to the list every single day.

A great piece of software to help store all of these important details – securely – is Roboform. It’s free to download and not only securely stores your user names, passwords and other basic information for filling in forms (eg your name, address, company name), but once they’re stored, with just a simple click or two on your toolbar you can enter your login details for that particular site.

If you’re not keen on installing software on your computer, the girls over at A Good Sort have a great idea for how to manually store your user ids and passwords.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

June 11, 2008

Useful Website

Filed under: Small Business,Time Management,Tips & Tricks,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 6:10 pm
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Browser Shots is a great website to visit when you want to see how your website is viewed on different browsers.

Simply go to the site… type in your URL… select the browsers you’d like to get an overview of… click on ‘submit’ and wait for a minute or two. You’ll get an overview of how your webpage is seen by user’s of the various different browsers.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

June 9, 2008

What Do You Do When Someone Is Disappointed In Your Product Or Service?

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 6:04 pm
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While reading the Pink Heels blog I came across a post about Jennifer’s disappointment with the Wii Fit Yoga. Reading this made me think… what do you do when someone expresses their disappointment in a product of service you provide?

Some businesses will offer a refund, others will apologise that the buyer was unhappy (note – not necessarily apologise for the product). Then, when the customer has left, they may dismiss the matter entirely.

If someone expresses their disappointment in one of your products or services, by all means do what you can to rectify the situation and build your customer relationship. But after that, don’t take it to heart nor dismiss the dissatisfaction. Seize this opportunity to learn and improve.

First, is the customer’s dissatisfaction warranted? Have other people made the same statement? Have others asked for a refund?

Then it’s important to look at how you can use this feedback to make sure the mistake doesn’t occur again (if in fact there was a mistake made) or to improve your product or service.

In the case of Jennifer’s feedback, if the maker’s of Wii Fit Yoga were to read this post, how would they react? It would definitely be worth their while to take that feedback on board and look at how they can improve the Wii Fit Yoga, thanking Jennifer for her valuable feedback.

By doing this, you are not only showing your customers that you are listening to them, but you’re also ensuring that you provide a high quality product.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

June 6, 2008

Friday Words Of Wisdom…

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:00 pm
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Here’s another quote that I love… and a philosophy I try to live by.

“Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous – not just to some people in some circumstances – but to everyone all the time.” 
Thomas J. Watson, 1874-1956, Founder of IBM

June 2, 2008

Do You Keep Up With Your Blogroll Friends?

Filed under: Office Organisation,Recommendations,Time Management,Tips & Tricks,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 11:58 am

This is a question raised by Elena at her EP Designs blog – some people have a blogroll list so long a kangaroo couldn’t jump over it… do they actually keep up with those blogging friends? Do they regularly read their posts and comment on them?

Well, I must admit that I’m one of those people. I don’t have all my favourite blogs listed on my blog because there’s just too many of them. And yes, I do like to keep up with them all (although I must admit, never as often as I’d like). 

Late last year I found myself really struggling to keep up with them all, clicking from one blog to another. Then I spent an hour or so and subscribed to all my favourite blogs. If you haven’t already done this, I highly recommend you do. You can use a simple program like Bloglines or Feedburner. Add all your favourites and then just log in there each day or each week. You can see all the new posts since your last visit and read them in one place. If you want to comment on anything, you can easily do that too.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

 

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