Small Business Diva

August 28, 2008

New Business Mums Blog

Melissa from Business Mums Network has got a new blog – Business Mums Blog – that’s already full of great tips and ideas, perfect for busy Business Mums.

If you’re not a mum but you do run a business, it’s still worth checking out. Many dads and non-parents will still find plenty of ideas to help their business.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

August 26, 2008

Good Looking Eco-Friendly Bags

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:33 pm
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Reading through My New Shiny Shoes’ blog I came across these gorgeous eco-friendly bags – Envirosax.

In an effort to be more environmentally conscious I have been using eco-friendly bags for a few years now. Not just for grocery shopping, but also just for carrying ‘stuff’ from one place to another.

I have to admit, I sometimes cringe at the standard boring yet brightly coloured bags (bright colours that clash with whatever outfit I’m wearing!) If you are looking at producing environmentally-friendly bags for your business, why not consider something a bit stylish? If your budget doesn’t stretch to something this good you can always charge a small fee for them. Just think… if you make them fashionable enough, people will shop with you just to get your bags!

Here’s to your business success,

Donna-Marie

August 22, 2008

Handy Computer Shortcuts

Filed under: Time Management,Tips & Tricks,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 11:00 am
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There are lots and lots of keyboard shortcuts that you can use to save time when using the computer. I know some regular readers already use these shortcuts, but I also know there are others who aren’t aware of them.

Here’s a list of the most common shortcuts. These can be used in MS Word but you will find that they will usually work just the same in most other MicroSoft programs and in fact, in many other applications too.

For these shortcuts, first highlight the text concerned, then:

  • Copy – hold down CTRL and the ‘C’ key
  • Paste – CTRL + V
  • Cut – CTRL + X
  • Undo – CTRL + Z
  • Repeat – CTRL + Y
  • Underline – CTRL + U
  • Bold – CTRL + B
  • Italics – CTRL + I
  • Open a Document – CTRL + O
  • Save a Document CTRL + S
  • Print a Document – CTRL + P
  • Close a Document – CTRL + W
  • Select Everything – CTRL + A
  • Help – F1

There are lots more but I’ll share those with you another time. For now, if you’re not used to using the shortcut keys, just pick one or two of these functions that you use often and practise using them. Once you’re familiar with those and remember them by heart, choose another couple and start using those. Before you know it, you’ll be a whizz with all these shortcuts.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

August 20, 2008

Email Etiquette

Filed under: Communication,Office Organisation,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 4:34 pm
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I’m writing today about a topic that has been annoying me for a while now… a topic that has recently been discussed at length on a business forum I’m a member of and more recently in the latest Women’s Network Australia e-Noticeboard. I figured that while there’s a bit of talk about it, it’s a good time to bring it up here and (hopefully) we can start sending a clear message to the guilty parties. I must admit, some of my dearest friends are guilty so if you do this too, please don’t take it personally.

The problem… people who forward emails without using the BCC: field and those who forward emails without removing previous recipients’ / senders’ addresses from the message. These are particularly the case with those, “Forward to at least 100, 000 people within the next 10 minutes or your wish won’t come true” type of messages but are seen in general business emails too.

There are three main problems with this:

1. If my name is one of those on the email – whether as sender or recipient – it then gets forwarded all over the place. Some people are very protective of their privacy and would rather that their details not be distributed willy-nilly. Okay, perhaps you trust all the people you are forwarding the message to, but what about the people they send it to… or the people they send it to… or… and so on?

2. Others are concerned that their address will eventually end up in the hands of spammers, thus opening them to being bombarded with even more spam emails.

3. It just looks messy! I really dislike having to scroll down through countless ‘to’ and ‘from’ lists, complete with various, “Thought you’d like this. OMG ROFLMAO!!! See you Saturday. Love Sue,” type messages just to find a useful bit of info in the bottom two lines.

Although this annoys me, it doesn’t upset me and I certainly don’t waste time worrying about it – and I still love my friends who do this – but I’d really like it if we could collectively start spreading the message.

If you are guilty of this, please:

1. When sending messages to numerous people and it’s not necessary for them to know who else you’re sending it to, use the BCC: field (it’s below To: and CC) and stands for Blind Carbon Copy. It means that each person in that address field will receive the message but they won’t see the names of others it was sent to.

2. When forwarding a message, please delete any irrelevant information from the email before you press ‘send’ (eg previous names, addresses, messages and signature blocks).

Another suggestion is that we all start to include a message in our emails along the lines of, “Thanks for deleting my email address and the FWD in the subject line before forwarding these to your friends and family.  Hardly any spam now.”

Okay… I’ll get off my soap box now.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

August 18, 2008

Clever Marketing

Filed under: Marketing Tips,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 2:00 pm
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How many times do you see a marketing idea and think, “Wow! Why didn’t I think of that?” or “I wonder who came up with that idea.”

I saw this image while reading the Tonic Gifts blog and just love it.

Clever Marketing

Clever Marketing

What a clever marketing idea this is. Often it’s things that are a little out of the ordinary, wacky or unusual that stand out. Next time you’re planning your marketing for the year ahead, try to think outside the box a bit.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

August 15, 2008

What Do You Get By Imitating?

Filed under: Words of Wisdom & Inspiration — smallbusinessdiva @ 10:26 am
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“You cannot succeed by imitating someone else. If you try to copy another, the most you can be is second best,” Confucius

While it’s great to have role models and mentors, remember to always keep your own sense of style and personality… don’t be afraid to lead the way from time to time.

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

August 13, 2008

Are You A HOT Talker?

Filed under: Communication,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 3:20 pm
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I was just catching up on some reading at the Modern Goddess’ blog and came across this great post, Are You A HOT Talker?

No, Nicole isn’t talking about how sexy you speak… she’s referring to your general conversations and what messages you’re sending out… the QUALITY of your communication and how it affects the quality of your life.

To sum up, Nicole makes the following suggestions:

“When communicating, consider the following points:-

Heartfelt – Be sincere, take time to consider the impact of your words on others.

Open – Be open to others’ opinions, it never hurts to listen without judgment.

Truthful – Be honest and trustworthy in your communication.”

I think they’re pretty simple strategies to live by. If you have a minute to spare, it’s worth reading the full article – Are You A HOT Talker?

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

August 11, 2008

What Difference Does A Font Make? Pt 2

Filed under: Communication,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 5:14 pm
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Last week I wrote about the basics of fonts and how to choose the best font(s) for your project – What Difference Does A Font Make?

Tash Huges, my friend and colleague at Word Constructions, has recently written at her blog about choosing font sizes. She makes some great points – it’s definitely worth the read. 

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

August 8, 2008

Who Wants To Grow Their Blog?

Filed under: Recommendations,Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 9:59 am
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Many bloggers know the feeling of having other people visiting your blog… leaving comments… developing a relationship with the blog host and other readers… subscribing to your RSS feed. There are many things you can do to help this process along – get involved in blogging communities, visit and comment on other blogs you like, participate in blog carnivals.

For any business woman who is serious about blogging I highly recommend joining the Blog Whammy group. This is a great group of business women who are all committed to providing blogs with quality content, regular posts and an overall beneficial blogging community.

The Blog Whammy is free to join, there are only a few simple, straight-forward rules and you will notice the difference it makes to your blog in just a few short weeks. Even better… you will develop business relationships and friends within this supportive community. I hope to see you there  🙂

Here’s to your success in business…

Donna-Marie

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