Small Business Diva

September 29, 2008

Computer Error Messages We Can All Understand

Filed under: Bits & Pieces — smallbusinessdiva @ 6:38 am
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Here’s a tip… right now, take 2 minutes off work and head over to JibJab.com to see some computer messages I can understand. 

Okay, they may not be real but I’m sure we can all relate to them.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

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September 26, 2008

Business Mums Magazine… Interesting Statistics

The Business Mums Magazine blog lists some interesting statistics about the content and contributors for the magazine over the last two years.

Business Mums Magazine ~ For mums who mean business

Business Mums Magazine ~ For mums who mean business

“Over the last 12 issues:

72 different people have had articles published in the magazine

  • We have published 232 different articles, not including News Snippets, network updates and advertorials
  • Donna-Marie Coggins of Jacaranda Business Support Services has had the highest number of articles published, currently sitting on 18 articles
  • 38 authors have had a single article published
  • There have been 20 articles published in the Marketing & Promotions category
  • We have featured 22 different Business Mums in Inspiring Women and Member Profiles”

(courtesy of the Business Mums Magazine Blog)

I find statistics really interesting (yes, I know… I enjoy doing my bookkeeping and preparing my tax returns too). If you are pretty good with writing and are interested in writing content-filled business articles as a way to share information with others and boost your own branding, why not consider submitting an article or two to the Business Mums Magazine?

If writing isn’t your thing but you would like to get your hands on a copy of the magazine (edited by Yours Truly), visit this site for more information. Tell Melissa I sent you  🙂

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

September 25, 2008

Do You Know Where Your Words May End Up?

When you write something on the internet – on your blog, blog comments, your website, articles that you publish – do you ever stop and wonder where your words may end up?

Personally, it never ceases to amaze me where my articles end up. I often see articles I’ve submitted to article directories on other people’s blog and websites, and I’ve even seen a couple in business newsletters that I subscribe to (all used appropriately and acknowledging the author, of course).

This week, I discovered that a post by Paul B. Brown on the New York Times Business Blog has quoted the Small Business Diva. Who would ever have thought? (NB: This is a great blog by the way – definitely worth visiting).

Now, would you like to know how I discovered this? No, I don’t have time to spend all day reading through millions of websites/blogs. I subscribe to Google Alerts. All you do is go to Google Alerts and enter the search terms you want to be alerted to, such as your name, your business name or even just an industry or topic that you’re interested in. Enter how often you want to receive email alerts, whether you want websites, blogs or everything, and your email address. That’s it. Simple.

When someone publishes something that includes your nominated search terms, you’ll be sent an email with the details.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

September 23, 2008

Blogs I Love

Filed under: Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 9:21 pm
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I feel honoured that not one but TWO other business owners last week awarded the Small Business Diva this I Love Your Blog award. Thank you to Annette from Under the Loupe and Marnie B. (I love both of their blogs too!)

The rules of this award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.

In turn, I would like to pass the I Love Your Blog award on to the following blogs that I love:

  1. Heart Harmony
  2. Business Mums Magazine
  3. Write Powerful Resumes
  4. Shel Design
  5. Herbology
  6. VA Directory
  7. Oz-e-WAHM

There are several others I’d like to include but 7 is probably enough for now. I hope you visit these – my favourite blogs.

Here’s to your success in small business,

Donna-Marie

September 18, 2008

How To Manage Feedback

Filed under: Small Business — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:25 pm
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Have you ever been working on a project where input is required from a number of people? Sometimes you can find that either everyone wants to be the ‘leader’ and wants to make the decisions, or that nobody wants to make those final decisions.

If so, there’s a great post at Word Constructions that’s worth reading, with some useful tips on Managing Feedback.

Here’s to your success in business ,

Donna-Marie

September 13, 2008

Handy Computer Shortcuts – Part 2

Recently I wrote about some handy computer shortcuts that will save you time on the keyboard. As promised in that post, Handy Computer Shortcuts, here are a few more for you to play with:

  • Take you to the start of that line – Home
  • Take you to the start of the document – Ctrl (control) + Home
  • Take you to the end of that line – End
  • Take you to the start of the document – Ctrl + End
  • Create a new document – Ctrl + N
  • Insert a page break – Ctrl + Enter
  • Decrease font size – Ctrl + Shift + <
  • Increase font size – Ctrl + Shift + >
  • To change lowercase text to ALL CAPS – Ctrl + Shift + A
  • To insert a date field – Alt + Shift + D
  • Delete the word before the cursor – Ctrl + Backspace
  • Delete the word after the cursor – Ctrl + Del
  • Double-click to highlight the word the cursor is in
  • Triple-click to highlight the paragraph the cursor is in

Have fun playing with those!

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

September 10, 2008

Hectic Helpers’ Essential Weekly Tips

One newsletter that I subscribe to that I look forward to receiving each week is the Hectic Helpers Tip of the Week.

Kay from Hectic Helpers – your to-do list specialist – sends weekly ideas that will help get anyone organised. For an over-organised neat-freak like me, I can’t get enough extra handy hints!

If you would like to learn a few quick, easy ideas for getting (and staying) organised, subscribe to the Hectic Helpers Tip of the Week now.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

September 8, 2008

What Printer Is Best For You?

Filed under: Office Organisation,Small Business,Work from Home — smallbusinessdiva @ 3:15 pm
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Jenni Markham wrote a post on her blog last month about her experiences shopping for a new printer and it reminded me of some of my printer shopping experiences.  When you go looking for a new printer there are so many different designs, each boasting an assortment of features and with a huge variance in price.

Before shopping for a new printer it’s a good idea to decide what features you really need; what features would be nice but are not essential; and what your budget is. Everyone’s needs are different, so the printer that is best for me may be totally different to the printer that is best for you.

Things to consider and questions to ask about prospective printers include:

  • Do you require a colour printer or is black and white sufficient?
  • Do you require a high quality of printing or is it mostly draft quality you’ll be printing?
  • How many pages (roughly) do you print each day/week?
  • Do you require borderless printing (where you can print to all edges of the page – not all printers have this capability)?
  • What will it cost you to replace the ink or toner cartridges?
  • Approximately how many pages will you be able to print with each ink or toner cartridge?
  • Will you require fast printing?
  • What sort of media will you be printing on (e.g. paper, envelopes, cardboard, transfers)?
  • Do you require a printer with wireless capability (e.g. so you can print from your computer/laptop without cables connecting the devices)?
  • What is the manufacturer’s support like? Do they have a representative in your country/region?
  • What warranty is included?
  • Will you need to access photo memory cards direct on your printer?
  • Ensure that your computer can meet the printer’s specific software/hardware requirements.
  • If possible, ask around friends and associates for brands that they recommend or have had past problems with.
  • Once you have decided on the specific model you want it pays to shop around for the best price.

By spending a bit of time getting to know your exact requirements and asking a few questions while shopping around you may save yourself a lot of hassles and cost in the long run.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

September 5, 2008

Something Special Just For Blondes…

Filed under: Bits & Pieces,Recommendations — smallbusinessdiva @ 1:36 pm
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Even though I’m not blonde I wanted to share this cool new t-shirt with you, in anticipation of the Blondes Inc. up-coming website launch.

Blondes Inc. will be launched very soon to put a fun slant on their amazing and more serious humanitarian plans.

These cool blondes’ t-shirts are available in various sizes (the large size is the equivalent to a size 12 in Australia). Although the company is based in the US, they can be mailed to Australia too.

September 2, 2008

My.Organiser Refill Pages Have Arrived… Nearly!

If you’re a regular reader of A Good Sort’s blog then you would no doubt have read that the 2009 refill pages for their My.Organiser and mini organiser are due to arrive this Friday.

If you’re not familiar with A Good Sort and their attractive, practical organisers, check them out now.

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

July 31, 2008

Solid Foundations For The Ideal Business

Yesterday I had the sheer pleasure of attending a presentation by James McNamara of the Impact Factory, at the Brisbane Business Growth Session.

I have to say, James’ presentation on How to Have a Life and a Successful Business was awesome! He shared so much valuable information, including several simple strategies to ensure that your business is built on strong foundations.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear James speak I urge you to take it. In the meantime, visit the Impact Factory website to read James’ 7 Proven Principles of Business Success.

Here’s to your success in business,

Donna-Marie

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