3 ways to create a beautiful inner business

PaintingThere once was a boy named Steve. He was painting the fence around his house. When his dad came outside to inspect his work, he said, “Steve, you did a great job on the front side of the fence, but you didn’t do such a good job on the back side of the fence.”

Steve said, “Dad, that’s because no one will see the back side of the fence.”

To which his dad replied, “We will.”

Powerful message.

The Steve in this story is the late Steve Jobs. He took this philosophy of excellence and made it the cornerstone of Apple. He instructed his technicians to build a computer that was just as beautiful on the inside as it was on the outside.

Why should your business be any different? [Read more…]

7 things to consider when hiring an assistant

assistant_2So you’ve decided it’s time to get some help.

Maybe it’s because you’re tired of drowning in your administrative duties. Maybe it’s because things are slipping through the cracks. Or maybe it’s because you don’t have the inclination to learn the technical piece for delivering your services.

Whatever the reason, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to hire an assistant … virtual or otherwise.

Hiring someone isn’t second nature to most of us. Managing someone can be even more challenging. Not to worry, I’ve got it covered. I’ve compiled a list of the top seven things to consider when hiring an assistant.

[Read more…]

Using Boomerang for Gmail

I came back from Australia with a boomerang in my Gmail.

I’m not talking about the boomerangs the Australian Aboriginals developed for hunting. I’m talking about another kind of weapon … the one I use to attack my email inbox every day.

It’s called Boomerang and it’s a plugin that you use in Gmail to control when you send and receive emails.

In this week’s video, I’m going to show you how to get the Boomerang plug in and how to use it to help you save time and energy when dealing with your email.

[Read more…]

The top 5 tech apps for 2013

Choosing yogurt is a lot like picking the right tech tool for your business.

I was at the grocery store the other day because I ran out of yogurt. All I wanted was raspberry yogurt. Not Greek style. Not fruit on the bottom. Not fat-free. Not probiotic. Just plain old raspberry yogurt. It seemed like an eternity before I found the right type.

Have you ever felt like that about choosing technology tools?

If so, read on. I’ve got five key tools to help your business become more efficient in 2013.
[Read more…]

How to set up Google Alerts

I finally did it.

After procrastinating for a very long time, I decided the time has come to post my very first screencast tutorial. There will be more screencasts coming your way, but the theme of each will be the same: DIY Efficiency. Each screencast will outline action you can take to simplify your business to increase your productivity.

This week I’ll show you how to use Google Alerts. [Read more…]

How to manage your finances without disappearing for a week

I disappeared for a week.

Seriously. People wondered where I was. Emails didn’t get answered as quickly. Voicemail messages took longer to return. And everynight I ended up in the place I spent most of my day.

Where did I go? Nowhere exotic. The truth is I was right here in my office, sitting in front of my computer … cursing.

Here’s what happened [Read more…]

5 reasons why I’ll miss Tungle

Saying goodbye to a member of your team is tough. They’ve served you well. They were loyal, consistent, shared your workload and contributed to your success. When they leave, their absence is noticed.

That’s how I felt this week when Tungle, my online scheduling system, handed in its resignation. Unlike other team members, Tungle wasn’t moving on to greener pastures. As of December 3, 2012, Tungle would be dead. [Read more…]

Tech saves the day at tax time

It was a dark and stormy night. Through the thick blackness a tiny light shone in a house far, far away. Why was this light on in the wee hours of the morning? What could be so important to cause someone to be up this late? Were they up to no good … possibly concocting a plan to overthrow the world? No. They were preparing their taxes for the almighty Canada Revenue Agency.

The plot thickens…

Unfortunately, a series of events prevented our tired and frustrated heroine from making her tax preparations an easy and stress-free process.

It was down to the 11th hour … she had to get vital information to her accountant in time to meet the impending deadline. But alas, the file was too big to email. Whatever would she do? This information was crucial to filing a complete tax return. If this didn’t happen, and she was late in sending in her tax return, she would face a stiff financial penalty.

Read on to find out how she was saved from this impending doom. [Read more…]

5 free tech tools for your business

There has never been a better time to be in business for yourself. So many resources to help you in your entrepreneurial journey. Coaches to guide you as you build your business. Virtual assistants are just a click away, ready to tackle those tasks you’ve decided to outsource. And, best of all, tech tools to help you streamline your processes, automate your operations and connect you to clients. LOVE IT.

As responsible entrepreneurs and small business owners, we have to be focused on managing our budgets. Just because all those services and tools are out there, doesn’t mean we can afford to use them. At least not right now. So, here are five free tech tools to consider for your business. [Read more…]

Top 6 reasons to send e-cards this year

image of a mailboxIt finally came. That dreaded first holiday card of the season. I know I should welcome it with open arms, but I can’t get past the gentle reminder it sends: Get your butt in gear and get your own cards done.

Faster than a flying reindeer, my holiday card project is at the top of my To Do list, knocking the others tasks way, way down. Have I ordered my cards? Is my mailing list up-to-date? Have I bought stamps?

In business, it’s even more urgent to get your cards out earlier than later. Your clients may take extra time off during the holidays. You don’t want to miss them, and you definitely don’t want to be the card they open in January. Very embarassing.

This year, after much thought and research, I’ve decided to abandon the traditional paper greeting card and send out e-cards instead. Why, you may ask? Well, I have a bunch of reasons. [Read more…]