Tricks for Handling Email

Most of us have way too much in our email inbox to tackle some days. Sometimes, we pus aside those emails that don’t need immediate attention and then forget all about them.

Since technology’s the one burying us in work, it seems fitting that technology came up with a solution: a company that will resend the email back to you at a specified time. You simply forward those emails that need responses in the future and pick when you want to tackle them.

Check out “Get Reminders About Email You Don’t Have Time to Answer” for more details. And take back your email!

Until next time,

Sarah

Selling a Similar Product

If you have a product that is similar to something already out there, Business Week has some tips on how to market your item successfully in “Marketing a Copycat Product.”

Some marketing ideas include making your brand visible by using pay-per-click Internet advertising, developing a consistent message about your product and establishing a Facebook and Twitter account for your brand.

Until next time,

Sarah

Finding the Right Mentor

Having someone who can mentor you along your career path, whether it be in the corporate world or a home-based business, can be a boon. But finding the right person to be that mentor can be difficult.

“3 Successful Strategies to Find a Business Mentor” from the Fox Small Business Center offers the solution.

First, look for mentors who have more in common with you than just business. For example, if you’re involved with your local animal shelter, you might meet other animal lovers and businesspeople who could help direct your career.

Second, be public about your search for a mentor. Kind of like, if you don’t let people know you’re looking for a mentor, you might not find one approach. Blog about your search. Ask friends for recommendations. Don’t be shy, but don’t be a pest about it, either.

Third, call, don’t email, your request. Emails are easy to get lost or deleted accidentally, so be old-fashioned–call your prospective mentor. Sometimes, talking on the phone for a few minutes can show whether you’ll be a good fit more than exchanging emails.

Until next time,

Sarah

Using Speaking Engagements to Promote Your Business

Came across this article about “10 Tips for Giving an Important Speech,” which has some good stuff about speaking engagements. Whether in front your kids or a larger group, these key steps can help you give a great presentation.

Be enthusaistic. No matter what the topic, if you’re not excited about it, your audience won’t be either.

Tell engaging stories. Make sure your illustrations have a point that ties into your subject matter.

Interact with your audience first thing. Don’t wait until the question-and-answer portion of your speech. Engage your audience with questions at the beginning.

Rename your nervousness. Instead of butterflies in your stomach, think fireballs. Reoriente your idea of being nervous to your advantage.

Fix your gaze on one person at a time. When delivering a point, look at one person instead of scanning the room.

I recommend reading the entire article for more tips on public speaking.

Until next time,

Sarah

When You Post Matters

If you blog or update your Facebook page, when you post that new information can help you generate more traffic, a new study reported in Entrepeneur.com found.

“Overall, Friday gets the most attention per fan; with 64 percent more ‘shares, likes and comments,’ and Saturday comes in second, with 13 percent more,” the report revealed. But “Friday is only 7 percent more effective than Monday and 3 percent more than Tuesday and Thursday.” Translation? Don’t post on Sunday if you want to get any tranaction.

The report also showed that posting in the morning brought more response than in the afternoons.

So I’ll be posting updates to my blogs in the a.m. from now on. And not on Sundays.

Until next time,

Sarah

The Fair Playing Field Act

If you’re considered an independent contractor (i.e., a freelancer or contractual worker), you might want to find out more about the Fair Playing Field Act currently being considered in Congress.

Essentially, the act would eliminate an IRS regulation loophole that lets companies label workers as independent contractors if the business has “a reasonable basis” for the classification–and reports the contracted workers’ compensation on 1099 forms.

The act also would require new federal guidelines on how to classify independent workers. You can read the entire bill online.

As an independent contractor myself, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on how this bill might effect my working relationships with client companies. Check back here for updates.

Until next time,

Sarah

Regaining Work Energy

To rejuvenate yourself for your at-home business, try these tips from Bloomberg Business Week.

Take a break from work. If you can’t spare a weekend or longer vacation from your business, try scheduling an afternoon’s worth of idle time. Do something fun with your kids or catch a matinee movie. Whatever you do, don’t think about work.

Limit your use of technology to check in on work. If you must bring your iPhone to your son’s soccer game, at least restrict the time you spend on it.

Schedule regular times throughout the week when business is the last thing on your mind. For example, when I pick up the children from the bus stop, I block out thirty minutes to spend with them, talking about their day and asking about homework, etc.

Have paper and pen–or PDA–handy for jotting down ideas. Help to keep your good ideas from getting lost by committing to paper or iPad those thoughts about your business before you forget.

Until next time,

Sarah