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Freelance your heart out – a review…

Freelance your heart out
Kris Emery
2012, self-published

Thinking of heading into a freelance career?

There is a lot going for it – freedom of your days, you keep the profits you work hard for, satisifaction and no office politics or commuting.

Yet, there is also a large price to pay for the lifestyle.

Kris Emery takes you through her freelance journey in her new eBook, showing some of the pitfalls and mistakes she made and shares the lessons learned.

She writes quite honestly and in a friendly style so it is easy to keep reading, even if you are not a big business book fan :)

Because it is honest, the eBook shows that freelancing requires effort and dedication – it is not an easy ride, and it doesn’t suit everyone.

Despite a few stumbling blocks, it is simple to read and has some good ideas. This eBook is a great read for anyone considering moving into freelance, or having recently started a freelance business.

It also has some ideas for more experienced freelancers, but is more of a light read for this group.

The 25 tips are useful for anyone in freelance, although you have to relate the examples to your own expertise as Kris specifically covers her fields of transcription and translation.

Some Considerations You Might Have Missed for Your Shop Layout

busy market in Bangkok Thailand

A busy market has a different layout to a shop

All of us think we know essentially what a shop layout looks like – it’s basically a row of isles each of which should have items on it and each of which should be positioned logically in relation to the other aisles and items in the store.

Of course this is the basic ‘archetype’ of an office, but it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that it’s actually a fair bit more complicated than that and there are many other factors to consider and things that can work to make your shop layout more or less successful in getting people to stay and crucial getting them to buy your products.

Here we will look at how you can encourage people to shop in your store by being smart with your layout and at some of the considerations that often go unnoticed.

Hidden Items

One thing that many people don’t think to do when they’re organizing their store is to hide some of their items. Of course this goes unconsidered mainly in many cases because it’s so counter-intuitive – why would you want to hide your items rather than trying to get people to find them?

Actually though there are a lot of good reasons, and the main one is that if people spend time searching for an item in your store then they’re going to see a lot of your other items that they weren’t looking for in the process. If you have something you know people want, then hiding these somewhere is a good idea.

The Colour of the Walls

This might not seem like something that is particularly important, but in fact the colour you choose for your walls can and will have a big impact on the way people shop in your stores. If the colour is a neutral and placid one for instance then your visitors will be happier to spend more time in the store and to probably by more as a result. However if you use very loud and bright colours like reds and oranges then this can actually make people want to leave sooner meaning they’ll spend less. Reportedly this is why fast food stores using oranges and reds a lot in their colouring – because it increases turnover by making more space for the next customers.

The Shelves

You need to think long and hard about the shelves you use to display your items when you get your shopfitters in. Not only do you need shelves that will allow you to fill your space without creating too much empty space or making the space look too crowded, but you also need to ensure that your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for and reach it, and that your staff are able to easily arrange the items and do stock rotations.

Traffic

You will have a lot of people passing through your store (hopefully) and no doubt milling around to find what they want. You need to account for this in your layout in order to ensure that your visitors can get past one another and to avoid health and safety issues.

 

The above guest post is written by freelance writer, Sarah Jones.
Photo courtesy of 123Rf

Doing business online?

If you do business online, why not share your thoughts and experiences in a survey? Quick and easy to complete, this survey is finding out how small  business uses the internet in Australia – will the results support the MYOB survey results posted a few months ago?

As well as the survey, we’d love to read your comments here – why did you start an online business (or part of your business)? Do you think it is good or bad, or something in between, that is is so relatively easy to start a business now the Internet is readily available to many of us?

Back from the conference

As mentioned in May Madness, we both attended the Business Mums Conference over the weekend and had an awesome time.

We’d like to congratulate Karen (Time Well Spent) and Simone (Wellness, Fertility & Balance) on winning a door prize of a feature listing on Save Time Online for a year – we’ll post links to their pages once they have provided the information to go on their pages.

There were many great presentations over the weekend, including a session on web 2.0 and social media, and Tash’s presentation on promotional articles. Ally also shared her story in a forum, along with the Founders Award winner, Amanda Cox, Glenys Gijsbers and Bernadette Huysing.

We’d like to thank Melissa and her team for a great weekend, and highly recommend you diarise it for next year! And we may just offer another advertising deal if you mention us when booking (and we hope those people who took advantage of it this year benefit from their upcoming newsletter ads.)

The social network of cybercriminals

With the increasing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, they have become a popular target for cybercriminals who are looking to collect personal information so that it is easier to trick users with phishing scams and to distribute viruses and malware (malicious software).

With the growth of these social networking sites, it is said that by looking at the profiles it’s become the easiest and quickest way to commit ID theft. There is no need to hack or dumpster dive when a profile is so publicly displayed.

Ways to prevent phishing scams and the distribution of malware through social networking sites are:

  • Making your passwords complex – involving numbers and symbols is a good way to do this
  • Making your profile private
  • Reduce the amount of personal information you include
  • Be wary of new applications, especially those that are allowed access to your personal information and the personal information of your friends

Though these sites are great fun and a fantastic way to keep in touch with people, it’s always best to be safe about who you let look at your personal information.

VistaPrint Earlybird Bonus – Christmas Cards

Want to get those christmas cards out of the way?

Sending a card to your employees and colleagues is a good way to show them that you notice their good work and christmas cards for your loyal or new customers is a fantastic way to thank them for their support, plus remind them of your business or brand.

So click HERE and organise your very own christmas cards that you can design yourself for a great early bird price.

Win! One of two magazine subscriptions!

BMN Issue 9The Business Mums Magazine is Australia’s only magazine aimed especially at mums running their own businesses. It is written by business mums, for business mums.

We are once again offering two lucky people the chance to win a 12 month subscription of this bi-monthly magazine valued at $25 each.

To go into the running for this wonderful prize click HERE- remember, you must be subscribed to our newsletter to enter. Adding your answer as a comment in our blog will not count as an entry (and won’t be published to keep it fair for everyone!)

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Business Cards in different cultures…

Like many things, how you give out (or even receive) business cards in different cultuers can be different to how you would do things in your own culture. What works in one place may not work, or even be offensive, in another place.

If you deal with people from a variety of cultures, or are attending an event where you may well met diverse peoples, you may want to read up on how to offer/accept business cards.

The following sites all explain different cultures’ attitudes to business cards…

How to exchange busines cards in Japan

Chinese business etiquette and culture

links to a number of specific countries’ business etiquette (including Argentina, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea)

International Business Etiquete and Manners resource

Mexperience – doing business in Mexico – have you thought of cards in another language?

Business etiquyte in Asia

Business card etiquette (internationally)